Tag Archives: spring

Springtime Photography Challenges on Lenzr

Shiny Metal surfaces, best cottage moments and more photo contest with Lenzr in CanadaSpringtime Photography Fun

Looking for some more activities to share with your kids? Remember the benefits of photography are more available now that cameras are inexpensive, indeed disposable.

Photography challenges are good for developing a ‘technical creativity’, and they’re also a great form of self expression. Take photos of your kids or better yet let them have the camera and give them the opportunity to pick the subjects and make digital documents. Give them specific goals as outlined by this month’s four Lenzr photo contests, and stand back to properly coach their success.

Self expression is crucial for healthy emotional development. Here are four excellent Lenzr photo contests that might help you get started for your days of photography with your kids. If you aren’t skilled in photography, don’t worry, this is a perfect chance to learn with your child. Relax, learning is better and easier when it’s made to be fun.

Weather the Storm

Weather The Storm photo contest is a great chance to get meteorological with your camera and child. It doesn’t have to be stormy skies, it can be a single shocking cloud on the horizon, or a steamy scene by the lake, or a threatening sunset.A best cottage moments from a Muskoka cottage in Ontario Canada Use filters and photo editing because that’s allowed on Lenzr. Take the digital camera outside your house and experiment in capturing these stormy skies. Remember on Lenzr you can submit the photos free – get your child to help you to write a little story behind the photo. This will enhance the imagination of the craft. The prize is a Sony Cyber-shot digital camera your child may enjoy courtesy of a Toronto commercial flat roofing company.

Wakeboarding on Lake Muskoka, from Muskoka cottage onlineBest Cottage Moments

This Best Cottage Moments photo challenge is a celebration of your best moments at the cottage. Your whole family can star in this one – for many people the cottage is special because the memories that have nothing to do with school. You can incorporate a different type of learning fun outdoors. The contest winner is offered a valuable prize of a Sony digital camera with lots of amazing features thanks to a Muskoka cottage for sale online. Its an unusual sponsor, but a great prize and good popular theme – someone is going to win.

The cottage owner has left a few of his own magic moments on his blog, and one in particular I will share here is from 2009 when himself and friends went wakeboarding on Lake Muskoka. The post chronicles this niche water sport in considerable detail.

What’s in The Fridge?

Do you ever find your kids in the kitchen opening and closing the fridge door constantly? I once heard about a transparent fridge. Or one with a simple Plexiglas door; the idea would be to have a fridge with a transparent door so anyone could just look inside without actually opening the device – would save energy.  We still haven’t seen that on the market yet, but more likely there could be one with a flat screen which would show the contents of the fridge at the touch of a button.  A printable coupone sponsored Lenzr canada photo contest April and May 2011 Anyhow please take advantage of this with this photo contest called What’s In Your Fridge. Get creative with your camera and use your imagination to create the best photo image of what’s in your fridge and you have the chance to fill some bellies with good nutritious food (or any food you choose) for a while. The contest prize is $500 worth of groceries thanks to sponsor’s printable coupons which of course you do NOT have to use or even acknowledge but you might want to check out that site. We all know it’s not easy to feed your kids these days. If your teenagers can help you share coupons you can all work up a great rewards system that will actually make it worth your while.

Shiny Metal Surfaces
Lenzr photo contest April and May for Shiny metal surfaces thanks to metal panels company
Grown-ups and children of all ages will warm to this photo challenge.  Small children love the lure of the shiny metal surfaces. It makes you wonder what it is they find so appealing? where’s the mystery? But there is something that catches our eyes… Well, you can all work together on this Shiny Metal Surfaces photo contest. Don’t forget to upload your photos for free and you and your child could win an amazing Sony Camera with lots of options to add to your camera collection thanks to the metal panels company that likes photography too. The camera would make a good birthday gift – it has a motion detector on it so you can leave it in your storage locker and set it to record anyone who breaks the envelope of the frame – you can watch later as they steal all of your shiny metal surfaces.

Lenzr photo contests are all about the art of photography and encouraging the creativity and fun for photographers of all skill levels. Enjoy the moments with your child and share in photography experience. Give them skills and opportunities to use their imagination and gain self confidence through their self expression. Take pleasure and pride in the creative process and give positive guidance when you can. The contests are taking place now. Sit with your child and look at the other photos to get some ideas. The contest voting begins May 15th 2011, so mark your calendar. Then the voting ends May 25th 2011. Set your schedule. The top ten voted photos will advance to judges and the prize winners will be announced June 1st 2011. Take some creative risks, enjoy the experience with your child, and grow along the way.

