Increase Kitchen Efficiency With Ease

As the festive season approaches and the calendar begins to populate, it’s important not to allow the stress of entertaining large groups to become a burden. Below are four tips to help organize a kitchen and host with ease, creating a functional space for family and friends to enjoy.

Plan in advance

Set aside time early in the week to plan the menu, from simple appetizers to the main entree. Grocery shopping apps, like AnyList, allow the whole family to share and build lists together — which can help avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store. Also, try to identify dishes that can be prepared in advance so more time can be spent away from the kitchen when guests arrive.

Maximize storage and counter space

Optimize counter space by designing small stations for easy access to the necessities. A coffee bar “nook” complete with Keurig cups and mugs can help kick-start a busy day. Storage near the fridge should be stocked with foil and containers, ideal for packing up leftovers after a large party. Reserve the island counter for meal prep and the cabinets below for serving ware and glassware storage.

Keep all staples in arm’s reach

Cooking can be made simple by organizing the essentials. Keep similar tools together, such as bakeware and cookie sheets in one drawer, and pantry staples in another. Spices and herbs should be alphabetized and stored near the stovetop to effortlessly add flavor. For those with design in mind, opt for open shelves to showcase dishes and small kitchen accessories, such as succulents and cookbooks, while keeping everything within reach.

Simplify kitchen cleanup

Cleaning is often the most time-intensive chore in the kitchen, but if designed right, can be a breeze for home entertainers and kids alike. The Delta Foundry Kitchen Faucet complete with ShieldSpray Technology, available at the Home Depot, offers laser-like precision to contain splatter, meaning less soaking, scrubbing and shirt swapping. (BPT)

Happy Anniversaries to the InFluential Family

William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

This month we mark six years of service to you, InFluentials, it makes me pleased to say I’ve had the honor of working at InFluential Magazine for all six of them, and I’m just as passionate about our mission today as I was when we started in 2011.

Like so many of you, I’ve been a fan of the InFluential Magazine from the moment we created our first issue and made the effort to ensure each issue is “Dedicated to the Art of Living Well”.  I will never forget the issue featuring supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio on the cover, walking the runway with style, beauty, and grace.  Another one of my favorites features another supermodel, Julie Anderson.  Julie has graced the cover of many popular magazines and can now add InFluential Magazine to the list.  Julie’s cover is mounted in the hallway entrance of my home to remind me each day of the importance of surrounding ourselves with amazing and positive images and stories that influence and inspire us.

One of the best features of working at InFluential Magazine is when we hear from you. We love it when you write in and tell us how much you appreciate the work we’re doing to influence and inspire you toward living well.

It is you we have to thank for the years you’ve supported and celebrated with us, the stories you’ve shared, and the impact we’ve been able to make together on our communities.

There’s much more to accomplish. We want to be everywhere you are and with our plans to expand our offerings through an updated website and additional social networking platforms, we shall continue providing more ways for you to connect with the InFluential family.

I want to take a moment, also, to wish a Happy 2nd Anniversary to Spanish InFluential and Teen InFluential.

Have a wonderful entrance to fall.  Happy 6th Anniversary!

Joyfully,

Will

Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

Unique Idea House Makes Waves On Texas Coast

Cinnamon Shore and Texas Monthly Unveil First Ever Gulf Coast Show Home

The first ever Texas Monthly Gulf Coast Show Home, a collaboration between Texas Monthly and Cinnamon Shore, a pedestrian-friendly planned community nestled behind 300 feet of protective dunes, opens to the public for home tours beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day. A percentage of tour ticket proceeds will benefit Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTmsi) and Cinnamon Shore Giving Fund. Located at 200 Round Road in Cinnamon Shore on Mustang Island, the property is minutes away from Port Aransas and Corpus Christi.

“The Texas Monthly Idea House is all about inspiration,” said Jeff Lamkin, Principal and Developer of Cinnamon Shore. “Idea House Tour goers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Mustang Island experience and lifestyle.

