Thursday, February 26, 2009

Please, Don’t Pass The Salt!

Americans consume almost two times the recommended amount of salt everyday! Most salt is hidden inside common foods...spaghetti, soup, pizza, and especially frozen dinners. Too much salt can increase your blood pressure...and high blood pressure can wreak havoc on your heart, brain, and kidneys.

The average person should eat no more than 2,400 mg. of sodium daily, which is the equivalent of one heaping teaspoon a day. The average American eats over 4,000 mg. a day, and 75 percent of it from processed food and restaurant meals, according to Dr. Stephen Havas, a researcher at the University of Maryland.

So before you buy food at the store, check the nutrition labels. Ask yourself, how much sodium is in one serving. Remember restaurant food can have even more sodium, so watch what you order. Ask for low-sodium entrees, or select fresh salads, and avoid those French fries. Cutting salt could save your life!

Five EASY Memory Boosters!

Have you misplaced your keys again? If you’re like most people, it’s an occasional annoyance. But if it’s happening more frequently than you’d like to admit, maybe it’s time for some memory boosters to help strengthen your mind. Here are five easy tips to improve your memory power:

1. Keep Items Where You’ll Need Them. Keep your keys by the front door;
eye glasses in the same place everyday, and wallet/purse in the same location.
2. Keep A Notebook With A Calendar. Keep names, phone numbers, important
dates, medical information, to do lists, and a notepad. Carry it with you (or
carry a small notepad), so you can jot down information as needed.
3. Minimize Distractions. Focus on one thing at a time. Turn off the TV or radio
when you need to focus your attention on a task.
4. Exercise Your Mind. Read, do crossword puzzles, play cards, chess, or a
musical instrument to keep your mind active. Watch television shows like
Jeopardy or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
5. Take Care Of Your Body. Go for a walk, swim, or bicycle. It’ll clear your
mind. And remember to eat a balanced diet and get enough rest!

10 Wacky Ways To Get Fired

“You’re Fired!” Could any two words strike more fear and panic in the human psyche? Getting fired is one of the world’s worst experiences. Rejection, humiliation and despair are just a few of the feelings that race through your mind.

A word to the wise: Here are 10 “doomed employee tricks” that’ll get you the boot faster than you can say “u-n-e-m-p-l-o-y-m-e-n-t” …

1. Get Caught With Your Hands In The Cookie Jar! Yes, the number #1 way to get fired – hands down, is get caught stealing from your employer.
2. Be an Under Achiever. Do as little as possible. Don’t go beyond your job description, and when a project is on a deadline, and your help is needed, remember “it’s not your job.”
3. Show Up Late And Leave Early. Again prioritize. You’re already late, so why not stop for a cup of coffee on the way to work?
4. Regularly Question Your Boss’ Ideas. Always try to do so publicly. And remember also to take credit for your co-workers ideas.
5. Complain Loudly And Often. Tell customers what you really think about the company...and them for that matter.
6. Have A Drink. What’s a long lunch without a couple of martinis, or brews. It’ll make the afternoon go by more quickly...or at least you won’t notice!
7. Make Lots of Personal Phone Calls. Don’t forget to call mom, dad, the kids, your sister, your hairdresser, and to arrange for soccer practice, ballet, your nails, and order clothes on-line at work. It’ll save time later in the day.
8. Embarrass Your Employer Publicly. Put sensitive company information in email messages. And talk about company secrets whenever you’re in public places.
9. Use E-mail And The Internet For Personal Use. Use your eight hours to take care of all your personal email business and fast Internet surfing.
10. Lastly, Take An Afternoon Nap. Just think how refreshed you feel when five o’clock rolls around – as well as your pink slip!
Oh…and if you hate your job, but haven’t been able to muster the gumption to quit, try these same tricks...they’re guaranteed to work!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Top 10 Secrets For Weight Loss

Are you overweight? You’re not alone. Obesity rates over the past 20 years have gone through the roof. The writing’s on the wall: we have become a nation of fatties! At least 25 percent of the population is dangerously obese, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

Being overweight is considerably more likely to lead to arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, experts say. In more than 70% of cases, obesity can be blamed on overeating fatty foods and high calorie treats. But don’t despair because there is hope. Here are 10 sure-fire secrets for losing weight and regaining the health and vitality you once thought was only a dream.

