5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families

This post on 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families was sponsored on behalf of RAYCOP. All opinions stated are my own.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

I never fussed too much about being healthy until Addie was born. The term “wellness” wasn’t something that I’d ever really used, and I didn’t think much about taking care of myself until I became pregnant. Now that I’m a mom, and one to a medically fragile toddler, my eyes have been opened up to an entire new world. During the wintertime, all I see on Facebook are people talking about how sick they are or how entire families have been inundated with illness. My Facebook memories pop up each morning when I log on, and even I am reminded how frequently I was sick during this time of the year! Ever since Addie was in the NICU, I’ve learned some amazing winter wellness tips and I wanted to share them with families that are sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #1: Wash your hands. It sounds simple enough, right? Yet, more germs are passed around because we simply don’t wash our hands enough or wash them as long as we should. Here’s a tip for you, when washing your hands, sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star twice in your head. It may seem a long time, but it’s just the perfect amount of time to help you wash any little germy friends on your skin.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #2: Drink Kombucha. I’m a HUGE fan of drinking Kombucha because of all the amazing health and wellness benefits it provides. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has live bacterial cultures in it, like a probiotic does. You can make your own, or you can purchase some at your local grocery store (usually in the healthy living aisle). Drinking Kombucha every day will help protect your body naturally by supporting your gut. In fact, 70% of your immunity is in your gut. Your health starts in your gut, so you need to support it year-round, but especially in the winter. Not comfortable with the thought of Kombucha? Grab yourself a probiotic. We’re huge fans of Young Living Life 9.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #3: Sanitize your home. Here’s the thing- we have a TON of people in and out of our home because Addie requires nursing, therapies, and medical supplies. To say our door is revolving would be an understatement. Now that the holidays are here, we’re having more friends over for different events like Friendsgiving and our upcoming Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Christmas Party! Of course, we love diffusing Thieves to purify the air in our home after we have guests, but have you ever thought about the germs on your couches? What about your bed after you’ve been around a lot of people? It’s something many people don’t even think about, but it’s one that’s on my radar often. We just recently got a RAYCOP RS2 and it is AMAZING for sanitizing any fabric surface in your home. After TWO seconds, it is able to extract 99.99% of bacteria, 99.8% of pollen after 1 minute, and can extract 90% of household dust in just 3 minutes. Insane right?!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

After my recent Friendsgiving party I decided to give my RAYCOP RS2 a whirl. I can’t chance having any of our family members or nurses sick,  especially because of Addie’s respiratory needs. Every RAYCOP purifier uses patented RayClean Technology® to efficiently sanitize fabric surfaces. Unlike a regular vacuum, RAYCOP purifiers have a dual filtration system incorporating a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter which is proven to capture 99.9% of common allergens like dust, pollen and mold, and UV light technology that deactivates the DNA in dust mites, bacteria, pollen, mold and mildew. Of course, don’t take my word for it- they have tons of research and development to back up their claims. I’m all about research (hello, oily mom here!) so it made me happy to see that on their website.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

I love love love the RAYCOP RS2 for my couches, Pearl’s dog bed (because let’s face it, pets bring in lots of stuff from the outdoors), pillows, beds, and even blankets. I am also planning to use it on my curtains that have been hung in our dining room for 2.5 years and need a good cleaning. It’s a great way to save water by not having to physically wash them! I never even knew a product like this existed until recently, and I’m so thankful for it. I’m always looking for natural yet effective ways to clean our home and this is just an amazing product that is going to make such a difference for our family- especially Addie. If you want to snag a RAYCOP RS2 purifier, grab it today at raycop.com/shop.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #4: Keep exercising. When I started Camp Gladiator a little over a month ago, everyone kept asking me why I chose this time of year to start working out. The more I thought about it, the more I realized, “Why not?!” This is the time of year when indulgences are high for many, weather is chilly (because, you know it doesn’t truly get cold here in Texas!), and it gets darker faster. You have every single excuse to not work out, but this is the best time to push those excuses away. Working out is what is going to keep your body in tip top shape. Not into working out outside like me? Try a workout DVD, head to your local gym, do laps in a heated pool, or find a partner that will bundle up with you and will go for a walk!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #5: Add spice. When I think about the holidays, I always think about the different spices of the season: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, orange. Did you know that all of these spices are eaten this time of year for a reason? Each spice has its own health benefits that are crucial to keeping you and your family healthy during the winter season. We love using Young Living Vitality Essential Oils in vegetable capsules, but adding spices to your foods will naturally aid your body in wellness. How cool is that?!

