and Geocaching App

It has only been a couple of months since we started geocaching and we have already found 88 93 geocaches.  Thanks to for a one year membership and the app.  I contacted them and they were more than helpful with setting up my account and giving me a code for the app to review.  The app works seamlessly with the online website and through geocaching we have found incredible spots in our state that we had never seen before.  Geocaching is a great way to teach kids about coordinates and directions.  I can not explain the thrill of finding a hidden container and yelling out, ” I see it.”  Some caches are deep in the woods, in a park and ride lot or in a cemetery.  There is enough variety of difficulty that it can be enjoyable for anyone.


So, What is Geocaching? As defined on it is  a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.  There are varying levels of difficulty and terrain.  The website and app rate each geocache so you can decide if it is the right one for you and your family.  Right now I find that geocaches in the 1-3 range of difficulty are good for us and hold my son’s attention.  The site and app also let you know how big each cache is and whether or not they are big enough for trading.  People leave small objects that can be traded for others of equal or greater value.  Mostly they are fun little trinkets similar to party store finds. Check out for more information on how to get started.

Now that we are geocaching on a regular basis, we always have our geo-supplies in the car.  I learned the hard way that geocaching in flip-flops is not the best plan.  Our staples include, sneakers or hiking boots, a backpack, pen, bug spray, sun lotion, GPS and our phone with the app.  The app and website allow you to search based on your current location or a given area.  You can set up a “pocket query” for a given destination or even to find geocaches along a route that you will be driving.

I could go on and on about Geocaching but I want you to go check it out and see what you think.  You can get started for free at or get the free version of the app for your mobile device.  They even have videos you can watch to get you started.  Go on and give it a try! app

A membership and app were provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Who will you go geocaching with? 

Food Over Medicine: Food for thought

This summer BenBella Books sent me another great read to review, Food Over Medicine, The Conversation That Could Save Your Life Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, and Glen Merzer.  They talk about the the current state of health in America and how diet can improve peoples conditions.  They share success stories, recipes and tips on managing your doctors.  This is an easy read book that keeps you engaged and  provides important information that can change the quality of your life.


About The Book

Almost half of Americans take at least one prescription medicine, with almost a quarter taking three or more, but diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and dementia are growing more prevalent than ever. Overmedicated, overfed, and malnourished, Americans fail to realize the answer to lower disease rates doesn’t lie in more pills, but in the foods we eat.

In Food Over Medicine, Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, and Glen Merzer openly discuss the dire state of American health, the result of poor nutrition choices stemming from cynical food politics and medical misinformation. But, more important, they share the key to getting and staying healthy for life. As executive director of The Wellness Forum, Popper works to change lives through diet and lifestyle, reduce medical costs for businesses through health education programs for employees, and educate health care professionals on the healing potential of an optimal diet.

Backed by numerous scientific studies, Food Over Medicine details how diet can dramatically improve health and turn around alarming diagnoses—such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other major health problems—and do so more effectively than drugs that often have lingering side effects. Including recipes from Del Sroufe, author of the bestselling Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Food Over Medicine reveals the power and practice of optimal nutrition in a highly accessible way.


About The Authors

Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, is a naturopath, an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, medicine, and health, and the Executive Director of The Wellness Forum. Dr. Popper serves on the Physician’s Steering Committee and the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Popper is one of the health care professionals involved in the famed Sacramento Food Bank Project, in which economically disadvantaged people were shown how to reverse their diseases and eliminate medications with diet.

Dr. Popper is part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s teaching team at eCornell, teaching part of a certification course on plant-based nutrition. She has been featured in many widely distributed documentaries, including Processed People and Making a Killing and appears in a new film, Forks Over Knives, which played in major theaters throughout North America in 2011. She is one of the coauthors of the companion book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for several months.

Glen Merzer is a playwright and screenwriter living in California. He is coauthor with Howard Lyman of Mad Cowboy, and with Howard Lyman and Joanna Samorow-Merzer of No More Bull! He also coauthored Chef AJ’s Unprocessed. He has been a vegetarian for almost 40 years, and a vegan for almost 20.


Enter to  win a copy of Food Over Medicine, The Conversation That Could Save Your Life from BenBella Books. 


A copy of Food Over Medicine, The Conversation That Could Save Your Life was provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own. 

