ss_blog_claim=6cd73fab0d1dd89407889b31eb885dd3 ss_blog_claim=6cd73fab0d1dd89407889b31eb885dd3 Blog Directory Things I Did Not Know Before: January 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mira's Joint Anniversary Contest - Fantastic Giveaways To Win!!

A while back I was approached by te Mira of Random Thoughts if I was willing to sponsor her upcoming Joint Anniversary Giveaway Contest. It was my pleasure indeed to be part of it, so I duly did! As you can see, my three blogs are among the prices to be won as 1st price! Well, I want to win cash prices and EC credits too, that's I decided to join....Hurry, you might be one of the lucky winners, good luck! Visit above links for more details, and leave your comments there!

JANUARY 25 to FEBRUARY 10, 2009

$25 - c/o Random Thoughts
Customized Blog Layout (blogger platform) c/o My Web-Blog Designs
1 Swarovsky Bracelet c/o Yen's Handmades [Click here to see the ITEM]
$20 + 2000 EC credits c/o Windmill on the Hill
$10 + 500 EC credits c/o My Life's Journey to Success
$10 + 500 EC credits c/o Things I Did Not Know Before
$10 + 500 EC credits c/o Unique Ideas For Your Beach Weddings
2000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Night Clicks
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o NetFreeSource
3000 - EC credits c/o Random Thoughts
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Dashing Beauty
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Tales of a Pinay Single Mommy
1 Photo Pop Art Make-over c/o Sweety Tots

$20 - c/o Mira's Web Journal
2500 - EC credits c/o Mira's Web Journal
2000 - EC credits c/o A Moment to Exhale
20GB Web Hosting c/o + 500EC credits
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o My Countryhome
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Live Love Pink
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Samantha's Own
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o 1716 South
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Garage Sale
1 Photo Pop Art Make-over c/o Sweety Tots

$15 - c/o A Moment to Exhale
3000 - EC credits c/o Big Boys Have Toys Too
2000 - EC credits c/o A Taste of Both Worlds
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Kharlota dot Com
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o A Girl for All Status
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o A Fil-Am Journey
1 year text link ad c/o
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Symphony of Love
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Sweepstakes Girl
1 Photo Pop Art Make-over c/o Sweet...Pretty...Naughty

$10 - c/o My Barefoot Journey
2000 - EC credits c/o Mommy's Little Corner
2000 - EC credits c/o My Online Paradise
2000 - EC credits c/o Kinda Life of Mine
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1 month text link ad Great Finds and Deals

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2000 - EC credit c/o The Solitairy Love
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1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Simplement Belles
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1 month text link ad Thomas Web Links
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1000 EC + 1 month 125x125 ad space from My Daily Sunset
1000 - EC credits c/o My Kitchen
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500 - EC credits c/o I Thought So
1 month text link ad Batuananons

1000 EC + 1 month 125x125 ad space from Lovely Pink
1000 - EC credits c/o Small Side Bits
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1 month text link ad Filipino Online Community

10th PRIZE
1000 EC + 1 month 125x125 ad space from Hobby and Such by Carlota
1000 - EC credits c/o My Life's Adventure
1000 - EC credits c/o Wonderful Things In Life
1000 - EC credits c/o The Joy of Life Forever
500 - EC credits c/o Life's Journey
1 month text link ad from Nita's Random Thoughts

11th PRIZE
1000 - EC credits c/o Medan Daily
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1000 - EC credits c/o Simply WP
1000 - EC credits c/o Everything Under the Sun
1 month text link ad from Nita's Corner

12th PRIZE
1500 - EC credits c/o A Moment to Exhale
1000 - EC credits c/o My Barefoot Journey
1000 - EC credits c/o EastCoastLife

1. Blog about this contest and link back to me (Required). It is REQUIRED to include the prizes and sponsors' links in your post for your entry to be valid. You can copy+paste prizes and sponsors as shown above or just CLICK HERE to copy the complete HTML CODE and paste in the 'Edit Html' when you post. Putting "nofollow" tag will disqualify your entry. Come back here and leave a comment with the exact url of the post. The more blogs you post this contest to, the more chances you'll have on winning. Please leave separate comment for each blog entry you made.

1. Grab my Random Thoughts button HERE and place on your sidebar, and leave a separate comment.
2. Grab my A Moment to Exhale button HERE and place on your sidebar and leave a separate comment.
3. Grab my contest button HERE and place on your sidebar and leave a separate comment.
4. Follow Random Thoughts blog and leave a separate comment. If you've been following it already then I will count that as one entry, but leave a comment anyway.
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6. Subscribe to Random Thoughts feeds HERE and leave a separate comment.
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8. Add Random Thoughts to your Technorati favorites by clicking here, and leave a separate comment.
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1. Winners will be selected randomly using If you want all your entries to be counted, please leave separate comment for each (REQUIRED).
2. Contest will run from January 25 to February 10, 2009.
3. Contest will end on February 10th at 11:59pm EST.

4. Winners will be announced on February 13th, the anniversary date.
5. Winners has 48 hours to contact me at mira[underscore]burns[at]yahoo[dot]com with subject ANNIVERSARY GIVE-AWAY WINNER, otherwise another winner will be selected.
6. This contest is open to all bloggers with PayPal account and Entrecard account.
7. All SPONSORS are also welcome to join!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

You Know It’s Time To Give Up Blogging When….

I won’t participate in the comment section for this post, but will be, and I am interested in, reading your thoughts. But I am not giving up yet, I am still pretty much new to blogging. I should say, "I still have loads of topics to post"... until when?

