Friday, November 20, 2015

The easiest BEST fruit fly trap!

With Thanksgiving just days away and Christmas shopping season already in full bloom, I have noticed a pesky little problem hanging around my kitchen, the fruit fly!
Not sure why it's always long after the late summer harvest when  they seem to be at their most annoying, but at least here in Michigan, they are still hanging around.

 Over the years, I think we have tried every possible remedy on the market, and nothing even comes close to a homemade fruit fly trap.

 Check it out:

The easiest BEST fruit fly trap!

           Hope this helps you get rid of these annoying little beasts in your home!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Here's the 6 Simple Secrets for staying fit over 40

Time to break out (and shop for) shorts and swimsuits,  finallly!!  Except, well, its been a long winter.
You're likely pale, and definitely not in "summer" shape (not even close!)  You're not even sure how it happened..."I didn't really eat that much, not sure how it happened...Well who cares, I'm no teenager, right?"

Then you think of the boating, the beach, the trips, the BBQ's...and, the shorts---and...the swimsuit.    

Because once you're out there, you do care. You want your clothes to fit, and not have your stomach hanging over.  You know you can do a little someting, take a little effort towards fitness.  And that's just it.  You don't have to be an Olympian here.  Just be consistent and do a little something for you.

So here's the best way to get in shape very quickly and actually make daily progress that you can see and feel (almost) right away.

Just start slowly--my first week back into it, I walked my four dogs (in shifts of course--they're out of shape from winter too!) for an hour, then two hours by mid-week--and by Thursday of that week I felt crippled and could barely walk because my knees and back hurt so much.  (Not exactly a way to stay in shape--winding up in bed for two days as the housework also stacks up.

Photo by:"Mike" Michael L. Baird, via Wikimedia Commons

So here's a better way:

1.  Walk/jog outside. It doesn't have to be embarrassing "power walking" either. Just walking with a quick stride. Bring along your smartphone and some headphones and dress for the weather. Start with 15 mins and slowly work your way up to where you want to stay within the time you have alotted for your daily walks.

2.  Eat small meals. I know you hear this all the time, but this is key. I like the 80/20 rule.  80% good, real whole food.  20% snacks. (If it works for Denise Austin, then it can't be bad!) If you eat small amounts and don't maintain a full stomach that your body has to work through, your body (and mind) can work more efficiently on more important things.

3.  Don't worry about skinny. Do your walk, then add some toning after, (a little bit of weights, some pilates/yoga, and then forget it for that day. You are on a journey which, like all successful goals, requires patience and time to reach (even if you still feel fat today).

4.  Eat some spinach. Even if your day was full of all the wrong things, tossing a li'l spinach in your salad or sandwich adds instant superfood to any snack.

5. Eat some dark chocolate. Speaking of super foods, this one's my favorite. Not only is it a healthier choice, it also is so satisfying and rich that it keeps you from downing all kinds of other desserts. Try Dove dark chocolate if you've never been a big fan. It's the most delicious (in my opinion)!

6. Don't obsess too much. Yes, fitness is important, but...there're other things, you know?

Priorities, people!

You have to decide:  What can I reasonably maintain, as far as fitness goes?  Three hours a week? Four?  Or maybe just 30 mins/ 3 times a week. Whatever it is, understand its going to come down to consistency.

Common sense, folks...

You can't work out hard for a week, and then skip a week, and then start again.

Decide what you are willing--and more importantly--able--to commit to on a regular, consistent basis.

Your fitness level will equal that amount of time, and how rigorous you make that time.  

When I was 25, I worked out hard, and I mean obsessively, for many, many hours a week. But now, life has really changed. I have a husband, a home with non-stop chores, 5 kids, and 4 dogs---and I'm in my upper 40's and no longer running around in a bikini---so my priorities (and therefore my lifestyle) has changed drastically.

Its not all about "me" anymore.  But I do still want--need--to maintain fitness to be healthy, confident, happy, sane--and also look and feel good.  But I have to be reasonable, considering that there are only so many hours in a day, and only so much energy I can exert because, like it or not, I am getting older and I get tired easier than I used to.  That's just the reality of not being a younger person.

So is there a "killer combo, a routine? 

