Monday, 16 July 2018

Six Tips To Keep Pets Safe During Storm Season

While no one is immune from the devastation of a natural disaster, preparing before a storm hits is key to keeping everyone in your family—including your pets—safe.

Here are six ideas to keep in mind for your pet as you map out your disaster preparedness plan.

• Have your pet microchipped. In the event of an emergency—natural or otherwise—you want to ensure your pet can get back to you if you’re separated. Collars and ID tags, though important, can break or detach. Microchips—computerized and scannable implants about the size of a grain of rice—are more fool-proof since they’re inserted under your pet’s skin.

Bring your pets inside at the first sign of danger. Disasters can be disorienting for pets, and they could run away or hurt themselves reacting to loud noises and strange changes to their landscape. Also, rain, flying debris and high winds pose a danger.

If you have to leave, keep your pet with you. Leaving your pets behind during a natural disaster is never a good idea because they could escape or become exposed to a number of life-threatening hazards. Keep them on a leash or in a pet carrier so they don’t escape even in a “familiar” neighborhood.
Determine where you’ll go. Coordinate, in advance, to stay with friends or family members, or find a pet- friendly hotel outside the disaster area. Have those conversations and do your research well ahead of time so you have a plan in place when needed.

Create a pet-friendly resource list. Not all emergency shelters will accept pets, so you need a Plan B. Develop a list of the pet-friendly hotels outside your immediate area. Research a list of veterinarians in the area should your pet need medical care (your regular vet may have some recommendations). Also, figure out which boarding facilities are nearby in case you need to separate from your pet for a time.

Pack an emergency bag. You’ll want emergency provisions packed for your pet well in advance of a catastrophe so you can evacuate your home quickly if needed. Choose an easy-to-carry bag, label it and keep it where everyone in the family can find it quickly. The bag should include a pet first aid kit; enough food and bottled water for a week (rotate this every couple of months to keep it from going bad); medications (check periodically to ensure medicines in your emergency bag don’t expire); cleanup supplies; food and water dishes; bags (or litter for cats) for collecting waste; an extra collar and leash; photocopies of medical records; towels; recent photos of your pets; and a favorite toy or chewy for comfort. It’s also a good idea to have a sturdy carrier or crate for each pet.

“What’s good for us is good for our pets,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. “My dog Lucky the TurfMutt is a member of the family, so we have a plan for keeping him safe in the event of an emergency, and we encourage all pet parents to do the same.”

By having all this in place, you can immediately put your pet preparedness plan into action when you know a storm is coming instead of spending valuable time trying to determine what needs to be done to best protect your pet.

Learn More
For facts, tips and fun activities for families from Lucky the TurfMutt, visit

Why choosing safe toys for babies is very important?

Mostly you can see parents can buy the nay toy for his baby what the baby want but you can choose the best toy for the baby which would be safe for the baby. A safe toy always provides the bright future to baby along with baby can play in a safe atmosphere. You can read the many stories of the incidents that the baby is harming by the toys during play with the toy. 

Before but the toy for the baby you can read the label of the toy that he is not build up with harmful chemicals or safe for the baby. This is a good idea to buy the best toys for the babies along with you will have the knowledge about the products which is good for the health of baby or not. After reading the label you can show the right way to your kid how to use the toy or this is the best way to make a safe environment for the play zone of the baby.

You can buy the best toys for the development of the baby or can buy the puzzle toys or any development toys for the baby which is safe for the child. There are many companies in the market who sell the different toys but find the best one who provides the best material toys at reasonable prices. You must concern with the doctors for the development of the toddlers or use some general knowledge as like a parent of the kid.

Safety tips for buy the safe toys:-

  • Buy the large toys for babies
  • Buy the best toys instead of the loud toys
  • The toys of batteries made are not good for toddler health
  • You can buy the perfect stitched soft toys
  • Avoid the toxic toys
  •  Make a plan before buy digital device

Buy the large toys for the babies
You can but the large toys for the babies who underage of 3 years old otherwise the toys will be harmful to the kids. The large toys maintain a safer environment but buy the tight toys which are not broken up during play. Make sure you will buy the larger toys that prevent the child from choking the toy in mouth.
Buy the best toys instead of the loud toys
If you are going to buy the toys for the baby then avoid the louder toys because the louder toys cause many ear related disease. Also, avoid the shooting toys because the shooting toys also harmful for the babies and it can damage the eye of the baby sometime.

The toys of batteries made are not good for toddler health
Be careful about the toys that are including the bottoms or batteries because the toys are harmful to the young child. It also includes some deaths also when the kid is swallowing the buttons or batteries or little objects. So, be aware at the time of buying the toys for toddlers and only buy the best product or good quality toy for your baby.

You can buy the perfect stitched soft toys
Look for the good toys which are made up of good fabric and buy the stuffed toys for the baby which is big. Always checks that the toy will be fully stitched with machine or washable in the washing machine to prevent the harmful germs to the baby. Best soft toys are good for the kid’s health because the kid is not swallowing the little objects of the toys. You can concern about the toys that you buy for the babies along with use some common sense for buy.

Avoid the toxic toys
Avoid the toxic toys for the better health of kids or buy the best toys which can help the toddler to grow up the knowledge of the toddler. The best toys can help to develop the skills or mental abilities of the kid in a perfect manner.

Make a plan before buy digital toys
Sometimes parents can buy the digital toys for the kid but you can check the age of the kid before buying or checks that the kid understands the right way to use the toy. This would happen sometimes like parents can buy the expensive toy for a teen but the baby can break the toy because he doesn’t have any knowledge about the toy.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Challenge accepted: Surviving Summer Festival Season

You got the tickets ages ago, finally settled on the perfect outfit, prepped your selfie stick and so the only thing left is to show up and slay the summer festival scene. But as most of you already know - that's easier said than done.

It's the same tired old story every year -  you planned everything down to the most minute detail and counted down the days until you could finally stand in front of your favorite band. You couldn't wait to blow off some steam and dance your heart out until the break of dawn, but… But. But something came up again - it started raining, you got separated from your friends, of course, the cell-reception is poor, you look like you rolled around in a giant beer puddle… You know, the usual.

The secret to having a good time at any festival, unencumbered by worries such as “I stink like a wet dog” or “I will die of thirst right this second” or “Is this condom still okay even though I had it for 5 years?” rests in detailed planning. By using a couple of more grey cells than usual, you'll successfully avoid dealing with crisis upon crisis and manage to enjoy yourself to the fullest. Yes, it makes the whole thing a whole lot less spontaneous, but it's totally worth it.

In order to save you some time and because we've all been there, here is some useful advice that will get you on the right track to the best time of your life:

1. Play by the rules.

Yes, it's very chic to be a rebel, but having to throw away that expensive perfume bottle you spent waaay too much on because you can't have it on festival grounds definitely does not fall under the chic category. It's just dumb. And very sad. Every festival website has the list of items that aren't allowed on the grounds. Read it and pack accordingly. Also, make sure to hit that ATM. Most places have a one-time-entrance-only policy which means you'll be stranded and at the mercy of festival economy with no money.

2. Water definitely isn't the life of the party, but without it, you won't be either.

You won't be able to get your water bottle past the security guards, so as soon as you enter, make a beeline for the first bar and get a couple of waters. Stuff them in your trusty festival backpack (a must-have), then happily order your spirit of choice. Water will save you from the merciless summer heat, and if you drink enough of it, it might even spare you from a raging hangover the following morning.

3. Pack smart and dress in layers.

Luckily, boho is always in during festival season. Make sure your outfit consists of several practical pieces that will see you through all weather conditions - rain, shine or beer spray from overzealous partiers. Focus on natural fabrics that will let your skin breathe freely (no more Eau De Wet Dog) and bring a spare shirt and a spare pair of socks. Throw away that decade-old condom and get a new one. This might be the year you finally get lucky.

4. Go analog with your meetup plans.

Think back to any concert you've been to in the past. It got pretty loud, didn't it? To avoid excess wandering and frustrating attempts to make a phone call while waving your hands in the air like an idiot who didn't care to make proper contingency plans, set up a meetup spot in case you get separated from your friends. Try to be as precise as possible. “Meet me by the beer stand” isn't precise when there are 20 of them lying around.

5. Wet-wipes are more than baby bum cleaners.

You'll thank us after your first encounter with the toilet. Plus they're handy at getting that cheap beer smell out of your skin.

6. Stay safe and play safe.

Yes, we know it's summer and you just want to lie back and enjoy yourself. The outside world kind of fades away the moment you step onto the festival grounds and every single one of us turns into a glutton for the good times. LELO, the world's leading pleasure brand and a big advocate of the good times, wants you to make an effort and enjoy yourself responsibly. That kind of sounds like a big fat oxymoron but it makes perfect sense, just let us explain. It's really hard not to let go and enjoy the moment once the rhythm sets in. You're ready to give in and let yourself get carried away by the pulsating lights and undulating bodies and trust that all seems right with the world. Consequences? Adulthood? Responsibilities? Pish, it's summer! Remember those shiny new condoms you bought? If you treated yourself with LELO HEX condoms, it'll only take a second to slip one on, let go and completely forget that it's there. Responsible enjoyment? Doesn't seem like a longshot after all.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Food Safety Tips for Shopping at Your Favorite Farmers Market


Summertime means it’s time for the food lovers’ tradition: visiting your local farmers market. In addition to all the invigorating colors, exquisite aromas, strong flavors, and spirit of community, the farmers market is also an opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with the people who produce your food! Their passion for food can be quite inspiring.

Stop Foodborne Illness (, a national public health organization whose mission is preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens wants to remind you that no matter where you get your food – by supporting friendly local farmers or by shopping your neighborhood supermarket – food safety is always important.

Food that is fresh is a delicious treat! Organic and sustainable farming doesn’t use pesticides, chemicals, hormones and other additives, but it isn’t necessarily safer when it comes to foodborne illness – because everything is still grown in the dirt, and handled by humans. Pathogens such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella are found naturally in soil, as well as manure. Which basically means, everything needs to be washed.

Farmers and vendors selling food at the farmers market, as well as consumers/shoppers should understand the necessary steps to reducing the risk of illness from food. “It’s a good idea to know the signs of safe food handling when you visit each market vendor,” said Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness. “Knowing your favorite farmers and vendors are using safe food practices, definitely boosts one’s confidence in their purchases!”

Most states have passed legislation regulating farmers’ markets. For example, in Illinois, most home-canned foods other than jams, jellies and preserves cannot be sold at the farmers market. Typically, farmers markets must be inspected by local health departments who make sure each market meets food safety standards, and most vendors, including those from so-called “cottage industries,” must be licensed to sell their products at farmers markets.

For a list of farmers markets in your area click here:

If you’re interested in policies and regulations affecting farmers markets in your state, contact the department of health. For more information:

The Illinois Farmers Market Food Safety Guide can be downloaded in PDF format here.

What to look for when it comes to safe food handling
The condition of the vendors’ booths and their products can tell you a lot about their safe food practices. Here are some things to look for:
  • Clean hands. Dirty fingernails or a filthy apron aren’t appetizing. For vendors serving food – are they wearing gloves, and is their hair covered?
  • A certification notice. Some vendors will display certificates that show they have been trained in food safety. These are good indicators that their foods are handled properly.
  • The carton is clean. When buying eggs, look to see if the carton is clean – inside and out, and make sure the eggs are clean and not cracked. Reused egg cartons are fine, if clean.
  • Cold foods are cold. Meats, cheeses and other dairy, and eggs should be kept cold. Salads and cold sandwiches should feel like they’re straight from the fridge.
  • Meat, poultry and fish are cooked to a safe temperature.  The only way to determine a safe temperature for meat, poultry or fish, is by using a cooking thermometer. If you’re not sure, ask.
  • Hot foods are hot. The “Danger Zone” for food (where bacteria multiply quickly) is between 40°F and 140°F. Cooked foods like soups and burgers should be piping hot.
  • Samples are being safely handled. Vendors using gloves, tongs, tissues, or other utensils are doing it right! (They shouldn’t be using bare hands.) Are knives, serving utensils, dishes, and service surfaces kept clean?  If not, take a pass on these foods.
  • Ciders, juices, and dairy products are pasteurized. Since unpasteurized foods are serious sources of foodborne pathogens, shoppers should ask when products, including the samples, are not clearly labeled.
On hot days …
  • Be mindful of jars open for sampling —sauces, salsas, jams, pickles and so on —they should not be out for more than two hours at outside temperature. One hour, if it’s over 90°F. Many markets have started offering hand-washing stations with hand sanitizer. We encourage you to use them.
  • If you’re purchasing perishables like dairy, eggs, or meat bring a cooler or insulated bag with ice to the market, so your newly purchased products can be kept cold for the ride home in the hot car.
  • Make the farmers market your final stop before heading home. Your fresh veggies and fruit, and other perishable foods, won’t have to sit long in a hot car, and will make it to the refrigerator that much more quickly.
Want to share this information? Download Quick Facts: At the Farmers Market.

Foodborne illness is no laughing matter; serious cases can have severe and long-lasting consequences. Keep in mind that babies, young children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to serious attacks of foodborne illness.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by promoting sound food safety policy and best practices, building public awareness, and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here:

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Tasks All Homeowners Should Do Before Putting Their Home on the Market

So you've decided to part ways with your current home. Moving can be a bittersweet, and extremely stressful, experience. This is why it's important to prep as much as possible, especially before you even put your home on the market. If you want to be successful with selling your home quickly and at the right price point, there are a few important tasks you should do before putting it up for sale.

Depersonalize and Pack Your Belongings

When potential buyers are walking through your home, they don't want to see a mess of all of your belongings. You're going to want to remove any distractions and depersonalize the space -- this will help potential buyers be able to picture themselves living in the house. As sad as it may be, you're going to want to take down family photos and the kids' artwork. This is a good time to allow yourself to accept the fact that you're leaving your home and that it will soon become home to somebody else. Along with depersonalizing, you're going to want to declutter. With the average home in the U.S. containing 300,000 items, you're going to have your hands full with trying to organize everything. It's important to remember that potential buyers like to snoop, so don't just go shoving things in closets. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some of your belongings, which will make it easier when it comes time to pack and move. Overall, try to make your house as tidy and depersonalized as possible before you begin showing the house.

Do Some Quick Fixes

While it's not a good idea to start a huge home improvement project right before you begin trying to sell your home, it is a good idea to do some basic upgrades and repairs. Fresh coats of paint, replacing hardware, and fixing sticking doors or windows can go a long way when you're trying to sell your home. Additionally, think about fixing any problems you've been putting off for a while. Not only can you save almost 10,000 gallons of water each year if you fix simple leaks, but leaky faucets or pipes can make potential buyers think you didn't care properly for the home. So if there are any simple repairs or upgrades you can do around the house without spending a lot of money, now is the time to do them. 

Clean, Clean, Clean

If potential buyers walk into a dirty home, chances are, they're going to turn around and walk right back out. Cleaning your home before showing it is an absolute must. And this isn't just a quick wipe down of the counters -- you need to clean like you've never cleaned before. All of the windows in the house should be washed, hardware should be polished, and the floors should be spotless. And don't forget about the outside of the home, as this is going to give potential buyers their first impression of the house. The exterior of the house should be power washed and sidewalks and porches should be swept clean of debris. Overall, your house should be spotless. And don't forget about the areas of your home that never get cleaned, like the air ducts. Generally, homeowners should have their air duct system cleaned every three to five years to not only keep the air in their home clean, but to also maximize the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. When potential buyers ask when the last time something was cleaned or replaced, you want to be able to tell them very recently.

Make Your Home Trendy

Does a room in your house still have shag carpet? If so, now is the time to get rid of it. While it's important to not solely rely on trends to decorate your home, it is important to ensure your home is somewhat modern. This is especially true with more and more young people buying homes. In fact, in 2017, 34% of homebuyers were made up of millennials and Gen Yers -- and this number is expected to continue to rise. Fortunately, making your home look updated isn't as difficult as it sounds. Even something as simple as repainting with more on-trend colors can make a huge difference in the appearance and attractiveness of your home. Modern light fixtures, light switches, and ceiling fans should be considered as well. Overall, your home doesn't need a complete makeover. But choosing a few key features to update can make a big difference.

Prepping your home for sale can take a lot of time and commitment. But when you sell your home quickly, it will all be worth it. So before you put your home on the market, follow these few simple tips and make sure your home is really ready to be seen by potential buyers to ensure you sell your home for a great price. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Expert Reveals Top Tips To Survive Summer With Kids

Summer break is here and the kids are ecstatic! But if you’re a mom, you’re likely thinking SURVIVAL: Many moms get overwhelmed at the thought of having the kids home all summer with the added pressure of juggling work, summer camps and schedules, and keeping the kids entertained and busy all summer long.

Summertime means self-care for moms can easily get put on the back-burner, but Randi Zinn, Author of Going Beyond Mom- How to Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby and Founder of Beyond Mom, says that self-care needs to be a top priority for moms during the intense summer months or they could risk their health and serious burn-out.

This summer, Randi Zinn wants to share her Summer Self-Care Survival Tips For Moms, including:

  1. Remember that a little goes a long way: often we don’t take the time because we think we need more than we can have. But a short walk, a five minute meditation, a 10 minute stretch session can literally change your mindset from deprived to fueled.  Take what you can get!
  2. Get extra help. Why is it so hard to ask for a little extra help when we feel we need it? During the summer, we think we’re supposed to be easy breasy but sometimes we just need a break from our family and responsibilities- and that’s ok! Ask a mom friend or call a college kid home from break who’d love to relieve you for an hour or two.
  3. Be inspired by nature. Mother nature is alive and well. Surround yourself by her- take hikes, swim outside, pick flowers, plant a garden, and explore. All family activities but ones that you can benefit from too. Take deep breaths and absorb the goodness.
  4. Find gratitude in the moment. Using mindfulness techniques, slow yourself down enough to know that even if you have less time for yourself and more time with the kids that these moments are fleeting and before you know it, fall will be here. Find gratitude for the health of yourself and your kids, for the air you breathe and the sunshine on your face. 
Randi Zinn is an author, mindfulness and wellness expert, and founder of Beyond Mom. Born from her own experience of motherhood, Beyond Mom is harnessing a movement of women who are taking back their right to self-love, self-care and community as a pathway to productivity.

Randi encourages moms to cultivate a life “Beyond Mom”- one that embraces the gifts of motherhood but expresses all that they are as individuals. Beyond Mom offers: Expert interviews, lifestyle advice, stories from Beyond Moms, podcasts, events, and retreats for Moms seeking Self.

Randi is an ambassador for Athleta and has partnered with Deepak Chopra Homebase at ABC Home, Loyal Hana, WellRounded NY, HeyMama Co, SHE Summit, Appleseeds, SoulCycle, The Mother Company, and IntenSati and Physique 57.

She is a regularly featured expert interviewed by the media, and has been featured in Women@Forbes, HuffPost, The New York Times, Well+Good, MindBodyGreen, Elephant Journal, Cheddar, FOX5 NY, Great Day Washington, The Honest Company Blog and many more.

She is a certified yoga instructor through Laughing Lotus NY and has taught since 2008.

Randi’s book Going Beyond Mom- How to Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby was published in September 2017.

Kitchen Towels Can be a Big Source of Bacteria in Your Kitchen

New study indicates that people should wash and rotate their kitchen towels more frequently


The kitchen is the heart of the home. You cook, eat and socialize in your kitchen; for many, it is the center of day-to-day living. The kitchen fuels bodies, minds and souls of families across the world, but it can also be the most veritable incubator for bacteria in the household. According to a study published by the University of Mauritius, and presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, your kitchen towels may be the leading culprit of pathogen advancement.

“Our study demonstrates that the family composition and hygienic practices in the kitchen affected the microbial load of kitchen towels,” said Dr. Biranjia-Hurdoyal. “We also found that diet, type of use and moist kitchen towels could be very important in promoting the growth of potential pathogens responsible for food poisoning,” she said.

Researchers collected a total of 100 kitchen towels after one month of use. Using standard biochemical tests, they concluded that 49% of the kitchen towels collected in the study had bacterial growth. The bacterial growth increased in number with family size—whether by extended family, or the presence of children.

Experts discourage using kitchen towels for multiple purposes (wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils, wiping/cleaning surfaces) because they had a higher bacterial count than single-use towels. They also warn against using humid towels because they too showed higher bacterial count than dry ones. Pathogens on kitchen towels would indicate that they could bear some responsibility for cross-contamination in the kitchen and, ultimately, food poisoning. Households with children, older adults or others with immunosuppression should be especially vigilant about hygiene in the kitchen.

Bacteria in Your Kitchen
Your kitchen may be the busiest germ factory in your house, but by stepping up some basic hygiene, you  can fight back against germs that tend to lurk around every corner in your kitchen.

Stop Foodborne Illness has 7 tips for keeping your kitchen as germ free as possible:
  • For towels/cloths hanging in the kitchen, allow them to dry after use.
  • Change out towels and cloths at least once a week.
  • Run kitchen towels and dish cloths through the washer at least once per week, using hot water.
  • Dry kitchen towels/cloths on high heat.
  • After washing your hands properly, grab the hand towel, not the dish towel. Better yet, use a single-use paper towel.
  • Clean kitchen surfaces often (at least once a week), using disinfectant sprays or wipes.
  • Don’t get too attached to your sponges. Washing, drying or zapping sponges in the microwave can help reduce germs, but we suggest disposing of sponges at least once a week, or when they smell bad.
Keeping your kitchen germ-free can be challenging, but if your food safety practices include regularly sanitizing your kitchen, you can greatly reduce the risk of getting sick from potentially harmful pathogens. Many of our best memories are made gathered round the kitchen table – a place where everybody feels at home. We want everyone to get comfortable. Everyone, except foodborne pathogens.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne illness by promoting sound food safety policy and best practices, building public awareness, and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here: For questions and personal assistance, please contact Stanley Rutledge, Community Coordinator, at or 773-269-6555 x7.