How to Save a Bad Relationship - 5 Easy Tips to Save a Bad Relationship With Your Partner


5 Easy Tips to Save a Bad Relationship With Your Partner

1) Acceptance - The first thing that should be done is for you to sit down with you partner, somewhere quiet where you won't be distracted and talk to them. They may not even be aware that you consider your relationship to be bad. You should each confide to the other the reasons why you are unsatisfied with the relationship and how you feel about it. For your relationship to recover you must both accept that you may have a problem.

2) Focus - If possible, try and focus in on the problem. Maybe you fight with each other, maybe your communication feels very artificial and forced, or maybe there is a feeling of disinterest from one or both of you. You need to know what the problem is before you can fix it.

3) Time Out - Sometimes a bit of timeout is good for everyone. Perhaps spend a week or two away with a friend and allow both you and your partner some time alone. This can give both of you a chance to realize how much you miss and love each other, and allows some time to clarify thoughts and feelings. A bad relationship may merely be a stressed one, spend some time apart for a little while and you will feel the benefits when you return to each other.

4) Recovery - Think back to when you both first met, what did you love about each other, were there any activities that you both enjoyed doing together? Relive these times, go out on your first date all over again with each other, feel like that love-struck teenager you were the first time you met, you will soon realize why you fell in love.

5) Maintenance - Make sure you can spend quality time together doing an activity you both enjoy. Something as simple as a nice walk once or twice a week can be very therapeutic for yourself, your partner, and you relationship. The amount of time is not important here it is the quality that matters, so make an effort, this is your soul mate we're dealing with!

Best Snacks For Dieters - Snacking While on a Diet


Perhaps you wake up at night feeling a few pangs of hunger and check the time only to find that breakfast time is hours away. Still, you have that gnawing feeling inside, those hunger pangs stay unsatisfied for as long as you choose to ignore them. It is decision time.

You either have a snack now and go back to sleep, or you stick out, count sheep and try to go back to sleep. If you choose to count sheep. let me tell you, you are in for a sleepless few hours.

What are some guidelines for snacking while on a diet?

If you have a calorie chart with your diet plan, you want to choose something wholesome, that will leave you feeling satisfied afterwards, and aim for something of about a hundred calories to meet the need.

Some healthy suggestions are: A slice of wholemeal bread with a low sugar conserve, of strawberry perhaps. Low fat yoghurt or low fat cheese with carrot batons. These are ideal to control your blood sugar levels.

As long as you keep to healthy food choices when snacking you won't go far wrong.

The need for a snack can arise anytime of day, not just at night. Apples are excellent for fibre. They are easy to digest and refreshing. They are easy to take with you as well and you don't need to worry about how you store them.

A banana is very filling and makes me feel full for hours after eating one. You could try adding a little something special such as ice cream to a few slices of banana, as a mini treat, to keep you going.

There is no need to starve yourself when dieting, and there are lots of healthy and wholesome choices for snacks.

Break-Up - Feeling Trapped and Heartbroken?


I'm sure you've seen at least once a fly knocking its head against a window over and over again, trying to get on the other side of it. The fly doesn't stop to look for another way. It just keeps on hurting itself, desperately trying to escape. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming they say that "if you keep doing what you've been doing, you will keep getting what you've been getting". In the same way, if you keep thinking how you've been thinking you will keep feeling how you've been feeling, because feelings are created by the way you think and talk to yourself.

Imagine for a second that you are in a maze and that you are trying to get out of it. Well, the walls of that maze are your limiting beliefs, which set the limits of where you can go and what you can do next. The more limiting beliefs, the more walls, the less space for creative thinking. If you are in a truly difficult life situation that puts you in a maze that is already far more complicated than any other maze that you have ever gotten out of, a maze that gives you only a few ways out...AND you block those few ways out with limiting beliefs that you don't even know you have, then you're doomed to be trapped in that maze for the rest of your life, just like the fly is doomed to be trapped inside its own maze, because it cannot see the transparent glass.

Some women end up heartbroken after a break-up and some don't. How is that possible?

Well, it's possible because the break-up itself can only push the button. The bomb is in your own mind. You're the one who is creating it with your own thoughts and limiting beliefs. So remember: After a break-up, "it's your own thoughts that get you in the end." And there are a few thoughts and limiting beliefs (like "You can find true love only once in a lifetime") that if you tweak, the entire domino of suffering that keeps you trapped and heartbroken...will stop, and you will get back your peace of mind.

Drinking Green Tea to Lose Weight?


Green Tea helps in weight loss programs because it contains ingredients which help to speed up the body's metabolism. And of course, when the metabolism speeds up, the body has the ability to burn calories faster which not only aids in weight loss, but helps to increase energy levels. It also slows the body's ability to store fat and sugar. Drinking it helps to reduce the appetite.

There are lots of ways to incorporate green tea into your diet. Instead of drinking coffee and regular tea, brew a pot of green tea. You can drink it hot or let it cool down and refrigerate it for iced tea. If you prefer carbonated drinks, you can purchase cans of it. You can even get them in different flavors. You just want to be sure that you are choosing products that do not have a lot of added sugar, which can keep you from losing weight.

If you do not care for the flavor, you can always get the supplements. You can get the same benefits from the supplements as you get from the drinks. The supplements allow you access to Green Tea even when you do not have access to the drink. You will need to take the supplement three times a day before meals.

For those times when you cannot brew a pot of tea or if you are somewhere that drinks are not allowed, you can always chew some green-tea gum. Most of the available gums are sugar free so that you can have them whenever you want. However, there is only minimal weight loss effect.

There is also a Green-Tea Patch. All you need to do is to place the thin patch on a hairless part of the body. The green tea will infuse itself into the body. You can wear the patch for up to 48 hours and the adhesive is strong enough to stay put in the shower.

Other benefits of Green Tea include reducing cholesterol, stabilizing blood pressure, reducing stress, increasing mental capabilities, works as a digestive aid, is an antioxidant, and helps to delay the aging process.

Why Can't I Quit Smoking? Why is it So Hard?


Quitting smoking is generally seen as being somewhere between hard and impossible. While this doesn't have to be the case, many peoples' beliefs prevent them from finding ways to quit that aren't perilously difficult.

Society as a whole has smokers such as yourself convinced that stopping is very difficult. The tobacco industry plays up the supposed good sides of smoking (such as confidence and maturity) while making sure that you keep your blinders on towards the risks of smoking.

Even with the whole ban on tobacco advertising, your subconscious is still hit with all of these reminders about the upside to smoking.

The funny thing is that there isn't an upside to cigarettes. Before you dismiss this as a bunch of baloney though, hear me out. The reason why you feel more confident when you're smoking is because by inhaling nicotine, you're reducing the effects of nicotine withdrawal. The very problems that you believe smoking solves are, in reality, created by it instead. Every time you light up, you're setting yourself up to feel the anxiety, emptiness, and uneasiness that cigarettes supposedly cure.

In short, the supposed benefits to tobacco are, in fact, a sad fallacy. Their belief is reinforced by the tobacco industry and, worse, other smokers. Any time someone tries to quit, fails, and smokes again, they go on about how good that one cigarette felt, because they could finally stop torturing themselves.

It doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't even have to be difficult to quit. At worst, it has to occupy a few hours of your time.

Want to read more about how easily you can quit? Take a look at this review of one of the leading methods for quitting smoking. Even the worst chain-smoker can be cured in just a few hours by reading over this guide.

Creating the Illusion of Space With Mirrors


One of the easiest, and often most cost effective tricks in interior design, is creating the illusion of space with mirrors. Unfortunately, for many homeowners it is also one of the most overlooked or misunderstood ways to open up or brighten a space. Placing mirrors haphazardly around a home won't cut it. There are certain ways and places to position these objects that will increase the chances of creating the illusion of space with mirrors.

