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Friday, 08 August 2014 09:51

How to cool off in your own backyard

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8 Awesome Water Games for Backyard Fun on Hot Days

From The Stir

The dog days of summer can mean oppressive heat for weeks if not more.  The kids aren't yet back in school, and their natural instinct is to want to play outside.  You want to encourage this, as sitting in the air conditioning playing video games isn't your idea of healthy recreation!  This post from The Stir presents a solution to you.  Water Games that anyone can set up and play with their kids in any backyard.  

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Call me an overgrown kid, but it doesn't seem to matter how old I get. When the temperature starts to rise, I love nothing more than going out in the backyard to play a summer game with a kid where we both end up soaking wet. The wetter, the better, actually.

With schools letting out around the country, and the mercury on the rise, it's time to dive in ... and get wet!

1. Dry, Dry, Wet. Think Duck, Duck, Goose, only "It" walks around the circle with a soaking wet sponge in hand. Each time he taps a kid on the shoulder, he says "dry" (instead of duck) until he settles on his target. "It" squeezes that sponge over his target's head and yells "wet." The rest of the game follows the Duck, Duck, Goose rules.

2. Sponge Water Bomb Toss. I keep seeing tutorials for "bombs" you make from (surprise, surprise) cut up sponges and string. Dunk 'em in water, and the sponges naturally drink it all in. Make enough of them, and you've got perfect "snowballs" for a summer snowball fight!

Click here for the entire post


from Pool & Spa Outdoor Blog

Putting the finishing touches on any outdoor living space can be a challenge.  After the heavy lifting is done, i.e. the pool is done, the fountain is running, the garden is planted and the sod is down and watered; adding the furniture, accents and art pieces can be the difference between an ordinary outdoor living space and a sublime sanctuary.  This post from Pool and Spa Outdoor gives some great ideas for the finishing touches on your space, and also gives sources to acquire them.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Garden art is designed to enhance a home and outdoor setting's overall appearance. Yard art primarily includes items that are placed around outdoor spaces and swimming pools. Statuary and fountains are primary examples of garden art, but it can also include other beautiful items that serve a more functional purpose like outdoor rugs, bird baths, ceiling fans, and planters. Keep that in mind when doing yard work: take every opportunity to beautify your home and property!

Here are a few products to consider for your backyard:

Click here to read more

Wednesday, 06 August 2014 09:21

Proof positive that sunscreen prevents wrinkles

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Sunscreen Each Day Stops Wrinkles

From The Wall Street Journal

Your mother always told you to apply sunscreen.  Confusion about the proper SPF aside, you always felt that protecting yourself from the sun's harmful Ultraviolet rays was a way to protect against sunburn, and even skin cancer.  Well, a new study presents hard proof that applying sunscreen daily can decrease the look of aging by 24%.  What more reason do you need to apply that SPF before you hit the swimming pool?

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Dermatologists have been telling patients for years that using sunscreen regularly can protect skin against aging. Now there's research to back that up.

Doctors say appealing to the vanity of patients by warning them about skin aging is crucial in convincing them to use sunscreen more often to help prevent skin cancer. Getty Images

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers showed that people instructed to apply sunscreen every day showed 24% less skin aging, as measured by lines and coarseness of the skin, than those told to use the cream as they usually do.

"This is great fodder for us to encourage people to use sunscreen," said Jeffrey Dover, a dermatologist in Chestnut Hill, Mass. "I will quote this paper every day."

Sunscreen has long been touted as a way to stave off photoaging, or changes to the skin caused by sun exposure. But there wasn't hard evidence in humans to support the claim, study authors said. A trial published in 1995 involved 35 people with past skin cancer and found no evidence of sunscreen's protective effect, measured by looking at skin biopsies under a microscope. But larger, randomized trials open to the larger community hadn't been done, for logistical and cost reasons.

Click here for the entire post

Tuesday, 05 August 2014 10:06

A Reminder that Drowning is the Silent Killer

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Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

In many child drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. Here's what to look for.

From Slate

We've all been to the waterpark with our kids and thought that we were being vigilant.  Scanning the water's surface, and not ever taking our eyes off of our own kids to ensure that they weren't in any distress leads us to believe that we are taking every precaution against drowning.  Unfortunately, the popular myth about drowning is that it looks like a scene from a movie.  We expect to see flailing, splashing, and cries for help.  As this post from Slate poignantly points out, real-life drowning doesn't look at all like the popular perception.  Education about what to actually look for can be the difference between a fun day at the waterpark and tragedy.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. "I think he thinks you're drowning," the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. "We're fine; what is he doing?" she asked, a little annoyed. "We're fine!" the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. "Move!" he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their 9-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, "Daddy!"

How did this captain know—from 50 feet away—what the father couldn't recognize from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that's all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew know what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, "Daddy," she hadn't made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn't surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.

Click here for the entire post

Cool Down at these Swim Up Bars

From Trip Advisor

One of the best ways to begin the design of your own backyard outdoor living space and specifically your swimming pool is to take elements that you have enjoyed from your vacation spots.  Many features that were once available to only vacationers like vanishing edge or infinity edges, custom tile, waterfalls, lazy rivers, etc. are now being incorporated into residential inground luxury swimming pools.  One of the most social and interesting features that a swimming pool owner can feature in their own design is a swim up bar.  This post from Trip Advisor helps get the design inspiration going with this post, showing some amazing swim up bars from around the world.  

Click here to see these amazing swim-up swimming pool bars

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