Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sunscreen - Part 7 (End)

7. A bigger price tag doesn't equal better results.  Price sunscreen is not necessarily more effective.

One of the most interesting results from The Sweethome's study is that a pricier sunscreen is no more effective than a drugstore find.

Sunscreens that are more expensive are packed with expensive but irrelevant ingredients (think extracts and fragrances) that are not present in high enough amounts to make a difference in effectiveness.

There's also the issue of branding. According to Johnston, products with a fancy French name or a couture design house might not sell an inexpensive bottle of sunscreen simply to stay on brand. The moral of the story? Don't buy tiny expensive bottles you're afraid to use liberally. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sunscreen - Part 6

6. Avoid the "sensitive skin" myth for kids. There’s no such thing as sensitive skin sunscreen.

According to two experts Johnston consulted, Perry Romanowski and Patricia Treadwell (a chemist and dermatologist, respectively), there's no such thing as "sensitive skin" — it's simply another marketing term.  Everyone can be irritated by different things.  If a sunscreen is irritating you, it's most likely to be the fragrances or dyes in the sunscreen.

Which touches on the topic of kids: What type of formula should they be using? First off, babies under 6 months of age should not be in the sun at all. Second, sunscreen marketed for babies and children are basically the same as all other sunscreens, they just come in child-friendly packages and scents. "Unless your child needs to smell like a banana to be convinced to wear sunscreen, there's no need to pay more for them,"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunscreens - Part 5

5. Skip the sprays (go for lotion instead).

The convenience of a spray may seem tempting, but spotty application is almost guaranteed — just think about windy gusts blowing half of your sunscreen away. Sprays have recently become a popular offering, because it seems like they save you from having to rub them in.  But if you check the label, you actually must rub them in to work.

Plus, you can't actually measure how much you've applied on your skin (remember, at least a shot glass worth each hour!). Another drawback? They are easy to inhale, which isn't ideal. Lotion is the safest format, and if you're using enough of a good product, like our picks, it should not be difficult or tedious to spread. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sunscreen - Part 4

4. There's no such thing as a "waterproof" or "sweatproof" sunscreen.  Waterproof sunscreen is an urban myth.

When shopping for a sunscreen, the "waterproof" feature is somewhat of an urban myth. You should never count on sunscreen to stick to your skin after swimming or working out — plus, per FDA regulation, sunscreen can only claim water-resistance for up to 80 minutes before reapplication.

If you do go in the water, it's important to reapply immediately after you get out. If you plan to be in the water for longer than an hour or so — say, if you're surfing or long-distance swimming — wear protective clothing instead.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sunscreen - Part 3

3. Not all sunscreens use the same method protection. Try a chemical sunscreen to avoid looking chalky.

There are two main sunscreen formulas on the market: physical (which reflects beams away) and chemical (which soaks up rays before they hit your skin). Some companies even offer a hybrid version of both.

Generally speaking, physical sunscreens (those with zinc oxide and titanium oxide in the ingredients) are the ones that tend to appear white on the skin,  Chemical sunscreens, that use oxybenzone and avobenzone, [usually] dry to a much more subtle finish. If a physical sunscreen is making you look chalky, try a chemical sunscreen instead.

Other than that, the only reason to choose one over the other is personal preference.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sunscreens - Part 2

2. But, how you apply matters more.  Apply a shot-glass worth every hour

According to a dermatologists The Sweethome spoke to as well as multiple academic papers and studies they referenced, you should apply a shot-glass-size worth of sunscreen (or about an ounce) every hour that you're outside. According to the research, most of us only use about a quarter to a half of what is actually needed to receive the advertised SPF benefits.

To make the most of your sunscreen, you should apply at least 30 minutes before you go outside, then once again each hour and every time after you swim and/or sweat. Sound like a lot of lotion? It is. Which means the more affordable your sunscreen the better.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunscreens - Part 1

This is an article from Today.com and with summer hear we all need to take note of this information if we plan on being in the sun.

1,  Yes, SPF matters – Go for SPF 40 or above and apply liberally
 Let's start with the basics. While Consumer Reports recently discovered that some SPF 60+ sunscreens didn't meet the claim on their label, you should still pay attention to that little number on the bottle. Use SPF 40+ as a benchmark and apply liberally (more on that later) to help reduce your chances of reddening, sunburn, wrinkles, liver spots, skin sagging and, most of all, skin cancer.

SPF stands for 'sun protection factor' and is a rough measure of how well the sunscreen can keep your skin from getting damaged by the sun.  SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of the rays attacking your skin, and lower SPFs block less.

Equally as important? The amount of UVA and UVB protection listed.  It's not hype at all! UVA and UVB rays cause different types of damage; Generally speaking, UVB rays cause sunburn, and UVA cause deeper, longer-term damage like wrinkles. "Both UVA and UVB contribute to skin cancer, so it's important to have a sunscreen that can block both

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 4

Clean smelly hands

Rubs hands with a scoopful of spent grounds to eliminate odors from fish, garlic, and other strong-smelling foods. "There's no need to mix with soap," says Maker. "Your hands may have a coffee smell, but it will remove the more unpleasant odor, and you can wash with soap after rinsing the grounds off your hands."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 3

Attract earthworms to your garden

Just like sleep-starved teachers and long-haul truckers, earthworms L-O-V-E coffee. And you know what happy earthworms do to soil? Make it a whole lot richer! "They're attracted to organic material like coffee grounds, and they help distribute it through the soil," says Melinda Myers, a gardening expert, author, and host of the How to Grow Anything DVD set. A healthy worm population enhances the quality of garden soil by stimulating microbial activity, churning the soil, improve water-holding capacity and water filtration, providing channels for root growth, and burying plant residue, according to the USDA.

For optimal results, sprinkle your soil with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of coffee grounds, says Myers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 2

Scour pans, tools, etc

Eliminate stubborn, stuck-on grime by scrubbing with a couple spoonfuls of coffee grounds. The gentle abrasion provides extra scouring power to clean the dirtiest of dishes and pans. "You don't need to mix in soap, just use a thin cloth to get the abrasive action working," says Melissa Maker, host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube and founder of a Toronto-based cleaning service of the same name. Before scouring the whole pan, test a small area to make sure the grounds don't stain the surface—and never use on delicate ceramic or non-stick surfaces.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 1

Deodorize your fridge

After your coffee is brewed, put the grounds to work again—this time as a powerful odor absorber inside your fridge. Leaving a bowlful of used grounds in the fridge overnight will rid your icebox of icky odors, according to Apartment Therapy. Repeat as often as you'd like. If you're battling particularly potent odors, feel free to leave the grounds in the fridge until the job is done.

Info from Grandparents.com

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

1 medium sweet potato
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
Pinch of cloves - to taste

Peel the sweet potato and grate as you would for hash browns.  Melt the butter.  Stir the sugar into the butter.  Toss melted butter into the grated potato.  Spray a non-stick frying pan with non-stick spray.  Over medium high heat 'fry' the potatoes until done, allowing some to actually brown.  Sprinkle with cloves.  Serves 2

Comment:  When I was a kid my Mom would make fried sweet potatoes.  She would cut them into strips and fry them in butter allowing some to brown.  When they were done she would sprinkle them with sugar instead of salt.  This was a delicious dessert for us.  I decided to try grating my potatoes and see if I could get the same taste without all the butter that was required when she fried hers.  This worked perfectly!  I could eat these every day!  If you don't like cloves you can sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon or nothing at all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #15 Areca Palm (End)

Areca Palm

Why you want it: This pretty indoor house palm is a great inspiration if you're dreaming of tropical climates—or just trying to conjure the look in your home decor. It can grow to about seven feet for a dramatic touch in a room, but a smaller pot will keep it contained if you'd like it to stay smaller.

How to care for it: The areca palm does well in indirect light. Keep the soil somewhat dry, only watering on alternate weeks or so. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #14 Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Why you want it: This lovely indoor tree (actually a species of ficus) has large, dark-green leaves that seem to form the vague outline of a fiddle or violin—that's how it gets its name.

How to care for it: This indoor plant likes room temperatures between about 65 and 75 degrees, and exposure to bright to medium light. The surface of the soil should dry out slightly between watering. If it starts to look a bit pale, try moving it to somewhere less bright. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #13 Shamrock Plant

Shamrock Plant

Why you want it: This jaunty indoor house plant has bright green leaves that look like shamrocks, plus sweet white flowers on tall stems.

How to care for it: This house plant loves bright but indirect or filtered light. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering thoroughly about once per week. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #12 Peperomia


Why you want it: A whole array of small indoor house plants with textured, shiny, often colorful leaves fit into this category. Some popular and attractive—and easy-to-manage—indoor varieties include watermelon, red-edge, and ripple peperomias.

How to care for it: Peperomias favor indoor temps from about 60 to 75 degrees and medium or low lighting conditions. The surface of the soil should dry out between watering.