Tag Archives | health and wellness

Green Your Halloween with Spot It! Halloween from Blue Orange Games

We are huge fans of Blue Orange Games – we have a large bowl on our dining room table full of our some of our favorites. We play one every night while we eat dinner! Right now, we love Sketch It!, Speedeebee!, Flash!, and Spot It, they are great for the entire family, even the mister enjoys them!

Blue Orange Games has a new fun game right in time for Green Halloween – Spot It! Halloween. So fun! The Spot It! games are a fun matching game with an astounding concept: there is always one matching symbol between any two cards. To win all 5 mini-games, you have to be the quickest to spot it! Spot It! Halloween adds a twist to the traditional game with Jack O’ lanterns, zombies, creepy crawlies and other Halloween goodies. 

+ Spot It! Halloween $12.99
+ Blue Orange Games

How to Make Caramel Apples with Coconut + Unreal Candy

I was looking through the archives and found this goody!

Over the weekend, Eben and I were dying to make caramel apples. We had picked up a few supplies from the market – organic apples, organic caramels and organic coconut. We also had some Unreal Candy on hand – and of course Eben wanted peanut-butter cup on his. They were divine! If you haven’t had a coconut-caramel apple yet, get on it! Read on for our recipe and make these yummies with your little mummies tonight!

1. Gather the Ingredients

  • 3 organic apples
  • 27 organic caramels
  • 1 cup organic coconut
  • 3 Unreal peanut-butter cups

2. Cut it Up
Take this time to chop your Unreal peanut-butter cups into small squares and get your coconut ready to go.

3. Stick It
Place a wooden ice pop stick or chopstick in your apple – make sure you don’t go all the way through.

4. Heat it Up
We were in a hurry so we heated our caramels with 1 tbsp. water in the microwave, and they were completely melted after 1 minute. However, I would recommend stopping at 30 seconds and stirring your caramels until melted.

5. Caramel it Up
Roll your apple through the caramel – it helps if you tilt the bowl from side to side until your apple is covered.

6. Sweeten It Up
As soon as your apple is covered in caramel, roll it in peanut-butter cup or coconut.

7. Eat and Enjoy!
We had to immediately sit down and nosh on our caramel apples – they were so good. I was especially fond of the coconut (my favorite!) – it was perfect.

All Work & No Play? Keep Your Kids Active After School With CLIF Kid

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With the school year in full swing, it’s important to remember that our kids need regular playtime to remain happy and healthy. Balancing playtime with homework can sometimes seem like a difficult task, but the creativity that play allows for helps kids develop in ways that aren’t always focused on at school. I know I always try my best to keep playtime at the forefront of Eben’s life despite his busy school schedule and my own work picking up at this time of year. Today I want to talk about how I help incorporate play into our daily lives, and keep Eben fueled so he can do his best at school and have energy for fun activities afterward.

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Our favorite after school activities include taking the dogs for an evening walk around the lake or taking a stroll on the beach to chat about his week. It’s a great way for us to connect and helps me stay in the loop with what’s going on in his life. We also have family game night at least once a week and the two of us also spend every Friday night doing a mom-and-son “date night”. This usually means that we go out for sushi and then we hit the bookstore or a movie.

To keep him fueled at school, I always tuck a CLIF Kid Zbar® in his backpack. (In fact, he has a late-start school day today – so I slipped an apple and CLIF Kid Zbar in!) It is perfect for late afternoons when he gets hungry, or for after school when he stays later to work on a project or study for a test. The bars are great to snack on during class too, since they are easy to eat without having to pull out his whole lunch box. I also have a few approved snacks always available in the refrigerator and on the counter top. That way when Eben gets hungry during homework time or a video game session, he has easy access to healthy snacks! He loves their flavor, and I love that they’re made with organic ingredients, and no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or synthetic preservatives. They’re also made in appropriate portion sizes for growing kids, which a lot of snack bars aimed at adults are not, and have important nutrients for active kids.

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Eben also incorporates playtime into his busy schedule in a number of ways. He rides his bike to and from school, which is a great way to get kids energized and focused for a day of studying. We slip in family time whenever possible by having family game nights, making organic milkshakes together, and having make-your-own-pizza and movie nights on the weekend. We also do a lot of cooking together —especially Mr. Sweet Greens and Eben, which is a great way for him to learn life skills and healthy eating habits.

We like to take a fall vacation each year, to get some hiking in when the weather is beautiful and there’s a lot to see. It’s a great way to make family memories—I have lots of pictures from these trips that are great to look at again later!  Of course, CLIF Kid Zbars ® are Eben’s fave hiking treat, because they’re just the right combination of sweet treat and satisfying fuel without feeling too heavy when being physically active. We do a lot of outdoor stuff together as a family, including paddleboarding, bike riding, walking, hiking, and more depending on the season and location. Making sure we all have the energy to live an active lifestyle is one of my priorities, packing in CLIF bars is just part of our routine!

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Playtime is important for a kid’s growth all year long, and shouldn’t be pushed to the side during the school year. Unfortunately, as our society gets busier and we spend more time in the digital world, active play is disappearing at home, in school, and in communities. 70% of moms (like me, and probably you, too!) played outside when they were kids, but only 31% of our kids play outside today. That’s something we should all be focused on changing. CLIF Kid understands the importance of keeping kids active, and have a great video on getting your kids outside to push their boundaries and have adventures while staying properly fueled. take the initiative in this post to combine school activities and play.

What about your kids? How do you incorporate active and creative play into their lives? I’m always interested in hearing how my readers balance their busy lives to prioritize healthy habits!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

HOW TO: Recycled Eco-Friendly Glitter Skulls For Halloween

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Looking for a fun Halloween project to do? How about easy glitter skulls? We used a couple of recycled newspaper skulls that we found at our local craft store, homemade green glue and eco-glitter. When they were finished, we placed them inside one of our kitchen apothecary jar (these usually house flour, sugar + coffee) complete with recycled artificial moss and an antique key – you know, to lock the skull inside. Read on to learn how to make a set of glitter skulls to display for Halloween.

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What you will need:

– recycled newspaper skulls
– homemade green glue (recipe below)
– eco-glitter
– paintbrushes

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Step 1: Make the Homemade Green Glue

What you will need:

– 1 c. organic flout
– 1/3 c. organic sugar
– 1 1/2 c. water
– 1 tsp. organic vinegar
– green natural food colorant

Directions:
Warm all of the ingredients over medium heat until you get a thickened consistency. Remove from heat, let cool.

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Step 2: Get Painting

Use paintbrushes to coat your skulls with homemade green glue.

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Step 3: Get Glittering

Sprinkle eco-glitter all over the skulls. I recommend placing the skulls on a plate to catch the leftover glitter.

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Step 4: Get Displaying

We used our glitter skulls in the entry-way of our home for everyone to enjoy.

How to Create a Natural Disaster Survival Plan

Hello, Friends! Emergency preparedness has been on my mind, since Hurricane Matthew is quickly approaching. We have lived through several category 1,2 and 3 hurricanes before, so I know how important it is to be prepared.

This week, the mister and I have been updating our family’s natural disaster survival plan, kit, and backpacks. I thought if I walk you through my process, it could be of service to some of you out there. First, I wrote a new natural disaster survival plan – this is especially important for us, since this is the first major storm we have experienced since we moved back to Florida. Read on to learn how to create your own natural disaster survival plan.

1. Review, Update + Practice
First things first, once a year you should sit down to review, update and practice your natural disaster survival plan. This is the one way that you will be able to make the necessary updates to the plan and practice makes perfect. Everyone in your family should have a role when it comes to your plan, including the kids. Some examples include choosing a designated place to meet if your family becomes separated and establishing an out-of-state emergency contact, someone everyone in your family can contact to say “I am OK! if you become separated. Please have your children memorize this number in case their cell phone goes dead.

2. Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? 
If you know about the disaster ahead of time – in cases such as; hurricanes and volcanoes, you need to quickly decide if you plan to stay or evacuate. If you live in the area that is going to be directly hit by the natural disaster, it is best to leave as soon as possible. However, leaving doesn’t mean you have to hop on an airplane or drive hundreds of miles. You usually only have to drive several miles to get out of harms way – you don’t want to get stuck on the freeway or at the airport during a natural disaster. For example, the last time we lived in Florida, when we heard that Katrina (category 1 at the time) was headed our way (we lived on the beach at that time), we grabbed our hurricane kit and backpacks and drove to a hotel (that accepted dogs) outside of the cone.  Always better safe than sorry.

3. Have a Last Resort Plan
If you decide to stay during the natural disaster and then for some reason you have to leave your home at the last minute, you need to know where to go. Have a list of shelters in close proximity that you can get to quickly and have an emergency preparedness kit and backpacks (for each member of your family) ready to grab and go, including blankets/pillows, food, change of clothing, toiletries, water, medicines, and other survival items.

4. If You Plan to Stay – Stay and Prepare
Do not wait until the natural disaster is knocking on door to prepare. For natural disasters such as hurricanes, install your hurricane shutters immediately. If you have a generator, replace the oil/gasoline and make sure you have enough to keep your generating going for several days, make sure the generator is in working order. (Remember to only run the generator outside and away from your home, this is very important, many folks have died due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning). If you need a very long extension cord, make sure to pick on up immediately. If you need supplies to board up your home, get them now. Choose a safe room in your home that has no windows and that can shelter your family if your homes outer structure breaks apart. Great examples are inside bathrooms, closets or stairwells. Choose an out of state emergency contact, someone everyone in your family can call to say “I am OK” if you become separated from your family.

5. Prepare for Special Needs Family Members + Pets
If you have a family member that has special medical needs, contact your local emergency management department to find the local special care shelter. If you need to take a family member to the shelter, make sure that you pack enough food, water, medicines, and supplies for each person for at least three days. If you have pets, take careful consideration on what you will do if you have to go to a shelter or evacuate. Many shelters will NOT allow pets – please have alternate ideas ready in case you have to leave.

6. Prepare Your Home
After you have made all of the necessary accommodations to protect your home from the natural disaster – contact your insurance company to find out what disasters and damages your policy covers. Determine whether you need to add more coverage protection and ask yourself, would my insurance cover the costs to rebuild my home from ground zero if necessary?

7. Prepare Your Survival Kit and Backpacks 
You should have a natural disaster backpack for each member of your family. We have dedicated backpacks that are packed with all of the essentials necessary to sustain each of us and our dogs (Noodles and Olive) for at least 3 days. Included in each of our packs a blanket/pillow, two changes of clothing, toiletries, first aid kit, bug spray, flashlight, hat, vital documents, credit cards, cash, notepad/pencil, a book, card games, rain gear, and our hiking boots. We also have separate large survival kits that house our food, water, Swiss army knives, tent, paper goods/plastic cutlery, rope, solar powered radio/flashlight, extra batteries, tape, garbage bags, wipes and other supplies that will be necessary, if we have to grab and go we are prepared.

If you are in the path of Hurricane Matthew, please prepare now if you haven’t already! It is always better to be safe than sorry. Stay safe everyone!

photo via Rick McCharles