COMFORT IS BEAUTY

10 Ways to Save Money this Summer

Summertime should be fun-time but you don’t have to empty your pockets to enjoy yourself.  Sometimes partaking in summertime activities costs a bit of money, but there are ways to save money this summer to keep your wallet in tact.  Today we have 10 simple tips to help you save more, spend less and still have a blast this summer!

A woman rides a Barclays cycle hire bike in London.Walk or Ride Bikes instead of Driving:  Using your body’s energy rather than an automobile is much more cost-effective and healthier too.  Wherever possible, walk or ride your bike to get places you need to go.  The exercise, fresh air and sunshine are all an added bonus.

Grow Your Own Food:  Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is less expensive than buying them all summer.  If you don’t have a green thumb, start with the easiest fool-proof plants and expand your garden over time.  Don’t forget herbs such as basil and rosemary that can freshly flavor your summer dishes without breaking the bank.

Look for Coupons and Free Experiences:  Before you go anywhere, check websites for discount coupons.  Also, periodically look for free experiences such as complementary admissions to museums, concerts at local festivals or library events.  This can save lots of money on your summer entertainment budget.

Clean AC Vents and Use Fans: Approximately 50% of household energy comes from cooling and heating the home.  Make sure your air vents are clean so your AC operates more efficiently.  When activities and weather permits, turn off the AC and cool yourself with ceiling fans instead.

 

Consider Hiring a Teen for Household Chores:  While teenagers are out of school for the summer, hire them to mow your lawn or do other household chores that you may have otherwise hired a professional to do.  The teen will appreciate the extra cash and you’ll probably pay half the price.

Water Your Lawn in the Morning or at Night:  Water evaporates faster in sunlight.  Watering early in the morning or later at night will allow your grass, plants and trees to absorb more moisture and therefore reduce the amount of water needed.

picnic-670x375Bring Your Own Food:  Stopping at a restaurant for meals when you’re out and about this summer can get expensive.  And concession stands at events are notoriously overpriced.  When permitted, bring your own snacks and picnic meals.  The extra effort and organization is worth the savings.

Leave Your Kids at Home for Efficiency:  Running errands without your kids is usually much faster and allows you to get more accomplished in one trip, saving on gas.  Also, kids tend to want things when they are at stores so avoid the confrontation by leaving them with another caregiver when possible.

Unplug Things You’re Not Using:  Household energy racks up electricity bills.  When you leave electronics plugged in, they draw energy even when you are not using them.  Unplug lamps, chargers and kitchen appliances when not in use to conserve energy and money.

Wait for End of Season Sales to Buy Things:  Clothes, furniture and other seasonal items tend to go on sale towards the end of summer.  Wait to make big purchases to take advantage of sales.  Usually seasonal sales begin after July 4 and even bigger savings are available around Labor Day.

Happy Summer and Happy Savings!

How to Wear Fringe without looking like a Hippie

those-bit-boho-soul-Forever-21-fringed-vestFringe is one of the hottest trends of the season.  It’s fun; It’s flirty; It’s whimsical; and It’s sassy.  Inspired by decades of the past and native cultures, this flapper meets hippie meets Western look is now super modern and right on target for spring and summer.

Today we’re exploring how to wear fringe to incorporate this fashion trend into your wardrobe while remaining stylish and true to this decade:

The first rule of fringe is not to over fringe.  One piece of fringe in an outfit is sufficient.  Too much fringe screams costumed character rather than fashionista.  The nice thing about fringe is that it can be subtle or bold depending on your garment and personal style preferences.  Wispy, delicate fringe offers a more feminine look while thicker fringe strips add volume and dimension to your clothes.  The trend calls for a mix of both in your wardrobe but still, just one piece at a time.

Fringe piping on blouses and skirts is a terrific way to wear this trend.  Short to medium length dangling fringe elongates the torso and legs and creates a breezy look as the fringe sways with movement.  This fun detail on a blouse adds an interesting feature and can jazz up any hemline to take a skirt from “ho-hum” to “wow-wee!”

