Son Posts Mom’s Painting Online, Sets off a Chain Reaction of Creativity

Having your work critiqued is always difficult. It’s a very vulnerable position to put yourself in, because you never know how someone will react to your work.  Particularly for beginners, it can be a disheartening process.

A Reddit user wanted to encourage his mother, Cindi Decker, to stick with her artwork, so he decided to post a photo of her holding one of her first paintings.

Here is the photo of Decker and her painting with the caption, “My mom painted this and said no one would like it. It’s her 2nd painting.”

Photo Credit: Imgur

Little did mother and son know that the online floodgates were going to open, in a good way. A Reddit user suggested “Someone paint the photo of his mom holding her painting and repost it with the same title for extra extra karma.” And what do you know…

Photo Credit: Facebook

And then, well…the Internet spiraled into a vortex of fun creativity.

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And we continue further…

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Cindi Decker said of all the hoopla, “Even though people say, ‘You inspired me to paint,’ I don’t know that it was so much me. I really give credit to the first artist who painted. You know, I’m not a painter. I’m just somebody who went out and did a little painting thing, so I got lucky to get caught up in all this fun craziness.”

I love when the Internet comes together for good instead of evil! Let’s see more of this!

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Woman Shares a Heartbreaking Photo of Her Mother’s Decline After Her Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s are absolutely devastating. They affect not just the person suffering, but also all the loved ones who can only watch helplessly as someone they love so much gradually fades away. Alzheimer’s steals a person’s mind and memories. What’s worse, as the Reddit post below illustrates with heartbreaking accuracy, it also robs them of what makes them unique.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

A 34-year-old Redditor from Camden, NJ, posted a photo that captures exactly what Alzheimer’s took from her mother — her ability to crochet, along with so much else.

The photograph shows 14 crocheted pieces that the woman knitted during the 2 years after her diagnosis, and the progression is breathtaking in the worst way possible.

You can clearly see her abilities fade along with her mind as she goes from knitting squares to circles to nothing at all.

“She made squares for a while, then the circles, then the little pieces of crochet, until she got to the point where she just carried around the needles and yarn in her purse,” the woman’s daughter wrote. “It has been a few years since she was able to speak and several since she was able to identify who I am.”

Photo Credit: Reddit

Her mother is just 66, and has already lived 12 years with her diagnosis, though it’s surely hard to say whether that is a blessing or a curse.

Others on Reddit responded with commiseration, stories of their own experience with the disease, and simple messages of encouragement to remind the woman she’s far from alone.

Photo Credit: Reddit

If you’re worried someone you love might be showing signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or if someone you love is suffering and you’re struggling to cope, please call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

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De-Cluttering Your Home Will Actually Make Your Kids Happier, Too

Marie Kondo’s recent Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” has inspired people everywhere to take stock of how much stuff they own and probably don’t need. I’m actually doing it myself, and the method is easy to follow and really does help you become more mindful about your possessions and patterns of consumption. What’s more, decluttering has now been proven to not only increase the happiness of the adults in the home, but also kids.  According to psychologist Dr. Ryan Sinclair, there is a “direct relationship…between clutter and tension” that can increase stress levels for human beings in general.

That means clutter could be negatively affecting your child’s happiness, as well.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

First off, what is clutter? It’s not the dirty clothes left on the floor instead of tossed in the hamper, and it’s not the pile of crap in that one chair that never seems to stay empty for more than a couple of hours.

Lisa Krohn, a professional organizer, told Romper that while messiness isn’t anything to panic about, true clutter can signal a larger problem, and can have an impact on a child’s wellbeing.

“Clutter causes confusion, accidents, paralyzes children from making decisions, and creates anger and temper tantrums. Clutter is too hard to process. They can’t see the forest through the trees.”

Who knew you could blame your kid’s tantrums on your space instead of your parenting or their general toddler mood swings?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

In a 2016 article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, scientists argue that being in an overly-cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind unable to function as cleanly as it would in a tidy environment. Similarly, a study in Environment and Behavior found similar results with students learning in cluttered classroom environments – they had a harder time completing their work to the best of their ability.

If your kids’ play space is a total disaster, with each and every item not having a “home” to return to when cleaning up, the little ones will instinctively avoid the area for their own mental well-being – even if they don’t know why they’re averse to playing there.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The good news is, you and the kids can tidy the space together, and everyone will be the better for it. Your children will feel a sense of reward by completing a task that leads to a positive effect on themselves, as well as others.

A tip from the professionals: Kids need clear, visual clues in order to truly be able to help keep their own spaces tidy. That means clearly labelling boxes and drawers so that they know where things go at the end of the day.

