Sun Safety for Children & Babies

suncare for babiesBabies have sensitive skin that is much thinner than adults. If your baby is under six months of age they should be kept out of direct sunlight. Find a shaded area to keep your baby while you are out in the sun. Keep your babies covered with tightly knit clothes and make sure they have a hat on. When you do go outdoors, be particularly careful in the early months about taking all the following precautions. If your child gets sunburned and has blisters, severe pains, or fever, call your pediatrician right away. Sunburn can cause dehydration as well. Sunburn during childhood raises the risk of melanoma (the most deadly type of skin cancer) as well as wrinkles later in life. sunburn child

Avoid being in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. This is when UV rays are the strongest. Even on overcast or cloudy dayssun care sunburn can result. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen on your children with an SPF of at least 15. Sunscreen is only that, a screen. Higher SPFs can block the vast majority of the sun’s rays, but no sunscreen blocks 100%. Sunscreen should be a part of a total sun protection program, including hats, protective clothing and avoidance of the mid-day sun when the UV rays are the strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

SunscreenUse a waterproof sunscreen if your child will be in the water or sweating a lot. Waterproof sunscreens stay on longer when you sweat or get wet. Apply sunscreen thirty minutes before you go out in the sun. Don’t wait till you are already in the sun to apply sunscreen. Even fifteen minutes in the sun can result in sunburn. You will not always see the sunburn until hours after the damage occurs. Reapply sunscreen at least every hour and a half. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply frequently. If your child is in the water, you may need to reapply more often. Don’t forget about your child’s nose, ears, and tops of their feet. The skin in these areas is thin and is often forgotten when applying sunscreen. Also, keep in mind that lips can burn, too. To protect the lips, coat them with lip balm that has SPF 15. *If your child goes into the water, reapply sunscreen as soon as you towel them off – even if it’s been less than two hours since you applied it.

sun safety for infantsHow and when sunburns happen

The sun is strongest between 10 and 4 o’clock, so when you can, time your stroll or outside play with your baby earlier than 10 or later than 4. heat rash on childWhen you do venture out, keep in mind that the sun’s rays bounce off surfaces like water, snow, cement, and sand. Your baby (keep in mind a baby’s thinner, more delicate skin is especially vulnerable) can also get burned at other times of day and on cloudy or cool days because it’s not the heat of the sun that burns the skin but the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can damage the skin at all times of day, all year round, even in the middle of winter. You can’t feel these when they hit your skin, but you’ll see the effects later. (It can take several hours for the redness and pain of a mild first-degree burn to appear.) . Even if your child is dark skinned they still need sunscreen; some parents make the mistake of thinking that only fair skinned children need sunscreen. All children should wear sunscreen if they are going to be out in the sun. home remedies for sunburnProtecting your little one

Keep your baby in protected spots; try to keep your baby in the shade – under a tree or umbrella, and/or the sunshade on your baby’s stroller. You may be surprised to learn that shade provides only partial protection against UV rays. Without sunscreen or other protection, even a baby in the shade can get sunburned. If you’re longing to spend your day at a beach or park, an outdoor sun tent with built-in UV protection can keep your baby cool and protected. Cover your baby’s arms and legs in lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect the heat and keep skin cooler than dark colors, which absorb heat. Fabrics with a tight weave protect skin better than loosely woven fabrics. (Hold the fabric up to the light. The less light you see shining through, the tighter the weave.)You can find clothing such as swimsuits and T-shirts made from fabric with sun protection built into it. These products can be a little pricey, but they might be a good investment if you often find yourself outdoors with your baby. Whether your baby is bald or has a full head of hair, a hat is a must. Choose a hat with flaps in the back for neck protection and a brim that’s wide enough to shade the face. A brim that protects the ears is better than one that protects only in front. If your baby will wear them, try a pair of UV-protective sunglasses. suncare for kids

Common Questions:

Sunscreen safetyCan I use the leftover sunscreen from last year or do I need to buy a new bottle every summer?

Both chemical and physical sunscreens (those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) can deteriorate over time, so check the bottle or tube for the expiration date. If you can’t find a date, or if the product seems to have dried up or changed color or consistency, it’s better to be safe and buy some new sunscreen. When you consider the pain and skin damage your child will suffer from getting sunburn, it’s not worth using last year’s bottle just to save a few dollars.

What do I do if my baby puts their hands in their mouth or eyes while wearing sunscreen?

