Tag Archives: activity

Bella Loves: Gym Essentials

Getting up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym is… well, interesting. Especially if you aren’t used to it.
Even if you get up and manage to make it out of your door within 30 minutes, it’s very easy to forget important things–like headphones, a headband, and even shower gear!
If you read our monthly minimalism column, you’ll know that we like to simplify things to avoid this kind of mishap. That’s why we have compiled a small list of our morning essentials to get you to the gym and keep you healthy and happy throughout the day.

12750313_477394149138002_2099817502_nViolet Love Headbands
We LOVE these beautiful headbands and their “No Headache–No Slip” guarantee. Choose between two styles–sportswear and premier performance wear. The sportswear collection takes a more tailored, upscale, and specialty design approach to casual wear while keeping the laidback, bohemian vibe. The performance collection brings a spiced up take on core fitness wear in luxurious and durable fabrics offered in unique specialty prints and bright colors. Check them out at www.violetloveheadbands.com.

Wraps Headphones
lookbooknaturalWraps wristband headphones make it easy to transport your headphones without worrying about the tangled mess they often become in the bottom of your purse or gym bag. Some even come with microphones, making it easy and convenient to answer the phone while you are working. When they aren’t in use, simply wrap the headphones around your wrist and attach them until you need them again. They ship from Europe, but they are definitely worth it! Go to www.mywraps.com for more information.

packtowl_personal_m_indigoPacktowls
As featured in our March issue, Packtowls are perfect for when you want to maximize space in your bathroom. They also work really well for the days that you shower at the gym. Packtowls are designed to dry quickly. Once they are dry, you can roll them up and store them in their own bag. Purchase yours at Walkabout Outfitter in downtown Roanoke or on Amazon.

 

What are some of your go-to products for making life more simple in the morning? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

 

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

Product Spotlight: Little Passports

Help your little explorer learn fun facts about the United States and other countries with Little Passports’ Explorer Kits for Kids!

Choose from Early Explorers (for ages 3-5), World Edition (ages 6-10), and USA Edition kits (ages 7-12). The first month you will receive an introductory kit complete with everything your child needs to get started with the program (based on which one you choose). For the USA introductory kit, customers will receive a USA Field Guide, Scratch Book, a wall-sized USA map, a welcome letter, and a disposable camera.

Subsequent kits in the USA Edition include information about the two states featured each month. Enjoy a 32-page activity journal, stickers and postcards, pop-out models, and access to more information and activities online.

You can win The Discovery kit AND one State Adventure kit from the USA Edition on our Facebook page!

 

 

Backyard Fun!

backyardWhen summer arrives do you see even less of your kids than you did during the school year? Too many American children, tweens and teens spend those extra hours of free time indoors playing with technology, rather than engaging in healthy outdoor activities. Even when you know where your kids are, you may not understand what they’re doing with all those devices and game controllers.

This summer, why not help your children get excited about a healthy and fun time outdoors? You can make your backyard the neighborhood hotspot that no kid can resist by providing three key ingredients to a great summer: fun, food and friendship.

Fun in the sun

To compete with smartphones, PCs, tablets and other digital devices, you need outdoor excitement – the kind that only water can provide. Installing a backyard pool may not be practical for everyone, but a backyard water slide is a great substitute.

Easy to set up and use, a water slide is a cost-effective way to create outdoor fun this summer. For example, we love H2OGO! backyard water slides for their modern but comfortable products. They feature the Speed Ramp, an inflatable launch pad that creates a smooth belly-flop landing at the start of the superfast 18-foot slide. A Splash Lagoon funnels water throughout the entire slide, reducing friction and increasing speed. Learn more at www.bestway-global.com.

Food for fun

All that water sliding and other fun activity is going to make kids work up an appetite. They’ll need fuel so they can keep having fun. Look for fare that is easy, kid-friendly and nutritious. For example, instead of serving high-fat, high-sugar ice cream, consider frozen fruit or fruit pops. Replace sugary, calorie-laden sodas with flavored water. For kids who crave crunch, replace chips with fresh-cut crisp fruits like apples and kid-friendly veggies such as carrots or cherry tomatoes. You can serve them with a variety of delicious, yogurt-based dips. Whip up a nacho platter that incorporates low-fat shredded cheese, fresh salsa and lean protein like beans or grilled chicken.

Friendship and fun

With your backyard gaining the reputation of the neighborhood hot spot for great food and fun, you may notice some new faces showing up. Encourage children to engage in games that can help them get to know each other and create new friendships with others in the neighborhood.

Some of the simplest games are great ice-breakers. One game that’s great for getting to know each other is to have kids stand in a circle and toss around a bean bag or small ball. The child who throws asks a question – such as “What’s your name?” or “What’s your favorite sport?” – and the child who catches has to answer.

Another fun idea for older children is a biography building circle. Kids sit in a circle and start with one child making a simple statement about himself, such as “I like to play baseball with my dad.” The next child in line adds his or her own information by building off something the first child said, such as “My dad is an airline pilot.” The play continues with children each saying something new that is somehow linked to what the last child said.

Each of these activities will help keep your child healthy and happy this summer. Inspire them to grow and make good choices by fostering outdoor play in your own backyard!

Opera Roanoke Rising Stars

Enjoy phenomenal entertainment from Opera Roanoke this Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15! Their Comedy Tonight season will conclude with, “A Weekend in the Country,” An Apprentice Artist Showcase of Sondheim and Weill, showcasing rising stars on Waldron Stage at Center on Church. The show will begin at 7:30 pm both nights.

The “Broadway Operas” of Sondheim and Weill are among the greatest written for the American musical stage in the 20th century. Best known for The Threepenny Opera and its famous ballad, “Mack the Knife”, Kurt Weill immigrated to the United States and composed a series of great works for the stage and screen with collaborators like Ira Gershwin and Langston Hughes.

Amy.color_.Hi-ResScenes from Weill’s Street Scene and Lady In The Dark will be paired with excerpts from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, and Assassins. Performed by Opera Roanoke’s acclaimed roster of young professional Apprentice Artists, under the leadership of Artistic Director Scott Williamson and Apprentice Co-Director Amy Cofield Williamson, “A Weekend in the Country” promises to be an evening filled with great musical comedy. One of Roanoke’s most beloved musicians, Judy Clark, accompanies the ensemble under the baton of Maestro Williamson.

A voluntary $20 donation per attendee is suggested, and reservations are strongly encouraged. Please call (540) 982-2742 to reserve your seats.   Visit www.operaroanoke.org for more information.

 

Ten Days of Mom: Blue Ridge Music Festival Tickets!

Ten Days of Mom: DAY EIGHT!!!

thefestival

Country music fans, listen up! Today, we are giving away two tickets to BOTH days of the Blue Ridge Music Festival on May 30-31!

This is a Mother’s Day gift that mom will remember for years to come! The lineup this year includes big names like Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, and the Charlie Daniels Band. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the show starts at noon on both days.

Visit our Facebook page for details on how to enter! Good luck!

DIY: Easy backyard bird feeding tips

Help nurture kids’ love of nature with easy, basic, backyard bird-feeding tips

Parents and children enjoy spending quality time together, but it’s not always easy to find shared interests. The backyard, however, can provide the perfect place for generations to meet when parents help kids learn the delights of bird-watching and bird-feeding.

Interacting with backyard birds benefits children on many levels, including teaching them the responsibility of caring for other living things to nurturing their appreciation of nature. Fall and winter are the perfect times to introduce kids to backyard bird care; as food sources dwindle in their natural habitat, birds will frequent a backyard where feeders serve up seed and suet daily.

The wild bird experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products offer some guidance for families launching bird feeding lessons:

Feeder facts:

Different bird species like different types of feeders, but some styles, such as tube feeders, will attract a large variety of birds. Basic bird feeder styles include:

* Tube – Best for serving seed, tube feeders keep the contents clean and dry, providing birds with access to the food through feeding ports. They’re great all-purpose feeders and will attract the most variety of songbirds. It’s important to clean tube feeders regularly, so choose a model that’s easy to clean. Cole’s high-quality tubular feeders are made with state-of-the-art materials to prevent warping, discoloration, and they feature Quick Clean removable bases that make cleaning fast and simple. Feeder bottoms pop off with the push of a button.

* Bowl feeders – If separating seeds into different feeders gets too complicated, bowl feeders can be an all-in, easy solution. Options like Cole’s Bountiful Bowl Feeder can accommodate a variety of feed types, from seed and suet to mealworms, fruits and nuts. Bowl feeders are especially good starter feeders for children since they are easy to fill and clean.

* Suet feeders – During cold winter months, suet is an essential source of energy for birds. Suet feeders can range from a simple mesh onion bag to a wire or plastic mesh box that affixes to a tree, or post. Woodpeckers, warblers, nuthatches, titmice, jays and chickadees love suet.

Whatever styles of feeder you choose – and a mix is ideal – be sure to select feeders that are sturdy enough to withstand winter weather and unwanted visitors, like squirrels. They should be tight enough to keep seeds dry, and easy to disassemble for cleaning. Most importantly, keep them maintained and stocked – if you neglect to feed them, birds will go elsewhere.

Food fun:

In order to attract birds, it’s important to serve high-quality food. Seed blends with too much cheap seed, known as fill, won’t satisfy birds, and you’ll end up with a mound of discarded fill under feeders and few feathered friends in your backyard. Here are some basic foods birds look for in winter:

* Suet – Long gone are the days when serving suet was a messy proposition. Kids can serve suet without messing up their little hands when you choose convenient suet cakes, kibbles, nuts and pearls. Many of these suet options are mixed with other treats birds love, such as nuts, grains and berries. You can even find options with habanero pepper infused in the fat to dissuade squirrels from dining on the suet. Nutberry Suet Blend, by Cole’s, mixes human-grade cherries, apples and blueberry-flavored cranberries, preferred nuts, nutritious insect suet kibbles and whole kernel sunflower meats into an energy-packed, powerhouse feed.

* Seed – Many songbirds favor seeds, and in winter it can be difficult for birds to find seeds in nature. From black oil sunflower seeds and Niger to seed mixes, it’s important to serve a variety of high-quality seeds. Choose mixes with large proportions of sunflower seeds and avoid ones with fillers like wheat, milo and corn; birds will pick out the appealing seeds and kick out the filler. You can learn more about seed mixes at www.coleswildbird.com.

* Dried mealworms – Although the name might imply an “ick factor” that appeals to kids, serving dried mealworms is easy and mess-free. High in protein, mealworms are favored by bluebirds, flickers, woodpeckers, siskins and nuthatches. Plus you don’t have to feed them or keep them in the fridge like with live mealworms!

Introducing kids to backyard bird-feeding is an enjoyable – and easy – way to connect families with nature – and to each other. All you’ll need is a feeder, bird feed and some time. The birds will come, kids will surely enjoy the experience, and you’ll all have some good family fun.