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Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

In this issue: -

A Personal Note from HCH > 3 Five Ways to Boost Your Energy > 4 Ten Ways to Eat Healthier This Summer> 5 Six Supercharged Smoothies > 8 Strawberry Sherbet Recipe > 13 How to Properly Grill Vegetables> 14 The Right Way To Boil Eggs > 16 Hearty Dinner Salad Ideas > 18 Tomato and Avocado Salad Recipe > 20 Slow Cooker Dessert Ideas > 20 Crock-Pot Sccpvl610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker – Review > 23 Which Hand and Body Lotions Should You Use? > 24 How to Prolong Your Hair Color > 25 How to Add a Pop of Color to Any Room > 27 Window Treatment Idea Book – Review > 28 Credit Card Rules You Should Live By >29 Ten Ways to Protect Your Family from Identity Theft > 30 The Smartest Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund > 31 How to Be a Supportive Friend > 33

AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER: may receive compensation from some of the sources listed in this report for referrals, as their “thank you” for sending you their way. However, HCH never recommends any service or product solely for the reason of receiving commissions (and neither should you).

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Rhonda White: Founder, Editor of

“The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;” Proverbs 30:25 The Official Day of Summer: Saturday, June 21, 2014 We often think of summer as a time for fun and relaxation, but let’s not forget that summer should also be a productive time. We need to accomplish things that are harder to get done during the colder seasons of fall and winter and school time. It can be a time to prepare for months ahead, make memories, outside ventures, summer evening reading, ice cream treats and more. Make plans to make the most of your summer! May God bless your home! Stick in there! Don’t forget your yearly goals! My goals this year for 2014: -

Have my daily devotions of praying and reading God’s Word Be a blessing to others Teach my children daily Get my house organized Write content weekly for my websites Refresh my Spanish. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Feeling rested is an important factor in being able to accomplish your daily priorities. When you’re overtired, it can make your day drag on and on and make you feel incapable of getting anything done. What should you do when you’re exhausted, and want to get rid of the feeling? Take a look at the following list for tips to help you feel better within moments. 1. Water The first thing to do when you feel tired and need your energy boosted is to fill a glass of water and drink it. Being dehydrated causes your volume of blood to drop, whereby your body must work harder than usual to supply your cells with oxygen. Dehydration can also cause many other problems that will in turn bring feelings of sluggishness and lack of energy. 2. Exercise When you’re tired, you most likely do not want to get up and expend any more energy. It may seem counter-intuitive to purposely use more energy when all you want to do is save what you have. Exercise, however, is one of the best ways to give you that boost. Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body and brings oxygen to every part of it. Exercise also releases endorphins, which make us feel good. Feeling overtired is not pleasant, and this “feel-good” chemical can give us the emotional boost we need in order to accomplish the task at hand. 3. Eat In an era where losing weight is the goal for so many people, we often forget that eating is not the enemy. If you are feeling fatigued, your body may be undernourished and in need of nutrients and calories. Choose a healthy snack such as fruits and vegetables. These have carbohydrates which are a primary source of energy for our bodies. A carbohydrate with some protein is a good match as it will give you instant as well as long-term energy.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

4. Sun Sunshine is nature’s way of spoiling us. The sun is a mood enhancer and is necessary when trying to ward off seasonal affective disorder, which is related to darker days and a lack of sunlight. Sitting in the sun for ten minutes is one of the best ways a person can recharge and bring back their energy. 5. Rest When you’re feeling fatigued, your body may be crying out for rest. When you are not getting a proper night’s sleep, every part of you will be affected in a negative way. An average adult should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night for maximum health benefits and energy levels. When you cut your sleep short, your body is unable to recover and prepare for the next day and you will end up feeling overtired and sluggish. If it is the middle of the day, try taking a quick nap and see if it gives you the “pick-me-up” that you need. When you are well rested, everything feels easier. It is easier to work, easier to get along well with others, and easier to be productive. There are many ways you can get that natural boost and find the energy you crave. If you are feeling exhausted, try a few of the above ideas and you will likely be successful in your search for the energy that will help you get through the day with vigor and a much-needed boost.

Rest for a minute – it’s OKAY! Taking short breaks throughout the day Reduces stress and replenishes your mental focus.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Now that the season has grown warmer, perhaps you’re feeling a bit insecure of shedding your sweaters and jackets due to a few extra pounds gained during the winter season. Now is the time to get back on track and shed those pounds, so here’s a few tips to help you eat healthier this summer: 1. Consider planting a garden - If you have a garden in your yard, you’re that much more interested in eating the healthy fruits, greens and vegetables that come out of that garden. If you plant your favorite foods, you’ll have an abundant supply of zucchini, kale, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and everything you need to make your own salsa.

TIP: If you don’t have room for a garden, consider using containers. Here’s a really good video that covers many good tips for container gardening.

