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August 10, 2017

NAPIER OUTDOORS SPORTZ TRUCK TENT 57 SERIES

The world’s #1 selling truck tent has a fresh new look!  The Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series assembles in the back of your open-bed pickup truck, creating a comfortable and restful sleeping area for two adults. Featuring more than 5.5' of headroom and a patented sewn-in floor eliminates the need to clean your truck bed prior to use.
 
With eight models to fit virtually every truck on the road, it’s no wonder the Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series is the market leader! The durable tent comes with a full rainfly to keep you dry through the stormy weather, two side vents and two large windows to encourage optimal ventilation.  The tents rear access panel allows for easy accessibility to the trucks cab for added convenience and storage. The 4' x 4' awning provides ample shade and securely fastens to the tailgate, offering extra space for relaxation!
 
The Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series easily packs into an expandable and lightweight carrying bag, ready to travel wherever your truck may take you! Napier Truck Tents are perfect for fishing, hunting, tailgating, off-roading and family camping trips. Join the millions of explorers who have already discovered how Sportz Truck Tents offer campers convenience and flexibility for all of their outdoor adventures.
 


 
NAPIER OUTDOORS Napier Outdoors is the world’s largest developer and distributor of Vehicle Camping Tents. Since 1990, Napier has been changing the way people view camping, by reshaping and merging the automotive and outdoor industries together. We were the first to revolutionize the camping industry with our innovative and exciting vehicle tent concepts.
 
Napier distributes Vehicle Camping Tents to automotive manufacturers and retailers across North America, Europe and Australia. Our vehicle tents are the number one selling Truck and SUV Tents in the World!

August 2, 2017

Time for parents and children to start thinking about going back to school

August 1 means it’s time for parents and children to start thinking about going back to school. While it’s a time that brings mixed emotions of excitement for some and perhaps fear for others, one thing is for sure: being prepared makes going back to school a lot easier.

Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation, whose National Backpack Program is now in its 17th year and has donated more than 4 million backpacks to children around the world, offers these tips to make a smooth transition:

 

  1. Start getting back into the routine. Summer is filled with mornings of sleeping in, hanging by the pool and days of soaking up the sun. Kids enjoy the fun of summer and how it gives them the freedom to roam. It is very difficult for kids to pivot on their rhythm so quickly. They do better if eased into a change. Start to assimilate the school routine back into their lives slowly but surely. It will be easier for you all to wake up early when the first day arrives.

 

  1. Encourage learning as school approaches. Hopefully, you have been encouraging your kids to continue learning over the summer.  Either way, consider a short refresher course before school starts, or look for books or online learning aids to help your children feel more confident for the first day of school.  In addition, help your children fall in love with learning and teach them to investigate their own interests. These days, there is a wealth of resources for them to utilize in their search for information.  Always keep it fun, and sneak in some math and reading if you can.

 

  1. Get a checkup at the doctor. Right before the school year starts is a good time to check in with your family physician. Be sure to check with the school about the mandatory health forms. Sometimes additional vaccines or forms are required, and you need to know this before the first day arrives.

 

  1. Make it fun! There can be a lot of stress associated with the changes a new school year brings. This stress can be on the parents and the children. Show your kids that it is a fun experience to have a new year ahead. Be sure to reinforce positives and not make the unknown fearful. This can be particularly daunting for kindergarteners or those going to school for the first time. Start slow, and attend a tour or orientation with your child before their first day to lessen the anxiety of a new situation and change.

 

  1. Stock up on school supplies. Getting the kids ready to go back to school is easiest if they are excited. Make the activities around going back to school a fun tradition. Include shopping for school supplies as a fun task. They will enjoy preparing a list and finding what items they need around the store. Try consolidating your trip into one catch-all location so you won’t have to scramble to three different locations to get each child the highlighters or cool pencil bag they crave.

 

  1. Develop a meal plan. Save yourself some brainstorming efforts and set a structure for meal plans. Each week, develop a shopping list based on the planned meals for the week. It will allow you to pack your kid’s lunches and have dinner ready with ease. Meal planning can be a fun way to get your kids interested in nutrition and cooking, too. They can make a list of their favorite meals and lunch ideas. If they know how the meal plan process works, they can even pack their own lunches. It will save you a lot of hassle.

 

  1. Facilitate after school arrangements. When August rolls around, it is a good time to start making those calls to the other parents. Organize your car pool for the year and set up after school arrangements. Sometimes it’s is a good time to have a playdate or two and meet up to discuss this with parents in person. Propose a shared digital schedule for all the parents involved to keep everyone in-the-loop and up-to-date on the changes. A group chat is a good way to check in with one another without having to make calls while your toddler hangs off your arm.

 

July 17, 2017

Wee Blessing

Wee Blessing, which is an adorable kid’s clothing subscription box. The package contains 4 outfits in a variety of brands, including Disney, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Gap Kids, Hurley, Roxy and more.

 

To describe it quickly, parents can build an online style profile and check off their kiddo’s likes/dislikes, sizing, favorite colors, etc. and a package will be delivered to their door step. The cool thing is that you can keep what you like and ship back what you don’t like for free.

 

It’s definitely geared towards busy moms because you can shop for your kids without leaving the house!

We received the cutest ever samples! Great quality and stylish - give it a try!  The kids get a package in the mail with their name on it and adorable clothes you can keep or return if not interested!

https://www.weeblessing.com/

June 12, 2017

How is a parent supposed to compete with endless electronic fun?

Just like blockbuster summer movies, new video games are hitting the market right before summer vacation and many parents are struggling to wrench their children’s attention away from iPads, Xboxes, Playstations and all the other devices designed to keep them playing for hours. You know that your kids, pre-teens and teenagers need some outdoor activity time, but how is a parent supposed to compete with endless electronic fun? Vida Health's Head of Nutrition and Coaching Jennifer Gibson has you covered with these tips:

 

  • Get crafty with a homemade scavenger hunt. It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or the country, you can easily whip up a list of items for your child to find or tasks for her to complete. It can be as simple as “a green leaf, a bug, and an interesting rock”, or as complicated as a list of 15 specific items that she must find and take a picture of. For extra fun, get the whole family involved in a competition and choose some high stakes prizes for the winning team: how about the losers make the winners a healthy snack?

 

  • Get old-school with your game choices. When was the last time you played Red Rover? Ghost in the Graveyard? What about a friendly round of Dodgeball? Resurrecting playground games from your own youth can capture your kids’ interest and help them to see you in a whole new light—as the reigning Foursquare champion!

 

  • Get a whole new family hobby. You love to hike, your son lives to collect whatever it is they collect on Roblox. Why not combine the two with geocaching (link https://www.geocaching.com/play), or letterboxing (link http://www.letterboxing.org/), where you use your smartphone to access clues and find secret treasure? These addictive activities are sure to get even the most reluctant gamer out and moving.

 

  • Get wet. Never underestimate the power of water—even the most stoic tween is no match for a parent brandishing it in any form. No need to invest in the newest high-tech automatic water weapon, a good old hose will do just fine. Grin, squirt, run, and don’t be afraid to get silly.

 

  • Get moving inside. Even if it’s just plain too hot to stomach going outside, that doesn’t mean getting some exercise is impossible. Have your gamer try out Just Dance or another movement-driven game, or just do a quick search on YouTube for a fun family workout you can all do together. Worst case scenario, you get really good at doing the Dougie.
June 8, 2017

Five Beach Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Steve is a 30-year law enforcement veteran and FBI defense tactics instructor shares his best tips for parents to know this summer.

Five Beach Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, each year about 4,000 people drown in the United States.  Drowning kills more children 1-4 years of age than anything else, except birth defects.  Among children ages one through fourteen, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death (after motor vehicle crashes).  Being aware of the risks and learning some life saving techniques will keep you safe at the beach.

 

1) Your Span of Control is Limited

In the perfect world, every child would have a designated adult supervising them at the beach or pool, but two children is a comfortable number for one adult to supervise.  Any more can become overwhelming and increase the risk of something going wrong.

