Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Post: How to Keep Kids Safe when Playing Outdoors this Summer

Today's guest post is written by Bridget Sandorford, who is a freelance blog and culinary writer! (More information on her below the article!) 
How to Keep Kids Safe when Playing Outdoors this Summer

Summer is a great time of year to get outside and have fun with your kids. Sunny days are great for playing in the pool, participating in sports, or just exploring nature. However, you can get too much of a good thing. The hot sun can lead to sunburn and heat exhaustion, among other things, and the warm weather brings out all kinds of bugs and creepy crawlers. While it might seem like a good idea to cool off in the water, that poses risks, as well.
It is important to stay safe so that your summer fun doesn’t lead to illness or injury. Here are a few tips for how you can keep kids safe when playing outdoors this summer:
Use Sunscreen
Before you ever step foot outside, make sure that you and your children are covered in a quality sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Even if it’s an overcast day, you can still be burned by the rays of the sun (though they are weaker). Little ones with tender skin will burn much more quickly and easily. A bad sunburn may not even be evident until a few hours after you have come inside, and the effects can be quite harmful for small children.
Apply Bug Spray
Ticks, spiders, ants, wasps, and other bugs are everywhere during the summer. They can bite and sting, causing painful welts, and some can even spread disease. Limit the risk of infection or even more serious side effects by applying a quality bug spray whenever you head outside for play. You don’t have to be near a wooded or grassy area to deal with bugs, so make sure you put it on any time you step outside.
Stay Hydrated
When your children are running around and having fun, they can forget to stop and drink some water. However, if they don’t drink enough, they could become dehydrated or even suffer heat exhaustion. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand and encourage your children to come over and have a drink at regular intervals. They may protest, but in the end, they’ll be safe and that’s what matters.
Take Plenty of Breaks
It may not seem that hot outside, but if you are spending a long time outdoors, your children can suffer heat stroke or exhaustion. When they are playing and running with friends, they will be expending a lot of energy, increasing their risk. Encourage them to slow down and take a brief break ever 20 or 30 minutes. Ask them to have a seat next to you, or give them a drink of water. Get them to tell you about what they’re doing, or show them something inside for a few minutes. Then let them back out to have fun.
Practice Water Safety
If you decide to cool off in the water, make sure you practice water safety. Whether you are swimming in a pool or playing on a water slide in your yard, there are risks involved. Always supervise your children when water is involved, and give young children life vests or floaties in a pool. Keep the area around the water clear off debris, which children may trip on and hurt themselves. Make sure the area has plenty of traction, as well, so that children don’t slip on the wet surface.
Make sure that your summer is a fun one by using these tips to keep children safe in the heat and to protect against bugs and accidents in the water. Your children will be ready to head back to school with great memories of the summer, not injuries.
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she's been researching online culinary school. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Photo credit:Photo credit: shanidov / Foter / CC BY-NC
Title: Head in the sand

Photo credit: shanidov / Foter / CC BY-NC

Not Your Typical Wordless Wednesday!

As you all might remember, when I used to post Wordless Wednesday pictures, I held up to Wordless Wednesday----no words following the picture, words in title only! Just today, I'm breaking that! In the past few weeks while I've been on surgical leave for my back, Connie has communicated with me by a few phone calls and a few texts! One morning, I received a text from her that included a picture of a pineapple on her counter! She had sent it for a post for my blog!  (I kept forgetting about it, and just remembered it tonight while I was watching "Royal Pains! ) It's one of the pineapples that she's grown in a planter in her yard here in the sunny state of FL! It's on the counter in her kitchen!

Snuggle Exhilarations Review and Giveaway 8-4-13

Disclosure: I was given information and free product from Snuggle in order to facilitate my review and the opinions expressed are my own.

Snuggle can help bring Snuggly Softness and long-lasting freshness to your family's laundry. New and improved Snuggle Exhilarations is a line of longer-lasting fabric softeners with scents that last from wash to wash, up to 30 days! The exhilarating scents put a good mood in the air! It starts with a sniff...
Snuggle Exhilarations are available at all major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Grocery, Dollar stores, and BJ's. They are available in five exciting fragrance combinations: White Lavender and Sandalwood, Blue Iris and Bamboo Silk, Wild Orchid and Vanilla, White Lilac and Spring Flowers, and Sweet Blossom and Wildflowers. Snuggle Exhilarations are safe for use in both standard and High Efficiency (HE) machines. Snuggle Exhilarations comes in sizes 32 load, 50 load, 96 load, and 180 load at the suggested retail price of $3.99, $4.99, $8.49, and $10.99.

I love wearing soft clothes and so does my family! I've used various kinds of fabric softener through out the years, and sometimes I will alternate between kinds and types. I hadn't used Snuggle fabric softener in awhile. Since Steve was going grocery shopping (I was having pain at the time), I told him to pick out which scent he wanted with our coupon. He came home with the Blue Iris and Bamboo Silk fragrance combination! It smells good! For the first load that I used Snuggle Exhilarations Blue Iris and Bamboo Silk, I tried it with a load of red clothes and threw in an afghan that I leave on the sofa, too. The clothes  and afghan came out smelling great and feeling "snuggly" soft! They were static-free and wrinkle-free! I curled up on the sofa with that afghan later on, and was able to get cozy!!!  I was curious how Snuggles would be on my husband's jeans after a busy day at work, so they were my next load to try the fabric softener. Steve's jeans came out of the dryer feeling soft, and smelling just wonderful!

Barb's take on Snuggle Exhilarations fabric softener: I liked that it reduced the wrinkles and static cling in the laundry, and that it made the laundry smell great. I was happy that I could use it with my HE washer! I've had no complaints from my son or my husband about the laundry! I recommend Snuggle
Exhilaration fabric softener!

Check out their ad on YouTube: Snuggle Exhilarations

Their website: Snuggle
 Snuggle Bear on Facebook
Snuggle on Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Influenster Sunkissed VoxBox review!!

Disclosure: I received the products and information from Influenster, and the opinions that are expressed in the post are my own! In posting about the products, I have a chance of winning a prize.  Honesty is important!

Contents of my #Sunkissed VoxBox!

The Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles!

#Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics, #SinfulShine with Gel Tech Man Hunt, and the #Olay
Fresh Effects BB Cream in Fair to Light!

#SinfulShine in Man Hunt!
My Black # Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics! Love them, they are so comfortable to wear!

The #SinfulShine with Gel Tech polish in Man Hunt! I love green!!

Here is the #SinfulShine in Mardi Gras that I ended up buying! At $2.99, how could I not?

 Above the ponytail in the middle, you can see part of the black #Goody Ouchless ribbon elastics!

Sorry that the picture is a little blurry, to say the least--- and this picture was the better of two pictures!
This pale blue polish of theirs is called Skinny Dipping! I love pale blues, too! But, I opted to put this one back, and get the Mardi Gras one! This was in the Walgreens Cosmetics department. The Yellow polish was very pretty, but I thought that it wouldn't be right for my skin! Oh well, if they are still there in another week, I might get it!

#SinfulShine in Mardi Gras!! It's a pretty peachy coral kind of color!

Now to talk to you about each of the products! I was at this point last night, and was almost finished with my words and all for the post, and the words to my post just disappeared! I could have cried!!! I'm going to start with Dr. Scholl's! As I go along each product, I will also give you my thoughts about the product, too! All of the pictures are already at the top of the post!    Dr. Scholl's For Her : $10.99. Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heels Insoles are clinically proven to help prevent foot pain caused by wearing high heels 2" or higher. They offer immediate, long-lasting comfort and an ultra-soft gel arch to shift pressure off the ball of your foot. They're proven to improve the way you feel in heels.  I haven't had the chance to try these yet, due to my unsteady gait and left leg weakness due to the S1 nerve post-op. When I am able to do so in a couple of months, I've got to get a pair of heels to wear them in! (I'll admit, all I have right now are Croc flops, Sperry Topsiders, two dressy pairs of flats, a pair of Teva-style sandals, and my two pairs of Ascics!!! If the Dr. Scholl's are anything like I've had in the past, they will be comfortable!!

Next, we move onto the #SinfulShine with Gel Tech: $2.99! #SinfulShine with Gel Tech technology provides opulent rich color and superb shine, The 32 trend right shades are available for a limited time exclusively at Walgreens. I received the Man Hunt, it's a lovely shade of green, and I really do like it! I polished my nails on Saturday morning, , one coat of Orly base coat, two coats of the #SinfulShine Man Hunt, and topped it off with one coat of Seche Vite. Macy scraped a spot in the middle of my left thumb, and so far as of Wednesday night, they are still doing okay!
I took a couple of pictures at Walgreens Tuesday morning on my way home from physical therapy, and both pictures were blurry. I did post the better of the two above.  #Influenster asked us to take a picture in Walgreens of another color that we wanted to buy next, and I had such a hard time choosing! It was a toss between Skinny Dipping and Mardi Gras! Skinny Dipping's the pale blue that you see above, and Mardi Gras' the pretty peachy coral that you see about the two paragraphs! I also had my eye on the Banana Appeal , but I wasn't sure how a bright yellow would look on me! Well, I guess that I could wear it on my toenails!! Go to Walgreens and you will see the polishes! Then come back and tell me how hard it was for you to decide between all of the choices!! I love this polish, and would give it an "A". And yes, I recommend it!

#Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics: $3.99 to $4.99.  The embodiment of fashion and comfort from America's #1 elastics brand, the new Ouchless Ribbon Elastics are the pretty solution to hot summer hair days, I received 5 of them: grey, black, rose, taupe-ish brown, and purple!! Since I haven't had my haircut since late April, my hair's about shoulder length now. Definitely ponytail length, finally! Low ponytail's are too much on my neck, and with it being hot and humid down here in FL this summer---I've opted for the high ponytail. (Anything in my hair flips my birds out these days!) With the hot flashes, I can't stand for anything to be on my neck, especially when I get sweaty! The Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics happened to come at a perfect time this summer! I've been wearing them just about everyday, and they haven't been painful to wear. (I have washed them a few times!). I haven't checked to see what other colors they come in yet, but I'm looking forward to buying some more, and informing my co-workers about them when I get back to work from surgical leave! Another "A"!

Last but not least, #Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream} Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15: $12.99.
24-hour hydration and a splash of sheer color. This all-in-one skin perfecter, sunscreen, and tinted moisturizer even tine and refreshes dullness, for flawless looking skin (available in two shades : fair/light, and light/medium). I had recently a few months back tried the CC cream for Olay, and then this month, I tried the Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream}Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer in the fair/light. I did a Vine video on applying this BB cream, but I don't know how to connect it to my blog. (If you're on Vine, follow me: barbie62) It was very easy to apply  and did what it said that it would do! My only beef about it (and their CC cream) is that the SPF is only 15. When I knew that I was going to be exposed to the sun during the past two weeks since I received it, I added some sunscreen 30 SPF to make it about 45 SPF. It moisturized just fine, not greasy on my dry skin, and I've pretty much given up on cover-up since I've been using the Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream! Another "A", and I do recommend it.

I do have some pictures posted on Instagram and Pinterest  if you want to check them out!! I know that there is a button on the right sidebar for Instagram and Followgram, but I don't recall at the moment if there's a Pinterest one. I'm Barb S. on Pinterest, if you want to check out the pins that I've posted there for Influenster!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You Be Sweet: Sharing your Heart One Down-Home Dessert at a Time with Recipes by Patsy Caldwell and stories by Amy Lyles Wilson

Disclosure: I was given the e-book by BookSneeze in order to facilitate my review, and the opinions expressed are my own. Seriously, honest is everything!

(Barb's Note: I lived in the South, in Tennessee and in Mississippi, from 1966 through 1975. Those 9 years were enough to get to know about the Southern lifestyle, in my mind, until I read this book! 9 years as a youngster are not enough to get to know about the Southern cooking and baking! )

From the moment I started reading this book, I not only read recipes, but saw photographs of the desserts in some of the recipes! But that's not all! There were quaint stories where you were able to read about people in the town, and you came away from the story knowing quite a bit about them, such as Aunt Carlisle, Rosemary and her daughter Georgia (a chapter had to do with Rosemary teaching Georgia how to bake    at the retirement home that Rosemary lived at), and the very single Reverend Daniel Boydston moving to Luckettville to have a parish at All Souls Chapel. With each chapter you have incredibly interesting stories about people, the desserts made in the story and then more, and the pictures of the desserts. Two of the dessert recipes that stand out in my mind at the moment are the red velvet cheesecake (maybe it's because I'd never heard of it till I read the book!) and the Peach-Coconut Upside-Down Cake! It's not just baked goods, there's also punch, Popsicles, jam, peach tea, dips, buckeyes, and fondues! "You be sweet" was what Patsy Caldwell heard from her mother Irene Foster when she was growing up, and the phrase was in the introduction for the book as well as the focus of the book. It was a delightful read of about 360 pages, and contained a contents section and an index in the back.

Yes, I recommend it, I loved it! Will I make some of the desserts? Probably, though I'm watching my sugar intake nowadays. many of the recipes can be made for baby showers, gatherings, BBQ, and really anytime you feel like it!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

#Don't Sweat the Adventure: Chapter 8 Do Something Nice for Someone Else Anonymously

When I think about the topic and the chapter that we are covering via Inspiring Moms this week, I think of those times when Steve and I would pay it forward for someone going through the toll roads on State Road 528, also known nowadays as the Beeline or Beachline. Lately, the small things seems to be holding doors open for others, answering questions for others when we are in a store. Random things that I try to do, are bring the hobo trash bins up for our neighbors after the sanitation guys have been by, sharing coupons with them from the Sunday newspaper that we don't or can't use. I know that it's a short post for this, and I'd love to hear about what you all do in this category for this week!

Minted. (Review)

Disclosure: I received information  from Minted. in order to post a review, which will also be compensated for. This has no bearing on my opinions on their products and I am giving a honest review.

Welcome to Minted.! It's that time of the year, in which brides are thinking about getting married, if they've missed those lovely spring weddings! I can remember picking out wedding invitations with Steve back in 1988,  and trying to decide if we wanted plain or ones that matched the colors or going with something unique. We went with something more traditional back then, and since we were paying for our wedding, we chose things that we wanted to semi-appease the mothers.  Fast-Forward about 24 years, I'm looking through Minted.'s "fresh-indied inspired" designs, and falling in love with some less-traditional wedding invitations that I would pick nowadays. I'm going to share those choices with you!
Minted. I found so many choices that I probably would have picked if they had been around when I got married!!! Look around on their site, and you will see what I mean!! I'd definitely recommend them!

Again, I chose one that is unique in the way that it uses pictures instead of alot of words to get the point across that there's going to be a wedding!

This one has a nice cut-out like pattern around it. Steve and I both wouldn't have been crazy about this one back then, but I happen to like the pattern and the style now, and it would make the wedding interesting!

Banners and travel envelopes are on this wedding invitations. Wouldn't make you think of world travel and the little banner flags that hang down on a boat? 

The color of the wedding invitation would have turned me off back then in '88, but it's whimsical  to me now with the fireflies on it. It makes me think of a fun outdoors evening wedding,where there could be fireflies that night during the ceremony, if not the reception! Use your imagination!!

This one appealed to me because of the flower pattern, and that it wasn't the typical pretty pink or blue or yellow flowers! It's more of a fall wedding invitation, and that's why I liked it.

Minted. has so many choices for weddings in any time of the year, and the invitations can go from fancy to casual, and with a bit of humor in them! The indie designer cards are what appealed to me!!

Customers can even create they own inspiration boards, and enclosed is a beach one.
Now, isn't this inspiration board a beautiful one?


For more information, you can stop by: Minted.

Connect : Minted./Julep 

Friday, July 5, 2013

CUPPOW (Review)

Disclosure: I was given products from Cuppow in order to facilitate my review and the opinions expressed are mine and my son Steven's.

Cuppow is an American company, and they created a product that helps to reduce our eco-footprint. They started it as a way of making it easier to drink from a canning jar while you're mobile, since the open mouth area doesn't help keep it spill-free! With the Cuppow, one can use any regular mouth or wide-mouth canning jar. The drinking lid adaptor for canning and mason jars is  a way of saving money, no more using Styrofoam cups or expensive travel mugs! The Cuppow products are BPA, BPS, and phthalates free, and they are made from food-grade polypropylene. Their key words are environmentally aware, family friendly, and American made. The drinking lid adaptor is dishwasher friendly, though I hand-washed the two that we received. You can use straws with them (ignore my plastic one, the glass straws that we have are smoothie-sized!), and they recommend paper or stainless steel straws. Their site is quite helpful for more information at Cuppow FAQ. Also, I noticed on their site that they are coming out with some colorful ones!! They do sell them in stores, and they do have a store locator on their site. They also sell them through their website online, too.

Our take on them: Steven liked using it, though we didn't have any pint wide-mouth jars in the house.  (I had bought 4 half-pint jar, planning to use them for a craft, and son used one of them for the wide-mouth drinking lid adaptor.) I used the regular mouth adaptor, and put a straw in mine. We both were drinking cold liquids with them, though the lid adaptors can be used with both hot and cold. I'm more of a cold-liquid drinking kind of person! I like the ease of using and cleaning them, and the ability to use them with the jars. Do I recommend them? Yes, I do!

For more information on Cuppow: Cuppow

To follow them on Twitter:   Cuppow

On Facebook: Cuppow

 On Pinterest:  Cuppow

 On Instagram: Cuppow, and they do post some nice pics there!!

Both are shown here, the wide mouth on the left and the regular mouth on the right. 
In its original packaging, the regular cuppow!

In its regular packaging, the wide mouth lid adaptor!

I think that I had put tea in mine, and was using a plastic straw in the straw hole, or  mouth opening!

another view of the regular mouth lid adaptor. 

Son's showing soda in the wide mouth lid adaptor, unfortunately it's in a  half-pint mason jar!