A Family, Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Blog
If you haven't done so already, it is time to start compiling your holiday gift list! I have a few hard-to-buy for kids on my list this year. You know the type~ a child whose parents only approve of educational gifts for their offspring? Yep, those.
You cannot go wrong with one of the following Smithsonian, Exploration Station sets: Exploration Station: Space, World Atlas, and The Human Body. In fact, I would have LOVED one of these sets as a child. Here is a bit more about each:
Take a trip into the stratosphere with Smithsonian Exploration Station: Space! With informative text and full-color photographs, young astronomers will learn about the intricate makeup of our solar system as well as distant galaxies and constellations. The 56-page fact book combined with the sticker sheet, space figurines to play with, and the glow-in-the-dark stars make this space experience interactive and engaging.
- 56-page fact book
- 30 stickers
- 22 glow-in-the-dark stars
- 2 figurines (astronaut and rocket)
Discover what makes your blood pump and your muscles stretch in this hands-on learning experience! With fascinating facts, full-color photographs, a plastic model skeleton, and 25 fact cards, Smithsonian Exploration Station: Human Body is a fun, engaging way to learn about the inner workings of the complex systems that make the human body.
- 56-page fact book
- 30 stickers
- 1 plastic model skeleton (13 pieces)
- 25 fact cards
Head off on a globetrotting adventure in this interactive atlas! Learn about the diverse cultures, customs, wildlife, and natural beauty that form our world through informative text and full-color photograph. Children will love the hands-on aspect to learning as they blow up their inflatable globe and build the cardstock models of some of the wonders of the world. Smithsonian Exploration Station: World Atlas is the perfect way to engage kids in the amazing world around them!
- 56-page fact book
- 30 stickers
- 1 inflatable globe
- 3 cardstock models to assemble: the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and a Mayan pyramid
For more information, or to discover additional educational gift ideas, check out: http://www.silverdolphinbooks.com
It is such an honor to be noticed by those who I admire! I was recently given the chance to be interviewed by one of the best online beauty resources on the internet! Beauty Essential is your online corner for all things beauty related. They are definitely right up my alley!
Beauty Essential definitely has everything that beauty obsessed ladies like myself could possibly ask for, all in one place. You will find makeup tips and tricks, fashion advice, health and diet information, facts about skin care, plus- you can learn how-to achieve the perfect hairstyle!
Beauty Essential is quite the addictive website. It is so much fun to explore and learn things that I didn't even know about. In fact, I may need to brush up on a few makeup skills that I thought I had mastered! I guess I am a little behind in some areas, and could probably benefit from reading up on a few Beauty Essential beauty tutorials to get myself up-to-speed! It is never too late to learn something new!
I thought that was so nice that Tiffany from Beauty Essential took the time to contact me and ask me if I would like to be interviewed and to be featured on this amazing website. I usually shy away from interviews, because I am actually pretty shy when it comes to answering questions, but Tiffany made it easy. She emailed me the questions, so I was able to think about my answers and not stutter over my words. (Which I often do!) It was a lot of fun! Thank you Tiffany, and thank you, Beauty Essential.
You can read my interview here.
Learn more at: https://beautyessential.net
I have been learning so much about the importance of probiotics, especially that they help keep our immune systems strong and healthy. That is especially important during this scary cold and flu season. I want to make certain that my family is well armed against these nasty bugs. As a parent, I do my best to teach my children about hand washing and being careful not to pick up any bad germs. I can provide nutritious meals and make sure they get adequate rest at night, but I cannot protect them 24 hours a day.
One thing I can give my family is the best probiotic supplements to help strengthen their immune systems so that they can better fight off those illnesses that they are exposed to. Researchers and doctors alike are confirming the major connections that probiotics have on our overall health. I am also doing my own research, and I am a firm believer in the benefits of taking probiotic supplements to keep our gut flora (good bacteria) balanced.
How can I make sure that I am selecting the BEST Probiotic Supplements?
In selecting the most effective probiotic supplements, many people believe that it doesn't matter which probiotic they choose, but that is not true!
- Do your research. If you settle for a probiotic formula that is cheap, then you are probably getting a low quality product that is filled with ineffective and potentially harmful additives such as artificial fillers and colors.
- To find a high quality probiotic, make sure it was formulated by a doctor who specializes in gut health.
- Check to see if the probiotic contains more than one strain of beneficial bacteria.
- Look for a formula with a minimum of 10 billion CFUs. Since our microbiome is composed of about 100-trillion good and bad bacteria, a high number of CFUs will have greater impact on the growth of beneficial bacteria within your gut flora. (CFU is the number of live and active micro-organisms that can be found in each serving of the probiotic you are taking.)
- It is also very important to make sure that the probiotics you choose aren't being killed off by your stomach acid and rendered useless before they even get into your system.
I have tried many brands of probiotics over the last year or so. I most recently was given the opportunity to review Balance One probiotics. One thing that stood out to me is the fact that Balance One Probiotic Supplements are formulated to survive stomach acid, so that they can do their job in our gut.
- Improved deliverability to the gut. Balance One probiotics use patented BIO-tract technology to compress the bacteria into tablets. This protects them from stomach acid and delivers 15 times as many bacteria past the stomach acid barrier (60% viability, compared to only 4% for regular probiotics in veggie capsules).
- 12 long-lasting probiotic strains, 15 billion CFUs of bacteria. Combined with the delivery technology, this makes Balance One probiotics some of the most powerful on the market.
- Free of most allergens. Non-GMO, vegan, no dairy, no nuts, no soy, no gluten, and no wheat. It contains no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.
- Made in the USA. Balance One probiotics are 100% made in the USA at a GMP-certified facility.
- Promise to customers. Balance One aims for 100% customer satisfaction. If anyone is unhappy with their product, for any reason, they are happy to offer a full, no-questions-asked refund.
What more can you ask for in a probiotic supplement? Balance One Probiotic Supplements have been specially formulated to improve your digestion, boost your gut health, bolster your immunity, and make you feel healthier and stronger than ever.
These tablets are very easy to swallow. Even my twelve year old son is able to swallow them without any issues.
Enter to win! Two winners will receive a 60 count bottle of Balance One Probiotic Supplements. (ARV: $29)
How? It's easy! Just fill out the Giveaway Tools form below for your chance to win.
For more information, go to: https://balanceone.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
There's nothing worse than when your little one is uncomfortable with a diaper rash. Diaper rash is no laughing matter, it can lead very quickly to raw skin. A baby's tender skin is very sensitive, and needs extra care. Olen Cosmetics developed the best solution to this dilemma with their Baby Butz Cream.
Majda Ficko created Baby Butz because of her sons extremely rare syndrome…so rare most doctors had never heard of it. She then went on to fight for her son’s needs and never intended to sell the cream, but his doctor saw the cream’s power and encouraged her to do so. To learn more about the Baby Butz story, please read here!
Baby Butz Cream is the safest and most effective diaper rash treatment available without a prescription. It contains 100% natural ingredients and 30% zinc oxide. Baby Butz Cream is a celeb mom favorite and is used in hospital neonatal units. Many pediatricians hand out samples to new parents. Medical professionals have endorsed this cream because it contains no chemicals, no alcohol, no perfumes and is hypoallergenic.
Other Uses for Baby Butz
- Excellent for Eczema
- Baby drool rash (from teething)
- Bug bites...especially mosquito bites...it reduces the itching almost immediately...just a little dab on top of the bite
- Poison Oak and Poison Ivy...kids or yourself walking in the bushes/ tall grasses...applying Baby Butz immediately soothes the itch and burn
- Cold sores...apply a dab and in 2-3 days cold sore is dried up and gone
- Itchy dry skin...a light layer and itchy is gone
- Dry cracked hands and feet...apply a light layer before bedtime...put on cotton gloves/socks....overnight in the morning smooth soft hands and feet.
