>U Mom Knows Best: March 2024

Friday, March 29, 2024

Blueland Plastic Free Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Review

 A cleaner planet starts at home. Are you ready to eliminate plastic products from your home? Start today by ditching laundry detergent in plastic bottles and make the switch to plastic-free laundry detergent pods.

 Plastic was meant to last forever, but most of it is only used once. Much of it enters our oceans, and that has toxic effects on everyone. From damaging our wildlife to polluting our oceans, plastic is ruining our environment. The plastic pollution is even in our drinking water and the food we eat. The scary fact is most people are consuming a credit card's worth of plastic a week!

 Recent news has shown that plastic has been found in a new mother's placenta. We have to do something about plastic waste and it starts with us. While we can't eliminate all plastic from our homes all at once, we can start with one item at a time. One of the easiest ways to eliminate plastic from the landfill and recycle bins, that may not be recycled, is in your laundry room.

Switching to a plastic-free laundry detergent can save over 6 plastic laundry bottles per year from entering the oceans. Multiply that by 100 people and that equals 600 plastic laundry jugs from polluting our drinking water. 

I received a product from Blueland to facilitate this review. As a member of the Blueland affiliate team, I may earn money from qualifying purchases. 

Since 2019 One Billion Single-Use Plastic Bottles Have Been Eliminated From Landfills and Oceans With People Using Blueland Plastic Free Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent.

 Today I have joined the mission to eliminate plastic laundry products from the environment. I decided to stop using laundry detergent sheets, which may contain plastic, and I did my first load of laundry with Blueland plastic-free laundry tablets. I was surprised at how easy it was to drop the detergent tablet into my washing machine. I really loved the mess-free laundry product that did not leave gooey laundry detergent everywhere.

My first load of laundry with Blueland Plastic-free tablets

  I was ready to wash my clothes the eco-friendly way. I opened up the package of Blueland detergent tablets and poured them into the included forever tin. The next step was easy as all I had to was drop a laundry detergent tablet into my washing machine and press start. I loved the part of not having to lift a heavy bottle of laundry detergent and figure out the measurements. 

 I did have concerns about the effectiveness of this small laundry tablet, especially since it was fragrance-free. I even choose to not do my scent-free laundry hack of adding baking soda to my washing machine. 

 I wanted to see if this clean ingredient laundry tablet would clean the dirt and smells from my laundry. My laundry wash load had stinky dirty athletic boy clothes and wet bath towels, so would this product work?

My clothes were clean and smelled fresh

 When the washing machine finished its job, I had to smell the clothes and check to see if they were clean. The clothes had a nice clean smell and looked clean. I did not smell any smelly sweat odors or any chemical fragrances. All I smelled was clean. Even the towels came out smelling nice.

Blueland Laundry Detergent Facts

Clean Ingredients: Free from dyes, bleach, and harsh chemicals

Effective: Independently tested to perform alongside major brands

Space Saving: One Forever Tin can fit one pack of 60 plastic-free laundry tablets and is 3x smaller than the equal load-sized container

Common Questions about Blueland Laundry Detergent

~ Information from the Blueland website

Why are the Laundry Tablets so expensive?

Our Laundry Detergent Tablets are $0.32 per load when you buy the refills in bulk, which is the average cost of laundry detergent across major brands. We take pride in the quality of ingredients and the certifications we hold, all of which are factored into the cost of our tablets.

What makes Blueland Laundry Tablets different than a Laundry Sheet?

Our tablets are 100% plastic-free. While laundry sheets may seem to be plastic-free, they contain Polyvinyl Alcohol or PVA/PVOH— a petroleum-based, synthetic, single-use plastic that does not readily biodegrade. We don’t use any PVA/PVOH in our products because it does not meet our standards of biodegradability.

Are you ready to make a switch and do better for the planet?

Now that you have the information about doing laundry the plastic-free way, are you ready to save the planet? Are you ready to stop throwing away big plastic laundry containers? When you make the switch to plastic-free laundry, no longer will you have to face the awful toxic fragrances of the laundry aisle or lug home those heavy laundry detergent jugs. Just think of all the new shelf space that you will have in your laundry room.

Blueland products are made with plant and mineral-based ingredients that are free from

~ Parabens ~ VOCs ~ Ammonia ~ Phthalates ~ Chlorine ~ Bleach

Blueland refills come packaged in compostable paper and their shipping boxes are curbside recyclable for a completely zero-waste experience.

Get your Blueland Laundry Starter Set Here

What Parents Need to Know Before Enrolling Teenagers in Summer Schools

 Summer is no longer just a leisure season for high school students; it's a period that can significantly shape their future. The enrollment of teenagers in summer schools has seen a surge in popularity, and for good reason. Parents are increasingly recognizing these programs' value in bolstering academic standing and fostering personal growth and social experiences. However, deciding to send your teenager to a summer school is multifaceted and should be carefully considered. In this post, we'll explore the myriad of factors parents should weigh to ensure their children have a fruitful and safe summer school experience.

