#Budgeting, #Healthy, #Literacy, Animal Facts, Boundaries, Clever Kids Corner, Cooking, E-Learning, EdTech, education, Exercising, Gardening, Grocery Shopping, Housing, Media Tools, Movies, Newborns, Newborns, Nighttime Routines, Outdoor Activities, Parenting, Personality Traits, Positive Home Environment, Preschool, Professional Development, RentAssistance, Self-Care, Sleep, Teachers, Technology, Thifting, Toddlers, Toddlers, Traveling, Virtual Learning, Weather

Educators! Win a Gift Card to Insomnia Cookies!

Educators! Click the link and take a quick survey to WIN a gift card to Insomnia Cookies!


#Healthy, Cooking, Gardening, Grocery Shopping, Parenting, Self-Care

10 Super Herbs and Spices for Ultimate Health Benefits

Many spices hold cultural meaning to them in households throughout the world. Did you know, these same herbs and spices can improve your well-being in countless ways? The addition of herbs and spices to your diet is the simplest way to boost your immune system and fight off diseases and conditions such as inflammation.


Ginger is used to treat nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and even sea sickness. Ginger can also be used as a pain management remedy as 2 grams of ginger a day fights colon inflammation the same way as aspirin.

Other research found that a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil decreased pain and stiffness experienced by those with osteoarthritis.


Rosemary been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion due to an active ingredient called rosmarinic acid.Rosemary is considered a cognitive stimulant and can help improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus.


Peppermint is known for its aromatherapy benefits however, this spice also has benefits when consumed through food. Many studies have shown that peppermint oil can improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Peppermint helps to relax the colon and reduces abdominal bloating.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper is a type of chili used in many dishes around the world. Known for its spicy taste, cayenne pepper is also a remedy for those looking to reduce their appetite and increase fat burning.


Garlic has an in-depth history for its medicinal uses. Garlic supplementation is well known for combatting sickness, including the common cold. It is advised that those who experience symptoms relating to the common cold should increase their intake of garlic.

Studies have also found garlic to cause significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.


Turmeric is a good source of curcumin, an antioxidant that eases inflammation. Research suggests that curcumin may help ease pain. And other research shows that eating even small amounts of turmeric regularly may help prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s disease, possibly by helping prevent the brain plaques that lead to dementia.


The cocoa bean is chock-full of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been shown to boost heart health. Flavonoids seem to play a role in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helping keep your coronary (heart) arteries healthy, among other things. Also, studied suggest that daily intake of cocoa flavanols can improve mental performance in people with and without mental impairments.


Nutmeg is found to have health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, alleviate oral conditions, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function, and prevent leukemia, and improve blood circulation.


This sweet, pungent spice is in many pumpkin spice mixes. It’s known to soothe an upset stomach, and lab studies show it may also help fight inflammation. Cardamom may help fight bacteria in the mouth, a common cause of bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.


Oregano has many nutrients, including vitamins K and E, calcium, iron, manganese and fiber. Also, oregano is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, helping fend off heart disease, stroke and cancer. Plus, oregano has phytonutrients that help fight infections.

#Budgeting, #Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Self-Care, Traveling

10 Inexpensive Weekend and Daytrips from West, TN

Southern Living Experience

Living in the South brings its own perks. We have the opportunity to experience soul food and southern hospitality. The environments are always filled with a welcoming, laid back energy to all that are here to stay and those that roam. In fact, most natives of the southern states would not trade their experience for any other location in the United States. For those seeking a little adventure, living in the Mid-South has one perk in particular, it is literally driving distance or a day-trip from many landmarks and attractions. On this list, the hope is to gather new places to explore each weekend with your family.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is a city in Ohio, located on the Ohio River. The Over-the-Rhine district is known for its 19th-century architecture. There are also well known locations such as the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Google Maps lists this trip to be under 8 hours, driving distance from Memphis, TN.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

The longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky offers cave tours based on skill level. These tours range from novice to expert. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes from Memphis, TN.

Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach is a small city in Alabama. Spend the weekend skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Also, Orange Beach offers parasailing, dolphin cruises, fishing, and diving. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 7 hours from Memphis, TN.

Hardy, Arkansas

The small town of Hardy, AR has three museums, summer musical shows, bed and breakfast inns and several festivals each year. Cherokee Village, the state’s first resort/retirement settlement, is just southwest of town, offering lake activities and two championship golf courses. For those interested in fishing year round, this is your place. Google Map lists this trip as approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Memphis, TN.

New Orleans, Louisiana

“The Big Easy” is situated along the Mississippi River and is known for its heavy cultural influence in the South. Nightlife includes vibrant live music, French cultured cuisine, and Mardi Gras related festivities. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 6 hours from Memphis, TN.