- Heat rashes
- Other types of skin rashes
- No alcohol
- No chemicals
- No perfumes
- No parabens
- Gluten Free
- No Animal Testing
The beauty of this product it that is 100% Natural...and Hypoallergenic...means absolutely no reactions. Target is the first and only retailer to carry Baby Butz !
Enter to win! One winner will receive a 4 oz. bottle of Baby Butz Diaper Rash Cream. (ARV: $12.99)
How? It's easy! Enter for your chance to win using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
You can find Baby Butz at Target, or order online here.
Everyone knows that working out is good for you and it can be excellent for both your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, exercise can lead to a range of injuries seemingly out of nowhere even when you are simply running on a treadmill. These injuries are infuriating because they can stop you from exercising as well as make simple daily activities a challenge which is problematic if you have little ones to care for. It is important to be aware of what the more common exercise injuries are so that you know what to look out for and how you can prevent them from occurring.
A strained back is the most common exercise injury and, unfortunately, the hardest one to deal with as every movement can be felt and involves the back muscles. People often have weak backs due to prolonged sitting and/or bad posture, so strains can occur when people lift too much weight or have poor form while exercising. Make sure that you are lifting with your legs and perform low-intensity exercises designed to strengthen the back muscles to prevent strains.
Although running is a superb form of cardiovascular exercise, it can also be dangerous, and there are many common injuries that stem from this activity. Most common is runner’s knee which is an irritation of the cartilage underneath the kneecap (this injury can also occur in any sport that involves running). The best way to prevent this injury is to shorten your stride, to run on firm yet supportive surfaces and to strengthen hip, glute and quad muscles.
Although called tennis elbow, this is a common injury which can be sustained while performing a wide range of exercises and sports. It is caused by overuse of the arm, forearm and hand muscles which creates a pain in the elbow which can make even a small range of movement painful - this can interfere with many aspects of daily life.
Tennis elbow can be prevented by:
- Avoiding over training
- Stretching prior to exercise
- Working out to increase wrist and forearm muscles.
Tennis elbow treatment is usually successful, and there are steps to take to speed up recovery, such as physical therapy and topical gels.
A nasty injury which can make even walking a painful experience, Achilles tendinitis is another common running injury but can be suffered through playing a wide variety of sports, most notably tennis and basketball. It is sustained due to overuse of the Achilles tendon and usually occurs when people increase the intensity or duration of their exercise. It can be avoided through increasing your activity level gradually with regular exercise, by stretching daily and by choosing high-quality, supportive footwear.
These are a few of the more common injuries that are sustained as a result of exercise and ones which can make it difficult to manage daily chores. Hopefully, this advice will help you to prevent one of these injuries so that you can continue to enjoy all of the great physical and mental benefits that regular exercise can bring.
Charcoal beauty products have been all the rage recently, and I’m excited to share that Colgate just launched the NEW Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal to remove stains and impurities for whiter teeth and fresher breath. This trending toothpaste also has micropolishers to keep your pearly whites glistening and your breath minty fresh.
I have heard a lot about toothpaste made with charcoal, but had never tried it because, well, black toothpaste was not very appealing. I was given the chance to review NEW Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal, and decided to give it a try. Imagine my surprise when this toothpaste was just a light shade of grey in color!
When I brushed my teeth with NEW Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal, I was pleasantly surprised with how minty it tasted, and that it didn't feel gritty, which I thought that it would because of the charcoal. It really made my mouth feel clean.
Just after a few uses, my teeth look a lot whiter and brighter. Much more so than with any other tooth whitening toothpastes I have tried.
I am very impressed with NEW Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal! My husband and son love it, too.
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Have you ever walked from one comfortably heated room to another area in your house that feels cold and drafty? If so, you’re not alone. Even if you have a high-quality HVAC system, you’re likely to experience rooms of varying temperatures.
Why does your HVAC system not heat your home at a uniform temperature?
