Fashion Charity Helps Underprivileged

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A new charity called the “Believe in Yourself Project” is helping to replace the poor body image that afflicts many girls and women. This image is heightened by what the traditional fashion industry deems as beautiful: Women are expected to appear a certain way and live up to a manufactured and unrealistic notion of what beauty is. At the same time, strained finances can prevent many girls from keeping up with what’s trending or cool, making them feel isolated among their friends for not being able to afford clothing that is deemed as “in” socially.

In an attempt to promote a positive body image, Believe in Yourself http://www.believeinyourself.org aims to help women feel better about themselves and their physical attributes and to promote healthy self esteem among young girls at an early age, empowering these young women to take on active social roles within their school communities.

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Over the past…

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Sundance Kids

Moms NoVa

Sundance Mountain Resort offers year-round family friendly activities

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When most of us think of Sundance, we think of the film festival founded by Robert Redford in the 1980s. The indie filmmaker event moved many years ago to nearby Park City, Utah, but still today Sundance Mountain Resort remains a beacon for creatives and independent spirits, and it has become known as a wonderland for families, where they can spend quality time together and make lifelong memories.

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Purposefully kept small, true to Redford’s vision when he took over the former Timp Haven in 1968 and developed it to create this idyllic resort, Sundance prides itself as a sanctuary committed to the balance of art, nature and community.

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Many families we met at Sundance say they vacation year after year at the resort because of its smallness and the appeal of its family friendly offerings, such as a top-notch children’s snow sports…

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Survey says viewers don’t want to hear about Trump or politics at Oscars

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There’s plenty of surveys on the possible winners of the Oscars, but Pollfish conducted a survey of another kind, to find out opinions about politics and diversity at the Oscars.  Of course there’s different views on why those polled feel the way they do, but in my view, it’s not because we think actors and others in Hollywood don’t have valuable things to say, but the event is supposed to be a celebration of talent, and hearing about the state of our Country at this time and the horrible divide among our population following the election.

Here’s what the survey said.

Most Americans don’t want to hear Hollywood’s political opinions

45% of Americans think celebrities should be allowed to voice their opinions at the Oscars. Another 25% say Hollywood shouldn’t use its platform to talk politics, 21% think celebrities should completely stay out of politics, and 10% say Hollywood is too liberal.

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Best states for raising a family

Moms NoVa

2017-02-22-2For anyone considering a move out of state, here’s a ranking of 2017’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family by WalletHub, a personal finance site.

In order to determine the best states in which to put down family roots, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 40 key indicators of family-friendliness. Our data set ranges from “median family salary” to “housing affordability” to “unemployment rate.”

Best States for Families Worst States for Families
1 North Dakota 42 Alabama
2 New Hampshire 43 West Virginia
3 Vermont 44 Georgia
4 Minnesota 45 Arizona
5 Nebraska 46 Alaska
6 Massachusetts 47 Nevada
7 New Jersey 48 Louisiana
8 Iowa 49 District of Columbia
9 Connecticut 50 Mississippi
10 South Dakota 51 New Mexico

Best vs. Worst

  • Wyoming has the highest median family annual income (adjusted for cost of living), $79,732, which is 1.7 times…

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The portable battery that makes you smile when your phone dies

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If you or your kids’ phones run out of juice at the end of the day, this little fella will come to the rescue in style.  The Cheero FLOWERS Power Plus portable battery almost makes a low battery fun.

The brightly colored 10050 mAh mobile battery has a unique design of a cartoon face, with two round circles for eyes, and a triangle nose. Available in seven flower inspired colors, Cheero is ready to charge Apple and Android phones and tablets. The battery features two ports so it can charge more than one device at a time, and it is equipped with an AUTO-IC function, allowing the external battery to automatically recognize if a device is connected. The external battery optimizes the supplied power best suited for each device.

The most obvious appeal of this battery is its cute design is attractive to children and those who like cutesy things. It…

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Sink Shroom quick fix for broken bathroom sink stopper and clog prevention

Recently I pulled up the metal stopper in my sink, and it came out in my hand. After fiddling with it for about an hour I gave up. A plumber told me the entire assembly needed to be replaced, at a cost of $135.

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I decided to live with an open drain, but after a few close calls with Contacts and earrings falling into the sink and almost going into the drain, I decided I needed another option. I found out about A sink strainer and hair catcher called Sink Shroom. It gets it’s moniker from its mushroom shape, with a system that fits down into the drain with a top that rests outside the drain. It has two tabs that keep it from going to flush against the drain.

This little device is designed to catch hair before it goes down the drain, and it can be easily removed…

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Advice for teens driving in winter

Tips for driving in snowy weather

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Whether you enjoy the winter or wait anxiously for it to be over, we can all agree on one thing, driving during inclement weather is stressful. Even teen drivers agree with their parents on this one! According to a recent study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), 82% of licensed teen drivers agree that driving in bad weather is stressful.

How can parents help alleviate this stress? Dr. William Horrey, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, has tips to help parents prep their teens in advance and know what to do when faced with snow or ice on the roads.

  • Take it slow. Teens are often overconfident in their driving abilities, which can cause them to drive too fast and too close to other drivers. Remind teens of the importance of taking it slow and keeping distance from other drivers in bad weather, especially when driving on winding roads, when approaching stops or during heavy traffic.
  • Avoid Distractions. According to Liberty Mutual and SADD, 73 percent of teens admit to having their phones nearby while driving alone. Driving in bad weather can be challenging even without added unnecessary distractions. Remind teens to keep their phones out of reach and on silent so they’re less tempted to check incoming notifications.
  • Know when to stay home. No matter how long they’ve had their license, sometimes conditions are simply too bad for teens to be hitting the road. Remind them of this and that sometimes the risks are too high, even for experienced drivers like yourself.
  • Always be prepared! During winter months, when there can be bad weather and low temperatures, it’s important to always be prepared in case of unexpected car issues. Remind teens they should keep a snow brush/ice scraper in the car, along with an emergency kit. During the winter, trade tires for winter tires that provide better traction on the road when temperatures drops below 45 degrees. Liberty Mutual’s Masterthis winter driving kit provides helpful reminders.

Escape to the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach

You're in LA, you're a parent. What are you to do?

Need a weekend away from the kids?  How about a stay-cation where you can feel a world away but you’re close enough to bolt home if the babysitter needs you?  The Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach is just the escape.

shade-redondo-beach-exterior-41The only thing better than a luxury boutique hotel is a new luxury boutique hotel.  The Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach, which opened late November 2016, still has that fresh everything smell.  The chic and modern hotel is so waterfront that peering out of the sliding glass doors of the guest rooms you would swear you are floating on a ship.  For a true feeling of communing with the sea, guests can enjoy the bird’s-eye view of the sail boats bouncing in the harbor below while soaking in their private outdoor tub, discreetly situated off the boudoir, on the balcony.

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Dining is conveniently at Sea Level restaurant, located at the hotel’s…

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World Turtle Day approaches, slowly

You're in LA, you're a parent. What are you to do?

“Shelfies” and “Shellebrations” bring attention to plight of world’s oldest creatures and their disappearing habitats

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American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is celebrating its 17th annual World Turtle Day® on May 23rd. The day was created by ATR to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. Now celebrated around the globe, turtle and tortoise lovers are taking “shellfies” and holding “shellebrations” in the US, Canada, Pakistan, Borneo, India, Australia, the UK and many other countries.

ATR launched World Turtle Day to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and the cruel pet trade. It is a very sad time for turtles…

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Bring your appetite for all you can eat pancakes at IHOP

img_4591“I don’t want a huge stack of pancakes,”  said no kid ever. And IHop listened. For kids of all ages, IHOP is holding its much-anticipated annual promotion of all-you-can-eat pancakes, through February 12.

Our family headed out to our neighborhood IHOP to indulge. The promotion features one price for a stack of five of IHOP’s famous original buttermilk pancakes, and then you can order more pancakes to your heart’s content.

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Another option is to order a combo with favorite breakfast sides like sausage, bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns, which come with a two-stack of pancakes, which can be replenished on demand.

The only thing kids love more than a great stack of pancakes in front of them is pouring on flavored syrups, like good old-fashioned maple flavored syrup or more exotic varieties, like blueberry,  strawberry, or butter pecan.

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IHOP has been a family favorite of ours since I was a little kid, and in fact they’ve been doing this for nearly 60 years, so they pretty much have gotten this down pat.

Here’s a fun fact: The IHOP original buttermilk pancakes, which happened to be one of the most popular menu items, selling more than 700 million each year at the chain’s more than 1,700 restaurants across the world.

Here’s an even  more meaningful statistic: since 2005 IHOP as raise more than $24 million for cherries that focus on the well-being of families and children and address critical issues like health and hunger.

So take your family, take your appetite, and hurry to get all you can eat pancakes before the promotion runs out; but  even if you can’t get there before the promotion ends, no worries, IHOP will never run out of pancakes.