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Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Take some time out to have some fun with your kids!  Here are some helpful suggestions and ideas!

1. Build an amazing couch cushion fort!

2. Celebrate an eco-friendly Valentine’s day together.

3. Here’s a whole list of fun winter time activities for you to enjoy.

4. Parent Magazine has a large collection of activity ideas for you to pick and choose from.

5. Do you have a tiny chef in your family?  Encourage his/her culinary passion with these baking recipes for kids.

6. Want to play games with your kids and have them learn at the same time?  Check out PBS Kids for a good start.

7. And eHow has an article on how to have more family fun on a small family budget.

What are your favorite ways to have fun with the kids?

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This article was originally published by Woman’s Day.  Visit their website here.

By Dana Gottesman

Photo (c) Comstock

Photo (c) Comstock

Feeling under the weather? If you’re sick of running to the drugstore and popping pills, these 10 inexpensive home remedies may be just the alternative you’re looking for. We reached out to the experts for non-pharmacological treatments that can help resolve your minor health ailments. From colds to insomnia, fatigue to indigestion, read on to learn their advice for solving your everyday health problems the all-natural way.

For indigestion…

Pour a glass of fennel tea. Fennel can help with gas, bloating or an upset stomach, says Teerawong Kasiolarn, ND, a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, who recommends drinking the tea after meals to promote digestion. You should also take care to eat slowly, chew food thoroughly and avoid drinking very cold liquids or soda with your meals, since these factors can contribute to indigestion, acid reflex and heartburn.

For an itchy rash…

Turn to nature. Instead of using a steroid cream, why not try a plant-based cream or ointment like calendula? The cream works as a natural mild antiseptic and is ideal for treating burns, scrapes and irritated skin. Want to grow your own rash relief? Keep an aloe plant in your kitchen, says Michael Finkelstein, MD, a certified holistic physician. It’s a great remedy for itchy, inflamed skin, and is also more economical than purchasing a tube of aloe from the drugstore.

For asthma…

Strike a (yoga) pose. While you may still need an occasional puff on your inhaler, the cobra yoga posture has been found to aid ashtma sufferers by opening up breathing passages, according to Dana Ullman, MPH, founder of Homeopathic.com and author of The Homeopathic Revolution. Begin by lying on your stomach and placing the palms of your hands on the floor, under your shoulders. Inhale while you raise your head and chest by using your back muscles and hands to support you. Exhale while lowering your body. Repeat at least five times.

For a fever…

Slip on some wet socks. Before you reach for Tylenol, try this naturopathic treatment, which could lower a fever overnight, according to Dr. Kasiolarn. First, pour cool water onto cotton socks and place them on your feet. Then cover the wet layer with a pair of wool socks to draw your body heat down to your feet and reduce your overall temperature. It’s also wise to avoid sweets, dairy, and fatty or greasy foods while suffering a fever, as eating these types of foods has been found to raise body temperature. Instead, indulge in watermelon, a fruit that’s very cooling to the body.

For stress or anxiety…

Make your own recess. When stress becomes exceedingly difficult to manage, try carving out time during the day for a short break, says Dr. Finkelstein. An outdoor break is ideal, since natural light, fresh air and movement can be especially restorative for your mind frame. Can’t leave your desk? Take a five-minute time-out to do a simple stretching exercise to rev up your energy and boost circulation.

For a cold…

Concoct an herbal cure. Infuse a glass of water with natural antiviral vegetables and herbs, such as garlic, fresh ginger slices, basil, green onion and cinnamon, to ward away cold symptoms. A tincture of echinacea is also helpful for boosting immune health, says Dr. Kasiolarn. An effective tincture will numb the tongue and should be taken with early onset of cold symptoms.

For chapped lips…

Make your own salve. Mix equal parts beeswax and olive oil for a homemade balm that soothes and smooths cracked lips. If your lips are frequently chapped, you should also make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids, since dehydration could be the real culprit. Fish oil in liquid form can also be taken with meals to help with chapped lips and dry skin for additional relief, says Dr. Kasiolarn.

For a cold sore…

Tackle it with tea. Black tea contains tannic acid, which is thought to have antiviral properties, says Ullman. Pour hot water over a tea bag to moisten it slightly and then let it sit out to cool. Place the warm bag directly onto the sore for about five minutes to aid in its healing. For the best results, apply this remedy immediately after a cold sore surfaces.

For a cough or sore throat…

Chew a garlic clove. Raw garlic, which has both an antiviral and immune-stimulating effect on the body, may actually clear infection, says Finkelstein. If raw garlic is too strong for your taste, try popping it in the microwave briefly before ingesting. For a stubborn cough, also try sniffing eucalyptus essential oil, which naturally clears mucus.

For insomnia…

Slow down at nightfall. You can’t run around the block, put on your pajamas, hop into bed and then expect to fall asleep, says Finkelstein. Quiet the mind and body several hours before you go to bed by limiting your nighttime activities to relaxing pursuits like reading. To further ready yourself for bedtime, try dimming the lights and shutting off the TV and computer screen at least half an hour before hitting the pillows.

