Friday, December 7, 2018

Easy & Fun Mini Sock Snowman Tutorial

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I just love holiday themed crafts for kids, especially kids' Christmas crafts. For the past several years my kids and I have hosted a pre- Christmas crafting party for our homeschool bible study class at our house. I love finding simple and fun crafts that work for a variety of ages and abilities. Oh, and the crafts have to be boy and girl friendly since this is a co-ed group.

I thought I would share with you one of the projects we did including a tutorial in case you want to make it too! 

Now onto the fun kids Christmas craft project and tutorial. We are going to make a sock snowman! Excited? Good, let's get started.


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This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my Disclaimer page.

Mini Sock Snowman Tutorial


Supplies Needed :(links included to help you find the supplies)

White tube sock
Hot glue gun & hot glue sticksFiberfill 
(I got mine at Joann Fabric Store)
Rubber bands
Fabric paint or markers (Sharpies work great)
Fat quarter of fleece fabric (used for scarf and hat)
Dry beans (any kind will do)
Thick thread or twine
Scissors
Buttons or flat rhinestones 

Instructions:
To begin you will need the dry beans, one white tube sock and the Fiberfill stuffing. Measure 1/4 cup of the dry beans and dump it into the bottom of the sock. 

Next grab a few hand fulls of stuffing and stuff it into the bottom of the sock on top of the beans. This section of the sock will become the bottom of the snowman. Shape the sock and stuffing to look round and full.

Once you have a shape that looks good to you take one rubber band and loop it a few times over the sock just above the ball of stuffing. This will ensure the bottom ball of stuffing stays put. Later we will be tying a scarf around this rubber band to hide it so don't worry if you can see it now.

Now we will start making the second body section for our snowman. Grab another handful of stuffing and stuff it into the sock above the rubber-banded section. This part will be your snowman's head. Shape the stuffed sock into a smaller size ball adding more stuffing if you need more. You will want this section smaller than the first body section. Once you are satisfied with the shape and size of the head secure a rubber band just above the stuffing. Trim off the extra sock material at the top of the sock.

It is now time to work on your snowman's hat and scarf. Take the fleece fabric and cut a long skinny rectangle from one edge of the fabric. It should be long enough to wrap around the snowman's neck and tie in the front plus a little extra length to allow the scarf to hang down a bit. Since the size of your snowman will vary, an exact measurement isn't possible. You will just need to eyeball it.  Feel free to trim several small slits at both ends of the scarf to give the scarf a frayed edge just like a real scarf.

For the snowman's hat take the remaining piece of fabric and wrap it around the snowman's head positioning it where it should sit on his head just above the forehead. With a pencil draw a light mark on the fabric where the edges meet. Take the fabric off of the snowman and with your hot glue gun place a small bead of hot glue on the fabric where you placed the pencil mark and match the fabric edges together creating a fabric tube. Turn up the bottom edge of the fabric to create a cuff for the edge of the hat and secure it with more hot glue. Try the hat tube on your snowman's head making adjustments if necessary. 

Once you are satisfied with how the hat looks it is time to hot glue it to the snowman's head. I find it is easier to leave the hat on the snowman's head and gently lift the hat edges up squirt a little bead of hot glue under the hat at a time and press it down with your finger. Continue to do this around the entire perimeter until the hat is securely glued to the snowman's head.

You should now have a fully stuffed two section snowman with a scarf tied around it's neck and a tall tube shaped hat glued to it's head. Depending on how tall or short you want the snowman's hat use the thick thread to tie off the hat tube at a length that looks good on your showman. Trim off the extra fabric 1/2 inch above the thread you tied it with. Cut small slits around the extra 1/2 inch of fabric to create a pom-pom end to your hat. 

It is now time to draw on a face to your snowman. Using the sharpie markers or fabric markers draw on eyes, a nose and mouth on your snowman's face. If you prefer using beads or other crafting supplies to create the facial features - go for it! Next glue on buttons or flat sided rhinestones to make buttons down your snowman's belly. 

