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Winter Solstice means sunny days ahead

Good news for the Northern Hemisphere, for the next six months days will get longer and brighter! Today, during Winter Solstice (6:12 am EST), the Northern Hemisphere was tipped as far away from the sun as it gets, so now daylight will begin to increase faster the farther north you go

The Science of solstice:
Varied seasons across the globe are possible because of the Earth’s axial tilt. As the Earth orbits the Sun, the axis stays pointed in one direction on the sky. So during the winter, the Northern Hemisphere is tipped away from sun. Thus, the Sun is lower in the sky; it heats the ground less efficiently; and days are shorter.

Photo credit: Dna-webmaster, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AxialTiltObliquity.png

No Doomsday, just sunnier celebrations ahead!
The middle of winter and brighter days is something to celebrate. It was for ancient cultures as well! While Winter Solstice is celebrated in numerous ways across the globe and by each culture, the Northern Hemisphere cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Resources: Slate.com; WashingtonPost.com; National Geographic

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Inside Coolibar

The season of thanks

This time of year we like to take a moment to give thanks. To start the conversation, we asked our friend Karl Dunbar, DL Coach for the New York Jets, to share what he’s thankful for. Join in our conversation on Twitter @Coolibar #Thankful, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coolibar.

“This year in NY with the Jets, we have had a lot of story lines but none bigger than being thankful no matter the circumstances. 

I look back on the year and I see a Nation moving forward. My son is finishing his first fall of college with a 3.75 GPA, and his team is playing in the New Orleans Bowl against East Carolina University. My girls are healthy and playing basketball at the local high school and doing well. My wife and I are doing better after the loss of her mother and the graduation of our son from high school. I don’t know which one was harder.

My Jets have had a tough season and last Monday we were eliminated from the playoffs after our loss to the Titans. My faith keeps me strong no matter what goes on outside of my control. 

I’m also thankful that Coolibar has teamed up with me to help protect people with sensitive skin and I’m hopeful this off-season we can get on the road and speak to young kids about having a positive self-esteem no matter what their circumstances are. Happy Holidays to all of our followers and God Bless.”

– Coach Dunbar

Share what you are thankful for. Join in our conversation on Twitter @Coolibar #Thankful, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coolibar, or comment below.

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Inside Coolibar

All I want is a Coolibar gift certificate!

Need a last minute gift idea? We’ve got one — a Coolibar Gift Certificate!

Coolibar gift certificates are a great way to say you care – and to let recipients select the sun protective clothing they want. Choose from six denominations ranging from $25 to $500. We can send them instantly via email or get it to you by postal mail.

Call 1-800-926-6509 to order your gift certificate today!

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Inside Coolibar

A trip down Coolibar Holiday Lane + Cookie Recipes!

The holidays are near and already here for some. There is much hustle and bustle in the Coolibar building: treats on the corner of every desk, talk of presents and of course the Coolibar holiday party! This year, our employees wanted to share their ways to get into the holiday spirit with you – including their favorite part of the holiday season, their ultimate gifting wish, and infamous holiday cookie and treat recipes!

Pat in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday season is spending more time with family and friends; and all of the beautiful lights and decorations.

If money was no object, I would give to Mary Jo Copeland of Sharing and Caring Hands – she is tops on my list if I ever win the lottery!

My Favorite Recipe is: Sweet and Saltine

40 saltine crackers

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup light brown sugar

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large jellyroll pan with alumi¬num foil and the saltine crackers.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly. Put the jellyroll pan into the oven and watch closely. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly. Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers. When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one big sheet. Break up into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Substitute graham crackers for the saltines for a sweeter snack. Use 1 stick of butter instead of 2 for a crunchier, saltier cracker.

Use anywhere from 35 to 45 saltine crackers, depending on the size of your pan.

I used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet once because that’s what I had on hand. They tasted great, too.

 

Alan in Marketing: My favorite part of the holiday season is getting out the Christmas decorations and decorating the house.  It is fun to remember who gave us the decorations, what we were doing at that time in our lives, and to prepare the house to make new Christmas memories.

If money was no object, I would give continued good health to my family.

My Favorite Recipe is: Cathedral Windows

1/4 cup butter

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 eggs, beaten

1 (10.5 ounce) package rainbow colored miniature marshmallows

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Melt together the butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir to blend, then stir in the eggs, colored marshmallows and pecans.

Pour the mixture into a 9×5 inch loaf pan, lined with foil. Dust with powdered sugar and refrigerate until firm.

Remove chilled dough from loaf pan, remove the foil, and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Cookies resemble stained glass windows. Note: pregnant women, young children, the elderly and the ill should not consume raw eggs.

 

Kara in Creative:

My Favorite Recipe is: Purist’s Lefse

5lbs White Russet Potatoes (yes, the type of potato is important).

Peel and cook. Mash whilst still warm, and add to the mash:

1 Stick of Butter

2 Tablespoons Sugar

2-3 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream

Cool mixture overnight. The NEXT DAY Add:

3 Cups of Flour to every 9 cups of potatoes.

Work flower in with hands.

Scoop out potato dough in balls slightly larger than a golf ball – approximately 1/3 cup. Keep the rest of the dough cool.

Roll out the ball of dough thin and round – use plenty of flour.

Bake on 450 degree griddle until brown spots appear – a couple of minutes. Pull off the grill and fold in half (use the flipper) and lay between 2 clothes (generally, cotton flour sack rags).

 

Kelly in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday season is decorating and attending fun events like the Holidazzle Parade, Macys display, seeing all the Christmas lights, etc.

If money was no object, I would buy my boyfriend Noah who is a chef this cookbook set he is dying to buy: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (over $500!)

My Favorite Recipe is: Special 7-Layer Bars

Preheat oven at 350 degrees –

¼ Cup Butter

Melt in the 9” X 13” pan in the oven

Place 1 can of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk into a bowl with hot water (do NOT open the can until later step) 

1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 Cup Coconut

1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Butterscotch Chips 

Add graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips (separate layers).

Pour warmed milk over the top.

Layer 1 cup of Heath brand toffee chips and then 1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans). Gently press the toffee chips and nuts into the milk layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Score the edges with still hot. Cut squares into the pan while still warm. Remove bars when completely cooled.

 

Chrissi in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday season is spending time with friends and family.       

I have a few friends who are working overseas with various organizations and have to raise support to be there. If money was no object, it would be awesome to be able to cover what they need to alleviate some stress and allow them to focus on their work. If money were no object, I would also buy everyone in Minnesota a shovel and some quality boots for shoveling your car out of the snow.

My Favorite Recipe is: Almond Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour, all-purpose

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1 1/2 teaspoons liquid butter flavoring

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 Almond glaze

 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup orange juice

3/4 cup sugar

Combine ingredients and beat with mixer 2 minutes.

Pour into 2 large or 5 small greased loaf pans.

Bake large loaves for 1 hr. and smaller ones for about 25 min. Or until brown. Cool 10 min and remove from pans.

To make almond glaze, mix ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Spoon glaze generously over tops and sides.

 

Ben in Merchandising: I love snowy pine trees during this time of year.

If money were no object, I would give free surgery to those most in need.

 

Jennifer in Marketing: My favorite part of the holiday season is being with friends and family.  I also love watching my loved ones open a gift that I have specially chosen for them, and they really love it.

If money was no object, I would give my mother a new car/truck. She needs something with 4 wheel drive to get through all the snow in ND.

My Favorite Recipe is:  the classic Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie and I still like to eat the dough.

 

Heather in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday is sitting around the tree on Christmas Eve with my family playing board games and sipping on hot chocolate.

My Favorite Recipe is: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies. You have to use the chocolate stars, not the chocolate kisses. 😉

Happy Holidays from all of us at Coolibar!

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What's Hot

Coolibar Holiday Gift Guide

Destination holiday — living healthy and giving healthy. At Coolibar we have a gift-worthy idea — sunwear to go everywhere and do anything! We have sun protective clothing, sun hats, UV swimwear, sun shelters, UPF 50+ umbrellas and skin care perfect for women, men and children, all items for those who love spending time under the sun! Take a look and share our gift guides with your family and friends to drop the hint.

Shop Coolibar.com. Search Coolibar.com for your gifts by name.

Questions? Call 1.800.926.6509

Enter our contest to win a Coolibar UPF 50+ Titanium Beach Umbrella and Sand Anchor (a $100 value)! Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift. Visit our contest page for details.

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Events SunAWARE

The Stars Come Out to Support Melanoma Research Foundation

Celebrity Kevin Nealon, star of Showtime’s hit series Weeds and long time Saturday Night Live actor hosted the first annual Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday, November 12 at Lakeside Golf Club in Los Angeles. The golf tournament helped raise funds for the MRF, helping further cancer research with the goal of one day finding a cure.

Kevin became involved with the MRF after his old college friend pasted away from skin cancer. Kevin says, “I never realized that skin cancer can be deadly. Since then, I’ve learned that melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills someone in this country every hour of every day. Alarmingly, it is not only the fastest growing cancer in young adults but the fastest growing cancer in the world.” Now, he’s working to spread the word about melanoma and skin cancer prevention.

Learn more at the Melanoma Research Foundation’s website. Also, check out photos from the event below.

Melanoma Research Foundation is the largest and oldest non-profit focusing specifically on melanoma. We are in our 14th year of funding cutting-edge medical research, and are the leading voice in providing support and education for patients. MRF is also a major source of awareness messages about melanoma, and is in its third year of a partnership with Cosmopolitan Magazine around their Practice Safe Sun program. Other strategic partners around raising awareness include a multi-national pharmaceutical company, a major motion picture studio and a team from the NFL.

We at Coolibar salute you Kevin Nealon and your fight for skin cancer prevention! P.S. You looked great in your Coolibar polo!
 

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Events SunAWARE

Living with Lupus

While sun protection is important for everyone, many individuals who have medical conditions are threatened with worsening symptoms when exposed to the sun. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans. It also causes extreme sun sensitivity.

While most of those affected only have a mild form of lupus, others may develop serious and even life threatening problems. Joints, blood cells and organs can all be affected by this disease. Our friends at The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (LFM) estimate that more than 90% of people living with lupus are women, and that symptoms and diagnoses occur most often when women are in their child bearing years between the ages 15 to 45.

There are three common types of lupus: discoid (cutaneous) lupus, which is always limited to the skin; systemic lupus, which can affect every organ in the body; and drug-induced lupus which occurs after the use of certain drugs. Lupus also occurs frequently in individual diagnosed with mixed connective tissue.

According to the LFM, for the vast majority of people with lupus, effective treatment can minimize lupus symptoms, reduce inflammation, and maintain normal body functions. Photosensitivity is a major feature of both systemic lupus and cutaneous lupus. Exposure to the sun can cause skin lesions, including a malar rash — flattened areas of red skin on the face. When the rash appears on both cheeks and across the bridge of the nose in the shape of a butterfly, it is known as the “butterfly rash.” UV exposure can also trigger flares of internal disease (including joint pains and fatigue). Medications are often prescribed for people with lupus, depending on which organs are involved, and the severity of involvement. Many lupus medications (including tetracycline antibiotics) significantly increase sun sensitivity.

Because the characteristics and course of lupus may vary significantly among individuals, it is important to emphasize that a thorough medical evaluation and ongoing medical supervision are essential to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota is an independent organization that focuses on funding lupus research and serving those in Minnesota and neighboring states. As a non-profit charitable organization, LFM provides education, support and service to those affected by lupus, promotes awareness and understanding of lupus to others, and supports research that seeks to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus as well as to discover its cause and cure. Learn more about events during Lupus Awareness Month this May by visiting the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota’s website.

At Coolibar, we create clothing that offers the best sun protection possible for individuals living with lupus. We hope that by raising awareness of this disease and other diseases directly affected by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, we can create greater support for affected individuals and organizations like the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.

Don’t live in Minnesota, but want more information or assistance? The Lupus Foundation of America also provides support for individuals living with lupus.

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Inside Coolibar

History buffs: Do you know the orgin of the Panama Hat?

A Panama Hat is a reference to the straw material it is made from, not the country of Panama. The hat is made from the carludovica palmate plant, which grows in the coastal lowlands of Western South America. Ecuador began producing the Panama hat as early as 1630!

During the California Gold Rush, individuals traveled through the Isthmus of Panama and purchased the Panama hats there. Purchasers told interested buyers that they were bought in Panama, rather than mentioning that they were actually made in Ecuador, and the “Panama Hat” was born. Later, when Theodore Roosevelt visited the Canal, he wore a Panama hat which increased its popularity and reinforeced its name.

When shopping for a Panama Hat you’ll notice a variety of colors and costs, sometimes reaching greater than $150. The single most important factor in determining the value of a Panama Hat is the fineness of the weave. Two other important factors include the evenness of the weave and the color of the straw. Traditionally, all Panama Hats are hand-blocked by a tejedor (weaver), which is a slow and laborious process. Afterwards, clear sizing material is used to coat the hat, which stiffens the straw and helps the hat keep its shape. Panama Hats vary in production time and a coarser woven hat may take a few hours whereas finer hats may take up to 5 months to weave!

There are many styles of Panama Hats, but the most common are: Classic Fedora, Plantation, and Optimo. Coolibar’s take on the Panama hat is inspired by the classic Australian outback hat which features a wider brim for better sun protection.

Shop Coolibar Panama Hats

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Contests Events SunAWARE

Show Your SunAWARE Side to Win!

Tell us, or better yet, show us how you are SunAWARE year ’round for a chance to win a wide brim hat!

