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Health & Wellness

Entertaining, Health & Wellness, Recipes February 6, 2017

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY OATMEAL

Most of us have heard the phrase, “What’s in your wallet?” Today, we want to ask, “What’s in your oatmeal?” Instant oatmeal is one of the fastest and easiest meals to make every day. The bad news? It’s not always the healthiest choice. It can be loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and other not-so-body-friendly ingredients. Homemade meals are typically much healthier because we can control what goes in them. In the spirit of American Heart Month and heart-healthy foods, here are some of our favorite homemade uses of oats.

MIX IT

Mixing steel cut or rolled oats with milk or water for warm oatmeal is super delicious with natural fruit toppings. Add a little cinnamon and honey for a sweeter taste.

BAKE IT

Baking oatmeal cookies at home can be a healthy alternative to purchasing them in-store. Instead of sugar, sweeten the cookie mix with honey, vanilla and cinnamon. You can even throw in some raisins or dark chocolate chips to help satisfy your sweet tooth.

SCRUB IT

Mix ground oats with honey for a natural facial exfoliate. Feel good from the inside out.

Have an oatmeal recipe you want to share? Do so here!

Crafts, Health & Wellness, How To February 6, 2017

DIY Valentine’s Day Bath Bombs

We understand that with a busy schedule, it can be hard to find time to relax and unwind. Just when we feel like the busyness of the holidays has passed, Valentine’s Day sneaks up on us. Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift for friends, teachers, a loved one, or even yourself, a heart shaped bath bomb is something anyone would be thankful to receive.  Below are the foolproof instructions on how to make them.

What You’ll Need:

Heart Shaped Ice Cube or Baking Tray

1 Cup Baking Soda

½ Cup Citric Acid

2 Teaspoons Epsom Salt

¼ Teaspoon of Essential Oils (we chose rose and eucalyptus)

Dried Flower Petals (we used rose)

Rose Petal Witch Hazel

Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients

Mix baking soda, citric acid, and Epsom salt in a large bowl.

Step 2: Add Oils

Once thoroughly combined, slowly mix in essential oils, distributing the scents evenly.

Step 3: Add Witch Hazel

Slowly pour in small amounts of witch hazel until the mixture is wet, but still holds its shape well.

Step 4: Place Dried Flowers in Tray

Add a few buds and petals to each mold in the tray.

Step 5: Pat Mixture into Molds

Tightly pack the mixture into the tray molds and let dry overnight.

Chocolates and flowers are great but the gift of relaxation and pampering is hard to beat.  Watching love fizzle can actually be fun and beneficial with these DIY heart shaped bath bombs. Let us know how it works for you in the comments below.

Click here to check out another easy DIY Valentine’s day treat.

Health & Wellness, How To, Living Room Ideas January 31, 2017

Vegan + Gluten-Free Super Bowl Snack Recipe

Game day calls for good sports, great friends, hilarious commercials, and amazing food. It also happens to fall early in the year, while we’re still making an honest effort towards our New Year’s health kicks. To perfectly match great flavor with health consciousness, we’ve made this game-changing recipe that will be a fan favorite for seasons to come. It’s vegan and gluten free.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of flour (can swap for gluten free!)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 cup of milk (you can use almond, soy, or rice milk as a substitute)
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter (can use olive oil for a vegan friendly option)

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees

Step 2: Slice the cauliflower into nugget sized pieces.

Step 3: Mix flour, milk, and dry seasonings in a large bowl. Add cauliflower and cover with mixture completely.

Step 4: Place cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 5: While cauliflower is baking, mix melted butter and buffalo sauce in a medium sized bowl.

Step 6: Toss cauliflower in buffalo sauce and butter mixture.

Step 7: Serve with ranch, bleu cheese or your favorite sauce, and celery.


This recipe will be sure to please your entire party while keeping the snacks light and healthy. You’ll have the crowd cheering “MVP!” (More veggies please!) Let us know how it played out for you in the comments below!

Health & Wellness, Home Decor & Furniture, How To January 18, 2017

Keep Your Home Clean: It’s Easy as 1, 2, 3

Going in to the New Year, it can be easy to dream up lofty goals in the spirit of drive, discipline, and self-improvement. Keeping your home clean may seem like an unachievable goal, where you figure you’ll settle in somewhere between your past level of production and your ideal sense of order. But why settle? Here are some insider tips and tricks to keeping your home clean and organized.

Step 1. Get organized before getting organized

This may sound counterintuitive but it makes sense. If you can plan out which days you’ll do your cleaning and organizing, it will make your action steps much easier to tackle. Break your to-do list up into more manageable categories, like assigning a day for each room. For example, clean the kids’ rooms and bathrooms on Monday, the living space and your bedroom on Wednesday, then the kitchen and dining area on Friday. You could also break it up by tasks, like doing all the vacuuming on one day and the dusting on another. Break chores up in a way that best accommodates your schedule and your family’s needs.

Step 2: Make it fun

 

Yes, cleaning is a chore but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive attitude while doing it! We have memories of helping mom clean the house on Saturday mornings, cranking classic tunes and having fun, yes fun tidying up the home for our family to enjoy.

Step 3: Bring in the reinforcements

Touching on the previous point, don’t hesitate to have children and other family members  help you with the cleaning. Teaching children these skills is crucial to their respect for the home and gives them a sense of importance–that they’re contributing productively to the home’s upkeep. This will also affect their adult lives by creating positive habits that will lead to organization within and outside of their future homes.


We hope these tips will help you achieve the organization you desire and show you how attainable it can be. By spreading the workload throughout the week, you’ll find that it is not only easier to keep your home clean, but your home will actually stay clean longer. Let us know your favorite ways of keeping your home clean and how the above steps work for you and your family!

Health & Wellness, How To, Seasonal January 5, 2017

Healthy, Hydrating Winter Skin Care Tips

We all know the feeling of winter, and our skin can feel it before the local meteorologist has the chance to tell us it’s coming.  The following are tips to help you combat the harshness of winter, without being harsh to your skin.

Tip 1: Amp Up the Moisture

Our faces tend to be the areas most vulnerable to cold weather dryness. In the mornings, use a regular moisturizer that works well with your makeup. Before bed, use a moisturizing oil such jojoba, grape seed or coconut.  Be sure to lightly pat this into your face, as rubbing it in can clog pores and cause breakouts.

 

Tip 2: Drink More Water

Keeping your skin hydrated is as much about what you put into your body as it is about what you apply topically. By drinking sufficient amounts of water, and even more in the winter, you can help your skin feel and look nourished.

 

 

Tip 3: Add Supplements

If you’re already at maximum hydration, another option is to add vitamin C, zinc, or an omega-3 supplement to help your body boost its production of collagen and elastin. These proteins keep your skin glowing and smooth.

Tip 4: Simmer Down

When the weather gets colder, it’s tempting to use hotter water. Unfortunately, bathing in very hot water can remove the natural oils from your skin, leaving your face and body dryer than before. Try using lukewarm water instead–your skin and hair will thank you!

Tip 5: Don’t Underestimate Sunscreen

Although the weather may be dreary, UV rays are actually stronger on partly cloudy days. This means that leaving your skin without proper sun protection can lead to permanent damage, and sun damage can leave your skin feeling dry and rough. To avoid this, opt for a moisturizer that offers SPF protection.

Step 6: Use a Gentle Exfoliator

It may seem counterintuitive to use something that scrubs your face, but ridding the skin of dead cells is essential for beneficial oils to penetrate the skin’s surface. For the face, you can use a microdermabrasion tool (start by using once a week and see how your skin responds) or an exfoliating cleanser. For the rest of your body, sugar scrubs are a great way to gently remove dead skin cells.

Step 7: Invest in a Humidifier

Sleeping next to a humidifier is another great way to keep your skin moisturized, and it’s extremely easy to work into your skincare routine. Simply turn it on before going to bed and wake up with refreshed skin! Apart from the great benefits to your skin, a humidifier can also reduce your risk of getting a cold or the flu.

Winter may be harsh, but your skin doesn’t have to show it. Following these tips can give you that summertime glow all year round. Share your favorite tips and let us know how these worked for you.

Health & Wellness, Home Decor & Furniture, Living Room Ideas December 30, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions Part 3: Getting Fit with Your Furniture

The intention to get in shape is a common New Year’s resolution. What many people don’t realize is that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time and money spent at the gym to do so. Walking often is a great way to keep your metabolism up, and there are many body weight exercises that can be done from the comfort of your living room furniture. The following are a few suggestions on how to multipurpose your living room set for exercise.

Health & Wellness, How To, Seasonal November 21, 2016

‘Tis the Season for Saving

Staying afloat financially can be difficult—especially with the holidays coming up. So, how do you gather some extra funds for the festivities? Other blogs tout extensive lists of minor savings, taking frugality to the extreme and suggesting you should re-use paper towels or make your own dish soap. These methods are too much work for how little they reward you; your time is valuable and you should use it wisely! I’m going to show you how financial awareness and smarter shopping can be just as valuable as 100 different “frugal” tips.

Find Your App and Check it Twice

You’d be surprised how carried away you can get if you’re not paying attention to your spending. Months ago, I took a good look at my monthly transactions and I realized why I was always short on money—I never paid attention to what I spent in a day. And that unchecked spending led to $300 in restaurant charges for just one month!

Online banking is an easy way to track your transactions. Utilize this simple platform to set up alerts, and you’ll know exactly when you’re going a little overboard. This is also a great time to set up an automatic transfer to put away some additional funds in your holiday savings account—you can’t overspend your money if you’ve hidden it from yourself!

Many money tracking apps also allow you to set goals, categorize your spending, and view easy-to-read charts that help in visualizing exactly how you spend each month. You can’t aim for lower expenses if you don’t know your current expenses, so take a look at least once a week and see where you can cut corners and save!

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Don’t Let Food Eat Up Your Savings

In addition to my $300 a month restaurant habit, I found myself spending close to $30 a week on small transactions at convenience stores or the office vending machine. So, I took action and IMMEDIATELY cut these costs in half. Here’s what I did.

  • Prepare for sales. Signing up for e-coupons from your grocery store or specific brands will keep you alert to great prices on items you buy frequently—be sure to stock up when they’re on sale!
  • Those chips, granola bars, and drinks you buy on break at work? They need to go. If you stock up on these at the grocery store, they’ll cost you less than half the price. This is the time to stop those impulse buys in your daily life.
  • Fewer restaurant trips! Just keeping tabs on my spending made me think twice about eating out. I made sure to have a few frozen meals on hand at all times, just in case time isn’t on my side and I need something quick. Those will cut cost of last-minute dining out expenses from $15-20, to under $5.

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Earn Your Spot on the Nice List!

If you stick to these tips—keeping an eye on your purchases, and buying food differently—you will feel a significant change in how you spend, and it will be reflected in your bank balance. There’s no need to work yourself up with extreme, all-out frugal or “cheapskate” methods; just be aware of your spending and use a little bit of strategy, and you’ll find yourself with plenty of extra cash for the holidays!