Posted Oct 9, 2014
Want to throw the ultimate Halloween party or create a creepy costume to spook your friends and family? Home and family magazines (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) offer crafty ideas for a ghoulishly fun holiday. Here’s a list of our 7 favorite Halloween DIY’s for costumes, decorations, and goodies that are sure to be a hit!
1. No-Sew Costumes
Lions, gladiators, and Seussian wigs--Martha Stewart Living has all the cutest costumes for kids. This month’s magazine includes easy-to-make paper outfits that are as adorable as they are inexpensive. Follow the templates provided online and your little ones will be ready to trick-or-treat in no time.
2. Halloween Hoodies
Need more costume ideas? FamilyFun shows you how to transform a basic hoodie into a variety of critters and creepy crawlers. From foxes and owls to spiders and bats, the magazine provides step-by-step directions and templates for get-ups that will make your child giddy with excitement.
3. Trick-or-Treat Totes
Before you begin your trek around the neighborhood, decorate a tote bag big enough to carry candy from every house on the block. Good Housekeeping provides a tutorial for creating a Halloween potato stamp. Simply carve around the outline of a Halloween shape, paint the potato black, and stamp the image on your tote for a unique trick-or-treat bag you can use for years.
4. Spooky Décor
Welcome your guests to a house of horrors with simple crafts from Country Living magazine. For a spectral surprise that scares unsuspecting visitors, hang ghosts from your ceiling--easily made from balloons draped with cheesecloth. Follow the magazine’s instructions for paranormal portraits that turn your family photos into a horrifying sight, and craft a black paper flower bouquet for added macabre magic.
5. Pumpkin Carving
Decorate your doorstep with a pumpkin designs taken from Family Circle magazine. Create an owl pumpkin using sunflower seeds for eyes and ears. Or carve an oddly shaped green gourd for a goofy-looking jack-o’-lantern that’s sure to get a laugh.
6. Terrifying Treats
Don’t stop your tricks at the treat table. Better Homes and Gardens provides imaginative recipes with Halloween spirit. Choose from truffle tarantulas, bloodshot peanut butter eyeballs, meringue mice, and an array of other delectable yet "gross" desserts.
7. Haunted Centerpieces
Gingerbread houses aren’t exclusive to Christmas. Woman’s Day "renovates" the traditional treat into a haunted house surrounded by with creepy trees made of chocolate Twizzlers and Milano cookie tombstones marked with an icing "RIP." Cereal shingles line the roof while candy corn forms a delicious balcony railing
Want more ideas for a spectacularly spooky Halloween? Subscribe to home and family magazines from EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Oct 3, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
The newest data says...NO...??
This is my forty-second trip around the sun this year and ever since I can remember, you were ALWAYS told that you must complete the full 3-10 day cycle of antibiotics OR ELSE! Personally, I’ve wondered where that number came from; it’s probably not hard to guess. And I’ll go ahead and admit this now, I usually never finish my bottle; always stopping the day after I feel better. It’s been my philosophy for years that when sick only use medicine to knock back the initial infection until your immune system could swoop in and do the heavy lifting.
According to an article in the October issue of Discover Magazine, my gut feeling was right, at least when it comes to bacterial infections. If you have your copy of Discover, flip on over to page 16 and you’ll see what I’m talking about. This new theory under prescribing antibiotics is based on real cases from the BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet, and PIDJ.
But...what about drug resistance?
Oh, now that’s the interesting part. It turns out that over medicating may kill off too many of the susceptible bacteria that ironically act as a replication "throttle" on the drug resistant types. One recent case that the article mentions was based on mice and malaria. The under medicated mice were found to be 150 times less likely to infect others with the drug resistant bacteria.
In today’s seemingly over drugged society, maybe the body doesn’t get the credit it is entitled? The immune system is very powerful. However, evolve resistance slowly when it comes to viruses and some bacteria. Some strains of bacteria replicate very quickly, much faster than the immune system can react. The body gets overwhelmed and one of the first responses is to increase body temp via fever. Bacteria don’t live long in an overly warm environment. This brings up another long-standing myth about treating fevers, but that is for another blog post.
So what about the recent Ebola scare?
