Learning More About Diabetes & How To Cope During The Hot Summer Months

Several of my relatives on my mother's side have Type 2 Diabetes, so I've come to learn quite a bit about it over the years. I have been tested twice and went through extensive testing for gestational diabetes when pregnant with my first son. Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels resulting from the inability of the body to produce and/or use insulin. It's important to not only recognize the signs of diabetes, but to also treat them before they get worse. Some of the signs of Type 2 Diabetes include cuts/bruises that are slow to heal, frequent infections, blurred visions and any of the signs associated with Type 1 Diabetes. It's important to learn about diabetes if it runs in your family or if you are diagnosed with it!

I've spoken with my uncle at length about diabetes and how he copes. His response is that it's sometimes difficult, especially when others around cannot relate to your change in lifestyle. His entire life has changed, which is why he is in a few online support groups and forums, such as diabeticconnect.com, and says they they are so helpful not only with learning about the disease, but also coping with it. He says it is nice to meet others who have similar experiences, are also interested in leading a healthy lifestyle, and who want to cope! Plus, he has learned about other medications, found great recipes for those with diabetes and enjoys watching videos about diabetes. There is so much information available on Diabetic Connect that just by looking at it once, I had learned more than I'd ever known about diabetes. You should take a look!

During the summer months everyone must take care, but diabetics must especially take care of themselves. There are many ways to cope with diabetes during the extremely hot weather! We have hit highs of 109 degrees already this summer, so please read the tips below. 
Tips for coping with diabetes during hot summer months!

1. Stay hydrated! Drink extra fluids during these months. Some forms of diabetes can cause dehydration, so during the summer it is very important to stay hydrated and drink more water and fluids. (If your doctor limits your fluid intake, be sure to ask how much you should drink.)

2. Keep medications in cool areas. Extreme heat can effect the efficacy of diabetes medications and supplies, including oral medications, insulin, glucose strips and more.

3. Limit the amount of time spent outdoors if possible. Try to spend more time outdoors in the morning and later at night when the weather is cooler instead of midday when temperatures are at their highest. You are more at risk for heat-stroke and dehydration.

Do you have diabetes? Or does someone you know? Leave us a tip in the comments letting us know how you cope with diabetes and any suggestions you have for others struggling with this disease!

Make The Most Out of Your Vacation With Embassy Suites Hotels & Sweepstakes

Vacations are rare occasions for our little family, so we do our best to make the most of each and every one! With kids, I have found it is best to research and plan ahead of time for the vacation so you can have a schedule to make sure the kids are always having fun and there is never a dull moment! This way we have a great time during the trip and they are talking about it for months afterwards. This keeps them excited for the next vacation, too! We are so excited to be working with Mom Central as an Embassy Suites Ambassador this summer and will be taking a weekend vacation to the Buckhead Embassy Suites in Atlanta, Georgia very soon!

The beautiful atrium at the Buckhead Embassy Suites
Embassy Suites recently surveyed parents about their vacationing habits and found that 56% of families consider themselves "vacation dabblers", which means they take a few days here and there throughout the year to vacation and 13% consider themselves "vacation extenders", making use of holidays and other days off of school/work to take vacation without taking time off.  I can definitely relate to this, especially because there are always hurdles to jump through to make traveling as a family possible. As the survey found, 22% of parents said work definitely interferes with vacation planning , 22% say school and other activities for the kids makes it difficult to plan and another 22% say that they may be able to plan dates, but it's hard to coordinate with spouses/partners. This is always something we have to take into account and work, more than not, is what gets in our way because my husband's job is pretty much 24/7.

During the year we definitely dabble with our vacations, taking a day or two here and there, when work and school permits. Holidays and teacher's work days make it so much easier to coordinate and actually gives us a chance to visit places nearby that we otherwise wouldn't. We've visited Chattanooga during 3-day weekends several times so we can see the aquarium and children's museum, which makes for a perfect short vacation with the kids. We've also visited Atlanta so we could see the aquarium, children's museum, LegoLand and more. There are so many things to do nearby that we can always find a fun place to visit without driving all day. These shorter trips are easier to plan, which ends up being less stressful for us and enjoyable for everyone.

As I mentioned, we try to make the most out of every trip we take! This is very important for us as a family, so we try to plan fun activities that are also educational, so that they kids can not only enjoy the experience, but take something away from it. Embassy Suites has partnered with Dr. Biali, a health and happiness expert, to help families make the most out of every vacation or "more-imize" their vacation! Dr. Biali wants your vacation to bring happiness, fun and relaxation. I agree with all of her recommendations and had to share a few with you!

Tips to More-imize your Vacation!
Our last beach vacation view!
1. Vacation isn't just about the time you are away. Looking forward to an impending vacation improves attitude and makes it easier to get through work. I always look forward to our trips because it gives all of us something to look forward to as a family. By the time the big day comes for us to leave, we are all excited about getting on the road, even if that means spending a few hours in the car!

2. Use your vacation days to "relax and do something fun - not to run around and do errands all day"! Do something to actually enjoy the vacation. Don't just stay on the computer or worry about work. Have fun and don't overdo it. Even if you plan activities, don't plan too many. You don't want the vacation to become stressful. Enjoy it!

3. Make your vacation  budget go further by staying at a hotel like Embassy Suites! You get more for your money (more space in your suite, breakfast, complimentary drinks/snacks, etc.) and can either save money or use the extra money saved for other activities!
The reason we vacation every year-- to see these beautiful smiles!
My own tip would be to plan ahead, schedule some fun activities, but to also plan relaxation time as Dr. Biali suggests. In addition, take time after the vacation to talk with the kids. Find out what they found more enjoyable, what they didn't like and what they would love to do again. This will help them remember their trip and look forward to an even better trip next time!

Want to Win a Vacation?
Be sure to enter the "366 Days of More" Sweepstakes on the Embassy Suites Facebook Page to win 2 free nights, one for yourself and one for a friend! Then enter the "Get More Vacation Sweepstakes" from now until July 20th! Just "like" the Facebook page and upload a picture of your family's "vacation face" for a chance to win not only a week-long vacation at Embassy Suites Hotels, but $10,000 cash! Wouldn't that be awesome?!

We will be taking our vacation at Embassy Suites very soon and I can't wait to tell you all about it! So, stay tuned for more info about Embassy Suites and what their amazing hotel offers guests year-round. Be sure to follow Embassy Suites on Twitter to keep up with all the latest news.

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador Program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Embassy Suites Hotels and received a one-night complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me the taking the time to participate.


Kiddie Academy Franchise Opportunity

Over the past three months, I've written a few posts about Kiddie Academy. I wanted to share this information with you because I am very selective about the types of daycare and school my children attend. Kiddie Academy is one that I think is amazing, as the learning centers are education-based. They are focused on the children, their futures and their success, which is so very important to me. Right now they have a great opportunity- they are looking for new people to open their very own franchise of Kiddie Academy!

There are so many reasons I would love to do something like this. I would love to be able to spend time with my kids and other kids, teaching them and seeing them grow. In addition, there is always room to grow, expand and improve services. This is the type of thing I can see doing with my own mom one day, as we both enjoy being with kids and teaching them. This is why I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about an amazing mother/daughter duo who opened their own Kiddie Academy and have been very successful! Here is the case study of Shanie and Judy:

Shanie and Judy opened their Kiddie Academy franchise, located at 6476 SW 75th Street, Gainesville, Florida, on March 2, 2009.

A love of children runs in the family for this mother-daughter team, and it’s extremely noticeable when you visit their academy. They have been able to combine their two goals -- owning a business and educating children -- into one and have been very successful. Their success is shown not only in their enrollment numbers but the support and feedback from their community.
Background: A former marketing director, Shanie began looking for child care for her daughters after moving to a new area. After having an in-home child care business for six years, Shanie and her mother, Judy, were disappointed and uncomfortable with the options in the area. The two discussed starting a new child care business. Judy, who has an background in education, previously worked for the child care company La Petite Academy. After deciding a franchised child care organization was the best option, Shanie and Judy began researching companies. They were impressed by the Kiddie Academy website and overall philosophy, so they, along with their husbands Michael and Ray, visited corporate headquarters. Their trip confirmed their decision and they chose to join Kiddie Academy.
Goals: As owners, Shanie and Judy understand the importance of keeping the business successful. However, their number one goal is the children, and making a difference in the lives they come in contact with every day. They strive to provide children with a safe, nurturing place that they can learn and grow and provide parents with the consideration and service that they wouldn’t get from a competitor.

Challenges: Overall, Kiddie Academy of Gainesville has been extremely successful. The biggest challenge Judy and Shanie faced was finding staff whose level of passion for children and education matched their own. They have been able to overcome this challenge through staff training and positive reinforcement, and leading by example.

Results: Every day, Judy and Shanie see the results of their hard work and dedication -- from the smiling faces of their students to the parents who trust Kiddie Academy to care for their children. They have created an environment that is warm and welcoming with stellar customer service, which is consistently praised by their current families. As an added testament to their success, they received the 2009 New Academy of the Year award at Kiddie Academy’s annual conference.

This will be my final post about Kiddie Academy, so I urge you to click on the link above and find out more about this franchise opportunity. Maybe one day I'll be able to open one myself! 


The Importance Of Building A Food Storage For Your Family

My son's school had a great last-day send-off party a few weeks ago and I had a chance to talk to one of the parents. She mentioned something I had never thought about before, long-term food storage. Let me back up a minute, before we moved to the mountains, we never even thought about food storage, but now we have to take into consideration a variety of situations and prepare for them, especially because we have children. I knew little to nothing about food storage, but started doing a little research and I wanted to share with you some great reasons why we should build food storage and how it is beneficial to our families.

1. Health Benefits
Many types of healthy foods can be stored for a long period of time, including grains and legumes! When you find the best freeze dried food, you can find a variety of delicious, healthy meals for the family. Plus, if anyone in the family has food allergies or other medical concerns, it's always good to have food available that they can eat just in case!

2. Emergency Occurance
Things happen and it's definitely best to be prepared. For example, here in the mountains, we have to be careful during the winter season. During a snowstorm or blizzard, we could easily get trapped at our cabin for days or weeks! Keeping food for long term storage is a MUST to have at our home because we would otherwise not have enough food to last longer than a week. In other areas, you may be more prone to flooding, hurricanes or tornadoes. Either way, it's best to have food stored and ready just in case.

Those are definitely the two most important reasons I think food storage is so important for families to consider.You can also throw in the fact that you can save money, which is also very important for families on a budget! I never want to be in a position where I cannot provide for my children and building a food storage will ensure this does not happen.

Do you have a food storage? If not, you should really consider doing so for the reasons above.

