10 Tips to Help You Drink More Water

There are so many health benefits to drinking water, such as maximizing your physical performance, significantly affecting your energy levels and brain function, helping to prevent and treat headaches, helping and preventing digestive issues such as constipation and indigestion, and helping with weight loss. And the list could go on.

Adequate water intake is essential to good health. But so often the day goes by and we have forgotten or have been too busy, or just simply lack the motivation to think of the importance of drinking water. Here are 10 easy health hacks to drink more water in your day.

(This post May contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!)

1. Set reminder alarms. Set reminders to drink more water using an app or the alarm on your smartphone or smart watch.

2. Have a stand-by purchased supply of naturally sweetened carbonated water drinks for those times when you just don’t have the motivation. We like Blackberry Bubly or San Pellegrino mineral water.

3. Flavour your water naturally with fruit, herbs, or cinnamon sticks. There are lots of water infusion recipes online. I use lemon a lot or a frozen apple slice with a cinnamon stick, or mint.

4.Get a high-tech water bottle — This cool water bottle recommends your customized daily water intake with your phone and glows to remind you when it’s time to sip.

5.Set a daily routine. Every morning I have a glass of water with my vitamins and a large mug of hot water with lemon. Make it a habit to have a drink 30 minutes before each meal.

6. Have water that tastes good (and is good for you)by investing in a water filter for when you’re at home.

7. Prefill fruit or herb infused water bottles first thing in the morning so they’re ready for you and easy to grab throughout the day. Make this a habit as part of your morning routine.

8. Dilute juices and other sugary drinks with more water and ice.

9. Fill a pitcher of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cold drink.

10. Develop a love for herbal tea. Drink it hot when you’re cold and ice it when you’re hot. I love having tea breaks during the day because it gives me a mini break from work and a chance to slow down. Lean in to tea, form a tea habit, and enjoy the hydration.

Free Hydrate Tracker

Enjoy this free hydrate tracker and remember to drink up! Use this free printable hydrate tracker to keep track of your water intake each day of the week.

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Creative Valentines Day Ideas

February is the month of focusing on and giving 💗 love. Here you’ll find creative Valentine’s Day ideas to do as a family and Valentine’s Day date ideas to do as a couple. I’ve also included Valentine tablescape ideas and Valentine’s Day decor ideas.

As a child I always loved choosing Valentine’s Day cards for my friends and school classmates and decorating a Valentine’s box with paper lace doilies, hearts and glitter. Many years later as a Mama with children almost grown up, I still love celebrating this month of love with my family. When our girls were younger we would get a branch or two from the backyard and hang pink paper hearts on it with the names of all the people we loved and all who loved us. It was sort of like a gratitude tree for all the loved ones in our lives.

There’s something so special about setting aside a month to celebrate our closeness to the people we treasure most. Every February I would bring out our box of Valentine related crafts and we would sit down together and make homemade Valentine Day cards for each other.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!)

Some fun and creative Valentines date ideas to do, (but not just on Valentine’s Day):

1. Do a couples photo shoot

I’ve noticed since being married that I have less pictures of the two of us and more pictures of…my kids….our cat…other people. And when I say couples photo shoot, I mean couples. No kids, no pets, no friends. If you can’t afford a professional, just grab a friend who enjoys a camera, or if you have teens who are into photography you could treat them to dinner out in exchange for following the two of you around town.

2. Visit your old happy memories.

Where did you first meet? Go there. Where was your first date? Go there. Where did you get engaged? Go there. This act of visiting and remembering, will stir up those feelings you once had that may now be replaced with familiarity and steadfastness. Which are NOT bad, but it’s good to throw in the act of remembering and re-living to rekindle those earlier emotions. We shouldn’t live for the excitement feelings give us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t seek to keep them going.

3. Visit a new place together.

Somewhere you’ve never been. Maybe you just hop in the car and drive somewhere new for a day. Maybe you make a whole week of it. Whatever you choose to do, do it just the two of you, and make some new memories.

4. Dollar Store (or Wal Mart or other)Challenge: Choose for each other a 5 or 10 dollar item you think the other would like for each of the following categories: favorite snack, favorite drink, favorite something for the house, something in your favorite color, something that reminds you of them)

5. Game night– Challenge each other to a board game; a classic such as scrabble, or a more modern game-bananagrams.

6. Renew your youth and play hide and seek.

7. Go for a hike or a walk

8. Read out loud to each other- take turns reading a favorite book to each other

9. Movie and fondue night

10. Learn a new skill together(YouTube or other)

11. Do a YouTube scavenger hunt

12. Do a Thrift store scavenger hunt(lots of ideas online)

13. Have a weekend away

14. Plan a date night surprise

15. Plan a lunch date

16. Go through old photos together

17. Visit an animal shelter

18. Do a craft or an art project together– make each other a Valentine’s Day card.

Valentine Gift Ideas for Him and Her:

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Valentine’s Day Decor Ideas:

All of these mantel decorations were found at Dollar stores:

Valentine Tablescape:

Here is the same table setting but with a different table center piece:

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Beet and Greens Soup

The flavour of sweet roasted beets combined with dill and a tangy balsamic vinegar will make this beet soup recipe a favourite! Beets are not only delicious; they are packed with nutrients, are high in fibre, and have been associated with lowering blood pressure amongst other health benefits.

(This post May contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!)

Ingredients:

1 Lb medium sized beets, scrubbed clean and trimmed

1 medium onion

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups fresh spinach or beet leaves, lightly packed, cut into thin strips

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp Balsalmic vinegar

2 tsp chopped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill

I cook the beets in the crockpot until soft(about 45 minutes-1 hour, depending on the size of the beets). You could also wrap each beet individually in foil and bake directly on rack in center of 375 F oven for about 1 1/2 hours until tender. Remove foil and let stand until cool enough to Handle. Peel beets and grate them.

Chop onion and sauté in olive oil in a large saucepan until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add stock to onions and bring stock to a boil. Add spinach or beet greens, pepper, beets and onion. Cook uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are heated through.

Add balsalmic vinegar and dill. Stir. Makes about 5 1/2 cups

This soup is great as is or a dollop of sour cream or coconut cream on top goes nicely with it. Enjoy!

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Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

It’s the end of January here in Alberta Canada, and below is a picture I took today looking out my window this morning. I’m hungering for spring and so I figured this is the day I’m going to force some blooms to add some early spring to the indoors. I have been looking forward to this project for a long time!

I want to share a couple of ways one can bring on spring early to the indoors. One way is with flowering branches. The first thing I did was cut off a few branches from my backyard flowering trees. The best time to cut flowering branches from your yard is in February or March, although you can start as early as January in some areas. Ideally, you can cut them after your trees and branches have had at least six weeks of chilling. I then made some homemade flower food, and placed the branches in water with the flower food(this is an important step to your success-they need flower food!) They’ll be in a sunny spot in my house and I’ll change the water about once every 4-6 days.

The second way is forcing tulips to bloom early. I purchased a couple of packages of tulip bulbs last fall and have been eagerly awaiting this day!

I took the tulip bulbs out of my refrigerator January 28/21. I had purchased them last fall at the end of September, and so they’ve been in cold storage for 4 months. I purchased McKenzie Pink Impression and McKenzie Red Impression tulip bulbs that came in packages of 20 each. They are supposed to reach a height of 22 inches.

While it may seem simple and straightforward to some people, which way to plant bulbs can be a bit confusing to others. 

When planting them, the pointy tip of the bulb goes up. If you’re not sure, just plant it on it’s side and it will find it’s way up. It’s all pretty easy, just make sure the bulbs aren’t touching one another. I squeezed them in because I want a beautiful, thick show of spring color!

I planted one smaller container for the kitchen table:

And one large container for a big splash of spring color for the front living room window:

I start planting the bulbs in the center of the container and then work my way outwards, in case I’m not sure if I have enough bulbs to fill up all the space. I can always leave space around the outer edge if I run out of bulbs. I then topped up the soil until just the tips of the bulbs were poking through the soil and watered them well:

A couple of things to remember: you want to make sure your container has drain holes. Also, it’s best to use an all purpose potting soil, not soil from outdoors. If I had planted these earlier in soil and then kept them in cold storage, I would have planted the bulbs deeper. But because I’m forcing them to bloom quickly now, in a warm environment, I’ve planted them much more shallow.

I placed them in a sunny location and then waited….

Here they are 3 weeks later:

And here they are almost 4 weeks later starting to bloom…..

It brings me joy and a lot of pleasure watching the progress of flowers growing and blooming up close. You can do this any time of the year as long as you let tulip bulbs have a dormant period in a colder and darker environment of at least 4 months, depending on where you live.

This flowering branch was taken from my apple tree:

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

Best Ever Easy Moist Banana Bread

This easy and moist banana bread recipe is always a favourite! Banana bread is one of those comfort foods that never gets old. If I have bananas that are getting too ripe and aren’t able to use them right away, I just put them in the freezer and use them when I can for this easy recipe. This is the best ever moist banana bread!

(This post May contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!)

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2-3 ripe mashed bananas

3/4 cup chocolate chips(optional)

325 F oven for 60-70 minutes

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add beaten egg; beat until mixture is light and fluffy.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Mash ripe bananas with a fork. Combine alternately with the flour to creamed mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan.

Bake at 325 F for 60-70 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Enjoy!

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St. Patrick’s Day Outfits

All Things Green and Gorgeous

Here are some fun green fashion looks for St. Patrick’s Day outfits; some classic and some more daring than others. Gotta get that green on for St. Patrick’s Day so you don’t get pinched!

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Source

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Classic Winter Outfits to Inspire

Fabulous Winter Outfits

Find lots of fashion style inspiration here for stunning winter looks. These winter outfit ideas are classy, chic and exude style and confidence.

(This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!)

Ralph Lauren Shearling

Winter white fashion is timeless and classic.

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Love this outfit combination of gray and white that gives a very elegant look.

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The soft pink of the coat and sunglasses adds an element of fun and freshness to this beautiful winter look.

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Love this bold splash of color that really dresses up a casual outfit!

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A beautiful, sophisticated winter look.

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Comfortable, casual winter fashion with beautiful style.

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The soft baby blue is so appealing!

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Love the different textures with this outfit!

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Easter Dresses

Here are beautiful Easter dresses to inspire and help celebrate the season, and then wear all spring!

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

Friday Night Dinner Ideas

How do you like to do your Friday night? Low key and relaxed? Here are some fun and easy Friday night dinner ideas for those wanting a cozy night at home and because who feels like putting a lot of energy into cooking another meal at the end of a busy week? Not me! Or is it a celebration for the start of the weekend and you’re looking forward to food that’s fun and out of the ordinary routine? Well I’ve got you covered here with ideas for both quick and easy and fun food ideas.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich: Sandwiched between fresh buns is perfectly seasoned, fall apart tender beef and gooey melty cheese. Then that’s dipped in a homemade au jus dip that will leave you craving more:

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

Hot Chicken Deal: This is an easy Friday night dinner idea if you don’t feel like cooking: pick up a hot chicken at your local grocery store and combine it with a salad of your choice, buns, potato wedges and iced tea.

Hot chicken deal

Here is a fun and delicious meal idea: Epic Beef Nacho Supreme:

Epic Beef Nachos Supreme

Another easy meal idea- chicken pot pie and a salad kit of your choice:

This meal idea is for when you don’t want to do anything except open a box and a bag- easy peasy.

Easy Store bought meal idea: chicken pot pie and a salad kit

A fun and delicious food idea that the whole family will love: BBQ chicken nachos.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

This is fast comfort food that is easily put together:

Chicken Noodle Casserole

From the savory barbecue sauce to the spice of the onion and topped off with sweet pineapple chunks and a dash of cilantro… Hawaiian BBQ Chicken pizza:

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken pizza

Balsalmic Spring Vegetable Salad: Love the flavour of Balsalmic vinegar combined with the flavour of these delicious vegetables:

Balsalmic Spring Vegetable salad

Dad’s Friday Night Pasta dish: The prep time on this is twenty minutes, TOPS. And that is only if you are slow:

Dad’s Friday Night Pasta dish

Chicken Tortellini soup: This is really just a basic chicken noodle soup recipe with the noodles replaced with cheese tortellini so it’s super easy to make:

Chicken Tortellini Soup

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Must Have Accessories for the Winter Fashionista

Winter doesn’t have to be drab. Here you’ll find fashion inspo for your winter outfits whether you’re looking for over 50 women’s fashion, winter streetstyle, or your winter casual style. There are certain fashion accessories that are timeless and classic that can spruce up your outfit this winter to take it from basic to fashionista.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!)

1. Stylish Gloves

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2. A Beautiful Handbag

Source: Post by Jolly

3.A Beautiful Sweater Scarf

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4. Trendy Weather Proof Boots

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High heeled Ugg’s

5. Cozy Socks

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6. Classic Knitted Hat

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7. Stunning Sunglasses

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8. Statement Earrings

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Amazon has some GREAT winter fashion accessories. They’re a little hard to find (considering the site has thousands upon thousands of items to browse through, is this really that surprising?) but with a little persistence and clicking through the “customers also bought” items, you might just score a treasure or two. Lucky for you, I did the legwork. Check out the beautiful winter fashion accessories I sourced below – Happy Shopping.

Click on the text links below to take you directly to the products.

1.Pink Vagasi gloves

2.Belle Dame blue women’s gloves

3.Me Plus animal leopard print faux gloves

4.The Leather Emporium fur lined brown leather gloves

5.Pesaat cable knit women’s turban winter hat

6.La Carrie women’s faux fur hat Russian Cossack Pom Pom cap

7.Futrzane Russian faux fur white hat

8.Wander Agio women’s infinity scarf

9.Amazon Essentials women’s red & black blanket scarf

10.Dan to women’s pink winter snow boots

11.SiMYEER small crossbody bags

12.3 pairs winter wool cable knit crew knee high boot socks

13.YNIQUE brown purse

14.Stylegaga winter slouch knit socks

15.Dream Pairs mid calf winter snow boots

16.Dream Pairs knee high gray boots

17.SOJOS fashion pink round polarized sunglasses

18.SOJOS classic square polarized sunglasses

19.SOJOS small round polarized sunglasses

20.Michael Kors brown jet set travel large chain shoulder tote

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