Using these winter wellness tips you’ll be set to fight off all the stuff that winter brings! Check out the giveaway from RAYCOP below for your chance to enter their lightest and most portable purifier, the RAYCOP Lite! It is a must-have for every home. I’m so thankful for it! 

RAYCOP Lite Giveaway



Our Goldilocks and the Three Bears Family Costumes

Every time Halloween rolls around I just get so excited! There are always so many fun family costumes to choose from, and I love picking out a theme. This year, after lots of thinking, we decided on Goldilocks and the Three Bears for our family costumes. It was unique, easy to put together, and we got so many compliments at a local Fall Festival about them!

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!
What we wore for our Goldilocks and the Three Bears family costumes:
Mathew- Hoodie, basketball shorts, brown fur
Stephanie- Dress, fur vest, booties (similar), multistrand necklace
Stephanie’s Makeup- lashes, lipstickfoundation, concealer, brown eyeliner, white eyeliner, eyeshadows, brows
Addie- Black onesie, leg warmers, fur vest, and similar bear socks
Ears- Black fur, brown fur, hair clips, sewing kitribbon, hot glue gun
Pearl- skirt, hat, doll hair, elastic

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

I had such a blast creating these family costumes, I can’t say that enough. Addie had a onesie with a vest, leg warmers, little bear socks, and I completed her costume with homemade bear ears and a tiny fur tail on her butt. If you’re wondering how I made her ears and Mathew’s, I used this pattern, cut the brown and black fur, hand sewed them inside out (except for the bottom),  turned them right side out, and sewed the bottom together. Then, I had hair clips that I wrapped with ribbon, and hot glued the ears onto. I cut Addie’s little ears smaller than the pattern since she’s so little. I put her hair in two little buns and clipped the ears in front!

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

For Mathew’s portion of our Goldilocks and the Three Bears family costumes, I hot glued a piece of fur onto a black hoodie (I may have forgotten to lint roll him here, oops!) and hot glued on ears for him! He got a little bear nose on his face and a little tail on the bottom of his hoodie. Mathew is such a good sport. We have been dressing in a theme for Halloween for 4 Halloweens now. It took me a few years to convince him (we’ve been together 8 years!), but he does it because he loves his girl. Plus, come on, who can’t resist some good ole family costumes?

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

When I thought about Goldilocks and the Three Bears for our family costumes, I knew I could always be Goldilocks, but let’s be honest- that’s BORING! I had this hilarious idea to make Pearl into Goldilocks and just ran with the idea. I bought her a little skirt, a doll hat and some curly, blonde doll hair, and grabbed some elastic out of my sewing kit. I laughed SO hard when I glued the hair to her hat for her wig. SO HARD. Pearl wasn’t too keen on the idea of the hat and wig, but she tolerated enough for a couple pictures.

Also, did anyone notice she stole the porridge from the bears? How rude, Pearl Goldilocks, how rude!

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

As for my look, I applied foundation a little darker than my normal shade, and lightened up my under eye area, chin, and upper lip with light concealer. Then, I applied some blush (I really loved this darker shade!), added a mild smoky eye and filled in my brows, threw on some lashes and lipstick, and grabbed my brown and white eyeliner pencils. For the bear fur on my face, I took white and brown eyeliner pencils and just went from my eyebrows down my face to my chin. I wore a black dress and fur vest with a necklace too! To complete my look, I put my hair into mini buns and fanned out the hair to make it look like ears. I secured them with bobby pins and hairspray so they’d stay in place. You guys- this Goldilocks and the Three Bears idea was just so fun for me to do. One of my favorite family costumes by far!

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

Although it’s not quite Halloween yet, we went to a Fall Festival at a local church to show off our cute costumes. EVERYONE couldn’t get enough of Addie, and it was so sweet to see so many people wanting to love on her. She was smiling at everyone who said hi! She got to play several games, won some prizes, and even got a little temporary tattoo! It was so nice to get out and just enjoy ourselves. The church had an earlier time for activities for special needs children, so we thankfully go to go enjoy the activities before things got too crazy. It was perfect for Addie and we were thankful she wasn’t exposed to the hundreds of people that would be coming after us. As we were leaving, we saw a huge line out the door and around the church! Wow!

