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Get Ready For Flu Season at Sam’s Club with a Sick Basket

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

Cold and Flu Season is coming, make sure you’re ready for it before it starts by stocking up on medicine and supplies at Sam’s Club while getting your Flu Shot! 
A mom friend of mine once told me about her “Sick Basket” and we have created one in our house every year since!  It’s a basket or bin that you fill with all the supplies you will need when someone inevitably gets sick.  We tuck it away in the linen closet and then pull it out when we need it, this is the best feeling when that icky feeling strikes in the middle of the night!
I’m sure every family has their own list of favorite things that make a bad cold or even worse, the flu, more bearable.
Everything in my basket is conveniently available at Sam’s Club.  With 5 people in my family, we get sick!  I love being able to stock up on everything I’m going to need at Sam’s Club and forgetting about it until it’s needed.
In my Sick Basket I keep:
1) Hard Candy, for sore or dry throats.  I like caramel candies because they remind me of my Nana but many people prefer cough drops.
2) Tea, I love curling up with a hot and steamy cup of sleepy time tea when I’m under the weather.
3) Antibacterial Wipes, with a household of 5 the germs get passed along quickly.  I like to spray down remotes, door knobs and everything else that we touch often.
5) ChapStick, for when your lips get extra dry and under your nose get red and sore from too much wiping.
6) Tissues are a must.
7) Hand Sanitizer also helps clean up hands quickly while also disinfecting them.
8) A Thermometer is also an important thing to have quickly assessable.  Before keeping our in our sick basket, I used to lose thermometers all over the house which made for the crazy middle of the night searches too often.
9) A Water Bottle with a cover is also great for those days your couch-ridden.  I like to put a tablespoon of Honey, Lemon Juice, and a Table Spoon of warm Coconut Oil in my water when I’m sick for a little immune booster.
10)  Dog Walking Bags (or diaper trash bags) for stomach aches.  These make for cheap, easy, and disposable barf bags!
11) Medicine!  The best way to feel better faster is with a good quality cold and flu medication to relieve those miserable symptoms.  Vicks is a trusted brand in our home and when the hubby or I am sick we like to use DayQuil and Nyquil for relief.
Get Your Flu Shot
Visit your Sam’s Club Pharmacy today, to get your flu shot, it’s easy and convenient because they accept walk-ins! No appointment, no problem!
Every year up to 1 in 5 people get the flu in the US and more than 300,000 people were hospitalized with flu-related complications in the 2015-16 flu season.  These are scary statistics, so I want to do everything possible to keep my family from getting the flu.
Are you a Sam’s Club member?  What’s your favorite thing to stock up on at Sam’s?

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5 Great Products and Tips to Make This Thanksgiving Extra Fun and Easy!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com all opinions are my own.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week!  This year is certainly flying by, but I’m excited to share some great products and tips to make this Thanksgiving extra fun.

Let someone else take care of the centerpiece this year, and let it double as a dessert!  Order one of these awesome fall arrangements from Edible Arrangements.  I love sending Edible Arrangements as a way to say thank you or for special occasions like birthdays, but ordering one as a centerpiece for my family is a great way to cross some decorating off my to-do list and I get to enjoy the beautiful yumminess!  They can be ordered up till 11/22, the day before Thanksgiving!


We received the Salted Caramel Harvest Bouquet™ with Orange Swizzle Berries® which includes Salted caramel apple wedges, Chocolate dipped strawberries with festive orange Swizzle®, Playful pineapple leaves, Chocolate covered pineapple “apple”, and additional grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe in a keepsake pumpkin container that can be used again.

You can use one of these awesome coupon codes to save this holiday season:
Code: THANK17
$10 OFF $39+ ($49 for CA) valid 11/13 – 11/22, unlimited use, for fulfillment any time.
Code: FEAST
$20 OFF $99+, valid 11/13-11/22, unlimited use, fulfillment any time.

Skip the dirty dishes and get some canned beverages everyone will love.   Sipp Sparkling Organics has an amazing line of refreshing sparkling beverages that everyone in your party is sure to love.  I received a couple of these to try, and immediately went out and purchased more for myself, they are so delicious!  There are 6 flavors to select from and these are delicious chilled on their own or mixed with other juices or cocktails.  Created with a blend of fruits, herbs and agave into a lightly sweetened sparkling beverage.

For alcoholic beverages, choose a signature beverage or two for the day, to keep the bar stocked up easily.  Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist from Blue Barn Publishing has countless ideas for excellent low calorie cocktails.  Holistic health coaches Beth Ritter Nydick and Tara Roscioli bring a clean-living mindset to craft mixology. Their recipes use low-calorie spirits, fresh juices, clean sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, and anti-inflammatory spices.  Plus many of the recipes have pitcher sizes, which is perfect for holiday entertaining!  I can’t wait to create the Strawberry Limeade for my family and friends, this is one of my favorite cocktails ever!

Don’t forget your four legged family members!  Get them some extra yummy and nutritious snacks from Solid Gold!  Just in time for Thanksgiving, Solid Gold has came out with a new line of cat and dog treats featuring the flavors of your holiday dinner.  Brady loved these superfood chewy dog treats that combine flavors of turkey, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon!  They deliver a texture, smell, and taste in nutrient dense reward for dogs of all sizes.  Brady has been eating these up, and it looks like we found his new favorite treat.

