Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/12/2015

When the summer heat comes knocking, many people reach for soft drinks and artificially flavored beverages.  While this may temporarily cool you down while satisfying your sweet tooth, you're actually doing your body a disservice by dumping so many empty calories into your system.  Additionally, many of these drink options actually dehydrate you further, prompting you to drink more of them sooner.  Here are five easy alternatives to reaching for a can of pop, or a bottle of "enhanced electrolyte-infused super sports drink"....Whatever that is. 1. Juice on Juice - Do you make your ice cubes with trays in your freezer?  If you do, try swapping out the water with juice!  You can have a glass of OJ with OJ ice cubes.  As they melt, they won't water down your juice of choice.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own fruit juice combinations with matching juice cubes.  If you have a blender, you can make your own fruit slushies in a flash.  It's a pretty simple way to enjoy something flavorful, and you can feel better knowing that you aren't putting large amounts of empty calories into your system.  If you are craving something a little sweeter, why not try mixing in a little Stevia?  While relatively new to the US market, this wonder sweetener has been used for centuries by people in other countries.  Boasting a sweetening capability 300 times that of sugar, stevia has also been shown to have a negligible effect on blood glucose levels, making this sweetener relatively safe for people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. 2.  Cucumber Water - This is a relatively new concept to hit the mainstream, but it has been around for a long time.  Cucumbers are a perfect summer food...They contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidant nutrients that can help protect the skin from the sun's damaging rays. Vitamin C boosts collagen and elastin, which helps keep skin looking vibrant. Caffeic acid protects skin cells from UV radiation. Cucumbers also help to prevent water retention, which will keep you feeling light and refreshed all day. There are a few different methods to make cucumber water, but I'll give the easiest here....Chop up a whole cucumber, throw it in a pitcher of water, and let it soak in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, drain the pieces of cucumber out, pour yourself a big glass of it over ice, throw a few slices of cucumber in as a garnish, and voila.  You have cucumber water.  Yes....It's that simple.  And you'll be pleasantly surprised how refreshing this new angle on water is. Raspberry Mint water - This is similar to the cucumber water, except that there's no overnight soaking required.  All you need is a water bottle, crushed ice, some fresh mint, and raspberries.  Throw five or six raspberries, a few mint leaves, and a small handful of crushed ice into a water bottle.  Shake well.  The ice will agitate the mint and raspberries.  Then, fill the bottle to the top with water, and shake again.  Goodbye, Crystal Light. Soda Water and Juice - If you find yourself craving the zip of bubbles in your beverage, try mixing plain soda water with citrus juices.  Two parts juice, one part soda water, and some ice is all you'll need to beat a soda craving.  Try mixing tangerine and grapefruit juice first, then move on to other juices. Iced Chai Tea - Chai has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine, but has come to be one of the world's most beloved teas.  Chai is a mixture of black teas and aromatic Indian spices.  Initially brought over to the west a few centuries ago, it has become a fixture in many coffeehouses and cupboards all across the United States, and can be purchased in your local grocery store.  If you like Iced tea, then take a chance on Iced Chai.  You won't regret it. Bring four cups of water to a boil, and add one chai bag per cup.  Steep for five to seven minutes, and transfer to a pitcher.  Allow the Chai to cool completely, and serve over ice.  You can add a bit of milk and sugar if you so desire, but the natural blend of Indian spice makes this tea flavorful all on its own. Here's to a healthy summer!




Tags: summer fun   ice tea   Healthy  
Categories: Family  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/1/2014

The summer is here! No more teachers, no more books and the kids need something to do. School may be out but summer is a great time for all kinds of learning opportunities for kids. Here are some activities to help families create some fun, enriching summertime learning. Look for active learning experiences Check with your local department of parks and recreation about camps and other activities. There are many free exhibits, events, or concerts happening in your town over the summer. Build reading and writing into everyday activities You can incorporate reading into everyday activities. Try watching TV with the sound off and closed captioning on. Have your child read the directions for how to play a new game. Children can help make to do lists or help with meals by reading a cookbook and write up a grocery list. Encourage writing Have kids write letters and postcards to their friends and family telling of their summertime adventures. Try blogging! Arrange for a safe, closed blog so that you can blog over the summer. Be an active citizen Find community service organizations. Kids who participate in community service activities gain not only new skills but self-confidence and self-esteem. Get into geocaching Everyone loves a scavenger hunt! Get in on the latest outdoor craze with geocaching, where families search for hidden "caches" or containers using handheld GPS tools (or a GPS app on your smart phone).  




Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/18/2013

The sun is out and it is the perfect time to use that solar energy to work and make some homemade ice tea. Not only is ice tea refreshing it is also very easy and inexpensive to make at home. You can even try using some of your favorite herbal teas.  Here is a quick and simple recipe: What you need: 6 to 8 tea bags 1 quart hot water (4 cups) 1 quart cold water (4 cups) 1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey, optional Directions: Bring hot water to a boil in a 2-quart size sauce pan. Add the tea bags. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. If the tea sits for too long, it will be bitter. Remove the tea bags. Put the cold water into a 2-quart size pitcher. Pour the hot tea into the pitcher, over top of the cold water. Make sure to put the cold water in first. Add the sugar or honey if you like, stirring to dissolve it completely. Put the pitcher into the fridge to cool. Grab a chair outside and relax and enjoy your homemade tea. If you have a homemade recipe perfect for the warmer weather please share.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/8/2012

Did you know that your kids can lose from one to three months of learning over the summer? Studies suggest kids lose the most in math. Don't spend the summer going in reverse. There are many online sites that can help stop the summer brain drain. National Geographic Kids: offers great nature videos, activities, games, stories, and more CoolMath4Kids: take a trip through an amusement park of math and more at this extremely interactive math website Smithsonian Kids Collecting: how to start your own collection and see what other kids collect Explore Dinosaurs: FAQs and top 10 myths about dinosaurs, a virtual dig, behind the scenes tours, and more from the National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Digging for Answers: a site that tests your research skills and knowledge NASA Quest: interactive explorations that engage students in real science and engineering. Topics include robots, helicopters, lunar exploration, and designing your own human-friendly planet My Wonderful World: a multimedia tour of our seven continents Time for Kids: fun games (The Great State Race), an online weekly magazine written for kids, and news from around the world Big Universe: an online library of fiction and nonfiction books for kids 0-12. The site also offers adults and kids the chance to create and publish their own stories.