Summer Activities to Help You Stay Healthy

Summer is here, and though having a beach bod might not be one of your primary concerns, I am sure that staying healthy and having fun (which go hand in hand) are. Summer should be all about trying new things — or starting to do the things you enjoy again. Here are five activities you that will keep you in tip-top shape this summer.

1. Attend a Book Club (or start one!)
Reading is good for your mental health, and it relieves stress, can be fun, and most of all is great for your eyes! It’s also great to participate in lively discussion with your friends about what you are reading. For more book club ideas, visit your local library or check out Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.

2. Healthy Cooking
Perhaps you should join a cooking class, but not just any cooking class, a healthy cooking class. Learning to make delicious foods that are healthy as well is a great way to implement simple diet changes that will help you in the long run. Join with a friend, husband, wife, daughter, son, or go alone and make new friends! If there is not a class near you, then look up healthy recipes online and challenge yourself to make five healthy recipes a week. A good place to find healthy recipes is from Taste of Home.

3. Let’s Get Physical

middle aged couple bike riding

No matter your physical condition, there is some form of exercise that will suit you. That could range from walking or hiking, to rock climbing or cycling. You could start out with some light form of exercise and try to increase your time each week. Your body will thank you! For some ideas, check out this list of fun outdoor activities for adults from Livestrong. Also, remember to take care of your skin and eyes outdoors with sunblock and sunglasses.

4. Family Bonding
Try to get together with the whole family at least once a week. The ideas are limitless. You could have a meal together, play board games, watch a movie, go swimming, or anything your family enjoys doing. The important part is that you will all be together.

5. Make Music
Whether you have never played music in your life or are a seasoned musician, try picking up some instruments this summer and taking lessons if you need them. There are many benefits to playing an instrument, such as increased memory capacity, enhanced coordination, and sharpened concentration.

I hope you will take the time to check out some of these stress-relieving and health-boosting activities this summer. You deserve to take care of yourself every now and then.

Are there any healthy summer activities you particularly enjoy? Let us know your thoughts!

Image source: Spark People

5 Things to Do with Your Grown-up Kids

When your kids were little it was easy to plan activities for them. A simple trip to the park would do and a day at the zoo would blow their minds. However, once your children hit 18 and up, it just is not as simple to think of something to do. Bonding with your children is important no matter their age, which is why we created this list of five summer activities you can do with your older children. After all, they are still your babies.

1. Spa Day

A great mother/daughter bonding activity perfect for summer is a day at the spa. You can enjoy some relaxing time getting facials, manicures, and massages — and leave feeling renewed and ready to show off your summer skin.

mother daughter spa day

2. Give Back

Now that your children are older, they better understand the importance of giving back to their communities. Hit up a local animal shelter and walk the dogs. It is a great way to bond as a family and give the animals some fresh air on a beautiful summer day. Who knows, maybe someone will leave with a new addition to their family!

3. Get Active

Exercise is good for people of all ages. Find a trail to hike, go on a family bike road, or rent some paddle boats. Maybe afterwards, you could plan a family picnic. This is a healthy bonding experience.

4. Movie Night

Grab dinner somewhere and then head to a movie. Or, make it a fun night in by ordering some pizza and watching your family favorites at home. Other entertainment ideas include playing board games or going to a play or comedy club. Another fun idea would be to all cook dinner and dessert together at home before popping in a movie.

5. Baseball Time

Summer would not be summer without spending some days at the ballpark. Find a game to go to together, whether it be minor league, major league, or even little league! Enjoy ballpark food and being together.

We hope this gives you some ideas on how to make lifelong memories with your loved ones this summer. Do you have any special bonding activities you like to do with your older children? Let us know!

Image source: Daily Glow

5 Ways to Beat the Heat

Here in Indianapolis — where Reading Glasses Shopper calls home — this has been the summer of bans. Firework and burn bans made the Fourth of July a whole new experience. The most recent ban to go into effect is one against watering lawns — so we’re all left with yellowing, crunchy yards. The heat wave and drought have gone on long enough! Can we just skip over to fall?

water park

If you’re anything like me, then you and your family are probably looking for ways to stay cool. Here are five ways to have fun with your family and beat that heat without breaking bank:

1. Library
A trip to the cool, air conditioned library could be fun and educational. Most libraries have some sort of summer reading program to get children interested in reading. Let your kids pick out books to read so they can get points and pick summer reading prizes! This will keep your children sharp and ready to go back to school, and you can get some reading done, too! Local libraries have something for the whole family at no cost.

2. Museum
If you have a museum nearby, then planning a family trip could be an enriching experience. Look online for discount days. A lot of museums are free on holidays or a certain day each month.

3. Movies
Try taking a family trip to the movies. You could all watch the same film, or you could split up and let the girls see one movie while the boys see another. Again, look for discount days or even check out the discount theaters! For an even more affordable option, you can pop your own popcorn and make your living room the theater.

4. Swimming
This is a more obvious option, but what better way to beat the heat then hop in the pool? Many city pools have free admission when the temperature reaches a certain point. You could also check out nearby waterparks, or even lakes that have a beachfront. Just be sure to apply sunblock for a day outside.

5. Car Wash
Save some money and have your own family car wash. Bring out the hose, buckets, sponges, and suds. Put on your swimsuits and have fun making the car shine (and maybe having a little splash fight while you’re at it). (But be careful if your city is under a water ban. Washing cars could fall under the restricted uses of water!)

I hope this gives you some ideas on ways to have fun with your family while avoiding the heat. If you’re planning outdoor activities, be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

Image source: Sacramento Sidetracks

Summer Road Trip Essentials

With the rising price of airline tickets, more people are hitting the roads for vacations, which isn’t a bad thing. Although gas prices are up as well, road trips are often the more thrifty vacation choice — and there is so much to do and see on the way to a destination. Nothing is better than a summer road trip and stopping at all the state signs to take a picture of the driving progress you have made.

If you are planning a road trip any time soon, then it is very important to make sure you have your car packed and ready to go. Here are 10 road trip essentials. Read now and thank us later.

what to bring on a road trip

1. GPS and Atlas
It is a road trip, so most importantly you need to know how to navigate the roads. A GPS can usually take you anywhere you need to be, but you may run into situations where having a good-old road atlas will prove helpful. I highly recommend you take both.

2. Good Tunes
Mix CDs or new iPod playlists are essential for a trip on the road. Windows down and jams up is the way to go!

3. Cooler of Food
Packing a cooler full of food, snacks, and drinks will save you a lot of money that you would probably spend at gas stations and unhealthy drive-through restaurants. Of course, it is nice to stop and eat sometimes, but you can at least pack some lunches and snacks.

4. Reading Sunglasses
Are you sharing the driving time with someone else? A pair of reading sunglasses would be great for reducing glare and protecting your eyes from the sun (especially on a long drive), and would also be helpful when you are in the passenger seat reading a good book!

5. Books
Did I mention books? You will have lots of time in the car, so don’t forget to pack some books, magazines, or your e-reader.

6. Camera
Preserve memories by taking photos along the way.

7. Car Maintenance Products
You will want to make sure your car is in tip-top shape before heading on your journey, but you should also be prepared with a spare tire, extra fluids, and maybe even some light bulbs — just in case. Also, be sure to give a spare set of keys to someone else in the car in case you lose yours or lock them in the car. Having AAA, OnStar, or some type of road side assistance could be a lifesaver on a road trip.

8. Blankets and Pillows
Let’s face it, the car gets really uncomfortable after a while.

9. Cleaning Supplies
Some type of wipes, a roll of paper towels, and a good Tide pen will serve you well on a road trip, especially if you will be eating in the car. You might also want to keep your toiletries bag handy for easy access at rest stops.

10. First Aid Kit
Safety is first! Be safe on the road. Be sure to include any prescription medications  you need and your health insurance card.

I know I said that this would only be a list of 10 essential road trip items, but I feel like I need to sneak one more in and that is… a smile! Good luck exploring the infinite abyss (10 points if you can name the movie reference).

Fourth of July Grillin’ Out

The Fourth of July is almost here, which means fireworks, family, fun, and of course FOOD! Barbecues are tradition when it comes to celebrating our country’s independence. If you are looking for some recipes to please your guests this holiday, then you’re at the right place. I spent some quality Pinterest time in the food section so I could find some great barbecue recipes to share.


Why not start with the starters?

broccoli grape pasta salad

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

Why not try adding a new spin to an old-time favorite? This creative pasta salad will have your guests coming back for more!

chocolate covered strawberries

Patriotic Strawberries

These festive strawberries are dipped in white chocolate and dusted with sprinkles to make a delicious red, white, and blue treat!


The Fourth of July is just not the same without firing up the grill, so check out these recipes to add some flair to your cook-out food.

babyback ribs

Babyback Ribs

Surely you have your own secret barbeque sauce and know how to cook ribs, but if you don’t, or even if you are interested in trying something new, then this recipe from Kate at Our Best Bites is definitely worth a gander.

burger with mozzarella and spinach-arugula pesto

Burgers with Mozzarella and Spinach-Arugula Pesto

Don’t just throw any old burgers on the grill and call it done. Be inventive to make a truly memorable Fourth of July meal. This recipe sounds mouthwatering (of course, I would use a black bean burger).


Your Fourth food list is not complete yet. I saved the best for last. Check out these recipes to feed your loved ones something extra sweet (and patriotic).

fourth of july trifle

Berry Trifle

This looks pretty, is patriotic, and I can say from experience that it is delicious! Of course with angel food cake, blueberries, and strawberries what more could you expect?

american flag cookie platter

American Flag Cookie Platter

No shindig is complete without a cookie platter. I love how simple this idea is (sugar cookies with icing) and yet how perfect it is for a Fourth of July cookout.

Now that you have the menu planned, you need to focus on staying cool and having fun! Check out our July Fourth party ideas to keep your guests occupied all day long.

Also don’t forget to wear your best red, white, and blue! You can try something small like these awesome flag reading glasses if you do not want to get too crazy. They are super fun and a great way to show your American pride. Have a good Fourth!