Keep Your Eyes Young While Aging Gracefully! @EyePromise_ZV #Ad

    Recently, an old high school friend of mine shared on social media that her vision is getting worse and that it is because she is getting older.  I think most of us are aware that aging can have adverse effects on our eyes but we don't really think about it much until it affects us directly.  What most people don't realize is that the foods that we eat in our daily diets have a direct impact on our eye health.     When I was a kid, my parents and grandparents would always tell me to eat my carrots because they were good for my eyesight.  While they were partly right about the benefits on the eyes of beta-carotene, which is contained in carrots, just eating this food was not going to be enough to protect my eyes.  The reality is that it's almost impossible to absorb all of the vitamins and nutrients that are required to protect vision from food alone.     So you're probably wondering how you can keep your eyes young and healthy while aging gracefully and looking, as well as … [Read more...]

Let’s Make New York Tobacco Free! #SeenEnoughTobacco @TobaccoFreeNYS #Ad

    My grandmother died of lung cancer.  She was a cigarette smoker for over thirty years and smoking ultimately killed her.  It was horrible to watch her suffer as she struggled to breathe during her final days.  You would think that this experience would have been enough of a deterrent for me to avoid smoking at any cost, but it wasn't.  One day, a friend in college passed me a cigarette and it began my addiction to a dangerous habit.     I smoked on an off for about eight years and finally quit, cold-turkey, in 2007.  It was  definitely a difficult habit to kick but, I am proud to say that I have not smoked a cigarette in almost ten years.  Due to my experiences with tobacco, I am constantly warning my high school students about the dangers of smoking.  Unfortunately, the tobacco industry spends billions of dollars on promotions, in places where children can see them.  They promote cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to young people and funnel a lot of that money into advertising that … [Read more...]

Experience Home Entertainment Like Never Before! @VIZIO #Ad

*This sponsored post is part of a blogging campaign on behalf of Vizio. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating and in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own.     I guess you could say that we love watching television because we spend a lot of time doing so as a family.  Right after our oldest son was born, my husband and I purchased our first Plasma TV and we still had it up until a few weeks ago.  Our son is turning fourteen this week so that gives you an idea of how long it has been since we upgraded our home entertainment system.  That is why we were ecstatic to have the opportunity to review the all-new VIZIO SmartCast™ M-Series Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display.     The first thing that immediately impressed me about this display is how crisp and clear the picture quality is.  We are now enjoying family movie nights more than ever due to its astonishing brightness with remarkably high contrast levels.  The VIZIO SmartCast™ M-Series™ Home … [Read more...]

Ladies, Your Financial Future Awaits! #OwnMyFuture @Prudential @SheSpeaks #Ad

*This post was sponsored by SheSpeaks for Prudential. All opinions are 100% my own.     I can still remember the first time that I started thinking about my long-term finances.  It was in September of 2000 and I had just started a new job as a NYC public school teacher.  As I was filling out papers for my pension, another veteran teacher sat down next to me and advised me on the importance of starting to think about my retirement from an early age.     At that moment, I recall stifling a chuckle because nothing was further from my twenty two year old mind.  She persisted and went on to tell me how women's social security benefits are 27% lower than that of their male counterparts.*  This statistic shocked me as well as the fact that she shared with me that she had failed to make those important financial decisions at the beginning of her career.  As a result, her pension consultation had left her disappointed and worried about her future.     That day, my eyes were fully open to … [Read more...]

Should Teachers Take Students’ Phones Away On School Trips? #SquashTheBeef #Ad

    This past week, my son went on his eighth grade Senior Trip to Philadelphia.  This was the first time that he was away from his father and I for the whole day in another state.  As you all can imagine, I was a nervous mom all day wondering if he was having a good time and if he was safe.  As parents we want our children to have many wonderful opportunities and experiences but we also want to protect them and keep them safe whenever possible.     Sometime in the afternoon, one of the parents on the trip messaged me to let me know that all the boys had gotten in trouble and their teacher was going to take their mobile phones away for the remainder of the trip.  Now, let me tell you, as an educator of over seventeen years, I am keenly aware of how distracting phones can be when it comes to the classroom.  Had his teacher chosen to take my son's phone away in school, I would have been all in support of it but this was not the scenario and I felt she was completely wrong in taking away … [Read more...]

