Thursday, July 2

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Coca-Cola Collectors
If you collect Coca-Cola memorabilia, the Coca-Cola club will come to Glendale, Arizona for the 41st annual convention on Saturday, July 5th, from 10am to 2pm people can come see different Coca-Cola memorabilia. People are also encouraged to bring in their Coca-Cola collectibles and have them appraised by experts. Admission and parking are free.  The event will be held at Renaissance Hotel in Glendale at 9495 W Coyotes Blvd. For more information visit

West World Fourth of July
Come to West World for the Fourth of July, from 2pm to 9:30pm. There will be fun-free activities for everyone: Bull Riding Show, StuntMasters BMX Big Air Half pipe Show, TNT Dunk Squad Trampoline Show, Grand Prix Gatsby-era Racing (ages 16 & up), Frozen 4th Spectacular with appearances by Ana & Elsa, community stage featuring a performance by Arizona's Own 108th Army Band "Saguaro Brass and more!

Entrance is $12 in advance or $30 in advance for all the hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, watermelon you can eat, including bleacher seats to see fireworks! [Scottsdale residents $6 in advance!]
            $120 Family 4-Pack: 2 adult VIP, 2 kids VIP & 2 wristbands
            Tickets & information at 
            Kids 5 & under FREE
            Option: $20 a carload to see fireworks; park in polo field. Lot opens 7pm.

Natural Bug Bite Solutions
-In Arizona, mosquito season starts in early March and doesn't end until late October.
-The challenge is that mosquitoes are attracted to people that eat a salty and carb laden diet (which happens to be the usual summer food fare). 
- Many of the standard over-the-counter bug repellents are not safe for small children and as a result many people are looking for more natural ways to repel these pesky bugs.

DIY Bug Repellents(topical):
-For a sweet smelling spray: 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in 1 cup of water. Use spray bottle to administer to exposed skin and furniture.
-For a more pungent smell: 15 drops of Lemon-Eucalyptus essential oil to 1 cup of water. Use spray bottle to administer to exposed skin and furniture. Tested by Consumer Reports & New England Journal of Medicine and endorsed by the CDC.
-Crush fresh mint and rub on exposed skin or use peppermint essential oil (10-15 drops in 1 cup of water) in a spray bottle.
Change your skin chemistry with Foods:
-Not just for repelling vampires: Garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and chives contain a Sulphur compound called allicin which can block your own body odor and confuse mosquitoes. Eat 1 clove (or garlic capsules) per day so that your body sweats the garlic smell out of the skin.  Adding onions, shallots, leeks and chives can give a similar effect however garlic cloves are the strongest source of allicin. 
-Female mosquitoes find this smell offensive: Studies have shown that the smell of vitamin B1(thiamine) cannot be tolerated by mosquitoes (especially females). Thiamine is in important nutrient for the health of our cells and nervous system and if taken daily (100mg) may keep the bugs away. Some foods that contain high levels of thiamine include macadamia nuts, beans/lentils, tomatoes, and the food with the highest density of thiamine comes from across the pond: marmite/vegemite. Spread some marmite on toast for a high dose of mosquito repellent.
-Apple Cider Vinegar to the rescue: Planning a camping trip or day at the lake? Three days before the trip begin taking 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 3 times a day. By the time you are ready for the trip you will be unappetizing to mosquitoes. 
-This type of grass sends bugs away: A common herb which is used commonly in Asian and East Indian cuisine, lemongrass has been shown to repel bugs when added to your diet or rubbed on skin. Lemongrass can easily be added to soups, salads, fish, and meats and should be eaten daily. Lemongrass plants can be crushed in a mortar and pestle, and applied to bare skin.
-Hot and Spicy Wins the Day: Capsaicin, the heat-generating compound in chilies is already used as a natural insecticide and is known to stop the itchiness caused by bug bites, but eating chilies may also prevent bug bites. Bugs apparently do not like the smell that emanates from our bodies when we consume food that contains capsaicin. So, bring on the spicy barbeque, just make sure you use chili peppers in the rub.

And speaking of Bug Bite Solutions…
If you have been bitten, there are many natural remedies that can provide symptom relief and help treat the affected area, from baking soda to apple cider vinegar to basil herbs. 

1- Baking Soda and witch hazel paste: Baking soda can effectively stop the itchiness caused by mosquito bites. Being alkaline in nature, it neutralizes the pH of the skin and hence provides relief. Witch hazel works as an astringent to remove excess fluid. Make a paste using witch hazel and baking soda. Apply it onto the bite and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Then wash the area with lukewarm water.
2- Tea tree oil reduces inflammation (redness, itchiness and heat from the bite)Simply use a cotton ball to apply some tea tree oil to the affected area. If you have sensitive skin, do not use tea tree oil as it can cause skin irritation. 
3- After having your cup of tea, place your used tea bags in the refrigerator. If you are the recipient of a mosquito bite, the tannins in used (but cool) tea bags act as an astringent to remove excess fluid from the bite. (and it's great for puffy eyes too).

4- Apple cider vinegar reduces itching due to its acidity. For multiple mosquito bites, take an apple cider vinegar bath: add two or three cups in a bathtub of warm water to treat all-over bites, or putting a few drops on cotton and wiping an individual bite.

5- Basil herb or essential oil (anti-itching) contains camphor and thymol, two compounds that can relieve itching. Either crush up some fresh herb and apply directly to the bite, or buy the essential oil.

6- Grind some aspirin and mix with water. The salicylic acid in aspirin works as a strong anti-inflammatory to reduce pain, swelling and redness.

Basque Potato Salad
Celebrate this Fourth of July with a no-mayo potato salad recipe from Perk Eatery, courtesy of owner Pauline Martinez.

            2-3 pounds red or Yukon gold potatoes--(cubed and boiled until fork tender)
            1/2 pound nopales (drained and rinsed), OR green beans (blanched until tender and cut to 1/2'')
            1 large roasted red peppers (sliced)
            1/2  cup red onion (diced)
            1/2 cup capers (drained and rinsed)
            1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
            2 Tbls mint (chopped)
            A large handful of fresh baby arugula leaves

    1/4 cup olive oil
            1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
            1/4 cup cider vinegar
            1/2 tsp agave nectar
            1/2 tsp herbes de provence
            1/4 tsp harissa 
            1/4 tsp salt
            1/4 tsp pepper

1. Boil potatoes is salted water--carefully checking doneness (Fork tender, not water logged.) Cool potatoes until barely warm.

2. Whisk together all ingredients for dressing.

3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour dressing over entire mixture. Gently toss mixture together to even coat with dressing.

Serve immediately or chilled.