Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Signs that You Are Possibly Being Exploited on the Job

Are you being “pimped” by your employer? I’m not referring to the much-hyped pimping of inanimate objects that takes place as we strive to give our most prized possessions a fashionable upgrade. After all, who wouldn’t want to pimp their ride or their house? No – I’m speaking about the kind of pimping that leaves unsuspecting individuals feeling violated – the kind that may be taking place at your very own place of employment.

No better word comes to mind when I think about the various ways in which people are exploited in the workplace because of the many talents and skills that they bring to the job. Talents and skills that their employers may in fact overcapitalize on. Do you wonder if this is happening to you? How can you tell? If your supervisor commits several of the following acts, there may be some serious pimping going on in your world:

1. Volunteers you for projects without consulting you first. Ever go on vacation, or miss a staff meeting, only to later find out that you have been volunteered to do the work that no one else wanted? Makes you a little leery, doesn’t it?

2. Picks your brain for ideas and then takes all of the credit. There’s nothing worse than having a moment of brilliance (for some of us, these moments are few and far in between), sharing it with your boss and then later hearing him or her share it with the world as though it were their own original thought. Well, yeah there is (I lied) – it’s worse when they actually receive kudos for your bright ideas!

3. Continually raises the bar – but not your salary. This can be a big problem if you are constantly being encouraged to “think outside the box” and pull out the bells and whistles, but once you’ve given the best you have to offer, you find that your salary remains unchanged, as does your position. Careful or you just might crash and burn! Burnout is a definite possibility if you are constantly jumping through hoops with the hopes that it will one day be appreciated and rewarded.

4. Offers to “mentor” you and then gives you all of his or her dirty work. A real mentor won’t load you down with every project that he or she has been avoiding for the past several weeks or months. Mentors lead by example. They model, collaborate, and then pass the torch. If you were just thrown the torch without these other processes, beware! You may just want to toss it back. It might be a setup.

5. Cross-trains you to work outside of your area without additional compensation. Ah yes – the infamous “do more with less” strategy. This may even be presented to you at first as a temporary thing – you know, until they can fill that vacant position. It’s your big chance to get noticed for the dedicated employee that you are. And perhaps your efforts will be rewarded. But what if they aren’t?

6. Plays mind games with you to keep you guessing about your level of job security. You know, statements like “We’re in a fishbowl” or “We have to tread very carefully” may actually scare you into thinking that if you don’t practically kill yourself to go above and beyond, you may be given your walking papers. If your department or unit is being looked at this carefully, you won’t need an announcement from your supervisor to know it…

7. Uses performance evaluations to manipulate you. Who wants a negative evaluation when they know that they have done their very best? No one of course! But a boss who is a real P-I-M-P knows just the right buttons to push to get their staff to do whatever they want. Usually the mere threat of a negative evaluation – no matter how subtle – will add a few extra gray hairs to the head of the employee who is concerned about his or her job security or professional advancement.

8. Pits staff members against one another. Yep, the ever-popular “divide and conquer” strategy. If your supervisor makes statements such as “Everyone here in the office thinks you’re an ass,” don’t believe it unless you know in your heart that it’s the truth. The insecure supervisor will use this tactic to fuel unhealthy competition and strife or to possibly even retaliate against you if they feel slighted or threatened by you.

9. Makes you think you’ll never have what it takes to advance within the company. Pimps don’t want their people to have confidence! That’s just reality. If you receive criticism, however you do have to examine it for a grain of truth. Some criticism is actually constructive and intended to help you grow. You may want to ask yourself, “Have I heard this before on previous jobs?” If so, then you have some work to do.

10. Refuses to give you that letter of recommended or put in a good word for you as you seek better opportunities. If your boss is pimping you, the last thing he or she will want you to do is get ahead. Even if you’re not after their job, they will try to hinder your job search because they don’t want to lose you! Never ask a supervisor to give you a recommendation just because they’re your supervisor. If your intuition is telling you that he or she is a pimp, take heed! This individual may be the one thing that prevents you from reaching your goals.

For all of those employers out there who are pimping folks, you have just been exposed! As a constant seeker of truth, I feel that it is my moral obligation to share my findings with the world. Sorry if the truth hurts…

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10 Simple Ways to Play Nice with Your Ex

This day and age blending families seems to be the status quo. There are step-parents, step-siblings, and step-grandparents by the millions. Divorce statistics say that one out of every two marriages end in divorce, and sometimes these splits can be bitter, and in some situations a truce seems impossible. So what can we do to smooth the waters with our child’s other parent? I have put together a list, based on my own experiences, of mostly common sense methods you can use to keep, or gain, the peace.

Don’t lie about your money- Now this doesn’t mean that you should provide your ex with a photocopy of every paystub and bill you have, it just simply means if you plan on putting your child in dance classes over the summer, and you are not asking for help footing the bill, you should explain exactly how it is you have the extra money to do so. This especially holds true if you are the receiver of child support because you can be taken back to court and forced to provide proof of what you spend that money on.

2- Follow your court orders- Whether it’s your child support order, or your physical and legal custody agreements, follow the court orders to the letter. This is particularly a good idea if your relationship with your ex is some sort of hostile. Plan events around the dates and times you will have your child. Avoid asking for favors such as switching days, or times until you have a better co-parenting relationship. Asking for favors in a hostile relationship will almost always lead to a fight.

3- Question without blaming- When your child comes to your house spouting off a new vulgar word, or showing questionable behavior that you know did not come from your household, a good way to approach your ex about the situation is to talk to them and say, “Hey, I don’t know where this behavior came from because we all know that little Johnny is at that age where he is going to pick up anything and everything, but will you please work with me when he comes home in trying to put a stop to it?” The reverse of this is also a good idea. If you know that your child picked up the word or behavior from your home, it is best that you admit it.

4- Share and update contact information- Give each other up to date lists periodically of addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for the places that your child spends a good amount of time, i.e.: home address, location of school or daycare, etc. If nothing else, it is a good back-up in case of an emergency, and if something were to happen to your child you would have the information to trace it back to find out exactly what is going on.

5- Include each other in major decisions- If you plan on changing your child’s school or daycare, or want to enroll them in some sort of extracurricular activity, have an open conversation with the other parent about it at least a month in advance, especially if the decision you are trying to make involves the other parent paying some of the bill. Leaving a good time frame allows for both parents to make an educated decision, and come to some sort of compromise if there is any disagreement.

6- Don’t play the “I’m right, you’re wrong” game- There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Each parent is naturally going to have their own parenting style with regards to everything from routine to discipline. If one parent believes in taking away toys as opposed to a time out,you can’t come back and say that either method is better than the other. If a child is coming over with constant diaper rash however, you might want to have a conversation about it and see what is going on, but don’t openly attack parenting abilities. Most of us do the best that we can, and no child came with a manual.

