The 5 Wedges Every Girl Needs

Wedges are quickly becoming one of’s star styles and for good reason; they’re flattering and elongate the leg while adding height. Plus, they’re comfortable and easy on the feet. The team at has sourced styles in an array of platform heights, materials, colors and more, and with so many options, is able to offer a wedge for every look.’s multitude of styles may make it hard to narrow things down, so the fashion experts at have identified their five top picks.

The Shanghai goes seamlessly from day to night. This wedge is sky high, giving the impression of long, lean legs. Its strappy lace-up silhouette features on-trend tassel accents, and shoppers can choose from classic black or soft nude. Pair with silk genie pants for a day at the office or a flowing maxi skirt for weekend brunch with the girls.

Keena is a casual, sporty sneaker wedge from that gets you where you need to go in style. With three color choices including black, navy and multi-tone, there’s an option to match all of your weekend wear. Just Velcro the straps and hit the park to walk the dog or conquer your errands while staying in fashion, thanks to

Thebes is’s take on two styles in one. This cut-out, lace-up sandal features a demi-wedge and combines the comfy, easy-to-wear style of a flat with the lengthening look of a wedge. offers your choice of black or brown; simply slip on with a pair of cutoffs for a summer music festival or wear them with a mini dress to dance the night away. re-interprets the espadrille with Los Feliz. Made from cut-out canvas with an exotic black and white ikat pattern,’s take on urban chic will have you strolling the city streets in style. Pair with a full length black dress for a cocktail party or skinny jeans and a tank for an afternoon at the flea market.

With Doheny, has wrapped three of the season’s hottest trends into one fashionable wedge sandal. This shoe combines leopard-print detailing, an ankle strap and minimal design for the freshest in summer footwear. Available in orange and mint, the team at knows that a pop of color is just what the season ordered.

These styles are perfect for updating your summer shoe wardrobe, but don’t forget about the rest of your look. also offers accessories and clothing, releasing a new selection to members every month.

Scott Safadi Talks about His Love of Dartmouth College

Scott Safadi graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003. Soon after leaving Dartmouth, Scott Safadi moved to Saratoga, California and began working in property management.  Today, Scott Safadi holds a CCRM (California Certified Resident Manager) designation and is the President of Cal Bay Property Management located in Palo Alto, California.

Zrylw:  We’re speaking with Scott Safadi, Dartmouth College graduate and President of Cal Bay Property Management. Thank you for joining us today, Scott.

Scott Safadi:  My pleasure. I’m a big supporter of Dartmouth College and always enjoy talking about my alma mater.

Zrylw:  What about Dartmouth makes it so special to you?

Scott Safadi:  Dartmouth is a family. I think part of it has to do with how isolated the campus is. When you’re there, you’re there. Dartmouth is Hanover. You can’t say that Columbia is New York City or that Harvard is Boston. The campus is extremely isolated and as a result, the students come together in a very special way. It becomes your world and that unique experience bonds the alumni.  It’s like having all attended the most amazing summer camp together.

Zrylw:  What attracted you to Dartmouth?

Scott Safadi:  Initially, I was attracted by Dartmouth’s reputation for a work hard and play hard attitude. I work harder than most people I know because it helps me do the things I love outside of work. The Dartmouth student body knows how to have fun; a lot more fun than kids are having at other top-tier institutions.

Zrylw:  What exactly is it that Dartmouth professors have that set them apart?

Scott Safadi:  The professors are extremely generous with their time and dedicated to helping undergraduates recognize their strengths and then encourage them to pursue their academic passions.  They really instill that academics don’t just exist in the classroom.

Zrylw:  What did you most love about Dartmouth?

Scott Safadi:  The short answer is everything. The campus, the professors, the students—the activities! The friends I made at Dartmouth are some of the most fun and amazing people I have ever known. The Dartmouth experience itself was simply priceless; I created memories there that will last a lifetime.

Zrylw:  What else about Dartmouth would appeal to someone considering enrolling there?

Scott Safadi: It’s rare for an eighteen year old freshman to have their future planned with absolute certainty.  Dartmouth is structured in such a way that you can alter your path quite easily. For example, my original major was in genetics. Then I discovered philosophy. Despite having entered Dartmouth with genetics as my major, I was able to change my focus to philosophy without a lot of difficulty and red tape. And then, during my third year, I decided to pick up an engineering degree—again, without a great deal of stress.

