My actual birthday was last Monday but the real celebration took place Saturday at The Magic Castle. I had really high expectations going in and, thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.

We were required to have dinner at the castle but after we were free to wander. On our way to one of the main shows we found a guy sitting at a table by himself. When we realized he was a magician we asked for some magic and he obliged. I assisted in a few of his tricks but felt too much pressure. I was over analyzing the simplest commands like “pick a card” or “stick your finger through this cigar cutter”. When that was finished we caught two main shows and two smaller acts.

Even though each performer made it very clear that whatever we saw was an illusion or sleight of hand, I still found myself asking “WHAT?…

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Losing 100 Pounds

I made an amazing pasta dish, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Penne, the other night. It was a big hit and screamed comfort food. With super basic ingredients, a rather quick prep and cook time, that “this has got to be sinful” result, and only 292 calories and 3 fat grams it has been immediately put into semi-weekly rotation.

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Penne

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes      Serves: 2 – 4*


  • 4 servings of Whole Wheat Penne (This is a little over 1/2 boxI used Mueller’s brand 100% Whole Wheat)
  • 2 oz. Sun-dried Tomatoes (I used the kind you find at Kroger in the Cheese section.)
  • One large bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 clove garlic (I used Kroger brand minced garlic at equivalent amount.)
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil(I used Pompeian’s “Robust”)
  • 1 cup bouillon or stock(I used 1/2 cube Edward & Sons…

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Negranti Dairy & Artisan Creamery

It’s been hot here. Like really stinkin’ hot.Yesterday was up to 106. I should mention we live in an extremely old farmhouse with zero insulation which means that by about 1 PM our house is approximately the same temperature inside as outside. So I have been savoring the cool mornings, with iced coffee in hand.

Yesterday morning I made this salad (while it was still cool in the kitchen) knowing that it would be nice and chilled by the time 6 PM and 106 degrees rolled around. I just used what I had on hand, and it turned out delightful.

{roasted} summer vegetable & quinoa salad

2 cups prepared quinoa (Israeli Couscous also works : Trader Joes)

1 medium onion

1 yellow squash

1 cup cherry tomatoes (any small tomatoes will work)

8 oz crimini mushrooms

1 red bell pepper

1/2 cup basil/cilantro/parsley (whichever you have available)

1 T lemon…

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some forgotten dreams
in an old diary
humming a known tune
calling my name
irks me
tempts me
they have this rosy glow
why now why today
i ask and they smile
some forgotten dreams
in an old diary and
a dried rose,token of love
it may have lost its sheen
but still evokes desire
long forgotten
why now why today
i ask and they keep quiet
some forgotten dreams
a rose and a small letter
hand written
an invitation
in case someday
i feel my life is worth
one more chance
forgive my self
and those around
why now why today
i ask and it sparkles with hope
some forgotten dreams
a rose,a letter and one phone number
i tremble
as if looking at it
will breathe life in it
no, the past has long gone
but my present chides
why not now why  not today

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Strategies That Will Surely Help You In Affiliate Marketing

When you work through your own personal website or blog to promote the products of another company, it is known as affiliate marketing. This is an online opportunity for the masses that can be utilized by nearly anyone and turned into a profitable career, if enough time and work is placed into the system. click reference There are always a few key goals and tips to keep in mind during this time.

Do not panic if you see sales conversions numbers that are only around 1%. Free Dirt Bike Games If you’re holding out for higher than that as an affiliate, you may be holding out indefinitely. One out of every 100 visitors turning into a customer, is actually a great conversion rate for most products, especially with larger, more popular services that receive thousands of visitors per day. People will spend an amazing amount of time on a website trying to win a $5 trinket or a chance to participate in a monthly drawing! So keep customers and visitors coming to your website by offering drawings for prizes. Then expand their chance to win and the scope of your exposure with an incentive for increased odds in winning; offer them additional entries by sharing your information features on their own social networking pages. In order to interest consumers in your products you must be able to prove to them they need your product. You can do this by showing how it can solve a problem they are having. By doing this you will show them how this can fit their needs or help a difficulty they are having.

If you have the ability, offer a free product. Monster Truck Dirt Bike Games This will get many people interested, and it is a great marketing strategy. Everyone likes to get something for free. You can hold a contest, or let the first 100 orders receive something free. Don’t make the product large and expensive, you do not want to be losing money by doing this. A great affiliate marketing tip is to enhance your review of the products you’re promoting on your web site. Simple reviews are okay, but reviews that contain screenshots, demonstrations or videos will definitely get the point across to your visitors. An enhanced review can convince your visitors that a product is good. Call the company you’re thinking of affiliating with to test out how good their customer service is. You don’t want to sell a product to your audience only to find out that their bad customer service is driving buyers away. Their reputation will reflect on your reputation too, so make sure it’s good before you join up!

They may not always seem easy to follow, but sticking with some of the things discussed throughout this article will have a positive impact on your affiliate career. You and the parent company will enjoy increased revenue and you can continue to do what you love, without worrying about losing money through pyramid schemes or sneaky scams.