Ladies, we’ve set aside the very popular Oceanside Sun Hat with a glamorous 8″ brim for this contest. Fellas, you could win our Beach Comber Sun Hat, which features a chin cord and 4″ brim. Both hats boast UPF 50+ sun protection!

To Enter:

1. “Like” Coolibar on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/coolibar (If you’ve already done this move on to step 2, and thanks for being a fan!).

2. For one (1) entry, comment on our Facebook wall and tell us how you are SunAWARE year round. If you post a photo demonstrating your SunAWAREness AND comment in your photo caption, we’ll give you three (3) entries!  IMPORTANT: use the hashtag #contest and mention @Coolibar in your comment so we know to enter you in the drawing. You may only enter a photo or comment once. Additional photos and comments will not increase your chances of winning.

It’s that easy!

We’ll announce our winners next Friday, November 9, 2012. Good luck!

Click this photo to visit our Facebook page:

Rules: To enter, you must be 18 years of age or older. Contest open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. The winner will receive either the Coolibar Oceanside Sun Hat (one size, black/white) or the Coolibar Beach Comber Sun Hat (size L/XL, brown/natural). Winner will be chosen through random drawing. Comments and photos deemed inappropriate by Coolibar, or not owned by the posting individual, will be deleted and disqualified. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Three entries per person. Contest rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar. Deadline for entry: November 8, 2012 at 11:59pm CST.

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Wellness Warriors

Life Lessons from Coach Karl Dunbar

NY Jets Defensive Line Coach, Karl Dunbar, has lived with vitiligo since the 7th grade. In case you don’t remember, being different in the 7th grade is a big deal. Vitiligo is a chronic disease that causes a loss of pigment in the skin and can be treated but not cured and has helped shape Coach Dunbar into the man he is today.

Now, Dunbar lives his life with passion and understands that he is defined by what he does, not by how he looks…and this guy has done a lot. Karl embodies the message of acceptance in his every day life since his “difference” is always on display to the outside world –a valuable life lesson for us all to remember.

As a role model for those living with vitiligo or any limiting medical condition, Coach Dunbar sheds some light from his own experiences.

1. How has living with Vitiligo defined you as a person?

I feel as if Vitiligo hasn’t defined me, but I have defined it. Vitiligo doesn’t stop me from doing anything I want to do but in some instances it open doors for me because it’s an ice-breaker.

2. At what age did you realize that what you do is more important than how your look?

Early in my life, I realized that people judged books by their covers and not their content, so I knew that actions speak louder than words, so I always tried to do what was right.

3. Was there a single defining moment when it became clear to you what you were meant to be doing? What was that moment?

When I was a young Coach, I figured that God put me here for a reason and I started to seek that reason. As I got closer to Him, he made it clear, that I was here to mentor young men and women and help them be happy with who they are and not what others think of them. The moment was 1998 and I was a first year coach at Nicholls State in Thibodeaux LA. I started a players Bible Study with Josh Higgins. Josh and I are still friends and he’s over Chi-Alpha at LSU now.

4. Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up, when your dreams seemed impossible?

I don’t think of giving up now because I’m stronger, but when I was younger, I thought of giving up every day. I hated the way people looked at me and stared at me. Once I became happy with me, the stares were welcomed. I just said to myself that they were looking at a beautiful piece of art (that God made). My dreams never seemed impossible to me because it wasn’t about how I looked. It was about my ability.

5. What is your personal philosophy on how to live with your skin condition? 

My philosophy on how to live with my skin condition is to love you first, and then others will. It’s hard for others to love us when we don’t love ourselves. We put off negative vibes. I like the saying by Terrell Owens “I love me some me.”

6. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

My proudest moment in my career to this point is the six years I spent in Minnesota and the men I helped mentor as a coach and a person. The next chapter is now in New Jersey with the Jets.

7. What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?

My proudest personal moment is helping my wife raise our kids to be great people – an accomplishment that’s a lifelong labor of love.

8. What do you teach your children about living with vitiligo?

My kids grew up with me having vitiligo, so it wasn’t until they were 9 or 10 years old when I explained to them what it was. The thing that I hope they learned from all the talks we had is whether or not a person becomes your friend shouldn’t depend on how they look or what they have, but on how they treat you (actions/content).

9. What do you want others to remember, when they are going through a difficult time and feel like giving up?

When people are going through difficult times, the one thing I hope they would remember is the only power people have over you is what you give them. I’ve always believed in something greater than me and that’s God.

Coach Dunbar

P.S. The Dunbars are all safe. Witnessed a lot of destruction, but the crews are busy at work. Lets go NJ and NY!

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