Three years ago, as a final year university student, I started this blog with very high hopes and aspirations. I truly dreamed that, after graduation, this blog would be my career and more importantly each and every post would include a wide breadth of information on that particular topic and I would spend hours and hours working to create such well-researched, helpful and informative posts.
As much as we humans can dream and plan, life has a funny way of creating situations that force us to change our plans.
Without going into too much detail, after graduation my fathers health took a turn for the worse and my primary responsibility since then has been to be a helping hand to him. This is definitely not something that I resent doing, rather I feel that it is my moral responsibility to do so because he truly is an amazing father and during my childhood he took incredibly great care of me and was and continues to be an all-around very loving and caring father to my siblings and I.
This responsibility has left me with very little time to blog in the way that I initially wanted to. However, I most definitely do not want to give up on this blog because my main purpose, from the very beginning, was simply to be a source of help to my dear readers.
This is why I have decided to continue blogging about a wide range of lifestyle topics in fairly short posts that will cover the topic from a very basic surface level. When it comes to the health and wellness posts, I will try to be as accurate as possible but please remember that my advice, and much of the health advice found on the internet, cannot replace the information provided by a medical professional.
I am also interested in posting more personal opinion lifestyle posts as well.
As of now, I cannot make any promises about how much or how often I post but nevertheless I hope that you will join me on my blogging journey!
If you’re like me sometimes you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all of the chaotic, frustrating, and often tragic new stories that you come across throughout your day.
Studies have shown that constantly consuming tragic or infuriating news stories can eventually lead to sadness and anxiety. Research has shown that negative news stories that may not be directly related to our lives can further increase our personal worries.
Here are just a few tips that can help you stay on top of the most important stories without feeling overloaded:
If you have any news apps on your phone, try to turn off notifications for that app. A while ago, when I had my news notifications on I definitely found it to be a distraction especially when I was trying to get work done because every once in a while whenever a notification would pop up I would be tempted to check my phone instead of working.
It is usually best not to follow live updates. Following a breaking news story may make you feel more involved but it doesn’t necessarily make us more informed. Live updates have a lot of commentary and extra details and its often more noise than news.
I think its best to set your laptop or desktop web browser homepage to Google or any other webpage with minimal distractions. I know that on many personal computers the homepage of the browser is set to Yahoo or MSN or any other site that has lots of news stories and articles. Every time you open the web browser you might be tempted to click on one of the article links and this can end up taking up a lot of your time.
This next tip is obvious: Read, watch, or listen to news stories that come from reliable sources. Here in the U.S. unfortunately, not everyone agrees on what is or is not a reliable source of news. However, I think that in general most people agree that you should be cautious of the stories that you read on social media.
Nowadays, a lot of the news programs have people that call themselves political pundits or commentators that come in and talk about and predict what might happen. While some of these political pundits might make valuable points ultimately no one can really predict the future so its best to avoid watching too much of these commentators.
I really believe that timing is important when it comes to consuming the news. In order to avoid spending too much time on the news its best to designate a specific time to check the news and try not to check it at any other time. Many experts recommend not checking the news before bed because certain stories may interfere with your sleep.
I know that everyone has a different habit or preference when it comes to the news but if you are someone that feels that perhaps you spend a little too much time on the news I hope that you find these tips to be helpful.
I know that I haven’t mentioned this before but I have a pet bird, a cockatiel, and her name is Laily! This week marks one year since we brought her into our home. This past year, Laily has brought us so much joy and happiness so I wanted to create this post to share some of my personal tips and experiences of living with a pet cockatiel.
Please remember that I am not an expert on cockatiels, these are just some of the things that I have learned over the course of this past year. If you are thinking of buying a cockatiel please do your own research first to determine if a cockatiel is a good pet for you.
Why a Cockatiel:
My fascination with cockatiels began about a year and a half ago at a family gathering. We had all gathered at my grandmother’s house and my younger cousin brought over her two pet cockatiels and I got to meet them for the first time! I was really amazed at how cute and friendly the cockatiels were!
After going home, I did some research of my own by watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading a few articles and I decided that I really wanted a pet cockatiel as well. Basically, a short while later, my family and I went to our local breeder and that’s how we brought Laily home!
The scientific name for cockatiels is Nymphicus Hollandicus.
Cockatiels are originally from the warm semi-arid regions of Australia.
On average, the lifespan of the cockatiel is anywhere from 10 to 25 years.
Cockatiels are very curious and smart animals. They have the intellect of a two year old child.
Cockatiels are the second most common pet birds in the United States, right after the budgie/parakeets
Pros and Cons:
Without a doubt, cockatiels can be amazing pets. They are adorable and many of them are very sociable as well.
However, in my experience, two of the major cons of having a cockatiel are their messiness and their tendency to make a lot of noise.
Cockatiels are very clean animals, in fact if you sniff them, they smell quite nice. However, they love to make a mess, especially when they are eating.
Everyday, when I clean Laily’s cage, my father sweeps the floor near her cage because she always spills seeds everywhere. This can definitely be an annoyance but I believe that some companies are starting to make spill-proof or mess-proof cages with a special enclosed area for feeding.
