Our Long Island maids provide the greenest home and commercial cleaning throughout the Hamptons, Suffolk and Nassau Counties.

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When Mama’s Not Happy – Nobody’s Happy!

Taking Care of us, so we can take care of them

My “babies” are growing up and now that both are in school most days, life at home has become more stressful. There are lunches to make and backpacks to fill, buses to catch, homework and projects to complete and lots extra-curricular activities. Somehow we get it all done and end up with two happy kids (most days) but I have to admit, while I am happy to do it all,  I am stressed!

Since being a parent is truly a 24/7 job, I have been trying to take some time off when I can to take care of my needs. Ever hear the phrase “When mama’s not happy – nobody’s happy?” It is as true as it gets and in order for us to take the best care of our families, it is important for us to take care of ourselves (I type this as I am am fighting a nasty head cold my darling children so kindly shared with me)

For me there are three areas of my life that need constant attention in order for me to function well: Mind, Body and Home. If all three of these areas are functioning well, I feel relaxed and happy. If an area or two are off” in some aspect, I don’t feel right and have to do what I can to maintain a comfortable balance in my life.

Everybody deals with stress a little differently but there are ways to clear the mind from the daily chaos that is present in our lives. A daily walk, meditation  or even doing yoga are all terrific ways to help de-stress from the comfort of your own home.

Some people find they need outside help and might benefit from acupuncture. Some need to talk through their problems and would do best to seek the help of a therapist or spiritual guide. Once you develop the plan that is right for you, make sure you schedule time in your day to do whatever allows you to quiet your mind and de-stress.

Now that we are taking care of our mind, it is time to focus on our bodies. It is a known fact that proper diet and exercise are needed to maintain a healthy body and as a wonderful side effect, reduce stress. What we put in our bodies directly affects our how we feel and our mood.

Eating a balanced diet, avoiding too much sugar, caffeine and sodium, will help keep your body in check.  Avoiding fast food and cooking more at home can help us eat healthier too because we know what is going into our food. Not sure what to make? Check out my all time favorite recipe site. Found some yummy looking zucchini at the farmer’s market on the way home? Visit a recipe builder site, plug in zucchini and whatever else you have on hand and it will come up with a recipe based on as many ingredients as it  can. This is a great tool to make a new meal using leftover grilled chicken, steak, veggies, etc.

Our busy lives  often  leave little time for exercise so we tend to find excuses to avoid it (at least I do). How many of you went out and bought that expensive treadmill only to bury it under clothes? Have you ever joined a gym only to go a few times? While using the treadmill and joining a gym are great ways to get into shape and stay fit, if you find this type of exercise boring or tedious, you will find an excuse to not do it.

The key to fitness is to find a way to move your body in a way that excites you enough to keep doing it. I have problems with my back and knees but find that swimming for 30 mins is gives me a great workout and I don’t even feel sweaty!  You might enjoy hiking, biking, walking, playing Just Dance on the X-Box 360, even dancing around as you clean to some favorite tunes.

Whatever it might be, find something that you can commit doing on a regular basis. It takes up to a month to form new healthy habits so make sure you give yourself at least a month before you see results.

Now that we have taken care of our bodies, it is time to focus on one of the areas we spend the most time in, our home. One of the easiest ways of improving our environment is to go green and rid our homes of toxic chemicals. All of those toxic cleaning products with names you cannot even pronounce can be substituted with non-toxic alternatives.

There is proven study after study supporting the fact that exposure to these chemicals can cause health problems, even cancer. It is believed that 2 in every 10 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year on Long Island. So it is more important than ever to rid your life of unnecessary chemicals.

If you choose to let a cleaning service help keep your home sparkling, make sure they only use green sealed certified products and are OSHA compliant. Teresa’s Family Cleaning is a perfect example of this and only uses green cleaning solutions to clean your home, keeping you and your family safe from chemical use.

I hope these tips will inspire you to take some time for yourself to be the person that your family and friends need you to be, a happy healthy one.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy – A Disease in Need of A Cure

August is National Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness month.

by Malik Green

In 1984 a group of families, each with children suffering from SMA formed a group called Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  In 1996 they decided to create and coordinate a National Awareness month for SMA.  Families of SMA have grown from a courageous group of families to an international network of fundraising and support including 31 volunteer Chapters throughout the United States.

Since the month of August is used to bring attention to this terrible disease; I am posting this article to do my part in helping to bring  awareness to such a debilitating disease.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a rare genetic disease.  Spinal Muscular Atrophy manifest itself in various degrees of severity; however, no matter the degree of severity, SMA basically causes the muscles in the body to deteriorate, which eventually impairs mobility.  It affects the degree of control nerves branching from the spinal cord have over voluntary muscles.  Our voluntary muscles are used for task such as crawling, walking, head and neck control and swallowing.

SMA manifests in many ways, which will vary especially according to type. In all types of SMA, you can expect muscle weakness, wasting and atrophy, as well as muscle coordination problems.

SMA primarily afflicts children; however, it can afflict anyone of any age, and any ethnic group or gender.  The most severe cases however do involve infants and children under the age of six.   Approximately 1 in 6000 babies are born with the disease and about 1 in 40 people are carriers of this genetic disorder. If both parents of a child are carriers of the disease, the child has a 1-in-4 chance of developing SMA.

All of the muscles in the body are affected by SMA; though the muscles closest to the torso; (shoulders, back, hips and neck) are more severely affected.  People afflicted with SMA have mobility issues; but have normal intellectual ability and are bright and sociable individuals.

The following are symptoms of SMA in an infant:

  • Breathing difficulty, leading to a lack of oxygen
  • Feeding difficulty (food may go into the windpipe instead of the stomach)
  • Floppy infant (poor muscle tone)
  • Lack of head control
  • Little movement
  • Weakness that gets worse

The following are symptoms of SMA in a child:

  • Frequent, increasingly severe respiratory infections
  • Nasal speech
  • Posture that gets worse

If you suspect someone of having any of these symptoms have a doctor to review family history and conduct a brain/nervous system examination to find out if there is family history, floppy muscles, lack of deep tendon reflexes and signs of twitching of the tongue muscle.

There currently is no cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  The best hope for managing the disease is early detection; and the use of certain medicinal remedies that can help manage the complication associated with SMA.

These disheartening facts demonstrate the need for more awareness in regards to the SMA disease and the need for more research.  If you would like to support or learn more about Spinal Muscular Atrophy the following websites offer a ton of information.

 

Steam Cleaners May Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer awarenessAn effort has been launched by 1-800-GO-VAPOR, a nationwide marketer of vapor steam cleaners to decrease the cost of their home steamer units in the hopes of helping to limit women’s exposure to the toxic chemicals that may, in part, be causing rates of breast cancer to increase.

“Chemicals found in traditional household cleaning products may be contributing to the rise in breast cancer according to doctors and environmental scientists,” says V. K. Dunlop, a vice president at 1-800-GO-VAPOR.com. “In 2009, The New York Times reported in ‘Cancer From the Kitchen?’ that ‘the chances that a 50 year-old white woman will develop breast cancer has increased from 1% in 1975 to 12% today.’”

One of the possible reasons for this increase is the prevalence of harsh cleaning chemicals found in use on a daily basis by homeowners, and by the companies they hire to clean their homes. While homeowners are encouraged to purchase and utilize their own steam cleaning equipment, sometimes the next best thing is to ensure that the company you hire to clean your home is using green seal, or chemical free products. For several years, Teresa’s Family Cleaning has been making the effort to spread the word of the safety benefits, and cleaning efficacy, of their green and chemical free services, and the word is starting to spread.

“A lot of our customers have been requesting our green cleaning services. Cancer patients, people that have athsma and those that are sensitive to other volatile organic compounds can have issues with standard cleaning products,” Teresa Ward, owner of Teresa’s Family Cleaning explains. “By offering green, and chemical free cleaning, which uses no other cleaning agents except water in different forms, we give people the opportunity to have a deeply cleaned home, without putting their health at risk.”

So, will chemical free cleaning catch on? The method is certainly safe, utilizing only water in various forms,  and has been proven effective, killing more than 99.9% of E. Coli, listeria, MRSA, Salmonella, Staph, and several other harmful viruses and bacteria.  For families concerned about the long term effects of the chemicals in their environment, and women looking to decrease their risk for breast cancer, switching to steam units and chemical free services may be the first step on the road to better health.

You’re making a list, you’re checking it twice!

It’s tough these days to keep up with life – between family, friends, work and other commitments who has time anymore to keep a perfect home?  The trick is time management and planning ahead!

Create a calendar – and stick to it!

Have a daily plan of attack. Break everything down – you know you need to accomplish some tasks daily – create a list and assign them AM and PM slots.  For example you can have unload the dishwasher in the morning, load and run the dishwasher in the evening.

The second part of the calendar should be for tasks that don’t need to be done daily. Maybe Monday is the perfect day to strip the beds.  Tuesday could be terrific to get to the bathroom and so on.   Just be sure not to overwhelm yourself by taking too much on one day!

Give yourself a day during the week for tasks that may only need to be done once a month. Cleaning all of the kitchen appliances for instance would be a great example of this!  Rotate through the tasks monthly and you’ll be amazed that everything gets done so efficiently.

Print it out for all to see.

Unless you live alone, you aren’t the only one making the mess!  Make sure everyone knows what’s on the plate any given day so they can do their part.  Make it pretty and frame it!  You can tie a dry erase marker to the frame so items can be checked off or crossed out upon completion, and reuse the same list again and again! (Keepin’ it green!)

I have found a nice variety of lists on the internet – if you get stuck and can’t figure out what to do next, just search “home cleaning lists” on Google in the images section, or use Pinterest if you have an account (and if you don’t you should get one – such a fun site!)

Happy cleaning!