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    • How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Kitchen Floor

      20 October 2020

      Whether you’re planning to completely remodel your kitchen or want to give it a new look without making a major financial investment, flooring tile is one of the most important elements. The floor is one of the first things that guests notice when they come to visit and it typically experiences significant foot traffic on a daily basis. Choosing kitchen tiles can feel overwhelming since there are so many materials, colors and design options available. Here are some things to consider when making a selection.

      Think About Your Family’s Needs and Your Budget
      The prices for kitchen tile vary widely. Before you start fixating on a specific design or type of tile, set a budget for materials and installation so you can focus your attention on realistic options. 

      Kitchen floor tile can be made from a variety of materials. Choose one with your family’s lifestyle in mind. Porcelain tile is harder and denser than ceramic and is also less porous. Glazed porcelain is more slippery and scratches more easily than non-glazed porcelain. Ceramic tile is softer, more porous and easier to install and clean than porcelain. If you use the kitchen a lot for cooking, eating and socializing, or if you have kids or pets, choose a durable tile that will not crack easily. Clay, limestone and quarry tile are good options.

      Be sure to choose tile that is intended to be used for flooring. It will have a slightly raised or textured surface to provide traction. Tile designed for counters and walls is smoother and too slippery to use on a floor. It also may not be durable enough for daily foot traffic.

      Think about the color and style of your kitchen cabinets. Choose floor tiles that will complement the cabinets and give the kitchen a cohesive appearance.

      Choose tile that will be easy to clean and that will resist stains. A darker color may do a better job of hiding dirt and stains, but it may also make the kitchen look smaller. Some tiles may need to be cleaned with a specific product. Ask about cleaning requirements before you make a choice. 

      Kitchen tile comes in many sizes. Choose a size that is appropriate for the dimensions and layout of your kitchen. 

      Get Professional Advice
      Homeowners are often shocked by the number of options available when it comes to kitchen flooring tile and confused by the differences between them. Since the kitchen is typically the room that is used the most, you should talk to a flooring professional so you can make an informed decision. If you plan to redo the kitchen floor yourself, measure the room at least twice so you order the right amount of tile. Make sure that you have the appropriate tools for the job and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Caring for Your Nutrition When Caregiving

      20 October 2020

      (Family Features) Family caregivers of people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities sometimes spend more time thinking about those they care for than themselves. It’s important to remember that self-care is essential to providing good care to others and must include eating well.

      Healthy eating can be especially challenging for caregivers who often have limited time to shop and cook. Fast food, snacks and comfort meals are tempting but usually lack healthy amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. 

      In addition to preventing low energy, muscle loss, illnesses and unplanned weight change, a healthy diet may help reduce the stress and fatigue that can come with caring for a loved one. 

      These tips from the Administration for Community Living can help caregivers take steps toward better nutrition without adding to already full to-do lists:

      1. Drink healthy beverages at each meal and 2-3 times between meals. Water, milk, juice (to replace missing fruits and vegetables) or unsweetened drinks are all better-for-you options.

      2. Get enough protein, a key nutrient that helps build and repair tissues. Consider these ideas for increasing your protein intake:

      • Eat a high-protein food like fish, chicken or eggs at every meal
      • Try plant proteins like nuts, peanut butter, beans and tofu
      • Eat your protein first at meals
      • Eat low- or nonfat dairy products and use Greek yogurt
      • Opt for cheese at snack time
      • Top your food with chopped nuts like almonds
      3. Drink a liquid supplement, like a meal replacement or protein shake, if foods alone do not supply all the nutrients you need. A health care provider can make specific dietary suggestions based on your unique health needs, diet and conditions.

      For more information and ideas, talk to your doctor or dietitian and visit eatright.org.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How Family Travel Has Changed Throughout the Last 25 Years

      20 October 2020

      (Family Features) While 2020 has brought some definite and dramatic changes to the way people travel, there have actually been numerous changes in the travel industry throughout the course of the last 25 years. 

      Travelers have become increasingly savvy, thanks to technology that allows them to thoroughly research their destinations and plan vacations to an unprecedented level of detail. Consumer reviews have also changed the way people travel, as insights from others heavily influence decisions on everything from attractions to local restaurants.

      This year, in honor of its 25th anniversary, Vrbo has compiled some of the most notable changes in the travel industry over the past 25 years:

      Transportation and Route Guidance: A couple decades ago, airfare was significantly more expensive. Now, due to lower fuel costs and larger planes that allow for efficiency, fares are considerably lower than in the past. Other changes in transportation include the return of family road trips. Although gas prices have created some fluctuation, Americans still tend to appreciate the flexibility of road trips and the ability to set their own pace.
      Newer technologies such as GPS and other route guidance resources have also made it easier to take a road trip, from not only finding directions from one point to the next, but also attractions, lodging, food and more along the way.  

      Accommodations: When thinking about lodging, traditional hotels and quaint bed-and-breakfasts automatically come to mind. However, vacation rentals and holiday homes have been around for decades, too. Thanks to online platforms, access to private, whole-home accommodations like condos, cabins and other homes has grown exponentially. For example, Vrbo started as a modest classified ads-style website for online vacation rentals and today offers more than 2 million unique places to stay across the globe. 

      Communication and Photography: A few decades ago, it was common to drop a postcard in the mail for loved ones while on a trip so you could share the scenery and say a quick hello (although the postcards didn’t always arrive before you returned home). Today, between smartphones and social media, it’s possible to share moments from your journey with family and friends back home instantaneously. Phones and digital cameras are now the primary tools for photography, so there’s no more waiting for film to develop and hoping you captured that sunset just right.

      Booking and Comparison Shopping: In the past, booking travel meant looking at classified ads for rental properties or contacting travel agents or visitor centers to gather information about a destination. Now, you can compare prices for everything from car rentals to flights and accommodations online, read reviews from former guests and book and pay for those reservations with a few taps on your keyboard or smartphone. For example, Vrbo began as a website for vacation home owners to list and advertise their properties for travelers to find and rent, and now offers a multitude of tools such as search filters, Trip Boards, Virtual Tours and reviews to help you compare vacation rentals and find the perfect one for your trip.

      Attractions: Travel used to be largely driven by must-see destinations and stand-out attractions at popular places. More recently, travelers seek out unique experiences that align with their personal interests and look to explore places off the beaten path. There’s also an increased focus on learning about new places and embracing how the locals eat and live. 

      Learn more and get started planning your next vacation at vrbo.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Tips to Celebrate Halloween With Your Pet

      19 October 2020

      (Family Features) Halloween is going to look different this year for many, and you might be looking for costume inspiration for you and your furry quarantine companion along with ways to celebrate virtually at home. You don’t have to have a black cat or werewolf to celebrate the spooky holiday or get in on the festive fun – there are many ways you can include your pet in your haunted (virtual) activities.

      This year, the full Hunter’s Moon will rise on Halloween night, which happens only once every 19-20 years. A dog food crafted with pets’ natural desires and wolf ancestry in mind, CRAVE™ is celebrating this spooky full moon phenomenon by paying homage to your dog’s ancestral roots with wolf-inspired Halloween looks. Learn more about the #FierceMyFace competition with these tips along with other ways to celebrate this Halloween with your pets in mind, and visit cravepetfoods.com to find more information.

      Carve a Pet Pumpkin
      Pumpkin carving is a classic way to get in the Halloween spirit. Whether you like to carve, paint or color your pumpkins to dress up your front steps, don’t forget to call tribute to your pet. There are many ways to carve a pet-themed pumpkin including pawprints, bones or, if you’re up for a challenge, a portrait of his or her face.

      Celebrate Your Inner Wolf
      Get in touch with your – and your dog’s – inner wolf this Halloween with CRAVE pet food’s #FierceMyFace competition on Instagram and Instagram Stories. The top looks have a chance to win $5,000 to transform your home to live like the wolves, along with a one-year supply of CRAVE dog food. Plus, five runners up will receive $1,000 and a one-year supply of dog food. If you need some fierce inspiration, check out the brand’s pack of makeup and beauty influencers including Bailey Sarian, Jose Jimenez, Rachel Iwanysyzn, Alex Rivera and Mia Anjelica, who have created their own fierce Halloween transformations. For official rules, visit cravepetfoods.com.

      Dress the Part
      While this year some may skip traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, it doesn’t mean skipping the costumes. Whether you have a matching costume with your pets or they dress up with their own spooky storyline, pets can be involved in the holiday festivities. When finding a costume for your furry friend, pick items that fit comfortably and don’t restrict movement. Be sure to avoid small pieces and attachments that could become chew toys.

      Watch a Spooky Movie
      In lieu of big celebrations, turn on a scary movie and cuddle up with your pup. Pets can provide comfort and security when their families need it the most, and what better time than the spookiest night of the year. While you are munching on popcorn make sure your pet has a treat of his or her own to enjoy alongside you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • A Chilly Day Dish with a Kick

      19 October 2020

      (Culinary.net) Picture in your mind a warm bowl cupped in your hands, defrosting your fingertips after you just walked inside from a chilly afternoon. The bowl is heavy, full of hearty vegetables and spicy peppers that in just a few short moments will overwhelm your palate. 

      You dive in with a spoon, savoring every flavorful bite as you dip down to the bottom of the bowl searching for more to slurp up with every spoonful. Onion, red bell pepper and even corn all blended into not only a vegetarian meal but a chili-lover’s paradise. It’s got the spices to make you say, “wow” but the smoothness that reminds you of something your mom once made when you were young. 

      You throw your sweater to the side of the couch as your body temperature begins to rise. You start to feel your energy return as you spoon a second helping into your bowl for round two. 

      Not only does this recipe for Chipotle Veggie Chili hit you with a wide array of balanced flavors, but there is a surprise hint of citrus added toward the end – lime juice. 

      Just to add a little more texture and vibrance to this dish, it can be topped with your favorite garnishes like guacamole, sour cream, jalapeno slices and cilantro. 

      This Chipotle Veggie Chili is simple to make, needing just one pot throughout the entire cooking process. It simmers for about 25 minutes while you unwind from a long day. 

      So next time you need a pick-me-up after a chilly day outside, give this one a try. The savory aromas and wholesome consistency make this chili a 10-out-of-10 and a crowd favorite. 

      Find more recipes perfect for cooler weather at Culinary.net.

      Chipotle Veggie Chili
      Servings: 6-8

      • 3 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
      • 5/8 teaspoon sea salt, divided
      • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
      • 1 can (14 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
      • 1 can (14 ounces) red beans, drained and rinsed
      • 1 can (14 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
      • 1 cup vegetable broth
      • 1 can (7 ounces) chipotles in adobo sauce
      • 2 cans (15 ounces each) sweet corn with liquid
      • 2 limes, juiced
      • guacamole (optional)
      • sour cream (optional)
      • jalapeno slices (optional)
      • cilantro (optional)
      In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and red pepper. Stir and cook for 8 minutes until soft.

      Add tomatoes, red beans, pinto beans, broth, chipotles in adobo sauce, corn, remaining salt and remaining pepper. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chili has thickened.

      Squeeze lime juice into pot; stir. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, jalapeno slices and cilantro, if desired.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.