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ilene Carol PREMIERE 2013

cover stories

8 Mellissa Illevski 18 Seven Big Trends for Small Businesses in 2013 24 Simple Tips to Glam Up Your Look 27 Let Out the Rebel and Embrace the Inner Diva 32 4 Easy Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less 42 Am I worthy of real love? 65 Score Big With Our Gameday Entertaining Tips 84 Give Your Identitiy a Health Checkup


Yasmine Arrington


Legends The WINNER of our model cover contest!

Photographer: Rod Alexander Kassab

beauty & fashion

24 Simple tips to glam up your look Give your mood a boost by adding a little extra sparkle. 26 Simple ways to keep skin healthy during cold weather Moisturize right for the season. 27 Let out the rebel and embrace the inner diva? By Schreese Fontaine 28 10 easy steps to a great bold look By Mia Dixon 29 Cold weather fashion survival guide Looking your best when the temperature drops has never been easier. 31 How a bit of hollywood glamour can revive your everyday wardrobe Breathe new life back into what you wear. 32 4 Easy ways to update your wardrobe for $25 or less Multiple ways to update your wardrobe so you look great all year long.

health & fitness

36 7 ways to a healthy home: Make wellness a priority this winter.


39 A new year brings opportunity for a new you Focus on a few key areas to commit to a healthier lifestyle for 2013. 40 How to blast through your weight loss plateau Fix whats holding you back on the inside.


42 Am I worthy of real love? By Frank Brown 43 3 Simple steps to a fresh start this spring season Stop your relationship rut. 44 Secrets of building a great gift basket Great gift ideas for your loved ones.

stars & entertainment 46 Karyn White By J.C Byrd 50 RL By J.C Byrd

life & work

54 Pamper yourself with a winter wonderland vacation Use the winter months to take a winter wonderland vacation.

Simple tips to glam up your look page 24

4 Steps to a more beautiful bathroom page 61

56 ‘Green’ ideas for winter-white weddings Create the wedding of your dreams during the month of winter. 58 Tax-time savings tips to help you keep more of your hard-earned money 59 Careful planning is a must for the sandwich generation

74 Join the next generation of doing good - philanthropy 2.0

61 4 Steps to a more beautiful Bathroom Give your bathroom a new look with space saving tips. 62 Kitchen trends for 2013: Revamping kits’ offer high-end results. 63 Use a fresh start to get organized with these tips

in every issue

home & organizing

food & entertaining

65 Score big with these game day entertaining tips 67 Take your special occasions celebration to impressive new heights with a stunning 18-layer cake 68 Chocolate stout caramel Corn is a sweet play on the craft beer trends. 69 Sweet potatoes Still top spud in top food trends. 70 Master of the bar Easy tips to create the ultimate bar at home.


73 Taking care of the caregiver: Tips to help yourself and your loved one live with a chronic disease.


76 How to keep your pets healthy and happy all winter long 77 Creating a Dog-friendly meal experience 78 The gift that keeps on giving: Opt to adopt a pet save a life

8 Cover Story The CEO and Founder of Wet Peach is Michigan born Melissa Ilievski. 10 Editor’s Letter Back to basics by Ilene Carol. 11 Ask the experts Should a woman approach a man? by Stephan Labossiere. 11 Whats Next? 11 Readers Reviews 13 Breaking the Glass Ceiling Featuring Priyadarshini Persuad Featuring Melinda Santiago 15 Tell Us Your Story Featuring Virgina Treat 16 Extended Hugs Spotlight ScholarCHIPs Charity. 17 Girl’s Night Out 18 Mind Your Business Seven big trends for small businesses in 2013 & Six ways to use social media in your job search. 20 Web Watch Top 5 tips to get the best out of twitter By Keith Keller.

Easy tips to create the ultimate bar at home page 70 21 The Blog Pimp Planning Your Shot by Aaron Marcus. 79 Young Legends Featuring Yasmine Arrington winner of out model cover contest. 80 ExQlusive Spotlight Editor’s put the spotlight on The Kolten Experience. 82 What’s on the night stand? You Will Win If You Dont Quit By Yolanda Moore. 84 Your BFF Online Give your identity a health checkup. Connect with Ilene Carol 86 What’s going on? Calendar model contest. 87 Marketplace Increase your brand and visibility.

Increase Your Brand and Visibility. We have plans for every size budget, contact sales@


Contributors Page Keith Keller is a passionate advocate of Social Media and works with clients in the US and Canada as well as Australia to build their brands globally and position them as the resident experts in their niche. Keith is now considered by many as a Twitter Specialist and his Twitter Intensive helps take the mystery out using it as a powerful tool for business marketing. Keith Keller

Schreese Fontaine

J.C. Byrd

Currently, Schreese Fontaine is the creative mind and owner of Rebel Diva Couture. Rebel Diva Couture is a clothing line catering to the curvy made woman carrying size 0 - 24. Schreese Fontaine created this line after many years of frustration with trying to find clothing to fit her frame. It was through this business that she joined the Ilene Carol team to create her fashion tips article. She was then asked to service as Creative Director for Ilene Carol magazine. She is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University located in Fort Worth, TX. There she obtained her Bachelor’s in International Business. She resides in Bedford, TX. Jazmyne Courtnii Byrd was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Woodward High School where she graduated in 2004. She went on to further her education at Central State University graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. She relocated to the Washington, DC area in 2009 post graduation where she currently works in Maryland as a Case Manager. She is a contributing writer for Several Magazines and she is a Blogger . An occasional Model she uses her Plus Size Figure to encourage and uplift Plus Size women everywhere. She is currently in the process of obtaining her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Howard University. , She may be reached on Facebook and LinkedIn @ Jazmyne Courtnii Byrd. Aaron Marcus is America’s Premier Acting and Commercial Modeling Career Coach. He has been a fulltime actor and commercial model for over 26 year, and has been booked, 1.185 times to date. He is also the author of How to Become a Successful Commercial Model, now in its 5th edition, has given over 500 acting/commercial modeling workshops in 4 countries, offers online private coaching sessions, and is the founder of

Aaron Marcus

Mia Dixon is a very ambitious, accomplished and creative makeup artist. Born and raised in the DMV area, she attended Bennett Career institute for make up artistry. She’s taking over one city at a time and was crowned 2011 DMV MUA of the year. Look forward to seeing more from her in the near future!!!! MIA Dixon

Frank Brown

Frank Brown is a college life and dating coach based out of Washington, DC. His love for transformational mentoring and inspiring growth within the lives of today’s youth fuels his efforts to build motivation and healthy relationships one campus at a time. A graduated student from IPEC School of coaching, Frank truly believes that healthy relationships with others begin with a healthy relationship with yourself. He uses the message of self love to show the power of belief, clarity of who you are and explain how knowledge of self can lead to a more purposeful and prosperous life in every aspect. “ I believe that no man, woman or child on this earth was born void of purpose. To question why I am here is every man’s right but the effort of discovering the answer is every man’s responsibility” Certified Relationship Expert and Coach Stephan Labossiere is a man on a mission to help men and women experience more successful and authentic relationships. He knows firsthand how challenging the male and female dynamic can be and strives to bridge the gap of communication between the sexes. How To Get A Woman To Have Sex With You…If You’re Her Husband is his first book in a series aimed to break down the barriers and turn the battle of the sexes into nothing more than a pillow fight with a mutually pleasing ending.

Stephan Labossiere


ILENE CAROL   Publisher & Editor in Chief -- Ilene Carol Creative Director -- Schreese Fontaine EDITORIAL Managing Editor -- Claudia Carranza Associate Editor --- Jazmyne Byrd Online Editor -- Diem Nguyen Assistant to the Editor in Chief --- Amber Marie

ILENE CAROL EXQLUSIVE 244 5th Avenue, Suite C-239 New York, N.Y. 10001 PHONE: 646.216.9425 FAX: 646.688.5407 CORPORATE: COMMUNITY: MAGAZINE: GENERAL: EDITORIAL: SALES: JOBS:

ART Art Director --- Joe Luong Art Assistant --- Phillip Ross Contributing Photographer -- Chas Della Silva ADVERTISING Vice President, Sales Operations -- Andrew McKenna MARKETING SERVICES Marketing Services Director --- Chaya Braxton Public Relations Manager -- Wendi Wright Contributors Brand Point Content Rod Alexander Kassab Photographer for Melissa Brittany Swartz Photographer

JOIN OUR AWESOME TEAM! We are always looking for talented, well rounded individuals that would be an asset to our company. Available positions would include various internships, freelance jobs, regional reps and field managers or lead models to oversee our models and talent. We are also seeking writers, graphic artists, web designers, programmers, stylists, photographers and event planners. Our Network is in US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Japan. Please tell us about you by writing us a letter as to how you think you would be a valuable asset to our company and attaching a copy of your resume with salary history and what position you are interested in. You may send your information in email or apply online. * Email resume to: or apply online at:


Cover Story

Photographer Rod Alexander Kassab

The CEO and Founder of Wet Peach is Michigan born Melissa Ilievski


MELLISSA ILLEVSKI llievski, a swimwear model who began her career at the age of 14, was inspired to start the company at the age of 16, because she “could never find the right suit that stood out from the rest. A short time later, she partnered with artist and President Brett Palfram to start Wet Peach Swimwear. According to Melissa, Brett creates the designs and she brings them to life.


Melissa says that she and Brett are both “meticulous about perfection” and about “making sure the product is 110% before it hits the market”. They always try to anticipate future trends so that they can be “ahead of the pack”.

Wet Peach is off to a great start. In 2010 alone, Wet Peach’s suits were featured prominently at three different high profile events: Miami Groove Cruise in Miami, Florida, WMC in South Beach, Florida and The Ultimate Fantasy Weekend in Palm Springs, California .

What sets Wet Peach apart from the competition is that, in addition to selling swimwear, they’re also selling a lifestyle that, Melissa says, encompasses “the beauty of Europe and the glam of Hollywood”. Wet Peach suits are tailored and made to order, according to the individual customer’s specifications. The suits are only available on-line at the moment, but, when season two comes out, Wet Peach will begin showing up in stores all across the United States and Europe. Once this happens, Wet Peach will be making some adjustments to the current system, “because it’s virtually impossible to custom make every suit to every potential customer, Wet Peach Swimwear will offer the opportunity for customers to buy different sized tops and bottoms to fit their unique figures,” says

In the future, Melissa wants Wet Peach “to become one of the biggest brands in fashion, and to be on the tip of the tongue of every celebrity, both in the United States and around the world” and to show up at “beach parties and swimwear based events, the world over.”


Editor’s Letter Welcome to our premier issue! Our magazine is now digital allowing you to download it to your desktop or electronic device. The magazine is also print on demand; however, our future goal is to offer distribution services. This will allow our readers to take advantage of yearly subscriptions, discounts and other incentives. Featured on the cover is the CEO of Wet Peach Swimwear, Melissa Illevski. The creative team decided to give this cover a more “retro” feel. We will be featuring more of Melissa, her models and swimwear, as we launch our Calendar Model Contest. Speaking of contests... “What does YOUR beauty look like?” It’s Yasmine Arrington! She is our first official winner to be on the cover of our magazine. We loved her story so much that we created a new column called, Young Legends. Be sure to check her out and read her amazing story! We would also like to mention Virginia Treat, our honorable mention for symbolizing the main reasons why we started our cover model contest. She is being featured in our, Tell Us Your Story. Last year we encouraged our readers to, “Be in charge of your own destiny.” Did you figure out what you want to do? Did you map out your course? This year’s theme is “Back to Basics.” You have heard expressions like, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” and “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” We feel this is the best strategy for you to get to where you are going by continuing to do the things that have worked for you and clean out the clutter from everything else. Don’t get too caught up in what works for someone else, comparing yourself to others and succumbing to peer pressure, but make choices that are best for YOU. We are here to help and want to hear from YOU! We are meeting people from all over the world telling their stories and creating their own success, from teenager CEO’s to cancer survivors to single parents to innovative business launches. Please contact me at or follow me on twitter “Life is unfinished business.”

ilene Carol 10  ILENE CAROL / PREMIERE 2013

Photographer: Brittany Swartz

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Ask the Experts! Ask the Experts!

Q: I have always been told that

if a man really wants you then he will come after you. So when I go out I don’t ever make the first move because I believe that’s a man’s job. Yet I have had some male friends tell me that this is the wrong way to think. That I should be more willing to make some effort if I see a guy I like and want him to talk to me. So which is it? Should a woman approach men or is that a man’s job?

Whats Next?

A: A woman doesn’t necessarily

have to approach a man but she should at least show the man she is interested. A smile, good eye contact, or even striking up casual conversation are all good things to do. Not to mention giving him a compliment so that he has a better idea that you are interested. After that it’s up to him to seal the deal by asking for your number or giving you his. Ultimately a woman can’t expect to sit back and do nothing if she wants to increase her chance of being approached. Being willing to take that step can go a long way towards meeting someone new that could have the potential for something more. Do you have a question about relationships, business, fitness or life in general? Ask the experts!

By Stephan Labossiere

RaSheeda The BOSS of Entertainment The BOSS of Business The BOSS of Love

Readers Reviews Looking to fight the aging process? Clinque’s new anti wrinkle and aging serum. It is a great product after two weeks of use, my skin was noticeably soft. My skin was firmer and my complexion is more even. The few lines in my neck are starting to fade. I would recommend this product for those looking to fight the aging process.

We want to hear from you! Have you been to a great restaurant, read a good book, or would you like to try out new products? Send us your review to



Breaking the Glass C Series


his feature is more than an article and description of ladies who are making an impact. It’s because they are the impact. Being a respected female in any industry is hard work. They are the women behind the scenes making the difference of what we see on TV, hear on our Radio’s and laugh to on stage. They are negotiating on the behalf of others and they don’t like the word NO. Because of these women, women everywhere have someone positive to look up to. Each of these women are Motivated, Driven and Successful. We Salute you and we thank you for being an inspiration for women everywhere.

Priyadarshini Persuad

Interview Ms. Unstoppable by J.C Byrd When you think of being young and being energetic not to mention professional you can’t miss this young fireball Priyadarshini Persuad. You may not be familiar with this name but trust and believe you will hear it and catch many a glimpse of her infectious smile. Born and raised in the DMV this young lady was marked with greatness from the very beginning. Graduating at the top of her class at Bladensburg High School in Maryland, Priya continued her education at Prince Georges Community College where she graduated with honors with degrees in Communications and General Studies. She wasn’t stopping there she is currently enrolled at Bowie State University with a concentration in Communications. She had no idea that she would take the Radio world by storm when she got the chance to intern for Radio One Headquarters, meeting the likes of owner Cathy Hughes, Radio personality Russ Parr and a roster of celebrities. At the young age of 21 she is the President of “Da Bridge” entertainment group owned by Platinum Songwriter Lundon Bridges, she manages Rapper KiddFlashBB son of Ginuwine, has her own radio show on Radio One AM channel and she is the Face of Fuchsia Monkey Clothing Line. Is there anything she can’t do? Of course not because she does it all she a prime example of what it means to be the “Jane of all Trades”. Priya for all your charisma, and ability to shine and remain humble we salute you for “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” for women everywhere.