Here Are The Top 10 Tips For Losing Weight:
1. Cut Your Daily Intake Of Food By 25%. Smaller portions and less overall intake will bring about steady weight loss.
2. No More Crash Diets. Crash diets don’t keep weight off for long.
3. Control Access To Food. Have meals at specific times, and set aside no more than 20 minutes for meals.
4. Increase Activity. Here’s great news: A recent study reported that obesity dropped 10% for each hour of exercise a week.
5. Cut Back On Treats–Or Cut Them Out!
Eating treats can increase your odds of obesity by 50%. Eat only low-calorie carrots, popcorn, or apples.
6. Add Bulk. Eat high fiber foods that give a feeling of fullness, and reduce calorie intake.
7. Buy Low-Fat Foods. Only buy low-fat, low-calorie, lean, and light foods.
8. Adjust Serving Sizes To Fit Your Size. Serving sizes on packages are generally too high. It’s best to cut back 15-25 percent of the suggested serving.
9. Keep A Food Diary. Keep track of what foods are eaten daily and keep track of the amounts that are consumed.
10. Let Your Dog Help You Lose Weight. What?? Yes, that’s right. Join forces with your dog (who may also be overweight, studies show). A Veterinarian can figure caloric needs. Why not put Fido on the program...and you too can join in the weight loss program and have the support of man’s (and woman’s) best friend. It may be just the right weight loss program for both of you!

Real Estate Corner

Q. We’re selling our home soon, but don’t want to spend much money on home improvements. Are there any inexpensive ways to fix up our home?

A. Here are just a few low-cost improvements (outdoor and indoor) that can really make a difference and help you sell your house at a higher price:

Outdoor Improvements:
You’ll also want to pay close attention to your home’s curb appeal. Remember, that first impressions count!
 Painting – While painting is not inexpensive, it is the best way to improve the appearance of your home.
 Replace The Front Door – If your front door is in poor condition, either paint the door, or replace it. You can also install quality decorative features (doorknobs, lock, knocker) to dress up the door.
 Repair Screens – Repair any screens. Your local hardware will do this for about $15 per screen, or you can do it yourself.
 Patch Holes In Walkways – Concrete patching costs less than $10 gal.
 Reseal Your Driveway – Repave your driveway if it needs it.

Indoor Improvements: The best way to add to your home’s value is to make sure your house is “sparkling” it shines!
 Replace Worn Carpeting. You can get quality carpeting installed at about $20 square yard, a good value that will transform the look of your home.
Painting – A new coat of paint, in neutral colors, will brighten and add value to your home at a reasonable cost to you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mortgage Information

Real Estate Corner…

Q. We are shopping around for mortgage, but we don’t even know where to begin. What are the biggest mistakes people make?

A. First, before you begin, do your homework. Choosing the wrong mortgage is the biggest mistake people can make. Shop around. Make sure to look at the initial interest rate, future interest rates, and payments. Also, make sure you know if there are any prepayment penalties, and if so, what these are before signing anything.

Secondly, pay off your credit cards. Excessive credit can affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage. A lender doesn’t want you to get in over your head, and then have you unable to make your payments. Another big mistake is not having the home inspection done. Make the purchase of your new house contingent on passing a home inspection. Don’t skip this step. That way you’ll know whether there are any serious problems with the house (mold, leaking roof, poor foundation, cracks) before you buy. It’ll be money well spent!

Also, know the terms. Know the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved when talking with lenders and real estate agents. Pre-qualified means the lender is making an estimate about how much you can borrow based on the financial information you’ve provided. Pre-approved means the lender has verified the financial information you’ve supplied, and can offer you a loan at a specific amount, interest rate, and under certain conditions.

