Less Food, More Fun

Valentine's Day is such a fun day
when you're kid. Remember
how great it was...

read more

Use Jewelry to Keep Your
Look on Trend

If you're looking for ways to
spruce up your look but...

read more

Laugh Yourself to
Better Health

February is Heart Month - a great
time to take a moment and...

read more

Less Food, More Fun this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is such a fun day when you're kid... Remember how great it was to receive a little shoe box full of sweet cards from all your classmates? While that fabulous feeling is still present in most classrooms, Valentine's Day, like most holidays has become very food-centered. A treat every now and then is fine, but do we really need another holiday that pumps our kids full of candy? Here are some tips to help you turn Valentine's Day food into fun!

  • Conversations: Chances are you'll have at least one box of those conversation hearts sitting around the house this February 14. Instead of eating them, challenge your youngster to make sentences or even a short story using the sayings. Make it even sillier by providing a few oddball nouns and adjectives like a modern day Mad Lib!

  • Steal My Heart: Place your conversation hearts in a big bowl and give each child a pair of chop sticks. See how many candy hearts the kids can pick up using only chopsticks in the allotted time.

  • Stacking Challenge: Another fun activity you can do with the candy hearts is to challenge your child to stack them as high as possible. This Jenga-style game can be pretty suspenseful!

  • Matching Game: Hershey's Kisses are a popular choice on any holiday. This time, instead of eating them, glue different colored hearts or shapes on the bottom of each kiss (two of each color or shape), line them up and play an old-fashioned matching game! The more candies you use, the greater the challenge will be for your little one.

  • Scavenger Heart Hunt: Buy or make a handful of felt hearts and place them around the house... Challenge your child to find as many hearts as possible throughout the day.

  • Love Notes: Write anonymous love notes to your child from different characters they know from books or television shows. Have the child try and guess who each letter is from.

  • Love Crayons: If you have a silicon heart-shaped baking mold, simply break up old crayons (without labels) and place the bits into the mold. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes - voila! Heart-shaped crayons!

Return to top

Laugh Yourself to Better Health

February is Heart Month - a great time to take a moment and look for ways that you can improve your heart health. While most of us know that a balanced diet and regular exercise are the building blocks of good health, did you know that laughter can also improve your well-being? It's true! Here are a few great reasons why you should look for an opportunity to laugh every single day, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.

  • Improve Your Immune System: A hearty, spontaneous laugh decreases the stress hormones in your body, which can help your immune system. Negative feelings and thoughts generate chemical reactions in your body that create stress and decrease the effectiveness of your immune system. Conversely, positive thoughts release chemicals that fight stress and boost your immune system.

  • Stimulate Your Body Systems: A good belly laugh forces your body to take in more oxygen-rich air which stimulates some of the most important organs in your body - namely, your heart, your lungs and your muscles. This also increases the endorphins being released by your brain - the same effect we feel when we exercise.

  • Soothe Tension: Laughter stimulates circulation and relaxes the muscles which helps reduce that feeling of tense muscles we experience when stressed.

  • Natural Painkillers: Laughter may cause the body to release its own, natural type of painkiller. It also can break the pain/spasm cycle common with many muscle disorders.

  • Improve Mood and Disposition: Laughter can make it easier to cope with difficult situations and may also lessen the feelings of anxiety or depression.

For more ways you can improve your heart health, visit Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento.

Return to top

Use Jewelry to Keep Your Look on Trend

If you're looking for ways to spruce up your look but can't afford a complete revamp of your wardrobe, consider updating your look with jewelry. The jewelry trends for 2014 are fun, wearable, and - best of all - can be achieved without spending a ton of money. Here are some tips on what jewelry looks will make you look -on trend? for 2014!

  • Blue and Purple Gems: Blues and purples are hot this year and that trend is easily converted to jewelry. Look for pearly blue earrings or bracelets, including the blue pearl known as Abalone. Or, try the hot shade known as Radiant Orchid (a fuchsia/purple color) in bold statement necklaces or chunky earrings.

  • Good as Gold: Gold - both the color and the precious metal - is hot this year. Look for gold chains of varying widths or gold earrings or bracelets. And unlike years passed, when it comes to this year's gold - the more yellow, the better!

  • Chevron is Chic: Chevron - a zig zag type pattern - is all over this year. You'll see it on clothing, in home textiles, and yes - even in jewelry. Chevron can be found in necklace patterns and on printed cuffs and bracelets. Chevron accented jewelry makes a nice statement piece with a more simple outfit.

  • Return of the Stickpin: If you thumb through a spring fashion magazine, chances are you will see this trend on more than one page. The classic stickpin is back. Women are wearing them on their shirts, in their hair, on their hats - even recreating their hemlines with creative stickpin placement. Look for a slender one with a pretty jewel at the top.

  • Body Jewelry: This trend may not be for everyone, but body jewelry is making a comeback. In addition to belly rings, body chains and ear cuffs, celebrities are also using jeweled chains to adorn their backless dresses.

  • Wild Watches: This trend can be easy and fun to try... Chunky, colorful watches are all the rage and you can find great variety at pretty reasonable prices. Look for watches in single, bold colors and add a pop of color to your outfit.

Return to top