Thirsty Thursday: Summer Sipper Sangria Recipe


  • 3 cups leftover fruit from tipsy fruit salad or an assortment of your favorite fruit, cut into bite size pieces – such as pineapple, oranges, grapes, melon, berries, peaches, nectarines
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 750 ml of dry white wine about half a bottle, like a sauvignon blanc or pinot gris
  • splash sparkling water or club soda optional


  1. Combine all ingredients (except sparkling water/club soda) together in a pitcher. Chill for several hours.
  2. Serve as is or with a splash of sparkling water or club soda for a spritzer if desired.

The Psychology of Why Companies Should Embrace More Three-Day Weekends

Most Americans with regular day jobs would probably say that they live for the weekend. And to those overworked and tired laborers and pencil pushers, a three-day weekend comes as a blessing from above.

But one extra day every now and then isn’t enough to revitalize people in any meaningful way. While people might get an extra hour or two of sleep and feel a little bit better, it’s likely that they’re just riding out the high of a placebo effect.

In order to really fight sleep deprivation and boost productivity, more companies may want to look into making three-day weekends a regular deal.

“I think the best way is to say we’re gonna work our butts off Monday through Thursday, but people want Friday off,” says Jarrod Spencer, a sports psychologist who started a company called Mind of the Athlete and wrote a book of the same name. In the summer, he wants his employees to spend more time at home. “After lunch on Friday, we’re done,” he says.

Spencer says that he sees a number of benefits to the “Summer Friday” model in which employers give people shortened work hours — flexible or enforced — on Fridays so they can get more rest and spend more time on self-care at home. Among other things, he says his employees are more willing to work from Monday to Thursday — during which they fall into a routine sleep schedule — than they are on Friday afternoons.

There’s no denying the psychological benefits to spending less time at work: Many advocates of long weekends argue that they should be year-round so people can enjoy more time away from work to sleep, relax, and clear their minds.

And research is on your side. One study suggests that the two-day weekend acts as more of a disruption to the circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock that directs sleep cycles) and can impair people’s moods and mental capacities upon returning to work or school. While people can make up for some of the sleep they missed during the week — whether it be by sleeping in or afternoon naps — two days of sleeping in is enough to adjust the circadian rhythm such that they have to jolt back into their regular rhythm when they wake up early on Monday morning. When people can take Friday off to relax, they have more time to sleep, exercise, or work on their relationships. The result is a clearer mind and more productive work during the week.

“I think it increases focus,” says Spencer. “When we have more time, we spend it on ourselves and our health, or our relationships. We’re able to focus more on the task at hand at work with fewer outside mental distractions, so I think it translates to work efficiency.”

You may feel some of these benefits this Memorial Day, but it won’t be enough to pay off your sleep debt. Spencer compares the holiday to taking a sip of water while trapped in the desert: it feels great but doesn’t actually do anything for you. Rather, sleep studies suggest that it will take a long-term approach to really make up for lost sleep and improve your circadian rhythm in a less disruptive manner. Hence the three-day weekend.

But the distinction between Summer Fridays and a universal three-day weekend is deliberate. Spencer argues that if people always had a three-day weekend, their bodies and minds would just shift to the new routine and the same complaints that that they have about having to work on Friday would re-emerge on Thursday. So it’s less about getting a specific amount of time than it is about getting extra time off beyond the norm, though getting three rather than two days off on a regular basis does help smooth the transitions from weekend to weekday sleep cycle.

“There’s not a person in America who’s working efficiently and productively between one and five on Friday,” says Spencer. “We’re already checked out mentally, so we might as well check out physically as well.”

Global Warming Could Make the Summer Olympics Nearly Impossible by 2085

Researchers have claimed that global warming could make many cities around the world too hot to host the Summer Olympic Games in the coming decades.

The team concludes that in just 70 years, only eight Northern Hemisphere cities outside Western Europe will be cool enough to host the games, making it increasingly hard for organizers to continue with their current system.

“Climate change could constrain the Olympics going forward,” said lead researcher Kirk Smith from the University of California, Berkeley. “And not just because of rising sea levels.”

Smith and his colleagues came to this conclusion by analyzing heat radiation, humidity, temperature, and wind data from two separate climate models focused on possible Olympic Games sites, which combined make up a model they call the wetbulb globe temperature (WBGT).

