Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Who Are You Meant to Be

I came across this quiz on Always a fan of a good quiz I took it to discover that I am an "intellectual". Or at least that's what my answers revealed.

If you have ever questioned your past career choices, or  are thinking of making a new move you should take this quiz.

Let us know your results in the comment section.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Post--How to Recognize and End Toxic Relationships

It can be difficult to recognize the toxic relationships in our lives. After all, we are drawn to these people in the first place because they bring something valuable to the table. Maybe they are the friends who we have fun with, or the ones who can share our secrets, or the ones who challenge us to go outside of our comfort zones. However, they can also be the same friends who are always causing drama, or who make us feel bad about ourselves, or who just aren't reliable.

There are many criteria that can make for toxic relationships. Here are a few of the signs:

  • You feel belittled or disrespected
  • The other person exerts control in the relationship
  • You are afraid of the other person's temper
  • The other person uses guilt to try to manipulate you
  • The other person is overly dependent on you
  • You feel used
  • The other person is overly jealous or possessive

Of course, any abusive behavior is a sure sign of a toxic relationship, as well.

Once you recognize that you are in a toxic relationship, it may be time to end it. Here are a few ways that you can end your toxic relationship:

Admit the Truth

Many people are in toxic relationships because they can't admit that they are, in fact, toxic relationships. The first step to ending such a relationship is to admit that it is toxic and destructive. Sure there may be things you like (or even love) about this person. You may have fun together. This person may even be nice to you. But if there are aspects of a toxic relationship, then the relationship is ultimately going to be destructive for you and unhealthy.

Confront the Reasons for the Relationship

Once you have admitted that the relationship is toxic, seek to understand why you became involved in the relationship in the first place. Is the relationship filling some need in you? For example, do you have a need to feel accepted because you suffer from low self-esteem? Or do you allow others to control you because you are afraid of asserting your independence?

When you understand the reasons you are in the relationship, you can seek out other healthy relationships or activities that fill these needs.

End All Contact

When you end a toxic relationship, it is best to go cold turkey. Don't see the person occasionally. Don't limit contact to e-mail. Don't keep the person on your Facebook. Any contact you allow to continue can eventually lead to a re-establishment of the relationship as it was before. Just end the relationship and cut off all contact.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

One of the best ways to move on from a toxic relationship and to form more healthy relationships is to surround yourself with positive people. Seek out new friendships with people who treat you with kindness and respect. Spend more of your time with family who treat you with love and appreciation. The more positive influences you have in your life, the fewer negative ways you will tolerate.

Recognizing toxic relationships can be difficult, and ending them can be even harder. However, taking the steps to end toxic relationships can help you to eliminate the negative influences in your life and to become a happier person with more fulfilling relationships.

Have you had to end a toxic relationship in your life? Share your experiences in the comments!

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Travel on a Budget

Do you dream of traveling to Europe, or laying out on a beach in the Caribbean?  Does taking a vacation seem like a far-fetched notion? I'll admit for me, it often does.

I think of all of the great countries I would love to travel to and experience, but then I tell myself that it's too expensive.  Seeing the Eiffel Tower in person is a "one day" sort of dream.

In an effort to live in the "now", I decided to look up some budget friendly travel ideas. I was surprised to find that travel is way more feasible than I would have imagined. 

Here are a few of the travel ideas I found. I hope that you will explore them and plan a trip of your own.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Change is Possible

I am always on the look out for success stories, and motivational articles. I came across this success story on the Huffington Post website.

Joseph D. Airdo once weighed over 400 pounds and wore a 7XL shirt. Today he is 285 pounds lighter and says that he lost the weight solely from diet and exercise alone.

These are my favorite success stories, because they don't involve any gimmicks or expensive surgeries, just hard work. Joseph says of his success:

People are desperate for that magic bullet or pill, but there isn't any. People ask all the time about how I did it and how I eat now. I feel that it is harder to keep the weight off than it was to lose it. But they don't want to hear what I have to say about keeping it off. I am looked at and perceived by others in a completely different light since I have lost the weight. I get respect now instead of ridicule and laughter.

Continue reading Joseph's story here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happiness Now

Lately I have been doing a lot of soul searching. A lot of researching on ways to live well, and conquer issues from the past.

While playing around researching on Twitter. I came across this article on "10 Ways to Get Happy".

