Monthly Archive for "April 2010"

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 13 Apr 2010

A Beautiful Postcard is an Exceptional Gift

If you are looking for a way to really brighten someone’s day, why not send him or her one or more beautiful postcards? Postcards not only make excellent greetings, but they also make exceptional gifts. What’s more, the diversity of postcards that are available makes it easy to find postcards that will suit anyone’s taste. Thus, it is always easy to find the perfect postcard for anyone you know. Finally, beautiful postcards are something you can purchase, make yourself, or even send online via email.

Postcards are inexpensive and come in a variety of styles. You can find postcards that display artwork and photographs that people will enjoy. Plus, postcards are great for all occasions whether they are for seasonal greetings or for special occasions and they provide a nice and simple way of letting individuals know that you are thinking about them. In fact, if you are creative, you can take such images and frame them with a nice mat for a background. Within moments you will have a stunningly beautiful and unique wall hanging for your home.

On the other hand, you can make your own beautiful postcards. In fact, you can use some of your favorite photos of your vacations or family gatherings and easily print them up on your computer to send to people. Likewise, if you are especially artistic, you can scan your artwork and create postcards out of the scanned images. Finally, if you are a graphic designer, you can easily convert your created graphics into beautiful postcards that you can send to everyone you know and care about.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to send traditional postcards, you can always send electronic postcards that individuals will truly enjoy. There are many beautiful postcards that you can send to people via email and many of them are free. You can find beautiful postcards that are humorous, romantic, cheery, sympathetic, nostalgic, sentimental, religious, or even philosophical in nature. Also, you can customize electronic postcards with your own sentiments, and thereby make them a personal greeting. What’s more, not only are emailed postcards a wonderful idea, but they also possess beautiful imagery – you can find beautiful postcards with images of nature or romantic scenes on them. Finally, emailed postcards can be quite a bit of fun – unlike traditional postcards, you can send your friends and family animated postcards that make such greetings truly memorable.

Finally, did you know that some individuals make a hobby out of collecting various postcards? Thus, blank postcards with beautiful imagery on them can make ideal gifts for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. In fact, if you travel a lot, you can collect various postcards pertaining to the various locations you have visited and present such cards to those individuals that collect them – a gift that will be appreciated for certain. If you really want to make a large gift out of your postcard presentation, you can assemble the postcards you purchase into an album for the individual you plan to present them to.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Postcards

Parenting Vivian | 12 Apr 2010

Man Brags About Having 6 Kids – One Is A Drug Dealer And One Has A Mental Genetic Disorder

Many men base their value on how many kids they have produced and whereas this may be a way to evaluate the strength of their genetics, often they do a complete disservice to their communities, our society and this civilization. How so you ask? Well, over the past many years, I have had the opportunity in retirement to travel the nation by way of motor coach and have stopped into many small towns and discussed local, regional and national issues.

Humans are an interesting lot, in that they do so enjoy talking about themselves, and as a writer it pays me to listen to what they have to say. One thing that I have indeed noticed is that many men brag about how many kids they have fathered. Usually, six is the largest number these days that you hear only occasionally do you hear fathers brag about having more than that. But let’s take that six offspring figure and figure out the reality of it all.

We know it takes about $250,000 to raise a kid and so a gentleman with 6-kids needs to make about $1.5 Million Dollars over a 15-year period to support them correctly. In all my travels only a few men that I have met make enough money to properly support 6-kids, and about half have a stay at home mom. In other words, most of these men who have produced all these offspring cannot support the families they have made properly.

Guess who has to make up the difference? You and I, yep, the tax payers, so when a man brags about having six kids, rather than giving him a congratulations, look him in the eyes and ask him the serious questions. Last time I did this, I found that the man had six kids, the oldest son was now the local town drug dealer and the youngest son had a mental genetic disorder.

The son with the mental issues, costs alone $85,000 per year say research experts and the drug dealer son, is a total criminal. Who is going to pay for this? And what about all those kids they have produced in between, whose paying for them when they go astray.