Research Different Programs

 Not all summer schools are created equal, and it's paramount for parents to research the various programs available thoroughly. This research should examine traditional in-person options and online summer school high school programs, as each offers unique advantages and may cater to different needs and learning styles. Consider factors such as the program's curriculum, the qualifications of the instructors, and the feedback from previous participants.

 Additionally, check how each program fits your child's academic goals, whether for college prep, learning new skills, or career exploration. Consider the cost and schedule flexibility, as online programs offer busy families more convenience. Exploring these factors can help you make an informed decision that boosts your teenager's educational and personal growth over the summer.

Clarify Your Objectives and Goals

 Having clear objectives for your teenager's summer school experience is essential. Begin with an open talk about their interests, strengths, and what they want to improve or explore. This helps them choose a program that matches their academic path and introduces new opportunities and passions.

 Goals can vary from academic, like learning a new language or science, to personal development, such as enhancing leadership skills or independence. Setting specific, achievable goals can keep your teenager motivated and engaged. Defining these goals makes the summer school experience more meaningful, focusing on your teenager's personal and academic growth.

Evaluate Accreditation and Quality

 When choosing summer schools for your teenager, checking the school's accreditation and quality is essential. Accreditation confirms that the school adheres to educational standards recognized by legitimate boards, ensuring your child receives valuable education. Additionally, the quality of course content and the instructors' expertise are critical factors to consider.

 Ask about their qualifications, experience, and how they teach teenagers. Good instructors can greatly improve the learning experience. Review reviews or ratings for insights into the program's quality and effectiveness. Ensure the summer school is accredited and upholds high educational standards, ensuring a rewarding summer learning experience for your teenager.

Consider Your Teenager's Interests

 Choosing the right summer school program means considering your teenager's interests to spark enthusiasm and commitment. A program matching their hobbies or goals can boost their curiosity and engagement. For example, a tech-savvy teen might excel in a summer coding camp, while one interested in the arts could enjoy a creative writing or visual arts program.

 Encouraging your child to help make decisions empowers them and ensures they're excited about the program. This personal connection to the curriculum turns summer school from just academics into a fulfilling knowledge quest. When teens engage in subjects they love, learning is enjoyable and impactful.

Communicate with Your Teenager

 Effective communication is crucial when deciding on your child's education. Before signing them up for summer school, discuss their expectations, concerns, and crucial factors with your teenager. Tackling these issues can ease their anxieties or uncertainties and ensure everyone agrees on the summer school experience.

 Moreover, maintaining open communication throughout the program allows parents to monitor their child's progress and address any issues that may arise promptly. Encourage your teenager to share their experiences and reflections with you, as this can offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of the program and any adjustments that may need to be made for future summer school endeavors.

Ensure Safety and Supervision 

 The safety and supervision of your teenager during their time at summer school should be a top priority. When researching programs, inquire about the protocols in place to ensure students' physical and emotional well-being. This can include measures such as background checks for staff members, emergency contact procedures, and proper supervision during activities.

 For online programs, ensure sufficient safeguards are in place to protect your child's online privacy and prevent any potential cyberbullying or harassment. Additionally, consider discussing safety measures with your teenager and encouraging them to report concerns while at summer school. Parents can feel confident that their child is well-cared for during their summer school experience by prioritizing safety.

 Choosing a summer school program for your teenager requires careful research, clear goals, and good communication. Including your teenager in the decision and focusing on accreditation, quality, and safety ensures a rewarding experience. Proper planning makes summer school a great chance for teens to learn, explore new interests, and gain important skills for the future.

Doggy Dreamland: Creating Blissful Sleep for Your Furry Friend

 Dogs. Man's best friend, loyal companion, and often the most consistent love in our lives. They play all day, guard the house, and occasionally (always) beg for one more treat. But there's one activity they excel in more than any other - sleep. Dogs, no matter their breed, size, or age, love to sleep, typically averaging 12-14 hours a day, with some reaching up to 20 hours of snooze. But how can you create the perfect sleeping environment for your furry friend? Let's explore how to ensure your dog gets the restful slumber they need.

Choosing the Right Bed

 When selecting the perfect bed for your dog, size truly matters, especially for our larger furry friends. For them, an XL dog bed is not just a luxury but a necessity. It provides ample space for them to stretch out, roll over, and find that perfect spot without feeling cramped or confined.

A bigger bed also supports their joints and muscles, which is essential for older dogs or those with arthritis. The extra room can help retain heat during colder months, keeping them cozy and comfortable. Ultimately, the right bed, like an XL option, can make all the difference in ensuring your dog's rest is as blissful and rejuvenating as possible.

Comfort and Safety

 Create a sleep haven with a designated area that's comfortable for your dog. Choose a bed of soft yet durable materials for the perfect comfort balance, ensuring it's cozy for relaxation and tough enough for play. For safety, choose beds with non-slip bottoms to prevent sliding, especially in homes with hardwood or tile floors.

 Raised edges or bolsters can give dogs a sense of security and something to rest their head on. Additionally, ensuring the bed material is easy to clean, and hypoallergenic can safeguard your pet from dust mites and other allergens. By prioritizing these aspects, you ensure your dog's resting area is not just a bed but a safe, secure sanctuary.