7- Don’t unfairly express ill feelings towards a step-parent- Step-parents cannot replace, nor do they want to replace the real parents. For the most part, step-parents know their role within the family already without the other parent disliking them or blaming them for things unfairly. That person is now going to be an adult figure, and an influence on your child’s life. It is a much better idea for everyone if you get along. Trust in your ex’s judgment about the person, and if you are uncomfortable try to get to know them yourself. Send them an email to break the ice, and make an effort at open communication.

8- Offer some help and extra support- If your child is sick, and the other parent doesn’t have the day off but you do, offer to take the child to the Dr. It’s a good way to spend some extra time together, and you will come out knowing exactly what the child has, and how to take care of it should it happen again.

9- Agree on split-expenditures before you act- You cannot just go out and by your 16 year old a $20,000 car for their birthday and give your ex a $10,000 bill out of nowhere. The same holds true if you would like to enroll your child into a private school. Chances are you could get a court order and force the ex to pay half of the tuition, but it will just become a fight. It isn’t fair for one parent to make assumptions about the other parent’s finances, and it isn’t fair to place an extra burden on them without consulting them first. Who knows, the other parent may love the idea of a private school and be more than willing to foot the bill.

10- Don’t undermine the other parent on a major decision- This is especially true if you already know that the other parent gave a very stern and definitive no. If parent A tells their 13 year old daughter that they can’t get their belly button pierced, parent B should not run right out to the nearest piercing parlor to have it done. The 13 year old might be ecstatic, but all it is going to teach her is that she doesn’t have to respect parent A, and parent A will be infuriated, to say the least.

For the most part, these ideas are common sense. I am not an expert of human relationships or psychology, but I do have a great deal of real life experience when it comes to these matters. Once you have a child, you are tied to their other parent for at least the next 18 years, or more in some places. Wouldn’t it be a better use of your time to play nice with them? Get along and compromise so that you can spend more time enjoying your child, and less time angry and frustrated with their other parent.

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10 Signs You're a Bad Roommate

Roommates can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, roommates make our bills cheaper, and they give us someone to talk to when we’re feeling a little lonely. On the other hand, all it takes is one person to ruin an otherwise decent living situation. The worst thing is that you can never really tell who’s a bad roommate until you’ve lived with them. But what makes a bad roommate? Are you one? Listed are 10 irritating, signs that you’re a bad roommate. If you find yourself saying to yourself, “Hmm, I do that…”, acknowledgment is the first step. If you strive to be a bad roommate, use these 10 signs as a guide. Your roommates will wish you’d never been born.

Top Ten Signs

10. You leave all the lights on when you leave the house and forget to turn off the TV. Not only does it needlessly waste energy, leaving the lights or TV on also means that you and your roommate pay for it. They won’t appreciate it. Sure, you could argue that it’s just a few nickels and dimes here in there, but nickels and dimes add up to dollars and those dollars could be better spent on food or, if you’re over 21, alcohol.

9. You don’t chip in for toilet paper or cleaning supplies. Being stingy with your money and expecting someone else to pay for the stuff you wipe your bum with won’t win you any bonus points with your roommates. Oh, they may not notice at first that they’re the ones buying these extra, shared items, but pretty soon they’ll start talking… and when you’re roommates start talking, you’re life suddenly becomes a lot more risky – remember, they tend to have access to your things.

8. You spread your stuff all over the house. You have a room for a reason, don’t keep your computer in the living room or stick pictures of the members of your extended family in the dining room. You’re roommates don’t want to look at the picture of your 80 year-old Great-Grandma every time they want to watch TV.

7. You rifle through your roommates’ belongings to “borrow” something without their knowledge. Eventually, you’ll be caught. Unless you’re already pretty good friends with your roommates, don’t do into their rooms without their knowledge or permission. People tend to like their privacy, respect it.

6. You take out laundry in the washing machine and dump it into a pile before putting your own laundry in. For goodness sake, stick it in the dryer. They’re usually right next to each other. It’s not hard. Plus, your roommates definitely won’t appreciate finding their clothes in a wrinkly heap.

5. You fall asleep with the TV still on in your room with the sound cranked up. You’re roommates want to sleep, too. It’s highly probably that they won’t fall asleep to reruns and advertisements like you do. Also, you tend to sleep through your alarm – causing it to ring for a l-o-n-g time. Your roommates won’t appreciate it. Neither would you if the situation were reversed.

4. You don’t take responsibility for your messes. Some of the worst roommates are those that never seem to remember dropping the Kool-Aid on the carpet or deny that it’s their hair that’s clogging up the shower drain. The more you deny it, the more your roommates know it was you. Actually, they knew it was you all along. You’re not fooling anyone.

3. You eat your roommate’s food. If you each pitch in and buy food together, good for you and your roommates. Most of us, however, buy our own food. Don’t delve into your roommates’ stock. You’re roommates will hate you.

2. You’re late paying your bills. Here’s another money issue. Pay your bills, if you can’t afford them… well, maybe you should have thought of that before you signed your lease. No one wants to see you on Judge Judy.

1. You don’t wash your dishes. You might wonder why paying bills late isn’t #1. Ask anyone. If someone has a big problem with their roommate you can nearly guarantee that the dishes take part in the problem. Don’t be that person, please. Wash your dishes after you use them, especially pans. If you’re one of those fancy people who have a dishwasher in their apartment, load your dishes sometimes and take the time to unload the dishwasher occasionally. Also, make sure you know which dishes are yours. Some of the most irritating roommates in existence are the ones that think that all their dishes are someone else’s. No, they’re yours. Wash them.

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10 Simple Ways to Make Working Out More Enjoyable

1. Master Your Mindset: The key to enjoying exercise is attitude. Prior to your workout, focus on your goals, prior

efforts, and the opportunity to de-stress as a means of motivation and satisfaction. Rather than regarding

exercise as a punishment, identify the positives. Ultimately, you control your attitude, be an optimist!

2. Education “Core”ner: The age-old saying, “Knowledge is power,” is undoubtedly true in your personal quest for health and fitness. The countless online articles and videos, as well as related books, magazines, and journals may be one of the most powerful motivational tools. Becoming an expert in a certain area will certainly inspire a sense of pride and ownership in your workout and maximize your enjoyment.

3. Interval Inc.: If your daily workouts routines have become monotonous in pace, duration, exercise selection, and intensity, you are long-overdue for an “extreme-fitness makeover.” During your cardio routines, alternate slower periods with faster periods to kickstart your metabolism and burn more calories, while making time fly. To resuscitate your strength training routine, cut out the rest and move from one exercise to the next and increase the density of your workout. Aim for a total-body circuit of 12 to 14 exercises (10-15 reps), 2 to 3 days per week.

4. Costume Change: I am a firm believer in if you look good, you will feel better, and if you feel better, you will perform your best. Reward yourself for your commitment to fitness and treat yourself to a new workout outfit or two.

5. Scenery Switch: Changing where you workout from time-to-time is essential for keeping exercise fresh. Appreciate the natural beauty of the outdoors, try out a new walking or running trail, or join an existing local exercise group.

