Cute Kid Ski Goggles

skibanz

skibanz We often use ski goggles for our little ones when playing outside in the winter. It offers some face protection and keeps tender eyes from wind and flying snow.

Created in Australia, BanZ has a complete protection collection of sun safety products for children ages 0-12. Sunglasses, hats, hearing protection and swimwear are available in multiples styles and sizes as well as sunscreen, swim goggles and more.

Free Case & Sunscreen Sample – Use coupon code FREE at checkout to receive a BanZ slip case as well as a sunscreen sample.

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How to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder

January can be a tough month.

December is full of family and celebrating and travel and yummy food and presents wrapped in bows.

And then comes January.

The reality of a white Christmas(most years) sets in as winter appears to be an endless stream of grey.

Perky resolutions remind us of our too tight pants, and lack of motivation.

The kids are sick of school. The toddlers are already tired of their new toys. The house is a mess.

January is a tough time for many moms.

Dreaming of sunny days? Me too.

So, What Can We Do?

The first step in fighting off the winter blues is acknowledging that they are there. Are you feeling funky? Irritable? Maybe even depressed? You are not alone.

It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but I prefer to call it January Blues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder has a natural source. Our shorter days and lack of sunlight deplete our already thin stores of Vitamin D. Have you been taking a supplement? Maybe it is time to start. Some people swear by some good broad spectrum UV lights. I don’t have the budget or the space for them, so I make do without. I leave the windows bare though and let as much light into my house as I can.

I don’t often feel like being very active in the winter. I love to hike and take long walks, but in the sub-zero North Dakota weather, I don’t often get to do this. And once I start to feel lazy it becomes a habit. However, when I do get moving, my mood and energy level improves. In the winter I take advantage of the boys’ Wii system and the fact that they are gone all day and can’t laugh at me. A few minutes with Wii Fit or Let’s Dance and I can feel my blood pumping and my mood lift.

I use January as a time to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. This winter I am participating in a 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge with the SITS Girls. I need to bring my blogging and writing to a new level, and this group has been just what my burnt out January brain needed.

I like to clean things in January. I’m not a normal person who spring cleans. Things are too fresh and pretty in spring to take time to clean. However, in January, when I am in my house ALL DAY LONG, I can see the spots that need improvement. I’ve recently whipped the living room into shape, and the little boys have a nice shiny room. I think the kitchen may be next. I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement lately from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. Mostly because, well, I’m a slob.

I also tend to take on new projects in January. I figure boredom leads to despair, so I try not to be bored. I’m currently working on two different eBooks, and I’m working on an agenda for a hands-on class for beginning bloggers. And honestly, who can be bored when chasing a pair of two-year olds. Frustrated, yes. Bored? Not a chance.

Chime in! How do you deal with the January blues? What keeps you from curling up in your hoodie and yoga pants and sleeping until April? You know I’d love to hear from you.

 

First Snow Chili

 

Fist Snow Chili

 

We have a tradition in our house.

Apparently, it is an unwritten, and unspoken tradition.

The other day we had snow flurries. Just flurries. Nothing stuck. The boys came home from school and asked where the chili was.

“What Chili?”, I replied.

“Mom, you always make chili on the first day it snows.”

And so I do. But, truth be told, I make chili on first snow days because I am lazy, and a terrible procrastinator. I am such a procrastinator that it takes actual snow flakes to fall from the sky to get me to organize our winter gear. This would be a perfectly acceptable practice if we lived in, say, Georgia. However, as my moniker alludes to, Dakota Pam lives in North Dakota. In case you are not sure where our little state is, look to the middle of Canada, then look slightly south. There we are! We get no hurricanes (yay!), but we are guaranteed winter weather. North Dakotans cannot escape winter. And yet, it takes snowflakes to get to to match up last years gloves and figure out if we have enough snow pants and boots.

Seriously.

So, usually, after a day of panicked matching, sorting, and inevitably shopping, I’m pooped. Too pooped to cook. And I’ve usually forgotten to plan ahead, so I have no real dinner options. Except Chili.

My “First Snow Chili” is no gourmet creation. The hardest thing for me  to do is opening all of the cans (thanks to the tendonitis brought on by hauling twin carseats for 18 months I now have an electric can opener. Yay me!).  I’m not going to win any chili cook-offs with this chili, and I doubt you will either. . .but if you do, slip me an email, my ego would LOVE that!

No, my friends, the best part of First Snow Chili, is that it takes about 10 minutes to whip up and only requires one pot.

I declared today our first snow day. It shouldn’t count, we have no measurable snowfall (yay), only flurries. BUT, I’m signed  up to bring dinner for the elementary school teachers today so they can snatch a bite between parent/teacher conferences. Plus, the boys have been BEGGING for chili and declaring every flurry a snowfall.

So, my friends, here is my lazy, snowy day gift to you.

First Snow Chili

This chili may not be fancy, but it is easy and tasty!

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) chili beans
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) dark red kidney beans
  • 1 small can RoTel tomatoes

Brown the ground beef. Drain off grease.

Open all of the cans. Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Dump everything into your pot. Stir. Simmer for as long as you need.

Chime in! Do you have any First Snow Day traditions? What is YOUR go-to lazy mom meal? You know I’d love to hear from you!