Zrylw:  You said Dartmouth was a life-changing experience. What makes you say that?

Scott Safadi:  The Dartmouth professors opened my mind to new philosophies. Rather than conforming and going along with the crowd, I was encouraged to do my own thinking. The experience gave me the impetus to pursue new interests and the confidence to start my own company.

Zrylw: I know the company you founded is Cal Bay Property Management. What new interests are you referring to

Scott Safadi: As I’ve already mentioned, I gained an immense enjoyment of nature, which ignited my love of backpacking and mountain biking. The Dartmouth experience is enlightening on so many levels!

Zrylw:  How are you able to maintain your enthusiasm? What has it been—nearly ten years since you graduated from Dartmouth?

Scott Safadi: That’s what’s so great about Dartmouth. It is an exciting life-long journey.

Zrylw:  What makes you say it is a life-long journey?

Scott Safadi:  Dartmouth is an extremely tight-knit community and the strong bonds that are built on campus continue after you leave. We keep in touch through a network of alumni.

Zrylw:  You mean you go back to Dartmouth occasionally to socialize with former classmates?

Scott Safadi: Actually, the Dartmouth Alumni Association of Silicone Valley is a very active organization, not just an occasional get-together. I feel very fortunate to have also spent time serving on the DAASV board.

Zrylw:  Can you give us a brief summary of DAASV and its purpose?

Scott Safadi:  It’s the eighth largest regional alumni club. The not-for-profit organization was founded in 1968 with origins dating back to 1881. DAASV’s purpose is to organize social, professional, athletic, and educational activities in order to extend the Dartmouth experience through a variety of events and programs in the greater Silicon Valley area.  The club has amazing leadership and I would not be overstating if I were to say that it is the most cutting edge and forward thinking alumni club in the entire country.

Zrylw: Thank you, Scott. Do you have anything to add?

Scott Safadi:   Yes. I’d like to say that Dartmouth College has been rated the number one teaching institute in the country for undergraduate studies by U.S. News & World Report since the category was created. Of course, Dartmouth has always been rated #1 in the minds of its students, alumni, faculty, and staff!

Scott Safadi married his wife, Rachel, in 2007 and their daughter, Sophia, was born on February 29, 2012.  Rachel, Sophia, and Scott Safadi live in Saratoga, California. See more about Scott Safadi at his website:

Identity Fraud in the Internet Age

When the term ID theft was first coined in the 1960s, it meant simply to pretend to be someone else. Now, with the Internet creating a world of faceless interactions, identities can be both assumed and created.

Clone and conceal

One way the tech-savvy persona thieves are crafting new “lives” is by cloning the image of another, thus concealing him- or herself from the virtual world. These people may, for instance, steal profile pictures from unsuspecting connections on social media sites like Facebook. Once they have enough “evidence” they are real-world friends with a select individual, they then befriend others with a mutual connection. These new acquaintances are typically subject to fraudulent newsfeed, solicitations for donations, or other manipulations, usually garnered from heart-wrenching posts, playing off their sympathies.

Criminal ID theft

Criminal ID theft can begin online using the “clone and conceal” methods to capture another’s personal information, photos and other data. In these situations, the perpetrator uses the victim’s name, address and other credentials when arrested for an unrelated crime. This type of ID theft can have long-lasting effects on the individual whose name was cited in official criminal records and, in some cases, on the Internet.

Synthetic ID theft

The main victims of synthetic identity theft are typically financial institutions and retailers. This variation of identity fraud often combines a real person’s Social Security number with a fictitious name and birthdate. The person creating this new identity will usually apply for credit and, when granted, intentionally default on their payments. In some cases, the person whose Social Security number was used can have his or her credit negatively affected.

Child identity theft

A recent but growing problem is the practice of tarnishing a child’s as yet unused Social Security number to establish lines of credit to buy expensive items or obtain a fraudulent driver’s license. The biggest downside of child ID theft is that it can go undetected until a child becomes of age and begins to apply for credit on his or her own. A study by the Carnegie Mellon CyLab estimated that more than 10 percent of children are victims of ID theft.

Aside from using the Internet to obtain information, criminals may also rummage through personal rubbish in a practice known as dumpster diving, obtain public records in a completely legal fashion, or actually follow a person to observe his or her password, credit card information, or pin numbers. While there is no guarantee that any particular individual will not become a victim of identity theft, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission stresses that guardianship of personal information is the most effective intervention strategy.

