Category: Food & Home

Link Round-up: Marbled Paint, Slimming Exercises, DIY Upcycled Tin Can Projects, and More

Posted on Mar 3, 2015 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up showed us an easy way to get the marbled paint effect, thigh slimming exercises, DIY upcycled tin can projects, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make pink coconut kiss candy bars.

Blogilates shared some of the best thigh slimming exercises.

Aunt Peaches gave us tips for marble painting the easy way.

link ru art room makeover

A Beautiful Mess shared a stunning before and after project featuring an art room.

Homemaking Hacks taught us how to get perfect wavy, undone hair.

Sugar Swings showed us how to make pink beignet waffles with sprinkles.

You Brew My Tea showed us how to make upcycled tin can spring porch pals.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Cholesterol No Longer a Nutrient of Concern

Posted on Feb 27, 2015 by 1 Comment

For decades we’ve been warned about how many eggs we should eat because they are high in cholesterol. Since the cholesterol is all located in the yolk, we learned to work around it. It’s the reason we concocted egg-white omelets and other such dishes.

But all that’s about to change. Eggs have been given a bad rap, and now the next update to the Dietary Guidelines, which are written to help us make healthier food choices, will tell us they are actually good for us.

Dropping the warning about cholesterol consumption is a big change because it is one of the “official” core guidelines. While I’ve suspected for years that eggs were getting a bad rap, the government has been slow to change their dietary recommendations.

Since the 1970s they’ve been telling us to limit the intake of cholesterol to less than 300 mg per day because eating cholesterol would raise our cholesterol.

This view was supported in the first edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans when they were released in 1980 and has been with us since.

Now the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) no longer believes that the consumption of dietary cholesterol is anything to worry about.

Dietary cholesterol differs from the cholesterol our bodies manufacture. Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol. So are organ meats and some seafood like shrimp and lobster.

For years, we were told to restrict our consumption of these foods. Now the DGAC has decided that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Instead of focusing on foods we should not eat, the DGAC’s is turning its attention to foods we should eat. Their new mission is to get us to take in more good nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, and fiber. These are things we are not getting enough of.

So go ahead and eat your eggs. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which help to lower your cholesterol.

Photo credits: Ivy Dawned

Link Round-up: Cute Purse, DIY Cat Toe Flats, Hair, and More

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has a cute purse design, DIY cat toe flats, a hair tutorial, and more.

Creative Khadija showed us how to decorate a purse with washi tape.

Mama of 3 Munchkins showed us how to make a strawberry cake in a mini mason jars.

Little House Living shared a tinted mason jar craft.

link ru spring bedroom makeover

Kenarry showed us how to brighten up a bedroom for spring.

Living Chic on the Cheap shared a DIY cat toe flats tutorial.

Spaceships and Laser Beams showed us how to hide veggies in hamburgers.

Lauren McBride shared a half-up side twist tutorial.

Photo credit: Creative Khadija and Kenarry

Whole Foods Recalls More than 100 Items Due to Possible Peanut Contamination

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 by No Comments

Anyone worried about peanut allergies knows how serious cross contamination can be. In late January a cumin-related recall announced the possibility of cross contamination of various products. It led to one of the largest recalls ever.

Now that recall has grown to include the Whole Foods franchise. As a result, the grocery retailer has recalled more than 100 items which contain the cumin spice that may contain undeclared peanuts.

The recall affects a large variety of foods like preseasoned meats, rotisserie chickens, tacos, prepared salads, and other items sold at stores in Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington DC between Jan. 14 and Feb. 6, 2015.

Not all items or all products were sold in all store locations, but if you’ve shopped at one of those Whole Foods locations, you can find a complete list of recalled items on the FDA website.

According to the FDA, “No allergic reactions have been reported to-date, and recalled items have been pulled from store shelves. Whole Foods Market was notified by its supplier that undeclared peanut protein was found in cumin supplied to some of its facilities.”

This all started in January when undeclared peanut proteins where found in Adams Flavors, Foods & Ingredients’ cumin supply. It has turned into a far-reaching problem leading to recalls to include manufacturers who use cumin in their products.

If you suffer from peanut allergy or sensitivity and have bought any of the affected products listed on the Whole Foods recall, you are to discard them and bring the receipt to the local store for a full refund.

If you have questions, call 512-477-5566, extension 20060, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. And if you know someone with a peanut allergy or sensitivity, be sure to pass on the information to them.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Link Round-up: Wardrobe Tips, DIY Home Decor, Recipes, and More

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has wardrobe tips, DIY home décor, recipes, and more.

Kid Things showed us how to make St. Patrick’s Day glitter play dough.

Mama of 3 Munchkins taught us how to make Oreo cookie butter.

Living Chic on the Cheap taught us how to make a fabric covered pin board.

link roundup sweatshirt cardigan

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make a sweatshirt into a cardigan without sewing.

Little House Living shared tips for maintaining a minimalistic wardrobe.

Lauren McBride showed us how to make a shutter screen for the home.

Fresh Mommy Blog shared a recipe for the best ever homemade brownies.

Photo credit: Kid Things and Muslin and Merlot

Is Your Plastic Drinking Bottle Really Safe?

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 by 1 Comment

For years, I’ve made an effort to drink water and stay hydrated. It takes work for me to remember to drink enough water. I actually track it, and gradually I’ve developed the habit.

When I grew tired of lugging in bottled water, I installed an RO system. Then I learned about BPAs and that my water bottle was deemed unhealthy because it contained a chemical known as bisphenol-A. It has been linked to all kinds of health issues including obesity and diabetes!

Not what I’m looking for by drinking water.

BPAs are found in so many things that traces of BPA were found in 90 percent of urine samples taken from a group representative of the American population.

