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Top 25 Movie Teachers of All Time

While partaking in studies to earn an education degree, students can often think back of their favorite teachers and smile. However, they may sometimes also ask, “who are my teacher’s favorite teachers?” Talented teachers are all around us, and some so much so, that they inspire a movie based solely or even partially on their accomplishments.

To help narrow down the best of the best, and even the best of the worst, we have gathered the top 25 movie teachers of all time. Many come in the form of teachers who inspired both their students as well as books, plays, and films. (more…)

Fun in the Sun: 10 Summer Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy

Every kid needs something to occupy them once the school books are put away for the summer. The key is to keep kids active and engaged throughout the day so they’re pooped once it’s bed time. This list has affordable activities that parents or babysitter’s can work into the summer, whether you’re living in the suburbs or the city.

  1. Have a picnic. No need to make it fancy. Grab the kids, pack up a blanket and some food to nosh on and you have a picnic that will occupy the kids at a local park. You can go classic with basic sandwiches and sliced-up veggies or opt for DIY sandwiches that the kids can make themselves. Be sure to take sunblock and bug spray along for the ride.
  2. Get baking. Let kids get dirty in the kitchen by baking up some fun. Go with something easy like cupcakes or cookies. This gives kids something to decorate and channel their creativity once the baked goods have cooled. Remember to man the oven and never little ones get near the heat.
  3. Create an obstacle course. This can be done in the yard or in an empty parking lot or at the park. Start with a hoola-hoop, a jump rope and any other cheap items you have access to. If you don’t have tired (or want to lug them out), create a makeshift tire obstacle with blocks in the shape of a circle.
  4. Rock crafts. It sounds exactly like what it is. Take the kids out and collect a few decent-sized rocks. Bring them home and go to work with chalk, glue and pipe cleaners to create silly faces on the rocks and create characters. You can also have kids name their new rock and give it a backstory to enhance their creative storytelling and writing skills.
  5. Bust out a sprinkler. Kids will love splashing around with a sprinkler. If you don’t have access to a pool or it’s too packed to bother, a sprinkler is the next best thing. Have popsicles and cold bottled water on hand to help kids cool down after they’re running around all afternoon.
  6. Make ice pops. What goes better with summer activities than ice pops? Get the kids involved by whipping up an easy juice recipe that they’ll all enjoy. Mix orange juice with pomegranate or mango juice for a sweet snack that will make the kids feel like they’re indulging without chowing down on candy.
  7. Water balloons. Do we need to say anything else? Grab a bag of balloons and help kids fill them up. Carry the water balloons outside in buckets to make it easiest on yourself and prevent losing any while in transit. Split kids into teams and have a different bucket for each team to avoid a gaggle of kids from gathering at one bucket.
  8. Go for a nature walk. Whether you’re at the beach or cruising around downtown, have kids take in the environment around them and pick up pieces that reflect that environment along the way. Talk about the items (leaves, feathers, etc.) and how they possibly made their way to the spot where the child found them.
  9. Blow bubbles. Bubbles can be purchased at the dollar store. Buy a bottle per kid and go outside and blow bubbles until dusk. Kids of all ages are entertained with this activity for hours. Encourage older kids to teach younger kids how to take their time to blow huge bubbles and watch the eyes of little ones light up with glee.
  10. Go the library. Many libraries have storytelling hours during the summer. Older kids will enjoy exploring material they want to read versus material they have to read for work. Let kids check out a few books, bring them home, read them and then discuss what the books are about. This keeps their brains in the academic zone without bogging them down.

Kids need entertainment in the summer. It’s important to keep it affordable since the kids need something to do every day. Don’t worry about repeating activities. If you see the kids take to one activity more than others, feel free to throw it in the mix more often. As long as they’re smiling and you’re stress-free, it makes for a win-win summer of fun.

52 Outings and Activities That Will Bring Your Family Closer Together

Spending more time with family is at the top of many New Year’s resolutions lists. Prying your kids away from the television or PS3 may be difficult, but it will be worth the effort once you see the smiles on their faces and have the memory of spending quality time with them. Whether you have just a few hours or a few days to spend solely with your family, here’s a list of outings and activities that will bring your family closer together.

Family Activities Involving the Arts

Even if your kids are normally obsessed with science, there’s no reason not to expose them to the arts. The key is to make it fun and interactive, especially if the kids are under 10.

    source: www.propertified.com

    1. See a play. It doesn’t have to be a super pricey production. Cities large and small have community theaters with reasonably priced tickets. If you can gather a group of families to attend, you can also score a group discount.

    2. Write a story. Pull out the art supplies and create pages for a story. Have everyone add a line to the story until it’s completed. It can be silly, after all, it’s your family’s own story and can be packed with clever inside jokes.

    3. Get painting. Kids love to paint. Lay out the newspaper in the kitchen and encourage kids to get in touch with their inner Jackson Pollock and paint whatever they feel like. Be careful not to give them criticism and remind them it’s all for fun.

    4. Sing a song. This can be done at home while cooking dinner or while in the car driving to hockey practice. Make a mix CD with your family’s favorite songs and encourage kids to sing with you for fabulous memories.

    5. Introduce kids to music you loved. Great music transcends, so if your favorites are classic artists like Miles Davis and Janis Joplin, share these artists with your kids. The younger they are, the easier it is to expose them to music outside of what they’re used to hearing.

    6. See a live band play. There’s nothing like live music. Introduce kids to the electricity that moves through a crowd when jamming to live music by taking them to see a local band play. There are many free events held during warm months, so check your local paper or a website that focuses on local happenings for ideas.

