How to Find the Right Preschool
Things to consider when researching child care providers
Finding the right preschool or care provider for your child doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Because your child’s early years are crucial in his or her development, choosing the right child care facility is one of the most important decisions you can make to prepare him or her for both school and adult life.
While most parents start the process by asking friends and family for recommendations, keep these tips from the child care experts at KinderCare in mind when searching for a child care center:
Find Locations Along Your Existing Commute. The rhythm of drop-off and pick-up will soon become a reality of your days, so take into account how a new routine will impact traffic and drive times during your commute. Looking into child care facilities near your home or office, or along your route, can be a sanity saver, especially on those mornings when you’re rushing out of the house behind schedule.
Do Your Research. Child care has come a long way in the past couple decades, and nationally accredited centers like KinderCare can provide everything your child needs to reach his or her potential. Awarded by an independent organization, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, accredited centers meet rigorous standards in everything from teacher qualifications to curriculum to safety. A simple search online can provide a list of accredited centers near your location of choice.
Make a List of Requirements. Before you tour a facility, it can help to find your focus. Make a list about what you need from a program, what you want for your child and any concerns you may have, no matter how large or small. For example, consider potential concerns like kindergarten preparation, teachers’ management of conflict between children and more. Use your preferences to guide conversations when you’re ready to take tours.
Take Tours. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few preferred facilities or programs, schedule tours to check out the spaces, meet the directors and watch how the teachers interact with the children. Keep your requirements in mind and look for clean, safe facilities that focus on nutrition and encourage exploration and reading while building a sense of belonging. If you’re still on the fence or need more information about one or more centers, don’t be afraid to go back for a second visit and ask more questions to ensure you’re picking the right place for your family.
Trust Your Instincts. After taking tours, you may have a lot of information to process. Narrowing down what’s right for your family can seem overwhelming at first, but asking yourself questions such as these can help you in the long run: Did you feel listened to, heard and understood? Was the center warm and welcoming? When in doubt, trust your gut. This is your child, after all, and you know him or her best.
Find more tips and information to help pick the perfect child care center at kindercare.com.
In the Limelight
By Sharon Mosley
Lime green. Sky blue. Luscious lavender. Sound like the colors of a new autumn fashion season? Well, get ready to think outside the fall fashion crayon box.
According to the international color trend authority, Pantone, Inc., we’re in store for a few surprises for the upcoming year.
“There is a continued transition away from cyclical trends, and instead a strong focus on self-expressive colors that evade antiquated seasonal structure,” says Lea Eiseman, the executive director of Pantone. “As a result, we are seeing some very notable non-traditional choices showing up in the Fall/Winter palette. These unexpected shades reinvent the seasonal color story and allows for the artistry and originality that moves fashion forward.”
So, if you’ve still got that lavender denim jacket from last spring, don’t stash it away just yet. Just mix in in with those autumnal favorites like deep crimson red for a fresh new color pairing that will give your wardrobe a whole new vibe. In other words, feel free to wear any color you want, any time of year! What a concept!
Here are Pantone’s top 10 color picks for fall 2018:
–Red Pear. This is a deep crimson shade of red with just a hint of brown. Think Southwest desert tones. And if you really want to make a statement, wear this rich red color from head to toe…complete with matching red suede boots.
–Valiant Poppy. Pump up the volume on that burnished “red pear” shade and you’ve got the brighter cousin of red in this vibrant hue. Mix both reds together and you’ve got the power color couple of the year. Actually, this red has long been a winner on the fashion scene.
–Nebulas Blue. Had to look this one up…a nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Originally nebula was a name for any diffuse astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way. So this new blue for fall is a little darker than spring’s baby blues, and a little brighter. Pantone describes it as “reminiscent of twilight, a thoughtful-starry-eyed blue.
–Quetzal Green. Another word search. The quetzal is a bird in the trogon family found from Mexico to Panama known for its colorful blue-green plumage. The color is similar to a peacock blue-green and is a stunner when combined with the starry aforementioned Nebulas Blue. In velvet, it’s old-world sumptuous. Watch for this color to be a favorite of interior designers, too.
