Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ways to Annoy a Teen #1-- Short Showers

Hey Parents! Here's a new way to annoy the teens in your home! Just don't show them the reset button! No more gallons of water waste. Why didn't someone invent this when my girls were teens?

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/ecogeek/1022/showerhead-with-automatic-shutoff.html

Monday, March 30, 2009

Boost the Romance

10 Ways to Boost the Romance
By Dr. Laura Berman, creator of DrLauraBerman.com

Leave a Polaroid of yourself in his briefcase or car. What you're wearing (or not wearing) is up to you!

Make an "I love you" coupon book that each of you can use when you feel like it. Some coupon ideas include: Kiss me here. Wear my favorite ___ . Act out a fantasy. Give me a 10-minute massage.

Plan a weekend away together. Make it an erotic vacation, no matter where you go. Bring toys and lubricant, order room service, have no contact with the outside world (unless it's an emergency), and indulge in food and drink. It doesn't have to be expensive, but if you want it to be, then make a plan for saving up — it'll give you something to look forward to.

Try a female-friendly erotic video. Contrary to popular belief, women benefit from watching sexy videos as much as men do. Maybe you'll be inspired to try something new. Pick a video that you think you'll like — it may not be his first choice, but he'll be thrilled anyway!

Call your partner in the middle of the day and explain what you want to do to him later that night. You can get graphic or you can be coy and seductive, with subtle, come-home-soon hints.

Have sex with your eyes open to heighten your connection. Keep your eyes locked on each other during the especially passionate moments (the ones we normally close our eyes during). Look at each other when one or both you orgasms.

Take a bath together. Make sure to include candles and essential oil, such as lavender oil. Take turns washing each other. Include a waterproof toy if you'd like.

Spend five minutes kissing — it's the only thing that will help you rediscover the passion and sensuality that your kisses hold! Plus, it can remind you of your first kiss.

Write him a note about your most memorable sexual encounter or time together. It will spark your memory and get the creative juices flowing.

Have a "giving" day. One of you agrees to completely give, with no expectations about what you'll get in return. From breakfast in bed to an out-of-the-ordinary treat to sex later that night, one of you shows your love for the other and thereby increases intimacy for both of you.

Last Updated: 08/15/2007
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, is assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. Dr. Berman's online program, The Passion Prescription, based on her book of the same name, provides a step-by-step guide to recharging and making over your sex life.

Diet Detective-- Calorie Rip-Offs

Just looking at the rip-offs on the Starbuck's list makes me cringe. Those were of course my favorites. As the Diet Detective rightly points out, those weren't even meals.

http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/2108/156/

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Living Green-- How to find Free Stuff

Yes, Free. My favorite price.

I am a housewife. I'm the ultimate consumer, buying stuff for an entire family, plus some extended family. I need free. Therefore, I've used Craigslist and Freecycle before. Thjs list beats all I've ever seen for freebies. Wow! Jewelry? Kid's stuff? What great ideas!

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/the_conscious_consumer/53/how-to-find-free-stuff.html

I'll be holding a "garage sale" on my local Craigslist. (grin)

Lena

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Living Green-- Shipping Container Houses

I didn't believe it until I saw this article. Now I want one for myself!

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/8/twelve-amazing-shipping-container-houses.html

These are classsy places with all the cool features. You can even live off the grid! Whoa! I so want one. I could double the square footage I have now for the same price! Now that's a bargain.

To me, this is better than "manufactured housing" or as we call 'em here in the south, trailers. Same idea -- portable metal box made into a home. However, these buggers don't pretend to come with wheels. You put them on a permanent foundation or not, but they're still an insulated metal box. Anyone who's ever lived in a trailer can tell you an insulated metal box can be darn comfy, but I wouldn't want to stack trailers like you can these shipping containers.

I'd be willing to bet they're sturdier and weigh more than a trailer, too. Being a Floridian means I'm concerned about how weather could affect them. Not a happy thing if your trailer and a hurricane happen to be in the same place at the same time. My sturdy little cement block home took a beating last hurricane season, so a metal box had better be heavy and well-anchored. You can really anchor a shipping container!

All in all, I'm very impressed. They even come in pretty colors. Not a bad deal!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dragon's Egg (Collection) receives 5 NYMPHS!!


Chocolate Minx gave my collection of Dragons - Dragon's Egg, Dragon's Stone, & Dragon's Quest - 5 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs Reviews!! Woo Hoo!!


Dragon's Egg


by Lena Austin

Now Available from Changeling Press!

Reviewer Chocolate Minx says, "The incredible Lena Austin created a magical plot with realism, hilarious characters and very arousing intimate scenes. Dragon’s Egg (Collection) is worthy of repeat readings..." Read the review!

I love Tip Hero!!

We hope you enjoy this week's newsletter!
TOP TIPS OF THE WEEK -- MARCH 26, 2009
Buy Gift Cards & Save on Gas at Safewayhttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1146_Submitted by: Tip Hero

DIY Swiffer Mop Headshttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1155_Submitted by: Anonymous

1 Turkey, 25 Mealshttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1106_Submitted by: Vivienne

Green Your Kitchen and Savehttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1111_Submitted by: Tip Hero

Free Music: Make Your Own "Mix Tape"http://www.tiphero.com/tips_1191_Submitted by: Tip Hero

Multiple Uses for Baby Shampoohttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1105_Submitted by: Anonymous

Cheap and Easy Bread Crumb Recipehttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1145_Submitted by: smrtshppr

Free Printable Grocery Couponshttp://www.tiphero.com/ref.php?ads=1

Sponsored Link

HOT TOPICS

Thrifty Paint Supply Tipshttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1091_

A Cheap and Healthy Meat Substitutehttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_1101_
Money-Saving Hot Water Tipshttp://www.tiphero.com/tips_950_

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

What Do You "Do-It-Yourself" to Save Money?http://www.tiphero.com/tips_1194_

BE A TIP HERO
Submit a tip and help others save money!
http://www.tiphero.com/_Submit_a_Tip

To read hundreds more money-saving tips, please visit
http://www.tiphero.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Join Me & a slew of other Paranormal Authors this Monday!

