Godparent Gifts – The Top 5 Tips When Buying Gifts for Your Godchild

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As a godparent choosing a gift for your godchild can be a real minefield. Babies are especially difficult as they grow and develop so fast that clothes and toys are often redundant within 6 weeks. The old faithful “he will grow into it” gift choice has served godparents well over the years, if in doubt make sure the gift is advanced and the child will eventually get a lot of enjoyment from it.

In my experience as a father of 2 young boys, the notion of buying gifts for kids that are about 2 years advanced for them is far from ideal. Our oldest boy has 3 godparents (it seemed like a good idea at the time) so he is overrun with toys at Christmas, birthdays etc.

The problem with giving kids toys that are too advanced for them is that by the time they are old enough to properly appreciate them, they have grown bored with, or, in many cases, wrecked the toy and never get the intended use from it. Also, having toys lying around the house that your kids don’t use is a waste of precious space that most homes simply don’t have.

Godparents often feel that their gift should be special and should stand out from the crowd. This can be a double edged sword, if you get it right and everyone loves the gift you can bask in the glory of being the cool godparent who always delivers. Get it wrong and prepare to be the subject of family ridicule at every birthday/Christmas until some other poor fool takes up the mantle!

As an uncle of five, father of two and godparent of one (all under 3), I believe I can call myself experienced in the buying and receiving of gifts for young kids, so here are my top 5 tips for godparents when buying gifts:

1. Big is not necessarily beautiful. Small, high quality toys can be far superior to bulky cheap ones.

2. You can never go wrong with books. There are some fantastic children’s books available these days.

3. Try and be different, its easy to get personalised or unique gifts online.

4. Be gender specific, it’s amazing how quickly boys go tractor and girls go dolly.

5. Do a bit of research (phone the child’s mother!)

As with all gift buying the secret is to give yourself plenty of time to get something decent. Godparents often forget their godchild’s birthday, so set up a simple reminder on your phone or email about a week in advance.

Christening gifts are a once off so it is best to avoid toys as people generally prefer a more commemorative gift that can be kept for years to come.

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Grief – A Universal Human Experience

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My wife of 31 years, Lynne, lost her life to glioblastoma in 2010 following a battle lasting almost four years against the deadly disease. Glioblastoma is a stage 4 brain tumor, known for its fast-growth and recurring properties. As her primary caregiver, I learned much about the disease and the other issues surrounding the care of someone facing a life-threatening illness. This article covers the topic of grief, a topic that is relevant to each of us at some point in our lives. I hope that the lessons I learned will help someone else navigate through the grief process.

Grief is a universal human experience that will affect every one of us at some point in our life. Although grief is universal, each person prepares for grief, experiences grief, and recovers from grief in unique ways. There are guiding principles that we can apply to our grief but your recovery is unique to your circumstance. You may judge yourself. You might feel as though you recovered from grief too quickly. You might feel as though your grieving is lasting too long. Just keep in mind that your grief is as individual as you are and so is your recovery. It is also natural to believe that others are making judgments about your grief. While that may be the case, your grief is your path, which may look very different compared to the path of someone else.

My grieving process started at the point of Lynne’s diagnosis, not her death. The week following her diagnosis, I spent nearly every evening shedding tears and agonizing over the future that lay ahead. Thoughts of unfulfilled dreams and goals circled my mind numerous times throughout each day. As I researched the disease, the certainty of Lynne’s eventual death moved to the forefront of my mind. I tried to balance those thoughts with the hope that Lynne’s case might be different in some way, but it was an internal struggle.

Like any couple, we held onto the hope that our plans for the future would remain intact. We discussed goals throughout our marriage about retirement. We shared about the continued ability to travel. We shared thoughts about the enjoyment of watching grandchildren grow up. We discussed our dreams of a slower paced life hoping to enjoy the simpler things in life. Those kind of things we tend to take for granted in our younger years as we focus on building our lives and careers. In one day, the plans and dreams we made together seemed to shatter like a glass hitting a tile floor. Forever lost with no possibility of ever putting the glass back together.

About six years earlier because of my responsibilities as a deacon at the Sun Valley Church of Christ, I enrolled in a course to help me enhance my skills and abilities as a people helper. As a people helper, people often approached me to share personal struggles. I desired a better foundation of knowledge to help me guide them through their struggles. A few of the classes within that course of study helped me to prepare for what was ahead in my own life. One class covered forgiveness, letting go of the past and the pain. Another covered marriage and keeping the love alive. Another covered pain and suffering, for learning to help people in a hurting world. Yet another covered managing stress and anxiety. The most important class that would bear on my own future was a class about grief and loss. While my intent was to learn about these topics to assist others, the importance of that learning helped me to understand the emotional turmoil that I was facing and some techniques to help me manage my way through the pain.

Grief is a universal human experience. However, the experience is unique to every individual. In some ways, my grief recovery was assisted by learning from other people and I hope that by sharing my personal experience that others will also benefit. I am writing several articles covering various aspects of the grieving process including grief models, anticipating grief, and preparing for grief.

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Resveratol Supplement and Its Amazing Functions

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Used in laboratories, this product has been proven to have beneficial effects in cardiovascular, blood sugar lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer studies. Most importantly, this phytoalexin is found naturally produced in red grape skin and is profoundly located in red wine. The “French Paradox,” which implicated red wine as the reason why the French remain as healthy and slim as they do even though they eat a fat-laden diet with a tremendous amount of butter in it, may have found its answer. Thus it is hypothesized that it can counteract the highly detrimental effects of such high-fat diets.

Various researchers have created studies that found that various life spans could be prolonged with the use of this amazing finding. In one instance a maximal dose actually increased that median lifespan by 56%! Scientists were also amazed to find that the participants also showed greater physical activity and actually also exhibited better mental learning facility.

With further research on resveratol, it was noted that the levels of both insulin and glucose were being aided by this truly amazing phytoalexin! At this very moment clinical trials are being promulgated to investigate its effects on melanoma (various skin cancers) as well as for colon cancer.

In the laboratory it has been found to have positive effect on leukemia, pancreatic, prostate, esophageal, gastric, skin and breast cancers, thus many studies are underway especially where this phytoalexin can come into express contact with the cancer such as within the gastrointestinal tract or in skin cancers.Thus far all studies are highly promising, though exact doses have yet to be established by the medical community.

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Looking For A Juicer Under $100?

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Oster Juicers are famous for being an affordable juicer that gives quality juicing results. Often called “the best juicer for beginners” these juicers are among the cheapest juicers in the market today, all models being well below $100.

Other advantages of the Oster brand besides the price include easy clean-up and storage, a reasonable noise level and a chic design. These qualities make it an ideal start-off juicer for anyone considering juicing as part of a healthy life-style. The motor is sturdy; it can handle even the toughest of veggies and fruit, like pineapple, beets and celery. The large feed chute ensures you spend minimal time on pre-cutting of the products.

The Oster juicer parts are dishwasher safe (except for the motor of course) so clean-up is a breeze according to consumers juicer reports. The small size of the Oster models makes them great for storing in small spaces.

When you do buy the Oster, note that some of the models come in white only, which tends to accumulate stains over time. The company provides a recipe book that can give you some inspiration as to what to do with the pulp and juice. Oster brand has different models suitable for heavy duty juicing like the daily juicing of large a family, or small juicers which are cheaper and can be used for occasional juicing. The Osters make a great gift idea for someone who needs a healthier lifestyle. In fact they are one of the best-selling brands before Christmas.

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Hand Crank Shortwave Radio

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You need to own a hand crank short wave radio. While these shortwave radios may seem to some like novelties, they can save your life in an emergency. A shortwave radio isn’t just some AM/FM radio, it picks up a variety of shortwave radio signals. These can include but aren’t limited to weather stations, news broad casts, and even signals from other parts of the country and the world. While you may not think of these as important, in an emergency, these radios and stations can be your only link to the outside world.

A hand crank short wave radio has many different power options today. What the hand crank does is every time you turn the crank, the mechanical energy is instantly turned into electrical energy, enough to power the radio itself, and even to charge up the rechargeable batteries. Because the cranking technology has improved so much over the last few decades, turning the crank just a few minutes can power the radio continuously for more than two hours without interruption. They can also use batteries, and when there is power, plugged into the wall outlets.

The real purpose of a hand crank shortwave radio is for if you are stranded, whether on land or at sea, or if you are in the middle of some kind of natural or man made disaster. No matter what the situation, chances are there isn’t going to be any electrical power, and any kind of regular electronic device isn’t going to work. This is where the hand crank action comes into play. In many cases, evacuation procedures are going to be announced over short wave radios from emergency services. They may tell you that help is on the way, where to go, and even what to do until help arrives. In the case of flooding, storms, or tornadoes there can be more important information given on how long the storm is going to last, or how much more inclement weather is on the way. Without this vital information, you could be headed for an even more dangerous situation, or even stranded for longer, because you didn’t know where to go or what to do.

