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Snuggle Buddies

On a cold night, besides a pillow and a warm blanket or a snug comforter, what would you need to sleep? Something you want to cuddle and snuggle to your chest all night.

We know that people either sleep alone or with someone. Either way, many feel better having a plush buddie with them for these reasons:

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The Saint of Ireland

Although history has been clouded by fiction, St. Patrick was believed to be British and born to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. At the age of sixteen, he was taken away from his family by Irish raiders attacking his family estate. During his captivity, he served as a shepherd in County Mayo where legends have said that he was being held. There in his loneliness and fear of his fate, he turned to religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. After more than six years of imprisonment, Patrick escaped with the help of Divine Providence. God spoke to him in a dream, guiding him to his way back to Britain. After escaping, he went back to his family and studied for priesthood. Not long after that, he recieved another dream – an angel telling him to return to Ireland to preach the Gospel. He heeded the call and returned to the land where he was once prisoner as a missionary to guide the people to the Christian Faith.


St. Patrick made the Celtic cross, adding a sun to the cross, incorporating the Irish belief in Celtic culture. The sun was believed to be a powerful symbol of fire which was used to honor their religion. He even used bonfires to celebrate Easter.

As people do with their beloved and honored kin, the Irish spread the story of St. Patrick, the exciting yet confusing mix of truth and fiction. According to one of these accounts, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick), and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland.belief in Celtic culture. The sun was believed to be a powerful symbol of fire which was used to honor their religion. He even used bonfires to celebrate Easter.

Interestingly enough, the island of Ireland was never a home to snakes as these creatures cannot survive the cold of the land. The “banishing of the snakes” was actually a metaphor to illustrate the parable of Patrick’s mission – the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within 200 years of his arrival, Ireland was c


ompletely Christianized.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, which is believed to be the day of his death in the fifth century. For over a thousand years, the Irish people have observed this day as a religious holiday. Irish families traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Even if St. Patrick’s Day falls during the Christian season of Lent, Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat are waived and people dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

With all these things, people have to bear in mind that St. Patrick’s Day is not just a holiday, it is a celebration of traditions and beliefs brought about by a history of the Irish people and the man who kindled the fire of Christianity in their hearts. More than a holiday to be celebrated annually, it is a commemoration of life.


Reading: A Pleasure, Not A Chore – Read Across America Day

Reading is not just the exercise of the mind, but an enjoyment of the heart and soul.
Every year on March 2nd Americans celebrate Read Across America Day to promote the value of reading to children. This date is the birthday of the renowned children’s author, Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do significantly better in school. It has become a mantra for adults to encourage children to read books as it is an important factor in student achievement. Moreover, the children will find joy in being lifelong successful readers.

Read Across America Day began with a small reading task force at the National Education Association in May 1997. Activities for children were started on March 2, 1998 and children now enjoy the largest celebration of reading America has ever seen.reading
Not only children benefit from NEA’s Read Across America, NEA gets everyone involved in the advocacy resources and activities they need to continue reading on the calendar 365 days a year. There have been many activities organized to promote and celebrate Read Across America, including reading plays or readers’ theatre, reading challenges to children, as well as adults reading to children. As it requires a strong community effort, all schools, libraries, community centers, churches, hospitals, bookstores, and other important institutions are encouraged to host local events to celebrate and promote children’s reading.

On Read Across America Day, children and adults rediscover the joys of reading with their companions – parents, family and friends – amidst the fast-paced world of the 21st Century. They need to see that books are not just requirements in school, but are some of the best things you can enjoy in life.

reading1Remember that every day is a day to read books with relish, with a certain form of love that can only be felt when you read the kind of books you love and feel connected to. So enjoy life and books. Live, love, read, dear friends. Read Across America is just one day to celebrate reading, but you can make any day the best when you finish reading a book that you have admired and loved.

Proud to be free and Texan

“They do things big in Texas.” Texans have pride in their own land, as Texas is the second largest state, next to Alaska. Nothing is greater for Texans to boast than the history of the strength that made Texas proudly free. As they would always quip, “One who is not from Texas can’t really understand the pride in being Texan…”

Texas became an independent state in 1856 as it defected from Mexican rule. In commemoration of this independence, Texans mark their calendars on the second of March for Texas Independence Day. Even though many may pass the day off as an ordinary day, it has a certain meaning that bears no equal to other events.


On this day, Texans should remember the past efforts of our forefathers and be inspired to make Texas a better place. This commemorates the event where Texans finally found the independence from their colonizers – through a communal effort that led to harmony and understanding among the people.

How it Happened

In Washington, fifty-nine representatives congregated and voted into existence a sovereign nation: the Republic of Texas. The Texas Declaration of Independence was drafted by the Tennessean George C. Childress, inspired by the 1776 American Declaration of Independence. According to this document, Mexico had “ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people” and committed “arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny.” They wanted their own people governing their land rather than foreigners who may or may not care for their welfare.

Texas survived a decade as a thriving republic in the midst of states in North America. It thrived very well and was even renowned as the only state that went with the United States of America not by territorial annexation, but through a thorough treaty agreement in 1845.

