Thursday, December 8, 2016

Partner With Your Dog For Fitness

As the new year approaches, we all start the dreaded list of resolutions for 2017. Even if we are happy with our lives, there is always something that we want to improve, or that we’d love to change about ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world. It is not uncommon that elements such as ‘do more sport,' ‘lose some weight,' or ‘be more active’ end up on the list of resolutions, as modern society has made us very sedentary. When one thinks that we only need a few clicks to order dinner or get a home cleaner, it is not surprising that we, as a society, have become less active. If for the new year you want to inject some sport back into your life, here is our ideal guideline of how to do it and make sure you stick to it. In short, how to plan workout with your dog.

Why Team Up With The Dog?

Dogs are notoriously playful, so if you are looking for a motivated partner in an outdoor activity, you can bet that your dog will always be happy to go outside and play. This is half the battle, when at least one of you is ready for a run! You can count on your dog for not cancelling on you at the last minute, which is its way of supporting your fitness resolution for 2017. Besides, you can easily combine your daily walk outside with some fitness activities, not only does this kills two birds with one stone but more importantly, this is an excellent way of creating a deeper bond with your darling pet.

How To Prepare For Outdoor Fitness With A Dog

Once you are convinced that you could happily get fitter with your dog, you need to consider all the preparation process before being ready to go out and play. First of all, a health check is essential at this stage: Book an appointment with a doctor to get yourself checked for anything that could represent a risk as you are planning your outdoor workout. This could be weak articulations, hay fever, asthma, etc. Make sure that you are well prepared for all eventualities, and that you have all you need at hand. For example, being asthmatic doesn’t mean that you can’t do any sport, but you will need to pack your inhaler with you. You will also need to book a similar checkup for your pet at your local vet. Do ask as well for flea treatments, such as frontline flea for example as your dog is likely to catch parasites when being outdoors.

What Outdoor Activities Are Best Suited?

Many think that the best outdoor activity with a dog is a workout jog, and even plan running routes in advance. However, this is an agenda that is difficult to keep if you are not a runner. There are plenty of sports that you could practice with your dog and that don’t involve jogging. If you live by the water, you could go surfing (, for example. If you enjoy ball games, you could train your dog to play ball with you; many dogs love throwing back the ball with their nose, and this is guaranteed to keep you fit. Or why not going swimming? The possibilities are infinite!   

Surfing dog by Unsplash

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Budget Nights Out: How to Have a Great Time Without Breaking the Bank

We all love a good night out. We love to spend time with friends and family, we love to attend parties, and we enjoy meeting new people to socialise with. It’s part of our human nature to engage with others, so it’s understandable that we spend a lot of money each week on nights out to buy alcohol, food, and even gifts.

However, it's a cost that can add up and make huge dents in our weekly budget. Drinks cost incredible amounts of money at fancy bars (or even your local pub) and the food is even more expensive. Add in the cost of entry fees or taxi fares, and you’ve got a weekly expense that’ll leave your wallet crying. Instead of splashing out all the time, take a look at these money-saving tips to help you get the most out of your money.

Image Source: Pexels

Set a Cash Limit

Instead of carrying your card with you, carry cash. When we carry around our credit or debit cards, it’s easy to lose count of how much we’re actually spending and we could easily go overboard. With cash, you have a set limit and you can’t go beyond that. Just keep in mind to save money for the journey home—you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of the city!

Split Taxi Fares or Designate a Driver

Getting to and from the venue can be expensive. The best way to avoid extortionate taxi fares is to drive there yourself or split the cost with your friends. However, just keep in mind that you should never be drinking and driving.

If you designate a driver, then make sure they don’t touch a single drop of alcohol before they drive. If you plan to stay at the venue for a long time, then the driver can have a few drinks—just make sure to let the alcohol’s effects fade before leaving. There are excellent DWI resolutions available if you ever get caught with driving with high blood alcohol content, but it’s best to make sure it never happens in the first place.