There are a variety of factors at play that impact the temperature of a room. For instance, the direction the room faces and how many windows are present can greatly affect a room’s temperature. It’s a problem we see often at Entek. But fortunately, there is a way to control the variable temperatures throughout your home. It’s called zone heating and we’ll help you determine if it’s the right solution for you.
What is zone heating?
Just as the name suggests, this type of heating divides areas of your home into different zones. Each zone is heated according to its needs, with each area being controlled by its own thermostat.
There are a few ways to integrate zone heating into your home. Electric baseboard heaters, for instance, supply heat to individual rooms and are one way to integrate zone heating.
Another way to employ zoned heating is by installing a zoned HVAC system. If you select this option your Entek service technician will install zone dampers in the ductwork of your home. The unit control panel will then regulate the temperature of each room by opening and closing the dampers according to each zone’s thermostat reading. The good news is that you don’t need to purchase a new system if you’re interested in converting to zone heating. Nearly all forced air systems can be retrofitted for zone control.
So what are the benefits of zone heating?
Obviously, one benefit is increased comfort. You’ll no longer have to put on a sweater when you move from one room of your home to a cooler area. With zone heating, the room temperature can be controlled so that every area of your house is uniformly heated. Also, if you live with other people who prefer a different thermostat setting, zone heating can be a great way to satisfy everyone and keep the entire family feeling comfortable. However, there are a number of other benefits to zone heating as well.
An important benefit is that zone heating increases your cost savings on utility bills. According to the Department of Energy, using zone heating for your home can translate to more than 20% savings on your energy bill. Using zone heating can also extend the lifespan of your equipment. With zone heating, you can choose not to heat areas of your home that are normally not in use, such as your guest bedroom. This can keep your HVAC system from working on overload to heat up all areas of your home.
Using your equipment only when necessary means it will last longer than an HVAC system that’s in constant use. Over time, these savings can really add up.
Zoned heating systems are also more convenient to use. Many of them come with remote controls so that you can adjust the temperature settings from the comfort of your favorite armchair. Zoned heating offers the luxury of modern convenience coupled with increased comfort and cost savings over time.
While zone heating will save you money in the long run, the initial cost is likely to be greater than the purchase and installation of standard HVAC equipment. While it’s certainly a worthwhile economical investment, the extra expense is something to keep in mind when budgeting for a new system. Also keep in mind that the installation of a zoned heating system can be tricky and should only be performed by a certified HVAC technician.
In addition to the upfront cost, a zoned heating system has many more parts than your standard HVAC system. This means that the system may require more maintenance since there are more parts that could potentially malfunction. Repairs are also likely to be more complicated and require professional expertise. In other words, zoned heating systems often need a little more TLC than the standard counterparts, but regular maintenance appointments with your Entek technician will ensure that your equipment is running smoothly and save you the expense of costly repairs.
Is zone heating the right option for you?
Zone heating systems are convenient options for use in multi-level homes. As most people know, heat rises and that’s one reason rooms on different floors can greatly vary in temperature. If your home has additions, such as an attic or basement, you may also benefit from a zone HVAC system. In general, homes with certain architectural features such as large windows, high ceilings, or loft spaces are also likely to greatly benefit from a zone heating approach.
An important thing to remember is that your home should be properly insulated before you install zone heating. If you’re losing energy through leaky windows or other poorly insulated areas, then you likely won’t benefit from a zone heating system. You’ll first have to fix the areas of your home where you’re losing energy. Often times this is sufficient to fix the issue itself. In any case, work with an HVAC professional to make sure your home is properly insulated before installing a zone heating system.
Entek offers h ome performance energy tests to help you assess where you could benefit from energy improvements and savings. We can help make HVAC system recommendations based on your family’s needs and budget. Schedule an appointment for an in-home visit today. We’ll help you determine the best way to heat things up so you’ll be comfy all year long.
While many families like to spend Christmas in the comfort of their own home, others have discovered how thrilling it can be to take Christmas on the road. When you wake up in a different corner of the world, surrounded by loved ones, the holiday spirit isn’t diminished—it’s amplified by an exciting new context.