Having six kids is not to be honored, good parenting is. Good decision making is and having six kids on a humble salary is not wise thinking. And as a tax payer, I am blown away that this gentleman and his family are asking me to foot the bill for the difference – you have to be kidding me.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Blog Content Service. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance Winslow’s Bio

Parenting Vivian | 12 Apr 2010

Choosing a Montessori School For Your Child – 5 Things to Keep in Mind

The first Montessori school opened its doors 101 years ago so the idea has stood the test of time. Montessori is all about encouraging a child’s ability to learn by himself. A child will naturally concentrate on something that he will find interesting. A montessori school should provide and environment where a child’s concentration is protected and his interest is stimulated in a sustained way.

One of the principles of montessori is to have large classes of around 35 children which can be taught by one teacher and one assistant. The older children in the class teach and help the younger one which is apparently beneficial to both the older and younger children.

Here are five things to keep in mind when choosing a montessori school for your child.

1. When you enter the classroom, it should be immediately obvious that it is a child’s room. The furniture should be all child’s sized, and there should be an array of interesting things for a child.

2. The room should be in pristine order. In a well run montessori class, each child is encouraged to choose the learning materials they want and to tidy it away when they are finished.

3. It should be obvious that the children have great freedom to choose their own activity and work at it whenever they want and for as long as they want

4. The room should be full of children who are self disciplined, i.e who are concentrating on their work or play and are content.

5. Make sure the Montessori school is a member of a Montessori Association and has the proper qualified staff.

So there you have 5 things to watch out for when deciding which montessori school to send your child to. As your child’s early education and learning skills are important the above 5 things will give you some guidance when choosing a montessori school that will provide an encouraging learning environment for your child.

Karen Cummins is a mother of twin girls. She writes on subjects relating to babies and young children. You can visit her website at for baby products and gifts, information and resources on parenting.

Gardening Vivian | 12 Apr 2010

Get Rid of Your Gardening Aches and Pains With Raised Beds!

Are age related problems stopping you from enjoying your gardening? The sore back from too much bending, sore knees from too much kneeling or just the long recovery from aches and pains after a stint in the garden. I know these problems first hand, as a baby boomer I had to find a solution and I did! Bring your garden to you by making use of raised beds!

Whether you’re in the age group that needs to start thinking about adapting your methods or you’re wheelchair bound, all you need is to build some raised beds about 3 feet wide by about 2 feet high and any length that will fit in your garden. Simply built with a timber frame, they get rid of the need to kneel and severely reduce the amount of bending, so saving your back.

What other benefits do you get from this form of gardening? Let’s see… there’s the removal of soil problems, greatly improved pest and weed control, the above mentioned ease of access and the increase in your crop harvest.

Any plants that love well-drained soil can benefit from being grown in raised beds. You don’t have to raise just vegetables. You can also easily grow herbs, fruits, and flowers in raised beds and make your job easier.

Because you’ll be planting your seeds or seedlings much closer together, you reduce the amount of water required. The combination of planting closer and less water will give you the extra benefit of far less weeds to worry about, because you’re not providing them with ideal growing conditions…. space and light.

Raised beds can be used to extend the growing season, making it easier to start seeds outdoors earlier, and grow later in the season. This is a great way to get even more produce out of the area in a season.

You’ll be able to use rich, well composted soil in your raised beds, so any type of soil problems you’ve had in your garden become a thing of the past. This way of gardening allows you to overcome any shortcomings you have in your soil.

Another great benefit of raised bed gardening is the fact that the gardener doesn’t walk on the soil in which the plants are growing. This helps prevent the soil from being packed down, so the roots can grow through the soil more readily.

A lot of pests and diseases will become a thing of the past because of your ability to select good quality soil for your garden beds. Another advantage that will lead to an increase in your harvest and superior quality of your crops.

For more information and advice visit our store it’s free to browse. There’s more help in our Free Report.

Holidays Vivian | 11 Apr 2010

Halloween Traditions

With the popularity of Halloween growing many families are starting their own holiday traditions. I wanted to share with you a tradition that one of my neighbors started in our neighborhood a few years ago that I’m sure has been around for years. It’s called “Ghosting” and believe me your children will have a blast doing it! It usually starts the first week in October giving plenty of time for the whole neighborhood to be “ghosted”. Depending on the size of your neighborhood you can either ghost one family or two. Since our neighborhood is small, I’m giving you directions for “ghosting” one house; however just double it if you live in a neighborhood with many homes.

