Archive for Sports

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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Gift Ideas for Mom and Dad – Active Faith Sports

FFR image for posts

Less than a week before Christmas and all in the house were scurrying about, trying to come up with last minute gift ideas for mom and dad…..

Is that you? I only have a few gift cards left to get and some flowers to order (which may be already ordered by the time this post goes live!) If you have some people of faith on your gift list who are into fitness Active Faith Sports may have some gift ideas for you. I recently got my husband a pair of “basketball” shorts as most of his are nearly 20 years old – I don’t know how that man retains clothing that long! Guess he bought quality clothes that lasted.

Active Faith Sports_shorts

We found the Active Faith Sports basketball shorts to run big. Robert likes them longer since he is tall, but the large are big on him. Not so much in the waist as the legs. My husband says they feel nice and are comfortable just baggier than he usually wears and prefers. He has super thin legs though! They’d probably be fine on a larger framed man. The material is breathable and decent quality. I cannot say how they wash up since my husband doesn’t usually wear shorts in the winter and he’s not part of a fitness center or gym. If I remember, I will try to update this post to reflect laundering come spring time.

FFR Active Faith Sports R in Shorts

Please note his model pose in his hand…goofy man…he makes me laugh though! Couldn’t mess too long with the photos because he told me to hurry up because he was cold!

FFR Active Faith Sports R in Shorts 2

Prices for Active Faith Sports are in the middle range. Not cheap, not super expensive. They are hosting 12 days of Christmas deals. Each day something new is on sale so if anything strikes your fancy be sure to visit their website for the daily Christmas sales.

Active Faith Sports also offers women’s wear and kids wear. Perfect for a physically active family. And of course the whole goal of Active Faith Sports is to allow Christians in sports to share their faith with others, thus the name “Active Faith.” A company worthy of mentioning and supporting this Christmas season.

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Melissa & Doug Terrific 25 List and Giveaway

HOL13_Carousel_Terrific25Blog3

 

Enter Melissa & Doug’s “Terrific 25 Gifts” giveaway!  They are giving away one item everyday (started November 5th), then on “Black Friday” one lucky person will all 25 gifts!

Here are just 1 of the prizes you could win!  It’s the Turn & Tell Wooden Clock 

clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head over to Melissa & Doug’s Facebook Page today, here is the link!  www.Facebook.com/MelissaAndDoug .  GOOD LUCK!  Let us know if you win!

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New Balance Running Shoes

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

Remember this photo?

Old Running Shoes

My husband needed new shoes so I got him some New Balance running shoes to review. New Balance has a proven track record for us. They wear well, they last, they are comfortable and we like the look of them. They are actually one of our favorite shoe brands.

These are the ones I got for him:

Nike Front2
New Balance 940 Optimum Control

Nike Side2

Nike Inside2

Nike Bottom2

Robert says these New Balance running shoes are very comfortable. More comfortable than other shoes he has tried. He’s kind of tough to buy for though. Not to be repetitive, if you remember a previous shoe review he did, but Robert has a high arch so finding a shoe that fits well and accommodates his arch is difficult. We usually cannot buy online, he has to physically be there to try them on. Unless it’s New Balance running shoes because he knows his arch supports will work in them.

He loves his New Balance 940 Optimum Control running shoes!

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Reverse Charades Expansion Pack Review

Reverse Charades Expansion Pack

Reverse Charades and Reverse Charades Junior are a twist on an old favorite. In this game the whole team has 60 seconds to act out as many words as possible with one person guessing. Newly available are three different expansion packs, Girls’ Night In Edition, Sports Edition, and Holiday Edition, to keep the fun going. Each fits inside Reverse Charades Original or Junior Edition, or can be played by itself.

Basic rules (from the publisher):

1. Split into teams of three or more. Decide on a number of rounds or a point target to win.

2. 1 word guessed correctly = 1 point. Each team has one minute to guess as many words as possible.

3. Each team selects a guesser (everyone gets a turn) and the rest of the team acts out the words.

4. Shhh! Not a peep among the team members.

5. Ready, set, go! The first team to your target wins.

Each edition comes with 220 words, for 6 or more people aged 6 and over.

Girls’ Night In Edition

I was able to review two of the Reverse Charades Expansion Packs. I brought the Girls’ Night In to my Wives Club Christmas party, and we had an absolute blast! I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I loved how easy it was to teach everyone how to play and set up took under a minute. The small and compact box fit easily into my purse and clean up was a breeze. One of the teams acted out the word, “pregnancy test,” and everyone was laughing so hard! I would recommend this to any and all women groups. It would be fun at a bachelorette party or any party as an icebreaker.

Sports Edition

I brought the Sports Edition Expansion Pack to our last Monday Night Football party. There were 5 couples and we decided to do husbands vs. wives. I don’t know who laughed more, the husbands or the wives. We played until 20 points, and played three rounds. The husbands won the championship round, but the wives gave them a run for their money. This would be a great edition to any board game night, family party, couple’s night, or sporting event party. It was extremely easy to learn the game and even easier to set up.

Overall, Reverse Charades Girls’ Night In Edition and Sports Edition are hilarious and fun filled games to play. Since they come in a small box, they are great for travel and easy to set up. They would make a great gift for anyone on your list!

Retail price of expansion packs $9.99. Check out their website for more information:

ReverseCharades.com

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

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Kids Bowl Free is Open for Registration!

I got my email a few days back that Kidsbowlfree.com is open for registration!

