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5 Easy Projects to Protect Your Home This Winter

(BPT) - The winter months are here! While you may be preparing to celebrate the holidays and spend time with loved ones, it’s also important to ensure your home is protected from the cold weather.

  • icon Posted: November 19

Pet Central

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Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

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Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

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Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

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Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Recent Headlines

Tuesday 11/19/2019
Easy gravy hacks for irresistible holiday cooking
Posted: November 19, 2019

(BPT) - Planning and food prep for the holidays are underway so you're probably creating grocery store lists and considering which favorite family recipes to cook this year. No matter what you're serving, there's one thing that can elevate foods from good to great: a delicious gravy.

Four reasons to pursue careers in nursing
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - As time and technology reshape the workforce, most professionals are not in the position to choose one career or one track and stick with it until retirement. Nursing offers relevant, future-focused opportunities for people of all ages and levels of experience, from those re-entering the workforce or making a career change, to registered nurses pursuing further education. Below, you’ll find for four key reasons students are pursuing licensure or a degree in nursing (RN to BSN and beyond), shared by Dr. Bonnie Stegman of Maryville University.

Practice makes perfect: Easy steps to plan for an emergency
Posted: November 19, 2019

(BPT) - Fires can occur when you least expect it, leaving little time to plan your escape, so the time to prepare for an emergency isn’t when your alarm sounds. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), only 32% of American households have actually developed and practiced an emergency escape plan. Make time to sit down with your family to plan and practice what you would do in case of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) emergency. Consider the following tips when helping to prepare yourself and your loved ones:

Monday 11/18/2019
5 retirement questions to ask before 'How much should I save?'
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:44 am

(BPT) - How do I plan for a comfortable retirement? This question is top of mind for many Americans. Yet how to afford that dream retirement remains a mystery to most. According to The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 42% of working-age people have tried to calculate just how much they need to save to live comfortably in retirement.

Gut Check: Why Women with Chronic Constipation Feel Stuck [Infographic]
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - We all have to go when nature calls, but for approximately 35 million American adults living with a condition called chronic idiopathic constipation, or CIC, that isn’t always easy. Idiopathic means the cause of the constipation is unknown. People with CIC experience symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating over a long period of time. A national survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Shire, now part of Takeda, assessed the impact of CIC on patients’ daily lives, and unmet needs related to its management — revealing how and why many women with CIC feel stuck, and what many GIs believe may be an important approach to managing the condition.

Get new wellness extras from Medicare Advantage in Texas
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - Did you know that you can get coverage for more than just visits to your doctor through Medicare Advantage plans?

Open enrollment: 4 steps to getting the right life insurance benefits at work
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - Is it open enrollment time for your employee benefits? Most companies begin offering the opportunity to update or add new benefits for the next year in the last quarter of the year. Take advantage of this time to align your life with your benefits because when life changes, insurance needs shift with those changes.

Actress shares tips to shine bright this holiday season
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - The holidays can challenge just about anyone to stick to healthy habits and keep up with the busy season. Despite her hectic schedule, actress, producer, entrepreneur and mother Sarah Michelle Gellar has learned how to juggle family and career all while maintaining her daily routine.

Tips for Growing Your Small Business This Holiday Season
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - Small businesses have a major impact on their communities: 67 cents of every dollar spent on small businesses stays in the local economy. But when it comes to growing their businesses, nearly one in four small business owners say marketing is one of their biggest challenges. As small businesses prepare for the holiday rush and Small Business Saturday on November 30, it’s important that they invest in digital marketing to reach new customers and stand out online.

Love dogs? Here's how to turn that passion into a successful side gig
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - Most people would like to follow their life’s passions when exploring ways to supplement their incomes, but it can be hard to find those meaningful outlets — and earn any income at the same time. For one dog lover in Stratford, Connecticut, her tremendous love and affection for the dogs in her life led her to a side job she hadn’t anticipated.

