Survive Cold and Flu Season with this List

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Just don't let a minion give you your flu shot!

Just don’t let a minion give you your flu shot!

Well, cold and flu season is upon us as the leaves change colors and begin to cover our front lawn.  I love fall and everything that comes with it, accept those dreaded soar throats, congestion, and body aches.  With seven people in our house, it’s nearly impossible to get through the fall and winter months without any cold or flu symptoms sneaking in to spoil the holiday season.

Here are just a few things I like to keep on hand to get us through those unfortunate times when those little organic lifeforms get us down.

 

 

    1.  Soup (I would recommend something organic with garlic)
    2. Vitamin C drops or supplements
    3. Lozenges/Cough Drops (Try Ricola Extra Strength Cough Drops)
    4. Cough Syrup (I like Matys All Natural Kids Cough Syrup or make your own!)
    5. Nasal Spray
    6. Kleenex
    7. Orange Juice
    8. Tea (I recommend the Seasonal Tea Sampler)
    9. Tylenol Cold and Flu
    10. Children’s/Infants’ Tylenol
    11. Apple Sauce
    12. Clorox Wipes
    13. Water/VitaminWater

In addition to all of the personal care items above, you’ll obviously need lots of sleep.  So, plan for someone else to watch the kids if you’re the one that’s down for the count.  Don’t push it, or you’ll get worse and won’t be able to take care of anyone!  You’ll need someone to take care of you!  So, everyone get lots of sleep to prevent and fight sickness.

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Have Your Cake and Eat it Too! For Breakfast!

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0001167_banana-chocolate-chip-mojo-muffins_200Now, I’m not really much of a cake person, but I do love me some muffins!  A nice warm muffin, cinnamon roll, or even a stack of pancakes with my coffee in the morning really hits the spot.  But, where’s the all important protein and fiber in those foods?  And, should we really be eating all of those calories if we want to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight?  Those are some good questions!

According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and Women’s Health, a study showed that “those who ate more calories in the first half of the day lost significantly more weight and demonstrated better metabolic activity than those who ate heavily in the evening.”  And, what about protein?  Check out the visual below to learn what protein can do for you and why it’s good to eat it in the morning.

 

Protein, The Building Blocks Of Your BodyFrom Visually.

*Eating most of your protein in the morning can keep you feeling satisfied and help reduce your carb cravings throughout the day.  It will boost your metabolism and suppress your appetite.

Fiber is also important in the morning.  According to many experts, including Chris Powell, fiber is very important and should be included in your morning meal.  The morning is also the best time to consume your carbs for the day.  Getting all of these things in the morning will help curb appetite, flush out toxins, and give you the energy to get through the day.

As a mother of 5, I’m always looking for ways to keep my energy level up.  But, I still love those muffins!  Of course, most muffins don’t have a ton of protein in them.  But, I refused to give up my morning muffin!!  All I had to do was find an alternative to the low nutrient temptations I craved.  So, I scoured my usual food finding places, like Amazon and Peapod.  I also checked my local grocery store and Costco.  Anything high in protein was usually in the form of a bar or bland cereal with nuts.  The only muffins I found with a high protein and fiber content were the FlapJacked muffins that come in individual cups.  Sounds easy enough, just add water and stick it in the microwave.  And, Voila!  You get 20 grams of protein in a cup.  Now, let’s see how much they cost…hmmmm.  $24.99 for 6 cups!!!  Are you kidding me?  Well, that’s just not going to happen.  I guess I’ll just have to make them myself.

*Update 02/01/16:  I did make some pretty awesome protein pancakes recently that turned out amazing… and they’re gluten free!  Check out my Instagram for the recipe.  I don’t always have the time to experiment, but here’s what I came up with.

 

Well, I don’t have a ton of time on my hands, but I suppose if I found a good recipe or something I could whip up some yummy protein muffins.  So, I went searching for recipes.  I found this website that gave me a list of 20 protein muffin recipes.  Some of them had high protein content, but those recipes called for protein powder.  Protein powder isn’t cheep and usually comes in huge tubs.  I still felt like I needed something easier, like a muffin mix.

Ok, well sometimes gourmet and direct sales companies have uncommon foods.  So, maybe I’ll find a company that has high protein baked goods and maybe some other healthy breakfast options.  I started searching online for a company that had what I was looking for.  I went through a few different companies before coming across what looked like a brand new company called “Crave It!”  I guess “Crave It” is the sister company to “Do You Bake?”  They make food mixes with all real ingredients, including a protein banana chocolate chip muffin mix!  They also carry a line of protein smoothies, bars, pancakes, and more!  They even have some gluten free mixes that look really yummy.  I got so excited about the food, I just had to order some.  So, I went through the process of ordering and discovered that I could get 50% off my first order if I became an “ambassador.”  So, yea, I just had to take advantage of that.  I ordered the protein muffin mix, a Goin Green Smoothz, and a freezer meal kit.  I waited in anticipation for my package of yummy goodness to arrive.  It took FOREVER!  I guess it had a lot to do with the new year rush and the fact that they’re a newer company, and hopefully that their products were just that good.  I hoped that it was all worth the wait.  I didn’t want to have to search for another company to feed my obsession with baked goods in the morning.  After all, I had gotten the protein muffin mix from “Crave It” on sale AND got the ambassador discount.  SWEET!

Now for the moment of truth.  I opened my package to find gift bags full of mixes, cool looking noodles, a rice mix, and some kind of sauce.  It all looked so…so…time consuming.  Well, I certainly asked for it.  I mean, I just HAD to get that freezer meal kit, didn’t I?  With 5 kids, it’s always a good idea to stock up.  Ok, back to my protein muffins.  I pulled the box out and looked at what I would need to make the muffins.  Bananas…check, greek yogurt…add to list, and eggs.  Ok, that’s doable.  Now, let’s see how they turn out…

YUMMY!  Not too sweet… just right!  Only 5 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein per muffin (or 3 mini muffins.)  One box made 3 dozen mini muffins.  Since they are pretty filling, they should last a while.  I decided to freeze a bag of them for next week to keep them from going bad before I could enjoy them.

 

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The protein smoothie I got was also delicious and really convenient.  They come in individually wrapped bags for ease of use when you’re on the go.  So, when I’m at the gym and I don’t want to spend $5 on a protein smoothie from the smoothie bar, I just shake up my own protein smoothie/shake by filling my water bottle with water and the Smoothz powder.  Delicious and nutritious!  Yum!

 

Order Now

 

Just tried half a packet of this #smoothie mix and it was yummy! http://www.getfitwithcraveit.com

A photo posted by Marissa Schmucker (@mschmucker31) on

Since I love the products so far and I love what the company stands for, I’ve decided to promote the “Crave It” line of products on my blog to support the mission of both “Crave It” and FamFinFun.  We are all about promoting a healthy lifestyle and showing others how easy it can be with the right support and convenient, healthy food options.

*Update 02/01/16:  New for February 2016!  Get the “Crave It” breakfast bundle for only $31.95!!

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If you would like to support our mission and give your body what it needs, without sacrificing flavor, please browse our catalog below and order online here.  You can also enter to win a free packet of Smoothz protein powder here or have an online party.  Want to get 50% off your first order, make money, and help others make healthy choices?   Join me!

Join Our Growing Family Stand Up for REAL FOOD Banner

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Thank you for being a part of our mission to promote a healthy lifestyle!

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Valentines Day Ideas, Savings, Coupons, and Promotions

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VDBanner

Breakfast in Bed

 

Wake your Valentine up with the smell of Cinnamon Rolls and Coffee!  

Get $1.00 off when you use Pillsbury’s refrigerated dough.  

Just click, print, buy, and bake!







 

 

Something Sweet for Your Sweet

You can’t have Valentines Day without something sweet!  

So, grab that box of chocolates or make something special for your sweetheart.  

Get 20% off when you sign up for Russell Stover’s e-mail list!


 

 
20% off Mars Chocolate at Amazon
 
Save $1.00 on Mars Valentines Day Chocolates!  

Brands include M&Ms, DOVE, SNICKERS, TWIX, Milky WAY, and 3 MUSKETEERS (2.0 oz. or larger)



 

 

VdayThumb-LentilCloseupOR!  Customize your M&Ms with MyMMs.com.  

Don’t forget to click through TopCashBack.com first to get 10% cash back on your order!  You can also find other websites that you shop regularly and get cash back every time you shop.  So, don’t forget!  The savings can really add up!

 

Check Snacks and Chocolates Coupons on Amazon.com for more great savings on sweets for your Sweet! 

Make Jello-O Hearts when you save $1.00 on JELL-O





 

The Perfect Gift

Save Money on a Classic!  Valentine Roses


OR Browse a wide selection of gifts on Amazon.com.  Don’t forget to check Amazon Coupons

Date Night

Make a home cooked meal or search Yelp for local restaurants and get up to 90% off.  Don’t forget the Wine!

Set the Mood with Candles and More!

Nothing is more romantic than breakfast in bed, chocolates, a night on the town or snuggled under a warm blanket, and…

the right lighting and the right music.



 

American Express Savings for Valentines Day!

When you use your American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, you can get additional cash back and discounts at the following websites.  *Make sure you login to your online American Express account to add these offers and benefits to your card before using it.

  1.  Teleflora:  Get 30% off
  2. 1800Flowers.com:  Get $15 back when you spend $50 or more
  3. Shari’s Berries:  Get 20% off
  4. FTD.com:  Get 25% off
  5. Godiva:  Get $10 back when you spend $50 or more
  6. Flemings Prime Steakhouse:  Get $25 back when you spend $100 or more
  7. Hilton Hotels and Resorts:  Get $60 back when you spend $300 or more
  8. Ghirardelli Chocolates and Gifts:  Get $20 back when you spend $100 or more (Exp: 02/08/16)

And MORE!  Sign in to your American Express account to view all offers.

 

Get more ideas on Pinterest

Follow Marissa’s board Valentines Day Ideas on Pinterest.

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The Stigma of Direct Marketing

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After having my first child in 2005, I became a stay-at-home Mom.  For the first few months, I was busy with my little girl.  But, after falling into a rather predictable schedule, I became antsy and started looking for a hobby.  That’s when I found candle making.  It was therapeutic and I was actually really good at it.  After perfecting them, I decided to try and sell them.  I even went so far as to rent out a booth at a craft fair to try and sell them.  And, even though I didn’t sell very many the first time around, I was instantly hooked on running a business.

About a year later, I had to accept the fact that candle making and toddlers do not mix.  My little girl was becoming more of a handful and I had less and less time to actually make the candles.  When I became pregnant with my second child, I knew I needed to either give up the candle business or find another way to keep it going.

I never thought of joining a direct marketing company.  That is, until that moment I realized it was the perfect alternative to giving up my business.  I had heard all of the usual stigmas surrounding direct marketing/direct sales/multi level marketing companies.  Most of them stemmed from people that had a bad experience with pushy distributors/consultants that only cared about making money.  But, when I went searching for a company I could trust, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.  I found women, and men, that actually used the product or service they were selling.  I found passionate people that loved the social part of their business just as much as the product they represented.  I found quality products with great reviews and a fan base.  I found a family!

I finally settled on a candle company I could believe in and hit the ground running.  I did shows, fundraisers, and connected with people online.  I bought candles for myself and my family and friends.  They were great candles and I wanted to share them!  I built a team of my own and trained them to just let the product speak for itself.  And it did!  I was doing well, and my team was doing well.  But, as time went on and family life consumed more of my time, the business took a back seat.  I no longer had the time or energy to put into my business and it slowly started to close shop.  I stopped ordering candles for customers and handed over all of my inventory and leads to one of my team members.

Although my team continued to build their own businesses, after a while I stopped getting candles for myself.  I had lost my passion for the product.  I stepped down as team leader and decided to focus on just being a wife and a mother for a while.

Yes, it’s true that many distributors and consultants for direct marketing companies will quit.  But, I’d like to look at it more like moving on instead of quitting.  I learned a lot during my time as a candle business owner.  I learned how to connect with people, generate leads, build a basic website, and how to run a successful fundraiser (I even ran a successful fundraiser in New York from my home in Wisconsin!)  I learned about marketing and social networking.  But, most importantly, I learned how great it felt to build something that was mine.  I learned that hard work can get you places you’ve never been before.  I learned that direct sales companies are a great way to empower people to share their passion, make friends, and become financially independent if they play their cards right.

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Why is Sleep So Important?

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When you have a newborn, a sick child, or you just can’t sleep because your brain won’t turn off, it can be hard getting enough sleep.  But, how much sleep is really enough sleep?  And, how important is sleep really?  Why do we need sleep?  And, what happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

Sleep has been a struggle for me since my first child was born over 9 years ago.  Even after each of my babies started sleeping through the night, it was still hard getting to bed and falling asleep at a decent hour.  So, I’ve been through the effects of sleep deprivation, and it’s really no joke.

Sleep is important.  Not getting the sleep your body needs each night to refresh itself can lead to some serious side-effects.  These are just a few that I’ve experienced.

  1. Loss of Energy:  This, of course, is a given.  If you’re not getting sleep, you’re going to be tired and lack energy.  Depending on the severity of sleep deprivation, it may be difficult to keep moving throughout the day.  Your eyes may feel heavy, as well as the rest of your body at times.
  2. Irritability:  To put it plainly, you’re going to be crabby.  Just like a two year-old who misses a nap, it’s going to be tough keeping your emotions in check.  This can lead to a strain on relationships in addition to feelings of self-hatred and guilt.
  3. Depression:  When you feel tired and crabby all the time, it can be easy to slip into a state of depression.  When you feel depressed, you lose the desire to be social and can isolate yourself from others.  Again, not a good thing for relationships and even worse for your mental health.  This can also lead to a vitamin D deficiency if you’re not getting out of the house.
  4. Weakened Immune System:  That’s right!  Not getting enough sleep can make you sick!  And, everyone knows that being sick can disrupt whatever precious amount of sleep you do get.  So, this can get serious pretty fast if you don’t fix the problem.  No amount of vitamins and/or medicine, as great as those are, will help you out here if you’re not getting that much needed rest.
  5. Loss of Concentration:  Since your body hasn’t been given enough time to rework the wiring in your brain during sleep, you can suffer from what I call a fuzzy brain.  It can be hard concentrating on important tasks when you feel like your head was just stuffed with cotton or you have a few screws loose in there.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body

 

 

So, how do we combat against sleep deprivation?  First, I think we need to look at the underlying causes.  The reason for my sleep deprivation may be different from yours and everyone else, but here are a few of the main ones.

crying_baby

  1. Stress/Anxiety:  This is a big one and it can come in all different forms.  What it really comes down to, though, is how your mind/body is handling life and everything it throws at you.  This was the main one for me this past year, since there are many things in my life I have little or no control over right now.
  2. Responsibilities:  Sometimes it’s a sick child that needs tending to, or maybe it’s a project that needs to be completed.  Whatever it is, you’re responsible for it/them and you’re losing sleep as a result of that responsibility.
  3. Caffeine/Sugar:  How’s your diet?  When you’re feeling tired, it’s easy to reach for that extra cup of coffee and eat whatever is quick and easy.  This is another one I struggle with.  I love a hot cup of coffee with flavored creamer in the morning and I’m not very good at preparing healthy meals in advance.  Still working on this one.
  4. Disorder/Sickness:  Maybe it’s just a stuffy nose keeping you up or maybe it’s a little more complicated than that.  Getting uninterrupted sleep when there’s a battle going on in your body can seem impossible at times.

Now, think about what is keeping you up at night.  Is there anything you can do about it?

Yes!  There is hope! Take Your Pick.

  1. Take a vacation to relieve stress
  2. Write in a journal or pray to empty your brain before going to sleep
  3. Drink soothing tea like chamomile
  4. Cut back on caffeine and sugar and eat a well balanced diet
  5. Sticking to a routine can help everyone in your household sleep better
  6. The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
  7. Cut back on screen time by limiting T.V and computer usage
  8. Get your heart rate up every day and make it fun!
  9. Get out of the house and into the sunshine
  10. See your doctor for more options

 

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