Health Benefits of Massage and Taking Care of YOU

This post about the health benefits of massage was sponsored by Massage Envy as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central There are a number of health benefits of massage that can really help improve the lives of busy mom's (and DADS)!  Life is chaotic, especially around the holidays.  We bake, we shop, we chaperone classroom parties.  We work hard to pad the budget for Christmas gifts and then come home to cook dinner and supervise homework hour.  When, in our busy schedule, do we take care of US?  I don't know about you, but I … [Read more...]

10 Health Benefits of Dried Plums That Will Amaze You!

I am participating in a VIN campaign for California Dried Plums. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with California Dried Plums and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. The older I get, the more I realize that the food I put in my mouth has a lasting impact on my health.  While I certainly kick back and enjoy the occasional hot fudge sundae or bowl of chips, I try to make those a sporadic part of my diet.  Eating a rainbow of colors, cooking from … [Read more...]

7 Effective Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain

Natural remedies for chronic pain are not always as easy as just popping a pill.  I have been dealing with chronic pain for years and have been diagnosed with something called myofascial pain syndrome.  It's a disease similar to Fibromyalgia but slightly different in how it presents.  Basically, I suffer from chronic muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, and trigger points throughout my whole body and no one knows why.  Perimenopausal women are diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome more than any other type of person. My pain definitely cycles … [Read more...]

Our Frustrating Search for a Safe Nail Polish

I have never understood my teenage daughter's obsession with nail polish.  I never painted her nails when she was little because I always worried about toxic nail polish ingredients.  She discovered nail polish on her own once she hit about 4th grade and has been crazy about it ever since.  I have learned over the last few years of having teenagers that it is best to pick my battles carefully.  She happily washes with my organic, locally made soap and uses an aluminum free, natural deodorant.  I haven't fought too hard about the nail polish up … [Read more...]

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Turning the Clock Back

Every year around this time I get a surge in traffic from people searching for information about turning the clock back.  No, they aren't looking for my blog (darnit!) but they are looking for information about when to change their clocks. This year, the clocks “fall back” November 1, 2015 which means that there will be less day light. That's a bummer for those of us who seem to really need lots of sunlight to function at 100%. Many people chalk up feeling blue in winter as simply a fact of cold weather and lack of sunshine. But 4 to 6 percent … [Read more...]

Best Cold Remedies for Cough and Head Congestion

I am one of those lucky people who always seem to get massive head congestion whenever they catch a cold. Along with my horrendously congested head comes the pleasant sounding 'post nasal drip' which then turns into a horrible cough as all that gunk settles in my chest.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  When I'm suffering from cold symptoms like this,  my bedside table is littered with piles of snotty tissues, decongestants, nasal sprays and an assortment of other cold remedies that may or may not actually work.  Over the years, I have done quite … [Read more...]

Locker Room Etiquette: Basic Tips for Gym Newbies!

For the last month I have been going to the gym nearly every day.  Am I losing weight?  No.  Thank you, middle aged metabolism.  But, I will keep going anyhow in the hope that I am still improving overall health.  If you have spent any time at the gym, I'm sure you have become familiar with the locker room.  You really can't avoid it, unfortunately.  If you want to store your workout bag, take a shower, or use the scale you will have to venture into the locker room from time to time.  Ever wonder about proper locker room etiquette?  What locker … [Read more...]

Healthy Weight Loss Tips for Long Term Success

These healthy weight loss tips have been sponsored by Kiqplan but all opinions expressed here are my own. It seems like everyone you talk to lately wants to lose weight.  There are high school reunions to impress people at, pretty party dresses to fit into, and scales that insist on lying to us about how much we actually weigh.  No matter what the reason, everyone seems to be looking for diet tips to help them shed a few pounds.  I see friends talking about cabbage soup diets, juice cleanses and 'magic pills' that will help you lose weight … [Read more...]

How to Wash Workout Clothes and Ditch the Stink!

When the kids went back to school about 6 weeks ago, I adopted a near daily workout habit.  I have always been active with walking and the occasional yoga session but I was determined to work up a sweat every single day. Daily workouts mean that my workout clothes are getting a LOT of use.  I'm washing gym clothes just about every day at this point.  I have noticed, however, that no matter how many times I wash my fitness clothing, it doesn't always smell fresh when it comes out of the dryer.  Exercise clothes tend to absorb the odors of your … [Read more...]

5 Reasons You Need a High Protein Breakfast (And a Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie Recipe!)

This post about why you need a high protein breakfast has been sponsored. I am participating in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Orgain. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #PoweredByOrgain Mornings are busy for most of us and whipping up a high protein breakfast isn't always on the to do list.  Finding sneakers is on the to do list.  Feeding the dog and making sure the kids have their homework packed are also on the to do list.  But, sitting down to a nice, … [Read more...]

Cleaning Toothbrushes Naturally for Fresh Breath and Fewer Germs!

This post about Cleaning Toothbrushes Naturally has been sponsored by #CollectiveBias but all opinions expressed here are my own. #NaturalGoodness Have you ever heard of Staphylococcus aureus?  Do you know what Streptococcus pneumoniae is?  Did you know that these are just two of the millions of bacteria that live in your mouth?  Everyone's mouth, no matter how often you brush, rinse or floss, harbors millions of bacteria in it.  Most of them are fairly harmless and studies have not shown any negative consequences to our overly populated … [Read more...]

10 Uses for Aloe Vera Gel You Probably Never Thought Of

Last week I wrote a post about how to extract aloe from an aloe vera plant.   It wasn't hard...just a tad slimy and time consuming.  Now that I know I can do it, I wanted to find other uses for aloe vera.  Aloe vera gel has always been my go to solution to a kitchen burn or bug bite but what else can I use this stuff for?  If you have an aloe plant at home and want to learn a few other uses for aloe vera gel, here are a few suggestions: Uses for Aloe Vera Gel  Use it in a sugar scrub for your feet:  I love making homemade sugar scrubs so … [Read more...]

How To Get Aloe Vera Gel From Your Aloe Plant

My son recently had a bad experience with a chemical hand sanitizer.  We rarely use them but we were out and about and I didn't have any other option.  After the rash cleared up,  I decided to make homemade hand sanitizing spray for those times when we couldn't get to soap and water.  I searched around on Pinterest and Googled a few things to find out how to do this.  I came across a ton of posts that all seemed to say "combine alcohol with aloe vera gel and add essential oils'.  I could do that!  I have a nice sized aloe plant and would just … [Read more...]

DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray with Aloe and Essential Oils

I am not a huge fan of the over use of hand sanitizer but our society seems to be obsessed with the stuff.  Everywhere I go, I see people whipping out little containers of clear goo and squirting it on their kids hands.  Did you touch the dog?  Better sterilize your hands.  Oh, you took out the trash?  Here, rub these artificial chemicals all over yourself.  SO much better for you than germs, right?  Hand sanitizers have become a staple in backpacks and purses all over the country.  Most situations do NOT require hand sanitizer.  Soap and water … [Read more...]

Natural Skin Care Tips for Radiant Skin after 40

This post about Natural Skin Care Tips has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own. I was recently going through some of my photos and I was shocked at how young my husband and I looked in them.  Even photos that were taken just 5 years ago show off a person that is much thinner and younger looking than I am right now.  There is something about the magic number *40* that just signifies the downhill slide into 'not quite so young any more'!  Since I don't see myself getting facelifts and collagen injections any time soon, I … [Read more...]

Workout Tips for People Who Hate Exercise!

When I make up my to do list every day I always put 'go to the gym' or 'go for a walk' right at the top.  And then it progressively gets pushed farther and farther down the list as my day gets busy.  OH...I need to clean the toilets?  Can't go to the gym right now!  Hey, I haven't called mom recently...better do that before I head to the gym, right?  I know I need to exercise...not only does it help me feel better but it keeps my from outgrowing my pants quite so quickly.  But, for people who don't like to exercise, finding the motivation can … [Read more...]

Back to School Shopping Tips for Healthier Kids

These back to school shopping tips have been sponsored by Groupon but all opinions expressed here are my own. It seems like summer just started but according to that pesky calender, my kids go back to school in less than 3 weeks.  That is going to be a seriously rude awakening for my teenagers.  They have been rather sloth-ish this summer and have pretty much grown roots and become addicted to their mobile devices.  Back to school shopping is on my to do list, although I keep putting it off as long as possible.  As you begin your own back to … [Read more...]

Sauna Tips for Better Health

I joined a gym last year to start getting more exercise.  But what REALLY draws me to the gym is the sauna!  After I work out, I head right to the sauna and just hang out in there for a few minutes and sweat.  I have found that my time in the sauna really does help with overall muscle pain and stiffness.  Something about really heating my body up to a ridiculously high temperature seems to have therapeutic effects.  The hot tub is nice, too, however the heat of a dry sauna along with the detoxifying sweat really makes me feel like a new person … [Read more...]

Tips for Managing IBS and a VSL#3 Sweepstakes

For as long as I can remember, my father has had stomach problems.  He has modified his diet, tried medication, and still spends way too much time in the bathroom.  Unfortunately, those stomach issues seem to be genetic and I have been suffering from them for years.  However, when I first started having problems, my father gave me some good with them EARLY and they won't be as severe as you get older.  He ignored his for far too long and now managing IBS symptoms has become a major part of his life. Irritable Bowel Syndrome … [Read more...]