5 Benefits To Drinking More Water + A Water Intake Calendar

water glass

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water?  Whether you did or not, drinking more water during the day has many benefits!

5 Benefits To Drinking More Water

1.  Drinking water can help you cut calories.  Water has no calories-but sodas, juices, etc can really hide calories in your diet.

2.  Water helps you skin look better.  Dehydration can make your skin look dry and wrinkled but by drinking more water, you can decrease these effects.

3.  Water puts you in a better mood.  Research has shown that dehydration makes you cranky. Drink more water=better mood!

4.  Water can prevent Headaches.  I know when I have a headache if I drink some water it sometimes helps.  Research shows dehydration can cause headaches so drink up to prevent headaches.

5.  Water gives you energy. When you are dehydrated you will feel tired.  Most people turn to caffeine but a simple glass of water can really be the cure!

If you’re in need of a good bottle to refill with water during the day, check out these:

Camelbak Eddy Bottle

Thermos Nissan Intak Hydration Water Bottle with Meter, Blue

NALGENE Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle,Slate Blue

Here is a handy calendar to help you measure how much water you drink each day so that you can avoid dehydration!

Water Intake Calendar:

You can click the image or the link under it to print this calendar.

water intake

Water Intake Calendar momondealz

And if you’re a runner who needs more water, don’t forget to check out my post on the Best Apps For Runners

Best Apps For Runners

best apps for runners momondealz

 

 

Best Apps for Runners

Every time you lace up your shoes and head out on a run, you typically want to know how far you’ve ran and how many calories you have burned. There are so many running apps on the market these days, but there are the top four apps used by the running community.

Most runners just starting out with begin with RunKeeper and then progress to MapMyRun or Endomundo. TrainingPeaks is used primarily for serious runners who want to not only track their 20+ miles per week but also their nutritional data all the way down to the micronutrients of their food. All of these apps have social media components and some have strong communities right within the app with both MapMyRun and RunKeeper having the most active communities.

  • MapMyRun tracks your distance, calories, elevation, and even your nutrition for the day. This app is the one used quite a bit of people in the running community because of how strong both the mapping and nutritional information is in it. It has a great social aspect to it as well and can autopost your workouts straight to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Endomundo is tracks distance, time, and speed. When running a race, it will also track your splits and tells you what your estimated finish time will be. A great feature with this app is the ability to create routes, challenge friends and also challenge your own past times. It has a lot of really cool features including an audio coach, pep talks from friends, plus it can track hydration. This is also a very social app and plugs into all the different social networks and has its own right in the app itself.
  • RunKeeper is one of the more popular running apps and includes different ways to track your runs and logs all of those stats online. It is easy to see how you are improving, check your pace, and interact with other runners within the app.
  • TrainingPeaks is an online and mobile app best suited for serious athletes who are working with a trainer or coach. Your coach uploads workouts and monitors them when you upload your workouts via a fitness watch, like Polar. Not only does it mark down your split times, but how often you were in the different heart rate zones, elevation changes, and how many calories were exerted at each part of a workout. It truly is the Cadillac of programs. TrainingPeaks also logs nutritional data and do meal planning too by not only showing how many carbs, fats, and proteins something has but also the micro- and macronutrients. This program is excellent for runners, triathletes and IronMan athletes.

Whooping Cough Facts

whooping cough pic

Recently my oldest son had a terrible cough and since there’s been some cases of whopping cough in the area, I was worried.  In case this has ever happened to you, here are some whooping cough facts to help you figure out what’s going on with your child.

Whooping Cough Facts

  • Whooping Cough is another name for Pertussis.
  • Whooping Cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease.
  • Whooping Cough is known for uncontrollable and violent coughing.
  • Whooping Cough most commonly affects infants and young children.
  • The best way to protect yourself against whooping cough is to get immunized.
  • Whooping Cough “coughing fits” can last 1-6 weeks but as long as 10 weeks and has been called the 100 day cough.
  • Whooping Cough can cause serious illness and possibly death in infants.

