Category Archives: Interesting

5 Easy Ways to be Environmentally Conscious for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day to everyone out there!

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would give you my top 5 easy ways to be environmentally conscious today and going forward.

earth day

  1. Recycle at Home – I can’t say this one enough. We recycle everything we possibly can. I am weird about it, but if you’re not, start off small. Try to have your recycling bin contain more than your trash bin at the end of every week.
  2. Use refillable water bottle. This is easy with the kids since they tend to use sippy cups that you bring with you, but consider getting one for yourself too. If you need a recommendation, I love my CamelBak Stainless steel bottle. The stainless is awesome because it doesn’t hold flavors like plastic does and CamelBak warranties all their parts. I had the mouthpiece break a couple of years ago and they completely replaced it at no charge to me.
  3. Use reusable grocery bags. I am an Aldi shopper and so I pretty much have to do this, but its a great habit to pick up anyway.  You can find reusable grocery bags pretty much anywhere for inexpensive.
  4. Accept and give hand-me-downs. We have a solid rotation system down with friends and family for kids clothing. We only have to buy clothes for special occasions and wear hand me downs the rest of the time. I love this because not only is it environmentally conscious, it saves money. We also donate clothing when it no  longer fits.
  5. Garden. We love to have a small vegetable and herb garden in the summer. I love that it teaches the kiddos about the world and life cycles plus it provides great nutrition.

Looking for a fun Earth Day project to try with your littles? This one looks like a blast and way easy.

make a wish

Fresh Take 5’s Friday Favorites

Here are some of my favorite finds from the web this week for your viewing pleasure.

friday favorites

Funny

It’s crazy how advertising used to be. My jaw is on the floor about the “just 1 minute, young lady” ad. That would be completely unacceptable these days.

We always love fail videos. Best Reporter Falls didn’t disappoint.

Parenting

Do you make your kids share?

I do most of the time. I think it is a way to teach kids kindness; I regularly share with friends, family, and neighbors. I do agree with a lot of the author’s points though. I think there is a right and wrong way to teach sharing. You teach them to offer a trade, you set time limits, etc.

Good Eats

This list of healthy breakfast ideas is already being used at our house. I love a poached egg and avocado toast for breakfast. What are you gonna try or do you eat already and recommend?

Science

Fire ants are so interesting.

Netflix Watch List March 2015: What We’re Watching Now

I am always seeking out new and interesting things to watch on Netflix. Sometimes it seems like their selection is so big it’s impossible to choose something you like so I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what we have watched recently and recommend to add to your Netflix watch list.

netflix must watch

Parenthood

TV Series, Drama

parenthood

I know I am super late to this game, but I started from the beginning and have been loving this series.

Peaky Blinders

TV Series, Historical Crime Drama

peaky blinders

This series is so good, but beware there are only two seasons so far. Also, you may have to turn on the subtitles during some points because the accent gets really thick.

In A World

Comedy Film

in a world

Enjoyable comedy for both sexes. Great movie for a Friday night in.

Under the Electric Sky

Documentary

under the electric sky“The film chronicles the community and life of festival-goers during Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, the largest dance and music festival held in the US.”

I know, you’re skeptical, but you must try it.

The Gruffalo

Kids

Gruffalo

This is a really cool narration and animation of a children’s book. It is narrated with the most soothing voice ever and is great for talking about imagination. If you like it try The Gruffalo’s Child also.

What have you watched recently on Netflix that you would recommend? What is on your Netflix watch list?

Reconnecting with Your Spouse Using the 5 Love Languages

As Valentine’s Day fast approaches, I’m sure you have though about gifts for your significant other and perhaps, even purchased something already. Either way, you should consider learning about the 5 Love Languages and making it part of this Valentine’s day for you both as a couple.

Reconnection with Your Spouse Using 5 love Languages

The 5 Love Languages are part of a theory based on the book by Gary Chapman. In essence the theory is that we all are partial to receiving love in a certain “language” and that language is not always necessarily the same as our partner’s. So in other words, you need to know the language your partner receives love in in order to effectively communicate your love to them.

The 5 Love Languages, according to Gary Chapman, are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

I highly recommend hopping over to this site for a quick quiz to identify your main love languages. Then, send the link to your partner and have them complete the quiz. Make some time to share your results with each other. The site is good at going into detail about each language and gives examples. At best, completing the quiz with your significant other will highly increase your relationship. At worst, you spend twenty minutes really talking with the person you love, its a win-win.

couple in florence

 

 

PopSugar Must Have January 2015 Review

PopSugar Must Have is a subscription box that I pay for. It is $39.95 a month, or less, if you subscribe for a longer period of time. They offer monthly, 3 month and 6 month subscriptions.

This is on par for my favorite subscription box, rivaled only with Golden Tote. So I thought I would show you what I received for the month of January.

Fresh Take 5 - PopSugar Must Have Review

Manduka eQua Hand Towel

Suggested Retail $16

Manduka is a great brand and I can’t wait to put this to use while doing yoga. It would also be great for just a plain old sweat towel.

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ToGoSpa Eyes

Suggested Retail $12.50

This looks like a fun thing to try.

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Skin Jewel Tattoos

$18

Hmmm, I’m not so sure about these… Can a 30 year old pull these off?

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Suggested Retail $28

With winter in Minnesota, moisturizing is a must. I can’t wait to try this and love that it is a huge tub.

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KeepCup 12 oz Reusable Coffee Cup

Suggested Retail $26

I love this concept since I have become a daily coffee drinker. I just wish it came with a band color other than pink. I’m just not a pink person.

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Jack + Lucy Pom Pom Hat

Suggested Retail $32

I’m in love with this hat. It’s super soft and warm.

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General Mills Nature Valley Protein Granola

Suggested Retail $3.68

Super delicious! Kyle stole it for work right away.

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If you are thinking of giving PopSugar Must Have a try use my referral link pretty please.

 

 

 

How to Create Digital Christmas Cards In 5 Easy Steps

How To Create a Digital Christmas Card-Freshtake5

Did you wait until the last minute to order Christmas cards because you wanted the perfect picture? Or maybe you just decided it wasn’t in the budget for Christmas this year. Either way, digital christmas cards are a great way to send holiday greetings to family and friends and save yourself the printing and mailing costs.

I tend to create digital Christmas cards even if I order a few paper ones. That way I can save money by just sending cards to grandparents and others who I know just don’t use the internet. And then I also have a digital Christmas card to send to international friends and family (hola to my Guatemalan family!).

How to Create Digital Christmas Cards in 5 Easy Steps

1. Choose a picture or pictures

Make sure you choose a picture that is in focus and that you love it. I recommend that you chose at least one picture that has the whole family (yes- people want to see you too, not just the kids).

For example, here is a cute one of my kids from last year.

digital christmas cards - original

2. Edit the picture to include your holiday greeting

I am a photoshop user, but it is an expensive editing software that not everyone needs. Try using a free service like PicMonkey to achieve the look you want.  (Hint: Click the “Edit for free” link in the upper right and you don’t even have to create a user.)

digital christmas cards - finsihed card

If you need some inspiration, check out our pinterest board of easy to recreate digital Christmas cards here.

3. Compile your recipient list

I like to send my digital Christmas cards via email. To me it just seems a little more personal than posting it to Facebook or Instagram, but don’t let that stop you if that is your prefered method of contacting friends and family.

4. Insert your edited photo

If you are a gmail user, here is a little trick to embed the photo rather than have it be an attachment. Choose the “Insert photo” button (looks like a mountain landscape) rather than “Attach files” button.

insert photo

5. Send!

Push send. You’re done. Pour a glass a wine and sit back and enjoy your holiday season! I usually get a few replies to my cards which is always a nice perk of digital Christmas cards over paper.

Are you a sender of digital Christmas cards? How do you create them?

Why Your Memories Could All Be False

Memories Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever heard of the phenomenon of confirmation bias? It’s where you believe said idea or concept and when encountering new information you remember and interpret it so that agrees with that original idea. Wikipedia defines it as:

Confirmation bias, also called myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, or prioritize information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.”

I have usually seen this most prominently in regards to politics. We have an idea of what we believe in (a stance if you will) and when we listen to the news or other people’s take on an issue we interpret this information to confirm why we believe what we do.

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus takes this concept a step further in her research of memories and in particular, false memories. She has found that people will not only confirm an existing memory or belief, but that they will subconsciously create a memory or belief if coached to do so.

Read the really interesting interview Vice.com does with her here.

 

Serial Podcast and 4 Other Must-Listen Podcasts

Are you as obsessed with the Serial podcast as I am?

I have loved the This American Life podcast for years. It has been my my go-to in the car listening. For me it is the best available podcast option for longer car trips, but now I am suddenly obsessed with the Serial podcast, a podcast spin-off if you will, from the This American Life creators and hosted by Sara Koenig.

 

My 5 Favorite Podcasts:

serial podcast

1. Serial

Serial is a podcast where we unfold one nonfiction story, week by week, over the course of a season. We’ll stay with each story for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of it.”

The first season of the Serial podcast follows the story of the murder of Hae Min Lee and her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed who was convicted of her murder.

 

this american life

2. This American Life

“There’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe.”

If you are new to This American Life, I recommend starting here.

 

radio lab

3. Radiolab

“Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”

Radiolab is awesome for people who love the application of science and sound to everyday life.

 

planet money

4. Planet Money

“Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money.”

I would add that you should also imagine your friend is brilliant and an amazing teacher.

 

freakanomics radio

5. Freakonomics Radio

Did you ever read the book Freakonomics? It’s a great, quick read that makes economics relevant to the everyday person. The authors created the podcast in 2010 for more fun.