3 Back To School Tips

image003As the first week for many across our country comes to a close, the first few nervous days are over. But as the weekend comes and next Monday hits, the reality that school will be here for a while will sink in. Here are some tips to get over the summer jet lag and propel yourself into a successful year.

1. Be adventurous: When it comes to meeting new people and learning new things, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Trying new things and branching out into new experiences provides you with a rich and healthy education and experience. Sit next to someone new in the cafeteria, sign of for an extra curricular activity. Don’t be afraid to step out into the unknown.

2. Be healthy: Gone are the days when you can sleep in until 11, or stay up until 2. Make sure you are going to be early enough to get at least 8 hours of sleep. I’m a big fan of high schools bringing in nap time as an important after lunch period, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen this year, so make sure you get good rest during the week. Eat a good healthy breakfast and drink lots of water during the day, you’ll be healthier (and get more bathroom breaks too)!

3. Stay on top of your homework: You are starting the new school year with a clean slate. Now is the time to be proactive and develop good work habits that will sustain you through the rest of the year. Don’t allow yourself to get behind on homework or you’ll spend all year catching up. Finish homework early on in the day so you can enjoy your evenings at home.

If you will committ yourself to these things, you will experience a great year of school! Other back to school tips? Let us know about your tips in the comments section below!

A Real Leader

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower

mother-theresaLeadership is one of the most sought after, yet elusive, attributes in life, sports and business. There are different leadership styles, personalities and positions. Leaders hold an important key to the movement and success of whatever it is they have been called to lead.

I think back to the different coaches that I have had in my life, leaders in the game of football, and how they have employed different leadership styles and tactics in order to breed success in their players and team. What I found is this: the most successful leaders, were men and women who inspired within me the desire to be successful. They did so, not be yelling or forcing me into performance, but by modeling and serving those they were in charge of leading.

Some leaders use fear as their motivator, threatening, yelling or attempting to scare employees or players into action. But their yelling turns to noise and their fear turns to dust when they lose the respect of those they are to lead. But those who lead with other’s best interest in the forefront, those leaders that serve the people they are responsible for earn the respect and loyalty of those around them. These types of leaders have people they will actually follow them, not out of fear or coercion, but ought of love and loyalty.

Each of us is a leader in some facet of our lives, whether its in business, sports, family or some other area. I would suggest and challenge each of us to consider how we might serve those we are leading and then watch and see the respect and support that is gained by these selfless service.

7 Ways to Cure Those Butterflies in Your Stomach

273179_6525Do you get nervous when you are going to do something new? Starting school, first day of work, or learning how to do a new task can all cause a persons stomach to become all tied in knots. If you are that kind of person who’s stomach seems to become its own personal barometer for what you are feeling and butterflies take up residence in your stomach more often than not – then here is some helpful ways to cure those butterflies.

  1. Deep Breaths – On your way to the meeting or new situation, breath deep, sit back, relax and clear your mind of anything that will take you away from your deep breathing and just breath. In and out, just breath.
  2. Eat Healthy – Keep your mind producing its own natural feel good chemicals by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grain foods, getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine and exercising regularly.
  3. Relax – Practicing relaxation techniques, meditation or even taking time for a regular walk on the beach can all help to reduce stress levels and facilitate a feeling of calm – helping us to wind down and relax.
  4. Try Herbs – These herbs might help to alleviate some of those anxious feelings: bugleweed, chamomile, feverfew, lemon balm, mullein and skullcap. These herbs will help to calm an upset stomach: catnip, chamomile, fennel, peppermint and willow bark.
  5. Be Prepared – There is no worse feeling than to know that you are not ready for your presentation. This is where the standard saying “Practice, Practice, Practice” comes in. Being prepared will help you recover better if you do make a mistake.
  6. Yoga – The asanas in yoga are what cleanses the neurons, which in turn allow the nervous system to react carefully to stress.
  7. Meditation – The benefits of meditation are manifold. When practicing meditation, your heart rate and breathing slow down, your blood pressure normalizes, you use oxygen more efficiently, and you sweat less.

Anit-Aging Skin Care Help

1039791_85503515Do you have age spots that seem to get darker by the day? Buffy or dark circles under your eyes that don’t seem to go away? Winkles that seem to be getting worse even though you use anti-aging creams? Do you have questions about what the best treatment for your aging face is? Each part of our body and each beauty concern we have needs different care, along with the fact that each persons skin ages differently. Below are some helpful tips to help you get a hold on your aging face and slow down the process.