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1. The Secret to Being Insanely Creative- Zen Habits

2. Out-of-Box, In-the-Box, New-Box, Other-Box, No-Box Thinking- Creativity for Life

3. The Imagination Prompt Generator- Creativity Portal

4. Blue boosts creativity, red makes you careful- Globe and Mail

5. Art and the Narrative Gap- Layers of Meaning

6. Introduction to Creative Thinking- Virtual Salt

7. How to Incorporate Creativity into Your Business Practice- SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business)

8. Free Sewing Patterns- About.com

9. How to Make Pottery: A Step by Step Look- Out of the Fire Studio

10. Woodcraft.com offers over 1500 woodworking tools, plans and supplies for the passionate woodworker.

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This article was found on Monster.com.

Make Your Mark to Reach the Executive Suite

Plenty important, say headhunters, career coaches and management-development professionals. “You have to arrange your own discovery,” one executive search professional explains. But short of establishing your own vanity press and putting out books on topics you know something about — assuming, of course, you have a book’s worth of hot ideas in you — just how can you get the visibility in your field that will lead headhunters and other talent scouts to your door?

Here are a few possibilities:

  • Get Out of Your Office: Go to conferences, speak up in discussions, have people notice your ideas. Choose your meetings and conventions wisely, where you’ll be likely to meet people from different levels in your industry. Don’t view the time as a play day away from the office, but rather as a time to showcase your own competence and style. Read and think about the theme of the conference or seminar before you go so that you have some intelligent things to say there.
  • Get Quoted: Find friends of friends or family members who write articles about business or your field. Come up with some fresh ideas and get yourself introduced to somebody who is writing relevant articles and might quote you.
  • Speak Up: Volunteer to give talks anywhere there are people to listen — in your community, at your college or in your industry. Have something novel to say — you can’t tell who might be around to quote you.
  • Study Your Favorite Trade Magazines: Consider how you might get mentioned by someone else, or consider writing something yourself for one of those publications. Or get the annual Writer’s Market, a bible of who’s accepting articles on which topics in every kind of publication. Chances are you could find 20 or more likely publications. Some will pay well and some will pay in reprints, but money is not the issue here — what counts is just getting your name out there so some headhunters will want you on their prospect list.
  • Go to Events: Whenever something’s happening in your community or in your industry, go — whether you want to or not. Being seen and heard often can give you the visibility you need to be perceived as a leader, someone to watch.

But What If All This Visibility Isn’t Your Thing?

Well, here’s the rub — being visible, enjoying the limelight and having valuable things to say about the state of your industry, your community and the world are a major part of life at the top of the executive heap. Being honest with yourself about whether you really want to do that is an essential part of your own self-assessment and career management. If doing these five things sounds like an intriguing challenge, then you’d probably enjoy the extracurriculars of senior management. If you find yourself recoiling at the thought, then that tells you a little something about whether you’d be better off planning your career a different way. Life at the top is not necessarily about who is the best or the most talented — it’s largely about who enjoys the art and science of self-promotion. Only you can know if that’s you or not!

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This post was found at Schaefer’s Blog: Lessons in Skilled Living and was written by Cameron Schaefer.

Reading is one of the best ways to learn, develop and change. However, the immense benefits of reading are only as great as one’s ability to remember and process the information. Nothing is more frustrating than reading a great book and not being able to recall any of the major points a year or even a month later. It makes the whole process seem like a huge waste.

My family are all avid readers and they instilled that passion in me. I try to read at least 2 books a month, but often more. Over the past few years I’ve made a much greater effort to be more intentional about my reading, making sure to get the most out of the process. Here is some of the best advice I’ve come across when it comes to remembering what you read:

1) Read With the Goal of Teaching Someone Else – My friend Glenn has one of the most brilliant minds I know. He can read a book and process the information, quickly adapting new ideas into his life and teaching others along the way. The secret to Glenn’s ability started during his childhood. Every weekend his family would go to the local library to read. During dinner they would teach the other members of the family what they learned that day. This ritual formed a wonderful habit in Glenn of reading comprehensively in order to teach someone else. He had to constantly think, “How will I be able to explain the main ideas of this book to others.” In doing so he delved deep into the book and the information stuck with him.

2) Read the Last Chapter First – This one is more geared towards non-fiction as I can already hear people screaming, “But it’ll ruin the ending!” At the end of most books is a summary chapter that gives the main ideas and how they all tie together. By reading this first you are then able to catch these ideas and themes more easily as you go through the book. It also allows you to read like the author would read his own book, with a full understanding of where everything is going.