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A natural approach to treating seasonal allergies

318/365 Sneeze, originally uploaded by mek22.


While most of us are quite happy to wave farewell to Old Man Winter, for those who struggle with seasonal allergies or hay fever, the coming of spring is likely to bring anxiety and perhaps even dread.  Over the past few decades, allergies are on the rise, especially in children.

What is Happening?

An allergy is essentially a hypersensitive or hyper-vigilant immune system reacting to something that is harmless to the body.  Common allergens include pollen, animal dander, house dust, feathers, mites, chemicals and a variety of foods.

With seasonal allergies, one experiences respiratory distress of all kinds: a stuffed up or runny nose; congested sinuses; sneezing; and red, itchy and watering eyes.  The immune system is reacting to the pollen of trees, weeds or grasses that are active in that particular season. Spring hay fever is usually due to the pollens from grass and trees, while fall allergies are usually due to sensitivities to ragweed pollens and molds.

In the presence of an allergen, the immune system releases histamine and other chemicals to fight what is perceived as an invading organism.  These chemicals cause a cascade of physiological events in the body, ultimately leading to the swelling and congestion of the nasal passages and increased mucous production.  This overreaction by the immune system causes more damage to the body than the perceived “invader”, which is actually harmless.

Allergies can contribute to other complications with health, as the immune system is under stress and the body is in a chronic state of inflammation.  In children, such conditions may include acne, asthma, chronic ear infections, eczema, irritability and behaviour problems and difficulty with concentration.  In adults, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of chronic problems, including fatigue, muscle or joint pain, and increased susceptibility to other infections.

Treat the Cause:

Common over-the-counter allergy medications provide symptomatic relief to many.  However they act temporarily and this approach isn’t addressing what is causing the hypersensitive immune system.  The best approach is to work to stabilize and strengthen the immune system, to promote resiliency and overall health.  There are many ways to do this.

  • One key is to ensure you or your child avoids anything in the diet that there may be a sensitivity to.  If you’ve noticed any foods that cause symptoms of indigestion or discomfort, avoid them to decrease any burden on the immune system.
  • Eat plenty of foods rich in bioflavonoids, such as apricots, cherries, paprika, grapefruit, lemons, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, green peppers, grapes, strawberries, black currants, prunes.
  • Avoid eating melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and any herbal supplements containing Echinacea if you suffer from allergies in the fall, as they are from the ragweed family.
  • Supplementation with a bioflavonoid called quercetin, and high doses of vitamin C will prevent allergic conditions, as they stabilize the cells responsible for the histamine (allergic) response, thereby making the body less reactive.
  • Minimize exposure to triggers – minimize outdoor time on days with high pollen counts, and certain times of days when pollens are high
  • Create a healthy indoor environment – air purifiers, frequent vacuuming, steam

cleaners, dehumidifiers all have the capacity to improve air quality and minimizing possible allergens in the home

  • Strengthen the immune system – vitamin C, quercetin, zinc, bioflavonoids, avoid other stressors on the immune system (ie. food allergies), rest
  • Stay hydrated – after losing a lot of fluid, it is important to keep hydrated

Other Ways to Relief:

  • Try nasal irrigation with saline solution – you can buy at the drugstore or make your own with a squirt-bottle of 8-oz water with sea salt
  • Take a hot shower or bath – many find relief from the heat and humidity
  • Take alternating hot and cold showers – while in the shower, give yourself periodic blasts of cold water (tolerably cold), alternating with usual warmer temperatures.  This causes a pumping action of the cardiovascular system and stimulates a healthy immune system
  • Use cold compresses for itchy eyes to reduce the inflammation and irritation
  • Alternate hot and cold compresses over the sinuses to promote drainage
  • Enjoy spicy foods, which clears the nasal passage:  cayenne pepper, ginger, onions, garlic
  • Drink warm tea to soothe an irritated throat, especially with honey and lemon
  • Regular steam inhalations with eucalyptus to soothe and clear the nasal passages
  • Avoid milk and dairy, which are mucous-producing foods
  • Avoid emotional states such as stress and anger, which can affect the immunity and make symptoms worse. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation.

Do you have any unsolved ailments? Looking for a remedy that does not include another prescription for pharmacueticals? Questions about natural solutions to everyday medical problems?

Ask our very own Naturopathic Doctor, Erin Riseing.

Please feel free to post a comment here or ask her a question.