Posts tagged with "family"

Dog and child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Backyarding Trends

The TurfMutt Foundation Predicts “Backyarding” To Become Permanent Trend

“Backyarding,” the new trend to move many indoor activities–from working in an office or classroom to dining and recreation–to the great outdoors, is growing. Under pandemic conditions, yards and other managed landscapes became a safe haven for social gatherings, celebrating milestones/holidays, working, studying, playing, exercising, relaxing.  
 
“Your own backyard is nearly limitless with possibilities, and homeowners got really creative as they expanded and enjoyed their yards over the last year,” said Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the TurfMutt Foundation. “We predict, long after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, our yards will become an even greater part of our lives. The notion of ‘backyarding’ is here to stay.” 
 
In 2020, home improvements – many of them in the backyard – skyrocketed. So did the demand for outdoor power equipment as homeowners invested in making their outdoor spaces fabulous, functional and flourishing. Overall, shipments of outdoor power equipment increased 16 percent in 2020.
 
“Expect people to continue to invest in their outdoor life this coming spring,” said Kiser. “Many homeowners who put time and effort into their landscapes last year will be rewarded when that yard comes back to life this spring. But, even if you did little last year, it’s never too late to start – just start.”  
 
Here are some ways to bring more “backyarding” into your life:  
 
1.    Invest in your yard. Design a dream lawn and garden. Consider its purpose. Don’t design just for aesthetics. Do you have kids and pets who need a place to play? Will you be hosting safe gatherings? Do you need a place for rest and relaxation and/or games and recreation?
 
2.    Get the whole family involved. Create a game or a friendly competition with your family to help identify all the ways you can move your indoor life to the great outdoors – and right out your backdoor. Can you take office calls and video meetings to the patio or porch? Can your kids do their online learning outdoors? How often can you take dining outside? Keeping safety in mind, can you gather outdoors for family celebrations, birthdays, graduations and reunions? 
 
3.    Plant something—as early as you can. (Or plant more). Adding trees, bushes, grass and flowering plants is a good yard investment, but they often take time to grow. Plant as early as recommended so you can enjoy the benefits faster.  Just remember “right plant, right place.”  Location, maintenance, sunlight and watering needs should all be considered, as well as your climate zone.
 
4.    Stretch winter-weary muscles. Take workouts, yoga classes and meditation sessions outdoors. You also can let off some steam by mowing the grass, trimming the hedges, or edging the lawn. Working in the yard not only helps our living landscapes look better and stay healthy, it also gives us a sense of accomplishment and control in trying times. 
 
5.    Plan a staycation. A makeshift “resort” or vacation spot could be just out your back door. Pitch a tent, build a campfire, hang a sheet between trees to make a movie screen, set up games – these are just a few ideas to make the backyard a vacation spot. 
 
6. “Level up” nature care. Add flowering plants, trees and shrubs to give wildlife and pollinators food and shelter. Your yard is part of the larger ecosystem, so check your climate zone for landscaping options that support your birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. Don’t forget to take time to just sit and drink it in, observing the wildlife and nature around you.
 
Research shows simply spending time in nature – which starts in your backyard – is good for reducing stress, boosting heart health, boosting Vitamin D levels, and enhancing memory.  Thanks to the family yard, the health and well-being benefits of being outside are just a few steps away.
 
To learn more, go to TurfMutt

Calvyn Cass illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Calvyn Cass

Q & A with Calvyn Cass

Singer-songwriter, Calvyn Cass, has begun dominating the music song with lyrical tunes to the beat of self-love and acceptance.  The hit single, “Me, Myself, & I”, explores complicated relationships and self-acceptance winning over insecurities.

Here at 360 Magazine, we had the chance to have a Q&A with Calvyn. Read on to learn more about Calvyn Cass and his upcoming new music, WHITE FLAG.

Q- Could you tell us about the creative direction behind ME, Myself & I?

CC- ME, MYSELF & I was one of the first few songs; the third to be exact. It starts with the hook, but it definitely brought up old feelings. I started writing about feeling hurt by someone I loved, and it ended in being def reflection story. The video shows that with me performing to myself in all my different layers. It’s probably the fastest I ever wrote and recorded a song. From starting to put pen to paper with the first line to finishing recording the demo was probably an hour.

Q- What would you like fans to take away from ME, Myself & I along with the video?

CC-I think the main narrative is that is ok to embrace all feelings but not let them define you. You can look at yourself and be like, “it’s not all about you” and own the way you were but move on from it. On the flip side my new song coming out April 28th is WHITE FLAG and that’s about identifying navigating how to be there for others in the way they need you. It’s a song about someone I love having an internal battle that made them reactive to me. In that moment I felt that I could either be reactive myself in response or step back, realize this is not about me and just give love. Sometimes it’s hard to watch someone you love to behave in a destructive way, but you can’t force someone to see something they aren’t ready to see. You just gotta let them know you come in peace and that you’re there when they are ready to let you in.

