Family-Friendly Movie Night Ideas

It’s now been several months since school has let out for the summer, and you may be scratching your head wondering what you can do to entertain your kids between now and when school starts.

Fret not! We took an office poll and would like to suggest hosting a family movie night.

Think about it…it’s the perfect way to spend an evening after a long day at the beach or the pool while also getting in some much-needed family chill time. With the variety of child-friendly movies available that are also fun for parents and older children to enjoy, you’re guaranteed to find something perfect for the entire family.

Here are some of our favorites for a family movie night…

The Secret Life of Pets

If y0u’re a pet lover that enjoys a good laugh, you’ll definitely want to add The Secret Life of Pets to your movie list.

This film follows the story of a dog named Max whose life suddenly gets flipped upside down when his owner adopts a new dog into the family. It also documents the lives of several other house pets and the shenanigans they get into while their owners are away.

Ever wonder what your pets are doing when you leave for work or school? Watch this movie to find out!

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is a classic Disney film that all ages will enjoy.

If you’re old-school, watching an old VHS of the animated Beauty and the Beast is a great way to take a step back in time and bring yourself back to the good old days.

If you prefer movies with a more modern look, you’ll want to check out the new live-action Beauty and the Beast that has received nothing but wonderful reviews from Disney fans across the country.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Years ago, JK Rowling captured the hearts of children and adults with her Harry Potter books. Today, she is making even more magic as her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits the big screen.

This whimsical movie, packed with fun, adventure, and plenty of laughs is perfect for the entire family.

Tip: After you watch this film, schedule one movie night per week to watch the Harry Potter films with your family.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

A beach vacation is one of the most fun things you can do during the summer. But, if your schedule doesn’t allow for a beach vacation, the second-best thing to do is sail the 7 seas while watching the movie Dead Men Tell No Tales.

This movie is the final movie in the well-loved Pirates of the Caribbean series.

While this film is fun for the whole family, it does have a few moments that may be deemed too dark or scary for really young children, so please exercise caution when watching.

The BFG

The BFG is a beloved children’s book written by Ronald Dahl that follows ten-year-old Sophie’s as she meets and forms a relationship with a Big Friendly Giant.

Since the book, popular movie director Steven Spielberg has turned this classic into a film the whole family can enjoy.

Will The BFG be able to convince the rest of the giant community that humans are friends, not food? Rent the movie to find out!

Do you and your family have a favorite movie for movie night? Share it in the comments below!

Flap Reconstruction Surgery: Important Stats and Abstract Information

If you’ve had breast cancer and are considering reconstruction surgery, it’s possible that one of the options you may be looking into is flap reconstruction surgery.

Breast reconstruction utilizing “flap” techniques are procedures where body tissue is used to reconstruct the shape of your breast after surgery. While it’s a relatively common type of reconstructive surgery these days, we feel it’s important that you should learn as much as possible about the benefits and risks, and discuss them with your doctor before you have the procedure.

That’s why we at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction are always looking for better ways to educate and inform our patients before a decision.

One way we ensure our patients have access to the latest in medicine and medical technology is to have our surgeons and staff constantly learning, researching, and writing about their findings.

In fact, some of our latest research on reconstructive flap surgery was recently submitted to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons by our Dr. Kline. This specific abstract documented the success rate of our reconstructive flap surgeries with regard to the role of autogenous microvascular breast reconstruction in the community.

Check it out…

Abstract

PURPOSE: To present the continuing role of autogenous microvascular breast reconstruction in the community

METHODS: 1393 free perforator flaps for breast reconstruction were performed by two surgeons from October, 2003 to October, 2016. All flaps were performed in two community hospitals. Types of flaps included DIEP unilateral (122 flaps), DIEP simultaneous bilateral (866 flaps), DIEP bipedicle (106 flaps), sGAP unilateral (55 flaps), sGAP simultaneous bilateral (202 flaps), iGAP unilateral (2 flaps), iGAP simultaneous bilateral (18 flaps), PAP unilateral (5 flaps), PAP bilateral (10 flaps), SIEA unilateral (3 flaps), SIEA simultaneous bilateral (2 flaps), and TFL perforator (1 flap). The series includes a large number of both immediate and delayed reconstructions, prior failed reconstructions, and patients with a history of radiation.

