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February 25, 2018

The time is now to incorporate Scandinavian style into decor
(BPT) - As homeowners look for ways to refresh their spaces, Scandinavian style has become ever more prominent and popular among designers and interior decor experts. The clean, modern, minimalist aesthetic shows up in interiors and exteriors, from streamlined furniture to low-maintenance landscapi... More >>

5 practical and fun ways to spend your tax refund
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again when you may find a little bit of extra money in your pocket, thanks to your annual tax refund. There are plenty of practical ways to spend it, such as putting it toward paying off credit cards, loan payments or even starting a college fund, but there is a... More >>

5 'smart' ways to tackle your spring cleaning
(BPT) - Pull back the drapes, crack open the window and let in the warm, sun-soaked air. That’s right, spring is right around the corner and that means it’ll soon be time to chase away the grime and odors that have settled in over the long winter.For many, spring cleaning is something o... More >>

Chef Jose Garces focuses on quality and versatility at this year's sold-out South Beach Wine and Food Festival
(BPT) - There are few foods that span a variety of diverse culinary styles more than fresh pork. Fresh pork is known by both leading chefs and home cooks as a flavorful, versatile solution for any night of the week.Smithfield Fresh Pork is proud to partner with the National Pork Board and 20 award-... More >>

Swap these 4 food fads with nutritious kitchen staples
(BPT) - With new so-called “healthy” food trends popping up all the time, it’s hard to keep track of what’s actually good for your health and what’s just a fad. Luckily, new research continually shows consumers which fads to ditch and which kitchen staples stand the te... More >>

Technology can help people manage Type 2 diabetes in real time
(BPT) - There is no disputing that digital health technology and connected devices can produce massive amounts of data. But that data, on its own, is not always particularly useful. The real value comes from translating that data into personalized and actionable information and putting it into the... More >>

Forward-thinking programs get kids to eat better
(BPT) - They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But for millions of low-income children across the country, the low-cost or free lunch they get at school is the most nutritious, most filling meal they will eat.In 2016, over 30 million kids across the U.S. received low-cost or... More >>

The best way to clean wood floors might surprise you
(BPT) - Although most people envision their dream home with shiny wood floors, many consumers are unaware of the best way to care for them, according to a 2017 survey conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association.“Not surprisingly, many homeowners are unsure of the best way to effective... More >>

Poison safety tips to keep your family safe this winter
(BPT) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 2 million poisoning incidents per year within the U.S., and more than 90 percent of these occur within the home. This winter, keep your family safe by learning more about the potential for poisoning, how to... More >>

6 other college costs (and opportunities) to consider when the financial aid letter arrives
(BPT) - The last year of high school is a whirl of activity, and it’s no different when it comes to the final leg of college selection. Once the acceptance notifications arrive, it will soon be time to sit down with a different stack of mail: financial aid letters.As you undoubtedly know, the... More >>

Improve your heart health in 2018 with these tips
(BPT) - When it comes to maintaining and/or improving your heart health, it’s the little things you do day after day that can have a big impact on your immediate and long-term health.A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are naturally the first things you think of when looking at ways to supp... More >>

The secret to sticking to your resolutions just may lie in your Medicare benefits
(BPT) - Despite our best intentions, 80 percent of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions by mid-February. Determined to make this year different? If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you might be surprised to learn that your benefits could give you an edge in your quest to stay moti... More >>

Eating healthy has never been more delicious
(BPT) - Yoga mats, kale salads, fitness trackers, standing desks and gym memberships. It seems like everywhere you look, people are taking strides to get healthier. And with good reason.In the U.S., 37.9 percent of adults aged 20 and older suffer from obesity, and heart disease accounts for one out... More >>

An underutilized retirement strategy
(BPT) - Across the nation, thousands of seniors have used a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), commonly called a reverse mortgage loan, as a savvy way to access the equity in their homes as part of their retirement strategy.Those who are interested in a reverse mortgage loan should know that t... More >>

5 ways to support your child and address issues at school
(BPT) - Children and teens experience some of the most important moments of their lives at school. It’s where they spend two-thirds of their waking hours. Of course, school can be stressful, too — and not just because of pop quizzes and science projects.“Stress isn’t the sam... More >>

Add fire safety to your family's routine
(BPT) - Think of all the items you replace regularly — your cellphone, lightbulbs and even your toothbrush. But when was the last time you replaced your smoke alarm batteries, or even the alarms themselves? It’s easy to overlook, but the time to think about fire safety is now — be... More >>

New research calls pistachios superfood for people with desk jobs
(BPT) - Recent research is giving the 86 percent of Americans who sit all day at their jobs new reasons to reach for a handful of nuts while at work, and in particular, pistachios. Adding to an increasing volume of research around the health benefits of pistachios, one study and a national survey i... More >>

Take a pre-cruise vacation and 'live like a local' on Florida's Space Coast
(BPT) - There's something magical about taking a cruise. Is it the open ocean? The indescribable feeling of warm sea air blowing through your hair? The endless access to world-class food, drinks and entertainment? Whatever the reason, each year millions of people around the world set their sights o... More >>

4 tips for protecting your home this season and beyond
(BPT) - Winter is in full swing and extremely cold temperatures continue to grip much of the U.S.; which mean hats, gloves and high home maintenance bills could be in your future. According to recent data from the Insurance Information Institute, in 2016 severe winter weather cost homeowners more t... More >>

Fight for your sight: 5 tips to fight Age-related Macular Degeneration
(BPT) - The ability to see is one of our most precious gifts. Like most things in life, our vision may be impacted as we age. That’s why it’s important to learn about Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Prevalent among older Americans, it affects one in five adults age 65 and older,... More >>

Transform the look and feel of your kitchen with an updated sink
(BPT) - While everyone would love a complete kitchen makeover, you can still freshen and update the look of this room by taking on smaller projects.The perfect place to start is the kitchen sink. Most people don’t realize it, but a well-chosen sink has the potential to create the perfect foca... More >>

How to inspire your teen to expand their horizons and find their passion
(BPT) - With mounting pressures and expectations, the high school years can feel overwhelming — for students and parents alike. Teens grapple with questions like: Which colleges should I apply to? What should I choose as a major? What do I really want to do with my life? What if I don’t... More >>

5 ways travel will change in 2018
(BPT) - As international travel gains popularity each year, new destinations are added to bucket lists and new travel gadgets and accessories appear on the market. The way we travel has changed in the past few decades, but that age-old itch to explore and discover new places and experiences remains... More >>

Fresh beginnings: Clean your bathroom faster with these tech tools
(BPT) - If you’re like most Americans, you prefer to have an immaculate bathroom — you just don’t like cleaning it.In fact, in a recent study by Kohler (conducted by independent research firm Vision Critical), 42 percent of consumers admitted cleaning the toilet is one of their mo... More >>

Top trends to inspire your outdoor living
(BPT) - Outdoor living spaces rank first among special function rooms desired by consumers, according to the American Institute for Architects, and so homeowners are expected to be going all-in for the outdoors in 2018.Trex Company, a maker of premium decking and railing, has gleaned insights from ... More >>

Warm up with 5 DIY projects to tackle this winter
(BPT) - For the avid DIYer in you, the winter season may cause a little anxiety while you’re cooped up inside and unable to tackle those outdoor projects you’d love to finish. The good news, however, is that the inside of your home needs just as much DIY attention as the outside —... More >>

6 must-know spring break hacks
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Top tips for planning an epic family vacation
(BPT) - Are you dreaming about an incredible family escape your loved ones will always remember? Perhaps your dream vacation is filled with adventure while eating around the world and exploring castles in faraway places, or maybe it’s relaxing on a private island with picturesque views of cry... More >>

5 tips from a tea expert to brew the perfect cup
(BPT) - For most of us, a little evening downtime is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. After a hectic day of work, commutes, kids and dinner prep, we deserve to take a moment to slow down and enjoy some hard-earned “me time.”Instead of using this time to stream your favorite ... More >>

Hidden fees add up to unpleasant cellphone bill surprises
(BPT) - Has this ever happened to you?You sign up for a great deal on wireless service, but when it’s time to pay, the numbers just don’t add up. That $70 service shows up on your bill as $80 or more, leaving you confused about how your costs have gone up without any warning.Extra charg... More >>

3 formerly misunderstood foods now a part of a well-balanced diet
(BPT) - Throughout history, misconceptions, misinformation and popular culture have influenced Americans' eating habits. Many foods that were previously eaten daily are now considered unhealthy. Conversely, some foods that were thought to be “bad for you,” are now considered nutritious.... More >>

4 tips to prepare for extended power outages
(BPT) - In the year 2018, it’s very easy to take your home's power for granted. You flick the light switch and the lights come on. Same with the television and the microwave. It's easy. And should a storm knock the power out, you expect that it will be up again in a matter of minutes or hours... More >>

2018 remodeling trends that boost your home's value
(BPT) - A strong housing market is giving homeowners the confidence to invest in remodeling. In fact, homeowner spending on improvements and repairs will approach $340 billion in 2018, an increase of 7.5 percent from estimated 2017 spending, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity... More >>

Do the math: Homebuying now may save a lot
(BPT) - It is a common misconception that a 20 percent down payment is required to buy a home. Advice to wait and save a large down payment is often based on the theory that the cost of mortgage insurance (MI), which is required when you buy with a smaller down payment, should be avoided. This may ... More >>

Oh, baby! 5 unexpected (but common) symptoms experienced during pregnancy
(BPT) - Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, filled with countless physical, emotional and lifestyle changes. Pregnant women often do research, read books or consult friends and family to determine what to expect during those nine months and how to best combat the symptoms that ma... More >>

Why online eye apps may do more harm than good
(BPT) - Online vision apps can be a great resource for health-related information, but if you rely on them to preserve your eye health and detect potential problems, you could be doing more harm than good, the American Optometric Association warns.“Eye health is critical to overall good healt... More >>

Make 2018 the year of helping veterans
(BPT) - For many of us, the new year is the perfect time to make resolutions that improve our own lives. What if, this year, your resolutions included giving back to a community that has sacrificed so much for not only you, but our country?According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are 18.8 mi... More >>

Keep your home pest free this year
(BPT) - Now is a great time to establish year-long goals and resolutions, including home improvement goals you’d like to tackle this year. The first step is to create a pest control plan for your home. It’s important to establish good habits early in the year to help prevent potential p... More >>

Do you know all of your psoriasis treatment options?
(BPT) - Dru Riddle of Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the estimated 7.5 million people afflicted with psoriasis across the United States. A nurse anesthetist and university professor, Riddle understands first-hand the importance of receiving the proper treatment as quickly as possible and treating the... More >>

Unique home improvements perfect for DIY
(BPT) - Here’s a quick question for you: What’s your favorite DIY project you’ve ever completed? Chances are the answer pops right into your mind, and even if you’ve completed hundreds of DIY projects over the years, you probably have some that truly stand out.Those that wer... More >>

Escape with 2018's top trending color
(BPT) - Whether you’ve been a loyalist to the same shade of green for the last decade or if you’re an evolving follower of trends whose color choices have shifted over the years, the trending color of 2018 is sure to surprise and intrigue you. Indeed, black is back. But how was this cla... More >>

Consider alternatives to opioids to manage pain after surgery
(BPT) - If you’re having surgery, you can expect to be sore and uncomfortable for a few days, whether you’re recovering at home or in the hospital. But it’s best to limit opioids or avoid them altogether, opting for alternatives to manage pain and discomfort, recommends the Americ... More >>

What you should know to prepare for a blood test
(BPT) - A new survey reveals Americans are not aware of what to report prior to a blood test. Only half (52 percent) believe it is very important to report use of supplements to their healthcare provider before getting a blood test.With recent interest in the use of supplements like biotin as beaut... More >>

Healthy half-time snacking tips from a pro
(BPT) - Healthy snacking and making good food choices can be difficult any time of the year, but it can be especially tough during the big game. Business Insider reports that only 80 percent of people who start a New Year’s resolution keep that resolution through February. This happens to cor... More >>

Rent vs. own: Which is right for you?
(BPT) - If you’re thinking of buying your first home, you’ve probably wrestled with the decision to rent or own your home — and for good reason.Owning a home is a big commitment. With it comes a lot of responsibility and a long-term financial relationship.But which is right for yo... More >>

Improving visibility on the road this winter
(BPT) - As winter progresses, we are likely to see more visibility-reducing weather. Heavy rain, frost, ice and snow can all impair visibility while driving, including reducing the performance of windshield wipers.Reduced visibility can quickly turn your drive into a stressful situation, especially... More >>

Dermatologist debunks top 5 skincare misconceptions
(BPT) - Figuring out what's best for your skin can feel like solving a difficult mystery — everyone’s condition is unique, there are countless treatment options and people will do almost anything for a clear complexion."When it comes to your skin, there are many elements to consider," s... More >>

Start the year strong with this high-performance vegetable
(BPT) - Chasing a place on the podium isn’t possible without the proper fuel for your body. Whether you’re going for the gold or just passing the pigskin in honor of the big game, athletes and amateurs alike need the right combination of nutrients to take on their training, and sports n... More >>

6 fast fixes for a fresh, cozy home
(BPT) - Winter weather means more time living indoors — working, playing, relaxing and staying warm. It's important to keep your home fresh by staying ahead of the continual buildup of dirt, dust and allergens. The following are some key areas to tackle for a comfortable and efficient home.Wa... More >>

New year, new you. Be your best, most productive self in 2018
(BPT) - It's a new year, the time people traditionally take a look at what's working in their lives and what could be kicked up a notch. If you could use more productivity and efficiency in your life, you're not alone. Sometimes, it's all anyone can do to make it through the day unscathed, let alon... More >>

5 ways to achieve your New Year's resolution
(BPT) - Whether you want to lose weight, get in shape, read more or start playing guitar, there are thousands of New Year’s resolutions to pick from. For most people, though, their resolutions have to do with losing weight, exercising more or getting healthier. In fact, 69 percent of resoluti... More >>

What New Year's resolution can you stick to and feel like you're making a difference in the world?
(BPT) - This time of year, many Americans are setting (or already breaking) New Year’s resolutions focused on getting healthier, saving money, spending more time with friends and family, etc. These are great resolutions, but perhaps this year, you’re thinking about ways you can make a d... More >>

Want a beautiful smile? Protect yourself!
(BPT) - They say you can tell a lot about a person from their smile. From braces to whitening treatments, regular dental visits and good brushing habits, Americans do a lot to make sure their teeth look great when they flash a smile.However, one of the most important parts of a great smile, and ind... More >>

6 ways to reach your New Year's financial resolutions
(BPT) - Sponsored content from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.With the New Year upon us, many people are thinking about what they want out of 2018, what goals they’d like to accomplish and what changes they’d like to make. After the holidays have come and gone, America enters into... More >>

Top ways to boost health in 2018 in under 5 minutes per day
(BPT) - A new year brings new opportunities to focus on health and fitness. The following are four easy ways to boost your health in less than five minutes per day.Drink water before each meal.Drinking enough water each day helps to boost hydration, improve energy and aid digestion. But drinking be... More >>

Common tax mistakes to avoid in 2018
(BPT) - Life changes — getting married, having a baby, buying or selling a home, sending a child off to college or retiring — often come with changes to your tax situation. Overlooking these changes when filing your taxes can lead taxpayers to make mistakes that leave money on the table... More >>

The truth about what makes your skin dry and itchy in the winter
(BPT) - We wait all year for activities that come along with winter, like sipping hot cocoa by the fire or staying in to snuggle up under cozy blankets while re-watching our favorite movies.The winter season also brings some less-than-desirable side effects, though. An all-too-common winter woe is ... More >>

Here's how the tax reform plan could affect you
(BPT) - With the newly passed tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), now is the time to start thinking about how this will affect you so that you can plan ahead for the outcomes you will start to feel in your paycheck as early as February 2018.This tax reform affects virtually everyone;... More >>

5 spring remodeling projects sure to brighten your home
(BPT) - During the coldest months of the year, it’s hard not to think about the warmer months to come — and all that they hold. You may already be planning your next vacation or outdoor activities to host in your backyard this summer. Now is the time to brainstorm about your spring home... More >>

3 things you might not know about boat shows
(BPT) - Winter may be frigid for many, but it’s an ideal time to plan for warmer days ahead and make dreams of owning a boat a reality. Boat shows across the country offer some of the hottest deals around, with special pricing and incentives on new boat models and marine accessories — a... More >>

Options available to help students pay for college
(BPT) - With student debt increasingly becoming a long-term burden on graduates and families, says Peter Gayle, a vice president for Prudential Advisors, it’s never been more important to minimize the out-of-pocket expenses to put a student through college — and reduce reliance on stude... More >>

Resolve to get more shut-eye? Here are 4 sleep hacks to help
(BPT) - As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, millions of people vow to eat better, work out more and lead a healthier life.But something is missing from this equation. While eating well and getting exercise are extremely important, too often people neglect the keystone of good hea... More >>

Staying safe on the mountain this winter
(BPT) - You can feel it in the air: The ski and snowboard season has arrived, and some areas in the U.S. are already open for business. As snow sports continue to gain popularity, millions of people will be hitting the slopes this winter. During the 2016-17 ski season, the National Ski Areas Associ... More >>

5 cold-weather hacks for winter driving
(BPT) - As drivers bundle up to take on Old Man Winter this season, having a few tricks up your sleeve can be a big help in keeping your cool on the road. Here are five hacks for battling the elements and staying safe on the roads.Got stuck? Snow problem! Hazardous winter weather requires that driv... More >>

Hitting the road? Stay connected on the go
(BPT) - Traveling but worried about being disconnected? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. In fact, plenty of other road warriors are making sure their devices are packed and ready to go so they won’t miss a beat.Intel(R) recently conducted a survey with YouGov to learn more about the... More >>

1 in 5 drivers can't fix a flat tire. Can you?
(BPT) - For many Americans, fixing a flat tire remains a mystery. According to a survey from AAA, nearly 20 percent of U.S. drivers don’t know how to change a flat. This is compounded by research saying there are 220 million flat tires annually — and each driver will experience up to fi... More >>

Winter storm power outages on the rise - 3 ways to prepare
(BPT) - Winter storms can wreak havoc on roads, homes and personal lives. However, facing hours of cleaning up fallen tree limbs, shoveling snow or being cooped up inside with antsy kids might be the least of your worries. Experts predict more frequent and severe storms could lead to lengthy power ... More >>

New ways renters are becoming homeowners
(BPT) - Sponsored Content from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.The world that millennials have grown up in is a lot different than the world the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers knew. The digital revolution, widespread use of smartphones and adoption of disruptive technologies such as ride sharing an... More >>

The most wonderful (and stressful) time of year. Could you be suffering from seasonal anxiety? Find out how to cope.
(BPT) - Hot cocoa by a crackling fire. The sounds of family and friends’ laughter heard throughout the house. Your favorite holiday movies on the television. This is the idyllic holiday scene. But what’s the reality? Statistics show us that the holiday season, portrayed as the most wond... More >>

Would direct sales work for you?
(BPT) - The Federal Reserve Board discovered in a survey of working Americans that nearly half of U.S. adults don’t have enough cash on hand to pay for a $400 emergency. If that’s a concern for you, you might be thinking about joining the 44 million Americans who have found ways to make... More >>

Say goodbye to winter blues with vitamin D-rich foods
(BPT) - Winter got you down? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, according to Psychology Today. Another 10 percent to 20 percent may have mild SAD.Even if you don't have diagnosed SAD, it's not uncommon to have bouts of the winter blues. There are many rea... More >>

3 simple tips to get delicious, balanced weeknight meals on the table
(BPT) - Weekday schedules get crazy, which is why the first casualty of all that chaos is the family dinner.While most families say eating together is a high priority, day-to-day reality is different. According to a 2013 poll by NPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, only half of children in t... More >>

When to introduce tech to children
(BPT) - If you're a parent with a smartphone or tablet, it didn’t take long before your little one first reached for your shiny device. If only their fingers weren't covered in slobber at the time, you may have been more willing to hand it over. The good news is that saliva is easy to wipe of... More >>

Growing need for ag expertise: Not all high-paid careers are on the farm
(BPT) - (BPT) – As the farming industry faces growing consolidation in the U.S., one might get the impression fewer jobs are now available in agriculture.In fact, just the opposite is true. Today, one in three people worldwide — more than a billion employees — work in an ag-relate... More >>

Boomers: 10 reasons to go nuts
(BPT) - For the roughly 75 million Americans who make up the baby boom generation, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons against age-related diseases.“It’s vital at any age to adopt good habits to live a strong, fit and healthy life,” says Dr. Mike Roussell, a national... More >>

Humans' intimacy with technology: Are we all becoming cyborgs?
(BPT) - Do you think you could live without your mobile phone? What about the navigation and backup camera in your car? Could you drive as well without them? Could you get by without your smartwatch reminding you how often to get up from your desk to keep healthy or weather conditions for the day s... More >>

Baby on the way? Here are some tips
(BPT) - It’s only a matter of time now. Your little bundle of joy is on its way, and for the first time you are about to be a parent. Think you’re ready? Many people do and then the reality of parenthood strikes them. Remember your friends who said being a parent is nothing like they ex... More >>

4 tips to organize your photos like a pro
(BPT) - Are you one of those dedicated people who snap great photos at every meaningful moment of your life? And do most of those shots end up in virtual memory, filed away in a sea of unsorted images?If so, you’re far from alone. Analysts say a whopping 1.2 trillion photos will be taken acro... More >>

Need a vacation where it's warm? How about a quick weekend escape to this sunny coastal getaway?
(BPT) - Step outside. Is it cold, windy and gray? Snowy even? Yep, those are sure signs winter is upon us. The bright leaves of autumn have faded, the pumpkin-flavored beverages are starting to wane, and the kids already are developing a serious case of cabin fever. But there’s a remedy for a... More >>

Tips to save money and energy this winter
(BPT) - Winter is a time of year when expenses can soar, especially your utility bills. Thankfully, Chip Wade, HGTV expert, has some advice on how you can save energy, and ultimately money, this year:* Lighting: LED bulbs are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs.* Prevent heat lo... More >>

From cancer nurse to cancer patient: One woman's story
(BPT) - Throughout her career, Lindsay Norris had a close connection with cancer, helping others battle the disease. Then one day, it became even more personal.The 33­-year-­old oncology nurse still remembers the moment she heard the news of her own diagnosis — Stage 3 colorectal canc... More >>

Beyond the diploma: Helping teens forge their futures
(BPT) - What’s the key to optimism? From a career standpoint, it’s having a vision where you see yourself climbing and thriving, and you know there will be a place in the world for your skills and knowledge.Unfortunately, there are many teens and young people who have a much bleaker vis... More >>

The first rule of the road: Focus on driving
(BPT) - Have you noticed that traffic seems to be worse lately? There’s a good reason for that — there are more vehicles on the road than at any time in recent history. Unemployment is low and gas is affordable, which means more people are driving more miles. And more drivers means an i... More >>

Top safety tips for teen drivers
(BPT) - Once a newly licensed teen gets behind the wheel for the first time without a parent or guardian, the taste of freedom is exhilarating.But a teenager’s lack of behind-the-wheel experience puts them at greater risk of getting into an accident. Add factors like passengers, loud music an... More >>

Is It a cold or the flu? When to seek care
(BPT) - Your nose is running. You are coughing and tired. Are you sure it’s just a cold? You could have influenza, commonly referred to as “the flu.” Although common, the flu can be serious and even lead to hospitalization or death. Knowing the difference between a cold and the fl... More >>

Seeking a smartphone? Here are 10 things to look for
(BPT) - There are many choices when shopping for a smartphone these days, and the differences can be very subtle. Here are some of the key things you’ll want to look at to make sure you find the one that works best for your needs.Operating System (OS): There are two different operating system... More >>