Wear sunscreen! If you do only one thing for your skin this would be your best bet.

Bags under the eyes – This might be a clue that you are not getting enough sleep. If your eyes look different with different activities you may want to take note of what might be causing it. Drinking alcohol before bed may be a factor.

Dark circles under the eyes – If it is caused from a deficiency of vitamin K try using a cream with vitamin K and retinol, they significantly reduce the puffiness and discoloration in most patients.

Age Spots on your face and neck – Age spots and freckles don’t appear overnight so getting them to fade wont happen overnight either. Your best bet is to use Hydroquinone cream for lightening skin discolorations. Another more expensive option is an intense pulsed light laser, costs about $200 a visit.

Neck Wrinkles – The cheapest bet would be to use the same anti-aging treatment you use on your face, this will definitely slow down the aging process. To tighten and smooth sagginess on the neck, dermatologists often recommend a Thermage treatment, which uses radio frequency to heat the skin but costs about $2,500 a treatment.

10 Helpful Ways to Save Money

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  1. Cancel the Newspaper – If you get the newspaper for the coupons, consider getting the Sunday paper only and save about $10 each month.
  2. Turn off the AC or Heat (depending on the season) – This can actually save you upwards of $70 each month in the peak of the season.
  3. Stop buying Lottery Tickets – Lottery tickets if bought on a weekly basis can really cause damage to your checking account.
  4. Start renting movies – Movie theater tickets are around $10 per person making a night out at the movies a big expense. Renting a movie is around $4 and only $1 if you use Redbox.
  5. Try Camping – Instead of staying at hotels, try camping, its great for bringing families closer together in both sense of the word.
  6. Learn to Bake – If you commonly buy cookies, cakes or pies, try making your own and save on the high prices of baked goodies at the grocery store. You will find homemade tastes better too!
  7. Make your own coffee – Stop those daily trips to Starbucks or coffee shop of choice and start making your coffee at home. The savings will astound you – $70 a month for latte, $30 for drip.
  8. Disconnect your land line – If you already use a cell phone and your land line usage is pretty low, try disconnecting your land line and using only your cell phone.
  9. Ride your bike or carpool whenever possible – Its not always the most convenient way to get around but it will save on gas and long term expenses for your car.
  10. Cook at home – Not only does this save money but it is much better for helping you maintain a healthy weight too.

Instructables – Back to School Help

1184079_14265133If you have never visited Instructables, you are missing out. Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. You have to create a free account to post a new Instructable or to comment on someone-else’s Instructable.

So whats great about Instructables is that you can pretty much find anything you are looking for. If you are looking for back to school help, look no further. Instructables has got what you need.

Paperbag Book Cover – Save money and use a paperbag to cover your books. You can make the cover your own by decorating it with stickers and colored pens. If you don’t happen to have any tape you can try this version too –  No Tape Book Cover.

Recycled Juice Pouch Lunch Bag – This is an easy to make lunch bag, especially if you use those little capri sun juice pouches.

Duct Tape School Folder – A folder made completely from duct tape. What could be better?

How to Customize a Binder – Pick up a binder at your nearest goodwill and customize it with a bandana or your favorite material.

Pencil Tube/Holder – A pencil tube made out of a mailing tube – how cool is that?

Flash Drive Safety Case – Easy to make safety case made from an Altoids tin.

How to Protect Your Clothes from Stains

1018485_49471728Are you one of those people that walk in from lunch daily with a stain on your shirt or pants? Do your colleagues count on seeing you wearing some of your food on your clothes? Do friends point out stains to you that you didn’t know were there?

Here are 7 ways to protect your clothes from stains:

1. Avoid eating red sauce, such as spaghetti, when wearing white or cream colored shirts.

2. Think about prevention – always use a napkin when eating and use an apron when you are cooking.

3. Try to always sit at a table when eating. If you have no table make sure and lean over your food when you are eating and make sure there is a napkin beneath your plate to catch anything you miss.

4. Make sure your clothes are durable and machine washable for when you do get a stain on them.

5. Eat slowly. Don’t be in a race when you are eating. Slow down and take small bites.

6. Avoid activities that can distract while eating. Keep your attention on your meal and the food will go in your mouth not on your clothes.

7. When eating soup fill your spoon by moving it away from you, that way if you have an accident, the food will spill on the table and not on your lap.

