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Archive for January, 2011

50% Off Meal Planning Central! Wow

January 27, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

When I heard that my online friend Christine Steendahl aka “The Menu Mom” and owner of Meal Planning Central was holding this special, I almost didn’t believe it — but it is true!

As you know, I am a huge meal planner and I often pass along tips to you about how creating a meal plan can save you time, energy and money and most of all it gets the entire family to the table fuss-free!

Well for one week only (from today until next Wednesday, February 2nd) you can grab The Meal Planning System for half off. Yep, 50% off of the price for the whole shebang.

And if the 50% off savings isn’t enough to make you run and grab this deal, she is also tossing in 8 free bonus gifts worth $178!

Take advantage of the 50% offer by clicking the link below:

Meal Plannning Central 50% off Sale

Gym Free Fitness

January 24, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

Here you will find plenty of gym free fitness ideas that you can use. There are many people who either just don’t like going to the gym or simply just cant afford it.

(ARA) – Fitness should be fun and affordable. It should not be boring, time-consuming or costly. Make your exercise routine a bit more exciting this year with some fitness activities you can do without an expensive gym membership.

Sports hoop your way to slimmer shape — The thought of hula hoops probably conjures memories from your childhood, but the fact is hula hooping is a great fitness activity. Sports Hoops are large, weighted fitness hoops that adults use to tone and lose weight. These affordable hoops are easy and fun to use, and can help you lose weight.

If you’re a certified personal trainer looking for something new and exciting for your clients, consider attending a certified trainer program where you’ll learn the knowledge and tools to facilitate your own fitness hoop class and instruct personal training sessions. 

Try a new activity you’ve never done before  – There’s no better way to get your blood pumping and your body moving than trying something you’ve never done before. Always wondered what it’s like to rock climb? Sign up for a class, or see if your local sports store has a free rock climbing wall. How about trying ice skating, surfing or even acrobatics? If a new activity is a little intimidating, you may not want to do it alone. Ask a friend to do it with you and you’re sure to get a great workout and a wonderful memory. 

Join a walking or running group   Walking and running are great gym free fitness physical activities that burn calories and tone the body. Discover the parks and neighborhoods around you by planning regular walks. Consider finding a walk/run buddy to keep you motivated. Or, look online to find walking and running groups that plan regular outings and offer a supportive, team environment.

Join a sport — Remember how much fun it was to play sports growing up? Adult teams can be just as fun, providing great exercise and camaraderie. Does your work or church group have a softball team? Maybe your friends like to bowl and you could form a bowling team. From broom ball, tennis, golf and more, team sports keep the spirit of healthy, friendly competition alive.

Visit your library and request workout DVDs – The library is a great community resource and it can also help keep you in shape. Because checking out books and DVDs is absolutely free, the library is the perfect place to research new types of exercise to spice up your normal routine and it is a great gym free fitness idea for anyone.   Try searching for Pilates, yoga and aerobic DVDs. You likely can request them to be sent to your preferred pickup location too. Some books and DVDs are geared toward specific age groups, so teens, adults and even seniors can find appropriate workout inspiration.

You can take advantage of any of the above gym free fitness idea to help to keep you in shape and feeling great!

Additional Gym Free Fitness Resources:

HealthFitCounter – This handheld nutrition and diet device can be used as a calorie calculator with any dietary program and can be customized to fit any individual’s specific diet needs.

The Weight Loss Diet eBook – The Original Negative Calorie Foods eBook. Try negative calorie foods & diet to lose that extra fat to attain a slim & fit body. This will ensure a healthy, happy and long life.

Get Fit While You Sit - 36 Exercises you can do almost anywhere, anytime.

Step by Step Cellulite Reduction Plan – An Easy to Understand, Step by Step Cellulite Reduction Plan That Will Have You Saying Goodbye to Cottage Cheese Thighs and Hello to Sexy, Slimmer Legs!”.

Stretching Your Dollar Starting Today

January 21, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Organization No Comments →

If you are looking for way to start stretching your dollar, then you’ve come to the right spot. Here are Four ways start stretching your dollar in 2011

(ARA) – The beginning of a new year is a great time to do some self assessment and figure out how you can make the next year even better than the last. It’s also a logical time to take a look at your family’s budget and figure out how you can make your money go even further next year.

