Thursday, June 30, 2016

Encourage STEM Learning All Year Long with the Boys & Girls Club of America My.Future Website {#Learn365}

BGCA Logo
This post was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

As my kids literally counted down the final days of school earlier this month, I was filled with a mix of emotions. Happiness over getting to spend more time with them, excitement over embarking on new sports endeavors... and fear and dread over the knowledge that their boredom nearly always leads to bickering and fighting.

Fortunately, now that summer is in full swing, we have managed to stay occupied with swim team practices and meets, bike rides around town, visits to the library, taking care of our garden, playdates with friends, and more.

But can I help it if I want to incorporate some learning into our days as well? We've all heard of the "summer slide" (the tendency for kids to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year) so I'm always on the lookout for educational ways to encourage my girls to use their minds throughout the summer as well.

Which is why I'm happy to have been introduced to the Boys & Girls Club of America My.Future website!

MyDotFuture_logo

It is no secret that Boys & Girls Clubs have been leaders in out-of-school time programming for more than 150 years. But now they have teamed up with Comcast NBCUniversal to create the My.Future program to specifically deliver programming that sparks kid's and teens' interests and passions in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas.

STEM jobs in the U.S. are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as other fields by 2018, but 3 million of them may go unfilled because of a lack of people with needed skills. Instead, by introducing youth to new technology skills early, they may be more likely to pursue a career in a STEM-related field and take on the global economy.

#Learn365

Pretty great, right? The My.Future program was created and designed to teach today's youth the skills needed to thrive in our current digital world. It enables kids and teens to select from over 40 hands-on activities to help them understand how to safely and productively engage online, and identify and develop digital interests.

I love that My.Future offers staff-facilitated projects that provide members of all ability levels with foundational technology skills so that those who are just beginners gain confidence and those with a great deal of previous knowledge are not bored. As members accumulate a certain number of outcomes, they qualify for certified digital badges that can then be showcased online and added to a member's resume to show their technical competency.

BCGA My.Future

All throughout the school year our children are challenged to learn and grow, so this summer be sure to keep encouraging them to continue! The My.Future program will help your kids/teens understand our media filled world while allowing them to identify and develop digital interests and delve into subjects such as robotics, game design, programming, and online journalism.

Instead of fretting over allowing your kids more time in front of a screen, My.Future will provide technological advancements that will help them this fall and beyond! Find out much more by visiting MyFuture.net today.

Tasty Asian Fusion in Downtown Madison: FuGu Asian {#ReviewCrew}

Review Crew Blogger Badge
As with all parents, I love spending time with my children. However, also as with all parents, there are times that getting away from them and having a night out with just my husband is good for my soul.

So, having the opportunity to drop everything and have a dinner date just the two of us recently was the perfect way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of our chaotic summer (and everyday life) and relax.

Even better? Being able to save a bundle of money by using a Restaurant.com certificate on our visit to FuGu Asian in downtown Madison!

FuGu Madison

Known for putting a modern interpretation on classic dishes, FuGu Asian offers outstanding Chinese cuisine, excellent service, and friendly staff. Whether stopping in for a quick business lunch, a large, informal family gathering or simply picking up takeout for a tasty meal at home, this is one restaurant that offers something for everyone.

Or, if you would rather stay home and let FuGu bring their delicious food to you, they'll deliver right to your door throughout Madison, WI!

FuGu Asian delivery
I've never seen a cuter delivery car!

Stepping inside FuGu's bright, open dining room, it was immediately clear that we had selected a location that was calm and comfortable. Just right for a quiet meal and conversation — although I could tell that this was a place that the kids would have been welcome as well!

FuGu restaurant

After being shown to our table, it was time to peruse the menu... which was not an easy feat.

Page after page of appetizers, rice, noodles, pork, chicken, seafood, pickled pepper dishes, and many more. For those of us who don't eat meat, I was especially happy to see that FuGu has a full selection of vegetarian options as well.

FuGu Madison menu

Although there were quite a few items that we wanted to try, we finally managed to narrow down the choices and place our order.

Only a short while later, my smoothie-loving husband's eyes lit up when his kiwi smoothie and Pan Fried Pork Dumplings were delivered to the table.

FuGu Asian Fusion

Although the dumplings were a bit dark, my husband said they were still very flavorful and the smoothie was one of the freshest that either of us had ever tasted (and let me tell you, with his smoothie obsession, we have tasted a lot of them). If you can imagine what it would taste like to fill a blender with chunks of ripe, sweet kiwis and a little bit of ice, then you'd have this thick, tasty concoction!

It wasn't long after that our Pan Fried Noodles...

FuGu noodles

 ...and Home Style Tofu arrived...

FuGu Home Style Tofu

...and we dug into both flavorful dishes.

By the time we were finished eating (and had two to-go boxes filled with leftovers to extend these tasty dishes even further), we were both full and content. Even better, we handed over our Restaurant.com certificate when the check arrived and watched the total get cut in half — who doesn't love to save money on a yummy meal?

When it comes to fresh, Asian Fusion dishes that only use high quality ingredients, FuGu serves up a large selection in a friendly atmosphere. As it is conveniently located only blocks from the Capitol and surrounded by popular walking and shopping spots for the whole family, this is a great restaurant to be able to visit time and again!

For more information about FuGu Asian, visit their website. To find out about all of the money-saving options that Restaurant.com has to offer in your area (or in an area that you are planning to visit), head over to Restaurant.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

As a member of the Restaurant.com Review Crew, I have been provided gift cards and compensation in order to facilitate my reviews. However, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stay Stocked Up and "Avoid the Oops" with P&G and Walmart.com! {#AvoidtheOops}

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Walmart.

During the school year, I feel as though life is busy. Between homework, practices, errands, soccer games, volunteering, PTO events, and more, the kids and I hit the ground running in the morning and don't stop until dinner.

However, once summer arrives, it isn't long before I'm reminded on just how busy our days can actually get. Arriving for swim meets at 6:45am, loading and unloading bikes for triathlon training (for the kids, not me), making it on time to birthday parties, barbecues, play dates, and more... whose idea was it to schedule three different things all happening one right after another? Me? Oh. Right.

Needless to say, I've been slacking on some of my usual household duties, as let's be honest. A mom can only get so many things accomplished in the span of 24 hours.

Fortunately for all of us, I've been able to "Avoid the Oops" of running out of the essentials we need in just about every room of the house thanks to all of the great stock up options available from P&G and Walmart.com!

P&G Walmart Avoid the Oops

From tissues to cleaning supplies to soap to toothpaste, P&G has all of the items that my family depends on each and every day. I try to always keep extra Charmin in all of our bathroom cabinets, as we all know that sinking feeling when you reach for the toilet paper roll only to find that it is empty, right?

And don't even get me started on how I felt my heart skip a beat a few weeks ago when I went to wash yet another load of swimsuits and towels only to find my bottle of Tide detergent empty. It was a good thing that I was able to dig around on my laundry room shelves to find one lonely sample package stashed away!

That was the day that I went straight to my computer to stock up at Walmart.com. Their convenient Avoid the Oops site is filled with page after page of P&G products in all categories, sizes, price ranges, and more — and, if your order is $50 or more, it automatically comes with FREE shipping (whatever the order total, there is always free store pickup as well)!

Avoid the Oops products

This really couldn't be much easier, which is why there is no reason to take time away from summer fun and drag my kids to store after store when just about every essential we need can be purchased at Walmart's everyday low prices and then delivered right to our door instead.

It only took me a matter of minutes before I had my cart filled and my order placed. All that was left to do was sit back and let Walmart and P&G take care of the rest!

Walmart order confirmation

After a few days of enjoying the summer sunshine, the first half of my order arrived safely and well packed. Another couple days later and the second half showed up, just as conveniently as the first!

Walmart online

Can we just talk about how much easier it is to have these items be delivered to me for free rather than dragging all of their bulk in and out of the cart, trunk and into my house? And what a time-saver!

P&G at Walmart #AvoidtheOops

We use Bounty paper towels for just about everything and these Puffs tissues have already been put to use due to the amount of sneezing and sniffling that my kids have been doing thanks to their summer colds.

As for the Cascade Platinum and Tide PODS? They are my lifesavers. The washing machine and the dishwasher are running constantly, so being able to grab one of these handy little packets to toss into the machine is a must!

Tide PODS

When it comes to saving time and money, the everyday low prices at Walmart can't be beat and the convenience of having it all delivered right to your door is nothing short of magical.

Why spend more time indoors shopping when you could be outside enjoying summer instead? Head over to AvoidTheOops.com to see just what high quality P&G products are waiting for you today!

Do you have an "Oops" moment when you realized you were out of an essential?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Taking Charge of My Hunger with Meta Appetite Control {#MetaAppetiteControl}

Meta logo
This post was sponsored by Meta Appetite Control as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

In a previous lifetime of mine (meaning before I had children), I most likely would have considered myself fairly healthy. I ate well, drank plenty of water, exercised a bit... life just seemed to provide much more time to take care of myself.

Fast-forward quite a few years and I often cringe knowing that I'm not always making the best choices for my health. Sure, I would love to eat only the most nutritious foods and proper portions and cut out snacking, but let's be honest. I spend my days packing bags, chauffeuring from lessons to camps to appointments, refereeing pointless sibling arguments, and more.

Is it any wonder that, combined with my lack of willpower, I often find myself stuffing food into my mouth simply based on what is convenient? I know that I shouldn't, but my hunger takes over, the kitchen cupboards call my name, and, more often than not, it isn't long before the guilt sets in. Gah!

Therefore, if I find a product that can help me ward off temptations, take control over my never-ending hunger, and provide a boost in my energy and self-confidence, there's no doubt that I want to give it a try. It's time for Meta Appetite Control to help me take back my life!

Meta appetite control

Clinically proven to help users feel less hungry between meals (reducing appetite for up to four hours), Meta Appetite Control is the #1 doctor recommended fiber brand that contains 100% natural psyllium fiber. How it works is that with every serving that psyllium fiber in the powder thickens to form a gel, which aids in the sensation of fullness. More full = less eating, right?

And the result? Less hunger between meals and the ability to make it through the day without feelings of starvation or being famished that lead me to reach for far too many extra calories. I find that once I start snacking it's difficult to stop, so Meta Appetite Control would be just what I needed!

I was ready to head to Walgreens to find this great new product and put it to work helping me make better decisions for my overall well-being.

Walgreens Meta Appetite Control

Although I spent a little time searching in the diet section at Walgreens, it was only a few minutes later that I made my way over to the digestive wellness aisle and discovered a great little display of Meta products for a healthy lifestyle (and more on the shelf only a few feet away). As an added plus to bringing home Meta Appetite Control, I also received 5,000 Bonus Balance Rewards just for buying it!

Once home, it was time to see just how well I would be able to incorporate this new product into my life.

Meta Appetite Control

Easy peasy!

Without having to count calories or struggle through a strenuous workout schedule, Meta Appetite Control has already been a simple, straightforward addition to my wellness plan.

All that is required is to place two rounded teaspoons into an empty glass and mix briskly with eight or more ounces of water (I have found that a little more water lessens the Orange Zest flavor, but I actually like it at full strength!), and drink with a meal. While new users are encouraged to begin with only one serving daily before slowly increasing their intake, Meta Appetite Control can be taken up to three times each day.

Meta Appetite Control review

So far, so good! I'm looking forward to having Meta Appetite Control add some extra fiber to my life while helping me feel full longer each day. It's the perfect kick-start to getting myself back on track with losing weight and getting healthy!

Want to give Meta Appetite Control a try with me? It is available now at your local Walgreens, where you can save $5 on it by filling out the form below. Even better, the first 100 people to receive their $5 digital coupon will also receive a Meta Appetite Control product sample FREE*!

fill out this online form!

(*Influence Central will select and handle all product and coupon fulfillment.)

Find out more about Meta Appetite Control (which is available in Sugar-Free Orange Zest, Sugar-Free Pink Lemonade Quench and Unflavored Smoothie Enhancer) and all of the other innovative Meta products by heading over to MetaWellness.com. Be sure to also connect with all things Walgreens at Walgreens.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.