Inspiration and tips from the 2019 'Whole Home Concept House'
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - Today’s home builders, designers and innovators are working to create interiors and living experiences that take into account consumer trends toward seeking a more healthful environment, inside and out. This year’s “Whole Home Concept House,” by leading design magazine House Beautiful, places focus on design elements and appliances created to promote health, livability and sustainability, reflecting the increasing desire of American consumers for an approach to interior design that goes well beyond aesthetics.

How to prepare for surgery and get back on your feet
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - In the U.S., the number of surgical procedures is increasing, with more than 30 million performed annually according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No matter what kind of surgery you may be having, preparing for one can raise a lot of questions and concerns.

One of the most often asked questions is — to eat or not to eat? There was a long-held belief that patients should fast before surgery. Luckily, complete fasting before surgery may not always be a requirement. Today, scientific evidence and surgical guidelines recognize the benefits of perioperative nutrition. In fact, preparing for surgery is much like training for a marathon, taking a major physical and mental toll. That’s why many believe that it’s crucial to prepare by giving your body the strength and energy it needs to handle the stress of the operation and recovery.

Undergoing surgery can trigger inflammation and weight and muscle loss, which may lead to unwanted complications such as poor wound healing and infections. However, prepping your body with proper nutrition to support the immune system is associated with improved outcomes, such as reduced wound or infectious complications after surgery.

“It’s time to rethink nutrition before and after surgery so that people have the best chance of a successful recovery and can get back to living life,” says Dr. Paul Wischmeyer, professor of Anesthesiology & Surgery at Duke University. “Given the evidence and guidelines we have today, several organizations like the American Society for Enhanced Recovery now recommend specific nutrition prior to, the day of, and after a procedure to improve surgery outcomes.”

So, what’s the right way to go about it? Talk to your doctor and have a perioperative nutrition plan for before and after an operation. Here are a few proactive options to make sure you are set for the road to recovery.

  • Carb-loading: This isn’t just for runners. Research shows that carb-loading with physician-approved nutrition up to two hours before surgery is associated with reduced hunger, thirst, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and even length of hospital stay.

    Talk to your physician about whether nutritional drinks will work for you, such as Abbott’s Ensure® Pre-Surgery Clear Carbohydrate Drink. It is specially designed to help improve outcomes.

  • Immunonutrition: Research shows that the use of immunonutrition — a blend of key nutrients — to support recovery before and after surgery is associated with reduced post-surgical infectious complications and a decrease in length of hospital stay.

    Immune-enhancing nutrients include arginine (an amino acid found in most protein-rich foods, including poultry, fish and dairy products) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in a variety of fish and fish oils). Ask your doctor if Abbott’s Ensure Surgery Immunonutrition Shake is right for your recovery — it contains both of these ingredients to support immune health and recovery from surgery.

“In addition to focusing on your nutrition, another priority after surgery is to get moving, once you’re given the green light from your doctor,” says Abby Sauer, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian with Abbott. “It’s also critical to get adequate nutrition, especially protein, before and after surgery to help protect your muscles and support your recovery.”

Make sure to ask your physician about what’s right for you and come up with a game plan for both before and after surgery, so you can get back on your feet. Recommended nutritional and recovery plans may differ depending on your operation. Learn more online about Abbott’s Ensure Surgery Bundle.

Friday 11/15/2019
5 reasons now is the right time to advance your career
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - As 2019 comes to an end, it marks a time of new possibilities and change. While some might get the itch to tackle a new challenge or hobby, many adults use this time to reflect on their current job and what might be next for their career path.

4 festive tricks to make a holiday meal work for everyone
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - The holidays are full of family, friends — and lots and lots of food. And while we love getting together with all our loved ones, the thought of coming up with a meal that pleases everyone can be a bit frightful. But with a little prep work, planning, and new healthy takes on cooking and baking staples, making meals that satisfy everyone is now joyfully easier.

How to make any occasion sparkle
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - What if everyone spent a little more time and energy celebrating everyday moments, tiny victories and micro-achievements? Rather than focusing on the negative, directing your attention toward what you are grateful for, and making a special occasion out of those things, is the secret to a happier life — according to many psychologists, writers and self-help experts.

Caring for the family caregiver: Ways to manage your health and wellbeing while supporting others
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness is something millions of Americans do every day. Whether it is a parent, spouse, extended family member or friend, the stress of caring for another adult can take a toll.

