Author: donna

21 Year Old DWTS Witney Carson Engaged

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 by No Comments

Professional ballroom and Latin dancer Witney Carson joined DWTS in season 16 as a troupe dancer. She continued in that role for season 17, and in season 18 was promoted to pro dancer.

In season 19 she was pared with partner Alfonso Ribeiro and won the mirror ball trophy. That same season she was also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography.

That’s a lot to accomplish at such a young age, and now at age 21 she’s made a big announcement in her personal life. She’s engaged!

Witney has been in a long time, stable relationship with high school sweetheart Carson McAlister (23) from her hometown of American Fork, Utah. On Saturday, Oct. 3, he popped the big question and she said, “Yes!”

Witney posted the exciting news on Instagram by sharing a beautiful photo of the her and Carson embracing on the beach, along with heart and diamond ring emojis. She captioned:

“My love of four years @carson.mcallister proposed last night & I feel like the luckiest, happiest woman in the world. It was perfect, he’s perfect #engaged”

Carson shared a similar photo with Witney captioned, “Couldn’t be any happier to spend forever with my best friend.”

While many of us know Witney from DWTS, she was also a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance” when she was just 18 years old. For Season 21 of DWTS she is partnered with “Big Time Rush’s” Carlos PenaVega.

If you you’d like to see more photos of Witney and Carson, you can find a ton of them on the couples’ social media pages as they’ve often shared cute pics of the two of them together along with adorable messages.

At such a young age the two of them certainly seem to have it together. I congratulate them on their engagement and wish them all the best.

Photo credits: instagram

Study Shows Effect of Sitting too Much on Kids

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 by No Comments

We’ve known for a long time that sitting too much is not good for our health. We sit in our cars, at our desks, in front of the computer or TV, and all that sitting has caught up to us. It can lead to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

As a writer, it is very easy for me to sit all day, unless I make a plan to get up and move around. Aside from a two-mile walk each day, I wear a pedometer and shoot for at least 10,000 steps a day. That’s a big difference from the 1,500-2,000 I was putting in before making an effort to move.

While I know many of us struggle with trying to overcome a sedentary lifestyle, have you even considered how much your kids sit? The reason I ask, is that a new study that looked at girls between ages 9 and 12.

For this experiment, they asked this group of girls to sit in comfy beanbag chairs for three hours uninterrupted. They were allowed to watch movies, play with iPads, and when they needed to use the restroom they were wheeled to one.

You wouldn’t expect much to happen in one three-hour session of sitting, but the findings are really disconcerting.

“After a single session of prolonged inactivity, the children developed changes in their blood flow and arteries that, in grown-ups, would signal the start of serious cardiovascular problems.” – New York Times

By the end of the sitting test not one girl had arteries that function as well as they did before the test. The normal widening of blood vessels dropped by 33 percent.

To give you an idea of what that means, in adults just a one percent decline has proven to boost cardiovascular disease risk by 13 percent.

That’s scary news for our kids, for sure. The good news with this test, though, is that when the girls moved on to another phase of the experiment that included mild activity every hour, their arteries quickly returned to normal.

It doesn’t take a genius to see none of us are made to sit for hours upon end. Encourage your kids to get up and move, even if it’s a walk to the end of the driveway and back.

Photo credits: SevenPerfectAngels

Alfonso Ribeiro Agrees DWTS Handled Kim Zolciak Right

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 by No Comments

When reality star Kim Zolciak experienced a mini stroke, it left Dancing With the Stars fans speculating whether the 44-year-old contestant would be able to heal quickly enough to make it back on the show for the next competition.

Elsewhere in the media, some were even questioning whether or not she really had a mini stroke. The bottom line is that couldn’t make it back for this week’s competition, and as a result DWTS decided to eliminate her.

Kim Zolciak
I know some think this is harsh considering she had no control over whether or not she had a stroke, but in a competition, injuries often eliminate a contestant.

Whether it’s a baseball player who’s played well all year and gets hurt just before the playoffs, or someone dancing their best on DWTS, unexpected injuries or other health conditions can eliminate them without notice.

In the case of DWTS it feels a little different to tell a contestant they can’t stay in the contest because DWTS is also a popularity contest. Each contestant and the professional partners have a following.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons the show has done so well for 20 seasons. The audience is engaged. And so when Kim suffered a mini stroke, lines were drawn with some fans saying she should leave the show if she missed Monday’s completion and others hoping she’d get another shot.

When last year’s DWTS mirror-ball trophy winner was asked his thoughts on the decision to have Kim leave the show he said he agreed because it would have been unfair to the other competitors to make an exception to the rules.

In fact, on the night of Kim’s elimination, Alfonso told ET, “I think the show handled it right because it could have been Kim going home tonight. And would it have been fair for her not to dance, and still come back next week, and have someone else go home? That wouldn’t have been fair. […] the rules say, you can’t go the next week if you don’t perform. It truly is unfortunate that she wasn’t able to make it here to perform.”

Alfonso found himself in the same type of predicament as a contestant when he suffered a groin injury in 2014, and then again later in the season when he hurt his back during rehearsals.

Reports were saying he might have to drop out, but he ultimately danced through the pain during the semi-finals and went on to win that season.

And even though Alfonso agrees with the show’s decision based on the rules, he also admitted that he was a fan of Kim’s and disappointed things turned out this way for her.

Photo credits: Entertainment Tonight

What Nail Colors Are Hot this Fall?

Posted on Oct 2, 2015 by No Comments

Fall is here and with it new shades of nail colors are hitting the fashion scene. Gone are the sheer nudes we wore this spring, replaced with a whole palette of colors ranging from bright and sassy to dark and moody.


Among the fashion colors this fall, metallic options like Butter London Nail Lacquer, Jin Soon Nail Lacquer, Essie Nail Polish, and Nars Polish offer warm bronzes, cool chromes, gold and silver.

And this fall, fashion is breaking the rule that says gold doesn’t go with silver. In fact, at the recent European Arthur Premiere, Katy Perry mixed her metallics.

She wore a silver manicure, gold eye shadow on her lower lash line, and gold rings on her ring finger! If you’re ready to try this, to make it work, don’t overdo it on either color. To create a silver and gold smoky eye check out PopSugar’s how-to.

Nail polis

Olive green perfect for military style.

Dark and Moody Color Palette

If you’re looking for colors to complement your fall wardrobe, you’ll find plenty of dark moody colors like plum and ruby, or shades like olive green for a military-ish look or even dark navy.

Heads up though if your nails are short – a dark color can tend to make your nails look even shorter. The way to avoid this is to not cover the entire nail with polish. Don’t paint to the very side of your nails and it will give the illusion of an elongated nail.

Something Lighter

The fun thing about this fall’s nail colors is there’s variety. On the lighter side, OPI offers a host of soft shades, bright colors like That’s Berry Daring, Tal the Cows Come Home, Green-wich village and plenty more.

If this is the kind of color palette you’re thinking of wearing this fall, check out the website for ideas.

I love it that fashion isn’t trying to pigeon-hole color choices to one type this fall. After all, think about how boring it would be if all the leaves changed to be the same color palette.

No matter which look you go for, the one thing that sure this fall is that manicures walking the fall runways have paved the way for personal preference to rule!

Photo credits: picturemonsterniten’s channel, amazon

Surprising Look at Millennials Struggle to Lose Weight

Posted on Oct 2, 2015 by 1 Comment

Seems every which way we turn there is something to blame for the overweight and obesity problems we see today.

Now research published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice sheds some new light on the fact that it is more difficult for millennials to lose weight that it was for their parents at the same age. What’s unclear is the reason why.

The scientists conducting this research looked at information collected from 1971 to 2008 from more than 36,000 U.S. adults. They also analyzed data regarding physical activity between 1988 and 2006.

The conclusion they came to is that adults today are about 10 percent heavier than they were in 2008. That’s not a surprise to most of us, but the thing that is a bit shocking is that the weight gain experienced by millennials occurred even when they ate the same amount of food and exercised at the same level as their parents had back when they were the same age and weighed less.

If this study is right, then that blows away the idea that managing our weight is a simple matter of how much we eat and exercise. Jennifer Kuk, PhD, an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at Canada’s York University, and study co author has a few theories.

1) Since older moms tend to have babies with more fat, then because women are waiting longer to have children, this may be playing a role in the unexplained extra weight.

2) Eating later in the day is shown to cause extra weight, and because more of us eat later than we did back then, that could be playing a role in the added weight.

3) It could be related to the effects of medications like anti-depressants and meds to control diabetes that have been linked to weight gain.

While she didn’t mention it, I can’t help but wonder the role food additives might play as well.

For example, high fructose corn syrup was first introduced to the food and beverage industry in the 1970s and many suggest it is a big contributor to the weight issues we face in society today.

The one thing this study does prove is that obesity is a complex problem.

Photo credits: pixabay

Good for You Carbs when Losing Weight

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 by No Comments

In the dieting world we tend to go extreme. We’re either strictly adhering to a restrictive diet like paleo or juicing or we’re off the wagon and gaining back the pounds and inches we lost.

I’m trying to find that happy ground in the middle. I want to be able to enjoy food for food, and not be thinking about every carb or calorie. I don’t really want to weigh or measure everything that goes into my mouth either.

However, that doesn’t mean I can throw out everything I know and just eat what and how much I want without gaining weight.

So here’s my happy place. I’m back to common sense. Eat three meals. Don’t snack unless I’m really hungry – not just stressed or bored. Choose foods that help me stay satisfied.

Among those are good-for-you carbs because they provide energy and endurance, and if there is one thing I need, that’s it. Plus, they provide the fiber my digestive tract needs to keep things moving along. And while I eat leafy greens just about every day, there are times I want healthy carbs that give me that comfort food satisfaction.

Among these, and new to my diet, is farro, which offers up to 4 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber in a ½ cup. If you’re among those who label carbs either good or bad, I’d put this one in the good column because it takes longer to break down and supplies the body with a steady stream of energy, unlike white rice which digests faster. Tabbouleh is another tasty option.

Along with grains, winter squash will soon be hitting the produce department, and among them, acorn squash is a good one. Skip the brown sugar, and bake them with a little butter and jerk seasoning for a delicious side.

I cook them face down with some water for about 30 minutes or until tender, then flip, add butter and seasoning and cook for another 10 or so minutes.

And while many low carb diets shy away from fruit, it is still a better option that going for the ice cream, plus they offer fiber, vitamins and minerals we don’t get in other foods.

The key is to be reasonable. Just because foods are good for us doesn’t mean we need to eat them in mass quantities.

Carbs are one of the macronutrients our bodies need. It’s time to bring the healthy ones back to the table.

Photo credits: wikimedia

Apples Are Kids’ Favorite Fruit

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 by No Comments

Do your kids have a favorite fruit?

According to a new study conducted by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, apples and apple juice account for 30 percent of all fruit consumed by children and young adults in America. Those statics make apples a clear choice for the favorite fruit among American children.

Results of this study were published in the journal Pediatrics and shined a light on food habits of more than 3,000 children and young adults ranging in age from 2 – 19 (between 2011 and 2012).

Findings showed that apples accounted for 20 percent of all fruit consumed and interestingly enough, apples were favored equally by both boys and girls.

Another interesting fact that came to light is that rich and poor kids ate the same amount of fruits, however, African-Americans tended to drink more juice while Asians ate more whole fruits.

