Video shared by Jay Shetty

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Face Lift

No, I didn't get a face life, but my blog did. I thought I would get into the holiday spirit, at least with my blog that is. My sister has a very talented friend named TJ and she offers free holiday backgrounds (this is where mine came from). You should check out her Sugar and Spice site - it's got lots of neat stuff.

UPDATE: Sadly, the website that was hosting the background exceeded it's bandwith, so now I am using a different background, compliments of Aqua Poppy Designs 2. They have all sorts of cute backgrounds over there. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Danifer's Daily Commute Vol. 3

This week, I have noticed during my commute that I see many of the same people, day in and day out, while I am traveling to and from work. I wanted to give a shout out to:

1. The boy on the bike every morning who wears his helmet, but never straps it on. Do you REALLY think you are going to be protected? And does your mom know you are not wearing your helmet the right way?

2. The "marathon man" who runs up and down the road waving to people. This man has to be about 80 years old but is out every morning running his little legs off and waving as if he is being watched by crowds of people cheering him on.

3. The scary motorcycle guy who wears a bandanna on his face that looks like a skeleton.

4. The woman and her 3 kids that are always waiting at the bus stop. I feel a sense of guilt as I drive by in my car and realize how lucky I am to be able to drive my kids to where they need to go.

5. The old, Chevy truck guy who I see every morning heading in the opposite direction. He drives a big, grey primer odd shaped truck.

6. The little old man on his bicycle, wearing his helmet (properly attached, I might add) who rides his bike in the middle of the intersection in front of the college.

7. The two "mobster look-alike" crossing guards who look like they are doing their community service.

8. The man and his daughter who wait for the bus to go home every day after work. They look happy and he looks like a good dad to have.

9. The couple who ride down the streets, hand-in-hand on their little rascals.

10. And lastly, the homeless man who lays on the ground at the bus stop by my work.

Are there people you see often who would stand out in your mind?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Okay, So I Am Jumping On The Bandwagon

Okay, so I am jumping on the bandwagon and reviewing the Twilight movie. I know, everyone and their brother is either raving or ranting about this movie. "It's not like the book - I hated it," some say. Others, like myself, did not read the book so they "loved it". And lastly, there were those who liked both the book and the movie. I did not know what to expect, so I was pleasantly pleased. I liked everything about this movie. I am not going to go into a full review, since it is really being over done. Let's just say that I will buy it when it comes out.

As I mentioned, some are saying the movie is not as good as the book. I admit, books are ALWAYS better, no matter what. Books allow you to get in tune with the character's inner being, their thoughts, dreams and fears. Movies have a harder time portraying that. Many try, but it is just not the same. Now, don't get me wrong, after I see a movie I like, the vibe from the movie stays with me for the rest of the day. However, with books, you have a sense of longing after a book ends. You miss the characters and wish there was more. When there is a sequel you become very excited. Movie sequels are rarely as good as the originals.

What do you think?

1. Has there been a book/movie sequel that you have liked as much if not better than the original?

2. What books or movies do you wish would have a sequel?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby Bump? Are You Kidding Me?

Photo by Don Arnold

A recent picture of Nicole Kidman surfaced showing her in a form-fitting dress (see above). This woman is 41-years old and had a baby 4 months ago. She looks incredible!!!! Sadly, Hollywood sees her as having a "baby bump" and asked if she was expecting. Are you kidding me?

I am opening the floor for venting. Feel free to answer any of the questions below or give us your opinion:

1. Do you think she looks pregnant?

2. How do you feel about Hollywood & the media reporting about people's weight?

3. Do you think society puts too much pressure on women to maintain their figures?

4. Do you find yourself comparing your weight to other people?

5. Do you weigh yourself often? If so, how much?

6. Are you happy with your weight?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tipping - For What It's Worth

I recently came across a really informative post over at Squawkfox. Fox asked readers, "Do you tip? How much?" As you can imagine, this led to a slew of varied comments. Within those comments, you really get a feel for the different ways that people handle tipping and what the service industry is like in general. Being someone who used to be in the service industry, I always wished that people were more educated in this topic. After all, when you are making less than minimum wage, tips were very important. They put the food on my table and dressed my family.

This is a really informative post, I think you should check it out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tips For Thawing A Turkey

So you want to thaw a turkey but don’t know how? Have I got the scoop for you.

If you have time, you can remove the turkey from the freezer and put it in your refrigerator and let it sit for a few days. You will need about 24 hours per every 5 pounds of turkey. So, for example, a 15-pound turkey would take about 3 days to defrost.

Another alternative is to use the microwave. Obviously you need a large enough microwave to hold your turkey. Turn the microwave on a low-to-medium setting for about 6 minutes per pound. Make sure you rotate it now and again from top to bottom and end to end. Be careful that the microwave doesn’t begin to cook the bird.

If you are limited on time, put the turkey in a leak-proof bag and then put it in a large pot of cold water and let it soak for about half an hour per pound. You should replace the water every half an hour.

