5 tips on how to avoid Back To School Colds!

Back to school time here in Chicago and all the parents are pretty excited! Summer came and went quickly and now Fall is staring us in the face. Dereon started school 2 weeks ago and it was all bliss until this past Monday when he started sneezing, coughing, and wiping his running nose. Sigh. I started to doctor him up immediately and in the process got myself sick. I started to feel real bad by Wednesday…Chance started to feel sick too. I’m still in the bed now trying to get to 100% before Monday. Chance is a fighter and he’s still getting into everything, but with a running nose and watery eyes. Dereon is feeling better since he has given his cooties to us. The husband has been working so hard he has kind of skipped the plague. Lol. Now that I look back at what I did wrong and I want to help you avoid the chaos a common cold can cause.

  1. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer! Sounds easy I know, but we don’t wash our hands enough. We have to reinforce this on our kiddos as well because his is the main way we spread germs.
  2. Take your vitamins! I know that vitamins can get costly and sometimes people have different side effects, but I recommend finding a good multivitamin for you and the kiddos to help keep your immune system up.
  3. Get your rest! Sleep is important because it relates to immune system and it just helps your overall health. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep nightly may seem impossible, but if you put you phone down and turn Love and Hip Hop off and go to bed. 
  4. Drink Orange Juice! Once I start feeling sick I instantly start downing orange juice. Vitamin C is jammed packed in orange juice which helps your body fight the cooties!
  5. Change your toothbrush! Your toothbrush is constantly collecting your germs every time you brush. When you use the same toothbrush you keep introducing those germs to your body so it’s hard to fight those nasty cold germs. Cop a new toothbrush and thank me later.

I hope these tips help you and your family stay cold free this Back to School season. 

Money Saving Back to school lunch & snack idea: DIY Uncrustables

I am not a DIY person at all. Not crafty remotely, but I always have cool ideas and love when someone else can figure out how to do it. LOL. This recipe or creation you may call it came from a friend of mine Miss Gekeetah. She knows how to make almost anything to help save money or just to learn something new and I admire her for that. Since she knew that Dereon went back to school she wanted to share with me her tricks on making lunches and snacks for cheap! So who would turn down that offer? NOT ME! So Sunday night she came over and while the VMAs played in the living room we prepared our own version of Uncrustables!

Let me first say it was a lot of fun and Dereon got a thrill out of helping making them as well. Gekeetah told us what to do and how to do it while taking pictures so this was all created by the kiddo and I (we are pretty proud can’t you tell?)

Now normally a pack of Smuckers Uncrustables cost around $4 a box which only includes 4. You can get Strawberry and Peanut butter or Grape and Peanut butter. Dereon loves these, but $4 is kind of pricey for only 4 sandwiches. When Gekeetah told me we could make 12 sandwiches for the same price or less I was all game.

Here is what you need to make around 12 Uncrustables:
Peanut Butter
Jelly or Jam (Whatever flavor you like you can even mix them up)
1 loaf of bread (white, wheat, whole grain, etc)
A Sandwich sealer (easily found a Dollar Tree or Walmart, no need to get a pricey one the $1 version is perfect)
That’s ALL you need and most of these items you already have!!!

Here is how you make your Uncrustables:
1. Lay out how many slices of bread you will be using on wax paper or a cookie sheet. (2 slices of bread per Uncrustable)
2. Spread Peanut butter on all the slices of bread
3. Place one spoonful of jelly in the center of one slice of bread per pair. (2 pieces of bread per Uncrustable both slices have peanut butter on them only one has a spoonful of jelly on top)
4. Pair the sandwiches up, but be sure not to smash the bread.
5. Center the sandwich sealer in the middle of the bread and press down. Making sure the whole sandwich is sealed and the crusts are off. You may have to keep the sealer on while cleaning the left over crust off.
6. Flash freeze your Uncrustables in the freezer for 2 hours (Place them on a plate or cookie sheet with nothing over them).
7. Take them out of the freezer and you can place all 12 in one huge Ziploc freezer bag or wrap them individually in sandwich bags.
8. Return them back to the freezer and you are done! They take about an hour and a half to thaw out so in the morning grab a Uncrustable and throw it in their lunch bag and they will be all set to go. If you want to use this as a after school snack then grab an Uncrustable in the morning and place it in the fridge and once the kiddo is home from school they can feast on their crust free PB&J!

My Summary
Prep time was less than 3 minutes and the actual making of the Uncrustables was about 20 minutes for 12 sandwiches. The flash freezing was 2 hours and while I had them flash freezing I was ironing school uniforms and tucking the kiddo in bed. After that was done I was ready to take them out the freezer to bag them individually and that took about 5 minutes and then I placed them back in the freezer and was done with his school snack for 2 whole weeks. I also added about 10 fruit juice boxes in the refrigerator for the week since he swear he is about to die from thirst every day after school. I am super excited that I was able to do his myself, save money, and be more prepared for the week so I would encourage all moms to try this out!

FYI: This is a great snack for adults too! Especially if you snack a lot at work this is a healthy snack alternative!

Also you can save the crust and make homemade bread crumbs! Another way to save a few dollars!

Do you do weekly meal prep or snack bagging for the week? Or are you just a DIY pro? I would love to know more about it.

Back to School rescue by Walgreens HealthCare Clinic

I am a member of Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This Shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Back to school prep is officially over for the Pyles’ household. Dereon just started first grade this month at a new school so they needed all his medical forms and records up to date. Of course this is a headache and most mothers dread this time because it may include your poor kiddo getting SHOTS, long wait times, as well as high doctor bills. Luckily for Dereon his shots were current, he only needed a physical. Excited to hear this I called to make him an appointment with his doctor. Sad to say Mommy was SO behind! When I called the receptionist said his doctor didn’t have any open availability until after September 1st. I asked about another doctor in our network and was told the same thing about him. I was disappointed because the kiddo had to get a physical to start school.

That’s when Walgreens HealthCare clinics came to my rescue! Walgreens HealthCare clinics are running a promotion where you can get your child’s back to school physical done for only $39. It’s normally $60 so I thought this was a huge deal. It is for a limited time only and ends 9/30/2013 so make sure you take advantage of it. But let me tell you how easy the process is. First off you can go online and make your appointment or you can also go to your local Walgreens TakeCare clinic and sign in to be seen the same day or make an appointments for another day. Another great thing is Walgreens HealthCare clinics have flexible hours including evening appointments which is a must for some working moms. I booked the kiddo appointment online for the same day at 6:30 pm. I called to make sure they had the school forms I needed (which is recommended since school forms may vary) and verified what identification would be needed when we arrived and we were all set to go.

#shop easy touch screen sign in screen

When we arrived we went straight to the area designated for the clinic. There was a huge touch screen sign in kiosk that I approached and signed in electronically. As we waited to be called I noticed the face masks, hand sanitizer pumps, Kleenex tissue boxes placed around the sign in desk. Also a phone next to the sign in kiosk where you can talk directly to a representative of the Takecare clinic. We waited about 10 minutes and then Dereon was called. The doctor gave him a thorough exam and was very friendly and knowledgeable. Once the physical was over she signed necessary papers and also asked how we would pay for the visit. What I didn’t know was Walgreens TakeCare clinic takes patients with or without health insurance and you have the options to pay with cash as well. We paid for our services and received our paper work and was free to leave. Since the Walgreens TakeCare clinic we visited is in our neighborhood we were only 5 minutes from home and we didn’t have to deal with finding a park in a busy area or paying for parking in a huge lot.

#shop takecare clinic

Our experience with Walgreens HealthCare clinic was pleasant and super convenient  I recommend others to look online at Walgreens and see if they have a TakeCare clinic in your neighborhood. Keep them in mind for your back to school and work physicals and other minor health issues. You would be surprised on how quick you will be serviced, how close it is to home, and how they work around your availability while offering services extremely less than a traditional office clinic.

#Shop promo sign

#shop Stay well