A place to inspire, motivate and encourage by providing posts on self improvement, health, family, women (and men), life, prayer, poems, quotes of wisdom and share ideas about life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just For a Chuckle....

The Mommy Test:

I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that. "Why?" my daughter asked. "Because it's been on the ground, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and probably has germs" I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Mommy, how do you know all this stuff, you are so smart." I was thinking quickly. "All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy." We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information. "OH...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test you have to be the daddy." "Exactly" I replied back with a big smile on my face.



If this brought a smile to your face, tell another Mom....

PS: No offense to the Dad's out there....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Every Married Woman Should Know About Money

With close to 50% of marriages ending in divorce, letting your spouse handle all the financial matters is a risk that could leave you financially vulnerable. No one wants to live as though she's just waiting for her relationship to end, but you should know that there are simple, effective and not at all hostile—ways to protect yourself…just in case.


1. Carry your own plastic.
If every bank account and credit card is in your husband's name, you will be a financial nobody without him. Before you do anything else, open a bank account and get a credit card in your name.

2. Read the fine print.
Look over all tax returns, investment agreements, real estate contracts and legal documents carefully. Get a credit report annually so that there are no surprises in your family's debt situation.

3. Define what's yours, mine, and ours.
A postnuptial agreement can protect assets accrued after the marriage, such as an inheritance. Make sure that you're listed on the deed to your home as joint owner or that the house is classified as community property.

4. Don't give up bill-paying duties.
Sometimes women who aren't working feel uncomfortable participating in financial decisions. For your protection, be aware of how the money comes in and where it goes out. Some couples take turns paying bills on an annual basis.

5. Get to know your financial advisers.
Attend any meetings with an investment planner, lawyer or accountant. Should there ever be a problem, you'll have the network you need to make important decisions.

6. Make plans for the future.
Make sure you and your spouse each have adequate life insurance, a will and a living trust. Consider putting aside money for long-term care (women tend to outlive men). Don't neglect your own retirement—if you and your husband file a joint return, you can contribute up to $4,000 a year to a spousal IRA.

7. Keep your professional hat in the ring.
Even if you plan to stay home for good, maintain your networks and stay in touch with colleagues. Whether through divorce or widowhood, the odds are real that you'll be financially responsible for yourself again. At the nonprofit Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE, wife.org), they have a slogan: "A man is not a financial plan." It's the truth.

From the March 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Take Time To Smell The Roses

How many times have we heard...Take Time to Smell the Roses? How many times have we really taken the time to s l o w down?
My prior post concerning women who are so busy with "life" they forget about themselves in the process, also don't take time to slow down, enjoy or appreciate what they have accomplished.

So in keeping with the "me" that is so important, I offer how you can learn to take time for renewal....Take Time to Smell the Roses....



Are you beyond busy? Is your mind and body continually in overdrive? For the majority of women, the answer is yes.
Feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and tasks is a common occurrence in today's world. The ability to multitask is admired and the more you can achieve by the end of the day, the better.

However, no matter how much we accomplish on a daily basis, we tend to focus on what didn't get done. Have you ever lain in bed at night thinking of everything you didn't accomplish that day, and then feel overwhelmed with demands of tomorrow? We are then stressed trying to complete our To Do list and instead of acknowledging what we have gotten done, we berate ourselves for things not accomplished.

In other circumstances, procrastination may take over. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed that we do nothing because of not knowing where to start.
The expectations women place on themselves are huge. Conversations between friends are often about the stressors and demands present in their lives. In this fast paced society, it is the norm to constantly be in a state of action.

The consequences of no down time however are serious, leading to irritability, fatigue, anxiety, depression and burn out. Our mind and body are not designed to be in constant motion. Both require rest, relaxation, rejuvenation and since we only receive one, it is our responsibility to nurture what we have.

