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Summertime Boating Safety Tips for Families

The fun might include boating and other watersports, such as tubing, skiing, or wakeboarding. Preparation and education are the keys to a safe and successful day on the water. So get the summer off to a great start by making sure passengers of all ages have well-fitted lifejackets and understand safety procedures.

When fitting a child's lifejacket, be sure to select the current size. Don't put a child in an adult lifejacket or buy one in a larger size for a child to grow into. Rather, put the jacket on the child and buckle and secure all straps. Then lift the child's arm up over his or her head and pull up on the jacket. If it slips off, it's too big.

BoatUS offers a helpful video to show correct fit on their website, BoatUS.org/fit-video.

If you don't own a lifejacket and aren't prepared to buy one, borrow one from a friend or neighbor, or borrow one for free through the BoatUS Foundation Kids Life Jacket Loaner program. Find information about their 550 locations at BoatUS.org/life-jacket-loaner.

Be sure a child or anyone else riding behind a boat not only wears a lifejacket, but also knows the hand signals to communicate with the boat driver while being towed.

The following hand signals and rules of the water will ensure that everyone has fun and stays safe:

* If the speed is right, use an OK sign with your thumb and first finger.

* If you want the driver to go faster, use a thumbs up; to slow down, use a thumbs down; and use a slashing motion across your neck to stop.

* If you fall off, raise both arms above your head and clasp your hands as soon as possible to let the boat driver know you are okay.

Find more signals at BoatUS.com/hand-signals.

* While waiting in the water, ready to be pulled or towed again, be patient and allow the boat captain a little time to safely deliver the towline or tube to you.

* If you decide to come back aboard, the driver will allow the boat to drift to you with the engine off. When reboarding, use a step, deck, or boarding ladder only after the boat driver has signaled that it is safe to get back in the boat.

* Never swim near a boat while the engine is on.

Visit BoatUS.org for more information about staying safe on the water this summer. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and have fun!

 

Summer Boating Tips for Safe Fun in The Sun

Before inviting loved ones onto your boat, however, it's important to review some safety procedures to help ensure a relaxing experience for everyone.

Check out the tips below to ensure safe and enjoyable boating all summer long:

1) Watch the weather - Summer weather can turn nasty in an instant, and a boat can be a dangerous place to get caught in a storm. Before hitting the water, check the weather forecast and make note of any chance of precipitation or storms. If you see lightning while you're out on the water and cannot get to shore, crouch down in the middle of the boat or go below deck, if possible.

2) Boat maintenance - A well-maintained engine is key to enjoying your time on the water. So be sure to check your oil levels before heading out on the water, or invest in an engine that doesn't require oil changes, such as the E-TEC G2 by Evinrude. With an E-TEC, there's no need to remove any engine components to check oil levels before every use as with other engines, so you can get out on the water faster.

3) Life jacket required - Although warmer weather may make swimming irresistible, safety stillcomes first. It's important to always wear a life jacket while in the water, and to have access to one while in the boat. According to a 2014 study by the United States Coast Guard, 84 percent of victims who drowned during a boating accident were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident. While they may seem like a hassle, life jackets really do save lives.

4) Don't drink and boat - An ice-cold beverage and boating can go hand-in-hand. However, just as with driving a car, it is illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated across the United States and Canada. In fact, being intoxicated on the water can be even more dangerous than being intoxicated on land. Unsteady footing, sun, wind, and even engine noise accelerates a drinker's impairment.

Keeping in mind a few simple safety tips can make all the difference for boat owners everywhere. So, before your next outing, make sure you, your boat and your passengers are all ready to go - and enjoy the ride!

 

Wine Pairing Tips for Summer Fun

"Wine and food pairings don't have to be complicated," says Riana Mondavi, a member of the fourth generation of the Mondavi wine family from Napa and an ambassador for her family's CK Mondavi and Family wines. "It's really about what you taste and smell in the wine and how you feel the wine brings out and compliments the food you are eating."

If done correctly, a proper pairing can enhance the flavors of both the food and your chosen bottle of wine. The intensity of a specific food or wine depends on a lot of things such as sugar, acid, salt and spice. The food should not overpower the wine (and vice versa). By matching a light wine with light fare or a heavy dish with a heavier wine, the food and wine balance each other out and their intensities line up for a perfect pairing.

For example, if you have a dish that has a lot of citrus in it, it's great to pair with a Chardonnay, as it also has hints of citrus in it. The two enhance each other and balance out the flavors. A lighter white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, pairs well with summer vegetables, as it brings out the crisp, light flavor profiles. Red wines typically pair best with richer food such as steak and sweets, but there's no set rule. Many people pair a Merlot with seafood.

CK Mondavi and Family has made wine pairing easy for everyone, and this summer they invite you to play around with pairings. They've created a downloadable "Wine pairing made simple" guide on their website: https://www.ckmondavi.com/ckm-pairings. They also added flavor descriptors to each bottle of CK Mondavi and Family. With descriptors such as "Rich & Velvety" for Cabernet Sauvignon and "Bright & Fresh" for Chardonnay, anyone can quickly decide on a wine.

Riana Mondavi also recommends impromptu wine pairings with friends. "It's fun to get together with a group to see what everyone tastes or smells in the wine," she adds. "Everyone has a different opinion and it's fun to see what we all come up with."

So, this summer, have some fun pairing wines with your favorite foods. And while doing it, enter CK Mondavi and Family's monthly #pairNpost drawing, where you can enter to win a prize. Just snap a photo of your favorite pairing and tag it with #pairNpost on Twitter or Instagram.

It's all part of a new, fun approach to wine. After all, summer is about enjoying yourself and what better way to enjoy life than at the table with friends and family?

How to Dress for A Feel-Good Spring

Whether you want to brighten up your closet now from the dreary winter blacks and grays (or later), or get ready for that spring-break vacation in between, you can find everything you need at maurices store or at maurices.com.

For more inspiration, follow these tips to spruce up your wardrobe:

* Mix in pretty utility: Give your outfit a pretty utility twist with the must-have trend of the season. Pair feminine tops featuring eyelet and ruffles with utility weekender pants for now, or an effortless utility romper for later. Want to dress up your look in a dash? Try a pretty top with a button-up skirt that's anything but expected. Tie it all together with jewelry, wedge sandals, and dinner plans.

* Layer on the compliments: Get into the swing of spring with kimonos, dusters and oversized denim jackets you can count on from brrr to brighter days ahead. Try a lightweight floral kimono over a tee (and under a jacket if you still need one) or make a statement with a longer-length duster cardi or denim trench jacket you'll wear again. Finish the look with flyaway pants or jeans for an outfit that's oh-so good.

* Say hello to 24/7 tees and tanks: Tee up spring in 24/7 tees and tanks with endless versatility and irresistible softness that feel as good as they look. You'll love how easy they are to style. Dress it up with an animal print tee paired back with bengaline pants and a blazer or keep it laid back with a drop-shoulder tee in floral or stripes with maurices' Everflex jeans, so good you'll want to live in them - now with new details, washes and crop lengths just in time for spring.

* Spring forward in throwback denim: Authentic vintage jeggings that feel as good as your favorite pair of broken-in jeans, with more washes, destruction, rises, sizes and fits than ever before. For effortless comfy style, pair with a floral tank and denim jacket or try a baseball tee with white or gray sneakers … perfect for all of those last-minute plans that keep popping up.

* Jumpsuits, dresses, all yeses: Say hello to instant spring outfits with new pretty dresses or flattering jumpsuits you can effortlessly pull off. To dress up your look for date night, add heels and jewelry or keep it casual for brunch or a coffee run with sneakers and a denim jacket.

* Pair skirts with graphic tees:?Make a fun statement by pairing graphic tees with skirts this season. Just pick the tee (and skirt) that speaks to you, style it with a front tuck and you're out the door in five. Another instant outfit? Done and done!

* Work in confidence: Long story short ... from work tops that wow to popular bengaline pants, you'll find yourself making more plans to go from nine to whenever. Whether you've got an interview lined up or want to make a good first impression, our bengaline pants are extra flattering, know how to work around the clock, and now come in a spring-ready crop.

Want more ways to feel good?

Follow @maurices on Instagram for outfit inspiration that's sure to make your day or visit your nearest maurices store to book a free styling session.

Stunning Stadium Replicas Make Holiday Gift Giving Easy

Many sports stadiums, both old and new, are works of architectural elegance. The exquisite replicas from Westbrook Sports Classics present these iconic structures from a new perspective that lets fans enjoy the beauty of their favorite ballparks at home on a desk, table, or bookshelf.

