Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Protect Yourself from the Summer Heat and Sun

Summer is a time for pool parties, beach parties, and sun bathing. However, with the suns rays growing ever stronger, you should take precautions to prevent overheating and dehydration.

Here are some summer safety tips as you spend your days in the sun and heat:

  • When sunbathing, always wear sunscreen, preferably SPF 15. Make sure to reapply it every two hours.
  • Try to stay in the shade during the hours between 10am and 4pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat when sunbathing at the beach. If possible, bring or rent an umbrella. (This is especially important if you are bringing the kids along.)
  • Drink plenty of water on a hot day. You want to avoid any form of dehydration. Gatorade or Propel will also do the trick and lend some flavor to that water!
  • When exposing babies to the sun, ensure they are wearing lightweight clothing, including hats with brims. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all parts of the body, even the face, back of the neck and backs of hands.
  • For younger and older children, apply sunscreen thirty minutes before going out to the pool, beach, or engaging in any activities. Ensure you have plenty of fluids for them to drink, as well.
  • If you go to the supermarket, or engage in any outdoor activity on a very hot day, dress in light-colored cotton clothing, wear sunscreen, and sunglasses, and be sure to bring plenty of water with you. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more likely we may suffer from dehydration.
  • If you and your family are participating in any physical activity, make sure you are all well hydrated. Drink liquids every 20 minutes.
  • If it’s very, very hot, reduce your activity to fifteen minutes. The moment you become dizzy or flushed – stop. Go to a shaded area, and drink water until your body has a chance to cool down.
  • Take care of your pets. Ensure they have plenty of water to drink, and are kept in a shaded area in your backyard. Otherwise, keep them indoors, and limit their activity as well.
  • Carry wet washcloths in a plastic bag, if you are spending the day out. This is great to have if you are feeling faint, or are walking for a long period. Another idea...keep this plastic bag in the cooler for a REALLY cool treat!
  • When driving, especially in high temperatures, bring bottles of water and wet wash clothes, as well.

We have all felt the affects of the weather over the past couple of years. With temperatures in the 100’s, or above in most states, it’s important to follow these tips, as well as listening to the radio or news channels. Remember: Safety first, summer fun later!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Checklist for Your Family Beach Trip

Heading to the beach this summer? If you're like me, you always forget something. Use this checklist when packing:

  • Large beach bag.
  • Sunscreen Lotion, preferably SPF 15. (higher for the little ones - and your husband's bald head!)
  • Lip balm.
  • Lotion - the sun and salt water really dry out that skin.
  • A beach umbrella if you have one.
  • Adequate changes of clothing for the family, including shoes.
  • Towels.
  • Wash cloths in plastic bags or wipes in containers.
  • A good book or two!
  • Beach blankets.
  • Pails and shovels.
  • Frisbee and beach ball for the kids.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Brimmed hats for everyone.
  • A cooler to store lunch, snacks, juices, water, and sodas.
  • Your iPod.
  • Beach chairs.
  • Plastic bags (don’t forget to save one for the kids to store their collected sea shells.)
  • Cell phone.
  • Camera (disposable).
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Life jackets and flotation devices.
  • Put cell phone and money pouch in plastic bag and keep in cooler. This way, you don’t have to bring a purse or worry about it being stolen.

Have a great time...and be safe!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Don't Let the Summer Heat Ruin Your Makeup

Summertime is here! It will most likely be a hot one. Wearing conventional makeup in that type of heat will not do. Here are some tips to keep that summer heat from ruining your makeup.

You can purchase waterproof makeup products that are currently available. These products include: tubes of lipstick, lip color and lip paints; mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow; foundation and blush, which are not only for summer wear, but stand up well to swimming, sweat, and yes, even tears.

