MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

How to Become a Savvier Traveler

Smart travel is easier travel and knowing some of the tricks and tips used by those that consider themselves experienced travelers is much simpler than you think. Everyone likes to think that they know how to travel, but when you combine inexperience with excitement, you’re bound to run into some challenging times. How you cope with those challenges is often what makes the difference between a savvy traveler and one who is just hoping for the best. Nobody is born a savvy traveler, but if you’re planning a trip or already starting to pack a suitcase, below are three tips that will see your travels become much easier. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, here are the best ways to embrace the ultimate in savvy travel.

Destination research

The more that you know about your destination, the more that you’ll be able to enjoy. This could mean simply doing some Google research about the top places to visit or the best local foods to try, but you could go even further than that. Read a book by the most famous writer from where you’re traveling to, and you may gain a much greater insight into the culture, the people, and the environment.

Be open to experience

You’ve already left your comfort zone, so why not go all the way and experience something truly new? If you’re already exploring an unfamiliar land, then finding new experiences is much easier to achieve, and you may find yourself enjoying unforgettable memories as you challenge your own expectations of what you’re capable of. Travel opens up the mind, and you can make your time away much more exciting by not placing limitations on yourself.

Be prepared for a crisis

Not everything will go according to plan, especially when you take flights into account. Delays and cancellations can be a nightmare to deal with, so be prepared for them. Always pack entertainment options in your carry-on luggage, and keep a list of phone numbers and websites that might be useful in cases of flight cancellations. Check with, and you may be able to claim compensation, and the faster that you make your claim, the more likely that you will be able to relax and enjoy your travel despite delays.

Take your phone

It may be redundant to suggest packing your phone when you’re traveling. After all, we have them close to hand wherever we are. However, you may not have realized just how useful your phone can be when you’re traveling. Not only is it a handy map, but it’s also a translator, review checker, camera, or simply just a way to make sure that you keep in touch with people at home. Never underestimate just what your phone is capable of when you’re in another country, and always make sure that you are fully charged and have packed a universal plug adaptor.

Being a savvy traveler is all about knowing the best ways to tackle each stage of your journey. Be prepared, and you could be having the vacation of a lifetime, and returning home with the knowledge that you are indeed the savviest of travelers.

5 Tips That Will Create Space for the Holidays in Your Home

You have been probably dreaming of a big home where you can store all of your prized belongings. However, the economic recession has become a hindrance to fulfilling this long-awaited dream. If you are thinking about renovating your home for additional space, think twice.

You can actually perform some useful steps that can help you make the most of the storage space of your home. Read this article and become aware of some home improvement tips that will create more space at home for the holidays.


Shelves are a great way of creating extra storage space without taking up any additional floor space. They can also really help to liven up and give a room some character.

Multi-task your furniture

Is there an item of furniture that can double up as something else? For example, if you work from home then chances are that you need a desk. The problem with this is that desks can take up a lot of space and unless you have an office, it’s probably clogging up your bedroom or spare room.

Could your dining room table double up as a desk? If so, if you’re really short on space then there’s no need to have both. You likewise need to do some furniture removal to save on space.

Utilize your wardrobe

In case you have floor-to-the-ceiling length wardrobes we then bet that there is a lot of wasted space that has been left unused. If the top of your cupboard is just empty space then why not add a shelf? This may be utilized for everything from clothes, beddings, towels and any other thing you do not have an idea of what next.

Get a bed with storage space

If you’re in the market for a new bed then opt for one that has drawers underneath. This is a fantastic way of creating extra storage space in the home without taking up any vital floor space and the best part is that nobody even knows they’re there.

Put things in a self-storage

Self-storage really is the best way to deal with clutter. We find it hard to throw things away because it might have sentimental value or we genuinely might need it again at some point in the future. Self-storage allows you the best of both worlds because you get to keep all your treasures but they don’t take up the space that you need in order to live comfortably.

Folding furniture

If your dining room table and chairs hog the whole room then why not use furniture that you can simply fold away when you’re finished with it? There are plenty of tables you can make bigger when in use and then smaller when you’re finished so it takes up less space. If you can fold up your chairs and store them in a cupboard or to the side, this will also help free up some space and make your room look much bigger.

Having gone through the above article, you now know some of the important tips that will help you create more space at home for the holidays.

Top 7 Great Tools for Women

The DIY boom is here, ladies, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Too long have we left those torn window screens and unhung Ikea light fixtures to the men in our lives, who always promise to “get around to it tomorrow,” only for six months to pass and we’re still stuck in unlit, mosquito-ridden homes.

Even if that particular example doesn’t apply to you, having a tool chest within arm’s reach is still a great idea and possibly a lifesaver. But where to start? Here are a few staples that no good tool chest should ever be without.


If your toolbox had a throne, the tool that deserves it most would probably be the hammer.

Let’s get real: how many times have you gone on a hunt through your house for a heavy object because you needed to hang that picture on the wall, but didn’t have a hammer? I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all probably grabbed that nearby paperweight or textbook and tried our best, to no avail. I know someone who put a hole in the wall pounding a nail in with the heel of her stiletto. She wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed herself if you know what I mean. My point is, nothing does a hammer’s job as well as a hammer can.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of swinging a heavy hammer around, and that’s okay. There are many options out there. Find yourself a small, cute hammer that you can grab with ease and get to work hanging those family photos!

Measuring Tape

A retractable tape measure can save you in a pinch and deserves a special spot at the top of your tool chest. Want to hang a few photos at the same height, or see if the new refrigerator will fit into the cubbyhole? A tape measure’s got your back. Save yourself a headache or three and get this essential tool into your tool chest, pronto.

I mentioned a retractable tape measure specifically because, unlike body tape measures that always seem to end up in a tangled, undignified heap inside your sewing kit, it will take up very little space in your tool chest. You’ll also have an easier time maneuvering it around when DIY’ing alone.

Staple Gun

A handy alternative for when you want to keep that security deposit intact is the staple gun. Check out your local hardware store for a staple gun and go to town on those posters and reupholstered dining room chairs. It can also be useful for bolting down that loose end of the carpet, skirting tables and beds, and really any time you want to cover a surface with fabric.

If lugging around one of those heavy, all-metal staple guns isn’t your cup of tea, try looking into lighter, more compact alternatives, which are usually available. You don’t need a super heavy-duty staple gun for small DIY projects, so unless you’re a construction worker, ditch the huge, cumbersome guns and go for a more practical one that is a good fit for your hands. It’s always a good idea to shop around for a staple gun that feels comfortable in your grip before making your final choice because you don’t want it slipping out of your hands during a delicate project.

Screwdriver Set

Ever try to assemble Ikea furniture without a screwdriver? I wouldn’t recommend it even to my worst enemy. That’s only one reason why a screwdriver set deserves a high place on this list.

Most DIY projects will require a screwdriver; if you feel you don’t need a whole set, at least make sure you have Philip’s head and flathead to cover your bases. Just remember to keep them dry, because not only will using a rusty screwdriver put you at risk of hurting yourself, it may well snap in pieces if you’re not careful!


This one is not something you would think you would need but for many of us who like to hang things all the time it would be great to have one handy. Multimeters are handy for DIY tasks like hanging shelves, basically anything you want to put into or onto a wall! . You use them before you start work on an electrical device to make sure no current is flowing, which prevents you from receiving harmful, or even lethal, shocks.


The best tool chest will always contain a pair of pliers for when your weak human fingers just won’t cut it. Any activity involving twisting, gripping, bending, or yanking stuff out of hard surfaces will be made easier with a pair of pliers. Ever try to pull a nail out of a wall with your bare hands? The result isn’t pretty, trust me, and I’m not talking about the nail.

There are so many kinds of pliers that it’s easy to get confused, so you can just stick with the standard long-nosed pliers and a pair of cutting pliers for when your regular old scissors aren’t up to the challenge.

Power Drill

Now, before you raise your eyebrow at me, let me explain. When I say power drill, I don’t mean the kind that you need both hands to even keep in place, that you need full body armor to wield because it feels like it’ll take on a life of its own. Small cordless power drills are readily available and will prove to be a valuable asset when the wall proves too hard for just your screwdriver.

Get a power drill with a drill bit set included covering all your bases. With a small selection of bits, you can both make holes and apply and remove screws with the same useful tool, on any surface your heart desires. You’ll save time and energy, especially on those big DIY projects!

Glue Gun

Last but not least is the ever-reliable glue gun, great for decorating and DIY household projects. I’ve used my glue gun to fix door jams, reattach knobs to windows, stop up holes, and even affix beads to a shirt that was looking a bit plain.

This versatile tool deserves a place in your tool chest, but watch out—that glue gets hot! Also, make sure to clean the tip after every use thoroughly, or you’ll have a hard time using it the next time around.

With these seven tools, you can finally get around to those projects you saved on Pinterest but were too daunted to start. No need to wait around on your man now! A tool chest is a safest and easiest way to store your tools, and it gives you a chance to personalize what is now your very own starter’s toolkit. So, go forth and DIY, ladies, and don’t be afraid to keep expanding that toolkit! You never know what you may need in the future.

Keeping my kids safe, happy, and healthy

You might think healthy living is all about the food you put into your body, but it’s also about the environment you inhabit. As a mom, it’s up to me to make sure that my home is a safe place for my family. Safety includes everything from being ready for first aid to making sure the home is clear from lead paint, pests, or mold.

Here’s how you can stand up to these unhealthy risk factors…

Give your house a physical

The best way to find out about contaminants or substances is to have a professional house inspection completed. Most of us are familiar with home inspectors because they are consulted when a property is changing hands.

Inspectors thoroughly examine properties to ensure the structure isn’t compromised by pests, water damage, or any contaminants. It’s like going to the doctor for a checkup and having routine tests run.

Inspectors use technology like radar, thermal sensors, and cameras to determine if there is insect damage. If you suspect water damage or mold, inspectors can use moisture sensors to look behind walls, ceilings, and floors for leaks and rotten wood. Infrared technology can be used to evaluate airflow and eliminate human error while interpreting data.

Inspect for pests

The Lone Star State is full of critters, and it’s a constant battle to keep them out of our home. Scorpions make their way into the house in the middle of the night and sting bare feet and pets.  Pests like termites or carpenter ants can decimate a property quietly, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage before you become aware of their presence.

Having a home infested with pests is unpleasant and dangerous. Flies, cockroaches, and rodents transmit hundreds of diseases and can cause allergic reactions in people living in the vicinity. A professional pest inspection can help identify any pest-related damage that requires repair and provide advice to protect against future infestations.