Video: Container Gardening - How to Grow Vegetables in Pots 2. Lemon water - Many diet gurus swear by starting the day with lemon in your water. There seems to be some evidence that a little squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning helps with metabolism. Other dieters feel that simply starting out the day with a zero calorie healthy item will get them on track for a healthy rest of the day. 3. Green juice - With all the summer produce in season, this is the best time of year to consider trying some of those green juices and smoothies you’ve read about. Chunk up a cucumber, some kale, an apple and maybe a banana, zap it in your blender or juicer, Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

and drink it down. Many people say a shot of healthy green vitamin-rich juice first thing in the morning puts them on track for a healthy day. *Check out this recent blog post, “40 Smoothie Recipes You Have to Try” 4. Ice cream alternatives - Heading to the ice cream parlor? Consider a non-fat or lowfat alternative. Frozen yogurt is a healthy choice, and many ice cream parlors also offer sorbet, which is often non-fat. 5. Feel the heat - Some people notice that in the air conditioning they’re more likely to eat heavy foods. Staying out of the A/C can make us feel full on simple salads, fruits and veggies rather than bulkier meals. 6. Campfire alternatives - Going camping with the family? Rather than gobbling up sugary s’mores, consider a somewhat healthier alternative – banana boats. Take a banana, slit it down the middle, fill the inside with mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips, cover the whole thing in aluminum foil, and toss it in the coals. After 5-10 minutes, you’ll have a warm and tasty treat – it may not be 100% healthy, but there’s nutrients in it including potassium and your kids will love it. 7. Grill - With warm weather, you can grill outside. Consider trying lean meats like chicken or soak in the omega-3s by grilling a salmon. Squeeze just a bit of lemon over the top or add spices like paprika, Italian spices or cumin and ancho chili for a variety of options to please your taste buds. 8. Make fruit juice popsicles - Instead of eating ice cream or sugary popsicles, consider making your own out of orange juice, healthy green juice, or even a carrot juice blend. It’s healthy and will keep you cool. 9. Frozen grapes - Wash a bunch of grapes, dry them and stick them in your freezer. You’ll have a tasty, low-calorie snack you can eat by the handful. 10. Consider drinking more water - It’s hot out. You need hydration. Experts say you need to drink at least six eight-ounce glasses of water per day. For a spa treat, slice up cucumbers, muddle some blackberries, or add lemon and mint to your water. You’ll feel like royalty as you sip your way to better health. With so many fresh fruits and vegetables available in the summer, there’s many ways to easily eat healthier… it’s a matter of making a healthier choice.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Delicious Fruit Infused Spa Water: 30 Healthy, Vitamin Filled Fruit Infusion Water Recipes Helps You Detox, Lose Weight and Feel Great

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Smoothies are a perfect meal. When you are on the run and needing some good nourishment, they can be made in a matter of minutes. There are so many varieties, from yogurt smoothies to the increasingly popular green smoothies. They can be done in any blender but it helps if you have a high quality blender than can give it that desirable smooth consistency. There really is a recipe for everyone and every situation. The following all taste great, and each has its own health benefits. If you have a big appetite, but only a few minutes to spare, read on.

1. Oats and Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie This smoothie is delicious and has the right combination of carbohydrates and protein to give you the energy boost you need when the morning arrives. Blend and drink it in your car on the way to work when you don’t have time to prepare a hot breakfast.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Ingredients: * Protein powder, 2 scoops * 2 bananas * 2 tbsp oats, rolled * 1/2 cup water, cold * 1 cup milk of your choice * 1 tsp honey * 1/4 tsp cinnamon * 4 ice cubes Instructions: Blend ingredients together until smooth and drink.

2. Tropical Green Smoothie Green smoothies have become very popular lately, and it’s no wonder when you realize what a powerhouse they are. Combining delicious flavor with a natural source of nutrients and vitamins, green smoothies are one of the easiest way to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies. Ingredients: * 2 cups spinach, raw * 2 bananas * 1 mango * 1 cup fresh pineapple * 2 cups water Instructions: Blend and enjoy.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

3. Orange Cream Smoothie If you are craving a creamsicle, this is a nice healthy way to get your fill. This smoothie is perfect for a hot summer day on the patio. Ingredients: * 1 orange with skin removed * 2 tbsp orange juice concentrate, frozen * 1/4 cup yogurt * 1/4 tsp vanilla * 4 ice cubes Instructions: Blend until smooth.

4. Chocolate Cherry Power Smoothie This smoothie will satisfy your craving for decadent ice cream, with an added boost of protein. Including a handful of spinach that is barely noticeable taste-wise, it’s a great way to sneak some green veggies into you and your family’s diet. Ingredients: * 1 cup your choice of milk * 1 scoop chocolate protein powder * 1/2 banana, frozen * 6-8 frozen cherries * 1 handful spinach * 1 cup ice cubes * Optional: 1 tsp ground flax seeds, 1 tsp chia seeds Instructions: Put ingredients into blender and process until smooth. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

5. The Green Detox This green smoothie is a great way to end a week of holiday overindulging, or after a long day of work. The cucumber aids in reducing water retention, and the pears and orange juice add sweetness. Ingredients: * 2 cups spinach, raw * 1/2 large cucumber * 2 pears (medium size) * 1-1/2 cups orange juice * 1/2 cup Greek yogurt Instructions: Blend and consume.

