Pro Advice
February 19, 2016

How Not to Let Your Fashion Addiction Lead You into A Debt Trap



For most of the people around the world, fashion is a harmless indulgence that makes them feel good about themselves from time to time. For many women (and men) fashion is a craving that refuses to be controlled. For those who are unable to resist the allure of the latest fashion line-ups so extravagantly displayed by seductive models across all the media, it can lead to an uncontrollable addiction that can have a multitude of very grave financial complications. However, the fashion industry, already raking in billions, can only hope to continue on their high growth trajectory by making people addicted to shopping for the latest.

The Fix of the Fashion-Junkie

The fashion industry incessantly attempts to reinvent itself and exert increasing pressure on its customers to keep up with the latest trends. The customers are usually at the end of very high-profile and seductive publicity campaigns that force them to try and emulate the idealized images of the rich and the famous in the ever-elusive quest for the perfect look. The incessant pressure forces women and a lot of men too, to buy expensive articles of clothing only to discard them at the end of the season and buy new ones coming into vogue.

Spending hard-earned money on clothes and fashion accessories is bad enough, but it is made far worse with the easy availability of personal loans, credit cards, and store cards. Millions have discovered that it can be very easy to succumb to the charm of fashion with a quick swipe of the card. It’s only when you end up spending far more than what you can afford that the dreamy look on your face can get somewhat fixed.

Manage Your Credit Card Use

If you have already accumulated a lot of debt on your credit cards, then it is time to take urgent action. Make a list of all the outstanding balances on each card and try and identify a credit card that is offering a zero-balance scheme. Switch all you debt into that card and stop using all the other cards immediately. Make sure that you pay off as much as possible before the zero interest period runs out. If you have other personal loans outstanding then it may be a good idea to find out more about bill consolidation loans that will make the task of debt management far easier by leaving you with just one loan amount instead of multiple ones.

How to Keep Your Fashion Addiction in Check

With new style appearing on the catwalks of the fashion capitals of the world every season, it can be really tough not to succumb to the glitz and glamour of the make-believe world with a simple swipe of the credit card. The Internet has also made it very easy for people to know what exactly is happening all over the world and to buy exotic stuff from specialist online retailers. Unless you keep a strict watch, it is very easy to get ensnared in a debt trap that will engulf you slowly but surely.

Fast Fashion – Is It For You?

The amount of money that you could be spending on items that remain trendy only for a few months and have no use thereafter could be substantial. You need to ask yourself whether it is important for you to stay on top of the fashion curve, because if the possessions are no longer in fashion after a few months, it might be wiser to stay away from them altogether or seek cheaper substitutes. However, apparels that stay perennially in the fashion such as tailored shorts, jeans, fitted pants, knitwear etc. you may wish to pay a premium for the quality as you would be using them for a long time.

Getting fashionable items from end-of-season sales can also be a very good idea for saving money as you can expect substantial discounts.

Author bio: Susan Brown is a personal debt counselor at a leading debt consolidation company. Passionate about personal finance management, she has written a number of articles on bill consolidation loans in the online media.





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February 17, 2016

How Single Moms Can Solve Their Transportation Problem


Life can indeed be very difficult for single mothers. Not only do they have to earn enough to support themselves and their children but also need to play the roles of both the mother and the father. Single moms, who are trying their best, to take care of their children often discover that after food and shelter, dependable transportation is one of life’s most basic necessities.

Lack of reliable transportation can be among the biggest barriers in the efforts of single mothers to work and be self-sufficient. Apart from the really big cities, it can be next to impossible to go to work and come back home without a personal vehicle as public transportation can be completely absent. Among the other challenges faced by single moms are taking the kids to school, and thereafter haul them to activities or day-care or even attend social functions.

Recognition of the Concern

Taking cognizance of the huge problem faced by single mothers, the American government, both at the Federal and state levels, have put into place a number of programs to help out single mothers. A number of charitable organizations too have joined in to make their lives easier. A study of the people under the ambit of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, of which single mothers constitute a vast majority, revealed that most of them have no or extremely limited access to cars.

Without access to personal transport, the opportunity to be employed and hence the earning potential can be severely restricted. This limitation translates to an increased dependence on government assistance, and a poorer quality of life.

Car Donation Program

The federal government devised a program that incentivized car owners to donate their cars when they were replacing them with an offer of a tax deduction. This several decades old scheme has been successful to a certain extent and car donation has become popular. The scheme also makes it more convenient for car owners to dispose their cars when they no longer need them. The proceeds of the auctions held to sell off the donated cars have been of great assistance to non-profits and charitable organizations. Commencing form the mid-1990s, a number of state governments have also implemented such programs to improve the access to transportation of TANF recipients.

