What an Eighty Year Old Wished She Knew in Her Thirties


My grandmother turned 83 years old in May. She was born in the bedroom of a small house in Minersville, a lower-income neighborhood of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, highly populated with workers of the then-thriving Bethlehem Steel mill. Despite her own parents’ lack of education, my grandmother and her brother went on to earn college degrees and both of them subsequently became elementary school teachers.

My grandmother served her local community as a teacher for three decades before she retired in 1993. Always passionate about politics and making a positive influence, she was on the local Housing Authority and served as the Johntown’s Deputy Mayor.

Despite all of her successes, my grandmother also faced many hardships. Raised a devout Catholic, my grandmother has been married three times, which was taboo for her generation from a religious and social standpoint (although it is worth noting that she and my step-grandfather have been married four decades- third time’s the charm!) Her first husband, my biological grandfather, left her with year-old twin daughters on Christmas Eve in 1957 when he told her he was heading to the grocery store to purchase cream soda and he’d “be right back.”

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    Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market 2017


    Funny Santa Pictures at the Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market 2017 | The Champagne Supernova

    He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…

    Hark!

    The Junior League of Tampa‘s 14th annual Holiday Gift Market presented by Publix returns in 2017- and it’s better than ever before. (I mean, how do you top something consistently amazing?)

    via GIPHY

    Last year, I provided tips for how to hide all of your Holiday Gift Market loot from your husbands. This year, we are relishing in how to torment treat your children to photos with the Big Man Himself.

    via GIPHY

    Great News…

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      Attention Parents: It’s Okay to Bribe Your Kids


      It's ok to bribe your kids | The Champagne Supernova

      The cutie pie in this picture is my friend’s son, Andrew. He is five years old and in Pre-Kindergarten. My friend told Andrew’s older sister she would buy her a $50 toy if she got all 300 of her sight words correct. Andrew asked if that counted for him as well, so my friend agreed. Andrew worked really, really hard to achieve his goal and got all of his 300 sight words correct. Look how proud he is in this picture. Go, Andrew, Go! And go, mama, go! You gotta do what you gotta do and figure out what works for kids.

      It’s not every day I get inspired by the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.

      For those of you who have never seen it, it’s a reality show that follows privileged fifteen year-old girls and their friends as they obsessively plan their Sweet 16 parties.

      These parties are often over-the-top and are the equivalent of hosting a wedding. Ornate invitations. Hundreds of guests. Famous DJs providing the entertainment. Hoochie mama gaudy dresses. Hairdressers and makeup artists. Behind-the-scenes drama.

      More often than not, watching the show is like watching a train wreck.

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        Smiles: When Should My Child First Visit An Orthodontist?


        Find an orthodontist in Tampa Florida | The Champagne Supernova

        This post is sponsored. All opinions are my own.

        There is perhaps no greater joy for a mother than to watch her baby grow up smiling! All moms should know their options to best care for their child’s happy, beautiful smile.

        Braces are an important rite of passage in a child’s life, giving children the benefit of straight teeth, improved self-confidence, and healthier smiles. But how should moms know when it’s the right time to visit an orthodontist?

        The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child have their first orthodontic visit by age 7, which may surprise you.

        Why age 7- my child’s permanent teeth are not fully grown in?

        Exactly!

        Upon speaking with the orthodontists at Hess & VanLandschoot Orthodontics, I learned that early orthodontic treatment can prevent more serious treatment as a child grows older and can save you and your child time and money down the road.

        Early detection is the best protection!

        Growth problems including crossbites, severe overbites, underbites, crowding, and problems caused by excessive thumb sucking, teeth grinding, and mouth breaking are often apparent at age 7. Intercepting these problems at a young age can prevent more invasive treatment like tooth extractions and jaw surgery, which are often necessary to treat severe orthodontic problems once a child’s permanent teeth are fully grown in.

        Keep in mind that early screening doesn’t mean treatment has to start right away. In fact, most kids don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they are 9-14 years old. However, Hess & VanLandschoot Orthodontics offers complimentary consultations, allowing you to get all the facts and make the best decision for your child at an early age, when it might benefit your child the most.

        October is National Orthodontic Health Month and the perfect time to make that first visit to the orthodontist. For more information about when to see an orthodontist and to schedule a free first visit, click here.

        Cheers!

          Dear People Without Kids: You Don’t Get to Judge Parents. Ever.


          People who don't have children of their own aren't allowed to judge parents | The Champagne Supernova

          Here’s a new rule.

          If you don’t have children and/ or never had to raise children, then absent blatant emotional or physical abuse, you don’t get to judge people who are real life actual parents.

          Like, ever.

          I recently shared an article on my blog’s Facebook page about how people who choose to not have children are not entitled to live in a child-free world. A guy named Joseph commented that “when kids are misbehaving in an intolerant manner, it is almost always shitty parenting.”

          [Exact quote]

          When I replied to his comment simply asking (more…)

            Family Night In: Live a Healthful Life with Earth Fare


            Healthy living at the Earth Fare grocery store | The Champagne Supernova

            This post was proudly sponsored by Earth Fare. All opinions are my own.

            Hear ye, hear ye!

            A healthy and delicious food chain is opening another location in Tampa Bay!

            Founded in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1975, Earth Fare is a specialty organic and natural foods grocery store. Their full-service philosophy incorporates the highest food quality standards in the industry with compelling value, friendly and knowledgeable service, and a superior shopping experience.

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              Souper Easy Mom Hacks with Progresso Organic Soups


              Delicious organic soups from progresso | The Champagne Supernova

              Ring the bells! I have a newly-discovered Mom Hack!

              As a busy mom of two young girls who are always on the go, the term “organic” used to intimidate me.

              Until recently, I thought “organic” was reserved for people who took five meditation classes a day, shuddered at the sight of refined sugar, and had abs like Madonna.

              That philosophy is out the window.

              Progresso has added an organic option to its already-great collection of soups, which makes it super (souper?) easy for me to make healthy choices when I’m on the go.

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                Prank Calling: Joquetta Jackson and the Infamous Sheet Cake


                prank calls | The Champagne Supernova

                Now that the cat is out of the bag about me being immature, I want to share a story about an old and dear friend, Joquetta Jackson.

                Joquetta works hard as the bakery manager at Winn-Dixie, a popular grocery chain in the southeastern United States.

                While she knows how to make things like cookies and pastries, Joquetta’s real “bread and butter” (see what I did there?) is sheet cakes.

                Joquetta’s got a sheet cake to celebrate every occasion.

                Paternity determinations.

                The syndication of Friends.

                Finally removing that pesky hangnail.

                Her creativity knows no limits.

                Only Joquetta Jackson isn’t a real person.

                She’s a fictional character my friends and I created for the purpose of prank calling innocent victims in college (oh God, and law school) when we should have been doing more important things like studying for exams, working out, washing our hair… the usual.

                People were always so confused when we called.

                I’ll begin with my now father-in-law. (I wasn’t married at the time.) It was 2007 and the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

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                  How to Make Your Kids Brush Their Teeth with Tooth in the Booth


                  How to make tooth brushing with kids easier with tooth in the booth | The Champagne SupernovaThis post is proudly sponsored by Tooth in the Booth. However, I love and use this book with my family and all opinions are my own.

                  Getting my kids to brush their teeth has always been a struggle.

                  I’ve had to tackle them to the ground and brush their teeth WWF-style. (Hulk Hogan ain’t got nothing on me!)

                  I’ve lied and said bugs will crawl into their mouths at night to feast on leftover food if their teeth aren’t clean.

                  I’ve told them their teeth will fall out or turn brown if they don’t do a good job brushing.

                  Since I discovered the Tooth in the Booth my morning and bedtime routines have been changed for the better.

                  My kids now WANT to brush their teeth.

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                    Prank Calls: Don’t Hate the Prankster, Hate the Prank


                    Funny stories about making prank phone calls | The Champagne Supernova

                    There are many reasons why I didn’t get into a Top-10 law school and prank calling during my undergrad days is one of them.

                    I mean, seriously, what else did we have to do?

                    In the true spirit of being a freshman and “how college ought to be,” I lived in the dorms during my first year at the University of Florida.

                    (For all you Gators, this was Trusler Hall… right across from Hume. It had a Blimpie Sub shop in the common area and it was walking distance to the Reitz Union… where we would use electronic funds from our Gator 1 cards to buy booze at the Baja Tortilla Grill – sorry, Mom and Dad!)

                    It was 2000 and I was fresh out of high school and equipped with important things like body glitter, butterfly hair clips, an AIM screen name, and was “living on the edge” by downloading music illegally on Napster.

                    In those days, we didn’t have cell phones, social media, or other distractions.

                    Each dorm room was equipped with a land line. For whatever (dumb) reason, the University published a “phone book” that included the telephone numbers of each student who was living in on-campus housing.

                    So if you wanted another student’s phone number and that student lived on campus, all you had to do was look up their name in this phone book and viola! you had it.

                    Our dorm was quite social and I met some of my best friends there, two of which I still see and speak to regularly.

                    In lieu of doing responsible things like studying and doing homework, we would often gather around each others’ rooms in our pajamas, get fat from Pokey Stix, and prank call the shizzz out of other people, courtesy of this phone book.

                    Our pranks were so good that they deserve a regular blog feature. I really wish I could make a living out of prank calling.

                    One prank stands out in particular.

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