How to Improve the Air Quality in your Home

imagesAir is one of our most basic human needs.  So, how’s the air quality in your home?  Indoor pollutants accumulate in our homes much faster than most of us realize.  Every day items such as cleaning solvents, heavy metals, fragrance chemicals and pet dander are undetected sources that congest our air and can be harmful allergens, especially to those who suffer from asthma.  Today we’re sharing how to improve air quality in your home to support your family’s best health.

Clean Household Surfaces Regularly

The first step to improve air quality in your home is to keep your household surfaces as clean as possible, including floors and countertops.  Topping that list is placing floor mats at every door so your family and guests can wipe their feet before tracking outdoor allergens such as pesticides, pollen and transferable pet dander into your home. Clean floors regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum and microfiber mops.  This greatly reduces the concentration of lead in your home, which is a major pollutant that can be harmful to the entire body.  Don’t use feather dusters but rather damp cloths to wipe down furniture and other household surfaces.  In most cases you can avoid abrasive chemical cleaning solvents.  If you do need a product, look for all-natural options that won’t introduce new, harmful toxins into your home.

Circulate Air and Avoid Too Much Humidity

Keep air flowing through your home safely and effectively.  As long as no one in your home suffers from pollen or other outdoor allergies, try circulating fresh air through open widows and screen doors.  Otherwise, run fans but be sure you dust them regularly to avoid spreading airborne particles.  If you choose to run your air conditioning, be sure your filters and vents are clean so you’re not blowing pollutants and dust along with cool air.  Keeping your home at a low humidity level, between 30 to 50% will help deter dust, mold, pollen and other pollutants from sticking around.  Make sure your home is well-ventilated while cooking, dishwashing, washing and drying clothes and don’t leave standing water around in tubs, showers, sinks, leaky pipes or while watering houseplants.

Use Natural Resources

Houseplants such as the Boston Fern, Lady Palm and Wax Begonia are all great options that filter out heavy metal toxins such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene that enter the home by way of furniture, cabinets and flooring as well as other common household products.  Plants absorb and dilute these harmful toxins which can be inhaled or absorbed through the bloodstream.  Also, many products designed to make homes more fragrant are often laced with dangerous toxic chemicals.  Instead of scented candles and air fresheners, opt for natural scents such as lemon and baking soda or essential oils.

Other tips for how to improve the air quality in your home:

  • Make your home a non-smoking environment.  Never let anyone smoke in or around your home and ask smokers to change their clothes before coming into your home.
  • Wash pets regularly to remove dander and lose hair.  Clean up pet hair around your home and wash clothes that are laden with pet hair.
  • Run drapes, cloth shower curtains and table cloths through the laundry regularly as dust loves to cling to these thick surfaces.
  • Make an effort to clean hard-to-reach areas such as above your high cabinets, along floorboards and in small crevices.  Pollutants linger in these areas that are often unseen and untouched.
  • Check for radon in your home through an at-home or professional screening kit.  Radon is a dangerous odorless gas that is carcinogenic.
  • Adopt a no shoe policy in your home to avoid the spread of toxins, pollutants and microbes that live on the bottom of shoes.

Why a Big Butt is Good for your Health

a7b26192b24e4d91f412ed9f758ed6c1If you’ve ever cursed your well-endowed rump, we’re here to give you a different perspective on the matter.  A big butt is good for your health!  From less incidence of disease and better support for your body, to beauty and more cushioning on your back side, a big butt is quite desirable for many reasons.  We’re divulging each of them here today.

Big butts lower risk of disease.  The fat that is stored in the butt is generally not dangerous, disease-causing fat.  Heart disease, diabetes and a variety of conditions that arise from high cholesterol levels are less common in women with larger bottoms and smaller waists.  Women with more meat on their back side tend to have well-balanced cholesterol and sometimes even higher levels of good HDL cholesterol and low levels of harmful LDL cholesterol that can lead to disease including heart attack and stroke.  Even type 2 diabetes is less likely with a wider waist-to-butt ratio.

Big butts help with physical activity and support the legs.  A bigger bottom works in conjunction with your legs to propel you forward during movement.  Plus, your gluteus maximus is a large muscle that can aid in more intense exercise and physical activity.  Your big butt can help with everything from walking up stairs to running a marathon.

Big butts take pressure off your back.  When your butt is assisting your legs and other large movement muscles, your lower back is protected.  When your butt and legs aren’t able to support your movement, they call on smaller muscles, including your low back muscles to help.  This can put a lot of strain in sensitive areas.  Plus, your posture improves when your butt can support your back alignment and lengthen hip flexors.  Less back stress and better posture are both advantages during pregnancy too.

Big butts are biologically more attractive to men.  It’s undeniable that big butts are quite popular and men can’t help but stare.  Part of this is evolutionary:  larger rumps accentuate the curvature of the spine, which is required for a woman to carry a baby during pregnancy.  As humans evolved, men selected women who were better suited for childbirth.  While this may not be what most men cite as their attraction to big butts, it’s an evolutionary fact.

Big butts make a better silhouette.  Curves in the front and back are sexy and the way women’s clothes are designed.  You’ll never have saggy jeans with a big butt.  A large backside also gives the illusion of a smaller waistline for a more traditionally desirable hourglass figure.

Big butts store more omega-3 fatty acids.  The reserve of this brain and heart-healthy nutrient is great for women and even better for their kids.  When new moms with big butts breastfeed, they call on this storage of essential fatty acids to pass along to their babies.  Breastfeeding has many advantages for kids, in part due to the transfer of essential fatty acids, including creating smarter children.

Big butts offer more cushion.  If you’re sitting on a hard surface or you fall on your tush, you’ll enjoy that extra padding from a big butt.  It is also great for seated sports such as cycling or rowing.  Without the cushion, you are more likely to fracture your pelvic bone or bruise your tail bone during accidental falls or sports injuries.

Love your big butt and embrace all of these reasons a big butt is good for your health!

Women’s Shaving: How to Get the Best Shave

shaving-legs-2You’ve probably been shaving since your teens, but are you doing it right?  Razor burn, cuts and dry skin are among the most common shaving problems women face.  But these can be issues of the past if you follow our simple shaving guidelines on how to get the best shave every time.

Exfoliate Before Shaving:  Razor burn and unsightly bumps, especially around the bikini area, can be significantly reduced if you remove dead skin before shaving.  Make it a practice to exfoliate your legs and bikini line twice a week and at least one day before you plan to shave.

Use Shaving Cream:  Many women skip this important step to save time but it can severely dry out your skin.  Look for a shaving cream or gel that is alcohol and fragrance free.  If you find yourself in the shower without shaving cream, hack it with conditioner.  But never use soap as it can further dry out your skin.

Use the Right Razor:  5-blade razors are the current gold standard and tend to get the cleanest, finest shave.  However, women with sensitive skin may want to stick with a 3-blade option that usually causes less irritation.  Never use a cheap single-blade razor.  These tend to result in more cuts and bumps.

Replace Razors Often:  Disposable razors or blades should be replaced every 5 to 10 full double leg shaves.  When blades become dull, they are less effective. This often leads to women adding pressure to the razor and cutting themselves.  And blades can trap bacteria that lead to infection.

Don’t Share Razors:  You may be tempted to snatch your guy’s razor but that’s not a good idea.  Razors designed for women are just as effective for traversing a woman’s curvy legs.  Sharing razors can spread germs as well.

Shave at the Right Time:  Shaving at night is a better choice because your legs swell overnight, causing some of the hair to retreat.  Plus, you get to hop in bed with silky smooth legs that will make you feel great.  Also, shave 10 to 15 minutes into your shower to allow your skin to soften.  This primes your legs for a closer and less tender shave.

Treat Razor Burn:  Warm compresses can help reduce redness, irritation and bumps from razor burn.  Also apply lotion to moist skin after every shower, whether you shaved or not.

Now that you know how to get the best shave, we wish you silky smooth legs this summer and always.

Health Screenings for Women

Maintaining good health often requires early detection and intervention through regular health screenings for women.  Even without symptoms, women may have the early stages of medical conditions that can grow into more serious health problems if left untreated.  Early signs of skin cancer, diabetes and heart disease, among other health concerns, can be addressed with great success.

To keep you in tip-top shape, the following are the recommended health screenings for women:

Physical Exam/Wellness Check-up:  Women should visit their primary care physician every 2 to 3 years for a physical exam.  This is a time to complete many of the tests below in addition to discussing your physical, mental and emotional health with your doctor.

Blood Pressure Test:  Blood pressure should be checked at least every 2 years beginning at age 18.  It is likely that you will have your blood pressure taken any time you visit your doctor for check-ups or sick visits so you’ll be able to track your normal blood pressure levels.  You can also do a self-test at many drug stores.

Cholesterol Test:  With a simple blood test, you can keep an eye on this huge risk factor of heart disease.  Starting at age 20, every woman should have a cholesterol test every 5 years.  For those with family history of heart conditions or other risk factors such as elevated blood pressure, tests should be done more frequently.

Blood Glucose Test:  Women age 45 and older should have their blood glucose levels checked every 3 years.  This will help determine if you have an insulin imbalance and may be diabetic or pre-diabetic.  Anyone with risk factors of diabetes should be tested earlier in life and more often.

