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Blake Lively to Launch New Lifestyle Brand

blake livelyBlake Lively, the 26-year-old star of Gossip Girl, has announced her plans to launch a lifestyle brand in the upcoming months. Though many are drawing parallels between Lively’s new business and Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter “Goop”, the latter has earned a less-than-perfect reputation while Lively is off to a fresh start.

“I have so many passions outside of acting and things that I grew up being good at and that I don’t utilize when acting,” she said in an interview. “Acting was something that my family did so I just kind of got into it by default, but there was so much that I cultivated, thinking that I wouldn’t be an actor.”

“The main element of it is that it’s about storytelling and it’s about living a very one-of-a-kind, curated life, and how to achieve that,” Lively explained.”
She also discussed her decision to take a break from her acting career. “A lot has changed for me in the last year. I got married, I finished ‘Gossip Girl’ after six years, I had my first break in a while and I’ve been working on this company … it has been nice to have a separation from my show.”
Lively has already begun to cultivate her new lifestyle reputation by showing off her cooking skills at the Bedford Post Inn kitchen. She shared that she has also worked at the upscale restaurant Per Se, where she impressed the other professionals.
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Doral Bank Executive Receives Award

The Advisory Committee for Urban Revitalization Equity (ACURE) gave Steve Borhoft, marketing director of Doral Bank in Florida, a community service award. ACURE – a Panama City civil-rights organization – recognized Bornhoft for his volunteer work with schools and charities, putting deserving causes in the public eye through his work as a freelance journalist, and being a mentor to a middle-school student.   As one ACURE executive committee Valerie Mincey pointed out, “Steve is an incredible asset to our community. His volunteer work supports the development of children, helps the health and well-being of the vulnerable, and promotes the goals of our community focused organization.”  Bornhoft is also Chairman of the Bay AIDS Service and Information Coalition (BASIC) board of directors (where Mincey is CEO and President).

Of his mentoring work, ACURE executive committee member and middle school principal Charlotte Marshall said, “we need people like Steve to take the time to work with kids who need just a little bit more support. Over the course of his time with one student, Steve went beyond the call of duty. He provided the support that the student needed to believe that he could succeed and instilled confidence and a sense of responsibility in this student, directly impacting his school performance.”

Doral makes volunteer opportunities a priority.  Indeed, the corporation has promised to “always give back to the communities in which we are privileged to do business.”  The New Chapter Program at Doral, Florida, is all about preparing children to be self-sufficient adults.  Through “early education, literacy and lifelong learning” by making financial contributions, Doral serves its customers and community by being “actively interested and involved in the lives of both.”

With this ACURE award, Steve Bornhoft is putting the volunteer endeavors of Doral Bank into practice.

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Inspirational Speakers: Michelle Aguilar, Rabbi Tully Bryks, John Bul Dau

Michelle Aguilar

Michelle Aguilar

Whether you’re looking for someone to discuss health, religion, education or parenting, motivational speakers and group panels are a wonderful way to encourage dialogue and inspire people in any setting. Schools, churches, rehab centers and numerous other organizations have guests come to speak about overcoming all kinds of challenges.

Michelle Aguilar, Winner of The Biggest Loser: Season 6, is an author and inspirational speaker based in Texas. For years, Aguilar struggled with her health and weight, while distancing herself completely from her mother. In an effort to reboot her life, she lost 100lbs and revived her relationship with her estranged mother. Now, she travels across the United States in hopes of encouraging others to take action and improve their own lives.

Wildomar, who attended one of her speeches in California, said: “I was very touched with what you shared with us from the stage. You speak from your heart and what you shared about your heart transformation during your body transformation is such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing the more personal side of your experience.”

Spiritual leaders like Rabbi Tully Bryks also travel to speak at schools, synagogues and temples. A former captain of his varsity basketball team who once had his own spiritual questions, Rabbi Bryks inspires students from all backgrounds with his passion for spiritual knowledge.

International speakers are also often invited to share their experiences. John Bul Dau, for example, a “Lost Boy” of Sudan, travels from New York to discuss motivation, leadership, overcoming adversity, international issues, social activism and the importance of philanthropy. He explains: “I think people refuse to try things because they fear failure. There have been many impossible situations in my life, but I keep trying. My family in Sudan thought I was dead and I feared they were dead, but years later we were reunited. You can’t give up.”

A student from Syracuse University said: “Mr. Dau is a true leader, inspiration, a real star. I have never been so moved by a speaker. I feel inspired to make a difference in the world.”

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Themed Summer Kids Activities

tarzan-treehouseSummer vacations are long for kids, and they can often seem even longer for parents.  One way of getting through them is to organize themed activities.  In other words, take a theme your children like and construct activities around it.  For example, if your kids like Disney movies (and really, which kids don’t?) create activities around them.

Look at 101 Dalmatians and see if you can offer to walk the neighbor’s dog while they are away.  Alternatively, take your kids to a dog show and ask them to spot all the Dalmatians or count 101 dogs.  Perhaps you have a dog yourself in which case you can get your kids to take it to a senior’s home so that the elderly can enjoy “101 Dalmatians” in a way as well.

If you have little girls, take a leaf out of Cinderella’s book and go shoe shopping!  Girls love getting new shoes and you can get your child to see if they “fit” correctly like Cinderella.  Boys can get sneakers that feel good when they run around – focus on the fit of the shoe, just like as in Cinderella.

One day can be Italian day with The Lady and the Tramp theme.  Get your kids to make easy Italian meals like lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese and Pizza Margherita!  Every kid loves pizza!

For getting out of the house and building up a sweat, dress up one kid as Tarzan and have the others help him/her build a treehouse.  Then you make a picnic and some home-made ices for them to enjoy in their new construction.

There are many more activities one can do with kids that center around Disney movies.  Just think about your kids’ favorite movies and figure out a way to connect an activity to them.  The summer vacation will be over in no time at all this way.

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How to Become a Master Barbecue-er

barbecue foodSummer is here, and with it come endless barbecues. While men seem to have a natural feel for working a grill, women sometimes need some extra tips.

Woman’s Day has consulted with an expert to lay out a few simple guidelines for grilling meats and vegetables like a pro:

  • Time Your Turns. Place the meat on the grill at an angle diagonal to the grill grates. After two minutes, give it a quarter-turn clockwise. Wait another two minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. If you flip the meat early, it will stick to the grate.
  • Wait with the Glaze. Liquid glazes should be applied when only 10% of the cooking time remains.
  • Reserve Briquettes. Have a reserve of ready-to-go briquettes on stand-by. This will keep your fire replenished and at the desired temperature for longer.
  • Be Skewer-Selective. Use different skewers for different types of food, such as onions, peppers, chicken, or meat. This will improve both the texture and flavor of the dishes.
  • Wait, Wait, Wait. After removing meat from the grill, wait at least 3 minutes before cutting it. This will allow the juices to redistribute evenly- otherwise, you lose the flavor to the cutting board.
  • Marinate. Marinade is important! Use one with an acid, such as yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar, as well as a fat, like oil. These will tenderize the meat and keep it moist while cooking.
  • Don’t Over-Crowd. At least 25% of the grill should be left unoccupied.
  • Resist the Flattening Urge. Pressing down on the meat does result in a delicious sizzling sound, but the food’s flavor and texture will both be lost.

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Mix-and-Match Summer Frozen Yogurt Pops

frozen-yogurt-popsStay cool AND healthy this summer with these four easy frozen yogurt pop ideas!

  • Layered- For a layered yogurt pop, pour a third of a cup of coffee flavored yogurt into a paper cup. Freeze for 30 minutes, then add a layer of vanilla. Repeat and add flavors until the cup is full. Don’t forget the Popsicle stick!
  • Swirled- In a large bowl, gently fold a chocolate-hazelnut spread like Nutella into vanilla yogurt. Scoop into paper cups, and freeze with a stick.
  • Topped- Experiment with different toppings like mini chocolate chips, pretzel pieces, crushed heath bars and peanuts
  • Combo- Try switching off between solid layers of vanilla yogurt and layers of swirls. Mix up the flavors as well, combining layers of hazelnut-coffee swirls, vanilla and strawberry swirls, and chocolate toppings, for example.

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