Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Get Your Child Excited About Reading

Does your child spend too much time watching TV or playing video games and not enough time reading? Here are 7 quick tips to make reading fun and exciting: 1. Let your child choose books they’re personally interested in. This way they won’t get bored right away. If they can’t decide, help them by matching a book topic with one of their interests. 2. Encourage them to act out the book as a play. Kids love to perform for others, and this will help them remember more. 3. Ask your child to draw pictures of the characters. This gets them to really think about the details, plus it’s fun! 4. Read chapter books. These have more surprises and character development, which will help your child visualize the words more. 5. Take turns reading and let them ask questions. Also, have them read aloud to their siblings or friends. 6. Work with other parents to start a book club for kids. Here’s a video: www.howdini.com/howdini-video-14452277.html 7. Get your child an eReader. If you can’t get them away from video games, at least make their time in front of a screen more productive. If you have an iPAD, go to www.progressbythepage.com to find a reading app. It comes with a list of free eBooks, and ways to monitor their time spent reading.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Eat THIS To Fight Inflammation

Inflammation, swelling of body tissue, has been shown to cause asthma, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. Here are foods that increase inflammation (BAD), and some that help fight it (GOOD): • BAD – Baked goods made with white flour have starches that turn to sugar, which spikes insulin and brings on inflammation. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, causes inflammation in many people. • BAD – Cola has high amounts of sugar, and the caramel coloring contains a chemical (4-MI) shown to cause cancer in animals. • BAD – Candy sometimes has artificial “dyes” that disrupt body chemistry. Look for “no artificial colors” on the label. • GOOD – Fruits and vegetables. Berries contain flavonoids; zucchini contains salicylates; and red grapes are ripe with quercetin. All of these are natural phytonutrients that fight tissue inflammation. • GOOD – Orange juice is loaded with vitamin C and flavonoids that help prevent blood vessel damage.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Natural Energy Boosters

Try these to boost your energy without caffeine:  Drink more water. Often your body tells you you’re tired when you’re just dehydrated.  Have a protein-rich snack, like an egg, mixed nuts, beans, or tofu.  Listen to the right music. Upbeat music that you love will keep you awake and mentally energized.  Tug your hair. Surprisingly, pulling your hair gently helps release tension (which can make you tired) and gets the blood flowing to your scalp.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Help A Child With Homework

Whether you were the child or the parent, you’ve probably experienced the parent-child struggle with homework. Help your child learn to be responsible for their choices and foster a good work ethic that will last a lifetime: 1. Know your child’s teachers, and check with them weekly on assignments and homework policies. 2. Schedule a regular time every day that your child knows is homework time. Make sure everyone at home is quiet and there are no distractions. 3. Never fight over homework. You both lose when there’s a power struggle. The child gets to push your buttons, the homework isn’t done, and you both end up tired and defeated. Remind the child free time will not happen until the task is done. 4. Consider a reward schedule. If the child completes homework on time for a week, let them pick a fun activity (going to a movie or playing at a friend’s house) as a reward. On the flip side, enforce consequences if your child’s grades drop as a result of not getting homework done – they can’t study alone, or you have to watch them more closely.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Save Money On Dental Care

Even with health insurance, dental care costs can add up fast. Dentists will sometimes discount your bill if you ask (especially if you don’t have insurance), and if you’re over 55 there may be a senior discount program. Here are four more ideas to help you save: 1.Use a dental school. You can find accredited schools for most dental work, where a student will perform the work overseen by an experienced instructor. Find schools here: ADA.org/dentalschools 2.Consider a dental discount plan. Sometimes using a dental plan may save you more than actually having dental insurance. You generally pay a yearly fee to join a discount plan and use dentists that are members of the plan to get lowered rates on services. To find a plan available in your area visit: www.dentalplans.com or www.dentalcareadvantage.com 3.Choose a dentist with a payment plan. Many dentists will work with you to set up a payment arrangement if you don’t have insurance. There are also special credit accounts you can get just for dental and medical bills, which allow you to make payments instead of having to pay the sum in full before you can be treated – check with your bank or at: unitedmedicalcredit.com or carecredit.com 4.Low-income dental care options. For low-income patients, there are many options that vary by state. Find locations that provide free or low-cost health and dental care in the U.S. at the following website: FindAHealthCenter.HRSA.gov. Dental Lifeline at DentalLifeline.org provides free dental work to elderly and disabled patients who otherwise couldn’t afford to pay.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How Interest Rates Affect You