A blog can be compared to a newborn baby. In the beginning, we’re really excited about our “baby”. We tell everyone about the baby and where they can go to see the baby. We can’t wait to try on all the new clothes we have just for the baby. lol... Sounds familiar to me... hehehehe

You love your baby so much that when we wake up in the morning, the first thing you might do is check the baby for “movement”. Maybe you guys give the baby nourishment for the day to sustain it, keep it alive, as you moms continually check on the baby throughout the day.

Gradually the baby starts to grow and demands more and more of our time, but we don’t have the energy to take care of it. Now the baby is crying for attention because we haven’t fed it in a while. Instead of the once carefully prepared meals we used to provide, we find ourselves sitting in the drive-thru at the fast food chain of “I’m Not Dead” and “I’m Still Here” for a quick meal.

We still care for the baby, maybe we change a diaper here and there, but the excitement of the first born has worn off. In fact, we’re looking for a baby sitter.

Unlike real children who we are committed to for at least 18 years of our time, energy and expenses, that’s not the case with our blog. We change as do our interests and what was once important, our baby, is no longer.

Maybe I took the scenic route to ask a simple question: Regarding your blog, do you have a gauge for calling it quits? Will you not be motivated or excited about blogging? Maybe there’s nothing left for you to blog about or you’re not getting the response you hoped.

Maybe someone has trashed your efforts and you wake up one morning and wonder: Why am I doing this again? Maybe none of this is the case, would you still contemplate throwing in the towel?

Cartoon by Dave Walker...

2009 Valentine’s Day Goody Swap

An Island Life is having a Valentine's Day Swap. Click second link and you go over sign Mr. Linky and the person you send to is the person that signed before you. How much fun does that sound? You get to make a new friend and share stories with them... and make someone's Valentine's Day special!:)

Sign up is still open through January 31st so if you're interested, pop over there and join in!

I get to send my surprises to Cassandra of Bubbas Place and Laurie at La Vie de Laurie will be sending me a surprise! This is going to be so much fun!

As part of the swap, there's a fun little questionnaire to answer:
What is your idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day?
A candlelit dinner for two - of course, plus with matching romantic music for us to dance...
In reality, what is your Valentine’s Day really like?

Nothing hugely special - hubby and I exchange thoughtful gifts and cards.
If you could have a lifetime supply of your favorite sweet indulgence, what would it be?

I love Galaxy chocolates and Maltesers (or anything with milk chocolate and chewy caramel combined....yummy!)....
Is there any sweet treat you absolutely do not like?

Interestingly enough, I really don't like anything with nuts or peanut butter...a nd I really don't like dark chocolate...oh, and no black liquorish for me... :)
If you fell into a pool of chocolate, how would you get out?

That depends if it's milk chocolate or not...(grin!) I'd probably invite my chocoholic hubby in for a dip - then he can 'rescue' me by eating all the chocolate for me! :)... hahahaha and you think of what will happen next... hehehehe

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Early Pregnancy Symptoms - First Signs of Pregnancy

In pregnancy, I have learned some women experience many signs and symptoms, while others experience few. From these, symptoms below, it is POSITIVE!! I should say that more than 100% of the list below are attacking me at the moment. I know it is still early to get excited about, but I am keeping my fingers' crossed - too good to be true but I know we'll both be safe in GOD'S HANDS...

If you suspect that you're pregnant, pick up a pregnancy test to confirm it. If the results are positive, make an appointment with a physician right away and start taking prenatal vitamins. Yes have done it, but sad to say that we don't have any physician around. Good nutrition and early prenatal care give baby the best possible start in life.
In a few weeks time, we'll be home (in the real world, and soon will be visiting a physician to consult my condition and so to be able to give any vitamins my baby(ies) require.

What a fun and exciting time as a first time parent or seasoned mom. We help you discover useful information to guide you through your pregnancy.
I want to visit this week by week section to see more signs and to determine due dates with >>pregnancy calendar.

Top Ten Symptoms

  • Missed menstrual period
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue - I always wanted to lie down...
  • Frequent urination - yes it is very true!!
  • Tender breasts - but sore...
  • Headache - everyday....
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation - could hardly do once in every 2 days!
  • Spotting
  • Feeling faint - all the time...

The Early Signs of Pregnancy Symptoms Checklist

The following are common early signs of pregnancy. However, symptoms of pregnancy are not the same for every woman. In fact, your own symptoms may actually be different from one pregnancy to another.

Pregnancy symptoms can also vary in their intensity, frequency and duration. The following early signs and symptoms of pregnancy checklist is only a guideline.

Also keep in mind that many of the earliest pregnancy symptoms can appear similar to routine pre-menstrual discomforts.

If you are not trying to conceive, you might think it is just your period coming on again, when in reality you may be experiencing very early signs of pregnancy.

If you are trying to conceive, you may be frustrated when you think you may be experiencing early symptoms of pregnancy but they are only pre-menstrual symptoms.

You will experience a wide variety of physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. These may include any or all of the pregnancy symptoms listed below.

Although each of these are considered typical early symptoms of pregnancy, they may happen earlier or later than the order in which they appear on the following list.

Remember, some of the earliest signs of pregnancy may be subtle, not obvious. Whenever there is any question that you might be experiencing early signs of pregnancy, do a home pregnancy test.
Early signs of pregnancy: #1

Missed Period

Perhaps the most obvious early symptom of pregnancy is when you've missed your period. This possible sign of pregnancy is often what causes women to search for more details about the other pregnancy symptoms.

Some women might only experience a much lighter period compared to their usual. You might not experience any of the pregnancy signs listed below until around the time you notice you've missed your monthly cycle.

