Servicing DC, MD & VA

Capital One Data Breach

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Capital One Data Breach | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Capital One Data Breach Impacts More Than 100 Million Customers – Video

Personal information of more than 100 million Capital One customers was compromised in one of the largest data breaches involving a bank. Watch this video to learn more.

Avoiding Heat Illnesses

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Avoiding Heat Illnesses | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

 7 Tips For Avoiding Heat Illnesses This Summer

The hot summer months can cause your body temperatures to rise without warning, especially when combined with activities like sports or yardwork. And, while it’s tempting to spend as much time outside as you can during the summer, you need to take measures to avoid heat illnesses.

Here are some tips for staying safe when you’re out in the heat:

  1. Wear loose, light-colored clothing so your skin gets air exposure.
  3. Shield your head and face from direct sunlight by wearing a hat and sunglasses.
  5. Avoid spending time outdoors during the middle of the day, when temperatures are highest and the sun is directly overhead.
  7. Take regular breaks in a shaded area if you’re involved in a strenuous activity.
  9. Drink water frequently, even if you aren’t thirsty. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes to stay hydrated. Stick to water, fruit juice and sport drinks while avoiding caffeinated or alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate you.
  11. Monitor children and seniors carefully, since they can get dehydrated more easily.
  13. Call 911 if someone exhibits symptoms of heat stroke, such as flushed skin, rapid breathing, a throbbing headache or confusion.
View more InSights here.

Remodeling Your Home

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Remodeling Your Home | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

You’ve hired a reputable builder, collected paint swatches and selected the siding and now you’re finally ready to start that long-awaited remodeling project.

What Protection Does it Offer?

Whether your addition budget is large or small, you are adding both the value of your home and your exposure to risk. To ensure that your project goes smoothly and that you have the coverage you need, here’s what you need to know.

Working with General Contractors

The best way to minimize your renovation risk is to hire a reputable general contractor for the job. As part of the biding process, ask the general contractor to provide a Certificate of Insurance and/or copies of the policies. Specifically, check for coverage for the following:

  • Workers’ compensation: Verify that he or she has workers’ compensation coverage in the event that an employee or subcontractor gets hurt on the job.
  • General liability: Ask if the contractor has liability insurance, which covers losses due to negligence and errors or omission, which results in property damage. Also ask that you are added as an “additional insured.”
  • Builders risk: This policy is designed to cover damage to your home and materials, including those not installed yet. We can help you verify whether you should require this from your contractor, based on your renovation project.

Advice for Do-It-Yourselfers

If you decide to do it alone and manage a renovation yourself, you assume all the risks. A review of your homeowners coverage for liability and property is prudent, as you are assuming more risks and exposures than contemplated by homeowners insurance. 

Hiring subcontractors who can provide you with a “Certificate of Insurance” or copies of their policies showing their general liability and workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for your legal protection. Otherwise, you could be subject to workers’ compensation laws, should they become injured while working on your home. If a friend or relative helps out as a favor and gets injured, your homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of their injuries, up to your policy limits. For an extra layer of protection, it’s a good idea to also carry umbrella liability coverage, which kicks in to provide liability coverage above your homeowners limits.

Insuring the Real Value of Your Home

Experts estimate that 1 out of 4 remodeling projects adds at least 25 percent to the value of a home, yet often most homeowners forget to increase their coverage to protect their investment. Most homeowners insurance policies require 100 percent of the home’s replacement cost, so it’s important to raise your home’s policy limit before your project begins.

What to do After a Hit-and-run

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on What to do After a Hit-and-run | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

When you’re involved in a vehicle collision and the other driver takes off without exchanging insurance information, this is commonly referred to as a hit-and-run. These incidents can leave you feeling frustrated and wondering what to do next. This article will examine what information to collect and who to contact following a hit-and-run.

Emotional Balance and Well-Being

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Emotional Balance and Well-Being | Posted in Live Well, Work Well


Emotional well-being is something all of us want, but few of us take time to think about and work on. That’s a big mistake, says therapist Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, author of The Burnout Cure. Good emotional balance can boost happiness, improve relationships and support recovery from a mental health condition—and that’s not all, Hanks says. Reducing emotional stress also helps combat a host of physical ailments, including obesity, heart disease and digestive problems. Can you tell when you and others are doing a good job of working on emotional well-being? Watch for these signs.


