Entries Tagged 'For Better Life Tips' ↓

Give Thanks – When a Butterfly Flaps its Wings

By Jodie Healy

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday. It was a real challenge. Everyone tells me its just a number but I believe it is a significant milestone to reach in one’s life. Whilst being flooded with love and attention from family, friends and work colleagues, I took a few minutes out to visit my local animal shelter with food and toys to share my good fortune. I have been quietly giving thanks in this way for the past year.  Very few people know that I do this, although by publishing this article I am probably about to change that. I am not looking for praise or credit for being “good”, I just want to share with you a simple little thing you can do to make a difference in your own life.

The Interconnectedness Of All Things

In early 2008 both my husband and I had a strong desire to change jobs. We were both ready for a change of career. This desire became a very strong intention for both of us.  Before long we both got the new jobs we desired and started them on the same day.

These changes simply couldn’t be dismissed as coincidences. I realized that by identifying this desire for change and focusing on it we were essentially asking the universe to help make it happen.

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Giving Thanks

We got what we needed and asked for. What could we do but say thank you? Here’s the problem though, how do you say thank you to God or the divine or the universal consciousness? The only way we could think to do it was by helping someone else so that the positive energy that helped us could flow on.  We chose to make a donation to our local animal shelter which is the charity that is closest to our hearts.  Others will benefit from your good fortune if you say a simple thank you. Just choose a method that is meaningful for you.

“Celebrate a substantial raise by cheerfully taking the garbage out for a week. Or show you appreciate getting a new client by walking the dog of the old lady next door.”  – Veronique Vienne, The Art of Imperfection: Simple Ways to Make Peace with Yourself

The experience of giving thanks helps us practice mindfulness and remember how we received help when we needed it. It would have been easy to get caught up in excitement and business and forget how these new opportunities came to be. Instead we paused and gave thanks and continue to do so every time our desires come true.

Top 5 Myths About Change

By Mark Harrison

Change is so ubiquitous and pervasive that we ought to be familiar with it, and yet we continually fail to respond well to change. Often, this is a result of our not having thought carefully about the nature of change, and our tendency to accept common beliefs about it.

Myth #1: You can change other people, given time.

Reality: Other people cannot be forced to change under any circumstances. To try to change another person by force is a waste of time and energy. A wise man once observed that you shouldn’t try to teach a pig how to sing: it doesn’t get you anywhere and it annoys the pig.

Application: William Glasser, in his book Choice Theory, builds on the essential truth that we are only fully in control of our own behavior and that we cannot force change in other people. Even a man with a gun to his head cannot be forced to comply, as many people have demonstrated through history, preferring to die over behaving in a way which goes against their beliefs.

Once we accept this basic limitation, we are much freer to operate.  Instead of wasting energy trying to force change in others, we can start to relax, focus on changing ourselves and stop worrying about other people. In so doing, we actually become more likely to influence others by setting an example of proactivity and self-reliance.

Myth #2: Crisis leads to change.

Reality: People often think change can be precipitated by a crisis or a shock. We might think, for example, that if a heavy smoker or an obese person has a heart attack or is diagnosed with a serious illness, that he will be shocked into changing him lifestyle. This is not the case. Research shows that 90% of all coronary bypass patients do not significantly change their lifestyles to improve their health in any sustained and meaningful way.

We are so good at playing mind games with ourselves that it is all too easy to justify our own inertia and resistance.  If we are in our comfort zone, we will come up with any number of reasons to avoid moving out of it. The truth is that we don’t like change and we will literally risk our lives to avoid it.

Application: Change comes from the inside. External events do not force change. If you’re serious about change, only you can make it happen. A crisis might throw you off equilibrium for a while, but your mind is such a devious and slippery thing that you might be surprised at how quickly you settle back into the old routine. Being aware of this tendency can put you on your guard – forewarned is forearmed!

Myth #3: Fear leads to change.

Reality: Most of the fear we feel is maladaptive. Fear is an essential biological response adapted for our physical survival, but in our modern environment, fear pops up as a response to many non life threatening situations. The best thing to do with this kind of fear is to face it and see it dissolve.  But people do not usually respond in this way to fear, falling instead into avoidance patterns. This avoidance often manifests as a resistance to change, which is often perceived as threatening.

Using fear to force people into change is usually counterproductive. All the health warnings and graphic photographs on cigarette packets, for example, have not been shown to reduce the incidence of smoking. People simply stop looking.

