Tuesday, September 27, 2016

10 Commonly Misused Words

Everyday in the English language people subconsciously use the wrong words to convey something in writing, when the wrong word is used it has a great affect on the meaning of the sentence. If you have noticed I just misused the word affect. I should have used the word effect instead of the word affect because; the word affect is used to describe an emotional impact and effect is used to describe a result, a consequence from causation. Using the wrong word in sentences will result in a misconstrued meaning. People use the wrong word so consistently because there are many words in the English language that sound alike and are hard to discern.

All ready and Already

All ready should be used to describe when everything or everyone is ready, and prepared.

Everyone is dressed and all ready to go.

Already is an adverb that means, something has occurred previously, in the past, or that something will have occurred in a certain time.

She already told me that story yesterday.
By 10:00 she will already be home.

Picture and Pitcher

Picture is a noun and it is a photograph a painting, or drawing of an object.

This picture that you made of me is spectacular.

Pitcher is a noun and it is the person at a baseball game who throws the ball to the batter.

The pitcher threw the ball really fast.

Pitcher is a noun and it also means a large jug that is wide in width and narrow at the neck.

He served us ice cold lemonade in a pink pitcher.

Emigrate and Immigrate

Emigrate is a verb that means to leave one country to live in another country.

I will emigrate from my country because it is so terrible.

Immigrate is a verb that means to enter a country to live there.

I will immigrate into the United States to be with my family.

Emigrate is a verb that means to leave and immigrate means to move in to, or enter.

Lay and Lie

Lay is a verb that means to place something down.

I will lay this flower vase on the table.

Lie is also a verb; it means to place oneself down to rest, in a reclining position,

I am going to lie down for a few minutes.

Lie can also be used to describe a location;

Mexico lies south of the United States

Lie also means to say something untrue;

She is telling a lie!

Conscience and Conscious

Conscience is a noun, and it means to have a sense of right and wrong.

My conscience is telling me to admit what I did wrong.

Conscious is an adjective, and it means to be aware and awake.

Since that incident, I am more aware of my surroundings.

Lose and loose

Lose is a verb and it means to misplace something, or to be defeated.

I know we will lose the game.
I will try my best not to lose my money.

Loose is an adjective, and it is used to describe something that is not tight fighting, something that is wobbly.

My daughter’s two front teeth are very loose.
These jeans are very loose around my waist.
The screws in this table are loose.

Personal and Personnel

Personal is an adjective and is used to describe something that is private, not public.

My decisions are personal.
It’s hard to keep my life personal as a celebrity.

Personnel, is a noun that means, employees in a business, the people employed in a business.

All personnel must report to the conference room.
Personnel must dress professionally every day.

Thorough and Through

Thorough is an adjective that describes doing something carefully and fully.

We will give the patient a thorough examination.

Through is a preposition which means to travel across.

We will walk through the lake.

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10 of the Craziest Facts About Coca-Cola You Probably Didn't Know About

10 Of the Craziest Coca-Cola Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About

What you are about to read you won’t find on any official Coca-Cola history site because the corporation would rather keep these facts buried and forgotten about.

The soda giant Coca-Cola has been a favorite drink for millions of people all over the world for the last 100+ years. Through out the years the company has tried everything under the sun to sell their products to whomever they could which has brought a lot of controversy on to them.

In the past 100 years the company has been in trouble with racism, child labor, water depletion and much more. I was truly speechless after some of the facts I heard about and you might be to. So if you got an interest in Coca-Cola then this might be for you!

1. Inventor of Coca-Cola
As many people know, Coca-Cola was established in May 1886 by doctor/pharmacist John Pemerton as a nerve tonic. What you probably didn’t know was that Dr. Pemerton was considered a junkie who was addicted to morphine big time. John died only 2 and half years after establishing the soft drink and trademark.

2. Cocaine in Coca-Cola
Now it’s no big surprise to most people that Coca-Cola’s main addictive ingredient was cocaine. About 60mg of the drug was used in each serving of Coke until 1903 when they company claimed to have removed the ingredient. Funny thing about it is Coca-Cola still uses and imports coca leaves which are pretty much the main ingredient in the production of cocaine. Also some officials for Coke claimed that the use of cocaine in the soft drink was always a rumor.

3. Slogans
Up till the early to late fifties Coca-Cola was believed to have healing properties and with that some pretty unique slogans started to appear on the products. Some you might have heard, others might be totally new to you.

-1886 “Coca-Cola Delicious, Refreshing, Exhilarating” No doubt it was exhilarating when they were using cocaine as an additive.

-1900 “For Headache & Exhaustion, Drink Coca-Cola” Again I don’t know what cocaine would do for a headache but there’s no doubt the drug takes away exhaustion.

-1905 “Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains”

4. Coca-Cola & the Nazi’s
Now as we all know Coca-Cola is an American made soda drink so when I was researching Nazi history for another article, I was totally surprised in what I found. In 1936, Coca-cola sponsored the Berlin Olympics also known as the “Nazi Olympics”. While Britain was at war with Germany the company continued to do business behind enemy lines and advertised beside the Nazi Regime. As America enter the Second World War, German Coca-Cola bottling plants could no longer get the sugar/syrup to make the drink so they invented another drink for the Nazi public called “Fanta”.

5. Coca-Cola and the Civil Rights Movement
Now again when I came across this fact it blew me away. A day before Martin Luther King was assassinated he held a speech asking the people to boycott Coca-Cola and stop buying their products because of the way the black workers were being treated. Supposedly white workers where getting paid a much higher wage for little work where as the African Americans where expected to do long hours and back breaking work for little pay and no chance of advancement within the ranks of the company.

6. Human Rights Violations and Murder in Colombia
In the early 2000’s, Colombia Coca-Cola bottle workers that were with the union started receiving death threats to leave the union, and if they didn’t comply then they would be killed. Shortly after the message workers started turning up dead.

In 2004, a New York City councilor took a fact finding delegation to Colombia. Once there the councilor found that the Coca-Cola workers were the victims of at least 179 major human rights violations and 9 murders.

Then in Jan 2007 a group known as the “Black Eagles” went on TV to tell the Colombian public if union workers and other didn’t stop basically complaining about Coca-Cola’s work ethics then they would be killed.

Coca-Cola was being blamed for not providing a safe work place and for not taking responsibility for their actions which caused or allowed murders on their properties. Some Colombia officials go on to say or imply Coca-Cola is in someway responsible for these murders of union workers or allowed them to happen which they totally deny.

7. Biggest Racial Discrimination Payout
In only seems fair after all the stories about racial discrimination that finally in 2000 after investigations into the allegations the federal government found Coca-Cola guilty of the charges and ordered them to pay the biggest racial discrimination payout in history. Coca-Cola had to pay various victims restitution which added up to nearly $200 million. If you ask me that’s nothing compared to what they should pay for the decades of abuse against their workers.

8. Coca-Cola & Coca Leaves
Although Coca-Cola is suppose to contain no trace of cocaine like officials say, one of the main ingredients is the coca leave which is the main key to making cocaine. It’s a known fact that 8 tons of coca leaves are imported from South America each year by Coca-Cola and if any other regular citizen brought any of this into the states then chances are they would be arrested for drug trafficking.

9. Coca-Cola’s War on Water
I have read some wild stuff about this company but this one I just couldn’t believe.

Years back Coca-Cola launched what some people call a “War” against water called “Just say no to H2O”. What this basically consisted of was the Coca-Cola Company offered its various suppliers like restaurants and so on incentives to push their products on customers when they ordered the free tap water. People eventually found a link on the internet and started sharing it which soon caused the “War” to end.

10. Coca-Cola & Water Depletion in India
Finally, this one had to be the biggest surprise to me. It takes 2 liters of water to make just 1 liter of Coke. In 2004, farmers in India held protests because Coca-Cola bottling plants where basically bleeding the water wells dry. It got so bad that Coke had to start shipping in water to many off its plants in 3rd world countries.

Over 290 billion liters of water are used every year by Coca-Cola around the globe and shows no signs of slowing down. As people in 3rd world countries continue to die because of a lack of clean water, Coca-Cola’s pockets just keep getting bigger and bigger at the expensive of innocent people.

Tags:10 of the Craziest Facts About Coca-Cola You Probably Didn’t Know About

10 New Christmas Traditions for Empty-Nesters

Your kids are now grown and have moved out on their own. Perhaps they are off trekking around the world with college friends during the Christmas holidays. Maybe they have been invited to spend the holidays with their new spouse’s family on the other side of the country. Or perhaps you have shared custody of your children and this is not your year to have them.

You are not quite sure how to celebrate Christmas without the hustle and bustle of making Christmas special for your kids. You may be having a difficult time mustering up the joyfulness of the season. You are not even sure if you feel much like decorating, let alone celebrating.

