DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and Amwell. All opinions are my own.
When your child has been at home for the whole summer, sometimes their immune systems can take quite a hit when it’s time to return back to school. So many kids, teachers, visitors…so many germs. If your child has picked up a bug, you don’t have to leave home and sit in a pediatrician’s office all afternoon! Get your child checked out through Amwell, the app where you can have a phone or video visit with a real health care provider within minutes!
I downloaded the app on my phone (it is available for both Android and iOS) and was looking at available doctors within a few seconds. On this particular day, they were busy! I did have quite a wait but it was OK; I folded a small mountain of laundry while we were waiting.
We finally connected with Dr. Grandstaff, a very amiable man from Massachusetts. I explained to him how my 7 year old son had been battling a yucky cough for the past three weeks. He asked us some questions, we performed a couple of tests, and he told me his diagnosis and what we could do for him. He was prescribed a medication and that was that! We were done with our visit in less than ten minutes. I’m extremely glad we didn’t have to leave the house on this particular day, because our area is being threatened by flash flooding. Perfect time to use an Amwell visit!
After your visit you will receive a transcript and your doctor’s notes on your case. This is very handy for medical records or if you have any questions later.
There are so many reasons to use Amwell for your family!
Lower cost. At most, your visit with am Amwell provider will cost $49, and in many cases it can be covered by your medical insurance. This is ideal for those on a budget or without insurance.
Accessibility. You can reach a provider after hours, on weekends and in the middle of the night (24/7/365)…and we know that is almost always when kids start coming down with something.
Convenience. You don’t need to schedule an appointment nor do you need to wait to be seen. The doctor can be seen from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Quick prescriptions. If you have a good idea of what’s wrong and what your doctor will be prescribing (ie, your kid has an ear infection and you need antibiotics), it’s very quick and easier than having to go sit in an office and wait.
Peace of mind. Rather than self-diagnosing or visiting a social forum for medical advice, users can obtain second opinions directly from board certified, licensed doctors.
Doctors are ready to help with issues such as:
- Sinus infection
- Sore throat
- Urinary tract infection
- Sprains and strains
- Respiratory infection
- Weight concerns
- Smoking cessation
You have access to mental health providers and nutritionists as well as medical providers. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that Amwell is positioning itself to be “the Amazon of health care” .
Ready to see a provider? You can have your first Amwell visit and pay only $1 with code HEALTHY35!
by Hannah Gersen
As the high school football coach in his small, rural Maryland town, Dean is a hero who reorganized the athletic program and brought the state championship to the community. When he married Nicole, the beloved town sweetheart, he seemed to have it all—until his troubled wife committed suicide. Now, everything Dean thought he knew is thrown off kilter as Nicole’s death forces him to re-evaluate all of his relationships, including those with his team and his three children.
Dean’s eleven-year old son, Robbie, is withdrawing at home and running away from school. Bry, who is only eight, is struggling to understand his mother’s untimely death and his place in the family. Eighteen-year-old Stephanie, a freshman at Swarthmore, is torn between her new identity as a rebellious and sophisticated college student, her responsibility towards her brothers, and reeling from missing her mother. As Dean struggles to continue to lead his team to victory in light of his overwhelming personal loss, he must fix his fractured family—and himself. When a new family emergency arises, Dean discovers that he’ll never view the world in the same way again.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I decided to read this book because of the comparisons to Friday Night Lights, a series my husband and I watched and loved. I guess what the synopsis writer meant was that it has some of the emotional core that FNL has, because there’s no football in the book. Yes, the main character was a coach, but that’s as far as it goes in this story. High emotion running throughout the novel is basically the main thing it has going for it.
Dean Renner is a high school football coach and suddenly single father of three after his wife commits suicide. His adopted stepdaughter Stephanie is starting college and struggling with the guilt that she should have saved her mother. Son Robbie is in middle school and beginning to delve into the angst that comes around this age, compounded by the loss of his mother. Youngest child Bryan is the peacekeeper and seems to unknowingly provide clarity to his family when they need it most.
I found this book to be pretty slow moving and I had to put some effort into finishing it. I would compare the story to that of a Lifetime TV movie. Yes, there are dark threads dealing with death and depression, but they are never really explored heavily and get somewhat glossed over rather quickly.
Dean appears to move on pretty quickly, starting a relationship with someone new just a few months after his wife’s death. We learn that not everything was great in their marriage, but this really didn’t do much to make me feel better about how long it took him to hook up with other women. I guess I felt that their thirteen year marriage and having kids together should have meant more to him. Or maybe he was reaching out and trying to find any connection. This could go either way and I guess it’s all in how the reader interprets it.
Stephanie, who had before her mother’s death been so excited at the prospect of leaving her tiny town and reputation as “the coach’s daughter” behind, suddenly feels alone and vulnerable when she gets to college. She acts out, taking drugs, drinking, and failing classes. In a lot of ways, she’s doing the same things as her father, which says a lot when a 40 something year old dad is acting the same as his 19 year old daughter.
There were several predictable moments for me, a lot of cliches hit: a stepchild telling her dad he is not her real dad, those left behind wondering about the existence of God, the family coming back together because of a crisis. All this made Home Field a “just OK” read for me. If cozy or family type novels are your thing, you’ll love this, it hits all the bases. But it wasn’t a standout for me.
About the Author
Hannah Gersen was born in Maine and grew up in western Maryland. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Granta, and The Southern Review, among others. Home Field is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Follow Hannah at her website.
The Tumbling Turner Sisters
by Juliette Fay
In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot-stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best—and only—chance for survival.
Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is ultimately a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I knew next to nothing about vaudeville when I started this novel, and though it didn’t delve especially deep, I felt I learned a ton about it–but most of all, I enjoyed the journey.
At the book’s opening in 1919, a father injures his hands and it puts him out of a job. The mother, Ethel, has always had dreams of fame and know now is the chance to grasp those dreams, through her four daughters. Soon Nell, Gert, Winnie, and Kit are traveling the vaudeville circuit, meeting all sorts of interesting people, and falling in love.
The book is told in alternating chapters from Gert and Winnie’s points of view. Gert is the second oldest sister. She’s attractive, knows it, and uses it. She’s always felt too big for her small town. Winnie is the third sister, smart, bookish, and driven. She’s also the peacekeeper. Most of the time she and Gert butt heads, but as the family goes on the road together, they have to rely on each other and find themselves coming closer together.
The heart of the book is a coming of age theme, but there are love stories, grief, racism, and other issues touched on as well. The author did a great job of putting lots of relevant historical facts of the time into the novel without making them feel shoehorned in.
Each sister and each vaudeville character we meet definitely has their own unique personality. Some are helping the Turner sisters, and some just want them to get out of their way. Every performance is different, every city they stop in has its own feel.
I think if you enjoy history as well as a great story with fascinating characters then you’ll love this novel. I was a bit heartbroken at the events in the end, but I suppose it’s more realistic than a happily ever after, perfect ending for each person in the story.
About the Author
Juliette Fay is the award-winning author of three previous novels: The Shortest Way Home, Deep Down True, and Shelter Me. She received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree from Harvard University. Juliette lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. The Tumbling Turner Sisters (Gallery Books/S&S) is her fourth novel.
To learn more, visit JulietteFay.com.
Like Juliette on Facebook: Juliette.Fay.Author
If you’re a mom of an infant, you need to know that despite your best efforts, they will get a cold before their first year. It might not be anything too severe, but any illness or change in routine can make your baby cranky. It goes without saying that an infant can’t voluntarily blow his nose, so how do you get rid of his congestion?
Even up to just a few years ago, you would have used a bulb syringe. You know the thing they use in the hospital to clear your newborn’s airway by sucking the fluids out?
With my first son, I hoarded the one I came home with from the hospital, for I’m sad to say, 2 years. When he’d get a stuffy nose, I used a combination of saline rinse and this syringe to try and suck out the mucus in his nasal passages. It was working OK, I guess, but I could almost always hear more in there that I couldn’t get to.
It’s been seven years in between my sons, and I’m ecstatic to say that within that time, the makers of family favorite Neti Pot, NeilMed have developed a better, gentler, more complete way to help your child breathe when he has a cold: the Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator.
So how does this crazy looking contraption work? Simple as using a straw. Place the bulb end into your baby’s nostril, put the orange tip into your mouth, and as you would suck through a straw, suck gently and you will be pulling the nasties out from way back in your child’s nasal passages.
I know, I know, if you’re anything like my friends and family, you are probably saying, “EW! I don’t want to suck snot out of my kid’s nose!” But let me tell you, once you use the Naspira and see the results it produces, you will never go back to that old orange syringe. Several friends who are moms of young babies told me the same thing–they were totally grossed out at the idea of using it. But once I assured them that through the Naspira’s filtered design, they weren’t actually going to get any of the mucus in their mouths, they gave it a try and couldn’t believe how much better it worked than their old methods.
Here are a few reasons why you’ll want to give the NeilMed Naspira a try:
–You don’t have to only use it as a nasal-oral aspirator; you can remove the tubing and use the bulb by itself.
–The tip of the bulb is made of soft silicone that won’t hurt your baby’s delicate nasal openings.
–You can take apart the Naspira completely and sanitize all parts, something you definitely cannot do with the old bulb aspirator! I had a feeling mine was never fully clean, but I was too scared to cut it open and look. YUCK.
–Using the Naspira is a natural, gentle way to clear your baby’s nose without having to give him any medication.
So are you convinced and ready to make the switch? You can find the NeilMed Naspira at a ton of retailers, including WalMart, Target, Rite Aid, and Amazon. You can also order now from neilmed.com and use code MOMSBLOG for $3 off your purchase!
DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program (greenmomsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.
As we go through life, we are almost certain to meet those people who will come to take special positions in our hearts. They may be close family members, people in your community, coworkers, or strangers who become friends. It’s a fact that you can find inspiration in places where you least expect it.
So, who inspires me?
That’s my mom at the far left with all of her girls. Though she had us at a young age, she always worked hard to provide for us and made sure we were taken care of before herself. As I’ve grown and had my own children, I can now appreciate what she must have gone through and the sacrifices she made raising us. We are all extremely close to her and rely on her every day.
From the moment I met this man over 11 years ago, I knew he would be the one. My husband was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 7 and has endured several painful back surgeries. Though he still has trouble from time to time, he never lets anything stop him and never sees himself as having a disability. He is such an amazing father and thoughtful husband and I’m proud to say next year will be our tenth anniversary.
I always knew that I wanted to be a “boy mom” and God blessed me with two fantastic ones. My big boy is nearly 8 and is so passionate about so many things, not the least of all being his 6 month old baby brother. I love seeing the world through their eyes and getting a sense of wonder and imagination every day.
I’m hosting a giveaway, and you can win a $25 Target gift card!
If you haven’t yet seen the heart-wrenching and feel-good series BORN THIS WAY on A&E Network yet, you are missing out! BORN THIS WAY chronicles the lives of a group of young adults born with Down syndrome as they pursue their passions while defying society’s expectations. The series also follows their parents who share their own journey of joy, sacrifice, and unconditional love.
Season 2 premieres on A&E on Tuesday, July 26. Check out this trailer for a peek at the show.
Leave a comment below letting me know who inspires YOU for a chance to win a Target gift card. Giveaway Ends August 5. US ONLY PLEASE!
Cooking alone can be therapeutic, but sometimes it just feels lonely. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your kids would get in the kitchen with you? By starting now and training them well, there may come a day when they can actually feed themselves. Or better yet, feed the whole family.
What’s the best way to get children interested in cooking? Kids love to have fun, love to play games, and love to organize things. Your best bet for success will be a program that takes these traits into consideration. By working with their natural inclinations, instead of against them, you’ll all have more fun.
Try these ideas to engage your youngsters and help them enjoy cooking as much as you do.
1. Allow Kids to Make Choices
Children love to feel like they have a little bit of control in their lives. So often, parents make all of the choices, but by letting little ones choose what to eat, they feel empowered. Limit the options to two or three, and make sure they are healthy. Once your child has decided, let him or her help you prepare the food. Spreading butter, putting fruit on a plate, and setting the table are all realistic jobs for young kids.
2. Sink Time
From toddlerhood through the preschool years, kiddos love to play in the kitchen sink. Warm water, bubbles, and plastic dishes are perfect for keeping little ones entertained while you are at the stove. Set a sturdy stool in front of the sink, fill it a few inches deep, and let your children wash unbreakable dishes while waiting for dinner to be done. They’ll love the feeling of responsibility, and you’ll love the freedom to cook.
3. Mix it Up
Stirring and mixing are fun actions for kids of all ages. Whether you need a salad tossed or a batter stirred, give your young helpers a set of spoons and let them go for it. Take a moment to show them the right way to do it, without making a mess, so that precious ingredients don’t go to waste. Once they graduate from simple stirring, show them how to whip up a batch of salad dressing using eggless mayo from hamptoncreek. Once they’ve mastered that, let them make a cake from a mix.
4. Chopping is for Big Kids
If your children are older and are trustworthy, show them how to safely use knives in the kitchen. Start with soft food, such as bananas, that can be cut with a butter knife. Move on to slicing an avocado with a paring knife, then show them how to chop hard foods such as carrots. By teaching good knife skills to responsible teens, you can be assured they will enjoy helping you make dinner regularly. However, if you or your teen ever feel unsure about using knives, shelve the idea for a year or so.
5. Flying Solo
Eventually, a child who has been trained in the kitchen will want to make a meal alone. Start simply, by allowing pre-teens to open a can of soup or bake a potato in the microwave. Later, show them how to boil water and cook pasta. Making a grilled cheese sandwich can be a thrill, plus it’s delicious to eat. Eventually, show your teenager how to make a full dinner for the family. Teach them what seasonings go together, how to choose side dishes, and how to make an attractive presentation on the table. Boys and girls can both benefit from knowing how to feed themselves and others.
6. Cleanup Time
Every good cook needs to know how to clean up a mess. Better yet, teach them to cook without making a mess at all. If the kitchen stays clean while the food is cooking, all they need to do after eating is put their dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down the countertops. Older children can be shown how to fill the dishwasher, and younger kids can learn how to empty it. Have a broom and dustpan handy for sweeping up crumbs, and teach your kids how to use them.
The benefits of getting your kids in the kitchen range from having company while cooking, to having help while preparing a meal, to having teens who can meet their own needs and those of others. Teaching kids how to cook and clean up may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but the quality time spent together and the yummy food you share will make it all worthwhile.
Summer is a great time to dive into a few new books. For summer reading, you want something that will engage you. It should be light, but still interesting and educational. That is why autobiographies are the best pick for your warm weather reading list. Whether you are lounging by the pool or sitting on your front porch enjoying the warm summer sun, an autobiography provides the perfect balance of entertainment and education. This summer, consider delving into a few autobiographies from British authors. The Brits have a great sense of humor, which is both self-deprecating and deliciously witty. Their ability to make the morbid light makes for great summer reading! Here are three British autobiographies that you will love reading this summer.
Tales from the Dance Floor
Craig Revel Horwood is an Australian-Brit who is most well known as a judge on the popular BBC competition show Strictly Come Dancing. His 2013 memoir Tales from the Dance Floor is a funny behind the scenes look at his life in front of the camera. This autobiography follows his time on the show as well as Strictly Come Dancing associated tours and cruises with fellow show stars. It is an honest, revealing, and hilarious follow-up to his fist memoir released in 2008.For fans of this read, you can also check out the Craig Revel Horwood Twitter account for more laughs and behind the scenes moments.
I Am Ozzy
As you might have guessed from the title, I Am Ozzy is the much-acclaimed memoir of British heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne. This book, which debuted at number two on the New York Time’s bestseller list and won the Literary Achievement Award at the 2010 Guys Choice Awards, chronicles Osbourne’s life from childhood through his years of substance abuse, fame, and fortune. Told in delicious detail, I Am Ozzy both dispels and confirms rumors about his life for a shockingly delightful read.
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star is the memoir of English singer and songwriter Tracey Thorn. With over 30 years in the music industry, Thorn writes about her life from the time she bought her first electric guitar through all of her mega hits and megaflops. She has seen both success and failure and shares it all in this frank, no-holds-barred autobiography, which is sure to both move and amuse.
When you’re managing your household, you know how essential it is to keep the monthly budget under control. This task seems to be more difficult every day in the post-Recession economy, with a tough job market and rising food costs. However, with a little planning and a solid financial strategy, you can make sure your family’s financial situation is as stable and comfortable as possible. Here are three ways to save money on your family’s budget.
1. Re-evaluate Your Entertainment Expenses
With all the different options available now for TV and video services, it’s worthwhile to look at all the options and decide which ones are best for your family. By carefully choosing the services that will meet your needs for the lowest cost, you can significantly cut your entertainment expenses without reducing your quality of life. There are even some companies that have formed partnerships to offer discounts on multiple services.
For example, some wireless carriers offer discounted rates with some streaming services.
Cable TV is a great place to start looking for other options. There are countless choices for streaming services that vary greatly in cost (some are even free), and by choosing the right combination it’s possible to get access to all the channels you want for a lower price than your monthly cable bill. Most people only watch a fraction of the channels that are included in cable TV service, so it often makes much more sense to find other options that let you access only the channels you want to watch.
2. Make a Realistic Meal Plan
One of the most common pieces of advice for cutting the budget is to stop buying takeout and convenience foods and cook from scratch instead. While this is good advice in many cases, there are some things that are exceptions. This is especially true for items that require specialized ingredients. Take the time to decide if the homemade version is worth the time and cost of special ingredients, or if it makes more sense for you to buy it instead.
It’s also unrealistic for most people to entirely stop eating at a restaurant or getting takeout. Making such a strict rule usually backfires. Instead, consider setting part of the budget aside for restaurants or delivery. If setting a dollar amount doesn’t work well for your family, you could also choose a specific day of the week. For example, set aside Friday night for pizza or Chinese delivery. When you schedule take out into your budget and meal planning, it’s easier to stick to a set amount.
3. Look for Local Providers
Another place to look for savings is in your monthly insurance costs. Sometimes switching to a new provider or bundling your car and homeowners insurance with the same provider can save you a significant amount every month. It’s also worth calling a local insurance agent. Working with an agent who lives in your area means better customer service, and sometimes lower rates as well. For example, when you are looking for auto insurance in Jackson, MS, try calling a local agent first for a quote. You may save some money, and you can feel good about supporting a local business.
Keeping the monthly budget under control can be a challenge. However, there are several ways to save money if you spend the time to study the options and make a plan that will work for your family’s lifestyle.
Hair in All the Wrong Places
by Andrew Buckley
Middle Grade Paranormal
What has he done?
What’s happening to him?
And what on Earth is that smell?
For Colin Strauss, puberty stinks. Blackouts, hallucinations, and lapses in memory are the perils of growing up werewolf.
Worse than that, Colin worries he might have had something to do with the recent attacks on the townspeople. He may have eaten a person. It doesn’t matter that it’s someone he doesn’t particularly like. What kind of boy goes around eating people?
Foolishly, all Colin can think about is how Becca Emerson finally kissed him for the first time. Yep, hormones are afoot. Yikes!
But girls will have to wait. Collin better get himself under control before someone else ends up hurt or worse . . . dead.
4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS
A quick, humorous read that fans of series like Percy Jackson and Goosebumps will love!
Colin Strauss doesn’t fit in anywhere–least of all the town he’s been living in for the past year. A town where he’s had to endure the mean, blind grandma he lives with as well as bullying from cruel older kids at his school. He never gets a break. Until one day, by chance, he collides with a werewolf.
Colin is suddenly bigger, stronger, and well, hairier. He feels a strange power surging within him. He wants to eat EVERYTHING including his classmates! Colin must find out all about his freaky new shapeshifting ability all while trying to solve a murder he may have committed.
I immediately liked Colin and felt for him. Who hasn’t been bullied or felt out of place? But when he decided he was going to do something about it, his life was changed forever. It was both funny and heartwarming to watch him deal with the wolf inside. If there was ever a kid who needed a jolt like becoming a werewolf, it was Colin Strauss.
As the book went on, the action never slowed down and I didn’t once find myself losing interest. I finished it rather quickly once I learned all the secrets of the town. I am kind of hoping this is the beginning of a series so I can learn more about the intriguing townspeople living in Elkwood.
I did guess who the killer was early on, but the final showdown was worth it and still a fast paced part to read. I also didn’t understand why Colin’s grandmother had to be so mean to him all the time–it seemed unnecessary.
A little bit scary and gory, plenty hilarious, and with a little bit of romance, I think this book will be a hit with boys and girls from about 5th grade on.
About the Author
Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.
Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.
⦁ One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
⦁ Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Hair in the Wrong Places by Andrew Buckley (INT)
Contest ends June 24, 2016
I live in a house where there is a 7 year old and a 4 month old, both boys. Of course there are gonna be stains on their clothes! But I, like most moms, don’t have the time or the inclination to separate out laundry and wash the baby’s in some special detergent. I need one detergent that’s not only gentle, but tough on all kinds of stains.
I’m happy to say I’ve found it in NEW all Fresh Clean Essentials! This detergent is made with no harsh sulfates or dyes–but still packs the powerful punch from all that you need to knock out even super tough stains!
The detergent is liquid and safe for HE machines. It comes in both Fresh Scent and Fragrance Free varieties.
As you can see, the detergent is completely free of any unnatural blue or green dyes as you would see in most others. I used this on laundry with everything from dirt and grass stains, to ground in sweet peas, to blood and my clothes came out clean every time!
all Fresh Clean Essentials is only available for purchase online–you can get it on Amazon. Check out the all website for answers to all your questions and more information about the power of Fresh Clean Essentials.
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with product for reviewing purposes. My opinions are my own and were not affected by this fact.