Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10 Resources for Finding Your Family History

As so often happens, the genealogy of a family seems to gravitate toward a single family member. I had become that member. For several years I had been collecting family information. My mother’s ancestors had come to this country in 1637 and had been quite thoroughly documented, at least from sometime in the 1700s. Research regarding my father’s family, on the other hand, had turned into a brick wall.

My father was an only child and was orphaned by the time he was 15. He had been moved about to family and friends, none who had the means or the desire to keep him. By 18 years old he had joined the Marines and gone to Korea. All of his family history was in an old brown and tattered laundry box, secured with a black buckle. It had been in my possession for several years. It was sad to me that that was all he had from his childhood.

Inside the brown laundry box were a few newspaper clippings of people I did not know, some school athletic awards that were my father’s, my grandfather’s gas rationing card, sympathy cards from when my grandfather died (almost nothing from when my grandmother died two years later) and other miscellaneous postcards. Nothing too exciting or telling, genealogically speaking.

I struggled with that old box, looking for any clues to my father’s ancestry. I asked my father and he knew little. He could tell me his parent’s names, some of their siblings, and his grandparent’s names. He knew his paternal grandparents came from England in the 1800s and settled in the area in which we were living. He also knew he had a cousin in England and her name was Jill. There was a letter from Jill in the laundry box. She was 15 years old when she wrote it in the 1940s. That was it. I couldn’t get beyond the names of my great-grandparents.

I did the usually genealogy things. I purchased Family Tree Maker, which I highly recommend. I plugged in every name I could find and made every connection I could. I also bought a subscription to www.ancestry.com. I searched the Internet. I found nothing and I made no more connections. Until…

My Eureka! moment finally arrived. On December 14, 2001 at approximately 2:00 PM, I entered a post to www.genealogy.com. Everything fell into place. I posted my father’s name and the names of his father and all the family members I knew. I stated that I believed they came from England. It wasn’t long before I had a response. I was told that if I could give this responder my grandmother’s name and just a bit more information, he said he could put me back four generations, at least. I provided the information and I felt I had been given an incredible gift. My contact, in England, provided me with information on my direct ancestry going back to the 1600s in England. Not only did I get names but I also received hand-drawn charts, several of them, that included professions, marriages, births, deaths, and adoptions. The information was stunning. I shared the information I received with my father and it was almost more than he could comprehend. Many of the things he learned about his family were completely new to him. Other information that he knew now fell into place and made sense to him.

I have not had a lot of time to get back into much of the genealogy at this point in my life. However, recently I checked back to the message board on www.genealogy.com and see that based on that 2001 post, a long-lost cousin of my father who lives in England is wanting to make a connection. I will have to get to that and make it happen.

When searching for family and you hit a brick wall, keep digging. If you have to stop for awhile, go back to the places you first visited. It is very possible more information has been added by others and where you found nothing before you might find a treasure now.

The sources I have used most frequently in my family searches are:

  1. Family members. They are always one of the best sources. Keep asking them. They don’t always remember everything at one time. They might remember something months or years down the road. Use that information as a stepping off point.
  2. Use software like Family Tree Maker. It makes the connections for you and keeps you organized.
  3. The Internet. Search, search, search, and then search some more. Don’t limit yourself to one search engine. Try as many as you can. You often will get different results. I was able to locate an account of the ship my earliest maternal ancestor sailed on from England. I found out he was an indentured servant hired to work a tobacco plantation in Virginia based on that one finding.
  4. Subscribe to www.ancestry.com which offers great resources.
  5. Hop on message boards and get your requests out there. Keep visiting those boards. Years later you might have a response.
  6. For records, once you have located the whereabouts of an ancestor, check the town, village, county, or state archives or town and city halls. You can obtain birth, death, and marriage certificates from these places.
  7. Visit or contact local libraries where your ancestors were known to live. Ask if they have any family files or newspaper indexes and look for names. They may also have pictures.
  8. Check out cemeteries where your ancestors are thought to be buried. Many of these resources are now on the Web. You might be able to get additional family information from the cemetery superintendent or whoever assigns burial plots. I have found that sometimes the burial purchase or specific burial information may have other family names on the forms or cards. If your state permits, you may also be able to look at a burial permit, often kept at the same place where death certificates are filed. Those could have additional information on them, such as cause of death or where the body may have come from.
  9. Ask for information at any local historical societies.
  10. Ask for information from town, village, city, or county historians.

Genealogy is a huge puzzle but one well worth putting together.

Tags:10 Resources for Finding Your Family History

10 Romantic Things to Do at the Beach

1. Lie down, remove your bra and cover your nipples with seashells

2. Take off your bra, throw it into the receding waves and tell your man to fetch it

3. Kiss him underwater

4. Put a drop of salty seawater on your woman’s nipple and lick it

5. Write a love poem and recite it as you lie on your man’s chest

6. Kiss your girlfriend on her neck and tell her she’s more beautiful than the waves

7. Take her hand, slip a ring onto her finger and propose to her on the seashore

8. Look into his eyes and tell him that he’s better than the sea at making you wet

9. Cup her breasts from behind and promise before the waves that you’ll grant her every desire

10. Draw your man’s penis in the sand and tell him to “raise” it.

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10 Rides You Shouldn't Miss at Walt Disney World

Even with the best time-saving tips, there’s just too much to do at Walt Disney World! It’s nearly impossible to find time to ride every attraction. But there are a handful of rides in each of the four parks that shouldn’t be missed. I’ll let you know park by park where you should go first, and what warrants a Fastpass. Whatever you do, don’t miss these! (Also, look for a similar list regarding Disney’s excellent live shows.) What makes them so great? You won’t find another ride anywhere else like these, they’re truly unique to Disney.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest – This is the only truly can’t miss ride currently found at the newest Disney theme park to be added to “the world”. (That’s what we Disney geeks like to call it.) This park is all about experiences, and there are a lot of amazing activities here, such as the real animal safari offered to guests. But as far as rides go, this is the one that you MUST do. I don’t care how long the line is, get a Fastpass or wait it out, just don’t miss it. It’s a thrilling coaster, and Disney has added several unique and terrifying illusions along the way. It’s the best of both worlds, you get the excitement of a dark ride, and the twists and turns of a coaster. The line for this ride isn’t so bad either, because it’s packed with authentic reproductions of cultural art, images, and architecture from Nepal. It’s no ordinary line. Take a camera!

EPCOT

Mission Space – This ride defies gravity. Literally. It takes the old concept of a tilt-a-whirl to a whole different level, using actual equipment that NASA uses to train astronauts for space-flight. But I will warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart. In order to pull some serious G’s, you’ll have to climb into a space that may be a little too cramped for some people’s liking. But even if you’re claustrophobic, it’s worth the effort. Nothing will give you butterflies like this ride, the illusion of launching into space is so real…it may even scare you.

Soarin’ – On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Mission Space, you’ll find Soarin’. This rie is relaxing, and quite honestly…it’s a little majestic. A lot of people skip it because they don’t find the title appealing or because when you try to explain what the ride is like, it may come across as fairly unimpressive. But don’t miss it, no matter what you’ve heard. Ever had a flying dream? Ever wanted to float around in an IMAX theater? Well, it’s kind of like that. Only Disney adds incredible little extras like wind, scents, and relaxing motion to complete the illusion that you’re literally soaring through the air. Just like the other most popular rides, the line can be long. But don’t let it daunt you. Disney has found some creative ways to help you pass the time as you wait..but I’ll let you be surprised.

The Magic Kingdom

The Haunted Mansion – It’s a classic. And classics reach their status for a reason. Aside from the detailed and rich atmosphere of the line and the ride itself, this one will give you a nice break from the heat! It’s dark, it’s cool, and it’s one of the park’s longest rides. So it’s actually quite relaxing! The greatest thing about the Haunted Mansion is it’s mix of special effects, old illusions, and creative vignettes. The ride is packed with visual treats, catchy tunes, and sight gags. It’s creepier enough to still be completely effective on adults, but innocent enough not to traumatize the kiddos.

Pirates of the Caribbean – I know I probably really don’t have to fill you in on the details of this one. We’ve all seen the movies and heard of the ride, right? Well, it still stands today as a whimsical time capsule. A window to a time in piracy that never really existed. But you’ll wish it did after you take the ride. There’s just something special about this ride, same thing with the Haunted Mansion. In this case, it’s the sights and sounds of being taken on a tropical adventure through caves and burning buildings and past pirate ships. It’s the best, and you dare not miss it. The good news? The line for this one usually moves very quickly, because boats board non-stop and seat many. If you’re going to ride this one as an adult for the first time, try not to think about how they do things and create illusions. Just sit back and enjoy it.

Splash Mountain – This ride may surprise you. It’s more than the thrilling drop at the end. Though that is the best part of the ride, for sure. Like the Haunted Mansion, this is mostly an indoor log ride. It’s a chipper little journey. It’s the closest thing you’ll ever get to stepping inside of a cartoon world. There’s something distinctly “vacation” about this ride. It could be the smell of chlorine, it could be the anticipation of the final drop, whatever it is…you can’t miss it.

The Jungle Cruise – There are several reasons you won’t want to miss this one. For starters, it’s been part of the Disney experience almost from the beginning of park history. It’s a Walt original, like Pirates. It’s a little bit like journeying through an encyclopedia from the 1940’s or 50’s. It presents you with several different locales, types of vegetation, and famous rivers as they were seen in filmstrips of days gone by. Consider it a little Geography review. With campy jokes from a tour guide. But they’re the most endearing bad jokes you’ll ever hear. Also, it’s very renascent of some famous river-journey movies such as “The African Queen” or even, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. So there’s extra incentive for the movie geeks out there. There’s just something about this ride, and don’t you dare miss it.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Tower of Terror – This is almost like a second Haunted Mansion. The ride queue is one-of-a-kind. Disney takes pride in authenticating time-periods and it didn’t stop when it came to recreating a 1939 hotel. It’s eerie, but you’ll also appreciate all the intricate details of the hotel lobby and the exterior. The real fun begins with the ride though, and don’t be too surprised if you find yourself feeling genuinely terrified. There are several factors about this ride that make it so scary, for started, you move on both plains. Meaning not only do you drop up and down, but at some points in the ride, you also move back and forth…in the same vehicle. This just adds to the uneasiness on a very subliminal level. If you’re a fan of the Twilight Zone, you’ll definitely geek out over this one. Even if you’re not, you’ll love the ride for it’s creep-factor and it’s thrill factor! It’s got plenty of both to go around.

Rock N Roller Coaster – This is a fast ride. Meaning that it launches fast, (From 0 to 57 mph in about 2.8 seconds!) you listen to the fast tunes of Aerosmith for the entire duration of the ride, and it’s over quickly. But the ride feels long. It’s exciting, and features some of those Space-Mountain “near miss” type moments. In fact, it’s a lot like Space Mountain for music nerds. I’ve never been much of a fan of Space Mountain. Why? The line is too claustrophobic for me and I don’t think the coaster cars are very comfortable. I think Rock N Roller Coaster is much better, an improvement on the classic indoor coaster idea. There’s nothing about this ride that coaster freaks, dark-ride fans, and thrill seekers won’t love.

The Great Movie Ride – Ah, the great movie ride. A MUST-RIDE for movie geeks. This ride takes you through movies scene by scene. It’s like a prototype for the Indiana Jones Adventure over at Disneyland. Let me be honest about something with you though, this is not a special effects spectacular. This ride saw it’s heyday in the early 90’s. Much like Star Tours, it does feel a little outdated in some ways. But it’s still worth a ride. The recreation of Grauman’s Chinese Theater is incredible. The line moves quickly. You get to watch movie previews while you wait, and if you’re a sucker for the magic of the movies at all, ride this one for sure. Even if you don’t love it, there’s a lot to laugh about and this is one of those rides that creates memories. Because of it’s slower pace, you have plenty of time to lean over and talk to the people you’re with. No matter what, don’t miss it.

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10 Rules for Long-Distance Driving Safety

Summertime is here, and for many it means vacations. This is the time of year when travelers visit families in other parts of the country or when parents are able to take their children on a trip back in history. The time is spent bonding and learning about each other for a short while to carry through until the next vacation.

Even with the high price of gas there are still many vacationers on the road. They may be more careful in choosing their destination or maybe the money is not an issue with them. Whatever the reason when driving for a long distance you can become tired and when this happens you become a danger to yourself and other drivers. With a few simple tips you can make the trip better for everyone including yourself and your family.

1. Be sure to have your car serviced at least two weeks in advance of your trip. This will give you time to make any repairs or prepare for possible problems on the road.

2. Carry a small ice chest with you filled with bottled water, juice, fruit or other healthy snacks. This is a great pick up when you feel yourself starting to run down.

3. If you are traveling alone invest in a few books on cd’s, comedy cd’s, good, loud wake up music and use them. If you still have a tape player in your car you can still purchase a lot of the merchandise on tape. If you are traveling with family then play word games, sing, make up songs or poems. Do something together that involves noises.

4. Keep the inside of your car cool. This will help to fight sleepiness. If you don’t want to use the air conditioning too much then carry a spray bottle with water. Roll the window down to a comfortable level and spray the water on your neck and lower face to help your natural cooling system.

5. Take a break from driving at least every two hours. Get everyone out of the car and walk or run around the car a few times. Stretch and move your body until you feel completely awake.

6. Wear glasses with clear glass if you don’t normally wear glasses. This will help to protect your eyes from drying out from the wind and air.

7. When you are driving at night try not to stare at the oncoming lights of other cars. If they have their brights on adjust your eyes to the line away from them or close your left eye to protect your night vision once they are past. You can flash your lights in hopes they will use their lower setting, but don’t leave the brights on because you now have two blinded fools coming at each other. Let it go and protect yourself.

8. Keep your dash board lights dim if you are driving an older car or if the newer car with let you dim them at night. Do not turn them off! You still need to be aware of speed, overheating or any other problems. With the dash board lights dim at night this helps to keep your eyes more relaxed and you feeling more awake.

9. If you start to feel pain or stress in your lower back stop the car and do a few gentle stretching exercises. You can help the back pain while driving by placing a folded towel or jacket at your lower back against the seat.

10. Finally if you are getting to tired then find a room for the night and stop! It doesn’t matter if you are only an hour from your destination. You can still get in a horrible wreck when you are only 10 minutes away. Get a good nights sleep, eat a good breakfast and arrive fresh and ready to have fun for the day! Make your trip full of good memories, not tragic ones.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Watch the New Season of Dexter on Showtime

Through word of mouth last year I was told that Dexter, a Showtime Original Series was worth looking into. Thankfully, at the time my husband and I were subscribed to Time Warner Cable (now Comcast) who offered “On Demand”. I was able to watch the entire first season of Dexter in about two days time. From the first episode I was completely hooked.

Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall whom you may remember from Six Feet Under. Michael plays a dry humored, vigilante serial killer who justifies his need to kill by killing people the police can’t catch or can’t prosecute. One more thing, Dexter works for the police department as a blood splatter analysis.

So now that I have you interested here are 10 reasons you should watch Dexter this season!

1. A vigilante serial killer? C’mon, it’s a twisted yet interested combination that’s completely worth taking a look at!

2. When else are you going to be able to guiltlessly root for a serial killer?

3. The first season was amazing and had a “killer” ending that ties to this season but not too much.

4. All the characters on the show have a history that keeps them just as interesting as Dexter himself!

5. It’s the psychotic, twisted, uncensored version of CSI.

6. The plot keeps you guessing with so many surprises around every corner. You are sure to be shocked and delighted every episode.

7. If you don’t watch this season how are you going to watch the seasons to follow? Get in while it’s early, Dexter is here to stay!

8. Dexter has no feelings, that he knows of emotionally. It’s interesting to watch him “fake” all of his emotions with Rita his girlfriend and Deb his foster sister.

9. If you like murder, blood and mystery this is the show for you!

10. And my last and final reason you should watch Dexter is…………. It’s the best series I’ve ever watched! I’ve watched OZ, Six Feet Under, House, CSI, Dirt and many more, Dexter is hands down my personal favorite and I know if you give it a chance it will be your favorite too.

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10 Risk Factors for DVT

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a potentially serious medical condition in which a blood clot forms in the deepest veins of your body. DVT occurs almost exclusively in leg veins and may or may not have noticeable symptoms.

There are several risk factors for DVT. Here are the ten most common risk factors associated with the condition.

1. Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, increase your blood’s tendency to clot. This can lead to DVT and other types of blood clots. Women taking birth control pills also have a higher risk of stroke.

2. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, more pressure is placed on the veins in Pregnancy increases the pressure in the veins in your legs and abdomen. This can lead to blood clots, both during and immediately after pregnancy. The increased risk of DVT lasts until about 6 weeks after your baby’s birth.

3. Sitting too Much

Very frequent driving, flying or desk-sitting are risk factors for DVT. If you do not move your legs frequently enough, your muscles don’t contract and blood may not circulate properly through your legs. If you are drive, fly or sit at a desk for a living, stretch your legs frequently to minimize your risk of DVT.

4. Inherited Clotting Disorder

Some people have a genetic tendency to clot more easily than others. Some never show symptoms until they develop DVT. Others do not develop DVT unless the inherited disorder combines with another risk factor, such as pregnancy or birth control. A family history of DVT is a major risk factor for the condition.

5. Bed Rest

If you are on prolonged bed rest due to paralysis, injury, surgery or chronic illness, you are at an increased risk for DVT. Like prolonged sitting, bed rest can increase your risk of DVT because your legs do not circulate blood properly.

6. Surgery

General anesthesia, used to put people to sleep during surgery, can temporarily widen the deep veins in your legs. This can cause blood to pool and then clot, leading to DVT.

7. Heart Disease

If you have heart failure, your heart may not pump as much blood as it should. This can increase the amount of time that blood spends in each portion of your veins, thereby increasing your risk of DVT. Pacemakers and catheters in your veins can also decrease bloodflow and cause DVT.

8. Cancer

Some types of cancer and cancer treatment can increase your risk of DVT. If your oncologists think you are at a seriously increased risk for DVT, you may be screened for the condition regularly while undergoing cancer treatment.

9. Obesity

If you are overweight, there is more pressure in the deep veins in your legs. This increases blood’s tendency to pool in your leg veins and may lead to DVT. Obesity is also a risk factor for many other forms of cardiovascular disease.

10. Smoking

Cigarettes increase your risk of blood clots of all types, including those associated with DVT. Stop smoking for your general health, especially if you have other risk factors for DVT.

Source Used: Mayo Clinic- DVT Risk Factors

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10 Reasons Why I Will Never Understand Women

How can I understand someone who

1). Every time my phone is off, its because I am seeing another woman?. For the love of God, cant it be because my battery is flat or my phone has been stolen or I have been attacked? Jesus!!!

2). Wants to be pampered and spoiled yet at the same time wants to spend all the time in the world with me? For the love of God, when do I make the money you want me to pamper you with if I am always with you? Some rocket science for me there.

3). Wants to be with me all the time and expect me to miss her. Dear Lord!! How do i miss you when you wont go away?

4). Wants to always know whats on my mind. Now this is serious. Ladies, thinking is a process. Its ongoing. How can I afford telling you what is ongoing? Moreover I could be thinking about how impossible you are sometimes, you don’t want to know that’s what is on my mind do you?

5) Doesn’t understand that a car needs gas to move. Well its simple my love, if you don’t believe the reason I gave you that I can’t see you today because I don’t have gas, then why not do yourself a lot of good by offering me gas so you can prove for sure if that’s the real reason rather than just sit and sulk? I bet you didn’t think about that option did you sunshine?

6)
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10) Oh you guys didn’t expect me to list all those crazy things women expect of us did u?

I mean, the examples are limitless. Allow me to end here because honestly sometimes I even wonder why I bother trying to understand you guys. Any one example above defies all logic but again who said women are logical beings? They emotional beings.

Now let me hear from you men,my fellow “sufferers”, the executioners of ladies’ impossible demands and you ladies of course, the perpetrators of our “suffering” are welcome to contribute and rub it in because honestly understanding you guys is Quantum physics for me. “Dreams that stuff is made of”.

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10 Rock Band Songs Everyone Must Download

Who doesn’t love Rock Band? I mean seriously. It’s the ultimate party game where even the most musically inept person can pretend to be a rock star selling out a stadium crowd. Get a bunch of friends together and you can really have a great time.

One of the things that makes Rock Band so appealing when it’s compared to other rhythm genre games like Guitar Hero or Power Gig is the fact that Rock Band has a massive library of songs. When you add up all of the on disc songs, DLC and Rock Band Network songs there are just so many. At time of writing, Rock Band had exactly 2,731 songs available to play. The amount of songs that can be played cannot be described by mere adjectives, it must be experienced. Browsing through the online catalog is truly an amazing thing. The best part about this is that new songs get added each week. These are the big name bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nirvana and Queen. On the other hand, the Rock Band Network is updated with new songs almost daily. The Rock Band Network, or RBN, is a program where lesser known independent rock bands ranging across all genres can have their music on Rock Band. I know I have found numerous bands that I never knew about before, but now consider to be some of my favorites on the RBN.

As daunting a task that it seems at first, navigating the menus is surprisingly easy. If you already own Rock Band, but have never downloaded anything yet then don’t worry. With almost 2731 songs to download from, there almost certainly is something that you would enjoy. With the exception of jjazz, all genres have a significant presence in Rock Band. What follows is a list of what I consider to be ten of the best Rock Band songs for download. These are songs that are not only fun to listen to, but also very fun to play. If you only download ten songs ever, then make it these.

Black by Pearl Jam

This is a great song that really is fun on all instruments. The vocals are dark and poetic, and Eddie Vedder has a voice that really is fun to sing along with in Rock Band. All the rest of the instruments are fun as well. It is challenging enough to be fun, but also easy enough so that you can lose yourself in the song.

Bold as Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

This is one of my all time favorite Hendrix songs. This song has excellent guitar work as is typical of all the Hendrix songs and is so much fun to play. Just because it’s a Hendrix song though doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun on the other instruments also. The drums and base are both superb and the vocals and really are some of Jimi’s best.

China Cat Sunflower by The Grateful Dead

One of the oldest songs on this list, this song came out way back in the Rock Band 1 days. It instantly became a legend because of its ridiculously fun guitar, base, and drum work. This is the song where the majority of the notes are hammer-ons and pull-offs; yet, the song isn’t too difficult to play and is massively enjoyable.

Constant Motion by Dream Theater

One of only two Dream Theater songs on Rock Band, a crime if you ask me, Constant Motion is a song that is incredibly precise and refined. It is probably the most challenging song on this list for all instruments. If you’re looking for a challenge, then look no further.

Hallowed Be Thy Name (Live) by Iron Maiden

Most of the Iron Maiden songs are really fun, but nothing perfectly signifies the band like this song. It’s energetic and full of great high and low tempo sections that make it a blast to play. You never really know what’s coming next.

Hitch a Ride by Boston

You can’t really go wrong with any of the Boston songs as they are all winners, but I had to choose this one. There’s a lot of variety in this song with the drum fills, guitar licks and vocal runs. Once again, challenging enough to be fun but not so much that your fingers bleed.

Holy Diver by Dio

This is a song that, like Iron Maiden, is very high octane and fun. It’s got killer riffs throughout and Dio’s voice really shines in this song. Essential for any fan.

Push Push (Lady Lightning) by Bang Camaro

The only song from the RBN on this list, Push Push distinguishes itself by being the best of all the Bang Camaro songs. It’s got everything you’d want in an epic song: guitar solos, bass solos, drum solos, and hugely melodic lyrics and vocals.

Sea and Sand by The Who

Once again, one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite bands, Sea and Sand really is an enjoyable song to play. All instruments are fun sure, but the song itself is just so melodic and simple that it becomes simply sublime.

YYZ by Rush

The only instrumental on this list, you really can’t ignore YYZ. This song pretty much speaks for itself. I mean, each member of the band trades off between soloing in the middle and the riff is just awesome. If you can get three good Rock Band players together, then you’re in for a treat.

So there you have it, 10 songs to download. You won’t regret these decisions, trust me.

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10 Romantic Christmas Comedies You Should Watch This Season

Christmas time makes us think of things like; cold nights, hot cocoa, sitting by the fireplace and watching a good movie. Romantic comedies are great to watch alone, with friends, or with someone special. They may make you a little teary -eyed, but they generally boast a happy ending. These romantic comedies all take place during the holiday season, and the general census is that most were enjoyed by both men and women.

The Holiday starring Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law, and Kate Winslet is an excellent Christmas movie. The movie is focused around two women living in two different countries and who are each having man troubles. They both want to get away from it all. They decide to trade houses and vacation in each other’s home. You have to watch to see what happens to these women while they are away. The cast is great and the story line is something we can all relate too.

The Family Stone is awonderfully funny movie about a son who brings his girl friend home at Christmas time to meet his family. The Family Stone are a bit too outgoing and eccentric for his somewhat uptight girlfriend. She feels disliked and out of place. See the funny things that happen when she desperately tries to fit in. It is an awesome all star cast including; Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson and more. They are great together and extremely funny. If you have brothers and sisters or wish that you did, then you should watch this movie.

Bridget Jones Diary starring Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant is Hilarious. It is based on a 30 something year old woman who is obsessed with her weight, cigarettes, and her love life. She becomes enamored by her boss Daniel and after an encounter at a Christmas party is unable to get him off her mind. She decides to try to take control of her life by keeping a diary. You have to watch this movie to see what poor Bridget Jones goes through.

The next two movies on my list star Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Our whole family has watched them over and over again. Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail are both sappy stories about falling in love and living happily ever after, but every once in awhile that’s just what you want. In Sleepless in Seattle Meg Ryan falls in love with a man she hears on a radio talk show on Christmas Eve. His son calls the show trying to get his Dad, Tom Hanks, a new wife. When Tom Hanks gets conned into talking, he pours his heart out and Meg Ryan instantly falls in love. It’s a great romantic Christmas Comedy. You’ve Got Mail is about a man and a woman who fall for each other after talking online. The thing they don’t realize is that they are business rivals. One is the owner of a mega bookstore chain and the other is the owner of a small local bookstore forced to close by the mega store. You have to watch it to see if they can put love before business.

Another Hugh Grant movie on the list is Love Actually. This movie is about the love lives of eight people in England during the Christmas season. Some of these couples lives overlap with one another and turn into funny and awkward situations. See which relationships are meant to be and which should never be. This is an entertaining and enlightening movie. You may want to watch it more than once.

Serendipity is one of my favorite holiday movies. I love almost anything that stars John Cusack. This is a movie about destiny, fate and true love. A couple meets Christmas shopping for each’s significant other in New York City. They are both smitten with each other, but the timing isn’t right. They decide that if they are meant to be together, then fate will reunite them when the time is right. You need to rent this movie to see whether or not fate brings them back together.

Christmas in Connecticut is a about the star of a cooking show who has to cook Christmas dinner on live television for a man who has lost his home in a terrible fire. The problem is that she really can’t cook. She doesn’t want her t.v. viewers to find out and ruin her career. See what happens in this great Christmas comedy.

Elf is one of my family’s favorite movies of all time. It doesn’t even have to be Christmas time for them to watch it. The cast is hilarious made up of; Will Farrell, Ed Asner, James Caan, Bob Newhart, and Mary Steenburgen. The story is based on an orphan named Buddy who is raised as an elf at the North Pole. He realizes that he doesn’t fit in with the other elves. He decides to venture off to NYC to find his birth father, who doesn’t even know that Buddy exists. The hysterical adventures that happen to Buddy in the city will have you laughing out loud. Watch the movie to see what relationships Buddy makes during the Christmas season.

It’s a Wonderful Life is last but not least. I’m not really surewhether it classifies as a romantic comedy or not. It is about love, Christmas, and does have some funny moments. I figured I’d add it just in case there was someone out there who actually hasn’t seen it. It’s an all time Christmas classic. The story is about a man who believes that the people around him would be better off if he was dead. An angel comes to show him what life would be like without him. This makes him realizes how many people’s lives he’s had an impact on over the years. He finally comes to realize that he does have a wonderful life. If you haven’t watched this movie, then you should.

