Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

There are a lot of great things that accompany summer's arrival, like long sunsets and warm weather. However, there's one huge problem that always pops up once May rolls around: mosquitoes. 

In fact, Texas is reportedly in the top 20 percent of U.S. states when it comes to people getting bitten by mosquitoes and acquiring diseases. Spending your days outside in the North Texas area is a surefire way to wind up at home with red bumps on your arms and legs, and maybe even dangerous illnesses like the Zika and West Nile viruses. 

To prevent you and your family from being exposed to harmful diseases and annoying bites, here are five ways you can avoid mosquitos and keep them away from your home. 

1. Get rid of any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes love to hang out around shady or stagnant puddles and other bodies of water. If you can, make sure that the standing water gets cleaned up and that fountains, pools, and other water features are turned on and running. This will prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs on the water and gathering in the area. Remember that even an inch of still water can provide a perfect breeding ground for the insects. 

2. Keep a bottle of heavy-duty bug spray in your car and house. You never know when you'll find yourself taking a stroll down a forested path or sitting by the lakeside during a Texas summer, so it pays to be prepared and always have bug spray on hand. Permethrin-based bug sprays tend to be the most effective, especially against mosquitos, chiggers, tics, and other blood-suckers. 

3. Wear light-colored, loose clothing while you're outside. For some reason, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors (black, dark blue, red) than they are to light colors. Also, wearing baggier clothing can leave more of your skin protected, which adds another level of protection against the bugs. 

4. Turn your porch fan on. If you want to sit outside and enjoy the weather, keep an oscillating fan on your patio so that the air is constantly moving. This will blow away some bugs and deter others from landing on your skin. 

5. Wear long pants when walking around at dusk. Mosquitoes are most active when the sun goes down because the exposure dehydrates them. Texas has 85 different kinds of mosquitoes, and almost all of them will seek out blood at dawn, dusk, or during the night. Therefore, when you're walking around as the sun sets, the mosquitoes are likely to be on the hunt. Make sure to take extra protective measures during the worst parts of the day.

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Summer is on the horizon and it's not too early to add to your poolside reading list. We've rounded up ten of the most popular releases from last month. Which will you check out first? 

Circe by Madeline Miller 

You might think you know the story of the Greek goddess, but you've never heard it told quite like this. Miller takes her readers on an epic adventure that explores Circe's character like never before. Follow the young goddess from her strange childhood to her banishment on a deserted island where she eventually meets the iconic hero, Odysseus. Lovers of Greek mythology will gobble this story right up. 

"The writing is lush and intimate, once again inviting the reader into a magic different, yet just as special, as Circe's: a magic that is unleashed whenever Miller picks up a pen." - Book People's Blog

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young 

What part of this Wonder Woman/Vikings mashup doesn't sound amazing? Young tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who spends her life fighting and surviving in a world filled with betrayal. Pick it up for a hefty dose of warriors, battle scenes, and family loyalty. This piece of historical fantasy doesn't disappoint, no matter how old you are. 

"A refreshing tale where life is tested and people have to overcome their differences to fight a bigger foe to survive. A fast-paced, action-filled fantasy for all YA collections." - School Library Journal

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

In Rimmer's compassionate novel, Lexie Vidler is forced into a complicated situation when her drug-addicted sister gives birth to a premature baby. She finds herself caring for the fragile newborn, but her sister's drama is wreaking havoc on her life. Eventually, Lexie is forced to ask herself where she draws the line and how much of their complicated past she can handle. 

"Kelly Rimmer's shimmering and poignant new novel, Before I Let You Go broadens our current national conversation about seeking to combat the deadly yet curable disease of addiction while being ultimately a story of relationships." - Library Journal, Editor's Pick

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland 

This YA bestseller is making waves with its provocative premise and unique portrayal of America. Ireland's protagonist, Jane McKeene, was born in a time rife with war. America stood on the brink of freedom, but with social change came racial injustice. As an African American, Jane must work to survive in this newborn country while protecting herself and dealing with the death reaped by the battlefields of Gettysburg. 

"This highly anticipated release is getting lauded as equal parts exciting, terrifying, and oh-so-relevant. Crackles on every page." - 

Trespassing by Brandi Reeds 

In the mood for some psychological suspense? Pick up this story about a young mother who must embark on a dangerous journey to locate her missing husband. Veronica's history of mental illness adds an element of unease to the entire story, and at some point, you'll start to wonder where the truth really lies. 

