05 December 2017

Healthy Christmas Treats for Kids

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And with the most wonderful time of the year comes the most wonderful food of the year! However, the wonderful treats that tend to present themselves at this time of year are often loaded with sugar. From sugar cookies to candy canes to homemade caramels, it seems impossible to keep your child’s sugar intake down. Maybe this year you can substitute some of your cookie or candy making for some healthy holiday treats. A dentist in Twin Falls has compiled this list of healthy holiday treats for your little ones.
#1 - Frozen Banana Penguins
How cute are these! These chocolate covered banana pops cleverly fashioned to look like sledding penguins will be so fun to make and eat with your kids. Yes, they still have sugar, but a significantly less amount that sugar cookies frosted with sugar frosting. This is one that your kids won’t forget.
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#2 - Christmas Ornament Crackers
Get some calcium and protein into your kids with these fun crackers. All you need is crackers, lunch meat, and cheese! You can even let your kids help cut out the Christmas shapes in the cheese with cookie cutters to make their own snack.
Source: Eats Amazing
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#3 - Pita Christmas Trees
Make some healthy Christmas trees! Cut some pita bread into triangles, spread guacamole or spinach dip for the green, add tomatoes for ornaments, and use a pretzel stick for the trunk. Easy! Lay out some different toppings – red onions, colored bell peppers, tomatoes, olives – and let your kids decorate their own pita Christmas tree.
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#4 - Grinch Kabobs
Turn some favorite fruits into little Grinch kabobs. All you need is green grapes, bananas, strawberries, mini marshmallows, and toothpicks. Use these as a fun Christmas appetizer for the kids at your holiday parties.
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#5 - Snowmen Kabobs
Because kabobs are so fun and simple for everyone to put together, give these snowmen kabobs a try. All you need are some skewers, bananas, strawberries, raisins, and grapes (or mini marshmallows like in the Grinch kabobs). Not only is this a fun treat, but it can be an activity to keep little hands busy while you’re wrapping presents or preparing holiday meals.

04 December 2017

4 Reasons You Should Consider Installing a Commercial Playground at Your Business

All parents enjoy seeing their children happy and having fun. Children like playing whenever a chance arises. As a business, you want obviously to make sales and generate revenue, and you need customers to do this.
If your business is targeting families and parents such as a campsite, showroom, hotel, restaurants and even a sports club, then you should consider putting up a commercial playground for the kids. PDPlay.com has a variety of products suited for businesses that target families. These products are both affordable and will not cost you a lot regarding maintenance.
Below are reasons why as a business, you will benefit from installing a commercial playground that can be used by people who frequent your establishment.

Social Benefits--
When parents are deciding on where to spend time with their families, most times they will pick a place because it has a playing area for their children. Inasmuch as they love spending time with their kids, it is always nice to see children playing with other children and enjoying themselves. Parents can make friends with other parents, and children can also become friends with the other children that they will meet at the play area. If you want to get more people coming to your business, then budget for a play area for their children. And once the children enjoy themselves the first time around, they will put pressure on their parents to come back.
Reduce Stress, Increase Sales--
When running a business, you need to make sure that you provide top notch customer service to your clients. The reason why people do business with you is that they trust you and feel that you care for them and their needs. When parents visit your place of business, the same concept applies. They need to know that when they come with their children, the kids are going to have a good time and will be taken care of when they are playing. They don’t want to constantly check on their children to make sure that they are safe and secure. When you take care of their children, the parents can then concentrate and focus on their business and will even refer their family and friends to your establishment.
Guests Stay Longer--
When kids are having a good time, the concept of time never applies to them. They can play for hours on without getting tired. This can work in your favor because it means that the parents will allow the kids to play on and will spend more money in the end. This will boost your sales tremendously.
Target Corporates--

Installing a commercial playground where people can come and relax with their children means you can target even the corporates and convince them to have events in your business. For instance, they can choose to have their end of year party or even team building events at your place. This will not only boost, create awareness for your brand, but it will also increase the revenue for your business.

The Top 3 Products You Can Use to Prevent Hair Loss

For many people, there is nothing quite as alarming as noticing a thinner hairline or limp locks that seem to have lost their volume. While it is normal to lose anything between 50 and 100 strands each day, more than this can be the first sign of hair loss.
There are many factors that can cause hair loss, from genetics to styling and even the products you use. But it is obvious that the condition can have a serious impact on your confidence and self-esteem. Luckily, most types of hair loss can be reversible in the right circumstances and – most importantly – with the right products.
When you are trying to stop or reverse hair loss, it is very important to keep this point in mind. Some products can cause dryness and dandruff, or increase the amount of hair you lose during showers or brushing. That said, here are three of the best products to help you get more volume and prevent hair loss:
Shampoos--
Hair loss and thinning hair is such a huge cosmetic concern for many people. As a result, more and more companies are now creating products that are specifically designed to restore hair growth. One of the most popular options for this is hair loss shampoos.
These typically contain a lot of oils and minerals that aid hair growth, strengthen the hair shaft, get rid of bacteria that may be causing hair breakage, and increase circulation to the scalp. Since there are so many options available on the market, start off by checking Andrea's Hair Loss Shampoo Guide to find the right one for you.
However, there are a few tips to keep in mind as you make your choice. Stay away from volumizing shampoos because most of these tend to dry out your hair more, leading to breakage. You should also avoid products that contain parabens and harsh detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate.
Essential Oils--
For thousands of years, mankind has touted the natural benefits of essential oils for the skin – and it isn’t any different when it comes to your hair. Oils such as lavender, cypress, carrot seed, and lavender all have proven soothing, regenerative and balancing properties that can help improve the condition of your scalp.
Another popular option is argan oil. This product has a high vitamin E and fatty acid content that is ideal for giving your scalp a natural boost. It is also non-greasy and absorbed easily into the skin, which makes it a great moisturizer for your scalp.
Topical Medication--
Topical medication for hair loss can help you by slowing down hair thinning. They also work to increase your scalp coverage by helping new hair grow and enlarging existing growth. Many people do not like this option because this medication must be taken regularly. If you stop, then you will start losing hair again. However, if you want to get more coverage fast, this option can work in a pinch.
The most popular over-the-counter topical medication is Minoxidil. This is the main active ingredient in Rogaine, which can be applied in a mousse or liquid form. This medication helps to stimulate hair follicles, thus promoting hair growth in at least six months. There are many other topical medication options available on the market; you will be able to find the best choice for you.

02 December 2017

Veganizing Favorite Recipes - Baked Potato Soup

My Mom's clam chowder recipe turned out so good, so she decided to give me another soup recipe.  I'm not complaining!  This week, we are going to veganize her Baked Potato Soup.  Apparently, she's been making this stuff for years and it's one of her favorite soups.  I'm really excited to attempt to emulate this soup ... or at least see if I can find the rightful ingredients to give me the correct texture. 


Here is her original recipe that she emailed to me (and please, feel free to use the non-vegan version if you are so inclined):


Vegan Version Ingredients:

[SOUP]

(2) large baking potatoes - 8 oz each
(1/3 cup) vegan butter
(6 T) sliced green onions, separated
(1/3 cup) AP Flour
(1/4 tsp) dried dill
(1/8 tsp) sea salt
(1/4 tsp) coarse ground pepper
(2 cups) unsweetened almond milk
(1 cup) vegan cheese
(1/2 pack) cooked vegan bacon

[CREAM BASE (HALF & HALF)]
(1 c) cauliflower, steamed
(3/4 c) nondairy milk, unsweetened
(1 tbsp) vegan butter
(1 tsp) sea salt
(1/4 tsp) pepper

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Just like last week, I used the amazing cream base that I found from Fork and Beans.  This cauliflower base is delightful for anything, but I have been loving it for these creamier soups!  Instead of using soymilk this time, I ventured towards the sweeter almond milk, and I liked it better. The recipe is versatile, though-- you can use any nondairy milk.  


For the cream base, I grabbed the ingredients:  cauliflower, almond milk, butter, sea salt, and pepper.



I steamed the cauliflower, and mixed everything together and blended it with my immersion blender. 


