Monday, November 14, 2016

12 Tips for Talking About Your Relationship After the Breakup

After the breakup, it’s normal to want to talk with your friends about what happened. But talking with your friends should make you feel better, not worse. By focusing on the following points, you’ll find that talking about the relationship really can make you feel better.

1. Ask someone to listen without offering advice. When we ask someone to listen, it’s because we need to say something. Ask your friend to really genuinely listen to you. Let yourself talk. But don’t seek advice. The point isn’t to ask “what could I have done differently?” The point is to own how you feel and move on from it.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ask for advice, but make sure the advice you ask for will help you to move forward. Instead of focusing on the past, ask how your friend would do things if the situation happened to her. It may not be something that would work for you, but it will give you a different perspective.

2. Get together with friends who believe in you. Rebuild your self-esteem by surrounding yourself with friends who value you for who you are.

3. Understand that it’s okay to be bummed out. Remember that being sad is natural, staying sad forever is not.

4. Let go of the blame. Relationships fail. It’s not anyone’s fault. Don’t blame him, but don’t blame yourself either.

5. Accept that things happen for a reason (but don’t worry too much about what that reason is). The relationship ended. Why? Does it really matter? You can’t go back and change that, so why spend a lot of time thinking about it. Focus instead on the fact that it just wasn’t right for you right now.

6. Believe that you are a good person. This too is a part of letting go of the blame. If you focus on “I was wrong to…” you’ll never take the time to celebrate all that you have that makes you a great person. Whether it’s that you are a fantastic listener or a supporting and caring friend, celebrate it.

7. Focus on things you learned about yourself. Maybe you learned that you can love and be inspired by someone who seems really different from you. Maybe you learned that appearances weren’t everything. But regardless of what you learned, celebrate it. Every experience to learn something new about ourselves is a chance to grow – it takes us closer to where we want to be.

8. Focus on things you learned about relationships in general. Maybe you learned how to trust. Maybe you learned how to be honest even when it was scary. Regardless of what you learned in the relationship, it’s something that you can move forward with and apply to future relationships.

9. Eliminate the “should haves” and “buts” from your conversation. Again, this focuses on the blame. When you sentence begins “I know that we had a great time, but…” or “I should have done more to…” you are blaming yourself for something that has gone wrong in the relationship – and that will make it harder for you to move on.

10. Acknowledge that the relationship wasn’t perfect. No relationship ever is.There are good points and bad points and ways in which it helped you grow. Just as you shouldn’t put the guy who left on a pedestal, don’t hold the relationship up as perfect because obviously it wasn’t. Use it instead as a learning experience. Look to recreate the parts of it that were great and look for improvements upon the things that really sucked in your next relationship.

11. Learn something that will help in your next relationship – something about what you’re really looking for.No relationship is perfect. When your relationship falls apart, it presents an opportunity to look and see what things happened that you really didn’t want in your life. Maybe he didn’t make great eye contact and you always felt that he was hiding something. You couldn’t change him, but you can look for someone who can give you that the next time around. Every ending is a new beginning.

12. Think about what you really want, and the ways in which the relationship was not helping you to find it. Have you always wanted to see the world, but his idea of a good time was watching the game at home? Do you like to go dancing and hang out but he always wanted to stay in (and usually fell asleep on the couch early in the evening)?

Now is the chance to really look at the ways in which the relationship was holding you back. And, now you have the opportunity to look forward and to find someone who will help you to move in the direction you want your life to take.

Remember, you can’t change what happened, only your reaction to it.

No matter what, you can’t go back in time to a particular pivot moment and change history – so stop focusing on that moment. What you can do, however, is to make a conscious choice about how you’ll react. Choose not to wallow in self-pity, choose to move on and find happiness, and you will.

Tags:12 Tips for Talking About Your Relationship After the Breakup

12 Tips for Choosing the Right Skateboard Wheel

Choosing the right skateboard wheel for your board means deciding upon two defining characteristics of your wheel: size and hardness. Different sizes of wheels are better for different styles of skating and skateboards and the same is true for the hardness of the wheel. Here are a few tips to help you decide which skateboard wheel will work best for your board whether you’re building your board from scratch or rebuilding one you already have:

Skateboard Wheels Tip #1: If you’re a street skater, you’ll want small wheels for your skateboard. The most common sized wheels for street skateboards are 52 mm and 60 mm.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #2: The larger the wheel, the faster and wider they are. Also, the larger the wheel, the longer the board. That is to say that skateboard wheels that measure 60 mm or larger are pretty much exclusively for longboards.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #3: Though a smaller rider will likely find a smaller wheel more comfortable and easier to control, size usually amounts to a preference choice. Be open to experimentation and try a few different sizes if possible.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #4: 52 mm to 55 mm skateboard wheels work well for small riders for street skating, skatepark skating and bowls.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #5: 56 mm to 60 mm skateboard wheels are great for larger riders who street skate, skate at skate parks, on vert ramps or in bowls.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #6: Skateboard wheels that are larger than 60 mm do best on specialty boards like long boards or dirt boards.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #7: All skateboard wheels are rated according to hardness on a scale called a durometer. Any skateboard wheel that rates higher than 90a is considered hard, and the harder the wheel, the better it is for street skating, the more pop you get for tricks and the harder you land.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #8: The softer the skateboard wheel, the more appropriate it is for long boards and dirt boards. These are rated lower than 90a, and they provide more traction and a smoother ride than small, hard skateboard wheels.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #9: Skateboard wheels rated 87a are good for taking on rough surfaces and hill riding with long boards.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #10: Skateboard wheels rated 95a are good for street skating because they are fast and durable.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #11: 97a rated skateboard wheels are a good all-around wheel, great for street skating, at the skate park, on ramps and in bowls. Better for smoother surfaces.

Skateboard Wheels Tip #12: 100a is the hardest wheel available. It has little ability to grip surfaces and it’s a popular choice for professional skateboarders.


What is the difference between skateboard wheels?

Skateboard Buying Guide

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12 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Winter weather is just around the corner for those that live in the United States. Every indication out there points to a severe winter especially for those that live in the Eastern portion of the U.S. Unfortunately, we are a highly mobile society and the likelihood of you being required to drive during or after a major winter event is high.

Since our jobs and lives will not allow us to wait until it is absolutely safe to drive I have included an easy to follow checklist that will enable you to adequately prepare your Vehicle for the coming storms. When following this checklist bear in mind that most of the items are things that the average motor operator can accomplish on their own however, always consult a professional mechanic if you feel that you are operating above your levels of personal comfort and abilities.

* Check your Antifreeze levels- ensure that you are using the recommended Antifreeze, mixed according to the manufacturers recommendations for your average temperature range, and that the levels are sufficient to avoid freezing. Do not use straight water during the winter months as the water will freeze.

* Inspect your Battery- Make sure that the battery does not have any signs of damage and that the battery terminals are clean of all corrosion. Check the cables to ensure that the connections are tight.

* Inspect your brakes for signs of wear and check fluid levels.

* Inspect the entire exhaust system- check for leaks, crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Ensure that nothing is blocking the passage of gasses through the pipes as carbon monoxide has no smell and is deadly.

* Replace fuel and air filters- Use fuel stabilizers and make sure that you always maintain as a minimum a half-tank of gas during the winter storm event.

* Inspect the heater and defroster to ensure that they work properly. Repair or replace as needed.

* Check all lights to include driving, parking, and service lights.

* Change the oil before the winter season starts. Ensure that you switch over to a lighter weight oil because they work better during colder temperatures.

* Check windshield washer to ensure that they are functioning properly. Replace as needed.

* Top-off Windshield Washer Fluid

* Change your tires to All-Weather radials at a minimum. Mud/Snow tires are best. Also pick up chains for your tires as these will provide traction during heavy snow.

* Maintain a well stocked Winter Emergency Kit in all vehicles in your family.

Following this simple checklist will ensure that your vehicle does not fail you when you need it the most. If the worst does happen and you find yourself stranded in winter weather conditions remember to remain calm. Everything you need to survive should be in your vehicle. Always stay with it. Help will arrive shortly. Your vehicle will provide you shelter, food, and water if you are smart enough to plan ahead.

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12 Wacky, Weird and Outrageous News Stories from 2009

Last year saw many wacky, weird and simply outrageous tales like a drug dealer reporting his illegal drugs were stolen. Do not forget about the girl who texted her Dad about her first sexual encounter, by mistake. As weird and outrageous as these stories were (and still are) I think this year has tipped the scales with the wackiness.

January 2009 – Very Superstitious…

Dom’s Weird News Blog reported on January 28, 2009 of a young Indian girl marrying a stray dog. This was done out of the belief of Munda Dhanda eastern Jharkhand that the marriage will “overcome any curse that might fall on the family”, according to Dom’s Weird News. This marriage does not tie the young girl down. She will be free to marry later when she gets older without having to divorce or get an annulment from the pooch.

February 2009 – Wisconsin kids better not text in class and lie about it or you may get arrested

This is a weird and gross misuse of power by the Wauwatosa Police Department. A 14 year old female student of Wauwatosa East High was arrested on February 11, 2009 and charged with disorderly conduct. Did the teen get caught fighting or harass another student or even bring weapon to school? No. The teen was caught texting during math class and refused to give up her cell phone. The police, without a parent present. Had the teen take off her sweat shirt to search for the cell phone and later female office did a more personal search and confiscated the cell phone from the teen’s “buttocks area”, according to the incident report filled by Officer Jeffrey Griffin.

The police found that the cell phone belonged to the teen’s father and that he was the one she was texting in class. She was release into her mother’s custody on $298 bail. The teenager was also suspended from school with a court date in April. – Courtesy of The Smoking Gun

March 2009 – Car Thief Arrested After Calling 911 to Brag

This man is surely in the running for the dumb criminal of the year award. That’s Weird News picked up a story from the Associated Press about a Minnesota man repeatedly calling 911 to brag and taunt the Duluth Police that they could not catch him. The police did catch him after someone else called 911 to report a prowler in their home. The suspect was found hiding in a shed. Looks like he lost all bragging rights now…

April 2009 – Someone Stole Your Ride? Tell the Cops Your Kid Was On It When it Was Stolen.

Well that is what Shawn Christopher Ivory did when he wanted the police to find his most treasured motorcycle. Ivory told Alachua County, FL deputies that he was beat up and the thieves took his bike and child. A large manhunt for the child ensued only for police to find the child was safe at home with his mother! – Courtesy of FloriDuh

May 2009 – The Dominican Republic Allows Parents to Give their Offspring Stupid Names Just Like U.S. Parents

MSNBC picked up this news report from the Associated Press. The Dominican Republic rejected a proposal to ban any name that prevents the gender from being determined. Now parents can breathe a sigh of relief and continue to name their children Tonton (Dummy) Ruiz, Querida Pina (Dear Pineapple), Seno (Breast) Jimenez and Toshiba Fidelina. Pretty soon countries will begin claiming bragging rights on who has the silliest names for their children. Hey when you think about it, it’s not that far-fetched.

June 2009 – Practice What You Preach. (Or At Least What You Are Supposed to be Preaching)

This tale comes from the News-Sentinel. On June 4, 2009 Fort Wayne, IN Police set up a sting operation to catch the Reverend Curtis White II of the Divine Faith Baptist Church selling crack cocaine. While the Rev. Curtis was supposed to teach his congregation to present their body as a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable he was polluting some members by selling them crack. When White was arrested the police found 6.6 grams of crack in his hotel room and another 6.5 grams inside his the crack of his butt. Not exactly a weird tale but wacky to think of a reverend selling crack from his crack.

July 2009 – The Things Canadian Doctors Have to Put Up With

Chuck Shepherd strikes again with a story that first appeared in the July issue of the Canadian Journal of Neurology, three doctors describe a most interesting emergency room patient. A 57-year old man had a pen stuck in his urethra. Don’t worry this was no mere accident the man meant to push the pen way in there thinking he would get some type of pleasure from it. When the pain did not turn into pleasure, he pushed the pen in all the way with the false belief that it would exit his rectum.

August 2009 – Sometimes the Truth Does Not Set You Free

Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird posted an August 12, 2009 story from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about two boys suspected of harassing a moose so bad that it had to be put down. The boys father came to their rescue however and vouched that they kids were nowhere near the poor during the suspected time. His reason: the boys were vandalizing a nearby church. Way to go Dad! Maybe that old saying is true, that what’s done in the dark comes to the light.

September 2009 – City Owned Hanging Baskets are Great for Growing Marijuana reported on September 9, 2009 that a street in Millville, New Jersey had a city-owned hanging basket that was… well… growing pot. Police pulled two cannabis plants from the basket after receiving a report that the drug was growing free inside of it. To add more hilarity to the city-owned Mary Jane, the cannabis was growing on High Street. If this happens again Millville you will officially be known as City High and your city snack will be Munchies.

October 2009 – Apparently October was World Nudity Month

Buck’s Weird News Blog recanted the tale which first appeared in the Sheboygan Press (no longer available) about one Julia E. Laack who decided to strip naked to beat an arrest. Marge Simpson’s naked toon bod graced the cover of Playboy magazine. Finally, a minibus of male streakers entered a Texaco at Kilmington, near Honiton Devon as reported by the British online news site, the Telegraph. These young men may find themselves in hot water because they were in violation of Britiain’s Sexual Offense Act of 2003.

November 2009 – Crazy Canadian Law to Make Picking Your Nose While Driving Illegal

No this is a true headline from According to this wacky story Canadian minister of Transportation, Jim Bradley wants to extend the “distracted driving law” a step further to include nose picking while driving as an offense. So our neighbors up north better watch out, and pull off to the side of the road before they begin digging gold. That little nugget could cost you an $850 fine if Jim Bradley gets his way. So stop picking them boogars!

December 2009 – Jesus Christ Dumped From Jury Pool

What? You read it correctly. Jesus Christ can no longer serve jury in Birmingham, Alabama. You would think the Bible Belt would have more respect. Don’t worry Jesus the Christ was not dumped, but female named Jesus Christ, formerly known as Dorothy Lola Killingworth, was dumped. The Associated Press reported this story on December 1, 2009 and were unable to find Jesus. Hmmm… Maybe they didn’t knock?

These are just 12 of the wacky, weird and sometimes outrageous stories reported on the web in 2009. There are plenty more stories from around the world that may even be wackier and weirder, so search the net and be amazed. Have a laugh, shake your head, snort, or scream at the wacky and outrageous things people do. Have a happy New Year!

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12 Tips for Entering and Winning Recipe Contests Take Your Big Chance!

You just heard about a recipe contest where you can win a year’s supply of home delivered meals or a professional set of cookware and kitchen appliances, or spectacular trip which includes a visit with a famous television chef and free lessons to a prestigious cooking school. Or maybe the prize is simply cash in the amount of hundreds or thousands of dollars. And all you have to do is submit your favorite recipe for a salad or fish or maybe your favorite holiday treat. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so you naturally want to give it your best shot. Follow these 12 simple tips to maximize your chances at making a dream come true.

1. Every contest has a set of rules. Read the official contest rules and read them again. Print the rules and using a highlighter marker, highlight the deadline, the method of entry, and what kind of recipe is called for. Pay attention to entry limits. Some contests limit entries to one entry per person, or one entry per household, or one entry per category. For example, there may be a recipe contest for using peanuts and there are four categories, one category for desserts, one category for snacks and appetizers, one category for entrees and one category for quick and easy salads. The recipe contest may allow you to enter one time in each category, giving you a total of 4 chances to enter. It is important to follow the rules so you don’t disqualify yourself, but also have the opportunity to maximize your chances of being chosen.

2. Analyze the how the contest will be judged by using your highlighter to highlight that section of the rules. There will probably be a percentage breakdown of originality, creativity, taste, appearance, ease of preparation, or any other characteristic the judging agency deems important in determining the winning recipe.

3. Analyze the prize structure. The contest may have advertised a particular grand prize that caught your interest, but there may be other smaller prizes that also catch your interest. For example, maybe recipe contest finalists will receive a gift certificate to Williams and Sonoma or some other cookware store. Maybe recipe contest finalists will receive a gift card to their favorite grocery store. Or maybe recipe contest finalists will receive a years worth of a particular food product from the company sponsoring the contest. You will also note the values of each prize and you can determine if this is a prize you are willing to pay taxes on, because all prizes are taxable and need to be reported on your annual income tax.

4. After you determine you want to enter the recipe contest, take a piece of paper and jot your ideas on what kinds of recipes you would like to enter. You will later have to narrow that down to what you feel meets the recipe contest rules and criteria. Don’t rush to enter your recipe, let it brew in your mind, especially if you have days or weeks or months before the deadline. Your initial thoughts may completely transform into something else as you let time pass.

5. The recipe you want to enter may be one you have cooked a thousand times, but for the purposes of the contest, you are going to have to write the recipe in an articulate format that communicates exact measurements of ingredients and method of preparation. Don’t trust your memory, instead set aside a time where you are going to cook your recipe contest entry so you can document each ingredient and a set of step by step instructions. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step because there may be some crucial trick or mention of a procedure you may have otherwise forgotten to include in your instructions.

6. If you are creating a new recipe, you will want to try it out and not just write what you “think” sounds tasty. Use your family members or friends to taste the finished product and get their opinion. You may need to adjust sweetness, or cooking time, or something else to perfect your recipe contest entry.

7. Don’t copy someone else’s recipe. Recipe contests generally want an original recipe and most contests deem 4 significant ingredient changes as what makes a recipe unique. Use your imagination and your own cooking style to create a unique recipe.