Early signs of pregnancy: #2

Just "Feeling" Pregnant

This early pregnancy symptom may be the reason why you are checking this list right now. Many women believe they have an intuition about pregnancy signs. Their intuition is often proven correct.

Maybe you just feel different; tired, moody, queasy, lightheaded. You may also have heartburn, constipation, or find yourself making more frequent trips to the restroom. Perhaps you feel a dull ache or stiffness in your lower back, you have sore breasts or they seem overly sensitive, or you are simply not feeling like your usual self.

Early signs of pregnancy: #3

Breast Tenderness

One of the very noticeable early signs of pregnancy is tender, swollen, somewhat sore breasts. You may notice this pregnancy sign at bedtime when you are trying to get comfortable and go to sleep, when exercising or showering, or when getting dressed.

When you become pregnant, your body begins preparing your breasts for producing milk and breastfeeding. Hormones start increasing. In addition to breast tenderness and swelling, your nipples may feel sore or extra sensitive. Some women notice their nipples darken in color.

Your breasts play an important role in childbirth. They are naturally sensitive and become far more so when pregnant. This is one of the most obvious early symptoms of pregnancy.

Early signs of pregnancy: #4


One of the earliest pregnancy signs for some women may be fatigue and exhaustion. You may start going to bed sooner, or find it harder than usual to get out of bed in the morning. If you are working, by noon you may feel like you need to lie down. Exercising seems like too much effort. A simple activity like shopping may leave you feeling wiped out and lightheaded. This early pregnancy symptom is caused by all of the changes that your body is going through, plus the increasing levels of hormones.

If you know you are pregnant, try to take frequent rests or naps of 15 minutes to a half-hour whenever possible. Explain to your family, friends and coworkers that you need these naps. Ask for their help in blocking out rest times for you.

Early signs of pregnancy: #5

Frequent Urination

An early symptom of pregnancy that others may notice you experiencing is frequent trips to the restroom. Your family or friends may comment that you seem to be going off to the ladies room quite often lately. One cause of this pregnancy symptom is that the swelling uterus can put pressure on your bladder.

Also, pregnancy causes extra body fluids to be processed by your kidneys and bladder. That means more trips to the restroom. Sorry to have to say this, but this symptom of pregnancy may remain constant for nine months.

Early signs of pregnancy: #6


One of these pregnancy signs of queasiness, nausea and vomiting can take you by surprise when you least expect it. These early pregnancy symptoms may come as soon as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience nausea in the morning when they have coffee and/or eat something on an empty stomach. This is known as morning sickness (see below). Other women notice nausea in the afternoon or evening. Others feel queasy all day.

This pregnancy symptom may often be helped by eating smaller, more frequent snack size meals. Many women say saltine crackers and milk seem to be helpful. This is an early symptom of pregnancy that seems to show up about a month after pregnancy has begun. It tends to level off once you are into your second trimester and your body adjusts to all the many changes it is going through.

Early signs of pregnancy: #7

Dizziness and/or Fainting

One of the more surprising pregnancy signs is dizziness and/or fainting. Going up stairs, standing up suddenly after sitting for a time, or just having to stand in line at the grocery store can make you feel light headed. You might even faint. As the uterus swells it compresses arteries in your legs. This can drop your blood pressure and make you dizzy.

A common early sign of pregnancy is that you may feel faint when you have gone a while without eating. This is due to low blood sugar, because that is your baby's main source of food. You want to eat frequent, healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar up. Stock up on portable lunch box foods you can take with you. Such as apples, bananas, grapes, yogurt cups, carrots and celery, cheese and crackers, small cartons of milk, juice boxes, granola bars, boxes of raisins, etc.

Early signs of pregnancy: #8

Food Cravings, or Aversions to Foods

A well-known cliché is the pregnancy sign-symptom of craving certain foods or unusual combinations of foods. For example, one woman said she craved midnight snacks of warm peach pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Everyone has a funny story about food cravings.

Taking a good pre-natal vitamin supplement and a pure fish oil capsule may ease some cravings and help prevent extra weight gain (see below) ... and of course it is doctor recommended for the health of your baby.

Less well known but equally common pregnancy signs are aversions to certain foods. You may find that some foods you previously enjoyed are no longer appetizing. One woman told us she had always liked pizza, but couldn't stand it at all while she was expecting. Just the smell of it made her feel nausea. This problem may come and go for some women. For others it could last throughout pregnancy.

Early signs of pregnancy: #9

Sensitivity to Aromas

Another related early symptom of pregnancy is a heightened sensitivity to aromas. Even a favorite aroma, such as the smell of a food or perfume, can make you gag. The smell of fresh mowed grass, the smell of a gas station, smells of various foods, household cleaners, perfumes, cigarette smoke, etc., can all cause you to feel nauseated (see nausea symptom above). This is thought to be yet another side effect of the estrogen that is flooding your body.

Early signs of pregnancy: #10

Morning Sickness

This pregnancy symptom is well known, and it is related to the nausea symptom. It can be caused by a variety of factors. Your body is craving food and you have not eaten all night so your tummy feels queasy. Your body has way more hormones coursing through it than normal and this can . You are sensitive to aromas and foods, so your morning coffee may not agree with you. The usual breakfast you typically have may not settle well in your stomach during this time. One woman usually had a scone along with a coffee late' for breakfast, but found that during pregnancy it made her feel sick. She changed to tea and toast and that worked well for her. Each woman is different and will have different foods that may or may not contribute to morning sickness.
Early signs of pregnancy: #11

Heartburn and/or Constipation

This pregnancy symptom is caused by the uterus starting to swell and pushing against the stomach and other organs as it grows. Also, increasing levels of hormones may slow down digestion and bowel functions to allow the body to absorb as much vitamins, minerals and nutrients as possible from foods. Taking a quality prenatal multi-vitamin-mineral supplement is important to help your body get the nutrients it needs for your growing baby.