Now that your turkey is defrosted, it’s time to cook it in the oven or to smoke it on the smoker. Make sure you know what kind of time frame you are working with before you begin this whole process. Actual cooking time can range from 3 – 5 hours, depending on how you cook it. Please consult your turkey’s packaging for details.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Problem in the Feed World

Being fairly new in this Blogging World, I have found myself excited at figuring out all the ins and outs of creating my blog and making it do fun things. Sadly, I am experiencing a problem with my FeedBurner feed. In my Yahoo reader, I am noticing that my feed is a week outdated and I don't understand. I have done some of the things like pinging and re-synching and checking the validity but so far, nothing is working. My last resort is to post a new post (this one) and see if it clears up the problem. If not, I will need to create a new feed and could potentially lose my readers *SIGH*.

Have any of you had this problem? If I do lose you, my dear readers, will you come back and visit me? I promise, I will put up a new feed so you can find me easier.

Thanks for your support.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Danifer's Daily Commute - Vol. 2

Welcome back to The Daily Commute. When I started this series, I thought of all these interesting things to write about. After the first post, it seemed like I drew a blank. But today, I want to just let you all know about something cool that has been popping up all over Arizona.

Throughout the cities that I travel through during my daily commute, I have noticed that at certain intersections, they have done something to help everyone. Of course, we have had RED LIGHT cameras put on a lot of corners where accidents are known to happen. These were put up to discipline drivers who were running red lights. This was done with the hope that drivers would be inconvenienced by having to pay a fine and realize that to avoid this, all they have to do is slow down and stop on red. This is a safety measure that IS necessary. However, as a driver, it can stress you out. Do you drive really fast just to get through before you think the light will turn red? Do you drive really slow and upset everyone behind you? I have often found myself feeling quite anxious when I approach a red light camera.

Instead of simply punishing people, the city has decided to help alleviate the problem by making flashing, crosswalk signs do a "count-down". If you are not familiar with what I am talking about, take a look at this picture:

Not only do pedestrians have an idea how much time they have to get across the street, but so do drivers who want to try to avoid running a red light. I think that the use of these crosswalk count-downs are excellent and a really great idea. I have noticed that the majority of them are right on, but others are not calibrated correctly and do not always coincide with the red light. I think that if they are maintained and working properly, they are a wonderful addition to our cities.

Do you have these in your city? What do you think about them?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Movie Review - The Strangers

This movie was scary! Yes, I admit, I was on the edge of my seat. Horror movies now days are pretty cheesy, but the ones that get me are the ones that could be true. Dan agrees, in fact, he won't even watch them with me. So, my mom watched it with me and she didn't even fall asleep - this is a sign of a good movie.

The Strangers stars Liv Tyler and cutie, Scott Speedman as a couple who are obviously going through relationship issues. The movie starts out by making you curious as to why the wedding they just went to was so tense. They both come back home pretty upset and as the scenes play out you begin to realize what is going on. Along the way, the plot turns from their obvious problem to a really SCARY problem that any one of us could REALLY have. I know, I am being a little cryptic, but I just don't want to spoil this movie for you. I want you to see it the way I saw it, which was without seeing the trailer or reading any reviews.

So, rent this. Watch it during the day (or at night if you feel brave). Grab a blanket, cover your eyes if you need to, and enjoy the terror!

Have you seen this movie? Did you like it?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Anjana The Chimp

I saw the cutest story on the internet about Anjana the Chimp. Apparently, Anjana is a two year old, female chimp who lives at The Institute of Greatly Endangered & Rare Species, in Myrtle Beach, SC. Anjana has been mimicking her caretaker, China York and began mothering two newborn White Tigers.

Anjana not only lies with the baby tigers but she also helps with feeding them their bottles. The chimp is well known for helping out with tiny lions and leopards from the institute. As you can see from the pictures, Anjana is full of personality and loves being a surrogate mom to her fellow roommates.

I just think this is the neatest story!!! It appears that these photos were taken by someone named Barry Bland. The story, along with the pictures are being shown throughout the internet.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Movie Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I had been putting off renting this movie for no particular reason. I finally took the plunge and rented from one of those wonderful Red Box video locations. BTW, how convenient is that?

Anyway, the female lead, Kristen Bell, was in a
UPN show that I was sad to see go, Veronica Mars. I really like her. She's quirky, cute, funny and very likable (even as a cheating girlfriend). In a nutshell, Jason Segel plays a guy who was just dumped by his famous girlfriend of 5 years (Bell). We've all been there, dumped that is, and to watch what this poor guy goes through is too funny. This movie has a great cast, almost every single character got a laugh out of me (which is hard to do). I must warn you, some of what caused me to laugh was the reason this movie was rated R. There is full frontal nudity, sexual discussions, and all sorts of inappropriate behavior,which performed by this cast, ends up being hilarious!

I don't want to spoil it, so I am not going to tell you anymore, but if you liked
SuperBad, 40 Year-Old Virgin or Old School, you will love this movie.

Did you see this movie? What did you think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How To Become A Patient Parent - Zen Habits

I have discovered a great blog called, Zen Habits, written by Leo Babauta. This blog has so many wonderful articles about living a Zen lifestyle. I wanted to share a post that I found educational and helpful for parenting.