Using the WBGT, the team predicted the temperatures of various cities in the Northern Hemisphere in the coming decades, with populations of over 600,000 people – one of the current stipulations for a city to host the games.

They then looked at which of these cities had a 10 percent chance of having to cancel their outdoor marathon events because temperatures would be at unsafe levels in the future.

Right now, this ’10 percent’ criterion is used to choose which cities will host the games, because the marathon is extremely dependent on weather conditions, and cancelling it on short notice would drastically impact the overall games.

“If you’re going to be spending billions of dollars to host an event, you’re going to want have a level of certainty that you’re not going to have to cancel it at the last minute,” says Smith.

With all of these criteria in place, the team used their model to see which cities would likely be unfit for future Olympic events, concluding that only eight out the 543 viable countries in the Northern Hemisphere would fit the bill by 2085.

“The findings indicate that by 2085, Istanbul, Madrid, Rome, Paris and Budapest – all cities that are or were in contention for either the 2020 or 2024 Summer Olympics – would be unfit to host the games,” the team said. “Tokyo, the city that has secured the 2020 summer Olympiad, would also be too hot to ensure athlete safety, should these projections come to pass.”

The cities that would still be viable, according to the researchers projections, are St. Petersburg (Russia), Riga (Latvia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Calgary (Canada), Vancouver (Canada), and San Francisco. In Western Europe, up to 25 smaller cities would be viable, but no country in Latin America or Africa would.

The team says that even though these findings are specifically looking at future Olympic events, they show just how much global warming could potentially impact our society.

“Climate change is going to force us to change our behavior from the way things have always been done,” says Smith. “This includes sending your kids outside to play soccer or going out for a jog. It is a substantially changing world.”

The team isn’t alone in this opinion, either. Back in May, an international team of researchers found evidence that climate change might trigger a mass exodus from the Middle East and Northern Africa by 2065 because temperatures will reach a dangerous level.

But it’s important to point out that the current study is a commentary only based on modelling. Much more research needs to be done before we can have a better idea of what our future could look like.

And there are definitely work-arounds for the Olympics to continue, even if this bleak forecast bears out, such as having more events inside, or hosting certain events in different parts of the world in the same yea. So climate change isn’t necessarily the end of the games, but it’s definitely something worth thinking about.

Keeping Cool with Man’s Best Friend As The Temps Continue To Soar

The swimming pools are like bathwater, the surf report recorded the ocean temperature at 86 degrees last week. No one is going to disagree – this has been an oppressively hot summer, even for Florida.

Our bodies sweat. It’s our body’s way of cooling us off. We can also remove ourselves from the heat, get cool water to drink, crank up the air conditioning, and yes, sweat. Our dogs cannot do any of these things. They rely on us to keep them from overheating.

Dogs pant, they do not sweat, and panting does not cool them down effectively. Plus they are wearing those fur coats. Whoever said “It’s a dog’s life” was not talking about August in Florida.

To keep your dog comfortable, healthy, and to prevent heatstroke, there are things you can do:

1. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is filled with fresh, cool water. Generally I refresh the water in Odin’s and Crissa’s bowls three times a day, when they are fed. This summer I have been finding empty water bowls by midday, and they are inside with the air conditioning.

2. Keep your dogs inside. This is not good weather for them to be out. If they must be out, provide them a place that is shaded all day, and a good supply of clean, cool, fresh water.

3. Walk by 8 a.m. or after the sun goes down. It will be better for you, and better for your pup. The sidewalks and roads heat up during the day. If you are unsure, take the back of your hand and place it on the pavement, or stand in one place on the pavement in your bare feet. The pads of your dog’s paws are far more sensitive than your hand or feet.

4. Some dogs enjoy playing in the ocean or swimming pool. Do not allow them to drink the salt water in the ocean. A small baby pool may be a fun activity for your dog. Just make sure there is cool water in it.

5. Have them groomed, or brush them, regularly. Odin has been shedding excessively this summer. I try to brush him every couple of days, not only to keep down on the corgi tumble fur, but also to cut down on the fur he is carrying around.