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Application: People will generally respond better to positive feedback. People can be inspired to change if they can see some tangible benefit to themselves or people they care about. The best way to encourage change is to paint a compelling and positive picture of the future, spelling out clearly the benefits of the change. The ‘carrot’ does not guarantee results, but will be far more effective than the ‘stick.’

Myth #4: Change can be avoided

Reality: We have a natural tendency to resist change, but this is not the same as avoiding change. We can resist getting older, but obviously our resistance is not going to be effective. Change is coming, ready or not. We can ride the wave of change or be submerged by it. This is essentially our only choice.

Application: To demonstrate his inability to resist the natural cycles of nature, King Cnut ordered his retinue to carry a throne onto the beach so that he could command the tide to turn back. Cnut’s courtiers were amazed when the tide failed to respond to the king’s order and the water started lapping around his feet.

The only sensible option is to be observant, notice how change is happening, and work with it, learning how to adapt and turn the natural course of things to our advantage. Call it ‘going with the flow,’ the old Taoists were masters of this art. In nature, the adaptable survive; those unable or unwilling to change go to the wall.

Myth #5: Change is always the answer

Reality: Some people (a minority!) love change and they seek to promote it at every opportunity, thinking that change is always the best course of action. Perhaps you’ve worked with or for someone like this. A manager who constantly tries to change everything can produce a chaotic, unstable and unproductive environment. We are often tempted to meddle, but sometimes, the best thing is to leave things alone.

Application: Don’t assume change is the best thing. Find out about the situation. Make sure you really understand what is happening and why, as far as you can. Change is sometimes called for, but not always. Remember the wise old saying – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Top 3 Ways to Live a Greener Lifestyle With Eco-Friendly Shopping

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Most of us have at least put some thought into going green and living a more sustainable, eco-friendly responsible lifestyle. While some companies are really making an effort to fix this need by releasing better, healthier or just less harmful products onto the market, there are many that have to charge more to cover their overhead. This has left many with the misconception that responsible consumerism means spending more cash.

While at the base price this might be true, you don’t have to get caught on the bottom line. If you have ever been to sites like The DailyGreen or GreenerChoices, you know that every little bit helps. For finances, the same principle can be applied. Sometimes it is as simple as finding the right ways to do eco-friendly shopping to lessen the load and keep your cash in your wallet where it belongs. But where do you start looking?

1. How to get free shipping deals for eco-friendly products

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Sometimes you just can’t find what you need in stores, but when buying online you might find that shipping costs are a beast to be reckoned with. Cut your costs by checking out FreeShipping.org, a coupon site that is dedicated to showing you deals from around the web, from sites that – you guessed it – have no shipping charges. They have an eco portion of the site that you can check out.

Not only a source for free shipping deals , but for Lenovo Coupons and free giveaways, FreeShipping.org is a fantastic site filled with great offers, contests and huge deals of eco-friendly products.

2. How to shop using in-store paperless coupons

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Two words: paperless coupons. A lot of stores are going this route, but CouponSherpa has taken it to a new level. You can use a mobile app to get the coupons to your phone, which can then be used in stores. With this being the largest coupon site on the web, they have tons of green eco-friendly deals for you to find, and an easy to use search engine.

Besides featuring green coupons regularly, they also have Eco-Frugal Life Guide which is full of green money-saving tips.

3. How to shop for green product makers

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From Olive&Myrtle to MyEarth360, Pristine Planet has a ton of offers for well known green eco-friendly product makers all over the web. They also have a great collection of promo codes, and they update often. Definitely a must for anyone looking for a new favorite.

Any more sources of green coupons online? Please share your thoughts

Top 11 Habits of Highly Successful Dreamers

By Judy Belmont

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney certainly was a dreamer, and his imagination and dreams resulted in creating fairytale destinations that revolutionized the entertainment industry and epitomized the magic of creative thinking.  Walt Disney, the dreamer, imagined things that the common person could never have fathomed, and his example of creativity has been a major inspiration to millions of people worldwide.

Despite the compelling example of Walt Disney, not all dreams lead us down the right path, and in fact many dreams not only don’t come true, they can lead the dreamer astray and even turn into nightmares, leaving us more crippled rather than free. At times, we need to know when to give up a dream and replace it with a new one.

What happens to dreams that lead us astray?  What happens to the dreamers that needed to give up their dreams?  Some mourn the loss of their dream as a gap in their lives puts a wedge in their lives, while others dust themselves off as they come to the realization that even though their dreams were not realized, they can move on with undaunted faith in newer dreams.

What differentiates these dreamers?  What determines who will be broken by dreams and who will be mobilized by new dreams?  The following 11 habits seem to be determining factors of how resilient is the dreamer, even despite the fact that some of their dreams ended up turning into nightmares.

1.  Successful dreamers are flexible – they know when to hold them and know when to fold them!

As in the song by Kenny Rogers, healthy dreamers know when it is time to let go of one dream and trade it for another. They realize that some dreams just don’t come true, and even they do, those dreams might not turn out the way they had hoped or expected.  For some, dreams of a happy marriage are replaced with a painful and bitter divorce. Likewise, our dream job or even career might end in disenchantment or even failure.

Sometimes you need to stop reaching because life did not support your dream, no matter how much you wanted it!  Healthy dreamers do not see it as a defeat but rather see it as a foundation for conjuring up new dreams that fit them better now based on their experience.

2.  Successful dreamers have one foot on the ground while they leap into the air.

While they let their imagination soar, they do not lose their senses and sensibilities.  They have at least one foot planted on the ground.  They plan, they work, they execute their dreams, and do not expect quick fixes and miracles that will magically transform their lives. They don’t keep their heads in the proverbial clouds and think that if they dream hard enough, all their dreams will somehow come true. Rather they plod along in reaching for their dream, and realize that actualizing their dreams take a lot of work and effort.

3.  Successful dreamers know that happiness is in pursuing their dreams as much as in reaching it.

Healthy dreamers do not have pre-conditions to happiness. They realize the process is just as important as the product. While going towards their goals, they do not wait for life to turn out in reaching their dream – they see their life “turning out” as they go.  They know that happiness comes from within and even if they achieve their wildest dreams on the outside, they realize that attitude will make or break their life adjustment. They don’t put their life on hold thinking that reaching their dreams will make it all “perfect”. In other words, they do not wait for reaching their dream to make them happy, yet focus on being happy in the process.

4.  Successful dreamers don’t put all their dreams in one basket. 

Successful dreamers do not have all or nothing thinking. They also have already made peace with the fact that life is not often fair, and do not expect that the stars will align and all their dreams will come true, despite their best efforts. They also realize that even if a dream comes true, it might not be what they wanted or needed after all. So they do not hinge too much on any one dream and constantly try to achieve a life balance or dreams in the works.

5.  Successful dreamers don’t see disappointments as aberrations in life, they see them as stepping stones towards successes.

These individuals can break their dreams into smaller pieces if the whole dream does not turn out. They make mosaics or stepping stones out of their broken pieces of their dreams rather than give up on their dreams altogether. Instead of being miserable with so many broken pieces of dreams, they enthusiastically work with what they have to replace an old dream with a new one, that is more within their reach.

6.  Successful dreamers love to learn and use their “Inner GPS”.

As their dreams evolve and take new shapes as they mature, dreamers keep learning lessons of what did and did not work in pursuing their dreams. They build on their experiences of what they learned as their dreams take shape. They constantly are recalibrating themselves like a GPS. They are sensitive to the fact that their dreams are taking them on a detour, and they readjust accordingly. They constantly take stock of their dreams and ideals to achieve a constant state of equilibrium.

7.  Successful dreamers are propelled by courage rather than crippled by fear. 

Some people cling to dreams out of fear, and others pursue dreams with courage. Those who are too needy and clingy to their dreams are often disappointed as the dream, even if they attained it, did not give them the security and confidence they has hoped for. Old fears replace new fears. On the other hand, healthy dreamers are courageous souls who possess the seeds of resilience that they can weather missteps along the way.

8.  Successful dreamers move past the past.

Successful dreamers don’t live in the land of “what ifs” and “if onlys.”  They are not blinded by the future or blindsided by their past  – they focus on how they can actualize their dreams without putting their life on hold. They plan for tomorrow, learn from the past, but live in TODAY!

9.  Successful dreamers are forgiving and grateful.

There is no place for the healthy dreamer in the land of “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”  They do not judge their immature dreams, they do not begrudge themselves for having been naive or even foolish.  They are not hard on themselves for not having the foresight of knowing what they now know in hindsight. They are grateful for second chances as they work their way towards fulfilling their dreams. They see each day as a new opportunity to forge ahead, and are grateful for the opportunities the new day can bring them.

10.  Successful  dreamers seek healthy support from others.

Those who seek support of others that support their dreams are much more resilient than “loners” who isolate themselves. They are perceptive enough to discern who supports their dreams and who does not, and they set limits with those people who are toxic influences on their development. They seek out people who do not feel threatened by their growth, and refuse to cling to people out of fear and insecurity. Rather, their relationships enhance their ability to dream, not stifle it.

11.  Successful dreamers never give up hope.

No matter if one dream went wrong or many of them, successful dreamers never give up hope. They keep hope alive with the confidence that no matter what, they will meet new challenges with confidence and optimism. They refuse to give up hope that their dreams, and even their life, will turn out well. For their bumps and bruises along the way, they are soothed and healed by their hopeful mindset.

How about you – Are you a successful dreamer?  What are your habits? What are your dreams?  Welcome comments!

Smart Gadgets for Summer

It is officially summer here in Southern California and I am ready to get outside!  From camping and hiking, to beach picnics and barbecues, I can’t get enough vitamin D in my system.  And along with the outdoor activities, summer brings with it some fun gadgets too.

Whether it is water-resistant, solar powered or just a useful item to keep you cool during the summer heat, there really is some fun technology to enjoy during the summer months.  I’ve rounded up a couple of my favorite below, and even throw in a few apps that may be of use to you this summer.

Are their any fun gadgets you like to use/bring on your summer journeys? Share your favorites in the comments!

If you are hitting the road or just staying active outdoors this summer, check out some of these great items.

1. bike ipad case, $180
2. camera, $89
3. solar charger, $79.99
4. waterproof ipod case and speakers, $41
5. jambox, $199.99


If your planning some great barbecues and parties, these summer gadgets are a must.
1. Terra Cotta Oven, $1,900
2. wine chiller, $49.95
3. lantern, $40
4. fan, $332.22
5. candle, $89.99

These apps will have you hiking, hitting the beach and staying protected all summer long.


With more than 5,300 hundred beach locations in North America to choose from, this app will get you to the beach this summer no matter where you are!  It even helps you choose the best ones with the user-generated rating system.


Not only does it help you find a park anywhere in the US, it also helps you find recreational areas based on the activity you want to do.  Looking to do some bird watching or go caving, Oh Ranger! can help you do it!


We may lose track of our actual time in the sun as we lay out, enjoy outdoor activities or just barbecue with friends, but it is always important to keep yourself protected.  This incredible app will help determine the UV index in your area and keep you area of your daily sun exposure.
Now get outside and have some summer fun!

Unleash the Champion Within You

By Diggy

Many of us have been taught to strive for being number 1, to be the best at whatever we do. There are certain things in life where it is not possible to be the best, simply because there is no best. One thing that is certain is that it is possible to be your best self, meaning the best person you can possible be.

Let me explain…

  • In a 100m sprint you can be the best by completing it in the quickest time.
  • In a math exam you can be the best by getting the most answers correct.
  • As a builder you can be the best by building the most brick walls of the highest quality.

In life, you can be the best by being your best self and living the best possible life you can. I can’t tell you what that best life is. Some people want to put together a fortune. Some people want fame. Some people want to make an impact on the lives of others. Some people want world peace and make it a mission to achieve that. I think that you be your best self by going after your dreams and living up to your full potential.

You Are Capable Of More Than You Think

You may not know what you are capable of. You are capable of much more than you think. You are definitely capable of determining the fact if you are or if you are not living up to your full potential. Are you happy? Are you achieving what you want to achieve? Are you content that you have reached your dreams?

If not, then you should get off your backside and continue working on yourself to be the best possible person that you can be, every single day. Life is a constant journey of discovery, learning, progress, failure, happiness, disappointments and successes. If you take things a day at a time, little by little, then over time you will make huge progress. Don’t aim for the overnight change, this is an illusion or at best reserved for a very lucky few.

There Is No Absolute Best

I’m going to use the following example to explain to you why in some cases there is no absolute best, there is no absolute number 1.

I’m going to give you a choice of a Ferarri, an off-road Jeep, a tractor, and a bus.
Now let me ask you: Which of the above vehicles is the best?

Maybe the obvious choice without thinking would be the Ferarri but with some closer inspection that is not the case. None of the above is an absolute best. In fact, every one of the above vehicles is the best in a certain situation.

