Posts — Page 4 of 12 — Stella Nadene | Health + Wellness for Working Moms
4 Ways Your Bad Health Habits are Hurting You Right Now

4 Ways Your Bad Health Habits are Hurting You Right Now

Collaborative post.

When looking at health, happiness, and overall wellness, implementing better lifestyle choices is crucial. This doesn’t just mean doing more of the things that you should do, but also looking at the habits that could be causing you harm. Because those bad health habit risks have the potential to majorly hurt you in the long run. Here’s how.

 

the ways your bad health habits are hurting you

 

Health risks

 

The most obvious risk of the habits mentioned above is that they all come with significant health risks. The risk of chronic disease like heart disease, liver disease, and cancer are all very well publicized, but there are risks that aren’t quite as often explored. For instance, drinking alcohol is well known to have a negative impact on your sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to greater stress, weight gain, and even back or joint pain. If you are ever considering quitting a bad habit, it’s worth simply taking a look at how your health could benefit, not only in decreasing the risk of something seriously going wrong but how it might improve your general sense of wellbeing, too.

 

Money risks

 

Improving your financial situation can help improve your wellness in a variety of ways. The less debt, the less stress. The more you have for your budget, the more you can invest in healthy foods. However, habits such as smoking, and drinking can have a profound impact on your budget, as well. The increased expenses can lead to money worries, which will only have more of a negative effect on your mood and wellbeing.

 

Legal risks

 

There aren’t too many legal risks when it comes to drinking too much coffee or smoking. However, with alcohol, those risks can not only get you in legal trouble, they can endanger your physical safety, too. Driving under the influence, for instance, is one of the leading causes of arrests on the roads as well as serious traffic collisions. Your DUI defense can help you mitigate the financial impact by helping mount a case for you. However, it still costs money to mount a defense. Not everyone who enjoys a drink will drive under the influence, of course, but it’s a risk worth taking seriously.

 

Family risks

 

Your bad habits could affect your family in a wide variety of ways. First of all, some of them can influence your behavior, whether it’s directly like alcohol or if it’s by causing you stress or sleep deprivation. Others can make your family worry for your long-term health. Failing to listen to those worries can strain communication in your relationship as well. Take a look at this case study of how quitting bad habits for a year had a profound positive impact in the relationships of the reader to see how yours might be holding your family back.

Almost everything works in moderation, but when it comes to the habits mentioned above, taking a little time away from them entirely can help you make a significant difference in your life for the better. Might now be the time to quit?

 

Know someone that has bad health habits that are hurting them? Please SHARE this post!

 

Are your bad health habits adding up? Here's 4 ways they could be hurting you right now, and how to know when you've gone too far. #health #healthhabits #healthyhabits #healthylifestyle

 

3 Tips for Surviving the Wrong Crowd Phase With Your Teen

3 Tips for Surviving the Wrong Crowd Phase With Your Teen

The words ‘wrong crowd’ are any pre-teen or teen parent’s worst nightmare. You know how it goes; your child brings a friend home, and you get an instant bad feeling. There’s something about this kid you don’t like. They avoid eye contact and have a dark look about them. Sure enough, more kids who put you on edge start to turn up after that. Before you know it, the child you knew and loved has turned into someone you barely recognize. You guessed it; they’ve gotten in with the wrong crowd.

Your first instinct may be to put a stop to things. Think back to your young years first, though. Would you have stopped hanging out with someone because your mom told you to? Of course not. If anything, reacting this way will push your kid further into the arms of those bad influences. Still, not doing anything isn’t an option, either. If you let things slide, these people could impact your child’s future.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to stop that from happening. 

tips for surviving the wrong crowd for your teen


Keep their school work on track



Friends come and go, but grades last forever. The trouble is, school work often takes a backseat when cool friends come along. If you take your eye off this ball, then, even a brief time in the wrong crowd could alter the course of your child’s life. To make sure it doesn’t, do what you can to keep their school work on track. You may not be able to dictate who they hang out with, but you can keep them inside until they finish their homework.



Be there for them



During experiences like these, it isn’t unusual for child and parent to become distant. You may pull back because you don’t like the way your child is acting They may pull back because they think you’re down on their friends. The result is that your child feels this bad crowd is the only thing they’ve got. That’s not good.

Instead of pulling away, then, be there for your child as you always have been. Even if this crowd gets them into legal trouble, take the effort to find a criminal defense lawyer to review your case and clear their name. Whatever you do, make sure they know that you support them. By being there, you can bet they’ll turn to you when that bad crowd loses its glamour.

 

Offer them alternatives



As we’ve already stated, telling your child not to hang out with someone won’t work. What you can do is offer alternative friendships. Have other moms bring their kids around for coffee dates when you know your kid will be home. Encourage them to join local groups which increase their confidence. More often than not, teens get into the wrong crowd because they feel they have no other choice. By showing your child their options, you could stop that cycle before it does any real damage.

 

Know someone that could use help with navigating through their teen being in with the wrong crowd? Please SHARE this post!

 

Think your teen's in with the wrong crowd? Check out these 3 tips and parenting advice on how to navigate and survive this tumultuous time with your teen or preteen. #parenting #momlife #teens

6 Often Overlooked Safety Tips for New Parents

6 Often Overlooked Safety Tips for New Parents

Collaborative post.

Babies and young children like to explore the world with their hands or by sticking things in their mouth which is why babyproofing is an important thing to get sorted before your child is born. There are a lot of obvious things you need to do around the house like keeping all of the drawers in the kitchen locked up so they can’t get at anything sharp or putting a gate on the stairs so they can’t fall.

But those are only a few of the many dangers around the house. There is an endless list of things that babies and young kids can hurt themselves with and a lot of people end up missing a couple. These are the safety tips for new parents that you probably never thought of.  

 

6 often forgotten safety tips for new parents

 

The Bathroom

 

Your child isn’t going to be using the toilet on their own for a while so most new parents don’t pay too much attention to the bathroom when they’re making the house safe. But even if they’re not using the toilet, there’s always the chance that they could get into the bathroom so you still need to protect them from all of the dangers in there. This home childproofing guide has some great advice on making the bathroom safe for kids. You need to watch out for any cleaning chemicals, particularly bleach. If they’re in a cupboard at floor level, make sure that it’s secured so kids can’t get into it.

 

The TV

 

The TV is another thing that people often forget to make safe. But if a child gets hold of it and pulls it off a shelf, it can do a lot of damage. You might be better off just mounting it to the wall where it’s out of their reach or keeping it in a locked TV cabinet when you’re not using it.

 

Family Pets

 

Having a family pet is very good for your child’s development. It’s also a great way to help the family to stay active. But you’ve got to be careful when the children are very young. Some pets might get carried away with their playing and could end up accidentally hurting a child. It’s important that you never leave young kids along with pets and always teach them how to approach them in a gentle way so they don’t upset your pet.

 

The Temperature

 

A new baby is very sensitive to temperature and if they’re not comfortable, they might be restless and have trouble sleeping. Most parents are a bit unsure of what temperature is best for babies; it all depends slightly on each baby but as a general rule, you should keep the temperature somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees. If you notice that the baby is getting restless and you can’t work out why, consider adjusting the temperature or adding and taking away blankets to see if they calm down.

 

Sharp Corners

 

Once babies start walking, they have a new way to explore their environment and they’ll be running about all over the place. They’re going to bump into things now and again so you need to make sure that there isn’t anything that can hurt them. The pointed corners on furniture are a particular problem but there’s an easy fix for that. Simply get some foam edges to put on there so they’re soft. This greatly reduces the baby getting seriously injured if he or she catches a corner.

 

An Emergency Plan

 

Even if you take all of the necessary precautions and you remember all of these smaller details, kids might still find a way to injure themselves. That’s why it’s so important that you have an emergency plan in place if somebody does get hurt. Keep the necessary emergency numbers on hand so you can call for help right away. It’s also worth keeping the babysitter’s number there as well in case you need to take one of the kids to the hospital and you need somebody to look after the other kids.

 

A lot of the time, injuries aren’t going to be that serious and there won’t be any need to go to the hospital. You just need to make sure that you’ve got a proper first aid kit to hand with antiseptics and a few bandages so you can deal with any minor bumps and scrapes that they might get.

 

As a parent, you’re never going to get everything right and kids are going to end up hurting themselves sometimes. It’s just a part of parenting that you’ll have to learn to live with. But you can avoid any serious disasters if you remember all of these safety tips.

 

Know someone that could use help with setting up safety measures for their little ones? Please SHARE this post!

 

6 safety tips for new parents, to babyproof the house for babies and small kids. #2 I had never even thought of! #childsafety #baby #kidsactivities #momlife

Going Green At Home: Why It Can Ensure Your Family’s Future

Going Green At Home: Why It Can Ensure Your Family’s Future

As a parent, you want the best for your family. Having an eco-friendly home is more than just taking care of the planet; it is about securing your family’s wellbeing in the future. Sustainability in the home is quickly becoming a must for homeowners. In fact, a recent Texas-based study revealed that homes that are green certified can expect a 6 percent hike in home resale price or $25,000 increase in their value.

More homeowners are moving to renovate their homes with sustainability in mind and on the flip side, more buyers are moving to consider it a part of their criteria when viewing homes.

So with all this recent attention, why is an eco-friendly home so important? What benefits does it add to your home, your health and your larger environment? Most importantly, how can you make the swap without breaking the bank? Read on to find out all about eco-friendly living at home and what you may be missing.

mega benefits of an eco friendly home

Why pursue sustainability

 

Having an eco-friendly home has many benefits, both in the short and long term. Besides contributing to the upkeep of the wider environment, it is incredibly cost effective. With ever increasing energy prices and the dwindling of natural resources across the globe, taking actions to minimize the impact on the environment and your wallet. Along with proving cheaper in the long run, adding eco-friendly features to your home can also mean less maintenance in the future. Using green materials in your home can lengthen your home’s lifespan and strengthen its durability.

It increases the value of your home

 

Of course, another benefit of an eco-friendly home is the increased property prices. Many studies across America have shown an increase in the resale value and appeal to buyers. With the public becoming more conscious of the environment, they are making it a priority as they house shop.

In the study by the University of Texas and U.S Green Building Council, it was shown that homes built between the years 2008 to 2016  experienced an 8% increase in resale value if they were built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) specifications. The Washington Post also states that new build homes with energy and sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more while existing homes with added certifications fetched 30 percent more.

Further supporting the sustainability trend, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study in 2010 revealed that solar-powered homes sold 20 percent faster.

Safer for you and your family

 

Finally, eco-friendly building materials place a lot of emphasis on being healthier alternatives in terms of you and your family’s health. Conventional materials can be prone to mildew and sometimes contain harmful toxins. Having a sustainable home means ensuring your future. If you are considering adding such features into your home, either from scratch or as a remodel, there are endless options to get started today.

 

Make simple energy swaps

 

One of the simplest swaps for homeowners to go green and embrace the sustainability bandwagon is to look at your energy usage at home. Swaps such as including LED bulbs and Energy Star fixtures in your home can save as much as $75 each year and uses 25percent to 80 percent less energy than traditional lighting options. In terms of maintenance and replacements, LED bulbs last 3-25 times longer. If you wish to go further, consider energy efficient appliances.

Consider alternative materials

 

Aimed at those looking to build an environmentally friendly home (or upgrade), take a look at sustainable building materials such as prefabricated timber, bricks or concrete for your home building plans. For heat efficient windows, triple glazed glass and doors for ultimate insulation efficiency. When you are looking at insulation materials, sheep’s wool or cellulose are great options and are both biodegradable. Finally, in terms of roofing, there are options such as corrugated roofing or standing seam metal roofing, which is 100 percent recyclable and can last up to 50 years. A certified LEED builder or designer should be able to give you all the information you need on alternative environmentally friendly materials available to you.

Be mindful of your water usage

 

Finally, take a second look at your water usage. Small switches such as swapping out your old shower-heads for low flow models are quick and simple while other measures such as rethinking your irrigation can save you up to 40 percent of water. You can utilize additions such as a rain barrel or a grey water system to reuse water that goes down your drain for other things such as watering your plants.

In the kitchen, the use of a water filter can reduce your reliance on bottled water and avoids the use of plastics in the home. Aerators on the shower-heads and faucets can reduce water usage by up to 50 percent and best of all, they cost just a few dollars. With such budget-friendly prices and savings on your water bills, your bank account will be thanking you. The changes don’t need to be large for you to see the benefits.

It is no secret that people across the world are becoming more environmentally conscious and with good reason. Whether you start small or plan a total overhaul, embracing an eco-friendly home is a great investment in not only the Earth’s future but you and your family’s as well. With so many simple ways to make the swap and proven benefits, why not get started today?

 

Know someone that would like to know the benefits of an eco friendly home? Please SHARE this post!

 

Thinking of making your home more green or eco friendly? Check out these mega benefits plus tips of how to go more earth friendly in your home now! #home #ecofriendly #green

6 Sweet and Spooky + Surprisingly Savory Healthy Halloween Snacks

6 Sweet and Spooky + Surprisingly Savory Healthy Halloween Snacks

Your kids are begging to stuff their faces with candy for 4 straight weeks. You want a healthy alternative that’s just as fun as 18 new colors of candy corn. So strike up a candy compromise with some healthy Halloween snacks leading UP to the big night and days after that the candy actually survives the daily rabid parental raid. 😬

This is an awesome way to spend some quality time with the kiddos–creating fun healthy Halloween snacks that’ll hold off the sugar coma a little longer! Hey, you may even want to add this to your Fall Bucket List next year!

So here are 3 spookily sweet and 3 surprisingly savory Halloween treats to help hold off on truck loads of candy at least a little longer!

 

healthy halloween snacks

 

Sweet:

 

Banana Ghosts

Ingredients: You need bananas and mini chocolate chips

1.Cut bananas to desired height

2. Push in mini chocolate chips for eyes and mouth

3. Assemble on plates, then enjoy!

 

banana ghosts healthy halloween treats snacks

Bonus–dip banana ghosts in yogurt or coconut flakes for extra flavor!

 

Strawberry Ghosts

 

strawberries, cereal, chocolate chips in bowls in a kitchen

Ingredients: Strawberries (medium to large size), white chocolate melts, mini chocolate chips, cheerios

 

 

1.Melt white chocolate melts until like liquid

2. Dip each strawberry in white chocolate and then turn upside down on plate to cool

3. Push chocolate chips in for eyes, and a cheerio for the mouth before the white chocolate cools too much

4. Put in fridge to firm up white chocolate

 

Spooky Cutout PB + J Sandwiches

 

halloween sandwiches on white plate

bread, jelly, peanut butter, halloween cookie cutters

 

Ingredients: Whole grain white bread, cookie cutters (I found these at Hobby Lobby and can’t locate the same brand on Amazon, but I’ll keep looking), strawberry jelly or spread, peanut/almond/nut butter

 

 

1.Use the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes of the skeleton head on 2 pieces of bread

2. Flip the cutter over and use the other side, lined up on the bread, to cut out the eyes and mouth pieces on only once piece of bread

3. On the piece you didn’t cut eyes out of, spread your peanut/almond/nut/seed butter and then spread the strawberry jelly on top of that

4. Place the piece on top with the eyes cut out

 

And then marvel at your yummy, but creepy, creations!

 

Savory:

 

Spider Crackers

 

 

Ingredients: Round crackers (we used gluten free ranch flavored), square sliced cheese (we used Colby jack), pretzel sticks (again–gluten free), cream cheese, black olives that are sliced (or slice your own)

Tools: cutting board, round cookie cutter about the same size as your cracker, serrated knife

1.Cut circles out of cheese slices (as many as you need–1 or more per spider)

2. Spread a dallop of cream cheese on bottom of cheese circle to stick to cracker, then stick them together

3. Spread another dallop of cream cheese on top of cheese circle

4. Cut pretzel sticks in half to have 8 ‘legs’, then place them around the top of the crack and cheese so that the ends of the legs are stuck in the cream cheese (it’ll hold them in place

5. Put another dallop of cream cheese on one side of another cracker, and place that cracker–cream cheese down–on top of the spiders legs, and gently push it down so they’re all stuck together

6. Use cream cheese on one side of each of 2 black olive slices to stick the olives to the top of the top cracker for the spider’s eyes

 

making a cracker spider halloween healthy snack

 

Candy Corn Pizza

 

girl kid eating slice of pizza

 

 

Ingredients: Pre-made pizza crust (or make your own dough–we did because we needed gluten free), tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, shredded orange cheddar, shredded mixed cheese (like a Mexican blend so when it melts it comes out more yellow

 

 

1.Spread sauce lightly on your pizza dough

2. Spread the mixed cheese in a ring around the outside of the dough

3. Spread the orange cheddar in a ring, touching the mixed cheese but leaving a circle in the middle

4. Spread the mozzarella in a circle in the middle of the pizza dough (the general pattern will look like a target)

5. Bake as directed from your dough package or recipe

 

 

6. Slice into pie-shaped wedges

 

cheese pizza and sauce

 

Marvel at your pizza that actually looks like candy corn! (SUPER easy dinner idea, you guys!)

 

Eyeball Tomato Soup

 

eyeball tomato soup halloween

 

olives, mozzarella, tomato sauce

 

Ingredients: Tomato soup (plain or with herbs that float around), mozzarella balls (the super tiny kind–sometimes have to look in the fancy deli/cheese section at the grocery store), green olives that are sliced (or slice your own)

 

 

1.Place one sliced olive per mozzarella ‘eyeball’–stack them and try to push together to make them stick

2. Gently place in hot tomato soup

3. Serve!

 

eyeball tomato soup halloween

 

 

Bonus: This eyeball soup is especially good with crackers to dip, OR–pair with the candy corn pizza and dip your pizza in!

 

 

Know someone that would love to make some healthy Halloween snacks and treats? Please SHARE this post!

 

6 scary simple healthy halloween snacks for kids or for adults that are perfect for afternoon treats or even for school! Easy enough for kids to do! #halloween #halloweenfoods #halloweenfun

Get Spectacularly Spooked + Fed By Your Kids With the Raddish Halloween Box!

Get Spectacularly Spooked + Fed By Your Kids With the Raddish Halloween Box!

My 5 year old noise-box smacks the orange vanilla icing and sprinkles off her fingers while the 11 YO takes the next sheet of piping hot cookies of the the 325 degree oven. Fresh shortbread fills the kitchen as our substitute for Chocolate Creature Halloween Cookies. But only because the 9 YO has a small chocolate allergy. How did I get these little monsters to make their own cookies? Uhh, only the best idea in LIFE SKILLS U ever! (You know, besides Etiquette School.)

 

halloween cookies on cookie sheet

 

Honestly I love my kids learning to cook–but when it can be combined with healthy eating AND Halloween? Trifecta, baby! So Raddish has continued to excite the squiddly outta my 9, 11, and 5 YO’s. Especially with the Halloween box this month!

 

get your kids to love learning to cook

 

If you’re not familiar, Raddish is a monthly subscription box that comes with recipes, a tool for cooking, a patch for each month’s theme, and really a ton of other stuff. My kids are so dang excited when this comes in the mail! And October’s box? Halloween! (duh.)

 

raddish kids cooking box halloween

 

So obviously I love that these boxes are so fun for the kids–but what I really love is that Raddish has taken a real life skill that I believe every kid should learn, and made it interesting before throwing the ‘boring lessons’ at them. Kids first see the fun stuff they can make, the cool tools and patch that come in the mail once a month, and generally a giant mess they have full permission to make while learning how to feed themselves as fully grown humans.

 

>>>Ready to try it out?? Head on over and enter code SJVR7X at checkout to get $10 off!<<<

 

raddish halloween box recipe cards

 

The three recipes included in the Halloween box are ‘eye-popping tomato soup‘ (which we plan to make in the upcoming weeks before Halloween), chocolate creature cookies (featured in this post as a variation), and creepy crawler spider sliders (which clearly are just sliders and fries, but look how adorbs they are all assembled with olives for the eyeeeeesssss!!)

 

 

Another thing I luv, luv, LUV is that they make it super easy to shop by giving a separate shopping list for each recipe. But also–each box comes with these sweet little ‘table talk’ cards to have some dinner conversations that the kids can moderate. The 9 YO especially likes this since her apparent life ambition is to be a dictator of whatever she wants.

 

raddish halloween box cookie cutters bat and cat

 

But the cards also include culinary and kitchen skills in cute little emoji circles that they can check off as they complete them.

 

 

There are also a TON of other resources on the site, like lesson plans for all different age groups. This helps your kiddos learn about the actual cultures of the themed country’s food you’re cooking for the month–which the kids find totally fascinating. Especially when it includes weird rituals. Or fancy hats.

 

 

And even though these bats and cats may not be recognizable, I can promise you the sweet shortbread, crunchy sugary sprinkles, and happy kiddos make the hard work and messy kitchen totally worth it!

 

>>>Ready to try it out?? Head on over and enter code SJVR7X at checkout to get $10 off!<<<

 

Know someone that would like an awesome way to get their kids cooking? Please SHARE this post!

 

Want your kiddos to learn to cook? Whether they're being resistant or ready to jump in headfirst, this is THE way to get them going! #kidscooking #kidsactivities #momlife

15 Perfect Halloween Flicks for Movie Night this October

15 Perfect Halloween Flicks for Movie Night this October

You know what’s sadder than not being able to trick or treat because of rain on Halloween? Probably Halloween being in the middle of the week. Meaning: no grown-up parties ON Halloween!! (I’m assuming said grownups have to work the next day…) But whether or not you’re Halloween is on the perfect day during the perfect weather, your family can totally have an appropriately spooky movie night with these 15 family Halloween movies!

I so love doing this, because the weather (usually) has cooled down a little–sometimes enough to even build a fire in our fire-pit, which is on our Fall Bucket List! And we just pop some popcorn, get out our Halloween goodies we’ve been making, and snuggle in for some super cute Halloween fun flicks! Here are 15 that are way fun for the littles (and grownups!)

 

15 perfect halloween movies for kids and families

 

1.It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Honestly, this classic should be watched every single year no matter what.

 

 

2.Harry Potter (like all of them, obviously)

 

 

3. Frankenweenie

This is a Tim Burton flick about a boy whose kinda nerdy at school, and then his best friend–his weenie dog–dies. He decides to bring him back to life. It’s a bit Pet Cemetery but without the horror movie.

 

4. The Addams Family

 

Ahh, the orginal freak show family, lol! This was also a series, so if your kids are super into it, you may be able to stream it as well.

 

 

5. Hocus Pocus

 

The new kid in town (Salem, MA), his sister, and new friend accidentally unleash 3 evil witches that are trying to become immortal.  The kids and their magic cat have to stop them. (Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler in the early days! 😂)

 

6. Ghost Busters –the orginal(s) + the latest with the fab females!

I was surprised at how much my kids liked the original of this–and then again surprised at how much I liked the new female version! (Maybe had something to do with Hemsworth in in….hmmm…😂)

 

 

7. Toy Story of Terror

Such an adorable spin-off of Toy Story–especially for those of us that just can’t get enough of 1, 2, and 3!

 

8. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

I honestly don’t know why this show/movie didn’t get more press–it’s pretty dang funny!

 

 

9. Coraline

This movie isn’t ‘specifically’ Halloween themed, but it’s dark enough to pass–complete with black cat. Plus the kids love it!

 

10. Halloweentown

Another story about finding out you’re really a witch. And so is your family. Ha! This one is super cute, though.

 

11.Casper

Casper and his family live in a haunted mansion, but when a scientist and his daughter arrive to communicate, he falls in love with the daughter. You know, Romeo/Juliet kinda stuff.

 

12. Hotel Transylvania (1, 2, and 3!)

 

Drac owns a hotel where only monsters stay, until a human shows up one day. And his daughter falls in love. And the next movies continue the story–which is hilarious!

 

13. Nightmare Before Christmas

 

Jack Skellington is the king of Halloweentown, but he wants to bring Christmas there, too. So he makes a trip to the North Pole to see Santa. (Another Tim Burton classic)

 

14. Corpse Bride

 

The main characters have an arranged marriage, but before it can happen, groom-to-be is dragged to the land of the dead by an ex-admirer whose dead. (I swear no more Tim Burton ones. His stuff is so creeppppyyyy though!)

 

 

15. Coco

 

This movie is less spooky and more family–but in Dia de los Muertos style–which means brilliant colors, Disney family values, and the sweetest grandma/grandson relationship on the entire planet!

 

 

Know someone that would love to see a list of appropriately spooky fun Halloween movies? Please SHARE this post!

 

Looking for Halloween movies for family movie night? Look no further! These 15 are spooky enough without causing any nightmares for kids! Perfect for a Halloween weekend movie night! #halloween #halloweenfun #kidsactivities

4 Financial Planning Must-Do’s for Securing Your Family’s Future

4 Financial Planning Must-Do’s for Securing Your Family’s Future

As your family grows, it is very easy to get caught up in the time they need devoted to them and the money they need spending on them. You can forget your own future, but if you do not secure it, the responsibility for you will fall onto them. Therefore, one of the best ways to secure their future is to secure your own first.

 

financial planning for your family's future

 

Start Saving For Retirement

 

If you are not in a job that has a pension attached, you should start a retirement plan now. The longer you leave it the less your pension pot will have, and the less money you will be able to draw each month when you have finished work.

 

This may seem a long way off, but saving for your retirement is vital if you do not want to have to rely on your children giving you an income.

 

Clear Your Debts

 

Work toward clearing yourself of debts. Life will be less stressful if you do not have to make several payments a month to creditors. Hit the smallest debt first and you will feel so motivated because you have cleared one, it will encourage you to work at the others. Once your debts have gone, your money will be your own to do with as you please, including saving some money to secure the financial future of your family.

 

Saving can become a habit, and it is one of the best habits to have. Having some money behind you lets you buy what you want instead of relying on new debts. You may be surprised how quickly just a few dollars a month will grow, and how soon that makes you free of the debt culture.

 

Be Insured

 

You need to protect your home and family in case of a disaster or accident. You should take out liability car insurance, cover to protect your family if you die, illness insurance, home insurance, and mortgage or rental cover. It is possible to insure practically anything if you are prepared to pay the premium, so choose the ones that are most vital to you and your family. You can then have peace of mind if a bad event happens in your family that they will be financially secure.

 

Make A Will

 

It is surprising how many people do not make a will, don’t be one of them. With no will, your family could be in a very precarious situation, and your estate could be divided among people who you would not want to have anything.

 

Making a will is not expensive or time-consuming, and it makes life much easier for your family after you die. They will have enough to cope with at this sad time, without having to sort your estate, as you had left no instructions.

 

When you are making your will you should also seek tax advice. There are ways of reducing the tax that has to be paid on your estate, as long as these things are done before you die.

 

Being savvy with money will secure your family’s financial future and make life much more pleasant and stress-free for you.

 

Know someone that could use help with planning for their family’s financial future? Please SHARE this post!

 

Thinking of your family's financial future? Check out this list of 4 must do items for your financial planning.

How to Make a DIY Gingerbread House

How to Make a DIY Gingerbread House

“UGGH!!” My daughter stomped her foot, then crossed her arms with a scowl tightening her face. Her cheeks got red as stomped off in the fluorescent-lit grocery store.

Typical temper tantrum. Except that she’s 11.

Ok, in all fairness, she’s rightfully frustrated. She has celiac. She can’t have gluten. At all. And guess what we can’t find that’s gluten free. Gingerbread house kits. (Or in this case, gingerbread graveyard kits.)

 

gingerbread graveyard kit halloween

 

Honestly, I have no idea how. There are now approximately 87-gazillion GF packaged foods, and apparently not one single company on the planet has decided to make a GF gingerbread house kit.

So now I have to figure out a way for my kiddos to be able to make these lovely assembled sugar-comas so that they can still eat them when it’s finished. Cause this is #4 on our Fall Bucket List, and we can’t miss out!! Which means diy gingerbread house –or graveyard–is on our list.

Consulting my second BFF Google tells me that either we can buy a gingerbread house mold and make our own ‘cookies’ to assemble the house, or we can go the easier route: make them out of graham crackers. Cause there ARE gluten-free graham crackers! (Thank God!! They’ve saved our bonfire and s’mores night many a time already!)

So whether you’re trying to make a gluten free ‘gingerbread’ house, or just wanna skip the kit altogether, here’s how to make a diy gingerbread house happen!

 

diy gluten free gingerbread house or graveyard halloween activities snacks foods

 

*And just a side-note–this is a very basic guide, not for those that want to go all out and make this look like Martha Stewart designed it for a Kardashian. This is for those of us that like to give the kids something fun to do and let them just be creative and make it happen on their own. Like, after we buy all the stuff, of course.

 

Gather or purchase all your ingredients

 

 

We started out with gluten free graham crackers, serrated knives (because you have to be able to gently ‘saw’ through the crackers), cookie icing, and whatever sprinkles and decorations your kiddos need to make this thing epic! (I highly recommend the bone sprinkles and eyeballs!)

 

graham crackers on a cutting board and marble counter

 

Do a little thinking before breaking apart crackers OR cutting

 

So the first thing to understand is that unless you can create some kind of inner supports, the house/castle/shack can be only as tall as the crackers that come as a sheet in the box. If you’re doing non-gluten-free, they may come in larger sheets. Regardless, keep those sheets intact until it’s time to start shaping pieces and assembling.

 

diy gingerbread house

 

First you want to create a triangle at the top so you can create the end pieces of your house. So cut the corners off, taking care to only cut as far down as the width of the side pieces (which usually is just the seam where you can break the crackers apart.) Use the serrated knife so you can gently ‘saw’ through the pieces, then use the knife to smooth out the edges on that first piece.

 

diy gingerbread house

 

Once your first end-piece is done, turn the second cracker over so its back side is facing up, and lay the already cut end-piece on top of it to use as a template. This will make sure your cuts are exactly the same on both pieces so the roof pieces will lie nice and flat with no weird gaps.

 

Assemble the pieces

 

graham cracker and icing

 

Then use the icing like ‘glue’ to hold all the pieces of the house together as you assemble it.

 

diy halloween gingerbread house graveyard

 

 

My kids also used the icing to make graves stand up as well.

And then use all those creepy creative juices in your brain to make monsters, graves, and haunted dwellings out of totally edible cookies, icing, and sprinkles!

 

Know someone that would like to know how to create a DIY ‘gingerbread’ house? Please SHARE this post!

 

Whether you're looking for a fun Halloween activity to keep the kids busy, or determined to be able to build a gingerbread house or graveyard that's gluten free, here's how to make the holidays fun for families with 'ginger bread' crackers. #halloween #halloween crafts #glutenfree #kidsactivities

Essential Self Care Tips for Your Family’s Future

Essential Self Care Tips for Your Family’s Future

Collaborative post.

 

Being a mother comes with a whole new set of responsibilities. There is a lot involved in the process of looking after yourself and thinking about the future as well. When it comes to thinking about the future, you need to get proactive about it right now.

 

It is important to understand that there are so many things that need to be sorted out. You have to understand the link between the decisions you make now, and how your life will unfold in the future. This is why you need to make sure you focus on self-care for the future by making the right decisions for this today. Check out these tips and use them to try to make things better in the long run.

 

essential self care tips for your family's future

 

Make the Home a Better Asset

 

The home is one of the biggest assets you and your family have, and it is important that you make sure you are set up for the future by ensuring that you work on making the home a better asset as a result. This is something that can have a big impact on your way of life and will mean that you increase your chances of getting a good sale in the future as well.

 

Take Charge of the Family Money

 

Taking charge of the family’s financial situation is also very important for the future. You need to make sure you think about the money you have coming in, as well as how much you are spending. A retirement income guide is going to be essential, as well as looking at the sorts of investments you can make. Not to mention the fact that you need to speak with an accountant to get some better financial advice.

 

Keep Yourself in Good Condition

 

Keeping yourself in good condition is so important, and the very essence of self-care. You need to ensure that you are feeling good emotionally and physically, and this is so important for the future, and for your health. Think about the different elements of self-care, as well as how they are going to boost your future prospects. This is something you need to make sure you get sorted right now.

 

Ensure Your Kids are Happy

 

As a parent, part of your job is to raise the best and most well-rounded kids you possibly can. This is something that is going to have a major impact on the home moving forward, and it will mean a better future for your children. You need to know if your kids are happy, and you also have to work on how you can make them happier as well.

 

There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind when it comes to improving and enhancing your future, and these are some of the most essential. They will go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable about the future and the way the world is going to be when you retire. You can use these ideas to help do the best for your family in the future.

 

Know someone that could use help with providing self care for their family’s future? Please SHARE this post!

 

Self care for your family includes making your the health of you and your kids and spouse are good, but also ensuring your finances and budgeting are spot on for your financial future. Here are the best guidelines and tips for that.

A Mom’s Guide to Prepping the Home for Winter

A Mom’s Guide to Prepping the Home for Winter

Collaborative post.

Across the US, hypothermia claims over 700 lives annually, with most deaths occurring during the cold months of winter. In that line, the lessening hours of daylight should be a signal to start getting ready for the cold days ahead. Most moms prefer that their loved ones remain indoors during winter, but is staying inside a guarantee of safety? For instance, if you fail to prepare the heating system, your children could easily contract flu or even the dreaded hypothermia. Furthermore, neglecting your winter chores could potentially cost you a hefty repair bill.  For first time moms, preparing for winter can be baffling, but with proper research and guidance, you can manage.

7 must do's for winter home prep

The gutters

 

The cleaning of gutters and downspouts are among the most important winter chores. Clogged drains can make your roof leak, and this could lead to ice dams during winter. “When the gutters are not clean, the moisture just sits on the rooftop,” said Dina Dwyer Owens, a co-chair of the board of directors of the Dwyer group. You should however not do the work too soon. For instance, if you unclog them before the last of the leaves fall, you would have to repeat the process a few weeks later. Also, you should be careful with the ladder not to hurt yourself. 176,000 people went to the hospital in 2013 due to ladder accidents, according to the National Safety Council. In that line, it is always advisable that as a mom, you hire a professional, which would cost you around $150 as indicated by HomeAdvisor.

Stock up on firewood

 

Moms have to be dedicated to keeping their kids warm throughout the season to keep off various illnesses. To ensure that your fireplace will keep on running, you should order seasoned firewood during the fall. Stack it carefully on pallets and cover the pile with a plastic tarp to keep moisture away. It is also advised that you store firewood in an unheated garage rather than inside the living area because wood could attract insects, according to Michigan State University Extension.

Windows and doors

 

Uninstall window air-conditioning units and store them for the warm seasons. If you decide to leave them in place, cover the outside of your windows with an insulated sheath and wedged towels between the sill and the unit to keep drafts out. Next, you should swap out screens for storm windows and doors. When changing glass screens, check your windows and doors for drafts and be sure to add weather stripping or caulk when cold air leaks in.

Smoke alarm and laundry dryers

 

3 out of 5 fire deaths occur in homes without working alarms as reported by United States Fire Administration. In this line, you should always ensure that yours are working by changing the batteries at least once a year. While at it, replace any detectors that are more than 10 years old. With today’s technology, you can opt for smart smoke alarm sensors which have apps that could alert you wherever you are in the world.

Laundry dryers cause 2900 home fires annually because of failure to clean them. Therefore, as you prepare for winter, hire a professional to wash them by removing potentially hazardous substances such as lint and debris. The best feeling for a mother when at work is knowing that her kids are safe back home.

The exterior

 

You should walk around your perimeter checking for cracks and peeling paint. Also, inspect window sills and the roof for missing and broken tiles and have them fixed if necessary. After a rainstorm, walk around and look for any place where water might not be draining well such as water pools, downspouts and damaged gutters. “The objective is to get as much of the water away from your house as possible,” said Scott Johnson, director of operations, WIN Home Inspection, a network of over 190 home inspection companies in 33 states.

 

Heating system

 

Having enough warmth in the house during winter is an aspect you cannot ignore as a caring mom. Since you will need the system to heat up the house during winter, call a plumber or a furnace repair company to fix your system if faulty. They should clean the equipment thoroughly and ensure that it is working correctly. “The heating system will not break down when it is 80 degrees outside, but you do not want to be stuck in the middle of the night with a heating system that won’t turn on when it is 5 degrees outside,” claimed Kerry O’Brien, the president of T. F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating.

The chimney and pipes

 

Smoke, heat and potentially fatal gases from the fireplace and heating system trail up the chimney into the atmosphere, keeping the air inside clean. A dirty chimney could intoxicate the air and also facilitate the occurrence of a fire, which could be a nightmare if your kids are home. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends annual inspection and cleaning of chimneys. “In general, with chimneys and fireplaces, the more you use it, the more likely you need it to be swept,” said Mr Johnson. Servicing your chimney could cost anything between $125-$200 as indicated by Angie’s list.

To keep pipes from freezing, you should have the outside water faucets drained and shut before the temperatures drop. During freezing nights, keep cabinets beneath the sink open to allow warm air in and let a slow drip of water to run through the pipes. Many people make the mistake of turning off the thermostat to save money. “Extreme weather is not a time to start trying to save your energy bill, crank your heat up during those weeks,” said O’Brien.

While preparing your home for winter, you should also buy equipment such as a snowblower and test them to ensure they are working properly. Also, update your emergency supply kit with fresh batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, food, water and a portable radio. As a mother whose kids mean everything, you ought to take time to learn how the house works, and you might actually enjoy the process. “I have enjoyed taking care of the house, and the house takes care of me,” claimed Judi E.Mendoza, 60, a saleswoman for Halstead.

Know someone that could use help with prepping her home for winter? Please SHARE this post!

 

Is your home ready for winter? Don't let snow and cold damage your home or cause illnesses! Get on top of these 7 things for winter home prep before fall ends! #home #homemaintenance #winter

Lay Down a Low-maintenance Home to Save Time and Money

Lay Down a Low-maintenance Home to Save Time and Money

It can take a lot of work to maintain your home, from daily cleaning to bigger maintenance jobs. When you have so many other things going on in your life, you don’t want to spend all your time looking after your home. It’s also expensive to have to redecorate and buy new furniture, so you want it to last as long as possible. Creating a low-maintenance home can help you to cut down on cleaning time and could extend the life of your fixtures and furniture. Here’s how you could create a low-maintenance home that’s easy to take care of.

 

3 must do's for low maintenance home interior

 

Use Wipeable Surfaces

 

Anything that you can wipe down to clean is always going to be easier to care for than those that need special care. Hard floors are easier to sweep and mop, rather than having to vacuum carpets and either spot clean them or use professional carpet cleaning tools. It’s simple to wipe down a leather sofa than to try and keep one upholstered with linen or cotton clean. Try to choose wipeable surfaces and furniture so that it’s easy to dust and clean everything without too much trouble. If something can’t be wiped, it’s helpful if you can just put it in the washing machine.

 

Choose Shabby Chic Furniture

 

Over time, your furniture is going to deteriorate. You can take care of it to keep it looking good, as well as choose quality furniture that will last longer. But if it’s eventually going to look a bit shabby, why not start off with items that already look a bit worn? If you choose to use distressed wooden furniture, it won’t be so easy to notice the smallest mark. It’s supposed to look older and well-used, so any minor damage is probably just going to make it look more authentic.

 

 

Durable Materials

 

There are lots of different materials that you can use throughout your home. Selecting some of the more durable options can mean you don’t have to worry so much about stains or any damage. For example, if you’re thinking of what material to use for your kitchen worktops, some of the most durable choices include granite and quartz. You can make sure your home can withstand daily life so you don’t have to change how you live in order to protect anything in your home. Keep in mind that durability and cost don’t always match up. Sometimes, more durable materials are more expensive, but that’s not always the case.

 

Keep Lines Clean

 

Spending lots of time trying to get into all the tiny corners and little details around your home can feel like a waste. But dust and dirt can get into all of those small places and it’s difficult to get them out. If you want to avoid this, it’s best to try and keep the lines in your decor and furniture clean and sleek. It will make everything much easier to keep clean.

 

Make your home more low-maintenance by taking a minimal approach to decor. You can avoid a lot of work by making the right choices.

 

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Tired of expensive cleaners and repairs? Design your home interior low maintenance from the start! 3 tips and hacks for low maintenance interiors. #home #homedecor

A Million Things (or so) to Be Happy About

A Million Things (or so) to Be Happy About

You know, sometimes when things get super chaotic, I find myself in this crazy ball of stress where I’m snapping at the kids and husband, and sometimes even the dog. And I’m just wound up so tight I can’t get out of my own way. You know those times where everything seems to pile up on itself? It feels like climbing Mt. Everest to really get out of the tailspin and get some clarity. To even think about being grateful. Or to just be happy.

In my search for daily happiness, I’ve found several really helpful things to do on the daily that I want to share with you, and also want you to try them out!

 

a million things to be happy about every day

 

I’ve tried the mindfulness approach (which is sort of like mini-meditation), and this definitely helps! I’ve also begun a Gratitude Journal, and that just seems to frustrate me sometimes. You know how when you sit down to write something and all of a sudden not a single thought is in your head? Like the Spongebob episode where he was supposed to write a paper and couldn’t think of a single thing to write except his name. Yep, totally me.

It ends up being almost more stressful. Cause then I’m like, “WTH?? Now I’m a terrible person because I can’t think of a single thing I’m supposed to be grateful for except the ole fallback ‘my health and family’!”

 

Do you do mini-meditations throughout the day? Even if you’re not thinking about things to be grateful for, it’s a great time to catch a breather and re-center yourself for clarity. Set yourself a time on your phone right now to just stop, breathe, and be mindful of the situation.

A little boost to be happy

 

But a really surprising thing happened on one of our trips during the summer. I came across this little book in a gift shop while we were in Massachusetts. (The state is irrelevant, you can get the book anywhere.) It’s called 14,000 things to be happy about. And it’s seriously the coolest thing when it comes to being ‘stuck’ when you’re supposed to be feeling grateful.

This book has made such a big difference in my attitude about gratefulness.

 

book with keyboard and black and white striped pen be happy

 

Get an idea of what’s in this little gem by clicking through and click the ‘Preview’ option! Seriously such fun and fantastic little things!!

 

What does gratefulness and happiness entail?

 

It seems like a no-brainer, but when we think of being grateful, many times we feel like we have to come up with the big things. And then when we can only come up with like, 3, we’re dumbfounded. Like, I know I’m blessed. I know I have a good life. So why am I not coming up with anything else??

What this book does is help take that question away. Because it turns out that being grateful and learning to be happy have SO much to do with the LITTLE THINGS.

The little things matter soooo much.

 

book with keyboard and black and white striped pen be happy

 

Here are some examples from the book:

a comfort station

the perfect baked potato

quiet free hours to sit by a fire

onion-skin paper

See where this is going? They’re all such little things. But they’re awesome, and they make us happy!

 

Think of 5 of your own little things right now! Me first: 1-When the 5YO sticks her head out her classroom as I’m leaving at am drop-off to yell, “Love you, Mom!!”; 2-The first day of freshly painted nails; 3-The super quiet first thing in the morning before kids are up; 4-The snuggly softness of my bed when I settle in to binge a show; 5-memory foam in shoes. Ok, now it’s your turn! 🤩

 

The little things

 

So think about just the little things during your day. Did somebody make the coffee ‘just right’ this morning? Did you discover a new breakfast item you actually really love on the menu? Maybe you found a dope pair of pants way back in your closet you thought you’d forgotten about.

Stop a few times during your day and just think about those little things you appreciate and that give you a little squirt of happiness. Hold on to those things. Write about those things later in your Gratitude Journal!

 

Looking for a fantastic daily gratitude journal with prompts? Moms--check this out--My Gratitude Journal is set up for 12 months, with each month having an inspirational quote, and prompts for the weeks in that month! #gratitude #dailygratitude #gratitudejournal

 

gratitude journal sample

 

And when you’re stuck, grab a book like 14,000 things to be happy about.And swipe a few of their fantastic little one-liners!

If you don’t have a journal, grab one at the store or on Amazon or check out the Gratitude Journal above! The point is to slow down long enough to see and appreciate those little things that so gracefully stack up into the perfect Happy Day sandwich! 😍

 

Know someone that could use help with finding more ways to be happy? Please SHARE this post!

 

Is it a challenge for you to be happy daily? The weight of being a mom can sometimes make us feel like we're in a black hole. But gratitude and happiness really aren't that hard to find! Check out these dead simple tips for making a list of your gratitudes to boost that happiness factor on the daily! Plus grab a free printable download 3 month Gratitude Journal sample! #gratitude #happy #grateful #gratefulheart #mom #momlife

How to Know if Your Kids Are Really Happy

How to Know if Your Kids Are Really Happy

How do you know if your kids are truly happy? All kids have tantrums from time to time and can seem to get upset over minute things. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are unhappy in general. Making sure your kids are happy is key to ensuring they grow up into happy adults. Your child will carry a lot of patterns and behaviors with them as they grow up, so if you don’t teach them how to do things like manage stress now, they might struggle to do it in the future. Here are some pointers!

 

how to know if your kids are really happy

Here are a few signs that can indicate you have happy children:

 

They Function Normally

 

Your kids should function normally, especially in terms of sleeping and eating. Lots of kids fight sleep, but if your child is up and down all night and even suffers from things like night terrors, something could be wrong.  

 

They Can Connect With People

 

Kids can seem closed off and withdrawn when they can’t connect with people. This usually means they have a fear of being judged. You must teach your kids that it’s ok to express themselves and that they will still be loved and accepted.

 

You’re Happy

 

How you’re feeling each day can be a key indicator of how your kids are feeling. If you’re stressed and unhappy, there’s a huge chance your kids will pick this up from you. Work on your own happiness and self care and set an example.

 

They Know Making A Mistake Isn’t The End Of The World

 

Your kids need to know that getting something wrong is not the end of the world. Making mistakes is good for them!

 

How To Raise Happier Kids

 

So, how can you start to raise happier kids? Here are some pointers:

 

Take Control Of Your Own Happiness

 

Make sure you’re taking control of your own happiness. Be a role model for your kids. Work hard, take care of your body with good food and exercise, and have your own hobbies. Practice stress relief exercises and they’ll benefit more than you know.

 

Allow Kids To De-stress

 

Kids can get stressed too, so allow them to de-stress. Practice deep breathing and meditation together, and even let them play up to 60 minutes of a video game each day. Video games have proven benefits when played for 30 minutes to an hour. You could make this even more exciting by saying be the hero of your own adventure in Final Fantasy XV – they could become a hero of their own adventure in every day life this way, too.

 

Praise Their Effort

 

Praise kids for their effort, not for their achievements or intelligence all the time. They need to know that it’s effort that counts.

 

Teach Them To Be Optimistic

 

Teach kids to look on the bright side of life!

 

Make Sure They Are Living A Healthy Lifestyle

 

Get into happiness habits with your kids and ensure they are living a healthy lifestyle with nutritious food, plenty of sleep, and spending time outdoors.

 

Know someone that’s wondering if their kids are happy? Please SHARE this post!

 

All moms wonder this: are my kids really happy? It's a curse of mom guilt! Here's how to know if you have happy kids!

3 Ways to Increase Child Confidence

3 Ways to Increase Child Confidence

One of the most important things you can do for a child, other than keeping them nourished, protected and educated, is to help increase child confidence. Not enough children are afforded this. Mostly, they are expected to figure it out by themselves. You may have had a similar childhood. However, as a parent, it really does benefit us to help train our little ones into who they’ll be in the future through life lessons and caring processes that help them prepare for adulthood, but also lose nothing of their childhood.

 

They might watch horror movies as they move into adulthood. But you wouldn’t show them those when they’re still kids in order to illustrate how to be strong in the face of fear. Instead,  you’d show them that the monsters in their closet aren’t real. And even if they were, they would be stronger than them. There is always a better method of parenting, especially when it comes to trying to increase child confidence. But what are they? Consider our three tips for a potential answer:

 

increase child confidence

 

Bedroom

 

A child’s bedroom is their own personal space to gather their thinks, to retire at night, and to relax and feel their most imaginative self. This means that when they come of age, perhaps around the ages of eight, nine or ten, you should ask them to tidy and clean their bedroom (under your supervision of course.) They might not have to grapple with a vacuum, or to use dusting polish, but asking them to organize their toys, or keep their bed made, or many other small considerations like this can help them feel a sense of autonomy and agency over their bedroom, which only helps increase child confidence. It will also helps them feel more connected to their bedroom than ever, and that can never hurt.

 

Challenge

 

A little challenge here or there can be very rewarding for a child. Taking them to a new hobby class to help them socialize might feel scary for them at first. But as they begin to socialize and realize there’s nothing to worry about, they’ll often enjoy the process deeply. You might decide to help them with their spelling at home, or perhaps ask them a slightly harder math question from the grade above to help them get the cogs churning when it comes to home-time. A little challenge never hurt a child, be that academically, physically or socially. And instead it could help them test their limits, and teach you where they are.

 

Money

 

An allowance can help a child feel respected, and can help them begin to learn the slow stages of money matters from week to week. This sense of financial appreciation and good habits in saving built early can help them develop healthier monetary perspectives later on, especially when fused with a bank account for kids and a personal means of tracking their savings. A good piggy bank is always worthwhile, too.

 

With these three methods to increase your child’s confidence, they’re sure to blossom well.

 

Know someone that could use help with learning to increase child confidence in their kiddos? Please SHARE this post!

 

 

How to Tell Your Kids Learning Style So They Can Learn Faster

How to Tell Your Kids Learning Style So They Can Learn Faster

As parents, we obviously want our children to succeed. We want them to grow up much smarter and more responsible than us, and if they do, we know we’ve done the job just right! But learning can be hard, and sometimes we receive absolutely no support for the kids learning style we have, especially when we’re young.

Learning is something everyone does in their own time and in their own way – there’s no benefit of trying to force one of your kids into a setting that they just won’t thrive in! But to make sure they have the best schooling years possible, you’re going to need to find out the best ways your kids learn.

Trust me, my undergrad is in Elementary Education. And in the years I’ve taught, plus my experience with my own kids, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you write something on a whiteboard; if the child isn’t being presented and stimulated with ‘their style’ of learning, you’re wasting your dry-erase pens.

Children learn in all sorts of ways. So the first step is to find out how your child retains information and encourage it! 

 

how to tell your kids learning style so they can learn faster

 

Is Your Child a Visual Learner?

 

Being a visual learner means you like to see what’s going on, and you like having something to watch or simply look at as you do it. Reading may not be so effective for you, and neither is just listening to someone give a lecture or talk on a subject. And seeing as children are quite often fidgety, and have imaginations the size of the universe itself, there’s a good chance your child is a visual learner.

And thankfully, the use of computers and TVs more than ever means there’s more visual learners than others out there! Considering educational authorities like to put their courses on the internet with online portals for anything from supply chain management online programs to hobby courses, it’s clear this is an easily encouraged method of learning.

We personally have used abcmouse.com (not an affiliate, just loved it!) and the Epic! books app. {Read here about why I love Epic! so much, and why it’s called the Netflix of kids reading apps!}

 

Is Your Child a Kinesthetic Learner?

 

Kids with learning difficulties especially will be in this group. If you have a dyslexia or an ADHD diagnosis in your family, make sure you’re working with this rather than against it. There’s no point in trying to get your child to sit down and focus; their brains literally will not allow them to, so why not let them move around as they learn? It’ll help get some of the energy out at least.

But if your child is an kinesthetic learner, make sure you fit in plenty of day trips and quite a few physical activities for them to get stuck into. Learning by doing is something most adults tend to place stock in, so it won’t be too much of a shift for you to implement at home or ask for within your child’s school.

Basically keep in mind any way you can bring in the touch sense to a lesson.

 

Is Your Child an Auditory Learner?

 

Do your kids pay attention to sound better than what’s in front of them? This type of learner will prefer music and lectures to learn best. Sometimes you can even incorporate different sounds to add ‘texture’ to visual presentations.

This type of learner also does really well with reading apps, so you may want to invest in an Audible account!

 

Is Your Child a Verbal Learner?

 

Verbal learners are what some teachers call the ‘talkers of the class.’ But the good news is that as long as you allow presentations or answering questions, you’re checking the boxes off on this one.

My kiddo with ADHD (unmedicated at the moment–on purpose), has trouble with math. But one day her teacher told me they had a breakthrough. It was when she talked through the math problem as she did it! Like magic!

It’s probably not feasible to have a noise proof room for them to make racket in (ie. sing or talk to themselves), but sometimes even putting them outside the classroom for a few minutes to talk out their lessons helps. (Or in another room if you home school.)

Just keep in mind that other kids can actually be sensitive to sounds (believe me, we have one of those…) So if they can still be heard, maybe invest in some sound-proof headphones for the sensitive kid.

 

Other styles of Learning

 

There are 3 other types of kids learning style mentioned in educational programs. But they’re not related, per se, to sensory learning like the previous 4:

 * Solitary learners do better when they don’t have pressures of working on a team or with another person. They like to be alone, and do much better that way.

 *Social learners are probably destined to be the social butterfly of whatever group they’re in. They like to communicate, and work extremely well with within a group setting or with a partner.

 *Logical learners use logic and reason to work out their problems, and they usually are really good with patterns.

 

Bottom line is that if you know how your kids like to learn, you’ve got the best ammunition on your side for encouraging them to do well in school. As long as they’re comfortable with the way they absorb content, and they’re never feeling bad about dragging behind their peers, you’re doing a great job!

 

Know someone that could use help with finding your kids learning style? Please SHARE this post!

 

Want to help your kids learn better and faster, better than study tips? Find out their learning style FIRST! Find out which your kiddo is to come up with activities of different things to help their learning! #kids #backtoschool #learning #school

How to Break Through Frustrating Weight Loss Plateaus

How to Break Through Frustrating Weight Loss Plateaus

You know how when you really get going on a health binge, and you’re staying motivated and feeling freaking fantastic, even though it’s a lot of work (so much), but good work + change. And then you step on the scale and are totally deflated? Cause your weight hasn’t had to common courtesy to budge one ounce. Honestly, nearly every mom I’ve ever talked with about weight loss has her own personal frustrating story about the dreaded weight loss plateaus. But TBH-it usually goes along with having kids.

One of the things that sends so many women into a spiral of binge eating and negative emotions is the disappointment of trying so hard to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eating all of the right things, and doing lots of activity, only to find that the scales have not moved a single point. Weight loss plateaus are so frustrating for us Moms, because when we do take the time to focus on ourselves, but don’t see the benefits, it can feel like it’s not worth it.

 

How to get over a weight loss plateau plus free fitness planner

 

For emotional eaters, especially, this lack of progress is often enough to send us running right back to the chocolates, cookies, and chips. This is such a bummer when we’ve put in so much effort. Because weight loss plateaus are pretty common and not necessarily representative of the whole picture.

But the thing is, just because the scales have not moved doesn’t mean that no progress has been made. Inches may have been lost, muscle built, and health improved. But if those scales don’t move, trust me, I know it can be totally devastating!

It’s always a good idea to weigh only once a week and to look at the downward trend over weeks and months, rather than days so that you don’t fall prey to this kind of thinking that will set you back and make the problem much larger. That being said, if you have hit a true weight loss plateaus and it’s causing you to feel demoralized there are several tricks to try to break through and see some movement again.

 

1.Cut Down on the Carbs

 

There’s nothing wrong with having good complex carbs in your diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not – they can be very healthy. However, if you aren’t seeing much movement on the scales, it may be time to cut these a bit.

Replacing some of the carbs you’ve been eating with more leafy greens or other brightly colored veggies is a sure-fire way to get things moving in the right direction again. They’re lower in calories but full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function optimally, and they’ll fill you up just as well if you eat enough of them.

 

Make a list of all the veggies you love and like, and add them to your grocery list. Cook them during your regular meals, then when you sit down to eat, only get 1/2 the carbs (grains or potatoes) you normally would and replace that other 1/2 with your extra servings of veggies. The bonus is that nearly every diet plan (if you’re following one) gives the green light to veggies. *Just be cautious of adding oils or butter if you’re counting calories.

 

2. Eat Plenty of Protein

 

If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau look at your protein intake. If you aren’t eating at least 30 percent of your calories in protein, up that amount. An adequate amount of protein in your diet can increase your metabolism so that you’re burning as much as 30 percent more calories than when you eat fat or carbs.

It also helps you to build more muscle (providing you’re doing strength training, of course) and since muscle burns calories too, it’s win-win for you.

 

Count your macros for a few days and see what your ratios are (carbs/protein/fat). Try bumping up the protein–which may mean cutting calories elsewhere if you’re calorie-counting. Quick ways to add more protein are plant-based protein powders you can make a quick shake with for breakfast or snacks. I use the Tone It Up brand, and it’s so good!

 

3. Try SAFE Fat Burners

 

There are lots of things, preferably natural, including green tea,  caffeine, and even supplements like garcinia cambogia that can help your body to burn fat more efficiently.

If you’re struggling with the numbers you see on the scales, adding them into your diet and exercise regime may be helpful. But if you go down the supplement route, you should always speak with your doctor first to ensure that it’s safe for you to take them.

 

Research supplements for quality and to make sure they don’t interfere with any conditions you have or meds you take, and then talk to your doctor before starting the supplements!

 

 

4. Up the Intensity

 

Increasing the intensity that you exercise is a usually awesome way to get yourself over weight loss plateaus. If you exercise at the same intensity for a long time, your body gets used to the effort you’re putting in and it doesn’t work as hard as it could or should eventually.

By running faster and further or cutting down your exercise time significantly but working out at maximum capacity, you can fire it up again and make your body burn those calories like there’s no tomorrow. 

HIIT is a fantastic way to do that as well. You’re using maximum effort in a smaller amount of time. But it kickstarts what could be stalling in your metabolism.

 

Are you currently doing strength training? If not, add it in 2x/week and see if that helps. If you already do, bump up your weights! And in either scenario, add HIIT!

 

5. Measure and Write it Down

 

Often, especially after we have been watching our intake for a while, we can slip into bad habits and start eating more calories than is ideal for the results we want. We don’t necessarily start eating junk food again, but our portions may get a bit bigger, or we may add a little more oil to the pan than is ideal.

One thing that can help to reign this in is both measuring everything we eat and writing down all of the things that pass our lips. You don’t have to do this forever – a week or two should be enough to get you back on track-  but it can be a very effective tool.

A great way to do this is with the Health + Fitness Planner for the Health-Motivated Mom. It helps you set goals for yourself, evaluate your current health and size, and then record your progress. Check it out by clicking the image below!

 

fitness planner plus healthy salad and workout shoes

 

The Bottom Line

 

Keep in mind that the scales are not always accurate when it comes to how well you’re doing on your journey to weight loss and better health. And you should definitely measure yourself regularly to check for inch losses. But if you aren’t seeing any losses on the scales, there are lots of simple things you can do to get over the weight loss plateau and keep moving forward. So don’t give up just yet and fall into old patterns, try something new!

 

Want some help tracking your fitness? Sign up for the Newsletter and get the FREE Fabulously Fit Planner + Tracker! Just Click the image below!

 

free fitness planner when you sign up for the newsletter

 

Know someone that could use help with working through a weight-loss plateau? Please SHARE this post!

 

Start Living Healthy Now With a Crazy Discounted Rate on the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle

Start Living Healthy Now With a Crazy Discounted Rate on the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle

So this year the Ultimate Bundles team has continued to wow me with an absolutely amazing and comprehensive collection of ebooks, courses, memberships and more for the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle!

 

The bundle includes resources worth $2235.92 for ONLY $29.97!! So here’s the impatiently awaited lineup for 2018!

 

healthy living ultimate bundle

 

{And don’t forget it’s only available September 5th – 10th, 2018!!}

Includes:

Allergy-Free Cooking (10 products worth $159.84)

    • 14 Dinner Recipes for Food Allergies by Megan Lavin ($4.99)
      The first two weeks of learning to cook with a new list of dietary restrictions are the toughest. That’s why you need this e-cookbook that has 14 delicious dinners all free of the top 8 allergies, including gluten and dairy.
    • 25 Allergy Friendly Treats by Dena Norton ($9.99)
      With the recipes in this ebook, you can enjoy allergy friendly treats—including dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut/coconut free, and soy free options—without compromising flavor!
    • Gluten-Free Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes Made By Kids, For Kids by Raia Todd ($5.99)
      Gluten-Free Kids in the Kitchen contains 17 gluten-free kid-friendly breakfast, snack, and dessert recipes, most with dairy-free options.
    • Go Grain Free by Jill Tieman ($67.00)
      Go Grain Free is a self-paced, online cooking class featuring grain free, additive free, dairy free and refined sugar free recipes that are appropriate for healing diets such as SCD, GAPS and Paleo.
    • Goodness Me It’s Gluten Free Baking: Bread, Pastry, Cakes, Cookies, Muffins & More by Vanessa Hudson ($5.99)
      Gluten free baking has never been easier. With simple instructions & using common ingredients you can now make bread, pastry, cakes, cookies, muffins and more in your own kitchen that taste so good you won’t know you’re eating gluten free!
    • How to Go Gluten Free: What to Do After Being Diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity by Jenna Drew ($27.00)
      A complete guide to help you navigate a gluten intolerance or celiac diagnosis.
    • The Food Allergy Mom’s Guide to Substitutions for Cooking and Baking by Kelly Roenicke ($7.99)
      This guide contains simple substitutions to make your favorite recipes allergy friendly.
    • The Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox by Kathlena ($14.95)
      Packed with over 60 lunches and recipes, The Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox can help guide you in making delicious lunches for taking to work, school, or restaurants with friends.

 

  • Tips for Handling Life with Food Allergies by Kelly Roenicke ($5.99)
    Tips for Handling Life with Food Allergies is a simple guide to handling everyday situations when you have food allergies.
  • Weeding Out Wheat by Trisha Gilkerson ($9.95)
    Weeding out Wheat addresses both why wheat is unhealthy and how Christians should approach the Scriptures around this topic.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Alternative Health (9 products worth $376.83)  

    • 3-Month Rise UP: Online Integrative Wellness Membership  by Kristyn Bango & Stephanie Wharton ($45.00)
      Rise UP is an Online Integrative Wellness Membership designed to educate its participants on evidence-based, functional health approaches specific to their unique situation and goals.
    • Beat Crohn’s: The Real Truth About Crohn’s Disease and How You Can Overcome It by Megan Redshaw ($7.99)
      Beat Crohn’s is an ebook that breaks down the most common myths surrounding Crohn’s disease and provides a natural approach for overcoming it.
    • Clear Skin Secrets: 12 Steps to Clear Skin, Naturally by Amie Skilton ($30.00)
      Clear Skin Secrets is a 12-Step Blueprint to heal your acne once and for all, naturally.
    • Debunking PCOS by Nat Kringoudis  ($8.85)
      This little gem includes all you need to know to get your hormones back on track to tame those wild ovaries of yours.
    • Fix Your Period 5-Day Cleanse: The Perfect Jumpstart to Get Your Hormones Back on Track by Nicole Jardim ($37.00)
      The Fix Your Period 5-Day Cleanse will help you ditch the junk and eat the very best hormone-balancing and cycle-friendly foods. Symptoms like PMS, period pain, acne, fatigue, heavy periods, breast pain and irregular bleeding are alleviated or resolved.
    • Love Your Adrenals: 7 Day Kickstart by Jules Galloway ($37.00)
      If you need a helping hand to get your health on track, Jules has got your back! This program takes you through the FIRST STEPS to healing adrenal fatigue, with amazing healthy food, daily activities, plus ninja tips for self-care and stress relief.
    • The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs by Nicolas Pineault  ($14.99)
      The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs helps health-conscious people like you dramatically cut down their EMF exposure without going back to the Stone Age.

 

  • The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s by Jill Grunewald & Lisa Markley ($9.99)
    The Essential Thyroid Cookbook is a book within a cookbook containing a substantive, rigorously researched educational component as well as over 100 original ”food as medicine” recipes for your thyroid and immune system.

 

  • Water Wellness: Using the Healing Virtues of Water to Revive, Recover, and Recharge by Christine Dalziel ($97.00)
    Learn to use the secrets of water, temperature, and salt to sleep better, have more energy, and restore that healthy glow. Turn your daily water routine into a wellspring of comfort and health with easy to follow recipes and herbal remedies.
  • Women’s Health Masterclass by Wardee Harmon ($99.00)
    The Women’s Health masterclass contains the Women’s Health eBook plus 10 masterclass videos.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Detox & Reset (8 products worth $208.73)

  • 4-Week Total Paleo Reset Plan by Irena Macri of Eat Drink Paleo ($45.00)
    Working with leading experts in wellness and nutrition, Irena Macri has created a 4-week plan that will help you reset your body and gain all the health and wellbeing benefits of the paleo diet while eating delicious, real food.
  • Ditch Your Nutritionist: Your Step-By-Step Guide To Look Your Best, Feel Your Best… Guaranteed by Anne Marie Garland ($39.00)
    Commit to Ditch Your Nutritionist today, and leave the nutrition blogs and diet books behind… guaranteed.
  • Fix Your Period 5-Day Cleanse: The Perfect Jumpstart to Get Your Hormones Back on Track by Nicole Jardim ($37.00)
    The Fix Your Period 5-Day Cleanse will help you ditch the junk and eat the very best hormone-balancing and cycle-friendly foods. Symptoms like PMS, period pain, acne, fatigue, heavy periods, breast pain and irregular bleeding are alleviated or resolved.
  • InTENsive Reset & Refresh  by Wendie Schneider ($19.99)
    The InTENsive Reset and Refresh is a 10-day nutrition program aimed at returning you to your roots – real, whole, nourishing foods. It also includes information and instruction on staying hydrated, exercising lightly, and finding ways to reduce stress.
  • Love Your Adrenals: 7 Day Kickstart by Jules Galloway ($37.00)
    If you need a helping hand to get your health on track, Jules has got your back! This program takes you through the FIRST STEPS to healing adrenal fatigue, with amazing healthy food, daily activities, plus ninja tips for self-care and stress relief.
  • Mind Your Gut Health by Daniella Hogarth ($8.75)
    A great workbook and introductory guide to a ‘plant-based’ Paleo lifestyle including over 70 delicious recipes. Comprehensively covering goal-setting, meal-planning, food preparation, exercise tips and stress management.
  • The Easy Detox + Recipe Book by Jennifer Lynn ($9.00)
    In this guide you will learn what it really means to detox, how to cleanse your body every day as well recipes and meal ideas to get your started on the right track.
  • The Real Food Reset: 30 Days to Lose Weight, Be Free from Cravings & Feeling Great! by Roland Denzel ($12.99)
    The Real Food Reset puts you in touch with your instincts, and reintroduces you to the power that Real Food has over your health and waistline.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Fitness & Weight Loss (11 products worth $571.89)

  • 4 Week Fit & Strong Workout Plan by Lynn Neville ($27.00)
    A plan packed with tips, motivation, and quick and effective workouts to get the fit and strong body you’ve always wanted.
  • Balance Virtual Bootcamp: REBOOT by Karen Shopoff Rooff ($47.00)
    Balance Virtual Bootcamp: REBOOT delivers 18 ALL NEW at-home workouts suitable for a wide range of fitness levels. It is not necessary to have completed Balance Virtual Bootcamp before starting REBOOT.
  • Clean and Lean Blueprint by Amanda Brooks ($7.99)
    Find out how to lose weight by focusing on the right foods, no more gimmicks, no fads, and nothing you can’t do long term.
  • Healthy Aging Class Pack: Healthy Moving to Help You Feel Amazing in Your Body Today and for Decades to Come by Jen Hoffman ($29.97)
    The Healthy Aging Class Pack includes five Healthy Moving classes packed with unique exercises and flows to help you feel amazing in your body today and for decades to come.
  • MerryBody 4-Week Yoga and Pilates Home Fitness Program by Emma & Carla Papas ($75.00)
    MerryBody is a 4 week program that combines Yoga, Pilates and mindset to completely change the way you work out—AND how you feel about yourself.
  • Printable Food & Fitness Trackers by Megan Duesterhaus ($19.00)
    The Food and Fitness Trackers printable kit includes four pretty, editable, and comprehensive worksheets to help you quickly and easily track your food intake and exercise habits.
  • Secrets to Controlling Your Weight, Cravings and Mood by Maria Emmerich ($9.99)
    The solution to losing weight doesn’t lie in deprivation diets; it lies in balancing our neurotransmitters. This book gives you the tools to do just that.
  • The Busy Life Diet: Healthy Weight Loss for Women on the Go by Gaye Christmus ($9.95)
    The Busy Life Diet is designed to help you lose weight in a healthy way and a reasonable amount of time, and to make the very best use of the time and energy you devote to healthy eating and weight loss.
  • The Slim and Satisfied Handbook: 4 Weeks of Gluten Free, Sugar Free, High Protein Menus and Recipes by Jacinda Vandenberg ($9.99)
    This 4-week, low glycemic menu plan is complete with grocery lists and recipes for every meal of the day!
  • Unhinge the Binge: The Answer to Emotional, Binge and Stress Eating by Jenny Eden Berk ($297.00)
    Heal your relationship with food by using mindful and intuitive based techniques and tapping into inner wisdom.
  • Victory Over Emotional Eating for Christian Women: Conquering Cravings and Finding Freedom by Sara Borgstede & Becky Lehman ($39.00)
    Conquer cravings and find lasting freedom from emotional eating with the 4 week course, Victory Over Emotional Eating for Christian Women.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Gardening (12 products worth $156.32)   

    • Container Gardening: Your Guide to Container Gardening Anywhere by Heather Harris ($7.99)
      Grow your own food, in the space you’re in. Learn more about container gardening and how easy it is to do!
    • Fall & Winter Gardening Without the Overwhelm by Rootsy ($7.50)
      In Fall and Winter Gardening Without the Overwhelm, you’ll get advice and guidance for successfully growing brassicas, root vegetables and leafy greens that will guide your path to eating fresh food, longer in the season.

 

  • Garden Herb Walk with Kami McBride ($27.00)
    Learn to use your herb garden to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and add delicious flavor to your meals.

 

  • Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden by Rachel Arsenault ($7.99)
    Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden. Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. Organize and plan your vegetable garden with this guide.
  • Grow Abundant Herbs & Greens….in Pots! by Nicola Newman ($4.90)
    When you grow herbs & greens in pots, you get to enjoy eating the freshest, healthiest food possible and have a garden that gives you personal satisfaction & nutritious food every day of the week.
  • Growing 5 Warm Weather Vegetables Made Easy: A Quick, Simple and Inexpensive Growing Guide by CaliKim ($14.99)
    Growing 5 Warm Weather Vegetables Made Easy shows you exactly how to grow your own tasty, healthy, organic tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and eggplant (from seed to harvest) in your own backyard in a quick, simple and inexpensive way.  
  • Growing Urban Orchards: How to Care for Fruit Trees in the City and Beyond by Susan Poizner ($19.95)
    In Susan Poizner’s award-winning book you will learn to choose, plant and care for fruit trees that will thrive in your unique conditions.
  • How to Grow a Vertical Garden by Anna Hackman ($39.00)
    Double your gardening space and harvest in order to grow vine vegetables using cattle panels.
  • Seed Starting for Beginners: Sow Inside Grow Outside by Melissa Will ($5.00)
    A complete beginner guide to indoor seed starting for outdoor flowers, veggies, and herbs.  
  • The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil by Susan Vinskofski ($13.00)
    With The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil, you WILL become a better gardener. Your plants will resist disease and your produce will be nourishing because you’ve built healthy soil.
  • The Ultimate Garden Planning Spreadsheets by Laura Seabolt ($9.00)
    With planting dates and growing tips for 40+ crops from basil to turnips, these spreadsheets do everything for you except put the plants in the ground!
  • Understanding Your Climate by Angi Schneider ($17.00)
    In Understanding Your Climate you will learn how to use common gardening metrics to truly understand your gardening environment.
  • Vegetable Gardening the Easy Way by Jami Boys ($10.00)
    There is a way to eat your favorite vegetables warmed by the sun without the backbreaking work your parents or grandparents might have done. It’s called Vegetable Gardening the Easy Way—and it truly can be easy!

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<


Healthy Children (7 products worth $114.63)

    • Fit2B Girls: The Holistic, Non-Sexual Body Education eCourse That Empowers Girls to Respect Their Bodies and Stay Healthy by Beth Learn ($39.97)
      A modern, family-friendly approach to body education for girls ages 9-14 with videos, printables, quizzes, tasteful graphics, and wholesome contributors including doctors, physical therapists, a fitness specialist, nutritionist, midwife, and more!  
    • Gluten-Free Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes Made By Kids, For Kids by Raia Todd ($5.99)
      Gluten-Free Kids in the Kitchen contains 17 gluten-free kid-friendly breakfast, snack, and dessert recipes, most with dairy-free options.
    • Healthy Breakfasts Kids Can Make by Katie Kimball ($20.00)
      Healthy Breakfasts Kids Can Make includes 4 videos and lesson plans for all ages – your kids really can make breakfast on their own, no mess, no fuss, no failure!
    • Homeopathy for Mommies: Family Guide for the Acute Use of Homeopathy by Sue Meyer ($14.99)
      A comprehensive guide for teaching caregivers how to use homeopathy.
    • National Parks Guide for Families by Saren Loosli ($10.00)
      This guide offers descriptions, photos and videos of the best hikes, activities and places to stay in many of the U.S. National Parks.

 

  • Real Food A to Z by Starlene Stewart ($4.99)
    This colorful picture book will help you teach your toddler the alphabet as well as the names of real fruits and vegetables.

 

  • The Well Nourished Lunchbox by Georgia Harding ($18.69)
    The Well Nourished Lunchbox is a fully interactive, beautifully designed ebook that will guide you to pack your kids (or even yourself) a delicious, nutritious lunch, simply and easily.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Home & Beauty (6 products worth $79.96)

    • Celebrate: Your Comprehensive Guide to Low-Tox Entertaining by Alexx Stuart ($9.00)
      A low tox entertaining e-book with 37 food and cocktail recipes, tips and resources for you to create less waste when you entertain, decorating ideas, table arrangements and floral inspiration, gift ideas and more.
    • Clear Skin Secrets: 12 Steps to Clear Skin, Naturally by Amie Skilton ($30.00)
      Clear Skin Secrets is a 12-Step Blueprint to heal your acne once and for all, naturally.

 

  • DIY Face Masks and Scrubs: Natural & Nourishing Homemade Skincare by Stacy Karen ($3.99)
    DIY Face Masks and Scrubs is your comprehensive guide to creating luxurious and effective natural skincare products for healthy, glowing skin.
  • Holistic Living For Penny Pinchers by Meg Richardson ($9.99)
    Learn how to live a healthier life by creating your own all natural products and revising your daily routines to serve you better.

 

    • Nourishing Nature: Beauty Recipes from the Garden by Kristy Doubet Haare ($11.99)
      Make beautiful nourishing products for your skin with all natural ingredients picked from the garden.

 

  • The Non-Toxic Home Evaluation Guide by Kresha Faber ($14.99)
    The Non-Toxic Home Evaluation Guide is a positive, upbeat, step-by-step checklist that helps you take an honest look at your home and make simple-but-effective changes so your family’s living space is healthier and happier.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Homesteading (4 products worth $41.93)

    • Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead: Radical Inspiration and Practical Advice by Teri Page ($9.95)
      If going off the grid is something you’re curious about, Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead will be your guide! With equal parts practical information and inspiration, this book will give you the support and knowledge to make your off grid dream happen.

 

  • Homemade Dairy by Jill Winger ($9.99)

 

  • Provident Homesteading by Julie Gropp ($12.99)
    This beginner homesteading guide will help you take the first steps to start a homestead wherever you live and with whatever budget you have available.
  • The Homestead Goal Planner: Create the Homestead You Want in the Time You Have by Sarah Toney ($9.00)
    The Homestead Goal Planner will help you prioritize your goals and show you how to break those goals down into manageable pieces so that you can create the homestead life you’ve always dreamed of!


Natural Remedies (8 products worth $94.95)  

 

  • Adaptogens: A Holistic Approach to Healing by Kristyn Bango (19.99)
    Adaptogens: A Holistic Approach to Healing is a comprehensive guide to managing stress in our bodies in order to achieve whole body health.

 

    • Essential Oils for Women’s Health: Maiden, Mother, Crone by Rachel Silves ($9.99)
      Discover how essential oils can be used safely and effectively in the management of common women’s health concerns.
    • Essential Oils Notebook by Crystal Brothers ($17.00)
      This notebook is intended to help you formulate a plan for your essential oils. It contains everything you need to organization to your storage and use of essential oils.

 

  • Garden Herb Walk with Kami McBride ($27.00)
    Learn to use your herb garden to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and add delicious flavor to your meals.

 

    • Herbal Remedies for a Peaceful Postpartum by Christine Cassella ($4.99)
      Herbal Remedies for a Peaceful Postpartum provides practical advice, easy-to-make recipes, and inspiration to help you or your loved ones have a healthy, uplifting, and empowered postpartum period.  
    • Homeopathy for Mommies: Family Guide for the Acute Use of Homeopathy by Sue Meyer ($14.99)
      A comprehensive guide for teaching caregivers how to use homeopathy.
    • How to Be Healthy: Natural Remedies for Cold & Flu Care by Heidi Villegas ($9.00)
      Natural Cold & Flu Care will give you the tools and knowledge to use natural remedies such as herbs, essential oils, honey, spices, and more to help keep you well and feeling great this cold and flu season.

 

  • The Truth About Essential Oils and Cancer: A Biblically-Inspired, Evidence-Based Approach to Beating Disease God’s Way by Dr. Eric Z ($3.99)
    In The Truth About Essential Oils and Cancer, Dr. Eric Zielinski lays out how to harness the healing of power of plant-based medicine with do-it-yourself tips needed to customize your own essential oil cancer protocol. Regain control of your health today!

 

  • Your Gentle Guide to Labour and Childbirth with Acupressure & Essential Oils by Katie Schablon ($15.00)
    Learn how to use essential oils and acupressure points for a more gentle birth experience, and how you and your birth partner can use these tools safely to help with pain relief, contraction efficiency, calming, and focus and energy.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Pregnancy & Baby (7 products worth $77.48)

  • Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert: A Simple, Comprehensive Guide to Using Cloth Diapers by Erin Odom ($12.50)
    This 200+-page book is the most comprehensive cloth diaper guide on the market today.  
  • Herbal Remedies for a Peaceful Postpartum by Christine Cassella ($4.99)
    Herbal Remedies for a Peaceful Postpartum provides practical advice, easy-to-make recipes, and inspiration to help you or your loved ones have a healthy, uplifting, and empowered postpartum period.  
  • Nurse Smart Breastfeeding Handbook by Trina and Alli ($9.00)
    All the knowledge you need to nurse successfully without the struggle of having to read thousands of pages, so you can discover the joy of breastfeeding.
  • The First Six Weeks: Thriving Naturally On Your Postpartum Journey by Rebekah Thompson ($4.99)
    The First Six Weeks: Thriving Naturally on Your Postpartum Journey is a much needed resource for women who are wondering how they can nourish and support their bodies while also taking care of their new baby im the first weeks after giving birth.
  • The Mama Natural Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: Simple, Nutrient-Dense Recipes To Nourish Your Baby As They Learn To Eat Solids. by Genevieve Howland ($12.00)
    Nourish your baby and help them to eat solid foods with 150 real-food recipes organized by baby’s age.
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class by Stacey Stewart ($19.00)
    The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class is a simple step-by-step program that covers everything a woman needs to know to breastfeed her baby in 13 easy-to-watch lessons and under 90 minutes.
  • Your Gentle Guide to Labour and Childbirth with Acupressure & Essential Oils by Katie Schablon ($15.00)
    Learn how to use essential oils and acupressure points for a more gentle birth experience, and how you and your birth partner can use these tools safely to help with pain relief, contraction efficiency, calming, and focus and energy.

 

>>>Buy the Healthy Living Ultimate Bundle now for only $29.97<<<

 

Real Food (5 products worth $53.97)

  • 10 First Steps to Real Food (Plus 10 More for the Brave) by Beth Ricci ($8.00)
    A short guide to real food basics so that you can build a solid foundation and gain clarity in your healthy eating lifestyle.
  • Healthier in 30 Days: Simple, Effective, Actionable Tips for Living a Healthier Life by Heather Behrends ($17.00)
    Healthier in 30 Days is designed to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle with simple, effective, actionable tips and encouragement along the way.
  • Meal Planning on a Budget Bundle by Dina-Marie Oswald ($15.00)
    A step by step guide to make a meal plan that fits your needs and your budget.
  • Mommy & Me Recipe Binder Set by Laura Rizer ($7.98)
    A set of recipe binders and tools to help moms organize their recipes and meal plans while also encouraging kids to get involved in cooking and meal planning too!
  • Resistant Starch 101 by Heather Dessinger ($5.99)
    Why gut microbiome diversity is important, and how to support it with resistant starch-rich foods.

 

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4 Key Ways to Manage Your Money That You May Not Be Doing

4 Key Ways to Manage Your Money That You May Not Be Doing

Financial security is about more than earning a decent income. Obviously, your salary plays a big part in your monetary situation, but you need to focus on the way in which you spend your earnings, too. A big income can dwindle away very quickly if you’re irresponsible with your money. And a small income can go a long way if you manage your money like a master.

There are definitely right and wrong ways to make your finances go further. Here are 4 ways to be smarter when it comes to your personal finances  that’ll serve you well in the future (and the present, of course). 

 

 

Reduce your expenses as the first main step to manage your money

 

First of all, you need to reduce your expenses. That’s the smartest way to manage your money. You need to cut out all the bad spending habits that are reducing your available income. You won’t be able to increase wealth until you start curbing unnecessary expenditures.

Of course, you can treat yourself to luxury purchases from time to time. But you should learn to practice some self-restraint. You could give yourself a couple of weeks before committing to a purchase to see whether it’s only a fleeting urge.

Additionally, you could keep your money away from yourself. For instance, you could take out a set amount of cash at the start of every month and call that your “spending money”. That way, you’ll have an upper limit on your spending potential. You’ll be able to treat yourself to anything you want, but you’ll only be able to burn through a small portion of your monthly earnings. This might help to teach you self-restraint.

You can also reduce your necessary expenses. Of course, you shouldn’t misinterpret this. You don’t need to start cutting back on the important things in life just to save a tiny bit of money. You don’t have to restrict your meals or your energy usage.  Just be a little smarter about the way you use all the crucial things you take for granted in life.

For instance, you could save money on your weekly food shop by using coupons and vouchers you find online. You could even grow vegetables and fruit in your back garden so that you no longer have to buy them in the store. This would save you a lot of money and be a fun new hobby for you.

Talking of energy usage, you could reduce your monthly utility bills by insulating the windows in your house with thicker glazing. These small changes could massively reduce your monthly expenses and give you more financial freedom in the future. Tracking spending can make a big difference to your personal finances. Once you know how much money you have available, you can avoid overspending.

 

Borrow money

 

This might seem like a strange piece of advice, but not all debt is bad debt. This is something that more people need to come to realize. When you borrow money, you simply need to know that you’re going to be able to pay it back on time. (The monthly installments depend on the lender and the size of the loan itself).

If you know you’ll be able to make the repayments on a continuous basis then borrowing money shouldn’t be something you avoid in life. In fact, it’ll help your credit score. The better you are at paying back your debts, the better your credit rating will be.

If you’re facing a big expense and you need financial help then you might want to check out Credit Raters for help with finding the most affordable and reliable lenders. It’s important that you do your research if you want to look after your money.

And a better credit rating will help you to borrow money in the future. This is because lenders will know that you’re trustworthy. It might help you to get lower interest rates and sizable loans for the big purchases in life.

When it comes to purchasing huge assets such as cars and houses, loans are often the only option for many people. But getting your finances together smartly and sensibly is just about knowing your limits. Borrowing money is not a step backwards – it can be a step forwards if you plan adequately. Improving your credit score is worth it, in the long term.

 

Always have an emergency fund prepared

 

This is possibly one of the most important pieces of financial advice you’ll ever receive. An Improving your credit score is absolutely essential to your security. It’ll give you peace of mind. But it’ll also help you to avoid giving away an unexpected chunk of your savings if something unexpected happens.

As important as a budget is to your financial security, you can’t plan for everything. Some expenses are totally unpredictable. Your car might break down and need immediate repairs, for example. Or something major might need fixing in your household.

While you can’t predict everything in life, you can create a backup plan to help you out when the unpredictable occurs.

Start setting aside some savings (on a gradual basis) until you’ve built up a substantial emergency fund. (Experts recommend $1k.) Then, set the fund aside, and only use it in absolute emergencies.

Needing a new TV isn’t a sufficient reason to bring out the emergency fund. But paying for a plumber to fix a leaky kitchen faucet is something that an emergency fund should be designed to cover.

An important step to manage your money is to make sure you’ve set up this fund before an unexpected event occurs. Otherwise, you might have to dip into your bank account for funds. This might put you in a tricky situation. After all, you probably won’t have accounted for unpredictable and expensive costs in your budget, even if you gave yourself a little leeway.

 

Focus on your savings for the future.

 

The final way in which you could organize your money more effectively is to focus on investing for the future.

Do you have a savings account? How much money do you put into it on a monthly basis?

You should be saving continuously. And we’re talking about more than an emergency fund here. We’re talking about life savings that’ll help you (and your partner, perhaps) to afford the cost of living during your retirement years. After all, you won’t be working forever.

You might even need to pay for your kid’s college fund. Those big costs will require substantial savings, so it’s never too early to start.

Ensure that you stick to a saving plan for the future. Set up an automatic transfer from your main bank account to your savings account. Every month, on payday, transfer 10% or 20% of your earnings to your savings.

It might not be a substantial amount on a monthly basis. But those small savings will gradually build and multiply as the years go by. When it comes to preparing for the future, slow and steady steps could make all the difference. Don’t leave financial planning until the last minute. You need to start securing your future, today.

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What Do Goldilocks and A Good Credit Score Have In Common?

What Do Goldilocks and A Good Credit Score Have In Common?

They come from two very different worlds, your credit score and Goldilocks. One comes from a world of fantasy; a world where bears have houses and armchairs and porridge. The other is from a world that is all-too-real, and has implications for almost everything in your life.

 

However, your credit score and Goldilocks genuinely do have something in common: they both like things to be just right.

 

the similarities between goldilocks and your credit score

 

How does this apply to your credit score?

 

We all know the importance of things being “just right” in the story of Goldilocks, but the link to your credit file is a little more opaque – so let’s look deeper into this.

 

There are two reasons that you may not experience a good credit score that infringes your ability to obtain credit:

 

  • Poor financial management. This is by far the most common reason your credit score may be low. Credit defaults are caused when you fail to make a payment to a creditor; they are very common for people who have struggled with debt issues in the past. Other elements of poor financial management include high levels of debt, having a large number of credit accounts open at once, and similar examples. When most of us think of a bad credit score, we turn to the “poor financial management” reasons as the likely cause – but this is not the only reason a credit score can be low.
  • No financial history. While less usual, it is a known fact that little to no financial history can impact your credit score. Superficially, this seems odd; if a person has no financial history, no debts, are thus clearly living within their means means and managing their finances well – why wouldn’t this result in a good credit score? After all, a credit score uses past behavior to predict how people will manage finances in future; if someone has never needed to borrow due to good financial management, surely that’s a plus point? Unfortunately, financial institutions disagree: rather than seeing this as a positive, they see it as a negative. That’s because the lender cannot use past behavior–because there is none–to predict future patterns.

 

 

It should now be becoming clearer how Goldilocks and credit scoring is related. Goldilocks wanted the right size of armchair and temperature of porridge, but your credit score wants something even tougher to achieve: people are expected to manage your finances extremely well, never obtain defaults, always pay bills on time, but also use credit. You have to get it just right.

 

How does this impact your financial management?

 

The most important point to keep in mind is that your credit score reflects how much you use credit. Using too much (or worse still, default on it) will negatively impact your credit score. However, if you use too little credit, then your credit score will also be negatively impacted. Here’s how to manage this across a number of common financial scenarios:

 

If you are debt-free and managing your finances well, then you may not have a need for credit – but you should still use credit. There are a variety of ways to do this. For example, if your score is relatively healthy, then you can apply for a standard credit card, spend $50 per month on it, then pay it off in full to ensure you are not charged interest. If your credit score has already been adversely affected by your under-utilization of credit, then you can read this review to learn more about secured credit cards and how they can help you build your credit in a healthy, sustainable way.

 

Caution is required, alternatively, if you are in debt and struggling with your financial management. The first priority is to ensure that you do not sustain a default on any lines of existing credit. If you cannot meet a minimum payment, then talk to your creditors in an effort to prevent a default from being applied to your file. However, if you wish to build your credit score in an effort to help recover from your debts, then you will still need to use credit to do this. Again, you have a number of options to do this; secured credit cards are a good choice if your credit score has already been harmed, or you could apply for a standard credit card if your score is still managing to stay relatively positive.

 

Isn’t it unfair that people are effectively punished for managing their finances well?

 

Frankly, yes. The idea that not needing to use credit is somehow negative is a strange one. But it’s also possible to see how this decision came to exist.

 

As mentioned, your credit score is a device that financial institutions use to judge how you will act in the future, based on your past behavior. Many people experience this in a negative sense; i.e. their credit score is bad because they have gone into debt or incurred defaults. This makes sense to an extent. When lenders provide funds to individuals, they have to base their decision on something, and although credit scoring is far from perfect, past behavior is a decent enough indicator. If someone has struggled with their finances in the past, it’s likely they’ll struggle in the future.

 

The issue is trickier when considered in terms of a lack of past borrowing, but also understandable. Think of it like this: who would you rather lend to? The friend who has never borrowed money from you before and whose financial status you’re unsure of? Or the one who has borrowed and repaid promptly? There’s benefits to both, but you’d probably prefer the latter, as their record indicates they will repay. This is why credit scoring can be poor even if the reason someone has never borrowed before is actually positive; i.e. they have managed their finances. Is this ideal? Not particularly, and if you find yourself in this situation, having to borrow just for the sake of your credit score seems incredibly alien – but it is possible to at least understand why credit scores work this way.

 

Bottom Line for Building a Good Credit Score

 

The connection between a fairy-tale and your real-world finances may seem like a stretch. But having read through the above, you should now understand how they relate. While it may sound odd for both over-utilization and under-utilization of credit to be a bad thing, this is nevertheless how the financial industry works. By ensuring that you get your credit score management “just right”, you should be able to enjoy a happy, well-managed financial outlook in the future. 

 

Click the image below to get your free printable Household Budgeting Binder!

 

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Don't know how to even start budgeting? Add this free household budget printables binder to your tools! Use the worksheet template for monthly money management to track those expenses! #money #budget #finance

 

 

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Looking to raise, improve, or repair your credit score? Tips and hacks to increase good credit even when you haven't got any by using the Goldilocks Method. #credit #finance #moms #budget