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low carb

Six Low Carb Super Bowl Snacks

It’s almost kickoff time again, and you know what that means!

Celebrating the big game with friends and family brings not only loads of team spirit, but can bring loads of carbs and calories too. While you’re rooting for your favorite team, you may be rooting through all the game day snacks you crave between commercials, the halftime show and the winning plays.

But instead of packing on the pounds this season (save that for the pros!), treat yourself to some delicious low carb alternatives to some of your favorite football season snacks. From pizza pinwheels to bean-free spicy chili to chocolate bacon cookies and more—we’ve rounded up some of the best sweet and salty goodies to feed your face. Continue reading

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Fashion Trends for a Stylish Spring/Summer Look in 2016

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You don’t have to be a celebrity like Ariana Grande, Ciara, Sienna Miller, Kerry Washington or even the Duchess of Cambridge to rock it in the latest trends this spring and summer. With designers at all price points taking cues from Fashion Week Spring 2016, there are affordable and fashionable looks out there — you just need to know what you’re searching for!

 

Colors of the Spring/Summer Fashion Trends

pantoneeee

The PANTONE® Fashion Color Report for Spring 2016 points to “colors that transport us to a happier, sunnier place, where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the PANTONE Color Institute.

These colors for both men and women include (from left) rose quartz, peach echo, serenity, snorkel blue, buttercup, limpet shell, lilac gray, fiesta, iced coffee and green flash. (See the website for the PANTONE numbers.)

 

Highlights of the Spring/Summer Fashion Trends

Flirty Slip Dresses

Slinky slip dresses are the ticket this spring, according to Marie Claire magazine. This sexy look incorporates underwear/lingerie as outerwear. Gotta love the comfort of silk and satin!

Large Plaids

Elle magazine points to “blown-out plaid” as a hot look this season. So, look for the checked prints, ladies!

Off the Shoulder

Another trendy fashion involves showing a little skin, reports Vogue magazine. Baring your shoulders, that is. Off-the-shoulder styles and cool cut outs rule this season.

Ruffles

Ruffles are a key detail trend this spring and summer. Glamour magazine shares that “This season’s ruffles are subtle, romantic and feminine.”

High Shine Fabrics

Think shiny, shimmery metallic, ladies. This goes for accessories, too. Sequins and any shiny material makes a high-impact piece out of a simple garment, according to Vogue magazine.

Suede

A flashback to the ’70s, suede is a hot look this season. The soft, delicate fabric is now season-less, much like leather the last few years, according to InStyle magazine.

Super Stripes

“The stripe is oh so right” this season, says Marie Claire magazine. And, we’re not talking thin, subtle stripes. It’s all about broad bands of color in bright tones.

Denim

The big trends in denim, says Vogue magazine, are printed denim, the long skirt, patchwork denim, feminine looks and the ’90s skater jean. Cropped flare jeans are also hot.

Big Sleeves

Puffy sleeves are back. Or, Old English sleeves as Harper’s Bazaar refers to them. The popular styles include bubble sleeves, bell sleeves and balloon sleeves. Quite a way to make a statement!

Other women’s fashion trends for this season include:

  • Spanish Influence
  • Victorian/Romantic
  • White Blouses
  • Pleats
  • Oversize Floral Prints
  • Fringe
  • Complicated Patterns/Mixed Prints
  • Maxiskirts and Dresses
  • Boldly Colored Actif-Sportif Outfits

 

Don’t Forget Your Man!

Johnny Mannah points to these men’s spring/summer fashion trends in his article on The Trend Spotter website.

  • Overalls
  • White Chinos/Trousers
  • Bomber Jackets
  • Fifties Shirts
  • Shorter Shorts

Utilitarian and monochromatic looks are also hot for men this season.

 

Resources for the Latest Fashion Trends

These fashion magazines will help you keep up with the hottest styles throughout the year. Simply click on the cover to learn more or subscribe!

 

fashion trends-instyle-magazine-1                    fashion trends-harpers-bazaar-magazine-1

InStyle                                                                        Harper’s BAZAAR

 

fashion trends-glamour-magazine-1                    fashion trends-vanidades-magazine-1

Glamour                                                                    Vanidades

 

fashion trends-vogue-magazine-1                    fashion trends-people-stylewatch-magazine-1

Vogue                                                                     People StyleWatch

 

Let the shopping begin … or, continue!

 

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The Top 5 Cutest Breeds of Dogs

Whether you are a dog lover or a cat person, there is no denying that puppies are simply adorable. There are a lot of cute dogs out there, but which breeds can claim the superlative?

 

CorgiCorgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an easily trainable, people-oriented dog. This adorable pet needs exercise and interaction with people to remain happy. According to WebMD, Pembroke Welsh Corgis avoid many of the health problems associated with other small dogs due to the fact that they are a dwarf breed. One of the few downsides of Corgis? They shed. A lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shih TzuTwo_red_and_white_haired_shih_tzu_littermates

As a tiny, fluffy dog, this breed is one of the most adorable out there. According to Woofipedia they were the pets of Chinese royalty for hundreds of years. And no wonder – these dogs have beautiful coats that make their nickname, the “lion dog,” no surprise. A Shih Tzu is the perfect canine companion for someone living in an apartment or small house.

 

 

 

 

 

PomeranianPomeranian

These intelligent pets make up in personality what they lack in size. Although they tend to bark frequently, they are very intelligent and trainable. Another perfect pet for an apartment setting, Pomeranians are ideal for people who want a little companion.

 

 

 

 

basset houndBasset Hound

Ears hanging low, this breed is a very friendly, gentle one. Unlike the previous two cutest dogs, their coats require little maintenance, which makes a Basset Hound ideal for someone who does not want to spend a lot of time on doggy grooming. Always eager to catch a new scent, a Basset Hound loves outdoor walks!

 

 

 

 

Beagle_puppy_6_weeksBeagle

According to the American Kennel Club, the adorable Beagle is a people puppy, loving the company of humans and other dogs. Historically a hunting dog, Beagles love to sniff out new scents. While Beagles come in different sizes and colors, the most famous Beagle of all is the black and white Snoopy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether your dog falls into one of these breeds or is completely different, make sure to give your pup the best care of all and check out Bark Magazine for special dog owner tips!

Is there another type of dog that deserves to make the list? Let us know below!

Puppy

Creative Games for Your Dog

Lately, we’ve been focusing on our health, our families, and delicious desserts. While all of these topics are all well and good, our furriest family members are left out of the fun. Take a moment to honor man’s best friend by checking out these puppy-approved games!

Is your pup a little too plump for his britches? A treat ball like one from PetSmart is perfect for dogs who get more treats than exercise. Put treats in the middle of this hollow ball. You can also put dog goodies in the easily-accessible outside craters if your dog deserves double treats. With the alluring scent of the dog treat holding his attention, your pup will entertain himself for hours, all while getting much-needed exercise.

PuppyThis doggy version of “hide and seek” takes a twist on a childhood classic. Doggy hide and seek is simple to set up, easy on the wallet, and perfect for a rainy afternoon. Thanks to Disney’s Babble for this DIY idea!

All you need are small-to-medium-sized empty boxes, your dog’s favorite treat, and little quality time to spend with your pup. If your canine friend is on a diet, substitute treats with toys. Place the boxes around a room, or multiple rooms if you want to take the game to the next level, and place a treat under each box. Tell your dog to “go find” the treat. Keep in mind that you might have to point to a box housing a treat the first few times you play so that your dog can learn the game. It will not take long for your dog to learn to find and flip over boxes hiding the treats! Kids love setting up this game, too.

Lost KeysOnce you and your dog are doggy hide and seek pros, stimulate your dog’s brain with this game from DogProblems.com that is incredibly useful for the household humans. This game is a twist on doggy hide and seek but adds a little more complexity to the mix. Do you have problems with losing your keys from time to time? This doggy game will solve your problems!

  1. Attach a small piece of leather to your key chain. Spend two minutes pinching the leather between your thumb and index finger. This will transfer some of the oil in your skin to the leather and link your “scent” to it.
  2. During your next game of doggy hide and seek, substitute your key chain for the treat.
  3. When your dog finds the bucket that hides your keys, lift the bucket to reveal your keys. At this point, abundantly praise your dog for his feats and make a big deal about your dog finding the keys. You may also want to give a rewarding treat to your dog, at least at first.
  4. Finally, you can start hiding your key in other places around the room, away from the buckets. Start out easy. Place them on the floor, next to the couch, or anywhere your dog can almost stumble upon them quite easily.
  5. After a few days, you should be able to hide your keys in some really difficult places, and your dog will be able to find them for you.
  6. Imagine how handy this trick will become when you really lose your keys!

Give your dog the tender loving care that he deserves with games that will keep his tail wagging for hours. For more dog tips, check out our collection of canine reads that will help you be as loyal to your dog as he is to you.

What other games does your dog love? Share below in the comments!

Reading

Beat the Heat, Save Your Wallet

Sometimes, it’s just too hot to be outside. When you and your children want to spend some quality time together but don’t want to brave the heat or spend money on indoor activities like going to a movie theater for the latest blockbuster, it’s time to get creative!

guacMake a taco bar with the whole family! Get out of the sun for a little while with this delicious, creative recipe from Food Network Magazine. Everyone can play “chef,” with each person in charge of his or her own part of the taco bar, from the guacamole station to the hot sauce station. An extra perk of this family friendly recipe? With a multi-compartment lunch box, you can even take your taco bar with you for work or school lunches for a tasty lunch that is much cheaper than dining out!

 

 

To make 2-4 servings, you will need:

  • 4 thin slices roast beef (about 3 ounces)
  • 4 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup store-bought fresh guacamole
  • 1/4 cup store-bought fresh salsa
  • Mini bottle hot sauce
  • 2-4 multi-compartment lunch boxes
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  • “chefs” to help out

Directions

  1. Fold 1 slice roast beef inside each of 2 soft tortillas, and put in the biggest compartment of the lunch box
  2. Sprinkle cheese onto the roast beef and tortilla
  3. Pack other compartments with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and other favorite toppings each.
  4. Seal and send off to school or bring to work!

Everyone has the chance to contribute to the meal, and you get to spend a little extra time with the family!

On lazy summer days, sometimes we just don’t feel like being active, and even cooking a meal together seems too ambitious. Even energetic children need some downtime! Take the opportunity to read to your kids. You can even act out scenes from the stories to get them involved! Scholastic’s Parent & Child magazine has a few recommendations for places to start.

  1. Charlotte’s Web
  2. Tuck Everlasting
  3. A Wrinkle in Time
  4. Anne of Green Gables
  5. Where the Wild Things Are

Reading together will stimulate your children’s imaginations and will build memories that will last a lifetime! Support local literacy and save money by renting these books from your local library. Need more reading ideas for children? Magazines like Highlights can turn a lazy afternoon into a time of learning and discovery for children!

smores

Indoor camping is another budget-friendly way to get the whole family involved. All you need are a few household materials before you and your kids are ready for a camping adventure! 

  1. Rope
  2. Sheets
  3. Flashlights
  4. Chocolate
  5. Marshmallows
  6. Graham crackers
  7. Toothpicks
  8. Small candles
  9. Lighter
  10. Additional snacks (optional)

Choose a “campsite” – a room with enough space for the project – and tie the rope to furniture. Drape the sheets over the furniture to create your tent. Once you are ready for the camping to begin, get the small candle, chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers for mini s’mores! Turn out the lights and use the flashlight to make the camping experience more realistic.

Even when the temperatures a tipping the 90s, you and your family can find fun, inexpensive ways to enjoy the summer. Let us know which of these ideas is your favorite!

 

Family 4th of July

Let Freedom Ring With These 4th Of July Favorites

[two_fifth]cherry blueberry pie recipe[/two_fifth]

Are you ready for the most patriotic day of the year? Whether you have a fully planned 4th of July event or still have more on your holiday to-do list than you would like to admit, add a little more red, white, and blue to your weekend with these American themed cooking and decorating ideas!

What is more American than apple pie? Red, white, and blue-themed cherry and blueberry pie! Try a twist on an American classic for an easy, delicious Independence Day dessert. Whether you are cooking for a potluck or a small event with family and friends, this mouth-watering recipe from Food Network Magazine is sure to please everyone. Preparation time is only 20 minutes, and Food Network Magazine gives this treat an “easy” level rating.

 

What You Need:

Pies:

  • 1 package double pie crust mix
  • 1 (20-ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Blueberry Sauce:

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, reserve 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare pie crust according to package directions. Divide into 6 equal portions, roll into balls and refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll each into a circle about 1/4-inch thick.

For Pies:

  1. Place each of the rolled out circles onto the baking sheet. Divide cherry pie filling into the center of each of the 6 pie crusts and sprinkle each with the pumpkin pie spice. Fold the edges of the pie dough over the cherry pie filling, making sure to leave the center of the pie exposed. Place a few of the reserved blueberries on top of each pie. Brush the sides of the pies with milk and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Place pies in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

For Blueberry Topping:

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, sugar, and two tablespoons water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. To serve, place 1 warm pie on 6 plates, top each pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of the blueberry sauce.

 

[one_third]Fireworks Display[/one_third]

 

Sometimes a delicious dessert alone is not enough. Go the extra mile with tasteful red, white, and blue DIY decorations! BrightNest’s DIY patriotic firework placemats are a simple, quick way to add a nice touch to your 4th of July event.

 

 

What You Need:

  • White, beige, or light-colored fabric placemats
  • Red and blue fabric paints
  • A kitchen scrub brush
  • A paper plate
  • Water for rinsing the kitchen scrub.

What You Do:

  1. Pour a quarter-sized amount of red fabric paint onto a paper plate; repeat for blue paint.
  2. Dip the scrub brush bristles one of the colors of paint and firmly press the bristles into the fabric to start making your design.
  3. To create the appearance of fireworks, alternate and overlap paint colors. Make sure to rinse the kitchen scrub in water between alternations to avoid overly blending your colors.
  4. Let the placemats dry in a safe place and – voila! You have your own patriotic placemats.

Tip: Want to add a little more flair to your fireworks? Use a second, smaller kitchen scrub to create smaller fireworks!

As you prepare for an all-American celebration full of potlucks, get-togethers, fireworks shows, and more, these quick Independence Day extras will add a little more bang to your weekend. Have a fun and safe 4th of July, and remember those who sacrificed for our freedom.

If you want more easy DIY decoration ideas, check out http://bit.ly/1o7EWSd. Have any other 4th of July cooking or decorating ideas? Feel free to share them below in the comments section.

 

“Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.”

– George Washington in his Farewell Address