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Friday, December 13, 2013

Travel With Kids - How To Make Packing Easy, Fun And Not leave Anything Behind


One of the most challenging aspects of traveling with the kids is gathering everything we need and packing it in such a way that makes sense for everyone.  Typically we would tackle this task by desperately trying to remember all the items everyone would need and shoving it all into one large suitcase, I’ll tell you now this isn’t very effective! With two little ones running around and throwing random items in while I tried to get some sort of order in my packing it was quiet the challenge.
Now that our children are 9 and 5 years old we decided to make a big change in the way our family ran as a unit.  The first step was to invest in new rolling suitcases for each child in colors they chose so they could have and be responsible for their own cases.  This was helpful because each child had their own cloths and toiletries and didn’t have to search through a big suitcase just to get to a certain items they may have needed.
The second step was to make a master list.  I spent a couple of days creating and refining it until I was satisfied that each child and I would have everything we needed and unnecessary items would be left behind.  Once the list was made, I simply duplicated it and gave each of my children a copy.  The older one read to the younger and they both crossed items off as went. They did a great job following down the list, treating it like a scavenger hunt they actually though packing was GREAT FUN!
I made sure to include specifics for the items such as dark colors for pants/shorts as they won’t show the dirt so readily, sweat shirt with hood and pockets etc.
The packing was a huge success as they had both chosen the clothes they brought so there was considerably less grumbling. Being responsible for their own suitcases meant they didn’t wander off in the airport; we saved time and money not checking luggage and neither of us has sore back from lugging 1 huge case.

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An unexpected bonus to our system came when we heard the terrifying sound of the tsunami sirens going off one night toward the end of our trip to Hawaii last year. Not knowing if we would be able to return once we evacuated, we decided the best course of action was to pack and take everything with us.  We had been told the tsunami wasn’t expected to hit the other side of the island for 2 hours so did have plenty of time but as it was already dark and we had never been in such a situation we certainly wanted to on high ground as soon as possible.
Because everyone had their own suitcase the 4 of us packed everything we had brought and accumulated over 12 days and were in the car heading to the evacuation point within just 20 minutes!
It was a great system and I’m glad I implemented these changes because we were able to leave quickly and didn’t leave anything behind!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh Glow You Don’t! – Why You Should Embrace Your Pale Perfection This Season

Whether you sunbath all day at the beach in summer or spend only a few minutes on a sun bed to bring a glow to your skin in winter tanning is harmful to your health. Tanning is caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning lamps, and just by getting a tan you have already sustained some skin damage.
Over time the damage caused by UV radiation leads to wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. For those that use indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners the risk of developing melanoma is 74 percent greater than those who have never tanned indoors!
The risks associated with tanning beds is of such concern in May of this year  (May 6, 2013) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed that  (UV) tanning devices would be reclassified as Class II/moderate risk devices requiring warning labels both tanning devices and also in any related promotional materials, in particular they want to alert young people to the dangers of using a tanning booth even once!
A single indoor UV tanning session raises the users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20% and for those who start hitting the tanning salon before the age of 35 the risk sky-rockets by almost 75 percent!
This season embrace your pale perfection.
Save money on costly tanning salons, save your skin from premature aging and you just might save your life!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Good News For Gluttons! – Read This Before You Start “The Season Of Stuffing”

Last week marked the beginning of the “Great Gluttony Season”, starting with Thanksgiving, followed by numerous festive events that generally involved lots of guzzling and glugging and not a huge amount of strenuous activity.
To be followed by a New Year filled with scale-sorrow.
Well good news from the scientists at the University of Bath in England which was published online in The Journal of Physiology just in time to bring a little seasonal good cheer. The experiment  involved 26 healthy young men. All exercised regularly. None were obese. Baseline health assessments, including biopsies of fat tissue, confirmed that each had normal metabolisms and blood sugar control, with no symptoms of incipient diabetes.
The researchers wanted to see what would happen when these intrepid volunteers increased their energy surplus whilst reducing their energy consumption.
In layman’s terms what would happen if like the rest of us over the holidays they lolloped on the sofa and stuffed themselves into a stupor!
Group 1; increased food intake by 50% whilst reducing daily moment to fewer than 4000 steps per day.
Group 2; increased food intake by 50% whilst reducing daily moment to fewer than 4000 steps per day. However they also ran moderately fast for 45 minutes each day on a treadmill. To balance energy in vs. energy out, this group ate an additional 25% more calories than group 1.
Over all, the two groups’ net daily energy surplus was the same so in theory the results should be the same.
However results were surprising after just 1 week group who had not exercised showed an unhealthy decline in their blood sugar control.
In fact when their fat cells were examined using sophisticated genetic testing techniques it was found that they were now over expressing various genes that may contribute to unhealthy metabolic changes and under expressing other genes potentially important for a well-functioning metabolism.
Group 2 who had also over indulged but had exercised once a day fared remarkably better. Their blood sugar control remained healthy, and their fat cells showed far fewer of the undesirable alterations in gene expression than among the sedentary group 1.
“Exercise seemed to completely cancel out many of the changes induced by overfeeding and reduced activity,” said Dylan Thompson, a professor of health sciences at the University of Bath and senior author of the study, leaving the exercise group “better off than the non-exercise group,” despite engaging in equivalently unhealthy behavior.
The study’s practical message that “if you are facing a period of over consumption and inactivity, a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes, at least in the short term,” Dr. Thompson said.
So instead of starting 2014 filled with revelers-regret make time to go for a post-prandial stroll each day, besides you could do with a break from your nearest and dearest (and they you!).

Monday, December 2, 2013

SALE Extended! Due to popular demand – Today Only!

Give the gift of protected skin this Christmas with our stylish sun protection accessories. Hurry this is the LAST day!

Going on holiday this Christmas? Take your Sunny Sleevez with you!

Friday, November 29, 2013


Is that sleigh bells we hear? 
Going on holiday this Christmas? Take your Sunny Sleevez with you!
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our biggest SALE of the year- get the details early!

Our biggest sale of the year is coming
That time of year is approaching… The rush to get everyone crossed off your list.
But what about you? We all like to sneak in some good deals and treat ourselves.
WELL, THIS WEEKEND is your time!
Our annual Black Friday sale is coming and it’s going to be huge! The largest sale of the year in fact!
We want to give you advanced warning that we will be knee deep with insane deals for the Black Friday weekend. Plus, you can shop from the comfort of home, without fighting the frightening traffic and thunderous stampedes of deal crazy shoppers.
Notify whoever you need, Make sure they are ready to take advantage of huge savings we will be offering at the weekend. We don’t want anyone to miss out. This will be the last BIG SALE before the holidays so we can hunker down and concentrate on getting all the orders out on time.
We are putting the final touches to our specials right now so we don’t have details for you yet. But, if you would like to receive complete sale details as soon as we have finished them, click the link below and we’ll add you to the early notification list. This way you can get your order in at the top of the pile.
So consider this your head’s up. No bumper-to-bumper traffic, no frantic hordes, just ridiculous deals. There is a reason we called this our biggest sale of the year… Because it is!sunny sleevez logo
Thanks for joining our list, stay tuned
Happy holidays!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Safe for People and Pets, Non-Toxic way to rid your home of insects and spiders

Having children has taught me to look at bugs differently especially spiders
I have learned to appreciate their incredible skill and beauty the picture above is an Orb Weaver this beauty with her legs stretched out fully would be  slightly larger than the palm of my hand, she is completely harmless (to us) and does a marvelous job catching unwanted flies from above our outside garbage.
However several of her less appealing relatives have taken up residence on the ground behind the bin creating their telltale diagonal web tents which are perfect to show off their infamous red hourglass markings. Spraying some nasty chemicals outside to rid ourselves of black widows I have no problem with but I found myself in quite a quandary when a similar web appeared by the fire place in the sitting room, this unwanted visitor had most likely hitchhiked inside a log.
Having children and cats finding something that is both safe and effective is of paramount importance.
Then I discovered diatomaceous earth (DE)
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is made up of the fossilized remains of plankton; it looks like an off-white talc powder. It can kill any bug with an exoskeleton easily, but is safe for any mammal to eat.
When insects or arachnids, including fleas, centipedes, black widow and brown recluse spiders, come in contact with diatomaceous earth Particles of DE scratch and abrade the spiders’ bodies and the spiders dry out spiders within days after they come into contact with the sharp prehistoric particles.
Keep DE dry before using, as water will make it ineffective. Also make sure you buy food grade DE instead of pool grade DE as the latter contains up to 70% crystalline silica, a substance known to be carcinogenic with sustained use.
DE that ends up in your vacuum cleaner bag may be good, too, in that it will help to kill any live insects present in the bag.
It is recommended to wear a mask as you do not want to breathe in those fine particles.
I used an old bulb syringe to puff dust into crevices and liberally sprinkled it around our outdoor shoe cupboard.
I’ll keep you posted on how my bug battle goes!
Has anyone else tried DE? Any tips? Has it been effective?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I love smells-nice ones. However I live with the funky-foot fragrance of a tween boy, a 7 year old princess with the backside of a trucker and a couple of champion mousers who are guilty of some pretty awful aromas!
Commercial air fresheners are loaded with carcinogens which contribute greatly to indoor air pollution
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study showed that 12 of 14 common household air fresheners contained phthalates – known toxins linked to asthma, cancer, birth defects as well as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen,.
None of these products have these disclosed on their labeling. At the moment there is no federal regulation of chemicals in cleaning products.
In fact not only are Companies not required to list their ingredients they are not even required to perform health and safety testing and are able to hide all sorts of toxins behind the generic term fragrance due to “trade secret” laws that protect the industry.
So next time your home gets a bit whiffy rather than breathing in great big lungfuls of  neurotoxins try some of these very safe, very effective almost FREE simmer recipes that not only will your home with wonderful fragrance but also humidify the air which can help to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs in the air.
These can also be made in a crock pot making your fragrance more portable for a school or office party
The longer you simmer the better and more fragrant it becomes.  It’s even reusable for 3-4 times if you refrigerate.  There are so many variations your imagination run wild!
WARNING – delicious smells can lead to an outbreak of baking or the appearance of hungry family members wanting to know what you’re cooking for them!
  • Caution: Set your timer for 30 minutes so you remember to top up with water. You don’t want the pot burning dry. Do not leave the house with this left heating on the stove.
  • Storage: You can refrigerate your simmering recipe and reuse daily for up to one week. Just keep adding water as needed.
  • Savings: For apple juice, cranberry juice, herbs and spices that are outdated, don’t throw out–just add to your simmering pot.
  • Recycle – just add to the compost
All measurements are just a rough guide
  • Holiday recipe
2 cinnamon sticks
2 TBS whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 pieces orange rind
2 pieces lemon rind Plus Sprigs evergreen or handful pine needles
  • Apple juice
    Cinnamon sticks
    Whole cloves
  • 2 TBS whole cloves
    2 cinnamon sticks
    5 star anise
    1 orange peel
  • 5 bay leaves
    1 TBS whole cloves
    2 sticks cinnamon
  • Peel from 1 lemon
    Peel from 1 orange
    2 bay leaves
    3 cinnamon sticks
    2 TBS whole cloves
  • 6 whole cloves
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dried rosemary
    2 cups dried lavender
    1 cup dried eucalyptus leaves
    1/2 cup dried peppermint or spearmint
    1/2 cup dried bay leaves
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

SUNNY SLEEVEZ adjustable instructions SUN SLEEVES


Friday, November 1, 2013



The sun that gives us life... can also be a SNEAKY killer. While we are having fun in the sun, it is also silently causing damage through UV rays. Protect yourself with Sunny Sleevez—our stylish answer to sticky sun block and nasty sunburns.
Just slip them on, and their super lightweight, breathable,  eco-friendly, 50+UPF fabric will protect your arms from the sun instantly!
 This particular design comes in white , light blue and black both with top-of-hand-cover (Classic-Style NOT shown in the video) or without (Skate-Style, shown in the video). Our  sun protection arm covers block 98% of all UV rays
Wear them while exercising, golfing, gardening, or even driving.
With Sunny Sleevez, you never have to be afraid of the sun again!
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reducing Chemical Use – Make Your Own DIY Deodorant Spray Recipe

DIY DEODORANT RECIPEI haven’t been overly concerned about the safety of store bought deodorant, but knowing that skin is highly porous and what goes on it, goes through it, I’d rather not add more chemicals to my system.
Add to that the number of plastic casings consigned to the recycle bin I have wondered about an alternative but never put a whole lot of research into it.
Yesterday, I was stopped in my tracks by the dreaded “End of the deodorant” panic.
Not usually a big deal but I was running late for a meeting, no time to drive to Trader Joes for the one brand of deodorant that both works and doesn’t irritate my skin, and I really didn’t want to risk spending the next 2 hours in a stuffy office smelling like a dead ferret!
A quick search turned up lots of recipes here is the recipe that I used, as it contains ingredients we had in the kitchen and bathroom and I could gather, mix, and use in less than 5 mins.
If you’re worried about the aluminum or other unpronounceable chemicals in your deodorant and would like to make your own, here’s what you’ll need
1/2 cup Witch Hazel
1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel (or juice)
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
10 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil (apparently an effective deodorant essential oils with a refreshing scent!)
Add witch hazel, aloe vera, baking soda and your favorite essential oils to a small spray bottle and shake well before each use.
Spray on underarms. If you don’t like the “wet” feel of it…you can stand in front of a fan for a few seconds , gently pat dry with a towel or flap your arms like you’re doing the chicken dance, which also convinced the kids that mummy has gone bonkers!
*Important Note: Clary Sage Oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
1 application, 14 hours later and after a 1 hour hill hike (cool 65 degrees) it was time for the sniff test!
Self assessment – still smelled nice and skin not irritated.
Hubby (warily) – agreed the pits smelled ‘nice,’ but he is not always reliable as he will often try and guess what I might want to hear.
Kids – my harshest and bluntest of critics, agreed “quite nice, no BO, but I think you have really lost it this time!”
I’ll try it for a few more days and if I don’t any reaction then I’ll make some with different oils, I think next will be lavender.
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Sunny Shrugz 50+ UPF Protect Your Arms and Shoulders From Sun Damage…With STYLE!
NOTE – Just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t automatically make it safe. I.e. arsenic, perfectly natural but if that was safe for human consumption Agatha Christie would have had a far less lucrative book deal!
NOTE- Even if it doesn’t have a warning label, because it’s safe for most people,  doesn’t mean you won’t react to it. I’d like to see any product containing raw onion  come with a skull and cross bones just so that I could avoid a nasty reaction.
Do be sensible, always test a little to see how YOUR skin likes it.
Have you tried making your own personal care items? How did it turn out?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Zucchini Pancake – Makes a great appetizer or light lunch!

 zuccini pancakes pint
After our last batch of zucchini muffins I was left with several half grated zucchinis and the children thus far are still vehemently opposed to eating zucchini if not in cake form, if I want to use up leftovers and reclaim some space in the veg drawer I needed to get sneaky!
So last night I tried this recipe.
Apologies for lack of photo, I did cook a batch, they turned out pretty well (I thought) then I made my first mistake, I left them on the counter to be heated up for dinner whilst I went out for a quick pre-dinner run.
I was informed upon my return that, child 2 (the short and shouty one) “DOES NOT EAT NEW FOODS!”
So Child 1 had eaten a few with hummus, when child 2 saw big brother tucking in, she polished off a couple dipped in soy sauce, not to be left out “him-indoors” sprinkled a couple with hot sauce and a dollop of plain yogurt.
I came home to find my plate of pancakes had been pillaged!
I just got to wash the plate… (l did try the first one out of the pan, dipped in plum sauce, but not I’m telling them!)
You will need:
·         2 cups grated zucchini
·         2 large eggs, slightly beaten
·         2 tablespoons chopped green onion
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
·         1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 pinch dried oregano/basil/parsley /thyme (whatever you fancy)
·         1/4 cup vegetable oil,  as needed
·         1 garlic clove
·         half a cup of sour cream/plain natural yogurt
·         Optional – half a teaspoon or so of prepared horseradish
·         Optional – a dash of chipotle powder
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the drained zucchini, chopped green onions (or yellow onion lightly sautéed), herb mix (see above), one garlic clove, two eggs, salt, a healthy grind of black pepper, a dash of chipotle powder(I left this out as the kids don’t like it), and enough flour to pull it all together (about a half a cup or so).
2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, and while heating, make sour cream sauce:
3. Mix together a half a cup of sour cream, a half a teaspoon or so of prepared horseradish (or more depending on the strength of your particular brand), and a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Place heaping spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture into the hot pan, and cooked them for about two minutes per side, or until nicely golden brown (placing them onto a sheet pan in a 250º oven in between batches to keep them warm).
50+UPF Sunny Sleevez
Serve them up with a dollop of the horseradish cream and a few lemon wedges for squeezing over them. Alternate dips: hummus, soy sauce, plum sauce
Next time I’m going to try adding a grated carrot too
Let me know how yours turn out

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting to exhale- FDA Bans Loose Powder SPF


Not only should you not rely on your mineral make up for sun protection but it may actually be harmful to your health is the message from the FDA.
The problem is that users cannot know if they are applying a thick and even coating to give any significant UV protection.
In addition many powered sunscreens contain titanium or zinc nano-particles when breathed in, these loose airborne particles can end up in our lungs. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies inhaled titanium dioxide as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Currently the FDA over-the-counter rules prohibit loose powders to make claims of sun protection or advertise an SPF, but small manufacturers have until December of this year to remove products from the market.
Instant, Chemical-Free Sun Protection You Never Have To Reapply
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What do you think of the FDA ruling? Do you use loose powder SPF make-up? Do you feel it works well for you?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month- Stay Off The Grass!

A number of common herbicides (weed killers) have been linked to breast cancer. Several herbicides are made from chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors and are believed to be implicated in increasing the risk for breast cancer.
Not only do you want to avoid contact with these chemicals as an adult but it is particularly important to not use toxic weed-killers on lawns where children play. Youngsters spend more time lying directly on the grass; they also put their hands in their mouths more often and will even eat blades of grass.
With Smaller body weight children absorb higher levels of toxins and chemical exposure in very early in life may predispose an individual to be more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer later on.
Alternatives to use of chemical treatments include weeding by hand (good exercise), use of ground cover plants & artificial turf  which is ultimately more earth friendly as it means no more sprinklers but allows rain water through into the soil underneath and back into the water table.
Do you use herbicides? Do you have an alternative?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Don't Miss This Great Source of Calcium

Good Source of Calcium - Who knew that adding dried herbs would increase your calcium intake? Dried savory spice contains an impressive 2132mg of calcium per 100g serving. Other dried herbs that are calcium rich include basil, marjoram, thyme, dill, oregano, poppy seed, mint, celery seed, sage, parsley and rosemary. http://bit.ly/jvEa8M

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Health advocates raising concerns over BPA – breast cancer link is increasing.

BPA is believed to pose a risk to children, according to a September report from the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group. The report found that Babies also are exposed in the womb.
A developing fetus is especially vulnerable during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy, says co-author Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science at the Breast Cancer Fund. “Everything is being developed” at this stage, she says. “The building blocks are being laid down for future health.”
The report cites 60 animal and human studies, all of which show links between prenatal BPA exposure to an increased risk of a variety of health problems, including breast cancer and prostate cancer  as well as neurological problems and decreased fertility.
Tufts University’s found that BPA increased the risk of mammary cancers in rats. In two studies of rhesus monkeys published in 2012 other researchers found that BPA disrupted egg development, damaged chromosomes and caused changes in the mammary gland that made animals more susceptible to cancer.
Worries over  possible links between the estrogen-like chemical BPA or bisphenol A and breast cancer led manufacturers to remove it from baby bottles and infant formula packaging however BPA is still used in many other  plastic items as well as  linings of metal food cans and cash-register paper receipts
The FDA also has expressed “some concern” about the potential effects of BPA and banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012, however manufacturers of metal cans continue to claim there’s no clear evidence that BPA linings cause harm.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Call the Dermatologist – It’s Time for a Skin Check

BLACK SAND PUNALUU BIG ISLAND HAWAII HAND FOOT PINTSummer officially ended on September 21, although here in LA the temperature is still in the 80s with the UV rating of 8 (UV Index reading of 8 to 10 means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure) so no letting up on sun protection for us in the southern states.
For me  it’s also marked on the calendar as time to make an appointment for my annual skin check.

Before the Exam

Get the most from your doctor’s visit by first performing a full body skin self exam, don’t forget to check areas like your scalp, between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
When you are doing a thorough skin check, of particular concern are any moles that have grown and are larger than the eraser on the end of a pencil or have changed shape or color. You’re particularly looking for any uneven moles that are asymmetric, meaning if you drew a line across the middle of it the two halves don’t match or have jagged edges.
Watch out for dry or scaly spots that don’t respond to a little moisturizing cream and heal up but continue to be dry and scaly.
Be sure to make note of any new, changing, itching, or bleeding moles, growths, or other lesions. Quite often in the early stages of skin cancer you can be the best person to notice small changes.
Also remove all nail polish from your fingernails and toenails as skin cancers can form there.