8. Title your recipe. Choose a name that accurately describes the food you created using some of your unique ingredients. For example, did you create a spinach salad using strawberries and peanuts? Then perhaps a recipe name such as “Strawberry Splashed Spinach Peanut Salad” would be a great recipe name.

9. Use ingredients that are easily available to the general public. The sponsor will likely want to use the winning recipes for a recipe booklet, or their website, or maybe print it on a label of one of their products.

10. If the recipe contests allows a picture, and it is optional, then by all means take a picture of your finished product. It can only help your contest entry, not hurt it.

11. Recipe contests often call for noting specific sizes of cookware and bakeware used. So when you use the optimum size sauce pan or skillet or muffin pans, or lasagna pan, look on the bottom of the pan to note the size. If you are not sure of the size, then visit a cookware store online and you will see the common and available sizes.

12. Keep a copy of all recipes you write for recipe contests. If it doesn’t win, it may be used for a future recipe contest. And if it does win, you may have forgotten what you wrote by the time the winners are announced. Also be aware of the contest rules whether you give up the rights to your recipe just by simply entering the contest.

Good luck and have fun! A contest is a game and you can’t win it, unless you’re in it!

Writing A Winning Essay

product Review of Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware

product review
A look at 4 nonstick frying pans

Tags:12 Tips for Entering and Winning Recipe Contests Take Your Big Chance!

12 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

Not every kid is anti-broccoli, but enough of them are that parents are buying books on how to hide vegetables in other foods. Thankfully, there are other ways to get your kids to willingly eat vegetables without having to hide them.

Here are 12 tips you can use to broaden your child’s dinner repertoire:

1. Take your child to a u-pick farm. Learning about where their veggies come from and picking a few will make children more likely to eat them willingly. If you don’t think that a visit to the squash farm will be a hit, make it into a trend. Start by picking cherries and strawberries in the summer and apples in the fall.

2. Make trying new vegetables into a competition between your children. When one of your children tries a new vegetable, praise her for being the most adventurous eater. Her siblings soon will fall in line and want to be called adventurous and brave, too.

3. Turn him into a sous chef. Getting involved in the cooking process changes children’s feelings about vegetables. Have your child chop, slice or dice a new vegetable to be included in that night’s dinner, and praise him for his fine work. He will take pride in it and want to eat some of the vegetable that he chopped.

4. Bring animals into the mix. One reader of Wondertime Magazine said she tells her daughter what kind of animal would eat the foods on her plate. For instance, a bunny would probably enjoy the salad with carrots. The association probably helps the little girl imagine the creature sneaking bites off her plate, which makes the food irresistible to her, too.

5. Re-name it to something more fun. Those aren’t Brussels sprouts, they’re giant’s toes! Broccoli florets are really trees in a fairy’s forest.

6. Spice it up. Most people put butter on their vegetables, but your kids might enjoy adding salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or parmesan cheese instead. These low-calorie options will allow your kids to get a nutritious meal while enjoying the taste a little more.

7. Throw it into the sauce. You don’t have to mask bits of spinach or zucchini in a good spaghetti sauce. Create your own signature pasta sauce with vegetables. Chances are, your kids won’t ask what’s in the sauce if it tastes good anyway. If they do ask, don’t lie, but tell them you’re glad that they liked it. They might start thinking of the vegetable a little differently.

8. Visit the grocery store together. Seeing the brightly-colored produce section might inspire your child to reach for a new vegetable. If your kid likes fun shapes, introduce him to artichokes and star fruits.

9. Make vegetables fun. Another Wondertime reader said she inspired her kids to eat veggies by taking them to a pottery store and letting them glaze their own vegetable bowls.

10. Provide tasty dips. Baby carrots taste much better with hummus. Broccoli sings in low-fat ranch dressing. And don’t forget the old stand-by of peanut butter and celery!

11. Plant a family garden. When kids work hard to grow a vegetable, they will want to eat it.

12. Make vegetables into a pre-dinner snack. Put out a few bowls of baby carrots and baby tomatoes while you’re cooking dinner. If he’s really hungry, he’ll head for the veggies.

Silva, Mary, How to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables. Dr. Spock.
Staff, Less Whining, More Dining. Wondertime Magazine (not available online).

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12 Steps to a Successful Book Club

Book clubs have grown in popularity during the past decade. When starting a book club it is important to take several key steps to insure a successful book club. Follow these 12 ideas to start and run a successful book club.

  1. Include a diverse group of members.

When you are looking for people to join your group, advertise in a number of different places for new members. For example, do not limit yourself to only emailing people you know. Put up flyers and information sheets at local places of business, college campuses, schools, gyms, etc. Online networking is also a great way to find new members. Advertising in a multitude of places will encourage people of different backgrounds, experiences, and contributions.

Encourage people to bring friends and relatives to the group.

  1. Organize yourselves.

    An initial meeting to map out the details of the book club is a must for any successful book club. This meeting should be held annually and should not be a time to discuss books. Instead, use this time to discuss the aspects of the book club from where the club should meet, to the annual holiday party details. Invite all of the members for an initial, informal meeting. Ask each member to bring three (3) book ideas they would like to include during the upcoming year. Look over everyone’s list. If three or more people are interested in reading the same book, jot it down in the “to be read” list.

  2. Use themes.

    Themes can keep the book club fresh and exciting. When planning your reading schedule, consider the time of year. If you are looking for a winter classic, try reading Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol.” You might also consider a theme where you read books only from the best sellers list, classics, mysteries, romance, etc. You might consider reading classics one year, a series (i.e. Harry Potter) the next year, etc.

  3. Re-evaluate the success of the book club once a year.

    Revisit your organizational meeting to evaluate the success of the book club. Use this time to work out details for the upcoming year. This includes what books will be read, where the club will meet and when, who will be in charge of the snacks for each meeting, additional meetings for movie nights, social get together, and charity or volunteer work (ideas and time schedules). Be willing to make changes as the club grows and changes. Part of running a successful book club means being flexible and open to growing and changing. The interests of members may change including the types of books being read and the way the conversation goes during the meeting.

