End Summer Vacation with a Blast!

End Summer Vacation with a Blast!

How has your summer been?  Have you accomplished all the fun things you wanted to?  Or has it just gone by in a big blur and you really don’t know what happened?  Regardless, it’s not too late to end summer with a blast!  Even if your kids are back to school (or going soon), you can still enjoy the last month of typically hot summer weather.   For many kids, even though summer is shorter and school starting earlier (August 3rd anyone?), many of the sports and other extra-curricular activities haven’t started or at least haven’t reached their zenith of time consumption.  That makes August a great month to sneak in a little extra fun in the evenings and on weekends.  So, why not go out this year with a bang?  Make it an August to remember! What exactly can you still do?  It may be too late for a summer vacation, but I bet there are still some things you’d like to do left on your “bucket list.”  Or maybe there is something you have always wanted to do but never found the time or energy to get it together.  Have your kids been asking to do anything repeatedly?  Make a list of all the potential ideas and then survey your family – let them each pick out one they’d love to do the most.  If you have time, schedule them all, if not, write them down, put them in a jar and draw one.  Create a plan RIGHT away as to when you will do it.  If you can, draw again next week.  There are four full weeks...
Yes, you CAN eat healthy at Disney World!

Yes, you CAN eat healthy at Disney World!

Whew!  We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Disney World.  It was the shortest trip there we’ve ever taken – so short we flew and didn’t rent a car.  Which means we were totally dependent upon “The World” for all our food.  For a family that eats pretty well and mostly at home, that was a bit daunting. In particular, I was concerned about how we could possibly eat enough fruits and veggies and ignore fried food as much as possible.  Aside from a few exceptions, overall I think we did great.  Knowing so many of you want to hit Disney at some point with your kids, I’ll share what we learned: 1. Drink water.  Maybe this goes without saying but staying hydrated will make you feel better, you’ll be less likely to eat junk just because you think you are hungry and you’ll save a ton of money too!  Just walk up to any location in the parks that serve fountain drinks and ask for a cup of ice water.  They will happily give it to you for free – no need to lug bottled water around all day. 2.  Eat fruit and veggies every chance you get.  I was very impressed with how easy it was to get fresh fruit at all the Disney Parks.  Here is a perfect example:  The first morning we were at Animal Kingdom, and mid-morning my son was starting to drag.  I asked him if he wanted a snack, and he said yes, he would like strawberries.  REALLY? I figured there was no way – maybe I could find a fruit cup...
No need to be a hippy to make your own deodorant!

No need to be a hippy to make your own deodorant!

Making your own deodorant?  Pretty crunchy, right?  I thought so too, but actually it is pretty simple and a great way to reduce the chemicals you put on your skin.   As the largest organ, anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body.  Kinda scary when you stop to think about it.  I typically use Tom’s Deodorant – and probably will continue to in the summer, but this five-minute project is a great way to save some money (that stuff is EXPENSIVE) and will take care of your stinky needs most of the year. As I mentioned yesterday, Bergamot is a natural deodorant (among its many other terrific properties).  And it smells so good, I had to give this a try – I’ve had a recipe for homemade deodorant I found several years ago on Passionate Homemaking, but never got around to actually making it.  But adding Bergamot?  I’m in!  I tweaked the recipe a little and here is what I came up with: Homemade Bergamot Deodorant 6 T coconut oil 1/4 cup baking soda 1/4 cup arrowroot (or 12 – 16 drops Bergamot Essential Oil Step one:  Mix the baking soda, arrowroot and Bergamot into the coconut oil until well blended.   It should have the consistency of solid deodorant, and thanks to the Bergamot will smell delicious! Step two:  Scoop into a jar – I used a small jelly type jar with a wide mouth. Step three:  Dip your fingers into the jar and apply deodorant. Simple right?  But, does it work?  That’s the big question.  I wouldn’t share this recipe without actually testing...

How to find good, healthy food while traveling

I love to travel.  Tell me I get to plan a vacation, and I’m in heaven!  I love the sightseeing, the change in schedule, the chance to see new things and meet new people.  However, I’ve discovered that since we have changed our eating habits, eating while traveling can do a real number on me.  If I’m not careful I end up feeling awful and that is no way to enjoy a long anticipated trip! So, I’ve come up with a number of  solutions.  Today I thought I’d share with you some of my best.  Follow these and you’ll ensure you eat well (and stay healthy) while you travel. 1.  Plan ahead.  This is definitely the number one tip.  Before I take a trip, I spend a half hour doing a little research to find great places to eat, places to shop and even farmer’s markets to purchase fresh local produce.   Make sure you write down names, addresses and phone numbers – nothing is more frustrating than knowing you found something but not remembering where (been there, done that)  I’ll usually check the following sites: Local Harvest – great site for finding farmer’s markets, pick your own farms, restaurants, etc. Google search – simply type in the location and “healthy restaurants” and see what pops up Yelp and/or UrbanSpoon (I love the farm to table option at Urban Spoon – that’s MY kinda food!) 2.  Don’t eat every meal at a restaurant.  If you can, try to eat at least two meals a day in your condo or hotel room, or even as a picnic (by picking up some...
Exercise with your kids – for FREE!

Exercise with your kids – for FREE!

Tuesday I gave you the challenge to exercise with your kids this week. How did you do?  If you haven’t gotten it in yet, no worries, you still have the weekend. I’ve already shared a few reasons why you should try to do this everyweek, but not only are there benefits for you, there are benefits for your kids as well.  Childhood obesity is out of control these days (has been increasing in the last 20 years), and let’s face it, parents have some responsibility.  By teaching your children to eat well and exercise, you’ll help them maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle their entire lives.  Spending time together exercising also strengthens your relationships – and several recent studies have shown that kids with close relationships to their parents tend to do better in school, have fewer social issues and are just overall more successful. So  join them in exercising – you’ll have fun together AND be modeling healthy practices.  Here are some more fun ways for you to exercise together. 1.  Dance.  What kid doesn’t love to dance?  This is so easy, just put on some music and start to move!  I guarantee you’ll be laughing by the end of the session and having a blast! 2.  Take a nature hike.  Walks are great, but why not bump it up a notch and go for a little hike.  Even a small child can go for a short nature walk.  If you think your kid(s) will get bored, give them a list of things to look for – they’ll be so busy running around checking off their list they...

Another video – Make Easy Household Cleaners in seconds!

Sorry it’s a little shaky – we need a camera person!  Anyone? Pretty cool product isn’t it?  As promised, here is a link to purchase your own bottle of Organic Basic H2 so you can replace your cleaning products! As we mentioned in the video, one bottle makes a TON of product.  In fact, here are the conversions – it’s pretty darn amazing, and you SAW how little time it took to make a bottle: If you just made All purpose cleaner, ONE bottle of Basic H2 would give you  214  bottles (28 oz)! You’d make over 5,704 bottles (28 oz again) of window cleaner, or 36 bottles (28 oz) of degreaser. Quite a bargin if you ask me! Thanks Tammy for joining me – and don’t forget to check out her site  and her Facebook page, so you can get your own bottle, and learn more about all the Shaklee products!  ...

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