DISCLAIMER: Thanks to the folks at Amwell for sponsoring today's post.
Let's face it, short of placing your kids (and yourself) in a germ-free plastic bubble, there's no foolproof way to avoid the funk this Winter. It's almost inevitable. It seems like every year, usually right around the holidays, someone gets sick.
Be it the kids with a stomach bug or Mom and Dad with the general crud, odds are, someone will get sick and the only thing worse than being sick around the holidays is... going to a Doctor's office and sitting for an hour or more to be seen... when you're sick around the holidays. *insert Debbie Downer music here*
It's a fact; being sick is not fun. In all honesty, it sucks. You're snuffly, sneeze-y, tired, grumpy and the last thing you want to do is put on clothes, get behind the wheel of a car and drive yourself to the Doctor. (where you're subject to pick up a really nice case of pink eye)
Wouldn't it be nice if you could just call the Doctor (whilst still in your cozy, germ covered jammies) and be like..."Look, Doc, I've caught the funk, I feel like I'm dying, could you hook a girl up with some meds that will make me feel like a human again?!" Why can't there be an app for that?! Oh, but there is! Say "Hello" to Amwell.
Amwell is the nation’s largest telehealth company, connecting you with board-certified, licensed doctors, dietitians and psychologists, in 46 states, for immediate and live, online visits—day or night, using your mobile phone or desktop computer. Amwell doctors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain, sleet, snow, hail, zombies, no matter what, you have a Doctor, right in the palm of your hand.
While you would definitely want to see your local Doctor for major problems, the Amwell docs are here to help you with more common ailments and issues, such as...
• Sinus infection
• Sore throat
• Urinary tract infection
• Sprains and strains
• Respiratory infection
Finding a provider is easy, just login on your PC or even easier, use the Android or Apple app. then choose the type of practitioner you are looking for. Depending on the issue at hand, the doctor can diagnose, suggest follow up, and prescribe meds, when appropriate.
I know you're wondering if this is legit, right? It seems too good to be true, right? Wrong! Amwell takes your health and privacy very seriously. Your visit with the doctor is secure and HIPAA compliant. Amwell is accepted by most major insurers, with more added every day. So, what are you waiting for? For a limited time you can score 50% off your next $69 urgent care visit with an Amwell provider by using code "Amwell50". Get your half-off visit started HERE NOW!
DISCLOSURE: A Huge "thank you" to Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring this post.
'Tis the season for another exciting Cost Plus World Market in-store hide and seek game. If you're new here, I will catch you up... about this time, every year, Cost Plus World Market has their annual in-store treasure hunt game where YOU can win a $20, $50 or $100 rewards coupon just for finding the hidden object. This year's iteration is centered around the super fun Christmas Cracker. No, this isn't some kind of fancy saltine, it's a fun, paper wrapped tube of happiness!
Christmas Crackers, also known as "Crackers", have been used as decorative party favors to celebrate a variety of special occasions and festive events for over a hundred years. Cost Plus World Market is known for having the largest collection of Christmas Crackers available during the holiday season. The tradition of pulling the crackers and donning of the party hats has created a relaxed, festive atmosphere certain to get any party function off the ground. The coveted Golden Christmas Cracker you will (hopefully) find at Cost Plus World Market not only consists of a $20, 50 or $100 reward, but once a winner pops open the Christmas Cracker, they will also receive a paper crown (tissue party hat), a motto (joke or riddle), a snap (friction activated popping device), and a small gift or novelty item. Sounds fun, right?!
How to Play:
So, now that I have your attention, let's get to the good part, how to play...Every day beginning TODAY Friday, November 1st through Wednesday, November 27th your local Cost Plus World Market store will hide 8 Golden Christmas Crackers pieces throughout the store. Each day, Cost Plus World Market will share a daily clue in store, via email, and on their social media channels. Use the clue to help you find a Golden Christmas Cracker piece and you could receive a reward. I will be sharing clues at 8:00 a.m. cst daily over on Facebook, you can find me by clicking the highlighted link.
Find (1) Golden Christmas Cracker piece and bring it to the nearest store associate to exchange for a reward coupon worth $20, $50 or $100. Reward is valid only on the day it is awarded.
To be fair to all players, there will be two games a day per store. One will run from store opening to 3:00p.m. local time and the second will be from 4:00 p.m. to store close, local time.
Limit one (1) reward per person throughout the Promotion Period (11/1/19 – 11/27/19), regardless of store location(s) visited. EMPLOYEES AND DESIGNATED SHOPPER NOT ELIGIBLE. See Terms of Participation for complete details.
Not sure where your nearest store is? No worries, you can follow me to my favorite store, at Nashville West, or you can find yours here, with this handy dandy Cost Plus World Market store locator.
And without further adieu, here is today's clue. Remember to check on Facebook where I will be sharing the remainder of the clues. Today's Golden Christmas Cracker is hidden next to something ORANGE. Good luck!
While you're hunting down a golden Christmas cracker, you might also find a few of these amazing things. Cost Plus World Market is definitely a one-stop shop for all your Christmas needs, from Christmas decor to Christmas baking, they've got you covered.
*Shop this Post*
Even though it seems like Mother Nature didn't get the memo, it is Fall in Tennessee. Time for bonfires, hoodies, football, and my favorite... pumpkin patches! Even though the weather still says "Summer", my heart says it is "Fall", and is yearning for a nice long corn maze and a stroll through a field of those glorious orange globes of Halloweeny-ness. Without further adieu, and in no particular order... here are my 5 must-see pun'kin patches in Middle Tennessee.
Shuckle's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
Located at 7526 Swift Rd. in Greenbrier, TN, Shuckle's has been our go-to pun'kin patch for the last few years. They have grown a lot in the years since we started going and never fail to provide a fun time for the entire family, grown-up kids included. In addition to the usual pumpkin patch activities, they also have games, face painting, and a play area for the kids(and adults too) They have snacks and drinks, and even a bonfire, and You can purchase pumpkins for a reasonable price, even the "fancy" ones.2019 MA
Cheekwood Botanical Garden
A Nashville staple for all things beautiful, Cheekwood presents their gorgeous Fall exhibit, Cheekwood Harvest. Per their website: "Celebrate the autumnal season at Cheekwood! We’re set to celebrate all things fall during Cheekwood Harvest, part of our year-round lineup of signature seasonal festivals. The changing of the leaves are one of many garden highlights you’ll find as oaks, maples, dogwoods, and other trees greet you with their fall colors. You’ll find activities and experiences designed to appeal to kids, adults and families alike, making this six-week celebration the perfect time for a peaceful solo stroll, a crisp fall family day, or an afternoon date."
Cheekwood Harvest runs through October 27th, and you can get more info and purchase tickets here.
A quick stroll down Hwy 96 to Franklin, TN will lead you right to Gentry's Farm. Gentry's has been opening their doors to the public for over 20 years. According to their website, they have all of the following activities available... 4 acre corn maze, mini corn maze, indoor corn maze, tire swings, hay ride through an historic farm, and lots more. Make sure to check their site for dates and times they're open.
Honeysuckle Hill Farm
Located in the rolling hills of Robertson county, Honeysuckle Hill Farm is the largest "patch" on our list. Boasting an impressive 200+ acres, they have everything from your traditional corn maze all the way to a zipline adventure course and a haunted attraction too! Activities vary throughout the day, so make sure to check out their website for more info.
Lucky Ladd Farm
Voted middle Tennessee's "BEST - Fall Festival" in 2018, and named as the "#1 Pumpkin Patch" in the state," by the Travel Channel, Lucky Ladd's Pumpkin Festival is the don't miss event of the season. Located in Eagleville, TN (Rutherford county, Murfreesboro-ish), Lucky Ladd's is a must see for sure! With the addition of their new apple cider donuts, this might just turn out to be our new favorite... maybe... I will report back as to the legit-ness of aforementioned apple cider donuts on my Instagram.
This is a collaborative post.
'Tis the season to shop for pencils and paper, new shoes and backpacks. Yep, back-to-school season has begun. Moms everywhere are scrambling to get all the necessities before the big day.... well... every mom but the homeschool Mom. The homeschool Mom is quietly biding her time till the wave of public school Moms subsides, then she will sneak in and rack up... for the next fifty-eleven years. We homeschool moms are notorious for collecting (read as: "hoarding") school supplies, so this post will include nary a pen or notebook.
First on my "must-have" list would definitely be a good laptop or chromebook. I know there are homeschool families that pride themselves on being "tech-free", but we are not one of those families. There are tons of online resources for homeschoolers and not just online games and video content, you can even print free worksheets, spelling lists, handwriting practice pages, etc..
Our days are very eclectic and relaxed. We use a lot of workbooks and online videos and library materials (books, playaways, etc) so having a movable work surface is essential. Micah has a lapdesk that he uses quite often and it even has a little area for his tablet. It's perfect for couch schooling or even car schooling. Yes, car-schooling is totally a thing.
The third item on my list is "memberships". Having a yearly membership to places like your local science and art museums or zoo are great ways to include enrichment into your lessons. Most museums have rotating exhibits; you could even make an entire lesson plan based on each different theme. This is a great thing to put on your kids' birthday or Christmas wish list. Relatives, especially grandparents, love gifting practical, useful gifts.
Fourth on my list is a good, sturdy printer... one that never runs out of ink. Yes, such a device exists. HP Instant Ink has saved my behind more times than I can count. It works on most newer (and some older) HP printers. Instant Ink is a monthly subscription that sends you ink BEFORE you run out. There are several plans based on your personal printing needs, ours is about six bucks a month and I can print 150 (If I remember correctly) pages.
Last, but definitely not least, is a good old fashioned library card. Libraries are not just book repositories any longer. Libraries have gone high tech and most have fast, up to date computers that are free to use. Some libraries even offer specially curated "curriculum kits" based on topics and grade level. It helps a ton around Christmas when lesson planning is the last thing on my mind. Our local library even has special events designed just for homeschoolers. If yours doesn't, talk to the children's librarian about starting some.
To all my fellow homeschool parents starting a new year... may the odds be ever in your favor! See you on the battlefield.
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Savings.com.
I will spare you the cute anecdotal "frying eggs on the sidewalk" story. It's July in the south, it's like we're entering the fifth circle of hell... the one with the river and the stinky ankle-deep swamp fog muck stuff. There's nothing cute or breezy about it and everyone you come in contact with smells of varying degrees of B.O., sadness, and a longing for Fall.
Being a life-long resident of the south, I have picked up a few tricks along the way to help one stay cool and I am going to share them with you guys, here, today. Grab a pen and paper or open a blank text on your phone to save or screenshot, you will not want to miss this.
Tip 1: STAY INSIDE AND DRINK ICED TEA!!!!! Yep, that's your only option. Don't leave the house unless it is on fire (which might actually cool things down a bit). Having a baby? Deliver that sucker at home. Need groceries? Have them delivered. Basically, anything you need to do, do it before July hits.
Jokes aside, tea is a great source of hydration and is a flavorful alternative for all those "I hate plain water" folks and the new Tea Well line from Celestial Seasonings packs a double punch by combining health and hydration in one.
The new Tea Well line can be found at Walmart stores nationwide and come in five varieties.... honey lemon, lemon chamomile, matcha green, ginger mint, and turmeric spice. Each variety is infused with their daily wellness core blend of herbs and botanicals widely known for their healing and restorative properties.
I'm super stoked to try the ginger mint. It is a flavorful blend of Organic Spearmint, Organic Ginger, and Organic Moringa and would be perfect, poured over ice, garnished with a little mint sprig from the garden.
You can find all these new Tea Well teas (and your old Celestial Seasonings favorites) at your local Walmart store, or you can avoid the heat and jut order online. Click on the coupon below to print, and keep an eye out for another Celestial Seasonings tea coupon in your local Valpak mailer.
A huge "thank you" to the amazing folks at Otherworld Encounter for having us as their guests.
What do you get when you combine art, science, and fantasy. . . Otherworld Encounter . . . an immersive, hands-on, sci-fi art installation that you can experience with every single one of your five senses... and then some.
From the moment you step foot inside the exhibit, you know you are in for an interesting time. Your experience starts with a brief back story of the "project" along with a short presentation to get you in the right frame of mind to get the most out of your experience.
Once the curtains open, you are transported to a whooole other world of sights, sounds, smells, colors, shapes, textures....everywhere you look, something new and vibrant catches your eye. You can swing in the trees or skip rope with a friendly space creature! Oh, and make sure you dig through the glitter sand for a clue. (wink wink)
There are 18 total rooms to experience, each one with a different theme. You can skip rocks in a virtual pond, experience an indoor thunderstorm, sans rain, of course, or play music with unconventional instruments, and then, weave your way through an ivy covered forest to meet a very bright beetlebug.
Some rooms are even "play-able". Yes! You can "play" one of the rooms. Think: "full dome Galaga"... with you in the pilot's seat.
Otherworld Encounter invites its guests to become a part of the exhibit by leaving their mark in the form of funky chalk drawings with plenty of room for self expression. If you look closely, you might even see a secret message.
As you wind your way through the maze of different "dreams", you are urged to look for "clues", which are recurring themes and symbols you will see along the way. If you accidentally miss them, no worries, play the game at the end, beat level 10, all the clues will be there for you. Get the code right and you will be granted access to the secret room. There are tons of photo opps along they way and unlike most other artsy places, you are ENCOURAGED to take all the pics and touch all the arts!
After about 10 minutes of trying way too hard to crack the code, and after the kind attendant gave us way too many clues, we finally made access to the secret room. It was as if I was transported back in time to my teen hangout. So many cool things to see and do and experience. Worth every second of feeling "unsmart" whilst figuring out the code.
The boys and I had an amazing afternoon at Otherworld Encounter and encourage you to check it out for yourself if you're in the Nashville area, and if you're not, you can take a virtual field trip via social media postings. The encounter is running now through July 21st, 2019, and is located at the Fairgrounds. You can get more info and grab your tickets here.
A little about the amazing artists behind Nashville's OWN (Otherworld Network) in their own words. . .
"Nashville's OWN (Otherworld Network) formed in August 2018 with the combined passion of creating Nashville's first large scale immersive art experience. Thousands upon thousands of hours of work went into developing, building and operating OTHERWORLD ENCOUNTER.
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