Taking Time to be a Dad Today @fatherhood.gov #fatherhood

The more involved a dad is, the more successful his children are. A father’s influence can determine a child’s social life, academic achievement, and future achievements.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance’s National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) and the Ad Council in an effort to inspire and support men in their commitment to responsible fatherhood.


Eighty-six percent of dads spend more time with their children today than their own fathers did with them, but a majority of dads (7 out of 10) also reported that they could use tips on how to be a better parent, according to a national survey conducted by the Ad Council. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

DreamWorks Animation donated their time, talent and resources for the campaign, which features footage and characters from the Kung Fu Panda 3 film. In the upcoming film, Po, the franchise protagonist, reunites with his long-lost birth father. The story highlights the special relationship between father and son and shows the unique challenges that Po is able to overcome with the love and support of his father.

Visit www.fatherhood.gov and http://www.adcouncil.org/ to learn more about the fatherhood movement.

Diggerland – Family Fun in NJ


A fleet of amphibious 8-wheeled black-and-yellow vehicles, otherwise known as ARGOs, may be a rare site to see in the United States. Perhaps more rare, would be children and their families operating the all-terrain machines on an off road course.

The Argos are added as Diggerland’s 25th attraction, following the World’s Fastest Backhoe and JCB WorkMax UTVs that were introduced earlier in the construction theme park’s second season.

“The ARGO furthers our goal of providing one-of-a-kind entertainment for families visiting our park,” said Yan Girlya, co-owner of Diggerland USA. “Diggerland is the only place in America where kids and their families can operate heavy equipment; and now we’re the only place you can get behind the wheel of an ARGO.”

The construction-themed adventure park covers 14 acres of centrally located land in Camden County, NJ and offers visitors the opportunity to operate full size excavators, dumper trucks, and backhoes among a range of other heavy machinery in a safe, family-friendly environment.

Guests can operate the ARGOs as early as Friday, June 19 as Diggerland is now open everyday through Labor Day for the summer. The newest attraction seats four people; three guests and an operator and is driven along a fixed course in the park.

“We are always looking to add new attractions to our park,” said Ilya Girlya, co-owner of Diggerland USA. “We instantly knew the ARGO was a must-have. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before and we’re very excited to give our guests the chance to drive them.”

diggerland coupon

Visit Diggerland with your crew today!  

Airplanes and Ear Pain

There are plenty of things to love about air travel. Looking down through the clouds at the toy-sized cars and people rarely gets old. Those elf-sized packs of peanuts and pretzels and the tiny cups of soda have an oddly childlike charm. And at the end of the day, you’re hurtling through the air at 30,000 miles above the ground—what part of that isn’t exciting?


A first-class or even an exit-row seat will buy you some additional legroom, but unfortunately every seat carries the same risk of experiencing the unpleasant ear pain and popping that commonly happens during air travel. In most cases, the pressure and pain you feel is mercifully brief. Odds are your hearing will return to its usual levels just a few minutes after the plane lands. It’s rare to sustain permanent hearing loss as a direct result of a flight.

Just where does this popping and pain come from? And, more importantly, is there anything you can do to prevent it?

What Causes the Pain and Popping?

The ear problems you experience when you fly are caused by an imbalance between the air pressure in your middle ear and that of the air around you. This is especially true during takeoff and landing, when the air pressure in the cabin is rapidly changing, oddly enough, to keep you comfortable. When the pressure is lowered during takeoff, your eardrum begins to swell outward like a rising loaf of bread. The reverse happens when the pressure is raised during landing, causing your eardrum to get sucked inward. In both of these cases, the imbalance leads to the muffled hearing and uncomfortable pain and pressure.

Open Your Eustachian Tubes to Equalize the Pressure

The key to remedying this uncomfortable situation is to open your eustachian tubes in order to equalize the pressure. Less than an inch and a half long, these tiny tubes allow small volumes of air to enter or exit your middle ear. Here are a few simple ways to make this happen:

  • Yawn a lot. Yawning is actually “contagious” so you may even be helping out the passengers around you.
  • Swallowing is one of the easiest ways to open up the tubes and neutralize the pressure. To stimulate your mouth to make more saliva, gum chewing is often recommended. For infants, nursing, bottle-feeding or sucking on a pacifier can help. Older children can suck on lollipops or hard candy.
  • Adults can also try a technique known as the Valsalva maneuver. Take a deep breath, then close your mouth and pinch your nose shut. Try to force air out until your ears pop. This is not recommended if you have a cold or allergies, since it could lead to additional complications. Instead, you can try the Toynbee maneuver, in which you close your mouth and nose and swallow a few times until the pressure equalizes.

Tips to Help Prevent Ear Pain

Everyone is different, so try a few of these to see what works best for you:

  • Avoid sleeping during takeoff or landing—for many people this won’t be a problem!
  • Stay hydrated during the flight by drinking fluids frequently. Ask for more water if you need it.
  • Try wearing earplugs specifically designed for equalizing in-flight pressure.
  • Use nasal spray an hour before landing. But be aware that over-use of these products can actually lead to greater congestion making it harder for your Eustachian tubes to do their job.
  • Along those lines, a decongestant tablet before or after the flight may also be helpful as long as its use is approved by your doctor.

Ear pain and pressure are definitely not the travel companions you want to have. Keep them at bay with these tips. And if you wake up on the day of your trip with a sinus infection, cold or allergy attack, consider rescheduling your flight. When your sinuses are severely blocked your chances of serious ear damage rise considerably.

If you’re worried about your ears, or are concerned you may be suffering from hearing loss, it may be worth having them checked. The experts at Miracle-Ear offer free hearing evaluations at more than 1,200 locations across the country.

Boiling Springs Savings Bank Student Checking Account @BSSBankNJ #GardenStateGrads

Disclosure- This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and honest. For more information, see “I Disclose”.

What is the best way to get your kids to respect money and learn how to properly manage it?  A piggy bank? How about a new type of bank account from Boiling Springs specially tailored for new bankers aged 14-23?  That sounds better. The account is called a Boiling Springs Savings Bank Student Checking Account

This account features:

No monthly fees

Interest earned on all balances

Free specialty checks or a discount on custom checks

Free online banking

Free online bill payment

Free 24-hour telephone banking

Minimum deposit to open account is $1.00

Free transactions at Boiling Springs ATMs with Boiling Springs ATM card or Debit MasterCard

Direct deposit

Overdraft protection transfer service available

At age 23, account will convert to a regular NOW account


Also, there is a promotion going on right now called, “Gift for Garden State Grads”, which runs through June 30, 2015.  When a student opens a new Student Checking Account with more then $20.15, they gain and extra $20.15 in interest, just for opening the account.  This is a great deal and a wonderful way to teach kids the value of saving with real money- with a great bonus.


Combining a student checking account and a part time job or an allowance will do wonders for kids when learning the value of money.  Nothing quite beats that first paycheck placed in your bank account and the nervousness of spending the first few dollars of it.  The ability to see your money grow and shrink as life demands is a learning experience, and balancing a check book for the first time is also an interesting teaching/ learning experience.  This account is also perfect for a young adult first getting into banking and money management while going away to college or their first full time job.  No matter what the reason behind it Boiling Springs is a great first stop for your student banking needs.

The Shelter Pet Project #shelterpetlove


Each year approximately 3-4 million pets are adopted from shelter and rescue groups, but 2.4 million healthy and treatable pets still need our help to find a home. The Shelter Pet Project, in a collaborative effort between The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie’s Fund®, and the Ad Council, want to help these pets find homes.  The goal of The Shelter Pet Project is to make shelters and rescue groups the first place people turn when looking to get a new pet.

And why shouldn’t it be?  These pets are not “used” or “throw away” pets- they are companions that need a new home, usually due to no fault of their own.


Have you met Cooper?  Our newest addition, here since December.  He’s awesome.  He thinks he’s people- but he’s a whole lot better, in my opinion, since he can’t talk back and he doesn’t care if I put on weight.  After our dog Chaac died of cancer almost 2 years ago (also a rescue from a local shelter), we never thought we would find another dog to fill the hole Chaac left in our hearts.  We did quite a few fosters, but it was Cooper who stole the show- we just adore him.

chaac for getmehome

Chaac the Wonder Dog- who we miss dearly.


Speaking of fosters- have you met Sasha?  Our latest foster dog is looking for her forever home- if you think that could be you, email me for more info!


Sasha is 6 years old, likes long walks on the beach (or anywhere, really), and is quite the lady on her leash. She never pulls, and walks at whatever pace you are- this pup aims to please.  Clearly a beauty, she will bat her gold eyes and dazzle you with a smile that she flashes to anyone- she’s a flirt.

Sasha is great in the car, loves belly rubs, and wants to be someone’s baby.  Just like any girly-girl, she likes to have her fur brushed.  She doesn’t love going up and down stairs (she’s a bit overweight), but will gladly play fetch in the backyard with you.  (By “fetch” I mean run wildly after that stick you threw and chew it to bits, or hold the ball in her mouth and show it to you.)

