Let the summer fun begin

Enjoy this amazing list of fun and inexpensive ideas to keep summer fun for your kids and other kids you might know.

  1. Glow-in-the-dark bubbles. If you feel like you go through bubbles by the gallon over the summer, try making your own. Mom.me shared a collection of super-easy DIY bubble recipes — including one that makes your bubbles glow in the dark!
  1. Simon Says… ART. You remember the classic “Simon Says” game of instructions for kids, right? Just give it a new artistic spin for rainy day fun. Think Simon Says… draw a squiggly line with yellow paint. Or Simon Says…make a circle with a blue crayon. The possibilities are endless.
  1. Rediscover your local library. Sign the kids up for a summer reading club and keep the children’s library schedule of activities on your fridge to keep track of story hours, classes and performances throughout the summer. Bonus: It’s air-conditioned — and most activities are probably free. All Things Fadra suggests a multimedia visit: “I usually include trips to the library where we can pick out a mix of books, DVDs, and video games for free. The media stuff helps make it not feel so ‘school-like.'”
  1. Plant a garden. It’s a great way to teach kids about where food comes from, and if they have a stake in growing their own vegetables, chances are they just might eat them. Before you plant, check out Women & Co.’s “5 Ways to Save Money in Your Garden.”
  1. Cook with kids. Once they’ve harvested those vegetables that they’ve grown in their garden, have them help you prepare them for the whole family to enjoy. Little ones can pitch in by mixing sauces and tossing a salad; older kids can help you plan a menu and do some of the cooking.
  1. Plan a backyard movie night. April from Mom.me (@Momdotme) offered this simple, yet brilliant, summer party idea. Hang a drop cloth from some trees, lay out some blankets and pillows on the lawn, pop some popcorn and your backyard becomes a cinematic wonderland. For step-by-step instructions check out http://mom.me/playroom/8193-toddler-talk-backyard-movie-party/.
  1. Finger knitting. It’s easy, inexpensive, and keeps their hands busy. @DawnMcAvoy shared this how-to video that will teach kids to master the basics in less than 7 minutes.
  1. Leaf art. Bored with finger paint? Jill from Mom It Forward suggests incorporating nature into your kids’ palettes by having them collect leaves for their next art project. “You can paint them and make a beautiful picture, or try painting with the leaves as brushes. It’s so much fun and the kids get to be messy!”
  1. Make new friends. Search Meetup.com for local events in your area, and sign up for alerts from groups that organize kids’ events in your neighborhood. Or check out local parenting blogs for event calendars and top activity picks. MommyPoppins.com, for example, offers guides to NYC, NJ, LI, CT, Boston and LA.
  1. Go old school. Think back to your childhood memories and how you spent the lazy, hazy days of summer. Sidewalk chalk, Slip ‘N Slide, freeze tag, kick the can and catching fireflies never get old. “It’s amazing to watch your kids play the way that you used to,” shared Kelly.

Provided by Women & Co as told through the Huffington Post 7/26/13

A Great Story of Helping Another

Stranger Buys Cop Car For Son Of Fallen Officer


Technology vs. Customer Service

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, an arrangement, which, I admit, has only been in place for eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to

contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, prerecorded faceless entity that your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will, therefore and hereafter, no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status, which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number, which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again,

I have modeled it on the number of button presses required to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. Press buttons as follows:

1.- To make an appointment to see me.

2.- To query a missing payment.

3.- To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

4.- To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.

  1. -To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

6.- To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

7.- To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated at a later date to the Authorized Contact.

  1. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
  2. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.  While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

11 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s hard to come up with cool, new ideas for Father’s Day gifts, so we hope you find this information helpful.

Click the link to get access to:

11 Father’s Day Gifts That Are More Original Than A Tie


Growing old is mandatory… …Growing up is optional.


My dear girl,


            The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.  If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrup to say, “You said the same thng a minute ago”… Just listen, please.  Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.


When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me.  Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?


When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues eveyr day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patrient, but most of all, try to understand what I am going through.


If I occasionally lose track ofd what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant.  Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.


And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.  When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to th end of my life with love.  I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared.  With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.

5 Reasons for the Summer Selling Season

Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel shared his sentiments on selling at this time of the year: “Based on the number of contracts signed each month, the spring is still the ‘Super Bowl’ of annual real estate sales,” June is annually the top month for the number of contracts signed, which means the properties themselves were likely listed in May. Overall, June yields 90 percent more sales than December.


Here are five good reasons to make the decision to sell:


  1. Beautiful weather makes everyone a little happier. “May weather is ideal for selling a home because gardens are in bloom. In the fall, home seekers are reminded of the leaves they’ll need to rake, and in the winter they’ll often see how much snow needs to be shoveled. In the spring they’ll be imagining the barbecues to come,” says Ryan Nickum, a blogger for Estately.com.


  1. School’s out! If you’re like a lot of folks, this is the time of year you targeted to sell your home. It’s likely you want to get it done before school starts in the fall so that the kids are well adjusted before the first day of school


  1. Folks are hungry for homes after the winter is always. “April officially kicks off Open House Month and home buyers are pounding the pavement in search of the perfect fit,” said Alison Schwartz, Vice President, Corporate Communications at Move.com.
  2. Nicer weather makes it easier to sell the home. Potential buyers are less concerned by the possibility of higher heating and cooling costs when it’s 70 to 75 degrees outside.