Still, they’re kids, so don’t expect perfection or for crap-pile to disappear seemingly overnight. Just keep in mind how much better it is for everyone when you pitch a bunch of their stuff while they’re over at grandma’s.

Everyone will be happier for your sneakiness. Fact.

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Here are the Best Weaknesses to Mention in a Job Interview

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking. Public speaking is already tough enough, but now you’re adding getting a job on the line? Yikes! It’s no surprise that so man people get nervous during interviews, and the back-and-forth between employer and job prospect can often be rife with landmines.

Then there’s the dreaded question: “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Ugh, now what? Well, we’re all in luck. These AskReddit users shared their opinions on how you should answer the most infamously difficult question to get “right.”

1. Sharing

“For my current job, I said that I had a hard time sharing my ideas with new groups.”

2. Controlling

“Actual weakness: Taking on jobs by myself, not taking time to train other people to do them. In the end, I’m usually “the guy” and find myself feeling burnt out.

Probably could be worded better at an interview, but this could sound like you’re a “go-getter.” It might also encourage your employer to find opportunities for you to train other people to do things you particularly don’t like doing.”

3. Nervous excitement

“One of my actual weaknesses: when I get nervous/excited, I tend to speak really fast and breathlessly. This can actually have a negative influence on my job as I work in healthcare and have to respond/communicate during emergencies.

For my next interview, I will bring this up, and say I have discovered that taking a second to collect myself and take a deep breath seems to calm my nerves and allow me to do/say what is needed in a more collected manner.”

4. …Yet

“If you are changing industries, your biggest weakness is not knowing the industry… yet.

If you are younger, say inexperience. Anything to show your willingness to learn and develop.”

5. Might work?

“What’s your greatest-”

“Weakness? Finishing other peoples’ sentences.” Calan_adan

“That’s what I was gonna’ say!”

6. How will you respond?

“Frame it in terms of something you’re looking to improve. “Well, at my last performance evaluation I received some constructive criticism regarding X, so since then I’ve been doing Y and Z to focus on improving in that regard.”

Honestly though, if an interviewer asks you that ridiculous cliched question either they have no idea what they’re doing and/or don’t give a crap, or they aren’t looking for an answer but just want to see how you respond to being pushed.”

7. Good move

“I work in healthcare and always say “Not speaking Spanish” and odds are the interviewer is also not fluent in Spanish so it comes across as not really a weakness. WIN-WIN!”

 

8. Dedicated

“I said “I don’t like letting go of unfinished projects” during my interviews. I feel like it shows that I’m dedicated to the work I take on.”

9. Brutal honesty

“Show enough self awareness to know your actual weaknesses and mention how you’re working to reduce their impact on your life. For example, I have an issue with speaking compassionately. For a long time, I believed brutal honesty was the best way to go about things, but it often backfired and made people less willing to work with me because they respected me less and they thought I respected them less.

My wife has helped me with this by, for example when I say something and it’s phrased badly, she’ll say “stop. Try it again.” And I’ll rephrase it to be more empathetic and kinder while still getting across the information I want to communicate.”

10. Awareness

“When I was graduating college I got interview tips from my dad who was heavily involved in the hiring process at his company for his department. His advice on this one, which I’ve used ever since and has gone great, was:

The whole “say a weakness that’s actually a positive” has been done to death and is such common knowledge that it’s no longer a clever “trick” and is now seen as avoiding the question. People want to see some self awareness, obviously don’t bring something absolutely terrible up, but mention a real flaw and most importantly what you’ve done to address or work with it.

For example the one I tend to use is that I can be forgetful so I now keep multiple sets of calendars, reminders, notes, etc to cover as much as possible.”

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Expert Reveals 9 Rules for a Happy Marriage

Marriage is the ultimate commitment, and while there’s certainly a lot of romance to it, it’s also important to understand that it’s also work. Happily ever after is great for movies, but in real life, there are going to be plenty of moments where it takes work.

Marriage isn’t always easy or fun. Yet, if you are with the right person, someone you love and who loves you, it is always worth fighting for. If only couples could be given some kind of marriage playbook.

For that, we can look to Carrie Cole, Master Trainer and director of Seattle’s Gottman Institute. Cole has made a career of researching the traits that make a long, happy marriage.  Studying thousands of couples, she has come up with these 9 rules for a successful marriage.

1. Stay engaged during an argument.

Couples together for the long haul avoid shutting down or giving silent treatments during arguments. They take breaks to calm down and then explain what is so upsetting.

Photo Credit: Flickr

2. Work through every crisis.

A crisis doesn’t have to end a marriage. Working through a problem means expressing feelings in a healthy way and validating each other.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

3. Learn from conflict.

Conflict in marriage is unavoidable. But happy couples use conflict to grow closer together by listening to and validating each other.

Photo Credit: Pxhere

4. Be grateful for what you have.

Even when money or time is scarce, happy couples make the most of what they do have and learn to appreciate the little things.

Photo Credit: Stock-free.org

5. Stay positive.

No matter the circumstances, believe your partner has only your best interests at heart.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

6. Be a support system for each other.

Happy couples talk through their stress and problems. They listen to each other with judgement or comment.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

7. Accept each others’ differences.

Differences make us who we are.

Photo Credit: Maxpixel

8. Don’t accuse.

Accusing your partner shows contempt and sets up future conflict. Remain positive and express your needs directly with statements like, “I need you to be fully honest with me,” instead of, “You are lying.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

9. Don’t criticize.

Attacking your partner constantly is unnecessary and creates strife. Gently pointing out when your partner is acting in an  inconsiderate way works better.

Photo Credit: goodfreephotos.com

The most important takeaway from Cole’s list is that couples should make their marriage a priority. Taking steps to make each other feel loved and appreciated is key to a long and happy partnership.

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15 Little Things You Can Do to Appear More Attractive

The older I get, the less I care about what people think of me, especially whether or not they find me attractive. I’m not really someone who thinks too hard about my appearance, and besides, the people who love me do so for reasons other than what I look like.

However, I must admit there are still times when looking attractive (or at least presentable) is required or desired. And if I were single, I would be more invested in my appearance, for sure. If that’s your current sitch, then you might be interested in what these 13+ people have to say!

#1. Magically transformed

“Be kind and joyful.

Be engaging.

Be funny.

I once saw a documentary and one of the women was objectively very unattractive, just a weird looking face, no makeup, almost looked like an alien. But she was so lively and fun, and full of enthusiasm and good humor that by the end of it she had magically transformed into an attractive person before my eyes.”

#2. A list of tips

“Be clean and well kept. Here are some of my best tips:

Cleanliness:

Shower daily, use good quality soap that isn’t overly scented
Wash and condition your hair every few days if not daily (depends on your hair)
Wear deodorant
Wear clothes that are clean and fit well
Looking healthy:

Drink plenty of water, it will make you look and feel more awake and can help clear up your skin
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, this will also contribute to glowing skin and can also help you shed excess weight
Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep contributes to weight gain, dull and/or blemished skin, under-eye circles, and an all around “tired” look
Grooming:

Keep your eyebrows maintained – if you don’t get them waxed, be sure to pluck stray hairs, especially between your brows. You can also spritz an old toothbrush with hair spray and brush your eyebrows, which keeps them in place and neat throughout the day
MOISTURIZE! This is especially important in the dry winter months. Invest in a good moisturizer for your body and another for your face. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, they have good moisturizers at drugstores and supermarkets
Keep your hair neat and brushed, styled with a little product if necessary. If you dye your hair, don’t let your roots grow out too long
Keep your nails clean and trimmed/filed/manicured. If you wear nail polish, either touch it up or take it off when it starts chipping. If your nails are long, be sure to clean underneath them regularly
Find a perfume or cologne that you like, that isn’t too overpowering, and that mixes well with your body. Wear it regularly
KEEP YOUR TEETH AS NICE AS YOU CAN. Teeth are a HUGE factor in attractiveness. If your teeth are crooked, you can’t change that (at least not immediately), but you can floss daily, brush twice a day, and wear your retainer/mouth guard if you have one. Take the best possible care of your teeth that you can
Style:

Dress appropriately for your job; this differs depending on the job, obviously
Wear a few classic pieces of jewelry. A watch, nice bracelet, rings, etc. Jewelry is fine, but don’t go too over the top with cheap, gaudy jewelry
Invest in a few pairs of nice shoes. Again, what type of shoes you invest in depends on your job and lifestyle.”

#3. Memory

“Remember the persons name and use it when appropriate. Not being able to remember my name 5 minutes after meeting me is a huge turn off.”

#4. Kind of my specialty

“Stripper here, I’m a bit late to this party but this is kinda my specialty so figured I’d contribute. People think good looks are all luck or genetics or whatever, nope. They’re attainable by almost anyone imho.

Hygiene is #1. You could be a perfect 10, but smell bad or have bad breath and that drops you instantly to about a 3. Shower everyday. Listen to the dentist, brush and floss everyday.
Have a bit of a tan. It makes you look about 5-10 pounds slimmer instantly. You dont need to lay In the sun to do this either – I use Jergens Natural glow moisturiser which is like $8.59 at Target and won’t give you skin cancer.
Whiten your teeth. You don’t need expensive procedures or veneers to do this. Crest Whitestrips work just fine. They’re about $50, for a week long treatment that lasts a year.
If you are a lady, having long hair makes you look much slimmer and more attractive. Straightening it is a bonus. Just be careful with heat treatments – if you straighten every day like I do, use a product to protect from heat. Anything by Redken is great.
Learn the art of makeup, ladies. Guys say they appreciate “natural beauty” but their idea of this is so rare it almost doesnt exist. You want to be wearing makeup but have it look like you aren’t. Learn contouring and a subtle cat eye, for example. Done right, this will up your “score” by a good 2 pts. My SO (we are very honest w each other) knows all my makeup routines; he says I’m a 7 without makeup and a 9 with, and he isn’t wrong.
Wear clothes that fit. If you’re a medium buy a medium rather than trying to squeeze into a small.”

#5. Clean and confident

“Hydrate your skin and take care of your hair.
Smell good.
Take care of your teeth.
Wear clean clothes that make you feel confident.

But most importantly: smile and make eye contact (not staring!) with people.”

#6. Posture, posture, posture

“I had success with a mixture of:

rolling out my thoratic spine (helps with slouch)
barbell rows (pulls shoulders back. ideally you’d work out your full body)
core work (straightens hips)
think about being pulled up by strings like a puppet to straighten up. eventually it becomes natural to do if you practice it enough.”

#7. Clean and trimmed

“Keep your fingernails clean and trimmed. No one cares if you look like Idris Elba or Olivia Wilde if your nails look like you pick your ass with them.”

#8. Strengths and weaknesses

“Lean on your strengths, forget about your weaknesses.

Figure out what your best feature is and make that as noticeable as possible. If you have great hair/eyes/butt/whatever, draw as much attention as you can to it.

The idea behind this goes like this – people generally only notice/remember one or two things about about a person. If you can impress on them that you have really strong shoulders or really great tits that’s generally all they’ll remember. “Karen?… Oh right, the girl with that beautiful long curly red hair! She’s pretty.” But if Karen is a little overweight or has an ugly voice, they will be less likely to remember that than if she has a good feature that she can make stand out.

As well, you can’t have awesome/perfect everything. So rather than trying to work on everything all at once, or trying to change things like height/face shape, just try to improve and highlight something you already have. Hide your weaknesses in plane sight.

So, figure out what your “thing” can be and accentuate that as much as possible.”

#9. Practice

“Learn your angles!! Practice smiling in a mirror and figure out what expressions look best on you.”

#10. Double points

“You’d be surprised what a shower a day, and clean clothes will do. Double points for having well kempt hair.”

#11. Always a jokester in the crowd

“Low lighting.”

#12. Simple things

“The same answers appear every time this gets asked, and ultimately boils down to the same pointers.

– Decent haircut (also hair that isn’t greasy).

– Clothes that fit properly (Not to baggy or purchased from Walmart, I like Ross and sometimes I’ll frequent the mall, I like the vans store).

– Cut your nails

– Smell nice (There are memes referencing a woman’s “hoe side coming out” when smelling a nice fragrance.

I’m not the best looking guy out there, kind of chubby with big glasses at times, some times I wear contacts. My girlfriend is a knockout though, and I like to think covering the previously mentioned pointers helped me out.

Side Note: If you want to meet women you have to talk to them, starting the conversation is half the battle, Introduce yourself, ask a question that may lead to another question to keep things going.

I.E. ” Do you like coffee”? Followed by “Would you like to get coffee:?​

This will may lead to intercourse but is not guaranteed.”

#13. Niceties 

“Be nice to other people. Show gratitude. Laugh a lot. These things are very attractive to other people even if they can’t pinpoint why they like someone. This attitude or way of being will start to show in other aspects of your life.”

#14. A great haircut

“Always have a great haircut or hairdo and smell nice.”

#15. Physical activity

“Physical activity of any sort, doesn’t have to be weightlifting but that’s an option.”

Go forth and stun!

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10+ Experts Give Advice on the Worst Things to Say in Your Next Speech

Fear of public speaking is a real thing. In fact, it’s actually one of the things people apparently fear more than death itself! What is it about speaking to a room of people that fills so many of us with the worst kind of existential dread?

I have found that practice and experience make everything easier (even public speaking), but advice from people who have been there can’t hurt, either. So, the next time you’re sitting down to write a speech, keep these no-no openers in mind!

#1. Clickbait.

“Top 13 reasons clickbait works. Number 10 will blow your tits clean off.”

#2. Here we go.

“I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of “I know your all want to get out of here, and aren’t interested in a long speech, but that’s too bad, here we go…”

#3. It’s not pretty.

“I’m imagining you all in your underwear, and it’s not pretty.”

#4. Just no.

“So I was reading on the internet the other day…”

#5. Hardy-har.

“Just flew in from LA

boy are my arms tired.”

#6. Solid.

“When I in grade 4 the teacher told us opening line of speech should get people’s attention. So, my friend made a speech, and he yelled, “SEX! Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I would like to talk about the environment.”

#7. Definitely not that.

“Once I was giving a speech and the podium wasn’t attached right, so just as I was about to start and I leaned on the podium it lifted up and the microphone hit me in the mouth.

When it was an inch away from my mouth, I had just finished the first word of my speech:

FUCK”

#8. A stunner.

“Webster’s dictionary defines <topic> as…reads dictionary definition in its entirety.”

Well this is going to be a stunner of a speech in already sure of it.”

#9. On mothers.

“As a mother…”

#10. An hour from now.

“An hour from now you’re all going to be asking yourselves ‘Is this guy EVER going to get to the point ?’ and an hour after that you still won’t know.”

#11. Hopefully.

“I am much smarter then you so hopefully you get what I am about to say.”

#12. Yawwwwn.

“Hello, my name is <name> and I’m going to talk to you about…..”

#13. Like…

“So like, uhhhh…”

#14. Insert zodiac sign.

“Well… as a insert zodiac sign I think that…”

 

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Woman Pays It Forward at Starbucks as a Social Experiment, and the Result is Spectacular

Have you ever “paid-it-forward?” For those who may not know, paying it forward is the idea of doing something nice for someone, and then asking them to return the favor by doing something nice for someone else. There’s something truly beautiful about bringing a smile to a stranger’s face through an unexpected act of kindness.

With that in mind, one woman decided to attempt a little social experiment.

Photo Credit: Imgur, @kellylymcdaniel

<Eats popcorn> Read on…

Photo Credit: Imgur, @kellylymcdaniel

Looks like paying-it-forward is, indeed, contagious. Are you smiling yet?

Photo Credit: Imgur, @kellylymcdaniel

Smiling now? I thought so. Think about this the next time you’re in line at Starbucks, the grocery store, or even a drive-thru, consider treating a stranger to a smile and pay-it-forward. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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The Truth Behind How Alcohol Really Impacts Your Mood

It’s a pretty commonly held belief that if you’re stressed out after a tough day, a drink (or two) can help you wind down and relax. This belief is bolstered by the fact that a glass of wine in the evening has become a crucial ritual for many a stressed parent trying to relax.

Luckily, for us, it’s not an unsubstantiated practice. Believe it or not, studies have shown that certain types of wine can have legitimate health benefits beyond the mental stress relief.

Photo Credit: Pixabay 

 

Alcohol quickly boosts our serotonin levels, which results in an elevated or euphoric improvement to our mood. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a biological chemical, basically), and it’s a key player in our happiness and mood. People who experience anxiety and depression often have lower than average levels of serotonin in their gut, blood and central nervous system.

The problem is, after that initial boost in serotonin brought on by a couple of drinks, serotonin levels fall down even lower than they were prior to your drinking. So if you drink habitually, it means that you’re regularly lowering your serotonin levels to below what is considered average, and that can eventually rewire your brain.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

If you’re someone who doesn’t struggle with depression and anxiety, then you may not have anything to worry about – but if you do, having a drink or two every day might be something you want to rethink.

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10 Deeply Profound Shower Thoughts

Shower thoughts are the random little epiphanies that you experience while you’re showering (hence the name). There’s just something about idly scrubbing between your toes that opens up your mind in ways you can’t access at other times. Some of these thoughts can be truly revelatory. Others… are a bit more random.

Reddit’s “Shower Thoughts” thread is chock full of these useless ideas.

Photo Credit: Reddit, u/tr666ple_6

 

Photo Credit: Reddit, u/JetSetMiner

Photo Credit: Reddit, u/k1l2327

Photo Credit: Reddit, u/PainMatrix

Photo Credit: Reddit, u/Free-Tshirts

The next time you step into the shower, remember your thoughts aren’t as crazy as you might think.

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