Happy Healthy Families

Life...Family...Parenting

Feb 13, 2015

Do Bamboo Plants Make Your Home Healthier?

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According to Chinese tradition, Bamboo Plants are associated with health and resilience. And the more stalks your plant has, the healthier your home's environment will be apparently.

Based on a two-year research study by NASA, bamboo plants can make our home healthier - it's true!. Bamboo plants are great at detoxifying nasty indoor pollutants like chemical vapors that can come from paint, plastic, new rugs and furniture. And while it is cleaning the air in our home, bamboo releases oxygen as well. That pure oxygen can help people sleep better, feel more energetic and even have less allergy symptoms.

In addition to helping you breathe fresh air, bamboo plants make excellent spider mite repellents. And in the winter months, when the air is usually drier than normal, Bamboo plants will help moisturize the air (happy news for our dry skin, right?)

Easy to grow plants that can keep spiders away sound pretty awesome to me. Cleaning the air in my house at the same time? Awesome.

Feb 12, 2015

5 Fun Single Sock Solutions ( Fun Ideas For Those Lonely Socks!)

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Got a lonely sock that has lost its' partner in the laundry? Don't throw it away - there are some pretty cute ways to use a single sock that will make you smile!

1. Use a Mismatched Sock to Make an Adorable Coffee Sleeve!

Woman's Day has found the cutest D.I.Y. coffee sleeve made from socks ever! The idea comes from Katrina at Splash of Something. These coffee sleeves are easy-peasy to make (no sewing!) and truly adorable. Check them out now because you could make some of these in time for Valentine's Day!)

2. Make a Fragrant Sachet for Drawers and Closets

Just take a single sock and fill it with your favorite potpourri. Or you can always use coffee grounds to get rid of stale odors as well!

3. Single Socks Make Great Blind Cleaners!

Slip a sock on your hand and dust off the blinds in a snap (or two.)


4. Make Your Cat Happy With a New Catnip Toy Made from an Orphan Sock!

Just like the sachet, except fill the sock with catnip! Make sure to securely tie the ends of your cat's new toy!

5. Make Your Own Soothing Heat Pack For Sore Muscles

Take a lonely sock, fill it with rice and tie it up securely. Heat the rice pack in the microwave for a minute or two. Then place the warm sock on your sore spot and relax!


Feb 9, 2015

The Best Drinks You Should Be Drinking Everyday For Your Skin

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I don't know about you, but I can see changes in my skin almost daily as I get older. And I am not liking what I see. I know I need to eat better and exercise more, but yea, like they say, knowing it and actually doing it do not always go hand in hand. So I am just about over-the-moon excited to learn that there is a way to drink your way to healthier looking skin!!

And no, it is not just all about those glasses of  water. This daily must drink beverage menu  has a Soy Latte on it. Everyday. Every single day. If it will help improve my skin, I guess I could force myself to add this delicious drink to my daily must-do list. (see my grin??)

There are the obvious - green tea, water, and more water on the list, of course. Did I mention that soy latte? What I liked in this article is the way they set up an easy do-able schedule for these liquid beverages sure to turn back the hands of time and make me beautiful again. that will hopefully help improve my old skin.

In the morning, start out with a green juice with Kale. Not really sure about Kale as I haven't tried it before (I know...my bad.) It has Vitamins A and C - both of which apparently do amazing things for tired dull skin. Along with that delicious glass of green juice, you are going to have ..wait for it... one Soy Milk Latte!!

Why the Soy Milk Latte you ask? Apparently this beverage is all about the isoflavones in soy. It seems these wondrous guys help protect collagen, something that keeps skin youthful, and studies isoflavones can help can help fight wrinkles due to sunlight. But wait, there is even more good news:  the minerals and proteins in soy milk can reduce the darkening and discoloration of skin.

Two cups of green tea are on the menu for afternoon. Now I can absolutely, without a doubt, tell you that drinking green tea always makes me feel better. Especially if I have eaten too much sugary food - or just food in general (!) But I do tend to get on green tea binges, then back off again. Seeing this list though has reminded me that this is one drink really worth making a daily habit.

In the evening, enjoy a nice tall glass of chilled Pomegranate juice. Did you know that this juice actually has twice the anti-oxidants and polyphenol as green tea?It is also great for building up the collagen in skin - which means less wrinkles and fine-lines.

And as you get ready for bed, drink a glass of cucumber enhanced water. The cucumber will help hydrate skin. Cucumbers are also filled with minerals, like magnesium and potassium, that "help with keeping the alkaline pH of skin and decrease inflammation."

One more thing about this beautiful skin regime. Drink water. Eight glasses a day, Ladies. I know. I know. 

It may be a good idea to never wander from from a bathroom either.

Happy Drinking!!


Oct 12, 2014

#Modern Family's Fall For All Giveaway - Win a Gift Bag Valued at $200!

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  (Update: Winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered!)

Fox 11 LA is inviting families to join in fall fun at Modern Family's Fall For All  event at The Grove in LA on October 26, from 12 PM -8 PM. This is a FREE EVENT for the whole family to enjoy just in time for Halloween!




Come out and enjoy the amazing interactive corn maze (over 60’ long and 8’ tall!) As you make your way through through the maze, you will be met with several activities that lets you test your "Modern Family" knowledge, retrieve iconic quotes and clips through an augmented reality experience, and even strike a pose for the camera before exiting into fun pumpkin patch full of surprises!

After exploring the pumpkin patch (which will feature an over-sized carved pumpkin), the kids can check out the  complimentary face painting station. Then head on over to the Hershey's Halloween Candy Bar for some favorite Halloween candy giveaways! Enjoy some healthy snacks at KIND'S Make-a-Flower Wall, a fun-filled activity benefiting the local children's hospital, and get a sneak peak at The North Face's newest winter line of coats.

And those are just some of the many fun fall activities and giveaways that will be happening!

About Modern Family:
Critically lauded for revitalizing the television sitcom, “Modern Family” is also quickly cementing itself as a culturally defining series. The recipient of a record five consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, tying the Emmy record previous set by “Frasier,” and a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Television Series, “Modern Family” returns to the ABC Television Network for its sixth season. Additionally, the hit comedy season airs daily in syndication on local stations (Fox11 LA at 7:00pm & 7:30pm nightly) and USA Network.

Win a Modern Family Gift Bag Valued at $200!

Win a Studio Gift Bag valued at $200 filled with lots of fun goodies like Seasons 3 and 4 DVDs, branded clothing (black tee, tank top, and sweatpants), and more, all wrapped up in a fun reusable tote!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Contest ends at 11:59 on October 25, when I will draw a winner at random. Please be sure to leave your email address in your comments if it is not visible in your profile, I will notify the winner and they will have 24 hours to respond.

Open to U.S. entrants only.

Anything donated to HHF and its' readers care of American Pop is not intended as payment for any favorable opinions. This opportunity is for U.S. residents only, while supplies last. Any feedback or opinions you choose to give, either positive or negative, is greatly appreciated.
One Gift bag was provided to help facilitate Modern Family’s Fall for All post. I have not been compensated monetarily for this promotion. Happy Healthy Families is not responsible for prize shipment. Must be 18 years and older. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google are in no way affiliated with this giveaway. No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Opinions are my own and may differ from others.


Oct 8, 2014

Enter the Fisher My Fresh Twist Recipe Contest!

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This post contains affiliate links.

Enter the Fisher My Fresh Twist Recipe Contest for a chance to win a trip to NYC and meet Chef Alex Guarnaschelli along with other great prizes! Plus 10 random winners will be chosen each week during submission!



 



  • Enter the Fisher Nuts “My Fresh Twist” Recipe Promotion


  • Submit an original recipe with Fisher Nuts for the chance to win a trip to NYC (including hotel and airfare), $500 spending money, and $500 at Butter Restaurant.


  • The recipe should be perfect for Fisher Nuts fans and must include almonds, walnuts, or pecans as one ingredient.


  • You may submit unlimited entries provided that you must submit a VALID and unique recipe must be each time.


  • Weekly prize winners and runner ups will receive a $100 Visa gift card, a signed cookbook from Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, and a Fisher Nuts product.


  • Sweepstakes ends October 21st.

Please be sure to submit a valid recipe to the contest, and Good Luck!

Oct 5, 2014

Making The Bed Every Morning: Do You Do It?

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 I admit I was once a neglectful bed-owner. I was the busy mom who left the house every morning without so much as picking a forlorn pillow off the floor.

In my defense, I  do manage to get two boys and one teenage daughter plus myself all out the door every morning - dressed, fed(ish) and on time(ish.)

I am proud to say however that I have reformed my ways and now make my bed ((almost)) every morning. That is to say, I get the comforter straightened up and pillows tossed back on top, more or less. And you know, it makes me happy. I almost feel like I am doing something just for me, sort of like pampering myself in a weird sort of way.

Actually, there are several very good reasons why we should be making our beds regularly . According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, doing this one simple  task every morning can motivate us to cultivate other good habits.


"Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget," says Duhigg . "It's not that a family meal or a tidy bed causes better grades or less frivolous spending. But somehow those initial shifts start chain reactions that help other good habits take hold."

There are more benefits to taking a moment or two every day to pull up the blankets and fluff those pillows.

You might just get a better night's sleep. 

A National Sleep Foundation poll found that survey participants who reported regularly making their bed were also more likely to say that they got a good night's sleep most nights.

Your bed linens and pillows will look better longer.

Carolyn Forte, the director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, recommends making your bed because it helps minimize wrinkles in your sheets and keep pillows fluffed. Being kind to your linens will help them look clean and new longer.

But really, it just makes you feel good. And feeling good when you leave the house in the morning is a great way to start your day, And coming home to a pretty made-up bed does wonders to help you start to relax after being busy all day!


Sep 28, 2014

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie Recipe - Celebrate Fall With 30 Days of Pumpkin Recipes: Day 3

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine


30 Days of Pumpkin Recipes: Day 3 - Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie 


(This pumpkin ice-cream recipe comes from Spoonful.com!)

Kids will love this wickedly easy-to-make pumpkin ice-cream dessert! You can make this recipe even easier by using one of those ready made graham cracker crusts you buy at the grocery store!)

Ingredients:

To Make The Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups crushed cinnamon-sugar graham crackers (about 12 whole graham crackers)

4 tablespoons melted butter

To Make the Pumpkin Ice-Cream:

1 quart vanilla ice cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

Assorted dried fruit (or gummy treats work well too!)

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350ยบ. In a 9-inch pie plate, mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Crumble the mixture until the butter is evenly distributed. Then press it around the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes and cool completely.

While you are preheating the oven and preparing the crust, let the ice cream get soft by letting it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Combine the softened ice cream with the sugar, spices, and pumpkin in a large bowl.Mix until the pumpkin and spices are evenly distributed through the ice cream.

Spoon (or pour) the pumpkin ice cream into the cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Before serving, kids can decorate the pie with raisins, dried fruit, gummies, M&M's, candy corn etc. Let the pie sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 8.

Sep 14, 2014

Manicure in a Mason Jar {And Other Cool Mason Jar Crafts}

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This summer I co-hosted a baby shower for a family member, and for drinks we served homemade lemonade in mason jars. Very cute. And yes, we got the idea from Pinterest, of course! Anyway, I now have about a dozen or so mason jars sitting in my pantry that are leftover from the party that I would love to use in some fun cute ways. There are some awesome DIY ideas using jars on Pinterest....so many I am not sure I could even pick my favorite. However, since I am not of the creative type, and am seriously lacking in artistic skills, I chose the simpler type crafts that could meet my checklist of essential requirements (or in other words, easy-peasy.)

I love this Manicure in a Mason Jar Gift Idea!


Adorable? Check.
Easy? Check.
Too Cute? Check.


Oh yea, I can see these mason jar soap dispensers sitting in my guest bathroom, absolutely!!


Creative? Check!
Easy enough for moi to make? Check! (and that is not an easy criteria to meet!)
Too Cute (and Fun) Check!


And how about a little  Halloween fun in a Mason Jar




We actually did something very similar to this idea for the baby shower. We used blue M&M's!

I.Heart.Mason Jars. 



Sep 6, 2014

Celebrate Fall With 30 Days of Pumpkin Recipes! Day 2: Fast Pumpkin Raisin Bread


I started my 30 days of celebrating Fall collection with an oh-so-decadently sweet dessert, so I figured a fast pumpkin raisin bread recipe you can make while watching a football game (or not) makes the perfect second choice. The aromatic spices in this recipe will probably make your mouth water as the bread bakes in the oven - so be prepared (smile). Once you have the ingredients collected, it is a pretty simple and quick treat to make and enjoy (especially with a nice hot soup for really cool fall days. I am so hoping for days like that SOON.)

30 Days of Pumpkin Recipes:  Day 2- Fast Pumpkin Raisin Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 cup raisins

3 egg whites

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1-pound can of pumpkin

2 tablespoons molasses

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly oil a 5x9-inch loaf pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Mix well then add in raisins.
In a smaller bowl, combine egg whites, brown sugar, pumpkin, molasses, and vanilla extract. Mix well and add to the flour mixture.
Mix until moistened.
Place dough (will be stiff - don't worry) in pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.

This pumpkin bread tastes wonderful the way it is, but is also delicious toasted - so consider toasting a slice to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea!