Archive | PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES

How to Make Simple Upcycled Halloween Lanterns

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One of my favorite areas to decorate for Halloween is our front porch. It’s the perfect spot to share your Halloween decorations with visitors and neighbors! These painted glass lanterns are one of my favorite projects to pull out of storage every year. They are just so delightful!

What you will need:

What to do:

1. Spray the glass containers inside and outside.
2. Once dry, paint on the design or face that you would like.
3. Place a rechargeable or solar powered tea light inside.
4. Watch the delight on the faces of your neighbors as they walk by.

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What do you think of my Halloween lanterns?

On the Go this Summer? Grab Stonyfield!

I don’t know about you, but for me, summertime is family time. We love going out together to walk the dogs, splashing in the pool, heading on a beach adventure, or simply riding our bikes down the Lake Trail. Biking is a big thing in our family, especially in summertime. We ride them everywhere – even to do our shopping!

Because we’re out and about so much, we need on-the-go snacks that are easy to transport, healthy, and (of course) delicious! Enter Stonyfield Organic Kids Pouches. Stonyfield’s pouches are lightweight, portable, and resealable. And, while I know it says “kids” on the pouch, I don’t mind telling you that I enjoy snacking on them from time to time, too!

Stonyfield’s are a great option for the whole family for many reasons:

  • they’re made with 25-35% less sugar than the leading kids yogurt
  • they have live active cultures to help keep your family *ahem* regular
  • you’ve got so many delicious flavors to choose from
  • and they’re USDA Organic certified, Non-GMO Project verified, made with milk from pasture-raised cows, Kosher certified, and gluten-free!

Right now, we are loving the strawberry, but, no matter which one we toss in our backpacks, everyone is snack-satisfied!

If you’re heading out on a bike adventure this summer or just lounging at the pool or beach, pick up some Stonyfield’s for your journey. And don’t forget the sunscreen! I’m currently obsessed with Badger Balm’s Broad Spectrum SPF 30. It’s a mineral-based sunscreen that is safe, effective, and smells great, too. And, just like Stonyfield, it’s B-Corp Certified. That means they’ve been third party certified to meet rigorous environmental and sustainability standards, along with accountability and transparency. Hooray! 

If you’re looking for a product that’s both earth- and kid-friendly, look no further than Stonyfield’s. Your whole family will love them, and they’ll make any trip you take – be it by bike, boat, or car – so much more pleasant! Which flavor of Stonyfield’s is YOUR favorite?    

 

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield – all opinions expressed are my own.

How to Prevent Your Family From Getting Sick During the Transition to Spring

If you have a family, you probably know how important it is to make sure that everyone stays healthy throughout the year. When one person becomes sick in the family, things tend to spiral out of control. Your kids might have to miss school, you might have to miss work, or your whole family might have to miss out on major events.

The change from winter to spring can be rough on many people. Allergies are on the rise and sickness is in the air. To prevent your family from coming down with any illness this spring, there are many things that can be done.

Rose Medical Groups suggests making time for regular exercise. You might not like the idea of getting off the couch and heading to the gym, but exercise can really help maintain your health and prevent coming down with an illness.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym in order to get your exercise in. If you have kids, take them to a trampoline park or rent a bounce house. A mere 10 minutes of jumping is a better cardiovascular workout than 30 minutes of running. It’s a really easy way to make getting out and getting active fun, without forcing your entire family through the doors of a health club.

Drinking plenty of water is another key to staying healthy during this time of year. Get your family in the habit of drinking eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. The water can help get rid of your body’s bad toxins and can help prevent any cracks from developing on your skin. Children especially should be drinking plenty of water each day if they want to maintain their skin’s youthfulness.

Spring cleaning is one of the easiest things you can do to help prevent your family from getting sick when the seasons change. Go through your home and dust the corners that haven’t seen the light of day in about six months, get rid of any boxes you neglected to throw out after the holidays, and use steam to kill all germs and bacteria hiding in your carpets. Steam has been said to kill 99% of common household germs and bacteria like E.Coli, salmonella, and staph, as well as dust mites and bed bugs.

According to NBC 2, spring cleaning is also the perfect excuse to get rid of any expired or unwanted medication you have in your home, and to do so properly. You can even bring the medications to a take-back program to properly dispose of the unwanted pills. They also suggest using your spring cleaning time as a period of making sure your home’s first aid kit is up-to-date and that all of your emergency contacts are updated in your cell phone.

Taking any of the steps listed in this article can help prevent your family and household from coming down with any springtime illnesses.

It’s Time for More Eco-Friendly Spring Activities for Families!

Last spring, we provided some eco-friendly activities to help your teens get out, get active, and get green. Now with spring almost here again, we want to help provide a few more simply, environmentally-friendly activities you can share with your kids once the warm weather arrives.

With today’s technology, kids and teens don’t get outside as much as they should. In fact, researchers have found that today’s kids play for about four hours a week. This is much less compared to the 8.2 hours their parents played outside when there were kids. And after being cooped up all winter long, it’s time to get outside and get active!

One of the best places to get active is at your local park or nature trails. Whether you have little ones or teenagers, there’s plenty you can do at a nearby park. Whether it’s playing on the playground, having a scavenger hunt throughout the nature trails, or even picking up trash along the way, there’s no excuse to not get outside. And if you’re one of the owners of the 770,000 drones that have currently been registered with the FAA, spring is a great time to put it to use. Flying it around the park can be a great way to get some fresh air and cool pictures or videos.

Another great activity to do with your family is visit your local farmer’s market. This will not only allow you to purchase some fresh fruits and veggies for home but will help you teach your family about healthy, locally-grown food. Knowing where food comes from, and the benefit of eating fresh foods, can start your child off on an eco-friendly path early on.

Or instead of visiting a farmer’s market, why not try growing your own goodies at home? Having a garden at home can be an ongoing project and can teach your family about responsibility. Whether you’re planting fruits and vegetables, flowers, or some small herbs, the entire family can get involved in learning how to plant, care for, and harvest your new crops and plants. With some supervision, your kids can learn the responsibility of taking care of their very own garden.

Along with gardening, you and your family can get started on some sustainable gardening practices. Setting up something like a rainwater harvesting system can teach the whole family more about sustainable practices. Furthermore, your kids can see the direct impact when they get to use the rainwater to help their garden grow.

Whether you’re getting your hands dirty with some dirt, picking up trash at your local park, or simply getting out and enjoying nature, there are plenty of ways to get your family outside and doing eco-friendly activities everyone can enjoy.

Spring is Almost Here! Turn your Garden into a Magical Eco-Friendly Haven!

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: Thank you supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.
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A beautiful, well-kept garden can be the best part of any home. It’s a perfect spot to get close to nature, watching butterflies and bees hover around flowers. It’s also an ideal location to relax after a busy day at work or looking after the children. A garden can be at its most magical in the evening, but too many people head indoors as the sun sets. Here are three ways to enjoy your garden in the evening, turning it into a central feature of your home right round the clock.

Install Night Time Landscape Lighting

It’s hard to enjoy the beautiful sights of your garden in darkness, but you can give nature a hand with the latest technology by installing landscape lighting from factory direct companies, which can help reduce landscape design project costs. When planning your lighting project consider path lights, well lights, or lights that are positioned in trees, so you can have evening lighting that’s subtle or strong to suit your taste. After your project is complete, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden’s beautiful light, when nature’s lights go off. This is especially useful on warm summer nights, and evening illumination can create a truly magical feel.

To learn more about night time lighting projects, visit: https://www.voltlighting.com/

Warming Up Those Cooler Nights

Even with the perfect garden lighting in place, you still may prefer to relax indoors at certain times of the year when evening temperatures start to dip. This problem can be fixed with the addition of strategically placed patio heaters. These can be placed next to the popular spots in your yard, such as, a garden bench, table, or garden building, and they make sitting outside a pleasure despite the cooler temperatures. The latest models of heaters are also designed to be environmentally friendly, which can help you “green” your garden even more!

I know what you’re thinking – running lights and heaters outside uses electricity. There’s got to be a more eco-friendly way! You know I wouldn’t let you down. Check out these VERY affordable solar panel kits! Just charge up your batteries during the day, and you’ll have enough power to keep you warm and glowing all evening long.

A Perfect Place To Entertain

Do you like to host dinner parties in your home? One of the most enjoyable parts of a dinner party is when guests gather together to share entertaining stories. Guests often gather in the living room or in the dining area itself, but your guests will be even more impressed if they gather in your garden. With lighting and heating in place, a garden room or gazebo is an ideal place to meet and greet guests or to entertain them before dining. Gazebos and garden rooms come in all sizes, and as they are an attractive garden feature while also adding value to your property as a whole.

As a bonus, you can install rollaway screens around your gazebo, so you can keep insects at bay without having to resort to zappers or chemical-laden sprays. You’ll get all the benefits of outdoor dining, while sharing it peacefully with the wildlife around you.  

These three features can each add evening magic to your garden, but when added together they create a spellbinding place to sit back and watch the world float by. With subtle lighting and a source of heat nearby, you can relax by your gazebo and gaze up at the stars in the night sky. The only way to improve this experience is to have the person you love by your side and your favorite drink in your hand.