Temperature and Lighting

 Ensuring the right temperature and lighting in your dog's sleeping area can significantly enhance their slumber quality. Dogs are immensely adaptable creatures, yet a sleeping environment that's too hot or cold can disturb their rest. Strive for a moderate, comfortable temperature, complemented by a breathable blanket in colder months or a cooling mat during summer.

Lighting is key, too; soft lighting or darkness tells your dog it's time to relax, similar to natural sleep patterns. Consider blackout curtains or a dim night light for an ideal sleep setting. Adjusting these factors can create a calm sleep space, supporting your dog's natural sleep habits.

Noise Control

 Like humans, dogs can be sensitive to noise, particularly regarding sleep. While a calm and quiet space might not always be feasible in our busy lives, there are steps you can take to minimize disruptive sounds. White noise machines or calming music designed for dogs can block unwanted noises and create a peaceful atmosphere conducive to rest.

 If your dog is still struggling to settle down, consider providing a designated crate or quiet room. This can help minimize any anxiety from external stimuli, allowing them to drift into a deep, refreshing slumber.

Consistency in Sleep Schedule

 Establishing a consistent sleep schedule is key to promoting healthy sleep habits in dogs. Just as humans benefit from regular sleep patterns, dogs thrive on routine, knowing when it's time to rest and when it's time to be alert. Aim to have your dog go to bed and wake up simultaneously every day, including weekends.

 Consistency regulates your dog's internal clock, helping them fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. A regular bedtime routine also reduces anxiety, as dogs feel secure knowing what to expect. This improves their sleep schedule and strengthens their bond, creating a peaceful living environment for both.

Appropriate Exercise and Diet

 Adequate exercise and a healthy diet are essential to your dog's overall well-being, including sleep quality. Regular physical activity helps expend excess energy, making it easier for them to fall asleep at night. A balanced diet with high-quality ingredients can also improve rest, providing the necessary nutrients to support your dog's overall health and vitality.

 Consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate exercise and diet for your dog's age, breed, and activity level. By ensuring they get the right amount of exercise and nutrition, you can help them achieve a restful sleep each night.

 Creating a doggy dreamland for your furry soulmate is as fulfilling for you as it is essential for their well-being. Investing time and resources into understanding your dog's sleep needs and restructuring their sleep environment can lead to a healthier, happier canine. Remember, just as they bring joy to your life, ensuring their comfort in sleep will reward you with a peaceful home, where the dream barks and twitching paws tell of adventures in a land of nod.

The Complete Guide to Moving Abroad with Your Family: All You Need to Know

 The decision to relocate abroad is more than just a simple change of address; it's a transformative experience that can shape your family's future. The planning phase is charged with excitement and many questions, from the prospective enjoyment of a new culture to concern about the practicalities of such a monumental move.

 Family dynamics play a significant role during this period, and ensuring that each member's needs are met is crucial for a successful relocation. From toddlers to teenagers and adults, the relocation process can differ greatly depending on individual circumstances. Amid these considerations, there's the practical need to plan and organize, ensuring that everything is noticed and the transition is as stress-free as possible.

Plan Your Logistics

 A critical aspect of your move involves planning the logistics of shipping personal belongings and deciding what to take. Start by assessing which items are essential for your new home and which can be left behind, sold, or donated. This not only simplifies the moving process but can also significantly reduce shipping costs.

 Opting for a reputable international removal company will ensure that your belongings are transported safely and efficiently, minimizing the stress of moving. The folks at pssremovals.com say that professional removalists can also help you plan your move and navigate the complexities of customs regulations. Additionally, make copies and digital backups of essential documents such as passports, visas, medical records, and school transcripts to ensure a smooth transition.

Research Your Destination

 Before anything else, it's crucial to research your destination thoroughly. Start by familiarizing yourself with the local culture, customs, and language, as these aspects will significantly influence your daily life and integration process. Investigating the educational system, especially if you have children, is crucial for making informed decisions about their schooling options.

 Knowing the available healthcare facilities and services is crucial for your family's health and safety planning. It's wise to look into the housing market to find accommodations that suit your budget and lifestyle. Lastly, connecting with expat communities online can provide valuable insights and firsthand experiences for a quicker and more confident adjustment.

Consider Your Family's Education Needs

 When moving abroad with your family, prioritizing your children's education is crucial. Understanding the new country's schooling system, including curriculum, instruction language, and education culture, is essential. Many countries have international schools with a global curriculum, which can help keep your child's education consistent.

 Researching before moving can help you find schools with good support for expat families, making the transition easier for your kids. Connecting with these schools early allows your children to meet peers in similar situations. This step is vital for their academic, emotional, and social well-being in a new place.

Prepare for Finances and Insurance

 Understanding your financial situation clearly before and after the move is vital. Moving abroad can come with unexpected expenses, so creating a budget considering all aspects of your relocation, from shipping costs to housing and daily living expenses, is essential. Consider seeking advice from a financial advisor and researching any tax implications for international residents.