Kids Bowl Free

I signed up my daughter and I got the family pass! My daughter (3 Years Old) can bowl 2 games a day from May 21st to September 30th for FREE! I purchased the family pass for $24.95, added myself, my husband and grandparents (4 names total). At my bowling alley we will need to pay for shoe rentals, but we can bowl anytime they are opened!

It’s going to be fun! Happy Bowling!

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I’m a Coppertone Water MOM!

Summer is coming, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Growing up I remember using the bottle with a little girl loosing her bottoms to the puppy.  Well, here I am years later still using Coppertone for myself and family.

I received a brochure called “Sunderstanding”.  It has great information, I’d like to share.

I’ll be updating you periodically on how we are doing with our Coppertone Sunscreen.  We’ve really only had one day so far here in NJ where temps were above 70, and I didn’t have my Coppertone Sunscreen then.  It’s been rainy and soggy here, so I’ll keep you posted!  But, for now you can head to Coppertone’s webpage and print out a coupon or download their MyUV Alert app through Itunes.

I’m very excited about being selected to be Coppertone Water MOM!

Thank you Coppertone and MomSelect!

“As a member of the Coppertone Water MOMS group, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit.  No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience”

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KidsBowlFree.com

Look what I found this morning!  How exciting!  This is the information I’ve gathered through Kidsbowlfree.com .  “Registered kids receive 2 FREE games of bowling everyday all summer long”.  They mention the value is over $500.00 per kid!  I imagine this would be if you went everyday.  Click on your state in the US or Canada to find your nearest bowling center.

I went to my nearest center and currently they are only taking email address to send you more information for this summer once it’s available.

I had questions and went to the F.A.Q.  Most of the answers I found depend on the bowling center itself.  My three biggest questions were what are the age requirements? Do I need to pay for shoes? When is the free bowling? (dates, times, days) Unfortunately, I won’t find out these answers until registration opens and I get my email.

They also have a benefit for families!  KidsBowlFree.com has a Family Pass!  For $24.95 (according to their site) for the summer up to 4 adults, get 2 free games person per day also!

This is great family fun time!  I’ll update you when I get my email!

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Tail Wags Review

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

Name the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Tail Wags.  If you said helmet covers, your right!  Tail Wags Helmet Covers, Inc. was started by Karyn Climans in January of 2006.  Straight from the Tail Wags site, here’s Karyn’s Story.

 http://www.tail-wags.com

“Years ago, Karyn suffered a serious ski accident.  She was lucky to be wearing her ski helmet because it saved her life! The foremost goal of her company is to help prevent unnecessary injuries and it is her passion for safety awareness along with her imaginative flair, which are the key ingredients for Tail Wags’ success.”

“Initially working out of her basement, Karyn started Tail Wags with 6 different helmet covers: the Red Devil, Beaver, Leopard, Bunny Rabbit, Zebra and Raccoon. These are still some of her best sellers! Today, there are some 40 animal characters to choose from and Tail Wags are sold both online and in stores throughout North America and overseas.” 

My biggest question was how do you come up with the company name of Tail Wags and sell helmet covers?  Here’s the answer I got from http://www.tail-wags.com 

“The company was named Tail Wags in order to celebrate the swinging action of the helmet cover’s tail while the wearer is out riding, skating, skiing – being active, and having fun!” 

Makes sense to me! 

I have to admit, the first time I went on the site.  I giggled.  It’s something new and different.  More importantly, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my daughter safe. 

I received the Fairy Princess helmet cover for my daughter.  I opened the package and my daughter immediately put it on her head without her bike helmet. (I wish I had my camera close).  She loves playing dress up and if she’ll keep her bike helmet on her head being a Fairy Princess…well, Karyn did her job!  Thank you Karyn!  Here’s a picture of ours.  (I tried to get a picture my daughter with it on and she just wasn’t in the mood today.)  I’ll post it another day!

The helmet cover is micro-fleece.  It needs to be hand washed and laid flat to dry.  The cover stretches nicely and is snug to the bike helmet.  My only concern with this particular cover (Fairy Princess) is the “jewels” on the crown.  I was picking at them, and they seem secure on the crown.  I’m not sure if they are big enough to cause a choking hazard, but as always be careful.  All in all, I  would recommend it, especially if your child doesn’t like their “normal” helmet.     

Tail Wags Helmet Covers come in Adults and Childrens sizes.  So, the whole family can join in on the fun! 

Check out their site at http://www.tail-wags.com

All Comments are my own opinion.

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WNBA Discounts for Basketball Fans

This post was written to participate in a chance to win a $50 gift card from One2One Network.

Print

We use to follow the NBA very closely especially when Michael Jordon was playing, but we haven’t really watched much of the WNBA or any other sport in years. It is very rare if we do. However, we still like sports, and will follow our favorite teams online or in the newspaper if they are doing well. Yes, we our loyalty is conditional. ;-) So this is really for all the other sports fans out there who enjoy the basketball and want to attend an WNBA game! There are some discount offers in specific markets that you just have to check out!

WNBA Discount Details:

We have special offers from the One2One Network to share with our friends, readers and fans. Click here for details on the special promotion in your market. To get the special ticket deal, enter WNBABLOG at ticketmaster.

WNBA

These deals are too good to miss – some markets are as much as 60% off tickets! If you don’t live in a WNBA market, forward the fun to your friends and family who do.

Offers are good through the end of the regular season (August 22).

WNBA teams are Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, LA Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, NY Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, San Antonio Silver Stars, Seattle Storm, Tulsa Shock, Washington Mystics.

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