It is important that you keep a hand crank shortwave radio in many different places. You should have shortwave radios in your home, vehicle, and if you own an RV or a boat, you should have one in these as well. You just never know where an emergency will strike, and having one at home while you are stranded in the middle of nowhere doesn’t do you any good.

Just as a hand crank shortwave radio can save your life, you also have to buy the right shortwave radios as well. There are many different brands and models of these radios, and they come in a varying prices. While there many different models, not all of them are the same. The first thing you need to think about when choosing one of these radios is what your needs are. If you just want one to listen to music on the go without having to lug around a bunch of batteries, then cheaper models are a decent choice. One of these is the Eton FR 150. This radio is small and compact, and has very minimal options. Because of this, the cost is quite low.

For hand crank shortwave radio options, where you need access to multiples channels, and emergency bands, more expensive shortwave radios are a better option. This is because they have a better quality sound, and are able to pull in more channels and stations. They have better batteries, and their cranking mechanisms last far longer than cheaper models. Even so, a good radio shouldn’t cost you more than fifty to a hundred dollars.

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Learn How to Do Blogging and Blog Commenting for Backlinks Properly

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Establishing Your Niche

Are you planning to create your own blog? The first thing you should consider before starting a blog is by selecting a particular niche. So, what is “niche” really means? Niche is a specific topic which should be the main focus of the blog. When you choose one, it should be about a specific field that you know you are good at – it might be about a specific sport, technology, might be about fashion, or politics, etc. If you want to gain a good reputation and sustain your readers, you need to supply great, valuable and sensible articles on your blog that will give a reason for your readers to stay longer and visit the blog regularly. Niche defines as your backbone that provides structure, balance and functioning for your blogs.

How to Increase your PR and SERP Through Blog Comments

After you have defined your niche, the next step will be, how to increase your Page Rank (PR) and Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is not a job you can do overnight. It requires good tools, analysis and of course, compelling articles. If you’re a new blogger and search over the web in ways to increase your PR and SERP, you would probably come across about how to get backlinks from blog commenting. Somehow, it’s sort of true and in other ways it isn’t helpful at all.

Very often, bloggers believe that through blog comments you can gain yourself some organic and quality backlinks. If that would be the case, bloggers would’ve probably flooded other blogs with comments just to receive lots of backlinks. Imagining that, readers would probably see blogs more of an eyesore with many links attached to it than being readable. However, commenting can really be a great source of good links if properly done. To make backlinks from blog commenting useful, here are some tips to remember:

Come up with a good strategy in making blog comments

Most common mistakes with blog commenting is the belief that the more you comment, the more you receive backlinks. An effective commenting strategy for you to get backlinks is to comment on the same niche as with your blog and do it effectively. Make and work out a plan on how many blogs you will be commenting; which blogs it should be; and how much time you will put in.

Build a reputation

When you comment, do not think that you are only doing it because you wanted to receive backlinks.Aside from the receiving backlinks from commenting, you will also be able to benefit through comments by gaining recognitions from fellow bloggers and readers. Earn a reputation by getting new readers and receive new comments from the blog owners themselves through your comment with the niche related backlinks.

Engage in the discussion naturally

When you comment, do not simply put something that would just depict that you just dropped by and didn’t actually read the entire post. Make your blog comments as though how you want others to comment on your blog.

Know which blogs to comment

Comment on blogs in your same niche. Choose those blogs that allow using of keywords, represent high Page Rank (PR) and blogs with good contents so you’d be able to receive quality niche related backlinks.

Evaluate the results

Determine the return of your investments when you do blog commenting for backlinks. By that, it means that you should be able to know your priorities and you will be able to conclude where to comment most, to achieve more traffic from your niche related backlinks for every comment that you do.

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Stephen King’s Cujo

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In his partially autobiographical book On Writing (Scribner, 2000), author Stephen King admits that he was heavily into alcohol when he wrote Cujo (Viking; 1981). As a result, Stephen King’s Cujo lacks the true other worldliness that marks his best novels. Dog lovers will also be appalled at the description of the book’s title character – a gentle Saint Bernard that turns into a man-eating monster after getting bit by a rabid bat.

But still, a bad book by King is still better than a good book by most other horror and suspense writers, including Iris Johansen, Dean Koontz and Edgar Allan Poe. Stephen King’s Cujo offers some interesting tidbits for diehard King fans to discover. It’s set in a fictional town familiar to King fans, Castle Rock, Maine, the home for many King books, or is the town next door to the book’s action, as in Under the Dome (Scribner; 2009.)

