Friday, June 14, 2019

Eating Your Way to a Healthier You


Eating Your Way to a Healthier You

Between job schedules, medical appointments and a social life, it can be hard to keep your household on track for healthy living. You might not have the time or ability to cook an entire food-group conscious meal. Fortunately, there are many easy and affordable options for keeping your family fit and focused on healthy eating and living. With some online assistance, you can always find out more about local eateries providing healthy options, but there are some changes you can make as well.

Start at the Beginning

Many people don’t worry about their eating habits until it’s a little too late. If you really want to get your family on track, start when your kids are young. If you are a new couple, make it a priority. It’s a lot easier to instill good habits than it is to break bad ones.

Get Colorful and Creative

Your evening meals don’t have to look like a Food Network show, but the more color you have on your plate, the better it will be. Kids like the variation in color and it does engage more of the senses in a dining experience. However, many of the colorful fruits and vegetables you include are some of the healthiest options available. Use chopped fruits and veggies for kid snacks or your afternoon work slump rather than processed snack foods.

Take Small Steps

A game changer for healthy living is the small substitutions that you make on a daily basis. Swap the bad fats for good fats (olive or coconut oil rather than butter) and invest in protein-rich foods rather than empty starches and carbohydrates. Little by little, you can revolutionize your family eating habits.

Make It a Memory

If you don't think your kids will appreciate the way you trashed the bucket of cheese puffs, turn their snacking alternatives in a family affair. Schedule a homemade pizza night where everyone gets involved. Let them roll their dough and pick their toppings. Many children are more apt to eat something they have had a hand in preparing. Look through recipes or snack ideas together, and let them have a hand in choosing what is on the menu. 

You Can Do It

The old saying goes that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. The same is true for starting on a healthy living mission. Change your diet one bite at a time.

Thanks for stopping by, where neighbors share!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Norm of the North King Sized Adventure



Hey neighbors!!

How many of your children like Norm of the North?  Well, check out Norm's newest, E-NORM-OUS adventure!!  I love that while the children are having fun watching Norm as he bumbles around in his polar bear style, that they are also learning valuable lessons.  This one is about how it is important to keep your word.

King Sized Adventure arrives today on Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital), DVD, Digital, and On Demand from Lionsgate.  The Combo Pack suggested retail price is $21.99 and the DVD is $19.98.

Norm is preparing to celebrate his grandfather's wedding with his friends, when he gets sucked into another adventure that has him trying to recover an artifact and return it it its rightful place and still make it back in time for the wedding like he promised.  Will Norm do it?  You will have to watch to find out.

Take a sneak peek at the trailer and then purchase a copy of Norm of the North King Sized Adventure for your family to enjoy.


Thanks for stopping by where neighbors share!!

Travel - Hints to Inexpensive Eating



Hey neighbors!

With summer fast approaching and the school year ending already for many students, some of you may be planning trips.  Or perhaps you would like to take a trip, but expenses stand in your way.  If that is the reason you can not take a trip this summer, check out a few ways to cut down on food expense for a trip.



One of the first things to do is pull out your cooler.  If you don't own one, consider purchasing or borrowing one for your trip.  The cooler will allow you to bring snacks on the trip, as well as cold drinks or at least ice for your drinks.  This is also where plastic containers and zip-loc bags will come in handy.  We like to bring fruit, deli meat, cheese, yogurt and other things like this for snacks and or a quick lunch.  Use snack size containers and bags, so you can just grab one snack and be done. Bring along a case of water and toss them in the cooler throughout the day to get cold.  If your children prefer a little flavor, grab a small box of the flavor packets you can use to flavor your water. You can also make a pitcher of tea or lemonade and fill drink bottles before leaving.

Planning on being in a hotel your first night, or maybe you are only going one day's travel away.  Make a casserole a day or two ahead of time for dinner and double it.  Freeze the second one and you now have dinner the first night in your hotel.  It will help keep things cold on your trip and then just pop it in the microwave for a quick dinner the first night.


We also pack a small tote with our dry goods.  We put in bread for deli sandwiches, snack bags of nuts, chips, crackers, along with a few paper plates and plasticware for eating.  We toss in a roll of paper towels and a packet of hand wipes.  We add a plastic grocery bag or two for trash.

Eating out will definitely be more expensive then bringing or preparing meals, but it is possible to cut down on expenses even here.  First of all, eat out for lunch rather than dinner.  Many restaurants have a lunch menu.  Have children share meals.  Mine did, and even at the age of 32, 22 and 18 they often share meals.  Like a footlong sub or a pasta dish at a restaurant.  If you have a cooler, or you are at a hotel with a refrigerator bring back your leftovers.  They can be used for dinner, lunch the next day or even just an evening snack.  Look for coupons and special deals.  You can oftentimes find coupons in the Sunday paper, restaurants close to the hotel often give discounts by showing your room card, and small, local papers will have specials advertised.  Download apps from your favorite restaurants since they will send you specials occasionally.


Many hotels provide a breakfast for their guests, but if yours does not, purchase items to eat there in the morning.  Donuts, pastries, and cereal are easy to have on hand in your hotel room.

We always make sure the hotel room has a small refrigerator and microwave.  This is big help when trying to eat inexpensively.  You can store and then warm up leftovers and keep deli meat and snack items all in your room.

We have managed to take several trips and save on our food by utilizing most of these suggestions. My daughters travel quite a bit and have come up with some of these hints.  If you have other ideas, please share them in the comments to help our neighbors!!

Thanks for stopping by where neighbors share!


Monday, June 10, 2019

Care For an Elderly Parent

It’s a difficult time in life when parents are aging past the point of being able to care for themselves. It often brings up mixed emotions and causes distress for all parties involved. In many cases, seniors do not want to leave their homes to go to a nursing home or assisted living facility. This causes anxiety for family members who often can’t spend all of their time at a loved one’s home and they do not have he ability to take a parent into their home.  Fortunately, there are companies who specialize in providing care for medical and health needs within the home.

When To Call in the Experts

In most cases, people know when one of their parents needs help. If you are starting to question an elderly parent’s ability to live alone and take care of themselves, you should start researching home health agencies. It’s a difficult conversation to have with a parent, but it’s essential for safety.

How To Find the Right Provider

A simple internet search of “home health agencies Bethesda MD,” for example, will yield dozens of results for you to narrow down. Check reviews for top agencies, and make sure they have a stellar rating with the Better Business Bureau. Ask friends or coworkers for recommendations, and schedule a meeting with your top choices to answer all of your questions and ease concerns.

What to Expect

Home healthcare providers will assess your parent to determine the individual needs and care plan. In some cases, you may only need a caregiver for several hours each day to give medication and check on your parent. In other situations, companies can provide a live-in  assistant for more complete care.
As your parents age, it isn’t easy to come to the conclusion that they need additional help that you can’t provide. However, home healthcare is a great option to minimize disruptions to your loved one’s life and enables him or her to stay in the home. The choice will give you peace of mind that your parent is in good hands.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Teach Your Teens These Life Skills - Graylock Advisors



Hey Neighbors!!

So good to see you today!!  I wanted to talk about something I am noticing more and more today.  We are raising an entire generation, that no longer have life skills once they graduate and move out into the world on their own.  So, I thought I would share here a few things that I think we need to be teaching our teens.

Finance
Most teens today have no idea of how to plan a budget, fill out checks, or how to save.  We need to make sure our sons and daughters have a well rounded education, and this includes teaching them about financial planning.  Teach them how to write out a budget and how to follow through on sticking with the budget.  Have them sit down with you as you do your monthly/weekly budget and walk them through it.  We had our daughters each plan meals for a week, where they were given a certain amount to spend and plan meals.

Open their own savings account or purchase a bank for them to keep savings in.  Help them to plan and save for larger purchases and how to make wise choices when spending.  Teach how much better it is to save for a purchase rather than go into debt for their purchase.  Show them how to use a debit card and ATM.  Yes, we had a young friend (20) visit who did not know how to withdraw funds from her account and my son had to help her.

Responsibility
This one is so easy to ignore, and is very important as they get a job, perhaps marry, and have children.  Many parents give an allowance for chores, and if you can do this it is good.  I would like to encourage you to also assign chores that do not get paid for.  Explain that as part of the family, they are also responsible for helping around the home.  Give them a chore chart or list of chores they are responsible for on a regular basis.  Teach them that not only are they to get the chores done, they are to do them on time and fully complete them.  To do the job well. My husband taught our children that on time was late.  They were always just a couple minutes early.  This has helped all of them in their employment.

Life Skills
Another thing teens need to lear are just general life skills.  Anyone male or female who drives a car, needs to know how to check the oil and water levels.  How to change a tire if necessary and how to put oil in their vehicle.


General cooking skills are also needed.  At least some basics for making some simple meals.  My husband ruined a box of macaroni and cheese he tried preparing one time because he was never taught any kitchen skills.

A little home maintenance will be a great benefit too.  Changing a light bulb, how to use a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, etc.  Teach them how to plunge a toilet.  Anytime you have to do a home repair such as replacing a leaky kitchen faucet or changing out a door knob use it as a way to teach your teen a new skill.

Manners
Please give your son and/or daughter the gift of good manners.  It will truly help them in a world where being polite seems to have been lost.  Have them hold doors for the person behind them.  Let them know that a simple please and thank you goes a long way.  Being able to apologize and take responsibility for their own mistakes will help them along in life.  Saying sir and ma'am to those who are older than them.


Table manners is another seriously neglected area.  Chew with your mouth closed and never speak with food in your mouth.  If you must cough or sneeze, turn away from the table and cover your mouth with the napkin or your hand.  Wait to start eating until everyone is seated and ready to eat.  Don't talk over someone, wait until they are done speaking.  Also, use inside voices when at a dinner table.

I am sure there are many other life skills you can think of that would help teens as they move into adulthood.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.  Thank you for stopping by today, where neighbors share!!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Still Looking For a Father's Day Gift?

Hey neighbors!!

If you are still looking for a Father's Day Gift, take a quick look through this guide from savings.com and see if there is something your father would love!!  There is something for everyone in this guide, whether your father is a builder, sports fanatic, likes to grill, etc.




I am looking at the Checked Seersucker Short Sleeve Sports Shirt from Brooks Brothers.  Looks like a perfect gift this year.  Or the Member's Mark 3 burner Grill.  Perfect for our summer grilling plans!!
#SDCFathersDaySavings

Thanks for stopping by. Where neighbors share!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Plan a Date Night with Your Spouse

Date Nights
Every couple needs to plan date nights.  It helps to get time away from the cares of life and just enjoy being with each other.  It will allow time to discuss the children or other issues you just seem to never find time for.  Make sure you treat the date night as a date.  It doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant, but make it special.

Something To Eat
Taking your spouse out to dinner will allow your spouse time to focus on the two of you instead of worrying about preparing a meal and cleanup afterwards. There are some great places to eat in Andover MA where you can share appetizers and joke how your spouses’s dish almost looks tastier than your own. A coffee or dessert lets you linger a little longer if the conversation is flowing well.

Other Places To Go
If you manage to get the whole evening together, having an active second part of the date can allow for more fun as you work off your dinner. A game of mini-golf or walking through a county fair provides ample opportunities for jokes and pointing out nearby attractions while you chat in a low-pressure environment.

Quiet Places To Relax and Chat
If all is going well at the end of the night, finding a quiet place to sit could help the night end on a high note. Many lakes and city overviews have benches where the two of you can sit in a romantic scene and chat. Watch a sunset. Success on your first date night will make a second date night even better.  Put time into your marriage and make it important.  Too often we get busy with life and place our relationship on cruise control assuming everything is fine and will continue that way.
As you plan your date night, ensure that you do not get too wrapped up in having every moment planned out. Having a solid overview of the night keeps you stable without necessarily requiring a rigid schedule. As you and your spouse converse, enjoy the night together and play it by ear if you must.  Make changes if you need to.  Tweak it until you find a plan that works for both of you.

Have fun and enjoy your date night!  See you soon, where neighbors share!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Some Father's Day Gift Ideas!

#SDCFathersDaySavings

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Paperless Post - For Today

Hey neighbors!!

Here is a post for those people today who do everything electronically.  Do you still write and send birthday cards, party invites (think graduation, baby shower, etc.), and thank you notes?  If you prefer to do everything from your computer, then Paperless Post may be the very thing you need to sign up for.  I had the opportunity to try them out, and although I dd not have an event going on, or a lot of cards to send out, I still went in and designed and sent a Paperless Post so I could see how it worked.


I created a card for my daughter who lives in GA and sent it to her.  It was very easy to do and is not much different than creating for a group of people, because you do not add emails until the end.

Once you have your account created you simply choose the event you are looking for, Graduation, Birthday, Wedding, Parties, Professional,  or Greeting.  They do also have the ability for you to design flyers now.  Paperless Post runs based on coins you purchase to pay for your cards.  There are free options, which you can find out about HERE as well as how to purchase the coins.

Choose the type of card and then you are literally walked through each step.  You can choose different cards, youth, adult, etc.  You have the option of uploading your own images.  You can change your background, edit the text and once you are happy and done with your choices, you pick who to email the cards too.  1 person or 100 the choice is yours.

What a benefit to those who prefer to send invites and cards electronically.  No more dealing with having to purchase stamps and run to the post office.  It is all right there on your laptop.

Thanks for stopping by today!! See you soon!



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pollo Con Blanco Queso - Chicken with White Queso



Hey neighbors!!

Last night for dinner, Mercy and I prepared Chicken with White Queso.  I'm going to tell you about it here, but it was delicious!! Leftovers are on the menu for lunch!!  We did make extra Queso to have with our chips, so you can cut down on the amount of Queso if you like.




Ingredients
2 lbs chicken breast strips
2 cans Rotel Tomatoes
1 Package Velveeta Queso Blanco
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Salt Free

First we sprayed the glass baking dish with non-stick spray.  We placed the chicken in the large glass baking dish. Adding a little Mrs. Dash and set the timer for 45 minutes.  About 10 minutes before the chicken was done cooking, we took a sauce pan and added one can of Rotel.  We cut the Velveeta Queso Blanco in to chunks and over a medium/low heat, slowly melted the cheese in with the tomatoes.  We added 1/2 of another can of Rotel and ended up adding about 3/4 of the Velveeta.




The chicken was done, so we removed it from the oven, drained the juices off.  We poured the cheese sauce over the chicken until it was covered well.  The extra cheese sauce we poured into a separate bowl to be used as dip for the chips.




It was great and my husband LOVED it.


Thanks for stopping by!  See you soon!

Friday, May 24, 2019

5 Financial Errors Most People Make Before Approaching Barron Advisors

Hey neighbors!!

Great to see you all today! Just wondering how many of you have ever experienced debt and what you have done to get out of debt?  Or perhaps you are still in the midst of playing catch up to try and get out of debt.  I am going to share 5 Financial Errors many people fall into.



Savings
Most people do not save for their financial future.  I know, before you say it, you are going to tell me you can not afford to save.  That is what most people think.  You would be amazed though to see how easy it is to put just $10 a week into savings.  Doesn't sound like much, but at the end of the year, you will have $520 in your account that is normally not there.  And it is so easy to save $10 a week, just by cutting back on snacks, the extra meal out, saving your daily change, etc.  Just implement a couple of these and you should be able to save $10 a week.  Skip that extra Latte or Espresso.

Plan Ahead
Now, planning ahead does not just include saving as seen above, it includes planning your weekly/monthly budget.  Many go off willy nilly without any thought for budgeting their finances.  This is where you spend money and then that bill you forgot shows up.  If you make a budget for each week/month, and stick by it, including your saving each week it will make your life easier.  You won't all of a sudden have a regular bill staring you in the face that you forgot to pay.  If you don't know how to write a budget, consider taking an online personal finance course.


Credit Cards
Beware of credit cards.  It is so easy to see something you want or think you need and then whip out that little plastic card to pay for it.  Unfortunately this is what causes many couples financial grief.  Now you have another bill to pay and usually once you have started down this path it is far too easy to keep charging.  Am I saying credit cards are wrong?  No, they serve a purpose, but be sure to use them properly.  We found out that we did not have any type of credit report that we could show when we went in for a loan from the bank.  SO, we decided to apply for a couple credit cards.  Even that is difficult without a credit history.  Then just use the cards occasionally to make a purchase and immediately pay them off.  Sometimes you have to let what you charged run for a month just to get it to show up in your history.  By doing this you can build your credit for the time you need a car or home loan.  This is where your planning ahead and budgeting will come in.  Never charge more than you can reasonably pay off.

Record All Transactions
You were given a bank book for a reason.  It is to record all you take in and all you spend.  I don't know how many times I have heard someone say they had checked their account before making a purchase, and now they are under in their account.  Normally this is due to a floating/pending transaction.  It appears when it is first made, then sometimes disappears until the transaction actually goes through.  So, you think you have more available than there actually is.  If you keep track of this spending in your bank book or other form of record keeper.

Using a Rent to Own
Many couples and college students fall into the rent to own schemes.  Usually for furniture or electronics.  I saw my parents do this many times, and they either finally paid it off paying several times what the item was worth, or they lost the item by missing payments and losing all they had already paid.  Oftentimes the item you need can be purchased just by saving for a few months.  If not, consider looking in the classifieds or online for used items.  A much less expensive way to go.


Financial Advisors Like Barron Advisors
Should you find yourself already in debt, you may want to look into debt consolidation with someone like Barron Advisors.  They can help you by either consolidating all your debts and working out a payment plan or by giving you other good advice to help you solve your financial problems and hopeful keep you free from debt collections or worse.

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have some other ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Summertime Fun and Entertainment!



Hey neighbors!!

I know some of you are already experiencing summer weather with temperatures soaring and beautiful sun shining days.  We unfortunately are encountering rainy days with the temperature going up and down.  Some days we are in short sleeves, others we are grabbing sweaters and light weight jackets.  Now, that being said, we are working on our backyard on the good days, removing limbs, fixing the fence, and cleaning the grill.  We plan on having several outdoor fun days once our weather realizes we are supposed to be heading toward summer.


