Lifestyle * Travel * Food

May 24, 2018

Basic First Aid Tips for Parents

Children are very prone to accidents and it is important that any sort of injuries are treated properly. When you are a parent, you’ll want to help them get through their pain as soon as possible but how can you do this if you don’t know how to properly perform first aid? If you’d like to know more about how you can help your child with their cuts, burns and sprains, keep reading our basic first aid tips below.

Having the right kit

Before we get started on our tips, you must first understand the importance of a proper first aid kit. Medical first aid kits can be purchased online that provide you with everything you need to help your child with their injury. You’ll need to make sure that you have all of the important first aid items in your kit. This includes things like plasters, bandages, pins, wipes and tweezers. Make sure to keep your first aid kit restocked so that you are covered in an emergency.

Small Cuts and Scrapes

If your child likes to run about outside, it is likely that they fall and cut themselves quite often. This is normal for all children and you need to remember that the bleeding will stop in a few minutes. To stop the bleeding, you should apply pressure for around 5 to 10 minutes. You should then clean out the wound using water and make sure that there is no dirt or stones etc in the wound. After this, you can apply some antibiotic ointment and then cover it with a plaster or bandage. This is fairly simple, but you should always remember to clean out the wound!

Sprains and Strains

A strain happens when a muscle is stretched or torn. If this happens to your child, they’ll likely complain of soreness and there might even be some bruising or swelling for a while. For the more serious injuries, known as sprains, ligaments might have been torn and so it is likely to take a little longer to heal. You should always check carefully the severity of the pain and if you suspect a sprain, you should go to see a doctor to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. To help treat an accident like this at home, you should make sure that your child rests the affected part of their body. You should then add ice to reduce the swelling. After this, you can use a bandage or a splint to compress the area and prevent any sort of swelling from happening. You should always make sure that the strain is elevated so that it is above your child’s heart.

If you follow this advice, you’ll be able to react more quickly to any sort of accidents that might happen when you are at home or out in a park somewhere. Make sure to always have a stocked up first aid kit and you’ll be ready for any sort of medical emergency.

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May 15, 2018

Tips To Make Sure You Don't Leave Your Family With The Burden Of Death Bills

This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. All opinions are my own.

One of the subjects that many of us avoid discussing is death. Talking about what happens if you were to suddenly pass away isn't the most pleasant kitchen table conversation, but it's actually quite necessary. Today we are sharing some simple tips to ensure that you do not leave a financial burden behind for your family to carry.

Have A Will In Place

It is essential to have a formal will put together in the event of your death. It doesn't matter if you don't own a lot of material items or assets. It still helps your loved ones know what to do with the things you leave behind. We have even the littlest things listed in our wills to go to a designated person or charity. Having a will gives your family a road map on how to close out your final wishes. You can purchase a kit from your local office supply kit, or go through a family attorney who offers this service. It costs a couple hundred dollars or so. Make sure you update it once a year since you can easily accumulate more items of money each year.

Keep Your Documents In A Safe Place

We recommend a fireproof safe to keep all insurance papers, social security info, stocks/bonds, photographs, and any proof of assets. Don't forget to give your family members information on where you keep the keys to the safe, or any passwords associated with accessing documents. Keeping all of your important documents in one central location makes things so much easier for your loved ones to find.

Make Sure You Have Enough Life Insurance

Death can happen at any time. We have no guarantee that we will live to be 100. Having ample life insurance eases the financial burden that might be left behind for your children, spouse or loved ones to handle. The bills don't stop coming even after you pass away. Making sure your loved ones have enough money to cover the cost of your funeral expenses, outstanding bills, mortgages, and even college tuition for your children is so important. We have witnessed firsthand the panic and struggle when a loved one dies, and you are left to figure it all out.

Jenny Life Insurance offers a quick and easy way to get affordable coverage with the simplicity of an app. You can download the app for your iPhone or Android device. All you need to get a quote is your birth-date, state you live in, and your gender. A little slider pops up for you to adjust it to a monthly payment you are comfortable with. Check out my previous post for more details.

You're never too young to start planning for the unknown. Be sure to visit Jenny Life online for more information. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
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May 13, 2018

For All the Moms in Your Backyard

Bird moms come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Here are some of the most fascinating behaviors from around the world of mother birds.



