Wednesday, 3 August 2011

8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband

One of the best parts about marriage is being so comfortable with your hubby that you can say just about anything to him. But if you don’t watch your mouth, sometimes the ugly truth comes out in hurtful—not helpful––ways. Though you may have legitimate concerns to express or issues to bring up, doing so in a harsh manner can be damaging in the long term, to both your husband’s feelings and your relationship. According to Judy Ford, psychotherapist and author of Every Day Love, “Speaking kindly is a skill that couples have to learn. Everyone feels battered by life and the outside world. You shouldn’t feel that way at home.” Here, nine statements that you should never utter to your significant other––and the words that you should try instead.

1. “You’re just like your father.
“This is just a no-no,” says Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker and author of The Pathway to Love. “It’s nasty and belittling, and it gets at his fear that he may be exhibiting the worst traits of his family.” If you’re about to spout a criticism like this, stop and think about what’s behind it: Maybe your father-in-law is the kind of guy who never cleans up after himself, and your husband’s habit of leaving dirty dishes around the house is getting to you. According to Ford, you should skip the insult and get right to a reasonable request, such as: “Hon, when you’re done with your sandwich, can you bring your dish over to the sink?” That way, you can achieve your goals without hurting him in the process
2. “When are you going to find a new job?”
First, figure out why you want him to find a new job so badly. Do you dislike how much time he spends away from home? Do you think he can or should be further ahead career-wise? Is he not bringing home a healthy-enough salary? “Before you say anything that could be hurtful to him, think about what your own issues are,” says Ford. Be particularly careful that you're not attacking his ability to support you and the kids: “Part of how a man evaluates himself is by how well he can take care of his family,” says Ford, so insulting him in this sensitive area can be a serious blow. To avoid this, have regular talks about both of your jobs, career ambitions and budget concerns. If you have an issue with how much money he’s making, “it’s an opportunity to talk about your lifestyle and how you want to live,” she adds. The aim is to avoid putting him on the defensive, and instead work together to create the life you both want. Photo: Shutterstock

3. “My mother warned me you’d do this!”
Something must have seriously infuriated you, because what you’re doing here is letting him know that there are others in your “camp.” “You are trying to validate your ‘side’ of an argument, as though you’re marshalling an army to your side,” says Orlov. But that’s never a good idea because it’s telling him that you’re not on his side, or on the side of your relationship. Though you should never let the opinions of others’ dictate your relationship, if there is some kernel of truth to a concern that your mother raised, think about how to address that. “Maybe your mother said ‘he’s too cheap,’” says Orlov. “Say to him, ‘why do you sometimes seem reluctant to spend money on things we need?’” Without ganging up on him, that could open up a discussion about money worries that stem from his childhood, for example. “Room is now cleared for creative problem-solving,” says Orlov. And if you’re just lashing out? Hold your tongue and focus on the root of what’s making you mad. In the end, coming to a solution together will make you feel better than unleashing hurtful words. Photo: Shutterstock

4. “Just leave it––I’ll do it myself!
This is hurtful in two ways. First, it gets at your husband’s elemental need to be a provider, supporter and capable person in the house. Second, it’s just plain demeaning for any adult to hear that his efforts are sub-par. Do this too often and your husband might think, “I can never do anything right or anything that’ll please her,” says Ford. A better choice is to pick your battles. If he’s in the middle of a task and you think that he’s doing it wrong, evaluate whether it really matters, keeping in mind that, just because he’s doing something differently than you would doesn’t mean that he’s doing it wrong—he is, after all, an adult too. Sure, if he’s about to hurt himself or someone else or break something, kindly step in. But if he’s just loading the dishwasher in a way that drives you nuts? Let it be. Photo: Thinkstock

