Old eyeglasses and sunglasses can be donated to the Lions Club where they will be cleaned and sent to those with low-incomes so they can receive the necessary eyewear.
Try on your summer clothes, and go through everything and donate or try to resell anything that no longer fits your style.
If you’ve made some resolutions and health goals, but unfortunately can’t find it in the budget for a gym membership, I have news for you. You don’t need one! You can achieve your health goals without having to pay for an expensive membership or the expensive equipment that some use to build their own home gyms. Check out my suggestions for a no gym gym, that uses things you already have or can get pretty cheaply.
- Run outside. Fresh air is free, and with sunrise being earlier and sunset being later, there is no time like the present to get outside before or after work and taking a brisk walk or run. You can even alternate between the two. Just make sure you keep your heart rate elevated for 30 minutes each day to truly get the cardiac benefits.
- Use chairs to help with stretching. As someone who did ballet, I had to practice even when I wasn’t in the dance studio taking my lessons. However, I never had a ballet bar installed in my house, which meant I had to get very creative. Even though I no longer do recitals or take lessons, though I may go back to it, I still remember some of the stretches and practices, and have found that using the back of a couch is a pretty close second to a ballet bar. A hard backed chair works as well, just make sure it is firm enough to support your ankle and not too high to where you are uncomfortable while stretching.
- Utilize your swimming pool. This may be surprising to some, but your pool can be used for more than lust-worthy Instagram pictures. You can swim laps, as well as do different core workouts! And if you have a pool or a community pool, you can get a workout in for free.
- Try free classes in the area. If you think you’d like to take a class in the future and have the money for it, try some out on a trial basis to find the right fit for you. You don’t want to get locked into a membership if you find out that you really hate yoga and can’t stand hearing the word “namaste.”
- Get a cheap pair of dumbbells for your arms. That’s how I get my arm workouts in each day, I don’t have any fancy equipment, just two 5 pound dumbbells that help me keep my arms toned. I may not be able to up the weight, but I can change the different sets and reps and exercises that I do to get all the muscles worked out.
- Use an exercise band. These are also really inexpensive, but can help a lot with stretching and even resistance training.
There are so many ways to have a no gym gym, and most of it is completely free. You just may have to think a little bit outside of the box, but it’ll definitely be worth it.
During this summer break, and any upcoming breaks, gather school supplies during the different sales and donate to a local school or teacher you know that could use the help.
*This is a sponsored post
Summer is officially here! Granted, here in Florida it’s been here for what feels like years, since we barely had a winter, but officially for everyone else, it has arrived. With it comes longer days, vacation times, kids out of school, and in some cases, the summer blues. But luckily, if you’re suffering from the summer blues, I have the perfect All-American suggestion to help get you out of the funk. A road trip! That’s right, what could be better than grabbing some friends or family and hitting the open road to explore new sites? I mean, in this case, nothing, nothing can be better.
The summer blues tend to hit us because we’re not able to go do anything fun, we’re stuck in this kind of monotony, and in the summertime especially, it can be tough, especially if you are working full-time and aren’t able to enjoy summer like you used to in high school and college. Even when I was in college, I worked during the summer and took summer classes, but I still had more free time than I do now that I work a typical 9-5. And while I’m grateful for my job, it can definitely get a bit boring in the office on those perfect, beautiful beach days when I know others are out living it up in the sun and surf. Luckily, that’s where a weekend road trip can come in. You get to go out, do something fun, only use a couple of vacation days, leaving the rest for those holiday trips you have planned, and break up the monotony that you may be experiencing.
I will give fair warning though, road trips can get a little boring. Unfortunately, it’s just a fact. Luckily, further down, I have some tips to keep the road trip exciting, even when you’re driving across open highway, without anything but trees and other cars in sight. But first, I want to share some of the things I do to entertain myself on road trips, besides sleeping. I used to live in a city that was 2 ½ hours away from my family when I was in college, so I often had a bit of a mini road trip if I wanted to visit home, and even on that drive, after the hour of car karaoke had ended, things got a little dull. But you know what helped to entertain me along the drive? Seeing all the different billboards and lighted up buildings, especially if I was driving at night. To me, a beautiful billboard is more than just a roadside advertisement, it’s something I can read real quick and may even show me something I absolutely NEED to stop in and look at during my trip. Irvin, Inc. is one of those companies that actually provides billboard supplies, as well as business lighting, and even marquee signs. They also provide different safety equipment to keep those guys who are up working on those billboards safe and sound during it! While I hadn’t really thought about it much while driving before, it certainly would be a different drive if we didn’t have companies like Irvin, Inc. to help break up the monotony of a long drive. Think about it, as a kid or even an adult when you were on the road, were there certain billboards that you still remember to this day along a road? I know for me, there was one with the alligator on it, and it’s such typical Florida, because it had a gator and then oranges. I have no idea if this was their work or if they supplied any of the supplies for this particular billboard, but I do distinctly remember it, and remember how funny I thought it was. In my mind, it simplified Florida down for tourists, but ultimately, was still fun to look at. The signs on the way to Disney World are the same way. Some of them glitter and sparkle in the sun, while others depict fireworks, and to me, they offer a work of art to the side of the road. Again, I can’t say for sure that Irvin, Inc. supplied everything for these billboards, or anything at all, but I can say I remember what they look like and that’s something that has stuck with me for years.
You may be thinking, who comes up with such an idea like this? A family who knew just how powerful and important having different billboards and supplies would be. Irvin was founded over 20 years ago, and is still growing, all thanks to their integrity that they keep with them. Denise Irvin Cannon is the President, and it is partly thanks to her that the company continues to grow. They recently partnered with Lightking in 2017 to start selling LED lighting and LED products to help them better serve their customers and provide them opportunities for growth and ROI. This is a company dedicated to bettering themselves and their customers.
Now that you know where these come from, let’s talk about some other tips to make road trips a little more fun.
- Have a good playlist ready. Music is super important for any good road trip, and you need songs that are good summer jams. Think something pop or dance music, even country music, just something with a really good beat that’ll have you dancing and singing along. For me, Broadway songs are a good choice because in the car, I can really belt it out.
- Have snacks on hand. Whether you’re the driver or passenger, you’ll need snacks on hand to munch on throughout the trip. Stock up before you head out onto the open road.
- Bring a pillow. When you’re not driving and able to nap, you’ll want all the extra comfort you can get, so bring a pillow. Yes, it’ll take up a little more room, but it’s worth it to bring a bit of home with you for your nap.
- Stop at weird little places. Whether you’re doing it for the ‘Gram or just because you need to stretch your legs, stop at weird little places you may see advertised on billboards along the way and have mini adventures. Maybe you can find the largest ball of twine or hold a baby gator. You never know.
- Stop for the scenic views. There are little treasures hidden all over the country, so when you get a chance to stop at one, take it. You may just find your new favorite thinking spot not far from your house or uncover a beautiful waterfall in the middle of a city. Again, you just never know.
I hope y’all enjoy your road trips wherever they take you, and just remember, drive safely and enjoy the ride. Life is a highway after all.
Pick your favorite charity and ask people to donate to it rather than buy you birthday gifts.
These watermelon and lime popsicles are the perfect summer treat. They’ll cool you down during a heat wave, while tasting delicious, and being easy to make. Check it out!
- 8 ounces of coconut water
- 2 cups watermelon juice
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Add all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for about 4 hours or until solid. Enjoy before they melt!
It’s summer, it’s hot outside, take yourself out for ice cream, a popsicle, or a snowcone. You don’t need to wait for others to make plans, treat yourself to it, and have a mini afternoon date with yourself.
We always feel like we have to get so much done during the week and weekends, but it’s ok to kick back and relax. Turn on Netflix, watch some movies, read a book, do a little bit of nothing.