30 Blogs with Photography Tips for the Beginning Photographer

Maybe you’ve always liked to take pictures and want to take your photo shooting abilities to the next level, but have never had any formal training.  If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think.  First things first, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right equipment.  Once you have your gear, you’ll need to shoot a lot of pictures.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.  Thankfully, with the invention of the digital camera, you see your pictures immediately and can shoot as many as you want without it costing you a thing.  While you are practicing, you might want to take a little advice from the experts on these 30 blog entries.


It’s not necessary to go out and buy the most advanced and expensive camera that they have on the market.  However, you do need to have a little better equipment than just a point-and-shoot camera if you want to go to the next level, because fancier cameras allow you to do more with your pictures.  Other equipment, like a light meter, is helpful.  Check out these five blog posts and see what else the experts recommend.

  1. 10 Tips for Buying Camera Gear on eBay
  2. Tips for Buying Used Camera Equipment
  3. Inside Product Photography Advice: Photographing Camera Equipment
  4. Buying Photography Equipment – 3 Vital Tips to Buy The Right Equipment
  5. Photo Tips—Photography Equipment; When to Buy It


What’s the difference between an amateur taking a picture of a sunset and a professional photographer shooting the same sunset?  The amateur can just point and click with his camera and may end up with a slightly dark photo.  The professional, on the other hand, has made some adjustments to her camera so that she allows the most light into her shot.  For more tips from the experts, take a look at these five blog articles.

  1. 5 Tips for Getting Sharper Images
  2. Interview With Jay & Varina Patel- Landscape Photographers Extraordinaire
  3. Check Out These Awesome Photography Tips and Tricks
  4. 5 Ways to Improve Your Photography Without Touching Your Camera
  5. Top Tips for Landscape Photography


Professional photographers have a way of capturing the cutest shots of kids, and you’d probably like to know their secrets.  The biggest secret is to shoot the kids while they are playing.  Check out these five blog posts for some expert tips to help you capture professional looking pictures of your own kids.

  1. 10 Tips for Photographing Children’s Parties
  2. 5 Tips for Photographing Children
  3. Tips on Photographing Expressive Children
  4. Easy Tips for Photographing Little Kids
  5. Cut the Cheese: 5 Tips for Photographing Kids


Photographing food can be difficult.  You not only need to style the food in an appealing way so that it looks totally delicious, but you need to light it properly.  Pictures of food often end up looking dark, which makes the food look gray and unappealing.  Lighting can be tricky, but here are some tips from these five bloggers that might help improve your food photos.

  1. 5 Tips for Photographing Food (from a Very Amateur Photographer)
  2. Finding the Right Light
  3. Top Tips for Photographing Food with Jamie Oliver
  4. Easy Tips for Photographing Food
  5. 5 Tips for Food Photography


When shooting nature shots, you need to get up early in the morning when the light is at its best.  If you wait too long, you’ll end up getting lots of shadows in your pictures because the sun is too high.  While walking around outside in the rain doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, rainy days actually do provide a nice light to photograph in.  For other tips and tricks, check out these five blog posts.

  1. Tips and Tricks: Shooting in Winter with Kathleen Clemons 
  2. 6 Tips for Photographing Shorebirds
  3. Photographing Roses: Some Experiences and Tips
  4. 7 Tips for Shooting and Selling Nature Stock Photography
  5. Photographing Waves or Swells—Do You Know the Difference?


There’s something about night photography that is so much more dramatic than daytime photography.  Maybe it’s the mystery of what you can’t see or the twinkle of the lights.  Shooting pictures at night is tricky; here are some tips from the experts that can help.

  1. Low Light Photography Tips: Shooting Landscape
  2. Tips and Tricks for Night Photography
  3. Tips for Shooting at Night
  4. 7 Photographers Share Tips for Shooting in Low Light
  5. 10 Tips for Shooting the Lights at Night

35 Blogs New Mom Bloggers That Are a Must Read

In the world of blogging, it is an unwritten rule that you must not deviate from your niche audience. However, when it comes to mommy bloggers, no such rule exists. There is a wealth of crossover in mommy blogs, which isn’t surprising given how much moms do in an average day. Mommy bloggers can delve into areas ranging from childcare and education to technology and transport. These 35 blogs are examples of exactly how versatile mommies are. You will discover tips on parenting from pregnancy right through to teenage years and beyond, along with inspiration for creating your own mom blog.

Pregnancy Blogs

Pregnancy blogs are where most mommies first cut their teeth in the online world. It helps to document the experience, and at the same time it provides valuable tips for other mommies who are searching for pregnancy information. It doesn’t do any harm to have a quick reference guide for your next child, either. These six blogs cover a number of topics; however, the main focus of each is on pregnancy.

New-Born and Toddler Blogs

Every mommy needs support when caring for newborns and toddlers. So who better to get it from than other mommies who have already been there? The blogs here were created with new mommies in mind, which means lots of tips on breastfeeding, sleepless nights and budgeting for your baby. New-baby bloggers come from across the parenting spectrum, making this a hugely competitive niche.

Children’s Food and Wellbeing

If there is one thing that all mommies eventually learn, it is how to come up with creative recipes for kids. Of course, nutritional eating is a concern for mommies, too. This niche is a collection of mommy bloggers who love creating, cooking and writing about food. If you are looking for ideas for recipes, or you think you could write your own mommy recipe blog, then these six blogs will give you the inspiration you need.

Personal Mommy Blogs

Nobody does personal blogs better than a mommy. These types of blogs typically chronicle the day-to-day trials and tribulations of parenting. It is the unique, personal voice, however, that keeps other mommies coming back to read every day. Personal mommy blogs are more like parenting groups than traditional blogs, in a lot of respects. These six mommy bloggers create a personal connection with their audience, while also providing invaluable parenting tips.

Parenting Teenagers

A house full of teenagers is a hot-bed of charged energy and activity. Any parent who is raising teenage children will testify to needing a little outside perspective every now and again. This is a subject that only the veteran mommies should tackle. These six bloggers have all been through the wars, so you can be sure that they know how to handle even the most petulant of teens. You can also tell by some of the names in this list that these mommies haven’t lost their sense of humor, either.

The Key to Coping with Multiple Children

These blogs are focused more towards generally coping with multiple children. This is another huge niche in the blogging market. However, there is still plenty of room for fresh perspective from new mommy bloggers. Many of these bloggers talk about their experiences with new technologies and advancements in parenting, which is what keeps the content fresh. These six top-ranking blogs are from some of the mommies who share their experience and tips on raising multiple children.

15 Ways to Make Money as a Mom Blogger

For years, mothers have been working hard at home and getting paid in kisses and hugs. Thanks to the Internet, modern moms can still collect payments of hugs and kisses while making a bit of cold, hard cash on the side. There is money to made from blogging, and moms have a lot of knowledge and information that others will pay to access. If you’ve wondered about ways you could stay at home with the kids and still have a reasonable income, consider these ideas for blogging.

  1. Review Products for Amazon.com – This method of earning money can generate residual income over time. Basically, you will write reviews for products you are already familiar with. Whenever someone buys something that you recommend, you get paid a commission. When the customer comes through your site, even if they don’t buy the recommended item but go on to make another purchase, you will still get paid.
  2. Use Adsense with Your Product Reviews – When you set up a site with product reviews, you can generate extra income by using Adsense on your site. These ads will complement the item you are reviewing and you will get paid each time someone clicks on the ads. Payment can range as high as $1 to $5 per click. If your site has high traffic, this can generate a substantial income over time.
  3. Become an Expert – If you have a topic that you are passionate about or something that you are very familiar with, you can blog about the subject. Focus on growing a community of followers, and be sure to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help. Once you have a thriving community of followers you can promote products like ebooks and instructional videos to start earning income. It may take some time to get this ball rolling, but it will be worth it in the long run.
  4. Blog About Your Life and Experiences – Television is rife with “reality” shows in which viewers get to watch so-called private lives. Humans are very curious creatures that love looking into the lives of others. You can take advantage of this by blogging about your life as it happens. As you contact readers about various items that you use along the way via marketing resources, you will find many of your readers will purchase items based on your suggestions.
  5. Blog for Others – There are sites that will pay you to write blog entries for them in order to generate quality content. Pay varies from site to site; you just need to make sure your payments will be secure.
  6. Elance – This is a site that you can join where they match your interests with employers who are looking for writers. The nice thing about this site is that you can create a profile that includes all of your expertise.
  7. Guru – This company also supplies you with a list of employers looking for writers. You can choose whether or not to bid on the projects and a paid membership will grant you access to dozens of opportunities on a regular basis.
  8. Online Spokesperson – Digital media has opened up many doors for moms to share their expertise with others. Companies are beginning to reach out to more bloggers to promote their products now, because the traditional methods don’t have the high returns on investments that some digital efforts are showing. If you have or can generate a large following, then you may have what it takes to become a spokesperson for a particular brand.
  9. Sponsored Content – Join a blogger network program, such as One 2 One, Role Mommy or Mom Select, and connect with brands or companies who are willing to pay you to blog about their products. You will need to disclose that you received payment for sponsored content.
  10. Craigslist – Occasionally you will find opportunities for freelance writing jobs on Craigslist. Beware of the scams; you should never have to pay for the opportunity to write for someone else unless you are signing up for a clearinghouse service such as Guru or Elance, and even then basic membership is free.
  11. Get Local – You don’t need to go after the giants in order to make money. Local businesses would also like to get recognized, and you can help them do that by allowing them to advertise on your site for a nominal fee.
  12. Share Your Knowledge – Take advantage of your abilities by sharing what you know with others around you. Smaller businesses may not be aware of or know how to generate more customers by having an online presence. Share your knowledge with them and show how a blog can help generate a larger customer base. Market yourself and your expertise.
  13. Use Your Creativity – If you are the creative type, you may find that blog design is a field that you can excel in. Don’t be afraid to test the waters. Create a portfolio and go out and find your customers while using your own blog as an active example of your work.
  14. Online Consulting – As an online consultant, you aren’t just blogging about your expertise; you are also sharing it with others and getting paid to help them develop in that area. You can market your advice to novices who are anxious to learn the ropes. You get to set your own hours and fees.
  15. Ask for Donations – It works! There are some bloggers who set up a donation station on their site and let their readers know what they need the money for to encourage donations.  If you have a project in need of funding, consider a crowd funding source such as Indiegogo.com. Your blogging will keep donors up to date on how the project is coming along.

14 Reliable Ways to Make Money from Home

More and more people are looking for ways to work from home to avoid commuting to an office, having to pay for daycare or having to relocate to find a better employment climate. With the job market and economy still struggling to rebound, people are more inclined to hold less traditional positions. This has resulted in more people getting business savvy and making a decent living to boot. These are just a small sampling of the things you can do to make money from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

  1. Open an Online Boutique – If you’re the creative type, take those skills online. You can purchase a domain and start your own online boutique, or you can take advantage of artisan sites like Etsy to sell your handmade products.
  2. Hold a Virtual Garage Sale – Instead of waiting until garage sale season, try posting your items on an online classifieds site. You may receive more for your items than you would have had you placed them on your lawn with a “for sale” sign, and you’ll avoid the stressors of trying to organize everything for a two day event.
  3. Become a Babysitter – Daycare costs can be outrageous, especially in metropolitan and suburban areas. Be sure to check with your city’s regulations and that you adhere to all of the relevant tax laws, but you could work out a deal with a neighbor or a best friend looking for a cheaper, more trustworthy daycare option if you have proven childcare experience.
  4. Run a Doggy Daycare – It seems that more people are looking into daycare options for their pets. Consider starting a doggy daycare for friends or neighbors if you are home during the day and have pooch-safe living quarters. If you have small children, consider their safety before agreeing to take on an aggressive breed of dog.
  5. E-Tutor – If you have teaching experience, signing up as an online tutor may suit your at-home lifestyle and utilize your existing skill set. You will need to set up an online profile with a tutoring website, which will include details of your experience, the subjects you are able to tutor, your time availability and your expected rates.
  6. Become an Expert Witness – If you possess a level of expertise in a particular field, becoming an expert witness for lawsuits may be an option for you to make money from home. Expert witnesses may review documents or appear in court for hourly fees. Submit your resume or CV to online expert directory services.
  7. Work as a Virtual Call Center Agent – Some business opt for home-based virtual call center agents. Virtual call center agents provide support and assistance to the business’ customers via the telephone. These kinds of agents are typically paid an hourly wage. They may be independent contractors or be hired on as actual corporate staff. If hired as a direct employee, they will be required to follow all company policies. Regardless of whether you are a member of the staff or an independent contractor, high-speed Internet and a land-line dedicated to the service are required.
  8. Become a Freelance Writer – Online freelance writing entails creating articles for a variety of websites. A freelance writer will research a particular subject or use their own expertise to generate enticing articles for a wide range of readers. Freelance writers are typically paid on a per-article basis.
  9. Edit Copy from Home – Media websites that utilize online freelance writers may also hire freelance copy editors. Editors proofread and edit articles prior to publishing. Freelance editors are also generally paid on a per-article basis. Typically, sites that use online freelance editors look for copy editors with several years of experience.
  10. Self-Publish Books – There are a number of electronic tablets on the market that allow you to read paperless books. If you love to write fiction, looking into the self-publishing options for eBooks can help you generate both buzz and income.
  11. Make and Sell Apps – The appeal of smartphones and tablets lies largely in the wide range of apps available to increase their functionality. If you have time on your hands and the gusto to learn about developing apps online, you can spend your days building the new “it” app.
  12. Peddle Your Tailoring Skills – If you’ve got a thimble for a thumb, do at home alterations. Advertise your services on social media websites and by word of mouth. Set your appointment hours and have your clients come to you.
  13. Sell Your Old Books! – Believe it or not, there are people out there that make a full-time living off of selling old and used books. You can peruse estate sales, tossed library books or your own book shelves for books to sell online. You can even start a book drop-off at your home for locals to drop off unwanted leisure, self-help or textbooks.
  14. Train as a Medical Transcriptionist – Put your listening and typing skills to work. Most doctors use an auto-dictation system to record their notes on a specific patient. These audio notes need to be transcribed for the patient’s medical records. To become a medical transcriptionist you will need to take a short-term course to learn the proper equipment and medical terminology. Courses range from 9 – 18 months and financial aid may help you pay for tuition. If you have previously worked in the medical field, you will have a leg up on others just breaking into the field.

The possibilities for starting an at-home business are almost endless. Whatever endeavor you choose, be sure to research the company or proposed line of business to avoid falling victim to scams. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out personal information without a secure site and make sure you’re watching your own back by understanding rules and regulations of your county, city or state. Also be sure to consult with an accountant on the proper ways to handle your taxes for your work-from-home business enterprise.

10 Reality Shows That Aren’t So Real

There’s something about the idea of peeking into someone else’s daily life that appeals to the average American, as evidenced by the astounding number of reality television shows that proliferate the airwaves. Even networks like The History Channel and The Learning Channel have shifted their focus from legitimate, educational programming in favor of cheaply produced reality shows with mass appeal. While there is speculation about the level of scripting and prompting on most reality shows, these 10 have faced real allegations of being fabricated on some level, much to the dismay of their devoted viewers.

  1. Storage Wars – A&E’s Storage Wars features groups of people attempting to outbid one another for the right to open a sealed storage locker in hopes of discovering items of serious value. A lawsuit against the show’s creators and staff brought by former star Dave Hester alleges that the units are salted before taping to up the drama factor, leaving plenty of viewers with a bad taste in their mouth.
  2. Breaking Amish – Ostensibly following the lives of young Amish and Mennonite adults as they explore the world outside of their insular communities for the first time, TLC’s Breaking Amish garnered major praise and a strong fan base. Before the finale of the first season, however, several reports came to light alleging that the stars were lying about their backgrounds, casting doubt on the entire show.
  3. Real Husbands of Hollywood – Unlike the other shows on this list, BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood is a deliberately scripted send-up of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise and VH1’s Basketball Wives.
  4. House Hunters – One of the cornerstones of the do-it-yourself enthusiasts’ network, HGTV’s programming House Hunters follows families as they attempt to find and purchase a new home. Despite the absence of marital tensions, catfights and backstabbing in the House Hunters model, producers are still accused of releasing a fabricated show by former participants.
  5. The Hills – A spin-off of MTV’s wildly popular Laguna Beach, The Hills featured a group of pretty young things as they made their way in Los Angeles after graduating from high school. Though the gutsy last scene alluded to the idea that everything in the show had been planned, announcements by cast members that most of the drama was manufactured confirmed the lack of “reality” on set.
  6. Cash Cab – The premise of Cash Cab features a group of unsuspecting taxi customers who are picked up in the Cash Cab and promised the chance to make big bucks by answering trivia questions. While the results of the game show are not fixed, the set up and selection process is far less random than the show itself depicts.
  7. The X Factor – Among reality shows, talent competitions still reign as king. That’s why it came as a bit of a shock to devoted viewers when a 2011 episode of the Simon Cowell-helmed The X Factor featured a prominent flub pointing to lip-synching. A statement released by a representative did admit that all ensemble performance vocals are canned, leaving many viewers suspicious about the competition itself.
  8. Property Brothers – Hosted by a charismatic Canadian brother duo, Property Brothers has faced a barrage of allegations. From their background as actors to the predictability of each episode and the fact that Drew Scott may not even be a licensed realtor, even fans of the show tend to be skeptical about its level of “reality.”
  9. Extreme Couponing – Coupon bloggers have been openly discussing their reservations about the way that couponing is depicted on TLC’s show Extreme Couponing, noting the frequent misuse and even outright fraud committed by some participants. Statements from some retailers featured on the show admitting their participation in scripted taping should have put the final nail in the show’s proverbial coffin, but it’s still going strong.
  10. Toddlers & Tiaras – The antics of moms and the pint-sized stars on TLC’s runaway hit Toddlers & Tiaras have generated quite a buzz for the show. Maxine Tinnel, a woman who claimed to have staged a handful of pageants for the show, revealed that the formula for taping is to “find the crazy families first, then find a pageant near them.” The staged tapings are closed to spectators aside from family, friends and invited guests, and Tinnel insists that there’s far less drama in real pageants than depicted on the show.

In the world of reality television, viewers are forced to either suspend their disbelief for the duration of the show or accept that what they’re watching may very well be scripted. The low cost of producing a reality show versus a fully-scripted feature series leaves television execs springing for the reality fare over higher-quality programming, which means that viewers’ choices are fairly limited.

How to Get on a Reality Show

If you’ve always dreamed of being a celebrity, but aren’t angling for a career on the silver screen, the overwhelming surge in popularity of reality programming may seem like your golden opportunity. In order to properly capitalize on your dreams of reality stardom, however, you’ll have to master the casting process. While there are no sure-fire tips that will land you a sweet reality gig if you don’t have what the producers and casting professionals are looking for, there are some ways that you can dramatically boost your chances of getting their attention.

Know Your Show

In order to have any chance of progressing through the casting process, you’ll need to make the effort to be as informed as possible about the show you’re auditioning for. While this can be a challenge for brand new shows, you can brush up on your trivia for established shows. During the actual interview process, casting directors will want to see that you have a genuine interest in working on their show, not a general desperation for reality stardom on any show. Make sure that you approach each step of the audition process armed with all possible knowledge at your disposal, and that you’re exhibiting characteristics that will work well within the concept.

Dress for Success

At a massive casting call, opting for something outlandish to grab the attention of producers and set yourself apart from the rest of the group is an understandable mistake. Save your Lady Gaga costumes for Halloween and aim for a look that’s well put together and reflects your personality instead. A few quirky accessories or an original style is one thing; shamelessly ripping off the more outrageous choices of celebrities or deliberately dressing strangely may actually hurt your chances.

Play Up Your Flaws and Quirks

During the casting process, producers and casting directors will usually have a few set personality types that they’re looking for in order to ensure the best cast chemistry. This is where being yourself and honestly portraying your personality quirks can be the most effective strategy you can employ. Rather than attempting to play a role, which seasoned casting directors will be able to see right through, make sure you’re not trying to disguise your natural personality.

Tell the Truth

No producer wants a scandal on their hands, unless it’s one that will boost ratings. If you’re auditioning for a role on a reality show and you’re asked direct questions about your background, you should never lie. Background checks, fact checking and research on all contestants or participants are almost always par for the casting course, and you will be found out. Don’t attempt to obscure a checkered past or invent an entirely new persona for the casting people. You’ll have plenty of time to work on the character you hope to project after you land a role.

Be Available

If you can’t drop everything to hop on a plane for additional meetings, you could very easily miss out on the opportunity of a reality television lifetime. When you audition for a show, clear your schedule as much as possible, or at least avoid making concrete plans. You’ll need to be able to head to a distant location at a moment’s notice if you get the call. On the subject of getting the call, keep the particulars of your cell phone plan in mind. If your phone won’t allow you to accept blocked or private calls, you could very easily miss out on the announcement that you’ve progressed to the next round of casting. Make sure that your phone has no such blocks before you send in your audition tape or show up at an open call to prevent the possibility of losing a chance at stardom due to a technical difficulty.

Before you pursue your 15 minutes of fame, you should consider the far-reaching implications of becoming a public figure. The past can and often does come back to haunt those who find their fame on the small screen, so be sure that you don’t have any life-ruining skeletons lurking in your closet. It’s also wise to prepare yourself for creative editing that could portray your on-air personality in a less-than-favorable light, a fate bemoaned by more than one reality show antagonist. Keep in mind that ratings and high-stakes drama are the name of the game, regardless of how “real” the show purports itself to be.

15 Things Men Refuse to Ask for Help With

While it’s partially an unfair gender stereotype to claim that all men are leery about asking for help in certain areas, it does hold true that each of these topics are sensitive for some men. Whether they feel that asking for help is admitting defeat, showing signs of weakness or an indication that they’re not capable of handling something themselves, these are 15 of the subjects of which most men find it difficult to swallow their pride and seek assistance.

  1. Home Repairs – The man who refuses to call a plumber or carpenter for home repairs that are beyond his actual skill level is an oft-used trope in sitcoms and romantic comedies. It’s also a common enough occurrence in real life that home improvement gurus feel the need to warn homeowners about the potential dangers and increased expense of tackling a home repair that’s too difficult.
  2. Directions – Most men don’t like to ask for directions. It’s such a commonly accepted statement that it’s become ingrained in the cultural consciousness. Whether the reluctance to ask for direction stems from a distaste for admitting a fallible sense of direction or simply from the fact that boys are raised with the idea that men don’t ask for directions, it’s one stereotype that’s based in a bit of truth.
  3. Auto Repairs – Some men are mechanically inclined, while others just aren’t. That doesn’t always stop the latter group from crawling under their hood in a vain attempt to make a repair that they know nothing about.
  4. Electronics – The masculine fondness for gadgets of the electronic variety makes it difficult for men to admit when they’ve stumbled across something that they can’t properly operate or install.
  5. Lawn Work – While many men like to complain about the necessity of caring for the lawn, when it comes down to it, most don’t want anyone helping either because they have very specific ideas about how each task should be handled. Kids are the exception to this rule in the male mind, as they offer free labor.
  6. Exercise – Men who are fixated on sculpting a Mister Universe-worthy physique can be completely fixated on that goal, sometimes to the exclusion of all else. Regardless of how invested they are in reaching a goal, however, many are hesitant to ask a gym buddy for workout advice.
  7. Depression – Because the word “depression” is inextricably linked with the concept of emotional weakness in so many men’s minds, it can be very difficult to convince a man that he should seek help for his depression.
  8. Parenting – Many men dislike the idea of someone telling them how and when to discipline their children on principle alone. As a result, those men aren’t likely to ever ask for parenting advice.
  9. Substance Abuse – Admitting to a substance abuse problem is tantamount to admitting weakness and dependency, two things that many men would be horrified to reveal to the world around them. Rather than seeking help, some men will continue to abuse the substance of their choice until it costs them everything.
  10. Marital Problems – Marriage counseling is a lucrative business, but it might not be quite so popular if women were as opposed to counseling as many of their male counterparts. When marital problems strike, most men would be more than happy to hash them out privately rather than asking for help from a counselor.
  11. Dating – Single men might vent to their buddies about their misadventures in the dating scene, but they aren’t as likely to ask for advice on how to properly navigate the search for love.
  12. Insecurities – Everyone has their own set of individual insecurities, but men are more likely to hide them than women. Where females will often readily admit the things that worry them or make them feel insecure, men tend to be less forthcoming on the subject.
  13. Financial Stress – Men who adhere to traditional gender roles see themselves as the financial provider for the family, a role they take very seriously. When financial problems rear their ugly heads, most men will take a hit before they ask for a loan.
  14. Anxiety Problems – Some people struggle with an anxiety so great that it’s difficult to function normally in society, but macho men will do everything they can to keep those anxieties hidden while they’re in public.
  15. Parts Assembly – Whether it’s a kids’ toy or a new bookshelf, the first thing that gets tossed to the wayside when a man is assembling something is the sheet of paper printed with the directions. When the situation gets out of hand because the directions weren’t followed, this same man will probably not admit that the failed project is his fault, blaming it instead on shoddy manufacturing.

10 Things Doctors Won’t Tell You Before Surgery

The lead-up to a surgical procedure is usually dominated by an exchange of information between you and your surgeon. There can be so many details and so much to keep up with that you may not even realize how many potentially important ones are either being lost in the shuffle or actively swept under the rug. Before you go under the knife, these are 10 of the things that you might want to make a point of asking your surgeon about.

  1. Their Board Certification Status – It usually doesn’t occur to a patient to ask if the person who will be performing their surgery is Board Certified, but the truth is that many are not. A surgeon probably won’t disclose that information without first being asked, either.
  2. Their Complication Rate – A surgeon who won’t disclose a complication rate or claims not to have one is probably so inexperienced that he hasn’t had time to encounter complications or is actively hiding something from you. According the Chief of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, “no one is immune to complications.”
  3. That There’s A More Conservative, Non-Surgical Method Of Managing Your Condition – In some cases, surgery may actually be the only viable method of treating what’s ailing you. Most of the time, though, there is a more conservative course of treatment that doesn’t include a surgical procedure. Your surgeon, however, is paid roughly 10 times more to perform the surgical procedure than to help you manage it in another, less intrusive way.
  4. That A Resident Might Perform The Procedure – Before surgeons become surgeons, they’re residents. Because they have to learn the intricacies of operating through hands-on experience, part or all of your procedure may be handled by a resident with the supervision of an attending physician. If you’re having surgery at a teaching hospital, it’s a good idea to ask your surgeon if he will be overseeing the procedure in its entirety. Before you panic, however, you should also keep in mind that some medical professionals recommend teaching hospitals as the best places to receive cutting-edge, up-to-the-minute care.
  5. That You Can Access Your Operative Report – You may be out cold during the procedure, but there is a way to find out what happened in the operating room if you suspect that something went wrong. The operative notes dictated by the surgeon are a record of the procedure, and you can ask to see the report.
  6. That Your Weight Can Make Their Job More Difficult – Weight is a sensitive subject for many people, especially those who are packing on more than a few extra pounds. Your surgeon knows this, but he may not let on just how much more difficult caring for an obese patient is. Obese patients are more likely to contract post-operative infections, present a challenge in the placement of central venous catheters and can even be difficult to start an IV in because the veins aren’t always visible.
  7. How Much Your Non-Compliance Stresses Them Out – Performing surgical procedures is a career fraught with sources of stress and anxiety, but one of the most difficult ones for many surgeons to manage is the knowledge that her patients may or may not bother to comply with post-operative instructions.
  8. They May Be Making More From Your Procedure Than You Realize – You know that your surgeon will be walking away from the table with a pretty penny in his pocket from your insurance company, but you may not realize that he’s making even more from medical device manufacturers through quasi-legal kickbacks.
  9. That They’re Exhausted – Rare is the surgeon who will volunteer the information that he’s exhausted and that he may not be quite alert enough to be in top form in the operating room. A surgeon who was on call the night before almost certainly won’t tell you that he didn’t get enough sleep, even if that is the case.
  10. Your Procedure May Not Be As Urgent As You Think – Because of the off chance that you could have an unexpectedly sudden reaction as a result of a condition or injury could lead to intense questioning or even allegations of malpractice, most surgeons want to get your procedure completed as soon as possible. While it’s not a good idea to drag your feet after arming yourself with this knowledge, you can use it to ease any anxiety you may feel about the urgency of your condition.

While knowing these things can make surgery seem like an even scarier business, it’s important to understand that taking serious medical decisions into your own hands and refusing the advice of professionals is highly unadvised. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a second or even third opinion, looking for the best surgeon in your area and being actively involved with the process. It is, however, a very bad idea to forgo treatment altogether out of concerns about what your surgeon may not be telling you.

27 Bloggers Who Track Celebrity Sightings

Want to know what your favorite celeb has been up to? Looking for an up-to-date picture of the new Hollywood “it” couple? Get the dish on what A-listers did over the holidays, find out what your favorite actor or musician is up to, get the inside scoop on who’s dating who, and learn what designer the stars have chosen to wear this week. These 27 bloggers have dedicated their blogs to reporting on the happenings of your favorite celebrities, keeping you in the loop about the people who frequent the entertainment industry. Check them out and see if your favorite celebrity was deemed worthy of writing about.


Fans are always excited to see a celebrity in any capacity, whether it’s out eating at their favorite restaurant, shopping at local boutiques, or socializing at swanky bars.  There are even sites that focus on capturing pictures of celebrity shoes and eyewear, just in case you want to replicate your favorite celeb’s look. The following nine blogs have done their best to get pictures of your favorite actors and actresses and what they’ve been up to.  Take a look, maybe you’ve been to the same place a celebrity was sighted, and if you haven’t, maybe you should go there just in case they come back.


While some musicians reach ‘super star’ status in no time at all, making it difficult for them to even walk down the street without being mobbed, many others are able to go out in public without having to fight through swarms of paparazzi. See which musicians have been spotted out and about, find out who’s sizzling romantically and who’s calling it quits, and get the scoop on who’s using their fame for good by attending fundraisers and charity events. Head over to these nine blogs to read all about everything from the latest awards show to which local joints have become musician hotspots, and everything in between.

The Infamous

Kind of like a train wreck, there are some celebrities that just can’t seem to get it right, keeping the public enthralled and unable to look away. What crazy thing will they do next?  How many times can the same celebrity go to rehab? Is this DUI number three or number four? While many people wish they could walk in the shoes of a celebrity for a day, these celebrities are the exception, as their crazy antics are ones no one wants to replicate. These nine blog entries are all about the things that celebrities have done that have made them more infamous than famous.

12 Inspiring Nanny Stories of 2012

By the end of 2012, the nanny news story that had received the most media exposure was the tragic tale of the Krim children, who were stabbed by their nanny before she turned the knife on herself. Parents around the nation mourned alongside the Krim family, and counted their blessings not to be in their shoes. There were, however, far more stories of courage and inspiration to be found that didn’t receive the same sensational attention of this grisly tale. These 12 nannies were among those to be celebrated, even if their stories didn’t receive national coverage.

  1. Emily Rogers – When Emily Rogers learned CPR in order to take a nanny job, she likely never realized that the skills she attained in order to ensure the safety of her charges would one day save a life. Jorge Pedroso was turning blue when Rogers and a bystander, Rebekah Tucker, began the CPR that helped him to survive.
  2. Kaitlyn McGrath – Chris Powell may be the celebrity trainer of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, but the courage of his nanny Kaitlyn McGrath saved his one-year-old son from a carjacker. McGrath escaped her work vehicle with little Cash before anyone was injured.
  3. Susane Lavinia Bowden – Great nannies become more like members of the family than employees, a fact that’s proven by the tale of Susane Lavinia Bowden. For 40 years she served as a live-in nanny and housekeeper to the Hoare family; now, as she celebrates her 100th birthday, her years of service and dedication are being rewarded as her employers care for her.
  4. Michael Kenny – Norland College is a renowned British institution for the training of nannies, and was established more than a century ago. Over the decades, Norland has exclusively trained women. Michael Kenny, the first male to be admitted to the school, set a new precedent for breaking down traditional gender roles.
  5. Nikki Gribble – Each year, the International Nanny Association chooses one nanny to receive the honor of Nanny of the Year. This year’s recipient, Nikki Gribble, was nominated by her employers for her dedication and excellent professional performance.
  6. Cindy Gatson – When a stolen Jeep careened towards Cindy Gatson and her four-year-old charge, she risked her own life to save him. Gatson was clipped by the Jeep’s bumper and was forced to use crutches until she recovered, but her charge escaped the situation unscathed.
  7. Vivian Maier – Chicago nanny Vivian Maier might not have received any attention from the media during her 40 years on the job, but she became something of an enigmatic figure of interest after a book full of her photographs was posthumously published.
  8. Alexis Barry – She may not be an inspiring figure for nanny employers, but Alexis Barry’s courage in standing up to her A-list employer Robert DeNiro demanding fair payment for more than $40,000 in withheld overtime pay definitely makes her a hero to nannies struggling with job creep and unfair pay.
  9. Alyson Myatt – When the Kentucky home of single parent J.B. Hawes caught fire while he was away on business, his 22-year-old nanny rushed barefoot through soaring flames to save her five-year-old charge Aden. While Myatt suffered serious burns, Aden escaped unharmed. Local authorities assert that any hesitation on Myatt’s part would have resulted in Aden’s death.
  10. Nosrat Dezfoulian – When a metal roll-down gate collapsed in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn onto Nosrat Dezfoulian and the toddler she was caring for, she shielded him with her body to the best of her ability. Her head was split open and bleeding profusely, but her charge escaped with only a broken leg due to her quick thinking.
  11. Jennifer Anton – The driver of a Chicago Streets and Sanitation truck was clutching an open bottle of brandy and had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when he sped towards Jennifer Anton and her 20 month old charge Tyler. Tyler sustained no serious injuries, but Anton’s legs and pelvis were shattered.
  12. Sandra Samuel – The terrorist attack on Chabad House Jewish Community Center in Mumbai left only two survivors, two-year-old Moshe and his nanny Sandra Samuels. Samuels carried Moshe to safety after rescuing him from between the bodies of his parents, risking her own life in the process.

These 12 nannies showed themselves to be truly outstanding members of not only the professional childcare community, but also the world as a whole. In some way or another, they all showed great courage and strength, proving that great nannies far outnumber dangerous ones.