Body Mass Index (BMI):  BMI shows the relationship of bodily fat based on weight and height.  This test is generally done during physical exams and is a helpful indicator of obesity and risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.

Pap Smear:  A pap smear is a cervical cancer test that women 21 to 30 years old should have done every 3 years.  Those over 30 should have a pap smear and an HPV test done every 5 years.  Women who are sexually active before age 21 should have a pap earlier.

Mammogram:  Self breast exams should be done monthly beginning at age 20.  Clinical manual exams should be done every three years between the ages of 20 and 40.  After 40, clinical breast exams should be done every year and mammograms should be done every 1 to 2 years depending on personal risk factors.

Colon Exam:  Women starting at age 50 should have a colon exam, either a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, every 5 to 10 years to check for colon cancer.

Bone Density Screening:  At age 65, women should begin regular bone density screenings.  As women age, the calcium stored in bones is depleted, causing weak and fragile bones.  This condition is known as osteoporosis.

Dental Exam:  Twice yearly dental exams are necessary for women to maintain oral health.  Many dental problems go undetected when dental exams are skipped.

Skin Exam:  Women should check their own skin every month for changes in skin tone, moles that may change in color, size or texture and any other skin irregularities.  A yearly visit to a dermatologist is recommended for women, especially those who spend any amount of time in the sun.

Stay healthy and vibrant with these important health screenings for women!

Tips for Bargain Shopping

LL bagsNow that July 4th come and gone, summer sales are abounding.  This mid-year holiday marks the decline of summer when everything from clothes to bedding to outdoor furniture goes on sale as stores need to make room for fall items.  Now is the time to capitalize on great bargains!  We’re sharing our best tips for bargain shopping so you can get the most out of end of summer sales while paying the least.

Tip #1:  Only Shop During Sales

If a store isn’t having a sale, it’s not worth shopping there.  A true bargain shopper will never pay full price and stores rarely hesitate to let you know when you can get a discount, at least to get you in the door.  So “just say no” to stores without sales.

Tip #2:  Ask for Discounts

Sales associates often know when a bigger sale is around the corner.  Ask if you should wait or if you can get the sale price in advance.  Many sales associates also keep coupons at the register so ask if they have one that will lower your price.

Tip #3:  Go back for Price Adjustments

Nothing makes a bargain shopper madder than learning an item went on sale just days after making a purchase.  When this happens, return to the store and request the difference.  Most stores will honor the new price.

Tip #4:  Shop Mid-Week

Stores know that most people shop on the weekends so that’s not when they offer their best prices.  Mid-week sales usually yield deeper discounts and you can avoid the crowds.

Tip #5:  Take Advantage of Professional Discounts

Teachers, students, military families and nurses are sometimes eligible for special professional discounts.  Research which stores offer discounts that apply to you and shop away.

Tip #6:  Use Technology for Discounts

If you plan to shop at a certain store, look on their website for coupons in advance.  You can also get sale notifications from store, brand or general (like shopittome) e-newsletters and twitter updates.  Some shopping blogs tweet sales such as @slickdeals and @dealnews.

Tip #7: Outlets don’t mean Cheaper

Outlet and factory stores don’t necessary offer better prices. Often these retailers simply carry items that didn’t sell in regular stores.  Other times lower quality items are made specifically for the outlets.  Don’t get caught in the outlet trap.

Tip #8:  Browse Now but Buy Later

Not buying everything at first sight will help you decipher what you really “must have.”  But when you shop online and add items to a cart and then sit on it for awhile without checking out, the retailer will often send a coupon to your inbox within a day or two to entice you to complete your transaction.  Pretty sneaky!

Tip #9:  Online Sales can really Rock

Shopping online can pay off.  Retailers often have much bigger sales and better prices online.  If you’re worried about shipping costs, meet the minimum for free shipping and return items you don’t want to the nearest store.  Or go into a store to place your online order for automatic free shipping.

Tip #10:  Pay Cash

Smaller retailers and boutiques may accept 3-5% less if you pay with cash.  This way they don’t have to pay the credit card transaction fee and you can save on your purchase.

Tip #11:  Get Cash Back

Sites like retailmenot and ebates offer cash back for your purchases.  Sign up for these free services and then get paid to shop.

We hope you get some great deals with these tips for bargain shopping!  Happy Shopping!!

The Negative Effects of Sitting: Why Sitting is Bad for your Health

officeL_468x654Did you know one of the very basic activities you do every day may be ruining your health?  Sitting has been linked to many health conditions to the point that is likened to the negative impact of the smoking epidemic.  Yikes!  How can sitting be as bad for you as smoking?

