Saturday, July 31, 2021

There's No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home

December 29, 2007

We have lived in this house for about 9 years now and it is still very basic. The curtains that we bought for the house are still gracing our windows, the dining room table used to be a Staples banquet table and now it is a beautiful hand-me-down from our friends the Oz’s. The living room furniture used to be two chairs from our deck and now we have a couch but really not much else has been added in the way of furniture until now….

My husband asked me to sell something for him on EBay last week. I sold it for $350.00 and he was nice enough to tell me I could use the money for anything I want. Originally I was going to apply it to my credit card. Whose doesn’t go up around the holidays? Then I decided that perhaps I should get a new comforter for our bed. It has been 10 years since we had a new one but what could I do with the reminder?

But then…. I spotted this on JC Penny’s site and fell in love with the beachy look of it. The best part was that I had money, it is on sale and they are offering free shipping over $99.00. Could the moons be any more aligned? It is meant to be I just knew it.

I told myself that I would sleep on it and if I still wanted it in the morning I would order it. The next morning I measured again to make sure it was possible for my no wall living space. Where would I put it?

My sister-in-law was over with my nieces and I showed her. She loved it and told me I should order it. I told her that I was thinking about it but where would I put it and her brother/my Teach would probably have a fit because I was bringing more stuff into our house. He has a thing about too much stuff. Not much here but he hates stuff. Mostly he hates my stuff but that is for another post. Because this is supposed to be a nice post.

Today I emailed a picture to Bek  who also liked it.  The Teach came home early and I really wanted to know what he thought. I needed his opinion. He lives here too and he should have some say into what I bring in right? (To T, D, SR, I already know what you would say here).
I showed him a picture and he said without looking; “go ahead it’s your money get whatever you want”.

Ok, typical but I need to know if he likes it. So I leave the screen of my computer up and walk away thinking and also knowing him I know that he will eventually want to look at it but not show me that he cares. I see him look, he walks over to the wall in the kitchen, looks at it, looks at the dining room wall, then says, “go ahead order it and we’ll figure it out when it gets here. Wooot! I am psyched and can’t wait for it to get here. I am so excited to have something beside a couch, rocking chair, TV and dining room table and chairs in these rooms. It will finally look like a grown up home and not like a dorm room.

Thanks for the money honey and for the go ahead! You rock!

Does Active PK Work? I Can't Wait To Find Out!


Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular ways to lose extra pounds and burn excess body fat and I have been doing this for a year now. I started last July. It took me about 2 weeks to get use to skipping breakfast as that was something I have eaten since I was a kid. My boss tried it and lost 30 pounds and has kept it off by sticking to it. We are years apart where she is in her 30s I am in my 50s. It hasn't worked for me as it did for her.  I definitely feel more energetic and better but I can't tell you I have lost pounds. I have friends who tell me I look like I have lost weight but my clothes tell me differently. Maybe the weight is just distributed differently because I hear it often. Not a bad thing to hear when you are trying to lose but since I don't get in scales It would be hard to know. I have to go by my clothes and there is no difference. I have not gone done a size but I think as long as I feel good, that is a good thing. 

The goal of fasting is to send cells into autophagy but skipping meals isn’t the only way to boost this natural process. LCR Health designed Active-PK with two of the most powerful AMPK-boosting compounds, Berberine and Gynostemma leaf extract, to help reduce belly fat, boost natural energy and reduce cravings. Active-PK has no caffeine, no synthetic additives, no dairy and is in vegetarian capsules.

I have been using Active-PK for a little under a month. This is what I can tell you.

After taking Active-PK I have feel less hungry during my 16 hour fast.  I definitely have energy, don't mind taking the two recommended pills every day and believe their website to be informative. 

Praying that it does work and that the difference in my body is more noticeable to me. I will report back.

Here is how it works (from the LCR Health website)

How does Active-PK™ work?

This formula contains 2 of the most powerful AMPK-boosting compounds ever discovered — Berberine and Gynostemma. These plant extracts are proven to help your body trim abdominal fat, boost your endurance, and “crank up” your metabolism by maintaining healthy AMPK production.123

Active-PK™ also harnesses the power of Quercetin — the AMPK-kickstarter that makes superfood “super” — to help support high energy levels, optimized brain function, and a slim waistline.456

It is really hard to say if it is working as far as reducing my belly fat I wish I could say it is. I do not eat a lot but at almost 55 it is really hard to lose weight.  

I will continue for another two months as it is recommended that you order a three month supply. The only down side to this weight loss program is that the bottles are expensive. HOWEVER it it works, it is worth it. 

Every morning I take 2 Active PK Supplements when I wake. I start eating for the day about 10:30 AM and end at 6:30 PM not eating again until the next day at 10:30.  You can do any 8 hour window you choose, make it work for your schedule. It's is easy to do and doesn't take long to get in the groove. I wish you luck. 

For more information on LCR Health and Active PK visit their website. 

What is the Difference Between Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse?

The many terms used to describe substance abuse disorders and addiction can be confusing for many people. Terms such as drug abuse and addiction are commonly used interchangeably. As much as the aim is to communicate a specific message about substance use and its effects, there are noticeable differences that you should know. Certain variables differentiate drug addiction from drug abuse that you should seek to know and understand. 

Drug Abuse

When describing a milder form of harmful drug use, the best term to use is drug abuse. With drug abuse, there is always an association with the impacts and effects that come along. The best definition of drug abuse is the long-term use of controlled drugs that can harm a person’s health and affect their family and the community. 

Experiences that Suggest Drug Abuse

  • Constant legal issues caused by substance use
  • Physical damage or infliction of pain or discomfort to anyone else by a person under the influence of unspecified drugs or substances
  • Failure to meet requirements and executing tasks at home, workplace, or school by a person who is usually capable
  • Continued use of drugs, even with the understanding of its effects and impacts on the people around you. 

Effects of Drug Abuse

As much as people argue the effects of drug abuse are not as harmful as addiction, there are still several negative impacts that come with it. As much as drug abuse can be short-term, its effects can be progressive, especially where control measures are not in place. It is through drug abuse that one develops addictions. There are still social, financial, and health implications that come with drug abuse. Drug abuse changes a person’s attitude and view of the world around them. It also leads to poor decision-making, impaired judgment, lower inhibitions, and an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases and other health issues.

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is far more severe than drug abuse. An individual develops a chronic disease accompanied by a physical, emotional, and psychological need for drugs and substances with addiction. With addiction, the body develops tolerance to specific drugs and dictates you provide more of the substances with the same effect. 

Characteristics of Drug Addiction

  • Continued use of a specific drug or substance despite the negative consequences and impacts on the people around you
  • You experience severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when you stop drug use abruptly.
  • The feeling of weariness and helplessness every time you try to stop using drugs.
  • Lower performance and productivity levels.
  • Frequent relapse

Effects of Addiction

The effects of addiction are widespread and expose drug users and the people around them to dangers. An addict is susceptible to mental and physical health issues that can get worse as time goes by. The effects of addiction are long-term, making them a concern. The best way to handle addiction and avoid related consequences is through seeking professional medical help from rehab and addiction treatment centers.

Addiction has harmful effects on an individual's mental health and can lead to depression, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. These mental health issues can take a big toll on the recovery efforts if not properly addressed.

Addiction can also have irreversible effects on individual physical health. The effects can be irreversible with the harm that addiction has to an individual’s liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs. Addicts can experience kidney failure, liver failure, collapsed veins, respiratory problems, cancer, stroke, HIV/AIDS, or heart attack. When you visit, you will learn more about the health effects of addiction on a person.

As much as some variables differentiate drug abuse and addiction, their impacts are harmful to everyone in the community. Finding ways to handle drug users and addicts and mitigate these effects is the best decision that one can make. With the availability of treatment in rehab facilities, taking care of such a situation becomes easier.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Back To School This Year: Provide Emotional Support!

 Back-to-School Survey: 39% of Teens Feel They Are Behind Educationally Due to the Pandemic; 34% Needing “Emotional Support” This Coming School Year


Junior Achievement Survey Also Shows Teens Needing Individual Attention from Teachers to Help with Learning


 Colorado Springs, CO – A new survey of teens conducted for Junior Achievement by the research firm ENGINE Insights shows that nearly 2-in-5 (39%) feel that they are behind educationally because of the pandemic. Of those, more than a third (37%) feel they are behind permanently. The survey also found that in addition to attending school in-person and interacting with other students and teachings, many teens (34%) need “emotional support” from teachers, parents, counselors, and other caring adults to help their “mental well-being,” as well as more individual attention from teachers (32%) to help with their learning. The 2021 survey of 1,003 13- to 17-year-olds was conducted by ENGINE Insights from July 8 through 13, 2021. 