For a bolder statement, a louder, longer fringe works beautifully on vests, jackets and as an overlay to medium-length skirts.  You’ll definitely be drawing attention to the fringed area so be sure the cut of the garment is flattering and the fringe accentuates your best features.  Fringes looks best in the same color as the base piece so avoid colored fringe that doesn’t match and select even-toned outfits instead.

Steal-Splurge-Black-Fringe-BagFringe accessories are all the rage right now and a fabulous way to embrace this trend.  Bags with fringe, fringe earrings and fringe necklaces are particularly popular.  These pieces can really spice up an outfit with minimal effort.  In purses, fringe detail ranging from small tassels to full frontal fringe is right on trend.  Dangling fringe earrings can be stylish, playful and elegant, while fringe necklaces over a basic outfit can take your look from ordinary to high fashion.

fringe_heels_Finally, fringe can look amazing on you all the way down to your toes.  Shoes with fringe details are extremely stylish this season.  Side fringe, front fringe and back fringe look awesome on a variety of sandals, stilettos and loafers.  Tiered fringe cascading over a tall heel is sexy and flirty, while a small fringe on top of a regular loafer modernizes this classic shoe.

Enjoy all the “fringe benefits” of the fringe trend.  By incorporating one piece of fringe in your outfits, you’ll be super stylish without looking like a hippie, flapper or country Western star this season.  Instead you’ll look like the fashionista that you are.

Stylish Jumpsuits for Full Figured Women

Jumpsuits are a trendy and playful way to jazz up your spring and summer wardrobe.  Jumpsuits for full figured women come in a variety of styles that fit curves beautifully.  Finding the most flattering style for you may take a few minutes in a fitting room but we have some basic tips to get you started.

navy jumpsuitJumpsuit Tops

Jumpsuits for full figured women should accentuate your best features.  You have many options for the top portion of a jumpsuit including halter, strapless, cap sleeves, one shoulder, short sleeves, long sleeves, tank and wrap.  Depending on how much skin you want to show, select a style that shows your assets.  If you have great cleavage, go for a plunging neckline like a halter or wrap.  If you have broad shoulders that you want to minimize, try a wide scoop tank or longer sleeve jumpsuit.

The waistline of your jumpsuit is also important when you’re dressing for your body type.  Empire waist jumpsuits smooth and support the breasts while allowing fabric to free flow over the mid-section.  A wrap style or other tops with a matching long thick fabric belt helps elongate your look.  Women with long torsos may prefer a lower waistline that hits at their true waist of below.  This breaks up the top from the bottom and helps create a more proportional appearance.floral jumpsuit

Jumpsuit Bottoms

The bottom part of your jumpsuit can also enhance your appearance when you select styles that are most flattering to your figure.  Wide leg jumpsuit pants elongate the legs with free flowing fabric that creates a breezy look.  This style also helps balance broader shoulders and large breasts.  Tapered pants look great on shorter women or women who have slimmer legs.  A shorts jumpsuit makes a flirty summertime outfit that is great for everyday wear or as a bathing suit cover-up.  For a more athletic style, a drawstring knee or ankle length jumpsuit offers a sporty vibe.

black wide leg jumpsuitJumpsuit Colors and Patterns

One of the most flattering things about jumpsuits is that they are one piece and they offer consistent color and style on top and bottom.  But this monotone look is far from boring.  All black jumpsuits can be some of the most fashionable and slimming looks of your spring and summer wardrobe.  When everyone else is wearing a little black dress, bust out your little black jumpsuit and some gorgeous jewelry for a cocktail party or date night.  Other solid colors look feminine and fabulous too, including navy, teal, soft pink, purple and white.  Or go for a louder print, such as a large pattern, tropical fabric or animal print.  Usually matching jumpsuit belts are best as the idea of jumpsuiprint wide leg jumpsuitts for full figured women is flow rather than an interrupted, choppy look.

As always, make sure you’re stylish, comfortable and supported in your intimates as well.  Select a full figure bra that will enhance your jumpsuit style and create a smooth and lifted bust-line.  Jumpsuits for full figured women are a fun and fabulous way to show your personal style this spring and summer!

