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My Hair Looks Thicker and Longer

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I read some Keranique reviews on a website, and I decided to take a leap of faith with it. I have had issues with thinning hair for a while, and I have tried so many different things. None of them really worked the way I was hoping, so I just started wearing hats and was even considering buying a wig just so I would not be embarrassed over my hair. My husband told me it was not as bad as I was making it out to be, but I knew that there was still a problem there.

Just because I had tried at least a dozen products with no good results did not mean I was not willing to try out other products if there was at least some hope. I guess that is obvious since I had tried at least a dozen hair thickening products before buying Keranique for the first time. Continue reading

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We Found a Nice Place

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It is not exactly in the best location, but the place is close enough to where we need for it to be and there is not all that much wrong with it other than you need to get a Queens tree removal service to come in and cut down a couple of sweet gum trees in the front yard and a couple more in the back yard. If you do not know why then you do not know why most people hate them. They have these awful things that people call gum balls and they produce millions of them which fall upon the ground. Each one of them must disperse about a hundred spores I guess, but the thing is that you do not want to spend all of your life cleaning up after this stupid tree. So I am going to have them knocked down. I think that once they are on the ground I can get rid of them without paying for it. Continue reading

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Advantages of Bath Bombs

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There were instances when folks used to decode sandalwood powder along with other comparable goods to add effects and odor for their bathrooms. But now the trend has shifted now. These days, things such as bath bombs and bath salts are all utilised to produce the bathing experience soothing and relaxing. There are many providers of those products on the internet that sell them in a very inexpensive speed. So, who’d head to devote a couple dollars to sensationalize their washing period?

On account of this sudden boom in the requirement, different kinds of these products can be found now. You’re able to find the ones that are cloned, the herbal ones, including home made ones, etc.. They all are essentially good blend form of components like citric acidand baking soda, etc.,. Whenever they’re placed into water, they split adding colour, odor not to mention bubbles into the tub tub. A few admirers of bath bombs additionally assert that these small balls are highly effective for soothing the entire body and hydrates it. Medically, it’s been demonstrated that bombs with essential minerals and oils may moisturize and rejuvenate the epidermis but to the minimum. Henceforth, it may be stated that these goods are great but they shouldn’t be utilized as a substitute for drugs.

Nowadays, even children know exactly what the fizzy small balls really are. There are particular ones obtainable for youngsters that are produced with soft soapfree of acidic ingredients and lotions or lotion occasionally. Again, bath bombs may not be tremendously beneficial in moisturizing your skin of your kid but it for sure may cause them to appreciate their bathing period. It’s fairly tricky to generate a child love his bathing period however with the support of those any mother can create her child adore the instant. That is another significant reason of those products being demand now.

As said before, the online business tendency has contributed substantially to the prevalence. These goods are also called bathroom balls, pills and ballistics notably from the internet retailers. Additionally, after tracking the heavy use of those ballistics pharmaceutical businesses have begun producing them with additional health benefits for the elderly and children alike.

Ballistics and bath additives also have become a favorite choice of several to be introduced as presents. Additional even men now enjoy using bath pills with manly odor.

Start making your own bath bombs now! For more tips and bath bomb recipes, visit our website:  https://ianschoice.com/ultimate-guide-make-bath-bombs-recipes/

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Having Fun with Hacking Has Never Been Easier

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Figuring out how to hack Kik has never been easier due to a site I found online that can break into virtually any account, and it can do it in seconds. I must confess that my reasons for doing this were not all together above board. I wanted to play a prank on a friend and in order to do so I needed to get into his Kik account. I won’t go into the details about the actual prank, but it’s enough to say that I got all my friends on board. I even got his sister and his girlfriend to help.

I got the last two people involved because it would make the prank better, but also because I figured one of them would know his password to the Kik account. Even his girlfriend didn’t know it, and that almost derailed the whole thing before we even got started. I went online figuring I could find a site that would help me get into his account, and I did find one. Continue reading

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I Went Back to New Jersey

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I had a rather unusual visit to see my grandmother, who lives in Clifton NJ. She got me to drive her to this place and I thought that she wanted to be taken to the Costco there in Clifton. Instead she went to shop at this place that sells Jewish memorials in NJ. I thought that was rather odd obviously, but she wanted to get a bigger stone that would replace the one my Uncle Sol has, obviously one which was big enough to have both of their names on it. She had a lot of trouble figuring out what she wanted and of course I did not think that she could afford such a thing. Continue reading

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The Fact is That Everyone is in Sales Whether They Realize It or Not

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The big secret is that everyone is a sales person. You just need to bring it out in them. Everyone is passionate about something, and for every human passion there is a market for it. If you really like cars, people buy cars. If you like the latest phones and gadgets, people buy tons of the stuff every year. Think of a product or service you know a lot about and feel great about. That is all it takes to be in sales whether it be as a sales person, consultative selling professional or any other type of sales. Every day we are selling something whether we are aware of it or not.

You are selling yourself as a certain type of person when you go out in public. Do you dress classy, tough, new age, modest, flamboyant or in another manner? You are selling a perception of yourself to the public with how you look when you go out in public. It must be something you believe in, otherwise you would not do it. We sell products all the time for companies now too. However, the problem is that we are doing it for free. Continue reading

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Saying Goodbye to a Frozen Friend

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There was a point when the vines in my backyard got out of control and I had to use all of my strength to get rid of them. I sprayed the vines with an herbicide, but it didn’t do anything. I had to yank the vines up by hand until they were all gone. There was one place I didn’t bother to remove the vines, and that was an old tree. The vines choked the tree to death and there was nothing I could do except get tree removal in Long Island to take the tree and those pesky vines away with it.

The vines on that tree were the last remnants of my battle with them, so I was happy that they were going to be taken away with the tree. On the other hand, I was sad that the tree had died because I was unable to save it before the vines took over it. That tree was part of my yard for many years. My kids used to climb in that tree like they were little monkeys. We’ve had a lot of good memories with that tree, and in a way, it was like a frozen, inanimate part of our family.

I asked the tree removal people to let me keep a small section of the tree before they took it away. I wanted to keep it to remind me of what used to be. I carved down the piece of tree into a small wooden tree model and sanded and put some finish on it. I made it look like the old tree as much as possible. My wife thought I was a little crazy for getting sentimental over a dead tree, but this was something that she just didn’t understand. That tree was something special, and it will never come back.

Cultural Mistakes You Should Avoid in India Business

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Most of the people you, a foreigner, would be interacting with in your India business speak good English and they would likely be wearing Western style clothes. They would have most of the same consumer products city people have all over the world nowadays. But don’t let this fool you, as India is an ancient culture, which has many contextual rules of behaviour and etiquette.

Though etiquette and business behaviour in India is not so radically different from the Western style as business behaviour is in Japan, Korea of India, there are significant differences. The good news is that most of these behaviours and mindsets can be learnt if you do your homework before meeting the Indians. Here are some quick guidelines.

The golden rule is: Be always sensitive to the context.

When doing business with India, never –

  • Make the other person lose face. Though this is not as serious as the Chinese face saving Gei MianZi(, it is very important. Avoid shouting at an Indian or reprimanding her/him in front of peers.
  • Accept every ‘yes’ as a real yes. Learn to recognise the “NO” as Indians don’t say NO directly, unless it is a crucial issue.
  • Lecture about poverty, dirt, bribes and social ills to Indians as they might interpret it as condescending coming from a foreigner. Indians are proud of their rich history and appreciate intelligent discussions with mutual respect, so avoid preaching about democracy, social equality and women’s rights etc.
  • Get nervous over frequent interruptions, digressions or bargaining in meetings and negotiations.
  • Expect quick commitment as all decisions take time and may involve people not present in meetings.
  • Never use your left hand for eating, serving, or taking food or in fact handing over or accepting things. The left hand is considered the toilet hand and thus taboo.
  • Address business partners by their first name unless given permission to. Seniority is important to the Indians especially if you are dealing with a State owned enterprise or government body. Indians are more informal than other Asians and in some sectors the atmosphere may seem very egalitarian and informal.
  • Get upset when someone asks personal questions about your age, marital status, income, and family background.
  • Buy the same gifts for everyone in the same organisation. You need to show respect according to rank and seniority. Buy better gifts for the senior managers instead of buying the same for everyone.

In addition to the above rules of behaviour, a genuine understanding of the other’s position, an appreciation of the other’s culture and achievements goes a great way towards A forming a long-term give and take two-way relationship.

As in business with other Asians, doing business with the Indians is difficult if mutual trust and respect have not been achieved. Try to make this your main focus. Gaining mutual respect is the key to managing relationships with the Indians. When you gain the respect, you have the foundation for a long-term business relationship.

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The Sacred Bird

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As the Phoenix nears the end of its life it builds a nest of aromatic branches and spices – cinnamon twigs and myrrh were the most popular materials. It then ignites the nest and is consumed in the flames. Some Arabic legends claim the Phoenix rose from the ashes three days later, while others state the Phoenix was reborn and emerged from the still burning flames. The Phoenix features in mythology from several Middle Eastern countries.

The traditional Phoenix lived near a cool well, and every morning would appear to sing a song to greet the new day. So enchanting was the song the Greek sun god Apollo would stop to listen. It was thought only one Phoenix existed at any one time. The young Phoenix would gather the ashes of its predecessor into an egg made from myrrh and deposit them upon the sun god’s altar at Heliopolis, the city of the sun. The Phoenix lives on the morning dew, and nobody has ever seen one eat. It kills nothing and crushes nothing it touches. When injured the Phoenix can regenerate itself, so it is immortal and invincible and a mystical symbol of divinity. A Phoenix is also a healer, because its tears can heal wounds. Jewish folklore claims the Phoenix was the only animal not banished from the Garden of Eden with Adam.

The Ancient Egyptians’ fascination with the Phoenix arose from their own yearning for immortality and eternal life. They named the bird Benu (or Bennu), and it was depicted in the shape of a heron, with long legs and two long white feathers on either side of its head. The Benu wears either the god Osiris’ crown of Atef (white with ostrich feathers rising up from the sides) or the disc of the sun god Ra. The sacred bird of Heliopolis, the Benu is associated with the sun, and its image has came to represent Ra. The Egyptian Phoenix is credited with the creation of the Nile river, and was the first life form that appeared on the isolated rocks and islands after the floods that gave birth to the river. Its call is the cry that marked the beginning of time, and it is the god of time – and thus of the hours, days, nights, weeks months and years.

In Chinese Mythology the Phoenix is known as Feng Huang (or Fung), and is the second most respected creature after the dragon. It is a symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity, representing the union of ying and yang. It is described as having the beak of a rooster, the face of a swallow, the neck of a snake, the breast of a goose, the back of a tortoise, the hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a fish – surely an unusual looking bird! The Feng Huang’s feathers are coloured in the five fundamental colours: black, white, red, green and yellow, representing the Confucian virtues of loyalty, honesty, decorum and justice.

The Japanese Phoenix is named according to gender: Hou-Ou or Hoo-Oo – Hou is male and Ou is female. It resembles its Chinese counterpart in looks, and is often depicted nesting in the paulownia tree. It only appears at the birth of a virtuous ruler, and marks the new era by flying down from the heavens to perform good deeds for people before returning home to await the birth of a new era. Some traditions claim the Hou-Ou only appears during times of peace and prosperity – in other words very rarely!

Persian mythology tells of the Huma, also known as the “Bird of Paradise”. “Huma” is Persian for “fabulous bird”. Considered an extremely compassionate bird, the Huma’s shadow brings great fortune to anyone it touches. And if it alights upon an individual’s head, even for just a moment, that person will become king. The Huma has the power to free the mind, breaking all limitations so the person will be a wise and considerate king. It does not kill for food, choosing instead to feed upon carrion. Both genders are contained in the Huma’s body, with each sharing a wing and a leg.

Another Arabian mythological bird is the Cinomolgus or “cinnamon bird”, which builds its cinnamon nest at the top of the cinnamon tree. Aeons ago cinnamon was a very rare spice, and much sought after. People would throw rocks or shoot arrows at the Cinomolgus’ nest in an effort to dislodged the cinnamon sticks when the poor bird took flight. Another tale claims the Arabians would scatter pieces of oxen or other beasts of burden at the bottom of the nest. The Cinomolgus, unable to resist such a tasty treat, would swoop down and carry the meat back to the nest. The weight of the meat would break the nest, leaving the joyful Arabians to gather the cinnamon sticks from the ground. This is why the Cinomolgus began to nest in cinnamon trees far from Human settlements, and sightings became extremely rare.

The Avalerion is an extremely rare bird from Indian mythology – there is only ever one pair of these birds. Every sixty years they produce two eggs. When the eggs hatch the parent birds drown themselves. An interest myth… unfortunately I’ve not been able to find much more information on these birds.

Russian folklore’s Zhar-Ptitsa is a magical, glowing bird from a faraway kingdom. Better known as the Firebird, its name means “heat bird”, and it is both a blessing and a curse to any captor. A large bird with a fiery crest and glowing eyes, the Firebird’s plumage glows red, orange and yellow plumage, giving the illusion of firelight. When removed the feathers continue to glow, and one feather has the power to illuminate a large room. The Firebird has been a staple of many fairy tales, usually based upon a quest to find the bird or one of its tail feathers. The hero finds the feather, and sets out to capture the bird – usually after a request from a parent or his king. The hero begins his quest with noble thoughts about the Firebird, but as his search becomes more difficult he begins to blame the bird for his problems. Many fairy tales use this quest to introduce a myriad of fantasy characters, many of whom are willing to help the hero capture the bird and return with him to his home.

There are other stories about the Firebird. One of the most popular beliefs is that the Firebird flies around giving hope to the hopeless. Legends say during flight the Firebird’s eyes sparkle and he drops pearls fall from his beak. Peasants gather the pearls which are traded. Some claim the mystical Firebird spends its days flying around the king’s castle, swooping down at night to eat the king’s golden apples. The most popular legend tells of a tsar who, fed up with the Firebird stealing his golden apples, tasks his three sons with capturing the bird. The tsar’s apples were very special, empowering all those eating them with youth and strength. The sons tried really hard, but were unable to capture the elusive Firebird. However, they did come close, and seized a few tail feathers. Sadly they brought the feather back to their father, whose disappointment turned to joy when he saw how the feathers lit up the palace rooms.

They have also another sacred bird called the phoenix which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it is a great rarity, even in Egypt, only coming there (according to the accounts of the people of Heliopolis) once in five hundred years, when the old phoenix dies. Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow:- The plumage is partly red, partly golden while the general make and size are almost exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does: he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows out the ball, and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun. Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird.

from – Herodotus, History of Herodotus

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The Decline and Fall of Martial Arts Films and the Rise of the Action Blockbuster Movie

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Comparing martial arts films of the 1970s to the action blockbusters of 2009/10

Red Cliff, Ip Man and True Legend are already iconic of the early 21st century “martial arts films”-although many can argue they are more action spectacle than true “kung fu” films. The 1970s, on the other hand, didn’t rely on eye-candy effects and were defined more by the true grit of its martial arts actors: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, the Five Venoms, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Jimmy Wong, and other real fighters trained in genuine kung fu, karate and other arts.

Martial Arts Becomes Mainstream But Evolves Into Spectacle

Cult classics such as Enter the Dragon helped change Hollywood. Its growing popularity forced filmmakers to adopt martial arts into the formula of the “action flick.” Through the eighties and nineties, spectacle thrillers were expected to deliver “the fight moves”, even if it was only a few basic moves supported by some stuntmen and wires. Action movies became spectacles that required equal blends of story, drama, pace, “kung fu”, special effects and improbable plot twists.

In the 21st century, this became less “equal” with films relying first on special effects, then improbably plot twists (surprise is important, right?), followed by pace, martial arts skills, drama and-last and possibly least today-story. This trend extended even to the hot movies of the last few years, including Kung Fu Panda, Forbidden Kingdom, G.I. Joe and even the Transformers.

Asian Film Industry Threatens to Out-Spectacle Hollywood

With the full support and weight of China’s cultural industries, Asian film has blossomed into mainstream spectacles in high demand, led by CGI treats such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers and other instant classics. Arguably, Asian film long ago surpassed Hollywood for imagination, with the western producers buying rights to several hugely successful Asian films. With the largest population demographic in the world, there can be no doubt that Chinese films are set to dominate the film industry in years to come.

Red Cliff and Ip Man are perhaps the best known of these new hit-classics, but the rumor mills and fansites are buzzing with all the latest “coming soon” gossip. The big buz movies in 2010 is True Legend (Su Qi Er), starring Zhao Wen-Zho as the historical Begger Su, the originator of drunken kung fu. Donnie Yen returns in both part 2 of the Ip Man saga and in the much anticipated 14 Blades. Chow Yun-Fat breaks the mold and surprises everyone in his role as Confucius.

Both Hollywood and Asia Rely on CGI and Special Effects

The growing spectacle and importance of the “action film” is both enjoyable to the escapist and annoying for the aficionado of the true martial arts. While the actors in many of the films-in particular Asian films-are genuine martial artists (for example, Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Chow Yun-Fat)-the over-dependence on CGI and elaborate choreography turns the adventure into comic book. With notable exceptions, such as Ip Man and Tony Jaa in Ong Bak (and to a lesser extent Ong Bak 2 and 3), most action films rely on the “wow” factor of dazzling camera angles and computer-aided “enhancements.”

Ninja Assassin and the Cross-Over

There are, to be sure, cross-over films such as Ninja Assassin, where actor Rain trained 14 hours a day for months to perfect real martial arts moves (albeit only a handful of repeated moves), blended together with rather Matrix-like special effects. To some, the beauty of the realistic CGI takes away from the pleasure of watching well-choreographed real martial arts.

Ong Bak, on the other hand, led by genuine martial arts expert Tony Jaa, got by on solid martial arts and good choreography. No stuntmen, thank you. Tony Jaa was hailed as the “next Bruce Lee” for this reason, with much buzz and excitement in the martial arts community, and martial arts film fansites.

There’s No Escaping Escapism

Action films are, by design, escapist entertainment. They have become somewhat comic-book (pardon me, graphic novel), but that’s what most audiences do want. We want to forget reality.

Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2 probably came closest to the ideal mix for both the escapist fan and the martial arts practitioner-fan. While it wasn’t “real” by any means, and contained a brilliant and zesty blend of satire, comic-book, spoof, and choreography, it never-the-less nostalgically hearkened back to the wondrous days of Enter the Dragon and the classic Japanese Samarai films of the 70s.

Japanese Film Stays True to Martial Arts Traditions?

Perhaps the film industry most aligned with the older traditions of martial arts film making is Japan. Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman, was a low-budget film, that became an instant cult classic. Zatoichi took movie audiences back to the classic real-sword skills of the old Samarai films of the earlier decades, and spawned video games and an entire industry.

Less is More? Where is the Real Martial Arts Skill?

Genuine martial arts actors still abound-led by superstars such as Donnie Yen and Jet Li-and most Chinese martial arts actors are proficient. In Hollywood, the film-makers opt for four-move choreography (two kicks, a block and a punch), multiple camera angles (particularly close ups when the skills of the martial artist are not genuine), pounding music, FX, and stuntmen. With the old hopefuls gone from the Hollywood big screen-Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and the other promising real martial artists-there’s now a world of difference between Asian film actors-who work in frigid cold, fourteen hours a day in often primitive conditions, hammering out genuinely complex martial arts moves for relatively paltry paychecks-and Hollywood films that now rely on computer and actor stand-ins.

Batman Now Does Kung Fu

Batman now does kung fu, and so does G.I. Joe, and even Hellboy. They’re fun, but the martial artist fan misses the great luminaries of martial arts films who built their careers on the “real thing”: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, David Chiang, Sonny Chiba, Chen Kuan-tai, Tomisaburo Wkayama, Jimmy Wong Yu, Ti Lung and the Liu brothers.

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The Emperor of China – A Book Review

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‘Emperor of China’ is a detailed look into the life of the great Emperor K’ang-hsi. The Emperor himself acts as the book’s narrator; thus, it is interesting to see K’ang-hsi’s point of view on many of the historical events that occurred during his reign. Since K’ang-hsi is the speaker, it is easy to get a closer look at what he considers good moral values and true virtue. He does not emphasize certain aspects of tradition-such as superstition-as many Chinese and Manchu officials would; rather, he focuses on virtues and morals that should instinctively be ingrained in all men. This does not mean he does not cherish tradition-as he once said, “I told them not to lose their Manchu traditions even in such things as dress, food, [and] utensils…” (pg 124)-but K’ang-hsi emphasizes that it is not intelligent to rely upon superstitious traditions. “I…warned the Bureau not to guess or exaggerate in interpreting the omens that they observed, but simply state their findings. Things may seem determined in our lives, but there are these and other ways in which man’s power can develop Heaven’s work. We must urge Heaven in it’s work, not just rely upon it.” (pg 58)

By looking at a few examples, one can easily see that these virtues, though Confucian in nature, are strikingly similar across the globe-east and west. Moreover, they resemble many of the beliefs in churches around the world. As said by K’ang-hsi, “If the fortune-teller says you will be successful, can you then say, ‘I’m bound to do well and needn’t study properly’? If he says you’ll be rich, can you sit still and let the wealth come?” (pg 59) Respectively, if one were to look in the Bible, James 2:17, it reads, “…faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” This is one of countless examples that can be found in this narrative of Emperor K’ang-hsi.

K’ang-hsi holds strict to many of the cultural traditions that safeguard China’s identity, but gives more weight to the moral traditions that have a greater bearing on the universal ethics and virtues of the people.

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The Wonders of Being Grandparents

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There are many milestones involved with birth. Your first child is a large milestone. While not as big a deal, your first grandchild is a wonderful milestone too. When you reach it, you’re a grandparent.

While this is an unfortunate sign of age, it’s the most welcome sign of aging. Grandparents and grandchildren are natural allies. They have the most important thing in common. Namely, the one in between, the baby’s parent and grandparent’s child. This person unites the two as their link and their common adversary. While this may seem unfortunate for the parent in the middle, it works pretty fairly in practice.

Grandparents should enjoy their grandkids. Not only are they the automatic ‘I told you so’ to their own kids, the two have a beneficial relationship. Grandchildren remind the grandparent of youth and the need to exercise. Grandparents guide the newborn grandchildren and share the wonders in the world.

In some cases, grandparents are better at guiding than parents. They have more experience with children. They have more time to pay attention to children because they are often retired, while the parents are busy at work. These two advantages make them natural advisers or mentors who will always be ready to listen.

It is incredible fun to make up tall tales to your grandchildren. They will believe it and they have not yet learned to scoff. However while it is fun, being a mentor to your grandchild carries responsibility along with it. Don’t let your kids (the baby’s parents) carry the weight alone. Lord only knows what irresponsible things that they may teach your grandchildren.