Lastly, hire a competent real estate agent who is experienced, who specializes in your area, and has a record of success. Ask the agent for specific information about how he/she plans to market your house.

10 ways to Live Longer

Back by popular demand. Want to feel better, look better, and live as if you’re a finely tuned sports car? Here are 10 more tips that’ll keep you feeling, looking, and living better...and enjoying life however long you live.

1. Take A Baby Aspirin Daily (81 mg.) reduces your risk of heart disease.
2. Let Grapefruit Be Your Friend. Grapefruit lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.
3. Find A Mate. Happily married people have lower blood pressure.
4. Treat Yourself To A Massage. A massage will soothe away your stress.
5. Have An Apple. It’s apple a day lowers your risk for heart disease.
6. Get A Pet. Studies show man’s (and woman’s) best friend really is just that.
7. Whistle A Happy Tune. Sing, whistle, or listen to music reduces stress.
8. Dress Your Salads. Leafy greens, high in antioxidants, protect your heart.
9. Go Wild With Watermelon. High in lycopene, it protects you from cancer.
10. Eat Chocolate! Dark chocolate, high in flavonoids—is good for your heart.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Protect Your Medical Privacy

You can visit these sites to see which one might appeal to you. There are also specialty sites geared to your age group, religion, or ethnic group.
After you’ve found a site you like you can post your profile on one of the sites. You’ll want to make your profile interesting and appealing, but don’t oversell (or undersell) yourself. Secondly, be specific about what you want. Tell a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests, special skills). You can even post a picture of yourself.

When dating, don’t expect too much. Most people e-mail several times before meeting. Your first date should be short and always in a public place. Lastly, you may want to check out your on-line dater. Do they really work at the company they said they did? It’s best to be safe.

Do you have a medical condition that you don’t want anyone to know about? Whether it’s heart disease, high blood pressure, a STD, treatment for alcoholism, mental illness, depression, or HIV, your medical records can end up in the wrong hands, which can cause you embarrassment, financial troubles, and serious problems by forcing you out of a job, or being passed over for a promotion.

The insurance industry wants your information. Any future employers would like to know what’s in your medical records. And any legal action filed by you, or against you can lead to an invasion of your medical privacy. How can you protect yourself? Here are a few tips you can take to protect yourself:

1. Limit the amount of information you give out.
2. Do not sign the customary blanket waiver at your doctor’s office.
3. Be careful when filling out questionnaires at any doctors’ offices.
4. Don’t use public health screenings unless you know the results are kept confidential.
5. Make sure you get a copy of your file before it is sent to any third party.

Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?

Five bites of chicken. A tablespoon of mashed potatoes. A bit of broccoli. And a nibble or two of salad. That’s your typical meal after weight loss surgery.

People who undergo weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, underestimate the dietary changes they will have to make. Last year over 103,000 bariatric procedures were performed. And many surgeons are booked a year in advance. A typical surgery averages about $25,000 and in some cases is covered by insurance.

In the most popular procedure, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the surgeon staples the stomach leaving a pouch the size of a golf ball. The first section of the small intestine is removed. The surgeon then attaches the middle portion of the intestine to the upper pouch. The body’s ability to absorb calories is limited by bypassing the lower part of the stomach and small intestine. Most patients lose about 75 pounds in the first year.

But what are the dangers of weigh loss surgery? Here’s vital information you should know, and important tips to consider before contemplating weight loss surgery:
1. A patient must eat slowly. The average meal weighs about two ounces, yet it takes 30 minutes to eat. Eating too fast can cause cramping and nausea.
2. Eating refined sugar can cause too much glucose into the blood, triggering nausea, diarrhea, hypoglycemia and a sudden plunge in blood sugar.
3. Fatal leakage can occur at the area where the small intestine has been joined to the stomach.
4. Less than 1 percent of patients have died from pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). Smokers and the heaviest patients are at the greatest risk.
5. Some patients required daily B-12 supplements.