This is the perfect dog for empty nesters. She is fantastic in the car, never makes a peep and sits like she owns it.  Completely housebroken, Sasha knows her name, how to sit, and stay. Sasha has lots of energy, and is really strong- but she listens very well and is learning more commands.  She will beg for snacks if you have them- or stalk you- which some would find beneath them, but Sasha doesn’t care (as long as it ends with treats). She will also take them ever-so- gently from your hands. 
In celebration of “National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day” on April 30 and to support “Adopt a Cat Month” in June, Lance Bass (a radio host and entertainer who first rose to fame as  a member of NSYNC) has joined The Shelter Pet Project to share the love and joy that adopted pets bring to his life. Bass, his husband Michael Turchin, and their rescue dogs Lily, Foster, and Dingo star in a “Meet My Shelter Pet” series video from The Shelter Pet Project. A second video, narrated by Bass, highlights the importance of shelter pet adoption and provides viewers with more information on how to adopt.


The Shelter Pet Project showcases the unique bonds between shelter pets and their adoptive owners, and reminds people that there are thousands of amazing shelter pets ready to meet them. These videos and other ads help break down misconceptions surrounding shelter pets and spread the word that pets in shelters are wonderful and loveable.

Millions of people are looking to acquire a pet within the next year. If you are one of them, look first to shelter and rescue pets- the most loyal love you will ever find.

Visit TheShelterPetProject.org to learn more about pet adoption.  You can also visit their social media channels for more information (and just raw cuteness).



How Much Do You Know About Recycling ?

My family and I are pretty good about recycling and reducing waste.  We try to reuse as much as possible, we fix and repair instead of replacing when possible, compost, recycle, and almost never use disposable items in our lunchboxes and the like. Getting to know just how much you can save to help is a matter of reading up on the topic. The rules are easy to follow, and there are many places where you can learn more about the topic. Whether it’s a quick article, or a step-by-step guide. We only get one planet, right?


However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t use a refresher course now and again, or learn new and helpful information to assist us in learning to do it better, or show us a new way that might work well.

According to a recent study conducted for the Ad Council, 52% of Americans don’t know which items can be recycled in the bathroom. And only 10% of Americans have a recycling bin in their bathroom, compared to the 45% who have them in the kitchen.

There’s a lot you can do to help increase recycling rates. With Earth Day coming up on 4/22, there’s no better time than now to help spread the word.

Keep America Beautiful, the national nonprofit organization, recently launched the newest phase of the “I Want to Be Recycled public service advertising campaign. It aims to raise awareness and inspire individuals to recycle more with the latest series of ads focused on recycling in the bathroom.
[Read more…]

Boiling Springs Savings Bank Kid Savings Program #teachkidtosave @BSSBankNJ

Disclosure- The below is a paid post but all opinions are my own.


This coming April is National Kids Savings Month, and to celebrate, Boiling Springs Savings Bank would like to bring to our attention the Bucks Program. The Bucks Program was developed to bring savings into children’s minds at an early age. By providing children a special savings account, Boiling Springs is bringing quality banking to little customers.

Some of the best parts of the Youth Savings Account are:

-A savings account designed especially for young depositors
-Account available to youths under the age of 18
-Statement savings account with statements mailed quarterly to the account holder
-Interest earned monthly on all account balances
-Minimum opening deposit of $1.00
-$10 bonus is deposited into account if account is opened with $10 or more

Kids age 12 and under must open a Custodial Account. At age 18, the account converts to a regular Statement Savings Account. Service fees may apply to the regular Statement Savings Account and fees could reduce earnings.
[Read more…]

How To: Quick Birthday Robot Snack for Kids


Being a teacher, blogger, mom, and grad school student I feel like I am always running from on thing to the other. I love to take time to do fun, and cute crafts, but sometimes I feel like I go way too long without doing them. I was so excited to be able to put together these cute little robot snacks for my daughter and her friends at school.

What You Need:

  • Individually packaged applesauce (I used the strawberry applesauce)
  • Square Juice Box
  • Laffy Taffy (2 for each)
  • Small Boxes of Raisins (2 for each)
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Googly Eyes (2 for each)


How To:

  1. Tape the raisin boxes to the bottom of the juice box
  2. Tape the Laffy Taffy candy onto the top of the juice box for the arms.
  3. [Read more…]