Put the giving back in Thanksgiving with Petlanthropy.org a unique way to help animals in need!  The Petlanthropy Foundation was founded with only one goal, to help give all homeless cats and dogs a loving forever home.  This is a great cause to donate to during the holiday season, and all year long.

 

All these products awed certain to help you entertain your guests with ease, so that you can focus on giving thanks, making memories, and gathering around the dinner table!

Our Thanksgiving Morning Tradition

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Our Thanksgiving Morning Tradition

As a little girl, I remember waking up to a call from my Nana every Thanksgiving morning, asking if I was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  My mother always hosted Thanksgiving dinner, however, Nana would arrive in the morning before Santa made his way down the streets of Manhattan.
I hold these memories close to my heart, and that is why I made sure to keep the tradition alive with my own children. 

We started another tradition a few years ago of spending Thanksgiving in Charleston, South Carolina with my brother and our parents.  We rent a large house on Kiawah Island and enjoy some family time, yet we still wake up every Thanksgiving to watch the dazzling floats and Character Balloons fill up the screen.

This year marks the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Macy’s has added some epic performances to the opening of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It will feature an all-star cast of celebrities all singing and dancing together in a performance of Dancin’ in The Street!  Also, as part of the first hour of festivities, Gwen Stefani will perform White Christmas at the Bryant Park ice rink!  New York during the holidays is always a breath-taking sight, while I wish I was one of the 3.5 million spectators that will be lining the streets of Manhattan, I’ll have to settle for being one of the 50 million people watching from the home, and cozying up with some coffee and my munchkins sounds just as good.  I can’t wait to see these performances though!

Make sure to tune in at 9 a.m. ET to watch the new opening of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Do you remember the first time you tuned in to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? What about the parade do you look forward to most each year?

3 tips for Eating Healthy during the Holiday Season

This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

It can be easy for many of us to lose track of our healthy eating goals during the holiday season.  With so many sweets and processed foods at every holiday party and event, along with the cravings that can come with the colder weather and holiday movies, it can be hard to resist the foods we normally say no to.

Here are my 3 tips for Eating Healthy during the Holiday Season

Eat something before you go to a holiday party.  If you and your family show up to a holiday function with empty bellies, your more likely to over eat all the tempting treats available.  Instead, eat some fresh fruit or a salad before leaving home, so that you are less likely to over eat at the party and are still getting in some nutritious food.

Eat what is best first.  When you head to the buffet you’ll likely find a table full of veggies, bread, sweets, and turkey.  Eat the veggies and turkey first, and save a little room to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Make your own treats for home, and to bring to holiday functions.  A perfect way to make sure you have a healthy option to eat is to bring one, and keep the foods your family is going to be wanting at home.  Instead of eating a piece of pie that is full of sugar, pastes, and ingredients we don’t know about, my family makes a simple apple pie.  We cut up a few apples and mix them with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey, cook the apples for 10 minutes while making an easy pie crust.  Then use the apples as the filling and bake the crust.  This gives us a delicious sweet treat that I feel better about feeding my kids.
We eat apples like this without the pie crust quite often for a quick and easy sweet treat.

Holiday Spirit of Giving

My kids love to cook with me, and I am blessed to be to have the resources to cook healthy meals with them.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for too many!  Nearly 16 million children live in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year.

However, 4-H Food Smart Families targets families that are eligible for or receiving SNAP/WIC and is helping create more food secure homes by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.  
This includes two components, equipping youth and their families by empowering them to make healthy living part of their everyday lives and helping them with things such as cooking skills and food budgeting skills.  While also connecting families with nutrition assistance resources in their community.  Knowledge is power, and this is gives families who are struggling to make ends meet, the knowledge they need to be able to feed their families well.

Since 2011, United Healthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states!

The goal is to continue to test the 4-H Food Smart Families program in select states.  With the end goal of replicating and expanding the program across the entire country.

 

How You Can Make HIV History!

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here.

Make HIV History!

HIV seems like it should be a thing of the past.  I remember as a child born in the 80’s, the fear people had of the unknown.  People feared contracting the disease from sitting on toilet seats and even being in the same room as an HIV positive person.  Looking back, I can’t imagine how these people must have felt, it’s heart breaking.
I was part of the generation who learned as a young teenager, what living with HIV was like from watching Pedro Zamora on Th Real World.  He put a face and many facts to a disease that had our parents scared of something we couldn’t quit understand.  However, decades have passed since that strange and scary period in time, we know so much about the disease, and yet according to UNAIDS 7,000 young women still contract HIV every week!

After over 30 years HIV is still here, it may not be on TV everyday or the topic at the dinner table, but it is still here and taking lives at a staggering rate.  In 2016, 1 million people died of HIV-related illnesses globally according to the World Health Organization.

Some of the Facts according to the CDC and UNAIDS:

Young people make up 20% of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States.

People between the ages of 13 and 24 accounts for over 1 in 5 HIV diagnoses.

400 children contract HIV everyday globally with 290 children dying of AIDS related illnesses every day.

30% of people globally who are HIV positive don’t know it.  The vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low and middle-income countries.

Visit the Johnson and Johnson Make HIV History page to learn more and create your own video for HIV awareness!

Learn more about the facts about HIV at:
https://www.jnj.com
http://www.jnj.com/progress
http://www.amfar.org

These facts are scary, luckily, treatments for HIV have improved, and are continuing to get better.  At this year’s Global Citizens Festival Johnson & Johnson announced a possible HIV vaccine that they are developing!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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