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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Homeschooling With Math Games - Part 2

Yesterday we chatted about using math games to help your child develop a love of math. Instead of sitting, listening to lecturing and doing worksheets, let's get them using math skills in every day life situations and through fun games!

Today I want to share another super fun game with you - this time it is all about multiplication. And let's face it - multiplication is normally just a bunch of memorizing math facts. It usually involves flash cards or some other "boring" type of activity.

Not with this multiplication game! Monster Sock Factory is a board game to practice multiplication mainly for grades 2 and up. It is designed to get kids 8 times more practice in their multiplication facts than in an average classroom.
The game starts with this cute story about the different monsters in this faraway land of Dimis, each with a different amount of legs and how you are working at the local sock factory to make and dispatch socks to each one. Each individual cartoon monster is kinda cute and makes the game more fun and activates the imagination a bit, at least for my kiddos. Your kids will also be working on strategic planning, hand-eye coordination, patience and memorization as they play this game.

And you're going to love this - the same company that makes this game offers FREE math worksheets for division, multiplication and more for grades 1-5. I am so excited to get these printed off and feed my kiddos excitement for the fun characters and story lines.

Grab your kiddo a new math game and start having fun with them while practicing a bunch of relevant skills.

Share with me - what are you doing with your kiddos to make Math fun?

*I was given product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Homeschool Fun with Math Games

I don't know about you but I was never very passionate about math. I get excited about reading, history, even science, but math - nuh, uh.

My son is the same way. He struggles with it more than other subjects which has turned him off to math as a whole. Since I am homeschooling him this year, I am determined to help him and my other children develop a love  like (let's be realistic, right?) for this subject.

One of the ways I am going to be doing this is by having them do more life math skills and play more games that involve using math. Instead of them just listening to me lecture and then doing worksheets - I hope to bring math to life for them!

We recently got a fantastic math division game called Big Catch. It's a division board game for students of grade 3 and up. It is designed to get them 8 times more division practice than in your typical classroom in a FUN way!

My son was super duper excited to try it out. He loved all the bright colors and fun game pieces. He has a bit of practice to get the long division down to really get the game mastered, but he is excited to do so, and that is huge progress! This games makes you the fisherman and gives you a fun adventure to distract you from all the awesome math skills you are developing. It also helps you develop skills of patience, strategic planning, and flexibility.

Also - big bonus - the same company that makes this game offers FREE math worksheets for division, multiplication and more for grades 1-5. I am so excited to get these printed off and feed my kiddos excitement for the fun characters and story lines.

Check back in with me tomorrow for another fun math game that you and your kids will love!

In the meantime - tell me - what do you do with your kiddos to get them excited about math or any other subject they struggle with?

*I received product to review. No other compensation was given. These are all my real and honest opinions.




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Is Amazon Prints Good for Photos? PLUS $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

I love taking gorgeous pictures of special moments,  but I often get all in my head when it comes time to print them -- where should I print them? What's the best deal? What's most convenient? Is it even worth it?

I've got the details on Amazon Prints for you today.


Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories. Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive FREE delivery (I just love free). If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09. That's a good deal - I mean, I used to use Walmart because I thought they're the cheapest, but they're the same price. Amazon is just more convenient for printing pictures.


Plus - check out this awesome giveaway where there are literally $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be won!! Whoop! Whoop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wellness 101: Simple Strategies That Promote Healthy Living

Wellness 101: Simple Strategies That Promote Healthy Living 


If leading a healthier life is one of your goals for 2017, know that you can hit that goal! One great way to make it happen is by coming up with a plan and setting smaller goals to help you hit the larger goal. Below you'll find just four of many strategies you can use to promote healthy living starting already today. 


1. Make Meditation A Must. Meditation is beneficial for numerous reasons, including the fact that it can counteract the anxiety you experience due to the pressures of work or complications in personal relationships. Some of the other benefits of meditation include clearer thinking, better sleep, and enhanced immunity. Note that you can begin receiving these health benefits by meditating for just 10 minutes each day. I personally love the Calm app, which I use as often as possible to help with everyday stress.

2. Hire A Personal Trainer. At this time, roughly 80% of Americans fail to get in the recommended amount of exercise. Yet you need to get in regular physical activity if you want to look and feel your best. Some of the great benefits you'll attain from leading an active lifestyle include a slimmer physique, more energy, better memory, more youthful looking skin, and a better metabolism. With these realities in mind, be sure to consider the value of hiring a personal trainer. She or he will be able to develop a customized fitness plan that enables you to get fitter and stronger. Also note that the personal trainer will be able to offer you external motivation on days when you don't feel like working out.

 3. Develop A Meal Plan. If you're serious about getting healthy, get serious about eating well. Many health coaches and wellness professionals argue that diet is the single most important factor in contributing to or detracting from an individual's mental and physical equilibrium. As such, you want to focus on eating nutritious, delicious food around the clock. Developing a meal plan is one of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure that you do so. If you're not familiar with the world of nutrition, you can hire a nutritionist to put a plan together for you. You can also use free online resources like www.cronometer.com to log in your food and then determine whether you're attaining all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally.

