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Early Morning Crew

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I Do OR I Don't

Aug 24, 2015 -- 3:46pm

First comes love, then comes marriage -- but many will say "I do" without an engagement ring. 66 percent of U.S. adults think an expensive diamond engagement ring is one wedding tradition that should be abandoned, according to a Harris Poll that assessed our attitudes toward wedding customs and rituals.

We say "I do!" to these wedding traditions:

  • The father of the bride should "give her away": 84 percent agree
  • Women should be the only guests at bridal showers; men should not be included: 74 percent
  • The bride and groom should spend the night apart on the night before their wedding: 71 percent agree
  • Before the groom proposes, he should ask the bride's father for permission to marry his daughter: 70 percent agree
  • The groom's family should pay for the rehearsal dinner: 65 percent agree


We say "Maybe" to these wedding traditions:

  • The bride should wear white: 54 percent agree and 46 percent disagree
  • The bride's family should pay all the expenses of the wedding: 53 percent agree and 47 percent disagree
  • The bride and groom should wait until the wedding night to have sex for the first time: 51 percent agree and 49 percent disagree


We say "No way!" to these wedding traditions:

  • The groom should buy the bride an expensive diamond engagement ring: 66 percent disagree
  • Spending money on a lavish wedding is a waste: 83 percent agree
  • A wedding ceremony should take place in a house of religious worship: 46 percent agree
  • Destination weddings put an unfair financial burden on guests: 88 percent agree

Kiss This!

Aug 24, 2015 -- 3:45pm

Kissing someone, especially for the first time, can unleash a torrent of butterflies that takes your breath away or stir up inner groans of revulsion. It's nature's way of helping us choose a partner -- either for the evening or a lifetime. Here are ten facts about kissing you may not have known, courtesy of Dr. Laura Berman:

1. Kissing is one of the few sexual acts that most of us have engaged in many times. A nationwide survey by Close-Up toothpaste found that the average woman kisses 17.5 men before settling down, while the average man kisses 24 women before choosing just one.

2. Girls report their first kiss happened at age 14, while boys are a bit slower and say their first kiss happened between the ages of 16 and 18.

3. Both men and women say their favorite kind of kiss is the French kiss.

4. The French kiss got its name in the English language in 1923, but the act of French kissing has been around long before France or anything French ever existed.

5. Many women will tell you that a kiss is the ultimate deal-breaker.

6. People in the Northwest United States exchange an average of 5.5 kisses a day, more than any other area of the country.

7. Those in the Northeast are the most confident of their kissing abilities.

8. Midwesterners are the most honest in their relationships and are most likely to confess when they have cheated and had a make-out session with someone else.

9. Kissing someone for more than one minute can burn as many as 25 calories.

10. Passionate kissing will not only help you unwind and relax, but also it can aid in boosting your immune system--and all without a doctor's prescription.


Well Read Cities

Aug 24, 2015 -- 3:38pm

Ok, Julie LOVES to read and Jim...not as much.  While some cities are known for their traffic, some are notorious for their high rate of crime, others are known for being rich...OR poor. But Seattle, Washington, home to Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon, is known for being well-read, according to an annual poll that ranked all U.S. cities with a population of more than 500,000 residents to determine the most well-read cities in America. Coming in right behind Seattle are Portland, Oregon and Las Vegas. The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all books, magazines and newspapers in both print and Kindle formats on a per capita basis in cities with a population of a half-million or more.

The top 20 most well-read U.S. cities:

  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. Tucson, Arizona
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Louisville, Kentucky
  11. Charlotte, North Carolina
  12. Baltimore, Maryland
  13. San Diego, California
  14. Houston, Texas
  15. Indianapolis, Indiana
  16. San Jose, California
  17. Jacksonville, Florida
  18. San Antonio, Texas
  19. Nashville, Tennessee
  20. Chicago, Illinois


Want more? Of course you do:

  • The bookworms in Seattle not only purchased the most books overall, but also bought the most Kindle books, magazines and newspapers.
  • California is for readers! Three cities made the top 20 list: San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose.
  • Las Vegas is for lovers! (Sorry, Virginia.) Vegas residents bought more romance books than residents of any other city in the country.
  • "Gone Girl" was the top-selling book in seven of the 20 most well-read cities: Houston, Austin, Charlotte, Tucson, Louisville, Albuquerque and Baltimore.