PsychologyToday.com tells us that you may be experiencing what is known as the “empty nest syndrome”-the general sense of loneliness, sadness or grief you feel when your children have left home or are not in need of your day-to-day care. The worst thing you can do if you are facing this life change is to allow yourself to fall into a pit of depression.

As an “empty nester” you now have an opportunity to explore other ways to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Think of things which might not have been practical when you had your children around. Or plan events with friends who are in the same situation as you are. Perhaps you can surround yourself with others who need for you to bring them some joy.

You are now free to start some new traditions, rekindling old friendships and making new ones. Use this time to find the joy, love, and spirit of the season within yourself, and spread that message to others. You will find a new sense of extended family, which will ensure that you never feel alone.

New Tradition #1: Volunteer to play Santa or Mrs. Claus. Go to your local Children’s Hospital and dress up as the jolly elf or his sidekick, and visit the kids who are unable to go home for the holidays. Bring crayons and coloring books or stuffed animals as gifts. You can often get stores to donate some of these things, or stock up during sale times. Stuffed animals in nearly new or pristine condition can often be found at thrift stores, or perhaps you can arrange a toy drive for this purpose.

New Tradition #2: Make and deliver holiday food baskets. Organize a food drive with your friends to make and deliver food baskets to those who might have been laid off this year. If you do not know families in need, contact your church or other local organizations that run this type of program and offer your services.

New Tradition #3: Invite a military member to dinner. If you are close to a military installation, contact the public affairs office or family service center to find out about those single or displaced service members who are not going to be able to go home for the holidays. Have several over to your home for a home-cooked holiday meal. What a wonderful way to show our men and women in uniform that you care!

New Tradition #4: Go caroling. Get a group of friends together and get dressed up in your hats, coats, gloves and scarves. Print up the words to several of your favorite religious and secular holiday songs. Go out caroling in your neighborhoods, or at nursing homes. It doesn’t matter if you cannot sing! People will appreciate your spirit and sing along with you!

New Tradition #5: Host a Christmas movie marathon. Invite your other empty-nester friends over for a day of holiday movies. Have everybody bring a DVD of their favorite holiday movie, old or new. Make sure you have plenty of popcorn, hot chocolate and cider and enjoy this new tradition!

New Tradition #6: Plan a cookie exchange. Invite 11 friends. Instruct each to make 12 dozen of a favorite cookie, packaging one dozen in each package along with the recipe. Each person will go home with 12 dozen cookies, and 11 new recipes!

New Tradition #7: Go to the symphony or the ballet. Your kids probably did not appreciate orchestral music or the Nutcracker as much as you do. Get dressed up in all your finery. Enjoy yourself without having to tolerate their displeasure!

New Tradition #8: Plan a ski trip. Find other empty-nesters and find a lovely chalet in the mountains to spend a few days. For those who don’t ski, enjoy the time in front of the fireplace with the company of good friends.

New Tradition #9: Vacation abroad. Getting to see how Christmas is celebrated in other countries can be a wonderful treat. You could experience a “panto” in a Scottish theatre in Perth, or learn the tradition of the “Julbok” in Gävle, Sweden. Consider staying in a youth hostel instead of hotels; you will be surrounded by college-aged kids from around the world who are on holiday and will be fascinated by you and your experiences.

New Tradition #10: Host an open house/potluck. Instead of slaving away in the kitchen, get a group of friends together for a potluck dinner. Keep it simple so you enjoy the company of your friends.



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10 Commandments of Money Making Blogs

If you’re trying to make money with your blog or website, it’s a good idea to keep many things in mind to maximize your earnings. These concepts include having your blog hosted, using search engine optimization, choosing the best blogging platform and more.

Here’s a look at 10 commandments to live by in the money making blog field.

10 Commandments of Money Maker Blogs 1) Thou shall have your own blog/site hosted. If you want to get serious with your blog or website to make money, make sure you have a great domain name and have it hosted on your own website. Blogger, WordPress and other sites have great free platforms, but they will never provide you the true flexibility you need on their basic free versions.

2) Thou shall use WordPress. Use WordPress rather than Blogger for your blogging software (it’s the way to go if you have your own hosting). Blogger is great for a free start up, but WordPress offers you a ton more flexibility once you’re on your own site. It basically helps you create and mold your site, and has some great plug-ins as well. WordPress is currently at Version 2.3 as of this post. WordPress can be downloaded here.

3) Thou shall not deprive readers of ways to keep updated. Make sure you give your readers a way to subscribe to your blog, both by email and RSS feed reader links. Use Feedburner.com and its many features to do so.

4) Thou shall accept comments on your blog. These provide you a way to see reader’s thoughts on your topics, collect feedback and even use it for future material to blog on. Responding back to the comments lets your readers have a sense of connection and feel as if they are part of a community environment. Consider a reader a customer, so comments are their ultimate tribute to your work.

5) Thou shall comment in other areas wisely. There’s a good way to promote and an evil way. Examples of bad ways of commenting include blatant spam, not even referring to the post topic you comment on, or just plain poor grammar and spelling. Act in good faith and judgement when commenting forums or other blogs. The “hey cool blog, check out my link” won’t cut it and won’t make any friends in the blogosphere.

6) Thou shall explore and use the benefits of social media. Myspace, Facebook, Orkut, Gather, Squidoo, etc etc. These sites can all provide you with free internet real estate to promote on and help you connect and network with an audience for your topic. Additionally, they can provide you a pulse of what’s hot within your niche.

7) Thou shall measure your site’s success. Have a way to measure your sites visits/traffic. Google Analytics is recommended. It will tell you traffic levels, locations of visitors (on a nice map), search engine terms that brought people to your blog and more.

8) Thou shall network with other bloggers in your niche topic. This can only help you grow your blog’s success as other bloggers may possibly show you link love or refer to a post you made. Challenge a fellow sports blogger to a NFL sunday football prediction showdown. Then each blogger blogs about the picks. Offer to be a guest blogger or ask for a blogger to guest on yours. There’s many possibilities here to befriend and work with “your competition”.

9) Thou shall learn and harness SEO. A very important commandment, you must strive to make your blog as search engine friendly and popular as possible. Learn the techniques of Search Engine Optimization. Otherwise do not expect search engine traffic or much money to be made. SEOMOZ.org makes for a good resource with tools and articles to help you with SEO.

10) Thou shall constantly strive to improve your efforts. Reinvest money made into your blog/site. Constantly tweak design aspects and research ways to promote. Look into new ways to promote, learn new tools you can use to increase productivity. Doing these things will work to make your blog a better business.

Remember that if you are trying to make money with your blog, that makes it like your full or part-time business. To grow that business takes dedication and hard work. Feel free to use the 10 commandments above as your guide for building a better blog as your business. Commandments #9 and #10 are especially important to always practice, as they will provide you with constant improvement and help you to make your blog the best moneymaker it can be.

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10 Common People that Were Used by God in the Bible

One of the common themes throughout the Bible is that God uses common people to do his work. To do God’s work you don’t have to be famous, you don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be good looking. None of the things that are considered important in the world are necessary to do God’s work. Some of God’s greatest workers have been regular people. Here are a few examples.

Common Person That God Used: Joseph

In the Bible Joseph becomes the Pharaoh’s right hand man. Joseph can interpret dreams and he saves Egypt from a famine. Before that Joseph was two things that weren’t all that great. Joseph started his life in Egypt as a slave and later he was a prisoner in jail too.

Common Person that God Used: Moses

If you were a shepherd an your daily work consisted of leading a bunch of sheep around you’d probably be shocked if God not only talked to directly and revealed himself to you but also told you that you were going to lead his people to the promised land.

Common Person that God Used: Gideon

God used Gideon to deliver Israel from Midian but before that Gideon was nothing more than a farmer.

Common Person that God Used: Jephthah

Jephthah is used by God to deliver Israel from the Ammonites. Before that Jephthah was only known as being the son of a prostitute.

Common Person that God Used: David

Like Moses, David was also a shepherd but David also just a boy. David was just a boy when he defeated Goliath and he would eventually be king.

Common People that God Used: Esther

Like Joseph, Esther was a slave before God used her to save her people from being massacred.

Common People that God Used: Mary

Who did God choose to be the mother of Jesus? A famous actress? A celebrity? A great athlete? A famous politician? No, the mother of Jesus was a peasant girl.

Common People that God Used: Matthew

Matthew was one of the 12 disciples and wrote one of the Gospels that told about the life of Jesus. But before Jesus asked Matthew to join him he was just a tax collector.

Common People that God Used: Luke

Luke traveled with Paul giving him a companion to journey with and Luke would also write one of the four Gospels. But Luke was nothing more than a physician.

Common People that God used: Peter

Many of the disciples were just common fisherman and would go on to do God’s work. Peter is the best example as he would be an apostle, a leader of the early church and he would write two letters in the Bible.

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10 Common Facts You Should Know About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a psychiatric diagnosis given to those who have a mental health condition that, in part, is characterized by severe swings in mood from hypomania to severe depression, and all stages in between the two.

Characteristics that are common to bipolar disorder are also common to other illnesses and may be stand-alone conditions. Some of these are: being easily distracted, being restless, impulsive behavior, changes in eating and sleeping habits, or suicide attempts. This can lead to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.

While treatable with therapy or medications, bipolar disorder usually lasts for a lifetime. Half of all cases manifest before the age of 25.

There are four types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified and cyclothymia. The types differ in the length and severity of the manic and depressive episodes.

Other illnesses often coexist with bipolar disorder. Among these are substance abuse involving drugs or alcohol, anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

People with bipolar disorder are also at higher risks for certain medical conditions. They may be causes of the symptoms of mania or depression or be the result of treatment for bipolar disorder. These are a higher risk for thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other physical illnesses.

Causes of bipolar disorder vary among individuals, but it tends to run in families, so genetics is one of those causes. Research is also showing an environmental element to the development of the disorder. Life events and interpersonal relationships contribute to the likelihood of onsets and recurrences of the moods related to the disorder.

Proper diagnosis should be made by a medical or psychiatric professional who is experienced in diagnosing and treating the illness. Thorough tests and history of the patient and their family must be taken into account, as well as talking with spouses and close relatives to gain accurate knowledge of the person’s symptoms.

Bipolar disorder can be treated, but not cured. Treatment can give better control over symptoms and reduce their severity.


National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Website

Wikipedia Article on Bipolar Disorder

HealthyMinds.Org, Website of the American Psychiatric Association

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10 Common Puppy Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We all want our dog to be obedient, to listen to us in all situations, but quite frequently, that just doesn’t happen. Why?

1. We make our biggest mistake by not being consistent about training. Training a dog, or puppy, takes a level of commitment that we fail to realize is on-going, all day, every day. We don’t understand that for the dog to learn, we must set the rule and then enforce it. Everytime. It does no good to set the rule that the dog is not allowed to lay on the couch and then allow it to lay on the couch sometimes simply because we don’t feel like enforcing the rule or we think the dog will see it as a one time treat. If you let it lay there once, the dog will see it as no longer being a rule.

2. We fail to understand that a dog is a pack animal. In the dog’s world, there is one, and only one, leader. It can be you, or it can be your dog. Its your choice.

3. We think that dogs think like people. Going back to the couch example…. We let it on the couch “just this once”, thinking that the dog will understand that this is a special treat, not to be repeated. But what the dog sees is that you are an ineffective leader who does not enforce the rules and, thus, you have given the dog permission to disregard this rule when it wants to because it is, in fact, no longer a rule.

4. We don’t know that the amount of patience required during puppy training is such that would test even the most mellow of us. Puppies have small bladders and short attention spans. We must have the patience to repeat, repeat, repeat the training. And then repeat it again!

5. We assume that because we own the dog, it will automatically know that it has to do what we want. That will never happen. If we don’t teach it, the dog won’t know it.

6. We don’t understand that if a puppy or dog turns its nose up at a certain kind of food, we should not keep trying different foods until we find one it will eat. All that does is make the dog picky (and cost us a fortune in dog food). No dog will let itself starve. It will eat the food when it gets hungry whether it likes it or not.

7. We feed our puppy people food. Not only is this very unhealthy for the dog, it sets us up for bad behavior from the dog. Dogs learn the sound of a bag opening or a dish rattling very quickly. To them it will mean “food coming up” and they will rush to beg for it. This can become extremely annoying when your dog is constantly pestering you for your food, stealing it off the counter and being a nuisance around the table when you have company for dinner.

8. We don’t take into consideration that what we consider “cute” behavior in a puppy will not be appropriate behavior in an adult dog and that it should be stopped in the puppy stage. We think it is so adorable that our puppy jumps all over any incoming guest. But it is no longer cute when it is an adult dog and you don’t want it to jump all over everyone. And it is especially not cute when the other person doesn’t want it jumping all over them!

9. We don’t understand how dogs greet other dogs and the possible outcomes of these greetings. It is up to us to learn what can happen and take training steps to prevent undesired results.

10. We think that everyone will like our dog as much as we do and we think that our dog will like everyone we want it to like. Neither of these is true. Just because you think your dog is wonderful, others might not think it… especially if you are an ineffective leader who has no control over your dog. As for your dog liking everyone you want it to like, remember that dogs can tell a lot about a person on the first meeting and if your dog obviously shows that it doesn’t like someone, you might be wise to wonder why.

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10 Commandments to Be a Better Techie This 2009

Whiz, dweeb, geek, techie, and nerd: these are just some of the charming phraseology used by the media to portray those of us with an animated, if not addictive, fascination in all things related to l.T. But can we actually move beyond this social stamp and be a better techie this year? Here are some tips on how you could get on top this year.

Be curious, be very curious.

Show some initiative and take advantage of any and every chance to learn. Embrace something new or different. Expanding your creative horizons could actually make a phenomenal year and a grave economic atmosphere a little more enjoyable.

Keep on updating your skills.

This may be an old-age advice, but it doesn’t alter the fact that you might be showing off LT. skills that were popular a decade ago. So this year, resolve to update yourself with the latest technology news and subscribe to credible techie newsletters and magazines.

Effectively write your resume.

Recently, tech resumes are piling up. For job hunters out there, it’s vital to construct a strong résumé that will positively stand out from the piles. May it be on an interactive CD or incorporated in a portfolio, your resume should highlight your skills and experience, and what you can do for the company. Your future employer should have the impression that you could be one fine asset.

Don’t hoard all the first-rate technical tasks.

If you’re currently employed and you’re in charge of a certain project, ensure that all of your group mates get the opportunity to dabble on the important technical tasks. Knowing how to stage teammates and keep them on track will definitely boost up your reputation and credentials.

Write if you must.

In connection with the earlier entry, we can’t emphasize further how techies are blessed to be able to know and experience almost all technology has to offer. Some have realized this and have become tech messengers, especially on the web, to help other enthusiasts in buying gadgets, troubleshooting and so on. When you feel like sharing your knowledge, enhancing your writing skills will help you not only in sending your message across, but also in attracting a following on the web.

Learn to communicate in a simple way.

If you chat amongst your group, you wouldn’t mind speaking with all those jargons. But we know that the world doesn’t have techies as its only residents, and there’s a lot of the average kind. So if you want to communicate with other people about the wonders of IT., try using layman terms. When you do need to discuss technical stuff, make sure to provide a definition while you introduce the term.

Dating Success.

The Internet has made dating easier in more ways than one. But as dating isn’t something one can learn from a book or a blog post, some prefer to discover its magic formula by trial and error. You can check out all the social networking sites for dating prospects, but think more than twice when planning to meet up in person. The web allows everyone to create different personas online, and you’ll never know their true intentions. May it be online or in real life, it always pays to be careful.

Take your PMP to the gym.

Having a lifestyle that entails being glued to the PC every single day could cost you your figure. So to avoid being totally of shape, get on that — and burn some fats. You can always bring your portable media player, iPod or otherwise. Also, try Traineo – a cool Web 2.0 fitness and health apps that helps you track your weight eating habits and exercise routines.

Steer away from techie stuffs from time to time.

If you’re already experiencing separation anxiety just within a few minutes of leaving your PC or not being online, maybe it’s time to change your routine. Shut down your PC occasionally and try to live a life through the world outside. A walk in the park with your young sibs, or a chat with friends over coffee, can do wonders to your mental health and heighten your creative energy when you return.

Be humble still We may never know it, but it’s possible that you can do things that can change the world’s gyration Still it’s best to knock off a bit of that pride and try to treat others as you wish to be treated. After all, nothing beats a down-to-earth person in building connections and getting approval from others.

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10 Common Gardening Problems and Their Solutions

Some of the appeal of gardening lies in the control you can exert over the little universe you create. Because we are not, after all, divine, almost every gardener makes the same mistakes. Here are 10 of the most common.

1) Wrong plant in the wrong place. Almost every plant prefers sun or shade, heat or cold, moist or soggy soil, drying winds, or protection from wind. Some need morning sun and some need afternoon sun. Know your plant and what it needs. In the fall I have often seen a pretty little aster species growing on shaded east-facing slopes. I bought one and tried to grow it in the nurturing soil of my flat garden, and it died. Too much sun? Too much moisture?

Here’s another example. Pink Lady Slippers are wild orchids, and they grow in certain woods here in New England. However, they are likely to die in your garden. That’s because young plants needs a particular fungus to be present in the soil.