Q- Who was your biggest musical inspiration in writing ME, Myself & I?

CC- I have to admit I struggled with this in the beginning. I have always had this immense pressure to associate myself with other artists in order to justify my music. When I wrote that record, I kept thinking of Beyoncé and her record from her first album. I have always been a Destiny’s Child fan and I loved her record, but I know it’s been done. More than trying to find inspiration I found myself avoiding doing what’s been done. She’s an icon and I think what got her there is doing her thing and owning it. I think I look to artists like Bey who have paved their own musical lane as career inspiration. I’m just gonna keep doing my thing. Some people will love it, but others won’t, and I’m cool with that now.

Q- Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

CC- So many artists for so many different reasons. I love Lil Nas X because he represents what I am hoping to achieve as an artist. I think we would make insane music together. Miley is a powerhouse and if I could be on a record with her, it would be a wet dream. Demi is having this journey unfold before us all. There are so many parts of that journey that are familiar in one way or another and the message is something I would be honored to be a part of. Olly Alexander who recently starred in “It’s A Sin” is seemingly embarking on the next chapter of his career embracing his identity more. If I could be apart of any of these artistic moments that I believe will help change and shape the world I would count myself lucky as hell.

Q- Did your move from South Africa to Canada influence your music at all?

CC- I see the cultural shift I experienced at a young age as a stage in my life that shaped me. It was probably my least favorite time of my life. I was this small, effeminate boy when I moved. In South Africa I struggled fitting in with the hyper masculine molding boys are expected to be. In Canada I saw it as a chance to start over without anyone knowing my past struggles. That didn’t go as planned because I was then the weird immigrant who spoke differently and had a very different perception of the world. In each circumstance I tried fitting in and when it didn’t work out, I had to step back and try figure out why. I didn’t when I was young, but I see it now. It complex to break down in a short interview but now every time I write and record, I tap into the cultural difference and similarities. I want to be able to speak to as many people and be as relatable as possible. Everyone is navigating this complicated journey called life. The best we can do is try being empathetic and honest.

Q- What advice could you offer others as far as embracing the true way they see themselves?

CC- It’s no one else’s job to make you comfortable in your own skin. You will definitely feel like a victim of persecution because that’s a part of life; others will always try cut you down, so they stand taller. Appeasing others by changing who you are to make them comfortable will only hinder you on your path. It’s terrifying to stand in your truth and face scrutiny because it might cut deeper but I promise you, it did the opposite for me. When I let go of trying to impress everyone else was the first time, I felt like I could truly breathe. I released the vizard and accepted myself to find the pressure put on me was put on me by myself. I set the insane standards for myself from what I thought the people around me would feel more comfortable with. Here I am in my adult life realizing that if I had honored myself, I would have avoided a lot of sadness.

Q- Who are your musical inspirations?

CC- I’m inspired less by artists and more by the songs themselves. I love finding out who wrote a song and who produced it. Of course, the voice on a record can give me chills and bring me to tears. The way that voice shines come from all these other peoples’ talents and contributions to the music. That’s what inspires me. Paying attention to how sounds were created, layered and pieced together.

Q- You are co-founder of BRUSH Salon – do you plan to continue to pursue your career as a master stylist alongside your music career?

CC- I am. When I was in high school, I fully intended to pursue music. The world was different then and I let the people around me tell me that a gay boy with feminine features would never succeed in music. I always loved playing with my sisters hair when we watched movies. She hated it but let me anyways because it meant she could choose the movie. So, I am now at the top and have achieved so many of my goals in hair. I love it but I’ve felt like this part of me has been stuck in limbo. I can’t ignore it anymore and I want to pursue music. The world allows people to be more than one thing and I’m going to ride that wave.

Q- Outside of music and styling, what are your passions?

CC- Depends on the season. I love being outside in spring and summer. I’m one those dog lovers that sees my boys as my children, so I dedicate a lot of time to them. I love cooking and find it therapeutic to cook for my family and friends. I love being active, but my ultimate reset is to just spend a winter day in bed with snack watching movies or maybe an entire series… haha

Q- Looking ahead, what plans do you have in store for the remainder of 2021?

CC- Lots of music. I want to bring new music as much as it possible. I want to perform when I’m allowed to and introduce my music to more and more people. I’d love to collaborate with other artists when we are restricted from doing so.

Shahs of Sunset Cast illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit: Jordan Littlejohn) for 360 Magazine

Shahs of Sunset Returns

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD FOR BRAVO WHEN “SHAHS OF SUNSET” RETURNS ON SUNDAY, MAY 16 AT 8PM ET/PT

Shahs of Sunset” premieres on Sunday, May 16 at 8pm ET/PT on Bravo  

Returning for season nine: Reza FarahanMercedes “MJ” JavidMike ShouhedGolnesa “GG” GharachedaghiDestiney Rose, and Nema Vand

Friend London Laed joins the loud-and-proud crew for this season’s wild ride  

View the season trailer here

Shahs of Sunset’s new season will not disappoint! With the dust finally settling after last year’s devastating fallout, Rezafinds himself feeling ready to dip his toe in the water of reconciliation with his best friend of over 30 years, MJ. And while his relationship with husband Adam is stronger than ever, his friendship with his “brother” Mike is called into question when rumors about Mike’s bad-boy behavior start to swirl. In addition, after a challenging year for MJ, she finds herself in yet another difficult situation trying to make amends with Reza who still has a restraining order against her husband, Tommy. Despite this, the two vow to begin the journey towards forgiveness in hopes of healing their friendship and bringing everyone back together again.

Mike and his girlfriend Paulina’s “perfect” relationship is put to the test when cracks in their union are revealed to the group. Landing himself in the hot seat, Mike ignites another scandal that both tests his own bond with Reza and threatens to break up Reza and GG’s newly reformed friendship. After a long and difficult journey to motherhood, GG is thrilled to introduce her beautiful son Elijah to the world. She proves to be an unexpected unifier and voice of reason among her friends, helping them communicate their hurt feelings and hopefully let go of past grievances. The true test comes when she must apply this new perspective to her own friendship with MJ.

After Nema’s business ventures were hit hard by the pandemic, he faces a crossroad when he is forced to make some difficult decisions. While his relationships with MJ and Mike remain stronger than ever, Nema navigates an uphill battle to repair his friendships with Reza, Destiney and GG in the hopes of bringing his “family” back together. MJ’s new Persian friend London is a welcome breath of fresh air. As a life coach, London has the unique ability to help her newfound friends through difficult situations. When her strategies begin to wear thin, however, London is put to the ultimate test on a group trip where she needs to do more than dole out pep talks if she wants to keep up with the rambunctious crew.

Destiney moves out of her high-rise apartment and into an adorable house across the street from a very familiar face. Still reeling from the chaos of last year, she works to find peace with MJ as she strengthens her bonds with Reza and GG. When Paulina confides in Destiney about relationship issues with Mike, she finds herself entangled in yet another conflict.

“Shahs of Sunset” is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions with Ryan Seacrest serving as executive producer & Truly Original with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Lorraine Haughton-Lawson, Julie “Bob” Lombardi, Apryl Richards, Chaz Morgan serving as executive producers, and Joe Van Ek, Patrick McCabe and Pyongson “Sunny” Yim as co-executive producers. 

Cast of Shahs of Sunset
Photo Credit: Jordan Littlejohn
Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Most Iconic Casino Scenes in Hollywood Movies

Gambling has always been popular. The demand for casino games and cinema grew simultaneously in the 1960s. That being said, there are countless examples of directors and writers using a casino as a high-intensity backdrop to their action or drama flick. Here’s a list of some of the best films and most iconic casino scenes in Hollywood, courtesy of Dominic Andreasson. At casinospel, you can also find a list of the best online casinos; Hollywood hasn’t caught up with that trend yet!

Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale (2006) might be the most famous casino movie in the history of cinema. It’s also part of the prestigious and adored James Bond lineage of films. The movie follows special agent 007, played by Daniel Craig, and Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelson, as they duke it out in a high-stakes poker game.

The most iconic scene in the film comes during an expensive hand. The total reaches over $100 million and pits 007 and Le Chiffre head to head. They stare each other down as Le Chiffre unveils his excellent hand, only to be beaten by Bond’s straight flush.

Casino (1995)

Casino (1995) is a classic gangster flick with a star-studded lineup including Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. Likewise, it’s chock full of iconic scenes. As you may expect, when gangsters run a casino, things aren’t going to run smoothly. 

One great scene details Ace (played by Robert De Niro) catching two players cheating. The voiceover goes through how the two are hustling the dealer and shows how brilliant Ace’s character is. It contains some great blackjack scenes throughout.

Rain Man (1988) & The Hangover (2009)

Rain Man (1988) and The Hangover (2009) are placed together in this list because one is referencing the other. First came Rain Man, the story of two brothers on a cross country road trip. Raymond, Dustin Hoffman’s character, is autistic; one scene in the film finds them at the casino. 

Raymond uses his savant-like math skills to count cards and win big at blackjack. This scene starts with Ray’s younger brother, played by Tom Cruise, saying the iconic line, “Let’s play some cards.” It takes the form of a montage and is some of the best gambling on video.

In The Hangover, the main characters Phil, Alan, and Stu are down on their luck and in the hole when it comes to money. To try and remedy this problem, Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis) references Rain Man and reads a blackjack strategies book. They go to the casino in an attempt to count cards. With hilarious editing, the gang manages to win all the money they need before being kicked out in a cheeky homage to the classic 80s film.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

A list of the most iconic casino and gambling films isn’t complete without mentioning Ocean’s Eleven (2001). This movie follows Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) as he attempts to pull off the most extensive casino heist in history. This star-studded film also stars Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. It features iconic scenes, including one where Brad Pitt’s character outlines how to call someone’s bluff in poker.

Black Panther (2018)

The most recent addition to this list, Black Panther (2018), gets an honourable mention for one of the most extraordinary casino-based fight scenes in film history. This movie follows T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, as he tries to find himself and unite his people. It’s within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is based on the comic book character Black Panther. Early in the film, T’Challa and his friends head to an underground casino to stake out the sale of stolen goods. This ends in a super fight where quippy one-liners abound. 

Conclusion

As gambling technology and the film industry continue to grow, we expect the relationship between the two to stay as intertwined as ever. Who knows, maybe the next great heist flick will be about online casinos or winning big at live dealer tables. The possibilities are endless.

farming illustration by Nicole salazar for use by 360 Magazine

The Modern-Day Farmer: Innovation on a 100-Year-Old Farm

By: Matt Billings

You could call me a third-generation almond farmer turned “entrepreneurial yogurt innovator;” and those two titles are linked more than you can imagine. I’ve been able to combine my love of the land and our family farm with a drive to innovate and create, adding a whole new branch to our family farming legacy. 

As a result of running an almond farm in the San Joaquin Valley, California, the land has always been an integral part of my family’s life, and it runs in my blood. My great grandfather started our farm in 1913. For over 100 years, we have been farming in California, and it’s been a true labor of love. Sustainability is the key, and our family is driven by the desire to pass on healthy, living soil to the next generation. 

I earned a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of California, Davis, and have served as an alternate on the Almond Board of California’s Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Production Research Committee. Farming is my passion, and I love being a lifetime learner regarding how to constantly innovate and support the farming community. And of course, we Billings love what we think of as a pretty much perfect food–almonds. 

Walking the orchard is always the best part of my day. Our almond trees live up to about 30 years, and to watch their seasonal process is both beautiful and grounding. The bare branches of the winter bloom gloriously in the spring and summer. Then, in the fall, the almonds are harvested when the tree is shaken to loosen the nuts. The cycle of nature, as well as the challenges, stay true. Like any farmer, there is so much appreciation for the earth and a strong desire to take care of it. One of the guiding tenets for our farm–and family– is, “leave the earth a better place than when you started.” 

I am also an innovator and have a passion for better health through wholesome foods. About four years ago, the family came together to figure out how we could offer our almonds to consumers in a new way. It’s a pretty amazing thing when generations can build upon each other. We believe in the dietary goodness of almonds, and knew we could do more with our product. It was time to take a big chance. For the Billings family, that meant creating AYO Almond-based Yogurt. 

At first, it seemed like a pretty straightforward endeavor–using our organic almonds in almond milk based yogurts. But nothing good comes easy. We created a whole new retail product, and we weren’t going to go to market until we were confident that our yogurt was the best offered.

We like to call AYO Almond Milk Yogurt “farm-to-spoon” because we created this yogurt every step of the way. I truly oversee the entire process, starting with the 20 almonds that go into each cup. The almonds are cleaned and sorted, then blanched in boiling water to remove the outer skin. Then, they are roasted and ground into almond butter–the pure nut butter almond base that is used to make AYO. AYP is all-natural, contains nothing artificial, and is probiotic-rich.

Being a father, the importance of creating wholesome food–we call it “better for you foods”–that I want to feed my own kids is a driving force in creating our product. We worked hard to create a healthy yogurt that isn’t full of sugar, but that kids (and adults) like. We did just that, and like to say it’s “kid tested, parent approved.” We churn our organic almonds, and create a creamy yogurt with a touch of toasted almond flavor. Then we picked the flavors the kids and adults love: vanilla, organic peach, strawberry, blueberry, and more to come. And we’ve been proud to say that we are getting fantastic feedback from our customers–they love the taste and texture. We are thrilled with their reviews. 

Every day I am reminded of my forefathers’ challenges with running an almond farm–water supply, the challenges of mother–you name it. But jumping into the retail food market is a whole new learning curve. First, I wouldn’t recommend launching a new product during a pandemic. I can say that with a smile, but it has been a challenge to market something with incredible taste when you can’t have in-store tastings. We’ve had to work harder on other fronts and, just like in farming, you have to surround yourself with trustworthy people that share your vision and work hard for a common goal.

I love farming. I love creating wholesome food that our customers enjoy. We’ve had the joy of creating a product our family is proud of in a tough time. Just like the generations before me, I truly believe with a commitment to quality and core values, you’ll find success. 

To Find AYO near you, visit this website.

AYO yogurt image by Julia Gauger for use by 360 Magazine

Billings blossoms family image by Julia Gauger for use by 360 Magazine

Heather Ann illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Heather Ann

Dreaming the Impossible and Accomplishing the Unbelievable

Her name is Heather, and she is a statistic. Since the age of sixteen, she has been a statistic due to becoming pregnant with her firstborn son, Zachary. Heather had always believed that she would only be known as that: a teenage mom. She worked hard and graduated high school a semester early to entirely focus on being a full-time mother. Heather then put off college and any thought of childhood dreams because she felt they were unattainable. She worked minimum wage jobs to try and raise her son the best that she could.

Heather’s daughter, Tyanna, came along when she was 21 years old.  In that time, Heather found herself in an unhealthy relationship. She fought hard to pull herself and her children out of the situation; she eventually did. However, she found herself turning to alcohol to cope with the pain she had endured through the years. Alcohol became Heather’s best friend for over a year, and she was faced with losing her children and eventually becoming pregnant with her youngest son, Jaxson. He was her saving grace. An angel sent from above to remind Heather that she was worthy of love and that she was stronger than she had ever known. It took her a few months to get back on her feet for herself and children, but she did it with her head held high.

Fast forward to 2011 where Heather was working as a cashier at Walmart, barely making ends meet for her family. She met her now-husband, Joshua. In 2013, they became a big, blended family with six children. Heather gained three more beautiful children: Emmanuel, Lyric, and Benjamyn. Their children now range in age from ten years old to 22 years old! Also, Heather is a proud grandma to two beautiful grandchildren – Lydia and Jaxton, a.k.a. her Sweetpea and Monkey.

It hasn’t been an easy road, but it has been full of love and memories. Heather’s husband has been the sole provider for their family, sometimes working over sixty hours a week. It was decided that Heather stay at home with the children for many reasons. The most important reason was due to the emotional abandonment that Emmanuel, Lyric, and Ben went through due to their biological mother. Although they have learned coping techniques, it has been a stressful and emotional journey. It was always best for the children if Heather was available at all times for them.

In addition to the chaotic life they live with a large family, Heather’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in 2016, which led to an emergency brain surgery to better Tyanna’s quality of life. This is a lifelong disease with no cure, so there have been quite a few struggles for her to find her new normal. She will never lead a “normal” life; however, she is doing her best to make life fun, and that is all Heather can hope for. Heather also has these health conditions, but they are nowhere as severe as Tyanna’s are. Heather also suffers from a dead talus bone in her ankle, along with two collapsed joints surrounding that ankle. This has contributed to continuing on as a stay-at-home parent as well. Heather’s family is big and unique, but they are full of love, and that’s the best thing she could ask for.

Heather has spent years being unable to provide for her family financially. As a parent to six children, this has always weighed heavily on her. She has watched her husband work from four in the morning to close to midnight in the same shift. He is hardworking and very dedicated to providing for his family. In 2018, Heather decided to start exploring the idea of college. She knew that she wanted to be in something art related. Art has been a coping mechanism throughout life; sketching, painting, and inks are her mediums of choice. She believed that the career she landed with should be something that she loved and would be proud to do. This led Heather to enroll at Independence University to obtain her associate degree in graphic design. This career choice allows Heather to share her art with the world and also contribute to her family.  She has worked hard to keep an impressive grade point average while learning as much as she can about graphic design.

Heather will officially graduate in January 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. She decided after a year into her associate degree that she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree. Obtaining this degree would open opportunities for Heather to work within public relations, publishing, and digital media businesses.

Heather had been asked by quite a few people why she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree so soon after graduating with an associate degree. Many assumed that she wanted to stay focused on her education; that is true. However, that was not the decision-maker for Heather. This decision comes from a life-changing situation that her family encountered at the beginning of 2020. You see, Heather’s father was taken away from her when she was three years old. She found him again when she was sixteen and had not been away from him since then. Her father, Mike, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, in March of 2020. This disease has continually cursed her family throughout the years. It has taken her great-grandmother, paternal grandmother, an aunt, an uncle, a distant cousin, and now her father. Heather always doubted that she would be able to attend college and succeed, but Mike was always the voice telling her that she could and that he was so proud of her. Mike was an amazing person and had always been Heather’s biggest cheerleader in life. She has many reasons to continue creating art; however, her passion comes from wanting to pursue more for her family, especially her father. She would love the opportunity to make him proud continually, even though he has been watching her from heaven since November of 2020.

In February of 2021, Heather took a big breath and reached out to Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, in hopes of obtaining an internship through the magazine. 360 Magazine stands out from other magazines on many levels. 360 is an edgy fashion, lifestyle, and culture magazine. The founding members have over 30 years of collective experience both as notable talent and uber professionals within fashion, music, art, design, and entertainment. They are an LGBTQIA-friendly publication. Quality art content is the constant goal – No magazine like it is available today, constantly celebrating racial and sexual ambiguous talent and artists. Interning with 360 Magazine was definitely an opportunity she was ready to take on!

The morning Heather interviewed with Vaughn, she was battling the flu that was running its course through her household – she nailed the interview and started the next day! Heather continues to learn every day during her internship and through her classes. She has become increasingly more confident in her illustrations with Vaughn’s guidance. In addition to her internship with the magazine, Heather is also the Communications Director for her school’s AIGA Student group. She was recently nominated and is looking forward to learning her new role within the group!

While Heather stays really busy with art-related things, she really does enjoy doing other things! Her family has five dogs (Beethoven, Duchess, Ruby, Lucky & Alaska) and six cats (Pepper, Chewy, Tom, Jerry, Ebony & Dolly) that fill their home with fur and love. Heather and Josh try to hop on the ps4 a few times a week and play some Warzone. They have always been gamers! They enjoy having game nights, outdoor experiences, and hiking. Her husband is in the process of finishing their home gym – which they are pretty excited about it! Oh, can’t forget reading! Heather has a ton of books that she has bought over the years or have been given to her. She loves being able to curl up and spend an entire day just reading. Music. Music is her saving grace as well! Heather has such a unique playlist(s) – pop, country, r&b, hip-hop, rap… the list could go on!

Heather has a new mantra that she tries to tell herself daily: Keep going until YOU’RE proud. Heather has always doubted herself…but she needs to remember – like many others – that she needs to keep pushing and straighten her crown!

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Container House by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

How to Avoid Disgusting Bathroom Smells

The bathroom is probably the most challenging area to maintain at home. It usually smells bad. If you want to avoid a disgusting bathroom smell, these tips will help.

Use air fresheners

You can use air fresheners to help maintain a good scent in your bathroom. The problem is that some fresheners contain chemicals that might damage your health. The good thing is that there are organic options available. If you can find them, they’re perfect for your bathroom. Make sure you only spray a little each time, there’s no need to coat your floor with air freshener. Keep your children and pets away from the bathroom while you spray. Don’t allow them to come inside for a while.

Maintain good ventilation

Allow good ventilation in your bathroom. The key is to use a vent fan since it keeps the foul smell away. It also helps to keep the door open when no one is using it. If someone uses the bathroom, it won’t have a terrible smell anymore.

Keep the towels dry

You might not be particular about it, but damp towels can also lead to a bad smell. Make sure that the towels are dry all the time. After using one, you should put it in the laundry bin. Don’t keep it in the bathroom because wet towels will produce a bad smell. Remind your entire family about this so that they become responsible.

Light a candle

Look for scented candles that you can light to keep the bathroom smelling good. The smoke that comes from the candle can help neutralize the odor. However, some scented candles may contain harmful chemicals. Therefore, you have to be careful in choosing which candles to use. The good thing about having a scented candle in your bathroom is that even if you don’t use one, it looks good. It can be a part of your bathroom decorations.

Clean the bathroom regularly

The best way to keep your bathroom free from bad smells is by cleaning it regularly. Empty the bin each day. Feminine products, wet wipes, and used tissues may cause a terrible odor. You also have to wipe the toilet bowl and sink. There are times when they may look clean, but they’re not. Make it a habit to clean your bathroom a few minutes each day before you bathe. Otherwise, you will spend a long time cleaning the bathroom during the weekends.

Invest in quality bathroom furniture

While you’re thinking about ways to improve your bathroom, you should consider investing in bathroom furniture. Imagine having a new freestanding bath or bathroom enclosure. They will be perfect for making your bathing experience more comfortable. You can check them out at JT Spas.

You won’t have to deal with a disgusting and messy bathroom anymore once you implement these changes. Try to be consistent in following these strategies. Otherwise, it will only take a few days before the disgusting odor comes back. Your family members should also try to do their share of bathroom upkeep.

Healthy Eating illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Food Insecurity

Michelle Obama‘s New Show Addresses Food Insecurity,

Recent Survey Findings Validate the Crisis Behind it

Six in 10 Americans have faced “food insecurity” at some point in their lives, and of those, 73% experienced it for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to this new research. The ongoing issue of food insecuritycontinues to receive more attention from celebrities and programming, like Michelle Obama’s new Waffles and Mochi show, which is directed at children to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals. 

To understand the true impact and severity of the food insecurity crisis, recent findings from a new study launched yesterday from Feed the Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger around the world, and Herbalife Nutrition, not only validate the crisis that’s happening today, but also shows how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world

The global survey of 9,000 respondents in 21 countries touches on families experiencing food insecurity for the first time, how they are managing to keep their families fed, along with some of their biggest concerns.


Below are a few of the U.S. stats that have come out of the survey: 

  • 73% of Americans surveyed experience food insecurity for the first time during the pandemic.
  • 31% of which have said their family has had to skip meals
  • 59% of parents are concerned their children will have lasting health effects as a result of food insecurity
  • 78% of parents rely on their child’s school meals to ensure their kids receive healthy meals
  • 63% of parents feel the government should promote flexible working hours to parents, so they can ensure their kids are eating balanced meals
Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development image for use by 360 Magazine

Ten Takeaways About Parental Controls

Keeping children safe while still giving them room to grow and develop can feel like a delicate tightrope walk for parents, especially during the pandemic. Parents often wonder when to introduce screens and devices into their children’s lives, what kind of restrictions to enforce, how closely to monitor their kids’ behavior, and how to respect privacy while still looking out for their children’s social, mental, cognitive and physical wellbeing.

To help parents navigate these thorny issues, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development has compiled nine key takeaways from its recent article on parental controls, monitoring apps, and media plans, provided by leaders in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting, which featured several prominent experts in the field. Read on below, and be sure to watch the experts discussing this important topic at the Ask the Experts webinar, “All in the Family: A Conversation about Media Rules, Parental Controls, and Family Media Plans,” which covered the latest evidence-based advice about these topics, and provided practical tips on how to structure and supervise digital media use for years to come. Watch here!

1. WALK THE WALK

Your children are imitating the behavior you model, so start by setting a good example. If you often speak with your children while looking down at your phone, they will do the same. If you are on your tablet first thing in the morning and at the dinner table, they will want to do the same. Establish your household rules, and stick to them yourself.

2. MAKE A PLAN

Take time to speak with your co-parent(s) and establish what matters to you with regard to how your children spend their time at different ages, what their needs are and what they are seeing and doing when they are on a screen. It’s critical for you to consider the whole child, including their social-emotional and physical well-being, and to integrate tech into the larger picture of family life and values. Take a look at existing family media agreements, such as the one posted on the AAP website, and cut and paste what will work for your family and your expectations. Then, pick a moment when everyone is fed, rested, calm, and cooperative to begin a conversation about digital media use.

3. REMOTE THE CONTROL 
Appropriate control of your kids’ devices and the content your kids see will be determined by the age and maturity level of your children, as well as your own values and parenting style. Children benefit from having firm rules around screen time, as well as from seeing healthy attitudes and behaviors regarding screen use modeled by the adults in their lives. If you have younger children or children who are just acquiring a device, you should monitor their use more heavily in order to help them navigate options and make good choices. As your children get older, re-evaluate your strategies and adapt to your unique family needs and circumstances.

4. TALK IT OUT

Depending on their ages, involve your children in the parental control set-up and rule-setting, which models the open and honest conversation and behaviors that you expect from your children. In addition, take the time to speak with your whole family about whether parental control or monitoring apps are right for you, and keep the conversation going throughout use so that you can make adjustments as appropriate. Ongoing discussions aimed at supporting children’s development of self-regulation skills should focus on positive features of the digital world, including learning prosocial digital skills. Encourage your children to share their concerns with or objections to parental controls, and try to address them head on.

5. FIND THE RIGHT TIME

How early is too early? The first three-to-five years of life is a sensitive time for the wiring of children’s brains, so it’s best to delay exposure to screen time as long as possible, and then to select slow, developmentally appropriate shows with minimal screen transitions to avoid overstimulation. In middle childhood, be mindful of your children’s growing brain and your family values, keeping a close eye on the content your children watch and the games they play. Most social media platforms require a minimum age of 13, and experts agree that children under this age should not have their own online accounts.

Most experts agree that teens aged 12-15 are the most vulnerable group for cyber safety risks, so it can be helpful to give children their first personal device at around eleven, so that you can set rules around screen use when your children are more receptive and willing to comply with them. Remember that your job as a parent is to prepare them to be self-regulated, responsible adults; at some point during their teenage years, the time will come for you to loosen your restrictions. The key is to keep the conversation open and consider your teens’ requests for autonomy and agency with an open mind, reminding them what you need to feel comfortable and what they need to do to keep themselves safe.

6. SCREENS AREN’T THE NEW TIME OUT

Experts recommend against using screen time as a punishment or reward, since it can increase your children’s attraction to digital media, and decrease their attraction to other required activities like chores and homework, as well as other fun activities such as reading, sports, or music. In fact, research shows that when families use screen time as a reward for good behavior, children end up engaged in more screen time overall. Sticking to pre-determined boundaries around screen usage, regardless of good or poor behavior, will help children accept your guidelines.

7. UP AND APP’EM

If you decide to choose a monitoring app for your family, there are four key areas to consider: control, coverage, simplicity and value. A helpful app will allow you to specify limits for particular activities and manage devices and apps that don’t require internet data, as well as provide wide coverage, addressing the multi-device and multi-platform reality of family life. It should be simple, providing parents with easy ways to solve complex problems, without long manuals or hours of set-up. Finally, it should provide value, freeing up your time and reducing the amount of arguing about tech.

8. KNOW THE PITFALLS

It’s important to consider the risks of using monitoring apps, including how the data obtained by the control application is being used and stored. Additionally, parental control apps may slow the development of self-regulation skills in children or sidestep the impulse to have open conversations about the positives and negatives of technology, if you rely on technology to control problematic screen usage. In addition, you may wonder whether it is okay to track your children’s locations. If your children feel they are being tracked because you don’t trust them to make good decisions, using GPS tracking technologies will only create more tension in your relationship. If your kids know they are being tracked and feel safer because of it, it can be a helpful and supportive tool. As your children get older and want to find their own independence, it’s vital to be honest and open with them; tell them whether you’re tracking their movements or not, and explain the reasons why. For all of these apps, ask yourself if the reason you feel the need to use parental control apps in the first place is that, deep down, you know your children aren’t actually ready for the device or technology they’re using.

9. SIGN THE CONTRACT

Once you have considered all of the options and taken the time to speak with your co-parent(s) and children, it’s time to make a media plan and/or contract. Both lay out expectations about when, where, and for how long devices can be used, as well as the kind of content that can be consumed. Even though they are designed for children, they are equally helpful for parents, encouraging you to think about ideal situations for your family. Creating a contract allows you the opportunity to address topics you may otherwise not talk about until after there’s already an issue, while allowing your kids to see and understand where your boundaries are.

10. HIT “RESET”

If you are struggling to reach an agreement and convince your children to find a screen-life balance, you are not alone! When it comes to reevaluating your screen time rules and hitting a “reset button,” consider taking a digital detox for twenty-four hours each week, adjusting the whole house rules to include no media use after 10:00pm, putting your phones to bed in a common space, laying the phone down to “take a nap” while you go out for a bike ride, downloading mindfulness apps that remind kids to “stop the scroll”.  No matter your circumstance or how long you’ve had a media plan in place, take time to reconnect and reevaluate frequently and ditch the rules that aren’t working for you and try something new.  You can always keep your children busy the old fashioned way: encourage other activities such as bike riding, a building project, a safe summer camp, a walk, reading a book together, baking a cake – the possibilities are endless!

The Institute wishes to thank the experts who contributed their insights and expertise to “All in the Family: How Parental Controls, Monitoring Apps, and Media Plans can Support Health Digital Media Use,” from which these key takeaways were extracted.

About Children and Screens

Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, see their website.

AMERICAN-DREAM®-39RK illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

AMERICAN DREAM 39RK

AMERICAN COACH DEBUTS AMERICAN DREAM 39RK

FLOORPLAN INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE KITCHEN ISLAND LAYOUT

REV Recreation Group (RRG), a subsidiary of REV Group, Inc., introduces the all-new 2021 American Dream 39RK model with an innovative floorplan at the FMCA’s 102nd International Convention in Perry, GA (March 10-13, 2021). The 39RK is a Class A Diesel motor coach by the ultra-luxury American Coach brand.

At 40’ 2”, the American Dream 39RK layout provides easy livability and ultimate comfort. Signature elements include a stylish, industry-leading kitchen island, an Adap-table Dinette, a full master suite, and a split lavatory with an enclosed watering room. In the kitchen, the new 39RK floorplan features one of the first stationary islands in a Class A. The fixed island provides more countertop workspace and additional storage, accommodates an induction cooktop, and includes a wine chiller.

“Whenever you’re entertaining, guests naturally gravitate to the kitchen and congregate around the island,” says Doug Miller, Product Manager for REV Recreation Group. “The 39RK floorplan delivers that ‘at-home’ experience with the kitchen island and a number of other residential amenities.”

The island is made possible by an exclusive Adap-table Dinette that can serve as a convenient workstation or breakfast bar for two. By swinging the table out vertically, it easily hosts a dinner party for four. Additional high-end appointments in the kitchen include quartz countertops, two wireless charging stations, an optional Fisher Paykel dishwasher, and hand-made cabinetry with full-extension drawers. The bathroom suite features quartz countertops with a tile backsplash and a beautifully tiled shower with a glass enclosure, skylight, and teak bench. The master suite appointments include a king-sized articulating bed that’s flanked by quartz-topped nightstands, two wireless charging stations, a chest of deep drawers that can accommodate a full wardrobe of clothes, a stackable washer and dryer, and a 43” LED TV.

The American Dream 39RK is built on American Coach’s exclusive and robust Liberty Bridge chassis, boasts a Cummins L9 450 horsepower engine, and has a steerable tag axle for sharp turning and extra carrying capacity.

American Dream offers owners a plethora of choices to customize their motor coach – four exterior paint designs (Falling Ash, Nighthawk, South Beach, and Stone Washed), three stylish and refined décor packages (Club Navy, Luxe Truffle, and Rockport Greige), and four hardwood options that range from classic and rich to contemporary and bright (Cognac, Majestic Chestnut, Sandbar Grey, and Edgecomb).

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, American Coach is the most luxurious brand from RRG. The American Coach line includes three richly appointed models – American Dream, American Tradition, and American Eagle.

For more information on the new American Dream 39RK model, visit their website.