The slower emptying of the stomach may also cause the release of increased stomach acid to aid digestion, leading to a feeling of heartburn. Soda crackers and sparkling water can help. Smaller more frequent meals are easier to digest. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits, vegetables and perhaps some raisin and bran cereal to help regularity. Some daily vitamin formulas also contain digestive enzymes (from pineapple and papaya fruits). These can help with digestion.

Ask your doctor before taking any kind of antacids as some contain aluminum and should be avoided. These two pregnancy symptoms can last throughout your term.
Early signs of pregnancy: #12

Mood Swings and Irritability

With all of these symptoms of pregnancy to deal with, along with raging hormones, is it any wonder you may experience some mood swings and irritability? There is also the emotional adjustment period to your new responsibility. Your world has changed. Even when your pregnancy is carefully planned, it is normal for your mind to suddenly be filled with questions about the timing, your career, finances, insurance, labor and delivery, motherhood, even the future costs of college.

It is perfectly normal to feel mixed emotions, excitement and depression, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. Your partner may be very confused by this and may not seem to be supportive. Explain that your mood swings are very normal signs of pregnancy and that you need support and understanding.

You are the one doing all the hard work here and it is not asking too much for your partner to be patient, loving and to have plenty of hugs and kind words of support ready when you need them. Most fathers-to-be want very much to be supportive, they just need instructions. No one has ever told them anything about pregnancy symptoms. It is all a mystery to them.

We encourage you to email or print-out this early symptom of pregnancy checklist so your partner can read it too.

This early symptom of pregnancy may decrease in the second trimester. Meanwhile get plenty of sleep, eat right, take your prenatal vitamins and get some moderate exercise by taking short walks.

Early signs of pregnancy: #13

Higher body temperature

One of the pregnancy symptoms that takes a while to gauge is higher than usual body temperature. You may have been feeling a little bit warm lately and wondered if you are coming down with a cold or something. Take your temperature and see if it is higher than it normally would be.

If you've been trying to conceive and hoping to get pregnant (it's a tough job but somebody has to do it), your doctor may already have suggested that you keep a record of your body temperature every day. If your temperature is higher than usual and it stays high for two weeks in a row, something is obviously going on with your body. You may be pregnant (or you may have a low grade fever). Prolonged periods of increased temperature are a cause to seek your doctor's opinion.

Early signs of pregnancy: #14

Low Back Pain

Early pregnancy symptoms of low back pain can be “a real pain,” literally. This low back pain is caused by several factors. First is your weight change. You gain some weight because you are pregnant, your uterus gets bigger, and your baby grows larger every week. Next, your posture and torso are thrown out of alignment. This weight is mostly in the front of your torso, which pulls on your back. It is like wearing a backpack on your front instead of your back. This changes your posture and puts a strain on your back.

Lack of your typical night’s sleep is another factor. You may be laying on your side and trying to get comfortable. The weight of your womb is pulling on your back muscles as you lay there too. Get a maternity pillow as that can help make you more comfortable.

Finally, your hormones and body changes have some effect too. Your body is getting ready for birth and so some of your joints and ligaments are loosening up to make delivery possible. All of these changes added together can cause the early pregnancy symptoms of low back pain. It is estimated that about half of all women will experience this pregnancy symptom.
Early signs of pregnancy: #15

Implantation Bleeding

One of the less known pregnancy symptoms is the slight bleeding and spotting that can be caused when the fertilized egg begins to implant itself into the uterus. This is known as "implantation bleeding" and it usually takes place between 3 to 6 days after fertilization.

Once the egg becomes implanted in the uterus - congratulations, you are no longer wondering about pregnancy symptoms, you are indeed pregnant. At this point you might notice a little bit of red or pink spotting. Not all women experience implantation bleeding so it is not considered one of the most obvious pregnancy signs.

Early signs of pregnancy: #16

A Positive Pregnancy Test

If you are worrying about possible early symptoms of pregnancy, you can put your mind at ease with a pregnancy test. More than just a pregnancy symptom, this is scientific proof positive of whether you are expecting a baby or not.

Pregnancy tests work best if you wait to take them until at least a day or two after you miss your period. Even if the pregnancy test result is negative you should try it again a few days later to be sure. The best pregnancy tests are the ones done by your doctor or medical clinic. However there are some very high quality at home tests available too.

Early signs of pregnancy symptoms: #17

Bloating and Weight Gain

Yes some unavoidable weight gain is also a sign. Your clothes are getting tighter, you are feeling bloated, the weight showing on the scale is going up... you are getting bigger and that is simply part of being pregnant.

You want to keep your weight gain to the normal amount for a healthy pregnancy, and not let it get out of hand to where you pack on a lot of unnecessary pounds that will be hard to lose later. Some tips on weight control can be found on this Pregnancy Without Pounds page.

Also, your odd food cravings may not be as strong if you are taking your prenatal vitamins and fish oil capsules. The cravings may be due to your body's need for special nutrition. The importance of pre-natal vitamins and fish oil capsules

Your doctor will tell you that if you are trying to conceive, or you believe you may be experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, you should be taking daily pre-natal vitamins. Vitamin supplements offer support for women trying to conceive, for your health and for the health of your baby.

Your body is under great nutritional demands to feed the growing little person inside you. For example, the March of Dimes encourages women to take a multi-vitamin containing folic acid, (a B vitamin).

Folic acid can help prevent birth defects. Help your body and your baby's body get the nutrition it needs. Take a quality pre-natal vitamin with folic acid just as soon as you notice the first common early pregnancy sign.