6. Leave them at home when you go out. Please, if you love them, don’t leave them in the car, not even for a minute, not even with the window down. Not only is it against the law, it’s a crummy thing to do to a dog that loves you without reservation. For heaven’s sake be worthy of that devotion.

Hopefully we are on the down swing and cooler weather will be here in a few weeks. Until that time – stay cool.

Don’t Let Your Kids Spend Their Summer Days Staring At A Screen

With school out for the summer, our kids’ (normally full) schedules are now wide open. How will your children spend their free time? If they’re like most kids, a whole bunch of it will be in front of a screen.

It’s a common battlefront between parents and children, from toddlers to teens alike. Desperate parents may appease a screaming 2-year-old with a video or game on their phone. And one 13-year-old recently told CNN that when her phone gets taken away, “I literally feel like I’m going to die.”

But parents need to limit screen time, even if it means playing the bad guy — our children’s mental and physical health depends on it.

The physical effects of screen time

Obesity. Sitting in front of a television or computer is a “sedentary behavior,” the American Medical Association says, which means it doesn’t burn much energy. Considering tweens in the U.S. stare at screens for more than four hours a day and teens up to seven hours, according to Common Sense Media, that’s a lot of sitting. In fact, fewer than four in 10 children meet both the physical activity recommendations and the screen time recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Sleep loss. Screens and that lack of physical activity affect their sleep, too. A 2014 study showed a connection between “excessive screen time and shorter sleep durations [which] are predictive of behavioral and social problems, poorer academic performance, and health conditions such as obesity.”

Hand pain. Not to mention the damage texting and gaming on our phones can do to our poor hands. A 2015 study in the journal Muscle & Nerve found that college students with high phone usage have more impaired hand function, thumb pain and repetitive-strain injuries than students who used their phone less.

Headaches. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Neurology and Psychologyshowed that complaints of headaches were higher in people who used their phone a lot than people with low phone usage. And headaches were longer and more frequent in heavy phone users, too.

The mental effects of screen time

Obsessive behavior. CNN recently conducted a study of how teens use social media by analyzing the social media accounts of 200 eighth graders across the U.S. (with their permission). The study authors found that the more kids checked social media, the more distressed they became. And some checked their accounts more than 100 times a day! Child clinical psychologist Marion Underwood, the study’s co-author, told the network:

“This is an age group that has a lot of anxiety about how they fit in, what they rank, what their peer-status is. There is fear in putting yourself out there on social media and they hope for lots of likes and comments and affirmations but there is always the chance that someone could say something mean.

“I think they’re addicted to the peer connection and affirmation they’re able to get via social media. To know what each other are doing, where they stand, to know how many people like what they posted, to know how many people followed them today and unfollowed them … that I think is highly addictive.”

Negative influences. The AAP says increased exposure to television or computers may influence a child’s opinion about things like junk food, alcohol, tobacco use or aggressive behavior. For example, the food in commercials aimed at kids is often high in sugar, fat or salt. And for older kids, video game ads and movie trailers may glorify violence.

Attention disorders. Smartphones can cause attention problems in kids of all ages. And in the youngest kids, parents’ own phone use can contribute to their children’s attention issues. A small 2015 study showed that when parents stop focusing on or playing with a baby to turn to their phone screen, the baby may mimic that behavior by playing with toys (or screens) for only a short period of time.

And another 2015 study showed that in people of all ages, including teens, heavy internet and phone users are more likely to lose concentration, forget information, have poor spatial awareness and make mistakes — even at times when they’re not connected to the internet or using their phones. These “cognitive failures,” as the study’s author calls them, may include missing appointments, failing to notice signs on the road, daydreaming during conversations and forgetting why they went from one part of the house to another.

Screen time recommendations by age

The AAP recommends no screen time at all for children under 2, and only an hour or two a day for children over two. However, the organization is revising those guidelines and expects to issue new ones by October 2016.

“While we acknowledged that mobile and interactive screens have become ubiquitous in children’s lives, we did not advocate for their wholesale adoption. I suspect that when [the new recommendations] do come out, the statements will be highly conservative, reinforcing much of what we have said in the past about the known effects of electronic media use on child health and development,” David Hill, chairman of the AAP Council on Communications and Media and a member of the AAP Children, Adolescents and Media Leadership Working Group, told NPR.

