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Simple steps to stay healthy during cold and flu season

Simple steps to a clean bathroom - no elbow grease required(BPT) - With cold and flu season just around the corner you might think there isn't much you can do to prepare for the inevitable aches and achoos. A few small changes in your routine and at home can go a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy all season long.Tidy toilet bowlsThe toilet can be a breeding ground for bacteria, but instead of slipping on the rubber gloves and scrubbing with a grimy brush, consider ContinuousClean from Kohler. This factory-installed system housed in the toilet tank dispenses a consistent dose of cleaner during each flush. Simply place your preferred cleaning tablet in a compartment, choose a...
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5 Real-life Examples of Ordinary People Who Made an Extraordinary Difference

(BPT) - The idea of making a difference in our communities may sound impossible to many of us. With busy schedules, family demands and homes to care for, it can be hard to find the time and energy.To motivate you to challenge yourself and give back, here are five everyday people who will inspire you. To recognize their selflessness, bravery and commitment to doing good in their communities, Hardee's - known for real food, made right, served proud - is honoring these five All Stars, individuals who could have done things the easy way, but instead chose to do them the right way.Here are the 2018 Hardee's All Stars' stories, along with key takeaways that can help you do good in your own communi...
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Eve Sightings! Opportunities to Meet


October 10th-Anniversary dinner at Tresino’s Restaurant—26 years!!Whoops, sorry that was yesterday, but you might have seen us walking along busy Catt Road on our way to deliciousness. I wore navy blue lace and he had on a Quicksilver Hawaiian shirt and golf shorts. You'd think we were married in Hawaii! 😂October 20thI’ll be at the Diamond Valley Arts Council Festival of the Arts from 10 until 4pm on Harvard Street in Hemet. As far as I know, I'm handing out brochures at the Diamond Valley Author’s table. Stop by and say hello!October 27thIs our regularly scheduled Diamond Valley Writer’s Guild Meeting from 9 am to 12 noon. It's held at the Hemet Library on Latham. It’s our last meeting of t...
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Misty Autumn morning.


The sun rises this morning over fields covered in a magical mist. I think I spied Sir Lancelot.The hound and I enjoyed every minute of our morning meditation saunter and with such gratitude!Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  323 Hits

A Message To America

Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez shares the true meaning of our flag.The post A Message To America appeared first on ChrisBent.Original link
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  257 Hits

How to be happy...


Stop in your tracks and take in the view.Photo copyright  SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  253 Hits

Crunchy, crispy, juicy: 5 warm comfort foods featuring apples

(BPT) - As the leaves change and the nighttime air takes on a chill, our thoughts naturally turn to warm, delicious foods that offer an element of comfort on a chilly autumn night.Some comfort foods are hugely rooted in nostalgia. Others are just so enjoyably crispy, crunchy, chewy, sweet or savory, they bring a smile as soon as we tuck in.This time of year, the ultimate comfort food is any warm dish featuring the flavorful, crunchy apples that are among the best parts of autumn. Pick up a bushel of your favorite variety at Meijer stores this fall, then slice 'em and dice 'em to create one of these tasty (yet easy) autumn favorites.Apple and cheddar pasta bake: For a main-entrée version of a...
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7 savvy ways to save on your next trip

(BPT) - Looking to spend time away without spending a ton of money? Your wanderlust doesn't have to directly compete with your desire to save. With a few smart tips and tricks, you can cut costs and make the most out of your trip. These seven savings strategies make travel more accessible, enjoyable and affordable than ever before.1. Pre-pay your hotel stay and save: Plan ahead to get the best rates at hotels. For example, at Extended Stay America hotels, guests who pre-pay their stay more than seven days before their arrival date can receive 5 percent off their nightly rate and guests who pre-pay more than 21 days in advance can receive 10 percent off their nightly rate.2. Shop and purchase...
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What parents need to know about bullying

(BPT) - Unfortunately, bullying in schools is all too common. According to StopBullying.gov, between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. While the term "bullying" has certainly become a buzz word, it's also important to understand what it means. The Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education define it as a pattern of unwanted aggressive behavior that causes physical or psychological harm."As a high school counselor for over 10 years, I've witnessed bullying and its impacts in different ways - from working with administrators and teachers to put a stop to it in classrooms, to supporting parents and students as they attempt to heal and find the be...
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How to spot and treat 4 common children's health Issues

(BPT) - From a cough that won't go away to a sore throat they caught from the classroom, children and their vulnerable immune systems can fall victim to common illnesses quicker and more often than adults. However, while these health issues are typical, it is not always easy to identify what they are when symptoms strike.According to pediatric doctor Dr. Nina Shapiro, an important part in understanding a child's symptoms is also being prepared to help fight back with the right tools at home and to know when it's time to bring them to see a doctor.Alleviating some of the uncomfortable symptoms at the first signs of sickness or discomfort will help your child get back to being a kid faster and...
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9 savvy traveler hacks that will save time, money and headaches

(BPT) - Are you a savvy traveler? Do you shop around to get the best deals? How about knowing the ins and outs of saving money when planning a trip?Chase and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) asked folks across the U.S. travel-related questions to find out just how savvy they are, and here's what they found: 73 percent of millennials consider themselves to be savvy travelers.Even if you think you know it all about getting from Point A to Point B, there are some secrets from travel gurus that might take your vacation travel to a new level. From streamlining check-in to getting the most out of your hotel stay, and even a few packing tips, here are 9 genius travel hacks that will save yo...
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Easy entertaining and recipe tips from celebrity chef Katie Lee

(BPT) - Whether it's an end-of-summer bash or a back-to-school barbecue, entertaining is all about family, friends and of course, food. But hosting the perfect soiree doesn't have to mean you're stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying the party. TV chef and cookbook author Katie Lee offers these tips for easy entertaining that will get you away from the stove and into the party.Consider a buffet or family-style menuOne large dish that everyone can serve themselves is an entertainer's dream. Make-ahead veggie burgers or shrimp rolls are two of Katie's favorites - just grill and prep all of the ingredients ahead of time and have people "Create Your Own" (CYO) with a buffet of topp...
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Hake with peas.


Another day in the office and rushing around non stop. My supper tonight was hake with peas and eaten straight from the pan. Took 15 minutes and was so easy peasy. Excuse the pun. Everyone can cook!Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  309 Hits

Due North

Due North
I can remember the phrase “Due North” since way back as a kid. First compass? North Star? You got all your bearings from due North. Had to know it was right to plot courses. Whether sextants at sea or compass at land True North had to be known.If you just kept heading due north you will reach one spot, no matter where in the world you are…. The North Pole… You may even see Santa or the Truth. True North….. get it?If you go due west or due east, due left or due right… you will be going around in giant circles.You gotta know where you are going!! Or you will end up nowhere and probably at the bottom of some ocean. This goes for the psychological. You will go crazy if you don’t get to the right...
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'I wish you enough,' said the elderly mother to her daughter as they said goodbye.


I came upon this moving story on the net. I am not the author and how poignant is it!Photo copyright SvD.I WISH YOU ENOUGH Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Sta...nding near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:"I love you and I wish you enough."The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  187 Hits

Cast your troubles away.


Where I live in the glorious English countryside, the local farmer has been preparing the field where he kept sheep all Winter for ploughing. Life goes on. The sun rises and sets. So cast your worries to the wind because tomorrow is inevitable just like the sun.Tonight on my walk. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  291 Hits

5 reasons to snack on strawberries

(BPT) - The perfect snack needs to check off three boxes: It should be filling enough to get you to your next meal, provide nutrition that fits into your balanced diet, and satisfy cravings, whether sweet or savory. Not an easy task, but juicy California strawberries are up for the challenge."Strawberries are an ideal snack because not only do they taste great, they're also heart-healthy and an anti-inflammatory food," says Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian and author of Flat Belly 365. "I love to pair strawberries with yogurt, peanut butter on rice crackers, or cottage cheese. Strawberry smoothies are also a favorite."Naturally sweet, yet low in sugarMany people get the urge to graze ...
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3 tips to make meal prep into an enjoyable family activity

(BPT) - We all love sitting down together for a hot meal. Unfortunately, preparing the meal itself turns into a chore that usually falls to one family member (Mom).Switch up your dinner prep routine and turn it into a fun family activity that involves the kids. Yes, it may take extra time and effort, and, yes, there will be spills. But in the long run, you'll see the benefits. They'll gain valuable life skills since cooking builds confidence and, eventually, you'll be able to turn to them to get dinner started before you arrive home.Until then, think of this as a great way to spend time together. With these three tips (plus a delicious meal to start with), you'll be on your way.Keep it quick...
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4 things you should do to boost your fat IQ

(BPT) - If you've struggled with your weight, you know that fat can be a bad three-letter word. You've warded against it, tried to reduce it and agonized over what fat can do to your self-esteem and your waist line. But how much do you really know about fat? And how much could you improve your life if you knew just a little bit more?According to the MDVIP Fat IQ Survey, most adults fail a basic quiz on fat facts. And a staggering 82 percent of adults are over their ideal weight. Whether you are one of them or you want to avoid weight problems in the future, it's time to put fat in your crosshairs. Here are four things you need to do to boost your own fat IQ and live a healthier life.Recogniz...
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A vacation deprivation crisis

(BPT) - Americans need a vacation. More than half of working Americans, 52 percent, didn't use all of their PTO last year, collectively leaving 705 million vacation days on the table. That means employers got 705 million of your hard-earned workdays for free. For the love of Jimmy Buffett, people, why are you essentially volunteering at work on your PTO days when you could plant yourself on the beach with an adult beverage instead?The reasons range from fear to affordability. People are afraid they'll get behind on their work, or return to a mountain of to-dos when they get back. Some think nobody can do the job in their absence, and others are afraid the office would buzz along a little too...
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