Since you’ll soon be digging into your financial records in order to file your taxes, why not take a little extra time to set a budget and identify some areas where you and your family can save a few dollars? Here are four simple ways to get more for less this year:

Stretching Your Dollar Tip #1

Take an inventory of monthly expenses. It’s always a good idea to take a look at your regular expenses at least once a year to see if there’s somewhere you could be saving. Maybe you are no longer bound by a cell phone contract and could get a better deal elsewhere. Or perhaps it’s time to reevaluate insurance options. It could also be something as simple as evaluating how often you dine out or stop for a gourmet coffee and changing your habits to save a few dollars by cutting back.

Stretching Your Dollar Tip #2

Let the coupons do the work. While clipping coupons might seem like a thing of the past, it’s easier than ever to save using coupons. Coupons can be found in traditional places like the newspaper, as well as online, often from the manufacturer’s website. Another place to look is right on the packaging of your favorite products. For instance, where available in certain retail store locations, Procter & Gamble is currently offering coupons for other P&G brands within specially marked products from Crest, Pampers, Olay and Charmin, among others – with coupon values up to $80 in savings when they are all used.

Stretching Your Dollar Tip #3

Save by using the Internet. By signing up for e-mail newsletters from manufacturers and local businesses you can access special offers that you might not be able to find elsewhere. For example, you can sign up for regular notification of promotions for products you use every day at www.pgeverydaysolutions.com. Following businesses on Facebook and Twitter can also help alert you to special offers.

Stretching Your Dollar Tip #4

Develop a grocery shopping routine. Plan weekly meals and shop accordingly. If possible, find out what items are on sale each week at your grocer before making the list, so you can take full advantage of the sales. Stock up on nonperishable items when they are on sale.

With a few changes to your shopping and spending habits, you may find yourself with a healthy chunk of extra cash next year that you can either stick into savings or spend on something special as a reward to your family. You can use one or all of these tips to start stretching your dollar today!

Additional Resourses

Living Within Your Means – The Easy WayLearn Realistic Ways To Find $100, $300, $500 or More a Month In Your Paycheck You Can Use To Pay Your Bills and Quickly Eliminate Your Debt Or For Any Purpose You Choose”

Budget LivingDiscover How to Live on a Budget & Save More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible – Without Giving Up All the Things That You Love!

Single Parents Cash And Sources Guide - Single Parents! Get the cash you need to relieve financial distress. 82 Page Directory of cash sources for single parents.

 

 

 

Save Money on Meals

January 14, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

In these tough economic times, many people are lookign to save money on meals. Here is a great article all about how to save money on family meals.

(ARA) – Ah, family dinner time. A meal lovingly prepared and family members gathered around the dining table sharing stories from their day. While a special meal is a time-honored tradition, the planning, time and the cost involved may leave some without an appetite.

Many shoppers are on the hunt for affordable and simpler shopping routines and they are looking to save money on meals. Regardless of whether you’re planning a holiday feast, a birthday celebration, or just day-to-day meals throughout the year, it’s easier and more cost effective if you go into grocery shopping prepared.

Consider these tips from national grocery retailer Save-A-Lot before your next shopping trip and save money on meals:

Plan for several meals rather than just one -Many grocery shoppers make the mistake of only planning for a big special meal when they can cut time and cost by planning for several. Decide ahead of time how your family might want to use leftover meat or veggies from the meal, and buy extra ingredients to extend your meal into the following week. For example, if during the holidays your family craves the leftover turkey sandwiches as much as they love the big roasted bird, be sure to stock up on bread, mayonnaise, mustard and lettuce in advance.

Create a weekly meal planner -This is a good idea year round, but it’s especially helpful to do so during holidays when your schedule gets more hectic. Think about what you and your family members typically consume each day. If there is a particular food item or meal idea that your whole family enjoys, make sure to stock up when it is on sale. Ask each family member to pick a meal for dinner. Make contingencies such as quick and easy lunch items for kids who may be home during a school break, or snacks for visiting family members.

Visit grocery store websites for tools and deals -Grocery retailers frequently offer tips and tools for meal planning, as well as exclusive online bargains. This is your chance to really save money on meals. Check to see if your store is offering discounts in exchange for signing up for their shopping clubs year round. For example, Save-A-Lot offers a $5 coupon for signing up for its Smart Shopper Club.

