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2024 Surface Trends Redefine Homes with Bold Elegance and Innovation

(NewsUSA) - With existing home inventory predicted to remain low in 2024, many home buyers are choosing to purchase new construction or instead electing to remodel their current home. Either option takes homeowners on a design journey with an array of endless selections and choices as they look to create a home that reflects their taste and lifestyle. Wilsonart has unveiled four new home surface trends that are sure to inspire and bring beauty and function to any new or existing space.

 

  1. Light & Bright

In the ever-evolving realm of design, the Light & Bright trend emerges as a captivating focal point, seizing the spotlight and celebrating the timeless allure of white tones. In the kitchen and bath, white continues to lead as the top choice for styling, and modern countertops are often sleek and slim. Wilsonart® Quartz and Wilsonart® Solid Surface offer an array of marble and natural stone looks that are perfect for achieving this look in modern backsplashes or countertops.

Light and Bright
  1. Crafted Calm

Crafted Calm is a soft, warm, comforting interpretation of casual living and will be seen in homes that prioritize well-being and tranquility. Connecting with nature through design is an essential element of the Crafted Calm trend, and the wellness kitchen is at the center of that connection. Here, look to countertop designs that feature warming hues.

Crafted Calm
  1. Fresh Heritage

The new Fresh Heritage trend draws inspiration from the historic English countryside and features traditional woodgrain styling, neutral tones and polished rooms that feel lived-in and loved. It's a journey into the past with a contemporary twist. The LUJO® Collection from Wilsonart® Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) offers a luxury matte Silken Wood finish that is a premium example of a surface that can add revolutionary texture to any home.

Fresh Heritage
  1. Dark & Moody Luxe

The Dark & Moody Luxe trend invites us to turn down color and dial-up the intensity with dramatic color contrasts that convey a deep sense of luxury. Embracing the desire to 'escape at home,' this trend introduces exotic wood accent walls, bold open storage, and industrial surfaces. The Wetwall™ Waterproof Wall Panel System offers designs with dark veining and a bold appearance, perfectly suited for the trend.

Dark and Moody Luxe

For those looking for kitchen and bath design inspiration to give their homes a fresh look for the new year, visit www.wilsonart.com.

Dive Into Caribbean Luxury

(NewsUSA) - Looking for a late winter or springtime escape?  Seeking an unforgettable spot for a wedding or honeymoon? The island of Saint Lucia is a hidden gem of beauty and tranquility.

East Winds, the island’s original boutique resort, offers an all-inclusive opportunity for guests to immersive themselves in true Caribbean luxury. East Winds is a breathtaking tropical garden by the sea, set on a sandy and secluded beach with stunning views, lush foliage, and colorful bird life.

Key features that make East Winds a memorable experience include:

-Deluxe accommodations: East Winds offers deluxe ocean view rooms, as well as cottages situated on the ocean front or in the heart of a luxurious garden. Ocean Front Suites include a private patio and unparalleled views of the Caribbean Sea. Deluxe Cottages are steps from the pool, beach, bars, and restaurants.

-Pool paradise: The self-service swim-up bar, temperate water, and serene surroundings make a truly restful and indulgent experience, and the central location is convenient to the beach, bars, restaurant, and garden. Pool-based stools let guests enjoy a drink without leaving the water.

-Refined dining: East Winds’ restaurants offer ever-changing, diverse menus featuring fresh, local produce, and fresh seafood caught daily. For honeymooners or any guest seeking privacy, thatched gazebos are available for intimate beachfront dining. Other special treats for foodies include rum tasting, chocolate making, and cooking classes.

-Superlative spa: The Garden Spa is nestled among trees and flowers, and features natural and organic treatments and massage to leave guests rejuvenated.

-Breathtaking beach: The soft sands and clear, turquoise waters of East Winds’ private beachfront provide the ultimate Caribbean ambiance.

-Glorious garden: The East Winds’ garden is considered the crown jewel of the resort; the cultivation and care of plants, trees, and birds has been a decades-long project, and garden tours are available with an expert guide to share stories of the spectacular flora and fauna.

-Excellent adventures: Boat trips, an arial tram ride, snorkeling, sunset cruises, and tours of the extensive gardens are among the other activities available to East Winds guests with no advance reservations needed.

Guests at East Winds can expect personalized care, all-inclusive service, and authentic Caribbean experiences.

Visit www.eastwinds.com for more information.