New U By Kotex Products Now at Walmart

This post about the new U By Kotex products available at Walmart is brought to you by our friends at Lunchbox.  I have written several times about the U By Kotex line (check the posts out). I’d much rather carry around something like U By Kotex than what my mom used (and therefore, I had to use for years) I hated having to bring the necessary supplies needed to school or out with me when I had my period.  NOT fun.  You know, because having to deal with your period is so much fun already.

U By Kotex offers seriously great protection for any occasion. Period. Pun absolutely intended. Now, exclusively at Walmart, are 2 new styles of U By Kotex.


U by Kotex® Extra MAXI Pads

  • Fast absorbency for a dry, clean feel
  • Channels for reliable protection
  • Tru-fit® wings help keep this baby in place
  • Bold, edgy aesthetics on Pad
  • Heavy Duty Protection
  • Folded and wrapped – easy open wrapper in fun, bold colors
  • More absorbent that our U by Kotex® CleanWear Pads
  • Soft covers keeps you clean and fresh or Soft film cover for a clean and fresh feeling

U by Kotex® Thong Liners (exclusive to Walmart)

  • Specifically designed for thong style underwear

  • Individually folded and wrapped for on-the-go convenience

  • So comfortable you’ll barely know it’s there

  • Totally thin

  • Totally fresh

  • Barely there

The secret to a successful adventure is feeling great. And feeling good starts with making sure you’re ready for anything—from pimples, to sun burn, to a period that shows up unfashionably early.

Visit and to check out the U By Kotex® Survival Kits! From Girls Night Out to Bridesmaid Duty, these survival kits will help to stop any beauty mishaps that may come your way!


**Coming soon***When you pin your favorite survival kit to Pinterest, you will immediately receive a $1 coupon for U by Kotex® products! I’ll pin for 2 reasons.  #1, I’m almost never prepared. I mean, I try to be. But I always find (too late) that my tampons or pads are in the van, and I’m in a store, or I changed bags and my supplies are in the bag I changed from, or I have hubby’s truck and not my van). So maybe a cute survival kit will keep me prepared, because I’ll want to make sure I have it on me at all times!? #2 I hate spending money on feminine products.  A lot.  It annoys me that I am dealing with my period and then I have to buy all the things that go along with it. 29 years and counting I’ve dealt with this annoyance and it’s not lessened at all.


SO.  Here’s my question: What’s in YOUR ultimate period survival kit? Which U By Kotex Kit is your fave?

I believe that all period survival and emergency kits should include chocolate.

Photo books made easy with Shutterfly Photo Story iPad app #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post about photobooks made easy thanks to my affiliation with Global Influence and Shutterfly.  I am the first person to admit to anyone that I take hundreds- maybe thousands of photos each year, but that’s it.  They are sorted into month folders and I’m just awful about actually doing anything with them.  When I heard Shutterfly had a new photo app called Photo Story, I decided to view it as a kick in my pants to DO SOMETHING with the eleventy billion photos that I have stored on my iPad.


Mind you, I can’t fit all of my photos into one book. But I am off to a good start.  Obviously I had to download the app (I think we all know how to do that at this point, right?), open it, remember my password. That took a while. Don’t worry, four tries later I remembered.


Then I had to peruse the photo book options. I went with an 8×8.  Mostly because it’s a cute size and my kids adore looking through photo books, so the smaller size is easy for them to handle. Maybe just a tiny bit because that was what I was asked to order for my review.  There aren’t a ton of layout and design options that you will find within the app but for me, that was better. While I adore my iPad and other devices, it’s not always easy to move images around and place things – my attention span wanders…so having fewer options for ME was a great thing. It made it easier for me to settle on a design layout and start to create my book.  In total I think it took about an hour and 45 minutes to create my book….but it was while I was watching tv and discussing paint colors with my husband.  So I probably could have finished it in less time.  Lazy photo people of the world, Shutterfly knows us well, and has found a way to allow us to be lazy and semi-productive!


Making this book was fun.  Now that I’ve got my first one made, I have every intention of making books using my photos shared on Instagram and Facebook…plus I have more photos saved on my iPad to add to a book or 2.  That’s the cool thing about this app, and what I love most about it (aside from the ability to create the book when I’m on the couch watching TV and don’t have a 932432 degree laptop on my lap because I’m using my iPad!) because like I said, I’m good about taking the pictures. I’m NOT good about printing the pictures.  I am good about sharing them on social networks….so now I can preserve them for my family to enjoy! A bonus? There’s a share-able digital version of the book when you create it so you can share on Facebook or email to family and friends.


