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3 Simple Rules For Guilt-Free Binge-Watching

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Simple Rules For Guilt-Free Binge-Watching

Do you remember when you had to wait a week to see the next episode of your favorite television show – even if you were watching reruns? Today, you can easily pick up the full series of your favorite show on blu-ray and watch as many episodes in a row as you like, complete with special features and no commercials. Binge-watching is the ultimate in instant gratification, and it’s a fun way to spend a rainy weekend, ride out a case of the flu, or stay cool indoors on a summer day when it’s just too hot to go outside. But face it – binge-watching isn’t exactly a healthy activity. You may tend to eat too much, move too little, or both. And while one lazy day now and then isn’t the end of the world, you don’t want it to turn into a habit. Take a look at a few rules to follow when you’re binge-watching that can make it a slightly healthier activity and prevent you from making a habit of being a couch potato. Rule #1: Stock Up On Healthy Snacks If you find that binge-watching and binge-eating go hand-in-hand, you’re not alone. Research shows evidence of links between television consumption, unhealthy eating, and weight gain or obesity. Interestingly, the type of show you’re watching may make a difference. For example, researchers found that study participants who watched action shows ate 98% more than participants who watched talk shows. Participants watching sad shows ate 55% more than participants watching more cheerful content. And watching food-related content makes people who are dieting eat more. The healthiest thing that you can do is turn the television off while you eat. If you’re not watching TV, or otherwise distracted, you’ll be more mindful of what and how much you put in your mouth. But you don’t necessarily have to ban all snacking while watching to make binge-watching a little healthier. If you really want to be able to snack while you watch, take the time to make sure that you have healthy snacks readily available before you turn the TV on. Hide the potato chips and cookies, and cut up some fruits and veggies so that they’re ready to grab and go when you decide you want a snack. Substitute your movie-theater-style popcorn for some lightly salted, roasted edamame. Stock your fridge with water bottles instead of cans of soda. That way, you can have your TV marathon without increasing your waistline. Rule #2: Stand Up In Between Episodes It turns out that even if you exercise regularly, sitting down for long periods of time is really bad for your health. That’s why experts recommend that you stand up for at least two hours a day during working hours. And don’t think that the recommendation doesn’t apply to you because you’re binge-watching TV at home instead of sitting at a desk at work – your body doesn’t know the difference between eight hours of office work and eight hours of Orange is the New Black. Luckily, research also suggests that it doesn’t matter if that two hours of standing is broken up into small periods of time. Pause the show every so often, or take a break between each episode to stand up, stretch, and move around. You don’t...

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4 Gift Ideas Your Musically Inclined Teen Is Sure To Love

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Gift Ideas Your Musically Inclined Teen Is Sure To Love

There are a variety of benefits your musically inclined teen can take advantage of from being involved in music, such as the opportunity to increase their creativity levels as well as improve both motor and critical thinking skills. Whether for a birthday, a special holiday, or simply as a token of your love and appreciation, your teen is sure to appreciate a gift that encourages them to stay on their musical path. Here are four fun ideas to consider next time you’re looking for a perfect gift for your musically inclined teen: A Coffin Case If you’re looking to gift your teen something that’s a bit outside of the box, consider getting them a coffin case for their instrument. Coffin cases come in a variety of sizes and colors to accommodate everything from a flute to a trombone. While a coffin case is fun and nostalgic, it will still provide your teen’s instrument with the protection it needs for optimal performance as time goes on. Include a few stickers and embellishments with the coffin case when you wrap it up so your teen can decorate it to create a unique design that’s all their own. Check out what case options you have by visiting a case store, such as Encore A&S Case Company. A Musical Vacation Why not spring for a musical vacation with your teen as a gift for a special occasion? The trip will give you and your teen a chance to bond while exploring the history and culture of music from all walks of life. There are a variety of fun options to consider including: Visit the Experience Music Project in Seattle Washington. Check out Liverpool, England during the Liverpool International Music Festival. Hang out at the House of Blues or Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts. Experience the Vienna Philharmonic in Vienna, Austria. Attend the New Orleans Jazz Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana. The idea is to explore a new place together while focusing on the music scene and everything it has to offer while you’re there. Lessons from a Local Pro Consider finding a local music pro that your teen looks up to and schedule a few personal lessons as a gift for them. Not only will your teen be able to increase their basic music skills, but they will likely enjoy the opportunity to gain some personal insight from a musician that they admire and would like to sound like. A couple lessons a week for just a month can make a dramatic and positive impact on the way your teen looks at the art of playing music and how they put their newly learned skills to practice overall. An Equipment Savings Account If your teen is eager to get their hands on a new instrument or accessory that is out of your price range, you can still make their dreams come true by setting up a savings account for them and funding the account to get them started with their savings. You can then offer to match their deposits until they have enough to buy the instrument or accessories that they really want. The savings account can continue to be used to encourage your teen to save for the things that they want in life by offering a little financial support as...

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How Can You Incorporate Your Children Into Your Las Vegas Wedding?

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can You Incorporate Your Children Into Your Las Vegas Wedding?

If you and your partner plan to get married in Las Vegas and celebrate your nuptials with your closest friends and family, you may be wondering the best way to include your mutual children (or your soon-to-be stepchildren) in the ceremony and reception activities. Marrying with children can be a rocky transition at times, and creating an inclusive atmosphere when you and your spouse are exchanging vows can help your children feel more comfortable with these new roles and adjustments inherent in creating a blended family. Read on to learn several ways you can incorporate your children into your Las Vegas wedding.  Have your wedding theme centered around family One of the advantages of a Las Vegas wedding is that the chapels perform enough varied weddings that they’ll be able to pull your request together in a minimal amount of time. In fact, more than 5 percent of weddings performed throughout the U.S. each year (around 112,000) happen in Las Vegas. Having a themed wedding centered around “creating a new family” rather than Elvis, pink flamingos, or one of the other themes often requested can help your children feel they’re an integral part of the entire process. This theme can include the creation of a family painting or sand art sculpture (letting you, your spouse, and your children each take a turn) before the vows are said or even giving your children their own vows. The officiant can tailor his or her speech to incorporate poems, proverbs, or even jokes about the strong ties that bind a family. Because of Nevada’s unusual wedding laws, you should have no trouble planning and executing this wedding on very short notice. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, you and your betrothed will need to head to the Clark County courthouse to obtain a marriage license from the clerk. This license will be issued the same day you apply, and it remains valid for one year from the date of issuance—allowing you some flexibility in setting the wedding date. To save time before your arrival at the courthouse, you may want to complete the marriage pre-application online, which will allow you to obtain your license from the “express” window rather than waiting in a potentially lengthy line behind other applicants.  Give your kids a special toast or treat at the reception If you’d prefer a more traditional ceremony, you may still want to find a way to incorporate your children (or provide them with a treat) at the reception. This may involve a special toast given by you or your spouse to recount a moment you shared with a child or children or the thoughts that crossed your mind before asking your spouse to marry you (or accepting this offer) and knowing you’d finally become a family. Those who aren’t great at speechwriting (or public speaking) can get some assistance from wedding chapel staff. Your wedding chapel may also be able to provide a special treat for the children in attendance—anything from a surprise appearance by a favorite cartoon character or superhero to a coloring or cookie-decorating station. By showing your children it’s important for you that they have fun at your wedding ceremony, you’ll help gain trust and gratitude. Professional photos (including candids) taken at the ceremony can provide you with priceless memories for years to...

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A Bride’s Best Friend: Your Guide To Being A Boss Of A Bridesmaid

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You’re probably both touched and excited to be invited to join the official wedding party for one of your girlfriends. After all, bachelorette parties and wedding showers, along with shopping for gorgeous gowns, couldn’t be more fun. But, as the culture around weddings has changed over the last decade, it’s also natural to be confused over what your official duties are. Look great for pictures? Check. Attend wedding? Check. But what else is there? You’ve got to say yes to the dress. The bride will choose her own wedding dress, but she’ll also be choosing yours. If it doesn’t look good on you, you’re going to have to make do with what you’ve got. Also, it’s customary for bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses. So, even if you aren’t used to talking money with your buddy, make sure you explain your budget when you’ve been formally invited to join the wedding party. You should be integral in planning and preparing. The original purpose for having a bridal party was for the bride to have the support she would need leading up to the big day. Many bridesmaids look at the invitation as an evaluation of what good friends you are. But, the bride probably also picked you because you can be relied on to come through if she needs you. Typical responsibilities for a bridesmaid include: attending appointments, like fittings and cake tasting, especially if the bride’s mother or the groom cannot be there.  participating in the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. directing or helping with pre-wedding set-up, such as decorating the hall according the bride’s specifications and fielding the questions of the florist and caterers while the bride gets ready. helping the bride into and out of her dress, as well as fixing hair and make-up when needed. Bridesmaids are also responsible, with the family and friends of the bride, for organizing pre-wedding parties. You’ll need to work with the maid of honor to plan a bachelorette party, as this typically involves just the bride and her close friends. You’ll work with the mother of the bride to plan and attend the wedding shower. You or another bridesmaid will also need to handle RSVP lists for both events. During the shower, you or another bridesmaid should write down the gifts and who they are from, so the bride can write thank you cards later. You’ll need to get there early and leave late. As a bridesmaid, you’ve got to commit yourself for the day. This means that you should be present while the bride is getting ready, during the ceremony, at the luncheon, and at the party that follows. It is bad form to leave before the bride and groom, so you should count on staying at least until they have made their final exit. Also, the bride depends on her wedding party to keep the party going. This means, that even though you’ve already put in a long day, you stay attentive to slideshows, and encourage guests to joining in the festivities by asking them to dance or by talking with those who seem reluctant to enjoy themselves.  You may not be able to choose your date. Depending on the formality of the wedding, the bride may have each bridesmaid paired with a groomsman for the...

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4 Reasons New Mothers Should Take Ballet

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With the trend of baby wearing making a resurgence, baby wearing fitness classes are also becoming popular. At many studios, you can find workouts catering to new mothers that range from mom and me yoga to baby wearing ballet. Baby wearing ballet can be a great way to bond with your baby, learn techniques to calm a fussy baby, and get in shape. Even if there is not a baby wearing ballet class in your area, if you are a new mother, there are many ways you can benefit from attending adult ballet classes on your own.  Increase Your Post Pregnancy Fitness Level Ballet is an amazing workout because it gently increases your strength, lung capacity, cardiovascular efficiency, flexibility and agility. Although advanced classes can be quite intense, each level of ballet builds on previous levels, making a beginning class great for people of all fitness levels, including new mothers.  After birth, one of your main concerns will probably be strengthening your pelvic floor. By the time you give birth, you are probably bored with kegel exercises, and you will be happy to know that there are other, more efficient ways to strengthen your pelvic floor. Ballet can strengthen your gluteal and core muscles while improving the curvature of your lower spine, all of which will painlessly improve your pelvic floor.  In the months following birth your blood volume with be returning to normal and your lungs will no longer be cramped by your baby. This makes it the perfect time to work on your cardiovascular health. The short bursts of high energy surrounded by constant low-level activity during a ballet class create the perfect environment for safely challenging yourself to work harder.  Restore Your Balance and Confidence  Ballet is a great way to improve your balance. You do not have to be in advanced pointe classes to reap the benefits of better balance. Even beginning classes require you to turn, squat, and constantly shift your weight. This can be an excellent way to explore your center of balance now that you are no longer pregnant. As you reconnect with your body, you will gain confidence in all of your physical activities.  Avoid Postpartum Depression  Between 9-16 percent of women will suffer from postpartum depression after giving birth. Although there are many factors that contribute to postpartum depression, your can decrease your chances of getting it by remaining active, having adequate personal time, and spending time outside each day. A ballet class twice a week gives you time to unwind from the stress of caring for an infant and concentrate on your own mental health.  Connect With Other Adults  As a new mother, it may be difficult to find time to genuinely connect with other adults, which may leave you feeling lonely and stressed. However, a dance class such as ballet can give you a sense of connection and empathy with others. It has been shown that when people dance together, certain neurons activate that are used when you relate to others. Besides increasing your ability to interact with others, it will also give you a feeling of satisfaction and connection in a short amount of time.  Although there are many benefits to ballet after childbirth, it is important to remember to start slowly. You should get your doctor’s...

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Dealing With Fecal Impaction

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For most people, constipation is a relatively minor annoyance. But for others, it can lead to serious problems. For example, in 2006, a contestant on the reality television show “Survivor” had to be evacuated from an island because he had become so severely constipated that he had become impacted. And this fecal impaction was actually considered possibly life threatening. Unfortunately, people who are constipated are sometimes so embarrassed about their condition that they don’t seek treatment, and this could lead to serious complications. How To Know If You Are Impacted Somewhat surprisingly, one of the symptoms of fecal impaction is loose stools that look like diarrhea. Why? Because when you have a blockage of dry and hard fecal matter in your rectum, loose waste matter from above the impaction site will leak around it. This can be very confusing for someone who believes they are having diarrhea problems, when in reality, they are suffering from severe constipation. Other symptoms of impaction include: A distended and painful abdomen  Nausea and feeling sick Difficulty having “normal” bowel movements Pain with bowel movements when you do have them Cramping If you wait too long for treatment, the impaction could actually cause serious side effects, including: Problems urinating. If your impaction presses on your urinary tract, you could lose control of your bladder Confusion. Your impaction could press on your diaphragm, which can cause you to feel dizzy  What You Should Do Because severe fecal impaction can be a serious health issue, you should consult your doctor for an examination. If you try to or have been treating your symptoms on your own, you could be making the situation worse. Unfortunately, one of the causes of fecal impaction can be the over-use of laxatives. To treat your condition, your doctor may do the following: Press on your abdomen to see if they can detect hardened stool Take an X-ray to determine the severity of your fecal impaction Recommend that you have an enema to lubricate your bowels and to also soften your fecal impaction Prescribe rectal suppositories Break up your hard stool mass and remove it from your rectum by hand If your blockage is extreme, you may need surgery to remove it, but this is rare.  Dealing With The Embarrassment  Unfortunately, anything to do with bodily fluids seems to bring out juvenile behavior in others, so you may be embarrassed to share the nature of your condition with others. However, if word does somehow get out to, say, coworkers or friends, you may be smart to treat the matter with humor. For example, look up constipation jokes on the Internet that you can use as you explain your situation to others. In addition, knowing the constipation jokes ahead of time could help you cut off annoying acquaintances before they can finish telling their own jokes.  Preventing An Impaction In The Future A fecal impaction can be a very traumatizing event in a person’s life — one that most people don’t want to repeat in the future. So to prevent this problem from happening again, you should: Change your diet to include more fiber Drink more water Use the bathroom on a regular basis, whether you feel that you need to or not Avoid using laxatives on a regular basis. Laxatives can cause...

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Antiques 101: Tips For Beginners Looking To Explore This Profitable And Fun New Hobby

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Antiquing” is an ideal hobby for anyone who would rather spend their weekend digging for hidden treasures,, then doing yard work or watching your spouse watch a sporting even. In addition to the fun and sense of accomplishment you’ll feel by creating an impressive collection, antiquing is also potentially profitable – but only if you know what to look for. If you’re new to the world of antiques, here are a few tips to help ensure you invest your money wisely: The Basics Before you start planning your weekends around flea markets and shopping at the local antique mall, learn about the basics, including the difference between something that is “antique” and simply old. According to the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, there are many important distinctions between something that is an “antique”, “collectible” or a “reproduction”: According to the FTC, for an item to be classified as an antique, it must be at least 100 years old. A vintage collectible must be at least 50 years old. However, if something is just a collectible, the age of the item isn’t relevant. A reproduction is just that, a modern reproduction of a vintage or antique item. The item might be an exact reproduction or inspired by a certain time period or artistic movement. What Makes An Antique Valuable? Many times, as you’re sifting through the shelves at your new favorite antique store, you’ll pick up a bizarre item, look at the price tag and ask yourself “Why is this so expensive?” Aside from the aesthetic appeal of an antique, there are many other factors that will determine the item’s price, including: Condition – In general, antiques are rated as “mint”, “excellent” or “good.” A mint item is near perfect and contains no visible scratches, dent, dings or other damage. An antique in excellent condition will have a few scratches, while one that is in good condition will appear a little more beaten-up. Scarcity – The rarity of an item can mean several different things. For example, if there were only a few of the item produced or if it’s a strange representation of a period or artist’s work, the piece is considered more rare, and therefore, more valuable. Appeal – The appeal of an item is completely subjective, but there are still many shapes, colors and patterns that are more universally pleasant. If the piece is classically lovely or impeccably constructed, it will cost more. Buying Antiques Online Once you’ve visited all the antique stores near your home, you might decide to expand your search and collection by looking online. The majority of sellers are reputable and will provide you with plenty of photographs and proof the antique is authentic and in great shape. However, just to be safe the FTC has provided consumers with a few tips to help ensure they get exactly what they paid for: Ask for additional, detailed photos of the piece. In the absence of actually being able to pick up and touch the item, the photos give you the ability to take a closer look at its condition. If the seller is unwilling to provide the photos, keep looking. Set up an escrow account and use it to pay for the antique. This account is serviced by a third party and protects both you and...

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Make Your New Year’s Eve Party Stand Out With A Theme

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you planning a New Year’s Eve party and are a little worried because you know that you’ll be competing with a slew of other events? If so, you need to take steps to ensure that your party will be the invite that everyone RSVPs for. Here are a few ideas for themes and decorations that can help your party be the big event that everyone wants to attend on New Year’s Eve.   Choose a Funny Theme Show your friends that your party is going to be a fun-filled night by picking an interesting theme. For instance, consider choosing the “Poseidon Adventure” movie as your theme. In that movie, passengers were on a cruise ship celebrating New Year’s Eve when it was suddenly capsized by a rogue wave. For this theme, you can: Encourage your guests to dress in torn-up or blood-stained formal wear or as their favorite character in the movie. Decorate your home with cruise ship amenities such as deck chairs and a disco ball. In addition, you should consider offering a casino game room, loaded with slot machines and craps, roulette and poker tables. The latter can serve as both decorations as well as entertainment for your guests. Many casino game rental companies can also provide you with dealers who can teach your guests the rules of the various games, which can make the night even more entertaining. Play the “Poseidon Adventure” movie in the background.  Offer food and drinks that are plays on the movie’s theme. For example, you might want to consider serving a pineapple upside down cake in honor of the boat’s capsized position or offering guests Shipwreck cocktails. Go Glitzy Why not celebrate the new year by going back in time to the Roaring 20’s and throwing an elegant Great Gatsby-themed party. To get your guests into the proper mood for a glitzy Gatsby event, you should: Ask guests to dress to impress — for women, this means flapper style with lots of pearls. Men can wear suspenders, an old-school vest, or even a smoking jacket. Have card tables set up so guests can play poker or 21. If you want to go with a real old-fashioned speakeasy feeling, you might want to consider renting casino games. Add glamorous touches throughout your house, such as vases filled with large, fluffy white feathers. You can also scatter strings of faux pearls about your tables and use a lot of touches of gold. You can, for instance, use gold spray paint to turn cheap vases into golden vessels. Use real linens and glasses rather than paper tablecloths and plastic cups. Glow Party Do you and your friends love dubstep concerts or enjoy spending your evenings dancing in nightclubs? Then consider decorating your place with black lights and going with a glow-in-the dark theme. Encourage guests to wear white or neon colors that will work well with the black lights. In addition, you should: Hand out glow wands and other glow accessories, such as bracelets, necklaces and eyeglasses. Purchase glow-in-the-dark cups and ping pong balls (yes, these are available) so you can play beer pong in the dark. Download a dubstep playlist. Put glow sticks in balloons and hang them from the ceilings or scatter them around your room. In addition to picking a great theme, it’s also important to inform your prospective guests as early as possible that you are planning on...

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3 Tips For Planning A Fabulous Charity Fashion Show Fast

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A fashion show can be a fun and effective way to raise the funds needed for the charity or cause of your choice. While a fashion show may sound like a complex and labor intensive undertaking, it’s possible to throw a fun fashion show together quickly if you need to make your goal in a hurry. The most important elements of a fashion show are the location, the models, and the clothes. If you can put those elements together quickly, you can pull off a fashion show. Here are some tips to help you get started. Be Flexible When Setting the Scene If you had lots of time to plan your fashion show, you’d probably try to book a venue that already has a stage or a catwalk. However, if you’re trying to pull off a fashion show on short notice, you may not have the time to book the type of venue that you’d normally think of for a fashion show. You can open up the possibilities greatly by renting portable staging. With portable stages, any venue that can fit a stage will be a great place for a fashion show. Think outside the box. You can set up portable staging nearly anywhere. Is there a nearby rec center that’s not rented out for the day of your show? Rent it and set up a stage on your own. Or, you can choose an outdoor location. Consider giving the show a nautical theme and setting up the stage at the beach, or going with a spring theme at a park known for its plants and flowers. An outdoor venue may even save you money. Portable staging should cost between $450 and $650 for a 16×20 foot stage. That is liable to be less than what it would cost to rent a big venue for the day. However, be sure to find out whether you need a permit to hold an event in your location of choice before you finalize your plans. Round up Volunteers Professional models are somewhat like venues, in that if you don’t book them early, the ones that you want probably won’t be available when you need them. Save yourself some money and frustration and go with volunteer models instead. Not only are they more likely to be available on short notice, they’ll also save you money that can go to your charity of choice instead. It won’t be as hard to find volunteer models as you may believe. Start with people who are already involved with the same charity that you’re planning the fashion show for. They’re already interested in your cause and will probably be happy to help. Another place to look for volunteers is in a fashion design school in your area. There you should be able to find student models who may be willing to volunteer their services in exchange for the exposure they’ll receive from any press covering the event. Make Contacts for Clothes Your best bet when it comes to getting clothes for the event is to hit up local merchants. Stay away from large chain stores and franchises, and focus on small retailers who may be willing to handle a rush job out of a sense of community spirit. Outline the details of the event, the aim of...

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