Family * Travel * Food

Safe Gates Help Save Lives – Check Your Pool Gate Month

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 – 4 years, with an average of 11 fatal and 22 non-fatal drownings per day. In addition, 70% of child drownings happen during non-swim times. Childrens’ curious nature naturally draws them to the back yard swimming pool, and the majority of children that drown most commonly gain access to the pool area through a faulty fence or gate. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) has developed the 5 layers of protection to help reduce the risk of child drowning. 

The first layer, and most important layer, is a barrier that limits access and an alarm to alert of any unplanned access to the pool area. Fencing provides a barrier that works 24/7, but a fence is only effective if the gate and gate hardware are in good working order – a properly functioning gate can help prevent drownings. Checking the pool gate is vital to drowning prevention, yet only 30% of pool owners check the safety of their pool gate once a year. Recognizing the need to create awareness of this problem and provide education on how to check and maintain a pool gate, D&D Technologies has brought together the NDPA and several non-profit organizations to establish the Check Your Pool Gate Month beginning the first day of May.

Check Your Pool Gate Month was created to remind pool owners of the vital need to ensure pool fences, gates, latches and hinges are secure and in top working order, with the aim to reduce child drownings by making it harder for them to access the pool. Every pool owner should be confident they have a safe swimming zone. For every 1 child that drowns, another 7 experience a non-fatal drowning – 40% of these children require further care. A few minutes is all it takes for pool owners to check their pool fence and gate, and this simple routine done regularly could help save the life of a child.

Safety checklist for pool gates

  • Gate should open outwards, away from the pool
  • Gate latch release knob should be out of reach of children under 5. (check local codes/standards from minimum requirements
  • Fence should be at a minimum height to comply with your region and encompass the pool area. (check local codes/standards for minimum requirements)
  • Maximum clearance from finished ground surface is no more than 4” (100mm)
  • Fence perimeter must have adequate distance from other climbable objects or structures
  • Gate must be self-closing and self-latching
  • Gate hinges are reliable, self-closing, tension-adjustable, rust free and bind free
  • Gate latch must be adjustable for height and width
  • Gate latch cannot be key locked in the “open” positio
  • Gate latch cannot be opened using implements or force
  • Gate will shut and latch securely from any position, including from resting on the latching mechanism
  • Gate complies with all relevant United States Codes/Standards and legislation for pool safety

If new or replacement gate hardware is needed, install products proven over 35 years, the D&D MagnaLatch® safety gate latch and TruClose® safety gate hinge. The MagnaLatch® gate latch and TruClose® gate hinge, invented by D&D Technologies, meet all international and local pool safety codes, as well as fulfill all the safety checklist’s requirements. The MagnaLatch® is a reliable, adjustable and magnetically triggered self-latching safety gate latch. TruClose® are self-closing, adjustable, polymer safety gate hinges. 

The MagnaLatch® ALERT is D&D’s latest pool safety innovation, providing both audible and visual alarms if the gate is left open or not physically latched. Pool owners can see at a glance and hear from a distance if their pool gate is not latched properly.

Together MagnaLatch and TruClose are the world’s most trusted pool safety hardware system, having been installed on gates for over 35 years and saving countless lives.

D&D Technologies gate hardware can be purchased on Amazon or at Home Depot or Lowes. If you cannot fix it call your local contractor to service your gate and ensure the gate is secured while waiting.

For more information on pool safety and compliance visit:, and 

For more information on the Layer of Protection visit:


Exploring the Gems of the Southeastern United States: 10 Must-Visit Destinations

The southeastern region of the United States is renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. From vibrant cities to charming coastal towns, the Southeast offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. In this blog post, we will showcase 10 top destinations in the Southeast, highlighting the cost of accommodation, dining out, and visiting attractions to help you plan your trip accordingly. 

Charleston, South Carolina:

Known for its well-preserved architecture and cobblestone streets, Charleston exudes Southern charm. Explore the historic district, take a carriage ride, or visit the iconic Rainbow Row. Accommodation options range from boutique hotels to charming bed and breakfasts, with prices averaging around $150-$300 per night. Dining out can vary from affordable local eateries to high-end restaurants, with an average meal cost of $15-$40 per person. Many attractions, such as the Charleston City Market, are free, while others, like plantations and museums, may charge admission fees ranging from $10-$25.

Savannah, Georgia:

Savannah is a city steeped in history and beauty, with its picturesque squares and antebellum mansions. Stay in elegant hotels or opt for cozy inns, with average prices ranging from $120-$250 per night. Dining options in Savannah cater to various budgets, with an average meal cost of $10-$30 per person. Don't miss attractions like the historic Bonaventure Cemetery or the Mercer Williams House Museum, which typically charge admission fees of $10-$20.

Asheville, North Carolina:

Nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers a mix of vibrant arts, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Accommodation in Asheville ranges from budget-friendly motels to luxury resorts, with prices averaging $100-$250 per night. The city boasts a thriving food scene, with diverse options ranging from food trucks to farm-to-table restaurants, typically costing $10-$30 per meal. Explore the famous Biltmore Estate with admission fees of approximately $60-$85 per person.

New Orleans, Louisiana:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and unique atmosphere of New Orleans. From the lively French Quarter to the soulful sounds of jazz, the city offers an unforgettable experience. Accommodation prices vary widely, with options ranging from budget hotels to high-end luxury accommodations. Expect to pay an average of $150-$350 per night. Dining in New Orleans can be affordable, with classic dishes like po'boys and gumbo available for under $10. However, fine dining experiences can range from $30-$100 per person. Popular attractions, such as the French Quarter and Garden District, are free to explore, while others, like the National WWII Museum, charge admission fees ranging from $25-$30.

Nashville, Tennessee:

Known as the Music City, Nashville is a vibrant destination with a lively music scene and rich cultural heritage. Accommodation options include downtown hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts, with prices averaging $150-$300 per night. Dining out in Nashville offers a range of choices, from affordable Southern comfort food to upscale farm-to-table cuisine, typically costing $15-$40 per person. Explore attractions such as the Country Music Hall of Fame (admission fees around $25-$30) and catch live performances at various music venues throughout the city. 

Miami, Florida:

Miami is a glamorous city that combines stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a melting pot of cultures. Accommodation options in Miami span from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts, with prices averaging $150-$400 per night. Dining out can be diverse, with options ranging from affordable Cuban sandwiches to high-end waterfront dining, typically costing $15-$50 per person. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Miami Beach, visit the Art Deco Historic District (free), or take a boat tour in Biscayne Bay (around $25-$50 per person).

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina:

As America's most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains offer breathtaking natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities. Accommodation options range from campgrounds to cabins and hotels, with prices varying accordingly. Camping fees start at around $25 per night, while cabins or hotels can range from $100-$250 per night. Dining options can be found in nearby towns, with meal prices ranging from $10-$30 per person. Explore the park's scenic drives, hike the numerous trails (free), or enjoy wildlife watching.

St. Augustine, Florida:

As the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the United States, St. Augustine is a historic gem on Florida's east coast. Accommodation prices range from budget-friendly hotels to upscale resorts, with averages around $120-$250 per night. Dining out offers a mix of casual seafood spots and fine dining establishments, with meal prices averaging $15-$40 per person. Visit attractions such as the Castillo de San Marcos (around $15 admission fee) or take a stroll down St. George Street in the charming historic district (free).

Gatlinburg, Tennessee:

Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Accommodation options include hotels, cabins, and chalets, with prices averaging $100-$250 per night. Dining in Gatlinburg ranges from affordable barbecue joints to family-friendly restaurants, with average meal costs of $10-$30 per person. Explore the scenic trails of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (free) or visit popular attractions such as the Ober Gatlinburg amusement park (prices vary). 

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina:

Hilton Head Island is a tranquil coastal paradise known for its pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, and abundant outdoor activities. Accommodation options include beachfront resorts and vacation rentals, with prices averaging $150-$400 per night. Dining out ranges from casual seafood shacks to upscale waterfront restaurants, typically costing $15-$50 per person. Explore the island's beautiful beaches (free), rent bicycles, or tee off at one of the renowned golf courses.

The southeastern United States is a captivating region that offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. While the cost of staying, dining out, and visiting attractions may vary, there are options available to suit a range of budgets. Whether you're exploring the historic streets of Charleston, indulging in the lively ambiance of New Orleans, or immersing yourself in the natural wonders of the Smoky Mountains, the Southeast has something to offer every traveler. Plan your visit wisely, considering the expenses, and embark on a memorable journey through these top destinations.


Easy Gazpacho Made Without Juice

Today we're taking a refreshing plunge into the realm of gazpacho—a beloved Spanish classic that's perfect for savoring the summer season. Gazpacho is a chilled soup bursting with the essence of ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, zesty peppers, and fragrant herbs. Its smooth texture and tangy flavors make it a tantalizing option for those seeking a light and invigorating dish. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer, a light lunch, or even a refreshing beverage, gazpacho offers a delightful respite from the sweltering heat. It's also a tasty way to get more vegetables into your diet. 

I want to share my version of this delightful chilled soup. Many recipes online call for canned or bottle tomato juice. This recipe is made from all raw fruits and vegetables. It helps a lot to use a high-powered blender to get a nice smooth consistency. Now if you want it chunky, you can blend it a little less. This soup is packed with flavor, and is so quick to make. 

Check out the recipe below

I didn't have quite enough Roma tomatoes, so I added a hefty handful of cherry tomatoes. 

What you will need 

For the soup: 
  • 5-6 fresh Roma tomatoes cut in quarters  
  • 1 small or 1/2 of a large red or orange bell pepper, cut in big pieces
  • 3/4 of an English cucumber peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1/2 of a small red onion
  • 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • a big handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and cracked pepper to taste, about a tsp each
For the topping: 
  • the remaining 1/4 cucumber dice finely (skin on)
  • cherry tomatoes cut into small pieces
  • cilantro
  • avocado chunks

How to make it

  1. Add all of the cut up vegetables except for the toppings into your blender. 
  2. Next, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. 
  3. Blend on high speed until you reach the consistency you like. Taste for seasoning, and add additional salt and pepper if needed. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to come together. 
  5. Top with the chopped veggies and a drizzle of olive oil if you'd like. ENJOY! 

Gazpacho is a versatile soup that offers a wide range of topping possibilities, allowing you to tailor it to your personal preferences. Traditional toppings include diced cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and croutons, which add texture and enhance the overall flavor profile. You could even add cooked, chilled shrimp to make it a heartier meal. For an extra touch of elegance, consider adding a drizzle of high-quality olive oil or a sprinkle of fresh herbs like basil or cilantro. As for storage, gazpacho can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days, allowing you to enjoy its refreshing taste and vibrant colors over multiple servings. So go ahead and explore the endless variations and toppings to create your own delightful gazpacho experience, perfect for cooling down during hot summer days or whenever your taste buds crave a burst of Mediterranean flavors!

Summer Reading Essentials From Nat Geo Kids + Giveaway

For many of us, summer break is already under way or is soon to come. During the summer break, there are several ways to keep your kids' brains engaged and active. Encouraging reading is a fantastic way to stimulate their minds, whether it's through a summer reading challenge or joining a local library program. Engaging in hands-on activities like arts and crafts, puzzles, and building projects can promote problem-solving skills and creativity. Encouraging them to explore nature through outdoor adventures, such as hiking or gardening, can foster curiosity and a deeper understanding of the world around them. Additionally, enrolling them in summer camps or workshops focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) can provide structured learning experiences and spark their interests in these fields. Lastly, limiting screen time and encouraging social interactions with friends and family can promote cognitive and emotional development. By incorporating a variety of activities, you can ensure a summer filled with fun and continued mental growth for your children.

There will definitely be times where kids have a lot of moments waiting in an airport, in the car, or even when they feel like they have nothing to do. Thankfully children's books from National Geographic are a perfect way to fill the time. It's even better when learning about animals is involved. I want to share some titles that your kids of many ages can enjoy this summer. *Please note that this post contains affiliate links. 

Little Kids First Nature Guide: Explore the Beach (ages 4-8, Flex-Bound, $9.99)

Make the most out of any trip to the beach wit this take-along nature guide that helps young children find, identify, and learn about the fascinating animals, plants, and other wonders to be found at the seashore. Young explorers discover a variety of cool creatures, shells, plants, and more at the beach, from crabs skittering across the sand to fish riding the waves to seagulls flying high in the sky. This sturdy take-along guide features:

  • Easy-to-understand profiles of a wide variety of plants and animals commonly spotted at the beach, as well as fan-favorites out in the waves like dolphins, seahorses, and jellyfish
  • Vibrant National Geographic photography that brings the subject matter to life and makes identification easy
  • “Check Me Out!” fact boxes that provide more information about each creature, including its size and color, where it’s found, and what it eat
  •  Gallery pages featuring various beach environments, such as tide pools and sand dunes
  • Cool fun facts sprinkled throughout
  • Simple text for reading aloud or for beginning readers
  • Games, activities, and tips for how and where to explore
  • Helpful glossary
  • Flexible binding for durability

Did you know that a giraffe’s eye is as big as a Ping-Pong ball? Or that about 19 million hot dogs are sold at major league baseball games every year? Or that there is only one bone in your body that’s not connected to another one?  This book is chock-full of fascinating facts, silly stats, and catchy little knowledge nuggets in all kinds of awesome categories, from amphibians to black holes to the gold rush.

Special features include Extreme Weirdness, Strange Places, What's the Difference, and more. Bold, colorful photographs in a supersized format and spectacular information create a winning combination for curious kids who can't wait to learn more about the world.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024 (ages 8-12, Paperback, $15.99)

The New York Times best-selling Almanac is packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, National Geographic exclusives, games, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. 

National Geographic Kids Personality Quizzes (ages 8-12, $9.99, Paperback)

What's your shark superpower? What kind of friend are you?

From weird and wacky (What stinky animal are you?) to thought-provoking and informative (What kind of explorer should you be? Which mountain should you climb?), there’s a personality profile for everyone in this totally unique book. Inside you'll find all kinds of quizzes: flow charts, multiple choice, this or that, and more and while you're at it, get to know about amazing animals, places, cultures, and even careers around the world!

Puzzle Book of the Ocean (ages 8-12, Paperback, $6.99)

Headed to the beach this summer?  Make the trip go by in a flash with this ultimate backseat boredom-buster!

Dive into pages and pages of crosswords, sudoku, word searches, mazes, quizzes, word scrambles, and spot the difference puzzles as well as fun facts and vibrant photos of fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and all sorts of ocean animals.  This book will have you swimming for hours through amazing information about the deep blue—just don’t forget to surface!

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.

In this fan-favorite fiction series, Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented-reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him ... and why?  Readers can get in on the excitement with puzzles and codes embedded throughout. Learn more here:


These titles are really great and will provide many hours of fun! They are all available on *Amazon, and make a great gift to family and friends. Thank you so much National Geographic Kids for the sample books, and for providing a set for a giveaway for one lucky Mom Files reader to win. Be sure to visit the National Geographic Kids website:

If you are interested in winning a Prize Pack of these National Geographic Kids Books, enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway ends on June 17, 2023 and is open to U.S. and Canada Residents only. Please note that Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes since our sponsor takes care of prize fulfillment. All opinions are my own. Thank you for stopping by today! 

Delicious Summer Cocktails and Mocktails for Entertaining

Summer is the perfect season for entertaining friends and family outdoors, and what better way to do it than with some delicious and refreshing cocktails and mocktails. Whether you are hosting a backyard barbecue or a pool party, these recipes are sure to impress your guests and keep them cool and hydrated during those hot summer days. 

Classic Margarita


  • 2 oz. Tequila
  • 1 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Salt for the rim


  1. Rub the rim of a rocks glass with a lime wedge, then dip it into a plate of salt.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. In a shaker, combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup with ice.
  4. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds, then strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!                                                                                                

Watermelon Agua Fresca


  • 4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 limes, juiced


  1. Combine watermelon, water, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add lime juice and blend again.
  3. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Serve over ice and garnish with a slice of watermelon.

Pineapple Coconut Mojito


  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 tbsp. coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 oz. rum
  • Club soda


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together mint leaves, pineapple, coconut cream, honey, and lime juice.
  2. Add rum and ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of pineapple.                                   

Strawberry Lemonade Mocktail


  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups cold water
  • Lemon slices and strawberries for garnish


  1. In a blender, puree strawberries, lemon juice, and honey until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher.
  3. Add cold water and stir well.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices and strawberries.

Peach Bellini


  • 1 ripe peach, peeled and pitted
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 bottle Prosecco


  1. Puree peach and honey in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a champagne flute.
  3. Top with Prosecco and stir gently.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

These summer cocktail and mocktail recipes are perfect for entertaining guests and cooling off during hot summer days. Try them out and get creative with your own ingredients and flavors to make your signature drinks that everyone will love. Cheers to a fun and refreshing summer!


Summer Camp Essentials: Outdoor Health & Safety Checklist

Many kids are getting ready to head to camp this summer and enjoy the great outdoors – but coming down with a sunburn or a painful bug bite can easily put a damper on their day, and even cause long term illness. 

MedStar Health shares the checklist below to help parents pack the essentials for any outdoor adventure: 

Bug Spray 

Your kids will most likely explore spaces occupied by creatures such as ants, spiders, flies, bees, mosquitoes and ticks, which can cause harmful rashes, or serious illness (such as Lyme disease). Make sure they apply bug spray on their exposed skin and clothes before venturing outdoors. Children should also have long pants and long sleeved, lightweight clothing options to wear on hikes to help decrease the risk of insect bites. It is also important to teach your children how to check for ticks each night.

Calamine Lotion

Bug bites are very common during the summer months.  When bites occur despite use of bug spray, calamine lotion can be applied to ease itchiness and irritation.  Be sure your child knows to notify staff if there are any signs of infection, such as oozing, pain, increasing redness of the  area affected, so they can be seen and treated for a possible infection. 


A sunburn can creep up on you, especially during a hike! Medical experts recommend the use of sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. It’s also important to reapply sunscreen every two hours - more frequently if you’ve been sweating or swimming. 


Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection. This will greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other forms of eye damage.

Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen 

Sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable so acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to help alleviate the pain or discomfort.  Sun poisoning can cause a range of symptoms including headache, fever, nausea and fatigue so young campers should know to reach out to an adult if they have these symptoms along with a significant sunburn, as they might need additional treatment. 

First Aid Kit

Not only will a great first aid kit help you with injuries that commonly occur while out camping, but it can keep you prepared for survival situations that might arise while you are on your trip.

Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is extremely important, especially with increased outdoor activities over the summer.  Be sure your child knows to drink at least 3 bottles per day.  Help them get into the fun of having it with them all day by decorating it themselves with stickers and such.


4 Strategies for Staying Healthy This Summer

With Summer just around the corner, it is important to keep the health of you and your family top of mind. Whether you are staying home all summer or looking to take a trip, knowing how to create and maintain some healthy habits is crucial. Here are some ways to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy this summer.

Stay hydrated

With the summer heat building up during these longer days, it is important to keep yourself hydrated. Suffering from dehydration can lead to health problems like headaches, fainting, and even heat stroke. Keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times can ensure you are drinking enough water daily. If you have children that struggle with picky eating habits and who hate the taste of plain water, consider infusing it with some of their favorite fruits. Using strawberries or lemons can give the water a fresh taste and encourage them to drink more! 

Keep protected

Having fun in the sun is a great way to stay active and curate some healthy habits. Going to the beach, taking a hike, or any outdoor activity is great for getting the right amount of exercise. When you are outdoors it is incredibly important to keep yourself protected from the sun. Having a strong and dependable sunscreen will keep you and your family safe from the dangers of sun exposure. Too much sun can lead to conditions like sunburn, sun poisoning, and sunstroke. While wearing accessories like hats can also help create a barrier between you and the sun, you should be vigilant with applying and reapplying sunscreen.

Be prepared

With summer being the perfect time for spontaneity, it is essential to have a go-bag prepped in advance with the little things you might normally forget on a trip. Having this bag ready will help you cover your bases and decrease the stress of forgetting important items on your journey. Include the things you and your family will most certainly need, like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap—any and all of your basic hygiene items are generally necessities for a trip. 

Also be sure to include a stocked first aid kit that makes sense for you and your family’s needs. If anyone suffers from severe or life threatening allergies, you should pack an EpiPen to be safe.  Similarly, if you or a loved one has vision issues you should make sure you include prescription contacts in the kit. Having a fresh pair of contacts available can save you if you lose or break your glasses and can’t immediately replace them. Being prepared for any scenario will help keep you and your family safe this summer wherever you are. 

Practice self-care

Taking care of your health is more than taking care of just your physical health; your mental health is a large component of your overall wellness. After all of the changes 2020 brought, the world opening up can cause a great deal of anxiety for those who haven’t experienced the hustle of crowds in a long time. Make sure you make time to practice self-care in whatever way you need to keep your mental health in check. This could include taking walks alone, picking up a journal, or spending time meditating. Talking as a family about how to combat any anxieties you may be facing can be a great way to keep the lines of communication open about mental health as well.

Keeping up with healthy habits is a great way to maintain a positive lifestyle this summer. As a family, it is important to work together and help each other stay as happy and healthy as possible. 


How To Pick An Amazing Swimsuit For A Beach Vacation

It's quite challenging when choosing the right swimwear when you are going on a beach vacation. As exciting as beach vacations are, for some, choosing the right swimsuit can add a little stress. For the benefit of those travelers who want to experience the sands, waves and salt-water fun, the following information can help immensely.
Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash
Let’s start with the real test! How do you know what’s best for you?

No other garment selection requires so much consideration, as much as a swimsuit does for a woman. To begin with, the design and cut of the swimwear are extremely important. It affects the way it sticks to your body and boosts your beach/poolside confidence.

Decorative components like flounce or a cut-out and a well-placed print play a key role. The most comfortable swimwear is the well-fitted and modest one because it covers most of your body parts, you need not worry about exposing certain areas that you may want to hide. Yet it holds the body together to give you the confidence that makes you enjoy the beach or pool.  Here are some tips to find the best swimsuit before you set out on that vacation of yours;

Shape Matters!

If you can measure the size of your chest, waist, and hip, it is easy to find your body type. The most common body shapes among women are apple, banana, pear, spoon, bell, hourglass-shaped, etc. Of course, the hourglass-shaped body is considered the ideal body shape but the world is a mix and match and not all are supermodels in everyday life!
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
Browse for Options

If you are worried about the apt place to find the apt bathing suit to match your body shape, browsing through some top online options can help. If you want to lay hands on the best bathing outfits, you can try bathing suits from Planet Blue, they have a vast collection of one-piece, bikini tops, bottom with a wide range of fitting from full-coverage to skimpy fit swimsuit styles.

Get a Little Color Conscious

Choosing a bright color and pattern will highlight a body part whereas solid colors will help you hide the unattractive area of your body. For people with pale skin, try choosing black, dark purple, maroon or navy blue. Bright colors will be apt for those with a dark complexion.

Swimsuits Can Create Good Illusions

A high-waist swimsuit with vertical and angled stripes is advantageous to give the illusion of long legs. You will look slim and sexy. Wearing reds will make you look smaller. To add volume to your upper and lower areas, try something with ruffles and hardware detailing. Ruffles will help in adding volume and shirring will hide volume. To hide your waist, the monokini is the best, and tankini will highlight the same. Try picking a boy shorts if you have an hourglass-shaped body.

Let it Complement Your Body

If you are short, the hi-cut bottom will make your legs look slender. Halter-tops will make your bust attractive and bandeau top will make them look wider. To show-off, your figure, try some embellishments like jewels, flowers, sequins, and cut-outs in your swimsuit.

Fabric is Important, Too

If you love going on frequent beach vacations, choose fabrics that will ensure swimsuit longevity. The commonly used strong fabric materials are nylon, neoprene, and lycra. Polyester is the best and most common material used to withstand chlorine and fading. Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) is used in competitive suits for stretchability and it withstands chlorine.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
Picking the Right One

Pick a top that stays in place while jumping and moving around. Experiment this in the trial sessions, exchange if it doesn’t solve the purpose. Pick a bottom that matches with your hip measurements to feel comfortable and cozy. If you are planning to order a swimsuit online, don't skip to check the size chart and customer reviews regarding the fit and material. Most retailers offer mix and match options to the users to customize their swimsuit according to their size. This will offer much comfort. Buy the appropriate one that fulfills the purpose of your swimsuit. A sexy one-piece or a bikini will be suitable to keep you cool and flattering by the waves, under the umbrella.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Ladies, at the end of the day, you live your life only once. Wear something that will help boost your confidence and comfort. Ultimately, it is your self-esteem that pervades and inspires your identity and is projected by your vibes in your personality.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Perfect Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

We are in the heart of the summer weather here in South Carolina. The scorching sun and humidity do not push me to want to be in the kitchen for very long. I have been utilizing my air fryer a lot to avoid going outside in the heat to grill or to have to turn on the oven. It seems to take forever for my house to cool down once the oven is on. I have been making a variety of lighter dishes, as well as salads. I came across a recipe for Greek pasta salad from Skinnytaste and decided to try it out. I did make a few adjustments because I felt like some of the fruit and vegetable quantities were way too much.

One thing that I love about pasta salad or potato salad is that you can make enough for leftovers for the next day or two. When I made this pasta salad, I was afraid it was too much for my family. It turned out to be so delicious, that it all got devoured over the course of a few days. The recipe is super simple and is definitely one you will want to hang on to. It makes a great side dish for family meals and cookouts.

Greek Pasta Salad

one 16-ounce box of pasta (Bow ties or rotini work well)
2 cups of diced English cucumber (skin on)
1 small orange bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a small red onion finely chopped
1/2 pint of either cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
4 ounces crumbled or cubed Feta cheese
1/2 cup of kalamata olives sliced in half

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp kalamata olive brine
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Kosher salt
cracked black pepper (optional)

How to make it: 

  • Boil pasta in well-salted water according to package instructions. Test for desired doneness and drain. Rinse with cold water, and let it cool at least 10 minutes. 
  • Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
  • In an extra-large bowl, toss pasta, chopped fruit/veggies, and dressing together.
  • Add feta at the end. 
Refrigerate and enjoy! Be sure to Pin this recipe for later. 

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Thank you for stopping by today!

The Perfect Potato Salad To Take To A Cookout

I don't know about you, but I think the side dishes at a cookout are the best part of the meal. I admit I will often pass up the grilled meats for a plate of just sides. One of my all-time favorites is potato salad. That is one dish that not everyone can make well. The food snob in me judges other people's potato salad mighty hard. HA! Seriously though, I make an excellent one that everyone raves about. Today I am sharing my recipe with you all.


Red potatoes (about 6-7 medium size)
2 whole large eggs
Finely chopped red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, and Italian parsley
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
Dressing ingredients:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp yellow mustard
2 tbsp pickle relish
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
a few splashes of hot sauce (optional)

How to make it: 

Slice potatoes in even pieces, about 1/4 inch thick. I like to leave most of the skin on mine for added color and texture. Rinse and place them in a large pot of cold water. Salt generously! Place the 2 whole eggs on top of potatoes so they can cook at the same time. Boil until potatoes are fork tender about 10 minutes. Do not overcook! Scoop eggs out and place in ice water (this makes for easier peeling). Drain potatoes and place on a large plate or dish to cool down.

While potatoes cool, combine your dressing ingredients so that the sugar dissolves. Peel and chop the boiled eggs. Once the potatoes are mostly cool, you gently toss together all of your ingredients. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Be careful with adding salt since your potatoes should already be salty and the dressing ingredients have salt in them. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Quick tips:
If you do not care for mayo, you can substitute it with fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt.
You can customize your vegetables or add-ins by using celery, carrots, bacon, or whatever you fancy.

This potato salad recipe took me a few years of tweaking and perfecting and is what I have been using for years. I'm often asked to bring it to a cookout or party. I love that you can make it ahead of time so there is no stress on the day you need it. I hope you try my recipe. Thanks for stopping by today!

You may also like:
Best Deviled Eggs Recipe
The Perfect Margarita Recipe
Shelly's Easy & Moist Meatloaf

Seasonal Skincare: Transitioning from Spring to Summer

As spring turns into summer, we all prepare for the warmer temperatures. Pants change to shorts and women often wear dresses to beat the heat. There are many ways in which the season changes affect our daily lives, including skin care. When the temperatures begin to get warmer, it is important to consider seasonal changes to your skin care. An example of this would be the hydration that Squalane oil can provide. As the temperatures may dry out your skin, you can benefit from additional skin care therapies. 
Photo by Vitória Santos from Pexels

Products To Try
Every individual is different, so while one person may have dry skin during the summer, another may have oily skin. It is important to take note as to how your skin reacts during each season and add products accordingly. During the summer, Matrixyl and hyaluronic acid work well on the skin. Finding the Best hyaluronic acid serum and matrixyl products can assist in your skin care regimen. 
With matrixyl, you have a product that helps to reduce the signs of aging. The product contains Matrikines which is an anti-wrinkle complex. The skin is taught to behave differently, with the restricting of the papillary dermis network taking place. 
With hyaluronic acid serum, you have a product that provides much-needed moisture and hydration. Apply the serum in the morning and at night to see the best results. 
image credit

Creating Habits
Once new products have been purchased and a skin care regimen created, stick with it. Wash your face morning and night and take time to treat the skin. Over time, you will see quality results and want to continue to have glowing and beautiful skin. 
Set timers for yourself or try to clean your face at the same times each day. This will help you to create a habit that works so you can see long-lasting results! 

Best Summer Activities For Kid's Growth & Development

Summer is known as that lazy, relaxing time of year. While all kids deserve a break, they still need structure and stimulating activities that nurture their growth and development. Do you need some tips to keep in mind when it comes to your kids this summer?

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a child psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry (www.srangapsychiatrycom) and offers this advice:

Create A Summer Schedule: You don’t have to schedule something for every second of the day. The idea is to develop a predictable but flexible daily schedule that can help children thrive. Remember, sometimes boredom can be a trigger for bad behavior. The idea is to still have a routine and agenda, but know that it’s okay to be a little laid back when it comes to sticking to it.

Create A Calendar: Make it visible to your entire family. Write down daily activities and include a chore/activity chart. This helps children understand what’s expected of them. It also helps enrich their sense of responsibility and integrity all while building their confidence.
image credit
Don’t Skip Reading: Reading should be part of their everyday routine this summer. Whether in the morning or before bed (or both), make it a priority to read with your kids. Of course, the goal of reading is to make it enjoyed. Get your child involved by going to a local library and scouting out the latest book by their favorite author.

Sleep Is Still Essential: Sleep, especially at a young age, is essential for healthy growth and brain development. We all benefit from a good night’s rest! Even if you extend bedtime during the summer, make sure your child is getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. Try not to get too far off of their school routine because it will be back in session before you know it!

Cut Back On Screen Time: Sometimes it’s too easy just to turn on the TV. When they’re not swimming or riding bikes, find something productive for them to do. Stock up on fun and educational activities that will help your kids continue to grow and learn over the summer break. Coloring books, crosswords, puzzles, and board games are all great ideas.

Some Downtime Is Good: Remember that long days at the pool/beach can cause exhaustion which leads to frustration and overwhelm. Figure out what the right amount of activity is to stimulate your child and incorporate enjoyable activities into their summer routine.
image credit
Keep them social: Summer camps, group play and trips to the local playground are all ways to entertain children without screen time. Social settings often encourage imaginary play and creativity all while developing social skills that are essential for a child’s development.

Incorporate nature: Let nature be your inspiration this summer! Get your children outdoors for some fresh air. Plan a game of hide-and-seek or set up a nature scavenger hunt that will keep them entertained in a healthy way.

Make time for family: Our kids grow up so quickly, so make time to enjoy the summer as a family no matter how old your kids are. Whether planning a vacation out of state or simply a day trip to the beach, the best activities are enjoyed together.
 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Why Is My Hot Tub Water Cloudy?

One of the most common complaints for hot tub owners is cloudy water in the spa. It can be incredibly difficult to determine the exact cause of cloudy spa water because there are so many different things that could be causing the problem. Since determining the cause of the problem can be challenging, preventing cloudy spa water can be difficult. Here are a few possible causes of cloudy water in your hot tub and how you can prevent the issue from occurring.

1. Product Build-Up

We all use a lot of different products on our bodies. Unfortunately, these products aren’t so good for spas. Between the lotion, soap, makeup, and hair products on the average human body, it is no surprise that the water in your hot tub is less than clear. To prevent cloudy water from these types of products, you can rinse off in the shower before you take a dip in the hot tub.

2. Biofilm Growth

Bacteria is bound to happen in warm, moist places if the proper chemical levels aren’t maintained. Hot tubs are known breeding grounds for bacteria, which is why it is so important that you use a sanitizer in the water. Bacteria can build up in the pipes and fittings in the internal system of your hot tub. You probably won’t even know that there is a problem until you start to see your water getting cloudy.

Spa chemicals

Description automatically generated

If you haven’t run your hot tub in a while, the biofilm is likely to start building up in the spa. In these cases, you will need to shock the water and add sanitizer into the system. Additionally, you may need to use a treatment that will kill all of the bacteria in the internal system of the spa.

3. Hard Water

Hard water is a problem for many households. While hard water can cause problems all over your home, if you have a hot tub, you are likely to start seeing cloudy water. Hard water contains too much calcium, which can change the appearance of the water in your hot tub. Test your water for calcium hardness, alkalinity, and pH levels. If anything is unbalanced, you can use chemical balancers to help control the levels in the water of your spa. Balanced water is less likely to form scaling or cloudiness.

4. Filter Problems

Dirty hot tub filters.

Description automatically generated

Spa filters can be a little tricky. Spa filters need to be clean and installed properly to prevent dirty water from circulating throughout the hot tub. If your spa filter is misaligned, dirty water can slip past the filter and lead to cloudy, dirty, murky water. When you replace your spa filter, make sure that it is positioned properly to keep the water in your hot tub clean.

Keeping spa filters clean is also critical in the maintenance of the water in the hot tub. A dirty hot tub filter doesn’t properly remove all of the bacteria and other gunk that can lead to cloudy water. If your filter is too dirty for cleaning to help, then you will need to replace your hot tub filter altogether. Never run your spa without the filter. A filter can prevent all kinds of problems, including cloudy water.

Hot tub filters should be switched out at least once every 12 to 24 months depending on how often you are using your hot tub and how you normally use the tub. Filters should be cleaned every few weeks with a spa filter cleaner.

5. Low Sanitizer Levels

Sanitizers are necessary to keep the water in your hot tub safe and clean. Chlorine and bromine are commonly used to manage bacteria and fungi that could try to live in your hot tub’s water, causing the water to appear cloudy. Using the right amount of sanitizer can prevent bacteria and fungi from living and breeding in the water of your spa.

Keeping your water clear isn’t always easy, but with these tips, you should be able to keep your water looking pristine for a longer period of time.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png
Blogger Template Created For Mom Files All Rights Reserved