So, how can we begin to slow down? Consider first the reasons why you may be demanding so much of yourself. What is the rush? Does everything need to be done at this moment? Can you take small steps towards achieving big goals instead of feeling the need to accomplish it all at once?

To be more productive and efficient in reaching our goals, we need to take time for renewal. How do you fit some relief into your busy life?
Start by making a habit of deep breathing several times throughout the day. It triggers an automatic relaxation response and can be done anywhere.
Take frequent small breaks. Coffee breaks were designed for a reason, so use them effectively. Do not pass on your break thinking you will accomplish more. We need this down time for maximum efficiency. Be aware however, of how you spend your break, because a healthy snack, short walk, and stretch are more energy producing than a coffee and doughnut.
Do what you love on a regular basis. If you have a favorite sport or activity, make sure you participate in it often. An hour or two a week of doing what you love can have many positive benefits, mentally and physically.

Make your holidays a priority. Vacations are a luxury no longer--they are a necessity. You need time to recharge and rejuvenate from the daily stressors. If you are having a difficult time taking vacation due to job demands, consider taking a day of down time when you can squeeze it in. Remember; nurture yourself first and everyone else will also benefit.
Finally, start listening to your body. You will begin to know when a break is needed. It may need to be a minute, an hour, a day, or a week. Whatever it is, take it. Pay attention because your body doesn't lie!

Peggy Porter is a registered nurse, presenter, writer, wellness coach and president of SEEKING BALANCE.Peggy is passionate about wellness and personal growth. Throughout the past 12 years as a registered nurse in an Addiction Center she has been educating and supporting clients to improve the quality of their lives.
Peggy was very happy to be a guest on this blog. She has offered to share her passion and inspirational messages to women and the importance of them caring for their own health. She is a true believer that you can’t give what you don’t have and so she makes self care a priority in her own life.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Do You Put Yourself Last?

Like so many women, we are the nurturers, the ones who put so many others before ourselves...our children, families, husband (or man in our life), our friends.
We are capable of seeing in advance, the needs of others, perhaps even before they know what they need. We try to cram so many things in our day..does our day really ever end? Every minute to work, clean the house, run errands, tend to the kids/families, cooking etc etc....the list can go on and on. (I've become very good at multi tasking).

Don't get me wrong, tending to the needs of others and/or spending quality time with our friends, families, children and mates is a wonderful thing, But.... what about ME?

Sindy, who I've met through My Blog Log, is the Author of a wonderful blog (you're missing out if you don't drop by) And To Think...the thoughts of an Opinionated Princess.

Sindy offers this post on exactly this very subject....Do You Put Yourself Last?

"We’ve all seen her. The mom with the faded, out of style clothing, dull hair in need of a good cut, and often sporting bags under her eyes calling to attention her lack of sleep. She’s headed into Build-A-Bear with her impeccably dressed seven year old who couldn’t be any cuter if she tried. Her hair primped to perfection as if she had just left a photography session for the upcoming edition of Parents magazine. Neither mom nor child could have a greater bond with each other". Read entire post by Sindy...Click Here

If you see yourself, please, take time out for yourself...you are special and deserve some "me" time....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness

Take care of your health now...the life you save may be your own

Breast Cancer Awareness - Facts & Tips:

Every 2 minutes, there is a new breast cancer diagnosis.

Every 14 minutes, a life is lost to the disease.

Over 40,000 people will die this year; about 400 of them will be men.

85% of all diagnoses have no family history.

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between ages 40 and 55.

A Snapshot of Breast Cancer ~ Incidence and Mortality Rate Trends:

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Each year, a small number of men also are diagnosed with or die from breast cancer. Although the breast cancer diagnosis rate has increased, there has been a steady drop in the overall breast cancer death rate since the early 1990's.

While the incidence rate is lower for African Americans than Whites, the mortality rate is higher. Women of other racial and ethnic groups have lower incidence and mortality rates.

It is estimated that approximately $8.1 billion* is spent in the United States each year on treatment of breast cancer.