 

You may also be interested in:

Home Remedies for Children Coughs

Cough Definition

I Want My Kids To Know They Can Mess Up

boys smile

As a mom, I mess up ALL THE TIME!

Before having kids, I knew exactly how parenthood was going to be, exactly how I would handle problems, melt downs, etc.  And honestly, with my first son, things were going pretty smoothly and according to my plan.  Then came my second son-and everything went out the window.  Our oldest began competing for attention, and by this, I mean he started making some pretty bad behavior choices.  And as an exhausted mommy, so did I.

It’s not everyday that I feel proud of my parenting ability.  Sometimes it takes a few days to go by to feel as if I’m doing anything right.  Have I cried myself to sleep after a stressful day full of meltdowns? Absolutely.  Have I gone to sleep with my last thought being how my sons showed amazing manners to a complete stranger?  Yes.  As we all know, there are good moments and there are bad moments.  On days when the bad outnumbers the good, it’s HARD to feel like you’re doing anything right.  But I know I try.  And I try, and try and try…but the patience runs out and other life stresses take their toll.

There is one thing I know I am doing right.  I am letting my kids know it is ok to mess up.  Every single night I talk to my boys about the day and I make sure to apologize if I’ve lost my temper or handled things the wrong way.  We also review our day together and discuss what was the most fun, what we thought was best, and also we talk about situations that went wrong, how they could have handled things differently to make things better, and what choice they can make the next time.  I make sure to also discuss how we all could have handled things differently in certain situations.

We talk EVERYDAY about how it is ok to mess up.  That EVERYBODY does it.  That every single person on the face of the earth makes bad choices and/or has a bad day.  But how you handle the mess up defines who you are.  You can fix the mess up and make things better or you can throw a tantrum (or a toy) and make things worse.  You can try to blame someone else (“but he hit me first”) or you can take responsibility for your own actions and FIX THEM.  You can be the solution to the problem or make the problem even bigger.

So yes, I probably raised my voice today.  Yes, I may or may not have threatened to take away a Christmas toy or a future playdate-BUT-I said I was sorry and I FIXED the problem.  I talked it out, kissed it out, and hugged it out-and we moved on.

My kids know it’s ok to mess up.  But they also know they need to fix their mess ups and try to make things better.

 

Cough Definition

photo

 

It’s time of the year where coughing can be an issue…but what is a real cough definition?

Here is my favorite cough definition from the freedictionary.com

To expel air from the lungs suddenly with a harsh noise, often involuntarily.

You may want to check out my post about home remedies for children coughs.

My Family Pictures 2013

family shot

If you’ve followed me for the past couple of years, you’ve gotten to see my family grow with family pictures taken by Angela Douglas Photography. This year I think the pictures turned out great-and I’m having a hard time choosing which to go on our Christmas cards!

boys up close

 

If you’re local to Hampton Roads, I suggest checking out Angela’s page.  She can do just about anything theme you’d like and she is AHHHMAZING with my boys! Since neither one is a fan of sitting still, it’s difficult to get a nice family shot of all of us looking at the camera.  Basically Chris and I have to sit and smile the whole time hoping that one or both of the boys look!  Angela was able to get quite a few of them looking this time around since she told them there were “super heroes hiding in the lense”.  Here are some of the shots she has gotten of us in the past-but remember, she’s wildly creative and if you don’t have an idea, she’ll get one for you.  Plus she does a terrific job at more traditional poses as well!  Below is last year’s Christmas pic-it makes me giggle every time I see it!

kids elf

Virginia Beach Wicked 10K

me wicked

Wowsers!  It has been a day-but what a fun one!

Our day started with the Virginia Beach Wicked 10K (my most favorite local race).  We decided to save some bucks this year and instead of hiring a babysitter, we pushed the boys-for SIX POINT TWO miles!  I was very worried about how this would go since the longest I’ve pushed them without them trying to kill each other was 4 miles-but they did GREAT!  I am thinking the awesome costumes that you could see at every turn helped (and maybe the candy hand outs at miles 4 and 5)!

batmobile

The boys decided this year they would be super heroes again so my husband turned our stroller into the bat mobile and the entire family dressed up.  Despite FREEZING at the start, this race definitely tops my list of favorite all time races!  We even managed to finish in under an hour; this is slower than our normal 10k times, but considering we were pushing around 100 pounds and dressed in costumes (mostly handmade by the way…my tutu was made by Seren Roush we were pretty happy with this!  To top the race off, my 4 year old ran his first race and did a great job completing the Monster Mile!

Will's medal

After the race we decided to hit up Town Center’s and Fairfield Shopping Center’s Trick or Treat since we were already in costumes…you can always use more candy right?!

What Moving Has Taught Me About Friendship

Saying goodbye to our "old house"

Saying goodbye to our “old house”

I’ve not mentioned it much, but we are in the middle of moving.  Everyone knows moving can be stressful and a pain in the butt, and I totally expected that.  What I didn’t expect was one disaster after another, after another, after another, you get the point.

Allow me to tell you just the major things that have gone wrong (it would be the world’s longest post ever if I told you all the tiny disasters as well).

  • We sold our house in 3 days.  While this is awesome, it was not expected and we had very little time to find a new home.
  • The appraisal came in lower than expected and the buyer’s funding was in question so we thought the deal was dead-then with 10 days left before the scheduled close the money came thru for her and we had 10 (TEN) days to find a new house.
  • We found the new house only to get a pretty bad inspection report and had to rent several storage units.
  • House hunting again with only 4 (FOUR) days left before we had to be out of our “old” house.
  • My grandfather passed away in the middle of the chaos and I had to go out of town for the day.
  • Finally found a new home but we can’t move in for another 8 days so we’ve been “homeless” for the past 2 weeks…fun times with a 2 and 4 year old…but this leads to me to what moving has taught me about friendship.

 

My kids surfing away their stress on a playdate with great friends.

My kids surfing away their stress on a play date with great friends.

We’ve been undeniably blessed by friends in the last couple of weeks.  We’ve had friends calling, texting, and emailing to make sure we’re ok and to see what we may need.  We had friends allow us to stay at their house for an entire week while they were out of town, we’ve had family house the kids and I the past week while more friends have allowed my husband to stay in town with them so he can work…and for next week yet another friend has found us an apartment to stay in.  Bottom line, our friends ROCK!

With these experiences and generous offers I’ve truly learned who our friends are.  I’ve been blown away by niceness from most.  Seeing the way that most have really stepped in to help has restored my faith in people and it’s helped me create a list of what friendship is…

Friendship is opening your home, your beds, your family time to others.

Friendship is a hug, a kind word, and a simple “I’m sorry you are going thru this”.

Friendship is asking “How are things?” not because you want to hear the long answer, but because you know your friend needs to vent.

Friendship is offering your friend whatever you are capable of…knowing that a simple cocktail can sometimes help!

Friendship is saying, “Bring your kids over here so you can get things done, better yet, tell me where you are and let me pick them up.”

Friendship is taking the time and energy to help you brainstorm solutions to your problems.

Friendship is not saying “I told you this would suck”.

To those who are reading this that are my friends-and who have helped in whatever way you know how-THANK YOU!  Please know I am always here for you and your family and although I know you don’t expect payback, I will find a way to show my thanks when this mess is over!  To those of you who don’t know me personally, but who may have a friend going thru a rough time-please take the time to offer them help-remember it only needs to be as simple as a hug.  Don’t you want the same when you find yourself needing  a friend?

Best Diaper Rash Cream

diaper rash treat

My son is ALMOST potty trained so imagine my surprise when I changed his “underwear protector” a.k.a pull-up, and discovered a terrible diaper rash!  I was shocked but knew immediately what to do-pull out my best diaper rash cream cure!

For those of you unfamiliar with this best diaper rash cream, let me recap this discovery!  When my oldest son got a horrible diaper rash, I immediately started researching diaper rash home remedies and natural cures for diaper rash.  I settled on trying the recipe below and have never turned back.  This is hands down the BEST DIAPER RASH CREAM ever and far surpasses the popular store brands!

Best Diaper Rash Cream Cure

Mix equal parts of vaseline and corn starch to create a paste.

It’s that simple!



Living With Jewelry

diamonds

 

 

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post

There are lots of people who would love to make a living buying, selling and creating their own unique kinds of jewelry. The reason for this is simple: jewelry is almost universally loved, and it has been an important part of a wide variety of cultures since ancient times. Whether you want to keep, sell or create your jewelry, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Especially when it’s never been as simple or accessible to sell diamonds here.

By following a few recommendations, you’ll be able to dramatically prolong the life of your jewelry. For example, always make sure that you take off any jewelry you might be wearing when performing manual tasks. If you want to give your jewelry proper maintenance, make sure that you buy special polishing cloths and liquid solutions that won’t cause any damage. If ever in doubt, hire a professional’s services to clean up and polish your jewelry. Maintenance is very important if you intend to sell your jewelry at any given point.

Semi-precious stones, crystals, fake pearls and glass are all excellent materials to create imitation jewelry. With some skill and the right selection of materials, it is possible to approximate authentic jewelry that will fool almost everyone. Nowadays, it is very easy to create your own imitation jewelry. Websites such as EBay are an excellent source for imitation materials, in case you want to make this a hobby or even a business.

You’ve probably thought about selling your jewelry to make an extra income. If you’re selling imitation jewelry, your best bet is setting up a website to sell your merchandise. If you want to sell authentic jewelry, a different set of steps should be taken. First of all, forget anything about selling to pawn shop owners. This is probably the worst method of jewelry selling there is. Pawn shop owners will try to low-ball you into selling your jewelry for ridiculously low prices, just to make lots of profit from it later. Their methods of appraisal should always be taken with a grain of salt. The same also holds true with most jewelry shop owners. They will offer you low prices for your precious jewelry. Jewelry shop owners are most likely only interested in the melt value of your jewelry, and won’t care about any craftsmanship or beautiful designs.
If you’re serious about selling jewelry, the first step you should take is hiring a professional appraiser.

If you’re looking for an accurate appraisal, hire a professional if you think your jewelry is worth it. Once you know what your jewelry is truly worth, you can try selling it online, which is usually a better idea than selling locally.

Stop Puppy Mills-Take The Pledge

dog pledge

 

**UPDATE** This pledge ends tomorrow!

We lost our beloved dog last year and plan on getting a new family member soon-and it will be from the pound or a breeder.

There is a new campaign from the Humane Society that wants you to help Stop Puppy Mills-simply by taking the pledge.  Here’s a message from the society:

Pet stores that care about puppies don’t sell them. That’s because the majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from cruel and inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are like dog-making factories with the mother dogs spending their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are discarded or killed. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder’s home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel industry.

This is a terrific cause to help protect puppies-I already took the pledge!

Would You Kill For Your Kids?

DSCN6045

Now that’s an interesting title of a post uh?  But think about, REALLY think about it…would you kill for your kid(s)?

This past weekend we attended a BBQ and a guest brought a pet, a really cute, but very hyper dog.  There were 5 young children at the event and the dog had a ball chasing the children.  This was not a problem until he began nipping at them.  Then, faster than we could get to him,  one of those nips became a bite.  A real bite, with real bite holes and real blood-and real tears and screaming.  In the next few seconds, things got a little crazy-with the dog owner grabbing and yelling at the dog, me grabbing my screaming and crying son, the host running to grab bandaids and ointment, and my husband chasing after us inside the house.  In the heat of the moment there may or may not have even been mention of harming the dog.

So the next day, after much peroxide and neosporin (every mom knows how much fun that is) everyone was much more calm.  The doctor had put my son on precautionary antibiotics and I was changing the bandaid on the bite when I got to thinking. How far would I go to protect my children.  Would I harm an animal or person who was actively trying to hurt my child? Could I actually kill for my kids? The answer is absolutely.  No doubt about it.

Am I a law abiding citizen? Absolutely.  Have I always been a “rule follower”?  Pretty much, yep. However, my job as a mom is to love and protect my children and I will do anything in my power to do that job.  Do I hate guns?  Absolutely?  But have I gone and taken training in order to use one to protect my home and family? Absolutely.  Do I love animals?  Yes. But if one is on attack towards my child and my choice is between the animal and my child-that animal is going down.  The term “Mama Bear” seems rather weak for the strength of feelings I have about protecting my children.  Even before becoming a mom, people knew I am the type of  friend and family member who has no fear of protecting and sticking up for the ones I love.  But now that I get called “Mommy”, world watch out-you hurt my children <on purpose> I’m coming  after you!

So, what are your thoughts?  Would you kill for your kids?

How To Make Strawberry Jam

Each week I bring you a craft that is fun and frugal. Strawberry fields are in full bloom around here so I thought this week I would tell you how to make strawberry jam!  It’s not a craft per say, but it definitely involves the kids!

If you’ve missed any previous crafts, check out Momondealz’s Kids Frugal Fun page.

Just a side note, I laminateas much as I can when doing crafts…it really helps to preserve them.

Remember, if you love any of my crafts, be sure to Pin them on Pinterest!

My kids LOVE strawberries and strawberry jam, so I thought, “Why not make strawberry jam?”  Luckily I have a friend who taught me how to make strawberry jam!  Besides the advantages of knowing exactly what ingredients are in what I am eating and getting in some quality family time, it has even served to help us save even more money!  I thought you may want to have the recipe so you could try it out for yourself!

Step One:  Pick you own fresh strawberries!

Step 2:  Wash Strawberries and cut them into small pieces.  Cover them in sugar (about 1/2 cup of sugar per 2 cups strawberries).
strawberry cut
Step 3.  Cover and let sit 6-12 hours.  I let mine sit overnight and they had the perfect amount of juice in the morning!
Step 5:  Bring berries and liquid to boil.  Turn down to around a simmer and cook for 3 hours.  While cooking, follow instructions on canning jars to prepare them to be filled.  Mine required them to be washed and then boiled.
Step 6:  Can the berries!  People have their own methods to do this.  I am a “rule follower” so I stuck to the directions on the box that came with my canning jars.  This involved pouring mix into the jars, wiping excess, and then reboiling after putting the cap on.  Some people just tip the jars upside down and let them seal that way.
Step 7:  12 hours later, enjoy, OR save the jars for up to a year!  Yum!!

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Momondealz’s Top Hits From 2012-Year In Review + Goals For 2013

Momondealz has grown dramatically in the past year and I have to thank YOU for that growth!  It’s been a great year and I even met my goals from last New Year’s!  Here are my favorite posts and highlights from 2012!

Favorite Series of 2012:

 

One of my favorite highlights of the year was becoming a guest on WGNT News every Wednesday morning! I really love the staff there and we have a great time!

Last year I shared with you my personal and professional goals for the year.  I am pleased to say I met all of goals and have decided to share with you my goals for 2013.  I am holding myself more accountable by sharing these with you and will keep you updated throughout the year.

Professional Goals:
My goals with the blog are pretty simple and you can actually help me out with these goals!

1.  Publish even more kids crafts and toddler posts. I want to expand on the posts I already do about educating children and would love your input.  What topics would you like covered?  What subjects or areas does your child struggle with?

2. Host more giveaways for my readers. I get a tremendous response when I do giveaway “events” with other bloggers but I would like to host even more individual giveaways. I know my readers like free stuff too so if you know of any friends or family members who would like easy advertising, please send them my way!

Personal Goals ( in no particular order)

1.  Run, Run, and Run some more.  I began my running journey in March of 2011 and have since completed several 5k races, some 8Ks, two 10ks and even a half marathon (I NEVER thought I’d say that)!  I would like to run at least 3 half marathons in 2013.  Running is my outlet and time for me to clear my head.

2.  Get more sleep.  Because I only blog when the kids are sleeping, that means I don’t get much sleep.  This is just bad living.  My goal is to be in bed by 10:30 pm every night!

I have several other personal goals I will keep you up to date with including decluttering our home, joining a small group at church, and having more date nights with my husband.

What are you goals for 2013? I would love to hear them!