Summer Playground Safety

Yesterday I took my kids to a park and we were all but unable to play.  Everything was so hot from the sun, I was afraid the kids were going to hurt.  After checking out a few shadier parks, only to find that the slides there were also very hot from the sun peeking in between the trees, we headed to the Burger King playplace (as did many other parents - it was packed!).  Here are some summer tips to keep your kids safe at the playground:

  • Sun Protection - Sunscreen and Hats.  Reapply sunscreens to avoid becoming the shade darker than broil that I currently am.  And try to avoid mid-day sun when it is at its strongest.
  • Plastic and Metal Burns - It takes just a short time before playground slides, swings and ride-ons get dangerously hot.  Test both metal and plastic play toys before allowing your kids play to avoid burns.
  • Hydrate - Keep your kids hydrated when they are at play in the heat.  I like to make ice cubes out of fruit juice and put them in a big jug of water for my kids.  They keep the water cool and it gets the kids the water they need with a splash of flavor - without a ton of sugar.
  • AGH! Mosquitoes - Those pesky little buggers find me no matter where I am and no matter what time of day it is.  I’ve tried the bug bands and the natural repellents and still I get bit.  Now, I’m sticking with DEET.  Though - use caution with DEET. 
  • Splinters - Make sure your kids’ feet are protected when playing in playgrounds with wood chips.  I always put my kids in sneakers for wood chip parks.  I’ve had my fair share of wood chips sticking out of the skin or in a nail bed while wearing sandals.

Maybe it is because my kids are so accident prone, but I always have in my bag/car: a mini first aid kit, a mini burn kit (both found at the Target dollar spot for $1), those smack and go ice packs, extra water and snacks, and a wet washcloth in a bag.  My grandma used to carry a wet washcloth in a bag.  I always thought it was kind of stupid until I was scratched down the face by a cat.  Now, I carry one, too.  It can help refresh on a hot day, wipe away tears after a fall, cleanse a wound.  You never know what you might need it for, but I sure was glad my grandma had one the day that infamous cat crossed my path.


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WW Update - Weeks 50 & 51

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve done something I haven’t done all year - I missed my WW meeting.  Last week, my husband got home so ridiculously late due to traffic, I was unable to attend the meeting.  This week, it was Memorial Day and our WW center was closed.  Granted, I could try and make another meeting, but, I won’t.  Next Monday begins Week 52.  That means I’ve been doing WW for 1 year now.  And I don’t like what I see.  Yes, I’ve lost weight and yes, I’ve kept it off.  But, 27 pounds in 52 weeks isn’t great.  I can lose more.  Maintaining is good.  Losing is better.  So, along with some of my other WW friends out there, I am reaffirming my pledge to the program.  As of today, June 1, I’m back on track.  No slacking off.  No crap eating.  Tracking.  I want to lose more weight and no one can help me do that but ME.  So, here’s to hoping that the next year is even better than this one has been.

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Strawberry Picking & Muffin Recipe

This past weekend, I took the kids Strawberry Picking at one of our favorite NJ U-pick farms, Lee Turkey Farm.  Not only was it perfect weather for strawberry picking, we had a great time and picked a ton of juicy, tasty, super-sweet strawberries.  After realizing 1) that I had no idea what I was going to do with so many strawberries and 2) I probably didn’t have quite enough to make jam, I decided to check out my dusty cookbook shelf.  I stumbled across a random strawberry cookbook.  It is small and shaped like a strawberry and is entitled “Strawberry Recipes”.  I have no idea where this cookbook came from, but there are some great strawberry recipes in it.  Tonight, we made Summer Strawberry Muffins.  YUM!  They are quick and simple to make and would make a great addition to a  brunch table or as a Father’s Day breakfast.

Summer Strawberry Muffins

 Summer Strawberry Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used fat-free)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hulled and chopped strawberries
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh mint (OPTIONAL - I did not use as I don’t like mint)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Butter 12 medium muffin cups.  (I got 12 regular sized muffins and 5 mini muffins)  Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center.  In a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and oil.  Add egg mixture to well and stir into flour mixture until just mixed.  Stir in the strawberries (and mint, if using).  Pour the batter into cups and bake 20-25 minutes (mine took 23 mins).  Let cool slightly and then turn out onto a rack to cool.


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My new favorite band is Wakey!Wakey!  I first heard their music on the show One Tree Hill.  It wasn’t until I did some research that I found out the character Grubbs on the show, is indeed the real frontman of the band.  Their music is addicting - a mix of folk, rock, indie, piano-driven, melodic tunes with mass appeal.  You could put this on any Ipod playlist for a party and have a hit with the crowd.

My new favorite song:

Wakey!Wakey! Almost Everything

Want to know more about the band, check out their page here.

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The Coolest People Work at Borders

So yesterday I went to Borders with the kids.  We picked up our free book for summer reading. As we’re going up to the register to check out, I hear CheezWaster say, “Ahoy, Matey!”  I look up to see the register clerk was wearing an eye patch - the black kind - like a pirate would wear.  I can only imagine what my face must have looked like - a cross between hysterics and complete mortification, but the clerk was SUPER cool.  He responds with, “Aaargghh, bring up yer loot!”  CheezWaster loved it and awkward mommy moment completely avoided.  Thanks Borders for hiring some really cool employees!

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