Friday, July 27, 2018

HopeLine from Verizon helps Abuse Victims

"HopeLine from Verizon collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories in any condition from any service provider to benefit victims & survivors of domestic violence. Partnering with #Verizon was a huge step for my career. I have been so incredibly blessed in my life that I wanted to focus on the good not just the bad in my life. However, sometimes I want to share the negative moments in hopes to help others!
 I partnered with Verizon. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
At a young age, I was abused emotionally, sexually, physically and mentally. I didn't let it stop me from exceeding in life. When you are in a dangerous/abusive situation, many times you blame yourself. Even when you know deep down, you don't deserve what is going on. It is just a way you try rationalizing the abuse. 
As a domestic abuse survivor myself, it is so imperative to take the time for myself. Knowing my limits to get out to clear my thoughts and mind. I want to help and support others in my shoes but I can't do that if I don't help myself first! With that being said, I hope this opens a door when it seems one has been shut! 
"In the United States, one in every four women and one in every seven men have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, and each year more than 15 million children witness violence in their homes". Being cut off from your friends, family and support system only empathizes this! Having a means of communication is so vital to hold on to your positive mind frame. Help support HopeLine from #Verizon with me and donate your old unused phones. 
Do something good for someone who desperately needs it.
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

The New HP Envy x360 Laptop PLUS Savings offer

If you have been around these parts you know I travel a lot. I have been extremely lucky to work from home while raising my son. When I do travel for work, I bring along my Camera, a Lumnix GF5, my laptop, a Gateway and portable hard drive, a Seagate from Best Buy. Over the past few years I have noticed that my laptop has needed replacing. At one time it was extremely fast, lodaed quickly and my work was done in a matter of minutes. Lately, work that should take about 10 minutes end up setting me back an hour due to loading times. 
I have been researching for sometime what I would need to replace it. While visiting my local Best Buy I looked at the HP Envy x360 laptop. A few features really drew me in because they would fit my lifestyle. First off they are 2-in-1 devices that can transfer from a laptop to a tablet in seconds. This not only is a neat technological perk BUT it also is helpful in traveling!
It also has a touch-screen that comes with Windows Ink capabilities and a Windows operating system so you can write on the screen with a stylus. #MINDBLOWN It also has a AMD processor that makes them fast. The sleek, thin style makes them again portable and I will be able to take it anywhere I go!
Here are a few more product specs for those of you into the tech side of things: 
 
Windows 10 operating system
Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen. Learn more ›

8GB system memory for advanced multitasking
Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once.
 
360° flip-and-fold design
Offers versatile functionality with laptop, audience, tabletop, presentation and tablet modes.
Another great perk?? Right now at Best Buy there is a offer to save $100 off one of these lovely devices from now  until 7/28!!
Do you need a new Laptop?
Have you ever owned a HP laptop before??
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

City Guides for Traveling Sport Teams

 Who else does research about places you are traveling too? Every other weekend the Hockey team travels to different cities. Once in town they have practices and house games. Not every city we have traveled too before or know anything about. When I find a City guide on Hotels4Teams, it has helped prepare for our trips!!
 This is another partner post with Hotels4TeamsAll opinions are my own.
As we pack, I can search hotels near the Sport venue. This not only helps me find a great deal on our room but other things to do while in town. If you would benefit from a City guide head over here.
 While I search deals, I also look at each hotels amenities! We get up early in the morning so places that host breakfast at 10 am will not suite my family. So we go for places that have free breakfast early in the morning or save money and just buy cereal. Each Hotel offers different things, as you probably know, so search around before booking! When booking on this website they do NOT charge me a hotel fee which also save us money!
While in town we like to explore when there is down time. These city guides from the Hotels4teams team have already done the leg-work for us! They have compiled attractions from cities all over the country that your team or family will love. They also encourage you to let them know of cities they might not have guides for yet! 
Do you do research before traveling?
Would a city guide benefit your family?
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Stonewall Resort Roanoke, West Virginia

Imagine a place that you can relax, recharge while taking in beautiful scenery. When we first typed the location to the Stonewall Resort, I was a bit worried our GPS might loose signal. 
**I received a free stay to facilitate a review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Luckily, it was easy to find. The Resort is perfectly nestled in West Virginia's rolling mountains surrounded by tranquil lake waters. From the moment you enter the Stonewall Resort State Park it captivates you. We parked the car and just wanted to explore the grounds.  
After checking in and getting our things settled, I headed to their gift shop. We have yet to explore much of West Virginia and shops usually give you an idea of what the area is going to be like. 
 You can find items to take home with you or use on your stay. I would recommend this cozy blanket, pictured above or my favorite kind of liquid dessert: West Whitehill wine, Regal Red Cherry Wine!
Every detail has been perfectly executed in both design and functionality! You can enjoy numerous activities while here. Just ask the front desk and they can give you a list of activities they offer any given day.
Hope aboard the Little Sorrel touring boat and be whisked across the Stonewall Jackson Lake. I have to say from the moment we got to the resort our phones were a thing of the past. While I love technology and all the wonderful things it has brought to my life; it was nice to relax and enjoy some nature with my family.
With views like these, it really is hard not to create some lasting memories. I think we all need a recharge after long work weeks, busy schedules and life's dramas!
My son had such a great time on the boat with the staff. I personally think that a location could be wonderful but the people make it extraordinary. If you have read my reviews before you know I do not say things lightly. The staff here are so genuine and really make EVERYONE have the best experience. It does not matter the age, the staff will talk, interact or simply leave you to relax here. Because of this I think it made our stay that extra bit more enjoyable. Not many people are great with the general public day after day. Not many boat crews know how to talk and interact with children effectively so I honestly take note when these types of things happen. It just raises the bar of guest satisfaction in my book!
Let's talk about the food shall we? 
You might know that I have a long history with food, recipes, cooking and judging! When I say a place has everything you will need, I mean it. From a wonderful dinner spread to a breakfast buffet you will NOT go home hungry!!
We were presented with the Chef's creation and it did not disappoint. You can literally taste the freshness of local ingredients in every dish!
The main dish was well cooked, moist, perfectly seasoned and adorned with the right amount of sauce. I personally never enjoyed sweet potato fries until this dish (pictured above). I would 100% come back and enjoy more Resort restaurant dishes!
How could I forget dessert?? I might save some room or just order this first because the portion size is very generous! We were so full after our first meal here we may have slipped away for an afternoon nap!
If I could give you some advice while you are here? 
Get outside and explore the 1900 acres! 
From trails to wooden walkways you can easily enjoy it with your entire family. 
Ready to hunker down for the evening? 
Enjoy a game of corn hole or a campfire!
They even will provide you with s'more kits! We had never done this at a place we stayed before so to us this was a real "treat". The Stonewall Resort is truly a place anyone can go and enjoy their time at. From campers, families, couples, seniors to singles there is something here for everyone. The prices are reasonable and you really get an experience while here not just a overnight stay!
Have you visited Roanoke, West Virginia??
Do you enjoy Relaxing Resorts?
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

7 Summer Sport Essentials for Kids

"Practice Makes perfect". That saying has been drilled into my mind when I was a kid playing sports and to this day that still drill it in our young. My son luckily love sports and doesn't mind. From Games, practices or to just playing scrimmage with strangers at the park we are always on the go. Here are some great essentials for any parent with active kids!
This is another partner post with Hotels4Teams! All opinions are my own!
1. In the Summer humidity you really need to keep your child hydrated throughout the day! 
2. Bring along a cooler with you to event. Having a cool refreshing drink really helps cool you down after running around. With all the energy my son burns it is the least I can do by bringing a cooler to keep our drinks cold! 
3. Wear proper attire. The sun can be rather harsh if you have to sit in it for long periods of time for sporting events. I usually wear a hat to protect my scalp from sun burn. I also encourage my son to wear one as well if allowed during games! 
5. Keep a small first aid kit on hand. Someone always gets hurt! Fill the first aid kit with bandages in various sizes, alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, and bug repellent.
6. Wear sunscreen. Although I do wear a hat to help protect my scalp you still need sunscreen. The sun rays can be so harmful and it is easy to get burnt. Even if you are reapply all day if you are not using the proper SPF you could still risk a burn. Generally, I use 50-70 SPF on my son's skin because he is so prone to sun burns!
7. Book your teams rooms for traveling events through websites like Hotels4Teams because they do NOT charge fees!!
8. Bring along some camping chairs. There is so many fancy "Sporting equipment". I find so many families end up being uncomfortable and stand the entire event. I use camping chairs to stay comfortable and mine have cup holders for our Sports drinks!
Cheering my son on the sidelines has become so important to us. Making sure I replenish his body as he embraces an athletic lifestyle is vital. Keeping him protected from the sun, comfortable and hydrated helps keep his body healthy! That way he can continue running circles around us adults.
What are your Summer sport essentials comment some below?
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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hockey Themed Birthday Party

 This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
So much preparation went into my son's 9th birthday! Every year, I go all out and craft decorations, invites, you name it, for his special day. Over the years the stress of it all has subsided and I now look forward to this time of year. After doing so many parties you get an idea of what to expect and things just fall together. I find myself enjoying the creative things we come up with year after year. For some of you, the idea, of an elaborate party might not be your forte. I understand completely! It is a lot of work on top of our busy schedules (believe me I get it). Let me give you some tips along the way as I share this year's theme with you: Hockey. We have also done a Viking themeHarry Potter, The Circus and a Pirate Theme Party. 
First up let's talk foods. My son has a sugar digestion problem. He has had it ever since he was one and a half years old. Because of this, you will find me in the kitchen making most of or meals from scratch. When it is time for parties I like to find good nutritional snacks/finger foods that everyone will enjoy! These Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins have been a lifesaver for entertaining guests this Summer!
 You can purchase them in a wide variety of stores: Kroger, Safeway, or Target just to name a few! The kids love them because they come in so many flavors!! 
 I personally love them because they are wheat, have no artificial flavors and are gluten free!! The Country Ranch flavor is my favorite....just put some EXTRA sharp cheese on one and I am good to go!
If you are planning to entertain with these delicious snacks make sure to enter their sweepstakes!! The Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins are giving away $3,000 in prizes! It's called the: "Nut-Thins 2 Win Scavenger Hunt".  Just find Nut-Thins in ANY grocery store, take a selfie with the product on the shelf, and post it on your public Instagram or Twitter account using the hashtag #NutThinsContest OR upload it here. You could WIN prizes like a $1,000 gift card just for taking a photo!! 
If you were to stop by my birthday party table spread the Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins simply fit right in! 
  My next tip would be just place food in to-go containers. After you have lots of people over the last thing you want to do is dishes. I also save time and energy by putting things in Tupperware containers.
 Have designated areas for things. I always have a gift/card table and coat rack right when people walk in. This eliminates people carrying a bunch of things when they are excited for the party. I also keep the food in a separate area (this year we had food in the house). This prevents food everywhere and I can contain the mess even if we have littler guests.
Put out kid related toys. I just went to the dollar tree and bought a bunch of different items. We always give a treat bag as guests leave the party. These toys are more for down time. When I am setting up the pinata, food or gifts for him to open.
Have a pinata. I know it sounds cliche but so many people have stopped doing this. Again, because of my son's dietary needs we cannot fill it with candy so we opt for small toys instead. I love putting small bouncy balls in it for example. When it opens they bounce around everywhere; kids like that sort of fun!
 Try to encourage a place to take photos. Often times we have a party and I forget to take pictures. I love looking back on them so with these "stations" I remind myself to take photos!! If companies like Blue Diamond®, reward you for taking selfies, with sweepstakes, it's time to break out your phones and snap away!
Do you have a Party tip I did not mention, share below?
What is your favorite Party snack??
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Friday, July 13, 2018

5 Tips for Hockey Try Outs

 This is another partner post with Hotels4Teams! I hope you have been enjoying these as much as I am! If you want a particular sports related post let me know!!
I love watching hockey. Something about talented athletes zipping across the ice chasing after a puck gets my adrenaline running. When winter time falls on Western New York you can find me located at every local hockey game our team plays. While watching said game you might also hear this passionate Moma telling the referees when they miss calls, encouraging our players and loudly cheering when the scoreboard changes. So when I say I am going to give you some tips for Hockey tryouts, know it is from my bench seat point of view. You know the one that watches with a stomach full of nerves, as I watch these players who have become family, put everything they have on the line to make a team.
1. Go into tryouts with a positive attitude. I tell my son on repeat: "Do not look at the other players and what they have. Focus on what you can bring to the table!" If you go into try outs thinking: "I am too short, slow or that you can't shoot or score...guess what you WON'T! You are practically telling your brain "OK, go ahead and mess up NOW". Try to calm your nerves because we ALL know you have them and feed your mind positive thoughts. I often see the saying "You believed in Santa for years how about believing in yourself for five minutes". TRUTH!!
2. Don't strive to be a success, strive to add value. The saying goes there is no "I" in Team?! If you score every time, block every puck...great. If you can't pass the puck or work in a team dynamic your talent has an expiration date! You need to work as a team, to win as one, so show you can adapt. 
First impressions matter....
  3. First impressions matter. How you act off the ice can sometimes mean a heck of a lot more then how you perform on the ice. Get your head in the game and focus. People are watching you, even if you do not think they are! You just never know who may know a corporate sponsor or scout! Trust me, I know TONS and they will all say the same thing "Character"! If you are acting a fool by the locker room/bathrooms while waiting for the cuts to post people see you. People hear you...People talk...Ask any restaurant on Yelp, all it takes is ONE bad review to change someone's mind about you!
 4. The Coaches have a team in mind. If I have learned one hard lesson in tryouts: coaches have a team in mind. If they want a team consisted of tall players and you are short...... how you do at tryouts might not even matter. You could have a shut out as a goalie...but if you are not what they are picturing in their minds for their team, they will cut you! Period. Here is a great article about dealing with getting cut that could really help, Hotels4teams. Time after time, I have seen talented players walk out without packets because they just weren't what THAT particular coach was looking for. Guess what, that's OK! You will find the right fit, just keep trying. How you handle a loss (or cut) tells more about your character than how you handle a win. If you are full of bad sportsmanship...this might not be the game for you anyways, see tip #3!
5. Have fun! First rule in hockey (any sport really) is to have fun. Yes, you want to show your best self and make the team but remember why you are doing it. If you want a scholarship putting to much pressure on yourself will NOT make you get one. Have fun, smile, enjoy these moments before you know it they will be gone. Soon you WILL get picked for a team. You WILL be leaving the town you feel at home in and traveling off to college. You WILL miss your teammates, family, friends and community. Before you get there enjoy these moments you have with them! You have your whole life to grow up, don't wish it away. It is just as hard for us to see you go as it is to say goodbye :(
Do you have some tips for trying out?
Have you ever been cut or had a kid cut from a team??
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