Keeping Teens Busy Through Summer

Kids tend to really look forward to the summer months and the release they provide from the daily grind of school and homework. Kids of all ages just love to relish those three uninterrupted months full of freedom, sun, and spare time. Little ones are easy enough to amuse by organizing play-dates and having a few fun activities like going to a children’s museum, going out for coffee with you so they can feel all grown-up with their hot chocolate from the coffee shop, or just spending all day doings arts and crafts and playing hide-and-seek.

Thing is, little ones grow up eventually, and they don’t just magically become adults one morning, they have to pass through that awkward and drama-filled teenager age, and teens can sure be a handful sometimes (or all the time). They’re less easily amused and more inclined to drama than little ones, but at the same time, they’re old enough to share in some of the household responsibility. In more ways than one, they need a different kind of planning and direction than little ones to stay entertained and occupied all summer. Vine Vera knows it can be difficult, so read on for our top tips at keeping teens busy through the summer.

Young girl washing the dishes.

Involve Them in Household Work
If your teens don’t already have a daily regimen of household chores, you might want to give them one. Simple things like doing the dishes, checking the trash and taking it out if it’s full, etc. But in addition to daily chores, over the summer in particular you can involve them in extra activities like doing laundry, getting or at least helping put away groceries, helping clean out the cluttered garage, even making dinner. Remind them that they’ll spend a lot less time on the few extra chores than they would with school and homework, and the sooner they finish, the more time they have for fun. They’ll end up enjoying their downtime more, and you’ll get some handy help around the house.

Two girls volunteering to clean up the local park.

Push Them to Volunteer
Volunteer work can provide helpful experience for your teen’s future resume before they have any actual job experience to list, and it looks pretty damn good on a college application too. Besides that, you give your teen a chance to do some real good and help others. Give them a few ideas and let them pick something that interests them. Some ideas are soup kitchens, libraries, hospitals, parks, homeless shelters and retirement homes.

Young girl washing a car.

Encourage Them to Get a Summer Job
This one’s not strictly necessary, and there are people on both sides of the fence as to whether a teen should have to work before adulthood (versus focusing on school and enjoying their youth and freedom while they can), but it’s definitely an idea you can at least suggest to them. You can make it more enticing by reminding them that you’re not just going to buy them that video game or latest iPhone model they’ve been wanting, and it’ll probably take a long time to save up allowance. They can then decide if a part-time summer job is right for them. If they go for it, expect them to make new friends, learn new skills, and get valuable job experience.

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Awesome Games the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Family playing a board game.

If you have kids, it can be rather challenging to find a way to entertain the family at once. It turns out that engaging the attentions and interests of a varied group of individuals with different ages, tastes, and personalities is a difficult task. Who would have guessed?

In all seriousness, Vine Vera knows how worrying it can be to always be stressing over how best to have quality time with the whole family that you can actually enjoy. You know it’s important for you family to come together and be happy to spend time with each other, but how can you manage that without things devolving into chaos? It might seem like an impossible task at times, but it can be done, and Vine Vera is here to help, with a list of awesome, fun games that the whole family can easily enjoy together.

Kids playing hide and seek.

This is a fun one for when you get tired of normal hide-and-seek. Choose one person to be “it.” Whoever’s “it” has to go hide, and everyone else is going to try to find them (so basically the opposite of standard-issue hide-and-seek). The first person to find whoever is hiding has to squeeze into the hiding spot next to them and hide too, and whoever finds them has to do the same thing, and so on, until the last person figures out where everyone is hiding.

Child holding a yellow sheet of paper.

Who Am I?
Give every member of the family, including yourself, a bunch of disposable, peel-off name tags—three to five would work well, just remember that however many name tags each person gets is how many “rounds” of the game you can play in total—and instruct them to write the name of a fictional character on the name tag. You can also use historical figures or celebrities, but try to make sure nobody picks a name that no one else will have heard of, because this take the fun out of the game.

Once everyone’s written a few names, gather them all into a bag, bowl, etc. and mix them all up. Close your eyes and pick name tags from the container for each family member one at a time. Don’t let the person that you’re picking for see the name (it’s okay if other people see it), and stick the nametag on their forehead. When it gets to your turn, hand the container to someone else to pick yours and put it on your forehead.

Now, you all walk around talking with each other and asking other people questions about who you are, to try and guess what name is on your forehead, but you can’t ask what your own name tag says, and you can’t tell anyone else what theirs says unless they guessed it correctly.