Real Estate Expert Travis Jones of Rush Properties Discusses Foreclosure

For many homebuyers, purchasing a foreclosed home may seem like a smart investment, but there are things a buyer must know before getting caught up in the foreclosure process. Understanding the different stages of foreclosure will help a buyer be successful at investing in a distressed property, says Travis Jones, Rush Properties’ former president.

Travis Jones of Rush Properties is an entrepreneur based in Olathe, Kansas with expertise in foreclosure real estate, remodeling and client relations.  In the past 15 years, he has focused on increasing home values through property improvements within the Johnson County area as well as assisting homeowners in foreclosure with their needs through various compensation options.  Recently he answered a few questions about foreclosures.

Q. Travis Jones, what is the main thing to remember when purchasing a foreclosed property?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties:  Many newcomers to the market believe that foreclosures can be bought for next to nothing.   While it is true that foreclosures are often purchased at serious discounts, the idea that someone can consistently find homes for 10 percent of market value is just not realistic.

Q. But are foreclosures still worth pursuing?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties:  Oh, definitely. RealtyTrac reports that over the last 7 months the average savings on foreclosure purchases is approximately 29 percent less than full appraisal.  That’s from a nationwide survey and is quite a significant savings!

Q. What else should buyers consider?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties:  Often people think that to buy a foreclosure is to take unfair advantage of a homeowner in distress.  Actually, if a buyer can find a seller in the pre-foreclosure stage as many realtors can help arrange, they can help the homeowner to leave with something to show for their equity in the property and avoid a major markdown on their credit report.   Even if the property is bank-owned the sooner the home can sell, the better it will be for home prices in the surrounding neighborhood, which affects everyone.

Q: Can you explain the different stages of foreclosure?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Yes, a foreclosure consists of few broad stages: Delinquency and Default, Foreclosure Suit, Judgment Sheriff Sale and Post-foreclosure

Q: What is the Delinquency and Default stage?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: At this stage when the homeowner still owns the property but is aware that there is potential for foreclosure. The homeowner is basically warned by the lender that he or she is in default and needs to act, says Travis Jones of of Rush Properties. At this point the homeowner can sell the property. This is considered a grace period before the lender files a lawsuit. The length of the grace period varies by state. The best way to find a property in this stage is through a real estate agent or an attorney.

Q: What options does the homeowner have at this point?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: The homeowner can sell the property or work out a payment plan with the mortgage company. For a buyer, it’s best to find a property at this stage through a real estate agent or an attorney.

Q: What happens in the foreclosure suit stage?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: The best way to find a property in foreclosure is through the County Clerk’s office. Title insurance companies can also be helpful. According to Travis Jones and Rush Properties, the foreclosure process varies from state to state, depending on whether it is a judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure. After this phase, the trying to obtain a judgment and receive a order to be sold at an auction. Publicized foreclosure auctions can be researched online, usually listed on websites dedicated to foreclosures. Typically, the auctions take place at a county courthouse, says Travis Jones and Rush Properties.

Q: Can you explain the Judgment and Sheriff Sale phase?

The best way to find a property in foreclosure is through the County Clerk’s office. Title insurance companies can also be helpful. According to Travis Jones and Rush Properties, the foreclosure process varies from state to state, depending on whether it is a judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure. After this phase, the trying to obtain a judgment and receive a order to be sold at an auction. Publicized foreclosure auctions can be researched online, usually listed on websites dedicated to foreclosures. Typically, the auctions take place at a county courthouse, says Travis Jones and Rush Properties.

Q: What happens, post-foreclosure?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: At this stage, the lender is in control of the property. The home is now in the lender’s Real Estate Owned department, which may be willing to negotiate. However, the price may be at market value based on the condition on of the property.

Travis Jones, Rush Properties former President, is a partner in Cherry Park Properties.  He is married and has three children. When not working, Travis Jones of Rush Properties likes to spend time with his family, work in his yard and spend time on the water.

Charles Brennan Shares History and Services of Las Vegas, Nevada Based Dollar Loan Center

Las Vegas, Nevada businessman Charles Brennan, whose career includes the music and financial industries, talks about his most successful business venture to date, Dollar Loan Center, in the following interview with Zrylw.

Zrylw: Thanks for joining us.  Please tell readers a little bit about yourself.

Charles Brennan:  From a young age, all I can remember is being an entrepreneur.  I knew I wanted to create a strong financial future for myself.  I started my first business in grade school and was working nights at Citibank while I was still in High School.  Music played a big part in my teenage life, as it does for most kids.  While I didn’t master an instrument, I found I had a knack for band management and concert promoting.

Zrylw:  How did Dollar Loan Center start?

Charles Brennan:  From my financial background, I knew there was a huge gap in lending between the typical Payday Loan Company and a traditional bank.  Short term lending was broken in my opinion.  In fact when I started Dollar Loan Center in 1998 I used my promotions expertise to build our brand. I promoted Dollar Loan Center as I would a rock concert and built our customer base on Rock Radio.  Our original location was in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Zrylw:  Where are Dollar Loan Centers located? Have you expanded beyond Las Vegas, Nevada?

Charles Brennan:  Since 1998 we have grown to 80 locations.  While the majority of them are still in Nevada, we also have several in Utah, South Dakota and most recently, California.

Zrylw:  What services does Dollar Loan Center provide?

Charles Brennan:  Dollar Loan Center offers short-term, installment, signature loans, which means that we provide help to the people that really need it and they chose the term length.

Zrylw:  Who is eligible to receive a short-term loan from Dollar Loan Center?

Charles Brennan:  Anyone can apply, either in person or online at  Dollar Loan Center conducts credit checks and employment verification for each applicant.  It does not benefit us or the applicant to lend someone money that can’t pay it back.

Zrylw:  How is Dollar Loan Center different than typical payday loan centers in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Charles Brennan:  The biggest difference is that our customers can keep the loan out as long as they need it and are only charged interest for how long they need the loan.

Zrylw:  How is this helpful to customers?

Charles Brennan:  The product is less expensive than the loans offered through the traditional payday model.  We have no application, origination or pre-payment fees.  If someone only needs the loan for 2 days, they will just pay 2 days interest.

Zrylw:  Are there other differences?

Charles Brennan:  2 very big ones.  Dollar Loan Center does not require recipients to have a checking account and our loans are true signature loans with no collateral required at all.

Zrylw:  Is this new/alternative model popular with customers?

Charles Brennan:  Last year in Las Vegas, Nevada alone, Dollar Loan Center had nearly 100,000 repeat customers.  They were so pleased with Dollar Loan Center loan services that they came back for other loans, referred friends and stayed loyal to our product.

Zrylw:  Do loans alone keep customers coming back?

Charles Brennan:  We strive to have the best customer service in the industry.  Our locations are nicer than most banks with no bullet proof glass or plastic furniture.  But one of the big key’s to our success is pricing.  We are roughly half the price of the average competition!

Zrylw:  Tell readers about these additional supports.

Charles Brennan:  On the Dollar Loan Center web site, readers can find information about financial education and can ask financial questions at any time.  Dollar Loan Center supports local communities wherever we do business as well and has sponsored sports teams and youth programming.

Charles Brennan is the majority owner and CEO of Dollar Loan Center and co-founder and owner of Clark County Collection Services.  Charles Brennan is actively involved in the Las Vegas, Nevada community, playing a major role in impacting the Sioux Falls community where he was raised.  Along with his wife and children, Charles Brennan currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Rick Dover Explains the Importance of Environment Friendly Restoration

Rick Dover is the general manager of Family Pride Corporation, a family owned and operated company located in Knoxville, Tenn. Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation have been in the building restoration business since 1994. Rick Dover advocates the use of environment-friendly building methods.

ZRYLW: Rick Dover is here to talk with us about the construction business and the environment. Thank you, Rick, for joining us today.

Rick Dover: My pleasure.

ZRYLW: Your expertise is in restoration and rehabilitation rather than new construction, correct?

Rick Dover: Yes. I enjoy seeing old buildings and communities come back to life. Plus we feel it is more environmentally friendly than building new.

ZRYLW: But can’t new construction be just as environmental friendly?

Rick Dover: It can be almost as ecologically friendly. But I aspire to the notion that the greenest building is the one that doesn’t get built. New construction usually damages building sites. For that reason I think that, at least for me, less is more. I prefer to not build.