Strong Characters

King’s great characters are his core strength. Even if a situation seems completely implausible, readers will still keep those pages turning to find out what happens to the characters. Stephen King’s Cujo is no exception. There is a town maniac, a beleaguered cop and a young couple with a small son trying to keep going after the wife admits to an affair. Even though King claims to have been drunk while writing the book, he has some touches that makes a character seem more real than a real person.

Even the title character is fleshed out. His unusual name gives a slight hint at the dark weirdness to follow. Cujo was named after one of Patty Hearst’s kidnappers, who everyone called Cujo but was really named Willie Wolfe. Cujo’s white trash owner at first doesn’t seem to be capable of making the logical leap to name his dog after a kidnapper, but then nothing in Cujo is quite as it first appears.

Problematic Plot

The main downfall of the book is the plot. Anyone who has kept dogs or bothered to learn anything about rabies knows that no matter how rabid a dog is, they do not become a Cujo. Although the book at times hints at otherworldly forces at play (such as the son’s persistent fear of a monster in his closet) they never materialize. This teasing with the reader goes on for quite a bit of Stephen King’s Cujo.

A good part of the book is taken up with the wife’s affair, perhaps in an attempt to show which was the worse monster – the guy she has an affair with or Cujo. But these two plot lines never merge, as they would in most other King books. This is another annoying tease for the reader to put up with.

Another stumbling block is that many problems facing the young mother and her son in their showdown with Cujo is that it just wouldn’t happen today in the age of mobile phones. Modern readers have to keep reminding themselves that things like the Internet, standard air-conditioning in cars and mobile phones did not exist back in 1981.

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Finding Romance Books To Read Online – Tips and Tricks To Know Before You Download Novels On Love

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There’s nothing like being immersed in a good novel on love and romance. Many individuals download romance books to read online and it is a frequent habit, made possible by advancements in computing software and the internet. A book you read on your computer is called an eBook, but they also go by other names, such as an electronic book and a digital book.

Whether or not you are used to downloading romance novels online, the following paragraphs will go into detail with some tips and tricks to know, if you’re going to satisfy your need for romance books to read online. We will also discuss the types of places where you can get your hands on some quality romance novels, as well as some precautionary measures you should take.

The internet is a somewhat safer place to do browsing and downloads compared to a few years ago. Even with downloading romance novels to read online, that does not mean you should not be vigilant either. There are rogue websites and files on the internet that are programmed to compromise your privacy and the security of your personal computer. Having some security program(s) on your computer to combat viruses, malware, spyware and rootkits, is a step you should take before doing any extensive browsing and downloading online.

Websites can contain code and romance eBook files may have been tampered with, to cause damage to your computer. While the chances of a downloaded romance eBook, causing an infection on your personal computer is minimal, it can happen, so don’t turn a blind eye with regards to having a reputable security program that is regularly updated (to combat new threats) on your computer. This should provide the best experience possible when you download romance stories online.

Finding romance books to read online can be a chore, if you are looking for a database containing a multitude of romantic novels. The easiest databases you will find are shopping sites, as they will have a multitude of romance books for sale. These can be tangible books, which are shipped to your home or downloadable romance eBooks, which are delivered to your computer instantly upon completion of the transaction.

If you’re on a budget you will find that many romance books are affordable. There are certain places that may allow free romance eBook downloads, but the quality and content of these books are often questionable and stripped. For example, you may freely download a romance novel to read online, only to find out that you were only given the first couple of pages. These are usually samples and if you like what you read so far, you have to pay for the rest of the book.

What has been emerging lately is a subscription based model. Websites offering a service where you subscribe and afterwards, you are able to download all the romance books to read online that you want. Some of these are “pay by the month” subscriptions, but I have seen one that only asks for a small one time payment for a lifetime membership, and what is offered is surprisingly good. You’re basically given unlimited access to a huge library of eBooks.

Because of the advancements in technology, you aren’t just limited to reading love and romance eBooks on your computer. There are many other devices that allow you to read digital books. Some of these include, the iPad, Kindle and Nook. The devices that were primarily made for reading eBooks are called eReaders.

The main advantage to having an eReading device, is that they are portable and they can store a multitude of digital books, as opposed to having to tote all the books that you want to read wherever you go. These portable eReaders usually have a very long battery life, before you have to charge them again. Some eReaders have improved lighting features, in case you are going to read in a poorly lit area.