The Tale Of The Traveling Blanky #Lysol #Giveaway #Ad

    Once your kids get older, you think that they are going to outgrow certain things including taking their favorite blanket everywhere.  That has not been the case for my younger son, he will not sleep or lay down anywhere without his favorite "Blanky" and I am constantly chasing after him to try to keep it clean.  Not only does he drag it all over the house with him but, when he is at school during the day, our dog Onyx will take it and lay on it.  I'm literally at my wits' end when it comes to keeping yucky germs off of it.     Until recently, the only tool that I had in my laundry arsenal was detergent but I have always wondered whether or not his blanket truly gets clean after every wash.  NEW Lysol® Laundry Sanitizer is a revolutionary laundry additive that kills 99.9% of bacteria that detergents may leave behind.  I love that it eliminates bacteria, even in cold water!  Having it in my laundry room has empowered me to finally think that I am protecting my family and that all … [Read more...]

Don’t Break The Bank With Groupon! @Groupon #Ad

    Shopping online is probably one of my favorite things to do.  I love browsing through all the sales and even waiting for the packages to arrive through the mail.  What I don't love is spending a lot of money for the things I buy so I am always looking for a good deal to save me as much money as possible.  Groupon helps me to discover and save money on thousands of great deals at nearby restaurants, spas, things to do, shopping, travel and more.  That is music to the ears of this deal savvy shopper who doesn't like to break the bank!     You can also discover great deals, fun activities, and huge discounts in your own city through Groupon.  They offer savings on things to do on everything from kids' activities to nightlife.  Imagine trying out new restaurants, massages and hair salons near you, or even planning a trip away from home.  If you love to shop and get deals online just like I do, you will really appreciate all the savings that you can take advantage of thanks to … [Read more...]

What Are You Passionate About? #JOURNEYTOÄAH #HäagenDazs @HaagenDazs_US #Ad

    It might seem like a simple question but some people actually have a hard time pinpointing the exact thing that they truly feel passionate about.  Passion is something that drives each and every one of us from within and it can mean the difference between being ordinary or being extraordinary.  Although it is a process to grow an idea from its early stages to its full bloom and glory, it is definitely worthwhile in the end.  The reason for this is that our true happiness will arise from the journey we take to transform our passion into a truly driving force.     In my case, I have always prided myself on being authentic and staying true to my core values and belief system.  Family and education have always been important to me so I have made both the focal points of my life.  Anyone who knows me is aware that my roles as mother and educator are an integral part of who I am and that I pour my whole self into doing both to the best of … [Read more...]

Take Your Food Storage To Another Level! #LockInBrilliance @Rubbermaid #Giveaway #Ad

    I've been on vacation this past week and trying to get the house ready for spring by cleaning and reorganizing some things.  My focus is always to simplify my life as much as possible since I juggle a full-time career as a teacher as well as a family and a home.  That is exactly why I was so excited to try out the new Rubbermaid Brilliance™ food storage containers!     Since my husband and I are both working parents, our everyday demands with regards to food preparation and storage can sometimes get overwhelming.  We need food storage containers that are as tough as we are and can handle the pressures of a revolving meal schedule along with our two hungry boys.  Rubbermaid Brilliance™ containers are guaranteed to be 100% leak proof and are ultra-durable to withstand all the "Tough Cookies" in our family.     We often microwave foods so I love the fact that these containers are designed with innovative vents that allow … [Read more...]

Are Your Kids Getting Enough Physical Education? #ProtectPE @Voices4HK #Ad

*This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.     There are many factors that influence how children perform academically but I bet many of you did not know that students who receive physical education, or PE, do better when it comes to behavior, academic achievement, and emotional health.  It's important for kids have frequent opportunities to engage in physical activity on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily PE or its equivalent for the entire school year.     Racial inequalities and socio-economic challenges leave many schools without resources for PE, but kids shouldn’t have to miss out on the benefits of PE because of where they live or because their schools lack financial resources.  A good PE program is a crucial part of … [Read more...]