If you are sensitive to loud noise (especially loud squawking noises) I definitely would not recommend a cockatiel (or most other pet birds). In general, cockatiels can make a lot of noise in the mornings, then once again in the late afternoons/early evenings.
They will also make a lot of noise if they’re bored or if they are in a very bright and sunny environment. The excess light can overstimulate them.
Also, if you leave the room, they will make a lot of noise for you to come back. (I personally find this very endearing but others may find this to be an annoyance)
Male vs. Female:
In most cases, there not many physical differences between males and females. From what I have read males can be a bit noisier than females. However, males are able to whistle and sing while females are generally not able to do so.
My Cockatiel Care Tips:
Every morning I thoroughly clean her cage. I take out the removable bottom tray of the cage and wash and clean it. I then use a damp paper towel and soap to clean any remaining droppings and food particles. I also clean her food and water bowls and replace them with clean food and water.
As you can imagine, diet is essential to a healthy cockatiel. Cockatiels love seeds but they should have a well balanced diet. Most experts recommend giving your cockatiel pellets. Also, try to give your cockatiel veggies and a little bit of fruit as well. Admittedly, this is something that I have to work on with Laily because I give her a fortified seed diet and I keep trying to introduce her to vegetables but she is a very picky eater!
When it comes to bathing her, I usually just mist her with a spray bottle filled with water. However, now that the weather is very hot I usually hold her under the sink and gently wet her. Most experts recommend only using water to clean cockatiels because their feathers contain a natural dusty powder which helps keep them nice and clean.
In fact, it is very common for cockatiels to preen themselves on a daily basis. When they are preening themselves it looks like they are itching themselves but in reality they are just preening/cleaning themselves.
To Trim or Not to Trim:
Many bird owners have very strong opinons on whether a pet bird should be flighted or should have trimmed feathers.
Obviously, in their natural settings, birds fly freely and this is a great form of excercise. However, in my opinion if you have a pet bird it is best to trim their feathers.
Primarily, this is for their own safety. However this also gives peace of mind to the bird owner (or bird parent) because if a bird accidently flies away it is very difficult to find the bird and the birds’ life may be in danger.
When you first bring your cockatiel home, it is very tempting to want to immediately interact with it. However, it is best to give it a day or two to allow it to get used to its new surroudings.
Approach the cockatiel very gently: Start by just sitting next to the cage and softly talking with your new bird. As the bird becomes more comfortable you can put your hands inside the cage and gradually work your way up to having the bird perch on your finger. There are many YouTube videos and online articles that teach you how to tame your cockatiel. The best tip that I can give you is to be very gentle and make sure to have some spray millet with you as a treat for the bird.
I definitely only reccommend getting one cockatiel rather than two. Its much easier to form a bond with a single cockatiel. However, you must be able to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour of quality time with the cockatiel each day. If you don’t have that much time then I would reccommend getting two so they keep each other company.
Buy two or three toys for your cockatiel and alternate them every few weeks so your bird doesn’t get bored. Toys are essential to keep your cockatiel happy and calm and quiet.
During the first few weeks try to spend a lot of time with your new cockatiel so you too can form a strong bond. Eventually after the bond has formed it might be a good idea to set up specific time(s) of the day to play with your bird so the cockatiel knows what to expect and this structure can also keep them calm and quiet.
Make sure that the cage is not too small. It should be large enough for the bird to move around freely without hitting anything.
At nighttime cover the cage with a towel or thin blanket to prevent street lights or the sunrise from waking them up. They need between 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.
If you want your bird to be friendly with other people start having different family members or friends spend time with the bird. The sooner you start the more likely you are to have a friendly and well-socialized bird.
Laily, my pet cockatiel, has provided my family and I with an immense amount of joy and happiness. However, a cockatiel may not be the right pet for everyone. Honestly, each cockatiel has its own personality. Some may be more friendly and sociable than others. However, with a little bit of effort and a lot of patience, it is very possible to form a bond with a cockatiel!
To those of you who may be unfamiliar, the 4th of July is a holiday that celebrates America’s independence from Great Britain.
Admittedly, in this political environment it is difficult to be a proud American.
I, like many of my fellow Americans, am absolutely outraged and disgusted by our government’s decision to separate children from their parents at our southern border. Without a doubt, this was an inhumane and cruel decision.
I am also deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a travel ban which prohibits immigrants from seven countries, one of which is Syria. This is especially disappointing considering the fact that the Syrian refugee crisis is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our times.
Despite all of this negativity, I have immense faith in the goodwill of the American people.
As an example, when the first travel ban was initiated, many Americans went to the international airports to protest this unfair travel ban. Some American women even wore headscarves in solidarity with the Muslim women who were affected by this ban. Also, many lawyers left their lucrative jobs, for many days, to go to the airports to help those who were impacted by this ban.
More recently, thousands of Americans all over the U.S. protested against the government’s decision to separate immigrant children from their parents at our southern border. These protests and condemnation had a role in forcing the president to reverse his child separation policy. I am hopeful that these protests will continue because those children that have already been separated must be reunited with their parents as soon as possible!
