Lifestyle http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle The latest Lifestyle news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:56:14 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 5 Fire-Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Thanksgiving http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/5-fire-safety-tips-to-keep-in-mind-this-thanksgiving/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/5-fire-safety-tips-to-keep-in-mind-this-thanksgiving/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 22:41:49 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114513

The kitchen is where the holiday meal magic happens, but it can also be a danger zone, especially on Thanksgiving.

Steven McGill, the battalion chief of Engine Company 9 in Jersey City, New Jersey, said Thanksgiving is typically the most dangerous day of the year.

“Everybody’s cooking in the kitchen and it’s one of the few days where almost everyone is preparing a meal,” he said. “The house is more congested than normal. … So you have to control the flow in your kitchen to make sure there’s no accidents.”

Thanksgiving kitchen fires could ruin the holiday.

Thanksgiving safety: How to put out a fire.

What you need to know about fire safety.

More fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. And on Thanksgiving, in particular, there are three times as many house fires than any other day of the year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“We’ve had fires where people took the turkey right out of the freezer, put it right in the oven, forgot to take the plastic off and next thing you know, you have an oven fire,” McGill said.

McGill and his five firefighters feasted today, Thanksgiving eve, a tradition for his crew, because Thursday is expected to be one of their busiest days.

Below, they shared some safety tips for the holiday:

1. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing around open flames.

2. Don’t leave your food unattended on the stove or in the oven. McGill said to make sure a person is always in the kitchen watching the food that’s cooking.

“You should have a zone, around anything around the stove, within like a 3-feet range for children,” he said.

3. If deep-frying turkey, do it outside.

4. Never put water on a grease fire.

5. Store fire extinguishers in plain sight and near an exit — not under the sink, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Because fires can double every five to 10 seconds — and can consume a room in just one minute — call 911 first.

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What to Do When Hiring a Nanny: A Checklist for Parents http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/what-to-do-when-hiring-a-nanny-a-checklist-for-parents/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/what-to-do-when-hiring-a-nanny-a-checklist-for-parents/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:52:13 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114479 By EAMON McNIFF, DENISE MARTINEZ-RAMUNDO and ALEXA VALIENTE

Raising a child can be tough, and when both parents work, sometimes hiring a nanny is the only answer.

But do you really know who is taking care of your child?

“You really can’t do too much to confirm and verify that you are hiring the right person,” home child care expert Susan Tokoyer told ABC News’ “20/20.”

To help parents weed out bad nannies, Tokoyer shared a checklist parents should go through when hiring a nanny:

  1. Check four or five references.
  2. Hire someone with professional experience.
  3. Verify their social security number.
  4. Do a criminal background check.
  5. Take a look at their driving record.
  6. Check if they are on the sex offender registry.
  7. Go through their social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

And after you’ve hired a nanny, don’t just rely on a nanny cam to keep an eye on your nanny.

“Dropping in during the day is a great idea. [Walk] in the front door when she is not expecting you,” Tokoyer said.

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My Fiancé Is a Porn Star and I’m Okay With It http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/my-fianc-is-a-porn-star-and-im-okay-with-it/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/my-fianc-is-a-porn-star-and-im-okay-with-it/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:46:22 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114461

Kayden Kross was one of the biggest names in the porn industry. But she left it all behind last year when her fellow porn star Manuel Ferrara, who is now her fiance, asked her to stop performing with other men. Below, Kross shared with ABC News’ “20/20″ how she made the difficult decision.

Manuel and I met in late 2006 on the set of my first porn shoot. He was confident, handsome, and French. I was shy and clueless. We had sex, and then we didn’t see each other again for almost four years.

The next time I saw him, I was closer to his level. It was another porn set, and once again we were scheduled to have sex. Things were different that time around. I, too, had become confident. I’d navigated the adult industry well and worked my way into one of the most lucrative exclusive performing contracts with the top production company in the business. Combined with this were an online subscription site I owned, a merchandise deal that licensed my adult name, and a regular appearance schedule that took me around the world. I was on top–that is–until I fell in love with him and had to choose between continuing my career and settling down.

For some people, that decision seems like no choice at all. For me, it was. The adult industry was never something I simply settled on when other plans fell through, and it was not something I was trying to leave behind. Growing up, I was the child of a single parent family. We had always been financially insecure and my range of experiences had always been limited. We’d felt trapped. [As an] adult, I had found the job that gave me a sense of absolute freedom. But my relationship with Manuel gave me something more. After we’d been dating a year, I finally decided to quit my contract and move in with Manuel. In a few more months we were engaged. Today we have an infant daughter.

