Keep Kids & Family Healthy this Holiday / Winter Season – Cold & Flu

prevent cold & flu

Photo Courtesy of TheTelegraph

Have you have ever been awakened early morning with a very sick child, only to realize that you have a house full of family members coming in a few hours for Thanksgiving dinner?  There is nothing worse than trying to comfort a sick, little one while trying to mash the potatoes, stuff the turkey and keep Grandpa’s coffee cup full. Trying to keep your family healthy during the holiday season is a challenge as it happens to occur right in the middle of cold and flu season.

It doesn’t have to be this way… there are good, proven strategies that we can use to help protect our children and families from dreaded cold and flu viruses.   According to a recent report on WebMD there are some easy to follow tips to help prevent the spread and contraction of those pesky viruses:

  1. Wash those hands!  If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times.  Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds is a proven, effective way to kill germs. In a crunch, hand sanitizer will work also.  I also find myself saying “keep your hands off of your face/ out of your mouth/nose and away from your eyes” at least once per day.  Children’s hands do not remain clean very long, so remind them…. wash often, hands off face.
  2. Get your flu shot (or the nasal spray vaccine)!  This goes for the entire family above 2 years of age.  Although this will not guarantee that your child won’t get the flu, the CDC says it is about 65% effective.  If the flu is still contracted after the shot, the symptoms should be much milder and last a shorter duration.
  3. Practice healthy habits! That’s right.  What we should all be doing year round anyways will go extra far during cold and flu season.  Eat right.  Get plenty of quality sleep.  Exercise every day.


In addition, research has been conducted and found that investing in a quality home humidifier can help fight the flu. “It seems that [the influenza virus’] ability to survive and be transmitted person-to-person is greatly affected by how dry or wet the air is,” says Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, of Oregon State University in Corvallis, whose study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The flu virus thrives in low moisture, dry environments, so by using a humidifier, you are able to control the indoor humidity level, thus reducing the potential spread of the virus.

Also, make sure you change your home’s HVAC air filters. By design, these filters are made to remove dust, mold, pollen, allergens and bacteria from the air.  By removing these airborne particulates, you will be breathing cleaner, healthier air.

Fight back this year against cold and flu season.  My Grandma always said, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” So, enjoy the holidays this year… with a healthy family!

Time is on my side… Time Saving Shopping Strategies & Gift Ideas

Time is money

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The Rolling Stones sing that Time is on My Side, but if you are like most of us, time is definitely NOT on your side.  With the holidays right around the corner, now is a great time to consider some time saving strategies that will help you not only save valuable time, but also save money!

My number one suggestion relating to this topic is to shop on-line.  If you have not already discovered the wonderful world of on-line shopping then now is the time!  With the whole world at your finger tips, you are able to find almost any product you may need, at any time, day or night.  While most of us are shopping for holiday gifts during this time of year, don’t neglect your household basics that can also be found on-line.  Purchasing certain types of products can not only save you money, but save you time as well.

Let’s look at water.  We are going to drink it and lots of it, because it is good for us.  Benefits include:

  • Increases energy and relieves fatigue
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Boosts immune system


Buying case after case of bottled water, week after week quickly adds up to a huge and expensive time waste.  The Water Project found that the average American spends roughly $100/yr on bottled water! Not to mention the environmental impact.  Did you know that it takes 1,000 years for a disposable water bottle to biodegrade? An alternative solution is to invest in sustainable water filtration, which can be easily handled on-line at

There are multiple options available:


Imagine not having to haul around cases of water from your shopping cart, to your car, into the house then having to find some place to store it.  Any of the above mentioned solutions can save you the time and hassle and save you money over the duration.

After selecting the water filtration device that best suits your family, why not go ahead and replace your AC and furnace home air filters from the same site?  Not only will you find the size you need, but you can also order in bulk. And they best part is, you can even sign up for Auto Delivery!  No more having to remember when to replace your filters, will remind you and ship them right to your front door.  This is a time and money saving strategy at its best!

Remember during this busy time of year, shopping on-line can truly save you both time and money.  Don’t forget about your day to day items.  Find sites that offer great options, money saving items and take the worry out of remembering to replace products.

De”MIST”ifying Humidifiers – Warm or Cool Mist is Better?

Holmes-HM5082-Warm-Mist-HumidifierCrane-EE-3186-Ultrasonic-Elephant-HumidifierCrane EE-5200 B-Filter

It is that time of year again.  Outdoor temperatures are dropping and indoor heating systems are turning on.  Whether you use a wood burning stove to heat your home or a centralized heating system, chances are you will encounter dry air this winter.  Exposure to dry air indoors can contribute to a variety of minor inconveniences like static electricity, dry, itchy skin and nosebleeds to more serious health concerns including sinus irritation and infections as well as asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments such as bronchitis.

One of the best ways to combat dry air is to use a humidifier.  Shopping for one can be a bit overwhelming if you are not familiar with the options available.  One of the first choices you will be faced with is deciding between a warm or cool mist unit.  Both types are equally effective in adding humidity to the air, which is the main objective.  According to research done by, a few notable differences are as follows:

Cool Mist Humidifier:

  • Cheaper to operate
  • Nosier
  • Easier to Clean
  • Suspended material such as microorganisms and minerals are diffused into the air


Warm Mist Humidifier:

  • Heating element requires more energy to run
  • Silent
  • Harder to clean
  • Hot water and heating element may cause scalding. Risky for young children


It basically comes down to a personal choice, since both work well at adding humidity back into the air.  Another option to consider is size.  There are units that work to humidify smaller spaces such as a single bedroom or several rooms up to an entire house or office building.  Some humidifiers allow you to monitor the humidity level, with the optimal range falling between 30 – 50%.  Some units require replacement filters while others do not.  Keep in mind that it is important that you thoroughly clean and maintain the unit regularly based on the manufacturers recommendations. If your humidifier has replaceable filters, always replace the filter at the appropriate time. has all of your humidifier needs in one convenient place. There are multiple major brands to select from such as Vicks, Pure Guardian, Honeywell and Crane, as well as many others and a variety of unit sizes available to fit your needs. In addition, you will find all of the necessary filters to keep your unit running at its best for years to come.