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Gossip, depending on the person, can take many forms. Some may say that gossip is any form of communication that does not involve the subject in the communication. Others define gossip as un-verified womens-picture_54information being shared maliciously among third parties. Regardless of how it is defined, gossip is a serial killer of any relationship. Here are some short ways how gossip can destroy your relationship.

Gossip infects more than just one relationship

Gossip often spreads like a wildfire devouring everything in its path, and soon there’s just a smoldering ruin. It gets worse when one friend does it to another because you’ve invested your trust into your friends and you’d like to believe the best of them. Even though you wish to stand behind them and have their backs, and feel that you can tell them something without fear of hearing it from someone outside your circle of trust, once you do the relationship is fractured. Often times this fracture extends to several friends. The whispers spread through several people, and soon you feel that you can no longer trust not only the original Friend A, but no one else. Not to mention the fact that once your friends begin gossiping, they will gradually become trapped in a web of deceit and paranoia in their own lives.

Gossip kills trust and respect

womens-picture_02Gossip ruins relationships because it shows a lack of respect for the other person. Many people view their privacy as a valuable possession. When sharing personal information with a friend, we are revealing a part of ourselves to them to show that we trust them. When we betray that trust by speaking about the person behind their back we betray their trust and in a way, disrespect them through that. We are telling them that they are not important enough to us that we can keep their confidence. In a way, gossiping about a person tells that person that they are no more than a live entertainment for you. No more than a reality TV show.

It breeds doubt

Gossip is like a weed. It starts small and no one really pays it any attention at first. Then it gets bigger, and begins to silently strangle relationships. Not through you, but those vines (which are other people spreading the gossip or rumor you started) that start attacking your partner. Your partner is being attacked by this gossip, creating doubts. Some weeds like dandelions spread their white fluffy seeds with a little wind, that’s all. Your words are the wind, and those seeds will spread to multiple gardens, which create more dandelions, more rumors, more doubt, more distrust. Eventually those words will be planted in the mind of everyone you know, and then they will take over that garden of their thoughts, overtaking the plants that were there before with an overflowing amount of little doubts that become too much for any mind, or garden, to handle.

Drama is often associated with teenagers. They are going through a lot of physical and emotional changes, as they figure out how to become adults.  They tend to have a lot of issues with friends and relationships and become easily upset and have a tendency to over-dramatize disputes with friends and relationship breakups.   They are very sensitive and self-conscious about their appearances, overly concerned about fitting in with peers and actively distancing themselves from parents and other family members by demanding privacy and becoming defensive about friends and activities.  As a result of all of these behaviors, it can be hard to tell when your teen is just being normal or needs your help.  There are, however, some warning signs of what to look for as a signal that your teen needs help.  It is usually a combination of these signs that indicates that your teen could be in trouble.

Extreme Changes in Mood

womens-picture_18Teens are moody.  They are going through puberty and also separating from their parents.  They are going to be a bit distant at times and have hormonal imbalances that cause them to experience some mood swings.  Mood swings can become a cause for concern when they are too extreme and your teen suddenly goes from being very depressed and unable to get out of bed to extremely happy and manic or becomes extremely hostile and angry towards you and others.  These extreme mood shifts could be a sign of psychological issues or drug abuse.

New Set of Friends

A sign of trouble for your teen can be a sudden shift in friends or primary peer group.  If old friends are dumped in favor of a new but questionable set of friends who you are unfamiliar with, it could be a signal that something is off with your teen.  You know you have a real issue when these new friends cause your teen to adopt new behaviors and attitudes.  As teens are highly susceptible to peer pressure, it is important to know who your teen’s friends are and what they are involved in to limit and monitor negative influences.

Drastic Changes in School Performance

If your teen stops being consistent in grades and school performance, it could be a sign of trouble.   A formally good student who suddenly starts to get bad grades and becomes truant is a red flag that your teen is heading down a path that eventually will lead to juvenile delinquency and even a criminal record.  You need to know the reason why your teen starts to decline in academics.   Is your teen getting into drugs, having a problem meeting new requirements, having trouble adjusting to high school, getting bullied or just depressed?  It is important for teens to be involved in positive activities and motivated towards achieving goals.  When they are apathetic towards their school performance, it could be a sign that they need help with something that is troubling them and need inventions on your part to help them get back on the right track.womens-picture_52

Behavioral Changes

Once happy teens that become withdrawn and start to lie could be headed down a dangerous path.  If they start to sell many of their possessions or steal from you, they could be getting into drugs.  If they start to not find enjoyment in once pleasurable activities or have problems concentrating, they could have depression.  If you teen is overly suspicious of others or having extreme anxiety, he/she could have an underlying mental illness that needs to be addressed.

