Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What's better than Ollie's Blocks? Ollie's Blocks at 20% off!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review.



When I received my box of Ollie's Blocks, I knew the grandkids were going to love them. And they did... right from the start. At first, I took them to my daughter's house for her two older girls. But now I'm taking them back. Mean ol' granny! The thing is, I want to keep them at my house for when any of the grandkids are visiting. I have to keep a close eye on the younger two, since there are small parts that could be swallowed, but the older three can play and invent to their heart's content. And let me tell you, they'll play for hours with Ollie's Blocks. There's just so much to create with them. The possibilities are endless! Think Legos meets Lincoln Logs. 




Ollie's Blocks are handmade in Israel out of high quality oak. The pegs are made from safe, durable plastic. Building with them is reminiscent of earlier eras when children explored their creativity down on the floor with blocks rather than having electronic devices lead them away from truly creative play. That's probably what I love most about them.


There are 100 pieces in each set and they come in a sturdy plastic carrying case. My rule: play with the Ollie's Blocks only. When you're done, put them back in the box before dragging out other toys. That way, all 100 pieces will be readily available each and every time they want to play with them.


Truth be told, adults love playing with them, too. 



The original toys were created many years ago for an old wooden toy company. The adult children of the creator resurrected them and, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, were launched as Ollie's Blocks, named after the owners' daughter, Olivia.

Your kids and grandkids will love them. I'm 99% sure of that. And thanks to a generous promo code, you can buy them on Amazon at 20% off the retail price. Just click here to purchase and use the code: OLIBLK20 at check out. 



Let me know what you think once your kit arrives. After all, you'll have plenty of time to kick off your shoes, grab a beverage of choice and shoot off a quick message to me. Your kids will be occupied for many hours. Whatever will you do with all your free time?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Time for a Giveaway! Teespring to the rescue!

Disclosure: I received products and/or compensation in exchange for this post.


Hey everyone. It's been awhile since you've heard from me. So I thought I'd reenter the blogosphere with a giveaway. Sound good?

The thing is, there's this great website called Teespring with some awesome environmentally-themed designs. One of their designers reached out to me a while back and asked me if I'd like to sample some products. Of course, after checking them out, I was happy to do so. 



As a photographer, Heather Jepsen created some designs using a shot of the ocean she'd taken while in Grand Cayman. She sent me a super-comfy hoodie featuring one of these designs. While it's way too warm to be sporting the sweatshirt right now, I am looking forward to wearing it in the fall to advertise my love of this amazing planet of ours. 


In addition to the hoodie, I also received a green mug (appropriate, don't you think?) that reminds me of one of my favorite, life-changing phrases: Don't sweat the small stuff. How often I need that daily reminder with my morning cup of coffee!

Now let's get to the giveaway part! There will be two winners of this one because there are two prizes. The first is a grey t-shirt (size 3XL) that features a ocean-themed peace sign.



And the second is a deep heather tank top (size 2XL) with the Love, Water theme.



Isn't the ocean photo fabulous? Oh, and Heather assures me that these sizes run small.

In addition to the giveaway, all Green Grandma followers are entitled to a 20% off deal on everything through June 20. So jump on it! There are some great products and if you act fast, you'll save $$$ when you order. Just click this link here to activate your savings.

And please follow Heather on FB, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

Enter the giveaway below. Must be 18 or older. USA only.

Good luck!







Winners must respond to emails within 48 hours before alternate winners will be chosen. Green Grandma is not responsible for prize fulfillment but will do everything she can to ensure the prizes are delivered in a timely matter. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The influence of a mother

My mother holding me many, many years ago.

"The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured. They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, temperance, kindness, and industry..."
~Billy Graham


Monday, May 8, 2017

Cardinals and your health. What is the connection?

I love cardinals. There's nothing like looking out of the window and seeing a splash or two of red in the trees and bushes. It's especially stunning when the yard is blanketed in snow. Stunning!

Thanks, katmystiry for the lovely photo!

But aside from their beauty, did you know that having cardinals in your yard is actually healthy, too? Seriously. A study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, noted that cardinals are good for our health.

The findings are related to a study at Emory University in Atlanta where there are fewer cases of  people infected with the West Nile virus than in other cities with similar demographics. What's the difference? Cardinals. 

The West Nile virus shows up in approximately 30% of birds in Atlanta. In Chicago, the number is lower at 18.5%. But throughout the state of Illinois, there have been 2,088 cases of West Nile in humans since 2002. In Georgia during that same period, the number drops to only 330 cases. 

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus feed on robins and other birds, which then spreads to people. However, the opposite happens when they feed on cardinals. For some reason, after feeding on cardinals, the virus is suppressed.

Moral of the story: provide an ideal habitat for cardinals and your chances of contracting West Nile virus drop dramatically. Cardinals like to nest in dense thickets. Make sure you provide fresh water for them and grow native plants. Of course, you want to avoid insecticides, since many birds, including cardinals, depend on insects as their main source of food, protein, and fats.

By welcoming cardinals into your yard, you're adding a bit of protection against a nasty virus. Now sit back and enjoy the view!

I'd love to see your own photos of cardinals in your yards. Feel free to add them to the Green Grandma FB page!

Have a safe and happy May!




Friday, May 5, 2017

Vinegar Friday -- It's time to break out the summer clothing

TGIVF!!

We started out our spring Vinegar Fridays with a guest post by Jeriann Watkins Ireland. She's joining us again this month to discuss how apple cider vinegar can help with conditions like varicose veins.


It’s almost summer, and that means it’s time for shorts, skirts, and other skin-exposing clothing. If you’ve got skin conditions like eczema, warts, spider veins, or varicose veins, sometimes wearing warm-weather clothing seems daunting.

I’ve always had pretty visible veins, especially when I’m cold. Sometimes, I don’t even feel cold and I look down and my hands are purple. My dad had the same issue and I’ve never given it much thought -- just chalked it up to bad circulation.

One major concern when it comes to circulation is veins, particularly varicose veins. Varicose veins are blue, twisted veins that can be seen through the skin. These veins have damaged valves that result in them holding more blood at higher pressure than normal. This can cause leg pain, swollen ankles, aching, cramping, itching, restless legs, and even venous ulcers. For some people, varicose veins are simply an aesthetic inconvenience, making warm weather attire less appealing. Others suffer severe pain due to the venous insufficiencies that cause varicose veins.

Luckily, venous insufficiency doesn’t have to be permanent. Below I’m going to talk about the different causes of venous insufficiency and how Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) can combat the root cause of varicose veins in each situation.

Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, the presence of the fetus puts pressure on the uterus. This can cause blood flow issues in the surrounding veins. Hormonal changes also weaken the vein walls and cause valves to stop functioning properly. This causes blood that’s supposed to circulate back to the heart to get stuck in pools, usually in the legs.

Luckily, our good friend ACV boosts the body’s ability to produce hormones and balance levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Apple Cider Vinegar also offers other benefits to pregnant bodies, such as helping with indigestion and encouraging balanced levels of bacteria in the microbiome of both the mother and the developing baby. Drinking a shot of ACV in the mornings can help regulate hormones and digestive function throughout the day.

Obesity
Being overweight can cause increased blood pressure, which can damage valve function and prevent blood from moving up toward the heart. Regular ACV consumption is known to help with both weight loss and blood pressure management. It helps with weight loss by balancing bacteria and flushing fats out of the body. It helps with blood pressure by getting rid of bad cholesterol.

Of course, like any weight loss strategy (or health strategy in general), consistency is important. 2 TBSP a day of ACV is recommended in order to see results. Adding ACV to salad dressings is a great way to eat healthy and manage blood pressure and weight at the same time. You can also make a warm tonic each morning with ACV, local honey, and lemon juice. You can also add water to this mixture to dilute the strong flavors. Without water, it’s more of a “shot. With water, it can be a morning beverage to sip on. Drinking warm lemon water in the mornings is recommended as a detoxifying method, so mixing it with ACV helps boost those effects. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis
If you’ve ever had blood clots or other vein conditions, you’re much more likely to experience varicose veins. Luckily, we already know ACV helps blood flow, so combining it with other ingredients that aid circulation can help prevent blood clots. Try putting some turmeric or cayenne pepper in your daily shot of ACV. These are both natural blood thinners. Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory, so if you’re already experiencing pain due to venous insufficiency, it can help calm things down.

Lack of Movement/Prolonged Crossed Legs
ACV won’t help you move more, but I like to combine my wellness strategies through awareness. If I’m sitting at my home office with my legs up on my yoga ball (which is horrible for circulation), and my legs start to go numb, I use the moment to do something healthy. This might be as simple as stretching and drinking a glass of water. If I haven’t had any ACV yet, I might take a moment to mix up a shot with honey, turmeric, ginger, or other healthy ingredients, based on what my health focus is that day. So while I go up the stairs or wait for water to heat up, I make sure to move as much as possible. This helps combat the negative effects on my body from sitting all day.

Do you have issues with varicose or spider veins? Have you found other strategies to manage or prevent them? Share in the comments!



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