Now that we have some information on downloading romance and love stories, are you up for getting some steamy romance novels to read online?

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Funding Your Bachelor Degree Education

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For the average working adult, going back to school can be one of the largest investments he will make in his life. But if you have some time before you pursue your studies, instead of applying for a bank loan, why not let time and capital work for you. Even if you plan to pursue a bachelor degree in the near future, say, in three years more, you can still save for it.

First of all, you need to have a target amount. Usually, the course fees represent a large portion of the cost. Other costs are examination fees and living expenses for those who come from other towns.

Some students may choose to study full time so that they can focus on their studies. In this case, if your employer doesn’t give you paid time off to do your studies, your budget will increase significantly, as you now have to account for your entire living expenses. In addition to that, you’ll still have to continue paying for things like insurance, car, mortgage, credit card as well as utility bills.

However, expenses can be higher if the course is done part time, as the person has less time to devote to his studies. As a result, he may have to prolong the program or even have to re-sit some papers, which means additional examination fees.

How much time you have to put aside the money depends on when you plan on taking up the program. When is the ideal time to start? To get more out of a bachelor degree, it would be good to have real world working experience of two to three years, on which to reflect upon when you’re doing the units.

At least three years of working experience would be good but you shouldn’t wait too long as the motivation level will drop. Even if you commence your studies in three years, you don’t have to pay the money in one lump sum. You can save through the study period as well which, gives you more time to accumulate funds.

Many education centers and colleges have worked out interest free schemes that you can use to your benefit. You can let your money work for you while you use the interest free payment option.

There is also an option for students to pay their fees in the monthly payments over the period of study and if the amount is paid in a lump sum, students are given a rebate. Another option is a scheme in collaboration with a bank, where students pay few hundred dollars at the start of the program and nothing else for two years. Thereafter, they have the option to repay in installments upon completing their studies.

Finally, you need to work backwards; given the number of years, inflation rate and a projected rate of return to come up with how much you need to put aside regularly. However, inflation may not have a large impact if your study period is short.

Once you have the total figure, you can start saving but you may not have to start from scratch. Perhaps you need not finance the whole amount yourself. Though the competition for scholarships is high, you may run into a bit of luck.

With a short time frame of three to five years, there are few choices in terms of investment vehicles. If you only have three to five years, you should seek a liquid and low risk investment such as putting your funds into a portfolio of fixed deposits, bonds and balanced funds. However, the chosen investment vehicle should also take into account the individual’s own risk profile and how much return is required as well.

Last but not least, it is important to review your plan regularly and rebalance your portfolio accordingly.

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Swimming With Maya – A Story of Resilience and Love

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Swimming with Maya appeared on my TBR (to be read) pile toward the end of my pregnancy. The memoir was said to be “heartbreaking and heart-healing,” but I was pretty sure I would never be able to handle the heartbreaking part under the circumstances. I picked up Swimming with Maya and put it down after a few pages. I loved the story but was fearful of how I might deal with the loss and heartache Eleanor had to endure. Vincent’s writing and her triumphant spirit kept pulling me back in. I was so drawn in by the heart-healing part of the story that I found myself enjoying the memoir so much I couldn’t put it down.

No parent wants to think of the unthinkable death of a child; and yet each of us does. We don’t want anything to happen to our children, and yet as we carry them we fear miscarriage, after they are born we worry about sudden infant death syndrome, then there are school shootings, traffic accidents, etc… since death is a fact of life, we encounter thoughts and fears of loss each and every day. Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent and in my opinion this makes the mother-daughter bond even stronger.

It’s impossible to imagine what Eleanor Vincent was feeling when her 19 year old daughter, Maya falls from a horse and is left in a coma which eventually took her life. Eleanor’s made the courageous decision to donate Maya’s organs. Eleanor uses her difficult situation and Maya’s death to tell an inspirational and motivational story and Eleanor is even stronger (as is the reader) at the end of the story.

Swimming with Maya was more about triumph than I had imagined. I was thankful to have read through the difficult times to see the memorable and motivational message. I admire Eleanor Vincent for being able to put her story down on paper for all to read. I cannot imagine the tears that were shed as she relived those moments that would forever change her life. Thank you to Eleanor, Maya, and Dream of Things Publishing for sharing this triumphant story with readers everywhere. My personal thanks to Eleanor for writing in such a way the healing is more pronounced than the hurt – it was this reason alone I was able to read and finish Swimming with Maya.

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