Yes, it's simple, and here's what you have to do:

1.) Walking outside for a half an hour. That's the secret. It seems simple, but will bring you down one whole size, and it isn't stressful and straining.  Plus, its great being outside for a little "you" time.

It smells soooo good in the morning, the sun comes up, it feels so promising...Springtime is here! Its one of those mine/body/spirit things.  It just sort of works,you know.  It always has, and it always will. And once you get to the half way point and turn around to come back to your car/house/work, you can't quit. You have to finish! (unlike when you're on your treadmill or at a gym). 

2.) At home routine (non-cardio) for half an hour after my walk. To really get that toning, that flexibility, that stretching to avoid injury and delay muscular aging, I add 15-30 mins and do some Pilates/weights/toning/yoga. My favorite thing is a large fitness ball, its actually fun to work out on!

And that's it. In two weeks I look and feel amazing and suffer no injuries! And most of all I don't worry if I get started late in the spring because, to again quote Ms. Austin, "muscle has great memory", which means that exercise I did in the past is remembered by my body today. (Even it's a few layers under thanks to these long winters)>

How do you stay fit year after after? What are your best secrets to staying on track during swimsuit season?

I would love to hear your ideas and comments ;)

Incredible Products to Make Your Life Easier: Product Number 5

The last product that I recommend in this five part series is...

                                   Skinny Girl Smoothie Maker     Personal Blender by Bella

What Makes it so great?

1.  Inexpensive. For under $30 at Sam's Club (or similarly priced elsewhere) this personal                smoothie maker gets the job done easily.   

2.  Convenient.  If you have a morning appointment and a bit of a drive ahead of you, (or are           heading to work), the last thing you have time for is to make breakfast or stop to sit and eat. 

 3.  All inclusive. Includes several cups in two different sizes, two different blades, three straws                made of  hard plastic, and, best of all, everything is dishwasher safe.

The only thing I have found that is a little bit annoying about this smoothie maker is that it struggled a bit with frozen fruit.  If its small and frozen, such as blueberries, then it does a great job.  But for fruit that freezes up like rocks--such as my main smoothie componant--strawberries, I do leave it to sort of "rest" on the counter for a little while before blending.

Otherwise, this smoothie maker fits the bill because of its low price and 2 year built in warranty (the company must be prrreeetty confident of that li'l motor to offer that!)

So that wraps it up! My five fabulous favorite products to fight frustration and make life just a l'il bit easier!

See you soon ;)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Incredible products to make your Life Easier: Product Number 4

Next on my list involves warmth. Instant warmth and comfort. Do you ever feel chills as soon as you finally get a chance to lay down?!? As soon as you stop moving, it's cold. 
I have this little trick for that and I now cannot live without it!
And that brings me to my fourth...

Incredible Product to Make your Life Easier

Soft heat heating pad (from Walmart)!

What makes it so great?

1.  It's very inexpensive, around $12 at Walmart

2.  It has auto shut off feature so you can go to sleep and not worry

3.  Adjustable heat settings

4.  Moisture pad included, for moist heat (which I never use, personally).
5.  Although the surface area is small, it warms up your whole body! 

6.  Economical! Although it does use electricity, nothing even approaching that of a space heater. 

7.  Safety. Now I'm sure there are all kinds of warnings about heating pads being linked to cancer, this is something to use sparingly, occasionally, and for adults, not kids!  
 Please join me next time for the fourth item on my list of incredible products to make your life easier in this five-part series.   

 What are some of your favorite items to keep you warm and comfortable during the winter months?

Please leave your comments!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Incredible Products to Make Your Life Easier: Product Number 3

My favorite frustration busting product to make your life easier, product number three:

Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Topcoat for  Nails!

What makes it so great:

1. Dries instantly

2. Somehow, dries wet nail polish and seals in the color in an instant. 

3. Affordable, costing less than $5 at most stores. 

4. Readily available, found at almost all drug stores, discount retailers,and grocery stores. 

5.  Can be used for touchups daily to extend nail color for up to five days. 

Not only does it hold up to its claim of drying instantly, but it also seals in wet, tacky nail polish, drying it completely (for the most part). 

