Just a Smile Will Do!

As the holidays draw near and the bustling about comes to a crescendo it amazes me how a warm smile can stop you in your tracks. Think about it, if the cashier is jolly and greets you with a smile it can make your day and most likely you will tell a freind about the experience. What about your co-worker that is always grumpy, a smile during the holidays warms your heart as you hope the trend will continue.


The Time is Now - The Need is Urgent

Am I going Home Today?

Critically-ill Former Vikings Star Yearns for Return to Northern California Roots.


While we are closer to meeting our fundraising goal of $25,000 to cover Earsell's air transport costs. We have a very small window of time that Earsell will be strong enough to travel. We are still short of our goal. We need your help. If you know of anyone who can help please contact us ASAP:


Vallejo native, Earsell Mackbee, who played five seasons for the Minnesota Vikings is dying from stroke-related complications at a Minnesota hospice.

Recently his condition took a turn for the worse. His doctors have given him very little time, but his family still believes in miracles, including the fulfillment of Earsell's enduring wish to spend his last days back home in Vallejo, California.

Help Us grant Earsell Mackbee's final wish to return to his home in the San Francisco - Bay Area.
We are raising $25,000 to cover the MedFlight transport costs.

Spread the word, tell a friend!

Thank you so much for your support of my brother-in-law!


Carter's Stores - 20% off Coupon - Expires October 27th

Just received this coupon and wanted to share it with you. The coupon expires October 27th. It's time to get the kids ready for winter!

40% off holiday dress up sale going on now at Carter’s stores. Get your picture perfect outfit today! Plus, an extra 20% off coupon print now

Small prices, BIG savings! Shop today for babies and kids sizes newborn to 7.


10 Ways to Communicate More Effectively

Are you a communication guru?

Almost everyone agrees that the first few moments of a meeting with a stranger are the toughest to get by. We don't know the other person. We don't know anything about his/her attitude, cultural background and interests.

Not to mention the butterflies in the stomach. Many of us barely survive these awkward moments.

However, to become a successful communicator, mastering these first moments is the first challenge to beat.
Well, practice makes perfect. Here are 10 ways to communicate more effectively. The first few ice-breaking sessions may be a bit clumsy. But with experience, it becomes fairly easy to start conversations with complete strangers. It becomes a natural trait. After a good amount of practice, it becomes so normal that it won't feel like you are trying to break the ice. You just do it.

10 Ways to increase your communication skills
1. Surround yourself with people you do not already know. While this may be difficult for those that are shy, putting this weakness behind will enable you to make new contacts in a short period of time, and potentially give you a business lead.

2. If you are in a group, individually introduce yourself to everyone in the group, shaking each person's hand and giving them the attention you would want to receive.

3. Always introduce yourself by stating your first and last name slowly and clearly. If this is a business networking opportunity include your business title when you introduce yourself. Make sure that the person you are speaking to heard your name, and if necessary, nonchalantly repeat your full name.

4. Shake their hand firmly while making eye contact. A firm handshake is never forgotten, and making eye contact shows you are serious.

5. Repeat the person's name that you just met. For example: "It's a pleasure to meet you, Robert." This will make the recipient feel special, and immediately remember who acknowledged them. Repeating their name will also help you memorize it.

6. Learn about the other person to create a trusted relationship, by letting them speak. Find out what they do and where they are from. Ask them about their past, and what brought them to the career path or business they are in today. Listen carefully, show them you care, and do not interrupt them!

7. Don't talk too much about yourself and your business. You can briefly mention what you do, but unless you are asked more by the other party, don't begin rambling about your great new business or endeavor. It may be exciting, but no one likes shameless promotion!

8. Always carry business cards. You never know who you will run into and when, whether you are eating cheese and crackers, in the middle of a conversation, or in the restroom.

9. Read at least one news article a day. If there is a moment of silence, you can break the awkward pause by bringing up an interesting story you read. This can be about an interesting local story, a TV show, a book, a movie, and more. Note: Steer clear of political news. This is not a good conversation piece, as this can lead to a loud and unpleasant outcome.

10. When introducing a friend or a colleague, be sure to mention their first and last name, along with a piece of information that the recipient may find interesting, such as where they work, or something they have accomplished that is out of the ordinary. This will make everyone feel comfortable and lead into a good conversation topic.

A Final Word
You can only leave a first impression once, so it's crucial to present yourself in the best way possible so you are never forgotten. Rapport is almost priceless. Agreements, contracts, big business deals are often concluded between people because they sense a bonding.

Now that you have the techniques, follow these simple rules and there is no looking back to you becoming a an effective communicator:
  • Prepare yourself for the challenge
  • Kick yourself out of the comfort zone and volunteer for ice-breaking
  • You may fail initially but remember that every failure is a stepping stone to success
  • Do it every single time there is an opportunity. After a while, it becomes a natural trait.
Believe me, it's fun. See yourself transforming over time. Go for it!

Develop and practice these effective communication skills and your life and business will take on new vitality!


October Goals

Yikes, I think somebody shortened the month :-)

As my Mom frequently says, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." I so appreciate my good fortune to be able to hang out with the modite gang...Rebecca Thorman at has inspired me to step up my goal setting game and her followers are there to cheer you on. I cherish the accountability aspect of posting my monthly goals so much that I am posting my success rate with the September goals and posting new goals for October.

September 2009 goals:
1. Setup a mailchimp account to manage all the mailing list - Great success, I created two mail campaigns for clients with Mail Chimp. MailChimp is really easy to use and the campaigns are impressive:
* Empowered for Success - a monthly inspirational and informational seminar
* Taking Your Prayer to the next level - a monthly Prayer Forum

2. Work with the BAM!apps group to re-launch the website - Almost finished...stay tuned for exciting launch announcement
3. Set up a tweetdeck account to manage the tweets - No go...will go on the October Goals
4. Blog at least twice a week - hmmm, not good...missed a few posts
5. Give at least 20 hugs per day - Love this goal!!
6. Read a word of inspiration daily - yes, that's why I made it through the month
7. Gain 20 blog followers - hmmm, missing a few followers - where are you?
8. Finish the micromentor signup -no go...on to the October goals
9. Attend at least one networking group meeting (any recommendations for Northern California?) - yes, I met with the Courageous Women Group and have volunteered for a fabulous event - FREE Shopping and Pampering Day For our Courageous Women in Domestic Violence Shelters Homeless Shelters and Transitional Centers! - If you are in northern california - come on out and lend a hand as we give back to women in transistion - For more details go to
10. Harvest the garden - Looking good, harvested tomatoes, basil, zuchini and cucumbers
11. Cross off 10 goals at the end of the month... lol, hmmm, close but no enchilada!

