Florida is surrounded by water from the top border of Georgia to the tip of Key West. Not only do we have oceans on each side of us, but various lakes, canals, water parks and swimming pools within our state. Every child should know how to swim or be attended at all times when near water.
How many times have you heard a story of a child drowning and the person says they just stepped away from the pool for a couple minutes? What a tragedy that can be and must be avoided.
Here are some tips to follow:
Watch the child or children that are swimming actively no matter what size pool or waterways such as the ocean, canals or lakes.
If you are with a friend or a group of people it is easy to get distracted with a phone call or conversation. Pick one or two people to be in charge of the kids. It only takes a couple of minutes for a child to drown and in less water then you would think. If your child is not supervised, you may not hear them slip into a pool and they can lose consciousness in less then 2 minutes.
Child proof your pool area – In Florida its the law.
Keep access to your pool area restricted at all times if you have a small child. Put a childproof lock on the door/doors leading out to the pool area or a fenced in area around the pool. A slide over lock at the top of the door that they cannot reach.
If you have a pool with a fence around it, have self closing gates and a lock for those gates. I know of a hotel that added a fence around their pool with the lever to open the gates way at the top and out of reach of little hands.
Pool Alarm- In case a child falls in, you are alerted – See this article from Pooladvisers.
Pool Covers – When choosing a pool cover make sure it is professionally fitted to your pool. A flimsy cover is worse then no cover at all. If a child falls in they can get trapped or be harder to get out of the water.
Swimming lessons – According to the American Academy of Pediatrics “Parents should consider swimming lessons for most children between ages 1 and 4,” This does not mean that you should not supervise your children, or not child proof your pool. This is an important measure to prevent drowning as are the others, even children with advanced swimming skills can still drown.
The American Red Cross offers classes for swimming just enter your zipcode to see what is available for your area. .
The YMCA also offers swimming lessons and water safety – Go Here for that information and scroll to the bottom of the ariticle to enter your zipcode for a YMCA near you.
CPR – is crucial to attempting to save a life of a drowning victim. Contact the American Heart Association for a class near you.
Water wings and inflatable water gear – While these are fun for kids and helps keep them afloat, they are not dependable because they can easily lose air. Check out the recommendations for the best waster safety products from Safety.com
If you are in a situation where a child has drowned and stopped breathing, call 911. You only have a very small amount of time for resuscitation and again CPR is crucial at this time.
For more information on preventing drowning please visit – Waterprooffl.com
St. Patrick’s Day, will be celebrated this year on Friday, March 17th by many people with delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage, green beer and wearing of the green. It is a tradition in Ireland for the people in the parades celebrating on the side lines, to wear a lot or a small collection of green clothing. Even some with shamrock pins.
You can enjoy watching the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade put on every year in New York City. This parade has been around since 1762 and will celebrates its 254th year. Get more information for times and broadcasts here
Just who is St. Patrick? Many sources agree his real name was Maewyn Succat. He was born in Roman Britain. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland for 6 years. In those 6 years he worked as a herdsman, prayed daily and found strength in his faith.
As legend states, St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. The basis of this legend is that the origin of the snake as a pagan symbol. Therefore the tale of St. Patrick driving out the snakes can really be taken as a sign of driving out paganism from Ireland. Patrick (Maewyn Succat.) died in 493 AD.
Corned Beef and Cabbage is it Irish?
Actually the traditional dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage is not an Irish tradition but an American tradition started by Irish immigrants. The local meat in Ireland in the 1700’s was pork served with potatoes. Find out here how pork and potatoes become corned beef and cabbage and why it is the go to dinner for St. Patrick’s Day.
In 1925, “corned beef and cabbage” was voted to be the favorite dish of New York City.
We celebrate every year and usually have a big crowd. Lots of food, fun, friends and family make it all worth while to cook up a storm. Check out this Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe Favorite with Sides
If you are celebrating in a restaurant or bar, please remember to drink responsibly. Make sure you have selected a designated driver before you party. Please Don’t Drink and Drive.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
America loves their football and this Sunday, February 5th, 2017 is the biggest game of the year, the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will play at the NRG Stadium in Houston Texas. If you cannot be there in person you can enjoy the game on Fox channel (see other options here) and kick off is at 6:30 pm ET.
Where there is a football game there must be great food! For Super Bowl 51 we have searched for the best appetizers and yummy dishes you can conger up. The first on our list is a long time favorite Buffalo Chicken Wings…
Buffalo Chicken Wings – Make them as mild or hot as you like.
and as long as we are in the neighborhood of hot and spicy food here are a few more dishes…
Lara Spencer’s Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip (easy and so yummy!)
Jalapeno Poppers with Blue Cheese and Bacon – easy appetizer!
For those that do not want the hot or spicy foods;
Enjoy the Super Bowl :}
Here in Florida we’ve been having light winters lately and what comes to mind when the cold air blows is to get in the kitchen and cook up a big pot of Chili. It time to throw a get the chill off of you Chili party and not a bad idea as one of your Superbowl treats to.
Have a fun casual party and follow this to do list to make it easy and organized on you..
Week Before: Pick your day of the party and put your list of guest together and send out the invites with RSVP. Hint: you may want to ask on the invitation if they want a Chili with meat or Vegetarian Style. In this case you will know how much to make of each or one big pot of Beef Chili.
2 Days Before – Once you have your RSVP’s, take inventory of your cooking pots, ladles, bowls and mugs, spoons, napkins. You will need extra bowls for the toppings. Also one to two crock pots will come in handy.
1 Days Before – Head to the grocery store or farmers market for your ingredients. (Recipes below) For Toppings, you can use Sour cream, shredded cheeses like Cheddar, Smoked Cheese, Monterrey Jack, Queso Fresco. You could also chop up a sweet onion and mix with parsley, hot sauce, hot peppers, black and green olives. Pick out what you want and you think your guest will enjoy. You may want to also serve cornbread, tortilla chips or even Fritos.
The day of: For a small group up to 5 people one pot of Chili should be enough. For 6 or more you will need two pots of Chili. Hint: Not everyone likes spicy chili, so you could make it mild and let those who want more spice pick that from the toppings, such as chopped jalepeno peppers, dried red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
Set up your Chili Bar in an area that can handle the space for the bowls, spoons, napkins, toppings and a pot of chili that is easily accessible to your guests.
Place cards with the name of the Chili you are serving in that crock pot, like Beef Chili, Chicken Chili, Vegetarian Chili or even Vegan Chili.
Need a good Chili Recipe? Check out these below.
Winter in Florida has been mild and I am sure our Northern visitors are loving it. Snow storms have already made their way across the United States in December leaving much snow, loss of power and bitter cold. Staying warm from heating systems , to space heaters can be costly. Here are a few tips to help keep those costs down, while staying warm.
Do you have the right space heater? Trying to heat up a large room with a small space heater will cost you more and not provide the heat you need. Match the space heater to the room size. Check the manual for how many square feet the heater you have will be adequate per room you need heated. What is good about space heaters as well is that you can take them from room to room and only heat the room you will be in, saving you money.
Hot Water Radiator
Did you know that your Hot Water Radiator can lose up to 25% heat? The you are losing is going straight into the wall behind the radiator. This can be fixed by placeing a piece of insulation board behind the radiator. Simply cut the insulation board to the size of your radiator, cover one side with aluminum foil. Place the board between the radiator and wall with the foil side showing. The heat will now bounce off the foil and into your room.
Tip: Before starting up your radiator for the winter, clean it off well for any dust and dirt accumulation. Dust and dirt will act as an insulation and your radiator will not emit as much heat.
The best way to save money here is to do something very simple: Change out the filters at least once a month. During the winter you are inside the home more often then any other time of they year, and with good reason to get out of the cold. Your filters collect pet dander and dust and with more people inside the home this time of year the accumulation is more frequent. Clean filters mean more air flow which means a more cozy warm home.
Tip: Don’t forget about the cold air return vents. If they are on the floor be sure they are not blocked by furniture, drapes or rugs so they continue to feed your heating system.
Its all in the type of wood you use. Soft woods like Pine will burn faster and not as hot as a hardwood. Hardwoods like Oak, Cherry, Apple and Maple burn longer and hotter. You could also purchase seasoned wood (Check your local hardware store) that lights up faster and also burns a long time. Get even more heat from your fireplace by using a method similar to the Hot Water Radiator.
Tip: Place a piece of metal in the back of your fireplace and let it emit the heat back into your room. Ask for this at your local hardware store as well.
Always use safety when using heating systems such as space heaters, fireplaces and hot water radiators around your children.
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