Solution: study up on your plants’ needs.

2) Corollary to Problem #1: Lady Slipper orchids are illegal to dig out of the wild almost everywhere in the United States they occur. Do so and you risk a fine. Check your state’s wildlife division for a list of species that are threatened, endangered or of special concern. Beware the plant police.

Solution: Know your rare species.

3) Wrong soil: Almost all plants have a soil preference: firm or loose; moist or dry, rich with humus or sandy, acid or alkaline.

When I moved to New England from the Midwest many years ago, I marveled at the miracle of mountain laurel and rhododendrons, which I had never seen before. They love the acid soil out here, and won’t grow naturally in the Midwest where the soil is sweet (alkaline). If you must have them, check your soil first and acidify if necessary. The question is: how much trouble do you want to take with your garden?

It seems to me that almost all soil has something wrong with it, at least for the things I wanted to grow when I first started gardening. It took years to turn what I think of as the non-soil substitute in my yard (glacial till) into a loam that supports garden plants. Bags of peat moss, fertilizer, lime, etc, etc. Today I only take trouble with the peonies and the tomatoes. Everything else needs to be happy in so-so soil.

Solution: If it isn’t happy, out it goes.

4) Too large a garden. A big garden can require almost all your spare time. Before you begin to start your Tasha Tudor fantasy garden by tilling up your entire back yard, decide how much time you want to spend maintaining it. My own garden crept down one side of my drive first, then the other side, and across the front of the house, before I realized I only wanted to work on it for a couple hours a week.

Solution: Daylilies, groundcovers and, best of all, mulch. Learn to love mulch.

5) Too small a space. You kept bringing home plants, didn’t you, one at a time, and crammed them all into your little garden square. Now they’re stealing each other’s sun, competing for water and breathing space, and you can’t even see that costly little treasure.

Solution: Learn self discipline.

6) You can’t throw anything out. In February, armed with your seed catalogues, you decide to start plants from seed. You order 10 seed packets, which, planted up, become 10 seed trays. You spend the late winter months rotating the trays from window to window to get enough light, and you cheer on the little sprouts when they germinate. Then in June, you make a terrible discovery: you only need a few of each plant and can’t bring yourself to throw away any of the seedlings. They are like your little children now. Do you try to squeeze everything into your little garden? (Problem #4) Or dig up more garden? (Problem #3) Or give them away? Believe me, life has too many real problems without developing this particular problem.

Solution: Compost them.

7) Invasive plants. Many gardeners have taken on a deceptively shy white anemone, one of the “spring ephemerals”, only to find it rampant in their garden by the next year. Watch out. Bee balm compensates for its easy bloom during the difficult mid-summer months by having monstrous spreading habits. My own mistake is something called aster tartaricus, which spreads faster than loosestrife.

Solution: Study up. If you find your invasive plant likes sandy soil, plant it in heavy soil.

8) Taking gardening too seriously. Your favorite peony blooms one June morning. You pause in awe to take in its perfection, but three hours later an unseasonable heat wave has shattered it and its petals are on the ground. You had waited for this peony all winter. The spring is RUINED for you. Ruined. Ruined. Ruined. This has happened to me three out of every four years. I used to rig little parasols over my peonies, but it didn’t do any good.

Solution: Get over it. I had to. So should you.

9) Beware of utility lines in the ground. Plants share space in the ground with all sorts of utility lines. In a forum on garden problems on Gardenweb.com, one gardener cut through a line for the home’s oil tank. There are electrical lines, gas lines, cable tv lines and telephone lines in the ground.

Solution: Dig safe. Dig gently. If your shovel hits something, it might not be a rock.

10) Poison ivy

Solution: Be careful. Use Round-up


http://ift.tt/2dA7GID A good general resource on all garden issues

http://ift.tt/1w4f4g7 The Dept of Agriculture’s hardiness map

Tags:10 Common Gardening Problems and Their Solutions

10 Commonly Ignored Cancer Symptoms in Men

The following article summarizes ten symptoms of various forms of cancer that men tend to ignore. If you have any of the following symptoms, please consider seeing your doctor for a complete physical. This article does not constitute or replace medical advice.

1. Upset stomach or stomachache. This is one of the first signs of colon cancer. This can also be a sign of pancreatic and liver cancer, as well as leukemia. Feeling full after a small meal or chronic heartburn is a similar cancer sign. Persistent indigestion can be a sign of esophagus, throat, or stomach cancer. This can also be a sign of liver cancer.

2. Swollen lymph nodes. A lump or swelling in your lymph nodes, especially under your arm or in your neck, which gets progressively larger and lasts for over a month should be seen by a doctor. Swollen lymph nodes are a sign of a change in your lymphatic system, which can be a sign of cancer.

3. Weakness and fatigue. Fatigue happens early in certain cancers such as colon, stomach and leukemia. Fatigue can also come on once a cancer has begun to grow in your body. This can be a sign of many different kinds of cancer, so see your doctor if you have fatigue that doesn’t go away with a few good night’s rest.

4. Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool. This can be a sign of colon cancer. Constipation, diarrhea, and changes in your stools can all be signs of cancer if any of these symptoms goes on for more than a few days. Colon and pancreatic cancer are two types of cancer for which changes in bowel movements is a sign.

5. Difficulty urinating or changes in flow. If you are urinating more often and feeling as if you are not emptying your bladder, this can be a sign of cancer. All men develop urinary problems as they age, but you should not ignore this sign. The most common early sign of prostate cancer is feeling as if you have to urinate and then not being able to do so.

6. Pain or burning during urination, blood in your urine or semen. These are signs of prostate cancer. The blood may just look pinkish or brown, rather than red, so watch for these changes carefully.

7. Erection problems. This is a common sign of prostate cancer. Men might be embarrassed to discuss this with their doctor, but it should not be ignored as just sexual dysfunction.

8. Pain, aching, or heaviness in the groin, hips, thighs or abdomen. These are signs of prostate and testicular cancer. It can be a feeling of downward pulling, a generalized ache, swelling or just discomfort.

9. Testicular swelling or lumps. Testicular cancer is most common among men from the age of 20 to 39. Any change in the size of your testicles should be brought to your doctor’s attention. Early detection is crucial for testicular cancer. Most testicular cancer lumps are painless, although sometimes there is discomfort; sometimes the testicles are swollen but there is no lump.

10. Scaly or painful nipples or chest, nipple discharge. Also watch for changes in the breast area, such as skin dimpling, nipple retraction, or redness or scaling of the skin. All of these are signs of breast cancer. If the cancer is spreading inward it will result in chest pain. Breast cancer in men isn’t common but it does occur.

Source List:



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10 Creative Ways to Seal a Valentine

After you took the time to make or find the perfect Valentine, shouldn’t you find a creative way to seal the envelope? Print out some free Valentine’s Day envelopes first.

10 Creative Ways to Seal a Valentine

Melted Wax

Use the melted wax of a crayon or candle to make your own seal. Drip the wax onto the envelope to make a circle. Let it cool down slightly. Press an initial stamp into the wax. Or draw a heart using a paperclip or pencil tip. Because this seal involves fire, adults only, please!

Craft Leather Tie

Attach a button or a raised embellishment to one side of the envelope. On the other side, poke a hole and attach a piece of craft leather. Thread it though, tying a knot in the non-visible side. Use the length of the craft leather and wrap it around the button to secure the envelope.

Woven Ribbon

Make thin slits in the the outside flap of the envelope. Make similar slits in the part of the envelope where the glue seal is. The slits should not be in the same place, the top and bottom slits should alternate. Thread a silk, red ribbon through the slits, weaving the ribbon in and out of the slits. Tie a knot on the underside of the envelope flap and trim the excess.

Woven Paper

The kids version of the above creative way to seal a Valentine would be to weave a long strip of paper through the slits. Make sure the slits are long enough to accommodate the paper. Make fewer slits than you would for a ribbon, to make it easier for the child to weave the paper.

Sew a Button

Are you hand with a needle and thread? Do you have a pretty or unusual button in your stray button collection? Sew the button onto the envelope. Make a small slit in the envelope to button it closed. Or, sew the button on the flap and seal the envelope in the usual fashion. The button will be a decorative surprise.

Sew it Closed

Another creative way to seal a Valentine closed is to sew it shut with a needle and thread. Even a non-sewer can manage to thread a needle and press the needle through the paper, weaving in and out to seal the envelope shut. This method will work best with a homemade envelope which opens from the top or the side.

Sew a Good Yarn

Children and kids who are too young to use a needle and thread can use a piece of yarn to sew the Valentine shut. Use a hole punch to make the holes for them and they can thread the yarn through the holes.

I Love Shoe(laces)

Another kid version is to close the Valentine with a red or heart printed shoelace.

Lipstick Kiss

So simple, yet intriguing, nothing beats a Valentine sealed with a lip imprint. Put on your signature lipstick color, or pick a red or deep pink. Blot the lips. Try a couple of sample kisses on a piece of paper to find the best shape. Reapply the lipstick, blot, and seal the Valentine with your kiss.

Two Ribbons

Do not seal the envelope at all. Instead, wrap a red ribbon around the envelope, horizontally. Then tie another one in the other direction. Use two different colors of ribbon for variety, including red and pink, red and black, or red and white, for example.

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10 Critical Benefits You Receive by Using Cost Benefit Analysis

When dealing with decisions using Cost Benefit techniques it is very important to follow the proven principles. The health of your company and your reputation depend on it. If these rules are not followed then your decisions could be flawed.

Let’s start, shall we?

Benefit #1. You can compare competing projects quickly and accurately – saving you time and effort.

Cost Benefit Analysis weighs the total expected costs and compares them to the total expected benefits of one or more actions. The outcome of Cost Benefit Analysis is a Benefit Cost Ratio that is used to compare and rank competing investment options.

Once you apply these techniques you will quickly be able to compare and rank projects with confidence knowing that governments and large corporations use these proven principles.

Benefit #2. You can quickly determine whether a project may be VIABLE or UNVIABLE – quickly cutting out unviable options thereby saving you time and effort.

As mentioned above, Cost Benefit Analysis compares the costs and benefits of competing projects and produces a score (Benefit Cost Ratio) which if less than 1 shows that the project is UNVIABLE (all other things being equal).

This can quickly weed out the projects that will not make the cut, saving time and effort for you and others charged with considering these projects and making a final recommendation.

Benefit #3. You will be noticed and you will gain increased recognition if you use this technique correctly – more opportunities for you.

Since this powerful, proven technique can save discussion time, provide more accuracy and confidence, it will be seen as a real improvement. If you champion its introduction you will be noticed and gain recognition.

Benefit #4. You will be able to more confidently join or lead asset expenditure review discussions – more recognition and opportunities for you.

Once you learn and apply this method you can join in discussions at higher levels and feel confident that your skills can add value to the deliberations. Your input will be recognised and appreciated.

Benefit #5. Learning this very marketable technique will provide you with more options in your future.

There are many ways you can apply these techniques.

You could train others in the skill – both to internal and also to external clients.

You could be the assessor of the methodology PRIOR to projects being reviewed by senior management. This will save them time and frustration if they know that someone knowledgeable has already OK’d the maths and reviewed the assumptions for reasonableness.

You may wish to apply for more senior roles in your current employment or try out in other companies.

Benefit #6. You can apply these skills across small to large projects – making you more versatile.

The Cost Benefit principles can be used for projects as small as a PC replacement to underground assets that form part of large multi-billion capital works programs.

Your Cost Benefit Analysis skills are just as useful at either end of the scale.

Benefit #7. You will become recognised as the authority on this subject – more options for you.

Once you learn the theory and can present your proposal with confidence you will be recognised as the authority on this subject. Others will come to you for assistance seeking guidance for their projects.

Benefit #8. You can be sure that your decisions can withstand external scrutiny – saving you worry and concern.

The principles underpinning Cost Benefit Analysis have been in use since the 1960s by both government and big business. As long as you learn these principles from a recognised source, and apply them correctly, you can be confident that your analysis can withstand internal and external scrutiny.

Benefit #9. This methodology is scalable across small to large businesses.

Successful implementation across the business can only add to your marketable skill set meaning more opportunities for you. This skill could lead to consulting work for external clients – be they large or small – or starting your own Cost Benefit consulting business.

Benefit #10. Once this methodology is implemented it can significantly reduce the time taken to decide on competing projects -saving you time and frustration.

If this method is implemented for all investment proposals across the company then the comparison and choice amongst competing proposals is simplified. All other things being equal the project with the highest Benefit Cost Ratio should be the first to be authorised. The value of the business will increase the most by implementing the project with the highest Benefit Cost Ratio.

Bruce Hokin is an experienced accountant (FCPA). His main interests are in better decision-making and Cost Benefit Analysis training. You can find more of his in-depth FREE articles, a FREE Newsletter and FREE e-zines at his website. To sign up for his comprehensive, downloadable Cost Benefit Analysis training program “5 Steps to Cost Benefit Mastery” just go to his website. You could be using this technique in under 2 hours! Available at http://ift.tt/2d7fsHn

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10 Dangers and Health Risks of Being Underweight or Skinny

With skinny and lean people appearing over many magazine spreads and commercials, some feel it’s unfair that others inherited certain genetics. With the newly discovered “skinny gene,” also known as IRS1, studies are showing that people genetically predisposed to be skinny or sometimes underweight are actually at a higher risk for certain diseases and conditions.

Even people who don’t have the “skinny gene,” but are simply skinny or slightly underweight, face certain risks and disadvantages. In recent studies, people with a body mass index or BMI fewer than 18.5 were within a higher-risk group.

Miscarriages and Pregnancy Problems: A study of 603 women found that when they had a low BMI, there were at a 72% greater risk of having a miscarriage during the first trimester. Another study in Sweden found studied 943,000 women. They found that skinny or underweight women were at a greater risk for unrelenting nausea during pregnancy. The researchers are not exactly sure why, but merely see the link.

Male Fertility Issues: Danish researchers have found that there is a relation between a man’s body weight and his sperm quality and count. They found that if a man is underweight, his sperm count is 33% lower than those who are not.

Lung Problems: As women age, skinnier women are more apt to experiencing pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. Researchers also say that skinny women have difficulty with “growth-factor” hormones. It makes it difficult to sustain the health of the tissues within their lungs.

Accidents: The American Journal of Public Health showed a study done by the Wisconsin Medical College. They studied 22,000 people, and found that underweight men had a higher risk of dying in car accidents, in comparison to those of average weight or above.

Brittle Bones: Researchers found that thinner women have bones that are less dense. A study of 3,383 showed that as skinny women age, they are more likely to suffer from broken hips.

Arthritis: The Mayo Clinic did a study, and found that thin or slightly underweight people have a more difficult time dealing with arthritis. When arthritis occurs, it triples the chances of it causing further inflammation throughout the body.

Heart Disease: A study examined the genetics of 75,000 people. They found that people with IRS1, the skinny gene, are more likely to have high levels of fats in their blood. This increases the chances of heart disease. Researchers warn, “Fat stored internally is worse for you than fat stored under the skin.”

Diabetes: Individuals with IRS1 are not only in a high-risk group for heart disease, but their chances of getting type 2 diabetes increases by 20%. Researchers say that underweight men are most susceptible to this.

Breast Cancer: The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden studied data on 6000 women. They found that when the Swedish women were heavier at a younger age, they were less likely to have breast cancer tumors when they become menopausal. However, being overweight later in life increases the risk of breast cancer and of dying from it.

Depression: A study in Sweden found that skinny or underweight men are more likely to commit suicide. Those that are underweight are at a 12% higher risk. Those that are overweight experience a 12% decline in risk for suicide.

The researchers speculate that underweight men might not have enough serotonin produced in their brains.


Underweight Dangers and Health Risks:Disadvantages

Underweight Dangers and Health Risks: IRS1 Skinny Gene

Underweight Dangers and Health Risks: Breast Cancer

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10 Deadly Mistakes to Make that Will Positively Destroy Your Business

Deadly Mistake #2: Not having the right Business Model for your business… IF you have one at all.

“A business what?” I asked. All ready emotionally overcooked and confused, my mind spun and fogged even more when Monica, the marketing coach I had won a 2-hour session from mentioned something about “flexible business models”. And they can be flexible too? This was too much. Not being a business major in college (it was too inundated), I had no idea what she was talking about. Thus began my journey into the amazing world of the conscious business owner (even though I had been there twice before and had screwed up both times. One word, two syllables: Clue-less. Say it with a tune, it sounds better).

Why does one need a business model you ask? Because without one, you have absolutely no idea how to market your business let alone figure out whom you’re marketing to. For conscious business owners, the business models of the mainstream market don’t work so well because they tend to be too rigid – which is a big reason why many conscious business owners tend to avoid them. Not to mention they just seem impossible to figure out. However on the flip side, starting a business without a business model is like trying to build a house without a foundation or building your foundation on marshland instead of solid granite. Which house would you rather live in? Not sure? You’ll figure it out right about the time the water gets to your knees…

So let’s look at an example: Me (I warned you in Deadly Mistake #1 about this…). As a budding Life Awareness Coach, I had just recently signed up for 6 months of Business Marketing mentoring with a woman who has been in direct marketing and conscious business growth for about 25 years. The information and energy she gave during a 3-day weekend has been life changing, absolutely priceless and I continue to expand as a result of it. However, when she sent the mentoring packet to be filled out, my head once again reeled while reading the questions. No wonder I had avoided answering them during the 3-day weekend. I hope Debbie isn’t reading this.

The part we had to fill out stumped me for several days because she asked questions I had not really, really considered before such as: “How much time do you want to spend working in your business versus on your business? “Huh? “Determine what kind of lifestyle you want to create?” “Lifestyle I want to create?” I thought weakly to myself. “If something were to happen to you, who would take over your business?” That was it. I quietly closed the file and turned my computer off. My brain had reached its maximum capacity for comprehension and absorption on the subject, crashed and burned somewhere in the middle of the learning curve and without further ado, had shut down. I reached for my knitting and a cup of tea.

Eventually, I would read over and over again these same questions in other business books and have discussions about them with my conscious marketing coach friend, Monica. In between discussions and readings it occurred to me that not many people give any thought to those kinds of questions, waiting instead until disaster strikes before they realize (if they ever do) that somewhere along the way a huge chunk of the business equation got left out. I eventually came to understand the importance of having a business model, why you want to keep it flexible for personal and business change and growth and why it is so very necessary to dare to dream and envision the kind of life you truly desire because without it your business does not have the energy or lifeforce to survive. Your business is not separate from you; it is an extension of you.

So if you’re a budding business owner or even if you’re one who’s been around for a while, grab a piece of paper, look back at those 3 questions and ponder their implications. And if you find yourself reaching for your knitting and a cup of tea, you know you’ve got some thinking to do.

Tags:10 Deadly Mistakes to Make that Will Positively Destroy Your Business

10 Complete Untrue "Facts" About Vampires

You know, I am getting really sick of people watching a handful of movies, skimming a few books, ogling interviews and thinking that they are experts on vampires. And hey, before you say, “it’s spelled vampyre” don’t waste the keystrokes lecturing me. I have enough stuff to worry about without trying to act fancy and impress mortals. I’ll leave that for Anne Rice and the Twilight people.

(1) The Swollen Sun One of the biggest fallacies about vampires is that they can’t be exposed to daylight. Come on now, after thousands of years do you really honestly think that we couldn’t overcome something like that? If we can deal with death, reanimation and occasionally losing a body part then sunlight really isn’t that big a deal. OK, there are limits in regards to exposure but nothing a SPF 50 can’t handle.

(2) Garlic I have no idea what lunatic started that. I have to chalk it up to a really old urban legend of some sort. Why not rosemary or parsley? To date no one has been able to tell me exactly what mystical, magical property garlic has. I eat it all the time and well, I am still here. I may need to pop a breath mint or two but other than that, it has no adverse effect on me.

(3) Vampires Make Awesome Lovers Oh, see, just because you died, came back to life and are pretty much immortal doesn’t mean that you are suddenly graced with sexual prowess that will devastate all. Suffice it to say, if you sucked in the sack before you crossed over, death won’t help your sexual capabilities.

(4) Mind Reading If vampires had the complete ability to read minds do you really think they would toy with humans? Yes, there are some that can trace thoughts and images but if a vampire (or anyone) had the capability to read someone else’s thoughts they would be working for some secret sect of the government. And please, don’t throw David Blaine or Criss Angel into the mix. They are cheesy magicians with parlor tricks.

(5) Bloodlust Another completely erroneous, misleading notion. Stop and think about it. The body craves and needs nourishment; just because you are dead doesn’t mean you stop eating although I do admit that I love my burgers and steaks bloody rare. The romantic imagery of vampires locked in a tight embrace and feeding off of each other is just that, a contrived notion to make money from mortals that seek to walk on the wild side.

(6) Vampire Clan I know what you are thinking, no, it has nothing to do with the KKK – completely different clan. Contrary to popular belief there are more than a few different types of vampires. Some are minions that serve elders, others are the newly dead that fumble around thinking they are going to burst into flames if they go outside during the day. That is where your clan comes into play. They aren’t like a family but it is their responsibility to teach you the ropes and ensure that you don’t end up on a slab in the morgue only to wake up and scare the holy hell out of everyone when they try to take your liver temperature and your eyes fly open. There isn’t much loyalty in a clan; as soon as you know the basics you are on your own. Sorry, it’s nothing like “Interview With The Vampire”.

(7) Vampire Rage I once overheard someone say that vampires can rage like weight lifters and body builders that are on steroids. My motto is the same for both groups (the muscle bound and the blood bound) .. if you were a dick before, you will be a dick after. The guy at the gym that drops the weights and picks fights with everyone might be on steroids but you know, there’s a really good chance that he was a total douche bag before he had his first injection. Same thing with vampires; if you were dick-like before the bite, death won’t do much to improve your overall attitude on things.

(8) Transformation While it can be done, it is a physically and mentally taxing occurrence. Morphing into an animal or shapeshifting of any type requires an inherent skill, its not something that you learn from a book. Either you have the talent or you don’t, there is no in between. Role playing games have emulated shapeshifting; there’s nothing pretty about watching someone go from human form to that of an animal. Enough said?

(9) The Vlad ConnectionVlad The Impaler is regarded as the original vampire. While he did have some connections in that department, he wasn’t the first. Vampires have existed since the dawn of time albeit in many different forms. We don’t go around throwing people on pikes, it makes the neighbors nervous.

(10) Coffins Imagine meeting someone, feeling a connection and upon arriving at your domicile they ask, “So, where’s your coffin?” It’s a total mood killer. Coffins are a pain in the ass to get in and out of, even if you have them on the floor, they are still cramped, confining and really restrict your movement if you are one of those toss-and-turn people. Only the newly reanimated sleep in coffins and that’s because they think they have to.

For those that still have some romantic notions about vampires and want to see what their name would be if they were born into blood, you can find your moniker here: http://ift.tt/2doYckH

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10 Cooking and Recipe iPhone Apps that Any Mother Would Love

There are lots of cooking and recipe apps for the iPhone in the iTunes App store, but if you’re a mom who loves to throw down in the kitchen, these are the 10 cooking apps you must own.

Grocery Gadget — $3.99

If you’re tired of hand scribbling grocery lists before you visit the local grocery store, Grocery Gadget for the iPhone is the app for you. Grocery Gadget lets you easily organize grocery items, allows you to scan barcodes of food products, synch your list with other iOS devices and more.

Serving Sizer Pro — $0.99

Moms are usually cooking big meals and when the number of hungry mouths varies, it’s sometimes hard to adjust the food recipe to accommodate the group. Serving Sizer Pro helps to aid when this problem arises and allows you to easily adjust your recipe regardless of how many need to be served.

How to Cook Everything — $4.99

Simply looking at the title of this app should be an indication that How to Cook Everything for the iPhone is a must have app for fans of cooking. This app sports over 2,000 recipes and 400 how-to-illustrations and is a great tool to have in the kitchen.

Woman’s Day Cooking Assistant — Free

Woman’s Day Cooking Assistant is a free iPhone app from womansday.com, one off the largest women’s lifestyle brands online, and includes recipe ideas, daily recipes, shopping lists, tips, cooking time calculators, and more.

Urbanspoon — Free

If you’re indecisive about what to eat and want a great meal with an “urban” kick, you’ll definitely want to check out the free Urbanspoon app for the Apple iPhone. Urbanspoon is a restaurant finding app that features a slot machine that randomly picks a type of food restaurant and alerts you to the nearest restaurant that fits those requirements.

Epicurious — Free

Epicurious is the must have cooking app for the iPhone and is so popular, in fact, that it has been downloaded over 3.9 million times. It features beautiful illustrations of delicious meals, grocery lists, detailed instructions, tips, and a buzzing community to help you hone your cooking skills or find new meals to prepare.

Grocery IQ — Free

Grocery IQ is the perfect grocery shopping companion that allows iPhone owners to organize lists, scan barcodes of food items in grocery stores, and do away with handwritten scribbled grocery lists once and for all.

Allrecipes.com — Free

As an extension of the allrecipes.com website, the Allrecipes .com iPhone cooking app provides the great features of the buzzing online site right on your iPhone and is a great way to discover new meals to create.

FoodEssentials Scanner — $2.99

If you’re interesting in knowing what’s inside your food before you buy it, FoodEssentials Scanner is an iPhone app that you’ll want running while you shop at the grocer. This is the premier food scanning app for the iPhone and will give you accurate nutritional info of the food you’re trying to buy before you buy it.

Betty Crocker — Free

Betty Crocker is a popular name brand in the kitchen and if you’ve enjoyed cooking and eating, their meals in the past, this iPhone app will unlock the secrets and great taste behind the Betty Crocker meals you’ve enjoyed since childhood.