How you can improve your FICO Score
(BPT) - Anyone who has tried to borrow money to purchase a car, buy a home or open a revolving line of credit may be familiar with the term FICO Score. Most lenders use this scoring model, which essentially determines a person’s creditworthiness."The FICO Score may seem like a big, daunting m... More >>

5 tips for speed cleaning your home
(BPT) - What is one of the biggest sources of stress? It’s cleaning on a deadline, especially when guests are on their way.But with the right plan in place, even last-minute cleaning can be efficient and stress-free, says Debra Johnson, Merry Maids home cleaning expert.In an online survey con... More >>

Make your chip and dip a little more hip
(BPT) - Savvy hosts and hostesses know that the keys to a successful soiree are a room filled with laughter and delicious treats served. If you’re hosting a special event with friends and family, impress and delight your guests with fresh, new takes on the classics.Here are some ideas for a s... More >>

4 DIY projects perfect for winter months
(BPT) - Cooler temperatures have arrived. But does that mean it's time to shelve your DIY aspirations for the rest of the year?Hardly.Colder outdoor temperatures may have forced you indoors, but they don’t have to mark an end to your DIY pursuits. There is still plenty of work to be done and ... More >>

Science-based suggestions for self-confidence
(BPT) - A recent study shows your perception of your own image has a profound effect on how you present yourself to the rest of the world.Those findings could be empowering since even small changes to your self-care routine can significantly boost your self-confidence.The study by researchers at th... More >>

Deeper than grassroots: Playing field surfacing decisions go beyond looks
(BPT) - Often an afterthought for spectators, the choice of playing surface – natural vs. artificial – is a major decision for sports teams and field managers that goes far beyond aesthetics.According to Don Follett, director of fields and grounds for the Baltimore Ravens, the decision ... More >>

3 tips to keep your home cozy all winter
(BPT) - Every year, homeowners across the country take precautionary steps to winterize their homes to protect against burst water pipes as well as improve their overall comfort throughout the colder months. Winterizing your home goes beyond just ensuring snow and chills stay out. These three tips ... More >>

Java journeys in El Salvador offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences
(BPT) - Americans' love for coffee is inspiring them to embark on java journeys around the world, leading them to stunning locations where coffee is an important part of daily life.Coffee farming has fueled the economy in El Salvador and defined its rich culture for more than 200 years.Today, it is... More >>

3 ways to save money on diabetes medications
(BPT) - Controlling the “ABCs of diabetes” — A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels — is difficult enough, but when you add that second C — costly medications — it’s easy to see how one’s levels can spiral out of control quickly.According to the A... More >>

Time-saving tricks that save hours each week
(BPT) - When you look at your to-do list, does it seem a mile long? From running errands, returning emails and making hurried trips to the ATM, modern life has never been busier for Americans.You can reclaim your day by using a few simple time-saving methods. By simplifying common tasks, you can op... More >>

Tips for staying sane while planning your next family event
(BPT) - Ah, the family get-together. A time to throw courtesy to the wind and gather together a bunch of people who aren’t afraid to share their opinions.It’s great, isn’t it? You get to fill up on conspiracy theories courtesy of your cousin Henry, listen in on how to make the wor... More >>

Moms-to-be: Forget pickles and reach for pistachios
(BPT) - Results of a new study among pregnant women with impaired glucose intolerance during gestation (GIGT) or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) — commonly known as gestational diabetes — show that eating pistachios may help manage blood sugar levels. The study is the first to evalu... More >>

The benefits of interactive technology for your child and you
(BPT) - Interacting with your children is one of the best parts of being a parent and it’s no surprise that many people report looking for toys this holiday season that incorporate interactive technology. Are you one of them? If you are, then you know you’re looking for the kind of tech... More >>

5 house cleaning tips for allergy sufferers
(BPT) - Many people turn to nasal sprays and antihistamines to combat seasonal nasal allergies or hay fever, but keeping the home clean is just as important in the fight against allergies.Keep the outdoors outWhile it is hard to control exposure to pollen and other triggers when outside, those with... More >>

6 home cleaning tips for pet owners
(BPT) - Having a pet may seem like the beginning of a never-ending mess, but the key to living with furry friends is preparation. Whether combating odor, keeping surfaces free of dirt and fur or removing pesky stains, taking preventative measures and using the right products can turn any mess into ... More >>

Try this protein-packed substitute to make lunchtime more nutritious
(BPT) - Cottage cheese is having a moment.Nutritionists and health-minded individuals have discovered that the dairy case staple can actually unlock a lot of mealtime solutions, especially when it comes to remaking recipes with a creamy base, such as tuna salad and veggie dip.Simply swap the mayonn... More >>

Preparing for a party? Try these 4 tips
(BPT) - It’s important not to allow the stress of entertaining large groups to become a burden. Below are four tips to help organize a kitchen and host with ease, creating a functional space for family and friends to enjoy.Plan aheadSet aside time early in the week to plan the menu, from simp... More >>

Hearing aids making use of futuristic technology
(BPT) - The primary goal of hearing aids has always been to improve speech understanding. While this hasn’t changed, manufacturers are now building Bluetooth technology in to the most advanced hearing aid microchips. This lets consumers connect to virtually any wireless electronic device.Read... More >>

How do you know if a school is right for your child?
(BPT) - Public, private, charter, virtual and more — deciding what school is best for your children can feel overwhelming. You want them to have an education that prepares them for a challenging world while fitting their unique learning styles. How do you know the best option to ensure they t... More >>

7 tips to support Alzheimer's caregivers
(BPT) - Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is exceptionally demanding, and especially challenging.A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Association indicates many caregivers are not getting the help and support they need — 84 percent of caregivers say they would l... More >>

What's the deal with teen driving crashes?
(BPT) - It’s no surprise that teen drivers get into more traffic collisions than their older counterparts, but why? Some reasons include less driving experience, a higher willingness to take risks and passenger distraction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports th... More >>

What to expect if your child needs ear tube surgery
(BPT) - Ear tube surgery is one of the most common pediatric procedures in the United States, with more than half a million surgeries performed each year. In fact, by age 3, approximately 1 in 15 children will have had ear tubes. Dr. Robert Bridge, Chief of Otolaryngology at HonorHealth in Phoenix,... More >>

Flu facts: Top 5 things you need to know about the flu shot this year
(BPT) - You hear about it on the news. You see the signs in the pharmacy windows. Even your friends and co-workers are talking about it. The flu shot is a highly discussed topic, and for good reason!According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, 5 to 20 percent of th... More >>

Must-read tips for parents with busy kids
(BPT) - Whoever said "kids are lazy these days" clearly doesn’t have kids. As countless parents will attest, it seems like kids have fuller schedules than ever before. In addition to learning the fundamentals of algebra, reading and geography, most have a busy after-school schedule as well. B... More >>

5 steps to making annual enrollment the most wonderful time of the year
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again. But before you plan your Thanksgiving menu or check off your gift list, it’s time to think about employee benefits.VSP Vision Care surveyed employees about their attitudes around that special time of year when they must choose a benefits package and... More >>

5 clever hacks to simplify any family's morning routine
(BPT) - Getting the family out the door on time every morning is no small feat. Seemingly simple tasks like getting dressed, packing backpacks and making breakfast can quickly turn into chaos. Before you know it, you're running late and the kids haven't even eaten as you dash to the car.Stop dreadi... More >>

5 ways creativity-inspiring video games can help parents share quality time with kids
(BPT) - When winter arrives, parents eagerly anticipate taking kids on family vacations and spending more time with them during the holidays. Kids look forward to more free time for their favorite video games. However, a growing body of research indicates video gaming can actually be a good thing f... More >>

Farming program helps neighbors in rural America fight hunger
(BPT) - Although the United States produces much of the world’s food, 48 million people in the country are food insecure, lacking access to enough food to sustain a healthy, active lifestyle. What's even more surprising is that many of the counties with the highest rates of food insecurity ar... More >>


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