January 30, 2011

Are You Really Doing Everything You Can To Lose Weight?

Posted in beverages, Health and Wellness, Weight at 9:42 PM by Rockin' Rita

Think about it a moment. You have changed your diet and you exercise regularly. You are doing well keeping up on your resolution to lose weight, but it’s just not coming off as quickly as you’d like. Ask yourself this: “Are You Really Doing Everything You Can To Lose Weight?”

Have you been drinking more water lately? No? Maybe you should re-think that.

The Virginia Tech Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise researchers conducted a survey among twenty-four inactive and overweight or obese men and women ages 55 to 75.

The participants were divided into two groups. “Both groups followed a diet of 1,500 calories per day for men and 1,200 per day for women. But group 1 drank 500 milliliters (2.11 cups) of water a half hour before meals, while the second group did not drink water. The result? Water drinkers ate 13 percent less at each meal and lost about five pounds more on average. They also lost weight faster over a 12-week period. And, after 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals had lost 15.5 pounds, compared to 11 pounds for the non-water drinkers, a nearly 30 percent difference. The water-drinkers also continued to lose weight (though at a slower rate) – over the following year, even though they had stopped their low-calorie diets. The study authors attribute this to the fact that those participants continued to drink water before meals.”

Do you think this study has any relevance if you are not overweight or obese? Do you do anything to flavor up your water? Do you even drink any water (besides coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages)?

Here is one of my favorite secrets to wanting to drink more water. I like to flavor it up. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of those diet powder beverages (such as crystal light), but most often I use True Lemon, True Orange, or True Lime. It’s all natural made, from crystallized lemons, oranges, and limes and its great tasting.

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January 27, 2011

Snow Safety Tips

Posted in Health and Wellness, Safety, Winter Safety tagged , , , , , , at 9:37 PM by Rockin' Rita

I live in New Jersey just over the bridge from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and overnight we just got slammed with a huge storm. It started as rain then changed to snow then back to rain then to sleet then back to snow. We got at least a foot of snow by time it stopped early this morning. With all this snow all over the country I thought it’d be good to post some tips to help keep you safe and healthy while you shovel out.

You don’t necessarily think of shoveling as a hazardous activity but it can actually be quite dangerous, even deadly, if you don’t take precautions to protect yourself. Now, you wouldn’t think shoveling snow would need a lot of thinking-but a cubic foot of slushy snow can weigh almost as much as a cubic foot of water (62 lbs). Needless to say, it can get quite heavy! Even worse, each year we hear about people who’ve had heart attacks or strokes while shoveling snow.

http://wcbsfm.radio.com/2011/01/27/snow-shoveling-tips-you-should-know/

  • shovel at a slow, steady pace
  • move small amounts of snow at a time and take frequent breaks
  • drink water, sports drinks, or non-caffeinated tea often
  • wear a supportive back belt (the kind that work men wear and can be purchased at any home improvement/hardware store) so that you don’t throw your back out, especially if you have a history of back injuries
  • wear boots or other work shoes that have extremely good traction to prevent slippage (and keep your feet dry)
  • warm up your body and muscles. Try walking on the spot for a couple of minutes and doing some slow stretching (torso twists and knee bends).
  • dress warm and try to cover all exposed skin. On a really cold winter day, the wind can freeze exposed skin in just a few minutes and cause frostbite.
  • Get shovels that are a good fit for you. You can get scrapers that range from 18 inches all the way up to 36 inches.  The length is correct when you can slightly bend your knees, flex your back 10 degrees or less, and hold the shovel comfortably in your hands at the start of the “shoveling stroke”.
  • Bend your knees and avoid using twisting and turning movements when shoveling.
  • Push the snow, do not lift it. Pushing puts far less strain on the spine than lifting.
  • If you must lift snow, use the strength in your arms and legs to lift while keeping your back straight. Lifting snow is just like lifting any other heavy object-and proper lifting and turning techniques are essential.
  • Consider using two shovels to clear your snow. One should be a lightweight pusher/scraper to move the snow off to the sides, and the other, a lightweight plastic or aluminum snow shovel to lift the snow.
  • Be sure that your shovel has a curved handle, as this enables you to keep your back straighter when shoveling.
  • A plastic shovel blade will generally be lighter than a metal one, thus putting less strain on your spine.
  • Sometimes, a smaller blade is better than a larger blade. Although a small blade can’t shovel as much, it avoids the risk of trying to pick up a too heavy pile of snow with a larger blade.
  • DON’T shovel if (1) you are pregnant, (2) you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or respiratory problems, (3) if you are a senior, (4)  someone who does not get a great deal of exercise, or (5) you are experiencing low back or neck pain.
  • DON’T let the snow pile up in your drive. If there is a blizzard, you obviously can’t do anything about the accumulation
  • DON’T continue if  you experience pain of any kind. Stop immediately and seek help.
  • DON’T use heat on an injury right away. Wait 24 hours. In the mean time, use ice and pain relievers.
  • DON’T overdress. You’ll dehydrate faster if you are sweating during an already strenuous activity.

SOURCES:

  1. How to Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow
  2. Tips for Snow Shoveling: How to Avoid Back Pain
  3. How to Shovel Snow Safely
  4. In The Bleak Mid-winter: 10 Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling
  5. Safe shoveling tips

January 24, 2011

How to Plan a Cooking Party for Kids

Posted in Birthdays, Parties, Recipes and food tagged , , , , , , , at 3:48 PM by Rockin' Rita

If you are anything like me then January and October have always been big months for birthdays. Growing up I always had a lot of friends with January and October birthdays. What do kids always want to do when it comes to their birthday? Have a party of course.  I found this video through Swag Bucks and thought it was a very clever and  inventive way to hold a party for kids that they and their friends will be sure to enjoy and remember for time to come. Getting kids involved in the kitchen is also a great way to get them to feel more connected to the family and to the food they are eating!

http://embed.5min.com/246645840/
How to Plan a Cooking Party for Kids

What are some of your favorite children’s birthday party ideas? Do you have any favorite birthday parties that either you and/or your kids have had and/or gone to? Do you know of any inventive ways to get your kids to eat healthy? How do you get kids involved in the kitchen? What’s a good age to get them started cooking and baking?

 

More kids cooking party tips
http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/kids-cooking-party.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_4836684_plan-chef-cooking-party-kids.html
http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/html/cooking_party.html

January 21, 2011

JANUARY IS NATIONAL OATMEAL MONTH!

Posted in breakfast, Holidays, Recipes and food tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:21 PM by Rockin' Rita

Ok so one of my favorite foods is oatmeal. I just love it! It’s great for warming you up on a really cold day and is great at filling you up. Not to mention all the fiber and protein and other health benefits! I am one of those people who love to add just about anything to it. What I add in depends on several factors (my mood, the time of the month, and cravings just to name a few).  I swear it can take me over an hour just to make a bowl of oatmeal. No, really! I’m serious. Please stop laughing. I know it’s crazy.

I love honey and cinnamon OR nutella (mmm) and granny smith apples OR apricots and strawberries. Sometimes I just throw in a bunch of baking spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.) and brown sugar to a couple of packages of apples and cinnamon flavored oatmeal. Or I’ll do honey and smashed bananas (Mmmmm). I’ve even been so crazy to put in those yummy graham cracker sticks (cinnamon or honey flavored) OR oreo’s OR other cookies OR left over cereal crumbs (especially Quaker Oatmeal Squares and Quaker Life). I just can’t stand it plain!!! And I’m not a maple oatmeal or raisins in oatmeal fan. Weird, right?! I also don’t like Quaker brand instant oatmeal. How strange is that?

Are you the same way? What do you like in your oatmeal? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever added in? What type of oats do you use (quick, old-fashioned, steel-cut, instant from packages, etc)? Does brand matter to your taste buds?

In honor of National Oatmeal Month, RedPlum (that wonderful coupon supplier) posted an article all about oatmeal! I thought I’d share it with you all. To read the entire article click here.

6 Cool (Low-Cost) Ways to Spice up your Kids’ Morning Oatmeal

  1. Peaches and Cream
  2. Peanut Butter and Bananas
  3. Rainbow Oatmeal
  4. Mini Oatmeal Cups
  5. Buried Treasure
  6. Oatmeal Muffins

January 18, 2011

30 easy ways to save money

Posted in Money/ Finances, Saving/Couponing tagged , , , , at 5:28 PM by Rockin' Rita

There is a great article on that gives 30 easy ways to save money, and I thought I would share it with you. After all, I am a member of Swagbucks and Ebates. Personally, I plan on incorporating many of these techniques into my daily life. I would like to suggest to you that you try to incorporate them into your lives as well! Come on, who doesn’t love to save money?! I know I sure do.

Here’s a small part of the list that ispf of Grad Money Matters wrote for the DLM blog. Enjoy. I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did.

  1. Cook at home often
  2. Make your own coffee
  3. Brown bag lunch at least a few days a week
  4. Make a list before going shopping
  5. Go grocery shopping while you are in a hurry
  6. Watch out for expiration dates on perishable goods
  7. Buy in bulk when possible

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LIST? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT WASN’T LISTED IN THE ARTICLE THAT YOU FEEL IS A MUST TO HELP SAVE MONEY?


PS: I’m pretty surprised that couponing and signing up for rewards programs (offered by many companies, such as chain restaurants and movie theaters) aren’t listed as these are two fabulous and very simple ways to save money if you love to go out!

January 12, 2011

How’s That Resolution Going?

Posted in Health and Wellness, pasta, Recipes and food, Weight tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:36 PM by Rockin' Rita

How’s that resolution to lose weight going? Lemme guess, if you are anything like me you have been tempted and probably given in. Giving in once in a while is ok. Really, it is. Just don’t give up. I told you I’d be here for you and I am.  Today I’d like to post some videos of recipes that are simple, delicious, and can satisfy you. But best of all, they can fill you up and help you keep that resolution! These recipes are courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis and come from her show “Everyday Italian.” Click the link to see the recipe. Enjoy.

RECIPE 1:

Farfalle with Broccoli

Giada whips up a quick dish of bowtie pasta with broccoli.

RECIPE 2:

Penne with Spinach Sauce

Giada tosses penne pasta with a light and healthful spinach sauce.
http://www.hulu.com/embed/F6F4Otjs6od-sDK6vHe8Vg

RECIPE 3:

Roasted Eggplants and Tomatoes

Roasted eggplant and tomatoes is a great way to get kids to eat vegetables.

January 7, 2011

Today’s Tip: Don’t Give Up

Posted in Employment Tips at 6:21 PM by Rockin' Rita

By now you’ve all probably heard about Ted Williams, a homeless man from Ohio, and his amazing “Golden Voice”. He’s the new year’s first viral video star whose amazing, radio-perfect voice has awed people from around the world.

According to Meena Hartenstein, staff writer for the NY Daily News, Ted Williams isn’t famous – yet. Personally I beg to differ. Anyone remember a young boy, (coughs) Justin Bieber, who became a viral video star overnight?  Or how about an older woman named Susan Boyle, who later rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent after a video of her singing became viral? And 10-year-old classical singer Jackie Evancho and her viral videos? She was accepted as a contestant on the fifth season of America’s Got Talent by placing first in a YouTube competition sponsored by the show.

“A viral video rocketing through cyberspace, however, could soon catapult the homeless panhandler from just a face in the crowd to the next big thing. ” Isn’t that what happened to Bieber just a couple of years ago?

“I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times”, Williams is seen asking for money, and giving motorists snippets of his best voiceovers using his ‘God-given gift of a voice’, as Williams’ sign reads.

“Alcohol and drugs and a few other things became a part of my life. I’ve got two years clean, and I’m trying hard to get it back. And hopefully somebody from one of these television or radio stations will say, ‘Hey, I need a voice-over.'” Williams states.

A reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, who interviewed Williams, posted the inspiring clip online Tuesday.  Williams has been hoping someone will help him through his hard times with a job offer – and it looks like that dream may come true very soon.

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly offering Williams a two-year contract for a role that could include voiceover work.
  • Williams has also received an offer from NFL Films.
  • Hosts of the radio morning show Dave & Jimmy talked about Williams on air Tuesday, prompting a listener to call in and offer $15,000 to have the show hire Williams, according to RedditDave & Jimmy were even able to track Williams down, and interviewed him on their show Wednesday.
  • Williams was offered a $10,000 opportunity to do voice-over work for the Ohio Credit Union League, pending a background check.
  • MTV: Someone claiming to be from MTV called into “The Morning Zoo” to say that they’d love to work with Williams.
  • ESPN: According to WNCI, ESPN has expressed interest in Williams, too.
  • Radio: A Pennsylvania radio station is apparently interested in Williams.
  • Giving back: The television station WBNS-TV wants to use Williams as a narrator for One Day To End Homelessness, a telethon planned for Jan. 31.
  • Even the queen of daytime tv hereself, Oprah Winfrey, wants Williams to be her OWN. “I would like to see him be part of OWN,” Winfrey told Inside Edition in an interview airing Friday. “It would be fantastic to hear him say, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Network.’ The reason we’re all so fascinated, I think, is because it means you can be homeless on the street, carrying a sign like we’ve all seen, and this can happen to you.”
  • He was offered a commercial stint recording an ad for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese that will air on ESPN during the Fight Hunger Bowl on Sunday.
  • He also has been offered a role in a Jack Nicholson movie, Entertainment Tonight reported Thursday. “They’re supposed to be making a movie in which Jack is playing opposite a disc jockey, which he would like me to portray in the movie.”

“This has been totally, totally amazing,” Williams, a father of nine, told the Associated Press. “I’m just so thankful. God has blessed me so deeply. I’m getting a second chance. Amazing. I can’t believe what’s going on. God gave me a million-dollar voice and I just hope I can do right by him.”

In case you somehow missed the clip or just want to see it again, here it is. Enjoy and be astonished!

REFERENCES:

  1. Homeless man Ted Williams becomes viral video star in quest to be radio announcer
  2. Ted Williams: Homeless Man With Radio Voice Getting Job Offers [VIDEO]
  3. Oprah comes calling for man with golden voice Ted Williams as mom offers tough love on ‘Today’ show
  4. Homeless YouTube sensation Ted Williams offered Hollywood movie role