Detecting contaminants

Home inspectors offer a full range of testing services for contaminants in the air, water, or soil of your home. Knowing your community or home’s situation and level of risk is key to knowing what elements should be tested. Good local options like Building and Pest Gold Coast inspectors know the community dangers that are most common, and can test level of risk for certain bacteria, pesticides, or lead contamination.

Maintaining water quality takes vigilance and requires annual testing. Most homeowners test for nitrate and total coliform, but testing the water for other substances like heavy metals, contaminants, radon, organic and inorganic chemicals is a good idea.

Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas harmful to humans if inhaled in large quantities. One in five homes has elevated levels, so testing your home is crucial to keeping your family safe.

Keep your family safe

My home is more than a building; it’s the place that keeps my family safe. As storms become more frequent and violent due to climate change, I find it’s a good idea to schedule home inspections to keep your family safe and healthy.

Professional home inspectors have insights into what dangers to test in your community and the technology to get the most accurate results. They can offer informed suggestions and advice on how you can prevent future problems.

Should I drink Fluoridated Tap Water?

Water is essential to every living being on this planet. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that all water is safe to drink!

In fact approximately 97% of the water on the planet is actually in the sea!

Even rain water cannot be relied on to be clean; it travels across the land picking up pollutants, bacteria and debris along the way.

That’s why there are water treatment plants; to clean the water and provide you with safe water from your tap.

However, companies such as Clean & Clear Water are thriving as people become aware of how important it is to filter the water before you drink it.

The main reason for this is the addition of chemicals by the water treatment plant. There are 2 main chemicals of concern, Chlorine and Fluoride.

Chlorine is used to clean the water while fluoride is added to help prevent tooth decay.

The Research

The facts suggest that dental health has improved across the country; thanks to the introduction of fluoride in the water. The fluoride binds with your saliva to help protect and strengthen your enamel; reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.

The conclusion is that fluoride is safe and a useful addition to the water. Of course, this review is carried out by the very people that supply you with that water.

There have been other studies that suggest fluoride is not quite so good for the rest of your body; having great teeth may be at the cost of your health.

The key is in the amount of fluoride you’re exposed to.

Excess amounts of fluoride can result in the following adverse effects:

  • Osteoporosis

This is the softening of your bones, making them more brittle and more likely to break. The problem gets worse as you age.

  • Kidney Damage

Your kidneys are essential for the removal of toxins and other products from your body. If they do not work properly your body will struggle to work as it should.

  • Nerve Damage

The nerves are essential for transmitting an array of signals, including pain and touch. You need these responses to help you coordinate all your movements. Nerve damage can limit your ability to function properly.

  • Muscle Issues

This has a similar effect to nerve damage except that your actually muscles can lose strength and prevent you from doing tasks that you would previously have found easy.

  • Thyroid Gland

The thyroid is responsible for several functions including maintaining your metabolism. Any damage to this will result in a loss of energy and an increased likelihood of gaining weight.

This will further slow down your metabolism and increase weight gain, starting a vicious cycle. Additionally excess weight has been linked with age related chronic disease.

Should You Drink Fluoridated Tap Water?

The decision is yours but the potential adverse effects make it seem like a good choice to use a water filter. This will effectively remove the fluoride and protect your health.





Finding the Right Home in Texas

If you’re looking for the right home, you can start searching for it in Texas. The state right now has a lot of emerging markets offering high job growth, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.


But going beyond the DFW area, you can also find great properties in other towns and cities. One thing’s for sure, if you want to invest in a home, you need to be using the right approach and method.


We can help you with that. When it comes to finding the right home in Texas, it’s just a matter of being aware of the vibrant communities, getting your finances in order and doing the due diligence to make sure it’s perfect.


Follow these tips and you can finally settle down in the Lone Star State.


  1. Find the right communities


If you are an experienced home buyer, you probably know how important it is to find the right places to look for the best real estate deals. For this, you will need to find markets where there is a large housing inventory. This will enable you to find the most affordable homes.


Next, make sure to choose a community that has all the amenities you wanted. You might as well find properties offering scenic lakeside views. If you are opting to look around Houston, for instance, you can easily find new homes in Fulshear, TX that are close to nature and far from stressful urban environs.


  1. Make sure you have enough in your bank


Buying a home doesn’t come cheap. Sometimes, you will have to exhaust your bank account to be able to afford a down payment.


Fortunately, buying real estate doesn’t to be a heavy financial burden. In fact, you can explore various financing options that fit your needs. This comes with extensive research and preparation right from the get-go.


Regardless, you will need to search for a loan that suits your needs. If you intend to settle in Texas for good, you can always opt for a fixed-rate loan that matures in little less than 20 years, depending on your agreement with a lender.


On the other hand, low credit scores can be a hindrance, unless you opt for an adjustable-rate mortgage. The advantage of this option is that it enables you to scale-down the interest rate up until you can afford to go under a fixed-rate period.


  1. Do your comps

If you are finding the right home in Texas for the best value, it’s crucial to compare property prices in a given area.


For this, you would want to work with a broker who can find listings of similar properties and water them down into a short list of possible properties you should be buying.


Make sure you include the features you want in a home and focus on the price per square footage. These measurements will be instrumental when you are negotiating the final price with the seller.


