3 Family-Friendly Cocktail Recipes for Your Next Party

Everybody loves a good cocktail at a party.

However, not every cocktail is a good match for all of your party attendees. Especially cocktail recipes that contain alcohol.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with mixing up your favorite spiked drink recipe.

But, as a party host, it’s always a good idea to have some family-friendly cocktails on hand for any children or adult party attendees who don’t/can’t drink liquor-based cocktails.

Ensure that everyone is able to participate in enjoying a delicious cocktail, and mix up some of our favorite family-friendly cocktail recipes below!

Frozen Watermelon Mint Daiquiri Recipe

A daiquiri is a classic, frozen, fruity cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round.

This specific virgin daiquiri is so flavorful and fresh, we have a feeling that people will be asking you for your secret recipe! Here’s how it’s made…

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. Freeze watermelon.
  2. Once frozen, combine the watermelon cubes in a blender with 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of mint syrup and 1/2 cup of lime juice.
  3. Serve in stemmed glasses with a sprig of mint.

Mint syrup recipe:

  1. Heat 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Once the sugar is dissolved, strain what’s left through a sieve and let cool.

Recipe Source: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/5-cool-kiddie-cocktails2.htm

Shirley Temple Recipe

A Shirley Temple is one of the most classic cocktail recipes of all time.

This light and refreshing drink, made with lemon lime soda, grenadine syrup, and a cherry, is always a crowd pleaser. Here’s how it’s made…

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • 3 ounces ginger ale
  • 1/4 ounce grenadine
  • maraschino cherry for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour grenadine into a glass with ice cubes.
  2. Top it with equal amounts of lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Garnish with a cherry.

Recipe Source: https://www.thespruce.com/shirley-temple-cocktail-recipe-760600

Appletini Recipe

If you prefer your cocktail to be tart and tangy, this alcohol-free appletini recipe might be right up your alley.

Made with fresh apple juice, simple syrup, and a hint of lemon, this recipe is bound to  impress your party guests. Here’s how you make it…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces apple juice (freshly pressed)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • Garnish: sugar (for rimming)
  • Garnish: 1 apple slice

Directions:

  1. Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Garnish with an apple slice.

Recipe Source: https://www.thespruce.com/designated-appletini-recipe-non-alcoholic-760355

What’s your favorite family-friendly cocktail recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

5 Winter Safety Tips to Keep You Safe in the Cold Weather

Did you know that in most places across the United States, the end of January and the month of February are the coldest, most snowy months of the year?

It’s true! Even for us Southerners!

For that reason, we thought it would be a great time to share some winter safety tips as we prepare to head into the worst of winter.

Follow these tips to stay warm and safe this winter…

Tip #1 – Wear Layers When Going Out

During the winter, temperatures can often swing 15-20 degrees during the day.

For instance, it might be 25 degrees when you leave your house in the morning, but by 2:00 in the afternoon it could warm up to 45 degrees.

However, once the sun goes down around 5:00 in the evening, it can very quickly cool off again, dropping below freezing in a blink of an eye!

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is located in Charleston, SC…so we’re very familiar with these types of temperature swings.

To ensure we’re dressed for any type of weather, we like to dress in layers. It’s a smart way to make sure you stay warm enough during the day while also having the option to shed layers if it becomes too warm.

The basic rule of thumb is to have enough clothing on hand–like a winter jacket, hats, gloves, and sweaters–for the coldest part of the day. Then use your layers to adjust your wardrobe as necessary depending on the temperature swings.

Tip #2 – Salt Your Driveway/Sidewalk Before It Snows

Every year, thousands of people end up in the hospital after slipping and falling on icy sidewalks.

Don’t let that happen to you!

Prevent accidents by salting your sidewalk or driveway before bad weather arrives.

You can purchase sidewalk salt at just about any hardware store or grocery store.

The best part–sidewalk salt doesn’t go bad, so you can pick up a bag before the snow and ice become a problem and store it in your garage until it’s needed.