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10 Creative Ways to Use Valentine's Day Sweetheart Conversation Hearts

Sweethearts Conversation Hearts are as much a part of Valentine’s Day as roses or chocolates. Kids seem to love those little sugary pastel hearts. Getting creative with the Conversation Hearts will result in a lot of fun and some learning!

Edible Confetti

What celebration is complete without confetti? Replacing traditional confetti with conversation hearts will not only taste delicious, it will be a lot less messy. The guests will clean it up for you! Let the kids help you randomly spread out the conversation hearts on the table as you would confetti.

Valentine’s Day Cards

Making homemade Valentine’s Day cards instead of commercially produced cards gives the greetings a personal touch. Conversation hearts can be attached to the front with a little glue to add a 3-D effect to the Valentine’s Day cards.

Bingo Markers

Conversation hearts are the perfect size to use as bingo markers. Whether you’re having a Valentine’s Day party or it’s just your family, Bingo is a fun game to play. Plus, you have a built in snack if you get hungry during the game.

Build Sentences

If your child is learning to write words and sentences, conversation hearts can double as an educational activity. Have your child select a conversation heart to use in a sentence. Glue the conversation heart to a piece of paper and then help your child write the remainder of the sentence. For even more entertainment, write an entire Valentine’s Day story using conversation hearts when possible.

Candle Decorations

Conversation hearts can be used to turn a boring candle into a fun Valentine’s Day decoration. A square shaped candle or a round candle with a large diameter will work best so the conversation hearts can lay flat against the candle. Affix the hearts to the candle either randomly or in a pattern. If you prefer, you can hot glue conversation hearts to a glass votive candle holder.

Picture Frame

A conversation heart picture frame is a fun craft project for Valentine’s Day. You can purchase a cardboard picture frame in the craft section, some with a heart cut out for the picture. Since it is a brown cardboard frame, you’ll want to paint it first. Once the paint is dry, affix conversation hearts around the frame.

Math Skill Games

Conversation hearts lend themselves well to a variety of math activities for kids of all ages. Young children can practice their basic counting skills. Allow them to drop conversation hearts into the different cups of a cupcake pan. One cup at a time, help your child count the conversation hearts. Older children can use conversation hearts to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. A guessing jar is another fun math game. Fill a jar with conversation hearts and let everyone take a guess at how many candies are in the jar. Then count them together to see who was the closest. You could also create and act out story problems using conversation hearts. For example, “Mom has 10 hearts. Dad has 7 hearts. How many more hearts does Mom have than Dad.”

Decorative Wreath Craft

This is another fun craft project for Valentine’s Day. Cut a wreath shape out of cardboard. Cover the cardboard with conversation hearts. Around the edges, attach the hearts so they hang over the edge to cover the cardboard. You can also do a second layer of hearts to cover up any places where the cardboard is showing. Attach a ribbon to the back for hanging.

Cupcake Toppers

No Valentine’s Day celebration is complete without some sweet snacks. After the cupcakes are frosted, conversation hearts will make a cute topper. The combination of sprinkles and conversation hearts will make a simple and festive addition to the cupcakes. You can also use them to decorate a large cake or iced cookies.

Chopstick Pick Up Game

Place conversation hearts in a shallow dish or pan. Give your child a set of chopsticks. Set the timer for a certain length of time and see how many hearts you child can transfer from one dish to another using the chopsticks. If you have small children, you can get extra large tweezers for them to use or use kitchen tongs.

Even if you don’t enjoy eating conversation hearts, you can enjoy them on Valentine’s Day with these fun activities. Before long, you’ll come up with even more fun ways to use your Valentine’s conversation hearts.

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10 C.S. Lewis Quotes from Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis is known as one of the great Christian thinkers of all time. His quotes and sayings are inspirational and powerful. C.S. Lewis talked about Christianity topics on the radio from 1941 to 1944. These radio broadcasts were adapted to a book called Mere Christianity. The following is ten great C.S. Lewis quotes from Mere Christianity.

10 Great C.S. Lewis Quotes from Mere Christianity

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or – if they think there is not – at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

More C.S. Lewis Quotes Related to Love

Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk.

This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people.

“The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys…”

“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is…”

“Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self…”

“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”

“When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all.”

“Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.”

These C.S. Lewis quotes from Mere Christianity are powerful and help to make you think. I pray that these quotes were what you were needing today. If you have any other favorite C.S. Lewis quotes, please add them to the comments of this article so this can be a better resource to those that find it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes





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10 Creepy or Evil Rabbits of Books, Movies and Television

Bunnies are supposed to be cute and furry and they are especially so around Easter. What most people don’t realize though, is that rabbits can be very creepy and evil creatures when they want to be. Here are the 10 creepy or evil rabbits of books, movies and television.

Why do you want to know about creepy evil rabbits? Because you just never know when you’re going to encounter one yourself and it’s best to be able to recognize one before they exert some type of lapin evil on you.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #10 – Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh – This anal garden-obsessed bunny is creepy because he is just so cranky and mean-spirited. Seriously – who gets bent with Pooh Bear and Tigger? Tigger I can sort of understand – his hyperactive spasticity would get on my nerves, but Rabbit needs to lighten up and lose the creep factor.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #9 – The Were-Rabbit – Wallace and Gromit’s 2005 adventure with a were-rabbit shows just how creepy claymation bunnies can be. Claymation were-rabbits are even creepier.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #8 – Bunnicula – The vampire bunny from the classic book Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by James and Deborah Howe was not evil at all, BUT you gotta admit: A vampire rabbit is just creepy. Bunnicula was made into an animated special which deviated from the book, portraying Bunnicula’s vampire powers. Not to worry though – Bunnicula only preyed upon vegetables.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #7 – General Woundwart of Watership Down– The book Watership Down by Richard Adams was made into an animated movie in 1978 and showed that rabbits really aren’t sweet and loving. They can be downright nasty and violent when they are having warren wars. General Woundwart was the nastiest of the nasty – the Darth Vader of rabbits.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #6 – Killer Rabbit from Caerbannog – This death-dealing bunny from 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail looks sweet and cuddly but in fact he’s a vicious man-eater. He decapitates men and munches on their bones.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #5 – Energizer Bunny – The Energizer bunny is creepy and evil because he is just simply annoying. Any pink bunny who wanders around constantly banging a drum is up to no good. Beware of this bunny.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #4 – Harvey – The 1950 movie Harvey starring James Stewart is a classic about a man – Elwood P. Dowd – who is friends with a six-foot invisible rabbit named Harvey. Harvey never does anything too bad other than being bossy, but he follows Elwood everywhere…and he’s invisible…and he’s six feet tall. Creepy. He could have easily been evil, you just never knew for sure.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #3 – Evil Demon Rabbit from Twilight Zone – The Movie (1983) – I remember watching Twilight Zone – The Movie when I was kid and being completely creeped out by the third segment of the film, titled “It’s a Good Life.” At one point during this segment, a character (played by actor Kevin McCarthy) is nervously forced to do magic tricks and pulls a white bunny out of a hat. All is well and good until that sweet bunny turns into some kind of a demon-rabbit.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #2 – Bugs Bunny – Admit it, Bugs Bunny – the wisecracking rabbit from Warner Brothers has an evil streak. He toys with Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck (and a host of other characters) and seems to delight in seeing them fail in all that they do. How evil is that? As far as the creep factor goes, Bugs definitely has it going on. He can be cute and sweet, but there is a dark side to this rabbit that none should cross.

Creepy or Evil Rabbit #1 – Frank from Donnie Darko – Frank, the man-sized rabbit speaks in a creepy reverb voice and urges Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) to vandalize a school and burn down a house. Frank saves Donnie’s life initially but ominously warns of impending doom by counting down the days, hours and seconds until the world will end – or at least something will end. The creepiest thing that Frank says is in response to Donnie’s question about why Frank is wearing a rabbit suit. Frank replies “Why do you wear that man suit?” Yeahhhhh, creepy and evil.

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10 Cutest Celebrity Children: My Opinion and Why

Babies and young children are adorable when born to the average person. Add to the fact that the baby has one or two famous and gorgeous parents and the baby is likely to be even more adorable. Several cases in point follow though it was extremely tough to narrow this list down to only ten.

Suri Cruise. Suri was born to Tom Cruise, a 1980’s film heartthrob and Katie Holmes, a beautiful television star on 18 April 2006 at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are two of the most attractive people on the planet and their daughter is certainly no exception.