5. “You always... [fill in the blank]” or “You never... [fill in the blank]”
“These are two phrases I advise couples never to use,” says Ford, “because they set up an instant, negative tone; they halt communication and they put the other person on the defensive.” These blanket statements can make your husband feel unfairly attacked, and chances are he’ll just fire back with all the times he did help. If there are legitimate problems you’d like to address (he really does tend to leave his tools all over the garage floor or often forgets to put gas in the car after driving it), avoid generalizing and try to focus on the issue at hand while also communicating how his actions make you feel: “When you come home with an empty tank of gas, I feel like you don't care about the next person who has to drive the car—which is usually me.” Then add the phrase “would you be willing...,” suggests Ford. Try: “Would you be willing to fill up the car when it gets below a quarter tank?” Most men are willing to do most anything that’ll make you happy––it’s all in how you ask. Photo: Shutterstock

6. “Do you really think those pants are flattering?”
Are you trying to hint that he’s putting on weight? Because saying the above, says Ford, is not getting anything concrete across. You may think that you’re subtly conveying the message, but instead you’re insulting his looks without showing any genuine concern for his health. Instead, start with something you like about how he looks: “When you wear that blue shirt, it really makes me appreciate your gorgeous blue eyes.” Then broach the topic of his weight gain by framing the comment so it’s about his health, not looks: “Honey, what do you think about us both starting after-dinner walks?” When you’ve softened up your approach, you have more room to make other, helpful suggestions. Photo: Thinkstock

7. “Ugh, we’re hanging out with him again?
There’s nothing wrong with your guy having a friend whose company you don’t love—no one says spouses are required to adore each other’s friends, especially that one college pal who likes to pretend he and your hubby never left the frat house. What is wrong is insulting your man’s choice of friends. Your disdain may also suggest that you’d prefer to pick his friends for him—and no one wants to be told who they should be pals with. A better choice: “Oh, honey, you know I don’t always enjoy doing the same things as you and George, so why don’t you plan a guys’ night instead?’” suggests Ford. Remember, there’s no marriage rule that says you two have to do everything together; he might actually be relieved to have a little guy time with his pal that doesn't involve him having to worry if you’re having fun or are offended by his friend’s jokes. (And keep this in mind: If a friend is really awful, your husband is much more likely to see that on his own, over time, whereas if you nag him to drop the dolt it may never happen.) Photo: Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

8. “Please watch the kids. But don’t do this, take them here or forget that...”
This is a classic nervous-new-mom move: When you’re in anxiety mode, it can be hard to let go of childcare tasks (even though you would love to have more help). It’s also an attitude that can become a habit no matter how long you’ve been a mom, leading to some very unhealthy feelings: You may become resentful because he doesn’t pitch in, but you don’t always give him room to, either. At the end of the day, no husband is going to be inspired to be a better, more hands-on and involved dad if his every effort is shot down, says Orlov. “If he always feels like he’s wrong, he’ll only start to disconnect emotionally.” So let Dad be Dad. Trust that he knows as well as you do how to keep a child clean, safe and fed—even if his definitions of those tasks are slightly different than your own. That said, if there are things he needs to know, like how to use the stroller or what the pediatrician’s phone number is, definitely give him the rundown. Photo: Shutterstock

Five Android smartphones you should avoid buying

Not all Android smartphones are created equal. Unlike the iPhone, which is generally updated by Apple once a year, there are literally dozens of smartphone models on the market powered by Google’s mobile operating software.
While there are a handful of fan favorites like the Nexus S 4G and Motorola Atrix, there are also plenty of dogs that suffer from poor performance issues, weak batteries, and stupidly unnecessary features. Based on input from our readers, personal experience and poor reviews, we detail here five Android phones you should avoid buying.

Huawei m835 Ideos

Sometimes you get what you pay for, which is the case with this Metro PCS-branded Android smartphone. While we love the fact that Android phones can now be purchased without a contract for less than $100, the tiny screen size, spotty performance and poor battery life of the Huawei Ideos makes it an inferior device than even most feature phones. The appeal of its compact dimensions (4.1 inches tall and 2.2 inches wide) are overshadowed by a 2.8-inch touchscreen that makes typing and navigating through websites and applications awkward at best. This problem is amplified when you consider that most prospective users of this “starter Android phone” haven’t owned a smartphone before. There are certainly smarter ways to try out an Android.


Releasing a phone based on state-of-the-art navigation technology was a good idea at first. But Garmin’s first (and only) entry into the crowded Android device market suffered from poor sales and a generally directionless marketing approach. The idea was to bring Garmin’s expertise at GPS satellite navigation into a smartphone. The trouble is, most regular Android smartphones include Google Maps already installed. For the vast majority of consumers, that app and the hundreds of other navigation-oriented Android apps produced by independent developers is all that will ever be needed. While there is no denying that the Garminfone works well as a standalone GPS device, for those wanting a true Android smartphone experience, it certainly doesn’t cut the mustard. As Google Maps now works offline too, which was one of the Garminfone’s original advantages, the device is becoming even more obsolete.

Dell Streak

Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? The Dell Streak somehow combines the worst qualities of each. What’s the point of having a portable device that places phone calls but doesn’t comfortably fit in your pocket? In terms of computing, the comparatively small Dell Streak is clearly inferior to the iPad and other tablet offerings. But don’t just take our word for it. Wall Street Journal tech guru Walt Mossberg listed the Streak as one of the worst devices he reviewed in 2010. Android software updates to the Streak have made it a more usable device than when Mossberg published his original review. However, not even the most advanced mobile operating system in the world can make up for the Streak’s clumsy form factor.

Motorola Citrus

Verizon subscribers have a serious beef with the Motorola Citrus, which has an average two-and-a-half star rating (out of five) based on 392 reviews. Among its drawbacks are a slow web browser that is difficult to read text on because of the small screen size. Many users complain about constantly having to manipulate the screen size in order to read text. The Citrus is also known to revert to Airplane Mode by itself and freeze without warning. For search and navigation, the Citrus pushes users to pre-installed Bing applications rather than providing easy access to Google and other applications. While it is common for smartphones to include this kind of "bloatware" upon purchase, for tasks as essential as search and navigation users should be free to make their own choices. There may be worse Android smartphones available, but Verizon subscribers who insist on buying a Motorola phone are better off paying for the superior Droid models. The Citrus is free to purchase with a two-year contract and readily available. But you’re still going to pay thousands of dollars for the duration of your deal, so it’s better to pony up earlier for a superior phone and let this lemon spoil.

HTC Thunderbolt

OK, before you start with the angry emails for including this one, hear us out. The Thunderbolt is a great device with plenty of power. It has been well reviewed, sold well, and offers the advantage of blazing-fast connectivity on Verizon’s 4G network. But -- and we’re certainly not the only ones to point this out -- the Thunderbolt has been beset with quirks and problems since its launch. Randy Arrowood, from enthusiast blog Android Headlines, even went so far as to put it at number one in his Top 10 Android Phone Letdowns of 2011. Arrowood cited issues when transferring from a 4G to 3G network, constant restarts, and the most common issue of all: horrendous battery life. For sure, the Thunderbolt (and many others like it) are great devices with loads of style and power. But if you need an extra battery just to see you through the afternoon, or can’t use the phone to its utmost potential because of a lack of juice, then what’s the point of having all those features?


Monday, 1 August 2011

5 Bills NOT to Automate

Service providers are happy to give you the "convenience" of automated payments — primarily because it lets them reach into your wallet each and every month. But although autopay can be a valuable financial tool for some bills and expenses, for other types of payments, you may be setting yourself up for all-too-frequent fee hikes, surprise costs, and payments for services you never even use.
Those unexpected costs can hit you with a double whammy, says Jean Ann Fox, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America. In addition to the extra costs themselves, surprise fee hikes can bleed your account balance dry, she says — and "if you run low in your checking account, you can easily overdraw your account and rack up $35 overdraft fees."
Here are five fees to drop from your automated payment list today.
Mobile Phone Bills
Perhaps the only thing more exasperating than getting your usual sky-high smartphone bill is getting a bill that's even higher than you expect after you've exceeded your plan's texting, phone, or data limits. "If you've got kids, you've got to be paying particular attention to your bills. Oftentimes, they'll download 'free' ringtones that have monthly subscription fees buried in the terms and conditions," says Kathy Kristof, MoneyWatch columnist and author of Investing 101. "If you've automated that expense, you might not notice the charges for months."
"In-app" purchases — such as a game's additional levels, premium features, or virtual goods — also can easily add hundreds of dollars to a monthly bill.
Insurance Payments
Aggressive advertising from insurance companies has conditioned people to look for the very best prices on home and auto insurance. And you can get great deals — for a while. "I call them ungrateful service providers," says Brian Preston, wealth manager at Preston and Cleveland in McDonough, Ga., and host of the Money Guy podcast. "They give great rates to brand-new customers, but then they'll have premium creep over the years, because they hope you're not paying attention." Keep them honest by shopping the rates every year or two.
Sitting down to pay water, electric, and heating bills may seem like an onerous chore, but those bills may be the first tipoff that something's out of whack. "If the electric bill is high, maybe it means the refrigerator in the garage has its door open," Kristof says. Big bills will encourage you to investigate problems early.
Gym Memberships
According to a study done by Stanford and Berkeley researchers, most people dramatically overestimate the number of times they go to the gym each month — in essence paying $17 a visit with a monthly fee. "One technique you can use to save money is to pay a la carte," says Ramit Sethi, author of the blog and book I Will Teach You to Be Rich. "It sounds crazy to buy a day pass each time you go, but that may actually save you money."
Other options include buying packages of passes (often found at climbing gyms and yoga studios) or using smartphone apps to support your (free) workout. The free Adidas miCoach app, for example, tracks the distance and speed of your runs while piping helpful coaching advice into your earbuds.
Cable Bills
Cable used to have a lock on the best programming, but that's changing quickly. Instead of shelling out three figures every month to get your weekly Mad Men fix, consider individual purchases from iTunes or Amazon. "When you're forced to experience the pain of paying each time you purchase a show, you might decide you don't actually want it," says Sethi. "It can also get people out of the house and off the TV."
Still want your TV and movie fix? You can add top-flight movies streamed over your internet connection from Netflix for a more reasonable cost of $8 a month and many past and current TV shows from Hulu Plus for $8 a month.

Yahoo Finance

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Hustler magazine wants Casey Anthony for $500,000

Casey Anthony might be one of the most hated women in America, but Hustler magazine wants to give her a half-million dollars.
If she'll pose naked.
Larry Flynt's porno magazine has offered the 25-year-old, who was acquitted of murdering her daughter, Caylee, the cash, Flynt told HLN's Nancy Grace.
But even he thinks it's a little weird.
After the verdict, Flynt said, "I just felt that people wouldn't want to see her with her clothes on or off, so I kind of forgot about the idea."
But book lovers made him change his mind.
"I just recently got off of a book tour where dozens of people would come up to me in Philadelphia, Austin, Houston, they'd say, 'Why haven't you made an offer to Casey Anthony?"' he said.
 He said he became convinced that a good hair stylist and makeup artist could have her "looking really fabulous."
Anthony's representatives told CNN there have been no discussions.
But Flynt said in addition to the $500,000, he offered Anthony a percentage of whatever he earns from her pictures.
"You could make millions," he said.
But even he acknowledged he's a little skeezed out.
"You've got men who say, hey, I want to see her in her birthday suit," he said of the Anthony offer. "There may be some sick individuals ... but that's what life is all about."
Copyright 2011 by

Men: 5 little-known ways to flirt

When it comes to attraction, there may indeed be a little weird science involved. Seriously, how many times have you looked at a couple and said to yourself, Hmmm…how did a guy like that get a gal like her? Well, we’re not going to say we’ve found the magic elixir, but we did dig up some surprising secret ways men can effortlessly make themselves more attractive to the ladies.

We’re guessing that even if they don’t actually work for you personally, the extra confidence you’ll exude knowing you’ve got these stealth attraction tactics (i.e., “attractics”) in your arsenal may just help you land a date with that gal you’ve had your eye on.