Cinnamon Shore and Texas Monthly are shining a light on the warm and welcoming Texas Coast with the development of the Texas Monthly Gulf Coast Show Home that highlights the unique advantages to owning a home in a community-driven, family-friendly beach environment. Cinnamon Shore offers first-class amenities including beautiful groomed beaches, pools, parks, stocked lakes, restaurants, kid’s camps, live music in the Town Center and more. A designated concierge offers homeowners scheduling services to the endless activities available on Mustang Island.

The multi-generational vacation home boasts clean lines, simple massing and understated, yet meticulous architecture, like the two-story wrap around porch that allows social interaction with the community, as well as privacy; thanks to innovative wood screens that open and close. Combining classic building traditions with cutting-edge design and furnishings, the show home features sustainable interior and exterior building products that maximize new technologies. The main living space is on the second floor, with gathering space in the kitchen and family room, where timeless light fixtures in classic designs from Circa Lighting add panache and focal points within the soaring space. A third-floor suite guarantees a little peace-and-quiet, and a stairway and reliable, space-saving unit with custom designed interiors from D&D Elevators, Inc., provides easy access to this getaway retreat. Downstairs, a kid-friendly bunkroom opens to a second living space, and a nearby bedroom allows adults to keep an eye on things. Sliding barn-style doors offer additional privacy and epitomize the home’s hand-hewn character. Helping oversee the home from afar, the Carrier® Côr™ Home Automation System allows remote monitoring through a mobile app—an added level of security for such a well-designed home.

With interiors by celebrated designers from Brewer Designs, the custom-built home will be a private sanctuary with all the modern comforts and conveniences offered. The home is designed by Austin based Architecture firm Davies Collaborative, and built by Legacy DCS. Davies Collaborative is known for creating distinctive, sustainable architecture that fosters community and maximizes energy efficiency. Legacy DCS is renowned for developing green homes and green communities by using sustainable building practices and earth-friendly products. The home design was certified platinum by the Coastal Bend Green Built sustainable building initiative, the highest level of compliance.

Texas Monthly Idea House Tour Information

Hours of Operation: Open Memorial Day through Labor Day; Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm

Parking: Complimentary parking available on Grand Blvd.

Lodging: For lodging please visit http://reservations.cinnamonshore.com/ or call 361.749.0422

What Else To Do: World class coastal dining at Lisabella’s in Cinnamon Shore, Schlitterbahn Water Park, Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, Sandcastle building, deep sea fishing, live music and more.

“We have enjoyed our partnership with our friends at Cinnamon Shore to create the first ever Texas Monthly Gulf Coast Home,” said David B. Dunham, publisher of Texas Monthly. “The home reflects the best of Texas’ great coastal traditions and is available for purchase to some lucky family.”

About Cinnamon Shore:

Cinnamon Shore is a pedestrian-friendly planned community nestled behind 300 feet of protective dunes located on Mustang Island. Every detail of Cinnamon Shore was thoughtfully designed to embrace the beauty of Mustang Island and the slow-paced charm of a walking neighborhood with amenities including beautiful beaches, pools, parks, stocked lakes, restaurants, kid’s camps, a bustling town center and more. For more information, please visit http://www.cinnamonshore.com. Follow us: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@cinnamonshore).

About Texas Monthly:

Texas Monthly is an award-winning general-interest magazine best-known for its longform journalism, political reporting, reader service, design, and photography. Texas Monthly has a circulation of 300,000 and is read by more than 2.7 million people each month—one out of every eight Texas adults. Texas Monthly is published by Emmis Publishing, L.P. Emmis owns and operates radio stations and other magazines.

Strategies for Self-Love

It’s not easy to practice self-love no matter who you are, and for people living with a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – an autoimmune disease of the joints1 that affects approximately 1.6 million people in the United States,2,3 – it can feel even more overwhelming to love a body that doesn’t always cooperate with you.