  1. Perform an inspection

The property may look like your ideal home from the outside, but how about on the inside?


When it comes to finding the right home in Texas, it’s important to ask a seller for an open house. This is crucial before purchasing a property since you need to know if it’s the right place for you. Take a long look inside, and watch for anything that doesn’t meet your standards.


Ask about any structural defects and issues which you can use to negotiate a better deal. Once that’s done, you can now proceed with the due diligence, sign the papers, and finally move into your ideal Texas home!


Quick Tips For Cleaning Your Outdoor Barbecue

If you are lucky, you may live somewhere that allows you to use your outdoor barbeque all year round. But for most people, barbeque season is a highly anticipated time during the warmer months that includes great eats and family fun enjoyed outdoors.


Although everything seems to taste just a little bit sweeter when cooked on the grill, keeping it clean can be a hassle. Even still, regular cleaning should be a priority. Cooking on a dirty grill can not only cause harmful bacteria to make its way into your food but can also be the cause of dangerous fire flare ups.


It is advised that regular cleaning and grill scraping be done after each and every use, however, a full cleaning isn’t necessary for each use.


For a charcoal grill, you should clean it thoroughly at least once per month. The ash from the briquettes can build up quickly and leave it tough to clean.


When it comes to gas grills, a once-over full cleaning should be done at least once per season. The best time to do it is once at the beginning and once at the end of the outdoor season. However, if you use your gas grill on a more regular basis you may want to increase the number of all over cleans to a few times per year.


Take a look at some tips from the professionals to help guide you through the proper cleaning process and save you some time. Enjoy all your favorite meals on a clean and healthy barbeque grill all year long.


Gas Grill Cleaning


  • Start by disconnecting and shutting off the gas to your barbeque. This will help eliminate any gas leaks during the cleaning process.
  • Remove all grates and soak in a bucket with warm soapy water
  • Remove all inside components including burner tubes
  • Using a firm spatula, start scraping the interior of the barbeque to remove all soot and grease
  • Clean your burner tubes with a hard bristled brush using a side to side motion. You want to be able to clear any buildup or blockages in the tubes that can affect even cooking temperatures
  • Rinse burners with running water from a sink tap or outdoor hose and leave to air dry
  • Once dry, replace the burners into the barbeque and light to make certain they are all working efficiently
  • Scrape down the soaked grates until free of all grease and food debris
  • Brush olive oil on the cleaned grates to season and prepare the grill for it’s next cooking session


Electric Grill Cleaning


  • Light your barbeque to heat the grates and then allow to cool down until they can be comfortably touched without burning
  • Scrape gently to loosen food particles and grease
  • Wipe down with a wet sponge removing all oils and fats
  • The electric parts to your grill can be soaked in soapy water and then wiped dry by hand before replacing


Charcol Grill Cleaning


  • Empty the ash pan and ensure that the entire barbeque compartment is free from residue or pieces of briquette
  • Soak your grates in warm soapy water
  • Use a hard bristled brush to scrub away any food residue and grease
  • Wipe down entire lid with a wet sponge
  • Put in new coals or briquettes and heat up
  • Allow to cool until grates are warm and then oil for the next use


Things to think about when buying baby products

If you are about to have a baby or have had one recently, I am sure you will appreciate this article. This is a great way to save money. Keep reading to know more.

How to choose best baby product

I discovered that many people trust the product lines that only come from known advertisers. After all, there are questions if all natural and organic baby products are really beneficial for the well-being and safety of babies.

If a baby product like baby lotion for a dry skin is not made with natural ingredients, inflammation can be common. This specific circumstance causes damage and disturbs the skin rashes on the body or scalp. This is due to the artificial ingredients already present in the products. In order to reduce exposure to skin problems, it is generally good for the family to start with products made with organic ingredients. This can reduce the child’s discomfort and reduce the burden on the home.

Few babies can have unpleasant side effects on creams and even some detergents due to mixtures of ingredients that are not good for sensitive skin. These skin diseases cause redness, swelling of body parts, lack of shine and wrinkles. This can be quite normal during the cold season of the year. In order to abstain or stay away, it is best to take advantage of products that include a biological formula. Also, it is best to apply an essential cleansing cream that is recommended to clean baby’s clothes. Households should adopt a detergent that does not exclude flame retardants on baby clothes.

What are the natural ingredients?

Common natural ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and vanilla extract are applied to baby products. These essences are developed in ordinary products, in particular lotions, ointments for diaper rash, shampoo for babies and others. The particular ingredients can abstain from the active, anti-aging, shiny and perfumed skin. Practicing products for all-natural children is an easy way to reduce exposure to aggressive pollutants and chemicals that will cause side effects.

Retail outlets are usually packaged with products that claim to be totally natural. Some suppliers may claim that the products they can choose tend to be completely organic when they definitely are not. These products may contain inorganic dyes and chemical compounds such as formaldehyde and various chemical preservatives. Adults should preferably have products with their child that can be “green”, which means they do not contain any dyes, synthetic flavors, soaps and/or other harmful toxins.