  • On the racetrack or escaping from someone who wants to kill you or even an appearance at a Hollywood party the Ferarri takes the title of ‘Best’.
  • Having to cross a sandy dessert to get to the next town then the offroad Jeep is the best.
  • For agriculture purposes to grow crops and prepare the soil, the tractor is the best.
  • For transporting mass amounts of people in one go, the bus is the best.

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Life Has No Absolute Best

Just like the above examples, the same principle applies to people and life. There is no ‘best’ person and no ‘best’ life. There is no-one that has the best life in the world and every-one else’s life is less fun to live. Every person is unique and different. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Some people are the best at physical work, others are better at fighting, others are better at sport, others are better at math and problem solving.

Some people advocate working on your weaknesses to get them to the same level as your strengths. This is especially true in schools. If you’re good writing and English, but bad at science and math, teachers put pressure on you to get better at math and science. I don’t believe in this.

I believe in taking your strengths and developing those to incredible levels. Take your natural talent and work on that to turn yourself into a champion at that talent. Do not try and get better at your weaknesses and things you have no passion for just to become a better all-rounder.

I like to take the approach of not striving to be better than everyone else in the world at the expense of not enjoying life. I take the approach of being the best person I can be, constantly improving myself and making myself better while enjoying all that life has to offer. My passion and my drive to become good at the things I want to become good at is enough inspiration and motivation to become the best, although that is not my first intention.

Just like with blogging, or with artists or musicians. Many of the top of their leagues all started out because they were passionate and loved what they did. Their aim was not to become rich or famous, that was a side-effect of their passion, dedication and perseverance.

Unleash Your Inner Champion

I believe that every single person on this planet has something that they can become really good at. Not just really good, but ‘among the top of the world’ good. Every single person has the potential to be a champion. That champion is already inside of you, you just have to wake him up.

It is a shame that so many people live their lives without ever living up to their full potential. I don’t claim that I am the best person I can be. In fact, I know I am not, but I am working towards it every single day.

You can become better at anything you put time, energy and effort into. Just because you are not good at something does not mean that you cannot get good at it. Some of the best people in the world used to really suck at what they are now so good at. As Will Smith once said:

“Talent is something you are born with, but skill takes hours upon hours upon hours of incredible effort to achieve”

Less is More

One mistake I had made for the last couple of years is that I would always do too many things at a time. This resulted in being a Jack of all trades but a master of none.

I tried to become good at 3 instruments at once, 5 sports at once, I tried to build 20 websites at the same time, and tried to learn 3 professions simultaneously. The result was (as you can guess) that I never became really good at any of these things and I lost interest in them because I just did not have enough energy and inspiration to keep doing everything at once.

This was my situation until I decided to focus on a maximum of two things at a time. Two sports, one instrument, one profession, one blog. Sure, there are less things that I am becoming good at, but less is more. By cutting down on all my projects and by choosing only one or two that I am really passionate about, the chance is much bigger that I will excel at what I do.

If you are doing the same and spreading yourself too thin, take some time off to look at your life objectively. Choose one or two things that you are good at or passionate about and focus on those one or two things only. You have a champion within you. Get out there and unleash him (or her).

The Slothful Genius – A Change Life Story

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By Zoli Cserei

I was a quite disorganized guy. In addition, I have a reputation for outstanding achievements at different competitions in the domains of physics, sociology, languages, chemistry, and so on. Due to this quite bizarre combination I was known as the slothful genius of the school. Now, regarding being a sloth – I admit my bad ways and do my best to improve. Regarding being a genius – oh boy, I don’t like to call myself one. Oscar Wilde, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi – they are the geniuses. I might earn the title one day, but that’s far from now.

Being a “slothful genius” I was confronted with comments such as “Boy, you are wasting your opportunity!”“Boy, you are capable of so much, why don’t you make use of what you have?” and“You can’t even imagine how it feels not to understand a math problem, use your brain, don’t be so lazy!”. Except for some really good friends, most of the people who said these things said them because they were happy that I wasn’t doing my best.

Some People Might Not Welcome Your Change

Then I decided I needed to change. I set aside time for schoolwork in the afternoon, I organized my wake-up routine so I would never be late for the first class and decided to shave more regularly. Looks tell more then you’d believe.

There were some people who observed that I was finally following a path that would seed better results, and that made me a lot happier. They started to treat me in a more respectful manner, teachers as well as classmates.