Celebrating Texas Pride

On March 2, the official state holiday honoring historic Texas, many activities take place with numerous parades, festivals and even a complete historical reenactment of the event.

Annually, people go to reenact and see the historic event in the exact site where 49 delegates signed the famous Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Most Texans fire off a round of muskets and cannons and simply enjoy being proudly free and Texan. They can visit Haley Memorial Library and History Center in Midland that showcases Texan independence history, including the original bell that hung in the Alamo.

59 Texans signed off Mexico’s power over their land and declared their independence more than a hundred years ago. It gave birth to a state that was not only brave but resilient and determined to make Texans proudly free.

Proper Sitting Posture

Poor posture has lasting effects that can have significantly alter the quality of life. Today we will review the important keys to correct posture. It is somewhat akin to dieting, we all know what we should do but we still do not do to.  (How many people know they should not cross their legs but still do?)

The keys to proper posture:

Make sure your chair fits correctly. There should be 2 inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knees. Ideally the chair should tilt back so you can rest while you are reading what’s on the computer screen.

Sit with your knees at approximately a 90 to 120 degree angle. Using an angled foot rest to support your feet may help you sit more comfortably.

Position your computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below eye level, and make sure you have adequate lighting.

Make sure there is no glare; use an antiglare screen if necessary.

Keep your wrists in the neutral position, not angled up or down, while you type. A wrist rest can help you keep a more neutral wrist posture. Keep your elbow angle within a 70 to 135 degree range.

Take periodic breaks, Clench you hands in a fist and move your hands like this: 10 circles in, then 10 circles out. Put your hands in a praying position and squeeze for 10 seconds, then “pray” with the backs of your hands together, fingers pointed downward for 10 seconds.  Spread your fingers apart and then close them one by one.

Do the “hug your best friend” stretch a couple of times. Stand and wrap your arms around your body and turn as far as you can to the left, then to the right.

Now that we know what we should do, how many of us are going to follow these instructions? Let us know!

Playmobil – The Toys Made For Success

Playmobil is the brainchild of Hans Beck, the German inventor who lived the dream he once had as a boy, and strived to fulfill the dreams of children. As head of development in the toy making company, Brandstätter, he developed a line of high quality yet safe toys for the children’s market.


Playmobil toys were originally designed for children from toddlers to twelve-year-old schoolchildren. Even if Brandstätter believed that older children were no longer inclined to this type of toy, many of these youth loved Playmobil and never got over the fun of it from their childhood. Even a large number of adults have their prized collections of Playmobil which are widespread on the Internet. Many have created fan clubs and groups, where they organize various events and programs to show their huge support.

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Monopoly: The Most Popular Game in History

I recently found myself playing a game of monopoly with my family. A game I haven’t played since I was a kid, I didn’t even remember the concept! I decided I would learn as we played. What I realized was that the more I learned, the less I wanted to play.



Monopoly is a game that really makes you think.

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Conviction is Success with Russ Berrie

The lottery of birth does not seal one’s fate. The poor do not stay poor forever if they dedicate themselves to improve their lives. Even though you are born without the proverbial silver spoon or a social pedigree, you can still dream big dreams. You need the conviction that people can achieve their dreams through the power of determination.

Russ Berrie was born to a simple family in New York City in the Bronx. His father owned a small jewelry business but Berrie was driven to be more successful than his father and brothers. His first attempt at business was when he was ten years old.

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Achieve Success!

Gary Player (Hall of Fame Golfer) lives by these 10 Commandments, enabling success the escape placeachieved by very few.

A good lesson for everyone!

  1. Change is the price of survival.
  2. Everything in business is negotiable, except quality.
  3. A promise made is a debt incurred.
  4. For all we take in life we must pay.
  5. Persistence and common sense are more important than intelligence.
  6. The fox fears not the man who boasts by night but the man who rises early in the morning.
  7. Accept the advice of the man who loves you, though you like it not at present.
  8. Trust instinct to the end, though you cannot render any reason.
  9. The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but that while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night.
  10. There is no substitute for personal contact.


All content © 2011 Black Knight International

Time To Lose Those 10 Pounds

Spring is almost here. Time to lose those 10 pounds you added during the winter. By now everyone should have figured out their workout, purchased their spiffy new workout 10poundsclothes and planned their diet. Now it is time to commit.

I enjoy going to the gym so for me it is the dieting part that is hard. In the interest of full disclosure I have decided to list the ten foods that are the hardest for me to give up. We would love for our readers to join in the conversation and let us know what the hardest foods for them to give up are.

My list (not necessarily in order of difficulty)

  1. York peppermint patties
  2. Margaritas
  3. Oatmeal raisin cookies
  4. Cinnamon raisin bagels
  5. Pizza
  6. Glazed donuts
  7. Rocky road ice cream
  8. Nachos
  9. Ritz crackers with slices of cheddar cheese
  10. Anything chocolate

My other bad habits are eating before I go to bed and eating when I am not really hungry. I also eat too fast and the feeling of fullness is slower than I eat so I usually overeat and then feel really full

I feel cleansed by revealing my weaknesses to the world. Will it make a difference? We will see.