*In 2004 dollars, as reported in Brown ML, Riley GF, Schussler N, and Etzioni RD. Estimating health care costs related to cancer treatment from SEER-Medicare data. Medical Care 2002 Aug; 40 (8 Suppl): IV-104-17

Source for incidence and mortality data: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and the National Center for Health Statistics. Additional statistics and charts are available at: http://seer.cancer.gov/

Age and health history can affect the risk of developing breast cancer.
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor.

Risk factors for breast cancer include the following:
Older age.
Menstruating at an early age.
Older age at first birth or never having given birth.
A personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast disease.
A mother or sister with breast cancer.
Treatment with radiation therapy to the breast/chest.
Breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram.
Taking hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
Drinking alcoholic beverages.
Being white.

A doctor should be seen if changes in the breast are noticed. Get a Mammogram Every 1 to 2 Years. Finding the disease early with mammograms and breast exams by your doctor or nurse or yourself can save your life. For yourself and your family, call your doctor for an exam and mammogram today !!!

Acknowledgement given to the National Cancer Institute as originator of the information provided herein, with the NCI web site www.cancer.gov as the source.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Green Tea Health Benefits

Latest research proves green tea, a ubiquitous drink in Japan, contains a unique antioxidant so powerful that it works as well as any diet pill. Researchers in Tokyo and Geneva discovered Japan’s high consumption of green tea might be an even greater contributor. Green tea, contains a unique antioxidant so powerful that it works as well as any diet pill.International research supports the possibility of green tea being your weight loss miracle. Based on these studies, adding green tea to any diet will lead to slimming – no diet overhaul needed.

Green tea doesn’t limit its fat-burning power to the abdominal region alone. The Nagao study also showed that tea drinkers lost nearly three times more body fat than the control group. Nagao credits the tea’s ability to increase thermogenesis, the rate at which the body burns nutrients to generate heat.

Another study by at the University of Geneva reported that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most prevalent catachin in green tea, boosts the body’s daytime thermogenesis up to 43%. Subjects given 90 mg of EGCG (the amount in about two cups of green tea), plus 50 mg of caffeine (found naturally in tea) with three daily meals, burned 10 percent more stored fat.

In 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.
University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.

A study by Cleveland's Western Reserve University concluded that drinking four or more cups of green tea per day could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, or reduce symptoms in individuals already suffering from the disease. And Japanese scientists at the Saitama Cancer Research Institute discovered that there were fewer recurrances of breast cancer, and the disease spread less quickly, in women with a history of drinking five cups or more of green tea daily.

Here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:
cancer
rheumatoid arthritis
high cholesterol levels
cariovascular disease
infection
impaired immune function

Whether or not you'll obtain health benefits remains to be determined by further research.

A great, healthy thirst-quencher for hot summer days.
INGREDIENTS:
6 green tea teabags ~6 cups cold water~2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
1. Place teabags in a large teapot or pitcher.
2. Put sliced peaches in a saucepan, add cold water, and bring to a brisk boil, then pour water and peaches over teabags.
3. Steep for 6 minutes, then add sweetener (maple syrup, honey or Succanat are recommended). Allow tea to cool, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
4. Include a few peach slices in each glass and serve with a spoon, garnished with a sprig of mint, if you like.
Even Easier Alternative Method: Make a pitcher of green tea and add the contents of a can of organic sliced peaches. Chill thoroughly.
Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Does Your Motivation for Exercise Dwindle?

If you're like me, you sometimes loose motivation to exercise. With summer quickly approaching, the thought of going shopping for a new bathing suit can bring on the blues. You know what I mean... Going into the dressing room at your favorite store can turn a good day into a terrible one real quick.

We all want and should make exercise part of our daily routine. Exercise should not be only for weight loss or toning, but for our health: for our cardiovascular systems, muscles, and metabolisms.

Below are some things I've tried when my motivation dwindles and it does really help.....