Melinda Santiago Interview Ms. Ambition

by J.C Byrd When you see someone who is moved by God and driven by his word it’s not hard to be drawn to them. Melinda Santiago is the Strong and ambitious woman behind such stars as Michael Keith from the Grammy Award winning group 112 and R.L from the R&B group NEXT, Singer J. Holiday as well as model Blue Kimble and new Hip-Hop artist M.A.D. But more than being a representation behind these acts she is a Mother and a Women of God moving on purpose. Born in Gary, IN and raised on a farm Melinda knew the true meaning of “Hard Work”. It’s no wonder that her career has been so successful as she works very hard for the success of her clients. Melinda got her start in the business when she met Terry Phillips formerly of Blackstreet when she started managing him. She was able to build relationships and network with other acts including Dave Hollister. She recently began her own agency called “The S Firm” in which she is the CEO. Her motivation to be a Manager in the business comes from her drive to help others and connect people to the right people to become more successful. She prides herself on being relatable and being a humble person. When it comes to the fans of the stars she represents she goes above the call of duty to make sure they are seen and heard. Her kindness truly shines as she makes the impossible possible. Beyond the music side of her business she also represents Comedian Sean Larkin , and Radio Talk Show Host Michael McFadden. Her advice for you ladies seeking to be in the business:

“Keep your RESPECT.... stand firm in your FAITH..  Never COMPROMISE your standards because “ ALL MONEY AINT GOOD MONEY”...

Melinda for your smile and your generosity to the fans you break the “Glass Ceiling” for women everywhere and we salute you.


Virginia Treat

Photographer: Brittany Swartz


Tell Us Your Story


reatively, I am a musician, author,

artist, actress, dancer and model. My experience includes some runway shows, television commercials, theatre acting, dance show and modeling. The past few months have been a whirlwind of new adventures for me with modeling. I have been working with many photographers in Boise, expanding my portfolio and learning. It has been rewarding going beyond my comfort zone and trying new things. I feel that even in this short time, I have grown. I am posting new pictures all the time on my Facebook page at virginiatreatmodelingactinginspiring. I would love to expand someday to other places, explore, and meet other models and photographers. I got involved in modeling just this past year. I had been in a fashion show previously, but that was the extent of my modeling skills at that point. During a performance of the Vagina Monologues: Words from Prison, I met a fellow actress that was starting a group of models. I expressed my interest in doing a photo shoot and it took off from there. Since then, it has been an amazing journey. I have met so many wonderful, talented and creative individuals that truly inspire me. It’s a great community, helping each other with self-confidence, motivation,

creativity and so on. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of it. Starting out with this group has led to many interactions with other photographers and wonderful opportunities. My thought on beauty is that the world is so full of beautiful things and people. It is not just the outer appearance, but what is inside as well. What makes each person unique, embracing that and making that shine through. True beauty comes from within, to me anyway. On top of all my creativity, I am working to provide a comfortable, loving environment for my family, my husband and 4 wonderful children. My husband, Jeremy, is very supportive and helps me out so much with my busy schedule. In addition to my full time job at a performing arts venue, I also run a part time marketing business, Treats Marketing Solutions, working to help local businesses be successful in their online marketing efforts. I also have a great team that ensures that my clients receive what they need, and that helps out a lot. This coming year promises to be full of adventure and new experience. Just what I like! I look forward to sharing more of what is to come, but for now, you will just have to wait and see it unfold.


Extended Hugs Spotlight Your Charity Greetings, ScholarCHIPS Friends and Supporters! ScholarCHIPS (For Children of Incarcerated Parents) is a non-profit organization was founded in 2010 by Yasmine Arrington, her junior year at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, DC. ScholarCHIPS raises college dollars for high school graduating seniors in the DC Metropolitian and surrounding areas with a parent(s) in prison who are pursuing a higher education. Arrington is currently a sophomore at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina studying Communciations and History. We am very proud to announce that you have assisted ScholarCHIPS in awarding four $2,500 one-year scholarships and four $250 book awards to runners-up at our inaugural scholarship ceremony on June 23, 2012. The scholarship winners include two young women and two young men; two of the winners are Washington, DC residents and two are Maryland residents. To see brief biographies and photographs of the awardees please visit our website. We am tremendously appreciative of your generosity in helping ScholarCHIPS to reach its ambitious goals on behalf of these deserving students. With your support, and that of others like you from across the country, we raised more than $13,000 over the past year, which enabled us to award the aforementioned scholarships. And for next year’s scholarships we have already fundraised over $10,000! Our first fundraiser for the 2012-2013 program year was the DC Half and Half Marathon that took place on November 3rd (go to We had 60 runners and have 200 on the waiting list to run in 2013. We are also busy selling theater tickets as a fundraiser at Arena Stage and planning a spring auction to take place in March 2013. If you or your contacts would like theater tickets or can assist us with our auction goals, please don’t hesitate to either call 202-253-2669 or email us at Yasmine is also working hard to put on a benefit concert at Elon on April 20th and is working collaboratively with Jubilant Nation (Gospel Artist Group in DC) to host a Gospel Benefit concert on May 18th. We are also proud to announce that ScholarCHIPS will be given $2,500 through an award that Yasmine recently received from the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Making a Difference (M.A.D.)/Black Girls Rock program. The awards show was televised on Sunday, November 4th at 8:00 p.m. on BET. In addition, she is the recipient of the 2012 Linowes Leadership Award, which includes a $3,000 contribution to ScholarCHIPS. Along with the Board, Yasmine am working hard to find creative ways to continue to provide revenue to our scholarship fund so that we can again meet or exceed our goals for this academic year. Please refer potential scholarship applicants to our website , where you can also stay tuned for more details on our upcoming events and fundraisers. Once again, I thank you for your support and enthusiasm! Sincerely,

Yasmine Arrington ScholarCHIPS Founder & Executive Director


Spring into shape Do you want to lose inches off of your abdomen without exercising? Join us for this online event hosted by Nikki Clutter

March 11th-15th, 2013

Connect with Ilene Carol and join her Girls Night Out Club Feautures special events, conferences, travel and promotions for women.

Calling all ladies 25 and up from all around the world! Connect with Ilene Carol and her special friends in a private and exclusive club for women. Find inspiration, get motivated, make a connection! Be a part of a community where you can share your experiences. Attend socials, networking events, pamper parties and exclusive getaways. Career, financial, business, lifestyle and relationship advice, tips and resources.

If you are interested in joining this exclusive club for women, please send an email to Ilene Carol at and introduce yourself.


Mind Your Business

Seven big trends for small businesses in 2013 Today, if you tell someone

you’ll be in touch, he or she may not only ask when, but how. Modern technology has dramatically changed the way we communicate, providing multiple ways to stay connected at any time. For small and mediumsized businesses, this means big opportunities to stay competitive, provided that they understand technology trends and use them to their advantage. Check out these leading trends set to amplify in 2013, providing businesses with key ways to keep profits and customer satisfaction up:

Trend 1: Look to the clouds Everyone is talking about cloud technology these days, which basically means remote computing, leveraging the Internet. This is great news for small and medium-sized businesses because cloud-based systems provide a plethora of tools, save costs and minimize maintenance. For example, cloud programs can help manage payroll, invoicing, phone systems, documents, customer management, business analytics and backup systems. Online cloud services commonly used by small businesses include Skype, Dropbox and Google Docs.

Trend 2: The era of social media Social media’s growth continues to boom, and businesses no longer have the option of ignoring this outreach potential. It’s cost effective and connects you to customers in ways never before possible. Use Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and blogs as


part of your business’ social media program. The relationships you can build with key customers and the feedback they provide is invaluable.

Trend 3: Your workplace is everywhere Technology enables people to stay connected and work from virtually anywhere, meaning the terms “off the clock” or “away from the office” are going extinct. Whether you’re working from home, at the office, or in a coffee shop, it is vital to be accessible at all times, especially if you run a small or medium-size business. Whether your preferred device is a laptop, tablet or smartphone, staying connected is a must.

Trend 4: Video conferencing instead of business travel Traveling is costly and timeconsuming. Video conferencing is a low-cost way to meet with customers, prospects and suppliers from virtually anywhere with computer and Internet access. Common video conferencing resources include Skype, ooVoo and Cisco WebEx, making it easy to communicate with individuals or groups.

Trend 5: Applications keep things moving Apps are not just fun and games - many are made specifically for the mobile office, making on-thego work easy. Plantronics Instant Meeting app, for example, allows one-click access to conference calls from a smartphone - no need to remember long conference codes and leader PINs when you’re out and about. Other useful mobile office apps include Documents to Go and

QuickOffice, providing efficient access to documents, agendas and analytics.

Trend 6: Talk just got cheaper Long distance phone calls to employees, customers and prospects can quickly increase a phone bill. Internet-hosted phone systems are becoming more popular because they are low cost, flexible and low maintenance. Skype is a good example of a voice-over-Internet service that allows individuals to communicate through video, voice and instant messaging using a headset.

Trend 7: Devices talk amongst themselves Think how much more effective your communications would be if all your devices worked together. Fortunately, that now is happening and the technology trend is aptly called Unified Communications (UC). It delivers voice, email, SMS, video conferencing and document sharing into a single interface so that you easily can relay any or all of your data to others. With a laptop, Internet connection, Skype and a headset, you can conduct business from just about anywhere at any time. To learn more about these trends, visit Even though at first it may seem overwhelming to adopt each of these trends, when you do, you’ll find that it’s easier than you think and a smart way to help your business thrive.- BPT

Mind Your Business

6 ways to use social media in your job search Resume? Check.

Cover letter? Check. Now you’re ready to begin that job search, right? Wrong. There may be some very important things you’re forgetting about that could dramatically enhance your job search. Nowadays, job searches involve much more than simply submitting hundreds of resumes and cover letters. “Today’s job search requires a strategy that uses social media as well as traditional vehicles,” says Wendy Wagner, career services director for The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. According to a 2012 Jobvite survey, 92 percent of U.S. companies use social networks to find talent, with LinkedIn the most popular. “Make sure you have a social media strategy to augment traditional methods such as face-to-face networking and informational interviews,” says Lyndsay Cooper, career services director for The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville, -a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta. Wagner and Cooper offer the following tips to give yourself an edge in your job search.

Brand consistency. Make sure your profile is professional and reflects the job you’re looking for across all social media platforms. Ensure your privacy settings are secure (especially on Facebook). On LinkedIn, make sure your profile is complete including skills and recommendations. On Twitter, link to your website, blog or online resume. And don’t forget Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and Foursquare.

Know your audience. Your audience in Facebook is different from your audience in Twitter or LinkedIn. Make sure your updates reflect that. On LinkedIn, share articles and blogs on industry-related topics. On Facebook, post more personal (but not too detailed) updates to remind your friends that you’re in the job market.

Be proactive. Use social media to connect with recruiters, employers and employees of companies you’d like to work for. Join and participate in - organizations, groups and blogs in your industry or alumni groups. Become an industry expert or thought leader. Research. Use social media to create your target list of companies, then research those companies and their employees. Use hashtags on Twitter to find jobs. For example, if you are interested in fashion, search #fashionjobs.Sites like Technorati or Twellow let you search people’s bios and the URLs in their bios; you can easily find, follow and engage key employees of those companies so they get to know you before you approach them for a job. Prepare for a job interview by using social media to research the interviewer and find common topics to break the ice.

Network online. Expand your network and engage others with similar interests by posting, sharing/forwarding, tweeting and retweeting relevant articles and blogs. This raises your online profile, and encourages others to do the same for you. Twitter works well for this.

Know your online profile. Google yourself and make sure what you see is what you want it to be. Go to so you can see your “klout” score, which reports how influential and engaged you are across platforms. Another great site is wefollow. com, a Twitter directory organized by shared interests or categories. Users can add themselves to the categories that best fit their interests. Today, employers use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media to identify, recruit and check out new employees. The Internet has helped level the job search playing field by offering access to resources that enable you to identify and prepare for career opportunities. But it’s also offered employers access to more talented job candidates. A smart social media strategy can help you stand out and land the job you seek

For more information about The Art Institutes, visit - BPT


Web Watch

“If Twitter & Google hooked up & had a love child I think it would be Keith Keller”

-Kasey Chambers Australian Singer Songwriter

Melbourne based “Twitter 4 Business Specialist” Keith Keller calls himself “The Personal Trainer 4 Twitter” and with over 30,000 followers, he is now considered amongst the top 1% of Twitter users in the world. Like many social media enthusiasts, Keith turned to Twitter as a way of promoting his own services. In Keith’s case, it was his internet radio show, Career Success Radio, which at its height, was listened to in over 120 countries around the world. Having seen the extraordinary branding power of Twitter, Keith has come to specialise in the platform and prides himself on his knowledge of how to get the best out of the site for marketing businesses locally and globally. “Twitter in particular and Social Media in general is completely underutilised by Australian businesses, especially when compared to countries like the US and Canada. Businesses in those countries are using Social Media extensively to market their products and network with potential customers,” says Keith “For many businesses there, it’s not a question of if they will engage with Social Media, it’s a question of when. It wasn’t that long ago that business was debating the value of a website, now almost all businesses have one. I now see the same thing happening with Social Media.” Keith is a passionate advocate of Social Media and works with clients in the US and Canada as well as Australia to build their brands globally and position them as the resident experts in their niche. Keith is now considered by many as a Twitter Specialist and his Twitter Intensive helps take the mystery out using it as a powerful tool for business marketing. His regular tweets are testament to his excitement about sharing the latest information about Twitter and other Social Media platforms and he certainly has an ever growing list of success stories from around the world.


Keith Keller’s top 5 tips for how to get the best out of Twitter as a business marketing tool 1. Be a resource not a salesperson. Twitter is about sharing information and resources NOT selling ‘stuff’. This may sound counter-intuitive but it is the essence of Social Media marketing. 2. Write a strong bio that will inspire potential clients and joint venture partners to follow you. 3. Add a photo or company graphic. There is significant evidence to prove that people who do this get more followers and retweets 4. Remember the 80/20 Rule – It’s not all about you. 4 out of 5 tweets should be of value to your followers and not sales related. Only 1 out of every 5 tweets (minimum) should be a sales related message. 1 out of 10 however is a far better ratio if you can manage it. 5. SHARE - SHARE –SHARE (This is Twitter101). Share great articles and interact with your followers…this is the essence of how Twitter works. For more information on Keith Keller’s Twitter Intensive and his work as “The Personal Trainer For Twitter” visit his website or follow Keith on Twitter

THE BLOG PIMP Planning your shot By Aaron Marcus (Excerpts taken from his book – How to Become a Successful Commercial Model) Since the shots for your composite sheet don’t have words, make sure each photograph itself tells the story. Even better, create a photo that shows more than one story. If you want to present yourself as a mom and a businesswoman, the photo might show you walking up the steps to your house wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase, while your child runs to meet you. Take your time and be creative in thinking of different scenarios for your shots. Magazines are a great source of ideas. Find the magazine that will feature the look you want. For example: Parents Magazine is great for shots of parents and kids. For business images, look through investment magazines. The ads can give you information on how to style the shot and what props are needed. Props are items placed on the set to make the ad look real. For example, if the ad is supposed to take place in an auto garage, tools, oil cans, towels, grease guns, and auto parts would be appropriate props. The most important thing to keep in mind is to make the photos look like ads. Do not pose for the camera. Show a wide range of expression for the different photos. Having strong pictures for your comp will give you your greatest chance for getting work. Excerpts of this article were taken from Aaron Marcus new book How to Become a Successful Commercial Model. To learn how you order Mr. Marcus book (410) 764-8270, e-mail or read two chapters from the book - by visiting Follow Aaron Marcus on Twitter:



Beauty & Fashion


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Simple Tips to Glam Up your Look 24  ILENE CAROL / PREMIERE 2013


ost women would agree that getting ready for a night out on the town is much more exciting than getting ready for a typical day. Dressing up, adding some shine or a little extra sparkle to your outfit can give your mood a boost whether it’s for a special occasion or a regular day. If you’re concerned that dressing up your daily ensemble will take your look over the top, remember that it’s all about adding the right touches. Think of it as bringing added interest to a basic look, rather than wearing the same items you’d wear to a party. And if you are headed to a special event, some extra touches can make your look that much more show-stopping.

