Must List for Outdoor Enthusiasts

It’s the time of year where many people are spending more time outdoors.  Even with the current situation of COVID 19 happening in the world around us, we can still find ways to escape.  Getting out into the wilderness is one good way of doing that.  Sure, national parks and the usual places for crowds might be closed at this time, but nature is all around you and you shouldn’t have to look far to find some solitude.

Make sure before you take yourself outside though, you are prepped with the best tactical gear.

A FIRST AID KIT: a first aid kit will come in handy for many reasons, and you will definitely regret it if you DON’T bring one and end up needing it.  From cuts and scrapes, to bites and burns, make sure you have what you need in an emergency or injury situation.  Kits come in a wide range of sizes.

HYDRATION: you can get your water from a variety of sources, from hydrating backpacks like a CamelBak to the ever popular HydroFlask…but always take more water than you think you will need.

MOISTURE WICKING CLOTHING: it’s spring, and soon will be summer…for many places, once you go outside and start trekking, you will be working up a sweat.  Moisture wicking clothing can help with that.  You can get you favorite brands such as Adidas tactical gear, or Oakley tactical gear.

A GOOD PAIR OF BOOTS OR SHOES: putting in all those steps means you will want to treat your feet as well as you can.  Hiking boots or shoes can get very pricey, but investing in the care of your feet is not something you will regret at the end of a long day of being outdoors.

 

These are the very basics you will need to get outside this spring and summer.  Of course, as your build your interest in this hobby, you will be sure to spend more!

Teaching United States Symbols

Although sometimes it’s not necessarily mandated that first and second grade classrooms have a strict social studies curriculum,  I still made it a point starting last year to teach snippets of United States history and government last year! For the most part, I ended up having to design my own lessons and tests.

I taught everything from levels and functions of government, to United States symbols.  We even had a mock race for classroom mayor!  Even students in the lower elementary grades can benefit from learning some parts of how our country works.

For United States symbols, it has been easier to teach this in my Montessori classroom this year.  Since many of my social studies and history lessons rely heavily on nomenclature cards (a type of flash card, for the non-Montessori trained), I have been able to make several sets of cards for students to review.  I have a set that consists of many symbols that have come to represent our country, such as the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, and the presidential seal.  I also have another, more specialized set of cards that shows the history and evolution of the United States flag.

Did you know our flag has been through more than 10 changes to get us to the one we know and recognize now? Brush up on your United States flag history and you may learn a lot!

Some other ways I have found to make children love learning about a topic they may find otherwise boring include having them design their own flag, and playing symbol recognition games on Kahoot.

For the design a flag activity, each student will receive a piece of blank paper and a few rules: They must incorporate the colors red, white, and blue, and they must use stars and stripes in some way.  They are then free to reimagine the flag and I have had some very cool results!

Kahoot has several symbol recognition quizzes.  My kids at first struggled with not blurting answers, so if you have never played Kahoot before, maybe try a few practice rounds.

I hope you have enjoyed my tips and happy teaching!

FANDANGO GIVEAWAY: The Way Back featuring Ben Affleck

Hi yall! Today I am excited to share coverage of a new feature film coming out on March 6.  If you like sports this one is for you.

This is Warner Bros. latest film, THE WAY BACK, starring Ben Affleck. This inspirational film is a real and raw portrayal of how hope is found in second chances.

In this heartwarming story of redemption, Jack Cunningham (portrayed by Ben Affleck) is struggling with addiction when a priest offers him a coaching position at his former high school. He reluctantly agrees to accept the job and ends up finding a glimmer of hope for the future and shot at a second chance.

Everyone loves a great comeback, and this film is the perfect opportunity to share the power of a true redemption story! THE WAY BACK is an honest representation of how we all struggle and face set-backs in life, and emphasizes that the way back is never too far away. The world definitely needs more stories full of grace and redemption, and this film wholly exemplifies that.

 

 

THE WAY BACK will be in theaters nationwide on March 6, 2020. You can find more information here:

Do you have a comeback story you want to share with me? You could win a set of Fandango tickets to see The Way Back in the theater! Comment below to enter.

Valentine’s Day Gift Round Up

 

Hey yall!

I am excited that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!  I look at it as a special day to show your love for anyone special in your life; significant others, children, co-workers, and so on.

Here is a list of a few gift ideas for the ones you love!

 

FOR YOUR COWORKERS

These super cute paper clips are under 10 bucks for a box big enough to spread around your office. I love puns…might I suggest clipping these to a little note that says ‘Let’s stick together”?

 

FOR YOUR CHILDREN

For younger kids, a heart-filled counting book featuring adorable animals will surely become a bedtime favorite.

 

Older kids love making stuff, and slime is sooooo two years ago! Soap is fun to make, smells great, AND cleans you!

 

FOR YOUR PARTNER

Who needs jewelry when you can gift each other matching pjs? Lazy One has a collection of matching pajamas for many holidays, and Valentine’s Day is included. They’re perfect for a cozy night at home, or a romantic getaway 😉

If you’ve been with your partner for a long time (15 years here!), then I bet you know everything about them.  Well, maybe not EVERYTHING…this game for couples might make you ask questions you’d never thought to before, and get to know each other even better.

 

FOR YOUR BFF

A simple but cute hashtag mug will be the perfect gift for you and your friend to sip the tea while you spill the tea.

I hope I have given you some fun ideas for gits for this Valentine’s Day! Never forget to show your love and appreciation for those you treasure every day though.

4 Things to Remember Before You Begin Your Renovation Project

You could be living in an old house, so you feel it is time to give it some much-needed updates. Sprucing up your home is a fun way to give it a fresh new look. This will not only make your house look more beautiful, but it also has the potential to make you and your family more comfortable. Renovations are awesome because your house is your safe haven, and there’s nothing more relaxing than going home at the end of a long day.

Before you start any type of renovation project, there are some things that you must do beforehand. You need to make a thorough assessment and evaluation of your house. You need to check what needs major work and you need to figure out what to prioritize. Doing this can help you manage your expectations. Though they are fun, home renovations projects are complicated. If you don’t do things right, you could end up wasting your time, money, and effort. Here are some things you must remember before beginning your renovation project:

Make a Plan of Action

Just like any project or goal in life, you must begin by making a proper plan of action. You have to identify your budget and what you can actually afford to work on. It could be a minor project like painting walls, reupholstering furniture, or staining your hardwoods. It could also be a major project that involves a massive overhaul of your kitchen or bathroom.

Once you know the details, you can make plans. If it is a small and basic project, you can opt to do it yourself. It would be cheaper that way. However, bigger projects will always entail the help of a reputable contractor.

Find a Temporary Place to Store Furniture

Renovating your current home space means you’ll need to find a temporary home for your furniture. Renovations can be messy, dirty, and dusty. There are paint drips, adhesive spills, and cement splotches to worry about. All of these can mar your beautiful furniture.

To prevent that from happening, put your furniture in the garage or the basement. But if you don’t have enough space, then consider leasing a temporary storage facility like the units for storage Fort Collins residents trust. They have several different unit sizes to accommodate all kinds of furniture.

Draft Your To-Do List

It is critical to draft a list of what you must be done, so you will not forget to do anything. This list will, of course, be different based on your approach. If your project is a DIY, you will have to make a checklist of all the materials you need, the tools you will use, and probable cost. This is necessary so you won’t be surprised down the road.

If you’re hiring a contractor to do your major bathroom remodeling or other major home renovation, you’ll need to do thorough research about the companies you are considering. After doing your due diligence to find the most reputable one, you’ll need to have a discussion with them. Ask them for a detailed list of what you can expect. And, of course, do not forget to draft your contract for your protection.

Keep a Good Attitude

Always remember that renovations are uncomfortable because you’re going to have to modify your lifestyle while your projects are on-going. It will be dusty and messy. If you hired professionals, people will be coming and going in your personal space. In order to keep your calm and positive spirit, you have to adjust your attitude.

You must prepare for any possible delays in your home renovation project because there are many things you have no control over. Inclement weather will undoubtedly put a strain on your timetable. In the same token, out of stock products will force you to wait for a long delivery or it can force you to find an alternative. You need to be flexible, so you won’t lose your cool in case you encounter drawbacks.

Home renovations may entail a lot of work, but the end result is always worth it. The best thing to do is plan ahead so you won’t fail. You also need to manage your budget well so you won’t go overboard. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the process because you’re in the process of making your home an even more beautiful place to live.

A Guide to Decluttering Your Life

Clutter creates anxiety. Too much stuff builds up in your home overloading your mind and space. We’ve got some ways to declutter your life and organize the things in your home.

Get a Storage Unit

Take things you don’t use on a regular basis, but still need, to a storage unit. Getting a storage unit at Self Storage McCart Ave is perfect because you can go get your things when you need them without cluttering your home. You can keep holiday decorations there, pieces of furniture, boxes of memorabilia, and extra clothes. You can fill a storage unit with all of the clutter in your home. Once you need something, you can easily go get it.

Donate Toys the Kids Rarely Play With

We all get so busy in life that we let things pile up in our homes. Kids get toy after toy. Soon their playroom extends to many other rooms in the house. Get them to help you go through toys on a regular basis to donate those they’re totally over. Kids seem to play with one toy for a few weeks then put it aside to collect dust. Get a trash bag and they can pick things out. If they’re the type of kid that’ll say they’ll play with that toy (even though they never will), then do it while they’re sleeping. They’ll never know it’s gone!

Wall Organization

Place wall units with cubicles in rooms where you have the most clutter. If you have a playroom, place one of these and fill the cubicles with boxes full of toys. These provide a great place to store things without showing off the clutter. You can place one in media rooms and fill the boxes in the cubes with video games and accessories. Make sure you anchor these to the wall if you have small children.

Memory Clutter

Organizing your life means getting rid of things that just pile up. Memory clutter is nostalgic, but do you ever go through it? If you have letters from high school taking up room in a closet, take photos of them then throw them away. If you have old yearbooks stacked up at the top of a closet, you’re never looking at them. If you have things sitting in boxes collecting dust, it’s time to get rid of it. If you are saving the sweater you wore when you met your husband, it’s probably just sitting there. It isn’t serving a purpose so go ahead and donate it.

Go Crazy With the Purge

You have to be serious when it comes to getting rid of stuff. If you haven’t used it or worn it, get rid of it. You may think you’ll use it one day, but be truthful with yourself. It’s going to sit there for years. You may use that juicer one day, but it’ll probably just collect dust. If clothes have stains, get rid of them. The stain isn’t going to come out, and you’re never going to wear it again. Purge your closet and cabinets every few months. It’ll surprise you at how much “stuff” is in those places.

The Four Box Method

Label four different boxes: give away, keep, relocate, and trash. Each time you go into a room, place things in boxes. Have the entire family help you. You can take some things to storage, donate some items, and trash some items. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff is really trash. It might seem significant to you, but it’s probably just trash. Your old silverware set that is sitting at the top of a cabinet could be used by someone on a daily basis, so put it in the donation box. Your broken toys in different places just need to go to the trash. The kids will never notice the ones that have missing limbs are actually missing in action.

The Clothes Hanger Test

Get in your closet and turn the hangers in a different direction. If you don’t wear an item of clothing for six months, get rid of it. If you wear an item, turn the hanger in the right direction. It’s easy, and you get rid of things. You’ll be surprised at the number of items you never wear.

Keeping the Holiday Pounds Away

With only 16 days until Thanksgiving and then another 4 weeks after that until Christmas, we know what’s coming; parties, fun, gift exchanges, and of course, FOOD!

It is almost impossible to avoid all temptations of delectable treats during the holidays.  Whether you have that ONE FOOD that you wait all year to have, or you have a grandma who won’t rest until you’re stuffed like the turkey, you’re gonna have to eat.  But, there are a few tips to help you minimize holiday eating guilt.

First, when you arrive at an event, make a plate filled with healthy, non processed choices such as fruits, nuts, and cheeses.  These good proteins will help you fill up and make you less likely to gorge on cookies and cakes.

Another tip is to make sure you eat regular meals on days you know you will be having treats later.  Some people like to go the opposite way, and eat little to nothing leading up to the party they will be attending, trying to “save calories” for the sweets they plan to have.  In my opinion, going to a party starving ensures you will be ravenous and overeat the first things you see! Have good meals or even a meal replacement shake made with Keto protein powder. Ketond makes many delicious flavors of shakes.

Finally, it is important that you do let yourself have a little of whatever it is you are craving.  By having a small portion of the holiday treat you desire, you will savor what you are eating all the more, and you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself of anything.

The next several weeks will be filled with joy! Let yourself partake without guilt.

Give Your Christmas Tree New Life

As the holidays approach and plans are made for parties, visiting family, and festive meals, the centerpiece and seemingly the beginning of the season is the Christmas tree. Once the location for the tree has been determined, all of the other decorations can be mapped out. The theme for the tree sets the tone for the rest of the house, so it’s important to plan ahead and set the stage for the entire holiday season. In all the planning, however, have a little fun and think about shaking things up a little bit by stepping away from what you do every year. Determine what colors you want to use, what the theme will be, and what types of decorations you want for your Christmas focal point while kicking the holidays up a notch.

Silver & Gold

First, pick your tree. Will you go fresh or artificial? Before you make your decision, check out companies like Balsam Hill for a beautiful tree that doesn’t require water or cleanup. Once you have your tree, think lights! While multicolored lights seem to be the go-to when deciding on a color scheme for the tree, remember that these can actually become your starting point for your tree pallet. Instead of going with what you have always used, think outside the box.

If your holiday colors will be warm this year with gold tones and red accents, then consider using creamy whites or auburn lights. You could even go with red lights, but be careful because they can create a darker tone against the deep green of your tree. If your colors are going to match the weather outside and lend a cool, crisp effect, use blue and bright white light patterns. Use silver and blue ornaments with some white doves for the cold effect. Purples also add to the feel and give the tree another layer of interest.

Cookie Cutters & Desserts

Once you get the feel from your color selection, decide on your theme. Don’t feel like you have to drag out the same ornaments you have used for years. Granted, many families have traditions and special ornaments that they look forward to each year. Not to take away from these time-honored memories, but sometimes it’s fun to do something different. Consider collecting every possible cookie cutter you can find, either at a thrift or craft store, and filling your tree with a whole eclectic assortment. Or look for ornaments made to look like cupcakes or other small dessert treats. Imagine a beautiful tree bursting with delicious color.

Every year could have a different theme and each person in the family could take turns choosing. Then, suddenly, you have a new tradition!

Homemade & Store-Bought

Even if you have the colors and your out-of-the-box theme, it doesn’t mean you can’t go homemade, or top of the line. Many beautiful ornaments and traditions for that matter have been born from crafting them together around the table. Salt or cinnamon salt dough ornaments, tiny framed family pictures, and unique, painted glass ornaments can bring hours of joy together in the process and years of fond memories to come. Have plenty of crafting items on hand for impromptu ornament-making nights.

If you choose to take it up-town and buy some exquisite items to adorn your tree in top-to-stump beauty, take the time to find lovely matches and give your tree a facelift with a fresh look of color and sparkle. Remember whichever ornaments you choose, pick the perfect tree to put them on. Be sure to check out Balsam Hill reviews when deciding on your tree.

Christmas is all about tradition. However, within that world of tradition, celebrate new and vibrant additions to your family celebrations. Give your focal point some new inspiration and create a wonderful Christmas tree filled with charm and new life.

Is a Benelli Shotgun Right for You?

 

In the world of tactical gear and firearms, technology is making leaps toward accessible home-defense, tactical gear, survival, hunting and hobby weapons. The shotgun from some expert and enthusiasts’ circles may be considered a tool of the past. Or, in the terms of home defense, some might even say the age of the shotgun is dead.

The Benelli shotgun is tangible, in-your-hands proof that the use of a shotgun is not only not dead—but actively thriving and still a number one choice for American gun owners.

In terms of self-defense and home defense, the shotgun is still the single most effective close-quarters combat firearm known to man. An incredibly dependable gun that can fire almost everything from non-lethal rounds to one-ounce slugs.

Benelli shotguns are designed to meet the needs of any professional, civilian, waterfowlers or enthusiast. Gone are the days where shotguns were primarily too heavy or, “a guy thing,” as Benelli has cornered the market in innovative design for lighter weights and ease of maneuvering. Intimidating shotguns have become literally a thing of the past, opening shotgun use to a diverse crowd of people.

The huge selection of gauges these shotguns are available in is sure to match stature as well. Recoil has been virtually eliminated with some of Benelli’s shotguns with their extensive, high-tech dedication to recoil study. The gel comb inserts cushion your cheek, while the recoil pads and the exclusive stock takes the stress from you. If these options aren’t quite enough, Benelli goes out of its way to offer accessories that further reduce recoil.

The myth of shotguns being unreliable can be put to rest as well, especially with Bernelli’s patented use of their Inertia Driven ® system. This system is one of the world’s most reliable.

A low-maintenance shotgun means less in a bug out bag, less money spent on cleaning kits and less time spent cleaning or fixing a gun when you could be using it. Makes sure that when you need your Benelli shotgun, it can be used in emergency situations on time, every time.

With a handgun or carbine, most of the time practicing and learning with these firearms requires knowing how to shoot a target several times in rapid succession. These shotguns are also extremely efficient on ammo, and capacity no longer becomes an issue unlike other gun choices, as a Benelli shotgun achieves the exact results but with a single shot. This ammo versatility is a sport or pro-hunters dream for going after the widest range of game.

The beauty of Benelli is hard to deny. They’ve managed to corner the design on head-turning looks, utter reliability, simplicity, and tactical usefulness—evident in the fact the Benelli is one of the most loved brands by military and law enforcement, which should tell you something.

Shotguns have been the go-to weapon for generations, and thanks to the modern improvements Benelli is making every day they will continue to be the front-runners and most relevant choice.

 

Make Your House Feel Like a Home

When you are looking to move into a property, you may not be bowled over by its appearance straight away, but if space and layout is exactly what you’re looking for don’t let the appearance stop you from buying it. Once you have bought it, you can always make the necessary changes that will help you to feel at home in a new space. If once, however, you have unpacked your things, and there’s still a tinge of newness in the air that outweighs any relaxation or comfort then it’s time to do something about it.

There’s a huge difference between living in a property out of necessity and feeling truly at home. This is even more the case if you’re renting a property and are concerned you’ll have no control over your own interior style. Essentially, only you know what makes a place feel homely. The points below should help you turn a dull and lifeless property into a place you are proud of.

Hang art

One of the first things many people do when they move into a property is to hang art on the walls. According to research, this is one of the most effective methods of feeling comfortable in your new abode. It has been proven to reduce our stress levels and make us feel much happier in ourselves. Hanging art helps encourage your personality to shine through and adds your individual interests to your space. You may even like to frame photos of your family and friends and dot them around the property, so you feel safe and at home.

Bring a few things from your childhood home

For many of us, where we lived as a child gives the illusion of what a home should be. It’s where we made our first memories and where we felt safe and comfortable. So, if you’re moving out of your childhood home, you’re bound to feel daunted at the prospect of an unfamiliar, bland property.

It would be a great idea to bring along a few items from the family home that remind you of your childhood; whether it be board games for the dining room, a special piece of furniture from your bedroom or a few cuddly toys. No matter where you’re living, having these items close by will give you immediate comfort.

Do some renovations

It can often be hard to settle into a property if the space isn’t working for you. You may have had to purchase a home for practical purposes to be near work or family but aren’t too sure it’s quite the right layout to suit your lifestyle. In this case, it would be an idea to think about knocking down walls which make your space feel cramped and isolated. A builder will be your first point of call to get the ball rolling on this project, but it would also be a good idea to think about all the small jobs that follow the main building works. Get in touch with a local handyman who can carry out those extra DIY and small household tasks to finish off your home renovation projects

Adopt a pet

A house is not a home without an abundance of love, and what could do the trick better than a loving pet? Research has found that pets have the ability to reduce our stress levels and give us a much more positive state of mind. As soon as you walk through the door at the end of a long, hard day at work, you know your pet will be waiting to see you. With that being said, make sure you have the time to dedicate to adopting a pet as they take a lot of time and commitment.

Think about the importance of lighting

There’s nothing more unappealing in a house than poor lighting, so make sure the lights in your home give out warm shades of yellow, rather than a bright white fluorescent glow. In the dark days of winter, you’re likely to need the light on throughout the day, so you don’t want anything too bright or harsh. Dull, warm lighting is an easy way to provide a relaxed feel in the home. In fact, any room can be made instantly more homely with the introduction of some well-positioned lamps, wall lights, or fairy lights.

A house should be more than just a space to flop at the end of a hard day at work. It should be your safe zone where you feel the most relaxed, as well as somewhere to be proud of for inviting friends over. The more personalized you make the house, the more you’ll enjoy living in your humble abode.