To my fellow Americans, one of the only ways that we can stop some of these injustices is to go out and vote in the upcoming November midterm election. I know that our current political environment is especially dark but we should never lose hope.
There was a time, not all that long ago, that America graciously welcomed refugees from all over the world. Thirty years ago, my parents left the war in Afghanistan and they each came to America with very few possessions and barely any money. They both worked very hard to establish a basic life for themselves. They then met each other and got married. After marriage they worked very hard together in order to provide a comfortable life for their children.
Their story is just one of millions of similar stories. I am truly hopeful that with the help of the younger generation, the United States will once again become a beacon of hope and a place of refuge for those that are in need of it.
I am hopeful that one day we will elect a government that actually works for the well-being of all of the American people and not just those that are extremely wealthy and also has compassion for those suffering outside of America’s borders!
I just finished reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and she is considered by many to be one of the most powerful people at Facebook after Mark Zuckerberg.
Her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is all about empowering women to reach their full potential in the workplace. In this book she really goes in-depth to describe some of the psychological, sociological, and personal reasons why women do not reach higher positions in the workforce.
I don’t want to give away too much of the book but this is really a book that not only encourages women to reach for higher positions in their respective jobs but it is a book that encourages and empowers women to reach for the highest level positions available in their jobs. She gives many helpful tips and useful advice based on her many years of experience first working at the U.S. Treasury, then at Google, and now at Facebook.
As someone who studied psychology I really appreciate the fact that throughout the book she really used a lot of examples of studies, examples, and concepts relating to psychology and the social sciences in general to demonstrate some of the points that she is making.
I also really appreciate the fact that this book is written by a woman who has truly reached her so rightly deserved position as COO of Facebook through many years of hard work and dedication. Her story may not be a rags to riches story but there is no doubt that she has worked hard to reach the level that she has. In other words, I think that she certainly does have the credibility to write and speak about such issues as women in the workforce.
In my opinion one of the most profound tips that Sandberg gives in this book is to always ask ourselves what would we do if we were not afraid? This rings so true for myself and I am sure for many others. We so often limit ourselves because of fear. This includes many different types of fear such as fear of what others will think and fear of failure.
I would definitely recommend this book to any woman who has a job or is looking for one and in fact I would also recommend this book to all the amazing men out there who support the progression of women in the workforce.
It is safe to say that my smartphone is a vital part my own life and cell phones in general and smartphones in particular are an important part of the lives of millions if not billions of people all across the world. As scary as it sounds for some people their phone have become a basic necessity just like air, food, and water.
I think that one of the great things about this technology boom is that many people of all social and economic backgrounds have access to some sort of a cell phone. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITC) there were 7 billion registered mobile subscriptions by the end of 2015.
However, the question that I have been pondering over is, what is the ideal age for someone to get their own phone?
The reason I have been thinking about this is because I have two teenage brothers one who is 16 and the other is turning 14 in June. My two brothers (especially the younger one) have really been wanting a cell phone for quite a while now.
More recently, their desire has really increased and finally my parents have agreed to purchase a smartphone for each of them.
My parents are honestly very firm but loving. In psychological terms they would be an ideal example of authoritative parenting. They decided that the time has finally arrived to make this dream of my brothers come true because the majority of their classmates and friends have their own smartphones and they did not want my brothers to feel too alienated.
Of course, this was one of many reasons why my parents made the decision. However, I think that this was the reason that convinced me the most. Just to give you guys some background I come from a hard working middle class family.
However, we live in a fairly affluent area where many of the families are upper middle class and based on my own observations, along with those of my family, the majority of the students at both of my brothers schools have their own smartphones.
This is why I agree that since it is something that is just so common in our area I feel that it is best that my brothers have their own phones as well especially since we are blessed that that my parents can afford to provide them with this privilege.
As you all know the teenage years are a time when people are especially influenced by their friends and peers and it can be especially easy to feel isolated when everyone around you has something that you do not.
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center 88 % of American teenagers (ages 13 to 17) have their own cell phones and 73% percent of them have smartphones.
Handing a smartphone to the hands of a teen can be risky however, I feel that establishing some firm rules can definitely be helpful.
In our case, my parents have written a full contract for each of my brothers and made them sign the contract. Any major violation of the contract could result in them losing their phone.
The contract contains the basic but important things such as promising to do their homework before playing on their phones, returning the phone to my parents each night at the set curfew, being respectful to others, etc.
I would really love to read your comments. What is your opinion on this issue? Do you think that there is an ideal age where an individual should be able to get a cell phone? Or does it depend on the person and/or situation?
I just wanted to share an adorable video that I am currently a bit obsessed with! Actually some of you may have already seen this because it went viral just a few weeks ago.
This video is about a super cute baby named Leo who sees his mother for the first time in his life and this precious moment was captured on video by the baby’s father!
Baby Leo was born with a rare condition, Oculocutaneous Albinism or OCA, which is a rare form of albinism that impacts his skin, hair, and eyes. In his case it has left him with very weak vision.
Prior to receiving his glasses baby Leo was unable to see anything.
His parents who live in Seattle, traveled to LA to see a pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Keith Wright. Dr. Wright created the rubber glasses that are featured in the video in order to help baby Leo see the world!