How to Make The Backyard The Style Center of Your Home

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – For many homeowners, the backyard is not at the forefront of their home-design plans. But procrastination can be an advantage when it comes to outdoor living. By the time many people consider the backyard, they have developed a strong sense of their own décor personality.
Most consumers’ design styles can be classified as traditionalist, bohemian, modern, eclectic, rustic or industrial, according to Belgard, a company dedicated to outdoor living design and elements for patio spaces and beyond.
Fortunately, there are backyard design plans to suit any taste, as well as any budget. Some design elements that might have particular appeal to different décor personalities include:
*For the traditionalist: Classic comfort. What is the primary purpose of a patio? A place for sitting and relaxing. Attractive, sturdy pavers in appealing patterns provide easy walking and an artistic base for conversation nooks of tables, chairs, planters, and picnic tables.
*For the bohemian: Fire pit. Fire pits are an easy way to promote cozy gathering for all ages. And everyone can appreciate freedom from bugs; wood fires can help hold mosquitoes at bay.
*For the modernist: Multiple levels. Homeowners seeking a modern look can consider a range of options for walkways and pavers that might include steps and slopes to wind through a terraced garden.
*For the eclectic: Water features. But not just for swimming. Homeowners can show off an eclectic backyard style with a fountain, fish pond, or other water feature that makes a splash.
*For the rustic: Eating out. Cooking outdoors can reach a new level, as advanced outdoor kitchen units allow guests to help with meal preparation or just chat with the host/chef while enjoying the outdoor setting.
*For the industrial: Unique lighting is a way to make a statement and set a mood in an outdoor setting. Some ways to get creative with light include not only hardscape lighting and illuminated planters, but short-term elements such as lighting fixtures that highlight cool metals and metallics for a more urban, industrial vibe.
Belgard, part of Oldcastle Architectural, was established in 1995 and remains a respected source of durable, classic, stylish outdoor-living products and a resource for design ideas to help homeowners take on backyard design with confidence.
Visit www.Belgard.com for more ideas on optimizing your outdoor living environment.

Esta prueba de huella para los neumáticos, Easy Tire, sólo cuesta un centavo

(NewsUSA) – Los neumáticos pueden no ser la primera cosa que usted nota cuando mira un automóvil, sin embargo puede ser el elemento más importante para la seguridad y el funcionamiento de cualquier vehículo. Cuando lo piensa, ellos son la única parte de su auto que lo conecta a la carretera.Mientras que los frenos paran sus ruedas, son sus neumáticos los que detienen el auto, y ése es el porqué mantenerlos es absolutamente delicado. Afortunadamente, uno de los chequeos de neumáticos más importantes no le costará más de un centavo!Una vez al mes, o antes de dirigirse a un largo viaje por carretera, revise sus neumáticos para verificar el desgaste y cualquier daño usando "la prueba del centavo". Sólo tome un centavo y seleccione un punto en su neumático donde la banda de rodadura aparece más baja. Luego, manteniendo el cuerpo de Lincoln entre el pulgar y el índice, coloque la cabeza de Lincoln en uno de los surcos. Si cualquier parte de la cabeza de Abe Lincoln está cubierta por la banda de rodadura, usted está conduciendo con una cantidad legal y segura de la banda.Sin embargo, si toda la cabeza de Lincoln es visible, es una señal de que es hora de conseguir neumáticos nuevos."La tracción y la banda de rodadura están inextricablemente unidas. Las ranuras en su neumático son fundamentales para ayudar a levantar el agua y permitir que el neumático se agarre la carretera", dice Sarah Robinson, experta en seguridad de Michelin. "Asegurarse de que está conduciendo con neumáticos con una banda de rodadura adecuada puede ser la diferencia entre evitar un accidente y convertirse en parte de él".Si es hora de conseguir neumáticos nuevos, considere estos dos factores en primer lugar:1. Seguridad: La mayoría de los neumáticos funcionan bien en situaciones cotidianas, pero en condiciones difíciles revelarán sus diferencias. Elija neumáticos que puedan funcionar bien en los peores tipos de clima o carreteras que encuentre. Por ejemplo, si usted vive en una región con fuertes nevadas intensas e inviernos fríos, considere neumáticos de invierno durante parte del año. La diferencia puede ser enorme.2. Valor: Es importante recordar que no todos los neumáticos son iguales. Los neumáticos pueden parecer un gasto adicional al mantenimiento general del automóvil, pero invertir en neumáticos de calidad conocidos por un rendimiento duradero, como Michelin Defender con su garantía de 80 000 millas, le ahorrará dinero con el tiempo a medida que sus neumáticos no necesita ser reemplazados tan rápidamente.Para obtener más información, visite www.MichelinMan.com 