Human bodies are meant to be upright.  That’s why we evolved into bipedal beings – having two feet.  Our organs and bodily systems, especially our cardiovascular system, circulatory system and digestive system, all rely on us spending time standing upright.  Yet most of us spend hours a day sitting.  People with desk jobs often spend 8 to 12 hours sitting, which is defined as prolonged sitting or high levels of sitting and the most deleterious to your health.  But even those who don’t work behind a desk may be sitting too frequently when dining, watching TV or driving in a car.

Major health problems can stem from prolonged sitting.  The World Health Organization points to physical inactivity, aka sitting, as the fourth leading risk factor of death.  Kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are among the serious conditions that can, in part, arise from sitting too much.  Minor issues from high levels of sitting include joint stiffness, poor circulation, lack of energy and digestive distress, to name a few.

Prolonged sitting even affects our mental capabilities and our emotional health, and may trigger an increased appetite.  Even those who exercise regularly cannot escape the negative effects of sitting although the impact is lessened by periods of physical activity.

So how do you curb the negative effects of sitting?  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

At Work:

  • If you work at a desk, take frequent breaks.  Walk to the break room, visit a co-worker and remain standing while you chat, do a lap around your building.  Whatever it takes, get your body moving upright.
  • Invest in a standing desk that allows you to work in an upright position.  Be sure to place a mat or rug beneath your feet for support.
  • Change your sedentary meetings to walking meetings.  Chances are your associates will appreciate the movement too.
  • Always stand when presenting during a meeting.
  • Help change the culture in your workplace to encourage more standing. If everyone’s doing it, you’ll feel inclined to do it too.

At Home and Beyond: 

  • Make a point to stand up while you’re doing activities.  Folding laundry and other household chores can be done standing.  Enjoying cocktails with a friend can include standing at the bar rather than sitting at a table.  The more you stand, the better you’ll be.  And you burn more calories too!
  • While watching TV, use commercial time to get moving.  Do three laps around your room before returning to your show.
  • If you’re eating alone, stand while you eat.  Yes, if your mother were there she may scold your bad manners.  But then again, she should want what’s best for your health and that’s standing.
  • When driving or flying long distances, take standing and walking breaks.  Stretch and do simple calisthenics to get your blood flowing too.
  • Record your standing time daily and set goals to achieve.  You’ll be more likely to stand for longer if you’re reaching for a goal.

Avoid the negative effects of sitting by employing these tips for a more upright and healthier lifestyle!

Pool Exercises: Stay Cool and Fit in the Pool

On hot summer days, a refreshing dip in the pool is just what we all need to cool off.  How about using this time to multi-task by doing some pool exercises too?  Pool workouts are a great way to stay cool and get fit and toned at the same time.  Water resistance increases strength and makes for a great cardio vascular workout.  You can get a serious heart-pounding workout in for your upper body, lower body and core.  Plus, pool exercises are low impact, which is terrific for anyone with joint pain or who is recovering from an injury.  Water can be healing and therapeutic as well.

Swimming laps is great exercise but can get boring.  Instead, try these dynamic pool exercises as your summertime workout.

Aqua Jogging:  Believe it or not, jogging in the pool burns more calories than on land thanks to water resistance.  Start with regular run-like steps around the shallow end of the pool or in place.  Also try variations such as high-knees and butt-kicks to work your leg muscles differently.  Aqua jogging is a great warm-up for your pool exercises as it gets your blood flowing for cardio and loosens muscles for more strenuous exercises.

Dolphin Kick:  This elegant move works your abs and inner thighs.  Holding the side of the pool with both hands, glue your legs together and kick like a dolphin making a wave from your belly to your toes.  Squeeze your inner thighs tightly together as if you’re trying to pop a balloon and initiate the move from your abdominal muscles.

V-Sit:  Holding yourself in a sitting position in the pool takes a lot of strength and is a great cardio move too.  With your head above water, lean backwards and lift your legs up so your body is in a wide “V” position.  Keep your legs together and tread water with cupped hands at waist-level.  This one is killer on your abs.

Backwards Flying Lunge:  Pool exercises aren’t only for the core and lower body.  Stand in a lunge position in between the shallow and deep end so you are submerged up to shoulder level.  Bring your arms completely in front of your body until your palms meet.  Push water backwards with cupped hands until they reach beyond your back.  Quickly jump up to switch your lunge to the opposite leg and repeat.  You’ll feel this one on your shoulders, chest and back as you use these muscles to thrust through the water.

Kick Line:  If you ever wanted to be a Rockette, this a good exercise for you.  In the deep end of the pool, tread water with one leg forward and the other straight under your body.  Hold this position for 5 seconds and then quickly switch legs kicking the opposite leg forward.  You should feel this dance-like move in your core and all throughout your legs.

d017cf5cd56e29716ca745dc1871b3caSideways Leap Frog:  Water jumping catches a lot of resistance that makes moves even harder than on land.  In the shallow end, leap sideways landing in a one-leg squat with the other leg raised.  Hold the position for a few seconds and then straighten both legs into a standing position.  Repeat alternating sides.  We bet your quadriceps and outer thighs will be screaming by the end of it.

Poolside Sit-ups:  With your legs folded over the side of the pool and knees bent around the edge, let your upper body float on your back.  Lift yourself into a sit-up position.  On the downward motion, bend as far back into the water as possible.  Then come back to the surface and repeat.  Try variations including movements that twist your oblique muscles.

Make a splash this summer with these pool exercises!

The 3 Best Plus Size Bras for Summer

Summer is a time to step out of your everyday routine and engage in exciting new experiences.  Between spending time outdoors, taking time off to relax and enjoying summer events, this season should be awesome, memorable and fun.

To take full advantage of everything summer has to offer, you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed from head to toe for comfort, support and style.  And that starts from the intimates out.  Leading Lady is your destination for plus size bras for all occasions and today we’re sharing the 3 best plus size bras for summer.

Leading Lady's Cotton Front Closure Leisure BraComfy & Cool:  Cotton Front-Closure Leisure Bra

Known as “The Most Comfortable Bra in America,” this leisure bra is the most perfect summer bra in our collection.  One of the worst bra problems during the summer is chaffing and rashes from synthetic materials, sweat and improper fit.  Avoid these issues with our cotton front-closure leisure bra made from ideal warm-weather fabric and offers a snug, lifted fit.  The light cotton/spandex blend allows maximum breathability on hot summer days and is soft and smooth on your skin.  The front-closure makes dressing a cinch and the wide lightly padded shoulder straps ensure tremendous support for the breast and back.  In fact, this bra is so comfortable you can wear it all day and all night.  Plus, this bra features an adorable beveled trim and comes in a variety of fun summer colors and prints including polka dot and peacock.  So stay comfy and cool in our cotton front-closure leisure bra this summer.

plus size sport braSporty & Supported:  Wirefree Sport Full Figure Bra

Our wirefree sport full figure bra is fabulous for getting outdoors for sports and exercise. This light-to-medium impact sport bra supports your active summer lifestyle with a low bounce fit and no-slip wide straps that disperse breast weight across your back and shoulders.  The cotton fabric is breezy and absorbent to keep you cool and dry during exercise, sports and other outdoor summertime activities.  Available in floral and animal prints and vibrant summer colors, you may feel like “living” in this bra all summer.  Finding a great full figure sport bra isn’t always easy but Leading Lady has you covered in our wirefree sport full figure bra.

Plus Size BraSexy & Stylish:  Scalloped Lace Underwire Full Figure Bra

With warm weather we all feel emboldened to show a little skin in summertime.  Our scalloped lace underwire full figure bra is a fabulous way to do that with class and style. The plunging v-cut scalloped lace neckline shows off sexy cleavage tastefully.  The beautiful lace overlay and unique cutaway reveals a hint of skin while still offering full coverage.  This sexy and stylish bra will make you (and anyone else who may see it this summer) feel confident from the intimates out.   But you don’t have to sacrifice fit or comfort for this elegant style either.  The lightly padded straps help lift and support breasts and the 4 hook-and-eye closures in the back ensure a perfect fit every time.  And if you’re thinking lace = itchy, think again.  Our soft lace is anything but harsh on your delicate skin, which adds to the sensuality of this sexy summertime bra.

With these plus size bras, you’ll keep things comfy and cool, sporty and supported, sexy and stylish.  Be sure to have all three to complete your summer wardrobe!

Manicures and Pedicures: The Hidden Dangers of Nail Salons

courtesy of prairiestylefile.comFinally we’ve shed the cracked, aged appearance of our wintertime skin and we can show off our beautifully manicured hands and our smooth, painted toenails in our fashionable sandals.  It’s certainly one of the perks of summer.  But before you head out for manicures and pedicures, educate yourself on the hidden dangers of nail salons.  Bacteria, toxins and other hazards may have a negative effect on your skin, nails and entire body.

Today we’re exposing where the hidden dangers of nail salons are lurking so you can protect yourself before your next manicures and pedicures.

The spread of bacteria and fungus in nail salons often begins with the tools nail technicians use repeatedly on each customer.  Metal tools should be sterilized thoroughly in an autoclave, which uses steam and pressure to disinfect materials.  Alternatively, the tools can be soaked in a liquid disinfectant for 20 minutes between customers.  Other supplies such as nail files, wooden cuticle sticks, buffers and pumice stones or blocks should be discarded after use on a single customer.  Most salons do not follow that procedure so it’s wise to bring your own supplies.  Also, ask nail technicians to wear gloves to prevent microbes from spreading.

Many customers enter salons with nail fungus like athlete’s foot, which can infect other customers and spread quickly.  Serious bacterial infections can also come from manicures and pedicures including hepatitis B and MRSA, according US News and World Report.  Bacteria breeds in warm water and dark, moist pockets such as the foot and hand tubs that nail salons frequently use.  These containers should be sterilized between customers.  It’s wise never to put your feet in a jetted foot tub when the jets are running.  This pushes all of the germs from the jets into the water where your feet are submerged.

When bacteria and fungus are present at a nail salon, they can linger under your nails or enter your bloodstream through small cuts in your skin.  If a nail technician accidentally nicks you with nail scissors or cuticle clippers, you are at higher risk for infection.  Even nail filing can cause small scrapes on your skin where bacteria can penetrate.  Never go to a nail salon for a pedicure with freshly shaved legs as razors create micro-tears, and if you have any open wounds, avoid nail salons until they heal.

Beyond potential fungal or bacterial infections, there are other hidden dangers of nail salons that you may not have considered.  Have you ever noticed some nail technicians wearing face masks over their noses and mouths?  The fumes of many harsh nail products can cause respiratory conditions when inhaled.  This is one of the reasons why pregnant women are encouraged to avoid nail salons.  And those toxins aren’t only inhaled; they are also absorbed through the skin.  Even polish contains a number of chemicals and dyes that can be damaging to the human body.

Additionally, the drying lamps that help prevent smudges are actually UV lights.  Much like the sun or tanning beds, these lamps expose you to dangerous UV rays, not only on your hands and feet, but your entire body due to proximity.  If you plan to sit anywhere near the UV lamps, wear sunscreen.  Or skip the lamps altogether and let you nails air dry outside the salon.

So what’s a girl to do when she wants beautiful nails this summer?  These warnings aren’t to deter you from getting manicures and pedicures altogether.  Rather, be informed and make smart choices when it comes to your health.  Look for licenses that indicate that your salon is up to code and watch what technicians are doing to clean tools and their work stations.  If you are dissatisfied, speak up.  Don’t go to crowded salons as they may get sloppy when they are working too fast to churn customers in and out.  Also, you may pay the price later for going to cheaper salons.

Show off your hot nail colors this summer but stay smart and protect yourself from the hidden dangers of nail salons.

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!

Search our past Q+A's.
Choose a topic that interests you to view only related Q+A's.