    Another area to review is the membership. If you have some members who are not very dedicated to the club, you might ask them to re-consider their commitment to the group and consider opening their membership slot to other people interested in the group.

  4. Choose a central location.

    If some of the members have to travel great distances (especially in cold or inclement weather), membership may drop. Homes, coffee houses, libraries, churches, schools, and bookstores are all possible places to hold a book club. Keep in mind where members work and live and try to accommodate as many people as possible. If your group is a large one, you might have trouble securing a space to meet in public every week. If your group wishes to meet at certain coffee houses or book stores, call a few weeks in advance and ask the manager to reserve space for your meeting. This is the best way for your group to secure seating, preferably in a quiet area with enough seating. If you will be meeting at member’s houses, be sure there will be enough parking and chairs for the meeting. If members of the group have small children, consider chipping in to hire a babysitter or two to watch the children during the meeting. Maybe consider asking the babysitter to read to the children so they can have their own book club.

  5. Stay in contact.

    Use email to stay connected in-between meetings and events. Use a blog or invitation-only group online (such as Yahoo! Groups) to stay connected. You can use this to post schedules, upload reading guides, remember birthdays, organize snacks, and share other pertinent information. allows you to keep track not only of scheduled meetings, but group members can let everyone know they will be attending, or that something has come up and they will not be at the meeting. This website also allows other potential members from the local area who share the same interests find you and get to know the group before meeting up.

  6. Use movies made after books you’ve read to enhance the discussion.

    After reading a book which was used as the base of a movie, consider adding an extra meeting to the schedule and make it a movie night. Make it extra fun by including the families of members. If the movie is for adults only, hire a babysitter to show children their own movie based on a book. Have everyone chip in for dinner and plan to get together on a weekend for higher attendance.

  7. Use handouts when assigning reading.

    Conduct some research before the meeting to assign the next book and put together a handout for book club members. Handouts help keep otherwise busy people organized. Handouts can include a slip of paper at the end of each meeting detailing the name and author of the next book to read. Check the back of the upcoming book for book club questions and suggestions. Include these in the handout with room for people to write their thoughts and reactions. If the book your group is reading does not have a section for book clubs, do an online search for the information. Try looking at the author’s website for information on the book. Devise your own questions based on articles and interviews found online to give out to book club members.

  8. Use food to enhance the reading.

    Is your book club reading a book based in Russia? How about serving some gazpacho at your book club meeting when reviewing the book? Are you working on the Harry Potter series? Consider serving some tea and biscuits as a snack. The food you serve may depend on where you are holding your book club meeting. If you are holding your meeting at a coffee house, consider sending each member home with a goodie-bag including a bag of tea and crumpet. Goodie-bags work when you have to meet somewhere other than a book club member’s house.

    Food and snacks allow members to be creative and curb hunger and make people comfortable. Something about having a drink (even water or soda) can make people feel more comfortable talking and keep them from fidgeting in their pockets. When making a schedule of book club meetings and deciding which books to read, make a list of possible snacks to go along with each book. Ask different members to contribute to the food and beverages. Split these details up so not all food and beverage choices land on the shoulders of one club member each week.

  9. Give back to the community.

    Use your book club as a chance to introduce other people to the love and joy of reading. At your organizational meeting, decide on ways group members can give back to the community outside of the book club. Members can take turns reading to children at the local library or offering an adult literacy class. Other ways for your club to give back to the community include bake sales for charity, book drives, book sales, and volunteering at local charitable organizations.

  10. Continue inviting new members.

    Do not feel as though you have gathered a group of people who work well together as book club members, you have to stop allowing and inviting new members. People’s lives and schedules change. This means members who used to make every meeting suddenly have new family commitments, education and work schedule changes, and other reasons for not making the group any longer. Continuing to invite new members will keep the book club alive and healthy.

  11. Socialize with other members outside the book club.

    It is tempting to talk about personal lives, families, issues, and interests during your book club meetings, but this will get the group off topic, getting away from the reason for the club. Socializing outside of the book club meeting times will give members a chance to get to know each other and build friendships. Hold non-book club related meetings at certain times of the year. You may wish to invite book club member families to join the festivities. Social activities include holiday parties and cook outs. Decide what activities you would like the group to hold during your organizational meeting. Ask certain members to work on these activities outside of the meetings so you can stay on topic during your monthly or weekly meetings.

    Book clubs are great for meeting new people and learning about books and authors. By assembling a variety of members, properly planning, and incorporating families into the club, a successful book club is within reach!

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12 Ways to Add Intensity to Pushups

To many personal trainers, the pushup is simply a warm-up tool for very fit clients. “Go do 20 pushups, and then we’ll get started,” or, “Let’s spend the last minute of the session doing pushups.” In other words, pushups aren’t usually considered in the same way as bench pressing, or decline dumbbell presses.

Yes, a man or woman can develop the prowess to knock off 50 pushups like nothing, but this doesn’t mean that pushups must be the runt of the litter when it comes to value as a main routine. A fit person may be able to bench press 100 pounds for 50 reps, also, but does that mean that benching is assigned only as a warm-up or cool-down?

Pushups can be modified in many ways: pushup variations. The following routines (no particular order) are for people who have excellent upper body/shoulder conditioning, and who can already easily do standard men’s pushups for reps with good, stable form.

Elevate feet. Place feet on a bench instead of the floor, and then see how many pushups you can do. If you can still knock’em out, place feet on something higher, like a plyometric stool.

One-legged. See how well individual can do pushups with one leg curled back, while the other is on the floor or even propped up on a bench.

Fingertips and knuckles. The classic upgrade is doing pushups just off the fingertips or knuckles. Place feet on bench or stool for added intensity.

Clapping. Clap between reps.

Partial/isometric reps. Go up only half way and hold there for several seconds to 10 seconds before lowering.

Two medicine balls. Place hands on medicine balls and do pushups off of them.

One-medicine-ball alternations. Person places one hand on the ball, other on the floor. After each rep, individual rolls ball to the other hand just in time for the other hand to push off of it.

