Monday, June 18, 2018

Pet Pointers: Tips for Creating a Pet Friendly Family Yard for Summer Fun

People aren’t the only ones who love to spend time in the family yard during the summer months. For the family pet, the outdoor living room serves many purposes – providing a place to relax, burn off some energy, play safely with friends (human and furry), and do their “business.”
To help everyone – including your pets – enjoy the family yard this summer, consider these tips from TurfMutt. He’s the spokesdog for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) environmental education program. TurfMutt is a former rescue dog who paws it forward by helping kids and their families learn about the benefits of their family yard for people and pets. As a former street dog himself, TurfMutt also advocates for pet rescue organizations and causes. 

Skip Fake Grass
Artificial turf (a.k.a. fake grass) is never a good idea, especially if you have pets. Plastic grass gets very hot during the summer, is challenging to clean, and is anything but environmentally-friendly. It cannot be recycled, and it requires water to clean and cool it. Be a backyard superhero and select real turfgrass. 
Pick the Right Plants & Grasses 
As for which kind of grass to choose, go for something hardy that will withstand a high volume of traffic. Buffalo and Bermuda grasses can be a good choice, depending on your climate zone. For other plants and shrubs, check the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic garden plants for advice before buying. You’ll want soft, yet sturdy, foliage near walkways – save the delicate decorative flowers for elevated flowerbeds and patio pots.
Choose Natural 
There are many non-toxic ways to prevent pests in your backyard, which is good news for your people and pets! Wind chimes near flower and garden beds can help keep pets and pests away. Scented marigolds repel unwanted insects while attracting spider mites and snails. Lavender smells amazing and repels fleas and moths. The oil in basil plants can keep mosquitoes and flies away.
Consider Pollinators & Other Wildlife 
While you want to keep some pests out, remember that nature starts in your backyard! Your family yard provides habitat and food for birds, butterflies, bees and more. Each of these species help pollinate human food crops and flowering plants, so take them into consideration when you’re selecting your living landscapes.
Create a Doggy Dream Yard
One final tip – there’s no shame in going all out to make your yard a dream for your dog! Remember, your outdoor living room is one of his favorite places to be. Some ideas include adding a splash pool for your pup, creating a sandbox for Fido to unleash his love of digging, or adding a puppy pergola to provide shade for Sadie. Be creative! Your canine will thank you.

About TurfMutt
TurfMutt was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) Research and Education Foundation and has reached more than 68 million children, educators and families since 2009. Through classroom materials developed with Scholastic, TurfMutt teaches students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” TurfMutt is an official USGBC® Education Partner and education resource at the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2017, the TurfMutt animated video series won the coveted Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series. TurfMutt’s personal, home habitat also is featured in the 2017 and the upcoming 2018 Wildlife Habitat Council calendars. More information at www.TurfMutt.com

By Kris Kiser, CEO & President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and TurfMutt (www.TurfMutt.com)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Shopping Savings: BONX Bluetooth Earpiece

When it comes to being a dad, the safety of your children comes first! That's why we'd like to introduce the BONX Grip, a Bluetooth earpiece that allows cellular-network-based group communication with up to 10 users - Anywhere in the world, making the BONX Grip the perfect gadget for the active dad who wants to easily communicate with his family when exploring the outdoors together. 
The BONX Grip is the perfect gadget for the active dad who wants to stay connected with the pack during his Saturday road ride, or while hiking up for a lakeside picnic with his partner and children. Here's why:
  • Hands-Free, Bluetooth earpiece connected to an original smartphone app
  • Switch between personal music and incoming calls with one single touch
  • Water resistant, shock resistant and made to 'grip' the ear, staying put during rigorous outdoor activity
  • Dual microphones with multi-layer wind and noise reduction technology ensure crystal-clear speech, and transmit voice only when a user speaks, preserving battery and minimizing cellular data usage
  • Open-back earphone enhances safety in all environments allowing the user to hear surrounding noise - including the kids
  • MSRP $139,95
This Father's Day weekend BONX is giving out a 10% discount with code 'GOBONXDAD' Feel free to share this offer with your readers.
Follow the link below for a promo video made by mountain bike enthusiast and father Marco Fidalgo and his son Santiago: Video Promotion

Healthy Habits: How Getting Sober Can Make You a Better Mother



Getting sober is a difficult process for anyone, but mothers can find it especially challenging. Parenthood is a stressful, time-consuming part of life, and many mothers turn to alcohol as a means of relieving stress, relaxing, and unwinding. However, if you think that you might have a problem with drinking too much, it's never too late to start thinking about cutting yourself off. Getting sober is good for you for many reasons, but it can also make you a better mother in a lot of ways.

Perhaps one of the most important things about becoming sober for your children is that it models to them that you can have fun without drinking. As your kids get older and ease in to an age where drinking becomes more common, they will have you as an example to show that they don't necessarily need to drink all the time to have a good time with friends. Studies have shown that the relationship that parents have with alcohol can heavily influence the ones that their kids have with alcohol. If you stop drinking altogether or just drink lightly, it will encourage your kids to have a safe and healthy relationship with alcohol in their futures.

A lot of mothers who quit drinking report that they have an easier time doing fun and active things with their kids because they are no longer battling hangovers. Your kids may not be at an age where they fully understand what a hangover is, and even if they do, it does not change the fact that their needs need to be met and you have to be the one to meet them. You will no longer have lazy, groggy mornings and delay doing fun activities with your kids. You will have more energy and a heightened desire go get stuff done when you aren't battling a headache from too much alcohol the night before.

Cutting out or cutting down on drinking also saves lots of money. Alcohol often isn't cheap, especially if you live in a bigger city and like to get your drinks out at a restaurant or bar. Moms can add a lot of extra money to their monthly budget by drinking less, and this can benefit your children in a number of ways. If you are strapped for cash that extra money every month could mean saving up for a family trip, buying new toys or books for your kids, being able to put them in music or art lessons, or even contributing to a college fund. If you have a tendency to drink pretty heavily, you will be shocked by how much extra money is laying around when you quit the habit and get sober.

Drinking less can also mean being more present with your child or children. Many parents use drinking as an escape, and this is fine every once in a while. However, if you decide to get sober, you will likely find that you are able to be more attentive with your children and really be in the moment with them. They will appreciate being the center of your attention and it will help deepen the bond you have with them.

Being sober also sets a good example for your children of healthier ways to cope with the stress and anxiety of life. Kids are very perceptive, and they definitely notice when their parents turn to alcohol right when they get angry or stressed out. You don't want your child emulating this in their own lives as they get older. Showing them healthier ways to relax and enjoy themselves is a more thoughtful and responsible way to parent.

Ultimately, the road to getting sober is rarely an easy one. However, it is an important and rewarding journey to take. With the "wine mom" culture so rampant, it can be hard not to partake a little bit. Drinking is such a common aspect of socializing. This is okay. Mothers should not feel like they can never unwind with the occasional drink. This is perfectly healthy and normal. As you can see, though, sobering up to a certain extent is a great way to become a better mother to your children.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Healthy Habits: 3 Tips for Helping Your Family Eat a Healthy Diet


For moms, keeping your loved ones healthy is a full-time job. Proper nutrition is essential to the outcomes of your family's health. It isn't an easy task to help your kids stick to a well-balanced diet.

When juggling work, school, dance classes, and soccer practices it can seem impossible. However, making even small, simple changes can make a big difference. Here are three tips that can help you and your children stick to a healthy diet:

1. Less Refined Food, More Whole Foods

The easiest way to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables is to make it fun. You can start your garden in your backyard and let your children tend to it. This should peak their interest in wanting to eat the fruits of their labor.

Steer clear of juices and other sugary drinks which are a detriment to your child's health. It affects their mood, energy levels, and behavior in negative ways. If you are finding it difficult to get them to eat whole fruits and vegetables, you can try juicing them and making smoothies. Let them help you pick and choose what vegetables and fruit go in the smoothies to keep them interested. This is also a great way to educate them on nutrition.

2. Incorporate More Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad for a healthy diet including, vegetable, olive, canola, safflower, sesame, sunflower, and corn oils. Use these in place of solid fats and butter as much as possible. It's very likely that your children won't even notice.
Foods such as avocados, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, and yogurt are not only good for them but will keep them fuller longer.

3. Reduce Gluten and Food Additives 

Studies have shown that gluten-free diets can have a positive impact on children with autism and ADD disorder. The keto diet is a type of gluten-free diet that does not allow bread, grains, or bread-based additives.

The keto diet is safe for both adults and children. It's all about eating whole foods, good fats, protein, and limited non-starchy vegetables.  Some of the foods kids can eat on the keto diet are salami, chicken breast, eggs, butter, ground beef, grass-fed meat, hard and soft cheeses, and leafy greens. Interestingly this diet was developed specifically for children.

To get them on board, you can start by shopping at specialty stores that sell keto pancake mix, and low-carb bread. If your family needs help losing weight or stabilizing high blood sugar/insulin, a ketogenic diet is a great way to help.

These 3 simple steps can help your child maintain a healthy weight and consume nutritious foods. Keep fruits and vegetables that don't need to be refrigerated on the counter at all times.

Author Bio

Janine Einhellig is owner and author at KetoDomain.com, a website focused on helping people achieve success on the ketogenic diet through information, meal plans and coaching.  Janine enjoys writing and operating Keto Domain because of the great impacts the ketogenic diet can have on quality of life.


Music Minute: Summer Playlist for Kids

This playlist features some of the newest and best children's songs of the summer - plus bonus tracks from top award-winning children's music stars Lucky Diaz, Justin Roberts and Lisa Loeb.

Included are brand-new songs by:

Best Coast
Jessie Baylin
Kira Willey
Sara Lovell
Gunnar Madsen
Ants Ants Ants 
Splash and Bubbles (songs from the PBS Kids TV show)
and more!


This is a list that'll get a family from here to there with happy and sweet songs

Fun Freetime: Ali B Concert 8/17 Adventureland Amusement Park

Having released multiple songs and music videos like "Strangers In Love" and  “Fear to Be Loved”, Singer/Songwriter Ali B is getting ready to hit the stage at Adventureland Amusement Park (2245 Broad Hollow Road (RT.110) Farmingdale, NY, 11735) on Friday, August 17th !

FOR TICKETS, VISIT:

Ali B grew up in the bustling concrete jungle of New York City, known for its thriving music community and inspiring so many young talents of today. Later moving to Long Island, she used that inspiration - turning it towards her love for music and already thriving vocal ability.

Inspired by some of today’s biggest pop music sensations from Selena Gomez to Ariana Grande, she began performing cover songs and later writing her own original music with the help of Klang from MTV's “Making The Band 4” and Artist / Engineer LaPorte.




To Purchase Ali B’s“Fear To Be Loved” via iTunes, VISIT: https://apple.co/2F4oDJe

To Check Out “Strangers In Love” via iTunes, VISIT: http://apple.co/2xj4KZZ

For More Information on Ali B, VISIT: www.AlisonBerkeMusic.com

Smart Safety: Amusement Park Safety Tips



There are more than 400 amusement parks in the US and an estimated 375 million guests visit these parks annually. With schools letting out for summer break and warm weather making a steady appearance, many people will be gearing up to spend time at their favorite amusement park, but the upside-down rollercoaster is not the only thing to fear while there. Theft, getting separated from your group and heat stroke are just some of the common issues that people can face.

Below are safety tips from Krav Maga Worldwide to know before heading out on amusement park adventures.

·      Fuel up for the big day. Before leaving the house for your favorite park, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious breakfast that will provide sustained energy for your day without weighing you down.

·      Comfort is key. Spending the day at an amusement park requires comfortable shoes and attire. When it comes to clothes and shoes think function over fashion. It’s also a good idea to limit what sort of jewelry you wear and valuables you bring. It’s easy to drop things while on rides or misplace things in crowded areas like restaurants or restrooms. There’s also a chance that having expensive jewelry, bags, etc could make you a target for theft while at the park.

·      Pack the necessities. Make sure to pack sunscreen, a small first aid kit (band-aids, Advil, hand sanitizer, etc.), snacks, water and of course your trusty smartphone not only for pictures, but for emergencies as well. If you are going to be wearing a purse or backpack that is not in your line of vision at all times, think about picking up small luggage locks to secure the zippers so that no one can pickpocket you. Most amusement parks offer a bank of lockers for patrons to use. It’s a good idea to secure valuable items in the lockers if you can.

·      Create a plan. If you are going with a group of people to an amusement park, make sure you all exchange phone numbers so that everyone has the ability to contact each other in case you get split up or the group wants to separate. Once you arrive at the park agree on an area and time to meet at the end of the day in case phones die.

·      Take a break. With all the rides, sounds and sights it’s hard to want to take a break from all the action. But it can be key to preventing heat stroke, dehydration and other common summer heat-related issues. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, refuel with a snack and reapply sunscreen as needed.

For more information check out www.kravmaga.com see the Facebook page (Krav Maga Worldwide), follow on Instagram @krav_maga_worldwide or call 800.572.8624.

Thrifty Thinking: 5 Tips For Parents To Help Their Kids Get Started With Retirement Planning

It’s a whole new world for recent college graduates entering the workforce. Their priorities have changed; now bills, rent, and student loans lead their monthly list.  
Retirement planning ranks low as a priority for many young people in the early stages of their careers. About two-thirds of Millennials have nothing saved for retirement, according to a report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, and financial specialists say waiting to save could end up significantly delaying their retirement.
This is when parents can step in and advise their young adult kids on how and why to start a retirement plan now – before too many years roll by.  
“Many people early in their work life figure retirement isn’t worth thinking about because it’s so far down the road, and they’ve got other obligations,” says Mark Henry, an estate planner, investment advisor and founder/CEO of Alloy Wealth Management (www.alloywealth.com). “But getting a late start is a big mistake. First of all, they’re missing out on valuable years of compounding returns.
“Mom and dad are near or in retirement now and know the importance of saving as much as you can as soon as you can, especially in today’s world. They can be huge assets of knowledge and wisdom for their grown children right now.
Henry offers five tips that parents can pass on to their young-adult children to help them start planning for retirement:
  • Don’t wait. Explain to them the importance of beginning retirement savings just as that new job starts. “While they reason that their salary is low as they start out and they have bills, they need to make saving a disciplined habit, starting with just a little,” Henry says. “It’s not going to be easy to start saving later; you make more money, but then you’ve got more expenses. So start the important life habit now, and it will be easier then.”
  • Learn the basics. Retirement planning can be a boring topic to some young people, but Henry says tying its importance to a new job that gives them a big opportunity to get ahead financially can instill pride in learning some of the retirement basics. “Young workers should at least understand the purpose of target-date funds,” Henry says. “Many plans offer these funds, which automatically adjust how a person’s money is invested based on their age and how close they are to retirement.”
  • Capitalize on the 401(k). Their parents’ generation profited from this. “Throw in the fact that pensions are gone for the most part – and their parents’ generation felt the brunt of this fall-off – and the kids should pay heed to a great way to save,” Henry says. “And the percentage a company matches the 401(k) is an important consideration.”
  • Increase contributions over time. Financial advisors generally recommend that you save between 10 percent and 15 percent of your pay for retirement. That’s usually too high for someone in their 20s, but Henry says, “You can work toward that goal by increasing your contribution by one or two percentage points every time you get a raise.”
  • Stick to an honest budget. Help them learn to budget money with three simple categories: give, save and spend,” Henry says. “With this foundation, they’ll learn how rewarding it is to set a savings goal and regularly put aside money to reach it, which is the basis for successful retirement investing.”
“Parents today know the younger you are when you begin retirement investing, the more money you can have when it’s time to retire,” Henry says. “They need to emphasize that to their kids, and they can teach them by starting with simple concepts and building on them over time.” 
About Mark Henry
Mark Henry is a certified estate planner and founder/CEO of Alloy Wealth Management (www.alloywealth.com). Known as “Charlotte’s Premier Wealth Coach” as a radio host on WBT News Talk 1110 AM/99.3 FM, Henry has more than 30 years of experience in business and finance. He is also an investment advisor representative.  

Enriching Education: Summer Learning at Alcatraz East (Pigeon Forge)

Some people call it summer brain drain, others call it the summer learning loss. No matter what you call it, experts tend to agree that most kids tend to lose some of what they have learned over summer break. In fact, the Brookings Institution reports that a child loses around a month’s worth of school year learning over the course of the summer. When school starts back, the backslide may become a challenge for some kids because their classes haven’t accounted for the loss in learning. The good news is there are things parents can do to help their kids avoid the summer brain drain!

“Keeping kids actively learning over the summer months is important so that their minds stays sharp and they remain in learning mode,” says Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “We get many parents who bring their kids into the museum as a way to sneak in some learning in a fun environment during vacation.”

Here are some ways that Alcatraz East helps keep kids learning all summer long:
  • Safety – Being at home over the summer, kids often have more unsupervised time on their hands. The safety stops in the museum are sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and help kids learn about Internet safety, cyberbullying, and interacting with strangers on the phone or at home.
  • History – While it may not seem like history, kids and teenagers have little or no memory of the events of 9/11. The 9/11 Gallery at the museum gives parents the opportunity to share their first-hand accounts of this historic and life-changing event. Adults and children alike have been sharing their memories on the museum’s 9/11 remembrance wall, and you can, too.
  • Science – Did you know that the fingerprints of children are chemically different than those of adults which causes them to disappear faster? Kids can explore the world of forensic science and scan their fingerprint to see if they are a loop, arch, or whorl. 
  • Careers in Service – The Law Enforcement Gallery covers the different jobs in law enforcement and the tools used to keep our communities safe. Kids can learn about what it takes to join the force and try their hand at driving a police car driving simulator. Displays also include Neighborhood Watch and the origins of 911 call centers.
  • Fun – Don’t forget just straight up fun is important too! Kids and adults alike love The Heist laser maze, where you see who in your family is best able to slip past a security system.  
  • Additional learning - Once you visit the museum, take note of the things your child takes an interest in. Then stop off at the local library and find books and movies on those topics. This will help them continue the learning once they get home, by giving them a chance to explore the topics more. You can also give them projects to do based on the things they have chosen to learn more about, that include writing, reading, art, and creating crafts and models. If they’re in the Boy or Girl Scouts, check out the Alcatraz East website for when forensic workshops for badges are offered.

“Kids often thrive when they are exposed to new experiences, which creates great learning opportunities,” added Vaccarello. “This summer, be sure to expose your kids to new things. Bring them into the museum, giving them a chance to have fun as they continue learning, and avoid the summer learning setback.”

At the Alcatraz East Crime Museum, children can learn about pirates, legends of the old west, famous cold cases, what a police lineup is like, how to solve crimes, and what it takes to be a police officer.  

The Alcatraz East Crime Museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. They are located near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. The museum offers a wide array of crime information, including notorious crimes and criminals, historic artifacts, interactive exhibits, crime scene investigation, crime detection and fighting, and information on how help avoid being a victim of crime. There are also many activities that are kid friendly, such as learning to tie knots and how to crack a safe. Items currently on display include the O.J. Simpson white Bronco from the infamous police chase, and outlaw Jesse James’ holster.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, log online: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East
Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages - so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

Shopping Savings: Vacation Myrtle Beach Summer Deals


Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest hotel groups in the Myrtle Beach area, featuring 14 oceanfront properties and nearly 4,000 accommodation units, launches its sunny summer savings promotion where families will save up to 40% off normal rates, plus receive two free waterpark tickets, for their summer Myrtle Beach vacations!

“Take advantage of amazing deals and experience the best of the beach life in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  You’ll fall in love with a beach getaway filled with sun, fun, and amazing adventures, right here on the coastal shore of Myrtle Beach,” stated Matt Klugman, director of sales & marketing for Vacation Myrtle Beach.  “With our Exclusive Summer Fun sale, you’ll be able to take advantage of an enjoyable and affordable vacation getaway at all of our Vacation Myrtle Beach oceanfront properties.”

Here are the Exclusive Summer Fun Savings details:

  • The Exclusive Summer Fun offer applies for stays booked in advance for travel through September 2, 2018 
  • Reservations booked under this special will receive two waterpark tickets.
  • The Exclusive Summer Fun Savings also offers the following discounts at most resorts, where applicable:
    • $50 food credit and $100 game card OR
    • $50 food credit OR
    • $50 Instant Rebate

The 14 Vacation Myrtle Beach properties offering the Exclusive Summer Fun discount sale include:
·      Beach Colony Resort – BeachColony.com
·      Beach Cove Resort – BeachCove.com
·      Captain’s Quarters Resort – CaptainsQuarters.com
·      The Caravelle Resort – TheCaravelle.com
·      Carolina Winds Resort – CarolinaWinds.com
·      Crown Reef Beach Resort and Waterpark – CrownReef.com
·      Forest Dunes Resort – ForestDunes.com
·      hotel BLUE – hotelBLUEmb.com
·      Landmark Resort – LandmarkResort.com
·      Ocean Creek Resort – OceanCreek.com
·      Palace Resort – PalaceResort.com
·      Palms Resort – PalmsResort.com
·      Sea Watch Resort – SeaWatchResort.com
·      South Wind on the Ocean – TheSouthWind.com

With pristine beaches, nearly 100 championship golf courses, an array of amazing high-energy shows and entertainment, thrilling attractions and activities, delectable culinary options at over 1,800 restaurants, and so much more… why wait a moment longer?  Plan your summer vacation and choose from 14 oceanfront properties offered by Vacation Myrtle Beach.  
For more information, visit VacationMyrtleBeach.com or call 855-285-4416.

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About VacationMyrtleBeach.com Resorts
VacationMyrtleBeach.com is the official vacation site of Myrtle Beach, S.C., offering the guaranteed lowest rate on nearly 4,000 accommodations units, ranging from studios and efficiencies to one-bedroom suites and two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom condos. VacationMyrtleBeach.com resorts also offer a wide range of award-winning properties and Myrtle Beach's best on-site amenities including pools, water parks, lazy rivers, whirlpools, restaurants, oceanfront pool bars, bowling center, tennis center, racquetball courts, fitness rooms, miniature golf course and even South Carolina’s first swim-up pool bar. Ask about our special rates for accommodations and meeting space for retreats, meetings, and conferences.