RESULTS: Overall flap survival rate was 98.2%. DIEP survival rate was 99.1%. sGAP survival rate was 95.7%. No primary unilateral flaps were lost, and no bilateral losses occurred. Including those patients whose initial flaps failed, 99% of patients were ultimately successfully reconstructed with autogenous tissue.

CONCLUSION: Implant-based reconstruction is an appropriate initial choice for many patients, but autogenous microsurgical reconstruction still remains an excellent option, whether as an initial choice, or for patients with a prior history of failed reconstruction. With proper preparation and institutional support, perforator flap breast reconstruction can be performed with a high degree of success in a community hospital setting.

On top of the abstract, our physicians—Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D. and James E. Craigie MD—also wrote the chapter on GAP (buttock) flaps for the book Perforator Flaps for Breast Reconstruction.

Check out the book chapter here.

As we mentioned earlier, we are passionate about continuing to learn, receive training, and interact with the scientific community to ensure we provide our patients with the safest, most advanced care.

And, while we’re doing our job to make sure we’re properly training our staff and staying up-to-date with the latest in medical technology, there’s one thing we encourage you to do as well—always ask for medical procedure stats.

Much like the abstract we provided above, your doctor should be able to provide you with stats on the procedures he or she conducts.

When patients come to us and ask questions on success rates, we can happily tell them the different percentage rates of success for the various procedures we provide. Equipping our patients with this information empowers them to make wise, educated decisions about their own health.

So, please, before you move ahead with a specific procedure, ask your doctor for the stats. If they have a high success rate with their surgeries, then you’re in the right place. If they don’t, it’s time for you to find another doctor.

We wish you the best as you move forward with any new procedure you may need!

Did you find the book chapter insightful? Let us know what you learned and what you thought was helpful to know in the comments below!

5 Tips for Getting Back into a School Routine

Over the summer, our schedules tend to slow down a bit. For those with kids, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to get up early and rush out the door, but after a few months of sleeping in and staying in pajamas until lunchtime, it’s easy for kids (and adults!) to get thrown off a normal routine.

Now that we’ve reached mid-August, it’s important to start making some changes to get yourself and your kids into a back-to-school routine so the whole family has an easier time adjusting to the school schedule.

Not sure where to start? No problem. We have a few tips we think will help you out. Check them out now!

Tip #1 – Set an Alarm Clock

One of the best ways to get yourself back on schedule is ensuring you wake up at a normal “get ready for school” time in the morning. Over the next few weeks, set both your and your kids’ alarm clocks a littler earlier so you can ease into a normal back-to-school wake up time.

As you begin to wake up earlier each day, you should naturally be tired and want to go to bed earlier each night.

After a few weeks of following this routine, it will be no problem for your kids to get up in the morning in time to catch the bus.

Tip: If you or your kids are having a hard time going to bed earlier at night, try reading a book, taking a hot bath, or doing a puzzle 30 minutes before bed. These types of activities are helpful for settling the body down so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Tip #2 – Brush Up on Your Skills

It’s easy for a child’s spelling, math, and reading skills to deteriorate over the summer months—especially if your children have done nothing but enjoy playtime, cartoons, and video games.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a brain break during the summer. But, before school begins, it’s a good idea to brush up on a few of the skills you learned during the previous school year.

You can find educational workbooks on just about any subject at any bookstore or online. Order a few age-appropriate workbooks and have your child do a page or two in the evening.

Tip #3 – Make a School Lunch List

There’s nothing worse than putting the effort into packing your kid’s lunch only to hear your child say, “Ew, I don’t like PB&J sandwiches anymore!” as you’re walking out the door.

To avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to sit down with your children and make a list of the foods your kids enjoy. Having their favorite lunchmeat, fruit, and snack on hand will easily take the drama out of packing lunches in the morning.

If you want to be super prepared, stock up on your kid’s favorite non-perishable lunchbox favorites, like juice boxes, pretzels, or raisins, before school even begins. This way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting important lunchbox items.

Tip: If you have younger kids, spend some time before school teaching your kid how to pack his/her own lunchbox. Once he/she becomes a pro packer, this will save you time in the morning.

Tip #4 – Plan School Outfits in Advance

If your kid is a fashionista, you know how time-consuming it can be for him/her to pick the perfect outfit in the morning.

To avoid this problem, have your kid lay out an outfit the night before school. Or, if you have small children, you can lay your kiddos’ outfits out ahead of time so you don’t have to rush and do it in the morning. This makes getting ready for school a breeze in the morning.

Tip: Watch the weather together the night before school. This will help your kid pick out an outfit that is appropriate for warm weather, cold weather, rain, or sun.

Tip #5 – Purchase Back-to-School Items Early

Most schools will send out a list of school supplies your kid needs to purchase for personal use in the classroom. To avoid the headaches of last-minute shopping, plan a day when you are still on summer vacation to get your shopping done.

Doing your shopping ahead of time will help reduce the stress of having to do last-minute shopping and will also help ensure your kid gets prime pick of all the supplies before it gets picked over by all the other kids. It may also even help get your kid excited to head back to school.

If you have a little extra in your back-to-school budget, consider donating some supplies to your kid’s classroom. Some teachers provide lists of items they need. If they don’t, dry erase markers, tissues, pencils, and markers are always useful.

Do you have any tips for easing back into a school routine? Share them in the comments below!

 

3 Grilled Dinner Recipes the Entire Family Will Enjoy

Tired of eating the same foods every week? We don’t blame you. While your kids may not mind eating cartoon-shaped, cheese-covered noodles for dinner every night, we know that your more sophisticated palate may be craving a few new recipe options.

For that reason, we decided to pull together 3 of our favorite dinner recipes.

But here’s the best part…we’re not only giving you some new recipes to try out. We’re sharing recipes that are easy to make, healthy, and—unless you have incredibly picky kids—please all of your family members’ palates.

Get the recipes now…

BBQ Chicken Recipe

BBQ chicken is a classic summertime dinner staple. This recipe is savory, delicious, and best of all, takes less than an hour to make! Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce, (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions (white and light green parts)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:

1. Mix up the BBQ sauce.

Easy BBQ Sauce:

In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, onion, mustard, hot sauce, and black pepper. Stir in the scallions, lime zest, and lime juice. Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

2. Prepare a medium-hot grill or preheat the broiler. If using the broiler, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the chicken on the grill or, if broiling, put it on the prepared baking sheet. Grill or broil, 4 inches from the heat, turning once, for 10 minutes per side.

4. Put 1/2 of the BBQ sauce in a small bowl, for drizzling and serving. Reserve.

5. Baste the chicken with the remaining sauce and grill or broil for 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, drizzle with some of the reserved sauce, and serve with lime wedges and the remaining reserved sauce.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/easy-after-work-bbq-chicken-recipe-1921598

Orange Garlic Tuna Steaks Recipe

Fish is a very healthy food that is full of important omega-3s. Even if you don’t care for fish, we encourage you to give this recipe a try. The delicious orange garlic marinade masks any unpleasant fishy tastes. Try it out…

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 (4 ounce) tuna steaks

Directions:

1. In a large non-reactive dish, mix together the orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill for high heat.

3. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook the tuna steaks for 5 to 6 minutes, then turn and baste with the marinade. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or to desired doneness. Discard any remaining marinade.

Recipe Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/39455/marinated-tuna-steak/

Grilled Portobello Burger Recipe

For those of you who are vegetarians—or simply love your vegetables—you definitely want to add this recipe to your menu! This hearty, savory Portobello burger, topped with homemade onion jam is bound to get your mouth watering. Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium-large red onions, thinly sliced (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms, (about 1 pound) stemmed
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 4 whole grain buns, or whole wheat English muffins, split and toasted

Directions:

1. Put the yogurt in a paper towel-lined strainer set over a bowl, set aside to drain and thicken, about 60 minutes. Discard the watery liquid. Whisk the horseradish into the thickened yogurt.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Add the onions, 1 thyme sprig, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, covered, until the onions have wilted, about 10 to 15 minutes (give them a stir every now and then with a wooden spoon to prevent them from sticking). Add the red wine, and simmer over high heat until most of the wine gets absorbed into the onions. Add the honey and red wine vinegar and simmer gently until the onions get jam-like, about, about 15 minutes.

3. Preheat a stove top grill pan over medium-high heat. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Strip and add the leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme.

4. Coat the mushroom caps all over with the flavored olive oil. Grill the mushrooms, turning as needed, until tender but not mushy about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Season with the salt and pepper.

5. Sandwich the mushroom between the buns, top with some of the onion jam, some lettuce, and a dollop of the horseradish cream. Serve warm.

Do you have a favorite grilling recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

5 Tips for Taking the Stress out of Summer Vacations

Summerkids are off school, adults have vacation time, the weather is beautiful, and it’s the perfect time to take a much-deserved vacation. Yet, unfortunately, many people’s fantasy of a relaxing vacation (sitting on a white sand beach with a drink in hand) doesn’t always work out as planned.

That’s right.

Screaming kids, forgetting to pack your swimsuit, or not being able to find an affordable plane ticket are all things that can easily ruin a vacation. Yikes!

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we know how important it is for you (and your family) to rest, relax, and recharge. Which is why we’ve put together 5 tips that we hope will help you take the stress out of your vacation this year.

Check them out now…

Create a Packing List

Every travel destination comes with different packing needs. This is why it’s so important to take time to create a packing list to ensure you pack the appropriate attire.

Trust us, you wouldn’t want to make it all the way to Alaska and realize that you forgot your winter coat—Yes! Even in the summer months!

And just as every travel destination has different packing needs, so does every member of your family if you’re traveling with your significant other and/or children.

Heaven forbid you forget to bring your 3-year-old’s teddy bear for nighttime, and he doesn’t sleep the entire vacation. That’s stressful and no fun for anyone!

Ensure you don’t forget the essentials, and create a packing list. Review the list with whomever you are traveling with, and then check off each item on the list as you put it into your suitcase.

Invite an Extra Set of Hands to Help You on Your Trip

Inviting a friend or family member to go on your vacation to help if you have small children is a wonderful idea for many reasons.

Reason 1: If you have multiple small children, you already know how challenging traveling can be. When you have a second set of hands, you’ll have someone to sit in the backseat with child #1 when he needs help starting a movie on his iPad so you can drive in peace.

Reason 2: Safety. Parking lots, large crowds, pools/beaches, etc., are all dangerous for children. And if you have more than one child, it can be hard to keep an eye on everything to ensure everyone is safe and sound. Having a second set of eyes is a good way to keep everyone safe and happy so you can enjoy your vacation.

Reason 3: It’s nice to have the company of another adult. If you’re a single parent or are just traveling alone with your children, you know how mind-numbing constant conversations about your child’s favorite cartoon show can be. Bringing someone along with you makes it easier to have enjoyable adult conversations, whether you’re driving in the car, on a plane, or sitting at the beach.

Plan Ahead

Some people say spontaneity is the spice of life. Yet, those who went to NYC to see Hamilton without purchasing tickets in advance and missed the show would probably disagree.

If you know for sure that you want to do a specific activity, see a certain show, or go out to a special dinner, be sure to book everything in advance.

This not only takes the stress out of having to book everything last minute while you’re trying to enjoy your vacation, but it also helps ensure that you get to do the things you want to do while on vacation.

Booking ahead is also a great idea for hotels and airlines. When you plan in advance, you can watch rates and will most likely get a better deal on the cost of lodging or transportation instead of waiting to the last minute.

Provide Adequate Sleep/Rest Time

On vacation, people tend to get thrown off their normal schedules. And while adults can get moody if they don’t get enough sleep, lack of rest can be extremely detrimental for kids. We all know how stressful crying, screaming kids can be!

The good news is that there’s a simple solution to this problem. All you’ve got to do is schedule rest breaks into your day to avoid crankiness or meltdowns.

A simple hour nap or quiet break in the middle of the day can do wonders for children. You may also find, that as an adult, you also this break to relax amidst the hustle and bustle of your vacation as well.

Go into Your Vacation with the Right Mindset

It’s so easy to fantasize about the perfect vacation. After all, you’ve work so hard all year, and you clearly deserve the best vacation ever.

While it’s ok to expect the best out of your next vacation, it’s also important to have the right mindset. Not every vacation will be perfect. It may rain on your beach day. Tickets might be sold out to the dinner show you want to see. You may get a tummy ache from eating too much ice cream and have to cancel your fancy dinner reservations.

Stuff happens…and some people let the minor hiccups in a vacation ruin their entire trip. Don’t let this happen to you.

