• Welcome fall with these new ideas for parties.

    Autumn is a great time to celebrate with your friends and family. The cooler weather and change of seasons encourages outdoor excursions, but it's also a fantastic excuse to get together with your favorite people. Think beyond the hay ride or annual costume party. This year, adjust your party paradigm a bit with these new ideas for gatherings.

    Fall Photo Field Trip
    This one's great for families with young children, but teens and adults can enjoy this, too. Make sure everyone has a camera (a camera phone works, too), and go someplace where the sights, sounds, and even the tastes of the season call out to you. Focus in on the little details at a local pumpkin patch, or a walk in the woods, even a cornfield maze. You'll be surprised what you find by slowing down and taking a close look at the textures and colors. Create a hashtag on social media sites to share the photos with everyone in your group.

    Autumn "Crafternoon"
    Ask everyone to bring an inexpensive woven grapevine wreath, a hot

    Read More »from New Ideas for Gatherings This Fall
  • Grown Up Mac & Cheese Recipe

    We all love classic mac & cheese, but those unidentifiable ingredients on the back of the box are more than a little unsettling. We gave this recipe a face-lift with aged cheddar, hearty ground beef, and a heaping side of roasted Brussels sprouts.

    Making a Comeback: Brussels Sprouts


    Grown Up Mac & Cheese Recipe

    Serves 2

    • 10 ounces brussels sprouts
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 6 ounces (about 3 cups) campanelle pasta
    • 6 ounces lean ground beef
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) grated aged cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
    • Salt and pepper

    Roast Brussels sprouts

    Preheat oven to 400° F. Stem and quarter brussels sprouts, transfer to a small baking dish and toss with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and roast for 10-12 minutes or until golden and tender.

    Cook Pasta

    Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinchRead More »from Grown Up Mac & Cheese Recipe
  • Bake This: Banana Chia Seed Bread

    What's one thing we can't get enough of around the Plated office? Banana Bread. With so many variations that are all equally delicious, it truly never gets old. We spiced up a classic banana bread recipe with some chia seeds and instead of making a loaf we decided to go with a circle pan. This resulted in a delicious cake-like banana bread that truly rivals some of the best we have ever had!


    Banana Chia Seed Bread

    • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
    • 3 large, ripe bananas
    • 1 large egg
    • ¾ cups sugar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

    Heat the oven to 350° F, and butter either 10" x 3" round pan or a 5" x 9" loaf pan.Peel the bananas and in a large mixing bowl, mash them well with a fork. Stir in the sugar and then the egg. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the butter. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chia seeds in a separate bowl.Read More »from Bake This: Banana Chia Seed Bread
  • Yes, we hope you're not reading this while you're eating. But in The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging, Dr. Mike Moreno shares what you can learn about your health from a quick glance in the toilet. Aren't you just a little curious?

    As a doctor, I think beyond the dinner table. I think about what happens in our bodies after we consume all that food. And ultimately, yes, I think about what happens when our bodies are done with it. Sometimes the best way for a doctor to figure out what's going on inside your body is to inspect what's coming out of your body. Yes, I'm talking about fecal matter, excrement, or what is more commonly referred to simply as "poop." It's not a subject anyone (well, except for my gastroenterologist friends) really enjoys discussing. But the clues your poop reveals can be such valuable information in deciphering the current state of your health. So, stick with me, and read on.

    Hard or pebbly: Could mean constipation or dehydration; drink more water!


    Read More »from What Your Poop Says About You
  • A bold lipstick and bright smile are on trend for fall.

    Gone are the sundresses and bronzed cheeks of summer. This fall, create a sultry look for date night that men will love.

    Go for the bold

    Men are attracted to bright colors, as are most people, so play up your killer pout with a swipe on a bright, bold lipstick. Look for inspiration from the runway shows, where bold red lips look stunning on both cool and warm tones. If classic red just isn't your color opt for a darker wine or berry; both shades look great against a set of pearly whites.

    Choose the right skincare products

    Although this is a year-long beauty tip, many women don't switch skincare products with the cooler seasons in mind. Personally, my skin gets dry as the temperature dips, so I go for a gentler face scrub and thicker moisturizer to combat the weather. Double check the ingredients listed in your cleanser, scrubs, toners and lotions to make sure you're getting what's best for your skin depending on season. Clean, clear, well-managed skin is always attractive.