If you’ve decided to try a Christmas vacation, there are a few important steps you need to take to ensure that you and your family have the best possible time. Getting to a hotel or an Airbnb only to discover that the location doesn’t have decorations set up, or that you forgot to pack a really important present, will kill the atmosphere and make you hesitant to take these memorable vacations in the future.
Where should you go?
While being surrounded by loved ones on Christmas morning is a gift in itself, it helps to celebrate in a nice setting. When you’re forming your vacation plans, really think hard about where your family would ideally like to wake up. The possibilities are virtually limitless, but the difference between an unforgettable Christmas morning and one that’s merely okay is often context.
If you’re struggling to figure out exactly where you should go, think about what your family likes to do. You know them. Would you prefer to wake up in the mountains, surrounded by snow in a wintry atmosphere? Would you like to wake up somewhere near the beach, where you and your brood can play in the sand after opening presents? Does Christmas in the city sound appealing?
Once you’ve figured out where you want to go, the next step is to find appropriate accommodations. Make sure you pick a place that’s within your budget (Christmas is expensive as it is!) but that doesn’t compromise on any of the essential elements that can make Christmas morning exceptionally special.
If your family likes to cook, try to find a location that has a kitchen available. This feature doesn’t come standard in the vast majority of hotel rooms, but if you’re getting an Airbnb the chances are much higher.
Also, consider how much atmosphere matters. When you’re booking, ask if the location is decorated. If not, it’s possible to bring a box with decorations at the ready, which can include everything from lights to stockings to Santa hats and Christmas pajamas.
While some people don’t like the idea of traveling on Christmas day, it’s often the wisest financial move. Because so many people prefer to stay home, there are often less people in airports and on the road, and it’s easy to find good deals on flights and travel packages—much more so than in the surrounding couple of days.
In additions to presents, consider packing some activities to keep you and your family busy once the unwrapping is complete. Gingerbread houses are a great option for little kids, and websites like Shutterfly offer lists with great game ideas that will keep you and your family entertained the entire day.
Invite Family and Friends
No one’s ever complained that too many friends and family members were around on Christmas day. If you’re going to travel to a beautiful location, extend the invitation to another family or two.
Package deals on flights can be purchased to ease travel costs, and if you’re going to drive, consider caravanning in safe family cars.
Keep an Open Mind
While celebrating Christmas on the road, you have to be ready for the off chance that things aren’t going to go exactly going to plan. Being outside of a controlled environment can introduce elements that you haven’t prepared for, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
If you’re open and willing to accept random variables butting into the day, you will not only be more capable of dealing with them when they do arrive, you might even find that such surprises have added a richness to your trip that made it especially memorable.
What’s Christmas morning without a good soundtrack? Make sure you pack some kind of speaker—whether it’s part of a laptop or something that stands alone—and use a streaming service or some CDs to help create that happy Christmas morning atmosphere.
PUR ATTITUDE™ SUPPORTS NATIONAL BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION, INC. in 2018
Today, PUR attitude announced that it will donate $25 of for each Wild Durian Fruit Peel sold during the Month of October to National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.® (NBCF). NBCF is an organization dedicated as much to the prevention of the disease, as it is to the cure, and holds excellent ratings with independent charity reviewers. PUR attitude chose to work with NBCF due to its alignment with PUR attitude’s own core mission to carry out responsible industry practices by providing carcinogen-free skincare.
“While PUR attitude is a clean beauty brand that focuses on healthy beauty science, October is a month to celebrate pink and everything that color has come to represent in the fight against breast cancer,” said PUR attitude Founder David Pollock. “Our delicately pink Wild Durian Fruit Peel will be a part of giving back to the cause this month.”
Wild Durian Fruit Peel is clinically proven to visibly even out skin tones, wipe away fine lines, and restore vitality and brightness for more youthful looking skin. Due to the activation of rare wild durian fruit, known for its pungent aroma and revered for its advanced anti-aging properties, this product is able to produce these powerful results on the skin without irritation. Wild Durian Fruit Peel is enhanced with the power of natural Hyaluronix™ technology, which delivers up to one thousand times its weight in water, binding moisture deeply into the skin. These natural ingredients are combined with pure glucosamine, ceramides, as well as extracts of orange, apple, and green tea to detoxify impurities, exfoliate lifeless skin, and unclog pores.
Each product in the PUR attitude line is dermatologist tested and approved, backed by independent clinical studies, and follows the brand’s philosophy of “Safe Beauty,” avoiding harsh chemicals and known carcinogens, parabens, PEG’s, glycols, sulfates, petro-chemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes.
I have been using Wild Durian Fruit Peel for over a week now. I apply it all over my face and neck after cleansing in the evening, and I let it dry, followed by my favorite night cream. I love it because it seems to keep my skin nice and supple, plus it has a great firming effect.
About National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.®
Recognized as one of the leading breast cancer organizations in the world, National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is Helping Women Now® by providing early detection, education and support services to those affected by breast cancer. A recipient of Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for twelve years, NBCF provides support through their National Mammography Program, Patient Navigation, Beyond The Shock®, breast health education, and research programs. For more information, please visit www.nbcf.org.
About PUR attitude
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., PUR attitude products contain only safe beauty ingredients and are not diluted with water. More than 1,300 chemicals have been banned from the company’s lab, which adheres to strict EU standards. All formulations for the brand were developed by David Pollock, a beauty innovation chemist with more than 20 years of experience formulating products for some of the most recognized names in the industry.
If you want to bring out the best in your hair, you must be careful when selecting the products that you use. Most hair care products that you buy off of the shelves at grocery or drug stores contain chemicals and other ingredients that actually destroy your hair. It is easy to just purchase a shampoo and/ or conditioner just because it smells amazing, or is on sale, but you get what you pay for!
Thankfully, Phillip Adam Inc. takes the hassle out of having to read labels. Phillip Adam sells products that are biodegradable, paraben free, gluten free, sulfate free, cruelty-free, vegan and safe for the entire family.
Their products are clean, healthy and free of any harsh chemicals. Phillip Adam has developed salon-quality hair care products that can be found in over 600 health food stores, including Whole Foods Markets and Your Good Health Stores etc.
I have always had problems with my hair being too dry and brittle. It always grows to a certain length and then breaks off and looks extremely frizzy. I have tried shampoos and conditioners before that have actually damaged my hair because of the unnatural chemicals in them.
I was given the chance to review Phillip Adam Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner. I was excited to try these products because apple cider vinegar is very good for the hair. It removes build up from styling products.
Phillip Adam shampoos are based on a refined Apple Cider Vinegar formula this shampoo will help you give your hair the natural care it deserves. Gentle and nourishing, the ACV Shampoos are suitable for fine to normal hair types including colored or virgin heads of hair. They add natural shine and help maintain a healthy pH balanced scalp. Family and pet friendly! Available in several different scents such as Green Apple, Verbena Sage, Orange Vanilla or Unscented as well as Peppermint found in our special Curly Hair Shampoo formula.
After the first wash, I noticed a difference in how my hair felt. It was actually squeaky clean, and so I knew that the build up residue was gone. Due to being free from product residue, my hair had incredible volume! You never realize how much your styling products weigh down your hair until you use a clarifying shampoo such as this one that really works, without stripping your hair of it's natural oils.
Formulated with all natural based ingredients, Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner will keep your hair healthy and well-nourished. Great for the whole family and everyday use, our conditioners gently condition and detangle, help with frizziness, maintain the pH balance and control static electricity to result in soft, shiny and healthy hair. They come in several different scents including Green Apple, Orange Vanilla, Verbena Sage, Unscented as well as the Minty scent found in our special Thirsty Hair Conditioner formula.
The conditioner makes my hair feel soft and silky. I love that. These products make my hair look and feel shiny, healthy and luxurious. I love how it brings my hair alive with radiance, shine and volume.
To learn more you can visit their website: https://phillipadam.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.