Babies put their hands in their mouth about 64 times an hour. Toddlers put their hands in their mouth about 32 times an hour. That’s a good sun safety for childrenreason to use a “physical” sunscreen instead of a regular chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens contain only zinc oxide or titanium oxide rather than the assorted chemicals you’ll find in regular chemical sunscreens. Instead of being absorbed by the skin, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on the skin and physically block the sun. Look for one or the other on the sunscreen’s label. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are not toxic and do not burn the eyes. The ingredients are “inert,” meaning they won’t react with any chemicals in the body to cause illness or an allergic reaction. So you don’t have to worry about your child ingesting small amounts. Getting sunburn is a lot more hazardous for your child than swallowing a little zinc oxide.

What should I look for when buying a sunscreen for my child?

Look for sunscreens that are greater than or equal to SPF (sun protection factor) 30 and products that are broad spectrum, which means they protect against both UVA and UVB rays. It’s better to use thick, greasy sunscreens that are water-resistant or very water-resistant (formerly waterproof) for outings to the park, pool, or beach because these products provide better and longer-lasting coverage. Look at the list of active ingredients on the label; products that have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in the list are broad spectrum sun blocks that do not sting the eyes.

child sun tipsWhat is in infant/kid sunscreen that is not in adult sunscreen?

Baby and kid sunscreens often have the same active ingredients as the adult versions, but with cuter labeling and marketing. Check your active ingredients. If they are the same, the sunscreen is the same. Your baby is not more protected with a “baby” SPF 30 sunscreen, than with a “regular” SPF 30 sunscreen if they are both water-resistant and have the same active ingredients. Always apply a small patch test on your child’s skin to see if any redness or irritation occurs before slathering their little bodies with the sunscreen, especially if your child has very sensitive skin.)

Is sun block better than sunscreen?

Sun blocks are products that have titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. They physically block the sun’s rays and scatter the ultraviolet radiation  (UV) upon contact. Sunscreens are chemicals that absorb the UV radiation. Sun blocks tend to block a wider range of the sun’s rays (UVA and UVB) so are better as solo ingredients. Products often combine good UVB chemical sunscreens with a physical blocker like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to provide higher SPF and broad spectrum coverage.

sunscreen versus sunblock

What does the “PA” ranking on a sunscreen label mean?

The traditional SPF ranking on most sunscreens only applies to the UVB, or the sun’s burning rays. The vast majority of the sun’s rays that make it to the Earth’s surface are longer wavelength UVA rays. UVA rays cause immune suppression in the skin, leathering, wrinkling and long-term photo damage of the skin. These wavelengths have also been shown to increase the risk of some skin cancers. Products containing active ingredients that protect against these UVA rays may have a PA (Protection against UVA) rating of PA+, PA++, or PA +++, and the more plus signs, the higher the protection.

uv raysWhy are both UVA and UVB protection important?

UVB protection prevents sunburn. The UVA rays do not burn the skin easily (these are the rays used for tanning beds), but penetrate more deeply into the skin to cause immune suppression in the skin, leathering, wrinkling, photo damage and can cause skin cancer. Not all sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB. Check for the PA rating or the active ingredient list. For the most effective protection, both UVB and UVA should be blocked to prevent short-term and long-term damage to the skin.

How long does it take for sunscreen to wear off?

Water-resistant sunscreens last 40 minutes and very water-resistant or waterproof sunscreens last 80 minutes. Most people apply only half the amount that they are supposed to and not evenly over the skin. This decreases the SPF and allows uncovered areas to burn.

 

sunscreen info

 

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The Truth about Tanning

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Martini Day & Recipes to Celebrate

martinisJune 19, 2014 is National Martini Day! Although the exact origin of the martini is unknown, this iconic drink has earned a permanent place in the pantheon of classic cocktails. The first printed recipe for a “Martinez” cocktail appeared in a bartending manual published in San Francisco in 1887. However, historians disagree over whether the beverage actually originated on the West Coast. In 1911, a New York City bartender named Martini di Arma di Taggia began serving a cocktail made with gin, vermouth, orange bitters, and an olive garnish. The martini gained widespread popularity among Manhattan socialites, and has been associated with New York ever since.

Today, 50% of all cocktails are served in a martini glass. Some of the most famous (historical and fictional) martini lovers include: John D. Rockefeller, Humphrey Bogart, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Clark Gable, Ernest Hemingway, and James Bond. Celebrate National Martini Day by enjoying a refreshing martini in the company of friends. Below is a small list of supplies you need to make martinis & a couple of popular recipes:

Supplies:

12 ounce Shaker

Strainer

Ice

Plate

Chilled Martini Glasses

 

apple martiniApple Martini:  Fill shaker with ice, add five ounces of apple flavored vodka and two ounces of sour apple flavored schnapps or liqueur. Shake vigorously for about one minute, strain into chilled glass and garnish with cherry.