Next, I grabbed all the ingredients for the actual soup:  potatoes, vegan butter, green onion, flour, dill, sea salt, ground pepper, unsweetened almond milk, vegan cheese, and vegan bacon.


I cook my potatoes in the microwave, so I pricked them with a fork a few times, and stuck them in there for about 10 minutes, turning once.


In the meantime, I got the bacon going on the stove and cooked it with a little olive oil until it was crispy.  When it became crispy enough, I just chopped it up and put it into a little serving bowl as a topping.


This recipe calls for a lot of green onion choppin'... so cut them up!  Be sure to slice them fine so you don't end up chomping on huge slices of onion in your soup.  When you are done slicing up 6 tablespoons, reserve 3 tablespoons as a topper, and saute 3 tablespoons with the butter in pot on the stove.



After a few minutes, the onions became soft, so I added the flour to form a soft roux base.  Ensure that you continuously whisk during this phase as to not burn the roux.


The recipe says to slowly add the milk, but since I am not using the whole milk, I added the base that I made and the 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk and it thickened up and bubbled.  I also added all of the herbs as per the instructions.


During this time, I got my potatoes out of the microwave, and removed the pulp from the skins.




I added the baked potato to the soup , and then added half of the cheese (the other half was for the topping).


Since this is a thrifty blog, I should mention that I picked up a loaf of artisan take-and-bake bread for $1.49 at Kroger specifically for this meal.


It came out look and tasting amazing.


I put each soup topper in a little bowl:  bacon, cheese, and green onion.


This is the first meal that I have made in a LONG time where the kids have not complained about anything, where even the toppers have had to be refilled, and I have been asked to make again.  This recipe is a keeper.  It's healthy, it's vegan, and it's amazing. You should definitely try it!

The Do's and Don'ts of Installing Vinyl Wall Decals

You just ended up browsing through Pinterest for ideas on installing vinyl wall decals. Now you feel enthusiastic to make your wall look Pinterest-gallery worthy. However, forming a constellation of holes is making you feel nervous which might force you to stick back to keeping the minimalist look of blank walls. If you think again, the end result and gains are worth the effort and commitment. Vinyl wall decals are low-cost and easy to remove at a minute's notice/discretion. They appeal to everyone – from growing kids to parents.

If you feel convinced to go ahead with the idea, here's how to go about the dos and don’ts of installing a vinyl wall decal.
DO prefer wall decals instead of artwork. You can decorate your decals by installing a frame around them. This will make an attractive gallery wall if your art collection is limited.
DON'T install wall decals in those spaces of your home which are formal. Areas, where you have put the finest of furniture pieces and décor, should be kept distinct for more notice-ability. Installing wall decals in such spaces may take away the spotlight of those items. For instance, if you are treating a huge family get-together with the fine china, you would rather want those lavish fixtures to shine instead of vinyl wall appliques.
DO abandon the paint roller because it is time to switch to the peel-and-stick decal. These decals are now a modern alternative to the outdated accent wall that many of us pulled off at one time or another. You can now play up your daughter’s room wall with story tale decals or geometric designs.
DON'T use text-based decals unless they are highly graphic or designed in a creative dimension. You can leave the inspirational quotes for birthday cards and social media affirmations. Use your living space for the decal-based artwork and show your creativity.
DO make a special corner for custom wall decals. There are many companies which offer customization of wall decals as per the customer’s choice. Leave that hanging art class masterpieces on the fridge behind. It is time to create beautiful murals of special moments and your children’s artwork.
DON'T complement your traditional wall art with wall decals because it will end up looking like a disaster. Although, they both render the same purpose but are two unique mediums. Pick one for each of your house’s space.
DO spice up your furniture with wall decals. If you want to add depth and visual interest in a room, you can incorporate decals with 3D items such as bookcases, beds, chairs, and even tables. Now go ahead and spend over that headboard decal so that your guest bedroom pops!
DON'T let wall decals act as a barrier to spaces of your home. You don’t have to create architectural elements but you can surely accentuate them. Just as you cannot have a fireplace without a chimney. Nobody wants to end up with a home looking like a dollhouse with 2D mantels and doors.