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Category Archives: Family
It is time to prepare for all the adorable little trick or treaters that will be coming out for Halloween. Usually the preparations take us to the local market for some bags of over-sugared candies that we parents usually end up eating. Well, this year you might want to try something a little more healthy so you won’t feel so guilty about sneaking a few here and there. There are many great candy companies out there that offer healthier alternatives to the standard Snickers, M&M’s and more. Here are some truly yummy organic and sugar-free options that kids will love.
Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruity Snacks
These fruit snacks may not be a traditional candy, but they are still sweet and delicious.
Unreal Candy Bars
Unreal candy bars offer a wide variety of candies that are modeled after conventional candy bars such as Snickers, Peanut M&M’s, Peanut Butter Cups and more.
Bug Bites Organic Milk Chocolate
Individual pieces of delicious milk chocolate that are perfect for passing out to all the kids in the neighborhood. Each square contains a fun and educational insect trading card.
Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Halloween Treats
These tasty, fruity snacks are made with organic juice and no artificial colors or flavors.
Yum Earth Organic Pops
Another great alternative to the standard lollipop are these organic and healthy pops in many different tasty flavors, from Pomegranate to Razzmatazz Berry.
Halloween Glee Gum Pops
These gum pops are 100% natural, with a hard candy exterior and a delicious gummy middle. These gum pops come in 3 different flavors: Sweet Strawberry, Crisp Green Apple, and Juicy Orange.
Whatever you chose to hand out to the kiddos, make sure it is an “eek”-o-friendly option!
With the crisp Fall weather here, it’s time for all the delicious Fall favorite treats! I love all things pumpkin, but I needed to add a new recipe to my usual lineup. So after searching high and low, from the Internet to good old-fashioned cookbooks, I came across this delicious Pumpkin and Bourbon Cheesecake recipe. The original recipe comes from Epicurious, but I changed the recipe slightly to make an organic version. This cheesecake was such a hit with my family and friends that I will be making it again!
Makes 12 to 14 servings
1 1/2 cup organic graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated organic sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) organic unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin
3 large organic eggs
1/2 cup packed organic light brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic half and half
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
1/2 cup granulated organic sugar
1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated organic nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground organic ginger
1/2 teaspoon organic salt
3 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups organic sour cream (20 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
Stir together crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press in a single layer on the bottom and up sides of a springform pan. Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur in a bowl until combined.
Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes.
Make topping: Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.
Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.
Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.
Enjoy this yummy Fall dessert!
It is well known that babies are the cause of many sleepless nights for new parents. It is important for babies to get their rest, but it is important for parents as well. Without a good night’s sleep, parents are not as alert or focused as they need to be in order to attend to the demands of a new child. Here are 10 tips to help your infant fall asleep:
Teach your baby the difference between day and night. During the day it is light out, there are activities and noises, and everyone interacts with each other. During the night it is dark out, quiet, and everything is still. When bedtime is approaching, dim the lights and speak softly to let your baby know that you are transitioning into night and it is time to sleep.
Set up a routine or schedule that you and the baby follow when you are getting ready for bed. It can be as simple as a bath, followed by a feeding, and finally a lullaby. Whatever it is, follow the same routine every night and the baby will naturally start to respond to the schedule.
Increase the frequency of feedings when it is getting closer to bed time. The baby will sleep better and longer with a full belly! It also helps to give babies a soft massage to sooth them after eating and help them transition into sleep.
As with adults, exercise is a great way for your baby to sleep well. Since infants are limited when it comes to activities, exercise can consist of laying on their bellies and kicking their arms and legs or crawling (depending on age).
Hold your baby close to you and gently rock him or her back and forth. This will help nurture the parent/child bond while helping the baby fall asleep. Another similar method is to purchase a baby swing, which they can actually stay in while napping instead of moving them once they fall asleep.
White noise can be very effective and soothing for a baby. People use a variety of softer sounds, varying from chirping birds to rushing water to the simple whir of a fan, as long as it is not loud enough to wake the baby.
One of the harder tips for parents to follow is to not respond to every cry or noise that the baby makes. Wait a minute to see if the crying persists, because sometimes they are just fussy and will fall asleep on their own. If the babies need something, they will continue to cry for more than a minute. You can end up interrupting their sleep when you check on them, when otherwise they would have fallen back to sleep unaided.
Pretend to be asleep while laying down with your baby. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, imitating sleep patterns. The baby will pick up on this and begin to doze off as well. Who knows, maybe you will catch a nap in the process!
Keep the baby’s room cooler at night than you do during the day. With the use of a fan or air purifier, you can keep the room cooler while also creating white noise.
The final tip is to give the baby a conducive sleeping environment. Babies tend to feel safer in a semi-enclosed area such as a crib or bassinet. Click on the link below to check out OMI’s Innerspring and Latex Crib Mattresses and give your baby the healthiest and safest sleeping surface possible.
The hot summer weather is here and it is creating a drought, making water conservation a must. This year California businesses and residents were asked to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent to help save water. There are hundreds of things that you can do to help conserve water. Here are a few ideas that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life.
- Minimize the number of dishes used throughout the day by designating a drinking glass for yourself. This eliminates the need to wash multiple cups.
- When serving dinner, serve right out of the pots and pans, as this will eliminate additional dishes.
- Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of using running water from the tap.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold water.
- Dishwashers can use less water than hand washing, especially new energy-efficient models.
- Collect water used for cleaning fruits and vegetables, drained from pasta, etc. to water your plants.
- When doing laundry, wash in cold water, as it saves water and energy while helping clothes keep their color.
- Also, when doing laundry be sure to match the water level with the size of the load.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and save up to 150 gallons per month. If your whole family did this, imagine how much water your house could save!
- Aim for 5-minute showers and you can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per year.
- Skip the baths, as a full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water.
- Turn off the water as you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
- Be sure to check all faucets for leaks, as one drip every second can add up to 5 gallons per day! Also check all pipes, hoses, toilets, and faucets inside and out for leaks.
- Run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full. This can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- In your yard, be sure to plant species that are native to your area, as they require less maintenance to flourish.
- Start a compost pile or bin. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
- Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs to be watered.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, and driveways, and save water every time!
- When washing your car, use commercial car washes that recycle water. When washing your car at home, be sure to turn the water on only when rinsing.
Try to incorporate as many of these as you can, and see what a difference a few little changes can make to reduce the amount of water you use.
It’s summertime, which means that there is an abundance of outdoor activities to fill your day. Some people are so excited that they forget to take proper precautions against the heat when enjoying the weather. This can result in serious illness, severe sunburns, cramps and muscle spasms, heat stroke, and in extreme circumstances, even death. It is important to be aware of the risks and prevent them as well as you can. Here are some important actions to take against excessive summer heat:
First of all, you want your house to be a sanctuary where you can get out of the heat. Make sure your air conditioner is installed correctly and running well before the heat of summer hits. Install weather-stripping on doors and windowsills to keep the cool air in and, more importantly, keep the warm air out!
If you don’t have an air conditioner, it’s best to open your windows during the coolest part of the day, have fans circulating the air through your house, and then close them up to keep the heat out. Use drapes or blinds to block direct sunlight from shining in and warming the interior.
Limit outdoor activities to times of day that are cooler, such as morning and evening. Spend the warmest part of the day inside your home or in public, air-conditioned buildings such as libraries, malls, or movie theatres.
While spending time in the sun, protect your head and face with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen and reapply throughout the day, especially when swimming or sweating excessively. Wear light-colored clothing to reflect sunlight, rather than absorbing it with dark clothing.
Limit the amount of exercise you engage in. If you must exercise in the heat, drink twice as much water as you usually would. You can replenish salts and minerals that you sweat out by drinking sports drinks.
Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic drinks. This is probably the most important tip, and it is often overlooked. DRINK WATER!
Make sure to protect your pets by keeping them indoors or in the shade and by giving them a constant supply of water.
It shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but never leave children or pets in the car! There are too many reports of children and pets dying because of neglect in the heat.
Be aware of the temperature, because the hotter it gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Be aware of who is at the greatest risk of experiencing heat-related problems, such as the very young and the elderly.