Many pregnant women are now also taking a high quality pharmaceutical grade pure fish oil supplement. This gives you the important nutrients of DHA and omega-3 for healthy babies.

It has been shown in clinical studies that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil which provides DHA, will help to provide nutritional support to a baby's visual, nerve and brain function.

Fish oil capsules vary in quality. Distilled pharmaceutical grade fish oil is thought by many to be the very best quality. Don't take any chances on the quality of some "mystery fish" oil ... the very best kind we've ever found in our endless research is this amazing best quality fish oil.

Warning: Your doctor will probably say, do not take flaxseed oil during pregnancy. Don't try to get omega-3 that way. Get it from fish oil instead. Flaxseed oil can have an effect upon estrogen and hormones, like soy can. It is for postmenopausal women, not pregnant women!

Read our information about flaxseed oil and pregnancy before taking any flax seed oil.

Talk to your doctor. Be very careful to avoid most herbs and supplements when pregnant or nursing. Most Moms only take prenatal supplements and the best quality fish oil pills. Always get the advice and approval of your doctor before taking any supplement during pregnancy, breastfeeding or when experiencing pregnancy symptoms.

Monday, January 19, 2009

10 Places Where Germs Lurk

As working individuals, we tend to inclined with the thought that - when we don't see dirt or ash then they are safe or they are clean. Can your try to figure out about anything that germs prowl? For those curious souls who want to go the extra mile in understanding just how massive the microorganism populations are in some places, here are a few germy surfaces your cleaning supplies will be happy to get to know.

It is never ever too late yet to know these basic things, we just need to spend time to understand the reason and the theory behind.

Laundry Machines

The laundromat is hardly a bower of cleanliness, but even laundry done at home is rife with germs. There is about 0.1 gram of fecal material in a piece of underwear, Gerba said. That amounts to approximately 100 million E. coli bacteria in an average undergarment load.

Unfortunately, only 5 percent of people use very hot water to wash their clothes and then dry them for a full 45 minutes, a process Gerba said would kill more bacteria. Skipping these steps means that transferring wet clothing into a dryer leaves a film of germs all over your hands.

To minimize exposure to harmful bacteria, Gerba recommends doing laundry that requires bleach as a first load to disinfect the machines and save undergarments for a final load. He also cautions against using the same sorting tables for clean and dirty laundry since the E. coli from the dirty clothes will transfer to the table and then back onto your freshly laundered clothes.

"Your clothes are a lot germier than they were 50 years ago," Gerba said. "Never kiss anyone who has just done laundry for you."

Gear Shift

By spending time behind the wheel, people may unknowingly be acting as chauffeurs to a menagerie of invisible passengers.

In a recent British study done for, microbiologists randomly tested both the interiors and trunks of 25 cars. They found that the typical British automobile had, on average, 285 types of bacteria present in every square inch of the vehicle. They identified at least 10 major types of bacteria.

Anthony Hilton, a microbiologist from Ashton University who led the study, believed steering wheels would house the most germs, as might other frequently touched areas such as door handles and seat belts. But he was mistaken. Stick shifts, which harbor 356 germs per square inch, did worse, likely because they have a smaller surface area that concentrates the bugs.


Compared to British cars, American cars aren't much cleaner. In 2006, Gerba and a colleague did a larger study, swabbing interiors of 100 automobiles in five locations: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

Gerba suspected that the dashboard was one of the most germ-laden locations in a car because it is one of the warmest places and has ventilation systems on either side that can aerate spores, blowing them out among unsuspecting passengers.

Indeed, the dashboard was one of the top hot spots for microorganisms, along with change holders, cup holders and children's car seats.

Your Phone

The telephone provides a convenient meeting place for two different sources of germs -- your hands and your mouth.

After all, as Tierno, pointed out, "People are the source of most of the germs."

These germs are not just from your hands, but sources like your saliva as well -- which is why the mouthpiece is often even dirtier than the handle.

And again, it's not a device people clean too often, which is why both land lines and mobile phones present a problem. A study done in Israel last year showed that 20 percent of hospital workers' cell phones had some form of harmful bacteria on them.

Purses and Wallets

Although they serve similar functions for women and men, purses and wallets are germy for entirely different reasons.

"It behooves you not to put your purse on the floor or outside ground if you can help it," said Tierno.

But many women don't follow that bit of advice, so their purses pick up the bacteria from wherever they're placed -- from the soiled ground to the bathroom floor. While some might be willing to put it there because they think the floors are cleaned regularly and thoroughly, that isn't always the case.

"The way these places are cleaned is not ideal all the time," said Tierno. Instead, he recommends putting your purse on a bench or a seat. Wallets, meanwhile, pick up a lot of bacteria from what goes into them.

"Men's wallets were pretty bad on the inside," said Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona whose work has earned him the nickname "Dr. Germ."

Paper currency has a way of getting around, from germ-filled hand to germ-filled hand. It picks up germs, viruses and often trace amounts of illegal drugs. That's not just an urban legend; several studies have confirmed that a majority of U.S. currency contains trace amounts of cocaine. And of course, all of that ends up in your wallet.

Because men keep wallets in their pockets, the wallet is close to body temperature -- an ideal temperature for bacteria to breed.

"When handling the contents of your wallet, after it, wash your hands," said Tierno. The problem isn't as bad with coins, largely because the metals -- particularly nickel -- often kill many of the bacteria.

Children's Car Seats

Driving with more passengers in a car, particularly young passengers, increases the number of people sneezing, coughing and spilling food, leaving a trail of germs behind that can get transferred to the hands and on to the nose, mouth, or eyes, leading to a potential infection.