    7. Get crafty. Hop online and a quick search of crafts for certain age groups will pop up in seconds. This is a low cost way to have fun with your family since all you need is leftover boxes and materials, as well as paint, paper and glue, which you may already own.

    8. Scrapbook the day away. All of those pictures that are sitting in boxes or in a folder on your computer should be more accessible to remember the good times your family has had. Hit a local craft store and grab a scrapbook and the scrapbooking essentials (Exact-o knife, glue and a few decorations) to create a book that chronicles your family or a special event or vacation.

    9. Visit an art museum. People are funny about art. Many don’t understand it or want to, but it’s because they don’t understand that art interpretation is all about what you take from it. Teach your kids this golden rule of art early on and watch them blossom into people who see beauty in almost everything.

    10. Stop and take in a busker. This is a great moment to teach your kids to follow their passion in life. Whether it’s a performance artist or guitarist, it will make your kids smile and appreciate the different artistic skills people have to offer.

    11. Watch classic movies. This depends on how old your kids are, but showing your kids classic films will expose them to a different age and timeless stories and lessons. One that works for every age is It’s a Wonderful Life.

Family Activities to Get You Outdoors

Get moving with your family in tow. Sporting activities don’t have to be big, orchestrated events. Simply waking the kids up for a Sunday morning in the park is enough to give everyone some exercise and laughs.

    12. Do yoga. Look up a few simple yoga moves online and lead your family through the moves. Teach them to breathe slowly and to relax their body as they take on difficult poses. This can be done in the living room or outside on a warm day.

    13. Play frisbee. It’s cheap, takes no planning and if you don’t have a park nearby, you can play in an empty parking lot. This is a great workout because it makes everyone run around.

    14. Play catch. This is great for spring, summer and fall. Grab a few gloves and toss around a softball in the park. You’ll be amazed at how long kids can play catch for, so be prepared to put in at least an hour.

    15. Get a baseball game going. If your young child overcomes the fear of being hit in the face with a ball, take it to the next level by playing a baseball game. Don’t worry about filling every position or having formal bases. As long as you have about five people, you can comfortably play a never ending game.

    16. Attend a sporting event.It doesn’t have to be the high dollar NFL tickets, just taking your family to see any caliber of sporting event will get everyone in the competitive spirit. Score tickets to a minor league game for a steal if you buy them online or from a discount site.

    17. Go for a bike ride. This is great for those who live in a neighborhood where bike riders are welcomed. If not, hit a park to go for a long bike ride with the kids. Make a day trip out of it and pack sandwiches and snacks for the ride.

    18. Go for a hike. You may be surprised at how much your kids like hiking. It gives them a chance to explore the great outdoors, see the terrain and flowers or plants they may not be familiar with.

    19. Go camping. If your kids have never been camping, they’re missing out! Tents are easier than ever to put up, so don’t let that stir you away. Remember you don’t have to go away for a week, a simple overnight or two day trip is plenty of time to let them take in the scenery.

    20. Get on a toboggan. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, just anything that lets you slide down the hill in the dead of winter while laughing with your kids. Pull out the flip camera and take footage of the kids tumbling down the snowy hill for a keepsake.

    21. Go for a nature walk. This is different from a hike because it can take place in your very own neighborhood. Point out exceptional nature in the environment whether it’s spotting a blue bird or collecting leaves to use for crafts.

    22. Go fishing. This gives you the opportunity to talk to your kids about everything or nothing at all. Be sure to take a camera along, especially if it’s the kids’ first time fishing.

Family Activities You Can Do in an Afternoon

Not every family activity requires serious planning. Check out these ideas for quick family activities you can conduct in an afternoon for bonding time that fits your lifestyle.

    source: heartmindmatters.com

    23. Bake cookies from scratch. With baking, the kids can really get involved measuring out ingredients, forming the dough and decorating once the cookies are ready. Always supervise children and teens using the oven.

    24. Get into a classic book. Pull out a classic story like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Gather your family around in the living room or in the master bedroom and read a few chapters aloud. Your older kids can also take turns reading.

    25. Decorate for the next holiday. It’s a lot more fun to decorate the house when there’s teamwork and the entire burden isn’t dumped on mom. Let kids decorate as they wish and leave their decorations as is. There’s no need for everything to be perfect.

    26. Play charades. This staple game is a blast for kids of all ages. Teach them the basics and watch them be entertained by something other than a computer, for hours.

    27. Show kids how to organize. While this may not be the most fun activity on the list, a lot of adults don’t know how to organize or keep things tidy because they were never taught. If you’re going through the closet, show your kids that life is easier when like items are stored together.

    28. Visit a bookstore. Stay with your kids as they browse and see what they naturally gravitate towards. This is a great indication of what your kid’s strong suits are and you can begin to nourish.

    29. Have a barbecue. Everyone can contribute something whether it’s mixing the coleslaw or helping season the meat. A family that cooks and eats together is sure to create amazing memories.

    30. Watch old home movies. Kids will love seeing footage of their older siblings as babies or children. Make some popcorn and gather everyone around to reminisce on the past.

    31. Share pictures from when you were young. Kids of every age will get a kick out of seeing pictures of you from your hey day. From the clothes to the hairdos, it’s a great opportunity to share a part of you your kids never knew.

    32. Tell stories about family members who’ve passed away. Maybe your kids never knew your father. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear stories. Leave your own issues behind and share good times and stories with your children about family members who’ve passed away.

    33. Clear out the house for donations. Teach kids to give back. Let them k know that items are better off in the hands of someone who needs them than sitting on the floor of their closet. This also teaches kids not to get attached to material items, no matter how much or how little they have.

    34. Play photographer. Pull out the camera and take pictures of your family in their natural habitat, doing the every day things families do. Let little ones play with the digital camera and give them quick lessons on lighting and angles without being too pushy. Let their creativity soar.