Child looking through a tyre in an obstacle course.

Obstacle Course
For an active, outdoor game, grab a bunch of random items to make an obstacle course and compete to have the best time. Use things like hula hoops, jump ropes, and other miscellaneous toys to set up the course, and make rules for each segment. For example, maybe you have to hop on one foot next to the jump rope, or crawl on all fours through a hula hoop (which can be held up by someone who’s turn it’s not). Get creative and take turns with other families designing different courses for tons of fun!

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All About the Zinfandel Grape

Zinfandel wine is a robust, flavorful, and easy to drink red wine with a unique, spice-accented flavor profile, that’s distinctly American in name and origin (well, origin of the wine itself, anyway; we’ll talk about the grapes and the plants that produce them in a moment). It also has a close cousin, which is—contrary to popular belief—made form the same grape; white zinfandel, a mellow yet complex rosé with a healthy dose of sweetness.

But other than the fact that it’s a popular American-born wine grape varietal that produces two well-loved classics in the wine world, how much do you really know about the zinfandel grape? Considering it has a rich and fascinating legacy and has inspired one of our resveratrol skincare collections, Vine Vera has decided to give this grape and its story a good, hard look.

Zinfandel grapes in a vineyard

Mysterious Origins
Zinfandel grape vines first popped up in the mid 19th century, called alternately Zinfandel and Zenfandal. It was popular in northern California because it actually thrived in the warm climate and sandy soil. It grew increasingly popular when the gold rush came into full swing, and the increased population that the gold rush brought to California gave wine-makers in the area continued business and ensured the survival of the varietal.

However, the weird thing about Zinfandel at the time was that no one knew where the hell it came from. It just sort of popped up in California without explanation. At the time, France was known to have an extensive and well-kept vine collections, but no one could find a match to Zinfandel within them. This was before the time of genome sequencing or DNA fingerprinting, so in the absence of effective technology to track down Zinfandel’s origin, various historians took a stab at the task.

Vineyard in Napa Valley, California

Solving the Mystery
One historian in particular, by the name of Charles L Sullivan, was able to figure out through extensive searching of records, that the Zinfandel vine was imported to the states in the 1820s from the Austrian Imperial Nursery. This was all that could be discovered at the time, though, and didn’t paint the full picture.

Just recently, in the early 1990s, DNA fingerprinting promised the potential to finally solve the mystery. It revealed that Zifandel was genetically identical to the Italian varietal Primativo, which was, as the time, somewhat obscure. This left some questions unanswered still, but eventually, it was discovered that Zinfandel and Primativo were also genetically identical to an almost unheard of and almost extinct Croatian varietal known as Crljenak Kastelanski, finally solving the mystery of Zin’s heritage, even if it didn’t quite answer how it got here (we will likely never know exactly how). It should be noted that despite the genetic identicalness, these three varietals have different flavor profiles by virtue of differences in vine vigor, cluster size and grape size.

Red and white wines

Zinfandel Today
Zinfandel has had many peaks and valleys in its popularity over the years, but today both red and “white” (actually pink) wines derived from the Zinfandel grape have a unique place in the wine world. Red Zinfandel in particular has a rich and robust profile while remaining fairly easy to drink, and pairs well with a variety of foods such as red meat, burgers, and even pizza! Old vine Zinfandel is especially prized and sought after, because older grape vines produce wines with more pronounced spice overtones.

So the next time you’re looking for a fun red wine with a taste as rich as it’s history, grab a bottle or three of the mysterious and uniquely American Zinfandel, and drink to good health!

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Correlation Between Wine and Dandruff?

Dandruff is a frustrating problem, as they come. Hair issues, in general, can be frustrating when your hair seems stubborn to change and remains damaged, dry, frizzy, or otherwise uncooperative no matter what you try. As far as hair and scalp problems go, though, dandruff is especially irritating because it causes severe itchiness in addition to gross, unattractive skin flakes falling off your hair and getting caught in it.

Woman unhappy with her hair.

Wine and Dandruff
There are a lot of potential causes for dandruff, but would you have guessed wine would be one of them? As it turns out, there is a link between wine consumption—and for that matter, alcohol consumption in general—and dandruff, because the alcohol in wine can dehydrate you, which can manifest in a lot of ways, including dryer, rougher skin in general, but one of the first and most prominently affected areas from alcohol dehydration is the scalp, and dandruff is a common result.

Waiter pouring red wine in a glass

How to Fight Dandruff and Still Enjoy Your Wine
The good news here is that you don’t have to swear off any kind of alcohol to prevent dandruff, you just may have to cut back a bit and take some other precautionary measures. Excessive drinking is dangerous for your health anyway, and can lead to alcoholism and liver issues at worst, heartburn and hangovers at best, so you really should be avoiding having way too much to drink anyway. For an average day, try making it an evening ritual to have one—two at the very most—glass of wine, either paired with dinner or on its own, and really take the chance to savor it. We’re not saying you can’t have a bit more (just use your best judgment) at parties and other social gatherings, but for your day-to-day, limit yourself. It will make that one glass be savored even more, and make those occasions where you do have more feel that much more special.

Woman drinking a glass of water.

Stay Hydrated
Always drink water when you consume anything alcoholic, and lots of it. A good rule of thumb is that for every drink (where a drink is one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of liquor) of an alcoholic beverage you imbibe, have a full eight ounce glass of water afterwards. Yes, you will have to go to the bathroom a lot, but let’s be honest, if you’re drinking, you’re going to be doing that anyway, right? That said, do be mindful of how thirsty you are, and never force yourself to drink if you’re not the least bit thirsty, as it can upset your electrolyte balance.

Woman sipping wine from a glass.

Try Red Over White
Additionally, consider drinking red wine more often over white wine. While anything alcoholic can contribute to a dry scalp, white wine and champagne are the biggest culprits here and the ones to be careful of. If you really like white wine, great, but maybe reserve it for an occasional treat. If you like to have a single glass of wine every day, make it a red one; reds are a good idea for health anyway as they have more antioxidants.

Woman shampooing her hair.

Shampoo Regularly
Finally, just shampoo regularly if you can (if you have very dry or curly hair, every single day may not be best, but keep it regular) and use an anti-dandruff shampoo if you do develop dandruff. If you’re staying hydrated, it probably won’t happen regardless, but sometimes genetic predisposition or other factors can complicate things.

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Zinfandel Fun Facts

You Probably know Zinfandel as a wine grape varietal that produces both a rich red with a unique character and robustness, and a sweet, crisp Rose with a similar—if lighter—character to its red counterpart. You might also think of the collection of luxurious, highly effective skin care products from Vine Vera. But how much do you really know about Zinfandel? As it happens, there are a lot of fun facts about the wine varietal that most people aren’t aware of, and today, Vine Vera’s here to go over them with you so you can wow your friends with intriguing trivia anecdotes the next time you pop open a bottle of Zinfandel.

Zinfandel grape growing in a vineyard.

Distinctly American
The earliest recorded instance of the name “Zinfandel” being used to refer to a wine was in an ad from 1832 for a Boston winery, meaning this varietal was truly born in the U.S.A.

Deep Roots
While the first recorded instance of a wine being referred to and sold as “Zinfandel” was in 1832, the vine itself originally came to the U.S. in the 1820s as cuttings brought over from an Austrian collection. Those cuttings, used to spawn the plants that would ultimately allow winemakers to create the stuff, trace their genetic ancestry back to Croatia.

Vineyard in California

Zinfandel originally became introduced to California through the gold rush. The vines took to the dry, sandy soil and hot, arid climate and thrived, making them a very popular grape among winemakers in gold rush areas at the time, and this legacy has continued to make Zinfandel a popular Californian treat go this day.

There Can Be Only One
A lot of people think that “White Zinfandel” is a unique varietal of grape distinct from the one used to make red Zinfandel. This is, however, a common misconception, and both Zinfandel and White Zinfandel come from the Zinfandel grape, the aging and production processes are simply different for the two different kinds of Zinfandel wine (specifically, the skins of the grapes are removed during fermentation when making white Zinfandel, and often, sugar is added to the finished wine).

Woman sipping on wine in a vineyard.

Older is Better
Older vines, that is. While some may prefer standard Zinfandel, “old-vine” Zinfandel is highly sought after, because the age of the vine will intensify spice and fruit flavors in the wine.

For the longest time, no one knew where Zinfandel came from, as it seemed to have just popped up mostly out of nowhere, earning it the title “mystery grape.” Recently, though DNA fingerprinting has solved this mystery, revealing that Zinfandel is actually genetically identical to Primativo and Crljenak Kastelanski grapes. Despite being genetic triplets, though, these three varietals are different enough to be discernible. Zinfandel has more vigorous vines and larger clusters than the other two, which creates a unique flavor profile.

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3D Printers, Next Level of Fashion?