While some programs simply donated the cars to eligible recipients, others offered them loans with nil or nominal interest rates to enable the recipients to purchase the cars. A number of programs also made the cars available on lease contracts, though there are no statistics available on how many of them managed to be regular with their monthly payments. While all residents of US, irrespective of the state of residence, can donate cars and qualify for the tax deduction, not every state offers programs that match the needs of single parents under the TANF program. Unfortunately, even at the federal level such a matching program does not exist.

The Role of Charities

A number of charities have also started accepting donated cars and giving them to single mothers who are finding the lack of personal transport to be a big challenge in finding or holding jobs. People are also encouraged to donate their cars as the charities take it upon themselves to collect the cars, clean them up, and park them until a recipient is found so that the donor can proceed to apply for the tax credit.

A single mother’s life can be truly transformed by the access to a car. Single mothers can take advantage of car donor programs to open up new opportunities and lead a better life.

Author bio: Marjorie Frost is associated with a car donation program of a leading charity. She also writes for a number of auto and car finance websites, like

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February 7, 2016

A Word from the experts on Investing in Real Estate in Stowe



Real estate is a difficult world to understand, and as a layman, you need someone to hold your hand and show you the ropes. Real estate in Stowe, Vermont has recently experienced an all-time high due to the great returns that some of the investors have made and have testified to. Stowe is located in an ideal area in the United States where real estate companies have profited in the purchase of areas for the popular ski resorts and mountain resorts.

In this high stakes industry, you need experts to help you along the way. Below are some important facts straight from the mouth of the winners in real estate Stowe, Vermont. It is important to note them down before you embark on real estate as an investor.

  •         Due diligence– you must confirm, research and find out everything about the property you are interested in. Try your best to obtain all information possible about your potential investment. Information such as the history of the property, potential future income and capital costs should be well understood and at your fingertips.
  •         Do not try to reinvent the wheel– What I mean by this is that you should follow the footsteps of the ones who have already made it in the real estate world. Talk to the experts and more so the winners. Do as they did. There is always a formula to success in every niche and it is simple to find out what the secret to real estate is.
  •         Collaborate with the right people-Partnering with the ideal real estate firm or agent can make or break you in the investment sector. A reliable and honest partner will be able to advise you on the steps you need to take in order to succeed. More importantly, investigate their track record before you collaborate fully with them.
  •         Never trust the spoken word– Although many deals are made and closed verbally, it is advised that you put everything in writing. Everything concerning your investment, such as leases, amendments, notices, addendums and even general communication should always be written down and where necessary acknowledged by all parties involved. This will avoid future conflict situations and lead to better understanding and referencing.
  •         Location, location, location– Those are the three golden words in real estate and are especially important to an investor. Location always relates to home value. It can have a great impact on your investment risk. Most people look at making a good deal based on square footage and property characteristics forgetting that location is the most important factor to consider

Buying and selling of homes has become more than what you see on the surface. The real estate industry is in fact a multi-million dollar industry in the United States of America alone. Investing in this industry has become an increasingly popular prospect for most Americans especially over the past fifty years. It has become a very profitable investment vehicle since it presents a large array of opportunities. You must however seek advice from the experts as owning real estate is a lot more complicated than investing in stocks and bonds.



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February 4, 2016

How to Stop Blame Game in Your Relationship


Blame games occur often in relationships, particularly, when the problem arises and no one admits his or her fault. Every person bears some flaws. Most of the time, a person tries to defend his or her stance by putting the blame on others. When a person undergoes a negative experience, certain defenses develop in mind. These defenses do not allow a person to trust others. However, continuation of blame game does not make partners happy and may lead to separation, but there are ways to work on this issue and live a happy life.

Avoid Framing Case

When conflict takes place, it is easy to bring allegations on partner’s character with all kinds of proof. You may start pointing out incidents where your partner has failed to perform the prescribed task.

Framing case against your partner is problematic. Once you start to see your partner in a certain way, you often judge his or her actions in a negative manner. You often treat innocent comments as critical ones. Here, you need to maintain a balanced perspective on situations that occur. You can learn how to deal with such a situation by visiting good sources of relationship management like

Maintain Calmness

When you enter into a relationship, you would notice how certain things set you off, when defenses are at work. The withholding attitude or the bad mood of your partner can make you land in the primal state and the situation becomes worse when the behavior reminds something painful from the past.

Most of the time, your instinct would direct you to enter into loggerhead with your partner. This would not solve the issue. When you feel triggered, you should relax before you react. You keep your partner’s temper under control by calming down yourself first.

Never Bring Things Back From the Past

When the blame game starts, it goes out of control. No one becomes ready to admit fault. Nobody can emerge as a winner through arguments. If you wish to improve your relationship, then you have to ensure that you should not speak any point, which is related to the past.

You have to shed your previous thoughts for ensuring the flow of positive feelings between you and your partner. This, in turn, allows you to drop your reactive defenses. Further, you can exchange feedbacks with each to lead a happy life.

Analyze Your Patterns

When you have calmed yourself and have stepped away from the argument, you start figuring out your patterns. When you get triggered, it is crucial for you to observe the moment. You have to analyze if you have overreacted. Is your reaction anything to do with the past?

You can think about what sets you off and the patterns that influence your relationship. Here, you need to accept that a couple is formed with two persons having different mindsets. You have to respect the compassion and differences when you are at confrontation with your partner.

Be Bold to Receive a Feedback

When you initiate a dialogue, it is important to listen to the points, which your partner says. Feedback should not be avoided. Do not think that you would be devastated when you receive feedback. A feedback has the power of bringing transformation to one’s life by helping him or her to live with honesty.

Develop the Sense of Compassion

When you start identifying your defenses and those of your partner, you would know why your partner behaves in a particular manner. When you find the reasons of getting triggered, you can develop the sense of compassion.

In order to stop the blame game, you need to calm down yourself first. Then you can easily analyze yours as well as behavioral patterns of your partner and ask for feedback. This way, you can settle for a happy deal with your partner.

Author Bio – Jenice Decosta is a life coach expert. She has prevented couples from getting separated by solving blame game issues. To know more about her tips on happy relationship, visit





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January 31, 2016

6 Foods That Can Help Save Your Skin From Sun Damage



Just as an unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Since antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. Dr. Nicholas Sieveking is a Nashville, TN board certified plastic surgeons and the director of Ageless Solutions, a comprehensive anti-aging and wellness center.
To be clear, Dr. Sieveking is not saying you should completely replace your daily sunscreen with food, but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin. So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, add these six sun-friendly foods to your next shopping list.

1. Berries & stone fruits
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.
2. Leafy greens
If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.
Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.
3. Red & orange produce
The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.
Betacarotene is another antioxidant that has natural sunscreen properties: it’s been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns. You can find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, mango and apricots.
4. Micro-algae
Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea — along with chlorella — contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.
If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.
5. Chocolate
As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sun burns and other UV-induced issues.
Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.
6. Green & black tea
The myriad health benefits of tea are well-known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area.
Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.
Bon appétit!
Dr. Nicholas Sieveking is a board certified plastic surgeon who completed his training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. After Stanford, he received additional fellowship training in Aesthetic Surgery in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil. In addition to his plastic surgery board certification, Dr. Sieveking is also board certified with advanced fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine. This double board certification enables Dr. Sieveking to be the most complete anti-aging surgeon and physician to treat his patient’s age-related needs, from the inside to the outside. Dr. Sieveking’s comprehensive solo practice includes advanced cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, state of the art cosmetic laser and skin care services, Bio-identical hormone replacement therapies, medically-supervised weight loss programs, and cutting edge laboratory testing for hormone, amino acid, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies as well as toxin analysis and food and chemical sensitivities testing.
Dr. Sieveking has operated and lectured around the world on topics of face lifts, breast surgery, and cleft lip and palate repair. He has authored a chapter on Rhinoplasty in one of the major training textbooks for plastic surgery residents. In 2012 and 2013, he was voted “Top Plastic Surgeon in Nashville” in two Readers Polls by the citizens of Nashville.

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December 30, 2015

Holiday Travel Tips Everyone Should Know


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the holiday season surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for traveling. In fact, travel during that time of the year increases 23 percent, compared to the rest of the year. As many people take to the highways and skies, there are some tips they should keep in mind in order to help keep them safer and healthier along the way.

“It’s a big mistake to just pack and go and not put much thought into your travel wellness,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of travel wellness company, Savvy Travelers. “You want to make sure that you pack smart, keep toiletries simple, and be safe and healthy and try to avoid getting sick. That’s the best way to get the most out of your traveling and enjoy it more.”

Your vacation starts when you board the plane, so indulge in a decadent chocolate and a glass of red wine, then relax with a great new album or a inspiring book. Cozy up in a luxurious wrap and noise cancelling headphones, maybe even bring some socks to keep your feet warm. Wipe off your makeup and slather on a rich moisturizer for hands, face, and a good lip balm, so upon touch down you arrive fabulously.

Here are some holiday travel tips that everyone should know:

· Stay clean. Germs abound when traveling, especially if you are on an airplane or cruise ship. Consider taking a Savvy Travelers kit (available at along, which will help eliminate the germs and reduce the risks. The kits are lightweight and offer sanitizing luxe sheets for hands, counters, airplane trays and seats, hotel remote controls, and more.

