Tracking Down College Scholarships
We hear often from parents, "I'd love for my son/daughter to get accepted to their dream school...but I'm very nervous about how to pay for it."
Even if you're in a more comfortable income bracket, scholarships can go a long way to making the college-going years less of a financial burden. Here are our top tips on getting started:
Scholarpro.com and Zinch.com are both great resources for scholarships.
Look for college scholarships close to home. See if your company or any professional organizations you belong to offer scholarships.
Local businesses, civic groups and even wealthy people in your hometown may offer scholarships to local students.
Proactively sit down with your student's guidance counselor to discuss scholarships that are a personal fit for your student and your family's financial situation.
Most people don't know that universities earmark scholarship money for students studying specific majors or entering certain career fields. Once you have narrowed your college list, be sure to reach out to each university to see what is available.
The federal government offers certain scholarships and grants: studentaid2.ed.gov is a great resource.
... Continue reading Tracking Down College Scholarships.
Courtesy of BrightGuide
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Moms on the Run in the Twin Cities
Women all over the Twin Cities are dropping pounds, making new friends, and improving their health. Their secret? Moms on the Run! Designed for all fitness levels, Moms on the Run was initially created to move even the most inactive woman towards lifestyle change and give her the confidence and training structure to complete a 5K Race. Now in its fifth year of operation right here in the Twin Cities, Moms on the Run offers a structured 18-week training program in 12 metro locations.
If you've been waiting for the motivation to get your start as a runner, this class is for you. Programs are available for walkers, beginning and intermediate runners. Run your first 5K/10K/10 mile or half-marathon, improve your speed and endurance, or stay motivated in your walking routine. The group is for all women, not just moms, but jogging strollers are welcome. This class will focus on interval training to increase metabolism and burn more fat. You'll start out slowly and walk/jog/run your way up to your very first race or a new personal record!
Moms love to say they put their families first...but forget they are part of the family. Feel better. Do better. Your kids are watching you and the example you are setting for a lifestyle of health and fitness. If you are a woman who is too busy, too stressed, too tired....join us this spring. You'll find a supportive community of women eager to encourage you toward your health and fitness goals. Join Moms on the Run for Fitness, Fun, and Friendship!
Moms on the Run Twin Cities Locations: Apple Valley/Rosemount, Blaine, Coon Rapids/Andover, Eden Prairie, Forest Lake, Hastings, Maple Grove, Shoreview, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Woodbury
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For more information or to register go to: MomsOnTheRun.com
Quick Fixes to Save on Heating and Cooling
The average family spends $1500 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A home energy audit and some quick fixes can save some of that hard-earned money.
The EPA estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces and accessible basement rim joints.
Conduct an energy audit to identify spots where energy is lost through gaps and cracks. Start in your basement and move upwards. Look for both visible gaps and cold or hot spots.
Your air-conditioning system set-up could be doing more than just heating and cooling your house. It could be an air-infiltration culprit. Check the HVAC ducts from your attic and basement into the living space. There may be gaps where the ducts go through the floor above into the ceiling below.
While plumbing pipes may be hidden behind or under the sink, it doesn't mean that the pipe penetrations aren't allowing unseen bugs and unwanted air into the house. Check for holes under the sink where the pipes enter from the floor or wall in all rooms that have running water (kitchen, bathroom, utility room, and laundry room).
Stand in front of the electrical box of your house and look at where the main electrical exits the box and enters the living space (in the basement look upwards). If there is a hole, seal it.
Use a screw driver to remove your outlet cover plates. Homes have holes cut in the walls for the outlets. Check for gaps between the wall and the metal box that houses the electrical socket.
Seal around the attic hatch frame to keep the unconditioned attic air from entering your living space.
The EPA recommends sealing these leaks with spray foam, caulk, or weather stripping. Insulating foam sealants, such as GREAT STUFF form an airtight, water-resistant seal. The foam is sandable, paintable, and can be trimmed with a utility knife afterwards and is easy to use for do-it-yourselfers of any skill level.
Other ways to save on energy
* Either installing a timed thermostat or by turning up or down the temperature before heading to work.
* Make sure the fireplace flu is closed and install glass fireplace doors to keep energy from escaping.
* Check to be sure no air vents are being blocked by furniture or drapery.
* Insulate any areas that are not heated and cooled (garage, attic, basement, or crawl space).
For more information on how you can save money by sealing gaps, visit www.dowgreatstuff.com.
... Continue reading Quick Fixes to Save on Heating and Cooling.
Transform Your Trash
by Marisa Belger
The jars came first. Instead of sending my growing collection of empty glass receptacles to their usual fate at the bottom of the recycle bin, I did something unexpected -- something wild. I peeled off their labels and plopped them in the dishwasher.
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I wanted to see just what would happen if I gave these jars another chance. Full disclosure: I was motivated not only by the thought of transforming trash into something new, something useful, even something cool, but also by the fact that jars were clogging up my kitchen. Jump to full text of article.
Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 - 10 Fitness Tips
10 fitness tips from the upcoming fitness video game, Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 exclusively for the Wii this November.
1. Exercise does more than just tone your body, it boosts self esteem, improves mood and revs up metabolism. So suck it up and get moving!
2. If you are looking to shed those last stubborn pounds, you need to increase the intensity of your workouts. Try working at 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate for optimal results.
3. Getting bored with that same old exercise routine? Chances are you body is too. It's probably time to switch things up if you want to continue seeing results.
4. Using proper form when working out is the key to getting the results you want and preventing injuries. Think quality over quantity. Take the time to perfect your form in order to get the results you want and keep your body healthy and strong.
5. Do not exercise on an empty stomach. This way you'll have energy during your workouts and you will burn fat instead of muscle.
6. Don't over do it. When starting out consult your physician. Work to beginner / intermediate levels. Stay at around 70% of your MHR. IN a couple of weeks or so as you become stronger and more fit begin to up your intensity for best results.
7. For results fast try circuit training. This is an exercise technique that utilizes a series of moves in swift succession with no rest in between. For example: Push ups into squats followed by jumping jacks. This method allows your workouts to strengthen while burning fat at the same time.
8. To ramp up your fitness regimen try incorporating a technique called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. This simply means working short bouts (30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, 2 minutes) of cardio into your strength training routine.
9. Six pack abs are not about crunches. You simply CAN NOT spot reduce fat. The best way to get the washboard tummy is by burning the fat off on top of the muscle with a combination of diet, cardio, and over all resistance training.
10. When you are on the treadmill don't hold on. If you hold on while walking or jogging it decreases the intensity thus decreasing your calorie burn by up to 24%
If there are any writers out there who would like to review the Wii version for MomTalk, please email us at email@example.com
... Continue reading Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 - 10 Fitness Tips.
Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 is the only video game with workouts designed and endorsed by Jillian Michaels, exclusively for the Wii. Players can use a wide assortment of exercises to work out each muscle of the body. Designed for all fitness levels, Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 allows players to monitor their fitness goals with Fitness Ultimatum's resolution-based tracking system, and a brand new High Intensity workout mode offers the most challenging workouts in the series.
The Bride! The Groom! The Kids? Second-Time-Around
This is another in our series of articles about dating and mating for single moms. You can also join the single moms discussion in our MomTalk.com forums.
By Chris Grannis
You have done the groundwork, laid the foundations, and now you and your partner, are ready to announce the big day. All your hard work has paid off and the families are gelling well and are accepting of this new phase in their relationships. This is an exciting time in your life and the future looks rosy. After putting in so much effort to get to this stage it is crucial that you don't drop the ball at the wedding.
Having paid special attention to your children during the dating and engagement process, it is just as important that you continue this nurturing process through the planning and celebration of the wedding, and beyond. A wedding is an ideal opportunity for a couple in a second marriage to really let their children see how important they are and to include them in the planning and celebrating of the marriage. Whether it is a lavish occasion or a private family affair, it is possible to have everyone involved and feeling that their input is important.
Talk About It
Once the decision has been made to marry it is important to sit down with all the kids and discuss your plans for the wedding. No matter what age, children tend to be more secure when they are involved in planning events and it helps boost their self-esteem when they feel that their opinion is valued. At this planning stage it is important to write down everyone's suggestions, no matter how bazaar they may seem to you. If your fourteen-year-old daughter suggests that everyone should wear black you can make a positive remark such as, 'Oh yes, black can be so slimming!' And then write it down. You can later come up with an excuse that it makes you look drained, is a bit too hot for a summer wedding, or that a colleague wore black on her wedding day and you would hate her to think you were copying. The important thing here is that all the children feel involved and that their voices are heard. And even if you suspect that they are making ridiculous suggestions just to test the waters it is important that you stay calm and make an effort to neutralize the situation.
Involving Young Kids
Younger children will generally have adapted so much quicker to this new relationship and will be excited to be involved in the wedding ceremony. The key for this age group is to keep it simple. Toddlers and small children can participate as flower girls and ring bearers. Of course, there is also the added benefit of 'the cute factor' where little ones are concerned. They may even be able to recite a few lines of poetry but try not to put too much pressure on them. The key is for everyone to enjoy themselves and for you to have as little stress as possible. At a friend's wedding her two-year-old step-daughter, looking very cute in her flower-girl outfit, found a very large, very yellow bucket at the entrance to the church and decided this was much more interesting than the flowers she was carrying. Rather than risk a tantrum the toddler was allowed to carry the bucket up the aisle, which she did with great dignity and pride. It was such a hilarious start to the wedding and set a lighthearted tone for the rest of the day.
Big Kids and Teens
Older children and teenagers can participate as bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers. If the bride is being 'given away' it is quite common for the eldest son to perform this duty. However, he needs to be of an age where he can understand that this symbolism will not change your relationship with him. Tell him, 'This is just for fun. You're not really giving me away. You can't get rid of me that easily!'
At this age children often enjoy being involved in other parts of the preparation and ceremony. If they have creative talents they might enjoying helping with the decorations. If their talents run towards performance they could participate by reading, reciting poetry, singing or playing a musical instrument. A child's imperfect performance is often much more moving than the most polished of professional recitals.
Many couples give their children disposable cameras and let them loose to take pictures of whatever they please. Older children might also be trusted with a camcorder to get comments and views from guests on the day and this can turn out to be a wonderfully personal addition to the official wedding video.
Regardless of how you involve the children in the big day it is important that they are comfortable with it. Each child must feel that they are as valued as the next and that their part is of equal importance. If they are reluctant to participate in the actual ceremony don't force the issue, but do make sure that they have some part to play, from addressing the invitations to bagging up the wedding favors. And don't forget to make a fuss of what a great job they have done.
... Continue reading The Bride! The Groom! The Kids? Second-Time-Around.
Regardless of how you decide to involve the kids in your wedding make sure it is an enjoyable and positive experience for everyone. Having a great day can seem like a positive omen for the future, and is something that everyone can look back on with fond memories.
New and Improved: The Jegging
By Donna Duarte-Ladd
... Continue reading New and Improved: The Jegging.
By now, you've heard that a revamped legging is hitting the stores for fall. This season, the skinny jean has gotten even skinnier. And denim lovers will either rejoice or cringe when the revamped jeggings -- jeans that fit like leggings -- hit the stores. Gone are the faux back pockets and front zipper. And thick leggings with airbrushed denim "color" have been given a full makeover.
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