Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
Eating Healthy on Vacation
Believe it or not, it is quite easy to eat very healthy while vacationing. The common assumption that most people make is that they will end up splurging on all fatty and sugary foods while on vacation. Nonetheless, if you are seriously concerned about eating healthy while away from home and don't want to come back with extra pounds added to your midsection - here are a few tips to avoid weight gain while on vacation.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated during the course of your vacation will be beneficial to ensure that you do not come back home with water weight gain. Excessive starchy carbohydrate consumption and not drinking water is a recipe for gaining five to ten pounds while away just for a few days. Carry a water thermos or a water bottle with you everywhere you go to ensure you are drinking at least half a gallon of water. It is also very smart to ensure that you have healthy snacks with you to allow yourself to indulge when you get hungry. This will prevent you from grabbing the closest thing that can often be unhealthy.
Finding the Right Hotel
One of the most important aspects of your travels is to ensure that you are staying in a hotel that will allow you to maintain your healthy lifestyle while you are away from home. After all, you are living there for the time being. It is important to make sure that hotel you choose has the appropriate amenities and offerings. This can often be extremely difficult. I have found that reviews from other travelers provide the most honest and unbiased form of information. I most recently took a trip out west and found a great site that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding all aspects necessary from their amenities, to the restaurants in the area, even to things to do. This made it possible to ensure that I was eating right while in and out of my hotel.
Research local restaurants
With the power of the Internet, it should be very easy to do a quick scan of restaurants that are in the destination that you plan on visiting. Make a list of the favorite foods or dishes you would like to eat and from there research the healthiest restaurants serving that type of food. The common mistake that most people make while on vacation is not knowing what healthy food options are readily available near their hotel. Many restaurants have an online presence now. You can easily download menus, look at online menus and even better - possibly get coupons from sites like groupon.com and livingsocial.com.
Probably the easiest way to stay lean while on vacation is to avoid consuming too many starches and sugary foods. It is very easy to still eat good, wholesome and filling meals without sacrificing satiety. Simply eat tons of well-seasoned meats, vegetables and low glycemic fruits such as berries, apples and cherries. If you are going to eat starches, stick with complex carbohydrates such as steel cut oatmeal, whole grain toast, and brown rice and whole grain pasta. It is still recommended to only eat whole grain carbs once to twice a day while on vacation.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Simply limiting your alcohol consumption to one to two drinks a day while away won't do much damage. However, people have a tendency to "party hard" while away and often end up regretting this. Alcohol is filled with sugar, which can lead to fat gain. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, which in turn will make you more prone to gaining water weight while away from home. Stick with light beers and dry red wines if you are going to drink.
Posted by Melanie Melugin Photography, LLC at 4:38 PM
Monday, March 4, 2013
Sometimes it’s hard to stay away from harmful chemicals, especially in a world where chemicals are used for almost everything, especially cleaning. Harsh chemicals can cause all kinds of serious complications if inhaled, ingested, or applied to the skin.
When people purposefully or unintentionally come into close contact with certain chemicals, there can be many problems that arise. For example, if applied to the skin, these chemicals can cause itching and irritation, and on some cases even severe burns. Drinking or eating these products can make things even worse, sometimes even leading to death.
There are actually many ways to avoid contact with these chemicals. One is by choosing the green approach. In the market for cleaning products today, one can find all different sorts of products that do not contain any harmful materials at all. This is a huge relief for many people who are worried about the potential harm these chemicals could be doing to their bodies.
Some of these alternative cleaners work just as well as the leading chemical brands yet do not pose a threat to people’s health. Because of this, it is wise to invest in these types of products. They do tend to be a little more expensive, but safety and health should always come first.
Chemical Warning Signs
Chemicals can be especially hard to avoid in the workplace, more so in jobs with a lot of exposure to these materials. In places like this, it is important to always use proper warning signs to denote where hazardous chemicals are located and to avoid those areas at all cost. If these precautions are taken, one can easily stay safe at work even around harmful chemical products.
Masks and Ventilation
Sometimes it is impossible to avoid using chemical based cleaners and whatnot. If this is the case, one should always make sure to wear a protective mask and gloves to avoid exposure. Opening a door or window and making sure the area in which a person is working is properly ventilated is also very important, as breathing in toxins like this can cause a lot of damage.
Many farms and food producing companies nowadays use all kinds of preservatives and harsh chemicals in their foods to try and keep them fresher for longer. Unfortunately, these products can often be very unhealthy to consume and lead to a lot of problems if too much of them are ingested. Buying organic foods that have not been processed at all can solve this problem. Organic foods are chemical free and much better for the body than non-organic items.
Better Safe Than Sorry
In the end, it is always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with harmful chemicals. If it is possible to avoid them, it is best to do so, either by buying green products or using the proper protection from their toxins. When young children are around, this is especially true because their immune defenses and organs are not nearly as strong as those of adults. This means they cannot fight of toxins and harmful poisonous substances as easily as older individuals. Often times kids do not even know what they are getting into, and so it the adult’s job to protect them.
It is ultimately the sole responsibility of each individual to take care of his or her own body. Sometimes that means going out of the way to avoid harmful chemicals or other destructive substances that can cause illness, injury, and even death. If all the right precautions are taken, it is completely possible to live a safe and healthy life in a chemical filled world.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.
Posted by Melanie Melugin Photography, LLC at 9:08 PM
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Outside of a crazy cool logo, 2 Red Hens studio had me at "vintage chic for modern mamas." My husband, along with several of my friends, tell me that I should have been born in another era! I love technology, so I feel that I fit in the 21st century, but I'd kill to wear vintage clothing day in and day out ~ and it be a raging trend and listen to music from the 1920s and 30s! When I was introduced to 2 Red Hens, I was so excited that Amelia was still young enough for me to be able to receive and review a product from their collection of upscale posh items.
Founded in 2011 by designer and “Mama Hen” Lori Holliday, a modern day renaissance woman with an eye for fashion and knack for domesticity. A former mechanical engineer, Holliday draws inspiration for her designs from her upbringing on a farm near Phoenix. As the 13th child in a family of 14 children, Holliday learned the value of craftsmanship, repurposing and enhancing the beauty of all things old. 2 Red Hens Studio, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado strives to bring function and aesthetic innovation for baby, toddler and mom.
How many times, as a mom, do you travel with your children to places that are not accommodating to children in the least? Mechanic shop, doctor's office (yours, not theirs!), DMV.....and what if I told you that setting up shop for your little one in these most awful situations was as easy as carrying a purse? Introducing the Toy Nanny from 2 Red Hens Studio. The most innovative, trendy and useful item that I have run across in a long time!
Check this out. Easiest thing ever!
Step 1: While toys are in the caddy for playtime, lift up the handles and grab together in one hand.
Step 2: Using the other hand, slide the material down the tubing ~ gathering it all together
Step 3: Once the material is gathered, the bag is almost ready to carry.
Step 4: Secure the bag in the middle with the elastic and mod red button closure.
Step 5: Sache over your shoulder and you are ready to go. I've found that if you have a small diaper case and not in need of a full diaper bag, you can actually place it in the center with your toys and then it is one less bag that you have to carry!!!
Easy as pie! And girls.....don't we NEED anything that we own to help us make things easier?!
Some other fantastic features of this toy caddy, other than its ease, are:
How cute is this design? Pink lemonade worked with my eye and my style the best, although she does carry 4 other great patterns!
No need to worry about the toys falling out. There are no sides. The opening is at the top and secured with the elastic/button closure. The straps, as well, are secured with a small metal clamp on each side.
Bigger is better, right? Always. This toy caddy is a great circumference to accommodate one or two toddlers at play!
As you can also see, there is PLENTY of surface area for toys, books and more!
Around the circumference of the toy caddy, the child can play on the entire surface. If you look closely at the above picture, though, there are several mesh pockets that cover the entire surface, creating a second level of storage secured by velcro.
KEEPS BABY CLEAN
Playing on a dirty surface is the fear of any parent. Using the toy caddy, your child can play on the mat with their own toys, while eliminating the exposure of the muck found on the floor while you are getting an oil change...or such!
FINAL THOUGHTS BY MELANIE
I truly love love love this item! I would be very interested in trying some of the other great 2 Red Hens studio products! The quality of the product was impressive, the design was gorgeous and in line with current trends and the ease of use was designed optimally. Since I now own one, I would think that this would be a great gift for someone that is either expecting or has a little one that is at the age in which they can play (probably starting around 4-5 months old while on their bellies.)
I am inspired by the philanthropic ventures that Lori is involved in (which you can read about below) and the way that she pays profits forward. As a Christian and a small business owner, I find this quite admirable!
THE GENIUS BEHIND THE PRODUCT: LORI HOLLIDAY
The word “no” is not a part of Lori Holliday’s lexicon. Nor are the phrases “that’s enough,” “I quit” or “it’s finished. For Lori, the founder, president, brainchild and resident ‘Mama Hen’ behind 2 Red Hens Studio, nothing is ever done until it’s overdone, and good enough never really is. A modern day renaissance woman with an eye for fashion and knack for domesticity, Lori Holliday draws inspiration from her childhood. Raised on a farm as number thirteen in a family of fourteen children, Lori’s early memories are naturally larger than life and full of color, with just the right amount of charm and whimsy. Today, those memories have translated into Holliday’s coveted collection of apparel and home accessories, each more colorful, whimsical and inviting than the last. Once best known as a brand of vibrant diaper bags and accessories, the 2 Red Hens Studio line is Lori’s newest labor of love.
A former engineer with a PhD in physics, Lori Holliday did not always know she’d be a designer. But she did know that she loved to create and find new uses for everyday objects. With a natural ability to look at things from a fresh perspective, Lori now channels that talent not into math and science, but into the 2 Red Hens Studio collection of repurposed lines – from flower brooches made of upcycled prom and bridesmaid dresses, to men’s belts crafted from decommissioned fire hoses, all the way to girls clothing fashioned from vintage bed linens.
PHILANTHROPIC TO THE HEARTA cancer survivor, Lori Holliday has spent the majority of her adult life hearing the word “no” – and politely refusing to listen. First diagnosed with Cervical Cancer at the age of 20, Lori was told by countless doctors that she would never have children. Eleven years later, Lori and husband Mark welcomed son Luke into their family. Five years after that, daughter Harper made them whole. And while she wouldn’t trade it for the world, the ride has not been smooth. During this time, Lori has fought six additional recurrences of cancer – and won every time.
BUY IT! The Toy Nanny is currently available for purchase at the 2 Red Hens website for $70.00 in five (5) beautiful chic patterns, including a grey damask, chevron stripes and the pink lemonade style that I received for review.
Although we have focused on the Toy Nanny in this review, let us not forget all of the other amazing products that 2 Red Hens prides themselves on:
The Rooster Diaper Bag ~ Featuring 5 different patterns ~ $60.00
Their popular diaper bag is back! This custom designed bag gives mom all the style and sass she had before she had a baby, and all the functionality she needs now that her precious little one has arrived.
The Bibby Mat ~ Dotes in Redand Blue ~ $7.99
This one-piece placemat and bib helps keep your table and floor clean! Perfect for use at home and in restaurants. Adhesive strips keep bib on baby and keep mat in place while you eat. Made with absorbent material on top and waterproof backing. Be worry-free as you let your little one eat during mealtime.
Mama's Makeup Bag ~ $9.00
The perfect size for all the little things mom needs to carry. A wristlet handle also makes Mama’s Make-Up Bag the perfect little clutch for quick trips to the market or a night out on the town.
CONNECT! 2 Red Hens Studio is THE place to be for in-style savvy moms! Vintage chic is all the rage right now ~ Follow the trend!
- Visit their website ~ 2 Red Hens Studio has a wide array of vintage chic items for the modern mom.
- Like on Facebook and connect with other parents who are as trendy as you are ~ enter to win great products and learn about the most trending news!
- Tweet it out! Follow 2 Red Hens Studio on Twitter.
- Tumble with Tumblr
- Pin it! Follow 2 Red Hens on Pinterest to always be in the in crowd of castoff Couture!
- Watch some fun and creative videos on the 2 Red Hens YouTube channel
- Don't forget to follow the 2 Red Hens blog and check out some fun and innovative craft and home ideas!
Other Official Rules and Details: Winner will be emailed after the giveaway closes and also announced on this blog under the featured "Recent Giveaway Winners" section on the homepage of A Nation of Moms blog-azine within a few days after the close of the giveaway. Winner will have 72 hours to respond to our email, or another winner will be drawn. We never share your email with third parties. Prize(s) will be mailed directly from the sponsoring brand. No purchase necessary. Erroneous entries (specifically those that did not follow the entry rules) will not be considered. Non-US resident winners may have to answer a series of simple questions in order to comply with international regulations on sweepstakes. To view our complete rules and regulations, please click here.
Disclaimer: This giveaway and review are for A Nation of Moms and is only being posted on Going Green with Noah since I was the reviewer and to increase viewership and entries. Sample(s) were received at no cost to the reviewer. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of NoM, and are completely honest and without influence. NoM has chosen to host a giveaway for this product(s) because we think it would benefit our readers. NoM will not responsible for prizes that have not been received, but will make every attempt to assist winner(s) in securing them in a timely fashion. It is the winner's responsibility to make contact with NoM in a timely manner (within 30 days after the close of the giveaway) to report that a prize(s) has not been received or the prize(s) may be void. NoM may or may not be an affiliate of one or more products mentioned in this review, and by clicking on and/or purchasing products from a banner or link on this page, NoM may make a small commission at no cost to you. Click on the appropriate links to view our full policies, giveaway rules and disclaimers.
Posted by Melanie Melugin Photography, LLC at 2:55 PM
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Do you remember college? Do you have kids in college? Do you have kids that will be going to college soon? If you answered yes to any of these three questions, then you are very familiar with the costs that are associated with university. Tuition, books, lab materials, housing, food, and on and on and on. The outflow of money is unceasing at this point in one’s life!
I am a proud graduate of Texas Tech University ~ Go Red Raiders! Heading off to college was one of the great highlights of my life. I was on may way, with my best friend, to head out west six hours from home in a great 1500 square foot apartment. We both were SO excited for the liberties and independence that was about to behold our new lives as adults.
Although we each secured part time jobs and our parents both assisted in our collegiate expenses, it was still daunting. I remember the bookstore. Although it was old, and I’m sure greatly renovated since we graduated nearly 15 years ago, it was so much fun to head to the back and buy our books …. and all the other school supplies that were required for each class that we had registered for.
Looking back, it was sickening the amount that we would spend on books (even the used ones) only to receive pennies on the dollar at the end of the semester when we would try to sell them back. If only a company like Campus Book Rentals would have been in existence at the time that I was enrolled!
Campus Book Rentals is exactly what their name implies. Renting textbooks for your college classes at 40-90% off of bookstore prices WITH the allowance to highlight in the textbooks! With free shipping both ways, flexible renting periods, 30 day risk free returns, live customer support AND helping a valiant cause at the same time ~ It doesn’t even seem like a question. I would have participated without hesitation!
Parents…..think about it. You could rent the books FOR your kids and force them to avoid the bookstore (and extra purchases) all at the same time! For example, one of the entry classes that most students have to muster through in their freshman year is College Algebra. Here is one College Algebra book offered byCampus Book Rentals for $20.26 that you can hold onto until December 21st. In comparison, the same book is offered for purchase on Amazon.com for $143.44 new or $48.07 used.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
MAKING A DIFFERENCE PROGRAM
2012 is a new year, with a mix of old and new in their making a difference program. First off, Campus Book Rentals is keeping their partnership with Operation Smile. They are an awesome organization that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it. The long term improvement in quality of life for the children that receive these surgeries is almost incomprehensible.
Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe.
All children deserve to live their lives with dignity, and for those suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities, dignity begins with a smile.
Driven by their universal compassion for children, they work worldwide to repair childhood facial deformities by delivering safe, effective surgical care directly to patients. The global partnerships they create, the knowledge they share and the infrastructure they build leave a legacy that lives well beyond the medical missions, making a lasting difference in our world.
Their impact is felt not just through the children that they heal, but through the daily transformation of donors, volunteers and staff as they fulfill their shared vision and see immediate, life-changing results.
With every book rented from Campus Book Rentals, a donation is made to this amazing cause!
Campus Book Rentals have also set aside $90,000 in textbook scholarships to be distributed to students in communities just like yours. That’s a lot of books, and they hope to touch a lot of students who could use a hand.
So add that extra book to your cart. When you rent textbooks …. you can make a difference.
CONNECT! Take a moment to visit the Campus Book Rentals website to see all of the great features offered, as well as information on renting books for yourself or your kids that are headed to college or are there already! Also, make sure to follow them on Facebook by liking Campus Book Rentals and Twitter followers will be excited to hear that Campus Book Rentals is also tweeting, so make sure to follow them on Twitter as well!
* I reviewed this website via A Nation of Moms
Posted by Melanie Melugin Photography, LLC at 3:04 PM
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
The MOST EFFECTIVE filter technology available!†
aer1™ ready systems combine the power of Holmes® & Bionaire® brand air purifiers with the most effective filter technology available today†
- Proven to be 30% more effective at capturing dust and airborne particles from air passing through the filter.
- Deliver the HIGHEST CADR CLEANING POWER amongst leading brands†
- Proven to be 30% more effective at capturing dust and airborne particles from air passing through the filter.
- Deliver the HIGHEST CADR CLEANING POWER amongst leading brands†
- Helps optimize air cleaning performance – simply by replacing your aer1™ filter regularly
- Customized effectiveness to your needs – dust, odor and allergen.
Triple-layer odor and smoke absorption with enhanced HEPA-type filtration removes 99% of smoke and odors from the airstream*(4)Traps and locks 30% more dust and particles from your indoor air and traditional Type A filters.*(2)
Build Total Air System
Build Total Air System
Helps remove stubborn household odors such as tobacco, pet odors and cooking fumes.
Build Odor Eliminator System
Build Odor Eliminator System
True HEPA filtration removes up to 99.97% of airborne allergens such as mold, dust and pet dander that may cause coughing and sneezing.*(3)
Build Allergen Remover System
Build Allergen Remover System
Trap and toss for cleaner, fresher indoor air
Why purify indoor air?
We eat organic food, drink filtered water and clean with anti-bacterial products. What about the air you and your family breathe?
Indoor air may be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA. Americans spend an estimated 90 percent of their time indoors. Children and the elderly are especially sensitive to air pollution. Most pollutants are microscopic and can easily pass through the nose or throat directly into the lungs. Common indoor air pollutants include:
- Dust mites in pillows, blankets or stuffed animals
- Tobacco smoke & cooking fumes
- Pet Hair and dander
- Pollen and dust
aer1™ disposable filters trap and lock up to 99.97% of dust and other harmful airborne allergens before they settle in your home.*(3) Breathe cleaner, fresher indoor air with the aer1™ system, guaranteed to dramatically improve home air quality or your money back.
I was thrilled when I was approached to receive and review the aer1 filters and Holmes HEPA air purifier. My allergies are HORRIBLE. They were worse when I lived in west Texas and had cats, but even still in Dallas with no cats, my allergies can be intolerable if not properly managed. Even worse, we have two small dogs and with two children, which equals a lot of playdates, we have issues with my friends and their children being affected.
As much as I vacuum and dust, it seems as if someone is affected by allergies within my home and I am so discouraged by that. I was excited to put the Holmes True HEPA Air Purifier with aer1 allergen removing filters to the test. I received four (4) filters, so I tested the filter for 2 weeks with each filter in our living room ~ The most frequented of the rooms in our home.
My youngest sister was coming to visit and I believe that she probably has some of the worst allergies that I have ever encountered, outside of my allergies while I was in West Texas. She was to be my guinea pig. Angela always has asthma and allergy attacks while at my house, so I started the Holmes air purifier that morning with the allergy removing filter , to see if there was any relief in her systems when she came over for dinner. A caveat....I did not make her aware of the new purifier, the filters or the secret test that I was doing on her.
I have had several air purifiers in the past, some of which were quite expensive, as my allergies with cats were almost intolerable, yet I owned three! I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about its effectiveness, but the test was on. Did it work?
I was floored. Angela had ZERO symptoms while she was at our home for over four hours! It still stuns me that such a small and sleek unit could be as effective as it was, but it did! It worked amazingly. I have used the Holmes True HEPA Air Purifier with aer1 allergen removing filters for 8 weeks and I must say "KUDOS" ~ This is such an amazing purifier, and even moreso, the filters passed the ultimate test!
Would it work again?
In the 8 weeks that I have had the purifier and filters running in our living room, we have hosted approximately 8 playdates and not one of the children, nor their mothers, had any signs of allergy related symptoms. Then again, at our daughter's first birthday party, we hosted nearly 40 guests, of which....again.....no allergies! Absolutely astonishing!!
I will definitely continue to purchase filters for this unit and use it in the living area indefinitely. In addition, the soft blowing of the unit is an amazing white noise apparatus as well :)
BUY IT! The aer1 filtration systems are currently being shipped with FREE SHIPPING for a limited time!
Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review, but my opinions are entirely my own. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of going green with noah, and are completely honest and without influence. Click on the appropriate links to view our full policies, giveaway rules and disclaimers.
Posted by Melanie Melugin Photography, LLC at 8:43 AM