Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vision Council & Sunglasses

Let me tell you something about me, I never step outside without my sunglasses. 

I live in Florida, it's mandatory that you wear sunglasses outside.

Trust me on this one.

And since I'm a Mommy, I really push the sunglasses on my children when they are outside. Yes, they are kids and sometimes they listen to me... and yes, sometimes they don't. 

Recently, I was a part of a session panel with the Motherhood and the Vision Council about sunglasses and their importance. 

What is the Vision Council, you ask?  The Vision Council is a "nonprofit trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. Their member companies manufacture and/or distribute everything from eyeglass lenses and frames to sunglasses to eyeglass cases and accessories. An important part of their work is educating adults and children about vision health and eye safety."

The panel had two eye experts, Dr. Dora Adamopoulos, an optometrist in Alexandria, Va.,  and  Jamie Shyer, a chairman to The Vision Council.

During the panel we learned tons of great facts including: 

"- In a recent survey of 10,000 U.S. adults, 73 percent of parents wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from ultraviolet radiation, while only 58 percent have their children wear sunglasses. That means that nearly half of parents aren’t protecting their children’s eyes from harmful UV radiation.
- UVA and UVB rays are constantly penetrating the Earth’s surface, leaving unprotected eyes exposed to harmful radiation. Although it’s commonly misperceived that UV rays are only out during sunny days, they are actually present throughout the day – no matter the season or weather.
- Even a 
small amount of unprotected exposure is dangerous. UV exposure adds up over time and can lead to serious health problems as you and your children age. That’s why it’s increasingly important to have sunglasses handy at all times.
Children receive three times the annual sun exposure of adults, and they have an immature lens, which makes them especially susceptible to UV-related damage. UV exposure at any age can cause both short and long term vision problems – many of which can’t be reversed."

 Getting your kids to wear safe UV-protected sunglasses is really important. A few tips on how to actually get your kids to wear them (and not toss them off after you slip them on):

"- The Vision Council suggests taking the following "crucial considerations" into account when choosing a pair of sunglasses: 1) Comfort (so you'll actually wear them), 2) Reliability (buy from a reputable retailer - not street vendors or popular auction sites), 3) Active Lifestyle (consider your daily activities in your choice of sunglasses), 4) Design and fit that works best for you/your children.
- To determine if your sunglasses are reliable, look for a little sticker or tag on the lens that shows compliance with criteria set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The label "UV 380" covers all UVA and UVB rays.

- For the beach or pool friendly family, consider polarized lenses. They work exceptionally well at filtering out reflected glare from shiny surfaces like water and pavement. Polarized lenses also improve contrast and visibility so you don’t feel like you need to squint.
For the sports players and enthusiasts, you should look into impact-resistant lenses. These lenses are designed to handle high-impact, like baseballs, lacrosse balls, Frisbees, or any other projectile. Most of these lenses are made from high performance materials like polycarbonate, polyurethane or Trivex.
For parents always on the go, consider anti-reflective lenses that provide extra protection in difficult lighting situations. These can be especially helpful on the road and during sunrise and sunset."

You can learn more about getting your babes to wear sunglasses and more about why it's super important to do so by visiting the The Vision Council’s website 

I participated in a panel with the Vision Council and the Motherhood and received compensation for my time. All information in quotes came directly from a press release. If you want more information check out my full disclosure statement. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

When Did I Get So Old?

Last week I went through some medical drama that involved a hospital visit, too many scans and tests on my body and a lot of exhaustion.

I allowed myself a week of "self-pity" to recoup and get over it all and last night when I went to bed, I exclaimed that this week I would get back on track.

Meaning that I wouldn't rely on Netflix to entertain my children, I would do more than lay around in bed and read romance novels and that I would actually plan a weekly menu of meals that did not revolve around the microwave.

This morning, I bounced out of bed and was able to get through the morning feeling fine.

Then the afternoon rolled around and hit me like a ton of bricks, all the while mocking me for falling apart.

Since when did I trade my body in for a 74 year old ladies body?

I feel like shit.

Plain and simple.


The doctors gave me a diagnosis and I'm hesitant to believe their words because it all sounds like bullshit to me. But I'm not the one that went through 8+ years of medical school and training even years beyond that, so part of me is screaming that I must believe their words.

I'm weak and tired due to low blood pressure, I'm nauseous from lack of food and lack of an appetite, I'm cranky because of doctors that won't return phone calls and I'm guilty of being a bad Mom that relies on the television to entertain her children.

If I pile one more thing on top of this random heap, I'll collapses, I promise you.

For now, I must deal and parent from my couch while forcing Ritz crackers down my throat and keep my faith that this all will work out and eventually my 31 year old body will make an appearance and my children will see the light of day again.

Until then, it's Diego reruns and Pinterest to entertain the masses.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Radio Disney's Back to School Drive (Local)

Can you believe that I'm already thinking about Back to School?

Egh, I know... where the heck did summer go?

In preparation for the upcoming school year, I wanted to share some information I just received about Radio Disney's Project Family.

This information is straight from a press release: "


--Local Radio Disney Stations in over 30 Markets to Host School Supply Drives Throughout the Summer and Team Up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Support of Their Annual Nationwide Day for Kids Events--

Radio Disney, the #1 radio network for kids, tweens and families, puts giving center stage this summer with the launch of its first annual "BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE" benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As part of its Project Family initiative that inspires families to take action and make a difference, Radio Disney stations across the country will host local events throughout the summer inviting kids and families to donate school supplies to then be provided to local Clubs in need with an emphasis on pre-packaged pens, pencils, markers, crayons and chalk. Radio Disney stations in 31 markets will also team up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support their annual nationwide Day for Kids events this September.

Radio Disney’s Project Family "Back to School Drive" is in collaboration with Disney Friends for Change, an initiative that inspires kids and their families to make a lasting, positive change by helping people, communities, and the planet.

"We have seen that the Radio Disney audience shares our passion for giving back to the community," said Phil Guerini, General Manager and Vice President, Radio Disney. He added, "The back to school season is an important time in the lives of kids and families and we are excited to support the efforts of Boys & Girls Clubs of America through our local stations."

Disney has a long history with Boys & Girls Clubs of America that spans more than 50 years. Through financial and in-kind contributions, and through the time and talent of its Disney VoluntEARS, the Company supports the Boys and Girls Club mission of helping young people reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

The "Back to School Drive" events will take place throughout the summer and will feature music, interactive entertainment and prizes hosted by the local Radio Disney Road Crews."Back to School Drive" events confirmed thus far are as follows*:

Saturday, September 15
Orlando, Florida 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Oviedo Mall with AM 990"

There are more activities planned around the country, but I wanted to make sure my local readers got the info about the Oviedo Mall event. Check out Radio Disney's website for more details.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: It Works!

When I was younger, I have to admit to you I had a tiny, flat stomach (didn’t we all?). I was so proud of my stomach. I would show it off at any chance. I had a closet full of mid-drift bearing shirts that I wasn’t afraid to wear.

After having two babies, I threw all those shirts out.

My stomach is the biggest embarrassment about my body. And yes, I know I’ve born two beautiful, healthy babies and the extra weight that they’ve left me saddled with should be a badge of honor (or is that stretch marks?) but so have the chocolate cupcakes I adore so much.

So recently, I have taken to altering my food intake, my running and I’ve also tried a secret trick that many of my friends have all been talking about.

Body Wrapping.

One of my dear friends from high school works for It Works, a body applicator that helps you shrink inches from your problem areas. She sent me a wrap to try out. After researching all the ingredients (hey, I have to be careful with this heart problem) and reading all the testimonials on her Facebook page, I wrapped my stomach up.

The instructions have you smothering your body with a cream and you leave it on for 45 minutes with saran wrap or some type of wrap around the wrap to ensure a good fit.

I did this and I have to be honest, I was nervous unwrapping myself because some lucky ladies have had immediate results with their first wrap. After unveiling, I was disappointed to see I didn’t have immediate results.

I know that not everyone is the same, but I had my fingers crossed.

Further instructions for the wrap tell you to drink at least 8 glasses of water for the next three days to help with the “detoxifying” process.

I did this and I felt bloated, which is expected when you’re chugging water like a fiend.

After 72 hours , I took more photos and finally noticed a slight change right under my belly button and a slight dip in my waist.

I’ll take any results at this point.

With It Works, you normally use four wraps total and you get great results. Check out further testimonials from users at It Works Facebook page.

I’m going to give it another try soon and pray for more results… and yes, I’m going to continue the healthy routine with the eating and exercising, but hell, if I can get a little extra Ommph from a wrap, I’m there. Every little bit helps.

P.S. I'm happy to share my photos with you if you want, just email me and I'll show you my results. 

I received product in exchange for this review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information. 

Review: Snomee

I remember the first time I ever received a gift certificate. Yes, I said certificate because back in my day (when we walked up hill in snow both ways to school) that’s what they were. No one had ever heard of a gift card.

Today, it’s the gift to give.

I love getting gift cards.

The possibilities are endless plus you don’t have to waste time returning a gift you didn’t want in the first place.

And now that gift cards are so popular, you have to think about what to put them in when you give them.

I’m one of those gals that just hates handing over a plastic card and nothing else. I like to put it in something festival or pretty.

Enter Snomee.

Snomee is a snow glove that opens up to hold a gift card.

It’s a great way to give your friend, family member, loved one, teacher, etc a gift card!

(How many more times can I say gift card?)

When you ordered the Snomee, you get this cute little box.

All tied up nicely.

And snuggled inside.

And ta-da! The gift card!

There's even a spot under the gift card to write your personalized message.

Does it get any better than this?

Check out the Snomee website for more information and check out their Twitter and Facebook pages too.

I received this product for review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Bugs Suck!

Summer is in full effect here in Florida.

This means that it is hot hot hot (seriously, HOT) and there are bugs everywhere.

I've lived in Florida my entire 31 years, so you would think I'd be cool with it.

But I'm not... well, okay maybe I am. But the thing is I can take the heat (you just dress cooly and stay near a body of water at all times), but the bugs.

Oh, the damn bugs.

We have mosquitoes from hell, gnats and biting flies.

Yes, biting flies.

They are the worse.

They look like normal flies that buzz around and drive you crazy, but they bite. Their bite is a specific kind of pain too. More annoying than a mosquito bite (but not as painful as a horse fly) and as surprising as a bee sting.

They always catch you off guard and leave you cursing like a sailor.

And bug spray doesn't really keep them away, it is like sweet nectar to them.

So of course, I spend the entire day swatting them away and end up missing half the fun my kids (who seem oblivious to any type of bug bite) are having.

Oh, summer... sometimes you suck.

Let's Talk About Summer Travel!

Let's talk about summer travel! 

It's official, I'm helping out with a Twitter party!

I'm joining @SeaworldMommy, Ruckus Media and Sea World on July 11th at 9pm (EST) to talk about travel and the new Ruckus Reader. 

The new Ruckus Reader is a new ireader app that works for iPad where you can read books and watch videos of some of your favorite shows and it's just launched the SeaWorld iReader.

The SeaWorld iReader allows your kids to learn while having fun with three great new books.

The twitter party is going to be rocking and we'll be giving away TWENTY SeaWorld theme park single-day tickets as well as six-month subscriptions to the SeaWorld iReader! 

Sounds great, doesn't it?

I, for one, cannot wait!

You can RSVP for the party here!

Check it out and join us on July 11th at 9pm (EST) for some fun and prizes.

The fine print about the prizes are: "The tickets are valid thru Dec 31st, 2012.  One courtesy visit. Present this ticket at the park entrance for admission to one of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment locations during regulary scheduled operating hours.  Not valid for complimentary admission to Discovery Cove.  Call 1-888-800-5447 for rates & reservations.  Not for resale.  Not valid for special events.

The parks include: Aquatica, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Water Country USA, Sesame Place "