One of the best ways of enhancing or creating the illusion of space with mirrors is to position them so that they reflect brighter or more appealing areas. These more eye-pleasing features could include picture windows, furnished spaces, or spots where more light is available to brighten the area, bringing its finer features to light. Using mirrors in this way can draw the eye from darker and less pleasing aspects or areas of a room and focus them on preferable spaces.

Another great way of creating the illusion of space with mirrors is to cover an entire wall. Now this doesn't mean covering the space with a multitude of smaller mirrors, but instead using a single large mirror, or sectional mirrors, to trick the eye into believe the space actually extends further than it does. You may have noticed this design characteristic used in many restaurants, and it is indeed a feature that seemingly expands the size of many smaller dining areas.

There are several things one should take note of when creating the illusion of space with mirrors. Overdoing it by hanging too many mirrors, can be distracting, disorienting, and create a "house of mirrors" type effect. It is also important to note when creating the illusion of space with mirrors, that typically it is a good idea to keep mirrors close to eye-level in order to maximize their effectiveness. Having them placed too high, too low or being blocked by other objects, can reduce the mirror's overall impact and give an odd appearance. Adding mirrors can at times detract from a room, so it is important to ensure they are added only when and where they are needed.

Sue Krippner is a Free Lance Artist, Home Staging and Redesign Professional. She is attracted to "all things beautiful, especially as it relates to interior decorating and design.

Michael Jackson VS Elvis Presley


Who was the best?

To be frank they were both brilliant entertainers in there own right.

Elvis Presley

Elvis was a singer from the 1950's through to the 60's and 70's and died at the age of 42 on 16th August 1977 at his home at Graceland of Cardiac Arrest and not a Heart Attack as was reported. Elvis left one daughter Lisa Marie aged 9. Elvis had suffered from glaucoma and water retention in the past and the effects of years of American Southern cooking and legal use of drugs prescribed by his physician, which ultimately lead to the singers death. Elvis played racquetball in the morning before he died. He returned to his home and played Unchained Melody in his living room, then he proceeded to his bedroom, so Elvis seemed to be quite fit as he was preparing for another concert tour.

Michael Jackson

Michael was a singer from the 1960's, 70's, 80's, 90's through to 2009 when he died at the age of 50 on 25th June 2009 at his home at Holmby Hills in Los Angeles, he also died of reported cardiac arrest. Michael left 3 children Prince Michael, 10; Paris Katherine, 9; and Prince Michael II, aka "Blanket," 5. Michael suffered for years from a skin disorder vitiligo, a rare disease that discolors the face and body, plus he had many cosmetic surgery operations at least 20, to change his face as he was unhappy with his features especially his nose, probably as a result from physical and mental abuse in his childhood. Jackson probably died as a result of all the stress and anguish of the years of accusations and resulting court cases over the last 10-15 years. Michael was apparently fighting fit two days before his death, as he was preparing to play a 50 date concert at the O2 Arena in London, England. His body most likely couldn't take the strain of the rehearsals.

Difference between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack

A heart attack is when the heart becomes irregular and there is circulation problems. A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating and happens without warning. Though they are both deadly, a cardiac arrest needs treatment within minutes if not seconds, where as a heart attack can come on more slowly, as long as the patient is made comfortable they can survive long enough for help to arrive, but I must STRESS this is not always the case as every situation is different.


The difference between the two singers, you can't really judge as Elvis Presley started it all,he was the original music rebel, as John Lennon said 'If it wasn't for Elvis Presley, there would be no Beatles" he was known as the King of Rock'n' Roll, a title given to him by his fans.

Michael Jackson is what started the video era, even today's music videos do NOT have a patch on any of his videos, even the ones from the 1970's. The King of Pop is the self-proclaimed title MJ gave himself.

All in all they both were geniuses in there own genre giving fans and the World music they loved, movements and dances that are and still original, which nobody can imitate, even though they spawned thousands of imitators, tribute acts, impersonators (imps) or whatever you want to call them. There will NEVER be another Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson.

Philip Tosini Has been involved with Health and Fitness for the past 30 years and Internet Marketing over the past 12 months. I am relatively new to Internet Marketing following great mentors like Andrew Reynolds, Ewan Chia, Michael Chaney and Mike Filsaime to name but a few.

Keeping Young Children Safe


Innocent children are very vulnerable to injury. At a young age, they cannot understand what is dangerous and what is not. Being curious explorers, they take great efforts to make new discoveries daily. While it is developmentally healthy for a child to investigate their world, they can often run into harm. Therefore, it is the duty of adults to protect them. Unfortunately, many children die because of preventable accidents. One of the most important things a parent can do is to make sure any area the child has access to has been thoroughly child proofed.

While you can child proof your home at any time, it is imperative that it be completed prior to your infant becoming mobile. The average age infants start to crawl is six months. However, children vary in growth patterns, so you should have your house baby proofed before six months of age. You do not want to be caught unprepared if you child starts crawling at an early age.

To prepare your home, cover all electrical outlets and install latches on the cabinets. The hot water heater should not exceed 130 degrees Farenheit. This will ensure your water cannot come out of the faucet at scalding temperatures that could burn your baby. All poisons, medicines, cleaners, and chemicals should be kept in their original packaging and locked up. Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers such as the doctor, poison control, and police department on the refrigerator door. Install gates at stairs and windows. If your house is not already equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, purchase these now. Also, be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand. Cover any sharp edges on furniture and anchor big pieces that could tip over to the floor.

To prevent slips and falls when your little on starts walking, back your rugs with non skid backing. Be sure nothing your child cannot have is at a low level. This includes anything breakable or little items that they can put into their mouth and choke on. Chords from blinds and appliances should be out of reach. Do not let your child close to any hot appliance. Keep doors to bathrooms closed to prevent your child to having access to water. If you have a pool, make sure there is a locked gate, so your child cannot get near it.

Two Speed Reading Techniques


There are a number of speed reading techniques that you can learn quickly. The key to their effectiveness is not just in how well you understand the idea, though, but in how much you actually practice them. Here are two to get you started.

Forced Speed

Simply forcing yourself to read faster is one of the primary techniques you will learn from any good speed reading course. Our minds are able to see and process a lot of information at once - much more than we realize. To train yourself to do this, you can start by simply forcing yourself to read faster.

Running your fingers down the pages as you read a book can help you control your pace. Start at your normal speed, and see how long it takes you to read ten pages. Any clock or watch can be used to time yourself. Then force yourself to read the next ten pages twice as fast, by moving your hand down those pages faster and following along as well as you can.

Practice this "double speed" reading several times. Then try it even faster. The key here is to not worry about comprehension. You are just training yourself to use a different pace. Comprehension will improve in time. In fact, if you spend an hour reading extremely fast without any concern for understanding what you're reading, and then try to return to your normal pace while making it a point to understand what you're reading, you'll find that you cannot help but read faster now, with no loss of comprehension. The practice of speed alone changes the way you read.

Peripheral Vision Training

Of course, we habitually read a word at a time, but that isn't the only way we can read. With practice we can start to "see" and process whole phrases, sentences and more. To do this you need to work on your peripheral vision - your ability to see and process things to the right and left of you point of focus. When you no longer need to move your eyes back and forth so much, you will find it easier to read faster.

To develop this skill, allow your eyes to take in a whole chunk of text - even a whole sentence - all at once. You can even try it right now as you read this. You'll find that you do not actually need to move your eyes to see eight, ten or more words at a time. As mentioned, reading one word at a time is just a matter of habit, not necessity.

Again, your hand or fingers can help. Run your fingertips down the middle of the page when reading, and try to keep your eyes following down the middle as well, while still taking in the words to either side. This is definitely more difficult than the forced speed exercise, but you will notice improvements with regular practice.

