Archive for April, 2017

Secrets for a streamlined routine: How to look flawless in seconds

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated star of the TV series “Nashville,” Connie Britton was one of these women whose routine involved multiple steps. Back on set and busier than ever, Britton offers up her favorite tips for simplifying her routine.

* Connie’s beauty secret: “I have tried many products over the years and have a cabinet full of the latest moisturizers, sunscreens and foundations to prove it,” says Britton. “I was so excited to finally discover POND’S Luminous Finish BB+ that has short and long term benefits – it gives me flawless coverage instantly and evens out my skin tone while brightening and moisturizing my skin. It really does it all and keeps its promise.” Britton has teamed up with POND’S to help women get flawless skin. The multi-tasking beauty benefit cream is formulated with Tone Perfecting Complex and visibly fades dark spots.

* Snacks to swear by: Busy routines allow for little time to sit down and enjoy a meal. “I make sure to carry high protein, healthy snacks like almonds that are great for my skin and help keep it radiant,” explains Britton. As a bonus, being prepared with healthy snacks make it is easier to resist the urge to give into the temptation of sugary treats.

* Get glowing: Britton’s other secret for beautiful skin? “I love doing exercise that feels like it strengthens and nourishes inside and out, so lately I have been doing a lot of yoga, which incorporates body, mind, and spirit,” she says. “I always feel great after!”

* Make-up for lost time: “As a mom, it’s tough to fit in a full eight hours of beauty sleep,” says Britton. “But I’m always really amazed at what a difference a couple of coats of volumizing mascara make in the morning. It actually helps me look bright-eyed and well-rested.” After curling lashes apply two coats of mascara for eyes that looking instantly brighter and awake.

For more tips from Britton, visit the POND’S Facebook page at facebook.com/Ponds.

How to put together a casual, yet professional look

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017


When the directive comes down from management that your workplace is moving to a casual dress code, it’s usually cause for office-wide celebration. More and more companies these days are recognizing the importance of keeping their employees comfortable, and are adopting looser standards for their corporate dress codes.

If your company goes casual, it doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to your professional appearance. Take advantage of the relaxed standards of a more casual dress code, but try to avoid some of the pitfalls that might cause you to look sloppy and unprofessional.

Play the situation

When you’re spending the day in the office, casual attire that fits into your dress code is totally appropriate. But the dress code doesn’t always apply to every situation you might run into during the course of your workday. If you have an important meeting with an associate from another company, more formal attire is appropriate, whether it’s spelled out in your dress code or not.

Keep it clean

No matter how relaxed the dress code is, it’s never a good idea to wear jeans with holes in them or a coffee-stained shirt. Like it or not, wearing frayed or worn clothes will negatively affect how co-workers perceive you.

Get the right fit

Even with casual items like jeans and polo shirts, finding the right fit can mean the difference between a crisp and well-put-together and stylish look and a drab appearance. Dark jeans present a crisper look that’s more appropriate for business settings and styles with a wider cut around the boot usually pair better with loafers, boots and casual dress shoes – even though your tennis shoes may be comfy, leave them at home for play time.

When shopping for work-appropriate jeans, wear shoes and a shirt you’d normally wear for work to get an idea of what style fits best with your work attire. Several clothing brands offer a number of work-appropriate jeans for men and women for less than $30 a pair. It’s important to note that you don’t have to break the bank for a professional yet casual look.

You should avoid certain styles of jeans in the workplace. Men: While your build and personal style might allow you to brilliantly pull off skinny jeans on the weekends, don’t be tempted to wear them in the office. Women: You might turn heads with the way you wear those low-rise jeans, but opt for something less revealing for the workplace.

Err on the conservative side

If you have to ask yourself if your outfit is too revealing, chances are it is. Women should refrain from low-cut blouses, just as men should resist the urge to ditch the t-shirt underneath that button-down shirt. If your dress code is casual enough to allow for T-shirts, refrain from wearing anything containing messages or images that could be deemed by anyone as offensive. You can impress your friends with your witty T-shirt on the weekends, but your peers – or superiors – may not share their sense of humor.

While there are certain things to avoid when composing your work-casual look, remember to enjoy the freedom and comfort allowed by your relaxed dress code. By keeping your wardrobe stocked with casual attire that fits your body well, looks clean and crisp and is appropriate for the workplace, you’ll maintain comfort while exuding professionalism and confidence. 

Just the right size: How to shop online

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Still, the concern that stops many people from pushing their virtual shopping basket to check out is sizing. To learn how to order just the right size when shopping online for clothes, follow this advice from fashion school pros in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Measure yourself
“It may seem simple, but invest in a measuring tape,” says Claude Brown, academic director of the Fashion Design and the Fashion Marketing & Management programs at The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. “It costs less than five bucks, and will make all the difference when finding your right size online.”
Sizing can vary widely from brand to brand notes Brown, who also designs his own collection of dresses and sportswear. So if you are trying a new and unfamiliar brand, a key first step is to measure your waist, hips, bust and inseam.
Retailer sites will often have measuring guides that describe where and how to measure. Two measuring tips from Geetika Gupta, an instructor at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco who teaches courses in both fashion design and fashion marketing, is to always measure over undergarments and allow the tape to roughly skim the body, not sag or cut in.
Read charts and descriptions
Gupta, who runs her own fashion design and wholesaling business, also advises to take a close look at the size charts of the brand you are browsing. “With your measurements in hand you can figure out where you generally fit into a brand’s size ranges. Then what you want to do is read the garment description and look for keywords based on fit.” she says. Indicator words such as “high-waisted” or “boy fit” can help you decide if an item might be the right shape or style for your body, and better align with your fit preferences, which are very personal.
Brown also cautions that you can’t just rely on photos either. One of the reasons clothes can look perfect on the models is because sometimes a garment is clipped, pinned or taped to the body to look just so.
Look for low-cost shipping
Online shopping features like a live chat, virtual shopping assistants and runway videos are occasionally available, but with your measurements and new-found product knowledge, can be less applicable. Some retailer websites offer to adjust the inseam before they ship your order, which can be worthwhile, says Gupta. “However, beware the quality from mass customization websites where you enter your measurements to receive customized pieces of clothing,” she warns. 
“In general, dresses, skirts and blouses can be easier to assess size and fit,” Gupta says. “I also look for sites with free or low-cost return shipping and like to order two sizes of the same item so I can try both on.” She does this until she is familiar with a brand and how it fits her. 
To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit www.artinstitutes.edu.

Delaying treatment for minor health issues could cost more in the long run

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017


Many families go through a check and balance process when it comes to their health. They try to determine if avoiding the cost of medical bills as well as time off from work is worth the risk of delaying medical treatment for a problem – especially when they question how serious the problem is for their long term health.

Many health experts agree that delaying needed and recommended treatments will end up costing individuals and the country far more in the long run. Some relatively minor problems, including high blood pressure, hearing loss, joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome tend to escalate if left untreated, putting a patient at risk for more serious (and expensive) health consequences.

 

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a good example of an ailment you might think you can live with rather than pay the cost of treating it. It’s surprisingly common, with up to 5 percent of the workforce affected, according to the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal. On average, affected workers lost 27 days of work to recuperate from CTS last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 
With people spending more time on their computer or online, more people are likely to be exposed to the repetitive motions that can lead to CTS.

 
While severe cases may require surgical treatment, studies have shown that early treatment with splinting and massage can help alleviate this painful condition. Appropriate splinting (or bracing) helps keep the affected wrist in a neutral position, minimizing pressure on the irritated nerve, according to the Mayo Clinic.

 
Massage can also be effective, researchers have found. A report in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies indicates massage can reduce CTS symptoms. While only your doctor can make an actual diagnosis, once you know you have carpal tunnel syndrome there are simple, low-cost steps you can take to supplement your own treatment, including:

 
* Adjust your posture to minimize strain. Sit up straight and don’t rest your wrists on the edge of your keyboard tray while typing; try to maintain a straight wrist position.

 
* Stay hydrated. Proper hydration is essential to the healthy functioning of all our tissues.

 
* Ask your doctor to recommend appropriate exercises to keep the wrist flexible.

 
* Wear a wrist brace, even when you sleep. A special night brace is best. 

 
While you can purchase a low-cost brace in most drugstores, a better option might be one that combines bracing and massage benefits, such as the IMAK SmartGlove. Made of washable, breathable cotton material, the SmartGlove encourages proper hand and wrist position to help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms, and an ergoBeads pad cushions your wrist and improves circulation with a massaging effect.

 
It makes sense to save yourself long-term pain and money by addressing the problem early. Consult your doctor if you experience wrist pain that might be carpal tunnel syndrome. To learn more about CTS relief, visit www.Imakproducts.com.

Surprising ways hot tubs heat up relationships

Monday, April 17th, 2017

(BPT) – On average, working adults spend less than an hour per day socializing and relaxing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s American Time Use Survey. Yet a host of research – and common sense – tells us that spending time together in a social, relaxing way is essential to building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Recreating that spark or special connection with your spouse or significant other, free from the distractions of everyday life, isn’t as difficult as you may think. The answer can actually be found in your own backyard when you add a hot tub to your outdoor living space.

The therapeutic benefits of hot tubs are well documented – 79 percent of owners say they value the therapeutic health benefits their hot tubs present, according to a survey by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) – but many owners point to another significant benefit: the ability to spend more time with their partners.

Seventy-seven percent of owners say their hot tub is one of the few things that can truly take them away from the day-to-day stresses of life and allow them to reconnect with their partner.

Here are three surprising ways hot tubs can add some spice to your relationship:

* No distractions

The relaxed atmosphere of a hot tub promotes meaningful interaction, owners reveal. Hot tub owners typically say they use their hot tubs as a way to connect, and 82 percent say they are extremely satisfied with the level of relaxation it provides. Relaxing together outdoors, enjoying nature and each other’s company without the distraction of ever-present digital devices, is a great way for couples to rediscover the things that drew them together in the first place.

* Stress soothing

Life can be pretty stressful. Countless studies tell us that too much stress is harmful on a number of levels – physically, mentally and socially. Common stressors such as money are leading causes of strife in marriages and even lead to divorce. The warm water and effervescence of hot tubs relieve stress and soothe sore muscles, allowing couples to refocus on what’s most important in their lives: each other.

* The vacation effect

Something about vacation spells romance for couples; more than one getaway has led to a new addition to the family nine months later. While taking a trip more than once or twice a year isn’t always practical – the average American family spends about $1,180 per person on vacation travel according to an American Express survey – a hot tub can create the vacation effect in your own backyard, and allow you to experience that special feeling of romance every day.

Spicing up your relationship begins with the right tub, and finding the right hot tub starts with a professional you can trust. APSP Certified Professionals adhere to the highest standards of service, performance and ethical conduct. Visit the APSP website to find a professional near you.

Foot care advice for new moms and babies

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017



“Pregnancy creates many changes in the body, and can even affect the size of a woman’s feet,” says Dr. Matthew Garoufalis, a podiatrist and president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “And even though newborns aren’t walking yet, it’s understandable that mothers may have some concerns about how to best take care of their baby’s feet.”

The discomforts of pregnancy are common and well-known, ranging from back pain and frequent bathroom trips to feet that are both sore and bigger.

“It’s not at all unusual for a woman to gain a shoe size while pregnant,” Garoufalis says. “Increased weight puts more pressure on the foot, the arch flattens a bit and the foot elongates. Just a quarter-inch increase in foot length is enough to prompt a change in shoe size.”

While it’s probably impossible to completely avoid foot challenges during pregnancy, moms-to-be can take steps to minimize them:

* Control weight gain. Added weight is the most likely cause of foot expansion. Do your best to follow your obstetrician’s guidelines for how much weight you should gain throughout the pregnancy.

* Avoid high heels. Sure you see celebrities accessorizing their baby bumps with stilettos, but a lower heel during pregnancy will relieve pressure on the foot. Also, lower heels will provide you with greater stability during a time when newly gained weight might throw off your balance. It’s easy to find plenty of pretty, stylish lower heels – 1 to 2 inches in height – that will look and feel great while you’re pregnant.

* Comfort and support should be key considerations any time you choose footwear, but they are even more important for pregnant women. With extra weight and pressure on your feet for nine months, you need a shoe that provides support and cushioning. Avoid thin-soled shoes (including flip-flops and ballet flats); look for shoes with thicker soles and plenty of cushioning inside the shoes. Whatever shoe you choose, it should bend only at the ball of the foot, and you should never be able to twist the sole or bend it anywhere else.

While it’s common for women’s feet to enlarge during pregnancy – and remain that size even after delivery – generally that size increase occurs only with a first pregnancy. So you shouldn’t worry that your feet will continue to grow with subsequent pregnancies. Instead, many new moms will worry about their new baby’s feet.

“The good news is, as long as the baby’s feet are healthy at birth most newborns won’t require special care for their feet,” Garoufalis says. “Caring for your baby’s feet is much like caring for the rest of her body.”

Don’t worry if your baby’s feet look discolored or wrinkled or even have flaky, peeling skin when she is born. After nine months in protective fluid within the womb, they’re bound to look a bit different from yours. Your pediatrician will look for any obvious abnormalities of your baby’s feet and legs, and will let you know what to do if he or she finds some concern.

Use baby nail clippers to keep your child’s toenails trimmed, cutting straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Be sure to thoroughly dry baby’s feet after a bath, and choose soft, anti-microbial socks that don’t wrinkle or bunch to keep her feet warm and protected.

When she starts to walk, bare feet are best inside the house as she’s learning the finer points of getting around. Outside, put her in a lightweight, flexible shoe made of natural materials.

If foot problems run in your family, consider having your child examined by a podiatrist when she begins to walk. He or she can examine your child’s feet to ensure they’re growing normally. You can find a podiatrist that specializes in pediatrics at www.apma.org.

Little hands inspire creative kitchens: How to encourage kids to cook

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017



Parents can always use an extra pair of hands, and when encouraged, kids can enjoy spending time cooking and preparing meals. Plus, helping in the kitchen teaches useful skills that will last long past dinnertime. The good news is nine out of 10 children help in meal preparation at least once per week, according to results of a new nationwide “Coaching Kids in the Kitchen” survey conducted for global home appliance brand LG Electronics. One in five parents prefer to engage their children in the kitchen during the summer and winter months, to help keep their child’s mind sharp and occupied during breaks from school.

Have little sous chefs in the making? You might be wondering what activities are appropriate for what ages. Setting the table and retrieving ingredients from the pantry or refrigerator are good activities for younger children who might not have the skills necessary to prepare food. Parents indicate age 8, on average, is the appropriate age to start participating in meal preparation.

If you want to get your kids motivated in the kitchen, and help them learn about food preparation, healthy eating, math and measurements, try these helpful tips from Chef Peter Thornhill, LG’s executive chef, who himself caught the cooking bug when he was a child. Your kitchen will be transformed into a family fun cooking school in no time.

Grocery discoveries. Take the kids grocery shopping with you to jumpstart creative cooking juices. Picking out ingredients is the first step in cooking a meal, after all. Plus, when children are involved in picking out new foods, such as an exciting new vegetable, they’re more likely to try (and like) new things, helping to expand their palate.

Easy access. Keep your kids’ favorite ingredient items in easy-access areas around the kitchen. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that keeping greens and healthy snacks in easily accessible areas of the refrigerator is an important part of teaching your child healthy eating habits. LG’s super-capacity fridge with a built-in magnetically sealed door within a door is perfect for easy access to commonly used cooking ingredients and small, healthy snacks kids are able to retrieve themselves.

Party in the kitchen! Don’t let meal preparation seem like a chore. The more excited you are to cook with your kids, the more excited they will be, too. Turn on some music, have a giggle, and share tidbits about your day as you whip up something delicious.

More pepper? During the cooking process, taste the food and talk with your kids about alterations. This will encourage them to engage their palate and analyze the flavors they taste. Just watch as your little rosemary-lover or garlic connoisseur blossoms.

Clean machine.As your child gains more experience in the kitchen, allow him or her more control over recipes, cooking methods and cleanup. Start with simple cleaning tasks like clearing the table and loading the dishwasher to emphasize the importance of cleanliness and kitchen upkeep. To spend more memorable moments with your kids in the kitchen, parents can look for new ways to save time and tackle even the toughest tasks from greasy pans to dirty ovens. For example, LG’s EasyClean ranges have a quick and easy clean-up for mess inside the oven – just spray water into the oven, press a button and wipe away any residual grime 20 minutes later.

Armed with these tips, consider trying this kid-friendly recipe from Chef Thornill and gather your whole family in the kitchen for some cooking fun.

Recipe:

Mixed Fruit Flatbread

It’s always tough to get kids to adopt healthy eating habits with all the unhealthy items that are presented to them at school, in restaurants and in advertising … and yet these are the foods that they clamor for. Bringing a healthy angle to their favorite foods is a great way to point them in the right direction.

This recipe is easily adapted to the kinds of ingredients that you have in your house and gives your kids the opportunity to play with different flavors. You can easily make a large batch of the flatbread dough in advance and freeze smaller portions for individual use. Store bought pizza dough and flatbread (or naan bread) work great, too.

Dough

1 packet instant dry yeast
 1 teaspoon sugar
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 cup warm water
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

1. Combine water, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and let sit for five minutes.

2. Add flour to mixture and place dough hook attachment on mixer. Combine ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, then turn onto medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until dough is smooth and no longer clings to the sides of the bowl.

3. Rub top of dough with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Store somewhere warm for one hour.

Topping

1/4 teaspoon cornmeal
 2 tablespoon Raspberry jam
 1/2 cup frozen peaches, thawed
 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
 1/2 cup apples, sliced thin
 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
 1 teaspoon honey

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 500F with a cookie sheet or pizza stone positioned on center rack.

2. Divide dough into three pieces, set two aside (you can freeze these and use later or make multiple pizzas).

3. Using a rolling pin, evenly roll dough to 1/3-inch thick. Place dough on a smooth surface, sprinkled with cornmeal.

4. Spread jam evenly over entire surface, then top with peaches, apples and strawberries, lightly press these down for better adhesion.

5. Sprinkle cinnamon and drizzle honey over the fruit.

6. Slide pizza carefully onto preheated pan or pizza stone and let bake for 6 to 8 minutes.

7. Remove from oven, let stand three minutes, cut into six pieces and serve.

The LG Coaching Kids in the Kitchen Online Survey was conducted by Ebiquity, formerly Echo Research, between June 7-13, 2013 among a total national sample of 2,515 U.S. adults with children age 4-17. Overall the results have a margin of error of ± 2.0 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

​5 ways to boost your health in five minutes or less

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

(BPT) – You know those days when your normal schedule gets thrown completely out the window? You’re tired, overrun and can barely think about the next thing on your to-do list, let alone work on your larger goals or concentrate on your health.

“Luckily, major results can stem from small steps, even if they seem inconsequential. These tiny decisions throughout your day add up to create a gradual shift towards change and transformation when it comes to your health,” says Paul Kriegler, registered dietitian with Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company.

When you’re flying at rapid speed throughout your day and could use a small win, Kriegler suggests trying a few of these five-minute health commitments:

Whip up a sustainable energy boost. Think of food as fuel for your body. When you’re busy and on the run, don’t forget to pack healthy lunches and snacks to keep you nourished throughout the day.

* A protein and powdered greens shake is the perfect quick snack or lunch.

* Cut up veggies at the beginning of the week to pack for lunch.

* Make a 3-ingredient salad. All you need is lettuce, a protein, and another veggie.

* Throw together stew or chili ingredients for a week of healthy dinners and lunches.

Do you have five minutes? Fit in a workout. Kriegler says a workout doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t!) disrupt your entire day. If you find yourself with five minutes to spare, get up and move.

* Work out your kinks with five minutes of stretching or foam rolling.

* See how many pushups you can do in five minutes.

* When you’re at work, run up and down the side stairs of your office.

* Fit in two sprints up and down your street before dinner.

* Do three to six yoga poses to target a particular body part or objective. Find a yoga video that focuses on relaxation or strength.

*Head out to your backyard for five minutes of jumping rope, playing tag with the kids or trying a YouTube exercise video that looks interesting.

Plan for the days and weeks ahead. Achieving a goal always involves planning. Find five minutes in your day to make sure you have a healthy plan in place.

* Plan a healthy menu for dinner tonight or start your healthy shopping list for the week.

* Pack your gym bag for tomorrow’s workout.

Take time for yourself. “When you’re constantly on the go, remembering to take time for yourself can be a challenge,” says Kriegler. “Whether you have to get up five minutes early or stay up five minutes late, fit in some time to connect with yourself.”

* Try a five minute meditation to relax your body.

* Walk outside for a few minutes of sun and fresh air.

* Pour yourself a big glass of water to take your supplements with in the morning.

*Call someone in your support network for encouragement. This could be a weight loss coach, running or workout buddy, friend or spouse.

Although these may seem like minor tips, these small wins can help you on your journey toward a healthier way of life.