Interest rates can have a huge impact on your finances, especially if you carry a lot of debt. Here’s some important information that can help you manage your money more successfully: 1. Credit cards. When the Federal Reserve raises rates, expect to pay more. It’s best to pay off your credit card debt, or switch to a card with a lower interest rate, Go to www.cardweb.com for credit card rates. 2. Home-equity line of credit. You can use your home-equity line of credit if you can pay off the amount you borrow within three years. If you’re unable to pay off the amount in three years, obtain a home-equity loan with a fixed rate. Go to www.bankrate.com for bank rates. 3. Mortgages. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage you may pay more as rates go up. Financials advisors recommend an adjustable-rate loan with a five or seven-year fixed period. 4. Bonds. When rates go up, generally the yields on most bonds go up. For your protection, invest in funds that hold Treasury and high-quality corporate bonds.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Are You Hopelessly Disorganized?

Can’t find your keys? Missed an appointment? Still looking for that file you misplaced? Well, if you’re like thousands of people, searching for simple solutions to a big organization problems can be a problem! There may be hope. Here are five quick tips to get (and stay) organized: 1. Keep an errand basket by the door for returning books, videotapes, dry-cleaning, etc. 2. De-clutter your junk drawer using plastic cutlery trays that come in a variety of sizes. 3. Keep a donation box in your laundry room or garage. Add unneeded clothing, books, toys, or small appliances and drop off monthly. 4. Do one small chore each day (dust, straighten one room, vacuum). 5. Have a key rack near the door with two sets of car and house keys. Remember the adage, a place for everything and everything in its place!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kindness Is Good For You!

When was that last time you noticed you were grumpy, then, out of the blue, someone does or says something nice to you? Didn’t it make you feel better…even a lot better? When you are kind to other people, it also makes you feel good about yourself. And it’s good for your health. Researchers have found positive people have fewer health problems. In his book, It’s a Meaningful Life, it Just Takes Practice, author Bo Lozoff writes about the importance of being kind and building a better community. That community encompasses family, friends, co-workers, and the people you meet in your daily life (the bank teller, cashier, the parking lot attendant). So as you go about your day, be kinder to your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, and wherever your travels take you. Then see if adding a little more kindness to your daily diet makes a difference in how you feel, how other people respond to you, and how others feel when you are kind to them. It’s a worthwhile experiment!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

7 Steps To Happiness And Success!

Albert Schweitzer once wrote, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Here are seven steps you can take today. 1. Believe In Yourself. Identify your natural talents and abilities. Do what you enjoy and what you do best. Truly successful and happy people find joy in their working lives. Invest your time in what you do best. Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. 2. Develop a Vision. First, define your path and start working your plan. Write down a vision for yourself and your life. Be specific. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your life to look like in 5 years, 10 years? 3. Develop Good Habits. Happy and successful people choose good habits. If you’re watching too much TV, chronically late, or eating poorly, make a commitment to change your bad habits into habits consistent with your goals. 4. Show Gratitude. The happiest people are also the most grateful people. Count your blessings frequently and you’ll quickly start seeing a change in yourself and the world around you. 5. Take A Chance. Seize opportunities! Success and happiness does not come to those who sit and wait for it to be brought to them. Take risks and take a chance! Single? Ask him or her out even though you might get rejected! Ask for that raise you deserve! Buy stock in that company you love! Move to another city to get that big promotion! 6. Give to Others. Studies reveal that the happiest people are also the most generous. Do, say, or give something nice to another and see how your own life improves. 7. Take Responsibility. You hold the key to your future. Take responsibility for your actions. Choose the work you like to do, and do it well. Ultimately, you are the master of your fate. You choose your own future by the decisions you make and the actions you take.