Archive | Self-Creation: The Making of You RSS feed for this section

How to Recreate and Restyle Your Wardrobe to Cultivate or Enhance Your Image

21 Aug

It has often been said that the way to a man’s heart is mainly by way of his stomach.  The way to a man’s image, however, is heavily linked to his appearance.  This article will be in the format of big steps and small descriptions in order to avoid dullness or redundancy.

Cultivating one’s image is like pruning a rosebush, it takes effort, vision and reality.  By trimming too much, the appearance becomes empty, bland and without personality, whereas making no effort to nurture is apparent when the image is unpolished, confused and without the deliberate, dignified appearance that exudes certainty and acute perception.  It is important to understand that no matter how many roses one may remove or how loudly they may call it a plum tree, the nature of it cannot be changed; merely embraced and ameliorated.

The first step is therefore to ask oneself what image is realistic for them.

Many men grew up watching James Bond movies and perhaps even reading Fleming’s original Bond novels.  Bond, especially in Connery’s portrayal, proved an archetypal pattern for polished masculinity.  While role models and mentors are a terrific thing to have, it is important to acknowledge that what one wears, does, says and has  expresses his personality, it does not form his personality.  Remember that Fleming had no one but himself after which to model 007, Clint Eastwood used his own image and talents to form his characters, Clark Gable never saw Clark Gable in Gone With The Wind until after its release.  It is important to find one’s own individuality and work to develop and form it as it should be formed.

Having covered the background for Step One, we will now begin our list:

Step One: Define the genre of “You”

Ask yourself if you are comfortable wearing dressier clothing than jeans.

If you are then ask yourself what your options are.  Colours, shades and styles vary greatly, but are limited to the garments available in your locale and in your size.

Why is ‘size’ in bold?  Because if it doesn’t fit, you should not even touch it, that is part of picking what works for you.  ‘Skinny Pants’ are ill-advised to everyone, but all the more if you are pear-shaped.

If you want to look like an upside-down beaker, right-side up funnel or ‘Tweedle-Dee’ from Alice in Wonderland and are bottom heavy, skinny jeans can help you achieve this look.

Step Two: Don’t Rule Anything Out

Not just in relation to clothing, retailers too.  Vintage shops carry up to 100 years of different styles, some of their clothing is barely touched and not all of it is obsolete.  Designers grossly over-state how progressive fashion is because they are trying to sell you their version of someone else’s ancient design [Simply stated: Designers do to fashion, what Dane Cook does to comedy], it is only a matter of time before togas are back in style.

Step Three: Action is eloquence

Three rules about ‘pulling it off’:

If you have to ask, then you cannot.  If you say you can’t, then you never will.  If you know you can, then do not say it, do it.

Vintage or antique is not the only option, department stores sometimes carry something perfect for you, you never know until you try.

Step Four: Do not live beyond your means, but do not count the pennies

It is important to note that just because you feel that a $3,000 Armani suit with $1,000 Ferragamo shoes and an extra $1,000 dollars of accessories would define you perfectly, that does not mean it is a buyer’s market.

People do not drive Fiat or Opel cars because they were their first choice, they drive them because a Bentley costs more than a small house or a giant cottage.

As with all things balance is necessary.  See a suit that is a little more than you had planned to spend?  Do you like it more than the one you initially had in mind, how does it look on you and is it really worth it?

Focus more on value than price; if the material is good, it is not made in a sweatshop, it is not costly enough to make your eyes bulge out of your head and you really like it, then by all means, enjoy your new garment.

If it is polyester, made in china, on the lower end of the price spectrum but your face is puckered in uncertainty when you consider the way it looks– Do you really need to hear more?

If you are mature and responsible and you have money saved up, it may be time to take that step.  Stop buying yourself $200+ trainers, stop wearing trainers altogether unless you are exercising and make some responsible purchases on your own behalf.  Being financially responsible does not mean saving every penny, it means investing rather than buying.  This is clearly one of the smaller investments you will experience in a lifetime, but it may just be the first step you will take toward bigger and better investments.


How to Attract a Man: Perspective for the female reader and lessons for the male reader

29 Jul

It is a breach of journalistic etiquette and form to informally address the reader using sheer opinion and refutable evidence, thus any good writer is ambivalent to say the least when it comes to writing a column.  Having said that, I hope that you, the reader, will forgive me, the author; for this “Note From the Editor,” as it were.


People are by nature, fickle, insecure, hypocritical, superficial and narcissistic.  We are capable of achieving and creating greatness and yet too inhibited and scared to ever know our own true potential and/or greatness.

If this reads as I intend to write it, it will help, at least to a degree, the reader, to either find someone to love or at least find someone who loves her.

A few semesters into college, I walked into my seconds class, “Logic: Argumentation.”  Being an oppositional, antoganistic human being, I expected to achieve greatness in this course.  I was, as always among the first to arrive to class.  I surveyed the room, approximately 40 desk/chair apparatuses were laid out in the form of a square with the professor’s desk and the whiteboard about 7 feet from the front, center desk.

Naturally, one instinctively notices the desk that is front and center, when I glanced at it, there was a young woman seating herself at the very one.  I went through all the subconscious calculations that one experiences when sizing up another person upon seeing them for the first time.  She was well dressed, young looking– perhaps 19.  Her eyes were almond shaped, borderline Asianic; “Russian?”  I wondered to myself.

Her eyes were a very unique brown in colour, not the usual, generic type, but a light chocolate brown with a warm, golden, honey glow that radiated from them.

She was well dressed, pale, makeup, hair and eyeliner pristine.   Beneath the long purple peacoat that protected her from the harsh winter weather, she was wearing a black skirt and a white blouse, un-creased and with a perfect, pressed look.  Her clothes fit her healthy, 5′ frame in a perfect manner, they were not tight and tasteless, they were not loose and carelessly flung onto her person.

I seated myself at a tangential angle one row behind, so that if ever we were learning something that I already knew, I could see her perfectly, but unobserved.

As the semester went on, we noticed each other.  That is all that could be said of our interactions.  Later in the semester she mentioned that she saw me walking back from the grocery store; I wondered if she lived with her parents or if she, like myself and like very few other students, had her own apartment.

Every morning we sat in the same classroom, virtually alone.  Every morning, I read my newspaper and when turning the page, stole a glance at her.

About mid-semester she changed her hair to blond.  It was an interesting change, but not a natural one and in my opinion, detracted from her appeal.

Toward the end of the semester she walked into the classroom looking disheveled and carrying a tennis racket, her shoes were a bright pink and somehow, on her they were the most adorable thing I had ever seen on anyone; so much so, that after class I asked her shyly, nervously and maybe even awkwardly, if she would go for coffee with me, hoping at best for her company for a few minutes.

Without further narrative, let me explain that she was, and is the most amazing girl I had ever bought coffee for and that the investment was worth the price as were all the future ones to follow.

Did I love her at first sight?  No.

Did I love her after the 200th?  I lost count, but probably.

Was I scared to ask her out?  Certainly.

What was the first thing we discussed over coffee, philosophy?  Science?  Literature?  No.  She said, “my head hurts, I think I might have this thing my neighbour had that made her paralysed.”  I did not know how to react to that, but you must admit, it is a hell of an opening line and makes up for her lack of proficiency in all the former topics.


Look ladies, it sounds like a cliche, but my point is that the important thing is to be yourself.  A very polished version of yourself if you want to make a good impression, but for what it’s worth, that does not mean putting  on an act, that does not mean modeling yourself after celebrities.  You really have nothing to do, no responsibility, no effort to put in, if you want someone to like or be attracted to you.

Gentlemen, you never know until you ask.  It is that simple.  I would suggest a little more gusto than I had at the time, remember that as nice as they look and as great as they may be, as worth it as they are, so are you.  Confidence, confidence, confidence.  Once you have them, work to keep them, work on yourself, work to respect them and do not dwell on your losses.  Move on and remember that if she is happy, the likeliness is that you will be too.


Maybe you are not looking for love, I know I was not, my life was thriving in that area and I happened to pick the one person who made me happy just to deal with relationship stress and turbulence.  The person who was able to give me the perspective to say, “maybe once I am happy with someone it is worth putting in the effort to improve myself, rather than moving on to the next person.  Maybe excitement is possible daily with one person, rather than seeking cheap excitement by cycling from one to the next.”


It may seem like I took the easy way out by not just listing steps on how you can improve yourself, but I assure you and I hope you trust me on this, no self-improvement article could ever give you advice better than what I have told you.  I will outline the three basic ideas: Be yourself, be confident and if need be, buy some pink shoes.


 “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox



How to: Increase Testosterone Through Diet and/or Exercise

13 Jun

Human beings are not by any means, self-sustaining organisms.  In fact, mankind’s physical condition is fickle and vulnerable.

When people think of testosterone, they often imagine overly-vascular, disgusting body-builders that look like comic book villains.  Taking artificial testosterone and supplements while lifting unsafe and inhuman amounts of wait would certainly cause this.

Testosterone is however, more than just an artificial performance enhancer.  It is a hormone naturally created by both male and female body’s and increases muscle building capability, energy, sex-drive, athleticism and other, “masculine,” traits.

In men, the normal ratios for testosterone to estrogen to progesterone are approximately 100:1:0 respectively, in women the normal ratio is approximately 10:80:10.

How much you can actually beat the ratio is questionable, but you can definitely take steps to do so at least to some degree.

Finally, here we are, how to increase testosterone through diet and exercise:

A list of foods and exercises that increase it can be found at the bottom, for those who want to take the easy way out.

Step one:

Evaluate how active you are:

How much time are you active.  Do not ask, “what’s activity?”  Are you sitting for a good portion of the day?  Do you take walks, lift weights and participate in activities that require physical effort?  Be honest with yourself, if you could do more then you should.

Step two:

Evaluate your diet:

This is a tricky one.  Everything you have ever heard about, “dieting,” is true and false.  Do not focus too much on more or less of any one macro-nutrient.  This means, no low-carb, no high-protein, no high or low fat.  Balance.  You already know to cut out sweets and to an extent at least, white flour.

Your carbohydrates should be whole grain foods, steel cut oatmeal, legumes, quinoa, grains, brown rice, fruits, vegetables etc. are all very good for you.  Look for high fibre content, you’d be surprised, this does not necessarily mean that it will taste like cardboard.

Quality carbohydrates will generally contain a good deal of protein, so you will not have to worry too much about having to add a lot of protein.  Your protein should come from quality sources, such as lean meat, lean poultry, fish, eggs with and without the yolk, dairy and peanut butter.  NOT tofu*.

Fats should be consumed in moderation, but do not worry too much, if you are eating good fats then it is hard to overdo them unless you are just drinking a tall glass olive oil with every meal.  Fats should, whenever possible, not come from candy, processed foods, cakes, or deep fryers.

Fats should come from extra virgin olive oil (unheated if possible), egg yolks, omega 3 fatty acids, nuts and legumes.

It is never appropriate to consume foods containing hydrogenated oils or trans fats.  I cannot tell you not to indulge, but I can tell you that these are inorganic compounds which are directly linked to several forms of cancer, speculated to cause obesity and are indisputably science projects with no positive effects on the human body.  If you don’t believe it then I encourage you to research any positive effects of them and show me what they are.

List of things that increase testosterone with ADD-appropriate explanations:

Spinach, asparagus, kale, chard, lettuce, celery, cabbage, cauliflower and virtually all other green vegetables, especially cruciferous and high in chlorophyll.

Why those: These are all high in zinc, which is partially responsible for causing temporarily elevated testosterone, many foods that are traditionally known as aphrodisiacs, such as asparagus and oysters, are high in zinc.  Why spinach first?  Because Popeye ate Spinach and who does not want to be like Popeye?

Eggs with yolks, peanut butter, olive oil, salmon, tuna, sardines

Why these?  You may notice that these are all relatively high in fat.  Dietary fat is not to be mistaken with, “bodyfat,” the oil on  your salad is not automatically turned into that gelatinous mass covering your abdominal muscles.  Good fats are actually metabolised into testosterone, especially when you are younger.  This means that they should constitute a good, though not overwhelming, portion of your diet.  Why eggs first?  Egg yolks contain a lot of b vitamins, which are water based vitamins that are said to improve metabolism, in addition, they help the body properly digest the protein from the egg white.

Squats, deadlifts, overhead press, military/dumbbell press, pull ups, rows, bench press

Why?  These exercises are all compound exercises, meaning that they stress several muscle groups.  Compound exercises lead to higher testosterone because the body senses the stress being placed on it and feels the need to give reinforcement in case it continues to face more stress than it can handle without it.