 Additionally, it's crucial to ensure that you and your family have adequate health insurance coverage in your new country. Research the healthcare system and options for expats, and make sure that any pre-existing conditions are covered. It's also advisable to look into life insurance policies to ensure your family's financial stability in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Have a Plan for Language and Cultural Integration

 Successfully integrating into a new culture involves learning the language and understanding and adapting to cultural norms and values. Whether you're moving to a country with a different native language or one that speaks English, it's essential to have a plan for language learning and cultural integration.

 Consider enrolling in language classes or hiring a tutor for personalized lessons. Enjoy local culture by attending cultural events or joining community groups. Be open-minded and embrace new experiences, which will help you and your family adjust quickly to your new home.

Don't Forget Your Emotional Well-Being

 Amidst all the practical planning and preparations, it's crucial to prioritize your family's emotional well-being during this transition. Moving abroad can be a rollercoaster of emotions, from excitement and anticipation to homesickness and culture shock. It's essential to prioritize self-care and take steps to maintain emotional well-being throughout the relocation process.

 Stay connected with friends and family back home through regular communication, and try to build a support system in your new country. Take breaks from the stress of moving and engage in activities that bring you joy. Remember that it's normal to feel overwhelmed or homesick, but seeking professional help if needed is always an option.

 Moving abroad with your family can be a daunting prospect. Still, with proper preparation and a positive mindset, it can also be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. Each phase of the relocation process presents its challenges and opportunities for growth. By planning and considering every detail, you're giving your family the best chance to thrive in their new international home.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

12 Spring Products You Need To Know About

 Spring is here and I am so happy! I love the warmer weather and being able to get outside. Soon garden season will be here. Keep reading to discover some new products that are perfect for spring.

 I am so glad that winter is over and spring weather is here. Now that the weather is warmer, I am outside more often. I got my hot tub ready for nighttime soaking sessions and I bought a backpack weed sprayer to kill all the weeds. We had a lot of rain this winter along with a couple of snowstorms so the weeds are starting to grow.

 Once my weed sprayer arrives, I will make up a batch of my DIY natural weed spray. This 3 ingredient weed spray really works and kills the weeds in a day. Once all the weeds are gone, then I can start planning my garden. I can't wait for fresh greens from my garden, as my indoor garden doesn't produce enough for my daily vegetables. 

 I just returned from California from attending Expo West and that has helped me get back to running outside again. I don't run outside when the temperatures are cold as that bothers my asthma. California has a lower altitude than New Mexico, so I was able to run faster. After my trip, I returned to a pile of packages, of items that I ordered before I left for my trip. I am excited to tell you about some of the items that I received, so keep reading to learn more.

Products You Need To Know About

1. Grape Crush Anywear By Cherokee Footwear

 Once spring weather arrives, I am outside in the backyard a lot! So I need a shoe that is easy to put on and take off. We don't wear shoes in the house and when I am working in my garden, I tend to go back and forth from indoors to outside. 

So I need a shoe that I can step into and out of without having to sit down. So I ordered a pair of these pretty shoes. The color is called Grape Crush and they are so comfortable. I like that they are washable. That way I can wear them while I work in my garden. These shoes are also perfect for running errands and getting the mail. I might have to get another pair, to keep in my gym bag to wear in the shower.

The Anywear By Cherokee Footwear comes in many colors, even colors that guys would like. They provide arch support and plenty of cushion. Nurses swear by these shoes for all-day comfort. They are also slip-resistant and are under $35. I like buying shoes from this company as they are so comfortable and come in cute colors. I bought these gym shoes a couple of months ago to use while biking on my studio cycle.

From breezy joggers and comfy athletic shoes to khaki scrubsmaternity scrubs, and Dickies scrubs, Medical Scrubs Collections offers a vast array of chic fashions for all kinds of occasions.

2. Koi Betsey Johnson Reversible Fashion Mask 

 For most people the need for a face mask is over, for me, it is not. My need for a face mask has nothing to do with COVID-19 or germs but rather with hand sanitizer and fragrance. Chemical fragrances and hand sanitizers are asthma triggers for me. So when I am at places where folks are wearing perfume or using hand sanitizer, I wear a face mask to block the scent. Places where a face mask is a must are airplanes, church, and the allergy doctor.

 So I decided to refresh my face mask collection and I bought some cute stylish face masks from Medical Scrubs Collection. I just love the flamingo print and the jungle floral print on these face masks as they bring a smile to my face. The masks are comfortable and lightweight. They are machine washable also. 

3. Alpha Essential Renewal Lotion

 I decided to try a new face lotion this month. The one that I was using was on the pricey side and the fragrance was annoying me. So I decided to try Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion. I like that this lotion is made with natural ingredients and is fragrance-free. The price of this anti-aging lotion was also something that I liked. 

 This lotion contains 10% Glycolic Alpha Hydroxy Acid which lifts away the dead skin cells so new healthy skin can emerge. This skin renewal process helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I like how this lotion absorbs quickly into my skin. After using this lotion for a week my skin feels so soft.

