Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Heisman Sports Safety

Baseball is often referred to as “America’s favorite past time,” but many believe that football is
America’s game. The Super Bowl is the biggest sports event of the year, and college football
constantly dominates headlines in the fall. However, since football is such a demanding and
physical sport, injuries can be common and sometimes serious enough to lead to a trip to the
emergency room.

How do you protect your kids from injury and accidents with all of their sports and activities?  We've had a few minor crashes and hits over the years.  I am relentless when it comes to helmet safety, but I don't confine my kids with safety over their natural exploration tendencies.
When it came to football sign ups this year, my son opted not to play.  He has taken a few really big hits and weighed his own risks.  He said he didn't want to take a big hit to the head.  I completely respect his decision.  To help your children learn how to keep things as safe as possible on the football field, follow these tips:

1) Football = lots of gear!
Some equipment may look “optional,” but it is important to wear all necessary pads and safety
gear each time you play. If you show up for a practice or game without it, alert your coach

2) Follow the rules
While physical prowess is central to football, you must obey the rules. In the heat of the moment
it’s easy to forget, but there is a reason why things like tripping, clipping, blocking below the
knees and helmet-to-helmet contact are illegal in football: they can be very dangerous to both
you and your opponents.
3) Listen to your body
If at any point you feel pain or discomfort while playing, notify your coach and get out of the
game. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face,
pushing through injuries increases the severity and keeps you out of action longer.

4) Take the doctor’s orders
After experiencing a sports injury, the first question a player often asks is, "When can I play
again?" The answer depends on the injury. Always listen to your doctor. Even if you can't return
right away, a doctor or physical therapist might have suggestions and advice on what you can
do to stay fit and rehab the injury. It is important to always check with a doctor before attempting
any activity following an injury.
5) Make sure you’re covered
Accidents happen. When unexpected injuries happen on the football field, make sure you’re
prepared with supplemental insurance to help cover out-of-pocket expenses. According to
the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of U.S. workers could not afford the costs
associated with a serious illness or injury. That’s why voluntary insurance plans are so
important. In the event of a serious injury, they help provide peace of mind and cash benefits to

help you get back in the game fast.
Is your mountain biking concussion covered?!
Who doesn't love the Aflac duck?  Are you the ultimate college football fan? If so, this #AflacSweeps is for you! Three lucky fans will win a trip for two, a pair of tickets to one of three college football games in November, a chance to meet Desmond Howard and more. Enter once per 24 hours on Facebook; for bonus entries, share on Twitter.  Enter today and then spread the word to let your friends know it’s #GameOn!

Each prize package includes:
• Two tickets to the biggest college football game of the weekend.
• Meet & greet with Desmond Howard.
• Round trip airfare.
• Hotel accommodations.
• Ground transportation to and from events.
• $500 prepaid debit card for food and other expenses.

CONSUMER NOTICE: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Open to legal permanent residents of 50 U.S. states and DC, 21 or older, who have Internet access and valid email address prior to 08/28/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, click here: https://www.facebook.com/aflacduck/app_143103275748075. This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. For a winner's list (after 11/10/14), visit the Ultimate College Football Experience tab of this page or mail request to Aflac "Ultimate College Football Experience" (Specify Winner List), Media Relations, 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31999. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Restyling for Fall

With Halloween approaching, we thought we'd restyle the bookcase at the landing of the stairs. This bookcase from Sauder is the perfect piece of furniture for easy accessory swapping. I still love the bookcase as much as I did the day I put it together. Here was the spring/summer look:

The cubicles swapped out with Halloween decor:

To easily transition the bookcase after Halloween, we'll keep the more neutral pumpkins and swap picture frames with fall photos. The bookcase is in the Barrister line. Right now I'm also really liking the the Cannery Bridge storage wall.

I added a second piece of furniture from Sauder from the Edge Water collection:

This is a tricky little corner in my living room created by the unusual shape of my sectional. I used to have a small leather folding seat placed in the corner to hold a blanket for the couch, but I relocated that piece when I moved some other furniture around and needed it as a desk seat. The shape of the space makes it tricky for a standard sized end table, but then I found this smaller end table from Sauder.

Flat-box furniture can feel intimidating to some people, but I find it to be rather empowering...like, "yeah, I built it". Here all of the pieces dumped out from the well-packaged shipping box:

Everything comes out a little dusty, so I like to vacuum it all off before assembly. After vacuuming, I lay out all of the pieces in an orderly fashion and get busy.

Elmer's glue scares me a little when it comes to building furniture, but its use in this table is pretty inconsequential- just a little more security, not for any stability. Here I am more than half-way through the assembly:

Sides go up, top goes on, feet attached. Done in less than 25 minutes...all by myself!

We rarely sit on this side of the couch, but with the lamp there now and table to set a glass of water, this is a new reading spot.

Because of the table size, it is versatile to use in other areas of the house. It's even the perfect size to play up the depth at the front door:

To see more ways to use these versatile furniture pieces and other accessory ideas, visit my Home Pinterest Board.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Frostys for Families!

Did you know that there are more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption?  Foster adoption is something I have thought about for the future- what bigger gift of ourselves could we possibly give than to open our hearts, homes and family to a very deserving child?

I have two cousins who have opened their hearts, homes and family to adoption and I'd love to share their stories:
"Four and a half years ago [husband] and I were a mini family having been married for 8 years and enjoying the PNW—engorged with our work and spending time with our dogs and sampling the phenomenal restaurants in our little city. We laid our plans to perfectly time building our family around my residency research fellowship (aka the “procreative pause” of surgical training). Months became years and pregnancy had other plans. We followed our hearts and with the support of some amazing friends and family—we started the process for infant domestic adoption.
Four and a half years ago our daughter was born to an amazing woman who chose us to parent her child. No words can describe the adoration and respect we have for our daughter’s birthmother. Seven months later- [daughter] became a big sister when her brother was born to us.
People ask us—“Did you plan it like that?!” We laugh and think to ourselves--- in our wildest dreams we never could have imagined being so blessed."
My other cousin shared with a friend just starting the adoption process: "I am in awe… More than words can express… Of the whole adoption process. It's like this amazing, very elite club that few people get to experience, because it takes very strong women, strong couples, and strong families to enter into the joy, trust & love." 

The three of us messaged back and forth last night and I truly feel honored to get to share a small part of the their experience with you. I picked up this gem from Tara: "I can say to the child who was adopted: You are wanted. You are loved. I chose you. Out of all the children in the world, I chose you."
"Worthy is the word that stands out most to me. I want all children to know how worthy they are. And for parents and birth parents to know the same. You are worthy of creating, carrying and birthing this child. You matter. Your role matters. Your child matters.
You are worthy of raising this child. You matter. Your commitment matters.
And you, precious child. You matter most. You are worthy of all things. You are worthy of being cherished. You are worthy of not just knowing, but feeling that you are loved. You are worthy of blessing others with your talents and gifts.
We are all worthy--every parent, regardless of circumstance, and every child, regardless of circumstance. Sometimes we lose sight of that, and we need to be reminded."
She also shared her letter from the judge finalizing her adoption: "Dear Mr. and Mrs. D:
It was my privilege and honor to preside over the adoption of your daughter. Adoptions are without question the most remarkable of all judicial proceedings as they highlight the generosity of spirit of the adopting families. New families are formed with legal bonds to cement the familial bond between adoptive parents and child, bonds that have been developed and nurtured long before the parties step into the courtroom.
Every child in our society deserves to grow up in a family that is loving, supportive and attending to a child's needs. All children deserve to have a sense of belonging, and adoptive parents deserve recognition for making the lifelong commitment of providing a loving and supportive home for these children. By adopting [daughter], you serve as an inspiration to those of us who work in the court system. You make us grateful for the small role that we play in creating and fostering your relationship."
Here are both girls, arm-in-arm, placed in the arms of loving supportive nurturing families:
In 1990, Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s®, accepted President George H.W. Bush’s invitation to be the spokesperson for a national adoption awareness campaign. Just two years later, Dave established The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® as a non-profit public charity with one primary goal: to help every child in foster care find a loving, permanent family. Thanks to Wendy’s® consumers and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®, 4,000+ children have found adoptive families.

How can you help support adoption?  It's as easy as pulling up to a Wendy's Drive Thru.  Purchase a Wendy’s® Halloween Coupon Book for $1 at participating Wendy’s to support foster care adoption.
That's right.  Share a Frosty with your family, pick up a few Halloween Coupon Books to hand out for Halloween and help make another family become whole!  Heck, go ahead and order handful of the Halloween Coupon Books.
Speaking of handful...I like my Frosty topped with a handful of M&Ms.
    Visit your local Wendy’s® to purchase a Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book* for $1, which benefits the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!
    *Coupon book may contain coupons for 5 or 10 free Jr. Frosty™ treats. Prices and participation may vary. Ninety cents to every $1 coupon booklet sold between 9/15/14 and 10/31/14 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons valid from 11/1/14 through 2/1/15. ©2014 Oldemark LLC
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tulip Glow-in-the-Dark & Black Light Fabric Paints

This is a compensated post as part of a campaign with Blueprint Social andTulip Glow in the Dark Halloween. All opinions are my own.
These Tulip Glow-in-the-Dark and Black Light Fabric Paints couldn't have shown up at a more perfect time.  A local yoga festival hosted a Black Light Yoga class Saturday night called:  Dark Side of the Moon.  Time to GLOW with the FLOW!
Here are all of the fun paints lined up and ready to decorate a plain black pair of yoga pants.  I wasn't certain I wanted to spare a pair of pants for the yoga glowing cause, so I decided I'd create a design that I'd want to wear beyond the black lights.
Starting with two different sized plates as a template for the half circle, I followed the arch of the plate with black light dots.  The blue dots show the larger plate and the pink dots followed the arch of the smaller plate.  I found a smaller tupperware lid for the yellow dots and filled the rest of the design in with zig-zags, triangles and more dots.  The fabric paints easily flow from the bottles with sharp enough points to make detailed designs:
I woke up at 8am, had the pants made by 8:15am to go out the door for the first of 5 classes for the day starting at 8:30am.  By 8pm, we were heading out the door for the last yoga practice of the day and the best one of the festival.  Here are the pants in the light:
 Under the black light:
What made this class even more fun was the little guy lined up next to my yoga mat, my son.  He thought it was one of the best nights ever and can't wait to decorate his own Halloween apparel.
A black light yoga flow makes it difficult to capture the impact of the yoga pants, but you can see how the fabric paint really pops.  I had a friend wear them and all of my yoga friends thought they were amazing.  The glow in the dark is amplified by the black light and still shines when the black lights turn off.
This is a fun, fun, FUN product and I am soooo looking forward to decorating pumpkins and other glow-in-the-dark attire for Halloween with the paints.  For more Glow-in-the-Dark and Black Light project ideas, follow Ilovetocreate on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.