Are Your Kids Outside Enough? 10 Reasons They Should Be!

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HOORAY FOR OUTDOOR PLAY! I was a pretty active child. In middle school and high school you could find me playing sports year-round. I still have nightmares of field hockey practice on hot August days. For a few weeks we had double header practices – one at the crack of dawn and the other later in the afternoon. I don’t know how I survived! I’ve always loved being active and would spend countless hours riding my bike, playing with neighborhood kids, swimming or and participating in jump rope contests (I was pretty good!) – my childhood in one word could be described as ACTIVE. When my daughter came into the world I wondered what pieces of me and her Dad would live on inside her. Her Dad was pretty active too, so I hoped she would also love getting outside and getting moving. Well…she hasn’t stopped moving since she started walking! Being car-less has it’s pros and cons – but a BIG pro is that it encourages us BOTH to be active and get moving. And it’s no surprise that we’re currently training for her first kids Triathlon in a few weeks. Yes, my 8 year old daughter is participating in a Triathlon! And let me tell you – she is kicking butt during our training sessions!

I want to encourage her to always desire the simple pleasures of playing outdoors – with so many kids sitting inside playing video games – my daughter craves time outside – hiking, at the beach, on the bike path, at the park – and I couldn’t be any happier.

It’s pretty disappointing that so many kids don’t get outdoors, and the following benefits show the endless benefits to living a healthy lifestyle:

Thank You to PaperKarma for these images

Thank You to PaperKarma for these images

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How do you encourage your kids to live an active life?



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Goodbye Laptop and Hello #Intel2in1! #ad

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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I’ve been pretty bummed ever since my Sony Vaio laptop broke earlier this year. My Vaio and I were close and I was devastated when Sony couldn’t fix her and I was without a computer. Even though I work full-time on the computer, I still needed time on a device at home to create and edit blog posts, compile pictures, communicate with friends and my daughter’s teachers – so being without a computer has been pretty difficult. I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy 5 which is amazing – but it doesn’t replace my need for a computer.

Just last week I was lucky enough to receive my very own #Intel2in1 device and I couldn’t be more excited! There has been a lot of buzz over #2in1 devices which are essentially the product of a laptop and tablet. These devices are not only sleek but portable, versatile, and sturdy. With an innovative slip-hinge design you can go from using the #2in1 as a touch screen tablet to ‘laptop’ with the addition of a sleek keyboard. Powered by 4th Gen Intel Core processors and Windows 8.1 with a HD display and over 8 hours of battery life – my new #Intel2in1 is wayyyy more than just a pretty face!

She Has Durable Style: Constructed with precision cut aluminum and carbon fiber, it maximizes strength and minimizes weight with premium materials.

She Has a Resilient Display: The edge-to-edge Corning® Gorilla® glass display resists damage from scratches, drops and bumps.

She is Stronger, Lighter, Cooler: The carbon fiber body is as strong as aluminum, but lighter and cooler to the touch.

Not only do I love the extended battery life (my Vaio only lasted 4.5 hours!) I love that it’s compact enough to throw in my bag without needing an additional bag. It’ll be my perfect on the go accessory this summer!



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Saving for College Is Possible with the MA U.Fund & ‘Grace for President’ Book #Giveaway #DreamsTour2014

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With the end of another school year upon us (we’re counting down the final TWO days of school) it’s been fun to look through the projects, pictures and poems my daughter created over the year in 2nd grade. Along with a special book of poetry and projects learning about her Jamaican and Colombian heritage was a packet asking her what she wanted to be when she grew up. I’ve asked her over the years what she wanted to be when she grows up and she hasn’t been shy about her varying desires.

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“Mommy, I want to be a Police Officer like Daddy and help people. I also want to be a Teacher. Oh and I love music, and Michael Jackson is my favorite artist, and I want to be on the Disney channel and be a singer and dancer. Mommy – why aren’t there any female Presidents? I think I could do that too.”

Do I want my baby girl to grow up? Sometimes…but not really. Am I looking forward to seeing the woman and advocate she will be when she grows up? Absolutely. Listening to her speak of her future gives me butterflies. I’ve always encouraged her to be creative and engage in diverse activities so she has a well-rounded childhood. Did I tell you she’s running a triathlon at MIT next month? I don’t want any opportunity to be out of her reach – and if I’m able I want to provide her with varying experiences to show her all that the world has to offer.

Growing up as the youngest of four children I don’t remember having conversations with my Mother about my future or career. I wasn’t encouraged to think about the future or college, I knew I had greatness within me, but didn’t know how to tap into it. I completed college applications on my own, didn’t receive any monetary support for college, and actually didn’t participate in sports my senior year of high school so I could save for college. I still remember moving into my dorm room 11 years ago with less than $20 in my bank account. My future didn’t seem very bright at that time, and I wish with the support of my Mother we could have planned for my college journey.

My College Graduation

My College Graduation

As I think about my daughter entering 3rd grade in the Fall (yikes!) and eventually graduating high school and moving onto college – it makes me quite nervous! As a single Mom who isn’t yet 30 I’m still building my life, and figuring out where the road will take me – but my daughter’s education is a priority because I don’t want her to have any barriers accessing higher education as I did. But I can’t plan for her future alone, which is why I’m thrilled that the U.Funds Dream Tour and their Dream Tents will be engaging with families around Massachusetts this summer and fall and getting them excited about seeing their dreams come to life and saving for college.

I had the opportunity to stop by the Dreams Tent this past weekend and was so impressed at the valuable information for both kids and families and the interactive displays for kids. The most exciting part for my daughter was being in front of a green screen decked out in rockstar attire. Given that she has big dreams of being a singer and dancer she was able to pose and see her picture printed on top of a concert background. She was able to see her dreams come to life which was great and also brought up how she can pursue her dreams – and we both know that education is key.

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The U.Fund Dreams Tour is just the beginning and a great way to get your kids involved with their future. MEFA’s Ufund is a Massachusetts 529 college-investing plan, tax-advantaged savings plan managed by Fidelity. MEFA is a dynamic local non-profit state authority working to make higher education more accessible and affordable.

My daughter’s education is an investment in herself and her future. I never want her to stop learning or stop growing and I hope through saving for her college education at an early age will truly provide her with the support she needs to dream BIG.

Speaking of dreaming big, one of our favorite books to read is a great book called “Grace for President” by Kelly S. DiPucchio which talks about one determined young girl who is upset there haven’t been any female Presidents and runs a Presidential campaign in her school – and wins! It’s a powerful educational book to read with my daughter that reinforces my desire for her to think and dream BIG and I want to offer this book to one lucky reader – enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Head to Edaville USA for Family Fun this Weekend! #ad

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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With school winding down in a few weeks, sprinklers providing endless fun for kids, and the sun beaming bright I’m happy to say – summer is FINALLY here!! Like many other families once the weather gets nice you’ll find my daughter and I spending long days outdoors at different attractions here in New England. During the warmer months there are tons of great family friendly events in and around the Boston area. This weekend we’ll be heading down to Carver, MA to Edaville USA, a special events park with vintage amusement rides sure to keep your kids busy! This weekend will feature a Day Out with Thomas – a family event centered around the Thomas the Tank Engine and a 20 minute train ride! Oh and did I mention Edaville has FREE parking?! Also helpful: all park rides and attractions included in your admission! Be sure to check out their events calendar to see what different children’s characters will be featured over the summer months!

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As my daughter wraps up 2nd grade she can’t help but remind me she’s turning NINE in three short months and that she’ll be 18 in just ten years (YIKES!). While I encourage her to stay young, I’m also encouraging her to pursue her passions which currently include acting, singing, and of course, dancing. I’ll be excited to stop by the U.Fund Dreams Tour this weekend at Edaville and help show my daughter that the sky truly is the limit. Through a series of small hands-on activities the U.Fund Dreams Tour is helping kids imagine the endless possibilities their futures hold. While your child is picturing themselves as an astronaut, rock star or teacher in front of a green screen you’ll have the opportunity to learn about saving for college and supporting your child’s hopes for the future.

I hope to see you there!



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Celebrating New Beginnings with #TargetWedding & $25 Target GiftCard Giveaway!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Love is in the air these days. The cold and dark of winter is finally fading, flowers are blooming and there is happiness in the air. It’s been exciting to share in the joy of friends who are recently engaged, planning a wedding or welcoming in a new addition to their family. I guess you could say love is in the air for me as well, as I’m beginning a journey with someone I hold near and dear to my heart.

The #TargetWedding Registry is pretty phenomenal and is all about celebrating ‘being yourself together’ and with a variety of items you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your loved ones upcoming nuptials…or you’ll find lots of great finds to add to your own registry!

While a wedding for myself is not on the horizon, I’ve thought a bit about my dream wedding, from what I’d wear, the guest list, and all the fun of celebrating such a special time with the person I’d want to spend the rest of my life laughing with and the Target Wedding registry is full of great items I could see being useful in a marriage.

One of the things I look forward to most when I get married is date night. One on one time with my love to relax and unwind – though with an eight year old date night I’m sure wouldn’t always be possible. But I can improvise and I’ve chosen a couple of products from the Target Wedding Registry that would be perfect for date night indoors.

What’s date night without a little something sweet? With the KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer we’d make my famous and super delicious semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies in a breeze, kicking off our date night in.

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While we wouldn’t have a waiter to deliver us chilled wine, we’d select a couple bottles of our favorite wines and enjoy them in the beautiful Threshold White Wine Glasses as we began to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.

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When the cookies were done we’d cozy for a fun game of Scrabble (by the fire preferably) where’d I’d second guess every word my partner thinks is legit :-)

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Rainy Day Date Night. Yes, I’m looking forward to that!

And because I love Target so much – and love is in the air I’m giving away another Target e-giftcard – this one is for $25 and its super simple to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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