Check out this really unique TV I want to share with all my neighbors. It is the SunBrite| Veranda Series Outdoor 4K UHD TVs with HDR.  I am amazed!! This television is weatherproof and designed for full shade outdoor areas, like covered patios and decks, or screened in porches.  Imagine having a birthday party and allowing the children to watch their favorite movie or cartoon outside.  Or maybe a group of you will get together to grill out and watch a game! The powder-coated, rust-proof, aluminum exterior protects the internal components from the elements such as, rain, snow, dust, insects, humidity and salt air.  The display is up to 50% brighter than an indoor TV so it is easier to view in brighter outdoor settings.  A large, weatherproof media bay allows you to connect cables without a problem.  It has plenty of storage room for many popular media players and has thick gaskets to seal out moisture.  This TV is available in 43", 55", 65" and 75" for your viewing pleasure.

I am imagining a movie night outside with family and friends.  Grill out dinner first and then gather around with popcorn and other snacks and relax as you enjoy the outdoor experience.  Imagine the fun you can have! If you plan on spending time outside this summer you might want to consider an outdoor tv.  Let's get ready for some outdoor living!

Thanks for stopping by today!! See you all soon!



Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Brush Create Social Media Ads and Images

Hey neighbors!

I was given the opportunity to work with Book Brush!! This site is amazing!!  You can easily create all kinds of ads and images for all your different social media.  It is designed for authors to be able to create high quality images without any hassle.  Don't know how to use Photoshop?  Book Brush makes designing fun and simple.

My husband has written a couple of books that he self-published.  Recently he made them available on Amazon as e-books.  I took a few minutes on Book Brush and was able to throw together a couple of images for him to use.  I have by no means exhausted or even attempted all the possibilities on Book Brush.

The really great news is, Book Brush works for non-authors as well.  Bloggers can create super images for reviews and/or giveaways.  Book Brush offers the correct size ads for all your social media sites.  You can also make 3-D ads, as well as videos. Book Brush offers templates to make your designing easier.  They have over 1 million free images for your use and also give you the capability to upload your own images.  Choose your font type and size, add stamps, design until you are satisfied.  Download your image and you are ready to go.  They have many tips and videos to help you create your images.


You can sign up for the free account with Book Brush, that allows you to create 3 images a month, with limited 3D templates, stamps and fonts.  If you choose to sign up for the Plus account, you will receive access to create unlimited images, all 3D templates, stamps and fonts.  The Plus plan is basically $8 a month paid yearly at $96.


I believe you will find Book Brush  Plus plan a great deal if you create a lot of images.  If you are not sure, sign up first for the free deal and see if it works for you.

Thanks for stopping by!! See you soon!

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the product/product information. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did/will receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May's Gramma in a Box!!



Hey neighbors!!

We received another Gramma in a Box! It is always fun to open the box and see what Terry came up with this time.  I have to admit, I really love the colors and sprinkles in this box!!  We made Pretzel Butterflies, Butterfly Bark, and of course some wonderful Spring Cookies!!


As always the Gramma in a Box comes with everything you need to create three special treats.  All I needed to add was a small microwave safe bowl (to use in your microwave) and a spoon.  Gramma provides everything else you need in the box.  All the ingredients and she even includes the wax paper to create your treats on.  Each box comes with 4 cards.  The first tells you a little about the month's theme, the projects you will create and it gives you the deadline to sign up for the next month's box.  The back of that card tells you what you will find inside and the other supplies you might need.




The next 3 cards are the individual projects.  Each one tells you what you need for the project, gives precise directions for creating the treat and on the back tells you the ingredient and lists any known allergens.

This is such a unique box to get together with your grandchildren, your children or even ask a few of your children's friends over to help.  If you live too far away from your grandchildren, you can FaceTime or Skype while the projects are being created.





You can do one project a day or do them all at once.  Whichever works out best for you.  Gramma in a Box provides you the opportunity to spend quality time together and all the planning is already done for you.  No searching for ingredients or having to plan activities, they are right there and ready to go.


Terry, the founder of Gramma in a Box comes up with original ideas each month.  Many of the boxes are holiday or season themed.  We have enjoyed doing several of her boxes and have not been disappointed with a single box.  You can choose just one month to try it out, or you can sign up and have the boxes delivered monthly.  June 3rd is the deadline for the next Gramma in a Box.  Click on Gramma in a Box to subscribe.




 The really good news here is we are doing a giveaway on our Instagram for next month's box.  So, be sure to drop in At the Fence on Instagram to enter.

So glad you all stopped by!! See you next time!