Mold the children’s minds. Teach them about the wonders and dangers of the world. Take them to a park and play around. Name the insects flying through the air and teach the kids how to catch them. Help them identify trouble like wasps and boys. Play simple games and teach the children sportsmanship and other values.

Experience is the grandparent’s trump card. You will know more about the world than anybody else. Teach them about the history that you have lived through. Show them the pitfalls that you have encountered and most of all the lessons that you have learned.

Teach your grandchildren about your hobbies. If you don’t have one, try taking one up. This will give you one more thing to share with the kid. If you’re into quilting, they make wonderful gifts for your grandkids, as well as something to demonstrate creativity. Gardening, cooking, collecting, etc. are all interesting hobbies for you and your grandkid.

Grandparents are a font of wisdom and fun. Be that way to your grandkid.

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Ten Ways to Inspire And Promote Yourself In High School

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"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." – Stephen Hawking

High School really is the culmination of what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future. It's an exciting time of personal and academic growth. It's the time to set goals, get serious and explore interests. It is also the time to discover what you are really passionate about.

I am laser focused on behaviors and habits of highly successful high school girls that lead them to the most elite schools in the country and, ultimately, a life of glaring success. If you have read any of my articles, and I strongly encourage you to, you know I am an advocate of hard work, self-sacrifice and goal orientation. I have written articles focusing on these characteristics and behaviors after interviewing over four hundred high school girls that attended the most elite colleges in the country. However, there is also something to be said about being an interesting person.

I surprised, when comparing two mandates that were equal in terms of achievements, academic and other, what the determining factor would be to an elite college admissions director. I waited until the decisions were finished and these directors had a bit of a lull in their schedules and actually asked them. I was able to contact an admissions director or dean at twenty of the most elite schools in the country. I had amazing conversations and ended up relating many of my own experiences and realized those experiences made the conversation more interesting . I went back and thought about all the conversations and stories that were related to me by the admissions directors and deans and came up with a list of things you can do in high school to be more competitive and more interesting.

Life is enriched through exploration and this is the best time. After speaking with, literally, hundreds of highly successful young women in the most elite colleges in this country, there is one thing I can tell you firsthand: They work hard in college and free time is very limited. Although high school is also intense, it is smattered with breaks and summer vacations without many encumbrances. That will not be the case once you attend college. Life is filled with mid-terms, finals and internships. I have compiled a bucket list, of sorts, that may help you enrich yourself and, in turn, enrich your life. In any case, you will definitely learn something along the way. They are as follows:

1. While You Still Live At Home, Learn To Cook A Few Dishes Well . When you actually start college and move onto graduate school, you will be on solid ground. There is something very aesthetic about taking raw ingredients and creating something delightfully savory or deliciously sweet. There is also quite a bit of science involved, namely physics and chemistry, that may help you make a principal more meaningful and have a bit of fun. Either way, you will be able to take care of yourself someday. If this becomes your passion, make a few meals and take them to seniors who are house bound in your area. Now you have turned your passion into a wonderful community service that is willingly needed and greatly appreciated.

2. Download An Astronomy App And Look At The Stars And Planets In The Night Skies . You may have to go into an area without city lights to garner the greatest benefit. Our family has a ranch far from any city and I can tell you from experience, gazing at the night skies is an amazing experience. Stephen Hawking got it right when he suggested contemplating the universe. You actually realize how big the universe really is, how small we are in the scheme of things and realize how much we have yet to discover. It does make one question everything and that is the point. If this is your passion, NASA has an amazing website where you can learn more and follow the latest sightings. The night skies fascinate me and I convinces my parents to take our family to East Cape in New Zealand to see the first place on earth the sun rises; it was mind-blowing and so cool at the same time.