BookTrib’s Bites: Four Reads to Ward off the Cold

(NewsUSA) - PlowmanPlowman by Charles Bruckerhoff

At twelve, Stella Young and Hana Sanada, enrolled in the Stanton Academy for Humanity, discover the wartime journals of their great-grandfathers, who served in WWII, and a wartime journal of Stella's grandfather, who served in Vietnam. Now, many years after the wars, the girls begin turning the journals into a book-length manuscript.

Their thoughts about the book's themes change abruptly. Stella's father was an infantry captain, serving in Afghanistan. One evening, army officers arrived at her home to inform Olivia, her mother, and Stella that their beloved husband and father had been killed.

The girls research the deeply troubling "wrong wars" that the American government has entered. Now adults, Stella and Hana size up what had gone so wrong with American government, its military, and society and embark on a mission to restore law and order, honor, morality, and integrity to the country. Purchase at https://bit.ly/3uJfErH.

Wolf's Head BayWolf’s Head Bay - Journey of the Courageous Eleven by Jeffery Allen Boyd

The global criminal Network . . .
 The growing government scandal . . .
 The ensuing White House cover-up . . . 

A chance encounter on a camping trip to the Northern Michigan wilderness by a group of teenagers becomes a deadly and suspenseful race for survival when they are plunged into the terrifying world of human trafficking and discover the courageous hero that lies within each one of them.

In a bold rescue attempt, the fearful group of teens is held captive at an underground missile silo by the Colonel, a dangerous man intent on controlling the world's human trafficking Network. About to be taken out of the country and sold as slaves into the global Network, only the boy who lured one of them can help—and he has his own price! Purchase Book 1 at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/wolfs-head-bay .

Talk to my BrainTalk to My Brain! by Dr. Parul Cedilnik

In this fascinating work, a clinical psychologist, through stories, is bringing Cognitive Behavior Therapy to children. The core concept in this book is to accept the feelings, breath deep, and change the thoughts -- to feel better and deal with the problems effectively. The book has six stories, lots of illustrations, a small discussion guide and can be used by psychologists, counselors, social workers and parents.

Dr. Parul Cedilnik, Ph.D. is a clinical and child psychologist who has studied and trained chiefly in India. She has worked in India, the United States and Germany with both children and adults. This book is based on her experience of the last 25 years, while working with people from more than 35 countries. Purchase at https://bit.ly/4bNJmg8.

Ad ManAll I Ever Wanted To Be Was an Ad Man by Anthony Eglin

From a childhood dodging bombs in wartime London and drawing pictures under the family's dining table during air raids, Anthony had a dream – to become an ad man. Thus started a remarkable, 50-year, transatlantic odyssey.

While the labyrinthine arc of his extraordinary memoir is about resolve, tenacity and ambition, his ascendence in the exacting world of advertising is packed with unforgettable characters, case histories and hilarious anecdotes, along with a recurring thread of irrepressible optimism, deft insights and dry wit.

And somehow, he also found the time to become a famous rock-band manager, filmmaker, bike racer, antiques collector/dealer, New Orleans Jazz clarinetist, accomplished gardener, bakery owner, and an award-winning author of six mystery books. Anthony's heart-warming memoir is a captivating portrait of a life well lived. Purchase at https://bit.ly/42OpYM0.

 

Riding into Spring, Avoiding Skin Cancer Surgery

(NewsUSA) - It’s practically Spring, and the outdoors is calling. “I’ll be back on my bike and celebrating the return of sunny weather,” says Todd Fishman, a long-time Louisville, Kentucky, resident and devoted bicycle enthusiast. “But this year,” he notes, “I’ll be far more diligent in protecting myself from the sun’s harmful UV rays.”  

Fishman, 57, says, “Biking is my escape – it gives me balance in my life.” But exposure to the sun took its toll on this outdoor enthusiast. Last year, Fishman was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on his nose, but when his top-flight dermatologist recommended Mohs surgery, Fishman asked, can you guarantee I won’t have an ugly scar from the treatment? When the answer was no, Fishman did his own research and found a local dermatologist, Dr. Denise Dickinson, who offered a noninvasive alternative with a 99%+ cure rate with no surgery and no surgical scarring. 

“I avoided the pain, scarring and downtime that accompanies Mohs surgery by choosing the newer, nonsurgical treatment known as Image-Guided SRT, or the GentleCure experience. My doctor, using high-frequency dermal imaging technology to observe and precisely target the cancer cells, aimed and delivered low energy x-rays at the tumor. After a series of 15-minute sessions in her office, there was no evidence of skin cancer! This clearly was the better way to cure my cancer.” 

