Mommy Katie: February 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Helping Your Pets with Weight Management with Petcurean

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Petcurean through a campaign managed by their PR. All opinions are my own. 



When it comes to the health of our family, I find that I take everyone's health into consideration, including our fur babies. I like to see our fur babies happy and healthy, and just like our kids, I also seek out ways so I can help them be healthier. And with the resources I can find from Petcurean, I can find ways to help me when it comes to making the lives of our fur babies happier and longer!

As I was on the Petcurean site, I found a section for dog health and nutrition, where I was able to look through the various topics listed and find the one that I was seeking information on. Due to the fact that our Chloe is a older dog and that she is also overweight, I found that the information of weight management for pets was exactly what I was looking for.



See we have found that when we changed up Chloe's diet a few months ago from her old dog food brand to the Petcurean brand, we began to notice a lot of positive changes. Since then her energy levels have noticeably increased, where instead of her just wanting to sleep when the kids are outside playing she is up playing with them. Or finding that when we go for her leash she gets excited again to go on a walk, just like she used to do when she was younger.

Along with her energy levels we found that after taking her to her vet for a checkup, she has been losing weight and the vet also noticed that she seemed to have a little more pep in her step as well. And when I head on over to the Petcurean site, I can not only find great foods and treats to get our Chloe and other fur babies in the home, but I can also get some great advice on pet nutrition from Dr. Adolphe.

Making our choice to have the Petcurean products for our fur babies as part of a healthy and well balanced diet one that I not only stand by but that I will also recommend to other pet parents out there!!





Safety 1st Grow and Go Air


When it comes to our little ones, we as parents like to ensure that the products we use both in the home and when we are on the go, are safe and can help to keep our little ones protected. I think one of the biggest products that parents look into before buying is the car seats. I have learned that with the various features that are out there, that there are different car seats for different stages, but I have also found that when it comes to our little ones, if there are products that can grow with them, that those products can make a difference. Recently I was sent such a product when I was sent the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air to review.


With the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air, you get a car seat that is designed to be used with your baby from birth on up. You start out with a rear facing infant seat that can be used from 5-40 pounds, and as your baby grows you can adjust the straps with the easy to use QuickFit™ Harness and even a head rest which is easily adjusted so that it fits baby. The seat can also recline, which helps you to position the seat as needed in your car with the 4 position recline feature.
Also, as your little one grows and is big enough, you can turn this seat around and begin using it as a forward facing seat, which is recommended for babies 22-65 pounds. Then as your baby grows into a toddler you can use the belt positioning booster feature for your little ones from 40-100 pounds.

Other features include dual cup holders on either side of the seat, in and out harness holders which help to keep the straps out of the way when buckling, and grow with baby pillows to help provide a comfortable ride as well as so much more.

Then aside from being able to have this car seat grow with your baby and having the extra features for both comfort and accessibility, I can appreciate that this seat is also designed to give your little one extra protection as well. With the Air Protect®,  you get an advanced cushion system that provides extra protection and gives your baby the superior protection that you get with the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air. In all, making the choice to go with the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air when you are seeking out a car seat that can not only be used for little ones from birth on up, but also a seat that offers a superior protection when it comes to car seats!

You can find the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air at Amazon and Babies R Us as well as at Target in the exclusive Sport Edition!



Product received, thank you to Safety First as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How a Mother of 3 Started a Weekend Business to Stay a Full Time Mom and Bring in Extra Family Income


This is the story of how a mother of 3 became a “Mompreneur,” starting a weekend business that not only brought in extra part time income, it became the love of her life while letting her stay a full time mom.

When I first started raising a family, my life was probably much like yours is today. I had high hopes and dreams, no prior business experience, and I was falling behind, but life wasn’t waiting for me to catch up.

I was a youngish mother of 3, experiencing doubts about my ability to balance a strict 9-5 with managing a young family. Sound familiar?

In reality, I wasn’t so concerned about my ability to handle the juggling act. Somehow you manage. It came from something deeper, having everything to do with a mother’s desire to be there with the kids.

There are pluses and minuses with everything. In looking ahead though, this was only going to get tougher.


The anxiety was all too real when I realized I could actually miss out on the kids going through their changes and growing up. The thought of showing up too late was what I couldn’t handle.

I wanted to be fully involved because I believe that if you do a poor job raising your kids, nothing else really matters. Managing their social media is challenging enough. You can't let it replace you.

But we needed a second income too. I needed an ideal work situation.

We were hoping I could find something to bring in an extra $20,000 a year. With my work experience it seemed very doable, and it was. But most things come with strings attached making them less attractive, especially when it involves working for someone else.

I decided to take the plunge and become a “Mompreneur.” That is, a mother in business for herself, managing her own time, making her own decisions with family at the center of her life.