ZRYLW: Wouldn’t new construction be more profitable for you?

Rick Dover: I haven’t found that to be the case. With renovation, the biggest expense is labor, which is better for the community while still being profitable for Family Pride Corporation.

ZRYLW: How do you figure it’s better for the community? In your opinion, Rick Dover, Wouldn’t new construction have the same results?

Rick Dover: Restoration creates jobs using local contractors and fewer raw materials that are purchased locally, which help both the community and the environment. The construction cost is less, the property owner’s cost is less, and we can do the project cheaper, but our profit margin is pretty much unchanged.

ZRYLW: You seem to concentrate on urban sites for your restoration projects. Is there a reason for that?

Rick Dover: Family Pride Corporation’s objective is to restore buildings for senior housing and for residential and commercial use. The need for those types of buildings is typically in an urban setting. Plus, if we contribute to urban sprawl, we’ve defeated the purpose of the environmental friendly ideology that we support.

ZRYLW: Can you briefly explain the purpose of environmentally friendly construction?

Rick Dover: There are a number of motives for restoring and building green, including economic, social and environmental benefits. But perhaps the main purpose is sustainability.

ZRYLW: How do you make green building work?

Rick Dover: Green building combines an extensive assortment of practices, techniques and skills to reduce the impact of buildings on human health and the environment. Family Pride Corporation takes advantage of renewable resources and techniques that have the lowest impact on the environment. We harness and reuse energy by restoring existing buildings, then we add features such as solar power, reflective roofs and high-efficiency heat and air systems to make our buildings the greenest and most environmentally sustainable projects possible.

ZRYLW: It’s admirable that Family Pride Corporation uses sustainability initiatives in all its projects.

Rick Dover: We all must do what it takes to achieve and maintain our planet’s eco balance. At Family Pride Corporation we strive to do that while meeting the needs of current generations and without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation restore buildings for senior housing and for residential and commercial use. Rick Dover advocates using environmentally friendly building methods. Rick Dover knows that improving communities by restoring existing properties is not only the best way to revitalize a neighborhood and add jobs, but it also benefits the ecosystem. For more information about Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation, visit

Matt Schilit on Professional Reading as Vital for School Leaders

Matt Schilit knows that as an educator, he has a responsibility to never stop learning. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he began working toward a master’s in educational administration, graduating in 2003. But having a master’s wasn’t enough—Matt Schilit is currently attending classes at the University of South Carolina, where he will soon earn his educational specialist degree.

Even when he isn’t in school, Matt Schilit is still learning. Ever the reader, he is always searching for books that can help him grow as an educational administrator and leader. Here are a few books Matt Schilit recommends for anyone working in the field of education today.

  • The Shark and the Goldfish by Jon Gordon—According to Matt Schilit, this book centers on the mind’s power over our success, pointing out that even during tough times, those who believe in themselves will prevail. Matt Schilit explains that Gordon uses a fable of a goldfish that learns to find food from a shark to illustrate how the difference between a full and empty stomach depends on a person’s belief in himself or herself.
  • The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon—This book focuses on the importance of productivity, Matt Schilit explains, offering 10 rules to refuel every aspect of a person’s personal and work life by using positive thoughts. Matt Schilit is a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and The Energy Bus provides great words to live by.
  • The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell—For leaders like Matt Schilit, this book highlights the qualities of a good leader on which readers can model their own work styles.

Matt Schilit states that the leadership qualities he exhibits in his work today have been bolstered by reading the works of Maxwell and Gordon. Not just for principals, Matt Schilit believes these books are must-reads for anyone in an educational leadership role, including everyone from teachers to school superintendents.

The books above are especially helpful because they focus on how to become a leader worth following. According to Matt Schilit, they also help leaders deal with the ever-changing field of education. As school administrators, Matt Schilit believes it is important to be innovative, change with the times, and work with a variety of personalities, all while keeping in mind that students come first.

Since 2012, Matt Schilit has served as coordinator of data and testing for the Allendale County School District in Fairfax, S.C. In this capacity, Matt Schilit oversees testing and reporting for the school district.

Recently Seen Wearing Just Fab Styles: Celebrities Love

Celebrities are recognized as trendsetters in fashion. They have the opportunity to get dressed by the world’s biggest designers. While many celebrities have their own personal stylists to help them look head-to-toe perfect, the team at Just Fab works with the Hollywood elite to keep them on trend with the latest styles from Just Fab. From makeup, shoes, accessories, “it” celebrities wear high fashion.  Even stars realize that fabulous designs don’t always have to cost a fortune, and many are fans of Just Fab styles.

Just Fab is a successful online fashion service where more than 10 million members are given the celebrity treatment each month as they receive tailored, individual trend suggestions by personal stylists.  Just Fab offers the latest fashion in shoes, denim, and handbags. Led by President and Creative Director, Kimora Lee Simmons, Just Fab focuses on the hottest catwalk trends for less. Some of the celebrities who have worn Just Fab  including Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Hudson, Rebecca Romijn, Nicky Hilton, Christina Milian, Emily Blunt, Jewel, and many other A-List celebrities.

By taking a quick glance at the Just Fab website you can see the long list of Hollywood A-Listers who are fans of Just Fab. Actress Amy Smart has been spotted wearing the Slender Cigarette Jeans from the Just Fab designer collection. These top-of-the-line Just Fab quality jeans are a favorite of a handful of celebrities.  Actress Angie Harmon paired sparkling Just Fab Cassidy high heels with an Azarro jumpsuit at a Red Carpet Style Event in Los Angeles. Hollywood actress Leslie Bibb matched her Just Fab Falsetto clutch with a floral-print dress, while actress Marcia Cross complemented her green satin sheath with the Taryn platform sandals by Just Fab. Christina Applegate was looking chic on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno wearing Lorei lace booties by Just Fab.

And while Hollywood is buzzing about Just Fab, the brand has also been featured in a myriad of top fashion magazines. Just Fab items have also been featured in Redbook, People Style Watch, In-Style magazine, Woman’s World, and many other national publications.

When your favorite celebrity is spotted wearing a fabulous piece of clothing or accessory, it may not always be high-end designer fashion – it could be Just Fab, at only $39.95 a piece seen in New York and Los Angeles, and buy wearing Just Fab, you won’t have to break the bank.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Just Fab has front-row access to all things fashion. With an expert team of Hollywood stylists, Just Fab is always right on trend offering sexy, fresh, and classic styles for fashion savvy women at an unprecedented price. For more information, visit

Super Foods for Super Seniors: Q&A with Pam Gray of Bonaventure Senior Living

Pam Gray, Chief Operating Officer for Bonaventure Senior Living, says that staying healthy and living a long and active life involves making healthy choices at every stage of living. Specifically, she cites the inclusion of a number of foods proven to have a positive effect on health. Here, Pam Gray of Bonaventure answers questions about what to eat—and what to avoid.

Q: What are the top super foods?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: There are many foods that are considered ideal for health and well-being. These include blueberries, oats, pumpkin, salmon, spinach, teas and tomatoes. Many other foods are considered super foods so it is difficult to pinpoint just a few.

Q: Why are blueberries considered a top choice of nutritionists?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Blueberries and other dark fruits are packed with antioxidants. Blueberries contain high amounts of vitamin C and potassium. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Q: What are the benefits of drinking green tea?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Not only is green tea delicious but, like blueberries, also contains heart-healthy, cancer-fighting antioxidants. Green tea is also known to burn fat and help prevent diabetes.

Q: Does spinach really increase muscle tone?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: While all green leafy vegetables are good for you, spinach is particularly healthy because it is an alkaline food, meaning it can stave off bone loss and prevent muscle deterioration with age.

Q: What are the best foods for beta-carotene?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Pretty much any orange food is going to contain lots of beta-carotene. Carrots and pumpkins are two of the most versatile and can be mixed with many other dishes to produce exciting flavors.

Q: How much salmon should someone eat to intake enough omega-3s?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Salmon, or other wild-caught cold-water fish, should be consumed two or three times a week in approximately 3-ounce portions to get the most benefit.  If you’re not a fan of fish or seafood, there are other sources of omega-3s such as flax seed oil.

Q: What are the health benefits of tomatoes?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Tomatoes are one of those amazing foods that have many different roles in a healthy diet. They can ward off inflammation, protect against blood clots, help reduce heart disease risk, prevent DNA damage, and may even help prevent some forms of cancer.

Q: Are beans good for you?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Beans are considered a super food because of their abundance of protein, fiber and antioxidants. Three cups of beans per week can help with weight loss, which can lower the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes or other chronic conditions.