October Goals
1. Re- Launch the website
2. Blog at least twice a week and gain 20 followers - interview an inspirational business woman
3. Touch lives with the Healthy Eating Food Demo at the San Francisco Christian Center Health Fair - we are expecting at least 500 people. My goal is to educate people on Foods that Heal. I will post the recipes
4. Attend at least two meet-ups
5. Finish the Micro-mentor signup
6. Setup tweet deck
7. Hugs - at least 20 a day...need this to maintain sanity
8. Read a word of inspiration daily

Here are a few of my favorite October Holidays and celebrations:
Child Health Day : Oct. 5
National Chocolate Cupcake Day: October 18
Mother-in-Law Day: October 25
National Chocolate Day - Oct 28
National Businesswomen week - Oct 19 - 25
and of course October 31st - Harvest Festival
(As a Christian we believe that we are to be life and light to the world and not death and darkness nor practice witchery or sorcery - great article on this subject

So, what are your goals? If I can post my can you!


Private Invitation - Don't miss out!


September shopping -
Don't miss it!!

Click here to start shopping now

Claim your special savings by entering coupon code SEPTPRVT

This is the weekend to Take Back Your Body

This is the weekend to Take Back Your Body - Grab the book and get started!

I’ve recently connected with Susan Mead, M.H. Master Herbalist and Speaker. Her Book - Take Back Your Body is topping the charts with no-nonsense advice on preventing and reversing common ailments.

Susan asks,
Are you searching for a common-sense approach to health and wellness?”

“Have you tried "everything" for a persistent health problem with little or no success?”

“Are you frustrated with the ineffectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs and concerned about their side effects?”

As a certified Master Herbalist practicing since 1997, she now uses her speaking and writing to help you Take Back Your Body and prevent common ailments—without drugs or surgery.

Grandma's common sense and herbal remedies that have been used for centuries can effectively prevent most diseases, and help heal current imbalances through the simple use of plants and lifestyle choices. Negative side effects are rare, but it's always best to work with a trained health care practitioner—a must if you are on any pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs.

Click here to take control of your health and pick up her book Take Back Your Body - it is topping the charts.

Visit her blog often and sign up for her newsletter.

You’ll feel better!


Don’t blame the trees…

When you suffer from watery itchy eyes and breath that labors, it may be a reaction to everyday toxins.

Many experts agree that what many people mistakenly call allergies are actually a reaction to everyday toxins. Dr. Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD, Chief of the occupational and environmental medicine division at Michigan State University says that, "Most household products aren't tested to see if they cause lung reactions or asthma." "Furthermore, manufacturers aren't required to list any ingredients except disinfectants."

As a result, your home likely contains dozens of contaminants that can cause anything from itchy skin to asthma. It could be your air freshener or beauty products.

They may smell sweet, but when it comes to your health, synthetic fragrances stink. A 2007 study of six fragranced consumer products discovered that the cleansers emitted nearly a hundred different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals released as gas. These included acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, which cause immediate eye, skin, and airway irritation. And weekly use of common glass cleaners, furniture sprays, and air fresheners has been linked to a 30 percent to 50 percent increased risk of adult asthma. Plug-in air fresheners, in particular, emit a constant cloud of VOCs called terpenes, a class of pine- or lemon-scented plant oils. While not themselves toxic, terpenes off-gas formaldehyde when mixed with ozone, resulting in watery eyes, wheezing, and inflamed airways. That said, current consumer laws don't require labels to list VOCs or fragrances — even if they cause respiratory problems.

Avoid using ionizing air purifiers, which can produce indoor ozone, a molecule that is highly reactive when placed in contact with other substances — especially air fresheners that emit terpenes.

Instead, neutralize odors with Boston ferns, bamboo palms, and spider plants, which also absorb toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. Instead of sprays and aerosols, use essential oils diluted in water to reduce your exposure to airborne chemicals.

Essential oils make superb natural household cleansers with their germ fighting abilities. The easiest way to mix them is to add essential oils to a spray bottle filled with water, shake it, and spray whatever needs cleaning. Or create a high concentration (about 40 to 60 drops per 4 ounces of water) and use as an air freshener. To clean dishes, floors, and counters, add a touch of unscented dish soap and 5 to 10 drops of the oil of your choosing to a sink filled with 1 to 3 gallons of hot water. Another good option for people who want that clean-house smell but don't want to bombard their family with synthetic fragrance: Add oils to unscented dish soap and laundry detergent. For example, mix 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil of your choice with an unscented laundry detergent before each load.

A drop of lavender or frankincense adds a light aromatic touch to clean laundry. But for cleaning purposes, I prefer lemon or lemongrass, which are antimicrobial and have an uplifting, energizing effect. Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning with lemongrass, as it can cause dermatitis in sensitive skin. Tea tree, is revered for its antimicrobial properties, is another effective option

Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) this foaming and cleansing detergent found in shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste may cause instant irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes and can eventually become an allergen. And because your skin and your airways aren't entirely separate, SLS may trigger respiratory symptoms as well. Similar chemicals found in foaming bath products include diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine.
Reactions include redness, swelling, and burning sensations which look the same whether caused by chemical irritants or allergy. Irritants, however, provoke an immediate reaction, while allergies can require weeks of constant exposure to develop.

Avoid these reactions by choosing products that contain natural foaming agents, such as coconut-derived lauric acid.

Formaldehyde, the same toxic preservative used in embalming is added to most nail polishes and mascaras to inhibit bacteria growth. Whether it's applied to wounded or broken skin (think cracked cuticles) or inhaled as a gas (wet nail polish), formaldehyde is responsible for the largest proportion — more than 25 percent — of cosmetic-instigated contact dermatitis and allergic reactions, according to a recently published study. Skin reactions can occur on eyelids, neck, and face, while fumes irritate eyes, nose, and throat.

Choose nail polishes and removers that use gentler polyester resins instead of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives such as tosylamide formaldehyde, quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, and DMDM hydantoin.
Check out the Whole Foods website for a wide variety of natural body care products and home cleaning solutions.

Have you alleviated everyday toxins in your house? How did you identify the offensive toxins?


September Goals - Did you write them down?

I stumbled upon a great blog post by Rebecca Thorman on Modite where she challenges us to join the meet up group, write our September goals and then cross them off upon successful completion. Studies show that when you write your goals and have an accountability partner the odds are that you will be much more successful in completing the goals.

Well, I have two lists, one is all the things I could ever think of that needs to be done and the other is the reality list. To spare myself total public humiliation :-) I will post the reality goal list...I wrote a song...want to it goes!

September 2009 goals:

1. Setup a mailchimp account to manage all the mailing list
2. Work with the BAM!apps group to re-launch the website
3. Set up a tweetdeck account to manage the tweets
4. Blog at least twice a week
5. Give at least 20 hugs per day
6. Read a word of inspiration daily
7. Gain 20 blog followers
8. Finish the micromentor signup
9. Attend at least one networking group meeting (any recommendations for Northern California?)
10. Harvest the garden
11. Cross off 10 goals at the end of the month... lol

That's it for about you? Are you joining the challenge? If so, click here to read Rebecca's post. What are your September goals?

Cash for Refrigerators – Are you going to upgrade your appliances?

The government is set to begin a $300 million cash-for-clunkers-type federal program to boost sales of energy-efficient home appliances. It may have an impact on the environment and provide a glimmer of hope for beleaguered makers of washing machines and dishwashers, but it's probably not enough to lift companies such as Whirlpool and Electrolux out of the worst down cycle in the sector's history.

Beginning late this fall, the program authorizes rebates of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances. The money is part of the broader economic stimulus bill passed earlier this year. Program details will vary by state, and the Energy Dept. has set a deadline of Oct. 15 for states to file formal applications. The Energy Dept. expects the bulk of the $300 million to be awarded by the end of November. No need to worry you won’t have to hook up a U-Haul to drag in your old appliances – trade ins are not required for this program. "These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement announcing the plan. Only appliances covered by the Energy Star seal will qualify. In 2008, about 55% of newly produced major household appliances met those standards, which are set by the Energy Dept. and Environmental Protection Agency.

The money can't come soon enough for the home appliance industry, which is mired in an unprecedented sales slump that began when the housing market cooled in 2006. Since then that slump has worsened considerably. Shipments of washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ovens dropped 10% in 2008 and are down 15% through July, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. "It's brutal," says Raymond James (NYSE:RJF - News) analyst Sam Darkatsh.

The leading appliance makers have felt the pinch. Whirlpool of Benton Harbor, Mich., which controls about 40% of the U.S. market, has seen its sales drop 20% through the first two quarters of this year. North American shipments for its Stockholm-based rival Electrolux, meanwhile, have dropped for a dozen consecutive quarters. Both companies have laid off hundreds of workers, and General Electric (NYSE:GE - News) mulled shutting down an entire refrigerator plant earlier this year until deciding to keep it open with a reduced workforce.

Not surprisingly, appliance makers cheered the news. Electrolux spokesman Tony Evans calls the federal program a "great opportunity to encourage consumers to replace their old appliances." Lately, cash-strapped consumers have chosen to repair, rather than replace, hobbled dishwashers and other water-intensive appliances, according to industry analysts. Electrolux says it is readying "aggressive" marketing programs that will run parallel with the rebates, and it's reasonable to expect appliance makers and retailers will devise additional discounts to amplify the rebates' appeal. "We will be ready to go when the new incentive programs hit the market," Evans said.

Unlike the popular, $3 billion cash-for-clunkers vehicle program, which ends on Aug. 24, there's no guarantee that hard-hit consumers are prepared to plump for new washers, stoves, and fridges. The federal outlay will piggyback on rebate programs for energy-saving appliances that have existed for years in more than 25 states, but which have largely failed to spur demand. Home improvement retailers like Home Depot (NYSE:HD - News) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW - News) have also offered deep discounts on big-ticket appliances lately, with little impact.

"The cash-for-clunkers (program) had a discernible value proposition for the consumer, because he knows how much his (clunker) is worth," says Darkatsh, the Raymond James analyst. "With appliances, there is no trade-in. You can walk into Home Depot and get a great deal on a home appliance any time you want one. Why would it drum up sales now?" Laura Champine, an analyst with Cowen & Co. (NasdaqGS:COWN - News), agrees. "I'm not sure if it will be as powerful as cash for clunkers because there is something compelling about that $4,500 discount," she says. "Also, a new car is more fun than a new dishwasher. So I'm not sure if it will be as much of a driver, but any driver is welcome right now."

The recession's ability to blunt the program's impact was underscored by a call made on Friday to the California Energy Commission to discuss its approach to the rebate program. The entire state office is on unpaid furlough each Friday in August; no one picked up the telephone.

Are you planning to purchase new appliances? Will the Cash for Refrigerators program entice you into the showrooms?

This post was inspired by a recent article in NewsWeek by Matthew Boyle


Speaking of lemon basil and strawberries...

Summer gardens are brimming with the fruits of labor.

A friend gave me a bushel of lemon basil from their garden. The scent of lemon basil is so refreshing, one whiff and you are transported to peace and serenity. Did you know that basil is more than just the main ingredient in pesto, but it contains many healing properties? The eugenol component of basil's volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an "anti-inflammatory" food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.

Creativity is needed when you receive such a large amount of lemon basil; here are a few quick serving ideas:

** Combine fresh chopped basil with garlic and olive oil to make a dairy-free variety of pesto that can top a variety of dishes including pasta, salmon and whole wheat brushetta.

** Enjoy a taste of Italy by layering fresh basil leaves over tomato slices and mozzarella cheese; drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to create this traditional colorful and delicious salad.

** Adding basil to healthy stir-fries, especially those that include eggplant, cabbage, chili peppers, tofu and cashew nuts will give them a Thai flair.

** Purée basil, olive oil and onions in a food processor or blender and add to tomato soups.

** Enjoy a warm cup of invigorating basil tea by infusing chopped basil leaves in boiling water for eight minutes.

Not only is basil plentiful, but so are the strawberries.
Nothing refreshes like a fruity granita on a hot summer afternoon. This Strawberry Granita is a favorite and easy to make.

Fresh Snow Capped Strawberry Granita

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
8 teaspoons heavy cream 1

Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. Place sliced strawberries in a large bowl. Toss the strawberries with the sugar; let stand for at least one hour at room temperature, or up to four hours in the refrigerator. The strawberries will be very juicy.
Puree the strawberries their juices and the lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until crushed. Working in batches, press the puree through a fine sieve to extracts seeds. Pour

Pour mixture into a bowl or large tub; ideally the mix should be no deeper than about 1 inch. Freeze until solid, at least 1 hour.

Remove from freezer 5 minutes before serving. Using a sturdy scoop or spoon mound granite into goblets and cap each wth a trickle of cream. The cream will solidify, semi frozen, like a snowcap on a pink mountain. Serve quickly before has time to melt

** Granita looks fantastic if served in wine or martini glasses. Moisten rims of 6 martini or wine glasses with water; dip rims into some sugar, and then add the granita. This recipe was inspired by a post in


Best Mom Advice

MSNBC and Dailygood teamed up and asked their followers to share their best Mom advice.

Here are my favorites from the list - they hit home because my Mom passed along these tidbits of advice to me. I am honored to have the opportunity to pass them along to my daughter.

"If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."
"Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. They'll wash clean."
"Work before play."
"You can if you think you can!"
"Keep your chin up. It's not the end of the world."
"Life isn't always fair."
"Never lie, cheat, or steal."
"Never be too proud to ask for help when you need it."
"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

Now that's sound advice and it can make you healthy, wealthy and wise!

What advice from your Mom do you follow?


30% off - Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic

All Shopping Moms,
Thanks to Kathy at $30 Dollar Weekly Grocery Challenge we can use this coupon to get 30% off of all purchases at Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic. Good through August 2nd. So hurry and get your shopping on!


Sludge at the Whitehouse

I just read this post and my heart was broken. First Lady Obama attempts at educating the public about the goodness of organically grown garden vegetables were sabotaged by the gardner from a previous administration. This brings about an important point - Beware, if you have started a garden in a new location. A soil test is easy to obtain and not very expensive. You can locate a company in your Yellow Pages. Below is the story...Let me know your thoughts on this post.

New homes are full of questions and possibilities. What color to paint the walls? How to arrange the furniture? What to plant in the garden? The Obama family must have asked a lot of those same questions when they moved into the White House. However, the first lady's dreams of growing an organic vegetable garden have been dragged down by a previous resident that refuses to leave: sludge.

Various sources within the Buzz are reporting that Michelle Obama's "organic" garden has been besieged by icky goo in the ground. As a result, the veggies aren't quite what the first lady had in mind. According to Daily Finance, the National Park Service tested the soil in the vegetable patch and found "highly elevated levels of lead" due to sewage used as fertilizer.

So the question is: Who to blame? While dumping sewage into the ground sounds like a crime worthy of Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons," the actual perpetrators were none other than the Clintons. Yep, back when Bill and Hillary were living it up in the White House, their gardening team used "sewage sludge for fertilizer." The fiends!

Sounds gross, but it's actually fairly common. However, it does mean that the highly touted "organic garden" will never "attain organic status." The certification process doesn't allow "the use of sludge as a fertilizer substitute." And there's another problem: If Malia and Sasha weren't into eating their veggies before, it's going to be that much harder to get 'em to eat 'em now.


Do you have a Mentor?

Successful mentoring relationships start with a clear agreement about goals, procedures, and limitations, says mentoring expert Lois Zachary.

Too often mentors and mentees start off without doing enough preparation and end up with an unsatisfactory experience, she says. Zachary, author of The Mentor's Guide and the recently published The Mentee's Guide to Mentoring, provides guidelines for setting the groundwork for great mentoring.

Preparing for a mentoring relationship

Zachary suggests seven steps in an initial conversation between potential mentor and mentee.

1. Take time to get to know each other. To start out, share career journeys.

2. Talk about mentoring. Talk about individuals who have had a profound impact on your development and learning. Discuss previous mentoring experiences.

3. Share your goals for the process. What does each participant hope to achieve from the relationship?

4. Determine what each partner needs and expects. Be honest about what you need, says Zachary. A brain to pick? Someone who can help you get your arms around a problem? Someone to give you a kick in the pants?

5. Candidly share personal assumptions. As an example of mismatched assumptions, Zachary offers the following example: The mentee assumes that his or her mentor will be a sounding board, help with day-to-day challenges, provide quick answers to questions, and introduce him or her to his or her network. Meanwhile, the mentor assumes that his or her role is to be a guide, asking questions that help the mentee find answers. Unless the two talk their assumptions through, they will be at cross purposes.

6. Share limitations. Each of us has limitations, whether personal, time related, work related, or physical, says Zachary. It's best to share them early on.

7. Discuss personal styles. For example, you may have data from Myers Briggs or other instruments that indicate your need for structure or your resistance to "touchy-feely."
Create a Specific Agreement

After an initial discussion, you are ready to prepare a formal agreement, Zachary says. Here are her required ingredients for such agreements:

* Well-defined goals (What does each participant want to accomplish?)
* Success criteria and measurement (How will we know if we have succeeded?)
* Accountability assurances (How do we ensure that we do what we say we are going to do?)
* Ground rules (What are the norms and guidelines we will follow? Who will be responsible for what?)
* Confidentiality safeguards (What do we need to do to protect the confidentiality of this relationship?)
* Boundaries and hot buttons (What are the not-to-exceed limits? What hot buttons exist?)
* Protocols for addressing stumbling blocks (What process should we have in place to deal with any stumbling blocks we encounter?)
* Consensual mentoring agreement (What do we need to include to ensure that this agreement works for us?)
* Mentoring work plan (What are the steps for achieving our goals?)

Are you a mentor? What's has been your biggest challenge as a mentor?


Get a Grip on Stress in a Stressful Economy

If you haven't lost your job, you worry that you will. And while you wait, you've seen your workload increase, your downtime vanish, and your duties expand beyond your expertise (and any conceivable 40-hour week). If all that's not enough to make your blood pressure rise, a new Florida State University business school study shows that bosses have become more demanding, and that politicking, sucking up, and backstabbing in the office are on the rise. Stress test? The office these days is giving you your own personal version, and, in short, if you are like many employees…you're barely passing.

Stop and take a few deep breaths. In, out. OK? Now take a moment to read this. You'll feel better.

Things you will need:
* Time: Start setting aside enough hours for a full night's sleep, plus extra time each week for tension-relieving activities and self-reflection. If you are a member of a local church, join with the congregation and give thanks for your family, flowers in bloom, a rainbow, the green grass and all that makes life lovely.
* Social Support: Single out a few good friends and family members to lean on. Research shows that when lonely people are stressed, they experience higher blood pressure and more insomnia than those who have a strong social network.
* Self-Awareness: Don't avoid the problem. That will only make it worse. Failure to change your surroundings or manage your stress level can contribute to long-term health issues like clinical depression, anxiety disorder, and heart disease.

Understand Stress
Pinpoint where the anxiety is coming from.
A certain amount of daily stress is normal. Stress, after all, is simply your reaction — either positive or negative — to change, according to the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. When stress places prolonged or extreme pressure on your coping mechanisms, it can become a clinical problem that requires professional help. Continually high levels of stress can wreak havoc on the digestive and nervous systems, leading to irritable bowel syndrome, recurrent headaches, and heart attacks. The psychological symptoms often come in the form of burnout (losing interest in work) and depression. The tips below are designed to help you prevent stress from taking a serious toll on your health — and your career.

There are two leading, complementary perspectives on the sources of workplace stress. Understanding the difference between the two is the first step in learning how to cope.

Internal: Stress comes from how you perceive your situation. The very thoughts you have can worsen your stress reaction, says Dr. Jeff Brantley, director of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at Duke Integrative Medicine. For example, one day your boss emerges from a long, closed-door meeting looking upset. Then she e-mails you requesting a meeting. Do you immediately think you're facing the ax? "Your mind starts spinning a catastrophe, and it's enough to trigger your body to go into a stress reaction," Brantley says.

Coping strategy: You may not be able to eliminate the stimulus, but you can learn to change your response and calm your mind. Start keeping a list of everything in your day that causes stress. Is there something new or different in your work life? Do certain colleagues make your blood boil? Pinpoint how every item on the list makes you feel and then ask yourself, "Is my reaction appropriate or over the top?" This step is key, because once you understand where your emotions are coming from; you can find a healthier way to deal with them.

External: This school of thought holds that outside factors, like toxic work environments, predominantly drive workplace stress. Common characteristics of stress-inducing environments include authoritarian or non-communicative supervisors, socially isolating work, and jobs that require a lot of effort but offer little reward. Dr. Peter Schnall of the University of California at Irvine's Center for Occupational and Environmental Health says these factors can produce biological responses such as higher blood pressure and could possibly contribute to more serious conditions like heart attacks and depression.
Coping strategy: Eliminating the source of the problem (i.e., finding another job) may be the most effective solution in the long term. But until the job market improves, find ways to regain a sense of control over your time and your surroundings. For example, if you must endure a two-hour commute in rush-hour traffic to arrive at the office by 9 a.m., start your workday earlier so you avoid the worst time to travel. If you can't stand your colleagues, shut your office door or take your work to a conference room for part of the day.

Go Ahead and Vent — but Find the Right Listener
Blow off steam without damaging your reputation at work.
Understanding how stress works will only get you so far. You need cathartic relief, right? Don't hesitate to seek the empathetic ears of a colleague, but do choose your confidant wisely, says Matthew Grawitch, an organizational psychologist and professor at Saint Louis University. "The more you say to a person you work with, the more likely something will slip out at work." Grawitch says. You don't want co-workers using your misery to their advantage, so find someone outside of work who can offer a different perspective.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, in some cases your boss may be your best confidant. Sure, you don't want to make much ado about the minor, daily stresses of your job, but if you're struggling with something major that affects your performance, talk to your boss, says Grawitch. After all, managers are invested in the success of their employees. A brief explanation (keep the hairy details to a minimum) is not only fair, it's also a way to build trust.

One district manager at a global pharmaceutical company recently survived a round of layoffs. Still reeling from the stress of nearly losing his own job, he faced the task of cutting 20 percent of his own employees, many of whom he had worked with for more than 20 years. He asked his former and current bosses for advice because both of them had been through the same experience. The two empathized but, more importantly, offered some concrete tips on how to make the cuts and give employees the support they need. The conversations didn't make the task any easier, but they did help the manager cope with his own internal struggles.

If you're going to go to your boss, schedule a time to talk instead of dropping by unexpectedly when she may be in the middle of grappling with the demands of her own job. Regardless of whom you talk to, vent once, then let the issue rest. Constantly rehashing the story will force you to relive your emotions.

Don't want to vent? Relieve some tension and clear your head by doing something physical. Wear yourself out on the treadmill, go on a strenuous hike, do laps in the swimming pool — whatever you need to do. The activity will get your endorphins pumping (the brain chemicals that make us feel good) and focus your mind on your body instead of your stress.

Learn to Change Your Reaction to Stress
Stop being oppressed by your emotions.
After you've blown off some steam, you can work through stress in a more logical, clearheaded way rather than making decisions based on emotions. "Don't just be lost in negative feelings," says Brantley.

The Mayo Clinic offers a few tips on how to retrain your reaction to stress:
Rethink your standards: If your failure to achieve perfection causes continual guilt and frustration, redefine what success means. For example, if you always feel inundated with work, ask yourself if you're spending more time on tasks than they require. Adds Dr. Barbara Gray, a professor of organizational behavior at Penn State, often "we actually shoot ourselves in the foot by making the task harder than it needs to be."

Reframe your situation: Weather delays your flight to an important business meeting. Instead of stewing about the disruption to your schedule, which you can't control anyway, take advantage of the extra time to prepare for your presentation or catch up on sleep.

Reassess the significance of the problem: Will it matter tomorrow? Next week? A year from now? Emotion magnifies the difficulty of a problem in the moment; perspective shrinks it.

So make sure you stop and put things in perspective and take a moment to reflect on this quote:
Where I was born and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest. Georgia O'Keefe
This blog was inspired by a post from BNET.


4th of July Barbeque - It's all in the sauce!

Happy 4th of July to ALL!!!
Thanks to the men and women in uniform serving our country and maintaining our independence. Take a moment and pray for these heroes and pray for America and ask that God continues to Bless America and that America blesses God.

Well, the 4th of July is here and it is time to get the grill ready and have a good old fashioned B-B-Que. Here is my favorite Coffee Barbeque Sauce. I've tweaked this favorite recipe of Chef Michael Lomonaco, Noche Restaurant, New York, NY. Give me a shout if you try it. The flavors are rich and create a symphony of taste on your palate. The sauce is great as a marinade or as a finishing sauce for grilled chicken, pork or beef. The sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. What's your favorite sauce? Ever tried coffee as an ingredient in your barbecue sauce?

