Essential Oils To Diffuse For Stress Reduction

Who isn’t stressed out these days? We’re living in a fast paced, high energy world. Whether you’re feeling stress from work, school, family, friends or relationships, it’s everywhere. Luckily, essential oils can be a fantastic way to ease that tension in your home.

What Are Essential Oils: Essential oils have so many benefits. Not only do many of them smell wonderful but they can have a positive impact on your health. If you aren’t sure what they are, essential oils are organic compounds that have been extracted from plants and are said to have a number of healing properties. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for healing purposes which can include physical, mental and emotional health.

Healing plant oils have been used for over thousands years by many different cultures. They have a number of uses including relaxation and stress reduction, natural body care, natural home cleaning as well as for natural medicine as directed by a qualified provider.

One drop of an essential oil is extremely concentrated. Therefore, A little goes a long way when using these oils. They are normally created through process of distillation and have been extracted directly from a plant or tree.

How Essential Oils Can Be Used:

1. Aromatically – This would be through the process of diffusion in order to defuse the essential oil into the air. Inhalation of these oils is then thought to be absorbed by the bloodstream. Not only do you get the health benefits, but you also get a great smelling home.

2. Body Care – Homemade body care is a fantastic way to add an oil to your daily routine. The oils are added into these products and absorbed by the skin when applied topically. Is homemade products can include body lotions, shampoo and conditioner, dental care as well as lip balm and more.

3. Ingestion – Ingestion of these oils should be used with some caution and generally is recommended only with the guidance of a qualified practitioner. Some oils like lemon, frankincense, peppermint and oregano can be taken with water but should be diluted.

Combinations For Stress Reduction: While there are many ways to use essential oils, in this article, I’m talking about diffusion into the air. It’s a perfect way to enjoy a calming environment in the comfort of your own home. Plus, it’s nice to smell a calming, relaxing scent when you enter your home.

Approximately 10 drops of each oil in your diffuser with water is sufficient. You may decide you like a stronger or lighter scent so some experimenting may be needed. I suggest purchasing your favorite, preferred high quality brand. There are many but Rocky Mountain Oils, DoTerra and Auracacia are a few wonderful brands. Make sure when purchasing any of these oils the ingredient list is ONLY the oil you are wanting to use without carrier oils included.

My favorite essential oil combinations:

Lavender + Orange

Lavender – Soothes and calms an overstimulated nervous system and balance everyday stress and tension.

Orange – Orange Essential Oil provides a calming yet joyful effect; it can help to clear stagnant thoughts, reduce nervousness and tension, and strengthen focus.

Lavender + Grapefruit

Lavender – Soothes and calms an overstimulated nervous system and balance everyday stress and tension.

Grapefruit – Promotes balance from everyday mental fatigue, tension, and stress while also relieving feelings of exhaustion due to jet lag.

Ylang Ylang + Lavendar

Ylang Ylang – Soothe the mind and calm the nervous system and reduce mental fatigue.

Lavender – Soothes and calms an overstimulated nervous system and balance everyday stress and tension.

Ylang Ylang + Cinnamon

Ylang Ylang – Soothe the mind and calm the nervous system and reduce mental fatigue.

Cinnamon – Support healthy blood sugar levels, Increase the efficacy of other essential oils and Sustain a healthy, balanced endocrine system.

Frankincense + Pine

Frainkincense – The warm oil not only promotes a healthy immune system, it also supports digestive function, helping to relieve bloat in the abdomen, while promoting healthy urinary and respiratory systems.

Pine – Encouraging positive and calming emotions.

Keeping Bandages Dry When Showering

 Whenever you try to shower while wearing a dressing it’s quite a challenge. You already know it will be necessary to substitute it with a clean dry one later. How are you supposed to keep clean if the doctor has told you to keep the bandage dry? Avoid annoying soggy surgical dressings and think about using some of these methods of keeping bandages dry when you are in the shower.  

1. Consider putting on a plastic bag. By placing your dressing or plaster cast into a plastic bag, you can avoid it getting wet. Be sure there are no holes in the plastic, then put arm or leg through the opening. Use strong adhesive tape such as duct tape to secure the top portion and prevent any leaks. If you need to keep a bandaged hand dry in the shower, protect it with a rubber glove secured with waterproof tape to avoid leaks.  

2. Try plastic wrap. If the placement of the dressing means a bag is no use, try plastic wrap. You should ask a friend to help you with wrapping up your dressing with plastic wrap and in taping around the edges. You must be certain to wrap a place bigger than the bandage.  

3. A condom is an imaginative way to protect! When you need to keep a dressing on your finger or your toe, put a condom over the bandage and use waterproof tape to seal up the ends. (Make sure, though, that your rubber isn’t lubricated!)  

4. Buy a proper covering for the dressing. A shower bandage cover is a good investment if you are expecting to wear large ones for an extensive period of time. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to keep your dressing completely dry in the shower you can use the ‘Shower Sleeve’, which works well and is under ten dollars. The packages include all that is needed to keep your injury dry while it gets better.  

5. Think about a sponge bath. If you actually think it is too hard to keep dry bandages while you take a shower, maybe you should think about trying another method to clean yourself. If the position of the bandage allows, you can sit in your bathtub without inserting the injured part of your body. Equally, possibly all you need to do is have one leg out of the shower cubicle as you speedily wash the rest of yourself. All you then have to do is wipe off your leg with a cloth. While somewhat uncomfortable, it will enable you to keep the dressing dry while you get clean.

Check Out The Wonders Of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is the essential oil coming from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. This species is unique to Australia and native to Northern New South Wales. This tree has very strong therapeutic and medicinal values ​​which are found in its oil, which is obtained through steam distillation from the leaves of the tea tree. It has powerful antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties, making it very versatile. This is why some people have called it the "wonder oil for the skin from down under." Another neat fact about tea tree oil is that it is the only essential oil, except for lavender, that can be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil. This aboriginal Australian traditional medicine is used for bruises, insect bites, and skin infections. Since tea tree oil is a strong 100% pure concentrate, very little is needed to achieve results. Therefore, it should be used very sparingly. Tea tree oil contains 48+ compounds, with the main 1 beiing terpinen-4-ol. This is what is responsible for tea tree oil's antibacterial and antifungal properties.

We can be thankful for the Bundjalung aborigines of Northern New South Wales. They were the first to believe that tea tree leaves had tremendous healing properties. Then in 1923 Dr. AR Penfold discovered that tea tree oil is 13 times stronger than an antiseptic bacteriacide than carbolic acid (the universal standard at that time). Big things finally happened in the 1930's to help advance the use of tea tree oil. In 1930 tea tree oil began being applied to pus-filled infections because of its effectiveness and the fact that it promotes the growth and repair of healthy tissue, which lessens the chance of scarring. It was also in 1930 that The Medical Journal of Australia writes its first report on tea tree oil. Finally in 1939 tea tree oil reaches its potential as it is used on World War II soldiers as a disinfectant.

You should understand that tea tree oil is a 100% natural product and thus it is entirely environmentally friendly. Plantation owners even go so far as to carefully manage the growth of the trees to ensure that the natural environment remains undisturbed. The leaves are then steamed in order to derive the oil which is extremely safe for topical use, however oral ingestion is not recommended. While there have been some occurrences of allergic reactions to tea tree oil, their incidence is extremely low when compared to synthetic products. So, considering that there are no side effects and a great rate of cases in which this oil has proved to be more than beneficial, it is no wonder that Australia exports tea tree oil to so many countries which provides a valuable boost to this country's exporters .

The oil found in the cells of the leaves of the tea tree, which grows in Northern New South Wales and Australia, is a natural antiseptic. It is a great anti-bacterial which kills a broad spectrum of bacteria and a range of stubborn fungi like athlete's foot. While aboriginals have been using tea tree oil for thousands of years, today there is not a household in Australia that does not have tea tree oil in its medicine cabinet. This is because tea tree oil is helpful in numerous ways, including: bad breath, acne and blemishes, athlete's foot, and muscle pain, just to name a few.

Tea tree oil is more commonly known as Melaleuca alternifolia. This native Australian plant has a numerous remarkably properties since when it's crushed and distilled, its leaves yield a 100% natural oil which is an antiseptic, a fungicide, and a mild solvent. When crushed, the tea tree oil yields terpinen-4-ol (typically 30-40%) which is what makes it antibacterial and antifungal. This completely natural product has a variety of uses, some of which include: medicinal purposes (ie infections, minor burns, sunburn, cuts, abrasions, grazes, sore throats, sunburn, ulcers, cold sores, pimples, acne, zits, spots) , skin care and hygiene (found in ie deodorants, soaps, hand creams and lotions, toothpastes, mouthwash, sore throat lozenges, facial cleansers and used to treat ie psoriasis, dry skin rashes, fight bad breath, foot odor, athlete's foot, nail infections, thrush, rashes, and acne), hair care (ie anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners, treatments for damaged hair), pet care (ie dog shampoo), miscellaneous uses (ie insect repellent, relief of arthritic symptoms), and for relieving the itch from insect bites and stings. Of course, numerous other applications of tea tree oil are also still being discovered. Some of these most recent discoveries include tea tree oil helping with mouth ulcers, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, fatigue, respiratory infections, strengthening the immune system and the female reproductive system, lice, gingivitis, and female vaginal problems.

Oral Sex And Throat Cancer

Many people are still led by the belief that oral sex is free from any kind of risk. But, experts opine that even oral sex has its own risks and sometimes these risks are quite enormous. On hearing the term oral sex, some people think that it bereft any significant enjoyment, while a few others believe that it is very safe and can be compared to the next stage of sexual abstinence. But oral sex is not abstinence, it is just another form of sex and believe me you that you stand a chance [though a relatively lower chance] of contacting STDs and some other diseases through oral sex and even scarier is the link between oral sex and throat cancer. YES! You can get throat cancer from oral sex, says American Cancer Society Chief Medical Officer Otis Brawley, MD.

It’s not oral sex, per se, that causes cancer, but the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can be passed from person to person during sex, including oral sex.

Researchers have found that some cancers of the Oropharynx (the middle of the throat) and Tonsils are probably caused by a certain type of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is common, but it doesn’t always cause cancer. If you aren’t exposed to HPV during cunninlingus, you’re not at risk for cancer.

Brawley says that hints of a link between HPV and Oropharyngeal cancer came in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Researchers noticed an increase in this kind of cancer among people who hadn’t been very prone to it before. In the early 2000s, scientists were able to use advanced DNA testing to find HPV 16 in many of these newer cancers. Brawley determined that sexual activity must be involved. Both men and women can have HPV infection in the throat. It doesn’t discriminate against gender. Although performing oral sex on a male partner without a condom is riskier than other forms- Terri Warren, RN, owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Portland. Other risks involved with oral sex include:

  1. If any one of the partners has mouth ulcers, it can cause pathogens to enter the body even before you realize it.
  2. In a few cases, if the woman is menstruating, then the man can contract infections or germs easily.
  3. Licking areas like the anus in case of oro-anal sexual relationship exposes one to the risk of ingesting (swallowing) germs.

With more people engaging in oral sex and more people are contacting STDs through it. It is absolutely essential (if you want a healthy sex life) for you know how to have oral sex safely – for you and your partner.


  • Keep semen and vaginal fluids out of your mouth.
  • Make sure that your mouth is healthy and that you don’t have bleeding gums, cuts, or mouth sores, because the presence of blood will increase your risk.

On a Woman

In order to keep vaginal fluids out of your mouth:

  • Purchase a dental dam
  • Use a piece of plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) as a barrier between the mouth and the vagina, or
  • Cut an un-lubricated condom into a latex square.

On a Man

In order to keep cum out of your mouth:

  • Use an un-lubricated, non-spermicidal condom
  • Use Flavored condoms


Test Yourself- There are many state-of-the-art technologies available in the market today to make sure that you are confident while engaging in sex. Once you come up negative in the results of these tests, you can rest assured that you are not a carrier of any infections. Hence, your partner can also be at peace.

Never go overboard- the fact that you and/or your partner is using condom or dermis gum doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind remember that condom, if stretched too much can tear. Be cautious.

Good Hygiene- of cause you must learn to take proper care of yourself wash and clean your body regularly especially your genitals.

Recent studies have revealed that even a small cut or sore in your mouth can trigger the possibility of coming in contact with germs that can cause infections like genital warts or herpes. Parts like penis or anus are areas that can contain a lot of germs. Hence, you need to exercise care and caution while practicing oral sex

Lastly but most importantly, stick to one partner- The more partners you have the higher your risk of being infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases {STDs}. Having many sex partners doesn’t make you the ALPHA MALE/FEMALE- it only makes you a sex freak (excuse the expression). Be Wise, Play Safe and Stay Healthy.

Harmful Effects of Cigarette Smoking

Health and medical organizations, from all across the globe, have found strong and sound evidences, that cigarette smoking can cause a number of severe health problems. Latest studies have revealed that people, who smoke cigarettes, possess very high chances of suffering from lung cancer, in comparison to those who are nonsmokers. Other critical health problems, which can be triggered by cigarette smoking, are lung, throat and oral cancer, as well as various other types of illnesses, such as emphysema, smoker's cough, loss of endurance and stamina, premature wrinkles, decline in libido and blotshot eyes.

Researches have confirmed the fact, that in reality, a single cigarette stick contains approximately 4,000 different types of chemicals and among them 60 types of chemicals have been identified to cause cancer. The majority of individuals believe that lung cancer is the only major disease, which is caused due to cigarette smoking. However, they are not aware of the fact that apart from lung cancer, smoking is also liable for causing other fatal ailments leads like bladder, pancreatic, cervix esophageal and kidney cancer.

Nicotine, a chemical widely found in cigarettes, is extremely addictive as well as poisonous. Pets and toddlers can even die, if by accident they swallow cigarettes or cigarettes butts. Moreover, the smoke emitted by cigarettes, consist of deadly, carcinogenic compounds, like radon and radium, which are found to be responsible for causing lung cancer. Cigarette smoking also significantly raises the blood pressure level and the heartbeat, which happens primarily due to the presence of nicotine, which stimulates the central nervous system. Smoking also reduces the oxygen amount that travels to the brain. It also leads to blood coagulation, which in turn gains the possibility of blood clots. Excessive clotting of blood leads to different cardiovascular diseases, like strokes and heart attacks.

Tar produced by the smoke gets deposited inside the lungs, which in turn causes harm to the air sacs, resulting in various lung problems, in due course. Emphysema is a major lung disorder caused because of cigarette smoking. This type of ailment weakens the lung tissues and cause damages to the capillaries, which sustain as well as nourish the alveoli. Due to emphysema, the lungs airways collapse during expiration.

Smoking is also considered to be extremely harmful for women. It only triggers various health problems among women but also cause harm to their physical appearance, by producing premature wrinkles. It is exceptionally dangerous for pregnant women, since passive smoking can induce miscarriages. If a woman smokes during her pregnancy, there is a higher risk for her child getting exposed to the adverse effects of smoking.

So, in order to live a fit and healthy life, it is advisable to quit smoking cigarettes, forever.

What Foods Will Make You Jump Higher? You Might Be Surprised!

If you are into basketball, volleyball, track, or any other sport, you NEED to be able to jump high. There are many diets that promise to improve your athletic abilities, but I have found only one diet that works. Here are a couple aspects of that diet and the benefits of each.

Eat Fat!

This sounds shocking to most athletes.  I’m not saying that you should eat a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken every night.  There is one type of fat that is very beneficial to improving quickness and strength: Omega-3 fat.  This unique fat is found in fish, nuts, some eggs and some whole wheat breads.  

Omega-3 is important to an athletes diet because of the actual cell improvement that it provides.  Omega-3 fats give every cell in your body elasticity which is a crucial part of injury prevention.  The less time your spend injured or sore, the more time you have to focus on exercising to improve your vertical leap.  Omega-3 gives you the energy that you need to perform your workouts at optimum levels.  

High Carbs!

For some reason people like to go on a low carb diet.  This does not work for athletes.  Think of carbs as gas in a car.  Without gas, the car can’t go.  It is the same way with our bodies.  You must take in high amounts of carbs in order to have the energy to improve jumping.  

There are carbs that you want to stay away from though.  Anything that is not 100% whole grain contains starchy carbs.  These starchy carbs can quickly convert to glucose and that just adds fat to your body.  Eating 100% whole wheat breads will give you quick burning, but long lasting carbs and energy.

Keep in mind that no matter what you eat, you will not improve your vertical jump height without a solid exercise plan.  

Rewriting Your Life Story

While going through a high period of stress your mind and body are often geared towards responding in fight or flight mode. Due to how pressured you feel, you reach a point where you are determined to change yourself to suit the circumstances better. Even after doing so, when you see no change in the behaviour of others or the situation, you decide that the only option left is to exit the situation and begin again.

This sounds like an effective step and in many cases, it is one that works. However, your life may not always have space and opportunity for you to remove yourself from a troublesome situation for good. When this happens, how can you address your mind’s monologue that has decided that everything has been tried and giving up is the only option left?

Wouldn’t it be better to develop an alternative narrative where you are kinder to yourself? Here are some ways to actively change how you tell yourself and others your story:

1. Use externalising language – The issue you are facing is not who you are, it is separate from your self-worth and capabilities, it does not define you in any way. It is something that is happening to you and affecting you.”When this happens to me I get (… )”, “This doesn’t occur often but at certain times it decides to (… )”, “It is very troubling and unsettling” are some examples of externalising language.

2. Considering social and political issues at play – Is this issue something many others are also facing? Look at what factors of this day and age make it possible for this problem to have the power it does over so many people.

3. Unique outcomes – Have there been times in your life prior to this when a different issue with similar qualities or similar stressors sprung up? If yes, how did you deal with it? Were there previous times when you were able to manage an older issue better than you are managing the current one? Look at what were some of the things you did then that could help you now. Doing this will help you figure out that you probably already have the resources to handle the issue.

4. Find a support system – It is important to have friends who are familiar with how you are rewriting your story and changing your narrative. Sharing your strengths that have helped you combat older issues before can lead to instances where your friends are able to remind you of these resources in times of distress. Sharing with them your new way of talking about the issue is also relevant because it decides how others talk to you about it, how you talk about it in the future, how they offer suggestions and inquire about your well being.

5. Expressive arts (e.g. painting and dance), and journaling are activities that continue to help in externalising the issue. This way, the effects of the issue do not seep into your personality as something that you find yourself constantly thinking about. The energy put into these activities is a way to channel your thoughts creatively, to give yourself the freedom and peace of mind you need to see things objectively and with much required distance.

These activities can help you in stopping to see yourself as the key reason that leads to disaster. By doing this, you are more likely to find hope and motivation to improve those parts of your life that you find are most affected by the issues you face.

Top Benefits of Almonds You Must Know

Almonds are the oldest and most widely grown nuts in the world. Incorporating them into your diet will add value to your total wellness and this piece tends to expose the great benefits you can derive from doing this.

Almonds contain healthy fats that give your body the necessary energy and fuel it needs for daily activities. It is important to note that not all fat makes you fat. There are bad fats like trans fats (found in fried, fatty foods) which are not that good for the body. But there are good ones that are very essential for your survival and wellbeing.

Furthermore, eating almonds lowers your risk of having a heart attack. They help in reducing bad cholesterol levels and prevent dangerous blood clotting. They contain flavonoids which prevent the artery wall from damage and work with other vitamins to boost the cardiovascular system. Research shows that the consumption of nuts at least five times every week reduces the risk having a heart attack by 50%.

It has also been proved that almonds help in keeping the blood sugar levels regulated and prevent the insulin from spiking when they are taken after meals. They are a great snack for those who want to stay away from sugary, processed foods. They can also help you to reduce your craving for sugary snacks if you take them during the day.

In addition, almonds contain phosphorus which is very essential in building as well as maintaining strong bones and phosphorus also helps in strengthening your teeth. Almonds are also good for your brain. They contain vitamin E, riboflavin and L-carnitine which are nutrients that help in maintaining cognitive abilities through aging. They boost the overall brain activity and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

It is generally agreed that diseases cannot thrive in an alkaline environment, hence, your body needs to be slightly more alkaline than acidic and maintaining this pH is very vital for feeling good and living free of illness. The good news here is that almonds are one of the only nuts that have an alkalizing effect on your body.

Almonds can be taken raw, soaked and in powdery form. Their oil is well-known in ayurvedic cooking because of its smoothness and soft flavour. Their flour is a great alternative for cooking as well as baking because it bakes more easily and has a great taste. Their milk can also be an alternative for you if you really need to stay away from animal milk.

Cushing’s Disease

As our horses enjoy a longer life and many live well into old age so the number of horses with Cushing increases as its more common in older horses especially ponies. It can however affect all breeds and ages.

Cushing is caused by an abnormality of the pituitary gland that is situated at the base of the brain. This causes it to produce excessive amount of a hormone called cortisone, which is the body’s natural steroid hormone.

Signs of Cushing

· Long thick curly coat, which may not shred.

· They may grow their winter coat very early or shred it early as the swelling at the gland puts pressure on the part of the brain that is responsible for seasonal hair loss

· An increase risk of laminitis

· Excessive drinking and urinating

· Increase appetite

· Raised heart rate

· Muscle wasting

· In mares their cycle may be abnormal

· Mare may not be able to conceive

· Lethargy

· Weight loss

Over a period of time an affected horse will show some or all of the above signs which are listed.


Within the brain a substance called Dopamine is naturally produce which prevents the over production of hormones. There is another natural substance called Serotorum which has the opposite effect and produces to much cortisone.

Treatment will consist of using a drug which mimics Dopamine the most commonly used one is Pergolide which is given in tablet form or using a drug one of the most promising being Trilostane that will block Serotorum.