“Emotional well-being starts with becoming aware of your emotions,” says Hanks. One sign of awareness is the ability to name what you’re feeling. “Just identifying an unpleasant emotion can decrease its intensity,” Hanks says. In contrast, if you know you feel yucky but can’t pinpoint the emotion, that’s a warning sign.

Practice this skill: When you aren’t sure what you’re feeling, run through a mental checklist of basic emotions: happiness, surprise, disgust, fear, anger and sadness. Use context and body cues (for instance, sweaty palms or clenched teeth) to help you figure out which ones you’re feeling. It gets easier with practice, Hanks says.


“It’s a myth that you should feel happy all the time,” says Hanks. Instead, being emotionally healthy means experiencing all your emotions and then dealing with them in a positive way. People who are good at this skill know how to manage difficult feelings by turning to others for support. In contrast, those who struggle with this skill often try to dull their feelings with food, alcohol, drugs or the TV remote. 

Practice this skill: “When you ask someone for support, be specific about what would feel comforting to you,” Hanks advises. “For example, you might say, ‘I’m so upset. Can I vent, and will you just tell me I’m a good person?'”


“Another sign of emotional health is being kind to yourself when you’re feeling distressed,” says Hanks. Show yourself the same compassion you would give a loved one who is upset. In a recent study, college women who took part in a training program in self-compassion showed decreased brooding and increased optimism and self-confidence. 

Practice this skill: When you need a hug but there’s no one to give you one, fold your arms and give yourself a little squeeze. “Or stroke your own arm soothingly,” Hanks says. “This produces the same physiological response as getting comfort from someone else.”


“Even an emotionally healthy person will feel hurt by rejection. That’s just the way we’re wired,” says psychologist Guy Winch, PhD, author of Emotional First Aid. Someone with good emotional skills will take steps to ease the sting of rejection and rebuild self-esteem. In contrast, someone who is less emotionally adept may withdraw into a shell or become overly self-critical.

Practice this skill: When you’ve been rejected, Winch suggests reviving your self-esteem by making a list of five pertinent things that you value about yourself. For example, if you were turned down for a date, you can list five qualities that make you a good dating prospect.


“Emotionally healthy people can recognize when they’ve made a mistake, make it right and then move on,” says Winch. When someone else points out the error, they accept it without becoming defensive or overwhelmed. In contrast, people who are less emotionally grounded may react with hostility or a flood of tears. 

Practice this skill: When your misstep hurts someone, offer a complete, sincere apology. Research shows that the best apologies have four elements: They spell out your intent (“I want to apologize”), convey emotion (“I deeply regret what I did”), offer an explanation (“I wasn’t thinking”) and accept fault (“I was out of line”).


“Another sign of emotional well-being is being able to cope with stressful situations,” says Winch. If you’re a good stress manager, you’ve probably found several calming techniques that work for you, such as counting to 10, taking deep breaths, calling a friend or going for a walk. If you’re not, out-of-control stress may lead to temper outbursts, trouble sleeping, headaches, an upset stomach or other problems. 

Practice this skill: When you’re feeling stressed, watch how you talk to yourself in your head, advises Winch. Cut out negative self-talk (“I can’t do this”). Replace it with realistically positive thoughts (“I’ll do the best I can”).


Mindfulness is more than just the buzzword du jour, says Hanks. It’s a proven technique for reducing stress, decreasing hostility, improving relationships and boosting enthusiasm. Simply put, mindfulness means being fully aware of your internal experience as it unfolds from moment to moment. You notice sensations, feelings and thoughts, but you don’t judge them or get hung up on them. 

Practice this skill: When you need to reboot your mental focus, take a mindful stroll. Notice your breath going in and out, your muscles tensing and relaxing and your feet pushing against the ground. Be aware of all the sights, sounds and smells around you.


“Ask yourself: ‘Which activities bring me a lot of satisfaction and joy? Have I spent time doing those things lately? If not, how can I squeeze in more time for them?'” says Winch. Looking for ways to get the most enjoyment from life is another hallmark of emotional well-being. Ideally, you should spend some time every day on just-for-fun activities, such as listening to music, reading a novel or soaking in a hot bath. 

Practice this skill: Winch suggests taking a day — or longer, if you can — to play tourist around your hometown. Do the kinds of things you like to do on vacation, such as going for a hike, visiting a museum or taking photos of the landscape.

LIVE WELL WORK Well : Poor Diets

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on LIVE WELL WORK Well : Poor Diets | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

1 in 5 Deaths Worldwide Associated With Poor Diets

According to a recently published study, 11 million deaths in 2017 were attributable to dietary risk factors. That total number translates to one-fifth of the world’s total deaths. The study defines dietary risk factors and poor diets as ones that are heavy in sugar, salt and trans fats.  

