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Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts.
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Friend or Enemy?
Monday, February 26, 2007
Author: Michael Douglas

You have often wondered how she manages to get the better of you most of the time. She gives you such strong toxic vibes that it puts a chemical factory to shame. She can be your next-door neighbour, a work colleague or even a 'supposed' friend. Welcome to the world of the friendly enemy or a 'frenemy'.

Professional pest...
You will encounter her at your work place. She is the beauty with brains who knows her way up the corporate ladder. No. matter how much you try, she is a step ahead of you professionally. You come up with a bright idea and before you tell your boss about it, she has not only had a brainstorming session with him, but has also started working on the concept. You can't wage a war on her, as this will further sour things. "Whenever she was better, I picked up my socks and worked harder. But when the negativity became too obvious to overlook, I amiably discussed it. If the issue had escalated, I would have approached my boss," says, Debra Hamer, group leader with a software company, on experiencing a 'frenemy' at 'her work place.

Social snoot...
She may be a common friend, husband's friend or your next-door neighbour. Her parties are inevitably better than yours and she is the better turned out at common social events. And to add insult to injury, she snubs you all the time, makes nasty comments and tries her best to tarnish your image. But since she is a part of your social circle, picking a fight would only create a bad impression about you! "I keep minimum conversation and have managed to develop a strong immunity towards her caustic remarks. And when it gets too much to handle, I give her a taste of her own medicine," opines actress Angie Hason.

Familial bond...
A part of the family tree, she may be your cousin, or your husband's relative or some obscure relative of your mother-in-law. At every family gathering, she is the centre af attention because of her pompous jewellery. To top it all, she bad-mouths about your housekeeping skills to every living relative. But inspite of all this, you have to put up with her sugar-coated dagger of words as you can't afford to displease your family. Says Shaina N.C., fashion designer and politician, "I avoid the person and appear magnanimous about it. Even then, if she is saying not-so-nice things behind my back, I don't go justifying myself."

Winning a lost battle...
Though it may be painful, try to see what you stand to gain from a toxic relationship like this. Instead of being bogged down by the negativity, take it as a boost to be a better individual. Healthy competition drives you to perform better and you can put this to good use. Don't take a remark absolutely verbatim. Before fretting over it, review it thoroughly to see if it holds some truth. If it does, then instead of feeling bogged down, take it as a learning opportunity for self-improvement. At work, if your 'frenemy' comes up with a good concept or idea, don't feel that you are a loser. Instead of trying to score over her, accept her competence. The mantra is to believe that both of you can come up with equally good ideas. Friends who tend to put you down are actually the ones who are suffering from insecurities. This should make you feel all the more confident about yourself.

Found at

posted by Ladybird @ 10:40 PM   5 comments
Is it Love or Lust?
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Author: Michael Douglas

There are zillions of lovers who swear that they had fallen for each other at the first sight. Whereas there are others who are not as lucky and so have dismissed love-at-first-sight as an unrealistic proposition. They contend it is a concept cooked up by romantics who need a plausible theory to air-brush that deadly sin stirring inside them. They insist that the tingle, that spark, that connection that you feel with a person upon seeing him or her the first time is most probably LUST. It is not, nor can it be, love. Love is built on compatibility, understanding, trust, security, respect... None of these aspects can be gauged at the first meeting, and therefore, by logical reasoning, your feelings, however powerful, can not be love at all.

Infatuation is the name

In the same vein, love at first sight is an excuse often trotted by people who either don't know, or don't want to admit that the pull of a sexual attraction can be that intense. This may well sum up the beliefs of most modern lovers. "I used to believe that love at first sight isn't such a sham as it is made out to be. His name was Jack and the first time I saw him, I was completely charmed. His good looks had an almost instantaneous magical effect on me. He was my neighbour's cousin and I used to eagerly await birthdays and anniversary functions in the neighbourhood in the hope of seeing him. In fact, on such occasions, I made sure I wore a short skirt or something sexy. I would make special efforts to speak in my accented english in front of him until one day I met another guy whom I knew for six months and got involved with him. Jack was out of my mind and my life. It's then I realised that love had a lot more to it than just physical attraction.

For many, love at first sight is just another way of saying infatuation. "I don't think there is any such thing as love at first sight. It's infatuation colour-coated as love. It's purely physical in nature. Love should not be dishonoured by comparing it with something as amorous desire," adds MNC executive Jess Jones.

