Wedding Planning 101
First comes the proposal then comes the wedding planning. There are dozens of decisions that need to be made before it’s time to walk down the aisle, which can be overwhelming for brides and grooms.
To help make it less stressful, these tips from Macy’s can help couples through the entire wedding-planning process, from on-trend apparel and accessories for the entire wedding party to all the essentials to create a perfect registry.
Dressing the Ladies
When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, the mix-and-match approach is trending in popularity. Start by deciding on a color palette, such as lilac, champagne and petal pink. Then have each bridesmaid choose her favorite style within that range of hues. Bring it all together by choosing a uniform look for makeup, shoes and accessories.
There is no better time to thank the ladies than the morning of the big day. A few thoughtful gifts can go a long way, such as matching robes, tumblers to stay hydrated throughout the day and cosmetic cases to stow makeup essentials.
Dressing the Gents
Similar to bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen attire can be dependent on the venue and overall event aesthetic. While a suit can fit the bill for a country club wedding, a city affair may call for the sleek finishes of a tux. Tuxedo accessories, such as cuff links or bow ties, make great groomsmen gifts and are classic pieces they can use time and time again.
Creating the Perfect Registry
When building a registry, it’s never too early to start. People want to give gifts as soon as they know a couple is engaged. Start by taking inventory of what you already have, what you need and what you want to upgrade. It’s also recommended to update the registry regularly so there are enough gifts to choose from, especially if there is an engagement party and bridal shower coming up. To get started, some popular registry items include stand mixers, craft beer glasses, Dutch ovens, bath towels and vacuums. For extra guidance, couples can speak to advisors who can help with the full registry building process at Macy’s stores.
For more wedding ideas and inspiration, and to find the right attire and gifts for your wedding planning, visit macys.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images #13827
Surfing For Beauty Bargains
By: SHARON MOSLEY
The heat wave may be on, but there are lots of ways to keep your cool and some of your extra cash, too. Beauty bargains abound. Dive into these deals now and don’t sweat all those wonderful moments in the sun. Soak them up with these tips.
–Start with sunscreen. Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays may be the best thing you do — not only in the summer but all year long. Look for products that combine skincare with sun protection. Check out the new line of bronzers, balms and sunscreens from the apparel company Pacifica, debuting at Target. Founder Brook Harvey Taylor has created a collection of vegan mineral products loaded with probiotics, caffeine and antioxidants with a 50 SPF.
–Moisturize with makeup. Summer may mean more vacation time, but most of us may not want to take a total break from wearing makeup. Tinted moisturizer offers the best of both worlds, and if you can find one with sunscreen, it’s even better. Try the e.l.f. version at Walmart for $3.
–Cool down fast. You don’t have to visit a professional to get quick results with hydrating masks that soothe sun-kissed skin with moisture-infused ingredients. Just pat on a sheet mask like Dr. Jart’s Vital Hydro Solution for a mini facial that refreshes parched skin within minutes. Another possibility: Spritz on Neutrogena’s Fresh Cooling Body Mist with SPF 70.
–Get a glow on. Even if you can’t manage a week at the beach, you can still fake a little of that bronzy glow. (And no, it’s not orange). A personal favorite — and one of the best ways to get your glow on gradually is with Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer lotion for $9, found at many drugstores.
–Don’t forget your lips! One of the most sensitive areas of our faces, our lips can easily burn when exposed to hours of sun. Some of us may learn this the hard way. Take time to lick the problem before it becomes painful. Fresh has plenty of colorful options in its Sugar Lip Treatment collection that includes SPF 15 sunscreen. Fuchsia is the latest shade in “Candy,” $24 at fresh.com.
–Nail it. Summer is the perfect time to get creative with manicures. Break out of your everyday pinks and experiment with artistic designs that are available with DIY instructions like Sally Hansen’s “I Heart Nail Art” kits.
–Open your eyes with color. Nobody wants to smear their eye lids with goopy shadow during the hot summer months. Instead, just dab on a tiny amount of blue or green glaze (or better yet, blend them together) for a sheer wash of shimmering ocean hues. Clinique’s collection of Lid Pops in Aqua will give you an instant wave of the deep blue sea on your eyes.
–Texturize hair. Get that messy “undone” beachy hair look without ever stepping foot on the sand Just spray on a volumizing finishing product like Pantene’s Texturizing Non-Aerosol Hairspray for loose curls or messy braids that shines all day and all night long.
Dad’s Day, Dad’s Way
Gift ideas sure to bring a smile
Finding the perfect gift for dear ol’ dad may be easier than you think. Show that you’ve paid attention all these years and know what it takes to make him smile. From gifts that make practical tasks easier to accessories for his favorite pleasure pursuits, these ideas take the stress out of showing your dad how much he means. Add a simple “thank you” and a big hug, and he’s sure to feel the love this Father’s Day.
Anywhere Garage Door Control
If your dad has ever driven away from home, wondered if the garage door is closed then turned around to check, give him the gift of peace of mind. Let dad use his smartphone with the Chamberlain MyQ Garage universal controller and free app to confirm the garage door is closed, open or close it remotely and even receive activity alerts. The controller works with most openers manufactured after 1993, installs in minutes and is available online at The Home Depot, Lowe’s and online at myqsmartgarage.com.
Father’s Day T-Bone Gift Package
Impress dad this year with the meal of his dreams from Omaha Steaks. Tender filet on one side, robust strip on the other, dad will love sinking his teeth into this 30-ounce T-bone. Plus, with gourmet jumbo franks, eight ground beef sliders, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes au gratin and rich New York cheesecake for dessert, this combo has something for everyone in the family. Find more delicious meals for dad at omahasteaks.com.
Outdoor Cleaning Made Easy
Give dad the power to quickly and easily tackle any outdoor cleaning task with a pressure washer that’s durable enough to pass a military-grade drop test while offering the convenience of electric power. From spraying down the grill after a meal to keeping his car and garage looking pristine, the compact Briggs & Stratton S2000 electric pressure washer with an onboard detergent tank is just the tool for the job. Visit briggsandstratton.com to learn more about the full line of outdoor cleaning products or purchase at amazon.com.
Gear Up for a Good Time
Whether it’s the thrill of the catch or the peaceful solitude that draws him, fishing is a pastime many dads enjoy. A true fisherman can never have too much fishing gear, so it’s hard to go wrong. If you’re uncertain about the specifications of items like rods and reels, focus on accessories instead. An assortment of lures, a new tackle box or a GPS device created specifically for fishing are all ideas sure to earn your dad’s appreciation.
Get the Job Done
If one of dad’s favorite places to spend time is the garage, a new set of tools might be just what he’s looking for to finish up his project list. When a little home maintenance is required, helpful items – as simple as hammers, screwdrivers and tape measurers or more job-specific items like ladders, saws and power tools – can really come in handy. Or, if he’s already got the tools he needs, consider a tool chest or work bench for optimal garage organization.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
10 Tips to Make Outdoor Parties Unforgettable
Entertaining is one thing, but dazzling your guests with an outdoor party sensation is another. Summer can be the best time of year for outdoor parties.
From twinkling lights to patterned tablecloths, every detail counts when it comes to impressing family and friends.
It may feel like a lot of pressure to live up to expectations, but your party can be both simple and elegant with a few easy tips.
Early is never early enough when it comes to planning a rock-star summer gathering.
Check to see if you have enough utensils, make sure everything is in place and that there is enough food for your guests. Prepare weeks in advance, if possible, to make sure you have all the materials necessary to throw your dream outdoor party.
Spice up the invitations
The perfect invitations can do three things. First is tell the basics: what, when and where. They can also tell guests what to bring along with them. Of course, invitations should also be appealing to the eye. This is your time to get a little creative and catch guests’ attention before the big event.
Show your style
You want your guests to be as comfortable as possible. Make sure to dress tables and chairs with cushions and tablecloths. Mix it up and show off some of your personal flair with bright colors or fancy patterns. It’s easy to celebrate summer with styles that bring summer vibes to life.
Light up the party
Brighten up the big day or night with some candles, lanterns or sparkling lights. In case of wind or weather, try to purchase covered candles to increase the chances the flame will stay lit. Make sure everyone can see the hard work you have put into the party.
Less mess meals
No one likes messy meals, especially at a summer party. Put together a menu that isn’t stressful on the cook or stressful on your guests to eat. Dropping sauce on a white summer top is a party no-no.
Rain, rain, go away
Always prepare for the worst. If clouds roll in on party day, make sure you’re ready. You can simply move the party indoors at the drop of a hat. Tents can also help keep the party going outdoors in case of precipitation.
Brighten it up
It’s finally summer and that usually means flowers everywhere. Pick out an arrangement and make it the focal point of each table. The bright colors can draw your guests in and make them want to appreciate the beautiful nature around them.
Make your own games
Give the kids something to do and make it fun. While the adults visit, the little ones need something to keep themselves busy. Whether it’s bubbles or water play in the heat, something to mix it up can help keep them occupied.
Jam it out
Keep the music low and cool. There is no need to blast your speakers across the entire yard. Play your favorite jams, but nothing too crazy. The music can really set the mood of the entire party and make or break the atmosphere.
Cool it down
The summer heat is blazing and sometimes being outside can be miserable. Make sure your guests stay comfortable, even in the heat. Lay out handheld fans, lots of water and even some towels. Your guests will want to stay hydrated so they can
Find more summer party tips at eLivingToday.com.
8 Ways to Optimize Your Sleep
While a healthy lifestyle requires a balanced diet and exercise, sleep is another pillar of overall wellness that is both essential to your health and success, and often overlooked.
By simply making small changes to your daily routine you can improve your quality of sleep. Follow these tips from Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health consultant and director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, and get on your way to better rest and a healthier life.
1. Manage your sleep time. Rather than trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list at the expense of sleep, reverse your approach. As the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, make sure to set aside the time needed for a full night of rest.
2. Stay on schedule. Try to keep your bedtime and wake time consistent on both weekdays and weekends. With time, your brain and body will acclimate to these set times, but until then, rely on an alarm – not only to wake in the morning, but to keep you from staying up too late at night, too.
3. Find a routine. A routine performed 20-30 minutes prior to bed every night can subconsciously ease your brain into sleep. Unwinding with a book, taking a warm bath or meditating are all ways to slow your mind and transition toward peaceful rest.
4. Brighten up the morning. Getting plenty of bright light in the morning helps keep your sleep timing on track, particularly if you wake up early. Make opening the drapes and blinds your first task each morning.
5. Ditch the clock. Fixating on the time can create stress and keep you up at night. Instead, set your alarm, turn your clock around and forget about the time.
6. Get moving. Research shows that exercise can act as a natural sleep remedy, often leading to a more sound slumber. However, if you exercise late and have difficulty falling asleep, consider moving your workout earlier in the day. The increase in body temperature from exercise tends to be prolonged, sometimes making it hard to fall asleep.
7. Kick the caffeine habit. Morning caffeine can linger in your system until it’s time to sleep. Coffee, tea, dark sodas and dark chocolate are the main offenders for most people.
8. Pay back debt. If you are chronically deprived of sleep, allow your body extra sleep time to make up for the loss. In these cases, even 8-9 hours each night may not be enough. Allow your body to catch up then commit to more consistent sleep patterns in the future.
Find more resources to help improve your sleep, including tips on how to purchase a new mattress, at DailyDoze.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Mattress Firm
Beauty and the Beat
By: SHARON MOSLEY
Wake up those weary winter wardrobes. Spring is right around the corner and it’s time to refresh, restart and recharge your beauty routine. Go big and go bold with glittery eyes, orange lips, rosy hair and graphic nails. Here are five fast ways to wake up to make up in 2017.
–Wake up and shine. Get ready to put your party face on all day long. Shimmer and shine has taken over the runways and chances are you’ll see it staring back at you in your own mirror. Yes, there are lots of not-so-subtle Lady Gaga glitter eyes out there (just press little flecks of glitter into your lip gloss and you get the “no kissing tonight” picture) but you can take it down a notch or two or three. There are plenty of luminizing beauty products that will give you a barely-there metallic sunny glow. Reflective golds and silvers are the usual suspects, but bronzed sun-kissed shimmers are springing up just in time for sunny days ahead.
–Wake up to color. The nude palette has been our go-to beauty routine for the past few years, but now there is a new way to brighten up the pale no-color makeup trend. Think blue eyeshadows, orangey lipsticks and pink, pink, pink. From vibrant neon rainbows to psychedelic holograph effects, there’s a wave of color crashing into the spring season. And unless you’re performing in a stage show, remember, a little goes a long way. Pink eyes, pink hair and pink lips may just make you look like you need to check into the nearest ER.
–Wake up to bed-head hair. This one is almost too good to be true, but yes, messy hair is trending big time this year. It’s tousled, it’s teased, it’s loose and it’s easy. Swept to the side in breezy braids or textured chin-length bobs or long twisted ringlets and curls, hair styles have come undone. Another way to refresh your hair this spring is to add some color. Rose gold shades are big, but colored highlights in blue, red, pink or layered ombre effects are ways to have fun expressing your inner diva — especially at prom or party time. And if you’re a little skittish about taking the color plunge, consider popping a colorful braid or two into your everyday do.
–Wake up to nail art. Rihanna and Adele may be nailing it with long dagger nails, but for most of us, embellished nails are the way to go, especially if you don’t have a manicurist on constant call. Spring is the perfect time to book a mani/pedi and break out of the dark, vampy polishes. Paint the town in sea greens, sky blues, tangy oranges and petal pinks. Graphic nail art can be an easy DIY project if you have the patience. Cosmetic companies make it easy with on-line tutorials and mix and match color collections. Watery iridescent effects and two-tone color designs are perfect places to start. Leave more complicated nail art to the pros at your favorite salon.
–Wake up your skin. A new lipstick or a new eye shadow may be more exciting, but revving up your skincare routine may be much more important in the long run. As a new season rolls around, reevaluate how you treat your skin every day and night. Are the products you’re currently using really working? We all know by now that regularly using sun protection is a must (SPF over 30 is recommended), but this spring think about treating your skin to a refresher course by incorporating a soothing eye mask or invigorating facial peel into your weekly routine. And if you really want to get off to a fresh start this spring, schedule an appointment with a skincare professional or makeup stylist for personalized tips and trends, a great way to wake up to a new season.
IN FASHION BY SHARON MOSLEY
Square toes. Pointy toes. Round toes. Twinkle toes. The shoes this spring and summer are a study in contrasts where opposites attract and the possibilities are limitless. Footwear is fun again, so get that pedicure and start shopping now. Here are the shoe trends you’ll want to slip into right now:
–Dig the heels. It’s all about the heels this season. From low to high, kitten heels to midi heels to stilettos and from clear acrylics to circular geometrics, heels are making a major mark on footwear trends. And opposites attract: choose from chunky silhouettes to ladylike slim styles.
–Rise to the occasion with platforms and flatforms. There are plenty of Lady Gaga-like sky-high platforms out there this year, but there are also lots of ways to come back down to earth. From mid-high thick soles to flatter versions called flatforms, these wedge shoes are a trendy way to pump up the style volume and give your wardrobe a youthful attitude. Floral prints and rope trims are making the buy now list. Just make sure you can stay grounded and keep your balance with all that funky fun.
–Satisfy your hunger with sliders. From plastic pool slides to jeweled mules, these are the ultimate comfort shoes for spring and summer. Dozens of styles range from casual athletic looks to tailored menswear loafers to bedazzled cocktail party shoes. Pick your slides carefully. Some of these slip-ons this season have paper-thin soles and don’t offer much support.
–Go for something extra with embellished footwear. These are the fun shoes. Extra details are the icing on the footwear this year. Think embroidery, appliqued flowers, fruit, pom poms, tassels, crystals, pearls, feathers and bows. Asian prints abound and feminine details flourish. If you have a special occasion coming up, look for shoes that have something extra going for them. They’ll make your outfit.
–Think pink. Put away the black boots and treat yourself to delicious colors this spring. The pastel candy colors are a perfect way to put some spring into your step. From pretty hot pink to subtle blush to even more subtle nude hues, the sophisticated shoes of the season come in everything from slides to stilettos.
–Shine on. Metallics have become a fashion neutral in accessories, and shoes are having their shining moment too. Slip into some silver loafer slides, shiny purple slingbacks or satiny pink midi boots, and lighten up warm-weather wardrobes.
–Tie one on. Heels may be one focal point of fashion footwear this spring, but ankles may tie for second place. Ankles are wrapped and laced for added visual effect. Try a pair of strappy sandals in flats or heels tied up with ribbon for a walk down the red carpet or even down the beach.
–Sneak into spring. Sneakers have come a long way, baby. They’ve gone high fashion, and we all can appreciate the level of comfort that athletic-inspired footwear has to offer. White is still a springtime favorite, but bright colors are popping up everywhere. And how about slithering into a pair of python sneakers? And if sneakers aren’t your thing, you can still go sporty with a pair of utility sandals or moccasins with lug soles. Supplement your trusty gym shoes with a new pair of these updated comfort shoes and wear them every single day.
The Pajama Party goes Hollywood
The Pajama Party goes Hollywood
Think wearing your pajamas all day long is too good to be true? Not if fashion designers have their way this spring and summer! They are waking us all up with boudoir basics that are no longer so basic. Hollywood starlets have long known the luxurious appeal of loungewear and lingerie, as well as the power of the pajama.
The slinky slip has always had a steamy history — especially in the movies. From Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to Diane Lane in “Unfaithful,” the sexy slip has been immortalized in some of Hollywood’s most glamorous film scenes. And then there was Naomi Watts slipping in under the fashion radar in the remake of “King Kong.”
In other words, there has long been a fascination with the sumptuous slip in Tinsel town. Think glamorous film stars like Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow wearing long shimmering slips and gowns in the early days of Hollywood. These bias-cut gowns gave a whole new meaning to body-conscious silhouettes still in style almost 100 years later.
Courtney Love also inspired us with this long-time fashion favorite in 1995 when she wore a bias cut and “slit-up-to-there” slip dress to an Oscar’s after party. The rest is history. And the slip dress had a real ’90s moment … or two … or three. Now Love is doing her own boudoir collection for Nasty Gal.
Today, designers are once again reinventing the slip and turning it into a new classic. The new slip is a dress that is dominating the spring fashion trend news. In all shapes and sizes, from short and sassy to long and lean, these silky slips with shoestring shoulder straps are meant to be seen.
White is the choice of color for the season’s latest interpretation of the slip dress for designers at Burberry, Calvin Klein, Celine and Givenchy. Alexander Wang lets it slip with a black lace maxi dress, and Ralph Lauren does it in scarlet red.
And if wearing one of these skimpy little frocks gives you goose bumps, then not to worry. Just add lots of layers — oversized knit sweaters or tailored jackets will do nicely. Then balance the slim silhouette with a pair of spring’s newest chunky platforms.
Then there’s always the pajama to get the party started. If slip dresses aren’t your thing, why not try the boudoir chic trend with menswear pajama-inspired tops and bottoms. Claudette Colbert may have started it all when she wore Clark Gable’s pajamas in the 1934 movie “It Happened One Night.” But Lucille Ball also popularized the pajama game by wearing Ricky’s PJs in several episodes of the 1950s sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
This spring, pajama-like separates — especially in matching printed designs — are rolling out of the bed and right onto city streets. Prints are particularly plentiful in the collections from For Restless Sleepers and Sonia Rykiel; Alexander Wang did boxy tops with cropped pants, and at Dior, the boxer short and camisole turned pajamas into streetwear when teamed with oversized blazers.
And if all you want to do is just wrap up in a comfy robe and be done with it all, then there are fashion options out there for you this spring too. The robe jacket/dress is making a big comeback. Witness the news making dress that actress Blake Lively wore to a recent White House State Dinner. Her silvery silk robe dress by Ralph & Russo stole the show from the Canadians.
So if you’re looking for a new dress for an upcoming special event, then check out this wrap silhouette that’s a take-off of the “le smoking” tuxedo. It’s effortless chic and Hollywood glamour at its best … in and out of the bedroom.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM
Join the New Gifters: Less Stuff, More Meaning, No Fruitcake
By Marilynn Preston
The holiday season is upon us. And there’s a 6-foot-high, plastic inflatable Santa standing outside the pet shop around my corner that I want to kill. He’s so cheesy, so filled with mechanical joy that his robotic “ho ho ho” makes me want to yank his polyester beard as I pass by on my way to yoga, knowing I can always calm down later, on the mat.
Finding calm and feeling real joy during the holidays is a personal goal you might choose for yourself this December. Setting the goal is easy. Planning for success is the challenge. What are you going to do this year that is specific, different and dramatic enough to shift your behavior and elevate your spirit?
Take gift-buying, for instance. It’s an aerobic sport this month, a virtual minefield of anxiety, stress and indecision. Will Samantha flip for the earphone-ready Ugg earmuffs? Does Sydney crave another pair of cashmere-lined gloves? Should I go into credit card debt to pay for more toys, more gadgets, more STUFF just because there are phony snowflakes in every store window?
The simple answer to that last loaded question is no. Simplicity is part of a growing trend in gift-giving that has nothing to do with more purses, more scarves, more useless stocking stuffers that add little more than clutter to our lives.
Instead, people on the path to a healthier, happier lifestyle are finding more satisfying ways to express their love and gratitude. Instead of buying into the crass commercialism of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Kiss-my-Mistletoe Tuesday, conscious spenders are rethinking old habits and replacing them with new ones that are greener, cleaner, more inspired and more charitable.
Interested? Wrap your mind around these:
CONSUMABLES ARE KING. Nothing is true for everyone. But for many people on your holiday list, giving consumables is the way to go.
What’s a consumable? Simply put, it’s something you use up. Like a fine bottle of wine. (In my house, anything over $25 dollars fits that bill). Or a box of fabulous chocolates. Or a fruitcake-free fruit basket filled with the yummiest organic produce you can find.
The one exception to the Give Consumables rule, in my book, is a great book. They’re a dwindling species, but readers still exist, and matching a great book with an eager mind remains a thrill. I remember one year giving everyone I know a copy of “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. But most years, I find a fabulous food item or two online. Have you ever tasted a Greenberg Smoked Turkey? Or Heart of the Desert’s garlic & green chili-flavored pistachios?
EXPERIENCES LAST FOREVER. I like giving consumables … but I love giving people on my list something experiential. Stuff is stuff, but an experience can have real impact that lasts way beyond the holidays. Here are my FIVE favorite experiences to offer a loved one:
— A massage: Nothing beats a session with a blissful body-worker.
— Manicure-pedicure: good for ladies and hilarious for guys.
— Private coaching in his or her favorite sport: a total winner!
— Cooking lessons: fun for one, but better done in pairs.
— Tickets to theater, dance, music: Buy two, and share the good times.
DONATE TO A
NON-PROFIT. This is one of the highest forms of gift-giving, but it takes a little courage. Trust me — you will not disappoint. Find a charity you believe in, or one that’s in sync with your loved one’s interests, and donate in their name. One wonderful one to consider is Heifer International (heifer.org), where your gift of $20 dollars or more can buy a struggling family a flock of chicks or a share in a llama.
Another outstanding nonprofit I support and shamelessly promote whenever I can is Girls in the Game (girlsinthegame.org), where the mission is to teach young women to lead healthy, active lifestyles so they can grow up to be confident, strong leaders in their community.
So the choice is yours. If you decide to rethink your gift-giving, Santa and Rudolph will rejoice in their lighter load.
ENERGY EXPRESS-O! LOL
“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.” — Joan Rivers
Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, well being coach and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, http://marilynnpreston.com and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to MyEnergyExpress@aol.com.
COPYRIGHT 2015 ENERGY EXPRESS, LTD.
Beat Cool – Weather Keep health in mind as cold creeps closer
Temperatures may be dropping, but just because swimsuit season is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your fitness regimen fall by the wayside. Keeping active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important year-around, so stay on track as the weather cools with these tips and tricks.
7 Healthy Habits for Fall Fitness
1. With cooler temps comes the temptation to indulge in comfort foods. Remember that it’s OK to satisfy those cravings but keep portions in control.
2. From the start of school to the kickoff of new sporting seasons, fall is a time of fresh beginnings. Get your own start on a healthier lifestyle by kicking unhealthy habits such as smoking.
3. Make the most of these last few months to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Try new recipes featuring options such as apples, pears, pumpkin and squash to enjoy the natural goodness of fresh produce and add some variety to your typical diet.
4. Colder weather may bring relief from the heat, but it also brings cold and flu season fast on its heels. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands often to minimize your exposure to germs and illness.
5. Commit to a workout routine. Whether that means investing in the proper home workout equipment to have at home or securing a gym membership (or a combination of the two), pledge to make time for a workout most, if not all, days of the week.
6. Set a good example for the youngest members of your family by finding ways to get the whole crew involved. Take a walk or bike ride, or organize a game of backyard ball to get those feel-good endorphins going.
7. Poor sleep not only drags you down, it can raise your risk for numerous medical problems. Set a bedtime that allows you plenty of rest and stick to it. Also eliminate as many factors as possible that can disrupt your sleep, such as the TV, music and lights.
Electrolytes for Fitness
During a workout, you lose more than just water when you sweat – you also lose electrolytes. If you don’t replace what you lose, you can become dehydrated, decreasing strength, reducing endurance and delaying muscle response. Water alone doesn’t contain electrolytes, so you need a beverage enhanced with electrolytes like Propel Electrolyte Water. With 9 available zero-calorie flavors, it’s the only national water brand with enough electrolytes to replace what you lose in sweat. Learn more at propelwater.com.
Performance Training for a Healthy Lifestyle
Building healthy habits, strength and endurance is possible with the T618 Nautilus Performance Series Treadmill, which is perfect for home workouts. With a full suite of training programs, including interval training, weight management and other customized workouts, this powerful machine features an exclusive cushioning system, a gym-quality running path and an easy-folding deck. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to share data with the free Nautilus Trainer app, which automatically syncs with popular fitness apps. Learn more at nautilus.com.
Best Foot Forward
Keeping in shape requires keeping your feet in motion, but without proper footwear you can find your energy sagging and muscles straining. This is especially true for runners, whose feet take a real pounding. Look for a shoe that fits well in both the heel and instep, fitting snugly but not restrictive. Remember that feet swell during a run, so be sure you have ample room in width and length. Also be sure the shoe offers enough flexibility to give without causing blisters or rubbing uncomfortably while you’re running.
A Sporting Way to Get More Cardio
Keeping sports equipment handy makes it easy to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. Assemble a variety of sporting goods to create some variety in your workout, and be sure to include options you can enjoy solo, with a partner or with a group of friends. An assortment of balls for games such as basketball, football, soccer and softball are simple ways to get in an extra cardio workout. Jump ropes, resistance bands and free weights are also handy to have around the house when inspiration to mix up your workout routine is necessary.
Family biking photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Running shoes photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Sports glove and balls photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Trick Plays for Budget-Savvy Tailgaters
As fall settles in, the air gets crisper and the kids head back to school, many Americans eagerly anticipate one thing: football season.
Whether you’re a die-hard gridiron fan or prefer to enjoy the food and festivities from the sidelines, everyone can agree that a successful tailgate is key to any memorable game day get-together. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 34 percent of Americans plan to attend a professional or college football game or tailgate this fall, and 20 percent plan to host a tailgate or viewing party themselves.
While many love planning out meals, decorations and activities for friends and family, the costs can easily add up and make hosting feel like an underdog game. So how can fans plan a tailgate that stays on budget and impresses any crowd – home or away?
Home design and DIY experts Ben and Erin Napier teamed with Bank of America to provide these cost-savvy tips for pulling off a memorable tailgate that fits the bill for every fan on game day.
Get in the Competitive Spirit
Whether you’re grilling outside the stadium or spending halftime hanging out in your backyard, Ben recommends laying out a variety of games for guests to enjoy, such as a wood-block game with blocks painted in your team colors.
Follow these simple steps:
1. Sand down wooden four-by-fours.
2. Cut into 48 pieces, each eighteen 18 inches long.
3. Stack pieces into a tower.
4. Take turns pulling pieces to see who knocks the tower over first.
For added flair and personalization, Erin suggests painting the wooden blocks your team colors.
Bring the Stadium to Your Living Room
If you missed out on tickets or your home team is on the road, you can still make your home feel like a day at the stadium. Decorating your home with the team’s colors – such as creating DIY wall art with framed jerseys – is a simple, cost-efficient way to capture the tailgate essence.
Ben suggests setting up a big screen TV on the deck or outdoor living area with speakers to mimic the feeling of watching a game outside in the stands. For inexpensive, comfy seating that will help welcome guests and add another pop of team spirit, try purchasing throw pillows in your team’s colors from a wholesale club or superstore, but make sure to weatherproof them first using fabric protection spray.
Create a Tailgating Space that Stands Out
One of the best parts of tailgating at the stadium is being surrounded by fellow fans. Try sprucing up your car or tent to create an inviting space that showcases your team pride. Ben recommends investing in a large, custom-designed vinyl or fabric banner for your tent. Not only can they be affordable to produce and last for many seasons, but they stand out in a crowd.
Defeat Your Budget
“Planning for a busy football season doesn’t need to be a ‘loss’ for your budget,” Ben said. “Turning to a credit card that rewards you for everyday purchases is one of the easiest ways to ‘win’ this season.”
Because tailgating throughout the entire football season requires many trips to the grocery store – often buying in bulk – using a card like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards credit card lets you earn 2 percent cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores. And 3 percent cash back when gassing up for away games – on up to $2,500 in grocery/wholesale club/gas quarterly spend. You also earn 1 percent back on all other purchases.
For more information, visit bankofamerica.com/creditcard.
Source: Bank of America
Old School Throwbacks: The Back to School Checklist
By: Sharon Mosley
As summer fades and it’s time to head back to class, take a few notes on the fashion favorites that will be making the grades this fall. It’s all about channeling the ’90s and adding a modern twist to these wardrobe must-haves. Check out these trends for tots to teens that get an A for Attitude:
–Distressed Denim. Denim is always a back to school staple, but this year, it’s getting a little distressed. That means ripped and ragged…in all the right places, of course. And if this shabby chic is not up to the school dress code, then there are plenty of other options. Flared jeans, overalls and ombre chambray shirts are trendy for teens; cuffed jeans and denim mini skirts for kids. And cropped skinny jeans are turning up everywhere…the perfect jean to wear with everyone’s favorite ankle boots.
–Graphic Tees. Kids of all ages this fall will want to get their own personal message across with T-shirts that express their personalities. This is where parents can let their kids do their own things and be creative with fashion choices. My favorite? “Be You Tiful” from Lands’ End. Or don a tee splattered with geometric printed “artwork.” Be creative!
–Cool Jackets. They’re the finishing touch to jeans and tees and a way to chill out on cooler fall days. The popular jean jacket it always a must-have, but kids and teens this year jazz up their denim jackets with decorative patches that personalize the back to school classic. Jackets are also favorites of teen boys in military styles and bright colored leather bombers for teen girls.
–Plaid Shirts. The grunge look of the ’90s is playing out in a major way for the back to school crowd. Kids of all ages are layering the popular flannel button-front styles over T-shirts and jeans or wrapping them around their waists for warmer days when style still counts as well as comfort.
–Activewear. Ath-leisure is now a fashion trend gone mainstream. Activewear goes to class in zip-front hoodies, jogger pants and tracksuits. Old school is new again, and who could argue with this trend that combines performance wear with a stylish twist?
–Girly Dresses. For teen girls, the slip dress is a winner this fall, inspired by the models and rock stars of the ’90s. It’s a great layering piece for T-shirts and jackets, too. Younger girls love to dress up in flannel baby doll dresses that pair perfectly with tights and booties.
–Slouchy Sweaters. Sweaters are a varsity essential, and this fall, the popular trend shows up in slightly oversized shapes in everything from boxy sweatshirts to long tunic tops. Varsity-inspired cardigans are always a school favorite, and make a great partner to plaid shirts.
–Knit Hits. These are the ultimate mix-and-match pieces for a back-to-school wardrobe that stretches the budget and can be worn throughout the whole school year. Collect soft knits in dresses, pull-on leggings, short skirts and all kinds of tops and tees.
–Westward Ho. Let the fringe fly this fall…on suede jackets and skirts, on boots and book bags. The Wild West comes alive with the favorite classics of cowboys and cowgirls:
Start with the denim basics — jeans and skirts — and top off with chambray shirts and suede jackets or vests. Denim worn with denim head to toe has never been a bigger trend. Western style boots are another way to add a touch of the Wild West to school day wardrobes.
–Extra-Curricular Accessories. If it’s a backpack, then chances are, it’s headed back to school. And this fall, there are backpacks for every age. From animal prints to camo prints to metallics, there are bags with matching lunch totes and bags for laptops. And then there are the shoes of course…think platform sneakers for teen girls, chukka boots for the guys and ankle boots for all.
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Dad’s Day Gift Ideas – Feed dad’s interests with gifts he’ll love
Dad can be hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, he can never have too many ties, coffee mugs or tools. But doesn’t the man who taught you how to ride a bike, to play catch and to always try your best deserve something more personal and unique.
Sure, he will be happy regardless of what you get him, but why not help him enjoy more time with the interests he has outside of being a great father. Here are some Father’s Day gift ideas for every kind of dad – from the grill master to the car enthusiast and the clean freak to the hygiene centric and every kind of dad in between.
Let Dad Stand Out with a Million-Dollar Shine
Your dad can now achieve the million-dollar appearance of Barrett-Jackson car auctions in his garage. Their Premium Auto Care line includes washes, waxes and detailers formulated with synthetic hydrophobic polymers and genuine carnauba wax for lasting brilliance and easy application. Learn more about how to bring a long-lasting and brilliant, deep shine to your dad’s car at Barrett-JacksonAutoCare.com. Barrett-Jackson Premium Auto Care products, which range in price from $5.49 to $17.99, are available at retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Pepboys, Menards and select Home Depots, and through online retailers including Amazon.com. For the ultimate gift, go a step further and wash his car for him.
For the Dad Who Loves to Drive
What do you get a dad who loves his car and truly loves to drive? How about something that connects him to his car, like a shoe that enhances his driving experience? While comfortable and stylish enough for everyday wear, the Piloti Spyder S1 driving shoe features patented Roll Control heel technology, superior red suede and mesh panels for maximum comfort and flexibility as well as the perfect combination of support, size, grip and feel. Check out the Spyder S1 ($150) as well as Piloti’s complete line of luxury, casual and performance driving shoes at Piloti.com.
A Gift Dad Can Sink His Teeth Into
Make Father’s Day complete with a dinner he’ll remember for years. The Omaha Steaks Father’s Day T-Bone Gift package is a meal dad will be willing and eager to fire up the grill for. The package is headlined by two 18-ounce T-Bones and includes four Brisket Burgers and four Gourmet Jumbo Franks along with Omaha Steaks Seasoning. Regularly $194.95, you can now bring the family together to enjoy this incredible fare for just $69.99. For more information, visit omahasteaks.com.
A Spotless Man Cave, Workshop and Car
It’s the ultimate gift for dad and his man cave. The Dirt Devil FlipOut(tm) is a premium cordless hand vac, perfectly designed to keep his man cave, workshop or set of wheels spotless. The 16-volt, fade-free lithium battery means faster charging, longer runtime and continuous power. It’s compact and lightweight, and has versatile tools for quick and easy cleaning. The FlipOut is $49.99. For more information, visit DirtDevil.com.
Power Dad’s Smile
Be the power behind dad’s smile this Father’s Day with the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity. The brush connects to the Oral-B App, which provides real-time guidance while brushing and records brushing activity that can be shared with dental professionals. With six different cleaning modes, it removes 300 percent more plaque compared to a manual brush. Upgrade your dad’s oral care routine and visit oralb.com for additional details.
(father and daughter photo)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images