4. Pringles Harvest Blends 

Pringles came out with some new potato chips that are made with sweet potatoes. So I decided to have my boys try them. These chips have a smoky BBQ taste and my boys enjoyed them. I was unable to try them as they have wheat in them.

The new Pringles Harvest Blends come in 4 flavors ~ Multigrain Farmhouse Cheddar, Multigrain Homestyle Ranch, Sweet Potato Sea Salt, and Sweet Potato Smoky BBQ. They are perfect for on-the-go snacking. This was even a 2024 Product of the Year award winner.

5. Stemilt Lil Snappers

 My family loves apples. So I decided to try these snack-size apples. These apples are organic and so delicious. They are perfect for the boys to take to school for after-school snacks before their sports practice.

My husband liked the Honeycrisp apples the best and the Fuji apples were my favorite. These apples are super sweet. You can find the apples in stores like Walmart, Albertsons, and even Costco. Find out where you can buy the Stemilt Lil Snappers.

6. Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune Gummy

Spring may be here but the colds are still going around. My husband just got over a cold that was going around the office. Thankfully, I was in California while he was sick, so I did not catch his cold. I also made sure to take plenty of elderberry while I was traveling.

Once I got back from California, I needed to buy more elderberry. My boys like the taste of these Nature’s Way Sambucus gummies. These elderberry gummies also contain vitamin C and zinc for extra immune support. I like that one can take elderberry every day for immune health. This was even a 2024 Product of the Year award winner.

7. Alden's Organic Ice Cream

 I met this brand at Expo West. While this brand just released a new product that was not allergy-friendly, they invited me to check out their new organic Greek yogurt ice cream bars. When I informed them about my dairy and wheat allergies, they were nice enough to send me samples of their dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream bars along with the yogurt bars for my boys to try. 

 Alden's latest frozen delights are brimming with better-for-you ingredients, featuring the richness of strained, organic Greek yogurt infused with live probiotic cultures. The organic Greek yogurt is avilable in six delicious flavors. The six new flavors include Mango twist - Chocolate Fudge twist - Mint Fudge Twist - Espresso Caramel Twist - Salted Caramel Twist - Strawberry Twist. My boys were happy to be my taste-testers and they enjoyed the ice cream bars. I was happy they were enjoying organic ice cream. I enjoyed the dairy-free and gluten-free frozen treats. Alden makes the best gluten-free, dairy-free ice cream sandwiches!

8. OmegaVia Vegan Omega 3 Supplement

I used to think that you could only get your omegas from fish but I discovered a vegan Omega 3 supplement. I had to try this supplement as I am trying to eat more plant-based foods. OmegaVia Vegan Omega 3 supplement is sourced from algae and contains 300mg of vegan DHA Omega 3 per capsule.

 This vegan-sourced Omega 3 supplement is also free from fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, sugar, wheat, gluten, yeast, and artificial colors or flavors. So it is perfect for vegans and those looking for an allergy-friendly supplement. 

9. NIRA Youth Renewal Peptide Cream

 NIRA just released a new product! The NIRA Youth Renewal Peptide Cream is a nourishing face cream that also renews the skin. The advanced multi-peptide complex is made to maximize the NIRA laser results. This face cream is also clinically proven to reveal skin that looks 5 years younger in just 60 days. See my full review of the NIRA Laser.

 I love my NIRA facial Laser device and I am excited to see the results of using this face cream. This cream is lightweight and absorbs quickly. NIRA is comparable to those fancy facial treatments like peels and Botox. The best part of trying out NIRA is their 90-day no-questions-asked return policy if you don't see any results. Trust me you will see results of younger-looking skin. So skip the expensive beauty treatments and give NIRA a try. NIRA is my beauty secret to looking great at 58!

10. PURA D'OR Original Gold Label Shampoo and Conditioner

My hair used to be weak and thin. My husband would complain about all my hair in the shower. That all changed once I started using PURA D'OR shampoo and conditioner. Now my hair is thicker and there is less in the shower drain. I am trying out the PURA D'OR Original Gold Label Shampoo and Conditioner this month.

This shampoo and conditioner is formulated with biotin and other natural ingredients. These ingredients help reduce thinning hair, promote hair strength, and reduce breakage. Less breakage has helped my hair stop falling out. PURA D'OR contains no sulfates, parabens, or chemical fragrances. The conditioner makes my hair so soft and easy to manage. I also have less split ends. If you have thinning hair or want to prevent your hair from falling out, you need to try PURA D'OR Original Gold Label Shampoo and Conditioner.

11. EBS Spice

 Do you like Everything Bagel Spice? You have to try this spice blend from Raw Spice Bar! EBS Spice contains White Sesame, Black Sesame, Poppy, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Smoked Salt, Dill, Nigella, and Black Pepper. This spice blend is ground into a fine powder so it is easy to use in recipes or as a spice rub. The flavor is amazing and it is perfect for eggs, avocado toast, and so much more. 