There are others who also believe that it's an immature emotion felt by young teenagers. A guy may have the best looks in the world but may turn out to be the biggest cheater too. Eventually one realises the value of compatibility, steadiness, understanding and commitment in sustaining a relationship. You can't predict that a guy will share these with you at the first sight.

'tis true love

For every person who doesn't believe in this, there are others who will defend love at first sight with a dogged determination. They argue that physical attraction is the first step to any relationship. It could be the person's face, gait, hair or even butt that first attracts you to him/her. This is something called intution. "When I saw my girlfriend for the first time in school, I became completely lost in her eyes. She was new in the school and had an innocent look about her. I could feel my heart flutter with joy every time I saw her. There was an instant emotional connection. Although I couln't gather the strength to confess my feelings to her till much later, my love withstood the vagaries of time. As a friend and a classmate, I was well aware of her ongoing affairs but somewhere I still had the embers of hope burning bright. It was three years of passing out school, that I confessed my feelings to her, that too with the help of her best friend. She was hesitant initially but today we are a happy couple. It was truly love at first sight for me", says graphic designer Arun Vohra.

There can be love at first sight but the chances of success are as high or poor as the people involved in it. My brother met my sister-in-law and within three months they were married. I too married my husband in a similar fashion," adds model Jessica Simons.

You may call it the stroke of luck or destiny, the truth is there are many relationships that grew out of the so-called Cupid that struck at first sight as many as there are others that haven't worked out.

What's the difference between lust and true love?

- Lust actually occurs when you first meet someone and feel a special connection. It is based on sexual chemistry and is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms and, for an unfortunate few drooling. It is more like an infatuation than enduring love. It could stem from both physical and a mental attraction.

- The main difference between lust and love is that lust often happens when there is little chance of forming a relationship. Lust is safe way to explore your feelings for someone who you may think is unattainable. This can closely resemble love, and if your feelings don't fizzle after you've snagged the object of them, then they can lead to love.

Found at

About the Author:
Michael Douglas is a dating and relationship expert who currently writes for where you can find love tips for romancing your love mate and dating tips for yet another successful date. Also, he offers love relationship tips to strengthen your love life and helps you in building healthy and successful relationships.

posted by Ladybird @ 12:35 PM   20 comments
The Pursuit Of Happiness
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Author: Karen Lynch

We all want to be happy. It seems to be one of the constants in the human condition; we all strive to be happy.

Many of us look outside of ourselves for happiness. We look for someone else to make us happy in that magical and elusive relationship. We look for our work to make us happy as we chase the dream of career success. Some of us are waiting to be happy, waiting until we lose weight, waiting for that promotion, waiting until our ship comes in.

We spend our days in the relentless pursuit of happiness when we all have the keys now to being happy and we have always held the keys.

Happiness does not come from outside of ourselves. Happiness is an inside job. Just as
Abe Lincoln said back those many years ago, most people really are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. But there are some tools that we can use to increase our happiness and help us to find it inside of ourselves where it has been all along.

The first tool is the emotion of Gratitude. Begin to realize and reflect upon the things that you have in your life to be grateful for. Every one has things to be grateful for. It doesn't have to be a huge thing; sometimes the small things are the most rewarding. The clothes on your back, your senses that help you experience the world, the joy in a child's laughter, the random act of kindness performed by a stranger, all of these things are things to be grateful for. Reflect upon these wonderful things that you have in your life and feel the Gratitude. Really feel it, feel that wonderful joy of gratitude and reflect upon how lucky you are to be you.

The second tool is the emotion of Love. All of us love somebody. Friends, family, significant others, even pets, we all love somebody. So remember that person that you love and find a way to love them more, love them stronger, and love them bigger. What can you do today to make their life easier, more fun, and more enjoyable? What can you do for them? Don't ask what they can do to make you feel more loved or what they can do to make your life more enjoyable; that will not bring you lasting happiness. It may be wonderful and you may feel happy for a moment but that feeling will be fleeting compared to the happiness you feel when you open up your heart and do something just for them.

