Archive for Guest Post

How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

by Kaitlin Gardner

When we started a family, I wanted my kids to learn how to swim. It was a skill that they would use for a lifetime, and our family would be around the water many times. Just going to the local pool and signing them up for classes didn’t feel right for me. I did homework to find the best instructor I could for my kids.

Ask around. I asked a number of parents with older children about their swim instructors. I heard some good things, and some parents steered me away from programs where they didn’t feel satisfied with the results. I was glad I took that time, because it helped me narrow down the choices before I went any further. I’ve found some great resources with more detail about swim programs for kids:

Boy Swimming

Photo attribution: Yatmandu

Learn To Swim: The Importance of Swimming Lessons

What Every Parent Should Know About Choosing A Swimming Instructor

Swim Lesson Plans

A personal visit. Once I narrowed down my options and had a list of swim schools that sounded the strongest, I made visits. I talked to the manager of the school, to get an impression of how professional the person was, because I felt like his approach would filter down through the school. I wanted someone who took the job of teaching my kids to swim as seriously as I was approaching it. I was really impressed by the commitment of the school managers, and knew I was on the right track.

What’s the plan? I wanted to know how the teaching would be handled – would they just have the kids jump in the shallow end and start showing them the Australian crawl? I wanted classes that would work through a plan where the kids learned basics and moved forward building on that foundation. I found several schools that had similar lesson plans, and I felt really good about the thoroughness and approach of the lessons.

Check instructor credentials. I asked the school managers what certifications were required for a swim instructor. I had looked online and found the required levels of certification, and in every case, the swim schools followed those standards. I was feeling really good about the schools at this point. Some people might think I was going a little overboard, but with the lives of my kids at stake, I was willing to take extra steps.

Watch a class. I asked the managers of the schools if I could watch a class. I had read that if they don’t want you to do that, it’s a warning sign that the school is not a good one. In every case, the schools I was considering encouraged to watch their swim classes. I sat and talked with other Moms who were watching their kids in class. I got a couple of names of great instructors from them, so I made sure to sit in on those classes. I had narrowed my choices to a couple of instructors by this point.

How’s the attitude? I didn’t want my kids to be taught by somebody who was just going through the motions, so watching the class, I was checking for the attitude of the instructor. I was amazed at how calm, caring and thorough the instructors were. They made sure each child demonstrated proficiency with what was being taught before they moved on. I was astonished by how well mannered and orderly the kids were. When I made my final choice, I was confident I had found the perfect instructor for my kids. It made me smile to watch them learning how to swim, and how their confidence in the water grew with each lesson.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

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Introducing Another New Contributing Writer!

In the hustle and bustle of my busy life, Kaitlin Gardner appeared out of no where inquiring about becoming a contributing writer at Faith and Family Reviews. Not one to usually turn down help, I accepted her offer!

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Meet Kaitlin Gardner

Kaitlin Gardner

Kaitlin Gardner owns AnApplePerDay.com She started her blog to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

Look for Kaitlin’s first post tomorrow and please give her a warm welcome to Faith and Family Reviews!

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Wellness for Pets #checkyourbag #naturaldogfood

This is a paid post.

Did you know….

  • Pet ownership in the U.S. has more than tripled from the 1970s, when approximately 67 million households had pets, to 2012, when there were 164 million owned pets.
  • According to a Packaged Facts survey, 83% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family.

We love our dog. Padfoot always seems to have a “smile” for us. You know what I mean. Some dogs just genuinely seem to be happy all the time, that’s Padfoot. He truly does offer us unconditional love and is very eager to please us, especially now that he’s a bit older…he’s turned two last month!

We enjoy taking him for walks, playing with him and he loves to spend time with us. We also love rewarding him with dog treats. As you know, we feed Padfoot pretty much a natural diet. What about you, do you feed your dog a healthy, natural diet?

Wellness for Pets

Did you know that a diet formulated with wholesome, natural ingredients could help your dog live a longer, healthier life, but that most dog foods aren’t made up of natural ingredients?

Why are natural dog food diets so important anyway? “Natural products go far beyond just basic nutrition,” says Dr. Al Townshend, staff Veterinarian at Wellness® Pet Food. “Natural diets are designed to provide the very best nutrition and can have significant benefits.”

In fact, according to Dr. Townshend, “natural diets offer ingredients with some important health benefits such as probiotics, those good bacteria that are essential for a healthy immune system and digestive tract; glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health; omega-3 fatty acids or fish oils for heart and kidney health; and added digestive supplements to enhance digestibility to get the very best benefits from quality proteins and fats.”

Wellness Natural Pet Food for Dogs and Cats

As a leader in natural pet food, Wellness uses natural, high-quality proteins and fats in their dog food recipes. They also include fruits and vegetables for natural vitamins, minerals and other benefits, especially antioxidants that occur in blueberries, cranberries and some vegetables, which help make their dog food products some of the healthiest options in the marketplace.

Wellness recipes do not include added artificial colors, flavors or ingredients, and they’ve even created a helpful “Check Your Bag” website that you can use to compare their natural dog food to those from some competitors who claim to be natural.

Some of the biggest benefits to Wellness® Complete Health® Recipes include:

  • Live Active Probiotics – Added after the cooking process to promote a healthy intestinal tract and overall digestive health at guaranteed levels

  • Omega 3 & 6 Mix – Offering guaranteed levels of essential fatty acids for cellular function and healthy skin

  • Essential Vitamins & Minerals – Designed for cellular health, immunity and disease resistance

  • Fruit & Veggie Antioxidants – A proactive step in improving your pet’s nutrition

  • Rigorous Safety Testing – A Quality Assurance program that maintains strict standards for food safety

  • Excellent Nutritional Standards – Every batch of dry food is tested throughout the entire manufacturing process, from its basic ingredients to the finished products

While Wellness might not be as widely-known as some of the more mainstream brands of dog food, their devotion to quality and natural, high-quality ingredients makes their food safe, wholesome and beneficial to pets’ health and wellbeing.

To pick up a bag of some of this high-quality, natural dog food, you can order it online or stop by one of the retail locations listed in the Wellness Store Locator.

But be sure that you also connect with their Naturally Well Pet Community, a free online program that provides exclusive savings offers, fun contests and helpful tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy.

And consider following their Facebook page and Twitter feed, where you can join in on the fun with a huge group of fellow animal lovers who share heartfelt, funny stories, entertaining photos and videos of their pets.

If you’re at home as you read this, it’s a good bet that your dog is sitting right next to you, watching your every move. Take a quick moment to tell them about the importance of eating a natural diet, then watch the look on their face… we promise they’ll still love you!

You can visit Wellness Pet Food for a store near you.

Check out this No Artifical Preservatives video….very cute dog is featured! Video – 15NoArtificialPreservatives


What do you feed your dog?

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Introducing a New Contributing Writer!

You may have noticed a new name on yesterday’s movie review of God’s Not Dead . Rosemarie Pagano. She is our newest contributing writer! Rosemarie is not another reviewer, as her posts will be focused on encouragement, faith and any other topics that appeal to her. She is volunteering her help in exchange for a writing platform.

FFR B and Rosemarie 020214
B and Rosemarie the day we brought our goats home!

Rosemarie is a family friend whom we met nearly a year ago through our farm’s vegetable CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture). She lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband, who is originally from Italy, and two dogs. Rosemarie and her husband both enjoy cooking.

Rosemarie is a freelance writer working on her first novel. She is an avid reader and has a servant’s heart! She has blessed us with not only her friendship but her service from bringing a meal during haying season, special Italian breakfast rolls (hot chocolate and fruit too) on Christmas day or to helping us bring B’s goats home.

We are blessed to know Rosemarie and now privileged to have her use her gift of writing here at Faith and Family Reviews! Please make her feel welcome!

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CBR – Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for CBR (Cord Blood Registry).”

Guest Dad Blogger:  Scott

Did you know that Cord Blood Stem Cells have been used for treatment for more than 80 conditions? I never knew this.

Here’s another interesting fact:

“Newborn stem cells can trigger natural repair processes in the body by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to injured or diseased areas. They can also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and other tissues.”

It just goes to show you how important it is to choose a Cord Blood Registry. More treatments are being evaluated by FDA-regulated clinical trials to help with common health issues including autism. Yet, 90% of blood cord is discarded and goes to medical waste.

With the capacity to create diverse cells for our own immune system, tissue, blood and organs; stem cells are often called the body’s “master cells”.  If your family decides to make the decision to bank your child’s cord blood, you need to do this before the due date. Obtaining the blood cord cells is very simple and painless. After the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, the blood cells are then transferred to a “collection bag”. You have options with banking cord blood cells, you can private bank or donate to a public bank.

During February CBR is having a promotion of $200.00 off of banking services.  Log onto  cordbankingbasics.com for more information.

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Where Do You Need More Love in 2014… from Yourself?

This is a guest post.

Self-Love-day-picture

Be More Loved in 2014

Do you over-give, over-do, over-work? Have relationships that aren’t respectful? Settle for less than your heart desires? Criticize, judge or compare yourself? Make choices based on fear, shame, or guilt? These are all signs you need more self-love this year, because these are all actions that are not self-loving.

Self-love is a choice you make, a permission you give yourself, like a best friend would.

Download the FREE Self-Love Pulse Check & Self-Love Promise Kit to grow your ability to make choices that honor your heart & soul >> www.ChooseSelfLove.com

Make 2014 a Year You RECEIVE MORE LOVE for Yourself, Starting with the Love From Yourself

Celebrate The International Day of Self-Love, February 13th. RSVP for this free live-streamed event on self-love day with best-selling, self-love expert Christine Arylo and self-love singer Karen Drucker. They’ll guide you to:

Give yourself permission to get what YOU need to feel taken care of, loved and free.
Take a Self Love Pulse Check – see where you’re weak in your relationship with yourself and where you are strong.
Participate in a self-love ceremony & make a set of self-love promises that’ll support you to give yourself what your heart and soul desire
Receive a set of Love Mantras you can use all year to transform guilt, shame, blame, fear, stress and criticism into LOVE in minutes!

It’s free to register. RSVP for free Now – Go here to register >> http://www.SelfLoveParty.com

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Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Giveaway

Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared

Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Giveaway

If you haven’t met Ju-Ju-Be and their fantastic line of bags, it’s time you do. They offer a large selection of diaper bags, handbags, and backpacks to fit any of your needs. Each bag is made of high quality, machine washable, durable materials. Leaving you with a bag that will last you for years to come.

And we’re giving away one of their amazing bags, the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared. This awesome diaper bag features:

  • Full zip-down mommy pocket for super access.
  • Unique main zipper closure system makes for easy access.
  • Memory foam changing pad included … nice ‘n comfy, super cushy
  • Picture pocket to keep photos handy when bragging to friends.
  • 2 exterior insulated bottle pockets … with Thinsulate by 3M. Keep it warm? Keep it cold? Sure!
  • Structured bottom with luggage feet.
  • Color-coded tabs let you know which pocket is for which child.
  • Tote handles can be tucked away and hidden when not in use.
  • Teflon … so stains don’t stick.
  • AgION Antimicrobial Linings … kills germs, mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria, and other bad stuff.
  • Crumb Drains … bye-bye mess!
  • Metal Hardware … we don’t trust any of the cheap plastic stuff.
  • Light-Colored Linings … you can actually see what’s inside, it’s not just a big black hole in there.
  • Quiet Magnets … Velcro’s noisy. Yuck!
  • Machine Washable … air dry.

Take a look at this video for a quick demonstration of everything the Be Prepared bag has to offer.

Win a Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared

Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Diaper Bag Giveaway

The awesome folks over at Ju-Ju-Be want you to fall in love with Be Prepared. They’re offering one lucky fan the chance to win a Be Prepared bag in the pattern of your choice! This giveaway will run from 2/11/14 to 2/25/14 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to US residents only. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Depend Fit Flex – Dad Central

FFR image for posts

 

 

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Depend. I received products samples and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

By Guest Dad Blogger – Scott

Here’s another one of those taboo conversations.

depend

Many people have had that moment after they sneeze or just can’t hold it.  The panic sets in…. wondering….. can anyone see anything? You may have a feeling of being ashamed or just bummed because you are getting older.

I’m here to tell you. You are not alone. Millions of people suffer from incontinence.  No need to be embarrassed or ashamed.  Depend’s new Fit-Flex is here to help.

Many people expressed concerns to the Depend brand about being bulky and not being able to live life to the fullest. Depend revamped their design and with Depend Fit Flex there’s no need to slow down your active life.  Depend Fit Flex is so discreet you are able to wear your regular favorite attire and it goes unnoticed.  Making you feel more confident and able to take back your active life style!

On the Depend site there are 3 inspiring stories. My favorite is Paul’s, he is living with incontinence. When Paul first experienced bladder issues he became embarrassed. Being unable to cope with this condition, Paul’s marriage fell apart. Then he began gaining weight in his 40’s and on his 50th Birthday he made a decision. He was going to turn his life around.  He began running and his life changed after marrying his 2nd wife. She helped him cope with his incontinence and get on with his life. Paul now uses Depend Fit Flex regularly and has lost his weight gain. This is such an inspirational story in many ways.

Get on with your life!  Enjoy running, bike riding, hiking, and vacations!

Mar Jennings is known as a top lifestyles expert.  Here are a few active lifestyle tips from him.

* “Staying active is easier when you love what you do, be it hiking, horseback riding, tennis, or taking a brisk walk.  Find what calls to you and get moving!”

*  “Have a clear vision of what you want “you” and your life to look like in six or 12 months.  Start small and think big; the results over time will be impressive.”

Don’t stop living because of bladder issues. Depend offers underwear, briefs, guards, and shields for men and women.  Click here to request a free sample.

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“Grow your Game” – Men’s ROGAINE

FFR image for posts

 

 

 

 

“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Dad Central for ROGAINE®. I received a product sample and promotional item to thank me for participating.”

Guest Dad Blogger – Scott

ROGAINE

Besides worrying about getting gray some of us Dad’s also begin to worry about hair loss.  The dreaded widow’s peak is starting to make an appearance for this Dad.  I’m looking forward to using ROGAINE treatments.  As directed – I will use a half a capful of ROGAINE foam twice a day (morning and evening).  It’s a leave in formula, so make sure it’s dry before you go to bed.

Many of you may recognize Bill Rancic from “The Apprentice”.  He was not fired by Donald Trump and was the first winner of the show.  Bill came on board with ROGAINE in May 2012 and is currently serving as the brands first ever “Growth Coach”.  Bill tells about real world experiences and personal situations and not letting his hair loss get in his way.

The “Grow you Game” initiative – A few small changes in your life can give you or anyone the confidence to achieve anything.  That shock of looking in the mirror and seeing your losing hair or over weight can really take the wind out of your sails.  I’m taking back my confidence by using ROGAINE foam, eating better and getting out for a walk once a day.  Just these few extra minutes a day can make a lifetime of difference in your confidence and attitude.  Check out what Bill Rancic and 5 other men are saying about the “Grow you Game” initiative.

A few ROGAINE facts:

  • It is FDA approved and Easy to use.
  • ROGAINE is the #1 Dermatologist recommended brand for hair regrowth.

Did you know that …

“Hereditary hair loss affects up to 40% of all men and more than 15 million men admit to being concerned about the condition.”

Why not start fixing that concern today!  ROGAINE is available nationwide at food, drug and mass retailers, or even online at www.rogaine.com.

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Is Your Water Bill Higher than Normal?

This is a guest post.

If your water bills are costing more than usual, you need to read this.

A bill that is much higher than what you have been paying then the first indication is that you might be having some leaking pipes. The sound of running sound is audible even when you turn off all the fixtures but you are still to able to find it, this is when you actually need to call a professional and get it fixed right away. Besides your water bill, the leaking water might damage your house flooring and the furniture. It is important that you check the faucets after use and make sure that they are properly closed. Then check the water meter, if it is still moving then surely there is a leakage which needs to be repaired.

Plumbing in CA under-the-sink
Photo compliments of Peter Griffin. Used with permission.

• Finding the exact point

Try the following tips to locate the exact leaking spot. If the sound helps then you can easily locate the source. Else you will have to find an amplifier devices that will give you the exact location when help close to the pipeline. Check for the satins in the ceiling, and then it might be the water tank that is leaking.

• Get professional help to locate the problem

At times, water travels along a line and gets accumulated on the roof top so the exact location might be somewhere else than the staining. If there are no stains and signs but the water meter seems to be moving, then locating the hidden leakage can be little trouble. Make use of a flashlight to get the pipeline in the basement or in case you have a crawl space.

• Fixing the problem

If the leaking is too an extent then you needs to turn off the water supply first in order to fix it. Make use of the main shut off valve to deal with it. The leaky section might need to be replaced or can be stopped with the help of a sealant. However, if you are not able to reach the pipe that needs to be repaired, calling a plumber has to be the ideal choice.

• Clamps can help

Make use of a clamp that will stop the leakage for few months if you don’t wish to replace the pipe immediately. A solid rubber blanket keeps the clamp in position and will hold it for several months to come. Get to the nearest store to buy a rubber sheet and some clamps exactly the size of the pipe that needs to be repaired.

• Measure the diameter of the sleeve clamp

Sleeve clamp of the pipe’s diameter will work the best. Protect the leakage by wrapping the rubber blanket and then carefully screw the clamp. A pinhole leaking can be fixed with a hose adjustable clamp. You are not able to find anything else, and then you can always go for a C-clamp.

• Apply epoxy putty

To make it even more secure, you can apply epoxy putty around the fixture where you are not able to apply the clamp. Make sure that the pipe is thoroughly cleaned and dry before the application. No matter, what you are doing, turn of the water supply and let the solution to stay for a while and get solid. All the above measures can be taken care as a DIY program but in case of any trouble, if you’re currently
residing at Simi Valley, CA. Find plumber in Simi Valley who spent years in plumbing industry.

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