children

Keeping Safe in the Sun and A Great Giveway: Stylish Sun Protection

bulletin board posting at community boating boston capability mom blog
On the bulletin board at Community Boating Boston

community boating inc boston ma capability mom blogNow that my kids can (and do) apply their own sunscreen, mornings go a bit faster…okay, a lot faster. I know it adds time to your morning routine but it is so important to apply sunscreen every day. Here are a few other reminders and resources about the importance of sun protection.

SunAWARE is a sun safety awareness program from the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation, the Dermatology Nurses Association and Melanoma Foundation of New England to provide SunAWARE™ education nationally. Great tips in an easy to remember format and just last week they featured an awareness day at Community Boating in Boston.

SunAWARE
Avoid exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.
Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year-round.
Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) greater than or equal to 30 to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.
Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to a parent or healthcare provider.
Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.

Also check out Be Eye Smart in the Sun from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I know my dermatologist shares this suggestion: Wear a hat along with your sunglasses; broad-brimmed hats are best so much so that Krauss Dermatology (my derm) is giving away a super cute sun hat from and some Elta UV Pure Sunscreen – a gift set valued at over $70.

Plus, while you are entering the giveaway, you are also helping the Melanoma Foundation of New England because Krauss Dermatology will donate for every Facebook “Like” $1 to the MFNE. Enter to win and help out a great non-profit that helps educate and assists patients and their caregivers struggling with melanoma by offering free support groups, educational programs, and Billy’s Buddies, a one-on-one patient advocacy and support program.

Follow the easy directions below and you could win this very nice gift! Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway for more chances to win!

sunhat and sunscreen from krauss dermatology sunsafety giveaway and capability mom blog

A Preschool Mom’s Day

capability mom blogIf you think I have been goldbricking all summer, well, I haven’t. I have posted less frequently mostly because my driving schedule has increased exponentially. I’m happy that my children have found fun things they like to do this summer: sailing, soccer camp, farm camp, culinary camp, but because the camp schedules are so varied and in different towns, no less, I am on borrowed time. Basically I am a preschool mom. If you don’t have preschoolers yet, you don’t know what the heck I am talking about. When you are at home with small children, you are 24/7, that is a given. When they start preschool, you realize you will have three whole hours to yourself! You have plans, big plans, like cleaning the house (including the really big projects washing the walls or windows), planting a garden, reading the paper, reading a book, writing a book, heck, buying a book, grocery shopping alone, starting a part-time job or business, volunteering at your local library, learning a musical instrument, a new language, taking a class, meeting friends, shopping for cute clothes, starting a blog, reading a blog, working out and grabbing a shower. Maybe all of these.

Well…Reality check. You will have time for maybe one of these activities, possibly two and sometimes, well, none. What?! You are just not organized! I can do so much in three hours. Yes, yes, you can except when you can’t. It is unbelievable how fast three hours goes by. You have coffee with a friend, volunteer to help at the school, have to take your car in for service or you have a dentist appointment or a mammogram or the dog throws up and the day is gone and your house does not look like anything on Pinterest. Don’t worry and cut yourself some slack. Some days are easier/better/sunnier than others, it’s okay.

When your dear ones go on to elementary school and you have six or more hours. Okay, now you are talking, now you have some time. The activities above, you can do three, four or more, some days, still none. I know, weird. Now, picture his not-superbly organized and slight germaphobe mom of two who have been in school for 6 hours a day for about 10 years reduced to a 3 hour day with increased driving responsibilities and work. You can understand why I am a little more frazzled and off my game (this is supposing I had a game before) and my house looks nothing like anything on Pinterest (my pretend house is lovely).

capability mom blog favorite cleaning reference book
Great Resource


So…What can you do in three hours? A walk and a shower and a quick sandwich. Run errands in something I like to call Speed of Sound Time (errands without children of any age). Start a cleaning project but break it up into manageable bits so you don’t get overwhelmed (I cleaned my kitchen including pantry and inside all cabinets and drawers by breaking out a one hour block each day – sure it took me a week – better than your spending your entire Saturday doing it). Sneak in reading time – bring a book or magazine to pick up at school or camp, if you get there early (I wish) you can read a few pages.

What else can you do? Get something reupholstered (okay, you do have time to pick out fabric and drop it off) – you can recover dining room chairs with some fabric and a staple gun…great tutorials at Design Sponge. Renew your driver’s license or passport including new photo. Read about home keeping (so much more fun than actually keeping home). Plan meals for the week and grocery shop alone – it is cheaper to go solo, you only have your impulse purchases to contend with.

Most importantly – Recharge. Do whatever you like to do that makes you happy. A book, a run, yoga, a coffee, music that you choose, time with friends, time alone – anything that makes you energized. You are going to need it for the other 10-12 hours left in your day!

 

Papersalt – Family Friendly, Positive and Gorgeous – A Review

papersalt books - capability mom blogpapersalt books capability mom blog I just received these lovely books from Papersalt and love everything about them, the paper is nicer than standard cardstock, the colors are gorgeous, the graphics creative and the messages are spot on. Wow, imagine how I would gush if they paid me to write this (which they most assuredly did not). I did receive four books to review being a girl, being a boy,take the stairs and dinner table manners. I had a tough time deciding because the messages are so lovely and delivered in such a creative and simple way. Positive, helpful and sweet – the books are a pleasure to handle and you can write in them, too.

My family liked the taking the stairs and dinner table manners because there was more concrete information (Eat like you have hours) but I liked them all. I probably should have asked for the teen books if I wanted a better family review. Maybe that will be a future post!

Papersalt produces these books to help families get moving, get talking, and be positive. All of the messages and affirmations are wonderful and accessible for even the youngest children) and even families with older kids need a gentle reminder or two…our family needs this one from time to time.

capability mom loves papersalt bookscapability mom loves papersalt booksVisit Papersalt online to find more great books and their lovely blog with posts like The Skirt I Shouldn’t Have Worn To School  by Marina Orievsky which I may just forward to all of my friends with girls.

Making the transition into high school can be difficult for some girls. High school is an experience that you go into feeling all grown up and come out of only to reflect on just how much you’ve learned and how much you still have yet to learn. Being at a new school around older kids has added pressures for “fitting in.” For me, I wanted to look like all the other girls who came to school with a full face of makeup and wearing six-inch long Abercrombie skirts in the winter. The whole idea seemed silly to me but I couldn’t help but take on a “if you can’t beat’em, join’em” approach. This is an excerpt – to read the rest of this post go to Papersalt.com

 

 

 

May Day…as in the first of May, not Mayday as in help…

although some days I do need an assist, this is about the celebration of May Day. No, not all the political worker stuff but the pagan celebration – that’s more my thing.

Photo: Wendell T. Webber

A friend is putting together a May Day Breakfast for our walking group tomorrow and I am making blueberry muffins from the Flour cookbook. No, they won’t be as good as Joanne Chang’s – no matter how closely I follow the recipe – that woman is magic – but I did a trial run yesterday with blackberries and the muffins were delicious (if I do say so myself) and I can make the batter today and bake tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know how they come out -I used fresh blackberries but wanted wild blueberries so I bought frozen packages at Trader Joe’s.

Here is the recipe – and yes, I did not have creme fraiche on hand yesterday and used Greek yogurt (is Joanne Chang reading this and freaking out? Sorry! Now I have three containers of creme fraiche in the house and ready to bake it the way you intended it!)

Blueberry Muffins

3 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (it calls for kosher – use it if you have it)

2 eggs plus 1 yolk

1 1/4 sticks butter, melted (I melted in in microwave and let cool slightly before mixing with the other ingredients)

1 cup milk (okay, I had 1% but bought whole for next batch)

1 cup creme fraiche (no idea yet how many containers this will be – bought three – thought two would be slightly under – yes, I do not do conversions so I have no idea and evidently guessing is risky in baking).

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup frozen raspberries (I used a handful of blackberries – some people in my family like their muffins berry-freeGreat recipe for picky eaters.)

1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and then add the sugar, butter, milk, creme fraiche, and vanilla.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently using a spatula.

Fold in the berries gently. The batter is a little lumpy but don’t worry.

Spoon into the muffin tin to fill the cups.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the muffin tops are golden brown and let cool for 20 minutes before removing the muffins from the pans.

Now I am off to make a Martha Stewart craft for May Day. You probably have everything already, too. Paper, ribbon and flowers from your garden. I have left over paper from a project, ribbon that I am compelled to save (Every holiday my mom calls out, “Save the ribbon!” Now I have to. It’s that ingrained now.) There are some decorative scissors somewhere in the house but don’t stress that detail. You aren’t really Martha, after all.

 

Photo: Wendell T. Webber

Flower Cones by Martha Stewart

 

 

 

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