    35. Go outside and blow bubbles. Bubbles are cheap and they’re just as fun as they were when you yourself were a kid. Even young kids will love learning how to blow a bubble and be amazed at how many they can create.

    36. Eat outside. This takes you away from distractions like the TV, computer and phones. If you don’t have an outdoor eating area, take your meal outdoors with a picnic spin with a blanket, whether it’s in your own yard or at a park.

    37. Play a board game. Pull out a classic board game like Monopoly or Sorry. This is fun because it usually involves lots of conversation and laughing.

    38. Make a pizza from scratch. Your kids will be wowed at how much goes into making a pizza from scratch. It takes some elbow grease, but will be a fun activity that everyone will enjoy once it’s out of the oven.

    39. Fly a kite. On a windy day, grab a kite and show your kids how to make it fly high in the sky. Most kids today never fly a kite, but it’s an activity that is affordable enough to make a serious comeback.

Special Outings and Activities for Families

These are activities for your family that may take a little saving and planning, but are worth the bonding experience. Kids grow up faster than you think so you’ll only have a chance to do momentous things like visiting Disney World for so long.

    source: gomumsy.com

    40. Take a trip to the beach. For some this may be an hour away, for others, it’s thousands of miles away. Seeing your kids frolic in the ocean and build a sand castle is priceless, so do what you must to take your family to the beach for a brush with a different type of nature than you’re probably used to.

    41. Start a garden. We know this one’s not for everyone, but if you have the land and the time, starting a garden is a great activity to spend time with your family. It requires hard work and constant care, teaching your kids responsibility and getting in touch with where their food comes from.

    42. Visit a farmer’s market. If you can’t start a garden, visit a farmer’s market. This may be a trek depending on where you live, but it will be an enriching experience for kids to see the people who put the work into getting veggies and fruits to your table. Let the kids pick a new fruit or vegetable to try, which will also get them in the kitchen for more family time.

    43. See The Nutcracker live. The holidays brings a fuzzy people for most of us and seeing this ballet live will be the icing on the cake. This may not be a smart pick for very young children with short attention spans, but for kids in grade school or older, they’ll be enamored with the set design and costumes.

    44. Visit a farm. Again, this one may be a stretch depending on where you reside. Visiting a farm allows kids to come in contact with the animals they may consume daily, giving them an appreciation for animals, the land and the farmers who do the dirty work to get their eggs and beef.

    45. Plant a tree. While ideally this is done when your kids are young, planting a tree unites the family when the kids are any age. You can do some research online or at the library with your children to find out the best type of tree to grow for your climate. Even if you don’t plan on living there forever, the tree will always stand, representing your family at that time.

    46. Spend the entire day outside, in the yard. If you have a yard, encourage your kids to get out and play all day. Turn on the sprinkler, make hotdogs on the grill, buy ice cream from the ice cream man and share funny stories. .

    47. Go horseback riding. Kids will love riding horses, even if they’re a little timid at first. Encourage them with words and let them know being afraid is OK, but overcoming a fear is even better.

    48. Create a model-anything. It can be a ship, a plane or anything else. Making a model takes patience and hard work. This is an activity best suited for kids 10 and older who are wiling to take the time to focus on details and small parts.

    49. Go to the zoo. This seems like an easy one, but not every area has a zoo. You can check online for animal sanctuaries that may be in your area and allow visitors. It won’t be the same as the zoo, but it will give you a chance to talk to kids about humane practices.

    50. Go to a local history museum. Even small towns have museums that chronicle the history of the area. This teaches kids their roots and that every area, no matter how glitzy or seemingly dull, indeed has a history.

    51. Check out your family history. This can be done online (for a price) or at a local genealogical center in your area. When visiting a center, take all of the information you do have such as names or documents to help you in your research.

    52. Learn to play an instrument. The easiest bets are the guitar or piano. It’s an investment for sure, but you can all learn how to play the instrument at your own pace, without any formal instruction. It will be trial and error, but will make for great memories.

As you can see from our list, it isn’t hard to find affordable, accessible outings and activities that will bring your family closer together. It’s important to spend time with your family regularly to create a comfortable relationship with your kids that shows you’re genuinely interested in their lives and how they feel about things they’re going through. Take the time to bake cookies or watch a classic film to open your kids to new experiences and give them the gift of always exploring and learning new things.

Does Learning Science Depend on how it is Taught?

It wasn’t my favorite subject at school, but by the time I was done with junior high, I had developed a newfound liking for chemistry. Thanks to the unbounded enthusiasm of the new teacher in school and his eccentric yet brilliant teaching methods, I found that I enjoyed not just chemistry, but science in general immensely, and that I earned a high grade. That was when I realized that the ease of learning a subject had a lot to do with how it was taught – what you absorb in class is what impresses you the most. The rest – homework, assignments, and textbook revisions for exams – they’re all extraneous and count only towards your grades. In short, a teacher makes a vast difference to the way you understand and love a subject.

  • When you love the way a teacher handles a class, you look forward to lessons and never want to skip them; and when you attend classes regularly, you understand the subject better and this makes studying easy.
  • You don’t mind doing your homework and assignments because they’re interesting too, and you put in extra effort because you want to please your favorite teacher.
  • Your classes are peppered with projects and experiments that make learning more fun and interesting. The best way to learn science is through a hands-on approach, by putting into practice what you’ve learned as theory.
  • You don’t think of preparation for exams as a chore; when you love the subject, you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to study for exams and tests because you’re already familiar with most of the concepts.
  • Science is not just a subject that you must take at school – rather, it becomes a learning experience that you treasure and retain for a lifetime.

