Please Read: Your Chance to Help Climate Change

We’ve all seen the distressing photos.  Polar ice caps gradually disappearing, and the fallout it means for polar bears.  One of many global problems we’ve seen result from climate change.  It’s the heart breaking image I always picture when this topic comes up. CO₂ and Climate Change:  The Problem Left to its own devices, nature actually has a beautiful system of restoration.  Our lush forests are amazing in their restorative powers! They permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  Plants can split CO2 into carbon and oxygen, releasing Oxygen back into the air for us to breathe. But humans have disturbed this natural ecological balance.  We are seeing more and more negative consequences caused by an increase in CO₂.  At mankind’s current rate of pollution, nature can’t keep up. CO₂ and Climate Change:  A Solution That Can Help In regards to climate change: "Technically, there is a solution.  With our help, nature could do the job." ~Hans-Peter Schmidt, Carbon … [Read more...]

7 Things You Should Know Before Getting Backyard Chickens

We’ve been the proud owners of backyard chickens for 2 ½ years now.  Although we don’t know it all, we have learned a few unexpected things about this venture.  If you are debating about buying some peeps and taking the plunge, here's what to know about backyard chickens.  A few helpful tips that may help you make your decision. There’s definitely many benefits to owning these enjoyable and funny birds, and we are still very happy with ours.  However, there are both good and bad aspects to having them roam your backyard. # 1 - They Will Trash Your Yard First up for what to know about backyard chickens:  Let’s talk about that backyard.  Prepare yourself, cause the girls are gonna trash it. Sure, you could keep your backyard chickens in their coop at all times.  It would certainly be tidier.  But in order to get the full benefit of those extra-nutrient rich, free range eggs - you gotta let the girls out. The upside is that they have so much fun around the yard.  … [Read more...]

Mistaken for Pregnant, at the Gym

Yep.  That’s a real thing that happened to me. I’m still processing it. Mulling it all over. Trying to determine if I find this event a) motivating, or b) deflating in my overall efforts to improve my fitness. So here’s how it went down. Never, Ever Ask a Woman if She’s Expecting. Just Don’t. I liked him at first.  He had brought his own towel laced with eucalyptus oil, and had draped it over the steam vent.  I love this effect, and the steam room smelled much better than it normally does.  So I was appreciative.  We were amicable steam room buddies, at this point.  Off to a great start. Then he asks me a question, in very broken English.  An older Hispanic gentlemen, I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying.  He repeats himself, while rubbing his stomach by way of a demonstrative gesture.  And it dawns on me what he is asking. “Is baby coming?” Ouch.  Am I pregnant?  So apparently I look pregnant in my swimsuit.  That’s awesome. I was so stunned at first, I … [Read more...]

Planning In Advance For Future Home Emergencies

The following was contributed by guest author  Kevin Bennett Are You a Gambler? Colorado is a beautiful state. Sand dunes to the south are balanced by mountains stretching the length of the territory. To the east are vast plains, and as you travel the I-25 corridor, there are no shortage of activities to entertain you. It’s no wonder this state has grown dramatically in the last ten years, and is continuing to expand. Many people are moving to this colorful, temperate region and starting families. But for any family moving to a new home, it is important to reach “cruising altitude” before finding your routine. What does this mean? You’ve got to hope for the best and expect the worst. Plumbing Considerations Hope that when the year’s hottest days come, your AC works. Expect it to malfunction from time to time and have a technician on file should you need to call for assistance. Hope the year’s coolest blizzard won’t freeze the pipes and cause them to break, but expect this … [Read more...]

10 Tips for Helping Your Child Live a Healthy Life

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, we had fewer screens and safer environments to play outside.  Since then, obesity among U.S. children has tripled.  In honor of September being Fruit & Veggies More Matters® month, here are some quick tips to help your kids on the right path to healthy living. In addition to eating fruits and vegetables daily as part of a balanced diet, there are many other ways parents can help their children adopt healthy habits.  I'm sure you know most of these... but it's helpful sometimes for an overview and reminder. The non-profit, grant funded project SOPHE helps communities improve access to healthy food, and decrease their chance of chronic diseases.  They have offered the following 10 tips to help your child live a healthy life. Tip #1: Make eating fruits and vegetables easy Prepare grab-and-go packets of fruits and vegetables to take on busy days. Provide already packaged fruits or veggies like oranges, apples, grapes, or snap peas. Tip #2: … [Read more...]

First Time Biking to School… Terrifying, yet Rewarding

My first grade son loves riding his bike.  I'm happy about that, because I do, too.  Ahhh... I foresee many grand biking adventures in our future!  So it's not surprising that he's been begging to ride his bike to school. *heavy sigh* But I have a problem with this.  You see, the unavoidable route between our home and his grade school includes a very scary road.  Narrow.  Busy.  No sidewalks.  Fast moving traffic, with a speed limit of 45 mph.  It's basically like biking on the edge of a highway.  With a 6 year old.  Terrifying. Oh, there's a bike lane.  But's it's 2 feet wide, at best. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, as a parent, and take a calculated risk.  I love the idea of riding our bikes more, and as a mode of transportation.  I love everything about it. Living an active lifestyle! Sneaking in exercise, via something that's also fun! Saving gas! Polluting less! Teaching our kids good life habits! Alright, so let's do this... Obviously, the plan is for … [Read more...]

Top 5 Ruidoso, New Mexico Things To Do (for Outdoor Lovers!)

Ruidoso, New Mexico is a unique mountain village that may be a bit off the beaten path.  But what you’ll find here is an outdoor lovers paradise, which is well worth a visit.  Here I've gathered the Top 5 Ruidoso New Mexico things to do with a family. This unique off the beaten path destination offers much to outdoorsy families looking for a fun yet relaxing getaway.  Get your heart pumping activities like hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.  Or just taking a leisurely stroll through town to browse local Western art.  There’s something for everyone here to enjoy. # 5 - Mountain Bike Trails Since my son turned age 5 and graduated to a decent trail worthy bike, family mountain biking has become our favorite outdoor activity. With new trail development and a vast network of empty rural roads and awesome mountain trails, cycling in Ruidoso has never been better. Ruidoso local bike shops can hook you up with bike rentals.  Then check out the Discover Ruidoso website for … [Read more...]

Home Lighting and its Effects on Your Health

Making choices about home lighting is all about style and function. You choose locations and fixtures based on where you need light, and how the lamps look. Have you ever considering how your lighting may affect your health though? If you are getting concerned that your lights are a health concern, do a little research and arrange to have an electrical inspection to make some changes. Your Sleep Patterns One of the big ways your lights can affect your health is how they alter your sleep patterns. In particular, it's all about the color spectrum in your light bulbs. Modern CFL and LED bulbs, as well as mobile device screens, all produce light that is much heavier towards the blue end of the spectrum. This tends to keep you awake, and will make it harder to sleep when the lights do finally go out. It's recommended that you stay away from device screens before bed, and replacing light bulbs with those designed to produce light that is more yellow. Look for bulbs labeled "soft" or … [Read more...]

Customize Your Own Gorgeous Birth Announcements

Whenever I have a friend or family member send me a breathtaking birth announcement in the mail, it’s something I treasure.  In this digital day and age, we need to remember that moments such as these are special, and ideal to preserve in print! Did you realize it's easy to order a creative, artsy birth announcement?  All you need is the information to include, and maybe an adorable baby photo.  Basic Invite can take it from there, and are skilled at making custom invitations and more. Using their site, you can easily design something that you’ll be proud and excited to send to friends and loved ones.  Their lovely templates and ideas make it simple to craft and order your photo birth announcements. Easy to Create… With Almost Unlimited Colors The Basic Invite website is inspiring and easy to use.  Nearly 200 sample birth announcement designs are available to peruse. Just find a design that you love.  Then you can customize even further with over 180 different color … [Read more...]

A Visit to Denver Museum of Nature & Science

There is certainly plenty of fun to be had in the city of Denver, Colorado.  When my family and I were there last weekend, we decided to swing by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  And boy, are we glad we did!  It had been a few years since our last visit.  As it turns out, this place is even more fabulous than we remembered. With three stories of interesting and varied exhibits to choose from, there’s truly something to pique everyone’s interest here. Our kids ages 6 and 12 have been bubbling with enthusiastic chatter ever since, telling friends and grandparents about all the things they saw and learned. Plus, it was air conditioned. On a 100 degree Colorado summer day.  It was the perfect place to be for a day of family fun. Awesome Outer Space Display… (Even if you Skip the Planetarium) You’ll notice when you purchase tickets there are several options.  One is to add a visit to the Planetarium.  We did *not* have these type of tickets, but were happy to … [Read more...]