6. Exercise Expansion: The ways you can exercise are endless and many offer the same healthy benefits. Try a new activity, join a new team, and learn at least one new exercise or movement progression to add into each and every workout. Choose the activities you enjoy the most and love every minute of it.

7. Partner Power!: Enlist the services of a Personal Trainer to educate, motivate, and organize your workouts. An exercise partner in the form of a spouse, friend, or like-minded individual will keep you accountable and enhance your workout experience as you grow in health and fitness together.

8. The Group Fitness Advantage: As a Group Fitness Instructor, I am firm supporter of the group element to maximize personal motivation and enjoyment. The possibilities are endless (yoga, pilates, zumba, core classes, kettlebells, running groups, biking groups, water aerobics, resistance band workouts, aerobics, spinning, kickboxing, boxing, bootcamp, martial arts, organized sports, and on and on). There are group opportunities for every age, experience level, and exercise preference. Join a new group and feel the instant power of positive energy, a support system, and a rush of endorphins.

9. Music is My Motivation: Create personal playlists to provide a continuous source of rhythm and energy. During interval training, match the speed of the song to the speed of your workout. Also, make a cool-down playlist to play during your post-workout stretching period to relax and focus on the day ahead.

10. Technology Tactics: Use technology to your advantage. Wear a pedometer each day and set goals to overall increase movement. There are countless applications and electronic trackers of distance, heart rate, time, and other helpful feedback variables. Listening to your favorite podcast while you exercise (ESPN’s Bill Simmons for me), is an enjoyable reprieve from your usual playlist. Lastly, viewing more online workout videos will allow you to learn proper form, new exercises, and ways to keep your workouts fresh and fun!

I hope all of my suggestions will enhance the enjoyment of your workouts and allow you to unlock your true health and fitness potential!

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10 Signs Your Child is Being Bullied

Does your child come home from school sad and distant? Do they prefer to be left alone and really don’t seem to care much about anything? Has your child come home with mysterious bruises or cuts he or she doesn’t want to explain? If so, it is possible your child is a victim of school violence.

Statistics show that 1 out of 4 children are a victim of school bullies. 1 out of 5 kids admit they have been a bully to someone else at some point. This means about 78% of all children are being bullied nationwide. A growing number of schools in America now contain metal detectors in hopes of reducing this and other types of school violence.

How will you know if your child is being bullied at school or at risk for potential school violence?

Here are 10 signs that your child may be a victim of school violence.

  1. Coming home from school in tears or upset regularly
  2. Clothing excessively dirty of torn
  3. Wanting to stay home most every day
  4. Doing bad in school with little interest
  5. Depressed and withdrawn
  6. Being sick often with headaches, stomachs, etc
  7. Trouble sleeping, nightmares or insomnia
  8. Does not have many friends, if any
  9. Getting into trouble often
  10. A change in eating pattern

How to Approach Your Child About School Violence

If you feel like your child is a victim of violence then you should try talking to them about the situation. Your child may not want to talk to you for fear it may make the situation worse or maybe he thinks he can handle it himself. It’s important that you explain to your child that this is serious and that you care and want to know what is going on.

You can begin by explaining to your child how you feel about violence, but take it slow and allow them to tell you how they feel. The next step is to try and find out if the abuse is emotional, physical or verbal.

Here are a few ideas to help you begin a conversation with your child.

  1. Talk to your child about what you have heard concerning school violence and how you feel about it.
  2. Let them know reporting violent acts to you or a teacher is the right thing to do.
  3. Give your child an opportunity to express how they feel about school violence and their fears.
  4. Let them know that you will listen and be available anytime they want to talk, no matter how big or small the problem may be.
  5. If they have questions, answer them as honestly as possible.
  6. Talk to your child about ways you both can help to make their school safer.

Your Rights as a Parent

Due to the growing violence in schools there have been a lot of changes made to make them safer. Schools and parents all across the nation are coming together to try to make public schools a safer place to be. For starters, the majority of them now have a zero tolerance policy in place when it comes to violent acts or intentions. As a parent you have the right to know what goes on in your child’s school and how they handle different situations. You have the right to ask your child’s school to provide you with their safety policies.

Your Child’s Rights to Safety in a Public School

Public schools owe their students the right to a safe work environment where they can learn. Your child goes to school to learn and receive an education to have the opportunity of finding a good job and improving their life and advancing their future. They have the right to be safe and not have to look over their shoulders in fear. They need to feel safe, protected and spend their time learning instead of worrying. You and your child both need to be aware of their rights and your school’s policy on violation of those rights.

Confronting the School about the Problem

If you know that your child is a victim of some type of violence whether it is emotional or physical you need to contact the school immediately. Here are a few steps you can follow in the order they should be tried.

  • First, talk to your child’s teacher
  • Next, if that does not work then talk to the school’s principal and counselor
  • Also, you may want to ask for a meeting with the other parents who’s child or children are involved
  • Go higher up to the school superintendent if possible

If your child is still the victim of violence after following these steps, then you may need to go one step further and file a report with the police department. Remember, your child does not have to be a victim.

Tags:10 Signs Your Child is Being Bullied

10 Simple Decorating Ideas for Renters

Decorating a rented space is not as easy as it sounds. Most landlords don’t want you to make major changes to your living space. In many cases, you can only paint the walls if you promise to paint them back to their original color before you leave. If you hang photos on the walls and make holes, that’s just more stuff to fix when your lease expires. So here are simple decorating ideas for renters, which won’t cost you a fortune or give your landlord a fit.

#1. Accent Wall

Don’t paint your whole rental space! Instead, paint one accent wall in every room. Choose the wall directly opposite the entrance and paint it in a bright color that goes well with your furniture. This can be purple, blue, red, orange, yellow-in short, for a modern look, create a chic accent wall that makes a statement.

#2. Lighting

Lighting is very important in modern decor. For a simple decorating idea for renters consider visiting IKEA or another discount furniture store and buying large, see-through white lamps or lampshades reminiscent of Japanese lanterns. These make beautiful illuminated focal points in every room.

#3. Mantle Alternative

Many rental places have no fireplace and, hence, no mantle to form a decorative focal point. The simple decorating idea for renters is to place a console table against the wall with a decorative mirror hanging over it. Decorate the table with candles, pictures, a bowl of acorns, flower vases, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

#4. Wicker Baskets

Organize your stuff without crowding your rental place by using some colored wicker baskets. Buy cheap wicker baskets at a craft store, then spray paint them in a zesty color like lime green, orange or red, which will really spice up your decor. Next, you’ll want an open bookcase to stack your baskets and decorate your space. I find that the most affordable bookcases are the DIY ones, which you have to put together yourself. You can find these at affordable department stores.

#5. Pillows

Perhaps the simplest decorating idea for renters involves pillows. And you don’t have to invest in a whole bunch of new pillows. I recommend buying beautiful bright fabrics at a fabric store like JoAnn’s and sewing new pillow cases for your old pillows. Just be sure you choose colors that go with the rest of your decor.

