Household Remedies to Help You Ease the Itch of Bug Bites and Poison Ivy

There’s nothing like the itch of a bug bite or poison ivy to bring down your mood in the summer time. Instead of heading to the drugstore for relief, there are few household remedies you can use to ease the itch. (Some say they might work just as well as any over-the-counter medicine!) Here are some tips to help ease your poison or bites.

  • Wrap ice cubes in a towel and press it against your bites for around 10 minutes. The ice will numb the bite area and can help control the swelling.
  • Press a used tea bag against your bites until the itching seems to calm down. Tea contains natural tannins that act as an astringent, which removes the toxins from your skin.
  • Tea tree oil can help treat both bug bites and poison ivy. Just dab a little onto a cotton swab and rub it on to your bite or rash. The oil's antiseptic properties will help calm the itching and promote healing.
  • Use a mixture of water and baking soda to apply directly onto your bite and allow it to dry. This will help neutralize the pH and reduce itching. Apple cider vinegar will also do the trick.

DIY: 7 Best Natural Mosquito Bite Remedies [Gardenista]
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac [American Academy of Dermatology]
9 Genius Ways To Relieve Bug Bites [Women's Health]

Buenos Aires Café: Argentine Cuisine in East Austin

Argentine food isn’t a cuisine that many North Americans have experience with, but that’s a situation that should be rectified. The South American country has a rich culinary history with many disparate influences, and they all come together at East Austin’s popular Buenos Aires Café.

The menu here is extensive, but regulars recommend a few can’t miss dishes. Start off with the empanadas, which are far and away the best things on offer. These fluffy little pastry pockets are deep-fried and stuffed with a variety of ingredients. Make sure to douse them in the fresh, herby chimichurri sauce, which is so good you’ll want to drink it with a straw. Other successful dishes include the lomito beef sandwich and the soups, which are universally loved. The menu also has many vegetarian and gluten-free options for those with special dietary needs. Prices are fair and the ambience and service are quite nice.

Buenos Aires Café
1201 E. 6th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 382-1189

Easy Ways to Squeeze in a Workout

Between work, keeping up with chores, and spending time with friends and family, you may find it difficult to make time in your day for exercise. But as busy as you may feel, you should be able to uncover a few extra minutes hiding in your day. Here are a few ways to fit more fitness into your busy schedule.

  • For two days, keep track of how you spend your time. Writing this down helps you find more downtime that you could use for working out.
  • Pencil it in. Decide on a set time for exercise and enter it in your calendar as a daily event. When you see it every morning, you'll make a mental note that you’re going to exercise and this can help you to stay motivated.
  • Start small. Five-minute walks every day can easily turn into 30-minute walks.
  • Do small exercises while you’re watching TV. You can do crunches, planks, squats, lunges, or pushups while you’re catching up on your favorite shows.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Editing your negative thoughts is a great way to support healthier lifestyle choices.

4 Ways to Squeeze In That Workout [Women’s Health]
25 Ways to Make Time for Fitness [Experience Life]
10 Ways to Sneak In a Workout [Fitness Magazine]

The Yoga Room: A Round Rock Yoga Studio

The Yoga Room is an intimate yoga studio in Round Rock that welcomes everyone to engage in yoga practice. In fact, the studio’s “highly trained and experienced teaching staff offers yoga practice for regular people, regardless of the size, age, or condition of their bodies,” according to The Yoga Room website. Regulars report that this studio successfully cultivates a caring and compassionate community for those interested in starting or expanding their practice.

The Yoga Room hosts more than 40 classes per week, including a beginner’s series for those who are new to yoga. Better still, new students can partake in unlimited yoga for just $10 during their first week. Teachers are reportedly helpful, gentle, and attentive, so don't be shy about signing up for a private session.

For a schedule of upcoming classes, visit The Yoga Room website.

The Yoga Room
503 E. Palm Valley Boulevard
Round Rock, TX 78664

How to Safely Exercise Outdoors During the Summer

Even if you’re a very fit person, exercising outdoors in hot summer weather can be dangerous. Unless you take the necessary precautions, the heat and humidity can cause dehydration, dizziness, and exhaustion. Here are a few smart tips to help you exercise safely outside all summer long.

  • Stay hydrated. This one may seem obvious, but dehydration is the leading cause of illness and injury during hot weather exercise. Be sure to drink a lot of water not only during and after exercise, but also beforehand to fuel your body for your workout.
  • Choose smart times. Because the sun is lower (and so is the temperature) during the morning and evening, these are the smartest times to exercise outdoors.
  • Wear the right clothes. While you might wear sweatpants to exercise outdoors in the fall, you should invest in something lightweight and absorbent in the summer. Try synthetic fabrics like Spandex and Lycra, as these wick away moisture.
  • Listen to your body. Even if you’ve only been running for 10 minutes, that might be too much for your body in the dog days of summer. If you start to feel lightheaded and dizzy while exercising, make sure that you stop or slow down, no matter how long it’s been.

