Planning a Family Trip to Big Bear Lake, CA? Things to Do Besides Skiing and Snowboarding!

Big Bear is a great place to get away from the city life and take a deep breath of fresh mountain air. There's lots do in Big Bear besides skiing and snowboarding. There's plenty to do all year round no matter how little or old your kids are. Here's a list of things my family does every time we go up.

Grizzy Manor. If you're looking for a delicious restaurant to start your morning right, then go to where the locals go and eat at The Grizzly Manor for breakfast. This place gets packed early so be prepared.

Bowling Barn. Enjoy a day of bowling with the family here.

Moonridge Zoo. It's a small, intimate zoo, but this is a must for our kids. They love the bears, bison, and wolves.

Discovery Science Center. Why not learn a little about the San Bernadino National Forest? There's also camping information, forest service permits, Adventure passes and group tours offered here.

The Village on Pine Knott Ave. This is Big Bear's "Main Street." Here you'll find shopping, candy shops, movie theater, and restaurants, some of which have been around for many, many years.

Backyard BBQ. You can drive to this restaurant, but of course, there's nothing like renting a boat from the marina (or if you're lucky enough to own a boat), parking it at the dock here, and having lunch at the Backyard BBQ. It's right on the lake and there's a little something here for everyone. Most summers they put up a volleyball net. There's lawn chairs to sit and relax and watch the boats cruise the lake, and there's also a full bar. Kids love to come here and play on the shore. People bring their dogs and throw balls into the lake for their dogs to fetch. It's a fun, but very relaxing atmosphere here.

Big Bear Marina. Rent a boat or pontoon here and spend a day on the lake. A definite must in Big Bear.

Oktoberfest. This is a big deal up here. Grab your stein mug, drink up and have fun at Oktoberfest. There's contests on who can carry the most stein mugs across the room, dancing, singing, and plenty of eating and drinking. Kids are allowed up to a certain time.

4th of July on the lake. This is my personal favorite. There's nothing like being out on a boat on Big Bear Lake and watching the fireworks right above your head in time with the music. The fireworks reflect on the water giving the show an almost surreal feeling. Say hello to your fellow boater beside you, sit back and enjoy the show!…



BA in English and Struggling for Employment

Since I was a young girl, I knew that I would grow up and go to college. Like many young people, my future plans changed as I aged. I once wanted to be an archaeologist, then a pediatrician, and also a psychologist. As I ended my junior year in high school, I had applied to several colleges of interest. Then senior year began, and my life changed. During the first few months of my senior year, I became pregnant. I knew that I had new decisions to make, and keeping a child was one of them. I chose to keep my daughter. This also meant that supporting her would be my first priority and college was now put on the backburner. I vowed to myself, my family, and others around me that having a child would not prohibit me from going to college and making something of myself. I stuck to that, and I earned several degrees.

After I graduated from high school I have to admit that college was not on my mind too much. I had to find a place to live and work. My parents refused to support me, and like so many young girls who become pregnant, the father of my child was not in the picture. I had to do it all on my own. I met a man shortly after having my daughter, who is now my husband, and it was his sister who inspired me to remember that promise I had made. She insisted that I go back to school. I was determined to go back. Then I became a married woman. I had support from my husband and I was going to embrace that support. I enrolled in college, and so did my husband!

I enrolled in San Bernardino Valley College, a local junior college in San Bernardino, CA. It was fairly close to home and it was the inexpensive way to attend college. I had lost sight of what I wanted to do in life. I decided to just take a broad spectrum of classes and find my way. I took a load of general education classes. Two years after enrolling, May 2001, I had graduated with an Associate's degree in Liberal Arts. This degree was so broad that it did nothing to help me gain employment. I knew that I had to transfer to a four year college and continue my education. Again I was stumped. I had no calling. I went cover to cover through the college catalog several times. It was my husband who helped me decide my major.

My husband knew me better than anyone else. He told me that since I loved reading and writing so much I should major in English. I gave it some thought and finally decided he was right. I attended California State University of San Bernardino as an English Literature major. At this point I knew that I wanted to work with writing, but still I had no clear career in mind. All I focused on was completing college. I wanted to graduate. I wanted to prove to all of those people in my life who may have doubted my ability to be successful, that I would graduate. I would make something of myself. I graduated in December 2006 with my Bachelor's degree in English Literature.

I was at another point in my life where I had a degree and it was not very useful. I applied for jobs, but none of the jobs I applied for required an English degree. Many of the writing jobs required previous writing experience. I had not taken any journalism classes or proofreading classes. My degree seemed worthless. I was working for the United States Postal Service, and every day other workers reminded me that they too once had dreams, but they never reached them. They assured me that I would be working there until retirement. That job was not ideal and I hated every minute of it. I chose to go back to school.

In August 2007 I decided to get my Master's degree. I figured I would go back to college one more time and get a degree in Education, emphasis in English, so that I could teach. I enrolled at The University of Phoenix to get my MA and teaching credential. I had a new hope of becoming an English teacher. Many of the students in my MA program were substitute teachers. Many of them liked their job very much. In order to become a substitute teacher, you needed to have a four year degree and pass a test called the CBEST or California Basic Educational Skills Test. I took the test and passed. I applied at two school districts and was hired to be a substitute teacher in both districts. I have been a substitute teacher for two years now.

I finished my Master's program in December 2008. If I complete 16 weeks of student teaching I will have a preliminary teaching credential for the state of California. I would not have been able to get a job with just an associate's degree. Even my Bachelor's degree is just a stepping stone. In today's society, I needed to obtain a Master's and credential in order to begin a solid career. Unfortunately I have not finished. I am so close to finishing. I know I will finish, it is only a matter of time. My advice to young people is to have a goal in mind and make sure it is feasible. Do not just go to college to say you did. Go to college with a career in mind, so that when you graduate your degree will help you get the job of your dreams. Never settle for less, and never let anyone tell you that you cannot succeed.…



Dangers of Internet Security Associated with Passwords

Something happened to me yesterday that reminded me of the importance of creating more difficult passwords, and making sure that they are well protected. When I loaded one of my websites, I saw a nasty little note from my web host, stating that my account had been suspended. Evidently, without knowing it, I had violated the Terms of Service Agreement. My host had cut disabled all of my sites, and had shut down my incoming and outgoing email. I could not imagine what I had done to violate my TOS Agreement, so I jumped on the phone to contact Customer Service.

It turns out that someone had gotten one of my passwords for an email account, logged in, and sent at least one SPAM email through my webmail account. Upon identifying it, my host shut everything down, leaving it impossible for me to get into my account to find out what was going on. In their defense, this is the procedure outlined in the TOS Agreement.

This event made me start thinking about how important it is to have good passwords, and to keep them protected. I had gotten comfortable with the same old password, using it or a slight alteration of it, for years. I have used the same password for email, online accounts, and signing up for "freebies" on the internet. Simply put, that is about the dumbest thing that you can do! It is my guess that I signed up for something, and the owner of that site went back to my email account, and tried the same password (or some alteration of it), and got back into the account, and then used it for his or her own purposes!

So, here are a few suggestions to use when making up passwords to help to make sure that you don't get hacked like I did:

  1. Do not use the same passwords on multiple accounts. This is just not a smart way to operate on the internet. You need to pick different passwords for all the accounts that you use. If you use any online financial institutions especially, make sure that each account has a different password. At least that way, if one is broken into, the rest will still be secure.
  2. Do not use easy to guess elements in your passwords. Never use things like your kids' names, or the names of pets. Anyone set on getting in to your accounts will try these things first, as they are commonly used for passwords. Also avoid common numerical strings, such as birthdays, anniversaries, addresses and especially Social Security Numbers!
  3. Use a mixture of letters and numbers. This makes passwords harder to remember, but it also makes them harder to guess. If you just add a number into your current passwords, perhaps changing only the number from time to time, it will make your passwords that much more secure. Even if someone is able to guess one element, they probably will not be able to guess a number inserted in, especially if it is completely random.
  4. Use capital letters randomly throughout the password. Most of the time, passwords will be case sensitive. If you capitalize a letter in the middle of the word, something that would not be capitalized, it will make it extremely difficult for a hacker to guess. Put 2-3 capitals in the password string, just to solidify the difficulty of the password.
  5. Use long passwords. Most people choose short passwords, just because they are easier to remember. But, if you choose longer passwords, they are harder to guess. Put two or three words together, but choose words that really don't go together. If there is no relationship between the words, then it will make them that much harder to guess.
  6. Use random strings of numbers and letters. If you use the "generate password" feature that is now available on many accounts, you will find that the password is almost always just a random string of numbers and letters (some of which will be capitalized). This provides a very secure password, because the chances of simply guessing all the elements are very slim.
  7. Do not save passwords on your computer. If you are in any kind of environment where there is the chance that another person will be using your computer, do not save your passwords in the "auto save" feature of your browser. Doing so makes it too easy for another user to hack into your account, or save your passwords for doing so at a later time.

The chances are, if you follow these recommendations, your accounts will be much more secure. However, you will not be able to remember all the passwords that you create. That will mean that you will need to have a master list of your passwords. Write them down, and keep them with you. Make sure, however, that you do not lose, or misplace this list, as it will open all of your accounts up to the finder of the list.

It is sad to say, but there is a need for hundreds of passwords if you use a computer or surf the internet today. Just remember, there are a lot of people out there trying to find out what your passwords are so that they can hack your computer, send out their spam, steal your identity, or get into your bank accounts. Protect those passwords so that your information will remain secure!…


Family / Posts

What Car Should I Buy: A Beginner Guide!

What car should I buy for a beginner?

There are several cars you can start with, starting with an economical small car towing a light trailer behind a truck.

It is best to find at least two cars that are affordable and will get you on the road.

Once you know how safe a car is to drive, you can work your way up to a more powerful sports car.

The type of car you should buy depends on your style of driving, safety concerns, your wallet, and your needs as a driver.

When you consider what cars to buy for a beginner, the first thing you need to consider is the safety rating of the vehicle.

Is it worth buying or should you stay away?

How safe is it?

This question is most important when it comes to four-door sedans.

If the car has a low rating, it may not be worth buying, especially if the car will be used for transporting children.

A safe driver can get good grades in school, but that doesn’t mean you can take your car out on the highway without knowing how to drive it.

In fact, some people who are involved in an accident don’t even know how to fix their cars.

That is why it is so important to purchase a safe car.

There are so many different makes and models available on the market today that finding one that has been well maintained can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Before you even begin thinking about what car to buy for a beginner, you want to think about what level of driving you plan to do.

Are you just learning to drive for pleasure or do you have a goal of becoming a safe, dependable driver?

Even if you want to become a safe driver, you can start by selecting a safe car from the beginning.

This is a great way to begin learning how to drive because you won’t have to worry about losing money if you get into an accident or have an accident that costs you lots of money.

The first and best thing you need to do is find out how safe the car you want to purchase is before you even begin looking.

You should first try to find out how much damage each vehicle has been through.

In most cases, vehicles that are sold for cheap are known to be unsafe because they have been abused.

Ask friends or family members if they can recommend any reliable dealers who sell cars for cheap.

If you don’t have anyone who can give you advice [click here] you can always check online to see what other people have said about various dealers.

Another way to find out about the safety of a particular car is to ask around your community.

People living around you will be able to tell you if a car is safe to drive or not.

Of course, you have to take their word for it, but it’s a good idea to ask around.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

It would also be a great idea to find out from your local police force if they know of any reliable dealers in your area.

Ask them for advice.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

If you are new to driving, you should get a vehicle that has a high safety ranking.

High-ranking cars are known to have a reduced chance of having accidents, which means that they are less likely to cost you a lot of money in repairs.

Now that you have found out what car should I buy for a beginner, you should make sure that you are ready to go out and drive it.

You never know when you might have an accident, and it would be horrible if you had an accident while on your first trip with your new car.

You never know when something may happen that could have unforeseen consequences.

That is why it is important to make sure that you are insured because if you get into an accident without insurance, you could owe a lot of money and be unable to get any money to fix the car.…



Zipper Fashion Rosettes

Metal zipper
Fabric scrap
Hot glue
White glue

You might have been saving zippers to sew into other garments, if those zippers go bad, but sewing zippers into clothing isn’t the only way to reuse them. Cut zippers up and use them in an unusual way to make embellishments for fashions and home decorating projects, rosettes for crafting, and other fanciful items. If you already have zippers, you won’t pay a penny for the rosettes, which can be used in many different ways.

Unzip a zipper and cut it, straight across, to remove the zipper pull, and to separate the two sides of the zipper. Since each piece has fabric stitched to it, it’s necessary to remove the cloth. Cut the stitches to remove the biggest part of it; use a lighter to burn off the rest. Remember to hold the zipper with a potholder because the zipper will get hot as you burn the fabric off.

When all of the cloth is off of the zipper it’s the easiest thing to turn it into a rosette. Simply lay it flat on a table and begin winding it around itself. Hold one end down, and wrap the other end around and around the stationary end. You’ll make a flat circle of zipper teeth, which is metallic and lovely. If you want the rosette to be larger than it is when you finish wrapping, use a dot of hot glue to hold the end in place, and start wrapping another zipper-half around it.

The rosette you make is a flat one but you can give it dimension by making another one on top of it. The top rosette should be a bit smaller than the bottom one. Add another rosette, and another, to create the depth that you want; make each rosette smaller than the previous one.

The zipper rosette will be easiest to attach if you glue a piece of cloth or felt to the bottom of it. Glue the finished flower to a purse, a garment, a lampshade, a mirror or picture frame corner, or even a hat. Attach it to a piece of fabric to make a curtain tie-back, or make a large zipper rosette, and turn it into a coaster.

Don’t like the metallic color of the rosette? Paint it! You can easily spray paint the zipper before you start, or paint the rosette when you’re finished. That gives you many options for coordinating colors on your fashions, or for your home decorating.


Internet / Posts

How to Build an Instagram Following From Scratch

With close to 500 million users, and counting, Instagram is slowly becoming a leading social media site, and we will try to help you get your first followers.

Simplicity is a major part of success when it comes to Instagram, and as we live in the society where information overload is a normal thing scrolling through the pictures with short captions seems like a perfect combination.

Both major and minor brands are trying to capitalize on this fast rise, so you should consider start to buy followers for instagram and avoid missing out on this opportunity.

In the next few paragraphs, we will lay down a roadmap and try to explain how to get free instagram likes daily, whether you manage your personal or professional Instagram profile.

1. Figure out your strategy

Before going any further, you should answer these few questions.

What is your end goal on Instagram?

Creating a community of regular paying customers on you web page from followers while providing good service. This is a top priority!

How will your Instagram page affect your business?


Your best bet is to have few established Instagram users in your niche promoting your product in exchange for money or free stuff. This way, you can bring traffic to you web page fast and have a better conversion.

What are you going to offer to your followers?

Ask questions, research, ask your peers what kind of content would they like to see from you. Check what hashtags are your followers using and use them in your posts only if they are relevant, you don’t want to annoy them.

After you got this down, you are ready to move on.

2. Setting up your Instagram profile.

This one is pretty straight forward. You just need to fill some basic info and add your profile picture.

Profile image

You should consider an image that is representing your product or your brand. Logo of your company is always a good solution.

Your bio

If you are not an established brand already, then you need to utilize this feature as much as possible. Make it sound natural and positive; you can also use symbols.

Link to your web page.

If you use Instagram for business, then this one is really important. Add your web page address at the end of your bio. This will give your followers a chance to buy your product and turn them into your customers. Make sure that your web page is mobile friendly; most of the Instagram users are on their mobile phones.

3. Setting up your content plan.

Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators like shares, comments, likes) are essential. Set them and use them to track your progress.
Your next step should be schedule for content uploading. There are various apps that can help you with this like ScheduGram or Simply Measured.


Choose pictures that you are about to post very carefully. Use only pictures that are related to your brand and your brand’s story. Make sure that quality of a picture, description and hashtags are all on point.
When it comes to effectiveness, you should consider this:

Brand-inspired images

Posting beautiful images with a powerful message can bring you a lot of exposure as people tend to react to the images that trigger emotions.
Some of the biggest brands in the world are using this technique and investing money in the production of their photos so they can use the power of visual storytelling to their advantage.

Reactive storytelling

Reactive storytelling is a great way of sparking conversation because when businesses use this technique, they can leverage a human truth or insight to generate instant feedback. This includes a cultural action, a brand relevant action or a niche action.

Inspirational quotes

One of the best ways to create a viral buzz is to trigger a strong emotional response. If you can achieve this, there is a big chance that you are going to see more shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
You should start by preparing ten images; this will be enough for the next three to four days, depends on how you spread them.

A Track Maven released a report suggesting that major brands are getting thirty-seven likes and comments per thousand followers. That’s 3.7 reactions for every hundred followers you make.

4. Build relationships with influencing people

There are places where you can get exposure and more followers like, but there are people that have a big influence, and they are available only through direct contact. You can offer them free promotional stuff for shares, or pay them for the shoutout.


Instagram Direct is probably the best way for you to get in touch with the person who can help you promoting your product. It is private so you can send your offer that only influencer and you can see.

5. Manage your profile

With you profile, your connections and followers in place, it is time to manage your account. You can find a lot of very useful applications that can give you a better overview of your activities and activities on your account and also give you statistic and charts. Always have content ready for deployment and use the schedule as much as possible, it will make your life a lot easier.

How to grow an Instagram account from SCRATCH (With ZERO Followers!) - YouTube

Final thoughts

By now we hope that you realize how easy it is to have a successful Instagram page. Visual content is in high demand, and millions of users are already making a good use of it. Just remember to be clear with your ideas and always be in contact with your followers and respect them so you can see your brand grow and flourish.

Make sure to connect your Instagram page to your other social media accounts. This way you will be able to spread your brand and reach more people.
Leave your comments below and let us know if you had any success with the roadmap that we laid out for you, and how you managed to push your Instagram campaign to the next level.…



Having and Planning Family Night

Family night is growing more popular as children are finding more things outside of the home to do. Here are some tips and ideas to help you plan and have a wonderful family night.

Set a night of the week that everyone will be home and available. Plan your family night for this night.

Tell each family member and post it on the refrigerator, calendar and anywhere else that you can think of that will help remind everyone.

Decide your plans for family night. Do you want to play games, go somewhere else, see a movie or something else creative. There are some tips and ideas at the end of this article.

Do any shopping that is needed for that night prior to the scheduled night. This will reduce the stress on you.

On the planned day be sure to remind everyone that that night is family night and what time it is planned for.

Enjoy the night with your family and have lots of fun.


For each family night, choose a different family member and make on of their favorite meals.

Choose games that everyone enjoys. Some popular games are Monopoly, Uno, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. If you don’t have any games you can do several things to get some. Go to and sign up. Once signed up post a wanted ad for games and activities. Search at garage sales and thrift stores. You would be surprised what you can find in these places. If all else fails, and you can afford it, go to the store and purchase new ones.

Family night doesn’t have to be indoors or about games. You can take it outside or anywhere. Go to the park, play volleyball, go swimming, go to a museum, go to a movie, etc.

Make sure that everyone feels included. This will make family night much easier on you and more exciting for everyone else.

Try to do something different each night. Don’t tell everyone what activities you have planned. This will heighten the enjoyment and anticipation. Repeating the same activity will bore them and discourage everyone from wanting to do it again.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect night. This will discourage you from wanting to plan and do this again. Remember this is supposed to be fun. Things happen and it is OK. Just pick it up and try again.

If you have little children, plan many different things. Remember that young children have a smaller attention span and will lose interest quickly.

Ideas for young children could be anything such as reading books, playing with blocks or legos, coloring, doing crafts (also good for older children as well), watching a movie, playing outside, going to the park, etc.

Remember that family night is not about what you do. It is about being together as a family and enjoying each others company and time.

If it doesn’t go great the first time, don’t give up. Use this time as an example and change the way you do things and what you plan for the next time.

Once you start having weekly family nights, sit down at the end of each one and ask for suggestions for other family nights. This helps everyone feel involved and helps you come up with new ideas.

Try having a themed night. This could include Hawaiian night, pajama party, camping or whatever else you can think of. This makes things fun and exciting and you can come up with some pretty creative stuff to do.

Have a night where you all make the meal together or instead of making a meal, everyone makes their favorite snack. (It’s OK to do this every once in a while.)

I hope these ideas have helped you come up with some activities and a great way to plan your family night. Enjoy your family and the time you have together.…