Chocolate Martini:  Fill shaker with ice, add five ounces of vanilla flavored vodka, two ounces of chocolate liqueur, and one chocolate martiniounce of crème de cocoa. Shake vigorously for about one minute. Pour some chocolate syrup onto your plate and rim the edge of chilled glass with the syrup. Strain cocktail into glass and garnish with cherry.

peach martinisPeach Martini:  Fill shaker with ice, add five ounces of peach flavored vodka and two ounces of peach flavored schnapps, liqueur, or both. Shake vigorously for about one minute, strain into chilled glass and garnish with cherry.

Lemon Drop Martini:  Fill shaker with ice, add five ounces of lemon or citrus flavored vodka, two ounces of sweet and sour mix or lemonade. Shake vigorously for about one minute. lemondrop martiniPour some sugar onto your plate. Take a lemon wedge and run it around the edge of chilled glass making sure it gets all around the rim then wet edge with sugar. Strain cocktail into glass and garnish with lemon twist.

dirty martinisDirty Martini: Fill shaker with ice, add six ounces of vodka or gin and one ounce of olive juice. Shake vigorously for about one minute. Pour a splash of dry vermouth into a chilled glass, swirl around covering the whole glass and pour it out. Strain cocktail into glass and garnish with an olive.
 

 

Frugal Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Cook breakfast for him
Begin father’s day by amazing your hubby with a delicious breakfast. You can have the breakfast either in your bed or in your dining room. Just make sure to prepare your man’s favorite morning meal. Give yourself adequate time for the planning, so you can amaze your spouse by waking him up to the tasty scent of coffee or perhaps food inside your bedroom or across the dining area. Along with the food, you may also need to place additional touches by putting a vase filled with lovely, flowers on the table or perhaps tray, the daily magazine, and some sugar and milk.

Take him to a professional game.
Almost all men love watching professional baseball or basketball games. In case your man is one of those who enjoy watching these types of games on television, you could also delight him by giving him seat tickets to a real live game on father’s day. You may also go and watch the game together with your partner, so he can appreciate it with you. Your man will definitely love this great father’s day surprise.

Take your husband out
Find a baby sitter, or request one of your loved ones to look at your children on the night of father’s day, so that you can go and have a date with your partner. Take your husband to a restaurant which you know he likes. After that, you could then watch a film he would enjoy, or perhaps watch a live music group, go dancing, sightseeing, walking in the park, or whatever activity that your husband loves doing.

Do a few of your husband’s household chores
You can also pamper your husband on father’s day by performing some of his household tasks. If your man is in charge of the yard work or perhaps the dishes, you can perform a few of these duties for him. You may also do these types of duties days before father’s day, so he can truly rest on that special day. Since it is “father’s day”, you may also ask your kids to help around if they are old enough to do some of the tasks.

There are various fathers day gift ideas you can choose from, such as clothes, a football cap, a glass with his picture on it, cuff links, a couple of tools, a customized company card holder, or a pretty pen. The gift should not be as expensive as the gift items you buy for him during Xmas or birthday celebrations, as long as you know he’ll love it.

Making him the center of attention on his special will surely be a perfect father’s day.

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*Frugal Father’s Day Gifts*

1. Shaving Kit
2. Personalized Message Key Chain
3. His favorite BBQ Sauce
4. Beer Mugs
5. Money Clip
6. Six-Pack Holder

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*Other Father’s Day Ideas*
1. Tablet Case
2. New Stylish Hat
3. Some Stone
4. Body Care Products
5. New Pair of Jeans
6. Beer Holder
7. New Tunes or Movies

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Texas Hill Country’s Hidden Lavender Treasure

texas lavender farmsWith the 2014 Lavender Festival coming up this weekend (June 13-15 2014, Fri. 12pm-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-4pm) thought I’d share the experience of our Hill Country road trip to Blanco, Texas where we attended the 8th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival. The town of Blanco (which means “white” in Spanish) was named for the limestone hills and banks along the river there. On our way up highway 281 we enjoyed the view of the hills, orchards, wineries, and even a few deer crossing the road. This was my first time visiting Blanco; usually I just pass right through. I was so amazed at how much beauty this little town has, from the Blanco River running through it to the small downtown strip of antique shops, local restaurants, and other small businesses. After having some yummy breakfast tacos at El Puerto Restaurant, it was time to make our way to the festival.