Where: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LizziesTeaRoom/

Kick off, 9:00 a.m. ET on March 30th.

Ends 9:00 a.m. ET on March 31st.

We will be posting excerpts, sharing info, and holding contests! Drop in & out as you can. No pressure, just FUN!

Lizzie will give away 3 “Special Prize Packages” over the 24 hour timeline. You don't want to miss this!

Confessions of a Butcher-- Eating Well for Cheap

Confessions of a Butcher: Eating Steak on a Hamburger Budget
Posted: 14 Feb 2009 05:00 AM PST

Every week, I receive a couple of books in the mail from authors and publishers. (This week there were six!) They’re hoping that I’ll find time to review their work at Get Rich Slowly. I do my best, but it’s impossible to read everything. When John Smith offered to send me his book, Confessions of a Butcher, I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve read a few niche books like this, and they’re usually uninspiring. As a full-fledged carnivore, I’m please to report this one is different. Smith spent more than 30 years in the meat industry, and he’s used his experience to produce a short book packed with information. Confessions of a Butcher contains: 60 pages describing different cuts of meat and offering suggestions for cheaper alternatives. A glossary of meat-related terms. An appendix containing 30 pages of short articles, such as “What to do with leftover turkey”. The book has sections on beef (steaks, quality steaks, roasts, ribs, ground beef), pork (chops and steaks, roasts, ribs), lamb, veal, and chicken. Smith lists about 100 cuts of meat (most of which are beef). He briefly describes each cut, and then suggests cheaper (or higher-quality) alternatives. Smith granted me permission to reprint some examples from the book. Here are his entries for stew meat, ground beef, and lamb. Beef for stew Money-saving alternatives: chuck roast, rump roast, cross rib roast, round steak, brisket, flatiron, chuck flat strip. Stew meat is made from the trim that is left over from the day’s cuttings. Even when stew meat is on sale, it may not be as cheap as many other cuts. Boneless chuck roasts and round steaks on sale will be cheaper, sometimes a lot cheaper. Find the cheapest and leanest cut of meat and cut into cubes for stew or ask the butcher for his assistance. I did this! Best darn stew meat for $1 per pound less!! Shocking, but true. Now having said all that, the best meat for stew, in my humble opinion, comes from the brisket, flatiron, or the chuck flat strip. These three cuts should cost you less than the stew meat in the counter but may not be the best deal you can find. They will however be the best stew meat you can find. Regular ground beef Money-saving alternative: boneless chuck roasts. Regular ground beef is 27 to 30 percent fat and usually priced to sell. However, you should be able to find boneless chuck roasts on sale for about the same price. Have the butcher grind some up for you. You may not save much, if any, money, but you will get a lot better product. Just about any cut of beef in the counter, when ground, will definitely make leaner and nicer ground beef than regular hamburger. LambMoney-saving alternative: see below. The best thing you can do to save money on lamb purchases is either watch the ads or shop for lamb in a store that is part of a major supermarket chain but located in a blue-collar neighborhood. Most major supermarkets have a meat counter schematic that is the same throughout the chain. In a blue-collar meat and potatoes kind of neighborhood, lamb is not a regular part of the diet, but the local supermarket still has to carry a lamb lineup. In these types of stores, you may find legs of lamb and the like reduced to sell. I have worked in several stores just like this and have been eating lamb (and saving lots of money) ever since. Ask the butcher if the store ever reduces lamb and when to look for it. Another alternative is to buy lamb from the farmer and have it processed at a local custom meat plant. Be ware that you will lose more than 50 percent from the processing. I think this is great information. Kris and I have always been puzzled why our friend AJ produces better stews than we do. It’s likely that she’s just a better cook, but maybe she uses a different cut of meat. Also, I had my first ground sirloin burger last month. I’m not sure I can go back to regular ground beef after that. (Yes, I realize ground sirloin is more expensive.) Note: Did you notice something about each of these three tips? They all involve speaking with your butcher. This is true of many of the book’s suggestions, and in a way it’s disconcerting. Kris and I discussed this, and we realized that we don’t “have a butcher”. We go to the supermarket to pick up meat. Sometimes we ask the person behind the counter for a particular steak. That’s it. We’ve never thought about asking to have meat ground. What about you? Do you have a butcher? Although I found the book interesting, Kris was less enthused. “If you had a recipe and were looking to save money, this would be handy book,” she told me. “But it assumes too much on the part of the reader. It uses a lot of meat-related terms, many of which aren’t in the glossary. Plus, I would have liked more detail on what recipes each bargain cut would be good for.” “Would you pay $11.95 for this book?” I asked. “No,” she said. “But I might if it were beefier — with charts and hints and recipes.” (Note: Kris didn’t really say “beefier”. That’s just me being funny.) I, however, would pay $11.95 for Confessions of a Butcher. We buy a lot of meat, and if the book saved us even a few bucks, it would have paid for itself. I do agree, however, that it’s a bit jargony and could benefit from some diagrams and recipes. (Rumor has it there’s a sequel in the works that will address some of these concerns. I’d rather see a revised edition that lumped everything together.) I’ll leave you with my favorite piece of advice from John Smith. In the chapter about butcher etiquette, he writes: To really butter up your butcher, always leave a nice comment on his helpfulness and professionalism as you go through the checkstand…Some homemade cookies once in a while won’t hurt either. Come to think of it, bloggers like homemade cookies too! For more on this subject, check out these articles from the archives: Making the most of cheap cuts of beef and How to buy a side of beef. ---Related Articles at Get Rich Slowly: Is Eating Out Cheaper Than Eating In? Learning to Eat More Meals at Home Just Say No (to Patronizing Ads) How to Buy a Side of Beef Making the Most of Cheap Cuts of Beef