Q: What foods are considered the “super greens?”

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Many cereal grasses in their infant stage such as wheat and barley are considered super greens. Certain types of algae are also either eaten raw or juiced for their almost unbelievable health benefits. Dark green vegetables and grasses help to detox the body and maintain a proper over all acid-base balance.

Q: Is juicing the best way to get the nutrients from fruits and vegetables?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: While a juice detox is considered healthy and safe for most Americans, it does not provide enough fiber for most senior citizens’ digestive needs. However, replacing store-bought processed juices with freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juice can add vitamins and minerals to any diet while reducing processed sugar intake.

Q: Are there any foods that can help lower cholesterol?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Many foods are known to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. Legumes, oatmeal, broccoli and celery are some of the most popular and can be prepared in many different ways to suit different tastes.

Q: What are some ways to sneak vegetables into the diet of someone who does not like the taste?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Spinach, carrots and many other vegetables can be added to fruit smoothies, homemade ice cream, and mashed potatoes. Many vegetables including celery can be dipped in low-fat dressings. Kale and other low-liquid vegetables can be sliced thin, coated in olive oil, and baked as a replacement for the traditional potato chip.

Q: Dark chocolate is often touted as being high in antioxidants. What other benefits does this tasty treat offer?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and help relieve stress.

Q: Are nuts considered a health food?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: While nuts are high in fat, it is not the bad kind. They’re extremely high in protein, fiber and many nutrients that work within the body to stabilize blood sugar.

Q: Kale has recently been added to the list of super foods. Why?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Kale has gained an advantage over broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for its mild taste and abundance of cancer-preventing nutrients. Kale contains more than four dozen different flavonoids, which provide a number of health benefits.

Q: What are the worst foods to eat for those trying to lose weight?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Pretty much anything out of the box should be avoided for those trying to lose weight. Most boxed, canned and packed foods are processed, which will increase the dieter’s intake of preservatives and also lead to more frequent hunger. It is best to stick with whole foods including plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats.

Q: Are there certain foods that people with heart problems should avoid?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure: Processed meats, white bread and foods high in fat, like pizza, should be avoided by anyone with heart problems.

Pam Gray of Bonaventure has spent the last two decades of her career focusing on senior needs. Currently, as the Chief Operating Officer of Bonaventure Senior Living, Pam Gray dedicates her time making sure that the company’s 37 communities operate efficiently and with a level of quality care and value unavailable anywhere else. For additional information about Bonaventure options for assisted and independent living or memory care, visit

Spotify’s Influence on Music

To music lovers, Spotify is almost like a dream come true. Seemingly out of nowhere, the service took the U.S. by storm with its gargantuan music library, high quality streaming, album artwork, and reasonable price point ($9 per month). Users basically pay a small fee to have access to the world’s greatest iTunes account, but without the hassle of misspelled song titles, mislabeled song titles, or flat out missing song titles. While many people use Spotify simply to search for and listen to individual songs and albums, the program actually has many features that often go unnoticed.

Show lyrics

No more Googling random song lyrics and hoping to get a match. With Spotify’s app platform, users download a program called TuneWiki, which automatically looks up and displays the lyrics to songs he or she is listening to in real time.

Organize playlists

With its seemingly endless number of tunes available for instant streaming, creating playlists in Spotify can be a little intimidating. How can a person possibly select a list of songs they want to hear when all of the songs can be selected? With Spotify’s easy ability to simply drag and drop playlists, that process just got a whole lot easier.

See what you’re listening to

One of the perils of a service with just about every song available at the click of a mouse is that people paradoxically choose to listen to old familiar songs rather than branching out and discovering new music. Spotify tracks a listener’s favorite songs, albums and artists from the past several months or even years, so he or she will be able to tell when it’s time to move on and start broadening musical horizons.

Share … or not … on Facebook

For many people, sharing on Facebook is a great feature that makes the listening experience a social one. But for others, it’s on par with a constant barrage of baby pictures on their newsfeed. Thankfully, Spotify allows users to choose whether or not they want to share every song they play with their Facebook friends.

Share playlists

Like a friend’s taste in music? It is no longer necessary to wade through track after track of a band you may not necessarily like based on a single recommendation. Now, listeners can jump right into a friend’s playlist and hear the tunes they recommend.