I do not know how to swim, and Doug, for the past two summers have wanted me to enroll the kids for swim lessons. We spent much of this summer in Malaysia but there was no swimming classes available at the time we were in Malaysia.

We bought a pair of water wings each for the kids, and Duncan took to the pool like a duck to a pond. The first time I took them to the pool, they frolicked in the kiddie pool. Duncan floated on his back and dog paddled.

As for Denice, it took her a while before she even dared to get into the pool. As her confidence grew, she walked the length and breadth of the kiddie pool. Then she started flapping her hands in the water, and after a while she bent her knees a little as she walked in the pool. Later on she bent her knees even further and allowed herself to be under the water up to her shoulders. It is a good start for a child who is fearful of most things.

It is just too bad that I did not bring them to the pool any more after that.

There was a pool at the hotel we stayed at while in Sibu. It drizzled a bit that afternoon so Daddy and the kids did not stay all that long at the pool. There was no kiddie pool, but that did not bother Duncan at all. It was Daddy who was concerned about Duncan paddling to the deep end of the pool.

As for Denice, she had a suit with built-in floats on, plus the water wings on her arms. Yet she was too afraid to get into the water! She did however get onto Daddy’s back, but she screamed when Daddy went under water and she was partially covered in the water. :-)

There’s still time for them to enroll in swim lessons, and there is a public pool right here in our little town. Naturally, I do not want for my kids not to be able to swim!

Seems funny that the day before we left for mt washington pip and i were wandering through the yard counting the flowers that have bloomed for the annual flower count in the city. we went from counting over 2500 blooms to counting how many feet of snow we could bury our selves in, all in less then 4 hours. it is pure magic, that we can have such a beautiful mountain on the island providing us snow deprived people in victoria with just a taste of winter. also slightly  magical that we can turn around, drive back down the mountain and be back in our warm, sunny spring weather. our family had a wonderful sunny, snowy, love filled weekend. we shared a cabin with grandparents and had so much fun just being together. there were snow ball fights, tours of the little village on sleds, races down the mountain and hikes through the trails. i have almost forgotten the “i am so tired” that echoed through the trails on repeat. it truly was special seeing the kids skiing and spending time in the mountains with their grandparents. we sure hope that this turns into an annual trip together. so often we take for granted the beauty that surrounds us  daily and these past few days have been a  great reminder of that. even the kids couldn’t help but stop, and just stare out into the mountains and remark at how incredible they looked. all told, it was a great way to spend time while the kids were out of school on the teachers strike. somehow we planned the timing of the trip just perfectly. also so much fun to run into so many classmates on the mountain. the kids just had a blast.

for photographers, these images were all edited with the amazing new Red Leaf Studios- Film Solution Actions that were released last week. I have only tried them on these personal family images and i am dying to try them on some portraits as i instantly fell in love with them. they truly are my favorite set by Red Leaf to date and when they came out i have to admit that i secretly thought… why do i need new ones, i love the old ones from Red Leaf, but after using them on just my snapshot family images, i know why… they are brilliant. i LOVE them. i am truly inspired to get out and shoot, just so i can edit my images with the new actions. they are just perfect for my editing style, i just couldn’t be happier with the set.

Home fitness equipment is a staple for those who do not wish to spend money on monthly gym fees and also those who wish to save the time walking to the gym. They’re convenient, allowing you to exercise from the comfort of your home, and thus they’ve been growing in popularity especially amongst those short on time.

Slowly, the device is gaining popularity among some fitness fanatics, but it is doubtful that Israel will have the same enthusiasm. Cross-boxing instructors use the device happily but in gyms it is still mostly empty. In an article published in “Pop Shogar”, we mentioned the advantages of this wonder device, after talking with several experts who were able to determine the strength of this device:

Of all the exercise equipment on the market, the Stamina X Air Rower is one of the best rowing machine out there. Stamina is a company well-known for regularly reviewing and updating their rowing models and constantly releasing newer products on a regular basis. And the Stamina X Air Rower is a simple rowing machine which uses air resistance to provide a challenging or relaxed all fitness levels, depending on your preferences. Don’t be fooled by its basic nature. No, you won’t be getting all the additional features that you tend to see on the more expensive machines like a heart rate monitor or workout planners. But, at the same time, the Stamina X Air Rower is aimed that the low to middle budget range, and hence provides all the essentials for a quality workout at a bargain priced. It has a comfortable seat, wide footrests offering better footing and also a decent display which has been reworked and improved over multiple versions.