So yes, you could say that your interest in science is kindled and stoked by those who teach it – if they are passionate about the subject and know it well, if they’re good at passing on this knowledge to keen learners with sharp minds, and if they’re capable of capturing and holding the attention of their class, then there’s no reason why science cannot be a favorite and easy-to-learn subject for most students.

Indulge With Sweet Reads: The Top 50 Chocolatier Blogs

With tons of new cooking shows popping up, it was inevitable that everyone’s favorite obsession would be tackled. Chocolate is no longer just limited to the candy aisle at the supermarket. With everything from local choices to international fare, the world of chocolate has just gotten much bigger.

With so much to try and such little time and money to try it all, where can a chocolate lover turn? As with many things, there’s a blog for that. Below, we have listed the top 50 chocolatier blogs. By actual chocolatiers, professional and amateur chefs, and outright lovers of chocolate, they have entries and recommendations for just about everyone.

Top Chocolatier Blogs by a Group

Groups of bloggers discuss their favorite chocolaty passion in their blogs.

1. Chocolate Wrap
Stop here for the official blog of Lake Champlain Chocolates which is located in Burlington, Vermont. With over 20 years in operation, they are best known for their Chocolates of Vermont. Blog entries often show readers how to make their own professional chocolate dishes at home.

2. Chocablog
Based in London with a dedicated team of writers from around the world, their mission is to find and review the best chocolate in the world. They will keep you up to date with all the latest chocolate news, shared recipes, and generally chocolate talk. Everything from recipes to reviews and more are featured.

3. The Chocolate Life
The tagline of this blog is “discover chocolate and live la vida cocoa.” It is made up of an online community of chocophiles and those who aspire to become them. Check out the travels, events, videos, and much more all with chocolate in mind.

4. Chocolate Television
Get a whole internet channel dedicated to chocolate here. This new food, cooking, and lifestyle program takes on everyone’s favorite culinary delight. Many blog entries are featured as videos.

5. National Confectioners Association
The NCA has been representing the candy, chocolate, and gum industry since 1884. There are items for consumers, the industry, and even health professionals. You can also click on The Fun Stuff with items for fans of chocolate.

6. The Little Chocolatiers
This TLC show chronicles the true story of little people who are also chocolatiers. Although not an official blog, there are loads to keep any chocolate lover happy. Clips of shows often include many useful items.

7. Chocolate Obsession
Think chocolate is all fun and games? It is, but still this blog contains many news items on chocolate, along with reviews. It’s been a while since the last post, but it is still worth a look.

8. Chocolate Guild
A special spot just for chocolatiers is a standout feature here. You can also get a Recipe of the Week and more with a visit. Categories are divided into baking, dessert, bon bons, and hot chocolate recipes.

Top Chocolatier Blogs by a Reviewer

The goal of these blogs is to gather the best and worst in chocolates on their blogs.

9. Jim’s Chocolate Mission
After a discussion with friends on the best chocolate bar, Jim began this blog with the goal of finding it. Reviews of both well-known and rarely heard of chocolates often are discussed. You can also see which chocolate bar is currently at number one with a visit.

10. Chocolate Blog
Reviews of chocolate bars and other chocolate news and information can be found here. Items are rated on a one to ten scale and you can sort by leading. The blogger also lists many chocolate related items of interest.

11. Cocoa Heaven
Feed your obsession for chocolate on this blog. Chocolate candy reviews are often the topic of posts. There are also random categories such as facts on chocolate and even conspiracy theories surrounding it.

12. Chocolate Reviews
They test the best and wost that both small chocolatiers and international chocolate makers have to offer. All reviews are unbiased and often include many recommendations. Current ones include many international choices.

13. Chocolate Ratings
The point of this blog is to help readers get the most out of their chocolate spent dollars. The blogger differs from the above in that they only include chocolates that have made the cut. Each blog entry often contains a single chocolate and review.

14. Chocolate Speak
Sandra also reviews chocolates, but she stands out for doing it from Berlin. She often travels the city looking for the best offerings, and she hopes to work her way through Berlin one chocolate shop at a time. An added bonus is that some of her blogs are even posted in German!

15. Chocolate Zoom
Discover the sweet side of New York chocolates here. Tours of the city for the candy lover are often offered. Top viewed articles include “The Top Five Ice Cream Shops in New York” and “Socially Responsible Artisan Chocolates.”

Top Chocolatier Blogs by an Individual

These bloggers love chocolate so much, they dedicate their writings to it.

16. Chocolate Note
Casey is from Minneapolis and “on the chocolate path.” His blog contains notes on chocolate from a true enthusiast. A recent entry was on cacao in Atlanta.

17. Motivation by Chocolate
Denise Ryan is a motivational speaker from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also a lover of all things sweet, including chocolate. She often reviews items of chocolate interest and even writes about motivation by chocolate.

18. Gourmet Walks
Stop here for the blog of a chocolate enthusiast in San Francisco. He leads chocolate and food tours around the city and knows his stuff. He recently blogged on The Year in Chocolate.

19. Gone Chocco
This blog was created because “most Aussies know that chocolate is not just for breakfast anymore.” Kath has been writing since 2006 about chocolate and dedicates her blog to the fun surrounding it. She offers an FAQ, recipes, and other fun stuff.

20. Dying for Chocolate
Janet Rudolph has been eating chocolate all of her life. Now that passion has become the basis for this blog and for the Chocolate TeamBuilding events her company TeamBuilding Unlimited delivers. A recipe for chocolate toffee shortbread was recently shared.

21. Chocolate in Context
Get insights into chocolate as it relates to cooking, travel, and even society here. Emily Stone is a chocolate enthusiast who loves to travel. Get information and reviews on chocolates from all over the world with a visit to her blog.

22. Cyber Chocolate
Shelly is a librarian who is obsessed with blogging and chocolate. She discusses everything from store bought favorites to homemade creations. Life in New York is also written about.

23. Dark Chocolate Daily
Nancy grew up with several gourmets in her house and regrets that they never explored the world of artisan chocolate. She now uses her blog to make up for that. She also documents chocolate discovery, opinion, and news.

24. Serious Chocolate
The blog Serious Eats is a popular choice. In this special subsection, they take on chocolate. A recent entry was on chocolate and chickpeas.

25. The Chocolate Gourmand
Brian is from the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys making all sorts of desserts. Although it has been a while since his last entry, items such as chocolate whirlgigs are worth the visit.

26. The Chocolate Nerd
This blogger focuses her writings on everything related to luxury chocolate. Cakes, assorted, boxed, and more are all discussed. However, it is another blog that could use more recent entries.

Top Chocolatier Plus Blogs

These blogs take on chocolate and another related aspect.

27. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Gallery
This blog is “dedicated to the world’s two best ingredients.” The blogger features loads of entries often featuring the best in both categories. One of the more recent posts was even on how to detox with both.

28. Chocolate Covered Katie
Formerly known as the Chocolate Covered Vegan, she has been on this diet of her own making for eight years. How to do chocolate the vegan way is discussed on the blog, along with daily life.

29. Chocolate and Zucchini
This blogger is known for combining unusual ingredients as the title suggests. In addition to a cookbook of the same name, you can also visit the blog for loads of recipes. Click on the chocolate tag to get entries such as hot cross buns and even a guide on tasting chocolate.

30. Salt and Chocolate
Katie is from the Midwest where she began to cook before she could reach the counter. Her blog now chronicles her continuing love of food. Chocolate recipes include a bread pudding, birthday treats, and Valentine’s Day.

31. Chocolate Beer
If this is your favorite beverage and dessert, you’ve come to the right place. The web’s largest collection of chocolate beer recipes is featured here. Everything from stout to lager and beyond is shared.

32. Bitter Chocolate
Get reflections on the politics of cocoa and chocolate here. Michael Niemann even offers graphs to get his point across. Fair trade, world affairs, and more often make up the topics of posts.

33. John and Kira’s
They specialize in making their own chocolates. The blog greets everyone with their personal story. You can also find other chocolate related items on the main site.

34. Wayfaring Chocolate
Hannah is a 23-year-old Canberran who seems to delight in telling stories about chocolate, cooking, travel, and more. Categories range from cheese to art tours with chocolate in mind. A recent entry was on a raw brownie recipe.

Top Chocolatier Candy Blogs

If you love chocolate, chances are you love and candy, and these blogs have much more.

35. Candy Blog
Stop here for meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. News, recipes, an FAQ, and more are all offered. Tropical Sours was just the latest candy to be blogged about.

36. All About Candy
Elizabeth LaBau is a pastry chef and confectioner by profession and a voracious candy consumer by choice. Choose from the basics, chocolate, sugar candy, or just read the latest entry. Must reads include “Top 10 Caramel Recipes” and “Tuxedo Strawberries.”

37. Candy Addict
Get “all the candy that’s fit to eat” at this blog. They include news, views, and reviews of new and old favorites. Featured articles include “Top 10 Grossest Candies” and “Top 10 Chocolate Cereals.”

38. Todo Candy
Video entries help this blog stand out. Candy reviews, along with many chocolate entries, are often featured. A popcorn candy was the subject of a recent post.

39. ZOMG, Candy!
Rosa uses this blog to share opinions on various types of candies and sweets that she tastes and eats. She even tags entries by brand name from Annabelle’s to Wrigley’s. She also links to many items of interest.

40. Candy Yum Yum!
Patti is your guide to all things sweet and nostalgic. Her blog is the place to read about new products, reminisce about retro candy, share recipes, swap stories and whatever else strikes her candy fancy. A gourmet cookie that was worth the price was recently discussed.

41. Candy Critic
The CC offers updates, candy news, and other related items. Three bloggers discuss everything from their favorites to candy centered thoughts. They even date back to 2006 and offer literally thousands of entries.

42. Licorice Lover
If licorice is your candy, this is your blog. The LL is obsessed with the candy and even features poems dedicated to it. There are also reviews of the best and worst licorice.

43. Retail Confectioner
This group provides merchandising solutions for the candy industry. Their blog often contains the latest headlines in all kinds of candy. You can also choose trends, profiles, perspectives, and many others.

44. Southwest Candy
This candy maker offers wholesale bulk candy and lollipops at discount prices. You can check out more of what they have to offer, or read the blog. What’s next in the New Year is discussed.

Top Other Chocolatier Blogs

Get the best of the rest by checking out the below.

45. The History of Chocolate
Get a chocolate web guide from Finding Dulcinea here. Functioning as the librarian of the internet, they give a detailed guide of the history, making, and tasting of chocolate. You can also find many related topics.

46. How It’s Made
Part of The Science Channel, this show specializes in showing how everyday items are made. In this entry, the assorted chocolate is taken on. Visit to check out the video, or get loads of other entries on food and drink.

47. Divine Delights
They are a fair trade chocolate company from Ghana. They are even found in many major supermarkets or online. Read the blog to see what is going on locally.

48. Way of Cacao
Frederick explores the world to get cacao in its true form. The blog chronicles how. Visit to see more.

49. The Chocolate Traveler
If you love M & M’s, this is the blog for you. Chocoflyer writes about all kinds of chocolates, with a particular love for the M & M. Chocolate festivals, reviews, and more are all included.