What Teachers Wish Parents Knew

Aug 03, 2015 -- 9:45pm

It's back to school time so what is the most effective way parents can help their children do their best in school is to offer continual support and encouragement of learning. But how can you specifically put this into action? Dr. Diane Sekeres, assistant professor of education at The University of Alabama, offers six ways parents can do just that:

1. Pay attention every day to the information that comes home in your child's backpack. If anything needs to be returned or forms need to be completed, be sure to do that promptly.

2. Check daily to make sure your child has completed the assignments. Make sure homework and other assignments are in the backpack so they are handed in on time.

3. Work with your child to plan ahead for projects so they can be done well without the stress of too-little time. This will help your child learn to organize time and tasks.

4. Offer occasional encouragement to your child's teacher, letting him or her know what you've noticed about your child's learning and growth. Do what you can to help the lines of communication stay open between you and the teacher.

5. If your child tells you something that happened in the classroom that concerns you, first check with the teacher for information before you register a complaint.

6. Come visit the classroom. Take a day when you can eat lunch with your child, volunteer to help out or teach the children about something you know well. 

Bad Habits You Want to Keep

Jul 28, 2015 -- 2:35pm

Hi everyone...Jim and Julie checking in.  We found this and thought we'd share...watching television can make you smarter. Gossiping can make you less critical of yourself. And coffee can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Yes, some bad habits--in moderation--may actually be good for you. Obviously, chewing your nails to the quick or being tardy most of the time are still bad habits, but Ladies Home Journal reports that some bad habits can have surprisingly good effects.

Here are five that get a bad rap, but can be good for you.

1. Television
The good: When you watch shows that exercise your mind, it can actually make you smarter. Some shows can give you a cognitive workout, while others will encourage you to reflect on your marriage and family life. Still others will almost always teach you something new. The bad: If you turn into a couch potato and watch TV excessively while your family does other things, it's a problem. Sitting in front of the TV for too long can drain your energy. If you watch more than two hours a day, it's time to dial down the habit.

2. Facebook
The good: Facebook can help you deepen relationships and connect with people from your past with whom you long ago lost touch. It can be a valuable resource for information, too. Posting a message that you need the name of a good plumber or tips for planting a vegetable garden can result in information you would not have otherwise received. The bad: When you spend so much time on Facebook that you neglect your work, family or household chores, you may need to restrict your use by building it into your schedule. Be disciplined and only check in at those times.

3. Gossiping
The good: When we gossip about other people, it can make us less critical of our own lives. A celebrity's third trip to rehab or the neighbor's failed marriage can make you realize you're doing just fine. Gossip, which is human nature, also relieves stress and can create a culture of closeness.The bad: If you purposely spread vicious stories about someone else that could be potentially damaging, it's time to stop. Too much gossiping can make you seem insecure or egocentric.

4. Coffee
The good: Regular coffee consumption is actually good for you! Numerous studies have shown multiple health benefits, including a lower risk for stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, liver cancer and gallstones. The bad: If you indulge in fancy, high-calorie java drinks, they can make you fat since they're not only packed with caffeine, but also calories. And pregnant women shouldn't drink coffee at all because it can increase the risk of miscarriage.

5. Being Messy
The good: So what if your desk is a pile of papers and the junk drawer is so crammed with stuff it won't open? Moderately disorganized people also tend to be more creative and efficient than those who are obsessively neat. The bad: When the boss looks at you like your desk is a fire hazard or you can't find your favorite jeans in your closet, it's time to clean up. Being messy is fine--to a point. Complete disorder is a problem. Schedule weekly tidy-up sessions to keep things under control. 5 Bad Habits You Want to Keep

Hot Dog Etiquette - Who Knew!

Jul 05, 2015 -- 9:44pm

Do's and Don'ts: Everyday guidance for eating America's sacred food.

  • Don't -- put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always "dress the dog," not the bun.
  • Do -- condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
  • Do -- serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
  • Don't -- use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.
  • Do -- eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
  • Do -- use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable; china is a no-no.
  • Don't -- take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wiener, seven bites are acceptable.
  • Don't -- leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.
  • Don't -- use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.
  • Do -- Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
  • Do -- use multi-colored toothpicks to serve cocktail wieners. Cocktail forks are in poor taste.
  • Don't -- bring wine to a hot dog barbecue. Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.
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