· Leave early. Lots of people will be traveling on the same days and to many of the same places. Leave early so there’s extra time and nobody will feel stressed by being in a time crunch. It’s better to arrive at the airport early, for example, than to be rushing through security and to the gate to make it on time.

· Pack lightly. Get past the urge to pack more than what is needed, as extra items will just slow everyone down. Pack just those things that are needed for the trip and can be mixed and matched for multiple uses. Less packing will usually also mean less to stress about. Also, if you do a lot of shopping at your holiday destination (or receive a lot of gifts), consider shipping them home. The small fee will be worth alleviating any stress that trying to lug them back would create.

· Have patience. Holiday travel can test your patience, because you are often dealing with large crowds and weather delays. Find ways to keep occupied if you are stuck in an airport, for example. Take a deck of cards, ear plugs with calming music, and a book to read, such as the new autobiography by Tina Aldatz, “From Stilettos to the Stock Exchange,” a compelling and heartwarming story of success against all odds. Be sure to also pack some snacks in case there’s a delay in reaching the next meal.

· Pick your days wisely. If possible, choose to travel on the non-peak days during the holiday season. This will help ensure things are a little less busy, which should make for a more enjoyable travel experience.

· Keep it unwrapped. Those taking presents along with them should avoid wrapping them ahead of time if they are flying. Wrapped gifts may be unwrapped by security. Rather, take flat packed gift bags and tissue and wrap them when you arrive at your destination.

“Being prepared is half the battle of any travel that you will do this holiday season,” says Margie Floris, co-founder of Savvy Travelers, a marketing expert who also helped Foot Petals to become globally successful. “Also, take a carry-on and you won’t suffer when you arrive at your destination and find your luggage lost or delayed. If you are prepared then you are going to find it less stressful and you will end up a savvy traveler!”

Savvy Travelers offers a line of products that help to keep travelers healthy and comfortable. The company offers a line of pre-packaged individual sanitizing personal and surface luxe sheets, antiperspirant deodorant sheets, mouth cleansing sheets, and more. Savvy Travelers travel wellness products are available for only $10 a box, with 6 individually wrapped sheets per box, at all Nordstrom locations around the country. Making a great stocking stuffer, they include the following: “Take Offz” hyper hydrating facial cleanser and moisturizer sheets, “In The Klear” lens & screen cleaner sheets, “No Sweat” deodorant sheets, and “Speak Easy” mouth cleansing sheets. For more information, visit the site at: or shop Nordstrom.

About Savvy Travelers: Dedicated to overall travel wellness while offering lifestyle components for both personal and surface use. Savvy Travelers high performance products are individually packed in a disposable sheet form that removes 99 percent of surface contamination. Proudly made in California, Savvy Travelers’ line of convenient, single-use, eco-friendly, disposable products help consumers carry all of their must-haves while they travel for a healthy, easy, on-the-go experience. Keeping travelers healthy for all their destinations! Follow @Savvy_Travelers on social media and like us on Facebook.

# # #


U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Holiday Travel.>

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December 15, 2015

Top Holiday Scams & How to Avoid Them



By: Justin Lavelle,

The holiday season is in full swing and with it brings a time of happiness and joy, travel, family time, decorating, and shopping. Unfortunately, it also brings with it the possibility of holiday scams. Thieves are on top of their game over the holiday season and consider it a primte time to scam people who are busy and distracted, shopping more than usual, receiving multiple deliveries to their homes and are away traveling to see friends and family. Thieves also prey upon people who are feeling more giving and susceptible during this time of year.

Don’t leave yourself open to a typical scam going on this holiday season. Get ‘in the know’ on the top holiday scams and how to avoid them with the below tips.