How to Take a Stress-Free Holiday Road Trip

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Holiday travel can be stressful, but it should be fun, too. Advance planning and proper car care can take much of the stress out of a holiday road trip and leaving you free to enjoy the ride.
Checklists for each aspect of the trip will help ensure that nothing important is left behind, and that you are safe and prepared in case of an emergency.
When it’s time for a holiday road trip, keep these tips in mind for smooth travels:
–Check your ride: A complete car check before a road trip should include making sure the fluid levels are sufficient. Make sure wiper blades and the wiper mechanism itself is working properly. Check your lights, including brights, to be sure they are functional. And, last but not least, don’t forget your tires. Tires are the connection between your car and the road, so be sure to examine the tread for signs of excess wear
“Traction and tread are inextricably linked. The grooves in your tires are critical in helping to channel water away to allow the tire to grip the road,”says Sarah Robinson, Michelin safety expert. “Making sure you’re driving on tires with proper tread can be the difference between avoiding an accident and becoming part of it.”
–Be prepared: Equip your car with an emergency kit, including water, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, extra windshield wiper fluid, cell phone charger, and emergency phone numbers for roadside assistance, as well as a contact person at your destination.
–Map your route: Check your route in advance and, if possible, plan your trip for times with less traffic. If you are planning to use a map feature on your phone, use the voice component; if you don’t have that, consult a paper map and get a sense of the route before you get behind the wheel.
–Safety first: That means the driver focuses on driving. If you are the driver and need to check your phone, send a message, have a snack, or, tend to a child or pet in the back seat, wait for a rest stop, or if necessary, pull over to the side of the road.
–Watch the weather: Especially during winter holidays, knowing the weather in advance can help you plan to avoid a storm. If conditions are truly dangerous, the smart move is to postpone your trip until the weather improves.
For more information, visit www.MichelinMan.com

Want to Take The Road Less Traveled? Here’s How

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Off-road driving on scenic, challenging trails can be fun, but it’s completely different than cruising down the road; keep these tips in mind to stay safe and avoid getting stuck.
–Soft obstacles: When you plan to tackle sand, snow, or mud, deflate your tires to improve your traction by decreasing the tire footprint. Maintain momentum, and if your wheels start spinning in the sand or snow, ease off the gas a bit. In mud, keep the wheels spinning to help clear the mud from the tires.
–Hard obstacles: When you approach large rocks, logs, or ditches during off-road driving, take them at an angle, so only one tire engages the obstacle and the other three remain on level ground to maximize traction. Place one tire on the obstacle, then drive over it slowly to help protect the underside of your vehicle.
–Hills: Always have an escape plan in case your trek doesn’t turn out as expected. However, you can increase your odds of safely taking on hills by approaching them straight on for maximum traction to all four tires. Use the highest gear possible to comfortably take the hill.
Having the right vehicles and tires makes for an unparalleled off-roading experience, according to Pearse Umlauf, president and CEO of Jeep Jamboree. “Jeep Jamborees are off-road adventure weekends that bring down-to-earth people to enjoy their Jeep 4x4s in the outdoors,” said Umlauf, who works to coordinate operations for safe use and maintenance of off-road vehicle trails in the U.S. and worldwide.
He noted that BFGoodrich Tires will be the official tire of Jeep Jamboree in 2017.
When you are ready to head to the backcountry, Del Albright, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer, and BFGoodrich Performance Team Expert, has 50 years driving experience with tires on trails. “The All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire is my tire of choice, with a rugged, durable design that makes it ideal for off-roaders who want to torture test their vehicles or just enjoy the backroads,” he said. Albright also is a longtime advocate for conservation and preservation of trails for off-roading use. One of his favorite trails, the Rubicon Trail in Lake Tahoe, California, was at risk for closure due to erosion concerns, but Albright helped lead a group of volunteers to fix the trouble spots and preserve the trail for off-roaders and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Some of his other favorites include Rausch Creek Off-Road Park (Pennsylvania), San Hallow State Park (Utah) and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail (West Virginia).
For more information about BFGoodrich and off-road adventures, visit bfgoodrichtires.com.

Tackle Ice and Snow from the Ground Up

(NewsUSA) – Los viajes en vacaciones pueden ser estresantes, pero también deben ser divertidos. La planificación anticipada y el cuidado adecuado del vehículo pueden reducir mucho del estrés que produce un viaje en carretera y le permitirá disfrutar el recorrido.Una lista con los aspectos del viaje lo ayudarán a garantizar que no deja nada importante atrás y que está listo y preparado en caso de emergencia.Cuando es hora de un viaje de vacaciones por carretera, no olvide estos consejos para tener un viaje agradable:–Chequee su vehículo: una revisión completa del vehículo antes de un viaje en carretera debe incluir la verificación de los niveles de los fluidos. Asegúrese de que las aspas del limpia parabrisas y su sistema funcionen apropiadamente. Verifique sus luces, incluyendo las luces altas, para asegurarse de que funcionan. Último, pero no menos importante, no olvide sus neumáticos. Los neumáticos son la conexión entre su vehículo y la carretera, así que debe asegurarse de examinar las bandas de rodadura para ver si hay señales de desgaste."La tracción y las bandas de rodadura están inextricablemente vinculadas. Las muescas en sus neumáticos son muy importantes para que el agua salga y el neumático se sujete a la vía", dice Sarah Robinson, especialista de seguridad de Michelin. "Asegurarse de que sus neumáticos tiene las bandas de rodadura adecuadas puede ser la diferencia entre evitar un accidente y ser parte de uno".–Prepárese: equipe su vehículo con un equipo de emergencia que incluya agua, luces intermitentes, una manta, cables auxiliares, líquido limpiaparabrisas adicional, cargador de teléfono y números de emergencia para asistencia en carretera, así como el número de una persona de contacto en su lugar de destino.–Planifique su ruta: verifique su ruta anticipadamente, si es posible; planifique su viaje para las horas con menos tráfico. Si está pensando en utilizar una aplicación de mapa en su teléfono, utilice el componente de voz; si no la tiene, consulte un mapa en físico para orientarse antes de estar detrás del volante.–La seguridad primero: eso significa que el conductor se debe enfocar en el manejo. Si usted es el conductor y necesita ver su teléfono, enviar un mensaje, tomar un bocadillo o atender a un niño o mascota en el asiento trasero, espere a una parada de descanso o, si es necesario, deténgase a un lado de la vía.–Verifique el clima: especialmente durante las vacaciones de invierno, conocer el clima anticipadamente puede ayudarlo a evitar una tormenta. Si las condiciones son realmente peligrosas, lo más inteligente sería posponer su viaje hasta que el clima mejore.Para obtener mayor información, visite www.MichelinMan.com 

If You Have to Hold This Article at Arm’s Length, You Should Read This

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – As the author Oscar Wilde said, “With age comes wisdom.” For a lot of us, though, age also means we have difficulty seeing things up close, including this article. It happens to almost everyone — you may find yourself holding things farther away to see them clearly, or realize you’re struggling to read small print. In either case, your eyes probably don’t see as well as they used to.
Here’s what doctors know: as you age, the lens in your eye gets less flexible so that by your mid-40s, you’re likely holding anything you’re trying to read at arm’s length. If this sounds familiar, you may be among the one billion people who have presbyopia, an age-related condition that makes it difficult to see things up close.
“It’s important for people to understand that what happens to our eyes between 40 and 50 years old is completely normal,” says Dr. Howard Purcell, senior vice president of customer development at Essilor of America, the creators of Varilux lenses, a leading progressive lens solution. “The best way to know if you have developed presbyopia is to visit your eye doctor to get a comprehensive eye exam.”
Aging is a part of life, and while diet, exercise, and other habitual changes can help, presbyopia is natural and may be inevitable — even for those who have always had perfect vision. “For years, the only option available to help with presbyopia was bifocal lenses, which were invented by Benjamin Franklin more than 250 years ago,” Dr. Purcell explains. “The problem is that with only two sections (powers) of vision, bifocals don’t cover your vision at around arm’s length so objects such as cell phones, computers and menus will still look blurry.”
Today, people with presbyopia have a better option. If you’ve ever worn bifocals, you know there is a line in the middle of the lens separating the top, used to see far away, from the bottom, used to see close up. The good news is progressive lenses such as Varilux don’t have this distracting line and allow you to see more clearly across all distances for the most natural vision possible. This seamless change also means there is no more “jumping” of images when your eyes move between the top and bottom of the lens.
Another reason to choose progressive lenses is that the design and functionality continues to improve. For example, Varilux progressive lenses have W.A.V.E. technology that virtually eliminates distortions, so you have clear, sharp vision, even in low light.
So why not treat yourself to the best possible vision? For more information about presbyopia and progressive lenses, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor and visit www.varilux.com.

