Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Let's have a Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday party

After a long, snowy winter for much of the country, Spring/Summer is finally here! We are starting to enjoy the great weather and excited for the school year to end. This time of year also has another cause for celebration, my son's birthday. Each year I through a HUGE party for him. I make decor, invites, paint photo props, organize games you name it! This year we have been completely remodeling our basement and the house projects have taken a toll on us. Not just physically, economically but also these projects have consumed much of our time. Time to plan, create and organize a HUGE party we have done in the past. This year I asked him if we could take the stress out of his party by NOT making everything. By hosting his party at Chuck E. Cheese I was able to have a stress free party because they took care of everything!
Just make your reservations online or at your local store. Add what you want and how many guests will be attending. 
When you arrive you will be showed to your seating area and given your Powered by Play Pass. Simply tap the card on the machines to play your favorite kids games! Each package comes with different Play card amount options.
The kids enjoyed this because we could all enjoy games with out lugging around coins. I suggest having a bag or something to carry all the tickets because you just never know when someone will hit a jackpot. Yeah, my son did that....700+ tickets later...
During our game time Chuck E came out to sing, dance and play. My son knew all the words and at the end they threw FREE tickets to all the kids!
By reserving a VIP Party on Saturday or Sunday you get the whole party area to yourself before the restaurant opens, for one hour! We could not make it quite THAT early so we did share the area. I will say I would plan for the earlier slot because this area can get filled quickly with parties, guests, kids and staff!
They have new cake options including: Chuck E., Batman, Barbie, Paw Patrol or Ice cream, Dippin’ dots and Giant Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies. My son has a suger intolerance so we opted for a Pizza "Cake". 
At Chuck E. Cheese’s they helped set up EVERYTHING for his birthday party, from goody bags, balloons to cakes, drinks and candles on his pizza! 
We just had to bring ourselves and they took care of the rest.
It was by far the easiest party I have ever "hosted" for him. We stayed for around 2 hours just to give you an idea on planning. Overall the kids had so much fun. They each picked out takeaways with their tickets, had full bellies and are still talking about it!
Have you ever hosted or been to Chuck E. Cheese?
Favorite Chuck E. Cheese Memory??

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese's. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Reasons to Introduce your Child to Water

From birth my sweet baby has hated water. I will not lie to you when I was younger I also dreaded the water as well. I would convince my mother to take me to the pool for swim lessons and then cry once there. She would get so frustrated because learning to swim is vital lesson we should all learn! While pregnant, I remember reading all sort of baby books in preparations of my little bundle. In one of them I read: the earlier a child is introduced to water the more likely they will feel comfortable in and out of the water. I "hear" as they grow and get more comfortable with the water they will learn to enjoy it more...let's hope that is sooner rather than later!
This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
By using SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float  I created a positive water introduction experience. We all know children developmentally pick up skills better the younger they are (think how easy it is for kids to learn languages), so starting children young, and reinforcing the skills by continuing lessons or water education continually throughout childhood will create a much more confident and competent person in the unlikely event of a water accident. By using this device I hope to help to develop a love of water.
This SwimWays float has a soft seat that cradles your baby. It features a 3-point harness to keep them secure at all times. It also has dual inflation chambers, child safety valves, and a wide base with an inner spring around the outside edge of the float for stability.
Trust me, when I say I was expecting a total melt down episode once we got it together and placed her in....nothing. Total radio silence and contentment (Yay).
  Just slide the flotation device out of the traveling bag and it easily folds open. 
Three areas need to be blown up and takes a couple of minutes to get inflated. 
By introducing your child to water early on it helps you not only bond but will teach them a life skill. While they float they are not actually in the water just comfortably resting on top.
Remember teaching children skills is of course no substitute for supervision, which is one of the most important factors in preventing accidental drowning. By using the built-in handles included you can hold the baby float securely at all times!
This SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float also comes with a removable and adjustable sun canopy with UPF 50+ sun protection! We have not had the chance to use it since all it has done is rain lately. I can say not having to hold your baby in the actual water is such a blessing. Holding onto the flotation device at all times was much easier, we had no melt downs and more enjoyable for both of us. 
Did you introduce your child(ren) to water at an early age?
What are your earliest pool memories (share them below)??
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review of NorthShore Care Supply