Ask for advice

Families should ask the pediatrician of their newborns what products to trust. Relatives should look at labels to make sure they use purely natural materials for their children. Do not just follow the price, always remember that safety is the most valuable factor we can offer our children, especially in these sensitive areas. And keep in mind that materials produced for children are suitable for all members of the family. It is not because you are older than your son that you cannot enjoy the same privilege as creams and lotions without preservatives, without textures, and without artificial perfumes. Many natural children’s products can be found in online stores and grocery stores.

Many companies offer natural brands of organic infant formulas, such as soy-based formulas. There are also different recipes to prepare at home. Before trying your baby’s homemade formula, make sure your doctor tells you everything is fine.

Friday Night Lights is Back! Thirty-One Gifts Bleacher Blanket

Football Season is back! My oldest is a cheerleader at her High School and all three girls are cheering for our pee-wee football Teams that means LOTS and LOTS of time sitting at the stadium watching the girls cheer and boys play football. Which means sitting on a hard cold seat…

Thirty-One Gifts has me covered! The Bleacher Blanket is the perfect addition to any game day! Lots of options like color of blanket, icons and personalize.

I of course being a Patriot fan and my daughter’s school is the Patriots then why not customize it for two teams we love!

Folded in three (as when you roll it back up) fits perfectly over the bleacher bench. One side is soft and the other protects you from rain/wind/other elements outside.

The Bleacher Blanket is great for picnics and all year round! Head on over to to learn more!

*A product was provided.

5 Conditions that May Benefit from a keto Diet

Over the past year, there has been more press than ever for the ketogenic diet. While the concept behind the keto diet is nothing new, the packaging and the implementation is ideal for people that want to get great results such as a shrinking waistline, or a reduction is tummy jiggle. Check out this beginner’s guide from Bodyketosis.

While most people use the keto diet to shed unwanted pounds, some conditions can be helped with this diet. The keto diet was first implemented to help with the condition of epilepsy to make the patient have reduced seizures. In this article, we are going to talk about five conditions that may benefit from a keto diet.

1. Epilepsy

As we stated above, the keto diet was first put into use to treat people with Epilepsy. Most people can control their seizes with the use of AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs), but some children are not able to get the results they need with these medications, and this is when doctors turn to the keto diet.  It is recommended that you speak with your doctor if you want to find out more about Epilepsy treatment using the keto diet.

2.  Metabolic Syndrome

Since keto diets are extremely low carb with an emphasis in fat, they are effective for lowering insulin levels which means the body is signaled to break down body fat into ketones. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of signs of poor health linked to not only type 2 diabetes but also heart disease. The signs of metabolic syndrome include being thick in the waist, having high blood pressure, low HDL levels, high blood sugar levels, and high triglyceride levels.

Research was done that showed that the keto diet, even without exercise, was helpful in lowering fat in the body and help with the condition.

3. Glycogen Storage Disease

Those who have Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) do not have one of the enzymes involved in storage glucose as glycogen or breaking glycogen down into glucose. Depending on which of the enzymes is missing, there are different types of GSD.

Most people are diagnosed with the disease in childhood. Symptoms differ from one type of GSD to another. Some of the common symptoms people note are fatigue, poor growth, muscle cramps, enlarged liver, and low blood sugar.

While many people are told to eat high-carb diets to always have glucose available to the body, early research suggests that the keto diet may benefit people with some GSD forms.

4. Diabetes

Many people with diabetes notice major reductions in blood sugar levels when eating a keto diet. Whether the patient has type 1 or 2 diabetes, the keto diet has shown to be helpful. Some doctors are of the opinion that being on a keto diet is one of the best things you can do for your body that is dealing with diabetes.

If you are using insulin, you need to pay close attention to your blood sugar levels. There is no way to know in advance what dosage you are going to need when you are on a keto diet, so you need to pay close attention to the numbers and adjust as necessary.

When you have diabetes, you may be worried about sweets, and with the keto diet, you need to stay away from donuts, pasta, and many other high carb foods, but keto cookies can be used to help hold your sweet tooth at bay.

5. Some Cancers

With Cancer being one of the biggest killers in the world today, it is no wonder that people are constantly working to find a cure and more effective treatment for this condition. Some types of cancer have been able to be treated with the keto diet, and more people are looking into this diet as a viable option to help them extend their life quality and lifespan.

Blood sugar, obesity, and type two diabetes have been shown to link to breast cancer and others cancers. Using the keto diet to keep yourself as far as possible from Cancer is a good strategy.

How Do I Get Started With Keto?

After seeing all of the benefits of keto, you may be ready to get started and see the results for yourself. This makes perfect sense, but sometimes it is overwhelming to figure out where to start by yourself.

The best thing you can do for your keto diet is going either throw away or give away all of your high carb foods that are lurking. Look in the back of pantries, in your favorite snack hiding spaces and anywhere else high carb foods might be hanging out. You want to make sure that you have a healthy food environment. When you get a craving, you don’t want it to be easy to find your favorite goodies.

Once you have all of the problem food out of your house, it is time to refill the cabinets with keto-friendly food. Eggs are a great staple of any keto diet. There are plenty of ways you can fix eggs so that you don’t get bored with them and since you can have meat, pair it with your favorite meat to make your meal even tastier.

Have clear goals in place and make sure that you plan out your meals for the week so you can be successful with your keto diet. keto might not be the easiest diet, but it works quickly, and that is great for motivation.

Was this article helpful and informative? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.

6 of the Best Uses for Activated Charcoal

There’s been a lot of noise recently concerning activated charcoal and the surprising health benefits you can gain be implementing it into your healthcare routine.