  • Most Talented Mom - It takes as many as 12 days for a female Oriole to weave her nest. One Baltimore Oriole was observed spending 40 hours interlacing her basket-like nest. It included over 10,000 stitches and thousands of knots, all done by mom's talented beak.
  • Most Loyal Mom - A pair bond may form between a male and a female Carolina Wren at any time of the year. She will stay with him for life, always foraging and moving around within sight of her mate.
  • Quickest Mom - Black-capped Chickadees have one of the shortest incubation periods of all birds. Their eggs can hatch in as little as 11 days.
  • Trickiest Mom - By singing a "male" song, the female Black-headed Grosbeak can trick her mate into thinking a rival male is nearby, forcing him to stay close to the nest.
  • Supersized Mom - Sharp-shinned Hawk females average over 40% larger than their male counterparts. This size difference is the largest of all of North American birds of prey.
  • Mini-Mom - A mother hummingbird weighs only about eight times more than the eggs she lays.
  • Most Overworked Mom - Mourning Dove moms may raise up to six broods per year, more than any other native North American bird. 
  • Most Laid-back Mom - Unlike most other bird moms, robins do not lay their eggs at sunrise. They lay their eggs several hours later during the mid-morning. Since earthworms are easier to find during early morning, they feed first and then return to the nest to lay their eggs.
  • Most Devoted to Mom - Young Tufted Titmice often remain with their parents throughout their first winter. They have been known stay with mom into the next nesting season and help her to raise the next brood.
  • One Cold & Small Mom - The Rufous Hummingbird nests in Alaska
  • The Last Mom - American Goldfinch moms are one of the last songbirds to nest each year, waiting until mid-to-late summer when thistle seeds and down are readily available.

I just had to share this for all the bird lovers. The information came from Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop.
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May 12, 2018

5 Amazing Benefits of Almonds for Beauty and Weight Loss

The benefits of almonds for skin and weight loss are not only many, but also proven by numerous studies. Enjoying these delicious tree nuts (although they are actually seeds) can help you lose weight, lower blood cholesterol, and give your skin a healthy glow.

Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash

5 Benefits of Almonds Proven by Science

1. Reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure

Heart disease is one of the most common causes of premature death in the world. While eating almonds won’t prevent this tragedy with a 100% guarantee, a study from the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University Birmingham has proven that snacking on a handful of almonds every day reduces this risk.

The reason for this is that these nuts enrich your body with antioxidants, which improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

2. Better weight loss due to appetite suppression

You might be surprised to learn that almonds are one of the best appetite suppressants. When added to a program that contains supplements with the same effect, you will definitely achieve your weight loss goals much faster. While supplements will control one’s appetite by affecting levels of hormones that trigger the feeling of hunger, almonds help dull it by filling up your digestive system with carbs.

Nuts are high in nutrients and dietary fiber, which means they take a while to digest, so they make you feel full longer. That’s why they make great snacks on a diet as almonds can prevent hunger cravings.

3. Better skin due to vitamin E

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient and very potent antioxidant. Various health benefits of almonds mostly come from the fact that they are rich in this particular element. Vitamin E helps lower blood cholesterol, which is one of the main reasons why nuts are good for heart health.

This element is also the main contributor to the positive effect that almonds have on skin. Vitamin E does not only protect it from oxidative damage. It helps keep your skin hydrated and reduces the visible signs of aging.

Note that vitamin E is also essential for hair and nail health. Therefore, this food boosts your natural beauty on every level.

4. Reduced blood sugar spikes

Almonds are rich in a variety of nutrients, including magnesium. A study published in Diabetes Care indicates that magnesium improves insulin sensitivity thus helping manage metabolic disorders, like type 2 diabetes.

Not only does magnesium in almonds help keep your insulin sensitivity at bay. They also reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes due to the fact that they are slow to digest and have a low glycemic index.

5. Enhanced muscle building

Benefits of almonds extend to bodybuilders as well because one cup of these nuts gives you about 30g of proteins. This is the biggest number among all tree nuts and that protein is easy to digest. This makes almonds one of the best muscle-building foods, which is another reason why they are good for weight loss.

Eating foods high in proteins in the morning also helps with appetite control. And due to healthy fats these nuts contain, they are a great source of energy for a workout.

However, don’t forget that all nuts are high in calories, so be sure to limit your intake of them. Eating a handful (about 50g) daily will allow you to enjoy all the health and beauty benefits of almonds.

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May 9, 2018

My Life, My Hair

Most days as I browse Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, I notice a very popular hair trend. It seems like rainbow, unicorn, and cotton candy colors are the big thing for girls and women of all ages. Believe it or not, I'm nearing 45 years of age and have never once dyed my hair. I started getting a few grays in my late teens. Those gray hairs have since multiplied, and are starting to spring up all over.


I really love my natural color and don't ever want to change it. Most people don't really notice the grays unless my hair is pulled back or I mention it. Most of the silver seems to be tucked underneath my black hair. Let me tell you though, when I go into the dressing room in a department store those silver strands stand out under those bright lights. I see every last gray hair and I get a little self-conscious. It's stupid for me to even feel that way. I am middle-aged, and getting older is a part of life. I have always said that I would not dye my hair, but sometimes feel like I'm not quite ready to be a gray-haired woman.


I have been following a few accounts on Instagram of some beautiful women who fully love and embrace their silver locks. I use it as motivation for myself. For now I will continue to just be. My hair color does not define the person I am. Are you going through this by chance? Let me know!

Thanks for stopping by xoxo
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May 4, 2018

Plan Your Summer Vacation At The Caravelle Resort In Myrtle Beach

In the event you are planning a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, I wanted to share the latest updates from Vacation Myrtle Beach.

Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest hotel groups in the Myrtle Beach area, featuring 14 oceanfront properties and nearly 4,000 accommodation units, is proud to reveal the renovation of The Caravelle Resort building accommodations, just in time for the 2018 summer travel season.


The Caravelle’s massive renovation project showcases hundreds of revamped guest rooms to include brand-new contemporary furniture, bedding, kitchens, and guest room bathrooms. This includes the highly-popular and unique Oceanfront Jacuzzi Suites, which each feature a luxurious Jacuzzi tub, two bathrooms, full kitchen, oceanfront balcony and king bed - all of which are newly renovated.


The top-rated Santa Maria Restaurant also features new renovations, welcoming guests for breakfast, lunch and in-season dinner prepared by an award-winning chef and his team.

“We believe all of our guests will be absolutely delighted with these renovations,” says Matt Klugman, director of sales and marketing for Vacation Myrtle Beach.  “The Caravelle Resort has always been a favorite of families and couples among the oceanfront hotels here along the Grand Strand.  The new room upgrades and enhancements will make family vacations and couple getaways an experience that they’ll happily remember for some time to come.”


For families and couples in need of a uniquely memorable vacation, The Caravelle Resort offers an impressive oceanfront location on the famous Golden Mile in Myrtle Beach.  Families and couples will now enjoy spacious and well-appointed main building guest rooms, as well as an impressive range of extraordinary resort features, including plenty of water amenities for all ages.

For more information or to book your summer vacation, visit VacationMyrtleBeach.com or call 855-285-4416.
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May 2, 2018

When Household Plumbing Issues Become More Than You Can Handle

You pride yourself on your DIY ability and you should. There’s no dispute there. The problem is some of the things around the house that go wrong might be more than you can handle – no offense! For example, you wouldn’t attempt to replace your roof, so why do you attempt to replace your toilet? Did you know that one of the most common reasons professional plumbers are called for help is to fix do-it-yourself projects? Yeah, sometimes it’s best to leave the big stuff to the pros.

Things You Can Handle

This isn’t to say you should call a plumber to fix your leaky kitchen sink faucet. You can probably replace the tap yourself. Certain household plumbing repairs are pretty easy. For example, if your toilet runs sporadically day and night, chances are the flapper is leaking. Turn off the water supply to the toilet, flush it, and then lift the lid off the tank. Grab the flapper, dry it, and take it to the hardware store. This is an easy fix once you buy a new one, which shouldn’t cost you more than about $10.

image credit
Something like that, even replacing the toilet’s entire innards is a day-off DIY job. Replacing faucets is also something that is fairly straightforward, and you can probably unclog your toilets and drains if the clog is minor. When facing a plumbing problem, ask yourself one important question: Am I comfortable handling this? If you feel even the slightest hint of reticence, don’t attempt this at home. Assess what you can and cannot handle, and don’t try to be a hero. Be realistic.

Things You Probably Shouldn’t Attempt

More intensive plumbing work like system replacements, fixture replacements, and water damage is best left to the pros. One reason why is additional unseen issues you might not realize are there. Imagine a pipe bursts. You catch the problem quickly and cut the water to the house. Your spouse and you stare at the wet spot on the wall and discuss what to do next. You can rip out the drywall yourself, replace the pipe, and then install new drywall and paint. Sounds like a project, but it’s easy enough.

Here’s the thing, though. What if you don’t see all the water damage and mold growing inside your wall? Are you prepared to deal with the dangers of mold? No, you’re not, nor should you ever want to. For major stuff, such as burst pipes, leaking systems, and dead or dying hot water heaters, it’s best to call for help. Even if you want to upgrade your kitchen and bathroom, don’t save money by installing new appliances and fixtures on your own. Many things can go wrong if you DIY major plumbing projects.


The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should know your limits. If you have previous experience in a plumbing situation, you can probably handle it. If you’ve never replaced a water heater, you shouldn’t attempt it. Assess the dangers associated with the job, as well. For example, a water heater repair or replacement involves electricity, gas, or both. Don’t become a tragic statistic. Take care of the easy stuff and let someone licensed and certified play with electricity and gas.
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May 1, 2018

Tips And Tricks For Horseback Riding

Horse riding is a pleasant activity for many, although it can be tricky until you get used to it. That is why we have decided to share this guest article with a few tips that should make things a lot easier for you, or at least give you some basic guidelines. If you are a beginner when it comes to horseback riding, then this article will definitely prove to be helpful. Let’s get started.

Photo by Sarah Bedu on Unsplash
A bit of theory
If you want to educate yourself about this topic, you should know that horseback riding has existed for thousands of years, and the first time it happened was around 3500 BCE. Even after cars were invented, horse riding continued to exist as a hobby.

There are two horseback riding styles: Western and English. The difference between these two is the fact that they use different equipment. As a consequence of that, the rider has a different posture and it will interact with the horse in a different way.

Western saddles are larger and more comfortable and that is because they were originally used by cowboys for their long rides. This means that they are more stable and the seat is a deep one. On the other hand, English riding comes with a smaller equipment. While it might be less comfortable, it also creates a closer contact between the horse and the rider.

Plan ahead
Once you have decided you are going to try horse riding, you should look for the right stable. You can find out which are the best stables by taking a look at www.stablerating.com. It is important to find a reputable stable, and that is because you want to practice in a safe environment that has trained instructors.

After you find the right place, you should prepare your clothing. You must wear long pants so that you can protect them against the saddle. Close-toed shoes are also a must, otherwise your feet might slip out. Make sure that clothes are simple enough and they won’t cause any accidents. For example, a scarf might get tangled up in your equipment and this is something that you want to avoid.
Photo by Gert Boers on Unsplash
Getting along with your horse
It is important to create a bond between you and your horse. You should try spending some time with it before you begin riding. When you approach it for the first time make sure that you don’t move too fast. You should also try approaching them from one side.

Check your equipment
Before you start riding you should make sure that your equipment is placed into place. Your saddle should be stable enough and you should make sure that it won’t slide while you are riding the horse. The bridle straps should also be tight.

Mounting
Getting on the horse proves to be the biggest challenge for most beginners. For amateurs there are mounting blocks that will help you get on the horse with no problems. They look like a small set of stairs and all you have to do it to climb that block and get on the horse.

We hope these tips will help you if you are considering taking horseback riding lessons in the near future. Have a great week! 
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Apr 24, 2018

Ways To Get Your Home Refreshed For Spring Inside And Out

Today's conversation is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com. All opinions are my own as always.

It's that time of year where many of us take on the huge task of deep cleaning, and organizing our homes and living spaces. Spring cleaning is a big deal in our household, and we all map out what areas we will tackle. This usually includes the common areas, kitchen, closets, bathrooms, and our outdoor living areas and yard. I confess, one of my favorite parts of spring cleaning is getting new products to help make the job a little easier. We got pretty lucky when we ended up getting a spring cleaning themed package from BabbleBoxx to help us refresh our spaces for spring.
The first place we tend to start when it comes to spring cleaning is in our front and back yards. We do everything from pulling weeds, trimming hedges, planting new flowers, adding mulch around the trees and garden beds, cutting the grass, and doing the edges. There is nothing like a manicured yard to start the season of spending more time outdoors.

One of the things many of us don't think of until summer hits is what lurks in the back yard. Mosquitoes pop out of nowhere as soon as the temperatures hit 50 degrees. We are already at that point, and have seen little swarms of them in a few spots in our yard. Yikes! Mosquitoes carry the nasty Zika virus that is extremely harmful, even deadly to humans and pets. We got the opportunity to have technicians from Mosquito Joe come to to evaluate our property, and do a barrier spray. Jack and T.J. explained every step of the way how the spray works, what types of spray they use, and any recommendations to keep the mosquitoes away.
They told me it was necessary to concentrate the spray in areas with the most vegetation. Since we live on a pond, they added some mosquito dunks along the perimeter. I was told they cause absolutely no harm to any fish or wildlife. It was simply an aid in mosquito prevention. It was really nice to see the care they took when they got close to the neighbors' yards as well as their pets.
It has been two weeks since we had our yard sprayed and I'm pleased to report minimal mosquito sightings! They recommend a spray every 3 weeks to maximize the effects. Also, you don't have to worry about the rain washing it away. If you experience any problems with mosquitoes after getting your yard treated, they will come back and re-spray at no charge. They aim to please their customers. One nice thing about Mosquito Joe is you do not have to sign any contracts, so you can cancel or halt service at any time. You are able to make payments online with ease. They also offer a referral program which gives you $25 off towards future sprays. We look forward to continuing the service so we can enjoy the outdoors again.

Once we have the outdoors looking nice and neat, we make our way inside. This is where things get real! We tend to start with the smaller spaces like bathrooms, closets, and cabinets. First thing's first, clean out the clutter! If it isn't being used, it either gets donated or packed away for future use. A handy tool to keep track of what you are packing away for storage is the Duck Pack & Track app-based labeling system.


Now you can pack away items and label it with the location, but there's step that makes it even better. You scan the code on the label through the pack & track app (available for Apple & Android devices) so you can add details of the contents by voice or text. Now if you are looking months from now for something specific like computer cords, you can scan the code to see which box has them. We tend to have like a dozen or more boxes at a time with office items, so now this will make it easier to pinpoint the exact box to look in. The eliminates a lot of wasted time looking around, and is an excellent home storage tool. 


Check out this short video to see how it works:


While we're on the subject of decluttering and packing things away, don't forget to replace your scissors. You know, the dull ones that can't cut butter! We all have those. You probably don't even think of replacing them. It's always nice to have super sharp, heavy-duty scissors to cut through those annoying clam shell packaging that some gadgets come in.

We were happy to test out the world's favorite scissors by Westcott. They have different styles for different tasks. The blades are titanium bonded for extra strength, and can cut heavier materials more efficiently. I love the non-stick ones for gift wrapping and crafting. I can't stand for tape or adhesives to get stuck on scissors. All of the Westcott scissors have a comfortable grip, and fit well on hands of any size.

Now that we have battled the clutter, we move on to deep cleaning the places that don't get that everyday attention. You know, places like the baseboards, ceiling fans, kitchen cabinets, behind your appliances, and the list goes on. The key is to tackle one area at a time. This is where Krud Kutter cleaners come in handy. There is one for the kitchen that works miracles on greasy stove tops, cabinet doors, the sink, countertops, and just about every other surface. Krud Kutter kitchen degreaser is unscented and safe to use around your food prep surfaces. It really gets the job done!

Krud Kutter's heavy duty cleaner is ideal for your baseboards, utility sink, floors, shower walls, and even the hard surfaces on patio furniture. A little goes a long way, so you get a lot of value with either Krud Kutter Cleaner. I even like to spray it directly to my kitchen or bathroom floor for a quick mop job. I love that it kills 99.9% of bacteria and germs while being bleach-free.

Another easy way to refresh your home is by replacing the shower head in your bathroom. You don't have to go out and spend a fortune on one either. Waterpik shower heads are very affordable and is easy to install in minutes. If you know how to screw in a lightbulb, you can install this shower head.
This Waterpik Power Pulse has a sleek, modern look and has 6 spray settings: powerpulse massage, full body, power spray, full body & powerpulse massage, powerspray powerpulse massage, and water saving trickle. I'm hoping to save a little extra on water costs each month using this new shower head. My son says that he feels like he's in a hotel shower each time he uses it. I have tried it out for myself and love it. I will be buying one for my bathroom soon. It's amazing the difference something as simple as replacing a shower head can make. Find out more about Waterpik shower heads here.

So we have covered just about every part of the house except for one last place-- the kitchen sink to be exact. I am one of those crazy dinosaur people who still hand-washes dishes. It's actually quite relaxing most days, and it's where I do the most thinking. I am always down for trying out anything that will make dishwashing more exciting. I geeked out when I found out I was getting a Scrub Daisy Dishwand System. I've had my eye on it for some time. Look at how cute it is!

This adorable gadget comes with a vase and valet to hold your dishwand and scrubbing heads. The vase suctions down to stay secure at your kitchen sink. It comes with the Daisy, the Sunflower, and the Hyacinth. Each scrub head has special petals and surfaces for specific cleaning needs. The Daisy is perfectly 'bloomed' for multitasking. It's great for your everyday dishware, utensils, coffee mugs, and non-stick pans. The Sunflower is designed to have more scouring power and even has a scraper attached for stubborn food particles. The Hyacinth is so great for getting into those tall water bottles, baby bottles, or slim wine glasses. 
All you have to do is add your favorite dish soap into the dishwand. It is easy to switch scrub heads with a simple twist. I love the fact that you can rinse off your scrub heads and store them on the valet to drip dry. This makes for fresher scrubbers with no odor. The handle is very comfortable to work with, too. You've got to experience the Scrub Daisy for yourself. 
We want to thank BabbleBoxx for the wonderful items that have helped to refresh our home for spring. We hope you will give some of these things a try. Which of these products are you interested in trying? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today. 
xo,
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Get Life Insurance Coverage Fast With Jenny Life

This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. All opinions are my own.

I can remember just like it was yesterday when my husband and I applied for life insurance 2 decades ago. It was quite a big ordeal. We had to make an appointment with a life insurance agent and a nurse to visit our home. There was so much involved like filling out tons of paperwork, being interviewed, weighed, having to give blood/urine samples, and more. I can't imagine anyone having time to do all of that these days.

Now there is a great solution, especially for busy moms. Jenny Life Insurance makes getting affordable life insurance fast with the use of a simple app. Boy have times changed! Gone are the days of medical exams, and you can have coverage in a matter of minutes. Knowing that your family is protected in the event something happens to you is priceless.

I can't believe how simple is it to get Jenny Life Insurance. You can download the app for your iPhone or Android device. All you need to get a quote is your birth-date, state you live in, and your gender. A little slider pops up for you to adjust it to a monthly payment you are comfortable with.

Coverage starts at 10k and goes up to 300k. Once you have selected your coverage amount, you are then taken to the screens to complete your application process. It is that simple! If you do not have life insurance and you are a parent, you should not wait. It's so easy to spend $15 on a lunch out with a friend, or $25 on some new cute coffee mugs that you probably don't need anyway. You don't want to leave a hefty financial burden on your kids when you die. Give yourself and your family some peace of mind and get life insurance right away. What are you waiting for? Download the Jenny Life Insurance app today.

 from JennyLife on Vimeo.

“Moms can’t live carefree. Your whole life is built around caring. We’re making it easier for you to care.”  —Chirag, Founder

Be sure to visit Jenny Life online for more information. You can also find them on Facebook & Twitter.
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Apr 18, 2018

Hess Toy Truck Fans: Save The Dates For New Releases

For decades, Hess has created unforgettable family memories and traditions with its Hess Toy Truck each holiday season. Now, as Hess reaches this milestone anniversary, Hess Toy Truck is celebrating by announcing three new toy releases this year, which will have kids, adults and collectors buzzing with excitement.

The 2018 Hess Toy Truck lineup includes:


  • June 1st - The Mini Collection: Brought back by popular demand (as the 2017 mini collection sold out in just two weeks), Hess Toy Truck will release a collection of three previously unreleased miniature toy truck replicas
  • October 1st - A Special Collector's Edition Toy Truck: This special release created for the company's 85th anniversary, will be offered in the most limited quantity ever, in Hess Toy Truck history
  • November 1st - Holiday Hess Toy Truck: Staying true to Hess Toy Truck tradition, the highly anticipated holiday truck will be revealed on November 1st just in time for the holiday season

Each toy truck will be sold exclusively at www.HessToyTruck.com, and for those social media savvy fans, clues for the designs can be found on the Hess Toy Truck Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages - so keep an eye out for more exciting details to come!
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Apr 14, 2018

Great Ideas for Your Child’s Next Birthday Party

Thinking of ideas for your child’s next birthday party isn’t always easy, especially if they aren’t sure what they want either. As your child grows up, they will move away from the usual fun games and cake to more interesting parties like a soft play area. However, when you have used all of those ideas, what else can you try? Here are some ideas that might be able to help you.
Photo by Jennie Brown on Unsplash

Listen to Your Child’s Interests
If you are stuck for ideas, sometimes the best solution is to try talking about their interests. Although you might think you know what they like, this might not be the case. You can then take those interests and use them as a theme for a party. You are also almost certain that their friends are interested in the same things. If you are planning a surprise birthday party, then it might be a good idea to speak to your child’s friends. They may have a greater idea if they will like it or not.

Glow in The Dark Party
A party like this is especially good around Halloween as it makes a great nighttime event. You can have everything glow in the dark from face paints to neon clothing. You can also hire or buy an ultraviolet light to make the neon and white stand out. There is also a great recipe for glow in the dark play dough that the kids will have great fun making.

Indoor Drive-In Movie Theater
For the younger children, this idea will be sure to keep them entertained, especially if you put on their favorite movie. All you need are some cardboard boxes and stick on a paper plate steering wheel and wheels You can then line them up in rows and let them watch their movie in comfort. You can even give them their snacks there as they are unlikely to want to get out.

Adventure Days
There are many adventure days set up around the country; they offer several activities including a high zip wire and climbing frames. If you are looking for something involving more puzzle solving, then there are also places like the Atlanta Escape Room. They offer the opportunity to get trapped in a room that you then have to work your way out of by solving clues. These adventure activities are great for older kids, especially those that love the outdoors.

Pool Party
Pool parties are a great way to have a summer birthday party, but the weather doesn’t have to stop you. If it’s raining outside, then you can still hire your local pool complex for an hour or so and invite all their friends. Some pool complexes have inflatables that they will let you use, as well as flumes or water slides. It is a good idea to ensure that all those attending can swim before you book.

These ideas are just a few of the many you can try if you think a little outside the box. The main part of any party, however, is to have fun.

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Apr 12, 2018

CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVIVOR TO SPEND 12TH BIRTHDAY VOLUNTEERING AT 28 MILE CHARITY HIKE

Eleven-year-old Will Busby first heard of CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike seven years ago, when his father, Jeff, starting raising funds and training for a 28.3-mile trek to be completed in one day. The family was well aware of the need for funding for children’s cancer research, as four-year-old Will had been diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia on in 2011. 

“More funding for research is critical. One in eight children diagnosed with cancer won’t survive, and of those who do, 60% will develop lifelong side effects,” said Brecka Putnam, senior manager of campaign development.  “Only four treatments have been developed specifically for children in the past twenty years. We need more treatments for children to improve patient outcomes.”

The Busbys have been actively involved in research since his diagnosis. Will participated in a CureSearch funded clinical to help further research, and Jeff laced up his boots and raised funds through the Ultimate Hike program. Jeff continued hiking and coaching new hikers, and Will continued fighting cancer for years finally the family celebrated his “no more chemo day” on May 6, 2014.

Although Will is officially done fighting cancer, he’s chosen to spend his 12th birthday volunteering on the hike to show his support for all the kids who are in treatment now. “He now seems to be dealing with the experience in a way that makes it a positive part of his story,” said Jeff Busby.

Volunteering for an Ultimate Hike is no small feat. Jeff will spend the day on the trail, coaching other hikers and setting them up for success. Meanwhile, Will’s day will be spent loading and unloading vans, filling up hikers’ water packs, cleaning, and cheering on hikers. The first volunteers will report for duty before 2:00 a.m., and the last volunteers on the trail could load up as late as 9:00 p.m.

“We’re so excited to have Will spend the day with us. It can be exhausting, and many kids would prefer to spend their birthday hanging out with friends, rather than making sandwiches for 70 people in the middle of the woods. We’re so thankful,” said Putnam. “Having someone that young who beat cancer out there on the trail will give our hikers the motivation they need when the going gets tough.”

In addition to volunteering with CureSearch, Jeff is a chaplain and leader for Will’s trail life troop, he also backpacks with the group once a month, all year round. He is looking forward to introducing Will to a new group of hikers in a few weeks.

To learn more about CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike, visit www.ultimatehike.org/foothills. To make a donation in honor of Will’s birthday, text CURE to 56512.



About CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md., works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. CureSearch focuses on advancing the strongest research out the laboratory and into clinical trials and development, where better, less-toxic treatments can quickly help children.

For more information, visit curesearch.org or follow CureSearch on Twitter @curesearch or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/curesearch.

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Apr 9, 2018

Remington College Columbia Campus offers free salon services for high school students headed to prom

Free Prom Night Makeovers available on select dates in April, May
 
The cost for students to attend high school proms quickly adds up - from tickets, the dress or tuxedo, a trip to the salon, and maybe even a limo.
 
Remington College-Columbia Campus wants to help the families of high schoolers save some money by offering free salon services at its annual Prom Night Makeover event.
 
Students in the Remington College Cosmetology Program will provide high schoolers headed to prom with free haircuts, up-dos, manicures, pedicures and makeup services.

Prom Night Makeover at
Remington College Columbia Campus
 
Event dates: Friday, April 20, 2018
                        Friday, April 27, 2018
                        Friday, May 4, 2018
Salon Hours: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Appointments: Call 803-214-9062
 
All Prom Night Makeover services will take place at the Remington College School of Cosmetology, located at 607 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29210. Appointments are recommended and can be made by calling 803-214-9062.
 
This is the ninth year that Remington College is holding its Prom Night Makeover event, which has provided thousands of high school students across the country with free salon services.
 
Remington College's Cosmetology Diploma program teaches students the art of hair, skin and nail care through traditional classroom instruction and hands-on training in the Remington College School of Cosmetology, which allows students to work with real clients.
 
For more on the Remington College Cosmetology Program, visit remingtoncollege.edu or call 
1-800-496-0571.
 
First come, first serve. Appointments are recommended. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
 
About Remington College:  Non-profit Remington College, headquartered in Lake Mary, FL, operates 16 college campuses throughout the United States offering career focused diploma, bachelor and associate degree programs in a variety of career fields. For more information, please visit  remingtoncollege.edu. For the latest news about Remington College, visit facebook.com/remingtoncollege. Remington College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and other school administered programs. 
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Apr 8, 2018

The Best Plants To Help Keep Mosquitoes Away

It's crazy to think that although we are in the month of April, many parts of the country are getting late snowfall and freezing temperatures. We have experienced all four seasons in recent weeks. What surprises me is although we have only had a handful of days in the lower 80's, we have seen swarms of tiny mosquitoes. Since we spend a lot of time on our back deck, we have to do all we can to keep those pesky buggers away. 

Last year we tried a few plants that were recommended by our local garden center, and we added a few others. Keep in mind that some of these plants can be hard to find at the big chain places, so you may have to go to a local specialty place for them like we did for some. The plants below have worked for us, which says a lot since mosquitoes can find me in a crowd of a thousand people! 

Take a look at these plants that help keep the mosquitoes away

Citronella (also called the mosquito plant)
This plant gives off a citrusy scent that mosquitoes hate. We find this plant is most effective when you pluck a leaf or two off, rub it to release the natural oils, and wipe it on your exposed areas like your legs and arms. This one really does work well! I have yet to get single bite if I have this around. We found it at a local garden center, but you can buy them here as well. 

Marigolds
The great part about these is you can find them in almost any store that sells plants. They are super affordable, come in different colors, and work great in garden beds, pots or hanging baskets.


Rosemary 
This herb is very fragrant so it chases mosquitoes away. I can't stand the scent at all myself. Rosemary is a hardy plants that requires no maintenance aside from watering. They can take full sun as well. 

Other recommended herbs are: basil, peppermint, spearmint, and garlic chives. 


Eucalyptus
This plant emits a fragrance that chases pests away. We bought a couple small pants called silver drop that we planted in pots. They will only get to be a few feet tall, which makes it good for containers. We might consider getting a larger tree to plant in the ground at the bottom of our deck. We use eucalyptus in our home, so it would be great to have a full size tree.

Geranium
This flower plant is a stunner! I have read that they can help repel mosquitoes, so of course I had to buy a plant to put in a pot to admire. I'll report back to let you all now if it worked or not. At least it's pretty, right?


So far we have plenty of potted plants on our back deck and our front door entrance to keep mosquitoes from trying to enter our home. We are hoping the summer heat isn't too hard on them. The only real maintenance these plants need is proper watering, a little plant food, and the correct amount of sun. Too bad plants only work for small areas.

In addition to having potted plants for repelling mosquitoes, we also use Tiki torches, candles, and our new favorite, citronella mosquito repellent sticks. They are long-lasting and work really well. It's nice to be able to grill out, without getting eaten alive. If mosquitoes are bugging you, I suggest trying any of the recommendations in this post.

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