Tips for reducing screen time

Put down your own phone. “Demonstrate your own mindfulness in front of your children by putting down your phone during meals or whenever they need your attention,” Hill said in his interview with NPR.

Praise their “offline” behavior. When you see them riding a bike or coloring, tell them how much you like what they’re doing and ask them questions about it. “These conversations will help them focus on the joys of the ‘real’ world, and they will notice that their activity attracts your attention,” Hill said.

Set limits, and stick to them. As you decide on limits, ask your kids what they think is fair. Even if you don’t use their suggestions, asking them helps them feel heard and gives them input. And if they break the rules, enforce the punishment you set forth when making the house rules. Maybe they have to do more chores. Maybe their phone gets taken away. Whatever it is, stick to your guns.

Trim TV time. Don’t keep televisions in children’s bedrooms. Don’t let kids watch TV during meals or while doing homework. And don’t keep the TV on for background noise. If you’re going to watch a show, decide on the show ahead of time and turn off the TV when it’s over.

If you can’t reduce, at least monitor closely. One surprising — and welcome! — finding from that CNN study was this: “Almost all parents — 94 percent — underestimated the amount of fighting happening over social media. Despite that finding, parents that tried to keep a close eye on their child’s social media accounts had a profound effect on their child’s psychological well-being.” One expert even said that parental monitoring “effectively erased” the negative effects of their kids’ online conflicts.

How to Bike to Work in Florida Without Looking Like a Hot Mess

Bike season is in full swing, and it’s easy to daydream about skipping the stale-air subway in favor of a cycling commute. Riding to work is efficient—it’s eco-friendly and has predictable travel times—plus, you’ve got natural air conditioning as you zip around in the breeze. But you might get sweaty, and that can be a bit of a problem if you need to quickly clean up for a meeting or presentation. With a bit of planning, though, it shouldn’t be a problem. Here’s how to stay cool during—and after—your ride.

Plot your route

Whenever possible, plan a route along quiet, shaded side streets. Tree-lined minor arterial roads often have better air quality and provide shade. And if you can, opt for bike lanes. Any street that keeps you farther away from hot cars will help you keep cool.

Pick the right clothes (and pack extras)

You can ride in just about anything, but it’s helpful to take your outfit for a test run at home. Sit down and imagine yourself on your bike: Stretch out your arms like you’re grabbing your handlebars, and sit and lift up a leg as if you’re pedaling. This will help you identify clothes that pull or restrict your movement.

Think about color, too: I won’t pick a light green cotton shirt, for instance, because I know it will go dark green under the arms when I sweat.

I highly recommend always wearing a pair of non-padded bike shorts underneath dresses or skirts. These will decrease the distraction caused to you when your skirt blows or hikes up.

Long, flowing dresses or skirts could potentially snag between the brakes and the rim of the wheel or get dirty from rubbing against the back tire as you ride. Before you set off, sit on the seat and look at where the fabric lands. If it’s in the way, tie one or two side knots that still give you enough flexibility to pedal. Some skirts can be tied in the middle to create a sort of culotte.

Shoes are also important. I sometimes cycle in heels, as long as they have rubber soles; shoes with a slippery leather bottom are not great for bike pedals. But even fancy shoes can be adapted: a cobbler can add a thin rubber layer to give them extra grip.

If you have a tendency to overheat, you might find fingerless bike gloves helpful for keeping a better grip during longer rides in hot weather. A dark bandana on your wrist is good for wiping sweat off your face. And a light-colored helmet with a built-in visor and plenty of air holes will help with ventilation, too.

If you know you’ll be hammering hard to get to work on time, it might be easiest to pack a change of clothes—or at least a fresh t-shirt to throw on when you arrive.

Store your stuff

If you don’t already have one, install a rack on the back of your bike to eliminate the sweat that accompanies lugging something on your back. Make your bike do the work by adding detachable baskets bungeed onto the rack, or attaching waterproof panniers. A front basket can be a great way to add even more carrying capacity.

Find a place to clean up

Factor an extra 5-10 minutes into your commute time to cool off at your destination, have some water, smooth helmet hair, and change your shirt if needed.