For the readers who are not doctors, Ebola is a virus, not bacteria, so antibiotics are ineffective. That is why we need a working vaccine. The crazy part about Ebola though is this…Remember how I mentioned earlier that the immune system is extremely powerful? Well with an Ebola infection, your immune system is actually the culprit that causes the death blow. Scary, huh? You can learn more about that here and here, in these great articles.
Also be sure to check out this article from Mental Floss
Learn much more about how we combat viral and bacterial infections, plus a whole lot more amazing science/technology with a subscription to Discover magazine.
Posted Sep 26, 2014
Want peace of mind and a super-toned body? Embrace the long-practiced art of yoga. Benefits encompass everything from improved stability to the prevention of type 2 diabetes. September is National Yoga Month, so it’s the perfect time to try a class for the first time or take your training to the next level.
You can also rely on health and fitness magazines from EBSCO Reception Room Services for body-firming poses and health information that will make you as fit and wise as a yogi master. The following publications give their readers insights into the moves that make the most impact.
Burn Fat and Improve Posture
Fitness buffs typically opt for cardio --not yoga-- when fat burn is their goal. However, Health magazine proves that hitting the pavement isn’t the only proven method for weight loss. Fast repetitions of sequences, such as Sun Salutations, get your heart pumping -- a cardiovascular benefit that contributes to pounds lost. Yoga also improves posture and stability by strengthening your core and keeping your spine in alignment, which reduces risk of osteoporosis.
Increase Energy and Power Up
Does work leave you drained and frustrated? Natural Health walks you through poses that make you feel both energetic and powerful. The Locust Pose promotes deeper breathing, increases blood flow, and provides you a boost of energy, while strengthening the back and shoulder muscles. Before an intimidating meeting or presentation, strike a Warrior Pose. This wide, open stance boosts feelings of confidence.
Find Your Creative Voice
Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced yoga student, Yoga Journal is the ultimate guide to poses, meditation, and nutrition. This month’s issue provides a beginner’s guide to chakras -- seven key points in the body that generate energy. Deviasana (Goddess Pose) engages the chakra responsible for creativity and emotional stability, while the Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulder Stand) opens the chakra associated with emotional awareness and better communication.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits are responsible for the increasing number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year. Combat the statistics with yoga -- an exercise that boosts insulin control and decreases body fat. According to Fitness magazine, performing at least 2 1/2 hours a week of resistance training and stretching (like yoga) lowers the risk of diabetes by 40% for women.
Relieve Anxiety and Sleep Better
After a stressful day, getting your mind off work is often impossible -- a reason why a growing number of people struggle with insomnia. Healthy Living magazine distinguishes the difference between seven well-known types of yoga, including relaxation-oriented Restorative Yoga. This form of yoga isn’t focused on fitness, but on healing the mind and body from daily stressors the prevent peace and inhibit sleep.
Celebrate National Yoga Month by adopting a healthier, more mindful lifestyle. Subscribe to the best in health and fitness magazines through EBSCO Subscription Room Services.
Posted Sep 17, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
Every month I go through our internal website search results and find the magazines that you are searching for that may not be in our catalog...yet. While we do have most in our offline catalog, there will be a few here and there that we have trouble getting authorizations for. If you have a favorite in mind and don’t find it in the search, please be patient, I will try and get them added soon.
Top Gear (UK version)
So this month, we’ve added some pretty popular new titles for you. The most popular out of all of them is Top Gear (UK version). Be warned, it looks pretty pricey, but then again so are the captivating cars they review…honestly though, it is really only $13 an issue for a spectacular magazine.
For our customers in the Northeast, we added Boston Globe daily newspaper. I hear it’s still a pretty good read. Let us know what you think in the comments.
We have actually gotten quite a few searches for Kerrang lately. I haven’t read this one myself, but after doing a quick Internet search, it one looks top notch. If you are into following rock music and concert news. PLUS -- Kerrang is another magazine produced in the UK, so you are guaranteed that the content will be sensational!
Donna Hay Magazine
This title looks yummy! After reviewing much of the content, probably the best way to describe this one would be that Donna Hay is THE Martha Stewart of Australia. You can actually get a decent sneak-peek here. Um...WOW?!?!?
This title is published by the American Craft Council. It features inspiring works of artistry from incredible artists who work in ceramics, paint, fabrics/fibers, wood, metal and glass. If you want to see beautiful one-of-a-kind furniture, sculpture, décor, jewelry and the artist behind it, American Craft is definitely for you.
All About Beer
You may or may not know this, but there is an explosive underground movement of garage beer brewers here in the US. I know this because my brother recently became an initiate to this particular club. His current project is to replicate the sublime zesty taste found in Spotted Cow...ONLY available in the state of Wisconsin. If you ever happen to be up that way, try it, you’ll find yourself exporting at least a case, I promise you that.
Anyway, what else can I say...it really is All About Beer. Seriously though, it is definitely a must-have magazine for the beginner and advanced home beer brewer. Who knows, after subscribing for two years of All About Beer you may get the urge to open your own micro-brewery.
All that said, why don't you give one of these new titles a try. The new addition selections this month are all excellent magazines.
Posted Sep 15, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
Get inspired this weekend! There are all kinds of events and festivals going on in the fall. The big one I have my eye on right now is the World Maker Faire in New York City. If you haven't been to a maker fair before you really should experience it. It's a visual buffet of eye/brain candy consisting of dynamic art pieces, inventions and entertaining performances.
The World Maker Faire in New York is the largest of all the Maker Faires. However, each month all around United States and the world there are Maker Faires almost every weekend. In fact, I and my makerspace crew will be attending the one in Atlanta on October 4-5. Or rather racing in one…that's right I said racing!
Most of the larger Maker Faires have Power Racing Series races to provide hours of wacky performances and fast-paced action for adults and children. This is where college students, self-proclaimed McGuyvers, makers and electric car hobbyists take a child's driving to toy and modify it to go from 3 mph to 30 mph. Oh, and spruce it up a bit...Have you ever seen a 180 pound adult ride a tiny DeLorean from Back to the Future? It's hilarious.
My team, Team T-Wrecks, is going for the Jurassic Park theme. If you go to the Atlanta Maker Faire and see the PRS races, ours will be that red and gray Jeep towing the big 4 foot velociraptor behind it. We've almost gotten the car finished, but we still need to complete the dinosaur. If time and our crowd-funding effort doesn't pan out it may just be a scary looking over-sized lizard head. :-)
Being originally matriculated as an industrial designer you could say I've always pretty much been a "do-it-yourselfer." So at my house you'll see all types of magazines like Popular Science, Family Handyman, Do-It-Yourself, Popular Mechanics, Wired and my favorite, MAKE magazine. Sorry, I'm still trying to get that one in our catalog, but you can buy it through us off-line. Hey Maker Media! Give call me a call back, let’s get you in some waiting rooms!
The content in MAKE is wonderfully rich and amazing for teaching yourself and your children how to modify and invent new things to astound your friends/family. And maybe even make something worth selling like this ridiculously successful Cooler campaign.
In fact, if your child is too old for Highlights magazine then I would highly recommend MAKE magazine, especially if you see they have a inquisitive creative side. Their content is so incredible that they recently upgraded from a quarterly magazine to a 6 issue per year bi-monthly subscription. This says a lot in a magazine environment where most publishers are reducing the number of issues, folding or going fully digital.
This is actually how MAKE is winning at the magazine game. They started out as a hybrid digital and print publication. Then, while growing a tribe of curious and crafty people, they used the power of Internet video and coordinated fantastically fun/inspiring real world events with the string of branded Maker Faires. Take note other publishers...Maker Media is doing it right! This is how you run a magazine in the 21st century.
Do you have what it takes to become a Maker? More than likely you already are one you just don't know what yet. As is the story with most of us Makers we mostly fake it until we make it.
Posted Sep 9, 2014
You’re Going Where? 5 Unique Weekend Trips You Need to Take Now
Your coworkers probably haven’t been to these places, but that’s not a bad thing. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway to shake that "been there, done that" boredom, check out these unique destinations from Travel and Leisure magazine for a weekend that’s sure to be anything but ordinary. Pack your bag and a sense of adventure and get ready to share some stories on Monday morning
If you live in:
Destination: Leavenworth, Washington
Travel Time: About 2 hours
You can’t exactly take a weekend trip from Seattle to Europe in under two hours, but a quick drive to the city of Leavenworth gets you pretty close. Travel and Leisure calls this Bavarian-themed village "Washington State’s Little Germany." Situated next to the Washington Cascades, Leavenworth boasts festivals like the Leavenworth Oktoberfest and lederhosen-wearing, polka-dancing locals that will make you forget that you didn’t bring a passport.
Destination: Williamsburg, VA
Travel Time: About 3 hours
History buffs rejoice! Called "America’s Historic Triangle," Williamsburg, Jamestowne, and Yorktown comprise an easy weekend getaway that will revolutionize your knowledge of US history. Travel and Leisure suggests touring Colonial Williamsburg’s Living Museum to get a real feel for life in the colonial era. Need some 21st century entertainment? Busch Gardens Williamsburg is just 15 minutes away.
Destination: Gruene, Texas
Travel Time: About 4 hours
Pack your dancing shoes (or boots) and head to Gruene, Texas, just outside of New Braunfels. Home to the oldest dance hall in Texas, this town was built by cotton business and its cotton gin remains in the Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar. According to Travel and Leisure, Gruene hosts weekend festivals year-round, but don’t miss the Music and Wine Festival in October.
Destination: Anna Maria, Florida
Travel Time: About 4 hours
When you need a break from the glitz and glamour of Miami nightlife, head across the peninsula to experience peaceful seclusion at Anna Maria Island. On the Gulf side of Florida, Anna Maria features sandy beaches that are just as white hot as Miami. If you still have the need for nightlife, Travel and Leisure recommends nearby towns of Bradenton or Sarasota to get your fix of fun.
Destination: Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom
Travel Time: About 3 hours
If you’re ready for a royal adventure, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont awaits. Travel and Leisure suggests visiting in early fall for optimal viewing of the changing leaves. Rent a bike and cycle through miles of endless nature trails. Maple syrup is the ideal souvenir from here, so be sure to tour of one of many maple sugar houses.
Want more weekend getaway inspiration? Subscribe to Travel and Leisure or your travel magazine of choice through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Aug 26, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
Summer is easy when you’re a kid, so easy that it is easy to forget the good habits you made during the school year. You know those old pesky habits like homework and getting ready quickly in the morning. My son is not quite ADD, but more of what I would describe as easily distracted...especially by Minecraft and Pokemon. He’s only in second grade, but I can tell we’re in for an uphill battle over the next few years. Time to come up with a strategy!
Homework is a tough one for us. Our child’s energy level is always a 9 out of 10 so he has a ton of physical energy. I like two of the suggestions (on page 91) in the September 2014 Family Fun magazine for children with an abundance of go-go energy. They recommend a bouncy chair from ThinkGeek.com for little butts that need to move even when sitting down.
The other recommendation was to enhance homework with physical movement…in this case they karate chop a pillow for every letter in a word they are spelling. Cute, but I would take it up a notch. I’d cut up some cardboard boxes and make faux pieces of wood to karate chop when they get an answer right. My son will do homework until he is blue in the face if he gets to karate chop everything.
We don’t have trouble with getting him up in the morning as he is quite the early riser. Many of the suggestions in the September issue of Family Fun on page 92 cover time management in the mornings. Color coding was a great tip for families with more than one child. And we already use setting the clocks ahead five minutes fast in the kitchen and bathrooms. That one works great for everybody.
Breakfast time for us (as with any meal time) is a pain. Eating just isn’t his thing I guess. Plus we run out of easy meals, there is only so much cereal and oatmeal a kid can eat. The three make-ahead breakfast ideas, frozen breakfast tacos, mason jar oatmeal, and yogurt ice cube smoothies are all going in the "I’m stealing that idea" folder.
I would love to here your back to school tips for getting kids fed and ready each morning; post them in the comments below and share your secrets with the rest of us.
Posted Aug 24, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
School here in Birmingham started at the beginning of August this year...way too early for my taste, and my son was certainly not too happy either. Pile on competitive league soccer practice three nights a week and various other weeknight commitments; it can be difficult to find time for even a quick (and decent) family dinner. We are trying to take advantage of our slow cooker and come up with a list of casseroles that we can rotate throughout the month.
So where do I go to find fast family meal recipes to break up the unhealthy monotony and expense of fast food? I grab Family Circle magazine. And luckily for me, they read my mind this month. Starting on page 155 of the September 2014 issue, they provide 15 excellent meals with quick prep times and mostly on-hand ingredients.
My wife makes a super simple chicken pot pie, but I would have to say the Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche on page 159 is calling my name.
This one is not so quick because it is made over two days...you have to pre-bake the crust and brown your meat, letting it cool beforehand, otherwise the hot ground beef will cook your eggs on the bottom, but not top. Plus it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to bake -- I will forgive them on this one because quiches are always known to be a bit more intensive.
Family Circle did however redeem their healthy/quick credibility on the Sausage and Pepper Bake (casserole) and the Summertime Linguine (page 161). You may want to add chicken as a protein to the linguine; it’s basically all veggies and pasta.
On page 170 we finally get into the crock pot meals I was looking for; how about crock pot chicken marsala? Um...Yes please! When I was 16, I remember working in an Italian restaurant and they made THE BEST chicken and veal marsalas...I lived for eating the wrong orders. This particular chicken marsala looks ridiculously simple to make. I’ll follow up in a few weeks and tell you how it was...that is, after I finish the loaf and a half of fresh garlic bread that Italian food must go without.
And finally, page 172 has Root Beer Pulled Chicken sandwiches with Rainbow Slaw. It looks delish! However, I did find an easier recipe for slow cooker Root Beer Chicken on thefrugalgirls.com blog. In the world of quick family meals, it’s going to be hard to beat a recipe with three simple ingredients, three steps and one crock pot. In the name of science, I will also pit these two recipes head to head and give you my honest conclusion.
Stay tuned...or write in the comments below with your experience you’re your favorite quick Family Circle recipes, I would love to hear about them. Don’t have a subscription to Family Circle, why not? Everyone knows it should be a staple in your waiting room, just like potatoes or rice in your kitchen. Don’t leave your patrons hungry for decent magazines; add it to your list today.
Posted Aug 22, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
The publishers over at Highlight’s magazine were generous enough to give all EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Service customers a temporary price break on Highlights magazine. If you have patrons with children or your patrons ARE children (pediatricians, you know who you are) then this special deal is for YOU!
We only have this subscription price drop for a few weeks so be sure to lock it in before it’s gone. Highlight’s magazine has proven itself as one of THE BEST ways to entertain children in the waiting room for years...You will be giving your grown-up patrons the gift of peace while giving the youngster something to occupy their busy minds. Subscribe to Highlight’s magazine today!
Posted Jul 16, 2014
In summer, air travel is at its peak. The season brings longer days--and longer lines at the airport. Flying is a faster means of transport, but the toll it takes on your appearance will slow down your routine. Since sacrificing style and beauty is never on-trend, InStyle magazine (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) delivers helpful tips for staying chic from takeoff to touchdown.
Get the 411 on 3-1-1
Anyone who has flown commercial since 2006 is aware of TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule: all liquids must be 3.4 ounces or less per container; placed in a one-quart, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; with only one bag per passenger allowed. Try this solution: buy mini sizes of your favorite cosmetic products or refillable containers for your must-have hair and beauty balms.
Jump the Velvet Rope
In air travel, when you’re not flying, you’re waiting in line. Check-in lines, security lines, food lines, boarding lines--it’s all hurry up and wait. Lines are unavoidable, but now you can get ahead in the security line. The Department of Homeland Security offers Trusted Travelers programs that allow expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks.
Make a Fresh Start
The air inside the plane can really dehydrate your skin and deplete your healthy glow. This can lead to flaky skin and breakouts. InStyle recommends applying a moisturizer before you fly and bringing a spray-on bottle of beauty elixir to freshen up on long flights. If your complexion needs extra oomph, dab a moisturizing cream blush onto your cheeks and lips.
Bring It On
Now that most airlines charge checked baggage fees for both inbound and outbound flights, more and more passengers are limiting luggage to carry-on only. InStyle suggests investing in a structured wheelie with inner and outer compartments. Zipped closures provide added security. For easy mobility, evenly distribute the weight of packed items.
Though it’s hot outside, it can be frigid inside the airport and plane cabin. InStyle suggests dressing in layers, such as slouchy harem pants with a fitted top. Add a lightweight neck scarf that can easily fit into a carry-on bag and also be used as a blanket. Invest in a pair of cashmere slippers for the plane ride to keep your feet cozy.
Flying somewhere this summer? Don’t forget to bring along your copy of InStyle magazine to stay au courant with the hottest trends in fashion and beauty. Subscribe today through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.