So I was proactive. I bought a BPA-free bottle and just refilled it throughout the day. Instead of BPAs it contained BPS. I thought I was home safe, but learned that may not be the case.

BPA Free

According to a new study, BPS (bisphenol-S) may be considered harmful, too. The author of the study, Dr. Deborah M. Kurrasch, is recommending a “societal push to remove all bisphenols from our consumer goods.”

So while several states have banned BPA in items like baby bottles, and many companies have voluntarily removed the chemical from their products, the replacement BPS may not really be the answer.

Just because a bottle is labled “BPA free” doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to drink from, and as for BPS exposure, it is said to affect prenatal neurodevelopment in zebra fish. As a result, pregnant women are told to limit exposure to BPA and BPS during gestation.

While I don’t plan to get pregnant, I have a rule of thumb I follow. If something is thought to be a possible risk for pregnant or nursing women, I steer clear of it.

Experts suggest it isn’t appropriate to draw conclusions on this limited experiment, but there seems to be a growing opinion among scientists that the chemical may be harmful to humans. So for now, I think I’ll go back to drinking out of glass.

I’m sure I’ll get plenty of BPAs and BPSs from food packaging. I certainly don’t need to drink them.

Photo credits: Amraepowell, Mark Morgan

Link Round-up: Ingrown Hairs, Sweets, Friendship Bracelets, and More

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has sweets, tips for dealing with ingrown hairs, heart friendship bracelet DIYs, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for chocolate chip cream cheese cookies.

A Smooth Life shared tips for getting rid of ingrown hairs.

Honestly WTF taught us how to make heart friendship bracelets.

link ru red velvet brownies

Positively Splendid taught us how to make red velvet swirl brownies.

The Ribbon Retreat taught us how to make a swappable flower cluster wreath.

I Heart Organizing shared tips for storing statement jewelry.

Saved by Love Creations shared 50 accent wall ideas.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Positively Splendid

Puerto Rico Legislators Talking About Fines on Parents of Obese Children

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 by No Comments

Obesity is a problem. Not just its effect on our health, but the struggle to deal with it. It requires life changes. Those changes are hard enough when you’re doing them for yourself, but when your child is obese you have to help them to make the changes, too.

In an effort to help, Puerto Rican legislators are looking at leveling fines up to $800 on parents of obese children, if they don’t lose weight.

I think one of the reasons we struggle in our efforts to help kids lose weight is that we feel like they are missing out if we restrict their sweets, snacks, or seconds.

We make an exception for this special event, this birthday, and the next thing you know we’re right back to a lifestyle of poor choices. Could fines of up to $800 keep everyone motivated to lose weight?

The Puerto Rican bill is still under consideration, but it’s aim is said to be the wellbeing of the kids and to help motivate parents to stay on the straight and narrow with making healthy choices.

It’s not a done deal yet; public hearings on this bill are scheduled later this week. If it is approved, public school teachers would be the ones who flag potential obesity cases.

Those children would then be referred to a counselor or social worker (depending how severe the case), and Health Department officials would meet with the parents.

At first I thought the fines might actually help to motivate parents, but when I see ideas like teachers singling out kids, and government officials from the Health Department meeting with parents to figure out whether the obesity is the result of bad eating habits or a medical condition, it gives me creepy vibes.

Yes, they’d create a diet and exercise program for the kids, but monthly visits would also be part of the program to make sure it is being followed.

After six months, the child would be evaluated again and if improvement isn’t what it needs to be, the parents would be fined between $500 and $800 if the child’s weight doesn’t improve within another six months to a year.

How’s that going to make a child feel?

I’m not the only one who thinks this approach goes too far. Several doctors, including the president of Puerto Rico’s chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics are calling it unfair.

I agree that we need help in tackling the problem of obesity for our kids and even ourselves, but this kind of governmental “intervention” is excessive and undermines parental authority.

What do you think? With more than 28 percent of kids in Puerto Rico and 18 percent of children in the U.S. mainland classified as obese, how can parents be better equipped to help their children?

Photo credits: Robin Corps

Snackeez Cup and Other Product of the Year Winners

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 by 1 Comment

The 2015 Product of the Year awards were presented on Feb. 10, and while I don’t pay attention to every award that rolls out, the Product of the Year awards are worth noting because they are decided on by people like you and me.

This year, more than 40,000 consumers voted, and among the winners are a number of items for moms and babies.

Making the list isn’t easy. Times are competitive with almost 50,000 new packaged goods introduced each year.

Winning products have the distinction of taking home the largest consumer-voted award in the world. To make it into the competition products have to be proven innovative.

A couple of products caught my eye this morning as a news anchor demonstrated their value and usefulness. The first was the Snackeez cup designed for eating on the run. It’s a spill-proof cup that holds a 16 ounce drink and a snack.

If you’re running late and your child has to eat in the car, you can pack up their juice and crackers (or whatever snack) in this spill-proof cup. It’s also useful to eliminate snack related spills around the house.

Beech-Nut Naturals was the winner in the “Baby” category. I’m not surprised. Moms want real food for their babies and this food is made without artificial preservatives.

Tide Ultra

Tide’s new Ultra Stain Release product made the list. I hadn’t seen this before. Just pour some of the detergent on your stain and then work it in with the detergent cap which is equipped with little “fingers” for scrubbing.

The last product I want to mention is one I’ve seen commercials for. It’s the Crest Sensi-Stop Strips, which provide targeted sensitivity and pain relief.

They are thin, flexible strips that contain an active ingredient used by dental professionals. Along with targeting the problem spot, the relief lasts for up to a month.

A variety of products made the list. You’ll find everything from gluten-free products to pet products, skin care products, and even Tru-fit Underwear.

You can view the entire list of Product of the Year winners online, knowing that they earned their way to the top on public opinion.

Photo credits: Amazon, Amazon