Lastly, dab a spot of hot glue on each side of your snowman's body and stick a small stick into each dab of glue to make arms for your snowman. 

Feel free to add any additional embellishments to your snowman to make him/her unique! These little guys/gals make great gifts for Christmas too! 

So how did your snowman turn out? Please share pictures of your snowmen - I'd love to see them! This makes for a great project for kids of all ages and requires minimal supplies. It is also a fun group project if you need a group project to do for the holidays. Have fun with it and Merry Christmas!

Here is a list of some of the supplies I used in this project and where you can find them too!
find at Joann Fabric Store

find at JoAnn Fabric Store

find at Walmart


find at Walmart

Looking for a unique rustic holiday snowman to give as a gift or to use as a holiday decoration? I have just what you are looking for in my Etsy shop Sapucha! Check out these cuties! 






Sunday, November 18, 2018

Black Friday WEEKEND Steals And Deals You Don't Want To Miss


Can you feel the excitement building? It is kind of like a Christmas volcano waiting to erupt. As the days draw closer the excitement is building all for that one special day - BLACK FRIDAY!
There are a ton of cool electronics, chic clothes, fun toys and kitchen gadgets to add to your Christmas list this year. The best part is you still have time to get your list to Grandma or Aunt Susie before Christmas arrives.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please read my Disclaimer page.

Black Friday Steals & Deals You Won't Want To Miss - Gift Guide

1. For the gadget guru this portable solar power bank charger is the perfect stocking stuffer!
find on Amazon
2. Do you have a crafter in your life? You know that person who makes amazing stuff with their hands - things you could never make yourself! Well here is the perfect Christmas gift for that crafty person in your life they will LOVE. The Cricut Explore Air 2 cutter takes crafting to a whole new level. 

find on Amazon

3. Do you know someone who loves to play video games (who doesn't!)? The Nintendo Switch is the perfect gaming device and is a hot gift item this year. Play it at home or take it on a trip. All of your favorite games can come along with you! 

find at Amazon
4. The kitchen is the heart of the home for many families so how about a gift that is perfect for the cook or baker in the family. The super popular Instant Pot pressure cooker is all the rage and will be for awhile. Cook healthy food in no time at all! Also, don't forget to read my honest review of the Instant Pot here.

find at Walmart


5. If video games aren't your thing how about a board game? The Monopoly Fortnite game incorporates the popular video game and makes it fun as a Monopoly game! 

find at Walmart

6. Speaking of Fortnite, you know the most popular video game right now, how about gifting this to your favorite teen this year? Available for most gaming systems this is sure to be one of the most popular gifts this year.

find at Walmart
7. Legos is a gift that never disappoints! If you want to be the "cool" aunt/uncle this year give your niece or nephew a Lego kit. Lego has kits for all ages and abilities so the choices are endless.

find at Walmart
8. Matching Christmas pajamas will keep you and your family cozy and warm this holiday season, plus it makes for some awesome family pictures! 

find Here

9. Don't forget your pet this holiday season. Give Rover a new soft gusseted pet bed this Christmas to show him your love. Pet gifts are popular and fun to shop for!

find it HERE
10. This last black Friday deal would make the perfect gift for anyone of any age! A tablet is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to read ebooks, connect on social media, play games or pinterest like a pro. Look for smokin' deals this year on Black Friday for deep discounted prices on these fun gadgets.

find on Amazon

Don't miss out on these great black Friday steals and deals this year! Amazon and Walmart have week long deals so keep your eye out for flash sales! Happy Shopping!!

Before you go here is another amazing Black Friday deal you don't want to miss - checkered Vans, the most popular tennis shoe/sneaker for teens. Make their Christmas extra special with a cool new pair of shoes!!






Friday, November 16, 2018

Should You Buy An Instant Pot? Before You Buy One Read This Honest Review Of The Instant Pot

mommysuburbia.blogspot.com
photo credit: Walmart


Have you heard of the Instant Pot? It has been all the rage this last year and continues to be one of the most popular kitchen gadgets still. But what exactly is the Instant Pot and why is everyone buying one? In a nutshell the Instant Pot is a modern day version of a pressure cooker that you can use to quickly cook almost any kind of food. It is about the same size as a crockpot with a bunch of additional settings and buttons.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support. For more information please read my Disclaimer Page.

Growing up my mom used a pressure cooker to can tomatoes. Her pressure cooker was enormous and kind of scary!  Every year she would dig it out of storage, lug it into the kitchen and use it to can the veggies we grew in our garden. The Instant Pot is the upgraded version of your Grandma or Mother's old pressure cooker. This modern unit is sleek, user friendly and is used to make all kinds of food.

I'm not one to rush out and buy the latest and greatest kitchen gadget until I've read or heard real testimonials. I have to know if it is worth spending the money on and if it is worth finding some extra space in my kitchen for a new appliance.

So before splurging on purchasing an Instant Pot of my own, I decided borrow one and take it on a test run in my own kitchen. I used the Instant Pot Duo Plus 60, 6 quart 9-in-1 multi-use programmable pressure cooker. I wanted to try a few recipes that I have cooked before using traditional (stove/oven) methods and crockpot cooking so I could compare the results of the Instant Pot.

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Instant Pot Honey Ginger Chicken Breasts


The first recipe I chose to make using the pressure cooker feature of the Instant Pot was Honey Ginger Chicken Breasts (find the recipe HERE). I've made this exact recipe in a crockpot as well as in the oven and it is quite a hit with my family. Like a crockpot, all I had to do with the Instant Pot for this recipe was just dump in the ingredients, close the lid and let it cook. The BIG difference was the amount of time it took for the Instant Pot to cook the chicken breasts compared to cooking it in a crockpot. In about 35-40 minutes the chicken was completely done and the pressure in the pot was released and safe to open. If I had used a crockpot for this recipe it would require anywhere from 4-6 hours of cooking low and slow.

If you haven't used an Instant Pot you may not realize that before the pressure cooking starts the unit will need to heat up which can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. After the machine has heated up the pressure cooking begins. I set the pressure cooking time for 11 minutes for 4 large chicken breasts. Once the 11 minutes of pressure cooking were done the machine requires some time to de-pressurize. This can take anywhere from 10-40 minutes. You can speed it along by manually releasing the pressure but this is where you need to use caution - the steam is HOT and you should never open the pressure cooker until the pressure inside the pot has dropped to a safe level (there is a small pressure indicator on the top of the machine so you don't have to guess)! The total time it took to pre-heat, cook and release pressure was about 35-40 minutes. This is quicker than a crockpot but about the same time for baking in an oven.

After removing the chicken from the metal pot I used the Instant Pot's saute feature to turn the juices from the chicken and sauce into a thicker gravy. I love that I didn't have to pour the liquid into a pan on the stove to do this - I just pushed the saute button, added a cornstarch slurry and whisked until it was thickened.

The overall results of the chicken breasts with gravy were excellent. The chicken breasts were tender, flavorful and everyone loved it! In my opinion the pressure cooking method took the same amount of time as an oven (less time than a crockpot) but resulted in a much more juicy and tender chicken breast than the oven baking method.

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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes


The next recipe I wanted to try in the Instant Pot was mashed potatoes. Typically I make mashed potatoes on the stove top or in the microwave. The stove top method always results in a pan covered in starchy potato water along with a messy stove top. The microwave results are about the same! I guess I am just not really good at keeping a close eye on the boiling potatoes!

I peeled and cubed 7 large russet potatoes, put them in the Instant Pot and covered them with water. Again the machine had to come up to temperature (10 minutes) before the pressure cooking feature started but once it reached temperature the potatoes were soft and ready in 8 minutes. To get the pressure down more quickly I used a wooden spoon handle to open the pressure valve. I was surprised at the forceful starchy steam that spewed out of the top of the machine. I covered the steam release valve with a kitchen towel so that my cupboards weren't coated in starchy potato water. By releasing the pressure manually this sped up the total cooking time and only took about 10 minutes to finish so I could open the lid. I left the potatoes in the Instant Pot's metal pot and mashed them with my electric beaters.

