Celebrate Simple Every Day Acts of Care With Whirlpool’s Every day, care Project #EveryDayCare

If you have read my 52 Random Acts of Kindness post you know that we are huge believers in doing something nice for someone every day. It can be something as simple as holding the door for someone or asking how their day is.

That is why I am so excited that Whirlpool and Habitat For Humanity have partnered for an “Every day, Care” program.

You can share personal acts of “Every day, care” by posting them on social media using the hashtags #EveryDayCare

Whirlpool, Indiana University Habitat Build 10.03.2014

Whirlpool first partnered with Habitat for Humanity in 1999. In their 16 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Whirlpool has developed active programs in more than 45 countries with a commitment of more than $90 million. In the United States and Canada, Whirlpool has donated over 168,000 ranges and refrigerators to new Habitat homes, serving more than 85,000 families AND has donated more than 41,000 products to Habitat ReStore retail outlets, helping raise nearly $5.7 million!! The company has engaged thousands of employee volunteers, sponsored nearly 150 homes and donated products to more than 75,000 Habitat families Europe, Middle East and Africa. Whirlpool plans to support the work of Habitat around the world through product donations, financial contribution and/or volunteerism.

Habitat by the Numbers
• 85,000+ families directly impacted around the world
• 8,000+ Whirlpool employees who volunteer with Habitat annually
• $90 million = the value of Whirlpool Corporation’s current commitment

Habitat is continually looking for volunteers to help support their mission. Search for volunteer opportunities at a Habitat for Humanity near you.

ALSO, many local Habitat for Humanity affiliates operate ReStores, which sell reusable and surplus building materials, furniture and appliances to the public. The proceeds fund local Habitat house construction.

The Best Comedies To Cheer You Up After A Bad Day

The Best Comedies To Cheer You Up After A Bad Day

When you’re having a bad day, the last thing you want to do is watch a depressing drama or a dreary documentary. Everyone knows that the best way to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling glum is to watch a great and funny comedy. If you’re having a bad day, then relax and unwind and rent one of these amazingly funny comedic flicks. Here are some of the best comedies to cheer you up after a bad day.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

The sequel to the first “Paul Blart” movie is even funnier than the first one. Instead of taking place in a shopping mall, it takes place in the exciting and gorgeous Las Vegas. In addition to some hilarious moments, the film is full of awesome cameos. If you’ve ever checked the Steve Wynn IMDb, then you know that the mogul makes a great appearance in this flick.

The Hangover

After you watch “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” you might be in the mood for more comedic flicks that take place in Sin City. “The Hangover” is probably the funniest Las Vegas movie of all time. It tells the story of four friends who go to Vegas for a bachelor party with disastrous, but hilarious, results.

The Big Lebowski

This movie is the very definition of a cult classic. The plot is hard to describe and it’s one of those movies that you have to see to really understand what all of the fuss is about. If you like stories about bumbling every men who find themselves in outrageous situations, this is the perfect movie for you.

Office Space

If work woes are the root of your bad day, then this movie will definitely cheer you up. It follows the pursuits of a group of co-workers who are fed up with their boring and negative workplace and decide to take drastic measures. It’s basically non-stop laughs from start to finish.

Shaun Of The Dead

Zombie films definitely don’t have to be dark or scary. This movie is an excellent parody of the zombie genre and shows us what would happen if the average guy found himself in the middle of an undead apocalypse.

Old School

With a star-powered cast, this movie about grown men who start a fraternity in the middle of a mid-life crisis will definitely have you in stitches. It’s full of celebrity cameos and gross-out humor jokes. It will appeal to both young and old audiences.

Zoolander

This story of a self-involved male model who’s being eclipsed by a newcomer is considered a classic for good reason. It is guaranteed to have you laughing uncontrollably from beginning to end and also features some amazing fashion industry cameos.

There’s nothing worse than having a bad day. However, the best way to forget about your worries and relax is by watching a great and light-hearted comedy. Put on any of these flicks and you are sure to forget your troubles and just have two hours of stress-free, relaxed laughter.

Building Girls’ Self Esteem With Mad Life on CafeMom

Mad-Life1
Photo Credit- CafeMom-Mad Life

 

Being a Mom to two teenage girls I know how damaging or uplifting self esteem can be. My girls have a very hard time with their self-esteem. I won’t lie I am not the best role model. I have never had really big self-esteem and I am afraid my own insecurities hasn’t helped much.

I am always looking for ways to help me build up their self-esteem. I was very happy to learn about CafeMom’s Mad Life. Joannie and the round table of ladies talk about how they build up their daughters self-esteem and give advice on ways that you can do the same thing.

I love Logan Levkoff’s advice about instead of talking about the vanity of the outside, make it more about the strength. Like if your daughter has beautiful long legs, talk more about how fast she can run on them or dance. I have actually started trying to implement that when I talk to the girls and I notice that lately they have been looking at their bodies a little more differently. Even though I am not sure how I feel about Dakotah calling her hips “The birthers.”

The main people to thank for Mad Life are Andrew, Joanie, and Chuck. You can read more about them HERE.

But it’s not just about self-esteem. Mad Life talks about parenting, beauty, style, and relationships. I want to share 5 of my favorite videos with you. This gives you just a taste of what Mad Life has to offer.  The videos are not long, which is perfect for us busy Moms!

Morning Skincare

Tailgating Tips with Mad Life

How Can I Boost My Daughter’s Body Image

Back To School Shopping- Can You Save Money?

DIY Portable Speakers

Mad Life has a new episode every Wednesday! You can see new episodes HERE. If you are afraid you won’t remember to come back on Wednesday don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter! The info is on the side bar!

My Advice For Sending Your Kid To College For The First Time

Gothic style college building

As a lot of you know we are looking for colleges for Dakotah. Two years early. So needless to say it has been a whirlwind of activity, swirling thoughts, and a couple of melt downs. Which may or may not have been me. I will never tell.

I have had some time to reflect in the whirlwind and figured out some tips for parents that are sending their kids to college for the first time.

 My Advice For You:

Listen to your child. Even though the school they want to go to may be far away, if it is their first choice school listen to why it is. Talking about it will help you both make an informed decision.

 Help them with applications, scholarship applications, and financial aid. Yes they need responsibility but you have to remember that this is a scary and confusing time for them. They your support now more than ever. Besides before you know they will be gone. Helping them will give you extra time together.

 Make a date night once a month. This is most likely their senior year. They want to live it up and be with their friends but they need to connect with you too. Make a date night with you and them. Give them a chance to talk to you, tell you what it is going on in their life.

 Take time for yourself. Feel those feelings, cry if you need to, and reflect. This is a confusing time for you also. It is not easy to let your babies go. The more time you take to prepare the easier it will be when the time comes. Hopefully.

 Also, attend open houses. They may be expensive, especially if your childs school is halfway across the country. But I honestly think it is good for you to attend. Not only do you get to see the school in person ( I know it is shocking but a lot of colleges use the best pictures for the brochures) but it also gives you a chance to meet other students, look at the dorm, see the cafeteria, and the classrooms. You are sending your child here for four years of their life and most likely at least paying for some of it. Make sure it is a great school and everything the brochure says it is.

 Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Start buying dorm stuff now. When you tour the dorms make a list of things they will need. Start shopping now and get things at good prices. If you wait until the spring everything is marked up 20% and you are paying more than you would have if you purchased it in the fall/winter. My advice is buy a computer after Christmas. That is when they go on sale so big tech companies can move product and bring in new models.

Do not send them with a bulky laptop. Not only is it a pain to carry around campus it could get stolen. If they have to have one buy them one but also get them a netbook. A netbook fits easily in a bag, is lightweight, and makes it easier in the classroom.

Just breathe. Thousands of people do this every year. If you worry about every single thing that could happen while they are away from you it is going to cause unnecessary stress. Breathe, try to relax, and pat yourself on the back that you got them to this point. They are productive members of society and going into the world to make their own way. You did good. Focus on that.

 Sending a child to college is scary, exciting, frustrating, hopeful, and in a way fun. Take everything in and enjoy the moment. Everything is going to be okay!

 

I would like to thank Kaplan for sponsoring this post.

 

Life Is Full Of Twists, Kind Of Like Maleficent’s Horns

Dakotah-13

I have had my share of twists in life and there are ones that I just won’t talk about. Mostly because they are too emotional or maybe they are just too private. One happened about 9 months ago that really changed how I look at things and I realized that sometimes the best laid plans go awry, in the best way possible.

I have talked about my daughter graduating two years early on this blog already. Several times in fact but this time I want to talk about how I am dealing with it now that it is over. Well, the graduating part is over. The other part is just beginning.

Dakotah-Graduated

For those that may be new to the blog I will do a little recap so you will know what I am talking about. If you read this blog regularly you already know this story, so you have my permission to skip down to what we are doing now.

When my daughter was born I had her whole life mapped out in a matter of hours. She would go to school, make lots of friends, join a lot of clubs, go to high school, attend her first dance, and then I would watch her walk across the stage in that cap and gown to get her diploma. I imagined me clapping and smiling saying “That’s my daughter!” as she moved her tassel from one side to the next. I have learned though that life can mess up even the best well laid plans.

What I didn’t expect or even think about was Dakotah being smart, I mean really smart. She whizzed through her classes all through school and then was accepted into the coveted Agriculture program at North Harford. Things were good in 9th grade but in 10th grade Dakotah had a full schedule and a few AP and Honor classes. Around January of this year I got a call from the guidance counselor telling me that they couldn’t do anything more for Dakotah. I was like Uh?

Dakotah was flying through her classes and finishing well before the other students. Of course, she was done and she thought she should be able to do what she wanted because she was finished. However, when she would bring out a book or something to write in the other students would want to also and couldn’t understand why Dakotah was allowed and they weren’t. This started disrupting class and the teachers finally told her she couldn’t do that anymore which of course upset her because what was she supposed to do for a half hour?

The school didn’t know what else to do and they suggested I pull her out and let her finish her credits at the college to get her diploma. I thought this meant a GED and was like “Um, no.” But after much discussion I realized this meant she was actually graduating and getting her diploma. I went into a tailspin after that because diploma meant college. College meant right now. I thought I had two more years. I think my exact thoughts were “This really sucks.” My dream of her walking the stage were over and now it was all about college.

Yes, my hopes and dreams were shattered but in the end I realized that was what they were. MY hopes, MY dreams. They weren’t Dakotah’s. I think as parents we project our hopes and dreams onto our children and in the end that is not very fair.

We went to our first college open house a few weeks ago and I am rooting for Dakotah to get in. It is her first choice school and I think she will blossom and grow there. I let my baby take her own path and in the end I have seen so much joy.

DakotahAndGeorge

The joy of watching her grow into a confident, beautiful young woman that has her whole life ahead of her to do wonderful things. The joy of watching her get excited about her future and about all the things she wants to do. Travel, charity work, and in the end open her own book store.
If I had made her stay on the path I felt she should take I would have missed all of this. The unexpected twist that made me feel the world was over was a twist that ended up being perfect in the end.

Now I just enjoy each step she takes and try to spend as much time with her as I can before she leaves. I make plans still, but now they are plans to spend time together and not plans about her future. Her future is in her own hands and I am pretty confident she has it covered. And if she doesn’t, she knows I will still hold them to get her through.

I found out that Maleficent is coming out on Blu-ray™ on November 4th 2014. I am pretty excited about that. Maleficent is my girls’ favorite “villain” and I am already planning a girls’ night. I am thinking pizza, cupcakes, and the movie. It will be a great way to make one more memory.

For those of you that have been under a rock (no offense meant. I am a hermit and never leave the house. There are things I find out about every day) and have never heard of Maleficent I can tell you it is a great movie.

I love the fact that is shows kids that there are two sides to every story. That maybe, just maybe Maleficent wasn’t meant to be the evil being we see in Sleeping Beauty. That circumstances made her that way. That is so true in real life. We see a grouchy, mean, or self centered person and just automatically think they are bad. However, it could be life that made them that way. We don’t know what another person has been through or is going through. We should try to find out before passing judgment.

I think I need to stop now, I am going off on another subject altogether. Really though, you should pick up a copy of Maleficent and make it a great family night. You never know when a twist may come up and things will change. I have learned that first hand and sometimes, it is the twist that changes how you see everything.

Maleficent

About Maleficent

Explore the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain in this wickedly fun twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty. In an unforgiving mood after a neighboring kingdom threatens her forest, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse on the king’s newborn daughter, the Princess Aurora. But as the child grows, Maleficent finds herself becoming fond of the girl. And as the conflict between the two realms intensifies, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land. Journey beyond the fairy tale in this soaring adventure that is “visually arresting, brilliantly designed” (Andrew Barker, Variety).

Available on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD November 4th 2014. Also, available on Disney Movies Anywhere.

 The tale you know, the story you don’t. Experience this wickedly fun twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale as Disney’s most iconic villain is brought to life like never before. Angelina Jolie IS Maleficent.

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