If you have a more involved makeup routine in the morning, consider simplifying the pre-ride stage to just sunscreen, then pack up a tight little travel kit so you can finish your routine on the other end. Some offices have showers and changing stalls open to employees who cycle to work—check out your building to see if you’ve got access to one. If not, some people find it handy to have a membership at a gym or YMCA near their office and then keep a locker there, or at least use the space to shower and prep for the day. If you’ve got a short commute, though, you might not need to do anything more than walk into the air-conditioned building and get straight to work.

Work out a hairstyle you can wear under a helmet and fix up or let out on arrival. A silk scarf or bandana over your hair under your helmet will help keep your ‘do tidy on the morning ride. On windy or damp days, a hoodie or snug hat can help keep your hair in place, too.

I’ve offered a few tips here to help beat the heat while cycling, but you’re the expert on what will work for you. No matter how you’re getting around on these long summer days, keeping cool is easier when you slow down, stick to the shade, and stay hydrated. Enjoy the ride.

Long Weekend Hack: Add Extra Flavor (and Alcohol) to Cocktails By Using Beer Instead of Soda Water

When the sun begins to shine and the temperatures rise, you’ll find me sipping on spritzes. Soda water is an obvious way to add bubbles to a drink, but you can add carbonation, flavor, and more alcohol if you swap it out for beer.

Epicurious suggests adding a good lager to one of my favorite simple cocktails, the Americano (equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth, usually topped with soda water) but the options are only limited by your imagination. In addition to the Beer Americano, I’ll also be making a Beer Aperol Spritz (Beerperol Spritz?), with a nice sour or Gose, and I suggest you do the same.

6 New Beers Perfect for Memorial Day Weekend

Summer may not officially begin until June 20th (so says the Farmer’s Almanac) but we all know that Memorial Day weekend marks the actual beginning of the summer season. That’s when we all try to squeeze into our bikinis for the first time of the year, dust off our croquet sets, and gas up our motorboats or inflate our inner tubes. Summer’s first weekend of festivities deserves a fresh batch of beer. So we’ve curated the ultimate Memorial Day Weekend Six Pack, chock full of brand new beers.

Sweetwater Brewing Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple

Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those super saccharine fruited IPAs that may or may not give you a pre-diabetic condition. Sweetwater takes it easy with the pineapple in this killer IPA, showing some welcomed restraint in a world overrun with fruity beers. Sure, there’s some pineapple on the nose and the sip, but it’s a mellow adjunct that adds just the right amount of sweetness. Part of Sweetwater’s limited Catch and Release seasonal program, you can find the 6.1% ABV brew in 12 ounce bottles or 16 ounce cans. It’s Memorial Day, so go with the Tall Boy cans.

Victory Brewing Cage Radler

The radler is about as divisive as a beer style can get. Part beer, part lemonade, the radler is about as far from the Reinheitsgebot as you can get. But if you can get over the impurity of the style, you might just realize that the radler is summer in a glass—the original beer cocktail built for hot days and long drinking sessions. Victory’s take on the style doesn’t disappoint. The lager base adds a crisp element to the concoction, while there’s plenty of lemonade attributes to keep it light. And it’s only 3% ABV, so you can have another. And another…

Dry Dock Sour Apricot

Your cooler doesn’t have to be stocked entirely with lagers this weekend. There’s room for something a bit off-center, like this new beer from Dry Dock, which promises to balance the sweet with the sour. Tart, effervescent, and full of fresh apricot, the new beer is now part of Dry Dock’s year-round series. Thankfully, they’re releasing it in cans starting this week, just in time for the big weekend.

Stone Brewing IPA…In Cans

Okay, this isn’t a new beer at all. It’s been around since ’97 and has helped define what a West coast style IPA means today. But for the first time, Stone is releasing their signature IPA in cans.This is about as excited as I’ll ever get over a piece of aluminum. And it’s just in time for Memorial Day. It’s 6.9% ABV (so be careful) and available year round, of course.

Burial Brewing Ceremonial Session IPA

Burial is a small brewery in Asheville’s South Slope that’s managing to make waves, especially since they began canning recently. Ceremonial is built for summer—a 4% ABV session IPA, with just the slightest bitter bite, but dry-hopped for maximum citrus aroma. And it comes in big boy cans. Look for it on shelves now.