Blanco Lavender FestivalThe Festival

As always, the husband found a great parking spot on Main Street, our first stop (right across the street from where we parked & not on the festival grounds) was at the Blanco River Lavender Company booth, these lovely ladies were setting up and getting everything ready for the fest.  We then made our way to the information booth at the festival (where I couldn’t help but buy a Lavender Fest themed t-shirt, cap, & lunch bag), which was located on the grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse. There we were greeted by some of the sweet local women of Blanco. They were very helpful in giving us the best way to fit visiting the farms and the enjoying the fest all in one day.  As excited as we were to visit the farms, we were sadly informed that only 3 out of 8 lavender farms made it this year due to the drought last year.  Hearing news such as that made us really look forward to visiting the farms; we made it to 2 of them. As we walked towards the fest booths, it was kind of hard to choose where to start. Everything smelled so good and looked interesting to see. Lots of art, crafts, food vendors, music, local beer, Texas & Lavender specialty foods…you wouldn’t know where to begin either! But being the “spa junkie” that I am, the first thing that caught my eye was a booth filled with lavender products!

Lavender Margarita Mix MimosasAt Heron’s Nest Herb Farms’ booth, we met farmer, Mrs. Melanie Van Aken, not only did she have her products (lavender bath & body, pet care, & home care) for retail; she was also selling lavender cookies, brownies, and lavender tea.  The 2nd stop was Wimberley Lavender Farm’s booth, gorgeous cobalt blue bottles filled with lavender spa products & homemade soaps; I was like a kid in a candy store!  My poor husband probably thought he was going to be a guinea pig (as always!) for some kind of lavender spa creation I’d come up with. Other nearby fest goers were enjoying the Lavender Lemonade that was at the booth.   Still walking through the fest, we were approached to try this lavender bubbly adult beverage, though it may have been 11:00am, how could we say no to a glass of fizzy, sparkling purple stuff!   While sipping on our lavender mimosas (made with Miller Creek Lavender Margarita Mix) the Sanaloma Laser booth caught my husband’s eye.  I have to say we were both quite impressed with their work. The Georgetown, Texas Company creates all kinds of really cool 3D wooden models. They are great gifts for all ages; you must check out their online store, I know my husband is going to order a couple of things since they did make Military themed models.  Lavender Margarita Mix

Another booth my husband enjoyed was San Antonio’s very own Photo2wood. They use state of the art equipment to turn your photos into a wooden masterpiece. The festival was not only packed with vendors of all sorts, it also had many special guests speakers (including Jeannie Ralston, founder of Hill Country Lavender, the first lavender farm in Texas, and author of “The Unlikely Lavender Queen” ) educating on the history, uses, growing tips, and how to cook with lavender.

Learning about LavenderLush Lavender Learning

Being in the beauty & spa industry for 19 years, I have become a huge fan of lavender, I use it just about every day. Not only does its soothing aroma make my clients happy, it also has many benefits.  It’s used in many beauty products, so you can see why I am such a fan of this little purple bloom. Lavender has therapeutic and antiseptic qualities, it’s known as an effective remedy to combat restlessness, insomnia, cure headaches, ease anxiety, soothe stress, and promote relaxation. The lavender herb is also used for bug bites, burns, skin disorders, to relieve itching, rashes, and reduce swelling. Another lavender fact is that it is also an effective cleanser when added to bath water and for washing hair. It is claimed that lavender, due to its antibacterial and antifungal qualities, kills head lice and other scalp infections. Hence, lavender is seen to be effective in combating balding and promoting hair growth. Also, the lavender herb has been effectively used as an antiseptic for the treatment of acne. Another use for lavender is as a floor cleaner, and also for cleaning counter surfaces and bathrooms. Again, it works effectively due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties and it also gives out a pleasant fragrance to cleaned surfaces. Now you know why you see many cleaning products on the market that are lavender infused.