Skin Cancer Awareness and Sun Safety

sun safety_courtesy of sheknows.comAs we head into summer, sun safety and skin cancer awareness should be a top priority.  The sun is the biggest cause of premature aging, and is of course the leading cause of skin cancer.  While much of our skin’s attributes are genetic, we each have control over our potential for skin cancer by taking sun safety precautions.

In the U.S., skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and effects over 65,000 people yearly.  Over 9,000 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every year.  Unfortunately, lack of skin cancer awareness, misinformation and poor sun safety habits lead to these unnecessary fatalities.  Just 15 minutes of UV exposure can damage skin and any color change or tan on your skin is a negative reaction to the sun.

About UV Rays

For those of us who need a refresher, there are two types of sun rays that are harmful to skin:  UVA and UVB.  You need sun protection from both because they can both damage cellular DNA, which may result in cancer.  Ultraviolet rays are electromagnetic wavelengths from the sun.  UVA rays are longer and more prevalent on Earth but they are less intense that UVB rays.  Nonetheless, UVA rays are responsible for most photoaging of skin.  UVB rays are shorter but stronger and cause sunburns and skin cancer.  UVA rays are consistently present throughout the year and at any time of day while UVB rays are most intense during the peek sun hours of the late morning through mid-afternoon.

Sun Safety

Protecting your skin from the sun is a vital health responsibility.  Like brushing your teeth and eating a balanced diet, sun safety should be part of your personal healthcare routine.  Here are the 4 key things to remember about sun protection:

  • Always wear sunscreen. Why take any chances with your beautiful skin?  Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 that has broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.  Reapply often if you are out in the sun all day.
  • Wear protective clothing. Keep the sun off your skin by covering up. This includes UV protective shirts, hats and sunglasses.  Protective clothing is especially important for people with very fair skin and children.  Be sure to buy hats that cover your face and neck.
  • Seek shade. Find a covered area, awning or umbrella to avoid over-exposure to the sun.  If you are spending the entire day at the beach, bring along a tent to give everyone some much-needed relief from the sun.
  • Avoid peek sun hours. Everyone wants to have fun in the sun but be strategic about when you’re outdoors.  Spend time outside in the early morning or later afternoon to avoid peek sun hours.

This summer, practice sun safety and be informed about skin cancer awareness.  If you do get burnt or notice changes to your skin, seek guidance from a dermatologist.  Early detection of skin cancer is the best way to treat it quickly without major health concerns.

Enjoy your summer and stay safe!

6 Pairs of White Shoes You Should Own this Spring and Summer

Happy Memorial Day!  Although the white before Memorial Day rule was debunked years ago, we’re using this old fashioned sentiment to celebrate one of our favorite summer colors.  So, it’s time to bust out the white!  One of the best ways to strut your white wear is in your shoes.  Today we’re sharing 6 pairs of white shoes you should own this spring and summer.

All-Laced-Up

Lace-up Sandals:  Around the ankle and up the calf, the more loops the better!  This spring and summer gives new meaning to the words “strappy sandals.”  Lace-up sandals work in flats or with a heel.  The advantage is that you can tighten or loosen them to be perfectly comfortable and supportive for your feet.  They are easy, breezy and right on trend for the season.  Lace-up and look fabulous!

 

Fendi-shoes-sandals-white-fendi-Spring-summer-2015

Heel Bling:  Adornments on the heel and even slightly up the calf are hot for spring and summer.  Interesting shapes, sparkly beads and jewels or a textured fabric can complete this look beautifully.  Variations with a pop of color on the heel add a vibrant splash to any outfit.

 

elevator cutout bootsElevator Cutout Boots:  Boots in the summer?  What???  Yes, the warmer months require a bit more air flow to the toes so these shoes achieve the bootie look with any airy touch.  The cutout feature keeps your feet cool and comfy all summer but the shape of the shoe mimics an ankle boot.  These are great for shorts and casual nights out.

 

Shoe-Trends-for-summer-Spring-2015-at-New-York-Fashion-Week-for-womenFeathers and Fringe:  Native feathers and fringe are all the rage for spring and summer 2015.  These feminine, freestyle details give stylish dimension and movement to your shoe.  Fringe works better for larger feet while feathers accentuate a delicate foot nicely.

Victoria-Beckham-Spring-2015

 

Sleek Oxford:  Crisp and white, these once traditional now trendy shoes are an awesome look for regular length and crop pants this summer.  With a pointed toe and a slight heel lift, the sleek new design elevates this fashionable shoe to 2015 standards.Tory Burch Sneakers

 

 

Holy Sneakers:  Some spring and summer days require a quick slip-on grab-and-go type of shoe.  These “holy” sneakers are just what you need to keep things trendy even in sneaks.  The perforated design will give your foot a breath of fresh air while the sneaker sole supports your feet and ankles for all day wear.

We hope you enjoy the season in these trendy white shoes for spring and summer.  Happy Memorial Day, Leading Ladies!

Why All Women Should Take a Trip Alone

o-WOMAN-TRAVEL-facebookIf you’re looking for inspiration, empowerment, inner peace and lots of adventure, taking a vacation alone may be exactly the lift you need.  Whether you’re single, attached or have a house full of kids, many people believe all women should take a trip alone to relax, refresh and reflect.

Women especially become very entrenched in their isolated lives, playing many roles, multi-tasking and often not coming up for breath.  Traveling alone releases many of the self-imposed constraints on your daily life and broadens your horizons in ways that can greatly improve your day-to-day when you return home.  That’s why we’re sharing four insightful reasons why all women should take a trip alone:

You can do everything you want to do and nothing you don’t.  The opportunity to explore new places probably doesn’t come along all that often.  When you take a trip alone, you can decide exactly what you want to do at every moment, starting with the destination of your choice.  Then you can decide which sites to see, how long to stay on the beach, where to dine, act…  If you’re super planny, no one will complain that you’re being uptight and too rigid about the schedule.  If you’re a go-with-the flow kinda gal, you can do anything that strikes your fancy on a whim.  While compromise is an important life skill, when you take a vacation alone, you can call all the shots.  Sometimes that just feels really good.

You’ll be inspired.  Exploring new places is exhilarating and inspiring, whether just a few hours by car from home or half the world away.  By experiencing new cultures, tasting unique cuisines, listening to foreign languages, seeing interesting sites, having many adventures and learning the customs of how others live, you see that there is so much more to life than your personal bubble.  Stepping outside your boundaries can certainly make us smarter and also inspire us to create and become new things in our own space.  You’ll also have time for mindfulness of your inner thoughts, which may not happen all that often in your regular life.  In these quiet moments, you can do some serious soul searching to return home relaxed, peaceful and truly inspired.

You’ll feel empowered and confident.  Taking a trip alone will probably cause you to leave your comfort zone at least during certain parts of your travels.  You’ll have to tackle some of your fears and find strength from within.  Perhaps you are embarrassed to eat alone, you have a fear of heights or you’re not good at speaking up for yourself.  On vacation alone you’ll have to challenge yourself to dine in restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine, climb a mountain to get the best views and negotiate every facet of your trip for yourself.  Once you do, you’ll feel empowered and confident to continue to try new things and take bold steps even when you return home.  Also, women also feel defined by their roles in their normal lives, whether it’s their job or motherhood or something else.  Traveling solo helps you realize that there is much more to you than these isolated aspects of yourself.

You can skip the drama.  Traveling alone eliminates a lot of the hassle, frustration and drama that comes with traveling with another person.  First, it’s easier to plan your trip because you only have to worry about your own schedule.  And inevitably, flights will be delayed, tickets will be hard to come by and other things won’t go exactly your way.  When you take a trip alone, all of these things are easier to negotiate and you can find a way to make the most of the situation without someone else dragging you down.  Additionally, sometimes women wait until they are in relationships to take big trips.  But traveling with a new partner can be stressful and taxing on a relationship, causing lots of drama that might not occur in your real lives and ultimately ruin the relationship.  So skip the drama and go solo!

Bon Voyage!

Healthy Snacks: Alternatives to Potato Chips

So you’re having a snack attack and all you’re craving are salty, crunchy potato chips.  It’s so easy to pinch open a bag and go to town, but reversing the negative health effects of potato chips isn’t quite as simple.  What if we told you there are some healthy alternatives that will quench your craving without the guilt?  Yup, today we’re crunching up some healthy snacks and sharing a variety of alternatives to potato chips to try next time you get the chip itch.