The stadium reproductions measure approximately 7 by 7 inches, weigh approximately 10-12 pounds, and come with a protective acrylic case. The models are designed and created by John Kimball Westbrook, an award-winning artist whose background includes both architecture and commercial art. Mr. Westbrook also spent time in Washington, DC, on a scholarship to study with Italian stone carvers during the completion of the National Cathedral, where he developed his passion for sculpture.

"Over the past 30 years, I have worked with different fine art mediums, including carving marble, granite, various semi-precious stones, bronze, wood, ivory, silversmithing, drawing and painting," Mr. Westbrook explains on his website.

The limited-edition ballparks are cast in a bronze composite and mounted on a natural black marble base. Mr. Westbrook creates each mold by hand over a period of approximately two months. Fans will appreciate the attention to details such as handpainted seats and the use of tiny crystals inserted into light poles that refract light to give the appearance of the stadium at night.

The Westbrook Sports collection to date features 17 Major League Baseball stadiums, historic and current, including Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox; Candlestick Park, the former home of the San Francisco Giants; the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field; and both old and new versions of Yankee Stadium. All Major League Baseball trademark copyrights are used with the permission of Major League Baseball. Mr. Westbrook plans to expand the collection to National Football League stadiums, NCAA college stadiums, and British football (soccer) stadiums as well.

For more information and to view photos of stadium models, visit westbrooksportsclassics.com.

Bring the Ballpark Home for Baseball Season

Opening Day (complete with fans in the stadium) finally happened after a year off, and a stunning desktop replica of a favorite stadium brings team spirit and energy into your home, whether or not you -- or your favorite sports fan -- attends a game in person this year

Many sports stadiums, both old and new, are works of architectural elegance. The exquisite replicas from Westbrook Sports Classics present these iconic structures from a new perspective that lets fans enjoy the beauty of their favorite ballparks at home. The stadium reproductions measure approximately 7 by 7 inches, weigh approximately 10- 12 pounds, perfect for a desk, table, or bookshelf, and come with a protective acrylic case.

The models are designed and created by John Kimball Westbrook, an award-winning artist whose background includes both architecture and commercial art.

Westbrook also spent time in Washington, DC, on a scholarship to study with Italian stone carvers during the completion of the National Cathedral, where he developed his passion for sculpture. "Over the past 30 years, I have worked with different fine art mediums, including carving marble, granite, various semi-precious stones, bronze, wood, ivory, silversmithing, drawing and painting," Westbrook explains on his website.

The limited-edition ballparks are cast in a bronze composite and mounted on a natural black marble base.

Westbrook creates each mold by hand over a period of approximately two months. Fans will appreciate the attention to details, such as hand-painted seats and the use of tiny crystals inserted into light poles that refract light to give the appearance of the stadium at night.

The Westbrook Sports collection to date features 17 Major League Baseball stadiums, historic and current, including Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox; Candlestick Park, the former home of the San Francisco Giants; the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field; and both old and new versions of Yankee Stadium.

All Major League Baseball trademark copyrights are used with the permission of Major League Baseball. Westbrook plans to expand the collection to National Football League stadiums, NCAA college stadiums, and British football (soccer) stadiums as well.

For more information and to view photos of stadium models, visit westbrooksportsclassics.com.

Celebrate 10 Years of California Avocado Month this June

(NewsUSA) - - Ten years ago, the California Avocado Commission first observed June officially as California Avocado Month and is excited to continue celebrating this long-standing tradition. As an ode to the past ten years, the Commission has enlisted the culinary talents of Southern California-native Chef Nyesha Arrington to create delicious and seasonal recipes that prominently feature California avocados, which are grown by about 3,000 California avocado growers with groves from San Diego to Monterey.

Arrington has been celebrated throughout her career for using farm fresh, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients, which made her the perfect partner to craft customized dishes for this celebratory anniversary.

"It's hard narrowing down the recipes when California avocados have countless possibilities! However, I love when they are paired with complementing flavors. These California avocados definitely hold their own by leveling up any dish and giving an extra wow factor, making it a California chef's key ingredient," Arrington says.

Meticulously cared for and picked at their peak, California avocados are a heart-healthy superfood that provide "good" fats to one's diet. Inspired by how the bountiful flavor and nutrition pair perfectly, Arrington's Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad showcases fresh and light flavors perfect for those warm summer nights. The recipe features fresh California avocados and peaches, grilled to perfection, layered on a bed of arugula and crispy quinoa, then paired with a tangy and delicious pistachio-arugula vinaigrette.

To view other mouthwatering creations, including Arrington's California Avocado Crab & Tuna Stack, or to learn more about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

For even more celebration, check out Shop.CaliforniaAvocado.com to grab this season's newest merch just in time for California Avocado Month.

Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad

Recipe created by Nyesha Arrington for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 2 medium firm peaches, seeded and halved
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, separated
  • 1 (5 oz.) package wild arugula, 1/2 cup reserved for vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup no-shell chopped pistachios (optional)

Pistachio-Arugula Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup wild arugula
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 5 no-shell pistachio nuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp. creamy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (local if available)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (may substitute extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Drain well using a fine strainer and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand, tossing occasionally until dried, about 30 minutes.
  2. While quinoa dries, place all the Pistachio-Arugula Vinaigrette ingredients in a blender. Blend on medium speed until combined. Set aside.
  3. Once the quinoa is thoroughly dry, heat oil for frying in a large skillet on high until waves begin to form in oil. Carefully add the quinoa, reduce heat to medium and fry until puffed, approximately 30 seconds. Drain the quinoa in a fine strainer to remove excess oil and transfer to paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. On a tray or baking sheet, place avocados and peaches cut side up, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season the avocados with salt.
  5. Heat grill to medium high, add avocados and peaches cut side down, reduce heat to low and grill until tender and slightly charred (peaches 5 minutes; avocados 2 minutes).
  6. To assemble salad, toss arugula with a small amount of the vinaigrette and place on the platter. Next, sprinkle quinoa on the platter.
  7. Cut avocado and peaches into wedges and place onto the platter.
  8. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  9. Garnish with chopped pistachios if desired. 

California Avocado-Inspired Charcuterie Boards Brighten Up the Spring Season

(NewsUSA) - Whether you're creating a beautiful avocado rose or whipping up a creamy avocado dip, California avocados are the must-have ingredient for your springtime charcuterie boards, sure to impress any guest! Whether you fancy savory or sweet, adding California avocados to your charcuterie board can help take your hosting skills to the next level. Plus, your guests will love that you included the California avocado trifecta -- taste, texture, nutrition. With fresh and delicious fruit available now through summer, the California Avocado Commission encourages consumers to get creative in the kitchen and experience the great taste and creamy goodness that in-season California avocados have to offer.

Featured on the Food Network, Hallmark Channel, E! and more for her impressive charcuterie boards and entertaining skills, food stylist Meg Quinn joins CAC in celebrating the season by developing a drool-worthy charcuterie board inspired by California avocados, a heart-healthy superfood. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice.

"Entertaining is my passion, and there's nothing better than incorporating fresh, locally sourced produce on board creations," said Quinn.

"I love to add vibrant colors and versatile ingredients, which is why in-season California avocados pair beautifully with other flavors, elevating any dish and recipe. As the girl that adds avocado to every order, it only makes sense that I add them to my boards as well."

You can channel Quinn's creativity when you prepare her savory California Avocado, Cheese & Charcuterie Board, featuring a mouth-watering California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto and served alongside a variety of meats, cheeses and fresh, colorful produce. To view Quinn's other board creations, such as her California Avocado and Fruit Board featuring Chocolate California Avocado Dip and Honey Citrus California Avocado Dip, or to learn about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

California Avocado, Cheese & Charcuterie Board featuring California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto

Recipe created by Meg Quinn for the California Avocado Commission. 

Serves: 4 

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 7.5 oz. Brie wedge
  • 11 slices Spanish Manchego
  • 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • 2 oz. sliced dry salami
  • 1.5 oz. sliced soppressata pepper-garlic salami
  • 4 oz. salami secchi, sliced
  • 1 (5.3-oz.) package dried oranges
  • 2 bunches seedless red or purple grapes
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 cup olives
  • 1/2 cup whole peeled almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 15 crostini or pita crackers

Instructions: Make the dip following directions below. Place on serving board or tray, and artfully arrange the California avocado slices, cheeses, meats, fruits and remaining ingredients around the bowl, filling in any gaps.