So before you, or someone you love, decide to have weight loss surgery, consider all options and do your homework.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Get Into Shows and Concerts Free

Lots of people do this… and they all rave about the experience! Volunteer as an usher or backstage crewmember for your local concerts, plays and outdoor music festivals. You’ll have to do a little work before or after the show, but expect to have lots of time to enjoy the entertainment.

Here’s the trade-out- volunteers usher people to their seats, set up chairs, give out programs and do clean up after the event. If you do a good job, my times you are on a “first call” list for future events put on by the promoter or theater. With ticket prices going up into the 3 figures, this can save you hundreds of dollars per year on top-quality cultural events and concerts.

Protect Your Privacy

Surfing the web has become part of daily life for over 240 million people worldwide (and growing). But new practices by many web merchants, combined with foul play from a few unscrupulous web tyrants, have made cyberspace not only inconvenient, but potentially dangerous.

Many web merchants are trafficking your personal information to other vendors and institutions. When you log on to a merchant’s web site, a small packet of software (the notorious “cookie”) is placed on your computer’s hard drive to track every mouse click as you shop or move about.

Many shopping sites function poorly or not at all without the cookie. For example, book seller (and its cookie) enables the site to remember your name, make buying suggestions based on previous purchases, and streamline order and shipping information. This tracking appears as a convenience when shopping, but the very same information can be used by the wrong people to cause great harm. Here are a few suggestions to safeguard your personal information and shop safely when on-line.

1. Read the web merchant’s privacy policy. Make sure you’re routed to a secure site when ordering. Expect to share personal information to make a purchase, however, don’t consent to your personal information being shared, sold or exchanged. The web site should offer you a simple “one click” way to remove your personal information from all of its lists.
2. Give your purchase 10 to 14 days to be delivered. Part of a multi-item order may be “back-ordered” and won’t be delivered on schedule. If you need a gift, consider a gift certificate. It can be delivered immediately by e-mail or relatively quickly by regular postal service.
3. Obtain and save an order confirmation number. An order number or UPS tracking number is frequently required to locate your purchases during shipping. If there’s a problem with your order, the confirmation number is your first line of proof and legal protection.
4. Check out the return policies when you shop online. Due to the expenses of shipping and handling, many cyber-stores will charge 10% to 20% re-stocking fee for returned or exchanged items. Larger retail sites are more likely to take responsibility for returns and waive re-stocking fees.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top dollar tip for selling

A. Focus on the kitchen. The kitchen is a major consideration in most sales. For many people, the kitchen is the most important room in a house.
If you have an outdated kitchen and plan to sell your home, a kitchen remodel usually doesn’t make sense. However, a kitchen makeover can work magic in brightening your home. Here are a few tips to liven up a tired kitchen without taxing your pocketbook:
1) A New Coat Of Paint. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in brightening any room. Focus on neutral colors.
2) Clean Up The Clutter. Put away any extra appliances, cookbooks, and other messy items that take up counter space.
3) Clean, Clean, Clean. Make sure everything sparkles...from the windows, appliances, counters, to the floor.
4) Out With The Old, In With The New. If your countertop tile is outdated, old, or grungy. replace it with new tile. Remember to keep the colors neutral. If you have an old stainless steel faucet replace it with a new one. These improvements can be completed inexpensively, and will increase the value and appeal of your home.
5) Replace Outdated Hardware. If you have old, outdated hardware on your kitchen cabinets, look for a new, stylish replacement.
6) Lighting. Make sure there is light shining in the kitchen when you show your house. You want your kitchen to look bright and spotless.
If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Help Your Kids Deal with Bullies

