Go Back to School with Better Sleep!

If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone, kids have trouble falling asleep too, I like to promote good sleep in kids with good pillows. Adults on the other hand can be sleep deprived for a number of reasons and a new pillow might not enough to help the problem.
First how often should we actually be replacing our pillows??? Depending on your cleaning habits and allergies, experts recommend to replace your pillows as often as every six months, but if it’s a good quality pillow and you use a washable cover every one-three years can be okay too, but you should focus more on keeping your current pillows clean. That of course is if your pillows remains fluffy, doesn’t lump or simple loose its charm. In our house the rule of thumb is first day back at school is new pillow day! How better to start the school year off than with a good pillow and a good nights sleep. 

My kids love pillow shopping, soft and fluffy, firm, memory foam, bamboo, gel, down feathers and contoured, the decision is never an easy one. Bamboo was the top pick for 3 out of 4.

The calm before the storm, better known as the night before the first day is hectic. But after the book bags are filled, the lunch boxes back and showers taken they head off to bed. How is it they all look so peaceful sleeping? getting their minds ready for a big year of learning, but the panic is real for me! Waking four kids up 3 hours earlier than they had been all summer, isn’t going to be fun. I’m going to need some help closing my eyes tonight to prepare for the morning.

And maybe after it’s all over I can take a quick little nap before they get back home, I want them to have my full attention, and hear every detail about their new teacher and classroom friends. Not to forget I also have a homeschooler again this year.
But when nap time is not an option a good night sleep is a must:
Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve is a 100% drug-free sleep aid that promotes healthy sleep patterns and a more relaxed night’s sleep. Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve tablets require no water and can be taken anywhere, anytime. 
Key Benefits of the Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve:
5 mg dosage provided for sampling (also available in 10 mg) 
100% drug-free and non-habit forming 
Supports an overall better sleep 
Helps regulate healthy sleeping patterns  
100% vegetarian 
• take anytime, anywhere with no water needed
 Natrol Advanced Sleep Melatonin is a 100% drug-free sleep aid that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep with a built in 2-layered time release that gives you an initial 5mg dosage to help you fall sleep and then releases the remaining 5mg dosage throughout your sleep to help you stay asleep.
Key Benefits of Natrol Advanced Sleep:
10 mg dosage
2-layer controlled release tablet provides an initial 5mg dosage to help you fall asleep faster, and then releases the remaining 5mg over time to help you sleep through the night.
100% drug-free and non-habit forming 
100% vegetarian
Click here to get $2 off coupon for your next bottle of Natrol Melatonin and kick start better sleep!

Many thanks to Natrol for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging me to sleep better with melatonin. 


Elderberry Festival & Health Benefits

School is about to start, yikes! The first thing on my mind is germs, lots of them! Over the weekend we attended the annual Elderberry Festival, one of 50 celebrated around the country this summer. Elderberries (Sambucus) have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. 
Say that again!
Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Used for its antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.

Elderberry grow in the wild, we have them all around us, in the fields and along the road side. They’ll be fully ripe in a few weeks for us to pick. 

Most species of Sambucus berries are edible when picked ripe and then cooked. Both the skin and pulp can be eaten and the yummy, buttery flowers. However, it is important to note that most uncooked berries and other parts of plants from this genus are poisonous. Sambucus nigra is the variety of Elderberry that is most often used for health benefits as it is the only variety considered to be non-toxic even when not cooked, but it is still recommended to cook the berries at least a little to enhance their taste and digestibility.
Elderberries possess appreciably more antioxidant capacity than either vitamin E or vitamin C and contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid,vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Mr. Barrett is the best town historian! We have known him for a decade now and every time we listen to something new about our town and life on the bay. If you’re ever in the area stop in at the Fairhope Museum of History and you might getting the chance to meet one of the most amazing living legends here on the Eastern Shore.

Delicious as always, the juice and jam are like no other, and so very healthy!

We were a little disappointed that the rain kept the ice cream man away, no elderberry custard this year.
More Elderberry info HERE.

Bay Life, Healthy Life

My family is a mix of healthy eaters and the not so healthy eaters, vegans and meat lovers, so we are always looking for a quick but healthy snack that everyone will enjoy, and something that will keep the kids energy up while they play in the bay.
  Larabar Fruit and Nut and Bites do just that, they are a perfect snack to toss a into the beach bag. Since it’s so insanely hot here, we have become night owls and only head outdoors after the sunset, spending our evening on the bay swimming in the moon light. The water is so warm this time of year, last I checked it’s at 85 degrees! I love when the air temperature is lower than the water. The kids play for hours while I relax and listen to the waves hitting our neighbors pier and sneak a few extra chocolate macaroon bites.

Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

At Lärabar®, they believe that it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone deserves to eat great food. They are passionate about creating delicious, convenient snacks that are made from just a few, simple ingredients for everyone to enjoy.

I have food allergies so it’s hard for me to find a healthy snack to eat that doesn’t have one of the eleven things I have to avoid, so Larabar has made a place in our pantry!

Their Original Fruit & Nut Food Bars are made with only a few, recognizable ingredients, are minimally processed, and GMO free.

These yummy treats can be found at Sam’s Club :
• Lärabar Bites Chocolate Macaroon (16 oz.)
Lärabar Fruit and Nut Bars, Variety Pack (18 ct.) : includes Cashew Cookie, Apple Pie, and Peanut Butter Cookie

A few simple ingredients to go with our simple life living on the bay.
First day on the boogie board, the bay was a little rough tonight, we actually had white caps, a rare sight except during storms. There’s something churning in the gulf, I really hope it doesn’t develop into anything with school starting here next week.
Fun, fun, fun! and now a snack before heading back home.
We love our bay life.