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Florentine Chicken Cordon Bleu



This recipe only sounds fancy! It went together lickety split, and cooked up in about fifteen minutes. Who'd believe it's healthy and low-carb? It's a perfect spring dish, since fresh spinach is now available.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sex Toy Care Kit

How do you take care of your toys?

Sex Toys Care Kit
By Dr. Laura Berman, creator of DrLauraBerman.com

If you're going to be playing with toys, make sure you take care of them! Here are a few basic items to stock in your Toy Care Kit:

Antibacterial cleaner. Or at the very least, use soap and water to wash your toy after each use. Remember, if you decide to use a toy in or around the anus (on either of you), it should be washed before once again stimulating the vulva. And always clean your sex toy if you decide to share it with anyone else!

Extra batteries. Check your toy's required size so you never run out of the power you need for a good time!

An all-purpose lubricant. K-Y Ultra Gel is a good option because it's both water-based and glycerin-free. Remember, water-based lubricants work with any toys (and if they're also free of glycerin, they're less likely to cause yeast infections). Silicone-based lubricants are not safe for silicone toys, and oil-based lubricants should not be used with rubber toys.

The instructions. Keep the manual that comes with your toy (or toys!) so you'll always know how to use it properly. You can refer back to the manual at any time, and you may be surprised by how versatile your toy can be! And naturally, you should check to see if your toy is waterproof before attempting to use it in the bath or shower.

Accessories. Some intimate accessories have their own accessories! For example, a vibrator may be compatible with a clitoral tickler or a series of G-spot stimulators. Find out whether your new toy has the potential for any of these special extras and then go ahead — accessorize!

Note from Lena: I keep my toys in their own zip-top bags, just to prevent cross-contamination in case I ever get careless. You never know!

Last Updated: 08/15/2007
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, is assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. Dr. Berman's online program, The Passion Prescription, based on her book of the same name, provides a step-by-step guide to recharging and making over your sex life.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Easter Eggs-- Egg Custard


Don't be intimidated by the size of this recipe. It's actually very easy. The only thing I do recommend is that you go buy at least six of the oven-safe custard cups. It's a worthwhile purchase, since they show up in several of my recipes. They'll stand up to the water bath baking method.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bankrate's 2009 Tax Guide

I get nervous at this time of year, and I procrastinate about doing the taxes. Yep, I hate that the math and the headache. This helped.


Bankrate’s 2009 Tax Guide
Posted: 18 Feb 2009 05:00 AM PST

It’s tax season! I’m a little lategetting around to my own taxes this year — I’ve had other things to worry about. One of my goals for this weekend is to begin rounding up all of the necessary documents. And, as usual, one of my first stops for information will be the Bankrate Tax Guide. Every year, they offer the following resources:
Tax calendar — “April 15 isn’t the only important day for taxes. Our tax calendar provides you with many others to circle.”
Daily tax tip — “The daily tax tip plus an array of tax tools, terms and training will help you through filing and beyond.”
Filing and refunds — “Get it done right the first time with this advice on free filing, e-filing, documentation and refunds.”
Forms and charts — “Search here for all the new tax rates, exemption and deduction amounts, plus estate and gift tax exclusions.”
Realty/capital gains — “Home, sweet home. Your home is likely your biggest investment and it affords you some great tax breaks to boot.”
Family — “You care for your children and dependents all year. At tax time Uncle Sam may take care of you.”
Work — “Take advantage of benefits at work and you may find your job even more rewarding at tax time.”
Investments — “Investing wisely is a critical part of your wealth-building strategy. Keeping it away from the IRS should be another.”
Education — “Take some of the sting out of the ever-increasing cost of college by applying these tax-favored options.”
Retirement — “Whether you’re self-employed or work for others, many tax-advantaged retirement vehicles are at your disposal.”
Philanthropy — “Even the IRS has a heart. Giving to charity can be a wise tax move, as long as you follow the rules.”
Calculators — “We’ve added 11 new tax calculators to help make your tax preparations easier than ever!”
Videos — “Bankrate helps you picture how to get the most out of your tax filing.”
Get Rich Slowly doesn’t have a huge body of tax information. Still, there are a few useful articles kicking around in the archives:

Common red flags that lead to IRS audits
Free File: A fast, easy way to file your federal income taxes
A contrarian view: Why I love a huge tax refund (note that I no longer aim for a refund, but I still understand the motive to do so)
Ask the readers: Should I prepare my own taxes or go to an accountant?
The first-time homebuyer tax credit
The saver’s tax credit for retirement savings contributions

Have you started your taxes yet? Already filed? (Already received a refund?!) Are there tax subjects you’d like to see covered at Get Rich Slowly? Great resources you’ve found on the web? Tax stuff usually bores me, but I’m willing to write about the things that you find useful.