10 TV Moms that Taught us Invaluable Lessons
2015 belt trends
4th of July
8 cups a day
8 cups of water a day
a perfect 14
Active Bras
air quality in your home
allergy forecast
allergy medicine
allergy season
allergy tips
aloe vera
aloe vera health benefits
Alternatives to Potato Chips
Amber Riley
American Academy of Dermatology
annual exams for women
anti-aging solutions
anti-itch cream
anxiety symptoms
at home pedicure
baby weight
bargain shopping
beauty routines
beauty tools
BeautyFull Boutique
bedtime habits
belly control
belts for all body types
benefits of a Mediterranean diet
benefits of traveling alone
best bedtime habits
Best Belts for Your Body Type
best indoor plants
best jeans for your body type
best running songs
best selfie
best sports bra for plus size women
best summer bras
best sweaters for body type
best time of day to exercise
best time of day to work out
Best Way to Wash Bras
best ways to organize bras
best workout songs
Beyond the Fitting Room
big butts and back pain
big butts are good for health
black bras
Black Friday
Black Friday shopping
black full figure bras
black t-shirt bra
blood pressure
Body Acceptance
body image
boost energy
boost your energy
boosting your metabolism
boyshort with firm tummy control
bra calculator
bra care
bra donations
Bra Fit
bra fit tips
Bra Fitting
bra fitting tips
bra history
bra recyclers
Bra Recycling
bra recycling month
Bra Size
bra size calculator
bra sizes
Bra storage
Bra Style
bra styles
Bra Technology
Bra Wardrobe
bread bowls
break your nail biting habit
break your unhealthy nail biting habit
Breakfast rules
breast cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness
breast cancer statistics
Breast enhancers
Breast forms
Breast Health
breast sizes
breastfeeding moms
breastfeeding schedule
bridesmaid dresses
brief with firm tummy control
building self confidence
burn fat for weight loss
business communication
cancer prevention
caring for indoor plants
Celebrating Women
Celebrity News
cellulite and varicose veins
charitable partnerships
chili peppers
chocolate good for health
Christmas albums
Christmas music
circulate air in your home
clothing donations
Comfortable Bras
comfortable work clothes
compression sports bra
contour bras
cost effective
cotton bras
create a sexier bedroom
Cristela Alonzo
curve model
curvy actresses
curvy body
curvy celebrities
curvy fashion
curvy fashionista
curvy models
cute clothes
cute summer clothes
dangers of nail salons
dark chocolate
dark chocolate health benefits
dark spots
date ideas
Davids Bridal
denim trend
denim trend 2015
detox your body
Diet Plans
digestive system
donate clothes
dressing your curves
dry shampoo
dull skin
earth day
earth day 2014
Easy Exercises
edible bowls
egg nutrition
Elly Mayday
email etiquette
email mistakes
Emme Plus Size Model
Emotional Eating
emotional health
environmentally friendly lifestyle
essential oils
fall fashion
fall fashion 2015
fashion industry
fashion tips
fashion trends
Fashion's Night Out PLUS
Father's Day
finding your passion in life
First Time Bra Fit
fitness goals
fitting room
flip flops
foods that boost energy
freshman fifteen
fringe trend 2015
front closure bra
front-closure bras
fruit bowls
Full Figure
full figure belts
full figure black bras
Full Figure Bras
full figure cardigans
full figure clothes
Full Figure Fashion
full figure fashion on red carpet
full figure jeans
full figure leather clothes
full figure sports bra
Full Figure Stars
full figure sweaters
full figure tut
full figure women
full figure women and exercise
full figure women on tv
Full Figured Celebrities
Full Figured Fashion
full figured women
gerber daisies
germs at nail salons
Gift Ideas
gifts for mom
ginger essential oils
ginger oil
Giovanna Morales Vargas
girls HBO
Girls tv show
glucose levels
good habits
grapefruit essential oils
grapefruit oil
green living
growing plants
Guide to Black Friday
gynecological cancer
hair care
hair care tips
hair growth
hair loss
hand wash bras
hand washing bras
hanger management
Hayley hasselhoff
health and wellness
health benefits of eggs
health risks of nail biting
health screenings
Health Screenings for Women
healthier diet
healthy bedtime habits
healthy diet
healthy eating
healthy eating habits
healthy foods for energy
healthy habits
healthy hair
healthy hair tips
healthy life
healthy lifestyle
healthy lives
healthy living
healthy pregnancy diet
healthy snacks
heart disease
Heart Health
heart healthy diet
history of bras
home pedicure
house plants
houseplants for better air quality
how do you wash bras
how many bras should I have
How to Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction
how to avoid hair dryness in winter
how to avoid razor burn
how to be sexy
how to boost energy
how to combat hanger
how to deal with stress
how to do pool exercises
how to dress a big bottom
how to drink more water
how to eat healthy
how to exercise in the pool
how to get healthy hair
how to get the best deals
how to get the best shave
how to get the most out of your breakfast
how to identify your passions
how to improve the air quality in your home
how to live longer
how to look younger
how to measure bra size
how to measure for a bra
how to measure your bra size
how to moisturize hair
how to protect yourself at nail salons
how to recycle bras
how to relieve stress
how to save money
how to shave your legs
How to Store Winter Clothes
How to Take the Best Selfie
how to wear fringe
how to wear fringe without looking like a hippie
importance of breakfast
importance of drinking water
importance of health screenings
improve your life
In the Media
indoor garden
indoor plants
inexpensive oils
inspiring confidence
James Early O’Brien
jeans for curvy women
jeans for full figure women
jumpsuits for full figured women
jumpsuits for summer
Kerosene Deluxe
lace bras
latest fashion trends
Laura Wells
lavender essential oils
lavender oil
Leading ladies
Leading Ladies We Love
leading lady
Leading Lady 514
Leading Lady bras
learning for tv moms
