May 2011 Volume 2 Issue 5
Fun in the Sun!
Hereâ€™s wishing all mommies, a very special day. From all of us here at Laredo Family Time Magazine
Home & Garden
13 Green Living 17
Kids & Teens
Food & Entertainment
Health & Beauty
Critters & Crayons
Seven Steps to a Greener Life
Big River Outfitters
Open Art: Repurposed Crafts
How to Choose a Financial Advisor
Salvage your skin for Spring & Summer
“The Stuff Laredo Athletes Are Made Of”
Editor’s Note Dear Friends and Readers, We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made Laredo Family Time Magazine a success. As we enter our first year in print, we look back at our content evolution. We now bring you more columns written by local writers as well as a collaborative effort with Laredo Sportswire News Network in order to bring you local sports news. In the coming months, Laredo Family Time Magazine will be growing and expanding to include Texas Family Time Magazine. This new venture will allow us to reach a larger audience while still maintaining our Laredo identity. And finally, a warm and very happy Mother‟s Day wish to all the moms out there who have spread the word about this publication and who have helped us become a great success! Here‟s to you!
All the best,
Claudia Perez Rivas Editor-in-Chief & Publisher email@example.com
Community Garden by Patricia Driscoll Our evolution as would-be gardeners started with a volunteer day in sup-port of the Keep Laredo Beautiful Program’s Make A Difference Day on October 25th, 2010. I showed up late, because I didn’t know where I was going and missed all the hard manual labor. I ended up being assigned the strenuous duty of labeling, and sorting organic seed into diskette sleeves.
Patricia Driscoll writes from Laredo, where she lives I showed up unaware that I’d be taken by the happily with her husband, two children, two cats, a image of so many people working to build the millipede, three hermit crabs and the occasional Community Garden from scratch, literally domesticated scorpion building the crop boxes from wood and old tires, while children painted signs and built scarecrows. I hadn’t planned to get a plot in the garden, since I am probably the only person on the planet that could kill a cactus- but by the end of the volunteer day, I had decided we would. We got a plot and watered our plants- but we didn’t know much about gardening. So after several months of tending it, what do you suppose we harvested? 6 Pea Pods! We blame the freeze in February! There are several very successful garden plots surrounding ours, though! Some other wonderful aspects of the garden are its proximity to the beautiful Eagle Scout Trail and it is the site of the new
community compost pile!
Kids love to volunteer in Keep Laredo Beautiful clean-ups of the Eagle Scout Trail next to the garden. We often see groups of boy and girl scouts out diligently picking up litter and beautifying the areas. We bought a stainless steel tabletop composter from TJ Maxx for $20 to try to make more use out of food scraps. We fill it with egg shells, coffee grounds, raw fruit and vegetable scraps, saw dust, dried leaves and natural wood shavings. When, it’s full, it goes outside to let the sun do the rest of the work. I researched how to do it on the internet, but mostly relied on the advice of an expert.
Lynn Nava is the Executive Director of Keep Laredo Beautiful. She looked into my tabletop composter one day and saw the disgusting rot and exclaimed, “IT LOOKS PERFECT!” She also described how, as a child, her mother used to bury fish heads under her rose bushes. And those, roses, apparently, were each the size of a human head. Inspiring, but we will be sticking with non-flesh stuff.
We often run into Alli Hrncir, the Community Garden Project Manager when we visit our plot. She is also the Director of the Laredo Farmers Market. The Community Garden inspired us to try to do some gardening in our backyard- We’re starting in pots because we’re still intimidated by the idea of moving a bunch of earth- but we’re talking about building some garden boxes if we manage to get any kind of a yield! We already have more sprouts than we did on our first attempt at the Community Garden so we’re learning, for sure! I keep what Lynn Nava told me once whenever we tend the garden: “You need to remember great gardeners are not born. They are taught by nature.” Don’t you just love that?
If you’re interested in gaining a plot in the Community Garden, you can reach out to Alli Hrncir at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Gretchen Otto Pimentel
This month’s topic: Greening Your Home In the course of researching and writing eco friendly or “green” living articles for al-most 20 years now, I often get asked what is the most important thing you can do to make the strongest environmental impact on the planet. Many are surprised when I suggest that there is one thing, in my opinion, that is more important than almost anything else that you can do. Many more are surprised when I suggest what that thing might be. TURN OFF YOUR TV. Here are just five reasons TV increases your potential to increase your consumption and avoid more practical, greener living solutions. 1. TV viewing robs you of an enormous amount of time This is an obvious one. With all the wasted time you spend watching TV, sometimes becoming invested in the lives of purely FICTIONAL characters, you neglect doing the types of things that will help your VERY REAL family! If you just cut out just a few TV shows a week for example, you can free up your hours to do things like grow some of your own food, or spend time repairing and repurposing things to reduce your trash. 2. TV has commercials…..which can create unnecessary “needs” for you whole family! Some reports indicate that the American family is exposed to up to 1600 advertising messages per day, many from the television: http:// answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=56750 . That‟s a whole lot of exposure. Advertisers are EXPERTS at creating “needs” in your mind. The more TV you watch, the more opportunity you are giving these experts at their game… which is trying to get you to go out and purchase their product. Why not beat them at their own game by refusing to play? Or even just reducing your play time? Your pocket book and the environment will thank you. And your home will be a lot easier to clean without tripping over your unused Snuggies, chia pets, kitchen appliances, etc and all the other clutter you see on TV that you must have! Be aware that TV shows also earn additional money by subtle product placement within the shows themselves…..creating even more “needs” and wants for your whole family! 3. TV is generally watched INDOORS! What better way to appreciate the natural world and develop a deep respect for pre-serving the environment than to spend TIME in it? There are also health benefits to increasing your time out of doors. So turn off the TV, where you are typically seden-tary and watching other fake people live and go out and live a little yourself! 4. Unrealistic lifestyles -- TV shows can contribute to an unrealistic view of what families of certain income levels can afford. Have you ever wondered how working class families or new college grads in sitcoms can have spacious homes full of pricey stuff? It‟s pretty easy to do when a set designer creates the façade for them.
And TV homes and space need to be bigger to accommodate camera crews on sound stages. That‟s why the struggling twenty somethings on the sitcom Friends had a large apartment in one of the most expensive cost of living cities in the world! Reduce your exposure to this unrealistic standard of living. Reduce your risk of unfavorable comparisons, or even envy, when your own life does not “measure up” by reducing your TV viewing. 5. TV may cause you to eat more FOOD, thereby costing you more money in food costs and healthcare costs! Several studies have found a link between TV watching and weight gain. There are many different theories on why this is so, but it seems it is easy to overeat when distracted by our television viewing. Thus restricting the hours watched may help to prevent this problem. At the very least, limiting actual eating while watching TV is also an easy solution to avoid this weighty problem. Shutting off the TV when eating dinner, for example, is a very good idea. And it has the added bonus of enhancing your quality time with your family dinner partners. More information on TV and overeating here:
http://www.parentwonder.com/child-obesity-the-two-most-overlookedcauses-of-overeating-in-children/ http://www.ehow.com/info_7839143_causes-over-eating.html http://www.suite101.com/content/thoughts-of-death-cause-overeatinga58611 Tips on reducing TV
Consider starting new traditions in your family. Take an after dinner walk to-gether instead of plunking down together in front of the tube, for example.
Put all TVs in cabinets with closable doors. You won‟t be as likely to turn them on to fill the void that a blank screen leaves in a room. Or better yet, put TVs on a cart with wheels and put them in a closet. With the extra effort it takes to wheel them out, you will surely watch less!
Plan TV time. Don‟t get used to a TV as “background” noise. It may tempt you into the programming. You will mindlessly watch even what is not planned.
Don‟t center your furniture living groups around a TV. You will be more inclined to invite the TV into your home as the extra conversationalist in the room when all furniture points in its direction!
Reduce the hours you watch in a week and limit your viewing to educational stations, the local news or commercial free stations only where you can.
Never put a TV in a child‟s room where they have free access to watch it with-out supervision, which can increase the hours watched.