Image Source: Pexels

Have a Few Drinks Before Going Out

The most cost effective way of getting into the mood is to have a couple of drinks before you head out. The idea is that you won’t need to buy as many drinks to get tipsy (or drunk) when you’re our. Buying alcohol from a supermarket is far cheaper than the expensive venues that charge ridiculous prices You’ll be making huge savings by having a couple of pre-drinks. Just make sure you aren’t completely wasted before heading out—you might as well stay home at that point!

Stay At Home Instead

Speaking of staying home, how about not heading out at all? You could have an excellent night in with friends and family, some takeaway pizzas, and a movie or some video games. You won’t meet anyone new (unless you throw a party instead!) but you’re going to get the same fun as heading out to an expensive bar. You’ll save loads of money by providing your own entertainment, and you can buy lots of drinks at the supermarket for the same price of a cocktail in a club.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DIY Mosquito Control Methods

DIY Mosquito Control Methods

Mosquitoes can breed in just an inch of standing water, meaning that they can stay in many areas around your home. When there are many mosquitoes in your compound, you need to get rid of them. Here are several ways to do that at home:

Remove empty containers

Start by cleaning out the empty containers in your yard and storing away buckets that are not in use. If your dog must have water in the backyard, make sure that you change it at least once a day. Do you have other containers that must stay outside? Make sure that you punch holes in them to drain water.

Cut your grass and trim your bushes

During the day, these annoying little creatures like to rest in tall blades of grass or in shrubs found in a warm, shady area. When you trim your grass, you will be depriving mosquitoes of a resting place. Moreover, you should rake up any leaves that fall down.

An overturned leaf has the ability to hold enough water for mosquito eggs, giving them a place to wait it out.

Check your rain gutters

As branches, leaves, and other debris often plug gutters, water usually accumulates in them instead of draining out. To avoid this, you should clean your gutters regularly in the summer. If you leave water standing in the gutters for more than a week, mosquitoes will end up laying eggs in them.

Look after your pool

You should keep your pool water clean and chlorinated. When not in use, make sure that you drain and cover your pool – the same should be done for collapsible and wading pools. Any decorative items such as ponds or birdbaths should be refilled with fresh water at least once a week.

You can also choose to stock your pond with fish that eat mosquito larvae.

Fill in low-lying areas

Any depressions in your yard can hold water when it rains or after you water your lawn. Without the right drainage, water will stay in these depressions and give mosquitoes a chance to breed. You should consider installing a drainage system or just add sod and dirt to the depressions.

There is no guarantee that cleaning up the breeding sites will keep mosquitoes at bay. They can always choose a different breeding ground and fly into your yard. Because mosquitoes only feed several hundred yards from their breeding ground, the above measures will certainly help.

Natural mosquito control

If the DIY mosquito control methods do not work for you, you can use biological means to get rid of them: predatory fish, bacteria, and plant repellents. Here are some of the animals that you can keep:

Mosquito fish
Fish such as The Gambusia are surface feeders that will eat larvae and mosquito eggs by the hundreds. If you have 48 surface feet of water, a dozen Gambusia will do the job of getting rid of mosquitoes. This breed of fish is hardy and can survive in stagnant water.

Although dragonflies may look scary to humans, they are only dangerous to mosquitoes. Their larvae usually feed on mosquito larvae while the adults feed on adult mosquitoes. If you want to attract dragonflies to your compound, create a safe and comfortable environment for them.

You can create a small pond that is deep at one end and shallow at the other, with vegetation growing out of it and flat rocks encircling it – this will work for attracting dragonflies. However, if you do not want to get your hands dirty, contact a mosquito control New Jersey based company to get rid of the mosquitoes for you.

Simple Tips For Staying Healthy All Year Round


When it really comes down to it, our health is pretty much all we have. If we aren’t in good health, then it affects everything from our ability to work, even have relationships, or simply live a normal life.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of ourselves daily. It’s not just the bigger things like diet and exercise that are crucial to staying healthy, although those are obviously very important, but actually it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference over time so you can ensure that small things don’t turn into bigger things.

It’s also important to remember that, although things like colds and flus are more common in winter, they can strike at anytime of the year, so it’s a good idea to be constantly working to stay healthy and keep a strong immune system to protect against nasty colds, flus and viruses all year round.