Go into your vacation with the mindset that you’re going to make the best of whatever happens on your trip. If it rains on your beach day, maybe it’s a good day to learn something new at a museum. And if you get a stomach ache from eating too much ice cream, that stinks—but at least you got to eat dessert for lunch that day! Score!

The key is flexibility. If one plan doesn’t work, have a plan B and try something different. Who knows, you might end up trying a new activity or seeing a new sight that becomes the highlight of your trip!

Go into your vacation with a mindset that you’re going to enjoy yourself no matter what happens. Travel delays, bad weather, cranky kids, etc., can wreak havoc on your trip, unless you are willing to roll with the punches and resort to a plan B if necessary. Flexibility is key.

Do you have any tips for taking the stress out of summer vacations? Share them with us in the comments below!

 

National Ice Cream Day Celebration Recipes

One of our very favorite holidays is just around the corner…National Ice Cream Day! We can’t wait to celebrate with a scoop (or two, or three!) of our favorite ice cream flavors.

National Ice Cream Day falls on July 16 this year. If you had no idea that this delicious holiday was happening in a less than a week, not to worry!

To help ice cream lovers across the country prepare for the celebration, we’ve decided to put together a handful of our favorite ice cream recipes. Check them out, stock up on all the ingredients you need to make the recipes, and you’ll be prepared to celebrate this decadent holiday!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Milkshake Recipe

This sweet and salty recipe will make you wish National Ice Cream Day was every day! Give this recipe a try…

Ingredients:

Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo® Light Corn Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream OR canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Pretzel Milkshake

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup thoroughly chilled Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel pretzel pieces
  • whipped cream, optional

Directions:

Caramel Sauce

  1. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring to a full boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute.
  1. Remove from heat; immediately stir in cream, sea salt and vanilla.
  1. Refrigerate to store. Microwave 30 seconds and stir before serving.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Milkshake

  1. Combine ice cream, sea salt caramel sauce, milk, and salted caramel pretzel pieces in a blender.
  1. Blend until smooth.
  1. Pour into 2 glasses and, if desired, garnish with whipped cream, more caramel sauce and pretzel pieces.

Recipe Source: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/salted-caramel-pretzel-milkshake/

Peanut Butter Ice Box Ice Cream Cake

It wouldn’t be a celebration without a cake—made of ice cream! Try your hand at making an ice cream cake with this recipe…

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup coffee, brewed strongly
  • 1 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt

Ice Cream Cake

  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate cake

Directions:

1. Make the chocolate cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Choose between a 10 by 3-inch round or a rectangular shaped baking pan and spray it with baking grease or butter and then line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Combine the oil and the sugar in mixer until well blended. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and continue to mix until well blended. Add the milk and the coffee.

3. Sift all of the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet ingredients in three batches allowing each batch to be thoroughly absorbed.

4. Pour the batter in prepared pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer is clean when removed. Allow to cool before unmolding. Once chocolate cake has cooled, unmold, and refrigerate overnight to allow it to cool thoroughly.

5. Make the ice cream cake: Cut the chocolate cake horizontally to make 2 layers out of the 1 layer and slide 1 of the layers onto a plate or cake board attempting not to break the layers.

6. Line the same pan used to bake the chocolate cake in plastic wrap (the plastic will help you remove the ice cream cake from the pan once it is set, so make sure to use a large enough piece and slide 1 of the half layers of chocolate cake into the pan). Make sure that it rests firmly in the bottom of the pan and, if the plastic wrap has slipped in, adjust so that it spills over the sides of the pan.

7. Empty a pint of chocolate ice cream, or your favorite brand, into a mixer and soften until it is easily spread; do not let it become runny. Pour the ice cream into mold over chocolate layer and spread evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Return to freezer until set, approximately 2 hours.

8. Soften 2 cups of creamy peanut butter in the microwave without letting it get runny, approximately 2 minutes. Then pour the peanut butter over the chocolate ice cream. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the peanut butter evenly over the chocolate ice cream. Place the second half of the chocolate cake layer over the peanut butter and pat down firmly. Return to freezer until set, approximately 2 hours.

9. Empty a pint of vanilla ice cream or your favorite brand, into a mixer and soften it until it can be easily spread. Pour into mold over chocolate layer and spread evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Return to freezer and allow to set overnight.