Amongst the low-end rowing machines, the Stamina X Air Rower stands out because of the value offered compared to the online price. And that’s why it’s definitely recommended for those who want a simple home workout machine without having to pay over-the-top prices for features they don’t need. There’s one issue that you’re likely to encounter when purchasing this model, however. And that’s putting the whole thing together in the first place. It comes with quite a lot of parts, which can make it confusing for those with not much experience with working with machinery. And for the sound-conscious, the Stamina X Air Rower can get a little bit noisy whilst you’re working out, although many actually like the sound as it does act a sign of a good workout. The last issue is some well-known concerns about the mechanical chains provided. These sometimes have the tendency to jump out of the sprocket, or not engage on the return stroke while working out. This can force you to restart, disrupting the flow of the workout. But either way, the Stamina X AIR Rower is still a solid piece of home equipment and is recommended for any beginners or veterans to home fitness.

Obesity and Snoring Fat is the most important cause of snoring, and when overweight people also smoke or drink alcohol there is a very high risk of sleep disturbances and snoring.

Obesity is a risk factor for very serious problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, blood clots, respiratory disorders and other diseases, and therefore it is of utmost importance to fight the phenomenon that is gaining momentum in Israel and around the world.

Obesity causes snoring in a variety of mechanisms, and weight loss helps to overcome sleep disturbance and snoring very significantly.

How does obesity cause snoring?

Obesity is not an ideal condition for the body, and many systems are damaged as a result. The appearance of snoring in people who are overweight is influenced by several factors:
Airway obstruction by excess neck fat – The main reason for obesity causes snoring is narrowing of the airway by excess fat appearing in the neck. People who are overweight suffer from an increase in the volume of fatty tissue throughout the body, as well as in the neck. When the neck thickens, airway a product and during the night appear snoring. This gets worse when a person is lying, and excess fat presses the airway further and causes it to be blocked.

Increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes severe sleep disturbance manifested by strong snoring and fatigue during the day. Obesity is one of the major risk factors for obstructive breathing apnea, which occurs after the throat muscles are slack during sleep and prevent the airway from remaining open properly. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that appears mainly in people who are overweight, and requires diagnosis and medical treatment.
Decreased physical fitness and muscle tone – overweight people often suffer from poor physical fitness and low muscular tone. Low physical fitness leads to poor pulmonary function and increased breathing effort. When overweight people struggle to breathe, their chance of snoring increases. In addition, low muscle tone also relaxes the muscles of the breath and causes the airway to be damaged.

Weight loss will contribute greatly to sleep disorders
Sleep disorders make life very difficult, and in cases of obesity, sleep disorders can be significantly alleviated by weight loss and exercise. The weight of the body depends on the amount of calories inserted against the amount of calories left, and in order to lose weight effectively it is important to maintain a negative caloric balance.

Weight loss is a very difficult process that takes a long time and requires great motivation and responsibility. In order to successfully lose weight and improve sleep quality, the following rules are important:

A balanced and balanced diet – It’s important to make a calorie count and keep regular, regular meals. Continue to eat healthy foods such as vegetables and fiber, and reduce as much as possible fat and sweets.

Exercise – Burning calories by exercise is essential in order to lose weight in a good way. It is important to exercise regularly and start gradually, so as not to get discouraged early or be injured.

Besides calorie burning, physical activity helps to improve physical fitness and cardio-vascular capacity, and to strengthen muscles and tone enhancement, which are also important for stabilizing the airway and preventing snoring.

In extreme cases – gastric bypass surgery

Bariatric surgeries, also called gastric surgeries, anti snoring devices, have become very popular in recent years and help many people lose weight. It is a proven way to achieve the most significant weight loss, which can, of course, help overcome sleep and snoring. Bariatric surgery can now be performed in a number of techniques, and this is a very effective analysis of weight loss and improving quality of life.

Hair loss can be a common problem for men and women when they get older, with men experiencing a balding shaped “M”. Women can experience a reduction in the thickness and volume of the hair but very rarely become bald. There are now many treatments that fight against this hair loss. Drugs are available, as well as surgery, but it can be expensive, and therefore many people choose to take supplements like Saw Palmetto to slow hair loss or even promote regrowth.

How does the hair loss happen? 

Hair loss in men as in women is called androgenic alopecia, and it is related to a hormone called “testosterone”. When testosterone in the body is mixed with an enzyme called alpha-reductase type II, they form a molecule called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which has been linked to male and female pattern baldness. Saw Palmetto, a small native plant of America could block the formation of DHT and therefore reduce hair loss in the same way that drugs are used to treat hair loss problems.

What evidence exists to support the Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is the extract of the fruit of Serenoa repens. Rich in fatty oils and phytosterols, it has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times by the American Indians, Mayans and the Seminoles. It is also used in alternative medicine to treat a variety of diseases and is a popular base of plants to cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia. It may be an effective treatment to reduce hair loss in men and women. Studies have shown that it could inhibit baldness related enzymes and a study of 10 men with moderate hair loss showed an improvement in their condition. Participants had to take the supplement 2 times daily for a few months and 60% saw an improvement. Besides being related to treatment of hair loss, Saw Palmetto may also relieve bladder infections, loss of libido, and improve prostate health.

How to take Saw Palmetto?

Before taking new supplements, it is important to consult your doctor to make sure there are no problems. Saw Palmetto is available in different forms such as tablets, powder capsules and liquid extracts. The tablet is the most available form and experts recommend taking 160mg of Saw Palmetto twice daily. It is generally considered safe but is not recommended for children.

In summary, Saw Palmetto may be effective as a herbal remedy for men and women who wish to reduce their hair loss and is a popular alternative to more expensive treatments and risky surgeries.

How is it better than other hair loss treatments?

Most hair loss treatments can be time consuming, can have side effects or all three. Common treatments for hair loss are allopathic medicines, herbal remedies like packs of hair or hair transplant. Most allopathic drugs for hair loss are expensive, must be taken for a long time to be effective and can have adverse side effects. Sometimes they might even not work. However, Saw Palmetto is not that expensive and is a herbal remedy that has little or no side effects.


Pimples are bad for our day. They make us self-conscious, and we keep having this urge to itch the affected area which could get it even more infected and cause us even more discomfort. Thankfully, there are a lot of quick natural remedies you can turn to in order to reduce the damage or even avoid a pimple outbreak altogether. Many of these remedies can be found right in your kitchen or your garden and make searching for natural ointments for pimples an easy task.


Ice is a very useful anti-inflammatory material. We use ice to reduce swellings and a pimple is a swelling of the skin. Ice can do wonders in treating the inflammation and redness of the pimples while allowing the skin to tighten up so that it could expel trapped dirt, excess oil and bacteria. You can use both crushed or block ice, just apply it to your skin for 15 to 20 minutes and feel the relief it delivers to the infected area.


Water in all its forms is great for the skin. Steam is one of the most effective way of cleansing your skin and allowing it to breathe. It can help remove excess impurities, oils and clean the pores. Regularly steaming your face will help you in avoiding any bacterial outbreak and give you a wonderful fresh skin. Whenever a pimple outbreak occurs, warm some water and allow the steam to pass over your face for a few minutes, you will feel fresher and the pimples will be cleaned out of excessive oil.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is a great soothing agent for your skin. It is a natural moisturizer and also has healing properties commonly used for the treatment of scars. It helps the skin heal more rapidly because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Just apply the Aloe Vera gel to the affected area for 15 minutes and then wash your face with warm water in order to diminish the irritation and redness of the pimples. Aloe Vera is one of the most effective treatments for hemorrhoids.

Epsom Salt:

Epsom salt is a natural antibiotic and a disinfectant that you can use on your skin to treat acne outbreaks as well as prevent them from emerging. It can be used in two ways. One way is you can use a cotton swab soaked in Epsom salt and apply it to affected areas. The other way is to make a mask of Epsom salt and cinnamon mixed together and applying it to your face. Cinnamon is an antimicrobial, which means it helps avoid bacteria from infecting your skin and honey is an antibiotic, which means that in case there is an outbreak, it will squash that outbreak out.

Lemon Juice: 

Lemon has a lot of properties that make it a wonderful ointment in case of acne and pimple outbreaks. It is rich in Vitamin C and also in citric acid which means it can act as a germicide on the skin in order to kill the infecting bacteria. It is also an astringent,which means it causes the skin tissues to contract and dry up, thus healing up the wound much faster than normal. Use fresh lemon juice and a cotton swab to apply it to your skin and let it dry.