It's getting to be that time of year. The days are getting longer, the sun is shining bright, and sunscreen should now be sitting prominently on your counter.
We all know the risks of sun exposure. Too much can wreak havoc on your skin causing burns, premature aging, dark spots, and even cancer. If left unchecked skin cancer can spread and cause death. That is why sunscreen should not be taken lightly (pun intended)!
Here are some tips for staying safe this summer season:
Enjoy the outdoors and the sun but be safe!
I had heard of the so-called "super foods" before but had never really paid attention to them. Then I noticed that more and more people were talking about them. I finally did some research to learn more.
Super foods are packed with nutrients that help to fight disease. The vast majority of them are fruits and vegetables. They are listed below:
Other stellar foods to eat are beans, dark chocolate, plain yogurt, flax, citrus, salmon, green tea, yams, oatmeal, and turkey.
This information was obtained from a book called, 21 Super Foods which was published by Siloam in 2014.
If you do not have time or money for a vacation, consider being a tourist in your own city. Most cities have hidden gems that are under appreciated by the locals. Many of us do not take advantage of the adventures our cities have unless we have out of town guests. Often, local activities are affordable or even free. My husband and I enjoy being tourists in our city. Sometimes we get a hotel room for the night and other times we drive in for the day. Here are some ideas to enjoy your city.
First, friend your city on social media. Local events are frequently posted on social media, your city website, or your local news channel. Another idea is to find a package deal (hotel and activities) from travel websites. You can also become a secret shopper and pick restaurant and activities to evaluate in your area. Google your city for highlights that you may not be aware of.
Restaurant hop--have a drink at one, an appetizer at another, a small plate at another, another small plate at another, a dessert at another, etc.
See a home sports game. You can often find affordable tickets and most have lots of fun activities for the audience. This weekend we saw an arena football game that was followed by a free concert.
Tour the museums in your area. With the variety of museums, you are sure to find something that interests you.
Listen to live music. Most cities have big concert venues, small concert venues, and live music at several locations.
Shop in your city. You will find some unique shops if you walk around your city. It is great to support your local economy.
Enjoy nature in your city. Find a park or lake, pack a picnic or purchase food from a local shop and enjoy the natural beauty of your home city.
Appreciate the architecture. Most cities have some very old buildings that you may not appreciate until you are very close to them or touring the inside.
Book a tour. It may sound silly, but most cities offer some sort of tour. You will be surprised by the new facts you learn about your city.
Take advantage of local theater or touring shows. You may be surprised by the quality of the performance.
Tour the city you live in, then tell us about the pride of your city so we can plan or next trip!
Often when families welcome a new baby into the home, they are overwhelmed by visitors stopping in to see the baby with gifts within the first couple of weeks. But soon they are on their own. Dads go back to work and Mom is at home with a new baby and frequently with a toddler or two. Here are some ways to be a helpful friend!
· Visit! When mom is home by herself for days with only an infant to talk to, they long for adult communication! If you can’t visit, give them a call or a text to let them know you are thinking about them.
· Help! Offer to watch the child while she takes a nice long hot shower or a nap. Do a couple loads of laundry. Fill the dishwasher. Run a vacuum. A little bit goes a long way!
· Feed! While you are visiting, bring lunch with you. Moms do not often prepare healthy meals for themselves. It is also extremely helpful to bring a couple of prepared dishes that only need to be put in the oven for dinners. Further, while you are out gathering your groceries, pick up some essentials for your new Mom friend.
· Pet Care! Unfortunately the family pet may be feeling neglected. Give the family pet some much needed attention, go for a walk, clean-up the pen or yard.
· Photograph! Families with new babies are often exhausted and forget to take a bunch of pictures. Often moms are the ones taking the pictures, so they are rarely in them. Take pictures of the baby, siblings, mom and dad and if possible, the whole family. Share them with the new mom in electronic format and have your favorite printed and framed for her.
· Babysit! There is nothing like being a prisoner in your own home. New parents are often afraid to leave their little one behind or too proud to ask for help. Schedule an evening to watch the kids for a few hours while new mom and dad get a chance to go out and reconnect.
· Pamper! Surprise new mom with a little bit of pampering. At this point usually a hot, uninterrupted shower is all they long for, but go one step further and make them a hair appointment with their usual stylist, book a 1 hour massage or schedule a mani-pedi for her. She deserves it!
Give your new mom friends a much needed hand at the time they need it most! They will appreciate it and one day return the favor!
Mary and I grew up with a father who worried a lot. He once told me that when I was in college he would wake up in the middle of the night, wonder what I was doing, and then couldn't fall back asleep. Poor man!
Worrying is a natural part of being human. It can be a good thing when it motivates us to make necessary changes in life. However, it can quickly become a negative form of stress that does more harm than good. When worrying gets out of hand it can lead to health issues such as ulcers and heart disease.
Don't let that happen to you! If you think that you worry too much, there are some things you can try that may help:
I hope this helps. Now quit worrying and get back to enjoying your life!!
Recently at a work party, a co-worker made this dish. I couldn’t get enough of it. According to the author of the blog that I “borrowed” it from, it is the most popular recipe on her website. It has been pinned over 700,000 times. It acquired the nickname “Veggie Crack” because of how addictive it is. I must say, I had 3 servings of it at the party! Because it was soooo good, I found the recipe to share with you and give credit to the author! Bon Appetit! ~Liza
By Jennifer Segal
Total Time: 30 Minutes
May is national scrapbook month. If you are like me and have a pile of unfinished work, you may want to resume it. If you have never scrapbooked before, consider starting. Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories. I have several scrapbooks. I have one for every ticketed event my husband and I have ever gone to, concerts, shows, first 3-D movie, special occasions, etc. I have one for all of the theater shows I have attended (I put the cover of my program and tickets on the page). I have one of my nieces and nephews. I have one of my dog (Don’t judge! I do not have children and he’s my baby.)
When I started scrapbooking, I had absolutely no money. When people asked for gift ideas for me, I would tell them scrapbooking materials. I saved cards and fliers from the mail and used those to decorate my pages. I also visited discount stores and found clearance items to use for my scrapbooking. I used a glass to trace and cut out circles and Tupperware containers to trace and cut out squares and rectangles. Be creative; you never know what you can use to make fun and affordable pages.
If you have the extra income, it is fun to go to craft stores and browse the scrapbooking sections for stickers, letters, applications and themed paper. I just recently came across a company (Close to my Heart) that has acrylic (see through) bases with accompanying stamp letters to spell out words and dates that has revolutionized my scrapbooking world! If you sign up for emails, they typically email weekly coupons to take advantage of or offer memberships that provide discounts.
You can also form a scrapbooking group to share/borrow more expensive items like punches, stamps, photo printers, and machines like cricut that cut out fancy designs. By forming a group you learn about new products available, new techniques, designs and equipment that is available to expand upon your hobby. You may also discover new ways to lay out your pages or to secure your memories. This also gives you an audience to show off your favorite memories.
If you love the idea of scrapbooking, but do not have the time to craft your own pages, there are many companies that have pages ready to go. All you have to do is glue your photos on. This can be a little more expensive unless you find them on clearance.
Have fun and enjoy national scrapbook month!
I am currently seeing a physical therapist for my back. She ran a bunch of tests and was astounded by my lack of core body strength...as in, no abdominal muscles! This did not surprise me but then she tested my balance. I believe the word she used was, "Wow!" It was that bad. Talk about embarrassing!
We don't often think about our balance. It's one of those things we assume is okay when in fact, it begins to deteriorate in our mid-30's. By the time we hit our senior years if we've let these muscles go we are at greater risk of falling. Not cool.
The good news is there are simple things you can do to improve your balance. Even better, these moves will work your core as well, without having to do any dreaded abdominal crunches.
Pelvic Tilts - You can do these standing up or on the floor. Breathe in deeply and as you exhale slowly draw your navel in towards your spine. Hold for a count of 3.
Marching Soldier - Stand and slowly raise your right arm up overhead. At the same time slowly bend your left knee and raise your left leg about six inches off the ground. Hold for a count of 3 and then slowly lower. Repeat on the other side. The key to this exercise is to keep your navel pulled in the entire time and move slowly.
Balance on One Foot - Lift one foot up and hold. Then lift the other. You can vary the more by pointing the foot out in different directions, moving your arms, and even closing your eyes. Be careful and make sure you can grab onto something if you become unsteady. When you close your eyes you will be shocked at how shaky you get!
Balance Board - These can be found at most sporting goods stores or on the internet. They are only about $20 and really work your balance well. Stand on the board, keep your knees slightly bent and hold. As your get stronger you can vary this move as well by moving your arms, holding a ball in front of you, closing your eyes, etc.
Tree Pose - Hold the pose picture above for as long as you can. Then alternate sides.
For best results, do these moves every other day until they become easy. Then do them twice a week to maintain.
Moms have and always will cherish homemade gifts. They are affordable, thoughtful and unique to you and your family. Here are some ideas to help you out this mother’s day:
· Handprint or footprint artwork
· Homemade meals that are freezer ready so that when she has a busy day or doesn't feel well she has an easy dinner option
· Homemade jewelry
· Knit or crochet a scarf or blanket-there are lots of free video tutorials to learn how
· Sew new throw pillows or curtains for the house
· Make a collection of homemade cards for various occasions to have on hand
· Photo coasters or photo serving tray
· Coupon book with various chores and activities (ie, weeding the garden, cleaning her house, cleaning her car, take her to dinner, etc.)
· Make a wreath for her front door
Show you mother that you appreciate all she has done for you and spoil her with thoughtful gifts!
I'm always looking for ways to sneak more fruits and vegetables into my diet. One of the simplest ways to do that is with smoothies. All you need is a good blender and your imagination and you can create all kinds of healthy and tasty concoctions.
This is my latest one. It reminds me of the Mexican hot chocolates you can get in a coffee shop. It is cold, though, and therefore more like a milkshake.
You will need:
1 cup diced papaya (FYI - you can buy this in the frozen section for cheap)
1 cup chocolate milk
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of cayenne
Blend and enjoy. If you like it colder you can add ice cubes.
Papaya is low in fat and calories but high in many important nutrients:
Vitamin C = 144% of daily value
Vitamin A = 31%
Folate = 13%
Vitamin E = 5%
Vitamin K = 5%
It also contains many of the B vitamins in smaller amounts.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, whip yourself up this tasty smoothie and enjoy!
Click to set custom HTML