Take advantage of store brands -Many grocery stores offer their own private brands of foods and everyday items, and frequently these items are of equivalent quality as more expensive national brand names. By using store brands, you can save a little money on your grocery bill and splurge on something special, such as a celebratory dessert. Store brands are great for helping to keep your weekly grocery costs down.

Keep track of ingredients to replenish - You’ve got everything laid out to make chocolate chip cookies, but you forgot to buy the baking soda – nothing is more frustrating than having to make a return trip to a store. Keep track of ingredients you frequently use in your cooking. Then, as soon as you use up an item, immediately add it to your ongoing grocery list. By the end of the week, not only will your shopping list be complete, but you won’t be stuck in the store trying to remember what is or is not in your cupboard. You also won’t be tempted to buy something you don’t need. What’s more, be sure to use measuring utensils so you don’t use more ingredients than necessary – which can be costly to your family’s waistline and budget.

Eliminate shopping hassles - Grocery shopping can be a time-consuming hassle, especially for busy, on-the-go families. Some retailers offer discounted, everyday prices that can help eliminate the need to map out complicated store-to-store routes, or navigate through a maze of aisles to find the best deals. Save-A-Lot’s stores not only deliver savings of up to 40 percent, compared with conventional grocery stores, but also feature, small, efficient formats designed for a quick and convenient shopping experience.

With these few simple tips, you’ll not only save money on meals by saving at the grocery store, but you’ll have more time to enjoy cooking and celebrating with those you love.

For more tips, visit Menu Planning Central – and learn the quick and easy way to get dinner on the table and enjoy more quality tim with your family.

How To Organize Bills and Mail

January 12, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Healthy Living, Organization No Comments →

When people start to organize their home they can easily become stumped when it comes to how to organize bills and mail in order to keep paper clutter to a minimum. It is easy within the shuffle of life to forget about a bill here or there. This article will focus on several different ways that will show you how to organize bills and mail and reduce the clutter caused by paper at home.

The first thing that needs to be done when looking at how to organize your bills and mail at home is to sort through your mail every day and collect the bills and set them aside. This only takes a couple of minutes and you want to strip away everything that is not needed…including all the advertisements normally inside.

When you’re done with this, you should make sure that you only have the actual invoice and return envelope left. This will cut down on the amount of extra paper that can get mixed in with your bills every month.

Your bills need to be kept within a specific place within your home. This is important because if you have bills floating through different rooms, you will not know when they are due and what bills still have to be paid. Put the bills in one specific spot every day after you have sorted the mail.

You might want to use a monthly spreadsheet as far as what need to be paid and that yes…the payments were made.

Knowing this information when you sit down will cut down on the amount of time needed every month and will be good so that you can come back to the bills weekly instead of making it a daily task.

With the demands on our time and energy today, it can be very hard to know what has been paid and what hasn’t been paid so the spreadsheet will be a friendly reminder for you. You should also have one person who normally does the bills because having two different hands in the pot can make things difficult to accomplish.

Finally, when keeping up with how to organize bills and mail, you may want to see whether or not you can build this into your weekly routine. Maybe you spend half an hour or 45 minutes on a Sunday balancing your checkbook and paying the bills. This will reduce the amount of time that you need every month to potentially pay bills because it is happening on a weekly occurrence.

Hopefully this article on how to organize bills and mail at home has given you some insight into some different methods that you can use. Remember that this is an ongoing process and you cannot just be organized with the bills by doing this exercise once a month. Work on this daily with the mail and weekly with the bills and watch how much easier it is when your bills are organized.

Remember that it only takes a couple minutes a day to keep yourself organized. This will cut down the amount of stress that you can potentially feel each month and you will feel much better in the long run from doing this.

To find out how to get organized and put these strategies to use right away, visit The Definitive Guide to Home Organization for Busy People today and get started.

Creative Science Fair Project Ideas

January 10, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

Many adults can remember racking their brains as kids trying to come up with creative science fair projects that were excting and fun to do in school. Well, the same holds true for our children today.

Each year, children search for creative science fair projects to do. Science Fairs are annual events where students are encouraged to design and carry out scientific investigations. At some science fairs, students also compete for various levels of recognition.

