All posts by Trina Gunzel

About Trina Gunzel

Hello! My name is Trina Gunzel and I am the wife of my high school sweetheart, mother of two, Master Teacher, Educational Consultant/Trainer, and published Author/Illustrator. My son is a Type 1 Diabetic so I have chosen to homeschool our kiddos for health reasons and we LOVE it! We enjoy learning in the great outdoor classroom, around the country, and sharing educational resources and materials. As a creative designer and "idea generator" I thrive being able to make things to help others and I hope you enjoy sharing your stories, experiences, and joining us on ours, too. Thanks for connecting!

50 State Tour

50 State Tour

What better way to be inspired to create new material, write new books, and to teach my children everywhere we go, than by doing a 50 State Tour?!

That’s right!  

We sold our place, most everything we owned and packed up our truck, fifth wheel and two kids for the adventure of a lifetime!

Our work as lifestyle and business coaches and doing educational consulting can literally be done anywhere in the world!  So, we are enjoying this opportunity to explore our country, help people, and make new friends, everywhere we go!

I have been blogging our adventures on our family blog page so please subscribe and follow there.

We are learning so much, seeing beautiful places, and look forward to connecting with you more!

Come grow with us!

Click below to check out the blog.  Subscribe and follow to see new posts and grow with us along the way!

Gunzel Family 50 State Tour

Do you have any special places you’d like to see?

Are you interested in starting your own business?

Do you like to see interesting parts of the world and learn new things?

If any of these sound like you, you will really enjoy our blog.

We have been selling and sharing books all along the way and people are loving our message that “YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!”

So many can’t believe we are doing this with our Type 1 Diabetic son.  It is an inspiring and amazing journey!

We hike, share places to eat, share recipes, and interesting things we learn along the way.

See you there!


Trina Gunzel & Family

Trina, Jon, Wyatt and Abbie Gunzel


We are determined to stay healthy when other friends are getting sick.  
Wyatt made this great healthy soup recipe today.

We’re cooking a chicken in the crock pot to add the meat later.

Here’s Wyatt’s Super Soup recipe.  Stay well!


1 bag each of frozen


lima beans


collard greens

Then add two cans each of:

green beans

diced tomatoes with green chili

chili beans

Add two tablespoons mixed garlic and sprinkle  with salt.

Add 1 container of chicken stock and water to cover vegetables.

Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.

Serve topped with lemon juice if desired.  

Add cooked chicken to finished soup or eat grilled chicken on the side for extra protein.

Eat healthy!

Trina and Wyatt

Happy Diabetes Awareness Month 

Super Green Soup

This rainy afternoon in Missouri and a busy week has me thinking of a healthy but fast dinner that can serve as snacks this weekend, too. How about you?

Tonight I wanted to take some time to prepare a quick meal idea that will be healthy too and hopefully keep you from eating fast food out. I have friends who say they can’t get their kids to eat healthy and I would say, keep trying and presenting them with healthy options and they will catch up. Also, include them in the cooking process so they take ownership of what they are making and eating. It is really hard to avoid sampling something you’ve worked hard to prepare for your family.

I tried to put myself in the mindset tonight of someone who was busy during the week and looking at what they had in the freezer to see what they could magically make appear for dinner before they gave up and ordered in pizza.

If you can make a habit of picking up some green frozen vegetables, you’ll be able to make this recipe anytime you want.

Okay, so you’re tired, you’re hungry, your blood sugar is tanking…this is what I want you to do.

If you eat meat, grab that leftover chicken you picked up from Wal-mart this week and take off any remaining meat from it. (Or use any other protein you want, tofu, canned chicken, leftover steak, whatever you have.) I used that leftover Wal-mart chicken in my fridge.

Cut up an onion and add some olive oil to a pan. Add your protein (mine was the chicken). Sautee the onion until it’s golden brown. Stir this mixture around until it is lightly brown.


Add the chicken carcass to water and boil it.

In another pot, add water and get it to boil.

Add to that pot 1 bag each of:
Frozen lima beans
Frozen spinach
Frozen broccoi
Frozen chopped green peppers
2 tablespoons of minced garlic


Add the juice/water/stock from the chicken carcass that has been boiling to that green vegetable pot for flavor.

Add these spices:
(Just sprinkle each across to cover the top of the soup)
Garlic salt

Add the sauteed chicken and onion to the one combined soup pot.

Stir, let simmer to combine flavors for ten minutes.

Mmmmm, now your kitchen smells yummy and you can have a dinner that will give you stable blood sugar and help you feel great afterward.

Check the serving size but based on this recipe, it’s about 22 carbs per bowl of soup.


Enjoy creating healthy solutions that make you feel good and work for your busy lifestyle!

Need a bedtime story idea? Reading: A Bad Case Of Stripes by David Shannon will get your kids excited about those lima beans!

You can do it! It just takes making you and your health a priority. Be well!



A “Crunchy Mom”

Hi Friends,

I’ve been referred to as a “Crunchy Mom” and after looking it up, I guess I can agree with that in some ways. I am always looking to improve myself, do things naturally, and willing to do the hard work to improve my life and encourage others to do the same. I can get pretty grumpy if I don’t keep my blood sugar stable, so I work to eat small meals or snacks about every two to three hours. The benefits are that this speeds up my metabolism, keeps me in the “happy zone” (when I do it!) and also keeps me preparing meals and having fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cheese around for my family. Win, win!

Some people have a hard time thinking about what they can quickly grab on the go so here are some of my favorite ideas:

An apple and a cheese stick
A pear
A banana
Celery and peanut butter
A handful of almonds
The pre-made Atkins shakes I can put in the fridge
A protein bar
A slick of turkey and cheese
Cottage cheese and tomatoes
A hard boiled egg

So there you go! If you need some quick ideas, just grab a bite from this list every 2-3 hours and keep your blood sugar stable. My son’s a Type 1 Diabetic so this mode of eating has really helped him stabilize, too. We just help him count the carbs if there are any involved so that he can dose the right amount of insulin.

Enjoy doing the small changes that get you the big results in your life!
Whole body improvement has been one of my favorite parts of working as an Educational Consultant and NLP Life Coach. It’s such rewarding work getting to see my clients succeed and thrive in their lives! If you need individual coaching for things that are keeping you stuck or holding you back in life, send me a private message or respond in the contact form below and we’ll see if we’re a good fit to work together.Author Pic For Press

Have an awesome day!

Love, Trina
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Back To School Books



I did a video recently on some of my favorite back to school books and wanted to include the list here in case you’d like to check them out at your local library or order them online.

These are some of my favorite back to school books and all of them lend themselves to things that are perfect beginning of the year topics such as feelings, friendship, home/school transitions, routines, differences and similarities, pride in our country, and traditions.

I hope you enjoy this list of books and I look forward to hearing about which books you like to include at the beginning of the school year.


Trina Licavoli Gunzel

Franklin’s First Day At School by Paulette Bourgeois and Branda Clark

We Are A Rainbow by Nancy Maria Grande Tabor

My Friends by Taro Gomi

Lizards for Lunch by Conrad J. Storad

Margaret and Margarita by Lynn Reiser

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The Pledge of Allegiance by Schoalstic

Happy Reading!  Make it a great year for the books!


Live Blog Radio Interview Promoting My Upcoming Book: Grandpas Are Giving

Sedona Profile



I would love to share my passion for families, writing and art with you.  If you would like to learn a little more about me and hear my real voice, please listen to this recorded interview I was invited to do with my publisher from Helping Hands Press.

Thank you for connecting with me as I work as an author/illustrator, master teacher and educational coach for individuals and marriages.

I am praying for families and hope you will be encouraged and inspired by my stories.

Grandmas Are Gorgeous! and

Can’t The Highs and Lows of Raising a Type One Diabetic Child are available on Amazon


Grandpas Are Giving will be available soon!

Recorded Interview with Trina Licavoli Gunzel


With love,

Trina Licavoli Gunzel

Buy Trina’s Books Now on Amazon




Soul Recharge

There are times in life when you just have to stop and take care of yourself. 

I am guilty of running myself down, taking care of others and allowing myself to get burned out.  We have to establish healthy boundaries in our lives so we can continue to help others without it tearing us down.

This week caring for my sick children, I overdid it and ended up getting sick myself.  Normally I don’t allow myself much down time, almost feeling like if I slow down, everything will catch up to me.  However, that’s not the case; balance keeps us well and allows us to recover quickly.

There is always a way back to health if we choose to do the work.  We can have healthy bodies, healthy relationships, healthy work, healthy families…anywhere we want to apply healthy thinking and take action to make it happen.  We all have down days and struggle with something, but that doesn’t have to define us.  That’s where we have a choice no matter what we’re going through.

Slowing down, praying, resting, thinking better, rehydrating, and eating intentionally are natural ways we can heal our bodies.

Healing our hearts, homes, and relationships takes intentional and thoughtful action and time.  It’s all a matter of where we choose to put our time, energy, and talents and what we choose to focus on.  

I am focused on wellness, love, positivity, and making sure my family always comes first while I am working to help others.  As my migraine is lifting and I have had some meditative time to think, I know that as I help others while staying a strong example and mentor, I can get more energy and stay well without giving my energy away.

Boundaries are important to maintain health and to continue to be there for those who need us.  

Be a candle without letting others extinguish your flame.

Hugs and well wishes,


100 Ways To Have A Super Summer!

Summer Hammock

Hello Summer Vacation!

While many kids are getting geared up for exciting memories, down time, and catching up on sleep, games, and camping, parents might have other ideas.  I always wondered what parents actually did with their children all summer when typically August through May, I had them full-time with me in the classroom.  I am sure it is a balancing act for parents trying to take time off from work, seeing which summer programs they can enroll their kids in, and wanting to make great summer memories with their children, at the same time.

Instead of having a panic attack and trying to cram everything into the same week, I wanted to encourage you to start pacing yourself and live EVERY day like it’s summer vacation.  What do I mean by that?  Well, if you are only living for your vacation time, you are going to miss out on all the small every day experiences that make up…YOUR LIFE!

So, yes, enjoy that summer trip you have planned and by all means, use some of your vacation time to spend extra quality time with your family, but work to integrate that summer sparkle into your every day life so that you can look back and see that you really LIVED in those little every day moments, that were the big moments, of your life.

Here’s a list of 100 Ways you can have a SUPER SUMMER, year round!

  1.  Have a backyard camp out
  2.  Enjoy an impromptu dance party
  3.  Have a sock folding party and try to make baskets throwing them into your laundry  basket
  4.  Make and decorate paper planes and throw for distance
  5.  Have a pajama day
  6.  Read under the table
  7.  Have a hot chocolate party
  8.  Make indoor and/or outdoor s’mores
  9.  Record your favorite read aloud story
  10.  Go for a hike and identify animals and plants
  11.  Name your own wishing star
  12.  Pick wildflowers and make a bouquet to give to someone
  13.  Make and send a homemade card
  14.  Dance in the rain
  15.  Have a squirt gun party
  16.  Throw water balloons
  17.  Make a sidewalk chalk art show
  18.  Create cardboard box houses and decorate them
  19.  Make a sock puppet theater party
  20.  Watch a movie with homemade popcorn
  21.  Make a new recipe together
  22.  Beautify an outdoor space
  23.  Create a fairy garden in a pot for your deck
  24.  Throw a Frisbee
  25.  Make homemade ice cream in zip lock bags
  26.  Play “Cinderella Workout” and clean your baseboards, fans, and windows
  27.  Look for lightning bugs
  28.  Blow bubbles
  29.  Look for rainbows
  30.  Have an indoor fort building party
  31.  Write your names in shaving cream on the table
  32.  Paint custom seasonal pieces after looking at art
  33.  Visit a local museum
  34.  Research and travel to a National Monument
  35.  Tell stories around a campfire
  36.  Plant a garden
  37.  Run as fast as you can
  38.  Read a book to improve yourself and share what you learned
  39.  Help a neighbor with a project
  40.  Have a fashion show and try on everything – donate what doesn’t fit
  41.  Have a toy party and clean up old toys and donate them
  42.  Make a scrapbook of a favorite memory or time period/event
  43.  Print some pictures and make a collage
  44.  Go fishing
  45.  Lay in a hammock
  46.  Wake up early and watch the sunrise
  47.  Go on a virtual trip
  48.  Make a local passport and visit/revisit your favorite places
  49.  Visit your local library and read great books
  50.  Share a sandwich with a friend
  51.  Take a 20 minute power nap
  52.  Spend time with your pet
  53.  Laugh until your stomach hurts
  54.  Play a board game
  55.  Learn something new
  56.  Write a cursive thank you letter to someone who has influenced your life
  57.  Go sing at a nursing home
  58.  Have an “unbirthday” party
  59.  Plant flowers
  60.  Try a new herb
  61.  Eat all green foods for a day
  62.  Visit your neighbors
  63.  Smile until your cheeks hurt
  64.  Call someone you love and have a great conversation
  65.  Send a text to your spouse at work
  66.  Teach your kids a nursery rhyme
  67.  Read aloud a chapter in a classic chapter book each night until you finish it as a  family
  68.  Meet an artist in their studio for a lesson and interview them
  69.  Cut and glue your letters out to spell your name on construction paper.  Glue or  draw other items that represent what you like.  Share these with your family.
  70.  Play indoor hide and go seek
  71.  Create a scavenger hunt
  72.  Make a facial scrub and try it out
  73.  Do your own pedicure night
  74.  Play with balloons, trying not to let them touch the floor
  75.  Organize a cabinet together, get rid of things you don’t need
  76.  Deep clean a space in your house
  77.  Fold all of your towels to look hotel perfect
  78.  Create a special menu for a date night in
  79.  Take an online course to improve your life
  80.  Read a joke book
  81.  Try to catch your shadow
  82.  Do a weigh and measure day and record it on the back of a door to track next year
  83.  Sit outside, close your eyes, and listen for one minute.  Share what you heard
  84.  Play Simon Says
  85.  Teach your kids how to play Mother May I?
  86.  Use please and thank you words all day until it becomes a habit
  87.  Label with note cards everything in a room to help your beginning readers read  everyday things in their world
  88.  Lay out on beach towels in the sunshine and play an ocean cd to have a quick  getaway vacation
  89.  Stay overnight at a hotel and order room service and sleep in just for fun
  90.  Have friends over and put on a play
  91.  Watch a favorite comedy show and have dessert after, while you share your favorite  funny lines
  92.  Go outside and sketch something you see in pencil
  93.  Look at pictures of beautiful scenery and describe what it looks like, feels like,  sounds like
  94.  Write about a dream you have for your life
  95.  Get in touch with a friend you haven’t seen in years
  96.  Pay a love debt forward by helping someone else
  97.  Hug someone every day
  98.  Write a list of 100 things that bring you pure joy in your life
  99.  Interview someone to see what they really like and share what you learned
  100.  Make a chart of how you spend your time each day and work to have balance in your  life

What would you add to this list?  I’d love to hear your SUPER SUMMER ideas!


Trina Gunzel

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Spring Outdoor Activities and Fun!

Hello Friends!
Spring is such a beautiful time of year and there is so much outdoor fun to be had!  Here’s a list of some great activities you can enjoy and also check out the FREE downloadable Spring Scavenger Hunt I added you can complete with your kiddos, available NOW in the shop section of my website.  Happy Spring!

Spring Outdoor Activity Checklist:

Go for a hike

Walk with a friend

Do a Spring Scavenger Hunt. (See Free Downloadable in the shop section)

See if you can find every color of the rainbow in flowers growing

Prep and plant a garden

Volunteer for a clean up service project

Take a boat ride

Go fishing

Find shapes and figures in the clouds

That’s all for today!  Leave me a comment of something fun you are doing outside to experience this amazing spring weather!

Best wishes,



Date Night Out


Hello and Happy Spring!

What are you doing to freshen up your relationship?  With busy obligations to work, community, family, and friends, sometimes our relationship or marriage can take a back seat and needs to be freshened up.  Here are 10 tips to recharge your couple time.

1.  Learn something new to spice up your love life.
2.  Try an outdoor adventure sport together.
3.  Go outside and passionately kiss under the stars like you did when you first met.
4.  Make a recipe you know he or she will love.
5.  Get the kids to bed early and make time for each other.
6.  Put away the distractions and have an uninterrupted and intentional conversation.
7.  Look at old pictures of you both and remember how much fun you have together!
8.  Watch a hilarious comedy show or movie and lighten up.
9.  Thoughtfully decide to work on something you are doing that is hurting your relationship and do something to improve it.
10.  Question your words and actions before doing them to make sure you are being genuine, thoughtful, and kind.

Enjoy your life!

Talk to you soon,
Trina Gunzel