50. Chocolate Chip Cookie Blog
If you love chocolate, chances are this is your favorite kind of cookie. The blog sets out to be the internet’s most comprehensive resource on chocolate chip cookies. Get baking tips, ingredient recommendations, tutorials, and of course, recipes.

If the above top 50 chocolatier blogs have piqued your interest, there is much more available on the web. Try visiting a site like The Food Network or Allrecipes that contain millions of recipes, many of which can be narrowed down to just the choices in chocolate.

5 Ways to Make Your Workout Work for You

Some people have all the luck – they’re not only able to lose weight quickly but also able to keep it off and continue looking and feeling great throughout the ages. But is it luck that plays a vital role in their good health and great-looking body or something much more than that? Fitness and health do not come about serendipitously; rather, they have to be earned by following a sensible diet and working out in a smart way. Exercising is not about spending most of your time at the gym or involving yourself in any other kind of workout. Rather, the best ways to make your workout work for you is to be smart and focus on the following:

  • Strategy: If you don’t have a plan when you enter the gym, you may as well not be there at all. Know ahead what you want to do, how much time you want to spend on each apparatus, and in what order you want to use them. You also need to be a little flexible with the order in which you use the exercise machines because other people may be using them when you’re looking to do so. When you have a plan that can be altered a little according to prevalent conditions, you’re good to go at the gym.
  • Shifting: Vary your routine once every few days if you don’t want to succumb to the monotony that is associated with working out every day. Cross training as it’s called is also good for your body and mind because you work a different set of muscles every day and avoid not only boredom, but also injury and strain. Work your upper body one day, your lower body the next, and do some cardio on the third. This way, you keep your routine fresh and work all your muscles too.
  • Staying: Many people read or watch TV as they work out, but if you want to really get the most out of the 20 minutes on the treadmill or your 15 minutes on the stationary bike, focus on what you’re doing instead of trying to distract yourself. You not only avoid accidental falls that could injure you, you also put more effort into your exercise.
  • Safety: It’s important to stay safe when you exercise because even a small injury will put you out of action for days together. So wear clothes that are comfortable and suited for exercising and shoes that fit well and offer support for your feet. Also, follow basic precautions when you exercise and consult your doctor if you have a history of illness or chronic disease.
  • Settling: Just as it’s important to exercise regularly, so is it important to rest your body adequately before pushing on again. So use five days of the week to exercise and allow yourself to rest on the other two so that you prevent yourself from burning out and/or injuring yourself.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year! The Top 25 Spring Break Hot Spots in the U.S

Contrary to popular belief, Spring Break doesn’t just last a week or two. For most years, Spring Break will stretch from the last week in February through April 1. Because in many cases college students are old enough to travel alone, Spring Break is often the first vacation they take. All across the globe, organized activities in specialized destinations are designed to attract these college student and have only grown in phenomenon.

Although it may have originated for the young adult, everyone else from families to adults are capitalizing on the Spring Break experience to make the most out of their vacations. With many border issues still looming and airfare prices reaching new highs, many vacationers choose to stay local with their choices. To help choose the best option for you, we have gathered the below top 25 Spring Break hot spots in the United States.

Top Spring Break Hot Spots in the U.S for Students

Students in high school and college will appreciate these Spring Break hot spots, many of which cater just to them.

  1. Fort Lauderdale See what all the hoopla is about at least once during your few years as a student. This popular Florida city often makes it on to MTV. Must see’s include the infamous beaches and Elbo room. If you can brave the crowds, this might be the best Spring Break hot spot for students.
  2. Waikiki Beach Anyone can party on Spring Break, but how many can come back from vacation as surfers? This Hawaiian destination has been named “The Surfing Capital of the World.” With a combination of Hawaiian traditions and American lifestyle, along with prime seafood restaurants and luxury resorts, this hot spot can change a life with a single visit.
  3. Panama City Daytona Beach is the draw to this Florida city. Thousands of college students also flock here to find all-star events and loads of hotels on the beach. With a propensity for attracting Spring Break-ers, the city almost exclusively caters to them from February to March. Visit here to get their online calendar of who is doing what and even which schools are being attracted.
  4. Myrtle Beach Don’t think you can get Broadway at the Beach? Think again when you visit this Spring Break hot spot in South Carolina. Plan your stay online and choose from a wide assortment of accommodation options including hotels, resorts, motels, condos, beach homes, and additional types of vacation rentals.
  5. Huntington Beach Can’t go all the way to Hawaii for surfing? A trip to this California city might be in order. Dubbed “Surf City USA,” they offer some of the finest waves in the continental 48. The official website even has a live webcam so you can see what you’re missing.
  6. La Jolla Taken from the Spanish for “jewel,” this California city also makes a popular Spring Break destination. Located just minutes from San Diego, there are also beaches, galleries, and even attractions for the Earth-minded. Visit the official site to learn more about where to go, restaurants, and other accommodations.
  7. Virginia Beach This city also offers a boardwalk right on the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the home of surfing competitions, camping, and many other Spring Break attractions. Other unique options include whale watching and a Rock and Roll Marathon. The official site has loads more on why to visit.
  8. South Padre Island If you’re stuck in the middle and California and Florida are too far to drive, go south. Located on the tropical tip of Texas, South Padre Island is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay. Beautiful beaches, warm Gulf waters, fishing, boating, bird watching, shopping, and a diversity of year-round activities await every visitor. With plans for Spring Break already underway, be sure and visit this site to learn more.

Top Spring Break Hot Spots in the U.S for Families

If traveling with the kids for Spring Break, check out these hot spots.