Shiloh Pitt. I do not know how many other people wondered what this child would look like before she was born. Her mother is Angelina Jolie who is amazingly gorgeous and her father is Brad Pitt who was the man every woman from my generation wanted to marry. Expectations for her to be cute were high and those expectations were certainly met in this blonde haired, beautiful youngster. Recent pictures show Shiloh missing some front teeth and in my opinion that only makes kids cuter. Shiloh was born in Swakopmund-Namibia on 27 May 2006. Her parents sold the first photos of her for millions of dollars and then donated the money to charity. Shiloh is already as beautiful on the outside as her parents. If she becomes as beautiful on the inside as they are then she will be a force to be reckoned with.

Violet Anne Affleck. Violet is the daughter of the movie star Ben Affleck and the television star Jennifer Garner. Affleck and Garner are both very attractive people. In my opinion Garner is prettier than Ben is handsome. Luckily for Violet, she looks just like her mom. Violet was born on December 1, 2005. Her mother’s pregnancy was worked into her job on Alias. Garner has proven time and again that she is a fantastic hands-on mom who spends a lot of time with her kids. The smiles this gives Violet only make her an even more beautiful little girl.

Kingston James McGregor Rossdale. Kingston is the son of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and musician Gavin Rossdale. Kingston was born on May 26, 2006. Web videos show Kingston displaying behavior of not being too amiable with the paparazzi. Even with the scowl on his face, he is still one of the most beautiful little boys on the planet.

Apple Blythe Alison Martin. Apple is the daughter of Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin. She was born on May 14, 2004. A lot of commotion occurred over her unusual name but it does not seem to have affected her any. Her middle name is the same as her wonderful grandmother Blythe Danner who is also an exceptional actress. Alison is an amazing name as well. I used it for my daughter’s middle name.

Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead. I was unsure of what name to use here because of the 2007 custody case and all the legal proceedings this poor child had to endure during her first year of life on top of the loss of both her mom and her brother. Dannielynn is a beautiful child. In some pictures, she looks so much like Anna Nicole that it is eery. When I was in my teens, I wanted to look like Anna and be a Guess jeans model. I had no idea what she was going through. I think everyone has good regard for Dannielynn and wants the best for her. Dannielynn was born on September 7, 2006 at Doctor’s Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas. Though her birth certificate said Howard K. Stern was the baby’s father later DNA revealed Larry Birkhead was the actual father and he now has custody.

Ryder Russell Robinson. Ryder is two weeks younger than my son. One of the names I wanted for him was Ryder and my husband said no so when I learned Kate Hudson used the name just two weeks after our son was born, I was a little jealous. Ryder was born on 7 Jan 2004 to Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson.

Jayden James Federline. Jayden is the younger son of Britney Spears, a major pop star, and Kevin Federline, her former dancer. It was difficult to choose whether to put Jayden in the list or his slightly older brother Sean Preston as they are literally walking dolls. Jayden was born on September 12, 2007 (just two days shy of his brother’s first birthday). I believe some of the public was surprised Britney and Kevin gave birth to another little boy as it was believed the baby would be a girl according to some magazines.

Nahla Ariela Aubry. Nahla is the daughter of one of the most beautiful women on the planet-Halle Berry. Her father is Gabriel Aubry who isn’t too bad himself. Nahla was born on March 16, 2008 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. It is extremely pathetic that the hospital received racist threats of someone cutting Nahla into hundreds of pieces. Security guards were present and thankfully the person did not get to the baby. Nahla, honestly, is the baby on this list who I believe is cutest. The next one is pretty close though.

Harlow Winter Kate Ritchie Madden. That is a lot of names for a little girl. Harlow was born to Nicole Ritchie, television star of The Simple Life and daughter of Lionel Richie and Joel Madden from the band Good Charlotte. She was born on 11 Jan 2008. Harlow recently welcomed a little brother named Sparrow James Midnight Madden who looks to be following in Harlow’s footsteps as one of celebrities most beautiful babies.

Tags:10 Cutest Celebrity Children: My Opinion and Why

10 Decorating Tips for Your Christmas Holiday

You probably really enjoy decorating for Christmas. The twinkling of lights, a nicely trimmed tree and pretty wreath on your door gently remind you that it is Christmas time. Of course, these decorations should show your personality. Here are some tips on how you can shine through this Christmas season.

1. Each year you will encounter Christmas lights that burn out. It can be a real problem to find the one bulb that is burnt out. However, if you purchase a light tester you will no longer have this headache as this tool will check each light individually in order to find the one that needs replaced. Most department stores sell these in the same aisle where you purchase your Christmas decorations.

2. Try to use a lot of angels in your decorations as this will add some peace and tranquility to your home. We all could use this during the holiday time. Plus who would not want to have an angel watching over them?

3. Add a fruit bowl to your dining room table. This will not only make your home smell nice but will also remind you to eat more fruit and less junk this holiday season.

4. Make sure that you add a personal touch wherever possible. For instance, you can add your family members’ names to their stockings. This can even be done for your pets. All you need to do this is a silver or gold glitter pen.

5. Do not forget about the poinsettias and mistletoes. These holiday traditions can be artificial and yet they are still a nice touch.

6. A nice green wreath with a simple red bow will look great on your front door. If you purchase an artificial wreath it will last for many years to come. For placing wreaths in your windows, you should purchase a magnetic wreath hanger. These come in two parts: one for inside your home and the other for outside. The magnets are strong enough to work through your glass windows. While they have been around for a while, they are just starting to become popular.

7. You need to measure the length AND the width of the area where you are going to place your Christmas tree before you purchase one. Make sure that if you purchase a live tree you give it lots of water.

8. Why not start a family tradition this year? After you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner this year, pull out the Christmas decorations and enjoy one another’s company while getting festive for the holidays.

9. If you are going to purchase any new decorations this year, do not forget to make sure that they are UL listed so that you know that they are high quality and safe. You also want to make sure that you unplug everything before you leave home or go to bed at night.

10. Whatever you do, do not forget to have your camera ready. Purchase some extra film and batteries. You do not want to miss a moment of this Christmas season.

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10 Distressed Painting Technique Tips

Creating a distressed or aged look is a great way to add character or elegance to tired doors or furniture. You could just wait. You furniture will be distressed eventually, but if you don’t have 30 years or more there are a quite a few ways to go about creating a distressed look for your furniture. You could hire someone. There are painters who specialize in creating faux finishes. Hiring a professional to age your furniture can get expensive, so you might as well just do it yourself. Here are a few tips to make creating a faux distressed look simple:

1. Make sure you sand the piece of furniture. Just because you’re applying a faux finish doesn’t mean you can skip steps. You will probably be able to skip applying primer, but you must be sure to sand the piece well.

2. There are a lot of different ways to create a faux distressed look. You can use a glaze, painter’s wax, a crackle glaze, and many other techniques. Decide exactly what kind of look you’re going for.

3. Before you paint, hit your local Sherwin Williams store. They have paints that create the faux finish you’re looking for without a lot of hassle. Some stores have videos you can borrow that will walk you through the process. Almost every Sherwin Williams store has books you can look at and associates that can demonstrate various techniques for you. They’re a great help when painting just about anything.

4. If you’re using a glaze to create a distressed look, use paint with a satin finish as your base coat. This will help the glaze go on smoothly. A flat paint will create a blotchy look.

5. The simplest way to create a faux aged look is to use sandpaper. Naturally, the areas of a piece of furniture exposed to sun will have a lighter shade. You can create this look by sanding the paint a bit. You can also paint a different color underneath the top coat and sand the top coat to let the contrasting color underneath show through.

6. Before you try your faux painting technique to your entire piece, try it on a small section first. This way you can see it before you waste the time and money to do the entire piece and make changes if you need to.

7. Using wallpaper paste, latex paint, gum Arabic, acrylic paint, a toothbrush and a hair dryer you can create a beautiful antique door. After you sand the door, apply a base coat of light colored water based paint. Let that dry over night. Apply a good coat of wallpaper paste and gum Arabic, letting this dry too. Once that coat is dry, apply a coat of off white latex paint, drying this coat with a hair dryer turned to high. It will crack. Next, apply an acrylic paint in some lighter shade of brown, depending on the look you want. Use an old toothbrush to lightly splatter a slightly darker color if you want.

8. If you’re going to use a sanding technique, make sure you sand the areas that are usually thinned naturally. Sand the high points and corners more than other areas and you will create a naturally aged look.

9. Add a darker antiquing glaze to a mixture of clear oil glaze and mineral spirits to create a simple, natural look. Apply more to the recessed sections. Wipe some of the glaze off the high points. This will darken the paint already on the piece, simulating the look of dirt and age.

10. Apply alternating layers of different 3 different colors of paint and tinted painter’s wax. Start with a layer of paint, then wax, another color of paint, wax, and a last color of paint. Once the last color of paint has dried, apply crackle paint. Once the crackle paint has dried you should sand areas to create an aged look. Once you’re done sanding, apply a last coat of painter’s wax to seal the piece.

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