Attractic #1: Wear red
Red is a power color, and that doesn’t just apply to politics and carpets at Hollywood events. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, simply wearing the color red or being surrounded by the rosy hue makes a man more attractive and desirable to women. The fact that women are largely unaware of this color’s arousing quality makes wearing it that much more effective for men who are in the know (unless they’re women who happen to have read this article… in which case, they may be on to you, but they’ll still probably respond to the color anyway).

Adding a touch of red into your wardrobe apparently makes women perceive you as having a higher social status, more likely to make money and think of you as powerful (whether it’s true or not). On a purely animalistic level, for non-human primates — like mandrills and gelada baboons — the color red is an indicator of male dominance and is expressed most intensely in alpha males. Females of these species mate more often with alpha males who, in return, provide them with protection and resources. “When women see red, it triggers something deep and probably biologically ingrained,” says Andrew Elliot, the lead author of this study and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. In other words, dressing to impress may now mean adding a pop of cherry into your typical black, gray and navy wardrobe staples.

Attractic #2: Eat celery
Real men don’t eat rabbit food, right? WRONG. If you want to reel in the ladies, try increasing your crunches — of celery stalks, that is, not the gym variety. And it’s not just because women tend to congregate around vegetable trays at parties; in fact, eating celery increases the amount of female-attracting pheromones that men emit. Why? It seems that the cytoplasm found in celery contains the same chemicals as those found in human male sweat (specifically, regular sweat that’s responsible for a subtly masculine scent, which may not always be perceptible through clothing); both contain the steroid Androstenone, which makes men more attractive to women.

Why would you want more pheromones oozing out of your pores, you ask? Well, these are the hormones responsible for letting animals know when it’s time to mate, and they’re also how insects attract their mates from up to six miles away. So if you find yourself within flirting distance of an attractive woman and you’re dripping in delicious pheromones thanks to the celery you snacked on for lunch, women may find themselves irresistibly drawn to you. “The effects of celery are almost immediate,” says Judy Gaman, coauthor of the book, Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health. “We recommend that a man work out, have a nice, warm shower, chomp on a few sticks of celery, brush his teeth — and then head out the door smelling good!” Admit it: you’re rethinking the “eat your vegetables” edict now, aren’t you? Just call it “eau de crudité.”

Attractic #3: Play romantic music
Looking to score a gal’s digits or get her to think that you’re Prince Charming? Take a cue from the French and play a little love song first. According to a recent study by researchers Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob from the Université de Bretagne-Sud (along with Lubomir Lamy from Université de Paris-Sud), women who were exposed to romantic music before interacting with eligible males were more likely to hand over their contact information (ostensibly, to set up a date) than those ladies who were exposed to “neutral” music in the same scenario. And while sappy ballads might make more macho guys want to gag, if your goal is to get the lady in question’s email address, it might behoove you to stomach a little Il Divo or Josh Groban in the presence of female subjects (the researchers showed positive correlations between romantic feelings and background music). Or try attending a crooner’s concert performance solo; who knows — you might just find yourself fighting off a whole group of swooning women!

Attractic #4: Order a chocolate dessert
Meeting a lady for coffee? Order some food, too. And if you can, make it something with chocolate in it. Here’s why: when people talk about falling in love, what’s really going on is that you’re participating in activities that promote forming an attachment to each other. Things that facilitate the attachment process raise your oxytocin levels (the love and bonding hormones) in the brain. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, eating and the smell of food increases oxytocin levels in humans. So, by ordering an appetizer or dessert as an accompaniment, your date’s oxytocin levels will spike, thus encouraging a mutual bond to develop. (Who would’ve guessed that love was just an order of nachos away this whole time?) “You may want to be alone with her while eating, however, so she doesn’t bond with someone else at the table,” warns Dr. Hirsch.

To enhance the bonding effect even more, order something that contains chocolate. Eating chocolate increases the serotonin levels in the human body, which can induce feelings of euphoria and chemically improve your mood. “By being around a woman while she’s eating chocolate, you get this sort of ‘halo effect’…she likes the chocolate you ordered her, therefore she likes you,” says Dr. Hirsch.