Due to the high rates of teen suicide and drug abuse, it is important to understand that a combination of these warning signs could indicate a problem with your teen and that early detention of these signs could help you get your teen the help she/he needs.

The battle of the sexes rages on. Or at the very least, a deep sense on both sides of “grrr, what are they thinking!?!” Well we are here to address one of side at least with this question: How do men think, and how can I use this to my advantage?


Visual Creatures

To begin, men are visual creatures. Primarily men think in pictures (one of the reason they make such good film directors). This lends itself well to areas like advertising. The real trick is being able to translate this into your own relationships. Does this mean that to gain any man’s attention you have to be the sexy model draped over a sports car? No. It simply means putting in a little bit of work to keep his eyes on you–and repetition doesn’t hurt either. It can take a little bit of time for the message to click.

In a physical relationship, this could mean giving him time to notice new jeans, or a new haircut.

This could also mean starting your foreplay with something a little unorthodox for some people. Leaving the lights on. This gives the man a chance to “drink it all in” and fully enjoy the sight of his woman. This will ensure more attention and satisfaction for both of you. It wouldn’t hurt to invest in some appealing lingerie if you haven’t already. The mystery of what still remains covered will make him hungry for more.

Bottom line: Men are turned on sexually by what they see more so than touch or scent, so plan accordingly. Maybe shell out the big bucks for new lingerie instead of fancy candles or incense.

Spaghetti versus File Cabinet

This theory finds its origin in how the different genders organize their thoughts/experiences/emotions. It states that men do what is called compartmentalizing: they organize their minds into separate categories or boxes. Women on the other hand, allow the varying aspects of their lives to interconnect and weave together like a plate of spaghetti noodles. Understanding this process will help communication and expectations immensely. It’s simple. When telling your man about your day, try and separate events with landmarks. “The morning as a drag until I got coffee, then I had lunch with Suzy. After lunch I….” By using words like until and after, your man’s brain is more easily able to separate events and is more likely to listen to your daily stories. This may sound condescending or far too simple, but these little changers in daily communication will help tremendously.  womens-picture_14

It also helps to simply keep in mind that men have to take some time “sorting through the boxes” to retrieve certain information. Depending on the man (and the season) the new football stats might be easier to find than the box marked “holidays with in-laws”. Patience will help here. Take time to remind him of important events, as the information will often be filed away quickly.

All of these tips may seem simple, but with a little insight into the mind of man, they will help in any relationship.

Building a relationship with your son takes both time and hard work on your part as the parent. These bonds can help your relationship last and survive through all the bickering and fighting of teenage rebellion and the separation that comes with adulthood.  Here are some ways to form such a lifetime bond with your son.

Spend the Time

womens-picture_48The main thing you can do to forge a bond with your son is spend time together.  Taking time away from your busy schedule on a regular basis to spend one-on-one time with your son is the best way to get to know him.  It is not so much about what you do together.  Instead, it is about just spending some time together.  You can watch sports, play catch, have a pizza party and work on a jigsaw puzzle.  This regular time together illustrates to your son that he is important as a person and that he with worth your time and effort.  As you spend this time together, you will get to know each other as people and not just as parent and child.

Don’t Just Lecture and Criticize

It can be hard sometimes to remember to take the time out to do more than correct, criticize and lecture your son.  All these talks are negative in nature, and there are only some many lectures your son will be able to listen to before he shuts you out and stops telling you about his life.  If every time you get together with your son you take the opportunity to point out what is wrong or how he can do better in school or with his behavior, it will fail to be a pleasant memory for your son.  Instead, make sure to spend your bonding time together when you aren’t mad or feeling critical.  To take this idea a step further, you can be sure to point out positive things to your son about his behavior, accomplishments or goals.  Even if you just tell your son how proud you are, how happy you are to have him in your life and how much you love him, these comments can go a long way to building his self-esteem and creating a loving bond.