Destin, Florida

Destin is known for its white beaches and emerald green waters. Originating as a small fishing village, it is now a popular tourist destination. Destin calls itself “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” as there are claims of this city having the largest fish in Florida. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 8 hours from Memphis, TN.

Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee

Located in Northwest, TN, Reelfoot Lake is known for fishing, boating, and eagle viewing. Reelfoot lake is a flooded forest. Tourists can find beautiful greenery on the shorelines and eagles high above the Cypress trees. Google Maps lists this trip as 2 hours from Memphis, TN.

Tupelo, Mississippi

Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. You can tour the Elvis Presley museum and reminisce at the statues of the late great performer. Tupelo also houses the Buffalo Park and Zoo where you can view bisons, zebras, and giraffes. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Memphis, TN.

Falls Creek Falls, Tennessee

Hike the trails to reach this magnificent waterfall in Tennessee. Fall Creek Falls is a 256-foot tall sheer-drop waterfall located in Fall Creek Falls State Park near Spencer, Tennessee. For those seeking to stay the weekend, this state park offers cabins and RV parking. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 6 hours from Memphis, TN.

#Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Parenting, Self-Care, Teachers, Weather

The Benefits of Walking or Running in The Rain

When it starts to rain, typically, the first instinct is to run and take cover inside. However, after reading this today, you may change your mind. This is because you will learn the health benefits of going out into the rain.

1. The air is purer.

After a heavy rainfall, the air is purer because as raindrops fall through the atmosphere, they have the ability to attract hundreds of particles of pollutants like dander, soot, sulfates and bacteria before hitting the ground.

2. Rain is good for your hair and skin.

Rain water is high in alkaline which is good for your hair and skin and does not contain harmful minerals. High levels of humidity in the air help keep your skin fresh.

3. Walks in the rain burn more calories and build more muscles.

Much like walks on the beach, walking or running in muddier surfaces forces you to use more muscle strength to move your legs and feet.

4. Chemicals released in the rain are stress reducing.

When water molecules crash together, as they do in falling rain, they create negative ions. Some researchers believe when these negative ions are inhaled, they create a chemical reaction that can reduce stress and anxiety. Read more on The Pyschology of Rain by clicking the link.

5. Running in the rain can increase metabolism and performance.

When performing any kind of exercise, your body’s temperature tends to increase, if you are working out in colder temperatures, the environment is helping cool your body and maintain a more stable temperature. This allows you to work harder for longer due to a lesser risk of overheating. As always, consult your Physician before trying a now workout regime.

6. Boost Your Immune System

This is done by exposing yourself to various different temperatures and life outside of the house. As a result, you will develop a stronger immune system for the future.

7. Connect with Nature

This is another way to connect with nature and it’s elements. Typically, we are indoors when it rains. It is a nice concept to embrace all of nature’s elements.

Read more here

Tips to Successfully Run in The Rain

1. Stay safe and inside if it is a severe storm or produces thunder, lightening, hail or tornadoes.

2. Dress appropriately in rain gear that will keep you somewhat dry. The goal is to enjoy the rain but not develop hypothermia or any other related illness.

3. Seal off electronics such as your iPhone or watch in a waterproof case.

#Healthy, Gardening, Self-Care, Weather

10 Beautiful Houseplants You Should Consider

Epipremnum aureum

If you tend to forget to water your plants, this one is for you! Pathos are the easiest houseplants to maintain. This plant has heart shaped leaves differing in colors green and yellow. Thrives in bright, indirect light, but can tolerate medium to low indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun. Water this plant every 1-2 weeks.

Chamaedorea elegans

The parlor palm is one of the most heavily sold houseplant palms in the world. It’s adapted to relatively low light, can handle lower temperatures, and grows in attractive clumps with light-textured foliage cloaking thin trunks. Water every 1-2 weeks. This plant grows in bright indirect sunlight but not intense sunlight.

Peperomia argyreia

Watermelon Peperomia are incredibly easy-going, low-care houseplants–great for beginners! Water the Watermelon Peperomia when the top 50%-75% of the soil is dry. Watermelon Peperomia will grow in medium to bright indirect light.

Hypoestes phyllostachya

Warm temperatures and humidity are key to growing polka dot plants. To prevent overgrowth, pinch back the top two leaves on each stem on a weekly basis. For the polka dot plant, bright, indirect light is ideal for growth. Water this plant moderately and keep soil moist.

Chlorophytum comosum

For the spider plant, bright indirect sunlight is ideal for growth. Water roughly once a week spring to fall, occasionally in winter, average warmth.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. The name comes from two root words: “aloeh” is an Arabic word meaning bitter, and “vera” is Latin for “truth.” Place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. Water aloe vera plants deeply, but infrequently. In other words, the soil should feel moist after watering, but should be allowed to dry out to some extent before you water again.

Crassula ovata

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and water only sparingly in the winter months. This plant is toxic to cats and dogs. The jade plant flourishes in good health with plenty of light.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) is a popular houseplant. It is often available for sale during late winter and spring months. As an indoor plant in cooler climates, kalanchoe grows best in full sun or bright indirect light. Water this plant every 2 weeks.

Saintpaulia ionantha

African Violet originates from Africa and the flowers look like violets. Never place an African Violet in direct sunlight. Keep soil moist when watering.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia

ZZ’s one major drawback is that all parts of the plant are poisonous. Situate a ZZ plant in low to bright indirect light, and water when fully dry. Water this plant once a month. Read more here.


Thrifting 101- How to Find the Highest Quality Items On A Dime.

As someone who has grown up in thrift stores, I have grown to absolutely love thrifting when all things align. Let’s be honest, not all thrift stores are alike and not all thrifting days are the same.

When thrifting, it’s important to set your goal before entering into the store. If you are looking for pants, I suggest only going to the clothing portion of the store. If you are furniture shopping, veer straight to that particular section upon entering the store. Your pockets and your precious time will thank me later.

Thrifting is in fact an art.

It takes creativity, patience, and diligence to sort through gently used clothing and household items. One way to organize your thoughts and closet ahead of time, is to print the pictures off of “potential outfit ideas.” This will eliminate any frustration as you roam the shelves. Let’s face it, there is no guarantee that you will find all of the items on your mental or physical list. Remember, not all thrift stores are the same and not all shopping experiences are the same.

Beware of Overly Used or Malfunctioning Items

There are some items you should either avoid or exercise extreme caution before purchasing. These items include electronics (toasters, radios, blenders, televisions). Some thrift stores will allow you to test these items out before purchasing (DO IT!) Most thrift stores have a no return policy.

Learn the Donation Days and Sales Events

Some thrift stores have a specific day to which the items are placed on the shelves. Regulars know these days and show up faithfully on these days. This is when ‘new’ gently used items are re-stocked. I suggest showing up early, preferably before the lunch hour!

Call or visit your favorite or local thrift store to learn about the weekly sales events. If you’re lucky, you can catch the buy one get one for half off. Some events even include all items half priced. Word of advice on the sales days: The lines will be long and the competition will be HIGH for some items.

Buying secondhand is a mindful way to help decrease pollution from production, waste, and use of resources while still getting your fashion fix.

Check The Zip-Code

As stated, not all thrift stores and experiences are the same. Yes, that’s right. There are some thrift stores that are basically overpriced used items. Within these stores, you can find $75 purses and $35 belts. This is not O.K. The purpose is to locate used items that are used and still usable for a reduced price. Be sure you are not being taken advantage of for the sake of thrifting!

Experiment and Have Fun!

Create your own thrifting experience and have fun doing it! When you leave with all of your new items, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness! Happy Thrifting!

#Healthy, Cooking, Parenting, Self-Care

Super Fruits You Should Add Into Your Diet Today


Cherries are low in calories. Cherries are full of vitamins C, A, and K. Cherries are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system.


Blackberries boost brain health and are packed with vitamin C, K, and fiber. Blackberries also support oral health.


Pomegranates improve memory, reduce blood pressure and combat heart disease. Looking to hydrate your skin? Pomegranates are known to serve as a moisturizer due to the high source of vitamin C.


The “King of Fruits,” mangoes, containing Vitamin A, fight oral cavities, promotes healthy heart and skin.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are known to protect the eyes from eye diseases and damage from UV lights. Also, Goji berries protect against cancer and provide immune support. Goji berries also improves anxiety and depression. A group given the goji berry juice reported improved energy, ability to focus, enhanced athletic performance, mental acuity, and feelings of calmness and contentment by day 15.


Watermelon is 92% water, making it a delicious way to rehydrate. Watermelon contains antioxidants which can remove free radicals from the body. These can develop through smoking, air pollution, stress,and other environmental pressures. Watermelon improves the brain and nervous system including memory, muscle movement, and early brain development.


Raspberries are packed with fiber and Vitamin C. Raspberries are said to prevent known and common diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Raspberries aid in weight loss and reduces inflammation.


Tomatoes contain fiber, vitamin K, C and potassium. Tomatoes have lycopene which is known to promote skin health.

Açaí Berries

Thanks to their high antioxidant content, acai berries have many potential health benefits. They’re loaded with powerful plant compounds that act as antioxidants and have benefits for your brain, heart and overall health. They also deliver healthy fats and fiber, making them a healthy food.


Apples are high in fiber and are linked to lowering the risk of diabetes. Apples promote good gut health and can be good for weight loss. Apples also are good for your heart and fight asthma.


Cantaloupe has 100% value for Vitamin C. Cantaloupe also promotes eye, skin, and bone and your immune system. Cantaloupe is high in Zinc, Calcium, and Iron.

Parenting, Self-Care

Wildflowers-What Kind You Should Be On The Lookout For This Summer?

Black Eyed Susan’s

Black Eyed Susan’s are the most popular wildflower in America. These bright flowers can be found in open fields and can reach up to 3 feet tall each. Butterflies, bees, and a variety of insects are attracted to the flowers for the nectar. Expect these flowers to bloom between June and October of each year.

Common Milkweed

Common milkweeds can be found throughout the United States, however, they are more prominent in the eastern states. These flowers are high in fragrance and attract varying types of pollinators including the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is known to lay their eggs in the milkweed plant. These flowers bloom midsummer.

Pink Evening Primrose

The Pink Evening Primrose is native of the southeastern region of the United States. This wildflower spreads rapidly and tends to push down other plants when planted. It is suggested to grow this plant within a container to prevent wide spreading.

Fox Glove

This beautiful and unique flower is native to Europe and the Mediterranean region. Although extremely beautiful, Fox Gloves are poisonous. Fox Gloves produce 20 to 80 purple-pink flowers ranging in different colors. Foxglove’s bloom from June to September.


Spiderwort is native to North America, South America, and Central America and blooms in the spring. Spiderworts can grow up to two feet. When a Spiderwort is cracked open, the stem of the secrets a white, sticky substance that becomes thread-like and silky once hardened (similar to a spider’s web). This is why the flower is named Spiderwort.

New England Aster

New England Aster flowers are native to Northeastern United States. It is recommended that these plants receive full sunlight. These flowers range in colors of white, purple, yellow, and pink with yellow centers.

Plains Coreopsis

Plains Coreopsis plant is commonly found in Canada, northeast Mexico, and much of the United States. This plant is an annual flower. Planters can expect several months of bloom and color until Fall/Winter. It generally reaches 3-4’ in height.

Parenting, Self-Care

Essential Oils for Moms- How to Use And What You Should Know

Essential oils are here to stay. Whether you utilize these oils as a home fragrance, headache remedy, sinus pressure, joint relief or therapeutic treatment, we are going to explore some of the major essential oils every mom should have on hand.

Aromatherapy is the art of using natural essential oils to improve the balance of body and mind.

There are many benefits to using aromatherapy in day to day life. Read below to learn more!


The most popular essential oil. Lavender oil promotes relaxation and believed to treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps. Lavender is safe for mom and baby!

One study found that when moms bathed their infants in lavender scented water, multiple benefits for both mom and baby were experienced. These benefits include calmness and encouraged the baby to go to sleep, peacefully. Lavender can also be used for diaper rashes. Read more here.


NIH defines peppermint as oil taken from the peppermint leaf. Based on studies, peppermint is known to treat many physical ailments. Peppermint is promoted for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), other digestive problems, the common cold, sinus infections, headaches, and other conditions. Peppermint oil is promoted for topical use (applied to the skin) for problems like headache, muscle aches, joint pain, and itching. In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is promoted for treating coughs and colds, reducing pain, improving mental function, and reducing stress.

Peppermint can be used while breastfeeding for mom when used as a topical cream. It is suggested not to use peppermint before breastfeeding, as this can have an effect on a young baby. Read more on The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.


This oil is derived from the chamomile flower, similar to a daisy flower by first glance. Chamomile is known to treat all things related to digestive health including heart burn, upset stomach, and vomiting. Some have utilized Chamomile to soothe their colicky baby. As always, consult a medical professional before giving this remedy to yourself or baby.

Chamomile is also known to manage anxiety, serve as a mouth rinse, heal physical wounds, relieve back pain, and serves as a sleep remedy. Read more about this amazing essential oil here.


Eucalyptus is known for aiding as a cough suppressant and can be found in Vick’s Vapor Rub. Eucalyptus also is used as a means of controlling blood sugar, bug repellent, soothing cold sores, and joint pain relief.

Almighty Eucalyptus can also be used to get rid of small rodents, like rats. It is not advised to take this oil by mouth, as it is very toxic and can cause a severe reaction. Read more here.


Another type of orange tree, however, it’s called a bergamot plant (Citris Bergamia). The uses are going to amaze you because unlike most of the oils on the list, this one focuses on hair and beauty treatments.

Bergamot is used in beauty creams and is often mixed with coconut oil as a skin softener. This oil can be added into shampoo, body wash, facial scrubs, homemade candles, and air fresheners. Bergamot is used to treat acne and scars by leaving on overnight. Bergamot is also used for hair as a moisturizer and scalp treatment. For an irritated scalp, it is suggested to leave this oil in your hair overnight and tie it down for full absorption. Read more on this oil here.