After you have practiced that a while, put the two speed reading techniques together and time yourself again as you read ten pages of a book. By the way, a novel is probably best for these exercises, rather than a book full of technical information. Even an hour or two of practicing these techniques should increase your reading speed noticeably.

Microsoft Certification - Way to Become Successful


Most of the IT professional nowadays dream to become an expert in their field, to become a specialist and to become certified. In order to become certified you need to have this sort of paper as a proof to the people that you are an expert in field, and that paper is the Microsoft Certificate which has the ability to boost your skills to the millions of employers nationwide. Microsoft Certification is a certified qualification in all Microsoft application but they vary in their levels.

All you have to do is to take the Microsoft exam of your choice and enhance and develop your learning in that field. Take the exam and become certified if you have pass successfully. Microsoft certifications are given to anyone and it's for everyone who wishes to expand their skills and their qualification in the field of Microsoft technology. Once you are a certified IT professional you can expect a great opportunity for you in the field of business or you can choose to build your own business because you are already an expert in your field. You are already capable of the different skills that an IT professional should have, having the certification says it all.

You can choose the certification as a professional icon in order to make you recognized and give them the reason to become an associate of your business. Microsoft certification will help you expand and improve your job prospects, because you have the certification that will show off your abilities in terms of Microsoft technology to the employers. You can still achieve different kinds of Microsoft certification if you only want to. Just undergo trainings and pass the exam, and it will not be hard for you to pass the exam and be certified in another Microsoft certification.

Don't hesitate to take the pain and be one of the most successful Microsoft Certified Professionals!

Home Security - Fire and Smoke Alarms


Fire alarms detect the presence of fire and smoke, but that's not all. They also alert occupants for evacuation purposes, notify emergency response authorities and even initiate procedures to slow or halt the spread of fire. There are a couple types...automated and manual. Automated systems will be triggered automatically upon detection whereas a manual system must be initiated by a person once the threat has been detected.

So how does one determine their fire alarm needs? There are a number of factors that will help you to determine this. Budget, building or Fire Marshal codes and even Homeowner's Association guidelines can play a role in arriving at your needs. Be mindful that insurance companies will provide discounted premiums for homeowner's who install some form of fire/smoke detection systems.

A basic system will utilize key components: power source, back-up power source, control panel, manual (pull lever) or automatic triggering device (smoke or fire alarm) and an audible/visual signaling device (this is the alarm and/or flashing lights).

Installing a smoke and fire detection system is a good start to protecting your home, it's contents and your loved ones. However, establishing a monitoring service is the critical "next step." For a monthly or annual fee, an alarm monitoring service will provide 24 hour per day support. When an alarm is activated, it will alert the monitoring service, typically via a computer interface. The alarm company will dispatch the proper emergency response teams (typically fire and police departments). In some instances, the monitoring company will also dispatch their own personnel.

There are a number of nationally recognized companies that specialize in the design, sale/lease and monitoring of fire alarms. Being a very competitive industry means that prices are generally quite reasonable. Take the time to secure a minimum of three estimates to insure you find a provider you're comfortable with. When hiring a full service alarm company, the homeowner will normally have an option to lease or purchase the equipment. Be diligent when considering which option is most practical.

Bob Garret writes numerous articles for Web sites on home security, personal security, and home automation. For more of his useful articles on security, please visit Home Security supplier of home security products and systems.

Backup a Computer Online


Online Backup is the backup of computer data to a physically remote storage location using the internet as a transport mechanism. It is the safest way to maintain your precious data. It is one of those affordable tools that no small business or regular user can do without. It is important for any size of business or person, because it can include consistent backup for laptops, workstations and also complete protection for business applications and servers. Most online services are good, value for money service and most come with free upgrades. It is an ideal solution for all disaster recovery needs because it is a digital medium with built-in redundancy. Another aspect is that they are quite easy and convenient to use.


The main reason to backup is to copy your data so you don't want to risk losing backup. Doing it online is most useful because they can be accessed anytime and anywhere an internet connection is available. Many backup software systems allows you to protect your data if your hard disk fails or files are accidentally removed due to hardware or software malfunction.


Regardless, how you lose the data, recovery of these files is quite simple when you use an online data backup system even, if you may have lost your computer. In addition, this back up technology can be completely automatic and you are given access to these files only with the help of your unique password and identification. It does not matter how you lose your data, files marked for backup are copied and immediately and encrypted before going anywhere during transmission to remote servers offsite. Most files are compressed prior to upload, which allows more storage for the same price.


Today, rapidly changing technology, the need for continuous education, and limits on time and resources make managing IT an arduous task. Over the years the technology has developed and matured to the extent that non-technical users can easily and reliably protect their data. Unfortunately there are people who use technology to take advantage of the unsuspecting and the best thing anyone can do to keep the internet safe is to educate themselves on the types of risks out there and protect yourself in the event that you are infected with a virus, malware, scareware etc.

In conclusion, online backup is becoming more of a common practice and is becoming a crucial component to any comprehensive data protection strategy. The way to make a reserve copy of the data without interrupting personal or business activities is to use hot database online backup technology. It is cheaper, faster and better than tape backup, plus it is a green technology because it is not as wasteful as the regular local mediums due to the fact that many people are using a bigger system that uses less hardware for the same amount of needs. There is a great review on a great online back up service here Check them out and see for yourself that this is a great service that could be invaluable to you in the future.

Prepaid Credit Cards - Pros and Cons


What do you do if you need a credit card but can't get a lender to grant you access to this extremely convenient little piece of plastic? Until recently your hands were tied if you found yourself in this situation. Of course you could sometimes get a debit card with your bank account but these were never as widely accepted and sometimes carried high expenses if you wanted to use them on your travels.

Thankfully we now have a solution and its one that a surprising number of people have never heard of. The Prepaid credit card is works in much the same way as a regular credit card except that you are not actually making use of a credit facility when you use it. That's because you fill the card up with cash before you spend it. If you haven't top up your card with the required cash then you can't make the purchase.

These differences give both advantages and disadvantages to the end user. If you have problems controlling your finances and often get into trouble with regular credit then this might be the solution you have been looking for. Because you can only spend the money you have put on the card you can be tempted overspend when out on a shopping spree. The negative is that you may find yourself running out of cash in situations where you would normally have no troubles with a regular credit card. Or course, all cards have their limits even when its on credit so you just have to learn to forward plan your finances a little.

With the convenience afforded by prepaid credit cards and the added safety in comparison to carrying around large amounts of cash its easy to see why they have become so popular. If you are finding it hard to get a regular credit card you may want to give them a try.

The Meaning of Friendship


Friendship is about bonding. It is about reciprocating the care you receive from a person and at the same time respecting the other persons view. A friend does not judge you by wealth or position, he or she is there with you during your bad times. He is like the pillar of strength you can rely on and also share your apprehensions about the various aspects in life. Friendship blossoms each day and one must make time to strengthen the bond.

Days and events are important during friendship. It is vital for us to remember the important days in our friend's life. Friendship is also about trust. One is able to open up freely to the person who is your friend because you know you will not be judged. It is fine to express your inhibitions and also seek the advice of your friend but at the same time friendship is also respecting the other person's predicament. Many a times the friend is not available owing to familial reasons or other commitments and jealously can mar the fragile bond of friendship.

Situations in life often make us realize who our true friends are. We may be surrounded by a group of people whom we meet but it is only with a particular person we are able to relate. This is because there is a certain chemistry, understanding and also respect which you find in this true friend. It is our duty to bring a friend to the right path but too much of criticism will spoil the friendship.