Lose 10 Pounds Fast!

While going to physical therapy I learned that your core strength is very important. I was learning that while walking, running, and doing any kind of exercising you need to keep your abs tight. It goes right along with what I was reading the other day in Family Circle magazine about how to lose 10 pounds fast.

Experts have found that if you stand up straight when you walk, you’ll burn more calories, flatten your belly and look thinner. And really thats the goal, isn’t it? To look thinner and flatten your belly?

The simple trick to helping yourself become an ab-conscious walker is:

Before going out for a fitness walk, place a belt around the thinnest part of your waist(not through any belt loops). Make it snug, but not too tight. As you move, pull your abs up and your shoulders back so that the belt begins to feel almost loose. Wear the belt every time you go walking and in about 3 weeks you’ll automatically start tightening your abs.

Heres the workout plan designed by Brooke Siler –

  • 2 Minutes – Walk with your hands clasped on top of your head. This causes the heart to pump blood upward, increasing the cardio benefit and jump-starting the calorie burn.
  • 5 Minutes – Focus on your belt and the ab-conscious walking described above.
  • 2 Minutes – Make an effort to push harder off of your back foot and feel how that changes the dynamic of your gait.
  • 5 Minutes – Continue ab-conscious walking at a brisk pace.
  • 3 Minutes – Pump your arms, keeping elbows in (no chicken arms) and your fists moving in an arc from chin to hip level.
  • 5 Minutes – Return to a brisk ab-conscious walk.
  • 3 Minutes – Add large arm circles to engage your obliques and further elongate the waist. Circle forward and then backward.
  • 3 Minutes – Try one more burst of the ab-conscious brisk walking.
  • 2 Minutes – Slow it down to reduce your heart rate.

Back To School Budget Tips

back-to-schoolA new school year is just around the corner and many parents are crunching the summer budget to try and find supplies for their kids. Here are a few budget tips for when you do your school supply shopping:

1. Find your child’s school supply list at local department stores and only buy what’s on the list. Your kids can survive a year without all of the ‘extras’ they see on TV.

2. When it comes to glue, always but Elmer’s and never spend more than thirty cents a bottle.

3. As for crayons, markers and colored pencils, Crayola is the only brand worth buying. Don’t be tempted by the cheaper prices on Rose Art supplies, you get what you pay for. Their crayons are waxy and the color’s are barely visible on paper and that’s just the start of the trouble. Spend a little more and get Crayola. Some teachers and schools even require it.

4. Go through your house and look for items on your child’s list that they could reuse or recycle. Find the pens and the pencils that are laying about from the previous year.

5. When it comes to big ticket items like backpacks, this is where you shop around. Check discount stores, grocery stores, office supply stores. Look wherever you shop. You never know where you might find a great deal. Backpacks come in a variety of qualities, and the price doesn’t necessarily mean a better bag. Regardless of the color, design or character your child might want, what you are looking for in a backpack should be a black bottom in a dense fabric.

Additional tips can be found at Helium. Good Luck!

Tips for Cooking in Regular Cookware

531931_83735513If you haven’t heard, non-stick cookware, also known as teflon, emits chemicals when over-heated that have adverse effects on human and animal life causing the EPA to classify it as a likely carcinogen and has urged companies to eliminate it by 2015.

I know that non-stick is easy to use and clean but for your health it should not be used. So what can you do to make it easier to cook in regular cookware?

Here are a few slick tips:

Start with a good pan. Flimsy pans don’t distribute heat well and have hot spots that cause burning and sticking. Invest in some cookware that will last.

Hot pan, cold oil. Place the pan on the burner until you can feel the heat when you hold your palm open a few inches away. Then add your cooking fat, wait until you see it rippling or shimmering, and add your food.

Resist flipping and poking the food. When you are sauteing, meat and fish will stick to the pan at first. But wait a minute or two before you start flipping or poking it and you’ll find it releases quite nicely and has a good, even browning too.

Dry food won’t stick. Pat meat and seafood off with paper towels before cooking. This will also minimize spatters and enhance browning.

Don’t crowd the pan. Give your foods a little breathing room to keep them from steaming and make them easier to flip.

Turn the heat as you go. Start the pan over medium-high or high heat, then turn it down after a few minutes once the pan starts retaining heat.

Soak, then scrub. In the event of a messy pan, soak for 10 minutes or so before scrubbing.