Tip #3 – Let Your Faucets Drip Overnight in Freezing Weather

Up north, plumbing is typically built to withstand freezing weather.

However, if you live in more Southern regions of the U.S. where it doesn’t often drop into the negatives, this isn’t the case.

For that reason, it’s important to let your faucets drip overnight so they don’t freeze, causing pipes to burst and flood your home.

News channels and weather stations will often alert people to when it’s important to keep their faucets dripping overnight. Or, if you rent your home, property managers will usually send out a warning via email or a newsletter.

In general, if it’s projected to drop below 15 degrees overnight, you should probably let your faucets drip.

The tiny amount of water drippage is enough the keep the water in your pipes moving so it doesn’t freeze and cause problems.

Tip #4 – Bring Pets Inside When It Drops Below Freezing

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you’re cold, they’re cold…bring your pets inside!”

And it’s true.

No animal should be left outside in cold winter weather, regardless of whether they have a dog house or any other structure to live in.

When it drops below freezing, your pet is at risk of freezing to death, suffering from hypothermia, or getting frostbite.

If you’re really against allowing pets in your home, the least you can do is allow your animal to sleep in your garage with some warm blankets.

Tip #5 – Keep an Extra Blanket/Warm Clothes in Your Car

A car breakdown is never fun.

But a breakdown in freezing weather can quickly turn from an unpleasant experience to a dangerous situation.

This is why we recommend that you always keep an extra blanket or two, along with an extra pair of gloves, a hat, and perhaps even an extra sweater in your car.

If for any reason you were to break down and help wasn’t able to get to you right away, these items would help keep you safe and warm while you wait.

Do you have any important winter safety tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Delicious Recipes for National Pie Day

National Pie Day, celebrated on January 23, is just one week away!

That means TODAY is the perfect day to go out, get some pie-making supplies, and start baking in preparation for this delicious holiday!

Yum!

Need some inspiration on what types of pies to make?

Here are a few of our favorite recipes…

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

It just wouldn’t be National Pie Day without making a traditional, classic, and tasty apple pie.

The following recipe is very easy to make and turns out a great pie every time…

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • Ice water
  • 1/4 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 lbs. apples, (Granny smith and Macintosh), peeled, cored and sliced, (about 8 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

To make the crust…

  1. Combine 2 cups flour and salt in medium bowl.
  2. Cut in unsalted butter with pastry blender or two knives until coarse crumbs form.
  3. Add 4 to 5 Tbsp. ice water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until dough forms.
  4. Knead dough with floured hands and shape into two discs, one slightly larger than the other.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 425°.
  7. Unwrap larger disc of dough and roll on lightly floured surface from center to edges to form 12-in. circle. Press into 9-in. pie plate; set aside.
  8. Unwrap remaining pie dough and roll on lightly floured surface to form 10-in. circle; set aside.

To make the filling…

  1. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon in large bowl.
  2. Add apples; toss until coated.

To finish pie…

  1. Arrange apple mixture in pie crust.
  2. Top with remaining pie crust and seal edges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar.
  3. Arrange pie on heated baking sheet and bake 10 minutes.
  4. Decrease oven to 375°. Bake 1 hour or until juices are bubbling.
  5. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe Source: http://www.countrycrock.com/recipes/detail/51680/1/classic-apple-pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Chocolate and peanut butter lovers, rejoice!

This chocolate peanut butter pie recipe is sweet, decadent, and bound to be a new family favorite.

Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 25 whole chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • One 8-ounce package whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, thawed

Directions:

To make the crust…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Crush the cookies until they’re fine crumbs.
  3. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine.
  4. Press into a pie pan and bake until set, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To make the filling…

  1. Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the thawed whipped topping and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

To finish pie…

  1. Pour the filling into the crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula.
  2. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/chocolate-peanut-butter-pie-recipe-2125370

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

If you’re someone who enjoys a classic pie with a fun twist, this strawberry rhubarb pie might just be right up your alley!