For a woman, the choice between continuing on independently and shortchanging her career in exchange for a family will always be there. I know this firsthand, having watched my mother struggle with it when I was growing up, and now as a mother myself. Even when women have broken all of the glass ceilings and are paid and hired with a blind eye to gender, this will remain a choice. This will remain a choice because families take time and dedication, and careers take the same thing. Because there is a choice, there is a risk. People take risks on the partners they choose to build a life with. I’ve received criticism for taking this risk on Manuel. He has also received criticism for taking the risk on me. The fact is, one’s dedication to family and relationships are not tied to one’s vocation, past or present. They are daily acts that are done consciously again and again. I took this risk on Manuel because he believes this as strongly as I do.

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Cut Down Your Car Repair Bill With Free Fixes http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/cut-down-your-car-repair-bill-with-free-fixes/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/cut-down-your-car-repair-bill-with-free-fixes/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 19:54:45 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114450 When the Chen family of Silver Spring, Maryland, took their 2011 Toyota Sienna in for new brake pads, they found themselves facing a decision no family wants to make: Christmas present or car repairs.

“We love it and we’ve driven it on many family road trips, but it is just out of warranty and it’s starting to need repairs,” Sandie Chen said.

Save big on your car-repair bills

Avoid being taking for a ride by your mechanic

What to know before you go to a mechanic’s garage

The “Real Money” team brought in auto expert Charlie Romero, founder of Roadfly.com, to help the family’s repair bills from spinning out of control.

Romero shared the following tips with the family of five and help save them more than $1,000.

1. Find free fixes. In addition to safety recalls, carmakers occasionally publish service bulletins to fix problems found in their cars.

“The dealers and manufacturers might not necessarily want you to know because it’s not a safety issue,” he said. “It will cost them but it’ll save you a lot of money.”

The “Real Money” team found that certain Honda Civics qualified for free paint repair and that some Chrysler minivans could receive improved front wheel bearings, which dealerships would install for free.

For the Chens’ Toyota Sienna, the team found they could save up to $450 in free fixes by plugging their car’s VIN in SaferCar.gov. Under the vehicle owner tab, a car owner can put in the make and model of a vehicle and find out about pending recalls as well as service bulletins.

A device called CarMd also uses the same basic technology that a mechanic’s large, expensive scanner uses, but costs around $100.

2. Skip the garage. You may be able to use yourmechanic, in which a repair man comes right to your driveway.

3. Shop around without leaving your home. Use apps like OpenBay and RepairPal to compare repair prices before you take your car into the shop.

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Turn Your Unwanted Fashions Into Cash Online http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/10/turn-your-unwanted-fashions-into-a-fortune-online/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/10/turn-your-unwanted-fashions-into-a-fortune-online/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:41:02 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114440

Brooke Alper and her husband, Josh, not only have two growing children but also a mountain of clothes that don’t fit anymore.

Alper of Livingston, New Jersey, said that her closet was bursting at the seams.

“I have a ton of clothes that still have tags on them or are gifts that people give us that you can’t return or exchange,” said the mother of two boys, ages 2 and 5.

The “Real Money” team learned, however, that with a little work, Alper’s closet could become a gold mine.

Moms sell, trade and swap baby clothes for extra cash.
How to turn your clutter into cash.
Cleaning closets in hopes of a cash payout.

Enter Lauren Lerner, an online-resale specialist from Ambler, Pennsylvania, who said online outlets are the new mega-marketplace.  Lerner said she’d made more than half a million dollars since she started selling clothes online a decade ago.

“I see it as green, I see it as money,” Lerner said of the Alpers’ piles of clothing.

With Lerner’s help, Alper was able to convert her family’s closets into cash.  After selling clothes online for just a few hours a week, Alper has made more than $1,200 in her first year of selling online.

Lerner shared the following money-making tips:

  • Snap at least two pictures of the item you’re trying to sell online — front and back — so there are no surprises for the buyer. Use a high-quality camera and really zoom in.
  • Keep the clothes clean and remember that sizing does matter so be as specific as possible about the fit and fabric. Lerner said to include whether an article of clothing has a tight fit or runs big. Details can reduce your chances of having a buyer return an item.
  • Sell seasonal items on resale sites like Tradesy and Poshmark.
  • Bundle, bundle, bundle. Sell your clothes by the bagful to save time. Sites like ThredUp and LikeTwice will send you a bag to fill and then they price and sell the items for you. What doesn’t get sold is then donated to charity.
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Woman’s Pets Provide Delightfully Warm Presents http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/10/womans-pets-provide-delightfully-warm-presents/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/10/womans-pets-provide-delightfully-warm-presents/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:40:30 +0000 Jared T. Miller http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114422 BNPS angora rabbit 2 jtm 141014 16x9 608 Womans Pets Provide Delightfully Warm Presents

One of Sally's prize-winning Angora rabbits. (Laura Dale/BNPS)

Sally May’s 20 Angora rabbits are cute pets but the gloves and other clothes knitted from their luxurious fur are even cuter.