More information on earth friendly living and great anti consumerism resources can be found here: http://www.verdant.net/ Here‟s wishing your family a wonderful earth friendly day! Gretchen Otto Pimentel, “Mrs. Green,” is a Laredo resident and freelance author. She is currently on hiatus from her legal career while at home with her young children. She enjoys researching and writing on family budgeting with a focus on choices that benefit the planet. www.laredofamilytimemagazine.com
By Eric Ellman
Big River Outfitters founder, EricEllman is a wastewater engineer and a long time citizen and activist throughout the Americas. Eric is also the author of Bicycling Mexico and feature stories on tour destinations such as Mexico's Lacandon Jungle and Copper Canyon.
“There’s nothing to do around here” is the universal kids’ lament. Motivating yours to think differently is a challenge anywhere. Particularly if you’re talking about getting them to be more physically active. All the more so in Laredo, a city with neither forests, beaches nor mountains to help deal with daily highs that average 100 degrees. So is it a surprise that so many people leave each weekend? Or spend their time taxiing from mall to movie theatre to the nearest Chuckie Cheese? Let’s face it. In Laredo even parents whine “There’s nothing to do around here.” But just like the kids, they’re wrong. Big River Outfitters, a kayaking company based riverside at the Rio Grande Plaza Hotel, has seen 300 people walk through its doors in their seven months in business. Customers walk out into another world that Laredo offers, one that drips with cool shady retreats, local hideaways where you can forget the city surrounds you, and enjoy family-style activities that everyone wants, but which few know how to find. Here’s Big River Outfitters’ family guide to unlocking Laredo’s water resources. Buy a two-person sit-on-top kayak and accessories. Sit-on-top kayaks are behind the surging popularity of kayaking. They’re super stable, easy to use and highly transportable. Anyone can paddle them. Five kayaks (enough for 10 people) stack easily in the back of a pick-up truck, obviating the need for a trailer. A good two-person boat, paddles, seats and life preservers will set you back about $700 at Academy. With no gas to guzzle and no moving parts to break, it’s a bargain that buys your family 10 to 20 years of recreational adventure. Learn to paddle on an enclosed body of water.
Casa Blanca Lake State Park
Toilets, picnic benches and covered seating areas are all benefits to be found at Lake Casa Blanca. Unfortunately jet skiers and power boaters are there too. The fishing is fair, and the wildlife observation opportunities excellent.
At least two small lakes offer great nature watching and beginning kayaking opportunities within 200 acres of city-owned land known as Riverbend Park. The property, a former sand-and-gravel operation near the El Cuatro neighborhood on the city’s Southwest corner, offers an even better answer to “what’s to do around here?” Get your family involved in a self-help project to polish this little recognized gem. 8
Santa Isabella Creek
15 miles north of town on Mines Road is Santa Isabella Creek. It’s a cliffy little tributary that offers up to 3/4 mile of paddling before reaching its confluence with the Rio Grande. You can see all three species of Kingfishers, herons and other birds indicating the presence of fish. There’s not a few signs of fisherman there too. Empty beer cans and abandoned lines. Park nearby at the Hermanos Perez Country Store or on the newly improved dirt road on the north side of Mines road. Hone your skills and take on the Rio Grande. A couple of hours of instruction are enough to learn the basics: how to get in and out of the kayak, properly grip the paddle and basic strokes. Once you and your partner know how to do a self-rescue (boating alone is highly discouraged) you’re ready to discover the pleasures of floating downstream on your own backyard river, the nation’s 3rd longest, the Rio Grande. From Amistad Reservoir until it reaches Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, the river meets all health and safety standards. It’s warm, shallow and has a gentle current. At normal levels it’s a Class I river, with just enough riffles and ledges between languid stretches to practice introductory whitewater techniques like surfing, ferries, peel-outs and eddy turns. Anyone can paddle on the Rio Grande (navigation for residents of both countries being guaranteed by virtue of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. No permits nor permissions are necessary; only access -- something often hard to find in Texas. The best access points we know are at Father McNaboe Park, Markley Lane, the Jefferson Street Water Plant and Chacon Creek. Recruit an Expert A list of Hill Country paddling professionals, as well as courses that will help you to some day be one, are available on line through the American Canoe Association. In Laredo, Big River Outfitters offers daily outings to teach you the fundamentals of paddling and help you discover Laredo’s under-utilized potential for family-style outdoor adventure. A 2 1/2 introduction to kayaking, complete with equipment, instruction, guide services and transportation, is $28. Guided 2 1/2 hour adventures on local rivers and streams costs the same $28 per person with a 3-person minimum. Tours and introductory classes are offered 5 days/week, from Wednesday through Sunday departing at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from the Rio Grande Plaza Hotel. www.laredofamilytimemagazine.com
Home & Garden
More and more, people are taking up gardening to supplement their groceries with healthful, homegrown produce, but yard space sometimes is a problem. However, a raised-bed planter can be tucked into just about any corner of your yard. And thanks to easy-to-use segmental retaining wall systems, most do-it-yourselfers can build one with minimum skill and tools. "We've seen quite a few folks come in with spring fever who are anxious to start their own 'victory garden,'" says Dave Johnson, manager of Patio Town, an Oakdale, Minn., landscape supplies retailer. "But for many of them, their yard space is limited, so we suggest a raised-bed planter that can stand alone in the yard or be built alongside your house or garage." A raised-bed garden has other advantages besides size, Johnson notes. "Because they're elevated, there's less stooping and they're a lot easier to tend to. With a nice capped top, you have a place to sit or place your gardening tools while you work," says Johnson. Segmental retaining walls are built using high-strength concrete blocks without mortar or frost footings. Friction from the weight of the blocks stacked on top of one another, along with interlocking mechanisms, keep the units together. They're also more environmentally friendly than landscape timbers and other materials that may contain hazardous preservatives, and far less costly than poured-in-place concrete walls. Easy to install No special equipment is required for building a planter with segmental retaining wall systems, Johnson explains. "A few basic tools such as a shovel, level, mallet and masonry chisel are needed. Without a need for costly footings, the wall itself sits on a bed of crushed gravel and sand. Depending on your design, you may want to rent a concrete saw or you can just use a masonry blade in a standard circular saw." Johnson recommends a pinned wall system like Versa-Lok for better stability. "Versa-Lok is a premium engineered wall system that is held together by synthetic pins inserted from the top of each course of block into the course below. Top pinning systems make unit alignment easy," Johnson explains. "The blocks are solid for added strength." These retaining wall systems come in a variety of natural colors and textures, Johnson continues.
"I like the tumbled retaining wall products that have a more natural look that blends in easily with the landscape and existing structures. They have a random face pattern that offer a stunning appearance, and their solid, top-pinning design is easy to build with, so do-it-yourselfers and contractors both like them." Tiered wall option Many yards suffer from a problem of having plenty of room but little of it usable. Tiered walls - two or more walls stacked and set back from underlying walls - offer a terrific opportunity to convert some of that unusable space into elevated gardens. Tiered walls also are useful in visually breaking up a single tall wall to make it more aesthetically pleasing. For example, rather than building one 8-foot-tall retaining wall, a more pleasing solution might be to build two staggered 4-foot-tall walls, one on top of the other, and create gardens in the level spaces between the walls. Stairs and landings also may be integrated into tiered walls to allow easier access to garden spaces between the walls. However, tiered walls are more difficult to design than conventional single-level retaining walls, so you may want to consult with a qualified engineer or building inspector before beginning your project. A growing investment Not only are landscape improvements a great way to get more enjoyment out of your yard, they're also a wise financial investment in your home. "When people ask me how they can get strong buying interest in their property, I always tell them to fix up their landscaping," Walt McDonald, president of the National Association of Realtors, said in Smart Money magazine. And don't forget the return you'll get on your investment every time you harvest the bounty from your victory garden. For more ideas on how to enhance your landscape with raised-bed planters, visit the Versa-Lok Online Image Library at www.versalok.com/idea-book/residential. Courtesy of ARA Content
Don't forget the details:
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home - a place where the family socializes and entertains friends. It's no wonder a kitchen remodel occupies first place on many homeowners' wish lists, especially at a time when families are spending less time dining out and more time at home. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most expensive and timeconsuming home improvement projects a family will undertake, ranging from $17,000 to $20,000 for a basic kitchen remodel. "Since the kitchen occupies a highly visible space in the home, it's understandable that families want it to reflect their style and personality. But unfortunately, a traditional kitchen remodel can mean a bigger investment of time and money than many families can handle," says Rust-Oleum senior brand manager Ann Gearty. "Fortunately, now there's an affordable alternative. For less than $500, homeowners can update their old, outdated cabinets and countertops and make them look brand new thanks to breakthrough coating technologies."
