sunburnIt’s Summer! 

Wear your sunscreen!

The sun is almost as high as it will get all year and sunburn danger is high.

Heading out to swim or play? Grab the sunscreen! The sun is almost as high as it gets all year. Sunburn danger is high.  In many parts of the U.S. that means you have a maximum of about 15 minutes before your skin will burn.

What is Sunburn? – it is the skin reddening caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.  This may seem like just a temporary irritation, but sunburn can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. Children are especially at risk: One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. Don’t get burned.  Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and the risk of getting it doubles if you have had 5 or more sunburns.

Don’t get a sunburn!

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.  Make sure to use a good quality broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Stay in the shade, choose a good sunscreen, and wear protective clothing.  These are all good advice that unfortunately was not prevalent when I was a child.  Now we are armed with this knowledge and we can prevent sunburn in us and our children.




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Recycle Christmas!

Have a Merry Recycle Christmas!

recycle christmas

One way to have a “green” Christmas is to have a recycle Christmas!  All those packages, boxes, tags, paper, cards – oh my!  How can you reduce, reuse, and recycle your Christmas?

Recycle Christmas Cards

  1. Reduce – Send an e-card.  There are a lot of free sites or you can also pay for a premium e-card or have a low yearly membership fee at a place like Jacquie Lawson, which is one of my favorites.
  2. Reuse – Turn your cards into next year’s Christmas tags.   Cut out pictures (that don’t have writing on them) from your cards, punch a hole in the top for a ribbon or simply tape it on if you can write on the same side as the picture.  Recycle any leftover bits.
  3. Reuse – Jazz up plain gift bags.  Just cut out the image you like and glue to a gift bag.
  4. Reuse – Jazz up plain cardstock into your own homemade card.  Again, using a similar technique as above.
  5. Reuse – Make a placemat with old cards.  You can glue a collage of card art onto a placement size paper and then have it laminated.
  6. Recycle – Recycle all scraps from your projects and any cards that you don’t use.

Recycle Christmas Paper

One of the biggest sources of waste each Christmas is wrapping paper, with more than 8,000 tons being used each year – the equivalent of approximately 50,000 trees.

  1. Reusable gift wrap and bags.  You can make or purchase reusable cloth or nylon bags.
  2. Purchase recycled holiday paper. Also, recycled brown paper is also greener than conventional wrapping paper, and can look good on your presents. Recycle your own by saving any that comes wrapped around a parcel.  You can also use some of your old Christmas cards to jazz it up!
  3. Reuse old magazines.
  4. Reuse previous gift wrap from larger package.  You can usually salvage some good pieces this way.
  5. Recycle your gift wrap when you are through.

Christmas treeRecycle Christmas Trees

Don’t throw your Real Christmas Tree in the trash or set it on the curb. Real Christmas Trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.


  1. Curbside pick-up for recycling – Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the two weeks following Christmas.
  2. Take your tree to a drop off recycling center – Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county.
  3. Yard waste – Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.
  4. Tree recycling/mulching programs – Tree recycling and mulching programs are a fast-growing trend in communities throughout the nation. Check with your local department of public works for information. They chip and shred the trees, then make the mulch available for use in your garden.
  5. Nonprofit pickup – Call for an appointment to have a nonprofit organization in your area pickup your tree. Some Boy Scout troops offer a pickup service for a small donation (often $5).
  6. Fish feeders – Sunk into private fish ponds, trees make an excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.

It can seem like such a shame to spend so much money on cards and gift wrap to just throw it all away on Christmas morning.  The waste alone is tremendous as mentioned above.  The good news is that there are alternatives that allow you to reduce, reuse, and recycle you holiday packaging and also your Christmas trees.  Also, don’t forget your LED Christmas lights! What are some of your Christmas recycle ideas?

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Toxic Chemicals and the Human Body

toxic chemicalsHow Toxic Chemicals Enter our Bodies

Chemicals enter our bodies in three ways: ingestion, inhalation, and absorption.  This post will focus on the first – Ingestion, particularly the ingestion of toxic chemicals.  Here are two very scary statistics: one is that poison centers answer more than 3.6 million calls each year (one call every eight seconds).  According to the American Association of Poison Centers, children younger than 6 years old account for about half of the calls placed to poison centers.  The other is that every day two children die and more than 300 kids under the age of 19 are treated in emergency rooms as a result of unintentional poisoning.  In fact, over the last decade, there’s been an 80 percent increase in child poisoning deaths.

Ingestion of Toxic Chemicals

Common products that could seriously harm a child if ingested include:

  1. Bath and kitchen disinfectants and sanitizers, including bleach.
  2. Household cleaning detergents.
  3. Household maintenance products, such as drain cleaner, paints, or glues.
  4. Automotive products stored around the home, such as anti-freeze or windshield washer fluid.
  5. Health or beauty care products such as medicines, hair, and nail products.  Also products like mouthwash, hairspray, and perfume.
  6. Roach sprays and baits, Insect repellents, and rat and other rodent poisons.
  7. Weed killers.
  8. Products used to kill mold or mildew.
  9. Flea and tick shampoos, powders, and dips for pets.
  10. Swimming pool chemicals

The number-one substance causing child poisonings in 2011 was personal care products.

Prevent Toxic Chemical Poisonings

Prevention is the key.  Remember to lock up products that could potentially harm children. Poisoning incidents are preventable.

Simple steps you can take to prevent toxic chemical poisonings from occurring in your home:

  1. Always store pesticides and other household chemical products in a locked cabinet or garden shed away from both children and pets.
  2. Read the product label first and follow the directions to the letter.
  3. Use the safest possible cleaning products.
  4. Never leave pesticides and other household chemical products unattended when you are using them.
  5. Re-close pesticides and other household chemical products if interrupted during application (e.g., phone call, doorbell, etc.).
  6. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
  7. Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink.
  8. Get your home and child tested for lead.
  9. Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

What toxic chemical containing products are in your home?

While it’s more convenient to store your bathroom and kitchen cleaners within reach close to or under the sink, all of these products should be stored in cabinets with a lock or on a high shelf. And keep them in their original containers, which may have a childproof closure, and not in bottles that resemble food or drink containers.  Make sure to read all your labels and opt for products that are safer for your home. You can purchase your products from a manufacture invested heavily in research, development and reformulation to ensure that their ingredients and finished product are safer while delivering performance.  You can remove toxins from your home and keep your family safe.





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Lift Someone Up!

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

~Booker T. Washington

Lift someone

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Monday Mom Motivation

mom motivation flagHere is your Monday Mom Motivation!

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” 
― Mother Teresa

Thank you Veterans!

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