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this recipe…

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (about) ice water

Filling

  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
  • 1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
  • 1 teaspoon water

Directions:

To make the crust…

  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor.
  2. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms.
  3. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps.
  4. Gather dough into ball; cut in half.
  5. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F.

To make the filling…

  1. Combine first 7 filling ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Toss gently to blend.

To finish pie…

  1. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.
  2. Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  3. Spoon filling into crust.
  4. Arrange 7 dough strips on top of filling, spacing evenly.
  5. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction on top of filling.
  6. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.
  7. Brush glaze over crust and transfer pie to baking sheet.
  8. Bake 20 minutes.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes.
  10. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

Recipe Source: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lattice-topped-strawberry-rhubarb-pie-4459

 

What is your favorite type of pie? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Resolutions for a Happy and Healthy New Year

On behalf of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we want to wish you a very happy New Year!

We hope 2018 will be your best year yet!

And, with a little planning and a few New Year’s resolutions, we know it’s possible to ensure that this year will be filled with the things that matter most–time spent with loved ones, good health, and joy.

What should you add to your resolutions this year to help make 2018 one of the best years yet?

Check out the 5 resolutions we recommend trying to achieve this year.

Resolution #1 – Drink More Water

Every New Year thousands of people make resolutions to lose weight, tone their bodies, and improve their health.

In theory, these are great resolutions. However, the desire to lose weight and regain your health fast often leads to crash diets and unrealistic workout plans.

No good!

This year, we recommend that you make the resolution to simply drink more water.

Why? Because drinking water…

  • Increases muscle fuel.
  • Helps with calorie control.
  • Improves kidney function.
  • Helps keep skin clear and free from acne.
  • Boosts your brainpower.
  • And so much more!

All those health benefits, and all you have to do is try and drink about 64 ounces a day! Now that’s something anyone can try and do!

Tip: If you don’t like plain water, add lemon, lime, or other flavors to the water you drink to jazz it up! Here are a few recipes you might want to try!

Resolution #2 – Eat More Veggies and Fruits

Much like our first resolution to drink more water, the resolution to eat more fruits and veggies is a simple lifestyle change that anyone can make.

Not to mention, it’s also a super easy resolution to carry out through the entire year!

Here are a few ways to add more fruits and veggies into your diet…

  • Use a vegetable-based pasta while cooking.
  • Blend vegetables and fruits together to make a sweet and delicious smoothie.
  • Grab a piece of fruit as a sweet snack instead of a candy bar.
  • If you’re craving a salty snack, try out veggie chips–made with sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, and other veggies–instead of potato chips.
  • Substitute cauliflower for mashed potatoes or rice.
  • Top your oatmeal off with fresh berries for sweetness instead of sugar.
  • Preslice carrots, peppers, and cucumbers for an easy, grab-n-go snack.
  • Add one vegetarian meal to your meal plan every week.

Regardless of whether you love veggies and fruits or not, there’s a ton of ways you can sneak them into your meal plans so you can consume more of them on a regular basis.

Resolution #3 – Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Spouse/Significant Other

When there’s turmoil in your relationships, you’re bound to experience unnecessary stress, anxiety, or even depression.

The best way to avoid this is to make it a priority to work on your relationship with your spouse or significant other and strengthen the bond this year.

There are a few ways you can do this.

First of all, it’s important to have time together. This is extremely important for couples who have children, which makes it difficult to go out on a date night.

Make it a priority to have at least one night a month that you can spend alone with the one you love.

Second, communication is key.

Make sure you and your partner are taking the time to communicate with each other. Talk about your goals or dreams. Discuss the things that are driving you crazy, whether it’s something happening at work or in your family life. And continue to make sure to keep each other updated on what’s happening in your lives.

Third, consider taking a class or workshop that will give you the tools and strategies you need to strengthen your relationship.

We personally recommend The Love and Respect Video Marriage Conference.

Resolution #4 — Make Time for Self-Care

Self-care is a topic that we talk a lot about, and for good reason.