It's easy to make your old cabinet knobs and pulls look brand new with a few coats of spray paint. Try a spray paint like Rust-Oleum Universal Oil-Rubbed Bronze to mimic one of today's hottest metal finishes at a fraction of the cost. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. For more information on alternatives to the traditional kitchen remodel visit: www.rustoleumtransformations.com
Courtesy of ARA Content
Here's how can get your own kitchen transformation on a budget: Select a color scheme: Dark accent walls with neutral colors are all the trend right now, but you'll want to make sure you choose a color palette that expresses your personal style and that you think will be around for years to come. Home decorating magazines and websites are great sources of inspiration when selecting a color scheme for your new kitchen. Start with the cabinets: They are the focal point of any kitchen and will set the tone for the look and feel of the entire room. Instead of replacing or refacing, it's easy to transform worn, outdated cabinets to the look of beautiful hand-crafted cabinets with Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations. The refinishing system provides you with all the tools you need to give your cabinets a fresh, new look for less than $150 - without the stripping, sanding or priming associated with cabinet painting. It works on all types of cabinets - wood, melamine, laminate and more. Plus it is available in 70 beautiful finishes and is guaranteed to last for years to come. Rethink your current countertop: You don't have to replace your countertop to get a sleek new look. With new Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations, you can transform your worn or damaged laminate countertops at a fraction of the cost of replacement. Available in a convenient kit for $250, the innovative coating system comes with all the tools needed to transform your outdated countertops to mirror the look of natural stone such as granite. The coating was put through extensive testing to ensure it could stand up against daily wear and tear. It's available in five different colors and is so easy to use, the entire project can be completed in less than a weekend. 11
For most people, being "green" seems overwhelming and time consuming. But even the tiniest change counts and the process doesn't have to be a hassle. Starting out with a manageable action plan is the key to success. Follow these seven steps and even the least eco-conscious family will be inspired to become regular recyclers in no time. 1. Look around your house for green opportunities Walk into your house with your "green police" glasses on. Do you see an easy place to store your recyclables? Are your light bulbs energy efficient? Start to notice if any family members are using too much water, or leaving unneeded lights on. Get your kids on board and see if they can help spot ways to change as a family; they are very perceptive and can often see things in a way no adult ever could. 2. Get your garden growing and save Yes, planting a garden might seem like a huge undertaking, but the rewards far outweigh the work. Talk to any gardener and you'll realize that the process of planting and tending a garden is quite relaxing and truly rewarding. Plus you'll save money. One packet of seeds costs around 50 cents and yields enough fresh produce for you and your family to eat all summer, with more to share. And if you're gardening, that means less trips to the grocery store, which means less driving and less gas usage. Best of all, you are in complete control of what you eat, and can make your produce as organic as you wish. 3. Be aware of product packaging Not all packaging is created equally. Keep an eye out next time you're in the grocery store for renewable packaging. For instance, Snyder's of Hanover Organic Pretzel Sticks are packaged using 90 percent plant-based materials. The renewable raw material used to make the new packaging is produced with as little as half the energy compared to traditional petroleum-based packaging. Best of all, the Organic Pretzel Sticks come in three delicious flavors: Organic 8 Grains & Seeds, Whole Wheat & Oat Bran and Honey Whole Wheat. So you're buying a product that tastes good but is good for the environment too - the best of both worlds. 4. Forget plastic water bottles According to Nubius Organics, more than 26 billion bottles are thrown away each year (less then 15 percent are recycled). The plastic from these bottles doesn't biodegrade so it's now a permanent part of our landfills. Instead of adding to the problem, become part of the solution. Invest in reusable water bottles for the whole family and keep extras in the car so you're never tempted to go back. 5. Ride your bicycle to work According to the United States government, bicycle commuters save on average $1,825 annually in auto-related costs, reduce their carbon emissions by 128 pounds, conserve 145 gallons of gasoline, and avoid 50 hours of gridlock traffic. Plus, you are exercising so you'll feel more energized and have a better night's sleep. 6. Soak up the solar power The initial investment in solar power can be costly, but it's the future energy savings that will make solar power a wise choice. Snyder's-Lance, for instance, is currently in the process of building the largest ground-based solar farm in Pennsylvania. With over 15,000 solar panels spanning 26 acres, the solar farm will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in excess of 230 million pounds of carbon dioxide over a 25year period. Read more about the solar farm at www.snydersmediacenter.com. 7. Be open to small changes Becoming green is really about seeing life differently and being open to make changes, however small they may seem. Things like driving slower (uses less gas), unplugging unused electrical devices (no more phantom usage), and using a microfiber cloth (instead of paper towels) can really add up over time. And the sooner you get started, the better our planet and your home will be. Courtesy of ARA Content 14
The "going green" trend is going strong as more Americans discover that doing their part for the environment is now simpler than ever. Many small, everyday acts can help the environment - things as simple as using a water purifier instead of buying bottled water or switching to concentrated laundry detergents. Procter & Gamble's environmental education program, Future Friendly, offers these helpful hints for changes that can benefit the environment and, in many cases, your pocketbook. Cleaning up your act Doing a load of laundry seems like an innocent enough chore, right? Actually, our laundry habits can consume a lot of resources, from using more detergent than necessary to using energy to heat the wash water. Fortunately, greening your practices in the laundry room can be simple.
Follow on-package dosing instructions - A third of Americans simply guess how much detergent to add to their laundry, with many just filling the cap or scoop to the brim, according to a recent Ipsos survey. In fact, 59 percent of those polled said they learned to do laundry from their mother, and 43 percent have never changed their laundry habits because they've never seen a reason to. It's important to follow the recommended dosing instructions which are generally marked on the cap or scoop.
Use concentrated detergent - Concentrated powder versions of Tide and Gain are now available, enabling you to use less detergent per load with the same great results. This concentrated formula means the detergents' packaging has been reduced, creating less waste to toss in the trash or recycling bin.
Wash in cold water - Most of the energy consumed in a typical load of laundry is used to heat the water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Switching to cold water for every load can yield significant energy savings and, when using specially formulated products, you won't have to trade-off product performance to realize the environmental benefits.
Water, water everywhere Water is a precious commodity that needs to be protected to ensure the health of the planet and our communities. Consider these water conservation tips as you go about your daily activities:
Use a water purifier - While bottled water is a convenient aspect of modern life, the downside is the disposal of all those empty plastic bottles. When you compare the annual capacity and average price of a faucet-mount water filter to the price of water bottles that would hold the same amount of water, switching your household to a water purifier such as those available from Pur could keep more than 1,000 bottles out of the landfill and save around $600 a year.
Skip pre-washing your dishes - Pre-washing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher can consume up to 20 gallons of water, according to EnergyStar.gov. If you use a good quality "complete" dishwasher detergent such as Cascade Complete, all you need to do is scrape off large food particles then place the dirty dishes in the washer - and you'll save around 2,600 gallons of water a year (based on 12.5 gallons of water used to pretreat, at four loads per week). EnergyStar also recommends running the dishwasher only when it's full and skipping the heat drying cycle.
Courtesy of ARA Content 16
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Earth Day Community Kayak Races!
Much has been written about Laredo‟s newest and most popular outdoor activity: Kayaking. We‟ve heard of the beauty that is seen while travelling hidden trails that have been long forgotten. Beautiful photographs have been taken depicting a nature we rarely have the opportunity to see. And yet we marvel at a hidden wonder that we have right in our back yard. Laredo is known largely for its hunting grounds and golf courses. The popularity of these outdoor sports is something that has grown and continues to grow as evidenced by the Cola Blanca and Bola Blanca events sponsored every year from the Laredo Chamber of Commerce...but is this all there is? Laredo has a unique social and economic make-up. Bordering two nations, it has its own identity and spirit. We sometimes don‟t see clearly what is in front of us. Big River Outfitters has shown us that with a little bit of hard work, perseverance and love of nature, change can happen and is happening as is evident of their presence in Laredo. By reinvigorating talk about Riverbend Park, promoting an outdoor activity that one would ever associate with the border city of Laredo and with the help of local leaders, they have formed an impressive group dedicated to promote and preserve the beauty that we take for granted. Big River Outfitters has, in the past three years, promoted paddle sports in the McAllen-Reynosa area and has now come to Laredo to help popularize this unique, outdoor activity. The group‟s purpose in coming to Laredo: „to explore Laredo‟s abundant and under-utilized water resources for recreation combined with environmental education, along with heritage programs on and off the water.‟ Eric Ellman, the group‟s founder, radiates enthusiasm for a sport that most of us know little about. Along with Stephanie Dolansky-Mahathey, they are dedicated to the promotion and education of Laredo‟s unique and hidden ecosystem. The group has vigorously promoted kayaking in the city by putting together races, tours, and much more. Many local students in both school districts have already been exposed to this amazing sport. In addition, they offer custom tours designed to educate others as well as ourselves, on our unique history, architecture, nature, art and cuisine. The Community Earth Day Kayak Races, held this past April 22, was just such an event. Participation was a bit scattered but that didn‟t stop the enthusiasm that was felt by those who were present. The races were fun, tiring and had everybody in awe. Some participants had never experienced kayaking before, and Ellman, Dolansky-Mahathey along with other volunteers, soon made them feel right at home. People of all ages and all walks of life experienced the river as never before. Kids were eager with enthusiasm as well as adults who wanted to give kayaking a try. The camaraderie that was felt that day was unique. If you haven‟t tried kayaking, it should be noted that it is an amazing outdoor activity and Big River Outfitters is the perfect place to try. Kayak on the Rio Grande or kayak on the Lake Casa Blanca, all gear and equipment is provided. Price varies according to group size. For more information or to book your next trip call 956.209.1879. You won‟t be disappointed.
Kids & Teens
By Marina Neiman
Fond memories of childhood toy. A cuddly doll, colorful craychildhood favorites. Toys bring a they also can be valuable learnand sharing are just a few of the while they play. Toys don't have boxes in the backyard and measfavorite standards. But parents may find it helpful to know what avoid for children of different
usually bring to mind a favorite ons, or a special wagon are all great deal of joy to children, but ing tools. Exploring, pretending, important skills children develop to be expensive. Cardboard uring cups in the bathtub are who do wish to purchase toys toys to choose and which to ages.
Every child is unique, has its specific pattern of development and has different ways of cruising through the milestones of physical, mental and social development. Infants and toddlers learn about the world through their senses. They are interested in the sight, sound, smell, texture, and taste of things. Objects or toys that can be squeezed, dropped, poked, twisted, or thrown are sure to cause delight. Toddlers also enjoy any item that can be stacked, poured, opened, closed, pushed, or pulled. Toys are vital for the physical and mental development of your infant baby. The toys have a significant bearing on your infants personality, therefore must be carefully selected. During these years, children use their imagination to imitate adult activity and participate actively in physical games. Their physical coordination develops, and the foundation of printing and writing is also laid at this time. Preschool children learn by doing. They are busy developing new skills. They like drawing, painting, and building. They also spend a great deal of time pretending. Dress-up clothes, pretend play and puppets are big favorites. Preschoolers are energetic and active. They need large balls to roll and throw, wagons to pull, and tricycles to ride. At this stage children learn about getting along with others, and about the adult world of sports, games and careers. They develop intellectual and social interests and make strong friendships, likes and dislikes. School-age children feel more grown-up and love activities that lead to (real productsÂŚ such as jewelry, (designerÂŚ T-shirts, or stamp collections. They also develop a keen interest in sports and enjoy having adult-like physical equipment such as softball gloves, tennis rackets, or skates. They have a better understanding of rules and enjoy playing with others. Board games, cards, or dominoes teach math concepts and problem-solving skills.
The age of your child and not the activity level, is a primary factor in selecting an appropriate toy. Toys should not promote a single thought or concept; instead, they should enhance creativity and thinking skills. Toys and games are also important for the child to learn and practice logical and problem-solving. Toys that can be played in a number of ways serve as great educational tools and endorse comprehensive development of your child.
Marina Neiman, author and mother of two, writes for 1888Toys.com Children Educational Toys Store, featuring classic toys with truly developmental value. To learn more about this subject visit: www.1888Toys.com
I used craft glue but sometimes it is better to use a glue gun.
A piece of tape helps hold the stirrer in place while the glue dries.
Press down, make sure it is well attached.
Use tape to connect everything.
Clean cream cup, tea envelope, and stirrer.
Glue the top of tea envelope to stirrer.
Carefully puncture the cream cup.
Insert the other side of the stirrer in the cup.
Tape the bottom of tea envelope to cup.
Add hands and face using tea bags & labels.
Decorate with markers, paint, & accessories.
Hold cup and stirrer with each hand.
Move it up and down and swivel it left to right.
With one hand hold the cup and with the other hand hold the stirrer. Twist stirrer left & right, pull it up & down.
Victoria Ortega, is an Art Education Consultant and owner of Open Art Studio. She likes to teach children to reuse objects, be resourceful, and be creative. She believes childhood art should be a special time to invent, practice, improvise, and experiment.
By Destry Maycock
David's mother explained, "Whenever David doesn't get his way he throws himself on the floor, screams, kicks and cries incessantly. What can we do to help him overcome this behavior?"
TIP: What is David getting out of this behavior? First make sure that you are not rewarding this type of behavior, positively or negatively because both will help keep it alive. If you eventually give in to this behavior by changing your initial decision (not letting David go out to play, refusing David a cookie), David has learned that tantrums work. Hence, when David wants his way he may think, " a good tantrum just may get me that candy bar, it got me out of bedtime last night." Negative attention (yelling, threatening, ridicule, spanking) seldom changes the behavior. Getting you upset may be just as rewarding as giving in to their demands. So again, make sure you are not unintentionally rewarding David for this behavior. TIP: Be proactive. Think of the situations that invite David's meltdowns and head them off before they happen. Do questions that require a yes or no answer provoke a tantrum? Instead of "Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch David?" try "It is time for lunch David. Would you like PB&J or macaroni and cheese?" Advance notice may help as well. "We will be leaving Grandma's in ten minutes. Get everything you want to take care of completed before we go." Is David more likely to throw a tantrum when he is tired? Then you may want to provide an opportunity for him to take a nap. TIP: Consequence. Be sure to tie the consequence back to the misbehavior. "David, remember the last time we went to the store and you threw a fit because I wouldn't let you have that Power Ranger? Remember how you kept putting it in the cart and screaming that you wanted it? Well I am going shopping but you won't be going with me. I just don't feel like dealing with that kind of behavior today. Mrs. Hamblin is here to watch you until I get back. Try to make the best of it. Love ya, bye.â€? TIP: Move David to a different location. The key is for you to model taking care of yourself. Your ears hurt when you hear David's screaming. You may not be able to control whether or not David has a tantrum, but you can control where he does it. "Tantrums are for the bedroom. Let's go." You may want to give him a choice. "Where do you want to be until you can get that under control, the bathroom or the laundry room? If David can't decide quickly, you decide for him. Come on out when there is no more crying and screaming." TIP: Notice the exceptions. Point out the times when David may have thrown a tantrum but did not. "I really appreciate how you came in the house when I asked without throwing a "fit". You should feel good about being able to do that." TIP: Give the behavior a name. This will help externalize the problem, which is to say, it separates the person from the problem. It helps David and the family view the behavior as the problem and not him (the problem is the problem). For example, you could call David's tantrums the "uglies". This can help put David and you on the same side in the battle against the "uglies". Questions like "can you think of a time when you have beat the "uglies" David? How did you do it? or how do you know when the "uglies" are coming? What can you do to stop them? "David may enjoy the imagery of conquering the "uglies" and this can give David a sense of control over the behavior. TIP: Acknowledge his feelings. This aligns you with David and sets the stage for him to begin to work through his own problems. You can later use this list for surprises or gifts for special occasions. TIP: Tell David what you are going to do. "David, I'll come back down stairs when you get that under control" or "I will be happy to talk to you when you are not crying and you voice is soft like mine." TIP: Ignore the tantrum. If your have the will power to outright ignore the behavior you must remember that it may get worse before it gets better. That is, when David's behavior doesn't produce the desired results, he may turn it up a notch to see if a higher intensity level gets a response. Be careful. If you give in and respond to the higher level or longer duration, David learns that is how intense or how long he needs to tantrum from now on in order to receive attention. TIP: Direct David toward a different way of expressing how he feels. "David, here is some paper and crayons. How about drawing how you are feeling right now." This is a positive, less annoying way of communicating how he feels.
Destry Maycock has over eleven years experience working with children and families as a professional social worker. Destry has helped hundreds of parents solve a variety of parenting challenges and strengthen their relationships with their children. Destry enjoys developing products that help parents. Visit www.parentingstore.com to see the latest parenting programs. 24
By Ellie Dixon
We hear a lot today about falling moral standards, lack of respect for others and the culture of "self first." But our society doesn't have to be like this, and there is a growing movement to reverse these trends through Character Education. This is not a "quick fix." It provides long-term solutions that address moral, ethical, and academic issues that are of growing concern to us all. Character education is the fostering of ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through emphasis on universal values that we all share such as caring, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect for self and others. Good character is not formed automatically; rather it is developed over time through a sustained process of teaching, example, learning, and practice -that is character education. Teaching good character is particularly important today as our youngsters many opportunities and dangers unknown to their parents and grandparents. They are bombarded with many more negative influences through the media and other external sources prevalent in today's culture. Parents are of course the first, and most important moral educators of their character. But as the pressures of balancing work and home life impact upon the time that families spend together it's more important than ever that caring parents feel confident to deal with moral issues, and that they have the right tools to help them do so in a fun way. We all know that kids can have a short attention span, and certainly prefer fun activities to being lectured in a serious, and, dare I say - boring fashion! Schools also play a vital role in nurturing and developing children of good character, through their character education programs. But it's vital that these messages are reinforced at home - after all children learn by copying others, so if they realize that good character is important to their parents, they're more likely to place great importance upon it themselves. A person of character ... . • A "good" person - someone that kids will look up to, admire and try to imitate. • Knows the difference between right and wrong and always tries to do the right thing, even if it's difficult. • Sets a good example • Tries to make the world a better place. • Is honest, trustworthy, reliable and caring. Sounds tough, but educating the heart is just as important as educating the mind. It's important that you have the right tools and materials books, games, activities, audio are all important ways of communicating with your kids, offering various routes to forming Kids of Character. Ellie Dixon is a "proud Mom" who lives in rural Devon, England. Visit Kids of Character, Ellie's website to view a unique range of beautiful illustrated books and fun activities all designed to help parents grow responsible, trustworthy kids of good character. 25
You know the importance of saving for retirement, but do you have the time and knowhow to accomplish your financial goals? In an increasingly busy world, it's possible that keeping close tabs on your investment accounts isn't exactly realistic. Seeking the help of financial professionals has become more important to investors according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, as nearly one quarter (22 percent) of investors report relying more on a professional investment advisor following the recession (1). Even if you have a good handle on your investments, you may find that hiring a financial advisor -- who can put the time and energy into making sure you and your family plan for a secure financial future -- may be a worthwhile investment. By hiring an independent registered investment advisor -- commonly referred to as an RIA -- you can make sure your investments are managed on a full-time basis by a professional advisor, while still having control. Of course deciding to put someone in charge of your hard-earned money is not a process to be taken lightly. TD Ameritrade offers these tips to consider as you choose an independent financial advisor or RIA: * Just as it is wise to do research on the background of anyone who would take care of your children, you should investigate the person or company you enlist to handle your money. The Securities and Exchange Commission, Inc. (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (www.finra.org), Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (www.cfp.net), National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (findanadvisor.napfa.org/Home.aspx), and Financial Planning Association (www.fpanet.org), as well as your own state securities agency all collect background information on financial professionals that can be accessed through their websites. Use these sites to make sure the advisors you are considering haven't faced disciplinary action for dishonest practices and are in good standing with regulators. * Know the difference between working with an independent RIA and a stock broker, or other financial services provider. Independent RIAs, for example, are bound by law to act in their clients' best interest. Brokers, on the other hand, are held to a "suitability" standard, meaning the advice they give must be suitable to that client's situation. If you are looking for objective, comprehensive money management, you might want to consider an RIA.
* While RIAs are required by law to act in your best interest, there are other ways that you can ensure they will do what is best for you. One is to ask how they are compensated. Fee-only compensation generally minimizes conflicts of interest and means that your advisor is paid only for the management services and advice he or she offers, and only by you, not by investment product providers. When an advisor is paid on commission, there's a greater chance he or she will make choices with your money that serve not only your interests, but their own as well. That's not to say that advisors do not work fairly under this model, but potential conflicts of interest are something to consider as you choose an advisor. * When looking for referrals from friends or relatives, the most valuable referrals may come from those in similar situations. It's also a good idea to ask potential advisors if they specialize in working with certain types of clients and choose one that fits your unique profile. * Check to make sure your advisor's firm is audited on a regular basis. A third party custodian should also handle all your deposits, to ensure checks and balances. An independent custodian can help ensure the safety and security of your assets, and will provide you with a clear, concise statement every month. A duplicate monthly statement is also sent to your advisor. Make sure this is also a legitimate and upstanding business. Working with a trusted independent RIA can help you realize your financial goals, while allowing you to spend less time worrying about and managing your investments. If you need help finding a financial advisor through the TD Ameritrade AdvisorDirect program (2), visit www.tdameritrade.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content
By Stefano Sandano
Before signing an auto insurance contract, we are involved in understanding some basic terms related to the car insurance policy.The phrase "your covered auto" also applies to several other particular circumstances. Usually, physical damage coverage will apply to newly acquired vehicles (whether additional or replacement vehicles) only if you request the coverage within 30 days of the acquisition. However, liability coverage for a replacement vehicle is automatically provided until the end of the policy period. The liberalization clause states that if the insurance company makes a change to its policy form which provides broader coverage without a premium charge (for example, if it drops a policy exclusion), that change will automatically apply to your policy on the date the change goes into effect in the insured's state. This simply eliminates the need of the insurance company to endorse all existing policies when coverage is expanded without a change in premium. Cancellation is an important issue. In most states, the reasons for which an insurance company is permitted to cancel a policy are limited-if the policy has been in effect for at least 60 days or is a renewal policy. The general agreement is a very brief statement. It means simply that all of the remaining provisions of the contract (the policy terms) apply. The reason that the general agreement is so brief is that each coverage section contains a much more detailed insuring agreement. Exclusions involve some of the most heated-and most often litigated-disputes over insurance language.Some exclusions exist simply to remove coverage for above-average risk factors which are not anticipated in average rates and premiums, and that the coverage is often available for an additional charge. This is the case with respect to audio, visual and data equipment and the tapes, records, and other media used with such equipment. The basic policy form excludes coverage because these are items of value which have an above-average exposure to theft losses (they are easily removed and are often targets for thieves). On the other hand, some people want specific drivers excluded from coverage. These special exclusions have become increasingly common in recent years. Liability is probably the most important kind of automobile insurance. It covers moneys owed when one automobile driver causes bodily injury to another person or damage to another person's property. Injury or damage suffered by a driver who causes an accident is not a matter of legal liability. Being liable means being legally responsible for damages suffered by a third party (someone other than the driver or owner of the vehicle). If a driver who causes injury or damage suffered by another person can be shown to be at fault, that driver may be held liable for the accident. In other words, if one driver is liable for an accident, then the other party may be entitled to compensation for injuries or damage or both. Compensation may be in the form of money paid to the injured party for tangible damages (such as a medical bill or the cost to repair a damaged vehicle) and/or money paid for intangible damages (such as pain and suffering). Stefano Sandano is an auto insurance expert and if you want to know more about auto insurance tips you can visit www.buy-car-insurance.net 29
We are a full-service insurance agency. We serve the insurance needs of individuals, families and businesses. Our office includes a state-of-the-art computer system for detailed, reliable record keeping. We Are an Independent Insurance Agency We do not work for an insurance company â€“ we work for you. We work on your side when you have a loss and follow through to see that you get fair, prompt payment. We represent a carefully selected group of financially sound, reputable insurance companies, and we place your policy with the company offering the best coverage at a competitive price.
Call today for a free quote. No Obligation! (956) 723-7480 Or Stop by our office at: 2101 Springfield Ave. Email us for a quote: email@example.com www.martinez-insurance.com
Food & Entertainment
It's not impossible to get your kids to eat nutritious foods. While some people advocate the best way to do it is by sneaking goodfor-you ingredients into kid-friendly foods, like chicken nuggets, burgers, and brownies, registered dietitian Nicki Briggs of Chobani has some other ideas. "Doing things like hiding veggies in junk food doesn't give kids enough credit," she said. "It just perpetuates the myth that what tastes good can't be good for you." One thing Briggs recommends is teaching your kids about food labels to help them better understand what they're really eating.
* Start by looking at the serving size and the number of servings in an item. Often times, there's more than one serving in a package, especially in some snacks like chips, soda, and cookies.
* Next, turn their attention to the ingredients, which are listed in descending order by weight, from most to least, so a food has the most of the first two or three ingredients and the least of the ones at the end of the list.
* Ask kids if they recognize all of the ingredient names they see listed. They're often surprised - and grossed out - by some of the things in their favorite foods, so it's an eye-opening way to get them to think twice about what they're eating. It's also important to give kids plenty of healthy choices, especially those that include nutrition superstars like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Briggs recommends options that offer a balance of both protein and carbohydrates. One of her favorite go-to snacks for kids is Chobani Champions, a wholesome blend of low-fat Greek yogurt made with only natural ingredients like real fruit, without any preservatives, artificial colors or sweeteners. Each cup contains calcium and an excellent source of vitamin D. While delicious on its own, Briggs suggests incorporating Champions into some of these family-friendly snacks: * Graham Cracker Sandwich Surprise: Freeze one container of Champions for 15 minutes. Spread between two graham crackers for an easy, tasty treat.
* Wonderful Waffles: Toast two mini whole-grain waffles; top each with a spoonful of Champions, colorful cut-up fruit, and a dash of cinnamon.
* Pretzel Pops: Combine four containers of Champions and berries in a bowl. Distribute into popsicle molds; stick one pretzel rod (thick enough for holding) into the center of each. Freeze until firm and serve.
* Heavenly Honey-Nana Dip: Add a dash of cinnamon to one container of Honey-Nana Champions, and serve with sliced fruit.
* Oatmeal Magic: Mix 1/4 cup of Champions and fruit into a bowl of prepared oatmeal. Top with cinnamon and savor.
For more ideas and recipes like these Perfect Pancakes, visit www.chobani.com.
For a delicious breakfast treat, try these Perfect Pancakes using Honey-Nana Champions:
Perfect Pancakes Preparation time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes 1 1/2
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
large egg, slightly beaten
cups (12 ounces) Honey-Nana Chobani Champions Greek Yogurt
cup milk Vegetable oil cooking spray Maple syrup and mixed berries
Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Whisk egg, Chobani Champions and milk together. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk until smooth. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. For each pancake, scoop 1/4 cup batter onto skillet. Flip when bubbles appear on top and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve with syrup and berries. You can also top recipes with a dallop of Chobani.
Courtesy of Family Features 33
Health & Beauty
From slogging through snow, ice and slush to being confined in heavy boots to fight the cold - if your feet could talk, what a tale of winter woe they might tell. You may be tempted to pull your sandals out of the closet and stuff your heaviest hosiery to the back of the sock drawer, but before you set your soles free to savor spring, some preparation is in order. Being cooped up in cramped footwear during winter months can cause feet to suffer from a variety of ailments, from dry, flaky skin and discolored toenails to pesky corns and unsightly calluses. Pampering your feet in preparation for warm weather can help feet look and feel their best when warmer weather calls for donning flip-flops and peep-toe shoes. "Caring for your feet not only promotes good hygiene, it can alert you to any problem areas that may need attention before slipping into sandals this spring," says Dr. Michael King, president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). "Plus, it's a good way to relax and de-stress after a tiring winter. When your feet feel good, you're more likely to feel good all over." The APMA offers these 10 tips for getting your feet spring-ready: 1. Start with a soak. Immerse your feet in warm water with Epson salts, herbal soaks or oils for at least 10 minutes. 2. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove thickened, dead skin build-up (calluses) around the pre-soaked heels, balls and sides of the feet. Never use a razor as it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage if used incorrectly. 3. Eliminate dry, flaky winter skin on the soles, sides and tops of the feet by using an exfoliating scrub. 4. Massage a generous amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion all over your feet, such as Amerigel Care Lotion, which has the APMA's Seal of Approval. This hydrates the skin and the massaging helps to promote circulation. Be sure to remove any excess moisturizer from under your toenails or between toes; build-up in those areas can provide a breeding ground for bacteria. 5. Use a straight-edge toenail clipper to trim nails to just above the top of each toe to ensure nails don't become curved or rounded in the corners. 6. Help lock in moisture by wearing a pair of poly-cotton blend socks at bedtime. 7. Forgo nail polish if your nails are not healthy. If you have healthy nails, remove polish regularly to keep them in top condition. 8. Wash your feet daily with soap and water. Dry carefully, paying extra attention to the area between your toes. 9. Inspect last spring and summer's footwear. Throw away any shoes or sandals that appear worn. 10. If any skin or nail problems exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis. Today's podiatrists are physicians, surgeons and specialists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. To find a podiatrist near you, log on to www.todayspodiatrist.com. With a little foot-friendly preparation, your feet can be ready to step into spring ... and let memories of winter boots melt away with the snow. 36
The summer sun is returning and calling us all outside. The outdoor lifestyle of spring and summer keeps skincare on many people's minds and few go to the beach or water park without a bottle or two of sunscreen. But high SPF shouldn't be your only skincare concern - think back to the colder season to see where your skin might need a helping hand. Cold weather does more than send a chill through to your bones - it can contribute to the aging process. Winds outside, coupled with the dry, warm air inside our homes, tend to draw moisture from your skin over the months. This causes damage that's hard to fight, as anyone who has struggled to find a strong enough moisturizer can tell you. And the loss of moisture can accelerate the aging process. For most women, it can take a long time to get skin back into shape. But there are some smart solutions for getting your skin sunshine-ready in a shorter amount of time, such as aesthetic treatments like the new ePrime (TM) Energy-Based Dermal Remodeling treatment, now available at many dermatologist and plastic surgeon offices. Consider these ways to revive your skin for the coming season.
* Get your vitamins. Taking vitamin supplements can have plenty of benefits for your health, and vitamins A, C, E and K have attributes that can help improve skin's appearance. But don't just reach for the bottle (and talk to your doctor before you do). Remember that eating vitamin-rich foods can have just as great an effect - so think of the produce section of your grocery store as a new skincare emporium.
* New ways to rejuvenate. Giving your skin back what it has lost might seem impossible, but there are solutions that can help improve skin tone and volume - two of the most notable features of youthful skin - in a single treatment. One new minimally invasive technology, ePrime, is an alternative therapy to surgical options like facelifts. "For people who have ruled out a surgical facelift, but for whom more basic skin surface treatments aren't enough, ePrime is a good solution to rejuvenate the skin," says renowned New York DermScientist(R) Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas.
This minimally invasive aesthetic device, administered by a doctor, delivers measured radio frequency (RF) energy directly into the deep dermis to boost volume and tone, turning back the damage that's been done to your skin.
* Don't be afraid of oil. It might not be so spooky to those with naturally dry skin, but oil-based treatments and cleansers shouldn't send those with oily skin running. In fact, for those with oily skin, problems can arise from using overdrying treatments. There are plenty of product options, from oil cleansers to oils that can be used as a moisturizer, or in combination with creams, for those who need even more of a moisture punch. * Turn down the temperature. A long, hot shower certainly feels great - there's no denying that. But it can lead to not-so -great feelings later, when your skin is dry, itchy and flaky because the heat dried it out. Luckily, as the seasons heat up, it's more tolerable to take cooler showers, but keep in mind that you should turn down the heat when washing your face, too. It's inevitable that your skin will take its knocks through the seasons. Luckily, if you didn't do enough to prepare your skin, you can focus on repairing it with these tips. For more information about ePrime, visit www.syneron.com, or to find a practitioner near you, call 866-787-4980. And when your skin's back to its best, don't forget to grab the sunblock as you head out to soak up the sunshine. Courtesy of ARA Content
Estos son los cinco consejos más importantes de Posada para establecer un estilo de vida familiar saludable y feliz:
1. Nutrición: Es muy importante buscar alimentos que sean saludables y a la vez deliciosos. Para el desayuno, recomiendo fruta fresca o avena, tal como la nueva Fruit & Maple Oatmeal de McDonald's. Con sólo 290 calorías por porción, es una excelente opción para comenzar bien el día. Para los que quieren darse un pequeño gusto y a la vez recargarse de energía, recomiendo el McCafé Caramel Mocha. Para obtener más información, visita www.mcdonalds.com. 2. Actividad física: Mantenerse en forma no tiene que ser una tarea solitaria. Hay muchas actividades para la familia que ejercitan el corazón y que permiten pasar tiempo con los hijos. Recuerda todo a lo que jugábamos de niños, como jugar a los encantados, a las escondidas, carretilla o baloncesto. Permite que cada miembro de tu familia escoja una actividad para un cierto día de la semana.
Crear un ambiente positivo en el hogar que ayude a los niños a desarrollarse y crecer sanos es la principal prioridad de todos los padres. Sin embargo, a veces los padres no saben qué hacer para asegurarse que sus hijos lleven una vida saludable y exitosa.
3. Hidratación: Mantenerse debidamente hidratados es fundamental. Alienta a tu familia a beber más agua y a consumir más alimentos hidratantes por naturaleza, tales como naranja, melón, pepino y sandía. Prepara paletas heladas usando jugo de fruta fresca con bajo contenido de azúcar en el verano, o sirve jugo de manzana caliente durante los meses más fríos.
Laura Posada, esposa del receptor de los Yankees Jorge Posada, es una madre, autora y experta en temas de vida familiar que con frecuencia ofrece asesoría sobre la importancia de establecer un ambiente familiar saludable y feliz. Recientemente, Posada sirvió como anfitriona del evento "First Taste" patrocinado por McDonald's (R) para presentar sus nuevos Fruit & Maple Oatmeal y McCafé (R) Caramel Mocha. Ella afirma que el espíritu de familia se puede enriquecer significativamente siguiendo unos sencillos pasos.
4. Compromiso: Asegúrate que tu familia entienda lo que significa hacer un compromiso. Utiliza el poder de la unión familiar para mantenerse enfocados en lograr las metas que se propongan. Háblales sobre la importancia de ser disciplinados y perseverantes, y explícales que los triunfos en la vida no suceden de la noche a la mañana. Transformar los hábitos negativos en hábitos positivos a veces puede parecer abrumador, pero haciendo un cambio a la vez, ayudarás a tu familia a alcanzar cada una de sus metas.
"Establecer un estilo de vida familiar saludable y feliz no tiene por qué ser complicado. De hecho, puede lograrse siguiendo algunos consejos básicos que se pueden incorporar fácilmente a cualquier rutina familiar", comenta Posada. "Un consejo importante que yo siempre recalco es la nutrición. Nunca subestimen la importancia de brindar a su familia alimentos saludables, que también puedan disfrutar. Servir una comida saludable y sabrosa no sólo hace sonreír a todos, sino que también permite que sus organismos reciban los nutrientes necesarios para funcionar adecuadamente".
5. Diversión: ¡Lo más importante para que tu familia logre llevar un estilo de vida más saludable es que todos puedan divertirse haciéndolo! Al incorporar nuevas experiencias en la vieja rutina de tu familia, pronto notarás que cada una de ellas será un paso más hacia tu meta de una familia activa, saludable y feliz.
Para obtener más información sobre los consejos de Laura Posada y crear un estilo de vida familiar saludable y feliz, visita www.jorgeposada.com/fit-home-team. Esta entrevista fue coordinada por cortesía de McDonald's (R). www.laredofamilytimemagazine.com
La barrera irradiante Enerflex Radiant Barrier es original en el aspecto de que una sola persona puede instalarla, sin necesidad de herramientas, pues es lo suficientemente flexible para colocarse entre las vigas de la parte interior del techo.
Refrigerar una vivienda durante el verano con un acondicionador de aire de pared, puede equivaler aproximadamente al 50 por ciento de la cuenta por consumo de electricidad del dueño de casa promedio. Y en las regiones más cálidas del país, la operación de un acondicionador de aire central puede generar hasta el 70 por ciento de la cuenta. Pero no se atemorice, pues existen varias maneras de reducir el consumo de electricidad este verano. Una forma simple es aumentar un grado en el ajuste del termostato en meses de calor. El Departamento de Energía estima que se puede ahorrar hasta un 3 por ciento en la cuenta de consumo de energía en verano, por cada grado que se aumente en el termostato durante 24 horas. Ajuste su termostato entre 72 y 78 grados. Cada grado que se ajusta por debajo de 78 incrementará el uso de electricidad hasta en un 4 por ciento, lo cual acumula varios cientos de dólares en los días cálidos veraniegos. Otras formas de reducir los costos de refrigeración de la vivienda es asegurar que el acondicionador de aire funciona a la perfección, sustituir el filtro HVAC al menos cada tres meses o como sea necesario, encender los ventiladores de techo y verificar que soplen hacia abajo y no hacia arriba, abrir las ventanas durante las horas más frescas de la noche, cerrar cortinas y persianas por las que la luz solar irradia calor hacia dentro de la casa, y sellar las grietas que dejan escapar el aire acondicionado hacia afuera. Si acostumbra a realizar proyectos de mejoras en el hogar por su cuenta, la instalación de una barrera irradiante en el ático es uno de los proyectos de ahorro de energía más efectivos que le ayudarán a ahorrar dólares preciosos en la cuenta de aire acondicionado. Pero hay más: puede recibir un crédito de impuestos de hasta un 10 por ciento- hasta $500 - del gobierno. La barrera irradiante funciona en su hogar de forma similar al protector anti solar de aluminio en el panel de su coche. Tal y como el protector mantiene más fresco el interior de un automóvil estacionado al sol, las barreras irradiantes preservan las bajas temperaturas en el interior de su vivienda cuando se instalan en el ático, donde se absorbe la energía solar. Los nuevos productos para ahorrar energía en el hogar que se pueden instalar por cuenta propia, como Enerflex Radiant Barrier certificado por Energy Star, pueden ser colocados fácilmente por el dueño de la casa, y verá cómo se reduce rápidamente la cuenta mensual de consumo de electricidad. 41
La barrera irradiante para el ático es un material de construcción seguro y de efectividad demostrada, que reduce el funcionamiento excesivo del acondicionador de aire. Además, es sinónimo de significativos ahorros de energía. Cuando pueda, dedíquele algunas horas un fin de semana, y termine un proyecto que le ahorrará dinero mes tras mes. Es bien difícil ignorar sus beneficios. Los profesionales de los sectores de construcción, instalación de techos, energía, acondicionamiento de aire y calefacción conocen desde hace tiempo los beneficios de instalar una barrera irradiante, según asegura Rick Jordan de EcoRite Products, uno de los principales fabricantes de barreras irradiantes. Sin embargo, no fue hasta hace poco que se han creado productos específicamente para el mercado de los instaladores por cuenta propia. Las barreras irradiantes reducen la ganancia de calor que permea a una vivienda cuando la luz solar incide sobre el techo. Los estudios realizados con referencia a productos irradiantes instalados demuestran una reducción general de temperatura en el ático de hasta un 30 por ciento en meses de verano, lo cual se traduce a una reducción de calor de 30 grados en los cálidos días veraniegos. La barrera irradiante es más efectiva en meses de verano, pues reduce enormemente la carga de trabajo de la unidad acondicionadora de aire. En general, la instalación de una barrera irradiante puede contribuir a una reducción del uso del acondicionador de aire, y ahorran hasta un 20 por ciento en la cuenta de consumo de electricidad. "De acuerdo a mis 30 años de experiencia en la enseñanza de eficiencia energética, creo que una persona con una vivienda en el sur que tiene los conductos de aire acondicionado en el ático, se beneficiará grandemente con la instalación de la barrera irradiante Enerflex Radiant Barrier", asegura Doug Rye, arquitecto certificado y un reconocido experto en eficiencia energética del hogar. "El verano pasado instalamos una barrera Enerflex Radiant Barrier en una casa de Alabama, y determinamos que la temperatura del ático resultó casi 30 grados más baja que antes. Cuando la temperatura del ático y los conductos es 30 grados menor, se debe tener más comodidad y una cuenta de utilidades más baja", añade Rye. La barrera Enerflex Radiant Barrier que se instala fácilmente, propicia menos gastos en acondicionamiento de aire, algo que se debe tener en cuenta, pues los gastos de la gasolina y otros productos afectan cada vez más el bolsillo.
Visite el sitio Web www.Enerflexfoil.com para obtener más información acerca de barreras irradiantes, o para buscar el vendedor minorista más cercano. www.laredofamilytimemagazine.com
Lrd Sports Wire News Network
"The Stuff Laredo Athletes Are Made Of" By Sports Analyst Nuno Sciaraffa www.lrdsportswire.com
Continuing the series of Laredo Athletes And The Stuff They Are Made Of, Lrd Sports Wire News Network brings you a closer understanding on what makes Leo Hernandez, a varsity golfer since his freshman year with Laredo United High School golf team, the golfer he is. By Nuno Sciaraffa
I first noticed his poetic swing when he was a freshman, when our attention was focused on him making the varsity team at Laredo United High School. Something was different about this freshman that made the team at a high school that has produced some of the best males golfers year in and year out. Of course his swing as a freshman was poetic but full of holes and nasty quirks, then again he was a freshman. What do freshmen know? As one coach once told me "freshmen not to be heard" Not this freshman. He has the grace of a true golfer, with his finish-through in his golf game. It was his game between the eyes and between the driver tee and the putting that made this freshman stand out. That was then. After I sat down and interviewed him at Casa Blanca Golf Course this weekend, I had a very different view of his golf game. At my insistence, he brought out some of his many medals and golf trophy's he has obtained since he started playing golf at the age of five. His introduction to golf was by his father, Leo Hernandez Sr. His father did not play golf in high school but "he does play the game and that was enough to get me going", Hernandez said. As I watched Leo get his medals out of his large bag, I kept thinking; this is a golfer that has been to UIL Regional three times in his high school career with the Laredo United Longhorn Golf Team. How cool is that? Medals all over the place in his bag as he sorted them out and brings each one to the table we were sitting. It was impressive how many he has accumulated. The first line of questions dealt more on finding out where his golf mind was now that Leo had completed his third run through UIL Regional Golf Championships. He did not disappoint. He shot right back at me with a quick burst of excitement . I asked Leo: â€&#x;What are your goals for this summer?â€&#x; His answer perked my eyes quickly with the first word he said " Practice." he said. This golfer knew he had to get better and that first word was right on line. Leo went on to say: "Play in tournaments in the South Texas Golf TOUR as an amateur, it's a junior tour for 16 to 18 year olds, hopefully, one a week, depending where the tournaments are at in June, July and August." This kid had it down pat. He knew where he was going this summer. I touched on a few things and one of them was obviously not "Cool". I had to ask him about the just-completed UIL Regional Golf Championships. Leo said "As a team, we got 13th place out of 16 teams. I shot at 84 to 92 conditions very windy, worst than Laredo ever." His comment was not an ex-cuse. He just said it like it was. They came in 13th and he shot an ok 84 and a 92 in the second round." Not good if you want to go to state in UIL high school golf. Hernandez knew it and looked at me with determination and said: " I'm going to improve the short game and shave off 8 to 10 strokes by working all the way through the fall. Driving is where it is supposed to be, but my putting, it can get better." Here is a kid, a junior in high school, with goals that few understand, especially what it will take to shave off 8 strokes from your golf game. Yet, this kid wanted to do it, and that makes you look at what is inside of him that makes him drive to the brink of well, the impossible in golf, to shave 10 strokes in four months. Yet, his determination was so clear, he wanted to let me know he was going to do it the way he explained it to me. Most golfers, when interviewed, always use the same-old, same-old, that they are working on their game and it could be better. This kid had a plan and I'm sure he was not kidding when he said he wanted to shave off 8 to 10 strokes off his game to get better. If he had those strokes off his game for the 2011 high school golf season he would be in UIL State. This kid now knows his golf game but he knows what it will take for him to reach STATE and if he gets his way he will be shaving off 8 to 10 strokes off his golf game. CONTINUING STORY .... 44
Lrd Sports Wire News Network
"The Stuff Laredo Athletes Are Made Of" By Sports Analyst Nuno Sciaraffa www.lrdsportswire.com
Continuing the series of Laredo Athletes And ‘The Stuff They Are Made Of’, Lrd Sports Wire News Network brings you a closer un-derstanding on what makes Analy Jimenez, a Laredo United High School softball player. By Nuno Sciaraffa
Q: I asked Analy to take us through how things are in her softball life while playing with Laredo United High School. Analy, how do you pre-pare on game day? Do you think about it all day? What do you do dur-ing school to prepare for the game? A: I go to bed thinking about the game and wake-up thinking about the game! I stay focused all day long and try to eat light that day, also, I make sure I have everything ready; uniform, equipment and my favorite drinks. Q: Analy, how many times do you go over in your mind how you are going to pitch to different batters and do you have an extended conversation with the catcher? A: I go over how I’m gonna pitch and think about the last game we played with that particular team to remember what works best with what batter, but mostly, it’s the coach’s call. Q: Analy, have you changed your batting stance or is it always the same? A: Yes, my batting stance has changed since I have been playing softball since the age of 5 (t-ball). But lately it’s been steady and more or less the same thing. Q: Analy, in the game against Nixon, were you given enough time to warm-up and were you properly prepared? A: For the Nixon game, I wasn’t warmed-up properly enough, even though I always have to be ready when I am called upon. In that game, I didn’t think it was going to be so soon in the game, so not much time for warm-up, it’s one of those things when you just have to get up and go! It has happened to me before though, so I know what to expect...alot of pain at the end of the game. Analy continues her season as the Laredo Longhorn softball team is about to enter into its second season as part of the 2011 UIL Soft-ball season in Texas. She is a senior pitcher who has maintained constant preparation for each game, when she is to pitch and as the game approaches this weekend, she will have a very large family following and a very large Laredo United Long-horn softball team following as well. They enter the playoff tournament ranked fourth in the district and must face a #1 team from UIL District 30 5A in the first series in the playoffs. They will have two out of three games and one will be in Laredo, Tx. How long they remain in the playoff tournament is up to the Longhorn team, but for now, we got the chance to see inside her softball life. Good play, Analy. May you have a perfect game pitching.
Fun in the Sun!