How To Make It Through A Sick Day When You Are A Mom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Abreva, Emergen-C, Lipton, Robitussin and Theraflu. All opinions are mine alone. #SickDayTips #CollectiveBias

One of the hardest things about being a mom is that we don’t really get any days off, even when we are not feeling well and could really use a “sick day”. Instead, we have to get through the day the best we can and consider ourselves lucky if we find a few minutes of rest while our children are at school, napping or otherwise occupied. I wanted to share a few ways that I make it through the day when I’m under the weather and hopefully these tips can help you the next time you are sick.

Make sure you are stocked up on the essentials you need to get through your sick day.

I always make sure to have extra blankets on hand because I seem to get chilly every time I’m sick. I also make sure to have tissues, snacks, and something to keep me hydrated within reach. There are also some over-the-counter medicines I make sure to keep stocked up on as well so I have them when I’m not feeling well.

When I have a cough, Robitussin® brand cough syrup is my go-to (and has been for years) because the liquid-strength of Robitussin® soothes on contact and provides cough relief for hours. I really like the new Robitussin® Maximum Strength Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM because it features the real honey you want and the powerful cough relief you need. It’s also Gluten Free, has no Artificial Colors, and is a True Source Certified Honey.

I’ve also recently discovered Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold which are compatible with most single-serve coffee makers and a must-have when you are feeling multiple cold and flu symptoms because they provide powerful relief without a prescription. These fast-relieving pods work on even your most severe symptoms by temporarily relieving these symptoms due to a cold: minor aches and pains, headache, nasal and sinus congestion, cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation, minor sore throat pain, and temporarily reduces fever. (Remember, Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold and Robitussin® Maximum Strength Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM should not be used at the same time.)

Decide what the absolute “must do” things are and what can be skipped for the day. Then figure out what you can do to make your “must do” tasks easier.

The first thing I do on sick days is decide what my absolute “must do” things are and what things I can skip for the day. As a busy mom of three, some things that are must-do’s include taking care of my baby, school drop-off and pick-up for my older two, being the “mom taxi”, and getting my work with deadlines complete. Things that I skip include any household chores (because nobody is going to notice if the laundry sits in the hamper another day), errands, and any nonessential work on the blog. I also try and figure out what things I can do to make my required tasks easier. For example, feeding my children dinner falls under the “must do” category but I can make it easier on myself by calling it a “breakfast for dinner” night or getting takeout so I don’t have to cook something. And having a baby means diaper changes and feedings so maybe on sick days you have everything in one central place nearby so you aren’t having to walk around carrying baby from room to room everytime you need to change a diaper, get a new outfit, or prepare a bottle. I’m all about simplifying things as much as possible on sick days!

Come up with a few, easy ideas to keep your kids busy.

Those with toddlers to tweens may find it helpful to have some fun, easy ideas ready to keep the kids busy throughout the day. When I was a preschool teacher I always had a box full of things that only came out on rainy days and this box was a sanity saver on those difficult days. Even though the children had seen the toys and activities previously, being put away for a while before being brought back out made the items in the box seem new and exciting and kept their attention for longer than toys that they had been playing with recently. I did this often when my boys were younger and it was perfect for sick days because they were excited to see all the “new” toys that had really just been forgotten and sitting in our garage! Another thing I love doing is having a special “movie marathon” where my kids get to watch movies with mom all day and eat special snacks. I may be feeling under the weather so movie watching is the easiest thing to do for me but in my kid’s eyes it’s a day of fun and cuddles with mom. Lastly, when all else fails, I enact a “quiet time” where the kids have to rest in their beds and read/look at books for an hour or so to give everyone a little well-needed rest time.

Relax!

Once you have your essentials on hand, have your day figured out, and your kids are occupied, it’s time to relax as much as possible! I know this is so difficult to do as a mom but the only way you are going to start feeling better is by resting and taking it easy.

What tips do you have for making it through a sick day?

While you are stocking up on cold and flu essentials you might also want to pick up a few other things for winter self-care. Here are a few I’d recommend making sure you have…. Emergen-C Immune+® Super Orange Gummies naturally supports your immune system and are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc to help you feel good all winter long.* If drifting off to sleep is difficult you’ll want to try Lipton Bedtime Bliss Tea from the Lipton Wellness range, made with carefully selected botanicals and blended with essential oils that make every cup delicious and helps make wellbeing a part of your everyday routine. It sings you to sleep, like a lullaby in a cup.* And, for that occassional cold sore that pops up in the winter months, you’ll want to grab Abreva® Pump Cold Sore and Fever Blister Treatment, the only FDA approved OTC medicine to shorten healing time, so that you can apply it at the first sign of a cold sore.*

Want to save money? Kroger, where I shopped for all my cold and flu essentials, has everything you need to survive the winter sick days and they have some great deals right now!

Theraflu-(c) 2019 the GSK group of companies or its licensor. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older.

Use all products only as directed. Read label and follow directions. Abreva, Emergen-C, Robitussin – Use only as directed. Read label and follow directions.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.

Tips For Dealing With Seasonal Grass Allergies

This post is sponsored by Stallergenes Greer. Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor and this should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor before starting this, or any other, medication or treatment plan. I am not on ORALAIR® (Sweet Vernal, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Timothy, and Kentucky Blue Grass Mixed Pollens Allergen Extract) Tablet for Sublingual Use; however, I am sharing because I thought it may help one of you.

The cooler weather here in Chicago seems never ending so I’m already dreaming of the warmer months that are coming in the (seemingly not-so-near) future. I love when the warmer weather comes because nicer days mean vacations, outdoor sports, time by the pool, concerts in the park, and camping. I like everything about the warmer months, except for the allergies they bring. It’s frustrating when being outside doing fun things with my family means itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, and general congestion for me.

As an allergy sufferer I wanted to share some of the things that have worked for me when it comes to dealing with seasonal allergies.

First, I recommend staying inside (with the windows closed) as much as possible on days that allergens are bad. When you check the weather forecast each day you can also look at an allergy tracker that lets you know what pollen levels are like outside. I get an alert on my phone (you can easily set one up using IFTTT) when pollen is high, too, so I’m aware of the pollen count without having to look at the allergy tracker every day.

When you have to go outside on high pollen days, avoid activities that will stir up the allergens- like mowing the lawn. I’d also suggest taking off your shoes and changing your clothes when you come inside so you don’t spread the allergens around your home. (If you have time for a shower that’s great to do as well but I know it’s not always possible to shower mid-day -especially when you have little ones!)

Also, if you have an allergy to grass pollen, you should visit your doctor to talk about sublingual immunotherapy, like ORALAIR. ORALAIR is an FDA approved medicine prescribed to treat sneezing, runny nose or itchy eyes for patients 10-65 years old, who have been diagnosed with an allergy to any of the five grass pollens. The therapy works by providing the patient a small amount of allergen in a pill under the tongue daily and it can be taken at home after the first dose is administered in the doctor’s office. This sublingual immunotherapy may be considered for children 10 and over and adults who can’t or won’t consider allergy shots. In children and adults, the most commonly reported side effects were itching of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. These side effects, by themselves, are not dangerous or life-threatening. ORALAIR can cause severe allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Symptoms of allergic reactions to ORALAIR include: trouble breathing, throat tightness or swelling, trouble swallowing or speaking, dizziness or fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat, severe stomach cramps or pain, vomiting, or diarrhea, severe flushing or itching of the skin. For more information, check out: http://www.oralair.com/assets/pdf/ORALAIR%20Med%20Guide.pdf

While I am not on ORALAIR, the reason I’m sharing about seasonal grass allergies so early in the year is because sublingual immunotherapy requires patients to begin treatment as early as winter before the start of grass allergy season so I wanted to give everyone plenty of time to look into this option in case it may help one of you.

The good news though, is that ORALAIR can reduce grass allergy symptoms within the first allergy season it is taken. It can also help patients take less of other allergy medicine during the grass allergy season. Over time, ORALAIR is effective in relieving grass allergy symptoms—not only in the first pollen season after you begin treatment, but also year after year for up to three years of treatment. ORALAIR can help you reduce your grass allergy symptoms like runny or itchy nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion.

Here are some topics and questions that you may want to discuss with your doctor to learn more about your grass allergies and treatment options, including ORALAIR:

– What is allergy immunotherapy?
– How can I find out if I’m allergic to grass pollen?
– Could ORALAIR be an appropriate treatment option to help relieve my symptoms?
– How does the treatment routine for ORALAIR differ from my current one?
– How should I take ORALAIR?
– Are there support resources available for patients taking ORALAIR?
– How much does ORALAIR cost? Is it covered by my insurance?

What would you enjoy doing outside if your seasonal allergies were under control?

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor and this should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor before starting this, or any other, medication or treatment plan.

 

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Indications and Usage

ORALAIR (Sweet Vernal, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Timothy, and Kentucky Blue Grass Mixed Pollens Allergen Extract) is a prescription medicine used for sublingual (under the tongue) immunotherapy prescribed to treat sneezing, runny or itchy nose, nasal congestion or itchy and watery eyes due to allergy to these grass pollens. ORALAIR may be prescribed for persons 10 to 65 years old whose doctor has confirmed are allergic to at least one of these five grass pollens.

ORALAIR is taken about four months before the expected start of the grass pollen season and is continued throughout the grass pollen season.

ORALAIR is NOT a medication that gives immediate relief of allergy symptoms.

Important Safety Information

ORALAIR can cause severe allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Symptoms of allergic reactions to ORALAIR include:

– Trouble breathing
– Throat tightness or swelling
– Trouble swallowing or speaking
– Dizziness or fainting
– Rapid or weak heartbeat
– Severe stomach cramps or pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
– Severe flushing or itching of the skin

If any of these symptoms occur, stop taking ORALAIR and immediately seek medical care. For home administration of ORALAIR, your doctor should prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine for you to keep at home for treating a severe reaction, should one occur. Your doctor will train and instruct you on the proper use of auto-injectable epinephrine.

Do not take ORALAIR if you or your child:

– Has severe, unstable, or uncontrolled asthma;
– Had a severe allergic reaction in the past that included trouble breathing, dizziness or fainting, or rapid or weak heartbeat;
– Has ever had difficulty with breathing due to swelling of the throat or upper airway after using any sublingual immunotherapy before;
– Has ever been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis; or
– Is allergic to any of the inactive ingredients contained in ORALAIR.

Stop taking ORALAIR and contact your doctor if you or your child has any mouth surgery procedures (such as tooth removal), develops any mouth infections, ulcers or cuts in the mouth or throat, or has heartburn, difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing, or chest pain that does not go away or worsens.

In children and adults, the most commonly reported side effects were itching of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. These side effects, by themselves, are not dangerous or life-threatening.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800- FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. Talk to your doctor before using ORALAIR while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide.

The Gift Of Sight

Thanks to Visionworks for sponsoring this post and giving me the gift of sight.

Back in August I worked with Visionworks to promote back to school eye exams and took Lucas for an annual eye exam there. He didn’t need any glasses but I confirmed my suspicions about my own vision problems when I couldn’t read the letters that he was being asked to read aloud during the vision test. Not only did I have difficulty seeing things far away but I had started to get headaches while working on my computer or reading. I knew it was time that I did something about my sight so, as I left, I promised them that I would “see them soon”.

But I didn’t “see them soon”.

Though I’d had plans to call that following week to set an appointment up for myself I didn’t because I’d gotten busy. I was busy with back-to-school prep and then busy with the chaos that those first few weeks of school brought. Then I was busy juggling fall sports practices and games and before I knew it, it was Halloween time, and there were school activities and community activities and I was too busy. I’m sure you can guess what happened next as November came….the holiday prep was starting and I surely didn’t have time over the holidays to go! I had gifts to buy and menus to plan and holiday events to prepare for. I was TOO BUSY. Too busy to find the time to get an eye exam so I could see properly. Can you all believe that?

This is the problem for many of us moms, I think. We tell ourselves that we don’t have time when it comes to our needs and wants. Had it been my child who was saying he couldn’t see you all know that kid would have had an appointment that very next day because being able to see is important! Why was I putting off this important task just because it was for myself? Moms, we have to stop doing this. We need to prioritize ourselves, especially when it comes to our health and well-being!

I am so embarrased to say that I probably would have waited until the new year to make an appointment had I not received a note from the Visionworks folks wishing me a happy holidays. That was the reminder I needed to make myself an appointment. Yes, it is the busy holiday season but I was tired of the headaches and tired of not being able to see very well. I was going to do something for myself. (And another reason to schedule that appointment asap? You want to use those vision benefits before the end of the year! Visit your local Visionworks for an annual eye exam and pair of glasses before your FSA dollars or vision benefits go to waste.)

So I made myself an appointment for later that week and headed in. I told the eye doctor that driving at night was difficult because the headlights of the uncoming traffic bothered me and I told her that I had difficulty seeing things far away. She did all her testing and, sure enough, I neeeded glasses. Though my left eye had pretty perfect vision, my right eye did not and she found that I had Astigmatism. She said this was probably the cause of why night driving was hard for me and said that basically the astigmatism made light “burst”.

After the eye doctor figured out what prescription lenses I need it was time for me to pick out the frames. There was such a great selection at Visionworks but I chose a large pair of blueish-purple colored frames that were the complete opposite of something my typical plain, neutral colored loving self would choose. A few days later my glasses were ready and I headed back in to pick them up. When I put them on my face it was amazing the difference I saw. Everything went from blurry to clear. I knew I had difficulty seeing far away but I had no idea that I’d been walking around with a view of the world like this. How had I not realized that I wasn’t seeing clearly? All of a sudden my headaches made sense. I was trying to read slightly blurry text for hours a day and, while I was able to read it all, it must have been putting a lot of stress on my eyes without me realizing it.

If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while I encourage you to make an appointment right now. Yes, I know it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow and you are busy with all the holiday preparation, but make an appointment to go to your local Visionworks next week when things have calmed down and you need to get out of the house to escape the winter break craziness (trust me…you’ll thank me later….) Plus, remember that most vision plan and HSA benefits will expire December 31st so you want to use the benefits before you lose them.

The gift of sight is such a blessing and I really hope that you’ll give that gift to yourself this holiday season!

Moms Don’t Get Sick Days {$25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway}

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Being sick is the worst because, as moms, we don’t get “sick days”. We can’t just say to our children, “sorry, you are on your own today”. Instead, we have to get through the day the best we can and consider ourselves lucky if we find a few minutes of rest while our children are at school, napping or otherwise occupied.

I wanted to share a few ways that I get through my sick days which often include a full schedule of school drop-off and pickup, at least one sports practice/game or extracurricular activity for the kids, and a day of working online. Not to mention the things that must get done including helping the kids get ready for school, feeding them dinner, etc.

The first thing I do on sick days is decide what my absolute “must do” things are and what things I can skip for the day. The laundry can sit in the hamper another day and I normally will push off any nonessential work on the blog as well. I also try and figure out what things I can do to make my required tasks easier. For example, feeding my children dinner falls under the “must do” category but I can make it easier on myself by calling it a “breakfast for dinner” night or getting takeout so I don’t have to cook something.

Next you’ll want to come up with a few ideas to keep your kids busy throughout the day. When I was a preschool teacher I always had a box full of things that only came out on rainy days or days we were stuck inside. This box saved my sanity on those days. Even though the children had seen the toys and activities previously, being put away for a while before being brought back out made the items in the box seem new and exciting and kept their attention for longer than toys that they had been playing with recently. Other ideas include having a special movie marathon day with your kids or enacting a “quiet time” where children don’t have to nap but they have to rest in their beds and read/look at books for a certain period of time.

Once you have your day figured out and your kids are occupied it’s time to gather your essentials and relax. I always make sure to have extra blankets on hand because I always seem to get cold when I’m sick. I also make sure to have everything in reach I’ll need like tissues, something to drink, and a snack to eat.

You’ll also want to take some medicine to help you feel better. If you are feeling congested talk to your doctor about trying Advil® Cold & Sinus, the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for Cough, Cold and Flu Combinations for Daytime. This over-the-counter medicine combines the relief of a strong decongestant to open your airways with the power of Advil® to relieve the pain commonly associated with sinus pressure. As moms we may not get to take a sick day but we can at least do something to make ourselves feel better while we are sick!

How do you get through a sick day? I’d love for you to share your tips in the comments!

ENTER TO WIN A $25 VISA GIFT CARD

Leave a comment on this post telling me how you get through a sick day for a chance to win a $25 Visa gift card.

Share this post on social media and leave a comment with the link to your social share for an additional entry.

Giveaway ends February 7, 2017 at 11:59pm CST. Must be a US resident 21 or older, with a physical address (no P.O. boxes) to enter. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to respond to claim the prize.

 

 

Three Resources To Help Manage Your Family’s Health

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

As a busy mom I feel like I have a million things to do every day. Keeping track of my family’s health is just one of those things, but probably the most important one on my to-do list. I wanted to share a few resources that will help you manage your health and your family’s health.

Pregnancy & Baby Tracker from BabyCenter

This is a great resource for moms who are pregnant or have babies. I was on BabyCenter when my kids were younger and now they have an app so moms can use it on the go. The app will guide you through your pregnancy – week-by-week and day-by-day – with tips, insights, and fetal development videos timed for your exact stage of pregnancy. The app has a kick counter, contraction timer, birth plan checklist, and more. There are also thousands of medically reviewed articles to help you through your pregnancy journey and through your first year as a new parent.

LiveHealth Online

Ever have that middle of the night medical question where you wonder if you should wait until the morning or call the doctor’s answering service? If you decide that you are desperate enough to call the answering service you then have to wait to hear back from the doctor, which could take hours. Luckily, there is LiveHealth Online, a mobile app and website that provides consumers with a convenient way to have live video visits with doctors for non­emergency health conditions.

According to a recent survey of the EmpowHER community, 71% of moms surveyed reported losing two or more hours of work/school each day they had to visit the doctor. With doctors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on LiveHealth Online, moms won’t have this problem any more. The service is perfect for busy moms who can’t take time off work to go to the doctor or who find themselves needing a doctor’s opinion in the middle of the night.

CareZone

When I was ill last fall I was looking for something to keep track of symptoms I was experiencing and I came across CareZone. This app became vital in helping me remember what medications I was on, what symptoms I had each day and when prescriptions needed to be refilled. I loved having all of my important medical information in one place along with a place to journal and keep notes and contact information. My “mommy brain” makes remembering all this information difficult so having it in an app to bring with to doctor appointments is fantastic.

I’d love to hear what websites and apps you use to manage your family’s health.

 

Is It A Cold Or Is It Fall Allergies?

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with MinuteClinic as part of their Fall Allergy campaign. As part of my involvement, I have received sponsorship from MinuteClinic for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are purely my own.

Did you know that 35 million Americans suffer from allergies and don’t even know it? That’s because many people confuse the symptoms of fall allergies with a common cold or the flu. I know I have confused them before and thought I was suffering from a cold that just wouldn’t go away when really it was allergies.

The folks at MinuteClinic, walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores across the U.S., share the following important differences to help you identify if it’s a cold/flu or allergies. The first thing to consider is how fast your symptoms developed. If your symptoms develop fast, it’s likely allergies because allergy symptoms flare up as soon as you’ve come into contact with an allergen. If symptoms developed over several days it’s likely a cold. The length of sickness could be a clue as well. A cold will typically clear up pretty quickly, within 7-10 days. Allergies may last weeks or even months!

Another common allergy symptom is itchy eyes which are something that rarely occur with the common cold. Along with itchy eyes, allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, headache and sinus pressure. Signs it’s probably a cold or flu and not allergies include: the presence of a cough, green or yellow mucus, severe shortness of breath, a fever and/or aches and pains.

If you believe you have allergies you’ll want to see a healthcare provider. At MinuteClinic, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right course of over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate. They can review your medical history, perform a physical exam, analyze your symptoms and decide on a treatment plan. MinuteClinic is open 7 days a week, including weekday evening hours. No appointment is necessary and most health care insurance is accepted.

Your healthcare provider may recommend taking an over the counter antihistamine which works to relieve itchy noses and throats, sneezing, and watery eyes. When you visit MinuteClinic, make sure to pick up their J&J coupon book which has $40 worth of savings in it to help you have a healthy fall season!

Along with taking an over the counter allergy medication I try to avoid being outside on days that allergens are high. MinuteClinic also suggests rinsing sinuses to remove mucus and allergens from the nose and also running the air conditioner instead of opening the window on nice fall days. If you do yard work they say you should avoid raking leaves, especially when they ar wet and the likeliness of mold is high, or at least wear a face mask when you do so. Also, remember to  take off your clothes and shoes when you come into the house to avoid spreading the allergens throughout your house.

I’d love to hear what tips you have that help relieve allergy symptoms!

 

 

Time To Focus On A Healthier Me

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and alli® weight loss aid. All opinions are mine alone. #alliInMyLife #Before #CollectiveBias

In the past year I’ve taken hundreds (maybe even thousands) of photos of my children but, looking back at pictures from the past 365 days, I’m in a total of five pictures with my kids. Five. When we were on vacation this year I was taking a photo of my family and a woman asked me if I wanted to get in the picture with them and she’d take it and I heard myself saying “no thanks”. I had a chance to get in the photo and I turned it down. This same scenario has happened dozens of times.

I tend to avoid cameras, not because I don’t want pictures with my kids or the ability to look back at memories, but because I hate how I look when I look at photos of myself. The truth is that I’ve felt like that for a while. Ever since having children I’ve cringed when I’ve seen pictures of myself. I hate what I see when I look in the mirror and that feeling, along with being overweight, affects many aspects of my life. From not being able to go ziplining on vacation to holding myself back from doing things I want to do to not being able to hike with my kids at their Cub Scout camping trip, I need to get healthier before it’s too late. I want to be more active with my boys and be able to keep up with them but most of all I want to feel better about myself.

I realize my body is never going to get back to the way it used to be in college but I do know that I can be a lot healthier than I am now. With school starting soon it’s the perfect time to get started. I need to do this not only for my children but for myself. The first thing I had to do was tell myself that I AM WORTH IT and focus on making myself a priority. The other day I went out and got a haircut and a pedicure and then spent a couple hours shopping for new clothes for myself. I realized that sitting around in yoga pants and oversized t-shirts was never going to make me feel better about myself and just recently bought the first pairs of jean shorts I’ve owned since college. I’m realizing that it’s important to invest in myself.

The second thing I needed to do was set goals for myself. When setting goals, it’s always important to make them realistic. As much as I’d like to say I’m going to only eat fruits and vegetables and I’m going to workout for a couple hours every single day I know that is just not going to happen. If your goals are realistic there is a better chance of meeting them. Another thing to keep in mind when goal-setting is to make them measurable. Goals you can’t measure can never be achieved because you’ll never know when you meet them.

I chose a handful of goals that I thought were important to an overall healthy me (and that were both realistic and measurable):

  • Spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something for myself
  • Join an exercise class 3 days a week and put them on my calendar
  • Drink 5 glasses of water a day
  • Make a meal plan with healthy options on it
Along with eating healthier I discovered alli® weight loss aid, the only FDA approved over-the-counter weight loss aid on the market. It works by blocking 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed by your body. I feel I’m going to have success with this because it doesn’t claim to be a magical pill. You still have to exercise and take it along with a reduced-calorie and low fat diet, it just aids in weight loss for overweight adults. For every 5lbs – 10lbs you lose through diet and exercise (consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program), alli® weight loss aid can help you lose 2-3 more. Most people lose 5-10 pounds in 6 month period.*

After I figured out my goals I needed to overcome the “roadblocks” in my way, specifically time and motivation. Lack of time has seemed to be the biggest thing standing in my way. For years I worked full-time during the day, ran my kids around in the afternoon and evening and then blogged late at night. I had kept busier than I ever should have been. My days are open more now which means I can get to the gym during the day when my kids are at school. I’m signing up for a couple exercise classes that I can go to right after I drop the kids off. In the past, when I have had time to exercise and someone to watch the kids it was hard to get motivated to leave the house and get to the gym but this way I’ll already be out so I think that would fix the motivation issue. Also, having it on my calendar as a scheduled event means I’m more likely to go.

The next step was to make a plan for myself because I feel that if it’s not written down and planned for it won’t happen. I’ve come up with a plan that includes exercise, eating healthier, drinking more water and using alli® weight loss aid. I decided to use my planner to track health related things so I’d look at it throughout the day since it was in there along with my schedule and to-do list.

To start I scheduled in time to exercise and to eat. I know that sounds silly but when I get really busy I tend to skip meals and if it’s on my calendar it will remind me to eat. I created spaces to keep track of the water I’m drinking and that I took my alli® weight loss aid pills with my meals three times a day and my nightly multivitamin like recommended. When I drink the water or take my pill I can just shade in the circle next to each.

I also put my daily menu on my calendar sheet. I tend to wait until the last minute to figure out what’s for dinner and then choose something in a box that’s not too healthy. With a little planning I can make sure I have ingredients on hand and prep done for healthier meals. Since meals are so important while taking the alli® weight loss aid I want to have them planned out so I stay in their guidelines of meals that are well-balanced, reduced calorie and have no more than 15 grams of fat per meal. I found a lot of great meal ideas in the alli® Brand Startup Guide online at www.myalli.com. Not only are the meals healthy but they look delicious and filling, too!

I feel great going into the new school year. I have goals in mind, have overcome roadblocks in my way and have a plan in place to get healthier! Here is a “before” photo of me and I’ll post the “after” photo when I do the next update.

You can find alli® weight loss aid at your local Walmart. Find a coupon here.

*Disclaimer: alli® (orlistat 60 mg capsules) is for weight loss in overweight adults, 18 years and older, when used along with a reduced-calorie and low-fat diet. Follow label directions. In studies, most people lost 5-10 pounds over 6 months.

 

‘I Need Vitamin Sea’ Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

Life is typically very busy but I find that things can get really chaotic during the spring and summer seasons when I’m traveling a few times a month. This past month was no exception- I traveled to Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa with only one day in between the first two trips and a few days in between the last two. I love traveling but it really messes with my schedule and routine. I’m very Type A so this is hard for me. One routine that I struggle with is taking my vitamins every day.

I thought of a few ways to help me remember to take my multi-vitamin on a regular basis. The first was to go to Walmart to buy new Centrum Vitamints* that I can take on the go, without any water.

I bought two flavors- Cool Mint and Raspberry. I put my mints in a vitamin case which takes up minimum room in my purse or suitcase and ensures that I always have my vitamins with me. These vitamins freshen my breath like a breath mint so every time I reach for gum or a mint I’ll see my vitamin container and take one of the Vitamints instead.

I also realized that I need a reminder at home to help me remember to take my vitamins on a daily basis. Since I love to travel I chose to create a fun print that I can add to my travel display. Those who visit me will think my “I need vitamin sea” print is just a quote about my love of being by the water but to me it will have a double meaning. My travel display is in a spot that I pass by numerous times a day and can see from both my kitchen and my television room so it will also serve as a reminder to take my vitamins. Pretty clever, huh?

Want to get the print for yourself? Download the image here and then print it out. You can stick it on your bulletin board, refrigerator or frame it and display it.

Want to use an image that reminds you of your own travels? Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own:

1) Go to picmonkey.com

2) Go to “edit photo” and upload your photo. I chose one that had a lot of water since I just wanted the text on water (check out how clear that water is in the Bahamas!)

3) Crop the image

4) Resize your image so that it is the size you want (Here is a link to photo dimensions that I found helpful)

5) Use the text option to insert the words “I need vitamin sea” to your image and then pick the font, color and size you want the text to be

6) Once you are satisfied with your print, save the image in picmonkey. (I chose to then upload it to Google Drive so I could resave it as a PDF)

7) Print, frame and display!

Enjoy staying healthy with simple solutions like Centrum Gummies and Vitamints. You can find coupons here. What methods do you use to remember to take your vitamin every day? I would love to hear your tips!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Doctor Is Just A Click Away

DISCLOSURE:  This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.  However, all opinions are 100% my own.

The internet is an amazing place. It gives me an outlet to be creative and earn a living, it lets me connect with friends and family near and far, and it lets me do a lot of other things from the comfort of my home. One thing I’ve recently discovered I can do online is visit the doctor! No more scheduling appointments, driving to the office or sitting in waiting rooms.

I never realized how badly this would come in handy until Jacob came home from a day at camp and Vacation Bible School itching like crazy. He had what I thought could be Chicken Pox and I might have freaked out because I couldn’t handle one more thing on my just-got-back-from-vacation-help-I-am-drowning-in-work-and-laundry-and-to-dos plate. While I was googling pictures of chicken pox Lucas fell asleep and I was stuck with one itchy, miserable child. He had to see the doctor so I could figure out if he did have Chicken Pox or if it was another rash or just bug bites which would determine what I could do to help him and if the boys had to stay home tomorrow or if they could go to school, camp and VBS.

I couldn’t go anywhere since Lucas was sleeping and our doctor’s office was closed so I tried out Amwell which is the nation’s largest telehealth company, connecting users with board-certified, licensed doctors for immediate and live, online visits—day or night, on either mobile or desktop.  Some general conditions their doctors encounter include: minor illnesses and injuries, general health and wellness concerns, prescription refills, and chronic condition management.  They employ primary care and specialist physicians, as well as licensed behavioral therapists and registered dietitians.

I love that Amwell doctors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At 10pm I talked to a doctor via a video chat within 5 minutes of logging into the site. The nice physician looked at my son’s bumps, asked me some questions and then assured me that my son’s itchy bumps were just the result of some overeager mosquitos and not Chicken Pox.

I thought online doctors would be expensive but the cost is actually not too bad. For about $40 I had a 10 minute appointment with a physician. I thought about it and that’s usually how long my son’s physician is actually in the exam room with us but I pay double that to spend most of my time in the pediatrician’s office just waiting.

Want to try Amwell yourself? I have a FREE CODE for you! Use the code: ROLEMOMMY for a free visit to the Doctor of your choice. Go to Amwell.com and choose the type of visit you are looking for and select a provider.  Depending on the issue at hand, the doctor can diagnose, suggest follow up, and prescribe, when appropriate. Amwell takes privacy very seriously and visits with the doctors are secure and they are HIPAA compliant. Amwell is accepted by many major insurers, with more added every day. You can enter your health insurance information for a lower cost visit. Amwell doctor visits are now available in 46 states.

Hope this service helps all you busy parents! :)

 

Getting Excited About Oral Care With Listerine

Disclosure: I received LISTERINE® products and a gfit card from The Motherhood as part of my participation in the 21-Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Confidence makes the world go round. The simplest way to have a great deal of confidence for me is to have great oral hygiene. I manage a restaurant and I am around people around the clock so my smile and a clean fresh breath are very important. On top of that I am a father of 2 boys who have already had visits from the tooth fairy and need to be in the know on how to completely care for their teeth. Since I have moved to the US over 15 years ago one name stood true to offer extra help with oral care and confidence and that is Listerine. Now as a family we are looking for ways to keep the kids committed to great habits so we are joining the Listerine 21-Day Oral Care challenge.

So typically brushing seems like it should be enough, but it is not. So you need a great mouthwash, and a floss and do not worry what else because Listerine has you covered. Listerine has an extensive line of products and flavors for the whole family. Even kids are happy because there are kid friendly flavors like bubble gum and grape.

Listerine wants us all to be healthy and successful when it comes to oral care so they created the 21 day challenge. It is very easy to sign up. Just go to www.listerine.com/21daychallenge and set up a profile and choose a coach that will inspire you and motivate you daily. We all have busy schedules and rely on our electronic devices so this is the one time electronics at our fingertips will greatly help our health with Listerine.

One place to find everything you need for the challenge is Walgreens. Walgreens offers all sorts of Listerine products but also many products for wellness. Walgreens also has a very user friendly app that can help with achieving wellness goals. I am striving to be successful with the 21 day challenge in order to inspire my kids to take care of their oral health with Listerine. The biggest battle will be to work on the kids flossing habits and using Listerine to rinse. There will be lots of bribing involved but in the future looking back the kids will be happy how they started using Listerine to improve their oral care.


The best part about the Listerine Challenge besides using Listerine, is that there are prizes to keep you engaged and motivated. Great oral health will be the best prize of all but you can be entered in sweepstakes to win prizes such as an Amazon Fire TV and a FitBit.

Check in with us in a few weeks to see the results and all the fun we had through the Listerine Challenge. Feel free to share your successes and leave a comment with questions if you have any.

How Parents Can Get Their Kids Heart Healthy

Ensuring children get the proper nutrition is a vital part of ensuring their heart health, says renowned cardiovascular surgeon and president of the Heart Health Foundation, Dr. John Martin. The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in three children and teens are overweight, which increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. And the risk for high blood pressure in American teens and children increased 27 percent over 13 years, a new study published in the August issue of the journal Hypertension reports.

Good eating habits start early and will last throughout life, says Dr. Martin. Here is his heart health advice for kids:

1. Have your child screened for heart disease. It’s never too early to start screening for cardiovascular disease, especially with the rise in childhood obesity. Many doctors don’t believe that heart screenings are necessary for everyone. But Dr. Martin believes everyone should be screened for cardiovascular disease, including children. “They can get used to the process as part of their standard healthcare as they age,” Martin says.

2. Provide the proper nutrition. Make sure kids get:

  • The proper portions (2,200 calories a day for a 14-18-year-old boy, 1,800 for girls)
  • Healthy snacks
  • Fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich grains and low-fat proteins such as fish
  • Foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, salt and added sugars

3. Make sure they exercise. Instead of watching TV or playing video games, make sure kids get at least 60 minutes of exercise on a daily basis.

  • The exercise must include activities that raise heart rate
  • Find an exercise that your child likes
  • Make it a habit or routine part of the day
  • You can break it up to two 30-minute sessions if necessary.
  • It’s a great way to start the day

4. Maintain ideal body weight. Define the optimal BMI for your child based on his or her height and body style.

5. Don’t let them start smoking. It’s the easiest way to stop a bad habit.

*****

The Heart Health Foundation’s Dare to Care program is a nonprofit that provides FREE heart screenings. Since 2000, the program has helped more than 40,000 patients. There are 19 Dare to Care screening sites around the country in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 health problem in the United States today. More than half of all Americans will die from complications of atherosclerosis, the root of cardiovascular disease. And one million Americans die of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders every year in the U.S. — that means 2 out of every 5 deaths in the United States, or one life every 33 seconds.         

The Heart Health Foundation believes this problem can be dramatically curbed – and it all starts with heart screenings.

(Disclosure: I am not a Doctor. The post information was provided by a Doctor however please follow your own Doctor’s orders when it comes to your health.)