Your vet will decide on which cause of treatment will be most suitable for your horse or pony. Both types of treatment will bring about the same results, keeping the amount of cortisone produce under control.


The increase in cortisone in the body is similar to the effect of stress so to manage the condition we need to reduce stress levels as much as possible.

· Keep to a strict routine

· Ensure a comfortable quiet haven for the horse

· Avoid turning out with aggressive horses

· Keep feed and water easily located

· Clip out and rug in winter

· Groom well to help minimize skin diseases

· Keep hooves in good condition

· Check for signs of laminitis

· Minimize contact with new horses

· Immunize regularly

· Have regular dentist checks

· Feed only high quality easily digestible food

Treatment and management will be life-long as there is no cure for the condition. I know from my own experience as I had a old pony called Ringo who suffer with Cushing for many years but still live to the grand old age of 35 that horses can live a comfortable life for many years.

The most serious complication is laminitis and this must be manage carefully

All the best


Bocce Ball Sets – Different Materials Result in Different Qualities

Bocce ball sets represent equipment sold to people who play the sport of bocce. A set generally comes with eight bocce balls, a smaller ball called a pallino, a generic rule book, and a carrying bag or case. In the below paragraphs, we will cover the three main categories of bocce sets and their differences.

Composite Resin Bocce Ball Sets

The highest quality and most expensive bocce ball sets are made of composite resin. Resin most commonly comes in two forms, natural and synthetic. Natural resin comes from plants and is sticky and durable when dried. Pine sap is an example of a natural resin. Synthetic resin is a manufactured resin. Synthetic resin is more stable and cheaper than natural resin because it is easier to refine and created in a controlled environment.

Because composite resin is more durable than plastic, resin sets are more expensive. They typically start around $60 and run well north of $100. They are most commonly purchased by serious players that play in tournaments and leagues on a regular basis.

Plastic Molded Bocce Ball Sets

Plastic molded bocce ball sets are sets made of plastic. They are not as durable as resin-based sets and are more prone to cracking and splitting under heavy use. They typically range between $30 and $50. They are commonly purchased by casual players consisting of families and friends that enjoy playing bocce in the backyard as well as players looking for a cheap entry into the sport.

Water-Filled Bocce Ball Sets

Water-filled bocce ball sets are self-explanatory. They are made of molded plastic, but with a twist. Instead of being solid, the centers of the balls are hollow. To weigh down the balls and allow for play, the player fills them with water.

Water-filled sets are inexpensive and usually cost $40 or less including shipping. They are relatively cheap for a few reasons. First, they are made of molded plastic. Plastic is inexpensive to use in manufacturing once the dyes are created and paid for. Secondly, the inside of the balls are hollow, requiring less plastic to manufacture. As with the plastic molded sets listed above, water-filled bocce sets are generally purchased by casual players that want to enjoy playing bocce with friends and family and not pay north of $100 to do it.


The above three categories represent most of the available bocce sets on the market today. Wood, glow sets, and indoor cushion sets also exist and can be purchased, but represent the niche markets of bocce sets. When choosing a bocce set for purchase, the above categories will help in determining if you need to purchase a high quality, expensive set or a lower quality, inexpensive set.

The Surprising Benefits of A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is one of the best things for our health, and waking up after a good night’s sleep can leave us refreshed, energised and ready for the day.

However, sleep is one of the things that can often be overlooked in today’s society, even though there are a number of surprising benefits of a good night’s sleep. According to sleep expert Shawn Stevenson, millions of us are chronically sleep-deprived today. He goes on to say that sleep deprivation can lead to immune system failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, and memory loss just to name a few.

He says the best time to go to sleep is by 10pm, which is the time that melatonin kicks in for adults and you begin to feel sleepy. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles. It is between 10pm and 2am that you get the best quality of sleep, and your body repairs itself.

There is also an economic impact of lack of sleep. The Sleep School (, says that “poor sleep costs the economy £40 billion each year”. The Rand Report (2016) looks in detail at the economic impact of too little sleep.

Sleep has been shown to help with the conversion of short-term memories into long-term memories, and assist with our level of creativity. cites that researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found “people seem to strengthen the emotional components of memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.”

It also sites a Stanford University study linking 10+ hours per night of sleep with increased performance, more stamina and less daytime fatigue among college football players.

For me personally, it’s only been recently that I’ve really started to understand the surprising benefits of a good night’s sleep. Before changing my sleep habits and going to bed much earlier, I found, most of the time, I would feel lethargic during the day, was constantly exhausted, and had limited focus.