10. To unmold, simply invert over cake board or plate, place a warm towel over the pan for a couple of minutes. The cake should slide out without any problems. Grab ahold of the ends of the plastic wrap, and give it a tug if it is stubborn. Invert back so that vanilla ice cream is on top. Decorate with melted chocolate or whipped cream.

11. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ice-box-cafe-peanut-butter-ice-cream-cake-recipe-2013443

Ice Cream Sundae

Last, but certainly not least, we recommend making one of the most timeless, ice cream-based desserts in the history of ice cream…a sundae!

Ingredients:

  • Ice cream (any flavor you love!)
  • Toppings of your choice

Here’s a list of our favorite toppings for inspiration:

  • Hot fudge
  • Sprinkles
  • Whipped cream
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cookie crumbles
  • Cherries

Directions:

1. Scoop your favorite ice cream into a bowl.

2. Add your favorite topping.

3. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite ice cream-inspired dessert? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Help Keep Your Beaches Clean and Safe

Millions of people in the U.S. are lucky enough to live near a beach or a lake. And if you don’t personally live near a beach or lake, chances are you may take an occasional vacation to one during the summer months to go for a swim.

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we are fortunate to live near some of the most beautiful beaches in the country—beaches that stay beautiful thanks to the hard work of the people who make an effort to keep them trash free and clean.

Protecting the water we live by is so important. We don’t know about you, but the last thing we want is to jump into the water and float around with a bunch of garbage. Gross!

Second, there are thousands of sea creatures (and lake creatures!) that depend on us to keep their habitats clean and safe. Sadly, every year animals die due to polluted waters.

There is good news though! It’s not hard to pitch in, do you part, and help keep the water safe for everyone to enjoy, whether you live near a beach or are just visiting.

This summer when you’re at the beach, we encourage you to lend a hand and help keep our beaches clean by doing the following things…

Pick Up Litter

It’s not uncommon to walk across a beach and find a food wrapper or a soda can. The next time you’re at the beach, bring a garbage bag with you. When you stumble upon a piece of litter, pick it up and throw it in your trash bag.

It may not seem like you’re making that big of an impact, but if everyone who visited a beach picked up just one piece of trash, it would make a world of difference to the animals that live in and near the water.

Use Reusable Containers

When you plan on spending an entire day on the water, it’s important to pack snacks and drinks to keep your energy up and keep your body hydrated. Unfortunately, many people pack their snacks and drinks in plastic bags and drink from disposable water bottles—items that can easily get left behind or blow away.

We know you’d never intentionally leave trash at the beach, but it’s really easy for lightweight plastics, water bottles, wrappers, etc., to get caught up in the wind and blow away without anyone noticing. To fix this problem, we encourage you to pack your snacks in reusable lunch boxes and fill up hard plastic, reusable water bottles to cut down on accidental litter.

Be Mindful of Using Water Toys/Floats

Rafts, water guns, and boogie boards all make playing in the water a lot of fun! And there’s nothing wrong with enjoying these water toys. It is a good idea, however, to be mindful and keep an eye on your beach toys—especially when you’re not playing with them.

It’s so easy for plastic squirt guns and floating toys to get swept away when a big wave crashes down on you. And during high tide, the sneaky water line creeps up and can wash away the toys and floats you thought were safely placed on the beach.

When you purchase rafts, boogie boards, surf boards, etc., look for the ones that have ankle or wrist straps so you don’t lose them if you get knocked over by a big wave.

Pick Up after Your Pets

If you’re a pet lover, you know how fun it can be for both you and your dog to spend a day at the beach together. What’s not fun is accidently stepping in a mess a dog left behind while you’re walking down the beach.

Out of respect for everyone on the beach, always be responsible for picking up after your pet.

Don’t Leave Cigarette Butts on the Beach

First and foremost, we strongly advise that you not smoke. Smoking leads to so many health problems such as asthma, respiratory diseases, and even cancer. It’s dangerous and harmful to your health.

For some tips on how to quit smoking, go here!

If you must smoke though, please be courteous and keep your cigarette butts off the beach. Not only is it disgusting for other beachgoers to have to walk over your cigarette butts, but it’s also dangerous for animals, like seagulls and sand crabs, that mistake the cigarette butts for food.

If your beach doesn’t provide a place for you to dispose of your cigarette butts, bring a plastic container to the beach with you to dispose of them.

Do you have any other tips about how to help keep our beaches clean? Please share them in the comments below!

 

5 Homemade Delicious and Nutritious Popsicle Recipes

There’s nothing better than a frosty sweet treat after a long day of playing or working in the hot sun. Unfortunately, a lot of us end up reaching into our freezers only to grab popsicles filled with sugars and preservatives.

Now that doesn’t sound refreshing or appetizing!

While there’s nothing wrong with eating a store-bought popsicle from time to time, we figured you might like the option to make your own popsicles, made with fresh fruit and natural ingredients.

Here are a few of our favorite delicious and nutritious popsicle recipes. Give them all a try!

Strawberry Buttermilk Pops

It’s the perfect season for fresh strawberries. Visit a local berry-picking farm and grab a bushel of berries for this delicious strawberry buttermilk popsicle recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the strawberries, buttermilk, yogurt, honey, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into 8 4-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

Recipe Source: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/strawberry-buttermilk-pops

Cucumber, Agave, Mint Pops

Looking for a guilt-free desert to try? This recipe is it! Made with cucumbers and mint leaves—plants you can grow in your own summer garden—this refreshing pop is as nutritious as it is delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large English cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the cucumber, mint, lime juice, agave, and salt in a blender until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing with a spatula to remove as much liquid as possible.
  2. Pour the mixture into 8 4-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

Recipe Source: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/cucumber-agave-mint-pops

Peaches and Cream Pops

If you have a sweet tooth, this peaches and cream popsicle recipe, made with peach nectar and brown sugar, is for you. This popsicle is so fresh and tasty, it’s like eating a peach from your local roadside famer’s stand.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups peach nectar (100% peach juice)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the peach nectar, cream, sugar, ginger, and salt in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into 8 4-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

Recipe Source: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/peaches-cream-pops

Dairy-Free Cherry Almond Pops

If you’re sensitive to dairy products, but are still looking for a creamy and delicious popsicle recipe to try, we highly recommend this dairy-free cherry almond pop recipe. This recipe, made with fresh cherries, almond milk, and lemon juice, is packed full of bright and tangy flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the cherries, almond milk, sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, and salt in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into 8 4-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

Recipe Source: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/dairy-free-cherry-almond-pops

 Grape, Green Apple, Kale Pops

If you love tart and sour treats, this grape, green apple, and kale pop is perfect for you. The best part…the flavors of the grapes and green apples are so powerful you won’t even notice you’re getting a serving of antioxidant-rich kale in your dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes
  • 2 cups stemmed kale
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the grape juice, grapes, kale, bananas, apple, and salt in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing with a spatula to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. Pour the mixture into 8 4-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

Recipe Source: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/grape-green-apple-kale-pops

If you’re interested in adding additional healthy treat recipes to your recipe box, we suggest that you check out the Positive Health Wellness website.  This website contains tons of delicious recipes and gives great advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

 Do you have a favorite homemade popsicle recipe?

Share it with us in the comments below!

Summer Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

Between swimming, vacations, and being able to spend time enjoying outdoor activities, the summer months are fun for everyone! We certainly hope that you take some time this year to get out and enjoy them with your friends and family.

That being said, the summer months also come with certain risks–sunburns, dehydration, or suffering from an injury while enjoying an outdoor activity.

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we want your family to stay safe, healthy, and happy. For that reason, we encourage you to check out some of our summer safety tips.

Water Safety

Family time at the pool, beach, lake, or water park should be fun.

Unfortunately, while water activities are a lot of fun, they can also be dangerous. Here are a few ways to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe around water.

Take swimming lessons—Swimming doesn’t come naturally to everyone and it’s certainly a skill that little ones should learn before diving headfirst into a pool, lake, or ocean. Community pools and places like the YMCA often offer swimming lessons. Join a class and brush up on your skills. And if you have kids, this is a great opportunity for them to learn water safety and how to swim.

Wear life jackets–Even the strongest swimmers should wear a life jacket when enjoying water activities such as boating, jet skiing, or tubing. Accidents can happen anytime. And, if for some reason, you ended up injured or exhausted and became unable to swim, a lifejacket would save your life.

Life jackets for small children are also a must…even if you’re just hanging out around the pool deck or dock at the lake. Drowning can occur in a blink of an eye. Protect your little one with a life jacket.

Don’t swim alone—Always enjoy water sports or a dip in the pool, lake, or ocean with a buddy. It’s important to have someone around in case you suddenly need help in the water.

Sun Safety

While the hot sun may feel good on our skin, it unfortunately has the potential to damage skin and even cause cancer.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your skin safe

Apply sunscreen—Anytime you go outside for an extended period of time, be sure to lather up with some sunscreen. If you’re sweaty or have been submersed in water, apply sunscreen more frequently as it can easily wash off—yes, even the waterproof sunscreens!

Wear a hat–Wearing a hat is an easy way to keep your face, scalp, and neck from burning. The skin on your face is particularly delicate, so it’s important to keep it safe and out of direct sunlight.

Limit your time outside—It’s important to take breaks during the day to get out of the sun. Keep watch of how much time you’re spending outside, and be sure to come in for cooldown breaks throughout the day.

Play Safety

There’s nothing better than a day of bike riding, hiking, or playing in the yard. But there are precautions you should take, even in the safety of your own neighborhood to ensure your kids stay safe while at play.

Wear helmets/safety gear—Every year people fall off bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, etc., and end up with broken bones, head injuries, and bumps and bruises. To prevent serious injuries, always hear helmets and other safety gear like knee pads.

Stay hydrated—An intense game of basketball or tag in the hot summer sun is enough to dehydrate you. Make sure you and your kids drink a glass of water every hour or so to stay hydrated and healthy.

Avoid heat stroke—Heat exhaustion can be very serious. Before you end up getting sick or passing out, make sure you take rest breaks in the shade, cool off inside, and drink plenty of water.

Do you have any summer safety tips? Share them in the comments below!

3 Delicious Picnic Recipes for a Great Memorial Day Picnic

Every Memorial Day, we celebrate the courageous men and women who have died serving our country. If you’re a retired or active member of any of our armed forces, we thank you for your service!

On this special holiday, many people get their friends and families together and host a delicious picnic or BBQ. And while traditional burgers, potato salad, and watermelon slices are always good picnic staples, we thought you might like a few new ideas for your picnic menu this year.

If you’re hosting—or attending—a Memorial Day picnic, we recommend adding the following recipes to your menu to mix things up. We hope you love them!

Crisp Cucumber Salad

If you’re attending a picnic feast, chances are someone is already bringing your standard potato or green leaf salad. In an effort to not double up on the same menu item, we recommend giving this recipe for a crisp cucumber salad a try.

Not only is this a unique salad option, but it’s a cool and refreshing menu option for a hot day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine cucumbers, scallions, and red pepper.

2. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; pour over cucumber mixture.

3. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before tossing and serving.

Recipe Source: https://www.mrfood.com/Deli-Salad/Crisp-Cucumber-Salad

Shrimp Burgers

A burger is a classic summertime picnic staple. Yet, as tasty as they are, you’re bound to get bored of the traditional ground beef burger—especially if you cook out a lot or are attending more than one picnic over the weekend.

This year, impress your seafood-loving friends with a new twist on a classic menu item and make them a shrimp burger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Old Bay Mayo Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Directions:

1. Coarsely chop half of the shrimp.

2. Put the remaining shrimp in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Then, combine both shrimp in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper, scallions, and egg, and mix.

3. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, and then form into 4 patties. Refrigerate 10 more minutes.

4. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers, about 3 minutes per side.

5. Make the mayo by combining the mayonnaise and Old Bay to taste in a small bowl.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/shrimp-burgers-with-old-bay-mayo

Lime Margarita Bars

No picnic is complete without a tasty dessert.

These lime margarita bars are sweet, tangy, and salty and will be sure to please any palate. And don’t worry, despite the name, there is absolutely no alcohol in this dessert so they are 100% kid friendly!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons grated lime peel

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine pretzels, sugar, and butter. Press firmly into bottom of prepared baking dish.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crust is firm; remove from oven and cool slightly, leaving oven on.

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour into cooled crust.

5. Bake 25 to 30 additional minutes, or until center is firm. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars and serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe source: https://www.mrfood.com/Bar-Cookies/Lime-Margarita-Bars-1550

What’s your favorite picnic recipe? Share it in the comments below!