Tag Archives: Family

Reduce Tailgating Waste

tailgating

Tailgating at your favorite sports events is almost as big a draw as the game itself, with lots of food, lots of fun – and, unfortunately, lots of waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, large college stadiums can generate 100 tons of waste per game. But you can help reduce game day waste by taking a few simple steps, such as choosing the right packaging, recycling everything you can, and using tailgating essentials made with recycled plastics.

Here are some tips for minimizing waste at your next tailgate:

* Airtight: Choose airtight plastic packaging, such as zipper bags, factory-sealed pouches, cling wrap, and reusable storage containers to help keep food fresh and free of contaminants that could cause spoilage. This can help reduce the likelihood that food will need to be thrown out.

* Minimalist: Recent innovations are leading to new, minimalist packaging designs that help protect food with less material, helping reduce packaging waste. Look for thin, lightweight pouches and bags for game day foods, such as nuts, cheeses, and deli meats, just to name a few.

* Lightweight: Look for beverages sold in lightweight plastic bottles and containers – they’re shatter-resistant which contributes to safety, they typically use less material than alternatives (resulting in less packaging waste), and they’re accepted for recycling in most communities.

* Recycling: Place clearly labeled bags or bins at your tailgate to remind everyone to recycle used plastic packaging and other recyclables. More and more everyday plastic bottles and containers can be recycled in curbside programs, including beverage bottles, ketchup and mustard bottles, containers for sour cream and dip, deli containers, caps and lids, and more. Even plastic bags and wraps – grocery bags, zipper bags, bread and bun bags, wraps for cases of water and soft drinks – can be returned to participating grocery and retail stores for recycling. Check your community’s website or visit www.iwanttoberecycled.org or www.Earth911.com to find out how to recycle as much as possible in your community.

* Recycled: Finally, seek out products made with recycled plastics. Thanks to increased plastics recycling, it’s never been easier to find tailgating essentials made with recycled plastics, such as coolers, serving utensils, plates, cups and bowls.

Make Pure Ingredients Part of Daily Life

pureingredientsTrends and fad diets come and go. But a progressive approach to nutrition – one grounded in positive eating – remains constant. It’s the desire to get more out of food with real, pure ingredients. Most people find the commitment to natural, healthy living isn’t as challenging as they imagined.

From the garden to the market, and the kitchen to the table, countless opportunities allow you to incorporate plant-based, nutrient-rich foods into your diet:

* Make the most of the grocery store. Eating real, pure foods, including whole grains, is at the core of a healthy lifestyle. Take a closer look at packaging to find items made with wholesome ingredients. You’ll be excited to see that many grocery stores carry a variety of nutritious options.

“People don’t always look as closely as they should,” says dietitian Toby Amidor. “Dig in and read the labels to get the full picture and educate yourself on the foods in your grocery basket.”

* Get into gardening. There’s no need to till your yard and plant rows of crops – gardening can start small, in a pot or container. Herbs, lettuce, spinach and tomatoes are all great porch and patio plants. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, try a raised-bed garden with a variety of plants, from cabbage to cucumbers and beyond.

“Growing your own garden can do more than provide tasty produce. It can also be a therapeutic way to increase your overall intake of vegetables,” says Amidor. “When I was growing up, my dad had an amazing garden. He taught me how to plant, weed and pick produce like radishes, carrots, sunflower seeds, cucumbers and tomatoes. Gardening is a great way to bond with family members and educate the next generation about the importance of farm-to-table.”

* Keep it up in the kitchen. It’s important to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients to fuel your day. Are your foods providing essential vitamins, minerals and protein?

“Meeting the Daily Value of around 50 grams of protein for the average adult can be challenging – especially for vegans and vegetarians. Protein is an essential component of a nutritious diet,” says Amidor. “To incorporate more plant-based proteins into your meals, exercise your imagination and pair together different types of proteins, like whole grains, legumes and nuts to create wholesome meals.”

The more you learn about real, pure ingredients, the more delicious ways you’ll find to enjoy them.

The Do’s and Dont’s of DIY Beauty

The natural beauty movement is gaining momentum with more women seeking all-natural ways to look and feel fabulous. A big part of this trend is creating beauty products at home. The benefits are many: products can be completely customized, women know exactly what ingredients are used, and oftentimes, they save themselves money, too.

If you want to join the DIY beauty movement, consider these top do’s and don’ts from the experts at Aura Cacia:

Do develop your own body spray

Not only are perfumes costly, they are filled with chemicals. By using essential oils, you can create natural body spray in minutes. For an amazing DIY Patchouli and Rose Body Spray, simply mix these ingredients in a small spray bottle or atomizer:

4 ounces purified water
19 drops bergamot BF essential oil
19 drops patchouli essential oil
19 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops rose otto or rose absolute essential oil

Don’t forget to use pantry staples

Some of the most commonly used ingredients in DIY beauty recipes can be found right in your kitchen cabinet. Learn more about pantry staples like sea salt, oats, honey, eggs, course sugar and coconut oil, and how your beauty recipes can benefit from them.

Do learn more about essential oils

 

Essential oils are the highly concentrated aromatic essences of plants. They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs. Using essential oils in DIY beauty products is a wonderful option, but they must be treated with safety and respect. Read up on essential oil basics and safety at www.auracacia.com.

Don’t use disposable containers

 

DIY beauty embraces the idea of natural wellness not only for the family, but also for the Earth. Always opt for reusable containers when possible, as they reduce waste and maintain the integrity of homemade products longer. BPA-free plastic containers and glass alternatives are both great options you can use again and again.

familydiybeautyDo make health and beauty essentials for the whole family

DIY health and beauty isn’t just for women, the entire family can benefit from natural products you can make in your own home. From luxurious body soaks for mom and back rub blends for dad, to baby balms and infant message oils, there are many easy-to-follow recipes at www.auracacia.com.  

 

Stinging with Energy

bellaonline4We all run out of energy and need a pick me up at some point of the day. Your choice of energy fuel can make a difference in how long you stay energetic. 

Some turn to energy drinks to satisfy the caffeine rush but the variety of caffeinated drinks can have risks after consumption. Side effects range from shaking, dizziness, headache and a crash that can make you feel more exhausted than before you consumed the drink. 

A more natural and safe product to grab is one of Honey Stinger’s energetic snacks. 

Why honey? Honey is a natural sugar and rich in carbohydrates, making it a great fuel for your muscles. The honey-based products are beneficial before, during and after exercising.

Honey Stinger’s products range from energy gels, organic waffles, organic energy chews, energy bars, protein bars, organic honey and even treats for the little ones.

All the products have an assortment of flavors depending on the item. A few of the flavors offered are: strawberry kiwi, lemon, pink lemonade cherry cola, dark chocolate coconut almond, and many many more!

All the products offered from Honey Stinger have a shelf life between 12-18 months from the date of manufacture. Since the ingredients are all natural, they are a safe alternative for kids and perfect for an after school snack.

You can purchase Honey Stinger directly on their website or check out their store locator to find the closest store selling Honey Stinger products!

Written by Kristi Hall

Fall Gardening: Tips and Recipes

bellaonline4586Not all of your veggies that have been in your garden all summer long like the crisp air that’s on its way. Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers won’t last once the cooler weather approaches. 

However, vegetables such as kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli and turnips are able to tolerate the hardest winters. They survive even in the low 20s and high teens. Other veggies like beets, carrots, lettuce and celery are good for spring and fall gardens since they can tolerate between 29 to 32 degrees.

Watch for frost closer to January and February. Covering even the toughest plants in your garden is always a smart decision when the weather gets extremely cold. Late October-early November is a great time to begin preparing the vegetable garden for colder weather. 

Mulching serves many purposes in the winter garden. Acting as insulation to the plants, it will also help discourage the winter growth of weeds and pesky grasses. Some of the most common materials used for winter mulching are peat moss, bark, sawdust, and shredded newspapers.

There are many recipes you can incorporate in your dinners to make sure you take full advantage of fall and winter vegetables. Below are a few recipes to make sure you don’t let any of your gardening go to waste!

Kale, Broccoli, and Feta Sauté
(http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/kale-broccoli-feta-saute)

3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cups of broccoli florets
kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
2 ounces of Feta, crumbled (1/2 cup)
¼ cup of kalamata olives, pitted and slivered

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the kale and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes more. Fold in the Feta and olives.

Green Smoothie Recipe
(http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/green_smoothie/)

1 medium ripe banana
1 cup of fresh, canned, or frozen pineapple
3 large handfuls of fresh spinach (washed)
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
6 oz. water
1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)

Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Tip: If you want to add coconut oil, be sure it’s slightly melted when you add it so it emulsifies and blends well into the smoothie. Otherwise, it might be lumpy, especially if you are using frozen pineapple or if you add ice cubes.
If you use canned pineapple, you can add the juice, too, for a sweeter tasting smoothie.

 

Written by Kristi Hall

 

Fall Entertaining

falldecor1The autumn leaves bursting into vibrant reds, lively oranges, and brilliant yellows  signal a new season for home entertaining. If you need a little inspiration, look no further than your favorite outdoor spot to update your table setting with the hottest colors for fall 2014.

“Contemporary versions of classic colors are trending in the interior design realm this fall,” says John Griffith, visual merchandiser. “Rich deep Pantone colors including Sangria, Aurora Red, Cognac and Misted Yellow reflect the abundance of color you see outdoors. The new Fiesta color, Poppy, is perfect for autumn. Metallic finishes are also wildly popular, such as gold and copper.”

“Vintage dinnerware continues to be one of the trendiest design elements in the tabletop industry,” says Robbins. “Why buy a reproduction when the real thing is readily available? Search your mother or grandmother’s china cabinet to find some of the great retro patterns. Add your own point of view when you mix and match contemporary designs to create a modern look. It’s really simple to add an accent plate, or a stand-out charger in this season’s colors to update your table for fall entertaining.”

Figural pieces, such as leaf shaped plates and serving pieces are very popular this fall. Many manufacturers are offering colorful accent pieces with favorites including turkey, fall leaves and pumpkin motifs.

“You can use pumpkins as a strong design element through Thanksgiving,” Griffith suggests. “Pumpkins made of glass, ceramic and lightweight resin are big sellers in the store as we head into the season. Mix with the real thing to easily create a great centerpiece.”

As the season changes, so does the way you’re entertaining. Gatherings may be more casual as friends and family get together around the television for the big game or by the fire pit on the patio.

“Appetizer size plates and individual dip bowls are great for finger foods and condiments, says Robbins. “These smaller pieces are both popular and affordable. Plus it’s fun to mix shapes, colors or motifs. Mix and match your favorite team colors for the big game or choose individual Thanksgiving themed plates for celebrations tied to turkey day.”

For more fall decorating tips, visit our Pinterest page!

Craftsmen’s Classic Art & Craft Festival

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out this year’s Craftsmen’s Classic at the Berglund Center on October 10, 11, and 12!

MakingKScopeThis event features original designs and work from hundreds of talented artists and craftspeople from across America. See the creative process in action as many exhibitors demonstrate throughout the weekend. There is something for every style, taste and budget with items from the most traditional to the most contemporary.

Visit their website for more information or call 336-282-5550.

Create a Cozy and Clutter-Free Kitchen

Clutter can disrupt the flow of any home, bringing unwanted stress and frustration, especially in the kitchen. As one of the most prominently used rooms, maintaining a clutter-free environment will create a happier and healthier space for your family to enjoy. Here are a few tips to help you achieve and maintain a fully functional, chaos-free kitchen.

1. Look better, feel better. Whether you’re entertaining friends or just hanging out with family, hosting others at your house is fun, but can also be stressful. Even if it’s last night’s dinner dishes or wine glasses from your latest soiree, allowing clutter to pile up in the sink can negatively impact the look and feel of the entire kitchen. 

To make cleaning easier, find the best faucet to meet your cooking and entertaining needs. Try installing the Lindley pulldown kitchen faucet from Moen. Its traditional style creates an impressive focal point at the sink and increases performance with its high-arc pulldown spout and multi-function spray. Plus, the Spot Resist stainless finish resists fingerprints and water spots, keeping your faucet looking cleaner, longer. In addition, it comes with a coordinating soap dispenser to get one less item off your counter, which will make keeping the sink area clean and clutter-free a snap.

2. Organize chaos. Unused items, like the waffle maker that you desperately desired 10 years ago (but have yet to use), needs to go. To make some space in your kitchen, grab three boxes: one for garbage, one for donations and one for belongings you want to keep. Allocate a few hours and begin organizing. While separating items, ask yourself when did you last use this? With the exception of holiday-specific dishes and tools, if it’s been longer than a month, donate it or throw it away. Once everything is in a box, find the best spot for items you’re choosing to keep.

3. Get creative. Many kitchens suffer from countertop overload. This is where too many kitchen appliances and miscellaneous items, such as mail, phone chargers and car keys, seem to find a home. The solution to clearing this area is simple – get creative. Dish towels are infamous for cluttering countertops. They don’t have a designated home and therefore, are carelessly strewn about. Establish a special spot for this kitchen necessity: mount hooks, towel rings or towel bars, on the side of an upper cabinet, the end of the island or in another kitchen work space.

4. De-stress your life. It happens to all of us: your significant other informs you last minute you’re having guests for dinner, and the chores you need to complete before their arrival seem endless. To make this experience less stressful, spend 15 minutes each day maintaining a clean and orderly kitchen. Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down the countertops, sweep the floors, put away toys and tablets and file mail. Simply staying on top of these little tasks will make it easier to accommodate unexpected company and allow you to enjoy their visit.