Attractic #5: Learn some dance moves
So you think you can dance? Go ahead and bust a move, then! Actually, make that a good move (if you are a horrible dancer and you know it, please try options #1-4 above first). Why? The movements associated with men perceived as being skilled at dancing appear to send a subliminal signal to women that you’re in good health and have reproductive potential.

A recent study published in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters, analyzed the dance moves of 12 non-professional male dancers. Researchers videotaped these men grooving to a basic drum rhythm and then turned their “dances” into computer-generated cartoons (that way, each guy could be judged solely on his moves, not his looks). Women then rated these dancing avatars on a scale of 1 to 7.

The results were clear: if it’s female attention you’re after, don’t flail your arms on the dance floor. Women participating in the study paid more attention to those dancers who were connected with their core body region. In other words, the guys who earned higher ratings had more control over their upper bodies and were twisting, bending, moving and nodding instead of simply pumping their fists in the air. Women scored men whose movements were twitchy and repetitive the lowest — so try to stay on beat and avoid shuffling back and forth aimlessly. And if you know you’re smooth, well...don’t be afraid to show it! You just might have women falling at your feet (but not stepping on your toes).

Kimberly Dawn Neumann ( is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Maxim and more. A frequent online contributor for’s Happen magazine, she’s also the author of The Real Reasons Men Commit as well as the founder of

Friday, 29 July 2011

Suleman says she was drugged when she consented to 12 embryos

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Nadya Suleman on Thursday blamed the creation of the "Octomom character" that she has become synonymous with in part on a California fertility specialist who, she said, had her sign a consent form while she was drugged.

The California woman said she did not mean to have eight children in January 2009, in addition to the six she already had. But while she admitted she did want more children, she insisted she was in no condition to understand a form Dr. Michael Kamrava put in front of her before implanting 12 embryos.

"He wrote something, he gave it to me to sign," Suleman told HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky on Thursday night. She said she was then on "a cocktail of drugs" including Valium at the Beverly Hills doctor's office because her uterus was contracting. "I signed it, and I didn't read it."

Kamrava lost his California medical license July 1 after state officials ruled that he committed "gross negligence" with "repeated negligent acts, for an excessive number of embryo transfers" into Suleman in 2008, the state's medical board wrote. The same report determined that the doctor felt the implantation was driven "by the patient's wishes."

During a hearing for the doctor last October, it was revealed Suleman still has 29 frozen embryos in storage. Contrary to some reports, though, the 36-year-old woman insisted Thursday that she doesn't want any more children.

That said, the single mother -- who said she has been celibate for 12 years, and had all 14 children by in vitro fertilization -- admitted that she chose to have children in part to address her emotional baggage.

"Is it fair to have a bunch of kids help solve your emotional issues? Of course not," she said.

"With children, I feel so safe in my predictable world. They will never leave me. Kids love you, unconditionally."

Suleman admits that she has a host of problems, including anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity and obsessive compulsive disorder. "My brain and body are racing constantly," she added, noting she exercises extensively and only gets two hours of sleep a night.

But expressing regret for contributing to "this mess (that) has deleteriously affected my kids," Suleman said that she's now speaking out in part to refute having been made into what she called a "parody without permission."

"I have the spotlight, I know it's my responsibility (for my kids) to brush it away and get rid of the Octomom character," she said.

With no steady income and expenses of over $18,000 a month, Suleman has struggled to get by raising her children. She has previously hosted a yard sale at her La Habra, California, home to deal with the hardship, and had reportedly signed on to be on the HDNet reality TV show "Celebridate."

And now, Suleman said she is grateful for money she gets from media interviews, especially with overseas outlets.

She also claims to have received "hundreds of death threats," some targeting her children, as well as a few female stalkers.

"I am hated in my hometown," she said.

Still, Suleman said that despite the difficulties she feels things are improving. And despite her admitted anxiety, paranoia and continued efforts to shield her children -- barring any television or Internet in the house -- she is most at peace at home.

"I feel safest at home with my kids," she said. "And I want to be only there, that's my favorite time at night, in my pajamas playing Twister."