Gunning Daily News

How to Snack Smarter

April 5, 2013 4:18 pm

(Family Features)—Did you ever find yourself skipping a meal so you could enjoy a snack? Well you're not alone. In fact, according to a national survey commissioned by Dole Banana Dippers and conducted by Wakefield Research, nearly 60 percent of women have skipped a meal so they could enjoy a snack without feeling guilty.

With so many hours in a day, it's nearly impossible to just eat three meals. Everyone needs a snack to keep them feeling satisfied throughout the day. However, it's important to make smart choices when you reach for that mid-day pick-me-up. Next time you are considering skipping lunch, keep these tips in mind so you can have your snack and eat your meal, too.

Manage Your Sweet Tooth: Every once in a while it's okay to give into your sweet tooth. Depriving yourself won't make your body or your mind happy. So next time you're craving a sweet treat, reach for something that won't leave you feeling guilty, like fruit or dark chocolate.

Enhance What's in Your Eyesight: You are more likely to eat a healthy snack if it's within reach. So, keep a bowl of fruit on your counter to reach for when you are feeling hungry. And if you find yourself overindulging at work, keep a container of mixed nuts on your desk; they will fill you up quickly and give you extra energy to help get you through the day.

Bring Out the Bowl: It can be hard to stop reaching for potato chips once you start; before you know it, the whole bag is gone. To help keep track of just how many servings you are eating, purchase snacks packaged in individual serving sized containers. If you are a club shopper, or if you just prefer to purchase the whole bag, remember that snacking out of the bag will make you more likely to overindulge. To avoid this, put your snack on a plate or in a bowl; it will help you realize just how much you're eating.

Slow It Down: Do you tend to wait until you are extremely hungry to have a snack? Before you inhale your treats, take a breath and remember that when you eat your snack too quickly, you don't give your body time to digest and process whether or not you are satisfied. Eat slowly and savor every bite. You will feel as if you are eating more than you actually are, and your body will have time to decide if it is full or not.

So next time that 3:00 p.m. grumble rolls around, remember these tips to help you snack smart.


Top 10 Ways to Get Yourself Fired

April 5, 2013 4:18 pm

Short of a company shut-down, most workers believe they won’t be fired unless they are either grossly incompetent or they’ve taken cash out of the till. But the fact is, there are many kinds of workplace behavior that could land you out on the street.

Human Relations specialists at a college Career Day in California listed 10 workplace mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your hard-earned job:

  1. Lying on your resume – Truth matters, and most employers will do educational and background checks to corroborate the information you’ve provided. False claims about your degree or achievements will almost always lead to dismissal.
  2. Too much web surfing – Workplace computers can be monitored. Spending too many work hours surfing in cyberspace is a good way to find yourself unemployed.
  3. Indiscreet job hunting – Again, computers may be monitored, and that includes instant messages. If you’re in the job market, don’t send resumes or job applications to other employers from your workplace computer.
  4. Gossiping – Sometimes the walls really do have ears. Stay away from the rumor mill if you want to keep your job.
  5. Too many personal calls – There’s no such thing as privacy in the workplace. Employers frown on taking or making too many personal calls.
  6. Alienating co-workers – It’s the old ‘works and plays well with others.’ Don’t get yourself a rep for being detached or unpleasant around other employees.
  7. Forgetting to check your work – Double-check your facts and figures every single time. Too many mistakes will likely get you fired.
  8. Not taking responsibility – Pointing fingers never gets you points. When mistakes happen, take responsibility for any error that may have been yours.
  9. Getting involved with the boss – Whether it’s romantic involvement or providing too much sympathetic ear, the result is often somebody leaving the company – and it’s more likely to be you than the boss.
  10. Drinking or drugs on the job – It should be obvious: Sobriety on any job is mandatory.

Word of the Day

April 5, 2013 4:18 pm

Nonconforming use. Use of property that is permitted to continue after a zoning ordinance prohibiting it has been passed.

Q: What Does a Home Inspector Do?

April 5, 2013 4:18 pm

A: A home inspector is a paid professional – often a contractor or an engineer – who checks the safety of a home. Home inspectors search for defects or other problems that could become your worst nightmare later on. They focus particularly on the home’s structure, construction, and mechanical systems.

It is not the inspector’s job to determine whether you are getting good value for your money. He does not establish value, only whether the home might collapse in a storm or if the roof might cave in.

A home inspection typically takes place after a purchase contract between the buyer and seller has been signed.

More Women Are Flying Solo to See the World

April 4, 2013 5:40 pm

So you’re a woman and you want to see the world – on your terms.

Join the crowd!

More and more women are traveling alone or with girlfriends; an estimated 32 million in the past year, according to the Travel Industry Association.

“It’s the new trend in travel and, really, it’s a no-brainer,” says Ruth Yunker, an intrepid solo traveler and author of “Paris, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Ways,” a humorous recounting of her extended stay in Paris as part-time resident, part-time tourist.

“Women hold the purse strings, so to speak, and we don’t necessarily want to see and experience our travel destinations in the same ways men do.”

The numbers tell the story:

• 28 million single women ages 35 and older – a growing demographic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
• Earnings for women with a college degree have increased 31 percent since 1979 while men’s grew just 16 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
• In 2011, 28 percent of married women made more than their husbands, up from 17.8 percent in 1987.

“We value our independence and we have the means to get up and go, so why not?” Yunker says.

If you’re a woman who has dreamed of taking off on a safari, jaunting across Europe or sampling fried seahorses in Beijing, Yunker offers valuable advice:

1. So you want to travel. You are dying to travel. You have a list of 10 favorite places you’re going to get to … one day. Buy the airline ticket six months in advance. A non-refundable ticket. Don’t fret. Don’t get stopped by all the details. Just do it. There. You’ve taken the first step. You can, and will, worry about all the other details later. But baby, with this ticket, you are now on your way.