Hand-hopping. As individual pushes up, he springs up with enough momentum so that his hands leave the floor, allowing him to shift in one direction so that his hands end up elsewhere, i.e., his left hand ends up where his right hand was. On the next rep, he springs up again and returns to the original hand location on the floor. He keeps alternating this way, while his feet stay planted. Tougher variation: A medicine ball stays below centerline of person’s torso, and person alternates hands on it.

Pushup/row combo (pushup rows). Place 15- or 20-pound (or heavier!) dumbbells on floor, same distance person places hands for pushups. Person places hands on dumbbells, pushes off of them, and at the top of each rep, lifts one dumbbell up in a bent-over row fashion (while other hand supports body as in a one-armed pushup), then places it on floor while body is still in the up position, then lowers and does another pushup; then at the top of this next rep, rows with the other arm. Each row counts as half a rep. Make sure person does not rotate body outward while in the up position during the rowing; torso must squarely face floor. This will be difficult for some people. An easier variation is to row both arms in between each pushup.

Assisted resistance. Partner straddles person and places hands on person’s upper back (not middle or lower back), and applies resistance as individual pushes up. Partner can also place a weight plate on person’s upper back.

One-handed. Place free hand behind back throughout the pushups.

Pushup/sprint combo. Individual does whatever pushup modification brings on failure within 6-12 reps, right next to a treadmill. Immediately after pushups, exerciser gets on treadmill and runs 10 mph for 30-60 seconds (vary speed depending on person’s conditioning; add an incline). Do not hang onto the machine. After the run, walk it off for a minute, then do another pushup/sprint round.

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1,200-Calorie Weight-Loss Plan for Women


Eating just 1,200-calories daily helps women effectively lose weight, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, or NHLBI. However, the NHLBI also notes that active women and those weighing more than 164 pounds may need up to 1,600 calories daily to safely lose weight. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week when following a reduced-calorie weight-loss diet.

Protein Recommendations

Women need at least 46 grams of protein per day, notes the Institute of Medicine. However, since protein helps you feel full, boosting your protein intake is often helpful during weight loss. The Institute of Medicine suggests it’s safe to obtain up to 35 percent of your intake from dietary protein, equaling 105 grams daily when following a 1,200-calorie meal plan. Healthy, protein-rich choices include nonfat Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, cottage cheese, egg whites, soy products, poultry, seafood, lean meats, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Carbs and Fat Needs

Cutting bad carbs — such as sugary drinks, sweets, syrups, white bread, white rice and baked goods — and unhealthy fats, like high-fat meats, full-fat dairy foods, butter, margarine, shortening and fried foods, and can help you stick within your 1,200-calorie daily allotment. Get at least 130 grams of carbs daily and obtain 20 to 35 percent of your calories from heart-healthy fats — such as plant-based oils, nut butters, olives and avocados. Choose fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables to help fulfill your daily carb needs.

1,200-Calorie Meal Plan

A well-balanced 1,200-calorie weight-loss menu for women provided by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 includes 4 ounces from the grains group, 3 ounces of protein foods, 2.5 cups of dairy products, 1.5 cups of veggies, 1 cup of fruit and 4 teaspoons of oils daily. This meal plan also allows you to eat 121 extra calories — from foods of your choice — each day.

1,200-Calorie Menu

A healthy breakfast includes two slices of whole-wheat bread, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, one-half cup of blueberries and 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt. For a morning snack, try a small orange. A healthy lunch might include 2 ounces of grilled chicken breast, one-half cup of brown rice, 1 cup of cooked asparagus and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. For an afternoon snack, try 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese. A healthy dinner might include 2 ounces of baked tilapia, one-half cup of cooked quinoa, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 cup of skim milk. This daily weight-loss menu provides 1,204 total calories.

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12 Ways to Stop Asthma Attacks Without Using Drugs

Obviously, the best method for stopping an asthma attack is using the medication prescribed to you. However, there are times when an asthma attack may strike and your medication is not available. This means that you must try to stop the asthma attack on your own. This can be very scary, because you can’t feel like you can breath, and it may be hard to concentrate. There are twelve methods available to help stop an asthma attack.

1. The best thing is to try to not panic. Staying as calm as possible will help your muscles keep from tensing up and making the attack worse. Relaxing your muscles will help your body allow the air to come in to the lungs and help make breathing a little easier.

2. It helps when you push the air out of the body. Although this doesn’t make sense, it really does work. Pushing out the old air will make you feel better and will give you something to concentrate on. Pushing out the old stale air may force whatever triggered the attack out of your body.

3. Inhaling slowly and steadily while trying to calm down will help you breathe a lot easier. While doing so, breathe in as much air as you can.

4. It’s a good idea to practice these breathing techniques when you are not in the middle of an asthma attack. Ask your doctor the best thing to do. Count to ten while breathing in and out several times a day and this will give you the practice you need to handle an attack when it comes.

5. Learn what triggers your attacks and try to keep those substances away. Was it cigarettes, cigars, or certain cologne? Was the room you were just in dusty or moldy? There are many different types of triggers to asthma and if you can figure out what it is you can eliminate the source.

6. You may have allergies that are contributing to the asthma attack. Talk to your doctor to get medications that will keep the attacks to a minimum.

7. Cleanliness in your home will help decrease the amount of asthma attacks. Vacuum and dust several times a week. Wash chairs, tables, sofas, and televisions with a wet rag. Dry rags simply move the dust around and don’t remove it from the furniture.

8. Keep your pets clean and brush your pet every day. Pet dander may be the cause of your asthma attack.

9. Don’t add moisture to your home, unless your home is dry. Moisture adds to mold and can trigger an attack. Moisture may make it easier to breathe but can cause the possibility of mold to increase in the house.

10. Use man made pillows rather than feather ones. Remove down cushions and quilts to get rid of dust mites. Blinds work better than curtains and hard wood floors are preferred over carpet for removing dust in the home.

11. Keep the doors and windows closed and the air conditioner on. This will keep dirt, construction dust and pollen out of the house and lessen the chance for an asthma attack.

12. Finally, cover the mattresses, pillows and box springs with dust covers to keep the dust mites from entering your home. Wash all your linens once a week in hot water as well.

The best thing to do is to take action before an asthma attack occurs. Keeping your environment free from allergens is a great way to prevent asthma attacks. You may want to try yoga in order to practice breathing techniques. Talk with your doctor and they will help you discover the best way to diminish the amount of asthma attacks that you have.

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12 Worst Eagles Draft Picks of the 12 Year Andy Reid Era

Andy Reid is a great talent evaluator and a number of the Eagles draft picks have worked out very well under his watch. For as many that panned out, even more have failed. Below are the 12 worst draft picks of the 12 year Andy Reid era.

12. Victor Abiamiri, 2nd Round, Pick #57 2007.

Abiamiri was the Eagles second pick in the 2007 draft. He has so far produced very little and the Eagles have been forced to pursue a better answer at Defensive end. Abiamiri has totaled 20 tackles and 4 sacks in 3 seasons with the Eagles and his future with the team may be in doubt.

11. Chris Gocong, 3rd Round, #Pick 71 2006.

Chris Gocong was selected by the Eagles without being fully sure of what position they were going to play him at. Was he a defensive end or an outside linebacker? Truth is he was too small to be a defensive end and to slow to be an outside linebacker in a 4-3 system. Gocong never fit in with what the Eagles were trying to do, and he was traded before the beginning of the 2010 season to Cleveland.

10. Matt McCoy, 2nd Round, Pick #63 2005.

McCoy was drafted as a possible starter at weak side linebacker and never panned out. He was a decent special team’s player, but you don’t take a guy in the second round to be a career special teamer. McCoy played three seasons with the Eagles with his best being in 2006 when he started 10 games and totaled 54 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. McCoy became a journey man after his stint with the Eagles, he played one season with New Orleans, two with Tampa Bay and he was in Seattle last season.

9. Ryan Moats, 3rd Round, Pick #77 2005.

Moats was an undersized running back that the Eagles believed would fit their West Coast style of offense. He only played two seasons with the Eagles and barely saw the field. He played in 15 games, starting only 1, carrying 77 times for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns.

8. Matt Ware, 3rd Round, Pick #89 2004.

Matt Ware was supposed to be the nickel corner that solidified the Eagles defensive back field. He had the size to play the position and had the potential to be a very good cover corner. Instead he never worked out, he played a total of two seasons with the Eagles and had a combined 27 tackles and 0 interceptions. He has since played 5 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, and well that defense could use some help.

7. Billy McMullen, 3rd round, Pick #95 2003.

McMullen listed at 6-4 and 215 pounds, had the size and potential to be the over the middle, go to wide receiver the Eagles needed. He never grasped the offense and tended to drop more passes then he caught. He played three seasons with the Eagles totaling 22 catches for 294 yards and 1 touchdown.

6. Quinton Carver, 2nd Round, Pick #55 2001.

The Eagles under Andy Reid have never been very good at selecting linebackers in the early rounds. Carver is the poster child for the Eagles woes at this position. He only played two seasons for the Eagles totaling 12 tackles. In his six year NFL career he had a total of 64 tackles…that’s it. He has been out of the NFL since 2006.

5. Barry Gardner, 2nd Round, Pick #35 1999.

After selecting his best pick of his career, Andy Reid’s very next pick was one of his worst. Barry Gardner fits the mold of high linebacker picks that never panned out for the Eagles. He played 4 seasons with the Eagles and was never impressive. His last season in the NFL was in 2006 when he played for the Patriots totaling 0 tackles.

4. Sean Andrews, 1st Round, Pick #16 2004.

Sean Andrews was a beast coming out of college; he was going to be a starter on the Eagles o-line for years to come. Andrews actually worked out quite well from 2005 through 2007 starting 47 games and making the pro bowl. It all went downhill in 2008 and he was released by the Eagles following the 2009 season. From pro-bowl to cut in two years, the Eagles best offensive lineman was now off the team due to off field mental issues.

3. Freddie Mitchell, 1st Round, Pick 25 2001.

Fredex was dubbed as the wide receiver the Eagles long coveted, but he never lived up to the hype, most of which came from his own mouth. He played a total of 4 seasons in the NFL, all for the Eagles and only started 17 games. For his career he totaled 90 catches for 1,263 yards and 5 touchdowns; that’s what the Eagles expected out of him for a single season, not a career when they drafted him. Freddie Mitchell was all talk and no production and has been out of the NFL since 2004.

2. Reggie Brown, 2nd Round, Pick #35 2005.

Reggie Brown was supposed to be the answer that Freddie Mitchell wasn’t. Instead he was almost the same guy, just with less talk. Reggie Brown had better career numbers then Freddie Mitchell, but I rank him higher on this list because he had more potential there for he had more to lose. He played 5 seasons with the Eagles, totaling 177 catches for 2,574 yards and 17 touchdowns. His lack of speed and in ability to pick up Reid’s complicated offense brought Brown’s career as an Eagle to an early end.

1. Jerome McDougle, 1st Round, Pick #15 2003.

The Eagles took yet another shot at the defensive end position early in 2003, selecting Jerome McDougle. McDougle had some promise and I have to admit that I bought his jersey, (waste of money). Taking a look at who was drafted after McDougle makes matters worse, Pick 16. Troy Polamalu, 24. Dallas Clark, 31. Nnamdi Asomuga all would have looked a lot better in an Eagles uniform. McDougle played four injury plagued seasons with the Eagles, one missed for being shot in the stomach in Miami. He totaled 29 tackles and 4 sacks before being cut by the Eagles in 2007. He is in the running for worst Eagles draft pick of all time.

Andy Reid has hit on a few picks with some great success and missed on just as many if not more with some tremendous flops. This year’s draft will be another test of Reid’s talent evaluation, let’s hope he gets it right.


Tags:12 Worst Eagles Draft Picks of the 12 Year Andy Reid Era

12 Ways to Avoid Food Poisoning

You may know your healthy food choices… but, are you choosing your foods wisely? If you think that eating outside your home puts you at more risk for food poisoning, think again. Studies say that a lot of food poisoning cases happen right at someone’s very own home. Maybe, you have a fillet mignon in your fridge that is already spoiled and you simply don’t care about expiration dates. Should you really care?

You have to get rid of any food that is rotten – No Excuses! But when it comes to expiration dates, it can mean very little. Keep in mind that once food is harvested, it is up for deterioration and it can be anytime, specially in a storage place where there is heat and moisture. You don’t really want to eat contaminated food. Food poisoning can give you that unpleasant feeling, and it can be deadly in some cases. There are many factors to food poisoning like how the food is grown, bacteria, parasites, food processing, food storage, and food preparation. How you wish you just don’t eat at all.

How to Avoid Food Poisoning

The ugly truth is that our bodies need food to survive. You can avoid food poisoning by taking extra care and following these steps:

1. Cook well your meat, dairy, and eggs. Use a meat thermometer to know if your meat is well done.
2. Check the expiration date of meat products before you even cook it. Try to avoid eating it raw.
3. Make sure to choose only the freshest sea foods.
4. Don’t be shy to send back a meat for re-cooking when you dine out, specially when it is undercooked.
5. Put leftovers quickly in your fridge to avoid heat and moisture spoiling it.
6. Use antibacterial soap when washing your hands, cutting boards, or handling knives.
7. Skip anything made of unpasteurized milk.
8. Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating or cooking.
9. If you are suffering from diarrhea, don’t handle food or prepare it for others.
10. Try to avoid soft cheeses like feta, Brie, or Camembert.
11. Make sure to cook leftover foods well.
12. Reheat your cold cuts thoroughly.

If you need more information on how to prevent food-borne diseases, you may always get in touch with the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( www. ).

In the end, you need to choose natural, organic, and safe food to get a foot forward in preventing food poisoning. By starting to take the habit of awareness in the foods we eat, we can definitely avoid the risk of many food borne illnesses out there. Don’t just rely on expiration dates as they can be misleading. These dates can make you feel confident that your food is safe to eat, but always trust your gut instincts. Focus your efforts in making your kitchen safe from malevolent bacteria like Salmonella and E-Coli. If something doesn’t simply taste right, it may not be good for you. Trust Your Taste Buds!

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1,200 National Guard Troops Heading to Mexican-U.S. Border

It seems that perhaps Arizona has gotten a temporary edge in the infighting over the issue of immigration problems at the Mexican border. President Barak Obama, under pressure, has ordered 1200 National Guard Troops to the U.S. Mexican border. This was done before Republicans could force a congressional vote on the issue. It should be emphasized that Obama’s actions in sending the National Guard to the Mexico-United States border was as a result of pressure and the probability that there was not going to be reform passed before the end of the year. So far Obama has simply been critical of Arizona attempts to protect their border.

Erica Werner and Jacques Billeaud, Associated Press Writers, have posted an article titled “Troops to the Mexican Border: Obama to supply 1200.” This action is going to cost $500 million. Again, Obama has acted because it would appear that his goal for immigration reform is not going to get done this year.

President Bush had sent several thousand troops to the border in 2006. With their loss over time there has been a renewal of both human and drug smuggling as well as violence which had carried over into the United States as well.

An article I wrote recently reports rather than take responsibility for Mexico’s problems Mexican President Calderon blames the United States for their demand of drugs and criticizes us for taking action to protect our borders from illegal immigrants.

Even though Obama has finally acted the actions are highly measured and weak. They equal about 20 percent of what John McCain thought we should have. McCain, being a military person, probably has a better idea of what would minimize the violence.

I do not expect a strong response from the military because I do not think Obama’s heart is in it. I think what you are going to find happening is exactly what the reference article suspects will happen and that is that the National Guard will just play a supporting role.

It should be noted that the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, thinks that her signing of the immigration reform legislation lit a fire under Obama. I believe that is true although how effective troop involvement will be remains to be seen.

I would add here: Is this what people who were against the Arizona legislation really want, federal involvement in terms of “troop strength.” Wouldn’t it be better for all concerned if the state involved could pass legislation and then modify it as time went by?


Tags:1,200 National Guard Troops Heading to Mexican-U.S. Border

12 Year-old Boy Climbs 50 Highest Peaks in America's 50 States in 50 Days

12-year-old Matt Moniz completed quite a feat this summer while most kids his age were relaxing. His summer vacation consisted of climbing the 50 highest peaks in the 50 United States, in 50 days to raise awareness of pulmonary arterial hypertension disease. A disease his best friend suffers from. “We’re trying to raise awareness so either we can get a cure or we can raise money for all the bills,” Matt told a CBS reporter.

The 50 in 50 in 50 expedition began on June 3, 2010 when Matt and his dad, Mike reached the summit of Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Their plan was to reach the highest point in all 50 states within 50 days or less. On July 16, 2010 they completed their adventure by climbing Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Matt and his dad’s official time was 43 days, 2 hours and 8 minutes, breaking the previous speed record set by Mike Haugen of 45 days, 19 hours and 2 minutes. To make the trip possible, the 50 in 50 in 50 expedition had many corporate sponsors including Mountain Hardwareand Leki.

This is not Matt’s first challenging expedition. In 2009 Matt and a team of five other climbers planned to climb 14 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. They named the expedition 14fourteeners. The goal was to climb a total of 36,846 vertical feet, giving the climbers the physical experience of what a patient with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension suffers from every day. They did it in eight days.

There is controversy surrounding the climbing community and others regarding the age at which young climbers and other extreme sport enthusiasts should be before taking on these challenges that most adults wouldn’t even think about. Matt Moniz seems to be doing things the right way, for the right reasons. Matt told CBS News that his next greatest challenge would be the 7th Grade.


WorldClimb7 Website Highest Points in the United States Google Map

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