Me (white dress and knee-high socks) and some of my cousin crew in 1985.
I come from a big family and have 23 first cousins.
My parents always made an effort to bring us around them. This wasn’t like my grandparents’ generation where family members stayed in the same town and often lived only streets away from each other. In our case, there had to be an effort.
Most of my childhood summers were spent with my cousins at our grandparents’ house in Eustis. We made roadside lemonade stands, went to the beach at the family timeshare, rode rides together at Disney (a perk of living in Central Florida), and put on plays during get-togethers my aunts and uncles humored us and watched.
I stalked her Instagram account for weeks in preparation for her deposition.
I was hired to represent a local company where the plaintiff, a former TV personality and “Instafamous” social media influencer, was seeking damages for injuries associated with a highly publicized car accident.
The woman seemed perfect. She was in her early 40s but looked ten years younger. She’d post photos of herself in swimsuits and her body was flawless. She had a handsome husband and three beautiful boys and their home looked like something out of MTV Cribs. They went on exotic vacations. This woman was highly educated with a Ph.D. in history. She’d written two books and one was on the New York Times best seller list. She seemed popular- her Instastories featured photos with herself and friends and she seemed to get tons of likes and comments on every post. This lady was also “supermom”- photographing herself sitting along the sidelines of her sons’ soccer games and knitting them scarves in the winter.
I was intimidated at the idea of meeting her in person and then interrogating her. (more…)
This is a guest post presented by Hess & VanLandSchloot Orthodontics.
When your kids are born, the hospital is amazing.
They give you this nice book filled with all the things you’d need to know as a parent. When to take your kid to the first doctor’s appointment. When your kid should go to the dentist the first time. What lullabies to sing. Sleepless nights, and so much more.
And if you believe anything I’ve just written, I have beach front property in Idaho that is perfect for you. Only $5.46! It’s a steal!
Seriously, as a new mom, you often feel clueless. I hope to help fill in the gaps with this post all about children’s dental health. I spoke with the doctors at Hess & VanLandSchoot Orthodontics to get answers to common questions moms have about when to take their child to their first dental visit, their first orthodontic check-up and tips and tricks to keep your kids smiling year-round.
Establishing a dental routine early in life, and sticking to it, is vital for a lifetime of smiles. You probably don’t remember when you first learned how to brush your teeth. That’s because proper hygiene starts when children are infants.
Ages to know
First dental visit by first birthday. The American Dental Association recommends a parent bring their child to the dentist for their first dental checkup by their first birthday.
First orthodontic checkup by age 7. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends their child have their first orthodontic visit by age 7. While treatment may not be necessary at this age, early detection of growth problems can make orthodontic treatment less invasive for your child and even save you money down the road. Visit Hess & VanLandSchoot Orthodontics to schedule a complimentary first visit for your child and find out about the optimal time to begin orthodontic treatment.
A healthy mouth helps children learn how to talk and eat food without problems. It also helps prevent cavities. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the number one chronic disease in early childhood is cavities. Cavities and other oral health problems are completely preventable when you establish a routine early in your child’s life.
Quick Tips for Great Oral Health
Teach your child to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, followed by flossing.
Use an hourglass as a timer. This is fun and helps your child visualize how much time remains.
Experiment with different toothpastes and toothbrushes until you find the perfect combo to make brushing fun!
Find kid friendly products from floss to musical toothbrushes to make brushing fun and less like a chore.
Eat healthy and nutritious foods and limit the intake of sugary carbonated beverages.
There are lots of ways to fix certain bite issues early- especially if you take your child to see an orthodontist by age 7 or 8. Seeing an orthodontist early can mean less extensive orthodontic methods later, and ultimately save some green, too. (And who doesn’t want to save money?)
The orthodontists at Hess & VanLandSchloot Orthodontics offered these common tip-offs that it’s time for a child to have their first orthodontic visit.
9 Signs Your Child Needs to See an Orthodontist.
Your child lost their baby teeth early;
Your child lost their baby teeth late;
Your child sometimes has difficulty chewing or biting into food (not their sibling);
Your child is or was a finger sucker or a thumb sucker;
Some of your child’s teeth seem a bit crowded or misplaced;
Your child’s jaw shifts and makes sounds;
Your child often bites their cheek or the roof of their mouth;
Your child’s teeth meet abnormally or not at all; and
Your child’s teeth are out of proportion to the rest of their face, either too large or too small.
If you answered yes to more than one of the statements above, consider reaching out to an orthodontist for an evaluation. The doctors at Hess & VanLandSchloot Orthodontics offer complimentary consultations in their offices located in Riverview, Lithia, Apollo Beach, and Parrish, Florida.
Seeing an orthodontist a few years early could give your child the early intervention they need to negate the necessity for braces later. Or, at the very least, shorten the timeframe in which they need to wear braces. And what teenager doesn’t want to shorten the time they’ll have to wear braces? (None that I know!)
So, grab your kids, buckle them into your 5-star safety rated car seat, and take them to their first dental visit and their first orthodontic visit early. Because what you can fix now will make tomorrow a lot easier. And less expensive.
I recently went for a walk with a girlfriend who has a son in Kindergarten.
Despite the young age, there was already “drama” in the Kindergarten class among the boys.
This was typical six year-old drama: excluding someone on the playground, not sharing snacks at lunch, and threatening to disinvite a classmate to a birthday party.
My friend’s son is laid back and easily makes friends. However, because the ongoing drama involved his small circle of buddies in his class, it was hard for him to get away from it.
One of the little boys constantly stirred up drama. His name was Mark. Mark was moody and my friend’s son was always worried Mark would get mad at him about something dumb. The other boys walked on eggshells around Mark.
Also involved in this circle of friends was a kid named Owen. Owen was easygoing and fun. Owen and my friend’s son had a lot in common. Owen wasn’t dramatic.
One day, my friend asked her son what the deal was with Mark and why there was so much drama.
Thank you to shipt.com for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.
If you are a busy parent like me, you are constantly looking for ways to make your life easier.
Restaurant delivery services.
Dry cleaning pick up and drop off at your home.
The last thing I want to do after a stressful day at work is schlep my two kids (ages 4 and 5) to a retail store.
I can hear it now.
MOM, she just touched me!
MOM, can we get a cookie from the bakery?
MOM, my toe hurts! Can you find me an extra large mermaid band-aid?
MOM, can I have this toy that I don’t need?
MOM, mom, Mom, MoM, MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
As a child of the 80s, I don’t know how my parents managed without all of today’s modern conveniences.
Luckily, I discovered Shipt, which has completely changed the way I shop for groceries and household products.
In Tampa, Shipt recently added TARGET to its list of grocery and product delivery. Woohoo!
What is Shipt?
Shipt is a membership-based grocery and product marketplace service, enabling the delivery of fresh foods and household essentials. For the low rate of $99 per year, Shipt members receive unlimited grocery deliveries on all orders over $35.
(This fee is well worth it, as I use Shipt at least twice a week.)
How does it work?
Through Shipt’s mobile or desktop app, members may browse a full selection of grocery and product items available at their local grocery store and choose a convenient time window. A Shipt Shopper visits the local store to hand pick and deliver the items to the member.
Shipt uses a community of shoppers to shop and delivery orders. These shoppers set their own flexible schedules. Wanna apply to be a Shipt Shopper? Visit Shipt.com and click “Get Paid to Shop.”
Shipt shoppers go through an application process, interview process, and background check. On average, Shipt Shoppers earn up to $25 per hour.
Note: I’ve been using Shipt for over a year now and have never once had a dud of a shopper. Not once.
My Shipt Shopper extraordinaire, Elizabeth.
My Shipt Shopper, Elizabeth, doing her thang.
Not only does Shipt make my busy life easier, but the company is also a do-gooder. Shipt is committed to each community it serves and will identify opportunities to work with community organizations that are dedicated to addressing hunger relief for families and children.
Now I have milk, hangers, and can clean the kitchen without first having to go to the store.
Cheers to Shipt, Cheers to Target, and Cheers to Simplicity!
This post is sponsored by The Everywhere Agency on behalf of FAGE; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was to do things that make me FEEL GOOD, whether it’s spending time with the right people, being productive at work and at home, and also what I put in my body.
Let’s face it: I’m not in my twenties anymore and can’t just load up on carbs, sugar, and caffeine without my body paying for it later.
Unfortunately, making better choices and eating a balanced diet isn’t easy when you’re a parent on the go.
Thank goodness for the FAGE Total Split Cup – it makes my already-hectic mornings so much more manageable.
FAGE Total Split Cup is an all-natural Greek strained yogurt with delicious toppings available in three fat varieties so you can find just what you’re looking for: FAGE Total, FAGE Total 2% and FAGE Total 0%.
Simply add as much topping as you desire for a snack that’s perfectly balanced.
(While the whole milk fat level offers 9 toppings, my favorite is FAGE Total Split Cup (whole milk) Apricot topping time and time again, as pictured).
Lemme tell you. When you taste the FAGE Total Split Cup, you’ll have a hard time believing this tasty treat is JAM PACKED with protein. Not to mention it doesn’t have high sugar content- only 11 grams.
Not only is this treat nutritious for me, but my very picky kiddos love it, too. I toss it into their lunch boxes as a snack (win for me because there is zero preparation required) and they come home with smiling mouths and satisfied bellies.
If you’re still focusing on YOUR New Year Resolutions, FAGE Total Split Cup won’t derail your diet or good habits.
To find a FAGE Total Split Cup near you, head on over here.
Unfortunately, there is sometimes a poison that comes from the top that makes it less fun.
People who run volunteer organizations, PTA events, and other organizations where the members are donating their time and money take heed:
Volunteers are not slaves.
After college, I joined a bunch of local volunteer and professional organizations because I was crazy I didn’t have kids or a family and, therefore, plenty of time on my hands.
I made rich friendships and wonderful memories. It felt good to give back to the community and learn from civic leaders.
While I certainly didn’t need a pat on the back, it would have been nice for some of the higher-ups at the organizations to once say “thank you” or acknowledge everyone else’s hard work instead of clogging my social media feed with self-indulgent posts about how awesome they are.
For them to remember the volunteers who were gratuitously donating their time and opening their wallets and essentially the backbones of the organization.
I was at a meeting for a volunteer organization last month when I met a woman we’ll call Kristen. She was assigned to my small group and she was new to the area. Kristen was outgoing but loud, and it was obvious she was trying to make friends, which nobody could blame her. We went around the circle and briefly introduced ourselves so Kristen could get acquainted.
I went last.
“I’m Jen. I’m married with two young daughters and I live in Tampa. I work part time as an attorney and part time as a blogger. I joined this organization to meet like-minded women and give back to the community.”
Kristen looked at me and scoffed. Then she snorted. (more…)