  • Limit Email List Sign Up—As for those hundreds of email lists you’ve signed up for to get the first time purchase discount, don’t discount what a dedicated thief can do with just those limited pieces of information. Only sign up for lists from vendors you trust and frequent regularly.
  • Invest In A Shredder—While the new generation of data breaches that have afflicted companies and consumers alike seem to exist in a world of high-tech software, there are some hardware solutions that can help prevent hackers from getting a leg up on you. Ensure that all bills, bank statements and even presorted junk mail with your name on it gets thoroughly destroyed before being thrown away. Many scams still revolve around obtaining your info through traditional pieces of mail. Better yet, opt out of credit card junk mail and switch to paperless billing with all of your bills. It will save trees and give identity thieves less of an opportunity to make you a mark.
  • Make Sure Your Online Romance is More ‘White Christmas’ and Less Holiday Scam Artistry—scam artists know that people are typically lonelier around the holidays without family or a partner and may be more vulnerable, leaving themselves open to online dating scams. Due to the anonymity of the internet, lying and scamming can be incredibly easy. They play on emotions to get money, gifts and personal information. If you’re not careful, you could get scammed out of your time (and feelings) or even money. Always insist on photos (more than the profile photo which could be fake). Ask for specific details about their life and look for inaccuracies and avoidance in answering questions. Beware of people who express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time. Never send money or give personal information to anyone.
  • Beware Of Gift Delivery Theft—You’d be shocked by how many packages are stolen from the doorstep of homes in busy neighborhoods during the holiday season. With tons of packages arriving and sitting on your doorstep while you’re at work, they make a tempting and easy target for thieves. If you live in a city or high-foot traffic area, consider an Amazon Locker or send your packages to your office or with a neighbor you know will be home during the day.
  • Deter Potential Holiday Time Burglars—Holiday travel leads to empty homes and an increase in home burglaries. According to the FBI, nearly 400,000 homes are burglarized each year during the holiday season. And they aren’t just after what’s under the Christmas tree, they also want jewelry, electronics, guns, phones, and cash. Take some common sense steps to deter thieves. Have a neighbor you trust check in on your home. Consider investing in a home security system and a lighting system that will alternate your lights to give the appearance of people being at home. Buy inexpensive window locks and make sure your front doors and door leading to the garage are locked at all times, most homes are broken into during the afternoon hours.
  • Don’t Fall Prey To Charity Fraud—The season of giving is also the season of taking to a thief. Charity fraud is common this time of year. Use a website like Charity Navigator to research charities and their legitimacy. Don’t be afraid of giving, just use caution and check out ones you aren’t familiar with.
  • Protect The Elderly From Scams—Unfortunately, the elderly tend to be a target for scam artists year round but they prey on them during the holidays. Older folks sometimes spend holidays alone and find themselves more lonely and vulnerable. This is the perfect entry for a scammer. They may call them with a need to send money for an emergency, allow them into their homes, or fall for ‘special sales.’ Help prevent this by talking with elderly family, friends and neighbors and remind them to be wary of these types of scams.
  • Get Key Information From Private/Unknown Sellers—Before you buy your holiday gifts at a great deal from a private seller (such as on Craig’s List) ask for their key identifying information such as full name, address, phone number, etc. With multiple pieces of information, you can cross reference the data on a search and make sure they match up. This will give you the confidence that if something goes wrong with the sale, you’ll have some way of connecting with the seller.
  • Due Diligence When Dealing With Small Merchants—If you’re dealing with a small merchant, you can verify the person is associated with the business by doing a search and connecting their DBA or LLC with the individual’s name. Just confirm the business name and location with the individual who is emailing you. Sometimes you can track their area code back to their area of business as well to help confirm it’s legitimate.  Consider the customer service options the website offers. Check a company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau, look at review sites, or even search a retailer’s name along with “scam” to see if it checks out. The BBB is also a valuable tool to learn about new scams circulating.
  • Avoid Online Shopping in Public Places With Wi-Fi—Although coffee shops, grocery stores and other public places may have convenient internet connections, they’re often not secure which could allow someone else to easily access your information.
  • Be Aware Of 3rd Party Companies Tracking Your Online Habits—These companies use data collecting tools and assemble info. into databases in order to sell the data (in addition to shopping habits, gender, age info., they can even locate our physical address via your computer’s IP address. These databases also hold information on personal questions we Google-health, relationship issues, etc.). Basically they are selling our demographic information combined with our habits. Prevent this by clearing out your cache, turn off cookie trackers so sites won’t remember you, apply privacy blockers, and select a service that masks IP addresses.
  • If An Offer Looks Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is—This probably goes without saying, but be wary of random links or emails that have unbelievable offers as it could be malware to steal their credentials when they log into banking websites later on. Also beware of door-to-door sales. Fake notifications about package delivery problems are common during the holidays also.
  • Go with Your Gut Feeling—Always use common sense, your intuition, and public data to help inform your decisions during the holiday season and enjoy the time with your family and friends.


Justin Lavelle is BeenVerified’s social media and blogging content director. BeenVerified was founded in 2007 by Josh Levy and Ross Cohen with a mission to help people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives. BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses and property records which, in turn, helps them prevent becoming a victim of common holiday scams. Visit them on Facebook, Twitter and on their blog.

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December 5, 2015

Want Glowing Skin? 5 Easy Steps That Start With Your Gut


It’s easy to overlook our gut as the source of skin troubles. But if the well-being of our internal organs and energy levels are determined by what we put in our mouths, why shouldn’t the same be true for our skin? Dr. Nicholas Sieveking is a Nashville, TN Stanford-trained, board certified plastic surgeon who also holds a board certification with advanced fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Functional medicine. The Clinic of Ageless Solutions is the most comprehensive anti-aging clinic available to treat almost every aspect of the aging process and health from the inside out.

Dr. Sieveking illustrates what an unhealthy gut can do to your skin:
• It disrupts the flora in the skin as it creates inflammation, affecting the integrity and protective function of the skin. This can lead to a drop in the microbial power of the skin to fight infection and inflammation. Research shows that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine, is ten times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea, and that a correction of gut flora led to marked clinical improvement in their skin conditions.
• Altered gut flora can activate the release of substance P — a neuropeptide produced in the gut, brain and skin that plays a major role in inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
• An unhealthy gut can result in maldigestion and the malabsorption of proteins, fats, carbs and vitamins. SIBO can lead to nutritional deficiencies including vitamin B12, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K (fat-soluble vitamins) which are all critical for optimal skin health and overall good health.
• An imbalance of stomach acid can result in the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the colon, which can lead to acne. (This was discovered over a century ago!)
• 14% of patients with ulcerative colitis and 24% of patients with Crohn’s disease (both diseases that affects the lining of the digestive tract) have skin manifestations.

Correcting your gut flora and establishing a healthy glow — inside and out — doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are five easy steps you can take to start the healing process:
1. Stop feeding the bad guys.
The bad flora in your gut has a field day with sugar, dairy and processed grains. Starve the little critters by reducing your intake of these foods — your skin will thank you.
2. Start taking a probiotic.
Oral probiotics have been shown to improve skin conditions by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as strengthening the intestinal barrier. In one study, 80% of participants who received a probiotic experienced improvement in their acne. Here are 10 probiotic foods to add to your diet.
3. Eat prebiotic- and fiber-rich foods.
Prebiotics provide food for probiotics and can be just as important as probiotics in maintaining healthy skin and gut. Asparagus, beetroot, pumpkin, flaxseeds and garlic are wonderfully rich prebiotic foods. Fiber helps the process by sweeping away toxins and excess hormones which can wreak havoc on the skin.
4. Eat fermented foods.
Fermented foods can be a wonderful way of introducing good gut flora in a natural way. They also assist with improving digestion and stopping persistent sugar cravings.
5. Up your digestive ability.
Promoting the body’s hydrochloric acid production is critical to improving its ability to break down and absorb food. Splash apple cider vinegar onto your salads and increasing your consumption of bitter foods such as rocket, dandelion, lemon and radicchio will increase your digestive power.
Remember that what you put on and in your body are both important! Get your gut in order and your skin will follow.

Dr. Nicholas Sieveking is a board certified plastic surgeon who completed his training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. After Stanford, he received additional fellowship training in Aesthetic Surgery in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil. In addition to his plastic surgery board certification, Dr. Sieveking is also board certified with advanced fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine. This double board certification enables Dr. Sieveking to be the most complete anti-aging surgeon and physician to treat his patients age-related needs, from the inside to the outside. Dr. Sieveking’s comprehensive solo practice includes advanced cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, state of the art cosmetic laser and skin care services, Bio-identical hormone replacement therapies, medically-supervised weight loss programs, and cutting edge laboratory testing for hormone, amino acid, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies as well as toxin analysis and food and chemical sensitivities testing.
Dr. Sieveking has operated and lectured around the world on topics of face lifts, breast surgery, and cleft lip and palate repair. He has authored a chapter on Rhinoplasty in one of the major training textbooks for plastic surgery residents. In 2012 and 2013, he was voted “Top Plastic Surgeon in Nashville” in two Readers Polls by the citizens of Nashville.

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December 3, 2015

Halting Hackers For The Holidays


By Gary S. Miliefsky

October was National Cyber Security Awareness month and during that time, millions of online identities were stolen in America with more than 200 published breaches.

We’re now getting close to 1 billion records of identity theft – more than three times our entire population in the United States.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans have heard, read or seen something about online safety and security issues recently, according to Yet consumers also say they don’t take steps to stay safe online because they lack information or knowledge.

So here are my best tips to help you enjoy Black Friday, CyberMonday and the Christmas shopping experience without losing your privacy and identity or putting your children’s safety at risk:

• Change your passwords – all of them. Do it now and do it as frequently as you can tolerate. If you don’t want to change them often, then use any unique characters you can think of, such as a dollar sign ($) or an exclamation mark (!) or replace a letter “O” with a 0 (zero). This goes a long way in preventing brute force attacks against your password. Also, never trust anyone on the phone who asks for your password, especially if they called you. The same holds true with emails. Both the telephone and email are used by people who try to get your password by pretending to be the IRS, your bank or someone else you have an account with.

• Clean up your apps. Assume most of your smartphone or tablet apps are malware that spies on you and your online behavior. Do you really need them? Delete any apps you don’t use often. Replace apps that take advantage of too many of your privacy settings with similar apps that don’t. On an iPhone, you’re not being eavesdropped on until you run the app.

• Shop online only from websites you trust. If you don’t know where the merchant is located, don’t shop online there. If they don’t have a corporate address or are located in another country, it could be iffy whether you ever see the goods you think you purchased. Also, if their shopping-cart experience is not an HTTPS browser session, then everything you type in ¬– your name, address and credit card information – is going over the Internet unencrypted, in plain view.

Never buy online using your credit card on a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. It’s easy to tell you are in a secure, encrypted session. You should see an icon of a locked padlock in your browser and the website URL starts with HTTPS not HTTP. Also, if you receive emails from the merchant, no matter the reason, don’t give them your credit card information over email.

• Don’t use cash or debit cards. You have three major choices when shopping – cash, credit or debit. In rare but growing instances there’s even a fourth option called “Bitcoins,” which are now accepted at some merchants including Bitcoins could be considered the equivalent to the cash option, because once used, you can’t get them back. So, if you have to choose among these options, the best is the credit card.

Here’s why: If you experience identity theft, credit card laws allow you to keep all of your credit immediately, with no responsibility during an identity theft or fraud investigation. With a debit card, your bank’s policy can be to tie up your money in the amount of the fraudulent transactions for up to 30 days. Some have been known to take up to 60 days to resolve the issue.

• Don’t use public WiFi without using SSL encryption. Public Wifi networks can be a hacker’s dream. If they want, they can see what websites you are visiting and insert malware into your computer or other device. The hacker also has access to any information you are sending out over the Internet, which could include credit card numbers or other critical information.


About Gary S. Miliefsky

Gary Miliefsky recently blew the lid on the how Russian, Chinese and Indian hackers are behind the top 10 flashlight apps specifically designed to collect and expose your personal information to cybercriminals abroad. Fox News Bret Baier’s interview with Miliefsky broke records for Fox with over 5 million views. Miliefsky is a consumer advocate who has been recently featured on ABC, Good Morning America, World News Tonight, NBC’s Today, FOX News, CNBC and elsewhere for his expertise as a cyber security expert. He is Founder of SnoopWall Inc. (, a cutting edge counter-intelligence technology company offering free consumer based software to secure personal data on cell-phones and tablets, while generating revenues helping banks and government agencies secure their networks. He has been active in the INFOSEC arena, as the Executive Producer of Cyber Defense Magazine and a regular contributor to Hakin9 Magazine. He has patents and patents pending on his inventions for Computer and Network Security.

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October 29, 2015

Can a “Strawberry” melt fat away?

The Doctors Strawberry Laser

First introduced in London, the Strawberry Laser’s cold laser technology is now available in the United States. Already, over 5 million people worldwide have lost instant inches with Strawberry.  There are now Strawberry systems installed in over 30 countries.

The Strawberry Laser is an FDA cleared, painless alternative to liposuction that achieves non-invasive inch-loss and body contouring by shrinking fat cells. With each 10-20 minute treatment, unwanted fat is naturally released from the body via the lymphatic system.  The results are instant. All you have to lose are inches!  To see Strawberry “in action” visit this link from “The Doctors.”

Dr. Lyle Back is a board certified Philadelphia plastic surgeon who uses the device in his practice. He states that, “Strawberry’s results are 2.5 times better than any other device in the industry.  An FDA approved double-blind clinical study with placebos compared those treated vs. the placebo subjects over a course of 8 treatments. The average loss of treated subjects recorded was 3.7 inches. This reduction was from one measurement location and not a combination of two or three, as if often quoted. What’s more, 2 areas of the body can be treated simultaneously.”

Strawberry Laser body contouring treatments are ideal for two types of people: Those that are already following a healthy diet and lifestyle and want to remove localized pockets of fat from their abdomen, back, legs, or arms, or those who want to use the Strawberry recommended lifestyle protocol, to “jump start” their slimming efforts as motivation for maintaining a healthier and slimmer lifestyle. A course of eight Strawberry treatments are recommended, typically two treatments each week for 4 weeks.

 So how does it work?

Prior to each treatment, precise measurements are taken at multiple levels around a patient’s specific target area(s). During the treatment, low-level (cold) laser technology is used to painlessly melt fat within the fat cells. The process is similar to exercise. When a person exercises, triglycerides are released from the fat cells. With these being released, the fat cells reduce in size (adipocytes). The Strawberry Laser works in a similar way, pulling the triglycerides from the fat cells. This results in millions of fat cells becoming smaller, so inches are reduced off the waist, hips, thighs, arms, buttocks and male breasts. Exercising in conjunction with Strawberry Laser treatments further stimulates the fat reduction process. Surrounding tissues, such as blood vessels, nerves and skin cells are unaffected by the procedure.


The Zerona is a US made machine, which uses 6 spiders like arms all with a laser diode in each.
The ‘arms’ are not placed on the skin and are roughly 3-4 inches away from the area being treated. Treatment times are 40 minutes, which  generally combines  the waist, hips and thighs for 20 minutes, then the patient turns over and the same treatment is repeated on the opposite side of the patient’s body.Treatments are carried out 3 times a week for a minimum period of 2 weeks. The FDA clinical trials showed an average loss of 3.52 inches from the waist, hips and thighs. It does not state how many sessions were required.
I-lipo is a machine manufactured by a company called Chromogenex.
The treatments are 2 treatments a week for 4 weeks, 8 in total.
A healthy diet and regular exercise is recommended to maintain the inch loss.
The machine was FDA cleared on April 13th 2012for Circumference Reduction.
The FDA clinical trials showed an average loss of 1.75 inches from the waist following a course of 8 treatments.

I-lipo is a machine manufactured in the US by a company called Zeltiq.
Is a machine which combines vacuum and freezing in order to permanently destroy fat calls in a patient’s problem areas. The fat cells become crystallized, meaning they die.
The treatment is painful as the cooling begins during the first few minutes; patients’ will feel pressure and intense cold.
During the procedure patients’ tend to feel, deep pulling, tugging, pinching, numbness and discomfort.
Following the procedure, typical side effects include numbness, redness, swelling, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging and pain. The results are minimal as the treatment is localised.
Different areas can be treated in one visit so treatment times vary depending on each patient’s requirements. The results tend to be seen 3 weeks – 2 months after the treatment.
The treatment was FDA cleared on May 2nd 2012 for the subsequent removal of fat on the Flank (love handles) and abdomen in individuals with a body mass index of 30 or less.
Following a laser treatment, Strawberry’s protocol recommends a minimum of 20 minutes cardiovascular exercise. This is essential to maintain the results.

 What results can I expect?

A course of 8 Strawberry treatments results in noticeable body contouring results and targeted fat loss, depending on a patient’s metabolic rate and build.  Inches will stay off after treatment provided that a patient follows a healthy diet and exercises.

What actually happens to the fat?

The fat cells are undamaged; but due to the reaction of the laser light on the cell it will empty the contents. The contents consist of water, glycerol and free fatty acids. Following a treatment, the glycerol is rapidly absorbed by the body. The water carries the free fatty acids, through the lymphatic system, through the liver and kidneys and are passed out of the body in your urine.

Who is not a candidate for the treatment?

Pregnant women and people who have medical problems including epilepsy, heart diseases, hypertension, liver or kidney disease are advised not to undergo a Strawberry Laser Lipo treatment.

 The Cost

Treatments can vary between $200 – $300 per session and this can include up to two areas of the body.

For the full eight sessions, the expense is thousands of dollars less than liposuction.

History of Laser Lipo Ltd.

Laser Lipo Ltd was incorporated in the U.K. in 2007, specifically to market and retail laser machines into the beauty, aesthetic and medical market place.

In the beginning of 2008, Laser Lipo launched the first Class 3B laser machine, for non invasive inch loss, into both the U.K. and in the Middle East region based out of the United Arab Emirates.

Laser Lipo continued to market to U.K. and now began to establish a comprehensive international distribution network, following its exhibition in Bologna, Italy. During 2010 and 2011, a strong network was established, as well as developing the U.K. market to include gyms and sport centers.

Laser Lipo introduced low level laser inch loss technology into the UK, Europe and the Middle East in 2007.

  • Laser Lipo launched the 1st “Strawberry” made in the U.K in 2009.
  • In June 2011, Laser Lipo began manufacturing its own “Strawberry” systems.
  • In July 2011, the New “Strawberry” & Cream system was released.
  • In August 2011, the New Economy Inch Loss Only “Strawberry” was released.
  • In December 2011, Laser Lipo secured Medical CE status as a manufacturer.
  • In June 2012, Laser Lipo secured both ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 for both machines.
  • In July 2012, Laser Lipo released a brand new Stretch mark reduction system.
  • In September 2013, Laser Lipo secured FDA clearance for both the Cream & ILO.
  • In December 2014, Laser Lipo applied for Health Canada approval.
  • In  December 2014, Laser Lipo secured Thailand’s FDA clearance.
  • Investment in design, technology and both research & development are key business strategies that keep Laser Lipo Ltd leading the industry.


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