Rheumatoid arthritis can create body image challenges by causing painful, swollen joints and inflammation in the hands, knees and feet1 that may make you feel like you’re not yourself and your body is betraying you. RA is often referred to as an “invisible” illness that also contributes to many emotional and physical symptoms, like fatigue and joint damage,1 that can’t be seen from the outside. These symptoms can impact self-love for people who are living with RA. If you feel like you are fighting your body, it isn’t a surprise that body image and self-esteem may be a source of struggle and frustration.

Further, poor body-image may come from a lack of public representation. For people living with RA, not being “present” in mass media can make it challenging to see their experiences and their body as normal – even though there is no “normal.” There is no one way to be, and we do a huge disservice when diversity of all kinds is missing from what we see and/or consume.

Practicing self-love and self-care is important in feeling comfortable with relationships too. It can be difficult to engage in meaningful and healthy relationships and friendships without a good dose of confidence and care for yourself. If we don’t feel good about who we are, we may be less likely to speak up for ourselves, less likely to have – or ask for – pleasure, and less likely to have equal, balanced relationships.

We only have one body, and it’s important to come up with strategies to remind ourselves that no one is perfect and we should love who we are. Check out these tips that may help address self-love while living with a chronic condition like RA:

  • Make time to self-reflect: Think about what makes you feel good. When do you feel most beautiful? Most confident? Sexiest? Capitalize on those times and think about what those experiences have in common. Is it music? Is it a smell? Is it a particular texture? Can we commit to finding a few moments in each day to breathe and shift our focus from frustration to positivity?
  • Write it down: Keeping a daily journal of your feelings can help you identify areas that you need to work on both mentally and emotionally. It can be difficult to realize that you need to improve self-love until you see it written down on paper.
  • Send yourself reminders: Leave Post-it® notes or set spontaneous calendar alarms throughout the year to inspire you and remind you to practice self-love.
  • Don’t keep it all inside: While self-love is very personal, it doesn’t mean you should bottle up your feelings. Tell a partner, friend or even a professional about your feelings and lean on them for support.

Life isn’t perfect, but if you give yourself the freedom to love the skin you have, you may be far better off. For more tips on self-love and relationships while living with RA, visit www.Arthritis.com. (BPT)

  1. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Handout on health: rheumatoid arthritis. August 2014.

http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp. Accessed 22 March 2017.

  1. Sacks J, Lou Y, Helmick, C. Prevalence of specific types of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the ambulatory health care system in the United States 2001-2005. Arthritis Care Res. 2010;62(4):460-464.
  2. Howden L, Meyer J. 2010 U.S. Census Bureau results — U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1.

5 Tips for Financial Fitness in 2017

If a commitment to improving finances is among your resolutions for 2017, you’re not alone.

A survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) shows that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults will make a financial resolution this year.

However, one out of three Americans said their financial quality of life is worse than they expect, as saving money and debt concerns top the list of stressors. Additionally, almost two-thirds of respondents experienced a financial setback in 2016, with transportation issues, housing repairs and medical care cited as the leading causes. For the nearly 50 percent of those who admit they’re living paycheck to paycheck, significant unplanned expenses can add up.

“To be successful with your financial resolutions in 2017, set thoughtful, realistic goals,” said Paul Golden, spokesperson for NEFE. “If your goal is to build an emergency savings, start with a small amount like $500 dollars to show yourself you actually can achieve that mark then set the bar higher. It’s not uncommon to be hit with an unexpected expense, so be prepared.”

These five tips can help get you on the path toward tackling your financial goals:

1. Get debt under control. Take a hard look at what you owe. If there are warning signs of too much debt, take action. Set a goal to reduce your debt next year by 5-10 percent. That might mean reducing impulse shopping, which six out of 10 people admit to doing, and 80 percent regret the purchases later. When you face temptation, walk away for at least 30 minutes to make sure you still want the item.

