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!
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.
I love oatmeal on cool, crisp fall mornings! Am I the only one? You can make your own organic instant oatmeal packed with flavor in a few simple steps taking your regular oatmeal from ho-hum to yum-yum. Read on to learn how you can make organic instant oatmeal and wake up to a better tomorrow.
Step 1: Bake It! Preheat the oven to 350°, spread 4 cups of organic old-fashioned rolled oats on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2: Pulse It! Pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Step 3: Mix It! Mix in a cup of your favorite oatmeal add-ins such as; almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and coconut.
Step 4: Store It! Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Step 5: Boil It! Stir boiling water into a cup of your organic instant oatmeal until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 6: Enjoy It! Oatmeal is my favorite on a cool, crisp fall morning – top with honey too!
Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s back to school for children, teens, and young adults across the country. For parents, that means it’s time to handle getting lunches packed, balanced breakfasts on the table, and sleepyheads out of bed!
I always get a wonderful nostalgic feeling from the end of summer, back-to-school time. It always reinvigorates me and makes me excited to try new things and make changes in my life, even though my own schooldays are long past. I think part of this has definitely been from raising Eben!
Watching him go through the process of starting a new grade each year has been so rewarding and inspiring (and now, he’s applying to Graduate School, can you believe it!) I always want to support him and his efforts at school, and part of that means making sure he’s well fed and properly fueled so his brain can do all that learning each day (at least until he leaves us!)
One of the things I like to try and do each year is come up with new types of healthy snacks. Kids always seem drawn to any kind of single-serving snacks and fun foods—just think about those awful packaged varieties that your kids have probably begged you to buy while shopping. Packing the same things all the time gets boring and doesn’t offer much variety in terms of vitamins and minerals, which only eating a broad diet can do.
If you’re stumped for new ideas when packing lunches, here are some of our favorites, which I’m sure your kids will love, too:
Fruit Skewers: Use whatever fruits you have on hand (melons, apples, clementines, grapes, etc.) and stick bite-sized chunks onto wooden skewers or reusable plastic or metal skewers if you want to be extra eco-conscious. These colorful snacks are fun to eat and easy to share with friends at school!
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter & Pretzels: This fun, dippable snacks make eating healthy nut butter a breeze. Eben loves these so much he had already gone through the package of them before school started! Like a healthier version of Nutella, these snacks feel like an indulgence, but they’re made from high-quality, all-natural ingredients with a focus on sustainability. Definitely a winner!
Fruit and Vegetable Chips: Whether you choose to make these in the oven, dehydrator, or buy them from your local health food store (such a variety is available these days!), fruit or vegetable chips are a great way of making healthy eating fun and delicious for kids. The possibilities are endless: apples, sweet potatoes, kale, zucchini, eggplant, all with any combination of flavored salts, herbs, and spices.
Stonyfield Organics YoKids Squeezers: This squeezable yogurt is both healthy and tasty. Eben loves the Cherry and Berry flavor pack, and they never come home uneaten when I pack them in his lunch! As with all of the Stonyfield products, they are organic certified by the USDA and made with pasture-raised milk.
Nuts and Seeds: I buy organic nuts and seeds in bulk at Costco and pack them in Eben’s lunch every day. They are the perfect snack to grab right before a big test or for an after-lunch pick-me-up!
Homemade Granola Bars: Unlike their store-bought counterparts, when you make granola bars at home, you don’t need to add any processed sugars and can control exactly what goes into them. There are endless healthy granola bar recipes online, and I guarantee at least one of them can be made with whatever you have in your cupboards right now!
What about you? Do you have any favorite back-to-school snack ideas that your kids devour? Or any packing secrets or life-changing products you can’t do without? I’d love to hear about them—the more inspiration, the better!
Many families struggle with common health conditions they can handle without going to the hospital. While prescription medications are important, their costs can increase in the long run. It’s important to consider the alternative in this case: embracing “green” treatments. Understand that these treatments use natural approaches to address common health conditions you may have. This guide explains which natural treatments and ingredients could help set you up for a healthy life.
Aloe vera is among the plants with effective medicinal properties you can use to treat common health conditions. In alternative medicine, aloe vera can treat skin abrasion and alleviate joint pain. The anti-inflammatory properties in the plant are also vital in treating arthritis pain. Aloe vera is also important to people struggling with osteoporosis and low bone density. More than 52 million people are struggling with osteoporosis and low bone density in the United States alone. With aloe vera as an alternative treatment, addressing health conditions and enabling healing can be easy.
Addressing common health conditions naturally goes beyond the physical symptoms you see. It is possible to address your mental health issues in this way as well. Chamomile is a common medicinal plant used to treat anxiety and enable relaxation. The plant is also effective in reducing inflammation and swelling and treating wounds. When added to tea, it helps soothe the mind, making it possible for you to relax and concentrate more. Chamomile is a plant you can grow in your home and enjoy the related benefits. Use the flowers to get the expected medicinal results faster.
Besides breastfeeding, you effectively address dental health issues in your child by embracing and encouraging a traditional diet. A meal with plenty of fat-soluble vitamins and healthy fats is crucial to dental health. Did you know that one out of every three orthodontic patients in a dental care clinic is an adult? It is important to consider traditional diets as they help address dental health issues in adults and children. As a parent and homeowner, encouraging your family to eat avocados, pasture butter, fermented foods, and fish is important for their dental health. Reach out to nutritionists and dieticians to know more about vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and collard greens that contain high calcium content to add to your traditional diet and address your dental health issues.
Garlic and Ginger
As you look for ways to get the best natural treatment, know that adding garlic and ginger to your diet is beneficial. While garlic is widely used for cooking, the medicinal benefits are great. You can use the compounds found in garlic for antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory needs. Know that garlic is effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Ginger is effective in easing motion sickness and nausea. Like garlic, you can effectively use ginger as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Understand that you reduce medical needs and costs by embracing and encouraging natural health in your family.
Perilla or Stinging Nettle
The little-known perilla plant is effective in the treatment of people struggling with allergies. Note that this plant has antidepressant properties you can effectively use to alleviate asthma or allergic rhinitis symptoms. You can also use the plant to treat different skin conditions, helping you avoid costly prescription medications. While it is the belief that allergic rhinitis or asthma can spontaneously go away, medical reports and statistics show that the likelihood of positive results is only 1% per year. For this reason, embracing alternative medicine remains beneficial. You can conveniently use stinging nettle leaves as an alternative treatment to alleviate allergies or asthma. Studies show that you can benefit from stinging nettle’s antioxidant, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Embracing “green” treatment is an effective way to achieve your health objectives without spending much. You can grow most of the plants, vegetables, and herbs in the garden in your home and enjoy the benefits. By learning more about natural treatments, you easily address common health conditions and care for your family.
Hello, Friends! I am pretty excited, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different this year. Most gatherings will be super small or social distanced.
Either way, it will still be a ton of fun and work! To get you started, there are many eco-friendly ways to green your Thanksgiving dinner – all of which are easier to implement if you plan ahead. Many of these ideas will save you money and time while cutting down on the amount of waste that can accumulate from a big family dinner. Read on to learn my 5 favorite eco-friendly ways to plan your Thanksgiving dinner and start planning today!
1. Decorating 101 You don’t have to spend any money when decorating for Thanksgiving, instead use items that you already have or consider bringing natural items indoors. We always have a handful of pumpkins leftover from Halloween that we use as Thanksgiving decorations. And Eben and I like to take a nature walk to collect natural elements (pine-cones, acorns, branches, and leaves) to display as our Thanksgiving table centerpiece.
2. How Much is Enough? It is really easy to go overboard when planning the Thanksgiving menu. Consider the dishes that you will be serving and ask yourself if you are making more than is necessary. Choose a few dishes that you are sure your guests will love and skip the rest. Also, consider which parts of Thanksgiving dinner you want to or can afford to purchase organic and whenever possible, avoid pre-packaged items.
3. Consider the Table Do you have enough dinnerware for everyone at your dinner party? If not, consider borrowing place settings from close friends or family members instead of purchasing new. If you aren’t a china and tablecloth kind of family and choose to go with disposable place settings, choose a great compostable version that is made from 100% recycled materials.
4. Think Seasonal When choosing fruits and vegetables for your Thanksgiving menu, think seasonal. You want to avoid purchasing produce that is imported from far away. You may consider joining a local CSA for the holiday season – not only will you have delicious, local foods to serve this Thanksgiving, but you will be supporting a local farm too.
5. Plan for Leftovers What do you plan to do with the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers? If you are planning on sending goodies home with your guests, have glass reusable storage containers ready to go. If you made more than your family can consume, you could donate some of the leftovers to a local food bank, freeze them for later or have a menu plan for the days after Thanksgiving so all of the leftovers will be used.
How do you green your Thanksgiving dinner? I would love to hear – please share your thoughts in the comments!