Don’t wait for a cold, snowy day to snuggle up and watch one of these movies. Any time is a good time to watch a fantastic romantic Christmas comedy.

Tags:10 Romantic Christmas Comedies You Should Watch This Season

10 Sexy Story Ideas for Writers' Block

Do you enjoy creative writing but just do not know what the hell to write about sometimes? Authors around the globe agree that in order to be a writer and writer must write. Cute catch-phrase when you are not stricken with a severe case of writers’ block. Never fear though, sometimes it just takes a little inspiration. I would estimate that most short stories, novels, what have you, are pieces not imagined from beginning to end with the body paragraphs in between, but stories based solely around one simple idea that expanded into an epic tale. Here are some ideas that may or may not inspire you.

I Think of your most favorite eighties song and write about story that intertwines somewhat with the lyrics.

II Imagine you are the last person on earth. Describe what you do day in and day out for months at a time. Then suddenly introduce a survivor to your apocalyptic world. How do you interact with this character? Is it friendly or are you competitors? Does love blossom over a new found playmate or does jealousy consume your life as this new individual uses the same things you do? Write the story of the last Adam and Eve. Gender does not have to be specific as long as you don’t rip-off any Twilight Zone episodes.

III For a romance story, have a character propose his/her love to a character without actually admitting to this. For instance, the phrases:

I love you

I like you

Marry me

I want to have children with you

… cannot be used. In conjunction with this, the following actions can not be utilized as a plot tool:

Kissing

Sex

Hugging

IV Imagine you are the illegitimate child of a corporate baron. You can never join the ranks with the heir and hope to inherit the family business one day, but you do receive a generous stipend. What do you do with your day, your dreams, and your life?

V You are running from someone. Who, the reader should not quite know. But your character’s retreating methods should offer some evidence to what is actually developing in the plotline. Is he/she jumping from subway to subway in a big city? Is he/she in driving all day in a car, sleeping in old barns and eating raw corn? What do these things say about the chase story? Will this protagonist get away? And in not too blunt of an explanation, what is he/she running from?

VI Think of your definition of a pompous prick. Perhaps it’s a womanizer who doesn’t know the meaning of safe sex. Perhaps it’s a tease that promised everything and gave nothing. Perhaps it’s your boss who demands higher sales in an economic recession, in exchange for your low wage. Perhaps it’s your father who left you. Maybe it’s your mother who hated you. Write about that person. Write a story from their perspective and maybe offer evidence for their wicked ways.

VII Now think of that one great person who helps everyone and has everything going for his or herself. Then destroy them. Write a story that tells the epic doom of this character whether it be from drugs, a divorce, getting fired, cancer, daughter impregnated, best friend dying, a loss of faith, a gain of faith, losing a model airplane, having an affair, totaling a car, losing a bet; illustrate their doom and how very possible it is for anyone’s life to mutate in such a way from just one turn of events

VIII Write a story about meeting a man from a fictional nation. Give him a culture, a set of beliefs, certain political sways, certain whether preferences that may or may not account for his physical appearance, and anything else you may want to include. Then describe just what he is doing in your country and why no one has ever heard of his place of origin. This may take a little historical or political research.

IX Think of an actor/actress you are infatuated with. Google them, see what their childhood was like. Then write the epic tale of his or her father. This tale should be before the actor/actress was born and should lead in the direction of their conception.

X Everyone remembers where, when, and what they were doing on 9/11. Most of everyone was watching the news. Some people were saving lives. Use the perspective of a homeless person and describe his day on 9/11.

I hope to bring more suggestions so keep checking.

Tags:10 Sexy Story Ideas for Writers’ Block

10 Secrets You Shouldn't Tell Your Lady

In the beginning of any relationship there are a few things you probably should not mention to your new squeeze; here you will find out exactly what those things are and why you should pass on mentioning them.

1. At some point you should tell your new partner about this, but probably not right at the get go, and that is past STD’s if they are curable, they have been cured and they are no longer a threat to you or to her. It’s probably not the best idea to tell her about this over dinner.

2. Past relationships are always a sore spot, if you tell them too soon it’s like you’re not over the old girl. If it comes up later in the relationship it’s ok but in general don’t mention certain things as if you’re comparing her. That will get you single real quick.

3. Sexual adventures could go good or bad but if you mention all these crazy things you have done it could make you look like a man whore or just some kind of weirdo who likes telling women about your sexual exploits.

4. Unusual fantasies range from fetish to just creepy. Sometimes women like a man who has a free sexual spirit and sometimes they don’t. For this I think you should probably wait until you could gauge if your lady has the same interests. If they do then go for it, tell them your best but if not then it’s probably a good idea to either let it go or get out of the relationship.

5. Extremely feminine hobbies are great, I would love a guy who liked to go shopping with me, not that it’s super feminine but still it would be nice. Some women don’t like a man who takes care of his skin or his nails or his feet. Frankly this is beyond me but just see how your lady feels about men who are metro sexual and then go from there. Remember if it is so uncomfortable for you to be in a relationship where your lady doesn’t approve of your hobbies then you need to get out.

6. Guy talk secrets are just how they sound, for the guys!

7. Bad breakups only need to be mentioned if they are still going on or if they have some kind of old stalker ex girlfriend. They are something to laugh at later but not something to scare her off.

8. Criminal records, if you have misdemeanors and you’re “that” guy, the streaker when he’s drunk or happy, then you can probably wait on mentioning that. Obviously if it’s something bad you should probably disclose all that soon in the relationship.

9. Past cheating is always a deal breaker. If you are a new man, you have really turned a new leaf, then I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to mention it. At some point you will become so confident in your relationship that you can tell her anything and she will understand this is the point where it’s ok to tell her.

10. This is not the same as guy talk secrets, these are the secrets where your friend has to visit you personally and tell you about. Some things are just between friends and they should stay that way.

Hopefully with these tips you can have a long and healthy relationship and things will work out for the best. Remember though never stay in a relationship where you can’t be yourself, who are you if not yourself?

Tags:10 Secrets You Shouldn’t Tell Your Lady

10 Signs of a Good Preschool

It’s time for your little one to head off into the world and begin their life outside of your caring hands and watchful eye. Well, at least for eight hours a day Monday through Friday. They’re not heading away to college at the tender age of three or four, I’m not nuts. Your kids are getting ready to head out to preschool though and parents need to make sure that they do all the research they can to find the best one imaginable. This is going to be the beginning of their academic careers and starting children out in a good preschool is exactly what is needed to prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.

Having been around to different schools this past year and seeing a number of them first-hand, it’s come to my attention that the things you read on the internet or in little pamphlets are not just what you should go off of. The printed word is going to make every school look like Harvard because they want to suck you in and have your child attend their facility. Make sure that you don’t fall into the traps and you plan lots and lots of visits to as many preschools as possible. Nothing can provide more proof then your own two eyes so keep them peeled and remember these ten signs when looking for a good preschool.

~ Good Reputation – This is one of the easiest ways to find out how good a preschool is. Ask around either to friends, family, or even strangers at church or work. See what they’ve heard or dealt with since just because a school looks good on paper, that doesn’t mean it translates well to personal experience.

~ Different Zones – Every preschool should have different zones for the children to participate in throughout each school day. Make sure that you see a place for them to build things with blocks. Check around to locate an area that has a kitchen and play food so the kids can learn how to share and behave during lunch or dinner. There should also be an art zone where the kids can paint and draw and color. These different zones are truly necessary because it will allow them to not only learn different things but not have to do them all in one solitary location.

~ Facial Recognition – Here is something that you’ll learn about right away with open houses and school visits. When you first step into a school, remember which teachers or assistants you spoke to. Even try to remember the name of the secretary because it makes this even more important. Now the next time you return to the school for a visit or even pre-registration, see who remembers you by face or even better, by name. There isn’t a worse sign then those in charge of your child’s school not ever remembering who comes in and out of those front doors.

~ Education, Not Just Fun – Yes, your children are very young and they don’t need to know algebra of world history by the time they reach kindergarten, but they do need to learn something. Kindergarten classes are starting to require more and more from prospective students and it is up to the parents and the preschools to get this done. Check to see what the curriculum is for every preschool you visit. Find out if there is more then just a story time when they’re read to and see if they are given the opportunities to read a little themselves. Ask if there are flashcard exercises to help your kids learn their letters and numbers. Children need to have fun during the day, but who says they can’t learn a little something at the same time?

~ Teacher/Student Ratio – Signs point to there never being more then seven or eight kids per teacher and no more then twenty children total to a class. Chances are that you will not find many preschools that have only that few of children and there isn’t much you can do about that, but you do have a big say in how many kids each teacher deals with. Seven or eight should be the cutoff point, but anymore then ten kids to one teacher and that’s seriously pushing it. That just screams the fact that those children are not getting any one-on-one attention whatsoever and could possibly be missing out on the full process of learning. What happens if one child doesn’t understand but the other nine do? That kid is going to get left behind or given really quick hints and tips, but that doesn’t mean they’ll comprehend. Check the ratios and if they seem high then make sure a teaching assistant or even another teacher will be a part of your kids’ classroom or preschool.

~ Cleanliness – Nothing says “bad sign” of a preschool like seeing filth and grime when you walk into the rooms. You don’t want to send your kids to a place that doesn’t even know how to pick up scraps of paper or even worse, sweep up crumbs of food from snack time. They forget or don’t bother to do that one day and that will turn into two days and then a week. In no time, your children are going to school everyday with not only their classmates but roaches and beetles. Any good preschool is going to not necessarily have a “spotless” facility, but you want it clean and disinfected so that no-one is getting sick. Germs spread easily enough between younger children. You don’t need to speed up the process or chances of your kid getting sick because their preschool didn’t bother to wipe off the doorknobs for a week.

~ A Caring Staff – Hard to tell if anything is more important then this, but it’s a big one when deciding on a good preschool. Check out teachers, assistants, and everyone else working at the school too. If these people are at your child’s school then they could be interacting with them at any time during any day and you want to make sure that they are caring, loving, compassionate, and attentive.

~ Safety – Just as you would at home, make sure that everywhere you look in your child’s preschool shows signs of safety. Simply walk around the preschool, including the outside area, and start asking yourself some questions. Are countertops high enough so that kids can’t grab things off of them? Is there a fence surrounding the playground so that children can’t just run off and others can’t just come in? Do the walls have rounded or sharp corners? Every preschool should be totally and completely safe from the most serious things such as having poison control numbers handy to the smallest things like having childproof/plastic scissors. These will be the people watching your children for eight hours a day, five days a week. Make sure they are just as safe in their surroundings as you are at home with yours.

~ Accredited or Licensed – Simple enough, make sure the preschool has the proper licenses needed and that they are all up to date. If they don’t, then that’s a sign that there could be a few problems. Did they just forget to renew them? If so, then what other little things could be slipping their mind with your kids? Is there a deeper reason as to why their license isn’t up to date? If there is, then you need to either get to the bottom of it or just totally walk away. Preschools should have nothing to hide so their licenses should be valid and up to date at all times.

~ Chore Distribution – Going along with the learning aspect of preschool is that of delegating chores. Children are going to eventually be expected to do them at home and also in other grades as they move up each year so might as well learn now. It’s a good idea to find a preschool that will put chores on a bit of a rotating schedule so that the kids learn different jobs and how they are all supposed to work. Maybe one week they’ll clean up the art zone by putting away the paints and another week they’ll be assigned to pick up the blocks at the end of the day. It teaches children responsibility and will even help out with their rooms at home which should make you, as parents, happy.

Now these may not be the only signs of a good preschool, but they are certainly a great place to start. The most important thing by far is to get involved in the selection of the preschool. Yes, I know you’re going to be the one that makes the ultimate decision, but I’m talking about really getting involved. Do your research. Go to every open house. Ask every question you can think of. Drop in unexpectedly to prospective preschools sometime and see if they’ll take you on a tour of the school. They should always be willing to find someone, given a few minutes, if it means that your child could attend their school soon. If they can’t or simply don’t want to, then what are they trying to hide? Are they not prepared? If they’re not prepared to show you around on a random day then chances are they won’t be prepared for your kids on a normal school day.

This is an important decision and you need to see the signs of a good preschool and make the best choice. The right choice.

Don’t think that this takes away from any work you’ll need to do, but check out http://ift.tt/o393i0 for good ideas on which preschools to even go look at in the first place. On that site you’ll find names, ratings, ratios, and more. It’s a great tool to start with.

Tags:10 Signs of a Good Preschool

10 Separate Bank Accounts that You Should Have

A bank account is noted as one of the safest places to store your money . It helps us to keep track of our currency, and limit’s the risk of loss or theft. Many of us have several bank accounts with different banking institutions. These accounts normally include basic savings, advanced checking, and perhaps a Certificate of Deposit (CD) account. However, many of us probably have never considered opening and maintaining multiple savings accounts for individual and specific purposes. I have put together what I believe is a detailed list of the10 most important bank accounts that you should have. Holding these accounts will not only help you manage your money better than you might be doing currently, but will also assist you in controlling your spending habits.


Personal Expenses Account

Your very first account is the one that your parents probably opened for you when you were a child. A personal expense account is one that we are all very familiar with, and likely have in multiplicity. This account is strictly used for maintaining your daily living and personal subsistence. This would include food, shelter, clothing, and household utilities. Since you will be paying bills more frequently in order to cover daily living costs, you will do most of your withdrawals from your personal expenses account.


Emergency Account

Your emergency account is your second most important account. The purpose of this account is to have the financial reserves to cover emergency costs. Emergencies such as unexpected car troubles, replacements for lost or broken items, and last minute issues would be covered under this account. An emergency account will help you manage your funds more carefully, and also prevent you from constantly dipping into, and eventually depleting your personal expenses account.


Business Account

With the uncertainty of our current economic climate, everyone will need to seriously consider starting a small and manageable home-based business. Every entrepreneur should have a business bank account. Whether you start small home-based business with little or no start-up cash or invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a franchise, you will need to have a money storage center that will strictly support your business. When starting a business, the tiny amount of money that you make would go into this account. Obviously, you would begin your business part-time while working full-time on your regular job. The money that you earn on your regular job would go towards your other accounts. However, the money that you earn from your business would go directly into your business account; which you will not touch unless it is for business purposes.


Business Operating Expenses Account

This account would serve as an immediate extension of your business account. You will use this account to cover certain expenses in order to effectively operate your business. This is done by deducting a small percentage from your business account, and then depositing it directly into your business operating expenses account or BOE account. Whenever you need to make monthly payments for website hosting, maintain a marketing campaign, or invest in research and development; your BOE will become a tremendous business asset. Remember that you must put your profits into your business account first, deduct a percentage from it, and then place that into your BOE.


Vehicle Budget Account

If your drive everyday, which most of us probably do, then it will be important for you to open a vehicle budget account. This account is self explanatory. The money in this account will be used strictly to cover all of your vehicle needs such as fuel costs, repairs, inspections, insurance, registration, and cleaning. This account would be an extension of your personal expenses account, because you would use it a lot more frequently. Therefore, you may need to set aside a small percentage from your personal expenses account every month, and place it into your vehicle budget account.


Entertainment Account

An entertainment account would include fine dining with family and friends, sporting events, parties, park activities, and other types of leisure activities. Be very strict with yourself when it comes to this particular account. We all like to have a little fun sometimes, but the fun can end costing us more than we bargained for if we’re not careful. You will need to discipline yourself to save regularly into this account in order to enjoy its benefits. If you don’t save enough money to do certain things that you enjoy, then you will have to limit your spending from this account. If you don’t save any money, then you will have to forgo it completely until you have funded the account sufficiently. As a note, you can spend little or no money on entertainment, and still have a great time. You can hike, do walking trails, sit by the ocean, or just visit neighbors. In any case, an entertainment account is a great way to provide funds for fun.


Vacation Account

A vacation account would include air travel, road trips, cruises, hotel costs, food, supplies, and other vacation issues. You should save the minimum amount required to support your vacation habits. If your total vacation expense per year is $3,000, then you must save that amount prior to the upcoming year. In fact, you should try to save more if possible. If your vacation plans include a new destination, you should calculate the amount required to cover that expense. If your journey includes international travel, make sure to take care of passport and visas issues many months in advanced. Make sure that medical checkups and health issues are seriously addressed. While on vacation, refrain from dipping into your other accounts. In fact, it would be better to leave all checkbooks, credit and debit cards for all of your other accounts tucked away in a safe place in your home. Only use your spending from your vacation account.


Investment Account

Everyone should have at least one personal investment account. The purpose of such an account is to provide sufficient funding for your retirement. You will need to put several dollars per month into this account, and only touch it when you have decided where you wish to invest. Make a point of doing a substantial amount of research on different types of mutual funds and company stocks. Be very thorough when looking at these and other types of investments. When you’re ready to begin, start with just a small amount of money to get a feel for how to invest. Afterwards, increase your amounts in 10% increments, and do this every month. Never stop putting money into your investment bank account. As you income grows, put more money into this account, and open more funds when you’ve found some that you like. It is absolutely important that we all do this as soon as possible, and stay on course.


Insurance Account

Keep an insurance account for all of your insurance policies. Your policies would include life, health, car, house, and expensive household luxury items. Make certain to put small amounts into this account every month, and increase that amount when your income increases. Make sure to store your policies in a safe place within your home. Invest in a home safe, if you think that this is appropriate. Keep track of all of your payment due dates on a spread sheet. An insurance account will be a help when making your monthly payments.

Tax Withholding Account

This account is particularly important if you are self-employed or own a business. The best strategy for saving in this account is to first figure out which tax bracket you fit into. Then, deduct that amount from every payment that you receive, and place it into your tax withholding account. For example, if you’ve determined that you are in a 32% tax bracket , deduct 32% from every payment and place it into your account. Later, you will need to consult with a tax professional for an estimate of your tax bill at the end of the year. If you learn that you haven’t put away enough money, deduct more from future payments and put them into your account. You always want to have this account available when tax time arrives.


Start Today

You can start doing this today even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with. You can begin the process by opening all ten accounts with only $20.for each account. Then, put just $1 into each account every month. Don’t concern yourself about this being too small. Your initial purpose is not to pile up money. Your purpose is to get started, and get a feel for managing 10 bank accounts. If you can put more money in, then do so. However, do not put any amount of money into your accounts that you will not be able to manage successfully in the future. If you put $10 into each of your accounts this month, make sure that you can put $10 into them every month for the whole year. Do not vary the amounts that you save. Doing this will disrupt your savings flow, and ultimately kill your efforts. Be diligent with your savings plan, and remember to stay on course.

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10 Sexiest Upcoming Movies of 2011

What can we expect to see in the 10 sexiest upcoming movies of 2011? Well, whether you like chicks in action flicks, bad teachers, or friends with benefits, there’s plenty to look forward to in the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011. Here’s a look at ten films and actresses in them that will make the silver screen sizzle:

The Roommate – One of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011 is also one of the spookiest, as Esquire’s sexiest woman alive of 2010, Minka Kelly, plays a college freshman whose deranged roommate (Leighton Meester) becomes obsessed with her. Throw blonde minx Aly Michalka in with these brunette babes; add a shower scene and a lesbian kiss; and you’ve got one of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011 that males won’t be able to resist thanks. Watch psycho get sexy with this trio of actresses on February 4, 2011.

Hall Pass – This is definitely one of the sexiest and silliest upcoming movies of 2011, brought to you courtesy of the Farrelly brothers. Actresses Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate star as wives that give their guys (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) a “hall pass” to do whatever they want for an entire week (and by “whatever” I really mean “whomever”). Their thinking is that their guys will realize that they can’t land all the hot girls they constantly check out, and this reality check will make them happy with what they’ve got (and apparently the ladies also decide to have a little fun of their own). No word on if it’s rated R yet, but since the whole movie is about men searching for hot women, the Farrelly brothers should throw in a little skin with all the silliness. Check it out when your wife isn’t looking on February 25, 2011.

Cracks – This is one of the first of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011 about a teacher with Eva Green, one of every guy’s favorite actresses thanks to her love of doing nude scenes, starring as a young boarding school teacher who incites obsession and competition for her affection amongst her female students. Juno Temple and Maria Valverde also star, and you can bet there’s skin and a lesbian scene or two to be seen here. Check it out in limited release on March 18, 2011.

Sucker Punch – When it comes to the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011, it’s going to be hard to beat this one. It’s got babes in skimpy costumes; machine guns; dragons; swords; explosions; robot samurai warriors; and revenge. So don’t miss adorable actresses Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Carla Gugino in this wacky and wild version of Alice in Wonderland when it blasts its way into theaters on March 25, 2011.

Your Highness – And here’s another of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011 that involves an epic journey…and Natalie Portman as a warrior woman that dons one sexy pair of medieval underwear. Sure this movie about a lazy prince ( Danny McBride) and his over-achieving, heroic brother (James Franco) will mostly be about the laughs, but with plenty of other fair maidens (including Zooey Deschanel) acting as eye candy, this stoner flick (get the pun in the title?) will definitely be one of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011. Get high on hilarity on April 8, 2011.

Bad Teacher – If you’re a guy that likes girls behaving badly, this could be high up on your list of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011. Cameron Diaz looks to reclaim her sex symbol status after a series of mediocre movies by playing a foul-mouthed teacher that has no problem donning a belly shirt and super-short shorts to win over a fellow teacher. See if she gets an A or a D for getting down and dirty on June 17, 2011.

Friends with Benefits – You may prefer seeing Mila Kunis alongside fellow brunette Natalie Portman (who stars in the movie with a very similar storyline, “No Strings Attached”, earlier in the year), but you’ll have to settle for Justin Timberlake here. However, with really raunchy jokes and a bit of skin in the trailer, this is definitely looking like one of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011. So guy’s don’t miss getting to see your dream relationship play out on the silver screen on July 22, 2011.

Colombiana – Zoe Saldana is definitely already our new sexy sci-fi queen, thanks to “Avatar” and “Star Trek”, but now she seems primed and ready to step into Angelina Jolie’s sexy stilettos. In this thriller she stars as a woman that grows up to become an assassin hell-bent on getting revenge for the murder of her family, and while seeing this sexy silver screen siren toting a gun around might be the only part of the storyline that makes it one of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011, isn’t that reason enough to check it out on September 2nd?

Piranha 3 DD – Just a quick glance at the title, and you can tell that this is going to be one of the sexiest and silliest upcoming movies of 2011, filled with babes and buckets of blood. No word on which actresses will be getting bikini-less is this one yet, but it’s going to be hard to top a topless Kelly Brook from last year’s movie. Check out the 3D flesh fest on September 16, 2011.

Wanderlust – This is one of the upcoming movies of 2011 starring one of Hollywood’s sexiest stars that has definitely been having a hard time choosing the right movies lately. So will Jennifer Aniston’s newest, which reportedly has her going topless, participating in a threesome, and doing drugs, finally be a bona fide success? With Malin Akerman, another of the actresses here that has no problem getting skintimate, also starring, this just has to be one of the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011 (if not, Angelina Jolie must have put a curse on Jennifer Aniston or something when she spirited Brad Pitt away). See if it lives up to the hype (unlike many other Aniston movies) on October 7, 2011.

And for a few more options when it comes to the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011, also watch for actresses Jennifer Aniston, Brookyln Decker, and Nicole Kidman in “Just Go With It” on February 11th; “Kaboom” (which has been described as having a super-hot young cast and soft-core porn moments) on January 28, 2011; Natalie Portman’s friends with benefits comedy “No Strings Attached” on January 21, 2001; “Heartbeats” (which looks like a more modern version of “Jules and Jim”) on February 1, 2011; and Adam Sandler’s porn comedy “Born to Be Star” starring Christina Ricci, another of Hollywood’s hottest actresses known for stripping down, on April 22, 2011.

So when it comes to the sexiest upcoming movies of 2011, there are more than a few to choose from (just be sure to choose when you watch them all carefully; not all of them would make great date movies).

SOURCES: http://ift.tt/2biFSEK

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10 Signs of Passive-Aggressive Parents and What You Can Do

One of the major difficulties in dealing with passive-aggressive parents is that they refuse to step back and view their behavior as anything but normal.

Passive-aggressive parenting is very common, but it should not be considered normal and is not a healthy way to develop a relationship between a parent and a child. Often, passive-aggressive parenting is an issue that can only be broached once the children are adults, but if it is not dealt with it can lead to feelings of anger, bitterness, and frustration on behalf of the children.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Create a mold within which you should live
Typically passive-aggressive parents have a strict mold within which they expect their children to live. There is no room, or forgiveness for anyone who tries to live outside of their ideas about right and wrong. It can be infuriating to the child who just wants to be themselves, but finds that they are being held up to their passive-aggressive parent’s expectations.

As the adult child of a passive-aggressive parent you have a choice. You can choose to placate your parent or live the life as you want to live it. There are always covert punishments that come along with bucking a passive-aggressive parent, but it is a matter of choosing to become who you really are or living up to someone else’s ideals.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Manipulate your emotions
As mentioned, there is always a price to pay when you disagree with a passive – aggressive parent. The reason is that these parents are masters at manipulating emotions. They have the ability to use shame and guilt to make their children do what they want them to do.

The best way to combat emotional manipulation is to formulate your own standards for living, your own code of ethics and stick to them. If a parent suggests something that is not the best thing to do or the right thing to do, taking into consideration all perspectives, then you don’t have to do it. You can only be made to feel guilty and shameful if you feel you have done something wrong. If you live by your code of ethics and morality shame and guilty become useless tools for the passive-aggressive parent.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Try to control you
Whether you are venturing to live life on your own or not, a passive-aggressive parent will try to control you. They may not exert physical force, but in addition to using shame and guilt they will try to steal your independence. They may establish unrealistic expectations for you to earn independence or endlessly try to tie up your time.

You must realize that you are an adult and the only expectations you have to live up to are your own. At some point, you must take control from your passive-aggressive parent by realizing that, although they are your parent and deserve respect, they are only human. An overly controlling person is like someone trying to play god in your life. You can stop that.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Find fault with little and big things
As you begin to exert yourself and exhibit control of your own life a passive aggressive parent will begin to find fault. They probably do not even realize that they are nagging, but it is one more way to try to control you or to keep you from achieving your fullest potential. They will find fault with what you do and who your friends are. There is a hidden insinuation in fault finding that you do not measure up.

As an adult child of a passive-aggressive parent you must realize that you do not have to prove yourself to your parent. There is no need to second guess your decisions or second guess who you are. You have a sound mind and the ability to use it whether your parent approves or not.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Use insinuation to make their point
The very definition of passive-aggressive behavior indicates that behaviors like those listed above will be insidious. The messages you are given to break your will and try to control you are hidden or insinuated.

You have to learn to decode the messages that your parent is telling you. Once you realize that they are not looking out for your best interest, but in most cases protecting their own insecurities you will be able to reject the messages that tell you that you don’t measure up or you’ll never be good enough.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Maintain an all-or-nothing attitude
Once you make the decision to come up against a passive-aggressive parent you will face some form of punishment. The passive-aggressive parent will do something emotionally or behaviorally that he or she thinks is making you pay for not seeing things their way. This is because passive-aggressive people generally have an all-or-nothing mentality. It is their way, or no way.

Realize that taking control of your own life is important. You can still reach out to your parent with love and care, but you do not have to allow their temper, pouting, or behavioral changes to affect you. If a passive-aggressive parent wants to stew, thinking they are hurting you, let him or her stew. Think nothing else of it. You are not responsible for how they feel. You are only responsible for how you live and treat others. Again, if you have done nothing wrong, there is nothing a little pouting should make you feel bad about.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Maintain a list of unwritten rules
Sometimes, one of the most difficult things about dealing with passive-aggressive parents is figuring out what their rules are. You already know that their rules can be unreasonable, and you don’t have to live in the mold they have created. Sometimes, however, just figuring out the rules can be daunting, keep you guessing, or walking on eggshells. This is because the passive-aggressive prefers to communicate through their own system of rewards and punishments rather than simply talking things out like an adult.

Encourage your parents to talk with you about their expectations and discuss whether they are reasonable, but don’t always expect that this can happen if you have a passive-aggressive parent who has decided to remain stuck in his or her ways.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Project their feelings and attitudes on you
One way passive-aggressive parents try to control you is by projecting their feelings and attitudes on to you. They feel they are able to tell you what you like and don’t like or what you do or don’t want to do, but their declarations are based on their own feelings. They are not taking your feelings or personhood into consideration at all. Passive-aggressive parents often project onto their children the very things that they don’t want to admit to themselves.

The best way to deal with this is recognize it as a characteristic of passive-aggressive people. Don’t accept attitudes and ideas that are thrust upon you that are not your own. Find your own voice and use it.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Covertly place excessive demands
If a passive-aggressive parent feels they are loosing control they may begin to place covert demands on your time and patience. These demands are often disguised as responsibilities or duties.

I would never suggest shirking your responsibility toward your parents, but it is up to you to let your passive-aggressive parent know when their demands are interfering with your life, job, or family. You have a responsibility to take care of yourself, as well. If you are not in optimal condition how can you be expected to take care of others needs and demands, realistic or not.

10 Things Passive-Aggressive Parents Do – Quick to judge and label you
Passive-aggressive parents are quick to judge you and label you and your actions. Once you begin to take control of your own life you can expect to be called rebellious or worse.

Remember, you are not responsible for how your parent feels. It is also likely that regardless of what you do a passive-aggressive parent is going to judge you anyway. If you allow yourself to live like that it is a lose-lose situation.

Don’t be afraid of being labeled for sticking to your convictions and living out your destiny.

A passive aggressive-parent may feel it is their obligation to remind you of how you have failed, but you have the choice to live a rich and fulfilling life that does not have to be defined by your parent’s passive-aggressive behavior.

Volumes have been written on the subject of passive-aggressive behavior. This brief article will certainly not cure all of your ills or change things overnight. Hopefully, however, it will awaken you to the intrinsic value that is within you and give you the courage to take the first steps toward living independently of a passive-aggressive parent.

Source: Personal knowledge and pastoral counseling experience

Further resources:
Effects of Passive Aggressive Parent
Dr. Phil Message Board: Nay Sayers and Passive Aggressives
Dealing with Passive Aggressive Parents

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10 Sexiest Women of New NBC TV Shows for Fall 2010

The sexiest women of the new TV shows coming to NBC this fall are definitely going to help make them worth watching, as the likes of Summer Glau and Olivia Munn join the casts of some of the new series. In fact, I was going to do a list of the sexiest women of all of the new TV shows of 2010 coming to the boob tube this fall, but there were so many from NBC’s shows that I had to give them a separate list (I guess NBC stands for “Niiiice Babes Network). So did Olivia Munn and Summer Glau make the list of the sexiest women from the new fall TV shows of 2010? Check out the top ten and see for yourself:

Kelli Giddish in ‘Chase’ – Kelli Giddish (‘Past Life’) is a blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty playing Annie, a Texas gal that’s got a gun and a penchant for hunting down criminals on the run. What makes her new character one of the sexiest women of NBC’s new fall TV shows is that she’s the perfect combination of beauty, brains, butt-kicking, and blue jeans.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in ‘Undercovers’ – Beauty Gugu Mbatha-Raw (‘Doctor Who’) will be showcasing her raw talent by playing a woman who gives up her life of chopping up raw vegetables for her successful catering company to return to her glamorous life as a super spy. Oh yeah, her husband used to be a spy, too, and he’s going to be joining her. But don’t worry; while she sounds like a ripoff of Mrs. Smith, it looks like her and her hubby have a more loving (and less deadly) relationship. So what makes her new character one of the sexiest women of NBC’s new fall TV shows? Well, she’s got a perfect face; she looks great in a jumpsuit, apron, glamorous dress, or lingerie (which she seems to wear quite often, judging from the trailer); and she’s a super spy. So sorry, Angelina Jolie, it looks like there’s a new master of “sexspionage” with a perfect pout in town.

Carly Pope in ‘Outlaw’ – Carly Pope (“24″) stars as one of the sexiest attorneys you’ll ever see, a colleague of an “outlaw” Supreme Court Justice who gives up his seat to become a practicing attorney again. The brazen brunette plays a leather-jacket wearing, gum-chewing bad girl type that’s not afraid to speak her mind. And if a TV show with one of the sexiest women of NBC’s fall 2010 lineup wasn’t enough for you, you’ve got beautiful blonde babe Ellen Woglom (‘Californication’) starring as another member of the team. So let the blonde vs. brunette battle begin.

Summer Glau in ‘The Cape’ – Summer Glau (‘Firefly’) is back, and this time one of our favorite (as well as one of the sexiest) women of TV will be starring in a superhero series about a cop who is forced into hiding after he is framed and left for dead. He then decides to pursue justice as a caped crusader, with Glau playing a blogger that he reveals his identity to. So don’t miss seeing one of the sexiest versions of those of us that make a living on the web fight crime in her own way (with words) in what could be one NBC’s biggest new fall TV shows for 2010.

Brittany Snow in ‘Harry’s Law’ – The Beautiful Brittany Snow (‘Hairspray’) plays the bubbly blonde assistant to Kathy Bates’ character, a patent attorney who, through a series of events that have to be influenced by fate, ends up practicing as a criminal attorney in an old shoe store. So what makes her one of the sexiest women of the new fall TV shows of 2010? Well, she’s got great fashion sense (at least she seems to like short skirts); she’s loyal; and she’s a hugger.

Rebecca Hazlewood – Rebecca Hazelwood (BBC’s ‘Doctors’) stars in the series that will be filling in for ‘Parks & Recreation’ (grrrr!) as one of the members of a call center that has been outsourced to India. This “B Team” of misfits will be schooled on all things American (they are peddling American novelty items, after all) by a dashing American man (Ben Rappaport) sent there for the job. And from one little jealous glance she gives in the trailer, it looks like Rebecca’s character may play one of his love interests (or at least a wannabe one). So what makes her new character one of the sexiest women of NBC’s new fall TV shows? Well, it looks like she could be the sweet, sweet Pam of this new show (and you’ve got to love her dance moves!).

Becki Newton in ‘Love Bites’ – Becki Newton plays one half of the sexiest duo of single women on TV, as the ‘Ugly Betty’ star hopes the pretty pair make this show the next ‘Sex and the City’. At least the trailer has one good laugh that makes Becki Newton’s character one of the most unusual of the sexiest women of the new fall TV shows of 2010: we find out that she’s a virgin, giving her pal (the also lovely Jordana Sporano) the idea to pretend to be one in order to snag a man. Becki’s response? “You stole my virginity!” It might not be one of NBC’s best new shows, but the lovely lady stars (Jordana is soooo another Samantha) could make it worth the wait (get it?).

Christine Woods in ‘Perfect Couples’ – Olivia Munn is also on this show, but, frankly, I’m tired of seeing her on every sexiest scantily clad women list (and it looks like she plays the most annoyingly uptight character on the show). So instead I’m going to give this slot to her equally sexy costar. Christine Woods (‘Flash Forward’) plays the least neurotic of the three lovely ladies here (Mary Elizabeth Ellis completes the trio) as she does her best to cope with constantly having to hang out with her hubby’s best buds and their significant others. My advice to him: grow a pair and tell your friends you want some alone time with your incredibly hot wife!

Danneel Harris in ‘Friends with Benefits’ – There’s no question that Danneel Harris’ (‘One Tree Hill’) character on this new show will make her one of the sexiest women you’ll ever see on TV. She and her best guy friend are both looking for love, but they’ve got this whole side deal going on (if you know what I mean). Sorry needy dude from ‘Perfect Couples’, but you just can’t beat having a BFF like that.

Jessica Lucas in ‘Friends with Benefits’ – And this is the only of the new fall NBC shows that gets two slots on this list, because Jessica Lucas is so incredibly beautiful and her character is just as awesome as that of Danneel Harris. She plays the other female friend in the group that helps an extra-sensitive guy pal get over his fear of casual sex (guess how). In fact, the star of ‘Cloverfield’ just might be my favorite out of all the women of TV on this list. So will this show from the writers of ‘(500) Days of Summer’ be just as great as her character? Hopefully so, because it’s definitely one of the sexiest comedies we’d ever see on NBC.

So from “friends with benefits” to super spies, bloggers, and virgins, the sexiest women on this list will definitely make the new fall shows of 2010 on NBC must-see TV. Oh, and to see them in action, check out the trailers for all of these new shows here.

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10 Rules for Makeup Application from a Professional

Applying makeup isn’t rocket science! Even the little factors that don’t seem important enough to make a difference can drastically change the appearance of your makeup. I’ve worked as a freelance makeup artist for the past two years and have found these tips extremely beneficial with all my clients.

1. Wait at least 5 minutes before you apply foundation. The majority of people who wear foundation start off by putting lotion on their face. Putting lotion on your face helps moisturize and prevents dryness. Before you apply your foundation, wait at least five minutes before applying foundation. If you apply foundation too early, chances are, your foundation will look ‘cakey’ instead of the natural effect you want.

2. Change out your mascara every 3 months. Mascara containers look tiny but in reality, there’s a lot in it! Even if you think your mascara can last you a year, it’s better to switch it up every 3 months. The main reason you should switch it out is because of the bacteria that grows in it. The wand can also get ‘goopy’ and will make your mascara clumpy.

3. When wearing eye shadow, primer will be your best friend. I’ve been in your shoes where reapplying makeup can become a hassle. You simply don’t have the time to do it. Purchase a primer and apply it on your eyes before you put on eye shadow. Primer will help seal in the eye shadow, allowing it to stay on longer.

4. Use two different types of eyeliner at the same time. Have you ever had an eyeliner smudge or has your eyeliner ever eventually rubbed off? It’s happened to me before. Apply pencil eyeliner to your top lids and afterward, use liquid eyeliner to go over the pencil eyeliner. It’ll have a cleaner effect and the liquid eyeliner will hold in the pencil eyeliner.

5. Lip conditioner Throw out the chapstick and grab a lip conditioner. Chapstick only makes your lips more chapped and causes you to reapply multiple times a day. Using a lip conditioner not only is healthier for your lips but they will also soften your lips and allow you to apply no more than twice a day.

6. Get rid of the flaky lips. Take a soft toothbrush, preferably a child’s toothbrush and brush them over your lips. These will even out the skin on your lips so when you apply lipstick, they won’t come out cracked or flaky.

7. Think of the up and down motion. To make sure that your blush or bronzer is getting spread evenly, take your brush and make a sweeping motion going up and down. Mainly people use the circular motion which doesn’t evenly distribute the blush or foundation.

8. Don’t be afraid to use tape. Tape is used more than putting a piece of paper back together! You can tape portions of your eye if you’re looking to use multiple eye shadows. They can be used to align your eyebrows when plucking and they make applying eyeliner evenly easier.

9. Tired of the studs and metal? Go for the diamond and glitter. You can dress up and accessorize your makeup just like you can with your outfit. Adding glitter to your eye shadow or diamonds to your eyelashes can instantly ‘POP’ your eyes out. Anything shiny won’t go unnoticed!

10. Be safe, be happy and be healthy! Cleaning your makeup brushes is extremely important. They should be cared for carefully and switched out when needed. Let your face breathe at night so before you get your beauty sleep, make sure to remove makeup! Leaving makeup on while you sleep with cause bacteria to grow and can irritate your skin. Never share makeup tools unless they are cleaned beforehand. By sharing tools, you’re also spreading germs!

These makeup tips will help you understand the little things that many people oversee. You’ll not only look beautiful, but you’ll feel beautiful as well!

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10 Secret Steps for Baking the Best Holiday Cookies

Nothing tastes better with cup of your favorite warm holiday beverage than a homemade holiday cookies. It is worth taking the time and the care to make homemade cookie dough from your favorite homemade cookie recipes. Cookies made from packaged, dry cookie mix or from pre-made cookie dough rolls all taste the same. You can make homemade cookie recipes with these 10 secret steps to baking the best holiday cookies.

10 Secrets of the Best Holiday Cookies

1. Get Fresh

Last season’s flour just won’t cut it. Be sure to stock up on fresh holiday cookie baking ingredients. A holiday cookie that tastes likes stale flour is not the best holiday cookie you can make.

Sugar can keep for quite a while, but flour, baking soda and flavored extracts can lose flavor and become stale and dull-tasting.

According to McCormick, a popular spice company, ground spices keep for two to three years (McCormick.com)

2. Heat it Up

To an inexperienced baker, this may not seem obvious. The first thing you should do before baking holiday cookies is to preheat the oven to the right temperature. Also, wait until the oven reaches the right temperature before putting the first batch of your best holiday cookies in to cook.

3. Use the Right Tools

A pizza pan or other plain flat baking sheet may not be the best for your best holiday cookie recipes. Insulated cookie sheets do wonders to help you bake the best holiday cookies. If your oven is not brand new it’s possible that it cooks unevenly. With regular baking pans. the top of a cookie can be gooey and undercooked, as the bottom gets more and more brown. Cookies with brown bottoms can very easily taste burned, even if they are not actually burned.

Invest in your own set of insulated cookie sheets.

4. Do Your Math

Or at least, use the right measurements.

Baking is not like cooking. In cooking you can guess, “guess-timate,” alternate, improvise, and experiment with ingredients and amounts. Baking holiday cookies takes more precision. You need to follow the recipe ingredients and measurements amounts exactly.

5. Substitute with Knowledge

Many ingredients in holiday cookie recipes are there for a reason. Unless you have done it before, this is not a time to experiment with substituting ingredients. Some ingredients are just not equal to others.

For example, You cannot interchange baking soda and baking powder.

Some exceptions that are okay include changing the flavor of a cookie recipe dough by using a different extract. For example, you could exchange a Vanilla Extract for an Almond Extract. Or you could replace a Lemon Extract for an Orange Extract.

6. Treat the Ingredients with Respect

Holiday cookie recipes from Christmas cut out cookies to Russian teacakes are made from very delicate cookie dough. The dough is delicate, and so are some of the ingredients. For recipes that call for real butter, not shortening, the butter needs to be softened in room temperature. Nothing is worse than hearing butter pop and splatter in the microwave. If your butter melted to the point that it turns to liquid, it will separate, and it will be too hot to add to the holiday cookie recipe dough mixture.

If you use a hand mixer, use it on low. Hand mixing with a spoon works fine for small batches of holiday cookie recipe dough.

7. Liquids First

One of the most important ways to achieve the right texture in holiday cookies, and produce evenly-distributed flavors is to mix the cookie dough ingredients in the correct order. You cannot just throw all of the ingredients in the bowl and mix, and hope for the best holiday cookies.

Most cookie recipes are pretty clear about the order of ingredients. Over the years, I have learned through trial and error that this method works best.

Start with the sugar or sugars and the shortening. The first step is to cream these together. Cream the sugar and the shortening or butter until it is even in its consistency. Next comes any other liquid ingredients including flavoring extracts, water or milk, and eggs.

8. Dry Ingredients Second

In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients including flour, baking soda or baking powder, salt, or oats. Mix the dry ingredients well.

Add the dry ingredients to the mixed wet ingredients.

After the ingredients are mixed together, add any extras including nuts, raisins, M & Ms, chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, or colored sprinkles.

Tip: If making a banana bread or similar bread, alternate adding the dry mixture with adding the bananas. For example, add one third of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix. Then add one third of the mashed bananas and mix. Add another one third of the flour, and so on. This gives breads a nice texture.

9. Time With Your Eyes

Use the cooking time on the holiday cookie recipe as a guideline. Shave one or two minutes off of the cooking time to keep the cookies from being dry. Also, ovens cook differently from each other, and baking times from the first batch to the last batch may differ. Use the cooking time as a guideline, and let your eyes tell you when to take the cookies out of the oven.

10. Make an Easy Glaze

One last secret for baking the best holiday cookies is to make your own homemade glaze. A sugar glaze can be made with three simple ingredients.

Combine one cups confectioners’ sugar with two tablespoons of warm water. Mix the two ingredients. Continue to add water in half teaspoons until the mixture is runny enough for pouring. Divide the mixture into thirds. Leave on third plain and white. Add food coloring to the other two portions. The glaze can be poured over cookies on a drying rack. Or dip half the cookie into the glaze and then sprinkle on colored sugar. Let the glaze dry.

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10 Simple Ways to Entertain Your Baby

My son cries when he is hungry, tired or has a wet diaper. Yet, he also cries when he is bored or loses sight of me. Just like adults and older kids, babies like to socialize and be amused. Entertaining a baby doesn’t mean you have to enroll him in a lesson or put in a movie. In fact, unlike toddlers, I think babies are pretty easy to occupy. Here are ten simple ways to entertain your baby.

10. Activity Gym

Activity gyms are a great place for young babies who can’t sit up yet. The gyms usually have a soft pad with toys dangling from above. Some gyms have lights and sounds. Baby will have fun batting and kicking the objects.

9. Go Outside

When my son is crying and the weather is nice, I often take him outside. He likes the blue sky, the trees swaying in the wind and the chirping birds. There is so much to see.

8. Peek-a-Boo

A simple game of peek-a-boo is so much fun. When baby becomes older, he or she will play too.

7. Textures

Allow your baby to touch some silky fabric or a fuzzy teddy bear. Let your infant splash on a water mat with a little warm water. There are bumpy texture balls and plenty of “touch and feel” books too.

6. Playdate

My son loves to watch his older sister. While he doesn’t have any of his own friends yet, he comes along on his sister’s playdates. There are a few older babies for him to “interact” with too.

5. Talk

Talking to your baby is probably the best way to entertain him or her. Personally, it’s the most fun for me too. I like to see what makes a baby laugh. It’s amazing how fixated their eyes can be on a face.

4. Sing a Song

Sing your baby a favorite tune or lullaby. Sometimes, I just sing “la la la la la.” Any word can be turned into a little melody.

3. Mirror

I like to see my son’s reaction when I sit him up in front of the mirror. Allow your baby to do tummy time in front
of a mirrored closet or non-breakable baby floor mirror. Watch baby interact with his or her reflection.

2. Rattle

Rattles come in so many different shapes, sizes and forms. Wrist and ankles rattles are a good way to encourage babies to move their arms and legs.

1. Soft Books

Soft books have colorful illustrations and you don’t have to worry about paper cuts. Reading books to your baby is an excellent way to help your baby learn words and also encourage them to read.

Related Content:

10 Cake and Cupcake Substitutes for a Child’s Birthday
10 “Mom-Tested” Summer Activities for Kids
How to Involve Your Kids in Making Dinner

Tags:10 Simple Ways to Entertain Your Baby

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