This is one of those products that I have to have on hand at all times in my home. With four daughters two of which were nail polish on a regular basis, and myself, this is a great product because there is nothing worse than having to wait for your nail polish to dry.

Although I have tried many other different ways to get my nail polish to dry quickly, this has the added benefit of being a top coat as well. 

Because it is a thin and fast drying formula, it can be used each day to preserve your nail color

Sometimes as time goes on, it begins to thicken and we just add a little bit of acetone to get it through to the end of the bottle. 
I have literally bought five of these in the last couple of years and always have one or two on hand. 

Since this is a fast drying product, it may not be the most heavy duty topcoat on the market, but if you want to get out the door without any smudges, this is the way to go!

Costing less than five dollars, this is one of my favorite must-have items in my repertoire of products to make my life easier!

What is your favorite nail product that you swear by?

Next I will share with you my fourth favorite product for making life easier
later in the week!

Please leave a comment below!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Incredible products to make your life easier product number two

The second awesome product on my list is Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps (pure Castile baby mild unscented liquid soap.). This soap has been around for a long time, and although there are a lot of religious statements on the bottle that does not necessarily reflect everyone's beliefs, I still think it's ok to buy this soap (at least for me)!

What makes it so great:
1.) This soap can be used by anyone, any age, any gender, and because it is unscented, any scent can be added to it. This includes Teatree Oil and other therapeutic essential oils, or even sugar to make a quick sugar scrub. 

2.) It's Concentrated! A little bit goes a long way and once the bottle is at the halfway point I will fill the rest up with water and further concentrate it as I go. 

3.) It Cleans iPhone Screens, other smart phone and tablet screens, OtterBox cases, and eReaders, etc., perfectly and streak free. 

4.) It Cleans (some) Jewelry! Does a great job on diamonds, especially your diamond wedding ring!  I have never seen my wedding ring as sparkly and clean as I did after the first time I used this soap on it. I just soaked in a little bit of diluted Dr. Bronner soap, scrubbed with a soft toothbrush and my diamond is sparkly clean and beautiful. 

4) Makes an Awesome eyeglasses cleaner! I have definitely rarely seen my prescription lenses as clean as when I add a tiny bit of this soap with a little bit of water. Just rinse and dry with a soft cloth. This is the only cleaner I use for my glasses now. 

5.) Cleans DVDs and CDs. When we rent DVDs, or pick them up from the library for free, they are often very dirty and banged up. My older DVD player is very sensitive to any smudge. But a quick rinse with Dr. Bronner's soap and a little warm water and the DVD will usually play with out any interruptions
 (unless of course it is scratched).

6.) Household Cleaning and Hard Floor Cleaner. I personally do not use my Dr. Bronner soap very often as a household cleaner, simply because I don't want to waste it. (It's precious to me ;) However I have seen the health food stores mopping their floors with the peppermint version of the soap and it smelled amazing. 

I'm sure there are many other uses for this  soap, and probably some good ideas listed right on the ball. However these are the favorite uses that I've discovered so far. 

What are your favorite uses for natural soaps such as Dr. Bronner's?

Join me for product number three later in the week!

All comments welcome!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Secret to World's Best Fruity Smoothie

Strawberries. That's the secret to the most delicious, fabulous, tummy taming smoothie EVER! 

 Although strawberries alone cannot make a great smoothie, this is the primary ingredient to make a great smoothie every time.

It is VERY possible, however, to completely botch a smoothie if the ingredients don't include (most!) of those which are pictured below.

When I first heard about the trend to make smoothies at home, and to buy personal blenders for this purpose, I scoffed at the idea after the disastrous juicing that was taking place in the early 2000's. 

What I didn't realize at the time, was that smoothie machines and blenders were not anything like juicers, in that there is no waste and no fiber being thrown into the garbage. 

I actually used to make fun of people who made smoothies, until I started making my own. 

Now, I can barely get through a day without one, without feeling like something is missing.

So here it is. 

World's Best Smoothie!

1 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 of one banana
1/2 an avacado, ripe
1 tbsp coconut oil 
1/2 cup diet 100% cranberry juice
Splash of almond milk
A few blueberries (optional)

Blend til smooth. Enjoy or freeze for later!

What is your favorite fruity smoothie recipe?

 All comments are welcome!