Here’s what you do:

On a plain white piece of paper (8 ? x 11″) draw a big outline of a ghost in black permanent marker. Then fill a goodie bag or brown paper sack with Halloween treats (candy, brownies, cookies, etc…). Print the following poem on a piece of paper and staple it to the picture of your ghost. Don’t put your name on anything because no one knows who ghosts who!

You’ve Been Ghosted!

Late last night, we left you a treat, the tradition is fun, one we hope you’ll repeat.

Take the ghost and pin it on your door, to let others know, you need ghosted no more.

Now it’s your duty to pass on the surprise, to another family, we must advise.

Gather some treats and deliver them soon, within two nights, under the light of the moon.

Include a ghost with each package you give, along with this poem for the tradition to live.

Deliver the treat bag, poem and ghost after dark to your target family by putting it on your neighbor’s porch, ringing the doorbell and running. Don’t get caught! Remember it’s a surprise and you don’t want them to know who “ghosted” them. Then they in return “ghost” another family and so on and so on and so on. Don’t be afraid to be the first person within your family, friends or neighbors to start a new yearly tradition. They have to get started somewhere right? Why not you? In five, ten, even twenty years down the road when you see someone you love passing down that same tradition to their loved ones it will all be worth it.

Anna Bradford is an author and blogger for Halloween Express where you’ll find the absolute largest selection of Halloween costumes and costume accessories available anywhere including the latest Kids Costumes and Teen Costumes.

Parenting Vivian | 11 Apr 2010

Developing A Citizen-Watch Child – Motivating Your Child To Report Something Wrong

Does your child have a hard time telling? Do you find yourself discussing incidents that could have been avoided if your child reported it? Does your child always seem to get caught defending themselves? Developing the habit of reporting something wrong is not always easy. Some children can do it with ease while others find it more challenging.

What Hinders Your Child From Reporting?

There are often different reasons why children fail to report incidents, but I consider the main ones to be

(1) Fear of not being cool;

(2) Fear of retaliation against the person being told on;

(3) Not wanting to be seen as a tattletale and

(4) Wanting to handle things themselves.

If your child or someone you know has ever been victimized by name calling, bullying, teasing or isolation, you may probably think that those circumstances would most definitely be reported by the victim. However, studies show that twice the amount of reported instances of abuse goes unreported and in some cases that number triples. The unreported situation becomes repressed. The repression stays until it can no longer be contained and extreme action is taken. We see this in acts of teen violence, suicide, promiscuity, drugs and alcohol abuse. We do not have to look very far to remember the Virginia Massacre, Columbine Shootings and many other school-related incidents that were found to be the result of repressed emotions. Sometimes the instances that cause these feelings are easily identifiable and other times it is not so evident.

Developing a Citizen-Watch Child

When children are unable to develop a reporting habit from an early stage, it translates or follows them throughout their life. It can carry over in areas where a child is being physically abused and is afraid to tell someone or later in adult life, it can hinder them from reporting incidents in the workplace and community. Many persons experiencing sexual harassment, verbal and physical abuse fail to report it for fear of retaliation. Developing what I term a “citizen-watch” child promotes the idea that when he/she sees someone in trouble, calling a policeman, fireman or another community authority becomes second nature. Efforts should be made to not only encourage the child to report the incident involving them but also if they see others in trouble as well. This grooming and development must begin at the elementary school level.

How to Develop a Citizen-Watch Child?


Education: Educate your child. Talk with your child every day about situations that happen and the way it was handled or could have been handled. Use role play to devise situations that could occur and devise possible strategies for solutions. Encourage your child to share things with you even if they are at fault. Stress the importance of an open and honest relationship as a means of protection. Role model: Children learn a lot through observation. Let your child see how you handle situations that need reporting.

Repetition: In the same way that it takes numerous exposures to a concept like learning a new language, music or sport before it becomes retained or a learned behavior, you must educate your child constantly. Drill these concepts every day for maximum learning and optimal practice.

Reward: As adults, when we receive a bonus at work, a promotion on the job, lunch from a friend and/or a gift from our spouses, we are becoming conditioned to continue working at that which brought us the reward. Similarly, when working with children, good behavior and adherence to rules and promises should too be rewarded. Some may call it bribery but rewarding your child when he/she practices this behavior reinforces the established belief system and also removes the “not so cool” hindrance of reporting.

My name is Monique Russell and I provide workshops for kids that help them identify and address emotional challenges as they arise. I also offer free tips for parents on conditioning desired behaviors in kids. For more information about me and my services, visit my website at

Gardening Vivian | 11 Apr 2010

Flowers Secrets – How to Care For Cut Flowers

My favourite flowers are those that have been cut at the stem and are kept undisturbed in a vase containing water. One can buy them from florists or can cut it from the garden nearby. Cut flowers kept inside a vase can be said to be perfect decoration to ones room and home and can be used for lots of occasions like marriage. This can even change the mood of people staying along with. Always a waft of fresh air is brought into the room and will thus make the people happier. Proper arrangement and placement of these flowers will only help to add beauty and freshness to your room.

The life expectancy of a cut flower is dearly affected if it is cut. Applying some tricks like aspirin in the water used can lengthen the life span of the flowers and the freshness of your room. Again by keeping cut flowers away from direct sunlight, heating furnaces or even electrical devices like TV, computer etc. will help to increase its life span. Lifespan of fresh cut flower can be increased by dropping a penny into the vase. Fresh Flowers are mostly deteriorated through the infection of bacteria. It should be made sure that the water inside the vase is clean and free from germs and bacteria. Again the bouquet can be made healthy by adding plant food properly to the whole arrangement. To make the flowers open faster one can use warm water for the bouquet.

Many problems arise while preserving flowers in shop. Air bubble inside the stem of a flower immersed in water can prevent food and nutrients from entering. It should be made sure that the flower stem is always beneath the water. Water should is replaced after every 2-3 days. It should be noted that leaves should be removed before keeping the fresh flowers immersed inside the water. Bacteria may be formed in the leaves attached to the flowers that are immersed into the water. The stem should be carefully cut so that a maximum surface area is formed. More is the surface area the more will be the intake of food and nutrients. Again it is good practice to cut flower stems under water because this will prevent bubbles from entering into the veins of the stem.

Different types of flowers need different protocols of cares. Those fresh flowers that have a woody stem will last longer only if the stem is crushed and split. If the flower arrangement is in such a manner that one does not want to show the stem then it will be better to place them in a random way before flower delivery.

Each and every flower represents different offbeat moods. Colour of the tulips usually follows those colour trends that are popular generally. Tulips are popularly known as elegant flowers and roses are said to be romantic flowers. Fresh flowers are very much used as wedding flowers and there is no other occasion to use flowers other than marriages.

It is always better to cut flowers at morning or evening and that too when the weather has cooled down. Plants are usually found to have got stored food during morning and this helps in that extra fragrance. Thus flowers, be it arranged in vases or be it in wild on the plants, their beauty, charm and fragrance will only spread and enhances the blissful feeling of a person.

Florists have special place in our lives. We would like to be surrounded by flowers any time, and know how to keep them looking their best. Here’s your chance to get some tips from the Internet famous florist, brought to you by Livia Monroe.

Parties Vivian | 10 Apr 2010

Groovy Birthday Party Ideas for Pre-teens

Your daughter will love these groovy birthday party ideas for her next party. A Groovy/Flower Power party theme offers lots of fun decorating, craft, and games ideas that girls will totally dig.

Have fun creating hip Peace and Love posters with your daughter prior to your party. Create door “beads” by hanging long strips of alternating crepe paper from the doorways. You can also look for the real thing from online auction sites. If you have lava lamps, place those throughout the room. Creating a tie dye tablecloth from an old sheet will also give your party an authentic feel. Don’t forget to have Beatles music playing as your guests arrive.

