Kim’s Blog

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Kim’s Blog combines home front experiences with informative updates on area events, unique opportunities and of course, dynamic deals!  For daily updates, Get Social and Follow SpringfieldMoms on your preferred Social Network for event reminders, coupon links, reader favorites and lots of helpful tips and laughs.

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bonemarrow1You may have heard about bone marrow transplants, but do you know that it’s easy to join the registry? Patients needing bone marrow transplants are in serious, critical conditions. Joining the registry just takes a cheek swab, and in the 1 in 500 chance that you are a match, there are two ways that you could be asked to give.

Learn more from NPR Illinois’ Amanda Vinicky here:

nprillinois.org/post/making-good-unfulfilled-promise-be-match

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It’s been several weeks now on the Just Right Eating plan 5 day flex plan where I’ve been choosing my own meals and noticing a lot of changes around the house!

  1.  Our fridge is always full of healthy food options!  This is the biggest improvement overall. I don’t run to the pantry for salty, overly sweet or processed snacks and meals; I open the fridge and everything is waiting for me. The convenience of the Just Right Eating plan is something you just can’t replace.  You pick up (or they can deliver) your food options twice a week so everything is fresh, labeled and ready for you.
  2. The protein intake in my diet has more than doubled.  With that, I have more energy, less cravings for poor food choices, and I feel like I’m eating more food overall but less calories, sodium, sugars, etc.  The time it takes to eat the Asian Beef with oranges salad versus that of cramming down a fast food sub or kid’s meal is substantial.  Not only do I enjoy the food more, I take the time to experience what I’m eating.
  3. My kids may not be as open to trying new foods as I had hoped, but they are seeing me take better care of myself and the choices I make, and from that, they are learning!  They do like to sneak into my JRE Buffalo Chicken Dip and Cheesecake Dip for fruit.
  4. When we’re out of town and at large family events, I need to plan ahead more.  We had an out of town wedding where I had three days to eat on my own, and I quickly resorted back to traditional on the road food choices.  I should have packed a cooler with some of my JRE options to supplement and replace some of those meals.
  5. Alas, nobody’s perfect, and the point is to work on behavior change and this takes TIME.

JRE_200x120 ADStop by Just Right Eating and schedule an appointment with Stephanie to discuss your nutritional goals today.  You will be glad you’ve invested in yourself and will save time and money on healthier food options.

 

swim lesson at the YYMCA of Springfield, IL Serving as an Official Host Location of the World’s Largest Swim Lesson™

The World’s Largest Swim Lesson™ sends the message Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ to millions around the globe in 24 hours.

On Friday, June 24th, 2016, tens of thousands of kids and adults at aquatic facilities around the world will unite for the seventh year in a row to make noise that Swimming Lessons Save Lives.™ A global event, The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL), will take place over the course of 24 hours at an estimated 500 locations in more than 20 countries.

Since its inception, more than 155,000 children and adults have participated in WLSL lessons, generating more than half a billion media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim. The 2015 WLSL event included 38,170 participants from 22 countries.

The Springfield Y will be serving as an official Host Location Facility for the WLSL 2016 event. Parents are invited to learn more about this phenomenal event by visiting WLSL.org. The Y will be offering three FREE half-hour lessons at 3:30PM, 4:15PM, and 5PM at the Downtown facility. All lessons are open to the public! Each lesson holds 30 participants so register soon.

Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury related death for children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.Facebook

For more information, visit the Springfield Y Facebook page at facebook.com/SpringfieldIllinoisYMCA or contact Tara Crowley at tcrowley@springfieldymca.org to register.

Making Memories is a blog devoted to taking time out and enjoying time with family.  In our first edition we talked about Making Our Summer Bucket List.  Today we are talking about appreciating Dad.  IMG_4776

So often we lose focus on the simple things in life.  It’s our kiddos that slow us down and help us reevaluate what’s important.  The other day when I was driving (in the mini van of course) from one activity to another, the girls were talking about what they would get Dad, if they had all the money in the world.  I thought this was so sweet and really showed how much they cared about him.  They felt their dad deserved the whole world. This got me thinking; Does a tie or a new box of golf balls really express how much we love and appreciate Dad? The guy who always makes sure there are flowers after every recital.  The man who coaches, cuddles, and kisses boo boos.  The dad who gardens with the girls.  The husband who always gives 100 percent in everything he does for our family.  Surely a new pair of golf shoes doesn’t say all that we want to say.  IMG_0755 When we got home I said “wouldn’t it be fun to let Dad know what he really means to us for Father’s Day?”  So we took their ideas they had in the car and made them into pictures.  They drew a bunch of things they would do for dad if they could.  One of the girls wants to take Dad to Disney World.  The other wants to buy him a big grill set.  IMG_4210They both said he should get to fly all around the world.  I am sure his favorite is the one they actually plan on just doing, instead of drawing.  “Our Dad deserves 1,000,000 hugs!”  So this Father’s Day it’s ok to slow things down and just know that it really is the thought that counts.  Your kiddos would give you the world if they could.  Take time to show Dad just how much he means to you and make a memory.

Today’s blog is from Ethan Whelpley. Ethan has social media accounts on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, SoundCloud and musical.ly and wants to share lessons he’s learned from having an online presence as a tween and teen.

It might seem hard to be safe and smart online. I have learned from my experiences online and have compiled a list of 7 tips to a smarter online personality.

  1. in the car teenBe yourself. Don’t try to impress others online. Behaving online like someone you’re not is a waste of time and you’ll regret it in the future. For example, if you pretend to use drugs online to try to impress your friends (which, by the way, is NOT impressive), years later a job interviewer might find those posts and you will most likely not get that job. Your parent, teacher, or coach could see the posts right now, assume they are true, and then your reputation may be tarnished. You might be punished, or worse. People believe what they see online and it’s hard to change their minds after they’ve seen something. Often it is impossible to tell what is a joke and what isn’t. It’s best to be true to who you are, online and in “real” life.
  2. Criticism is not bad. Listen to criticism. If it’s a positive comment, you know that your content is something that people like. If you receive negative criticism, then consider stopping those types of posts. When I receive criticism, I like to re-evaluate what I have posted in the past that has succeeded. Then I focus on something that works instead of trying to fix what people don’t like.
  3. Delete hate comments. You want your comment section to be honest, but if someone leaves a mean commentteen and grandma online just delete it. It’s as simple as that!
  4. Be interactive with your friends and fans. Respond to your friends’ posts. Respond to comments on your posts. Don’t feel compelled to follow someone back if you don’t want to. If you follow someone back, they will feel on somewhat of a personal level with you. Some of my favorite YouTubers are well known for following fans back and liking fans’ tweets. 
  5. Share the good and bad about your life. Everyone is tired of seeing all positive things on social media. Share some of the bad things in life. Don’t be too deep but make sure to be down to earth.
  6. If you screw up, then admit it and do something about it. This will have your friends and fans trusting in you because you are showing that you are honest. Earlier this year, I posted something and I did not even intend to offend anyone, and somebody got offended. I apologized and explained that I had not meant to offend the person, and then I just deleted the post. Sometimes it’s worse to delete your post, so keep that in mind. The best thing is to consider what you post, before you post it, and don’t post anything that might hurt someone else.  
  7. Be a role model. Be someone who you would look up to. A good example of someone who does this is FaZe Blaziken. He makes sure not to swear or do anything inappropriate, because he knows that kids watch his videos. Here’s a link to his YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/Blazifyy

Now that you have learned these 7 tips I hope it will be easier for you to go out on the internet and be successful on social media! Good luck!

Ethan Whelpley will be entering high school this fall. His videos can be found on YouTube at youtube.com/channel/UCRZ5WA-Y5W4hZzHdxr2HXOg and his music is at SoundClud at soundcloud.com/ethan-whelpley

JRE_Grab_GoI’ve completed week two since I’ve ventured into the Just Right Eating (JRE) prepared meals to improve my nutrition and set a better example for my kids.  The biggest benefit thus far for my life has been the convenience!  It’s SO much easier to eat right, when you open your fridge and have an assortment of ready to eat snacks and meals at your fingertips.  I won’t grab something from the pantry because I know these prepared items are FRESH and have a shelf life.  You’re much less likely to choose a candy bar or cookies when you have the choice of a delicious Peanut Butter Parfait that is packed with the right balance of carbs and protein to keep you fueled up! Healthier eating means less sodium, less preservatives, and additives ; plain and simple this feels much better in your body than a handful of cheez-its or grabbing string cheese and Ritz crackers and wondering why I don’t feel ready to conquer the next hour.

Try the Grab & Go option to experiment with new meals and snack options that you can have on hand. The most popular choices in my house this week:

  1.  Buffalo Chicken Dip with carrots and celery  (30g of protein and tastes just as good as the calorie-laden version I have made in the past!)
  2. Tuna Salad: 55g of protein this awesome salad!  The grab and go price of their salads is comparable to Panera and has a lot more substance.
  3. Pasta Roll:  27g of protein in this hearty but not hefty lunch or dinner choice.
  4. Oatmeal Fudge Bites:  The perfect afternoon pick me up with my afternoon drink of choice Coke Zero
  5. Taco Salad: This is one of my favorites, and I’ve ordered several of these.  I don’t miss the tortilla chips…seriously!  Mindful eating makes a difference, and it’s much more filling to eat the salad with a large does of protein.

Stop in to meet their friendly staff and taste the difference!  They’ve added a Grab & Go coupon for our readers here.  Just Right Eating is located diagonal from Lowe’s on Hedley Avenue next to the Little Gym.

 

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IMG_4110Making Memories is a blog devoted to taking time to create meaningful moments with our kiddos. Summer Break is officially here.  We have a million things we want to do and see.  We also want to cram as much fun in as we possibly can.  How do we make that happen?  This fun craft with the kiddos will help you make the most of the summer.

 

Materials needed:  Markers, Strips of paper, and a bucket.  Easy as that!

 

Have your kiddos and even the parents write down as many fun ideas or plans for
IMG_4113 the summer on these strips of paper. Ideas can range from going to a certain movie you wanted to see, going to the fair, get ice cream, or paint the patio.  Whatever you want to accomplish or do this summer.  We set rules that it had to be in the area. (They tried to write down Go to Disney World) Then let everyone put their items in the bucket.  We decided that each Sunday evening we would pull an item from the bucket and we would try to do that the following week.  We will keep track of the strips of paper that we have used by gluing them on a poster board so they can see all they have accomplished this summer.  You could even use the bucket as a IMG_4118reward.  So what’s on your summer bucket list? Whatever it is, make sure you take time to make a memory.

Year-round lifeguards are needed at the YMCA starting in the fall, and this summer they’re launching a training program that will cover your fee if you commit to work in the fall.  Learn more about this program!

springfieldymca.org/Youth-Development

 

Read more about Lifeguard Training and Job Openings Here.

 

IMG_7699 AZ TileDIY_Contest_RotatorHave you walked into a room and realize it needed a change? Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects are a great solution to revitalize your area. You can involve the whole family or knock them out on your own! Whether you are adding a back splash or building a storage rack out of reclaimed pallets, you can guarantee it will be fun and rewarding.

Here’s a few easy project ideas from Eric Henderson at Modern Countertops to spruce up your décor. Share your best DIY project and enter our contest from Arizona Tile Company & Modern Countertops to WIN a Free Granite or Quartz Remnant for Bathroom Vanity Up to 50″ with Rectangle or Oval Porcelain Under Mount Bowl (Plumbing Unhooking and Reattachment not included). Value $850!

These can be small or medium sized projects…our readers like Quick and EASY DIY!

 

All entries must be submitted by June 30th, 2016.  Send us your before and after pics; or just your “after” along with step by step instructions and estimated time and budget to complete the project!
We will also draw two winners for two tickets to The Purple Xperience Prince Tribute Band at the PCCC May 28th from all entries received by May 25th.  We won’t choose a winner for the bathroom vanity until July 1st.

 

PALLETS: Repurposing wood pallets (see above) are a fun way to add a conversation piece to your living or dining room. Build a rustic wine rack!
AZ tileTILE OVERSTOCK
: Installing a tile backsplash above a bathroom vanity can add pizazz to the area. Check out Arizona Tile Company “Outlet” area for your tile overstock!
GRANITE or QUARTZ REMNANTS
: Half walls or small areas where granite or quartz remnants can be installed to freshen up your bathroom or foyer.

Download this handy guide to get started!


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We look forward to your DIY results and creative NEW ideas as well!

 

See our early entry winner of two tickets to the Prince Tribute Band @ PCCC: Katie Anselment’s creative laundry hub DIY!

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I recently decided to take inventory of my eating with the goal of improving my health through better eating habits.  I’ve been athletic my whole life so it’s not a matter of exercise; it’s a decision to improve my nutrition and notice the difference! Drive-thru, carryout and haphazard grocery trips were not giving me the results I needed, and I didn’t like the example I was setting for my daughters.  I was spending too much time and far too much money and still not eating right.  I’ve driven by Just Right Eating (JRE) for a few years now, and I finally decided to stop in to see what their program is all about.

Owner Stephanie Johnson is a delight.  She created this business to help others foster a healthier lifestyle.  Whether it’s for convenience and nutrition, weight loss, athletes or disease management, Stephanie will find a meal plan that works for you.  It’s all freshly prepared, packaged and ready to eat, and they will work around any food allergies or gluten-free requests as well.  So when you’re hungry all you have to do is open your refrigerator or your cooler pack.   There are many options if you choose to start small (Dinner only plan or Lunch/Dinner plans.) I decided to start the 5 Day Basic program: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack for 5 days a week.  For some people, they eat well during the day, but fall off in the evenings.  I like her plan as it has you eating more consistently throughout the day (she suggests every 3-4 hours) so you’re keeping yourself fueled.
JRE_StaffWeek 1 Observations:
I picked up my first bag of meals and came home and stocked my fridge!  How awesome to have so many choices ready to eat with the nutritional benefits of each items printed on a label for each one.  No drive-thru food for me this week!  I figured out the daily cost of my JRE meals was actually less than I was spending out and about!  I also didn’t have to drive anywhere or wait in line!
It’s about $24 a day for the 5 Day Basic Meal plan which is less than I was spending on groceries as well. You don’t have to eat less; you just have to eat right.  There was plenty of food!  Did I occasionally add a snack or have a piece of graduation cake over the weekend?  Yes, but with the 5-day plan I have some flex options!  I lost a few pounds the first week just from the benefits of a balanced diet, and reduced sodium intake.  I’m so excited to see what next week brings!  I encourage you to stop by and meet Stephanie and talk about your goals.  You can start small and even enjoy Grab & Go carryout meals if you want to sample some of the meals.
JRE_Grab_Go_RefrigeratorMy favorite meals Week 1:  Blood Orange Parfait, Steak Cobb Salad, Chicken Stir-fry and Chicken Parmesan.
On to week two…and pizza is on the menu :-)

Learn more about Just Right Eating and their coupon offer.