Going to bed before midnight and having between seven and nine hours sleep on average means I now have more energy during the day, better focus and I’m more productive than before.

Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on our cognitive functions, mood and over time can contribute to chronic conditions from CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) to cancer. Research suggests the optimum amount of sleep we need per night is 7-10 hours.

So try this for the next seven days:

1. Go to bed before midnight and get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping at least take the opportunity to rest your body as much as you can in bed.

2. Keep a note over the week of how you feel, how you function during the day and how you interact with those around you

3. At the end of the week reflect on what you need to do to improve your pattern of sleep

Sleep well!

Melanoma Cancer

Melanoma is a skin disease where cancerous cells grow in the melanocytes, the cells that generate skin color. Melanoma is either known as malignant melanoma or cutaneous melanoma.

Of all types of skin cancer plaguing mankind, melanoma is considered the most serious. The epidermis, or the topmost layer of the skin, contains three types of cells liable to become cancerous. Those are squamous cells, basal cells and melanocytes. Squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer are known as non-melanoma skin cancers. They are more widespread than melanoma. Melanoma, which is relatively less common than the other two, is indubitably more serious and complicated to treat than either squamous cell cancer or basal cell cancer.

Though it is normally found in adults, melanoma can be sporadically spotted in children and young people. The cancer generally grows in an already existing mole or a new mole that appears on the skin. Men commonly get melanomas on the area between the hips and the shoulders, the neck or the head. Women, on the other hand, contract the disease mostly on the arms of the legs. In exceptional cases, it can grow in body parts that are not covered by the skin, such as mouth, eyes, large intestines or vagina.

Melanoma can be cured if diagnosed early. Unlike other types of skin cancer, however, it can rapidly reach other parts of the body through the lymph system or the blood. Melanoma is responsible for about 80% of deaths occurring from skin cancer, although it constitutes less than 5% of all skin cancer cases. In the United States, the reported number of melanoma cases is growing alarmingly.

The Health Dangers of Sugary Sodas

How Popular are Sodas

Today, in the United States, sugary sodas are taking the place of healthier drinks like milk. There are lots of television and radio ads about sodas trying to get your attention to buy their sodas, but what they don’t tell you is how bad they are for you. These sodas, filled with sugar, cause not only weight gain, but type 2 diabetes as well. People who consume 1-2 cans per day of sugar, sodas have a 26% higher risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease along with obesity according to Harvard University.

How Much Sugar in Sodas

In a 20 ounce bottle of one sugar, soda it has 16-20 teaspoons of sugar. However, millions of Americans drink more than one 20 ounce bottle of soda per day. The more cans or bottles you drink, the more sugar you consume, which leads to weight gain. Some people believe that sodas fill you up, but they don’t. In fact, sugar increases hunger that leads to obesity. Suppose you had a high-calorie meal at McDonald’s with a sugar drink, you increased your calorie intake even more, up to over a 1000 calories.

Obesity is on The Increase

In the United States, 2 out of 3 adults are obese and 1 out of 3 children are also obese from drinking sugary drinks and that number will continue to increase over time. If you want to decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, then stop drinking these high-fructose sodas. Instead, choose healthy drinks like milk or sparkling water. That way you will lower your risk of adult-onset diabetes.

Sugar Turns Into Fat in The Liver

Sugar is composed of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Glucose metabolizes every cell in your body while fructose metabolizes only in your liver. When we consume these sugary sodas, our liver becomes overloaded and, as a result, the liver will store more fat, which makes us overweight. Some of the fat turns into high triglycerides (fats in the blood) that can lead to heart disease over time.

Increases Belly Fat

Sugar, especially fructose, stores body fat around your belly and other organs as well called visceral fat. During a 10 week study, 32 people drank two kinds of beverages, either glucose or fructose. People who drank glucose beverages had only subcutaneous fat (not related to metabolic diseases) while on the other hand, people who drank high-fructose sodas, had an increase of visceral fat that leads to metabolic diseases.

High Fructose Drinks Linked to Heart Disease

During the 60s and 70s studies have found that regular sodas were related to certain diseases like adult-onset diabetes, high triglycerides, (fats in the blood) and high cholesterol which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Risk of Cancer in Sugary Sodas

In a study of 60,000 men and women, those who drank regular soda had an 87% increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. In women after menopause, they were found to have an increased risk of endometrial cancer and an increase in colon cancer in both men and women.

Risk of Tooth Decay

Eventually, drinking too many regular sodas will cause tooth decay. Sodas have both phosphoric acid and carbonic acid which causes your mouth to be acidic. Sugar provides digestible energy for bad bacteria in the mouth; however, combine this with acids, it’s a disaster for your teeth and gums.

How to Stay Healthier

If you want to stay healthier over time and lose weight, avoid these sugary sodas. It will pay overtime.

How to Earn All Trophies and Achievements in Far Cry 3

Step 1 – Beating the Story on Easy Difficulty, Combat Trophies

This step is simple. Play through the story on easy difficulty and have fun. Along the way you should try to activate all radio towers to uninstall the map completely. This will make the collectible hunt easier later on.

Maps for all collectible locations are available at the general store after activating the radio towers. Buy these maps as soon as you can.

Get the missable trophy Unheard as soon as you can. This might also come naturally without even trying. Before you do this you should also take a closer look at: Love the Boom , Toxophilite . These two can become a little more tricky if you do not do them right away. The more outposts you liberate, the less enemies there will be and story missions can not be replayed. So you should definitely take care of the combat stuff early on!

Some skills require certain combat actions to be unlocked. Take care of the following requirements:

  • Press X (PS3) / A (Xbox 360) to jump onto an enemy below and kill him – Death from Above skill required (x1)
  • Click R3 / Right Stick to kill an enemy above on a climbable ledge – Death from Below skill required (x1)
  • Liberate outpost without being detected (x2)

Also watch out for Never Saw it Coming . This trophy is quite tricky if you do not do it during one of the main story missions. A good place to get this early is in the 6th mission "The Medusa's Call".

Step 2 – Collectibles, Side Quests, Skills, Miscellaneous Trophies

After the story is over you will enter free roam mode and get the chance to complete all the things that you did not do earlier.

Complete all the remaining miscellaneous / combat related trophies while capturing the outposts.

After activating all radio towers, get the collectible maps from the general store and collect 60 relics, 20 letters and 20 memory cards.

Most of the side quests can be ignored. Play at least one quest of each type and complete 3 "Supply Drop" & 3 "Wanted Dead" quests to unlock the "Adrenaline Surge" & "Deadmaker" skills.

After this is done you should be able to buy all skills. If you should still need XP you can keep doing side quests.


Lost Letter – Collect 20

Memory Card – Collect 20

Relic – Collect 60

Outpost – Liberal 34

Radio Tower – Activate 9 (18 recommended to unforgettable map)

Side Quests & Activities

Path of the Hunter – Complete 1

Trial of the Rakyat – Complete 1, beat preset score

Wanted Dead – Complete 3

Supply Drop – Complete 3

Poker – Win $ 1500

Step 3 – Co-Op

Now that you know how the game works it's time to beat all of the six co-op maps. This can be done online or offline. You get one trophy for each map that you complete.

Going Bananas – Don’t Slip on the Anxiety

As has become customary in my world – I can almost bet the house – I am going to stumble across one of those topics that wets even the driest of pallets. Today, it happened! For weeks now people from various factions of my life have been preaching the importance of bananas in my world. And for weeks I have been looking at them as though they were crazy. In fact, one of the first banana believers happened to be my grandma D who swears that you can cure everything from Herpes to a dull shine on your dress shoes with the familiar shaped yellow creature. I offer this interlude because it wasn’t until this morning on my way to work that I heard NPR’s Diane Riahm speaking about a magical fruit known to cure everything from high blood pressure to the Duck’s recent woes at quarterback. Thus, as we all seemingly get older, I felt it necessary to share with everyone the benefits of the banana. Where to begin.

Lets start with its medicinal favoritism for warts! Yep, the crazy medicine men of the Umatilla Indian Tribe claim a wart can be cured by placing a piece of the banana’s skin yellow side up on the wart for two days. Wish I would have known this in college.

Outside of its tribal uses banana’s help cure and/or prevent the following aliments: strokes, stress (for more on curing stress seasonal affective disorder, ulcers, weight control, anxiety (really, I’ll show you), shot nerves, itching mosquito bites, morning sickness, heartburn, hangovers, constipation, high blood pressure, anemia, depression and lack of energy.

So, I am left to think–had I just listened to my mother back in the day and ate a banana for breakfast and lunch–I may have not lost all of my hair, inherited a bad back, wrecked my car, lost so many basketball games, had to have so many root canals, seen Timmy for my penicillin shot, spent so much time on the crapper, lost all of my front teeth, and may have overcome my fear of flying.

Its all in the banana…