Although wearing waterproof makeup will make you look great all day or all night, you still have to remove your makeup to let your skin breathe. Before you go to bed, take the time you need to carefully remove every bit of makeup from your face including: foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, shadow, and lip color. Take it all off with your favorite waterproof makeup remover and follow it up with toner or moisturizer depending on your skin type. Leaving makeup on overnight can cause clogged pores and breakouts. The best part is that you can remove this makeup with baby oil or you can even try different types of removers such as moisturizers with green tea extract, coconut, chamomile, or whatever suits you.

These waterproof products have been produced to ensure makeup doesn’t come off when exposed to heat or water. Most models use this type of makeup when modeling in climates where heat is a major factor. Runners use it; swimmers use it, and just about any woman who wants to look terrific without having to touch up on a hot humid day.

Before you try any type of waterproof makeup, test it on your skin first to ensure you are not allergic to it. There is a component in waterproof makeup that can cause potential reactions on the skin. So choose waterproof makeup that is also easy on the skin. Some removers tend to leave skin dry. Use whatever works best for you.

Friday, June 15, 2007

How Did Father's Day Come About?

Where did Father’s Day Originate? While there are about seven renditions relating to the origin of Father’s Day, the most widely held version is this:

Father's Day originated through a young girl named Sonora Louise Smart, who lived in Spokane, Washington. Apparently, after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, she wondered why fathers weren’t celebrated as well. At 16, Sonora lost her mother in childbirth and her dad, a civil war veteran, raised Sonora and her five siblings. Determined to have Father’s Day recognized as a special day, Sonora finally witnessed the first Father’s Day celebration on June 19, 1910. Subsequently, the idea gained popularity all over the US and thus Father’s Day became a national day of celebration.

In fact, President Woodrow Wilson, noticing the depth to which this day became so popular, approved the idea in 1916. Furthermore, it was President Calvin Coolidge, who also loved this idea, proclaimed Father’s Day as a national celebration in 1924. Interestingly enough, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation stating the third Sunday in June would be officially declared Father’s Day. It didn’t end there! President Richard Nixon permanently established the observance of Father’s Day in 1972.

What happened to the young girl who started it all? You will be happy to hear that Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the World’s Fair in Spokane in 1974 for her contribution in making Father’s Day a national day of recognition.

Today, Father’s Day is celebrated around the world; however, not all countries celebrate it on the same day. In fact, in Australia and New Zealand, for example, it is celebrated on the first Sunday of September.

Beginning with an idea and the determination to see it through, Sonora Louise Smart was the catalyst who brought recognition to make Father’s Day a day of celebration. It’s amazing what one person can do, isn’t it?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Danger Rangers Mission 547 Safety Rules! DVD

Product: Danger Rangers Mission 547 Safety Rules! DVD
Reviewed by: Tracy Ebert, founder
Rating: 10
Where to Buy:

Description: 40 minute animated DVD showing children safety rules through the use of superheroes named the Danger Rangers

Review: This DVD gets my two thumbs up! I viewed it with my 3-yr old daughter over the weekend and couldn't believe the reaction I got from her. I try to keep our usual viewing to semi-educational shows that help teach values, manners, songs, etc... This one was right down our alley - she was humming and singing the songs by the second go-round.

These animated superheroes called the Danger Rangers are housed in their secret headquarters (cleverly disguised in the head of George Washington in Mt. Rushmore). The Danger Rangers are organized by a super computer named SAVO. The Danger Rangers are alerted when safety oilations are being committed and they rush to the rescue to teach families and children the different safety rules regarding: home, biking, strangers, calling 911, fire, and pool/water.

Their motto...SAFETY RULES!

This DVD has Spanish and English available on one disc and there are some cute bonus songs such as "911," "Wheels," and "Rules of the Road" that have catchy tunes and lyrics to help the kids learn and retain the safety rules.

The viewing range covers a broad age bracket as my 10-yr old also enjoyed sitting with his little sister to watch and sing along.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Garlic and Herb Potato Salad

2 pounds red potatoes
1 Tablespoon roasted garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
Salt and pepper
2 medium red onions, sliced thin
1/3 cup fresh chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon, and thyme)
2 bunches watercress

To roast garlic, rub one garlic head with olive oil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. To prepare the dressing, whisk together garlic, Dijon mustard and vinegar. Next whisk olive oil into mixture slowly. Season mixture with salt and pepper, mix and add mustard seeds. After cleaning potatoes, dice into bite sized pieces and boil until tender. While potatoes are still warm, add potatoes to dressing and toss. Chill for minimum of 2 hours. When ready to serve add onions, herbs and watercress to potatoes and dressing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reading - Make it Fun for the Kids this Summer!

As kids look forward to the last day of school, most middle school public school teachers remind their students to read at least 25 books over the summer. While this is certainly a daunting challenge, there are ways reading can be included in fun summer ideas for kids.

While it is estimated that school kids put in more hours than working adults, they too need a bit of a break. The first week of vacation should be devoted to rest and relaxation. This can then be followed by weekly trips to the library wherein kids can choose their own reading material specifically in topics which interest them. All year long they are being told what to read. By giving them the opportunity to choose books they like, they won’t feel so overwhelmed. Allowing them to decide what to read will give them the flexibility to seek different genres such as Harry Potter, and the ability to engage in this ongoing adventure.

Children are under a great deal of pressure during the school year. Summer should be a time of fun, but it can also be a time of learning as well. If your kids love to read, the trips to the library will be exciting for them. If they are hesitant, allow them to browse around. If they don’t choose any books the first time around, try again a week later. They may come upon a book or books which grab their attention. You can be assured once they find a topic of interest, especially if it’s a serialized book, they will want to return.

Fun summer ideas for kids can include reading as part of their summer enjoyment. It all depends upon how it is approached. While the 25-book requirement may or may not be reached, it is important for the kids not to feel pressured, but allowed to read at their own pace. If they manage to read 1 book every 2 weeks, that’s a plus. Whether they take a book to the beach or read aloud at home, reading should be a fun and relaxing time for kids.

If the 25 book goal might seem a little lofty, split it up into doable smaller goals - like 5 books each. Make a cool chart with an image, like a child climbing a mountain, that will show all of the small goals that lead up to the 25 goal peak. At every 5-book interval, have a little reward for your child...a trip to the pool, something that they can pick out at the dollar store, or maybe a night where they get to plan the entire family dinner! Doing small, inexpensive things like this can be just the ticket your child needs to boost their interest in reading!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Freebie Friday - Keeping the Balance with Your Teens

I always like to pass along freebies to you and Mom's Niche is offering yet another great resource for dealing with your growing adolescents.

It's tough to balance guiding your teen to make the right choices and keeping your home from becoming a war zone.

This FREE downloadable report gives some great practical tips on how to achieve that balance.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

What to Do this Summer? Fun No-Cost Ideas...

Although you may not be able to afford a summer vacation this year, there are no-cost, fun summer activities for the whole family. Check these out and feel free to leave me some other fun ideas in the comments!

  • Go to the library! What is more fun for a kid than to go on down to the public library and check out a couple of books and maybe a fun DVD to view? It's absolutely free and most libraries have summer reading activities that reward your child when they reach certain goals. This will help keep up their reading skills for school in the fall :)
  • Have some outside quiet time. Pick a tree in your back yard and lay down a blanket. Have some lemonade and cookies, and read the books you’ve checked out from the library. Take turns reading. Invite friends and their kids to join you. Make it a weekly event.
  • Make a treasure box with your kids (this follows the popular Pirates of the Caribbean theme this summer). Have them scout around the back yard or beach for rocks or sea shells or any item they think would be cool to include. Have the kids make a treasure map and include some information on pirates found on the internet. Add some coins, and make a pirate’s flag with black fabric. Have the kids add their own symbols to it. Then the kids can bury it in the back yard or keep it on hand and add to it each year.
  • Garden with the kids. Have your kids plant their own flower garden. Talk about each flower; how it grows, how much room it needs, and then give the kids a title, such as Director of Water Resource (this would be for one kid to oversee the watering of the plants); or Director of Roots and Shoots (this would be for another kid to oversee the weeding), etc. Also, give your kids some watermelon seeds to plant. You never know what may crop up.
  • Take a bike ride. This is such a great activity for the entire family. You can even pack a picnic lunch and stop midway for a great time together! It's wonderful exercise and will really bring the family together.
No-cost, fun summer activities for the whole family can be achieved with just a little imagination and a LOT of creativity.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just Peachy Ribs

4 pounds pork ribs, cut into serving-size pieces
1 onion
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopped, peeled peaches (1 pound)
1 can condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 ounces)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Add two inches of water to 5 quart cooking pot and place ribs inside. Add the onion and bay leaf and boil. Reduce heat; cover pot and simmer about for one hour or until the ribs are tender. Drain the ribs. Preheat grill to medium high. Place ribs on the grill fat side up; cover and cook for one hour. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Stir mixture two to three times while simmering. Once ribs have grilled, brush with sauce and grill until well done, brushing sauce throughout grilling. Use any remaining sauce to top ribs once ready to serve.

Monday, June 04, 2007

C'mon Mom, Enjoy the Summer!

How many times this winter did you say, "Man, I can't wait until the warm weather comes!" It’s been a long, hard winter. Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s time for you to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Here are 7 tips to help moms enjoy summer.

  1. Spend a day in the park with the kids. Have a picnic lunch! Bring your favorite CD music and the kids’ toys and just enjoy the fresh air, the trees and grass – bring the dog too.
  2. Perhaps one morning you wake up, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you decide to spend a day in your backyard. Have your morning coffee; find your favorite nail polish and paint your toenails. Heck, go the whole nine yards and do your fingernails too.
  3. Want to really have a great time? Put on your shorts and top, sneakers, and go for a walk or run. Don’t wear any makeup. That’s right, just put up your hair if it’s long, and set out on a beautiful summer morning until you break into a sweat.
  4. Call up one of your friends and make a date to spend a day at the mall. Buy a new outfit and a pair of sandals to go along with it. Have lunch and enjoy the day together.
  5. Want to get away from it all? Call your parents and ask if they wouldn’t mind babysitting their grandkids for a weekend. Then you and your hubby take off for parts unknown. Just pack light layers and get in the car and go. Imagine the freedom you will feel and the anticipation of not knowing where you’ll wind up. It can be exhilarating.
  6. How about you and the entire family going for a bike ride in your local park. Arise early on a Saturday morning and take the bikes out of the garage and head out. Just smell the fresh morning air, let it go through your lungs and invigorate you.
  7. How about going to a musical or play, with dinner afterwards. Call friends you haven’t seen in a while and make plans. Enjoy the night out with friends walking along the streets in the warm night air. Now that’s the ticket to enjoyment.

You deserve a little time for you, time with friends, and with family. Make this summer an enjoyable one!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Stop Feeding Your Family Junk!

If you had a choice between grabbing fat-laden fast food yet again or serving your family a balanced, home-cooked meal, which would you pick?

What if I told you that you can prepare that home-cooked meal and save time and money over the so called "Fast Food" option? Menu Planning allows you to do just that. It ensures that you have the ingredients you need in the house to whip up a delicious and nutritious dinner in less time than it takes you to find a coupon for your favorite pizza joint -- again.

But who has time to sit down to find recipes, make a menu plan and the grocery list to go along with it? The Menu Mom Does!

She’s done all the hard work for you, compiling recipes and creating printable shopping lists. All you have to do is click print and you’re set to feed your family for an entire week.

Don’t spend this summer stuck in the kitchen, missing out on summer memories, or worse, wasting your money on fast-food.

Let the Menu Mom handle everything for you.

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Celebrity Look-Alikes

This is pretty should check it out!