$25 Amazon.com Giveaway at Codes911

amazon promo codes
Online Shoppers are always searching for great deals! Today we share some great news about Codes911. Codes911.com are free community website that share amazon promotional codes and coupon codes with everyone. The site is making "Giveaway" promotion too! Those days you can find there 25$ Amazon giveaway (as gift card) You must check it today!

Save Money By Finding Great Coupons & Promo Codes This Summer

The kids are officially out of school for the summer, which means many things for our family: vacations, traveling, keeping kids entertained and staying on the go! All of these activities mean I will be spending money, money, money. I am sure all of you can relate to this issue and, if you are on a budget like me, spending money is not something you take lightly. However, there are many ways to offset all of the money spent on traveling and activities. I try to save money whenever and where ever I can!

It's true, you can get great coupons & promo codes for cheap deals online to help you save money! CouponCodes offers a variety of great promos so you can make the most of your vacation time without going broke. Now that I use coupon codes, I can save so much money on the items we really need. There is one thing I have learned: never buy anything at retail value!

We are actually leaving for the beach this weekend, so I had to stock  up on several items, including sunscreen, beach towels and even a mini grill for us to cookout on the beach for the 4th of July holiday! I found great coupons for Sears, including a sale on sandals, something I really need, and up to 50% off warm weather gear. With temperatures over 100 degrees here, we definitely need some new clothes and items to help keep cool!

How are you saving money this summer? Leave a comment below with your helpful hints on how to save. Also, be sure to sign up for the CouponCodes newsletter when looking for great deals. You will receive all the latest deals from your favorite retailers straight to your inbox


CableMover.com Helps Make The Busy Moving Season Easier Than Ever Before

This summer is bringing with it many fun activities for our little family! We are going to the beach next week, we've visited relatives already, gone fishing on our pond, gone swimming at the pool and there are still almost 2 months of summer left. After all of this fun, there is another "activity" we must do and I am very anxious about it... we are moving to a new house.

Moving can be so frustrating and time-consuming, which is why you should make the process as easy as possible. That's why we love CableMover.com and how much their services help during this busy time of year. How is this possible? Well, they help you easily find cable TV, phone and internet when moving! When we moved to the house we are in, we had an awful time finding this information and I wish we had known about this service back then!
Here is a great video with moving advice from David Gregg and Libby Langdon!

All you have to do is go to CableMover.com, put in your new address and zip code, click and viola! Cablemover immediately reveals all of the cable companies and internet providers in your new area. So simple! Plus, you can find the current deals and offers from the provider's websites, so before you know what plan works best for you. I'm all about saving money, so this part really is very important to me. Then, once you have decided on your providers, you can schedule everything to be hooked up. Yes, moving season is a busy time and things are often forgotten and left until the last minute! This has happened to me and I had to wait another 3 weeks before I could get cable! Can you imagine? Well, now you can do it easily on CableMover.com and have that part of moving over and scheduled!

When we move at the end of August, you bet I will be using CableMover to help us out along the way. Are you moving in the near future? If so, take a look at Cablemover.com to schedule your cable, phone and internet! Also be sure to "Like" CableMover on Facebook and Follow on Twitter to keep up with all the latest moving news.

To celebrate the busy moving season, CableMover is here to help you in more ways than one, including...
 a Giveaway!!!
Thanks to Libby Langdon & David Gregg, One Lucky CTM Reader will win a fun CableMover Prize Package Giveaway with the following:
  • One (1) CableMover coffee mug
  • One (1) CableMover tape measure
  • One (1) Libby Langdon signed book
  • Two (2) CableMover tote bags
This giveaway is open to US residents only and can be entered via the Rafflecopter form found below. The giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 10th. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

This sponsored post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was compensated for my time investment and work on this campaign. Thoughts are my own. All prizing for MSM giveaways is handled by a third party unless otherwise noted. For this reason prize fulfillment can take up to 90 days after the winners information is received.

Gotta Have That Morning Cup of Joe? Gevalia Can Help You Out!

Pre-children, I drank coffee just to perk me up in the morning before getting to work. I strolled into the coffee shop for a bagel and hot cup of joe each day and sipped leisurely. However, now I rely on that coffee! Three kids and a cat with meowing kittens will do that to you. How many of you can relate? lol! We have worked with Gevalia several times in the post for Twitter parties and giveaways, so I wanted to tell you about a great offer going on right now.

Enjoy the complete Gevalia experience when you choose convenient Auto Delivery and receive:
  • Your choice of any 4 boxes of delicious coffee or tea
  • FREE Stainless Steel 12-Cup Coffeemaker
  • FREE Shipping!
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
Gevalia coffee has a new sale going on that gives you 4 choices of coffee completely for $9.99 AND they are throwing in a FREE Coffeemaker and FREE Shipping, too! Their coffeemakers are absolutely amazing, by the way! We have one and use it daily. Their cofee is delicious, too, so you really can't lose on this. You just have to pay $9.99 and sign up for their auto-delivery service. Nothing is binding! So, if you get your coffee and change your mind, just cancel the auto-delivery service and you still get to keep your original order. It's such a great deal that it's hard to resist!

I've purchased our Tassimo T-Cups from Gevalia for years, but now I am thinking I may just have to try this offer!

A Blinding Way to Solve a Post Birth Argument

When you’re looking to decorate your first nursery, each detail is carefully considered, from the colour of the room right through to choosing what teddy bears look best in the cot. Designing a nursery is one of the most exciting and stressful activities for expecting parents. A lot of decisions need to be made, and this can prove to be a tough task. We have all heard the stories from friends and loved ones of arguments breaking out about the most arbitrary of things. None more so than what curtains to hang or roman blinds to choose. Here are some helpful tips that can help you avoid these arguments when it comes to choosing roman blinds.

Its important weather a boy or girl the blinds matches the rest of the nursery’s décor. Roman blinds can offer a simple, clean smartness suitable for any nursery. It’s documented, that more than half of expecting parents know the gender of their child before birth. This makes it easy for half of the parents out there, but for the other half I recommend to go for a safe and soothing colour. Pastel colours are a wise choice and help create a peaceful atmosphere that will help the baby get all the sleep he or she desires. Blackout Roman blinds are a good choice to provide a night time setting and ensure the baby sleeps peacefully. For the other half of parents who are aware of their babies’ gender, here are some helpful tips to remember.
Tips for girls blinds;

  • A flowing style of blind adds a touch of nostalgia and femininity.
  • Lighter fabrics will allow natural light to enter the room even when the blinds are partially or fully drawn. Making it easy for air to circulate throughout the room and ensure the baby isn’t too hot.
  • A Lace or fringe trim can add a romanticizing feel to the room.

Tips for boys blinds;

  • Printed themed blinds are the norm, ranging from super heroes to sport themed designs.
  • Fabrics constructed from fauxwood, honeycomb or bamboo are perfectly suited. Robust and easy to maintain, cost effective and adds a rugged feel to any boys room. 
  • Selecting darker tones adds a sense of masculinity that every young boy looks for.
I hope the following advice saves you time and effort when making those last ditch decisions, and saves you from one of those unwanted post birth arguments. Remember, when choosing your blinds, it’s important to choose for the child and not yourself. With a variety of styles, colours and materials available it’s easy to get it wrong, I hope these tips provide information that will help you on designing your nursery.

You Can Save Even More Money With Coupon Codes!

As the Mama of three kiddos, I find myself spending more and more time at home, especially during these summer months. It's just easier and we can always find something fun to do here like swim or fish! I've come to rely more on internet shopping for many reasons, including the facts that it is definitely easier than shopping in-store with so many children and I can usually save more money this way. We are on a budget, which means I have to watch spending closely. This is why I find net voucher codes online when shopping.

Searching through deal blogs and websites, I can find the deals and sales going on each week. Those sales are usually pretty good, but stacked with coupons and codes, they are even better! Why save 15% when you can save 30%, right? When I make my purchase, I love seeing the discount applied to my checkout and I've made a fun challenge out of shopping for myself. Each time I purchase something, I, of course, attempt to save money, but I also try to save more each and every time. When I first started out, saving $20 was a huge deal to me. Now I can save even more!

How can you save money, too? Getting coupon codes in the US is easy! Just go online and search for your favorite stores. You will find a variety of codes to use, some offering free shipping and a percentage off and others will simply apply a dollar amount discount. I've learned never to buy anything at retail price because with a little research I know I can find codes to make the items cheaper.

Challenge yourself and see how much you can save the next time you shop online! Come back, leave a comment and let me know just how much you did save! I would love to hear all about it.


Reasons to Choose Products In Carton Containers

Moving to the mountains has really helped out family in many ways, including becoming more eco-conscious. We tried to do our part before, but living here is much different and forces a different way of living. We no longer have a trash service, which is actually a really great thing because it forced us to evaluate the kinds of things we purchase and how much waste we create each day.

Buying more items that are recyclable or reusable has definitely contributed to less waste and has also saved us money since we pay per $3 a bag to dump trash! We try to use items that are recyclable, but I have to admit I don't always purchase foods based on their containers. I went on a fridge hunt to see what containers were there and found out many things, including the fact that I really need to clean it out!
As you can see, it is full of just about everything and the kids have done a number on it, for sure! We have a variety of containers, many of which are recyclable or reusable, such as the glass containers. I sometimes freeze items and save them in glass jars, can my vegetables and we also save leftovers for another meal, which is why there are our own containers in there, many of which are made of recycled plastics. I see a few cartons there, but not nearly enough! The ones I see are the almond milk, soy milk and aseptic soy milk I use for baking.

The more I read about paper cartons, I realize we need to purchase more items with carton containers. Why? Because they are so eco-friendly! There are so many different items that come in cartons, including orange juice, milk, soy milk, sometimes packs of tomatoes, and much, much more!

Here are some interesting facts about paper cartons and why we should all use them more often:
  • Over 41 million households have access to carton recycling, and that number is on the rise. In addition, cartons are made from renewable materials – more than 70 percent of the carton is made from paper, all from trees from responsibly managed forests.
  • Packaging plays a very important role in keeping food and beverages fresh. The environmental impact of a package is just as important as the contents inside. 
  • Cartons are recyclable where facilities exist. The paper fiber contained in cartons is valuable. Recycled cartons are used to make products such as tissue, office paper, wall boards and other building materials.  To learn if your community accepts cartons for recycling, please visit www.recyclecartons.com or check with your local recycling program.
  • Cartons are made with renewable energy. More than 50 percent of the energy used to make the paper in Evergreen Packaging’s cartons comes from biomass.
  • Responsible forestry promotes new forest growth, and these forests help to diminish greenhouse gases. Forests remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees. In the US, due to both increases in the total area of forest land and increases in the carbon stored per acre, an additional 192 million metric tons of carbon are sequestered each year through responsible forest management programs nationwide. This offsets roughly 11% of the country’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing almost 135 million passenger vehicles from the nation’s highways.
Since we already recycle, I know that our area does accept cartons and yours probably does, too. If they don't, save them for arts & crafts projects with the kids! There are some cute ideas on the Evergreen website. If you do make a craft with cartons, you can submit a picture to be featured on the website, too! I also didn't know that cartons help protect the food from UV light that can decrease the nutritional value or that 70% of the paper used for cardboard cartons is from a renewable resource! There are so many reasons to use cartons that I just never knew before. See how much you know about cartons by taking the quiz on the website. I'll definitely pay more attention to the types of containers I purchase from now on. Will you?

Do your part to give back!
Please share the story about paper cartons and why others should use them. Why? To raise money for Habitat for Humanity! Evergreen Packaging will donate a whopping $15,000 when 1,500 combined tweets and Facebook posts using the hashtag #choosecartons have been made. Go to the website and click on some tweets there are make your own! It's simple and for a wonderful cause.

Don't forget to follow Evergreen Packaging on Facebook & Twitter to stay on top of all paper carton related news!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Evergreen and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Make Some Money On Your Blog!

I don't list these types of things very often, but when I come across an affiliate program I really enjoy working with, I share! A few months ago I joined Referred Media and have been very happy with the campaigns and payouts they offer. Just fill out the info and they will contact you in a few days to tell you if your blog is accepted! Easy! Click Here to find out more and to sign up!

The other company I have enjoyed working with is INFOstable. It's a little different than your usual affiliate programs and offers actual giveaways your readers can register for. Each time they register for a giveaway, you get $1. It's so easy to do and that's why I love this program! Click Here to find out more about INFOstable,

Join Sneakpeeq & Get $10 Credit Plus Beautiful Heart Pendant Necklace

Right now Sneakpeeq has an awesome offer going on! When you join, you automatically get $10 to explore the website AND a FREE beautiful jeweled pendant. Even we couldn't resist this offer and signed up. Click Here to join!


The Amazing Spider-Man Stand Up & Volunteer Day in Atlanta + Spider-Man Trilogy Blu-Ray Giveaway *2 Winners*

We at Children Teaching Mama like to do our part to volunteer and give back to our community! This week is the National Volunteer week and Atlantans are invited to take part in several great events to help out and celebrate. Here's some info about all the great activities going on from Tuesday, June 25th until Monday, July 2nd:


Atlanta participates in The Amazing Spider-Man national volunteer day to benefit Stand Up To Cancer

WHO: Join Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hands On Atlanta and the Office of Mayor Kasim Reed to celebrate the hero in all of us by volunteering on The Amazing Spider-Man™ “Be Amazing, Stand Up and Volunteer” Day. On Tuesday, June 26th, people of all ages in cities across the country will come together to give their time and energy to help their neighbors – and the day will support Stand Up To Cancer, which funds accelerated and innovative cancer research. Atlantans can log on to www.BeAmazing2012.com to find out more information on the initiative in Atlanta and nationwide.
WHAT: Atlanta’s “Be Amazing, Stand Up and Volunteer” opportunities are highlighted by beautification projects at the Grove Park recreation center with the City’s Camp Best Friends youth participants. Activities at the centers include interior and exterior painting, repairing and staining benches, landscaping, building shelves, painting murals and more. Materials will be provided.

In honor of the volunteers, Sony Pictures Entertainment will make a donation to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), an organization very close to one of the producers of the film, Laura Ziskin. A founding member of SU2C, Laura lost her battle with cancer in 2011. Registered Atlanta volunteers will also receive advance screening passes to see The Amazing Spider-Man™ before it arrives in theaters on July 3rd and a “Be Amazing, Stand Up and Volunteer” t-shirt. Registration for all volunteer opportunities will be hosted online by Hands On Atlanta at www.HandsOnAtlanta.org/BeAmazing

WHEN: Tuesday, June 26th 
Camp Hope Volunteer Opportunities from 10AM – 2PM
WHERE:          Grove Park Recreation Center
750 Francis Place Northwest  
Atlanta, GA 30318
Additional opportunities found on www.HandsOnAtlanta.org/BeAmazing


About The Amazing Spider-Man:
One of the world’s most popular characters is back on the big screen as a new chapter in the Spider-Man legacy is revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man™.  Focusing on an untold story that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story, the new film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, with Martin Sheen and Sally Field.  The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves from a story by James Vanderbilt, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.  Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the film in association with Marvel Entertainment for Columbia Pictures, which will open in theaters everywhere in 3D on July 3, 2012.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field).  Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today.  Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets.  As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner.  As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
About Hands On Atlanta:
Hands On Atlanta helps individuals, families, corporate and community groups strengthen Greater Atlanta through service at more than 400 nonprofit organizations and schools.  Hands On Atlanta volunteers are at work every day of the year tutoring and mentoring children, helping individuals and families make pathways out of poverty, improving Atlanta’s environment, and more.  Hands On Atlanta is an affiliate of the HandsOn Network, an association of 250 volunteer service organizations across 16 countries.
About Stand Up 2 Cancer:
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)—a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization—raises funds to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. SU2C facilitates collaboration among the best and the brightest in the cancer research community. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes through which SU2C’s grantees are selected. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C generates awareness and builds grassroots support for this new approach to ending cancer.

Members of the SU2C Executive Leadership Council include Katie Couric; the Entertainment Industry Foundation, represented by Board of Directors Chairperson Sherry Lansing (Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation), CEO Lisa Paulsen and Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pam Williams, President of Laura Ziskin Productions; and nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin, a legendary film producer who executive produced the 2008 and 2010 SU2C telecasts, was also a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer.

Ready For A Giveaway?


Celebrate Nursing with Johnson & Johnson's Amazing Nurses Contest

Do you know there is currently a shortage of nurses in the healthcare field? Nationwide there are over 100,000 vacant nursing positions and that number is expected to grow exponentially by the year 2020. I considered become a nurse when in college and, if I could go back, I would definitely change my field of study to nursing. I think someone who considers the nursing field must feel passionately about the job because is it can be tough and selfless, but very rewarding, too. I would love a job giving me the ability to help others each and every day. When people are living longer these days and our world population continues to grow, there really is no other way around it: we need more nurses! However, nursing is considered a highly regarded profession and in a 2011 Gallup Poll, the public voted nurses #1 for "honesty and ethical standards of various professions" for the 8th consecutive year!

Do you know a nurse that has made a difference in your life or the life of a friend/family member? Johnson & Johnson's Amazing Nurses Contest gives you the chance to give that nurse the recognition they so greatly deserve. All you need to do is go to the Amazing Nurses website or the J&J Amazing Nurses Nursing Notes Facebook App to tell the story about how the amazing nurse impacted your life or the life of another. It's a simple process and maybe your special nurse will win! If they do win, they get to attend the 2012 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show in Los Angeles, California with a guest, courtesy of CNN! They will also be honored in a video profile which will be screened before a live audience at the show AND featured on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page! So, please take a few minutes to write your story!
My mother-in-law, Jenny, has been a nurse for several years and has made a difference in many lives, including my own. It's hard to narrow it down to just one thing she has done for us over the years, but the one that sticks out in my mind the most is when I gave birth to Josiah. She came to the hospital and stayed with us until the baby was born, which ended up being over 23 hours! My husband was still in school and I was just working a part-time job before going back to grad school, so we were already struggling to pay bills before Josiah came along. Jenny helped us prepare for the baby, get the essential items we needed and even threw us a baby shower! I ended up having an emergency c-section since Josiah didn't want to come out and I was so thankful for her help. Moving around was painful and trying to take complete care of Josiah was just out of the question. Jenny helped coach us on everything we needed to do, from giving our newborn baths and breastfeeding to changing diapers and sleeping when the baby sleeps. She ended up staying with us for the week, which I think was amazing because she put everything else on hold to be with us, help us and love on her new grandson. She's such a wonderful mother-in-law and nurse!

Nurses give so much to their patients- comfort, care and skill. This is the time to encourage others to consider this career choice and to celebrate those who are already nurses. Do your part to give back and thank a nurse who has done something for you, a friend or family member by submitting them in the Amazing Nurses Contest. Just click the links above to submit your story about an amazing nurse!

 I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom CentralConsulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Zuo Bar Stool Facebook Likes Part 1


Educational Insights GeoSafari Plankton Net #Giveaway

With summer here, we spend a great deal of time outdoors. We live up in the mountains and have a creek right in the backyard, so when we aren't vacationing at the beach, we can usually be found at the creek! This is why we were so excited to try out the new Plankton Net from Educational Insights. We love all the great educational products from Educational Insights and the GeoSafari Plankton Net is no exception!

About the Educational Insights Plankton Net
Millions of plankton live in ponds, lakes, and oceans. Take a closer look with the GeoSafari® Plankton Net! Toss the net into any natural body of water and sweep back and forth to collect plankton. Lift the net to examine them in the transparent bottle underneath or remove the bottle and attach the lid to share your finds with friends! Ages 8+
  • Includes mesh plankton net with removable, transparent, magnified bottle with attached cap and laminated (waterproof) guide with plankton-identification chart
  • Can be used in ANY natural body of water—fresh or salt
  • Interactive activity encourages exploration and discovery
  • Can be held with hands or used with rope for docks and boats
My Thoughts
This is the perfect item for kids who love exploring the outdoors! My kids love being in the water and they also love seeing what they can dig up from the sand and in their nets. The Plankton Net is so much better than the cheap nets we bought for them at the beach and they absolutely love it. The handle is just the right size for kids, so they can hold it and sweep back and forth through the water. You can easily attach the bottle to the net, catch some water and other items, remove it and explore your finds.

The boys and Ry were so excited to give the net a try in our river. Josiah actually found a tadpole that we kept for a day as a pet. Since they love digging in the sand, catching minnows and finding other little sea creatures at the beach, this is right up their alley! I can't imagine anything better for a day on the beach, at the lake or river. It's fun and helps kids easily explore the environment around them!

You can purchase the GeoSafari Plankton Net on the Educational Insights website for only $24.95! Their are also many other GeoSafari products that are amazing. We will be reviewing the GeoSafari Ant Factory!
Would you like a chance to win? 

Help Raise Money for Akron Children's Hospital During the Race Across America with Ohio CycleWorks & FedEx SenseAware

We love watching bike races and love attending the Twilight Criterium in Athens, Georgia when we can. Even watching bike races on TV is exhilarating to me, especially the Race Across America (RAAM), which is known as the "World's Toughest Bicycle Race"! It's actually going on right now and you should check it out. They began on June 16th in Oceanside, California and will end on the 25th in Annapolis, Maryland. We watched it last year and my husband and I were absolutely amazed at the strength and persistence of the cyclists. I cannot imagine how much training and dedication it takes to train for something like that.

This year the Ohio CycleWorks bike team is participating in this year's RAAM and is sponsored by FedEx Custom Critical. A member of the Ohio CycleWorks bike team, Scott Garchar, has worked with FedEx Custom Critical for over a decade now and the team is participating in the 2012 Race Across America to help raise money for the Akron Children's Hospital! Along their journey, they are showcasing SenseAware, which is powered by FedEx.

What is SenseAware and FedEx Custom Critical?
FedEx Custom Critical specializes in the transport of high-value, time-critical freight. For these items they often use devices like SenseAware for customers who ship items requiring temperature-control and special, secure handling of the products. SenseAware is especially important to the Akron Children's Hospital because it can help safely deliver critical packages that can save the lives of the very children the Ohio CycleWorks team is riding to support!
SenseAware's amazing technology allows real-time date to be seen online, including location, temperature, barmetric pressure, humidity and even light sensitivity!

As a Mama of a son who has Neurofibromatosis, we spend a great deal of time at our children's hospital, so you can imagine just how many patients use the Akron Children's Hospital's pediatric services each year (over 600,000)! It is ranked as a Best Children's Hospital overall and has earned special rankings for its services and specialties.

Tracking The Team With SenseAware
I was able to try out SenseAware on the Ohio CycleWorks bike team since they are traveling with the device. Here's what was reported for today:

Friday, June 22, 2012

The SenseAware(SM) application provides near real-time data about the team’s journey. Here is a snapshot of today’s statistics as the team rides on past Cincinnati, OH. 
 Location: Belpre, OH
   Temperature: 92.4º F
   Humidity: 56%
 Barometric Pressure: 989 mBar

Earlier this week the temperature was in the eighties, which I thought was hot. With humidity over 50% and temperatures over 90º F, I cannot even imagine how tough the ride was today. I'm sure today was slower than other days as heat and humidity can definitely effect energy rates. Let's hope for a cooler day tomorrow! Click here to keep up with the team and all of the day's statistics from the SenseAware device.

For more information about the Ohio CycleWorks Charities or to donate to their cause, visit their website at http://ohiocycleworkscharities.org/.

I received compensation from FedEx for covering the use of SenseAware® technology during the 2012 Race Across America. My ideas and opinions relayed in this blog post and any related Twitter discussions are the my own and are not provided by FedEx or its affiliates and subsidiaries.


GoodNites Bed Mats Review, Potty Training Confidence Booster Training Kit & $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway ($250 Value)

I have yet to meet a parent who has had no issues with potty training. It isn't easy and, from what everyone tells me, boys are the hardest to train. Of course, I have two and, yes, it has been quite a struggle from the get-go. I was excited to have Josiah trained at 2.5 yrs when Liam was born, but once we bought the little baby home, he reverted and refused to go to the potty anymore. Over a year later and much practice, he was daytime trained again, but occasionally has nighttime accidents. Now we are entering those years again with Liam, too! He's nearing 3 years of age and not at all interested in his Elmo potty other than pushing the button to hear music. We are training with cloth training pants, which means much cleaning up, accidents in his toddler bed and lots of stress for Mama and Papa! Now we have 2 boys wetting the bed and we end up washing sheets several times a week. Recently we were contacted by GoodNites to try out their new product for bedwetting and we jumped on the opportunity!

About GoodNites Brand & New GoodNites Bed Mats
The trusted GoodNites brand is known for their Underwear for children 4yrs+, helping them feel more secure at night when bedwetting has become an issue. They are discrete, absorbent and help keep sheets dry throughout the night. GoodNights has now launched their new GoodNites Bed Mats, an amazing new product that gives families a choice to manage bedwetting.

GoodNites Bed Mats minimize late night clean-ups and help children participate in their own bedtime routine. The mat can be easily placed on their bed so that it stays in place and keeps the sheet/mattress dry! All you have to do is place the mat on top of the fitted sheet. The adhesive strips keep the mat in place all night. You can protect the bed and have a better night of sleep for the entire family!

My Thoughts
I remember being around six or seven years old and having a dream that I was on the toilet, only to wake up completely soaked in my bed. It was embarrassing and meant that not only I had to get up and redress, but my very grouchy parents had to help me change the sheets. Thankfully Ry does not have this issue, but now that Josiah is 5 years old, we've reached this stage with him. About once a week, I'm up in the middle of the night cleaning up a mess, so I was very excited to not only try the GoodNites Bed Mats sample, but to receive the Confidence Booster Kit with a variety of Pottery Barn goodies to help stabilize Josiah's bedtime routine and help minimize accidents.

Inside a very cute tote, we were sent the GoodNites Bed Mats, a Pottery Barn Twin-size sheet set, Pottery Barn retro alarm clock, bathroom accessories and a $50 Visa Gift Card! I think I was just as excited to receive this package as Josiah was. He absolutely loves his big boy clock and couldn't wait to start using it just like his Papa. The great thing about the clock is that he has established a routine where he sets it at night so that he can get up in the morning and go to the restroom without oversleeping and wetting the bed. For the bathroom, he received a soap dispenser, trash can, cup and toothbrush holders, all to make the bathroom his own, about which he was very happy. Now he cannot wait to go brush his teeth and get ready for bed. We used the $50 Visa Gift Card for him to purchase a few other items for his bathroom like some bath toys, a rugs and a cute shower curtain.

I keep the GoodNites Bed Mats in the tote beside his bed so he can easily pop them out and adhere them to his sheet before going to sleep at night. I am amazed at how quickly he has taken to his new routine and he really has enjoyed becoming more independent and confident. I can definitely say all of this has helped with bedwetting over the past weeks and am so excited for him. We all want the best for our children and, of course, for them to be happy. Bedwetting effects over 5 million children in the US over the age of 6 and it's something I think many of you can relate! Finding something that really works to keep the bed nice and dry, helps us all sleep better at night and helps my little man feel more confident is really everything we needed to help us in this department.

Thanks to GoodNites, One Lucky Reader Will Win Their Own GoodNites Sample, $50 Visa Gift Card & Confidence Booster Kit!! 


Back 2 School Bash Blog Hop Giveaway Event Announcement

We've participated in many different themed giveaway events in the past, but never a Back-To-School event. This year we jumped on this opportunity immediately!
What: Trista from Andersons Angels, Jess from MomVantage & Shannon from Mommy of One and Counting are excited to have teamed up to host a FUN blog hop called Back 2 School Bash! 

When:It will run from 12:01am EST Saturday August 4, 2012 through 11:59pm EST Friday August 10, 2012. 
Rules of Participation:
  • You must get at least a $25 prize/package together to be given away during the event. It can be anything school related. (Ideas: snacks, lunch box, backpack, labels, school supllies, etc.)
  • You must display the event button in your sidebar from now until the event ends
  • Participation is completely FREE! All you have to do is make sure the button is on your blog side bar, and write a post encouraging other bloggers to join in the fun! Put the link to the blog post in the form.
  • If you would like to participate in a GRAND PRIZE CASH GIVEAWAY, you can send $5 (gift) to tristaeanderson05@gmail.com via PayPal. This will get you TWO social media entry options! (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Email, GFC, Pinterest, Klout, etc.) The GRAND PRIZE CASH value will be determined when we know how many people are going to participate in that part of the giveaway. The GRAND PRIZE CASH GIVEAWAY will be hosted on Anderson's Angels, MomVantage and Mommy of One and Counting. We ask that you refer your readers to either of those two sites to enter the CASH GIVEAWAY!
**They are only accepting 50 blogs, so this will not be open very long. Hurry and sign up today! We already have our first sponsor, so can't wait to see all the great items we'll have for you. Let me know if you are participating. :) Click HERE to sign up!

Children Teaching Mama is a U By Kotex Tween Mom Ambassador #KotexMom

I am so excited to announce that I'm a U by Kotex Mom Ambassador through Mom Central! Over the next 6 months we will be discussing the period talk and all things period, so look for our upcoming U by Kotex posts and discussions. We'd love for you to join the conversation and add your opinions. This will be so much fun and we are excited to be a part of it.

The subject of the big "P" or period was an off-limits discussion at my house as a child. Every time I brought it up or had questions, my Mom shut down and never answered my questions, so when the big day finally came, I had no idea what to do or what to expect. What's worse? My mom was out of town and I was left with my poor Dad to help me out. Of course, he was even more clueless than I was and just mentioning the word period made him blush! We even went out to eat with his boss and he told him what had happened! Talk about embarrassing for a tween going through such an experience for the very first time. This is why the subject of womanhood for tweens and getting their period is so important to me. Rylee is growing up so quickly and the time has come for a talk. She's such a curious young girl and has many, many questions. As a Mama who went through the worst scenario when getting my period, I feel like it's my responsibility to educate and prepare other young ladies so they know what to do and don't have to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about their changing bodies. I will always be here to answer questions for Rylee, keeping the lines of communication open. I want her to feel like she can talk to me about these things, ask questions and not feel embarrassed like I did.
Luckily, my sister took on the roll of helping answer my questions and getting the products I needed. Unlike back then when pads and tampons were huge and uncomfortable for young girls, U by Kotex brand is specifically designed for tweens! My mom always used Kotex brand products, so I always wanted to use the same. Now girls can do the same without them being too big. The new pads are smaller than regular pads and absorb more, so your tween can not only feel secure, but comfortable, too. Plus, the U by Kotex pads and wrappers are unique and colorful. I wish we had something like this when I was younger. In fact, I bought some of the U by Kotex panty liners recently when they were on sale and loved them!  The different designs and patterns are so cool and I also love how absorbent the pads are, keeping the fluid locked away, preventing leaks! You can be the active girl you always are without worry of a leak, which is super important.

Watch This Great Video About Aimee & Her Mom's Talk

If you are nearing the time for the big talk, the Kotex website is a great reference source for information! It has a calendar to count days, information about puberty in an interesting and non-embarrassing way and even questions your daughter may ask. You can prepare for the talk before it even begins! Also, the U by Kotex page has some great answers to period questions your tween and teens may be interested in. You can also share your own story and get coupons!

I'm starting to prep myself for the big talk with Rylee. I know this a mother/daughter moment that she will remember forever, so I want to make sure she has all of her questions answered and feels comfortable about getting her period. I'll be writing more as time goes on, so check back to see how the talk goes! Before talking with her, I really need to take a deep breath, prepare and get all of the facts straight (since I know many questions will be asked) and accept that my little girl is growing up! I think that will be the hardest part of all. Check back soon for more updates!

I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.