Summer tips

Ok, we all know that summer is in full swing now, especially when you find yourself outside at noon and realize in about 5 minutes that you are dehyrdated, sweating, feeling faint, and suddenly want to be anywhere else than outside. Ah, love my air conditioning.... But we still have a long summer ahead of us, so I thought I'd share some handy tips I've learned along the way to make summer just a little easier so we can all enjoy the fun. Ok, first one. Peppermint oil can help poison ivy. I know, this sounds totally earth goddess goofy, but trust me, it works. J got poison ivy last week, (you know, since his mother failed to notice that it is growing in GREAT abundance in our backyard-duh!) and he started complaining at night, well past the hour when CVS would be open. I had heard of a home remedy that uses peppermint oil. Well, we don't have any pure peppermint oil, but since my husband is, yes, let's say it, obsessed with having a killer herb garden, we have peppermint growing in abundance too. I picked some leaves, crushed them into some olive oil, and smeared the whole thing on J's leg. I mean, can't hurt right? Well, not only did it not hurt, it really, really helped. His rash is far from gone, but it seems to be abating, and he doesn't complain of the itchiness anymore. And even if it wasn't poison ivy, the mint actually can be used for all sorts of skin issues, and it's free. I'm sold. Totally unrelated tangent that will surely turn into a threadjack later but that's ok with me: I've heard that a weak mint tea can help morning sickness. Not that I'm pregnant or anything, just wondering if anybody else has heard this, or tried it. Ok, tangent over. Tip #2. Spray on sunscreen. Up until today, I had only seen the expensive Coppertone and Neutrogena brand, which I have loved. They come in an aersol form, and can cover white bodies in a matter of seconds. And today I saw somebody at the pool using a generic Target brand spray--cha-ching, I'm totally sold on the cheap stuff, baby. Now, this is actually sort of opposite from the earth goddess herbal essence tip above, you know, using chemicals and aerosols and all (do CFCS still exist?) but we all have practically translucent skin that has been known to sport a serious sunburn after (I'm not kidding) less than a half an hour in the sun. If anybody knows of an herbal remedy that is as effective as sunscreen, let me know. Til then, I'll be spraying my family with this stuff, and staying happily white and burn free all summer. Yee-ha! Tip #3. Keep lemon wedges already sliced in a Tupperware container in your fridge. Lemon slices make a glass of water much more heavenly, and having the slices on hand is much easier than having to cut a lemon everytime you want to make your water glass fancy. Besides, by the time you cut up the lemon, you are too dehydrated to do anything else because it took you so dang long to cut it. Cut them when you have a moment, not when you are dying for it. It also makes it superhandy to use when you are cooking chicken on the grill. Just grab a wedge, squeeze it over the chicken, and voila, lemon chicken! Delicious and easy, and your family thinks you are a genius, which gives you brownie points towards a pedicure, which is a must because you are most definitely going to be spending time in the cute dollar flip flops you bought at Target at the beginning of the season, which are so fun but definitely hard on your feet, and you're the mom and deserve a foot massage anyway. Hooray! That's it. I'm out. Tell me your tips for getting through the summer, and pretend that you are telling me while we are sitting on my front porch on my imaginary comfy wicker chairs, (yes, they are on order, but sadly, only in my head!) sipping something delicious, admiring our pretty feet and watching our kids play happily in the cul-de-sac. Ah, I love summer! Oh, and don't forget the sunglasses!


Blogger hairyshoefairy said...

I didn't try the poppernmint tea with morning sickness. I tried ginger-something instead. It worked okay for me, but not my favorite. I have heard peppermint tea is good just for stomache problems in general, though.

For a tip: speaking of pedicures. . . when one of my friends is sitting outside watching her kids she'll kick off her flip flops and rub the callouses on her feet on the sidewalk to help slough them away. It's a little inconsistant for me, but she likes it.

6/19/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

I love iced peppermint tea- yum! As far as morning sickness- well, I'm not your best source for things that work, so no.

I keep an Aloe Vera plant in the bathroom, and when we (also transparently white) get a burn in 30 minutes, I snip off a leaf, split it down the middle, and it cures the pain instantly. It's kind of gooey, but the kids think it's also kinda cool that mom smears plant goo on them. REALLY works. Works on itchies and other burns, too.

I'm glad (in a sick sort of way) I'm not the only one whose darling Target flip-flops are killing my feet- ah, vanity!

6/19/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Aloe Vera plants can't be beat. Even the aloe gel they sell isn't a match for the power of the gooey plant.

A big box of icecream sandwiches waiting in the freezer.

Painted toenails always make me feel cute. Mine are way too hard to reach right now at 9 months preggo (39 weeks!) but they will soon get a facelift.

A small blanket draped over a toddler's carseat when you are not in the car can eliminate inadvertently burning your baby with the buckle.

Keep lots of cold water in the fridge. So tasty!

6/19/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Some lovely Mint Chocolate chip ice cream from Thrifty's or now Rite Aid is the key to a cool summer. I am also happy to hear there are other transparently white people out there besides my family. In our house we call our white color "non-fat milk" sheer white with a hint of blue, and if we get quite tan after a long summer in the sun we may graduate to "whole milk".

6/19/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Trivial Mom said...

Herbal remedies didn't work for my morning sickness, but when I just have an upset stomach (like on a plane, or in a car, or just home with the stomach flu) Ginger Ale works for me.

Since we live in apartments still, and have a free pool right here, I keep a swimming bag in my closet. It holds swim diapers, aloe and sunscreen, a life jacket, water toys, towels, and the pool key. That way when we want to go to the pool, all we have to do is put on our suits, grab some snacks and head down there.

Okay not part of the tip but . . . I actually got in trouble with my pediatrician because she assumed I wasn't putting sunscreen on my 6 month old because she tans so well. I do! 50 SPF and she'll still tan. Don't hate us.

6/19/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubbing your heels in the sand at the beach, playground, sandbox, etc. is a great way to get rid of the callouses.

I keep a water bottle for each of my four kids in the fridge. Color coded so they know which one is theirs. Cold water when they come in or they can grab it and take it with them.

6/19/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


Can an aloe plant live in the bathroom with no light? I almost bought some aloe stuff today, and it had a bunch of other chemicals in it, not natural at all. I thought, "Hey, I'm sure a plant would be cheaper and more effective." What kind of environment do they need?

6/19/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

They're a succulent, so they don't need much love (hence the reason I have been able to keep one alive!) but they do need indirect light. We get eastern light in our bath, and I water it about every other week, and I've had it for years. A kitchen, out of direct sunbeams is an option, but not too close to a window when winter comes- they don't cotton to the cold. With way you love to garden, you will have NO trouble keeping an Aloe alive.

6/19/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Mentioning icecream from Thrifty's was just mean! I grew up in California and absolutely love the cylandrical scoops of chocolate malted crunch or rainbow sherbet...or anything they sell. THAT is summer! Too bad that icecream goodness isn't anywhere to be found in Maryland!

6/19/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger melissa c said...

Wow! Never heard of the peppermint thing but I Love peppermint tea. It is a diuretic (sp?)though. It will make you want to go potty!

Reading out on a lawn chair while my kids play in a little pool is nice. I get to be lost in a great world and yet still have a dry foot in this one! Pick a shady spot though!

6/19/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger hairyshoefairy said...

TOTALLY second the aloe plant. Even the pure aloe vera gel that's sold in stores isn't the same. The plant is much better! I, too, am a "non-fat milk" skinned girl who only burns. I have found, though, that for burns, if you don't have the plant but you do have the store-bought gel if you keep it in the fridge before you apply it the coolness is extra soothing.

6/19/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

Lemon wedges are a good idea. We used them at Sarah's wedding dinner. It does seem to taste better.

Also, I swear by noxema for sunburn. You slather it on right away and it takes away the hurt and diminishes the damage. No lie.

6/20/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Tammy and Parker said...

Peppermint oil in a diffuser in my bedroom at night helped with morning sickness with all of my kids. Nothing else worked. Even the meds my doctor gave me when I was pg with #4 and could have sworn I had puked up a lung. I went to the peppermint oil and things were better!

You need peppermint essential oil that you can buy at a health food store or online at a soap supply place like www.brambleberry.com. Online is way cheaper if you want to buy in bulk.

This also works for sinus headaches that I wake up with in the mornings.

Oh, I use a diffuser that plugs into a socket in my wall.

6/20/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous monuk said...

I felt so jealous when I read this post. I grew up in Canada and am now living down in New Zealand where winter is really beginning to make itself felt. The house isn't insulated and central heating, what's that? It's been one of the hardest things to adjust to here. I'm still thinking, hey, it's June! it should be getting warm now, but I'm assured that's it's only going to get worse in the next two months. So as you enjoy your warmth, sitting by the pool with your pedicures and cute flip flops spare a thought for your cold New Zealand sister!

6/20/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

Natural sunscreen: hippo sweat, maybe. (See http://www.ucmerced.edu/featuredetail.asp?featureid=4)

Just a little tidbit I learned at work ...

It's a little hard to get, though. I'm sticking with the spray-on stuff, myself!

6/20/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

Well, that link didn't work. Copy and paste it without the closing parenthesis and you can get there, if you're that motivated!

6/20/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Wow, magical sweat. Where can I get some of that?

6/20/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

I guess if you're brave you can try the local zoo!

6/21/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger HLH said...

the peppermint tea worked to calm my stomach when I had morning sickenss. It didn't make it go away, but it was the ONLY thing that would make my stomach stop gurgling and feeling yucky.

As for summer advice, I live in AZ were it is 112, so we hibernate in the summer. sometimes we will slink out from the back door into the swimming pool-but usually the water feels like bath water and a cold shower is better.

While you are slicing those lemons make homemade lemonaid (6 lemons in the blender, 4c sugar and I can't remember the water amount...keeping adding water until it tastes right). So much better than the store stuff.

6/22/2006 12:36:00 AM  

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