 

2) Drowning Doesn’t Look like Drowning (or:  Drowning Doesn’t Look like You Imagine)

In the movies, when someone is acting out a drowning scene they wave their arms and scream for help. In real life, drowning is, for the most part, a silent act. Once a person goes into distress mode, they are fighting for two things: air and keeping their mouth above water.

My first experience witnessing the onset of a drowning occurred at my family pool when I was about ten years old.  My much younger cousin was in two feet of water, bent over at the waist.  It looked he was looking at his feet or the bottom of the pool but something didn’t seem right. When I lifted his head out of the water, he began vomiting and crying, he had been stuck. In a case I investigated, witnesses reported seeing a young girl bobbing her head up and down in the water.  She had drifted from the shallow end of the pool into water above her head (or:  the deep end) and was pushing off the floor of the pool to get air because she could not swim. She was saved, but nearly drowned. If something in and around the water doesn’t look right, it likely isn’t.

 

3) Set Up by a Lifeguard - No lifeguard No lifeline.

Set up your stuff near a lifeguard station so that if you venture into the water with your children there is an extra set of eyes to watch over you and your child. Don’t allow this to replace your diligence but rather supplement it. Your child is your first responsibility.

 

4) Don’t Get Lost in Conversation

Going to the beach or pool is a social event. If you’re caught up in a conversation, keep your face and your eyes on your child. Mishaps and accidents can occur very quickly and with a mix of children and water, seconds matter. Keep your hands glued to your babies or toddlers at all times.  If at the beach, keep an eye out for rouge waves.  Chat with the lifeguard in advance about any dangers you should know about. Ankle deep water can quickly become a hazard if you are not paying attention. Outfit your child with bright colored beach wear.  Know your limitations and educate yourself on riptides.  While you are on child watch duty turn the cell phone off, and keep the Ipad or book out of your reach.

 

5) Learn CPR and Rescue Breathing

Your local fire, police, recreation department or gym and health club often sponsor certified CPR courses. You will not realize its value until you need it!

Steve Kardian is an American career law enforcement officer, detective, sergeant and chief criminal investigator, who specializes in crime prevention and risk reduction for women's safety. Kardian is the author of The New Superpower for Women (on pre-sale until August 8, 2017) and founder of Defend University, where he trains thousands of people each year on safety and self-defense, as well as strategies and tactics uniquely tailored to women's safety.

June 8, 2017

Five Beach Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Steve is a 30-year law enforcement veteran and FBI defense tactics instructor shares his best tips for parents to know this summer.

Five Beach Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, each year about 4,000 people drown in the United States.  Drowning kills more children 1-4 years of age than anything else, except birth defects.  Among children ages one through fourteen, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death (after motor vehicle crashes).  Being aware of the risks and learning some life saving techniques will keep you safe at the beach.

 

1) Your Span of Control is Limited

In the perfect world, every child would have a designated adult supervising them at the beach or pool, but two children is a comfortable number for one adult to supervise.  Any more can become overwhelming and increase the risk of something going wrong.

 

2) Drowning Doesn’t Look like Drowning (or:  Drowning Doesn’t Look like You Imagine)

In the movies, when someone is acting out a drowning scene they wave their arms and scream for help. In real life, drowning is, for the most part, a silent act. Once a person goes into distress mode, they are fighting for two things: air and keeping their mouth above water.

My first experience witnessing the onset of a drowning occurred at my family pool when I was about ten years old.  My much younger cousin was in two feet of water, bent over at the waist.  It looked he was looking at his feet or the bottom of the pool but something didn’t seem right. When I lifted his head out of the water, he began vomiting and crying, he had been stuck. In a case I investigated, witnesses reported seeing a young girl bobbing her head up and down in the water.  She had drifted from the shallow end of the pool into water above her head (or:  the deep end) and was pushing off the floor of the pool to get air because she could not swim. She was saved, but nearly drowned. If something in and around the water doesn’t look right, it likely isn’t.

 

3) Set Up by a Lifeguard - No lifeguard No lifeline.

Set up your stuff near a lifeguard station so that if you venture into the water with your children there is an extra set of eyes to watch over you and your child. Don’t allow this to replace your diligence but rather supplement it. Your child is your first responsibility.

 

4) Don’t Get Lost in Conversation

Going to the beach or pool is a social event. If you’re caught up in a conversation, keep your face and your eyes on your child. Mishaps and accidents can occur very quickly and with a mix of children and water, seconds matter. Keep your hands glued to your babies or toddlers at all times.  If at the beach, keep an eye out for rouge waves.  Chat with the lifeguard in advance about any dangers you should know about. Ankle deep water can quickly become a hazard if you are not paying attention. Outfit your child with bright colored beach wear.  Know your limitations and educate yourself on riptides.  While you are on child watch duty turn the cell phone off, and keep the Ipad or book out of your reach.

 

5) Learn CPR and Rescue Breathing

Your local fire, police, recreation department or gym and health club often sponsor certified CPR courses. You will not realize its value until you need it!

Steve Kardian is an American career law enforcement officer, detective, sergeant and chief criminal investigator, who specializes in crime prevention and risk reduction for women's safety. Kardian is the author of The New Superpower for Women (on pre-sale until August 8, 2017) and founder of Defend University, where he trains thousands of people each year on safety and self-defense, as well as strategies and tactics uniquely tailored to women's safety.

May 16, 2017

Missing Your Mom on Mother's Day

Missing Your Mom on Mother’s Day

By Alexis Marie Chute

 

Many moms relish Mother’s Day as a chance to have breakfast made for them – for a change. Or to have an uninterrupted bubble bath, minus the toys. Or to simply be thanked. Mother’s Day is advertised well, with cards, flowers, and gifts of any imaginable product, all geared towards the hard-working, over-tired, and much deserving mom.

But what about the mother of a mom?

When women have children of their own, they enter this wonderful club of motherhood. Still, the bond with one’s own mother remains, like an invisible umbilicord, connecting heart to heart. It is without doubt that mothers and daughters share a sacred bond. It is this bond that makes Mother’s Day all the more heartbreaking when your own mother is unwell or has died.

Many young children believe their parents know all the answers and have this “life-thing” figured out. When you grow up, you realize that your parents are mere mortals, just fellow people figuring things out as they go. This is a startling realization in and of itself. Then, when your parents get sick, you realize they will not live forever. When your mother or father dies, the ache can be felt with each heartbeat, leaving you with a sense of loneliness, as if your foundational protection has been lifted.

Coping through Mother’s Day when you are caring for your ailing mother, or missing her larger-than-life presence, is challenging. Sometimes there are no words of comfort that make even a dent on the sadness you feel. Here are a few ways to redeem Mother’s Day for you:

Shut off the social and be present.

We spend much of our lives distracted by things that do not matter. Social media is a perfect example of this. Instead of updating your Facebook status or instagramming the card your kids made for you – be with your kids! If you mom is still alive and within driving distance: Visit her. And lock your phone in your car if it’s too much of a temptation.

You know social media will be abuzz with Mother’s Day posts anyway and these in-your-face messages prompt the agony you feel for your mom and her pain. Shut them all off. Avoid the social media comparison game. Avoid seeing the pictures of your peers with their healthy mothers. When you logout, and wake-up to the present moment, you will see it for the gift that it is. You will feel alive and free, appreciating every minute of the life you have the privilege of living as a daughter to your mother and as a mom yourself. 

Create and re-live memories.

If your mom has passed, take intentional time to be still and think about her. Get in a meditative state where you breathe deeply and do not wiggle around. Close your eyes and picture your mother. Remember her smell. Remember the way she said things to you: was she firm or tender? A jokster or a straight-shooter? Think back to trips you may have taken together or your weekly lunch dates or family holidays. Think about the lessons she taught you and the physical features of your body that came from her. Remember and celebrate your mother in spirit, her warts and all.

If your mother is alive, it is not too late to create new memories. The weekly lunch dates can take place at her home or hospital room. Surprise her with flowers and her favorite book, which you can read to her; or her favorite board game if she is still able to play. Give her a massage, the gift of touch. Take her for a walk in her wheelchair and start up a round of eye spy. Tell each other stories about your lives. And whatever you do, take as many photos and video as you can. These will become cherished keepsakes later on.

Let the feelings come.

Don’t get stuck in fretting about the “right things” to do or say for your mother if she’s ailing. Just do your best. Similarly, there is no one right way to grieve, and no singular perfect way to remember your mom’s life. Be graceful and kind with yourself. Everyone knows you are doing the best you can – and what other people think doesn’t matter anyway. What you think and feel is what counts. If you are feeling blue, let your tears flow. If anger is bubbling up in your chest at the fact that your mother passed from a tragic illness: Be mad! Give yourself permission. Go for a run till you’re winded, beat-up your duvet, scream till your throat throbs. Get out the feelings, whatever they are. The sense of release will be tangible afterwards.

“Life is not fair.” Those are the words likely every child everywhere has said to his or her parent at one point or another growing up. We can feel this injustice just the same as adults. There is never enough time with the ones we love, true. While Mother’s Day may feel like a kick-in-the-pants right when you are praying hard for a miracle, choose to see it as an opportunity. A chance to celebrate your mother, at whatever state of health she may be in, or to celebrate her in spirit as you remember her amazing life. If you have children of your own, tell them about their grandmother. We keep memories alive through the stories we share.

Alexis Marie Chute is the author of the award-winning memoir Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Alexis Marie is a writer, artist, filmmaker, public speaker, and bereavement expert. Learn more about her book and documentary, Expecting Sunshine: The Truth About Pregnancy After Loss, at www.ExpectingSunshine.com. She is a healthy-grief advocate educating others on how to heal in creative and authentic ways.

Connect with Alexis Marie Chute on FacebookLinkedIn Twitter, InstagramPinterestTumblr, YouTube, and atwww.AlexisMarieChute.comwww.ExpectingSunshine.comwww.WantedChosenPlanned.comwww.AlexisMarieArt.com, and www.AlexisMarieWrites.com.

May 4, 2017

Groove Ring

Groove Ring

Groove is for the married and non-married alike who want to make a statement of the lifestyle they live. Groove is the active, silicone ring designed for the athlete, adventurer, professional, or trendsetter. It begs to be worn, shown, and tested everyday no matter what the circumstance. 


Founder Peter Goodwin states, “Look, I’m a typical Alaskan.  I climb mountains, raft remote rivers, hunt bears, fly airplanes, build my own housing, hand cut firewood and I play hard too.  Why in the world has no one made a ring that works for us; works for all the active people of this world?  Seeing the need, I solved the problem!”

May 3, 2017

Just in time for Mother's Day!

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Chamilia (www.chamilia.com), a Swarovski company, announced that it will release 3 new stackable rings for Spring 2017. The rings will complement the more than 40 styles currently available in its stackable ring collection.

“Stackable rings are a natural extension of the Chamilia brand,” said Chamilia Vice President, Global Merchandising and Marketing Catherine Ottaviano. “The rings very easily communicate the emotion and messaging so important to the brand, while making perfect gifts and collectible self-purchases for the woman who looks for sentiment in her jewelry.”

The three new styles in this assortment include:

  • Chamilia Heirloom Lace, Regal Collection Ring—The new Chamilia Heirloom Lace motif is featured on a high-polished sterling silver band (U.S. MSRP $65).
  • Chamilia Quatrefoil Band—Chamilia's signature quatrefoil is repeated to form an elegant sterling silver band with a bright polish (U.S. MSRP $40).
  • Chamilia Day Tripper Rope Band—This sterling silver ring features a classic rope pattern (U.S. MSRP $40).

Based in Cranston, RI, Chamilia is an American company that was established in 2002. Since its purchase in 2013, it has been a member of the Swarovski Group, a world leader in quality and innovation. Each of the more than 400 exclusive charms available from the brand are made from .925 sterling silver or 14 karat gold and feature genuine Swarovski Crystals or Zirconia, or Italian Murano Glass. The brand follows strict Swarovski Group guidelines for quality and aesthetic excellence. This makes Chamilia a modern-day heritage brand.

But Chamilia is a fine jewelry brand that is focused not just on impeccable craftsmanship and design at affordable luxury price points. The very DNA of the brand is based on its core value to service the strong desire that women have to celebrate their lives through jewelry, which is a statement category like no other. This means that Chamilia designs often include sentimental messaging and symbolism that allow for personal expression and inspiration. For mothers, in particular, this can be an empowering way to engage in gift-giving with personal meaning.

Each item in Chamilia’s collections seamlessly coordinates with other collections from the brand, so that once you find mom’s style, you are able to easily pair new items from updated collections that continue to celebrate the milestones in her life. And more often than not, the milestones mom will be celebrating will be the outstanding experiences she shares with her family.

These stackable rings from Chamilia will be available starting April 7, 2017, and will be sold at the brand’s more than 2,000 retail partners worldwide and on the Chamilia website. For more information about the Chamilia brand, please go to www.chamilia.com.  

   

April 21, 2017

9 Tips To Keep Your Child Safe Around Water This Summer

Few things are as much fun as splashing around at the beach or in a backyard pool, but not every child is confident about taking the plunge.

“For some children, the idea of getting in the water and trying to swim can be a bit frightening,” says K.J. Hales, author of It’s Hard to Swim, the second and most recent addition to the Life’s Little Lessons by Ellie the Wienerdog educational picture book series (www.ellietheweinerdog.com).

“But with the proper positive reinforcement, they can overcome their fears and discover just how much fun swimming can be.”

May is National Water Safety Month, a good time for parents to consider teaching their children how to swim. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports swimming lessons for most children 4 years and older. Water safety classes can also reduce the risk of drowning in younger children, the pediatrics group reports, but advises that because children develop at different rates, not all will be ready to swim at the same age.

Hales, who offers teachers’ guides and educational activities to go along with the lessons in her books, says she chose swimming as one of Ellie the Wienerdog’s adventures because it’s a valuable skill that all children should learn.

“Most children are around water in some form, whether it’s a pool, a river, a pond, a lake or the ocean,” she says. “So learning to swim isn’t just for fun. It’s also important for safety.”

The Pediatric Academy cites several water-safety tips for parents, including:

Never – even for a moment – leave small children alone or in the care of another young child while in bathtubs, pools, spas or wading pools, or near irrigation ditches or standing water.
Empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use.
To prevent drowning in toilets, young children should not be left alone in the bathroom.
Closely supervise children in and around water. With infants, toddlers and weak swimmers, an adult should be within an arm’s length. With older children and better swimmers, an adult should be focused on the child and not distracted by other activities.  Bath seats cannot substitute for adult supervision. 
If children are in out-of-home child care, ask about exposure to water and the ratio of adults to children.
If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence that is at least 4-feet high to limit access to the pool. The fence should be hard to climb (not chain-link) and have a self-latching, self-closing gate. Families may consider pool alarms and rigid pool covers as additional layers of protection, but neither can take the place of a fence.
Parents, caregivers and pool owners should learn CPR.
Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as inflatable arm bands) in place of life jackets. They can deflate and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
All children should wear a life jacket when riding in a boat. Small children and non-swimmers should also wear one at water’s edge, such as on a river bank or pier.

“When Ellie finally swims, she realizes that learning something new is wonderful and if you give it a try, you can do anything you wish,” Hales says. “This is a lesson I hope all children will take to heart, not only when learning to swim, but also when facing any challenge that comes their way.”

About K.J. Hales

K.J. Hales (www.kjhales-author.com) is author of the educational children’s books series, Life’s Little Lessons by Ellie the Wienerdog (www.ellietheweinerdog.com). The latest book in the series is It’s Hard to Swim. The purple wiener dog character is based on Hales’ own dachshund by the name of, you guessed it, Ellie.

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