Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beating the Heat: Simple (and Green) Solutions

If you're like me...(without an airconditioned house) the last few days have been pretty warm. And while, playing outside is absolutely delightful, when we move indoors it can be stifling! I have been trying to get outside in the morning and later afternoon to avoid the midday sun. And don't forget to cover up with a hat, sundlasses and sunscreen! However, we can't usually stay outside all day long, so what are some ways we can maintain the "cool" when we get out of the kiddie "pool"?

One way is to turn off our "hot" appliances! It sounds simple, but it's easy to forget that many household appliances create heat. Make sure you've unplugged all of your appliances that you aren't actually using. This can both save on your electric bill but also reduce the amount of heat generated inside the house.

Also, avoid using heat producers such as the oven and the dryer. Let the sun work for you--dry your clothes outside on the line. Ditch the blow dryer--find a simple hairstyle that'll look great without the hot air blast. With this warm weather, hair drys very quickly once you step out of the shower.

Place the oven on summer vacation--opt for raw foods or downsize to a toaster oven, or do your cooking outside on the grill.

Need to use a hot appliance? Close the door and switch the window fan to reverse mode to draw the hot air outside.

Hopefully these tips help to keep you cool...sounds like this "heat wave" is not going anywhere anytime soon! Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family Reunion Fun This Summer!

Summer is the official season of family reunions isn't it? Now some of us love catching up with long lost cousins and for others the thought of making conversation with old great aunt Ethel makes you want to cringe. (Those people usually don't go to family reunions) I recently went to a family reunion on my mom's side of the family and it was so much fun! I met some relatives for the very first time, have a new appreciation for family geneology research and caught up with some cousins that I haven't seen in years. It was fun, informative and nostalgic all at the same time! Here are my top 5 tips for making the most of your family reunion.
1. Take your camera (and take lots of photos, candids and those that are posed, get as many intergenerational photos as possible, they are worth pure gold down the road)
2. Take old photos, they can spark a conversation and help you connect with other people that might have new or different information from the person, place or event.
3. Have your contact information already written/printed out to make it easier to keep in touch with family members throughout the year!
4. If someone is compiling family information, buy the book/booklet that they are putting together. Family history and information can be facinating and links us to our past in a very unique way.
5. Show up with an empty stomach...there is always a TON of food!

Continue having a great summer and have fun at your next family reunion!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun in the Summer Time!

So maybe the weather this week hasn't felt really a lot like summer, but that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy this time of year. I was recently at the Town of Beaumont Library and if you haven't been there, or go there regularly you really should check it out. Their staff is really friendly and helpful, they have some great books and magazines and it is a really great place to read and relax on a rainy or windy day. For the younger crowd (those aged 12-17) check out the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. There is always something interesting going on there and it is another place to meet friends and have fun indoors if our weather isn't cooperating. If you are getting kind of down about our less than perfect summer weather just remember at least we haven't had to deal with any funnel clouds or extreme weather. Check out this photo that I took on the way back from holidays on the weekend, this was taken just outside of Red Deer on Saturday evening. Pretty scary, thankfully no one was injured! Have a great week, indoors and out!