    Try a new

    Read More »from Fall Beauty Tips Men Will Love
  • Get outside this fall and enjoy the crisp air with your date.

    Autumn can be a romantic time of year, with the cooler weather and colorful leaves inspiring a host of creative dating ideas. For couples who are looking to celebrate the changing of seasons, the fall brings unique opportunities to celebrate both the beauty of nature and the pleasure of each other's company. If you're looking for some memorable ways to spend time with your significant other, check out our list of autumn-themed, couple-friendly activities.

    1. Visit country fairs or fall festivals
    The great thing about fairs and festivals is that most of them offer something for everyone. Whether you're into handmade crafts or homemade food, a trip to a local fair can be a great way to spend the day.

    2. Attend a wine tasting or vineyard tour
    Wine enthusiasts will love a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process, and most vineyards offer free tours and tastings. After you've seen the sights and sampled the different vintages, take home a bottle of your favorite to share over a

    Read More »from 15 Date Night Ideas to Keep You Both Smiling
  • Put a manicure on your first-date checklist.

    Making a great impression on a first date might require trying a fabulous new outfit or bold makeup look, so you need to make sure you're using products that will keep your skin, hair, and nails looking beautiful. Since you want to look and feel confident all night, an at-home pampering a few nights before will need to be a top priority.

    Use this beauty checklist to get ready for that perfect first date:

    1. Take extra good care of your skin
    Use a good skin scrub the night before your date to buff away dead skin cells and create that natural glow. You will want to avoid using any type of exfoliating scrub the night of the date; your skin needs time to repair itself during a good night's rest. Follow up with a rich hydrating cream that will restore your skin's moisture barrier and leave your skin soft and smooth.

    2. Brighten your smile

    Smile with confidence by using teeth brightening products like Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste. Start using the toothpaste about a week before Read More »from Beauty Checklist for a Perfect First Date
  • Switching to a midwife early in my pregnancy meant leaving a doctor I thought was great, a practice that was nearby, and waiting 4 more days for my first prenatal appointment. That four day wait was almost the deal breaker. My current doctor had the highest C-section rate in town, so I knew it was worth the wait.

    The first appointment is where everything happens: you get to ask a million questions, you learn all about pregnancy, and you find out what's to come for the next nine months.

    But my expectations were wrong. Completely and utterly wrong.

    In my mind, you go to a midwife because you want a whole-health, all-inclusive experience. Someone that will pay attention to the little things and not think the things you want to do are crazy. Like riding bikes for 24 hours and not being stuck in a bed during labor.

    I suppose that was very stereotypical and narrow minded of me, but I'd heard good things about the midwife practice I was going to and I was happy that I'd found

    Read More »from The Benefits of Using a Midwife Who Doesn’t Call You Stupid
  • Sure, summer is just getting into full swing, but we're already hearing whispers about the new makeup trends for Fall 2013. It's bold (brows), it's bright (skin), it's retro (dig out those Doc Martens), and it's what we'll be wearing come September when things start cooling off.

    RELATED: 10 Best From the Fall 2013 Makeup Collections

    But don't take our word for it. We went straight to the experts -- the makeup artists we trust most. These pros combed Fashion Week runways in New York, Milan, London, and Paris and spotted (or created) the headline-grabbing makeup trends you'll be seeing everywhere this fall.

    Some of the trends, like red lipstick, are classic fall staples. It's like the harbinger of cool weather -- we expect it, and fall in love with it year after year. But some of these news looks, like the colorful, winged eye makeup or hyper-contoured, glowing skin, are a complete 180 from recent makeup trends. To be honest, they seem a bit intimidating at first look, but all of

    Read More »from Beauty Buzzwords for Fall: Vamp, Punk, Shimmer
  • Did you screw up royally with your loved one? It's never too late to eat crow-and learn the right way to apologize for next time your foot meets your mouth (and we all know it will). Authors of The 50 Fridays Marriage Challenge, Jeff & Lora Helton present the languages of apology to help our relationships grow stronger.
    How are you at apologizing when you've messed up in your marriage?

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
    - Ephesians 4:31-32

    "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

    Some of us who were around in the 1970s will remember this line from the movie Love Story. Though it may have been a hit movie, the line simply isn't true. Rather, living in a real loving relationship will require the ability to not only say "I'm sorry," but to live in a posture of forgiveness, grace, and restoration. Let's face it,Read More »from Are You a Terrible Apologizer? 5 Ways to Say I'm Sorry


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