The Succesful Transition from Summer to School

Written by Kari, Contributing Writer Getting ready for the new school year means many things in our home. Our sleep schedule has to change, our chores change, we supplement differently and we have to ease back into a daily routine. Summer offers such freedom and opportunity to be laid back and relaxed. The kids can sleep in if they want (although mom keeps her 5:30am wake up time), we don't have to eat breakfast right away, we can chill inside during the afternoon heat and watch a … [Read more...]

Tropical Delight Smoothie

Written by Kari, Contributing Writer   There is something about summer that brings with it the need to make me feel like I live near the ocean, palm trees and an abundant supply of coconuts. The truth is, I live in the foothills of Colorado - which I absolutely love - but it doesn't bring with it the euphoria of ocean waves and coconut beverages!   This is where I use our love of smoothies to fulfill this need for all things tropical. Everyday during the hot months of Colorado, we … [Read more...]

20 Home Remedies for Outdoor Fun

If you have been taking advantage of the extra free time, beautiful weather, and nearby fun outdoor recreation spots so far this summer, chances are your family has had a need for bug repellant, sunscreen, or pain relief. Rather than spraying or lathering on chemicals that could be harmful to our bodies, especially after so much repeated use over the summer, here are twenty DIY remedies that can be easily made at home. Even if you are an essential oil newbie like myself, you can … [Read more...]

4 Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

Written by Lydia @ Frugal, debt free life, *NEW* Contributing Writer I feel like Summer is the ultimate time for frugal fun. There are so many activities and events you can participate in as a family. And what is MORE frugal than your own backyard? I am big believer in free play. Free play is pretty much my best friend. However, I do want summer to be a time of learning and enrichment for my little ones, as well. Today I thought I would share some ways you can make outdoor time learning … [Read more...]

Jammin Strawberry Jam

Are you guys getting overwhelmed with fresh, ripe, delicious, sugary, fruit?  My goodness, spring and summer are just the best eating!! My kiddos and I love to go picking.  We pick anything we can get our hands on (in Massachusetts... strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, etc).  Last year I canned tomatoes and applesauce... this year I wanted to try jam.  We LOVED the results of this jammin jam! How to make Jammin Starwberry Jam: What you need: 10 cups of cleaned, … [Read more...]

Jazz Up Your Summer BBQ Menu With Real Food Recipes

Written by Kari @ Living Strong, Health and Wellness, Contributing Writer With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July right around the corner, we all know that this means a lot of picnics, bbq's and get togethers are on the calendar. This also means that this will involve a lot of, you guessed it, food! Is it possible to eat healthy during all these summer festivities? Yes, yes and yes! Eating healthy doesn't mean that these celebrations have to be boring! In fact, I believe that you can … [Read more...]

3 Simple Methods to Save Money and Stop Wasting Food

Written by Kari, Contributing Writer Do you cringe when it comes to wasting food? I certainly do and it seems that in our society it’s not looked down upon like it used to be. There was a time when the only food a family had was what they grew on their land. Maybe small towns had a quaint little corner store that sold some food items - but they weren't like our Walmart Supercenters or Krogers. People valued food and I think we've lost that in this day and age of abundance, prepackaged foods … [Read more...]

The Easiest Way to Freeze Blueberries

Written by Kristen, Contributing Writer It's Blueberry Season! It's hard to beat fresh, seasonal berries, especially when you have access to local fruits that you can even pick yourself. The flavor can't be beat! They are so sweet, so tasty, and sadly, so temporary. Berries aren't known to have a long shelf-life! One of my favorite things to do in July is to buy blueberries in bulk from a local farm market. They aren't grown there, so these berries aren't quite as fresh as the you-pick … [Read more...]

Meals for the Lazy Days of Summer

Written by Jenn D, Contributing Writer Here in the Midwest, summer took its sweet time in coming. But we are now fully in the midst of it and I am loving the long days, slower pace, spontaneous day trips, and outdoor adventures. However, all of this frolicking about means that our usual rhythms have been a bit thrown; dinner, which usually began at 5:30 sharp, now happens…whenever. Meal planning has lately amounted to me checking the pantry in the morning and mentally piecing some … [Read more...]

5 FUN Outdoor Ideas for SUMMER!

In the world of TV, video games, and other traps to keep you indoors, it's important to us to teach our kids to still have fun outside no matter how hot it is, especially since there is a rise in childhood obesity these days. Summer is here and although it's HOT, it's time to get outside and play with your kids! It can be so tempting, especially on those VERY hot summer days to stay indoors and veg in front of the TV so I have compiled this list. 5 FUN outdoor ideas for SUMMER: 1. Go to a … [Read more...]