"Children are little bags of germs and if you car them around, they have more potential pathogens," said Tierno. Gerba put it another way: "If you're a soccer mom, you're essentially driving a germ-mobile."

Pointing out that bacteria can grow in food spills, Gerba recommends using disinfecting wipes in the car, especially on dashboards, door handles, and kid's car seats, especially when carpooling or transporting a lot of children.


These innocuous-looking offenders are difficult to avoid, which is part of the reason why push buttons can be crawling with germs.

Further, ubiquitous buttons, found on ATMs, elevators, telephones and drink machines, among other things, are located in areas that are not often cleaned and disinfected to kill bacteria and viruses. Gerba noted that the first-floor buttons in elevators were the dirtiest.

"Everyone needs to go to the first floor," he said.

Worse, these germs get transferred to the body part that comes in contact with faces the most -- fingers and hands. While avoiding these types of buttons can be almost impossible, Gerba does have a few recommendations. "Knuckle it or wait for someone else to push it for you."

Car Trunk

In some ways, cars are temporary living spaces that we often overlook as places where microorganisms can grow and thrive.

According to Hilton's study, the nastiest harbor for bacterial refugees was the carpet of the trunk, where scientists found 300 to 400 bacteria per square inch.

What is notable, Hilton said, was the diversity of activities people use their cars for -- dumping rubbish one day and carrying groceries the next. These differences make a car even more susceptible to a variety of pathogens.

Wiping surfaces and mats and vacuuming up crumbs and debris can be helpful for keeping germs at bay. Hilton also said you need to be more vigilant if your pet regularly joins you for a ride.

Airplane Bathroom

"These are probably the worst," Gerba said. "They are the germiest restrooms you'll run across."

But bathrooms in general are not as germ-ridden as other areas -- a kitchen sink or laundry machine, for example. Compared to several items on this list, toilets are a beacon of cleanliness because they are cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, even public toilets.

Airplane bathrooms get cleaned, but the high volume of people they must cater to in a short amount of time leaves them very dirty very quickly.

Gerba said a normal aircraft has one bathroom per 50 people. Discount airlines have one bathroom per 75 people.

"There is a thin layer of E. coli over the sink," and other surfaces, Gerba said, adding that many people, especially men, will not wash their hands effectively because the sink is small, and dirty hands transfer germs to the face easily.

Interestingly, the cleanest toilets are probably those in public areas of a hospital, Gerba said.

"In a city, I'd pull into the emergency room."

Cutting Board

You may be better off preparing your food on another surface. According to Gerba, there are 200 times more fecal bacteria on a cutting board than a toilet seat.

The reason, he explained, is that many people rinse off their cutting board rather than thoroughly washing it. "You have potential pathogens when you're dealing with food," said Tierno.

He recommended preparing a solution of a quart of water and "a jigger of bleach" and then wiping down food preparation surfaces before making anything on those areas of the kitchen.

Getting Rid of Annoying SPAMS

I do get spams on my free-private yahoo mails every single day, but I made sure to separate them with my known mails which normally go straight to my inbox. I used this filter thingy to do it for me, otherwise, I would have been spending time of cleaning up my inbox everyday, which then which I managed to avoid this hustles of deleting one by one. I just click and delete all at once! But not on our company mail, I have to to delete them one by one! Quite annoying really, because they slow down my computer, imagine the amount of traffic they give to our local server!Therefore, I was making some research on how to stop them from coming into our email servers.....Have found some useful articles that we can apply, some says that we can't do nothing about except to pay for a program, etc... First we need to understand all its basic information before going any further. It is worth reading these longs tips, not unless if you don't mind receiving them for life! :) Hope to have given you another lesson again...


It is often suggested that if you are going to place your email address on a Web site, you should obscure it by encoding the address as HTML entiries, else your address gets harvested by spambots. It is just as often refuted by those who think about such things. After all, it stands to reason that spambots can easily learn to decode these entities and happily harvest your encoded address.

That all sounds good in theory, but what happens when the theory is tested?

The Center for Democracy & Technology spent six months conducting a controlled study to determine where spammers get email addresses from. Their report, “Why Am I Getting All This Spam?,” details their findings.

Among other things, the report found that encoded email addresses left on a honeypot Web site for six months were never harvested by spambots. Test addresses placed on the site and used nowhere else never received spam. That’s not to say that spambots won’t eventually be taught to decode HTML entities, but for now it appears safe to use them in spam prevention.

This also shows that you must test your theories. Something that sounds perfectly sensible in your mind doesn’t always hold up to reality. It seems obvious that spambots would be taught to recognize encoded email addresses, but in the real world, they haven’t.


Maybe you can relate to this: As junk mail fills Hypothetical Bob's Inbox, he's gripped by an uncontrollable rage. He feels the urge to do something -- anything! Bob responds to one of the (ahem) more vulgar spam messages and writes something (ahem) equally inappropriate to whoever just spammed him.

Resist the urge. It won't do any good, and it'll waste time -- time you could have used to configure your anti-spam software.

Here are other things you should never do:

  • Contact Spammers: Do not reply to spam messages. Do not click unsubscribe links. Do not email the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that supposedly delivered the message. People sending spam forge their IP addresses and use bogus email addresses, which means you can't contact them or trace them. But even if you could email them, you wouldn't want to: Such an action would only verify that your email address is correct -- something that would ensure that you get even more spam!

  • Post Your Email Address on the Internet: Do not post your personal email account on a website. Evil spam-bots scour websites for email addresses -- if they find yours, they'll grab it and never let go. People try to get around this by breaking their email addresses up into chunks, like this: matt [at] macinstruct . com. That won't help you evade spam-bots these days! Create a junk Gmail account and post that if you really need to publish an email address on the Internet.