Decadent Coffee Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong, dark coffee
1 cup ketchup (make sure it is organic - no high fructose corn syrup)
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 fresh hot chili peppers, such as jalapeno, or hotter if desired, seeded (roasted
2 Tablespoons hot dry mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder

Put espresso or coffee, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, chili peppers, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, and chili powder in a small pot, stir them together, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so the mixture is just simmering and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, let the mixture cool. Yields about 3 cups

If you prefer, you can then puree it in a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Chicken Drumsticks with Decadent Coffee Barbecue Sauce

12 chicken, drumsticks, well rinsed, patted dry
coarse salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
vegetable oil, for brushing grill

1. Heat a grill on medium heat.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Brush grill with oil.
4. Grill chicken for about 8 to 10 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through reaching an internal temperature of 175 to 180 degrees F, brushing with the sauce.

Serve with your favorite barbeque side dishes.


Got $$$ For School? Scholorships Available for College

$$$ For School
Passing along this info....forward to all on your list.
The application period is open (July 1-29, 2009) for any graduating high school senior or college student that plans to study technology-based curriculum in college. Please share this scholarship information with any students or parents in your sphere of influence. It is a tangible benefit of membership in this social network ... you might not have know about this opportunity otherwise.

Here are some online links you can use if you need them:

* Announcement -

* Past Winners
2007 - Daniel Puente, Dallas, University of Texas
2007 - Lee Reed, Chicago, University of Michigan
2008 - Khalia Braswell, Charlotte, North Carolina State
2008 - Christian West, Philadelphia, Northwestern University

Have questions? Contact Chris Johnson (BETF Scholarship Cmte chair, know if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Wayne Hicks, Executive Director
BDPA Education & Technology Fdn
v: 513.284-4968 f: 202.318-2194


Under the Boardwalk

That song continues to ring in our ears as we return from a day trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. What a great midweek getaway. The weather was great as the fog lifted mid afternoon the kids played in the ocean for a few hours; chasing the waves and making sand castles. Then we hit the boardwalk and rode the rides.

The Big Dipper Roller Coaster is the best! What a beautiful view of the ocean…that is if you keep your eyes open as the Dipper reaches the summit of the lift hill and the train begins to drop, catching speed as it descends the 65-foot first drop to reach a top speed of 55 mph!

After the first drop there are a variety of hills, and twisting turns, with an occassional pop of airtime. The Giant Dipper's double out and back layout features plenty of up and downs, with several crossovers and one large fan turn at the end.

On Monday and Tuesday the Boardwalk is celebrating 1907 days with special prices on food items and after 5:00pm all rides are 75 cents.

So I followed a few of my tips to Save Money on a Vacation and we had a fabulous time:

1. Don't eat on the "main strip" – We packed a picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, fruit and the best ever chocolate chip bars ( I will post the recipe).

2. We made it a day trip and left at 10:00am to avoid the traffic and returned by 10:00pm. No hotel bills and no traffic. So if you are in northern California wondering what to do – try a midweek day trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It will bring a smile to your face an renew your energy. Now back to work!

The Drifters – Under the Boardwalk
From the park you hear the happy sound of the carousel,
You can almost taste the hot dogs and french fries they sell,
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea,
On a blanket with my baby, that's where I'll be.

Under the boardwalk, (Out of the sun)
Under the boardwalk, (We'll be having some fun)
Under the boardwalk, (People walking above)
Under the boardwalk, (We'll be falling in love)
Under the boardwalk, (Boardwalk!)


The Love of Lavender

This is an exciting season for me…my lavender was showcased at the Francis Flowers & Herbs Farms Herb Walk in Pickens, Mississippi. Really cool for this California gal! This is the first year that we are bundling and selling our lavender to the public. If you would like to purchase sustainable grown Lavender, please send an email to

The fragrant fuzzy buds of lavender are beginning to spring from the silvery mounds of foliage in our gardens. Our lavender flowers are in full bloom displaying the rich shades of purple spikes that I admire. This is the perfect time to share, enjoy and use this wonderful plant.
I have been passionately exploring growing and using lavender for about five years. I am so excited about the new business opportunities. Not only has the Lavender been showcased at events, but our products will be used in Cine’ Hair and Skin Care products.
My dear friend Cine will use the Lavender leaves, flowers, stems and the essential oil for her bath and body products that are scheduled to be released later this year. I will keep you posted when the products are available.

The use of lavender has been documented for about 2500 years. Lavender was used for mummification and perfume by the Egyptians.
The Greeks and the Romans bathed in lavender scented water. Queen Elizabeth I of England valued lavender as a perfume. It has been said that she commanded that the royal table should never be without conserve of lavender and she had fresh lavender flowers available year round in the garden. She also drank Lavender tea to help ease her migraines and used it as a body perfume.

Lavender has assorted therapeutic properties and freshens everything it touches. Lavandula, derives from the Latin word lavare, which means “to wash.” To create a wash, take about 16 ounces of water, add a few drops of an unscented liquid soap like Dr. Bonners and about ten drops of lavender essential oil. Shake well before using and try it everywhere. Wash hands and body, dishes, counter tops, bathrooms and floors.

Lavender is soothing and especially helpful for relieving headaches and stress. It brings balance to our emotions. The oil can be rubbed on different parts of the body to slow down the nervous system and encourage relaxation in the body. Make a spritzer with witch hazel, distilled water and lavender essential oil to refresh skin and senses. Put fresh or dried lavender in bath water to ease muscle and mental tensions. A cup of iced or hot tea may help relieve minor anxiety and stomach discomforts and will definitely delight the senses.
Lavender is an antiseptic and calmative. During the First World War, nurses bathed soldiers' wounds with lavender washes. Eczema, acne, and fungal infections have been successfully treated with lavender. It is one of the few essential oils you can apply directly to your skin. You can use it for minor burns and cuts like you would aloe vera. In fact those two combined make an excellent treatment for burns from heat and flame and sunburned skin.
Traditionally Lavender is grown in the Mediterranean. Provence France hosts lavender fields that are beautifully blended into the landscapes, covering thousands of acres in a purple haze. Lavender is also grown in the United States form Washington to Pennsylvania, including in our own backyards.
There are over 200 varieties of Lavender and 28 different species. In our gardens, the French Lavender has the more traditional gray leaves but with serrated edges. A large, fast growing shrub that is sometimes referred to as everblooming Lavender. They enjoy at least eight hours of sunlight daily and the well drained, sandy soil.