Bullies are among the top fears school age children expressed in a recent study. Here are six strategies for dealing with bullies in school:
1. Listen to your children. Encourage your kids to talk about school and other kids, so that you can hear if they are having any problems.
2. Take your child’s complaints of bullying seriously. A minor complaint may actually uncover a more serious problem.
3. Report bullying behavior to school officials. They can stop the problem at the source. If it’s happening to your child, chances are it’s probably happening to other children.
4. Help your child learn the social skills they need to make friends. A confident child who has friends is less likely to be bullied.
5. Teach your child non violent ways to resolve arguments. Teach your child self-protection skills, staying alert and verbal assertiveness.
6. Teach your child that they can walk away from a bully.
For more information on how to protect your children from bullies, go to

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Secrets Of Female Millionaires

Did you know there are more women millionaires today than at any time in history? It’s true. Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Woman Next Door, has come up with some interesting facts. The average female millionaire is 49 years old, married, a mother, spends 3-4 hours a week at the gym, and works a 50-hour week.

Stanley found three themes that stood out. Female millionaires were responsible for budgeting and financial planning in their households and had a detailed method of tracking expenses. Second, female millionaires focused selling their skills rather than merchandise. Service businesses enabled the women to do what they liked, and work a reasonable schedule.

Third, female millionaires viewed themselves as leaders. Four out of five women millionaires focused their attention on the future...and not what had happened in the past. The millionaire women were proactive, and believed it was their responsibility to move situations forward.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Not Getting Enough Exercise...

One of the best ways to stay fit is to have at least one athletic hobby: walking, swimming, bowling, tennis, golf, skiing, bicycling or even dancing. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll stick with it.
Second, a workout partner can make the time go by more quickly, and you can have fun at the same time. Whether it’s a family member, friend or co-worker, a workout partner will encourage you on the days you may want to slide.
Third, hire a trainer if you have trouble maintaining an exercise program. A trainer can guide you through a program that works for you.
Remember to vary your workouts. This prevents overworking certain muscle groups, and it will keep you motivated.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ways to Live Longer

We all want to feel better, look better, and live as if we are a finely tuned instrument, or well-maintained vehicle. Here are the tips I’ll share over the coming months to get you started on the road to feeling, looking, and living better and increasing your chances for enjoying life.

1. Smile. Researchers at Harvard found that people with positive attitudes are more likely to have fewer heart ailments.
2. Take Monday Off. Researchers in New York found that missing a few days of work lowers your risk for stroke by 30 percent…not to mention most heart attacks occur on Monday morning!
3. Eat Oatmeal Cookies. University of Connecticut researchers found that eating oat-bran cookies daily can lower your LDL cholesterol by 20 percent.
4. Go To Bed Early. People who are fatigued have high levels of fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein that reduces blood flow to your heart and brain.
5. Wash Your Hands. German scientists found people with high levels of antibodies from fighting infections also had more clogging of their arteries.
6. Read A Good Book. Need I say more?
7. Meditate 30 Minutes A Day. Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University found meditation may reduce depression and anxiety by up to 25 percent.
8. Drink Cranberry Juice. People who drink 8 ounces of cranberry juice a day increase their HDL cholesterol levels by 10 percent…reducing heart risk by 40 percent, according a New Jersey study.
9. Bike Your Blues Away. Biking was found to be as effective at relieving depression as antidepressants reported Duke University researchers.
10. Join A Group. People who have a circle of friends handle stress better and have less heart disease, according to University of Chicago researchers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Home Health Hazards

Are you aware there may be hidden dangers lurking in your home? These little known health hazards could be causing you and your family health problems…and you may not know it. Here are six hazards you can avoid by eliminating them from your home, or being attentive to the potential danger:

1. Do not reuse plastic drinking water bottles. After exposure to air and mouth-borne bacteria, these bottles can contain enough bacteria to be a biohazard.
2. Throw out corroded aluminum cooking pans. Recent research has shown that foods cooked in these pans absorb toxic amounts of aluminum. This can result in kidney failure, affect brain function (possibly associated with Alzheimer’s disease), and possibly contribute to abnormal behavior.
3. Be careful using electric blankets, especially anyone with occlusive arterial disease (result of blockage in an artery). An electric blanket’s uncontrolled heat can cause gangrene by increasing metabolism, but not circulation.
4. Don’t take aspirin and Vitamin C together in heavy doses or long-term. This can lead to ulcers and gastritis.
5. Never burn or over-heat your food in the popular non-stick cookware. This can impart traces of toxic fluorocarbon resins to foods. Throw out pans if the non-stick surface becomes scratched or peels.
6. Use over-the-counter eye drops sparingly. They relieve redness by the action of constricting blood vessels in the eyes so they will look whiter. If drops are used frequently, they can develop permanent (and very red) varicose veins in the eyeball.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five Auto Maintenance Myths

Hit the brakes! You may be spending unnecessarily on car maintenance. Here’s how you can save money: For starters...make sure you read your owner’s manual! Most newer cars require a lot less maintenance than your family’s first car. Here are 6 more tips…
1. Oil Change. Some newer cars call for oil changes every 10,000 miles; the industry recommends every 7,500 miles. If you follow the factory schedule, your car will be in good shape well past the warranty period.
2. Lubricating The Chassis. Cars built in the past 10 years don’t require lubrication. Adding grease may end up costing you $$$.
3. Standard Tune-up. New cars have computer-controlled engines making the standard tune-up unnecessary. (No points and rotors...and some don’t have the standard distributor caps).
4. Flushing The Automatic Transmission System. Check your owner’s manual, but most manufacturers say it’s not needed until 60,000 miles.
5. Draining The Radiator. Most cars have closed systems and no longer need the radiator flushed twice a year. A new car’s coolant can last up to two years before it needs changing.
6. Changing Filters. Filters need replacing, but not at every oil change. Check your owner’s manual for recommended replacement intervals
For more information, or to find a mechanic in your area, check the Car Talk section of

Monday, February 9, 2009

Seven Secrets To A Happy Marriage

Ah...marital bliss...if only it were true. You’re not married? Don’t stop reading! There’s valuable information ahead for having healthy and happy love relationships. This applies whether you’re the spouse, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the dad, the mom, the child, or the grandparents.

Research shows it’s not the conflict that’s important in relationships, it’s how you manage the conflict. Here are seven secrets to improving your marriage...or any relationship that you want to enrich:

1. Keep Things Positive. If you want a happy relationship, researchers say you must be good-natured and friendly to your partner. Criticism and nit-picking are poison to good relationship building.
2. Follow The 1:5 Ratio. For every negative thing you say or do to your partner, you must balance it out by saying or doing five positive things.
3. Be Considerate and Respectful. Happy marriages and relationships are based on friendship and respect. Couples who like each other’s company and respect each other are more likely to stay together.
4. Don’t Try To Resolve The Irresolvable. There are times in a relationship that certain issues may not be resolvable. The key is to accept it and go forward.
5. Honor Differences. Couples who understand and accept each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies are more likely to stay together.
6. Sometimes It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It. Ninety percent of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice and word choice. Think before you speak. (If necessary, discuss conflicts while on the telephone, rather than face-to-face.)
7. Practice Relationship-Building Skills. Many couples think that, for things to improve, big changes must take place. Actually, making small changes in ourselves (acts of thoughtful kindness, compliments) can effect big, positive changes in your relationships.

Remember that marriage is like a bank account—you get out what you put in...with interest!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Is Your Cell Phone Getting You Lost?

Has this ever happened to you? A recent study of 96 drivers showed that 12 of 24 drivers using a cell phone with a headset missed their exit. According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in New Orleans, the study also revealed that 3 of 24 drivers talking to a passenger missed their exit; and only two of 48 drivers unaccompanied and not talking missed their exit. It may be time to hang up the phone!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How Safe Is The Bottled Water You Drink?

Don’t be fooled. The bottled water you’re drinking may not be any safer than your tap water. According the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), some bottled water sold in the United States may contain bacteria and/or chemicals. And 30 percent of bottled water sold in the U.S. comes from a city or town’s tap water!

The NRDC cited one incidence where a bottled water brand labeled “spring water” actually came from a well in an industrial facility’s parking lot. While they reported that most bottled water was safe, about 30 percent of the bottled water they tested contained bacteria, synthetic organic chemicals and inorganic chemicals.

In another recent study, Dutch researchers found 40 percent of the bottled mineral water they tested from 16 countries, (not including the U.S.) showed the presence of bacteria or fungi.

Why should you care? First, people with a weakened immune system (children, the elderly, people with cancer, kidney failure, or AIDS,) may have an increased risk of infection from bacteria. Serious infections can develop from legionella, a bacteria causing Legionnaires disease, pneumonia like illness.

Secondly, bottled water is expensive. A five-year supply of bottled water (8 glasses a day) costs about $1,000. The same amount of tap water costs $1.65.

There are some regulations on bottled water. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) requires that if water is taken from a municipal source and not treated, the label must say it’s from a municipal source. If, the water is treated (using common technology) there is no requirement to label the municipal source.

The NRDC concluded that bottled water “should not be assumed to be purer or safer than most tap water.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

This is a test

This is a test!

7 Simple Steps To Happiness

Are you feeling stuck on the roadmap of life? Have you longed for greater success and happiness, but haven’t yet hooked the brass ring?

Albert Schweitzer once wrote, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Here are seven steps you can take today to achieve more happiness and success in your life:
1. Believe In Yourself. Identify your natural talents and abilities. Do what you enjoy and what you do best. Truly successful and happy people find joy in their working lives. Invest your time in what you do best. Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses.

2. Develop a Vision. First, define your path and start working your plan. Write down a vision for yourself and your life. Be specific. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your life to look like in 5 years, 10 years?

3. Develop Good Habits. Happy and successful people choose good habits. If you’re watching too much TV, chronically late, or eating poorly, make a commitment to change your bad habits into habits consistent with your goals.

4. Show Gratitude. The happiest people are also the most grateful people. Count your blessings frequently and you’ll quickly start seeing a change in yourself and the world around you.

5. Take A Chance. Seize opportunities! Success and happiness does not come to those who sit and wait for it to be brought to them.

6. Give to Others. Studies reveal that the happiest people are also the most generous. Do, say, or give something nice to another and see how your own life improves.

7. Take Responsibility. You hold the key to your future. Take responsibility for your actions. Choose the work you like to do, and do it well. Ultimately, you are the master of your fate. You choose your own future by the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Amazing Power of Positive Thinking

Did you know that you can determine your happiness and success just by the way you think? Scientists and athletes have proved that you can control your thinking (and optimism) by using techniques like neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), cognitive awareness, and even hypnosis.

Let’s face it: you can’t always change events in your life…but you can change the way you perceive them. Here are 10 strategies you can use to get the power of positive thinking working for you:

1. Choose To Be Positive. Yes, optimism is a choice. Make a commitment each morning to be positive…to choose the uplifting side of life.
2. Use Empowering Self-Talk. Use words like, “How can I,” “It’s possible.” “It can be done!” rather than “why me”, “not again”, etc.
3. Exercise daily. Commit to getting some kind physical exercise everyday! Whether it’s walking, swimming, dancing, riding a bike, playing tennis or golf, choose something that you enjoy and make the commitment to yourself.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive People. Choose to surround yourself with positive role models, whether they’re friends, colleagues, or business associates. Negative people can drag you down.
6. Find Balance In Your Life. Limit your news intake each day. Stay informed, but focus on positive news. Make it a practice to read at least one daily inspirational story, quote, or book every day.
7. Focus On Your Posture. When you stand, walk, or sit with good posture, you’ll not only feel and look better you’ll radiate self confidence!
8. Set-backs Are Not Forever. When faced with a setback, remember that it’s not forever – things will get better. Keep a broad perspective: situations change constantly, and there’s more in life than the specific problem you’re facing.
9. Don’t Personalize Problems. Events can happen that are outside of your control – try not to internalize them.
10. Think Positively and Expect Positive Outcomes. Your ultimate success and happiness in life will not be determined by the setbacks you encounter, but by the setbacks you overcome, learn from, and continue onward.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How To Maintain Strong Bones For Life

Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from Osteoporosis. By 2020, half of all citizens over 50 will be at high risk for developing the condition. In a recent report, “Bone Health and Osteoporosis,” U. S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona outlines important measures you can take to maintain strong, healthy and happy bones for life.

One of the most common myths, he says, is that only women need to worry about bone health. Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. By age 75, osteoporosis is as common in men as it is in women!

Are you at risk? The first symptom of osteoporosis is a bone fracture. Other risk factors include: low calcium/vitamin D intake, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, body weight less than 125 lbs, long-term steroid medication like prednisone or cortisone, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and early menopause.

How to maintain strong bones? First, while bone weakness is evident in older Americans, strong bones begin in childhood. Here are four steps you can take today to prevent osteoporosis and maintain strong, healthy bones:

1. Get the recommended amount of daily calcium by drinking milk and eating green leafy vegetables, soybeans, yogurt, and cheese. (1,000 mg of calcium per day).
2. Exercise 30 minutes per day for adults; 60 minutes a day for children. This can be walking, running, or any weight-baring exercise.
3. Get Vitamin D (200 IU), which is produced in the skin by exposure to the sun. It’s also found in fortified milk and cereals
4. Your doctor can order a bone density test (DEXA), which measures bone density at the spine, hip, and wrist where most fractures occur.

For more information on osteoporosis, call 1-866-718-BONE, or go to

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

10 Proven Strategies For Strengthening Your Family!

Is the quality of your family life important to you? According to a recent Harris poll, the majority of working men and women place the highest value on a work schedule providing plenty of time for family. We sure don’t need to look very far to discover the challenges families are facing today. The good news is there are quick and easy ways to strengthen your family and promote each other’s personal growth.

Here are 10 positive key strategies that you can use today to improve and strengthen your family now…and for years to come.

1. Make Family Your First Priority. Strong families spend lots of quality time together. We’ve all heard the well-known quote, “How do kids spell love?” T-I-M-E! Strong families spend lots of positive time working on family projects and playing together. And they enjoy being together too.

2. Appreciate One Other. Strong families appreciate each other’s unique qualities and contributions and express their feelings openly. Make a commitment to compliment each other at least once each day.

3. Foster Communication. Strong families listen to each other, respect each other’s opinions, and avoid interrupting. One of the most valuable ways to foster communication is by having at least one meal together each day. During the meal, make it a point to engage everyone on their daily experiences, discoveries, challenges and goals.

4. Strengthen Commitment. Strong families work together to solve their problems. They may not always agree, but they are willing and able to bring things out into the open and to talk about them.

5. Create Traditions. Strong families stay connected – another reason for having at least one meal together each day. Also, give your children the gift of friendship with their cousins, aunts, and uncles by keeping in touch regularly. You’ll be giving them happy memories and friendships to last a lifetime.

6. Set Rules and Expectations. Strong families set and put into practice clear guidelines and limitations. Family members take responsibility for their actions.
7. Support Each Other. Strong families support one another during challenging times. When family members feel valued by one another, they know they have someone they can turn to for support.

8. Identify Your Family’s Strengths. Have each family member write down something he/she likes about each family member (animals included!). Put them up on a bulletin board or refrigerator magnets for everyone to see.

9. Set Achievable Family Goals. Setting and achieving family goals, even if they are small, cultivates success and creates unity. Set goals together whether it’s saving for a family trip, a car, or a new home. The ideas are endless.

10. Strong Families Love Unconditionally. Strong families love with unconditional acceptance that builds strong heart and faith connections.