5 Ways to Exercise Safely in the Heat [U.S. News]
8 Tips for Exercising in Summer Heat [Active]
Essential Tips for Outdoor Exercise [Arm & Hammer]

Porter Ale House and Gastropub: Contemporary Food and Drink for the Everyman

Porter Ale House co-owners Neil, Joe, and Trevor share many common interests, namely good food, good drink, and good music. In fact, Johnny Cash's ditty Hey Porter inspired the name for their Austin eatery. The moniker's meaning is two-fold, though, because it also obviously refers to porter ale—historically the drink of choice for the English working class. The trio attempts to create a comfortable atmosphere that caters to the everyman, the type of folks who would drink porter, at their gastropub. If its widespread popularity is any indication, they've succeeded.

Of course, customers don't come just for the atmosphere. The food and drink also play a major role in Porter Ale House's constant crowds. The beer cheese fondue, in particular, earns raves. It comes with apples and caraway pretzels for dipping. You can also start your meal with oxtail croquettes or a kale salad with beer-battered anchovies on top. When it comes to the main course, try the bangers and mash, curry-fried chicken thighs, or porter burger topped with triple cream brie. Don't forget to sample one of the many beers and cocktails on the drink list.

Porter Ale House and Gastropub
3715 S. 1st Street
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 291-6299

Warehouse Craft Brews and Food Trucks Meet at Austin Beerworks

Founded with principles of fun and community in mind, Austin Beerworks works overtime as a brewery and taproom. Between Thursdays and Sundays, this Austin craft brewery opens its warehouse taproom to the public. That's when beer aficionados from all over the city arrive to sample the brewery's beers at their peak of freshness: straight from the tank!

Austin Beerworks's core four beers—an American IPA, German-style schwarzbier and pils, and an ale—are offered at the taproom all year long, complemented by seasonal rotations and a selection of taproom-only brews. The taproom deal is $10 for a take-home pint glass and three pints. If you’re interested in trying more varieties, some locals say you can do six half-pours—you just have to ask.

On most evenings, you can find some of Austin’s best food trucks parked outside for a tasty pairing.

Austin Beerworks
3009 Industrial Terrace
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 821-2494

Savor an Icy Treat at Sweet Caroline’s Snow Shack

New Orleans is known for its snowballs, a popular frozen treat that involves fluffy, white ice that is much smoother than that of a sno-cone. In Austin, you can find authentic snowballs at the family-owned Sweet Caroline’s Snow Shack. This small and colorful dessert shop is housed in a food truck complete with a bright yellow exterior and a convenient ordering counter where you can choose your tasty treat.

Snowballs from Sweet Caroline’s are served in large Styrofoam bowls and topped with colorful syrups including flavors like classic cherry and root beer, as well as more unique flavors like the Tootsie Roll, which is made with chocolate cream and silver fox syrups.

The mobile operation has two locations in Austin, so it’s always easy to stop in for a frozen dessert after dinner or to cool down on a hot afternoon.

Sweet Caroline's Snow Shack
9528 Anderson Mill Road
Austin, TX 78729
(512) 234-7669

Basic Tips to Keep in Mind on Laundry Day

Laundry day is likely your least favorite day of the week, but it doesn’t have to be quite so difficult. By attacking your piles of laundry with a bit of pre-planning, you can make laundry day much more manageable. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. Separate lights and darks ahead of time collaboration tools for business. To avoid the tedious task of separating lights from darks, separate them as soon as you toss your dirty clothes in the hamper. Invest in a double-sided hamper that does the separating for you.
  2. Invest in good detergent. Using the wrong detergent (or a cheap brand) can make your clothes come out dull and dingy. Instead, choose one detergent designed for washing dark clothes in cold water, one for keeping colors bright, and a separate stain treatment to put on spots.
  3. Treat stains as soon as they happen. The most important thing you can do to remove a stain is catch it as soon as it happens. You can even rub in a stain treatment and toss your clothes in the laundry, leaving the stain to deal with on laundry day.
  4. Turn clothes inside out. Avoid fading and shrinking by turning your clothes inside out before washing them.
  5. Fold right away. To eliminate the need for ironing, prevent wrinkles by folding your clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer.

Laundry 911: Color care basics [She Knows]
How to Care for Your Clothes [How Stuff Works]
Laundry Basics – Sorting it Out [For Better Living]

Banh Mi Tacos Meet Habanero-Infused Margaritas at The Peached Tortilla in Austin

The Peached Tortilla is a fusion in both make and menu, as this unique business operates a food truck and a brick-and-mortar location here in Austin. The food is expressive of the restaurant's personality: an eclectic mix of Southern- and Asian-influenced dishes, like bahn mi tacos for dinner and brisket hash with kimchi miso corn for brunch. Locals say you need to return regularly to ensure you taste a bite of every dish on the list.

The Peached Tortilla's hours vary during the week, so be sure to check the website before popping by, but don’t miss happy hour, offered 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. (Make sure you try one of the specialty cocktails, particularly the habanero-infused margarita or the Wasabi Mary, which is garnished with Thai peppers.) Another popular time to visit is during the Sunday Brunch, served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekly.

The Peached Tortilla
5520 Burnet Road
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 222-8781

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