6 Ways to Save Time and Money This Holiday Shopping Season
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - No matter what holiday shoppers are looking for this season, there are two things on everyone’s list: saving time and saving money. Whether you’re making memories with friends and family, or enjoying some JOMO (joy of missing out) cozied up with a holiday flick and treat, we all wish we had more time over the holidays. Picking out the perfect gift for everyone on your list can also be a drain on your free time — and your wallet — with The National Retail Federation predicting that holiday spending will increase approximately 4% this year. This holiday season, simplify your shopping with these six easy tips so you can save both time and money and get back to enjoying “the most wonderful time of the year” with family and friends.

Tackle Two at a Time: Treat Your Diabetes and Protect Your Heart
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - People living with diabetes are two times more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease, heart failure, heart attack and stroke.i And, nearly 70 percent of people aged 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease.i

Thursday 11/14/2019
6 ways to turn your home into a natural oasis
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - As the year comes to an end, many people make resolutions to start the New Year strong. This might mean ramping up your workout routine, increasing your self-care regimen or finding time to de-stress.

Tuesday 11/12/2019
Honoring veterans and moving into a new era of service
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - Every day is a good time to honor veterans — and this year, to mark important milestones for the holiday and for service to these American heroes.

Making your own jewelry is easier than you think
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - If you love jewelry, and you also love to tap into your artistic side, you’re in luck! Making jewelry is a gratifying hobby, and there are great resources available to help you learn how to craft unique pieces. With little or no previous experience, you can make beautiful jewelry for yourself, or make meaningful holiday gifts for others. Jewelry making is an engaging pastime and produces something truly one-of-a-kind.

Monday 11/11/2019
Natural holiday baking tips
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - What are the benefits of baking from scratch? Mostly, it's fun, and your whole family can join in. On top of that, nothing tastes as good as fresh baked treats right out of the oven. For another bonus, it makes the whole house smell great. But perhaps the most important reason to bake from scratch is that you'll know exactly what’s going in everything you make.

Stressed over open enrollment? Try these tips
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - It’s that time of year again — employers around the country are opening their benefits enrollment window, a defined period during which employees can assess and select benefits packages. For many, this will be a period of avoidance and stress, before the ultimate last-minute race to select options that seem to have the least impact on their paycheck.

Fighting through the pain of a misunderstood skin condition - Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - Imagine experiencing symptoms like pain so severe you may not want to do tasks like showering, going to work or even getting out of bed. For people living with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), a chronic, debilitating, inflammatory skin disease, this can be their reality.

6 parenting hacks to save time and money
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - Whether it's your first child or you've been around the baby block a few times before, having an infant in your life is an unforgettable experience. While there are countless joys you'll cherish forever, there are a few challenges you'll likely face along the way, too.

Friday 11/08/2019
Survey: More Americans considering marijuana and cannabinoids for pain
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - Millennials lead the escalating interest in marijuana and cannabinoid compounds for managing pain — with older generations not far behind — yet most are unaware of potential risks. Three-quarters (75%) of Americans who expressed interest in using marijuana or cannabinoids to address pain think they are safer or have fewer side effects than opioids or other medications, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

Thursday 11/07/2019
Holiday hacks: How to spend less time cooking and more time with family
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - The holidays are a time to celebrate and make priceless memories with friends and family. However, when you are the person tasked with preparing and cooking for everyone else, you may often have to miss out on all the family fun and those moments that matter most.

Reinvent your holiday meals using one simple ingredient
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - The holiday season is upon us, bringing opportunities to whip up delicious, crowd-pleasing dishes for all occasions, from party appetizers to a family dinner spread. This year, make your celebrations the best yet with fresh takes on your favorite festive recipes.

Financial insight: Tips to reduce or eliminate high-interest debt
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - Reality is eye opening: The total amount of consumer debt is more than $13 trillion in the United States. That means if you have revolving bills to pay off loans and other debt, you're certainly not alone.