Fishman is not alone. More Americans are diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancer each year than all other cancer types combined. That’s more than 3.3 million people annually. Most cases result from sun exposure, the dangerous effects of which are cumulative over time, which explains why one-in-five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. Other factors that may mean you’re likely to get skin cancer include the use of tanning beds, a personal or family history of skin cancer, and having pale skin, red or fair hair, or blue or green eyes.   

“Albert Einstein,” Fishman notes, “said life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance, you must keep moving. He was so right, and thank goodness that my dermatologist is keeping up with effective new treatment options like the GentleCure experience.” 

For more information and to learn where the GentleCure experience is available, visit GentleCure.com

Going Blond: How to Use Light-Toned Wood in Your Home

(NewsUSA) - They say blonds have more fun, but there are non-frivolous reasons for choosing pale or light-finish hardwoods for floors, cabinetry, paneling, and millwork in your home. “Many species of Real American Hardwood®—white oak, maple, birch, ash, poplar, beech, and sycamore among them—are naturally blond,” notes Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. “These pale-tone woods can help create bright and airy residential spaces that readily adapt to the homeowner’s preferred style of décor, from the comfortably traditional to the boldly contemporary.” More than just a collection of pretty faces, they all share hardwood’s well-known durability, flexibility, and sustainability—qualities that make it an ideal material for use in today’s most Instagram-ready interiors. Here are six examples of how it’s done. 

 

KitchenLab

 

In remodeling this Chicago kitchen, designers Rebekah Zaveloff and Kat Andrejevic of KitchenLab Interiors (@kitchenlabinteriors) achieved an invitingly informal feel by choosing white oak for the massive island and chunky open shelves, the gorgeous honey-toned wood adding warmth but no visual bulk to the sizeable elements. Refinished light-stained hardwood floors, the island’s single-slab marble top, dark-green custom cabinets, and white subway-tile walls complete the crisp but welcoming look. Photo by Michael Alan Kaskel

 

Studio Dearborn

 

Subtlety is the name of the game in this Sleepy Hollow, New York, bathroom by Studio Dearborn (@studiodearborn), where designer Sarah Robertson has used rift-sawn white-oak millwork finished with a custom pale-mushroom stain to enliven what might otherwise be a bland color and materials palette: Calacatta Gold marble for the counter and floor, smoke-gray subway tile for the backsplash, and pure white tub. Nickel-finish faucets, hardware, and sconces add sparkle. Photo by Adam Kane Macchia 

 

BRW Architects

 

The traditional kitchen in an Arts & Crafts–inspired farmhouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, by BRW Architects (@brwarchitectscville) is a masterclass in how to give a fresh, modern look to a beloved classic style. Blonde maple cabinetry in a clean Shaker-like design is joined by red-oak flooring, green-granite topped island, stainless-steel appliances, and an abundance of natural daylight, all of which help amplify the contemporary vibe without violating the room’s period spirit. Photo by Virginia Hamrick 

 

Ectypos Architecture

 

Renovated by Ectypos Architecture (ectypos.com), this 1950s ranch house in Seattle now includes a library, thanks to a handsome wall of built-in light-oak shelving that turns a former corridor into an attractive reading nook. The golden-hued wood glows under strategically placed ceiling lights, ensuring that the narrow space, which connects the living and dining areas, is warm and inviting—a place to linger in rather than a mere passageway. Photo by Joe Iano

 

Breahe Design Studio

 

The owners of this contemporary town house in Austin, Texas, asked Breathe Design Studio (@breathedesign) to give them minimalist, midcentury-modern interiors—a request that the sleek, sophisticated kitchen with its polished-concrete flooring, waterfall island, wireframe stools, stainless-steel appliances, and pure white walls more than delivers on. Custom, solid-birch cabinetry with a natural finish renders the space cool, calm, and collected rather than cold and clinical as it could have become. Photo by Chase Daniel 

 

Kimberly Kay Interiors

 

A wall of vertical poplar slats sets off a white-painted brick fireplace in the family room of a Danville, California, house renovated by Kimberley Kay Interiors (@kimberleykayinteriors). The individual wood battens are stained slightly different shades of light khaki, creating a sense of organic color variation across the wall that contrasts pleasingly with the regular rhythm of the neatly tailored millwork. More texture and visual interest are added via textiles and woven-straw baskets. Photo by Life Created 

Visit www.hardwoodinfo.com for more about using blonde American hardwoods in your home. 

4 Tips for Introducing a Family Calendar to Your Kids

(NewsUSA) - When your morning starts off with questions like, “do I have school today?” or “how many more sleeps?” it may be time to introduce a family calendar.

A family calendar can be utilized by children as early as age two if it includes pictures of the activities. Around age three, children’s growing executive function and working memory skills expand, which means words like “yesterday” and “today” now have meaning for your little one.

Knowing what’s coming next can allow a child to better self-regulate emotions as they’ll know what to expect. Check out these four tips for introducing a calendar for your family:

  1. Determine what type of calendar works best and secure a central location. This could be in the kitchen, living room or a hallway. Make sure it’s in a central location that the whole family can locate and access. Calendars can be formatted in a weekly or monthly style and can be paper, dry erase or digital.
  2. Make it visually pleasing. Try using different colors as a differentiator. If you have multiple children, allow them to have their own identifier. Use a visual “day” marker, such as a magnetic frame or arrow to showcase “today” and “tomorrow.” If your child is younger, be sure to use age-appropriate stickers or pictures to portray what’s coming next. Refer to the calendar often so it becomes a daily or weekly tool for them. They could also be involved with moving the markers before bed or each morning.
  3. Use it as a balanced measure. Keep it positive by including events and happenings such as extracurricular activities, family game nights, holidays, play dates, etc. Be sure to also include unpreferred activities like medical appointments, new events or at-home responsibilities. The calendar should be a tool to help reduce anxiety around the unknown for your child.
  4. Make it personal. Tailor the calendar to your family’s needs. You know your children best, so be sure to include them each time the calendar is updated. If your child needs additional support, or if they live in a two-home family, you could have an extra small calendar on hand that stays with your child in their backpack or room so they can always see what’s upcoming.

A family calendar will not only help your child determine what’s coming but also help introduce organization to them at a young age. For more resources, visit KinderCare.com.

Retrain Your Emotional Brain: A Natural Alternative to Weight Loss Drugs

(NewsUSA) - Weight loss drugs are proving to have serious side effects, and they are not a long-term solution.  When the injections stop, the weight loss stops. But who wants to go back to dieting?

Laurel Mellin, PhD, a health psychologist, nutritionist, and New York Times bestselling author, is the founder of Emotional Brain Training (EBT).   She has written a new book, 1-2-3 JOY! to show readers why the missing link in treating obesity is to switch off the stress causing the cascade of internal chemicals that increase appetite, causes cravings, and blocks weight loss. Using the skills of EBT, they can lose weight naturally.

Dr. Mellin says, “I wrote 1-2-3 JOY! because of the increased use of weight loss drugs, as they have serious side effects including nausea, muscle wasting, stomach paralysis, and increased risk of kidney, pancreas, and thyroid problems. I wanted more people to have a healthy alternative to these weight loss drugs and diets.”

“I developed EBT initially as a young faculty member at the University of California San Francisco, in part because I personally understood the frustration of being out of control of my eating and finding that the current methods didn’t help me. The tools I developed were effective, but it was not until two decades later that my collaborators and I realized why they worked: they were switching off the stress response, which controls the chemicals – cortisol, dopamine, and insulin – that cause overeating and weight gain.”

The effectiveness of EBT is backed by scientific research, with studies of the method’s effectiveness published in peer-reviewed journals showing improvements in weight, blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Obesity researcher John Foreyt states, “EBT is the first method to show lasting weight loss after treatment ends.” Already, more than 500,000 people have used EBT.

Dr. Mellin states, "The silver lining of the weight loss drug frenzy is that it validated that chemicals drive overeating. EBT is a drug-free method for switching off those chemicals to make weight loss easier and more lasting without the negative side effects. For those who are using weight loss drugs,  the EBT skills can help them wean off the drugs.”

The EBT tools are easily integrated into daily life. Use them before eating or when stressed to switch off those chemicals.  Over time, they retrain the emotional brain's neural pathways to make peace with food and promote lasting weight loss.

Dr. Mellin states, "That freedom from eating and weight issues is life-changing, returning people to their natural state of joy so they can focus on living a life of joy and purpose.  That is why I want everyone to have these skills.”

Her new book, 1-2-3 Joy!, is now available on Amazon.

Serial Entrepreneur Teaches Us How to Go the Distance in Business and in Life

(NewsUSA) - “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”

From closing multimillion-dollar licensing deals with IBM and Microsoft, to the Ironman World Championship, to ultramarathons and summit expeditions, serial entrepreneur Steven Pivnik knows how to go the distance.

