Friday, July 15, 2016

Don't Put Your Summer on Hold

*This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and Amwell. All opinions are my own.*

Summer is here. The kids are out of school, activities and vacations abound. There is always something to do. It is bad enough that things like work and housekeeping take time away from summer fun, but it's even worse to waste time on something if you could avoid it instead. Well, not actually avoid it, just do it form home or on the go, quickly and easily.

No one wants to postpone a summer adventure because they have to go to the doctor. Who has time to make an appointment, drive through traffic, and sit and wait? I sure don't, especially not for something minor, like a prescription.

I was just in that situation last week. My birth control shot (Depo) was going to be due on the eleventh. There used to be a clinic pretty close by that did it, but it was only open on Mondays, only until about 3:30 and then it closed down altogether. That is not very convenient, especially now since the next closest place is not over 30 minutes each way.

The appointments used to take over an hour and I had to commission a ride, since my husband is always at work at that time. Sitting with 2 kids in a small office with nothing to do is not my idea of summer fun. Thankfully, I have found a MUCH easier way to get my birth control. I use Amwell.

If you are not yet familiar with Amwell, it is a telemedicine app (and website) that allows you to visit a doctor right from your smartphone, tablet or computer. You are connected to a video and audio feed and can even have the doctor connect by phone instead if needed.


On Saturday I spent 5 minuted on the app with a doctor, he prescribed me the Depo injection (with syringe) that I needed. It was sent straight to me preferred pharmacy, which is about 3 minutes from my house. I injected the dose myself, as I had the nurse show me last time I went to get mine. The whole process only took 10 minutes of my life.


I used a coupon code, so my visit was only $1, but a normal visit without discount is only $49, less than an office visit. Insurance is accepted too, for those that have it. For the time and headache you will save, it is more than worth it. It is especially useful for traveling. No one wants to search around a new place for a dentist or emergency clinic if they get a tooth ache or an ear infection.

I wish I had known about Amwell a long time ago. My son had pinkeye once a couple years ago, and we had to take him to the emergency room, just to get the prescription drops. It took forever. My son is autistic and he hates to be in unfamiliar places, especially when he does not feel well and when they are boring. We could have saved a few hours and a lot of pleasantness (and a larger bill) if we had just used Amwell. At least I know for the future.

In fact, my chest is really congested and I feel like there is a lot of mucus in it (TMI, I know) that will not come out. It is making me cough a lot and hurting my throat. After Googling, I think it may be bronchitis. If I do not feel better really soon I will be visiting Amwell again for advice and perhaps an antibiotics prescription.

If you want to try out Amwell, you can use my exclusive discount code HEALTHY13 to get a $1 visit. Even if you don't need it right now, keep the code in your phone or something and download the app, you never know when you might need a doctor for an unexpected urinary tract infection, heat stroke, sunburn, head lice outbreak (prescription shampoo without a doctor visit) or even just a cold or flu. It is always better safe than sorry and better quick and easy than long and tedious. Don't spend your summer in a doctor's office.

http://tracking.amwell.com/aff_c?offer_id=6&aff_id=1200&source=blog13

Thursday, June 30, 2016

8 PLAYFul Summertime Trends

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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*This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Summer is here. The days are longer and kids are home from school all day, every day. It can be very hard for parents to get readjusted to the new schedule of having kids home all day. We often get wrapped up in our own schedules and forget that it can be hard for kids to adjust too, perhaps even harder than it is for us.

Most kids benefit from routine, so when they get thrust into an unstructured summertime schedule, with later bedtimes and perhaps later wake-up times. Instead of each kid having their own unique routine of their classroom, now kids and parents have to combine schedules to find a balance for everyone. It's not easy.

I hate to admit it, but I have actually been really bad with remembering how important it is for me to make time for my kids. I mean I don't ignore them, of course, but in my daily cleaning and chores, I often forget to make one on one time just to play and have fun, and make real time for them to set the pace. 


Voice of Play has been so helpful for me. Their PLAYful Trends list is a really great tool for me to plan for play. There are 8 trends, and they are all so simple. I kind of felt bad at first, because I really should not need a list to tell me these things, but I am working on doing better, and I think that's what matters.

Trend number one is "an hour a day". It's so simple, right? An hour of play is so beneficial for children's development. It actually helps them learn. That's why so many parents are fighting to get recess back in schools and to keep it for good. I strongly believe in the cause, that's why I took the
Play Pledge. I will also be setting aside an hour a day specifically for playtime.


I will be using this hour mostly with trends 2 ("Made to Move") and 4 ("it's better outside"). We will be outside and active on the trampoline, playground, beach, and more. There are so many fun and free things to do outdoors.



Of course, I will encourage my kids to play much more than an hour a day, and I will play with them as often as I am able. I really like trend 8 for when I can't be one on one with them. Trend 8 is "mind expanding" which is with computers and STEM games.

Technology (screen time) is often looked down on by "perfect parents", but it is so beneficial for learning while having fun. My son, being autistic, especially benefits from playing(learning) at his own pace and controlling the speed at which he is fed information. His can be overstimulated if too much is being pushed at him all at once.

No matter which PLAYful trend(s) you try, it is important to make time to play with your children and encourage creative, athletic or educational play. Just being "on vacation" is not really fun for kids, and it took me awhile to realize that. I hope that Voice of Play's PLAYful Trends will help others like they have helped me. Happy playing.

8 PLAYFul Summertime Trends

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Powered By:
*This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Summer is here. The days are longer and kids are home from school all day, every day. It can be very hard for parents to get readjusted to the new schedule of having kids home all day. We often get wrapped up in our own schedules and forget that it can be hard for kids to adjust too, perhaps even harder than it is for us.

Most kids benefit from routine, so when they get thrust into an unstructured summertime schedule, with later bedtimes and perhaps later wake-up times. Instead of each kid having their own unique routine of their classroom, now kids and parents have to combine schedules to find a balance for everyone. It's not easy.

I hate to admit it, but I have actually been really bad with remembering how important it is for me to make time for my kids. I mean I don't ignore them, of course, but in my daily cleaning and chores, I often forget to make one on one time just to play and have fun, and make real time for them to set the pace. 


Voice of Play has been so helpful for me. Their PLAYful Trends list is a really great tool for me to plan for play. There are 8 trends, and they are all so simple. I kind of felt bad at first, because I really should not need a list to tell me these things, but I am working on doing better, and I think that's what matters.

Trend number one is "an hour a day". It's so simple, right? An hour of play is so beneficial for children's development. It actually helps them learn. That's why so many parents are fighting to get recess back in schools and to keep it for good. I strongly believe in the cause, that's why I took the
Play Pledge. I will also be setting aside an hour a day specifically for playtime.


I will be using this hour mostly with trends 2 ("Made to Move") and 4 ("it's better outside"). We will be outside and active on the trampoline, playground, beach, and more. There are so many fun and free things to do outdoors.



Of course, I will encourage my kids to play much more than an hour a day, and I will play with them as often as I am able. I really like trend 8 for when I can't be one on one with them. Trend 8 is "mind expanding" which is with computers and STEM games.

Technology (screen time) is often looked down on by "perfect parents", but it is so beneficial for learning while having fun. My son, being autistic, especially benefits from playing(learning) at his own pace and controlling the speed at which he is fed information. His can be overstimulated if too much is being pushed at him all at once.

No matter which PLAYful trend(s) you try, it is important to make time to play with your children and encourage creative, athletic or educational play. Just being "on vacation" is not really fun for kids, and it took me awhile to realize that. I hope that Voice of Play's PLAYful Trends will help others like they have helped me. Happy playing.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Refreshing My Fridge And my Kids This Summer With BODYARMOR

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of BODYARMOR sports drink. All opinions are 100% my own.*
Summer is here! The days are longer and much, much busier. Instead of being in school (and on buses) for 7 1/2 hours a day, the kids are now at home all that time. They are also up much later than when school is in session. They stay up until I go to bed (which is usually VERY late.)

With much more time to fill, and all the night hours spend inside already, during the day, we get out and play hard as much as possible. We have a trampoline and a swing set (and bikes and such), so even when we can't leave the house, there is plenty to do right in our own backyard, literally.

The heat here in Florida is almost beyond words. The humidity is suffocating most of the time. My children are like me, in that, they get dehydrated so quickly. It is so important that we all keep hydrated. The kids hate plain water (as do I.) They like sports drinks, but I wanted something better for them, and for myself.

BODYARMOR is more than a sports drink. It has vitamins and coconut water on top of the potassium and other electrolytes. It also does NOT have excess sodium or artificial ingredients. BODYARMOR comes in eight awesome flavors: Fruit Punch, Orange Mango, Strawberry Banana, Tropical Punch, Lemon Lime, Mixed Berry, Grape and Blackout Berry.


All 8 flavors taste truly delicious. To me, they are better than any other sports drinks I have tried (which is every major brand and then some.) My kids love them! Even my picky husband loves them.
Unlike most sports drinks, BODYARMOR does not contain any artificial colors or sweeteners. The flavors are natural. My favorite flavors are Blackout Berry and Tropical Punch, but again, they all rock.


I recently started the process of cleaning out my pantry cupboards and refrigerators, getting rid of all the things we don't need anymore and filling them with all the essentials for summer. It was way overdue. I was throwing away things that expired a year ago. Obviously, it's not fun, but it had to be done, especially the refreshing with new items. The first staple that I had to make sure was in the fridge was BODYARMOR.


At least along with the extra cleaning does come from the extra fun of summertime. We are having so much fun already, and with a new stock of BODYARMOR, we are all ready for a new adventure. With several birthdays upcoming and my husband's vacation from work and family coming to visit, we have a lot of activities on the horizon. At least with BODYARMOR we will be well hydrated and nourished.

What are your plans this summer? Do you have any fun adventures planned? Do you have a yearly tradition during the summertime? I would love to hear all about your summer activities. I hope all your summers will be as fun as ours. If you want to stay summer ready with BODYARMOR, it can be purchased (in Florida) at Publix, Winn-Dixie and Target. You can even download a coupon HERE.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

WWE & Fatherhood.gov are Celebrating Dads!

Happy Father's Day weekend everyone! This Sunday (and every day) we celebrate dads and all the amazing things they do for us. I don't see my dad as often as I would like to, but I am thankful for him every day. He was always there for us, even after he and my mom split up. He has been there for me my whole life.


Another amazing father that I am honoring this Father's Day is my children's father - my wonderful husband. He works so hard to provide for us, and he is still so involved when he is home. Providing financially is great, but nothing is more important than actually spending time with your children. Even the smallest moments can mean so much, and shape a child forever. My husband is aware of this, and he is always there for our children. They cherish every minute spent together. (Daddy is their favorite.)


I am so lucky to have two such wonderful men in my life, and I actually have 3, because my father-in-law is such a kind man, who has accepted me into his family and shown me as much love as my own father has. I am very blessed. I hope all of them know how much they are appreciated on Father's Day and every day. I sure try to make sure they are pampered as much as possible.

It is so important to show fathers how much they are valued. Father's are so important. That is why WWE has partnered with Fatherhood.gov to celebrate dads and to raise awareness of just how important it is for dads to #MakeAMoment and be a #hero for their children.

I love WWE's campaign with Fatherhood.gov. Not only does WWE have a huge platform to get the message out there, they do more than talk the talk. WWE superstars and their own children participate in the ad campaign, so it is not just something they are saying, it is something that they are living 24/7 365. Just another reason that I love WWE.


It is so cool to see the big, manly and in many cases "bad" guys with their kids. They look so sweet. That is a huge weakness of mine, to see such "tough guys" being so kind and gentle with their kids. Every father should know how important they are in their child's life, and do everything they can to make a positive impact and be a good example.

You can learn more about the #MakeAMoment campaign, you can visit Fatherhood.gov. You can also visit Fathershood.gov on Facebook & Twitter.

Have you seen the commercials for the #MakeAMoment campaign yet? They are adorable. If you watch WWE programming, you should have seen them by now. If you don't watch WWE programming, you should watch WWE programming. Seriously, what are you waiting for? The Money in the Bank PPV is tomorrow night (6/19 @ 8pm EST) on WWENetwork. You can even get your first month free. What a great way to celebrate Father's Day. That is how we will be spending our night. Happy Father's Day everyone!

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of WWE. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, June 17, 2016

SeeTheLite with Litehouse Foods. Recipe + Giveaway

*This review and giveaway was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Litehouse Foods. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.*

I recently had the opportunity to try some Litehouse Foods products and create an original recipe suitable for Father's Day and/or graduation celebrations. I was hoping to find some of the Chunky Blue Cheese in my local store so I could make a buffalo bleu chicken lasagna, but I couldn't find any.

It may have been a blessing in disguise, though, because I ended up having to get another product, Avocado Ranch With Bacon. I had to come u with a whole new recipe to use the Avocado Ranch With Bacon dressing, and it ended up being totally awesome.


I wanted something unique, not just a salad or to use the dressing as a sandwich topper or something, I wanted it at the heart of the recipe. I decided to do a practice run for our Father's Day meal. Since I already had the main course planned (steak) I figured a side dish would be good. I have to have a carb with every meal, so that was a no brainer. I thought of a pasta salad, and I had a ton of great ideas, but I decided to shake it up and make a delicious rice dish instead.

I love almost every kind of rice, but my favorite base (before other ingredients are added) rice is Smoked Basmati rice. It has a rich, smoky flavor and a substantial, but tender long grain. I usually enjoy it simply with butter, but I wanted to see how it works in a recipe.

I cooked the rice as I always do (adding smoked sea salt, to add extra smokiness). When it was done, I added in the dressing, and heated it through again.

Smoky Bacon Avacado Ranch Rice:

Ingredients:
2 cups (soaked) Smoked Basmati rice
4 cups water.
2 teaspoons smoked sea salt.
1 cup Litehouse Avocado Ranch With Bacon dressing.

Directions:

Soak rice for 30 minutes. Drain.
Add 2 cups soaked rice and 4 cups water to pot (medium heat). Bring to boil. Add Smoked Sea Salt, stir. Cover. Continue to cook on medium heat for 10-11 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Add 1 cup Litehouse Avocado Ranch With Bacon dressing. Stir to combine completely (gently so as not to smash the rice). return to low heat until heated through. Enjoy!





It came out perfect. It is very flavorful and hearty, but still delicate somehow. I decided they would be best presented in a special way, so I used little dessert cups. They look awesome. I can't wait to make this again on Sunday.


The recipe is so simple. Just 3 ingredients! This will be a new go-to for me for BBQs, entertaining and pot lucks. I  may even dress it up in the future with added bacon pieces or an avocado garnish. This recipe is so versatile. It will keep well in the fridge and is sure to be a hit.

If you want to try this recipe, or anything including a Litehouse Foods product, you're in luck, because I am giving away 2 coupons each good for a FREE Litehouse product. I want you all to #SeeTheLite Enter below for your chance to win.

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