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How to be breast cancer aware

October is a commemorative month for many causes: Bullying prevention, domestic violence awareness, Hispanic heritage, LGBT history, and more.

The most well known cause happening in the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness typically through the Susan G Komen Foundation.

Now, many stores and corporations will sport pink outfits or sell pink products to support the cause, but there’s much more to do than this.

What are some steps you can take as a woman to learn more about breast cancer. And for everyone, how can you support those with breast cancer besides just buying “pink” products.

Learn about breast health

The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a free breast health guide to get you started. This includes tips on how to be aware of the health of your breasts and questions to ask your doctor.

The site also has an explainer video letting you know what exactly breast cancer is. There is also information on male breast cancer, although it is rare it is still possible for men to develop it.


This article and video go through some of the myths and truths of what causes breast cancer. Items like microwaves and cell phones don’t cause breast cancer, while known risk factors like drinking alcohol or a family history of breast cancer can be a factor.

There are also genetics involved in breast cancer, and you can get a genetic test for certain breast cancer gene mutations. The site helps you understand the results if you do decide to take a genetic test, because a positive result often is not a guarantee you will get the disease.

How to raise awareness

Besides donations or purchasing items, there are many other ways to get involved in the fight against breast cancer, not just in October but year round.

Some easy ways to raise awareness are sharing messages from the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s social media as well as the Susan G Komen Foundation, and other breast cancer organizations. But raising awareness should not stop here.

You can also host or plan a fundraising event. The NBCF helps you create a fundraising webpage where you can help raise money for the cause.

This article from the New York Times in 2013 describes the ease with which many of us feel that we are helping the fight against breast cancer by purchasing pink ribbons or sporting pink outfits or even buying a pink oven. It requires much more than that.

You can donate your hair to those who go through chemotherapy. Organizations like Locks of Love will accept certain lengths of donated hair to create into wigs.

Volunteer your time to drive patients to their treatments. The American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program provides transport to those who cannot drive or do not have reliable transportation to their treatments.

Be a cosmetology volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better program. The workshops provide skin care and make up demonstrations, instructions on hair loss, nail care, wigs, and clothing styles to help make patients feel great while still undergoing treatment.

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Fun Family Halloween Recipes

We can’t wait for Halloween to get here! It’s the first taste of slightly cooler weather down here in southwest Florida, and a chance to dress up and make some spooky treats. Have a loved one in town? Plan a baking party or throw a Halloween bash with them.

We put together some fun Halloween treats you, the kids, friends, and other family members will enjoy eating and making.


Spiced Chocolate Bat Cookies

Chocolately little bat cookies with a hint of spice


Cheesecake-Stuffed Baked Apples

Baked apples. Check. Stuffed with cheesecake? Oh yeah!


Meringue Ghost Tartlet

You won’t want to eat these ghosts, they’re too cute!


Halloween Marshmallow Pops


Frightful Fruit Kebabs

A healthy Halloween treat for everyone.


Salted Caramel Apple Snickers Cake

Everyone will rave about this cake. You’ll be the hit of the party!


Caramel Apples

Don’t get stuck with plain old caramel apples. Spice them up!

Short History of Caramel & Candy Apples

Who thought to put sweet stuff around apples? Well it’s said that in 1908 William Kolb created the first candied apple by combining red cinnamon candy and an apple to sell for Christmas.

In the 1950s, Kraft Foods invented the caramel apple. This was yet another holiday candy experiment where employee Dan Walker took excess caramel, melted them, and added it to apples.


Graveyard Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

Spooky, yet oh so delicious.


Be sure to check out our previous articles on Halloween.

DIY Halloween Party Decorations

Halloween Movies That Aren’t Too Scary

Fun Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween Costumes for Seniors

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Let’s talk about fire safety

October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week, a campaign from the National Fire Protection Association. This week is all about making people aware of the dangers of fire, and putting in place a plan and contigencies in case of an emergency.

This year, the Associations campaign is “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” This is the 3rd year in a row that they are promoting smoke alarm safety. That’s because it is such a large issue. The Association states that only a small percentage of people even know how old their alarms are or that they need to be replaced every 10 years.

Change your smoke alarm

If you’re not sure how old your smoke alarm is, take it off the ceiling and look at the date of manufacture on the back. If it’s over 10 years old or approaching that date, it’s time to replace it.

Smoke alarms are a great tool to have, but they should not be completely relied upon. If a fire starts in a room without an alarm, a closed door could prevent the alarm from sounding right away. Have an alarm in every room, as well as outside each room.

Here are some additional tips from the NFPA website.

Consider Fire Sprinklers

The NFPA also has an initiative to promote fire sprinklers in homes.


Take a look at the infographic above. There are two big numbers you should take notice of:

  • Sprinklers can reduce average property loss per home by about 70%
  • Sprinklers cut the risk of dying in a home fire by about 80%

Those are numbers to really think about when you’re considering home fire safety measures you’d like to take.

Make a fire escape plan

In school, we run through fire drills every year. But have you ever done one at your own home? It’s important to take an hour or two to plan ahead. If an emergency ever occurs, you won’t even need to think, you will know just what you have to do to get everyone out.

One of the first steps is to walk everyone though the house so all possible exits and escape plans are known. Don’t rely on just one exit, as it could become blocked off during a fire. Do another walk through and make sure each person can reiterate the escape routes.

Determine an outside meeting place, maybe it’s a stop sign nearby or your neighbor’s mailbox. Ensure that it is far enough away from the home so as to be out of danger.

The NFPA put together a fire escape plan guide and tip sheet that you can download here.

Fire Safety & Seniors

The NFPA has a special section just for assisting those ages 65 and older with fire prevention and planning.

It’s important that older residents try to avoid living in the highest part of the building or home. If you’re in an apartment, the best place for you in case of a fire is the lowest level making your escape route much easier. Also look out for apartments that have automatic sprinkler systems that can extinguish fires.

Know where you can and can’t exit. Some buildings and homes have locked doors that can’t be exited through. Know where you have to go in case of an emergency, and have a back up route if possible in case your first choice is blocked.


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Halloween Fun in Naples

Halloween is a fun time of year for those young and old. The costume shops start popping up, yards fill with graveyards and spooky witches and cobwebs, and you get to dress up however you want without feeling self conscious.

The Southwest Florida area always has a ton of events happening around Halloween from the Collier County Fairgrounds all the way to 5th Avenue.

Mark down your calendar and see which Halloween events you want to attend, if you’re lucky maybe you can hit them all!

Haunted “Gross” House
October 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29 7-11pm
Collier County Fairgrounds

Haunted hay rides, pony rides, games, and food vendors. October 29 has a costume contest and trunk or treat. Tickets are $15 per person for 1 walk through the Haunted “Gross” House.


Boo at the Zoo
October 21-23 10am-4pm

Boo at the Zoo will be hosted for 3 days this year! Enjoy activities daily from 10am to 4 pm. Guests will enjoy a trick or treat trail, games and education activities, and watch our animals “carve” their pumpkins.
Children in costume will receive FREE admission.


HalloWine Walk at Mercato
October 27 6-9pm

Event will include:
–Commemorative wine glass
—A drink and a bite at at over 10 establishments
–Red Carpet photos at the registration tent
–Costume Contest, 9pm
–Raffle Drawings & Passport Grand Prize

 Monster Mash at Venetian Village
October 29 1-4pm

Join us at The Village this Halloween for a frightfully good time! Face painting, balloon art pumpkin decorating, complimentary photos, arts and crafts, and trick or treating.


6th Annual Halloween Spooktacular on 5th
October 31, 2016
4:30-9:30 PM

Join in the fun as 5th Avenue South goes all out for Halloween. This fabulous festival brings kids, teens and adults together for an afternoon and evening of fun, trick or treating, costume contests for all ages and dogs too, live music, a street dance, kids crafts, live animal exhibits, giant movie screen and fun spooky cartoons and movies, and so much more!

Mall-O-Ween at Miromar
October 31 6-8pm

MALL – O – WEEN Monday, October 31, 6 to 8 p.m. Music, karaoke, trick-or-treating and contests. TRUNK – OR – TREAT 6 to 8 p.m. Near the Restaurant Piazza, Lakeside Trick-or-treat from trunk to trunk of specialty cars. Presented by The Cool Cruisers of SWFL. TRICK-OR-TREATING 6 to 8 p.m. Children trick-or-treat at participating stores. While supplies last. CHILDREN’S COSTUME CONTEST (0-12 YEARS) 6:30 p.m. Near Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store PET COSTUME CONTEST 7:30 p.m. Between Neiman Marcus Last Call and Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store

Healthy Halloween Recipes

Looking for a way to celebrate Halloween without succumbing to a sugar coma? Here are a few sites that have tons of healthy Halloween-fun recipes.

15 Easy-To-Make Healthy Snacks To Try This Halloween

14 Healthy Halloween Recipes

64 Non-Candy Halloween Snack Ideas