Joint Adventureswomens-picture_03

Doing activities together creates a bond with your son that will come from these memories. These activities can encompass a number of things from working together on a joint project such as repairing the car or working in the yard to playing a board game or shooting some hoops.  It is also important sometimes to get out of the house and go on outings and experience something new together.  You need not spend a ton of money for a new experience.   Simply going fishing or taking a short daytrip to a nearby park or attraction can be an adventure.  A useful tip is to try to do an activity that your son suggests. Showing an interest in what your son considers important or of value can go a long way towards helping your son feel special.  These feelings of support and love will strengthen your bond.

Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto

You will Need:

  • 4 (6-ounce) fresh or frozen sustainable salmon fillets (such as wild Alaskan)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Cooking spray (any kind)
  • 1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 whole blanched almonds
  • 1 garlic clove (you can blanch the garlic by placing it in boiling water for 1 minute if you don’t like biting into raw garlic)

Place grill pan on medium-high heat, spray pan with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Evenly sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt onto your pieces of fish. Place fish in pan and cook each side for 4 minutes or until you feel the fish is done.
To make the pesto sauce: Combine the rest of the salt (1/4 teaspoon), peppers, tomato paste, olive oil, almonds and garlic into a blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth.

Serve the pesto over the fish. Add a side salad for a complete meal.

Chicken Fajitas

3 Simple Dinner Ideas You Will Need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, or a combination, cored and sliced
  • Salt, if desired
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder, or to taste
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) roasted whole chicken, chopped (you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken already cooked or frozen chicken strips to save time)
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas

Suggested toppings: salsa, sliced avocado or prepared guacamole, sour cream, sliced green onions, cheese, and jalapenos.

Roast whole chicken with seasonings of your choice or cut up rotisserie chicken to small pieces or cook frozen chicken strips according to package instructions.

Use a large skillet coated with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat over medium-high heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and optional salt for 3 minutes. Add in the seasonings and cook for an additional minute or until the vegetables reach the desired tenderness. After removing from the heat, mix in the lime juice and cilantro into the vegetables to taste.

Oil, lime juice and cilantro can be whisked together and drizzled over the chicken as a dressing.

Follow package instructions to heat tortillas.

Arrange the vegetables, tortillas, chicken and preferred toppings onto separate plates and allow individuals to fix their own tasty fajitas.

Rice Noodles with Sesame-Ginger Flank Steak

You Will Need:

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup (1/4-inch) slices red bell pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice noodles (about 8 ounces uncooked noodles)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

image_20151005_162027_5Cook rice noodles according to package instructions and set aside. Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, sugar, ginger, salt and garlic until the sugar dissolves.

Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet (nonstick) with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Cook half of the steak for 4 minutes or until brown and remove from pan and set aside. Repeat this method with the remaining steak. Cook the carrots, snap peas, bell pepper and bean sprouts in the pan with the vinegar mixture for 3 minutes and stir frequently. Add cooked steak and noodles into pan to cook for 1 minute, stir continuously. Onions and toasted sesame seeds can be added at this time or once on a plate ready to serve.

Day trips are a great way for families to spend time together away from their every day routines. Here are five ideas of great day trips to take with your family.

State Parks/National Landmarks

Families on a budget can find many activities and things to do for little to no cost at a variety of state parks and national landmarks. These adventures can be to historical sites rich in the history of heritage of a particular area, archaeological sites or monuments of cultural information on diverse populations.

There are opportunities to explore nature with trails, gardens, caves, springs and a variety of other natural wonders for the entire family to enjoy. Activities can include swimming, boating, kayaking, hiking, picnicking and rock climbing. This variety of sites and activities can engage and interest all ages.

Beach It

walking on a secluded beach
Take a walk on the beach, enjoy each other again!

If you are within a few hours from the coastline, you can always take a day trip to the beach on a warm day. There are lots of activities to do at the beach from swimming, jet skiing, surf lessons, beach volleyball, hunting for seashells, family picnics and building sandcastles.

Older teens and young adults can sunbath and read. Younger children can have fun playing in the sand. Even infants will enjoy seeing the ocean for the first time and getting their feet wet.

Amusement Parks

Though they can be relatively pricey, theme parks and amusement parks are popular day trips for families with children. Most theme parks have a variety of attractions for all ages. There are educational theme parks, family theme parks and regional parks.

