Thursday, October 23, 2014

10/23/14: Sports Safety for Kids and Aflac Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes

My son loves sports.  He has played soccer, basketball, and baseball.  Kids get involved in sports at such a young age.  My son started playing soccer at 3 years old.  Now he plays on a travel team and it is his favorite sport.  Aflac is here with a cool sweepstakes and some sports safety tips to help.
There is no secret that sports can be dangerous.  We are no strangers to accidents that can happen.  On the last basketball practice of the season he crashed in to another child while playing a game.  You wouldn't think basketball would be a full contact sport, but this day it was.  After a quick trip to the ER we realized he had broken his collar bone.
 He was devastated that he would miss his last game of the season.  We followed the directions of the doctor and he was back to his normal self in about 2 months of wearing a sling.
Make sure you are covered with supplemental insurance for accidents and unexpected illness.  Without health insurance, the average cost to treat a broken leg, for example, is over $10,0001 now just imagine a serious back injury! 
That’s where Aflac comes in ... if someone with an Aflac supplemental insurance plan experiences a serious illness or injury, Aflac helps ease the financial stress and provides cash benefits to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses. Supplemental insurance could help cover these and other expenses that may not be fully covered by your major medical insurance: Broken teeth, Concussions, Ambulance, ground and air, Emergency room visits, Lacerations For more information, visit http://www.aflac.com/individuals/default.aspx.
Football is obviously one of the sports with the most injuries.  I want to share some tips from Aflac on how to keep things as safe as possible on the football field: 
 1) Football = lots of gear! Some equipment may look “optional,” but it is important to wear all necessary pads and safety gear each time you play. If you show up for a practice or game without it, alert your coach immediately. 
 2) Follow the rules While physical prowess is central to football, you must obey the rules. In the heat of the moment it’s easy to forget, but there is a reason why things like tripping, clipping, blocking below the knees and helmet-to-helmet contact are illegal in football: they can be very dangerous to both you and your opponents. 
 3) Listen to your body If at any point you feel pain or discomfort while playing, notify your coach and get out of the game. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face, pushing through injuries increases the severity and keeps you out of action longer. 
4) Take the doctor’s orders After experiencing a sports injury, the first question a player often asks is, "When can I play again?" The answer depends on the injury. Always listen to your doctor. Even if you can't return right away, a doctor or physical therapist might have suggestions and advice on what you can do to stay fit and rehab the injury. It is important to always check with a doctor before attempting any activity following an injury. 
 5) Make sure you’re covered Accidents happen. When unexpected injuries happen on the football field, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance to help cover out-of-pocket expenses. According to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of U.S. workers could not afford the costs associated with a serious illness or injury. That’s why voluntary insurance plans are so important. In the event of a serious injury, they help provide peace of mind and cash benefits to help you get back in the game fast. 
Aflac has a new partnership with the Heisman Trophy and is hosting the Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes.  Three prize packages will win a trip for two, a pair of tickets to one of three college football games in November, a chance to meet Desmond Howard and more.  Winners will be announced Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11.  Here are the Official Rules. Official Rules.  
Find Aflac On-Line:  www.aflac.com
Twitter: @AflacDuck

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

10/19/14: Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-O-Lanterns A to Z

Last night we went to the Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Jack-O-Lanterns from A to Z.  This is a truly amazing display of carved pumpkins.  Every year I am in amazement of these Jack-O-Lanterns and can't imagine the amount of work that goes in to them. 
 The kids absolutely love this event and so do I.
I wanted to share some tips from our years of attending this wonderful display.
1.  Go on a WEEKDAY!  Attendance is much lighter during the week and the quality is the same as daily they are fixing any pumpkins that need fixing.  When we left last night on a Saturday at 7:15 the line was enormous.  It had to be at least a 2 plus hour wait and was outside the Zoo.
2.  Go toward the end of the month, the attendance is also lighter then.
3.  If you do chose to go on a weekend make sure to get there early to get in line.
4.  A better plan if you do go on a weekend is to go to the Harvest Buffet as we did.  You go in at 5 pm and get the VIP entry to the Spectacular.  You can find more information here on the Harvest Buffet.  It runs on Friday-Sundays through October 31st.

The great thing about the Harvest Buffet is you get to eat there, plus get VIP entrance to the Pumpkin Trail.  They lead you past the line of people entering the Pumpkin Trail and let you right in.There is turkey, cranberry sauce, squash, vegetables, and mashed potatoes.  Plus hot dogs, hamburgers and pulled pork.  The food was really good.  Plus there is brownies, apple crisp, soda, water, coffee, hot chocolate, and hot cider.

After we left the Harvest Buffet we headed on to the trail.
They started with some famous Horror Movies.
 Look at the detail on this!  This one is one of my favorites.
There is always a theme.  This year the pumpkins were displayed with themes in alphabetical order, with highlights from history and popular culture, and another section will honor inspirational figures.  It started with Alice in Wonderland for A.

B for Butterfly and Birds.
C for Christmas time.  Complete with snow fashioned out of bubbles coming from above.
 Santa!
D for Dinosaurs.
 
 Absolutely amazing.
Chickens in the coop.
 Beautiful animal pumpkins.
 
 M for Mythology.  Love the Medusa one.
 
 U for unbelievable had Larry Bird!  This was my husband's favorite.
 Tom Brady, another one of my favorites.
 V for Vampires.
They also always have a tribute to those who have passed in the last year.  Here you can see Robin Williams.
 The Laughing Tree is the most amazing sight and is so hard to capture with pictures.  I have some video at the end of the post also.
I do have some video as I love listening to the music and looking around at this tree.
 The intricate carvings are amazing, and the sheer volume of how many pumpkins there are is amazing.
 Absolutely beautiful.
 I tried to take a picture at a distance to show how high the pumpkins go.
Here are some more details:
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is open 6pm - 11pm, with the last admission at 10pm.
On Saturdays, admission will be extended an hour, with the last admission at 11pm, and the trail closing at 12am.
Pricing: 
Monday - Thursday are $12 adults, $10 seniors and $9 for children ages 3 – 12, with children under three admitted for free.
Admission prices on Friday - Sunday are $16 adults, $14 seniors and $13 children ages 3 – 12; children two and under are admitted for free.
This is an absolute must see!
  Here is some video of the Laughing Tree:

 It continues till November 2nd!
 Check them out on Facebook: 
Disclosure: I was provided tickets to the Harvest Buffet for my family and I in exchange for promotional review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

10/19/14: Monster Mash Annual Halloween Costume Party

Today was our Annual Halloween Monster Mash Party.  The kids had an awesome time!  I love Halloween and this is always a really fun party to throw.  
Plus it is great to see all of the kids in their costumes.
 The kids were Elsa and a Swat Team member.
 Here I am with Lauren, I dressed up like Sleeping Beauty.

Even Fred had a costume.  He was a Ghostbuster.
The house was all decorated and we were ready to go.
 Here is the Graveyard cake which is so much fun to make and really easy.
 Attack of the Elsas!
 The girls being silly.
 Some of the boys.
 More of the girls.
 Here they all are (missing 5 kids that showed up later).
I had a lot of children at my house but decided the best way to keep them out of trouble was to keep them busy.  We started by painting Halloween themed sun catchers.
 We had three long tables setup for them.
 Here are all their sun catchers.  They made ghosts, bats, witches, spiders, and ghosts.
 All the kids eating pizza.
 Having fun.
 Then the kids got to decorate cookies which is always a big hit.
 Evan's cookie.
 Lauren with her cookie.
 Fred getting some love from some angels.
 Wow check out these guys.
What an awesome party!  I can't wait till next year.