The 3,000 children who took part in this study listed bananas as their second favorite fruit followed by melons. While it is good news that kids enjoy apples, bananas, and melons, nutritionists recommend eating a variety of fruits in a multiple array of colors, so be sure to introduce new fruits to your family on a regular basis.

Plus, it’s important to note that whole fruits are better for all of us than drinking juice. In fact, a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health found the consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

Of the apples available here in the U.S. Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Gala are the most common, but this research didn’t consider apple variety in its criteria.

Juice, rather than whole fruits, represented 30 percent of the fruit intake, but only 40 percent of kids actually ate enough fruit, including juice, to meet the Department of Agriculture’s recommendations of 1-2 cups of fruit a day.

While it’s great that kids like apples, it’s important that parents make sure kids are eating enough fruit and a variety of types. To encourage trying new fruits, challenge your kids to eat a rainbow of colors.

Photo credits: pixabay

Have Your Favorite Comfort Foods Turned You Into a Food Addict?

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 by No Comments

When you think of comfort foods, what do you picture in your mind? Truthfully, when I’m stressed it will probably be something chocolate, or something salty, or a little of both. Or it could be something creamy and loaded with carbs, but I digress.

The reason I bring it up is that we eat these foods often because on some level we want to feel good…or better. But according to some recent animal studies, it looks like we might be doing the exact opposite.

Animal studies have found that a diet high in fat, sugar and processed foods leads to higher rates of anxiety and depression, and a recent University of Michigan study shows that highly processed foods or foods with refined carbohydrates (white flour and/or sugar) may even trigger addictive-like eating behavior. They labeled french fries, chocolate and pizza among the most addictive.

On one level, those findings bring a sense of relief, because that means it is the food’s fault when I get in a cycle of eating such foods. On another level, it explains the very behavior that sometimes makes me feel like such a failure in my quest for eating healthier.

For this study, individuals with “symptoms” of food addiction or higher body mass indexes, related that they had bigger problems with highly processed foods.

Researchers suggest this is because some people may be particularly sensitive to the possible “rewarding” properties of these foods. This reminds me of how some of us can have a glass of wine or two without a problem while alcoholics have to stay away from alcohol all together.

Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student and the study’s lead author said, “This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response. This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use.”

Trigger foods aren’t the same for every person, but I think most of us know what they are in our own lives. If this study is right, that would mean giving those foods up for good!

Photo credits: Extremely Me

Daniel Radcliffe Shaves Head for New Role

Posted on Sep 29, 2015 by No Comments

Harry Potter fans will barely be able to recognize Daniel Radcliffe as he’s taken on a totally different persona for a new lead role as a no-nonsense FBI agent by the name of Nate Forster.

Gone are his suave locks and facial hair. He has shaved his head for his role in the movie IMPERIUM and he shared a photo on Google+ for all to see. Along with the photo he posted:

“Hi Everyone

Here’s the first look of me as FBI agent Nate Foster in Imperium. We began filming the movie this week. I’m very excited about it and will tell you more about it soon!


Radcliffe shot to fame when he played J.K.Rowling’s boy wizard Harry Potter. We watched him grow up in that role, and even watched him change his hair styles over the years.

Now the 26 year old is ready to take on a more serious role, and his new style matches this new persona. In fact, he looks so completely different with a shaved head that I didn’t recognize him at first. Maybe because he also got rid of his facial hair.

The look works. He has certainly shed his innocent Harry Potter persona. For this new lead role, his character will be a FBI agent who infiltrates white supremacist militias in the U.S. and later stops the deployment of a dirty bomb.

The movie Imperium has started shooting and is based on a true story of FBI Agent Michael German, who accepted such a dangerous missions in real life.

Director Daniel Ragussis has turned to Michael German to help shape the role for Radcliffe who has wholeheartedly accepted the fact the role will change his looks.

I know not everyone will like it, but think about it. It’s a lead role. The kind of thing actors live for. And after all, Dan Radcliffe is just the actor who played Harry Potter — a lead role.

Photo credits: Most Wanted