I like lists, especially lists with good tips for increasing my happiness.

I was happy to see that some of the things on the list are things I have been working on. The writer of the article Pernilla Hjort says that we should:

Live Now: This is one that gives me so much trouble. I try to live in the present. I really do. My mind, however, is constantly racing and thinking about what's next. It is my goal to be able to slow down more and live more mindfully.
Give: Giving is something I have committed to doing more. Giving of my time, money, a smile or helpful hand to someone else is becoming more of a priority for me. I want to be a giver not just during the holiday season, but always.

Have Fun: I admit I really do not have enough fun in my life. In the past I would always plan to do so many fun things, but end up doing none of them. I am getting better at this. Recently I went to my first ever live taping of the WWE Monday Night Raw television program. I have watched that show for years and finally got to be a part of the screaming, cheering crowd. I had a blast!  Most people laugh when they realize that I, who is usually seen as quiet and unassuming, loves to watch wrestling.

What do you love? What could you do to have more fun in your life, give more, and live in the now?

Check out the rest of this article to find out more ways you can have happiness now.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Guest Post--The Benefits of Smoking Cessation

If you are a smoker it is likely that you have heard that your body starts to heal itself permanently within twenty minutes of your very last cigarette. Is that true? If permanent and long-term smoking cessation is your goal, then yes, your body is going to respond to the absence of poisons within a short while after you take that last puff.

Poison? Absolutely! You didn't think that an article about smoking cessation would be gentle about the things contained in a cigarette did you? If you don't believe that a single puff on a cigarette is poisonous, just do the following experiment:

Take a cigarette, light it, but don't inhale into your lungs. Instead, inhale only into your mouth and then hold a clean handkerchief across your mouth and blow out the smoke. What do you see on that once white cloth...yes, yuck! That is what goes into your lungs many times over with each cigarette. Naturally, this means that smoking cessation is going to help clean up the lungs, but it takes time.

In order to understand this a bit better, let's look at the different parts of the body impacted by your smoking cessation effort. We'll start with the most obvious...

Lungs and Smoking Cessation

During your years of smoking on a regular basis it is your lungs that have taken a huge amount of the abuse. For example, with the very first inhalation of cigarette smoke you actually inhibited your lungs' ability to self-regulate and cleanse themselves fully. Over time this has caused your lungs to work harder and harder to do the same amount of work.

Your lungs respond to toxins by creating mucus. This is why you have morning cough - it is your lungs waking up relatively clean because you haven't smoked for a while. The lungs get to work right away trying to empty that junk out, but you cough up some phlegm and then light up that first cigarette with your morning coffee, and all of their work is undone.

Did you know that the mucus your lungs create in response to smoking also make you prone to infection easier? When someone in your household or circle of friends has a respiratory infection you are probably one of the first to catch it because your cigarettes have actually made your lungs far more sensitive to infection.

Your lungs are also not just coated with a layer of disgusting mucus. They also have a layer of tar (the stuff that stained the hanky in the experiment). This makes the lungs work harder, less flexible, and prone to emphysema and cancer.

When you follow a smoking cessation your lungs start to clear up right away, but it will literally take years before you have healthy pink lungs again.

Smoking Cessation and the Throat

Of course, you feed smoke and air into the lungs through your mouth, nose, and throat, and when you seek to stop smoking you are also doing these vital organs a favor too.

Just stop to consider what happened the first time you inhaled a cigarette...your eyes watered up, you coughed and gagged, your throat burned like crazy, and your nose felt swollen for a few hours afterward. This is all of the nerve endings reacting to the toxins in cigarettes. Over only a short period of time the mucous membranes in these delicate areas are forced to thicken as a response to the irritants. This means that cellular changes have occurred, and that means that you are now open to nose, throat, and other forms of cancer.

After the Lungs

Smoking hits the throat, eyes, nose, and lungs first, but it also affects other organs too. For instance, your heart has to work harder each time you smoke, but it also has to work harder on a continual basis too. This is because cigarettes contain compounds that quicken the heart rate, but they also make the bronchi in the lungs thicken. So even when there is no smoking going on, the heart has to just work harder in general.

Want to know why so many smokers have heart attacks? You just discovered the answer- smoking increases the heart rate while making it harder for the heart to work. Little wonder that so many smokers have heart attacks each year.