3. Make Sure You Will Be Proficient In A Foreign Language Before You Graduate From High School . The world has truly become globalized and proficiency in a foreign language shows that you understand that perspective and also makes you more marketable. If at all possible, visit that country and immerse yourself into that language and culture. Live like a local and appreciate the history, art, food and architecture. It will be an experience that will always stay with you for the rest of your life and it will become a passion. Try a new food once. You'll never know if you like something unless you try it.

4. Read The Classics . Most colleges expect you to have well read and many classics are missed in high school. You may find you enjoy Thoreau and Bronte and have a real latent passion for classic American and English Literature. So much history is deposited in the works of Homer, Tolstoy, Twain, Kipling, Dostoyevsky and so many more, that you will find yourself transported to a time you never knew exhausted in that way. The world is longing for a new Emily Dickinson and maybe that will be your forte.

5. Revisit American History . Any political science class in college will trace back to American roots and it will also help you understand key issues in the news media today, such as Supreme Court decisions and our electoral process. With the invention of the Broadway musical, "Hamilton", American history has been reignited. This musical has been a life changer for me and I found myself reading "The Federalist Papers", by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. Read the Constitution, the Amendments, The Declaration of Independence (The It's only a page!), The "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, The Gettysburg and both Inaugural Addresses by Abraham Lincoln, Common Sense, by Thomas Payne and anything else you can get your hands on. America has a rich history from The Revolutionary War to the Battle of Yorktown, the Civil War to abolition, the Great Depression, the World Wars and segregation.

6. Make Sure You Vote When You Turn 18 . It is not only a right in America, it is an inclusive privilege. The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1870 and cave minorities the right to vote. Women were given the right vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Suffragettes, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott thought and were imprisoned fighting for that right. Did you know in 1923, the National Women's Party proposed an amendment to the Constitution that prohibited all discrimination on the basis of gender? To this day, the aptly named Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified.

7. Take An Art History Class At Your Local Community College Or On Your Own Volition . So many references are made from the works of the masters that it will pay off if you can add to the conversation. You may also find out what type of art moves you. My personal love of impressionism came from visiting museums and being mesmerized by the actual works of Monet, Renoir, Van Gough and Degas. America has some amazing museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, The Guggenheim in NYC, The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, The Museum of Modern Art in NYC, The Getty Center in LA and The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, just to name a few. Art is another way of learning history, as much of the early works were ordered by the wealthy or the Church.

8. Study World Religions . After all, how can you comment on anyone's beliefs without knowing what they believe? Also, visit places of worship to see the true artistic mastery and some of the greatest works of art in the world. It will teach you tolerance and an appreciation for something that may differ from your own perspective. You will inevitably find that people are very similar in their beliefs, although the practices may differ. I visited and saw the artistry and sculptures of Michelangelo in the Vatican and the Vatican Museum in Rome, the beauty of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, The exquisiteness of the Golden Temple and the Taj Mahal in India, The Karnak Temple in Egypt, The San Vitale Church in Ravenna, Italy, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and they will be engrained in my mind forever.

9. Take A Look At Some Of The Earliest Philosophers And Their Beliefs . It is fascinating that many of those philosophies are still guiding our philosophies today. The works of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Voltaire and Confucius are referred in literary works, political philosophies and society. Human nature today is not so different from back then and we are all trying to explain and understand our actions.

10. Learn About Your Own Family History . I know it sounds inherent, but your parents and family are great resources to truly understand your heritage. Your history and family struggles, work ethic and culture are a culmination of who you are today. Studies have shown when people understand the challenges their families have overcome, they tend to work harder and ultimately achieve greater success. Grandparents and anyone in your family with a "Great" in their name, will have lived in an era that is totally different than today. Lin-Manuel Miranda said, "History is so subjective." The teller of it determinates it. " So learn your own story, paint your own canvas and tell it the way you see it.

Life gets more complicated as it goes on, so take this unique time in High School to become more well-rounded and interesting. Find your passion and you can explore what you really want to learn about in college. These skills will carry you far and also give you a much better chance of getting into the college of your choice.

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