Have the kids make their own tie dye tee shirts or headbands. You can have the girls bring an old white tee shirt or you can buy simple white headbands from any drug store. Make sure you perform this task outside or at least somewhere well covered with newspaper.

Another craft idea that girls love is creating groovy lamp shades. Buy simple and inexpensive solid color lamp shades. Purchase fun beaded ribbon and decorations from a craft store. Have the girls paint the lamp shade and then add funky beaded trim to the bottom of the shade. Decorate the rest of the shade with glitter, jewels, pom poms, etc. Make sure to buy non-flammable glue and paints. Both the tie dye shirts/headbands and lamp shade make terrific party favors.

For a fun party game, have the girls create hip outfits from the 1960′s. Check out second hand stores to see what treasures you can find including: platform shoes, head bands, bell bottom pants, mini-skirts, beads, macram?purses or belts. You can always ask your mom and mother-in-law what they’ve saved from their ‘Peace and Love’ days. You never know what you’ll discover. Style the girls’ hair in braids and/or headbands and put on a fashion show that would have made Sony and Cher proud.

If you have extra time and the girls have extra energy, create a relay race with this clothing. Divide the girls into two equal teams. The first two girls on separate teams will start by donning the clothes and running across to their teammates. They will remove the clothes and the first teammate on the new side will don the clothing and run back until all team members have had their turn. Whichever team finishes first, wins.

For a fun cake idea, make a simple circle cake. Decorate with bright yellow frosting and add black eyes and smiley face for a flashback to the 60′s smiley face. You can also create a cake with Yin and Yang symbols or one with the Peace symbol.

Janie is a mom of two girls and owner of Birthday Parties Delivered. Birthday Parties Delivered ( provides quality kids arts and craft birthday party packages – delivered to your door. Check out our Groovy purse party package with beaded handles and fringe.

Parenting Vivian | 10 Apr 2010

6 Tips for Parenting Young Children

One of the greatest joys in life is having a toddler in the house. Every day, something new and exciting happens. However, one of the greatest challenges in life is the parenting that goes along with raising a toddler. Proper parenting is crucial to keeping your child not only happy, but also safe, Good parenting will teach your child important life lessons, guiding him or her into a stable, happy, and successful adulthood.

To make the most out of parenting young children, we have provided you with ten specific tips. Most importantly, realize that you will be faced with challenges, days where you feel you cannot go on, but you can and you will. With a lot of patience, the right attitude, and having some helpful tips to follow, you will find that parenting a young child is not so difficult.

Remember, toddlers and younger kids are high energy, inquisitive, and manipulative. They know the buttons to push to get a reaction out of mom or dad. However, you will find these coping tools beneficial, actually allowing you to enjoy the parenting process instead of dreading it.

Understand your Role

In the position of being a parent, you are a life coach, not a judge and jury. Your role involve providing your younger child with encouragement, guidance, and praise, along with high expectations, constructive criticism, and limitations. Typically, a child will accept the role of coach much better than judge or even parent. Judging a child will only cause him or her to pull away, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Focus on the Right Things

Although parenting young children does involve discipline, you will find that keeping the focus on the positive, the child’s sensitivity, hard work, intelligence, caring attitude, and other good qualities will build self-confidence and develop a more willing spirit in the child to mind.

High Expectations

There is nothing wrong with setting high expectations for younger children. This means establishing from an early age that you expect for him or her to get good grades, to graduate from high school, to choose friends wisely, and so on. As long as the expectations are attainable and realistic, go ahead and set them high.

Healthy Competition

Some parents feel that competition is a bad thing but actually, healthy competition is good. Actually, parenting young children and teaching them health competition choices does not mean placing the emphasis on always winning, but instead, of always doing his or her best, not allowing another person to win. Over time, the younger child will gain a new sense of confidence and character.

Social Involvement

Each child has to find his or her own way in social settings. If your child does not fit in with a particular group, the “in crowd”, do not pressure. Every child has his or her own “in crowd” and as long as the friends are good, support their choice.

