My New Look

Did you notice? I now have contact lenses! (As reflected in my avatar.) After years of wearing glasses all day long, I finally decided to get contacts. (By the way, many people thought with my glasses on I had a strong resemblance to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Personally, I didn’t see it, but I’m just passing along the info, LOL.)

I’ve often thought about how many people need glasses or contacts to help their vision, whether it’s for reading or for distance (driving, watching TV or a movie, etc.)

According to the Vision Council of America, about 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction. Of those, approximately 64% of them wear eyeglasses, and 11% wear contact lenses, either exclusively, or with glasses.

Over half of all women and about 42% of men wear glasses. Also, more women (18%) than men (14%) wear contacts. Of those who use both contacts and eyeglasses, 62% wear contact lenses more often, according to the Vision Council of America.

As for me, I still need to use glasses when I read. So I bought a few non-prescription reading glasses at my local drug store.

Remember, panelists, while you can’t record a visit to the eye doctor or an eye care center, you can record eyeglasses or contact lens solution/products purchased at a physical store or online.

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Let me know!

Have a great day!

Throw It On The Grill!

This weekend we’ll be having people over for a BBQ. I wasn’t sure what to make – we always have hot dogs, hamburgers, some chicken, and oftentimes ribs or other meat.

But this time I wanted something different. There are so many different things you can grill. As my husband always says regarding any type of food, “Just throw it on the grill!”

So I did some research and found a ton of unusual things to grill. Here’s just a small sampling.

According to popsugar.com:

  • Bananas (Slice firm bananas in half lengthwise, lightly coat with oil, then place on hot grates for a minute before serving over ice cream.)
  • Watermelon
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Brie (Place the cold cheese on indirect medium heat with the grill open for a 10 count, turning to create grill marks. Flip and mark the other side then serve with a baguette, which you can also slice and toast on the grill.)
  • Quesadillas
  • Frozen pizza

According to finecooking.com:

  • Cake (pound cake, that is)
  • Bread
  • Cocktails (grilling the herbs — such as mint, lavender, citrusy bergamot — for a few seconds coaxes out the herb’s floral qualities. Then just add it to your drink!)

What are some unusual things you throw on the grill? Let me know!

Whatever you may have at your next BBQ – from meat to paper goods and everything in between – don’t forget to record all these purchases.

Have a great weekend everybody!

 

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? Back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (that’s this Sunday, btw) as National Ice Cream Day. Thank you President Reagan!

I LOVE ice cream. So let’s talk about it!

According to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), an average American consumes 23 pounds of ice cream per year. (I sometimes think I eat that much in just a month!)

The IDFA recently conducted a survey and the results found that America’s top five flavors are the following:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Cookies N’ Cream
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip (my favorite!)
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What’s your favorite flavor? Let me know.

Now, according to The Nielsen Company, since consumers are becoming more health conscious, 68% of those they surveyed said they’re willing to spend more on foods and drinks that don’t contain “undesirable” ingredients. This means there’s been a surge in sales of ice cream brands that call themselves a “good source of protein,” “vegan,” “low glycemic,” and “contains sugar substitutes,” among other terms.

Consumers are increasingly moving toward non-diary varieties, which has seen the highest dollar sales growth than any other subcategory (49% increase compared with the prior year.), according to Nielsen.

But good old regular ice cream still leads the way, with $6.6 billion in sales for the year ended May 27, 2017.

Ice Cream Facts
We have to include some tasty facts from the IDFA!

  • About 1.54 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the U.S. in 2015.
  • The majority of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in business for more than 50 years and many are still family-owned businesses.
  • The ice cream industry in the United States contributes more than $39.0 billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs in communities across the country.

So make sure to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this Sunday. I know I will! And let me know what flavor you get.

Time To Get Away!

I can’t believe the year is (slightly) more than half over! Where does the time go?! So it’s time to start thinking about summer vacations!

My family usually tries to get away for a few days every summer. This year we’re going to Maine and perhaps visiting Acadia National Park. From what I’ve seen of it online, it’s simply beautiful!

While not everyone can go on a vacation, many people will do so this year, and they will end up spending a lot of money. According to marketwatch.com, Americans will spend a total of $101.1 billion on vacations this year, which is a 12.5% increase from 2016.

Some interesting vacation info from marketwatch.com: Generation Xers (those between the ages of 35 and 54) spend the most on a vacation, averaging $2,628 per person. Meanwhile, baby boomers only pay $1,865 on average, and millennials spend the least at $1,373.

According to marketwatch.com, 44% of Americans said they are confident that they will be able to take a trip this summer.

What about you? Are you able to get away this summer? (or at least have a nice, relaxing “staycation”?) If you are able to go away, where do you plan on going? Let me know!

Here are some nice family summer vacation locations (either within or close to the United States), according to usnews.com:

  • Ocean City, MD
  • Puerto Rico
  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • Niagara Falls
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • New York City
  • Bahamas
  • Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN
  • Vail, CO
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Boston, MA
  • Portland, OR
  • Jackson Hole, WY
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

And there are certainly hundreds of other great places to visit! So, if you have any suggestions for our readers, let me know!

Remember: So if you’re traveling and unable to record your purchases, please let us know by contacting the Panel Support Center by phone at 1-800-962-6700 or email support@ncponline.com.

If you’re an NCPMobile App user, you can continue to scan while away on vacation.

Have a great weekend!