“Adding a bit of glamour to any outfit serves two purposes,” says Janette Ewen, style expert for PANDORA Jewelry. “It gives an added touch of refinement - and fun - to your workday looks, but it also makes you feel special. When you’re well dressed, you feel your best - it’s really as simple as that.”

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To make date night, lunch with friends or even a day at the office a little more special, follow Ewen’s tips for adding glam touches to your wardrobe.

Stand out “Opt for pieces that will set you apart from the crowd, whether it’s a brightly colored article of clothing, a striking pair of shoes or attention-grabbing jewelry,” Ewen says. PANDORA’s Winter collection features charms with pave-set stones in a variety of colors that add shine and sparkle.

Choose an area of focus “If your blouse is boldly colored, let that be the “star” item, and make the rest of your clothes and accessories the supporting cast. “Picking one area to focus on keeps your look classy, rather than overdone,” adds Ewen.

Shop for transitional pieces When you’re at the mall or a clothing boutique, look for items that can be worn day to night with the help of the right accessories. Some blouses can be perfectly work-appropriate when topped by a blazer, and then be ready for a night on the town with the addition of jewelry or a different pair of shoes. “I love to pop the collar on a simple white blouse and add long, layered necklaces,” suggests Ewen.

Don’t overdo it “If you choose to focus on jewelry, feel free to stack sparkling bracelets against neutral clothing,” says Ewen. Avoid piling on big earrings, statement necklaces, lots of rings and stacks of bracelets all together. The right amount of sparkle will make your look sophisticated; too much is simply too much.

Wear with confidence No matter how you choose to accessorize or highlight your look, wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Ewen points out that you don’t need to go outside your style in order to make your look more glamorous - simply add a little shine to a look that’s perfectly your own. No matter the season, what you wear can have an effect on how you feel. So whether you’re planning what to wear to holiday festivities or the perfect items to pack for vacation, keep these tips in mind to look and feel your best. For more inspiration, visit www., or to give the gift of glam, go to www. - BPT




Simple ways to keep Skin healthy during cold weather


hile the crisp, cool weather may leave a healthy-looking rosy glow on cheeks, colder seasons can be tremendously harsh on skin. Extreme changes and inclement weather during the fall and winter months can leave skin dry, chapped and even cracked. “Keeping skin healthy during cold months isn’t complicated, but it does take some extra effort,” says Dr. Charles Zugerman, a practicing dermatologist and associate professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Taking a few simple steps each day will help skin look and feel great no matter the season.” Zugerman offers these tips for keeping skin healthy and beautiful when the temperatures take a dip:





Continue to wear sunscreen Don’t store away the sunscreen - protecting skin from harsh UVA and UVB rays is important all year long. The sun can be particularly intense when it reflects off ice and snow on a clear and cold day. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to the face every day, and don’t forget the hands as they need protection too.

Keep lips moisturized When the weather turns dry and cool, it’s not uncommon for lips to become chapped and cracked. Forgo the pain with a proactive approach of keeping lips deeply moisturized from the start. Throughout the day, continually apply a super-hydrating balm like Blistex Moisture Melt. It contains dissolving softbeads of shea butter and aloe which melt into lips for a long-lasting moisture boost. The formula also includes SPF 15 to protect lips from the sun.


Moisturize right for the season When the temperature drops, it’s a signal to change up your daily moisturizer. You might consider switching from a regular lotion to one that includes medication for dry skin, or a thicker formula such as a cream or butter. Avoid extremely hot showers and baths as they can zap skin of moisture. When you do indulge, keep hot showers or baths short and moisturize immediately afterward.

Exfoliate your face weekly Because skin can become dried out so easily during cool months, dead skin cells can build up and clog pores. To avoid winter breakouts and keep skin clean and blemish-free, it’s wise to exfoliate your face once or twice a week. A gentle exfoliating cleanser helps remove the buildup of oil and dead cells to help reveal fresh, healthy skin.


Keep H2O top-ofmind Keeping skin hydrated goes beyond lotion and moisturizers. It starts from the inside by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Whether you’re enjoying a refreshing ice water or pouring yourself a cup of warm tea, make it your goal to drink water morning, noon and night. “By making small changes to your daily routine, such as applying a medicated lotion after a shower, drinking plenty of water and using Blistex Moisture Melt, your skin will be healthy and feel wonderful during even the coldest seasons,” says Zugerman. Blistex Moisture Melt is the perfect way to soothe dry lips when cold weather arrives. For more information on Blistex and other lip care tips, visit - BPT


Let Out the Rebel and Embrace the Inner Diva By Schreese Fontaine

Today’s topic is jeans!

Hello ladies!

We love them. We hate them. They are our “go to” when we want to look casual, dressy, or even chic. You may wonder how you can find the perfect fit; the one that is most flattering to your body. I say, know your lane, and stay in it! “What does that mean?” you may be wondering. It means know your body style and tailor to it. There are three things you must ask yourself in order to find the perfect fit: What is your body type? What are your strengths, and what are your weaknesses?


2.What is my body strength?

A pear shaped person is one whose lower body is heavy. This particular person tends to store fat in their legs and their buttock area. A ruler shaped person is one who possesses a straight figure. This type of person usually sees themselves as “squared”, and lacks a waistline.

The strength of a pear shaped person is great buttocks and thighs. If this type of person has a problem with their thighs or hips, they should stay away from skinny jeans. Boot cut and dark denim will work best with this body type, as lighter color denim will make them appear bigger than they are. If you have ever wondered, “Why do these jeans make me look fat?” I’ve got news for you: it’s not you, it’s the color of the jeans. Similar problems can arise with an hourglass body. People with hourglass type bodies are curvy. Even when they are thin, their curves make them fall prey to the “pear shaped” problem.

What is my body type? Am I a pear, ruler, apple, or hourglass

An apple top shaped person can range from heavy-chested, round at the top, with legs thinner than the torso. An hourglass shaped person is on who is proportionate from top and bottom, with an extra small waist.

The next topic on the agenda is the peplum!

Remember ladies, let out the rebel, embrace that inner diva, and show off your style. Stay tuned for more style tips from Rebel Diva Couture.


What about the gap on the back? And that muffin top? We all strongly dislike them! The gap comes from wearing the wrong jean size. It may take 20 pairs of jeans before finding the right fit, but the time invested in finding it is well worth it! The muffin top problem arises from wearing low-rise jeans. I know, low-rise jeans are in, but without a flat stomach, they will not bring out the best of a body figure; mid-rise jeans are the way to go! One can still feel sexy and look great, minus the muffin top! Pockets are another problem that arises, and that most people do not know they have. Big bedazzled pockets are in, and are cool, but they do not make everyone look great from behind. With all these tips in mind, I conclude that nothing turns more heads than great fitting jeans.




A GREAT BOLD LOOK The Perfect Party Night Look!

By Mia Dixon

1) Always start with a primer for the eyes as well as primer before you apply foundation. 2) Depending on what your are wearing this look goes well with browns and reds. 3) Let’s use a brown eye shadow base, not too dark, to blend neatly on the eye lid. 4) Once you have the brown blended neatly, take your black shadow and apply it in the corner of your eye lid. 5) After the black eye shadow is neatly in the corner, get your blending brush and blend the black eye shadow to the outer part of your eye lid. 6) Once you are pleased with your smokey eye it’s time to add a little of your favorite blush to your cheeks. 7) Make sure blush is blended evenly on each cheek. 8) Use a nice plum lipstick or your favorite dark shade and apply evenly to lips. 9) Apply a little gloss for the perfect shine look. 10) Use a finishing spray of your choice for the perfect hydrating skin and spray onto face. Now you are ready for any event, party or dinner! Follow me on twitter for more tips! @muadondiva

hair extenstions ad in yahoo mail THE DIFFERENCE" "EXPERIENCE



Cold Weather Fashion Survival Guide Looking your best when the temperature drops has never been easier


he cool, crisp air, brisk breezes and snow falling outside mean the cold weather season is upon us. With the advent of the temperature change, are you ready to face winter in style? National fashion expert Sydne Summer shares her top three expert tips that will help you remain fashionable and chic throughout the season. Tip No. 1: Try a new trend Two of the biggest trends you will see this cold weather season are peplum shapes and leather. Peplum, seen in both tops and dresses, is an elongated hem that resembles a short skirt. The style is flattering on all silhouettes and provides a touch of glamour on the coldest of days. From leather jackets to dresses and tops, women all over the U.S. are making classic leather cool. Paired with either jeans or business attire, leather can make a statement day or night. Sleeveless leather dresses are serving as an alternative to the classic black dress. “It is a bit edgier, but equally as versatile,” says Summer. Colored leather tanks can also brighten up the dreariest winter outfits.

to shed the sleeves this time of year because of dry skin or a decrease in underarm upkeep. However, a recent study conducted by Dove found that 50 percent of women ages 18 to 35 will wear sleeveless tops when out with friends or at a holiday parties this fall and winter. Additionally, more than half of women feel sexy and feminine when they go sleeveless.

Tip No. 2: Do not be afraid to go sleeveless Going sleeveless is always chic, especially during the winter months. Traditionally, women have been afraid

When choosing a sleeveless outfit, be sure to select styles appropriate for your body type. If you have a fuller bust, opt for v-necklines when going sleeveless. Alternately, if you have a

“When going sleeveless in colder weather it is important to moisturize,” Summer advises. “Skin gets dryer in the winter so make sure to apply lotion to your arms and a moisturizing anti-perspirant to your underarms.” She recommends Dove go sleeveless Soothing Chamomile Anti-Perspirant, the only anti-perspirant clinically proven to soothe shaving irritation and provide softer, smoother underarms in just five days, while also providing 48-hour protection. It is also the only formula that cares for delicate underarm skin with Dove 1/4 moisturizers, giving women the confidence to go sleeveless all year. More information can be found on

smaller chest, aim for a high neckline. Petite women can also benefit from a sleeveless turtleneck, which helps elongate their frames. Tip No. 3: Embrace layering for comfort and fashion Just because it is chilly outside does not mean that it is time to pack away your lightweight tops. Layering is the perfect way to transition from fall into winter and ensure that you do not have to leave your favorite sleeveless styles behind. Eighty six percent of women across America agree that wearing layers makes it easy to change their look for different occasions throughout the day, and 78 percent of women prefer to layer over a basic sleeveless tank. “When layering, pay attention to fabrics to avoid looking bulky. Lightweight fabrics are a safe bet. You always want the layer closest to your body to be the tightest. For example, a thin, form-fitting tank top works better under a dress than a long-sleeve knit,” says Summer. You can also use layers to update old pieces in your wardrobe. Add a pop of color by layering with a bold scarf or bright pair of tights, or give last year’s coat a facelift by layering with a faux fur neck muff. - BPT




ay in, day out, we open up our closets and see the standby clothes that we wear for work and play. Even if you have an array of items you love, it can sometimes feel like you're reac hing for the same looks too often and falling into a fashion rut. However, there's no better time than now to breathe new life back into what you wear.



How a bit of Hollywood e v i v e r n a c glamour e b o r d r a w y a d y r e v e yo u r Looking at trends on the runway and off, it’s clear that the touches of glamour that define Hollywood style icons are in - and they make it easy to change your look with just a little effort. Every wardrobe built around basics can look dramatically different just by changing a bit of styling - and you don’t need to have a fashion model’s pit crew of pros to make it happen. All you need is the right inspiration and you’ll start discovering just how versatile your wardrobe can be. Take Marilyn Monroe, for example. Her most famous looks are the very essence of red carpet glamour and movie star extravagance. But it wasn’t all glittering gowns and luxurious furs for Marilyn all the time. In her off-screen moments, she used styling and carefully chosen details to keep the allure that she was known for - without going over the top.

Use the same idea to reinvigorate your existing wardrobe with items and tips like these:

* Cigarette pants: One of Marilyn's key

* Jewelry: Even a simple T-shirt and jeans can

wardrobe staples, as is evidenced by casual, athome photos, was a great pair of cigarette pants. Cut slim, but not skin-tight, close to the leg, and cropped above the ankle, cigarette pants make it easy to look pulled together in an instant. They can be dressed up with jewelry for a night out, or be your go-to choice for looking great around the office. As a bonus, they pair easily with a variety of shoes, from flats to some of the bolder heels that have been popular on recent runways.

be transformed with the right jewelry, and it can just as easily serve as the centerpiece of more dramatic, formal attire. Marilyn Monroe's unique sense of style often expressed through jewelry - is easy to capture, if you have the right pieces. Jewelry Television's Marilyn Monroe jewelry line, which features more than 70 pieces, has unique authenticity, being officially authorized by her estate. The line covers all the style bases, from elegant basics that dress up everyday looks to fashion pieces that evoke Monroe's diamond-loving on-screen persona.

* Cat-eye eyeliner: This one makeup move en-

* Ballet flats: It really is possible to find a mid-

sures maximum impact with minimum fuss, but it's good to employ a somewhat restrained approac h. A dark swoop of black liquid eyeliner adds emphasis to your eyes, making them look wide and bright, but remember not to go overboard - too muc h can look like part of a costume. A marker-style eyeliner pen can be an easy way to get started if you're not an eyeliner pro yet.

dle ground between chic and comfortable, and there's no better shoe for treading that line than ballet flats. Simple, unadorned flats with rounded almond toes dress up jeans and work equally well with skirts, and give every look a bit of subdued, yet classic glamour. Keep a few pairs in subdued hues that go with everything and one or two in a color that really pops, like a candied-apple red.

Using Hollywood style as your fashion inspiration doesn't mean you need to be paparazzi-ready every day. You can use touches here and there to update your wardrobe for a look that's fresh and subtly glamorous. For more ideas, visit - BPT




hen you look in your closet, are you inspired by what you find, or has your personal style become bland? If you want to update your wardrobe, you don't need a complete overhaul and a bottomless budget. By adding a few key pieces you can instantly breathe life into your existing collection of clothes - and the best part is you can do it for $25 or less. Here are four must-have items that can help make any woman’s wardrobe look modern, fun and trendy:

Scarves: More than a simple neck accessory, a scarf is perhaps the ultimate fashion-meets-function wardrobe essential. Not only does it keep you warm on cold days and protect you from the sun when it's hot, it's also a beautiful accessory that livens up any outfit. Tend to shy away from bright clothing? Scar ves are an ideal way to introduce a pop of color, especially if you typically wear black or gray. Ric h hues like deep purple, evergreen and royal blue are popular during cooler months. Wear a scarf like a shawl, draped around your shoulders; tie it loose around the neck for a relaxed, airy look; or knot it tight for a tailored appearance. Plus, you can find scar ves virtually everywhere for as little as $10.



It's easy to update any outfit when you have a colorful cardigan on hand. Whether your personal style leans conser vative or you prefer a more creative approac h to dressing, a cardigan is a versatile complement to any outfit. Solid colors never go out of style, so adding one or two to your closet is a great way to extend the life of your wardrobe. For example, a bold red cardigan is great year-round: in vogue for fall, festive for the holiday season, and c heery over dresses and tanks during warmer months. If you have $25, you can find a colorful, comfy cardigan that will brighten up an office outfit, or keep you c hic and cozy when paired with jeans on the weekend.

Style insight:


4 Easy ways to update your wardrobe for $25 or less Jeans:

A great pair of jeans goes with anything - from a structured career jacket to a slouc hy sweater. If you purc hased your last pair of jeans years ago and only wear them when you know you aren't leaving the house, you'll love how a new pair can revitalize your look. Skip the $200 boutique jeans and opt for fashionable and affordable options from Signature by Levi Strauss & Co., available at Walmart. For less than $20, you'll find the perfect style to fit your body type - from skinny jeans to mid rise boot cut and even options for women with cur vy figures. For the ultimate in comfort and style, try the Simply Stretc h Pull On Skinny jeans that feature a slimming pull-on waist band and high stretc h denim to shape and smooth any figure.

can save even more by creating one of a kind pieces yourself with supplies from your local craft or bead store. With $25 you have multiple ways to update your wardrobe so you look great all year long. From the perfect jeans to classic tops to funky accessories, your closet will never be boring again. - BPT


Add a splash of personality with a statement piece of jewelry. Big beaded necklaces or long intricate c hains are great go-to pieces when you want to add a little pizzazz to an outfit. Silver is the on-trend metal this year, spotted on the runways of Fashion Week. Costume jewelry has never been more popular, giving today's woman an affordable way to indulge. If you like to craft, you


It Works!














Nikki Clutter Independent Distributor 34  ILENE CAROL / PREMIERE 2013

Health & Fitness


Health & Fitness 7 Ways to a healthy home: Make wellness a priority this winter


uring the winter months, it’s important to take extra care of your home, your family and especially yourself. In addition to taking steps to prevent cold and flu viruses that are common at this time of year, you should also pause to relax and recharge, if only for a few minutes each day. Luckily, there are a number of simple, yet impactful ways to keep the entire household in good health. Here are seven examples to get you and your family on the right track toward winter wellness. Pencil in cleaning Routine household cleaning keeps clutter - and germs - at bay. Corral loose items into decorative bins and baskets, then use disinfecting wipes on common hightouch areas such as faucets, door knobs and light switches to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. Be sure to dust regularly, as dust particles often contain pet dander, chemicals or other irritants that have the potential to aggravate allergies. If you have any sensitivity to cleaning products, try a natural solution of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar to clean everything from windows to appliances.The power of a shower Installing a new showerhead can go a long way in improving your frame-ofmind, whether you use your shower to awaken your senses on a cold winter morning or relax at the end of a long day. The Twist handheld shower from Moen has four unique settings, from “Immerse” and “Drench” to “Soothe,” and is available with an adjustable slide bar, allowing everyone in the house to create the perfect custom showering experience to wash away the


winter blues. Another important feature of Twist is the “Shine” setting, which is ideal for cleaning the tub and shower tiles, keeping mold and germs to a minimum For the dogs Pets are extensions of our families and should be treated as such - even when it comes to bathing. These fourlegged friends have the tendency to bring many allergens into the home. To minimize this problem, dogs should be bathed regularly and wiped down with a damp cloth when they come in from outside. Moen’s Twist handheld shower is perfect for bathing kids and pets alike. Sweeping surprise For years, we have counted on our vacuums to get rid of dust and allergens in our homes. But, it turns out that the machines we rely on to clean our floors and furniture may actually be making them dirtier. A recent study by researchers from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia found that many vacuums - especially older models - actually suspend harmful allergen particles in the air, increasing our exposure to them. If you have an older vacuum, consider upgrading to a new one with a HEPA (High-EfficiencyParticulate-Air) filter, which releases less dirt and bacteria into the air than a standard model. Regardless of the age or features of your vacuum, clean it regularly to ensure a healthier sweep. Door etiquette Dirt and pollen are often brought into a house on the shoes of guests and family members. Adding a door mat on both sides of a door and having everyone promptly remove their shoes upon entering can significantly cut back

on what is being tracked inside. The Carpet and Rug Institute estimates that up to 80 percent of dirt and allergens can be caught with a washable door mat - keeping your family healthy and your floors clean. Air it out One area many homeowners might not consider when it comes to a healthier home is the mattress. Although changing your sheets weekly is an important ritual, delay putting on clean linens to allow time for mite-friendly moisture to evaporate. Now you’ll have a clean mattress to go along with your clean sheets. Winter workouts The perfect prevention for winter illness - from cold and flu viruses to a case of the winter blues - is exercise. According to Neil Schachter, a professor of pulmonary and critical care at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, any kind of moderate daily exercise can improve lung and immune function by enhancing the ability of virusattacking white blood cells to ramp up the immune response. If you can’t get outdoors for a daily walk during the colder months, consider purchasing a treadmill or stationary bike, beef up your workout video library or pick up an active game, like Just Dance or Dance Central, for your motionactivated gaming system to kick germs to the curb.By following these helpful hints, you and your family will be better prepared during the long winter months preventing the spread of germs and making wellness a top priority. - BPT

Health & Fitness


Health & Fitness


Health & Fitness

A new year brings opportunity for a new you

The new year is widely accepted as a time to start fresh, and every year people make resolutions to better themselves. For many, this means vowing to make lifestyle changes to improve how they look and feel. However, sticking to restrictive diets and intense workout programs can be difficult and not sustainable for most people. Before you get hooked by the annual flood of diet tips and gym promotions, focus on a few key areas to commit to a healthier lifestyle for 2013.

Consumes Whole Foods

Rest Up

Adding more whole foods into your everyday diet is a natural way to obtain the nutrients your body craves without feeling like you’re making a drastic change. One of the easiest ways to do this is by incorporating fresh juices into your daily routine. Whole-food juicing is a quick and easy way to get several servings of fruits and vegetables at once, making it a perfect on-the-go solution for those juggling hectic schedules. Simply toss whole fruits, vegetables, or a combination of both into a high-performance blender like a Vitamix, and then add ice. In seconds, you’ll have a delicious, nutrientpacked beverage, plus the fiber from the whole foods to keep you full longer. A variety of recipes to suit any taste is offered at, making eating more whole foods something you’ll actually enjoy.

Although jam-packed schedules make it seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day, it’s extremely important to set aside enough time to rest and recharge. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night allows for optimal mental and physical performance, and making sleep a priority can have significant impact on overall well-being. To enjoy the many benefits adequate sleep offers, adopt a bedtime routine at the same time each night. Avoid food and drink for 30 minutes prior to going to sleep and stay away from computers, televisions and other screens. Instead, enjoy a relaxing activity, such as reading or meditating, to help you fall asleep.

Add More Exercise It’s not unusual for a person to drive from a desk job to the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant, and then go directly to the couch to watch television. It isn’t surprising that lack of exercise is an issue for many Americans, and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of health concerns, regardless of weight. Incorporating exercise into a daily routine is important and can have many health benefits. To begin living a more active lifestyle, experts recommend starting slowly and building up length and intensity of physical activity. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to reap the benefits of exercise; use the stairs, go for a walk, take a bike ride, or play with your dog or children to get moving and start looking and feeling better.

De-Stress Daily Stress can cause many mental, emotional and physical health issues, and long periods of high stress can have debilitating effects. To avoid lasting health problems, learn to recognize stress and how to deal with it effectively. Despite your busy schedule, making time for yourself each day is important and can help you avoid severe stress problems. Whether it is taking a walk, playing an instrument, practicing yoga or even calling an old friend, do something you enjoy every day. It’s also important to make sure you are getting enough exercise, sleep and proper nutrition to help your body deal with the physical effects of stress.

With a few adjustments to your daily activities, you can look forward to a happy, healthy new year and beyond. - BPT


Health & Fitness

How to Blast through your weight loss plateau She accepted the weight gain as a normal part of getting older, but Edberg, her personal trainer, didn’t. He encouraged her to take a simple blood test to check for underlying metabolic issues. “I could see on paper what the problems were and it motivated me to try what my trainer suggested,” Stork says. She slowly added recommended supplements, including vitamin D, probiotics and fish oil, which increased her energy, but didn’t affect her weight. The next step was to change her diet.


f it seems like you work out regularly only to continue to struggle losing weight, you’re not alone. But losing weight in order to improve health may be the wrong approach. First you need to fix what’s holding you back on the inside, so you can see the transformation you want on the outside. Cliff Edberg cringes every time he hears someone say: I want to lose weight to get healthy. “In my opinion that phrase is backward,” says Edberg, a registered dietician, personal trainer, and certified weight loss coach at Life Time Fitness, The Healthy Way of Life Company. “People need to get healthy first in order to lose weight. Weight gain or being unhealthy isn’t directly caused by a lack of exercise, it’s a side effect of metabolic dysfunction.” Generally people refer to having “good” metabolism (someone who burns calories quickly) or “bad” metabolism (a slow caloric burn with leftovers stored in body fat). But metabolism is much more than the rate at which calories are burned. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food into smaller molecules for various uses in the body. Certain foods or ingredients might interfere with a person’s metabolism, as can a lack of nutrients, high blood sugar or an overabundance of stress hormones. This metabolic disruption is often behind a person’s inability to lose weight, even when they are taking steps to eat right and exercise. Michelle Stork, 43, from Chanhassen, Minn., had resigned herself to creeping weight gain, despite diligently working out for years. “As time went on it was easier to gain than lose weight,” she recalls. “Exercise alone wasn’t taking it off.”


“We discovered a high likelihood that she was sensitive to gluten and dairy,” Edberg says. Unlike an allergy, a sensitivity means the hormones derived from the metabolic process of such foods send confusing messages to the brain, which can cause various symptoms, including weight gain. Within a month of eliminating gluten and dairy from her diet Stork lost more than 10 percent body fat and dropped 12 pounds and two sizes. “If someone has a thyroid issue,-nutrient deficiency, sex hormone imbalance, etc., they will gain weight,” Edberg explains. As a certified weight loss coach, he knows that unless the true underlying metabolic issue is addressed-a person will not sustainably lose weight. “All the exercise in the world will not fix a thyroid issue or nutrient deficiency. In some cases it might make the underlying problem worse.” This “inside out” approach to personal training is the standard at Life Time Fitness. New members take a comprehensive assessment, called myHealthScore, to measure six metabolic markers cholesterol ratio, triglycerides, blood pressure, body fat ratio, glucose levels and nicotine use - in order to first set goals based on their internal health. With information from myHealthScore Edberg says he can make precise exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation recommendations to support each client’s individual metabolism needs. Stork is impressed with her results, but the implications go beyond a smaller waist line. Her father suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which looms large in her mind. The steps she is taking now she hopes will prevent a dependence on medication later. “I know what may be ahead of me as I get older, and I know I need to start doing things to improve my overall health and fitness to help counter any disease I may develop later in life.” - BPT


"Healthy relationships with others begin with a healthy relationship with yourself."-- Frank Brown.


Relationships “Am I worthy of real love?” By Frank Brown


ave you ever felt like your dating life wasn't going the way you would like? Have you ever found yourself settling for less when it comes to what you expect romantically and even unromantically? You are not alone, in fact many people I speak to feel just like this, sometimes even asking me the heart breaking question "Am I worthy of real love". I've always answered yes until I finally realized that wasn't all of the truth, I was pacifying them and merely prolonging their struggle. Does every man and woman deserve real love? YES. Will they get it? NO... Not because it doesn't exist and not because everyone else is evil. The truth is until we find that true love within ourselves we lack the inner strength and foundation to demand the respect we deserve, we lack the self esteem and confidence it takes to get back up after failure and we lose hope. We become hopeless, and it shows more than you know when you meet others. That energy is felt by almost everyone around you and most times it's not pleasant, how can you expect anyone to fall in love with hopelessness? Now we find ourselves searching for our own happiness in the lives of others, we grow more and more thirsty for completion, we lower our standards and we lose expectations. You have officially lost yourself and are at the easiest point of manipulation. You've been used and abused, lost and confused and driven to emotional insanity. This is a terrible situation to be in and will not change until you wake up and realize that you are worth more than what you could ever imagine, but no one will believe that if you don't believe it yourself. The most important relationship you will ever have in life is within you. Spend some time with you, treat yourself, get to know your roots and who you are. What do you believe in? what do you love? How do you show joy and energy? Everyone has flaws, learn to love them! Everyone has strengths, learn to use them! Find your purpose and fight for it! Go after your goals with a new confidence and the new motivation of making yourself better! Learn to love you and become your own source of happiness because no one else can truly love you until you love yourself!

The question is not are you worthy of real love? The question is have you prepared yourself for its arrival or will you scare it away?


Simple steps to a Fresh start this

Spring Season


eeling like you’re in a relationship rut? You’re not alone. Whether you’re single or married, getting stuck in a routine may be normal, but that’s no excuse to keep on down the same path. Take control of your love life and break out of your relationship habits. Relationship expert and author of “Cheat On Your Husband With Your Husband,” Andrea Syrtash, shares three simple steps to help you identify your patterns, make small changes and ultimately decide if this is the right relationship for you.

* Identify the patterns. If you want new results in love, you have to do things - and date differently. Once you’ve identified your habits, it will be much easier to steer clear of any ruts. The first step is to look at your pattern. If you don’t know what your relationship pattern is, consider this: If your dating life were a movie - what would it be called? How would it begin and end? What character do you always play? You’ll start to see some themes. We all get into patterns in our relationships and often expect things to get better without changing our ways. It’s like using the same search

engine day in and day out and expecting better results. We do things because we’ve always done them; but as Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Branch out and give Bing a try to see if it’s your perfect match.

* Make small changes. With step one under your belt, it’s time to take action. Advanced Valentine’s Day planning can go a long way in showing your love and affection. Not putting in the thought to pre-plan, forgetting the card, buying drugstore gifts on the way home from work, and thinking that special occasions dont matter (if it doesn’t matter to both of you that’s one thing ... but if it matters to one of you, it should be acknowledged) puts a strain on your relationship, whether or not you realize it at the time. Planning ahead seems like a daunting task, but it is easier than you think. Take it one step at a time, and lean on the various online resources available that make planning simple. Use Bing to get ahead this Spring seaon to quickly find flowers, book dinner reservations and buy tickets for a romantic movie all in one place.



Stop your relationship rut:

* Move forward. A surprising one in 10 people admit to having broken up with someone on Valentine’s Day, according to a recent survey by Bing and Impulse. If making a few small adjustments isn’t changing your relationship patterns, give some thought to if you’re in a healthy relationship or if it’s time to break it off. Don’t just think about the person you’re with, think about the person you are when you’re with your significant other. That will tell you everything you need to know. If you’re usually cool and you’re crazy or insecure with someone, they’re not your match. You deserve to be happy, and if that means it’s time for a change, than embrace it. Trying something new may lead you to a better alternative you never knew existed. Use this Spring Season as an opportunity to start fresh. Whether you are working on making the small changes that matter, or deciding to part ways, don’t let your relationship continue along in the same rut. There’s no better time than the present.



Secrets of building a great gift basket


iving a great gift basket is like bestowing a buffet of gifts on your loved one, and when the well-put-together gift basket is opened, well, that’s a magical moment. Beneath the pretty decorations lie enchanting mysteries that emerge one-by-one to the delight of the recipient. The personal aspects of a gift basket are also endearing. You can customize a gift basket to the occasion (holiday, birthday, retirement, etc.) and tastes of the recipient, and taking the time to do so shows your thoughtfulness and caring. Building a great gift basket can be fun and easy. The gift experts at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store offer some advice for putting together a gift basket that will charm any recipient:

The first steps Begin by deciding what to put in the gift basket - packaged food, gourmet coffees, collegiate items, apparel, candles, personal care items like soaps or lotions, cooking utensils, books, jewelry, home decor items, gardening tools, ornaments, picture frames, etc. Practically any hobby or area of interest can be an inspiration for a gift basket. Base your choice on the recipient’s personality and interests. Next, choose a container. Baskets, of course, are the classic container, but don’t overlook other options, especially if they fit the overall theme you’ve chosen. For


example, load a toy football helmet with items inspired by his favorite football team. A large stockpot can be ideal for holding cooking utensils for a foodie or budding chef. A planter makes a useful and decorative container for gardening tools.

Arranging items Once you’ve chosen the perfect container, think about how you’ll arrange the items that go in it. First, add some decorative shredding (available in craft stores, or make your own with colored paper and a paper shredder) to help stabilize items in the container and make it look even more attractive. Then, follow these rules of thumb for arranging items: * Place tallest items in the back. If you’re using a round container, choose a side to serve as a visual “back.” * Moving forward, stair step the rest of your items from tall to short. It’s OK if the rows are not perfectly straight or even. In fact, a little variance in the arrangement will make the basket look even more appealing. * Be sure to place packaged items with the most interesting side facing forward so it’s immediately visible. For example, if you’ve included a bag of the recipient’s favorite coffee, make sure the brand name is showing so he or she will be able to tell at a glance what’s in the basket. * Be careful not to completely hide any items. It’s fine to have things peeping through here or there, but avoid burying anything on the bottom. Buried items

could potentially get lost and tossed out with the shredding. * If you need to hold items in place, secure them using some glue lines or glue dots (also available in craft stores.) Fitting everything snugly is the key.

The finishing touches Once your basket is artfully filled, place the entire container in a large cellophane bag. Gather the bag above the contents of the basket, then tie a bow at the narrowest part of the gathered bag. For smaller containers, pull the corners of the bag under the container and tape them. Trim any excess bag at the top. You can either hand-deliver your gift basket - which gives you the instant gratification of seeing the surprise and happiness on your loved one’s face - or ship it if that’s more convenient and practical. When shipping, be sure to package your basket securely. If you purchase a gift basket at Cracker Barrel, they will pack it for you at no extra cost and you just pay the actual shipping fee. If creating a gift basket yourself is not your cup of tea - or if you prefer to have an expert handle the job - the gift gurus at Cracker Barrel can do it for you based on your specifications. Visit to learn more. - BPT



Karyn White

anundeniable voice for many women in the late 80’s and 90’s has returned to music. Her voice is timeless and her presence was missed as she took time off to focus on that which was dear to her and gain more perspective on life’s purpose for her. With her much anticipated new music she comes back on the scene with a new modern Karyn female anthem titled “Sista”. She adds to her talent a book of poetry. Jazz- I can remember being little on a Saturday morning, my mom is ironing clothes and the radio is blasting and “I’m not your super woman” comes on and we both start singing lol. Now I had no idea what I was singing or the impact that this song had but I knew I loved it. How does it feel to be the “Voice” to so many women? Did you think you would have this impact? Karyn White- That’s so funny lol. I didn’t know I was that “Voice” until women would come up to me and tell me and I read stories about it. I feels great to know I could do that and impact so many women who may have hurting and going through situations. I’m honored to have been in that position with that song. We had no idea that it would take off like that. Jazz- Do you think that the views of motherhood in the industry have changed since you were a young mother in the industry? Karyn White- I think that women have decided not to allow the industry to determine what they can do. I think they have broken down some major walls that were in place when I was younger and married. The industry had decided that I had lost my edge and sex appeal because I was married and had a daughter but the reality was I didn’t and now that I’m older and I feel even sexier nothing will hold me back. I released my album under my own label and it all feels great. Jazz- What are your feelings about female R&B singer today? Have their values and morals diminished? Does it mean the same to be a female artist now as it did when y0ou first started? Karyn White- I think that the females in the game today have great voices and talents however some of them have no boundaries when it comes to sex appeal. Being sexy does not mean taking off your clothes, I barely showed my legs but I was sexy. Sometimes you have to put limits in place.

Interview By J.C. Byrd


Karyn White PREMIERE 2013 / ILENE CAROL 47  



aryn is fearless, and when we first started talking about her releasing new music in the marketplace, the first thing she said was – ‘I don’t want to do it like I’ve done it before—I want it to be new, I want to push the envelope on all of the new social media, internet and website platforms, I want to be the edge not on it... I want to be a difference maker’ that’s why I call Karyn a renaissance woman,” said Jay King, the independent music, multi-media mogul of Club Nouveau fame, who is working with White on her new music.


White’s project includes embracing multi-media formats, to broaden the scope of Karyn and her ideas, with her Lest we forget, the Los Angeles native who has literally been singing her entire life was nominated twice for Grammy Awards (Best Female R&B Vocal Performance), and earned a trio of Soul Train Award nominations, along with a coveted NAACP Image Award for Best New Artist in 1989. She also added to her musical legacy by co-writing, co-producing and coexecutive producing the Billboard HOT 100 Pop Chart #1 single, “Romantic”, in November 1991. Karyn’s monster hits include “The Way You Love Me”, “Secret Rendezvous” and “Love Saw It”, a duet with Babyface. She is an international sensation, with Gold and Platinum albums in Japan, the UK and in Canada. The songwriting prowess of Karyn White includes her work with industry icons Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager, as well as her co-writing the hit “Til’ You Come Back To Me” in 1992, a popular song originally performed by Rachelle Ferrell. Her first credit in the industry, even prior to hitting as a vocalist, was that of co-writing the Stephanie Mills hit “Automatic Passion” in 1985, along with the late great industry musician Robert Brookins and lyrical mastermind Tony Haynes. The mid- 80’s saw White working with a veritable Who’s Who of musical talent, from Supertramp and O’Bryan to Richard Marx and Ray Parker Jr. In 1986, Karyn was featured as a vocalist on a Jeff Lorber album called Private Passion—that began a buzz that led to her inevitable solo success. So, in 1988, her self-titled debut LP established her as a leading female voice in contemporary R&B music. That album was certified Platinum and reached #1 on the Billboard R&B charts. She enjoyed another Gold album in 1991, with Ritual Of Love. “A dream come true is just a tough little wish that would not take NO for an answer. This is a truth for me.... I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me this time around!!!!” 1994’s critically acclaimed Make Him Do Right may have been the last fulllength recording by Karyn White – but her voice never left. Expect Karyn to conquer music all over again because true artistry is timeless. She possesses one of the most memorable, distinctive voices ever heard in popular music. She’s

an accomplished singer/songwriter who etched herself into music history with her smash hit song, the female anthem, “Superwoman”. That song made international waves, selling over a million units, being certified Gold and named the Billboard R&B Song of the Year in 1989. She IS a super woman. She’s Karyn White. In the years since her last CD was released in 1994 (Make Him Do Right – Warner Brothers), the lovely, soulful vocalist has focused her energy on family, raising and nurturing her daughter Ashley (her daughter with ex-husband, producer/songwriter Terry Lewis of Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis fame). White’s priorities to family are largely responsible for her absence from the music scene. Her daughter Ashley is now a freshman at Howard University but for the last 18 years – Karyn saw to it that Ashley received the love and care of a mother invested in her child – which the nomadic lifestyle of a professional musician could not afford. Karyn’s considerable talents extend well beyond music. She’s been successfully honing her skills in recent years as an interior designer, and making moves in real estate. However, she didn’t turn her back on music, still paying close attention to the industry. “Music is in me. You may be temporarily detached from the business side of it – but the music, the melodies, the rhythms – never leave you,” said White. White’s new CD, Carpe Diem – Seize the Day, offers a heartfelt Retro Acoustic soulful flare. She delivers every note, every inflection, with the flow of a woman who knows what each nuance means to the song. The CD contains another anthem for the ladies – a female bonding and empowerment tune with an acoustic grit, called “Sista Sista”. With this future classic, the ladies will hear that they have their champion back on the scene. Karyn also performs her own version of the Cyndi Lauper classic, “True Colors”, on this new CD. “Karyn’s World” website ( Plans for the web site include a reality show, and the opportunity for fans to purchase Karyn White branded merchandise.


L R ! t i k c Che

By J.C. Byrd



o let me tell you a story about this sexy Male R&B artist Ladies. Hold on to your seats and let’s take a cruise back into time. I promise you won’t be disappointed. The 90’s was a great time in music wasn’t it? We all wanted to be somebody’s “Wifey” and let’s not forget being on the dance floor and getting a little “Too Close” to our dance partner (You know what I mean wink, wink). When the 2000’s hit and relationships started to get rough and he started acting up, we had to let him know “We Can’t be friends” but “Just in Case” he wanted to turn it around and make it work and be “A Good Man” we might stick around. You know it always put a smile on your face when he was acting right and lets you have “Anything” you want and when he shows you he could be “The Best Man” he can be. Date night is always a plus when you and your man spend quality time together with a night out on the town and stopping by your favorite spot “Bar One” followed by a night of cuddling and “Butta Love”. You just love being “Boo’d Up” don’t you? I know you do. That’s quite a list of hits and it only gets better as he prepares to release new music under his label “Motion Picture Music”. I’m sure by this catalog of some of music’s finest tunes you can probably guess that this awesome artist is none other than Singer/Songwriter/Producer R&B star RL. He is 1/3 of the R&B group Next, and he is certainly one of music’s most talented songwriters, working with artist such as Jahiem, Ideal, 3rd Storee, Koffee Brown and Next. He hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he had dreams of becoming an engineer. RL began his musical career seeking to be a rapper and not singer. He is also a very shy guy, but once he hits that stage he is totally in his element and he knows how to work the stage. He commands total attention and will have you on your feet from beginning until the end. To add to his career roster he is also a business man (Gotta love the Man that has his own) and co-owner of Atlanta Hot Spot “Bar-One”. Be sure to watch out for his new single “Boo’d Up” hitting your speakers very soon. Get ready for more RL ladies, as if you couldn’t get enough already.



Life&Work Relax away the worries, tension and stresses of winter at Kohler Waters Spa at the American Club Resort.

nd vacation la r e d n o w r te in with a w Pamper yourself



Ice skating in winter brings enjoyment to any winter wonderland vacation, especially one celebrated at American Club Resort.

Pamper yourself with a w


he holiday season is magical, with colorful lights sparkling in the snow and festivities abounding. But once the holidays are over, don’t let the lingering winter force you inside. Instead, use the winter months as the perfect opportunity to take a winter wonderland vacation.


life&work snow country, and discover how much fun it is to play in the snow during the day. Then cap off each night with a luxurious dinner before falling asleep in comfort, dreaming about the activities of the day. Couples looking for a romantic getaway can also plan the perfect holiday, complete with spa treatments or cozying up to the fire with hot chocolate warming their hands. For your next winter wonderland escape, make certain you pamper yourself well. Book your getaway at The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wis., which is one of the few Forbes Five Star, AAA-Five Diamond rated hotels in the world. Spend your days skiing, snowshoeing, skating, ice fishing and even clay and trap shooting. Or take an open-air, horse-drawn carriage ride through the winding streets of Kohler Village, breathing in the cool, crisp, fresh air. If your muscles feel a little sore from all the exertions, the Forbes Five-Star Kohler Waters Spa is known for its healing hydrotherapy water services and innovative treatments, including the WaveMotion Body Treatment, which will have you feeling pampered and relaxed in no time at all. And just imagine lounging back in the rooftop whirlpool, the steam of the water enveloping you in a snow globe setting with snow gently falling all around you. Of course, one doesn’t need to spend every day of their winter wonderland vacation outside. The American Club Resort also offers Yoga on the Lake, indoor tennis at the Sports Core and lessons at the Kohler Golf Acade-

n o ti ca a v d n a rl e d n o w r te win When the snow arrives, the outdoors become a fantastic playground for kids and adults alike. The snow provides everyone with an excuse to get outside. Wintery outdoor activities can range from the more extreme adventures like dogsledding and downhill skiing, to a more moderate pace of snowshoeing, ice skating and cross country skiing - bringing a rosy glow to cheeks and noses. Bring a little fun, excitement and pampering to your winter months by taking a long weekend, or even a week-long trip to the

my, allowing guests to pursue and perfect their summer seasonal interests. For the culinarily inclined, one can fill their belly at any of the 11 restaurants throughout the resort - including Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates at the Craverie - or enjoy the Demonstration Kitchen Series, interacting with Kohler chefs and learning tips and tricks for cooking at home. Don’t let the long winter months after the holiday season drag you into the cabin fever doldrums. Instead, don your hat and mittens - as well as some sunblock - lace up your ice skates, and glide out into the sparkly winter wonderland for a rejuvenating and relaxing vacation. - BPT



'Green' ideas for winter-white weddings


ou're ready to say your "I do's" in front of your family and friends. Planning a memorable celebration of your commitment to each other, however, doesn't mean you have to compromise on your commitment to the environment. It's possible to create the wedding of your dreams and stay "green," even in the cold, white months of winter. December is the most popular month for proposals, and the second-most popular cool season month for weddings (after October). Environmentally correct weddings are a hot trend, according to, a leading wedding-planning website. If your vision of the perfect wedding marries eco-friendly green with winter white, here are some tips and ideas to help you turn your vision into reality:


life&work Friendly feasting

Greener invitations

Great food is an essential part of any wedding, whether you’re serving a sit-down dinner or just hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. When you’re planning your menu, however, keep in mind how the foods you choose may impact the environment. For example, is that fish entree net caught, line caught or farmed?

The invitation is often the first impression guests will have of your wedding. While every bride wants invitations that will wow guests, keep in mind the costs - both monetary and environmental - of all that paper. Many eco-minded brides are switching to invitations made with recycled paper or, better yet, electronic invitations.

A dish’s environmental impact depends on several factors, including how the product was raised and harvested, how it was transported and how far it had to travel from point of origin to plate. By choosing locally grown products or those grown and harvested using sustainable practices, you can reduce your wedding feast’s impact on the environment.

Reuse, recycle and revel Brides in bygone generations once gladly wore their mother’s wedding dress, but the practice fell out of vogue as more brides wanted their own unique look for their wedding day. But the green movement has breathed new life into the practice, since reusing and recycling eliminates the need to consume materials and energy making something new. More brides are finding that recycling a wedding dress has other advantages too. It’s possible to achieve a great vintage look with a used wedding dress - whether it’s one handed down from your mother or one you found in a second-hand store. A new gown can cost thousands of dollars, while a repurposed dress can be had much more cheaply.

No raw materials are consumed to create e-vites, and what’s more, you can find online services that not only help you create an e-vite, but send it and monitor responses all online. Using such a service can help you keep better track of RSVPs.

There is the option of sending invitations printed on recycled paper with flower seeds imbedded in the paper. Your guests can plant the invitation in their garden, and remember your special occasion every time they see the beautiful flowers growing. Visit www. to learn more.

The little things that mean a lot Some other steps that may seem small - like choosing locally grown, in-season flowers rather than out-of-season ones that must be imported - can also make a big difference in how your wedding impacts the environment. Whether you opt to replace cut bouquets and centerpieces with artificial ones that can be reused, or choose acoustic music that requires no electricity to keep guests dancing, it’s possible to find green options for almost every aspect of your wedding.

Wedding favor wonders Sure it’s a cool idea and the groomsmen will likely use theirs often, but just how environmentally correct is that custom-imprinted beer cozy? Wedding favors are a way of thanking guests for sharing in your special day, but many popular items are made from less-than-eco-friendly materials. To green your wedding, consider favors that are useful and organic, such as organic baking mixes or spice mixes. You can find a plethora of these great-tasting, green-minded options from purveyors like Simply Organic. They even have holiday-appropriate varieties like Cranberry Bread and Pumpkin Cake at Dress up favors with decorative netting and ribbons, and you have a unique favor that’s good for guests and the environment, too. - BPT



Tax-time savings Tips to help you keep more of your


hard-earned money

tax time and Americans are thinking about how they’re going to spend their tax refunds. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average tax refund was close to $3,000 last tax season, so who wouldn’t want to get that money back in their pocket? On the way to claiming your tax refund, here are some simple, smart choices that will help you keep more of your hard-earned money. * Look for free online tax preparation options. If you are a taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less, you can get free tax preparation through the IRS Free File Program at or at * Don’t pay hundreds of dollars to a national storefront or franchise. Whether you’re a teacher, construction worker, or member of the military, tax software can help you claim every deduction you are entitled to. TurboTax, the market leader in tax software is personalized and guides you step-by-step and even has CPAs available year round to provide expert answers to tax questions and personalized audit support if you need help. “I switched from a tax pro when I learned that TurboTax has CPAs available to answer my questions,” says Jeff Noll of Chicago. “It’s a great service and takes away any nagging little questions that I was not totally clear about. I felt more confident that I had taken every deduction I could after speaking with an expert. TurboTax definitely helped me keep more money in my pocket.” Military members serving in the Armed Forces should look for additional opportunities to save on tax preparation. In addition to the IRS Free File Program,


some tax software companies offer special savings to military members. Be sure to research your options and look for providers offering tax products that are personalized for the specific needs of military filers. Looking for more ways to save at tax time? Check out free and low-cost mobile apps to estimate taxes, prepare and file your tax return and check the status of your tax refund. SnapTax lets you take a picture of your W-2, answer a few simple questions and file directly from your mobile phone. “Remember to e-file and use direct deposit for a faster tax refund,” advises Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA with the American Tax and Financial Center at TurboTax. “Combining electronic filing with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund back, in as little as 21 days, once the IRS receives and accepts your tax return.” Electronically filing your tax return is also more accurate and most online tax preparation websites offer free federal e-filing. Following these money-saving tips can help you keep more of your hard-earned money. - BPT


Careful planning

is a must for the sandwich generation


not always a good thing to be the middle. For the children of baby boomers, the middle can be a financially stressful place. Often called the sandwich generation, children of baby boomers tend to be financially strapped funding their children’s college educations, their own retirements and their parent’s lifestyles at an age when health care costs can increase dramatically. “The stresses are real, but families from all backgrounds can get through the period of college tuition payments, retirement finances and caring for aging parents with a little planning, diligent saving and knowledge of their financial situation,” says Tara Reynolds, corporate vice president with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). “The most important thing families can do is to evaluate their present financial situation honestly with a trusted financial professional. Jeff Duncan, a MassMutual agent based in New Jersey, notes there is not a one-size fits all solution. “This is a challenging place to be for many baby boomers. By understanding each family’s unique needs there are various ways to solve for the best outcome,” he says. Here are

some tips to get your family conversation started and on a workable path: * Be open with your parents and children about your financial situation. Understand what retirement provisions your parents have made, what you have in place, and areas where gaps might occur. Consult a financial professional to help with this gathering and analysis of information. * Costs for long-term care services and health care in general are growing. The national annual average cost of nursing home care was $82,125 in 2010, according to the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance. Anticipate a yearly 3 percent inflation increase in these costs - which would bring the average annual nursing home cost to almost $300,000 in 30 years. * Don’t leave your retirement plans to fall by the wayside. Shirking retirement planning now could leave a burden on your children to care for you later in life. Contribute at least the amount your company will match in your 401(k) plan, and work with a financial professional on other retirement saving avenues you are able to take. * For your children’s college funds,

set up a 529 plan to help absorb some of the cost of their education - which is now running close to $40,000 a year, on average, for a four-year degree. Also, talk with your children openly about scholarships and loans, and how they can help handle costs for their education. A compromise might be having them enroll in a two-year or community college and live at home to help cut costs. * Establish a long-term insurance plan for yourself. Set up life insurance to protect your family in the event you die prematurely, and disability insurance to protect your income should you become too ill or injured to work. Also, consider establishing a long-term insurance plan-- either as a stand-alone product or as a rider to a life insurance policy - to cover the long-term care needs of you, your spouse and/or your parents. The sandwich generation tends to be bombarded with financial demands from all directions, but the children of baby boomers don’t have to put their retirement planning on hold. Following these tips can help you avoid the stress that can result by failing to plan. - BPT






Steps to a more beautiful Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most frequented areas in your home, making your choice of bathroom decor pretty important. Don’t forget about this key area when considering your next home improvement project. With a few tips, you can take your bathroom from so-so to spectacular in no time at all. Rejuvenate with paint The quickest way to beautify your bathroom - or any area in your home - is with a fresh coat of paint. Color has a huge influence on the mood of your space, and you can instantly brighten, calm or energize your space with a few strokes of a paint brush. Dutch Boy offers hundreds of hues to help you create the perfect atmosphere, whatever your style and space. Give your washroom a tranquil look with a subdued color like Faded Mint, rejuvenate the walls with a bright Borealis Blue, or freshen up with a neutral Rudimentary Beige -for a crisp, clean look. And with Arm & Hammer Odor Eliminating Technology, Dutch Boy’s Refresh paint is perfect for keeping your bathroom looking and smelling great. Don’t stop at the walls, either. Use Refresh to bring new life to cabinets and vanities, and don’t forget to touch up the trim and molding. Storage organization Storing all of your toiletries, accessories and styling tools can be a challenge, but finding ways to avoid clutter is important when decorating a small room. Organization is key to a great-looking bathroom, so incorporate storage options that can add style while saving space. Rather than a traditional towel bar, try staggered wall hooks or a standing coat rack. Keep items like extra hand towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies easily available in woven wicker baskets, and arrange counter toiletries in unused serving trays beneath the vanity or on floating

shelves. Pieces of furniture found in other rooms in your home are also great for maximizing bathroom storage: end tables, shelves and dressers can be the perfect solutions to a small space. Functional fashion Just because your bathroom is small doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice fashion for function. You can instantly bring style to the space by hanging an embroidered or textured fabric shower curtain in front of a neutral or clear shower liner. Coordinating absorbent floor mats next to the bathtub and sink will prevent water damage while bringing flair to the room. And you’ll use one nearly every time you are in the room, so invest in plush towels in a variety of colors and sizes for a luxurious, coordinated look. Finally, add stylish accessories such as soap dispensers, toothbrush holders and tissue box covers to give your room a sophisticated look without taking up precious counter space. Making scents Once you’ve given the room a new look, appeal to the other senses and give your space a fresh, clean atmosphere. Bathrooms aren’t always associated with the most agreeable odors, so an especially aromatic room will be a pleasant surprise for visitors. Whether fresh linen, clean lemon, or soothing lavender, a scent will instantly influence the atmosphere of your bathroom. And with nearly limitless options including scented candles, plugin fresheners, potpourri and oil diffusers, you’ll be sure to find something that works with your decor. With a few stylish but space-saving tips, you can easily give your bathroom a whole new look, and create a space that you’ll love. - BPT


HOME & ORGANIZING Kitchen trends for 2013 :

Revamping kits’ offer high-end results


you’re tired of looking at your outdated kitchen, but feel replacement would be impractical, you’re not alone. In 2013, consumers will be trying to find the beauty in the beast. Projects that help the old look new will be the next big makeover trend - especially in the kitchen where remodeling becomes more pricey. “Revamping kits” that refinish countertops, cabinets, and appliances are already in growing demand. Here are three top kitchen kits that can easily, quickly and affordably help your existing kitchen look high end. Granite remains the No. 1 choice for kitchen remodels, but the standard cost of granite runs from $50 to $110 a square foot (including installation). While there’s nothing functionally wrong with laminate, Corian and Formica, they’re not always what homeowners are looking for. So if your countertops need an uplift without a hefty price tag attached, try granite paint. Giani Granite Paint kits allow you to give outdated countertops a granite look for $69.95 per kitchen. Each kit comes with the primer, mineral paints, applicators and a demo DVD to help you update your Formica, laminate, wood, tile and Corian countertops.


One granite kit can transform an average L-shaped kitchen countertop (or about 16 running feet) in one weekend and the process is easy enough for a first-time painter. The included specialized sponge replicates popular styles of granite, and the high-gloss finish adds durability and shine. Further granite countertop paint information and availability can be found at

Modern cabinets are what everyone needs to bring their kitchen from “old-fashioned” to “in fashion.” However, throwing the old cabinets out may seem drastic. If your cabinets work just fine but the color is keeping your kitchen in the ‘90s, try Nuvo Cabinet paint. Nuvo Cabinet paint is a one-day process that does not require any cabinet removal or a separate primer. Just apply two coats of your desired Nuvo shade and within hours your

cabinets will be ready for use. Each kit covers 100 square feet, which is the standard cabinet coverage for the average-sized kitchen. One kit costs $69.95 and can be purchased from Appliances are a big investment and many times are purchased all at once to achieve a harmonious, matching look. This holds many homeowners back from making the jump toward the most desired appliance look, stainless. New Liquid Stainless Steel paint is made with 100 percent stainless steel; and kits are available for refrigerators as well as a ranges and dishwashers. The stainless “Range and Dishwasher” kit, gives a brushed stainless look for $24.95 and the Liquid Stainless “Fridge” kit costs $69.95. Each kit comes with a specialized application tool that creates the brushed metal appearance over your existing appliances. These kits can be found at Before you throw out the old, try revamping your countertops, cabinets, and appliances, helping what you have look like a million bucks for less than $200. - BPT


Use a fresh start to get organized with these Tips


hether you’re celebrating a new job, new house or new member of your family, fresh starts and major life events herald a time to rejoice. While you’re feeling good about a positive change in your life, it’s also a great time to get organized so you can focus on what’s to come instead of worrying about where to find this or where to put that. A large-scale reorganization of your home, office or life can seem like a tall order, but if you do it right, it can save you a lot of trouble down the line. And whether you’re moving or doing some rearranging, it makes sense to take the opportunity to pre-organize to ensure a smooth transition. One of the biggest organizing mistakes you can make is putting things away only to forget where you put them the next time you need them. Labeling as you go can help avoid future stress and messes that could lead you to reorganize everything all over again. When you have all kinds of boxes, drawers and other items to label, a label maker can be a huge help. Rather than having to hand-label everything, consider an automated label maker like the Brother P-touch PT-D200 that features a full keyboard and four one-touch buttons so you can

easily change fonts and add symbols and frames. The machine also allows you to store up to 30 “favorite” labels and features numerous designs and -patterns for customization. In addition, Brother P-touch labels are durable and will last over time.

a turn, tearing apart your closet or wherever you thought you put yourhat and gloves? Dedicate a storage area for seasonal clothes and decorations, and place them in labeled containers to ease any stress caused by the shifting seasons.

Here are a few labeling and organizing tips that will help you keep everything in order and avoid headaches down the line:

* For new babies: Preparing for a new arrival is a joyous - yet busy occasion. Labeling where you keep the clothes, diapers, bibs and other necessities can help sleep-deprived parents or visiting caretakers locate everything baby needs without having to dig through drawers and cabinets. If you use day care services, you can also label bottles and personal items to make things easy on your day care provider to avoid mix-ups.

* Use expiration dates: If you’re installing a new smoke alarm, place a label on it so you know when it’s time to change the batteries. After you’ve cleaned and reorganized your refrigerator, make a habit of labeling leftovers to remind you when something’s about to expire and help simplify things the next time you clean the fridge. * If you’re moving: One of the easiest ways to make sure boxes end up in the right place is to label them clearly with the proper destination. This is helpful whether you’re hiring movers or doing it yourself. If you know the boxes will immediately go into storage, don’t forget to label them and, if need be, keep a simple spreadsheet that tells where each box ended up so you know where to look for it. * Seasonal shifts: Do you find yourself in a tizzy every time the weather takes

* Eliminate cord confusion: When you peer behind your entertainment center and find a mass of cords, it can be a bit of a guessing game if you need to pick out the right one to move or disconnect. Save yourself some trouble and label each cord so you don’t have to face this dilemma each time something needs to be unplugged. By organizing the right way the first time, you can make life easier and make big reorganizing efforts less frequent. For more labeling and organizational tips and products, visit - BPT


food & entertaining



Game day

Score big with these game day entertaining tips W Loaded Twice-Baked Taters ith hockey and basketball season in full swing, it's the perfect time to invite family and friends over to root on the home team. Hosting a crowd-pleasing party can be simple with a little preparation. Score big with these simple game day entertaining tips.

*Create a game plan. Organize the menu ahead of time so you're not scrambling to finish everything at the last minute. Tackle recipes that can be made prior to the big event, and prep any ingredients so they're ready to cook on the day of the party. *Block extra mess and stress. Finger foods are a great way to reduce utensil and dish use. Look to serve items that can be eaten in one bite, and set out napkins for party guests to use. *Score with decor. Print out team logos and glue or tape to cups. Purchase green or yellow felt fabric green to evoke a football field, yellow to evoke the hardwood of a basketball court -- from the local craft store to use as a table cloth. Tie team-colored ribbon bows on your door knocker, around lamp shades or any other object you can think of, to show your team spirit. *Snack sack. Pick foods that are easy to make and fit with the overall game theme. Save time and money by using household staples as ingredients, like Pringles crisps. These quick and easy Loaded Twice-Baked Taters are sure to be a fan favorite.

Ingredients: 2 6.38-ounce cans of Pringles Loaded Baked Potato flavor 1 1/2 cup skim milk 1 egg 1 slice of American cheese Sour cream, dried chives and bacon bits, for garnish Directions: Heat oven to 350 F. Place one 6.38-ounce can of Pringles Loaded Baked Potato crisps in a food processor and pulse until well crushed. Add milk, egg and cheese into mixture and puree until well mixed. Take Pringles from remaining can and place 48 crisps on a cookie sheet with the curve of the crisp facing up, and edges facing down. With a very small spoon, place a rounded scoop onto each crisp. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with dried chives and bacon bits. Serve immediately.



f your not sure how you’re going to wow your friends and family this year, Betty Crocker offers up these ideas - inspired by the hottest food trends of the season.

Food and Drink

recipes inspired by the hottest trends of the season will make your gatherings sizzle

Our team of food lovers at the Betty Crocker Kitchens selected what we think will be the season’s most popular food trends. Using these trends as inspiration, we created new recipes perfect for holiday get-togethers, family-time baking and gift giving,” says Kristen Olson, food editor at Betty Crocker. From cooking and baking with craft beer to families making memories with playful recipes there is something for everyone.

Sweet surprises

Family kitchen

Alfajores Hidden Surprise Cookies: This year, secret ingredients, hidden surprises and revealing colors are on the menu. Put a new twist on an old classic by stacking these Argentinean sandwich cookies triple high and adding a secret pocket filled with sweet surprises

Elf Food: Families are getting creative in the kitchen, with adults and kids using playful recipes as a way to connect over food and craft.- Together, they are making so much more than food - they’re making memories.- A surefire way to lure elves from their hiding spots: combine candy sprinkles, maple syrup and tiny doughnuts (made from Cheerios!) for an irresistible mix.

Layers. Layers. Layers 18 Layer Red Velvet Cake: This year has been all about layers, in everything from food to fashion. Take your holiday celebration to impressive new heights with a stunning 18-layer cake that guests will go gaga over.

Gluten free for all Gluten Free Chocolate Truffle Cakes: Gluten free baking has come a long way. These indulgent mini cakes are filled and topped with ganache and sprinkled with crystallized ginger, pistachios and cacao nibs.

Beer craft Chocolate Stout Caramel Corn: Craft breweries are enjoying a resurgence, and building community one pint at a time. Home brewers and food lovers alike are getting in on this trend too, as more are brewing, cooking and baking at home with beer. Stout beer, roasted almonds and plenty of milk chocolate chunks make this caramel popcorn an irresistible snack.


Try the 18 Layer Red Velvet Cake to wow your guests, or the Craft Beer Caramel Corn for a great food gift. Find all the red hot holiday trends and recipes at - BPT

Take your Special Occasions to impressive new heights with a stunning

18-layer Cake

18 Layer Cake Red Velvet Cake

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottom of each pan with cooking parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray. 2. In large bowl, beat White Cake ingredients on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl White Cake occasionally. Loosely cover and refrigerate.1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix3. In another large bowl, beat Red Velvet Cake ingredients 1 1/4 cups wateron low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, 1/3 cup vegetable oil scraping bowl occasionally. 3 eggs4. Spread 1/2 cup red velvet batter in bottom of each pan. Loosely cover and refrigerate remaining batter. Place all 3 Red Velvet Cake 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist German chocolate cake mix pans on oven rack positioned in center of oven. Bake about 8 minutes or until cake is set when lightly touched in center.1 cup water 5. For next cake layer, spread 1/2 cup white batter evenly 1/2 cup vegetable oil over each baked red velvet layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or 3 eggsuntil cake is set when lightly touched in center.2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa1 bottle (1 ounce) red liquid food color (about 2 tablespoons) 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5, twice, baking 9 to 12 minutes per layer or until top of cake layer is set when lightly touched in center. Frosting 7. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; remove 2 1/2 cups marshmallow creme (from two 7-ounce jars) parchment paper from bottoms of cakes. Cool completely, 1 1/2 cups butter, softened about 30 minutes. 1 teaspoon vanilla 8. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat marshmallow creme, butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons milk vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk with electric mixer on medium 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar speed until blended. Beat in powdered sugar until fluffy. If necessary, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time until spreading consistency. 9. To assemble, stack cake layers, spreading 1/2 cup frosting between each layer. Spread remaining frosting on side and top of cake. With just a little effort on your part, this cake manages to create maximum “wow” factor for guests. Ingredients


Betty Croker

Chocolate Stout Caramel Corn is a sweet play on the craft beer trend Chocolate Stout Caramel Corn For a sweet treat that's all grown up, try this rich-tasting play on the craft beer trend. 8 cups popped popcorn1 cup roasted salted almonds1/2 cup stout beer1/4 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup brown rice syrup or corn syrup3 tablespoons butter1/4 teaspoon salt1 cup chopped premium milk chocolate (6 ounces)1. Heat oven to 300 F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.2. In large bowl, place popcorn and almonds; set aside.3. In 2-quart saucepan, heat beer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Pour into glass liquid measuring cup to confirm measure. Add back to saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, syrup and butter. Cook over medium heat until bubbly around edges, stirring occasionally.4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat; carefully stir in salt. Pour over popcorn mix in bowl; toss until evenly coated. Spread popcorn mixture in pans.5. Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to caramelize mixture. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces; stir in chocolate. Store in airtight container.


Sweet potatoes Still top spud in top food trends Sweet potato consumption rose nearly 10 percent since the year 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And as more restaurants tout sweet potato options on their menus, at-home chefs are looking for ways to prepare the nutritious orange spud. Whether swapping standard white potatoes for sweet potatoes in a game day potato skins recipe or mashing the sweet spuds as part of a reinvented potato casserole, opportunities to incorporate sweet potatoes in home-cooked recipes are endless. Popular food blogger Jessica Segarra of TheNoviceChefBlog. com says she also enjoys stuffing sweet potatoes with unique ingredients or making homemade fries. “Coupled with a few other simple ingredients like sea salt, cracked black pepper and olive oil, sweet potatoes can bring a lot of flavor to a meal,” Segarra says. “One of my all-time favorites is making homemade sweet potato fries paired with a flavorful dipping sauce, although the fries require a bit more effort on the backend to prepare.

available at retailers nationwide. From the company’s bite-sized, crispy Sweet Potato Puffs to its innovative Sweet Potato Roll featuring 8 grams of whole grains in every roll, each of Alexia’s unique sweet potato products are made with farm-fresh, American-grown sweet potatoes and are prepared in the oven in around 20 minutes.

Luckily, in today’s growing marketplace, consumers don’t have to slave away slicing and dicing. Frozen food companies like all-natural Alexia Foods offer a wide variety of premium sweet potato side dishes

To give classic sweet potato fries like Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries a kick, try serving them alongside a homemade dipping sauce like a spicy Asian dip featuring Sriracha hot sauce. - BPT

“More at-home cooks are choosing to serve sweet potatoes as part of their weeknight menus. They’re not just reserved for the holidays anymore,” says Mike Smith, vice president and general manager of Alexia Foods. “Using the highest quality ingredients and latest flavor innovation, our wide variety of convenient options such as the new Alexia Sweet Potato Roll or classic Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries give Americans a chance to stay ahead of the latest food trends right in their own kitchen. Plus, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A - making them a snack or side dish consumers can feel good about.”

Spicy Asian Dip Makes two servingss Serve with Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries Ingredients: 2 cups mayo 1/2 cup chili garlic sauce 1/2 cup Sriracha Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set in refrigerator for 20 minutes to join all flavors together. Serve chilled.



BAR Master of the bar

Easy tips to create the ultimate bar at home


etween the endless string of events and the chill in the air this time of year, it doesn’t take much to convince your friends and family to have a night in. No matter if you’re planning the party of the year or just inviting a few friends over, a great home bar is essential to make it a night to remember. Having everything you need on hand is the base of creating the perfect home bar. From smooth spirits to glasses to tools for mixing drinks, when your bar arsenal is complete, there is no drink you can’t make at home. -Even if you’re starting from empty, a few simple steps will help transform you into a home bar master, and impress even the most discerning cocktail connoisseur:


* Choose spirits carefully. Look for distinctive spirits that have a reputation for quality. New Amsterdam Vodka, for instance, is a premium vodka known for its unparalleled smoothness, which means you can drink it straight or mix it into a variety of equally smooth cocktails. Flavor profiles are also important in some spirits, so look for brands that emphasize a good balance. New Amsterdam’s award-winning gin is renowned for its balance and subtlety, which makes it a modern approach to this classic spirit. Be sure to have a good variety of the most popular spirits available so that you’re able to make a range of drinks to satisfy any whim.


* Prep your cocktail supplies. Plastic cups are out - real cocktails made with New Amsterdam spirits need the right tools of the trade. That includes glassware, so make sure you have everything you need, from highballs and lowballs to champagne flutes, red and white wine glasses and pint glasses for beer. Other barware you might want to consider includes a shaker, a strainer, a muddler, an ice bucket and a jigger, which will come in handy when measuring out proportions.

* Customize your cocktails.

Winter Toddy A "wintry mix" of New Amsterdam Gin, maple syrup and a dusting of cinnamon, this steamy cocktail is the perfect storm. Ingredients: 2 ounces New Amsterdam Gin 1 ounce maple syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice Fill with hot water Directions: Add ingredients in a mug. Garnish: a pinch of cinnamon

Since you’re home, you’re in charge of the garnishes, and can pick your favorites. A supply of citrus fruits like limes, lemons and oranges let you add twists or a squeeze of fresh juice. When you’re hosting, make it fun by setting out items like pickles, olives, cheese cubes or celery and letting guests create their own skewers to garnish their drinks. Keep up the customization theme by offering your guests a signature cocktail or two, particularly if you’re celebrating a special occasion. Whether it’s a large party or an intimate gathering, hosting at home allows you to man the bar and personalize the evening. New Amsterdam offers two signature drink recipes that will show off your smooth bar skills, and are as easy to make as they are to drink. Add these to your bar repertoire, or get more ideas at - BPT

Black Diamond For those who don't ski the Bunny Slope. Ingredients: 2 ounces New Amsterdam Vodka 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 1/2 ounce maple syrup Directions: Shake ingredients very well with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish: lemon peel





Taking care of the caregiver:

tips to help yourself and your loved one live with a chronic disease “Caregiver” is a title held by more than 65 million people in the United States, who are currently helping a loved one manage a chronic condition. A caregiver can be a significant help for those living with a chronic disease as part of a patient’s health care team, but there can also be many challenges, especially for those caring for patients with cancer. Not only do caregivers provide emotional strength and support, but often also help a patient with daily needs, such as filling prescriptions or scheduling doctors’ appointments. At an educational event recently held for those living with the blood cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), caregivers had the opportunity to ask questions of medical experts. In honor of November’s National Caregiver Month, Dr. Eric Feldman, director of hematological malignancies at Weill Cornell Medical College, provides advice for a few commonly asked questions: How can caregivers manage their role as part of the patient’s health care team? Being a caregiver can be overwhelming, and some important tips include: * Educating yourself: Staying well-informed about your loved one’s condition will make you a more valuable resource for them. For example, with CML, the cancer-causing enzyme Bcr-Abl is responsible for sending signals to produce cancerous white blood cells. Knowing about the disease, including which medications are designed to specifically act against this enzyme, can help you to be an active participant in ongoing treatment discussions. * Helping track results: Creating a “results journal” which is dedicated to storing test results along with his/her testing dates can help a patient keep track of this information. With CML patients, tracking the levels of Bcr-Abl is important for monitoring to see if the patient has reached the lowest level of disease. * Joining a caregiver support group: Greg Stephens, founder and director of the National CML Society, urges caretakers to connect with others going through similar experiences as an opportunity to learn new ways to help a loved one. These same connections can also be a source of

emotional support. What is the most important tip? It’s important to not forget about yourself - even if it means saying “no” to your loved one. When balancing the needs of the patient, it can be easy to forget your own. One of the most common challenges is stress, but being stressed can also make it harder for you to provide care. So make sure to take time for yourself. This will help you be there to help your loved one as best as you can. Can you provide some advice for long-distance caregiving? Providing care doesn’t have to be reserved to only those family members and friends who live closest to the patient. For those who live farther away, some suggestions include: * Planned visits: Seeing your loved one in person, as often as your schedule allows, can be a very important way to show your support for the patient and also for those caregivers who live closest. Be sure to talk with them ahead of time about what you may be able to do to help. Just because you live a greater distance from the patient, doesn’t have to mean that you cannot be an integral part of their support network. Having a plan in place will keep you from getting overwhelmed and stressed. * Think creatively: For patients and caregivers, it is important to have honest and open discussions with health care providers so they can play a more active role in disease management. For family members/caregivers who live far away, this can be a challenge. Stephens suggests that if you cannot attend appointments in person that you discuss with your loved one ways in which you can be more involved with their scheduled appointments by phone or teleconference. The patient’s doctor may also offer creative ways for you to be more involved. Where can I go to find more information about cancer and the role of caregivers? For more information about cancer, visit the National CML Society ( For more information and to connect with other CML patients and caregivers, visit the Novartis sponsored social networking site - BPT


COMMUNITY Join the next generation of doing Good - Philanthropy 2.0


n the past, giving money to a charity was considered one of the best ways to do a good deed. But thanks to modern technology, the face of philanthropy is changing as people around the world become more connected.

Lending a helping hand to people has always been an inherently good thing. But new perspectives have emerged about how philanthropy really affects those it’s meant to help. As a result of these new perspectives, the ways in which people on both ends of the equation relate to and understand each other have evolved. Philanthropy 2.0 is about making real connections, furthering understanding and building a better future with people whose faces are visible, names are knowable, and achievements can be shared. So what does philanthropy 2.0 look like in practical terms? A few examples shed light on how doing good has changed, and where it’s headed.

* Lending: Lending may not have fit into the philanthropy category in the past, but in the age of philanthropy 2.0, lending lets people go beyond traditional giving. The concept has grown dramatically through organizations like Kiva, which enables anyone with an Internet connection and $25 to make a micro-loan to one of thousands of lowincome entrepreneurs in over 60 countries, including the U.S. Lenders can simply go to www. to find a borrower to lend $25 to - it might be a student in Kenya, a seamstress in India or a farmer in Guatemala. Philanthropy 2.0 means you get to connect, through your micro-loan, to an individual borrower’s efforts to build a better future for themselves, their family and their community. When a borrower repays a loan - and it’s worth noting that Kiva’s repayment rate is 99 percent - you can choose a new recipient, so the cycle of support continues. You can also give a Kiva Card as a gift, providing your family and friends with a unique opportunity to connect with causes and places they care about as they choose


borrowers they’d like to support. And like a regular Kiva loan, the funds can be used again and again.

* Giving: Dropping a few coins in a collection box is a longstanding method of gathering funds for charity, but as organizations try to attract new audiences and donors, they’ve developed new approaches. It’s now essential for charities to have an active, multi-faceted Web and social media presence. The level of connection that’s so much a part of philanthropy 2.0 is much easier to achieve with interactivity on multiple platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to Tumblr and Instagram. When it comes to mobile, widely acknowledged as the next frontier in marketing, the philanthropic movement is ahead of the crowd. In the wake of natural disasters in recent years, there have been countless calls for people to text their donations to organizations serving affected communities.

* Volunteering: Sometimes, lending a hand is just as important as lending a dollar - but many charities have specialized tasks that aren’t right for every volunteer. Today, there is new awareness about ways to make volunteering more effective. Matching people with the right skills to the right job is an important element in increasing efficiency. The website VolunteerMatch has emerged as a leading way for volunteer to find positions that match their expertise and skills - and for charities to recruit volunteers. The world is still a big place, but technology is making -it feel much smaller. It’s no longer a novelty to be able to interact with someone across the globe instantaneously. That new level of connectedness that we all share has helped to reshape the face of doing good. To find out just how easy it is to make a difference in philanthropy 2.0, visit to make a loan or give a Kiva Card.


How to keep your Pets Healthy and Happy All winter long

Creating a Dog-friendly meal experience

The gift that keeps on giving: Opt to adopt a pet save a life PREMIERE 2013 / ILENE CAROL 75  


How to keep your Pets Healthy and Happy All winter long


ry skin, winter weight gain and the common cold humans aren’t the only ones to struggle with winter woes. Cold weather can affect our pets’ health, too. While you can put in some extra time on the treadmill and layer up for the cold weather, pets rely on their human companions to help them stay healthy all year long. As temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, keep these simple safety tips in mind to help keep your pets safe and healthy this winter:

Dress to impress ... and stay warm With thick coats and hardy constitutions, some animal breeds are made to stand up to Old Man Winter. But most domestic dogs will feel the cold, so it makes sense to outfit them for the weather. Sweaters, booties and other winter essentials aren’t just fashionable, they’re functional; they can help protect your four-legged friends from extreme cold, snow and ice. So, be sure to dress your pet appropriately for the weather, and while you’re at it, you can also enter your pet into the “Morton Best in Snow Pet Show” photo contest from Nov. 15 through Jan. 11, 2013. Entering is easy. Just submit a picture of your pet suited up for winter on the Morton Salt Facebook page at

Keeping ID tags up-to-date and secure on your pet’s collar is also a crucial part of any pet’s winter wardrobe. Dogs especially can lose their way in snow-covered landscapes that mask familiar scents and scenery. It’s best to keep your dog on a leash and ensure it is wearing an ID tag at all times to keep Fido safe and secure all season.

Avoid toxic temptations Common products around your house can sometimes pose a threat to pets. For example, antifreeze can keep your vehicle running when temperatures drop, but it can stop your pet in its tracks if even a small amount is ingested. Be sure to keep all jugs of antifreeze, and other household chemicals, tightly sealed and stored on a high shelf away from pets. Clean up spills as soon as they happen to avoid accidental ingestion.-


Always keep an eye on your pet’s behavior.- If you notice anything out of the ordinary, consult a veterinarian immediately. Get safer sidewalks and happy paws Ice and snow can make winter walks anything but wonderful.It’s essential to keep sidewalks clear of ice and snow to prevent dangerous slip and fall accidents.- While salted sidewalks and streets are important for winter safety, they can irritate pets’ paws. Using a pet-friendly ice melter can clear the way but still be safer for our furry friends. Most pet owners consider their pets as part of the family, and the majority (70 percent) think about their pets when they prepare for winter, according to a recent survey commissioned by Morton Salt. But only about one in four pet owners use a pet-friendly ice melter during the winter. Choosing an ice melter that is both salt- and chloride-free, like Morton’s Safe-T-Pet, is a great way to put your best paw forward.- Developed in cooperation with, and recommended by veterinarians, Morton Safe-T-Pet clears snow and ice but is safer for pets’ paws and tummies than traditional melting salt. Visit to find a retailer near you.

Take a bite out of winter weight Like people, pets are less active in winter and burn fewer calories. Keep up a regular schedule of outdoor excursions weather permitting and assuming your pet is properly dressed for the cold. In addition, consult your veterinarian about proper diet during “hibernation” season and adjust your pet’s diet accordingly to avoid winter weight gain. Holiday treats help humans pack on the pounds, and can contribute to pets’ winter weight gain too. But goodies like chocolate, macadamia nuts and alcohol can be even more harmful to pets. In large quantities, these treats can be very toxic for pets. Keep in mind common holiday decorations like mistletoe and poinsettias can also be dangerous if pets ingest them. Winter can be a fun and festive time of year.- While the elements may not always be on your side, with some precautions and preparations, your pets can weather the winter season - and be happy and healthy heading into spring. - BPT

Creating a Dog-friendly meal experience


ealtime is going...well, to the dogs - literally. Dumping kibble into a bowl and walking away has become less and less the norm. Feeding the family dog has evolved into new territory. For example, have you ever warmed your dog’s food in the microwave before serving it to him? You wouldn’t be alone if you have. Maybe you and your dog have a mealtime ritual? Again, you would be in good company. A 2012 online survey of dog owners by Chef Michael’s brand food for dogs indicated that when feeding their dog, their mealtime rituals included: mixing wet and dry food together (33 percent) and preparing food, such as measuring, chopping and heating (28 percent). The newest trend to pop up in doggy mealtime? Food trucks. Food trucks are increasing in popularity in many U.S. cities, so tailoring that experience to our four-legged friends seems like a logical next step. However, with 78.2 million dogs living as pets in the U.S. according to the 2011-2012 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, there simply aren’t enough pet-friendly food trucks available to serve them. Enter Chef Michael’s to lead the charge with a new type of food truck for dogs. “We love the food truck trend, but dogs have largely been left out,” says Sarah BonDurant, spokesperson for Chef Michael’s. “Food trucks aren’t just for people. We want every dog to share and enjoy the food truck experience with their owners.” And as it turns out, many dog owners agree. That same online survey by Chef Michael’s indicated that nearly 59 percent of dog owners surveyed have patronized food trucks for themselves. In addition, 48 percent would likely take their dog to lunch or dinner at a food truck that provided food for dogs if there was one in their neighborhood.


The Chef Michael’s food truck for dogs is currently rolling through the U.S. providing thoughtful meal experiences for dogs. You can find out if it will be in your neighborhood by following @thefoodfordogs on Twitter or visiting facebook. com/foodfordogs. If the Chef Michael’s food truck isn’t going to make it to your hometown, all hope is not lost for a mobile mealtime experience for you and your dog. There is a sweepstakes that will award 25 food trucks across the nation a $1,000 cash prize to help make dog-friendly improvements to their existing truck among other prizes. Visit for complete Official Rules and additional information. Have you visited a food truck for dogs and want to continue that a special experience for you and your dog at home? Here are a few quick tips that can help you make mealtime for your dog just as special as your own. * Create a routine to fit with your mealtimes. Feed your dog at regularly scheduled times, such as when the family is having breakfast or dinner so they feel included. * Turn meal time into a bonding experience. Develop a ritual where you spend some quality one-on-one time with your dog before or after the meal. * Use mealtime to teach your dog a new trick. Nineteen percent of dog owners surveyed make their dog(s) do a trick before eating. * Relax and go for a walk after dinner. There’s no better way for your dog to savor the sights and sounds of your community than on an evening walk. Dogs are a part of the family and deserve the best. Whether it’s establishing a regular routine or visiting a dogfriendly food truck, meal time shouldn’t be a daily chore. -BPT


PETS The gift that keeps on giving:

Opt to adopt a pet save a life


t’s not surprising that pets are often a popular holiday gift. The darling image of the bow-bedecked puppy or the kitten-stuffed stocking is a holiday classic, but gift givers should make sure that an animal’s charm doesn’t overshadow other important factors to consider when making a pet purchase, including where the pets came from and who the recipient is. Each year more than 4 million homeless pets are killed as a result of overpopulation, but families who adopt from animal shelters or rescue groups can help preserve these lives and support the growing trend of socially responsible holiday shopping. Best Friends Animal Society encourages families this holiday season to give the precious gift of life by adopting homeless pets rather than buying from breeders, pet stores or online retailers. Also, resist the urge to surprise a friend or family member with a living gift. Choosing the right pet is an extremely personal decision, one that should be made carefully by the adults who will be caring for the animal for its 15- to 20-year lifetime. Instead, offer an adoption gift certificate paired with a basket of pet care items or stuffed animal for the holiday itself, and then let the person or family choose the actual pet that feels right to them. Once you’ve decided to adopt, keep in mind that welcoming a pet into your


life is a big decision and requires important preparation. Best Friends offers tips and advice to help make a smooth transition at home:

Determine roles and responsibilities Before bringing home a new pet, discuss what roles and responsibilities each family member will take on. Who will be in charge of feeding, walks, changing the litter box and taking your pet for regular visits to the vet? Giving each family member a specific task will help everyone feel involved, especially young children.

Prep the house - Adding a pet to the house means adding new items to your shopping lists. For dogs, the basics are a collar and leash, chew toys, a kennel and dog bed. Cats need a litter box and litter, a scratching post and a carrying crate for transportation. Also don’t forget food and toys.

Have your pet spayed/neutered Spaying or neutering is one of the greatest gifts you can provide your pet and community. It not only helps control the overabundance of pets, but can also help prevent medical and behavioral problems from developing. Most shelters include this with the adoption package or can recommend a local veterinarian in your area, so check with the staff at the shelter before you leave.

Research community rules and resources Do a little research on what identification (tags, microchips, etc.) you might need for your pet. Scout out the local dog parks and runs for future outdoor fun, and make sure you know where emergency vet clinics or animal hospitals are located.

Set limits - Having pre-determined rules will create consistency in training and help make the home a pleasant environment for you and your pet. Will your pet be allowed to snuggle with you in bed or curl up with you on your furniture? Will treats be limited to one a day? It’s important to discuss these questions as a family before your new family member arrives. An estimated 17 million people will be adding pets to their families this year, so this season, help bring some holiday cheer to a homeless pet by adopting your newest companion. - BPT

Legends Young


ho says that today’s youth are not doing positive things and changing their communities? We at Ilene Carol know otherwise! Meet Yasmine Alexandra Arrington, Founder and Executive Director of ScholarCHIPS and the WINNER of our model cover contest! The 19-year-old is a full-time college student majoring in Communications and History at Elon University in North Carolina. Arrington knows the struggles of having an incarcerated father, but instead of sulking about it, Yasmine decided to be proactive and create a program that would assist and encourage other students in her shoes to pursue and complete a college education. Growing up, Arrington’s father was in and out of prison and she witnessed firsthand the pressure his absence put financially on her mother as well as the emotional stress it put on Yasmine, herself. “I never went to the father-daughter dances at school and Girl Scouts,” Arrington says, “because it was just too embarrassing for me.” Not only did Yasmine deal with the absence of a father, but her mother passed away her freshman year of high school as a result of health complications from gastric bypass surgery. Despite Arrington’s struggles, she watched her single grandmother raise her and her two brothers with strength, courage, and faith and was motivated to make her proud. Her junior year of high school Arrington founded the non-profit ScholarCHIPS, For Children of Incarcerated Parents, with the undergirding of the afterschool program, LearnServe International, which equipped her with the knowledge and tools of how to become a social entrepreneur. Since it’s initiation in 2010, ScholarCHIPS has awarded eight college scholarships to high school graduating seniors with parents in prison, totaling $11,000. The 2012-2013 scholarship applications for high school graduating seniors are open now. On campus Arrington also participates in the Gospel Choir, Black Cultural Society, the Arts and Sciences College Fellows Program, and Ghana Periclean Scholars. In addition to being the director of her own non-profit, she is also a poet, motivational speaker, plus size model and blogger. In her blog, “Young, Black and Beautiful…In College,” Yasmine tackles today’s most relevant issues in her own witty yet

Yasmine Arrington revealing way, but most of all seeks to inspire people to be their best selves. Arrington has received several national recognitions, such as being named a 2011 AXA National Award winner, a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholar, the Washington Redskin’s 2011 scholarship winner, a College Success Foundation scholar, an Abramson Foundation scholar, a Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient and the 2012 Linowes Leadership Award Youth Recipient. Arrington has also been featured in Teen Vogue Magazine online, EmPower Magazine and on Inside her Story with Jacque Reid on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Most recently Arrington was featured on national television, on BET as a 2012 Black Girls Rock, M.A.D. (Making a Difference) Girl! Alongside her were Glennita Williams, the 16-year-old founder of America’s Guardian Angels, a nonprofit which collects and distributes care items to military personnel wherever they are stationed; and best friends, Tiffany Bender and Alize Beal, founders of Y.U.N.G. Harlem a non-profit that seeks to reduce violence in Harlem, New York. Arrington envisions ScholarCHIPS one day being an international non-profit and household name. “I want children everywhere with parents in prison to know that they can go to college and they have a place to turn to! There will be a branch in every state where youth can go to for tutoring, training and peer support,” Arrington says. To find out more, apply for the scholarship or donate to ScholarCHIPS please visit their website at and click the donate tab or mail a check to their P.O. box.


ExQlusive Spotlight

The Kolten Experience 80  ILENE CAROL / PREMIERE 2013

Kolten American R&B singer, and musician hailing from Hattiesburg, MS.


usical talents were evident at a young age. He received his very first drum set as a gift from his parents on his 4th birthday. Kolten’s gifts were further cultivated when he began winning in local talent shows. He moved to Dallas, TX in 2000 where he attended T.A. Howard Middle and displayed a different talent, his athleticism; Leading and excelling on the school’s baseball and basketball teams. He loves sports and his favorite athletes are Amar’e Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant and Hines Ward. His charm, natural ability and charisma would later land him a leading role in the school play Annie.

He has a legacy of great musicians and singers on both his mother and father’s side. The keyboard, piano, drums, bass, lead and acoustic guitar are amongst the many instruments Kolten has picked up. His musical repertoire also extends to lead and background vocals, music arrangement, songwriting, producing, and creative dance. His musical inspiration comes from great artist such as Michael Jackson, Usher, Prince, Ne’Yo, Chris Brown, Mario and Trey’Sonz. However, Kolten spends most of his time being creative and focusing on his own originality. He has had the support, development, and management by KNA Management. His love for music shows as his gift continues to grow. Kolten has a great future ahead of him and will capture the music and entertainment industry by storm.

Rated R&B: Rated Next Rated R&B writes about Kolten singing in Korean Covering over seas artist Big Bang. Kolten Perine-GMG Artist of the Month May-2012/G.M.G Network Grammy U-Spotlight



What’s on the Night Stand?

“You Will Win If You Dont Quit”


onsidered one of the most resilient players to ever play in the WNBA, Yolanda Moore is one of the founding players of the WNBA. One of the top 15 high school female basketball players in the country, Moore received a full athletic scholarship to The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where she went on to be coached by Van Chancellor as a power forward. Becoming pregnant at the age of 18, Moore gave birth to her first child during the summer of her freshman year. Despite what some saw as a setback, Yolanda came back her sophomore year and became the second leading scorer on her team and was selected 2nd Team All-SEC.

By the time she finished her career, Yolanda earned two first team All-SEC selections as a junior and a senior, an Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention, and was named team MVP her junior and senior year after leading the Lady Rebels in both scoring and rebounding in both her junior and senior campaigns. She currently ranks 9th on the Ole Miss Scoring Chart. Moore participated in the Houston Comets’ open tryouts in May of 1997, just four short months after giving birth to her second child and a year after having her third knee surgery. Through sheer will and determination, Yolanda beat out more than 200 women to earn one of only four remaining spots on the Houston Comets’ roster, despite being told she should give up any plans to play professionally by Van Chancellor and 2008 US Olympic Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach, Peggie Gillom. She went on to play four seasons in the WNBA, winning two championships with the Houston Comets in 1997 and 1998 and also played in Europe and Asia. Yolanda travels the country teaching and empowering students of all ages in the areas of Goal Setting, Academic Success, and Career Planning through her interactive workshops and seminars. She is the author of the inspirational book “You Will Win If You Don’t’ Quit” and is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows throughout the country. Yolanda holds bachelor degrees in English and Radio & TV, a master’s degree in Workforce Educational Leadership, and an Educational Specialist degree in Instructional Technology.

Visit me on the web at: Follow me at: “You Will Win if You Don’t Quit” PREMIERE 2013 / ILENE CAROL 83  




Give your identity a Health Checkup

hen it comes to your health, the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” still rings true. It’s doubly valid when you’re talking about the health of your digital and financial identity. Giving your identity a checkup is every bit as important as getting your annual physical and flu shot, or exercising regularly to maintain good health. Yet many people avoid delving into the health of their financial identity - perhaps for the same reason that some people avoid medical exams. A checkup, while meant to confirm that everything is fine, can potentially turn up a problem - and no one likes bad news. But avoiding or ignoring bad news doesn’t make it go away. Just ask the members of the nearly 9 million households that experienced identity theft in 2010, the most recent year for which the Bureau of Justice Statistics has published numbers. While you may already know that keeping an eye on your credit is an essential part of identity theft protection, it’s not the only step you need to take.

Here are five important things everyone should do in order to give themselves an identity check up: 1. Google your own name What do you find? You may be amazed at how many hits the search engine returns, and just where on the Internet your name shows up. Is the information correct? Is any of it too personally revealing - does it include your address or telephone number? Take steps to correct inaccuracies and if your name appears on a particularly disturbing website, try to have it removed.

2. Review your social networking accounts In August, Facebook revealed that more than 83 million user accounts are fake or duplicates. It’s almost certain that identity thieves are among those users falsifying information as social networks can be a gold mine of personal information for crooks. To protect your information, use the most restrictive privacy settings provided by the social media sites you frequent. Turn off tools that allow the site to track your browsing history, and never accept a “friend” request from someone you don’t personally know.

3. Change your passwords Many of us access accounts online that are password protected - from bank and investment accounts to social media and even health care provider websites. Always use strong passwords that include lowercase and capital letters, numbers and symbols (whenever possible) and change your passwords regularly.


4. Keep an eye on your credit Checking your credit report once a year is no longer sufficient. This task is as much about managing your identity as it is about managing your personal credit. You need to keep an eye on your credit accounts regularly. Review every credit card statement every month. Check your credit report several times a year - more if you have reason to believe your identity might have been compromised. Consider enlisting help from, a comprehensive identity theft detection, protection and resolution product.

5. Review and monitor your health accounts Health care providers collect a great deal of personal information. Doctors, hospitals, dentists, walk-in clinics - all collect your full name, birth date, home address, insurance information and, often, your Social Security number. You have the right to know what information health care providers have about you, how it is used, how they protect it and who has access to it. Protecting your identity requires a lot of smart, small steps. The risk of identity theft will always be there - just like the risk of a health crisis. But just as a healthy diet and lifestyle habits can reduce your health risks, preventive measures can help ensure identity theft doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion. - BPT

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