Activity Involvement

Encouraging your child to get involved in various types of physical activities is an excellent outlet. Some great options include the Boy or Girl’s Scouts, school sports, debate, dance, and so. Getting gets involved with an activity that builds both mind and body is another means of parenting young children the right way.

For more free resources, visit – Julia Sorensen is the author of “Overcoming Loss Stories and Activities to Help Children Transform Grief and Loss” Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers:

Parenting Vivian | 10 Apr 2010

5 Ways To Have Stronger More Physically Fit Children – They Will be Happier and Healthier

As many of you know, my book The Barbarian’s Guide to Success?talks about not only making more money, but it also talks about having a successful family. Part of a successful family, is having successful children.

I was talking to a Phys. Ed. coach in a public school the other day. He was telling me some amazing things about the children he coaches. Apparently most of the children are in horrible shape. He was telling me that he has children twist their ankles when running on the track on a regular basis. Most have problems with any physical activity.

I heard a story on the news a few months ago that said the Army had to change its workout program in basic training because new recruits were getting stress fractures from the exercise. Now folks, all they do in calisthenics. Push ups and sit ups and jumping jacks. Stress fractures from that!

When I was a child we had to run laps regularly. We played hard, and were embarrassed to ask to go to the nurse. If one of us had to go to the nurse from running on the track we would have never lived it down.

My point is not that children should make fun of each other, but that many of our children are wimps.

I read an article a few years ago about how attitudes toward child rearing are changing. According to the article, fathers traditionally encouraged children to do things that were physical and mothers, traditionally, wanted to protect children from the potential harm that comes with such activity. I know this is not 100% true, as my mother encouraged me to play sports if I wanted to, but the article did say in general. According to the article, fathers are not encouraging their children as much. They are trying to protect the children more, much like what mother traditionally do. The result, kids that do very little or no exercising. Children that complain at the mildest ache or pain. In short, out of shape wimps. I did not believe it, but it seems to be coming true.

Now I know that you don’t want your child to be a wimp, so here are a few things to help get them in batter shape:

1.Throw out the video games and turn the boob tube?off. To many kids are spending to much time in front of the TV.

2.Cook meals and keep tabs on what your child eats. I know it is hard sometimes, but if you don’t keep track they will be eating nothing but honey buns and Ho-Ho’s. BTW Boston Market’s non-fried chicken is as bad or worse than other restaurants. Eating out should be a treat not the norm. Cook a meal and sit down as a family and eat. Your children will be healthier, both physically and mentally.

3. Along the lines of number 2, pack a lunch. School lunches are the worst and most children eat out of a vending machine at school. Take a few minutes and pack a lunch, its worth it. They’ll do better in school and be healthier and happier.

4.Teach your younger children to ride their bike and make your older ones play some sports. The older kids don’t have to be sports stars, but make them play tennis or swim or SOMETHING.

5. Kick the kids out of the house. Make them go out and play. To many children spend to much time indoors. Too much sun is harmful, but too little is as well, Savvy?!?

So make the kids get stronger. Make them run and play. Forget the video games. If they want to shoot something they can do it with cap guns. (Don’t tell me about the teen shooting stories on the news. Every single one of my friends and I played with cap guns and none of us killed someone. The problem with those kids ain’t toy guns, it is something way more serious.)

At the end of the day, make them move. They need it.

And with that I will say

Get the Barbarian Mind Set and keep it. Stay tr?to yourself and your family, the rest will take care of itself.

Everte Farnell is a author and speaker and professional coach. In May of 2003 Everte was a divorced broke single father. Two and a half years later Everte is a happily married father of two. The company he and his wife worked to build supplies his family with a six figure income, and his children are happy healthy and well adjusted. He lives a life that many dream of. It is the life that he dreamed of in May of 2003.

In October of 2005 he released his book “The Barbarian’s Guide to Success” and is dedicated to helping other realize their dreams. He is a straight forward, politically incorrect, figure and makes very little time for detractors. He often says “So many ‘coaches’ have made their money by coaching. I do everything I coach. It is important that people know that I have faced or do face the same challenges they face. Life is an integrated process. Your professional life must support your personal and family life and vice versa, otherwise you will never find true success.” Everte Can be reached at his web page