Dogfish Head Biere de Provence

Consider this the beer for your fancy Memorial Day party. This saison was brewed with lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil for an herbal, earthy nose and taste. I don’t know what chervil is, but whatever, it’s Dogfish, they know their herbs. And they released it earlier this month, on the anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, because as president Sam Calagione put it, “we have always believed this law is nothing more than a relatively modern form of art censorship.” You can find it in fancy bottles all over, but be careful, it’s 8.3% ABV.

How to Get Your Grill Ready For Summer Cookout Season

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial kickoff to the summer season, which means it’s time to drag the grill out of the basement, or uncover the one on the patio.

Whether you’re getting your old grill in shape for the cookout season or you have a brand-new grill you want to get ready for action, our resident Grill Master, Ben Delanoy has some advice.

What do you need to do to get your existing gas grill ready for the season?

You want to make sure there’s no critters, as far as mites or spiders, that have taken up residence in the grill itself and/or the tubes for the burners. Make sure your burners are cleaned out. Make sure you have correct connections for your propane tank. Make sure you slowly open up the nozzle on your propane tank, and make sure your igniters are clean of dirt, debris and critters also. That’s normally why you get that delayed light, or that ‘whoosh’ when you first turn on the grill: It’s because those little spiders love to eat the byproducts of propane. They love to make their nests in the igniters. (You can clean out the connections) with pipe cleaners and a can of compressed air.

How about cleaning the grates?

Just use a degreaser soap. I don’t like to use harsh chemicals because then it can get on the food. You can use Dawn — a good soap-and-water solution. Then you just rinse it off. You can scrub them with a big brush. (The bristles) depend on the material it’s made of. If you have cast-iron grates, then I would use more of a harder bristle brush, but if it’s stainless steel, a good old SOS (steel wool) pad works pretty well.

What else should you do to prepare the grates for the season?

Always re-oil all your grates with olive oil or Pam grilling spray. Make sure everything is coated really good for the season. That’s for any grill. And spray it BEFORE you light the grill.

How about cleaning a charcoal grill?

I would clean out all the charcoal and check to make sure there are no areas that are rusted through. And put all new charcoal in, and with the cooking grate on top I would clean that stainless steel off with a good SOS pad and dish soap.

What if you have a brand-new gas grill?

When you purchase the product, make sure you’re getting it through a reputable dealer, and have them go over all the safety features, and the care and the maintenance and the troubleshooting if there’s a problem. (For example), we normally get a call for a low flame. The reason people get a low flame is because they — click! —turn on the propane tank and they turn all the burners on high, and this is gas, and it doesn’t react to quickness. So, low and slow sometimes allows the gas to fill all those compartments — slowly turning it on and slowly lighting one burner to the side, you’ll notice that you’ll have a more evenly dispersed flame, and you won’t get frustrated.

How about for a new charcoal grill?

I would wash down all the grates with soap and water to be on the safe side, to get rid of any dirt and debris that might have been left there, and then I would still put olive oil or Pam grilling spray on them.

What are some of the most essential grilling tools you’ll need?

You should have a set of nice, long-handled tongs for reaching in the back (of the grill) to be able to flip something, and a long-handled, flat spatula. Also, get any type of wire-grated basket to cook your vegetables or your smaller items. It allows you to get more of the charcoal flavor in your food — especially if you’re making shrimp or potatoes. Stainless steel is always nicer, cleaner and easier to use.

 Any new items on the grilling scene?

There are (racks with) holders to make stuffed peppers and stuffed hot peppers. There are salt blocks that are great for grilling different seasoned foods (on). You have your onion or garlic roasters which are quite nice.

Any other grilling advice?

Just enjoy — and don’t cook it high, so you don’t burn your food. People tend to want to cook everything really high, and it takes the flavor out of the food.

Stussy Launches “Summer Wave” Collection of Beach Gear

Stussy reestablishes its long-standing surf credentials by dropping a line of beach-ready summer gear. Portable chairs, sandals, lightweight headwear, kanteens, towels and T-shirts are all adorned with the brand’s unmistakeable vibrant scrawlings, in seasonally-appropriate aqua hues. The drop is set to hit domestic Stussy retailers shortly.