Red Tart Cherry Glazed Ham

Red Tart Cherry Glazed Ham Ingredients 1 4 to 5-pound fully cooked boneless ham, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1 12-ounce jar Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest Michigan Red Tart Cherry Preserves 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg Dash ground cloves, if desired 2 tablespoons raisins, if desired Preparation HEAT oven to 325°F. Overlap slices of ham in shallow baking pan; cover with aluminum foil. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140°F. COMBINE preserves, vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. ARRANGE ham slices on serving platter. Spoon 1/4 cup glaze over center of ham. Serve with remaining warm glaze. Serves Makes 16 servings Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes

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How Families Can Change Their Routines for the Better

(Family Features) Routine can be a good thing. Regular bedtimes and nightly family meals help foster healthier kids who are better prepared to tackle challenges. But some of your family’s routine habits may be getting in the way of something better.

Habits get established for any number of reasons – busy schedules, convenience, or not realizing you have other choices. Shortcuts and timesavers can give you more time to spend together, but they could also be shortchanging your experience.

How to Change a Habit

Breaking habits can be tough, but luckily there are many ways to reach your goals. Here are some simple questions and tips to help you break any bad family habits, and establish new, better ones.

  • What’s the habit?
    Get everyone together and talk about what family habit you would like to change. Is it unhealthy eating? Too much TV? Always running late? Start small and keep it simple. If everyone is involved in the conversation, you’re more likely to get everyone’s buy-in and meet with success.
  • What’s the reward?
    People stick to habits because something rewards that behavior. The reward makes it easier for the brain to put the behavior on autopilot, and before you know it, you have a habit. But the reward may not be that obvious. You may have to try out different rewards to discover what the true payoff for the bad habit really is. For example, you might discover that the real reward of watching TV after dinner is spending time together as a family.
  • What’s the plan?
    Once you identify the habit and understand its reward, you can come up with a family plan to start a new habit with new – and better – rewards for everyone.

Ideas for New Routines

Here are some common family habits that could use a little revamping – and some easy ways you can make a positive change.

TV Habits

After a long day, the couch seems to be calling you to just sit and watch TV – even though you know you could or should be doing other things. But you don’t have to be stuck in a TV rut. Talk about it as a family and see if you can figure out what your reward is for watching TV. Is it time together? Is it relaxation? Or is it enjoying a good story? Once you identify the reward, look for some other ways to get it.

  • Togetherness
    If it’s about being together, brainstorm some other family activities. Think about family game night, backyard soccer, arts and crafts projects, or time at the neighborhood park.
  • Relaxation
    If it’s just about chilling out, try substituting other relaxing activities like listening to music, or even just talking.
  • Story time
    If you all enjoy the story element of your favorite TV shows, how about looking for new stories? Set aside some individual reading time, or let everyone take turns reading aloud from their favorite book. Reading a whole story as a family is a fun activity – and younger kids may enjoy acting out their favorite scenes.

Information Habits

Families need to get information about pet grooming deals, kid-friendly restaurants, or vacation tips and deals. With a time crunch – and the force of old habits – it’s easy to rely on the same source for answers. But using the same search engine out of habit could be letting you down. For example, when it comes to search, people chose Bing web search results over Google nearly 2 to 1 in blind comparison tests.* In addition to useful results, Bing also offers access to your social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora and more, letting you exchange ideas and discover what your friends are searching – to help you spend less time hunting and more time doing. You can test if changing your habit is right for you with the Bing It On Challenge at www.bing.com.

Eating Habits

Full schedules often lead to fast food dinners or junk foods for snacks. While a quick meal when you’re busy may seem like a reward, it really adds up to spending extra money and adding extra calories. These ideas still get you food quickly, but with a much healthier payoff.

  • Take a look at your weekly schedule and plan meals and snacks accordingly. If you know a particular night is hectic, you can plan a make-ahead meal and healthier on-the-go snacks to take with you.
  • Keep healthy options handy. Apples are the perfect fast food – just pop one in your bag or stash one in the cup holder in your car. Pre-measure individual servings of trail mix or nuts and keep them in snack sized containers so you can just grab one and go.
  • If you do have to grab a fast food meal, try to make smarter choices. Go for grilled chicken instead of breaded and fried, salad instead of a burger, and apple slices instead of fries.

Remember, while some habits and routines can be helpful, it’s a good idea to re-examine them now and then to see if, with a few small changes, your family could be better off.

