Monday, October 15, 2018

Streaming with Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player

Last year we finally got our house into this century by purchasing new tech gadgets ðŸŽ§!! Where cords once ran from this system to the next the Chromecast Audio eliminated them all together using our Wifi instead! We could also stream crystal clear high resolution sound anywhere we went. This year it was time to switch things up the the new Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player! 

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
We can NOW stream from our phone to our TV!! Just by plugging the Chromecast into the HDMI port on our TV. This allows us to watch shows, listen to playlists, play games, and enjoy over 2000 apps (like Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW).
I set up my devices in just a few minutes using my phone, but you can set up the Chrome Audio from a tablet, computer or even your car.
Best part?? Chromecast and Google Home work seamlessly together!! I can now say “Ok Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my living room TV.” 
VOLA, I have upgraded my TV without buying a new Smart TV!! Perfect device to give as a gift especially if you have a teen in college!!
Watch movies, shows, live TV, YouTube, and photos streaming on your TV from all of your family’s devices.

How would you use the new Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Be an Upstander, the fight against Bullying

This post is in collaboration with Forward Influence Network. All opinions (and memories!) are my own.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month! If you have kids in school you might have already known that because they usually do a week long program on it. Now is a GREAT time to talk to your little one's (and big one's) about bullying both in person and online. I would love to say that my son who is currently in fourth grade has never been the victim of bullying but that is not the case. It seems to be the norm and I would love to encourage that to change!
So many of the kids, that walk through the hallways, have had been bullied or watched it happen. Now with computer labs becoming part of the school curriculum and Social Media being so popular; kids are now also being bullied online. Let us open up the conversation and be an Upstander! 
What is an Upstander you ask??

An Upstander fights bad behavior and stands up for kindness and positivity.

With the young generation growing up on technology we need to remember to teach safe practices. I have partnered with Google, today, to give you some great resources that I think will help you not only start a conversation but fuel your children as they experience bullying both in person and online!
First let's talk about the Be Internet Awesome campaign!! Google’s created this free multifaceted program designed to teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence. The program is available in English and Spanish!! Consisting of an an adventure-packed online game about digital safety! Kids will have fun learning about internet safety along with other valuable resources.
These resources include playingInterland with your kids at and put your kindness skills to the test!
The five areas they focus on for Internet awesomeness are: 
SMART: Where we learn to share with care 
ALERT: Where we learn not to fall for fake 
STRONG: Where we learn how to secure Our digital stuff 
KIND: Where we learn that itʼs cool to be kind 
BRAVE: Where we learn that, when in doubt, we talk it out 
Online, you’ll find the teacher curriculum and family guide (coming soon!) - a complete resource on the basics your family can build on and play with or learn together.
As I stated in the beginning many students have either been bullied or seen bullying first hand! 
Let's try and encourage our young to help those 71% of students who have witnessed bullying to become an Upstander rather than a bystander! 
Here are a few tips:
1. Tell an adult. Often times kids never say anything which can drastically increase the chases of the bullying to continue.
2. Find a way to support the person being targeted. 
3. Calling out the mean behavior when it is safe to do so!
We all want our children to have the best experiences in school. It is no surprise to any of us that they will have struggles along the way. If we open the lines of communication and address problems as they happen these negative experiences will become fewer and less common!
Learn more about how to Be Internet Awesome Also be sure to tell your kids’ teachers or other parents about the online curriculum so they can introduce these activities in the classroom!!
Have you ever been bullied?
Has your child ever been bullied, How did you handle it??

Monday, October 8, 2018

Parenting through the Years

This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. All opinions (and memories!) are my own.
How I could fit you in my lap while I bottle feed you. How you were determined to do things yourself even when I offered to help. How you knew every lunch lady, janitor and worker by name in your school because you love to make people smile.

How you can play video games for hours after a long day of practice and work. How I hear the funny things you say to your buddies when they come over to hang out. How determined you are to get a full college scholarship through your immense hockey talent. 

Watching kids grow up can be so hard. We have to let them go sometime, this video touched me in the feel good places:

It goes hand-in-hand with this piece from Dr. Ken Ginsburg at the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. It helps to remember all the things I loved about babyhood and see that a lot of it repeating in the teen years. Check out this new resource because we could all use a guide on this parenting journey.

What are some of your favorite babyhood memories? 
What are your teens excelling in now?


Monday, October 1, 2018

Sharing about Celiac Disease & Schär products

Enjoy this feature from Allison Slagle, one of my writers, as she shares about Celiac Disease. 
In 2013, a year after my sons birth, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Celiac disease is an auto-immune condition in which your body will attack the lining of your intestine (the part that absorbs nutrients) when you ingest anything with gluten in it. Gluten is a protien that is found in many grains including: Wheat, Rye, Spelt, and Barley. Gluten is found in so many of today’s products. If you look at any number of grocery store staples, you will find that more often that not, the items are not safe for folks with celiac disease. It is estimated that as close to 1/100 people have celiac disease and most do not even know they have it. If you are celiac, ingesting gluten can cause a wide variety of symptoms including gastrointestinal issues, skin issues, anxiety, sleeplessness, weight problems and malnutrition. Luckily, celiac disease has been taken much more seriously in recent years and we have trustworthy, safe, and delicious companies to buy our gluten free items from. One of those companies is Schär gluten free. One of the industry’s leading brands, I can walk into any grocery store and have the ability to pick up a Schär product! In my opinion, Schär does gluten free products perfectly. They sell items that are brilliantly packaged and offer fantastic alternatives for the items I remember eating before my diagnosis. Since gluten is responsible for elasticity of bread and dough, Schär has come up with awesome recipes in their products to mock that classic bread taste! I absolutely love their bread products. The artisan bread collection is just perfect for lunchtime sandwich making.
Schär also has quite an extensive line of treats, sweets, and snacks. Living with celiac disease used to mean giving up everything you loved, now these items are made with celiac customers in mind and are available in the store just like everything else. The chocolate grahams are perfect to bring to a fall bonfire for celiac safe s’mores. They are a wonderful sweet treat that in my opinion is sturdier and more flavorful than a traditional graham cracker.
At any given time, I have a number if Schär products in my pantry. I am so thankful for the care and concern they take for individuals with dietary restrictions. I love that taste and convenience of their product line and will always continue to support them. I look forward to seeing the new products that Schär continues to introduce for me and my family!
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