  1. Tax refunds mean cash is King. Prospective buyers have made it through tax season and have some extra cash in their pockets. For some, it means that they have the down payment they need to get into the home of their dreams.


Information gathered from The Huffington Post

What’s stopping you?

Watch Nick Vujicic live life to the fullest despite having no arms and legs.



No More Whining!

Roxanne Gay makes a case as to why we should all stop whining.


I have lived in rural America for nine years, first in Michigan, where I was getting my PhD; then in central Illinois; and now in Indiana, where I am a professor. In a place where most people have lived the whole of their lives, I feel like a stranger—someone on the outside looking in.


There are few things I enjoy more than complaining about my geographic isolation. I’m a vegetarian, so there’s nowhere to go for a nice dinner that isn’t 50 miles away. I’m black, so there’s nowhere to get my hair done that doesn’t involve another 50-mile drive. I’m single, and the dating options are, at times, grim. And the closest major airport is two hours away.


I recite these gripes to my parents, my brothers, my friends. Sometimes it seems like complaints are the lingua franca in my circle. We all are dissatisfied with something. Back in Illinois, my friends complained about the train to Chicago and how it’s never on time; my friends in bigger cities complain about the expensive rent and strange smells on the subway; my married friends complain about their partners; my single friends complain about the wretchedness of dating.


Complaining allows us to acknowledge the imperfect without having to take action—it lets us luxuriate in inertia. We all have grand ideas about what life would be like if only we had this, or did that, or lived there. Perhaps complaining helps bridge the vast yawn between these fantasy selves and reality.


And there’s this: I really don’t intend to change most of the things I complain about. Griping is seductive on those days when happiness requires too much energy. But it also makes me lose sight of the fact that I was born and bred in Nebraska and have lived most of my life in one of the plains states. When I go to the coasts, I am struck by how ultimately unappealing big-city living can be.


And while I may not love where I live, there are plenty of people who are proud to call this place home. At a party with colleagues, I was going on about everything I couldn’t stand in our town when I noticed that they were silent and shifting uncomfortably. That humbling moment forced a shift in me.


Complaining may offer relief, but so does acceptance. There is no perfect place.


There is no perfect life. There will always be something to moan about. By focusing on grievances, I risk missing out on precious, startling moments of appreciation. Those times when, during a drive home from the airport, I stare at the prairie flatness, the breathtaking shades of green as buds of corn push up through freshly tilled soil; at the wooden barns, their paint peeling and faded; and at pieces of farm equipment, massive but with poetry in how they rumble across the land. When I get home, I stand on my balcony and look up into the night sky and see the stars. And I know that I have absolutely nothing to complain about.


Reader’s Digest Online May 2015

No Reason to go “loco” on Cinco de Mayo

In actuality, “the Fifth of May,” Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. In 1861, France sent a massive army to invade Mexico, as they wanted to collect on some war debts.

And, while the French army did regroup and eventually take the city, the excitement of winning the first battle was enough for the Mexicans to want to celebrate it each year.

The natural question posed by most people is: Isn’t it Mexico’s Independence Day? That’s a common misconception. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, because it was on that day in 1810 that Father Miguel Hidalgo took to his pulpit in the village church of the town of Dolores and invited his flock to take up arms and join him in overthrowing Spanish tyranny.

Independence Day is a hugely important and celebrated much more widely and fervently is in Mexico.

There’s a theory that part of the reason Cinco De Mayo is celebrated so strongly in the United States is states like California and Texas, which border Mexico and have a strong Mexican and Mexican-American population, adopted the tradition and celebrated it on a much grander scale. And, as the tradition spread northward, it was adopted by Canadians as well.

In Puebla – the site of the famous battle – and in the areas of the United States with large Mexican populations, there are parades, dancing and festivals. Customary Mexican food is served and/or sold. Mariachi bands play and a large amount of Mexican favorites – Dos Equis and Corona – are served.

In the end, it seems to be more about celebrating the Mexican way of life than winning a battle more than 150 years ago.  One thing is certain, the Mexican restaurants and cantinas in your area will be flowing with people looking to enjoy the day in the tradition of Mexico.

How to give a sincere complement.

  • Be honest. The average person can distinguish between empty flattery and sincere appreciation. Give compliments only when you are legitimately awed and truly grateful.
  • Be specific. Nonspecific compliments like “you look nice” or “good job” can seem flat and insincere. Rather, make a comment on what you find specifically outstanding in this person’s appearance, or what in particular impressed you about the job.#844
  • Tell the person how he has absolutely affected you and your life. Providing actual examples shows your bona fide appreciation. For example, to a the embellish “you have a great sense of humor” you could say, “I was in a terrible mood until you made that joke. I laughed the rest of the afternoon.”
  • Ask a follow-up. Giving someone a compliment as a closed-end statement leaves the person with only one option: say “thank you.” Lead the person you complimented into conversation by asking questions. Instead try something like this: “Great job on that last project. You really had some innovative ideas, and you showed great leadership through the whole thing. Was it hard getting everyone on board with you?”

We know you already know this stuff.  However knowing fried food makes us fat most of us can’t pass up a french fry in a moment of weakness.  Have a GREAT week.


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