Category Archives: Announcements

Announcements Parenting

Be Ready with AccuWeather

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Thank you to AccuWeather for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

The holiday season is upon us and so is the winter months. With it comes the higher increase in-house fires. Things like stoves and space heaters are the main cause of fires during the winter. AccuWeather teamed up with the FDNY to educate families in safety specially during this time of the year. They created the AccuWeather  Be Ready program which is meant to educate and help people be ready all year-long. If you read the blog you know safety is pretty important to us and being ready so I was super excited to attend this press conference were AccuWeather talked about the partnership.

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We also had the chance to see and experience how they educated first graders in their simulation room at the FDNY Fire Zone in NYC. One of the things that they talked about and I thought was great was using the app to stay informed. I didn’t even know they had an app, which is really convenient for families who are always in the go. I downloaded the app right away, since I’m always on the phone so is perfect for me.

During this press conference the FDNY also talked to us about the causes of fires and how to prevent them. One of the biggest causes of fires during this time are space heaters. People turn them on and put them to close to clothes or even sofas. To prevent the fires while using a space heater, make sure that there is absolutely nothing around it. Also is important to turn it off as soon as you are done using it. Never, ever go to sleep with the space heater on. Another important thing to do is make sure that the smoke detectors are working properly. Make sure the batteries are good and that is not expired.

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If you are in an emergency, always have a plan. Teach kids their address in case they are the ones that have to call 9-1-1. Also make sure they know the families meeting place if you need to evacuate the house. I took time to ask the fire chief, James E. Leonard about some tips or things we should pay closer attention to. The one thing he mentioned was people who sit in their cars or leave their cars on inside the garage. This is dangerous because dangerous emissions are getting trapped underneath the car and could cause an explosion. I also asked him what’s the best age to start training your children and educating them about fire safety, his response: is never to early. Start teaching them as soon as they can understand you.

I think is great that there are so many resources educating and advocating safety and preparedness. This is something I’m so passionate about, because it’s important and it could save your families lives. I’m glad AccuWeather started this program for people to be ready, because weather is super important when it comes to safety, so they go hand in hand. If you want more information on the program please visit AccuWeather but you can also check out more information on their network as well as the app.

Thanks to The Moms for inviting me. 

Announcements Fashion Parenting

Spring into fun with Stride Rite

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It’s spring and before we know it, summer will be upon us. This is one of the best times to get shoes for your kids. Usually I get them measured twice a year and the spring is one of them and if you know me, which by now I hope you do, you know we love Stride Rite. So Stride Rite came out with these shoes that are absolutely awesome. The first are the Phibians, these shoes are BEYOND awesome. My kids have been wearing them since I bought a pair back in January and they are seriously my daughters favorite shoes. On our recent trip to California these were the only shoes she wanted to wear. The Phibians give you the comfort of a sneaker but the airy feel of a sandal, and best of all the practicality of the Made2Play collection, which makes the shoes washable! Sounds like the perfect shoe, right?
Stride Rite Phibians

The colors are vibrant for the spring and summer and they are super easy to put on as they are all velcro. Kids can wear them with or without socks and even use them as water shoes! The other new shoes they have are the Leepz, these have super rubbery soles to grip the tracks, they also have lights and come in fun colors.

Stride Rite Leepz

The shoes mimic the frog, which have awesome grip in their extremities. All kids are going to want these shoes, the lights are very bright!

Stride Rite Leepz

As always Stride Rite thinks about kids of all ages, and the spring shoes for the littles are also adorable. The best part is that they really do care about foot health and how little walkers will be impacted by their shoes.

Stride Rite

Stride Rite

I love Stride Rite. As long as my kids can wear their shoes I will keep buying them. They are practical, well made (seriously, we have shoes that all the 3 kids have worn!), and they work with the kids strides. Kids never complain about tight shoes or foot pain. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a pair of shoes for the boys outside a Stride Rite store! So if you’re looking for the perfect shoes for your littles for this spring and this summer, check out the Phibians and the Leepz, they are perfect!

What are you most looking forward to do during the warmer weather?

 

Side NOTE: I was invited to the Spring Preview as a media attendant. While there, I had the AMAZING honor of meeting Buddy Teaster, the president and CEO of Soles 4 Souls. It was an incredible honor, because Soles 4 Souls mission is just incredible. I am happy to support a company like Stride Rite who in part, support and help organizations like Soles 4 Souls.

Stride Rite

 

 

Announcements My non scripted life Parenting

Family survival TIPS for the Zombie Apocalypse… and Terrorists & Natural Disasters!

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A couple of nights ago I was out with my group of mom friends. All of a sudden the conversation went from kids to survival and camping. I had mentioned to some of the ladies that I had a plan in case of emergency, the other ladies wanted to hear my plan. Of course I don’t want to share MY specific plan (remember this could be the end of the world), so instead I gave them tips on what to do and how to prepare.

Family SURVIVAL Tips for the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE& Terrorists attack & Natural disasters! (1)

Now many might think I’m not qualified to give such information. BUT, just in case here is my resume.

~I have been a Girl Scout/ Boy Scout all my life

~Volunteer for the Red Cross during Hurricane George in PR

~Served the US Coast Guard for 4 years

~Camping enthusiant

~And took the Citizens Preparedness Training

OK, Now let’s get to it. The first and most important thing is to have a plan, or two or three. I have about 5! Think of all the situations you can find yourself in. No phone, alone with the kids, flooding, no car, stuck in-a car, and so on.  As many of you could imagine, in case of an emergency everyone and their mother will try to drive out of the city so there will be traffic.

  1. Make a plan
  2. Discuss plan with family members. Everyone involved should know in case there is no phones or ways to communicate
  3. Pick a meeting place. Somewhere you know and feel comfortable. Somewhere you can find without a map or GPS. Somewhere away from big crowds of people.
  4. Avoid airports, bridges, malls. If it’s a terrorist attack airports will se secured as well as bridges. They will also be shut down if there is bad weather. Malls are usually flooded with looters.
  5. Have a ready bag. Each member of your family should have a backpack ready to go in case of emergency. What should be in the backpack?
    1. One change of clothes
    2. Food (power bars & waters). You should have enough rations for a week
    3. Flashlight & batteries (remember to keep the batteries out of the flashlight so they last)
    4. A handheld radio
    5. Map of your city
    6. Utility knife
    7. Small first aid kit
    8. Gloves
    9. Nose cover
    10. Emergency blanket
    11. Drop cloth
    12. Glow sticks
    13. Duck tape BUGOUTBAG, survival, the mommy elf,
  6. Have your car ready.
    1. Change of clothes
    2. Water- power bars (power bars are recommended because they are filling and have many of the nutrients the body needs, but need no refrigeration)
    3. Paper towels
    4. Knife & pressure puncher for the window Survival2
    5. Flash light
    6. First aid kit
    7. Blankets
    8. Trash bags
    9. Map of your city
  7. Other things to keep in mind:
    1. Try to always have gas in your car
    2. Never check the weather channel instead check NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
    3. Study your city and the buildings around you. For example my sons school used to have a bomb shelter. It might not be functional but it’s still label. This is a good thing to know in case of an emergency
    4. Never share your plan unless with family members directly involved
    5. Try to take a CPR/First Aid class, you can look up Red Cross or the American Heart Association for more information on courses. They also have a list of the things you should keep inside a proper first aid kit according to your family size.
    6. You can keep MRE’s (Meal Ready to-Eat) at home. We usually have a box. You can buy them on Amazon.
    7. Have a cord bracelet and a personal knife. These are good emergency tools in case of emergency Survival3
    8. Learn how to read a compass and the time of the day using the sun. North= Connecticut, South= Brooklyn/Staten Island/Hudson River, East= Queens/Long Island, West= New Jersey (This is an example from Manhattan). To learn the time of the day, stand outside. Find the time of sunrise and see the sunrise from the East. As the sun goes up the time keeps going. When the sun is at its highest point it’s noon and so on. Also have a small mirror in your pocketbook or in your ready bag or even both. You can signal first responders if needed.
  8.  Remain CALM. I know this is probably impossible due to our human nature. But try.

My brother is a First Class Air Traffic Controller in the US Navy, he’s been in tactical units and deployed twice. I asked him to give his opinion on what’s important. His recommendations are: keep your ready bags/bug out bags in the car. That way if you are already out you’re ready and don’t have to come back home for them. He also recommends getting a fire starter kit. He also advises that you should practice your plan. Drive the route a couple of times. Think about when you’re pregnant and plan your route to the hospital. He also mentioned to keep in mind the essentials we might forget in a rush: lotion, keys, chapstick (chapstick can be used for A LOT of emergency situations), important papers and so on.

My dad, who is a survivalist and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Certified, recommended a backup power generator. It’s affordable but it can produce enough energy to power your electronics during a power outage. He also recommended having baby wipes on hand (don’t we already live with baby wipes everywhere?). And this might be a given, but have a list of important phone numbers.

Anyways I hope this post helps. I added some of the links of the things I have purchased. Also, just in general make sure you have an up to date first aid kit in the house as well as a fire extinguisher. One more thing I think is important is to keep all your family documents in one place. I have them in a binder in protective sleeves with photocopies of everything somewhere else, in case something happens I just grab the binder and I’m good.

I don’t want to sound alarming but is never bad to be ready. My whole life has been to be prepared for whatever comes my way. Is best to be prepared and not need to use what you got than have something happen and have no clue what to do.

Are you ready?

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Announcements Disney Star Wars

Star Wars: New Year- New Theories!!

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Happy New Year Star Wars fans!!!!

As we say goodbye to 2015 and continue to enjoy the beauty of the Force Awakens, we look forward to future of Star Wars, namely Rogue One and Episode 8. Ooooo, I can’t wait!

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SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

Alright, for those of you that don’t know, Rogue One is the first of Disney’s Star Wars “Anthology” films, stories in the Star Wars universe that don’t surround the main characters. This takes place between episode 3 and 4. The Rebellion, looking for its first major victory against an overwhelming Empire, sends soldiers on this desperate mission to steal the plans of the Empire’s new ultimate weapon, the Death Star. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it is said this film will have a grittier tone (think Black Hawk Down), with an emphasis on more realistic combat and heavier personalities. In this film, I hope to see Darth Vader show why he was the galaxy’s biggest badass. It will be cool to see Bail Organa, young Mon Mothma, and some of the other Rebellion leadership. I would also like to see how the Rebellion went from a group of insurgents to a formidable fighting force. It will be different from usual Star Wars tone, but that will make the Star Wars universe that much more fantastic. Any it comes out around Christmas of next year, so plan your gifts for your favorite Star Wars fan now!

Next, coming in summer of 2017, is Star Wars: Episode 8. Directed by Rian Johnson, produced by JJ Abrams, and penned by and contributed to by many top-notch writers, making it a very promising endeavor. This movie will answer a lot of questions created in episode 7 and maybe give us a bigger picture of the state of the galaxy. Here are my theories, based on what I have seen from the movies, read in the books, and know from the TV series:

  • Rey is Luke’s daughter. This idea has gotten some legs and isn’t really a stretch, but it seems like Rey’s force talent is way too high to be random. Plus the vision when touching Luke’s lightsaber, Kylo Ren seemingly knowing of “the girl”, and the subtle hints that Han may have known who she is. Remember, when Maz Kanata asked Han “Who’s the girl?” before they cut away to Finn trying to leave? Why add that if you’re not trying to imply Han at least has an idea? And the fact that Han isn’t more excited to see her shows me that Rey isn’t his daughter but someone he knew of (being Han and Leia’s daughter is another theory flying out there). Luke had a daughter, hopefully with a new canon “Mara Jade” (Star Wars EU fans know who I’m talking about) and was sent away by Luke when he foresaw some shit going down with Ben Solo. This was before Rey could remember anything, maybe around 1-2 years old, and task Lor San Tekka, a friend to the Jedi Order, to keep an eye out on Rey. He, or Leia, Han, Mara Jade, or whoever hired Unkar Plutt to keep her busy, had the Irving boys buy/steal the Millennium Falcon from Gannis Ducain, and paid Plutt with it. Why else would Plutt be so hard on her? Why else would Rey know the ship was garbage or how to fly it? There’s more to it, but then we’d be getting into really deep details.
  • Finn and Poe are going to be the next Han/Chewie duo. What do I mean, you say? Han and Chewbacca, like the droids, were there to spearhead a specific aspect of the movies. The droids were for the most part comic relief, while Han and Chewie were the action stars. While Rey, Luke, and Ren deal with their family affairs and the Force, Finn and Poe will be out fighting the more conventional battles against the First Order: blowing up TIE fighters and whoopin’ on Stormtroopers, all the while getting even more out of their energetic personalities.
  • Because a majority of the New Republic fleet has been destroyed, we are now back to a situation similar to the original trilogy. The Resistance is no longer a secret military arm of the Republic, but now the outnumbered and outgunned main force against the First Order. And with no Starkiller Base or other main weapon, we should see more force on force combat, which will be awesome. More Phasma leading troops, new leaders (General Wedge Antilles maybe?), or even an appearance of Rogue Squadron and the newer T-85 X-Wings. We’ll see more ship to ship and man to man fighting, putting us in the shit, something Star Wars fans live for.
  • Lando will be coming back for revenge. I’d like to think Lando and Han stayed friends but being the “respectable one”, Lando went on to bigger things, ie. running a planet. According to the books, the New Republic created more of a collection of sovereign systems, UN style, rather than one central government. They did not want to seem like another “empire”. Lando is now president/chancellor/governor/etc. of a planet or system, and using the threat of the First Order against his people, has his own resources to satisfy his personal vendetta against those who killed his friend. This will also explain the logistical issue of Resistance having the assets to fight the First Order. I see a new Alliance, World War 2 style, coming together introducing even more of the interesting people of the Star Wars universe.
  • Leia will break out the force powers. Don’t know when, where, or how, but we will see her use her family talents to help the win some battles against the First Order.
  • Since it has been confirmed that everyone in the Force Awakens is coming back for episode 8, it seems much of the information will be told in flashbacks. I hope to see the breakdown of relationships, the rise of the New Republic, the tensions that created the Resistance, and what makes the First Order feel justified in their actions. Rian Johnson already said episode 8 is going to be “weird” and that can be a good thing.

Don’t forget we have episode 9 coming up, a new Han Solo/Boba Fett anthology movie, and new episodes of Star Wars Rebels.

We can be here all day talking theories and ideas and what we would like to see. That’s one of the great things about Star Wars, you can get lost in the universe and the characters inhabiting it. And if you are like me, you like backstory and there are a number of new canon materials out that will tie up loose ends the movies may not address. So get out there, dive into the deep end and immerse yourself in Star Wars. If you have your own ideas, share them in the comments.

May the force be with You!!!!

 

Announcements St. Jude

Giving Tuesday & Thanks and Giving Season

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Is not just a day, it’s a movement

“Giving Tuesday was created to unite us all in a day of generosity, to make a difference in the world any way we choose at the start of this busy holiday season.”

If you didn’t know today is Giving Tuesday. It’s alway the first Tuesday after thanksgiving and really is a day to give love and hope to anyone. Every year St Jude has the biggest giving campaigns EVER. Not only can you get items straight through the St. Jude website, but you can also buy items from tons of retailers around the country, where portions of the sales go to St. Jude. The biggest retailer is Kmart. They have raised over $76.7 million dollars for St. Jude. This Holiday Season they have new products including the Giving Hat. The hat is a simple way to make someone laugh and also contributing to helping kids at St. Jude. The Giving Hat is only $5 and $1 of every sale goes straight to St. Jude. Not only do they have the hat, they have beautiful ornaments that you can buy to contribute to the children of St. Jude.

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Some of the other amazing retailers include The Limited, Brooks Brothers and Crazy 8. There are also many food chains that donate proceeds to St. Jude. Including Domino’s, Wendy’s and Chilli’s.

STJUDE

 

I am posting as a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Ambassador. I was sent a Giving Hat. 

 

 

Announcements

Liberty Science Center Dora & Diego Let’s Explore

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I don’t know any kid who doesn’t like Dora or Diego or a super interactive exhibition at a cool museum. The Liberty Science Center is probably the biggest science museum in the NYC-Metro area. Located in NJ is just a hop across the tunnel to a world of super interactive fun. We went for the first time and I was super excited. Our kids love the NY Hall of Science so I knew they would love the LSC. What I didn’t know was how much. It took hours to convince them to leave.

Dora & Diego Let's Explore!

The reason for our visit was to check out the new Dora & Diego Let’s Explore!. The exhibition is SUPER interactive. There are several stations where kids can play pretend pirate, control a rocket ship, take care of a garden, work on a science lab and get some work outs in with a climbing wall. As part of our blogger event, the kids got back packs with a monkey a pen with flashlight and a map. Part of the idea of the exhibition is for the kids to go through the museum and get stickers at different parts to finish their quest.

Exploring outer space.

Exploring outer space.

There's even a slide...

There’s even a slide…

Each station has different engaging activities for the kids. In the pirate ship, Pirate Piggies’ Ship, there is a coin counter, and I can’t even tell you how hard it was to get the kids to actually move and see the other parts of the exhibition. After the pirate ship they moved in to the rocket ship, Journey to the Purple Planet, where they pressed every single button available and watch a space video. The kids were very so excited. Seriously it was perfect for my little one as well as my 5-year-old. I have to say my favorite part was Isa’s Flowery Garden. This is definitely more suited to the little tots as it is enclosed. The best part was the flowers and pretend water cans and tools. Best of all the flower has scent! They smelled like real flowers.

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My kids favorite part in the exhibition was the physical activity station, which is called the Rainforest Maze. They had monkey bars and a climbing wall. My sons have never tried the monkey bars at any playground so this was the perfect setting for them.

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The exhibition run through January 24th of 2016 so there’s plenty of time to check it out during the winter. These are the perfect places to bring the kids during the winter, because it will entertain them to no end and it’s warm. The museum also has different exhibitions including live animals, fish and a toddler kid area. There’s an IMAX theater with different features.

I was so impressed. I knew this would be awesome and it did not disappoint. And for the kids it was even more awesome. I was finally able to leave after bribing them that we would come back very soon. I should mention the center has a huge cafeteria with everything from pizza to salads.

So know you know if you are looking for something to do during any of the holidays you can visit the Liberty Science Center. Dora & Diego Explore! is perfect for the whole family. And know you can win tickets for your family! Just follow the instructions! Good luck.

So tell me where do your kids like to explore?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and images are my own. 

Announcements

World Kindness Day

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This is sponsored post with “Clangers” and Coolabi. All opinions are my own. 

Did you know there’s a World Kindness Day? Did you know Clangers is celebrating kindness all around? The show is a great introduction to kids on how to be nice and kind to each other in different ways. My kids are big fans of these little friends on Sprout. But kindness goes beyond television, it starts with mom and dad.

Clangers

So how do you teach your kids to be kind? You have to be kind yourself. Shows are a good way to introduce kindness, but it’s also in everything we do. One of the things my husband does is always holds the door for everyone! Literally. And my son, who’s not four yet just started holding the doors for us. It’s simple, but can you imagine if everyone did that? People would be much nicer and pleasant. Another thing we do, even more during this time is donate toys. There’s a lot of organizations that accept second hand toys and they gift them to kids who don’t have any. Recently we were part of an event and brought a bag of toys for Second Chance. They picked the toys they wanted to gift to the other kids, carried them and put them in the box.

Is not really hard to be kind, but we are so influenced by everything going on around us and social media that we forget the simple things. Kids learned so quickly. Another example is when we see a homeless person and donate whatever we have. Maybe a dollar, maybe $5, maybe just a bottle of water. We were in Manhattan last week and rushing to get the train, I stopped immediately and the boys started to complain. I was looking like crazy in my purse for something to give to this homeless man. I found about $1.25 and put it in his cup. The kids started asking all sorts of questions. Why did I give the man money? I explained to them that not everyone has the same things we have, and that sometimes people don’t have anything and they need our help. The next day, at a stop light, my son saw a homeless man and told me: “Mami you have to give the man a dollar.” My heart was so happy because he understood. It’s as simple as my oldest holding his sister’s hand when they walk so she doesn’t fall- mind you she doesn’t like it but he is more concern about her safety than anything else.

Kindness

Is not hard to be kind. It’s really a matter of letting good guide your life. We love Clangers because it has such a positive message and when you surround yourself with positive messages it just takes over. Last week I cut my hair to donate it to Locks of Love. Not because I wanted to show off, just because I know a kid who is battling cancer will get a wig with my hair, and that feeds my soul.

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Sometimes is not easy. But is not impossible. All these values like kindness, politeness, joy, they start at home. What we do and how we act is the biggest influence on our children. Be kind and kindness will follow.

I encourage you to follow Clangers on Facebook www.facebook.com/officialclangers so you have stay up to date with the latest news.

How do you show your children kindness? If you had the chance to do something today for someone else, what would you do?

Announcements Food

Annie’s Homegrown has soups!

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Annie'sA few weeks ago, I took the kids to check out the new products by Annie’s. They had an event in the city, where they showcased their new soups and cookies. The soups are made with organic pasta. If you’ve never heard of Annie’s they make “mac n cheese” as well as cheese bunnies. They also have gummy bunnies. We usually get the box of the pasta and the gummy bunnies and they kids really like it. It makes me feel better that they are eating something a bit healthier, considering how picky they are when it comes to food. Annie'sI was happy to see they added some soups to their line of foods, especially now for the colder seasons. The soups come 5 flavors: tomato, creamy carrot and pasta, star pasta and chicken, bunny pasta and chicken broth and creamy tomato and pasta. I tried the carrot and it was good. At first I thought it wasn’t crazy tasty, but then I remember is organic and much healthier than the other options. The soups are certified organic.
Annie'sThe kids loved the event and even got to plant a seed. And I have to tell you there are other yummy goodness coming from Annie’s! So you have to make sure to keep checking in their site. Annie'sAnnie’s Homegrown was kind to send some goodies our way and I have to say, the soup taste so good! I was very surprised that it has so much flavor and it was completely satisfying. We tried the star pasta and chicken soup first and it had visible chicken and the broth was very seasoned. We also tried the white cheddar bunnies and they are definitely a hit, even with me.Annie'sI am so glad Annie’s keeps growing and creating more yummy delicious products that are good for my kids and the whole family.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and pictures are my own. 

Announcements Reviews

Curbside App for Target Review!

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You all know my extra love for Target. So what can make Target better? A pick up service! Yes, the Curbside app. You can download on your phone, add a pick up Target location, shop till you drop and then pick up your order. YES! It is really that simple. On a Sunday I didn’t feel like going anywhere and I had already visited Target 3 times that week. So I decided to go on the app. I added about 15 items that I needed for my son’s school. Within an hour, I got an email and text message telling me my order was ready for pick up.CurbisdeI wasn’t able to go pick it up on Sunday so on Monday I stopped by and seriously as I pulled over to the side of the sign, there was an employee with 2 bags. I didn’t know what to expect to I asked him how it worked. He greeted me and asked for my ID and then proceeded to hand me my ID and bags! He knew I was coming! Seriously cool. NO WAIT TIME AT ALL!

It took less than 2 minutes. It was so short I didn’t even have time to record the process. I made a second order to make sure it wasn’t just luck the first time, but service was equally amazing and equally quick. So, I know we moms love our Target trip, BUT I also know we always forget something. This is a super awesome option, just shop, pick up and done. None of that taking out the kids to pick up stuff. Curbside2I do have to mention you can’t buy perishable items, as they do hold your order for up to 24 hours. All in all, it was an amazing super easy experience. You can also enjoy $10 off your first order with this code VOKWD. You can also use this link to download the app: http://crbs.me/EastCoastCurbside

Do you want to try Curbside!?? Trust me, you won’t regret it! What do you like least about going to the store with the kids?

This is a sponsored post. I was given $50 credit to try the app. All opinions and pictures are my own.

Announcements Cancer/Neuroblastoma St. Jude

How St. Jude Stole my Heart

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What do you do when St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital emails you and invites you for a blog tour? You read the email about 5 times making sure they got the right person, you call your husband hysterically and then you say yes. See, I’ve been familiar with St. Jude and it’s mission so this was not only exciting because it was a trip but because it was a trip that would have so much meaning and emotion that it makes it worth it. I had so much anxiety after saying yes. I was scared of leaving my children for 3 days, I was afraid of how emotional I was going to be in that environment, I was just a mess.

And when I arrived and saw Angela, one of the coordinators from our trip I couldn’t help but feel comforted and right at home. When we arrived at the hospital the first thing that catches your eye is the big St. Jude statue (just as a side note: St. Jude is not a religious hospital- but it’s founder, Danny Thomas was Catholic). The campus is beautifully manicured and it just feels like a peaceful, happy place.MEMPHISBefore I get into the details of our tour I want to give you some facts about St. Jude and their mission:

-Families never pay for any service at St. Jude. They’re hospital stay, housing, transportation and food are all paid for by St. Jude. Families are never billed or asked for money. The purpose for this is because families’ only focus should be helping their child stay alive.

-St. Jude is a research hospital and they are very open about their breakthroughs and share them with the medical community in order to save more children who might not be able to get treatment at St. Jude.

-One of the biggest accomplishments of St. Jude is that their treatments and research has helped increase the survival rate of children with cancer from 20% to more than 80% since 1962, when it opened. Their mission is to keep going until no child dies from cancer.

-St. Jude has been able to focus on what they deemed the most important in the quest for cancer cures because the funding comes from individual contributors, so the mission to save kids can keep going no matter what the financial situation is.

Now that you know more about St. Jude and their mission let me go through a quick run down of our trip:

DAY 1:

-We had lunch at the Kay Kafe. Kay Kafe is the only cafeteria in the hospital. The idea is that everyone should eat at the same place and interact like one community. Doctors, nurses, patients, guests, everyone is welcomed and are able to enjoy a huge variety of foods. They have everything from sushi to pizza, to rice and chicken. This is no ordinary cafeteria. Patients also have an option of getting meals catered to their special needs.

-We took a tour of the hospital. Our tour guide was Tayde. She has received treatment at St. Jude 3 times since she was a child, survived and now works for the hospital as a way to give back. She showed us all the different clinics as well as the school. I will dive more into the details about the physical tour of the hospital but the one thing I will let you know now is that there is no one bare wall in the whole hospital. All walls have something, art, paintings, boards.

MEMPHIS-Lab tour. I have to say I’m still speechless of my time at the lab. We learned soooo much and it’s incredibly uplifting to see the things that are happening in the research department.MEMPHISDAY 2:

-We toured the Target Houses. Target Houses are the long term housing for families that are in treatment for a longer period of time. They have 2 buildings with over 50- 2 bedroom apartments. Each apartment is equipt with everything the family might need. The buildings are absolutely stunning. From head to toe, the attention to detail is spectacular.MEMPHIS-Meetings. We met the nutritionist from the hospital, the Child Life Specialist, the Chef and we also met with a mom and her daughter Emma who is a patient at St. Jude. This was one of the most emotional, special moments during the whole tour, because it really showed us the side of St. Jude people don’t get to see.

-Carnival Event. We had the chance to take a peek into an event going on at the hospital. Carnival cruises was having a celebration for the kids and it was Dr. Seuss themed. They had music, food, activities for the kids. It was just a really cool time.

-Bass Pro Shop time. This is the biggest Bass Pro Shop in the whole country. I enjoyed going up to The Lookout because it gave one of the most beautiful views of St. Jude and downtown Memphis.

DAY 3:

-Brainstorming sessions. We went over the tour and what we enjoyed the most and try to come up with ideas to bring that message to you.

-National Civil Rights Museum. This was such an emotional trip, and to end it here took it to another level. I can’t even begin to tell you the impact this visit had on my heart and my life. It was without a doubt and special moment.MEMPHISAs you can see we did a lot. I will be writing a lot more about St. Jude and my time there. This place really has my heart. Everything they do for children and their families is beyond what any other institution does. They are truly angels for so many children. Thank you to St. Jude for hosting us and showing us closer look to who you are and what you stand for. So to put it all together, St. Jude will forever have my heart because anyone that does what they do for children deserve all the love and respect in the world.