Texas Fields of Lavender Hill Country Lavender Farm

Native to the Mediterranean, (Latin root name: Lavandula. Lavare (to wash) Livendula (livid or bluish)) Lavender, is grown all over the world, lucky us, it’s right here in our beautiful Hill Country. The first farm we visited was Miller Creek Lavender.  The farm offers 3 acres of lavender, a variety garden with over 70 varieties, butterfly garden, blackberries, picnic tables/benches, granite sand trails, plenty of parking, and a gift shop filled with lavender food products, lavender bath and body products, books, pottery, t-shirts, ball caps, and much more. There was even lavender colored port o’potties with a hand washing station, which I thought was pretty cool. Owners Karen & Don Roets were very welcoming and had a spread of their lavender edible goodies. We tasted Lavender Strawberry Lemonade, Lavender Strawberry Jam (we liked this so much we took some home, Yummy!), Lavender Raspberry Chipotle Salsa, Lavender White Wine Jelly, & Lavender Jalapeño Mustard, each had their own unique flavors. Tasting all these Texas treats and enjoying the view of the lavender farm, made them even more enjoyable.  Remember that lavender bubbly we drank at the fest? We found the Lavender Margarita Mix it’s made with…yes, you know a bottle of the purple pleasure went home with us, let’s see how long it lasts! Ha-ha

Hill Country Lavender StoreThe next farm we visited was Texas’ 1st Commercial Lavender Farm. Another beautiful sight to see, this farm is next to an orchard, and has an amazing view of hills and live oaks. The farm has more than 2,500 lavender plants spread in neat rows across a 2 acre hilltop where visitors are invited to cut their own lavender throughout the season. Their farm store carries a complete line and over 70 of lavender products, including soaps, sachets, lotion, linen spray, eye pillows, bubble bath, lavender essential oil, & much more. I think I did the most damage at this store! Who’s ready for a Lavender Facial? My husband and I thought we’d see how well our “green-thumb” would do and bought our own lavender plant at this farm for our yard; they even give you growing easy to follow instructions when you purchase a plant. The girl who rung up our goodies said the lavender plant survives off neglect. I have never been the gardening type of girl, so there is a good chance of our lavender plant living forever. Ha-ha

The River Runs Through It Blanco River State Park

After our lavender adventure, the lavender kicked in and we were relaxed, we decided to have a picnic and enjoy the scenery of the Blanco River at Blanco State Park. The park is 104.6 acres located along the Blanco River in Blanco County. The land was deeded by private owners in 1933 before the park was opened in 1934. The park area was used as a campsite by early explorers and settlers. A spring in the park made the location ideal when the river was dry.  This park is very well kept and clean; we sat in a picnic area under shady oak and pecan trees watching geese, ducks, and saw a couple of turtles and perch. There’s nothing more relaxing than being by the water, even more so under the influence of lavender. Since our family loves the outdoors, we plan on returning to this park for some camping, hiking, fishing, and of course swimming. This is a perfect weekend spot for families; the park also rents canoes, tubes, and kayaks.

Hill Country Lavender ProductsTime to go Home

This was by far one of our best road trips. Texas has many small secret scenic places and Blanco is definitely one of them. Who needs France, when we have our own Lavender Farms here in the Hill Country? There is something for everyone in Blanco, fishing for the outdoorsman, antique shopping for you treasure hunters, hill country hiking for you thrill seekers, and lots of great picture spots for photographers. We enjoyed all it had to offer, the Lavender Festival was the bonus. Support your fellow Texans by trying some of the lavender goodies & checking out their products, we sure did. The information to all the vendors I mentioned is provided for you below. My husband and I looking forward to this year’s Lavender festival; hope to see some of you there. ❤

Blanco Lavender Festival 2014: June 13-15 2014, Fri. 12pm-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-4pm.

Randy Monterrosa April Mae Monterrosa

Blanco Chamber of Commerce

830-833-5105

312 Pecan Street

Blanco, Texas 78606

Puerto Restaurant

830-833-5813

115 Main Street

Blanco, Texas 78606

Blanco River Lavender Company

4136 Ranch Road 1623 Blanco, Texas 78606

830-833-4494

www.blancoriverlavenderco.com

Heron’s Nest Herb Farm

1673 River Bend Drive

Blanco, Texas 78606

830-833-2627

http://www.heronsnestherbfarm.com

Miller Creek Lavender

8453 Miller Creek Loop

Johnson City, Texas 78636

512.934.1616

droets@hotmail.com

http://www.millercreeklavender.com/

Wimberley Lavender Farm

11300 FM 2325 Wimberley, Texas 78676

830-833-1595

www.wimberleylavender.com

SanaLoma Laser, LLC

(512) 930-3882 5203 Taos Court Georgetown, Texas 78628-1745

info@SanaLomaLaser.com

http://www.sanalomalaser.com

Photo2wood

210.365.01117

info@photo2wood.com

photo2wood.com

Jeannie Ralston: The Unlikely Lavender Queen

http://www.jeannieralston.com/

Blanco State Park

P.O. Box 493

Blanco, TX 78606

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/blanco

Texas Lavender Farm Pink Tractor