2. Start saving now. Ideally, you should have six to nine months of income set aside, but achieving a small goal can provide a sense of security and reduce stress. The rules of retirement have changed: Review your long-term savings and ensure they are appropriate and on target.

3. Shop for better services. Make a game out of shopping providers to find the best value in the services you use. How long has it been since you shopped your insurance policies? Is there any chance you can save money on your cell phone, internet or utilities? Visit current providers and ask, “What’s the best deal?” Be sure to understand your policies and services so that you are comparing fairly and accurately.

4. Understand what’s behind your financial decisions. If you’ve ever wondered why you feel good about spending money on vacations but avoid saving for retirement, the answer may lie in your unique values and how they influence your financial decision-making. Take the LifeValues Quiz at SmartAboutMoney.org.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recruit a “financial buddy” and share your resolutions with a trusted family member or friend who can provide support in helping you meet your financial goals. Find someone who will hold you accountable and set a good example for you to follow.

For more help getting your finances in order, visit SmartAboutMoney.org. (Family Features)

Join Us for the ’4th and Goal’ Gala on September 2

Join us for the DKR Fund’s 4th and Goal Gala on Friday, September 2nd at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

The “4th & GoalGala” will be a night to remember. The gala will honor the legacy of the late Coach Darrell K Royal and continue to raise awareness and funds to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain diseases. The event will include cocktails and a buffet dinner, followed by the awarding of the 2016 DKR Research Sponsorship grants. The 2016 sponsorships will include a $150,000 three-year grant; a $50,000 one-year DKR Fund Excellence Research Sponsorship; and a $25,000 three-year special needs research-funding grant all for researchers to continue to find a cure for this deadly disease. Following the research awards there will be live music performed by four of the music industry’s most prominent singer/songwriters: Paul Overstreet, Mike Reid, Brett James and Wendell Mobley.

Special Ways to Celebrate National Romance Awareness Month from GetYourPerfume

Romance is in the little things you do every day

Celebrate National Romance Month and Involve All of Your Senses When Thinking of Ways to Say ‘I Love You

Summer is in full swing and life is busier than ever. It is easy for couples to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to be mindful and take time to work on their relationships. Showing the special person in your life that you care, doesn’t have to be showy or extravagant. It also doesn’t have to cost a lot or require extensive planning. There are little things we can do every day that say “you matter to me”.

In recognition of National Romance Month, GetYourPerfume.com has put together a few of these gestures; ideas of how to build a little romance into your life every single day, from the scent you wear to the little ways you can spend time together.

Check out these simple ideas:

●   Holding hands — Just the simple act of touching can signal to your partner that you are present and engaged. Walk hand in hand to the neighborhood park and go on the swings or just sit on a bench and take in the sunset. It’s all about slowing down and enjoying each other’s company.

●  Embrace technology and text a little romance — So often our communication is purposeful: “Pick up milk”, “Don’t forget Jack’s karate class”… How about texting something to make the person you love feel special? How about “I miss you and can’t wait to hug you later.” 

●  Leave a message ‘old school style’ — If texting isn’t your thing, leave a voicemail message on their phone, a post-it on the bathroom mirror or a note in their work or gym bag. Just a few words to say what they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

●  Stop by the local ice cream shop and share a sundae — What’s more romantic than one bowl and two spoons, with a side of sprinkles and a cherry on top? It’s nostalgic and creative, perhaps bringing you both back to the early days of your relationship and letting you enjoy the moment.

●  Pack lunch for your love — Pack up their favorite foods, including a little something sweet, and stick in a note to remind them that you think they’re the bees knees. They say the way to a man’s heart is through their stomach but here’s a tip: most women will adore a lunch packed with love too!

