Nov 172017
 

Flu season is upon us and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Here's what you need to know about the flu this winter.

Flu season is once again upon us and, as a nurse, I feel like this warrants a blog.  There are some common misconceptions about the flu.  My personal favorite is one that we’ve all heard – “I got the flu shot once and it gave me the flu”.  This is absolutely 100% impossible.  The flu vaccine is NOT a live virus, making it scientifically impossible for you to get the flu from it.  If you get sick after getting the flu shot, it is purely coincidental; you were likely brewing some sort of viral illness prior to receiving it.

This brings me to my next point: not every illness/virus/cold someone gets during flu season is the flu.  People tend to call whatever they contract the flu.  The only way to know with 100% certainty that you have the flu is to be tested.  It’s a nasal swab; it’s not pleasant, I’m not going to lie.  At the Urgent Care that I work at on the weekends we do rapid flu tests right there; results within 10 minutes.  How’s that for service? Other facilities send the swabs to the lab and you’ll have your results back within a few hours.  If it comes back negative, you likely have some other viral illness that’s going around.  I know, I know….no one likes to hear “it’s just a virus”.  Bear in mind that the flu is a virus; these things just need to run their course.  No antibiotic will make any of it go away.  Treatment is rest, fluids, Tylenol…. the usual.  **IF** you are diagnosed within 48 hours of the start of the symptoms, there is Tamiflu.  Tamiflu is an antiviral that will lessen the symptoms and duration of the flu.  It is only effective if started within the first 48 hours.   Continue reading »

Nov 052017
 

If you are looking for simple ways to save on your Thanksgiving meal this year, these tips might help you stretch your money.

Thanksgiving is a few short weeks away! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. Hosting a Thanksgiving feast can add up really quickly. I have some simple ways to save on your Thanksgiving meal. If you are looking for simple ways to save some money, these tips might help you stretch your money.

Tips on How to Save On Your Thanksgiving Meal

Potluck Style
Create a menu and ask your guest to bring a dish. That way they can see what you are making as well as everyone else and picks a dish to compliment. This is a simple way everyone can help contribute to the meal and take stress off the host. When you have a list of what people are bringing you don’t have to guess what else you need to make.

Free Turkey With Purchase
Most stores will offer greatly discounted prices on turkeys and even free ones. Stores will run promotions free turkey with a select amount of money spent. Keep an eye out at your local stores to see when the low prices or freebie offers begin. Continue reading »

Oct 302017
 

If you find you are having trouble sleeping, you might be doing some things wrong before bed. Check out this list of things not to do before bed. Not getting enough sleep or quality sleep each night is exhausting, it not only makes us tired but we can’t be our best when we are exhausted.

Here is a list of things not to do before bed, to ensure you get the best quality sleep you can. Not getting that adequate sleep each night can lead to foggy thinking, mistakes while working, and accidents during your day. Before you crawl into your comfy bed, make sure that you are not following these habits.

Here are 5 some ways to really help make sure that when you go to sleep you can sleep more soundly and get a good nights sleep once and for all!

What Not To Do Before Bed

Technology
Don’t bring your phone into your bed with you or other gadgets. It will overstimulate you and can actually keep you up, or make you struggle to fall asleep. Try to power down from your electronics for at least one before bed. This will help the mental and physical stimulation from your phone! Continue reading »

Oct 292017
 

Winter can be long and very chilly depending on where you live. These cold weather hacks will help keep you warm, save you money and much more.

When the temperatures begin to drop and the sun goes down earlier, you know Winter is upon us. Winter can be long and very chilly depending on where you live. Below I am going to share some awesome cold weather hacks to help you survive this winter. These hacks will help keep you warm, save you money and much more.

Window Insulation Kits
To eliminate any unwanted drafts in windows, buy window insulation kits. They are a film you apply to your windows, and it can save you around $15-$18 per window for the winter. It helps keep those winter drafts from blowing in.

Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, turn them so they run clockwise. This will take the warm air that rises to the ceiling and pushes it down to you.

Door Drafts
If you put your hand at the bottom of your door and find a cool breeze flowing in, roll up a towel and place it at the bottom of the door. It will help block the cold air from getting indoors.

Oven
After you cook your meal, leave the oven door open after you turn the oven off. It will release all that hot air into your home and help heat it up some. Be cautious if you have young children though, as they could get hurt. Continue reading »

Oct 232017
 

I wanted to share some tips on how to make sure you get a good nights sleep. I know it’s not easy for a lot of us, but it definitely can be done. Regardless of your sleep pattern now, I want to share some ways to really help make sure that when you go to sleep you can sleep more soundly and get a good nights sleep.

Here are 5 some ways to really help make sure that when you go to sleep you can sleep more soundly and get a good nights sleep once and for all!

Set a Routine
Setting a routine for going to bed is a great way to get your body used to go to sleep at a certain time. It also will allow you to help monitor how many hours you are getting a night. I like to aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Try to limit screen time on your tablet, phone or other devices an hour before bed. Be consistent in when you lay down for the night, to help you learn to fall asleep faster. If you are not super tired when you lay down, read a book (that always makes me tired) or listen to soothing music. Continue reading »

Jul 122017
 

Summer is around the corner and with that comes summer break! Summer break can be a blast if you have things for your kid to do, or else you might be consumed with hearing, I am bored twenty times a day! So I wanted to share 10 books for 10-year-old boys!

These books listed below are fit for their age group and can keep them interested and let their imagination take off! If you have a ten-year-old boy who likes to read, consider buying these or seeing if your local library has these to check out!

Summer Reading List for 10-Year-Old Boys

Hatchet: I had to read this when I was in school, and it is amazing! It is a survival story of a boy who gets stranded on an island and has to survive! It is such a great book, highly recommend.

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja: Chase Cooper is a sixth grade ninja, and goes to his first day of school. Not knowing anyone but his cousin, can be a little scary. Then a group of ninjas invite him into their group. Continue reading »

Jul 032017
 

Summer is here and that means backyard barbecues, family gatherings and more! If you are looking for fun games and activities for summer BBQ’s than check out the list below! If you are hosting a summer cookout, set up a few of these games to make it a killer party!

I think it is a good idea to have some different kid games available to help keep the children entertained, and you can do a few games that are for the older crowd! I hope you enjoy these fun games!

Summer Party Games and Activities for a Perfect Party

Giant Hula Hoop: In a kiddie pool add some bubble mix, you can make your own easily! Then use hula hoops to create huge bubbles!

Giant Ker-Plunk Game: This is so fun, you can create a fun kid game of ker plunk! To make it even more fun use water balloons instead of balls!

Squirt Gun Water Races: This is a game kids will love and adults. See who can get their cup to the finish line first! Continue reading »

Jun 262017
 

Summer is here, and with that means days spent at the swimming pool or beach, and spending more time outside in general! If you are like me, you might have experienced a few nasty sunburns over the years, that were less than pleasant! I have curated a list of ways to treat a sunburn and get relief from the pain that comes with it!

Sunburns can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are. I do recommend following the instructions on the back of your sunscreen as to how often to apply. It is important to protect your skin from those harmful UV rays. The misconception is you can’t tan when you are wearing sunscreen. That is totally false, wearing sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful UV rays, it still allows you to tan. So don’t skip that sunscreen because you think it won’t let you get a little darker this summer.

When To Go In And Be Seen By A Doctor

Sometimes if you get burned really bad, it is recommended to go in and be seen by a doctor. If you feel nauseous, have a fever, or experience chills it might be for the better to go get seen. Also if you develop blisters on more than 20% of your body!

Surviving A Sunburn This Summer With These Tips

Cool Down
If you are still by the pool or beach, take a dip in the cold water. This will help cool down the burn and your body temperature. Don’t stay in too long, as you will risk making your sunburn even worse. If you are at home take a cool bath to help calm down the burn. Continue reading »

Jun 202017
 

A long, nice car trip with your kids and your spouse is definitely one of the most beautiful experiences that a person can experience. However, it’s very important that you know how to adequately prepare for it, or your trip can quickly turn into a nightmare – and I’m sure that none of you want that.