Sweet Potato Chips:  Sweeter and healthier, sweet potatoes pack in more vitamin A, manganese and antioxidants than regular white potatoes.  When seasoned with certain spices, this chip satisfies the need for sweet and savory, all in one.

taro chipsTaro Chips:  This root vegetable cousin to the potato has less fat and more fiber and Vitamin E than potatoes, but tastes very similar.  It is common in Asian, Hispanic and Hawaiian cuisines.

Apple Chips:  Sweet, delicious and easy-to-bake makes the perfect combination for this alternative to potato chips.  Making apple chips is as simple as thinly slicing apples, sprinkling them with cinnamon and popping them in the oven for a few hours.  And you know what they say about an apple a day…

Dry Cereal:  If it’s the crunch and repetitive motion of popping a chip in your mouth that you’re craving, select a wholesome whole grain cereal instead.  Most cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are much healthier than your average chip or cracker.  Just be sure to avoid those with excess sugar (which is about half the cereal aisle) and sodium.

Kale Chips:  Kale is one of the trendiest superfoods right now.  But did you know it comes in chip form?  Yup!  You may actually like it better crunchy because it can be thick and chewy otherwise.  Kale has a ton of iron, Vitamin K, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that support entire body health.  Add ranch, parmesan cheese or other bold seasonings to make this chip a savory delight.

Rice or Corn Chips:  Chips and crackers can be made of other starches as well, including rice and corn.  These alternatives to potato chips add nutritional variety to the diet and are usually lighter than regular chips.

plantain chipsPlantain Chips:  This less sweet sibling to the banana makes a tasty chip.  Its fibrous consistency makes it easy to turn into a chip.  Plantains offer more Vitamin A and C than potatoes, which are two important antioxidants that help the body’s immune system.

Whole Wheat Tortilla:  Ok, it’s not crunchy but it’s great for dipping into hummus, salsa or ranch dips as a much healthier alternative.  In fact, whole grains are an important part of a well-balanced diet so you can check off one of your daily food groups with this snack.

Green Bean, Carrot or Zucchini Fries:  While potato fries are often as unhealthy as potato chips, frying veggies in a healthy vegetable or nut oil is a great alternative.  Simply coat your sliced veggies in egg and then dip it into a mixture of bread crumbs and seasonings.  You can then sauté them or bake them using a drizzle of your favorite healthy oil.

Next time you have a chip itch, we hope you enjoy these healthy alternatives to potato chips!  Happy snacking!

Unexpected Causes of Fatigue

Being tired is no fun and can be downright aggravating.  Fatigue makes us less productive, less coordinated, irritable, groggy and sometimes miserable to be around.  Millions of people suffer from fatigue for unknown reasons.   Knowing the unexpected causes of fatigue may be a clue into your sleepiness problem and how to resolve it.

trying to sleepThe most obvious cause of fatigue is not getting enough sleep.  So that’s not unexpected at all.  But why you are not sleeping well may surprise you.  Beyond not consuming too much caffeine, sugar and alcohol before bed, your bedtime habits and sleep environment may cause you to be restless during the night.  Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime and keep the lights dim to prepare yourself for sleep.  Ensure your bedroom is at an optimal cool temperature, your bed is not cluttered with clothes, books, pets or children.  Most of us need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to wake up feeling refreshed.

Now that your sleep habits are in order, we can move on to other unexpected causes of fatigue.  Diet is at the top of the list.  A balanced diet – one with lots of protein, some healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and tons of fruits and veggies – is one of the best ways to achieve more energy.  Too much sugar affects our blood glucose levels causing us to feel sluggish and possibly gain weight.  So grabbing that sugar boost in the late afternoon will actually backfire on you by early evening.  Also, consuming too much sugar and fat can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes that causes major fatigue.  Keep your blood sugar level stable with a wholesome diet throughout the day.

Also important in your diet is Vitamin B, Vitamin D and H2O.  Vitamin B, especially B12, and Vitamin D are important nutrients for breaking down glucose into energy.  Dietary sources of Vitamin B and D are meat, fish, cheese, eggs, soy and fortified cereals.  Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to weak bones and fatigued muscles.  Furthermore, water is vital to your energy level too.  Dehydration can be overwhelmingly tiring.  It’s essential to drink eight to twelve glasses of water daily to keep your cells working at their highest capacity.

exerciseBelieve it or not, vigorous exercise is a key component to relieving fatigue.  You may think that exercise will make you tired but it actually breeds energy.  When you move your body – even by simple walking – you accelerate blood flow and allow oxygenated blood to reach every inch of your body.  This supports more energy, better mobility and improved cognitive function.  It may take a month or two to start feeling the invigorating effects of exercise but stick with it and you’ll notice a significant increase in your daily energy.  Try to not exercise within three hours of bedtime to ensure you have time to cool off and wind down properly.

Other unexpected causes of fatigue include hormone imbalances, infections and anemia.  When hormones are off-kilter, our bodies can fall out of whack quickly.  One huge sign of a hormone issue is fatigue.  Hormone imbalance can also lead to depression which acerbates fatigue and low energy.  If your body is fighting an infection, you may feel fatigued even if you have no other symptoms.  And anemia is a blood condition in which the body does not retain enough iron, causing severe sleepiness.

These unexpected causes of fatigue plague countless people every day.  Watch out for the surprising ways you could be causing your own drowsiness.  Once you identify them, turn them around to ensure days full of energy and vitality.

 

10 TV Moms that Taught us Invaluable Lessons

Although fictional, the moms we’ve watched on television over the decades have taught us a lot.  They’re encouraging, caring, loving, funny, outrageous and sometimes even magical.  Sounds a lot like real moms!

Much like our own mothers, we have grown up with many of these moms and learned a thing or two along the way.  In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re sharing our top 10 list of TV moms that taught us invaluable lessons.

ModernFamilyGloria Delgado-Pritchett from Modern Family:  While her English isn’t perfect, her parenting is spot on.  As mother to mature-beyond-his-years Manny, Gloria is supportive of everything he does.  Between his choice of activities, how he speaks and his attire, Manny marches to the beat of his own drum and Gloria is hilariously behind him every step of the way.

Mom Lesson:  Believe in your kids and let them be who they were meant to be.

brady bunchCarol Brady from The Brady Bunch:  As mom of three and step-mom of three, Carol Brady had her hands full.  And as we all know, siblings don’t always get along.  But once your kids reach a certain age, teaching them independence in resolving conflicts is vital.  Always being the negotiator impedes social growth and problem-solving.

Mom Lesson:  Sometimes siblings have to work out their issues on their own.  Let your kids make their own mistakes and choices and guide them towards the right solutions.

MomBonnie from Mom:  Ok, she’s a recovering addict, rather whacky and never follows the rules.  But she’s still always there for her family, including her daughter and grandchildren.  Moms who have made their own share of mistakes have a lot to teach us about who we want to be and where to avoid landmines.

Mom Lesson:  Nobody is perfect, even moms, and moms have problems too.  But good moms are those that are there for you when you need them.

bewitchedSamantha Montgomery from Bewitched:  Moms are magical – we all know it’s true.  Samantha Montgomery may have had a leg up with her twitching witch nose, but the true magic behind her was her phenomenal mothering skills.  When all hope seems lost, a mother’s magical touch can do wonders.

Mom Lesson:  Sometimes it takes a little mom magic to get things done.

The Goldbergs: Season 1-- Episode 106Beverly Goldberg from The Goldbergs:  Her perfect kids can do no wrong and she’s going to let everyone in the world know it.  She meddles, she complains, she will do anything for her kids.  While her endless support sometimes backfires, she shows us that kids really just need someone in their corner.

Mom Lesson:  Someone’s got to be your biggest fan and it may as well be your mom.

cosbyClair Huxtable from The Bill Cosby Show:  As a powerful attorney, supportive mom of many, loving wife and family woman, Clair shows us that moms can have it all.  Moms can juggle career, family, love, friendships and more.  It may be a struggle from time-to-time, but it can be done.