Whether or not your children win recognition or go on to compete at a state or national competition is not the focus. What is important is that your children believe in their greatness by experiencing small successes along their journey. Also, it is in the practice of science that they learn to approach life’s challenges in a systematic way. This is what this event is really all about.

Last year, my son Isaac came up with the bright idea to test potatoes and compare how they collect bacteria. He used 2 potatoes, cut them in half then rubbed one on his hands, another in dirt, one on the floor and yet another on the toilet seat. He then placed them each in individual zip lock bags and waited a few weeks while tracking his findings. The fact that his creative science fair project idea was fun and very interesting to do…. I didn’t have to do much prodding when it came to encouraging him to finish it.

Many science fairs projects take a few weeks to complete and with other school and family obligations the best student can get overwhelmed, hit a “roadblock” and cannot seem to stay on track or even finish their project. The fun and creativity comes to a hault.

I found a great resource that was filled with wonderful creative science fair project ideas that has been a help to my son over the past 3 years durign the Science Fair Months. 101 Easy Science Projects a great resource for home school parents who are looking for inexpensive ways to demonstrate different scientific principles to their children. 101 Easy Science Projectscontains over 100 science experiments that are geared for grades K to 12 so you can use it year after year and keep gathering creative science fair project ideas. Grab your copy today! It is written in simple terms, can be downloaded instantly after payment AND comes with a money back guarantee!

Secrets of an Organized Mom

January 05, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Organization No Comments →

Stressed out mothers and many others want to know the secrets of being an organized mom. They may wonder if being organized as a mother with children at home is even possible. Rest assured, moms – it is possible to have an organized home and a life which runs smoothly – at least some of the time.

Secret Number 1

‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’ Determine the best place to store things and ensure they are put back when not in use. Doing this will help you know where to find something the next time you need it.

Purchase multiples of some items which are used in different rooms. For instance, if you use scissors in the kitchen and in the craft room, it would be a good idea to have two pairs of scissors. Teach your children early on where things should be kept and expect that they will put them there.

Secret Number 2

Create routines to help your day run smoothly. A smooth-running morning begins by having a great routine and doing as much as you can the night before. Go through the children’s school bag to find out what needs to be signed, or write important dates on the calendar. Make lunches the night before and keep them in the refrigerator. Have your children bathe and choose their clothes. Place everything that needs to leave the house by the door so nothing is forgotten.

Make routines for other parts of the day as well. The more you can get your family used to doing without thinking about it, the better organized you can be.

Secret Number 3

Purge often. The more ‘stuff’ you have, the more disorganized you can appear even if you really aren’t. Children outgrow clothing and shoes so quickly. Unless you have children who will grow into clothes, get rid of what is outgrown. However, don’t throw everything away. You can sell clothing, toys and shoes at consignment stores, on the internet, at yard sales or you can donate them to charitable organizations.

Go through your own things as well. If you’re not using it and haven’t in quite a while, someone else might be able to use it.

Secret Number 4

Ask for help if you need it. There’s a saying that ‘No man is an island; entire of himself.’ This means you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t be expected to. Delegate tasks you don’t have the time to do or simply don’t want to do yourself.

Enlist your partner’s help in doing tasks they’re better at doing. Teach your children at an early age to help around the house. Give them chores to do and expect that they will get done. If everyone in the family pitches in (even young children can do something), Mom won’t have to do everything by herself.

Secret Number 5

Plan your meals ahead of time. Doing this one thing can save you money, time and headaches. By planning your meals for a week at a time you can make one shopping trip to get everything. You can also save money by matching what you need with coupons. You’ll save yourself headaches by not having to run to the store in the middle of the week to pick up something you don’t have.

The above are five secrets of an organized mom. You may learn others by asking moms who you think are organized and have everything together.

Natural Ways To Speed Up Your Metabolism

January 03, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off easily, finding some natural ways to speed up your metabolism is a key player. What is “metabolism” anyway? In very simple terms, it’s the process of converting calories into energy. A slow metabolism means you burn fewer calories, and more fat gets stored.

The good news is that there some very simple natural ways to speed up your metabolism:

1) Eat more often – One of the reasons why your metabolism slows down is that you may not be eating often enough. Are you one of those people who can go most of the day without eating and then gorge on a large meal at dinner time? Bad idea! Your body thinks you’re starving so slows down its burning of calories and you end up storing more fat. When you start eating small portions of nutrient-dense foods every 3 to 4 hours, your body kicks up the fat burning mechanism. This is one sure natural way to speed up your metabolism.

2) Drink plenty of water – Remember that in order to burn fat, your organs need to be functioning well, and they require hydration to do that. Drink at least the minimum recommendation of 64 ounces daily – more if you are overweight or if you engage in intense workouts. If you don’t like plain water, try drinking it at different temperatures, add lemon slices, or “sneak” it into other beverages like diluting a 1/4 cup of fruit juice with 8 ounces of water.

3) Weight training – Even if you already do cardio workouts, you may want to include some weight training workouts a few times a week, because the more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. That’s because just having more muscle on your body requires more energy to sustain, so you burn more calories. This is a healthy and natural ways to speed up your metabolism

Consult your doctor to be sure weight training is safe for you – and then be sure to educate yourself on proper form to prevent injury. The great thing about weight training is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to start – you can use the resistance of your own body by doing ab crunches, leg lifts, push-ups – or get a small set of dumbbells for added resistance.

4) Avoid sugar – While looking for natural ways to speed up your metabolism, be sure to watch your sugar intake. When you eat excessive amounts of sugar, your body automatically shifts into fat storage mode. Your blood sugar levels spike and dip erratically and if this goes on for long enough, “insulin resistance” can result – which means your body has a harder time processing sugar and more of it will get stored as fat. Reducing your intake of refined sugar isn’t hard as you may think; just replace those sugary treats with moderate servings of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and nuts and seeds. Over time, your cravings for sugar will fade substantially – it’s only when you keep eating sugar that you keep craving it!

Remember that boosting your metabolism isn’t a one-time event, but if you use one or many of the natural ways to speed up your metabolism that are listed above on a regular basis, you can train your body to function much more efficiently than it may be doing currently.

Manage Child Food Allergies

January 02, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Children who have food allergies may not understand why they can’t eat peanut butter like their friends, or why they react so badly to milk or wheat. As a parent, you want to know how to manage child food allergies so you can help them have a long, healthy and happy life.

Food allergies are more common than you might think. However, they may not be as severe in some children as they are in others. Thankfully, some children who have food allergies while they are very young can often outgrow them by the time they are five years old.

It is important to understand food allergies and recognize the symptoms. With an allergy, the body sees the allergen as dangerous and will start attacking the food or its components with antibodies. Food allergies have the potential to be life threatening so you’ll want to take them seriously. The antibodies cause irritation which can manifest as these symptoms:

* Swelling of the lips
* Difficulty breathing
* Tingling in the mouth – lips or tongue
* Hives
* Itchy rash
* Abdominal cramps
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting

Prevention is the best way to manage child food allergies. Keep your child from having access to foods containing their allergen. Learn to be diligent in reading food labels each and every time you go shopping, as foods may change without notice. Teaching your child to read labels will train them to do this once they get older.

Teach your child to recognize the food they’re allergic to. This might mean doing some research to find out what food items might contain their particular allergen. You’ll need to learn how to properly read food labels and if there are allergens listed it would be wise to avoid purchasing those foods.

Explain to you child the importance of not exchanging food with their friends. Even though their friends’ lunch may look good, there’s no guarantee there aren’t allergens in it. It is best that they eat only the food you prepare or purchase for them. Be aware when eating out that even though some foods aren’t on your child’s allergen list, there could be cross-contamination with foods that are.

Inform your school’s cafeteria and teacher of their food allergy. Talk with your child’s doctor about keeping medicine with them just in case they have an allergic reaction while at school. Your child’s teacher and front office should have contact information for you and your child’s doctor in case of an emergency.

Having to manage children with food allergies can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With knowledge of your child’s allergens, you will be able to learn along with your child which foods are acceptable and those that aren’t.

With the pediatrician’s help you will also know how to treat your child should they have an allergic reaction. Finally, you’ll be able to let others know of your child’s needs and know that they can react quickly should it be necessary.  The key is to be diligent when you manage child food allergies so that the child stays as healthy as possible.