National Cancer Survivors Day is coming up, and according to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, this day is a celebration for those who’ve survived, inspiration for those recently diagnosed, support for families and an outreach to the community. Here are 3 ways to celebrate the cancer survivor in your life.

There are 15.5 million cancer survivors in America. Help celebrate the survivor in your life by:

  1. Giving your friend a gift certificate for a massage or salon visit. Check out some Groupon deals to see about a massage, spa or salon visit gift.
  2. Hosting a party. Plan a cancer celebration party and invite all those who supported, encouraged and helped them along the way. Have everyone write a special message on a canvas or something that can be transformed into framed art centered around the date they beat cancer.
  3. Donating to a cancer foundation. A donation given in your friend’s name is a special way to honor your loved one’s strength and help others find theirs.

Not only is beating cancer a cause for celebration, but it is the opportunity to see how someone with a second chance at life, LIVES.

For more information on event organization, gifts, or downloadable social media graphics, etc. visit, www.ncsd.org. <3


Did you know that heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.? Today is Heat Safety Awareness Day, so here are tips to playing it cool when the heat is up.

We all want more time outdoors when the weather is nice. Relaxing by the pool, biking, walking the pooch—it’s just good to get out. It’s also good to be aware of heat-related issues that can happen when we aren’t prepared or thinking about it.

Here are some heat safety tips while enjoying the great outdoors:

  1. Bring the water along. Staying hydrated is the main way to keep your body safe in the sun. Drink at least 4 oz. every hour whether you are thirsty or not.
  2. Be aware of heat-related warning signs and what to do. If you are feeling nauseous or light headed, that may be a sign that your body is overheated. Get to a cool, shaded spot where you can relax while sipping on water. If you start to feel worse, call for help.
  3. Invest in a cooling towels to keep around your neck when outside. A cooling towel or a personal fan work great for those outdoor sporting events.
  4. Wear sunscreen and reapply. SPF 15 or higher is recommended. Sweat/waterproof just means it won’t instantly come off, but it will eventually; remember to reapply every hour or so.
  5. Get out of the sun often. If outdoors, even when swimming, take regular breaks in the shade or inside to cool off.
  6. Check out the heat index. It feels hotter to the body when the humidity is high. So, in addition to looking at the temperature, get the “real feel” temp.
  7. Cover up. Avoid dark colored clothes and opt for loose fitting, light colored ones. Also, wearing sunglasses and a hat will give you added sun coverage.

Be safe while enjoying vitamin D and the fresh air! <3


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Most of us focus on the outward appearance and tend to forget about the inside, but our mental health is just as important. Since May is Mental Health Month, here are 5 mental exercises to keep your mind sharp.

Research has shown that keeping your brain active can increase the vitality and possibly generate new brain cells according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Here are 5 ways you can keep your brain active:

  1. Play games. Even though playing games in a relationship is not cool, playing games, such as cards or board games, stimulates the brain. There are memory apps you can get and free online mind games as well.
  2. I know it can be hard to sit down with a book because you feel like you have so much you need to be doing. But carve out some time every day to read something that interests you.
  3. Continue to learn. Take a course here and there at the community college, participate in a fun cooking class or learn to sew at the local craft store. Not only are there always things you can learn, but it helps keep your mind active.
  4. Writing is a way to get in touch with your creative side and brings your imagination to life. It’s also very therapeutic. So, journal to start writing a memoir or a fun story you have.
  5. Talk to people. One of the worst things we can do is isolate ourselves. We need to verbalize and interact with others. So log out of social media or turn off Netflix and go hang with a friend.

Enjoy!


If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, you know how miserable it can be this time of year and lasting all the way through fall. Here are 3 keys to minimizing allergy symptoms this season.

Allergies are one of the leading chronic diseases in the U.S.; with a reported one out of five Americans having allergies of some sort. That’s a lot of people sniffling, sneezing or experiencing something more serious—like anaphylaxis.

Allergies come about when our immune system raises its defense against something it thinks is dangerous to our body. There are several types of allergies such as those ingested, breathed in or substances we touch; but for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on the ones specific to what’s referred to as allergy season. Those are:

  1. Pollen and Mold Spores. Pollen—The only way for a plant’s reproduction is through pollen that gets carried off in the air causing problems for many allergy sufferers. Tree pollens kick off the allergy season as early as January; grass pollens follow in the early springtime; with weed pollens rounding them out in late summer/early fall. Mold—Even though indoor mold can be a yearlong problem (and outdoor mold in Texas due to the climate), it still makes the list based on its dormancy during colder temps. Mold is fungi that grows where it’s damp, dark and humid. Their spores float through the air and can be found everywhere.

 

  • Minimize pollen/mold spore allergy trigger- Cut the grass or other yard work while wearing an allergen mask; keep windows shut in the house and car to avoid pollens or mold spores from blowing in; take shoes off at the door, change clothes and shower when coming in from outside. Avoid the outdoors when pollen and mold counts are high or on windy days.

 

  1. Insects. Fire ants, honeybees, hornets, yellow jackets and wasps are out during the warmer months.

 

  • Minimize insect allergy trigger- Don’t mess with the nests and avoid the area all together; avoid having or being around sugary drinks outside; and wear shoes when outside to avoid risk of stepping on a nest.

 

  1. Dust mites. Dust mites are a year-round issue and we can never fully remove them from our lives, but due to them flourishing in warm and humid temperatures, they make the cut as a seasonal allergens issue.

 

  • Minimize dust mite allergy trigger- Keep humidity below 50 percent; use a HEPA filter for your furnace, A/C and vacuum; use allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers and wash bedding weekly; avoid carpet, especially in the bedrooms.

If you have any of the airborne allergy symptoms, get tested by an allergist. Many symptoms can be controlled or manageable. For allergic reactions that can lead to anaphylaxis, such as insect bites, wear a medical alert bracelet and always carry epinephrine. Take care!


stretching-muscles-579122_1920It is recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, at least five days per week. Is that happening for you? If you are like most, finding time to do the things that are a “must” is tough enough—let alone, exercising. Here are some tips to staying physically active during a tight schedule:

  • Prioritize it. Of course, there are things that we do that are downright time-killers (i.e. sucked into hours of social media or FB stalking). So, what helps is to prioritize our schedule. Having crazy-good time management skills is the number one key to success in nearly every life goal. Get up an extra 45 minutes early for a brisk jog (it’s okay to sleep in your work-out clothes if you have to).
  • Schedule it. To be efficient in time management requires a good system for monitoring and scheduling your time. If you have a smartphone, use your calendar. It is completely customizable and can sync with your email account. My preference is digital, however, good ole’ post-its or a wall calendar will work too. For others in the house to be included, I may jot a note down on a dry erase board in the shared area. Figure out a system and put it in place.
  • Make it convenient. Being intentional about incorporating physical activity is sometimes all it takes. For example, a change in mode of transportation, time with friends or lunch break can become a convenient way to stay active. Some ideas:
  1. Meeting friends for lunch? Meet at Katy Trail for a walk instead or hang at the park for basketball or tennis.
  2. If you live near work, walk or bike there.
  3. If you work in a multiple floor building, try to always take the stairs.
  4. For your lunch break, drink a healthy smoothie and head out for a walk.
  5. Exercise while you watch your favorite movie or tv show.
  6. Curl the gallon of milk as you put the groceries away.
  • Do what you enjoy. Working on your fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. Go biking, walking, hiking, rollerblading, walk the dog every day, throw a frisbee in the park—whatever equals fun for you.
  • Commit yourself. If you are dedicating a block of time for fitness, stick to it. Eventually it becomes second nature. If you are fitting it in where you can, little choices throughout the day make a difference. If you can create a habit of parking farther away while running errands or opting for a lunch break walk instead of the sandwich at the desk, for example—it counts.

It’s National Physical Education and Sports Week, so hopefully these tips get you going. Always be aware of your surroundings, stay cautious and carry your pepper spray.


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You have a few extremely busy days ahead of you with not much time to even think about dinner. Never fear! If you have a slow-cooker with a timer, here are 3 crockpot recipe must-haves that will make dinner on hectic days a little easier.

If you don’t have a slow-cooker, they are worth the investment and highly recommended. They come in assorted sizes and some are more advanced than others. For a busy adult who has long days, I would suggest a cooker with a timer. That way, if you are out of the house for longer than eight hours, your food won’t overcook.

  1. Chicken Tacos- Serves 4-6, costs under $10 and the prep is only 10 minutes!

What you need:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 1 can of tomatoes and green chilis (drained)
  • 1 pack of taco seasoning
  • Hard or soft taco shells OR lettuce leaves for a carb-free taco
  • Sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and whatever you want as a topping

Instructions:

Add chicken, onion, corn, beans, tomatoes w/ green chilis and taco seasoning to the slow-cooker. Stir well and set on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. You can crush up taco shells and serve as a taco salad, have regular tacos on shells or leaves of lettuce. Top with fat-free sour cream, cheese and anything else you want. Add a little salsa on the side and voila.

  1. Pork Roast Dinner- Serves 6-8, costs under $20 and the prep is 15 minutes!

What you need:

  • 3 lb pork loin roast
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1lb bag of red potatoes (cut into fourths)
  • 1 small white onion (cut into slices)
  • 1 stalk of celery (cut into chunks)
  • 2 cups of beef flavored broth
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage

Instructions:

Place the roast in the center of the slow-cooker and the veggies around the roast. Pour broth in and add the thyme and sage. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

  1. Cream Cheese Chicken Chili– Heads up that this is a high calorie one because of the cream cheese, so not an all-the-timer. It serves 4-6, costs under $15 (without the cost for seasonings. However, you can find some at Aldi for a dollar or so each) and the prep is less than 5 minutes!

What you need:

  • 2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can of corn (undrained)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 package of Ranch dressing powder mix
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 8ounce package of cream cheese

Instructions:

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Top with the tomatoes, undrained corn, the drained and rinsed beans, ranch dressing powder mix, cumin, onion and chili powders. Stir to combine the ingredients and top with the cream cheese. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Eat as a chili, serve over rice or in shells, or have with tortilla chips as a dip!

These can be tailored to your liking. Also, to save on your prep time, feel free to try chicken that is already cubed for the tacos, a roast “kit” that contains the roast and veggies if you see one at your grocer, or 4 cans of chicken for the chili. Crock pot recipes are time savers so be sure to check out places like Pinterest to add to your crockpot collection. Enjoy!


When You Need a Little Inspiration to Keep Pushing Through

Giving Thanks

The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear

Brace Yourself: Finals Week is Coming!

A Letter to Your Future Self About Approaching Holiday Spending

Dressing Tips to Help You Stay Warm This Winter

Reasons to Be Positive

Ending Procrastination Habits Today — Not Tomorrow

Tips for Reducing Stress

Love Yourself

5 Tips for Simplifying Your Life

4 Easy Tips to Better Manage Your Bills

4 Key Reasons Sleep Is Important 

5 Ways to Welcome our Favorite Season: Fall

5 Things Successful 20-Something Women Do In Their Down Time

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Tips for Making Friends in College

The Many Benefits of Journaling

Goal Setting for the New Semester

5 Fast Ways to Get Ready to Tackle your Next College Semester in Dallas

Why you Should Venture out to Your Local Farmer’s Market

YOLO… Fro-Yo!

9 Top Secrets to Success Every Woman Needs to Know

10 Healthy Tips for Great Grilling!

10 Life Rules For a Girl in Her 20-Somethings

13 Ways to Tell if Your Online Social Time is Productive and Healthy

3 Ways to Celebrate the Cancer Survivor in Your Life

7 Tips to Playing it Cool When the Heat is Up

5 Mental Exercises to Keep Your Mind Sharp

3 Keys to Minimizing Allergy Symptoms This Season

Some Tips to Staying Physically Active During a Tight Schedule

3 Crockpot Recipes that Won’t Drain your Budget or Time

5 Tips to Know if you Have Crossed Over to Being Besties

7 Ways to Have a Smooth Family Gathering for the Holidays

The A,B,C’s to Balancing a Checkbook


Untitled design(15)Balancing a checkbook is crucial in making sure you don’t spend more than you have which leads to an expensive lesson. It also helps track your spending and help you maintain your budget. Here’s the A, B, C’s to balancing a checkbook.

The Transaction Ledger

When you receive your checks, you will have a couple of blank ledgers. The ledgers have columns for:

  1. Check number
  2. Date of transactions
  • Description of purchase or deposit
  1. Amount of check, withdrawal or purchase
  2. Deposit amount
  3. Balance after the transaction line item

If you don’t have a ledger, create one. This is where you will record everything; every deposit, check, withdrawal or purchase. Start with a beginning balance (or your opening balance if it’s a new account) and as you make transactions, subtract from or add to your balance (which will show at the end of the line).

If one thing is missed, it could throw your account off. The last thing you want is a bounced check (ex: You write a $95 check, but only have $90 in the account when the payee tries to clear the check through your bank. It is returned to you as insufficient.) If a check bounces, you will be charged an insufficient funds fee (This fee usually ranges between $25-$50 per check) from the bank, and in most cases, a fee from the payee.

Sometimes your bank may allow a check or transaction to clear, putting your balance in a negative state. Although they are saving you from the embarrassment of a bounced check and potentially extra fees from the payee, the bank will still charge you an insufficient funds fee. Now your account has a negative balance and that means a daily fee charged to you from your bank for the length of time your account remains negative.

Obviously, these fees can add up and create a financial hole that is tough to get out of when you are already struggling financially.

*Extra Tip* If available, when setting up your checking account, ask about overdraft protection. 

Online Banking

Managing your bank finances and transactions is also made easier with online banking. Every bank at this point should offer this, so make sure to get the login information and set it up. Banks will more than likely have an app you can download for mobile banking as well.

With online banking, it gives you instant access to transactions; helping you keep track and compare everything to your own records, recall a check to view if you forgot to write it down and gives you quicker response time to unrecognizable charges and report possible bank fraud.

*Extra Tip* As you go through your transactions online, put an X next to the transactions and checks in your ledger once they have cleared.

Banks are different with how they display balances and charge fees; some banks may show a transaction on the online banking, but the balance doesn’t reflect due to the transaction still pending. This could lead to you thinking you have more available than you actually do.

Make sure to ask around to find the most trusted and customer-friendly banks in your area. Also, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions when setting up the account. There is no such thing as too many questions, especially when dealing with your finances.

So, shop around, ask questions and keep good transaction records. You will do just fine.

 


You met someone at work or school recently who is so much like you. You have the same sense of humor, like the same music and have the same interests. For some, it’s awkward going from work associates or school peers to hanging out afterwards. There are so many people we know of, but how do you know if you are actual friends rather than just friends on FB? Here are 5 tips to know if you have crossed over to being besties.

  1. You go to the bathroom and get ready together so you can continue your very detailed conversation. What happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom. You also go so far as sharing text messages from your mister so you can get her BFF analysis and breakdown—what he probably meant, was he angry, etc.
  2. Hanging out on the weekends is a given. Where she is, you are. There is always an inside joke or two around that have you both rolling, while everyone else is left to wonder what they missed.
  3. You take turns in the mirror doing your hair and make-up together, following it up with a selfie where you both look good and choose a filter that enhances you both.
  4. You become an added member of her family and vice-versa. You both go to crazy family events and you don’t even worry about it because she loves you and can deal with family drama and all your baggage. Also, the first person called when there is exciting news—her—rather than family.
  5. You can tell her literally anything. Things involving your bathroom visits, periods, that you have gone a week without washing your hair, whatevs. Dry shampooing it like a boss? Now that’s a secret between you two and since she’s your BFF, she ain’t tellin. You can also PMS on her like a champ and she will just call you out on it, you will cry an apology and then the both of you will eat ice cream together while watching the Notebook—and crying.

Describe anyone? Let’s show some love for those friends that have your back.