Below are some seriously simple tips for you to help you maintain a healthy immune system no matter what the time of year is bringing to everyone else.

Plenty of sleep:


Although you may not feel like you need the recommended amount of sleep each and every night, it definitely makes a difference to your health overall when you get at least 6 hours of sleep daily. You’ll be more energized during the day, have better concentration, less likely to be distracted when carrying out important tasks, such as driving or cooking, and because your body is recharging whilst sleeping, then your immune system is given a good boost, too. If you’re able to, and you feel like you might need it, then it’s also recommended to take at least one 20 minute power nap during the day. Studies have shown that this boosts energy levels and productivity levels dramatically. It’s also been shown that people who get as close to the recommended daily amount of sleep are less at risk for major illness, such as heart attacks and strokes;

Cut off sugar:


Unless you’re completely dedicated to the cause, really are willing to give up certain things and go on a pretty strict diet to completely eliminate sugar from your life, then it honestly isn’t the most realistic or easiest thing to do. That doesn’t mean that you can’t cut back on it or at least eliminate it partially. It’s actually pretty crazy just how much sugar we consume on a daily basis - mostly without even realizing it. Nutritional information on a lot of products can be quite confusing in terms of how it’s worded, so a lot of things that contain quite a bit of sugar are things you wouldn’t expect. Sugar is not only responsible for causing dental problems that require you to make an out of hours phone call to an emergency dentist at, but is consistently linked to other major illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a shocking rise in childhood obesity. Most things are fine in moderation, and a little sugar here and there is okay, but in order to stay healthy, try to cut back on this as much as possible. If you can’t live without the sweet taste it brings, then look for healthier, natural alternatives;

Stay hydrated:


The best thing you can give your body for hydration is water - it is, after all, the source of life itself. Though, as much as I love water and try to drink as much of it as I can each day, the taste is obviously quite boring when that’s all you drink. Other things you can use to stay hydrated are green tea, matcha, which is a very pure green tea in powder form, but known for its amazing health benefits and the fact that it helps boost energy levels more than coffee. Also snack on foods that have a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, and grapes - or simply add some fruit to a jug of water to give it some flavor.

Cut back on alcohol:


Much like sugar, cutting out alcohol completely is not a lifestyle choice that suits everyone, but that doesn’t mean your health needs to take a beating because of it. Go easy on the alcohol and enjoy it in moderation. Make sure you drink plenty of water in between drinks, and don’t over indulge just because everyone else does - especially over the Christmas period and during celebrations. If you do decide to completely cut it out, then it’s to be admired, but be aware that, due to the society we live in, most people won’t understand your choice. Just stand firm and be happy in the knowledge that you’re putting your health first, and that while they’re nursing a hangover, you’ll be doing far more productive things.

Monday, December 5, 2016

5K Runs and Walks in Kansas City: Westport St. Patrick's Day Run March 11, 2017 #StPatsRun

YES! A race right up our lazy homeschooling Irish alley! My family of 7 has been looking for a race we can walk together and this one might be it ... with a start time of 10 a.m. instead of the usual butt crack of dawn like other races, you just might find us there!

Here's the deal: before I was the homeschooling writer mom of 5, I used to love to walk all the time as a stress reliever and to stay in shape. Walking is something you can do as a parent anytime, but now that my youngest is 7 and my oldest is 15 (and driving!), it's a lot easier for me to fit in time for my own fitness. Over the winter I walked some at the gym on the treadmill and track. Now I can walk the neighborhood or the field at the school by my house if my danged IT band is not making me cry. For now I walk in my OOFOS sandals because they are the most comfy thing I have ever worn and work perfectly for summertime. When it's cold I walk in my Brooks that I get at Elite Feet in Leawood. Mention my name and I get a $10 credit!

Here's the info on the upcoming Westport St. Patrick's Day Run.

What: 39th Annual Kansas City Track Club's Westport St. Patrick's Day Run

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: 4050 Pennsylvania in empty restaurant space, Westport in Missouri (Irish Mecca)
Check the link (above after WHAT) for more info!
P.S. I get my info from the fabulous KC Running Company website.
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