3) Take Notes – Lots of people utilize this technique in school, but let it go when they toss their caps at graduation. Taking notes allows a reader to right down key points, themes and memorable quotes. In doing so the information is then processed twice, once when read and once when written. This gives the reader a much greater chance of remembering. My friend Beau uses a pencil to mark and highlight in the book as he reads and then transfers this information into Google Docs. He has a great summary of his method here.

4) Read When You’re Awake – Most people read right before they go to bed. After a long day, they’re usually tired and hardly in the best state to process and retain information. By reading at other times throughout the day chances are their minds would work much better. If you are a night person maybe it is the best time for you to read. The important thing is to know your body and know what times of day are best for thinking and concentrating. Try to schedule your reading during these times and you will give yourself a much better chance of remembering what you read.

5) Discuss What You’re Reading – Some of the books we remember most vividly are those that we read in our high school English class. Why? It is the practice of nearly every teacher to have lively class discussions and debates over each section of a book. In discussing the book we were able to process the information as a group, bouncing ideas off each other and hearing different perspectives. All of these made us use the information in various ways cementing it in our minds and helping us remember. Most of us are no longer in high school, but the options are endless. Join a book club, or if you have a good group of friends, start one. Discuss the book online in book forums or in a social networking group like Facebook. The important thing is to talk about what you’re reading.

6) Read the CliffsNotes First – We’re not in high school anymore, so it’s not cheating. Especially for some of the classics, reading the cliff notes before starting the book can provide all kids of insight into characters, themes, symbolism and author background. By reading these things beforehand you are helping ensure that you won’t miss them as you read the book. Another benefit of reading summaries is the mental debate you will have each time you reach a controversial section as you ask yourself whether you agree with the conventional interpretations.

7) Find Your Reading Environment – Sometimes more important than how you are reading is where you are reading. Is the television on? Are the kids crawling all over you? Do you do your best reading on the airplane? Some things can’t be helped, but finding a good reading environment goes a long way. I had never thought much about where I read until reading a great post Ben Casnocha wrote on optimizing activity for location a couple months ago. He explained, “…when thinking about what you’re going to do, think about where you’re going to be, and how that place will affect your productivity at completing the activity.” Find your reading environment and enjoy remembering what you read.

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There are some great websites out there for helping you live your life to the fullest.  This blog features many of these through its posts.  However, there are other websites out there that I would like to share with you that you might find interesting, as well.  These sites will be listed on Fridays, five at a time.  Called Five for Friday.  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. 🙂

1. Lost in Books – This is actually my other blog that I began this month.  But I will tell you why I want to share it with you (other than just to let you know about it).  I am an avid reader and I have started this blog in order to review and share books I have read, to challenge myself in my reading, and to learn about books from others.  The book blogging world is a wonderful place and I invite you to participate if you enjoy reading- if not with my own blog, than with any of the many others out there.

2. 43 Things – If you don’t know about 43 Things, I can’t wait for you to discover it!  43 Things allows you to list your goals, share your progress, and cheer each other on.  The members here love to cheer each other on and it is a terrific motivational tool.  Whether your goals are short-term or long-term, you can list them and keep track of your progress with entries until you have reached your objective!

3. PatientsLikeMe – PatientsLikeMe is a kind of social networking site for those with chronic illnesses, from multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia to post-traumatic stress disorder (and if your illness is not listed, you can add it!)  You can keep track of your symptoms and treatments, track changes in your condition, find other patients, and learn from their experiences with different treatment options, medication dosages, and more.

4. Words that have different meanings in British and American English – Wikipedia’s list of words that can mean completely different things depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on.  Everything from “beaver” to “checker” to “tailback”.

5. The Daily Green –  A consumer’s guide to green living- from fuel-efficient cars and solar water heaters to green beauty products and “green cuisine”.

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1. “Patience is the key to paradise.” -Albanian Proverb

2. “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” -New Zealand Proverb

3 “He who always thinks it is too soon is sure to come too late.” -German Proverb

4. “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” -Chinese Proverb

5. “A book holds a house of gold.” -Chinese Proverb

6. “The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.” -Japanese Proverb

7. “A heart that loves is always young.” -Greek Proverb

8. “God promises a safe landing but not a calm passage.” -Bulgarian Proverb

9. “Don’t ignore the small things – a kite flies with its tail.” -American Proverb

10. “To be willing is only half the task.” -Armenian Proverb

11. “Where you find fault with something, come and give a hand.” -Estonian Proverb

12. “Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.” -Nigerian Proverb

13. “One who does not look ahead remains behind.” -Brazillian Proverb

14. “Conversation is food for the soul.” -Mexican Proverb

15. “A fault confessed is half redressed.” -Zulu Proverb

16. “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” -Italian Proverb

17. “Don’t look for more honor than your learning merits.” -Jewish Proverb

18. “Before you let your voice be heard, first lick your lips.” -Indonesian Proverb

19. “By crawling, a child learns to stand.” -West African Proverb

20. “Do good if you expect to receive it.” -Palestinian Proverb

21. “All old sayings have something in them.” -Icelandic Proverb

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