Mom Lesson: Moms can do it all!

facts_of_lifeMrs. Edna Garrett from The Facts of Life:  Mrs. Garrett was the foster mom every teenage girl wanted.  It wasn’t that she was cool or even super fun, but she was the shoulder to lean on, the voice of wisdom and the glue that kept this group of girls together.

Mom Lesson:  The woman who birthed you isn’t your only mom in this life.

home improvementJill Taylor from Home Improvement:  When you have three boys and a manly husband who likes to do things his own way, sometimes you have to be crafty in how you get what you want out of your family.  Jill made it look effortless when all of her ideas seemed like her husbands and her rough-and-tumble boys needed to learn a lesson.

Mom Lesson:  Moms can always outfox you and chances are, you will never even know it.

DOC MCSTUFFINS, MOMDr. McStuffins on Doc McStuffins:  As a doctor and mom, Dr. McStuffins teaches her kids a lot about health and social skills.  She is a wonderful role model to her kids and encourages imaginary play surrounding real life experiences.  This is one doctor who embraces make-believe in the name of child development.

Mom Lesson:  Playing is an important part of childhood.

Murphy BrownMurphy Brown from Murphy Brown:  First she had her career and then she had her baby.  Not every family looks the same and women who long to be mother’s have many options of how to achieve their goals.  Murphy Brown was an enlightening and ground-breaking example of having the strength and courage to make your own path.

Mom Lesson:  Having a child can happen in a variety of ways.  Reach for your dreams until you catch them.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Breakfast Rules: How to get the Most out of Your Breakfast

breakfast rulesThe way you start your day is often an indicator of what type of day you will have.  Beginning your day with a healthy and strategic breakfast can get you off on the right foot for a bright and productive day.

Eating gives you energy, which is what our bodies need to operate at their best.  When you eat certain foods early in the day, you can set yourself up for a variety of health and wellness benefits including sustained energy, satiation, better blood flow, more physical stamina, better mental clarity and even weight loss.

Follow these breakfast rules to get the most out of your breakfast every morning:

1)      Never skip breakfast.  Even when your morning turns to chaos and you are running late, be sure to eat something for breakfast.  Just like your car cannot run on zero gas, your body is the same.  You need fuel to power your day and that’s breakfast.

2)      Eat soon after you wake up.  Eating revs your metabolism, which is how our bodies burn food for energy.  When you eat within an hour of waking up, you get your body going right away.  This helps burn more fat throughout the day too.

3)      Eat protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.  These three elements make up a balanced breakfast and will keep your body full for longer.  When we feel satiated, we are less likely to grab unhealthy snacks and therefore eliminate unnecessary calories.  Great breakfast proteins include Greek yogurt, eggs, turkey bacon, chicken sausage and milk.  Healthy fats such as eggs, cheese, olive oil and fish high in essential fatty acids are a wonderful choice, and whole grains and oats make terrific complex carbs.

4)      Limit sugar, salt and processed foods.  As tempting as they may be, most protein bars have a ton of sugar, salt and other chemicals.  If you have to grab one quickly, make sure you have plenty of natural bars available, such as those with only fruit, nuts and grains.  Stay away from sugary cereals, salty high-fat meats and other packaged breakfast items that are highly processed.

5)      Select whole grain options.  When it comes to breakfast cereals and breads, there are many choices.  Go for whole wheat or multi-grain when you have the option.  This includes cold and warm cereals, muffins, bagels, toast and tortillas.  You can greatly increase your nutritional and fiber intake by making this easy substitution.

6)      Drink lots of water.  Your body is essentially dehydrated from going all night without water.  You need to replenish first thing in the morning by drinking at least 2 glasses of water.

7)      And you can drink your breakfast too.  Smoothies are a fantastic on-the-go breakfast that you can make yourself.  Add a couple of fruits, at least one vegetable and some Greek yogurt or soy milk to ensure you’re packing a variety of nutrients into your liquid breakfast.  You can even scoop a natural superfood powder in for added nutritional value.

 

Stick to these breakfast rules and you’ll be bursting with energy every day!

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