January 3, 2011

Norton’s Top 10 Security Strategies

Posted in Internet Safety tagged , , , at 5:35 PM by Rockin' Rita

Dear Readers,
I hope you find this as informative and helpful as I did. I think all of our New Year’s  Resolutions should be to pay attention to what we do online and to do what it takes to keep ourselves safe while surfing, checking email, or even purchasing things online. If you know of any other great tips feel free to comment them. And if you have any blogging and/or wordpress html tips for me as I go through this journey with you please comment that too! Tips are always welcome- after all, this is Rockin’ Tips!
-Rockin Rita-
Article
Make it simple to be safer with these 10 tips for enhanced security.
Are you a fan of malicious code, spam, and phishing? How about lengthy and complex lists of steps and precautions that you’ll never read, much less follow? If you answered no to either or both of these questions, review these ten basic strategies for keeping the bad stuff away from your home or office computer.
1. Beware suspicious email. You may think an email is harmless—until you open it and it’s not. Scan emails before you open them, and take extra caution when launching executable (.exe) files attached to an email. Like don’t do it. Never open attachments in email from unknown senders and never reply to spam (unless you consider a few choice words muttered under your breath a reply).
2. Neighborhood Watch your network. If you’ve got multiple computers linked together at home or at the office, keep an eye on the neighborhood. Check in and make sure there are no strangers loitering or causing trouble. If there are, tell them to leave, clean up any mess they might have left, and increase network security. All network-connected computers and inbound/outbound traffic should be monitored for signs of unauthorized entry and malicious activity, ensuring that any infected computers are removed from the network and disinfected as soon as possible.
3. Patch. Upgrade. Repeat. Protect yourself by getting the latest operating system and security software updates and patches right away. Also upgrade your browsers to the latest versions as soon as they become available.
4. Encrypt like your hair’s on fire. If you keep sensitive data on your PC—and most people do—encrypt it.
5. Layer your security. Just like wearing layers better protects you from the cold, layers of security better protects your PC from the evildoers of cyberspace. Use antivirus software and firewalls, and keep all your security programs up to date. Antivirus definitions should be updated regularly. Also, make sure to enable the security settings on Web browsers and disable file sharing.
6. Back it up. If you’ve got important data, back it up. Period. There are too many ways to lose information: human error, hardware failure, lightning storms, voodoo…the list goes on. It’s just as bad to lose data for these reasons, as to malware. (Rockin Rita’s note: It doesn’t have to be expensive to back up your files and data. Ask friends what they use or ask a tech guru. Who says you have to buy right away? Do your homework to find out exactly what you will need. Go price matching- check internet shopping sites, look in print-ad’s, go into an electronics store [such as Best Buy, among others] and ask the sales associates)
7. Shore up your weaknesses. What are your vulnerabilities? No firewall? Really, really old software? General bad luck? Take account of where you’re weak on computer security, and address the problem…or problems.
8. Take your passwords to the gym. The stronger your passwords, the more likely they’ll fend off devious intruders who are looking for weaklings they can bully. Passwords should have at least eight characters and should combine alphanumeric and special characters ($, *, &, etc.). You should also change your passwords every 45-60 days.
9. Whatever you do, don’t order the spam sandwich. When it comes to malware, spam is usually where it begins. Spam not only gobbles up your valuable time, it also hogs bandwidth and storage space. Report spam if you can, and use anti-spam software whenever possible. (Rockin Rita’s tip: Make sure you have strong virus protection software up-to-date and running at all times. It doesn’t have to cost you much if anything- freeware such as Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast Anti-Virus by Alwil are great products and you can’t beat that price tag! Again do your research!)
10. Physical security counts. True, most PC security threats are virtual—but problems can also begin in the real world. If your computer is open to snoopers, try a screen-locking feature, or just shut your system down. If you’ve got a laptop, lock it down with a cable. And whatever you do, don’t leave your passwords written down where someone can easily read them. (Rockin Rita’s tip: I use LastPass to encrypt, store, and generate secure passwords. It’s free to download and it gives you great sense of mind. Best of all all you have to remember is your LastPass password!) There are a number of routine things users can do to bolster security. These include: using the screen-locking feature when away from the computer, shutting the computer off when done for the day, locking laptops with a cable, not leaving passwords written down, and being extra mindful of physical security of PDAs and handheld devices, which are popular targets for thieves.
If your attention span was long enough for these 10 steps, then you may be ready for a brief trial of Norton Internet Security, or other Norton products that simplify and bolster your confidence in a connected world. And if you need more hands-on help, check Norton Premium Services. (Rockin Rita’s tip: keep in mind after your trial, most Norton products are not free!)

January 2, 2011

Hello world!

Posted in Random tagged , at 10:18 PM by Rockin' Rita

Welcome to Rockin Tips on WordPress. This is my first post in my new blog. This blog will be chock full of tips to help you out and, well, rock your world. OK…calm down. No need to worry folks. Rockin Tips will not be full of bad puns. Thank you for joining on my journey. I hope you will enjoy the tips I share.

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