To some, picking up endurance sports as you approach your 40th birthday with zero athletic background may seem like a cry for help. But for Steven, it was a transformative journey of self-discovery and pushing personal boundaries to uncover the untapped potential within all of us. He documents his story in the newly released book, Built to Finish (Greenleaf Book Group).

Steven’s inspiring journey as a successful tech entrepreneur and accomplished triathlete and marathon runner is a shining example that you are built to finish regardless of your starting point or previous experiences.

As an entrepreneur, you’ve poured everything into building your business from the ground up. Where others doubted your ability or vision, you persisted. You took risks, made sacrifices, and faced countless obstacles. But now you’ve made it.

Your business is thriving and reaching new heights. What’s next?

Sharing his remarkable story as a college dropout turned tech entrepreneur turned triathlete turned international keynote speaker and best-selling author, Steven guides attendees on an unforgettable exploration of what it means to be “built to finish.”

Steven PivnikIn Built to Finish, Steven outlines his entrepreneurial journey in the IT marketplace, from failed startups to multimillion-dollar success. He hilariously recounts the ups and downs, wins and losses, and personal breakthroughs experienced on the summits of some of the tallest mountains in the world.

With a blend of humor and vulnerability, Steven shares the valuable lessons he learned along the way and provides practical guidance for entrepreneurs who want to go the distance in business and in life.

“For entrepreneurs,” Steven says, “or anyone wanting to lead an epic life, the focus isn’t on just starting or finishing. It’s about finishing what you started.”

Through international speaking events, 1:1 advisory services, and his newly released book, Steven coaches entrepreneurs through the mindset and practical steps necessary to achieve a successful exit, one of the seven summits (yes he’s done several), compete in an Ironman championship, or any other challenge they set their sights on.

Regardless of the endeavor – planning, perseverance, execution, pivots, setbacks, and endurance are key milestones to reaching the finish line. Now grab your running shoes and gear up for a transformative journey with Steven Pivnik. He can speak at your next event.

Steven’s blend of practical business advice and inspirational storytelling leaves audiences energized and motivated to go the distance in business and in life.

“A lot of business books teach the why of improvement, but few get into the how,” says Shawn Rhodes, keynote speaker, and author of Bulletproof Selling. “Anyone who knows about elite athletes knows they must be focused on the how, and that’s what Built to Finish delivers.”

Built to Finish is available on Amazon - https://bit.ly/477H9ss --   and other popular retail outlets where books are sold.

To learn more, visit https://stevenpivnik.com.

 

Join the Conversation on Technology and National Security

(NewsUSA) - The United States is at the opening of a critical window in time: between now and 2030 a constellation of emerging technologies including AI will continue to transform our national security, economy, and society. Is America ready?

Be part of the conversation at the second annual Ash Carter Exchange, an event concurrent with the first-ever AI Expo for National Competitiveness.

The Ash Carter Exchange honors the impact of Dr. Ash Carter, who served as Secretary of Defense from 2015-2017. Dr. Carter’s visionary recognition of technology’s role in national security guides our preparation for the emerging challenges. The event is hosted by the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) and Mrs. Stephanie Carter, and is designed to promote the exchange of ideas. This year’s Ash Carter Exchange takes place in Washington, D.C., on May 7 and 8, and is set to continue the extraordinary discussions and connections made during last year’s unforgettable gathering.

Attend this year’s event and become part of a dynamic environment for an exchange of groundbreaking ideas, formation of strategic collaborations, and to learn about the advancements that are transforming our security landscape.

“As we carry forward Dr. Carter’s critical mission, we bridge the essential gap between cutting-edge innovation and the safeguarding of our national security,” according to the SCSP.

“Last year’s Exchange was a testament to the power of collective expertise, bringing together esteemed leaders from the government, industry, and scientific spheres for engaging dialogue. This year, we are poised to delve even deeper into the conversations that shape our national defense.”

Last year’s lineup of experts included Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Frank Kendall, Eric Smith, Robert M. Gates, Leon Panetta, Condoleezza Rice, Eric Schmidt, Michele Flournoy, H.R. McMaster, Mark Milley, Jen Easterly, Anne Neuberger, Nate Fick, Alex Younger, Kathleen Hicks, Doug Beck, Will Roper, Kim Budil, Robert O. Work, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Maria Zuber.

SCSP is a nonprofit and nonpartisan initiative with a goal to make recommendations to strengthen America's long-term competitiveness as artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies reshape national security, the economy, and society.

For more information, visit scsp.ai.

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