The third tool is the emotion of Awe. We live in an incredible Universe. There are a million things to feel Awe about. The absolute beauty of nature, the enormous advances we have made as a human race in the fields of medicine, technology and more. The fact that there is such abundance in the Universe that each and every one of us can be, do or have just about anything we want. The only true limitations are the limitations in our own minds. The freedom that can never be taken from us is the freedom of thought; nobody can determine what we think but ourselves. If we can think it, we can achieve it, we can dream it and we can enjoy those dreams, in our minds and in our lives.

So if you want to be happy, truly, truly happy, focus on these three emotions. Gratitude, Love and Awe, keep your mind on these and happiness will be yours.

Found at

About the Author:
Karen Lynch offers Life Advice at her inspiring website LivethePower.

posted by Ladybird @ 10:26 PM   6 comments
Optimism Vs. Pessimism
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Author: Nick Schultz

Some people see the glass as half empty. Others see it as half full. But is it really as simple as that? Is it possible to be a bit of both? What are the advantages and disadvantages to both? Maybe there is more to both mind-sets.

When you think about it, most people tend to be an optimist sometimes and a pessimist other times. Ironically, a lot of times things turn out how the people tend to feel about them. If a person feels like something will go well or feels optimistic about it, it usually seems to go well. The same is true of the reverse. When someone feels like something will go badly, it tends to do just that.

So why is this?

Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right!" Does this mean that what we think about, whether positive or negative, tends to happen? The only answer that I can really give to that is yes, but very basically. We cannot simply think things into existence, no matter how optimistic we are, if that is all we do. And when it comes down to it, that's not really optimism, but delusion.

But then is there any real difference between pessimism and optimism if, when it comes down to it, the results aren't any different? The short answer is yes, with an added but.

Pessimism will tend to lead to bad outcomes, whether it is because you just think things will turn out poorly and thus do not take any action, or because the pessimism will color your actions and choices and as a result you tend to do things that will make the result what you expected, the bad outcome.

Now where the but comes in with optimism is that the mere act of thinking either optimistically or pessimistically will for the most part produce not much difference in outcome, with perhaps a slight edge to the optimist. However, when you add positive, productive action to that optimism, this is when truly amazing things can happen. You can be as optimistic as you want that you will find a way to get the money for that new car or new house, but unless you are including the productive action that helps to push things to that end, you will never get there. The difference between only thinking optimistically and thinking optimistically while acting in a productive manner is kind of like saying to an empty fireplace "Give me warmth and then I will put some wood in you".

I once knew a woman who always said, "I would rather expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised on the rare occasion when good happens than be disappointed all the time". This pessimistic attitude of hers has brought her nothing but misery and strife, and yet she still thinks it has nothing to do with her. She does not realize that her pessimism is coloring her entire life and making the bad things she expects to happen actually happen. My response to her was always, "I would much prefer to expect the best and enjoy what life gives me than to constantly worry about how bad things are." For a long time, we had the same results. Then I realized that I needed to do my part and put positive, productive action behind my thoughts. And while I am not where I want to be yet, I have moved much closer to it and have been much happier along the way.

So I would say to you: be optimistic! Expect the best out of life! Expecting the best out of life is better than being miserably pessimistic. Above all though my optimistic friend, don't forget to do your part to not just think but also act optimistically.

Found at

About the Author:
Nick Schultz has studied motivation and personal development for over a decade and firmly believes in the philosophy of "You can get anything you want, by helping enough other people to get what they want." He runs a free site at which features daily inspirational quotes and is working to include free courses on a variety of financial and personal development subjects for his subscribers.

posted by Ladybird @ 10:39 AM   23 comments
Where To Find True Romance
Author: Sammy Kay

What is true romance? Has anyone ever set parameters that define the state of true romance? Take the movies for example. Can romance be disguised as a thriller or an action drama? Take some of these classics when thinking about true romance.

Some movie fans have claimed that they find Sir Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of the infamous Hannibal Lector as romantic. Okay, so he's a bit off the deep end, but how many people do you know who would actually chop off his own hand to save you? If that isn't a sign of true romance, what is? Actually, if you think about it long enough, you wonder what the bloody heck he did with the handcuff key in the first place. He could have saved himself the trouble, but it's the thought that counts, right?

What about the Phantom of the Opera? All he wants is to be loved by Christine, for crying out loud! Why can't she get beyond the scars? What defines true romance if it's not the desire and yearning found within all of us to love and be loved? And consider Quasimodo, from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Yeah, he's appearance-challenged, but what a guy! How can you deny that poor man's sense of chivalry and loyalty? All he wanted was to be loved as well, and he risks his all to save Esmeralda. Again, what is true romance? True romance is indeed found in the eye of the beholder.

Women must always strive to realize that true romance is more than candlelight, roses and candy. We also realize that true romance is more than syrupy endearments and undying declarations of love, but again, there's some ancient thing inside of us that, for some silly reason, yearns to hear it anyway. Authors create wonderfully romantic characters, characters that many of us would like to call our own. Why in the world can't we train our guys to behave like that, anyway? Perhaps that's the reason for creating the romance genre. This way, we can finally have true romance in the man of our dreams. You think?

Most of us are mature enough to understand that the men we date or are married to aren't nearly as 'romantic' as their fictional or movie counterparts. Don't ask why not, but that seems to be the way it is. They may not measure up to the physical standards portrayed in many books and films, but who really cares? Our men are real. They're flesh and blood and if we're really lucky, they stand by us through thick or thin and shopping sprees. On paper and film screens, we see our 'true romance fantasy guys' at their best.

What, after all, actually constitutes true romance? Is it a candlelit dinner, or cuddling in front of a fire, or roller blading with your guy or just hanging out with each other? It should behoove us to remember that true romance comes wrapped in many different packages. It may come silently like a tender hug in the middle of the night, or warm bodies to lean against as you watch television. True romance may be a smile sent your way or a casual touch of the fingers. True romance doesn't have to sweep you off your feet, although that would be a nice sensation as long as you don't get hurt in the process.

Found at

About the Author:
Still looking for the perfect romance? Try visiting, a website that specializes in providing romance advice, tips and resources including information on true romance.

posted by Ladybird @ 10:38 AM   0 comments
Valentines Party for Single
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Author: Dominique Halet

Valentine's Day is not only for lovers.

It is also a friendship and family feast.

This is also the greatest opportunity to meet new people.

So, let's start our Valentines party.

Invite your friends and ask them to invite their unmarried friends too.

If you have children, celebrate this holiday with them.

Think of different themes for your décor ; create invitation cards dedicated to the Valentine's Day party, a badge that you will give to your guests or ask them to dress a fun costume.

For Presents: Ask your guests to bring a fun gift that do not costs much than $5 or $10 and can be given to anybody (kids or adults, men or women) ; decorate a box and put it near the entry door. Have the guests put gifts there as they arrive. Plan to organize a lottery later in the evening and allot the gifts to your guests.

A supper-table is an excellent way to make your guests able to talk to everyone.

Organize a "potluck" and have people bring foods from different categories: main dishes (roastbeef, chicken wings, seafood, salmon, vegetables, pasta and potatoes salads, tomatoes and mozzarella, etc.), dessert (chocolate, pies, brownies) and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks). Decorate the table with some flowers.

Create a bar area and include the drinks that your friends brought and prepare a punch bowl with alcohol and another one without alcohol. This kind of drink is really useful when you have many guests.

Set the musical mood: create some playlists with songs from your favorite CDs.

If you have fresh singles, do not include songs like "Without You" or "Fly Me To The Moon". Prefer latino music or set up a topic like "The 60's", "Disco" or "Motown".

Happy Valentine's Day :)

Found at

About the Author: My Name is Dominique Halet and my passions are History of France and the European traditions. Read more articles about Valentine's Day by visiting: Be My Valentine

posted by Ladybird @ 10:47 PM   24 comments
Inexpensive Valentine’s Gifts
Author: Ginger Malone

If you have ever bought roses for a loved one on Valentine’s Day you have likely noticed that roses are significantly more expensive on Valentine’s Day than they are at any other time of the year. This fact alone may make you think that a great Valentine’s Day gift has to be expensive. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You can find really inexpensive gifts that your loved one will greatly appreciate. This article will provide a few tips for finding inexpensive Valentine’s Day gifts which are really meaningful but will also provide some tips for how traditional, expensive Valentine’s Day gifts can be modified in a way that makes them more affordable.

Consider the roses we previously mentioned.
Buying your loved one a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day can be extremely expensive. However, there are other ways to give flowers without emptying your bank account. One way to make giving flowers more affordable is to consider giving a gift of a single red rose. This is not only an incredibly dramatic gift but it is also very affordable. Another way to make giving flowers on Valentine’s Day more affordable is to consider flowers which are not so popular on Valentine’s Day. These types of flowers are likely to be much less expensive. As long as it is a flower your partner enjoys it will make a great gift for Valentine’s Day.There is another unique and inexpensive way to give a flower related gift on Valentine’s Day. You can give your partner a seeds or bulbs for her favorite flowers and pots to grow these flowers in. This is a great gift idea because it is original and it shows that you really know what your partner likes. It is also extremely affordable.

Ordering pizza and renting a few movies is another inexpensive gift idea for Valentine’s Day. You can even present your partner with a gift basket filled with a couple of movies, microwave popcorn, candy and a bottle of wine. Then the two of you can spend the evening together watching movies, snacking and just generally spending quality time together. Going out on Valentine’s Day can often be stressful not to mention expensive. However, you can save a great deal of money and have a more relaxing evening just by renting a few movies and spending an evening in with our loved one.

One final inexpensive gift idea for a Valentine’s Day gift is an elegant journal. You can find journals in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles basically anywhere books are solid. You can search for a journal in a style you know your partner will really love. Many journals come with a picture or a quote on the front and if you select one of these you should take care to ensure the picture or quote is something which will be meaningful and special to your partner. However, if you opt for a journal without a picture or a quote you should still seek out a style which will be visually appealing to your partner. This is very important because although a journal is essentially a book filled with empty pages, your partner is more likely to fill up these pages if she likes the look of the journal. Finally, you should fill the first page of the journal with a heartfelt note letting your partner know why you selecting this particular gift and encouraging your partner to use this book for whatever purpose she desires.

Found at

About the Author:
Ginger Malone is a contributing writer to &

posted by Ladybird @ 10:35 PM   2 comments
6 Ways to Get your Ex-back in 3 Days
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Author: Ovi Dogar

We make relationships to enjoy life. Even it perhaps a lot of sacrifices to keep a relationship and to make it work, many of us prefer to make these sacrifices just to have near the person we love and like to spend time with.

Sometimes it happens that a relationship ends even that there is still love between the partners. This happens when one of the partners makes some regular mistakes and has a bad behavior towards the other. But usually the one who is guilty for ending the relationship are men who figures out too late how much it cares about the other and wants to change only after lose her.

There is nothing worst that being dumped by the one you love and believed was "the one". Trying to get a woman back in to your life is difficult. If you lost your true love because of you and really want to get her back, don't desperate. Your situation is not necessarily hopeless.

At some point in life, we all lose something that we really wish we held on to - in this case, you lost your love and you need to get your ex back. Getting back together with your lost love is not about “getting” them back or even relationship repair. It's about wining them back. Winning them back implies a few important things semantically. It implies effort from your part.

First off all call her and tell her that you really want to see her. If she wants to take lunch with you make it so your ex notice that you are changed, that you thought about why did she leave you and she had right because there are many reasons why she left. Apologize sincerely.

If she doesn't want to talk to you by not picking up the phone when you call her, just surprise her by waiting in front of the office where she works and offer to walk her home when her program in over. But before assure that she is not having a boyfriend yet, because it might happen that someone else is waiting for her so your chance is ruined.

Act like you just starting dating, make her feel special. Be honest, and tell her that you still love her. Use the past to your advantage and let her know that anyone deserves a second chance, that things will be different now. Do not stalk her; she might think that you are very desperate. Just tell her that you are ready to make your relationship a priority in your life.

If you can get a date with her, be positive, laugh and smile. Make her feel good. Subtly touch her when she's talking. You must raise the level of attraction between the two of you, if she still loves you; you know that she has a weakness towards you.

If she didn't fall into your arms after your date don’t give up. Call her often and just tell her how you feel. Also you can make something special for her, like sending flowers and buy her gifts. Don't forget about anniversary and birthday.

E-mail her and let her know that you are available any time if she wants to have a date with you. Also assure her that you don't frequent another girls and she is the most important for you.

Be yourself, show her that you don't play games and your intentions are very serious. Also, don't be jealous if she had a date with another guy if she is now ready to get back with you and renounce to the other guy.

With this ways, a little luck and your personal charm you can get your girlfriend back faster than you think.

Found at

About the Author:
If you haven't any ex-girlfriend which to get back, you may find a beautiful one at

posted by Ladybird @ 7:51 AM   13 comments
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