Without focusing on self-care, it’s easier to fall victim to stress, anxiety, depression, and even poor health.

So, what is self-care and how do you do it? Easy.

Self-care is simply making time for yourself every day or week.

It can be as simple as setting aside an hour of time to unwind in a hot bubble bath or as extravagant as planning a week-long vacation for yourself to rest and recoup.

For more information on self-care and simple things you can do, check out our blog post here.

Resolution # 5 — Schedule Your Yearly Physical

Going for a yearly physical is one of the best ways to help keep you safe and healthy.

At a yearly routine checkup, doctors will check for signs of serious health conditions like high/low blood pressure, unusual lumps or bruises, heart problems, and so much more!

It’s also a great time to bring up any health concerns that you have and chat with your doctor about the things you should be doing to improve your health during the year.

We know your schedule is busy! But, please, before you forget, get this resolution checked off and call your doctor’s office today!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Let us know in the comments below!

The Benefits of Stillness: 5 Ways to Recuperate and Relax

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!

The holiday excitement is over, the festivities have come to a close, you can finally rest now and get off of your toes.

The children are nestled all snug in their beds,while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

You’ve pulled off a holiday season to remember, one that’s worth a slow clap, now after all of the chaos, it’s time for a nap!

All silly rhymes aside, we’re serious about that nap!

After all, we’ve just come out of a season where many of us tend to run around like chickens with our heads cut off. And if you don’t take the time to recharge, you might start to suffer from exhaustion.

Stillness is so important for the body as it lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and allows the body to recoup. So, today, we thought we’d share some suggestions on how to “be still” after this crazy season.

Check them out…

Take a Hot Bath

There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot bath on a cold winter’s night.

This week, set aside an hour or so of uninterrupted time and take a hot bath. Then, grab your favorite book, turn on some music, or simply rest as you enjoy the comfort of a warm tub.

If you have children, we recommend you have your partner take the kids out for the evening to grab dinner or go see a movie. After all, the last thing you want is little Timmy interrupting your time of stillness because he can’t find the toilet paper!

Rest in Your Favorite Chair

Most people have a favorite chair that they like to to relax in. You know, the soft, cozy one that cradles you as you let your tired body sink into it?

The moment your house gets quiet, take advantage of that time by spending some quiet time in your favorite chair. Grab a soft blanket, and perhaps a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, or tea, and just sit.

Don’t turn on the TV or grab a book. Just be. Reflect on all the amazing holiday memories that you’ve made, breathe, relax, and enjoy the stillness.

Meditate

Meditation is proven to lower blood pressure and refocus your mind–two benefits people often need after a crazy holiday season.

Not to mention, a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison also indicates that meditation reduces the grey-matter density in areas of the brain related with anxiety and stress.

Clearly, meditation is the ultimate key to relaxation. So, how exactly do you meditate?

Check out this FREE 30-day  meditation program via YouTube that’s specifically for beginners.

Visit Your Favorite Outdoor Spot and Sit Quietly in Nature

There’s something magically rejuvenating about the stillness of a winter’s day.

If you live in a cold climate, the simple act of sitting on the cool ground while watching snowflakes fall from the sky is peaceful and relaxing.

And, if you live in a warmer climate, you can enjoy the same serenity while watching leaves rustle on the ground or birds flying from tree to tree.

Nature is the perfect environment for being still, letting your mind rest, and reenergizing as you silently watch the beauty that’s all around you. Take a trip to your favorite outdoor spot, soak in the peace and calm, and leave feeling renewed.

Relax While Listening to Your Favorite Peaceful Music

Did you know that music has the ability to disorient rhythmic brain activity in the thalamus and the brain’s outer cortex?

It’s this phenomenon that enables music to make us feel happy and relaxed when we listen to peaceful, calm music.

Schedule some time this week and lie in a dark, quiet room. Then, plug in your headphones and play some classical music or calm music from your favorite genre.

Note: This is not the time for headbanger music, even if it’s your favorite music. Stick to soft, gentle tunes. Otherwise, the sounds of loud, chaotic music will have a reverse effect and the potential to hype you up instead of settling you down.

What is your favorite way to relax and be still? Let us know in the comments below!

 

3 Delicious Hot Cocoa Recipes with a Twist

Winter has arrived, a cool chill is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to cozy up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa.

While we love a classic cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows, we know we have an entire season of sipping this yummy beverage ahead of us. So, we thought it would be fun to share some ideas on how you can add a twist to a classic cocoa recipe.

This year, mix things up and try our recipes that put a twist on one of the world’s most favorite winter drinks.

Enjoy…

Raspberry Hot Chocolate Recipe

Fruit and chocolate are a match made in heaven. So, it’s no surprise that this raspberry hot chocolate recipe is nothing short of amazing.

Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces (roughly 3 1/2 cups) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Mini marshmallows or whipped cream, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil then boil for 3-5 minutes or until the raspberries are cooked down and the mixture thickens.
  2. Remove from the heat and push through a strainer or sieve, discarding the seeds left behind. You should have roughly 1 cup puree.
  3. In another medium saucepan, heat the milk until hot (but not boiling).
  4. Whisk in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and raspberry puree. Serve immediately.
  5. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.

Recipe Source:
https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2014/12/29/raspberry-hot-chocolate/

Vegan Chai Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot chai tea or a steaming cup of cocoa…how can you possibly choose? The good news is that with this recipe you don’t have to! Get the best of both worlds by mixing up this vegan chai hot chocolate recipe.

Check it out…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk, sweetened
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chai Spice

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil and stir until spices and cocoa powder have dissolved.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe source:
https://fitfoodiefinds.com/2014/09/vegan-chai-hot-chocolate/#_a5y_p=2519397

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Recipe

This red velvet hot chocolate recipe combines two classics–a traditional cup of hot chocolate and the delicious taste of red velvet cake. And boy is it delicious! “Have your cake and drink it too” with this tasty drink.

Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 teaspoon red gel no-taste food coloring

Ingredients for whipping cream:

  • Vanilla sugar
  • Vanilla sugar whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (No vanilla sugar? Add regular sugar and a drop of vanilla extract)

Directions:

For whipped cream:

  1. Add heavy cream and vanilla sugar to a cold metal bowl. Either whip by hand with whisk or with hand-held mixer until soft peaks form.

For hot chocolate:

  1. In a small pan, combine milk, chocolate morsels and food coloring. Gently simmer until hot and all the chocolate is melted.
  2. Top with freshly whipped cream.

Recipe Source:
http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/850687/red-velvet-hot-chocolate-recipe

What’s your favorite hot cocoa recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

10 Reasons to Be Happy Every Day

A bad day at work…cold dreary weather…cranky kids…

Sure, we all have a list of things that can easily dampen our spirits and put us in a bad mood. But, at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we always try to look for the positives in life.

In fact, we believe that the amount of “happy” we experience each day typically outweighs the “bad.”

And it’s this focus that keeps us all full of cheer, even on the days when nothing seems to go right.

To help add some joy back into your day, we’re sharing our list of 10 simple things that make us happy every day. See how many things on our list resonate with you…then make your own list!

#1 — Getting a hug from a family member/friend

There’s truly nothing better than a warm hug from a friend or family member during your day. Whether it be your child, spouse, coworker, or friend, it’s special when someone takes a moment out of their day to let you know you are loved.

#2 — Snuggling a pet

Getting snuggles from a pet is scientifically proven to make you happier. That’s right! Science has proven that cuddling with a pet increases the levels of the feel-good happy chemicals serotonin and dopamine in your brain.

# 3 — Eating dessert

For many people, having dessert is a special treat. So, when the day comes that you get to indulge with a piece of apple pie or delicious chocolate cake, you’re bound to have a smile on your face!

For some delicious dessert recipes you can make at home, check out this blog post!