My favorite part about using the Instant Pot to make mashed potatoes was that there was no overflowing potato water on the stove or pot. I had way less clean up than if I had used the stove cooking method. The mashed potatoes tasted just as good as the stove top method since I used the same recipe. I would definitely make this recipe again using the Instant Pot! I hate scrubbing pans especially ones that have baked on food and I did not have this problem after using the Instant Pot.

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Instant Pot Yogurt


Because there are many different types of cooking methods offered by the Instant Pot I wanted to try the popular yogurt feature. I've never made homemade yogurt so I can't compare the process to traditional methods. Honestly using an Instant Pot seemed so much less intimidating than other yogurt making methods that I couldn't resist trying to make my own.

The first step was to pour cold milk into the metal pot and start the machine by pressing the yogurt function button. This step scalds the milk and brings it up to a certain temperature to ensure any bad bacteria in your milk is killed off before the yogurt making process can start. There are mixed reviews as to whether this first step is necessary if you are using pasteurized milk (milk that has already been heated to 145-165F). If you choose to skip this first step you should still heat the milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit

When this first step was done I took the temperature of the milk to make sure it reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately the milk was not up to temp after the first yogurt (boil) so I pushed the saute button on the machine, stirred the milk and got it to temp very quickly.

The next step in the process was to whisk together 1 cup of the warm milk with 2 tablespoons of good quality yogurt that has active live cultures. After the mixture was combined I poured it back into the Instant Pot, secured the lid and pushed the Yogurt button again and set the timer for 9 hours and left it to do its thing. I read that the longer you set the timer the thicker and tarter the yogurt. Most of the recipes I read suggested using 8-10 hours so I settled for 9 hours which is right between the recommended amount of time. One additional step I did not follow was to add any flavoring or sweetener to the yogurt. I wanted to be able to compare the flavor of plain Instant Pot yogurt with what I buy at the store which is plain too.

Because I got a late start making this recipe the 9 hour timer finished at around 10:30pm which meant that I was not going to be able to strain the yogurt (separate the whey) as the recipe I was using recommended. So I pulled out the metal pot, covered it with aluminum foil, popped it in the fridge and went to bed. In the morning when I took the yogurt out of the fridge it still looked the same as it had the night before. There was very little whey (clear watery substance) on the surface and when I stuck a spoon into the yogurt the texture was thick enough to hold the spoon upright.

After handing out a clean spoon to each of my official taste testers, a.k.a. my kids, we all scooped out a spoonful of yogurt to taste the results. It was SO GOOD! The yogurt had a perfect creamy texture with the right amount of tang I expect from good quality plain yogurt. The "taste testers" also approved of it though they did ask for a little vanilla extract and honey be added to their yogurt.

Clean up was a snap too. After pouring the yogurt into a sealable container all I had to wash was the Instant Pot metal pot and wipe off the inside of the lid. I will certainly be making this again! Not only was it more economical but it was fun and super simple to make!

Since I can't compare the traditional method of making yogurt to the Instant Pot method all I can say is that I am no longer intimidated to make my own yogurt. The biggest bonus I found using the Instant Pot was the cost. When I buy store bought good quality yogurt it costs about 3-6 dollars for a large container. The cost for me to make my own was $1.99 which was the current price for a half gallon of whole milk. The best part was that the half gallon of milk resulted in twice as much yogurt than what the container I buy at the store costs me. TWICE!! For our family of six making our own yogurt in the Instant Pot is much more economical than buying it at the store and I'm always looking for ways to save money.

My overall conclusion after testing out the Instant Pot is that this machine is the real deal! I'm not quite ready to ditch the crockpot but the Instant Pot has surely given it a run for the money. I hope this review and my testimonial has helped give you a little better perspective of the functions and usefulness of the Instant Pot.

Do you have an Instant Pot? What do you like or dislike about it? Got a favorite recipe you can share? I'd love to hear your comments so please leave me your thoughts and ideas in the comment section. In the meantime, happy cooking!

Here are some additional kitchen tools I think you might find handy:

Digital Thermometer 
find at Amazon
Serving Platter 
find at Amazon
Serving Utensils:
find at Walmart

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving Themed Craft Roundup For Kids - Plus Free Gratitude Game Printable

mommysuburbia.blogspot.com

Are you ready to get your Thanksgiving themed crafting on? Gather up your glue, scissors, construction paper and markers and get ready to make something amazing with your kids.

There are so many amazing Thanksgiving Day themed crafts it is hard to pick which one to do! Luckily I've done the hard work and pulled together some of the best crafts I could find for you. When you think of Thanksgiving do you have visions of pumpkins, turkeys, corn, Pilgrims and cornucopias? I tried to find a variety of ideas and projects that incorporate one or two of the most popular Thanksgiving themes and symbols.

Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post where you can find a FREE Gratitude Game printable as well as the instructions on how to play!

Five Fun Thanksgiving Themed Crafts for Kids


1. Yarn Pumpkin Craft

from One Little Project
Glue + yarn + balloons = cutest pumpkin craft ever! What a great project for your older tween/teen children. This is an excelled tutorial from One Little Project that I'm sure you will love. Just imagine a garland of these colorful yarn pumpkins strung across your mantel or set them on your table for a festive table scape for Thanksgiving dinner!

2. Thanksgiving "Handy" Wreath

from Education.com
Each child could make their very own wreath or you could make a mixed size handy wreath that uses everyone's hand. Make sure to write what you are thankful for on your paper hand before assembling them into a wreath. I love Education.com - check out my previous post about their wonderful worksheets here!

3. Indian Corn Craft

from Fantastic Fun and Learning.com
Not only does this blog contain this cool Indian corn craft but a link to resources to learn about Indian corn. What a great fall art project and history lesson wrapped into one. You just need simple household supplies to make this project. Love it!

4. Felt Pumpkin Treat Bag

from Hello Wonderful
5. Button Cornucopia

from The Pinterest Parent.com

When I was little my grandma has a button box which was just a tin box filled with buttons she had collected over many years. I loved to sort through the buttons and look at each one. This craft reminded me of her button box and how much fun it is to find cool colorful buttons. Your child is sure to have a blast looking for the right button to fill their cornucopia with.
mommysuburbia.blogspot.com

Gratitude Game Printable

This is the perfect game to play during your Thanksgiving dinner while everyone is gathered around the table. The game is simple to play and all you need is a bag of M & M's and the Gratitude Game printable. To play start have one person pick one M & M from the bag and match the color of the candy with the colored circle on the Gratitude Game printable. The person then follows the prompts on the printable to say what or who they are thankful for. After they are done pass the bag of M & M's to the next person and continue to play as many rounds as you want and enjoy hearing what everyone is thankful for!


Click HERE to get the FREE printable


mommysuburbia.blogspot.com

Here are some great supplies for your crafting needs;

1. Construction Paper:
find at Walmart
2. Felt Sheets 
find at Walmart

3. Yarn
find at Walmart




Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How To Celebrate Being Thankful With Your Kids This Thanksgiving - Includes A FREE Bible Themed Printable

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Being thankful and reflecting on what we have to be thankful for is so important. Thanksgiving in our family is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for. Since our kids ages are a bit spread out we try to incorporate activities like crafts and stories that help teach them about being thankful and grateful.

We started tradition a few years ago during the month of November that we call the Thankful Box. We  put a decorated box called the "thankful box" on our dining room table along with a small stack of papers next to it and each day everyone has a chance to write something or someone they are thankful for on a slip of paper. After you finish writing what you are thankful for the piece of paper is slipped it into the Thankful Box.

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On Thanksgiving we open the Thankful Box and everyone takes a turn randomly drawing out a slip of paper and reading what it says -it's OK if it isn't a "thankful" that they wrote. There is just something so special listening to everyone's thankfuls! I love seeing my kids eyes light up when they hear someone read that they are thankful for them.