6. Berry Good Smoothie This is an easy and delicious alternative to the sugar-filled slushy drinks that are so popular in North America. Berries are delicious and full of great health benefits. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruit, which helps fight harmful free radicals in the body. Ingredients: * 1 cup blueberries (substitute blackberries, raspberries or strawberries if preferred) * 1 small banana * 1 cup apple juice Instructions: Put ingredients into blender and mix until smooth. As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of time to whip up a healthful and tasty smoothie. After you’ve made a few, you may be inclined to try some new ingredients and create your own personal recipes. Try one now, and enjoy.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Recipe Site References: *Check out this recent blog post, “40 Smoothie Recipes You Have to Try” Oats and Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie Tropical Green Smoothie Orange Cream Smoothie Chocolate Cherry Power Smoothie The Green Detox Berry Good Smoothie

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Strawberry Sherbet Recipe

4 servings, 1/2 cup each

1 cup of strawberries (about 5 ounces), divided and chopped – fresh or frozen (not thawed) will work 1/4 cup of sugar 1 1/4 cups of low-fat buttermilk (you could use nonfat, as well) 1/4 cup of half-and-half 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract Pinch of salt Combine half of the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl. Stir and set aside, stirring occasionally until the sugars begins to dissolve. This will take about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and process until it is smooth. In a medium bowl, add the remaining ingredients except for the rest of the strawberries. Press the strawberries and sugar through a fine-mesh sieve and then add them to the milk mixture. Stir well and then cover tightly. Chill this mixture for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 24 hours. After the mixture has chilled, whisk the sherbet and pour it into the ice cream maker canister. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for making sherbet. Before the machine stops, within the last 5 minutes, add the rest of the chopped strawberries and continue processing. You may need to place the sherbet in the freezer if you prefer your sherbet to be firm.

**Grab your FREE report on “Juicing and Smoothies for Your Health” here: Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

“July is the month where most ice cream is sold in the US. That’s why it’s National Ice Cream Month. Americans eat about 5.5 gallons of ice cream per year on average.”

*Source: 20 Fun Facts About Summer -

Grilling vegetables may be one of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare them. Summer lends itself well to this style of cooking, but it is also a great way to make them all year round. Grilling doesn’t take much time, but it will yield a dish that anyone will enjoy. If you are looking for an easy way to impress your company, this is it. Prepare the Grill Start with a clean grill in order to ensure that your veggies will hold the best flavor and that old food tastes will not leach off of the grill while cooking. A fast and effective way to clean it is to cut an onion in half, and then rub the cut side all over the grill swiftly and with pressure. This will help disinfect the grill, as well as adding just a hint of mild flavor to your vegetables.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Choose Your Veggies Many veggies work well when grilled. You can choose a combo that goes well with your main dish, or otherwise just use whatever is in the fridge. Either way will do. Some vegetables that are known especially for their delicious flavor when grilled are bell peppers, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, squash, mushrooms, eggplant and corn on the cob. Prepare the Veggies Next, you will need to prepare the vegetables. Cut them to approximately equal size as this will ensure that they all cook at about the same speed, and will prevent undercooking and overcooking alike. If you are cooking a variety of vegetables together, begin the dense ones first as they will take longer to cook through. If you are cooking a larger vegetable that remains whole, such as corn on the cob, then skip this step, as you will place them directly on the grill when ready. Brush the pieces lightly with the oil of your choosing - many people use olive oil. You can add salt if you enjoy a more intense taste. You can leave it at that, or else add any Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

other spices of your choice, depending on the particular vegetable and the style of your meal. A few ideas are black pepper, basil, rosemary, or thyme. For an extra kick, you can add balsamic vinegar as this will deepen in intensity on the grill and provide a subtly sweet flavor. Time to Grill If you have prepared your grill to the correct temperature, it should be on medium heat. Place small vegetables or vegetable pieces in either a basket or on a skewer, to keep them from slipping between the slats on the grill. For larger pieces, place them directly on the grill. Check them often and flip them if in a basket, and turn them repeatedly if they are on a skewer. If necessary, brush them again with oil to prevent them from drying out. You will know they are done when the skin begins to brown and they are soft throughout. Be sure to sample one of each type of vegetable to be sure that all are done correctly. At this point, you can take them off the grill and serve them alongside the rest of the meal. Grilling is easy and delicious. If you have never cooked your vegetables this way, you will surely be hooked when you try it for the first time. Follow these easy steps and create a delicious side dish to impress your guests today.

Boiled eggs are one of the most versatile and healthy foods. You can make egg-salad sandwiches, prepare delicious devilled eggs, or eat them as is. Many people prepare several hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week to use as quick and easy snacks to grab later, on the go as needed. As easy as boiling eggs may sound, an astonishing number of people get it wrong. Often the eggs end up overcooked which can leave an unappetizing greenish color around the yoke. Instead of making waste of one of these wonderful little packets of nutrition, learn how to properly boil eggs so that you can always have these treasures on hand for whatever use you may need Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

them for. 1. Put Water and Eggs in Saucepan Some people choose to boil the water before adding the eggs, but this can lead to cracking of the shell caused by either dropping the egg into the water, or the egg being thrashed about by the boiling water before it has a chance to begin firming up. Put the water in the saucepan and immediately add the eggs, which will give them a chance to begin to cook before the water becomes too rough. You can add 1/2 tsp of salt to the water as this may prevent cracks and allow you to peel the egg more easily afterward. 2. Bring Eggs to a Boil and Remove Once you add the eggs and you have turned the burner to a “high” setting, bring the water to a boil. The moment it begins to boil, remove the pan from the burner. Although many people continue to boil the eggs at this point, it is a leading cause of overcooked eggs. 3. Return to Burner After you have turned your burner to “low” and your eggs have sat at room temperature for approximately one minute, put them back on. When they have been on the burner for another minute, remove them again and cover the saucepan. 4. Wait 12 Minutes At this point, allow the eggs to sit untouched for 12 minutes. During this time they will be ever so slowly cooking to perfection, without the risk of overcooking that continued boiling brings. When you believe the eggs may be ready, test one out by opening it and taking a peek at your finished product. 5. Cool in Ice Water Once your eggs have slowly cooked to exactly the stage you would like to eat them at, remove them all from the saucepan and gently immerse them in a bowl of ice water. When they have cooled, you can drain the water from the bowl and remove the eggs. You may now eat and enjoy your delicious treat and marvel at how perfectly cooked they are, or save them for later. If so, place them, shells still on, in a covered bowl, to keep them from giving the fridge a distinct scent. Eat them within a period of five days.

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods. Now you know how to cook them in a manner that will keep them as close to perfect as they began. Follow the steps above to get started in making your next meal of hard-boiled eggs now.

Salads are extremely versatile and make great meals for hot summer days. They can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. Although some skeptics try to smear salad’s reputation by referring to it as rabbit food or diet food, nothing could be further from the truth. A salad can make a surprisingly hearty dinner, even for the hungriest person. Here’s some dinner salad recipes that can fill anyone up and leave them completely satisfied. Chicken Curry Salad This simple salad can be made in minutes. All you need is some cooked chicken and a few more ingredients. Cut up the cooked chicken - leftover and chilled is fine. Stir some curry powder into several tablespoons of yogurt, add salt if necessary, and gently stir the sauce into the chopped chicken. Place over a bowl of romaine lettuce and add to the top a few tablespoons of walnuts and a handful of grapes. Enjoy. Taco Dinner Salad Who wouldn’t want the delicious taste of tacos with all the benefits of a nice, big salad? This dinner salad is also easy to make, and is quite filling. Start by cooking 1 pound of ground beef, and drain off the fat. Into the ground beef, stir 1 cup of water, a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, and 1 package of taco mix. Continue heating on low for 20 minutes. Spread tortilla chips over a plate and sprinkle the ground beef mixture over the top. Add any desired toppings such as chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, grated cheese or sour cream. Easy Tofu Greek Salad You may be vegetarian, or just wanting a change from your regular meat-centered meal. No matter the reason, here’s a salad that will tempt your taste buds and give you

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

a change of flavor. This is heartier than your usual Greek salad, and is more than filling enough to be dinner’s main star. Chop lettuce and lay it over as many plates as you need for each guest. Stir 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp basil, and 1/2 tsp each of salt, oregano and black pepper. Chop tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, stir with olive oil mixture and let it sit for a minimum of 1 hour. Add feta cheese, diced cucumbers, diced red onions, sliced tomatoes, and black olives. If you prefer a vegan dish, simply omit the feta cheese and you are ready to go. Smoked Salmon and Sunflower Salad This is a great salad when you want something a little fancier than usual. To bulk it up and make it more filling, sprinkle chickpeas over the top along with the other ingredients. Stir 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar with the juice of 1 lemon, 3 tbsp olive oil, some lemon zest and salt if necessary. Stir mixed greens with 1 tbsp of capers. Gently stir the prepared dressing into the greens and divide into separate serving plates. Tuck several pieces of smoked salmon on each plate and sprinkle each serving with sunflower seeds and remaining bit of lemon zest. Chickpeas may be added at this point also. As you can see, salads don’t need to be boring or leave you starving as soon as you are finished. Make one of these salads for dinner and see how satisfied everyone will be at the end of their meal. Choose your favorite and make your next meal enjoyable and unique. *Websites Used: Chicken Curry Salad,,20401749,00.html Taco Dinner Salad Easy Tofu Greek Salad Smoked Salmon and Sunflower Salad

Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Tomato and Avocado Salad Recipe

(Serves 8) 5 cups of mixed salad greens, torn 2 cups of cherry tomatoes 2 ripe medium sized avocados, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup real bacon bits (optional) 4 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon of salt

Divide the greens, cherry tomatoes and avocado evenly among the eight salad plates. Sprinkle the salad with the bacon bits. In a small bowl, add the oil, vinegar and salt. Whisk the ingredients and then drizzle it over the salads. To serve, you may want to add crumbled gorgonzola or feta cheese.

Don’t heat up your kitchen in the summer to bake! Slow cookers can be quite useful if you want spectacular desserts. (Tip: Plug your crockpot on a back porch or patio to keep out extra heat.) Try these ideas and find some new favorites. They are quick to prepare and delicious to eat. 1. Easy Chocolate Fondue Chocolate fondue is an old favorite. Use a new method to prepare it and make it unique by adding your own dipping choices. Ingredients: * 12 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

* 1 cup whipping cream * 1 tsp vanilla * 1 pinch of salt * Dipping objects of your choice (tasty favorites include angel food cake cut into squareinch pieces, marshmallows, pineapple, strawberries, bananas) Instructions: Melt the chocolate chips, cream, vanilla, and salt in the slow cooker. Set on low, and leave for one hour with cover on, stirring approximately every 20 minutes. When completely melted, move the setting to “warm”. Set the dipping foods close by and use skewers to dip them into the chocolate. 2. Slow Cooker Apple Crumble Apple crumble is an absolute classic. A favorite dessert of many, it also has many health benefits due to ingredients such as rolled oats and of course, apples. It is delicious for a dessert on both a balmy summer evening and a crisp winter night. This dessert is great as is, or served with ice cream or whipped cream. Ingredients: * 4-5 peeled apples, cut into slices * 1/2 cup packed brown sugar * 1/2 cup flour (use whole wheat for a boost of fiber) * 3/4 cup oats, rolled * 1 tsp ground cinnamon * 1 tsp ground nutmeg * 4 tbsp softened butter * Raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) Instructions: Spread butter along bottom and sides of slow cooker, and lay apples in the bottom. Mix sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use knife to cut butter into the mixture. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples. Set slow cooker to “low” and leave for 3-5 hours. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

3. Slow Cooker Crème Brulee This dessert is rich and delicious, yet gives you a nice amount of protein to offset the sweetness. Serve plain or for that extra special touch, sprinkle fruit over the top just before serving. Ingredients: * 12 ounces evaporated milk (2%) * 4 large eggs, beaten * 1/3 cup sugar * 1 tsp vanilla * 1/4 tsp salt * 6 tsp brown sugar Instructions: Place small baking dish into slow cooker and pour water halfway up the outside of the dish. Remove the dish and set slow cooker onto “high” setting. Mix evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and salt with a whisk until blended thoroughly. Pour crème brulee mixture into the baking dish and place in slow cooker. Cover and leave for 2-4 hours, until almost firm. Remove baking dish from slow cooker with hot pads to cool, and then place in the fridge for a few hours. When you are ready to serve the crème brulee, preheat oven to “broil” setting and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the top. Set on a large baking sheet and broil near top of oven for 5-6 minutes. While in the oven, turn pan around once, and remove when sugar is melted and caramelized. Place in fridge once again for less than an hour and serve cold. Slow cookers are a genius invention when it comes to making desserts. Give one of these recipes a try today. Easy Chocolate Fondue Slow Cooker Apple Crumble Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Slow Cooker Crème Brulee

For busy families, the evening meal can be a problem. You want the family to eat together, but after a long day of work and other activities, no one feels much like getting in the kitchen and starting dinner. An easy solution is to invest in a slow cooker. Meals simply make themselves while you work and play so the entire family can sit down to a nutritious meal as soon as they come home. Consider the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker. Slow cooking has evolved over the years. They aren’t just for a pot roast or a chicken dinner. You can slow cook chili, lamb, soup, stew and just about anything else you can think of. This particular model has a 6-quart capacity. The meal made inside will feed 7 or more people. For a smaller family, that means delicious leftovers. Because it is programmable, you can add your ingredients in the morning and set it for the appropriate cooking time needed for your dish. After time is up, the timer automatically shifts to warm so that food will not overcook. The inside liner is removable to set in the center of any well-laid table.

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Depending on which climate you live in, you may need more or less lotion than others. Climate, diet, and many other factors can play a role in how moist or dry your skin tends to be. There are various types of lotions offered by numerous companies… so how do you know which one to use? If you are choosing your lotion simply because it smells nice, think again. Everyone has different needs, and there is no “onesize-fits-all” in this area. Another thing to take into consideration is the ingredients in the products you use. Steer clear of ingredients such as petroleum by-products and harsh, synthetic chemicals people are becoming more aware of the effects these have on our bodies and the environment. Here’s some tips on what to look for when choosing a hand or body lotion… Dry Skin Dry skin is especially in need of tender nourishment. When skin becomes dry, it can damage easily. It may get rough and sore, and may even become cracked and bleed. When your hands are dry and in terrible shape, look for a lotion that is thick and soothing. Be careful of artificial lotion ingredients such as emulsifiers. They tend to make skin even drier by interfering with the skin’s natural lipid barrier and allowing moisture to escape more quickly. This leads to exactly the opposite effect of what you want. Many oils actually work to protect the skin’s lipid barrier. Most natural oils are nongreasy and easily absorbed by the skin. Some oils that are especially healing to dry skin are natural ones such as grapeseed oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil. Always look for organic. In America, lotion is quite popular, but in many other parts of the world, oils are often used to moisturize the skin. Oily Skin Many people are under the false impression that when skin is oily, you should not use a moisturizer. Although a person is wise to avoid heavy ingredients, not using any moisturizer may fool the body into thinking that it needs to compensate. This can have a detrimental effect and clog pores. Although the rest of the body is not usually plagued Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

with acne, it can happen in certain areas such as the shoulders, chest, back and buttocks. When you are dealing with oily skin, look for ingredients that will cleanse as well as protect. Keep your eyes open for non-comedogenic lotions that will not clog pores or lead to further problems. If you are looking for a completely natural lotion, try extra virgin coconut oil. Amazingly, a great number of people have been able to fight acne with its use. This is likely due to its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. This amazing oil also doubles as effective sun protection. As with any other product, choose only organic to avoid absorbing unnecessary pesticides. Your skin is your largest organ and absorbs much of what you put on it. Choosing the right lotion for your skin type is important. Whether you have naturally dry or oily skin, lotion can moisturize as well as protect it. Being choosy about ingredients and leaning towards natural lotions and oils is good for you and the environment. Find the right lotion today and care for your skin in the way it needs.

You just got your hair treated at the salon and you are feeling great. However, you are substantially less wealthy than you were before you walked in the doors. Every woman deserves to spend money on feeling great about herself, but it can be an even better feeling when you are able to save some money as well. There are several things you can do to prolong your hair color. All you need is a bit of knowledge and a few other tools. Find out how you can keep your hair color looking fresh, whether you just got yours done or you are looking for ways to hold out a bit longer to the next appointment. Wait to Shampoo If you have just gotten your hair color treated, the first thing you need to know is to wait 48 hours if possible before shampooing it. This will help set the color and make it last longer.

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What to Do When You Do Shampoo When shampooing color-treated hair, use cool water rather than hot. Hot water tends to dry hair out and allow color to fade faster. And if possible, stick to the “every other day” schedule of hair washing - not just for the first time, but every time. Choose shampoos and conditioners without harsh ingredients. Many shampoos are full of chemicals which are tough on color-treated hair and can cause damage to it, stripping color and weakening it. How to Condition When your hair has been color treated, conditioning is a crucial step in keeping your color. A good conditioner will protect your hair from UV rays and dehydration. Find a product with natural conditioners such as avocado oil and shea butter. Use your conditioner regularly, after every shampoo. And be sure to deep condition your hair once a week. It’s All on Your Plate Food is more than just something to eat. Food was made to nourish every part of our bodies. There are many nutrients that a person can consume that will keep the hair healthy, therefore causing your color to last longer. To keep your hair in the best shape possible, look for some of the following nutrients. Vitamin E, found in pine nuts and sunflower seeds, boosts the strength of your hair to prevent breakage. Essential fatty acids, found in many nuts, avocado and fish are also strengthening to hair. Vitamin C, found in green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, berries and citrus fruits, assists with collagen production. Protect from the Elements Sun can be damaging to newly color-treated hair, but UV rays can damage your hair even when the sun isn’t shining brightly. Take precautions when you step outside, and be sure to use one of the many products created specifically to protect your hair from the great outdoors. And when possible, wear a hat. Getting one’s hair color treated is a great “pick me up” and a perfect way to make a person feel amazing. When you do, remember these tips that will help prolong your color and keep it shining. You can save money by stretching the time between salon visits, all while keeping your hair looking as fresh as the first day you walked out.

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Decorating in neutrals can be a great idea for many reasons. It can feel overbearing and a little scary to decorate an entire room in bright colors, or a wild pattern. Browns, grays, beiges and taupes make excellent base colors. At times, though, a fully neutral room can become boring and you may crave something new and a little more interesting. Sometimes you get that feeling that now is the time to spice things up a little. What can you do to add a pop of color to any room? Feature Wall Not sure if you are brave enough to paint your entire room in a funky shade? Choose one wall as a feature wall alone and paint a new color on it. This is a great way to get a burst of flavorful color without an overdose. Throw in Some Throws What if you are renting and are unable to paint, or just prefer an easier way to bring in some new tones? Pillows are a great start when you want to pull a bit of color into your home decor. They can be very inexpensive, yet make a huge difference in how your room comes across to you and everyone else who enters it. They are easily found anywhere, and in almost every color imaginable. The great thing is that you can get as crazy as you want and when you are tired of the effect, just donate them and buy some new ones in your next color of choosing. Add a Blanket Blankets can have a similar effect to pillows and are just as easy. Lay one over the back of your couch or put it on a chair for a subtle burst of color. Even when put to use on a chilly day, it will add that visual pop of color you are seeking.

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Flowers If you are looking for something even more temporary than the other ideas and simply want a way to brighten a room for short amount of time, flowers are a great idea. Setting out a nice bouquet is a perfect way to bring some life to the dullest of rooms. Art Art can cost a little more than the previous ideas, but it is a nice way to add some color without overdoing the effect. It stands out nicely against a neutral wall. Take a look in a local art museum or search the internet to find out what styles you love, and then decide how much money you want to spend on your purchase. You can buy several small prints or one large one as a centerpiece for the room. Either way looks great, and it is simply a matter of personal taste. Use any of the ideas listed above and as many as you wish until you reach the look you are hoping for. The more you use, the greater the color will stand out. Use a few ideas for a subtle look, and more for a bolder style. Try out some of these ideas and add a pop of color to your living space today.

There’s several ways to beautify your home without spending lots of money. Painting, for one, can be a chore. All that brushing and coating and priming - unless you want to pay someone to do it for you, it can be a long and arduous process for the novice. Did you know you can brighten up any room in your home without touching the walls? All it takes is a few well-placed accessories. This volume, “Window Treatments Idea Book” shows you how to use your windows to change the look and feel of your living spaces. The quickest way to give your room a makeover is to add embellishments. We hardly think about the curtains. They usually stay the same monochrome color that you chose with your first room decoration. But, new curtains can add a splash of color or colors to change the mood. Go from a heavy brocade fabric to a silken opaque color to two. Curtain rods are just as varied in color and style and curtains. Try out wrought iron, brass, pewter, silver or burnished bronze for a start. How about contemporary or art deco or traditional? Louvered blinds, shutters and also valances also transform the way light looks and feels as it travels from the outside through your room. Click here to view more details. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Ah, the credit card. That magical card of freedom...can quickly lead to slavery of paying off a large debt when not managed correctly. Here’s some quick tips to make sure your credit card doesn’t get the best of you. 1. If you can’t afford it now, you probably can’t afford it later. 2. Pay your bill on time or early every month. Late fees are harsh and make that 20% off discount that made you buy that thing in the first place obsolete. Also the interest rates kick in once your payment is late. Late payments ruin your credit score as well, making it difficult to get loans for things you really need – a car or a home. 3. Don’t get a new card every time a clerk suggests it. Sure, you may get a discount. But what if it encourages you to just buy more next time? More purchases equals more spent money equals more credit card debt. Just say no. 4. Avoid gimmicks. Are you really going to spend enough that you’ll earn that free trip to Hawaii the credit card company offers you? If you do spend that much, can you pay off the debt? And if so, is it worth it? If you’re only making purchases on a credit card to incur “free” stuff, consider what you’d be able to do with the money not spent on interest rates, late fees and so on. There’s a reason companies offer these incentives. 5. Keep a low-to-no-balance. The idea of a credit card is that it’s there when you need it – you’re in the wilds of Western Montana and there’s not an ATM in sight. You need gas. Pull out that handy credit card. But clothes you can’t afford? A splurge vacation? Wait until you have the money. 6. Don’t use an easy pin. Is your pin 1111? 1234? 6969? If so, change it. These are three of the most common pins people use and they’re the first codes thieves will try if they get a hold of your card. 7. Don’t leave your credit card information around. Never include the Card Security Code (CSC), the expiration date or the full number on checks for payment. If you keep copies of your credit card information, be sure to keep it in a secure location. 8. Don’t respond to emails from credit card companies if you didn’t initiate the response. There are a lot of identity thieves, fishing scams and credit card scams around. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

9. Do leave a copy of the front and back of each card behind, perhaps with a trusted friend or loved one, when you go on vacation, and bring the help line phone numbers with you. In the event of loss or theft, you’ll know who to contact and what the numbers were. 10. Be responsible. Just like Mom and Dad said, it’s important to be responsible. Use your card judiciously, pay off balances as soon as possible, pay on time, and be discreet with your card.

Identity theft is increasingly become a huge concern for families. With hackers tapping into major businesses’ credit card information, and credit card companies issuing offers to your toddler, you never know where or how your information can fall into the wrong hands. But here’s some tips to protect your family from identity theft. 1. Consider purchasing a shredder – then use it. All those airline credit card offers, those offers for your toddler, old bank statements… don’t just throw them away. Shred them. A large part of all identity theft, a whopping 88% according to, comes from raiding the victim’s trash. 2. Consider using difficult to crack passwords and change them often. Is your password 1234? 1111? 6969? ABC123? Your child’s name, dog’s name, or the name of your grandchild? If so, consider a change immediately. 3. Do you use the same passwords for everything from Amazon to email to your bank account? Experts recommend changing your passwords often, never repeating an old password, and using lots of symbols. If you have a difficult time remembering, consider using the first initials of a favorite song or phrase, and then $ubstituting s¥µbø1s as seen here. Also be sure to include numbers as well as a variety of upper and lower case words. 4. Guard your social security number. Memorize the number and keep the card in a safe place – not in your wallet, nor in your car. Be aware that you don’t need to give your social security number as an ID if you don’t want to – there are alternatives for businesses and medical offices who simply want to have an easy way to identify you. While banks and employers have security in place to keep that information secure, you never know how secure other institutions will be. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

5. Many experts recommend keeping copies of passports or digital photos of important documents on your computer, a flash drive or the cloud. Do so at your own risk – laptops can be easily stolen. If you feel you simply must store that kind of data on your computer, consider encrypting the file and/or labeling it something exceedingly boring – “Term Paper,” for example. 6. Consider checking your credit scores. You may find credit cards opened in your name that you aren’t aware of. If so, you can look into the matter and have authorities take care of it. Keep in mind that if your child receives credit card offers, it’s possible his or her identity has or could be stolen. 7. Guard your pin when shopping with your ATM card. 8. Consider avoiding overuse of ATM cards. Yes, they’re convenient. They’re also easily hacked, as proved in last year’s Target hacking. 9. Avoid clicking on links included in emails, especially if the URL is different from the one you expect. Likewise, if you receive an email or a phone call from someone requesting sensitive information, don’t give it out. Only give out information when you yourself initiated the contact and you can verify that you’re speaking to the person you intended to speak with. 10. Consider enrolling with a credit monitoring service. They will notify you and your family if they believe there has been a breach. Identity theft can cause financial problems, ruin your credit score, and take up a lot of your time and energy. Taking a little security can prevent a lot of hassles and heartache.

When that time of year arrives that you receive a nice large amount of refunded tax money, it can be tempting to immediately go on a shopping spree. It’s not often we are gifted with what we consider to be extra money, and it can feel nice to spoil ourselves. Before you go on that shopping spree, though, consider these ideas about where you can put your money that will make a difference for you in the long run. Get Rid of Debt If you are one of the many people who have a little or a lot of debt accumulated through credit cards or other ways, use this opportunity to pay some of it back. Although this Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

may be one of the least exciting ways to spend your tax refund, it makes the most sense. Paying off your debt now will lighten your load in the future and reduce money paid by you in the long term due to reduced interest on your loans. Add to Your Emergency Fund An emergency fund can never have too much money in it. You never know when you may need to fall back on it. Although you always hope to never need one, don’t wait around assuming that you won’t. If you have an emergency fund to add to, then add to it. If you haven’t started one, then a tax refund is a great place to begin. Look Out for Your Future Depending what age you are, retirement may be the last thing on your mind. It’s not something you should delay, however. The years go by quicker than you imagine and one day you may look back and wish you had made different financial decisions. Start contributing now to your retirement plan, and in the future you will look back and be thankful for your wise planning. If you are relatively young, it’s an even better idea to start now. The sooner you begin contributing to your retirement fund, the longer it has time to grow. This gives the money you set aside now a substantially higher value than if you were to contribute it at a later date. Your Children’s Future Just as you need to plan for your own future, there's also your children’s future to consider. A tax refund is a perfect opportunity to put money into a college fund for your child. This follows the same rule as your retirement fund, meaning the sooner you put the money into it, the longer it has to grow and the greater the final amount will be. A little amount now can add up to a lot later. Have a Little Fun Finally, give yourself permission to enjoy a small bit of your refund. Take the family out for a special treat, take a mini trip to visit some place you’ve never been to before, or buy yourself that new outfit you’ve had in mind. If you have used most of your refund for the more important things in your life, you can enjoy the remainder without guilt. It is beneficial for us to enjoy some fun and it can be stress reducing to take time for some enjoyment. Now that you have your tax refund, make a solid plan and put that money to good use. Making financially responsible decisions is a great feeling, even better than that shopping spree that originally flickered through your mind. Use the above ideas to give

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you some ideas on where to start and you will be thanking yourself long after this moment has passed.

A good friend is hard to find. When we have one, we want to hold on to that friendship for as long as possible. And one of the ways we can do that is by being that good friend in return. So how does one learn to be a supportive friend? Always Be There to Listen When a friend is going through a difficult time, they are often looking for someone to talk to. They may need advice, but they usually just need to unload on or vent to someone who cares about them and their situation. Be that friend who is willing to be a muchneeded ear when your friend is in need of it. Give Advice When Asked for It This is an area that one must be careful not to overstep. At times our friends may just want to talk. But other times, they may ask for advice. When a friend has asked you to share your opinion, feel free to do so. Before responding, though, ask yourself if your advice is building up your friend or tearing them down. Advice should leave a person feeling encouraged and not discouraged. This is the test you should give your words before they leave your mouth. Give More Than You Receive Giving of oneself more than you receive does not mean you allow yourself to be used or walked on. It’s simply a good rule to be sure that you are holding up your end of the friendship. No one likes a one-way relationship, and your friend will appreciate you returning their gestures, care and concern. Don’t allow your friendship to slip into a place where you never return calls or invite your friend to functions. If you begin to rely on your friend’s invites and efforts to maintain the friendship, they may begin to feel used and resentful. When both parties attempt to give a little more to the friendship than the other, things tend to stay in balance and people are less likely to be hurt. Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Don’t Judge As easy as it can be to look at someone else’s life and think you have all the answers… make a choice not to judge your friend. You have no idea what life feels like from their perspective and you have no right to judge their thoughts and feelings. Be open to the fact that how they perceive life may be different from how you perceive it, without their way being wrong. Be Trustworthy When a friend shares a secret with you, no matter how big or small, you must be trustworthy. When something has been shared in confidence with you, it is not your right to pass it along or gossip. Know when to keep quiet. This would save many a friendship if heeded. Don’t be dishonest with your friends either. One of the quickest ways to shatter a good friendship is through dishonesty. Resolve within yourself never to lie and always to be honest. This is a great way to show your friend that you are committed to putting them as priority above your own convenience. A good friendship is worth holding on to as tightly as you can. Be a friend who lights up the world of those who you love. Be a supportive friend and even though you may give a lot, you will get back more in return than you can imagine.

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Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

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Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Clear Care 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Triple Action Cleaning

When it comes to your eyes, you can’t be too careful. The invention of contact lenses gave those who wear glasses a chance to experience the world without them and also to see better. In order to keep your contact lenses working well they need to be cleaned regularly to prevent eye damage and to enhance vision. Look no further than Clear Care products for your soft contact lens needs. Contact lenses sit right on your eye. They are designed to allow air to flow through. This doesn’t mean, however, that particulate matter like dust and dirt don’t collect. Throughout wear, protein deposits are also building up on the lenses. Without proper and regular care, these things can cause irritation to the eye. It can even result in issues with your cornea, the clear outer portion of your eye that covers the pupil. Most doctors recommend daily removal and cleaning of contact lenses. The triple action cleaning of Clear Care deep cleans both soft contact lenses and RGP (rigid gas permeable) varieties. Dirt is loosened allowing it and the protein deposits to be removed. This value back comes with two 16 ounce containers of solution, a convenient 3 ounce travel size as well as two lens cases and neutralizing disc .

Click here to view more details Summer Countdown - May 2014 Issue |

Summercountdown may2014 issue  

- A Personal Note from HCH > 3 - Five Ways to Boost Your Energy > 4 - Ten Ways to Eat Healthier This Summer> 5 - Six Supercharged Smoothies...

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