leisure bra
Leisure Bras
leisure bras plus size
lemon essential oils
lemon oil
Lena Dunham
leopard print bras
leopard print fashion
Life Goals
lime essential oils
lime oil
Lisa Cole
Living with Passion
London fashion week
looking younger
losing weight
love life
lower body curves
lus size modeling
manicures and pedicures
Mediterranean diet
Meghan Trainor
Melissa McCarthy
Memorial Day
menstrual cramps
mental health
mental wellness
metabolism and women
modeling industry
money saving tips
morning sickness
most comfortable bra in America
Mother's Day
mothers day gift ideas
mothers day gifts
mothers day ideas
muffin top
muscle pain
nail biters
nail biting
nail biting habit
nail polish trends
nail trends
nail trends 2014
National Nutrition Month
national ovarian cancer coalition
national womens history month
natural remedies for allergies
negative effects of sitting
New Years Resolutions
non padded bras
nursing shapewear cami
Online Shopping
organize lingerie drawer
ovarian cancer
padded bras
party hosting ideas
pedicure supplies
pedicure tools
peppermint essential oils
peppermint oil
personal finance
personal finance tips
plus size belts
Plus Size Bras
plus size clothes
plus size clothing
plus size clothing line
Plus Size Fashion
plus size fashion week
plus size jeans
plus size jumpsuits
Plus Size Lingerie
Plus Size Mannequin
plus size model
plus size modeling
plus size modeling agencies
Plus Size Models
Plus Size Printed Leggings
plus size sports bra
Plus Size Supermodel
plus size sweaters
plus size wedding dresses
plus size women
plus size women and leather
plus sized models
Plus-Sized Fashion
pollen count
pool exercises
pool workouts
positive self image
positive thinking
postpartum nursing shapewear cami
postpartum nursing shapewear cami with tummy control
postpartum shapewear
postpartum shapewear boyshort with firm tummy control
postpartum shapewear brief with tummy control
pre-baby shape
pregnancy diet
premature skin aging
prolonged sitting
Protect Your Hair from Winter Weather
protein in eggs
push up bra
Racer Back
racer back bras
racer back sports bra
racerback bra
razor burn
reasons for fatigue
reasons to strengthen your body
recycle bras
recycle your bras
reigniting passions
repelling insects
Retro Style
Robyn Lawley
rule of five
running music
running playlist
running shoes
sale shopping
salvation army donation
Saturday Night Live
saving money
scar tissue
Seamless Bra
seasonal allergies
self care
sexy bedroom
sexy black bra
sexy black full figure bra
Sexy bra
Sexy Bras
sexy bras for Valentine's Day
sexy full figure bras
Sexy Full Figure Bras for Valentine’s Day
Sexy is a State of Mind
Sexy lace bra
Sexy Lingerie
Sexy Plus Size Bras
sexy shoes
shapewear boyshort with firm tummy control
shapewear brief with firm tummy control
shapewear cami
signs of skin cancer
skin blemishes
skin cancer
Skin Cancer Awareness
skin cancer signs
skin cancer stats
skin cancer symptoms
Skin care tips
skin cleansers
skin problems
Sleep and the brain
sleep and the heart
sleep habits
slow the appearance of aging
Smaller Waist
sore muscles
sore throat
Specialty Bra Sizes
speed up metabolism
spicy food
spicy food and living longer
spicy foods
spider plants
sport bra
Sport Bras
sports bra
Sports Bras
spring 2014 fashion trends
spring allergies
Spring Clean your Diet
spring cleaning
spring colors
spring dresses
spring fashion
spring fashion 2014
spring fashion 2015
spring summer 2014 fashion trends
spring summer fashion trends
Springtime Full Figure Fashion
storage containers for clothes
storing clothes
strengthen your body
stress and fatigue
Stress Management
stress relief
summer budget
summer fashion
summer fashion 2014
summer wardrobe
sun safety
sun safety habits
sunglass trends
sustainable living
sustainable practices
symptoms of anxiety
t shirt bras
taking vacation alone
the bra recyclers
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
The Importance of Sleep
The Rules of Cardigans
the science behind hangry
the tutu trend
things that make you sexy
tips for avoiding pollen
Tips for Bargain Shopping
Tips for Black Friday
tips for winter hair
title 9
title ix
title nine
travel clothes
travel wardrobe
trendy jumpsuits
Trendy Plus Size Clothes
trendy plus size fashion
trendy white shoes
tummy control
TV Moms
TV Moms we love
ultraviolet light
Unexpected Causes of Fatigue
Unintentionally Slowing Your Metabolism
unprofessional email
unprofessional email etiquette
unwanted toxins
uv light
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day Surprises
Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day ideas
varicose veins
Volunteering on Thanksgiving
wardrobe essentials
wardrobe tips
wash bras
ways to be sexy
ways to combat fatigue
Ways to Create a Sexier Bedroom
ways to reduce symptoms of allergies
ways to save money
ways to save money this summer
Ways to save the earth
Wear your Comfy Clothes to Work
wedding dress
wedding dresses
weight gain
weight loss
what causes allergies?
what is a Mediterranean diet
what to do for faster metabolism
what to eat besides potato chips
what to eat for faster metabolism
what to pack
what to pack for women
What to Wear on Black Friday
where to buy full figure bras
where to store clothes
which bras to wear in summer
white blood cells
white shoes
white shoes for spring
white shoes for summer
white wardrobe
white wine
whitney Thompson
whole foods
Why All Women Should Take a Trip Alone
why am I so tired?
why sitting is bad for health
why sleep is important
why we get hangry
why women need strength
why women should travel alone
why working out in the morning is better
why you should eat breakfast
winter accessories
winter holidays
women health
women traveling alone
women who struggle with morning sickness
women's accessories
Women's History Month
women's shaving
womens health
womens health week
working out in the morning
working out in the pool
workout music
workout playlist
workout playlists
workout routines
workout songs
younger looking hairstyles
Zac Posen