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Five Keys to Happiness?

boy-158152_960_720It’s hard to boil life down into five questions, but that’s just what lifestyle expert and coach Sarah Jones. She says that there are five questions that allow you to know how close you are to true happiness. If you can answer these five questions, then you’re happy. The questions are:

1. What is your passion?
2. What is your happiness?
3. Do you know how it feels to wake up with a smile?
4. Is the cup half empty or half full for you?
5. When was the last time you cried?

Can you answer these five questions? Do you agree that they hold the key to your happiness?

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Why Do The Leaves Change Colors?

We all love the fall colors, but do you know why the leaves change from green to so many lovely hues? Find out here!

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Top Tends from New York Fashion Week


Certainly, the biggest news at Fashion Week in Paris was about Kim Kardashian, but looking past the obvious, there were also some fashion finds worth noting. Many designers seemed to want to put more fun into their fashion. As Tome designer Ryan Lobo said,

“I think this season has been about clothes that are happy, or that make women happy. There’s a return to joy, frivolity and optimism on the runways.” This came out during New York Fashion Week in the bold colors, the stripped clothes, the playful robes and more.

There were a lot of ruffles at the fair as well, with models sporting all sorts of ruffle-filled shirts, skirts and dresses.

There were a number of other surprises as well. Check it all out and make sure to be up to date with the latest fashion trends!

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Does Your Fitness Tracker Really Make You Fit?

running-watch-1246430_960_720Everyone loves his trendy fitness tracker – but does it really increase your exercise and make you more fit? Companies claim, of course, that they will make you move more and become more fit. They say that it will encourage you top up your steps.

A new study published in the medical journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology has found, however, that the benefits of wearing one of these devices is short lived. As study leader Professor Eric Finkelstein, of Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, said:

“Over the course of the year-long study, volunteers who wore the activity trackers recorded no change in their step count but moderately increased their amount of aerobic activity by an average of 16 minutes per week.” He continued, “However, we found no evidence that the device promoted weight loss or improved blood pressure or cardiorespiratory fitness, either with or without financial incentives.”

Interestingly enough, he points out that the device might actually have the exact opposite influence. As Dr. Finkelstein explained, “While there was some progress early on, once the incentives were stopped, volunteers did worse than if the incentives had never been offered, and most stopped wearing the trackers.”

The team looked at 800 people from the ages of 21-65 who were monitored for 12 months with a Fitbit Zip device. They were divided up into four groups. One group just used the Fitbit. One group was offered money if they hit 50,000 steps a week. One group was also offered money but had to give it to charity and one group was given information about exercise but wasn’t given a device to use.

After six months, all of the incentives were removed but the participants were allowed to continue using their trackers. Only the participants who were in the cash incentive group showed an increase in physical activity. And – when the incentives were removed – 90% of the people stopped using the trackers. And most of those people returned to the level of activity they had recorded prior to starting.

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Entrepreneurs Giving Back: Abraham Mitchell, Jimmy John Liautaud & Others

It is always refreshing to see when business owners give back to their communities and to those around them. In an interesting report released by Ernst & Young, they found that entrepreneurs are more likely to make charitable contributions than are any other type of professionals in the United States. Their study found that 89% of the 160 CEOs and company founders they evaluated donate money and 70% donate their time. Here is a look at a few such entrepreneurs.

Abraham Mitchell: Mitchell co-founded the Mitchell Group which is a real estate firm in Alabama. He has donated over $50 million to the University of South Alabama with $25 million going to academic scholarship endowment programs and the other half going to the Mitchell College of Business.

Jimmy John Liautaud: Jimmy John is the owner of Jimmy John’s Sandwich shop with thousands of locations across the United States. When asked about his charitable giving, Jimmy John Liautaud said, “I was bullied as a kid and as an adult I have been discriminated against for being overweight. It hurts. I decided long ago that I would take that hurt and turn it into a positive by giving to people who need a helping hand.” Jimmy John gives back in a number of ways. He offers dental work to store employees and he funds the operational costs of the Francis Nelson Smile Healthy dental clinic in Champaign, Illinois. He also supports good health by giving to hospitals, he supports the armed forces and funds education programs.