I don’t claim to be the world’s most patient parent — but it’s a goal of mine for this year, and it’s something I’m dedicated to becoming. Every parent loses his or her patience — it’s a fact of life. There are no perfect angels when it comes to moms and dads — we all get frustrated or angry and lose it from time to time.

But patience can be developed over time — it’s a habit, and like any other habit, it just takes some focus.

Here’s a list of 10 great tips and methods I’m trying out and experimenting with to help me become a more patient parent:

1. Count to 10. This one really works. When you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, stop. Count slowly to 10 (you can do this in your head). When you’re done, most of the initial impulse to yell will go away. Alternatively, if you count out loud to 10, your kids will learn quickly that this is a good sign to run away. :)

2. Deep breaths. This works very well in conjunction with the above tip. Count to 10, and then take three slow, deep breaths. Feel the frustration draining out of you with each breath.

3. Tally marks. One of the most effective and important methods for controlling an impulse — these worrisome urges that we have difficulty controlling — is to become more aware of it. And to do that, you should carry around a little pencil and paper all day, and each time you feel the impulse (in this case, to react with anger), mark down a tally. This is an extremely important first step. Once you become aware of your impulses, you can work out an alternative reaction.

4. Pretend someone’s watching. I forgot where I read this tip (a couple places, I think), but it’s effective. Pretend you have an audience. You’re less likely to overreact with your child if someone’s there watching your every move.

5. What would mom do? My mom is one of the most patient people I know (although she’s human like the rest of us). So when I find my ire rising, I think … “How would my mom handle this?” And using this role model, I begin to change my behavior to something more positive. You can use any role model you want — not necessarily my mom.

6. How does this help? When I’m about to say something to my kids, when I can remember, I ask myself, “How does this help my child?” This helps me to re-focus on what’s really important. Yelling or getting angry rarely helps any situation.

7. Take a break. Often it’s best just to walk away for a few minutes. Take a break from the situation, just for 5-10 minutes, let yourself calm down, plan out your words and actions and solution, and then come back calm as a monk.

8. Teach. This is something that helps me a lot. I remember that my kids are just kids — they are not perfect, they do not know how to do things, and they have a lot to learn. I am their teacher. I must be patient, and teach them how to do things — even if I’ve tried to teach them 10 times before, it might be the 11th time when things click. And remember, none of us learn things on the first try either. Find new ways to teach something, and you’re more likely to be successful.

9. Visualize. This works best if you do it before the frustrating situation comes up. When you’re alone and in a quiet place. Visualize how you want to react the next time your child does something that typically gets you mad. How do you handle the situation? How do you look? What do you say? How does your child react? How does it help your relationship with your child? Think about all these things, visualize the perfect situation, and then try to actually make that happen when the situation actually comes up.

10. Just laugh. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that no one is perfect, that we should be enjoying this time with our kids, and that life should be fun — and funny. Smile, laugh, be happy. Doesn’t always work, but it’s good to remind yourself of this now and then.

Bonus tip: just love. Instead of reacting with anger, teach yourself to react with love. Your child spills something or has a messy room or breaks your family heirloom? Yells at you or gets in trouble at school? React with love. It’s the best solution.

Monday, November 3, 2008

15 Tips To Stay Positive In Negative Situations

I recently read a great article on  Donald Latumahina's blog, Life Optimizer and with permission, I am sharing it with you:

There are times when we must go through negative situations. Maybe people say something negative about us, or they show rejection or even resentment against us. In such situations, it may be difficult to stay positive. We may be inclined to react negatively to them. That won’t do us any good though; doing so will just make the situation worse. People may behave even more negatively to us. Our day would be filled with anger and disappointment. At the end, nobody wins.

Though it’s not easy, it’s important to stay positive in negative situations. Beat the negative situations by staying positive. Here are 15 tips on how to do it; pick the ones that work for you:

1. Never respond when you are not calm. If you are not sure that you are calm, don’t respond. Take time to calm yourself down first.

2. Take a deep breath as a first step to calm yourself down.

3. Speak in gentle tone to reduce the tension of the situation.

4. Realize that you can find opportunities in negative situations. Albert Einstein said: “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”

5. Look at the content of what people say to you for something positive that you can act upon to improve yourself. Don’t just reject the whole messages.

6. For the rest of the messages which is negative, simply ignore it.

7. Maintain positive view of the people. Maybe you don’t like their messages or behavior, but that doesn’t mean that you can hate them personally.

8. Realize that having negative feelings will just hurt you, not them. So there is no reason for you to have any negative feeling.

9. If you make mistakes, be open to admit it.

10. If you make mistakes, remember this quote by George Bernard Shaw: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

11. If you can, listen to motivational audio program to feed positive thoughts into your mind.

12. Talk to a positive friend who can encourage you.

13. Remember your favorite quotes to give you inspiration and motivation. This is one reason why you should have quote of the day.

14. Look at the negative situations as your training sessions for real life. The higher you climb in life, the worse the negative situations would be, so you’d better be prepared for them.

15. Realize that you can’t please everyone. In fact, nobody can. Sometimes you need to just let some people go. Realizing this will relieve you from a lot of unnecessary burden so that you can focus on the people that you can positively interact with.