We choose different vocations and reside in various locations and hence friendship gets separated owing to distance. Communication lines are accessible to all of us who want to connect with a lot of friends. Friends from our Alma Mater, friends from our previous jobs and also friends who have migrated to different lands can be contacted easily with the help of technology. There are No excuses in friendship.

The test of friendship is during critical circumstances. When you are down and out the best friend is still next to you. He or she gives you the biggest support with kind words and assures you that life is truly a great gift. A good friend is a rare gem and we need to polish this bond with the goodness of friendship.

7 Ways to Plan a Low Cost Wedding


Weddings are expensive affairs. Whilst you want to have everything perfect for the day you also don't want to be bankrupt. So how do you get the best of both worlds? Well, there are some simple low cost wedding tips that you can use which will allow you to have a great wedding on a shoestring budget.

  1. Low Cost Venues: If you want to have a larger wedding, then you will need to have a good sized venue. Instead of hiring a cheap ugly school hall, rather think outside of the box when you need to cut costs. What about a garden somewhere or a park that allows weddings. You could have your wedding on a beach nearby or even in a forest. Some of these will be free venues, but if you do have to pay, the costs will be far less than at a hotel.
  2. Affordable Gowns: The wedding gown is by far the most important part to any bride. They long to feel like a princess, but with the price of gowns, you might be thinking about an ordinary white day dress or evening dress from your local store. Well, don't worry. There are ways you can get affordable wedding gowns just like you pictured. Ask around at bridal boutiques for the mannequin dresses, find sales, look online, and try second hand gowns. These will all help cut costs without compromising on your ideals.
  3. How to Afford the Flowers: Flowers are expensive so one simple way to afford them is to use silk flowers. These might work out cheaper depending on how many you need. You can also go for centerpieces that use something other than flowers and just opt for a single flower on each table with candles instead.
  4. Cheap Wedding Favors: If you want to find cheap wedding favors, the best bet is to make them yourself. Give people a thank you that is personal and special. You can make seed packets, make a craft that you are good at, or just write a special note and place inside an organza bag with a bite size chocolate.
  5. Cutting Cake Costs: The cake is a huge part of the wedding, but also costs a lot of money. You can cut costs by having a small cake as the display and then a large plain sponge one for the guests to eat. You can also create the tiers with lots of mini cupcakes instead. You could get a friend or family member to make these.
  6. Meal on a Budget: The meal is the most expensive part of the wedding. If you have budget issues, then don't hesitate to do away with the three course meal and choose a buffet or lamb on the spit. You can also do a morning or afternoon wedding and serve snacks instead which are cheaper.
  7. Cheap Decor: The decor makes any wedding special and creates the perfect mood. To decorate cheaply find things you can use from your home or ask friends to help. You can borrow off cuts of fabric from a store, or find out about hiring decor items like candle sticks and fabric.

With some creativity, you don't have to settle for a boring small get together at your house after all!

Breast Cancer Gene Therapy - How Does it Work?


Scientists have begun to explore gene therapy as a possible candidate for breast cancer treatments. To give you a clue of what this therapy might be, it's basically the delivery of gene(s) to cancer cells in the body. Injected genes have a direct effect on changing the malign cell behaviour.

The therapeutic genes as they are called are delivered to cancerous cells via vectors (or carrier vehicles). Think of them as computer programmers, who reprogram the bad cells. They basically deliver therapeutic healthy genes to cancerous tissue. This is as close to curing the cause of the malign tumour as modern medicine can get.

However, the greatest constraint in this therapy in general and specifically for breast cancer is an optimal delivery vector. There is extensive research seeking to optimize therapeutic gene delivery to cancerous cells combined with other different available therapies. It is hoped that gene therapy will limit the toxic side effects for the patient undergoing other treatments.

Gene therapy for breast cancer definitely has a big potential, even for today. Either when used in conjunction with another or as a sole form of treatment it can already be applied today. The success rate percentage data is hard to find from good sources, but this therapy is definitely worth of your attention. Through this treatment it is possible to explicitly target cancerous cells only and attempt to kill them. Also, gene carriers will continuously travel in the blood to seek cancer cells.

Genes play a central role in the breast cancer development. Statistics show that hereditary breast cancer makes up approximately 5% to 10% of all types. Some scientists believe that gene therapy is the most effective means of treating this type of cancer and it may accomplish more desirable results than any other available treatment.

Reasons Why Cats Can Lose Their Hair


When we have pets we never think of the challenging maladies that they are susceptible to. We know that they need to have frequent trips to the vet to make sure that they do not have ring worm or fleas - but we never think about how they may have cancer or other such problems.

One disease that your cat can suffer from is alopecia - or hair loss. It might take a month or two to observe that all or parts of your cat's body has lost large quantities of hair that does not look to be coming back. This problem may be induced by several different things.


The most potential cause for hair loss is an infection that is going through their bodies. It is feasible that they contracted a fungal or bacterial infection from a different cat or from other things. Ordinarily the vet will consider the possibility of ringworm when it is a kitten or a much older cat that has the disease. They might also have folliculitis - which is a rare bacterial infection that hurts the cat's hair follicles.


Older cats often begin to over groom themselves. When they do this they pull out their hair in large bunches. This condition is known as psychogenic alopecia. The most popular grooming regions that are impacted is the back and lower part of the legs. One of the main reasons that they do this is because of stress. It is manageable that the stress is coming from their owners neglecting or abusing them.


The cat's body has the ability to at times develop too much or too little hormones causing the cat's hair to thin out. If they have troubles with their thyroid this can cause their ability to repair and re-grow the hair almost impossible. Cat hair loss can also be attributed to the adrenal glands malfunctioning and developing large amounts of the cortical hormone.

Eat Away Your Stress


What you put in your mouth in the name of food and drink has direct effect on the totality of your being. Bad nutrition strains your digestive system and puts excess pressure on the heart.

In this generation we are always in a hurry and we live a busy lifestyle which makes us to depend on ready made foods such as frozen foods, tinned and packaged foods. We don 't have the time to prepare and cook fresh meals that will add vitamins and nutrients to our body.

We know but we choose to forget that all these ready made foods are all refined products which does not give us adequate nutrition because all the essential components are missing. In their unrefined form when they are cooked we gain vitamins which can help us boost our energy.

Even the "fresh fruits and vegetables" which are supposed to be the best source of essential vitamins and minerals, once they have been packaged,

Drinking of water gives us plenty of energy while drinking too many cups of tea and coffee causes nervous breakdown, exhaustion and headaches.

To live a stress free life change your diet to one that boosts your energy. Drink plenty of water everyday. It may take some time to get used to this new pattern of eating and drinking, but once you get used to it you will feel the difference physically and mentally.It may be a bit difficult at first to drink a lot of water because it was a bit difficult for me too, but you will get use to it.

Win Your Ex Girlfriend Back


Do you know how to win an ex girlfriend back? When a woman has left a man, she probably has a good reason. You have to be prepared to battle for her heart if you want to win her back.

Winning an ex back takes some time and planning. When a woman leaves a man, there is at least in her mind a good reason. Like a battle you have to plan to win her back, but the battle is for the heart. Where is your relationship at? Is your relationship at the beginning, middle or the end? Are you teetering toward the end or is it over?

Your girlfriend may want to start the relationship again and it might be time for a fresh start. Look back at your relationship and try to remember if there were problems that kept on creeping up. If there are, how can you fix them before you go forward. A relationship has a beginning, a middle and an end, so the question is are you in the middle and just taking a hiatus or is it really over and you are at the end?

Analyze and decide why you feel so lonely. Is it because she is simply not around you and you need some type of companionship or is it that hole she fills that only she can replace.

Its important that you become needed by her. At one time she really had a need to be with you. Do you remember when she fell in love with you? The things you used to do was centered around her and you were interesting. The time you spent attracting her back then has come to a stop or your not doing as much. Taking care of yourself was priority, because you wanted to attract her.

Become the person you used to be and see if you become interesting to her again.

Its a good idea to figure out what you are going to say to her after your break up. Picking the wrong words can change the relationship from then on forward. She may have some feelings for you still, harbor them and treat them delicately Irritating her is not a good idea.

Do you have any good memories of your relationship? If you do then find something to remind her of the good times. Wear something to get her interested, maybe an article of clothing that reminds her of a happy time. Get together for a lunch time break or a drink.

Try to mirror her words and body language. If she uses an uncommon word, try to work it into the conversation yourself. If she places her left hand on her cheek, do the same. Don't overdo it or be obvious, but this kind of "mirror imaging" gets you back in sync.

Another way to get her attention or to at least make her feel good is to send her a birthday card or congratulations card on a job well done at work.

By following these seven steps, you should be able to win your ex girlfriend back. As long as you are still on friendly terms, you can use your friendship to become romantic once more.

How to Get Your Man (or Woman)


If you wish to have a love in your life, because you wish, you will. And, because you know this is true, smile until you do.

There are too many people out there without a close friend or a loved one in their life. Yet as life on the outside gets tougher, colder and more demanding, the needs of the heart become even greater.

We all need warmth and we need to share our warmth. The sun in the sky warms us on the outside, of course, but it is the sun on the inside that really warms us. It is the sun in our own hearts that likes to shine, expand and share its contents. It also likes to receive the same. Why not? That's the way we are constructed. A heart is not meant to languish. It needs to be used and exercised. Love is the answer.

Why are there so many people without love in their lives? Too busy? No! Too disconnected? No! Too discouraged? No! Too unworthy? Not really! Too afraid of rejection or being hurt? Not buying it! It is forgetfulness!! They've just forgotten how to use the heart. Again, love is the answer.

Love first and all good things will come to you, including that special person to be in love with. That's the thing: be in love right here, right now.

What about love? Love is that effervescent feeling that wafts from the heart, leaving you on top of the world and better for it. The beauty of the heart is that it is so close. Open its door and let the contents spill out. Practice on small things like a flower, a peach, a dog, then move to grander targets like a walk on the beach, a starry sky, or a heavenly concert. Beyond this, that love can grow to all sorts of things and all sorts of people, until the whole day is filled with love.

Not only is the heart close, but it is in the center of a person, more precisely, is the center of a person. So, as a person loves, he or she benefits by its emanations first and foremost. Those vibrations go through the loving person on the way to something or someone outside. That's how to be in love. Create your own ocean of this good stuff. Let it fill every nook and cranny of yourself and then spill out to all that is around you. At that point your special person, who is meant just for you, can't help but show up. He or she will be caught up in the stream and whirled into sight.

So there, go ahead, be in love now, and then you'll be ready to truly be in love with. Because you know this is true, smile until you do!

9 Diet Tips You Can Count On


Here's are 9 diet tips you can count on to help you get on the right track to eating healthier and developing good eating habits. Spending half our Sunday's preparing meals for the week just doesn't seem all that practical, so you can try following these simple steps!!!

1. You'll need to get rid of your canned veggies and switch to frozen veggies instead. Canned vegetables are extremely high in sodium and very low in nutrition. Purchase the economy sized bags that you can get small potions from and then zip the bag back up for safe storage.

2. Get yourself a vegetable steamer. Steaming your vegetables is one of the best ways to cook vegetables. When you steam veggies, almost all of the natural nutrients are retained instead of seeping out into boiling water. This, of course, makes your veggies taste much better therefore you are much more likely to eat them rather than filling up on the same old food that's causing you to gain weight.

3. Are you eating out a lot?? Food portions at restaurants are usually much larger than they should be. When we were kids we were taught to "clean our plates", a rule most of us still stick to today. If at all possible, try ordering from the kids menu where the portions are much smaller.

4. Try keeping some healthy snacks around that you can access easily. On your kitchen table you should have a bowl of fruit at all times. In the fridge you should have plenty of carrots or celery sticks accessible. At your office you should have a couple of pop-open cans of fruit or some breakfast bars in your desk for those times you get sudden hunger pangs. What I'm saying is that you need to keep good, healthy food at your finger tips, not candy bars or chips or cookies.

5. Drink plenty of water. In order to keep your body working properly, the FDA recommends that you consume at least 64 ounces of water per day, approximately 8 glasses. It's not only to make you feel full, but water is great for cleaning out your system, helping your food to digest properly and keeping you hydrated.

6. If you don't really want to join a gym, then find some friends who would like to exercise with you. Try getting together 3 times a week or more to go bowling, play volleyball or play tag football or soccer. You guys can even go for a walk or jog for about a half hour a day.

7. Your meals should be spread out during the course of the day. When you eat just 3 meals per day, your body stores whatever it doesn't use. If you eat 6 to 8 small meals instead, you'll be able to keep your metabolism working all day long. Try eating a small breakfast, some fruit at mid-morning, a small lunch and a healthy snack at mid-afternoon, and then a small dinner. Try to remember that you're just breaking up your eating habits to keep your metabolism working. You don't want to add extra food to your daily intake.

8. Instead of drinking carbonated beverages, you should try a piece of fruit or some flavored water instead. Carbonated beverages are nothing more than a bunch of empty calories that are loaded with sugar and no nutrients.

9. Stop eating chips, cookies and candy bars. These types of foods only contribute to excess fat, calories and sugar, sodium and not much more. Try grabbing some dried fruit or some yogurt for a much more nutritional snack instead.

Article written by: David L. Donaldson

Losing weight and fat have got to be the hardest thing there is to do !!! I got tired of struggling with my weight so I took action and got to work on it and this is what I found. There are many ways that you can lose weight these days. The Internet offers hundreds of weight loss and diet programs that can help you in your up-hill battle. I have found some answers to curing my problem and so can you.

Chemicals in Traditional Shampoo


Traditional shampoo has harmful chemicals that effect your scalp. Your scalp is a very sensitive part of your body and can absorb harmful chemicals more easily than other areas of your body. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a cleanser that is used in the majority of traditional hair care products all over the world. The chemical is used as a detergent in our hair and foams up to create a lather that removes grime and dirt. Both sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate can be found as two main ingredients in any shampoo bottle. Take a look at your shampoo, chances are these ingredients will be on there!

Both of these ingredients are cancer-causing agents. However, the cosmetic industry has deemed both ingredients safe for use. Another chemical that you should avoid in your regular every day shampoo is cocoamide diethanolamine and ammonium laureth sulfate. These two chemicals often make up two-third of all traditional hair care cleansers. If you want to focus on organic hair, all of these chemicals should be avoided.

Did you know that many shampoos that claim to be organic are actually not? Even some shampoos that claim to be organic have harsh cleaning agents that will affect your scalp. Many organic and green stores carry hair care products that contain the same ingredients that are in regular shampoo. Sometimes, marketers will claim that an organic shampoo that is "derived from coconut" when in reality they are just talking about the ingredient sodium laureth sulfate (it has coconut compounds in it). For the best hair, use organic shampoo.

Important Components of a Computer


Now-a-days computers are extensively used in different fields of life. Everybody needs a computer because without it, one can not progress in this computerized world. Every person should know the basic information of computers. It is a complex machine but nothing is impossible in this world.

What is a computer? It is basically a combination of hardware and software. Hardware components of computer are the parts you can touch. A computer has many parts such as monitor, CPU, keyboard and mouse.

1) CPU(central processing unit)
It is the most important part of the computer. It controls all the functions and programs. It contains small chips made up wires and semiconductors. Other hardware components are motherboard, control unit, RAM and ROM, CD and DVD ROMs, floppy disk, VGA and adapter cards etc.

2) Monitor and speakers
Monitor is a device used to display the text, videos and images. Back in the days very big monitors were used but now-a-days small monitors are used. These small monitors have more advanced features than the older ones. A huge variety of flat screen monitors is available in the market. Many flat screen monitors come with speakers. Over some time, Demand of these monitors has increased.

3) Keyboard and mouse
Keyboard and mouse are both input devices. These devices are used to input data into the computer. Keyboard is mainly used for typing. Mouse is only used to point and click on the icons.

All the above components are very important. You can also install other components to your computer such as USB ports and modem.

Chlorine in Drinking Water - How You Can Get Rid of It


Numerous scientific studies that have been published over the years starting as early as in the 1960s all seem to agree that chlorine in drinking water can be quite dangerous for your health.

As you probably know, public water authorities have been adding chlorine in tap water to disinfect it by killing disease-causing bacteria. The sad truth, however, is that chlorine has its dark side as well: It has been clearly linked with atherosclerosis (the gradual hardening of the arteries leading to heart diseases and strokes) and cancer.

To be more specific regarding cancer, what is happening is that chlorine in drinking water might combine with organic matter at the stage of chlorination, i.e. before it reaches in our home plumbing system. What are produced from this chemical process are trihalomethanes (THMs for short), or haloforms. These chlorine by-products are known carcinogens.

Now, the percent concentration of these THMs is supposed to be under the close scrutiny of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the government body that sets the standards for drinking water quality. The sad reality is, however, that in several instances this concentration exceeded the set limits.

So, having said the above, what can we do to get rid of chlorine in drinking water (including its by-products), or at least, reduce its concentration?

What I recommend you should get into the habit of doing are the following:

1. Every time you open your tap, always let the water run at full flow for ten seconds, then slow it down to half flow or less. Running at full flow will flush out the pollutants that have grown onto your faucet components and reducing the flow will make it less likely that any other pollutants will be detached later.

2. To be even more reassured, you can always heat your tap water to a rolling boil and keep it there for three to five minutes. However, most people find this measure too impractical and time consuming. What's more, this procedure results in concentrating all the lead is in the water and then it must be refrigerated if it is to be used for drinking.

3. To just remove the taste of chlorine in water, you can do two things. You can keep the water in an uncovered pitcher for several hours to allow the chlorine odor and taste to dissipate, or you can aerate the water in a blender.

Nevertheless, you should agree with me that none of these methods are very effective or practical to implement in the long run.

What I strongly encourage you to do is investigate the option of investing in a high quality water filtration water, like I did. What you have to make sure is to study its performance sheet to ensure that it is effective (at least 95%) at removing both chlorine and its by-products.

Safe Water Bottles


Lately it has come to light that it is very important to use safe water bottles, which most are not. Now, of course safety has degrees and we may be talking about relatively minor levels of poison in the long run, but especially in the case of babies this is an issue that must be taken seriously. I suspect that as time goes on our society will realize more and more things that we have created out of plastics, etc. have been subtly harming us.

Let's first take a look at the most common form of water bottle. This is the kind that all off-the-grocery-shelf bottled water comes in. It is not safe, by the way. Have you ever bought one of these in a gas station, supermarket, or elsewhere? It is also the kind that soda comes in.

The reason these water bottles aren't safe is because they're made of polyethylene terephthalate which is also known as PET. This plastic isn't necessarily harmful in and of itself, but over time it can break down and start leaching Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, or DEHP. This is where the problem is. DEHP is a probable carcinogen, which means that it probably leads to cancer.

So this can get into whatever you are drinking, especially if you re-use the bottle. (A lot of people save money by re-using their bottled water bottles in this manner.) Bacteria can breed in cracks in these bottles, too. Not very safe!

In my quest to learn about safe water bottles I also discovered that the kind that athletes use are not safe either. They are made of polycarbonate. Oh yeah, this is also what baby bottles are made out of. They leach a synthetic hormone called BPA.

I started to think that maybe there just aren't any safe water bottles. Then I learned about a slightly out of the box solution: stainless steel. This is the way to go if you really want to be safe from poisonous plastics and carcinogens. With a stainless steel water bottle there is no leaching at all. It is really the only good way to go that I have been able to discover to date. You can try aluminum but you have to be sure the maker is using some sort of a protective lining. I am glad I was able to find all of this out.

Why Do Kids Procrastinate?


You just found out that your child has big project… and it’s due tomorrow!

Before you start yelling about procrastination and bad work ethics take a minute to look at the reasons why kids procrastinate in the first place.

Why do students put off a big project until the last minute? It’s not because they don’t want to do the work, or because they aren’t performing in school. Procrastination is nothing more than not understanding the steps involved in a project… it exists simply because kids don’t know where to start and because put more value on what is happening today than what will happen tomorrow.

Kids often procrastinate when it comes to homework because they don’t see how the project is relevant or important to them. When you boil it down, procrastination is a motivation, confidence, and impulsiveness issue.

When it comes to projects and assignments, kids need to understand two things in order to be motivated to get the job done:

  1. Kids need to understand how to do the project. To do this they need to use equal parts of project management and time management skills. Big projects can be overwhelming at the outset. Children need to break the project down into manageable parts such as research, writing and editing—so that they can follow step by step until the project is done in a reasonable time frame.
  2. Kids need to understand why the project is meaningful to them. Kids look for instant gratification—it’s their nature. Long-term results like getting into a good college are essentially meaningless to kids. Finding ways to make a project meaningful and relevant for them gives them motivation to get the job done today!

Helping students develop motivation for their work and a better understanding of the steps involved are the keys to helping students complete homework on time, finish projects well ahead of the due date, and put an end to procrastination for good.

No More Homework !?!


Has homework reached critical mass in Toronto?

Families across the greater Toronto Area will be on the edge of their seats in the upcoming weeks as they wait to hear whether or not Toronto District School Board trustees will make the groundbreaking decision to ban or restrict homework.

The fact that homework could be on the legislative chopping block at all is not that much of a surprise. Homework has been a thorn in the collective sides of parents for some time now as the sheer amount of homework that children face each night has been wrecking havoc in otherwise happy households.

Kids are stressed by the volume of homework they face every night, and parents aren’t too happy about it either.

Homework amounts seem to increase in direct relation to teacher cutbacks and classroom sizes. School boards are expected to do more with fewer resources and classroom sizes are rapidly expanding giving teachers less time to teach materials during class, which means that in order to meet grade standards, more and more homework is assigned to the student. Unable to teach the curriculum in class, teachers send it home as homework. Now legislators want to eliminate homework entirely.

Something’s gotta give.

No single set amount of time for homework will work either because kids still need some measure of individualized attention. They still need to learn how to prioritize tasks, how to be organized, and how to make sense of the work that they’ve been assigned.

How do you feel about the potential homework ban?

Time Management Problems


The rising sun and buzzing alarm clocks signal the arrival of morning. School bells ring to signal the start of the school day, recess, and the end of the school day. Church bells and cuckoo clocks mark the passing hours. When the kettle boils—it’s teatime. Home from school and work—it’s dinnertime. The sun sets, its bedtime.

Our lives are measured in compartmentalized segments of time slated out for us. So why is managing our time such a challenge?

We are constantly multi-tasking and splitting our time a hundred ways. We talk on the phone, do homework, surf the net, and make tea … all at the same time!

Instead of each of small task taking mere minutes, it takes much longer. Homework should take one and a half hours; instead, it takes close to four.

The hectic pace of our lives, the interruptions, and the distractions do little to help our time management issues. It is difficult to filter out the constant din of TVs, radio, instant messaging alerts, IPods, and of the clang-honk-beep-buzz of our modern world. Adults find focusing on one thing at a time challenging, so it’s no wonder that when kids are faced with a time-management issue, they have no idea how to solve the problem, and put things off until the last minute.

Like so many other skills that we need in life, time management techniques don’t come naturally to all. A little instruction and a lot of learning can help even the busiest of students to complete homework on time, finish projects well ahead of the due date, and to end procrastination for good.

Time Management: it’s a skill that we can all use, both in and out of the classroom.

Death by Multitasking


There’s a grassroots email revolution afoot.

When working on a tight deadline, there is one thing that we can all do without: interruptions. With roughly 39.7 billion person-to person emails sent daily, the time spent replying to the deluge of emails is threatening to drown productivity in offices across Canada and the US. Workers are spending more time sending and receiving emails than they are working on projects.

To help eliminate interruption and distractions, and to help workers focus on a single task at a time, CEOs of large and small companies alike are helping their employees meet deadlines by declaring one day a week email-free.

It may seem old-fashioned, but encouraging employees to talk face to face and to focus on one task at a time is a newer concept in today’s multi-tasking, wired-in workforce. Employers are hoping that by encouraging workers to spend more time face to face with fellow employees there will be a better exchange of ideas and more effective problem solving.

What Students Can Learn from the Email Revolution:

  1. You don’t have to be doing 5 things at once to be busy
  2. Shut off text messaging, MSN, and Facebook while working on a project
  3. Don’t use email to as a tool for procrastination
  4. Focus on a single task at a time for a period of time
  5. When working on a deadline, the less distractions the better

Math is stupid. I hate it.


“Math is stupid. I hate it. I’m never going to need this stuff.”

I’m guilty of having uttered each of these sentences in my life. Math was always a struggle for me, much to the dismay of my father. He was a virtual human calculator who dealt with complicated math equations in his daily life as a banker/financial advisor. Like most fathers, he looked forward to his children following in his mathematical footsteps. It wasn’t to be.

Now, in my day-to-day life words are of my most-used tools. Regardless of the profession that I chose, I still come upon math every day.

  • In cooking: ¼ cup is smaller than 1/3 of a cup
  • In Shopping: How much is 35% off of $29.99?
  • In baking: Cook a 10 lb turkey at 45 minutes per pound…
  • In Decorating: How much carpet do I need to cover the floor of my living room?

As it turns out, I did need this stuff. The teachers were right.

I wish that I had paid better attention in math class. Despite being a relatively good student, the further that I got in school, the less that math made sense to me.

Thankfully, my proficiency in other subjects was apparent (hello, writer’s craft), so I could get by without having top marks in math.

But that doesn’t mean that I ever gave up trying to get better math marks. I knew my multiplication tables inside and out, thanks to flash cards and a variety of unique learning techniques I may have been able to recite my times tables, but I never really understood them.

It’s been years since my father and I butted heads about math homework but unfortunately, not much has changed. Math is still a struggle for parents and kids because many kids still don’t get math.

It’s not because the curriculum is too hard, or the teachers are ineffective. Some kids struggle with math simply because the basic concepts of math are not relevant or meaningful to the student.

And when students don’t have a fundamental understanding of the concepts, they rely on memorization to get by.

Some kids get math naturally, and others don’t. Those that don’t have to work harder to develop a better understanding of math basics. If your child is not a natural math learner, then the struggle is trying to help your child find the link to the real world that will make math meaningful and relevant. It’s a process that can take years, but its one that is well worth it, because math doesn’t end when school does. Math has practical applications in everyday life. When the light bulb finally goes on for your child and math begins to makes sense, the struggles begin to slip away…

What do you do to make math meaningful for your child? We’d love to hear from you.

Afraid to Fail—Why Some Students Don’t Even Try.


On the subject of participation in the classroom, we’ve looked at how to encourage your child to raise his hand in class, and how participation in the classroom can improve grades.

We’ve also touched on how being shy can prohibit a child’s willingness to participate. But another big reason that accounts for an unwillingness to participate in class is a fear of failing.

It seems that there is a perception among students that if you are not 100% right, it is better to not try at all.

Which is understandable. After all school can be a very competitive environment. We live in a culture driven to achieve top grades. Parents, teachers, school boards, and even advertisers all preach the message that good grades are the key to success in life. It’s an all-pervasive message that surrounds everything that a student does. So it’s only natural then that a student who can’t compete at the A-level wouldn’t want to compete at all.

But the message that we should be sending to students is the only was to get the grades—to get ahead, to be on the winning team—is to TRY. Students need to forget the negative and focus on the positive.

We need to tell our students that it’s ok to have the wrong answer occasionally. Some of the greatest minds of our time had to fail several times before they were successful.

In his quest to find a route to India, Christopher Columbus found the Caribbean. He wasn’t the world’s best navigator, but the point here is that he tried. He didn’t give up.

Success comes from the attempt. It’s okay to be the student who puts his hand up to answer a question a hundred times and only be right once. It’s certainly better than never putting your hand up at all.

You’ve heard the saying that goes: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? It’s a good refrain to remember in life, and an even better one to remember in the classroom.

Dealing with Teen’s Report Cards


It’s report card season.

For parents of achieving students it’s a time to celebrate your child’s hard work.

For parents of under-achieving students it’s a time that is not looked forward to.

For parents of teens, it can be a whole other issue altogether. (see previous entry about how parent-teacher interviews can go horribly wrong)

Teens can be uncommunicative at best, so one school in Baltimore came up with a unique solution to talking to teens about report cards—they brought in neutral third party from John’s Hopkins who are not invested in the report card results.

The third party is objective and not likely to be upset by poor grades the way a teacher or parent is. The third party has a better chance of communicating with the teen about poor grades without the teen getting defensive or upset.

And so far, the program is working. It’s an opportunity for teens to talk formally about their progress and goals with an objective adult—a system that is especially good for teens too proud or embarrassed to ask for help.

How to Get Your Kids to Read More


Ask any random group of kids about reading and they’ll tell you that it’s boring. Reading is old news—a holdover from a bygone era. Remember when children strained their vision reading by candlelight or by flashlight under the covers? Those classic images of childhood are relics.

Kids today will more likely be remembered for their above-average video game prowess or their knowledge of browser specifications and music video streaming speeds.

That fact that today’s kids are so wired and trained by instant technological entertainment gratification— pleasure is never more then a flick of a button away—is one of the major reasons that reading has fallen out of favor with today’s youth.

This techno factor is also to blame for the fact that books don’t get the same media attention that video games or movies do. Where are the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys for this generation of kids? Sure, there’s Harry Potter and the Lemony Snicket series, but unless books garner the attention of Hollywood, they’re not likely to get the attention of children.

But why is reading books important anyway? After all, kids read enough in video game instruction and while text messaging. More than likely, the quantity of reading is not diminished by technology— it is the quality of the literature that is not up to snuff.

Reading books—in the old-fashioned, alone and quiet sense—does more than simply help to develop a strong vocabulary—it helps instant-entertainment children learn how to delay gratification. It teaches how to self-amuse and be patient and to focus on one thing at a time. Reading a book is like a debriefing for media-saturated children. It helps them be able to focus on a single thing at a time. There is a clear ramp-up time to a book—sometimes it can take two or three chapters get hooked, teaching perseverance and patience.

But more than that, spending QT with a good book helps children develop skills that will pay off in the classroom. Reading teaches the importance of seeing connections and new meanings. And one thing that video games will never be able to do is transmit the emotional development of its’ characters. If nothing else, a book teaches children how to empathize with others.

Getting your child to unplug and read a book isn’t an easy task. This article has some great tips on developing better reading habits.

Communicating in the Digital Age


Sometimes, communication isn’t about talking or reading.

Historically, icons—any sign or likeness that represents something else— were used to communicate a particular message.

Icons are used in modern times too. Think Mickey Mouse or the Smiley Face, that famous yellow circle with a smiley face in it from the sixties?

That bright and fun image was an icon of happiness.

These days, the smiley has a new face… and it doesn’t have a bright yellow background. In fact, it looks a lot like a colon and a bracket. : ) If you can’t see the smiley, tilt your head to the left.

The smiley icon evolved to fill a need in an increasingly digital society.

As society embraced the computer, the way people communicated changed. Email or text message became the norm, and the risk of miscommunication and misunderstandings increased.

One of the benefits of good old face-to-face talking is the ability to watch the other person’s face and register emotion such as sarcasm, humor, or anger. These emotions simply don’t translate in an email.

Enter the emoticon. The word emoticon is a portmanteau (a mashing together) of the word icon and emotion. Meant to communicate digitally when someone is joking or happy, the smiley emoticon turns 25 years old this year, which he’ll celebrate with a bunch of emoticon friends.

Check out this (by no means comprehensive) list of emoticons:

  • Wink ;-)
  • Frowning :-(
  • Shouting :-@
  • Yawning ;-O
  • Indifferent :-I

Board Games and Learning


In a techno-savvy world, it seems that old-fashioned board games have gone the way of the dodo. But before you put those old games out to the curb, you might want to reconsider the value of playing board games together as a family.

Playing board games is more than just an alternative way to spend TV-free quality time together. From manual dexterity to memory enhancement, board games help to develop skills that are necessary both in and out of a classroom.

And you thought that board games were just a fun way to pass time!

The best part is of playing board games that your kids will be so busy having fun that they won’t even know that they are learning!

Take a look at some of the school skills that board games enhance:

  • problem solving
  • identifying patterns
  • quick thinking
  • anticipation skills
  • vocabulary skills
  • math skills
  • confidence building
  • risk-taking
  • persistence
  • deduction
  • memory
  • decision making
  • team work

Take those board games off the shelf and dust them off—they are more than old-fashioned games, they are great learning tools!

What are some of your family’s favorite board games? We’d love to know!

Techniques for the Classroom. Lesson 3: Test Prep


It’s the middle of the semester. Tests and midterms are on the horizon, which means more than a few afternoons, evenings, and weekends will be earmarked for studying. Solid study skills that help students to make the most of study time are not a natural skill—they are learned. Unfortunately, study skills are very rarely taught in school, so most students don’t have the skills necessary to maximize their study time.

Studying is more than passively reading over notes—proper studying requires an active mind that continually questions, summarizes, and paraphrases. These 8 tips will help students study better, not longer.

  1. Get Organized. Avoid last minute cram sessions by using an agenda or calendar. Plan out a study schedule. Working backwards from the test date, give yourself plenty of time to review all materials
  2. Review with a Pen and Paper. When reading over notes, write down all the subject headings, subheadings, and bolded words. This will help provide a clear picture of the material. Plus, the physical act of holding the pen and writing makes study time active rather than passive.
  3. Ask Questions. By starting your review early, you’ll have plenty of time to ask the teacher questions about material that you find confusing.
  4. Put it in your own words. Rather than trying to commit facts to memory, try explaining what you’ve just read to an imaginary person using your own words. If you have trouble, identify key words and work around them. This process helps will help you to really understanding the material, rather than memorize it.
  5. Be efficient. Before beginning to review a chapter ask yourself what you already know about this unit. Once you’ve identified the material that you are comfortable with, study what you don’t know. A common mistake is spending too much time reviewing material that is familiar.
  6. Use mnemonic devices. To remember all items or examples, write the first letter of each example and create a sentence from that acronym. For example, to remember all the planets use MVEMJSUNP, or My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.
  7. Test yourself. Test your memory and understanding by giving yourself mini-quizzes with this self-test:
    1. read over your notes
    2. cover them up with a sheet of paper or another book.
    3. now recite aloud, or in your head, what you have just read, paraphrasing when possible.
    4. check the facts. Did you remember everything? Pay attention to any missed facts or examples. Chances are, if you missed any now, you’ll miss them on the test too.
  8. Hit the sheets. Studying for a test is a lot of mental work. By getting a good night’s sleep, your brain has plenty of time to properly organize and store what you’ve studied so that you’ll remember everything at test-time.

Sleep Habits and Academic Performance


t’s Time to Lose Sleep Over Not Getting Enough Sleep

So your kid wants to stay up an extra hour. Whether that extra hour is for TV, video games, computer time, or to complete homework, that lost hour of sleep can do more than simply make your kid grouchy the next day—it can have substantial impact on academic performance.

A recent article in New Yorker Magazine called Snooze or Lose* compiled findings from a variety of studies on sleep deprivation in children. Across the board, the results from these studies said essentially the exact same thing: a child’s number of sleep hours is directly linked to academic performance.

Children’s brains are in a growth stage until the age of 21, and the majority of that growth occurs while children sleep, so even a short reduction in sleep time—even as little as 15 minutes—can have detrimental impact on academic performance.

Some of the findings from these studies include:

  • Standardized test scores among sleep-reduced students were roughly 7 points lower than among students who got a full night sleep
  • Measurement tools showed that, during class time, one hour of sleep loss is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive growth
  • Identification of a link to high school grade points. For teenagers, 15 extra minutes of sleep can mean the difference between an A and a B

Using MRI scans, scientists are able to identify how the brain processes information at night. During the day, each separate area of the brain temporarily absorbs information, similar to a holding tank. During sleep, the day’s absorbed information is processed and relocated to permanent storage areas. And, each stage of sleep plays a different role in the processing of information.

After a particularly grueling day of class—think mental exhaustion—kids need even longer sleep time so that the brain can properly process and store information.

So, as a parent, how regimented should you be regarding bedtimes? If you are like most parents, then a strict bedtime during the week falls by the wayside when Friday hits. But one researcher found that sleep loss is cumulative and another, that every missed hour of weekend sleep creates a cumulative sleep debt.

Techniques for the Classroom. Lesson 2: Note Taking


Why is note-taking in class important? In today’s technologically advanced times, class notes are often distributed by the teacher, or available online, even for elementary students. Taking proper notes in class is the first step to stress-free review and can make study time less arduous.

With effective note-taking skills, a student can

  • remember easier
  • make associations between lessons
  • understand better
  • spend less time studying

Check out these 6 tips for better in-class note taking.

  1. Sit front and center. To take detailed notes you have to pay close attention in class. Sit at the front of the classroom. This is a great way to ensure that the teacher sees you, and can slow down while you write. Taking notes while in class—the act of holding a pen to paper is active—and helps to ensure that the brain stays actively focused.
  2. Think before you write. Note taking doesn’t mean writing down every word that the teacher says. Listen for main ideas, key words, or phrases. If the teacher hands out notes, be sure to write down any examples or concepts that are not included in formal class notes.
  3. Look and listen for clues. The teacher will often cue any important information that students need to pay extra attention to. Some clues to important information include a change in volume or tone, repetition, emphasis, making a list, or writing materials on the board or the overhead.
  4. Develop a system. Parents can help children to develop their own system. Use a color-coded system. Black for taking notes in class, blue for your own ideas, and red to summarize what you feel are the key points. Use headings to separate different concepts, and be sure to write the date at the top of every page.
  5. Use the margins. Leave extra space in the margins or along the top of the page to identify key phrases and the main idea. This is also the place to write down unique ideas, or connections to other lessons.
  6. Practice paraphrasing—that’s just a fancy way of putting it in your own words. Things will stick in the memory better when they are in your own words. Instead of memorizing the words of the teacher, use your own words to understand the notes. When you understand, you’ll remember. And when you remember, the need to study is reduced.


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