#4 — Getting 5 extra minutes of sleep when you hit the snooze button

It’s a magical feeling when the stars align and you’re able to hit the snooze button and stay in your cozy bed for an extra 5 minutes…or 10 or 20! We’re not judging! Tomorrow morning, hit your snooze button…we’ve got a feeling there will be a smile on your face as you sink back into your cozy, warm blankets.

#5 — Wrapping up in your favorite blanket after a long day

After a long day of working, wrangling kids, volunteering, or simply getting chores done, it feels great to wrap up in your favorite blanket and just relax. To put an extra smile on your face, stick your favorite blanket in the dry for 15 minutes to warm it up before wrapping up in it!

#6 — Getting a card in the mail

As an adult, it’s likely that you get more bills in your mailbox than letters from family and friends. For that reason, we always have a giant smile on our face and feel really happy when we discover that the envelope we just pulled out of the mailbox is from a friend and not the utility company. Certainly, a reason to smile and be happy!

#7 — Taking your first sip of freshly brewed coffee in the morning

Taking a sip of a fresh cup of coffee in the morning is a simple pleasure, but boy, for coffee lovers, it’s also heaven. The next time you reach for your first cup of coffee in the morning, take a minute and be sure to enjoy it.

#8 — Putting your favorite sweatpants on

Ahhh…the feeling of slipping on a pair of sweatpants after a long day is certainly enough to make us smile from ear to ear. The act of putting on cozy pants signifies the ending of another crazy day and is a reminder that it’s time to relax and unwind–something we can all smile about!

#9 — Hearing your favorite song on the radio

How cool is it when you jump in the car, turn on the radio, and your favorite song starts playing? The best part…hearing your favorite song on the radio automatically calls for an in-car dance party. How can you be unhappy after a red light jam session?

#10 — Reminding yourself how lucky you truly are

There’s a lot of negative happening in the world.

From people in the hospital fighting for their lives to seeing the destruction that occurs after natural disasters like hurricane Irma, it’s so important to reflect on how lucky you truly are.

If you have your health, loved ones in your life, a roof over your head, and a meal in your stomach, there’s no reason not to be happy!

What makes you happy every day? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Our resident Canadian Geese are back and are expecting!

 

It’s  “Baby Watch” 2016 at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction!!!

 

 Meet Edith and Archie. These beautiful geese reside outside of our Mt. Pleasant office.  Edith began resting on her nest just a few weeks ago with her mate Archie right by her side protecting her and their eggs from harm.  Believe me, Archie will let you know when you get too close for comfort.  This picture was taken while he was warning me!    

We’ll keep an eye out on them over the next few months and share their progress aloing with lots of photos once the babies arrive.    

Keep watching & Happy Spring!!  

 

Gail

Our residents Edith and Archie                         archie goose

Healthy Lifestyle: Why Deep Breathing Is Essential

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You’ve heard the phrase, “Just take a deep breath.”

But what does deep breathing really do for your health?

According to the American Institute of Stress, abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and stress.

Additional benefits include added energy, better digestion, overall relaxation, and an increased ability to focus.

And guess what else?

Deep breathing is FREE (bet you were expecting the secret to great health would involve a pricey gym membership or therapy session!).

Here are 4 more benefits of why deep breathing is incredibly beneficial for our bodies:

Oxygen provides energy

By drawing in a deep breath, your blood flow increases. When your blood flow increases, the oxygen level in your blood provides added stamina and energy. This is why runners are encouraged to breathe deeply into their abdominal region (or abdomen) when they run in order to provide their bodies that extra needed energy.

Less stress

Increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain helps stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps give you the overall feeling of calm and relaxation. In addition, deep breathing helps you connect your mind and body by bringing awareness to the flow of your breath and taking your mind off worries and negative thoughts. This is why yoga is such a great exercise for those who wish to lessen their stress level, because the exercise focuses on breathing while holding poses. 

Better digestion

When you increase your intake of oxygen, your organs are able to perform at their best. In addition, you’re able to calm down and activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body to digest food more efficiently.

Focus

Being mentally present in the moment gives your brain added focus. When you breathe and bring yourself back to your center, your productivity and decision-making skills are greatly improved. When you’re having trouble getting through a task at work, take a moment to close your eyes and take 20 seconds to breathe deeply and slowly, and then try the task again.

Interested in discovering more calming techniques? Read this article.

Things to do – Independence Day 2015 in South Carolina

(Thanks to AppleOne Employment Services for sending this fantastic Weekend Recs e-blast for us to share!) 

Charleston

Fourth of July Fireworks on Folly Beachindependence day

 A holiday tradition on the Edge of America, the annual 4th of July fireworks display is set to take place on Folly Beach next Saturday. The fireworks will be set off at the Folly Beach County Park, at the west end of the island. Locals and visitors are invited to enjoy the Independence Day display, which will begin at 9:30pm. For more information about the 4th of July fireworks display on Folly Beach, please go to www.visitfolly.com or download the free ‘Visit Folly’ smart phone app.

When: 7/4/15 starting at 9:30pm

Where: Folly Beach-Folly Beach County Park- West end of Island

 

July Fourth on the Pride

Enjoy this Fourth of July with a sunset sail while watching the fireworks from the best seat in the house! Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Bring a snack or picnic aboard if you choose. Buy tickets by calling the number provided (843-722-1112) or visiting the website: http://www.schoonerpride.com/

When: 7/4/15 from 7pm to 9pm

Where: The Schooner Pride-Aquarium Wharf

Admission: $55 per person-book now as space is limited

 

North Charleston 4th of July Festival

The City of North Charleston is once again hosting the July 4th celebration at the Riverfront Park on July 4, 2015 from 3:30 PM – 9:45 PM. This year’s event features exciting musical guests, children activities, food trucks, craft vendors, and the Lowcountry’s largest 4th of July fireworks show. The Festival is presented free of charge to the public with all general admission for attendees. Guests attending the Festival are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there is no seating provided. Food trucks, beer and wine stations, and ATMs will be widely available. Children activities are available free of charge, including inflatable jump castles, games, the play area, the giant sandbox, and the water fountain. Beer and wine stations will be set up throughout the park, as well as ATMs for participants. For more information, please visit the website: http://www.northcharleston.org/Residents/Special-Events/4th-of-July-Festival.aspx

Festival performance schedule:
3:30 – Gates open
3:30 – Soul Fish (rock quartet)
5:00 – Blacklion (reggae)
6:30 – Dangermuffin (Americana)
8:00 – Funk Factory 5 (Mo-town/Top 40)
9:10 – Spectacular Fireworks show by Zambelli’s

When: 7/4/15 from 3:30pm to 9:45pm

Where: Riverfront Park-1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston

 

Patriots Point 4th of July Blast

 For those who want to enjoy the fireworks on the Yorktown, all Flight deck tickets are now SOLD OUT, but visitors are still allowed to watch the event landside and enjoy the celebration there! Parking is $10/vehicle.

When: 7/4/15 starting about 9pm

Where: Patriots Point40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

 

Columbia

Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration

Beginning at dusk (approximately 9:15 pm) South Carolina’s largest fireworks display on beautiful Lake Murray. Fireworks will be set off from two great locations: Spence Island and Dreher Island State Park. The show is choreographed to a patriotic concert that will air simultaneously on B106.7. The best places to view the fireworks are Dreher Island State Park and both parks at the Lake Murray dam. Bring a chair or blanket, picnics are welcomed- NO Alcohol Permitted at any of the locations.

Admission (based on park):

Dreher Island State Park– $2 for adults, $1.25 SC Seniors, FREE for children 15 years and younger (Gates close at 8pm).

Lake Murray Dam park sites– open until they reach capacity- $3 per car.

The walking path on the dam will also be open. (Fireworks DO NOT launch from the park sites at the dam).