Lavender usually begins to bloom in June and will re-bloom in early September. To harvest the flowers for drying, we cut them just before all the buds fully open and hang in small bunches upside down in a warm, dark spot with good air circulation.

There are so many uses for Lavender, here are my top 10 favorites:

1. Lavender flowers (fresh or dried) emit a strong, aromatic, uplifting scent when crushed between the fingers. For a quick mood pick-me-up or instant stress relief, crush and roll between your fingers a few of the flower buds and inhale the scent slowly and deeply. The combination of breathing deeply and inhaling the lavender scent will calm nervous tension, anxiety and panicky feelings within minutes.

2. A relaxing, soothing tea can be made from the flowers. Just put one heaping tablespoon of the fresh or dried flowers in a tea pot, and pour boiling water into the pot. Infuse for about ten minutes. This tea calms the nerves, settles the stomach and "butterflies" and induces sleep.

3. Lavender essential oil can be applied like a perfume to the hair, neck, ears or other body parts. Smells delicious!

4. Add several drops of lavender oil to your bath for a soothing soak, or just add a generous handful of the fresh or dried flowers if you don't have the essential oil.

5. To make sleep more restful, drip a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow. Another option is to wrap a handful of the dried flowers in a cheesecloth sachet, tie and throw in your pillowcase.

6. To soothe a sunburn, add a few drops of the essential oil to water in a spray bottle, and mist sunburned skin.

7. Wrap a handful of lavender flowers in a square of cheesecloth and tie with a string. You can also drip a few drops of essential oil onto the sachet for an extra aromatherapy boost. Throw the sachet in your dryer to make your clothes smell great. This will freshen up to 25 dryer loads!

8. Apply lavender essential oil to insect bites
and stings, cuts, scrapes and abrasions. Lavender is very anti-septic and helps destroy germs that can cause infections.
9. Infuse fresh or dried lavender flowers as if to make a tea. But instead of drinking it, let it cool down and use as a hair rinse to reduce dandruff.

10. Pulverized lavender flowers can add a unique and delightful flavor to salads, custards, jams, jellies and cookies, especially sugar cookies. It is a culinary relative to mint, sage, marjoram and thyme and can be used in the same fashion as these herbs. Lavender is so versatile in the kitchen, that virtually any experimentation with it will yield favorable results.


Father' Day - Love them by passing along this Men's Health Alert

Father's Day is this Sunday.
You can give Dad something better than a tie or shirt; share this Men's Health Alert...and of course a big hug. Better yet, share this with all of the men in your life; it could save their lives.
the full article can be viewed at

Four Symptoms No Guy Should Ignore
The shooting pain woke me in the middle of the night. It felt like someone had wedged a screwdriver between my spine and shoulder blade. Changing position, stretching, pain relievers … nothing helped. The pain came out of nowhere. I racked my brain: As far as I could recall, I hadn't injured myself. "You need to call the doctor," my wife said. "Maybe," I replied.

Why did I even hesitate? Well, as it turns out, I'm a typical guy. A 2007 American Academy of Family Physicians survey of 1,100 men found that while most men eventually seek medical attention when they're ailing, a whopping 92 percent wait days to see if they'll feel better. What's worse, nearly a third wait "as long as possible" before getting help. "Men aren't expected to listen to their bodies," explains Salvatore Giorgianni, PharmD, development director at Nashville-based Belmont University and advisor to the Men's Health Network national educational organization. "Little clues that something is wrong are very frequently ignored."

When I did eventually see my doctor, I was relieved to learn that the pain was a bad muscle spasm. The debilitating discomfort that could have lingered for a month was relieved after a few days of chiropractic treatments and massage therapy. But there are scores of other easy-to-ignore symptoms that can spell real trouble, particularly as men get older, says Jean Bonhomme, MD, MPH, founder of the National Black Men's Health Network. And the later you catch a problem, often the less you can do about it.

In short, if something doesn't seem right — whether you've developed a strange shortness of breath, recurring headaches, inexplicably swollen lymph nodes, or just unusual pain — it's always best to check in with your physician. Here are some of the more common symptoms you may be tempted to ignore — but shouldn't.

SYMPTOM # 1: Skin irregularities

Why: Lots of men work or play in the sun, so they're prime targets for skin cancer, the most common of all cancers. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight can trigger DNA damage that results in the uncontrolled growth associated with cancers. Many skin cancers are easily treatable if caught early but one type, malignant melanoma, kills roughly 8,000 Americans a year. Even folks diligent with sunscreen for years aren't necessarily safe, says Bonhomme. After all, skin cancer can develop and then lie dormant for 20 or 30 years. If you recognize any of the "ABCDs" above, make an appointment with a dermatologist right away.

How to prevent it: Here's good news: Your spaghetti dinner may help protect against sun damage — as long as it includes sauce made with ample tomato paste. Researchers at the University of Manchester recently discovered that people who ate 5 tablespoons of standard tomato paste a day had 33 percent more skin protection than those in a control group. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant in tomatoes that is concentrated in tomato paste, may neutralize the harmful effects of UV light. Being a lycopene devotee, however, doesn't mean that you can skip the sunscreen: Regular, daily application is key, especially during the peak sunlight hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on cloudy days when the ultraviolet rays can still reach you.

SYMPTOM # 2: A big belly

Be on the lookout for: Weight gain around the middle (rather than on hips or legs), particularly if you develop a waist-to-hip ratio greater than 0.9. (To determine your ratio, measure your waist below your ribs and your hips at their greatest circumference; divide the first number by the second number.) A good rule of thumb is your pants size: A 40-inch waist or larger is reason to be concerned, says Bonhomme.

Why: All body fat isn't created equal. Although excess weight is never a good sign, carrying extra weight around the abdomen (what's sometimes called male-pattern obesity) is worse than in other areas. "Those who have an imbalanced proportion between their waist and hips seem to be at higher risk of metabolic syndrome," says Geovanni Espinosa, ND, Lac, director of the Integrative Urological Center at New York University Medical Center. "That puts them at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart problems, and even prostate cancer." The primary risk factors for metabolic syndrome are abdominal obesity and insulin resistance, the body's inability to use insulin it releases in response to food.

