Summer Salad Recipe Hearty Enough for Dinner 

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If you can’t stand the heat you can get out of the kitchen with this fresh, summer salad recipe packed with protein.

Ingredients:

4 hard-boiled eggs

1 bag or 3 cups of romaine lettuce (chopped)

12 strips of cooked bacon (cut into 1/2inch chunks)

2 large tomatoes (sliced)

1 tablespoon of bleu cheese dressing

Directions:

Boil eggs for approximately 10 minutes and allow to cool in cold water for at least one hour. Cook one package of bacon in the oven at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until bacon has reached desired crispness. Set aside in a closed container and place in fridge to cool for at least an hour.

In a large bowl, evenly section out the lettuce, crack and peel eggs and slice into slivers, and add to salad. Slice tomatoes and add to the top. Pour over your bleu cheese dressing and toss well into your salad so that all the lettuce leaves and ingredients are coated.

Tip: save time by cooking bacon and eggs days in advance so that this recipe can be made simple and quick during the week.

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Florida Sinkhole Dangers and Signs of a Sinkhole

Florida Sinkhole Dangers and Signs of a Sinkhole

Last Friday, a sinkhole swallowed two Florida homes and a boat. Like most sinkholes, this particular one started out relatively small and spread quickly. This sinkhole is considered the largest in at least 30 years in Pasco County and spans 250 feet in width and 50 feet in depth. So far, the impact and sheer sizeof this sinkhole has impacted 11 homes including a couple of septic tanks.

To date, Florida leads the nation in the amount of sinkholes, according to The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

One silver lining to this story is that no one was harmed or injured and the homes with the most damage reportedly had homeowners’ insurance policies.

Sinkholes can happen quickly but there are warning signs. Look for the following signs of a potential sinkhole:

  • Slanted foundations
  • Unexplained drainage from nearby ponds
  • Other sinkholes nearby
  • Trees that tend to lean or fall
  • Cracks in the interior walls that continue to widen
  • Dips that change or deep slopes in or around your house

There are many other signs that may be dismissed because they seem like normal wear and tear of a home. Still, if you see one or more of these signs don’t continue to dismiss it and be sure to double check your homeowners insurance policy to make sure you are covered for sinkholes.

Florida Beach Safety: Five Tips to Stay Safe in a Riptide

Florida Beach Safety: Five Tips to Stay Safe in a Riptide

 

Earlier this week, an inspiring story of fifty beach goers that built a human chain to rescue a family caught in a riptide made the headlines. Luckily, the family made it to safety thanks to the quick thinking of good samaritans and you can too with these tips to surviving a riptide.

Believe it or not, the biggest dangers at the beach are not sharks. Although, those stories do get quite a bit of attention thanks to films like Jaws and shows like Shark Week.

Here is a list of dangers and signs to pay attention to while enjoying Florida’s beaches:

Here’s your sign— You may have noticed flags waving in the wind while sunning in the sand. Here’s a handy guide of what the flags mean.

Double Red – Danger! Water Closed to Public

Single Red – High Hazard, High Surf and/or Strong Currents

Yellow – Medium Hazard, Moderate Surf and/or Currents

Green – Low Hazard, Calm Conditions, Exercise Caution

Purple – Dangerous Marine Life (Usually Jellyfish)

Go with the flow— If you find yourself caught in a riptide or rip current (which can happen rather fast) you need avoid panic and know what to do. One telltale sign is a long line of foam or seaweed that is floating along the shallower shoreline or moving rapidly along a channel inside of waves that are breaking.

Exit please—One telltale sign of a rip current or riptide is a very strong pull where it’s less expected—shallow waters. Rip currents or riptides generally occur fast and are short-lived (most riptides are typically shorter than 30 feet in wide and less than 200 feet in length). Even the strongest of swimmers can be quickly swept away by fighting the current. Instead, swim parallel to the shoreline and avoid trying to swim as fast as Phelps’ in an Olympic heat.

Lastly, always pay attention to weather warnings, follow the rules of the lifeguards and be aware that the ocean is a fun but a day at the beach can turn dangerous in an instant.

Signs of Dehydration and Tips on Staying Hydrated

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Dehydration is a common problem during the summer months and if left untreated can lead to serious health issues ranging from heat exhaustion to blood clots to even seizures. It’s easy to get dehydrated when temperatures soar into the 90s and above.

Dehydration happens when the body does not have enough fluids to sweat or function properly. The most obvious signs of dehydration include thirst and sluggishness, but there are other indicators that are less known.

Here is a list of signs of dehydration that are less obvious.

Skin test.     Your skin is one of the biggest indicators of dehydration. In addition to red or “flushed” skin tone, you can actually try the pinch test. Simply pull back about 1/2 inch of skin around or near the back of your wrist. Look for skin that stays raised like a dome for approximately 7-10 seconds. If it does, you are already experiencing the signs of mild dehydration and should slam a bottle of water STAT.

Stinky breath.     We are not trying to be mean but if your breath is kickin’ you may need to pay attention to your hydration. A lack of saliva is a common sign of dehydration and can mean that your body is having trouble making saliva. Little known fact: saliva contains antibacterial properties.

Cramping up.     Those muscle cramps might not just be from exercise or too much movement during the day. Muscle cramps are an indicator that your body is missing important electrolytes such as potassium and sodium.

Chills or fever.     In spite of the heat if you suffering from dehydration you may experience chills. This could also lead to an actual fever. These are more severe signs of sever dehydration so seek shade and fluids immediately.

Sweet tooth.     When the body is short on glycogens, you will seek something sweet to drink (soda) or eat. This is because your body is in need of nutrients and is trying to overcompensate. This would explain why you might crave a sugary soda. However, water is best and sugary sodas will only temporarily take care of these cravings. If you are “starving” try eating foods that contain lots of water such as celery, watermelon and even yogurt could get you back on track.

Headache or migraines.     There is a fluid sack that protects your brain from hitting your skull. If your head is hurting, that fluid sack is in dire need of water as well.

Avoid dehydration by sipping water throughout the day and during meals. Additionally, eat foods that contain lots of water in them such as celery, or any fruit in the melon family such as cantaloupes and as mentioned earlier, yogurt. You will want to consume at least a half gallon of water per day or eight 8-ounce glasses of water.

How to Dress Business Casual During the Summer Heat 

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As someone that has lived and worked in the stifling Florida heat and New York City’s steamy sidewalks in the summer, I can tell you that there is not enough antiperspirant if you are wearing the wrong clothes to work.

Dressing business casual but keeping a professional look is no easy task especially for women.

However, you don’t need to be miserable and swimming in a seat of sweat to look polished. Here are some general guidelines and tips to dress your best and business casual.

Bottoms—Ditch the shorts:     It may be tempting when temperatures soar to near triple digits to slip into your favorite cargo shorts or chinos. Save em’ for the picnic or backyard grill out. DO wear a light cotton skirt or dress that hits to the top or middle of the knee. For the guys, breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen are an even better option than jeans.

Tops—Shirts or skins:    If you work in Florida, you see lots of golf shirts on guys nearly year round at work and play. But sometimes you have to take it to the next level. There are many stylish button-down options that are short-sleeved and pair well with a linen jacket and best of all, look better WITHOUT a tie. For women, it’s even easier to throw on a stylish and completely sleeveless top just keep an eye out for your cleavage.

Shoes—Flip or flop:    I saw quite a few pairs of flip flops on fellow female co-workers in Florida. Honestly, even if they are bling’d out they are and still look like flip flops. Go with a cute pair of sandals instead and even take it up a notch by opting for wedges or a sandal with a heel. Unless you just had foot surgery or it’s medical necessary, you should not wear sneakers to work unless you work for a company that sells sneakers or athletic shoes. For guys, the same rule regarding lightweight materials apply to shoes as well. There are many stylish (closed toe) dress shoes for men made of materials such as chambray that offer comfort, support and room to breath.

How to Cool Down your Car in the Summer

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Florida temps have been known to destroy cassette tapes and send the heat index inside the car through the roof.

In fact, every Florida driver knows the feeling of trying to sit on an unprotected car seat after a day parked in the hot sun. And you’re not going anywhere with a steering wheel that could lead to third degree burns.

Stay cool with these tips to keep your car from getting to the boiling point.

-Cover up.  Window visors or sunshades are the easiest and least expensive way to keep your car or vehicle from heating up. Don’t overlook a window visor in the back window as well.

-Open up. You will want to leave your car doors wide open for a minimum of 3 minutes before climbing in and driving off into traffic.

-Power up.  Solar-powered fans are all the rage these days and are perfect for older cars that are missing all the bells and whistles to cool down your vehicle.

-Protect your steering wheel. Sunshades can only go so far. That steering wheel can still heat up enough to melt your hands. A light-colored hand towel is all need to cover the steering wheel.

-Pick a parking garage over an uncovered parking space. Parking garages can save the paint on your vehicle and drop the level of heat in your car.

-Find some shade. Parking spaces under trees or any type of shade come at a premium. If you can find the time to find a space it will make a big impact on the heat index.

-Gadgets can get destroyed. If you still have a cassette collection or even a CD collection in your car you need to know that it will melt if left in direct sunlight. Smartphones or laptops can be damaged by high heat. It’s best to not leave cell phones or electronic devices in the car for any period of time.

-Cracking the windows of your vehicle actually works and allows heat to escape. Just make sure that you don’t lower them too much so that you don’t tempt a break-in.

Fun Flag Day Facts in the United States

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Each year, in the dead heat of summer our country celebrates Flag Day. The official observance date is June 14 and established as a day to salute the Star-Spangled Banner.

We’ve put together a list of fun facts related to the holiday that encourages our country to stand in unity based on facts according to, USFLAG.org, History Channel and PBS.

-The United States flag was born on June 14, 1777 in The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

-The American Flag has gone through quite a few transformations over the years.  In 1795 the flag had a total of 15 stripes to represent each state.

-There are 50 stars on the American flag representing each state. The fiftieth star was added in 1960 when Hawaii joined the US.  The alternating 13 red and white stripes representing the thirteen original colonies. The stripes are white to symbolize liberty and equality and the alternating red color represent the courage of our country. The flag has undergone 27 changes.

-Flag Day was established over a hundred years ago by President Woodrow Wilson. He believed that by observing and setting aside one day for the flag would unite citizens. Today, we need it more than ever.

-There is a law on the books called, Public Law 829 also known as “The Flag Code” that lays out the dates and correct use of displaying the American flag.

-Most of the American flags flying in the U.S are made on our nation’s soil. Of course, right?

-The flag will always be flying over the White House, Baltimore, Arlington, and Fort McHenry at all times.

-The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892.

-Betsy Ross may not be the original designer of the American Flag but then again it can’t be refuted that she wasn’t either.

The phrase “under God” was not original to the Pledge of Allegiance. The phrase was added by Congress in 1954.

We’ve placed five American flags on the moon. They may not be in the best shape today but are still standing.