Archive for September, 2016

25 Sep 2016

Free College? Where Do I Sign Up? Learn More About The Florida Prepaid College Giveaway |Tampa Mama

No Comments Education, Florida, Giveaway, School, Sponsored

scholarship-program_promoWith our oldest son turning 12 soon, my count down clock has begun to tick louder as college tuition seems to be knocking louder as his high school graduation seems to be approaching fast. 6 more years. Which in my world, it kind of like tomorrow. Having four children, and wanting them all to further their education beyond high school, the cost of college tuition seems to be a hurdle I am going to need to prepare for in order to set my children up properly for their future. Living in Florida, we have some amazing college choices for those looking to take that next step, but understanding the financial obligation and preparing for it is something that will be much easier if tackled years in advance. That’s why I have partnered with the Florida Prepaid College Board to help get the conversation started about college, how we can best save, options we have as parents and how it can effect our kids in the future. We all want our kids to be ready for college, but the question I find myself asking is will WE be ready as parents to send them financially.

Last March, the Federal Reserve reported student debt across the U.S. at about $1.2 trillion. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of new alumni have debt, at an average of $35,000 per graduate. In Florida, the average debt load for those with college loans is $24,017. All I can say is WOW.

Yet according to the How America Saves for College 2016 report, only 2 out of 5 families have a plan to pay for college – even though a postsecondary degree is more necessary than ever for career success. According to state projections, 59 percent of all jobs in Florida will require postsecondary education by 2018. Do you have a plan for your children? It’s time we start really talking about ways to prepare them not only academically but also ways to avoid the student loan debit post college too.

The 2016 Florida Prepaid College Giveaway

Ten Florida families will win two free years of college from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, which today is launching its Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program. The annual scholarship program runs between September 19, 2016 and October 23, 2016 – coinciding with National College Savings Month and the mid-October launch of Open Enrollment, the annual period when families can purchase Florida Prepaid Plans.

Participants can register to win one of ten 2-Year Florida College Plans at www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com. Then you get chances to earn extra entries by answering questions, learning more about saving for college and sharing on social media. There will also be chances to win a total of 50 weekly prizes. So enter, share with friends and family so they can enter, and keep coming back to the site every day to learn more and get extra chances to win!

Prepaid Plans are available for purchase during Open Enrollment, which begins October 15, 2016 and ends February 28, 2016. For more information, visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com

I hope you’ll stay with me as I explore the ways we can all save for our kids’ college together. We all want to give our kids the best start for their future. Thank you to the Florida College Board for sponsoring this series of posts on TampaMama.com!

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22 Sep 2016

Hanna Anderson Comes to Tampa, Florida || Tampa Mama 

No Comments Fashion, Lifestyle, Sneak Peak, Tampa, Tampa Bay

It’s here!  Tomorrow marks the day that Hanna Anderson opens in Tampa Bay!  We’ve always shopped online for their adorable matching PJ’s ! Read more

20 Sep 2016

Simple Strategies Make Sure Back-to-School Germs Don’t Take the Family Down

No Comments Healthy Living, Kids, Sponsored
SponsoredPost

I’m a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

Back to school means our kids will be sharing germs in no time. Germs are something we don’t want to share with anyone! With 4 kids in our house, I try my hardest not to let the domino effect take place because when one goes down, they all seem to fall one right after the other. And the bigger we are, the harder we fall. I try my best to educate and teach the kids simple things that they can do to keep the germs away and stay healthy. It might not seem like a lot, but these are ways to make sure that the whole family will stay healthy and back to school germs (or any germs for that matter) won’t take the family down!

META Tampa Mama

Washing your hands. Most kids are in such a hurry to get out of the bathroom they forget to wash their hands. Yuck! It really only takes 15 to 20 seconds and some soap and water to kill germs and bacteria that can make you sick. I try reminding them that they should also be washing hands before they eat or after a fun day of playing at the playground. It’s such a simple thing to do, but the most effective in keeping the germs away!

Mom & Dad need to stay healthy, too! We set the tone for our kids. If they see us take our vitamins and eat healthy, they will too. Keeping our immune system healthy is truly the first line of defense to keeping our whole family healthy. We take Meta Daily Immune Support that helps naturally support a healthy immune system*. Trillions of bacteria in your digestive system can be thrown off by diet, travel, or stress So supporting your immune system really matters. I want to be as prepared as I can be to take care of my family and every day life.

Kids need to stay healthy from the inside out! Eating a healthy breakfast, getting enough sleep and taking care of our bodies are our first lines of defense in keeping the germs away. We make sure all the kids get enough sleep, especially when they are waking up so early for school. With the kids getting older and wanting to stay up later, this has been challenging. Routines work well for us: reading before bed; no electronics before bed; a good breakfast in the morning.

META Tampa MamaHave stress free mornings. Did you know that stress can actually weaken your immune system? Kids shouldn’t be stressed. But it’s easy (and unintentional) to over schedule and frazzle your child. Homework and studying is done before we begin any after school activity. We organize backpacks the night before. Get our clothes laid out for the morning. Make lunches the night before, too. All of these simple steps help us have a smooth and stress-free morning. I also make sure that I am up early so that I can set the tone for the morning by being prepared and on time. Having a stress free morning will help keep their immune system strong and can fight off the germs from the inside out!

 

META Tampa Mama

It’s the little things that can make a huge difference in our health! If kids learn now, they will create habits to last a life time!

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Disclosure: Meta partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Meta believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Meta’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

 

18 Sep 2016

Mia In The City | Travelogue Day 2- New York City 

No Comments Kids, Lifestyle, New York City, Things To Do, Travel, Travel Tuesday

Mia and I conquered New York City like champs. Uptown to Downtown, lunch with friends, exploring local spots and seeing the famous ones.

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17 Sep 2016

Trough Her Eyes | Travelogue Day 1- New York City

No Comments Family Travel, Lifestyle, New York City, Travel

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My patents brought me to New York City when I was 16. It never left my soul. I love the hustle of the people. The bright lights energized me as I walked through the streets. There is just something about New York City. Mia received a plane ticket to NYC last Christmas. It was her big gift. We finally booked the trip and New York City through her eyes has been magical and we still have two more days to explore.

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We got in last night…late. Checked in to the hotel and walked out. We were about 10 blocks north of Time Square but you would have thought we were right around the corner.

I have traveled with Mia solo a few times before and it probably tops my list of favorite things to do.

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She’s open to new things. Excited to hit the ground and explore this new city. We have to more days and I can’t wait to show her this City.

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07 Sep 2016

Tips for the Exhausted Mom: 7 Easy Ways to Feel Your Best Each Day

No Comments Ad, Healthy Living, Raising Children, Sponsored

I’m a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

The sheer volume of work that comes from having a child or multiple children might seem like having the task of climbing Mount Everest placed in front of you each day you wake up. Daunting. From school work, to homework to housework to out-of-the-house-work, the lists go on and on and never seem to end. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that give me the strength and energy to power me through the day. (I went through some old pictures and just got exhausted seeing how much we’ve done!) Some might seem easy, but from this once tired Mama, I know can say I have more pep in my step and more energy now than I ever have. It’s the sweet moments with my kids that I want to enjoy because they won’t be little for long. Here are some tips to help you feel your best each day!

 

  1. Get ready the night before. I seem to have little time in the morning to get myself ready for the day because I am simultaneously getting 4 kids ready as well. A little sprucing up in the morning and I’m ready to tackle the day! This might seem more psychological, but I definitely feel more energized when I’m not in my pajamas all day!
  2. Don’t skip breakfast!  I won’t let my kids go to school without breakfast and I won’t let myself go without breakfast too!  Make it easy on yourself!  A yogurt, a piece of fruit, an egg…anything!  Your body needs fuel, good fuel, to start the day!  You’ll notice you’ll have more energy and be in a better mood too!  I also take Meta Daily Energy Support as a part of my morning routine. The B-vitamin complex works naturally with my body to support natural energy* production without stimulants like caffeine. There’s also a beneficial probiotic to support a healthy digestive system. It’s all just a part of the healthy way I start my day!
  3. Exercise. Even if it’s walking for 20 minutes talking on the phone to your Mom, take a break and get your blood flowing. Exercise will ALWAYS make you feel more energized! Grab the stroller and head out! The baby or kids will love the walk too.
  4. Take a break. A mental break. A nap break. A brain break. Some times I need to check out from my kids or work and regroup. Even if it’s a small break, it’s a chance to disconnect even for a little while to recharge. Communication with your partner is crucial so you can figure out a time to make this work.
  5. Sleep. As tempting as it is to work late at night or watch you TV shows once the kids are asleep, set a limit on how late you stay up so you can get in some good rest. I know the nights of solid realm sleep might be few or nonexistent with potty training toddlers or breast feeding babies, but sleep is a game changer. Swap nights if your can with your partner. One of my mottos has always been “you sleep when they sleep” and that includes naps too! We know how much energy our kids have and it’s probably because they are getting a solid 10-12 hours of sleep each night!  Who wouldn’t be energized! I want their energy!
  6. Cut down on sugar and caffeine. I love good chocolate and a hot cup of coffee, but sugar and caffeine are stimulants. I started to notice how much better my body functioned when not so dependent on that morning cup of coffee. I have switched to a better breakfast and a fresh squeezed juice to start my day and haven’t looked back. Make little changes. One cup of coffee, not four. 1 teaspoon of sugar, not 2 tablespoons. No sugar after 6pm. Baby steps.
  7. Slow down. I’ve started to shift my focus to making my health a priority. I have been caught in the world of an over-scheduled parent and wiith four kids, that was very easy to do. It’s much easier said than done, but no one can do it all. Not even Superman or SuperMom. These are the moments you just don’t want to miss.

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Don’t miss out on any sweet moments with your kids! Moments like these won’t last forever. Eventually, you will feel the best you’ve ever felt and be your best each day. You owe it to family and especially, yourself.

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*Meta partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Meta believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Meta’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.