#6. Window Treatments

Curtains or beautiful blinds are important for any room because they decorate it vertically, which is the area least decorated. The simplest window decorating idea for renters is to hang curtains. I like hanging a wooden pole over a row of windows using ornate shelf brackets. It’s cheaper than buying a separate curtain rod for each window. You can find ornate wooden poles and brackets at home improvement stores, where they can cut your pole down to size. As for the curtains, you can sew your own to match your pillows, or just buy curtains on sale. If you wish to turn a sheet or tablecloth into a curtain, use clip curtain rings to hang it.

#7. Rug

Especially in smaller rental apartments or homes, a rug will help define the space in each room and add harmony to your decor. For a simple decorating idea for renters consider buying a rug at a home improvement store or cheap department store, where prices are affordable. Consider buying a single-toned rug but one that has a dominant color that will brighten the room. If your pillows and curtains match this color, your rug will bring everything together.

#8. Glassware

See-through things that allow light to flow through them make a space look beautiful. You can tie thick silk ribbons to ordinary drinking glasses and turn them into beautiful small vases. Save your wine bottles (or apple cider bottles) and display them in a cluster on window sills or your living room table. Beautiful glass jars like the honey bear ones are also beautiful to display.

#9. Homemade Fabric Art

You don’t want to stud your rental walls with holes, so clustered art displays are out of the question. Therefore, be sure to select one or two dominant pieces for the entire room. Personally, I prefer mirrors in small rooms because they increase the visual space. If you can’t afford expensive art, consider buying one yard of beautiful sturdy silk fabric at a craft store. Stretch the fabric on a frame built from 2×4 lumber, then hang your homemade fabric art on the wall.

#10. Plants

Greenery and flowers have a calming effect on us. My simple decorating idea for renters is to display live plants (not silk or plastic) somewhere in each room. I like to cut branches from my trees and bushes to create live bouquets throughout my home. You can also weave a few silk flowers through this greenery and get away with the impression that the whole bouquet is real.

More of My Decorating Articles

12 Cheap Decorating Ideas for a Cozy Home

10 Cheap & Easy Bedroom Decorating Ideas

10 Cheap Nursery Decorating Ideas

Tags:10 Simple Decorating Ideas for Renters

10 Simple Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes

Are you suffering from swollen eyes lately? Puffy eyes have been linked to salty food, allergies, and sinuses. This can be a total bummer especially if you have a social event to attend. Continue reading to learn ways to manage your puffy eyes.

Reduce salt intake: According to contributor Rachel Nall, if your sodium levels are elevated, then your kidneys will alarm the body to retain excess water; hence, causing puffiness under eyes. To prevent this from happening you can monitor your sodium intake. If you go out to eat at restaurants, ask for no or minimal amounts of salt. If you eat at fast food places, avoid salt on fries and soy sauce.

Tea: Herbal teas help soothe redness and irritation. You can seep the bags. And when they are cool, place them on your eyes for 20 minutes. Repeat 3 times a week or more as needed.

Cool cucumbers: Cut a cucumber into thin slices. You can take two for your eyes and save the rest for a salad or snack. Lie on your back and place the two cool cucumbers on your eyes for about 5-10 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times a week as needed.

Egg whites: Crack open an egg and separate the yoke from the whites. Once you have the egg whites, stir them up. Get a tissue and dip about a quarter size of the tissue into the mixture and then spread it underneath your swollen eyes. Let the egg white sit there for about 10-15 minutes and rinse off. Repeat this process 2 times a week as needed.

Potatoes: I have never heard of using potatoes on puffy eyes, but this remedy was trending all over the web. According to correspondent Annie B. Bond, you can slice any type of potato into thin circular pieces. Then you can place the potato pieces over your eyes for 20 minutes. Repeat as needed. I also read on the web that soaking the potatoes in milk for 5 minutes before putting on your puffy eyes helps as well.

Drink more water: Make sure that you are drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. It will keep you hydrated. If the body becomes dehydrated, it can store water in different parts of the body like the eyes.

Strawberry tops: This is a new idea that I found out from a close friend which is super creative. After you cut the tops off your strawberry, most people throw them away or throw them in the compost pile. Put the tops in a zip lock bag and place them in the freezer. Whenever your eyes are puffy, take a strawberry top out of the freezer and place it on your eyes for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Sleep: Make sure that you are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can cause under eye bags. You can also elevate your head to stop the swelling under your eyes. If you continue having sleepless nights, consult with your primary doctor.

Cold spoons: Placing spoons in the freezer and putting them on your eyes can help reduce the puffiness of the eyes. Repeat this process as needed.

Evaluate food consumption: According to author Diane Marks, puffy eyes can be linked to food allergies. If you notice when you eat certain foods, your eyes may swell up. For me, eating shellfish causes my lips to go numb and eyes to swell. I did not know I was allergic until I had an allergy test done. Most foods that cause allergies are dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, and seafood. So if you notice that your eyes are puffy every time you eat a certain food, then check with your doctor to inquire about getting an allergy test. Foods such as bananas, raisins, and cabbage are a few food items that will alleviate fluid retention.


Sodium and Puffy Eyes; Rachel Nall;

Quick Fix for Under Eye Bags: How to; Annie B. Bond;

The Foods that Cause Puffy Eyes and Redness; Diane Marks;

Tags:10 Simple Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes

10 Signs that You Are Not Over Your Ex

Your relationship ends and you always get all sorts of advice from your friends and family. “Get back up in that saddle and go find someone new.” “Go out and spend money (you don’t have) on a new outfit to make yourself feel better.” “Go find a girl that looks just like her, take her home and have sex with her.” Everyone handles these things differently but what about when you’re REALLY ready to move on. When you’re over your ex may be a difficult thing to identify. I’ll give you ten signs that you are not over your ex.

You’re Cyber Stalking Your Ex

You’re hacking into your ex’s email. You’re monitoring their social network pages checking to see if they are seeing someone. You’re looking for your ex to see if they posted an ad on a personals website. If you’re doing this you’re obviously not over your ex.

You’re Going Off In Public Internet Forums About Your Ex

There are a lot of forums on the internet that deal with relationships these days. They’re very popular too. You find yourself griping about how much of a bad person your ex is. You’re going on and on about how your ex hurt you and asking advice etc.

You’re Over Doing It

You’re dressing up In the hopes of running into your ex on the town. When you DO see your ex, you make them think that your doing great even if you’re not. You have a goal to make your ex think that the best thing for you was the breakup. You want your ex to be effected in a negative way on how good you look, how good you feel, how good you smell and most of all, how happy you are now that they are out of your life.

You Don’t Have Any Interest In Any Member Of The Opposite Sex That May Be Interested In You

Here you have all sorts of eligible women or men throwing themselves at you. All lined up to love your hurt away. But none of them even come close to peaking your interest. But you find yourself perking up and getting all excited whenever your ex calls.

You’re Comparing Other Potential Love Interests To Your Ex

Do you find yourself comparing everyone to your ex and finding yourself mentally pointing out all the things he or she has or does that just don’t measure up to your ex? He doesn’t make as much money as my ex did. She doesn’t look as good in a short skirt as my ex did. Whatever it is, if you find yourself doing that, you’re obviously not ready to get yourself into a serious relationship.

You’re Keeping All Those Little Relationship Mementos

I’m not talking about that killer video card for your computer she got you. I’m not talking about that nice necklace
that he got you. I’m talking about things like the movie ticket stub from your first date, the pen from the hotel that you spent your first night together. Getting rid of all those little things will make letting your ex go, much easier.

It Seems That Everything Reminds You Of Your Ex

You hear a Rush song on the radio and think, “If he were here, he’d be cranking up the radio about now”. You’re in the mall and pass by some woman’s clothing store and think, “A month ago, she would be dragging me in here with her”.

You Bump Into Your Ex And Get A Bit Lost In Your Feelings

I don’t care what it is. If you bump into your ex, the last thing you should be thinking about was how good in bed she was and how much you miss that. You shouldn’t be thinking, “Man, I forgot how hot he looks when he’s wearing all black” You could be thinking how much you miss your ex, how you wish you were still with them, etc. If that’s the case, you need stop trying to move on because you’re not ready.

You’re Still Having Sex With Your Ex

The two of you broke up but you’re still getting together to scratch the itch. Have a bit of respect for yourself. That’s like, “Well I don’t want to BE with you, but you’re good enough for this”. This goes for guys too. You deserve more, make sure you give that to someone who deserves it.

You’re Dreaming That The Two Of You Are Still Together Or Are Going To Reconcile

This is just plain sad. Guys do this too, Not just women. Guys just hide it better in most cases. This is the number one obstacle you’re going to find if you’re trying to move on. You have to let it go.

If you try to move on when you’re not ready, too often, someone who doesn’t deserve it, gets hurt. If you could relate to anyone of these ten signs, you’re not ready. It’s OK. You can still go out on dates but don’t jump into another relationship until you KNOW you’re OK. You’ll be ready one day. And it will usually happen when you least expect it. Good luck to you.

Tags:10 Signs that You Are Not Over Your Ex

10 Simple Steps to a Clean Bathroom

Bathrooms can be one of the most difficult rooms to keep clean. Loose hair, mildew in the shower and toothpaste in the sink are just a few hinderances to keeping a bathroom clean. To fight back, there are a few simple things that you can do to help keep your bathroom clean.

1. Keep a roll of paper towels in the bathroom. This makes it easy to just grab a paper towel and clean up a quick mess, or to wipe down the sink 2-3 times a day. Your kids might even be inspired to clean behind themselves with paper towels easily accessible.

2. Keep countertops free of clutter. Shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, hairbrushes, etc. should be hidden away in cabinet drawers or shelves. Dirt and debris accumulate behind and under containers making it more difficult to keep your bathroom clean. Tuck these items away neatly and put them back after use, and you’ll soon find your bathroom looking cleaner and neater without much effort.

3. Keep a cordless sweeper nearby. Cordless sweepers are better at picking up hair and lint that might be left behind by a broom. They are also great for quick clean ups. Running the sweeper over the bathroom floor once a day will help quite a bit in keeping your bathroom clean.

4. Wipe down the shower and tub after every use. It’s so simple. After a shower/bath, grab a couple of paper towels, spray a little of your favorite cleaner and wipe down the shower. Grime and scum won’t have the opportunity to build up and your bathroom will always look and smell fresh.

5. Add an old toothbrush to your list of cleaning supplies. An old toothbrush is a great tool for cleaning tile grout (but be gentle as you don’t want to loosen the grout). It is also a great tool for cleaning behind and around the faucets. Just spray on a little window cleaner, scrub with your old toothbrush and wipe with a paper towel. Your faucet will look shiny and new again.

6. Keep your drains clean and fresh. Periodically pour 1 cup of lemon juice and 1 cup of baking soda down your drain. Follow immediately with a large pot of boiled water. Not only will this keep your drain fresh, but it will also help to keep it clean.

7. Invest in a nice set of soft bath mats. My family loves these. You can get them at or a bath store like Bed, Bath and Beyond. These are the same as what they have in your nice hotels and are easy to launder. Not only are they comfortable when you step out of the shower, but they help to keep your floor nice and clean. Be sure to hang the mat over a radiator, tub or shower door to dry after each use, and wash them often.

8. Clean your toilet tank periodically. Pour ½ box of baking soda in your toilet tank (the tank, not the bowl) and let it sit overnight. The following morning flush 2-3 times and follow with a pot of very hot water and flush again. Another option is to use a couple of cups of white vinegar or a couple of cups of lemon juice. Pour the white vinegar or lemon juice in the toilet tank. Let it sit about 30 minutes. Flush the toilet 2-3 times and follow with a pot of very hot water and flush again.

9. Mop often. Mopping is important to a clean bathroom. When you mop, be sure to wash down the baseboards and to clean behind the doors and the toilet.. You’d be surprised the number of odors that lurk on your bathroom floor.

10. Get rid of carpet and rugs in the bathroom. I am still amazed by the number of people who have carpet in their bathrooms. It is just a cleaning nightmare! Not only do you have the risk of someone missing the toilet, but there is also the buildup of water underneath the carpet which can lead to mold and mildew. Although rugs are a little better, they can still be trouble when kept in the bathroom. I’d suggest instead purchasing more soft bath mats to put on the floor while you’re brushing your teeth or even using the bathroom. After each use pick them up and you can launder it immediately if there is a problem.

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10 Songs About Death by Classic Rock Artists

Don’t fear the reaper; these songs about death by classic rock artists let us know that the show must go on even when we’re gone. If you’re reading this list, I think it’s safe to say that death hasn’t found you yet, so you might as well enjoy these classic rock songs about dying while you’re still alive:

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult – This romantic Romeo and Juliet tale of undying love conquering the fear of death has always been one of my favorite classic rock songs on the subject, with a spooky but soothing sound that almost makes you quit worrying about the reaper hanging around. If you believe that true love transcends death, then this masterpiece with an otherworldly instrumental interlude is one of the best classic rock songs to dedicate to the one you plan on loving in this life and the next.

“In My Time of Dying” by Led Zeppelin – Classic rock fans can die easy listening to amazing songs about death like Led Zeppelin’s bluesy take on this old tune about one’s time being up. If only angels played electric guitars instead of harps…

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton – Classic rock legend Eric Clapton brings us one of the saddest songs about death, written after his young son tragically died after falling from the open window of a New York skyscraper. Forget tears in heaven; this is one of the songs about death here that will leave you pretending to have some earthly dust in your eyes.