  • Be a Cyber Vigilante: Do not spam the spammers. Do not try to retaliate against people spamming you. Legend has it that a systems administrator at the University of New Mexico tracked down an individual who had spammed him and launched a DOS attack against the spammer -- from a UNM production web server. Turned out that was a bad idea. The spammers completely flooded UNM's mail server with junk mail for months after that, rendering the UNM mail server completely useless.

  • Buy Spam Stuff: Don't even think about buying anything advertised in a junk mail message. If you want to buy cheap, no-name pharmaceuticals (!), buy them from somebody other than a petty electronic criminal.

  • Report Spammers: There are tons of websites and applications that allow you to track and report spammers. The organizations that provide these services claim to be building databases full of the bad guys, and they say that the information they collect can later be used to track down and eliminate the nasties. Don't believe the hype. The spammers can't be tracked or traced, and even if they are busted, they'll just move somewhere else.
Basically, there's nothing you can do with spam except get rid of it.


Currently there is no foolproof way to prevent spam. Based on our research, we recommend that Internet users try the following methods to prevent spam:
  • Disguise e-mail addresses posted in a public electronic place.

    CDT received the most spam just by placing an e-mail address at the bottom of a webpage. Spammers "harvest" these addresses with computer programs that collect and process addresses and add them to spam mailing lists. If a user must post his/her e-mail address in a public place, it is useful to disguise the address through simple means such as replacing "" with "example at domain dot com" or other variations such as the HTML numeric equivalent, in which "" could be written "example@d"

    Opt out of member directories that may place your e-mail address online. If your employer places your e-mail address online, ask the Webmaster to make sure it is disguised in some way.

  • Read carefully when filling out online forms requesting your e-mail address, and exercise your choice.

    If you don't want to receive e-mail from a Web site operator, don't give them your e-mail address unless they offer the option of declining to receive e-mail and you exercise that option. If you are asked for your e-mail address in an online setting such as a form, make sure you pay attention to any options discussing how the address will be used. Pay attention to check boxes that request the right to send you e-mails or share your e-mail address with partners. Read the privacy policies of Web sites. If you suspect that a Web site has violated its privacy policy, you can report it to your state attorney general or the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Use multiple e-mail addresses.

    When using an unfamiliar Web site or posting to a newsgroup, establish an e-mail address for that specific purpose. Alternatively, instead of just using one or two e-mail addresses, you can use "disposable e-mail addresses," which consolidate e-mail in a single location but allow you to immediately shut off any address that is attracting spam. By recording which disposable address was used at which web site, one can track what sites are causing spam. Many Web sites are now providing free e-mail accounts. A search in Google Directory for "disposable e-mail addresses" provides a list of e-mail providers designed for one-time use e-mails.

  • Use a filter.

    Many ISPs and free e-mail services now provide spam filtering. While filters are not perfect, they can cut down tremendously the amount of spam a user receives.

  • Short e-mail addresses are easy to guess, and may receive more spam.

    At least one spammer tried to guess the e-mail addresses used in this study by sending mail to short and common addresses. E-mail addresses composed of short names and initials like bob@ or tse@, or basic combinations like smithj@ or toms@ will probably receive more spam. E-mail addresses need not be incomprehensible, but a user with a common or short name may want to modify or add to it in some way in his or her e-mail address.

Read more here, for the complete tips. Plus read more here too.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Snoring Isn't Just Annoying, It's Linked to Serious Health Problems

I didn't realize the effect behind snoring! Hubby snores a lot and loud enough to wake up people next door :)... Especially if he is tired and or if he had couple of beers before bed time. Irritates me if happens to be still awake, but most of the times his snores wake me up in the middle of the night.

Snorers have always been the butt of jokes. In cartoons, their nasal roar lifts the roof off houses. In sitcoms, there's the wife who rolls her eyes at her snoring bed mate. But in reality, it's not all that funny. In fact, snoring can be a nightmare for snorers and their beleaguered partners, who may wake up several times a night to poke, prod and maybe hoist loved ones onto their sides for a little relief. It's no wonder that bleary spouses can wake up grumpy and resentful - WELCOME TO THE CLUB, I AM ONE OF THEM!

Studies had proven that it is linked to serious health problems. Loud snoring with breathing pauses is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and increased health care utilization, according to a new study.

For snorers who don't appear to have sleep apnea, there are other measures to avoid bad nights. They include: avoiding big meals and sedating drugs like antihistamines and alcohol before bed; sleeping on one's side instead of the back; treating conditions like allergies and colds that can cause or worsen snoring, and maintaining a healthy weight.

According to the results, loud snorers had 40 percent greater odds of having hypertension, 34 percent greater odds of having a heart attack and 67 percent greater odds of having a stroke, compared with people who do not snore, after statistical adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, level of education, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Quiet snoring was associated only with an increased risk for hypertension in women. Loud snoring was also associated with increased use of health care resources (emergency visits and hospitalization).

Source: Science Daily, News Week



Things You’ll Need:

  • Step 1: Don't drink alcohol before going to bed. It can increase muscle relaxation, which may make snoring more likely.
  • Step 2: Avoid muscle relaxants and sleeping pills.
  • Step 3: Sew or tape a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas or T-shirt. Snorers are more likely to snore when lying on their backs. The ball will make this position uncomfortable and force you to roll over onto your side.
  • Step 4: To prevent snoring while lying on your back, elevate your upper body 30 degrees using a foam wedge.
  • Step 5: Talk to your doctor about taking an antihistamine if your snoring is caused by a cold or allergy.
  • Step 6: Give up smoking. Experts believe cigarette smoking disturbs sleep and increases the likelihood of snoring.
  • Step 7: Lose weight; this helps reduce the size of the palate.
  • Step 8: Offer your partner earplugs if your snoring keeps him or her awake.
  • Step 9: See a dentist for information about an anti-snoring dental device, which prevents the lower jaw from falling back while you're sleeping.
  • Step 10: Talk to an ear, nose and throat specialist for possible surgery or treatment. There are a variety of techniques that can help reduce snoring.

Tips and Warnings:

  • Heavy snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that has been linked to serious health problems. If you snore heavily and often feel drowsy or fatigued despite sleeping all night, consult a doctor.
  • This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

How to Reduce Snoring Provided by

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

I was quite hesitant today not to even re-test my addiction again! But I assumed then, that my addiction level has gone to sky high (I took a test before when I was only 2 months old of blogging then, and here's result back then). ~~ I WAS 92% ADDICTED TO BLOGGING~~ Mind you this was taken at least 6 months ago! Huh? Are you serious? Yes, as in 50/50... hahaha

These past couple of weeks I have actually dreamed about blogging, which could not be a good sign though. I was going to retest my addiction again but kept on forgetting, until just recently I found myself even worst, when I started writing reviews for money!

So it took me to this "catch-22 position" again where I needed to test just to confirm that maybe my addiction level was gonna as high as your ceiling, how high then?

To take a test is very simple, testing your blogging addiction by asking a few questions like how often do you update your blog, how much time you spend on blogging everyday, how many do you open every day, etc...

At the right bottom side you'll see
No thanks, take me to my quiz results just simply click the link and you'll see your result, simply copy the code to add to your post to show the whole world just how addicted you are and (don't forget to remove the dating site link). ENJOY!!

92%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

I came in at 92%, not bad still the same 6 months ago! What score did you get?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Using Metaphors in Creative Writing

In blogging, one of the most important things I have learned over the last 6 months is, by creating or writing articles in a very constructive manner. Not only for the sake of having something to write to or post, we've got to think of phrases that our readers may get interested into, and convince them to stay in and come back.

I must admit, my brain can only do so much! I can say basic construction of sentences or phrases. I have always been hearing hubby is quite good on this. The term
metaphor meant in Greek "carry something across" or "transfer," which suggests many of the more elaborate definitions below:

1) A comparison between two things, based on resemblance or similarity, without using "like" or "as"

2) The act of giving a thing a name that belongs to something else

3) The transferring of things and words from their proper signification to an improper similitude for the sake of beauty, necessity, polish, or emphasis

4) A device for seeing something in terms of something else

5) Understanding and experiencing one thing in terms of another

6) A simile contracted to its smallest dimensions.

** A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in “a sea of troubles” or “All the world's a stage” (Shakespeare).

** One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol: “Hollywood has always been an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the crass, the materialistic, the shallow, and the craven” (Neal Gabler).

Examples of metaphors:
"Life is a journey, purposes are destinations, means are routes, difficulties are obstacles, counselors are guides, achievements are landmarks, choices are crossroads"....

"A lifetime is a day, death is sleep; a lifetime is a year, death is winter"..

"Life is a struggle, dying is losing a contest against an adversary"..

"Life is a precious possession, death is a loss"..

"Time is a thief"..

Examples of Dead Metaphors (clichés)

I'm dead tired"
She's the apple of my eye
He wore me down
I'm heartbroken
Strong as an ox

Examples of Extended Metaphors:

The winds were ocean waves, thrashing against the trees limbs. The gales remained thereafter, only ceasing when the sun went down. Their waves clashed brilliantly with the water beneath, bringing foam and dying leaves to the shore.

The teacher descended upon the exams, sank his talons into their pages, ripped the answers to shreds, and then, perching in his chair, began to digest.

Examples of Mixed Metaphors:

Clinton stepped up to the plate and grabbed the bull by the horn.

That wet blanket is a loose cannon.”

The movie struck a spark that massaged the audience's conscience.

Why Use Metaphors?

  • They enliven ordinary language.

    People get so accustomed to using the same words and phrases over and over, and always in the same ways, that they no longer know what they mean. Creative writers have the power to make the ordinary strange and the strange ordinary, making life interesting again.

  • They are generous to readers and listeners; they encourage interpretation.

    When readers or listeners encounter a phrase or word that cannot be interpreted literally, they have to think--or rather, they are given the pleasure of interpretation. If you write "I am frustrated" or "The air was cold" you give your readers nothing to do--they say "so what?" On the other hand, if you say, "My ambition was Hiroshima, after the bombing," your readers can think about and choose from many possible meanings.

  • They are more efficient and economical than ordinary language; they give maximum meaning with a minimum of words.

    By writing "my dorm is a prison," you suggest to your readers that you feel as though you were placed in solitary, you are fed lousy food, you are deprived of all of life's great pleasures, your room is poorly lit and cramped--and a hundred other things, that, if you tried to say them all, would probably take several pages.

  • They create new meanings; they allow you to write about feelings, thoughts, things, experiences, etc. for which there are no easy words; they are necessary.

    There are many gaps in language. When a child looks at the sky and sees a star but does not know the word "star," she is forced to say, "Mommy, look at the lamp in the sky!" Similarly, when computer software developers created boxes on the screen as a user interface, they needed a new language; the result was windows. In your poems, you will often be trying to write about subjects, feelings, etc. so complex that you have no choice but to use metaphors.

  • They are a sign of genius.

    Or so says Aristotle in Poetics: "[T]he greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor." It is "a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars."