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memorial day

Memorial Day Plane Travel Tips: What Not To Wear

If you’re planning an upcoming journey on an airplane, you probably want to know what to wear on the journey.

This is particularly true if it’s your first time flying, and you want to make sure that you are comfortable, make a good impression, and don’t do anything to embarrass yourself!

There are certain guidelines with regards to not only appropriate behaviour on a plane, but what one should or shouldn’t wear.

Here are five things you should never wear on a plane:

Perfume

It isn’t a life or death situation if you forget this rule and apply perfume before boarding. However, you really should avoid wearing perfume on a plane. This guideline is more about being considerate of other people, than it is a fashion faux pas. 

Wearing strong fragrances in the vicinity of other people during a flight will make their flying experience less enjoyable. Mainstream commercial airlines have hardly any space between seats and passengers, particularly in the economy section. 

Your floral fragrance will be memorable, for all the wrong reasons. Think about it: have you ever encountered or even walked past someone who is wearing strong perfume or aftershave? It might smell nice as it wafts through the air during your momentary encounter, but imagine being immersed in it for hours and hours in close proximity. It’s simply about considering other people, really. Be selfless: go au naturel. However, don’t hold off on antiperspirant if your ‘au naturel’ might be the pungent smell of body odour! 

Clothes That Are Too Tight

Many of these guidelines should be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people prioritize vanity and style over practicality. Another thing you should never wear on a plane is anything that is too tight. 

This might be a tightly-buttoned blouse, or a pair of skinny jeans that you have to squeeze yourself into. Alternatively, it could be a bodycon dress or a pair of tights that are a size too small. Oh, and don’t forget corsets! Now, why anyone would wear a corset on a plane is beyond me, but you never know!

As a general rule, any clothing item that hinders your breathing or leaves you feeling trapped is a no-go. During flight, the changes in altitude cause swelling on certain parts of your body, including your feet, so you need to wear light and loose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe. 

If you’re already struggling to move in your too-tight clothing, you’re not going to have a fun time trying to get comfortable on the plane. Be sensible: avoid tight clothing.

Inappropriate or Offensive Clothing

Having your cleavage hanging out or wearing offensive slogans on a shirt are examples of inappropriate or offensive clothing. Traveling on a plane is not an exercise in showing other passengers your curvaceous body or your interesting political views. 

Like wearing perfume, it is highly inconsiderate, and could get you a lot of angry glares or whispered comments.

Anonymity is key: keep your outfit simple, and like a wallflower, fade into the background. This is not the time for you to be giving your Oscar speech. 

Uncomfortable Shoes

You might be really excited about your upcoming flight, and want to look great for boarding the plane. However, plane journeys are not fashion shows, and you will have a much more pleasant flight if you sacrifice your keen fashion sense for an outfit that is more practical. 

One of the aspects you should be thinking about in this regard is to wear comfortable shoes. If you are a lover of high heels and exotic designs, you might not even own a pair of shoes that could be called practical or comfortable. 

However, you should really think about investing in a pair of flats with cushioned soles for air travel. Believe me, you’ll thank me once you’ve reached your destination. 

Uncomfortable shoes should never be worn on a plane because your feet are going to be sore, and you will likely be in pain while airborne. Due to the swelling mentioned above, make sure you wear a pair of shoes that allow your feet some breathing space in preparation for the higher altitudes. 

This way, you’ll be less fidgety in your seat and can enjoy the view out the window or your new book instead.

Long Dresses or Maxi Skirts

Finally, you should never wear long dresses or maxi skirts (or dresses) on a plane. This is actually more about before and after boarding the plane. 

When you wear clothes that can potentially hide a lot underneath, you’re going to get a lot more unwanted attention at the security areas. 

Long dresses or skirts are simply not a smart choice, and the last thing you want is to be searched for a longer time than the average person. Choose loose pants and a simple blouse instead.

Above are five things you should never wear on a plane. Remember these, and your next plane journey will go by a lot more smoothly. Enjoy your flight!

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Memorial Day: How to Be A Grillmaster in 15 Steps

photo by Sitraka Rakotoarivelo

If you are grilling for Memorial Day next week and need some grilling tips, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 10 of our fave tips we spotted from various sources and around the web and assembled into top 15 tips:

1. Gas vs. Charcoal? – The age-old debate over which grilling method is “better” involves multiple variables, from flavor to cost to convenience. While no studies prove that either is healthier, gas does burn cleaner. Charcoal grills emit more carbon monoxide, particulate matter and soot into the atmosphere, contributing to increased pollution and higher concentrations of ground-level ozone. From a taste perspective, on the other hand, many people prefer the smokier, richer taste of food cooked on a charcoal grill.

2. Get It Hot!– Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature (and to kill any bacteria). Your grill should be 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat. A properly heated grill sears foods on contact, keeps the insides moist and helps prevent sticking. While searing doesn’t “seal in” the juices (contrary to popular belief ), it does create improved flavors through caramelization.

3. Brush It Off – It’s easier to remove debris when the grill is hot, so after preheating, use a long-handled wire grill brush on your grill rack to clean off charred debris from prior meals. Scrape again immediately after use.

4. Oil It Up– Even on a clean grill, lean foods may stick when placed directly on the rack. Reduce sticking by oiling your hot grill rack with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel: hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

5. Marinate Your Meat -Marinating does more than infuse food with flavor; it also inhibits the formation of potentially carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which form when grilling “muscle meats” like poultry, red meat and fish. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), marinating can reduce HCA formation by as much as 92 to 99 percent.

6. Is It Done?The best way to know if protein is fully cooked is to check its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.

7. The Hand Test- To gauge the temperature of a grill without a thermometer, place your open palm about 5 inches above the grill rack; the fire is high if you have to move your hand in 2 seconds, medium if you have to move your hand in 5 seconds and low if you have to move your hand in 10 seconds.

8. Tame The Flames- Flare-ups happen when fat drips onto the heat source and catches fire. This causes carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form and accumulate on your food. Meat licked by flames also tastes “off” and flames may char the outside of food before the inside has thoroughly cooked. To reduce flare-ups, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove poultry skin. And, keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to quickly douse any unexpected flare-ups.

9. Give It A Rest – Let finished meats rest on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before carving so juices can redistribute evenly.

10. Veggies Lift –  Keep the lid up for Veggies so they don’t become too limp and are crisp not soggy

11. Fishy Fish – For fish, slice lemon and make a bed of them and lay the fish on top to grill.

12. Ribs Boil – Boil ribs for 10 to 15 minutes before grilling to make sure you kill all bacteria from them. 

13. Get Saucy – Add the sauce during the last 15 minutes of grilling. 

14. Keep it Juicy – Don’t flatten your burgers and cause all the succulent juice to run out. Instead poke them with a fork. 

15. Portion control – To avoid overcooking or undercooking, grill smaller pieces of meat at a time. 

YUM!!!!

Memorial Day Salute from Bellyitch

Whether you are a pregnant soldier serving your country, a soldier whose wife is pregnant with your child, or a mom soldier, Bellyitch salutes you and all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting their children, their country and honor this memorial day and always. Thank you and God Bless.

Memorial Day Pool Opening: Juvenile Skin Cancer Avoidance Tips

Just a public service sharing of some new information from St. Jude for parents about caring for their children’s skin this upcoming Memorial Day pool-opening season through Summer and beyond:

With the official start of summer this Memorial Day weekend, pediatric skin cancer specialists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are urging parents to take the necessary steps to protect their children when they are out in the sun this holiday weekend, including poolside or at the beach.

“During the Memorial Day weekend, parents should take simple steps to protect their children from extreme sun exposure, including avoiding going out when sun rays are strong and keeping infants out of the sun entirely,” said Alberto Pappo, M.D., director of the Solid Tumor Division at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Don’t assume children cannot get skin cancer because of their age. Unlike other cancers, the conventional melanoma that we see mostly in adolescents behaves the same as it does in adults.”

Research shows that sun damage contributes to melanoma in children and adolescents as well as adults. The research underscores the need for precautionary measures to avoid extreme sun exposure for children, including the implementation of routine prevention measures.

“While rare, melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer in younger patients and affects mostly teenagers. Children are not immune from extreme sun damage and parents should start sun protection early and make it a habit for life,” Pappo said.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a leader in pediatric melanoma research and treatment.St. Jude provides treatment and second opinions for patients with pediatric melanoma around the country and beyond. Each year, the St. Jude Pediatric and Adolescent Melanoma Referral Clinic brings patients and families to St. Jude for two days of expert consultation, as well as medical examinations by leading specialists, educational seminars and an introduction to melanoma-related resources.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer because it often spreads to other parts of the body. Melanoma gets its name from melanocytes—skin cells that produce a pigment called melanin, which gives skin its color.

  • About 76,700 new cases of melanoma in children and adults are diagnosed in the United States each year.
  • About 7 percent of cancers in children 15 to 19 years of age are melanomas. Melanoma is most common in people of Caucasian descent, occurring five times more often than in Hispanics and 20 times more often than in African Americans.
  • Childhood melanoma may not fit into the same routine diagnosis symptoms as adults. Instead, parents should look for the following:
    • A mole that changes, grows or doesn’t go away
    • An odd-shaped or large mole
    • A pale-colored or red bump
    • A mole or bump that itches or bleed 

For more information on melanoma, visit the St. Jude Melanoma Clinic’s fact sheet

Your Memorial Weekend Pool Opening Sunscreen Guide

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This Memorial Day weekend, if you plan to be outdoors, make sure you practice safe sun safety. First, wearing sunscreen is a crucial part of any outdoor activity for kids, and sunscreen can help protect children’s skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Kids often get sunburned when they’re outside unprotected for longer than expected. Parents need to plan ahead and keep sun protection handy in their cars or bags.

Just a few serious sunburns can increase a kid’s risk of skin cancer later in life. They don’t need to be at the pool, beach or lake to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful rays whenever UV peaks.

A baby’s best defense against sunburn is to avoid the sun or stay in the shade. For babies younger than 6 months old, physical barriers are best – clothing, hats, pop-up tents and umbrellas.

For children older than 6 months, an effective sunscreen, applied liberally and frequently, is an important part of a parent’s sun safety toolkit.

By and large, the sunscreens that perform well in Environmental Working Group‘s 2017 Guide to Sunscreens are mineral-based products with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. These products protect against both UVA and UVB rays, but watch out for products that have low percentages of these active ingredients, as they may contain other ingredients that boost the SPF on the label without actually protecting from other skin damages.

Parents need to be mindful that certain ingredients in sunscreen could pose safety concerns, including retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that is linked to sun sensitivity, and oxybenzone, a hormone disrupter.

Steer clear of sunscreen products with an SPF over 50. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and broad spectrum protection when your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply at least every two hours. You should reapply sunscreen after sweating, getting wet or towel drying. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips and the tops of feet.

Last but not least, avoid aerosol sprays. They provide inadequate skin coverage because they don’t provide a thick and uniform coating on the skin. And kids can inhale spray products.

Choosing the right sunscreen from the hundreds of products lining store shelves can be daunting. EWG researchers came up with a list of 14 worst-scoring sunscreens for kids to avoid:

You also can check out the ratings for almost 1,500 sunscreens, moisturizers and lipbalms with SPF in the EWG 2017 Guide to Sunscreens.

For more information about how to stay safe in the sun, visit EWG’s Sun Safety Campaign.

Memorial Day: Thank You To Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice

memorial day son

Memorial Day is today.  The holiday was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead.

Today, let’s think of the thousands and millions, maybe, of children who have grown up without a parent because she or he gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for their country.

Children like Wyatt McCain, who was 8 in 2012 when this photo of the North Pole, Alaska boy went viral as he looked upon his father’s grave at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Arlington, Va.

His dad, Army SFC Johnathan McCain, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in November 2011. Thank you Wyatt and family for bearing the pain of loss so we can feel free.

 

Memorial Day Grilling Alternative: Bison is Healthier and Lower in Fat

bratwurst

The President of the United States might have just given the bison the designation as the first ever National mammal, but that isn’t stopping people from consuming them as a healthier alternative to chicken and beef. I didn’t even realize that bison was eaten until I saw them on the menu at a restaurant a few years back.

The Honest Bison  company sells “100% grassfed and humanely raised” Bison for retail at supermarket. Interesting. I’m a vegetarian who wouldn’t eat a national mammal, or any mammal, but I realize others do, so I’m sharing a bison bratwurst recipe to consider if you want to mix up your grilling this Memorial Day weekend or any outdoor (or indoor) eating day this summer.

                             Bison Bratwurst Recipe

bison bratwurst

Ingredients:

1 lb. (4 brats) Bison Bratwurst

1 onion, sliced

1 bottle of bock-style beer*

2 cups beef broth (or bison broth made with The Honest Bison’s soup bones!)

2 tbsp. grassfed butter

3 cups sauerkraut, drained on paper towels

1 cup halved Brussels sprouts (sautéed in advance with coconut oil)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat a tall-sided skillet or wide, shallow pot over medium-high heat.

Add onion, beer, and bison bratwurst. Simmer, turning brats occasionally, until beer is reduced to a syrupy consistency and onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Remove brats and add beef/bison broth to the pan, scraping the bottom until mixture is fully incorporated.

Add the brats back into the pan and simmer until fully cooked, about 10 minutes more.

Remove brats and bring broth to a full boil until reduced to syrupy consistency. Be careful that it doesn’t burn off.

Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the grassfed butter, scraping up the caramelized bits in the pan.

Add brats back into the pan. Place sauerkraut around brats and cook until somewhat crisp. Turn brats over and stir often.

Add the sautéed Brussels sprouts and stir them into the sauerkraut until heated.

Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Let The Honest Bison know how your dish came out, tag @thehonestbison on Instagram! Happy eating and Happy Memorial Day! Recipe modified from Chaos in the Kitchen.

Eco-Friday: 20 Memorial Day Eco-Friendly Grilling Tips

grilling
It’s Memorial Day weekend and many families around the US may be hosting barbecues and cook-outs in celebration of the holiday remembering fallen soldiers of war or military servicemen who have passed away. As you prepare to host an event in your home, consider implementing some of these simple suggestions for having a Green, Eco-Friendly and Environmentally-friendly event.
  1. Plan ahead so you don’t have too much food.
  2. Use natural charcoal or better yet natural gas or propane grill which are more environmentally friendly.
  3. Buy local produce from local farmer’s markets
  4. Buy organic foods
  5. Consider vegan or vegatarian options which are better for the digestive system
  6. Use all natural insect repellant and bug sprays which are better on the skin, especially for small children
  7. Bring home the goods in a recyclable or paper not plastic bags
  8. Serve food on reusable plates and utensils or biodegradable or recyclable flat and tableware
  9. Start your fire with a chimney starter instead of lighter fluid
  10. Cook with pans and items made of recyclable materials
  11. Spread the energy consumed cooking around by having guests bring a dish
  12. Grill as much as you can, and even cook the foods in the burners on the grill because it saves energy
  13. Cover pans while cooking to reduce cooking time or energy bill if you are cooking on the stove in the kitchen
  14. Cut up the food into smaller pieces to let them cook faster and save energy
  15. Consider using a water-filter pitcher or a faucet mounted filter for water instead of bottle water
  16. Mix up a batch of lemonade or iced tea and serve in a large pitcher or punch bowl to cut down on cans and plastic bottles
  17. Figure out creative ways to “remix” the leftovers rather than dump them out.
  18. Compost the veggies or grill scraps.
  19. Clean up using non-toxic cleansers and Green cleaning products
  20. Recycle when you’re done!

 

Even if you can institute a few of these suggestions, you would have done at least something to reduce your carbon footprint, and give back to Mother Earth. Happy Grilling!

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Fashion Secrets to Wearing White While Preggers

white memorial day

Memorial Day is traditionally the trigger day that you can wear white again.

That is the case if you pay attention to conventional fashion rules. I don’t, but it’s totally okay if you do. Moms-to-be may be hesitant wearing white while pregnant. Typically, as women gain weight as they advance in their pregnancy, they stick to basic black and all black palette because that color is slimming. Actually, monochromatic in any color has a slimming effect because it eliminates curves and creates one line. It also makes you look taller.

Nowadays, slim jeans made with stretchy elastic are available in maternity styles as well. These types of jeans will cinch you in and the compression effect is actually comforting to achy pregnancy legs, believe it or not. A peasant top with some embroidered trim at the neckline or cuff would pair perfectly.

And these days I am obsessing over Converse and other hi top sneakers. Carry a White tote and you’ve got your complete Memorial Day cook out look!

A Pea In The Pod Maternity Off-The-Shoulder Crochet Top • A Pea in the Pod • $88

Prada Saffiano Cuir Double Mini Tote Bag, White/Red (Bianco/Rosso) • Prada • $2,600

Paige Denim Skyline Ankle Peg Maternity Jeans • Paige Denim • $189

Converse Limited Edition All Star Mid Lux White Crochet Canvas Wedge Sneaker • $175

Memorial Day: Pool Opening Safety Tips for Kids

safety tips

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of pool season again because most public and private pools open for the first time in the year. It’s a good time for parents to review their water and pool safety rules.

Here is a snippet of some tips we’ve shared from the now-defunct “Parenting the First Time Through” blog:

Never leave a child unsupervised Children should never be left unsupervised in the water, especially very young children. It only takes a few inches of water to drown, so don’t think that your toddler will be fine alone in the baby pool. Accidents happen, children can fall and hit their head, infants can lose their balance and go under, or even crawl into a slightly deeper section of a sloped wading pool while chasing a toy. ‘

In its Drowning Prevention Fact Sheet, Safekids.org states that since 1999, an average of 745 children under the age of 14 drown every year, with children under the age of 5 representing 76% of all deaths. Further, in 2009 more than 5000 children under the age of 14 suffered non-fatal near-drowning injuries. Children under 5 made up 80% of this number.

These numbers are startling and should be a call to vigilance for parents, especially those who own pools at home. Safekids.org goes on to say 72% of deaths and 55% of injuries occur at home pools under the age of 5, while 45% of fatalities in the older age bracket (5 to 14) occur at public facilites. Even inflatable pools are not exempt. In just those few inches of water there were 244 reported submersion cases between 2001 and 2009 in children under age 11.

Don’t count on the lifeguards to babysit – While public pools and beaches may employ lifeguards, don’t count on them as the sole supervisor of your children. They are there to help make the swimming area as safe an environment as possible for everyone. That means they are watching not just your children, but you, your friends, your friends’ children, and every other swimmer. That’s a lot of people.