*Based on a comparison of web search results pane only; excludes ads, Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes and Google’s Knowledge Graph.

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Ensure a Fun and Safe Howl-O-Ween for Your Pet

(Family Features) Halloween isn’t just for kids. Pets are joining the festivities too by dressing up in fabulous costumes. But in addition to picking out a costume, pet parents should keep their pet’s safety in mind as well. Here are some safety tips and costume ideas to help ensure you and your pet have a safe and fun holiday.

Keep them happy. “Before having pets join in the Halloween fun, it’s important to assess whether your pet will be comfortable participating, or if the festivities will cause undue stress,” says Dr. Simon Starkey, Pet Care Expert at PetSmart. “If you have a young or senior pet, or one that is shy around others, it’s better to give them a quiet space away from all the activity where they’ll feel more comfortable.”

Make sure treats are pet friendly. With so many Halloween treats about the home, you want to make sure your dog doesn’t accidentally consume something that could be harmful. Chocolate is particularly tempting for pets, but it can also make them seriously ill. Instead, choose a pet friendly treat to celebrate, such as GREENIES Dental Chews, which also keep pets’ teeth clean and their breath scare-free.

Keep them safe. If you plan to take your dog around the neighborhood in the evening, make sure they’re properly outfitted. Reflective leashes, collars and ID tags with flashing lights are essential accessories for any pet Halloween costume.

Halloween Pet Fun
“Choosing a costume for your pet is like choosing a costume for yourself – you want something that reflects your or your pet’s personality,” says author and entertainment expert Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Here are a few favorites exclusively available at PetSmart:

Make your pet a star. If you fancy your pet a rock star, consider dressing them for the part. Check out the Bret Michaels Pets Rock wig. With blonde tresses and a bandana to top it off, your pet will be ready to rock and roll.

Classic costumes are spooktacular. For a fantastic costume that also offers safety features, check out the glow-in-the-dark Martha Stewart Pets Black Halloween Skeleton costume. Or, if you love retro, outfit your pet in the Top Paw Plush Sock Monkey costume, which is sure to evoke some “oohs” and “aahs” from witches, goblins, zombies and monsters of all ages.

Halloween Pets Shine
No matter what costume you choose, your pet is sure to look their best. Pet parents can show off their frighteningly adorable pets in costume at PetSmart’s annual Howl-O-Ween pet parade on October 20 at your local store or online via the Monster Cute Photo Contest Powered by GREENIES. Submit your pet’s Monster Cute photo at www.facebook.com/PetSmart between September 10 and October 21 for a chance to win the grand prize, which is valued at more than $10,000.

For more tips on pet safety as well as Halloween costumes and events, visit your local PetSmart or www.PetSmart.com.

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Stand Up to Bullying

(Family Features) Going back to school can be stressful for many kids, especially if they have been the victims of bullying. According to Youth Ambassadors 4 Kids Club, an organization dedicated to eliminating bullying, a student is bullied every seven minutes in our country, and an estimated 77 percent of students will experience some form of mental or physical bullying during their school years.

While the statistics are worrisome, there are measures parents and caregivers can take to help identify the signs of bullying and the anxiety it can induce so they can help their children manage through this difficult situation.

Recognizing Bullying

Bullying can take many forms, including hitting, threatening, intimidating, maliciously teasing and taunting, name calling, making sexual remarks, stealing or damaging personal belongings, and indirect attacks such as spreading rumors or getting others to exclude another student.

It’s also no longer limited to the classroom, lunchroom or playground. Today, cyberbullying -bullying through electronic outlets such as text messages and social media sites – has made this issue a 24/7 challenge.

“Bullying can have a significant impact on students,” said University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences instructor and expert on bullying Dr. John Nixon. “Children and teenagers who are bullied suffer from anxiety, fear, withdrawal, low self-esteem and poor concentration. Recognizing the warning signs is the first step toward ending the behavior.”

Signs that your child may be a victim of bullying include:

  • Coming home with damaged or missing clothing or belongings
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Frequent complaints of headaches, stomach aches or feeling sick
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Loss of interest in friends or going to school
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Trouble sleeping and/or having frequent bad dreams
  • Feelings of helplessness or not being good enough

What You Can Do if Your Child is Bullied

Establishing a process for detecting, discussing and monitoring bullying can help in more effectively reaching a solution. “It can be embarrassing for a child to admit that they are being bullied,” said Nixon. “And many kids don’t tell parents about it because they are afraid of either being blamed for the situation, or they are afraid of how the parents will react.”

Nixon offers some tips for what you can do:

  • Increase awareness – Parents must educate themselves on the signs of bullying and realize that they are not alone.
  • Communicate – Ask children questions about how they slept or what they are looking forward to doing in school that day. Their responses can provide a wealth of insight.
  • Gather more information – Ask teachers if they have noticed anything that would signal the child had been bullied. Also, check a child’s text messages and Facebook profile for signs of cyberbullying.
  • Develop an action plan – Put steps in place to monitor the signs of bullying to see if it persists and engage your child regularly to open up communication about the problem.
  • Follow through – It’s important to keep at it. Be active to both spot the signs of bullying and discuss them with the child to work toward a solution. If bullying persists, take action. Discuss the problem with the parents of the child who is bullying, if it is appropriate. Talk with your child’s teacher. If the teacher is not responsive, escalate the discussion up to the principal or superintendent if necessary.

There are more participants in bullying scenarios than just the bully and the victim. “More often than not,” said Nixon, “there are bystanders. These are students who know what is going on and either encourage it in some way, or sit back and do nothing. We need more kids to stop being bystanders and take a stand against bullying.”

You can find additional information on University of Phoenix degree offerings by visiting www.phoenix.edu, and more resources for helping students deal with bullying at www.a4kclub.org, and www.stopbullying.gov.

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Back From the Grave Cake

Ingredients

  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups sweetened applesauce
  • 1-1/4 cups diced Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium apple)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) White Decorator Icing

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare 3D Skeleton Casket pan with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; mix well. Alternately add flour mixture and applesauce to butter mixture. Spread about 1/2 of cake batter so that it reaches the first horizontal line inside the pan. Sprinkle diced apples evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, smoothing out the top.
  3. Bake 58 to 62 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on cooling grid.
  4. Decorate cooled cake with tip 5 and decorator icing.

Serves
Makes about 12 servings

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Summer Fun With Science

Kids love summer vacation, but parents often find it difficult to keep them engaged in productive activities. And most kids experience a summer learning slump during their time away from school. According to the National Summer Learning Association, at best, students show little or no academic growth over the summer, and at worst they lose one to three months of learning.

It’s possible to give kids a fun way to keep up with learning by providing engaging books that feature hands-on activities. Three new books from DK Publishing will help kids of all ages fill their summer with science fun.

“One Million Things: Space” (July 2010). Perfect for backyard sleepovers and camping trips, this book serves up imagery and information about all things cosmic: from planets, moons, and comets, to black holes, nebulae, distant solar systems and more. Young readers won’t be able to wait until sunset to start exploring. Elementary-aged kids will:

  • Learn about spherical and irregular asteroids by playing a computer game.
  • Find out about volcanoes in the solar system by comparing them to firecrackers.
  • Explore the universe with stunning photographic galleries.
  • “I’m a Scientist: Backyard” (July 2010). Part of a new series for younger readers, this book introduces kids to the world of science with a wealth of outdoor experiments. With clear, step-by-step instructions, the book is full of bite-sized experiments that help children absorb science easily. Preschoolers and early elementary students will learn how to:

    • Make a sun dial and tell time using the position of the sun.
    • Find out a tree’s age and then measure its height with just a stick and a piece of string.
    • Learn about centrifugal force with a simple bucket of water.

    “Big Idea Science Book” (July 2010). A comprehensive guide to key topics in science with a unique difference – an online component with 200 specially created digital assets that provide the opportunity for dynamic, hands-on, interactive learning. Older children can learn from video clips and interactive animations that take them:

    • Inside plants.
    • Around the human body.
    • Deep below the surface of the earth.

    Help kids flex their mental muscles during the summer with exciting projects and experiments that make learning fun. For more on these and other summer learning books, visit DK.com.

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    Are Help Guides a Help for College Prep Test Studying?

    Each year, millions of students gear up for a battery of pre-college testing. In order to help students do their best, Americans spend about $4 billion dollars on classes, tutors, study guides and books.

    While helpful, many test prep resources can be dull, making it more difficult for students to stay focused. To help make effective test prep more engaging, Wiley Publishing, Inc. has created a unique and exciting way for students to build their vocabulary and raise scores using Stephenie Meyer’s popular “Twilight” series.

    The “Twilight” books have a very loyal following, particularly among teens. Many parents looking to harness that passion into constructive study time find that the “Defining Twilight” guides are a perfect fit.

    The series first began in June 2009 with “Defining Twilight” and then expanded to include “Defining New Moon.” The third and latest book in the series, “Defining Eclipse: Vocabulary Workbook for Unlocking the SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT,” will arrive in stores on May 24, just in time for the release of the movie “Eclipse.”

    Author and test prep expert, Brian Leaf says, “Every time I see a newly administered SAT test, I am amazed at how many of the vocabulary words appear in the ‘Twilight’ books – words like solicitous, macabre, inexorably, inure, baleful, ecstatic, blithe, placate, haggard, belligerent, stymie and nebulous. Students who learn all the vocabulary words in the “Defining Twilight” series will absolutely raise their test scores.”

    “Defining Eclipse” has 40 four-page chapters with well over 600 vocabulary words and synonyms. Just grab a copy of “Eclipse,” refer to the page where each vocabulary word appears, read the word in context, and come up with a definition. Then check definitions against those provided in the workbook, make corrections, and complete the drills. Students will acquire vocabulary skills, learn synonyms, word parts, and memorization tools, and get drills and quizzes to integrate what they’ve learned.

    To find out more about “Defining Eclipse” and other books in the series, visit places like cliffnotes.com

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    Three Myths About Hearing Loss

    Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions in the world. Yet there are a number of mis-perceptions about hearing loss which lead many to let it go untreated.

    The Better Hearing Institute found that only 4 in 10 people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss use hearing aids. Many waited nearly seven years after they initially learned about their hearing loss to obtain a hearing aid, and that was after they’d lost so much hearing that their quality of life was affected. Hearing loss can create social and emotional barriers for the individuals living with it, or the families of those it affects. Research shows that when left untreated, hearing loss can lead to reduced earning power, disruptions in family life and can cause a wide range of other psychological problems.

    According to a survey conducted by Hear the World, a global initiative by leading hearing system manufacturer Phonak, frustration (46.8 percent), isolation (45.3 percent), and fear (36.8 percent) were the feelings most often associated with untreated hearing loss.

    “What I see in my practice is that the unnecessary fear and frustration associated with hearing loss and hearing aids is often accompanied by a lack of information about ways to prevent or solutions available to treat the condition,” said Dr. Kasper. “This is unfortunate given that hearing loss is a condition that can be treated with great benefit for the individual, as well as for society.”

    Myth: Hearing loss only affects the elderly
    Fact: Only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are over age 64. In fact, it affects all age groups.

    • The number of Americans with hearing loss has grown to more than 34 million-roughly 11 percent of the U.S. population.
    • In the United States, more than one million school-aged children have hearing problems.
    • According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 26 million Americans have high-frequency hearing loss that may have been caused by exposure to loud noise at work or in leisure activities.

    Activities that put people at risk for noise-induced hearing loss include target shooting, hunting, snowmobile riding, woodworking and other hobbies, playing in a band and attending rock concerts. Harmful noises at home may come from lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and shop tools.

    Myth: If I have a hearing loss, my doctor would have told me.
    Fact: According to the Better Hearing Institute, only 15 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. And without special training, it may be difficult for your doctor to realize the extent of your hearing problem.

    Do you:

    • Have trouble hearing over the telephone?
    • Often ask people to repeat what they are saying?
    • Find it hard to follow conversations when two or more people are talking?
    • Think that others seem to mumble?
    • Have a problem hearing because of background noise?
    • Have trouble understanding when women and children speak to you?

    If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, visit a hearing healthcare professional and get properly tested.

    Myth: Hearing aids are big and uncomfortable.
    Fact: Hearing aid design and technology has developed significantly in recent years.

    “Hearing loss and the solutions available to treat it have long been misunderstood,” said Dr. Craig Kasper, chief audiology officer of Audio Help Associates of Manhattan. “Hearing aids have come a long way and it is important to the well-being of those with hearing loss that these mis-perceptions be addressed. In fact, recent technology advances have made it possible for those who need a hearing aid to wear their devices with ease and confidence.”

    Today’s hearing aids work with digital technology and are equipped with powerful computer chips, ensuring better sound quality, wireless connectivity, modern design and ever smaller dimensions to help users wear their hearing aids with minimal detection.

    Good hearing plays a crucial part in quality of life. Don’t let myths about hearing loss keep you from enjoying what life has to offer. Get anonline hearing test and then locate a hearing health professional in your area.

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    Easy Ways to Organize Your Workspace

    Whether you have a home office or just a small corner that serves as the family work station, keeping it organized is key to getting things done. These simple tips will help clear out the clutter and make the most of your space.

    Supplies and Demand. From paper clips to reams of paper, everything needs a place to go. Dumping it all into one drawer doesn’t really help you find things when you need them.
    * Prefab drawer organizers don’t always fit the drawer sizes you have, so make your own. Use small containers such as mini loaf pans, small plastic baskets or other small square or rectangle tins and boxes. They’ll hold paper clips, thumbtacks, stamps, sticky note pads and plenty of other small desk items.
    * For desktop storage, use jars, small vases or decorated cans to hold pens and pencils. They’re small and can add an interesting visual element to your work space.
    Cut Cord Clutter. There’s nothing like a tangle of electrical cords to make an area seem even more cluttered.

    Wireless Charging Station. To tame the cords needed to charge up electronic devices, go wireless instead. Powermat helps eliminate dead batteries, constant plugging/unplugging, loss of chargers and tangled wires. With real-time wireless charging for phones, games, music players and other popular electronic devices, Powermat allows users to charge multiple devices simultaneously, charging as fast as or faster than the device’s charger. It senses when the device is fully charged, and stops sending power so that it not only saves energy, but protects from overcharging.

    The Powermat system pairs an ultra-thin mat with a sleek receiver that attaches to each device, enabling users to simply drop and charge. Custom receivers are available for the iPhone, iPod, Nintendo DS and Blackberry devices. These and over one thousand other devices may be charged using the convenient Powercube, a universal receiver that comes standard with every Powermat. Available in Portable or Home & Office versions, Powermat makes a great gift for any anyone looking to de-clutter their home or office. The Powermat’s suggested retail price is $99.99 for mats and $29.99 – $39.99 for receivers. Visit www.powermat.com for more information.

    Go Vertical. Why spread out if you can spread up? Look for ways to take advantage of any vertical space you may have.
    * Even one wall shelf can add some much needed storage space.
    * Put up a wall-mounted message center, or create one with a small bulletin board, a write-on board, and a wall file.
    * Stack equipment, but don’t cover up any venting. Use small chair-leg protectors as spacers in between to let air circulate and prevent overheating.

    It doesn’t take much – and it doesn’t have to cost much – to get your workspace organized. A few simple fixes and you’re on your way to a more productive day.

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    Easy Ways to Better Your Community


    Easy Ways to Better Your Community

    Small town, big city, the suburbs or the country – no matter where you live, you’re part of a local community. Without realizing it, you can have a big impact on your community by the everyday choices that you make. And a thriving local community is good for everyone who lives there.

    Why You Should Go Local

    Local First, a Grand Rapids, Michigan based organization that encourages sustainable, locally-based economies, states that when you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Local First estimates that for every $100 you spend with local businesses, $73 remains in the community. Only $57 remains in the local economy when you buy from a national chain store.

    Most new jobs are provided by local businesses as well, and local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners. This means that your support of local businesses has a farther-reaching effect than you might realize. You’re helping people find and keep jobs, and you’re helping make it possible for charitable organizations to continue doing much-needed work.

    How You Can Go Local

    Start Subscribing. Get a subscription to your community newspapers and local magazines. Not only will they keep you informed about what’s happening in your community, but you’ll help support local business.

    Shop Locally. There are plenty of locally owned businesses and service providers in your neighborhood. One easy way to find them is through MerchantCircle.com, a social network of about 1 million local businesses. By signing up for a free account, you can easily search out and follow nearby businesses and service providers such as jewelers, plumbers, grocers, and accountants,  to get coupons and find out about special events and offers. MerchantCircle’s “Answers” lets you get expert advice from local businesses in your area and across the country on virtually any topic for free. Car mechanics, veterinarians and professionals in every industry will quickly respond, saving you time and often money.

    Get Involved. Many communities have volunteer advisory councils for local governments – everything from city planning committees to arts councils. Check out your town’s web site to find out how you can impact the development and character of your community.

    Visit Local Attractions. Parks, arboretums, museums, parades, festivals, theatres – there plenty of ways to have a good time without leaving town. A staycation or weekend getaway at home is less expensive for you than heading out of town, and you get to enjoy local treasures.

    Volunteer. Local schools, community centers, libraries, museums and charities often need people like you. Check the local paper, community bulletin boards and web sites such as VolunteerMatch.org to find out what you can do to make your community stronger.

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