A Fitter Attitude With Your Raw Lifestyle

As you recline on the sofa, vacantly chowing down on fistfuls of generic oil-encrusted maize, rounding on that second bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, it might occur to you that it’s time to reappraise the life choices that led to this moment. While we have certainly all been there, that does not make it okay to stay there!

The primary motivations for getting fit are, of course, looking good and feeling better, but developing a strong sense of self-discipline is also a worthy goal. If you choose to gradually introduce a fitter attitude into your lifestyle, the fight against temptation will be won a whole lot easier.

Take it up a gear

If you live within 5 miles of your place of work, why not consider cycling? There are many different styles available from convenient fold up bikes to style forward Amsterdam models. Bicycles are an exhilarating mode of transport, cheap to run, and good for the environment. True, it’s not the easiest mode of transport to tackle in a pencil skirt and stilettos, so you might have to get changed when you arrive at the office! However, your healthy glow, toned thighs and pert derriere should be sufficient testament to pedal power to get you back in the saddle.

Track your progress

Consider investing in a monitor system such as a fitness tracker or pedometer, and set yourself a daily step goal. For the best results, wear your new device on a typical day, without making any extra effort. Note the step count, and increase your weekly target incrementally. If you make your weekly goal, reward yourself with a small treat, which will be more enjoyable because you have earned it!

Find your focus

Yoga might not offer the blast of high-intensity cardio required to shift those stubborn pounds, but it will bring the focus and discipline you need to pursue your fitness routine. Over time it will also benefit your mental endurance, posture and strength. Smooth out that forehead frown, tone trouble zone and sleep like a stone!

No amount of exercise will eradicate the effects of an unbalanced, erratic diet, so fuel all this positive work with a sensible attitude to nutrition. Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it. Make sure it’s the latter!

Getting A Little Help Along The Way

It’s so important to surround yourself with people that uplift, encourage and support you at an early stage in life. I have mentioned before that Chris and I married young, and while marrying in your early 20′s does have its challenges, I think that for us, having a partner from the very get-go in our adult years has allowed us both to grow into pretty successful and happy people. I’ve always had Chris’s support in my professional endeavors, and I’ve done the same for him – it’s like we have had not only a business partner, but a cheerleader in our corner every step of the way as we climbed the corporate ladder!

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While Chris continues to climb, I jumped off the corporate ladder a few years ago, kicked it aside and said “ENOUGH. I am ready to pave my own way.” Of course this wasn’t an easy decision, and it certainly wasn’t one that I came to without lengthy discussions with Chris. I essentially asked his permission to leave my job security, a 401(k) plan (with a heck of a match), stock options and the best health insurance plan I’ve ever heard of – I asked his permission because while I am my own person, we are a team, and every financial decision either of us makes affects the other, as well as our family unit as a whole. I asked him to support me in my midlife crisis-esque “I want to quit my job and rediscover myself” dream and his answer was simple, and exactly what I needed to hear to feel less guilty and secure in walking away from a healthy paycheck and a great benefits package:

I just want you to be happy. 

In our 13 years together, Chris and I have had many ups and downs. But that moment (one that really, really mattered) was an example of the support I have had from Chris over the years, and a telltale sign of what kind of man I married: he supports me. He has my back when it comes to carrying the family finances while I tried to figure out what it was I wanted to do, he encourages me to write about things that make me happy, he supports the crazy amount of travel I do on a regular basis for my blog – and even when it’s a personal trip with girlfriends, he always tells me to go for it.

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Travel has always been a passion of mine, back before I ever began blogging. When I first began blogging and saw that some of my friends did travel for their blogs, I was astounded! I dreamt of one day doing travel for my own blog, actually making a job out of it. I am writing this blog post on my balcony from an Alaskan cruise…which is a work trip. Angeline and I just spent six days sailing through Alaska, spotting Humpback and Orca whales, Harbor seals, and American Bald Eagles with some of my closest blogging friends while Chris is at home working and holding down the fort. That fort includes MY three dogs and four cats…I tell you, the man’s a saint!

He supports me whenever I want to take a trip like this because he knows how happy it makes me, and how fulfilling these experiences are for me both professionally and on a more personal level.

The truth is, I would never be able to travel like I do without Chris’s complete support. And I would have never reached the point where I had the opportunity to travel if it weren’t for his support and encouragement along the way!

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Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.

 

Get Social with State Farm:

Like State Farm on Facebook / Follow @StateFarm on Twitter and Instagram!

Take the Magnum Ice Cream Personality Quiz!

It’s August and the summer is winding down. The back to school season is upon us and things can get hectic! Remember to stop and breathe, give yourself credit for hard work and celebrate your victories. You deserve to indulge now and then, you’ve earned it! Soak in a hot bath, read your favorite book, or grab a delicious sweet treat.

Indulgences never felt or tasted so good. You love enjoying your sweets, especially when you look so good eating them! Magnum is the most premium, sophisticated and indulgent chocolate and ice cream experience imaginable, made with Belgian Chocolate, created with pleasure seekers in mind.

Safeway and Magnum Ice Cream want you to Discover your Chocolaty Bliss! Have a toast to blissful, chocolaty pleasure and head into a Safeway and grab a participating box of Magnum for $1 off! (Offer valid in-store.)

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Discover your Chocolaty Bliss, by taking the Magnum personality quiz. Answer questions to reveal your Magnum flavor profile, then enter for a chance to win a variety of prizes. I took the quiz and got Gold as my result.

When you want a luscious
caramel swirl with a hint of sea salt, grab a golden chocolatey bar that’s
as bright and exciting as you are.

Gold Bright and Exciting

I can tell you whatever my result was, I could easily eat any of the varieties as my indulgence! Magnum ice cream bars are a truly decadent way to treat yourself.

Go take the quiz and get your coupon here: safeway.com/ShopStores/partner/unilever/magnum-ice-cream.page?cid=sbo.694.9889.2505

Now it’s your turn – share a link to your e-card result in the comments below!

 

Muppets Most Wanted Is on Blu-ray!

Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted is coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on August 12th!

The Muppets are back in the globe-trotting, star-studded musical comedy adventure Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted,” available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD, DVD, Disney Movies Anywhere, and On-Demand August 12th, 2014, from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey, this must-own family film makes its in-home debut with THREE versions of the film: The Original Theatrical Cut, the Statler and Waldorf Cut,  and The Unnecessarily Extended Cut, featuring hilarious bonus content, plus more music, more mayhem, and more Muppets!

Muppets Most Wanted Blu-ray Combo Pack

The #1 comedy in America three weeks in a row, “Muppets Most Wanted” picks up immediately following the events of the smash hit “The Muppets,” as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppet gang head out on a world tour. But mayhem follows, as the Muppets find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine – the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog!

Now Muppet fans can experience this laugh and song-filled caper like never before on Blu-ray Combo Pack in an all-new “Unnecessarily Extended Edition,” featuring 12 minutes of exclusive scenes not seen in theaters! Also included on Blu-ray and Digital HD are additional hilarious bonus features, including Statler and Waldorf’s version of the movie, and the laugh-out-loud gag reel, “The Longer, Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History.”

This most sensational, inspirational, celebrational home entertainment release also includes the featurette “Rizzo’s Biggest Fan” and music video “I Can Give You What You Want,” performed by Bret McKenzie.

Starring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Animal, Ricky Gervais (“The Office”) as Dominic Badguy, Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) as Jean Pierre Napoleon and Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) as Nadya the Prison Guard, “Muppets Most Wanted” also features very special guest appearances by                     Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Ray Liotta, Ross Lynch, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christoph Waltz, and more!

“Muppets Most Wanted” was directed by James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Flight of the Conchords”), written by Bobin and Nicholas Stoller (“The Muppets,” “Get Him To The Greek”), and produced by David Hoberman (“The Muppets,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”) and Todd Lieberman (“The Muppets,” “The Fighter”).

Don’t miss the most fun, most wanted Muppet movie ever when “Muppets Most Wanted” debuts in the following formats with bonus features as listed:

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD + DVD + Digital Copy)

Includes:

  • The Unnecessarily Extended Cut

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD + DVD + Digital Copy)

Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere*

Includes:

  • The Statler and Waldorf Cut
  • The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History
  • Rizzo’s Biggest Fan
  • “I’ll Get You What You Want” Music Video Performed by Bret McKenzie

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

Disney Movies Anywhere

Includes:

  • Frog-E-Oke: I’m Number One
  • And more!

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

Bonus Materials for These Products:

Digital SD

1-Disc DVD

Includes:

  • “I’ll Get You What You Want” Music Video Performed by Bret McKenzie

Get Social With Muppets Most Wanted!

Like Muppets Most Wanted on Facebook and Follow @TheMuppets on Twitter!
Two Frogs! One Pig! Intrigue! Music! Mayhem! Muppets! There’s plenty of fun for the whole family as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppets gang head out on a world tour. But mayhem follows the Muppets, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper. Now Kermit is behind bars at the mercy of prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey), and the World’s Number One Criminal, Constantine—a dead ringer for Kermit—has taken his place.

As Constantine and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais) plot the robbery of the century, they are pursued by Sam Eagle and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell). Will Constantine get away with his nefarious scheme? Will Kermit escape in time to save the day? Packed with dozens of guest cameos, new songs and the most extended, most exclusive scenes not in theaters, Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted is the most hilarious, most wanted Muppet movie ever!

Drop Your Pants for Underwareness Movement #DropYourPants #Underwareness

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Depend.

Have you seen the Drop Your Pants for Underwareness movement and charitable cause taking Twitter by storm? I know that incontinence protection is a touchy subject and one that people don’t want to discuss publicly, but Depend is trying to help ease the social stigma and make it a little lighter of a subject!

Depend will be donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for:

Every pant drop, photo and video shared Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants; and
Every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants

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You can even score a free sample of Depend to give it a try yourself and join the movement to help raise Underwareness!

Now, I thank my lucky stars that I am not in need of Depends yet – but if my grandmother’s need for incontinence protection is any indication, I will likely need them as the years creep up on me. I watched as she slowly began skipping out on social events, didn’t want to enjoy cake at birthday parties, skipped her treasured tea at events…it became such an issue for her towards the end of her life that she stopped traveling to North Carolina with my parents because she couldn’t be stuck in a car for hours without access to the bathroom. I know that she was prideful, but I really think that using something like Depend for incontinence protection could have make her life much more enjoyable!

Depend provides a variety of discreet products that help people regain their freedom and get their lives back, including:

Depend Real Fit for Men and Silhouette for Women briefs: Look, fit and feel like real underwear and feature a cloth-like fabric for a sleek, ultra-smooth fit.

Depend Underwear with Fit-Flex protection: Features more Lycra stands for a smooth and comfortable close-to-the-body fit.

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You can find out more about Depend underwear and the Drop Your Pants for Underwareness movement here and don’t forget to sign up for your free sample!

August is Device Theft Awareness Month! #AbsoluteUncovered

I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

Have you ever lost a smartphone? Well, you aren’t alone! Over 3.1 million Americans were the unfortunate victim of smartphone theft in 2013, and at least 1.4 million smartphones are lost and never found! That’s a combined 4.5 million lost and stolen smartphones in 2013, and as Angeline was one of those numbers when her iPhone was stolen from her book bag in school last year, we know firsthand the feelings of violation and desperation that come along with the theft of a mobile device. It stinks, to say the least. If only we had Absolute LoJack when it happened, we would have been able to recover her stolen smartphone!

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Absolute LoJack Uncovered has declared August Device Theft Awareness month to help increase awareness of these kinds of theft! I know firsthand how devastating and stressful it can be to have your smartphone stolen, so I have teamed up with Absolute LoJack to share crime prevention information and stories throughout the month of August in hopes that these numbers (Remember 4. MILLION?!) go down in 2014 and beyond!

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A lost or stolen smartphone isn’t just about the cost of replacement, and I think that’s why the theft elicits such an emotional reaction. When Angeline’s smartphone was stolen, she lost photos from her 16th birthday cruise with her two best friends, photos from her first trip to Europe, as well as countless photos of dear friends and family. There was also the issue of her privacy being violated – she had no idea who had access to her information or personal messages with friends and family. What a horrible feeling!

For adults, the theft of a smartphone can have disastrous financial repercussions: how much financial data is on your smartphone? Without Lojack for smartphones I know that I would be in deep, deep trouble because every bank account and credit card is on my phones…along with many parts of my business! When your smartphone is stolen, you aren’t just losing your photos and text messages – the criminals may be able to access your most private information, including bank account and credit card information, passwords and other sensitive information. If you aren’t able to recover stolen smartphones, it’s downright terrifying!

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Now, there are a few things that can help protect you, should your device be stolen.

Back up your smartphone! Use iCloud, OneDrive, etc – so that if your device is lost or stolen, you don’t lose your valuable information.

Create a login password! If your smartphone is stolen, you want as many barriers in between your information and the criminals as possible. Likewise, you should not save login usernames, passwords or credit card information in any of your apps.

Install Absolute Lojack for smartphones to remotely delete data on stolen devices and recover stolen smartphones!

Exclusive Offer for my readers: Get 30% off a 1- yr. Absolute LoJack Standard or Premium Subscription! Just use the promo code UNCOVER30 at checkout. This offer is valid through Aug 31st, so you still have plenty of time to take advantage of it – and make sure to tell your friends and family too!

Have you ever had a smartphone, or any other type of device, go missing or be stolen?

Make One Thing SIMPLR™ & Win a $150 Amazon GC #Giveaway #SIMPLRPlan

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf SIMPLR™.

Have you heard about the SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan? I just heard about it rather recently, and having replaced a hot water heater, washer, dryer and refrigerator within the last six years, I wish I had heard about it sooner!

About six years ago, I had a dryer melt down. This was before we owned the house we were renting, and I didn’t want to invest in a new dryer unless I absolutely had no choice. It’s incredibly humid in Miami during the summer, so hanging a clothesline outside would have meant that our laundry would take ages to dry, and would end up being mildewed when they finally did. I had a long bar in my bedroom so I hung my clothes on hangers, put a fan in the room and shut the door. It took a few hours and the clothes were a little crisp when dry, but it worked until I could get a new dryer. The dryer was followed by a dying washer, hot water heater, and last but not least: our refrigerator.

Just in case you’ve never been on the receiving end of a bunch of dead home appliances, I will let you in on a little secret: they are EXPENSIVE to replace.

If I had been using a service like SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan, I might not have used my bar/fan method as long as I did when the dryer gave out, and saved a ton of money when the rest of the appliances started dying on us. With the SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan, I could have easily had my dryer repaired or replaced without interrupting our busy lives, or breaking the bank! I could have also had laundry cleaning service charges (up to $25) reimbursed as well, now that’s coverage!

Life’s complicated enough, why not make repairing and replacing our home appliances easier with SIMPLR™, a product protection plan you’ll be proud to own!

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So often product protection plans are complicated with fine print you have to get out a magnifying glass to see and a dictionary to understand. SIMPLR™ is just that, simple. They have taken the guess work out of protecting your stuff and written the coverage details in plain, understandable language.

The SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan is as EASY as 1-2-3!

1. REGISTER at SIMPLRplan.com
2. FILE an online claim.
3. PACK & SHIP your product or schedule your in-home repair.

Say “Yes” to “No” with SIMPLR™ because there are NO additional fees, NO deductibles and NO repair costs.

Then – SMILE – when you receive your replacement, repair, or reimbursement. Yeah, it really is that easy!

I like that the SIMPLR™ product protection plan covers a wide variety of products. They cover much more than your home appliances; coverage includes portable electronics, desktop computers, tables, laptops, jewelry and watches, general merchandise, sporting goods and of course, televisions!

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I know a certain teenager that guards their cell phone and tablet like it’s their most valuable possession…which, at 16, I guess it is!

No matter how careful Angeline is with her phone and other electronic gadgets, things happen. Things get spilled on or dropped on occasion – especially her tablet and laptop, because she’s often snacking while working on homework or watching Netflix or browsing Instagram. Most often, the items are ok, but cracked screens and other damage does happen and I would rather be safe than sorry! SIMPLR™ makes those incidents easy to repair or replace and keep the teen drama to a minimum.

Buying a SIMPLR™ plan is convenient and it’s even sold by trusted retailers. I travel a great deal and I was impressed to learn that even my luggage can be covered by SIMPLR™. It’s nice to know that the laptop, camera or other electronics are covered as well!

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Have a peek at the video below to see how tough Young Pirates can be on their tablets and how SIMPLR™ can help!

Have you ever had a mishap that would have been made simple with the SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan? Perhaps you should enter to win a $150.00 gift card to help replace something that you should have had a SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan on!

SIMPLR™ $150 Amazon.com Gift Card Giveaway

30 individual winners will win a $150 Amazon Gift card! This giveaway ends on September 4th and is sponsored by Sway Group. Sway Group will select 30 winners on/or about September  5th. TheRebelChick.com is not responsible for fulfillment of prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf SIMPLR™.

Exploring Madrid

Madrid is one of Europe’s great cities when it comes to culture, and the Spanish capital is renowned for its museums, architecture and theatres. Whether it’s for a weekend trip or a few days away, Madrid city breaks can also be very affordable.

The Golden Triangle of Art

This area of Madrid, on the Paseo del Prado, consists of three impressive art museums. The Prado Museum, the most famous of the three, displays art from great classic Spanish artists Goya and Velazquez. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, often considered to be the most powerful anti-war piece of art ever created, is among the paintings that can be seen at the Reina Sofía Museum, while the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum possesses a variety of important work from German, Dutch, English, and American artists.

History And Science-Related Museums

Madrid’s National Archaeological Museum has a notable collection of artefacts from the past few millennia, including Celtic, Greek, and Roman, and impressive examples of work by Visigothic goldsmiths. Reflecting Spain’s prominent role in the colonization of the Americas is the Museum of the Americas, which includes items from prehistory to the present day. The major science-related museum in Madrid is the National Museum of Natural Sciences, which has six different departments ranging from Biodiversity to Geology.

Shopping And Entertainment in Madrid

Madrid has a wide range of department stores, but it’s also a city with many family-run shops, too. Salamanca is the upmarket shopping district of Madrid, while the city’s Rastro Flea Market is one of the biggest flea markets in Europe with an amazing 3,500 stalls. For fans of the theatre, Grand Via is the place to visit and found in this area are many opera houses and theatres. Significant venues in Madrid include the National Madrid Theatre and the Royal Theatre.

La Plaza de Espana and The Royal Palace

La Plaza de Espana is the most important avenue in Madrid, and notable features include a monument dedicated to Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, and its large fountain. Nearby is the Royal Palace, which is the biggest royal palace in Western Europe, and this is open to the public most days. Inside the Palace are important works of art, and a collection of furniture, ceramics, and tapestries. The Palace gardens are open to visitors, and guided tours are also available.

Abundant in captivating culture, Madrid is a city-sized museum, waiting to be explored.

The 25th Annual American Century Championship

This post was created in partnership with American Century Investments. I have received compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The 25th Annual American Century Championship ran from July 15th through July 20th with a $600,000 total purse up for grabs with the first prize being $125,000, second prize $50,000 and third prize awarding $35,000. Through this championship, American Century Investments Profits for Purpose and NBC Sports have raised awareness as well as over $4 million for local and national charities.

The Stowers Institute for Medical Research, part of BioMed Valley Discoveries, was selected as the 2014 national charity. The gorgeous city of Lake Tahoe, Nevada hosted the championship event this year. The tournament was a 54-hole modified Stableford format and more than 80 sports and entertainment celebrity guests were slated to appear. The course is a par 72 over 6,865 yards. Celebrity golfers, sponsors, press, and spectators experienced a brief delay on Saturday as well as a second delay on Sunday due to lightning.

A highlight of the week long event was the Tahoe South-Celebrity Am, where four amateurs are paired with a celebrity and make their way over the tough course. Each amateur is treated to an exclusive breakfast, a $250 gift bag, and admittance to the awards luncheon. They also receive a framed souvenir photo and passes to the rest of the tournament. John Elway, Brian Urlacher, and Charles Barkley were among the honored guests as well as Larry “The Cable Guy” and Bill Engvall.

Chad Pfiefer, Iraq veteran and amputee, started the last day in second place but ended in fifth. In honor of Pfiefer’s efforts, American Century donated $25,000 in his name to the Troops First Foundation.

Mark Rypien, retired NFL quarterback, took home the win with 76 points. Rypien edged out Jeremy Roenick and Annika Sorestam who each tied for second with 65 points. This win is Rypien’s first since the 1990 inaugural championship event. Rypien states “It was a little bit of an advantage just from that standpoint that I’m accustomed to playing in inclement weather with golf and football and then that was kind of the way it was today. It was kind of uncomfortable for everybody, but I felt fine.”

American Century Investments Supports the American Century Championship #ACCgolf #GiveLikeJim

This post was created in partnership with American Century Investments. I have received compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s awe-inspiring as well as humbling when individuals use their personal financial success toward the good of mankind. The late Jim Stowers founded American Century Investments Profits for a Purpose in 1958 for such a purpose.

Most people have a family member or friend that has been touched by cancer or other diseases. Jim and Virginia both survived cancer and dealt with the fear and loneliness that accompanies the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. Jim and his wife Virginia aspired to give back more than money and in doing so created the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The Institute is dedicated to improving the quality of life through research, treatment, and prevention of gene-based diseases.

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The Stowers Institute opened its doors in 2000 and employs over 550 people, including pre and post doctoral scholars and fellows from as many as 30 countries across the world. The Institute includes 22 research programs and Jim’s hope was that it would blossom into a “bio-med” valley in Kansas City, including BioMed Valley Discoveries. With this, the Stowers want to bring growth and new discoveries in the scientific community that would improve humanity.

Biomedicine peer-review journals are often noting the discoveries and achievements of the Stowers’ scientists. This is no surprise as the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has quickly established its reputation for the highest quality basic research and is a top innovative biomedical organization. Over a billion dollars in dividends has been contributed to the Institute since it’s inception in 2000.

Jim and Virginia Stowers were determined to donate something far more valuable than money. They created Hope for Life with their investments and their dream continues to live through the Institute’s advancements. They are a prime example of how financial success can be used for the greater good and hope to inspire others to do the same through.

Below is a video of a top moment at the 2014 American Century Championship, the premier event in celebrity golf. The event raises awareness and funds for national and local charities.

This is the 25th anniversary of the American Century Championship and the line up includes stars like Charles Barkley, Oscar de la Hoya, Aaron Rogers, Kevin Nealon, Ray Romano and Jack Wagner!

 

Are You a Candidate for Surrogacy?

As fertility issues become increasingly common, women are becoming more and more open to the idea of using a surrogate. On the flip side of that, more women are offering to help couples begin a family by offering themselves as a surrogate. I have know two friends in the past few years who acted a surrogates for wonderful people who struggled with starting a family. I watched as they went through pregnancies with the sole purpose of helping others and I have to tell you, it was incredibly inspiring.

I don’t think that I would personally be a very good candidate for surrogacy. With my history of smoking and the fact that I am getting up there in age (40 isn’t too far off, as much as I hate to admit it), I don’t think it would be a wise idea for me be a surrogate even if I felt that I could handle it emotionally. There is so much that goes into being a surrogate; carrying a baby, feeling them grow inside you…and then to give them to their real parents? I think that I would have a hard time with that, as happy as I would be to have helped the parents.

If you are considering becoming a surrogate, this infographic might help you!

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Presented By Growing Generations

Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat® Sun Care. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

With the hustle and bustle of summer, it’s easy to get caught up in a busy summer day and forget to protect yourself from the sun. Believe me, I have had my fair share of sunburns as as a kid, and am trying my hardest to prevent them now that I’m an adult and I know better!

Banana Boat® sunscreen is teaming up with actress and mother of two, Busy Philipps, to bring moms and their families the tips, tools and fun prizes they need to have the Best Summer Ever! Visit www.facebook.com/BananaBoatBrand to enter the Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes, which ends on July 31.

I thought I would share some of my tips for staying protected while you’re out enjoying all that summer has to offer!

Apply sunscreen before leaving the house so that it has time to absorb into your skin. Once you arrive at your sunny destination, reapply liberally!

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Designate a sunscreen buddy! While it’s easy to apply sunscreen to the front of your body, it can be difficult to apply even coverage to your back. Ask a friend or family member to spray your back and then return the favor!

Use SPF 50 when you know that you’ll be outdoors in the sunshine for a long period of time and reapply liberally and often!

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Make sure that everyone uses sunscreen – even your husband! If your husband doesn’t care for the tropical scent of your sunscreen, introduce him to Banana Boat® Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men. Banana Boat® Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men is the first Banana Boat® sunscreen created especially for guys and uses ActiveProtect Technology, and provides heavy-duty broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. The light-weight formula combats odor, even while sweating, and hydrates the skin. Banana Boat® Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men Lotion and Clear UltraMist® is available in SPF 30 and 50+.

You don’t have to rely on my opinion, though – the experts agree that it’s a great sunscreen! Banana Boat Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men was awarded the Shape Magazine 2014 “Sun Award” for best sunscreen for men!

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Chris used our new Banana Boat Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men on his face and neck while out fishing in Key Largo, and his fishing buddy used it too!

Start your summer off right by entering the Best Summer Ever sweepstakes, which gives families a chance to win summer fun prizes, including the grand prize – a family trip to a Treehouse Resort. Can you imagine?!

#BBBestSummer

You can sign up at the Banana Boat® Facebook page here!

Capture Your Vacation Memories with the Nokia Lumia Icon! #ExploreMore

This post has been sponsored either with product or payment by TravelingMom.com.

Y’all know what a Nokia Lumia fan girl I am, right? Well, a sweet little Nokia Lumia Icon recently hit the market and the travel world is all abuzz with this fantastic new smartphone! I’ve been sharing my Caribbean cruise with my camera phone and I have to tell you, having a great camera phone makes all the difference when sharing your adventures in real time!

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3 Tips for Great Vacation Photos

1. Skip the filters when taking your photos. It’s always best to take the photo and capture it in perfect clarity before trying to jazz it up. There are times when my photos are so gorgeous that a filter actually diminishes their value!

2. Experiment with camera angles! Sometimes you get an entirely different picture just by tilting your camera phone at a different angle. It affects the lighting and can make the colors just pop!

3. Take photos of your family but take general scenery photos too! Sure, we want to see our kids having a blast when we look back on our photos. But make sure to take plenty of scenery shoots too so that you’re able to remember what it was that made your kids so happy!

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The Nokia Lumia Icon is a fantastic device, especially for those who love capturing their travel experiences through video! You can capture sound and video with full 1080p HD image quality, 4 high performance microphones and of course it has an awesome 20 megapixel camera – so whether you’re taking video or still photos, the results are going to be phenomenal.

What else would you expect from a Nokia Lumia?

I personally don’t take a lot of video, but I love the Lumia cameras. The Lumia Icon has a 20 megapixel image sensor as well as a PureView ZEISS 6-lens camera, and a wide f/2.4 aperture and OIS so that you can be guaranteed to get sharp images in sunlight or lowlight! This is the new wave of smartphone, guys – a real camera that allows you to leave your clunky DSLR at home and share high quality photos from your vacation in real time!

With the Lumia Icon, every adventure becomes even more unforgettable.

Join the #ExploreMore Twitter Party!

Want to learn more about taking great video and photos during your adventures? Come to the #ExploreMore Twitter party and you could win one of two Nokia Lumia Icon phones!

Date: June 30, 2014
Time: 9-10 PM EST
Party Hashtag: #ExploreMore
Party Host: @travelingmom
Party Panelists: @travelingmoms @kimorlando @cindyrichards @debmomof3 @meaganshamy @maryheston @momfluential @desireemiller @dodomesticdad @7onashoestring @therebelchick @mommosttraveled
Brand Guest: @NokiaUS

RSVP on the Traveling Mom Party Page here!

I’ll see ya there!