While charcoal may initially bring up thoughts of backyard barbecues and roaring campfires, there’s so much more to this basic yet powerful ingredient.


Activated charcoal is very different than the type of charcoal you might be used to picking up at the stores. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers must first heat the charcoal up within an environment that promotes porous growth. The pores left behind in the charcoal is now activated and makes the substance far more effective for medical use.


But what uses are those specifically? And is activated charcoal something you need to start using? To find out, we’ve assembled six of the best used for activated charcoal in the home, in the body, and beyond.


  1. Negating Poison


While there are many uses of activated charcoal that aren’t quite as dire (which we’ll get into momentarily), one of the prime uses for activated charcoal is in treating ingesting poison.


The reason? The porous nature of activated charcoal acts like a sponge—preventing poison from entering the bloodstream on a molecular level. In fact, one of the first uses ever for activated charcoal was for the treatment of poisoned plants nearly 150 years ago.


While we sincerely hope that you never need to use activated charcoal for this purpose, it is important to note that activated charcoal is more than a fad. The effectiveness of the porous nature in removing harmful substances—as you’ll soon see—is hard to understate.


  1. Indigestion


Having trouble with indigestion or otherwise suffering from intestinal gas?


Activated charcoal has been shown to reduce gas buildup in the intestines and ease indigestion. The natural absorptive quality means that pH balances are altered, and digestive harmony is restored.


Much like our first tip, using activated charcoal to clear out indigestion might not be the most pleasant use of the substance. Still, it is helpful to know in case of an emergency. Just be sure to seek out the research of licensed professionals about how and how much activated charcoal can be safely ingested.


  1. Reduces Hangovers


As we’ve mentioned previously, charcoal works wonders in the digestive tract to clear up problem areas and other issues. Thankfully for the more active of our readers, activated charcoal can help minimize the short-term effects of your night out on the town.


While activated charcoal doesn’t reduce your level of intoxication or absorb alcohol, it is rare for anyone to consume this substance straight. Mixers, syrups, and other irritating ingredients in mixed drinks and cocktails are often the cause of a brutal hangover.


Activated charcoal helps to reduce your hangover symptoms and help you get back on your feet faster.


  1. Whitens Teeth


Of course, no list of activated charcoal benefits would be complete without mentioning its most common usage—to whiten teeth.


While your teeth may look clean after a normal brushing or after cleaning your mouth out with water, a host of plague and bacteria survive and thrive—beginning to soften enamel and create cavities.


Activated charcoal gently pulls as these harmful organisms and helps you clean out your teeth without posing a risk to your enamel. Using activated charcoal powder or charcoal toothpaste can and will make your teeth whiter over time as a result.


It’s highly recommended that charcoal powder be used consistently and multiple times per day to be fully effective. However, provided you follow the instructions, whiter teeth through dark charcoal is not only possible—it is only a matter of time.


  1. Lowers Cholesterol


Keeping on top of your cholesterol often means significantly lowering your risk of picking up chronic diseases and preventable heart problems. While we will always recommend dieting right and exercise as the most effective way to combat cholesterol, activated charcoal just might help in that quest.


The reason? As with the other uses listed here, activated charcoal absorbs all that it can—which includes cholesterol. Studies show that dietary supplements filled with activated charcoal reduced cholesterol levels by 25% or more over a month.


So eat right, get outside—and don’t forget your supplements. A combination of all three might just save your life.


  1. Acne Removal


This last suggestion is going to take a little bit of work on your part—but if you’re trying to clear your skin of acne and clogged pores, activated charcoal can help with that too.


Mixing activated charcoal into a homemade skin mask helps activated charcoal work alongside the other ingredients to purify the skin and clear up problem areas. While simply rubbing the power on bare skin isn’t enough to work, doing so with the help of other proven agents in a face mask could help you fix your skin problems.


Final Thoughts


As you could tell, the uses of activated charcoal stretch to wherever harmful or even poisonous substances need to be removed from the body. This is why it is especially important that you ensure the charcoal you purchased has been activated—or you’ll be missing out on all of the above uses or otherwise severely limiting their effectiveness.


We think that keeping a small amount of activated charcoal with you allows you to use the charcoal in any of the six methods outlined above, or in others we may have missed. One of the best parts about this specific substance is that it’s incredibly versatile.


There’s no need to purchase different types of activated charcoal for different uses. Simply pick up a tube, jar, or can from a reputable source, and get to work in whatever needs to be cleaned.


As always, consult licensed professionals before using activated charcoal on the body or injecting more than trace amounts. With great power comes great responsibility, so be mindful of what you’re using and be sure to practice safe health practices.


Otherwise? Enjoy these six uses and countless more.

5 Creative crafts you can do with blank baby onesies

So, you want your child to have unique clothes that no one else has? The perfect solution to that is blank onesies that you can customize with a design that only you will have. Here are some design ideas for you to explore.


  1. Add some lace – here’s an idea to add some class to plain baby onesies, why not add some lace to it? You don’t have to spend a lot. If you like to sew or add embellishments to your clothes, you might have a scrap of lace around the house that is too short for adding to dresses or your clothes, but just enough for baby clothes. What would make it even cuter is that you have a dress that would have the same lace, and it will be like a pair for the mommy and baby!


  1. Stencil – if you want to customize designs for the onesie, the stencil method is a great idea. The materials you will need are blank baby onesies (you can get a good deal when you buy Blank Onesies by Soft Bebe), iron, scissors and a craft knife, paint, paintbrush and freezer paper. All you need to do is cut out the design that you want on your freezer paper, iron the design to the onesie (only for five seconds), then apply craft paint to the design. keep applying the craft paint to make sure that you cover every inch of the design. then just peel the freezer paper and let the onesie dry.


  1. Add some embroidery – another great way of customizing a plain onesie is to embroider your design. Now, you need to make sure that you actually have the skill for this. You can check out the tutorials on the web to help you get started. There are even YouTube videos that can help you develop skills in embroidery. You can make this a project if you are pregnant right now or if you know someone who is pregnant. You can go simple and just embroider the baby’s name. It would make the perfect gift for a baby shower!


  1. Turn it into a ballerina outfit by making a tutu – here’s a project that would be worth the effort. Aside from the onesie, you will need tulle to form the tutu, plus some ribbons and of course the materials you will use to sew the tutu. After cutting the tulle ( you can decide on the number of layers, depending on how pouffy you’d like it to be). Then baste layers together. Measure the length of your tulle skirt and cut out an elastic of the same length with a little allowance. Sew them together, and then attach them to your onesie and voila, a very cute tutu onesie for your child!


  1. Personalize it with your child’s hand or footprints  – here’s a project you can do to commemorate your child’s growth. Use your child’s hand and foot to create a unique design for a blank onesie. To make it more special, do this every month so you can see just how your child is growing.

What I Wish I Knew Before Writing a Book

“Wow Amanda, you write your blog posts so well; you’ve got mad talent.” “Amanda, you should totally write your own book.” These are just some of the feedback I got from friends and family and motivated me to go on and write a book. Unfortunately, none of them told me of the painful truths about writing.


You see, writing a book isn’t an easy task, and it involves a lot more than just writing. As I was writing my book, I made many mistakes and discovered some harsh realities. Had I known them before, I’d have saved myself from a lot of stress and setbacks and would have written my book much faster and sold numerous copies.


Are you pondering getting a story on paper or sharing your life knowledge and experience with thousands that could benefit from them? Here are the things that I wish I’d had an excellent understanding of prior to writing and publishing my book.


Put Writing First


I liked to put writing off, and say I would do it later. After waking up, I would have plenty of time to check emails, review my bills, arrange meetings, and do everything else except write — not even 500 words! Little did I know that whenever I put writing last, nothing substantial was going to happen.


When I had the guts to write, it was hard to squeeze out all of my literary juices. I could hardly recall what I was trying to say or where I left off the previous time I wrote. Picking my writing up where I left off was a real struggle.


I took a while for me to realize that when writing a book, the most important thing one has to do is write. I had to minimize interruptions and put my writing first — before email, social media, the news and many other things. I needed to have a daily writing routine, which I could fit in around taking care of my family and my job.


So are you putting writing first? Prioritize writing, and work toward doing it every single day. If you don’t write regularly, you’ll lose focus and get stale.


Understand Publishing


I used to think that once I wrote my book, I would easily find a publisher. Needless to say, I was wrong. It’s important to know your publishing options before finishing your book. Once you know them, it’s easier to set your new project in motion before you’re done with the manuscript.


It’s also worth noting that marketing a book on your own is a daunting task. I was overwhelmed with the demands of the release, the huge workload I had to keep up with to put food on the table, the small follow-ups and many decisions related to the book that I had to make. Finding out if the editor got her copy, the number of copies to supply my next conference with, and purchasing tickets for my next couple of trips were some of the many things I found too much to handle.


You shouldn’t market your own product. For your book to really sell, you need to have someone else market it for you. The publicity department of a publisher can help you significantly. But you should also remember that your publisher’s publicity people may have many other titles to promote alongside yours, so try to be patient with them. You may be mad at how they’re handling your book, but it’s almost always never their fault. The strains on this industry are grueling.


It’s Expensive to Write a Book


First-time authors usually get small advances or none at all. Even the few that may be lucky enough to get a significant advance won’t get it in the form of a single fat paycheck. Contract negotiations take months, and payments are often split into three sections — these authors get a portion when they sign the contract, another chunk when they submit the manuscript, and a portion on the publication of the book. And you know what? The period between the offer and the book being published can take 18 to 36 months. And let’s not forget about the many expenses related to book writing. Even that huge advance can shrink quickly.


Get rid of the notion that it’s possible to live off an advance as you write your book. My publisher doesn’t give any author advances, so I crowdfunded my book. There’s no shame in looking for a second job. Book writing money can be unpredictable, so having a paycheck from elsewhere can come in handy. The additional income will take the pressure off yourself, allowing you to write about something you love rather than desperately figuring out the kind of topics that would sell the most.


You Can’t Survive Without a Website


As I was touring and promoting my book in different places, I noticed one thing — potential readers will quickly look for an author’s website to know about him or her better that is why I contacted guys at Webs Union to help me with my books promotion. That implies that in this day and age, you miss a fantastic promotional opportunity if readers can’t find you with a few keystrokes. I came to learn from experience that these website visits can easily translate into many books sold.


Over time, a website gets stronger as it continually connects an author with readers. The stronger this connection, the more likely the readers will become zealous advocates. As a result, they’ll spread the word to family and friends.


First impression matters, so it’s important for authors to pay attention to aesthetics as well as functionality as they design their sites. An author site must respond and perform for it to be successful as a component of book marketing.


Using free web design tools just didn’t cut it for me, so I sought the services of a professional. Hiring help relieves frustration, quickens the design process, and offers peace of mind as you rest assured your website will be set up properly and look professional. A website designer will help get your site off the ground, ensure everything is rightly placed, and provide guidance on how you can manage the site yourself.


Writing that book can appear to be an endless endeavor, but it’s very possible to make it. The secret is to learn from your mistakes (and mine too) and work hard to improve your craft. You’ll reach The End and hold that book in your hands. You just have to keep soldiering on.

How to Plan a Family Getaway

Family getaways are perfect for every family, and they can be done by every family, too. Whether your getaway is simply a picnic in the park or a getaway adventure, spending time exploring new places and spending time with your loved ones will never be wasted. When you want to go somewhere further than your local park, however, planning is imperative. You don’t want to go in without the right equipment, clothes, or itinerary. Plan using these tips, and you can instead enjoy your vacation time with your family to its fullest:


How to Choose the Best Destination for Everyone

Though there are a few limitations on where you can go on a vacation together as a family, that doesn’t mean that all types of vacations are right for your family. For example, going on a hiking trip is ill-advised for families with young children, but you can still certainly enjoy going to any of the beautiful National Parks that we have available and enjoying a camping trip.


Tips on How to Improve Your Packing

When it comes to traveling with your family, what you pack is paramount. You need to bring everything you need clothes wise to combat any unexpected temperature or weather change, and you also need to pack accordingly to keep your children and yourselves happy and healthy. This means ensuring that you have everything you need in a daypack ready to go. You should have sunscreen, hats, reusable water bottles, snacks, and emergency equipment like rain ponchos wherever you go. While if it were just you and your partner, you can often grin and bear it, however, children are more upfront with their feelings and their needs and a daypack can be your saving grace for any trip.


What to Rent for the Best Family Holiday

When it comes to where you will be staying, skip the hotel. If you book one room you will have to deal with uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, and if you book two you could be facing huge accommodation costs. Instead, rent a vacation home. They will be more comfortable, you can accommodate your whole family, and you will often have a kitchen or kitchen area to prepare lunches and breakfasts in – a win if you have picky eats. Wilbur Labs has designed VacationRenter to source all the vacation rental properties into one place, so no matter your destination you will be able to find your dream home away from home.


Building an Itinerary with the Whole Family in Mind

When you try to design your trip entirely with your kids in mind, there is so much all of you will miss out on. Go to the museums and tours – your kids will still have a fun time, and, if you’re lucky, they might learn something new. Just remember to space out your activities. One thing you can’t fight is how easily kids can get tired, so include plenty rest breaks between activities, and aim to go to things the whole family will love.


Wherever you go, remember to start planning as soon as possible. The more you know, the more money you can save and the better trip you can have together as a family.


Four Ways to Get Good Deals When It’s Time to Get the Kids New Clothes

Buying new clothes for the kids is a never-ending chore. Whether they’ve simply grown out of those pants or they have stained a bunch of their T-shirts, it can feel like you’re always dumping money into your kids’ closets.

Just because your kids could use some new clothes doesn’t mean you have to drain your bank account! You can get some really great deals on kids clothes, if you know where to look.

Coupons and Sales

Brands are always offering coupons and sales, so much so that it’s silly to buy anything full price.

The first step is to sign up for mailing lists for your favorite brands and stores. That way, they have a direct way of sending you discounts and coupons so you know when the next sale is.

Whenever you’re ready to go shopping, you should always search for coupons online. For example, offers from Adidas can climb to as much as 50 percent off! That’s a huge savings if you have to buy new tennis shoes and gym clothes for the kids.

Tax-Free Weekend

If you’re heading out to do a little back-to-school shopping, you should save your purchases until tax-free weekend. Although you’ll only save a few cents on the dollar, that can really add up if you have a lot to buy.

The cool thing about tax-free weekend is that it isn’t just clothing that’s on sale! You can buy a wide variety of items for the whole family that are tax exempt including:

  • School supplies
  • Energy-saving appliances
  • Books
  • Diapers

However, it’s important to look into the rules of tax-free weekend where you live. Some states impose limits on how much you can spend on each type of item.

Buy Second Hand

Buying second hand isn’t the most popular concept for kids, but the youngest members of your family won’t care! If you’ve got a child who’s younger than 10, chances are, you can get away with shopping at your local Salvation Army.

With a little persuasion, you can get your older kids into second hand shopping as well. There are a lot of high-end consignment shops that specialize in barely worn name brand clothing. That way they can get the brands they want and you don’t have to spend a fortune.

Shop Online

There are some great deals to be had in stores, but some of the best deals can be found online! You can find some great online coupons, and some deal sites specialize in offering just a few items at deep discounts. Strategies, like checking Twitter and downloading deal notification apps, can be great ways to help you save with online retailers.

Just because the kids need new clothes again doesn’t mean you have to empty your bank account! You can get the kind of clothes your kids actually want to wear, and you can save big at the same time, by following the tips on this list.