Treat your workouts like a standing appointment
If you write down your workouts in your daily planner or on a calendar, you’re more likely to view exercise as an appointment you can't break.

Customize your workouts based on your mood
Stressed? Try yoga or Pilates.( I love my pilates and magic circle. It is relaxing and you see results fast!)
By fitting the workout with your mood, you’ll increase your workout variety. And variety is vital to staying motivated.
Choose music that inspires you to get your feet moving: faster music (at least 140 beats per minute) for running, and a slower beat for Pilates or yoga. Upbeat lyrics can lift your mood and bolster your self-esteem

Make your exercise goals realistic!
According to Dr. John Raglin, professor of kinesiology at Indiana University, it takes the average adult 15 years to gain 10 to 15 pounds.You can't expect to loose weight too fast or tone up over night.
Guilt and weight loss are not effective motivators. Set small goals. Once you accomplish several smaller goals, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated
Never embark on a routine that you know you won’t stick with. Be practical !

Find an exercise buddy
Friends can hold you accountable and give you increased obligation not to skip your workouts. Find a friend to take a walk around your neighborhood, walk in your local mall, play tennis, go dancing.

Reward yourself
If you exercise three or four times in a given week, treat yourself. You deserve it! Take the time to reward yourself for a job well done.

If you experience exercise burnout, it might be hard to get back in the saddle. Sit down and ask yourself what caused your exercise program to fail. Were you bored? Did you quit when you didn’t reach your weight-loss goal? Do you have too many work and home commitments?
Once you realize what caused you to fail, make a new exercise plan with realistic goals. You will gain new insight every time you fail. We all learn with failure, but try again. Believe in yourself !!

Every single woman in this world is beautiful in more ways than one! Become happy with yourself and stop comparing and competing with another woman. Have you ever looked at another female with envy? Saying to yourself...I wish I had her thighs, or I want a flat belly like 'her'.....Of course! We all have; chances are she has done the same thing. Challenge yourself the next time you catch yourself with negative thoughts; turn your envy into motivation.We all have our imperfections. NO ONE is perfect.

It’s not a bad thing to strive for self- improvement, but we need to make sure that the focus is on developing yourself rather than trying to become someone else. We need to pursue goals that make us happy and improve our quality of life.

Adopting fitness into our lifestyle will help us become stronger (both emotionally and physically) and in turn, positively impact all areas of life. Eat for energy and health, mix up cardiovascular exercise and weight training, and get yourself some sleep!


You try so hard- diet, exercise, not smoking..How do you stick with it? Dr. Josh will show you how..


Pilates for arms and shoulders


Pilates for buns and thighs


If you have a bad back like I do and can't do sit ups on the floor, try the bean. I have never experienced back pain using this. It puts you in the perfect position for almost any exercise. It has all the benefits of a stability ball, plus you are supported on a cushion of air.

Do you have any motivation tips to share?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Let Your Own Light Shine Through

I have met truly amazing people on myspace. Yes, I too have a myspace page: Click here

One of my friends is Bart, who is truly an angel. He has lifted my spirits when I was feeling low, blue or just out of sorts. His kind words, uplifting friendship and his beautiful poems have been an inspiration. One day Bart, I will get to California and take you up on that visit..*smiles

I hope you enjoy his poem as much as I do....



In Bart's own words:
I have felt the spirit of poetry since I was a child, writing myself notes and rhymes. After years of collecting little notes, journaling and composing poetry for the women in my life, I finally collected and published the most compelling and close to my heart.
I am an artist, poet and songwriter with my own music production and publishing companies. I have been producing award-winning art for celebrities, musicians and corporate clients for more than 15 years. Through my five books and daily Poems of the Day here on myspace, my poetry is read by friends and fans all over the world.
http://www.bartoluciano.com
http://www.myspace.com/bartleemusic



Let Your Own Light Shine Through


Life is about the precious moments,
Not just about the years adding up,
It is about everyday improvements,
Not just about that final golden cup.

