Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Fraud Awareness with the Right Payment

Fraud Awareness for National Fraud Awareness Week

Last week was National Fraud Awareness Week, and there’s no better time to think about protecting yourself. These fraud awareness tips can help.

If you’re cold-called and asked for an immediate decision to buy something, beware. A legitimate company lets you have time to choose.

Telemarketers and Fraud

 

Check the Better Business Bureau to see if a company is listed and its ratings and reviews.

Shop Smart with Recommendations

 

Search for the business online. Legitimate businesses usually have websites and a web presence. Scammers are more likely to change their online name regularly to avoid bad reviews.

Search for Businesses

 

Protect yourself online with virus protection software and by creating strong passwords.

Online Security to Prevent Fraud

 

Don’t open suspicious emails from people you don’t know, and don’t download files from people or sites you don’t trust.

Your Email Safety

 

Pay smart. Credit cards have fraud protection built in, but wiring money, cash, or reloadable cards make it impossible to get your money back.

Don’t always trust free trials, which can sign you up for products you have to cancel to get out of. And sign up for scam alerts from the FTC.

Be Smart About Free Trials

Healthy Summer Melon Recipes

Healthy Summer Melon Recipes

Before they go out-of-season, we’re helping you make the most of melons with these healthy summer melon recipes.

First up is a beautiful crowd-pleaser, a Melon Mozzarella Salad with Basil.

Melon Mozzarella Salad with Basil

 

Whip up these Cantaloupe Breakfast Bowls for a refreshing breakfast.

Cantaloupe Breakfast Bowls

 

Wow when you entertain with this delicious Melon Ball Punch.

Melon Ball Punch
Image and Recipe via Divas Can Cook

 

This Honeydew Melon & Blackberry Salad is the perfect light lunch with friends.

Honeydew Melon & Blackberry Salad
Image and Recipe via Shiny Happy Bright

 

These easy Melon Caprese Skewers are a great dish to bring to end-of-summer BBQs.

Melon Caprese Skewers
Image and Recipe via What’s Gaby Cooking

 

Tasty Grilled Shrimp with Melon, Cucumbers, and Mozzarella makes a beautiful meal.

Grilled Shrimp with Melon, Cucumbers, and Mozzarella
Image and Recipe via Milly’s Kitchen

 

Don’t skimp on dessert with these fresh and icy Melon Granitas.

Melon Granitas

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers Market Recipes

In honor of National Farmers Market Week, we have farmers market recipes packed with fresh fruits and veggies to help you use your in-season summer finds.

This super simple Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss will be a crowd-pleaser.

Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Image and Recipe via My Recipes

 

Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw is a light and delicious summer meal.

Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw
Image and Recipe via Eating Well

 

For rainy or sick days, this rich Andean Potato & Cheese Soup is sure to please.

Andean Potato & Cheese Soup
Image and Recipe via The Kitchn

 

Mix sweet and savory with these Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce.

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce
Image and Recipe via Real Simple

 

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad is the summer lunch you’ve been missing.

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad
Image and Recipe via Cooking Light

 

Use the summer staple to make Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn.

Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn
Image and Recipe via My Recipes

 

Skip the expensive restaurant and make Pepper Steak Fajitas at home.

Pepper Steak Fajitas
Image and Recipe via Health

National Farmers Market Week

National Farmers Market Week

It’s National Farmers Market Week, and it’s the perfect time to try your local farmers market!

Start off by finding a farmers market near you!

Why should you be shopping at farmers markets? Whether you’re looking for great savings, healthy food and fun, or supporting local business, you’re covered.

Why You Should Be Shopping at Farmers Markets

 

To make the most of a farmers market, make sure you’re prepared.

Making the Most of a Farmers Market

 

If you’re interested in getting organic fruits and veggies, farmers markets are a great stop. 

Organic 101

 

After you’ve bought fresh produce at the farmers market, make sure you clean it well.

Cleaning Before Eating

 

Buying locally can be good for the environment and your community, which is just another reason to shop farmers markets.

Shop Local!

 

Afraid to commit to a beautiful ingredient at the farmers market? This tool can help you find recipes based on ingredient.

Perfect Ingredient

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Family Fun Month

Family Fun Month

It’s Family Fun Month, and in honor of it, we’re helping you make exercise fun so you can get moving with your whole family.

Go for pre- or post-dinner walks as a family. They’ll help with your digestion, and walks are the perfect time to explore your neighborhood.

Dinner Walks

 

Crank a record or a playlist, move the furniture, and have a dance party. Music can help cognitive development. You’ll get moving, and you can hand down your favorites.

Make a game out of household chores to improve imagination and get active. Put on capes and have your kids save their toys from the slimy pit of the rug by putting them away.

Clean-Up Made Fun

 

Have a weekly sports night. Go to your kid’s baseball game, play tag or catch in the backyard, or make or buy an exercise deck of cards.

A New Kind of Sports Night

 

Walk or run for charity. Teach your kids the value of helping others and about good causes, and meet people while working out.

Moving for a Good Cause

 

Put kids to work in the yard. Tell them they can only jump in the leaf pile if they help rake and bag them too.

Yard Work Made Fun

 

Garden together! Kids already love playing in the dirt, so have them help you plant a garden and learn about healthy fruits and veggies.

Learning Through Gardening

Healthy Frozen Pop Recipes

Healthy Frozen Pop Recipes

Summer’s winding down, but it’s never too late to stock your freezer with some refreshing and tasty treats with this week’s healthy frozen pop recipes.

First up is a colorful treat, Tropical Coconut Chia Pops.

Tropical coconut chia pops

 

Skip the iced latte with these Roasted Blueberries ‘n’ Cream Matcha Pops.

Roasted Blueberries n’ Cream Matcha Pops

 

Rehydrating Electrolyte Pops are the perfect treat after a day at the pool or working outside.

Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles

 

 

Relive your childhood or excite your kids with these Healthy Fudge Pops.

Healthy Fudgesicles

Healthy Fudgesicles Recipe

 

Dress up your ice pop for adults with these easy Herb-Infused Fruit Pops.

Herb-Infused Fruit Popsicles

 

Have Coconut Lime Pops to feel like you spent the day at the beach.

Coconut Lime Popsicles

 

Ditch the ice cream pint with these Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Pops.

Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yoghurt Popsicles

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Moving to Seattle

My Healthy Journey: Welcome to Washington

It’s been a little while since I mentioned a move. Since then, I’ve trotted across a few more states. (Am I actually insane? Perhaps.) After about 9 months in Indiana, my boyfriend and I just made the leap to the Seattle area in June. And moving has been taxing, as always.

I’d love to say that we planned perfectly to move across the country with ease and grace. Unfortunately, when military bases are involved, like they are for my boyfriend, there isn’t always time for perfect planning.

 In the span of about 2 weeks, we:

  • Found an apartment
  • Packed our old apartment
  • Rented a truck
  • Drove across the country
  • Unpacked
  • Bought and assembled an apartment’s worth of new IKEA furniture

It was more the whirlwind version of moving.

Seattle
I didn’t take this, but I just drove through it for the first time last week. Gorgeous!

Moving Your Whole Life Across the Country Recommendations

Get Help Finding an Apartment

Because we were moving to a state we’d never even visited, we did some research about areas we’d like to live, and then we hired a company to help find and show us apartments in those areas.

Between not having to rent a car on our visit and saving time before and during, it more than paid for the day of him driving us around to a bunch of apartments. And he picked the place we chose in the end.

I cannot recommend a service like this more when moving blindly. It made our lives so much easier.

We also loved our guide and are planning a double date with him and his girlfriend, so win-win-win.

Seriously Consider Movers

We did not seriously consider movers, and we are still a little sad about that. After loading the truck in Indiana, picking up my remaining belongings at home in Illinois, and driving over 12 hours a day for 3 days, my back was out when we got to Washington, and needless to say, it was a really rough way to unload a truck.

My mother was kind enough to come on this journey with us and help, but the 3 of us unloading our floppy king-size mattress alone was enough to make it worth hiring movers. I wish I had a video to prove to you that you should never accidentally bring this fate down upon yourselves, but alas, I do not, so instead, I like to think it looked a lot like this:

Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Combined with the floppiness of this:

Mattress GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

And this small child’s linebacker skills:

Football GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Seriously, hire movers. We will next time.

Splurge and Take Extra Time Off

I only took off a few days for us to drive across the country, and then I hopped back online on Monday. I really wished I’d taken off the whole week.

Poor Matt assembled almost an entire apartment’s worth of IKEA furniture without much help from me while I was working. And it took a lot longer to have any functioning TVs or food in our fridge because I wasn’t available to help.

You will need more time than you thought you would to unpack and settle in a move across the country compared to a state or even just a few miles away. Trust me.

Plan to Grocery Shop

We didn’t plan time to grocery shop early on, and while our kitchen was the first thing unpacked, we couldn’t really use it for about 5 days. We’re lucky to have a grocery store, Starbucks, Panera, Chipotle, and more across the street, so we didn’t live off just fried food for days. But it was still not fun or good for us. 

When you eat every meal out for 8 days in a row, you’ll understand that it’s expensive and exhausting. Plus, you’ll feel really gross by about day 3. So plan to be able to cook or at least throw together cereal or simple salads early.

Protect Your Skin and Hair

Even though our local water board just sent us a report about how great our water is, and I’d been living with extremely hard water in Indiana, better water might still wreak havoc on you.

I’ve had more breakouts in the last 2 months than I did at any point going through puberty or bouts of extreme all-night cramming in college. My normally happy combination skin has taken a full nose-dive into adult acne territory, and my boyfriend’s wasn’t doing too well at first either.

I know it sounds crazy, but Google it. I’m not the only one. Lots of people who have moved across the country or move regularly, like those in the military, have hit this issue.

There are many factors in a move that can take a toll. From the stress of the move, to different water, to adapting to a city without air conditioning and much more sweating than normal (no really, apartments pretty much never have air conditioning in Seattle), to a change in climate, they can all affect your skin. These changes can also be hard on your hair.

My skin’s finally starting to get used to the new digs, but you can save yourself by being prepared. Digging out my normal skincare routine and regularly sticking to it during 2 weeks of moving and unpacking wasn’t high on my list of priorities, and obviously, it should’ve been.

If you don’t take care of yourself during the move, you will regret it later. Wash your face in the morning and before bed, and be prepared to adapt your old routines. You might need a new lotion or conditioner for suddenly dry skin or hair or to change your old products while your skin and hair adapt.

Work on Patience and Understanding

While you’re moving, it’s extremely high stress, and it opens the door to fighting. My mom and I already have the tendency to bicker, but my boyfriend and I are usually very level-headed.

In a twist of fate, my mom and I did a pretty great job, and the bickering mostly bubbled up with my boyfriend, probably partially because we were trying to make serious life decisions on barely any sleep while being completely physically exhausted, all with the added bonus of an extra witness there to see us duke it out.

I’ve had some not-great relationships in the past, which at times made it feel like I had a free pass to be mean if an argument required it. But my current boyfriend is wonderful and one of my oldest friends, and he doesn’t deserve that. As a result, I’ve really had to work on my patience and understanding in the middle of arguments.

One of the best rules I can recommend is don’t fight while you’re exhausted, hungry, or triggered by something else, like work. But when you’re exhausted, hungry, and triggered by moving, which you’re doing all of together, some fights have to bubble up. It’s fate.

Tips to Be More Patient for a Fair Fight 

What you can do is be ready. Try to practice patience with some deep breaths, some gratitude for the other person, and maybe just by embracing the uncomfortableness of what’s going on together.

Then, when you can’t avoid that fight, fight fair:

  • Recognize the other person’s concerns and feelings.
  • Listen, listen, listen.
  • Never mix meanness for the sake of meanness or other issues in your relationship into an argument they don’t belong in.
  • Don’t say things like ultimatums you don’t mean. If what you’re arguing over isn’t a relationship deal breaker, don’t taunt that it is in the heat of the moment.
  • Know your own and each other’s limits. My boyfriend likes to talk things out right away. I like time to cool off so I don’t lash out. We both know that about each other and try to make arguing work for both of us, even when that’s hard to do.
  • Pick your battles carefully and get comfortable with compromise. Instead of arguing over a soap dispenser, wait and find one you agree on because it’s just a soap dispenser. If you don’t really care what color that side table is, but your partner really cares, give them the win. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did after the 800th snap decision you have to make in the middle of IKEA.
  • Always bring it back to a place of love and respect, even while you’re arguing. Never forget that you’re partners in this, even if (when) they’re driving you crazy.
  • Forgive easily. Moving is too stressful to hold every meltdown against the other person, and with a huge move, there will definitely be some meltdowns.

Take Time to Relax

Luckily for us, we got our big move in right before a big vacation to Hawaii, so we had a built-in break about a month after the move.

Hawaii was gorgeous, and having never been that close to the equator before, a great reminder of the value of sunscreen

But you should plan time to explore your new home or get away if you need to, even if it’s only for a date night, a weekend, or a massage.

And don’t beat yourself up over the occasional splurge during this time. If there were ever a time to have some real ice cream or a steak, it’s when you’ve just picked up your whole life and dropped it nearly 5,000 miles away.

And for fun, because, Hawaii…

Appreciate Your New Home

After about a month of craziness, hopefully your new home will be in decent shape. At which point, you need to take a step back and give yourselves a big pat on the back.

This will be the second time I’ve moved across the country blindly, once with nothing but a couple suitcases, and this time with everything I own. It’s scary, and stressful, and so worth it. Don’t forget to appreciate what you’ve built.

I’m finally taking a second to admire my gorgeous apartment in a brand-new building, my wonderful puppies, our gorgeous surroundings, my boyfriend who calmly spent about 10 hours in an IKEA with my mom and I and built like 15 pieces of furniture, and the awesome job that let me move across the country and keep working for them remotely, saving me from a frantic job search at the same time. #Blessed, am I right?

And I live about 25 minutes away from this. Seriously, how can you stay burnt out living anywhere this gorgeous!

Snoqualmie Falls

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