We didn’t have a great deal of money to risk and, quite honestly, I didn’t want to completely re-invent the wheel. I was just bound and determined to do it better.


I chose what turned out to be the best business idea ever for moms and women who love children. The Princess Tea Party Business.

In tapping into the enormous $3Billion birthday party industry, my job in this niche is to help a little girl’s princess dream come true. Pure and simple.

What makes it wonderful is that we share the same dream.

Having daughters of my own, I knew this was a winning concept. What I didn’t know was that it would become the joy of my working life and mean so much to my family’s well- being.

My first store opened after nearly a year of preparation with about a $12,000 investment.

I'd never had so much fun, searching through second hand stores and antique shops looking for princess dresses and the unique fixtures and decorative pieces I had in my mind’s eye.

That was just the tip off for the joy that was to come.

Every business has it’s rhythm in terms of attracting and satisfying customers, so I endured a lot of trial and error with advertising, different packages to offer, what food to serve, when to hire help, etc.

There was no one there to hold my hand or a guidebook I could follow with step by step instructions to avoid the pitfalls.

I had to figure it out as I went along. In retrospect it is pretty simple, although it didn’t always seem like it at the time.

Being in Honolulu, we asked a Hawaiian “Kahu” to bless our space before opening our doors. It covered me with such a warm feeling of safety and protection which has never left.

I admit I was nervous when my first party of eight little 5 year olds and their moms showed up with expectations sky high. This was it. I’ll either be the talk of their kindergarten class (not to mention Starbucks) or, I would go the way of your average backyard clown.

I must have nailed it because word spread quickly about this great new children’s party place in town. My bookings began to stabilize and our investment was returned within the first 18 months.

I’m still in the same location and have never looked back.

That was 17 years ago. Since then, we’ve made over 5,000 little princess dreams come true and generated more than $2,000,000 in total revenue from a weekend business!

I’m not saying you’ll become a millionaire from a weekend Princess Tea Party business, but you can see that my $12,000 investment has turned into much more than ever expected.

I like to think it is because my thoughts were aimed in the same direction as my desire. It is the surest way to reach your destination.

My kids have graduated college and I’ve been there for just about every milestone moment in their lives. Knock on wood they are good kids.
The business has also been rock solid when the ground beneath us felt like it was shifting under our feet.

I’m not saying it is immune to hard times, but much less so. Birthdays happen once a year, and, like birds in spring, they faithfully return.

That's the beauty of this business. Every day is someone's birthday and their little friends want to celebrate with them.

I have learned that most young girls between the ages of 4 and 9 want to be princesses, and, their parents are only too happy to try and make that dream come true.

It makes the role of my business all the more valuable. We provide what everyone wants. The girls, their parents, and me.  Win! Win! Win!

Over the years I have added services and additional revenue streams such as Children’s Etiquette and Social Skills training, re-fashioned clothing, and others, making the business even more lucrative.



My newest effort is to help women who are looking for an opportunity like this to bring in extra income and more.
Many years ago I decided that being a full time mom was, at the end of the day, what I really wanted. I also understood that I needed to help support my family. By digging deep to find where my interests and desire came together with determination, a wonderful, life- long endeavor blossomed beyond what I dreamed at the time.
You can turn your interests into a business too by being determined to see it through no matter what the naysayers try to tell you. Ignore them.
The direction you are facing determines your destination. Fine tune your sense of direction.


 To Your Success!
Lisa



Lisa Zakar is a wife and mother of 3. She is the owner of Lisa Rose, a popular Princess Tea Party venue. She has a 17 year track record in the Princess Tea Party business. Lisa had a 10 year history in higher end retail with Nordstrom before launching her business. Lisa Rose is an award winning party venue with Best of Honolulu/children’s parties/Honolulu Magazine, and, Winner of Best Children’s Parties/Island Parent Magazine. Lisa Rose has locations in Honolulu. Princess Tea Party

FB: Princessteapartybusiness, lisarosehonolulu
Twitter: princessteaparty@princesstapa
Pinterest: princessteapartybusiness


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Work from Home to Extend Your Maternity Leave

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about maternity leave or already at home with your new baby. Congratulations! Being a mother is one of the greatest, most challenging adventures of your life. And one of the toughest decisions for many working moms is how and when to return to work. There are so many considerations: How long does your company allow for maternity leave? Will you be expected to dive back in like you never left? Who will take care of the baby? How will you be able to squeeze everything in? Do you really want to return to work at all?

Take a deep breath. Let it out. And again, deep breath. And out. Try to relax. You can do this and you may have more options than you realize.

Returning to work, whether it’s after a few weeks of maternity leave, a few months, or a few years, can be overwhelming. You may get a twisting feeling in your gut when it’s time to leave your baby. You’ll probably wonder if the baby (and you) will be okay.

Just like every child is different, every mother’s experience will be different. Some women are ready to return to the workforce and happy with their childcare arrangements. Some women decide they won’t be okay leaving their baby, no matter the child’s age. And some women need to get back to work but just aren’t ready quite yet…


For moms who want to stay home longer, there are more reliable options than winning the lottery! Some companies offer flexible work-from-home opportunities that let you work around your home and family schedules. These offer some pretty compelling benefits. You can:

  • Work on your schedule, around the baby’s nap schedule or your partner’s work schedule, so you can still be a full-time mom;
  • Contribute to the family budget while saving money (no childcare costs, no commute costs—the list goes on);
  • Work from the comfort of your own home instead of adding a stop at the daycare center to your commute;
  • Build on your prior work experience and keep your work identity so that you can be a business professional and an amazing mom.

You may find that what starts out as a way to extend maternity leave, turns into a long-term solution for you and your family. Imagine being able to contribute to your family finances while still having the flexibility to attend baby classes or playdates during the day. Or being able to increase your hours as your child grows and goes to school, while still being home during school vacations.

So how do you find legitimate work from home opportunities without falling victim to a scam? Look on established sites such as FlexJobs, Indeed, and Glassdoor. Check with the Better Business Bureau if you are unsure about a company—you’ll be able to see complaints and resolutions. Do some research and ask lots of questions to be sure any opportunity is the right fit for you, and trust your gut if it just seems too good to be true.

And don’t discount the value of independent contractor opportunities. These are often the most flexible work-from-home options. You make it what you need it to be. And having that flexibility still can still pay the bills.

Congratulations on welcoming a baby and choosing to find flexible work that allows you to be the amazing mom you want to be.

Lisa Lozeau works on the Acquisition and Onboarding team at LiveOps. She helps connect talented individuals with independent contractor opportunities that allow them to work from home and provide professional call center services to LiveOps’ diverse client base. As a work-from-home mom herself, Lisa understands the value and importance of flexible work. She is passionate about helping people find greater work-life balance through professional work-from-home opportunities. For more information about LiveOps, please visit: join.liveops.com.








Monday, February 22, 2016

Peppa Pig's Big Splash!

When it comes to finding those family events to attend, I enjoy finding ones that are geared at the various ages of kids in my home. And one event that we have been anticipating and will be attending soon is the Peppa Pig's Big Splash! You can find out more about this show along with showtimes near you by going here: www.peppapiglive.com



Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is an action-packed live show, based on the popular Peppa Pig television series, designed to deliver to preschoolers and young fans an unforgettable first live theater experience. A fully immersive musical production featuring a dozen familiar and original songs, as well as an interactive sing-a-long, the live stage show will have fans laughing, singing, dancing and of course jumping in muddy puddles too – just like Peppa.

In Peppa Pig’s Big Splashthe nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it quickly. They set up a fair to raise money so Mr. Bull can do the repairs. Theres plenty of fun to be had as Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, along with Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep work together to organize an exciting day outcomplete with a Champion Puddle Jumping competition judged by Mr. Potato, where everyone gets wet! An interactive experience full of singing, dancing, games, and muddy puddles, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is a guaranteed blast for preschoolers and their parents alike!

The highly-anticipated tour, which has already sold over 100,000 tickets, is officially underway and is traveling to more than 90 cities from coast-to-coast to dazzle and delight families. The latest schedule of more than 100 shows along with information about tickets and VIP packages can be found at www.peppapiglive.com.   





I was given the products for this post for being a part of the Peppa Pig Parent Bloggers program, thank you to the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Keeping Your Poise with Poise Impressa + #Giveaway

Compensation was provided by Poise via Acorn Influence. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Poise or Acorn Influence



As women we find that we tend to go through a lot when it comes to our bodies. We learn to take things as they come and try to find ways to make those things that come along a lot more manageable, all while trying to keep our poise. Well like many, I can remember thinking that when it came to things like bladder leakage, that it was only something that happened to older women. And like many women, I learned that the idea that it can only happen to a certain age group, is not at all true.

For me, I can remember the first time it happened. I mean, I was young, in my early 20's and pregnant, and I was with some friends laughing and having a good time, and then it happened. No warnings, no hiding it, it just happened. I had a good laugh and bam, the next thing I know I am soaked. I mean, it was not just a little leak, this was a full on what the heck just happened kinda leak that I had no control over in mid laugh. I was embarrassed and pregnant and you can guess it, well that embarrassment turned into a full fledged all out emotional moment for me. Where I went from having a good time laughing with friends, to not wanting to come out of the bathroom because I had a accident with bladder leakage.

After the first experience, well it happened a few more times, and I went to my doctor because I did not think that bladder leakage could happen to me at such a young age. I was told that it was all normal and that it would most likely go away after I had my baby. And at the time I thought, well if it is just something I have to deal with until delivery, I can do this. Then I had my baby, and well the issues with the bladder leakage seemed to go away too, and I was thrilled thinking it was just something that goes along with pregnancy. So when it happened with my pregnancy with my middle child, I took it with a grain of salt and reassured myself that once I had the baby it would go away.

You can imagine my surprise when after having my middle child that those uh oh moments continued to affect me. I got to wear a simple sneeze turned into a race for the restroom, and where I did not want to laugh like I once did because I was scared of the embarrassment that might come along with the laughter. It was around this time that I found after talking to friends that what was happening to me when it came to bladder leakage was not as uncommon as I had once thought it to be. And that even though I was still in my 20's, bladder leakage can affect anyone at any age. So like many women who have sought out those products that can help to hide those uh oh moments, I was thrilled to find that I could prevent those moments all together by heading to my local Walmart to pick up some of the new Poise Impressa.

I found that having the Poise Impressa on hand not only helps to give me that reassurance I need when it comes to bladder leakage, but it also helps me as a woman to keep my poise! Making the Poise Impressa not only incredibly convenient since I can pick it up at Walmart when I do my shopping, but also a product that can help women everywhere who have dealt with bladder leakage to keep their poise as well!

Also be sure to enter to the giveaway below where  ONE Grand Prize winner will receive a Patio Set valued at ($599)  FIVE winners will receive a Pioneer Woman Entertainment Prize Pack valued at ($100 each)   Must be 18+, US Addresses only, Giveaway ends @ 8:45PM Central on Feb. 25th, 2016

And join myself along with other bloggers during the #TryImpressa Twitter Party
WHAT: #TryImpressa Twitter Party and sweepstakes
WHERE: On Twitter, hashtag #TryImpressa
WHEN: Thursday, February 25th  TIME: 8:00PM CST

#TryImpressa Feb 25 Twitter Party & Sweepstakes




Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#Giveaway Wrap Your Little Ones with Love with Swaddle Designs


When it comes to baby and ensuring we have what we need, I find that the list can be one that can go on and on. For me, when it comes to preparing for baby or even finding that perfect gift to give for baby, I like to turn to the companies I know and trust. One such company is Swaddle Designs and with having those swaddle blankets on the top of my list when it comes to preparing for baby, I was excited to check out the new designs and single swaddles that they now have available!


With the new designs I like that they can be great for gender neutral gifts to give or to have on hand when it comes to swaddling baby. I also like that with the black and white prints, they can be easily accessorized when taking baby out and about!

Aside from the color and the new designs that are just way too cute, I also like that with these new designs I can purchase them in the single packs, which is perfect for not only having to mix and match the various designs, but also for gift giving at showers as well! Then when it comes to the material and my love for the Swaddle Designs Muslin Swaddle Blankets, I like that they are made with a fabric that is breathable and I like that the fabric gets softer with each wash. Another plus that I really like about the Swaddle Designs is the fact that their blankets are made so you can get that perfect swaddle every time!

You can get the swaddle due to the fact that the size allows the blankets to grow with baby so you can continue to swaddle baby as they grow. I also like that I can learn how to get that perfect swaddle by following the instructions on the tag or by heading to the site where I can get the instructions as well! Making the new designs in the Muslin Swaddle Singles not only a great blanket to have when preparing for baby, but also a great gift to give as well! And to help with preparing for your own baby, the wonderful people from Swaddle Designs would like to give one of my amazing readers their own Swaddle Designs Muslin Swaddle Single!





Product received, thank you to Swaddle Designs as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Soothe Baby with the snu:mee Music Box


When it comes to babies and finding ways to soothe them to sleep, I find that I enjoy seeking out those products that can help. For me, one thing that I learned over the years with my own kids is that when it comes to soothing baby, a toddler, or even older kids, having music on can make all the difference. So when we were sent the snu:mee to review, I was excited to check out this new device that can not only help when it comes to soothing, but also be a product that can grow with baby as well!

To get started, you can either put the snu:mee in the very adorable plush toy or you can place it on a flat surface in babies room. For use when you have a baby, you can use the snu:mee as both a music box for baby to help soothe them with as well as a baby monitor.



Once you have your snu:mee where you want it, you will then need to download the snu:mee app, which can be downloaded via iOS or Android. With the app, you can turn your smartphone into a baby monitor handset and more!
The baby monitor feature reacts to noises that can come from the babies room, and to be alerted to this you can have it alert you with sound and vibration. You can also not only listen to baby through the snu:mee that is set up in the room, but you can also talk to baby through the monitor as well. And if you go out of range, the app will alert you.

Other ways you can utilize the snu:mee from your phone by using the app is by being able to control the music that baby hears. You can upload music, record your own voice, play soothing nature sounds, play the preloaded music that is on the app, put the music on shuffle mode, adjust the volume and more! Then as your kids grow or if older children want to use the snu:mee as well, you can make the snu:mee into a MP3 player by using the music on the app and making the snu:mee into a speaker! Making the snu:mee a great music box device that is perfect for having in any home to use as both a soothing device as well as a baby monitor!

You can be one of the first to get your snu:mee by heading here today: http://igg.me/at/snumee

Product received, thank you to snu:mee as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Skincare Products for New Moms from Visha Skin Care

When it comes to being a mom, we as women tend to put our bodies through a lot. We do all of this in the name of love and find that when it is all said and done, we would not have it any other way! Well as a mom, I have learned that as those bellies grow, the skin stretches and changes, and along with that, even after baby is here, there are changes happening both inside and out. So as a mom who has been there done that when it comes to pregnancy and post pregnancy body, I find that using products such as the ones from the Visha Skin Care line, can help make the skin during and after pregnancy, less stressed looking and feeling.

Recently I was sent the line of products from Visha Skin Care and I found that this line is not only good to use during and after pregnancy, but at any point in a mom's life! I mean, with this line of products you can not only get lotions and creams that can help to moisturize stretched and cracked skin, but also cleansers for the skin and the face to help with keeping that mom look of always looking tired, from being so obvious!

The line of products from Visha Skin Care include:

Advanced Purifying Cleanser
4 in 1
• Cleanses
• Exfoliates
• Minimizes pores
• Reduces facial redness/scaling

Advanced Bright Eye Booster
4 in 1
• Reduces overall eye puffiness
• Diminishes the appearance of dark circles
• Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Softens the look of smile lines around the lip area                                                                   

Advanced Correcting Serum with Illuminotex-TM
4 in 1
• Dramatically diminishes sunspots and hyperpigmentation
• Helps soften and correct fine lines and wrinkles
• Minimizes the appearance of large pores
• Boosts collagen production
• Fades the appearance of scars


Visha Skin Care Mommy Line
Safe for mommy and baby and best on all dry and sensitive skin

Mommy Purifying Cleanser
4 in 1
• Cleanses
• Exfoliates
• Minimizes pores
• Reduces facial redness/scaling

Mommy Eye Brightener
4 in 1
• Reduces overall eye puffiness
• Diminishes the appearance of dark circles
• Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Softens the look of smile lines around the lip area

Mommy Brightener with Illuminotex-TM
4 in 1
• Dramatically diminishes sunspots and hyperpigmentation
• Helps soften and correct fine lines and wrinkles
• Minimizes the appearance of large pores
• Boosts collagen production
• Fades the appearance of scars

Bump 2 Baby
5 in 1
• Soothing for relief of dry skin & eczema on baby and mommy
• Encourages skin’s natural elasticity
• Helps minimize emerging stretch marks
• Moisturizes and protects sensitive, delicate skin
• Helps strengthen thinning skin

Making the line of Visha Skin Care products the perfect selection to have on hand for any new, expecting or even veteran moms!



Product received, thank you to Visha Skin Care as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Tips on Caring for Aging Parents From Afar


If you are currently doing all you can to take care of your elderly parents from a distance, you are not alone. Around 34 million Americans are caregivers for an aging parent, and of that number about 15 percent live at least one hour away, according to a report by MetLife. Furthermore, nearly one-third of adults who are caring for their parents from afar are taking care of a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
To keep tabs on your elderly parents while still allowing them to be as independent as possible, consider the following tips:
Rely on Technology
There are a variety of ways to use technology to keep an eye on your aging folks. For example, if your parents are comfortable with the idea, purchase home monitoring cameras to keep an eye on them. You can access the footage from the Internet and know right away if one of them has fallen or is having some other emergency.
Another less invasive way to keep track of your parents with technology is through the Fitbit. These amazing wearables keep tabs on the person’s blood pressure, sleep quality and heart rate and uploads its data to the Fitbit website. If your parents choose to share their data, you could have access to the results and have a good idea about their day-to-day health and habits.

Still anotheroption is a smartwatch like the Apple Watch. These wearables include features like GPS, step tracking and Siri messaging, which helps you stay connected with your aging parents and put your mind at ease.
Schedule Family Meetings
To be an effective long-distance caregiver, MayoClinic suggests scheduling family meetings with everyone who is involved with your parents’ care. Communicate via web chat or phone so you can go over your goals and concerns and divide up duties. This is a great opportunity to compare notes with the others and make sure everyone has all of the pertinent information they need, such as contact numbers, insurance information and doctors’ phone numbers.
If your parents are comfortable signing a release to allow you to speak with their caregivers, stay in touch with the doctors as much as you can. Schedule conference calls and discuss any concerns you have with them.
Learn About Their Health Issues
If one of your parents has been diagnosed with dementia or any other type of health issue, research the condition as much as possible. This helps you understand some of the behaviors they may exhibit, what to expect in terms of the course of the illness and possible treatments.
You also might want to look intothe criteria for Silver Alerts in your parents’ state of residence. These alerts use a variety of media outlets, like radio and TV, to broadcast information about missing persons, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mental disabilities. Some states allow Silver Alerts for anyone over 65 while others allow it for anyone who has been diagnosed with a condition that impacts their mental ability. Although it can be hard to think of your beloved parent going missing, it’s best to be proactive now and look into your options should the worst happen and your mom or dad wanders away from home.




Tips for Helping Your Teenager Learn to Drive

Many parents find that helping their teenagers learn to drive is a bit beyond the scope of what they were prepared for when choosing to start a family. Teenagers, by nature, can be very stubborn, but when it comes to learning to drive, that trait is compounded many times over. They want to start out like race car drivers when they haven’t learned to handle a car safely yet and if they are terrified of the written portion of the DVSA test it just makes matters worse. If you have a learner driver that you are trying to help prepare for either portion of the test, here are a few tips that might make the job a whole lot easier – on both of you!



Explain the Value of Patience

Young people haven’t yet learned the value of having patience and so it is with learning to drive. They probably have played those video games where they control vehicles on a television screen but when getting behind the wheel it is a whole other experience. When they can’t get the car to do what they want it to do, they get frustrated easily. The same holds true of learningthe theory for that portion of the test. It is only natural to miss some questions the first few times of taking practice tests so don’t let them be too hard on themselves. Explain the value of taking their time and being patient. By alleviating some of the pressure on themselves they will fare better in the future.

Register Them in a Reputable Driving School

Not all driving schools are created equal and if you want your son or daughter to learn to be a safe driver, it pays to check the credentials of the school before signing them up. Make sure the instructors have experience teaching younglearner drivers and take the time to ask how they will prepare students to take the written theory portion of the test. All of this is important because you want to make sure your teenager will pass the driving test the first time after having spent so much money enrolling them.

Help Your Teenager Find Study Aids

You may very well be able to take your teenager out for some much needed practice on local roads but when helping them prepare for the written theory test, it might be wise to help them find study aids online. There are a number of sites that offer free practice tests so that your learner driver can feel confident when taking the ‘real thing.’ If you are looking for an aid like this, check this site out to see just how easy it is to practice with questions quite similar to those given on the DVSA test.
It doesn’t hurt to offer your help but be prepared to face some resistance. Teenagers make it a point to tell you how much they know but when it comes down to it, you know it is just bravado. You can best help your young learner driver by being supportive and helping them find the resources they need to learn the rules. In no time at all you’ll have one more driver in the family and one more driver on the road.



Monday, February 15, 2016

Fun for the Whole Family with the Harlem Globetrotters


For my family, when it comes to fun events to attend and enjoy together, we like to find ones that offer fun entertainment that is family friendly. Well like many, when it comes to thinking back on those events and shows that I went to see when I was a kid, The Harlem Globetrotters show was one that I can still remember seeing and enjoying. So when we were given the chance to go and watch a live show, we were excited to attend and watch with our family!


I have always liked that with the Harlem Globetrotters, they not only aim to teach both kids and their parents the importance of being a fair player and having good sportsmanship, but they involve the audience in their fun as well!
Along with the show that families can enjoy and watch, there is also a lot of times that the audience can get up and get active with the music shows when the kids get up and dance. The audience also has chances to meet their favorite players before the shows when the players go up into the stands, during the show, and even after the show when they encourage families to go on the court for autographs!


And along with the show, the fun, and the music, you also get to enjoy a great game of basketball, where players show off some of their best moves! Making a date with the family to go and see the Harlem Globetrotters, an event that is sure to make memories that will last!!



Thank you to the PR and to The Harlem Globetrotters for sponsoring this post. Tickets were received in exchange for this review! All opinions are my own.

#Giveaway Eddie The Eagle Prize Pack ($25 Visa Gift Card)


EDDIE THE EAGLE – IN THEATERS FEBRUARY 26
Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out.  With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.  From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.

Directed By: Dexter Fletcher
Screenplay By: Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton
Produced By: Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, David Reid, Rupert Maconick, Valerie Van Galder
Story By: Simon Kelton
Starring: Taron Egerton, Christopher Walken, Hugh Jackman





Like so many out there who have dreams, ambitions, and who also have children who they want to help chase those dreams, I find that I like to seek out those books and movies that offer inspiration by showing you to never give up on those dreams. I not only enjoy the various movies and books, but when they are based on a true story, I find that those goals and dreams can get a boost of encouragement! And like many, come February 26th, I will be lining up with my family to go and see the new movie Eddie The Eagle!



And if you are looking for a movie to make a date for, that has an inspiring story behind it, be sure to mark your calendars for Feb 26th and get your tickets to see Eddie The Eagle in theaters everywhere! Also enter to win a Eddie The Eagle Prize Pack! One (1) winner receives: - $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters - Ear Muffs



Open to US mailing addresses only
Prizing courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Data and a Movie Night with Walmart Family Mobile PLUS

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias



When it comes to finding those phones and data plans that are suitable not only for myself but for my entire family, I find that it can all be quite confusing. I mean, you seek out the phones that are going to have the features you want, then you have to find the right plan to go with it, and if you go on a contract, well there is really no turning back once you are locked into a plan. So like many when it comes to the data overage charges that might show up on the next bill, I have found that going with plans such as the Walmart Family Mobile Plus can not only give us the coverage we want, but also the data we need without the overage that can come when we are locked in a contract.


Recently I went to my local Walmart to look over the phone selection and plans available from the Walmart Family Mobile. And when I was there I was not only pleasantly surprised to see a large selection of phones to choose from, but I was also very impressed when I saw the $49.88 a month price for the Walmart Family Mobile Plus that I can get. I mean, with the $49.88, I can get the unlimited talk and text that my family and I need per line, and I can also get 10GB 4G LTE each month per line!!! Oh and that is not all I can get either, because each month, I also get 1 free new movie which I can stream on VUDU!!!
To get started I was able to go over the selection of phones that were available at my local Walmart. I was very pleased to see the sale that were on some of the phones which included the one I went with which is the LG Leon LTE. After I found the phone I wanted which had the features I was seeking, I also picked up the starter kit to go with my phone, which is needed with the Walmart Family Mobile. Once I purchased my phone and starter kit, I then went home, put the SIM card in from the kit, then called the number provided so I could add my plan to my phone.


We liked how simple the entire set up process was, and once the phone was ready, I was able to give it to my daughter so she could start using it right away. When it was ready to go, well my daughter was already on her new phone, surfing the internet and picking out the new movie to add to our VUDU account so we could then watch it on the TV with the family!


Making the choice to go with the phones and the Walmart Family Mobile PLUS plan from the Walmart Family Mobile selection that we went with, a great choice for my family! So if you are looking for a phone that has the features you are seeking along with a plan that not only suits your needs with talk, text and data that also fit into a family budget friendly, then be sure to check out Walmart Family Mobile PLUS today!



Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/28aqc or your local Walmart for current pricing.

Family Dinners with Regal Springs Tilapia

When it comes to finding foods that I can get the entire family to eat and enjoy, I find that the task can be a trying one at times. I have found that when I seek out foods to create dishes with, I like to find things that I know everyone will enjoy and that will not only be tasty but also a healthier option as well. So when we were sent some tilapia from Regal Springs Tilapia, I was excited to create some dishes that are sure to be a hit in my home.
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Since we are preparing to celebrate Valentines Day, I decided to create a dish for my family that was a simple one to put together, but that was also one that they will enjoy. I chose to first get the Regal Springs Tilapia, and season it with a Cajun seasoning mix that I was able to pick up at my local grocery store. I also added some fries to my dish to add something I know my kids love to the mix. Once the tilapia was done, I placed the fillets on the platters, added some fries then also added some tarter sauce for the kids to use as a dip. Which in all seemed to make a meal that everyone enjoyed and that was a fairly simple and fast meal to put together and serve my family!

Along with being able to create the recipe I made for my family, I was also given some other great recipes to try as well from Regal Springs Tilapia, and I found that with the various recipes I can not only create meals that everyone is sure to enjoy, but also meals that give us healthier options to enjoy! Making Regal Springs Tilapia a great choice to go with when seeking out options when it comes to dinner for the family!

For the dish I created making a Cajun Crusted Grilled Tilapia:

4 lake raised tilapia fillets
1 container of Cajun Seasoning (will season to taste)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly season the fillets on both sides then place on oven tray for cooking. Cook for 25 minutes. You can add rice, vegetables or any sides you would like to pair with the tilapia, then plate and serve!

You can enjoy this recipe along with the others I was sent from Regal Springs Tilapia as well!


OVEN ROASTED LAKE RAISED TILAPIA WITH WINTER VEGETABLES AND CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
Ingredients:
4 lake raised tilapia fillets                                                             
12 fingerling potatoes
1 lemon                                                               
1 lime
2 turnips                                                                                             
1 orange
8 peeled small carrots                                                   
4 table spoons extra virgin olive oil                                          
1 sweet onion                                                                  
1 teaspoon honey
3 parsnips                                                                           
2 cups washed baby spinach                                                      
Sea salt and fresh pepper
Instructions:
To make the vegetables:
·         Peel the turnips, carrots, onion, and parsnips. Cut all peeled vegetable to roughly the same size as a halved fingerling potato. Half all the potatoes. Place all vegetable on an oiled sheet pan and season with salt, pepper, and EVOO. Roast in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes or until vegetable are fork tender.
To make the dressing:
·         Juice the lemon and lime. Peel the orange and segment, then add the juice form the pulp to the lemon and lime juice.  In a metal mixing bowl add the honey, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon citrus juice. Whisk together with a metal wire whisk then slowly drizzle 4 table spoons of EVOO.  Make sure you fully emulsify the dressing.
To cook the fish:
·         Brush lake raised tilapia fillets with EVOO, salt and pepper on each side. In a 375-degree oven roast the fish on an oiled sheet pan for 20 minutes. 
To the plate:
·         On 4 plates place ¼ of the roasted vegetables in the center of the plate. Then place the roasted tilapia over the vegetables.  Toss the spinach and orange in the dressing using tongs. Place a small amount of the salad beside the fish and vegetable. Keep in mind while cooking that the vegetable will take longer to cook than the fish.  The fish will be best if timed to make sure it is the last thing to come out of the oven.

GRILLED TILAPIA OVER FARO WITH ROASTED TOMATO, PEPPER AND GARLIC
Ingredients:
4 lake raised tilapia fillets                                                             
3 roma tomatoes
8oz. faro dry                                                                      
1 red bell pepper
3 teaspoons fresh thyme                                                            
3 cloves garlic
1oz. dried chanterelle mushrooms                                          
3 table spoons extra virgin olive oil                                          
32oz. seafood stock                                                       
1 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons pine nuts                                                               
Sea salt and fresh pepper
Instructions:
To make the faro:
·         Put seafood stock into medium sized sauce pan. Add the dried mushrooms and and steep on low heat for 45 minutes.  You want to basically make a seafood/mushrooms stock. Remove mushrooms and strain stock and dry mushrooms with a paper towel. Set the mushrooms aside while you cook the faro. Return the stock to the sauce pan and add faro.  Bring faro to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and allow to cook for 25 more minutes. While to faro cooks sauté the mushrooms in one table spoon EVOO, salt and pepper. Once faro is cooked add the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon thyme.
To cook the sauce:
·         In a 375-degree oven roast the tomatoes, garlic, and bell pepper on a sheet pan for 25 minutes.  Drizzle all with EVOO and salt and pepper before cooking. While the vegetables are in the oven place the wine in a sauce pan and reduce by 50% over med-high heat. Remove vegetable from the oven, allow to cool enough to handle, then peel the tomatoes and garlic, seed the pepper and place in food processor or blender. Add reduced wine, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons thyme, salt and pepper. Pulse in blender until sauce is smooth.
To cook the fish:
·         Brush lake raised tilapia fillets with EVOO, salt and pepper on each side. Grill over med-high grill. Cook each side for approximately 3 minutes or until you reach your desired doneness.
To the plate:
·         On 4 plates place ¼ of the faro in the center of the plate. Then place the grilled tilapia over the faro.  Spoon a little sauce on the plate and a little on the fish. Please keep in mind, the sauce and faro can be held warm while the fish cooks. So make sure the fish is the last part of the meal you cook.

BUTTER AND HERB BASTED LAKE RAISED TILAPIA ROASTED BEET, ARUGALA AND BASIL SALAD
Ingredients:
4 lake raised tilapia fillets
2 table spoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
6 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small red beets
2 small golden beets
4 cups baby arugula
1 cup fresh basil
1 table spoon high quality balsamic vinegar
1 table spoon whole grain mustard
Sea salt and fresh pepper
Instructions:
To make the salad:
·         Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil, drizzled with EVOO and salt and pepper. Roast in 375-degree oven for 20 minutes allow to cool and slice. In a metal mixing bowl large enough to hold the entire salad. Put whole grain mustard and vinegar in bowl first with salt and pepper to taste and 1 table spoon fresh thyme.  Slowly whisk 4 table spoons EVOO into bowl, making sure that the dressing is fully emulsified. Once the fish is cooked you will add the arugula and basil, then mix with tongs to cover thoroughly.  Then you will add the beets.  The goal is to cover the greens with dressing then add the beets.  The sweetness of the beets will contrast well with the spiciness of the arugula. Remember that the dressing will wilt the greens, so add it at the last moment.
To cook the fish:
·         You will need a large Sauté pan or possible two sauté pans. Over medium high heat melt the butter and add the fish.  Once the fish starts cooking add the remaining thyme. During the cooking process you will want to continually spoon the butter over the top of the fish.  This will give the fish a nice golden brown crust.  The fish will take approximately 6 minutes to cook with 4 of those minutes done on the first side.  After 4 minutes you will turn the fish and allow to cook the remaining 2 minutes, or until you reach your desired doneness. When done remove from heat and leave in the pan.
To Plate:
·         Mix salad then divide into 4 portions. Place salad in the middle of the plate, then lay the fish partially on the salad and partially on the plate.



Product received, thank you to Regal Springs Tilapia as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.