---Related Articles at Get Rich Slowly:
Bankrate’s 2008 Tax Guide
Bankrate’s 2007 Tax Guide
Daily Links: 20th Anniversary Edition
Free Downloadable Suze Orman Book from Oprah
Free Book Chapter: ‘Money Day’

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Milestone-- Below 40 BMI and No Longer Morbidly Obese

According to my bathroom scale this morning, my weight has now dropped to 242, down from my official start of 286. That's 44 pounds, gone forever.

More significantly, my BMI has now dropped below 40, and I'm no longer considered "morbidly obese" and am now merely (!) "obese." BMI charts seem to differ, but I wanted to be sure that, by all their numbers, I'm now simply "obese." Uhhh...thanks?

In some ways, it's significant that I'm merely on the chart at all! Some BMI charts don't even go as high as 250 lbs, as if such a weight does not bear noticing. It should be noticed. In fact, moreso than the weights closer to the ideal, IMHO!

Those who are morbidly obese need MORE help, not less! Am I saying they (formerly, "we") need sympathy? Not necessarily. However, because there are issues --health and social are the two main ones-- the morbidly obese need to be on the charts and in the sights of the medical community.

Not to mention, the insurance company bean counters need to seriously rethink how difficult they make it for those who WANT help to get it. There are several diet pills out there proven to be effective when medically monitored and used in conjunction with nutrition counseling, behavior modification and --yes, I'll say it!-- a stern talking to the family about sabotage. Then, if that doesn't work, the insurance company needs to give in and make the various forms of bariatric surgery available without a fight, huge co-pays, and long waits while the patient "proves" how serious they are.

C'mon! Obesity causes very serious health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea, and stroke. The medications and/or treatments for these ailments can cost much more than the surgery annually for each patient if they're hospitalized once. My sleep apnea machine cost more than a grand, even before I used it once. The supplies for it cost about $600 a year, and that's what my insurance pays for! This doesn't include my regular visits to two different doctors and the obesity-related medications for pain, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.

Since my LapBand was installed, I no longer need my cholesterol medication, I haven't taken a pain pill in months, I haven't had an apnea problem in three months, and I'm fairly sure my blood sugar is now close to normal, judging by the way I feel. That's with a "mere" 44 pounds gone out of the nearly 150 total I need to lose by the BMI charts to reach my "healthy" range.

How much more money do the insurance companies have to spend before they figure this out?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Facts

Some unknown Little facts on this wonderful Irish day:

1) ) There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland. In Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire Irish is the leading ancestral group.

2) St. Patrick's Day got its American start in 1737 in Boston. We celebrate St. Patrick's Day to remember the achievements St. Patrick made during his time.

3) St. Patrick's given name was Maewyn Succat and he was born in Britain around 385 AD. At age 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6 years as a slave he turned to religion for solace. He escaped slavery and made his way to Gaul where he changed his name to Patrick and studied in the monastery under St. Germain.

4) St. Patrick converted pagans to Christianity, angering the Celtic Druids who threw him in prison many time as a result.

5) It is believed that St. Patrick died on March 17th, the day that we now celebrate St. Patrick's Day. March 17th is also feast day in Ireland.

6) The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick's Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow.

7) St. Patrick's celebrations were originally religious festivals; up until the 1970s Irish law mandated that pubs be closed on St. Patrick's Day. In 1995 the Irish government used St. Patrick's day to drive tourism to Ireland.

8) St. Patrick did not actually drive snakes out of Ireland; the snakes represent the Pagans that he converted to Christianity.

9) The first organized St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in New York in 1762. The parade consisted of Irish soldiers serving in the English military, the parade helped them reconnect with their Irish roots.

10) The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity ( God exists
as three persons--father, son, and the Holy Spirit) to the Irish.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/142281/ten_little_known_st_patricks_day_facts_pg2.html?cat=74


Dawn
Owner-LR Cafe
Taking Chat dates for summer thru winter 2009!

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to Give a Man Oral Stimulation

I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you that men love oral sex! Maybe it's the thought of you pleasing only him, maybe it's that he gets to watch you do it, or maybe it's the stimulation that only a tongue can give, but whatever it is — he loves it. Many women give up on oral sex because they find it unpleasant or figure they can just have intercourse instead. If you've had problems with oral sex in the past, I encourage you to give it another try. It can be a great way to show your partner you care about pleasing him.

Give It a Chance

To start off, here's a tip for anyone worried about her gag reflex: Focus on breathing through your nose and using your hand to provide stimulation as well as your mouth, so you can control how much of him is going into your mouth and how far back he's going. This technique will reduce the chances of his penis hitting the back of your throat and causing you to gag.

If you don't want to swallow, it's perfectly fine to let it go on his stomach or switch to intercourse before he climaxes. This is something you may consider discussing with your partner before you engage in oral stimulation so he can warn you when he is nearing climax.

Warm Up

Begin licking his testicles and the shaft of his penis. Use your hands to help massage him — start at the base of the penis and slide them up and down around the shaft. Try rubbing his testicles, licking them, and cupping them in your mouth.

Get Going

Slide your mouth over the head of his penis. If he has a foreskin, you may want to pull it back first. Suck gently with the traditional up-and-down motion. And make sure you are very careful not to scrape his penis with your teeth.

Explore

Discover the different sensations you can use to arouse him. Suck harder, softer, faster, and slower, until you figure out what he likes. Alternate between sucking, licking, and kissing. Bring other parts of your body in on the action — your breasts, for example.

Blow

Use your breath to tease him. Blow long breaths along the shaft of the penis, or tease him with short, rhythmic breaths over the head.