“All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison – This Beatle cheerfully reminds us that death is inevitable, as all things must pass. So enjoy amazing classic rock songs like this one while you are still alive, taking time to enjoy the sunrise and sunset while you still can.

“The Show Must Go On” by Queen – Freddie Mercury dealt with death the same way he lived his life: extravagantly. Even as the classic rock legend with one of the best voices in the biz struggled with the fact that the end was near, he didn’t let his fans down, believing that the show had to go on for as long as he could perform. And when it comes to Freddie Mercury and all of his fabulous songs, I wish his show had lasted forever.

“Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum – You won’t find more uplifting songs about death than this one. With one of the coolest opening riffs in rock history and an upbeat look at the end of life on Earth, this is one of the classic rock songs here that can definitely cheer you up when the end is near.

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan – Here’s another of the best classic rock songs about leaving this world behind and moving on to the next after death. If you’re a believer, I guess someone answering that door is all you can hope for.

“Candle in the Wind” by Elton John – Whichever version you prefer, a touching tribute to Marilyn Monroe’s life or that dedicated to Princess Di, this is one of the most moving songs about death. Both versions celebrate very vibrant lives, but the songs also take note of how troubled these bright beacons of beauty were.

“Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers – This is probably one of the saddest songs on this list, as this classic tells the tale of true love lost in a horrific fashion. For anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one due to an automobile accident, this is one of the classic rock songs here that’s probably too difficult to listen to.

“Break on Through (to the Other Side)” by The Doors – This is one of the classic rock songs on this list that can have multiple meanings. Sure it could be about doing drugs, but you can also look at it as a trippy tune about the unknown that awaits us on the other side of death.

So whether you’re looking for sad songs about death or rock songs that make you feel alive, you’re sure to find something on this list to listen to as you continue the rocky road trip that is life.


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10 Spanish Film Festival in Sydney, Australia

If you like a night on the town, social interaction, and a good film to talk about, you’ll want to attend this year’s Spanish Film Festival which is promised to be a spectacular event you won’t want to miss! Great for film students and film lovers alike. From May 9th until May 20th 2007, the Palace Academy Twin and Norton Street Cinemas will be hosting the 10th Spanish Film Festival Sydney has held. The event features films from Spain and other Latino American countries with such films as animations, dramas, documentaries, and shorts to be viewed. Open and closing nights are also promised to be eventful and memorable.

The Sydney venue, the Palace Academy Twin and Norton Street Cinemas are located in Paddingtown-Leichhardt and feature air conditioned facilities with disabled access, food vendors, and on site parking.

If you were present for the 2006 festival you know what a success it was. It was so popular that sessions were added for extra viewings. Don’t miss this chance to see the years up and coming actors and artists. For more information phone 0412 161 781 or e-mail . You can also visit for more ticketing information. Remember tickets for the event will be limited, so if you’re looking to go you will want to purchase them early to ensure you get in.

If you’re out of the Sydney area and would like to enjoy this wonderful event, the Spanish Film Festival will also be held in Melbourne from the 16th to the 27th of May, in Brisbane from the 22nd to the 27th of May, and in Perth from the 24th to the 31st of May. More information on their locations can be found at the event’s official website.

Spanish Film Festival Website:

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10 Songs About Fools for April Fools Day

If you’re planning some big April Fools Day pranks, you might want to throw together a few of these great songs about fools for a soundtrack to conspire to. Or if you’re not into pulling April Fool’s Day pranks on people, you could just enjoy listening to these songs to celebrate the silly holiday in a not-as-annoying fashion:

Foolin’ by Def Leppard – Def Leppard repeats the word in this song quite a bit, but they want you to know that they’re not foolin’, and it’s never a good idea to try to fool a man in spandex.

Fool for the City by Foghat – Sorry, country-lovers. This song is only for those who love the big city lights. But as a consolation, there are a lot of fools in the city.

Nobody’s Fool by Avril Lavigne – Avril Lavigne may wear some pretty foolish things and seem like the kind of girl that enjoys good April Fools Day pranks, but she still alleges that she’s nobody’s fool.

Foolin’ Around by Buck Owens – Buck knows his lady is foolin’ around, but he must like fools, because he lets her know that when she’s through, she can come home and still fool around with him.

Act a Fool by Ludacris – This song combines the title of ‘Fast & Furious’ with the phrase “Act a fool.” So it really works.

The Fool by Lee Ann Womack – No song uses the word “fool” more than this one, with the line, “I’m the fool in love with the fool who’s still in love with you.”

Foolish Games by Jewel – Jewel is probably not a fan of April Fools Day pranks; in this song, the poor girl says that foolish games are tearing her apart.

Everybody’s Fool by Evanescence – This song is about someone who has everybody fooled (and isn’t that who you want to be on April Fools Day?) But in the end, he ends up being everybody’s fool, so beware.

Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin – The song sounds upbeat, but it’s about a poor fool standing in the rain. It doesn’t use the word “fool” as much as some of these other songs, but it’s Led Zeppelin, so who cares?

Fool by Shakira – It’s hard not to be a fool for Shakira and her wiggly hips, but she’s apparently already a fool for somebody else.

So have fun listening to these songs and trying to pull off your April Fools Day pranks, but just don’t go too far, or you might end up being everybody’s fool.

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10 Springtime Workout Tips

Ready to take advantage of the warm weather? Here are 10 spring workout tips to get you started on the right track.

1. Don’t Let Allergies Slow You Down. The last thing anyone wants on the last leg of their 5 mile run is a sneezing fit. The spring is known for its high pollen and mold count, so if you are susceptible to allergies, consider using an antihistamine pill or eye-drops before heading out. Avoid tall grasses, and rinse off as soon as you get home to minimize prolonged contact with allergens.

2. It’s Never Too Early for Sunscreen. Don’t let the mild spring weather fool you; sun damage can happen any time of the year. And with beach weather just around the corner, you might as well get in the habit of using sunscreen now. For outdoor exercise, use a waterproof sunscreen with at least 15 SPF.

3. Stay Warm, But Comfortable. Choosing workout clothes in the springtime can be tricky. Your winter gear is already packed away, and it’s not quite hot enough yet for shorts and a t-shirt. In cool to mild temperatures, stay warm by dressing in light layers. You’ll stay warm enough without the extra baggage of heavy clothing to weight you down.

4. It May Be Warm, But Don’t Skip the Warm-up. It’s tempting to just get out there and start moving on a nice spring day. Unfortunately, your muscles may not share quite the same enthusiasm as your brain. Warm up your body with 5-10 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretching.

5. No Weights? No Problem. Weight training does not have to be a strictly indoor activity. Even if you don’t have any freeweights to bring outside, you can still enjoy the weather while giving your muscles a workout. Take advantage of tree limbs and playground equipment for pullups and dips, large rocks for shoulder raises, and just about any open spot for pushups or situps. Be creative.

6. Start Slow. Even the most hardened couch potatoes usually feel the outdoors calling when springtime rolls around. But if you have been sedentary most of the winter, start slowly and up the intensity just a bit each week. Give yourself fitness goals you can reach in three months from now, not tomorrow.

7. Be Realistic. It’s great that you were running a half marathon last spring, but that doesn’t mean you will be ready for that on day one, especially if you have taken a long layoff from training. You won’t be starting from scratch thanks to muscle memory, but give yourself time to work back up, and set a realistic time frame for getting back in shape.

8. Stop Wasting Time. Unfortunately, life doesn’t slow down just because we want to enjoy the spring weather. But research suggests that intense 15 minute workouts can be as effective (or more) as longer, less intense exercise at burning fat, toning muscle, and increasing fitness levels. Plus, a shorter time investment makes it a heck of a lot easier to stick with a longterm plan. The trick is to make those 15 minutes count. Check out some short but effective workout plans here.

9. Pace Yourself. I love running outside, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a totally different ballgame than running on the treadmill. In the gym, you can set your speed, incline, and distance with the press of a button. But once you hit the pavement, you’re on your own. There are a bunch of cool phone apps for runners that essentially do the work for you, but if you don’t have access to these, the most reliable way to monitor your pace is the “talk test.” You should be able to carry on a simple conversation exercising at a moderate clip, but if you need to catch your breath first, be aware that your tank is running low.

10. Cross Train. Most people find one type of exercise they like and stick with it. But cross training with a variety of activities can help you avoid injury, improve your overall fitness level, and correct any muscular imbalances, especially if your winter workout routine was stuck in a rut. Hiking, biking, jogging, basketball, rock climbing, and ultimate frisbee are some great outdoor options in the spring, but anything that gets you up and moving will do the trick.

Sources: Yeager, Selene. The Men’s Health Big Book of 15 Minute Workouts. New York, 2011.
Personal workout suggestions

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10 Songs that Personify the Summer Season

Besides the summer season representing backyard barbecues, grilling burgers and steaks, making lemonade or margaritas, watching baseball on TV or at a nearby park, swimming and surfing at the beach amongst the many activities it also means music. Countless songs have been composed about this glorious season. Oftentimes they have the word summer in the song title. Instead of this type of approach here are ten great songs that represent summer in some other capacity. These songs speak of topics on travel, cars, food, urban lifestyle, going to the park, surfing on a surfboard, and dancing. Many of the musicians featured have made an extraordinary contribution to music. They are now part of the ten songs that personify the summer season. This will be a music list unlike any other.

10.) Vacation – Go Go’s

They are one of the most successful all-girl pop/rock groups who composed their own songs. This late 70’s/early 80’s punk band from L.A. burst onto the charts with their infectious tunes. In this song it’s about a summer romance, which happens to be a very popular time of falling in love. The cheesy music video features them as the old-fashioned water-skiers from Cypress Gardens in Florida. This was a tourist attraction before the days of Disney World back in the 50’s or 60’s. The song title also talks of taking a vacation. Summer is the most popular time of the year for travel.

9.) Summer Lady – Santana

From Carlos Santana’s masterful guitar playing is this song track from the Marathon album released in 1979. It’s about a fantasy lady. This is the only song title on the list that mentions summer. In the music video the flight attendant is waking the passengers up and getting everyone out of their seats to dance. Once again, the music video is about summer travel and dancing to the music as a favorite summertime activity.

8.) Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen

Here is the B-Side to Dancing In The Dark by “The Boss.” You must have a summer song list featuring a car in it. This is Springsteen’s second song featuring the word Cadillac in one of his song titles. It’s basically about loving his girlfriend’s pink Cadillac. What a perfect song to have on while cruising in your car on a hot summer night.

7.) Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet

He is the king of tropical island music, which represents a carefree lifestyle in the Florida Keys or the Caribbean. This song truly personifies it to perfection. Buffest wrote Margaritaville in Key West while watching some gridlock on the road. Prior to his arrival in Key West, when he and his band were on tour, Buffet was in Texas drinking margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. Those two seminal events came together and that’s the result of this famous song. Every time I hear it on the radio I want to have a margarita. What a delicious drink to sip on for the summer while at the pool or a beach bar watching the sunset.

6.) Up on the Roof– The Drifters

It’s one of the biggest hits for this vocal group about city dwellers in the summer living in high-rises, not just in New York City, but in other major urban cities. What a superb song lyrically of wanting to escape the stresses of daily life in a big city to the “tar beaches” on the roof. You really get a sense of being right there when you hear the song.

5.) Saturday in the Park – Chicago

This song is based on the songwriter, Robert Lamm’s, experience while in Central Park in New York City during the Fourth of July. He writes vividly of the jugglers, dancers, steel drummers, etc. that he encounters. This is an excellent song about any day of the week in a park, no matter where, in the summer season, especially when it mentions a summer national holiday like the 4th of July.

4.) Wipe Out– The Surfari’s

What a crazy opening for a song with that crazy laugh and the only vocal heard is “wipe out”. Then you hear the brilliant drum solo and guitar riffs throughout to a surfing rhythm. This is the ultimate garage band from the early 60’s. It is still considered a surf classic and was a huge hit too. Not long after the song was released the Beach Boys came onto the music scene. They would eventually make surfing even more popular. Without a doubt Wipe Out makes you want to get on your surfboard, even if you don’t have one.

3.) Centerfield – John Fogerty

Baseball is the king of sports for the summer season. Here is a perfect song and music video paying home to those boys of summer, the baseball players. John Fogerty was inspired to write this song when he attended a MLB All-Star game in San Francisco. His seat was in centerfield. This is considered the third most popular song about baseball besides Talkin’ Baseball and of course the perennial Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

2.) Cheeseburger in Paradise – Jimmy Buffet

Every time I hear this song on the radio I crave for a cheeseburger. This is certainly the ultimate food to have on the grill for a summer BBQ gathering. According to Buffet he wrote the song when his boat went through some very rough weather. The ice had melted in their box, so they were forced to eat canned food and peanut butter for the time being. When they managed to dock at a marina in Tortola in the Caribbean there was a restaurant that offered American cheeseburgers. This was at a time when other countries did not serve American comfort food as common as they do now. It was like paradise tasting that cheeseburger after all they went through. Cheeseburgers are great all year round, but they are the tastiest grilled in the summer.

1.) The Twist – Chubby Checker

With all this talk of food and drinks its time to take those pounds off with one of the best dancing and workout songs ever recorded in my opinion. I absolutely love The Twist. It may be an oldie but goodie, but you can’t deny its infectious beat, high energy, lively lyrics and washing machine-like rhythm. It absolutely has to be the best summer song to dance to, bar none.

Once you hear these songs you’ll no doubt want them in your collection. You can download these excellent ten songs that personify the summer season from or They may be from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but many of the artists are still touring and recording to this day. This is a testament on how some songs are timeless, because they reflect on something that never grows old, like many summertime activities.


Summer Songs in Pop Music: Vacation Summer Songs and Beach Music Pop Music Hits, Pop Culture Madness

100 Greatest Summer Songs, Digital Dream Door

YouTube – Broadcast Yourself, YouTube

Song Meanings at Songfacts, Songfacts

The Official Carlos Santana Web Site, Santana

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10 Sites for Free Beach Coloring Pages

Summer is right around the corner and that means we’ll all need some summer themed activities for our kids. Since you can’t take them on vacation every day, it’s a good idea to have some summer activities on hand to help pass the time at home. A good idea for cheap fun at home is free printable coloring pages. This guide provides links to 10 different websites where you can find free beach coloring pages and printable beach activities. – This site has links to several beach themed coloring printouts including a beach ball, dolphin, and sand castel. – This site is for preschool aged children and you can find several cute beach scenes to print and color here, including a scuba diver and a flip flop. – Here you can find several island theme beach printables. If you’re specifically looking for palmtrees, I would look here first. – This page has links to several free printable beach call coloring pages and well as beach ball activities for preschoolers including a word search and handwriting worksheet. – You can go here for a free coloring page of a child building a sandcastle in the sun. – This link has a free printout of a bear at the beach for your child to color. – Go here for a cute coloring page of a seagull. – This page has beach coloring that are more detailed. These would be great for older children. – This page has an adorable cartoon character playing in the sand with his pail and shovel. – This final page has baby Minnie and baby Mickey Mouse playing on the beach.

Feel free to make your own coloring book so you can have these handy. Next time your child tells you that they’re bored this summer, you can just pull out one of these free printable beach coloring pages and let them go to town.

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10 Songs with Red, White, or Blue in the Title

With the 4th of July just around the corner, patriotic song lists about America aren’t hard to find. But what about songs that pay tribute to the colors red, white and blue?

Check out this twist on the patriotic song theme– and all hail to the red white and blue!

“Red,White and Blue”Lynyrd Skynyrd. A little bit country, a little bit southern rock and roll. From Skynyrd’s 2003 album, “Vicious Cycle,” this song is a poignant tribute to the U.S. military.

“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”Toby Keith. The country star wrote this song after of the death of his father and the 9/11 attacks, but he got into a snafu over the emotional song when he was scheduled to perform it on an ABC TV special. News anchor Peter Jennings nixed the lyrics to the song, prompting Keith to say of the Canadian-born Jennings, “I find it interesting that he’s not from the U.S — .I bet Dan Rather’d let me do it on his special.”

“Red High Heels”-Kellie Pickler. The “American Idol” alum released this song as her first single back in 2006. It’s a great revenge anthem'”and Pickler’s trademark song.

“White Wedding”Billy Idol. Back in MTV’s prehistoric years (you know, when they actually played music?) this 1982 song by punk new waver Billy Idol was in heavy rotation on the network. His real life love, Perri Lister, played the bride in the video.

“Forever in Blue Jeans”Neil Diamond. This late ‘”‘¹Æ’†’…”70s easy listener was a tribute to living the simple life, with comedian Will Ferrell later imitating the ode to blue jeans in a Gap commercial. Meanwhile Diamond must really like his blues: He had another big hit with the single, “Song Sung Blue.”

“Little Red Corvette” – Prince. It’s time to party like it’s 1999′”or something like that. This 1983 pop song wasn’t actually a tribute to the Great American Sports Car, but instead was a metaphor for a girl gone wild.

“Good Guys Don’t Always Wear White”- Bon Jovi. You could get all psychedelic with Cream’s “White Room” or Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” but you can’t get more all-American than Bon Jovi. This “white” song was featured in the 1994 Woody Harrelson flick, “The Cowboy Way.”

“Blue”LeAnn Rimes. A lot of songs about “blue” may give you the blues, but nothing is bluer than this old tune, originally written in the 1960s by Bill Mack and recorded by LeAnn Rimes in 1996 when she was only 13 years old!

“Red”Bette Midler. This song is all about the color red– from crimson light to ruby bright. But it’s no wonder. It was penned by a writing duo that included The Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar.

“Red, White and Blue”Loretta Lynn. Forget a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. This song had singer Loretta Lynn a little bit red, a little bit white and a whole lotta blue. But it’s not the first time. During her extensive career, Loretta Lynn has sung about “Little Red Shoes, ” “White Christmas” and “Blue Kentucky Girl.”

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10 of the Smartest Dog Breeds

There are hundreds of dog breeds to consider when you are searching for a new pet. You can narrow down your field of choices by selecting a few characteristics such as intelligence, energy level and sociability. Smart dogs are usually easier to train and will be more responsive to games and activities.

Approximately 200 judges from the Canadian and U.S. Kennel Clubs completed a survey in 2004 to identify the most intelligent dogs. Intelligence was based on the number of times it took the dog to complete a certain command.
Here are the top 10 they selected as the world’s most intelligent dog breeds:

10. Australian cattle dog This energetic dog needs a lot of physical activity to stay happy and is very protective of people and its territory. It’s also one of the most intelligent dogs in the world because it can be very resourceful and has a curious mind that can help it solve problems.

9. Rottweiler Even though this dog is feared by many, it’s a popular family dog that is very protective of its owners and also is quite intelligent. The rottweiler makes a great guard dog.

8. Papillon This small pooch may seem like any other playful toy dog, but it’s actually very intelligent and easy to train. The papillon is a very loving and friendly dog, but it also can be very possessive and territorial.

7. Labrador retriever This large, affectionate dog makes a great companion for kids and adults. Labradors must constantly be active and are among the most intelligent dogs in the world.

6. Shetland sheepdog These dogs are very good at concentrating for long periods of time, and they make great companions for all family members. They are remarkably intelligent and great problem solvers because they were bred to herd sheep and cattle.

5. Doberman pinscher These loyal and courageous dogs have great stamina and are fairly even-tempered. They’re also very easy to train and have become very popular family dogs.

4. Golden retriever This loyal, patient and loving dog is another great choice for anyone who needs some companionship. These dogs are very easy to train and like to learn tricks, perform jumps and take part in other activities with their owners.

3. German shepherds These courageous dogs are known for their protective nature, but they also are very easy to train. They often are used by law enforcement officials because they are obedient, ready to learn new things and prepared to acquire new skills.

2. Poodle The poodle may seem like a small and playful dog with few other skills, but it’s one of the most intelligent dogs among all breeds. Poodles can be trained to hunt, jump and serve as guard dogs. They also are very sensitive to their surroundings.

1. Border collie This friendly, playful dog also is very obedient and easy to train. It’s the most intelligent of all breeds, but it does need constant stimulation and attention. These dogs are well-suited for countryside or beach settings where they can run free.

When you’re on the hunt for a new pet, choosing from the hundreds of dog breeds can be a lengthy process. If intelligence is a characteristic that’s at the top of your priority list, consider any of these breeds for your new friend.


Tags:10 of the Smartest Dog Breeds

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