Most theme parks have rides such as merry-go-rounds, roller coasters, trains and water rides. Some parks have cartoon or movie characters or special entertainment such as concerts, fireworks and theatrical performances. You can spend the entire day at a theme park in order to visit all the rides, shows, restaurants and shops.


Families can enjoy a nice day trip to area museums. There are several types of museums that appeal to families with children such as science museums that usually have a special area for children that involves hands on learning activities. Natural history museums can have exhibits on dinosaurs that appeal to children.

Some art museums may have art classes for children on certain days to give them an opportunity to create their own art. Adults will be able to find interesting exhibits and historical information while the kids are playing and engaging in their hands-on activities.

Flea Markets and Farmers Markets and Local Farms

Taking trips with your family is something that can strengthen everyone’s relationship with each other.

For a great weekend daytrip idea, try visiting flea markets, farmers markets and local farms within driving distance. These markets are becoming more and more popular, as families are becoming increasingly interested in eating local.

Activities for kids may include sampling local baked goods and finding vintage toys. Farmers markets often have local entertainment for all ages such as live bands or local artists. Local farms sometimes have activities, depending on the season, for families to participate in such as berry picking, pumpkin patches and hayrides.

These options offer different and unique activities for families to enjoy.

Whether you have been saving for years or ready for a spontaneous trip with that special someone, it’s time for a romantic getaway. Here we compiled a list of beautiful romantic getaways for you and your partner. This short list highlights unique, “off the beaten path” locations.

Copenhagen, Denmark

In the spirit of a dreamy gondola ride on the canals of Venice, consider the often overlooked city of Copenhagen. Offering the romantic canal scene that is so famous in Italy, the capital of Denmark is a beautiful city with dozens of museums, wondrous venues for street shopping, and several breathtaking castles to view. Couples can also spend time at Tivoli Gardens, a popular adventure park, where they can wander amongst the flowers or watch the fireworks as the sun sets. On top of all of this, Copenhagen offers theater, fine dining, and shopping.

The Resort At Paws Up, Montana

The Resort At Paws Up, Montana are a great place to vacation

With various couples packages available, the rustic resort at Paws Up Montana is a perfect resort for the outdoorsman (and outdoorswoman). Couples will enjoy fireside dinners under the stars, horseback riding, fly fishing and the choice between luxury cabins or the wonders of glamping (glamorous camping). One of the packages also includes a Ghost Town Tour, ATV rides and cliff rappelling, and even a hot air balloon ride.


A small territory on the south coast of Spain, Gibraltar is a beautiful city and a great destination for a weekend with a loved one. Known for the famous Rock of Gibraltar (a very large limestone ridge) this destination is brimming with natural phenomena.  From hikes to the top of Gibraltar Rock, to spelunking in caves, any adventurous soul will be thrilled to share this experience with the one they love. For those wanting to play it safe anywhere except the bedroom, there are plenty of places to go including six different beaches surrounding the area, any one of the exciting bars or dancing clubs, or even in search of live jazz bands.

Ultima Thule Lodge—Alaska

Ultima Thule Lodge—Alaska might be somewhere you want to visit

If playing cowboy in Montana is not your style, why not try the mountains of Alaska? The Ultima Thule Lodge in beautiful rural Alaska just might be the wilderness escape you need. This is a breathtaking location for a weekend of alone time with your partner. The wonderfully built cabins are tucked into a hillside and feature an open kitchen, and a gorgeous sitting room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the mighty Chitina River and a great view of the mountains. After a long afternoon of hiking, skiing, exploring, fishing or flying, you can relax with a romantic visit to the wilderness lodge’s wood-fired sauna.

Kelowna, British Columbia

Nothing says romance like a good glass of wine and a great view. Kelowna is a beautiful city in Southern British Columbia on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake. The city is surrounded by parks, pine forests, vineyards, mountains and orchards. You and your lover will have plenty to choose from on your romantic vacation. The downtown area hosts the waterfront City Park and a lakeside cultural district. Over 20 local vineyards offer wine tours and tastings. Besides the overflowing barrels of wine reminiscent of a biblical Promised Land, The city is home to outstanding golf courses, scenic trails, and an abundance of beach and water-based fun.

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