 EBS Spice is one of many delicious spice blends from the Raw Spice Bar. This spice subscription is a great way to try new spices as they are packaged in small batches. Each spice comes with a recipe to help you get creative in the kitchen. There is also plenty of recipes on their website. This is a great way to learn how to integrate spices into your home meals. Sign up and get a new spice blend every month.

12. The Cold Pod

 I have decided to try ice bath therapy and I just got a cold water immersion tub from The Cold Pod. One of the benefits of cold plunging that I want to experience is reducing inflammation. I have chronic pain in my ankle from an old tendon injury and it is preventing me from running. So I am hoping that using an ice bath after I run will help.  I also want to see how it can help with my general health and my asthma issues.

 I chose The Cold Pod as it is a portable ice bath and easy to set up. The Cold Pod also takes up less space than a traditional ice bath plus uses less water. Don't let the small size fool you into thinking that there is not enough space to be comfortable in this cold tub. This tub holds 116 gallons of water and is made for people up to 6 feet 7 inches. 

 I chose to set up the Cold Pod in my garage as that will make it easier for me to use as soon as I get home from the gym. It was super easy to set up the ice bath. It comes with support rods and an air pump. This bath also comes with a cover. 

 It was hard for me to get into the Ice Bath, I am a wimp when it comes to cold water. So I started with room-temperature water just to see how the tub felt. The tub was at a perfect height making it easy to get into.

Check out the products 

 Have fun checking out the products that I am using this month. Look for a future post with a review of The Cold Pod. I want to use it for a couple of weeks to see how it has benefited me. I am hoping that I can get used to the cold water. In the meantime enjoy a picture of cute grandbabies.

Stylish and Comfortable Clothing Choices: Women's Guide

 In the bustling world of fashion, where trends come and go with the seasons, one principle remains timeless—combining style with comfort. For the modern woman, this balance is not just a preference; it's a necessity. Whether you're powering through a day at the office, running errands, or enjoying a night out, the clothing you choose plays a pivotal role in not only how you look but, more importantly, how you feel. This guide is dedicated to helping you navigate the vast landscape of women's fashion, pinpointing stylish yet comfortable clothing choices that don't compromise on either front.

Bra Sizes: The Foundation of Comfort

 Before venturing further into the world of fashion, an essential aspect that must not be overlooked is finding the right bra size. This is foundational to ensuring comfort and significantly impacts how your clothes fit and flatter your body. The team behind Miseczki says that for women with a fuller bust, the right bra size can make all the difference in the world. Not only does it provide proper support and prevent back pain, but it also creates a smooth silhouette for your outer clothing to drape over. For those who are unsure of their bra size, it's best to get professionally measured at a lingerie store. A well-fitted bra is worth the investment and will make a world of difference in your overall comfort.

Dressing for Your Body Type: Flattering Silhouettes

 After ensuring you have the correct foundational garments, the next step is to select clothing that compliments your specific body type. Understanding your body shape is key to identifying which styles will enhance your best features. For instance, pear-shaped women may find A-line dresses flattering because they cinch at the waist and gently flare out, balancing out wider hips. 

 Conversely, women with an apple body shape can opt for empire waist tops or dresses that draw attention to the slimmest part of their torso. Additionally, those with an hourglass figure might choose wrap dresses or high-waisted pants that accentuate their naturally balanced proportions. The goal is not to conform to a specific standard of beauty but to feel confident and comfortable in your skin by choosing clothes that make you feel your best.

Comfortable Shoes: Finding the Perfect Balance

 No outfit is complete without the right pair of shoes, but all too often, women sacrifice comfort for style. The quest for a shoe that offers both should lead you to consider not just the aesthetic but also the fit and support it provides. For daily wear, options like cushioned flats, supportive sneakers, or ankle boots with low heels can be both chic and comfortable. It's important to choose shoes that fit well and offer adequate arch support to avoid discomfort. The goal is to find footwear that you can confidently wear all day without sacrificing your feet's well-being. Brands that specialize in ergonomic designs often offer stylish options without compromising on comfort. Investing in quality shoes is investing in your overall health and well-being.

Layering for Style and Functionality

 Layering is an art form in the realm of fashion that serves both style and functionality. It allows you to adapt to changing temperatures throughout the day while adding depth and interest to your look. Begin with a solid foundation, such as a cotton tank top or a long-sleeve fitted shirt, which feels comfortable against the skin. 

 Over this, add a lightweight cardigan or a chic blazer for structure. The key is to choose pieces that complement each other in color, texture, and proportion. For colder days, incorporating a scarf or a stylish yet practical coat can elevate your outfit and provide warmth. Remember, layering is not just about piling on clothes; it's about creating a cohesive look that allows for flexibility and comfort, no matter where your day takes you.

Accessorizing for a Polished Look

 Accessorizing is the final touch that can elevate any outfit from good to great, giving you a polished and put-together appearance. It's about finding the right balance between enhancing your ensemble and maintaining comfort. Start with classic pieces like a statement watch or a pair of stud earrings which add elegance without overwhelming. 

 Scarves are versatile accessories that can add a pop of color and texture, while a well-chosen belt can define your waist and complete an outfit. Don't forget the power of a good bag—not only does it need to be stylish, but it should also be practical, fitting all your daily essentials without causing strain on your shoulders. When it comes to accessorizing, less is often more. By choosing pieces that complement your outfit and express your style, you create a cohesive and stylish look that feels authentic and comfortable.

 In conclusion, the key to stylish and comfortable clothing choices is finding a balance between fashion and function. By investing in proper foundational garments, selecting flattering silhouettes, choosing comfortable shoes, layering strategically, and accessorizing thoughtfully, you can create an effortless yet fashionable wardrobe that makes you feel confident and comfortable in your skin.

Soothe Your Suffering: 6 Proven Hacks for Tackling Neck Pain

 In our fast-paced world, neck pain has become an increasingly common complaint among people of all ages, largely due to our increasing reliance on technology and sedentary lifestyles. Whether it stems from poor posture, muscle strain, or underlying health conditions, neck pain can significantly impede daily activities and diminish quality of life. But fear not! We're here to offer you six scientifically-backed hacks to not only alleviate your neck pain but also prevent its recurrence. Join us as we explore these simple yet effective strategies that promise to soothe your suffering and help you reclaim your comfort and mobility.

1. Prioritize Proper Posture

 Our first strategy emphasizes the importance of maintaining proper posture. In the era of smartphones and laptops, it's all too easy to find ourselves hunched over screens for hours on end, putting undue strain on our neck and shoulders. Adopting an ergonomic setup for your workspace can make a significant difference. Ensure that your computer screen is at eye level and that your back is supported. Additionally, making small adjustments like sitting with feet flat on the ground and using a chair that supports the natural curve of your spine can prevent the onset of neck pain and alleviate existing discomfort.

2. Regular Stretching and Exercise

 Incorporating regular stretching and exercise into your daily routine is crucial for preventing neck pain. Simple neck stretches, performed several times a day, can improve flexibility and reduce tension. Additionally, engaging in activities that strengthen the neck, shoulders, and back muscles can support your posture and reduce the likelihood of pain. Yoga and Pilates, known for their focus on alignment and core strength, are especially beneficial. Not only do these exercises relieve immediate discomfort, but they also contribute to a more resilient and pain-free neck in the long run.

3. Explore Surgical Options

 In cases where neck pain persists despite conservative treatments, surgery might become a necessary consideration. Various surgical options exist, each targeting different causes of neck pain. An Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is a common procedure used to alleviate pressure on nerves caused by disc herniation, while cervical laminectomy and fusion surgery can address spinal stenosis. If you are considering surgery as an option, consult with your doctor to determine which procedure is most suitable for you. For instance, Cervical Disc Replacement offers an alternative to fusion surgery by allowing motion preservation at the operated disc levels. Each surgical approach has its specific indications and potential benefits, underscoring the importance of thorough evaluation and personalized medical advice.

4. Mind Your Sleeping Habits

 The position in which you sleep can have a significant impact on your neck pain. Poor sleeping posture, such as sleeping on your stomach or with an elevated pillow that strains the neck, can exacerbate discomfort. This is because such positions can put unnecessary stress on your neck muscles and spinal alignment. Instead, try to sleep on your back or side with a supportive pillow that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine. This alignment helps to reduce the strain on your neck muscles and can significantly alleviate pain. Avoiding using multiple pillows or propping them up too high is also essential in maintaining proper alignment, as this can prevent further strain and ensure a restful night's sleep that supports neck health.

5. Use Heat and Cold Therapy

 Heat and cold therapy are two highly effective home remedies for reducing neck pain. Depending on the underlying cause of your discomfort, both can offer quick relief by targeting different types of pain. Applying a heating pad to the affected area relaxes tense muscles, promotes blood flow, and reduces stiffness, making it a great option for muscle-related neck pain. In contrast, placing an ice pack on the affected area for short periods can numb the pain, reduce inflammation, and help to prevent swelling, which is particularly useful for injuries like sprains. Experiment with both methods to determine which works best for you, keeping in mind that some people may find alternating between heat and cold therapy offers the best results.

6. Seek Professional Help

 In some cases, neck pain can be a symptom of an underlying health condition that requires professional medical attention. If your neck pain persists for more than a few days or is accompanied by other symptoms like numbness, tingling in the arms, or severe headaches, it's crucial to seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. A healthcare professional can accurately diagnose the root cause of your pain through a comprehensive examination that may include medical history, physical assessments, and possibly imaging tests. Once identified, they can offer personalized treatment options that target the specific issue, ranging from physical therapy and medication to more specialized treatments if necessary. Remember, addressing neck pain early can prevent it from becoming a chronic issue and ensure your long-term health and well-being.

 Neck pain may be common, but it doesn't have to be a constant burden in our lives. By implementing these scientifically proven hacks into our daily routines, we can alleviate discomfort, prevent future episodes, and improve our overall quality of life. Remember to prioritize proper posture, incorporate regular stretching and exercise, consider surgical options if needed, mind your sleeping habits, utilize heat and cold therapy, and seek professional help when necessary. Let's take control of our neck pain and soothe our suffering for good!

Reasons Why Renting a Dumpster Is Essential for Spring Cleaning

 As winter's frosty grip loosens and the first rays of spring sunshine warm our homes, the age-old tradition of spring cleaning beckons us. It's a time-honored practice that involves more than just mopping floors and dusting shelves; it's about rejuvenating our living spaces and carving out room for the new. However, with great cleaning comes great waste, and that's where renting a dumpster comes in as a critical ally in your seasonal assault on the disorder.

Unveiling the Spring Cleaning Tradition

 Spring cleaning isn’t merely about the superficial tidying up – it’s a time to tackle those deep-cleaning tasks that have been put off during the colder months. The ritual not only gives our homes a fresh start but also ushers in a sense of renewal and a clear mind. However, the extent of cleaning often leads to a hefty amount of disposal, and managing this is no mean feat.

Reasons to Rent a Dumpster

 Renting a dumpster goes beyond the simple act of waste disposal; it paves the way for a comprehensive approach to cleaning. Here are five compelling reasons why a dumpster is your ultimate spring-cleaning sidekick.

Efficient Waste Disposal

 Imagine having a cleanout where everything you need to discard can simply be tossed into a container outside your home or office. Dumpster rentals make waste disposal during spring cleaning more efficient. You don't have to be bound by the limits of your trash can or make multiple trips to the nearest landfill.

Time-saving Solution

 Time is of the essence during a rigorous cleaning session. A rented dumpster gives you the freedom to work at your own pace without the hassle of coordinating waste pick-ups or looking for alternative disposal options. It’s a one-stop solution for all your cleaning detritus.

Decluttering and Organizing Space

 A cluttered home can be visually overwhelming and hamper your cleaning efforts. Renting a dumpster encourages full-scale decluttering. It's an opportunity to get rid of items that don’t serve a purpose, creating space for a more streamlined and organized environment.

Environmentally Friendly Option

 While the term ‘dumpster’ can connote wastefulness, professional dumpster services often include recycling programs to minimize the environmental impact. All recyclables can be safely and responsibly disposed of, leaving you with the peace of mind that your spring cleaning doesn’t come at the cost of the environment.

Safety and Convenience

 Avoid the risk of injury from hauling heavy loads or overloading your regular waste bins. A dumpster placed conveniently in your driveway means you can simply toss items, ensuring a safe and hassle-free cleanup experience.

Benefits of Professional Dumpster Rental Services

 The advantages of opting for professional dumpster rental services extend far beyond mere waste collection. These experts are equipped to handle the nuances of waste management that arise during the spring cleaning season. And, whether you need dumpster rental Chesapeake, or any other city, you can just look for providers online. Not only do they provide an array of sizes to choose from, but also offer prompt and reliable services.

Proper Waste Management

 Professional dumpster services not only haul away your waste but often include sorting and recycling services, ensuring that as little as possible ends up in the landfill. This is a huge service to the environment and can add an ethical aspect to your spring cleaning endeavor.

Variety of Dumpster Sizes

 Not all cleaning projects are created equal, and neither are their waste disposal requirements. Professional services offer a range of dumpster sizes for you to choose from, ensuring that you don't pay for more than you need or, worse, run out of space.

Compliance with Regulations

 Disposing of certain items improperly can lead to legal issues, especially hazardous materials. Dumpster rental services are well-versed in local regulations and can guide you on the appropriate disposal techniques, maintaining your legal compliance.

Cost-Effective Solution

While initially, it might appear to be an additional cost, in the bigger picture, renting a dumpster can save you money. You won’t need to factor in extra fuel for multiple trips to landfills, or the time and risk associated with disposing of items yourself.

Tips for Effective Dumpster Use

 Renting a dumpster is just the first step in your cleanup crusade. To make the most of your dumpster and cleaning efforts, here are some tips to consider.

Sorting and Segregating Waste

 Clear out from room to room, creating separate piles for items that will be discarded and those that can be donated or sold. When it comes to the dumpster, segregate different types of waste to streamline the disposal process.

Maximizing Space in the Dumpster

 Efficient packing is key to making the most of your rented space. Break down boxes, compact items, and pack from the bottom up, making full use of the volume without creating safety hazards.

Safety Measures

 When renting a dumpster, it's crucial to practice safety. Encourage those involved in the cleaning to abide by weight restrictions, wear appropriate attire, and avoid any hazardous or prohibited items.

 Spring cleaning is an opportunity to refresh and reinvigorate our homes after the sedentary winter months. And while the task can be daunting, renting a dumpster eases the burden and amplifies the positive impacts of your purging efforts. It streamlines the waste disposal process, provides a time-effective solution, encourages decluttering, maintains environmental responsibility, and ensures the safety and convenience of your household or workplace. Professional dumpster rental services offer a suite of benefits, from waste management to adherence to legal stipulations, and ultimately, present a cost-effective option for your cleaning needs. This spring, don’t just clean, but clean consciously and efficiently with the help of a reliable dumpster rental service.

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