Nuts and Berries

I’m still in Las Vegas. And it’s still hot. I’m told it cools off, but I’m sceptical about exactly when that happens.

Nonetheless, sorting things in my parents’ house is a process. And one of the things to fix is the landscaping. The almond tree in the backyard is seriously out of control and almonds are starting to appear! I had to call my mom to find out exactly what I’m supposed to do with them – as they don’t look like almonds in the store. Once I got that sorted, I became acutely aware of why almonds are SO ridiculously expensive! It’s quite time-consuming, and potentially dangerous, to get those little suckers ready to eat!

In short, the almonds grow in these little fuzzy, fluffy pod things (almost soft like a peach). When they start to split/crack open, they’re ready to pick. Then, you have the almond still hiding shell, which has to be removed, before you can either eat them raw or toast them a wee bit. Apparently, I’ll be getting the ladder out to get the ones high up over the next two months if I can’t shake them down.

On to the berries…

So, I was in Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and saw a tiny jar of “blueberry acai face scrub” for $5.99. For real, it’s like everything there is $5.99 or less! Anyway, it looked intriguing, but I passed. Back in the store the other day, I thought, meh, for $5.99, why not try it. Who doesn’t like a good exfoliator, right?

On opening the package – OMG. It’s as bluish-red as a blueberry smoothie and smells like a blueberry muffin! As in, the entire jar is filled with blueberries. Obviously, the exact percentage is unknown, but it’s the second listed ingredient so you know there’s a lot of blueberry in there. It’s also not tested on animals. It feels really nice on – so there’s that. I did use it in the shower as I was afraid with blueberries there may be potential for staining (and the packaging even warned it was possible)…

I guess my point is, try it. You have nothing to lose.

 

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Sunshine

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Well, the burning (no pun) question is whether summer has officially come and gone in the UK?!?! A week of temperatures (and matching humidity) over 30c and the country was good and baked.

This summer, I’m in Las Vegas (hello, overdose on vitamin D). In all the years of going to Las Vegas, I’ve never ever never visited in the summer. I don’t like extreme heat, and I certainly don’t like sustained temperatures of 35c+ (100F+) for days on end. The first week I was here, it was ok and I thought I’d survive. Within a week, triple digits! 40c+ and I was dying. (How deceptive does that header photo look, temperature wise?)

I don’t care about it being a “dry heat” – it’s HOT. I’m taking one of the dogs out for walks at 6-630am and that’s the only walk we get for the day because it’s not safe to be out. No evening walks because even at 930-10pm the temperatures are still in the low 100s (upper 30s). Thankfully, there’s a smart thermostat in the house and surprisingly, it’s set at a very, very conservative 80-82F.

The other problem with Las Vegas? Ignoring the fact that my life is not a huge pool party with a cabana or dance club adventure that lasts until 3am every night, I come in two colours – white and red. I burn very easily. First purchases, 2 straw hats from Nordstrom. I saved a tonne purchasing them during the half-yearly sale, and hopefully, they’ll be more stylish whilst still shading me (the cotton baseball hat I’d normally wear was making my head sweat too much).

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Next purchase – sunscreen. What kind? I generally buy SPF30 or SPF50. I love Australian Gold simply because of the smell – and reminds me of my first visit to Las Vegas years ago and I stayed at Treasure Island (TI). I purchased the one with the built in bronzer (I need all the help I can get). (Hawaiian Tropic is another that smells great and the oil that all the cool girls used – think it was probably SPF -2 back in the day!)

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At Target, I grabbed a bottle of Pacifica SPF50. Pacifica is an all-natural brand, and this has no sulphates, no phthalates, no parabens, etc. and is mineral based, leaping bunny product. It comes out of the can white, so you do have to rub it in a bit. The smell is supposedly coconut, but I think it smells like white birthday cake.

And last, at Trader Joe’s I picked up their own brand of SPF50. Super affordable $5.99 price too! It doesn’t really have a scent at all, and what I like about it – it sprays clear! So, when walking Flash in the morning, I’ll spray some on my hands, then wipe down his ears and the bridge of his nose. White dogs can sunburn too!

You can’t have too much sunscreen right? I’ve probably had three really bad burns in my life (typical) and growing up, you didn’t really cover yourself in sunscreen like you do today. It was almost a badge of honour to have that super red, peeling, lobster skin, right? Bad field day in 8th grade and my shoulders were toasted beyond belief; summer on a boat rental in Lake of the Ozarks and my face was cracked, oiled, and horrid like a basted Thanksgiving turkey; and college graduation lunch – Annapolis, Maryland – eating crabs at Cantler’s on the water with no hat. My head got so sunburnt it hurt to wash and brush my hair for a few weeks.

Regardless of where you’re spending your summer, whether locally or abroad, buy a hat and wear sunscreen. You’ll thank yourself years from now.