How to prevent it: Reevaluate your diet, for starters. A United States Agricultural Research Service study found that people who consumed 2.5 or more servings of whole grains a day were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome than those who ate less than one serving a day. On the other hand, a nine-year National Institutes of Health study recently found that people who regularly ate refined grains, red meat, fried foods, and processed meats like hot dogs and hamburgers elevated their metabolic syndrome risk. Surprisingly, despite having few or zero calories, diet soda is also a risk factor. So opt for whole-grain meals featuring brown rice, oatmeal, and 100 percent whole-grain breads whenever possible.

It's also smart to get moving, because low physical activity also increases risk for metabolic syndrome. Aerobic activities that strengthen abdominal muscles and burn lots of calories, such as jogging, bicycling, swimming, and using rowing machines, can help drop those pounds around the waist.

SYMPTOM # 3: Irregular urination

Be on the lookout for: Any kind of unusual bathroom activity, including weak, frequent, or minimal urination. If you're hitting the bathroom several times a night, for example, it's time to find out what's going on.

Why: A variety of ailments can lead to wonky urination, says Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, Lac, founder of San Francisco Natural Medicine in California. Weak or frequent urination can be a sign of urinary tract infection, kidney illness, diabetes, or an enlarged prostate, a gland near the bladder found only in men. More common with age, a swollen prostate can lead to increasingly painful and difficult urination and may require medication or surgery. These same symptoms can also indicate prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men, with approximately 186,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Guys need to realize that prostate cancer is often a silent killer, cautions Bonhomme, usually with few or no symptoms in its early stages. That's why it's important for all men to get annual prostate cancer screens starting at age 50, he says; those with a family history or who are African American should start at 40 or earlier.

How to prevent it: Keep that flow going as naturally as possible, says Espinosa, by drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day to help the body flush out possible infection-causing agents. To counter a swelling prostate, Hangee-Bauer recommends 160 mg of standardized extract of saw palmetto, combined with pygeum and pumpkin-seed oil. These extracts help shrink the prostate by inhibiting conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which triggers growth in prostate cells. He also suggests 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day; a 2008 study found that this omega-3 fatty acid-rich food helped slow the growth of prostate tumors.

SYMPTOM # 4: Low sex drive

Be on the lookout for: Decreased libido or erectile dysfunction. "Low libido is not a simple thing," says Hangee-Bauer. "It can be a condition in and of itself, but it can also be a symptom of something else."

Why: Guys may assume bedroom activity decreases naturally with age, but a low sex drive may indicate something more serious is amiss. A common culprit is low testosterone, which can lead to heart problems and bone loss, says Espinosa. Erectile dysfunction may also be a warning sign of impending heart disease or stroke. "The arteries that go to the male genitals are smaller than the arteries that go to the brain," explains Bonhomme. If blood can't flow to the penis to cause erections, blood flow may be dangerously weak in other parts of the body, too.

How to prevent it: Weight-bearing exercise and healthy stress management support balanced testosterone levels, says Espinosa. "There seems to be a connection between highly stressed men and lower testosterone levels," he warns. And try to get a full eight hours of sleep, too. Researchers have found that men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea — breathing problems that interrupt normal sleeping patterns — produce lower levels of testosterone. If you're over 50 and suffer from low libido, Hangee-Bauer suggests 160 mg a day of ginkgo biloba. Not only does the herb relax artery walls to improve circulation to the penis, says Hangee-Bauer, but it can also help blood flow to the brain and have a mild antidepressant effect.

Essential daily supplements for men


Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, Lac, founder of San Francisco Natural Medicine, recommends a three-times-a-day, high-potency combination. After all, he points out, "We have to remember that recommended dietary allowances [the recommended amounts of nutrients people should have in their diets] are just the amounts that prevent us from having different diseases" and not necessarily optimum amounts for overall well-being. "If you have a good multivitamin, you are covering things you may be missing in your diet," he adds. "I see it as health insurance."


Hangee-Bauer recommends fish oil for its omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects and may help prevent cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Dose: 1,000 mg daily. Note: May interact with blood-thinning meds.


Researchers have found that green tea's key antioxidant ingredient, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), binds to tumor cells and slows their growth. So make sure you're getting enough EGCG, either in brewed or extract form, Hangee-Bauer suggests. Dose: 70-100 mg EGCG daily (1-2 cups of green tea).

Note: Those with caffeine sensitivities should consider decaffeinated versions, making sure to choose a brand that's decaffeinated using the natural "effervescence" method, a process involving water and carbon dioxide that retains most of the EGCG content.

Teens can't find a job?

Are your kids still pounding the pavement looking for a job?
Well maybe their time would be better spent like Chris, a young man in Syracuse; he is became an entrepreneur. There are many freelance opportunities for your teens from dog walking to photography to web designing. All it takes is getting those creative juices flowing, identifying strengths and weaknesses and then...JUST DO IT!

In the words of the great author and philosopher Plato - Necessity... the mother of invention. Check out Chris's story, a teenager that couldn't find a summer job. Pass this along to your teens with a word of encouragement to get inventive. Here is a snippet of the article:
What if I told you that there was another option, that you could just pass right by the mainstream job market and still make money? Well, in fact, there is, and I've been living it for the past year. Freelancing is an option open to anyone with a business idea and the will to pull through with it. Even for teens, self employment opportunities can be endless. I do Web site development. My business, at, began out of a love for computers and developed through several years of getting experience and learning the specifics of the trade. In other words, creating a business from the ground up wasn't exactly an overnight process. However, not everything requires that level of commitment. While it's important to have a passion for what you do, chances are you don't have years to work your way up to it. Quite possibly the most common self-employed jobs teens are involved in are lawn-mowing and babysitting. You can even turn a hobby such as photography, writing or drawing into a business. Skills and experience gained from starting off in this way can be valuable. I've learned quite a bit myself: discipline to meet deadlines, communication skills from talking to clients, good work ethics, and, possibly the most important, determination for when the going gets tough. These skills will stay with you. They are skills colleges and potential employers love. You can read the rest of the article here -


A free gift

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, just a lot of reward. When you pray believe God will answer.

My prayer for you today:

May today be all you need it to be. May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself today in ways you have never experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your prayers be answered. I pray that faith enters a new height for you; I pray that your territory is enlarged. I pray for peace, healing, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, true and undying love for God. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. II Corinthians 13:14

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

Have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend!