5 Ways To Safeguard Kids’ Devices From Predators

5 Easy Ways To Safeguard Kids' Tech Devices From Predators

New apps pop up almost every day, and *bam* every single one of your kid¹s friends and classmates are using this bright and shiny new toy and… you find out, so is your child. The app looks age appropriate and harmless to you, however predators find ways to infiltrate and exploit. Yes, you check your child’s phone, computer or tablet on a regular basis to make sure no inappropriate content is being sent to them. However, there are other steps parents need to take to safeguard their children. See below: 5 ways to safeguard kids’ tech devices from predators.

One common mistake parents make is allowing their children to create a username that incorporates their name, information about their age and location or interests. These small pieces of data are enough for a predator to start piecing together a profile of a child and give predators tools that can be used to find more information to manipulate kids. By following these simple guidelines, parents can help make sure online predators are not targeting their children.

  1. Stop Kids from Duplicating Usernames – Just like recycling a password is a bad idea kids should not use the same username to log into different online accounts. Having one common username across accounts just makes it easier for criminals to search for and find details about a child’s life.
  2. Keep Personal Details Private – If an app or website requires kids to fill out a profile do not let them enter personally identifying details like their full name, birthdate, age or address. If they cannot use a site without supplying these details either supply a false answer to the questions or do not allow your child to use that site/app.
  3. Email Addresses and Usernames Do Not Mix – Linking a username with an email address can simplify a predator’s search for personal information. Using trial and error a criminal can add common email providers to a username, run a search and pull up social media accounts and any other sites where an email address was used to create a profile.
  4. Create Unique Email Addresses for Each App/Site – Some email providers including Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo allow users to alter their email address into infinite number of disposable addresses. For example if your child’s email address is shauntips@gmail.com and he/she wants to sign up for a new gaming site you can alter his/her email address just for that site by adding an identifier to it such as shauntips+ABCGamingFun@gmail.com. This keeps your child’s actual email address private and can help stop criminals from being able to track online history simply by searching for an email address.
  5. Stay Vigilant – Regularly checking what apps your child is using and what websites are being visited is the first line of defense. If anything looks suspicious or if you are unsure what something is, ask your child. If he/she cannot explain to your satisfaction what the app is then delete it and block it.

 

This information from SNDR.com was shared by permission.  

  

About SNDR

SNDR.com gives parents tools to stay up to date on latest threats. For more information about protecting your security and privacy online, visit: www.sndr.com. SNDR™ is a new app that combines all the ways you already communicate into a single platform. You can text, email, share files and use social media all from one app. And, every message is encrypted and completely secure. 

If You Want 2017 To Be Your Year…

2017 Advice - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

What do you think of these ideas?

 

I’m honestly feeling that 2017 requires us all to be fierce and to be brave.  Let’s help each other!  We are ALL human beings.  Thank goodness we’re not all of the same mind.  How boring would that be?  VERY!

Remember… hate is a learned emotion.  With our recent election I discovered those that I assumed were believing along the same lines as my heart and mind, in fact, were not.  Was I shocked?  For the most part, no.  However, it has taught me to take pause, to take a moment, to listen to my heart and go from there.

Lead with your heart!

Please be kind to each other!

 

Let 2017 be a truly Happy New Year

 

Enter This Thanksgiving Giveaway Today!

 
‘Tis the season to gather friends and family around the table (or t.v. trays – whatever works) and enjoy each others company over delicious food.  Now, this food costs money so wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra to help your budget? Sure it would!  Enter this Thanksgiving Giveaway today for your chance to win $50 in Paypal cash or an eGift Card of your choice!


Welcome to the $50 of Choice Thanksgiving Giveaway!
Hosted by: Southern Mom Loves
Co-Hosted by: Dorky’s Deals
 
One winner will receive $50 via Paypal cash or eGift Card of choice! If I can purchase an eGift card or code online and email it to you, you can choose that store, or you can choose Paypal cash!

Enter below, and good luck.
Giveaway begins on 10/27/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 11/23/16 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open Worldwide (void where prohibited.) Once winners are confirmed, they will be added to the Winner’s List here.
Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add southernmomloves@gmail.com to your whitelist. Southern Mom Loves will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.
 
Contact Holly at southernmomloves@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

10 Halloween Etiquette Tips And Tricks

10 Halloween Etiquette Tips & Tricks - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

It’s time for scary costumes, carving pumpkins, candy and trick or treating.  As Halloween approaches, there are somethings parents and children need to remember.  10 Halloween Etiquette Tips & Tricks:

–        Select Appropriate Costumes: Costumes that represent a culture, race, ethnic or religious group or someone with a serious illness, poverty or other hardship, are inappropriate.  Sexually explicit costumes and those mocking LGBT or gender identity encourage negativity. During this election year, our public political figures are certainly on the table; expect to see Clinton and Trump.

 

–        Teach Your Kids Manners: Halloween is a great opportunity to teach your kids manners, such as greeting and thanking each homeowner who gives them candy. Explain to older kids and teenagers that bullying and pushing smaller kids out of the way won’t be tolerated. When they encounter a bowl of candy at the door, make sure they are considerate and only take one or two pieces.  Be sure they respect private property, including homeowner decorations, and don’t leave unwanted candy or wrappers in lawns.

 

–        Age Appropriateness: While many adults enjoy Halloween dress up, remember this is mostly a children’s holiday.  What your teenager might wear, is not a good fit for a first-grade Halloween party.  Gage the costume based on your child’s age, and the age of his or her peers. Even if you think your young child might be able to handle dressing up as Freddy Krueger, it might be too much for his or her friends.

10 Halloween Etiquette Tips & Tricks - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

–         Candy Alternatives: Traditional chocolate or sugar-laced candy are always a hit. With more health conscious parents, consider sealed mini bottled water, pre-packaged popcorn, coloring books, pre-packaged healthy snacks, small inexpensive toys, or pens/pencils.

 

–        Respect Neighbors Who Aren’t Participating: By simply turning off the outside lights, this alerts trick or treaters to skip your house and go on to the next.  As an option, consider leaving a bowl of candy by the front door.  Putting the car in the garage may also remove the question of whether someone is home.

 

–        Knock One Time and One Time Only: If no one answers, move on to the next house.  There’s no need to be excessive and knock 10 times. The homeowner might be on an important call or trying to help a baby to sleep. On a related note: know when it’s appropriate to knock. Trick or treating generally starts just before sunset and ends by 9pm.  10 Halloween Etiquette Tips & Tricks - Ann Again and again Reviews

–        No Homemade Treats: While it’s a nice thought to want to bake homemade Halloween treats, don’t do it.  Parents have heightened safety concerns for good reason, and will discard these items.  Buy pre-packaged candy from trusted brands like Hershey, M&M, Skittles, Dove, Reese’s.

 

–        Never Arrive Empty Handed: Anyone invited to a Halloween party, does not arrive empty handed.  Bring a small hostess gift such as tea towels, diffuser, candle, coasters, fresh fruit, wine, packaged sweets, or children’s game.

 

–        Office & School Policies: Office culture varies, so be sure to research your workplace policy. Ask a trusted colleague about the ‘unwritten rules.’ Some offices encourage tasteful costumes, while others frown upon the practice.  Education policies vary, so don’t assume children may wear their costumes to school.  In many school districts across the nation, costumes are prohibited for safety reasons. Double check and don’t assume.

 

–         Stay Safe: Younger children should always be accompanied by parents or a designated chaperone. Older children and teens should trick or treat as part of a group.  Never enter someone’s home you don’t know, no matter how nice they seem.  Carry a flashlight and mobile phone.  Follow your intuition and if you have a bad feeling about something, avoid it.

 

(*These tips were shared, with permission, from Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide.)

Age Appropriate Chores For Kids

 

Age Appropriate Chores For Younger Kids - Ann Again and again Reviews

It’s wise to start teaching children to help around the house with assigned chores when they’re young.  It doesn’t need to be perceived as a punishment, taking care of the home you live in is a blessing!  Think about it, you have a home.  Show your children that cleaning is taking pride in your surroundings and yourself.  (I’m still working on having my teenager understand this *ahem*  Oh boy! ).  Below you’ll find a chart to help guide you to Age Appropriate Chores For Kids.  Print it out and post it in your home!

Of course, a child’s age doesn’t really define what chores are appropriate, but it can give a starting guideline. The physical, developmental, and emotional age of a child all make a difference. So be prepared to adapt the list.

Make it fun and don’t expect perfection.

 

After all, you want to encourage chore activities, not make your child(ren) frustrated or resentful. The more kids accept doing chores when young, the better the chance they will cooperate when older.

You can find more helpful guidelines and printable charts at Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapathy – ACN Latitudes:  http://latitudes.org/ .

 

Age Appropriate Chores  For Kids - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

(*Disclosure:  This information/infographic was shared with permission from Latitudes.org.  They provide these printables as a free resource in an effort to help parents motivate their kids, improve self-esteem, and to help raise awareness to their nonprofit’s cause.)

Enter To Win Playful PJs For Chilly Nights!

Let’s have some fun!  Enter to win playful PJs for the soon-to-come chilly nights.  So cute!!!  Good luck!

 
Welcome to the Character Onesie Wardrobe Giveaway Event!
 
Sponsored by: Richard Leeds International
Organized by: Southern Mom Loves

 
With Fall coming, we thought you could use some fun new PJs! These character onesies from Richard Leeds International are warm and soft and come in fun designs to help keep you looking cool all season long, and are available in Olaf, Eeyore, Ariel, MinnieSugar Skull, Shark, & Pollo.
So if you’re looking for some adorable cool-weather PJs, look no further than your local Walmart store, where you can find these cute offerings in the Sleepwear section or online at Walmart.com, and then enter to win a full onesie wardrobe below!

 

  • 1-(One) 1st prize: 7 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 2-(Two) 2nd prizes: 4 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 3-(Three) 3rd prizes: 3 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 7-(Seven) 4th prizes: 1 pair of onesies pajamas
13 total winners will be sent fun Character Onesies in randomly chosen designs from the styles shown above, in their Women’s size as they state it in the Giveaway Tools widget below. (ARV $620!)
 
Enter below, the odds are fantastic!
Giveaway begins on 9/16/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 10/7/16 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open to residents of the US only. Once confirmed, the winners will be added to the Southern Mom Loves Winner’s List.

 

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add southernmomloves@gmail.com to your whitelist. Richard Leeds International will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.
 
Contact Holly at southernmomloves@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

Peace Of Mind Tips In September

No review this time.  No giveaway to share.  I’m just checking in with you.  How are you?  Really?  It was an  interesting/stressful summer for our family and, with the beginning of the school year, the “interesting” twists keep on comin’!  I try to plan, I try to stay positive however, the anxiety (and annoyance) creeps in and I hate it.  How do you deal with anxiety? How do you create peace of mind?

Peace of mind Tips In September - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

While I shared many giveaways in August — Many are still open!  Go check them out!  They are good! (in the ‘Search’ box in the upper right – the magnifying glass – type in Giveaway) — I’m going to switch gears for September and focus on ways to help the family.  I plan on sharing ways to help relieve stress, find freebies/deals so that more money stays in your wallet and tips on how to create a productive, calm homework environment.

Peace of Mind Tips in September - Bonding with baby - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

Now, I’m not saying I’ve mastered any of these things!  I’m searching for guidance in these areas and if I find info. that is worthy of exploring and sharing, I will.  I’m sure I’m not alone in looking for peace of mind, right?  I would love it if you would share in the comments below any advice/guidance that has helped you in relation to my posts topics.  It takes a village!

So, on we go!  Let’s help each of find Peace of Mind Tips in September.  On my current list of information to share I have free meals for children at a family-friendly restaurant, an on-line tool that will help kids with their English school work and an innovative anti-bullying app that helps the victim, and the bully, to a peaceful resolution.  It’s very interesting and has me excited!

I’m searching daily for ideas.  Help this list of tips grow!  Your comments will be very much appreciated.

Peace of Mind Tips in September - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

 

 

 

Yes! $150 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

Target Gift Card

Not only would a lovely gift card from Target be great, how about a program that helps you lower prices at Target as well?  Sign me up!  Dropprice is an innovative startup that rewards moms for being social. Essentially, they empower parents to drop prices of kids & baby products with a click. The price continues dropping as more moms click “Drop the price”. Every week new promotions are launched and parents drop prices by sharing them on social media. See the chart below to understand the power parents have and how important it is to share with other parents.

Target Gift Card

In today’s promotion for the Children Inspire Design Cards, it started out at $22.00 and for each parent that clicks, the price drops a bit. The price will continue to drop for each parent that participates.

Target Gift Card

You can choose to share on social media to get more moms to click “Drop the price”, or you can “Buy Now” at the current price. Keep in mind that when the price gets low, they usually sell out and you will no longer have the chance to buy that item. As an added bonus every item on Dropprice ships for free!