If you follow technological developments at all (or maybe even if you don’t), you’ve probably heard of 3D printers by now. They’re pretty interesting little devices that can make just about anything if you give them the raw materials. They can make anything from toys to auto parts to crazy things like edible chocolate sculptures, all based on plans you can make or download from the Internet. They have immense applications in the future of science, medicine, and much more, so they’re pretty exciting little gadgets.

3D Printer printing a plastic ball.

But who would have thought these things might represent the ultimate future of beauty too? It might not have been something terribly obvious or predictable, but there are a few recent developments that seem to illustrate the true potential 3D printing might have for the beauty industry. Read on, as Vine Vera examines this exciting new idea.

Just last year, in an exciting and potentially historic first, a 3D printer successfully created a dress. Yes, that’s right, an entire dress. What’s more, it’s capable of making dresses custom-designed for a given person’s measurements, for the kind of perfect fit once only thought possible through alterations or clothes sewn to-order by tailors. The technology and process here is still in its infancy and not exactly viable commercially; the dresses this printer makes take a long time to be printed and cost a lot more than just buying a nice dress and getting it tailored, but it’s an exciting look at one direction that the manufacturing of our clothes might be taking in the future.

Making custom dresses isn’t all 3D printing can do for the beauty industry, though, it can also make custom-tailored makeup in colors the beauty industry has never seen before. Currently, it can be pretty difficult to find a foundation that really matches your skin tone perfectly, or to match up that idea in your head of a specific tint of pink lipstick you think would look great on you to an actual product. However, with recent advances and developments in 3D printing, it’s now becoming possible to choose whatever color of foundation, blush, eyeshadow, lipstick or more that you want to try, and have it printed for you.

Skin Care
We already hinted at this in a previous article, but what if you could load a few cartridges with certain skin care ingredients and print a custom blend designed to be perfect for what your skin needs that day? This could really simplify the way we handle skin care, and increase the benefit to each individual through a high degree of customization.

There’s so much 3D printing can do, it’s hard to imagine it couldn’t be adapted to more than it already is. Imagine if you could print out your own makeup brushes, for example, or even print your own jewelry for almost unlimited possibilities. Soon enough, your makeup, clothes, and accessories very well could be limited only by your imagination!

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Liquid Nose Jobs

Getting a “nose job,” the colloquial name for cosmetic procedures specifically targeted at the nose (known as rhinoplasty), can be transformative, and a big boost to self-confidence if the shape of your nose causes you a lot of grief. That said, surgery is scary, and even minor surgery like a nose job can have dangerous complications (they’re not exactly common, but they’re not to be taken lightly either). Vine Vera has already discussed the pros and cons of cosmetic procedures in general, and the gist of that applies to nose jobs as much as it does any other kind of procedure; they’re great if you need them for medical or self-esteem reasons, but should not be taken lightly.

Woman getting a nose job

So,  what if you like the sound of having your nose transformed and aren’t really happy with the shape of the one you’ve got, but aren’t ready to commit to painful, risky surgery just to correct for this issue?

Liquid Nose Jobs to the Rescue
Enter the “liquid nose job,” professionally called Liquid Rhinoplasty. This is an innovative option to consider that’s a lot less invasive than conventional rhinoplasty, because instead of using scalpels and sutures to modify the nose shape (which is painful, can lead to soreness, swelling, itchiness, and occasionally complications), it uses a syringe with injectable “fillers,” inert substances that can be used to change the shape of various features.

A Safer, Less Invasive Alternative
Liquid rhinoplasty has a lot of advantages over traditional rhinoplasty, and it’s definitely worth consideration before you resort to the other kind of nose job. You can expect the recovery time for liquid rhinoplasty to be relatively easy and quick, especially in comparison to conventional rhinoplasty.

Woman thinking of getting a nose job done

Not Perfect
All of that said, there are downsides to this approach, too. For one, the fillers used are usually temporary, and the results go away after anywhere between 6 months and 2 years. There are permanent fillers available, but they can cause problems with inflammation, so be careful. The temporary nature of the most commonly used features can be a good thing, in a way, because it can let you try out the results and decide if you like them, but it can also be quite a huge pain to have to keep going back every time your nose starts to regain its old shape. Further, liquid rhinoplasty is limited and can only do so much; it relies on the ability to add volume in strategic areas to subtly alter your nose shape in little ways. If you have a very prominent, large nose you want reduced, liquid rhinoplasty may not be able to help you, or at least not quite as much.

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