California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 4 oz. plain goat cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degreeF. On a parchment-lined baking tray, line up prosciutto without overlapping, and cover with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking tray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until crispy; do not overcook or burn the prosciutto. Remove and cool.

Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined and smooth, scraping down sides as needed; do not overmix. Alternatively, mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, with a fork until smooth. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and crumble crispy prosciutto on top.

Take Care of Your Tools and Tackle Winter Weather

(NewsUSA) - Winter is coming. It may not seem that way on a nice autumn day, but some parts of the country are already starting to feel a chill in the air, and those who live in snowy areas are thinking ahead.

The increased opportunities for remote work prompted many people to relocate to other states, and some of them may be looking at their first experiences with snowy winters.

Whether you are new to northern climates or a seasoned veteran of many blizzards, having the right tools can be the difference between getting around and getting stuck.

To that end, a snow blower may become your new best friend.

To help keep your snow blower in top shape, Cub Cadet, an American manufacturer of outdoor equipment including lawn mowers, yard tractors, and snow blowers, recommends six simple strategies to keep your snow blower working at its best.

  • Safety first. Before you begin a routine maintenance check, place your snow blower on a flat surface, and allow it to cool with the engine off. Be sure to remove the safety ignition key to avoid turning on the engine.
  • Change is good. Change the engine oil in your snow blower at the end of every season and after the first five hours of use this winter.
  • Spark it up. Check your spark plug at the start of the winter season. If it just looks dirty, cleaning may be all it needs, but install a new spark plug if you see rust or corrosion.
  • Boost your belt. Inspect the belts on your snow blower at the start of the season and replace them if they look worn. A fresh belt will keep your thrower functioning at its best and reduce the risk of its breaking during use.
  • Fill the tank. Drain the gas tank at the end of the season, and fill it with fuel that includes stabilizer. This ensures that the fuel stays fresh if you have a mild period during the winter when your snow blower is used less frequently.
  • Keep it smooth. Be sure to check that all the parts of your snow blower are moving smoothly, and tighten any nuts and bolts that may have come loose.

For more advice on winter- weather preparation and snow blower options, visit cubcadet.com.

 

Help Make Christmas Merry for Native American Children

(NewsUSA) - Many Native American children living on Reservations in the United States are growing up in unimaginable poverty. High unemployment means limited job opportunities and no income source for their parents, so multigenerational families often live together in small, dilapidated houses. Many of these homes lack running water and telephones. Electricity is scarce, and utility bills often take priority over food and rent.

The generosity of the American public has allowed Toys for Tots to purchase and deliver gifts to Native American children on 60 Reservations. In 2020 alone, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation purchased $2.2 million in toys, books, and other gifts for children on remote Reservations in 13 states across the country.

"With your help we can help bring joy and hope to even more Native American children this holiday season," says Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

This season marks the 41st year of the Toys for Tots Native American Program. When the Program began in 1980, the local Reserve unit had only two pickup trucks full of toys. Last year, local campaign Coordinator, LtCol Pete Tagni, USMC (Retired) and his team distributed nearly half a million toys to Native American Children thanks to the generous donations from Toys for Tots supporters. The impact of these donations is far reaching and supports more than 180,000 Native American children annually.

Russ Miller, Marine Corps League National Vice Commandant, experienced the impact of the Toys for Tots Native American Program firsthand. Growing up in a missionary family on a Navajo Reservation, Russ still recalls the arrival of the Toys for Tots Christmas boxes, spilling over with toys, games, and books for the children living on the Reservation. Russ loved the opportunity to "play Santa," distributing gifts to the children whose families came to the mission for other essentials such as clean drinking water and donated clothing -- this experience became an inspiration for Russ. He and his brother went on to join the Marine Corps, and Russ is still making a difference today as a Toys for Tots Coordinator.

The Native American Program has provided new toys, books, and games to children living on Reservations for the last four decades. The support from the American public will help us meet the growing need again this year.

Please visit our donation page to support our Native American program at https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/native_american_program.aspx.

Be sure to follow "Gunny Bear" on the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Facebook page, where the Toys for Tots spokesbear shares examples of how your support makes a difference.

 

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