Women Face Challenges When It Comes to Health Coverage

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Women are often the primary health care decision-makers for their families, but they are far from confident about their ability to pay for health care costs and choose the right insurance plan. According to the Aflac 2016 Open Enrollment Survey, more than 1 in 10 women say they live paycheck to paycheck and nearly half have less than $500 saved. The 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report also revealed that only 26 percent of working women feel prepared to pay the out-of-pocket expenses from an unexpected serious illness or accident.
Given women’s state of financial vulnerability, open enrollment for benefits selection can be challenging, especially due to rising health care expenses and high-deductible health plans that shift costs from insurers to policyholders. Three-quarters of women
say that they find reading about benefits options can be long, complicated or stressful, and 40 percent say their benefits enrollment process makes them feel frustrated, anxious or confused.
To be confident about their benefits selections, 69 percent of women say they need more information, help, money or time before their next open enrollment period. Doing a little homework before choosing a health insurance plan can give you peace of mind and save you money, because more than half of women estimate that they have wasted up to $750 because of mistakes they have made during open enrollment.
Here are four tips to make this year’s open enrollment process more successful:
1. Carefully review and compare benefits information. Many insurance plans may undergo significant changes every year. Understanding what your plan covers and what out-of-pocket costs you’ll have to pay helps cast a safety net against an unexpected illness or injury.
2. Calculate your annual health care costs by reviewing how much you spent last year on monthly premiums and the expenses your insurance didn’t cover. Those costs can add up if you have a high-deductible health plan.
3. Consider adding voluntary insurance to your plan for more financial protection. Accident, critical illness and hospital insurance plans help pay for what major medical insurance doesn’t, as well as other expenses that continue to roll in if you’re too ill or injured to work.
4. Ask questions of your employer’s human resources staff or insurance consultants. They can help you understand your benefits coverage and make the best decisions during open enrollment.
To learn more about choosing the right health benefits, visit Aflac.com.

The Bet That Launched Filet-O-Fish

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – If the bet had gone the other way, there might not be a Filet-O-Fish. Back in 1962, even as McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc had plans to launch a new Hula Burger (complete with pineapple and cheese), a franchisee in Cincinnati, Ohio, was urging a national rollout of the tasty breaded whitefish sandwich he’d begun serving to accommodate Roman Catholics observing Lent.So the two men made a wager: Whichever item sold the most on a certain Friday would be added to the permanent menu. And the rest, as they say, is history.  See full-sized image here. 

Feeding Your Joints to Stay on the Move

(NewsUSA) – If you experience joint discomfort, you’re not alone. No matter how active you are, joint problems are one of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits and will affect most of us as we age. Registered Dietitian & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Marie Spano says there is a lot you can do to help yourself, beginning with a healthy diet."What you eat can have a big impact on joint inflammation, cartilage breakdown and bone formation," says Spano. "There are many foods that not only help, but are also delicious and easy to find."At the top of Spano’s joint-friendly grocery list are fatty fish, including salmon, herring and anchovies. They contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory effects. In cell culture studies, EPA and DHA decrease cartilage breakdown. "Cartilage is like a sponge that cushions your joints, so make sure you’re taking care of it. These fatty acids can also improve symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and possibly decrease the need for anti-inflammatory medications," says Spano.Another way to feed your joints is to take a high-quality glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplement. Together, these have been shown to limit the activity of enzymes which can break down healthy cartilage. "To help support your joint health, I recommend CosaminDS, which is the most researched glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplement on the market. It contains high-quality ingredients and a specific formulation shown in peer-reviewed studies to be effective for joint health management." Spano cautions that not all supplements are created equally. "Be an informed consumer. Look for supplements like Cosamin that are backed by clinical research and certified by an independent third-party organization."Next stop on Spano’s grocery trip is the produce aisle. She recommends oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries and other foods that are rich in Vitamin C. "Vitamin C is necessary for repairing and maintaining cartilage. In population-based studies, those with higher Vitamin C intake had less severe osteoarthritis and cartilage breakdown."A balanced exercise routine also helps by maintaining joint mobility and assisting with weight control. Obesity can lead to a greater risk of joint issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in three people who are obese may develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Even a loss of one or two pounds may feel more like 10 pounds to your joints.

Accessories That Are Easy, Convenient and Portable

HandyAccessoriesSome of your favorite accessories are the ones you reach for again and again, those items that are portable, easy, and convenient. When shopping for accessories for everyday use, special events, or travel, several factors stand out. The following tips will help you identify accessories that will make your life easier.

    • Easy. Ease of use is a top consideration in everyone’s favorite, go-to accessories. Be it a wallet with just the right number of slots, a purse with pockets in just the right place, or a smartphone case that doubles as an ID holder, the right accessories make your life easier. If you’re a smokeless tobacco user, a portable spittoon that can be open and shut with one hand makes it easy to enjoy smokeless tobacco on the go. The portable spittoon from Atlanta-based FLASR features a one-hand operational design for ease of use.