Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Sun Protection

Finally!  It’s summer!  I don’t know about you, but this is my absolute favorite time of year.  Backyard BBQ’s, amusement parks, beaches, swimming…..any way you look at it, it’s awesome to be outside.  What we probably don’t think about though is what could be happening to our skin.  For our skin, summer means extra contact with the sun, heat, and sweat.  So how can we protect ourselves?  Good question….I have some solutions. 

-         Sunscreen.  Not that SPF 4 business either my friends! That will do you absolutely nothing.  You might as well not bother.  It is suggested to go with at least SPF 30.  If you have fair skin, go even higher.  (I’m a redhead.  I go the highest I can.)  Don’t be frugal with it either.  Coat it on!  Apply every 2-3 hours and after getting out of the water. 

-         Avoid sunburns.  Did you know that if you’ve had 5 or more sunburns in the course of your life you are doubling your risk of sun cancer?  Yikes.  I unfortunately, would fall under this category. 

-         Try to limit being in the midday sun as much as you can.  The sun’s rays are usually the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.  Try to stay in the shade if at all possible. If you are at the beach, get under an umbrella.

-         Wear protective clothing.  Putting on a light pair of pants or a long sleeved shirt could help against the sun’s harmful rays.  If it’s just too hot, at least wear a wide-brimmed hat.

-         Sunglasses!  Get glasses that provide 99-100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.  This will significantly reduce the sun exposure to your eyes helping to ward off cataracts or other damage to the eye.  Check the label though!  Not all sunglasses offer this protection. 

                                  (Ethan being a goof!!)
-         Watch the UV index.  Most news stations will provide this important information during the weather broadcast.  Plan your outdoor activities around this. 

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Have a great weekend!


photo credit: <a href="">chrisjohnbeckett</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">CaptPiper</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">ChrisGoldNY</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crockpot Orange Glazed Pork Ribs

This is an easy meal that literally took me less than 10 minutes to put together.  8 hours later, my husband and son were singing me praises!  This is a true family pleaser! 


2.5 pounds boneless pork ribs (country-style)

1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thin

½ cup green pepper, chopped

1 cup orange marmalade

¼ cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon ground ginger


Place the ribs in a well greased slow cooker.  Lay the slices of onions over the ribs.  Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and spread over the ribs. 

Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. 


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Homemade Organic Baby Food Series: The Benefits

Welcome to a first of a massive series of my trials and tribulations of tackling making homemade baby food for my daughter Madison.  To give you all a little background, this is my first time trying this out.  When I had my first child, I worked 40+ hours per week and I had absolutely no time to make my own baby food (or so I thought!).  I spent hundreds of dollars purchasing baby food and really had quite a limited selection!  After a TON of research, I have found that not only is making homemade baby food not time consuming at all, it’s easy on the wallet, I’ll know how the food is made, where it’s coming from, and best of all, I’ll have the control of what I’m putting into my daughter’s mouth. 

So, I know what you may be thinking.  I don’t have time for that!  It must be really time consuming to make baby food from scratch.  I’m here to tell you it’s not!  It really is as simple as making some veggies, throwing it in a food processor, and zapping it a few times to puree it.  You can make a week’s worth of baby food in 30 minutes or less. 

I personally have chosen to feed my daughter organic foods.  By all means, this is not necessary; this is just a personal choice for me.  I have decided to go organic for a variety of reasons.  The biggest reason I have gone down this path is because of the health benefits.  Feeding your baby an organic diet packed with naturally grown, whole foods is greater in terms of quality, taste, and nutrition than a conventional diet made up of processed foods that could possibly include additives, dyes, artificial ingredients, chemicals, or pesticides.  According to the EPA, young children are at a larger risk of pesticide exposure because their internal organs are still immature or underdeveloped.  Starting off with the good quality stuff will guarantee less worry for you and a clean bill of health for your little one. 

Another reason I have decided to do this is because it is so cost effective!  Get this….Where I live a jar of organic peas would be on average about $0.85 which equates to about $0.34 per ounce.  To make homemade organic peas, $0.04 per ounce!  For me, it was a no-brainer!

So these are just some of the benefits and why’s of how I have come to my decision.  Stay tuned for lots of tips, tricks, successes (and failures), and recipes!  Also, please join my Facebook community for lots of other support and discussions on everything fun and healthy! 

Have a great Monday everyone!


photo credit: <a href="">domitilla ferrari</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roasted Chili Lime Chickpeas

Hi everyone!  Hope you are doing well!  Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, life literally took over!  With the end of Ethan’s first school year coming to a close, there are a ton of activities that are coming up. 
I must say though, I’m so excited for the school year to end.  I’m looking forward to spending my first summer home with the kids.  We have so much planned, and I’ll be blogging my way through it, so stay tuned!

Today, I thought I’d share a recipe that’s a complete HIT in my house.  It’s so incredibly easy and healthy too!  The best part about this recipe is that I was finally able to use some of the cilantro that I’m growing.  That alone got me excited! 

Hope you enjoy!
Roasted Chili Lime Chickpeas

Makes: 1 small bowl |Prep Time: 5 minutes |Cook Time 40-45 mins |Total Time: 50 mins


1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon – 1 teaspoon chili powder (depending on how spicy you want it)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon – ½ teaspoon salt (depending on how much you love salt)

Chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil

Spread chickpeas that have been drained, rinsed, and patted dry, onto the baking sheet in a single even layer. 

Roast chickpeas for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. 

Combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and cilantro in a medium bowl. 

When chickpeas are nice and crunchy (not burnt!), remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes. 

Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and toss to coat.

For more recipes and healthy advice please join my Facebook community (you can find the link above)!

Have a great day!!