Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Mar 18, 2019

Household Chemical Storage Guide

As a parent who wants to protect your kids, you’re probably aware that the first place to start is in your own home. Just as you baby-proofed your living spaces when your infant became mobile, you’ll also want to take precautions with the household chemicals lurking under the kitchen sink, on the bathroom shelf, and in the laundry room. Those ordinary, store-bought products often contain toxins — and the last thing you want is for a curious toddler to get into them and be harmed. However, before you start throwing everything out, consider that knowing how to store these items properly also can effectively protect your child.

Thankfully, there are several simple steps you can take to keep your kids safe from household chemicals. From meticulously labeling everything to storing dangerous products out of reach and checking containers regularly for signs of leakage, these precautions will mitigate the risks associated with having chemicals in your home.

For more tips on protecting your kids from the chemicals and toxins in cleansers, personal care products, paints, and other common formulations, take a look at the attached household chemical storage guide. It describes some of the best and most practical ways to minimize exposure and accidents. Follow these simple steps today to alleviate any concerns you might have about keeping your little ones safe.

Household Chemical Storage Guide
from SolvChem Custom Packaging Division

Author bio: Lynn Place is Vice President of Marketing for SolvChem Custom Packaging 
Division. She has 30 years of professional experience in the manufacturing industry and specializes in consumer packaged goods, new product development, and strategic planning. 
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Mar 15, 2019

What is the Difference Between Organic, Fair Trade, and Direct Coffee?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with 1 in every 2 Americans over the age of 18 report consuming coffee each day.

Of course, as any coffee consumer knows, not all coffee is created equal. The Keurig K-cups you purchase at your local store tastes drastically different than the premium coffee you can enjoy at your favorite coffee shop.

The type of coffee beans, the location where the beans were harvested, and even roast date all play an important role in the quality and taste of your coffee.

For example, Tradecraft suggests using coffee beans no more than three weeks after they are harvested to get the most out of the coffee.

While the quality of the ingredients of your coffee is a big part of the final result, the type of coffee you consume is also a crucial factor to consider.

In this brief guide, we’ll be exploring the differences between organic, fair trade, and direct coffee.

Organic Coffee

An increasingly popular type of coffee to consume, coffee that is labeled organic must meet a certain standard of guidelines.

While the requirements can differ slightly depending on various country regulations, organic coffee uses coffee beans where the beans are grown in organic conditions. Organic coffee is produced without any chemicals -- like pesticides.

Because of the unique standards in which the coffee must be produced, organic coffee often costs more than non-organic. Many health-conscious coffee drinkers believe the alleged health benefits and improved taste are worth the price premium.

Fair Trade Coffee

Fairtrade International is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that corporations and producers of common goods are able to establish a mutually beneficial and ethical relationship with their production partners. 

Coffee produced under the Fair Trade USA label requires that the farmers, importers, and exporters all operate within a set standard of rules, with the intention of promoting equality and growth for everyone involved in the coffee production process.

Fair trade coffee is considered to be one of the more ethically sourced types of coffee as it prohibits its partners to use child and forced labor. Additionally, producers who have a Fair Trade certificate must pay their workers a fair and living wage as well as commit to healthy and ethical business practices. 

If you’re looking to consume coffee that is ethically sourced, fair trade coffee is a great option to consider.

Direct Trade Coffee

Unlike fair trade coffee, which operates under a single organization, direct trade coffee involves coffee production where the coffee roasters and coffee producers have a direct, ideally mutually beneficial relationship. Direct trade coffee is not overseen by any one person or organization.

Because the distributors work directly with the coffee farmers, they are often able to have a more significant say in the quality and price of coffee beans in which they purchase.

The direct relationship also allows distributors to offer a higher price to the farmers for their coffee beans than when additional importers and exporters are involved. Direct trade coffee is also often beneficial for the farmers as they can invest their higher profits into building a sustainable coffee production farm.

Though there are many other types of coffee other than what we explored today, understanding the difference between organic, fair trade, and direct trade coffee can help you decide which types of coffee you feel good about investing in.
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Mar 11, 2019

Simple Fried Mushrooms In The Air Fryer

One of my most favorite times of year is when the South Carolina State Fair comes to Columbia. I used to enjoy the rides in my younger days, but now it is all about the food. I don't think anyone goes to the State Fair with the expectation of eating healthy food. If you do, you might be going to the wrong place! One of my state fair must-haves, aside from the sweet treats, is the deep-fried mushrooms. You can smell them cooking from what seems like a mile away. As much as I love them, I do find that I start feeling a little queasy after a while because the oily fried taste starts to get to me. 

I got an air fryer a few months ago and decided to experiment and make my own "fried" mushrooms at home. They were so simple and delicious that I knew I had to share the recipe. You can't go wrong with the perfect crispness without the grease or guilt. 


fresh mushrooms, cleaned with stems trimmed and cut in quarters
egg, slightly beaten with a little salt and pepper
seasoned bread crumbs
extra virgin olive oil

How to make them:

Preheat air fryer to 400° for up to five minutes. Dip your mushrooms into beaten egg, then coat in bread crumbs. Once your mushrooms are breaded, carefully add them into your fry basket. Spray with olive oil or whatever oil you choose. Cook for 4 minutes and then shake basket to toss mushrooms around. Let them cook for about 4 more minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ranch or condiment of your choice.

Tip: You can add a little grated parmesan to your bread crumbs for a bolder taste. You can also use this recipe for other vegetables like zucchini. I also recommend getting an oil spray bottle like this one for your olive oil. It has been the best thing to use with my air fryer since cooking sprays can cause damage to the unit, and olive oil is healthier.

If you have an air fryer and love mushrooms, you have to try this recipe. If you don't have an air fryer, you are missing out!
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Mar 7, 2019

IT’SUGAR Partners with Doughnuttery and Tipsy Scoop In Myrtle Beach

IT’SUGAR, the largest specialty candy retailer in the world with over 100 retail locations, announces its exclusive partnerships with Doughnuttery, an innovative, family-owned doughnut company, and Tipsy Scoop, a liquor-infused ice cream and sorbet company. Doughnuttery and Tipsy Scoop will open shops in the IT’SUGAR Broadway at the Beach location in Myrtle Beach, SC on March 9th.

Doughnuttery will provide customers with a treat for the senses as they freshly prepare their famous sugar-topped mini doughnuts live in-store. The shop will house an insanely sweet toppings bar, featuring over 25 unique sugar flavors that customers can mix and match to customize their doughnuts. Signature sugary combinations include Paris Time (Lavender, Pistachio, Vanilla, CocoMint Patty (Coco Mint Sugar), Fruity Cereal, House of Cardamom (Cardamom, Orange Zest), Speckled Strawberry (Strawberry, Rainbow Sprinkles, and Lemon-Thyme).

The IT’SUGAR Myrtle Beach location will also include exclusive toppings flavors like Beach Nuts (Old Bay classic seafood seasoning, cornmeal, and sugar), Unicorn Nuts (cotton candy, edible glitter, and sugar), and Candy Nuts (vanilla glazed doughnut topped with IT’SUGAR candy).

Tipsy Scoop’s in-store “barlour” will feature alcohol-infused (21+) ice cream, sorbets, sundaes, and pints as well as non-alcoholic options. Cocktail-inspired ice cream flavors include Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean Bourbon, Cake Batter Vodka Martini, Spiked Hazelnut Coffee, Spiked Mint Chip, Maple Bacon Bourbon, Red Velvet Martini, Tequila "Hot" Chocolate, and "Hot" Buttered Rum. The sorbet selection will feature flavors like Mango Margarita Sorbet, Raspberry Limoncello Sorbet, and Strawberry White Sangria Sorbet. Non-alcoholic options include Virgin Shirley Temple ice cream, Virgin Root Beer Float ice cream, Virgin White Russian ice cream, and Virgin Mudslide ice cream.

Tipsy Scoop will also offer seasonal treats, with plans to debut their “Spring Break” Sundae at their new location in IT’SUGAR Myrtle Beach. The Spring Break Sundae will include one scoop of Strawberry Sangria, Mango Margarita, and Raspberry Limoncello Sorbet, served in a bowl with Sour Gummy Sharks, Runts, and Salt Water Taffy - garnished with a licorice wheel and a Beach Ball lollipop.

 If you're heading to the beach this Spring Break or Summer, be sure to check them out!
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How to Lose Your Belly Fat In A Healthy Way

For people with a pear-shaped body, losing weight can be a bit of a challenge. While it is easy to lose weight around the upper part of the body, fat stored in the lower part of the body’s midsection is more difficult to deal with.

That’s not to say that it is impossible to lose weight when you have a pear-shaped body. More importantly, it is not impossible to lose weight in a healthy manner. These next few tips and tricks we are about to discuss will help you lose lower-belly fat healthily.

Drink More Water

Drinking more water has two benefits that help you lose weight and stay healthy. First of all, consuming more water allows your body to stay full. In fact, drinking a glass of water before a meal can help reduce the portion of your meal considerably.

Drinking water also helps the body metabolize more optimally. This simple step helps reduce the amount of fat stored in the lower part of your midsection, which in turn reduces the weight that gets added to the section after your meals.

Besides, drinking more water is about as easy as it gets. It is an effective way to lose weight while improving your body metabolism and overall health. There are even specific benefits on your skin and heart health to be gained from drinking more water.

Have a Full Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is more important when you are trying to lose weight. A suitable breakfast added to your diet has the ability to change your eating habits for the rest of the day. A full breakfast is highly recommended.

You want a lot of fiber in your breakfast. Wheat and other food items contain enough fiber, and they are perfect for breakfast. You also want to add plenty of proteins, especially if you want to feel full through the morning.

Additionally, you may want to add fruit to your breakfast menu. A glass of fresh orange juice, slices of apple or watermelon, or a small bowl of fruit salad could turn a simple breakfast into one that can power you beyond lunchtime.

Avoid Certain Drinks

Some drinks are best avoided if you are trying to lose weight. Sugary beverages are your worst enemy when you have a pear-shaped body and you want to lose weight. The extra calories you consume with every sip will cancel all of the healthy nutrients you consume throughout the day.

Of course, soda isn’t the only type of drink you need to avoid. That extra-large frappuccino you usually pick up on your way to work also contains plenty of calories. Switch to home-brewed coffee made from healthy ingredients if you need the caffeine.

You can actually use shying away from these drinks as an opportunity to drink more water. This allows you to reduce your calorie intake substantially while enjoying the benefits we discussed earlier.

Use the Right Supplements

Not all dietary supplements are created equal. When you have a pear-shaped body or if you are targeting the fat around your lower waist, finding supplements that can help address the issue directly is the way to go.

When it comes to supplements for people with a pear-shaped body, Immunocorp is the brand to look into. Lipobiotol, one of Immunocorp’s supplements, is designed to address the issues that cause a pear-shaped body in the first place.

The supplement is based on studies that revealed different causes of fat buildup around the lower section of the body. Issues such as bacterial imbalance and exposure to certain food items are addressed, giving your body the balance that it needs and the ability to burn fat in that specific area.

The Right Exercises

Dieting alone is not enough; you also have to integrate regular exercises and positive habits to accelerate your weight loss program. When you have a pear-shaped body and you want to get rid of the lower-body fat, the exercise you do matters.

You want to avoid some exercises that target the belly muscles directly. Doing crunches, for instance, helps strengthen the muscles around your belly, but doesn’t burn fat stored in the same area. Besides, doing crunches excessively could lead to more issues, including severe back problems.

What you want to do instead is a set of exercises that build up strength and muscle mass. This means doing squats and deadlifts to work your muscles in a more optimum way. These exercises will not burn fat immediately but doing them regularly will help you lower your waist size over time.

The rest is easy from there. Now that you have the best tips and tricks to use, you can lose weight and get rid of your pear-shaped body in a more effective and healthier way. Stick to the plan, improve your diet, and you will start losing more weight without risking your health.
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