I’m challenging myself to create a book a month for the next 6 months.  Care to join me? I’m really kind of excited about this challenge.  With the app, I can get all of the photos I want to create saved onto my iPad and then I can create the book with or without internet connection- so when I’m a little early for pre-k pickup or someplace without service and some down time, I can work to meet my challenge.


Now, just like “regular” photo books, you can add captions and lettering to your photo books created with Photo Story. I opted NOT to include anything but images in this first book I created, because I made it mostly for my kids to enjoy, and I thought they would have fun captioning themselves.  Plus, down the road, they can look back at their own captions and see what their handwriting looked like, etc.

With Photo Story, you can  add 30 second audio messages on each page.  You can also include a QR code for printed books that, when scanned, brings the viewer to the digital version and they can enjoy the audio messages along with the book.  Pretty cool, right?  It’s like a regular photo book but kicked up a few notches. (Tip: You can use talk to text to create your captions!!)  You can add photos as you like or you can use the Smart Autofill feature and let Shutterfly do the work. This app is quite user friendly- enough that I have promised my 8 year old SHE can design a photo book all by herself.  She’s got a pretty nice selection of photos of her friends and I think it would be a really fun keepsake for her to enjoy- plus she can share it with all of them via email to their parents!!

shutterfly-photobook-app-download-here-freeReady to download this FREE app?  I’m sure you are- especially because one of you is going to WIN a code for an 8×8 photo book to be ordered through the Photo Story app!  


CamelBak Eddy Water Bottles Great for Back to School

Last week CamelBak sent us 3 Eddy .75L water bottles.  I don’t know who was more excited, my husband, little monk, or I.  They even sent one in “Sunset” orange, which is my son’s favorite color.  These great bottles retail for $15 and come in 9 colors.  I took the clear and my husband got charcoal.

Camelbak Eddy water bottle great for back to school


Our best-selling eddy™ now has a redesigned cap for greater durability and faster flow. The eddy™ .75L bottle is 100% BPA-free and built with our patented flip-top bite valve that lets you sip without tipping or spilling – perfect for hydration on the go. Integrated loop handle can be hooked to a carabiner or carried in the crook of one finger. Dishwasher safe.

Camelbak eddy bite valve



We try to stay active and hydrated.  These CamelBak eddy bottles are lightweight, easy to carry and clean.  The bite valves works great and my son has proven that they truly are spill-proof.  These are perfect for kids to bring in their lunchboxes or to keep on their desk at school.  We have taken ours hiking, biking and we use them around the house.  I fill mine with filtered water before bed and in the morning I have a nice bottle of cold water to bring to work.


Where will your CamelBak go? 

I was provided with the CamelBak bottles to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.


Foreign Language Learning is fun and easy with Little Pim

This review post about foreign language learning with Little Pim is made possible by product samples received.  In this day and age, it’s hard to not encounter different languages no matter where you live.  Even scanning radio stations, we hear all kinds of music- sung in all different languages.  My kids seem to have inherited their mama’s love of learning new languages. They’ve all been asking to learn Spanish and Chinese, and since I don’t speak a word of Chinese, we thought we’d start with some Spanish.  Little Pim was where we headed, because the adorable Panda pal, Little Pim, speaks 11 languages himself and loves to teach kids ages 1-6 (and maybe older) all kinds of fun and practical things from each of the languages he speaks.
Little Pim teaches languages using videos, apps, music, books, flash cards and more. Each video is segmented into 5 minute episodes to accompany a young child’s (age 0-6) attention span and encourage pausing for parent interaction. Don’t worry too much if this isn’t a language you speak or just aren’t familiar with- the series is set up so that parents can easily pick up and interact along with their children.


My kids have a lot of fun with Little Pim.  The actual Little Pim stuffed friend we received actually lives on my 4 year old’s bed amongst her eleventy billion other stuffed friends, but she’s always making sure that Pim is tucked in and whenever she’s wanting to practice some Spanish words, she runs off to find him to talk to.  The earlier videos in the series seem a bit young for my older kids (but they are 6 and 8 so I’d expect that) but really?  The kids all enjoy them.  I love the pace that the program goes- not too fast, not too slow. My 3rd grader is learning Spanish in school this year and was beaming that she knew several words that the teacher had taught them in class the first few days.  I’m waiting for her to come home singing “A mi burro” like I did when I learned it in school!

The music  “bop” CD seems to have the kids’ attention and enjoyment the more we get into the videos — I think at first it just sounded kind of strange to them.  The more we listen to it, the more we like it.  It’s in the van so I have to say we.  I’m listening too!  The flashcards are well loved in the van (and are in the van with my husband at Home Depot right now)– the kids like to “quiz” each other and practice their Spanish vocabulary with them.

What are your thoughts on foreign language learning for kids? Have you tried any programs? Or Little Pim?

Back to school memories preserved with Hallmark

We received the Hallmark Pics ‘n’ Props School Days Activity Kit to review so that we can have our back to school memories preserved.  A few days ago, my kids went back to school.  Third grade, first grade and preschool. I usually try to get a pic outside on the first day, although this year I tried to get it in the same place as we did last year for continuity.  We also added in the chalkboard frame from the school days activity kit so that I can remember who was going into what grade when I finally get around to printing photos and adding them to albums. Also because it’s cute.  But really, I don’t always remember.  This is a help.


Changing the “grade” is as easy as sliding a poster board paper out and a new one in.  Voila.  One side has an even numbered year and the opposite has an odd numbered year.  All 12 grades, plus preschool, kindergarten and “I’ma  graduate” all come in the kit.


I have to move fast when I do these photos- the kids are antsy and, especially with my 8 year old, all she wants to do is cartwheels.  All.  day.  long.  So I try to get that photo ASAP before they start digging in mud, stomping on wet grass and doing whatever else kids do for fun.


It’s not just a fun frame for marking the grade in school that comes in the prop kit- it also has a little photo album with a card for each grade….you or your child can write a bit about what they liked and who their friends were on the card, and you can slip that on one side of the album with a photo from that year on the facing page.  Pretty nice way to remember things– I’d love to have that from my childhood- there’s so much I’ve forgotten from my school days!!


Of course, you want to be sure to make copies of photos like this one, because we all know that THIS kind of says more about the kids than the great shots we tend to share with others…


Creatively capture your kid’s first day of school each year with our School Days Activity kit. It comes with a chalkboard prop with inserts for preschool through 12th grade, plus chalk, a photo album and journaling cards. And cap off all those years of education with our Graduation Celebration kit. Grad and friends will love posing with dollar signs, oversized scholarly glasses and more. The included album is perfect for capturing all of your creative handy work.


Hallmark also has a huge assortment of cards (which I’m sure you know), including a line just for kids relating to school- meant to encourage, just let them know you are thinking of them, proud of them, wishing good luck.  I love to tuck cards like this into their folders or lunchboxes to be found at school- so much fun to surprise them!



One reader will win a prize pack including the Pics ‘n’ Props School Days Kit plus an assortment of cards for kids. 

Tricky Stories: Magic Castle – kids game for iPad and iPhone

This is a sponsored review about the Tricky Stories: Magic Castle – kids game for iPad and iPhone.  Opinions are my own.   Tricky Stories: Magic Castle is a new kids game for iPad and iPhone releasing 8/29/13 (download on iTunes). At first glance, I kind of thought this app was almost a virtual sticker book- but upon exploring a bit, and watching the kids interact, I quickly realized it was much more.  This app is kind of like a felt board and puppet show blended together into an interactive game on your device.  There’s the scenery and buildings that are “set” in place, but your child can engage and move different components and characters around to their heart’s delight.  That scary, fire-breathing dragon may be on the verge of capturing the king’s castle, but wait! Along in the distance comes the stereotypical knight in shining armor to save the day.  Or, if your kids are like mine, maybe the princess throws a giant birthday cake at the dragon and ties balloons to the dragon so he floats away, never to be seen again.


The monster is really happy because he tricked his friend the prince into chopping up firewood so he doesn’t have to do a lot of work.  The princess has flowers she wants to bring to her teacher who lives over the bridge and past all the flowers. The raccoon lost his special friend Bear last week at the park but the lady bug brought it back to him and he’s happy today.  (Description by my 4 year old)

My kids spend a lot of time doing dramatic play and imaginative play.  They’ll play with the Lego guys and the My Little Ponies who will all ride together to free a stuffed dog who’s been put in time out by the big mean mommy (um, that’s probably me).  This app isn’t going to take away any of that fun, but your child can have similar fun engaging and interacting with the people, places, animals and things that you find on the different pages of the Tricky Stories: Magic Castle app.

One really fun thing I like (and the kids adore) is that you can take polaroid-like snapshots of the scenes you create.  Which may mean your camera roll is looking similar to this, although I can almost promise you that your kids will likely stare at you when you say “oh! those look like polaroid pictures!” because they have no idea what a polaroid is.  These develop instantly, no need to shake them or wait for them to show up.


In this photo, the kids were telling me that the fox is playing hide and seek but he’s not winning and he’s going to get really sad. The princess is planning to bring out a cake and make a surprise party so he doesn’t feel bad all day.  (Description by my 5 year old)

We had a double appointment at the pediatrician this week for both girls’ physicals.  That meant my son  was along for both visits, and stuck in an exam room with not much to do.  We read several books together, but he was bored and getting very antsy.  I set the iPad out on the exam table and within a moment, he and little sister were playing around and happily entertaining themselves while big sister was out getting her checkup stuff taken care of.

This app will be available for 1.99 starting August 29th (today).  It’s fun, it’s affordable, and definitely an app that kids can go back to over and over again without it being the same every time.

What are your favorite apps? Are you planning to download Magic Castle?  I want to know what your thoughts are!


At home fertility treatment option #TheStork

This is a sponsored post about a new at home fertility treatment option called The Stork.  Opinions are, as always, my own. I’ve surprised many folks when they learn that I’ve had fertility issues.  My kids are 25 and 23 months apart, so I can see why that might make people wonder.  I was fortunate. I got my happy ending(s).  But I won’t forget the journey to get where I am, and I remember all too well the nights crying myself to sleep because yet another pregnancy test had been positive and then….there was my period, just a few days late.  Month after month.  It was worse after I miscarried. For us, the HSG testing combined with Clomid was the magical combination and helped bless us with our first 2 kids.  We didn’t “have” to do IUI or injections- or more invasive procedures.  We were lucky.  We are lucky. But I can tell you that faced with the idea of having to give the doctor a sample, I’m not sure how comfortable my husband would have been to even talk with a physician about that, let alone produce that sample.  Having to do something so intimate and so private in a medical office isn’t exactly a comfortable setting, and not anyone’s ideal way to get pregnant.  That’s why, when asked if I’d attend a webinar to learn more about this at home fertility treatment option, I needed to learn more.
The Stork was designed as a natural, cost-effective option to help couples bridge the gap between natural conception and more aggressive treatments. It can be used in the privacy of the home without affecting daily routine- both for couples with no known fertility issues and for those who are experiencing difficulty conceiving. 1 in 6 couples are known to have fertility issues in the US.  That’s a much higher rate than I’d imagined. While it makes me sad, indeed, it really makes me happy that there are companies who are working to make fertility options more accessible to the masses. I have friends who have literally had to make the choice to either be able to afford IVF once with a low chance of success due to their individual fertility issues, or to purchase a home.  No one should have to make choices like that.

That’s right.  There’s a cost-effective fertility option (I know, I always thought that was an oxymoron, because fertility options are NOT cost-effective?!) available AND…you can use it at HOME.  Without going into great detail, The Stork works very much like a condom– or with a condom….I am including a video clip below.  But basically, you have regular intercourse, but once the man has ejaculated, he rolls the condom off, washes his hands, removes the condom from the cervical cap, and then the cap is attached to the applicator….and in just a few steps, that cervical cap is placed where it needs to be most and those sperm are given their own sort of “fast pass” to where they need to go.  There’s no guarantees it will work, as with anything relating to fertility, but it’s a big boost and hopefully enough to get those sperm where they need to be to fertilize an egg.


The Stork Conception System is indicated for assisted insemination in instances where low sperm count, sperm immobility, or hostile vaginal environment has been diagnosed. The system (cervical cap in a condom-like silicone sheath) is used to collect semen into a cervical cap, and then deliver the cap to the outside of the cervix as an aid to conception. It is to be used at home following physician instructions.


Because of the low price on The Stork, many physicians are recommending that couples do this process three times/month during a women’s optimal ovulation cycle.  The folks at Rinovum Women’s Health, the company that makes this product, are pushing to have The Stork available over the counter (OTC) in 2014, working to be priced around $79 (per treatment) at places like CVS and Walgreens so that it’s available and accessible to anyone with or without insurance.

The Stork isn’t meant to replace your doctor.  It’s meant to be an affordable option when you are realizing that you aren’t having sex for fun and more for the purpose of trying to get pregnant- but it’s not happening….and hopefully keeps you from having to go into more invasive and costly procedures.   Low sperm count, low motility, hostile environment or ovulation timing issues are some of the things that this product may be able to help couples with.  The folks at Rinovum Women’s Health are doing a clinical study and if you are in the Pittsburgh area, reach out to them if you are interested in being part of that study.

 I know this is an option we would have explored- would you?

Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for Mom

I participated in a campaign about nutritious breakfast ideas on the go on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for belVita. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

One of the things I am HORRIBLE about is making sure that I myself have a healthy, nutritious breakfast.  I’m really good about making sure my family has one, but honestly, I’m usually making lunches and packing snacks for everyone while they eat breakfast, and before I know it, I’m in the car on the way to drop them at school realizing I’ve eaten nothing at all. One of my goals this (school) year is to plan out some nutritious breakfast ideas ahead of time so I can either grab and go or plan ahead.


1. belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits – these are my favorite because…well, there are chocolate flavors.  AND, they are packaged, so I can easily bring them with me on the go and not worry about a huge mess. (I have long since lost count of how many times I’ve spilled food or drink on my shirt in the car).


2. Smoothies- totally easy to make, and would actually complement a Breakfast Biscuit nicely.  We are partial to our Vegan Peanut Butter smoothie and Pina Colada Smoothie

egg jarlsberg avocado breakfast cups #breakfastduos

3. Make Ahead Egg Cups (Check out my Egg, Avocado and Cheese Cups)

4. Fruit & Granola, Yogurt (and combinations)

5. Protein-packed Muffins


Now, each of these alone can be a nutritious option.  Adding fruit to everything is always a good idea too.  Paired together, and you’re getting a pretty decent breakfast.  My favorite option of any of these options or for breakfast in general is absolutely the belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuit, specifically the Oats & Chocolate flavor.  Nothing personal against the Mixed Berry, I am just a chocolate girl and will always choose the Mixed Berry. My husband really likes the Mixed Berry so it’s kind of a match made in heaven for us (awwwwwwwwww, aren’t we so cute?).  


Why do I love these little biscuits?  They are high in fiber, and really, we all need fiber.  So there’s that.  But they also have iron in them, and as someone who’s been anemic on and off for much of my life, I’m always up for more ways to add a little extra iron into my diet. No artificial junk, no high fructose corn syrup.  For busy mornings when I don’t have time to make my own breakfast?  This is a great nutritious option for me!

• 20% Daily Value of Fiber (contains 7 grams of fat per serving)
• 11 grams of Whole Grain per 50 gram serving
• Good Source of Energy Releasing B-vitamins
• No High Fructose Corn Syrup
• No Partially Hydrogenated Oil
• No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Sweeteners

belVita has partnered with Lifestyle Mom, Dana Hilmer, to provide us with tips to ease stress as we enter Back to School season. 

Easing Stress during the Busy Back to School Season

Soon families everywhere will be getting back in the school year routine. Here are some tips to help parents get ready from the Lifestyle Mom, Dana Hilmer:

  1. It’s important to schedule down time for you and your family. Before signing your kids up for this year’s after-school activities, think about your family’s priorities and the impact each activity will have on your schedules.
  2. It’s just as important for you to have a tasty, healthy breakfast as it is for your kids.  Perfect for eating on the go, belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits come in two varieties, Mixed Berry and Oats & Chocolate, grab a banana and a latte and you’re good to go with nutritious morning energy.
  3. Take a little time each night to get organized for the following morning. By making lunches and selecting outfits before bed each night, you’ll free time each morning for other things.
  4. Be sure to keep healthy snacks in the kitchen for after-school snacking.  Nuts, crackers and fruit are great to give kids right when they walk in the door to keep them from grazing on unhealthy snacks, or spoiling their appetites for dinner.
  5. Moms often complain about not having enough time for themselves, but when life gets busy, it’s even more important to carve out that time. Treat “me time” as a priority.
  6. Start a to-do list with three sections: the priority of the day for yourself, the priority of the day for your family and the priority of the day for your work.  Start with these items, and only move on to other less important items once they’re done.
  7. Use Sunday nights to plan your dinners each week.  If you take a few minutes to think about how you can creatively use the leftovers from one night to the next, you can create a full week’s worth of healthy, tasty dinners that your family will enjoy.
  8. Give yourself the freedom to say no without guilt. Activities or commitments that may not be right for your family are okay to decline. Saying NO gives you the permission to say YES to things that are important to you.
  9. Back-to-school season is also cold and flu season. You can keep your entire family healthy with these simple habits: eating well, getting enough rest and washing hands regularly.
  10. Create a network of support for yourself. This network looks different for everyone.  Consider asking your partner and kids for support. They can be a great help with tasks you feel comfortable handing over.