Pay Attention

Observe his body language (and his erection) so you know if he's enjoying your moves. You can also just ask. I'm sure he'll be happy to give you feedback.

Show Him

Let him know you're enjoying giving him pleasure. Make eye contact with him. Moan a little. The vibration of your voice can create another level of stimulation.

When he is about to climax, continue with a steady motion of whatever stimulation you're giving him at the moment. If you don't want to swallow, try to make a quick but subtle and seamless transition to manual stimulation. Once he climaxes, hold him in your mouth (or hand) for a moment without moving. Men are extremely sensitive right after they orgasm, so give him a moment to relax before gently releasing him.

One thing that all men have in common is that they like to have their genitals touched. If you want him to take the time to warm you up properly, give him what he wants by going for his genitals faster. That's right — the next time you're starting to get it on, unzip his pants and give him a nice kiss!

I hope the His and Her Guide to Oral Stimulation will bring you and your partner a lot of pleasure! Remember that toys can be incorporated into any sex act to enhance arousal and spice up the experience for both you and your partner. Once you get your technique down, try getting creative by orally pleasing each other in different positions — sitting, standing, or in tandem!

Last Updated: 08/15/2007
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, is assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. Dr. Berman's online program, The Passion Prescription, based on her book of the same name, provides a step-by-step guide to recharging and making over your sex life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Drink of the Day from Drinksmixer.com

Sometimes after a hard day, everyone needs a little down time. Normally, I don't drink, but this one just might lure me to the bar.


Chocolate Ravage
One glass of Chocolate Ravage will knock you down. The recipe was shared generously by Jon and Brandon. You can find the Pop-Ice at Walmart in the juice isle in a cardboard box for about $2. Chocolate Ravage has a chocolatey taste (due to Yoo-hoo chocolate milk) so your guests are sure to love it.

16 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz Captain Morgan® Original spiced rum
1 1/2 oz Captain Morgan® Parrot Bay coconut rum
1 1/2 oz triple sec
1 sheet Pop-Ice®
15 oz bottle Yoo-hoo® chocolate milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey

Add ice to a blender until roughly one-quarter to one-third full. Add one sheet worth of pop ice to the blender. Add the vodka, Captain Morgan rums, triple sec, sugar and honey. Adjust sugar and honey to taste if desired. Add one tall yoo-hoo bottle to the blender. Blend until puree consistancy, pour into cocktail glasses and serve.

My thanks to drinksmixer.com for their lovely collection.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How I Cut My TV Bill in Half

How I Cut My Television Bill in Half
Posted: 19 Feb 2009 05:00 AM PST

I’ve had several requests lately to update my two-year quest to find cheap alternatives to cable television. In March of 2007, Kris and I were paying $65.82 for a deluxe digital cable package that we rarely used. “$65.82 a month isn’t a fortune,” I wrote at the time, “but it’s a lot of money to pay for something that doesn’t get used. If we were big TV watchers maybe the cost could be justified. But we aren’t. And it can’t.” To save money, we cut our cable to just the basic channels, which reduced our bill to $11.30/month. We also began to use the iTunes Music Store to subscribe to the shows that we wanted to watch. And over the past year, I’ve become a fan of Hulu, an online service that allows users to watch many past and current shows for free. Here’s an overview of the tools we use, and how much money we’ve managed to save. The iTunes StoreWhen we cut our cable bill from $65.82 per month to $11.30, I knew we would save over $50 per month. I also knew that we’d miss a couple of shows we really like. We don’t watch a lot of television, but we do like our Battlestar Galactica. So, I made a deal with Kris. “If you’ll let me cut back to basic cable,” I said, “then I’ll purchase any shows you want from the iTunes Store.” She was reluctant at the time, but over the past two years, we’ve found that there really aren’t that many shows we want to watch. Since we started, we’ve purchased eleven “seasons” from iTunes, totaling $398.42 (or about $36.22 per season). This works out to about $16.60 per month. When added to our $11.30 basic cable bill, we’re paying $27.90 each month for television. That’s less than half of what we were paying before. Note: Kris and I also use Netflix to watch television. Over the past year, we’ve consumed seasons of MASH, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Foyle’s War. I’m not including that $16.99/month in these calculations, however, because we were already using Netflix to do the same thing before we cut our cable. Just be aware that we’re spending another $200/year for DVDs by mail. (And, yes, we do get our money’s worth.) HuluWe’ve also found a way to watch certain shows for free. For a short time last year, NBC/Universal and Apple got cranky with each other. NBC/Universal pulled its shows (including Battlestar!) from the iTunes Music Store. What’s a geek to do? Answer: watch the shows for free through Hulu, which features content from NBC, Fox, and many other sources. Crisis averted. Over the past year, I’ve come to love Hulu. It took some GRS reader encouragement for me to actually explore the site’s potential, but now that I know how it works, I’m hooked. Here’s the basic premise: Hulu allows viewers to watch new and classic television programs for free. (The site also includes a small selection of feature films.) Each program includes the normal commercial breaks, just as on television. However, instead of being bombarded by two minutes (or more) of commercials at each break, you’re subjected to a single 15- to 60-second ad (that you cannot interrupt). To me, that’s a fair trade for free programs. Most current NBC and Fox programs are available on Hulu, though each show seems to have its own schedule. Older shows offer full seasons. Some shows, like 30 Rock, only offer the “trailing 5 episodes”. That is, you can only watch the most recent 5 episodes from the series. Others, like The Biggest Loser (which I’m now addicted to thanks to readers at Get Fit Slowly) only allow one episode to appear at a time — and it’s last week’s episode. (So, please — no spoilers about what happened Tuesday night!) Although Hulu doesn’t directly host content from ABC or CBS, it does index these shows, and link to their source pages. So, for example, if you want to use Hulu to watch Lost, you can do so. When you look for the latest episode of Lost, Hulu will redirect you to the ABC website. This is a nice touch. Hulu offers a nice library of classic television, including Adam-12 For me, though, the best part of Hulu is its library of classic television. When I was sick with the flu in early December, I spent two days plowing through old episodes of Adam-12. (Which was much better than I had remembered.) Hulu also includes shows like: Battlestar Galactica (new and classic) Arrested Development The Bob Newhart Show Miami Vice Hill Street Blues And even The Dave Ramsey Show! Actually, I just noticed that Gary Vaynerchuk’s video wine blog, The Thunder Show, is available on Hulu, too! My biggest complaint with the site is that navigation is clumsy. It’s sometimes difficult for me to find what I’m looking for. (The “browse TV shows alphabetically” view is most useful for me.) Disclaimer: I know I sound like I’m shilling for Hulu, but I promise you: I’m not being paid to write this. I just think it’s a great service, and it’s one I would never have fully explored if Get Rich Slowly readers hadn’t encouraged me to do so. Other optionsThough these are the tools that Kris and I use for our television consumption, there are other options available. For example, I’m a big fan of the public library for books, but I haven’t used it for TV on DVD, though I’m sure that’s possible. I’m also aware of Veoh and Joost, though I haven’t tried either of them. Those of you in Western Europe may want to explore Zattoo, a free downloadable app that lets you watch certain television content on your computer. (And, via the comments, Jeremiah Bell notes that Canadian readers can find streaming television at CTV and GlobalTV.) None of these is going to satisfy those who truly enjoy television. If you must see your show right now, or if you are a fan of live sports, you may have to fork over the dough for a deluxe cable package. I’m content to wait. It saves me money, and it lets me watch shows on my terms. Footnote: After I finished composing this article, I learned that GRS reader Mike Panic has drafted a fantastic list of websites that stream full TV shows and movies. This is a colossal list, and well-worth bookmarking. ---Related Articles at Get Rich Slowly: links for 2007-03-23 How 15 Minutes Saved Me 15% on My Television Bill The 9 Strangest Tax Write-Offs Tip: Pay Your Bills as They Arrive The New Math: Cheap Alternatives to Cable Television

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

How to Give A Woman Oral Stimulation

By Dr. Laura Berman, creator of DrLauraBerman.com

Foreplay before the foreplay is always a must. And the best way to heat things up is with a little lip service. Kissing on the mouth, the neck, and all over can be very erotic. Once you're warmed up, try these techniques for taking kissing to the next level.

Guide for Him

A woman loves it when a man pleases her orally. It is often the best way for her to reach orgasm. For some men, this can be intimidating, but with the right technique and attitude, you'll be a pro in no time.

Warm Up

Start by kissing her abdomen and inner thighs and then tease her a bit. Alternate the stimulation between her genitals and other parts of her body to really turn her on.

Get Into It

Take in her scent and taste, and let her know that you're enjoying yourself. Use your tongue and lips to stimulate the labia majora and minora. Begin with long, slow kisses and licking and gradually increase the speed and intensity as her arousal builds. Don't just lick up and down, since concentrating on only one spot can lead to overstimulation.

Explore

Move your tongue in different directions. Experiment with speed and pressure, but try to keep a rhythm or steady pattern of movement since short spurts of erratic stimulation are likely to throw her focus off. And don't just use your tongue and lips — your fingers, teeth, nose, and breath can also be employed as oral pleasers and teasers.

The perineum is another sensitive area. You can stimulate it with either your tongue or your fingers (but don't use the same fingers around her vagina without washing first, because bacteria from the anus can be harmful to the vagina). See Is Anal Sex Safe?

Use Your Hand

Manual stimulation can be just as much of an art form as oral stimulation. For women who prefer less direct contact, try moving your fingers in a small figure eight around the clitoris, then try making a larger figure eight over the entire length of her vulva.

You can also hold her labia open while you use your middle finger to stroke up and down. Many women enjoy having the vaginal opening massaged. If your partner prefers direct pressure on her clitoris, you can tap or rub it constantly with one or two of your fingers.

Pay Attention

Stay aware of the telltale signs of her enjoyment, such as moaning and heavy breathing. She may squeeze your hand, grip the sheet, or push her pelvis up toward your face. Other physical signs, such as increased vaginal lubrication and swelling of her vulva, will also clue you in to her pleasure. And if you're still not sure, it's okay to ask if she likes it. Communication is key when it comes to great sex.

If she remains silent or still or, even worse, pulls away from you, that's your hint to slow down and try something different. Ask her what feels good or how and where she prefers to be touched. Let her know that you're interested in her feedback and that your goal is to please her.

Go for the Gold

When she is appropriately aroused, start using your tongue to stimulate her clitoris — the most sensitive part of a woman's anatomy. Some women enjoy direct contact; for others indirect contact is better. This may also vary as arousal intensifies.

While working the clitoris with your mouth, insert one or two fingers into her vagina with a gentle thrusting motion. If you tilt them upward just slightly, you can also massage the G-spot. You'll know you've hit it when you feel a spongy bump about one to two inches inside the vagina toward her navel. Done right, clitoral stimulation is the best way to bring a woman to the edge of orgasm and then take her over the edge.

