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.
Posted Jul 9, 2014
Celebrity news and gossip offers an escape from the monotony of real life. With Us Weekly (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services), you’ll find out who’s together, who’s breaking up, and what everyone wore to the party. It’s your source for the latest Hollywood buzz and behind-the-scenes scoop. Here’s a rundown of the celebrity stories that have kept us glued to the pages of Us Weekly in 2014.
1. Wedded Bliss for Kimye
The biggest surprise surrounding the May nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West was that the American public didn’t seem interested. That was until celebrity news outlets began publishing photos and details of the elaborate festivities, which included a fete at the Palace of Versailles. Us Weekly was the top source for all things Kimye with its wedding timeline feature.
2. Baby on the Way for Mila and Ashton
Us Weekly was among the first to break the news that actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are expecting a baby. This newsflash came shortly after their engagement announcement. The couple has come a long way since their days as costars on That ’70s Show.
3. Conscious Uncoupling
After 10 years together, one of the world’s most famous celebrity couples announced the thrill is gone. In March, Us Weekly revealed that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had decided to “consciously uncouple,” a phrase Gwyneth used to convey to the public that it was an amicable separation.
4. Confirmed Bachelor Caves
In April, Us Weekly broke the news that America’s favorite longtime bachelor, George Clooney, is engaged to British lawyer Amal Alamuddin. This astounded many, since Clooney has a wily reputation for dating a long list of Hollywood starlets and wannabe starlets.
5. Jay Z Gets Beaten Up … By a Girl
Perhaps one of the most shocking celebrity incidences of the year involved Beyonce, her husband Jay Z, and her sister Solange Knowles. Us Weekly posted the video of security camera footage from a hotel elevator where Solange attacked Jay Z. The video went viral on the top social media networks and was a leading celebrity story for weeks.
6. Jelena Rises from the Ashes
Pop sensation Justin Bieber is on again with his on-again, off-again love interest, Selena Gomez. In June, Us Weekly shared the news, along with candid photos of the famous couple, which Hollywood tabloids have aptly nicknamed “Jelena.” Rumors are this reunion may be as short-lived as Bieber’s number one spot on the Billboard charts.
7. Rosie’s Return
One of America’s most controversial celebrity personalities is returning to the daytime show that made her fodder for mainstream news (and public quarrels with Donald Trump). In July, Us Weekly announced that Rosie O’Donnell will return to The View as co-host. This coincided with the announcement that cohosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy are leaving the show.
8. Mom’s the Word: Eva Mendes is Pregnant
The best kept secret in Hollywood was revealed in July when Us Weekly announced that Eva Mendes is expecting a baby with long-time beau Ryan Gosling. Mendes admitted she is already seven months into her pregnancy!
9. Engagements, Breakups, and Babies: Ongoing Rumors for Anniston
In 2012, Us Weekly broke the news that Jennifer Aniston got engaged to actor Justin Theroux. Two years later, the couple is still together, despite constant rumors of breakups and pregnancies. In classic Aniston fashion, she continues to look fabulous as she laughs off pressure to have a baby and speculation about why the couple has yet to tie the knot.
10. LeBron James Comes Home
As one of the best players in the NBA, LeBron James is known for his skills on the basketball court. But in recent years, his talent has been overshadowed by controversy surrounding his exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. In July, Us Weekly announced that he and the Cavs patched things up. He will sign a two-year, $42.2 million contract with the team.
Want to stay up-to-date on the latest celebrity news and gossip? Subscribe to Us Weekly through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Mar 26, 2014
The controversial subject of gene therapy is explored in the March 2014 issue of Scientific American -- available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services. According to the American Medical Association, gene therapy attempts to undo the damage (i.e., disease) caused by broken or defective genes by changing the expression of a person’s genes. While gene therapy is still not available in hospitals and clinics, scientists think the next decade in research will change that.
Although it is still a groundbreaking treatment for disease, gene therapy initially emerged in the 1990s. Advancement in the field came to a standstill due to one early experiment that led to the untimely death of Jesse Gelsinger. His death was the result of a devastating immune reaction after the genes were delivered to the target tissue. For early gene therapy patients, a strong immune reaction or the development of leukemia were side effects of the delivery systems. The immune reaction remains a risk.
Within the last six years, gene therapy has made some significant breakthroughs in treating disease. In the case of Corey Haas, a boy with a degenerative eye disorder, his sight was restored. Other successful cases involve children diagnosed with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), also known as "bubble boy disease." Based on these and other effective treatments of hemophilia and certain blood cancers, proponents hope gene therapy may soon be considered as a treatment for heart failure and specific childhood cancers.
Scientific American details the latest and perhaps most unanticipated achievement in gene therapy: the treatment of HIV. In March, Reuters reported that, according to results from an early-stage trial at the University of Pennsylvania, genetically modifying cells from people infected with HIV could become a way to control the virus without using antiviral drugs. While scientists remain optimistically cautious, this significant development has raised their hopes.
A further area of interest for gene therapy specialists is age manipulation. This includes the treatment of age-related degenerative diseases, a so-called "molecular fountain of youth."
Other, more dubious experiments in this field involve essentially redesigning DNA . Although this variety of gene therapy is in its early stages, experts project it could drastically slow down the aging process and even change how humans adapt to the ever-transforming environment.
For more of the latest developments in science and technology, subscribe to Scientific American through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Mar 19, 2014
If you’re a man who never puts much thought into the jeans you buy, Esquire magazine takes the guesswork out of the process for you. "The New Rules of Denim," featured in the March 2014 issue of Esquire (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services), is a set of guidelines and tips every man can use to find the perfect pair of jeans. While some of the advice is tongue-in-cheek, most of it is fairly practical and, if followed, sure to make you a sharp-dressed man.
"If the jeans don’t fit in the store, they’re never going to fit."
You may think it’s the dressing room mirror, but sometimes the jeans just don’t fit. According to a 2013 Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor Survey, fit is the most important factor to men in their denim jean purchases. Comfort is a close second because, if the jeans don’t fit, you’re not going to be comfortable.
"A rip? Sure. But it depends where."
There’s a stark difference in the distressed, worn-in look and indecent exposure. You may wear the tears in your jeans like badges of manly honor. That’s acceptable--even admirable--as long as the rips are in the knee or cuff region. When they start showing up in the thigh, seat, or crotch areas, it’s time to send your jeans to a better place. Your city may have a local denim donation program, but there’s also denim recycling programs like Blue Jeans Go Green, which re-purpose denim for the greater good.
"When you turn up your cuff, whether for function or fashion, you tell the world a little about yourself."
Cuffing may be new to you, or you may have started the trend (see "hipster"). Either way, according to Esquire, your cuff indicates how you want to be perceived. There are a few handy guides on how to cuff your jeans , but it’s best to base the cuff on the fit and style of your jeans, as well as your personal preference.
Once you’ve chosen your ideal denim, Esquire has a few basic care instructions that will add years to your jeans. Before wearing them for the first time, soak the jeans inside out in warm water for an hour, then hang them to dry. Instead of throwing them in the wash after every wear, use a white vinegar spritz to neutralize odors. When you do throw them in the washing machine, use a small amount of detergent on gentle cycle and hang them to dry.
Subscribe to Esquire magazine with EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services for the latest in men’s style, health, interests, and more.
Posted Feb 22, 2014
The February issue of Sunset magazine--available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services--spotlights cities that made the publication’s list of "The West’s Best Places to Live 2014." The magazine’s editors surveyed people around the U.S. on what makes a city a great place to live, then talked to the residents of each nominated city. They polled Sunset readers to narrow down the list to 6 winners and 18 runners-up. Here, we share a little about the winners and what makes them great places to live.
Sunset named San Francisco as the "Best Place to Launch a Career," and it’s no surprise. The city continues to make headlines for the latest Tech Boom. Several big-name tech companies--Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and Facebook--have planted their headquarters or branch offices in the city, and they’re all hiring. The restaurant scene is extensive, with cuisine available from nearly every culture on the planet, or you can check out one of the many farmers’ markets. You can burn off those food calories biking, hiking, walking, and more through the city streets, beautiful beaches, and parks.
If you’re not quite ready to settle into the 9-to-5 routine, then Honolulu may be your place. It made the list for "Best Place to Postpone a Career." Of course, you will still need a job to pay the rent. Luckily, Honolulu offers plenty of opportunities in tourism, retail, and other service-related industries. There’s also no shortage of things to do, with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, natural vistas, and attractions just outside your door.
Seattle suburb Issaquah, Wash., was voted "Best Burb." This Pacific Northwest gem is not your typical suburb. Besides its indie coffee shops, wine bars, and award-winning theatre, it boasts 1,700 acres of parkland and three mountains within city limits. Families with children will appreciate the excellent school system.
The next place is not a city, but a neighborhood. Sugar House, in Salt Lake City, won "Best City Hoods." This neighborhood may just have it all with a thriving business district, the highly regarded Westminster College, and five public parks including Sugar House Park, where Olympic skiers train. Sugar House even has a streetcar line that connects with Salt Lake City’s light-rail system.
The "Best Place to Reboot Your Life" is Bozeman, Mont. It also happens to be one of the best places for outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, skiing, and fishing--the city lies between the Gallatin and Bridger Ranges with the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers close by. If culture is your thing, there are breweries, museums, and historic walking tours. In addition, the great schools and low median home price are sure to attract families with kids.
Flagstaff, Ariz., chosen as the "Best Place to Be Finally Free," was voted the ideal location to retire or slow down a little. Even though the city’s average age is 27, the town has much to offer people of any age. It’s known for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing--Flagstaff is just south of the San Francisco Peaks. Plus it has great restaurants, shopping, and museums.
If you want to learn more about the West and all it has to offer in culture, travel, events, and more, subscribe to Sunset magazine with EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Feb 19, 2014
We live in the age of quick fixes and cutting-edge cures, with over-the-counter and prescription medications for everything from heartburn to headaches. There just may be a remedy for almost any ailment. These medications generally do what they’re designed to do, but using them for a prolonged period could produce unwanted side effects or be detrimental to your long-term health. The "Feeling Good" section in February’s O, The Oprah Magazine--available through EBSCO Reception Room Services--features natural remedies that can be found in your local grocery or health food store. The latest research has shown these natural cures bring quicker results with fewer to no side effects. Plus, most of these items serve dual purposes--you can use them in your favorite recipes!
Sore muscles usually indicate that you had a good workout, but aching muscles can make it unpleasant to perform necessary activities like bending over or sitting down. Using a topical cream is safe, unless you’re on prescription blood thinners, which can react with a key ingredient in the topical cream. Instead, try drinking two 10-ounce glasses of cherry juice, preferably before your workout for maximum results. Drinking up to two cups of coffee before a workout can also reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
A first-degree or second-degree burn is painful enough without adding the rash that can be caused by some antibiotic gels. Nature’s alternative is honey. This sticky, sweet food has antibacterial properties that make burns sterile, reducing the healing time and lessening the risk of infection. According to O, The Oprah Magazine’s medical contributor, Dr. Oz, honey has even more healthful benefits, such as easing seasonal allergy symptoms, moisturizing skin and hair, and inducing restful sleep. And of course, honey is a common ingredient in many delicious recipes.
Migraines are different for every person who suffers from them, but, for some people, the combination of feverfew and ginger root has been proven to lessen pain within two hours. This herbal remedy can block migraine triggers in the brain and alleviate inflammation. This is good news for frequent users of ibuprofen or similar drugs, which can lead to upset stomach or kidney damage. Plus, any leftover ginger can be saved and used in your kitchen--it’s a key ingredient in flavorful dishes.
For those battling the common cold, the leading decongestants and cough medicines will only help to alleviate symptoms, not recovery time. To accelerate the process, you can do more than just rest and drink lots of liquids. At the first signs of a cold, one tablespoon of elderberry extract taken up to four times a day for five days can speed up recovery time four days sooner. This remedy has also proven effective against 10 different influenza virus strains.
Every month, O, The Oprah Magazine offers the latest tips and expert guidance on how to feel your best. Subscribe now through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Feb 12, 2014
Written by Rossi Morris
In this day and age, it seems everyone is becoming an oenophile. There’s social pressure to know everything about wine—the various types, the best regions for certain wine, how to pair wine with food, and more. Thankfully, Food & Wine magazine (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) can educate you on the latest tips, trends, and techniques in wine.
Food & Wine’s newly redesigned layout, which debuted in the February 2014 issue, makes the magazine easier to navigate and enjoy. The fresh design is filled with even more wine stories, recommendations, and expert interviews and contributions. Here are highlights of the magazine’s newest wine features that you can use to impress friends at the next dinner party.
It’s easy to find advice on how to select good wine, but what about how to spot bad wine? In Food & Wine’s new section, “Bottle Service,” wine experts answer frequently asked questions. This month, they detail how to avoid bad wine. Apparently, you shouldn’t be quick to judge when wine tastes bad. It’s possible it may have been damaged by a tainted or faulty cork, or the bottle may have been improperly stored in a hot place. You can avoid this by buying bottles aged before release or finding great screw cap wines. If you’re storing the wine, make sure it’s in a place that stays at 55 degrees (i.e. not on the kitchen counter). Then there’s the price. According to experts, if you find a $15 bottle from expensive regions, such as Burgundy or Napa, it will probably taste like $15.
In this issue’s “Wine Talk”—Food & Wine’s new interview column—the magazine converses with New York sommelier Patrick Cappiello, who shares how to find the best values on a restaurant wine list. Cappiello says restaurants generally mark up bottles to twice the retail price, so keep that in mind when perusing the list. To figure out the markup, you can use wine-searcher.com to find the retail price on almost any wine. He also recommends becoming familiar with regions known for great values. Currently, Cappiello’s pick for value regions include the Loire Valley, the northern Rhône, and Sicily.
Eager to learn more about all things wine plus get delicious recipes for the perfect food pairings? Subscribe to Food & Wine magazine through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.