Free Covid-19 Test Kits: Order Before 9/2/2022!

The federal government will cease providing free COVID-19 kits on 9/2/2022, as there will no longer be federal funding. Learn more at COVID.gov/tests.

However, in the meantime, Residential households in the U.S. are now eligible for another order of free at-home tests on USPS.com. Here’s what you need to know about your order:

  • Each order now includes 8 rapid antigen COVID-19 tests (FDA has more details about at-home tests, including extended shelf life and updated expiration dates: Authorized At-Home Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests)
  • Your order of 8 tests will come in 2 separate packages (4 tests in each package), each with its own tracking number
  • Packages will ship free

It’s easy to sign up for free kits. Order your free kits here. We ordered ours, and we test when we have been exposed, even though we are all vaccinated and boosted. COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere, and we need to do what we can to protect ourselves and our communities.

Getting Ready for Back to School: Health Edition

The Back to school shopping crazies will start in a few weeks with sales and deals, but one thing we’ve done this summer to help with Back to school is getting everyone in tip-top health!

I made sure the kids are seeing all the doctors/specialists over the summer to minimize appointments during the school year.

Here in California vision and dental insurance is included under health insurance plans for kids 18 and under. To learn more, check the back of your kid’s health insurance card for phone numbers.

The kids saw the dentist and had eye exams. New glasses were ordered through the optometrist that are part of the vision insurance (one pair every 2 years from a list of specific frames), and we get the paper prescription for our family binder. 

I order extra pairs of glasses through online discount retailers such as EYEBUYDIRECT. A lot of online discount retailers have inexpensive kid’s glasses that can be less than $20 a pair, which is great to have on hand because we all know, kids tend to break stuff.

EYEBUYDIRECT prices start at $6 for select frames!

I also had the kids see any specialists that they needed to, in our case they needed to go to the podiatrist.

And of course, we took care of behavioral/mental health appointments and medication checks over the summer as well. And all future mental/behavioral health appointments are after school or on weekends.

The next health component that I am working on is getting our family first aid kit up to snuff, and that will be a separate post over the weekend.

Stay healthy This Summer and Save $5 with Mucinex!

Feeling stuffy? Illness comes all year round, and if you are feeling cruddy remember to give yourself time to heal. 

Here are my tips for recovering from the summer cold:

  • Hydrate! Push water, electrolyte drinks (I like this one LINK), teas, and even 100% fruit/veggie juice. 
  • Wash your paws. Especially if you will be in shared spaces. Use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to running water and soap. 
  • Stay home! Or if you can’t, mask up! Protect others from your germs by covering your nose and mouth with a mask. We all probably still have masks at home. 
  • Rest! Don’t push yourself to work, exercise, or complete chores. Take care of your body with naps, and go to bed early. No Doomscrolling on social media. 
  • Get your 5 a day! Remember fruits and veggies while you are sick. Whole produce is best because it contains fiber as well as other nutrients, but in a pinch, 100% fruit or veggie juice will suffice. 

And if you need some OTC meds to get you through it, check out this offer from Mucinex!

Join Mucus Fighters+ and get an exclusive $5 off Mucinex® coupon today, plus other kick-sick offers and tips.

Put an End to Bad Brushing with Disclosing Tablets from Smile Brilliant!

Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a struggle. When I was a kid my mom used disclosing tablets, but when I went to go find some for my kids, I was unable to find them anywhere.

Recently I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to try their Plaque Highlighters, which are awesome disclosing tablets made with food based/natural dyes (which is great for those of us who avoid synthetic dyes).

These plaque highlighters are easy to use:

  1. Chew 1 tablet and swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit the excess out into the sink. The temporary dye will highlight that yucky stuff!
  2. After spitting, rinse your mouth with water. This removes all the excess dye and makes the plaque and tartar more obvious.
  3. Brush, rinse, floss, and repeat until all the stains are gone. Have fun seeing how quickly you can get your teeth squeaky clean!

I couldn’t get the kids to “model” their dirty/unbrushed teeth, as they were grossed out by what the Plaque Disclosing Tablets revealed. So I took one for the team. I didn’t brush my teeth in the morning, then ate breakfast, and then chomped down on the Disclosing Tablets.

The before and after. I won’t lie, you gotta get in there and brush brush brush, floss, and rinse.

My kids have been using these Disclosing Tablets for about a week and they LOVE them. Besides the “Who has the grossest teeth” daily contest, it’s showing the kids that brushing well does have its perks.  Brushing well and long enough can be a struggle for those with neurodivergency, whether it be ADHD, ADD, ODD, or Autism. I can tell you that it’s been a struggle to get the big kid to brush long/well enough because he is inattentive to activities that don’t hold his attention (or seem “exciting”).

And if you are interested in these for yourself or another grown-up in your life, Smile Brilliant makes disclosing tablets for grownups too!

Enjoy 25% off any set of plaque highlighters with coupon code usfg25

Disclaimer: I received a box of Smile Brillant Plaque Highlighters in exchange for my review from Smile Brilliant and US Family Guide. All opinions are my own. I received no financial compensation for this review. I only post about products and services I personally use and I feel are a good fit for my family and my readers. Please refer to my disclosure page.

Protect your pet’s health your way with Petco Vital Care

Fiona loves cuddles and being healthy

Your pets need love and care from their family, that’s a no-brainer. Just as you take care of your people family with preventative health care, your pets need it too. Confidently Keep up with their health & wellness needs with an annual plan that gives you easy access to trusted care on routine vet exams, unlimited nail trims, teeth brushing, and more for $19 a month on routine services with Petco Vital Care. 

Petco Vital Care knows you’ll do whatever it takes to get your pet the best care. That’s why they’re doing our part to make caring for them as affordable as possible. The Petco Vital Care includes:

  • Unlimited nail trims
  • Teeth brushing
  • $10 Pals Rewards each month
  • $70 Pals Rewards per year for vet exam at the vet of your choice
  • A Welcome gift of your choice
  • That is $226 in savings on routine wellness services throughout the year.

All for just $19 a month! To learn more or sign up, click here.

 

Achievement: Stay Active and Donate Your Points to Charity!

I love Achievement. It’s a great way to earn a little extra cash for syncing your fitness tracker! You can learn all about Achievement here and which Health and Fitness Apps are supported.

b0e5d5e05457e2c8a12dc87c9b6eafc7 (1)I received an email this week from Achievement about how you can use your points to help others!

Did you know you can donate your points to charity? Join Achievement in raising donations for these organizations that have made life-changing impacts in Black Communities across the country. In honor of Black History Month, they are highlighting these organizations on Achievement:

And if you are already hooked up with Achievement, Right now is a great time to refer your family and friends! When you refer a friend to Achievement and earn 450 points for EACH friend you refer (max of 20 referrals all time)! Refer a friend, earn points, and join them in amplifying Black voices all month long. Offer ends on Mar 1st 11:59 pm PST.

Disclaimer: if/when you click on my link above and sign up for Achievement, I’ll earn 450 Achievement Points. You can learn more on my Disclosure page.

Staying Healthy This Fall and Beyond!

Fall and Winter are the prime time for illnesses to go around, especially the flu. While the flu shot isn’t effective against all strains of influenza, it does help to keep those to receive it safely again many strains.

Most insurance companies offer no or low-cost flu shots, but if you are uninsured and facing financial difficulties, even $20 for a flu shot can be out of reach. Thankfully there are organizations and resources to help keep you healthy and safe.

If you are in San Diego County, Champions for Health offers free Flu shots, PCV13 shots for those over 65, and Tdap shots for those between the ages of 10-64. They have opportunities all over San Diego County throughout the fall.

If you or your children are in need of vaccinations (flu and beyond) but are without insurance, the san Diego County Health and Human Services Agency offers no-cost vaccines. More information can be found here.

In addition to vaccines, there are a lot of other ways you can stay healthy this fall and winter. Most of us are already doing them!

  • Wash your hands frequently- use soap and water and scrub for at least 20-30 seconds.
  • Try not to touch your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when your sneeze (either with a tissue or cough or sneeze into your elbow).
  • Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands with soap and water.
  • If you are wearing re-usable/cloth masks, make sure to wash and dry them frequently. Disposable masks should be used once and thrown away. Please remember to clip the elastic ear loops before throwing the mask away- animals can get caught up in the loops.
  • Avoid sick people, and if you aren’t feeling well yourself, do not go out in public.
  • Eat well, include lots of vitamin and mineral rich foods.
  • Stay Hydrated. This is my favorite water bottle.

Earn Money for Staying Active with Achievement!

b0e5d5e05457e2c8a12dc87c9b6eafc7 (1)If you are like me, you are looking for a way to stay physically active while gyms and fitness outlets are closed. The kids and I have taken up Pokemon Go- It’s a great way for us to get out and remain active while having something that keeps the kiddos engaged.

I’ve worn a fitness tracker (I have a Fitbit right now) for almost 10 years. I’ve been using Achievement to earn extra cash for tracking my steps and exercise for about 3 years now.

It’s super easy to use: Connect your fitness tracker (see the list below) to Achievement and be rewarded when you exercise, sleep, and log calorie or water intake.

It is non-intrusive, and you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for cash via PayPal, gift cards, or you can donate your earnings to various charities.

I earn $10 in PayPal cash about 4-5 times a year. I usually use it to reload my Starbucks Card.  It’s a nice little perk for being active.

It’s super easy to get started. Click here to sign up! This is my referral link- If you sign up using my link, I earn an extra points.

Achievement is compatible with over 20+ Android and iOS apps (and counting!).

Health and Fitness Apps:

  • Apple Health
  • Daily Mile
  • Expresso
  • Fitbit
  • Garmin
  • Google Fit
  • MapMyFitness
  • MapMyHike
  • MapMyRide
  • MapMyRun
  • MapMyWalk
  • Misfit
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Record
  • RunDouble
  • RunKeeper
  • Samsung Health
  • Stop, Breathe & Think
  • Strava
  • Withings

Lifestyle Apps:

  • A&D Connect
  • Qardio

Social Media Apps:

  • Twitter

Link to research that is done with the information collected: https://www.myachievement.com/research

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Wrap Up!

AlwaysEatAfter7PM_FrontCoverThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

This is week four for us, and my final post (for now) about this pretty cool plan. Check out my previous post here.

As I was hunting for some recipes to try over the coming weeks last night, I came across this quote, “Scientists have established that consuming at least 20 grams of protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis for two to five hours after eating a meal. However, recent research also shows that protein synthesis drops to unexpectedly low levels during sleep, even if you eat ample protein during and after evening exercise. This has led researchers to speculate that this process may fall off during sleep if you don’t eat protein prior to bedtime.” I found it so interesting that I highlighted it. 

We’ve been taught that we need to avoid carbs, and focus on Protein, protein, protein. I love how Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight shows us that we need to have a balance. Rice is ok, veggies are ok, meat is ok, fats and sweets are ok too!

Now that we into week four, I’ve read a lot, learned a lot, and tried some really yummy recipes. I’m not sure I will keep to the plan 100%, but there are aspects that I do like and that I will be continuing on with (like starting with lemon water-  swear that’s a better wake up that a cuppa joe!

We all know water is good for us, but do we know why? Always Eat After 7 PM tells us, “Water helps digest your food, expel wastes, regulate your temperature, protect your tissues, cushion your joints, and protect your spinal column, among many other vital functions. It is through water that hormones flow to the proper organs, that nutrients reach all cells, and that toxins are diluted and removed from the body.”

And now that I’m not ravenous when I wake up each morning, I have more focus to get the kids through our morning routine. The most challenging times to curb hunger are just before bed and in the morning. By following the Always Eat After 7PM program, you have the most willpower to stay on the diet because you are eating during the hours when you are most hungry. This also puts you into both intermittent fasting increasing testosterone and your metabolism, while putting you into ketosis.

One of the things I liked most is that there is such a wide array of foods to choose from- and that nothing is ever 100% veteod. If you need a cheat day, take one!

If you’ve liked my posts and picked up a copy of this book, let me know! I’d love to see which recipes you’ve tried, and what swaps you made to live healthier.

Learn more about Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight and how to purchase it here.

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own. To learn more about how and why I partner with brands, check out my disclosure page here.

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Always Eat After 7 PM: Goal Setting and Updates!

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own. hi-res Cheesy Ground Beef skillet - vertical

This is the Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet from Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion.

Most people assume foods like red meat and white rice can’t be fat loss friendly, but the latest research confirms the combination of protein and carbs (especially at dinnertime) actually helps regulate cortisol (known as the “belly fat hormone”), induces deeper sleep, and even helps stabilize morning blood sugar.

Ours wasn’t as photogenic, so I borrowed the pic from the book. It was simple, filling, and there was enough for lunch the next day! at 30 grams of protein per serving- I was pretty satisfied all night long, and well into the next morning.

And a quote from the book really resonated with me about the lack of hunger I was used to feeling within 20 minutes of rising each morning. “Those who ate breakfast ended up eating about 260 calories more a day, the review found. Those who skipped breakfast were about one pound lighter than those who ate breakfast. These findings led the researchers to conclude that eating breakfast isn’t necessarily a good strategy for losing weight. The science isn’t really there. Breakfast could very well be the least important meal of the day.”

My main reason for joining the Always Eat After 7pm journey is that we just aren’t able to exercise as much as we were pre-lockdown, and I want to keep up with my healthy lifestyle. And wow! Have we ever! You can see my first post here, and the second post here.

The food lists are great! They really help with shopping and meal planning. It is real food and real ingredients.  And the recipes are easy to follow. You don’t need to be a chef or foodie to follow them. Oh, and they are kiddo friendly.  There are so many ideas for snacks too- So you are never left feeling hungry (or in my case… hangry).

The other thing that has really been working well is the Lemon Water 3-Minute Fat-Burning Morning Rituals. “One of the simplest 3-Minute Fat-Burning Morning Rituals, lemon water is a glass of water mixed with the juice of one half of a lemon. This drink provides all the benefits of regular drinking water, which supports weight loss, digestive health, physical performance, and cognitive function.”

We bought some large plastic tumblers recently to help all of us (including the kids) to drink more water. I do my lemon water in the morning while I make coffee and make the kids breakfast. At the same time, I pour ice water for the kids and top with a lemon slice. They feel fancy that they get to drink “spa water” like mommy. Water is a great way to start the day!

“Water helps digest your food, expel wastes, regulate your temperature, protect your tissues, cushion your joints, and protect your spinal column, among many other vital functions. It is through water that hormones flow to the proper organs, that nutrients reach all cells, and that toxins are diluted and removed from the body.”

Learn more about Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight and how to purchase it here.

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own. To learn more about how and why I partner with brands, check out my disclosure page here.

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