Of course, the increase in blood pressure is not that helpful either. When someone smokes they bump up their blood pressure by 15%. This means the heart is even more challenged, and that blood vessels are at tremendous risk too.

One of the main reasons that people in smoking cessation programs suddenly "look better" is because they are actually getting blood and oxygen to the skin. Cigarette smoke constricts the vessels in the skin and chokes off the supplies. This is why a heavy smoker may actually appear grey - they are not getting enough blood and oxygen!

We also know that the blood suffers when someone smokes too. Those who are chronic smokers have carbon monoxide levels that can be ten times higher than the non-smoker. This level can hold for almost six hours after the last cigarette is smoked, and this means that few people get regular blood levels before they are smoking again.

Deciding on Smoking Cessation

Now, we have just itemized for you the things that happen when you smoke. These are the absolutes, the "givens" in terms of what happens to smokers. There are also the "might happen" issues too. For example, smokers can develop life threatening lung and respiratory conditions, they can get all kinds of cancer, they can give cancer to family members thanks to second hand smoke, and they can even cause reproductive problems too.

This is why smoking cessation is always going to be worth the effort. It has its many challenges, and it does require a lengthy detoxification process, but if you review the issues we just mentioned you will see that it is well worth it. Within 20 minutes your body is on the road to healing, and after three days you will already be able to smell and taste things, and breathe easier!

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon and writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

This will be the first year that I am NOT looking forward to stuffing myself on Thanksgiving day. In the past I looked forward to Thanksgiving as the one day in the year that I could eat and eat and then eat some more without anyone judging me.

Thankfully, this year I have made a breakthrough and have so far lost 50 pounds. So for me, finding healthy ways to enjoy the holiday is very important.

What types of  things do you do to make Thanksgiving day healthy? Perhaps you will spend more time talking about the recent Presidential Election, the General Petreaus scandal,  or who got voted off of The Xfactor, rather than getting a second helping of food.
Maybe, like my family, you will try to do something active on Thanksgiving day. Will you volunteer?

Here are some ideas that I found to help you have a healthier Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I know that I haven't been updating this blog lately. I have been busy with
other projects. I will, however, return soon with new posts.

Please leave a comment, and let me know if you have any ideas for subjects you would like covered in the future.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writing a Resume

Sometimes the hardest part about landing a new job, is simply getting your foot in the door. One thing opens doors faster than anything else, and that's a good resume.

A lot of people make resume writing mistakes that they are not even aware of. These little mistakes will cause your resume to be deleted or thrown into the trash bin.

Check out my latest article written for Fastweb. "Tips for Writing a Great Resume" will show you how to write a resume that gets you called for an interview.

Before you send out that next batch of resumes check out this article.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paying for Graduate School

When looking for a new job, or to make a career change, a lot of people decide to go back to school.
If you are thinking about going to school for an advanced degree, there are many options available to help you to pay for it.

Scholarships, grants, and financial aid, are not just for undergraduates. Check out this article over on Fastweb for more information on ways to pay for graduate school.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Time-Last Year

Where were you last year, at this time? What progress have you made since then? What setbacks have you encountered?

As the year gets closer to winding down, it's always a good idea to take stock of where you are in regards to your goals. There is still time left in this year to begin something new, to pick up the resolution you let go of in the second week of January, or finally say yes to something you have been avoiding.

Last year this time, I wrote a post about a piece of art that inspired me to break free of everything that had been holding me back. I'm happy to report that this year I have broken free, and continue to break free!

Last year, I also wrote about effective ways to cope with stress. We all face stress on a daily basis. Life can get especially stressful during the upcoming holiday season. It's a good idea to revisit this post to make sure you are dealing with your stress in a healthy way.

Can you share something about where you were in your life last year this time, in comparison to this year? What have you accomplished? What has changed?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guest Post--5 Ways to Makeover Your Diet and Start a Healthy Lifestyle

Most of us could stand to eat a healthier diet. Yet many of us get so caught up in our busy schedules that we don't have the time or the motivation to do more than run through a drive through on the way home or to throw a pre-packaged meal in the microwave. Fatty, processed foods start to make up the majority of our diet and fresh fruits and vegetables start to become little more than garnishes.

If your diet looks like this, it may seem too difficult to change it now. However, there are several easy changes you can make to your diet right now to start making it over for a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few ideas:

Eat Three Meals a Day

Skipping meals -- especially breakfast -- can send your blood sugar crashing, intensify cravings for unhealthy foods, and slow down your metabolism, making it harder for you to burn off excess calories. Make sure you eat three meals a day to give your body a slow and steady release of energy throughout the day, and to ensure that you are able to make informed choices at every meal and reach for healthy options rather than grabbing at whatever is available because you feel out of control from hunger or cravings.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Rather than focusing on everything that you CAN'T have, just focus on adding the things that you CAN have -- like all the fruits and veggies you want. Add fruits and vegetables to every meal and snack. You'll fill up on these healthy foods and feel less of an impulse to eat unhealthy foods. And even if you're still reaching for a bowl of ice cream after you've eaten, at least you can be sure you'll eat less ice cream than you would have if you had not already filled up on the healthy stuff.

Drink More Water

Drinking plenty of water can help you regulate your blood sugar levels, control your appetite and keep your energy levels up -- all of which will keep you from reaching for unhealthy foods out of boredom or because you have strong cravings. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day,  or more if you are active (which you should be anyway).

Eat More Whole Foods

Processed foods are convenient, and they make meal prep much easier. However, they are also loaded with excess sodium, sugar, and fat, as well as chemicals, additives, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavorings. Choosing unprocessed, homemade versions of your favorite treats is a simple way to make them healthier. Make foods yourself with whole, natural ingredients, and you will get more nutrients and less harmful chemicals.

Eat Less Sugar

Sugar is toxic. It contributes to hormonal imbalances, chronic health problems, and even disease. While some sugar is OK as an occasional treat, far too many of our foods have hidden sugars that lead to an excess of it in our diets. Cut out as much sugar as you can be eliminating known sources of it in your diet and looking for hidden sugars in foods by reading labels. You'll not only lose weight, but you'll also improve your overall health.

It need not be overly complicated or difficult to make over your diet. You can start with these five simple changes that will have a big impact on your health.

What changes have you made to your diet to make it healthier? Share your tips for a diet makeover in the comments!

Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a degree in environmental science.  Her current focus for the site involves researching bedbug pesticides and online guides to extermination.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Accepting Yourself As You Are

A week or so ago I saw a picture posted on Facebook of a person wearing a turban and some jokes underneath it. I scrolled past the picture because I really don't like it when people take pictures of others without permission for the sole purpose of posting it online and making fun of that person.

A day or two later I saw an article written about the person who was in the picture. I learned that her name is Balpreet Kaur.  Kaur, is a student at Ohio State University. The picture that was plastered online was taken by another student and intended to be a nasty joke. Kaur learned about her picture being online and people in the comments section making fun of her looks.

Rather than cry or hide, as if ashamed of her looks, she spoke out! Not only did Kaur comment to the person who posted her picture and the people who made mean comments, but she did so with love.  She explained her Sikh faith and inspired other people to see themselves differently in the process.

Now in her post on the Huffington Post she writes about, "Turning Ugliness Into Beauty Through Interfaith Leadership".

Kaur has been an inspiration because she accepts herself as she is.  I hope that we all can do the same.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fight Cancer- You Could Save a Life and Earn Some Money

In an effort to get more people to become donors to help out blood cancer patients, Do is giving a scholarship in the amount of $5,000.

 All you have to do to be entered to win the scholarship is send five friends the information on the Give A Spit campaign.

You could save a life by becoming a part of this campaign. It's as simple as finding a blood drive, and having your mouth swabbed. Your results will be entered into a national database to see if you are  match for a patient who is waiting for a donor.

Visit Do, and find out more about how you can help.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Successful Interview

Whether you are a recent college graduate, a current student, or you have been in the job market for years, it is always good to brush up on your job interviewing skills. A good (or bad) interview can mean the difference between you being hired or not. Your resume may get you into the door, but it is what you do in the interview that really counts.

In my latest article written for Fastweb I discuss why it's important for current students to gain work experience while in school. I also give 5 Tips to help you prepare for a successful job interview.

You may check out the article here and please pass it along to anyone you think would benefit from it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Patience, Persistence, and Faith Quotes

I'm a big fan of quotes. Sometimes just a simple quote can give me something positive to focus on as I go through a tough time, or an extra boost when I need it to keep pushing toward my goals.

These quotes are all intended to remind us that faith can move mountains, patience is a virtue, and persistence does pay off. I hope they help you to stay the course in your journey.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
-Frederick Douglass

The only job where you start at the top, is digging a hole.
- Anonymous

Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality-in your own mind.
- Bruce Lee

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Never, never, never give up.
- Winston Churchill

A big shot is a little shot that kept shooting.

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you.
- Matthew 17:20

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
- Carol Burnett

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Lao Tse

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I had a majorly rough week recently. Right before the rough week began, I was visiting the local library and I picked up a copy of Jillian Michaels' book, "Unlimited".
If you've followed Jillian Michaels on The Biggest Loser you know that she is a no-nonsense type of person, and I felt like she would give me the push I needed to get myself back on track.

During the week that I spent crying my eyes out, Jillian was there with me. As I read her book it seemed as if the answers to everything I was distressed about were laid out for me.

In the book, Jillian teaches readers how to believe and take action in order to create an ideal life.  She stresses that it's not enough to only believe, but you must do the work as well.

As a result of reading her book, I took immediate action and was able to change a highly stressful situation for the better. I know that I came across her book that week for a reason!

If you know that you need to make some big changes in your life, check out Jillian's book "Unlimited".

Saturday, September 8, 2012

International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day. I thought it would be a good time to revisit a post I wrote last year, about my own experience with illiteracy.

If you know someone who is illiterate, no mattter what their age, they can still learn to read and there are free resources available to help.

There are many more resources than these few listed, most community colleges and community centers offer some sort of adult literacy and/ or GED program.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guest Post-Tips for Getting Out of Your Dead End Job and Into a Career You Love

With today’s tough economy it’s becoming more and more common for people to take whatever job they can find, whether it’s one that they love or not, just to make ends meet. In an effort to pay the bills passions get pushed to the side in favor of survival, and understandably so. But just because you take a job you don’t like doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Use these tips to find a career you love while stuck in a job you hate:

1.       Take online courses. Sure, the thought of taking online classes after work each night may not sound like the most appealing route to take, but taking a few courses to help bolster up your knowledge of your dream career will be well worth the effort. Not only will it pad your resume when you do start looking for a new job, but you’ll find yourself more knowledgeable and better equipped for a position should one open up. Plus, since it’s your passion, it will probably be more fun than work.

2.       Volunteer. Find different ways to volunteer your time with organizations that supplement your dream career. Getting involved through volunteering will help you meet people that can help you move forward on a new career path, add to your resume, and allow you to test things out to see if it’s really something you want to pursue. For instance, if you’re interested in a career with education, volunteer at local schools. If you want to help underprivileged children, find a non-profit group that you can offer your time to. Get involved wherever you can.

3.       Use your disdain for your current job as motivation. Far too often people decide they hate their current job and quit in a fiery passion, leaving themselves jobless, which can create even more stress than the job itself did. Instead of quitting your job before you find a new career that you’re better suited for, use your disdain to help motivate you forward towards finding a career that does suit your interests.

4.       Attend networking events. There are a wide array of professional networking groups that put on weekly and monthly events in nearly every city. Take advantage of these events and use them to brush shoulders with people in the industry you’re interested in breaking into. The more people you know, the more likely you are to find an employer who is looking for someone just like you.

5.       Don’t give up. Working in a job you hate while trying to find one you love is a frustrating process, and it can end up wearing on the most patient of people. Don’t give up! There are going to be times that you want to quit but you just have to keep pushing forward.

It’s never too late for a second chance in life, and you don’t have to be stuck in a career that pays the bills but does little other than that. No matter where you are in life you do have the power to change your destiny, it just takes a little elbow grease and faith to make it happen.

Author Byline:

Kelsey is the editor in chief for She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apologies and Gratitude

I've been away for a while. Not sure what happened, but somewhere along the way I got tired, frustrated, doubt-filled, lost...

I couldn't bring myself to write a single word for several weeks. Perhaps that break was a good thing. I'd previously written a post about getting out of a slump. So while I was in my own personal slump, I did many of the things on that list. I did a lot of reading, reflecting, and journaling.

The other day I confided to a friend that I didn't want to dream or plan anything anymore because I am tired of disappointment. Immediately after saying this, I came across a blog post over on For Harriet.

 Gratitude: The Secret to Achieving Your Dreams spoke to me in such a "right on time" way that I couldn't believe  it. It was just what I needed to hear in that moment.

If you're tired of feeling frustrated and disappointed, perhaps you are focused on the wrong things. Head over to For Harriet and check out the post today.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Reconnecting With Yourself

Have you ever looked around and wondered what happened to your life, and the person you used to be? Did you used to be more ambitious, lighthearted, adventerous, optomistic, or just filled with life and vitality?

I have had many days where I wondered, what happened to me? This year, I embarked on the process of reconnecting with my true self. Often in life, responsibilites, dissapointments, and setbacks can not only knock you off course, but cause you to forget who you truly are. This is what happened to me, anyway. A lot of the things I used to enjoy, I simply stopped doing them.

Well no more! With each passing day, I am getting closer and closer to the person I was intended to be. I look for help, inspiration, and motivation anywhere I can find it.

What about you? Do you need to reconnect with your true self?

 Here are some things you can do to reconnect:

Journal- I've journaled daily for most of my life. In recent years I've begun to journal less and less until I hardly did it at all. Journaling is a great way to get in touch with your feelings, or to work problems out. It could also just be a place to express your grattitude for the blessings in your life.

If you need help getting started, you can find journaling prompts here.

Pick a hobby-  Growing up, what did you love to do? Were you into sports, dance or theater, painting, building race cars, or pretending to teach? Whatever it was, find a way to do it again. Check out a local softball team, take martial arts lessons, or a dance class. Let the real you out to play.

Self-help- Read a self-help book, or listen to one as you drive in the car to and from work. Sometimes self-help books pose questions that you may not have thought of on your own. Once you have the answers to those questions, your outlook on life may improve.

Shop: Go out and buy some clothes that reflect your true personality and not just your position in life. Who says that all of your clothes have to match, or come from a certain department store? Have fun. Wearing clothing you love is one of the best ways to express yourself.

What are some other ways to reconnect with your true self?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Stay Motivated Links

Anyone who is trying to accomplish a large goal knows that throughout the journey
you must do many things to stay on track. You must recommit yourself to your goal, remember why you started your journey in the first place. Finding inspiration wherever you can, and reassessing your strategy are also very important. Here are some links to help you along the way:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest Post--Surviving Cancer and Reviving Sexuality

Combatting cancer is an all consuming quest with the prize being survival. Surviving is, without a doubt, something to brandish above your head like a great, glimmering trophy. However, unfortunately, surviving does not repair everything nor is it the end of the journey.
Reviving sexuality, a vital aspect of human life, after surviving cancer can be a daunting challenge. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are approximately 12 million cancer survivors in the U.S. and many of them (40% to 100% depending on the type of cancer and treatment) suffer from a sexual problem directly related to their illness (Zimmerman, 2011). Here are some tips, for both men and women, survivors and their spouses, to keep in mind on the journey to reviving sexuality:

  Recognize the problem. Understand that sexual disfunction may be caused by a physical or psychological condition. Physically, a woman may experience treatment-induced menopause or vaginal dryness or pain during sex while a man may be unable to get or sustain an erection. Psychologically, survivors may loose interest in sex, suffer from depression, feel anxiety about their ability to perform, feel a sense of shame, or lack confidence (i.e. have a negative body image).
  Start out small. You don’t have to have sex right away. Enjoy just touching your partner; try giving one another a massage. Don’t become obsessed with the act of sex. Sex should be enjoyable - not a task that has to be completed.
  Try something new. Take time to explore with your partner and determine what feels good for both of you. Try a new sexual position, which may reduce or prevent pain during sex.
  Don’t be afraid to accessorize. If you experience vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse try a vaginal moisturizer or a lubricant. However, do your homework first! Talk to a medical professional or knowledgable staff member or do some research as some lubricants are meant for “every day” use while others are for “special occasions” only. When needed, don’t be embarrassed to incorporate other sexual aids into your routine (ex. vibrators) as well. 
  Get fit. Studies have shown that exercise can help prevent certain cancers and their reoccurrence. In addition, working out helps improve confidence, increase blood circulation, and produces endorphins which may help with mood, anxiety, and depression.  
  Don’t give up. Keep trying and be patient with yourself. If you are a cancer survivor, recognize that your partner is there for you - he or she is not “bored” and you should not feel rushed. Don’t label an attempt at engaging in intercourse as a “success” or “failure”. Instead, recognize that this is an ongoing process towards recovery and reviving sexuality.

Reviving sexuality after surviving cancer is a a quest all on its own. Be patient with yourself and your partner as well as open minded. Try to see this journey not as a challenge but as an opportunity to bring you and your partner closer together.

 Article contributed by Alex Webb an behalf of the Urology Group in Cincinnati. Alex formerly worked for a company dedicated to empowering and educating women on sexual health. The concept stuck with her after her departure and she now regularly contributes guest posts about health and fitness topics (although not strictly for women) to various blogs. Follow her on Twitter @alexandriakwebb.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Generating New Leads For Your Business

Often one of the major problems solo entreprenuers run into when establishing their small business is generating new leads. It is often difficult to find the right ways to market a small business, or get customers engaged.

Melinda Emerson over at "Small Biz Lady" in an interview with Yahoo gives some excellent tips for finding new leads.

In the interview Emerson describes how to use emails to engage your customers, social media to find new customers, and search engine optimization to be sure that potential customers can find you.

If lead generation is an area where you have struggled, head over to "Small Biz Lady" and pick up some tips that can move your small business forward.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why We All Need Mentors

I wrote an article a few months ago for Monster College about the importance of finding a mentor.
My own mentor, Deesha Philyaw co-author of the forthcoming book, Co-parenting 101: Advice from a Formerly Married Couple on Parenting Across Two Households, reminded me yet again why having a mentor is so important.

After receiving a ton of rejections for a certain piece of writing I decided that it was time to ask for some help. I admit I'm not very good at asking people for help. A mentor, however, is someone who can help you to figure out areas where you are going wrong. Deesha was able to see several areas where I could improve that piece of writing. Her feedback was so valuable, and now I have direction!

No matter what industry you aspire to work in, or how many degrees you may have, learning never stops. We all have areas where we could improve. A mentor is the perfect person to show you the missing links. Whether you are in school or not, finding a mentor is important for your growth.

Check out my article for some good places to find a mentor, and if you can think of more places please leave them in the comments section.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Delete Cyberbullying Scholarship Award

In an effort to stop cyberbullyingtwo scholarship awards in the amount of $1,500 each are being offered.

The award is open to any student at any level of education from high school to graduate school. All you have to do is fill out the entry form, and write a short essay (500 words or less).

It is very clear that bullying, and cyberbulling is a huge problem. This is a great way to make a difference, and hopefully earn some scholarship funds at the same time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guest Post- 5 Ways to Improve Your Fertility

Having a baby may have been a life-long dream of yours, but if you experienced infertility or poor fertility, you may have thought that dream was lost. Most women who experience problems with fertility can improve their odds of getting pregnant by making some simple lifestyle changes. Of course, more serious medical issues will require a doctor's treatment.

However, if you have been trying to get pregnant for many months and are still not having any luck, here's how you can improve your fertility and give yourself a second chance at getting pregnant:

Improve Your Diet

Diet can have a significant impact on your fertility. try to reduce or eliminate processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Eat organic if you can. Above all, eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains.

It is important to make sure you are getting enough of all the important nutrients, including protein, zinc, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins, which all play a role in fertility. It is also key to get plenty of healthy fats.


Exercise helps you to maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and regulate your hormones -- all of which are key to improving your fertility. Exercise can also ensure healthy circulation.

Be sure not to overdo it, as too much exercise can also hurt your fertility. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise three to four times a week should be plenty.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting enough sleep ensures that your body is healthy and is able to function optimally. When you sleep, all of your bodily systems are repaired and rejuvenated. Too little sleep and your body starts to suffer. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of restful sleep each night in order to improve your fertility -- as well as your odds of sustaining a healthy pregnancy.

Reduce Stress

Stress has serious physical consequences for your body. When you are trying to get pregnant, stress can create serious hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to impossible to conceive. Reduce stress where you can, and you will improve your fertility significantly.

Chart Your Cycles

Your body has peak fertility times each month -- typically about two weeks after the start of your last period. Chart your cycles to keep track of your periods and your ovulation so that you know when your best chances of getting pregnant are. You can even monitor your temperature and other fertility signs to increase your odds.

Improving your fertility and getting a second chance at having a baby is often a matter of taking simple steps such as these. Improving your diet and exercise, making sure you get enough sleep, reducing your stress, and monitoring your cycles can help give you the best odds of improving your fertility.

Heather Green is a Christian mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for, a free informational website offering tips and advice about online guides and medical transcription programs.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tools to Overcome Fear

Recently I wrote a blog post about being scared to succeed. I came across this article from Fabienne Fredrickson, founder of She wrote an article for Forbes in which she gives advice on, "Four Ways to Break Through Your Fear and Self Doubt".

Also there was an article in the  Huffington Post which talks about the fear of success, and gives tools for overcoming that fear.
Terri Cole, who wrote the article, suggests journaling as one of the tools for overcoming fear.
I am a huge fan of journaling, and know that it can help a person to overcome many different obstacles and emotions. Through journaling you can discover what exactly you are afraid of, and even come up with ways to move past the fear.

If you have struggled with the fear of failure or success, check out this article, as well as Fabienne's article for tips to overcome it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Will I Be Pretty?

I came across this video while on the Amazing Women Rock website. Katie Makkai in her poem "Pretty" discusses the downfalls of trying to live up to someone else's idea of beauty.

It's never too late to love and value yourself for who you are and not just how you look!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hulu Who Knew?

It is never too late to get healthy. Lately I've been diligently working on my health and I must say I am feeling great. In an effort to keep myself motivated and to keep my workouts fun, I try to seek out new workouts to do.

Hulu as most people know is a place where you can watch television shows online. (I love it)Randomly, I decided to type in the word "Yoga" into Hulu and was surprised to see an entire workout right there online for me to try.

It gets pretty expensive to buy multiple workout dvds (which I have done), or to get a gym membership.  I think searching Hulu for some workouts you can try out for free, is worth a shot!

Monday, June 25, 2012

5 Ways to Get Out of a Rut

Lately I've been in a major rut. It seems to have lasted for a few weeks now, maybe even over a month. I have been lacking motivation concerning my career goals. After receiving several rejections in various forms, I seem to have lost the will to try.

 I do not like the way it feels when I am in a rut.  I tend to feel low in energy and in spirit. Never one to give up, I went on a search for advice. How do I get out of this rut?  It was surprising to find that some tips I found, I was already doing. So here are my tips for getting out of a rut.

1. Free Yourself-- Don't set deadlines (for a little while anyway).  Do you know that feeling you get on a Saturday, or on your first day of vacation from work? That feeling that you are free and you don't have to be anywhere at a certain time, or answer to anyone--give this to yourself regarding your goals.

I stopped requiring myself to submit my work anywhere these past few weeks. Instead I've done a ton of reading, and listened to motivational books in my car. This gave me a chance to just take a breather, and get my mind together and my courage up.

2. Encourage yourself-- Don't berate yourself no  matter how short you feel you have fallen of your goals.  Beating yourself up for what you aren't doing, never helps anything.
Instead think of the things you have done well. Even if it's something as small as reading an article related to your goals, or making a telephone call. It all counts. Sometimes when you think negatively about yourself, it makes attempting to reach a goal that much harder, if not impossible.

3. Talk it out-- I've found that it really helps to talk about what I am feeling concerning my goals. Sometimes just being able to discuss the pros and cons of a decision, or a place where I am stuck helps. Find  a friend, colleague or mentor who is able to steer you in a positive direction, and talk it out.

4. Take action-- It's not good to stay stuck in a rut for too long. One sure fire way to get out of the rut is to take action. You have to do something different than what you are used to doing. Even if the action you take seems completely unrelated to your goals, just the act of trying something new can help to clear your mind.

5. Don't give up-- No matter what, giving up is not an option. Sometimes you may have to change directions or strategies, but do not under any circumstances quit. Quitting is the only way to truly fail.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Is It Right?

“If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right, you'll probably never do much of anything.”

I saw this quote as a tweet from Tammi who I follow on Twitter. As someone who has had a tough time making decisions lately, this quote really resonated with me. It's time for me to just make some choices and not worry about if it's the "right" choice anymore.

Do you have trouble making decisions? What do you think is stopping you from making a choice?