Do you want to give it a try? This is such a fun and exciting way for parents to save lots of money by collaborating with each other. If you would like to have a chance to win a $150 Target gift card, you can experience dropping the price by following the instructions below.

Giveaway: Win a $150 Target Gift Card

All you have to do is help parents drop the price of this Counting Cards and you will be entered to win a $150 Target gift card. Just click “Drop the price” on the entry form below for a chance to win. For even more entries, share it on your social media networks via the entry form — every time one of your friends also clicks to drop the price, you’ll automatically receive additional giveaway entries!

This giveaway ends on 8/22/2016; you must be a US Resident and be 18 years or older to enter. Winners are randomly selected and contacted via email; the winners will be listed at the top of the entry form when the giveaway ends.

Terms & Conditions | Powered by Dropprice

8 Of The Most Exciting PLAYFul Trends for 2016

 8 Exciting PLAYFul Trends For 2016 - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

Summer is full of activity. There are ways to spend a bundle on outdoor events and activities but that’s not what I’m about.  I’m “Frugal Ann”, always looking for ways to play and have fun without spending a lot (or any!) dollars and cents. There’s an organization dedicated to reminding us the importance of play, and the lessons learned on the playground – Voice of Play.  And you know what’s so great about playgrounds? They’re free! That fits my summer budget perfectly. How about you?

 

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

– Plato

Badminton in the backyard!
Badminton in the backyard!
Voice of Play has compiled a list – 8 of the Most PLAYFul Trends of 2016 – which is filled with great ideas on how to play with your family.  It could be building a fort in your yard (or living room), going for a walk in your neighborhood or discovering a new park.  For us, it’s tree climbing and badminton.  (It can get intense – but still fun!)  More and more educators and parents realize that play is crucial for their kids’ — not just for fun, but because it helps them learn!

 

Katie in her favorite tree

 

I would love for you to share what activities you do with your family!  (And remember, Free is a very good price.)  I live in the Pacific NW – Portland, OR – and that gives our family access to the coast, the mountains and the stunning Columbia Gorge. All we need to do is pack a lunch, pay for gas (unavoidable!) then we’re off!  Are you in an area that’s surrounded by the glory of Mother Nature?  If so, where does your family like to go on day trips?

 

Horseshoes Kathi and Lily Rockaway Beach, OR

 

Do your family a favor and visit the website Voice of Play, and learn more about the 8 PLAYFul Trends of 2016.

 

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play.
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5 Easy Ways to Safeguard Kids’ Tech Devices from Predators

5 Easy Ways To Safeguard Kids' Tech Devices From Predators - Ann Again and again Reviews.com

 

New apps pop up almost every day, and instantly every single one of your kid¹s friends and classmates are using this bright and shiny new toy and, you find out, so is your kid. The app looks age appropriate and harmless, but predators find ways to infiltrate and exploit. Yes, you check your child’s phone, computer or tablet on a regular basis to make sure no inappropriate content is being sent to them. However, there are other steps parents need to take to safeguard their children. See below: 5 easy ways to safeguard kids’ tech devices from predators.

One common mistake parents make is allowing their children to create a username that incorporates their name, information about their age and location or interests. These small pieces of data are enough for a predator to start piecing together a profile of a child and give predators tools that can be used to find more information to manipulate kids. By following these simple guidelines, parents can help make sure online predators are not targeting their children.

  1. Stop Kids from Duplicating Usernames – Just like recycling a password is a bad idea kids should not use the same username to log into different online accounts. Having one common username across accounts just makes it easier for criminals to search for and find details about a child’s life.
  2. Keep Personal Details Private – If an app or website requires kids to fill out a profile do not let them enter personally identifying details like their full name, birthdate, age or address. If they cannot use a site without supplying these details either supply a false answer to the questions or do not allow your child to use that site/app.
  3. Email Addresses and Usernames Do Not Mix – Linking a username with an email address can simplify a predator’s search for personal information. Using trial and error a criminal can add common email providers to a username, run a search and pull up social media accounts and any other sites where an email address was used to create a profile.
  4. Create Unique Email Addresses for Each App/Site – Some email providers including Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo allow users to alter their email address into infinite number of disposable addresses. For example if your child’s email address is shauntips@gmail.com and he/she wants to sign up for a new gaming site you can alter his/her email address just for that site by adding an identifier to it such as shauntips+ABCGamingFun@gmail.com. This keeps your child’s actual email address private and can help stop criminals from being able to track online history simply by searching for an email address.
  5. Stay Vigilant – Regularly checking what apps your child is using and what websites are being visited is the first line of defense. If anything looks suspicious or if you are unsure what something is, ask your child. If he/she cannot explain to your satisfaction what the app is then delete it and block it.

 

This information from SNDR.com was shared by permission.  

  

About SNDR

SNDR.com gives parents tools to stay up to date on latest threats. For more information about protecting your security and privacy online, visit: www.sndr.com. SNDR™ is a new app that combines all the ways you already communicate into a single platform. You can text, email, share files and use social media all from one app. And, every message is encrypted and completely secure. 

Take The Pledge With Me! Take Back Your Drive!

Pull Over!!! Then Text - Take the pledge at Ann Again and again Reviews

I wish I could write words to make this the ultimate post to end the action of texting while driving.

I wish I could find the right combination of words to make those drivers that feel their text message is more important then someone’s life – perhaps their own –  a text that just can’t wait that they just have to send it while they’re driving 3000+ lbs. hunk of metal, I wish I could convince them to stop.  I mean, come on!!! Nothing – No Thing – is THAT IMPORTANT to share, or respond to, that you have to text while you drive.  Take the pledge with me – Take Back Your Drive.

 PULL OVER!!!  Then Text!

 

The-Great-Multitasking-Lie
Click this graphic and see the reality

 

 

There.  Easy peasy. Pull over, then text.  Concentrate on the job at hand – you’re in control of 3000+ lbs. of metal that’s moving.  That’s where a drivers attention should be, on driving. Will you please join me in committing to give up cell phone use – both hand held and hands free – while driving for, at the very least, one week.  It won’t hurt, I promise.  Please visit the site: National Safety Council and sign the pledge. Have children that drive? Sign them up too!

A delayed response to a text won’t hurt however, texting while driving can, and will potentially kill.

The other day a dog darted across the street from in between two parked cars.  If I had been distracted at the wheel I would have hit and killed this poor dog! And I know it would be an experience that I couldn’t forget.  I would play it over and over in my mind. (Do you do that to? Go over scenarios over and over and…  Ugh. It’s exhausting.)

So, are you with me? Yes you are!  Put your phone in your purse/bag. Put your phone away from easy reach.  You’re driving a car, let that be your focus.   Click this link to sign the pledge:  National Safety Council  Thank You!!!

#TakeBackMyDrive @NSCsafety

 

(*Disclosure:  I was compensated for my participation in sharing this incredibly important message.  My words are my own.  Let’s be safe out there! smile for Shopify)

Sam The Cat Decorates His Christmas Tree – Video

We had a cat adopt US over the Summer. I went out to the patio, sat down for breakfast and *boom* there are two green eyes staring at me from the end of the table.  I saw how incredibly thin he was and couldn’t resist feeding him. (Ms. Tender Heart here!) This little guy was so hungry that he ate 2 cans of food at a time. This eating habit brought about his name (courtesy of my husband) Two-can Sam. Get it? Toucan Sam?  From the Froot Loops cereal? 

After a visit to the vet we found no chip and no neighbors claimed him from “Lost Cat” postings.  Sam chose to stay on our patio, in our yard, and would never leave.  Sam wanted to be a part of our family and we accept.  (It’s taken a while with our oldest daughter but our youngest is SO happy!)  When the weather turned cold Sam decided to move from our patio to the inside of our house.

We discover more about his personality as the days go by. He keeps to himself, yet also likes to know that we’re around.  So far he’s very, very quiet. While we were decorating the Christmas Tree, he observed from the recliner, resting on his cozy blanket.  The next day I brought a little tree next to his food dish.  Below you’ll see how he chose to decorate his little tree, with a toy mouse.  Sweet Sam.

Trick or Treating Safety Tips!

 

For those of us who have quite a few All Hallows’ Eve spooky nights under our parent/guardian belt the following tips will seem obvious.  But, for those just starting out, or those that need reminders, the following should help you on your way to a safe – and fun! – night of Trick or Treating.

(A tip to add to this list:  Make sure your child’s costume is bathroom friendly.  If the costume takes a while to put on you can only imagine how much longer it feel when they have to go!)

Do you have some Trick or Treating Safety Tips to add? Please share in the comments!

Trick or Treating Safety Tips! - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

Trick or Treating Safety Tips - Ann Again and again Reviews

(*Disclosure: This infographic shared with permission by CostumeSuperCenter.com)

Let's Stay Healthy At The Beach! Water, Sunscreen and Proper Cover

Beach Health - Ann Again and again Reviews
The Harrison Clan enjoys the Oregon Coast

 

Every summer, millions of people will make their way to the beach. There is no denying the fact that the beach is one of the country’s favorite vacation destinations. However, it is important to take the necessary precautions while enjoying the warm water and abundance of sunshine. Here are some tips for staying healthy at the beach.

Drink plenty of water.
Some people tend to forget the importance of staying properly hydrated. The hot environment of the beach can cause a person to expel a substantial amount of moisture. In order to prevent dehydration, the body needs to have a steady supply of fresh water. If a person’s urine exhibits a darkened appearance, this is a tell-tale sign that they are experiencing mild dehydration.

Wear sunscreen.
Before heading out for the day, be sure to apply an adequate amount of sunscreen. Contrary to popular belief, individuals with darker skin tones still need to use sunscreen. An SPF of at least 15 will be suitable for most people. However, the people who have very fair skin may need to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 40.

 

Ann beach hat
Of course I have my hat! Channeling ’50’s Glamor

 

 

Wear comfortable clothing.
Most beach-goers tend to do a lot of walking. This means that it is a good idea to wear comfortable clothing at all times. Both adults and children need to select beachwear that does not restrict their movement.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying a cold alcoholic beverage. However, avoid consuming entirely too much alcohol, especially in extreme hot weather.  Not only does being intoxicated impact a person’s judgment, but it could also lead to becoming ill.

 

What ways do you keep yourself healthy while enjoying the surf and sand?

 

Hilary Swank Joins Duracell And USO To Honor Children Of U.S. Military Families

Hilary Swank, Mackenzie Nilson and the "star" of the movie The Teddy Bear
Hilary Swank, Mackenzie Nilson and the “star” of the movie The Teddy Bear

In honor of Independence Day, Duracell has launched a new short film to shine a light on the children of military families and announced a partnership with the United Service Organization (USO). The film, The Teddy Bear, inspired by a real military family, tells the story of a young girl and her beloved battery-powered teddy bear that has the ability to record voices. Her teddy bear is her way of staying always connected to her father during his deployment through the comfort of hearing his voice. Two-time Academy Award-winner, Hilary Swank, shared her support of the program as the daughter of a service member herself; her father is a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant.

Hilary Swank, left. Navy Air Traffic Controller First Class Robert Nilson, wife Denise, daughter Mackenzie, 3, and their son. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Duracell/AP Images)
Hilary Swank, left. Navy Air Traffic Controller First Class Robert Nilson, wife Denise, daughter Mackenzie, 3, and their son.
(Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Duracell/AP Images)

You can view the very touching short movie, The Teddy Bear here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQaeXWtvprM

Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, more than 2 million American children have had a deployed parent, according to the “Military Children and Families” report conducted by Princeton University/Brookings (Fall 2013). Many of them have seen multiple deployments, 3, 4, or even 5 family separations, making the USO’s “Comfort Crew for Military Kids” program important and something Duracell is proud to support.

For those that serve, and for their families that await their return – Thank You!  Happy Independence Day!

 

(*Disclosure:  Video/Images shared with permission by CitizensRelations.com)

9 Easy and Affordable Mother's Day Ideas

9 Easy and Affordable Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Ann Again and again Reviews

Not only can money not buy happiness it also isn’t needed for the perfect gift.  Really!  With the following clever ideas I’m sure you can create a lovely gift for Mother’s Day that will bring a smile to her face and joy to her heart.

  1. Gift chore coupons*. Create a handmade coupon book for your mom to use when she needs a break. Each voucher is good for a different chore. You could offer to do the dishes, vacuum, take the dog for a walk, wash her car, or make dinner. (*Ahem, children of mine?  I really like this idea.  I like it a lot.)

 

  1. Schedule time together. Give your mom the gift of time. The activity is less important than spending quality time together to talk and reconnect.  Go for a nature walk, check out a neighborhood garden or park.  Treat her to dinner, a cultural event like a ballet or play, or take her to the spa.  Just time for you and your mom, make memories.

 

  1. Call her via Skype. You can still connect even if you aren’t able to visit your mom on Mother’s Day. Use FaceTime or Skype to get some one-on-one time from far away. She’d love to catch up and see your smiling face.

 

  1. Make it a party. If your mom loves to socialize, throw a Mother’s Day party. Coordinate with friends or neighbors to celebrate their moms too. Your mom will be able to spend time with friends and enjoy her special day.  (You do all the clean-up too.)

 

  1. Handwrite a Mother’s Day card. Store-bought cards lack the personalized emotion of a handwritten note. Write a letter to your mom and share a picture and a special memory. Let her know how much you care and how much you love her.

 

  1. Make a family photo book. Gather photos of your entire family. If possible, reach out to extended family for their pictures. Then create a photo album or scrapbook filled with memories. Add your favorite quotes or family sayings for a personal touch.

 

  1. Make her breakfast. Whip up your favorite recipes and invite the entire family to spend a meal together. If you’re cooking skills are not up to par, host a potluck dinner or brunch or order takeout.

These next two ideas do require kicking it up a notch in the “spending” department, it’s up to you what amount:

 

  1. Create a custom gift basket. You know what your mother loves. Think of all the things she’d never buy for herself. Create a goodie basket filled with gourmet coffees, teas and assorted snacks.

 

  1. Gift personalized jewelry. Instead of generic earrings, have the names of all your mother’s children inscribed on a necklace or pendant. Or, create a charm bracelet. Handpick charms that represent memories from your childhood or your mom’s favorite hobbies. One year my siblings and I gave my mom a ring adorned with five sapphire stones. Each stone represented each of her five children.

 

With these ideas I’m sure you’ll create a lovely day for your Mother and the other special women in your life.  Cheers!

 

~~Thank you to Jacqueline Whitmore, an internationally-recognized etiquette expert, author and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach for allowing me to share these wonderful ideas.  To contact Jacqueline:

http://www.etiquetteexpert.com/

http://jacquelinewhitmore.com/

Holiday Gift For Our Military Families & A Cash Giveaway!

A great thing about the holiday season is the reminder to be grateful for what we have and to do what we can to help those in need.  ‘Tis the season of giving!  And in this theme, I am happy to participate in a giveaway that is not only giving to a very lucky participant, it is giving to men and women in uniform, who are serving our country and protecting our freedom around the world, deployed away from their little ones for long periods of time.

Holiday-Gift military families

Baby’s Brilliant wants to give those military parents an opportunity to connect with their babies and toddlers with their new series READ ALONG BOOKS.  Through this book series you can record your voice reading the book and your child will hear the story read to them by one of the most important people in their lives.  Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for access to their site
  • Their first book will be available to choose from and a script of the story will be sent.
  • Parent will record their voice using the script and the memo feature on their phone (a short video intro and good-bye are also great to include).
  • Email them the recorded script.
  • Baby’s Brilliant will edit reader’s voice into the story and post it on a dedicated page on Baby’s Brilliant.

Once this is all completed, the child will be able to read the story and hear it narrated by their mom or dad who is far away, serving our country.

This will be done at absolutely NO CHARGE to military parents.

This is a way for all at Baby’s Brilliant to express their gratitude to all those serving our country.

Baby’s Brilliant is also happy to announce that they will be donating 10% of all their revenues for the month of December to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In honor of this new Read Along Series, Baby’s Brilliant is giving away $500 to one lucky winner just before Christmas!

Please remember to login to your Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts to participate below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(*Disclaimer:  I am sharing this information through my membership at VoiceBoks.com.  No financial compensation is involved.)

Easy and Efficient Ways To Get Fit

You can make excuses all you like but honestly, there’s no denying it, when you exercise – get the blood flowing and your heart pumping – your mood lifts and your day feels better. I put off exercise for about 3 months, and my mood really took a hit. I’ve stayed committed for 5 months now, and I hope to never return to how I felt, emotionally and physically, when I didn’t get some exercise in my day.  I call exercise my “natural mood elevator”.  I’m sure the following easy and efficient ways to get fit will help you.

A big excuse to not exercise is that there just isn’t enough time in your day. I completely understand. It isn’t just the time given to the actual exercise, it’s the shower after and then putting yourself together to head back to work, where ever that may be. But the thing is you can do a few moves now and a few moves later on and they will all come together to make you stronger and feel better at the end of the day. Check out these quick and easy ways to add fitness in your day:

Easy and Time Efficient Ways To Get Fit - Ann Again and again Reviews

Beach Health: Water, Comfortable Clothing and Sunscreen

Beach Health - Ann Again and again Reviews

Every summer, millions of people will make their way to the beach. There is no denying the fact that the beach is one of the country’s favorite vacation destinations. However, it is important to take the necessary precautions while enjoying the warm water and abundance of sunshine. Here are some tips for staying healthy at the beach.

Drink plenty of water.
Some people tend to forget the importance of staying properly hydrated. The hot environment of the beach can cause a person to expel a substantial amount of moisture. In order to prevent dehydration, the body needs to have a steady supply of fresh water. If a person’s urine exhibits a darkened appearance, this is a tell-tale sign that they are experiencing mild dehydration.

Wear sunscreen.
Before heading out for the day, be sure to apply an adequate amount of sunscreen. Contrary to popular belief, individuals with darker skin tones still need to use sunscreen. An SPF of at least 15 will be suitable for most people. However, the people who have very fair skin may need to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30.

Wear comfortable clothing.
Most beach-goers tend to do a lot of walking. This means that it is a good idea to wear comfortable clothing at all times. Both adults and children need to select beachwear that does not restrict their movement.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying a cold alcoholic beverage. However, avoid consuming entirely too much alcohol, especially in extreme hot weather.  Not only does being intoxicated impact a person’s judgment, but it could also lead to becoming ill.

 

What ways do you keep yourself healthy while enjoying the surf and sand?

 

Ways To Stick To Your Healthier Lifestyle Resolution – And Giveaway!

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The Blog Forward Challenge - Ann Again and again Reviews

The Blog Forward Challenge - Ann Again and again Reviews We’re 5 months into the year 2014.  Did you make a resolution to get fit, or eat healthier this year?  I was tired of the tummy flab that was taking over my middle due to menopause (yep, I said it) and I was feeling pretty weak.  Enough of that I say!  I’m five months into my healthier lifestyle and feel confident I can keep this up.  Here are ways to stick to your healthier lifestyle resolution – and a giveaway! Ways that help me stick to my resolution:

  • Make a standing appointment to exercise.  Try to keep it the same time every day.
  • If you don’t feel like moving tell yourself ‘Let’s just do a couple of minutes’.  I’m sure your body will encourage your mind to stick around and do a few more reps. and you will find you’ve completed a full workout.
  • Remember to drink a full glass of water before eating.
  • You will always feel better about yourself after you exercise.  Remember that!

With regard to food choices I’m enjoying the taste and long lasting full feeling I get from eating Zone Perfect bars.  The taste selection is vast and my girls like them too.  We’ve finally tried Quinoa (keen-wha) that we’ve been hearing about but weren’t sure how to pronounce.  I really like grains so quinoa works out well for me as a smarter nutritional choice over rice.  And now that grill season is here my-oh-my!  My husband grilled Cauliflower and added dashes of seasoning salt, black pepper and the juice of one lemon to create a flavor I’ve never had from cauliflower.  Absolutely delicious and so much better in the nutrition and calorie category over mashed potatoes.  Check out this chart for side dish swap ideas: Ways To Stick To Your Healthier Life Style - And A Giveaway!  Ann Again and again Reviews With my exercising routine, on one hand I’m bummed about the fact that weight is not coming off.  I’ve been exercising for 4 months now, 5 to 6 days a week – a mix of cardio and area specific movements – and have lost a whopping 5 lbs.   But on the other hand I am so much stronger than I was a month ago, let alone 4 months ago, and that feeling of strength is what I absolutely love about exercising.  If weight doesn’t come off, well that’s a drag and it frustrates me, but I won’t stop my workouts because feeling stronger brings me joy and strength and joy is what I want in my life.  (Oh and love, of course!  and a delightful Pinot Gris ;->)

Become A ZonePerfect® VIP & Save up to $10*

 Your first coupon will be emailed to you. Join Now – Click >> ZonePerfect VIP

  *$10 in savings relates to savings spread across a one year period and may vary.   Hey!  I have something that will keep you “charged” while you’re on your healthy path – a portable charger for your electronic devices.   I have one portable charger for one lucky reader of Ann Again and again Reviews care of  ZonePerfect®.  Enter through RaffleCopter below.  Good luck!

 

Ways To Stick To Your Healthier Life Style - And A Giveaway! Ann Again and again Reviews a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Kitchen Style With Wall Art Decals from DecDecals

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New Kitchen Style With Wall Art Decals - Ann Again and again Reviews
Green Trees & Branches

Recently I came across a new site DECDECALS that showcases an easy way to add flair to your walls.  DECDECALS designs vinyl gave me an idea on how to spruce up my kitchen walls quickly with no painting.  Yay!  (See what the designs offerings here.) Vinyl wall art stickers are the latest idea in home decorating that are easy to buy, easy to ship, easy to use and, if you change your mind on the design, easy to remove. Currently they are the most popular trend for modern home improvement giving you easy access to beautiful designs and encouraging affirmations with wall quotes. (See here.) You can choose from many different designs and styles, and they also allow you to create your own quote any way you like.  Nice.

Nowadays, I feel more and more people are pursuing a quality of life that brings them comfort and nourishes their spirit. They are paying much more attention to the ingredients in their food,  the materials which our clothes are made, and where they’re made, along with daily choices that improve their living environment.  With inspiring DIY projects all over social media, and in print, more efforts are put forth in decorating our homes to become our oasis from the world.  Any steps that can be made to make decorating easier is always welcome in my book and I feel that’s the reason easy to use wall stickers are so popular these days.

After perusing DECDECALS I would like to highlight some of my favorite wall stickers for kitchens.  (Click image to appear larger):

 

The place where savory dishes are made and delicious desserts are created, the kitchen is a good place to add some creative touches to your walls.  I’ve always wanted a window over my kitchen sink but that wouldn’t work for the current design of our house because I’d be looking into the bathroom.  No thank you!  With wall decals you can have just about any view you like, no construction required :-> Visit www.DecDecals.com and get inspired.

 

(*Disclosure:  I was compensated for my review.  My opinions are truthfully my own.)

Check Out This Great Deal For Mother's Day From Specials by Restaurant.com

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Check Out This Great Deal For Mother's Day From Specials by Restaurant.com - Ann Again and again Reviews

Check Out This Great Deal For Mother's Day From Specials by Restaurant.com

What a great deal just in time for Mother’s Day! This also makes a great offering for Father’s Day! Restaurant.com, the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide, wants to help kick-start your summer with a blockbuster event. Get two movie tickets to use at one of your favorite movie theaters along with a $50 Restaurant.com eGift Card, all for just $28 with the Specials by Restaurant.com Dinner and a Movie deal!

Check Out This Great Deal For Mother's Day From Specials by Restaurant.com - Ann Again and again Reviews

Whether you’re celebrating a special mom in your life or just looking for a night out, enjoy this Specials by Restaurant.com Dinner and A Movie deal. With this exclusive offer from Specials by Restaurant.com, you’ll get two movie tickets to use at one of your favorite movie theaters along with a $50 Restaurant.com eGift Card, all for just $28!

Check Out This Great Deal For Mother's Day From Specials by Restaurant.com Ann Again and again Reviews

Don’t miss out on this Blockbuster MOVIE event as this offer is only available for a limited time! Specials by Restaurant.com deals make great gift ideas for everyone. You can locate your theater here and you’ll be on your way: http://emoviecash.com/locator/

(*Disclosure: I’m happy to share this information with you as I am a Blogger with USFamilyGuide.com.)

Inexpensive Dinners To Take The Sting Out Of Tax Day

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Fast and Cheap Dinners For Your Family - Woman's Day - Ann Again and again Reviews

Fast and Cheap Dinners For Your Family - Woman's Day - Ann Again and again Reviews

From our friends at Woman’s Day come recipes that will take the hit of Tax Day away from our pocket book and give us more with our money. In the May issue of Woman’s Day, now on newsstands nationwide, you can find the most delicious tostadas to make for your hungry family. I have one picky eater that will have me adapting one of these recipes – but it can be done easily and I’m sure you’ll find ways to add your own spin to these recipes as well. You can’t beat the cost per servings for these high protein, healthy dishes. Happy Tax Day! (ugh, did I just type that?!)

 

Fast and Cheap Dinners For Your Family - Woman's Day - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

Active: 20 MIN, Total: 20 MIN, Serves: 4, Cost Per Serving: $1.35

Chili Chicken:

§ 2 tbsp olive oil

§ 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

§ 1 tsp hot paprika

§ ½ tsp ground cumin

§ ½ tsp chili powder

§ ¼ salt

§ 3 ½ cups shredded chicken

Directions – Part 1

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and fresh lime juice.

2. Slowly stir in the hot paprika, ground cumin, chili powder and salt.

3. Add the chicken and toss to combine for the perfect taste!

Pineapple and Red Onion Relish:

§ 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

§ 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

§ ¼ salt

§ ¼ small pineapple (cored and cut into ½-in pieces)

§ ½ small red onion (thinly sliced)

§ ¼ cup small fresh cilantro leaves

§ 8 tostadas

Directions – Part 2

1. Prepare the chili chicken from above.

2. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the fresh lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt.

3. Add the pineapple and onion and toss to combine.

4. Fold in the cilantro leaves.

5. Lastly, top the tostadas with the chili chicken, the pineapple and the red onion relish.

Enjoy!

 

Fast and Cheap Dinners For Your Family - Woman's Day - Ann Again and again Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

Active: 15 MIN, Total: 15 MIN, Serves: 4, Cost Per Serving: 92 cents

Ingredients:

§ 4 plum tomatoes (cut into ¼-in. pieces)

§ 1 small jalapeño (finely chopped)

§ ½ small red onion (finely chopped)

§ 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

§ ¼ tsp salt

§ ¼ tsp pepper

§ ¼ fresh cilantro

§ 8 tostadas

§ 15-oz can refried beans (warmed)

§ Shredded romaine lettuce

Directions:

1. To start, toss together in a medium bowl the plum tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. This will serve as your delicious pico de gallo!

2. Fold in the cilantro to add a little kick.

3. Top the tostadas with the refried beans, lettuce and the fresh pico de gallo.

4. Enjoy!

If you have delicious additions to these recipes please share in the comments. I would LOVE to try your suggestions and, I’m sure, our blog friends would to!

 

(*Disclosure: These recipes were provided by Woman’s Day and are shared with permission.)

The Mom Conference: Online and Free This Week!

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The Mom Conference - Online and Free This Week! Ann Again and again Reviews

The Mom Conference - Online and Free This Week! Ann Again and again Reviews

For those of us that would enjoy connecting with other mothers, yet can’t make it to meetings and/or conferences that always seem to happen out of town, The Mom Conference is for us! This conference happens online and is FREE!

Monday, April 7th – Conference launches!

Each day of the conference, a new set of 4 presentation videos will be made available on The Mom Conference site for a FREE 24-hour viewing/listening period. The Mom Conference runs from April 7th – April 14th and highlights all areas of being a woman and mother. Speakers share information on topics ranging from healthy eating and fitness, relationships with your children, ways to nurture and care for your home and yourself. There are so-o-o-o many worthy topics being covered at this conference I honestly can not believe it’s being offered free of charge.

You can sign up for this FREE online conference here: https://tt145.infusionsoft.com/go/momreg/AnnAgain/

Check out the video below to see what’s in store for you at The Mom Conference ~

Enjoy your time at The Mom Conference. Sign up by clicking this link: https://tt145.infusionsoft.com/go/momreg/AnnAgain/

*

Disney's "Frozen" Sing-A-Long Is Coming To Theaters!

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Disney's Frozen Sing-A-Long - Coming to theaters January 31st
More than 2,000 theaters nationwide are staged to showcase the all-new sing-a-long version of Disney’s Oscar®-nominated, Golden Globe®-winning big-screen adventure “Frozen,” beginning this Friday,January 31st!

 

This movie has captured not only my 13 year old’s heart but my 16 year old’s and mine as well! Matter of fact, the week after we saw it, my youngest wanted to share it with her Aunt and Grandmother so off she went again. They fell in love too! If you’ve seen it, being able to sing-along without others saying “Shhhh!” sounds like so much fun. If you haven’t seen it, go and enjoy the energy of the crowd.

Here’s a clip.  Sing loud!  Enjoy:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HtACLaRDk0&list=UU_976xMxPgzIa290Hqtk-9g&feature=share

Are you ready now? :->

Disney's Frozen Sing-A-Long - Coming to theaters January 31st

“Like” FROZEN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyFrozen

Follow FROZEN on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyAnimation

Visit the official website: http://www.disney.com/frozen

(*Shared with permission by Disney’s publicity)

>

Scavenger Hunt Family Fun with Urban Adventures Quest

Family Fun!  Have your own Amazing Race scavenger hunt in your city!  Ann Again and again ReviewsFamily Fun!  Have your own Amazing Race scavenger hunt in your city!  Ann Again and again Reviews

I’m looking for more family activities in and around my lovely city of Portland, OR and I think I’ve found something that will help create great family memories – a scavenger hunt with Urban Adventure Quest.

Family Fun!  Have your own Amazing Race scavenger hunt in your city!  Ann Again and again Reviews

Turn downtown Portland into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. This Smart Phone guided adventure lets you and your family experience the fun of the Amazing Race in 2-3 hours. Your team solves clues and completes challenges while learning about the city in a fun new way. This family friendly adventure is appropriate for ages 7-70 and is the perfect activity to get the family out and doing something together. Start on your schedule and play at your own pace.  These scavenger hunts happen all across the US.  Check their website to see if a gathering is happening near you!  Register on-line at www.UrbanAdventureQuest.com Save $10 With Promo Code: USFAMILYBLOG

Family Fun!  Have your own Amazing Race scavenger hunt in your city!  Ann Again and again Reviews    Family Fun!  Have your own Amazing Race scavenger hunt in your city!  Ann Again and again Reviews

Cost: $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after Promo Code: USFAMILYBLOG

When: Play anytime during daylight hours, you decide when to begin.

Save $10 with Promo Code: USFAMILYBLOG: http://www.UrbanAdventureQuest.com

Have you shared this experience with your family already?  Your friends?  If so, tell me how it was.  And if not, check it out and create some memories!

Family Fun!  Have your own Amazing Race scavenger hunt in your city!  Ann Again and again Reviews

Holiday Cards and Craft Inspiration from Minted.com and Julep.com

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photo courtesy Minted.com
photo courtesy Minted.com

As with every holiday season I research crafty things to make to share with my loved ones and leave the photo card making to the pros. Minted.com is a wonderful facilitator in connecting designer with client by providing adorable, classic, whimsical designs and you, as the client, choose the design you want to help showcase your photo. And… the designer gets paid each time you choose their work. Lovely!

Holiday cards and craft inspiration from Minted.com and Julep.com - Ann Again and again Reviews
photo courtesy of Minted.com

Do you love quality paper stock? So do they! The color selections, the fonts, the overall designs are really terrific and it’s made choosing my families Holiday cards easy because the selections are all great! Minted.com is easy to navigate and includes a “live chat” if you need assistance. The prices are reasonable and… you are contributing to artists!

Now that I have the holiday photo card taken care of it’s time for me to get crafty. I have grown up in a creative family so looking for inspiration for something new can be frustrating. ‘Did my cousin make this last year?’ ‘I think my sister did something similar around Easter’. While looking for something special I’ve found the site Julip.com. This site features work by artists that share their creations with step-by-step instructions on how to re-create (or tweek if you like) something with your own hands to love, cherish, give or keep. What ever makes you happy. Recently I found two projects that I can’t wait to get started on. This paper pumpkin will be a sweet addition to our Thanksgiving centerpiece:

Holiday cards and craft inspiration from Minted.com and Julep.com - Ann Again and again Reviews
photo courtesy of Julep.com

There’s also beautiful images and instructions to make your own Typography Cookies. These look so cool! The fonts are beautiful and there’s so many ways to use these crafty cookies. Now that I’ve found Julip.com this season should produce some fun creations.

Visit Minted.com and Julep.com and let me know what you think :->

Winter Family Fun – Creekside at Beaver Creek

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Ann Again and again Reviews - Colorado Vacation in Creekside at Beaver Creek

Ann Again and again Reviews - Colorado Vacation in Creekside at Beaver Creek

Who’s ready to go skiing? How about Snowboarding? It’s time for Winter family fun! Vacationers looking to leave everyday life behind and enjoy remarkable skiing and the grandeur of a modern alpine ski resort should head to Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Ann Again and again Reviews - Colorado Vacation in Creekside at Beaver Creek

Creekside at Beaver Creek is a luxury ski-in/ski-out property located within the heart of Beaver Creek village. Nestled right up against the bubbling Beaver Creek, guests are steps away from world-class restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. In the morning, you can ski right to the lifts and access nearly 1,900 acres of skiable terrain including immaculately groomed green cruisers to steep powder-filled Aspen groves and chutes. At the end of the day, after a relaxing dip in the hot tub, unwind in a comfortable two or three bedroom condominium, elegantly decorated to make oneself at home.

Ann Again and again Reviews - Colorado Vacation in Creekside at Beaver Creek

Ann Again and again Reviews - Colorado Vacation in Creekside at Beaver Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you are visiting Colorado to ski/snowboard or just take in the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains, you’ll find your stay at Creekside at Beaver Creek a memorable one.

 

Book by Opening Day and Save up to 30%!

Ann Again and again Reviews - Colorado Vacation in Creekside at Beaver Creek

Book your winter 2013/2014 vacation to Creekside at Beaver Creek by the time the lifts start turning and save up to 30% off regular rates for the 2013/2014 ski season! (Beaver Creek opening day is Nov. 27, 2013)

 

(*Disclosure: I am a part of the US Family Guide Blog Network which provided me this information to share with you. )

The Polar Express Is Coming To The Mt. Hood Railroad – All Aboard!

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Polar Express Mt. Hood Railroad - Ann Again and again Reviews


Polar Express Mt. Hood Railroad - Ann Again and again Reviews

Hello my fellow Oregonians!  And All Aboard! THE POLAR EXPRESS comes to life this holiday season as the Mt Hood Railroad rolls out of the station bound for the “North Pole!” Come early and climb aboard with your family to cozy-up and enjoy our festively-decorated vintage train cars. Dancing chefs deliver hot chocolate and a cookie to each guest to savor while music from the Polar Express movie plays en route to the North Pole. Make sure to have your tickets handy, because your conductor will be by shortly to punch each child’s ticket.

 

http://youtu.be/54qaBMUF1TI

Before arriving at the North Pole, the iconic book, The Polar Express is read as your Chef turns the pages to share the beautiful illustrations in the original book. With the station far away, THE POLAR EXPRESS magically arrives at the outskirts of Santa’s North Pole village, where Santa Claus himself and his elves joyously welcome the train! As you stay comfortably settled and warm in your seat, Santa and his helper elf board the train! During the return trip, Santa will greet each child with his signature holiday spirit and the first gift of Christmas: a bell cut from his sleigh. It is said that only children and those who still believe can actually hear the bell ring. Join in the singing as your Chef or Conductor lead Christmas caroling on the 30-minute return trip.

For those wanting the magic to last or to do a little Christmas shopping, visit our gift shop in the station for special POLAR EXPRESS gifts and merchandise. Oh, one last thing, children are encouraged to wear their PJ’s; adults who still believe have been known to wear them, too! So, are you coming? All Aboard!

Dates and Times:

Nov 9-10, 16-17, 22-24, 27, 29-30

Dec 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 26-29

11:30am, 2:00pm, 4:30pm, 7:00pm

110 Railroad Ave. Hood River, OR

 

https://www.mthoodrr.com/mt-hood-polar-express.html

Family Fall Fun – The Maize At The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR

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Corn maize map The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR - Ann Again and again Reviews

Visiting  beautiful Sauvie Island just a few miles from the busy city center of Portland, OR is the perfect get away on a gorgeous Fall day.   There are so many things to see and do on Sauvie Island and today we visited The Pumpkin Patch to check out their fall labyrinth –The Maize.  Admission into the corn maize:  $7 for ages 13 +.  Ages 6-12 and Seniors is $5.00.

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR.  Ann Again and again Reviews

Our oldest, Katie, is just fine with The Maize however, our youngest isn’t a fan of being lost in tall corn stalks so Lily made sure to check out the layout before entering.

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR.  Ann Again and again Reviews

You can also scan a handy iPhone map, that was a nice relief for her too!

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR.  Ann Again and again Reviews

 

The corn was high and the sunflowers were in perfect bloom.  Nothing to be afraid of in The Maize.

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR.  Ann Again and again Reviews

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR.  Ann Again and again Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made it through and had lots of fun.  Katie is ready to visit The Haunted Maize next, but she’s on her own with that one!  To find a corn maze near you visit:  TheMaize.com  

 

The Maize, The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, OR - Ann Again and again Reviews

(*Disclosure:  We were guests of  The Maize to facilitate my review.  My opinions are truthfully my own.)