Fun Strawberry Lemonade Mocktail Recipe

 

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far! My name is Lauren Pickens and I’m so excited to be posting my second guest blog here on The HighChair Chic. You can read my first post here, which is a Healthy Eating Essentials post. You can also visit my website, where I discuss pop culture, lifestyle, and much more!

Today I will be sharing a recipe for a strawberry lemonade mocktail. It’s super easy and a drink that you can enjoy with the whole family.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water


Lemon juice

Plain seltzer water

Ice cubes

The first half of the ingredients will be used to make your strawberry simple syrup. Simple syrups are used in cocktails and other drinks to give a powerful burst of flavor. Instead of using store bought syrups that are full of preservatives and chemicals, we’re going to make our own!

Put the strawberries, water, and sugar into a medium sized pot and bring your ingredients to a boil.

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Next let it simmer for around 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once you strawberries are falling apart take it off of the heat. If you are using frozen strawberries it will take about 25 minutes.

Using a strainer filter out the bits of strawberry skin and put your syrup into a bowl so that it can cool.

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Now your simple syrup is done! All that’s left to do is to put it in the refrigerator to cool until it is completely chilled. For me this was a few hours.

Once the syrup is done cooling you can mix your drinks. You can change the portions depending on how sweet/sour you want your drink.

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In each of my cups I put about 4, cubes of ice, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of strawberry syrup, and filled the rest of the glass up with seltzer to balance out the flavors.

Once you have added the ingredients use a straw or spoon to stir it and enjoy!

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This would be perfect for a holiday party or family night when you want to do something a little special!

If you liked this post please follow my blog, twitter, and instagram for more!

Alarming Rise in Highchair Accidents

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Are you using your highchair properly?  If you do not or are not sure….listen up!!

U.S. emergency rooms now attend to an average of almost 9,500 high chair-related injuries every year, a figure that equates to one injured infant per hour. The vast majority of incidents involve children under the age of 1 year.

“We know that these injuries can and do happen, but we did not expect to see the kind of increase that we saw,” said study Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr Gary Smith says “supervision is a must”. “Stay with your child during meal time and make sure he or she doesn’t defeat the restraint.”   “Even if a chair does meet current safety standards and the restraint is used properly, there’s never 100 percent on this . . . Parents will always need to be vigilant.”

While The Highchair Organizer was not tested in this study, it does however offer a solution to mom’s constant getting up and down during mealtime. Whenever you leave the highchair, you in fact leave the baby unattended and this is when accidents can happen. The Highchair Organizer stores everything needed for baby’s mealtime adventure at the highchair so moms never have to leave baby unattended in the highchair.

Here’s information on how you can prevent injuries:

1. Make sure the highchair has safety straps with either a 3-point or 5-point harness.
2. Make sure it has a crotch strap.
3. When you buckle the child in, make sure the straps are attached firmly to the chair and that they’re snug around the child so he can’t wiggle out.
4. When you set up the highchair, put it in an area where the child cannot reach anything and make sure it’s away from the table or a wall or counter so they can’t kick or push the chair over.
5. Use booster seats that secure to a chair and have a tray, and make sure they are firmly attached, with no wiggle room.
6. In restaurants, make sure the highchairs or booster seats they provide have functional straps that are in working order. If they don’t, ask for one that does.

Lastly, make sure your buckle your child in their highchair and/or booster seat each and every time!!

Mint: One Plant – Many Uses

 

Over the summer, The Highchair Organizer family decided to plant a few items in a small garden in our yard. Of all the items we decided to plant, I must say that mint has been my favorite.  Now if you listen to my husband he would have you to believe that mint “is just a weed”.  However, after doing a little research and spending a lot of time with this beautiful green plant over the summer, I beg to differ. In fact, I have found my uses for mint including multiple learning opportunities for the kids.

1. Mint Infused Watermint 4

I purchased this infuser from http://www.kohls.com for less than $20.  I must say that it has been one of the best purchases that I have made in a long time.  About once a week I pull fresh mint from our garden.  I take about 2-3 sprigs of the mint, wash it well, and then put in the infuser. I then fill the pitcher with water.  My kids love the taste and it encourages them to drink more water.  The fresh mint infused water is energizing and tasty.  The kids like the fact that they grew the mint and that it “makes the water taste good”.

2. Learning activity for the kids

My 6 year old and 2 year old are very proud of their little garden. And since they are particularly fond of the mint, I decided to turn it into a learning activity.  With my 2 year old we discuss the color of the mint.  We talk about the texture of the mint and how it smells. While at the highchair, I let her glue (with a glue stick of course) pieces of the mint onto construction paper as a project.  She had a blast!