James Clark: The co-founder of Netscape is certainly at the top of the chart for financial giving. He donated $60 million in 2013 to Stanford University’s James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. He was one of the founders of this department in 1999 and he had already gifted it $90 million before the donation in 2013.

Abraham Mitchell, Jimmy John Liautaud and James Clark are just a few examples of the many entrepreneurs who are giving back and showing the importance of giving in their lives.

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Are You Showering All Wrong?

towels-1348220_960_720Are you showering all wrong? You probably didn’t know that there was a right and wrong to showering, but Dr. Derek V. Chan, a New York-based cosmetic and medical dermatologist who was recently interviewed by the Daily Mail explains how you should be showering.

Dr. Chan explains that he recommends that people shower once a day and that you should use a moisturizer within five minutes of exiting the shower if you have exzema.

Warm showers are better than hot ones since hot showers can reduce moisture in the skin.

When you are washing your hair, Dr. Chan explains that you should massage a shampoo or conditioner into your scalp and then leave it on for approximately two to three minutes. If it’s a shampoo for dandruff, then they should leave it in for 3-5 minutes.
In general, exfoliates aren’t necessary but they can help with acne and clogged pores. Use a gentle exfoliation 1-2 times a week on the face. He says not to squeeze at pimples since it can cause scarring and color changes.
And that should be all that you need for your shower!

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A World of Beauty with TEFAF New York

TEFAF New York Fall 2016 is coming to the Park Avenue Armory and many exhibitors and organizers are getting ready. This is a unique fair that will bring together 93 top experts in fine and decorative art and design to showcase their beautiful items together in one location.

TEFAF New York is a collaborative effort taking place from October 21-26 as a joint effort between TEFAF Maastricht and Artvest. TEFAF New York and Artvest Partners created a panel of eight judges to evaluate inclusion into the fair. The list of participants includes, among many others: French & Company, Haboldt Pictura, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Jack Kilgore & Co., Les Enluminures, Lillian Nassau, Menconi + Schoelkopf, Michele Beiny, Mireille Mosler, Otto Naumann, Phoenix Ancient Art, Primavera Gallery, Richard L. Feigen & Co., S.J. Shrubsole, Safani Gallery, Siegelson and Taylor Graham.

Phoenix Ancient Art

Phoenix Ancient Art booth design for TEFAF

Phoenix Ancient Art is centering their exhibit around items inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Describing their collection, and the recreation of the Pantheon that they are using for their booth at the Park Avenue Armory, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art, Hicham Aboutaam said,

“I never miss an opportunity to visit and experience the Pantheon whenever I am in Rome. The inspiration of this domed temple, a unique masterwork of architecture, lies not only in its perfect form and unparalleled preservation, but also in the embodiment of the spirit of the Classical world seen in all of its ancient glory — all the more remarkable as it is still visible in our own time.”

TEFAF New York has lofty goals which mirror those of the TEFAF fairs that have taken place around the world. As a leading provider of art fairs, they have become a location which collectors, sellers and museum representatives see as invaluable.

Now, esteemed exhibitors like A La Vieille Russie, Adam Williams Fine Art Ltd, Phoenix Ancient Art and others will come together for this elegant and enlightening week in New York.

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Labels on Sugary Drinks Really May Make a Difference

coca-cola-473780_640Here is an interesting study that many parents will find important. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that simple food label warnings on soda makes teenagers much more likely to avoid these sugary drinks. Researchers used an online survey to see what drinks 2000 participants most loved. The participants were between 12 and 18 and were from diverse backgrounds.

The beverages either had no label on them, or one of five warning labels. One featured the calorie content and four had various types of warning labels. 77% of the people who didn’t see a label said they would select a sugary drink in a hypothetical situation they were given. When there was a health warning on the drink, participants were 8-16% less likely to take it.

62% of the participants also said that they would support having warning labels on sugary drinks. As Dr. Eric VanEpps, a researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “ The influence of warning labels on the purchasing intentions of teenagers in this study highlights the need for nutrition information at the point of purchase to help people make healthier choices.”

He continued, “This study shows that warning labels can affect teenagers’ beverage preferences, and future research will be needed to determine whether these labels are similarly effective in more typical purchasing environments.”

Their findings appear in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine and could certainly influence policy decisions about labeling drinks.

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