Implementing these tips should really help you to gain more testosterone and achieve whatever goal you would like to build toward.

Make sure you get adequate sleep, if you can get 8 hours, that is terrific, not only will you start to eat exactly as much as your body needs but your body will produce more HGH, which is not testosterone, but is closely linked to it and will all the more increase fitness gains and vitality.

*Tofu is highly processed and phytoestrogenic, this means it contains plant-based compounds that are converted into estrogen in the human body, which in turn increases the risk of breast cancer, gynecomastia, moodiness and all the other effects of high estrogen.

How to: Make Coffee Infused Bourbon Whiskey

4 Jun

Back when we talked about How to Appreciate Scotch Whisky we explained that the difference between, “whiskey,” and “whisky,” was point of origin. Bourbon whiskey originates in Kentucky, hence the popularity of the, “Mint Julip,” a cocktail with Bourbon whiskey as the main ingredient.

Whiskey and alcohol in general are not commonly used as an alcohol to infuse, however, it is more than appropriate to pair with coffee and when you think about it, commonly is; whether you are thinking about Kahlua, Irish Coffee or any other alcohol and coffee based beverage.

What you will need to get started:

A bottle of bourbon whiskey, 750ml; do not use top shelf whiskey and do not use call whiskey. This means that it should be a medium price and quality whiskey; nothing special but not cheap enough to make you burp flames.

A jar or container with a tight seal, more than 750ml, the one pictured is Italian made, but does not create a water-tight seal.

High end whole coffee beans; the ones pictured are organic Mexican ones and are medium roast as bold may be overpowering. You can really use whatever coffee beans you are comfortable with, purchase from a market, coffee shop or organic store.

The original bottle or another in which you can store the finished product

Fine strainer

Step 1:
Rinse the container

Step 2:
Dry the container

Step 3:
Measure out approximately 1/2 cup of coffee beans and pour them into the container.

Step 4:
Pour in the whiskey. No particular method, just don’t spill.

Step 5:
Close container, shake gently and put in a place away from direct sun exposure or heat.

Step 6:
Leave for 1-5 days, shaking periodically, 3-5 times each day.

Step 7:
Pour contents through strainer or colander or tea infuser. Whatever your filter method.

I will be using a coffee filter and pouring it cup by cup into the storage container, but have not yet reached that point with the batch pictured, I just set it up about 4 minutes before I finished this how-to article.

Step 8:
Enjoy, put in a flask and gift to a friend, use for cooking/baking or do something else. Let us know how you used yours.

Coffee Infused Bourbon in the Making

I used pretty strong whiskey, it turned very dark and got very aromatic already, so I strained it and re-bottled it [1 day after].
If anyone needs ideas for straining the bourbon, I used coffee filters and a cocktail shaker and then poured from the shaker into the original bottle. There were losses but it was only a couple of ounces or so. The infusion came out great though.


**Note: Coffee and bourbon both have a pH of about 5, this makes them acidic and something that you should be conscious of; especially those who suffer from hyperchlorosis, acid reflux etc.

How to Choose and Enjoy Scotch Whisky

26 May

Scotch Whisky [notice the spelling is distinct from, “Whiskey,” which denotes Irish Whiskey; American spelling varies] is by most accounts the most complex and suitable for whisky aficionados. Malt whiskey is made from malted barley, “Single malt,” is distinguishable from, “blended whisky,” in that it comes from one cask of one specific age, as opposed to being from several casks of varying ages.

Now that we have gone over the basic terminology, let’s move on, shall we?

Whisky is aged for a variety of reasons, in different types of wood barrels, for different periods of time; each barrel and recipe is meant to affect the after-product in its own distinctive fashion.

There is one deciding factor in choosing the greatest whiskey.


Whatever be the case, what really matters in the end is, “does this meet your fancy?” If not, move on. If so, then add a bottle to your collection.

Fine whisky is like a fine movie, the more you partake of it, the more you notice about it and the more you realize how much you enjoy it.

It is important before the reader is turned into a complete snob, for him (or her) to understand some basic concepts: A) There is nothing wrong with enjoying inexpensive and even blended whisky. Just like cigars, as your taste matures, you may gravitate toward, “better,” ones. However, even if that never happens, your enjoyment of the product is more important than showing your affluence.

B) Beauty before age. It is what’s on the inside that counts. Your whisky could be older than Keith Richards and taste just as dry as he would and if that is not what you are into, why invest?

C) Converse to what we’ve been saying, there is also no point in being cheap. If you are going to have vices or hobbies, then you must be willing to invest, even if it is never necessary.

Trial and error is a great way to start, because if you have never tried it, then you do not know for what you are looking.

Whisky can be sweet, sharp, bitter, smooth, rough, peaty etc. The main things to look for when trying to appreciate whisky are the, “Nose,” or aroma; colour, palate, and finish. Feel free to use the mnemonic, “NCAPF,” if it helps you to remember these.

The colour is an obvious factor, but one should take adequate time examining it, as it can be very pleasant and add to the experience.

The nose is, to put it basely, smelling the whisky. Otherwise, it is to experience the whisky using one’s olfactory senses. Gently inhale through your nose, do not tense your face or snort quickly inward, move your cup in a circular motion and allow the aroma to travel to your nose, which should be 3-7.5 cm away from the glass.

Let us here note, you may add distilled or spring water to your whiskey if that is your preference, but this is generally done with cask strength whisky, specifically. Not all whiskey. Take care not to drown it, or I will find you.

There are different opinions on how much you sip to properly examine the palate, one medium sip, or quarter mouth-full should be a fine settling point. Gently roll it over your tongue and move it around in your mouth, being careful to remember that it is not Listerine and should not be used thus. Make a mental note of your impressions of the taste and then swallow. This whole process should not take more than 2-4 seconds.

Once swallowed, you are on the last step, the finish. What tastes or impressions has it left? Did it linger or leave an, “after-taste”?

Now that you are educated, time for the fun stuff, yeah?

Let’s go shopping.

“What is this? The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve Barrel is so inexpensive and 15 years old, I could get it and impress my friends!”

If your friends know anything about whisky, they will not be impressed. If something is cheaper than a, “bottle of Jack,” there is probably a reason. There is nothing wrong with starting with something cheap, but when I see an “affluent” man who pretends to have knowledge of whisky and then starts boasting about his great collection of whisky, only to proceed to pull out a bottle of Grant’s and the aforementioned vintage; (true story) I shudder and feel the need to bite my tongue to keep it from being too honest.

Again, there is nothing wrong with trying those, or even enjoying them; but if you are going to be boastful, if you are going to put yourself and your collection on a pedestal, you had best be better to stand and deliver, so to speak.

Some suggestions, whether you like them or dislike them, (you will likely dislike at least 2) you are making progress in deciding your tastes:
Laphroaig (I personally enjoy the 10 year old, cask strength* and non-cask)
and The Bowmore

I do not like all of these, but I do own a few of them, the others are listed for you to expand your horizons, as we have said, all tastes here are subjective.

*Cask strength whiskey is very strong and high in alcohol content. If you drink this straight, be prepared to drink like a Gael.

Great? Horrible? Try anything that you would suggest? Hate the world and want to yell at us for not understanding you? Comment and let us know.

How a Behave Properly in Public as a College Student

7 Mar

Our first real etiquette article, this will discuss how one should conduct himself, or herself, in public.  This article will challenge many of the, “norms,” for a New York City college, but, believe it or not, many of us raised outside the Big Petri Dish- I am sorry, “Big Apple,” do not see these behaviours as normative.

Foremost is appearance. Yes, we should never judge a book by its cover, but we do; whether or not this is ignorant behaviour, it is human behaviour, an inherent quality that we cannot change and that, if changed, would make the world a much different and perhaps more boring place.

Fashion and necessity rarely overlap. Especially wearing, “trendy,” outfits which, to begin with are in poor taste. If you wear a sideways baseball cap in a court room, the judge will, if he has any sense at all, slap a fine on you and hold you in contempt. If a police officer, “sags” his pants and wears his cap sideways, he will clearly be out of uniform and not look like a person of his vocation with his level of professional responsibility.

A young adult may indulge in absurd fashions, this is your right and it allows you to express your individuality; these are very redeeming qualities. Public exposure, sloppiness and poor hygiene, however, are not respectful and appear more a cry for help than a style.

Music, we all love it. Why shouldn’t we? However, some prefer calf thymus and those of these individuals who do, will not likely walk over to the urinal next to you and force it down your throat. The point is, keep it in your ears.