Growing the mint (which by the way is almost impossible to kill) was my 6 year old’s responsibility.  His summer science project was to water it and to pick it for mommy when I needed it.  We discuss how water, good soil, and sun shine are necessary for a healthy plant.

3. Healthy you-healthy kids

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I was courious about the health benefits of mint.  Did you know mint has long been used to ease stomach pains?  Simply steep in water and make into a tea.  Drinking mint infused water can be energizing and refreshing.  It is a natural stimulant.  The smell alone can aid in getting your brain functioning at a higher level. Take fresh leaves and sniff for a mild decongestant if you have a cold. And as I mentioned earlier, the refreshing flavor gives plain water a boost. This encourages you and the kids to drink more water.

4. Planting & Gardening

All mints thrive near pools of water, lakes, rivers, and cool moist spots in partial shade. In general, mints tolerate a wide range of conditions, and can also be grown in full sun.

I will warn you that mint is fast-growing, extending their reach along surfaces through a network of strong roots. Due to their speedy growth, one plant of each desired mint, along with a little care, will provide more than enough mint for home use. Some mint species are more invasive than others. Even with the less invasive mints, care should be taken when mixing any mint with any other plants, lest the mint take over. To control mints in an open environment, they should be planted in deep, bottomless containers sunk in the ground, or planted above ground in tubs and barrels. However, if you do not mind the spread, mint will make your back yard smell fresh and aromatic.

5. Aromatherapy

The smell of mint always reminds me of summer.  To get that summertime fragrance in the house take a hand-full of the mint leaves and put in a pot of simmering water.  The heat will release the mint oil and the refreshing scent of the mint will fill the room.

6. Favor

Mint adds a great flavor to cold or hot tea.  Simply drop a few leaves into your next cup of tea.  Chop up a few leaves and toss in your green salad for a bold flavor. Mix a couple of leaves into your lemonade for an refreshing twist.mint 3In closing, I hope that you have learned a little more about mint.  Let us know if you have any more uses for this beautiful plant that we have not listed above. Enjoy!

 

Healthy Eating Essentials

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Hello Highchair Organizer audience! My name is Lauren Pickens. I am a fellow lifestyle blogger and writer, and I am proud to introduce my first guest blog on this site. Today I thought that I would share some of my personal secrets to something that we all struggle with, healthy eating. As I am a college student, I try to keep the base of my diet as natural as possible to keep up with my busy lifestyle. However, due to time and budget constraints it can become easy to eat processed unhealthy foods. Below, I have listed three items that I make sure to have in my kitchen at all time that make eating healthy meals easy and affordable whether you are making meals for a single person or a family.

1. Avocados

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This super food will get you full and satisfied in no time. There are so many ways to eat them. You can make some easy guacamole with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh salsa. Or, add a few slices to a turkey sandwich to make it more filling.
My personal favorite way to eat avocados is put them on top of whole grain toast for breakfast. When they are ripe (when the avocado can be easily squeezed), just put it directly on your toast and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper to taste. This is perfect for those days when you need to throw something healthy together for breakfast!

2. Detox tea

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If you are a tea lover, then you should give detox tea a try. The brand Yogi makes detox teas in a variety of different flavors. You can find this brand at Walmart and all major grocery chains, and a box goes for an average of about three to five dollars. They are all natural and are a healthier alternative for morning coffee on days that you feel a little sluggish or lethargic.
Detox tea can help to cleanse your body and regulate the digestive system. I can really tell the difference when I drink it 3-5 times a week. If you have gone through a week of unhealthy or binge eating, drinking detox tea every day for a week can help you get back on track.

3. Spinach

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This leafy green vegetable is full of vitamins, iron, and calcium. You can incorporate spinach into all three meals of the day in order to create colorful and healthy dishes.
Breakfast: Adding spinach to a smoothie can be an easy way to create a great tasting green smoothie. Blend together about five pieces of ice, three strawberries, one banana, a handful of spinach, and about a ½ cup of water or soy milk. Green smoothies can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t tried one, but this recipe is great because the sweetness of the fruit camouflages any taste of the spinach.
Lunch: For an easy lunch salad; I toss together freshly washed spinach leaves, dried cranberries, some feta cheese, and a bit of balsamic vinaigrette.
Dinner: Spinach is great to add into any pasta dish and works well with a variety of sauces, including pesto and cream based sauces. When you have boiled the pasta just cook the spinach down in a separate pan with a bit of coconut or olive oil and add it to the dish once you have added the sauce that you are using. This simple addition turns an ordinary pasta dish into a more health conscious alternative.

Follow me on Twitter at @laurenpickens92, and tell me in the comments below if you have any holy grail food items!