Wednesday 11/06/2019
Your voice can make a difference for Rett syndrome
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

Veterans Day: Go Beyond the 'Thank You' [Infographic]
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - The most common gesture toward veterans and service members this time of the year is a ‘Thank you for your service’ at the coffee shop or grocery store, or maybe flying a flag to show your support. But has the phrase ‘Thank you for your service’ become so common that it has begun to feel empty? Cohen Veterans Network was interested to dive deeper into honoring veterans and asked veterans themselves how they feel about the phrase ‘Thank You For Your Service’ and what civilians can do and say to honor all who have served.

Stay Healthy During the Holidays
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - Holiday travel, endless parties and hours waiting in long shopping lines can take a toll on your health. As the season ramps up, it’s a great time to take some steps to support your immune system for extra protection. These common-sense health tips can go a long way toward keeping yourself healthy this holiday season.

5 tips to help keep kids healthy during cold and flu season
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - It’s here again — that time of year when everyone seems to unwittingly pass colds and other illnesses around. As every parent knows, kids can bring germs home from school and share them with the entire family, spreading illness at warp speed. In fact, 60 million school days are missed every year by children nationwide due to preventable illnesses like cold and flu.

3 Important Benefits to Look For When Buying Life Insurance
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - While death is a difficult subject to discuss, it is something for which we all must prepare. If something happens to you, are your loved ones able to carry on financially without your income? Could they afford to continue making payments on the family home? Would your children’s dreams of attending college be impacted?

How Americans deal with the stress of sick
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - Cough and cold season is bad enough on its own, with the constant sneezing, nagging cough and fatigue. The aches and pains from the season of sickness don’t stop there, though, as mental and emotional stressors can also take a toll on the body. From the anxiety of missing work to the guilt of falling behind on responsibilities at home, a recent study from Robitussin, conducted online by OnePoll, revealed that Americans are stressed about getting sick and feel more than physical symptoms of sickness. They encounter emotional side effects, too.

Thanksgiving wine pairing tips
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - For holiday entertaining, there's so much advice out there — but the truth is, some rules about how to pair food with wine may not be as hard and fast as it may seem. A lot depends on the exact wine you're serving, as well as the kinds of herbs and spices used in cooking.

Tuesday 11/05/2019
3 inexpensive home maintenance projects that could save you thousands
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - Routine maintenance: two words that likely evoke eye rolls, exasperated sighs and dread for most homeowners who read, hear or even think about them. However, they’re also a homeowner’s best line of defense when it comes to protecting their most important investment — their home.

5 ways you can be ready when disaster strikes
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - When North Carolina native and licensed practical nurse Shannon Lanier found herself caught in Hurricane Florence, more than two feet of rain arrived in her hometown of Wilmington.

Make room for your passions: How to maximize your garage space
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - Did you know over half of Americans (59%) feel that engaging in hobbies helps relieve stress? This was one finding in a survey of over 3,000 Americans conducted in 2017 by Kelton Global on behalf of Gladiator, the nation’s leader in customizable garage and household organization solutions.

While work and family obligations may prevent many from pursuing their favorite activities, the survey revealed that another factor acting as a roadblock was having enough space to store equipment or supplies needed for hobbies. Whether you love biking, crafts or other activities, chances are you need easily accessible space to store your gear.

Here’s where your garage comes in. The same survey found that 3 out of 4 Americans prioritize storage as the leading use for their garage — but that 28% of Americans can’t even fit a car in their garage because of the clutter.

What’s the solution? Get motivated to optimize your storage space so you can easily access all the things you love to do. Once you've rid yourself of the clutter, you can start clearing out even more floor space for your vehicle, woodworking bench, arts and crafts or drum kit for your garage band.

Here are some smart ways to make the most of your garage.

1. Figure out your needs

First, determine how much room your vehicles take up, then map out how much floor space you'll need for any other items, such as a work bench or space to maneuver items you use frequently. Group the items you want to store in your garage according to category, then get ready to create more storage possibilities for all your gear.

2. Optimize your walls

Take a good look at all the wall space that's currently being unused in your garage. Fortunately, there are solutions for your walls that don't involve building bulky shelving that further encroaches on your floor space. For example, the Sports Caddy GearTrack Pack by Gladiator can hold much more than just basketballs and baseball bats. It installs easily on the wall and includes a ball caddy, which holds up to 25 pounds, that you can use for anything from helmets to sleeping bags, bags of potting soil or other bulky items you want kept off the floor. It also has two scoop hooks for heavier sports gear, backpacks, purses, garden tools and more.

3. Foldaway storage solutions

Another versatile option is to use a storage product that can transform from a wall­-installed storage cabinet to a sturdy work surface. Gladiator's Ready-­to­-Assemble Foldaway Work Station provides both a space-­saving storage cabinet and a functional work surface that can be mounted to their GearTrack or GearWall for easy wall storage. The versatile work station can be used as a gardening center, paint station or as a cabinet for power tools.

4. Look up

There's another area of your garage that is most likely underutilized — the overhead space.

To safely use overhead storage space in your garage, you'll need a very secure, heavy-duty solution like the steel Overhead Storage Rack made by Gladiator, which has a weight capacity of 750 pounds spread across 96 cubic feet of storage space. The unit is flexible, and its height can be adjusted so you can lower the rack for easier access.

How to spot hearing loss and improve quality of life
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

(BPT) - In today’s hectic healthcare environment, new diagnoses, wellness trends and studies on conditions like cancer and heart attacks are popping up every day. This can be overwhelming and cause many to push standard health care, like hearing health, to the bottom of their to-do lists.

Monday 11/04/2019
Embrace timeless design elements for a lasting aesthetic
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - As trends transition in and out of style, an understanding of what takes a space beyond temporary can help achieve a truly timeless design. Whether it’s blending the past with the present for a new take on traditional, or selecting decor and furnishings with a quiet, yet self-assured air, certain elements will establish endurance and ensure an aesthetic that is — and always will remain — relevant.

Saturday 11/02/2019
5 ways to bring the outdoors in this fall
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - With the weather cooling down and trees changing to vibrant colors, it's no wonder many consider autumn their favorite time of year. Fall draws people outside to apple orchards and pumpkin patches and fills homes with the smells of seasonal baking.

How to Navigate the Challenges of Caregiving
Posted: November 02, 2019

(StatePoint) As the population of older U.S. adults grows, more Americans are taking on long-term caregiving duties for loved ones. An estimated 43.5 million adults in the U.S. have provided unpaid care in the past 12 months, according to AARP.

Friday 11/01/2019
How to Ski & Ride Safely While Protecting Your Noggin
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - A chill is in the air and fall is here, which means winter is right around the corner. Millions of Americans will soon take to the slopes on skis, snowboards and more to participate in these popular winter sports. As with any active sport, there is some risk of injury, from minor to severe. Head injuries are common in winter sports and can range from a bump to a mild concussion to a more serious traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The grill guide: Picking the perfect wine for each meat
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - Grilling is one of America’s greatest pastimes, and if you love grilled meat, chances are you also like hosting meals for family and friends to show off your pit master prowess. Once you’ve mastered the art of the char, why not take it a step further? Serve wine that blows the lid off the meal, in the best possible way.

Age alone shouldn’t determine breast cancer treatment options
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Many will be surprised to learn that age is a major barrier when it comes to patients accessing the information they need to make a better-informed treatment decision.

Five ways to support shelter animals if you’re not ready to adopt
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:47 am

(BPT) - The winter months, which are often considered some of the busiest for animal shelters, are approaching. According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters every year. Adding a shelter pet to your family can be fulfilling, but what if you’re not ready or able to adopt?

3 DIY decor projects for the holiday season
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:49 am

(BPT) - Are you looking for fun ways to spend time with loved ones this holiday season? Crafting DIY decorations is a perfect way to do so, providing an opportunity for you to get creative and make cheerful and festive pieces you'll cherish all season long.

America not so neighborly? Research shows U.S. not as divided as you may think
Updated: November 20, 2019 - 3:48 am

From politics to parenting to rising property costs and much more, it seems like American communities are more divided than ever before. Are the days of close-knit communities and positive neighborly interactions a thing of the past?

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