The Importance of Being Reese: 2016

Teaching My Daughter to Love Her Hair

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This post is sponsored by Dove™  however, all thoughts, opinions, photos and life stories are 100% mine. I hope you'll take the time to read this post and teach your daughters to #LoveYourHair.

 Growing up, my hair was  always a big issue. As a kid, I had incredibly long and frizzy hair, and kids are mean. So my hair painted a target on my back and gave them some serious ammunition. I was teased relentlessly, and unfortunately I grew to hate my "frizzy hair." So, after much begging and pleading, I finally convinced my mother to relax my hair.

Big mistake.

After years of harmful relaxers, my hair lost it's strength and begin to break off. Almost overnight my hair went from healthy and gorgeous, to incredibly unhealthy. And in a way I was right back where I started before, hating my hair, which ultimately affected my self-confidence.

What a vicious cycle.

White Chocolate Christmas Oreo's



Now that I'm finally on the mend, I'm back in the kitchen and prepping for Christmas parties. I've had this festive holiday dessert idea swirling around in my head for a while, and yesterday I finally had the opportunity to put it to the test.

Of all the recipe ideas I've had in the last year or so (and believe me, they have been plentiful) this was one of my favorites. Not only do they look beautiful, but they taste amazing. After all, what's not to like, white chocolate and Oreo's? Yes please.

Frugal and Fabulous: Family Dollar Fabulous Recap

Family Dollar Fabulous Charlotte

A/N: The #FDFabulous event was sponsored and hosted by Family Dollar, Cantu and Body Fantasies. However all thoughts and opinions about the products and brands are completely mine. Enjoy!

Question of the Day: What do you get when you let loose 5 GORGEOUS natralistas in the city of Charlotte? 

Answer: A fabulously good time.

If you keep up with me via Twitter or Instagram, by now you probably know that last week me and 4 other local bloggers took a whirlwind tour around The Queen City to learn more about the art of keeping yourself looking and feeling good for less. The event was hosted by Family Dollar, and it was truly a fabulous event. But more importantly, it was incredibly informative and empowering.


2016 Tech Savvy Holiday Gift Guide

This gift guide was created with the tech savvy family in mind. Check out these tech gift ideas for everyone in the family.



  A/N: I received several items to review for this gift guide, however, most of the items listed were thoroughly researched in order to provide an accurate overview of the products listed below. All thoughts and opinion concerning the specs and ratings are my own. 

Let's face it, we live in a tech savvy society. Trying to avoid technology would be like trying to avoid political commercials during an elections-- futile and ineffective. Technology has drastically improved our way of life, allowing families who are separated for the holidays to bridge the divide. It allows teachers to interact with children and their parents with a few simple clicks of the buttons. It brings together communities and families. Ultimately, it allows our society to flourish.

In honor of the Age of Tech, this year I'm dedicating my Holiday Gift Guide to the Tech Savvy family. Below, you'll find some of my favorite Tech solutions for every member of the family.

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping my friends!


FOR THE FAMILY
FOR HIM
FOR HER
FOR THE KIDDOS
FOR THE TEENS


Holiday Travel with Ooma







A/N: This post is sponsored by Ooma, however, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

Let Ooma keep you home safe while you're away this Holiday season.

Holiday road trips have gotten significantly more difficult with a 5 year old and overly anxious puppy in tow.  There's so much to pack, so much to cook and a nearly endless list of things to remember.

A few years ago Little J and I caught a flight during the Christmas rush. To say it was a complete nightmare would be the understatement of the year. Flying solo with a toddler not for the faint of heart. Flying solo with a toddler during the holidays is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Andes Coquito



I dream about Coquito all year long. I am one of those eggnog obsessed folks, so it should come as no surprise that I also love Coquito. Often referred to as the Puerto Rican Eggnog, Conquito is a perfect blend of rich coconut, vanilla and cinnamon, all blended into one delightful frothy drink. As soon as a slight chill hits the air, I start stocking up on the ingredients. I do no kid.

During the holidays, our perpetually warm weather in North Carolina can make it difficult to get into the mood. Enter Coquito. It's Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, all wrapped in one.

I and Love and You Pet Nutrition + A Giveaway


A/N: This is a sponsored post on behalf of I and Love and You, however, all thoughts, opinion and photos of my adorable pup are all mine unless otherwise noted. Enjoy!

If you follow me on Instagram, odds are by now you've seen the most recent addition to our family--Chase. In our house, pets are considered members of the family, and just as I strive to make sure I'm cooking nutritious food for the family, it's just as important that our animals maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Which is why I was incredibly excited to try out I and Love and You.

Best of Cyber Monday: Buy One Try the World Box get TWO FREE

Cyber Monday Try the World




A/N: This is not a sponsored post, however there are several referral links embedded in this post. All thoughts, and opinions about Try the World solely belong to me. Happy shopping!

Cyber Monday is officially here, and unlike Black Friday, it's a day I am fully willing to participate in. Mostly because I can do so from the safety and comfort of my home, while I'm catching up on Gilmore Girls episodes and sipping coffee. I've never been one to camp out overnight and engage in hand-to-hand combat over a Barbie Dream House, so Cyber Monday is typically when I get the majority of my Christmas shopping done.

Yes, You Really Should Pay Your Kids For Chores


I'm going to preface this post with a few points (1) I am in no way a child expert, therapist, or psychologist. I haven't taken any specialized classes on children. Really, my only qualification for the advice I'm going to give is that I've managed to keep my daughter alive thus far. I suppose that means something... (2) I strongly believe that every child is different and will require a different set of tactics. (3) Even if you still choose not to pay your kids for their chores after this post, you're still a parenting ninja.

As a child, I never received allowance for completing weekly chores.  Despite my lack of allowance, I still believe that I turned out fine. I'm not harboring any resentment towards my parents for not forking over the cash, (except that I never got my Barbie Dream Boat, but that's another topic). Though I have student loans still hanging around, I've managed to keep myself out of excruciating debt. I've always been incredibly frugal and resourceful. In short, money has always been fairly easy for me to manage.

Still, I can't help but wonder how much more of an appreciation I would have had for it as a young child if I'd had to "earn" it?


Sugared Cranberries


Got a sweet tooth? Here's a simple fix to help satisfy your sugar cravings and get you in the holiday spirit. 

Sugared Cranberries are a time honored tradition in my family. Every year during the Holiday season, we break out the cranberries to make this delightful dessert. Because these sparkling cranberries are so pretty, they also make the perfect topping or garnish on your favorite holiday meals.

A JORD Watch Review + Giveaway

A/N/: This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. However, all thoughts, opinions and pictures regarding this incredibly cool and unique watch belong to me and the hubs.

 Happy October Loves,

Shorter days. Scarves. Boots and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Autumn is officially here in the Carolina's. October has always been one of my favorite months for many reasons; most notably fall fashion. During the summer months, fashion isn't really that important. In the South, wearing makeup midsummer is laughable. And let's not even get started on jeans. Needless to say, the second a slight chill hits the air, I've immediately start to pull out our Fall gear. 

This year, Mr. A finally let me pick out a few fall outfits for him. And by let, I mean grudgingly allowed with minimal complaining. (Hence his overjoyed expressions in the images below). Luckily for him, a few weeks ago he received this cool watch from JORD that made my attempts to turn him into a real-life Ken doll slightly more bearable.

Quick and Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids



Halloween is just around the corner, and today I'm sharing some fun craft ideas to help get your kiddos in the spirit. Each of these Halloween crafts are perfect for small kiddos, but as always, it's best to keep an eye on them to make sure no one get hurt!


5 Strange Places I've Worked as a Work At Home Mom


If you're a parent who works from home, odds are you've worked in some less than ideal places. Just last week I found myself trying to cram in work at mall. At. The. Mall. When it comes to work space, there is literally no place I have not tried. Except maybe a plane, but the day is still young...


5 Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

 Creepy costumes, chilling decorations, our favorite candy-filled night is just around the corner. Here are some simple tips to make sure everyone stays safe and happy this Halloween.

Creepy costumes, chilling decorations, our favorite candy-filled night is just around the corner. Here are some simple tips to make sure everyone stays safe and happy this Halloween.

It's hard to believe that Halloween is a few short weeks away. Halloween has always been a fun time for our family to get dressed up and act silly. When Little J was a baby, we stayed at home and passed out candy. It was always exciting to seeing those cute little faces show up at the front door; eager to get to the goodies. But now that Little J is older, we like to get out there and go trick-or-treating as a family. However, it's not lost on me that times have changed.


20 Incredibly Delicious Soups That Will Keep you Warm


Fall is officially here and I'm celebrating by sharing my favorite warm and cozy soups to get you in the mood. These soups are not only delicious, but they are a quick and easy solution to keeping your family fed without breaking the bank or spending a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen dicing, chopping and preparing. In fact, many of these recipes are crock-pot friendly, so once you do the prep, you can walk away and let you crock-pot handle the rest. Definitely my kind of meal.

So check out the soups below as we prepare to head in to the chilly season. Bon Appétit


Sweat, Strengthen & Flow in the Park





This post was sponsored in part by Premier Protein. Although I was compensated for this post, as always, all thoughts, opinions and sweaty pics belong to me. 

Happy September Dear Friends,

Now that Little J has finally flown the nest and is settling into Kindergarten, I'm finding myself with a bit of extra time on my hands. Work keeps me fairly busy, but I've been revisiting some resolutions I set for myself at the beginning of the year, most notably my fitness goals.


Quick and Easy No Bake Energy Bites



"A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands." - Anonymous

Today's recipe is a super yummy and healthy treat for the whole family- No Bake Energy Bites. As you all know, I'm a fan of keeping it simple, and this recipe couldn't get more simple if I tried. It involves absolutely no baking, which makes it a fantastic treat to make with your toddlers during the summer. Because who actually likes having to turn on the stove or oven in the oven? If you live in the South, you know what I'm talking about...



At Home: The Ultimate Blogger Shopping Spree


A/N: I received several items to help facilitate my social shares for this post, however, as always, all thoughts, opinions and images (unless otherwise noted are my own).

Question: What happens when you give 20 bloggers wine and cookies, and then unleash them in At Home for back-to-school shopping?

Answer: A hilarious live streamed shopping spree

Last night Little J and I stopped by At Home and proceeded to shop until we dropped. Again. The theme of the night was College Move-In Essentials, which was perfect, because At Home has one of the best selections I seen so far.

How To Adventure this Summer On a Budget





A/N: This post is sponsored by Groupon, however all thoughts and opinions about how awesome Groupon is are my own. And I've got the bank statements and recipets to prove it. Enjoy!

Summer is winding down, but your plans don't have to! 

As an avid saver and adventurer, Groupon is my go to site for all things fun and cheap. I can't tell you the fun excursions my family and I have had compliments of Groupon, but I can refresh your memory really quick...



Southern Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Southern Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Salty-Sweet, crunchy and crispy, these Southern Baked Sweet Potato Fries are the perfect side dish to compliment your meal, or a healthy snack your whole family will love!

Happy Friday,

Today, I'm celebrating our slow descent into Autumn with one of my favorite fall recipes- Southern Sweet Potato Fries. One of the many things we get in North Carolina year round are gorgeous, deep orange colored sweet potatoes. On the weekends, we head to the farmers market where I can peruse the selection of local goodies. We always walk away with a few sweet potatoes.

Thought they taste just as amazing plain, occasionally I have a yearning for something sweet. These fries help to satisfy my sweet tooth without being too over the top. Which literally makes them the one of the most perfect foods ever.



Charlotte Happenings: Bands, Brews and BBQ's at Carowinds



A/N: I was given free park admission into Carowinds so that I could share my experience with you guys. However, as always, all thoughts, opinion and photos are my own! 

Question of the Day: Which do you love the most?

A: Live Bands
B: Tasty Brews
C: Mouthwatering BBQ's
D: All of the above

At Carowinds, you can have all three. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 29-August 14, Carowinds invites you to come have a finger-licking good time at the annual Bands, Brews and BBQ's Festival.


Where to Eat, Drink, Play and Stay in Charlotte

Best places to eat, drink, play and stay in Charlotte. North Carolina.
Author's Note: This Staycation was sponsored in part by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
However, my family and I also spent our own money for many of the destinations mentioned in this guide in order to offer you guys an authentic experience and review of some of the best Charlotte has to offer. All thoughts, opinions and photos (unless otherwise indicated) are my own. 

If you follow me on Instagram, by now you've probably had the chance to check out some of my recent photos of our Charlotte Staycation. It's amazing how you can spend years in city, and never fully get the chance to enjoy it. This past weekend changed that for the A Team. We were able to explore every nook and cranny of the Queen City and share some quality time at some of our favorite places.

Since I believe sharing is caring, today, I'm sharing some highlights from our Charlotte Staycation. So if you're local, or intend to visit Charlotte sometime in the near future, think of this as your unofficial Charlotte Travel Guide. Here's where to eat, drink, play and stay in Charlotte, North Carolina.


75 Restaurants where Kids Eat Free (or Dirt Cheap)

75+ restaurants where kids eat free!
Why pay for something when you can have it for free?

As a general rule of thumb, parents have a much better time taking their kids out to eat when the meal is free.  And as it turns out, that old clichĂ© "nothing in life is free" isn't true. Thankfully.

From Applebees to Texas Roadhouse, here are 75 restaurants that offer either free, or dirt cheap kids meals that even your pickiest eaters will enjoy! If you find this post useful, feel free to repin to bookmark for later or retweet to share with friends and family!

Please Note: It's always wise to call the restaurant location you plan on attending to get your free kids meal before you head out. Some of the individual restaurants may choose to opt out of the promotion or have slight differences in the days or offerings.


Quick and Easy Patriotic Bandanna Tablecloth

DIY no sew tablecloth
This simple no sew patriotic bandanna tablecloth will add a festive touch to your Fourth of July celebration!

If you live in the South you know BBQ's are pretty much how we celebrate everything. Just had a wedding? Fire up the grill. Celebrating a graduation? Fire up the grill? Just got out on probation? Check with your parole officer first, and then fire up the grill. It should come to no surprise that Fourth of July is typically celebrated with copious amounts of beer, laughter, and a good ole' fashion BBQ.


Red, White and Blueberry Patriotic Parfait

Easy 4th of July Desserts


4th of July is right around the corner, and today I'm sharing the recipe for the simple and beautiful Red White and Blueberry Patriotic Parfait

Summers are a typically time for barbecues, family picnics, and eating outdoors. Now that the kids are home for the Summer, you probably won't have as much time to dedicate to preparing a time-consuming dish. This Red, White and Blueberry Patriotic Parfait is the perfect problem to your cooking woes. Plus it's the perfect dessert to serve at your 4th of July gathering this year!

Charlotte Happenings: Cirque Imagine At Carowinds

Cirque Imagine Carowinds 2016

Question: What's red, sparky and can soar through the air?

Answer: The incredible team of acrobats performing at Cirque Imagine at The Carowinds Theater this Summer.

Last week I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and check out the talented team of acrobats as they prepared for their big debut. The new live performance features incredibly skilled acrobatic performances that showcase strength, grace and athleticism all rolled into one 30-minute out-of-this-world performance.


Jurassic Quest 2016: Where Dinosaurs Come Alive


A/N: I was given tickets in exchange for promoting this exhibit, however, if you are a longtime reader, you know I only promote products and events that I truly believe in, or I know will be of interested to my readers.

If you're a product of the 90's or 80's by now you've probably seen at least one movie from the Jurassic Park saga. (And if you haven't yet, I grant you permission to stop reading, turn on Netflix and binge). As a kid, Jurassic Park was solely responsible for my obsession interest in dinosaurs. They were fascinating and incredible creatures. One can only imagine what it would be like to witness their power up close in personal.

But what if you could?



Summer at Home: STEM Projects Your Children Will Love

STEM projects and games for summer learning

This summer take the learning outdoors with these wet, wild & downright delicious STEM activities for your kiddos!

Whether you're ready for it or not, Summer is officially here. Keeping your children entertained and engaged in learning throughout the summer can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I'm teaming up with 7 other ladies to offer you some fun summertime play ideas both your and your children will love.

In this post, I'm going to offer you 3, wet, wild and delicious STEM activities that will keep the gears turning full speed in those little heads plus a fun summer reading list to help teach your little learners about the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math! Let your kiddos clock in some good ole fashion, messy and educational fun without having to worry about how you're going to get all those stains out of your new carpet.




14 Easy Nutella Recipes Every Chocolate Addict Will Love


summer nutella recipes to keep you cool


Warmer days are finally here! If you're like me and are always looking for ways to cool down when the weather starts to heat up, you won't be disappointed. Here are 14 super sweet and cool Nutella recipes that will help keep you cool this season! We guarantee you'll find something to try, because after all, who doesn't love Nutella?



6 Healthy Kid Approved Snacks Your Children Will Love


Note: While I received several products for purposes of reviews, the rest of the items were paid for out of pocket to provide you guys with some healthy kid approved snacks your children will love. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are truly my own. Happy snacking!

School is nearly out for the summer and now is the perfect time to start stockpiling healthy kid approved snacks your children will actually enjoy. But with so many options, what's a parent to do?
If you're short on time, but want to make sure that your children are still getting the nutrients that they require, here are 6 healthy kid approved snacks to keep your kiddos happy and healthy this summer!

Little J helped me rank these yummy snacks using her personalized grading method...



OLYMPIC Paint & Stains Weather Ready Tour Comes to Charlotte + a $100 Lowe's Gift Card Giveaway


Note: This is a sponsored post, however all thoughts and opinions regarding Olympic Maximum Stain are my own. I hope you'll come join us at the event to witness firsthand how awesome Olympic Maximum Stain is! 

Summer is officially in full swing and most of us are in the process of getting our backyards up to par for the busiest BBQ season of the year. If you still have a few projects to tend to, mainly staining your deck or patio, I've got something that will make your life much easier--Olympic Maximum Stain.



6 Ways to Save at the Gas Pumps this Summer

save money at the pumps


As summer approaches, families all across the country will be taking more trips to unwind from the hectic school year. With the price of gas steadily increasing, it can be costly to hit the road and travel with your loved ones. So, I've devised this list of creative ways to help you save at the gas pumps this summer.

Here are some useful tips to help you fill up the tank without breaking the bank.



Win Tickets to See Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Out of the Shadows


Heroes in a half shell, Turtle Power!

This Summer, see Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). Supervillain Shredder (Brian Tee) joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly) to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and crew, they find themselves facing an even greater evil: the notorious Krang.

Excited about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Out of the Shadows? Starting today, you can enter to win two tickets to the screening of the upcoming Summer blockbuster! In total, there will be FIVE WINNERS! That's right FIVE winners, so the odds are in your favor.

But there are a few stipulations of course...

One: You have to live in or be willing to drive to DC, LA, or Chicago

Follow TMNT via Twitter: Follow Here

Follow me via Instagram: Follow Here

Fill out the Rafflecopter below using an email address you can be contacted at.

Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Make a Killer Chocolate Brownie Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TopYourSummer #SoHoppinGood #CollectiveBias

A simple recipe for these killer brownie waffle ice cream sandwiches

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” ― Charles M. Schulz 

It's safe to say I spend quite a bit of time experimenting in my kitchen with various recipes. Sometimes they're a complete flop, and sometimes they exceed expectations. This Chocolate Brownie Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich is definitely the latter. If you're a fan of brownies and homemade vanilla ice cream, you're going to want to bookmark this yummy recipe to reflect upon later, but be warned, these killer Chocolate Brownie Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches are so painfully simple to make it's almost criminal. In fact, they should come with a warning.

Surgeon General's Warning: This recipe can cause a chocolate/ and or vanilla ice cream addiction. There, you've been warned, continue to read at your own risk.

blue bunny ice cream


These delicious treats can be made using 6 ingredients, in about 15 minutes- so basically the ultimate "schools out" celebratory treat. For this recipe, I specifically chose Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla ice cream because of it's consistency. Plus, the new clear packaging allowed me to see the flavor swirls in all of their glory, which is important when you live in a household that has different tastes in ice cream, which is how we ended up with Blue Bunny® Mint Chocolate Chip and Blue Bunny® Blu's Birthday Party® as well. The Smucker's Chocolate or Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping also mysteriously ended up in the cart. Not that I'm complaining...



So, let's get on with the main attraction. Here's how to make a killer Chocolate Brownie Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ingredients 


Brownie mix
2 medium eggs
1/3 cup
Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla
Non-stick spray

Optional 
Whipped cream
Rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

Heat your waffle iron and prepare brownie mix according to package instructions.

brownie waffle mix


Spray waffle iron with non-stick spray. Pour brownie mix onto waffle maker and cook until waffle maker beeps. Carefully remove brownie waffle from waffle iron. Set waffle in freezer and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

brownie waffles


Once waffle has cooled, slice into fours. Remove ice cream from freeze and scoop onto waffle. Spread evenly with knife. Place another brownie waffle on top of ice cream. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles. Serve with a smile and a side of milk.

Enjoy!

brownie waffles recipe


Loved this recipe? Be sure to use these links to Re-tweet to share with your Tweethearts, or Repin so you can indulge later. You can also download and print a recipe card to add to your recipe box.

Until next time,


What Every Parent Needs to know about Pediatric Cancer

neuroblastoma
Update: Baby Jordan gained his angel wings on Wednesday, May 18th shortly after this article was published. He was completely peaceful, and randomly smiling in his sleep, letting us know he is okay. He not in pain anymore. He is free from suffering.

Earlier this year, my cousins became members of the club every parent knows exists, but few like to talk about. The “my baby has just been diagnosed with cancer club.” As you can imagine, it’s a devastating club to suddenly find yourself a member of.  It’s a club that we often deliberately ignore out of fear. But sadly, it’s a club that 46 parents will find themselves inducted into today. And that number is growing.

As I sit here typing, a father sits holding his daughter for the final time. A mother lays curled on her son’s floor, her heart as empty as his bed. These are not nameless, faceless people. These people are your friends, your neighbors, your family. Perhaps cancer has not touched you personally, but it could. And that should scare you into action. 

But before you leap blindly into the fray, there are several important things you need to know about pediatric cancer:

Cancer Doesn’t Care
Every year, 263,000 children under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. And of those 263,000 children, 91,250 of them will not live to see their 20th birthday.  Childhood cancer is the number one killer of children under the age of 18. It does not discriminate based on your race, financial status, or how much you love your children. Cancer doesn’t care.

neuroblastoma in babies


Pediatric Cancer is Severely Underfunded
And it’s no secret. Childhood cancer receives only a paltry 4% of U.S. federal funding for research, while adult cancers research receives 60%. In dollar terms, pediatric cancer clinical trials receive $26.4 million in funding annually from the federal government, while AIDS research receives $254 million in funding and breast cancer averages roughly $584 million. And while it’s true that pediatric is less common that adult cancers, there is still a major funding disparity in childhood cancers. Simply put, pediatric cancer is not profitable enough.

Which brings us to my next point…

Not every Charity is Charitable
Before you open your wallet to make a charitable donation, you should take the time to know where your money is going. For every dollar the American Cancer Society raised in 2010, only a single penny was spent on childhood cancer. But they’re not the only offenders. The Childhood Leukemia Foundation spends just 27% of its annual budget on programs and research. Only 25% of donations fund programs for the National Cancer Institute.

Conversely, the Cancer Research Institute funnels a whopping 85% of their donations and funding into programs that benefit cancer patients. On average, over the last three years, 83 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude.

If you’re considering donating to a cancer charity for children, Charity Navigator is a great place to begin your initial research. Donations, although well-intended, do nothing if they’re not being used appropriately.


A Cure Is Possible
Researchers say that a legitimate cure, with reduced long-term effects from chemotherapy and radiation treatments is possible without our lifetime. It can happen. But only if we work together.
Contact your local congressman. Start a local fundraiser. You don’t have to be the parent of a child with cancer to get involved. Make noise. Make waves. Just whatever you do, don’t stay silent.

Because one day, you may be one of the 46 parents who suddenly find themselves on the bad side of those unthinkable statistics. Don’t wait until it’s too late to join the fight. We owe it to our children. We owe it to ourselves.

baby eating pizza




To learn more about Jordan and his fight with pediatric cancer, visit his Facebook Page Go Gold for Jordan.

To donate to Jordan's medical fund, visit his Go Fund Me page.

To learn more about what you can do within your own community, visit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

5 Ways to Travel Cheap This Summer

budget friendly travel tips


Traveling with a family can get pretty expensive very quickly. This summer enjoy spending more time having fun on your vacation with your family and less time worrying about the cost with these 5 awesome and creative ways to travel cheap this summer. This simple tips are sure to make your next family vacation much more enjoyable!

1. Use Discount Sites Sites 

Groupon and Living Social often times offer super affordable discount rates for traveling. Sometimes you can save as much as $1000 on a cruise or overnight stay in a luxurious hotel. Sign up for weekly alerts so that you know when they're offering a good deal.


2. Avoid Traveling on the Weekend 

Although weekend traveling is more convenient, it's also a bit more costly. Studies show that Wednesday is actually the least expensive day out of the week to travel. If possible, try to plan your vacation during the week. Not only will you cut the cost, but you'll also beat the weekend crowds.

money saving travel tips

3. Take Advantage of Last Minute Deals 

Snagging last minute deals can be difficult at a moments notice when you have a family, but the savings you could rack up would be well worth the inconvenience. If you really want to save some money, keep your eyes peeled for sweet last minute trips. Airfare Watchdog is a great site to keep in mind when looking for those last minute deals.


4. Call BEFORE Booking Online 

Sure booking hotel accommodations online is convenient, but did you know that most of the time you miss out on great deals? Call the hotel and ask to speak to a manager or supervisor. If you're celebrating a special occasion, be sure to make mention of it. You might just get lucky and swing a really great deal this way. Bonus: this method applies to airlines as well.


5. Book Rooms with Kitchens 

Although you may pay a bit more out of pocket right away for the hotel accommodations, booking a room with a kitchen will allow you to dine in instead of spending tons of extra money hitting up expensive restaurants. Pack your own food or go to a local grocery store for a few days worth of food. This alternative is not only cheaper, but probably healthier.

 Have travel plans for the summer? Do you have creative ways to travel cheap you'd like to share? How do you and your family save money when going on vacation? Sound off in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my recent post 10 Tips For Camping with Toddlers!

Until next time,