There are two things that generally tend to be most important on a trip like this – keeping your kids happy, and making sure that road safety is at its absolute maximum. Today, I want to talk about some specific things that you should definitely do before any serious road trip with your family, so without further ado, here they are.

Plenty of Food

News flash, kids get hungry – way faster than adults do. In addition, not only do kids get hungry when they’re actually hungry, but also when they’re bored out of their mind (something that often happens on long road trips). This isn’t something that you’ll be able to explain to your child if they’ve been sitting for hours in a moving vehicle, so I find that it’s best to just go along with it. Make sure that they can eat as much as they want during the trip (up to a reasonable point of course – you won’t want them to be sick), so stop by the store and get lots of their favorite food before you take off. Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

If you live in a state where the summer heat can really wear on you, then check out these simple tips to try and help you stay cool. It is so hard when it is 100 degrees or hotter outside or high humidity, it makes you want to hide inside where the ac is. 

Our bodies can easily become overheated, especially in young children and the elderly. I don’t know if you have ever got overheated, but it can make you feel pretty sick and wore down. So here are some simple tricks to trying to survive the extreme summer heat. 

Heat Stroke is very serious so make sure you are aware of the signs. Below are some of the signs of heat stroke. If you feel any of these symptoms start make sure to go to your doctor or emergency room. 

  • Rapid Pulse
  • Elevated Body Temperature
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Dilated Pupils

Different Ways To Keep Cool This Summer 

Run Errands First Thing: Before the day gets to hot get out and get your shopping done early. Whether it is grocery shopping or heading to your farmers market. This will help you to enjoy the cooler part of the day for outside activities.  Continue reading »

May 242017
 

Struggling to find ways to connect to your older kid? If so, below are very simple and easy ways to make effort to connect with your child. They grow so fast, and before you know it they will be off to college! It is so important that you get in time to connect with your kid when you can! 

No matter what your child’s age is, they still crave love and attention. So that is the main thing, just make time for them, listen if they want to talk and be there! The best way to raise a child is with love! Below are easy ways to connect to your older kid, ages 8-12. 

Simple Ways to Connect With Your Older Child

If they are being quiet: If you see they are being extra quiet, try to get them to talk. Ask them about something you know they are interested in. Maybe a video game, movie that they love, or something else. Showing you care and trying to help them if they are having a rough time, without coming right out and asking can help them a lot. 

Ask How Day Was: Even if you only get a one word answer, it shows them that you are interested. One day you might be surprised and get a little story of something cool that happened!  Continue reading »

May 232017
 

The hot weather has arrived and with that comes all kinds of worries: sunburn and dehydration top my list. Despite being of mostly Italian descent, I am a pale gal and I burn to a crisp. But that is a story for another day. We all hear every summer that we need to stay hydrated (and being a nurse, I am constantly pushing fluids on people and educating them on the importance of it), but do you know what dehydration looks and feels like? I consider myself somewhat of an expert on dehydration and rehydration (the rehydration part is generally not fun for you if you’re seeing me for it at work).

That was until my son, who was 9 or 10 at the time, came out to me one night at about 9 PM crying and telling me that he had the worst headache he had ever had in his life. He’s not a kid who complains, so I knew it must be serious. And being a nurse, I just wanted to make it go away so I gave him Tylenol. That didn’t touch it. I had no idea what else to do; he was literally grabbing his head and crying. I paged his pediatrician who, knowing my son’s lengthy medical history, sent us on our way to the ER. The ER is a nightmare, as you all know.

After several hours, labs, and much crying the diagnosis was……dehydration. WHAT??? Surely, they were kidding. I’m a nurse. I know all about dehydration and how to prevent it. Except that he had been at his summer program all day and it was hot. There was no AC and despite my constant lectures on drinking enough, he just hadn’t. I had never seen it present this way and it a real eye opener for me. So the next summer when we were on vacation and spent the day at Hershey Park and he started to complain of headache and became irritable, I knew what we were up against. Now when he gets aggravated with me constantly reminding him to drink, I remind him of that awful headache. Continue reading »

May 082017
 

cook out tips and tricks!

Grilling out is a great way to enjoy food, and saves your house from getting to hot while running the oven in the summer. Plus, who doesn’t love sitting out and enjoy the cool summer day, while you grill up some tasty food? Nothing beats a steak or hamburger on the grill, it just adds so much flavor to the meat, it can’t be beat! 

Below are some cook out hacks to try out this summer! These hacks will change your cooking out experience for sure, and make it even more fun grilling! So kick back, grab a glass of lemonade or sweet tea, and keep reading to find out all the hacks you need to know for grilling! 

Grilling Hacks you Need to Know for Cooking Out this Summer 

Muffin Tray for Condiments: If you are having people over, consider putting condiments in muffin tins. Tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles and anything else. Then just place plastic spoons in each tin and let people use that to apply condiments to bread. 

Grill Watermelon: I know this sounds crazy, but try grilling watermelon this season! It is a whole new experience and offers an amazing flavor that will make all your friends go crazy. Just slice and cook for just a minute or two on each side. Peaches and pineapples are two other ones that taste amazing grilled.  Continue reading »

May 012017
 

If you are planning to tackle a home project, make sure to utilize these Home Depot hacks to make sure you never pay full price on items again! These hacks are a great way to get the most out of your money and make sure you are getting the best deals possible. 

From price matching, saving money on clearance lumber, and so much more! This is really a great way to cut corners on expenses and still create the project you are wanting. 

Save Money at Home Depot With These Tips and Tricks 

Price Match Guarantee: Make sure to check your competitor stores in your area, if you find a price cheaper, Home Depot will price match. But to make it even sweeter, they will give you an extra 10% off on the item! Just bring in the flyer to show them the price.

Join Newsletter: Make sure to sign up for their newsletter, new members get a $5 off coupon! Plus you can get emails on special sales available and sometimes extra discounts. 

Rebate Center: Make sure to check out their online rebate center. You can save quite a bit of money on their larger items most of the time! 

Clearance Lumber: Okay, this one is awesome. You can get a discount on leftover lumber, up to 80% off. So make sure to check out the clearance wood. They will be different sizes and such, but you can always find some way to use it! They mark the clearance wood with purple paint.  

Trees and Plants: Did you know that the trees, perennials and house plants all have a one year guarantee. You just dig up the item if it dies, and take it in for a replacement plant.  Continue reading »

Apr 182017
 

Did you just get an Instant Pot for a holiday gift or birthday present and have no idea what is next? Maybe you read the manual and the *beginner’s guide* (link to the first article!). Now, you’re ready to start cooking! Before you get started, there are a few things I want you to know. You can cook healthier foods with your Instant Pot from simple entrees to gourmet dishes. I also want to show you that you can use your Instant Pot daily which can make it one of the most valuable appliances in your kitchen.

How to Cook Healthy Foods in Your Instant Pot

Easy does it. If you’re a beginner, start off easy. Skip long or heavy recipes until you get the hang of it. With simple recipes with few ingredients, you can learn how to make adjustments and discover how the Instant Pot works. You will learn how your food cooks and what you might need to read up on to truly master your Instant Pot. Try rice to learn the rice cooker setting and shredded meat to learn how to make your meat flavorful.

Start with a whole chicken. If you’re not sure how to get going with your Instant Pot, a whole chicken could be just what you need. While there are many recipes online for a whole chicken in your Instant Pot, you can add your own flair with seasonings and broth. Don’t forget that your Instant Pot should always have a cup of liquid in your pot when you cook. Continue reading »

Apr 122017
 

Have you thought about organizing your kitchen cabinets lately? I opened one of mine yesterday and a bunch of stuff fell on me, so I figured it was time for a little cleaning and reorganization. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get started and to keep them organized and here are some easy tips to get you started on organizing those kitchen cupboards.

Tips for Cleaning & Organizing the Kitchen Cupboards

Clean out the cabinets first.

Before you decide to organize the kitchen cupboards, take the time to clean them out. This is the perfect time to get rid of all broken Tupperware out of the cabinets. If there’s something you don’t want to keep, then now is the time to throw it out.

Take out all of the dishes.

In order to organize the cupboards like they should be done, take out all of the dishes in the cupboard. I try to be incredibly careful during this part because I don’t want to break any dishes. I set all of the dishes on the table until it’s time to put them back into the cupboards. Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

April Fools Day is coming up quick guys and I am already planning out some awesome April Fools Food Pranks to play on my boys.  Growing up, there was absolutely no pranking in parent’s house.  They didn’t go for that sort of thing, so my sister, brother and I behaved. Then I met my husband, Christian, and he happens to come from a family full of pranksters. Christian knows I am not a fan, so they rarely get played on me, but my boys are a whole other story.

The boys think pranks are the best thing ever and pretty much live for April Fools Day because that’s the only real day that they can get away with them without consequences. But what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t play a few pranks back?  I have experimented over the years and have found that food pranks are the best way to go with my two. It gets them every time. If you want to try some food pranks of your own, take a peek at some of these links.  There is lots of good stuff in there. Continue reading »

Mar 212017
 

Spring cleaning is one of the only things that stands between you and an amazing spring. Ok, maybe it won’t ruin your whole season, but if you are anything like me, you dread it all year long and procrastinate as much as humanly possible. The reason spring cleaning is so daunting is because it’s a lot more than just the regular day to day (or weekly) cleaning – it’s a whole lot of work. To be honest, for a lot of us starting our spring cleaning takes a quite a bit of motivation. Today I am going to share some of the ways I motivate myself to get started with my spring cleaning and hope it helps you, too.

Inspiration

The first step to motivation before anything else is to be inspired, if you have no inspiration then you will ultimately end up like me – being lazy and skipping an entire year or two.  So go out and buy some of those home decor magazines you always avoid and throw that “my house will never look this good” attitude right out the door. Sure you may not financially be able to buy all that spendy decor, but trust me when I say it’ll give you some great ideas on how decorate your house in a way that perfectly fits your personality once you are done with the deep cleaning.  I also like to call this one “the reward system”. Once you’re done cleaning, reward yourself with a little shopping spree to liven up your living space a little bit. Continue reading »

Mar 152017
 

How to keep your kids entertained during school breaks can be a little rough. Those long breaks – winter holidays, spring breaks, and then summer break can be a lot. At first your kids might love the freedom, but over time find themselves being bored more often and getting frustrated! If you are looking for ways to keep your kids entertained, you might find some of these ideas below helpful. Granted depending on your child’s age will depend what fits there needs! But, hopefully a few of these might save you from a day of, “I have nothing to do, I am so bored!”

Ways to Entertain Kids During School Breaks 

Arts and Crafts: Thanks to the world of Pinterest you can always find fun arts and crafts to do. From making bird feeders with old toilet paper rolls to making salt crystals. You can find fun art projects for kids of all ages. Plus a lot of them can be very inexpensive, but keep your child busy for hours! So search out DIY crafts and see what fun ideas you find. 

Scavenger Hunt: This can be a lot of fun, create a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items they will have to go on a hunt to find. This can be one of their favorite toys, some kitchen utensils, the sky is the limit here. Then at the end you can have a surprise like a cookie or even a cheap dollar toy from the dollar store. They will love doing it!  Continue reading »

Mar 132017
 

There is more to meal planning than cooking and freezing. There are certain things you can do before you start meal planning that will help you become more efficient in the kitchen. This guide is going to take you from overwhelmed at the grocery store to organized with a plan. The goal is to save money when you shop while enjoying healthier and more delicious food.

Pick a day. Before you start with your grand plan, pick a day that works for your family for meal prep. This would require clipping coupons if you do so, reading the sale circulars, making a list, and shopping. When you return home, instead of quickly putting groceries away, you can start formulating your meals into freezer bags and containers.

The truth is that meal prep can become over stressful over time, and you may just give up. Don’t let a setback make you quit. Write it down, shop in the early or late hours of the day to avoid crowds, and use the internet to help you track lists and recipes. Continue reading »