“These results indicate that the pandemic may have a profound and long-term impact on today’s young people, not just academically, but emotionally,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, President & CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “It’s up to all of us, educators, parents, caregivers, counselors, mentors, and youth development professionals, to do what we can this school year and beyond to give young people the support they need.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • A third of teens (34%) have concerns about attending school in-person this year, compared to two-thirds (66%) who have little to no concerns. 
  • COVID-19 impacted the way education was delivered for nearly all students. Most teens (56%) rated the quality of education during the pandemic as “fair/poor,” while the rest (44%) rated it as “excellent/very good/good.”
  • Teen interest in participating in online-only classes in the future was split down the middle, with nearly half interested (46%) and almost half not (48%).



This Youth CARAVAN survey was conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS among a sample of 1,003 13-17-year-olds. This survey was live on July 8-13, 2021. 

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. It is nationally representative with set quotas based on census data. The 1,003 completes are all who qualified and completed based on the demographic quota requirements. The MoE is +/- 3.1%.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 3 million students per year in 104 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit for more information.

Monday, July 26, 2021

What is Assisted Living Care?

 As people grow older, their independence becomes of more importance to them. Most seniors state that losing their independence is one of their biggest fears. Most seniors prefer living in their own homes for as long as possible, and it is reasonable. They love their independence, and moving to a nursing home means losing all that independence. 

But the sad reality is that as seniors age, there is an increasing need for more specialized care and assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs). One of every five seniors above 85 years in the US requires ADL care and assistance. But how do they receive such care and assistance while enjoying their freedom and independence? By utilizing the services of assisted living facilities. 

What Does It Entail?

Assisted living care refers to specialized and personalized assistance given to seniors in a community setting. Care allows them to live well and independently while enjoying the peaks of their golden years. They get to retain their independence and have all the fun they want as long as it does not endanger them. It is the perfect setting for those seniors who require certain ADLs or health and well-being support. Assistance living facilities offer this type of care following the state regulations.

Besides, this type of care is flexible enough to leave room for seniors to live a healthy lifestyle which entails socialization and fun activities. Most care revolves around bathing, dressing, and grooming, using the bathroom, and managing medications. Other activities such as housekeeping, laundry, cooking, transportation services, and social activities are communal. The staff takes care of such things for the whole community. The staff also provides security.

Does Assisted Care Differ from Nursing Homes?

The short answer to this question is yes, it differs. Assisted living care is not similar to nursing homes in that the level of care and independence is different. The key differences are:

  • In a nursing home, the residents have full-time care provided by a professional nurse or a medical staff, while in assisted care, there is only assistance for professionals on activities of daily life. Nursing homes are good for people who require either long-term or short-term high-level medical care, while assisted care is best for people who only need assistance and care with ADLs
  • In nursing homes, independence and freedom are minimal, and only allowed hobbies and activities are allowed. On the contrary, assisted living facilities offer their residents assistance and care, but they do limit their independence and freedom in any way as long as they don’t harm themselves. Assisted care is great for seniors with minimal needs who want to maintain their independence. 

It is important to note that assisted living care facilities offer staff availability all round the clock. If a community member requires any form of care or support, they will receive it regardless of the time. Furthermore, these facilities allow seniors to carry their items and furniture to make the place feel like home. Doing so helps with psychological preparation and allows them to ease into the community with ease. 

When moving in, residents are assessed to determine the level of care they need. It helps with personalizing their service plan. The service plan is effective because it allows every member to receive proper care without fail. Some facilities also offer memory care to their residents, depending on the licensing. Others offer specialized dieting from members with special nutritional needs to ensure their health is optimal. 


Assisted living care refers to professional help and assistance offered to seniors with their activities in daily life. These activities include bathing, grooming and dressing, using the bathroom, and medicine management. It allows seniors to maintain their independence during their old age while receiving the special care they require.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Types of Lung Cancer Treatments


Lung cancer is one of the risky cancer types which any person may suffer from. There are several types of cancers, and the choice of cancer treatments is also many. However, treatment options can be applied only when the disease is detected at an early stage. Then, an oncologist can evaluate the current state of the disease and recommend the best treatment plan. Therefore, it is vital to know that the condition of the patient and the stage of the disease are vital aspects in determining actual treatment.

Identifying at an early stage

Any form of cancer has an available treatment to help during the situation. For example, lung cancer is associated with high pain levels that can cause discomfort; suitable treatment can relieve the condition to a significant level. Therefore, it is essential and crucial to identify the status before cancer spreads past the lungs. This brings relief to patients since the treatment is available and effective in curing lung cancer.

Enhancing survival condition

In the majority of cases, when lung cancer is detected, it may have spread to a significant extent. For such cases, the treatment options given to patients are not meant to cure cancer: the plans are meant to relieve the patients from pain, suffering, and discomfort. On top of this, the treatment options guarantee an increased survival chance for a cancer patient. Services from a reputable lung cancer treatment Newport Beach facility prove to be helpful to patients. Some of the popular options for lung cancer treatment comprise lung surgery, chemotherapy, clinical trials, radiation, and varying targeted therapies.

 Lung cancer is a chronic disease: it occurs due to uncontrolled growth of cells considered abnormal in the body. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. The right lung cancer specialists in suitable hospitals are the key to effective treatment.


Fire Safety Priorities In Apartment Buildings


All apartment buildings need to make fire safety one of their biggest managerial properties. Here are some of the most important things that apartment buildings need to do to have effective fire safeguards.

Test the Alarm System Regularly

The location of a building as well as its size and number of occupants may determine how frequently it has to undergo a testing of its alarm system as a matter of code compliance. Tests should include an evaluation of whether smoke alarms are loud enough to alert residents in their units.

Assure That There Is Sufficient Sprinkler Coverage

If any areas of a building are lacking sprinkler coverage, the company operating it should confirm whether it is in compliance with both code requirements and does not offer less protection than newer buildings. While some installations in older buildings are problematic, this is not always the case. For the most part newer buildings need to be fully sprinklered as a matter of law. For help with the installation of fire sprinklers California, work with a company that has experience working on projects of various sizes.

Test Sprinklers as Needed

Buildings must assure that their sprinkler systems are functioning properly. It will likely be necessary to test sprinklers one floor and a time, and fire protection companies typically need to drain tanks before testing them. The building alarm may sound as a building tests sprinklers. However, it may be possible to coordinate with the alarm company so as to avoid having the alarm sound as you work through every floor.

In addition to the main priority of protecting residents, apartment buildings have to be vigilant about fire safety in order to protect the property itself and avoid major liability issues. Failing to follow best practices with regards to life and safety plans could be the cause of a serious fire, extensive injuries, and considerable damage.


5 Tips To Stay Grounded

Now more than ever, it is crucial for individuals to find ways to bring harmony, peace and alignment to their mental and physical well being in healthy, uplifting ways. Grounding is the perfect solution for those looking to improve clarity and focus while restoring energy and promoting alignment. 

Amelia Vogler, grounding expert and energy medicine specialist, highlights how the practice of grounding can help improve focus, clarity and productivity - something we’re all struggling with right now.

Grounding is not just a spiritual exercise, but also a highly practical one that can improve anyone’s ability to focus, be clear-headed and even get more done. When you’re grounded, you’ll feel more at peace with yourself, more patient with others, and balanced when tackling what the day throws your way,” says Amelia Vogler.

Here are Amelia’s top 5 quick and easy grounding tips:

Tip #1: Find your feet 
Spend some time getting reacquainted with your posture. Grounded, safe postures start (not surprisingly) with the ground. Feel your feet on the ground and let the Earth come to you - then bring the Earth into you and fill yourself with that energy. Try walking barefoot on the ground - this helps reconnect you with mother nature and your connection to the earth.

Tip #2: Find your breath
Try a full-body breath. Focus on connecting your breath to your feet. Everyone has their own unique breathing pattern which can be expanded on. Learn to breathe deeper and focus that breath down into more parts of your body, including your feet. This helps remind us that we are more than the mind, and that we have support underneath us (literally and metaphorically) at all times.

Tip #3: Get moving
Think of the difference between a lake that is fed by a stream versus the one that sits stagnant.  The lake fed with moving water remains clear and balanced whereas the lake that has no flow gets congested and murky.  Take some time walking in nature, or even a few extra rounds around the kitchen island and keep the energy moving in your body.  

Tip #4: Drink water
Nothing can live without water, including you.  Water nourishes your cells and it also acts as a conductor for electricity in the body.  Did you know that the brain uses electricity and chemicals to communicate? Ensuring proper hydration can actually keep your mind thinking clearly and your body running optimally.  Water helps you to regulate your temperature; keeps oxygen and nutrients moving through the body; and energetically speaking channels vitality throughout the tissues of the body!

Tip #5: Call a friend 
There is nothing more grounding than a deep and enriching conversation with a good friend.  Yes, we are all coming out of our COVID isolations a little shaky in the sphere of communication, and no better time than to pick up the phone and invite a friend for a walk outside (or a walk and talk, if they live somewhere else) and share heart to heart.  If you are curious about a good ice breaker, try the question, “What did you learn most about yourself during the pandemic?”  

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

3 Fun Date Ideas


It's no surprise to anyone that dating is stressful. Do you usually overthink what to do and fall back on the old classic of dinner and a movie? That can get old after a while, and you aren't really getting to know someone while watching the latest film about a superhero. With just a bit of planning, you will find yourself going on dates that help you get to know the other person while having a lot of fun. 

1. Take a Class

Do you enjoy cooking? Do you want to learn the foxtrot Jacksonville FL? Perhaps there is something that you have never tried to do before but are interested in learning. If you can think of it, there is likely a class for it being offered in your community. Check with your date and see if there is a class that they are particularly interested in taking. If you are worried about the cost, some libraries and hardware stores offer their classes for free. 

2. Play a Game

Experts believe that playing games are a fantastic way to get to know someone. Choose a lighthearted game, and don't get too competitive if you can help it. If you aren't sure which game to play, think about going to the store together and find a new one. If you have been together for a while, perhaps play a game where you see how much you know about each other. You might find that you learn a lot about yourself and your partner in the process. 

3. Sing Karaoke

You might immediately think that singing karaoke is off the table if you feel you don't have an amazing singing voice. The best part about karaoke is that it doesn't matter! Of course, there will always be aspiring singers that try to build a fan base, but most people go to karaoke bars to simply have fun. Worry about having a good time and not about your voice. 


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Easy Hacks to Make Your Next Camping Trip More Enjoyable

Summer is in full swing, and that means late nights spent in the great outdoors! Camping can be stressful though. That’s why TheSoul Publishing posted a new video on their popular YouTube channel 123 Go! full of DIY tips and tricks that make camping more enjoyable. These are some amazing tips and I saved all 3 videos.

  • Hoping to eat eggs for breakfast but unsure of where to store them?Simply crack all of the eggs you plan to use on your trip into a bowl, mix them up, and pour them into a plastic bottle. Then, when you’re ready to cook, just squeeze out your desired amount onto the skillet!
  • Tired of blowing on your fire to get it to start? Create a DIY air pump with two plastic bottles, and never worry about getting your fire going again!
  • Out of clean water? In a bind, you can filter dirty water through gauze, charcoal, sand, and rocks to ensure that your drinking water is clean and free of debris.

Best Season for Roof Replacement

Roof replacement is a major decision that should not be taken lightly, regardless of the size of your property. You want to make sure you hire the right roofing contractor, that the roof is put correctly, and that the weather cooperates with the installation. Roofing Professionals state that the greatest time to replace your roof is in the fall!

Rain, snow, heat, and humidity can affect many aspects of your roof replacement. The speed with which your job is finished may be affected by the weather conditions. Aside from the weather, it would help if you also considered the simplicity with which you can secure a position on the roofing crew's schedule, as their availability varies substantially.

We'll examine the advantages and disadvantages of the two most common roofing seasons so you can decide which is ideal for you.


The change in weather creates an ideal opportunity for roof replacements. The optimum time to replace your roof is in the fall, and here's why:

  • Temperatures that are pleasant to work in for both the crew and the shingles.
  • Timing of Mild Weather
  • Temperatures range between 45 and 85 degrees, providing better working conditions for roof installers and allowing them to finish your project on time. 

Since some storm seasons are still in effect, fall may bring more precipitation than summer, but rain delays are less likely to be a concern the earlier in the season you start. 

Perfect weather, with low humidity and little rain, gives your shingles the time they need to seal before the snowy months arrive.

Difficulties of Roof Replacement in the Fall

With ideal roofing weather conditions in the fall and homeowners' last chance to mend their roof before winter sets in, this is normally a very busy time for roofing contractors. Since summer is such a busy season, summer jobs frequently run over into the fall months, which means your roof may not be replaced quickly. 

In the summer and fall, installers can work longer hours with fewer weather day delays, allowing jobs to be completed faster than expected and the contractor's replacement timetable to stay on track.

If you're thinking about having your roof redone in the fall, make sure to start planning at least a month ahead of time. Contact roofing contractors like for a price and to get on the schedule so that your position is guaranteed for this busy season.


With plenty of sunshine and longer days, summer is the most popular time to replace your roof because there is a greater chance of clear weather. Summer is a good time for roof replacement because the weather is favorable most of the time, and when it does rain, it's usually late afternoon.

Summer Roof Replacement Drawbacks

The conditions will not be as favorable during the peak of summer. Extreme heat might make working conditions impossible as the roof is much hotter than the ground. Also, the choice of materials, like asphalt shingles, may be impacted by the heat, causing damage or significantly reducing durability.

Due to the popularity of summer, getting a short scheduling turnaround time will be more difficult. The delay between the inspection visit and the work starts may be much longer than in other seasons.

Fortunately, though, you can replace your roof anytime throughout the year, but Spring is often wet but less booked, while winter is unpredictable but presents more availability for contractors.

Final Thoughts 

As long as you hire the ideal professional contractor such as, all seasons are game for replacing your roof. It's advisable to speak with a roofing professional to establish which season would be best for your property based on the roofing material you desire.

Easy Steps for Earth-Friendly Picnics

It is summertime and thankfully we are starting to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and can safely celebrate the season of picnic parties with friends and family. Before you head out and stock up on throwaway picnic staples, like plastic cups, plates, utensils, napkins, take a minute to tune up your eco-friendly lifestyle and learn how to ditch needless plastics.

As we eat, drink and be merry, there’s no need to fall back into wasteful habits and trash our planet with needless single-use plastics, according to Sandra Ann Harris, the author of Say Goodbye To Plastic: A Survival Guide to Plastic-Free Living. Here are a few tips from her book to help you reboot your picnicking habits.

Step #1: Ditch the Car

Reduce your carbon footprint and pick a picnic spot you can walk, bike, boat, or get to with public transit. If that’s not possible, carpool with friends.

Step #2: Pack Reusables

Bring reusable picnic blankets and decorate tables with washable tablecloths instead of disposables. We love adding a little extra joy to our celebrations with candles, fresh-cut flowers, or found objects from nature in our table arrangements.

Step #3: Shop Local

Shop at your local Farmer’s Market or produce stand for a local and organically grown menu. Great produce makes the chef’s job super easy! Think simple. Finger foods like cut fruits, nuts, or local honey and peanut butter sandwiches are simple and nourishing for all ages. Also, some cheeses, like Brie and Camembert, are lovely softened in the sun and spread over fresh baked bread.

Bonus tip: Make your own beverage and serve in a pitcher. That way you don’t have to deal with all the cans and bottles.

Step #4: No Excuse for Single-Use

Too often outdoor celebrations generate excessive waste because organizers are concerned about using breakable tableware outdoors and the hassle of cleaning up. One idea is to ask picnickers to BYO dishes, water bottles or cups, cloth napkins, and utensils. If that is not your style, pack a sturdy cardboard box with reusables to share with your guests. We suggest stainless steel picnic plates, assorted reusable utensils, cotton washable napkins, and mason jars or stainless steel cups.

Step #5: Clean Up Responsibly

Have bins or boxes for recycling, compost, and waste clearly marked and available for use by your guests. If you hiked or walked in, make sure to pack out all your waste. If you are in a park that does not offer recycling or composting, take it home and use your own compost and recycling bins.

Step #6: Make It Happen

Celebrate the joy of making a difference and knowing that, as Gandhi said, “Action expresses priorities.” Let’s be green and act green while picnicking!

“A little planning goes a long way when it comes to avoiding a ton of trash during picnics,” said Harris, whose company ECOlunchbox specializes in reusable stainless steel containers that work great for outdoor entertaining. “It might sound like a ton of work to pack reusables for your events, but doing the right thing for our planet is a team sport.”

About the Author

Sandra Ann Harris
 is the founder and president of ECOlunchbox, a mission-based consumer products company. Her passion is protecting the oceans by reducing people's dependence on plastics. ECOlunchbox, a certified B Corporation and California Green Business, innovates and sells high-quality, plastic-free food container solutions. She has a diverse background in business consulting, product development, investigative journalism, and digital marketing strategy along with her work in the non-profit sector for a humanitarian aid organization. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her family.

# # #

Written by Sandra Ann Harris
Foreword by Dianna Cohen
978-1-57826-860-3, $15.00 paperback
978-1-57826-861-0, $7.99 eBook

Published by Hatherleigh Press.
Distributed through Penguin Random House.
Available wherever books are sold.

9 Ways of Raising Awareness on Drugs and Substance Addiction

 In the U.S, almost 20 million people live with addiction. Therefore, it is essential to have drug and substance awareness campaigns to educate people about the dangers of addiction and stop stigmatization. The national governments and aid organizations are at the forefront in fighting the rising drug pandemic. However, members of the community should also join the fight since they are on the ground.

How To Sensitize The Public About Drugs and Alcohol Use

Getting Knowledge of Drugs and Substance Use

It's best to learn about addiction before raising awareness. Look on the internet, books, or interact with professionals who know about addiction. Get knowledge of signs and symptoms of addiction, treatment options, and prevention measures. You can share that information with drug users on the streets or through social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Share a True Story

If you are a reformed addict, or you know of a friend or a relative who overcame addiction, you can share that story with a person struggling with addiction. People like listening to true stories since they give them hope. Open up to them and answer every question about addiction. Refer them to for the best drug and substance treatment and counseling services.

Get Involved in Your Community

People who live together know each other best. So, reach out to your neighbors or workmates who may be struggling with addiction. Most people fear seeking treatment due to stigmatization. Be kind to them and assure them of discretion, and they will likely open up and accept treatment. A problem shared is half solved, and that is the start of the healing process.

Join Campus Awareness Events

Most people start abusing drugs while in colleges and universities. Take part in awareness events, help young people stop taking drugs and alcohol, and tell them of the dangers of addiction.

Donate To Organizations Dealing with Addiction

Most organizations depend on charity to fund their campaigns and other types of assistance. One of the common places you can donate any time is the National Council on Alcohol and Drugs Dependence and support its mission.

Become a Professional

If you feel the push to continue helping people out of addiction, you can turn your passion into a career. You can either enroll as a drug counselor or any other related profession. Through that, you will use most of your time assisting patients and earning a livelihood.

Learn Treatments Methods

Some cases of mild addiction can be treated at home without the help of a professional. On the other hand, severe cases require inpatient or outpatient treatment. By learning various treatment options, you can help an addict through their detox programs.

Inform the Authorities of Drug Cartels

Drug dealers are the major hindrance to the fight against addiction. These people are after making money without considering the effects of their actions. It's essential to report them to local authorities and face the law.

Participate in Recovery Month

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration set September as a recovery month to create awareness about drugs and substances. Join the campaign and help spread the message to the community. In most cases, these messages emphasize drug prevention measures and treatment.

The use of drugs and alcohol is on the rise, especially among the youths. It's therefore essential to join hands in the fight against drugs and alcohol to help save the next generation. An area with a drug prevalence experiences increased insecurity, deaths, and school dropout cases. Addiction is a sickness like any other, and addicts shouldn't be stigmatized in the community. Instead, society should embrace them and assist them in getting treatment.

Ready or Not, Here's Your Sibling – Introducing the New Baby

Has there ever been a time in your life when a new employee started in the workplace and they made you nervous? Or have you ever welcomed a brother- or sister-in-law into your family and it didn’t take too long for them to start cramping your style? 

For both, it’s not because they’re bad people. It’s just that … well, they need to go away because you had a good thing going and they’re messing it up!

Your kid(s) might feel the same way about the announcement of a new baby.

“Dropping the news of a new family member is never easy,” says Zuzana Boehmová, a writer for the New York Times. “Your child faces a change in status, either as an only kid who becomes a sibling, or as a part of the hierarchy in the case of multiple children.” While speaking with experts on this topic, she found that anxiety around the announcement is nearly universal. 

So what’s a poor parent to do when they have to break the news to an only child that they’re about to be “the oldest” or a group of siblings whose dynamic will change with the addition of another kiddo?

Total honesty: There’s a chance it will be awkward and tears will be involved. But what’s new with kids, right?

Here are some tips on how to work with your kids before, during, and after the birth of their new sibling. Believe me, these are some great tips. Passing it on to you and everyone I know.


Before the Birth

From the moment you see the positive pregnancy test until the baby arrives, you have lots of decisions to make about telling your other children about their new baby sister or brother. 

It’s a big deal, for sure, but try to be as level-headed and natural as you can when you share the news with the children. “Rather than making it into a big, serious sit-down-talk moment (the ‘we are getting a divorce’ vibe), try to introduce the subject naturally,” says Boehmová. 

And while you might think showering your kids with extra love and attention before the baby comes is a good idea, shoot for dependable, steady parenting. “Regardless of their age, when children feel tension or change, they interpret it to themselves: If my parents work harder to make me happy, perhaps something bad happened or is about to happen,” says Galit Nahum Leumi, a psychotherapist and family counselor.


The age of your children plays a big part in how you share the news with them, too. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following:

  • Kids 2 and younger – There’s a high likelihood kids this age won’t have a clue what it means to have a new sibling. Help them grasp the concept by talking about the baby a lot and looking at picture books about babies and families. You can also wait until later in the pregnancy to tell them. Until they see mom’s belly growing, they aren’t going to understand that anything new is occurring. (Make sure to be the one to tell them, though. A neighbor or relative asking them if they’re excited about being an older sibling before you’ve had the chance to talk with them isn’t ideal.)

  • Kids 2 to 4 – This is the time when jealousy could kick in. Toddlers are VERY attached to their parents, and a tiny screaming newborn coming in and taking the attention away isn’t something they may feel naturally excited about. Help temper that hesitancy by getting these kids involved in baby preparation: take them shopping, have them “help” setting up the baby’s room, and give them a doll or stuffed animal that they can practice holding or changing diapers on..

  • School-age kids – Older kids aren’t immune to jealousy. Thankfully, their ability to communicate will make it easier to talk through their feelings and frustrations. Do all the things you’d do with toddlers, but one step higher in terms of involvement. This is also the time to point out the perks of being an older sibling, e.g., later bedtimes. You can also tell them about their new sibling earlier on in the pregnancy.


The First Visit

Announcing the pregnancy to your children is anxiety-inducing in itself, but many parents stress more about the siblings meeting for the first time. The desire for that Instagram-worthy moment where the older siblings angelically rock their new sibling and kiss them on the forehead is SO strong … and also highly unlikely. 

“Don’t have high expectations,” says Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development at Columbia University and author of "How Toddlers Thrive." “Some children are very excited. Some children completely ignore it or worse.”

Don’t have the photo op before everyone is ready. Ignore what you’ve seen other parents do on the internet or in your personal news feeds. This is your family. Do what’s best for everyone involved. If mom is still in pain from giving birth, wait to bring in the older siblings until she’s recovered. If the older sibling(s) are tired or in bad moods, wait until they’re feeling better to introduce them to the new addition. There’s no rule that says family photos must be taken within six minutes of a baby being born. 

Try and let the older kids have some fun before and after meeting the baby. If they’re staying with relatives or a babysitter, ask them to bookend the baby meeting with a visit to the movies, their favorite food place, or playtime at the park. A fun-filled day can help set the tone for when they meet their new brother or sister. 


A little bit of choreography is essential to that first sibling meeting. This is not the time to wing it. Andy Netzel with Fatherly suggests the following steps:

  • Put the baby in a bassinet, not in a parent’s arms. That could send the jealousy vibes flowing right off the bat. (“That’s MY mom! Get out of here, baby!”)

  • Offer the older sibling(s) a present from the new baby, but only if you think it will encourage affection toward the new baby. If you think your child is the type that will feel pressured to accept the new sibling because of the present, hold off. The older sibling may also see the new baby as an endless source of gifts, which is a bad idea for your bank account. As Boehmová hilariously puts it, “It might not be wise to introduce a baby with magical spending powers into the house.”

  • Don’t put too much stress on the whole “big brother/sister” status thing. Because so much of the focus in the coming weeks and months will be about how adorable little things are, this may come to feel like more of a demotion than a promotion. 

  • Very little needs to be accomplished in the first visit. Regardless of how the siblings interact, they’ll have their entire lives to get to know each other.

Keep in mind that, if you’re having your baby in a hospital, it may NOT be the best location for your kids to meet. If hospitals are stressful for them or if coordinating such a visit adds lots of stress to your life, have the first meeting at home or another location where everyone is more likely to be in a good mood. 


Adjusting After the Birth

Once everyone is home, real life begins. Everyone will naturally adjust to the new bundle of joy over the next days, weeks, and months, but here are some ways to help things along.

  • Have siblings help – Keep giving your other kids age-appropriate tasks that help with the baby. Singing to them, holding them, and throwing away dirty diapers will help them feel involved and will give parents a much needed break. 

  • Ask for help – Speaking of help, don’t forget to ask for it! Especially if this is your second child, the experience of raising two children simultaneously can feel overwhelming at times. Reach out to family and friends for help when you need it, and don’t feel bad about it for a second.  

  • The other kids don’t magically become adults – Your other kid didn’t magically gain new skills when their new sibling was born. “Often there is the expectation that a 3-year-old will suddenly be composed, patient, and start dressing and eating on their own,” says Galit Nahum Leumi, a psychotherapist and family counselor. 

  • Regression happens – Sometimes children regress or act younger after their new sibling comes home. This is a totally normal reaction to the stress of a new sibling and needs tolerance, not punishment. With a little love, attention, and time, they’ll come out of the regression all on their own. 

  • Don’t separate everyone – Sometimes, in an effort to avoid jealous behavior altogether, parents will keep the baby away from their sibling(s). That’s not productive or helpful for anyone. Do as much as you can with and around each other, including breastfeeding, playing, and eating meals. 


Give It Time

Like any big family change, each member will respond to the addition of a new baby in their own way and adjust accordingly. Tears and jealousy are natural parts of this process, so don’t feel distraught if the process is rocky. Your new baby being a part of the family is a wonderful miracle … and their siblings will realize that eventually.