Friday, March 31, 2017

I Love My Himalayan Salt Lamps

I had never heard of Himalayan salt lamps until we visited Cory in Door County the summer he interned with Door Shakespeare. I didn't end up buying one, but we had an interesting conversation with the shop owner about all the benefits, and I knew I'd want to get at least one of these lamps for my home. Not only are they pretty, but they have quite a few benefits. Himalayan salt lamps create these little things called ‘negative ions’, which are amazing for killing bacteria, cleaning the air, alleviating allergies and anxiety, and much more.

Here's some info I received in my email recently:
Experts have been studying negative ions and Himalayan salt lamps for some time now. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
  • Improve mood - Negative ions are thought to create reactions in the brain that release mood chemicals and literally make you happier and more content. They also improve blood and oxygen supply to the brain, relieving stress, anxiety, and brain fog.
  • Improve sleep - Himalayan salt lamps relieve allergies and anxiety, and help prevent irregular sleep patterns. That means even just one by your bed is certain to help you fall asleep and stay asleep in the most restful way possible.
  • Clean the air - Himalayan salt lamps essentially suck in air filled with dust, pet dander, mold, and so on, trap the gunk inside the salt, and release the pure, cleaned air back into the room. Those with allergies or asthma would LOVE the noticeable change.

I'm not convinced enough to keep one in the bedroom, because even with a very low wattage bulb, these lamps put out quite a bit of light. And, no, you do not want to turn it off or unplug it when you go to bed, because it's the reaction of the heat with the salt that creates those negative ions and gives you all the benefits. Also, especially in the summertime, you'll want to replace the bulb pretty quickly whenever it burns out, because the salt attracts moisture and will become wet. These really are supposed to be on all the time.

So far I only have two of them - from Amazon and linked in this post - but I keep thinking about buying more. I like the first one best, mainly because all of the salt glows, from top to bottom. The second one is taller, and the light just shines in the bottom with the salt on top looking like there's no light. Maybe that would be the kind to use in the bedroom, perhaps if hidden a bit behind something else?

Do you have salt lamps in your house? Have you noticed any of the benefits?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

You'll Always be My Baby

No matter how old our kids get, they'll always be our babies, won't they? We've loved them from the moment we knew they were on the way - from the positive pregnancy test, the first time we heard their heartbeat, that first ultrasound, to the moment we finally got to hold them in our arms.

I was reminded of this a couple times yesterday on Facebook:
  • One of my nieces turned 10, and her dad (my brother) said that while she has grown into an amazing and beautiful young lady, and he can't wait to see where she goes from here, he still wants to keep her as his little girl for as long as possible.  My mom replied, "Trust me: she will always be your little girl. Just like you will always be my little boy." Yes, he's all grown, 6 foot 5 inches tall, and married with three girls of his own, but he'll always be his mom's baby. (and he'll always be my 'baby brother' but that's a whole different thing)
  • Another one of my friends, who is a teacher, had a kindergartner in tears. Why? One of her classmates had called her a baby. The teacher's response, "You will always be a baby to your parents. Do you know what my mom calls me? Her baby." And the tears dried up as the kindergarten girl realized that all of us will always be babies to our parents.
My baby will be 25 this summer. 25! How in the world did that happen? It seems like yesterday that he was just a cute little guy. He's still pretty cute, but he's not so little anymore. On a side note, I married his dad a month before he turned 25. How can our son be almost that same age?

Those 25 years certainly explain the difference in what the sonograms we had with both our babies looked like and what sonograms look like today. I've been looking through some images, and technology has really advanced in those 25 years. Nowadays you can really see your unborn baby with 3D and 4D (video) imaging. I am in awe of these images! You do not need a technician to explain what you are seeing, as we did, because these images are so clear.

What our sonograms looked like:
Can you see his little face? Kind of, and we loved what we saw, but look what can be seen now:

Absolutely amazing! If you just can't wait until your baby is born to see that little face or count those little toes and fingers, these are great. You can start showing off your little one before he or she is even born. Not that we didn't do that, too - but this is so much better. You can also get high quality images suitable for framing and displaying on your wall - your baby's first portraits!

Have any of you had professional 3D ultrasound images taken of your babies? What did you think of the experience?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Boost Your Frozen Yogurt Business

We all love frozen yogurt, right? Perhaps you've even thought of starting your own frozen yogurt business. It sounds like nothing but fun and all the delicious frozen yogurt you can eat, but there is also a lot of responsibility. For instance, offering kosher frozen yogurt helps ensure that your customers get the best for their money. Would you have thought of that? I know I wouldn't have, so it helps to always do a lot of research before diving into any new business - even one as tasty as frozen yogurt.

Frozen Yogurt with Fruits

Here are some great tips to help you have the best frozen yogurt business possible:
  • Provide Different Types of Yogurt: There is more to selling frozen yogurt than just offering tasty flavors and toppings. Your customers are going to want a treat that fits their lifestyle. A customer who is looking for an alternative to ice cream may enjoy non fat, low fat or no sugar added options. Be sure to always taste test your products to ensure your customers are not sacrificing great taste for a low fat or no sugar added option. (Yes, it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it!)
  • Offer a Variety of Flavors: A menu full of delicious flavors is sure to appeal to your customers. Start by offering traditional flavors such as Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Butter Pecan. These are perfect for customers who just want something simple but sweet. For the more adventurous customers, you'll want to offer a range of fun flavors, such as S'Mores, Red Velvet Cupcake, Cappuccino and Hazelnut Irish Cream. This appeals to customers who enjoy trying new flavors. You can even offer holiday flavors such as Pumpkin Royale, Apple Pie and Candy Cane. You don't have to offer all of the flavors all of the time. Rotate them in, and your customers will come back in more often to find out what's available now.
  • Be Mindful of Health and Diet Restrictions: Your customers are going to have different health and diet restrictions, such as a food allergy or weight-loss diet. This is why it is important to offer options that appeal to everyone. Steer away from flavors that are made with high fructose corn syrup or growth hormones. Use flavors that contain real milk, vitamin A and vitamin D3.
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Invest In Flavor Cups: There are several benefits of investing in flavor cups for your business. Flavor cups come in a wide variety of flavors, and you can even mix the flavors to create an exclusive dish for your customers. The pre-portioned cups make it easy to mix the right amount of frozen yogurt. You can also save space in your freezer because the cups are small.
No, you can't make all the people happy all the time, but it looks like the key to a successful business is, yes - delicious frozen yogurt in lots of fun and creative flavors, but also thinking about the needs of your individual customers and making sure there are some options for everyone. A wide variety of flavors and healthy choices will have your customers coming back again and again.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Doodle 4 Google Voting Open

I love this every year. Young people are given a theme - this year it's "what I see for the future" -, and they design a Google doodle. These kids are crazy creative!

Judges have selected State and Territory finalists, and public voting is now open to choose five National Finalists. Check out the gallery of submissions and cast your vote before March 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm EST.  Click on the doodles to learn more about the artists' visions of the future and vote for your favorite.

That is easier said than done. I just looked through all of them, and I'm not sure I can actually pick a favorite. There are lots of good ones. Like I said, these kids are crazy creative!

Be sure to check all the doodles out and let me know which one(s) you like best!