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

As for Halloween night itself? I’m not really sure yet what we plan to do. There are several events around town but they’ll have a TON of people and we just aren’t into that (in fact, for the Fall Festival we got early access because Addie has special needs, so we got to do stuff before the crowd!) I also don’t anticipate a lot of trick-or-treaters in our area because last year I only bought 2 bags of candy, and I had 1 left over at the end of the night. We even were giving 4-6 candies per child too! Seems like everyone here generally enjoys going to church events anyway since they’re a lot safer.

Looking for fun family costumes for Halloween? Love this Goldilocks and the Three Bears DIY!

I’m so thankful for another amazing Halloween with our sweet girl. Who would have known that we would’ve gone from a Hunter and Deer in the NICU to a Scarecrow family just a couple months after she got out of PICU, to a fun Goldilocks and the Three Bears family for Halloween? I’m not sure how we’ll top next year, but you better believe we’ll be trying!

What are you and your family dressing up for this Halloween?

Pearl’s 4th of July Pet Safety Tips

Hey everyone! I’m Pearl! I’ve hijacked my mommy’s blog today to bring you my 4th of July Pet Safety Tips. If you are anything like my mommy, you love your pets a lot and want them safe. 4th of July can be scary for pets like me, but if you humans follow my 4th of July Pet Safety Tips your pets will be a-ok!

Hey humans! I hijacked my mommy's blog to bring you my 4th of July Pet Safety Tips! Read them, follow them, and pin them!

1. Keep your pet tags updated and take a recent picture. Mommy just recently updated my necklace because we just moved, but if your tags haven’t been updated in a while, get it done today. My friends and I get scared from fireworks, and my outdoor only friends tend to run away on nights like tonight. Keep their tags updated, write down your pet’s microchip number (in case you don’t know where you put it), and take a picture of your pet today in case your pet gets scared and runs off.

2. Don’t give us people food. I know I beg my mommy for a bite of hamburger every now and then, but mommy knows it’s not good for my stomach. If you’re having a BBQ, ask your friends not to “accidentally” give me food. I love people food, but I don’t love the way it affects me afterward. Also, make sure you keep lighter fluid and matches away from our reach when you BBQ. My friends and I love eating things we’re not supposed to, and matches or fluid can make me sick too. Once you use them, please put them away in a safe area so we don’t accidentally eat them.

3. Don’t spray us with bug spray. I hate flies and mosquitoes just like you do. They drive me crazy! I’m not allowed to have bug spray for humans though because it can make pets drool, vomit, have diarrhea, and even give me neurological problems. You can always use one for my canine friends, or put on a thin 4th of July shirt on us. I’m not going to lie- I love when mommy dresses me up like a human.

4. Leave your beer where we can’t reach. I can’t help it- I get thirsty sometimes- especially when I’ve been outside partying with mommy and her friends. BUT, please leave your beer, wine, and mixed drinks where my friends and I can’t reach. It can make us feel funny, go into a coma, or worse- go into respiratory failure. If your pet friend is big, make sure you put your drink up extra high!

5. Don’t use fireworks around us. I don’t understand why humans think these scary fireworks are fun, but I’m not one to be a party pooper (unless there’s a nice patch of grass close by! Har har.) If you know it’s time to start shooting fireworks, please put my friends inside. I’m extra curious (or so mommy says), and I like playing with things I’m not supposed to. If your pets are anything like me, they might get too close to fireworks and get burned or could eat them.

All in all- when in doubt, leave us at home. 

Loud noises also scare my friends and I because we have sensitive ears, so even though you might want to take me to the fireworks show with your human friends, it’s best to leave us inside at home. My mommy always has me on a leash or in her arms, but I’m a wiggle worm. Sometimes mommy calls me Houdini because I can get out of the stickiest of situations. Trust me, I’ll be a Houdini if I hear those loud fireworks, so please just leave my friends and I at home if you can. If you feel extra nice, leave the tv on or some calming music so we have something to listen to while you’re gone.

Sadly, I know not everyone is going to follow my 4th of July Pet Safety Tips. If one of my friends gets lost please follow these tips:

1) Immediately check with your local animal control agency first.

2) Put up flyers with a recent photo and detailed description of your missing pet.

3) Craigslist offers free lost and found pet postings.

Well there you have it my friends- my 4th of July Pet Safety Tips! I hope you and your pet friends have a safe and happy 4th of July! If you have any more tips that you love to use, leave them in the comments- my mommy loves those!