  1. Orlando Because every kid should see Disneyland, stop by this Florida city. Other theme parks such as Epcot Center and Universal Studios can also make this city a dream come true for children of all ages. If still confused as to why to visit Orlando, check out this list of 210 Things to do in Orlando which include strolling through Diagon Alley and a visit to Gatorland.
  2. Yellowstone National Park The Old Faithful Geyser remains one of the park’s most beloved destinations. However, there are over 10,000 other geothermal features to be viewed. Kids will also enjoy the animals that can be in found in the park which include elk, bison, coyotes, bears, and the occasional moose. Yellowstone Lake also offers tons of water related fun.
  3. Grand Canyon If the Brady Bunch can make it to the Grand Canyon, so can your family. In addition to doing the usual fare such as taking pictures from the station wagon and horseback rides, the Havasupai waterfalls are also not to be missed. Many Native American traditions continue in the Grand Canyon, along with many popular American cities.
  4. Washington, D.C. Teach the family all about our nation’s history while visiting its capital. There are loads of attractions including The Smithsonian and zoo which are full of both fun and education. Best of all, many historic attractions are free or low cost to see.
  5. Anchorage If you love the outdoors, this is the Spring Break destination for your family. Both the Kenai and Denali National Parks can be visited from the city and offer loads of year round options. You can even use this family oriented site to plan your vacation by the age of your children from babies to teens.
  6. Ka’upulehu-Kona The Four Seasons in this Hawaiian city was deemed the most kid friendly of the resorts in this city. World class snorkeling and a Kids for all Seasons program are just some of the reasons to visit. If too pricey, Five Star Alliance recommends four other resorts in the state.
  7. Jackson Hole Have kids that are seemingly too young for skiing? This Wyoming destination may be the answer. It has over 50% of its skiing trails for new or beginning skiers. There is even The Kids Ranch, which caters exclusively to younger guests.
  8. Sea Island Throughout the year, professionally planned and supervised age-appropriate children’s programming is the highlight of a family visit to the Sea Island Resorts in Georgia. They include a Bull’s Eye Hour, junior golf and tennis, fishing, crabbing, and many others. Adults can also find many options just for them.

Top Spring Break Hot Spots in the U.S for Adults

Those who are 21 and over will greatly enjoy these cities, along with all of their adult targeted fun.

  1. Vegas With so much to do and see, there really is no bad time to go to Las Vegas, Nevada. Those who don’t care for gambling will be so overwhelmed with the shows, shopping, and outright decadence of the city to realize that it was built on casinos. However, those who enjoy placing a bet or two will find options for them in everything from the world famous Strip to downtown. This site has loads of specials and deals no matter what your return city.
  2. New Orleans You don’t have to go to Vegas to get impressive entries in American gambling. The “Big Easy” has loads to offer in world class casinos. The Cajun influence is still as strong as ever, and there are many places to dine on live crawfish while you listen to live jazz music. Add on Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and much more, and you will see why this is one city every American should visit.
  3. South Beach When looking for world-class dining, spectacular beaches, one of the hottest club scenes in America, or to just spend a quiet day meandering through boutiques, this part of Miami has something for you. Known for its whimsy and variety of visitors, South Beach has a little of everything. There is also a strong Cuban presence there with unique and authentic dining to match.
  4. Atlantic City The now infamous boardwalk is just one of the many reasons to visit this New Jersey city. It also offers casino gambling, spas, nightlife, and fine dining. There are also beaches to be enjoyed during Spring when the weather is nice. Visit the official site to get more information on where to stay, play, and party.
  5. Puerto Rico It may not be one of the 50 states, but Puerto Rico is still part of the United States. In addition to entries featured above such as casinos and unique dining, Puerto Rico is also home to hundreds of years in history. Forts, museums, and more offer a touch of culture. You can also visit Casa Bacardi while you’re there.
  6. Lake Tahoe Whether staying North or South, this lake encompasses two states and can be enjoyed from several cities. Fishing and watersports can be found there. Other options include rafting, hiking, and many world class casinos. Those who visit during colder months can even find skiing.
  7. Crested Butte Who says you have to go to a beach on Spring Break? This Colorado destination often offers most-of-the-year skiing options. It is a popular destination for snowboarders and even has offering for college students.
  8. Pebble Beach If the only thing you want to do on your vacation is play golf, this world renowned resort is your Spring Break hot spot. Often the course is used for many professional tours, and you can play golf just like Tiger Woods, setting-wise. There are also many other options such as spas and world class dining at the resort.
  9. The Dude Ranch See America as it was when it was young by checking out a Dude Ranch. Horseback riding, camping, and other “unplugged” activities await you. This article from Travel and Leisure recounts the nation’s best dude ranches.

If still a student, consult your parents before heading off to any of the above top 25 Spring Break hot spots. To help plan a Spring Break trip, check out a site like Budget Travel. Not only do they offer many vacation options with the pocketbook in mind, they also came out with a “Five Best Travel Sites” to help those who just have to book online.

How Effective is Homework When It’s Outsourced?

We’ve all been through the homework routine – we’ve grumbled at teachers who doled it out, we’ve rebelled against parents who forced us to do it, and now we’re on the other side of the fence hoping against hope that our children won’t give us the same hell about homework that we gave our parents. Simply put, homework is a thorn in the flesh, of not just students, but educators and parents as well. The latter know it must be done, yet the former is all but reluctant to do it.

Perhaps the most convincing argument against homework is this – why do we have to continue to hit the books after spending so many hours in school? The answer is that the education system has evolved into a form where school implies teaching and learning, and homework involves revising what you’ve learnt and improving your understanding of the subject. Simply put, homework is one way of testing yourself to see if you’ve understood what you’ve been taught at school and if you’re now comfortable with your level of knowledge on the subject or lesson.

So if this is the reasoning behind the need for homework, how effective is the whole process when it’s now being outsourced to places like India? Yes, you read that right – homework is now being outsourced from countries like Australia, the UK and the US to places like India. Thanks to the Internet and the complexities of the difference in currency values and the standard of living across the globe, homework outsourcing is turning out to be a boon for both the students who do it and the professionals who undertake the responsibility for a nominal fee. The latter offer their services on sites dedicated to this purpose, and the former get to choose who they would like to entrust their homework with. It’s a two-way street where the students don’t get pulled up by their teachers and the professionals earn a fast buck for work that is hardly taxing.

However, with homework becoming a business and students resorting to a form of cheating to get homework off their backs, the question that stares us in the face is this – is this contributing in any way to the learning process? Why do children have to go to school if they’re going to get someone else to do their homework? What is the point in learning if they have to pay a substitute to do it for them? And how accurate are grades based on the merit of homework that was done by someone across many seas?

The problem with outsourcing homework is that it does not help the student in any way, other than to give them a temporary reprieve. Rather, it sets the foundation for a negative trend, one which sees them trying to palm off anything challenging and difficult to those who are willing to do it for a price. Parents who encourage their wards in the practice must remember that the point of schooling is not to earn just a diploma; it is to enhance learning and provide children with a foundation on which they can build their careers and their lives. And when homework is outsourced, it weakens this foundation and leaves it suspect to a mighty fall sometime in the very near future.

Educating Children with Mood Disorders

There could be worse things in the world, but nothing seems to beat your child being diagnosed with an incurable or debilitating illness like a mood disorder. At first you don’t understand why your baby is behaving so erratically; you try everything from punishment to rewards, but their behavior doesn’t change because it’s neurological; and then when you finally hear the diagnosis, you’re hit with a pain so unbearable and that feels like it will never go away. But you cope as best as you can; with medication and a good support system, you protect your child and keep them away from harm and the judgmental eyes of society. But what happens when they become old enough to start school? How do you take care of their academic needs?

  • Home schooling: One option is to homeschool them; you take on the responsibility for their learning and you guide them through their lessons. On the plus side, you’re able to understand your child’s moods and abilities better than any teacher will, which means that you are in the best position to teach him/her. Also, this move prevents them from having to face ridicule from other children and punishment from adults who don’t understand their illness. But on the negative side, your child may be at a disadvantage when it comes to relating to society as a whole as they grow up. They may find it hard to learn to be normal in the presence of strangers and people who they must interact with in their day-to-day life.
  • Special schools: Most parents prefer to take this route because the teachers are specially trained in dealing with and educating children with special needs. Besides, with all the children being similar, your child does not feel like a stranger or have trouble fitting in. The problem with these schools however is that your child may find it hard to cope in situations where they are not paid special attention and where they are considered one among the rest.
  • Regular schools: If your child is able to cope in such a setting and if the teachers are capable of bringing out the best in your child, this is the most ideal kind of educational environment you can expose your child to. Because they’re exposed to the real world when young, they’re able to adjust to it better when they become adults and have to work for a living. But this move could backfire if your child is subject to ridicule from other children and teachers or is too moody to fit in.

Children with bipolar disorder are extremely gifted in certain areas, but because they have trouble concentrating and appear anxious and moody at times, they do not fit in regular classrooms. Also, they may have certain learning disabilities and behavioral problems; so if teachers are not prepared to cope, your child could be at a disadvantage. Every child with mood disorders is different, and as a parent, you know what’s best for your child. So exercise caution in choosing the right education environment that suits your child’s personality.

5 Tips for Effective Learning

There’s a vast difference between the words learning and studying, but not many people know it. When they hear the term learning, they automatically associate it with something students do at college and school. Actually, learning is a lifelong process, one that each one of us adopts in different ways. We may not be educated at the best schools and colleges, but that does not mean we haven’t learned anything. Life is the best teacher there is, and we learn from both our experiences and that of others. If you’re looking for ways to effective learning, here they are:

  • Broaden your horizons: You are the sum total of your experiences, so the more experiences you have, the more you learn. Instead of sticking to the same routine day in and day out, expand your boundaries and try new things, meet new people, and test new experiences. The more you do, the more you learn – the experiences may be positive or negative, but irrespective of the outcome, they all add up to the learning process.
  • Read more: If you’re limited by your circumstances, use books to gain knowledge and expand your repertoire. The Internet is a great way to gain knowledge and keep up with the times even if you’re not able to travel and interact with other people. When you continue to stay relevant through reading, you don’t feel out of place in any environment, even if you find yourself in it the first time.
  • Continue to improve yourself: When you strive to better your life instead of just accepting what life throws at you, you’re constantly learning new things and improving your personality too. You don’t have to think big, even simple things like spending more time with your family and children, making time for exercise every day, being more productive at work than you usually are, and even saving money for a rainy day are considered improvements if they make you a better person than you were the day before.
  • Don’t let age be a barrier: Never say or think that you’re too old to do anything your heart wants to do. As long as you’re not foolhardy, you can test new waters and gain more learning through new experiences. You’re only as old as you think you are, so if you’re healthy and fit, there’s no reason to limit yourself.
  • Learn from experience: My father always said that the biggest fool is one who never learns from experience or their mistakes. And because we do not live long enough to make all the mistakes possible, the really clever ones are those who learn from the experiences and mistakes of other people too. So they gain the lesson without suffering the pain. When you learn from experience, the learning is more effective and permanent.

Remember, learning is not rote memorization; rather, it’s a process that helps you grow emotionally, professionally and spiritually as you pass through life.