 **I received a free products to facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review in any way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
I am a busy on the go mom. The NorthShore Premium Quilted Changing Pads are a staple item in my daughters diaper bag. They are waterproof and protect her body from whatever surface I need to place her on for a quick diaper change. Recently we were at the park and I realized that her changing pad was not put back in her diaper bag. Lucky for us I had put one of the disposable changing pads in her bag. I love that they are waterproof as I needed to place her on some damp grass. The NorthShore Quilted Baby Wipes are a go to item for me. They are slightly thicker with the quilted texture then regular wipes and makes it convenient for some of the messier diapers clean ups. 
Post written by Gretchen Kleinfelder one of the Voices behind the Western New Yorker
My daughter is not a fan of how the grass feels against her skin. After her diaper change she enjoyed hanging out on this pad for awhile before wanting to get up and continue the rest of our walk.
This company also has adult pads, under pads, diapers and personal care items as well as additional youth items. Orders can be placed online at northshorecare.com and you can set up auto ship for each month or choose the number of weeks between each shipment. As a mom on the go having changing pads, diapers, and wipes auto shipped to me each month will be one less thing I need to remember to do. 
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

7 Ways to Clean out your Clutter

This time of year you will find us busy working on house projects. Nothing says bring on the nice weather then some music and de-cluttering the house. After months of looking at the clutter that has accumulated it is time to start organizing. I like to do this NOW so we can spend the rest of the Summer enjoying the great outdoors. Like any house chore, it is better to have a method to your madness so as not to feel completely overwhelmed!
1. Stay focused- if you are committing to clean out the fridge don't get distracted by the over piling of dirty dishes starring at you. Often times I get so distracted that I honestly forget why I go in rooms. By taking one task at a time I focus on the job at hand and can do it in more depth without distraction!
2. Buy Quality Cleaning Supplies- Seems a bit silly to invest in cleaning products but then again wouldn't you rather have a clean home? Why not spend the money where it is needed?! I finally invested in nice cleaning equipment not just for the big cleaning jobs but also my every day use. This helps keep my floors clean, counters dusted and me happy because I am not fighting with bulky cheap equipment! Need some ideas on what to invest in try the NEW Aqua Spray Deep Clean Mop. This is very lightweight and easy to use around and get those stubborn dirt particles that like to go into cracks/corners. Plus, the e-cloth fiber technology removes grease, and over 99% of bacteria from hard floor surfaces using just water and the mop (No Chemicals Needed)!!
**I received a free products to facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review in any way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
3. Commit to house projects. While I won't lie to you this year I found out that we really slacked on house projects the past few years. Keeping up on daily maintenance would have saved us so much time, money ugh you name it!!
4. Start in one room and work your way to others. We have a toss basket, Sale box and what we will keep. As I clean I also organize and sort our items. By taking it one room as a time I don't feel overwhelmed.
5. Keep only what you use. While I know many of you collect things try to limit what you keep. A few collectibles are great but if you keep EVERYTHING the clutter can really start to dampen your spirits. Personally, clutter upsets me and I get really frustrated when my house is very cluttered. A good clean always helps fix that. Plus, if you are not use it chances are someone else can!
6. Sell you stuff! There are so many ways to sell things you are not using. Try having a sale like we did this past weekend. We made $700+ after having a $5 everything you can fit in a bag on the third day. Not only does it get rid of all the stuff you are not using but it also makes you some profit for items that were literally collecting dust! If a sale is not your thing try places like Thredup, Ebay, LetGo App, Amazon or Facebook Garage Sale groups.
7. Be a more focused buyer. After clearing out our house this past month I realized I am not a very focused buyer. We have several duplicate DVDs because we had forgotten what we had when we were out at stores. From now on I will be a bit better at this because I don't want to have the as crammed as it had been before my massive clear out!
Do you Spring Clean??
How many of you have a Sale with items you no longer use??

Also enter to WIN your very own Aqua Spray Deep Clean Mop I mentioned above!!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Caring for Someone with ADHD

This post is part of a paid sponsorship by Shire Pharmaceuticals. All opinions are my own

At an early age my brother and I moved out of our family home. In high school, I worked full-time so that I could afford an apartment for my brother and I. We had a difficult childhood to say the very least, but we had each other to lean on. While my younger brother became my responsibility, he never called me “Mom,” but in a lot of ways I was very much like one. I took care of him, helped him with homework, drove him to practices and provided for him.

You never want to think there might be something "up" with someone you love. Growing up, my brother struggled in school while I excelled. It was hard for him to focus in class and listen to his teachers without getting frustrated. As his guardian, I worked with his teachers to find ways to help him. However, it wasn’t until we sought the help of a trained healthcare professional, that he was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We realized that a lot of his challenges were due to not being able to focus, not because he wasn’t smart enough to do the work.

ADHD is a chronic condition which includes symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. An estimated 10.5 million adults and 6.4 million children in the U.S. are currently living with ADHD, so it is pretty likely that it impacts someone you know!

It is important to note that only a trained healthcare professional can diagnose ADHD. I am a huge advocate for trusting in health professionals! If you find a good one, they become almost an extension of your family. While we were waiting to receive the verdict of the diagnosis, we spoke with our doctors. Some provided great insight into possible management options for my brother, including behavioral intervention, counseling and medication. One example of medication that is approved for patients 13 years and older is MYDAYIS® (mixed salts of a single-entity amphetamine product). Mydayis is not for children 12 and younger.

Remember, Mydayis and other stimulant medicines have a high chance for abuse and dependence. Your doctor should check you or your child for signs of abuse and dependence before and during treatment with Mydayis. It is also important to know that Mydayis is a federally controlled substance because it contains amphetamine. You’ll find more important safety info below. 

To learn more about Mydayis, visit mydayis.com

Medication may not be appropriate for all patients with ADHD and it is not something to take lightly. You should talk to your doctor to determine what potential management option(s) is best for you or your loved one. Being diligent in this process is so vital because some patients are not good candidates for medication while others are.


I found so many parents whose children were struggling with ADHD through this process. I can say there is hope. Finding the most appropriate management plan for you or your child is the key. My brother would be the first to tell you that it makes a world of difference. While there is no cure for ADHD, his ADHD symptoms improved, which was reflected in his improved attention and his attitude towards school. My brother enlisted in the Marines, despite all the obstacles his ADHD symptoms posed. I hope sharing his story with you will help. I believe it is worth talking to your doctor about treatment options if you or your child is diagnosed with ADHD.
S37404 04/18
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Main ways to Make Money Blogging

I started blogging when my son was very young. He was at home and I wanted something to do during his nap time. At first it was nothing serious and I barely knew anything about blogging. When I started, back in the day, I had a few followers and no social media. I read tutorial after tutorial trying to get the hang of this whole blogging world. I found myself excited to start this adventure. In the beginning it was fun because let’s face it; I did not depend on it for my lively hood! As my followers started to grow I became more and more determined to figure this out. 

This post was in collaboration with ad-hoc reporting. All opinions are 100% my own.

To this day you can find me sitting at home or at a coffee shop typing away on my laptop. Like I said in the beginning I had no idea how fast nor big my little "side hustle" would grow. It was a hobby, place to collect my thoughts and share with friends/family. Over the years it has turned into my main source of income, complete with new writers, my spouse doing my accounting and TONS of hours behind the scenes making this well-oiled machine stay in touch with the changing times! At first I had NO idea you could MAKE MONEY! I was honestly just happy with FREE products. No one can really make a living off free stuff. It was great for a while but my house became over flowing and my work load never ending.

You can make passive income or put in the hours and energy to make it a lucrative source of income. It really depends on what you want. Once you decide blogging is your career you need to know HOW to make money. 

Blogging has endless potential so harness it!

 Main ways to make money blogging:

 

1.     Advertising: I know ads can be annoying, but let’s face it they are a catch 22. Limit ads BUT do not forget them altogether! They are a great source of income. I use AdSense along with a few affiliates. Use places like ad-hoc reporting to find out what is appropriate and best to advertise on your site. These reports hold so much vital information! You don't want to come off looking like a Billboard!
2.     Sponsored Posts: This is when a company provides you with a product they want you do endorse as well as compensation ($) for an endorsement. I would like to suggest you only take these if you TRULY endorse the product. If you are a twenty something year old writing about depends on a website full of recipes... chances are your readers are going to smell ADVERTISEMENT and you will lose all credibility. That is how it goes and in this industry credibility is ALL you have!
3.     Affiliates: Some companies will offer you a small portion of sales in exchange for helping them promote their product. Again pick companies you actually endorse. This helps you down the line when you have a larger following and companies want to work with you. If they know what you are about they will want to work with you.
4.     Blogging Networks: These are agencies (middlemen) who work with companies that want you to post a sponsored post, product review or ad on your social media sites.
5.     eBooks: this one might not be as obvious. If you excel in something teach others how to do it!
6.     Consulting/Speaking engagements, Freelance writing or VA work. Blogging can open doors to so many fields. A friend of mine teaches about social media hacks and man I learn something every time I listen in on her lectures! 

Honestly there are so many ways to make money blogging that I would be lying if I said it was not easy to land jobs. 
Let me know how YOU earn money blogging?
What questions do you have about earning an income in this industry?? 
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Son, It's time we had the Talk: Seen Enough Tobacco

Typically, my son and I get gas in the morning on our way to school drop-off. It has become a regular errand once a week for as long as I can remember! One morning while pulling into get some petrol, my son asked what the LARGE poster signs were advertising (see above photo). My son is 8 going on 16 and clearly it was time to have "a talk" about smoking. This year we have already started to cover "the puberty" as he likes to call it. 
Why not sit down and start having the Smoking talk? 
This post was sponsored by Tobacco Free New York State as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I think we all know tobacco companies are spending billions of dollars to put their products in front of kids! Never did I get such a eye opening realization as I did that morning we pulled in to get gas! You have seen the commercials, media ads, the posters. Did you pay attention? Did you realize your kids were?? These FOUR posters have been eye level with my sons booster seat every morning for years. Starring at him, enticing him, sparking his curiosity. So much so he actually asked me about them. If we as parents, guardians, educators do not start having the "TALK" the average for our youth to start smoking is going to continue to decrease! Want to know what the age kids are starting to smoke at now?? The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old!! 
Raise of hands, who is OK with that???
The more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It's really like putting a "DO NOT TOUCH" sign on something. The more you see it the more you want to touch it. We need to have a conversation, several, to get kids thinking why THEY do not want to start smoking. As a mom, my goal is to keep my son safe and healthy. Instead of shaming him about smoking, I want to have a open conversation. I want to have him explore his opinions as to why smoking is not a good choice for him! Why smoking would limit his lifestyle. Why smoking could limit his dreams of becoming a hockey player. Why smoking could end up giving him medical conditions down the road that could be life threatening. Every bad action has a consequence after all!
So, I’m signing the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge to make New York a healthier place to live and to raise kids. I truly had no idea how much advertisement was out there until it was brought to my attention! 
I'm signing:
For all the children out there who are considering it. 
For all the kids out there who think it is the "cool" thing to do.
For my son who has to grow up in this community.
For the countless smokers who wish they had never started.
These are a few reasons I am signing this petition & I encourage you to as well!

Click here for “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge

and help make New York healthier place to live, work and play!


Check out the Tobacco Free New York State sites for more information:
Tobacco Free New York State Site: http://www.tobaccofreenys.org
Tobacco Free New York State Facebook:  http://lwww.facebook.com/tobaccofreenys  
Tobacco Free New York State Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tobaccofreenys  
Tobacco Free New York State Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/tobaccofreenys  
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