People who blast music rarely blast anything worth listening to anyway, I do not want to hear anything rap or hip-hop related while standing at the urinal unless it is the theme from, “Shaft.” Zing.

Back on an apparently serious note, loud music pumped directly into one’s ears is a direct cause of tinnitus, which is a real pain, if you don’t believe it just look on wikipedia!

If you must swear like a sailor, try at least to sound like an educated one.

If you must use your cellphone, try not to do so in the hallway outside a class.

If you must use it in the hallway outside of class, try not to use it in the library.

If you must speak on the phone while you are in the library– You are a liar, leave school forever.

Do not watch pornography on school computers, this one seems obvious, but is apparently not.

Do not look at cartoon pornography on school computers, this is a step beyond poor-taste.

Do not– You know where this is going and yes, people do that in the library.

Do not wear high heels to any gym classes, especially swimming.

Try to maintain some semblance of intelligence, it is hard but you are so very smart, you can do it.

Do not push, shove or curse at people you don’t know; if nothing else, they may have a shank.

Do not rap along with your iPod, you are not as good as you think.

Be respectful, be courteous and keep reading articles. You are off to a good start.

Easily Confused Easy Words; Reference and Remediation guide

23 Feb

There are many words which are misspelled commonly and many common faux pas in grammar, in today’s techno-crutched society, here is a quick-reference guide to benefit those (mainly American-English speakers) who find these to be recurring tendencies.  This is not limited to typos, it also will cover tenses etc.  I will try to update it now and again.

Their, They’re, There

Their-Possessive form matched to, “they”

Their lawn is lovely.

They’re-They are, conjugation

They’re in possession of a lovely lawn.

There-Antonym of, “here”

Look over there, that lawn is lovely.

Lose, loose

Lose-Fail, not win, present tense of, “lost”

Loose-Not firmly and/or tightly fixed in place; detached or detachable

Did you lose your tooth?

Is your tooth loose?

Two, to, too

Two-The number before three and after one.

To-For, until


I love you two.

We love you too.

*I would love you to.

Where, wear, were, ware, wore, war, whore, worn, warred etc.

Where-In, or to what place, circumstance or situation

Wear-To attire or adorn oneself with; accessorise oneself with

Were-Past tense of, “are”

Ware-A product, “Warez” have an independent definition with regard to the internet

Wore-Past tense of, “wear”

War-Large scale battle

Whore-A prostitute

Worn-Affected by, “wear”


Warren-A given name for males, do not use this in relation to any of the above, always make sure you are using a real word, don’t just guess

Brung, Brought, Broughten, Brang, Bought

Brung-Only usable as a dialectic past-participle, but avoid this word

Brought-Past tense of bring

Bought-Past tense of buy

The others are not words, neither is “buyed.”  Please mind your tenses.

I, eye

I-Myself, ninth letter of the English language

Eye-Attached to your optic nerve

You, U, ewe, yew, ur


U-You tell me what this is.

Ewe-Female Sheep

Yew-Coniferous tree or shrub


Hugh-A name

Hew-To hack at with a heavy instrument

Ur-Not a word.

Mines, Mine

Mine-Belonging to me, explosive device

Mines-A group of aforementioned explosive devices

You’s,use, yah, yizz, yous, yahz

You’s-Not a word.

Use-To utilise.

Yah-Not a word.

Yizz-Most certainly not a word.

Yous-Plural of the word, “you,” otherwise not a word.


Ear, air

Ear-The auditory device on the side of your head

Air-Pronounced differently than, “ear.”  That stuff you are breathing

Breath, breathe

Breath-Inhalation and exhalation, noun

Breathe-Verb form, to breathe

Hour, our, are

Hour-sixty minutes

Our-Like, “mine,” but plural

Are-Like, “am,” but plural

Have, half, halves

Have-To possess

Half-Fifty percent

Halves-Plural of, “half”

So, sew



Knit, nit

Knit-to darn using yarn

Nit-Lice eggs.

Gnat, Nat

Gnat-A fly

Nat-Short for, “Nathaniel”

*This is merely an example, if at all avoidable, which it generally is, do not end sentences with prepositions.

This will clearly never be everything, but it should be a start for some people…

%d bloggers like this: