The Why and How of Staying Hydrated While Exercising

Keeping your body hydrated during exercise helps your heart pump blood through your blood vessels to your muscles. It also helps your muscles work more efficiently. Needless to say, it's important to make sure you enough water before, during, and after your workout. Follow these tips on staying hydrated while exercising.

  • Keep count. It's important to drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before exercising, 8 ounces 30 minutes before exercising, 7 to 10 ounces every 10 minutes during exercise, and 8 ounces 30 minutes after you exercise.
  • Supplement. For your average 60-minute workout, you won’t need anything more than water. If you’re going longer than that, or if it's humid outside, you may need a sports drink to get the extra calories and electrolytes.
  • Drink when you feel thirsty. You body is designed to tell you when you need to hydrate, so pay attention to its signals..

Athletes: The Importance of Good Hydration [Family Doctor]
What Should I Drink While Exercising? [The Starting Line]
Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy [American Heart Association]

Heading to a Picnic? Keep These Food Storage Safety Guidelines in Mind!

The only thing that can spoil a picnic more than rain is spoilage in another area: the food! You might be so concerned about mastering your mom’s potato salad recipe that you forget to properly protect it from the hot sun, and that will put quite a damper on your fun day outdoors. Follow these safety tips for properly storing and serving picnic food:

  • Keep cold foods cold. This may seem obvious, but you’ll need to thoroughly line a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs to ensure that your food stays cold even as the temperatures rise. This includes things like creamy salads, meats, and cheeses.
  • Use a thermometer. Perishable foods should be stored at a temperature of 40°F or below, so use a thermometer to make sure that you maintain that temperature all day long.
  • Keep the cooler closed. Store water and soft drinks in a separate cooler from the perishable food to minimize the how often the cooler is opened throughout the day.
  • Prevent cross-contamination. If you’re grilling meats at your picnic, be sure to thoroughly wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in plastic containers. Always wash your hands after handling raw meat, and don’t let meats touch fruit, veggies, or other foods.

Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely [FDA]
Perfect Food Safe Picnics! []
Picnic Food Kids Will Love: Pack A Safe & Healthy Basket [Parents]

DIY Projects to Help You Corral Common Paper Clutter

A clutter of mail, memos, and paper can make a room feel messy and unorganized. Here are some simple do-it-yourself storage projects to help keep your mail and papers neat and organized—once and for all!

  • Vertical Paper Holders, By Me! [Scrapendipity] Vertical magazine files are easy and inexpensive to make. All you need is priority-mailing boxes from the post office and regular interior latex paint. Lay the boxes flat, paint both sides, cut them using a pattern, then simply assemble them.
  • Shanty Memo Frame! [Shanty 2 Chic] Make your own memo board to hang on your wall. First you will need an empty old frame, or you can just purchase one on sale at any craft store. You can then paint it the color of your choice. Let the paint dry and decorate your frame with flowers or buttons or anything else you want to glue on. Use a staple gun to attach twine to the back of the frame. Just keep twining and stapling back and forth in a random zig-zag pattern until your desired look is achieved.
  • Decorative Burlap Memo Board [Beneath My Heart] Make your own large burlap memo board using a large green foam board, pieces of wood, and upholstery tacks. Start out by measuring the space that you want it in. You’ll then make a wooden frame, then glue that frame on top of the green foam board with a glue gun. Lay the board on top of the burlap and hot glue it tightly to the wood. Finally, nail the upholstery tacks evenly around the edges of the board and you’re finished!

Public Domain/Flickr/Anna Bieniek

All-Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes This Summer

You spray and swat, but most of the time, you still end up itching and scratching after the night is through. Luckily, these all-natural mosquito repellents will help you to keep the pesky bugs away — without the use of potentially harmful chemicals or additives.

  • Lavender oil. Create a simple mixture of 30 drops of lavender oil blended with two tablespoons of vegetable oil and rub it on the skin to keep mosquitoes away.
  • Rosemary. If you find yourself swatting at mosquitoes while standing over the barbecue grill, throw a few branches of rosemary on the grill to keep those bugs away.
  • Neem oil. Neem oil, which is extracted from the Neem tree that is native to India, is one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents. You can purchase this oil from most organic health food stores.
  • Apple cider vinegar. To repel mosquitoes from the inside out, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with your usual drinking water earlier in the day.
  • Remove standing water. Above all else, you’ll need to remove the areas where mosquitoes breed to really get rid of the mosquitoes in your area. This means removing all buckets, tarps, and even pet bowls that collect standing water.

13 Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away [Natural Living Ideas]
All-Natural Homemade Bug Spray Recipes That Work! [Wellness Mama]
DIY: Homemade Insect Repellent Sprays and Lotions [Inhabitat]

How to Shake (or Stir!) the Perfect Cocktail

If you think you need to venture to the bar to find a unique, tasty cocktail, think again. You can easily mix up your own creative cocktails and mocktails in the comfort of your own home. The most important part of a great drink is how long the flavor lingers in your mouth. You want to intrigue your taste buds and mind after the sip goes down. These tips are sure to leave a unique, lasting flavor on your tongue.

  • Choose a good quality base liquor or flavor of your cocktail.
  • Use a generous amount of the base spirit.
  • Mix in a tart or sweet ingredient such as lime juice, simple syrup, or liqueur. Remember to keep it simple and balanced, as this will make the flavors last in your mouth.
  • Add a few drops of bitters or a hydrosol, such as rosewater, to add aromatics to your drink.
  • A cocktail that contains delicate flavors or ingredients should be stirred. Be sure to shake any cocktail containing juice or egg whites.
  • To avoid diluting your drink, use larger ice cubes that will melt at a slower pace. In your glass, the ice should be visible about the alcohol line.
  • Take some time to make your cocktail look presentable. A simple lemon twist can add a touch of elegance to your drink.

From A Genius Mixologist: The Only Ratio You Need For Perfect Cocktails [Fast Company]
How to make cocktails: follow these 10 golden rules [The Guardian]
How to Make Perfect Cocktails [Williams-Sonoma Taste]

How to Plant and Grow a Terrarium at Lincoln Green

You’ve likely seen stylish terrariums filling the pages of all of your favorite interior design catalogs, but did you know that these unique gardens are also very easy to make at home? Here are just a few simple ways to create your own terrarium and add a bit of greenery to your rental at Lincoln Green!

  1. Whether you choose a small, round terrarium that you can hang from the ceiling or a larger, tank-style option for very large creations, you’ll want to choose something in a durable class that will enable you to see the plants through the sides.
  2. Add a layer of small stones or pebbles to the bottom of the terrarium for proper water drainage. This should measure about one-inch thick.
  3. Add another one-inch layer of activated charcoal on top of that for a finer drainage system.
  4. Top it off with a 1.5-inch layer of sphagnum moss to hold the soil in place and prevent it from sliding into the pebbles.
  5. Take a soil designed especially for terrariums and pre-moisten it using a spray bottle of water. Add a thick layer of three to four inches on top of everything.
  6. Remove pot-bound roots from your plants and add them to the soil. You may need to divide the plant into sections if it’s too big to fit the scale of the terrarium.
  7. Decorate with rocks and other accessories.

Terrariums: A Guide to Plants and Care [Better Homes & Gardens]
How To Make Terrariums [About Home]
Make Your Own Terrarium [HGTV]

Clean Up Your Home at Lincoln Green Naturally With These DIY Household Cleaners

Looking for a way to save a bit of cash while also removing chemicals from your home? Make your own cleaning products! It’s easy to duplicate of the most common household cleaners using all-natural ingredients, and they’ll even help to turn your home at Lincoln Green into a green household.

  • Glass Cleaner: Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to create a DIY window and glass cleaner. You can even add in your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent.
  • Laundry Detergent: While many store-bought laundry detergents are filled with chemicals, this homemade version is made using only natural ingredients. Combine a box of Borax with a box of baking soda and 1 bar of organic bar soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s). Then, blend it all together in a food processor until it reaches a powder form.
  • Bathroom Tile Cleaner: Remove grime from tubs and sinks using this all-natural bathroom cleaner. Simply mix baking soda with liquid castile soap and use it as a scrub.
  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Borax, 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, and 2 cups of hot water to create an all-purpose cleaner that you can use anywhere in the home.

Make These 69 DIY Cleaning Products For Pennies [Popsugar]
The Original Homemade Laundry Detergent DIY Natural]
27 Chemical-Free Recipes for DIY Spring Cleaning [Greatist]

How to Adapt Your Skincare Routine to the Spring Season

While your face may require heavy creams and serums to shield it from the cold winter air, you likely don’t need so many rich products once the weather warms up. Here are a few expert ways that you can change your skincare routine to adapt to the changing seasons.

  1. Switch to a lighter moisturizer. Instead of slathering on a rich, moisturizing facial cream every evening, invest in an equally high quality but more lightweight moisturizer. Be sure to choose one that also contains SPF, as more time spent outdoors requires more sun protection.
  2. Use a toner. If your face tends to sweat a lot or become oilier during warmer weather, you may need a refreshing toner to help keep oil in check. You can sweep this product across the skin after removing your makeup or any time you want to create a more matte appearance.
  3. Use a stronger, gel-based cleanser. If the spring weather causes your skin to break out or become oily, you may also require a more thorough cleanser. Choose a gel or foam option to really clean deep within the pores.
  4. Carry oil-blotting sheets. For quick touch-ups when your skin gets a bit shiny throughout the day, carry oil-blotting papers in your purse or gym bag.

What to Do When Climate Change Affects Your Skin [Paula’s Choice Skincare]
Seasonal Skincare [True Holistic Beauty]
Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine: How To Declutter & Organize Your Makeup [Beauty World News]

Watching Your Weight? Don’t Make These Dieting Mistakes!

You might think that you’re on a fairly healthy diet that will eventually lead to your goal weight, but some of your eating habits might actually do more harm than good when it comes to weight loss. Check out these common dieting mistakes to make sure that they’re not a part of your daily routine

  • Eating too fast. By rushing through every meal, you don’t give your body enough time to actually feel full. If you eat slower, you’re more likely to stop eating when you’ve actually had enough.
  • Forgoing meals. Instead of making you lose weight faster, skipping meals actually leads to consuming more calories later in the day. Even if you’re not feeling hungry at meal time, try eating a small snack to keep your appetite regulated.
  • Consuming liquid calories. Many dieters don’t realize just how many calories there are in many common beverages. Drinks like wine, beer, coffee, and even juices can add hundreds of unnecessary calories throughout the day.
  • Eating too-large portions. It’s always smart to measure the portion size of your food before eating it, as it is very difficult to judge the amount of calories simply by looking at a food. You can do this by using a food scale or carrying plastic containers in the recommended sizes.

Diet Mistakes: 6 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight [WebMD]
14 Diet Foods To Avoid [Prevention]
13 Healthy Foods to Avoid For Weight Loss! [Active Beat]
Jillian Michaels: Weight-Loss Tips That Work [Health]

Cool and Unusual Uses for Fabric Softener Sheets

While you likely already know that you can use fabric softener sheets for, well, making your fabrics softer, you may not know that there are a number of other uses for these handy household items. Here are just a few smart and surprising things to do with your dryer sheets.

  • Wipe up fine, powdery spills like flour or makeup using dryer sheets, because the anti-static properties help to pick up these hard-to-scoop messes.
  • Likewise, dryer sheets also make great DIY dusters for shelves, television screens, and baseboards.
  • Freshen up musty places by placing dryer sheets inside of your smelly winter boots, gym bag, or in a musty closet.
  • Remove pet hair from just about any surface (including your clothing) by wrapping a dryer sheet around your hand and gently running it over the surface.
  • In the summertime, stuff dryer sheets in your pockets to repel mosquitos.
  • Remove hard water stains from faucets and the door of a shower by running a dry dryer sheet over the surface.
  • End static on your hair and clothing in the winter by running a dryer sheet all over yourself.

10 New Uses for Dryer Sheets [Real Simple]
20 Household Uses for Used (Yes, Used) Dryer Sheets [Apartment Therapy]
25 Alternative Uses for Fabric-Softener Dryer Sheets [Curbly]

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