Snow Days: Then and Now

How many of you remember as a child how exciting it was when the television announcer declared the schools were closed today due to ice and/or snow? As a child, I remember sitting in front of the television and monitoring those storm systems the second the weatherman announced the possibility of any form of wintry precipitation. I spent some of my childhood in Ohio so snow has not been a scarce commodity for me. However, it is still exciting when the white stuff falls. I remember as a child my mother waking us up in the middle of the night so we could view the wintry precipitation. We would play outside all day. We lived at the top of a large hill and would spend hours upon hours sledding down this hill on various types of sleds; a real one we brought from Ohio, metal trash can lids, cardboard, whatever we could find. We would come in for a hot lunch, then go back out to build forts and have a snowball war.

Now, as a parent, the term “snow day” has several other connotations and I closely monitor those storm systems for very different reasons.


  • I usually still have to trek through this stuff to get to work and the biggest challenge is avoiding all the other people attempting the same thing

Extra Housework

  • Laundering all those extra wet clothes, gloves, ski bibs
  • Cleaning up all the mud and snow that gets tracked throughout the house by both child and dog; which really makes me glad I have laminate flooring now
  • How many times have you stepped on wet snow in your stocking feet this past week?


  • What about cabin fever, when it is too icy for the kids to get outside and play?
  • There is only so much paper in the house to color and make into paper dolls, which does not expend all that wonderful energy kids seem to generate
  • Hoping your kids don’t get sick, knowing they will because you don’t have easy access to health care
  • Hoping the current food supply will get you through this event knowing your kids will eat anything that isn’t nailed down
  • What if the electricity goes out? We have a fire place and camping equipment so eating is not so scary any more but, how will I dry my hair?
  • Knowing the amount of work that awaits your return to the office


  • I find it very relaxing to watch those flakes fall. It is very quiet. This is an opportunity for me to just sit and enjoy nature and experience her many emotions.
  • I get to use the excuse “I couldn’t get out of my driveway” so I don’t have to run those errands that continue to stack up regardless of the weather situation outside
  • I like when I actually get to sit at the kitchen window and watch the interaction of the birds and squirrels around the bird feeder (animals are hilarious)

Family Time

  • Now that my children are older, these days mean that we are all together, in the same building, at the same time.
  • There is no running to the Taco Bell down the street to unlock a car because someone locked the keys in it and left the car running
  • We cook together; from scratch
  • We clean together; teaching your kids that you cannot stuff the wet snow clothes in the closet
  • We play together, teaching your children the fine art of building a snowman, then finding vegetables you know no one will eat for the final touches
  • Spending time finding items in your garage to slide down the driveway on, helping to build ammunition for the neighborhood snowball fight, watching the wonder in your child’s face when they find the longest icicle ever and now your freezer is fully stocked for the winter

Yes, the words “Snow Day” has many different meanings now. What did it mean to you? Share your meaning and experiences with us on Facebook.

Drinking Your Calories

What is your favorite seasonal beverage? Did you know that studies show that the drinks that most affect our weight gain are the ones that are sugar-sweetened such as, soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks and sugary tea and coffee drinks? If you are eating a healthy diet there is no need to get our nutrition from the beverages we drink. What this really means is that all we really need to drink is water. Here is the problem. When we eat, we feel sated or if we over eat, stuffed. Then we stop eating. When we drink our calories, the body does not feel sated and does not tell us to stop. So we continue to consume those drinks throughout the day and eat too.

How many calories on a daily basis does the average person consume each day just from the beverages we drink? Look for the answer at the end of this blog posting.

What should we drink?

  • Water
  • Has zero calories
  • Quenches thirst
  • Unsweetened tea and coffee
  • Contain caffeine but a little is good for you
  • Limit caffeine consumption to 400 milligrams (mg) per day
  • Coffee has 132 mg
  • Tea has about 40 mg
  • Skim milk or soy beverages
  • Up to 16 ounces per day
  • Artificially sweetened beverages
  • Up to 32 ounces per day
  • There is no proof that artificial sweeteners are bad for you but moderation is the key
  • Items sweetened with fructose may alter metabolism and cause fat storage

What should we limit?

  • Fruit Juice
  • Has nothing you can’t get from whole fruit
  • Has a lot more calories than whole fruit
  • Whole milk
  • Has a lot of saturated fat
  • Sweetened soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks
  • Limit to an 8 ounce glass
  • Sugar sweetened coffee and teas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Guidelines recommend no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men
  • 12 ounce beer
  • 5 ounce wince
  • 1.5 ounce distilled spirits


Bad Choice
Better Choice
Sonic Strawberry Fruit Smoothie- Regular (14oz)
500 cal | 124g carbs | 98g sugar
Sonic Lo-Cal Diet Limeade-Small (14oz)
1g carbs | 0g sugar

(This contains your carbohydrates for 1 ½ days)

Capri Sun Pacific Cooler
170 calories | 40g sugar
Minute Maid Fruit Falls
5 cal | 1g sugar

(Your children will not notice a difference in taste)

Regular Coke
140 cal | 39g carbs | 9g sugar
Coke Zero
0 cal | 0g carb | 0g sugar

(There is little difference in taste between these two)

Venti Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Latte
660 cal | 22g fat
Venti Starbucks Peppermint Café Au Lait
170 cal | 5g fat

(This is a meal and contains your fat grams for the day)

Beverage substitutions

  • Flavor you water with fresh fruit such as oranges, limes, strawberries
  • Try some green tea. These are high in antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney stones.
  • Check out some vegetable juices. Check the label for added sugars but these tend to be lower in sugars.
  • Mix up a little fruit juice with some seltzer. Studies show that pomegranate juice is a good source of vitamins C and B, grape juice has antioxidants that may help protect your brain and blood vessels and cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
  • Try a little diet tonic water and a few slices of lemon or lime with a little mint for garnish.
  • A little red wine is fine and may lower your risk of a heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers and heart disease.

Answer to the question “How many is consumed daily through the beverages we drink by the average person?” We consume about 450 calories from the beverages we drink each day.

Share with us what your favorite seasonal beverage is on Facebook.