May, who lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England,  shears the rabbits every three months, producing enough Angora for a pair of mittens, according to the Express. She also uses the fur for scarves and hats she gives to family and friends.

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Boot liners, socks and a stuffed rabbit made by Sally May. (Laura Dale/BNPS)

The fur fetches $16 a pound, but she declines to sell the fur or the clothing she makes with it because of the difficulty of making it a business.

“I’ve never had more than 20 to 30 rabbits at a time, but over the years I must have had hundreds,” May is quoted as saying in The Express. “That’s the problem, once you’re hooked, life’s not the same without them.”

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Sally May shears one of her Angora rabbits. (Laura Dale/BNPS)

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Ultra Luxury Travel: Inside Singapore Airlines’ Private Suites http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/10/ultra-luxury-travel-inside-singapore-airlines-private-suites/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/10/ultra-luxury-travel-inside-singapore-airlines-private-suites/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 21:20:19 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114396

In an age when some airlines are forcing passengers into the ever-smaller sardine can that is economy class, others are making room for a luxurious experience that goes above and beyond first class.

For passengers willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a serious upgrade, many airlines are now offering never-before-seen extravagances during flight. For example, Virgin Airlines offers massages on trans-Atlantic flights. Emirates Airlines has a first-class shower. Etihad Airways is about to debut a 125-square-foot, three-room apartment called “the residence,” butler included.

“I think in general the luxury landscape has grown as more people are flying more, people are flying longer distances,” said Pilar Guzmán, editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler. “More people are willing to pay that price for that extra luxury.”

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Inside Singapore Airlines luxurious private suite. Credit: ABC News

Recently, travel blogger Derek Low wrote a post about cashing in points to score one of Singapore Airlines’s luxurious suites on his trip from Singapore to New York. Singapore Airlines planes feature about a dozen exclusive pods that include a real bed. While an economy ticket from New York to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines will cost around $800, their suites can run passengers around $15,000.

“First class is one of the areas where there is really opportunities to make your mark,” said James Boyd, a spokesman for Singapore Airlines. “You have your space, you have a little bit more time with customers.”

“Nightline” asked Singapore Airlines if they could experience the exclusive suites first-hand, and were given tickets to fly from New York City’s JFK airport to Frankfort.

When passengers book their suite on Singapore Airlines, they are pampered from the moment they walk into the airport, and it was no different for “Nightline.”

First, “Nightline” was whisked ahead of the line at check-in to the front, then straight to a luxurious lounge for cocktails. When it was time to board, an escort appeared to take them to their gate.

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A glimpse inside the pre-departure VIP lounge. Credit: ABC News

Once on the plane, they were served champagne, ate caviar and ordered dinner that came with multiple courses.

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Credit: ABC News

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Singapore Airlines offers five-star dining in their private suites. Credit: ABC News

Flight attendants waited on them hand and foot, and then, when it was time for bed, they offered a “tuck in” service. Not bad for a seven-hour flight.

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Are You Living in the Best Small City in the US? http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/09/are-you-living-in-the-best-small-city-in-the-us/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/09/are-you-living-in-the-best-small-city-in-the-us/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 22:15:18 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114368 The results are in for the best small city in America.

The annual ranking of the 50 most livable small cities in the United States — based on more than 50 factors, including housing, property taxes, schools and safety — has been released by Money magazine, and the top spot goes to McKinney, Texas, for its Southern charm.

Rounding out the top 5 were Maple Grove, Minnesota; Carmel, Indiana; Castle Rock, Colorado; and Kirkland, Washington.

Click to see the complete list of 50 cities and what made them stand out.