 

When: July 04, 2015 from 9pm to 10:30pm
Admission: Admission Based on Park

 

Lake Murray Patriotic Boat Parade

 Get ready for the 26th Annual 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray on Saturday, July 4th!! CCLMC is trying to break our all-time record this year with over 150 boats and inclusion within the Guinness Book of World Records! We hope that you and your family will join us and participate to make this a special year! For more information, please visit the website: http://www.lakemurraycountry.com/things-to-do/events/lake-murray-boat-parade

 When: July 04, 2015 from 12pm to 3pm
Where: Bomb Island, Lake Murray, SC 29072
Admission: Free, but if watching from Lake Murray Dam park sites admissions is $2/car

 

Slide the City and Capital City Beach Party!

 Columbia is Famously Hot, so we’re bringing you a Surprisingly Cool way to have fun this Independence Day while supporting 2 great causes!  Slide the City is a 1000 foot water slide that will go from Blanding & Gadsden to Hampton & Gadsden Streets.  The chosen charities SC Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Celebrate Freedom Foundation will benefit each time you purchase a registration using the promo code FREEDOM, and you will receive $5 off! After you slide, go check out the Capital City Beach Party beginning in Finlay Park at 2PM. Water and Food vendors will be available for purchase at noon. Want to slide for free while helping out the charities? Sign up as a volunteer here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/slide-the-city-columbia-sc-volnteer-tickets-17332899168

When: July 04, 2015 starting at 11am
Where: Finlay Park-930 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Greenville

Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue Festival

A barrage of colors illuminates the sky every 4th of July in downtown Greenville for the annual Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue, presented by AT&T. As one of the largest fireworks displays in South Carolina, the celebration features live music, food and a variety of family activities. A long-standing tradition, Wells Fargo Red, White & Blue represents a remarkable opportunity to support a free patriotic event that is enjoyed by the Greenville community. Sponsors have long recognized this event as a unique way to showcase their brand while enjoying hospitality and a celebration that only happens once a year. Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue presented by AT&T is Greenville’s premier 4th of July celebration, showcasing one of the state’s largest fireworks displays, sponsored by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. The free event, scheduled for Saturday, July 4, 2015, from 5 to 10 p.m., features live music on two stages, fun-filled activities in the Zaxby’s Kidz Zone and a variety of popular food and beverage vendors. The event takes place in downtown Greenville from Court to Camperdown Streets and will encompass Broad Street, from Laurens to Falls Streets, and Falls Park.

When: 7/4/2015 from 5pm to 10:30pm

Where: City of Greenville-Downtown Greenville

 

Red, White and Bluegrass

Red, White and Bluegrass is a FREE 4th of July Celebration in downtown Fountain Inn. This event will begin at 7:00 p.m. with two bands performing: Justice Family Bluegrass Band and the Upstate Senior Band. Fireworks will begin at dark. There will be food, Italian ice and craft beer for purchase. We will have a special time to honor all veterans at this event. For more information, please visit the website: http://www.fountaininn.org/scs

When: 7/4/2015 starting at 7pm

Where: City of Fountain Inn-Commerce Park-110 Depot Street, Fountain Inn, SC 29644

Admission: Free!

 

A Night with Darryl Worley

 Honoring our heroes. Gates open at 5pm. Music starts at 6 pm.

Admission is free for military & first responders (military personnel, retired military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians). Regular admission is $20 per car (maximum 6 people per car). **Going on now!** Soldier care package campaign to collect items for local soldiers serving overseas. For more information and to get involved, see website. Collection total will be announced at the Darryl Worley concert to honor heroes on July 4th! Concert tickets on sale NOW! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: http://charterspectrumamphitheatre.com/event/a-night-with-darryl-worley/

When: 7/4/2015- Gates open at 5pm, Music at 6pm

Where: Charter Spectrum Amphitheatre-861 Southeast Main Street, Simpsonville, SC 29681

Admission: $20/car

How do you plan to celebrate? We’d love for you to share suggestions with our readers!