More important than the breaths taken,
Are the breaths we let be taken away,
It's about the hope that is never forsaken,
Turning midnight dreams into today.

Even if it is for a moments or two,
You can grasp perfection right now,
Allow your angel to come through,
Turn ordinary day to sunrise wow.

You will see chance comes and goes,
Because that's how life is intended,
Only tomorrow ever truly knows,
So seize now your fantasy pretended.

Learn to share your wisdom everyday,
And let others feel the truth in you,
Shout what you were intended to say,
Let your own light shine through.
~ Bartoluciano

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Awareness Month: May



Educating ourselves for Healthy Lives.

Please follow the links to learn additional information.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
Richard J. Codey, Acting Governor of New Jersey, issued a State Proclamation declaring May, 2007 as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Awareness Month.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a serious and often disabling illness that attacks multiple body systems causing cognitive and neurological problems, swollen lymph nodes, fever, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disorders, incapacitating fatigue, post-exertional malaise, dizziness, and many others

Cancer:
Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
American Cancer Society Relay For Life® Signature Weekend (May 19-20)
Women's Health/Cancer Awareness (Mother's Day - May 13)

National Woman's Health Week (May 13-19)
The National Women's Health Information Center

World No Tobacco Day -- (May 31)

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Older American’s Mental Health Week: (May 21-27)
It aims to raise awareness that mental illnesses among older adults are real, common and treatable, and not a normal part of aging; it also sends the message that older adults can continue to grow and enjoy life.

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day: (May 24)

National Senior Health and Fitness Day: (May 30)

Breast Cancer Awareness:

Education, Tools, Newsletters, Forums, News & Events
Clevelend Making Strides Against Breast Cancer: (May 19)

PROCLAIMED BATTERED WOMEN'S AWARENESS: (May 13-20)

National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention:
Take action to protect your bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

National Stroke Awareness Month:
Know the signs and symptoms of a stroke, asking their doctors about stroke prevention and adopting healthy lifestyle habits

National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month:
The U.S. Senate has designated May 2007 as National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), there are more than 80 known autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, scleroderma, polymyositis, vasculitis, lupus, Sjögren's disease and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Autoimmunity is the underlying cause of these diseases. It is the process whereby the immune system mistakenly recognizes the body's own proteins as foreign invaders and begins producing antibodies that attack healthy cells and tissues, causing a variety of diseases

Have you had an experience with a health condition or issue that you would like to share with others? You can help other women by sharing your story.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Women ARE from Venus


As with many other women, my life wasn't always easy. I had to keep on moving forward, keep a positive attitude, accept things I could not change and learn ways to succeed.

I believe we can do whatever we set our minds out to do. Never stop Believing! Dream, Set Goals, Learn all you can, Learn to be Self-Sufficient and picture yourself being Successful at whatever it is you want it to be.

I see many women who are dependant, who are unhappy with where they are in their life, are full of regrets and afraid to make changes, have low self esteem and won't seek out advice or help. It hurts me to see this.

I don't have the word "can't" in my vocabulary. Don't you either! I want this blog to be by women, for women. Helping eachother with posts that inspire, motivate, support. Offering tips and stories on how to cope with any subject that touches our lives. Be it a successful business, relationships, family, health and even disappointments that we learned to overcome. I don't know about you, but I find comfort and strength in reading an inspirational quote on occasion or a friend who has some helpful advice.

Please contribute to this blog: share your successes, tell me about someone who truly inspires you, offer a tip on how you dealt with a situation, tell us a funny story that happened to you or with your kids. We can help eachother deal in a women's world....

** An invitation to men: You too can be a part of this blog. Tell us about a woman that inspired you, supported you and gave you strength. I'm sure a "man from mars" can learn about a "woman from venus"

Email me @ andrea@acassociatesusa.com and I will post your story and include your link to your blog / website or stay anonymous...your choice.

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