Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Eating Healthy on Vacation ~ Guest Post

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 and
Avoid Starches
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. 
~Cole Millen

Monday, March 4, 2013

Avoiding Contact With Harmful Chemicals

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.

Green Cleaners

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.

Buying Organic

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.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Can Cruises Be Environmentally Friendly?

We try to be more green and ecologically sound in most areas of our lives these days and are constantly thinking about how we can become more environmentally friendly with our every day living, but can these sorts of ideas also be applied to our holidays too?

It’s perhaps an area that we tend to think can’t be done in an eco-friendly way at all, but it’s worth challenging that notion, because believe it or not, something as exciting as a cruise holiday can be green and environmentally sound too.

How individual states protect their coastlines
For a state such as Alaska, cruises can have the potential to cause much in the way of ecological damage. Therefore, they have put in place measures which will help their coastlines stay safe from problems now and in the future.

Any ships that want to travel along the coast there must have a permit to do so. Not only that, but they must meet strict guidelines with regard to water and air pollution and must also adhere to strict principles with regard to the dumping of fuel, water and food wastage. Their engines must be ecologically sound and have reduced carbon emissions and they must not be used when a ship is in port.

The problem of fuel and energy consumption
As you would imagine, a cruise liner needs an enormous amount of fuel to be able to get it to travel the many thousands of miles it makes on every single journey. These liners effectively carry the equivalent in people of the population of a small US town.

Royal Caribbean Cruise lines have taken the decision to use bio-diesel on board their ships, coupled with this is the fact they use electric gas and some steam turbine engines on their Radiance liners which can effectively reduce emissions by as much as ninety eight percent.

Many of the top cruise liners are now thinking about proactively changing the design and build of their ships to make them more energy friendly and eco-sensitive. Some ships, such as the ones on the Celebrity Cruise line are being built with items like solar panels on them to generate green energy and provide the lighting. It actually works out to be a fifty percent reduction in energy consumption.

Norwegian Cruise and Disney Liners make good use of their cooking oil once it can no longer be used in the kitchen. Norwegian Lines give their waste oil to farmers to help them along with fuel costs, whilst the Disney Liners take their waste oils and use them to power the machinery on their own private island. This effectively saves around eight thousand gallons of oil a year.

Cruise liner travel
One of the most forward thinking changes that has been made is to the hull of the ship, which might not seem the most obvious place to start, but actually is.

During the manufacture and build of the liner, it is painted with a special kind of silicon paint which means that it can glide and cut through the water much more easily, thus using much less fuel than it normally would.

Some liner companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises have even gone one stage further with this idea and made their hulls more aerodynamic, which coupled with the use of the aforementioned silicon paint makes them even more fuel efficient.

On board energy
Possibly the biggest drain on a cruise ship’s energy resources is the air conditioning system, which can go into overdrive during the hotter months of the year and needs a considerable amount of power to keep it going.

In fact, to demonstrate exactly how much power it needs, during the winter months, to save on energy, Royal Caribbean Cruise liners actually shut down an entire engine to save resources. The fact they can do this without detriment to travel shows just how much energy an air conditioning system uses to keep passengers cool.

The Holland America line has deployed another tactic to help, by painting the windows of their cabins with a dark film, which effectively helps minimise the heat from the sun which can get into the rooms and thus negates the need to use the air conditioning as much.
Water treatment
As you can imagine, waste water can be a problem for such large vessels and the issue of how to deal with it without causing environmental hazard needs to be addressed.

Again, Royal Caribbean have ploughed many millions of dollars into trying to find a solution to the issue and 
have developed an on-board water treatment system, which turns the murky colored waste water into clean water which is, to all intents and purposes, safer than what comes out of a fawcett at home. This water does indeed end up back in the sea, but does not cause any pollution at all.

The Disney Cruise Line takes any water that has been produced from their air conditioning system and uses this to run their on-board laundry service, which is a novel approach to dealing with the problem!

Why these measures are important

In past years, cruise liners have become a very popular way of seeing many different countries throughout the world, without holidaymakers having to continually pack their bags, search for new accommodation and fly long distances. Therefore, it was imperative that ecologically sound holiday travel was developed which would be not only better for the humans on board but also for the delicate marine life and eco-systems in the sea, too. Making travel more environmentally friendly is hugely important if these things are to be preserved for the children of future generations to enjoy. People want to be able to see the world as safely and conveniently as possible without worrying they are storing up problems for the future of the planet. Looking for a cruise liner company that takes into account considerations of build design, fuel economy and how waste products, whether they be water or oil, are recycled after their use can go a long way to helping the environment and helping you as a holidaymaker feel better too. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2 Red Hens Studio: GIVEAWAY!!

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.
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!


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 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.

A 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 damaskchevron 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.
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!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 policiesgiveaway rules and disclaimers.