While this study reveals startling numbers, it’s a well-known fact that eating healthy can help reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. By keeping such conditions at bay, you can maintain your overall health and be well on your way to living a long, healthy life.

Here are some tips to help you start eating healthier:

  • Balance your plate with a variety of foods. Your plate should be 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% lean meat, poultry or fish, and 25% grains.
  • Get a personalized eating plan. Speak with your doctor to develop a plan that will give you the amounts of each food group you need daily. Your doctor may recommend you seek out a registered dietician or nutritionist to create the best plan for you.
  • Beware of sweetened drinks. Sodas and sports drinks are high in calories and sugars or sugar substitutes. Whenever possible, choose water over these drinks.
  • Read food labels carefully. Make sure to always read nutrition labels to find out how healthy a particular food may be. It’s also important to check the ingredient list, which is different from the nutritional label.

For more information on how you can improve or maintain a healthy diet, contact your doctor.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

5 Age-Defying Dinner Recipes

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on 5 Age-Defying Dinner Recipes | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Here’s the thing about metabolism: It ages faster than we do. Starting around age 30, it slows by 5 percent with each decade, says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical CenterSo by the time you’re 45, you’re burning 200 fewer calories a day than you did in your mid-20s. The good news: You can “reignite” a tired metabolism, Dr. Apovian says. By eating more protein, fruits and veggies, you’ll be providing the fuel you need to stay full, feel more energy and—when combined with plenty of sleep and muscle-building exercise—lose weight. These protein-packed meals—all from Apovian’s book, The Age Defying Diet — can help get you started. 


The flavor of this fruity sauce intensifies the longer you cook it. Add a salad, some fruit, non-starchy vegetables and a small serving of grains, and you’re all set.

Get the recipe


You’ll need to judge the cooking time for this recipe by the thickness of the fillets. Thin fish like trout, tilapia and flounder should take about 12 to 15 minutes; salmon, halibut and other meatier fish will take about 16 to 20 minutes.

Get the recipe


Turkey burgers paired with juicy roasted portabello mushrooms in place of buns make a delicious combo. Cook the burgers nice and slow until well done, and top with mayo and a squirt of mustard.

Get the recipe


A rich red wine and mushroom sauce finishes the steaks perfectly in this recipe. Choose the leanest beef you can find, and trim off all the fat before cooking. 

Get the recipe


Made with boneless pork chops—a lean source of protein—this tasty dish takes just minutes to prepare. Be sure to trim off the fat before cooking.

Get the recipe

Social Media Safety

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Social Media Safety | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are great for staying in touch with friends and family members, but you need to be careful about what you post online. Follow these tips to stay safe when using social media.

40+ Things To Do This August

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on 40+ Things To Do This August | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Jazz in the Garden
Through Aug. 23
Kick back and groove to the music with sangria in hand at Jazz in the Garden on Fridays throughout the summer, held in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden through Aug. 23. An eclectic mix of DC area jazz musicians lend a soundtrack to one of the city’s most idyllic scenes set around the sculpture garden’s central fountain. This is a free seasonal tradition that you do not want to miss. Check out the lineup and the food and drink offerings.
5-8:30 p.m. |  Free admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

Levels Unlocked PUB – Through Sept. 29
Events DC and Drink Company are here to provide you with the esports pop-up bar you never knew you needed. Open each day of the week, Levels Unlocked will feature esports decor and programming throughout its run, as well as a beverage menu that nods to a range of video game favorites, including OverwatchNBA 2K and the Pokémon and Super Smash Bros. franchises.
Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. |  Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
1839 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Truckeroo – Aug. 23
Truckeroo brings local food trucks to The Bullpen near Yards Park in the bustling Capitol Riverfront neighborhood to dole out everything from Korean barbeque to lobster rolls to pizza to smoothies. More than a dozen wheeled food sellers show up, and there are picnic tables and shade to keep things cool. There will also be games, cold beverages and live music.
411 p.m. | Free admission
The Bullpen, 1201 Half Street SE, Washington, DC 20003?

DC VegFest – Aug. 11
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, this day-long, free-to-enter event at Nationals Park will educate on why eating plant-based food is the way to go. You can enter and sample food from more than 100 vendors free of charge while learning how to be more health-conscious. Other perks include live music, cooking demonstrations, speeches from authors and health experts and an activity area for kids. Don’t veg out – go to VegFest, the largest vegan gathering on the east coast.
11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

Summer Restaurant Week – Aug. 12-18
Enjoy the District’s best eats with the summer edition of Restaurant Week, and make sure to read our full neighborhood breakdown. Foodies and deal hunters always swoon over the prix-fixe menus from a cast of DC’s best restaurants. Head over to the DC Restaurant Week website to book a table and keep up with participating restaurants, along with can’t-miss dishes and deals.

2019 Pokémon World Championships – Aug. 16-18
The best Pokémon players in the world will take over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during this weekend-long tournament. Contestants from all over the globe will showcase their skills to determine the world champion in Pokémon TCG, the video game and Pokkén Tournament. Spectators are more than welcome to observe the epic battles and can also participate in side events.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, Washington, DC 20001

Around the World Cultural Food Festival – Aug. 17
Savor delicious dishes from dozens of countries at this outdoor cultural festival. From dancing displays and music performances to food tastings and hands-on arts and crafts, expect a feast for all of your senses at this family-friendly event. While it is free to attend, the festival strongly urges guests to purchase VIP passes to get special access to food lines and tastings.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Tickets
Freedom Plaza, 1455 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

TopGolf CRUSH at Nationals Park – Aug. 22-25
Grab your golf clubs and get ready for a unique sports experience. TopGolf, in partnership with Coca-Cola and Black Clover, is taking over Nationals Park for four days and nights this August. The field will be lit with glowing targets and private bays will be available for groups. Expect Topgolf’s signature Toptracer technology to be in full effect. You can also enjoy snacks and beer in this friendly and competitive environment. Four ticket options are available.
Sessions available from 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. |Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

DCBX 11 – Aug. 22-26
Ranked the number one Latin dance festival in the U.S. the last four years, DCBX takes over the nation’s capital for five days. Veterans and newbies of dancing bachata, the sexier-than-salsa dancing style from the Dominican Republic, will have plenty of chances to strut their stuff, from concerts to contests to workshops. In addition to its dance events, the corresponding Global Impact Film Festival celebrates different cultures and raises awareness about important worldwide issues.
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, 999 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

17th Street Festival – Aug. 24
17th Street in Dupont Circle has so much to see and do, it needs its own day-long free festival for you to take in all its wonder. Live music will be present throughout the proceedings, providing a soundtrack as you browse through roughly 100 vendors, including more than 50 artists displaying fine art, crafts and jewelry. There’s even a kid’s zone, where the little ones can enjoy a large slide, soccer, face painting and games.
12-7 p.m. |  Free admission
17th Street NW from P Street to R Street NW (1500 and 1600 blocks), Washington, DC

Dear Summer BBQ – Aug. 24
Union Market’s Dock 5 hosts the Dear Summer BBQ, an exciting summer-centric event that comes to the District for the first time just before the season expires. Founded by alumni of Virginia State University and Delaware State University, the BBQ aims to bring together young professionals, influencers, entertainers and entrepreneurs to connect and enjoy positive vibes. Expect music, dancing, food and bars indoors and out (must be over 21 to attend).
4-11 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Market Dock 5, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

The Ubiquitous Women’s Expo – Aug. 24-25
The Ubiquitous Women’s Expo, dedicated to beauty, wellness and health, returns to DC for its sixth edition. The two-day event will feature entertainment, beauty workshops, product demonstrations, panel discussions and a range of health and wellness exhibitors, all dedicated to improving the minds, bodies and souls of women. Guest speakers include Pastor Keith Battle and Dr. Celeste Owens.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Sunday: 12-6 p.m. |  Tickets
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001

Maryland Renaissance Festival – Aug. 24 – Oct. 20
Check out this unique festival that takes place every year in Annapolis, Md., roughly 50 minutes from downtown DC. Bring along the entire family and celebrate olde times with Renaissance-themed artisans, dazzling performances (including dances and musicians) and plenty of plate-filling food, like turkey legs. You can also dress up in your own costume, if ye so wish. The festival occurs on select dates through Oct. 20.
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

Labor Day Weekend – Aug. 31 – Sept. 2
Washington, DC is a great place to celebrate Labor Day and the preceding weekend, the last hurrah of the summer. From DC’s free museums filled with history to numerous outdoor activities to the Labor Day Capitol Concert, there’s no shortage of ways to revel in the holiday. Check out these must-try activities to make the weekend a memorable one.