 4. Purchase Your Health Products Online. Oftentimes, people complain that getting healthy takes too much time and/or energy. If this is one of your issues, note that purchasing high quality health products via internet can make the process of wellness optimization much smoother and simpler. Companies like Health365 are pleased to offer clients a wide range of wonderful supplements and wellness products that will contribute to mental and physical well-being. Visit their website now if you want to buy glucosamine online or simply browse through their selection!  

Start Your Wellness Journey Today! You can do anything you set your mind to. This includes getting healthy. If you're ready to get on the road to wellness now, start implementing the health strategies outlined for you above!

You can do it!

*This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

5 Delicious Cinco de Mayo Recipes You Can't Pass Up


Oh are you all in for a treat today! I have master chef Erica Rogers here today sharing 5 Recipes for a tasty Cinco de Mayo using essential oils. 

 
Hola!  I'm Erica, your guest blogger today, and I'm honored and excited to be here!! 
As you all know, it's MAY!!  And you know what that means... CINCO DE MAYO!!  I love theme parties (and I really love tacos and essential oils!), and what are theme parties without food?!  So today - all Mexican dishes that I have created are using Young Living oils!  Go ahead and throw together a little fiesta and show your friends what all you can do with oils in the kitchen!!  

On the Menu (and YL oils used):
Horchata-- cinnamon bark
Guacamole-- lime, lemon
Fresh Salsa-- lime
Pork Carnitas-- oregano, orange, lime
Mexican Hot Fudge Sundaes-- cinnamon bark

First, Horchata!!-- If you haven't tried it, you should!!  It's super easy to make and you will impress your friends with something other than Coronas.  Speaking of Corona... if you like to party like I do, add a shot of rum to your glass of Horchata!!


Guacamole--  fan favorite in our house!  The best part is, you can tweek it to your liking!!  There's no wrong way to make guacamole.  If a waiter can do it table-side, you can do it, too!!



Salsa--  seriously, y'all, it takes less than 5 minutes to make, but scores high when impressing your friends!  This batch makes quite a bit....I hand out little mason jars of salsa to mi amigas to take home!




Pork Carnitas-- worried about ruining the meat?  I've been there!  Don't run away yet.....you can't mess up this one, I promise!!  Crockpot and then broil- you got this!!


Hot Fudge Sundaes-- I decided to ditch the churros (over used!!) and the flan (who really likes it anyway??), and go with something simple yet delicious!! 



A couple other things to try:
•add a drop of lime to your favorite Mexican beer!!
•add a drop of lime in with the water and rice when cooking.  When finished cooking, top with red pepper flakes and queso fresco!!

Cinco de Mayo parties are way fun and easy-- lots of drinks for adults, a little mariachi music, tasty food, and a piñata for the little ones....a fiesta!!  
Fun fact:  Did you know Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day?  It celebrates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  Yes, Mexico unexpectedly won that battle, but lost the war, so Cinco de Mayo is more celebrated in the United States than Mexico.  

Cheers!
Erica



Mouth watering yet? Holy yum!!!! Go - make these now! And if you have no clue where to get these essential oils, you can find them here.



Friday, March 24, 2017

Is the Art of Letter Writing Dead?

I remember the days of writing my pen pals letters and waiting hopefully by the mailbox for a possible letter from a dear friend. These days I mostly get junk in my mailbox. It's on essential oil delivery day that I get most excited to get the mail.☺ To be honest, I don't even remember the last time I received a hand written letter.

Personally, I am not that great at setting aside the time to send hand written letters either. However, in the last year or so I have tried to resurrect the art of letter writing, and I try to send out a couple of items of "happy mail" each month. I have received multiple blessings from this - friendships strengthened, business growth, encouragement received at the perfect time, and I know my friends and family smile every time they get to open and read a hand-written note. It makes you feel special to know someone took the time out of their busy lift to sit down, think of you, and write you a letter.

While yes, it does take a bit more time than shooting off a text or email, I think it means a lot to the receivers of the mail, and it has been fun to pick out cute cards, thank yous, and invitations to send and teach my kids how to send and address real mail.



What about you? Do you send snail mail or do you think the art of the hand-written letter is dying or dead?

*This is a sponsored post. Thank you to Paperless Post for inspiring these thoughts.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Great Debate - To Coffee or Not to Coffee

Is Coffee Healthy? That is the question of the day lately in my circle of friends. I wrote an article Is Your Coffee Healthy a few years ago, but I thought it was time to approach this topic again, because I feel like coffee drinking is the American thing to do these days, and I wonder how this is affecting all of us.

Personally, I am not a coffee drinker. I would rather feel tired if my body is tired, so I can give my body what it really needs - more TLC and rest. BUT - I just got back from another trip to Costa Rica several weeks ago, and I had a wonderful time staying on an organic coffee plantation. I took the entire tour of the plantation, learned a ton of great info about coffee, and had an eye-opening coffee tasting experience.

I must be converted to a coffee drinker now, right? Actually no. I mean, I won't turn down an amazing cup of joe, but my husband, on the other hand, has now taken his coffee drinking to another level. He immediately bought a french press, hand coffee bean grinder, and the best organic whole beans to drink every day. It's pretty awesome to research your food and drink to this level, so I am proud of him for not settling for mediocre coffee after we learned and tasted the best of the best.

Back to the questions at hand. My super-smart researcher friend Katie Mulinix had a great answer and much insight to share on this topic, and I'm thankful she allowed me to share it with all of you.

Is Coffee good for us?

Short answer:  Quality coffee brewed well is generally an okay thing to enjoy. It depends on how much you NEED coffee, as well as the state of certain aspects of your health. If you NEED coffee, your health is less than optimal. The easier it is for you to drop coffee, the better your health is. Also, it can be too hard on the body if you have certain health issues.

Long answer:  The NEED for coffee likely stems from a circadian rhythm issue and a lack of melatonin recycling that slows your electron chain transport--which drives your mitochondria's ability to produce energy to fuel your day--and coffee is the crutch many use to fix that issue....it doesn't fix the cellular level melatonin issue, but is a crutch to overcome that. If it's one off day, this is easily recovered from. But daily NEED means you should address those issues, because downstream repercussions are also potentially looming (like hormone issues, as melatonin signaling is an aspect of sulfating cholesterol to make Vitamin D and the more common hormones like progesterone). Coffee NEED is an indicator of brewing other issues, not the cause of them, except in the case of adrenal issues or potentially in high blood pressure. [Steps to reduce one's NEED for coffee--besides reducing your intake--aren't hard but take diligence, assuming you don't have bigger issues like adrenal fatigue or high blood pressure...though those steps also help those issues too...if anyone is interested, let me know, I am not going to go on about that here, now.]

If you don't have high blood pressure or adrenal fatigue, generally speaking it's fine to have a cup. But coffee has the ability to turn into a crutch, whether it's coffee itself or life changes (like not minding your circadian rhythm) that drive the need for a crutch.

As for the coffee itself, it has a lot of nice health benefits....but it can be hard on the body too. Even seemingly healthier coffees like bulletproof can cause issues.... bulletproof coffee can cause glucose to rise in those prone to issues (also depends on the ingredients used and their affect on one's body) and upregulate other pathways in the body  that aren't beneficial; if you add cream and sugar, those need to be quality too (no need to put extra chemicals or inflammation-promoting conventional dairy into your coffee).

The hardest part about coffee is the way it can be both a WANT and a NEED but the want feeds the need until the need for the crutch grows and grows and then you have downstream implications. It can be good for you, until it's not. And then it can be tough to extract yourself from needing it AND you have bigger issues to deal with, issues that often can drive you to wanting more coffee.

However, stressing too much about anything can have worse affects on the body, so there is that aspect, too. Making an educated decision is almost always a great thing, but just keep listening to your body and paying attention to the feedback it gives you let's you know if it's a good thing or not. Stressing about whether or not it's a good decision adds cloudiness to everything you are trying to figure out. 


Katie's personal experience:
I used to drink shots and shots of espresso in massive flavored/sweetened lattes. No surprise, my health was tanking and I had adrenal fatigue, among a laundry list of other issues. I don't think coffee was the key driver (though the loads of milk and sugar were contributing factors, among many other things like endless hours at a stressful job and brewing health issues), as my other issues were major, but in retrospect it was a huge indicator of my tanking health.

I have taken major breaks from coffee for various reasons over the past few years, to heal adrenal fatigue and to do the intro to AIP [the Autoimmune Protocol], which was a key piece in turning off my immune system overdrive that was attacking my thyroid and I have healed a lot of my Hashimoto's hypothyroidism as a result....to be clear, it wasn't just giving up coffee that did this, but was part of a broader plan. 

I have settled into a place where I have a coconut milk latte sweetened with maple syrup 3-6 times a week. And it's a small, personal size French press that yields 6-8 oz of coffee, not 12 oz, per cup.
I found that, personally, I missed the ritual and comfort of a cup of something warm (or cold in summer!), but tea has never cut it for me in the same way. I also need the fat from the coconut milk and the fullness in my belly for better functioning. I rarely ever NEED coffee at this point but it's a really nice to have. I NEED the fat and the belly fullness, but those stem from those health issues I hinted at. I am definitely at the WANT stage and sometimes after a tough night, the NEED stage, but that's a short lived thing now that I have dialed in my health, and that's an indication of my greatly improved health, and a solid place to be in regards to coffee.  

So - friends - those are our two cents. Take them or leave them. The bottom line is listen to your body and make educated decisions. :-)
Your thoughts?