One significant way in which women and men differ sexually is in their post-climax physiology. For you, there is a refractory period that zaps your energy and can last several hours. For her, there is still excellent potential for arousal after orgasm. Some women can even have multiple orgasms. If you and your partner take the time to understand how sex may be different for you than it is for her, you'll be able to find your rhythm together, and that's what good sex is really about.

If you're still feeling reluctant, or need some more pointers, get a copy of the book She Comes First by Ian Kerner. It's a step-by-step guide to oral sex in which Kerner explains the importance of oral stimulation for women and gives you more instruction on how to do it well.

Last Updated: 08/15/2007
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, is assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. Dr. Berman's online program, The Passion Prescription, based on her book of the same name, provides a step-by-step guide to recharging and making over your sex life.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Wolverine Trailer

The guy who criticized this trailer doesn't know shit about the X-men, that's clear. He didn't even recognized Gambit, my favorite Cajun mutant, much less understand that those weren't "dream sequences" but Wolverine's memories. What do you think?

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b103069_rate-a-trailer_can_jackmans_wolverine.html

Not to mention of course that Hugh Jackman is so...fantasy inspiring.

Lena

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prioritize Your Savings from Get Rich Slowly



Ask the Readers: How to Prioritize Savings Goals?

Once you’ve paid off your debt, it’s time to save. But for many of us, it’s difficult to know where to start. Via Twitter (and edited slightly), @funkyknitwit asks:
How do you set priorities with savings? I have so many things I want to save for, but I don’t know where to start! What I mean is, how can I decide which thing I should work towards first? My budgeting is already in order.


This is a tough one for me. I find it difficult to decide which things to save for and when. I use multiple accounts at ING Direct, but there’s no real rhyme or reason as to how I fund them. For example, here’s a glimpse at my saving progress from last summer: (see above picture)

Since July, I’ve added two additional accounts for other goals. How do I choose which accounts to fund with my savings and how much to put in them? It’s all pretty much instinct, I’m afraid. Maybe I should have a plan.

Other folks are more methodical than I am. Several personal finance blogs — including No Debt Plan, Poorer Than You, and Blunt Money — advocate a “savings snowball”, which is based on the popular debt snowball method. When using this system, you don’t have to choose just one thing to save for at a time.
Note from Lena: I use the debt snowball method, and have for years. It works.
Here’s how it works:


Make a list. Write down all of the things — large and small — that you’d like to save for. You might include a trip to Mexico, a new car, your summer wardrobe — and even your Roth IRA.
Prioritize. After drafting your wishlist, choose just a few items to save for first. Organize them from most important to least important. (By “most important” I mean the item you’d like to see completed first.) I think this step is key to answering funkyknitwit’s question.


Pay the minimum. For each item in your savings list, assign a minimum monthly payment.


When working a debt snowball, these minimums are assigned by your bank. Here, however, you set the minimums. For each item in your savings snowball, save the minimum every month.
Snowball! For the “most important” item on your list, pay more than the minimum each month. For this item, save as much as possible. When you’ve completed saving for it, move on to save as much as possible for the next item.


There are a couple of ways to replenish the list. You might opt to add a new item at the bottom every time you finish saving for the top item. Or you might finish saving for every item in the list before making a new list of savings goals.


Note: Some GRS readers have told me that SmartyPig is an excellent way to save for specific goals. SmartyPig accounts currently offer 3.25% APY, which is a great rate. Read more here.


How do you prioritize your savings? Do you save for only one thing at a time? Do you use some sort of “savings snowball”? Or do you simply set aside one large savings account from which to make all of your purchases? and how do you choose what to save for first?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spaceport: Time Bomb is at Fictionwise!

I got this notice in the mail!


TITLE: Spaceport: Time Bomb by Lena Austin

PRICE: $4.49 CATEGORY: Erotica

LENGTH: 23638 words; Reading time: 67-94 minutes

EPUBLISHER: Changeling Press LLC Published: 2008

DESCRIPTION: Pepper and her cyborg ally, Kade Starke, scavenge space junk hoping to find that one-in-a-million hunk of rock that will make them rich. Then they find the sad wreck of an old shuttle, and a hunk inside named Dr. Logan MacDonald. Oh, and several billion credits worth of long-lost artifacts and art. Now everyone from pirates to Imperial forces want Logan and his treasure. To get the artifacts to where they can be shared by all humanity and not just a wealthy few, Logan and his scavenger friends may just have to turn the treasure ship into a literal time bomb.

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook83129.htm?r=3a2

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ya Think, Dr Berman?

Geez, all Dr. Berman had to do was ask an erotica writer...we would have told her for the cost of a few ebooks.


Need a little help getting your fantasy life going? Here are 10 hot and steamy stories to get you started. And remember, fantasy comes from relaxing and letting your mind wander!

Sexual Submission
Women often imagine themselves being ravaged and taken control of — it doesn't mean you want it in your real sex life, but it's fun to entertain the idea. Fantasize about someone powerful having his way with you sexually. Maybe there are blindfolds or restraints. Maybe you're taken by surprise!

Voyeuristic Sex
You're being watched while you're having sex, maybe being forced to have sex in front of other people. You might also be the one spying on someone else having sex. Anyone, a stranger or someone you know, can be the subject of this fantasy. You would be ashamed — maybe ruined — if anyone ever found out. But that's exactly what makes it so good!

Knight in Shining Armor
This is the romantic's fantasy. Your perfect man courts you, seduces you, and makes you feel everything you've ever desired. He treats you in all of the ways your partner does not. He pampers you, understands you, and totally worships you. He also makes all of your sexual fantasies come true, without your even asking.

Being a "Bad" Girl
Women who follow all the rules in daily life may dream of letting the bad girl out to play. Maybe you strip for a roomful of men or seduce a man you've just met for casual sex. You're aggressive, and you go after who and what you want with no apologies!

Taking Control
Many women dream of taking charge in their favorite sexual fantasies. You could be a dominatrix leading a man back to your hideout and planning to make him your sex slave. You'll tie him up until he promises to be submissive, and then you'll tell him when, where, and how to touch you.

Sex With an Ex
Do you, like many other women, have an ex who rocked your world sexually or who loved you and left you (giving him a permanent place in the land of unresolved relationships)? Imagine running into him unexpectedly and beginning a passionate affair — because the sex is still that good.

Girl-on-Girl
It's you and the woman of your dreams. Whether Angelina Jolie is your idea of a hot babe or you'd rather make someone up, fantasizing about lesbian sex is especially appealing for women who've never actually experienced it. Imagine what her female body feels like (so different from your partner's) and how you'll stimulate each other.

Group Sex
Everything from an orgy to a threesome falls into this category. Maybe you're watching a group of other people have sex. What about having a threesome with two guys? Two girls? A guy and a girl? You kiss one person but your hands are on another. Anything goes!

Sex on the Beach
You're on vacation, so everything is tropical and lazy. You've met someone intoxicating and you're having sex on the hot sand, the water about to crash onto you. Sex has never been so good! You're in paradise, but you know it has to end.

Kinky Sex
Dreaming of something even more outrageous? This is the fantasy about your deepest desires — the ones you would probably never share with anyone — but that arouse you and provoke you. Maybe they are desires that go against all of your morals, or are even societal taboos. Use your imagination. No one has to know.

Last Updated: 08/15/2007
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, is assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. Dr. Berman's online program, The Passion Prescription, based on her book of the same name, provides a step-by-step guide to recharging and making over your sex life.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not The Easy Way Out After All

Many folks don't know this, though I've not kept it a secret. On January 2, 2009 I was in surgery to get a LapBand installed. Since November when I began the serious business of preparing for surgery, I've lost a little over 40 pounds, and I'm still dropping 'em at the rate of 1-3 pounds a week.

While most people respond positively, a few seem to drop their jaws and act as if I'd just done something incredibly radical. Here's what another bandster wrote to explain his decision. His eloquence is incredible. (Note: I do not advocate the use of any drugs. I'm quoting him.)

For a simple and effective tutorial on how I came to this choice, follow these steps:

1. Smoke the strongest marijuana you can find until your eyes nearly fall out of your head. Get hold of that feeling of the most uncontrollable munchies and maintain that pose for fifteen years - sitting opposite a bowl of your favourite comfort food. Keep smoking and stay in front of that food. When you succumb, invite people to mock you for another fifteen years for being a failure.

2. Go into a hall of mirrors and look at the biggest, ugliest version of you that you can find and proclaim that you love the way you look in that mirror...do this for fifteen years, whilst praying that someone smashes the mirror. When they do, turn around and realise all mirrors now show the same thing.

3. Go shopping for clothes that do not exist in your size and ensure that the assistants look down their noses for you having the gall to ask if they stock anything appropriate. Do this every weekend. For fifteen years.

4. Strap a fully grown small adult woman to your chest and walk around for fifteen years like that - don't worry, she will just hang there and say nothing. She may prod you in the liver once in a while, give you diabetes and make people laugh and be disgusted at you - but that's not too much for you to take, is it? When, after trying to get her off repeatedly for fifteen years and you decide the time has come to ask somebody to help you unstrap her...watch out - I understand that people maybe judging you for being a failure or for taking the easy way out.

Number 4 is the biggie for me. I've actually had someone accuse me of taking the easy way out. I do not call being poked with needles, scanned by every device known to medical science, prodded in private regions normally labeled "Exit Only" and humiliated for a year by nutritionists, trainers, and my own doctor "The Easy Way Out." (That's torture.)

I do not call resigning myself to never tasting high-carb or starchy foods like rice, bread, potatoes, ice cream, doughnuts, or my own birthday cake for the rest of my life as "The Easy Way Out." (That's torture.)

Oh, and let's not forget the "pleasure" of knife-like pain in the stomach until you throw up everything in your stomach because you either ate the wrong thing or simply ate the right things too fast as The Easy Way Out. Don't worry, your hostess won't consider you absolutely disgusting and rude for throwing up the delicious food she spent hours preparing. This is "The Easy Way Out." (For extra credit points on self-torture, do this at outdoor events where there's no place to hide and throw up privately.)

I do not call having to pay top dollar for adult chewable vitamins or liquid medications and being monitored for the rest of my life by paranoid doctors who must dutifully watch for malnutrition for the rest of my life "The Easy Way Out." (That monitoring involves needles, and that's torture.)

I do not call having to ask for a take out box from the waitress at the same time I order food in a restaurant because I know I can't eat all of what comes with the food and give away my biscuits, hush puppies, fries or whatever to my dining companions or the dog when I get home "The Easy Way Out." (That's torture, thanks.)

All in all, the evil monk Torquemada, who invented many of the devices used in the Inquisition, couldn't come up with a more horrifying way to inflict suffering than the medical profession's device known as a LapBand, all in the name of Losing Weight for One's Health.

This is not The Easy Way Out. Let's call it what it was for me: The Last Act of a Desperate Woman.

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

Best way to reach me is by email: voiceomt2002@yahoo.com

Lena