(Family Features) A bright, sunny day offers opportunities for warm-weather fun. To make the most of your summer, you’ll need to take a few steps to enhance the experience and ensure you’re ready for whatever the day may bring.
When it’s time to head outside, consider these tips from the experts at CURAD®to protect your body (and skin) from the elements this summer:
Protect Skin from UV Rays
Any time you’ll be outdoors for more than 15 minutes, you should wear protective sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even if it’s partly cloudy or overcast. One mistake many people make is applying sunscreen before they leave the house then not reapplying throughout the day. To help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
Also be sure to cover all exposed areas, including often overlooked spots like the tops of your ears, neck and tops of your feet, if they’re exposed by sandals or other open shoes.
One of the most important ways to protect your health when you’re spending the day outdoors is staying hydrated, especially on warm days when you’re losing your body’s water reserves to sweat. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day can help replenish what you lose so you don’t get dehydrated, and you’ll also have an easier time regulating your body’s temperature.
Be Prepared for Cuts and Scrapes
Summer cuts and scrapes are to be expected, but the faster you can take care of them, the faster you can get back to having fun. An option like CURAD Kendra Dandy Adhesive Bandages can help you heal in style with a four-sided seal that keeps dirt and germs out and a nonstick pad that’s extra absorbent. Designed by Dandy, a renowned artist and illustrator, these fashion-forward bandages are made with a comfortable, stretchy material that conforms to your body for maximum protection. Available in a 30-count standard-sized strip and a 50-count variety pack, these eye-catching bandages feature trendy, one-of-a-kind pineapple, papaya, banana and dragon fruit designs that can add a little fun and flair to your summer wardrobe.
“We created our Kendra Dandy designer bandage line to add a splash of fun, color and flair to our classic adhesive bandages, offering consumers thought-provoking styles that add a great feeling to empowered healing,” said Kim Washington, Medline vice president of marketing.
Aggressive insects can put a damper on outdoor fun. Bug spray or roll-on products should go on top of your sunscreen, but never under your clothes. Apply a sparing coat to all exposed skin and clothing, paying special attention to your waistband, pant and sleeve cuffs, collar and socks. Rather than applying spray directly to your face, spray the palms of your hands then rub the repellant onto your face. Be sure to wash your hands afterward to avoid accidentally transferring spray to your mouth or eyes.
If you have sensitive skin or prefer not to use spray or roll-on for other reasons, products like repellant fans or wearable repellant bracelets may be good alternatives. Some essential oils are also natural bug repellants.
Don’t Forget Your Lips
While faces, necks, arms and legs are often top of mind to protect from the sun’s rays, lips can be easy to forget. However, using a lip balm that is rich in oils, beeswax and petroleum can help seal in moisture. Similar to sunscreen, lip balms featuring SPF should be reapplied every two hours when outdoors and often offer added moisturizing benefits. Available in a variety of flavors, some even taste good enough to leave you wanting to apply them over and over again regardless of if you’re venturing outside or not.
Wear Light Clothing
When it’s hot outside and you’re engaged in physical activity, you’re at a greater risk of overheating. Dressing for the climate, while also protecting yourself from the elements, should be a top priority. If the temperature will vary throughout the day, consider layering so you can warm up or cool down as needed. Lighter clothes that don’t add weight are a good idea, and it’s important to be conscious of the fit. Ideally, clothes should be loose enough to allow for easy, comfortable movement, but not so baggy they get in the way or pose a snagging or tripping hazard. Don’t forget accessories like a hat and sunglasses, which can protect your head and eyes.
Support Summertime Injuries
Twisted ankles are one of the more common summertime injuries, especially for hikers or runners who may stumble over rocks or curbs, and even weekend warriors playing pick-up basketball or softball games. Keeping an ankle support on-hand can help stabilize a sprain or provide extra support during recovery. If you do experience a mild injury, it’s important to choose a high-quality product, like CURAD Performance Series IRONMAN ankle supports and braces. With options available to support both mild and moderate ankle injuries, they offer a rugged yet comfortable design to wear on the field, in the gym, at work or out on the town.
Find more tips and resources to take care of your body this summer and beyond at CURAD.com.
(Family Features) Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem.
The surgeon general issued an Advisory on Youth Mental Health Crisis to highlight the urgent need to address the growing concern.
“It is normal for children to experience emotional distress as they develop and mature,” United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said. “However, the number of youth struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide over the past decade have increased. The future well-being of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.”
Even pre-pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people with up to 1 in 5 children ages 3-17 in the U.S. having a mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The pandemic has been incredibly disruptive for youth since it has affected routines, access to social activities and virtually every aspect of their lives,” said Robyn Knecht, director of counseling for St. Joseph’s Indian School, a Native American residential school that helps students move beyond the cycle of poverty, addiction and mental illness with an education and opportunities for a brighter future. “Offsetting those impacts requires an active response from trusted adults that promote healthy development and well-being.”
If you’re concerned about your children, or another child close to you, consider these tips from Knecht and St. Joseph’s.
Create a Support System of Family, Peers and Teachers
The people surrounding youth influence their behavior directly and indirectly. Each child needs a team of actively involved adults at home, school and within the community leading by example and encouraging success. Similarly, encouraging friendships with peers who demonstrate positive habits and good decision-making skills can provide a sense of connectivity and beneficial peer pressure.
Encourage Academic Achievement and Aspirations
Not every student is destined to be valedictorian, but every student can give his or her best effort. Encourage and recognize effort in studies, be conscious of struggles and work with educators to find additional support when needed. Talk about the future and impress upon your child many careers require further training through college, trade school or another form of advanced education. Talk with your child about setting academic goals and equip him or her with the tools necessary to achieve them. Find things your child is passionate about and encourage participation in activities that foster development.
Set Clear Expectations for Behaviors and Values
Although it’s natural to test limits, kids need clear boundaries. Consistently communicating your expectations for behavior and values sets a bar for your child and demonstrates your care and commitment to his or her success. Backing up your expectations with reasonable consequences when your child falls short can help teach responsibility and accountability.
Teach Coping and Problem-Solving Skills
How your child responds to and navigates challenges is as important as the outcome. Teaching your child how to accept disappointment, navigate conflict and be solution-oriented in the face of adversity can serve him or her throughout life.
Promote Involvement in Social Activities
A sense of connectivity is important for humans at any age. Encouraging participation in group activities can help create opportunities to form bonds with other children whose families share similar values and interests. Examples include sports teams and religious groups, as well as age-appropriate jobs where teens can interact with other kids learning the value of hard work.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Outside Help
If you notice changes in your child’s behavior or routine, be inquisitive and partner with him or her to work through them. If your child doesn’t open up, it’s OK to find another trusted adult he or she can connect with. Ask your child if there is someone he or she would feel comfortable talking to and look into counseling services in your community. Additionally, mentor and social service programs can help support your child’s journey and foster a supportive network.
Find more ways to address the challenges facing today’s youth at stjo.org.
(Family Features) Father’s Day brings a special opportunity each year to celebrate the dad in your life, whether it’s spent lighting a grill in the backyard, heading to the golf course or simply relaxing at home. Make his day one to remember by enjoying his favorite activities and giving a gift that’ll put a grin on his face.
From home chefs and snazzy dressers to outdoorsmen and sports fans, these gifts offer an array of ideas for dads of all kinds, so you can bring a little extra joy to this year’s celebration.
Even for the man who has it all, sometimes Father’s Day gifting can be pretty simple. Show Dad some love with the Omaha Steaks Best Father’s Day Gift package that includes mouthwatering favorites like Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignons, Boneless Pork Chops, Boneless Chicken Breasts, Gourmet Jumbo Franks, PureGround Filet Mignon Burgers, Individual Scalloped Potatoes, decadent Caramel Apple Tartlets and a jar of Omaha Steaks Seasoning. Find more gifting wisdom at OmahaSteaks.com/Dad.
Golf Bag Goodies
If he’s like most golfers, chances are your dad spends a few minutes each round searching for his ball after a wayward tee shot. Save him some precious time on the course with the extra golf balls he needs so he doesn’t have to worry about leaving one (or two or three) in the woods. Even amateur players sometimes prefer a certain ball, so don’t be afraid to sneak to the garage and check his current supply so you can put his favorite brand in your cart.
Perfect for His Pocket
Just before heading out the door, there’s one last “checklist” for many dads: phone, wallet, keys, pocketknife. The next time he goes through the classic pocket check, give your dad an upgrade he can smile about with a knife he can use for a variety of situations on a daily basis. For a reminder of home every time he opens the blade, consider a customized option engraved with a loving message so he’ll never forget your thoughtful gift.
Determining the type of gear dad needs depends whether he’s camping high in the mountains or just down the road, but if he’s an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys spending nights with nature, there’s no limit to the options that can make his nights in the wilderness just a little more comfortable. From tents and backpacks to lanterns, camp stoves and fireside foldout chairs, the man who seems ready for anything might just need one last piece of equipment.
A Wardrobe Upgrade
Whether your dad has style or just thinks he does, you can give his wardrobe the finishing touch it needs with a watch to match the look that’s all his own. From casual styles that complement most of his clothes to traditional timepieces suited for special occasions, there are options in virtually every price range to help the final piece of his outfit make a statement. In the office, on the road or right at home, he’ll be reminded of you every time he checks his wrist.
Food from the Fire
Quick seared, slow smoked or anything in-between, a true chef-worthy grill can take your dad’s barbecue reputation from backyard novice to neighborhood celebrity. He may already view himself as master of the meats, but a new charcoal or propane grill can give him the motivation he needs to try new recipes and cook up classics. It’s a gift he can enjoy while bringing the entire family together to celebrate savory success.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (father and son)
Photos courtesy of Unsplash (golf clubs and balls, pocketknife, camping gear, watch, grill)
(Family Features) Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or require you to take favorite meals off your family’s menu. In fact, making smart choices when cooking at home can give you more control over the types of tasty, heart-healthy dishes you put on the table.
High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke, with about 38% of American adults diagnosed with high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. These cooking tips can help you prepare heart-healthy meals that could help improve cholesterol levels by reducing excess saturated fat and trans fat.
Cook Fresh Vegetables the Heart-Healthy Way
Roasting, steaming, grilling or baking can help bring out the natural flavors of vegetables. Adding herbs and spices can also help make veggies tastier, including combinations like basil with tomatoes, oregano with zucchini, dill with green beans or rosemary with peas and cauliflower.
Reduce Saturated Fat in Meat and Poultry
The amount of saturated fat in meats can vary widely, depending on the cut and how it’s prepared. Opt for poultry and fish over red meat and look for lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat, which should be trimmed away before cooking. Also limit processed meats such as sausage, bologna, salami and hot dogs, which are often high in calories, saturated fat and sodium.
Use Liquid Vegetable Oils in Place of Solid Fats
Some fats are better for you than others. Liquid vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean and olive oil can often be used instead of solid fats, such as butter, lard or shortening. If you must use margarine, try the soft or liquid kind.
In small bowl, stir tequila, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Pour into large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and seal bag tightly; turn bag to coat. Refrigerate 2-12 hours.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray grates with nonstick cooking spray.
In large dish, sprinkle asparagus with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with oil. Turn asparagus over to coat.
Remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade and wipe most of it off chicken. Sprinkle chicken with remaining pepper.
Grill 8-12 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Transfer to plate and cover with aluminum foil.
Place asparagus on grill, facing opposite direction of grates. Grill 7 minutes, or until tender crisp.
Serve asparagus with chicken.
Frozen Yogurt Bark
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
1 1/2 cups 2% low-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup blackberries or raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
In medium bowl, mix yogurt and honey.
Line 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Use spatula or knife to spread yogurt over entire bottom of dish.
Pour chopped nuts over yogurt. Use fingers to slightly press into yogurt. Top yogurt with mango, blackberries and blueberries and slightly press into yogurt.
Cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in freezer overnight.
To serve: Lift parchment paper from baking dish onto cutting board. Use hands to break bark into pieces.
(Family Features) Over the past two years, home chefs have had time to explore new recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques, which is why it is no surprise dinner parties are, at long last, a way to celebrate together in 2022. Now is the perfect time to share your newfound skills with family and friends.
It can be easy to get caught up in hosting duties, but few hosts want to spend all their time in the kitchen when they could be enjoying a great meal. Gail Simmons, food expert and TV personality, has tips and tricks you can bookmark to help turn your dinner party from good to great.
Reach for Trusted, High-Quality Shortcuts: When entertaining, always use the best ingredients you can find that don’t require a lot of fuss, but still feel special. Made with premium cuts of hand-filleted, wild caught yellowfin and albacore tuna, a time-saving ingredient like Genova Premium Tuna is high in protein, a great source of omega-3s and has a uniquely rich and savory flavor that offers a taste of the Mediterranean in every bite.
Host a Themed Party: To host a fun and fresh Mediterranean-themed party this summer, decorate your table with blue and white patterned plates, delicate olive oil and vinegar bottles, cutting boards and fresh ingredients such as lemons and greenery instead of traditional centerpieces. When paired with a flavorful seafood recipe, like this Tuna Romesco Salad Board, your guests will feel like they’re enjoying the Mediterranean all summer long.
Recipe courtesy of Gail Simmons on behalf of Genova Tuna
3 large Roma tomatoes
1 roasted red pepper, skin removed and seeded (or from jar), coarsely chopped
1/3 cup roasted salted almonds
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cans Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 bunch scallions
kosher salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 zucchini, sliced 1/2-inch thick on bias
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup roasted salted almonds
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, drained, patted dry and halved
1 bunch radishes, halved
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup black olives
4 ounces manchego cheese, sliced into triangles
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
To make romesco: Preheat broiler. Cover sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Place tomatoes on sheet pan and broil until well charred on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer tomatoes to bowl; cool slightly then remove skin, core, seed and coarsely chop.
In blender, combine tomatoes; roasted red pepper; almonds; garlic; vinegar; paprika; red pepper flakes, if using; salt; and pepper until chunky paste forms. With blender on high speed, slowly drizzle in oil, scraping down sides of blender as needed until mixture creates rustic texture. Transfer romesco to bowl and taste for seasoning. Let romesco sit covered at room temperature 1 hour.
To prepare board: In bowl, drain tuna; set aside. Set grill on medium-high heat and brush grates with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Grill scallions until charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to large plate and season with salt and pepper. Toss zucchini and red pepper in olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred and tender, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to same plate to cool slightly.
To assemble:With large spoon, scoop generous amount of romesco into center of board.Using back of spoon, spread romesco into circle with well in center. Gently pile tuna into well. Arrange zucchini, pepper, roasted almonds, artichokes, radishes, olives and cheese around romesco and tuna. Sprinkle tuna with chopped parsley before serving.
Comments Off on 5 Road Ready Tips to Ride Motorcycles Safely and Comfortably
(Family Features) A warm day on the open road is a dream opportunity for riders, whether it’s a longer trip or a quick jaunt through town. Regardless of the adventure, and no matter what you ride, a thrilling ride is a safe ride.
Whether you’re new to the open road or a seasoned veteran, remember to follow best practices for safe riding like those outlined in the Responsible Rider program from BRP, makers of Can-Am 3-wheel vehicles. The program prioritizes being an attentive rider and always considering safety, the environment and riding etiquette from highways to city streets and everywhere in-between.
As a rider, you are part of a global community and a steward of the open road. To keep your ride safe and comfortable, consider these additional tips:
Wear the Right Gear While your fashion statement is largely a matter of personal preference, there are some safety items designed to protect your health and well-being that should be worn. Protective riding gear helps keep you safe while enjoying the open road.
Full-hand gloves, riding boots that cover ankles, pants and jackets help protect against wind, sun, cold, heat and flying objects such as bugs or rocks. Drivers and passengers should also wear an approved helmet and eye protection to prevent injuries to the head, brain and eyes.
Choose a Proper Helmet
Every rider should wear a helmet, and the abundance of options available can make it tough to decide what’s best. Start by looking for a DOT Certification sticker, which means the helmet meets the strict safety standards of the Department of Transportation.
Full Face: This style of helmet provides protection for the head and neck with a fixed chin that helps absorb impact. Simply slip it on and adjust the visor.
Open Face: Helmets like the Can-Am N21 are usually worn with goggles or a small integrated shield. This option provides ultimate freedom on the road.
Crossover: These helmets are easy to personalize based on ride intensity and weather conditions. Crossover helmets can be configured in numerous ways by transforming from full face to jet, which keep it breezy with a full field of view.
Maintain Your Hairdo
Keep hair out of your face. If you have longer hair, choose a hairstyle that’s high and away from your eyes like a low bun, simple braid or ponytail. Secure hair at the nape of your neck and, when possible, wear a neck gaiter around the back of your head and across your nose to keep loose hairs secured. Bonus tip: Keep a compact brush on your ride so you can brush your hair upon arrival at your destination.
Prepare Appropriately for Riding Conditions
Weather is unpredictable, and you should be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Regardless of the forecast, always make a plan for unforeseen conditions like wind and rain. An easy way to stay prepared is to keep a small packable jacket on your ride so you’re never left without an extra layer.
Cooler conditions call for warm yet lightweight gear such as a base layer with additional light layers over the top like a jacket or thin vest. Hotter days require vented clothing that allows airflow to keep you cool and dry.
Consider Your Passenger’s Safety
The most important rule for packing a passenger is ensuring your bike has a specific seat intended for a second rider. Be aware of how the added weight can affect the handling and behavior of the vehicle.
Generally, riding with a passenger requires more gradual riding from acceleration and braking to steering. Instruct your passenger how you prefer him or her to ride with you to ensure the most enjoyment possible.
The eyes of the world will be focused on Queen Elizabeth II’s big celebration on June 2, marking 70 years on the British throne — Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
A lifelong royal fan, I recently spent a week in London, my favorite city, which I have visited more than three dozen times. This was my first international trip since November 2019, and what a great feeling to celebrate the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic that had tragically gripped the world.
As I wandered around the South Bank along the River Thames near the London Eye, it was exciting to see children scampering about with parents and grandparents — including visitors from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the United States. And what a thrill to see Platinum Jubilee royal souvenirs displayed in shops, the anticipation of a happy, celebratory atmosphere.
I have always admired the queen, who was just a girl of 10 when she was told, upon the abdication of her uncle, King Edward VIII, as her father succeeded the throne that she one day would be queen. It was just 15 years later, at age 25, as a young naval wife and mother of two youngsters (Charles and Anne), that she was suddenly catapulted to the lifelong position upon the unexpected death of her father, King George VI, on Feb. 6, 1952.
Yet not only has the queen drawn worldwide admiration throughout the decades, calmly surviving the intense royal pressure and work, but she has become a revered and respected figure worldwide. Especially last year, after losing her beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, on April 9, 2021, and recently enduring several family disappointments and health issues, she has kept calm and carried on. Now 96, she will be feted for several days throughout the United Kingdom the first week of June amid lavish displays of pageantry and affection as only the Brits can do.
Held, as is tradition, in Westminster Abbey, hers was the first British coronation to be televised, with more than 20 million viewers in the United Kingdom alone. This 40th monarch since William the Conqueror has traveled more than any other British sovereign in history on more than 250 official visits in some 116 countries. Her reign has spanned 14 British prime ministers and 14 U.S. presidents.
Over a four-day bank holiday June 2-5, many events will be held, including Trooping the Color. A large military parade will feature 1,750 participants, and some 2,500 citizens will showcase fashion, vintage cars and music spanning the past seven decades. To toast the loyal and dedicated monarch’s longtime reign will be numerous activities, events, concerts, picnics, prayer services and programs at several historic properties that include St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace, where some of the royal family will make a balcony appearance.
Even if you aren’t able to celebrate the excitement of the Platinum Jubilee in person, you may want to plan a later trip to London to visit the many historic sites. I always suggest that first-time visitors tour the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace (the several weeks annually that it’s open for tours), the British Museum, Hampton Court (home of Henry VIII), Westminster Abbey and the Churchill War Rooms. They should also enjoy the bird’s-eye views from atop the London Eye and not miss a boat ride down the Thames.
On both business and pleasure trips I have stayed in three- to five-star hotels all over London, and my favorite hotel location is the reasonably priced Premier Inn in the County Hall building next to the London Eye. (It was fully booked on my April trip, so I stayed at its sister Premier Inn a block away on York Road.) This location is within walking distance of most popular venues, a 20-minute boat ride to the Tower of London, a 50-minute train ride from nearby Waterloo Station to Windsor Castle (which is open for tours most of the year and where the queen currently resides) and a 45-minute train ride from Waterloo to Hampton Court.
As the young queen noted in her coronation speech, broadcast the evening of June 2, 1953, “The Ceremonies you have seen today are ancient and some of their origins are veiled in the mysteries of the past, but their spirit and their meaning shine through the Ages, never, perhaps, more brightly than now. I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust. …As this day draws to its close, I know that my abiding memory of it will be not only the solemnity and beauty of the Ceremony but the inspiration of your loyalty and affection. I thank you all from a full heart. God bless you all.”
And God save the queen, indeed.
PHOTO CAPTION:Tourists photograph the popular Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II currently resides. Photo courtesy of Carl H. Larsen. Sharon Whitley Larsen is a freelance writer.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
Comments Off on A Place to Learn and Play at the San Diego Zoo
By Christine Huard
With interactive play opportunities designed to help the next generation of explorers better understand their place in the natural world, the San Diego Zoo’s newest exhibit is truly a place where kids can go wild.
Spanning 3.2 acres that feature four distinct habitat zones and the animals that live in those environments, the Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp is home to hundreds of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians and thousands (thanks in part to ant and bee colonies) of invertebrates.
With an eye on sparking curiosity and creating lasting memories, designers consulted with child development experts early in the creative process to find ways to encourage empathy for wildlife and make young explorers a part of the shared environment. Paul A. Baribault, president and chief executive officer of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, said he hopes the new exhibit serves as a launch pad that gives budding conservationists a glimpse of life from the animal’s point of view.
“It’s a fun, accessible and meaningful way to discover how we’re all connected and that the health of the smallest members of the wildlife community are inextricably linked to our own human health,” he said.
The new exhibit has been open to the public just since March. Built on the site of the former Children’s Zoo, the $88 million Wildlife Explorers Basecamp offers immersive learning and play experiences that encourage a “monkey see, monkey do” attitude in the best way. Kids climb around a 20-foot-tall “ancient oak tree” alongside squirrel monkeys in the Wild Woods habitat, scale boulders in the Desert Dunes habitat, experience a larger-than-life honeycomb in the Rainforest habitat, and immerse themselves (figuratively) in the aquatic habitats of the Marsh Meadows.
On a hot day, the Wild Woods is likely to be one of the busier spots with its waterfall grotto and splash pad featuring a stream and water jets. It’s also where a suspension bridge, net tunnel and spiral staircase are located, as well as full-body dryers you can step into after getting soaking wet in the water-play area.
Josh Maynard of San Diego was checking out the new exhibit with his daughter, Rose, 10. After touring all the habitats and buildings, the longtime zoo visitors had some new favorites: He enjoyed exploring a watery habitat where they got a close look at dwarf crocodiles, as well as the snakes and lizards housed in the Cool Critters building, and she couldn’t get enough of scrambling across the suspension bridge. She also appreciated the dryer system, saying it would allow kids who didn’t have a bathing suit to enjoy the splash pad and then dry their street clothes.
She also had a least favorite part.
“I did not like the insects,” she said.
But oh, how fascinating the creepy crawlies are! Visitors will find an abundance of multilegged critters — from butterflies and spiders to scorpions and beetles — in the McKinney Family Spineless Marvels building, located in the Rainforest zone. The 10,000-square-foot space also houses a colony of leafcutter ants that takes up two stories and a beehive with an oversize honeycomb where kids can get a feel for what it’s like to be a pollinator.
Over in the Desert Dunes are the fennec fox, prairie dogs and burrowing owls. Play sculptures of the desert rain frog and desert chameleon invite visitors to see the world from their perspective. There are climbing opportunities in a boulder play area and petroglyphs to be discovered inside a cave.
In the Marsh Meadows, strategically designed plantings evoke marshes, swamps and estuaries and attract native birds, butterflies and bees. The two-story Cool Critters building features 7,000 square feet dedicated to herpetology and ichthyology. The outdoor area is home to a multitude of aquatic life that can be explored at eye level. The animals that call the inside spaces home include the Fijian iguana, snakes, turtles, lizards and frogs. Two onsite learning labs will be used for hosting school field trips.
“Wildlife Explorers Basecamp is an engaging, hands-on adventure, seeding hope and optimism, where wildlife and guests can be active and engaged,” said Shawn Dixon, chief operating officer of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
Christine Huard is a freelance writer.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
PHOTO CAPTION: At the center of the Wild Woods area at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Explorers Basecamp is a 20-foot “ancient oak tree” where young explorers can cross a suspension bridge, scramble through a net tunnel and climb a spiral staircase. Photo courtesy of Jamie Wells/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
(Culinary.net) Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and treat your mom to a delicious breakfast or brunch. Whether it’s a meal in bed or a beautiful spread on the dining room table, make the day special with simple recipes that are sure to impress.
Try this Brunch Fruit Tart with a tasty granola crust and colorful fruit topping to start Mother’s Day in style. It’s a sweet option to begin her day on the right note.
With a crunchy crust and smooth center, this tart is balanced, easy to make and a beautiful addition to the menu. It’s also easy to customize as the fruit topping options are nearly unlimited. Pick your mom’s favorites and decorate the top however you please. Or, let the little ones get creative and put their own spin on an essential Mother’s Day meal.
Comments Off on Put Sustainability on the Family Menu: Serve wild, sustainably produced seafood
(Family Features) Cooking delicious family meals is surely the focus of many home chefs, from quick dishes on busy weeknights to homestyle favorites on the weekend. Equally important, however, is dishing up foods and ingredients you can feel good about serving to your loved ones.
The next time seafood is on the menu, consider the source of your main course. Available fresh, frozen, smoked and canned year-round and nationwide, seafood from Alaska is sustainably harvested, and you can trust it comes from a responsibly managed fishery. Utilizing a science-based approach, the state sustains the long-term vitality of species and their natural habitats, as well as the fishing communities that rely on them.
Fishermen and scientists work together to ensure they only harvest what science tells them the ecosystem can support, so that fish stocks, communities and the marine environment can thrive for generations to come.
Wild, sustainable and harvested in the USA, Alaska seafood is full of flavor and high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals and oils essential to good health, including omega-3s and vitamin D. You can feel good serving your loved ones these Blackened Alaska Cod Tacos as a classic way to spice up your dinner table, or give a sweet heat kick to Spicy Alaska Sablefish in Lettuce Cups with Korean chili paste, miso and honey.
Recipe courtesy of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (2 lettuce cups each)
1/4 cup yellow or white miso
1 tablespoon Korean chili paste
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound Alaska sablefish (black cod), cut into 2-ounce portions
nonstick cooking spray
1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
1-1 1/4 cups cooked sushi rice or quinoa
1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
1/4 cup thinly sliced halved radish
1/2 cup pickled ginger, chopped
1/2 cup bottled Asian-style salad dressing with wasabi and ginger
8 medium-large butter lettuce leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Blend miso, chili paste and honey; spread onto Alaska sablefish portions. Place portions on nonstick cooking spray-coated, foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 5-7 minutes, or until fish is opaque throughout and deep golden brown; cool slightly.
In mixing bowl, combine avocado, rice or quinoa, cucumber, radishes and ginger; pour in dressing. Toss to coat.
To serve, place about 1/3 cup vegetable-rice mixture in each lettuce leaf. Top with one sablefish portion. Sprinkle each lettuce cup with 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves.
Blackened Alaska Cod Tacos
Recipe courtesy of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Sari Diskin
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
2 cups slaw mix
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon hot sauce, plus additional for serving
1 lime, divided
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
nonstick cooking spray
1/2 pound Alaska cod
blackening seasoning, to taste, plus additional, divided
sea salt, to taste
4 small flour tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In bowl, mix slaw with mayonnaise, hot sauce, juice from 1/2 lime and salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
Line baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place Alaska cod on top and coat lightly with olive oil. Generously season with blackening seasoning and sea salt, to taste.
Bake 5 minutes, set oven to broil and broil 3-5 minutes. When fish is done (when it flakes easily with fork and is opaque throughout), remove from oven and break into small chunks with fork.
In flour tortillas, add avocado and slaw. Top with chunks of cod and drizzle with additional hot sauce, squeeze of lime juice from remaining 1/2 lime and additional blackening seasoning.
Photo courtesy of Sari Diskin (Blackened Alaska Cod Tacos)
Comments Off on 6 Popular Hotel Amenities for 2022
How travelers’ preferences changed over the years
(Family Features) If you haven’t planned a trip in a while, you aren’t alone. Many Americans haven’t taken a proper vacation in almost three years. In that time, many travelers’ preferences have changed.
“The pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we search for our next hotel stay,” said Mel Dohmen, senior brand manager at Hotels.com. “The amenities we love and are looking for in 2022 reflect everything we’ve felt and experienced over the past few years.”
To identify some of the most in-demand (and out of touch) amenities so far this year, Hotels.com analyzed searches on its site and mobile app from the past three years as part of its 2022 Amenity Report. When booking your next stay, be on the lookout for hotels with these amenities:
Hotels with bathtubs were the most-searched amenity during the peak of the pandemic. As travelers are looking for self-care options while on the go, searches for hotels with bathtubs and spas have grown more than 25%, compared with 2019.
Prioritizing Time Off the Clock
While travelers prioritized properties with remote work amenities pre-pandemic, searches for hotels with free Wi-Fi and business facilities have fallen 40% or more so far this year compared with 2019.
Focusing on Family Time
Many families missed out on quality vacation time together the past several years. Looking to make up for lost time, searches for hotels with cribs, child care and connecting rooms have increased by double-digit percentages compared with 2019. Four-legged family members are also included, as interest in pet-friendly stays is up 35% this year.
Bringing Back Breakfast
Once one of the top amenities, free breakfast buffets fell a few pegs amid the pandemic in favor of pre-packaged grab-and-go items. This year, however, searches for hotels with free breakfast are up 75%.
Working Out While on the Go
Working out really wasn’t a top priority for many travelers during the height of the pandemic. In 2021, searches for hotels with gyms were down more than 30% compared with 2019. However, in 2022, year-over-year searches for gyms increased by 65% as travelers are getting back into their wellness routines.
Parking for Free
As travelers continue to favor destinations within driving distance, searches for free parking are up 70% this year. For those who are taking to the skies, properties with free airport transfers are up 105%, as well.
To book your next stay and find a hotel with amenities that suit your travel preferences, visit Hotels.com or download the app.
Comments Off on Tree Talk: 4 tips for planting trees
4 tips for planting trees
(Family Features) Trees are virtually everywhere you turn, from your own backyard to nearby parks and forests where you enjoy hiking. They provide shade and beauty, and some even bear fruit. Beyond all the immediate benefits, you may be surprised to discover trees are also a critical key to the future.
These facts and tips from the book “Now is the Time for Trees” offer practical insight on the importance of trees and how to nurture one from selection to planting and beyond.
A compelling and ever-growing body of evidence generated by scientists, health care professionals, conservationists, humanitarians and both public and private corporations supports the critical importance of trees and their impact on the human condition. Trees filter pollutants out of the air and water and provide protection for people and communities from dangerous heat and flooding. They lower urban temperatures, reduce energy bills and sequester carbon to slow the rate of climate change.
When you plant a tree in your yard or neighborhood, that tree goes to work filtering out pollutants, intercepting stormwater and capturing carbon. With proper placement, that tree can also help lower household energy use by as much as 20%.
You can engage in the tree planting movement and make a difference by planting trees around your home and surrounding community with these tips.
Consider the Growing Region
Choosing a tree that will flourish in your growing region is fundamental to becoming a successful tree planter. Start by getting familiar with the growing conditions of your planting site, including factors like sunlight, soil condition and room to grow.
The amount of available sunlight at your planting location will determine which tree species will be successful. Most trees require full sunlight for proper growth and flowering. Some do well in (or even prefer) partial or light shade, but few perform well in dense shade.
Before you plant, get your soil tested by a lab to evaluate what’s happening underground. Test results, which are usually returned in a couple of weeks, provide a complete analysis of nutrients, possible contamination and pH (alkalinity or acidity), as well as directions for correcting problems.
Be conscious of overhead or underground utilities, pavement, buildings, other trees, traffic intersections and other factors that may impact your planting space.
Shopping for a Tree
When choosing which kind of tree to plant, be conscious of details like size, flowering, color (including how colors may vary through the seasons) and your view from inside the house. While shopping, you can rely on plant labels to learn details about a tree’s growth pattern, sun requirements, watering needs and soil requirements.
Two common styles of trees are container-grown trees, which spend their entire nursery lives growing in a container, and ball-and-burlap trees, which grow in the ground until they achieve a targeted size.
A well-tended container-grown tree has been carefully monitored and moved into larger containers as the plant grows. Be wary of a tree with roots that circle or twist within the container, which may cause roots to die. For a ball-and-burlap tree, look for a firm, securely tied root ball that is large enough to support the mature tree; it should be about 10-12 inches wide for every inch of trunk diameter.
Prepare Your Planting Site
Properly preparing your planting site is one of the best things you can do to get your tree off to a strong start. Before you plant, make sure your tree is thoroughly hydrated by watering the container or root ball several hours before proceeding. When planting a tree into a lawn, remove a circle of grass at least 3 feet in diameter where the tree will go to reduce competition between turf and fine tree roots.
Dig a broad, shallow planting hole with gently sloping sides 3-4 times wider than the diameter of the root mass and the same depth. Mound removed soil on a tarp for easy backfilling. Loosening the soil on the sides of the hole allows roots to easily expand and establish faster, but don’t disturb soil at the bottom of the hole.
Once the tree is positioned, replace the soil while firmly but gently tamping the original soil around the base of the root ball to stabilize it. Create a water-holding basin around the tree by building up a ring of soil and water to settle roots. Spread protective mulch 2-4 inches deep in a 3-foot diameter around the base of the tree, but not touching the trunk.
Find more tips to successfully plant and care for your trees at arborday.org.
A Handy Guide for Planting Trees
A rally cry against climate change, “Now is the Time for Trees” is an inspirational and informative guide that explains the important role trees can play in preserving the environment.
Author Dan Lambe, CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation, offers compelling reasons to plant more trees while providing simple, actionable steps to get involved, choose the right tree and achieve planting success. For each book sold, the foundation will plant a tree in a forest in need.
Comments Off on 5 ideas for investing in the world around you
(Family Features) In a world fraught with social, political and environmental strife, a mindset that involves a more community-driven approach can make a meaningful difference. Each person’s contributions to improve the earth can send a ripple effect that ultimately transforms communities and the people who live within them.
Consider these examples of actions you can take, some bigger than others, that benefit the larger community.
Create Shared Common Spaces
Nearly every community can benefit from the addition of resources that benefit multiple families. Examples include community gardens, playgrounds, parks and sites for regular farmers’ markets, to name a few. These may be wholly new projects or restoring facilities that have faded into disrepair over time. Acquiring the space is often the greatest challenge, but if you’re inspired to lead such an effort, forming a committee of like-minded peers can be an effective step toward raising the funds to create a project that benefits the community at large.
Donate to Charitable Causes
Supporting the efforts of existing organizations that help fill gaps in your community is another way you can make a difference. Offering your time as a volunteer is one option. You might provide extra hands for relatively simple jobs like sorting food or clothing donations, or if you have a particular skill, talent or training, donating your time and expertise could help offset administrative expenses and help the organization operate more efficiently. That ultimately means the organization can more effectively deliver on its mission.
Financial contributions are also a meaningful way to support a worthwhile cause in your community. Writing a check may not feel as personal as getting hands-on to help, but without the support of financial donors, philanthropic organizations simply couldn’t provide the community resources they do. Many organizations will tell you what level of contribution would be most helpful based on their current fundraising needs, and you may have options for a one-time or ongoing gift.
When you’re thinking in terms of how to improve your community, your eating choices may not be on your radar. However, what you eat has a major impact on the community in multiple ways. That’s why you hear a great deal of talk about sustainability directed at food production, which affects the environment in numerous ways along the food supply chain, from air pollution to waste to energy consumption. By choosing ingredients and foods that minimize the impact on the environment, you can show food manufacturers that consumers want products sourced and produced responsibly.
One example is Airly Oat Cloud crackers; each box explains how many grams of carbon dioxide you are helping remove from the air by supporting an innovative farming technique, which makes agriculture a solution, not a contributor, to climate change. Sustainable can be tasty, too. Made with real, wholesome and 100% delicious ingredients, all four flavor varieties (Cheddar, Sea Salt, Chocolate and Salted Caramel) make for satisfying, convenient anytime snacks.
Support Local Businesses
Particularly over the past couple of years, local businesses have fought hard to stay open, modifying their services, adapting to the times and generally trying to keep themselves and their local employees afloat. Rewarding those efforts by shopping in their stores and hiring their services keeps your money within the local community while keeping your friends and neighbors employed.
Those benefits aside, there are practical advantages to doing your shopping locally, such as lower emissions and energy consumption for transportation to and from the store or business. What’s more, businesses that are thriving tend to be stronger corporate citizens, supporting the community’s development and philanthropic needs for a true domino effect.
Clean Up Public Spaces
Beautification projects not only make your community a more inviting place to be, they can actually be good for the earth. Removing litter allows natural vegetation and wildlife to thrive, reduces health risks and promotes safety by sending a clear message that the community cares about its space.
Litter management can spur tourism and economic benefits, as well, since more attractive places attract more people. What’s more, clean-up initiatives bring neighbors together for a shared cause, and that goodwill generally transcends the one-time event to create a greater sense of connectivity among residents.
You can learn more about ways to take personal action to promote a better world at AirlyFoods.com.
A Recipe That Tastes Good While Doing Good
Even the best-tasting desserts can be prepared with thoughtful ingredients and habits that promote sustainability. This Better Than Mama’s Banana Pudding recipe features responsibly sourced products, compostable ingredients and other options to be earth-friendly, including recyclable packaging.
Better Than Mama’s Banana Pudding
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter, cut into 4 tablespoons
3 tablespoons vanilla
1 box Airly Chocolate or Salted Caramel Crackers
4 medium bananas, sliced
whipped topping (optional)
In medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk sugar, brown sugar, salt, flour, evaporated milk, milk, butter and eggs continuously until mixture begins to simmer and thicken, 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap touching pudding. Let rest 1 hour in refrigerator.
Layer 8-by-8-inch pan with crackers, reserving some for topping; sliced bananas; and pudding. Repeat layers then top with whipped topping, if desired, and sprinkle with crushed crackers.
Tips: Banana peels and eggshells can be composted. Evaporated milk can and cracker box can be recycled.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (gardener and volunteers)
All pictures, information, logos and trademarks are the property of Spotlight E.P. News, E.P. Mass Media Advertising and their respective owners. Pictures and information may not be used or reproduced without the expressed permission of the copyright owner. Spotlight E.P. News is published by E.P. Mass Media Advertising.