I’ve loved to travel since I was a kid. Didn’t matter where I was going, I got giddy just being in an airport. Growing up I spent a lot of time in Florida since I had family here and was not born to live in the cold weather. Every year my dad I visited his time share in Miami. So, I have loved Miami for a long time. There is a relaxed vibe there but not hillbilly or redneck like so many other parts of Florida. It’s a totally modern lifestyle with a fun nightlife and a peaceful daylife.
When we moved to Florida 6 years ago we started exploring the state with our son. We visited Miami several times and it is still one of his favorite places to visit every year.
We always start off the day with breakfast at one of the many beachfront restaurants in Miami Beach. There is no better way to start the day than enjoying some fresh squeezed orange juice while sitting outside and watching the waves gently wash the sand away.
I’m not a beach person but Miami beaches are beautiful. They are clean and not overly crowded. The water is crystal clear and the sand is powdery soft. Whenever we go to Miami we spend a lot of time on the beach. It’s so relaxing. People are very respectful of each other. The kids play in the sand and the adults can be found relaxing on a lounge chair and reading.
We usually go each year when Monster Jam is in town. We have been to Monster Jam at the Sun Life Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins) and the BankAtlantic Center(home of the Florida Panthers who are currently hosting the NJ Devils in the NHL playoffs – GO DEVILS!!!). Both great venues. I like the Sun Life Stadium because for a football stadium it is small and you can get very close to the action. It doesn’t hurt that it is across the street from a HUGE outlet mall that I could spend hours in.
Our favorite Miami spot to visit is the Miami zoo. We always include that in our trips. Bruce loves the colorful birds and the exotic animals.
Miami sunsets are second to none. I believe everyone should enjoy at least one sunset while sitting on a beach with a drink in hand at last once in their life.
We’ve enjoyed so many beautiful sights in Miami. I try to capture as many moments as I can from our trips in pictures. I like to look back at those pictures and remember the fun times, especially now that Bruce is getting older.
I can’t wait to include Fusspot in our trips. She loves to observe the world around her right now and she is so alert. I wonder what is going through her mind when she watches and sees all that is around her. I wonder what her thoughts will include when she sees a flamingo at the zoo or her feet in the crystal blue waters.
Both watching and photographing all the beauty that Miami has to offer makes me grateful for a lot of things. My perfect vision is one of them. Many people don’t have the benefit of seeing colors or the distant sites so clearly. Maintaining your vision is as important as maintaining the rest of your health. Ever wonder how different life would be if you didn’t have healthy eye sight? It amazes me how well those who were born with vision problems can make up for it by enhancing their other senses. I once met a well-known longtime baseball reporter who is blind- Ed Lucas. He can call a game and know exactly where the ball went by the sound it makes when it hits the bat. Amazing! I don’t know if I could do as well if I didn’t have healthy eye sight. I rely on my eyesight too much.
Transitions Lenses and Sears optical are offering free vision screenings and the Ultimate Sightseeing Experience in Miami this weekend at the Great Taste of the Grove Food and Wine Festival. I wish we could be there but Bruce is in a soccer tournament all weekend.
Studies show that nearly 50 percent of vision loss can be prevented with an eye exam. Transitions wants to encourage you to make good eye health a part of your health and wellness routine. Pledge to do this by signing the “Eye” Promise pledge. With each new promise submitted, Transitions will donate a brand new book to mobile literacy initiative, Bess the Book Bus, reinforcing the important
connection between healthy, quality vision and the ability to read and learn.
Transitions is also hosting a great photo contest where you can win a trip to the Galapagos Islands or Hawaii to see the sights. All you have to do is submit a photo of your favorite everyday sites. For more information or to enter, click here.
Like Transitions lenses on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/transitionsslenses
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Transitions lenses blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.
It is not always easy driving with children in the car. It is hard enough to concentrate on the road but without all the distractions but add refereeing arguments, yelling, the occasional flying toy, video games, the ringing cell phone, and a crying baby to the process and it’s amazing we don’t all wind up in a ditch at some point.
Driving as a mom is different than driving as the single person you were before you had kids. You are now not only responsible for your safety, other drivers safety but also the safety of your children.
Esurance wants to keep everyone the road safe. They are gathering mom-inspired driving tips so your family can practice safe and enjoyable driving. Here are mine:
1. Keep the kids busy. I keep a busy box in my car filled with toys, crayons, videos, portable dvd player and other items to keep Bruce and his friends busy. A busy child is a quiet child. Busy hands are not bored enough to throw things.
2. Check your gas tank. Since we moved to Florida I am notorious for waiting till my gas light comes on to fill up again. I don’t like to pump my own gas. However, I never want to get stuck somewhere without gas, especially with children or a hungry baby. Check your gas tank BEFORE you leave the house each time and based on your distance be sure you have enough. This is especially important if you are going through a neighborhood that you aren’t familiar with.
3. Get directions. Maybe this advice would be best served to the dads out there. Since almost everyone has GPS or a phone app to get them where they need to be, men everywhere have no excuse to not ask for directions. Sometimes it is best to check before you go so you know if the GPS is off – that is not unusual for my GPS phone app. Winding up in an unsafe neighborhood is not what you want.
4. Stay off the phone. I don’t necessarily believe talking on the phone while driving is unsafe. However, texting is a definite no-no …even at red lights. Pull over or wait until you are safely at your destination. If you must get someone an urgent message use the speech-to-text app on your phone. It types the message you say and you only have to press send when you can safely do that.
5. Pack food and napkins. It never fails – whenever we get in the car suddenly everyone is starving. There is nothing more annoying than a hungry child complaining every 2 minutes. Keep snacks in the car to avoid those hungry meltdowns. They will also avoid trips through the drive-thru of every fast food place in town. Don’t forget to keep wet wipes and napkins on hand too for the inevitable spills and sticky fingers.
What are your favorite mom-inspired driving tips? Please share them with us.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
With a wealth of easy-to-use online tools as well as 24/7 expert service, Esurance is making car insurance smarter from quote to claim. Use the Esurance Coverage Counselor® to help you figure out the exact coverage limits you need. File a claim (and send pics of the accident) from your mobile phone. Call anytime — and by that we mean anytime — to talk to a friendly expert about discounts.
Recently I participated in a blogging program for Seventh Generation – Preparing Your Home for New Baby’s Arrival.
As part of this program, Seventh Generation is offering my readers free samples of Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Baby Wipes. You can also send a free sample to a friend. Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Baby Wipes are free of alcohol, synthetic cleaners, dyes and fragrances.
The only catch is that you have to sign up for their free Rewards program. Not a lot to ask if you already love Seventh Generation products and plan to buy them anyway. Now you can get rewarded.
The friend you send them to will NOT be required to sign up for the Rewards program.
To request your free samples, click here.
The fine print:
- This offer is available to the first 300 people who register from my blog - HURRY!
- Samples will be sent completely free of charge.
- Participants will be required to sign up for the Seventh Generation Rewards program.
- Complete information is required to receive samples.
- One sample per address.
- You will receive 2 samples: one for you and one for a friend.
- Registrants must have a valid US address to redeem (no PO boxes).
After Baby P is born I’ll be on a mission to drop the extra baby weight and be able to put my own shoes on without breathing heavy and having to twist myself into a pretzel. There’s just one problem – I don’t do diets. And, as you know – I love food. Mostly food that is probably not on anyone’s Healthy Eats list. And old school Italian ladies don’t understand the concept of portion control when they are cooking for you and filling your plate.
So what is a girl to do? Well, I’m hoping Beth Aldrich can help me out with this. Beth will be releasing a book on January 2, 2012 – Real Moms Love to Eat - How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous.
I’m excited to be reviewing this book in January and I’m currently waiting patiently for my pre-release digital copy. Real Moms Love to Eat is broken down in three sections, which include a fun and easy-to-follow 10-part plan; allowing you to make gradual, life-long changes in your approach to food and 21 days of meal suggestions,tips, recipes and lifestyle changes. Beth’s approach to healthy eating is simple and realistic for busy people. You’ll learn a lot about the food you eat and how it impacts your body.
It sounds like it is intended for real people who don’t sit at home next to a food scale all day. I’m also hoping it has some yummy and practical recipes and food choices for those of us who might be a little more picky as well as some healthy alternatives for kids.
If there are any bloggers out there who just can’t wait until January to check out this book, then you might want to sign up for Beth’s Food Affairiate program. All those who write a review will receive a digital copy of the book now and then a final paper copy when they come out on January 3rd, a goodie bag filled with swag from the book tour sponsors AND be entered to win prizes.
About Author Beth Aldrich:
Beth Aldrich is a Certified Health Counselor, Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition Expert, engaging speaker, media personality and author. She delivers health, nutrition and balanced living fundamentals through keynote addresses, presentations, lectures and as a media spokesperson. As a health and nutrition columnist for Diet.com, SocialMoms.com, HotMomsClub.com and RealMomsLovetoEat.com, Beth shares her wisdom, experience and knowledge about health and nutrition topics.
Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Beth received her education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Beth Aldrich – Real Moms Love to Eat blogging program, for a chance to get 3,000 My SocialMoms Rewards points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
I love the Fall and winter in Florida is actually quite comfortable temperature-wise(with the exception of last year’s coldest Florida winter in ages). But the Fall and Winter seasons also bring along 1 very unpleasant season – Cold and Flu Season.
I am lucky that Bruce is typically healthy and rarely ever gets sick. I think this is because I was never a germ-o-phobe mom. I never scrubbed bottles or binkies when they hit the floor, I didn’t require everyone to scrub themselves till their skin fell off when they wanted to hold him, and I don’t like or use hand sanitizer (the chemicals in that stuff are more toxic than the germs). I didn’t put air purifiers all over the house when he was younger and dust could often be misidentified as part of the decor in my home. Bruce has been in a daycare environment since he was 10 weeks old.
I firmly belive that by building up his immune system at an early age, we’ve helped him to resist many viruses and illnesses and help his body react positively to most allergens or germs.
Don’t get me wrong – my house is fairly clean, I find many boy-induced actions pretty gross and I don’t encourage deliberate passing of germs. I do take some precautions as I’m sure most families do and I do think it’s possible to keep your family almost completely cold and flu free.
Some of my tips for keeping cold and flu germs to a minimum:
1. Although I’m a big believer in natural cleaning products, Lysol wipes are always well stocked in my house. I don’t follow children around with them but I do wipe down my counters, door knobs, remotes, bathrooms, faucets and handles with them on a regular basis. Clean, disinfected kitchen surfaces are a requirement in my house.
2. I also occasionally walk around the toy room and spray Lysol. With lots of kids playing with all those toys on a regular basis germs are everywhere. Lysol is a name that I have always trusted and feel safe using. Lysol Spray and Lysol Wipes kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on hard non porous surfaces.
3. I am constantly making Bruce wash his hands- with soap. I always take for granted that the soap aspect of hand washing goes without saying, but anyone with little boys knows that soap is not seen as a necessity on a daily basis.
4. When it comes to sneezing I taught my son to sneeze into his elbow, not his hands, the air or on someone else.
5. Since most illnesses are passed through the eyes and mouth it’s important not to wipe your nose or sneeze on your hands and then touch your eyes without washing them first for at least 20 seconds.
6. Dress according to the weather. Often, we get sick because of a sudden change in temperature. This is all too common in Florida where we’ll get 3 days of much cooler weather and then right back up to 87 degrees. It’s important to dress in layers so your body doesn’t overheat or become chilled.
Hopefully, this Cold and Flu season everyone in my house can stay healthy, including the new baby. If you follow some of these tips your family can stay healthy too.
Lysol is commmitted to keeping all our families healthy this year with this incentive to get your flu shot. Like Lysol® on Facebook , get a flu shot badge and an opportunity to receive a $5 flu shot rebate. Learn more about the flu rebate at www.lysol.com/flufree123.
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.