2. Bring a few creature comforts from home. I bring my own pillowcase for the airline pillows, my ragged at-home comfy wear instead of new nightgowns for the hotel or apartment, and the clipboard for working crossword puzzles.

3. Pack only clothes you currently actually wear. Do not buy a ton of new clothes for the trip. A suitcase packed with new clothes is a trip doomed to tears, trust me. The old clothes fit you now. You know without thinking how to look pulled together. The new clothes are uncomfortable. They don’t go with anything yet. And they scream brand new traveler!

4. Bring some currency from your destination country with you. Do it. Everyone will tell you otherwise. They’ll say it’s so much cheaper to change your money once you get there. Maybe. But in the mayhem of the airport, suitcases going in every direction, do you really want to be finding the currency exchange? Just getting to the hotel/apartment will be job enough. So do arrive with Euros or whatever currency you need. It doesn’t have to be a huge sum, just enough to ease your arrival.

5. Once at the hotel, unpack your toilet articles and arrange them in the bathroom in the same order you do at home. It makes things so much easier. It’s so nice to be able to leave the hotel/apartment without having had a meltdown looking for misplaced mascara.

Ruth Yunker is an author, humorist, columnist, blogger and diehard world traveler.

For more information, visit

At Your Next Party Make the Fun Last, Not the Waste

April 4, 2013 5:40 pm

(Family Features)--When hosting a party, the excitement is often about the guest list, invitations and the menu, but what about the amount of trash that comes out of gathering with family and friends? Actress Tiffani Thiessen and party planner, Heidi Mayne, share innovative and eco-friendly party planning ideas, so you can increase the fun, while decreasing your waste.

Thiessen and Mayne have teamed up with The Glad Products Company to go "One Bag" -- working toward the ultimate goal of sending just one bag of trash to the landfill, with the rest being diverted to recycling and compost.

"My goal is to inspire others to go one bag, no matter the occasion, which is why I've teamed up with Glad. Whether I'm hosting a cocktail party for friends or a birthday party for my daughter, it just takes a little bit of planning to cut down on waste," says Thiessen. "When planning a party it's important to go out of your way to make your guests feel special, even with trash diversion. Your efforts might even inspire friends to carry new waste habits into everyday living."

Below are a few tips Mayne suggests for keeping waste to a minimum at parties:

Reduce - Think about future dinners when preparing your party menu. Serve items that will freeze well. If you have leftovers, this will reduce food waste and give you a head start on dinner the following week.

Reuse - If you entertain frequently, invest in the real stuff -- china, flatware, glassware and napkins. Accumulate it slowly by shopping at thrift stores and the sales at your favorite stores. Select a solid color and stick to that color to build a collection you can use year round. For example, red is great for everything from Christmas to Valentine's Day, to the 4th of July.

Recycle - Create sorting stations with proper receptacles -- trash, recycling and compost -- to make sorting waste easy. Then ensure sorting station signage is bright and noticeable so guests know where things go. Use colored chalk on chalkboards, have your kids draw colorful pictures of the recycling symbol, paint signs on recycled wood, or take photographs of your children holding letters that read RECYCLE. Enlarge the photos, place them in frames, and hang them above the recycling bin station.

"You don't have to sacrifice style and individuality when introducing eco-friendly elements that promote the three R's into your plans," says Mayne of Red25 Events. "From 200 wedding guests to intimate backyard barbecues, you can make small changes that will make a big difference to reduce your waste."


A Clear Look at Vision Insurance

April 4, 2013 5:40 pm

Family Features—Taking care of your vision is about more than just seeing well. It's about being well. When your eye health is at its best, you're more likely to perform better in all aspects of your life. An eye exam is not just about your sight -- it can detect other hidden health conditions too, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Early detection plays a key part in managing these diseases and improving your overall health.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of vision insurance to help pay for eye care. But there are affordable individual vision care options available that will save you hundreds of dollars, if you know what to look for.

When exploring vision insurance options, consider the following:

  • Does it cover frames, lenses and contacts?
  • Are the premiums affordable and do they give me the option of monthly payment?
  • What co-pays will I be responsible for?
  • Does it have convenient locations with a large network of doctors?
  • How much will it lower my out-of-pocket costs?
  • What customer service support is provided and do they have any satisfaction guarantees?
  • There are a number of companies that offer individual vision insurance, and most plans are affordable enough that you can buy one for yourself or even give one as a gift to someone you care about. This will give you coverage that:
  • Covers the eye exam with a low co-pay
  • Provides an allowance for frames, lenses and contacts
  • Gives you the lowest total out-of-pocket cost
  • Is 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed
  • Gives you access to the largest doctor network in the industry, with more than 29,000 doctors in convenient locations close to your home or office

Word of the Day

April 4, 2013 5:40 pm

Loan origination fee. Paid by the borrower to get a loan; it covers expenses incurred by the lender, such as the cost of the appraisal, credit report, title search, etc.

Q: How Does a Lease Option Work?

April 4, 2013 5:40 pm

A: A landlord agrees to give a renter an exclusive option to purchase the property. The option price is usually determined at the outset, but not always, and the agreement states when the purchase should take place – whether, say, six months, or a year or two down the road.

A portion of the rent is used to make the future down payment. Most lenders will accept the down payment if the rental payments exceed the market rent and a valid lease-purchase agreement is in effect.

Before you opt to do a lease option, find out as much as possible about how they work. Talk to real estate agents, read published materials, and, in the end, have an attorney review any paperwork before you sign on the dotted line.

Word of the Day

April 3, 2013 6:32 pm

Offer. Oral or written proposal to buy a piece of property at a specified price.