Below are the Top 10:

  1. McKinney, Texas
  2. Maple Grove, Minnesota
  3. Carmel, Indiana
  4. Castle Rock, Colorado
  5. Kirkland, Washington
  6. Columbia and Ellicott City, Maryland
  7. Clarkstown, New York
  8. Ames, Iowa
  9. Rochester Hills, Michigan
  10. Reston, Virginia

 

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More than Sculptural: The Artwork of Nick Cave http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/09/more-than-sculptural-nick-caves-colorful-extravagant-artwork/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/09/more-than-sculptural-nick-caves-colorful-extravagant-artwork/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 19:18:24 +0000 Troy Mcmullen http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114327 In 1991, Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits,” a pioneering body of work that pushed the boundaries of Abstract Expressionism and Conceptualism, catapulted the artist to a kind of insular stardom rarely achieved in today’s crowded and increasingly global art world.

The project, more than twenty sculptural forms bedecked with dazzling and bejeweled costumes based on the scale of his body, forced viewers to contemplate the works as art and fashion. A former dancer in Alvin Alley’s company, Mr. Cave created colorful, orchestrated performances that framed the project both as performance art while proposing the pieces as ritualistic objects.

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Artist Nick Cave's work titled, 'Sculpture.'

Mr. Cave has long employed a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance while mounting shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Denver Art Museum and the Trapholt Museum in Denmark.

Now, Jack Shainman Gallery in Manhattan is hosting a two-part exhibition of new work by the artist at the gallery’s two Chelsea locations. “Made for Whites by Whites” and “Rescue.”

Both shows include artifacts and found objects Cave amassed from his travels around the globe.

“Rescue,” on view at Jack Shainman Gallery at 524 West 24th Street, includes  sculptures that incorporate found ceramic dogs sitting on furniture within elaborate grottos or dreamlike dens, the gallery says. “Made for Whites by Whites,” showing at the Jack Shainman Gallery at 513 West 20th Street, centers around objects which promote racial stereotypes, the artists says.

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James Prinz Photography

“The materials and forms tell a story,” Mr. Cave said at the show’s opening. “What you see here are objects found and created to lift the idea of what art can explore and can tell you about our lives.”

Mr. Cave, a Chicago-based artist, who shouldn’t be confused with the Australian musician of the same name, has been represented by Jack Shainman since 2006.

“He’s very ambitious as an artist and that drives the scale of his work,” says Mr. Shainman, a veteran New York gallerist who recently opened a 30,000  square foot, multi-purpose project space in Kinderhook, New York. “He’s not a person who takes any short cuts so what you see really comes out of this amazing, ambitious personality.”

Both shows run through Saturday, October 11, 2014 and will be accompanied by special programming.

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James Prinz Photography

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‘Family’ of Vacuums Have Adventures Out of the Closet http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/09/family-of-vacuums-have-adventures-out-of-the-closet/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/09/family-of-vacuums-have-adventures-out-of-the-closet/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:59:41 +0000 Jared T. Miller http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/?p=114321 CN henry hoover 1 jtm 140904 16x9 608 Family of Vacuums Have Adventures Out of the Closet

Danny Walker poses with his "family" of Hoovers--Henry, Hetty, and two Little Henry toys. (Caters News Agency)

Vacuums cleaners have come out of the closetand  are living a happy family life, at least the vaccums owned by Danny Walker in Abingdon, England.

Walker, 28, admitted he gets bored while vacuuming, and decided to give his “Henry” — a vacuum model produced by British company Numatic that dresses up the average hoover with cartoon eyes and a smile — a life of its own.

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Henry Hoover dons protective clothing during a day at the brewery with his owner, Danny Walker. (Caters News Agency)

“I thought ‘everyone loves Henry Hoover,’” Walker told Caters News Agency, regarding the immensely popular vacuum model. “So I decided to take him on little adventures and get people wanting to see what he’ll end up doing next.”

Walker began posting pictures of the adventures to Facebook about two years ago, showing the vacuum in a variety of situations. He works at a brewery, and the vacuum can be seen hopping on beer trucks, posing with his kids’ Christmas presents, and even traveling with a family of its own. Numatic makes a pink, “female” vacuum called a “Hetty,” and the brand’s popularity has led the company to produce “Little Henry” toys. “Little Henry” enjoys trips to the park with his “father” and other family outings in many of Walker’s photos.

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Henry Hoover pushes his "son" in a playground swing. (Caters News Agency)

Taking pictures of a family of Hoovers in a small town like Abingdon  raises eyebrows, but Walker says his Facebook fans—which number in the thousands—are worth the effort.

“People would say ‘here comes hoover boy,’ and some of the looks I have had in the past were priceless,”  he said. “But the Baby Hoover fans need their daily dose so it’s always worth it.”

 

 

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