The Bible has many verses about thankfulness but this one in particular resonated with me this year:
Psalm 9:1 - I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
When we set aside time to think about all we have to be thankful for and write those thoughts down it is a very powerful reminder of how much we are loved, treasured and cared for. It changes our perspective from a self-centered focus, to a selfless focus of gratitude and thankfulness for what we have and Who has provided all things to us.

As a way to say "Thank you" to you, my readers I created a FREE gift just for you! I hope you like this free holiday printable and that it reminds you to be thankful for all things and share what you are thankful for with others.

click HERE to download



In addition to our Thankful Box there are many other great activities I love to do with our kids to prepare for Thanksgiving. Reviewing the story of how the first Thanksgiving celebration came to be is always one of my kids favorite activities. In the past we have read stories or watched videos telling of our great country's humble beginnings. The Peanuts A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie is my kids' current favorite holiday movie to watch and it tells the historical story in a fun cartoon way.

find it HERE on Amazon
Does your family have any holiday traditions you do for Thanksgiving? I would love to hear about them so please leave a comment sharing what your traditions are. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How Worksheets Helped Our Homeschool - Includes FREE Downloadable Worksheet

photo credit: freepik.com

Worksheets have been a very useful tool in our homeschool journey. I view them as a supplementary aide to our regular curriculum as a way to provide additional practice in areas that my children might need extra help mastering.

Sometimes worksheets can give my kids a little "break" from our regular curriculum. I like to slip in a cool worksheet like a crossword puzzle with spelling words or a fun math facts coloring page as a way to start their day with something different. They enjoy the change of pace and new challenge and I love finding cool worksheets!

Good quality worksheets are what I'm always on the hunt for especially ones with a lot of variety in the way they present the materials. Themed worksheets are so much fun too since they can easily be added to our schedule as a way to celebrate upcoming holidays.  I don't have time to make my own so finding a great website that has all I need in one place is game changing!

Recently, I found a great fall themed subtraction worksheet for my youngest to enjoy. He has been working hard at mastering addition facts and is ready to start learning subtraction. He loved the one I found and can't wait to do more.



(Please note that I am not an affiliate for Education.com however I did receive one free worksheet to share with you on this blog in exchange for an honest review of the worksheet. If you choose to join Education.com I do not receive any additional products or commission. The following is my honest review of the product I received)

You might be asking where I found this super cool worksheet - the answer: Education.com! If you like worksheets that offer a ton of variety you will definitely love this website. Education.com has worksheets for a variety of subjects, with various themes and activities for you to choose from that will best fit your child's learning style. Isn't that cool? I think so.

Access to the worksheets via the website does cost a little bit but it is quite reasonable! I was really blown away when I clicked on the pricing and saw how inexpensive it is to join. There are three options to choose from -1) pay as you go, 2) pay annually or 3) a lifetime access option. All are very affordable and I love that Education.com is sensitive to the fact that I may only need their worksheets intermittently so the month to month plan option is available. No big commitments requiring a big cash outlay - now that is my kind of service. I personally like to test out the materials we use in our homeschool before make a big financial commitment so this option works great for us.

Are you wondering what types of worksheets are available? Here are some of the worksheets to choose from: (I told you there were a lot didn't I?)

  • Maze
  • Word search
  • Word search with images
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Word scramble
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Division
  • Multiplication
  • Spelling Test
  • Matching words to images
  • Word Tracer

There are also a variety of themes to choose from such as seasonal, holiday, crawly bugs, back to school, dinosaur, outer space and many more.

Now for some more good news! Education.com is giving you a FREE subtraction worksheet with access only through my blog! How exciting! The worksheet you have FREE access to is the fall themed subtraction worksheet my youngest worked on and now your child(ren) can use it too! The worksheet and link will be at the end of this post.

If you find it useful and want to see all that Education.com has to offer you can let your kids practice subtraction as the season "falls" in! Find more fun math resources and activities at Education.com



Link to access Worksheet



Link to access worksheet answers


I really hope you find the FREE worksheet helpful and get a chance to learn more about other worksheets available on Education.com. How do you use worksheets in your homeschool? Have any great resources you would like to share - I'd love to hear from you.

More Cool Tools We Use In Our Homeschool: 

find on Amazon


find at Walmart


Folder from Walmart


 


Friday, October 26, 2018

Fight The Blues With These Amazing Mood Boosting Foods

mommysuburbia.blogspot.com

You got a good night sleep but you find yourself feeling a little down in the dumps, grumpy and irritable. Ever happen to you? It can be so frustrating when your emotions get the best of you and you find yourself feeling moody, snappy and short with everyone - especially your kids. Or worse yet, your children are acting moody, grumpy and a little worn out!

What do you do about this?

I've been doing a lot of research lately trying to find some ways to naturally boost my mood, feel more energetic and have a more positive outlook in my daily life.  Did you know that the food we eat not only serves as a way to feed our bodies but different types of food can have an impact on regulating our mood, help fight symptoms of depression and reduce anxiety. I guess the saying "You are what you eat" has some truth to it! Fill yourself with junk and you are bound to feel junky.

Something I came across recently while learning about the impact food has on our mood really peaked my interest and I wanted to share it with you. We all know what comfort food is right? That big tub of Ben & Jerry's or that gooey pan of rich chocolate brownies - ring a bell? Yeah, I thought so. When you're feeling blue comfort food is where most of us go to find a little consolation but what if this comfort food is really making the blues worse.

However I learned that a little tweak to what you grab out of the fridge to comfort yourself could be the perfect solution to getting yourself out of that funky mood. This great info-graphic I found on Berries.com has a big list of mood-boosting foods and the impact they have on us when we eat them.




I've included a small snapshot of the info-graphic to whet your appetite but if you want to read more head over to the original blog post on Shari's Berries Blog for the full article! I know after reading it I wanted to stock my fridge with these mood-boosting foods and teach my kids about the wonderful benefits of these tasty treats.

(Note - Please know that I do realize that there are people who require daily medication to help them with clinical depression, anxiety and many other disorders and I am grateful that the medications are available to help. Please consult a doctor if you think your symptoms are serious)
mommysuburbia.blogspot.com

Chocolate, The Super Hero We All Know And Love

While you are checking out the Shari's Berries blog make sure you read the article on the 12 health benefits of dark chocolate! I knew dark chocolate was amazing and now I have 12 more reasons supporting my hunch! Yeah!! 

A little while back my husband and I participated in a health assessment through his employer. The feedback was somewhat shocking to me since I've always been quite healthy aside from a few colds each year. The results showed that my bad cholesterol was high and my good cholesterol was too low. Heart disease does run in my family so I was definitely paying close attention when I had my one-on-one consultation with a health advisor. 

The advisor suggested I incorporate salmon twice a week into my diet. I love salmon, who doesn't but UH, have you checked the price of salmon lately? For a middle class suburban family of 6 this just isn't a realistic weekly menu item based on our current grocery budget. One meal would cost us more than $50! That is 1/3 of my total weekly budget for one meal. Fish sticks, we could afford fish sticks but who wants to eat that junk! No thanks! 

The health advisor suggested that if I couldn't afford to eat salmon regularly to try to incorporate avocado, raw nuts like almonds as well as dark chocolate into my weekly diet! 

Wait - did she just say dark CHOCOLATE? Cue the music, dim the lights, this party is about to get serious!! 

Since chocolate is one of my most favorite things in the world I was relieved to hear this as an option to help improve my health. I know eating dark chocolate makes me happy but the fact that it is good for me (in moderation of course) is a double bonus!

Where To Find Mood Boosting Foods


Here are some great mood-boosting foods & containers I am stocking my fridge and pantry with to help ward off the blues and keep my body strong and healthy!

find at Cost Plus World Market

find at Cost Plus World Market


find at Walmart

find on Amazon


find at Walmart



What are your favorite healthy mood-boosting foods? I'd love to hear what helps you chase away the blues and keeps you in a positive state of mind.