Trespassing combines the creeping dread of a gothic novel with the page-turning suspense of a contemporary grip-lit thriller. A drip-feed of revelations forces the reader to question their theories in time with the narrator, as she is tipped over the edge of sanity by the eerie predictions of her daughter’s imaginary friend. This sinister atmosphere makes for a sleep-stealing novel; it is hard to put down and even harder to put out the light.” - Jo Furniss, bestselling author of All the Little Children

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 

Fans of The Lovely Bones will immediately become addicted to Jewell's thrilling novel. Ellie Mack was a great daughter, and when she went missing, her mother struggled to piece together the broken puzzle pieces of her life. Ten years later, Ellie's mom meets a man whose daughter bears a striking resemblance to her daughter. Where did Ellie really go? And why does this man's daughter viscerally remind her of the missing girl? 

"Jewell expertly builds suspense by piling up domestic misunderstandings and more plot twists than an SVU episode. It’s a page-turner for readers who like beach reads on the dark side." - People 

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See 

Prepared to have your heart touched by this story of mothers and daughters. Li-yan lives in a remote mountain village, and when a Jeep shows up at the gate, everyone is startled. The stranger marks the introduction of the village into the modern world, and as Li-yan leaves the only life she's ever known and gives her daughter a new life of opportunity in America, they both wonder what has been lost. 

"With vivid and precise details about tea and life in rural China, Li-Yan’s gripping journey to find her daughter comes alive." - Publishers Weekly 

The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie 

When a terrible explosion takes place in Chicago, three women must work to hide the dangerous secrets that could unravel their lives. Time passes and their lies seem to go undetected, but how far will these ladies go to ensure that no one ever unearths their carefully hidden truths? 

“Give this to fans of seemingly benign characters with dark inner lives like those in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.” - Booklist

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren 

This is a book about second chances and becoming the person you were meant to be. Lauren flip-flops her storytelling between the Then and the Now, following Macy and Elliot as they grow from friends to something much more. They share memories of both agony and joy, and the two will have to learn to cope with the past in order to move on to a future full of love. 

"Lauren writes of the bittersweet pangs of love and loss with piercing clarity, and delivers a resoundingly life-affirming tale of what it takes to claw one’s way to necessary healing, both romantically and personally." - Entertainment Weekly 

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld 

Sittenfeld's short story collection reveals just how easy it is to form an opinion based on what people say and how they behave. Women who are eager to reflect on their college years and how they've grown will devour these ironic, original stories full of nostalgia. Follow an upper-middle-class woman, a college student, a young intern, and a suburban mother of two as they all re-evaluate the assumptions they've made. 

“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one.” - The Washington Post

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

With warm weather rolling in, it's the perfect time to lounge around outside while enjoying a gripping new read. To help you select your next novel, we've rounded up ten of the most popular releases this month. Which will you check out first? 

Ariel by Sylvia Plath 

Okay, so these stories certainly didn't hit the shelves for the first time this month, but Harper Perennial Modern Classics has decided to celebrate this collection again in 2018. If you haven't ever perused Plath's works of poetry, which have earned acclaim across the globe, take this as your opportunity to do so for the first time. 

"One of the most marvelous volumes of poetry published for a very long time." - Times Literary Supplement 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 

This debut novel has taken the world of teenage and adult readers by storm. Adeyemi's dynamic story follows three characters on a quest to restore magic in a fantastical realm. It's got everything: romance, action, creativity, complexity, diversity. Pick up a copy and become entranced in a world of magic and West-African culture. 

"Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional." - Kirkus, Starred Review

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova 

This novel, written by the author of Still Alice, explores the pain and freedom of living. Richard is an accomplished pianist, but when he develops ALS, he begins to lose everything that matters to him, including his career. Follow his story as he meets Karina, a reluctant caretaker who has her own troubles to deal with. 

“[A] gripping novel... Unsparing in her depiction of the disease’s harrowing effects, neuroscientist Genova also celebrates humanity and the rewards of asking for, and offering, forgiveness.” - People Magazine 

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

If you haven't given the Illuminae series a shot yet, do so now so that you can revel in the glory that is this final installment in the series. Action-packed and so original, this space saga will have you on the edge of your seat from page one, and the third book is the best of them all. 

"An adrenaline-pumping action story with timely themes and lasting resonance thanks to the focus on the characters' humanity." - Kirkus starred review

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan 

When Leigh's mother dies, she becomes convinced that she transformed into a bird. She begins her avid search for her mother after she travels to Taiwan and meets her maternal grandparents for the first time. As she hunts for the bird, she attempts to reconcile the clashing romances and pains of her past. Filled with raw emotion, this is one novel that will leave you full of both hope and despair. 

"Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book." - John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo 

You might have heard the tale of the Little Mermaid, but you've never heard it told quite like this. Swap out red-headed Disney princesses for fierce sirens that are more likely to drown a prince than kiss him, and get rid of your preconceptions of mermaids altogether. It's a fun spin on a classic fairytale and very well-written. 

"Readers who enjoy dark fairy tales of The Little Mermaid persuasion will sink into this bloody tale with pleasure." - RT Book Reviews

Close to Home by Cara  Hunter 

When an eight-year-old girl disappeared, the lead detective thinks he knows who is behind it, but finding evidence to prove his theory seems nearly impossible. Join him as he handles the mystery's twists and turns and strives to achieve justice for young Daisy. 

"Hunter does a masterly job of building tension and keeping the reader guessing to the very end." - Publishers Weekly 

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi 

This popular novel is set right here in Texas. Penny moves to Austin to learn how to become a writer, and she crosses paths with a guy named Sam. Before they know it, they're sharing their secret anxieties, fears, and hopes with each other via text message. Emergency Contact is an intriguing look at what a friendship can be without face-to-face interactions. 

"Blushingly tender and piquant...Choi... inserts timely issues like sexual assault, cultural appropriation and even DACA into her characters’ intimate conversations, but it is her examination of digital vs. F2F communication that feels the most immediate." - The New York Times Book Review

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth 

Gripping and shocking, this book takes place in a small suburb that holds a surprisingly secretive family. Follow along as three women gossip about the new neighbors and try to figure out what happened to the little girl who disappeared three years ago. 

"Hepworth deftly keeps the reader turning pages and looking for clues, all the while building multilayered characters and carefully doling out bits of their motivations." - Booklist

The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel

The internationally best-selling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting returns to the stage with a book set in World War II. Harmel tells the story of three people: Ruby Henderson Benoit, a newlywed woman in Nazi-occupied France; Charlotte Dacher, a young woman stuck in the midst of Jewish restrictions in Germany; and Thomas Clarke, a man who questions his loyalty as a British pilot. 

"Harmel’s emotionally fraught story hammers home the message that each person has a unique opportunity to stand against injustice. This is a celebration of those, like Ruby, who found the courage to face life head-on." - Publishers Weekly 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Easter Sunday is just around the corner, so it's time to plan your desserts for the special day. Here are a handful of recipes that are family-friendly and downright scrumptious. Which ones will you try making this weekend? 

Spring Flower Pretzel Bites 

If you're really looking for an easy dessert to bake with young children, these pretzel bites are the best. All you need to do is melt some candy on top of pretzels, then serve them on a cute tray. It's quick, simple, and delicious. Get the recipe at Princess Pinky Girl

Easter Sugar Cookie Cake

Picture sugar cookies, but in cake form. Crazy for Crust has published a recipe for a holiday cake that's filled with M&Ms, vanilla flavor, and just a little bit of frosting. Forget buying a cookie cake from the store; this sweet treat is all you need. 

Bunny Chow 

Whether you're a tiny toddler or a full-grown adult, you'll quickly become addicted to this Chex Mix creation. Similar to Puppy Chow, the recipe calls for white chocolate instead of milk and plenty of seasonal candy. Check out the recipe here

Easter Oreo Pops 

The creator of It's Always Autumn created the easiest, most adorable Easter treats. All you'll need are Oreos, sucker stickers, yellow candy melts, Orange Airheads, and candy eyes. Your kids will get such a kick out of the cute faces on the treats.

White Chocolate Easter Egg Cupcakes 

After watching the how-to video over on Garnish and Glaze, you'll certainly want to whip up a batch of these sweet treats. The Cadbury Mini Eggs add the perfect spring touch to cupcakes that are already sugary and addictive. Be sure to snap some photos of your final product. 

Carrot Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting 

What dessert fits this bunny-filled holiday more than carrot cupcakes? They're light, moist, and perfectly tangy. Kelly from Just a Taste concocted a recipe that's easy to follow and created with real carrots. Don't forget to add the cute candy carrots on top! 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Hiring a babysitter, especially for the first time, can be a real challenge. You're expected to trust a stranger with the health and wellbeing of your children, which isn't easy when you hardly know anything about their background and personality. 

Next time you need to interview a potential babysitter, don't just stick with basic questions like "What's your rate?" and "Do you like kids?" Instead, delve a little deeper with important queries like these. 

What kinds of experience do you have when it comes to working with children? Be specific. 

You don't just want to know that she/he spent summers with their little cousins. You want to know if they've been camp counselors, professional caregivers, or teacher's assistants. Ask them to provide specific examples of their experience with children of various ages so that you can get an authentic feel for their knowledge and background. 

What safety training do you have? 

Babysitters who know First Aid, CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and how to swim are much stronger candidates than those who do not. If they do claim to be certified, give them a few emergency scenarios to determine how they would respond to the situations. 

Do you know how to handle this specific age? 

Your child's age plays a huge role in how the babysitter interacts with and protects them. If you have an infant, make sure that the babysitter has experience with young babies. If you have a toddler, ask the candidate how they make sure they stay safe when eating and playing. 

What does your educational background look like? 

Although it may seem that a person's education doesn't directly impact their ability to babysit, it kind of does. Finding out how the candidate performs in school can indicate how responsible and driven they are, which can play a role in how they behave while watching your children and home. 

Can you drive yourself to our home and in the event of an emergency? 

Unless the babysitter lives in close proximity, it helps if they can transport themselves to and from your house. It's simply more convenient. Also, their ability to safely handle a vehicle could save your child's life in the event of an emergency. 

When are you usually available? 

No one wants to hire an unreliable babysitter who bails at the last minute or is constantly too busy to help out. Talk about the candidate's schedule and typical availability so that you can determine if your needs align. 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Tired of letting your little ones watch whatever comes on Disney Channel or Cartoon Network? Here are some new shows streaming on Netflix that are fun and well-made, so you can feel good about letting them veg out in front of the TV for a little while. 

Trolls: The Beat Goes On 

DreamWorks Animation is back with more music, romance, and comedy in this latest installment of the Trolls story. Poppy, Branch, and the other residents of Troll Village are embarking on a whole bunch of new adventures in this recently-released series. Recommended for viewers ages four to seven. 

Power Rangers Ninja Steel 

You might have seen the Power Rangers before, but you (and your kids) have never seen them like this. Watch a new generation battle evil forces with their superhuman powers and brightly-colored suits. Recommended for kids between the ages of five and ten. 

Llama Llama 

You've read the adorable books with your children. Now, watch the brand new animated series on your favorite streaming service. Llama Llama is learning about friendship, family, and new experiences in this heartwarming show. It's perfect for your little learners under the age of five. 

Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout 

Based on the toy superheroes, the Flex Fighters are determined to battle the rising crime in Charter City. Join Jake, Ricardo, and Nathan as they combat chaos and use their awesome powers for good. Kids ages five to ten will probably get a kick out of this series. 

Spirit Riding Free 

If your children loved Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), then they'll likely enjoy this new adaptation of the horse's story. Follow a young girl who forms a tight bond with Spirit and has plenty of Western adventures with her best friends. Created for children ages three to ten, this spunky series is a real crowd pleaser.  

The Long, Long Holiday 

This cute animated series tells the story of three young siblings who are forced to learn about country life during the Nazi occupation of their home. Although the show takes place during World War II, it's still very kid-friendly and great for viewers ages eight to twelve. 

A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Lemony Snicket's novels enraptured a generation of young readers. This year, you can watch books one through nine be brought to life via Netflix's popular adaptation of the series. The show is just morbid enough to appeal to adults and kids alike, but still funny and lighthearted at times. Recommended for viewers ages eight and up.  

Dinotrux Supercharged 

If you have a little boy between the ages of three and seven, chances are, the words "dinosaur" and "truck" are two of his favorites. Put on an episode of Dinotrux Supercharged, which is even more impressive than the original Dinotrux since the characters have new powers, challenges, and friends. 

The Magic School Bus Rides Again 

So many of us grew up with Ms. Frizzle and her crazy antics. Now, children can take a spin with the famous teacher's little sister, Fiona. Join her class for plenty of educational fun and wild adventures. It's a great choice for children between the ages of three and seven. 

Spy Kids: Mission Critical 

The Spy Kids are back, but this time, they're animated. Watch as junior spies Juni and Carmen Cortez defeat evil villains and learn to do what grown-ups can't. If you loved the original Spy Kids movies, then you'll definitely enjoy watching this adaptation with your children between the ages of five and ten. 

What shows do your children love to watch on Netflix? Leave recommendations in the comments! 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

If you've ever looked into stress management or mindfulness, you've probably stumbled across a few popular meditation apps. When you see options like Headspace or Calm ranked highly in the app store, it's because people are quickly realizing that meditation is more than just saying "ohm" while sitting cross-legged on the floor. 

Regular meditation practice can help you reap tons of benefits and can seriously improve your overall health. If you've been considering downloading a meditation app but aren't sure if you'll actually use it, here are three reasons to pull the trigger and give one a shot. 

The App Will Slowly Ease You Into Guided Meditations 

Practicing various forms of meditation isn't something you can leap right into. Like any habit, it takes time to develop. By downloading a well-reviewed app, you'll have access to a step-by-step guide that will gradually allow you to build a healthy relationship with meditation, as well as stress management, gratitude, and positivity. 

You'll Start to Develop a Schedule 

With a busy routine and so many obligations, it's difficult to find the time for meditating on a regular basis. That's where an app steps it: with notifications and alerts, the app will encourage you to stop what you're doing and focus on your health for a few minutes every day. Think of the app on your smartphone as an accountability partner. 

It Will Explain How Meditation Benefits Your Mind and Body 

At first, you'll probably feel silly closing your eyes and breathing deeply while listening to someone talk about clearing your mind. However, as you spend more time with an app, you'll learn more and more about the powerful benefits of meditation. Studies have found that meditating can help reduce stress, improve concentration, boost your immune system, and even maybe slow the process of aging. Plus, people who meditate tend to be happier with their lifestyle and personal growth. Because the app will continuously inform you of these benefits, it will be easier to stick with a regular practice than if you simply start meditating on your own. 

Do you use a meditation app? Do you like it? Leave comments or suggestions for others who are interested in downloading one. 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Unless you deep-clean your house on a frequent basis, your home could probably use a little TLC this spring. It's time to break out the cleaning gloves and supplies so you can give it a thorough scrub from top to bottom. Not only will a spring cleaning give your home a fresh feel, but it will also help clear out allergens and other contaminants as warmer weather rolls in. 

When you begin your home cleaning, don't forget to address these problem spots that often go unnoticed for the majority of the year. You'll thank yourself later when every inch of your house is sparkling and sanitary. 

Your Fridge Shelves 

Even if the inside of your fridge seems pretty clean and orderly, it might not be. Double-check the expiration dates on everything and toss all of the old food. Then, use cool water and baking soda to thoroughly scrub the surface of the shelves and drawers. Also, remember to sanitize the door handle of the fridge. After all, germy hands touch it multiple times each day, so it's probably in need of a good spritz. 

The Dishwasher 

Although most experts say that you should clean appliances like your dishwasher at least once a month, most of us don't do that. Use your spring cleaning as an opportunity to give your dishwasher a fresh start by making a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar, then flushing it through the machine during a hot water cycle. This will prevent gunk and bacteria from building up inside the moist appliance. 

All Bedding 

Changing your sheets at least once a week is a commonly-known must, but how often do you sanitize the rest of your bedding? Toss your blankets, comforters, mattress cover, and quilts into the washing machine for once. You may also want to vacuum your mattress surface and throw pillows to remove any lingering dust mites or allergens. 

Your Hard-to-Reach Windows 

Sure, you spray a little Windex on the windows you usually look out of, but what about the high-up glass surfaces you ignore? Those are probably covered in a layer of thick dust. Take some window cleaner and a paper towel to the area, and use a ladder (or tall friend) if you have to. 

Your Washing Machine

Washing machines can be a nasty environment for thriving mold and mildew, as well as dirt, minerals, and other materials. Do an online search to see what kind of cleaner works best with your particular washer, then use a cloth to scrub the inside of the machine, as well as the door. This will help your clothes smell clean after washing them and decrease the risk of foul odors in your laundry room. 

The Inside of the Oven 

Let's be honest: every now and then, something drips onto the floor of your oven, and you typically ignore it as it slowly burns away. Sometimes this is fine, but as debris builds up, your oven will become dirtier and dirtier. Take this spring cleaning opportunity to put a little elbow grease into removing the grime that has accumulated inside. 

The Entire Shower 

There are so many parts of your shower that could use a good scrub: the floor, the glass, the drain, the showerhead, the walls. Chances are, you don't scrub entirety of your shower on a regular basis, but this is a great time to clean it extensively. Wrap the showerhead in a secure bag full of vinegar for a deep clean. If you have a shower curtain, sanitize it with salt water so mildew doesn't accumulate. If you have a glass door, use window cleaner to wipe away water stains. By the time you finish with your big clean, you'll feel like you have a new shower. 

Dusty Bookshelves 

Your knickknacks and novels might look orderly on your shelves, but they're probably covered in a thin layer of dirt and human skin cells. Yuck. Take a rag to all of the items and wipe down the surfaces of the structure to remove the lingering dust. 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

According to a recent survey of Americans, the average person spends about $300 per month on groceries. This makes it the second biggest expense for most families right behind housing. However, $300 per person is certainly more than most families need or want to spend on groceries each month. If you're hoping to save a little bit on food in the coming months, here are five easy ways to do so without really feeling like you're making sacrifices or penny-pinching. 

1. Go to the grocery store more often. 

If you only go to the store once a week, you'll probably feel the need to stock up on everything you need for the next seven days. This can cause you to overbuy and also lead to more wasted food. Instead, try popping in the grocery store every few days just to buy the things you need immediately. You'll likely find that you save money and make better use of your purchases. 

2. Plan meals that will have leftovers. 

The more you intentionally plan your meals, the more money you'll save. Try to pencil in a few dinners each week that will last for at least two nights. Not only will this save you a bit of money, but it will also cut down on your time spent meal prepping. 

3. Set a weekly food budget and pay attention to it. 

More often than not, we simply don't realize how much money we're spending on groceries. It's easy to toss things into the cart without really thinking about the price. Sit down and come up with a reasonable weekly grocery budget for your family, then keep that number in your mind every time you run to the store. 

4. Keep a running list of everything your kitchen needs. 

If you walk into a store without a list of the items you actually need, nine times out of ten, you'll walk out with more purchases than you originally intended to buy. Keep a notepad handy or download an app on your phone that will allow you to keep track of what you truly need, not just what you think you need. 

5. Wash, chop and prepare your own vegetables and fruit. 

Ever noticed that the prepared, boxed veggies at the supermarket are way more expensive than the other options? Although you might hate the idea of tearfully cutting your own onions, you can save substantially by putting more effort into your produce preparation. 

How do you and your family members save on grocery expenses? Leave other suggestions in the comments below!

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest
Image provided by the CDC

This weekend, the Office of Women's Health of the Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring an event to raise awareness for the need for all women, especially pregnant women, to be tested for and treated for HIV. The organization hopes to promote better choices when it comes to women protecting their own health, as well as that of their children. 

Although it seems as though there is little the average woman can do to prevent the spread of HIV, according to experts, everyone can do their part to prevent the spread of the disease by shielding themselves, spreading awareness, and opening discussions about the dangers of HIV infection. In fact, the event's theme this year is "HIV Prevention Starts With Me." 

For the thirteen time, the month of March will host the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Local, state, federal, and national organizations are all coming together to shed light on one of the big problems in American: HIV and AIDS. Currently, more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and roughly 23 percent of them are women. 

What You Can Do to Support This Event 

  • Talk about HIV and AIDS with others. Connect your community members with the resources they need to learn about the disease, how to prevent it, and more. 

  • Take to social media to open discussions. The event organizers encourage people to use the #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV to spread awareness about March 10. 

  • Get tested if you might need to. This website can help you find the nearest HIV testing locations so that you can start protecting yourself and others if necessary. Unfortunately, many people live with HIV for years without knowing they have it, which means they cannot benefit from early treatment and prevent transmission effectively. 

  • Combat the stigma around HIV. Talking about the disease, encouraging treatment, and implementing preventative methods are all great things, so don't let anyone talk badly about them. 

Although the overall number of HIV diagnoses has been falling in recent years, diagnoses among women remain stable. This indicates that we must continue educating the public about HIV and AIDs, as well as prevention methods. 

To learn more about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day or the disease itself, click here