●  Go on a date without leaving the house — If you have young kids, this is a great way to enjoy your evening without the fuss and expense of a sitter. Light a few candles, lay out a little take out from a restaurant you both love, put on some soft music and stick a pint of the best ice cream that you both love so much in the freezer and you’ve got the makings for a lovely evening on the sofa. Throw on a mix that includes ‘your song’ and dance in the kitchen with the lights turned down low. You’ll never notice that you’re not out on the town.

●  Don’t ignore the little things — You may not think that your partner’s new role at the office is anything more than a lateral move but celebrating even the smaller things in life is a superb reminder for both of you to find joy in the every day.

●  Bragging rights — Do you think your partner is extraordinary when it comes to work, hobbies, their attitude or their style? Say so! Tell them. Tell your friends. Tell the world on Facebook. Your partner be thrilled that you think so well of them that you feel the need to share your thoughts with them and others.

●  Gifts aren’t just for birthdays — Is that the new book she’s been wanting to read, in the store window? Surprise her with it. Does the gourmet food shop have that jam that he loves in stock? Get him some for breakfast. Take the time to remember the things they love, to show that you heard them when they were talking about it… they’ll be bowled over.

●  Just like sharing activities helps to build romance, so does the scent you wear. If those who love you know that you’re in the room because you’re stuck in a rut and your signature scent precedes you, check out one of these romantic perfumes and throw them a curve. A subtle change to show your spontaneous side is nothing less than entrancing.

Just like sharing activities helps to build romance, so does the scent you wear.  If you’re stuck in a rut with your signature scent, check out one of these romantic perfumes and spice up your love life.

For women:

women scents

 

  • Nina Ricci L’Air Du Temps – You will love the spicy-floral blend of carnation, gardenia, and jasmine. The specially designed winged bottle is a romantic icon, and even the name —”the mood of the moment”—sparks romantic thoughts.
  • Lancome Tresor – This fresh scent is built on a bouquet of apricot blossom, rose, lily of the valley, and lilac, then heats up
    with iris, sandalwood, amber, and musk.
  • Chanel Cristalle – Citrus scents are fresh and clean, this blend of Sicilian lemon, honeysuckle, hyacinth, and vetiver, takes romance to a whole new level.
  • Estee Lauder Beautiful – Nothing says romance more than roses, with a mixture of rose, tuberose, jasmine, sandalwood, and amber, this fragrance hits every classic romantic note.
  • Mademoiselle by Robert Piguet – If you want to feel sexy wear a floral woody musk.  Infused with bergamot, almond and apricot with a note of orange blossom, this scent inspires romance.

For men:

mens scents
  • Gentleman by Givenchy for Men – This scent is comprised of multiple high and low notes including roses, woodsy, spices, and citrus fruits to make your man smell irresistible.
  • Paradise Homme by Alfred Sung for Men -  This incredible scent is a magical blend of rosemary, seat notes, papaya, anise and cardamom with soft notes of carnation and white amber. It is perfect for celebrating romantic moments.
  • Arsenal Blue by Gilles Cantuel for Men – Is another wonderful scent for men. It comes in terrific spicy and aromatic notes. His scent will last through an evening of dancing and romancing.
  • Guess Seductive Homme Blue – It is one of the most seductively addictive fragrances on the market for men. It’s irresistible sophisticated scent is comprises of citrus caviar, blue coral aquaspace, cardamom and black pepper. It is ideal for a special romantic interlude.
  • Armani Code by Giorgio Armani for Men – This is high quality fragrance comes in blends of apple, lavender, cumin, citrus, and woods. It is recommended for creating a starry-eyed night of romance.

Let’s face it, chemistry plays a big part in our romantic lives. Adding a hint of perfume will entice your mate’s desire to be close to you and build on that connection.  Fan the flame of your romance by trying out some new scents.

Credit:
Get Your Perfume (http://www.getyourperfume.com) specializes in genuine designer fragrances, bath and body, cosmetics, skin care products and related gifts and accessories for men, women and children.