— Ceylon Yellow. OK, the only way to describe this color is to think mustard yellow. Not one of my personal favorites, but in the right shade it can be quite exotic. Brunettes and dark skin tones seem to pull this spicy color off the best.
–Limelight. A more pungent yellow-green, with almost a neon glow, this color is also for the brave fashion hearts. Wear it and expect to be the center of attention.
–Martini Olive. Another traditional fall favorite, the utilitarian military shade of olive has gotten a sophisticated upgrade from fashion designers who paraded it down the runways in everything from chic trench coats to camouflage suits.
–Russet Orange. Think a little shade of orange deeper than pumpkin, and you’ve got the flavor of this earthy shade. As long as you don’t look like you’re celebrating Halloween in any kind of scary costume, then this orange can really reinvigorate your wardrobe. Hint: choose in small doses like accessories unless the thought of being compared to the Great Pumpkin gives you a particular thrill.
–Ultra Violet. Yes, this is THE color of the year, according to Pantone, who first declared it a top contender for the spring 2018 fashion season. The deeper violet now eases into fall and continues to inspire designers. Watch for the royal purple hue to be a big coat-seller for winter.
–Crocus Petal. A lavender color, this also seems to belong more in the spring season. But remember, we’re starting to mix it all up now. That’s a more modern way to dress. And while it may take some of us a little more time to get used to wearing Easter egg colors in the fall, expect to get used to seeing a more seasonless fashion palette in the coming years.
And who wants to pack away all those clothes every season anyway?
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM
School Bus Safety 101
For millions of school-age children in the United States, each day begins – and ends – with a bus ride. While the school bus is the safest way to travel to and from school, according to the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT), it’s important for parents to teach their children how to stay safe in and around the school bus as obstructed views, distracted drivers and more can put kids at risk.
These tips from the experts at NAPT and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) provide parents with some additional measures to take and lessons to teach to increase safety going to and from the bus, and even during the ride.
Before the Bus Arrives
• Ensure backpacks are packed securely so papers and other items don’t scatter as the bus approaches.
• Create a morning routine that puts kids at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pickup time. This helps avoid a last-minute rush, when safety lessons are easily forgotten, and ensures kids are safely in place for boarding.
• Encourage children to wear bright, contrasting colors so they can be seen easier by drivers.
• Walk young children to the bus stop or encourage kids to walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.
• If kids must cross a street, driveway or alley, remind them to stop and look both ways before crossing.
• Verify the bus stop location offers good visibility for the bus driver; if changes are needed, talk with nearby homeowners or school district officials to implement changes. Never let kids wait in a house or car, where the driver may miss seeing them approach the bus.
• Remind children that the bus stop is not a playground. Balls or other toys could roll into the street and horseplay can result in someone falling into the path of oncoming traffic.
• Instruct children to stay at least three steps away from the road and allow the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching it.
On the Bus Ride
• When boarding the bus, items can get bumped and dropped. Caution children that before picking anything up, they should talk to the driver and follow instructions to safely retrieve their possessions.
• Teach safe riding habits: stay seated with head, hands and feet inside at all times; keep bags and books out of the aisle and remain seated until the bus stops moving.
• Instruct children to never throw things on the bus or out the windows and to never play with or block emergency exits.
• Remind kids that just like when riding in a car, loud noises are off limits so they don’t distract the driver. That includes cellphones and other electronic devices; instruct children to put them on mute or use headphones.
Leaving the Bus
• Remind children to look before stepping off the bus. If they must cross the street, teach them to do so in front of the bus by taking five big steps (approximately 10 feet) away from the front of the bus, looking up and waiting for the driver to signal that it is safe.
• For parents who meet their kids at the bus, remember that in their excitement kids may dart across the street. Eliminate the risk by waiting on the side of the street where kids exit the bus.
• Make the bus ride part of your daily “how was school?” discussion. Encourage kids to talk about the things they see and hear on the bus so you can discuss appropriate behaviors and, if necessary, report any concerns to school administrators. As bullying is prevalent and buses are no exception, ask your child to tell you about any bullying they observe, whether against another child or themselves, and talk about how to shut down bully behaviors.
For more information and additional school bus safety tips, visit BetterOurBuses.com.
Back to School 2018
By Sharon Mosley
Got the first day jitters? Not to worry. With school starting in just a few weeks, it’s not too early to start planning what to wear. And if you want to be dressed cool for school, here is a quick list of five top fashion trends for kids of all ages.
–One. Do deluxe denim. Of course, jeans rule for school. Considered a “uniform” for the back-to-school crowd, denim always is a best buy for the new season. This fall update young kids’ wardrobes with stretch denim joggers. Older kids will love the new distressed looks in vintage washes with frayed hems. If you want to blast out of the blues, then get into some colorful neon jeans. Overalls are another trendy denim item. And of course, the denim jacket is always a classic piece that will layer over everything.
–Two. Embrace embellishment. It may be what’s on your clothes that really makes them cool this fall. From elaborate embroidery to personalized patches to sparkling sequins, the more “graphic” the better. Whether it’s a novelty t-shirt, a bomber jacket, a new pair of jeans or even a backpack, adding a little something extra is extra special this year.
–Three. Go mad for plaid. Plaids have led the BTS fashion parade for years. But this time around, it’s all about mixing the varsity classic with other prints…yes, all in the same outfit. Think plaid with animal prints, plaid with camouflage, plaid with stripes, plaid with florals, plaids with checks. Gingham is still a big hit, too. The key: keep prints all in the same color family and create different looks by layering with colorful solids.
–Four. Get cozy with knits. What kids (or adults for that matter) don’t like the current “ath-leisure” craze? There are lots of ways to dress for school in sports-inspired clothes that make high grades in style and comfort. From the ever-popular leggings (stripes down the side make them new this year) to zip-front hoodies (lined with Sherpa fleece) to long-sleeved graphic tees (rainbow stripes are trending) to sweatshirts and sweatpants (a little oversized), these are comfy ways to look cool for school.
–Five. Rock the schoolhouse. Mixing up all the fashion favorites above is one of the newest ways to give a back-to-school wardrobe individual flair. Wear metallic sneakers with your uniform. Dress up a denim miniskirt with a ruffled off-the-shoulder peasant top. Wear camo leggings with a pink satin bomber jacket. Rock faux leather pants. Add glow-in-the-dark star patches to your backpack. Just think outside the basic subjects and create your own unique vibe. After all that’s what school is all about…studying the world around you. Just don’t forget to explore what you wear too!
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM
By Sharon Mosley
Get ready for the big study “haul” …and get ready to go search for the perfect backpack as heading back to school gets closer and closer. Backpacks are at the top of the shopping list for most kids, because after all, it travels everywhere they do, holds everything they need during the school day and gives them a great chance to express their own personality.
Yes, there’s a backpack for everyone, according to Audrey McClelland, a mom of five kids from kindergarten through junior high. McClelland has partnered with Lands’ End to help parents and kids pick out the best backpacks for the coming school season. She breaks it down into three easy steps:
–Get the best fit. First, McClelland suggests starting with fit and comfort. “Measure your child’s height so you can find the best fitting backpack,” she says. “Next, look at the straps and make sure they are adjustable, so you can get a proper, back-friendly fit. Don’t forget to look for features that make the backpack comfortable and fit properly such as padded back support and straps.”
–Look for storage. There are plenty of backpacks available with lots of storage, too. Look for bags with mesh pockets, zippered compartments, loops for clipping on lunch boxes or other accessories. Reflective accents also help kids visible in low light.
“Today’s backpacks tote more then just books and pencils,” says the mom of five. “My kids carry along a variety of sports equipment, water bottles and even tech supplies such as a laptop and smartphones.
“One great tip that I have,” adds McClelland, “is sometimes I pack an additional Cinch Sack for my boys, so they can grab only their sports gear from their backpacks.”
–Have fun with fashion. And finally, let’s face it — backpacks can be a fashion statement. Let your kids add their own personality to the backpack that they will carry with them every day of a new school year.
“I know it’s important to get the right fit and storage features,” says McClelland, “but shopping for back to school style is my favorite thing to do. There are so many great backpack looks this year.”
Bold prints lead the pack, from bright galaxy designs to ombre to florals, geometrics and even maps of the world, emojis and glow-in-the-dark options. McClelland’s own kids favor tie dye and camo. “My kids also love to make their backpacks their own by monogramming them and adding fun embroideries,” she says.
Don’t forget to celebrate National Backpack Day on August 7, 2018. Backpacks and coordinating lunch boxes will be 50 percent off and include free shipping at Lands’ End.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM
5 Ways to Squash Back-to-School Stress
Heading back to school is exciting for both kids and parents, but with all the thrill and anticipation, there can be quite a bit of stress, too. As a parent, you can approach the impending school year with a positive attitude and these tricks can help minimize stress and give your kids extra confidence when heading into the classroom.
Lifestyle expert and mother of two Jeannette Kaplun recommends these tips:
Start adjusting bedtimes before school starts. It’s common for bedtime rules to be broken in the summer. However, an abrupt transition to early mornings can lead to stress and irritability. The National Sleep Foundation recommends implementing earlier bedtimes two weeks before school starts and setting the alarm a bit earlier each morning for a smooth transition to the first day of school.
Curb the summer slide. Screen time isn’t just for passing time; leverage technology to keep the reading skills your kids learned in the classroom sharp all summer long. A device like the Fire Kids Edition tablet from Amazon is built from the ground up for kids with a two-year worry-free guarantee, a kid-proof case and a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, giving kids access to 15,000 kid-friendly books, videos, educational apps and games. Parental controls like Learn First encourage learning before playtime and allow you to set screen time limits to help get kids back into a routine for the school year. Additionally, STEM toys and games can keep math and science top of mind during the summer months and help kids excel during the school year.
Dress for success. There’s a reason grownups tend to dress up for special events – when you look good, you feel good. Give your kids that same boost by helping them choose a special outfit for the first day of school that he or she feels comfortable and confident wearing. Shopping for clothes is an opportunity for your child to express individuality, so have fun with it. For added stress relief, lay out the complete ensemble the night before and have your child try it on to head off any concerns. If the routine works, try making it part of your nightly routine for stress-free mornings throughout the school year.
Simplify the shopping experience. Every back-to-school season comes with classroom supply lists and new wardrobe needs. A one-stop shop retailer like Amazon lets you complete your shopping on your own schedule, and its back-to-school store offers deals and a wide selection, making it easy to find everything from must-have items like binders, backpacks and shoes to fun gear such as glitter glue, donut erasers and emoji stickers that allow kids to express their personalities.
“Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to cause anxiety,” Kaplun said. “By shopping online at Amazon from your phone, tablet or computer, you can buy everything you need without having to find a parking spot, tracking down a sales associate to help you find your child’s size or standing in line to pay, saving you precious time. Plus, Prime members receive unlimited, free two-day shipping on more than 100 million items all-year long.”
Share the excitement. It’s perfectly normal for parents and kids to feel anxious about the new school year. Instead of revealing your own apprehension, share your favorite memories from your time in your child’s upcoming grade. Ask your kids what they’re most excited for and what they’re a little nervous about and come up with solutions together.
Get a jump start on your stress-free transition back to school with more tips and resources at amazon.com/backtoschool.
Sponsored ContentPhoto courtesy of Getty Images
5 Ways to Step Up Date Night Without Breaking the Bank
Most relationship experts agree that making time for date night is important, whether it’s the early days of a blossoming romance or decades into a comfortable marriage. Spending that valuable time together doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you take the time to make it special.
Plan your next date with these ideas for low-cost experiences with the one you love:
Share time outdoors. Except in the most extreme conditions, there’s always something to do outside and most of those activities are either free or relatively inexpensive. Whether it’s taking a stroll hand-in-hand or planning a picnic at a scenic location, the exercise and fresh air can be good for your body and mind, for both you and your beloved.
Dine on a dime. Although the days of a nickel burger are long gone, there are ways to curb your spending when you eat out. For example, many restaurants offer menus with smaller portions as well as promotional nights with discounts geared toward certain audiences. Some restaurants even offer daily discounts, as high as 10 percent off your total bill for AARP members. If you are not a member, it’s simple to sign up online. Membership is just $16 a year, so it can practically pay for itself with the use of just one of the dining offers.
Simply stay in. When you’re conflicted between going out on a date or settling for a night on the couch, it’s possible to have both. Order takeout from a favorite spot and bring it to the comfort of your home for the best of both worlds. It allows you to avoid kitchen cleanup and simply commit to enjoying one another’s company without interruption.
Master the movie schedule. Prime time at the theater can be pricey, but if your calendar is flexible, you can catch a show earlier in the day for a steep discount. Some theaters also offer special discounts for ordering tickets online. An added bonus: taking in an early movie with a snack may help save money on dinner later.
Enjoy special engagements. Whether it’s a local sporting event or a musical performance by a group visiting your town, sharing a pastime that you’re passionate about is a good way to share a piece of your life and interests to help establish a deeper connection with a loved one. Conversely, if it’s a new experience for you both, it may establish a newfound bond that you can explore together over time. Don’t let ticket prices dissuade you. Take advantage of offers that may be available to you, special showings or even a ticket discount with your AARP membership.
Explore more tips and ideas to make the most of your relationships and everyday life, too, at AARPAdvantages.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
A Fit, Fun Summer
Make smart fitness choices with post-workout recovery and hydration
During warm-weather months, fitness enthusiasts often take their exercise routines to the great outdoors. The spike in summer temperatures can make those tough workouts even more challenging.
Even after your workout is complete, your body does not stop – after a tough sweat session in the summer heat, you need to replenish what you lost to rebuild and refuel muscles. A tall glass of chocolate milk may not be the first thing you think to reach for after a long run, but recovering from each intense workout with the nutrients in low-fat chocolate milk allows you to get the most out of your fitness routine.
Before gearing up for your summer workout routine, make sure you are taking care of your body with these tips.
Be Mindful of High Temperatures
High temperatures don’t have to get in the way of your workout plan, but it’s important to consider the heat index and time of day when exercising. Temperatures typically peak during the middle of the day, so aim to work out in the morning or once the sun starts to set.
The body loses a lot of important nutrients through sweat. Learn your sweat rate by weighing yourself with minimal clothing before and after one hour of sweaty exercise. One pound of sweat loss equals 16 ounces of fluid loss. This can guide your fluid intake during your next workout.
Replenish What You Lose in Sweat
After putting in real work this summer, your body needs real recovery. Recovery after strenuous exercise can make a difference in how well you can perform during your next workout. For example, low-fat chocolate milk helps replenish fluids and electrolytes lost in sweat. In fact, drinking low-fat or fat-free milk after exercise could restore hydration better than other popular post-exercise beverages, including water or sports drinks, according to a study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Plus, chocolate milk has a 3-to-1 carb-to-protein ratio scientifically shown to refuel and rebuild muscles quickly.
Shield Yourself from the Sun’s Rays
Just because your fitness routine includes strenuous laps in a pool or a run through shady trails doesn’t mean you are protected from the sun. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your face, neck, ears and body before exercising outdoors. If you’re going back out for another round of laps in the pool or around the track, reapply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before getting back to work.
While summer weather provides many opportunities for fresh air and fitness, it’s important to remember these tips and more for healthy hydration. Find more information at builtwithchocolatemilk.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
A Deserved Day for Dad
6 gracious Father’s Day gift ideas
Whether dad wants to spend his day on the patio, in the garage, on the couch or at a ballgame, Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate everything that makes him special to you and your family.
Since each dad is a little different, it’s sometimes tough finding just the right gift to put a smile on his face. Whether he’s into a grilled meal, a clean deck or a quality shave, these products are ideal for all types of fathers.
Find more gift ideas to put this dad’s day on his highlight reel at eLivingToday.com.
Grilling Favorites for Father’s Day
Celebrate dad by gathering the family for a cookout to remember featuring Omaha Steaks. This year’s Father’s Day package includes two buttery-rich ribeyes; two tender, juicy filet mignons; four 1/4-pound burgers; Omaha Steaks signature steak seasoning blend; a pound of steakhouse fries and four caramel apple tartlets for dessert. Find more dad-pleasing steaks and easy-to-prepare side dishes at omahasteaks.com.
Bring the Barbershop to Dad
Instead of dad having to head out the door for his next quality shave, you can bring the barbershop to him with KC Shave Co, which allows members to experience an enjoyable shave every day. For Father’s Day, pamper your dad with a relaxing shave with services that include timely delivery coupled with all-natural products, leaving skin fresh and without irritation. Find more gift ideas for dad at kcshaveco.com.
Perfect for His Projects
For the father who always seems to have a project in motion, you can make his day (and every day) a little easier with a Briggs & Stratton S1800 electric pressure washer. Featuring a turbo nozzle with the ability to blast away grime 40 percent faster than a standard spray tip, he can clean a wide range of surfaces from patios, decks and sidewalks to siding, windows, screens and tables. Find more cleaning solutions and a limited-time discount code for the power washer at Briggsandstratton.com/OutdoorCleaning.
A Guy and His Garage
Many dads can never seem to have enough tools. This package, the 111-piece Husky Mechanics Tool Set, gives him just about everything he needs to work on his car and tackle household projects. It offers two ratchets, 70 sockets, 22 bits and 14 hex keys. The case makes it perfect for storing in the shed, tossing it in the back of the truck or tucking away in a closet. Find more information and tools for dad at homedepot.com/husky.
Apparel for the Active Dad
Inspired by modern athletic gear, Mizzen+Main’s dress shirts use a unique fabric blend to wick away moisture, eliminating sweat from showing through the shirt. Ideal for dad to look and feel his best, the shirts feature four-way stretch for a custom fit and do not require dry cleaning – simply machine wash and hang dry. Offering moisture-wicking, wrinkle-free fabrics, they’re designed to blend class and comfort for active dads. Visit mizzenandmain.com for more.
For the Music Man
Help dad listen to his favorite tunes on Father’s Day with Samsung’s Shape Wireless Audio-Multiroom Speakers, which allow music lovers to listen throughout their home with an easy plug-and-play design. The speaker’s design is versatile and can be used alone as a speaker or combined with other Shape speakers to create a multiroom ecosystem. A free app, Samsung Multiroom, enables listeners to seamlessly stream music via WiFi or Bluetooth from a variety of music sources. For more tech solutions, visit Samsung.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Children hugging dad)
Ignite Ambition – How women can inspire other women
Having “it all” is a concept women have discussed and aspired to attain for nearly 40 years. Still, the conversation continues because no one has determined what having it all actually means.
A first-of-its-kind social experiment dug deeper into the choices women make in life and uncovered that female relationships often play a significant role. In collaboration with Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University, Lean Cuisine asked women to define their “ideal life,” as part of the ItAll social experiment.
The experience explored how women answered questions alone versus in the presence of other women in their lives. The results showed that women help each other set a higher bar for themselves. In fact, 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women.
Despite societal stereotypes that suggest female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, this experiment determined that women have a positive impact on other women as an engine for ambition.
“We rarely talk about the positive power of female relationships that we saw firsthand in the ItAll experiment,” Balcetis said. “Women can encourage each other to shoot for more where it matters most, rather than working to accomplish something less fulfilling only because society says they should. Women have a truly unique way of inspiring each other to reach their own greatest potential.”
Balcetis offers these tips, which were observed during the ItAll social experiment, to support women aspiring to be the best versions of themselves:
Be a Role Model
Allowing a woman to observe and model your performance, whether in your personal or professional life, is an opportunity to give someone the courage and confidence to excel in her own right. A role model can set standards for an aspiring woman to work toward, while proving that certain goals are, in fact, attainable.
Take stock of the women in your life, including family, friends and social and professional acquaintances. Consider where you may be able to lend support or nudge someone into higher aspirations. It might mean encouraging someone to set or achieve a certain goal, or it may mean challenging someone to take a leap, like applying for a challenging new position.
For example, the ItAll experiment first surveyed female participants individually then allowed them to express their aspirations in the presence of familiar, influential women in their lives. Life choices became less conservative when others were involved. For example, participants declared a desire for higher salaries, chose to work more hours, wanted to spend more time with friends and be more involved with children.
Start a Conversation
It’s been said that variety is the spice of life, and no place is that truer than among women working to define their own ambitions. Engage with women from different backgrounds and start important conversations that may open your eyes to unique experiences or viewpoints you hadn’t previously considered. Arming yourself with that kind of knowledge can help make your own path clearer and encourage others to be a positive force for change.
Learn more about the social experiment and discover ideas to spur ambition for your own life at youtube.com/leancuisine.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (women talking)
Address the Dress
BY SHARON MOSLEY
Sometimes it only takes one dress — but just the right one — to make the occasion. And spring is full of those special occasions, from graduations to weddings to fundraisers. Having one go-to dress is always a good idea. Here are some of the best ways to dress the part this year so that when those invitations arrive, you’ll be ready — because you never want to wait till the last minute to find the perfect thing to wear to that big event.
–Address color. It’s the fastest way to update your dress wardrobe this year. Though those little black dresses are always in style and always great to have hanging out in your closet, you never want to underestimate the power of color. This spring and summer, that color may be the brightest yellow or the palest lilac. Pick your palette, but do consider wearing a new hue to the party. You’ll feel like a whole new you.
–Address hemlines. There’s a dress length for everyone this season, from short minis to long maxis. Of course, the occasion may determine what hemline you choose; a micro miniskirt might not be the most appropriate way to impress your boyfriend’s parents at his college graduation. But you’ll also want to consider what style of dress is most flattering to your own body shape. If a floor-sweeping maxi overwhelms your petite frame, then consider sticking to more of a ruffled tea dress with a midi hemline or a body-conscious fringed shift dress that hits right below the knees.
–Address prints. The flower power is fierce this year — and these are not just any itsy-bitsy-ditsy floral prints. The new floral prints are statement-making prints reminiscent of artistic designs mixed and matched in a fresh way, giving them a modern twist. Daisies are one of the most popular fashion bloomers this spring, but polka dots are also vying for attention. Look for prints in vintage-inspired silhouettes, such as fit-and-flare ’50s dresses or ’90s slip dresses.
–Address shine. If you really want to step up your dress game, then you’ll love the new way to sparkle in a dress. Sequins are shimmering for day and night. There’s a little disco diva that’s dancing into fashion this year, and it’s time to have some fun. In gold, silver or even pastels, sequins shine. The newest way to do a cool party look: a denim jacket over a sequin slip dress. So don’t be afraid to glimmer and glow as that stylish wedding guest. Just be careful not to outshine the bride.
–Address the non-dress. Yes, if you’re not a dress person — and some of us just aren’t — there are plenty of other options for special occasions. The jumpsuit is a great alternative and a major trend this year. The trouser suit is another way to up the glam factor; in white, it’s a warm-weather winner. And a flowing pleated skirt or silky palazzo pants paired with an elegant blouse are always appropriate. The best way to address the dress — during any time of the year — is to wear what you feel the most comfortable in. That’s always the way to dress for success.
Gifts for Every Mom
From every skinned-up knee when you were small to nearly every celebration throughout life, she is always there. Mothers are consistently there cheering you on and supporting you. Mothers are strong, fearless and kind, and Mother’s Day is your day to give back to them for all they’ve done and show them how much those moments mean to you.
This year, make her day special by choosing a gift that is not only functional but also charming. Use this gift guide to help find a Mother’s Day gift she can love and cherish for years to come.
Find more gift ideas perfect for any type of mom at eLivingToday.com.
For Her Thrilling Side
Celebrate Mother’s Day with the No. 1 New York Times’ best-seller, “The Woman In The Window” by A.J. Finn, hailed as the next “The Girl on the Train.” With more than 1 million copies sold worldwide, readers can enjoy this twisty, powerful novel of psychological suspense that is soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000. Anna Fox is a recluse, unable to venture outside her New York City home. She spends her days drinking wine, watching old movies and spying on her neighbors. When she sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and she finds out that things are never really what they seem. Learn more at harpercollins.com.
Something Soft for Her
Give mom a warm and snuggly gift she can use all day, every day. No matter if she is watching her favorite shows or tucked in for a nice weekend nap, a soft and luscious blanket is the perfect companion. With various styles and sizes available, there’s almost certain to be an option perfect to fit your mom’s lifestyle.
Add to Her Style
Nearly every woman needs a good, solid purse to hold all her belongings and show off her personality, too. From makeup to money, the kids’ snacks and her keys, a stylish purse can hold it all while also allowing her to express herself. For Mother’s Day, give her something that not only helps her day after day but gives her the satisfaction of style.
For Her Inner Chef
For every mom that loves to cook, and every mom who doesn’t, a pressure cooker can be the perfect gift. Throw your favorite ingredients, like spicy chicken or savory pork, into the pressure cooker and let it work its magic. Set the timer to the correct time, give it a few stirs throughout and you’re done. She can get creative with what to make and have dinner on the table quickly with minimal prep time.
For Her to Relax
Almost nothing beats the few minutes moms get to relax during the day. This Mother’s Day, give your mom something that can help her find her inner-Zen like a diffuser, which can help her escape to her own oasis. With quiet, portable options that feature adjustable lighting, this gift can leave a fresh garden mist in any room.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Mom and daughter, Blankets, Purse, Pressure cooker, Air diffuser)
3 Keys to Becoming an Elite Athlete
When it comes to becoming an elite athlete, there are differing opinions on what it takes to win gold.
Sports analysts and commentators often reference sprint times, body weight, height or age as differentiating factors, but Dr. Steven Stein, CEO of Multi-Health Systems and emotional intelligence expert, has a different idea.
Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way people perceive and express themselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.
Using The Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 model to test emotional intelligence, Multi-Health Systems found athletes around the world often score high in self-regard: the ability to know their strengths and weaknesses; self-actualization: doing what they love and continually trying to improve; and flexibility: their ability to learn, change and take direction.
Self-regard is the ability of an athlete to know his or her strengths and weaknesses. For elite athletes, it can also translate into confidence.
“Confidence, as part of self-regard, can be a key differentiator among medal winners,” Stein said. “At the highest level of many sports you have a number of athletes with near-equal skills and talent. Often, having the right mental toughness can make that millisecond or single point difference among judges.”
Self-actualization reflects comfort with who you are and what you are doing. For example, competition at the international level takes years of preparation and practice, and may require personal, social and familial sacrifices.
“Self-actualization allows an athlete to continue to learn and improve, as many athletes start out with a vision that helps define their passion,” Stein said. “For example, you frequently hear stories of athletes who come from challenging childhoods – deaths of parents, early injuries or difficulties with school – who commit fully to their sports, find success and go on to become role models for others in both athletics and overcoming adversity.”
Flexibility is a person’s ability to change and take direction, and for an elite athlete, it means learning from a bad performance instead of getting frustrated. It is one of the better predictors of the ability to be coached and succeed, and Multi-Health Systems found that it is especially important in both professional and amateur athletes.
“Sometimes, high-level draft picks in various sports who have difficulty taking instruction don’t make it as professional players,” Stein said. “Great athletes are often great learners, and when athletes think they already know what’s best or don’t listen to coaching, it can derail their performance.”
Learn more about emotional intelligence and the role the mental side plays in becoming an elite athlete at mhs.com.
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