3 Tips to Keep In Mind At Your Next Barbecue

When it comes to the Fourth of July, fireworks might be the first thing to come to mind. But, food is probably a pretty close second! In fact, the 4th is  the most popular holiday for grilling, followed by Memorial Day.

Who can resist the taste of juicy burgers, finger-licking BBQ and delectable hot dogs? Oh and don’t forget the American quintessential sides of potato salad and baked beans! These decadent summer staples are synonymous with the holiday and help make it fun and festive. While it’s ok to indulge in some of these mouth-watering dishes, it’s important to be smart and sensible.

Dr. Michele Reed, a board certified family physician in New York, shares a few tips on how to stay active and avoid derailing a healthy diet at your next backyard barbecue:

*Prep for Success: Set the menu, shop smart and have fun. Make sure lean meats, creative salads, in-season fruits and veggies and better-for-you marinades are all part of the plan.

*Get MovingIn between the food and drinks comes all that great activity. Keep a playlist of tunes going, have some water balloons on reserve or play an impromptu volleyball game – there are tons of crowd-pleasing activities that you can do in your own backyard.

*Portion-Control Gear: Whether you’re bringing your favorite summertime salad or a delectable dessert make sure to include a serving utensil that promotes portion sized eating. If hosting, choose a theme, decorate your space and remember to encourage portion controlled eating by stocking up on salad-sized plates.

What’s your favorite Fourth of July fare? How do you make healthy choices while being tempted with tasty summer treats?

Show Off Your Patriotic Side With These Festive Polishes

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With the Fourth of July only a couple days away, why not celebrate with a patriotic mani? Deck out your digits in festive red, white and blue shades to honor America's independence. I'm a bit on the conservative side when it comes to polishes and designs—so rocking a plain white color is probably the extent of my patriotism. But, if you're feeling a bit more daring, opt for a decorative mix of eye-catching nail art. From flags to fireworks, the options are endless. Check out these patriotic-inspired polishes to show off at your 4th of July shindig: Mischo Beauty "Billie" Nail Lacquer Set available here, $54 Butter London Nail Lacquer in "Sprog" available here, $15 American Flag Nail Decals available here, $2 (for a set of 20) O.P.I Infinite Shine Lacquer in "Nonstop … Keep Reading

Mom’s Corner: The Benefits of Breastfeeding

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As a mother, breastfeeding my children was such a special, cherished time in my life. From the moment they came into the world I offered them what I felt was the best choice—breast milk. Prior to having them, I researched all the facts about breastfeeding. I found that there were just too many benefits for moms and babies to not give it a shot. Luckily, both of my little ones latched on immediately and quite effortlessly. And, frankly it took them a while to finally let go and move on to the next stage. To be clear, I don’t knock moms who prefer to feed their newborns and infants formula—I simply did what I felt was the most natural and beneficial for my family and me. I nursed both of my children exclusively for the 6 months, which is recommended by the American Academy of … Keep Reading

Wedding Season: Say ‘I Do’… to Tech

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It's official, wedding season is in full swing! If you or someone you know is planning a wedding, chances are you're going to do it in style—tech style that is. Sure, beautiful gowns, lovely venues and mouth-watering menus top many brides' check-lists, but now technological components are also becoming major factors when it comes to planning the perfect wedding celebration. View image | gettyimages.com   From photo booths to selfie sticks, today's nuptials are becoming an even more fun, interactive affair. With social media having such a huge impact on so many of our daily lives, it's only fitting that this cultural phenomenon would also be apart of our wedding ceremonies. Plus, incorporating tech gadgets and encouraging guests to share photos, etc, provides the bride … Keep Reading

Get the Look: Brandy’s Hair at the 2015 BET Awards

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Last night's BET's Awards was one to remember. From the Bad Boy to the Janet Jackson dance tribute, the night was filled with moving speeches and memorable performances. But, being the hair and beauty buff that I am, I couldn't help but notice Brandy's gorgeous blow-out! Since joining the cast of "The Game," it seems like the former teen pop star/actress has been more daring with her hairstyles. Perhaps her character, Chardonnay, has inspired her to step outside the box and rock looks beyond the braids that she made famous in the '90s. Hair stylist Tymothe Wallace for Motions Hair Care created her eye-catching 'do. Inspired by Barbie, Wallace put a natural spin on the typically long and straight look. "Brandy is an icon—she can do no wrong! Tonight she wanted to look like Barbie in … Keep Reading

SPONSORED: BGG Goes to Blogging While Brown On Behalf of AT&T’s ‘Inspired Mobility’ Campaign

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Last weekend I was honored to have been selected to attend the 8th Annual Blogging While Brown conference in Austin, TX on behalf of AT&T. I served as a blogger correspondent to help spread the word about their Inspired Mobility campaign—a conversation about how people are using Internet and mobile technology to enhance their inspirational experience. Since I use mobile technology on a daily basis to complement my faith and beliefs, being a part of this initiative was a no-brainer. Many people are now using their phones to stay connected to their spirituality whether that's through apps, streaming, podcasts or other mobile platforms. In fact, in a recent survey sponsored by AT&T, 4-in-10 (41%) respondents said they use a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to connect to faith-based … Keep Reading

Pass It On: Disney TV Group Launches ‘Summer of Creativity’ Initiative to Inspire Youths to Make a Difference

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If you have a young child at home like I do, surely Disney Junior, Disney XD and the Disney channel dominate your TVs and tablets. For the past couple of weeks, in between Disney programming, you'll catch a commercial that's all about encouraging kids to unleash their creativity while helping others. Disney ABC Television Group's new "Summer of Creativity" initiative will award Youth Service America grants to kids hoping to make a difference in their community and the world through service. Through the initiative, the network will show programming and public service announcements highlighting how creativity can help young people inspire a better tomorrow. If you know a child between the ages of 5 and 18 who are impacting their communities by making them greener, safer, healthier, … Keep Reading