However, the majority of people initially wouldn’t admit that I was making changes. They had gotten so used to my old behavior, they didn’t even observe that I was trying to get better organized. This might happen to you, too, and it might happen for different reasons. In my experience, people are more happy to know you behind them, than to know you in front of them.

Don’t be afraid. This does not mean that if you improve, people will stay away from you. First of all, real friends stay with you and do a high five. Then, after just a very short while, everyone else gets used to the fact that people – including you – do change. If you stay nice and friendly, this issue will vanish.

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Accept Your Flaws, But Don’t Be Proud Of Them

You should always be aware of your flaws, how you can change them, and why you are going to change them. It took me awhile to do this, and it’s ok if it doesn’t happen overnight to you either – that isn’t how it’s supposed to be, anyway. Being aware of your flaws and mistakes also involves accepting them. I’ve come to know that one of the best helpers to accepting your flaws is to joke about them, make fun of yourself.

There are periods your life when you don’t even realize a given flaw, or don’t consider it a flaw yet. For example, I spent a lot of time believing that being rude is equal to showing power, only to find out that being rude is nothing but a sign of insecurity. Then, the time will come when you eventually realize that what you considered cool or correct before is no longer in alignment with your values.

Constant Effort and my Chest Workout

In addition to my earlier advice, I suggest you commit to the following rule: be persistent.

I recently joined an athletics group, where we do some weight workouts twice a week. After my first training, I spent half of the evening in front of the mirror admiring my “new” chest muscles. Luckily I did so, because the next day I couldn’t find but the slightest trace of them. The swollen muscles were just the “promise”, they were the illusion of what I could achieve if I worked a little.

It happens the same way in every area of life. You work a little, you see some results. Then, if you work a little more, you see some more results. If you work a lot, you see a whole lot of results. However, if you work just a little, then give up, then even those little results are probably going to fade away, like my swollen chest.

Don’t worry though, if little effort shows no results, it simply means you have a bit more work to do.

Organize Your Life with Pinterest Instructions

When I first started “pinning” photos on my Pinterest boards, it was a way to save a pretty picture and — I’ll be really honest — procrastinate. Then I started looking around the site, checking out other boards,  and I realized it’s a virtual file cabinet! You can create a board on any topic you can think of and save all your information paperless-ly (the trees are happy!). You can organize almost every aspect of your life! For the first time ever, it’s fun to be organized! Who knew?!

Let me explain … I love collecting recipes: I may not use them all, but it’s always nice to have ones on hand that make my mouth water. I used to keep a pile of mags, but the recipe mag pile became a tottering tower and I tossed it out. Then I came up with the bright idea of putting them in a special folder in my Internet bookmarks toolbar.  Problem was, when I finally had the chance to try the Chesapeake Chicken recipe I was saving, I couldn’t find it! After a while, I gave up and searched for it online. Of course this took more time and by the time I found it, I was totally frustrated and didn’t even feel like cooking anymore.

I was moaning about this issue to a friend of mine, and she told me that she no longer keeps any paper recipes in the house; she “pins” them on her recipe pinboard instead. I was astounded! Everything I ever needed in one easy-to-spot place? Yes, please!

If you’ve never pinned, let me explain: When you “pin” a picture on a pinboard, you’re actually creating a link directly to the recipe via the photo! Now, when I’m having friends over for dinner, instead wasting time hunting in a cookbook or bookmark, I go to my recipe pinboard and within seconds I’ve found my Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken Thighs recipe!

It’s really that simple.

You can use Pinterest for all aspects of your life — not just for inspiration, but to collect links to how-tos and directions…

I’ve wandered around Pinterest and have seen many a bride organize everything from wedding favors and cake ideas to décor, hairstyles and beyond.

Instead of buying a zillion home décor magazines, ripping out the pages, making a folder for the ideas and photos, then promptly misplacing the folder, you can pin it! The above photo that I pinned to my “Decor I Love” board  takes you directly to a tutorial on how to make shades without sewing.

How do you get other people’s tips? There are two ways: One, you follow them. Once you start following them, you see what they pin and you can re-pin it onto your own board. Two, you can search on Pinterest either by board or topic.

I started with just one pinboard. I now have 18 boards. They range from boards about plants I may be interested in buying for my home to laundry tips. This one above I   found from aswegrow. Did you know can use vinegar instead of bleach to whiten laundry and that unlike bleach, vinegar won’t damage your clothing?

You can even create a pinboard devoted to manicures. When you’re going to the salon, you can whip out your smartphone and show them the photo of how you want your nails done! No more trying to explain what it looks like or trying to describe a shade of blue — it’s right there! This image above from pinterest user april_hussar  links  to an article filled with tips, tricks, trend, and nailpolishes for summer.

I’ve seen boards created by crafters—knitters, crocheters and the like, pin the photo that goes with a pattern and they have a whole year’s worth (or more) of projects they can work on.

You can pin from your smartphone as well as from your computer, so you’re never far away from a cool idea.

Convinced? Here are my top tips on getting started on Pinterest:

1. Click on the ‘Request an Invite” tab at www.Pinterest.com. In a day (or maybe less) you’ll get an email from them letting you know you’re now a pinner. Don’t worry, they don’t bite. They say yes to everyone except spammers.

2. Set up your account. Pinterest offers a few pre-named boards like “fashion” and  “home” –  you can rename them or create your own. Some people on Pinterest have over 47 boards, but I recommend starting small and jsut getting used to the site, seeing how other people use it.

3. How to pin? This is easy. After you join Pinterest, you can download their “Pin It” app and it sits on your toolbar. When you’re on a site and you see something you want to save, click on the “Pin It’ button! You save it and you’re done –  the photo that will appear on your pinboard and that in turn will take you directly to the recipe, shoe, hot guy or whatever it was you’ve pinned.

4. How to find tips and inspiration? Wander around the site and look at what people are pinning. If you like what they’re showing you, follow them. When you follow people, you see what they’re pinning and you can “like” a pin or re-pin it to your own board. That’s how I got the curtain and cleaning tips and a ton of recipes.

5. If you’re like me, you get a ton of emails from magazines and websites. If there are recipes, decorating, technology, dating or vacation tips in the newsletters, instead of saving the email (and clogging up your inbox), pin the information. Go to the article then pin it in the appropriate board.

Since I started pinning, my paper pile is almost non-existent, making it easier for me to clean the house and find my dog.

Incoming search terms:

6 Best Apps For Planning Perfect Date

Whether it’s a first date with a gal you’re just getting to know or the 800th with your sweetheart of twenty years, planning and smoothly executing a date can be daunting. It’s hard to come up with ideas that both you and your partner will enjoy. But with today’s technology, creating memorable dates has never been easier.

Below we highlight six smart apps that will help you plan and carry out dates that are bound to make your main squeeze swoon.

Flowers Meaning

While bringing flowers on a first date might be seen as over the top, once you’ve been going out for awhile, few women can resist the charm of a beautiful bouquet. But let’s face it…giving a woman flowers isn’t too original. So infuse the gesture with a little more uniqueness, fun, and romance by taking a cue for our Victorian brethren. Back in the day, flowers had certain meanings and the flowers a gentleman selected for a lady were designed to communicate his thoughts and emotions. These flower meanings are still around, and you can find them with the Flowers Meaning app, and then put a unique bouquet together to express your feelings for your sweetheart. Giving her a bouquet like that, instead of grabbing one from the refrigerator case at Wal-Mart, will surely get your date off to the right start.



The gents at UrbanDaddy have one mission: helping people living in the biggest metro areas of the U.S. find the best bars, restaurants, and events. Their Next Move app makes finding a place to take a lovely lady on a date as easy as a few taps on your phone. Just tell the app what city you’re in, the neighborhood you’re near, and whether you want food or drinks. UrbanDaddy then goes to work spitting out the perfect location for you to visit. Date planning has never been easier.



A well-planned music playlist can create the perfect mood for your date. Plan your date night music list with the Spotify app. With access to hundreds of thousands of songs, you can construct a romantic date night playlist that will make the evening even more memorable. Stick with some classic jazz or crooners like Frank Sinatra or Bobby Darin. The music is pleasant, warm, and doesn’t distract from conversation.

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 $9.99 a month for unlimited song downloads


Studies show that doing new and novel things with your partner increases the dopamine in your brains which helps rekindle the sparks you once felt for each other. But if you and your partner are like most couples, you’ve probably fallen into a rut of “dinner and a movie” date nights. Bust out of the rut with the Nifty Date Idea app. Filled with hundreds of creative and cheap date ideas and even a video scavenger game you can play with another couple, you’ll never have another boring date night again.

$.99 cents 

Dropp App

Dropp app allows you to send messages or photos to other Dropp users as soon as they arrive at a specified location. The app uses the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to deliver the location-based messages. You could use the Dropp app to create a romantic and fun scavenger hunt date. The clues will appear on your date’s phone as she arrives at the locations you specified in Dropp. Have the clues lead your date to a park so you can watch an outdoor movie using Brookstone’siPhonePocketProjector and a sheet hung between two trees. Your date will think you’re the bees knees.



While the movie date often gets criticized for being too conventional, sometimes a relaxing evening taking in a film is just the thing you’re both in the mood for.

Make your movie date even easier to plan with the Movies app from Flixter and Rotten Tomatoes. The app gives you the showtimes of movies at theatres nearest you. Browse the ratings from Rotten Tomatoes to make sure you don’t waste your money on a dud. When you’ve decided which movie you want to see, you can buy your tickets in the app and they’ll be ready for you to pick up when you arrive at the theater.


Top 6 London 2012 Olympic Apps For Busy Sports Lovers

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are just around the corner, and whether you’ll be traveling to London to watch or catching the action from home, there are lots of ways to keep up with the action. Given the fact that the action will be happening several time zones away, with multiple events occurring at the same time, it’ll be nearly impossible to follow everything in real time. Facebook recently launched a hub where you can find info on everything Olympics, but if you want to watch all your favorite athletes and events, keep abreast of track standings and results, and find your way around the Olympic venues, check out these apps.

1. NBC Olympics App
Price: TBD
Download: NBC Olympics App will be available in July

The official app from Olympic broadcast network NBC will be available some time in July, though no official release date has yet been announced. The app will bring you the latest news, results, schedules, video highlights, TV listings, real-time medal counts, photos, and more. You can also connect with other fans on Facebook and Twitter and track your favorite athletes, teams, and sports.

2. NBC Olympics “Live Extra” App
Price: Free for subscribers to a cable, satellite, or television TV service package that includes CNBC and MSNBC
Download: NBC Olympics “Live Extra” App will be available in July

The Live Extra app from NBC will also be available some time in July, though again, we don’t know exactly when. It will bring live video streams and full replays for all Olympic events. While NBC has stated that the app will be free for current cable subscribers, it’s unclear whether it will also be available for those who don’t have a cable account.
3. London 2012: Official Join In App For the Olympics and Paralympic Games

Price: Free

Download: London 2012: Official Join In App For the Olympics and Paralympic Games for iPhone and iPad

The official London 2012 app, developed and maintained by the London Organizing Committee, is a complete mobile guide to help you enjoy the games. Though it’s aimed mostly at individuals who will actually be in England for the games, the app’s wealth of information will be helpful for any Olympic fan. You can follow the progress of the Olympic Torch Relay before the games begin and keep track of when and where all the events are occurring around the country, including free local events and celebrations.

4. 2012 Team USA Road To London
Price: Free
Download: 2012 Team USA Road To London foriPhone and iPad or Android

The U.S. Olympic Committee created the 2012 Team USA Road to London app to follow the selection of the U.S. Olympic team and their progress in London at the games. It provides current information on team members, including bios, photo galleries, and video clips, as well as daily editorial content on athletes and events. You can even send a virtual cheer to your favorite participants!

5. London 2012 Olympic Summer Games
Price: $1.99
Download: London 2012 Olympic Summer Games for iPad

See also –  BBC Olympics app on Android and iPhone has 24 live streams

London 2012 Summer Olympics Social Media Guide

This comprehensive app contains all the information you could want about the games as they happen. It contains information about venues and schedules, medal tallies, and international sports news. There’s a countdown to July 27, and you can even listen to more than 200 national anthems from around the globe.

6. London Olympics 2012
Price: $1.95
Download: London Olympics 2012 for Android

If you’ll be traveling to England for the games, this Android app is your one-stop shop for all the information you need to enjoy the experience. You’ll find weather forecasts for all seven Olympic cities, traffic reports near the venues, a journey planner to help you figure out how to get where you’re going, and even a map of the London Underground. It also has a complete searchable schedule of all Olympic events, dates, venues, schedules, and scores, and local information about where to stay, eat, and what to do in the few moments you’re not glued to the events.

Celebrate the Olympic Games

The Olympics are one of the few times that just about the whole world comes together in a solidarity of sport. It’s an amazing experience, whether you’re there in person or watching from afar. Today’s games are a much broader event than the original Greek foot races, and these apps will help you keep track of everything that’s going on!

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