Boys will be Boys & Girls will be Punished

Written by: Jessica Cook

Storytime…..

I received a call from my daughter, saying that I needed to bring her a change of clothes to school. She had been dress coded. It’s not what you would think when I say “dress coded”. She didn’t go out of the house looking like she was going to work the corner. She had a pair of ripped jeans on. Now if any of you have been to the mall recently, you would know that’s it’s dang near impossible to find a pair of jeans that DO NOT have some sort of a rip on them. Aside from that, it’s what’s in style! Of course my 13 year old wants to dress the latest trends. So what is a parent to do? Fight the system.

I’m sure some of you will not agree with me and that is fine. I’m not fighting the system so that my daughter can wear whatever she wants to school. Yes, I do agree that some sort of dress code needs to be in place. However, what I do not agree with is the nit picking of what FEMALE students are wearing. There have been comments made by those who enforce the dress code that ripped jeans, tank tops, shirts that show even a little cleavage & shirts that show even a bit of skin worn by female students are a distraction to Male students. Hmm…..have you never been a hormonal teenager in general? No matter the sex? Are female students not as easily distracted by male student’s legs, arms, chests, etc? Why is it only the females who are a distraction? I will break down the double standard, with Proof, of how male & female students are treated differently. Below are a few examples of what male students at a local Middle school have been allowed to wear, in comparison to photos of female students who had been dress coded for wearing something similar.

On the left, a female Student was Dress coded for rips above her knee.

On the right, a male student has worn these pants multiple times with no implications whatesoever.

First of all, I do not see a problem with EITHER of these pairs of pants. Secondly, the male’s holes are much more prominent than the female’s holes. Why then did only the female student have to call her parents in the middle of HER school day to come & bring her a change of clothes? Tell me how in this scenario, did this EFFECT the Male Student’s School day? Seems to me the only one who ended up distracted, effecting their schooling in the least bit, was the female student.

Another example of where a female student was dress coded for ripped jeans & a Male student wearing similar jeans was not.

Another example of breaking the dress code is student’s wearing “short shorts”. NO, I do not condone itty bitty booty shorts on students, no matter if they are female or male. But it seems like it is almost impossible for girls to wear any type of shorts, skirts or dresses to school. However, boys are allowed to wear basketball type athletic shorts. Why are girls not allowed to wear running shorts? There is also a new style out for boys where short shorts are “IN”. Yet, these boys are not being dress coded.

Female Student on left wearing gym shorts that she was dress coded for & made to change.

Male student on right wearing gym shorts 3 out of the 5 days of the week & never being dress coded.

What’s even more sad is that even BOYS are noticing the double standard and poking fun of it. There is a popular ap called, Tik Tok. If you type in the search bar, Dress Code, multiple videos of boys poking fun at how Teachers ONLY dress code females can be found.

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There are also several petitions made BY students of both genders,circling popular Social Media aps asking for school boards to reevaluate their dress code policies, as well as enforce equality amoungest current dress code policies.

Why am I doing this you ask? This honestly has nothing to do with the isolated incident of my daughter being dress coded. This is just a way to help give her and her friends a VOICE. A voice to advocate and inform on the reality of what’s happening within the schools regarding dress code violations.

I’ll be doing a follow up blog on today’s fashion, local popular and trendy stores, as well as more examples from students themselves on the hypocrisy that is the dress code for male & female students.

Next Up on the blog………How local fashion and what is made available at popular clothing stores make it damn near impossible to follow current dress code guidelines.

About:

8Hi! My name is Jessica and I am a Full time Mom of three. I have two teenagers and an 8 year old Autism Warrior!I own Everyday moms, a local Mom’s resource for the Tampa Bay & surrounding areas. If I’m not taxing around to Cheer, football, tutoring or therapy; you can catch me at Everyday Moms on Facebook & Instagram.

Hey, Mom and Dad- It’s not your fault.

By: Taylor Arellano

I was a brand new Mom with a sweet little newborn boy. He was the center of my whole world, my iPhone was filled with nothing but pictures of him throughout every part of our day no matter how insignificant. I lived and breathed for every involuntary smile, coo, and wiggle.

Like any new Mom, I spammed my Facebook news feed with pictures of my new baby all day, every day. I was so proud of this little life Zach and I had brought into the world, and I wanted to share his never ending cuteness (no matter how insignificant the photo really was) with the whole world.

So, the day I received a Facebook message in regards to a picture I posted of a photo of my then 2 month old son still makes me question myself to this day…

I had just started my transition out of the Military and was home often by myself with Isaac. Being a brand new, young Mom I was learning how to balance home chores with trying to feed and please a newborn, as well as apply for new jobs, buy a new home, and more. These days were absolutely crazy to say the least.

One day, Isaac was especially fussy, and I distinctly remember it was a day where I needed to be on the phone to talk to the lenders for the home we were purchasing. Wondering if it would work, I turned on a quiet T.V. Channel and placed Isaac in his bouncer in front of the T.V. Stand to occupy him while I was on the phone. To my surprise, it worked, and I actually thought it was cute that my 2 month old was so entertained by a completely random T.V. show, so of course I snapped a pic and uploaded it to Facebook thinking how cute it was that my newborn was just lounging around watching a morning talk show.

It wasn’t but a couple hours later that I signed into Facebook to find a private message from an old High School classmate that I had not even remembered speaking to in at least 8 years. But what was even more shocking, was the context of her message.

In short, the message basically read that she was attending College to be an early childhood educator, and she wanted to advise me that letting young children watch television was extremely damaging to their development and that my “adorable son” (Yeah, she tried to bring me a up a little before she kicked me down) could actually end up with a speech delay or other cognitive disabilities. There was a lot more detail and degrading comments in her message, but I will spare you those.

Immediately, I felt awful. I was a brand new Mom, I had no idea what I was doing. Was that hour of T.V. going to damage his ability to speak in a couple of years? When is he allowed to start watching T.V.? Why do they even make those baby shows? The questions in my head were endless, but I knew that I did not want to ask this “friend” the answers to these questions because I felt degraded and dumb.

Fast forward 18 months later. Isaac is diagnosed as Speech Delayed.

If you don’t think that message from my former classmate popped into my head, think again.

Zach and I were sad, we were worried, we felt so bad. Did we do something wrong? Were we failing Isaac in his development? We by no means used the T.V. as a babysitter, we played outside with him, we played games with him, we read books. Was this still somehow our fault?

The short answer to those questions- NO.

We were assured by our pediatrician, speech therapists, hearing evaluation specialists and more that THESE THINGS HAPPEN. We were good parents.

I am a believer in science and medicine, I am a Nursing Student myself, and I know there is a clinical basis for almost everything. I know that there are predisposing factors for illnesses, developmental delays, etc.

…But I also know that I am a good Mom. Zach is an amazing Dad. Our Son is a healthy and curious little boy, and his speech development is a work in progress that we see improvements in DAILY. We are doing our best as parents, and Isaac is doing his best too.

It took a long time for me to stop blaming myself. I would think back on the message from my old classmate and wonder if this was my fault. If the occasional Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode made my little boy incapable of speaking at an age appropriate level. If I should have taken our T.V. and completely left it in the garage for 3 years since according to an early education STUDENT ” a child should see no T.V. until age 3″.

I need to add that I am in no way trying to discredit the knowledge of this person. I am sure she knew a lot about the subject. I also understand that television and other factors do have significant effects on a child’s development. That is not the point here though.

I wondered if that classmate (who had no children) knew what it was like to be so burnt out from being home with an 11 month old for 7 days straight and had 1 shower in that time frame- knew what it was like to just need 30 minutes of quiet so she could be a better Mom.

In addition to understanding that we cannot blame ourselves, we also need to think about how our words may affect another parent. Whenever I feel like I have a piece of advice for another parent, I stop first. I think about how I felt when I got that Facebook message.

Is saying this going to make them feel inferior in their parenting skills and decisions? Is saying this going to be helpful? Am I going to make him/her feel like they have done something wrong? Am I stealing this Mom’s joy right now?

OF COURSE- if a child’s safety or well-being is in danger, there are appropriate ways to intervene. But unless you have A LOT and I mean A LOT of probable cause to think someone is really affecting their child’s well-being, we have to think twice before we hand out unsolicited advice to parents.

The words of someone completely insignificant to my family’s life had a lasting impact on me.

Be a good friend. Be a good fellow parent. But be considerate.

And to my fellow Mom’s and Dad’s with a child who may be needing some extra help in one or more areas of development, hang in there. Progress comes with time, and I know very well how the wait for signs of progress can seem like ages. Be gentle on yourself, and on your child. The first time they call you “Mama” or “Dada” with true recognition and affiliation with the word, you will cry. That first “I love you” will make your heart burst, and it is so worth the wait.

My Breastfeeding Journey…

 By Jennifer Stroble

At some point in raising their child, every parent has wished they came with a manual. Don’t try to deny it. The next best thing to a manual is a tribe or support system. The kind of people that won’t judge you for wanting wine at 10:00 am, because your child cried for two hours after you gave him the wrong colored cup at lunch time. These type of people are there to lift your spirits during troubling times, and generally make your life more enjoyable.

I found my tribe, also known as my mom’s group; when my oldest son, Keagan, was just shy of a year old. They have since kept me sane in times I thought I needed to go to a loony bin. I needed them most when Oliver, my last baby was born in September. That’s when all hell broke loose in my life.

Seven months ago, I had no idea what  was in store for my son and I. We endured a whirlwind of ups and downs. We’ve overcome jaundice, torticollis, and hospitalization for bronchiolitis. Although, nothing will compare to my current struggle: breastfeeding.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I told myself, and anyone who’d listen, that I’d breastfeed exclusively for a minimum of one year. My breastfeeding journey with his older brother came to a halt after three weeks due to illness and a less than ideal support system. I was determined to have better success this time around at providing my son’s nutrition, and having those special bonding moments with him.

My inner circle of friends tried to prepare me for my journey ahead. They tried to teach me that there would be many struggles, and that breastfeeding wasn’t going to be easy. It’s something you have to constantly work towards, but in the end would be worth every frustration. Some mothers have struggles latching or dealing with reflux, forceful letdowns, clogged milk ducts, and more. Not to mention, the sleepless nights and insatiable hunger.

However, none of them could prepare me for what I was about to withstand.

Oliver was born September 17th, 2015. Those first few moments were a blur. I remember crying from overwhelming amount of joy that he was here, and being in pure bliss with my baby boy. By the time I was discharged from the hospital 36 hours later, those tears had turned dark. I was beyond sleep deprived because my sleep cycle only occurred once every 30 minutes, if I was lucky. Trying to feed my child was becoming a nightmare the more I tried.

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Oliver was miserable. He’d cry nonstop, nothing would calm him.  I was told by the doctor that he may have a tongue tie and to get it evaluated. I found myself at Dr. Sierra’s office, in Tampa,  the following day for a free consultation. As it would turn out, he had the “most obvious” lip AND tongue tie that Dr. Sierra had ever seen. He encouraged me to feed him right after the lip and tongue tie revision, to help comfort him. I noticed a difference almost immediately. It no longer hurt as badly to feed him, and a weight had been lifted.

I battled with everything my friends warned me about: the sleepless nights, the hunger, the never ending nursing sessions and more. One thing nobody had warned me about though, was food intolerance and other food sensitivities while breastfeeding. If I ate something that the baby didn’t digest well, how would I know? Would he grow horns? Cry like he’s dying? Would he bleed? Get rashes? I had no clue. I had limited knowledge with food intolerance.

At six weeks old, I was proud to have made it that long, still being his source of nutrition. After all, it was an important milestone. Most mothers give up within the first six weeks. In that time though, Oliver had always had diarrhea, and it was almost always green. It would range from neon, to ninja turtle green. He was severely moody, spitting up, gassy, and just over all unpleasant. The doctors suggested I go dairy free.

Goodbye, ice cream. Farewell, cheese. See you later, yogurt. Smell you later, baked goods.

I found myself crying during most feeding sessions. After all, it was my milk that made his tummy so upset. I was doing my best, but it just didn’t feel good enough at that moment. His pediatrician and the lactation consultants at Baby Café, said it could take upwards of another six weeks before I saw a drastic improvement in his stools and overall attitude.

As time went by, I was second guessing myself more, and more. I’d think to myself, am I eating the wrong stuff? Am I over-thinking his poop? Could there be another cause? I was feeling so out of my element. At his three month check-up, they still found microscopic traces of blood in his diarrhea. I was told to eliminate soy as well as dairy. The world of processed foods had instantly vanished. No more late night munchies of Oreos and milk, or quick take out from our favorite fast food joint. Convenience was a luxury, and I no longer had it.

I went another six weeks of trial and error. At this point, Ollie is now 4½ months old. I had become what I would consider a master at examining infant poop. This is not a title I’d want on my resume. My silver lining was that he was noticeably happier on a day to day basis. Other than his runny number twos, he was a perfectly happy and healthy baby. He was gaining a slow but steady amount of weight, which was the only thing keeping the doctors (and myself) happy.

I hit a rock wall, as I knew there was still something wrong with my baby.  I was begging and pleading for answers. No one could tell me why he had diarrhea. I was fed up with his pediatrician. They told me to start solids and/or formula, even though I told them I want to exclusively feed him myself, and those were not currently an option for me. I begged for a GI specialist referral. I was referred to Dr. Izizarry in Brandon. She gave me three options: start solids, start a total elimination diet, or give formula.

Friends and family thought I was nuts. Who in their right mind would give up everything just to breastfeed their child? They tried to comfort me, and continue to support my decisions regardless of what I chose. After crying for what felt like forever, I went home and did my research on what foods I could do during a total elimination diet. I was determined to reach my goal, and to never give up. In the end, I felt that if I couldn’t make things right within my diet, how was a container of formula supposed to help? My milk was made especially for him.

I went approximately another six weeks slowly introducing one thing after another back into his diet. I hit numerous stand still periods, but continued forward. I brought back eggs, nuts, and wheat into my diet aside from my “safe” proteins and produce.

I saw only one improvement. He went from 10+ poops a day, to 3-5 a day.

I cried. I felt lost. I had given up everything, living off of lamb and veggies. Everyone around me could tell I was unraveling and continued to push formula on me. I knew they all had very good intentions, but I still resisted.

Last month, it came back that his older brother Keagan had mild allergies to cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, and wheat. I decided that since we were still struggling to find the culprit for his digestion issues, that we’d resume a normal diet and only avoid his brother’s allergies, with the exception of soy.

I’m happy to announce, that even though I’m still clueless as to what has been causing mayhem on my baby’s belly, he’s doing much better. He’s gone roughly a month free of wheat, peanuts, eggs, dairy and soy. He has had normal bowel movements in this time frame, as well.

Due to my determination, and overly supportive group of friends, I’ve managed to stay on track. There’s now a light at the end of my tunnel, and I hope to make my goal of one year.
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If I had struggled in silence, I likely wouldn’t have made it to my first six week milestone, let alone my six month milestone. Take it from me, find your support system to carry you through your struggles and keep you sane. I’ve had a large network of like-minded mothers to guide me through my journey thus far, and family to comfort me in moments I wanted to give up. Every hard decision I’ve made in the last six months, has been entirely worth it.

 

Jennifer Stroble.jpg I’m Jennifer, a 25 year old mother of two amazing boys. Keagan is four years old, and Oliver will be one in September. I’ve been married five years now, and have grown up in the Brandon area. I am a sarcastic, laid back stay-at-home parent with a hectic lifestyle catering to my children and two rambunctious dogs. Each day I’m simply trying to survive the never-ending ride that is parenthood. 

 

 

Mamas & Money

Written By: Selina Joichen-Richter
A Family Financial Literacy Journey
Hey mamas!!

Welcome to my new blog: Mamas & Money. I created this blog to get the conversation started within our families about everything financial – because money is like oxygen – we NEED it to survive…!! I am also part of a movement – to change things from generational POVERTY to generational WEALTH.
Why Mamas?? I chose to focus on fellow Mamas because truth be told, WE run the World…!! I know that sounds cliché, but it’s not. Think about it – we have careers, we raise children, we run our households, we are peacekeepers, we do it all.
To start things off, here are some eye-opening stats about women and money:

4.1 million single-mother families are living in poverty (Huffington Post/U.S. Census)

Regardless of income, 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck (Wall Street Journal)

Women will control $22 trillion of all wealth in the U.S. by 2020 (US News and World Report)

Many families today don’t discuss finances – money is a sensitive subject and can be cause for arguments and embarrassment. As we go on this journey together, I hope to help ease some of that within your family by sharing information and stories from my own experiences as well as my family’s.
Financial illiteracy is such a huge problem today. Alan Greenspan said: “the number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy”.
As we go on this journey toward financial literacy, I hope to inspire you share this information with your own family because giving your children and family the gift of financial education, opens doors and provides opportunity for success that will last a lifetime.


About me: I am a mom of 2 awesome kids – Seth, 15 and Cheyenne, 12 – both of whom are also inspiration for this blog. I have been a Massage Therapist for 9 years and a Financial Literacy Educator for 5 years – one of my biggest passions.

2018 Holiday Shopping Guide

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Everyday Moms has put together a Holiday Shopping guide in Support of all of our hard working Mamas! Shop Local and support your fellow Mom Community by checking out these Momprenuer’s businesses and Products. From Local Food & Laundry Services to Custom One of a kind Jewelry Pieces. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your Holiday List! 

Click on the links and explore their websites, Etsy shops and Facebook Pages. When you shop Local, you support your local economy, help an aspiring entrepreneur to grow their business and invest in your community. 

Happy Shopping!!! 

 

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Vêtue Boutique 

Curated fun, unique and stylish women’s clothing and accessories at amazing prices! Everything ships from USA. Let us dress you! 
Contact Info:
Phone: 813 323 7016
 Download our FREE App from Google Play and the App Store

 

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culturedTHREADS Boutique

Women’s Clothing Boutique specializing in on-trend fashions and accessories at amazing prices. We are a body positive boutique and strive to make every woman feel beautiful and confident on the inside and out. 10% of all our proceeds are donated to local charities. Local supporting Local!
IG: @culturedthreadsboutique

 

 

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Dot Dot Smile

Hello my name is Tiffany Schouest and I sell DotDotSmile dresses. These are girl’s dresses that have major twirling power. With so many styles and patterns to choose from, your girl will be sure to find something she loves!

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Pretty Stylish Mama

Pretty Stylish Mama is a LuLaRoe retailer specializing in comfortable and fashionable clothes for women and kids too! As a fashion consultant, Meredith will help you find the perfect outfit for yourself or anyone on your Holiday shopping list. She offers in home shopping by appointment as well as shopping everyday on Facebook! Don’t forget that Gift Certificates are also available. 

 
Text: 813-601-2269 

 

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Plush Beauty by Nelly

In my business I sell long lasting Cosmetics and and Anti- Aging skincare. I am also a certified makeup Artist local to FishHawk.

https://www.facebook.com/plushbeautybynelly/ 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nflaque/ 

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Owen-Li Organics 

Handcrafted, organic soaps, my own line of essential oils, natural deodorant, foaming hand sanitizer, vapor rub, and much more!  I ship all over the country and can custom wrap for any occasion!  My products make excellent holiday gifts for family, friends, teachers and all those hard-to-buy for people in your life!
Contact Info:

 

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Full spectrum and THC free CBD products for you and your pets! Help those you care about feel better mentally and physically this holiday season. All items are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee. 

Contact information:
Jennifer Stroble
(813) 523 9099
www.simplystroble.com

www.Instagram.com/simplystroble
www.Facebook.com/Stroble90

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Wellness Rising

Online & In Person Private Personal Training, Weight Loss & Nutritional Guidance

Wellness Rising
Fitness & Wellness

Corinna Maggy

518-605-3549
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Arbonne – Lori Dionson  

I’m a health and wellness consultant with Arbonne helping people around the globe feel and look their best! My 30 Days to Healthy Living plan is changing lives, is simple to follow and affordable. If you suffer from fatigue, bloat, gut/autoimmune issues, excess weight or migraines ask me how this can help You!
Free to join! Offer ends 11.30.18
FB @JunieHealthyInsideOu

 

 

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I hand make these beautiful pendants using recycled paint left over from my canvas art pieces. Each piece is rare and unique, just like the painting it came from! Please visit the shop to see all the beautiful pendants available. 
Use Coupon Code: EVERYDAYMOMS for Free Shipping 

 

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Paparazzi- Alex Foster

We offer a variety of jewelry that is just $5, lead and nickel free. Whether as a gift or for yourself, you can complete any outfit with our stunning jewelry. These unique pieces are beautiful and affordable!

Shop on our website or Facebook group 
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3 Pearls  

Genuine and Unique.  Flaunt worthy and affordable.  Handcrafted, Edgy,  Bohemian Style Jewelry with a classic flair.   Dazzling semi precious stones and gems.  14k filled/plated, brass, sterling, sterling filled/plated gorgeous pendants and chains.  AMAZING authentic diamond clasps with flawless semi precious stones.  Earthy and bold leathers and nearly flawless freshwater pearls from the Orient.  Vibrant African trade beads and brass Ethiopian findings.    Long/short necklaces, chokers, bracelets, anklets and earrings.  

* NEVER let anyone DULL your SPARKLE *

Instagram.   3pearlsllc 

Amy Milligan 

Ahm5@verizon.net

813-340-7851 

 

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The Perfect Pair

I sell handcrafted hair bows, earrings, and accessories. Typically in the french stacked style but very open to custom orders as well! Contact me for all your hair bow and head band needs! 
instagram: the perfect pair bows

 

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Bridge Bowtique

I am a mom and former teacher! I stay home with my son and took a leap of faith starting a business. At Bridge Bowtique, I handsew hairbows using ribbon, lace, and fabric. 

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Camden’s Collections

Camden Elizabeth is proud to provide you with top quality, personalized gifts for everyone on your list (even for yourself )
Now through 12/25/18 get free shipping with code: EverydayMoms
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 3xM Designs

3x M Designs offers custom ordered personalized items. Our items vary from decals, t-shirts, and team/employee/teacher gifts, to holiday specific items like ornaments, stuffed animals and much more! Each design is to fit our customers specific needs!
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Purely Rustic

Purely Rustic provides great quality decor for those looking for something more affordable. We love creating custom projects and handcraft each piece by hand. 

Samantha Harris
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Serra Sports Authentics

 “Serra Sports Authentics is the Tampa Bay leader in hand-signed and Game Used memorabilia.  Every collectible that carries a Serra Sports Authentics tamper proof hologram is guaranteed to be autographed by the respective athlete/entertainer in the presence of a company representative” 

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Making it Made

I’m a watercolor artist, and I love painting all the things! I have prints available from $20-$40 of local beaches, flowers and landscapes, and I also do commissions for those hard to buy for relatives for $150. I can paint wedding bouquets, vacation scenes, and favorite places. 
Www.makingitmade.com
Jess Shepard | artwork for fb
@makingitmade on insta 

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E Marie Tumblers

I am a tumbler artist who specializes in all things glitter! From stainless steel products to wine glasses, I have something for everyone on your list. Let E Marie Tumblers make all your holidays sparkle!

Facebook.com/emarietumblers
Instagram.com/emarietumblers
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Need a gift for a teacher, stylist, mailman, friends, family, neighbors? Our adorable Xmas cookie gift box ($15) is the perfect gift. 
Bring Santa with you to that special holiday get-together or even Christmas Dinner. Our Santa cake will WOW everyone! Pricing starts at $30. 
Find us on FB @thesweettoothcakery or on our website sweettoothtampa.com
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Davenport’s Daily Delights

meal service/catering

We provide weeknight meals for busy families – like the meal prep companies only better!  We do all the work, all you do is reheat and eat.  Offering family favorites, weight watcher options, KETO and whole 30.  
Laundry Fairy

Mango Coin Laundry 

Give the gift of time to a friend, family member, or even yourself this holiday season! Let us take care of your laundry for you while you do all the shopping, cooking, and the rest of the cleaning. We will give you our big blue bag(s). You fill it up with whatever you need laundered (clothes, sheets, towels, blankets etc). We will pick it up, wash, dry, fold it, and return it all the very next day! That’s all there is to it!
For more information visit us at https://www.facebook.com/MyLaundryFairy/ or call/text Amanda at 813-563-2659 !
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Vacations by Barbie

I would love to help you plan your next vacation! As a former Cast Member, I specialize in Disney, but I can plan anything. Anywhere you want to go ~ Disney, Universal, Cruises, All Inclusive Resorts, or just a weekend somewhere ~ I can do it all. My services are completely Free!

 Facebook.com/Vacationsbybarbie

Barbie Heneghan

vacationsbybarbie@gmail.com

407-353-2526

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Howie Mac Photo

By using our hearts as our lens, Howie Mac Photo is more than an ordinary photo studio. We offer photo sessions, camera classes and photo art workshops, so we can capture your milestone moments + teach you how to document your family for the moments in-between. Opening soon in Winthrop Town Center in Riverview!

Howie Mac Photo
813-760-1161

2018 Christmas Event Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Here is your 2018 guide to Christmas Events happening in and around the Tampa Bay Area.

Parades, Lights, Santa, and more!


ChristmasEventGuide

Please verify all information on events website before attending!

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prade icon 12/1 Santa Fest and Christmas Parade prade icon

  • When: Sat, Dec. 1, 11 am
  • Cost: FREE to attend, parking fees may apply
  • Where: The parade begins at Madison and Pierce streets. Heads west on Madison Street then turns north onto Ashley Drive, and ends at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
  • More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/286553938604567/

prade icon12/01 Alafia Lighted Boat Parade in Riverviewprade icon

prade icon12/7 Plant City Christmas Parade prade icon

prade icon 12/07 Boat Parade and Winter Festival in the Park

prade icon12/8 Pinellas Park Christmas Paradeprade icon

prade icon 12/8 Zephyrhills Christmas Parade prade icon

prade icon12/8 Christmas Parade and Santa visit to Whoville

  • When: Sat, Dec. 8, 11 am
  • Where: St Pete Beach City Hall (155 Corey Ave) and heads west down Corey Ave, south on Blind Pass Rd, east on 73rd to Bay Street and back to City Hall., St. Petersburg, Florida, 33706
  • More Info: http://www.spbrec.com/special-events/

prade icon12/8 Snow on 7th Ybor Holiday Paradeprade icon

prade icon12/15 Largo Old Fashioned Christmas Paradeprade icon

Parades.jpg

christmaslights.jpg 11/10 – 12/31 Wiregrass Symphony in Lights

christmaslights.jpg 11/17 – 12/31 Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

christmaslights.jpg 11/22 – 12/29 Wonderland of Lights

  • When: November 22 – December 29
  • Hours: See website
  • Cost: ONLY $20 per vehicle- through November 21! ONLY $25 – after November 21!
  • Location: 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: https://thewonderlandoflights.com/Default.asp?

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 1/03 Oakdale Christmas House

  • When: November 23 – Jan. 3
  • Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost: FREE
  • Location: 2719 Oakdale Street S., St. Petersburg, Florida
  • More Info: http://www.christmasdisplay.org/

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 12/24 Christmas Lane

  • When: November 23 – December 24
  • Hours: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Cost: Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 12 to 4, and free for those 3 and under. Rides are a separate ticket.
  • Location: 2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, Florida, 33563
  • More Info: https://christmaslane.com/

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 12/30 Holiday Lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens

christmaslights.jpg11/24 – 12/23 Nights of Shimmering Lights

  • When: Select Nights from 11/24 thru 12/23
  • Hours: Open Thursday to Sunday weekly Closed Monday to Wednesday Time: opens at dark – 10 p.m
    Cost: $6 pp, 3 and under FREE
  • Location: 2302 N. Dover Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: http://www.thesunkissedacres.com/christmas-lights/

christmaslights.jpg 11/28 Centro Ybor Tree Lighting

christmaslights.jpg 11/30 Grinchmas and Christmas Festival

christmaslights.jpg 11/30 Tampa Tree Lighting

christmaslights.jpg 12/1 – 12/31 LIghts of Lake Park Estate

  • When: Dec. 1 to Dec. 31
  • Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost: FREE but donations are appreciated
  • Location: 102nd Ave & 109 Ave N, Seminole, FL, 33777
  • More Info: http://lightsoflakepark.com/

Parades.jpg

satnaicon.jpg11/10 – 12/31 Christmas Card Lane

satnaicon.jpg11/16 – 1/5 Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

  • When: November 16 – January 5
  • Hours: See website for hours
  • Cost: Winter Village is free to attend. Additional cost for special events, food/beverages, ice skating, Winter Village Express, Shopping etc
  • Location: 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602
  • More Info: http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/

satnaicon.jpg11/17 – 1/6 Christmas at Gaylord Palms and Ice Attraction

satnaicon.jpg11/17 – 12/16 Tampa Theatre Winter Classics

  • When: Select Fridays and Saturdays
  • Hours: See Website
  • Cost: free
  • Location: 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602
  • More Info: http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/
  • Movie Lineup: Friday, Nov. 17 – White Christmas
    Saturday, Nov. 18 – Home Alone
    Friday, Nov. 24 – Miracle on 34th Street
    Saturday, Nov. 25 – A Christmas Story
    Friday, Dec. 1 – The Polar Express
    Friday, Dec. 15 – Elf
    Saturday, Dec. 16 – It’s a Wonderful Life

satnaicon.jpg 11/17 – 12/31 Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

satnaicon.jpg11/17 -12/31 SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

satnaicon.jpg 11/22 – 12/29 Wonderland of Lights

  • When: November 22 – December 29
  • Hours: See website
  • Cost: ONLY $20 per vehicle- through November 21! ONLY $25 – after November 21!
  • Location: 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: https://thewonderlandoflights.com/Default.asp?

satnaicon.jpg 11/23 – 12/24 Christmas Lane

  • When: November 23 – December 24
  • Hours: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Cost: Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 12 to 4, and free for those 3 and under. Rides are a separate ticket.
  • Location: 2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, Florida, 33563
  • More Info: https://christmaslane.com/

satnaicon.jpg11/24 – 12/23 Nights of Shimmering Lights

  • When: Select Nights from 11/24 thru 12/23
  • Hours: Open Thursday to Sunday weekly Closed Monday to Wednesday Time: opens at dark – 10 p.m
    Cost: $6 pp, 3 and under FREE
  • Location: 2302 N. Dover Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: http://www.thesunkissedacres.com/christmas-lights/

satnaicon.jpg 11/24 – 12/30 Christmas in the Wild

From all of us here at Everyday Moms, we wish you and your family and Happy and Safe Holiday!

Please verify all information before attending!
Written By: Shineta A
Please verify all information before attending!
Written By: Shineta A

The best chicken wings!!

Oven fried wings that everyone will devour!!!

Start with great quality chicken wings: I get mine from Kosherkaddy.com (http://www.kosherkaddy.com/moreinfo.php?id=2165&b=index.php)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup soy milk/milk/any milk alternative

Start by preheating the oven to 425* and cutting the wings(if they came attached)

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and dip the wings in the soy milk. Dredge the wings in the dry mixture and place on an oiled baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes or until crispy.

Sauce in buffalo, BBQ, sweet chili sauce or your favorite sauce and enjoy!!

Rosh Hashana prep!

Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) is my favorite holiday. The idea is to have a fresh start to a sweet new year. We eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize this.

Sticking to that theme, many of the dishes served are made with apples or are in the shape of a circle (to reflect the continuing cycle of life).

Challahs, Apple ring and vegan cheese cake were the first things I cooked.

The Apple ring is the easiest!

Recipe:

One package of puff pastry

3 apples sliced thin

Peach or apricot jam

2 tbsp Lemon juice

One egg

Preheat the oven for 375*

In a bowl combine the Apple slices and lemon juice; microwave for 3 minutes.

Lay out the pastry and cut into strips about 2 in thick. Spread a thin layer of jam on each strip and lay the apples on top, slightly overlapping each other.

Fold the pastry in half over the apples and spread egg wash over it.

Roll and put in cupcake tin.

Bake for 35-40 min.

Let cool and enjoy!!!

The vegan cheesecake was even easier than my regular cheesecake! I couldn’t believe how great they turned out!

Recipe:

I cheat and buy ready made pie crust! (Wal-Mart brand is dairy and lard free)

35 oz vanilla soy yogurt

2 bags jello vanilla pudding powder

1/2 cup melted margarine

1/4 cup agave or honey

Preheat the oven to 350*.

Mix all ingredients and pour into pie crust.

Cook for about an hour; middle may seem runny but it will solidify in the fridge!

Cool and refrigerate for at least 3 hrs.

Enjoy!!

These Apple rose pies were a labor of love but totally worth it!

Recipe:

Cheated again and used a ready-made pie crust

4 red apples sliced thin (coat in lemon juice as you go so they don’t brown)

1 tbsp margarine or butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1-2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Juice of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 425*

In a hot skillet put margarine, sugar(s), cinnamon and lemon juice. Once melted, add apple slices and cook until tender and malleable.

Allow apples and juices to cool slightly.

Place apple slices on the outside rim of the pie crust, slightly overlapping; continue going in circles until you reach the center. Roll the last slice into a bulb and fit into the middle of the pie.

Pour the left over juices over the pie and then bake for 20 min at 425* then an additional 30-35 min on 375*.

Cool completely. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream (or really nothing at all works well too!).

Game Day Favorites- Recipes

Simple Game Day Foods that are sure to be a hit! 

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When you’re hosting on game day, you need a game plan. The key to a successful event is to make sure it’s easy. You want food that is easy for your friends to eat one-handed. Check out these super simple Appetizer & Dip recipes that are sure to be a Hit! Game On.

  1. Mini Tacos – Get the “scoop” chips as the base for this finger food. Offer shredded cheese, taco beef, salsa and other toppings to complete this mini taco.
  2. Meatballs – You can make them old school with beef or make them with turkey for a healthier treat. Either way, you can’t go wrong! Throw them in the crock pot with your favorite marinade for an added taste.
  3. Deviled Eggs – Mix the yolk of the egg with mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and you’ve got an easy-to-make, easy-to-serve favorite. If you’re really creative, dye the egg white part the same color as your favorite team’s uniform.
  4. Walking Tacos – This dish is a fun take on tacos, but more kid-friendly! Fill small corn chip bags (Or Doritos bags) with your favorite taco recipe (you can even crush the chips to better mix with the taco ingredients). Provide spoons, cheese and other toppings.
  5. Potatoe Skins – Most people like these loaded with all the good stuff! Slice the potatoes, bake, then add cheese, bacon and jalapeños. Offer up some sour cream for dipping.
  6. Burgers & Hotdogs- It’s about as traditional as it gets — old school hamburgers and hotdogs. Make sure to have all the basic toppings — cheese for the burgers, ketchup, mustard and relish.
  7. Chicken Wings-  Whether you go the barbecue route, the spicy route or get creative with your lemon mesquite flavor, everyone loves these fan favorites.
  8. Chicken & Waffle Bites- The bite-size version of everyone’s favorite odd couple is perfect for tailgating.
  9. Pinwheels-  You’re basically making a wrap filled with your favorite meat and cheese. Cut into slices and serve!
  10. Seven- Layer Dip- Refried beans, Your favorite Taco seasoned meat, Guacamole, Lettuce, cheese, Sliced Black Olives & Diced Green onions.
  11. Buffalo Chicken Dip- This mix of chicken, blue cheese dressing, wing sauce and the cheeses of your choice makes for a great dipping option.
  12. Cupcakes- Go the easy route and buy some vanilla-topped cupcakes at the bakery. Then use colored sprinkles to decorate in your team colors and show your spirit.
  13. Rice Krispy Treats- Have the kids help you make this gooey treat and drizzle some chocolate in the shape of a football for an extra sweet touch.

Whether your Favorite team Wins or Loses on Game day. One things for sure, is your Event will be a winner with these super easy to make and yummy Game Day recipes!

Goal!!!! Wait……I mean Home Run!!!! Oh goodness……I mean TOUCHDOWN!!! Yeah, that’s the one!!!! ( I’m only half kidding)

 

 

CBD & Motherhood

Motherhood is hard.

I used to be an overly social, happy person before kids. Then the anxiousness, irritability, and an overwhelming sensation took over. Maybe it was lack of sleep, maybe it was hormones, maybe it was because my munchkins would never give me 5 seconds to eat a meal.

Who knows!

I just know that after birthing my two chaotic boys, I needed help. I was drowning in all of these negative emotions, and I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I had been on several medications for my mental stability, but nothing seemed to make things better without giving me added issues. This is when I searched for more natural alternatives.

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A friend of mine introduced me to CBD oil, a hemp extract with all the medicinal benefits of cannabis but without the high.

I thought to myself “HA! I’ve never done drugs. I don’t want to start now” Turns out, it’s a dietary supplement that is legal in all 50 states. (Who knew? I felt silly).

This was 6 months ago. I want to tell you how it’s changed not only my life, but my family as well.

Two weeks into using full spectrum CBD oil under my tongue twice a day, I felt like a new person. It balanced my moods completely. I no longer felt anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, etc. I could enjoy my kids without screaming at them for no reason. I felt like I could resume social dates with friends without that last minute “something came up” panic text.

Two months after being on the oil, I realized I hadn’t had any pulsating inflammation in my head in awhile. I couldn’t remember the last time I needed an ice pack, or to sit in the dark.

Once I realized how well this helped me, I started everyone else on the oil. My husband suffers some a traumatic experience which causes him irritability and difficulty sleeping. The first night he used the oil, he slept with no body sweats, screaming fits or any tenseness/twitching.  I couldn’t believe the change I saw in him. My son has a difficult time focusing as he fidgets a lot, and is naturally very impulsive. He struggled in Kindergarten last year due to these traits. After finding a serving size that works for him, it drastically helped him focus and control his impulsive reactions. In his words, CBD makes him “good”. My dogs also use CBD oil in their food, and get beef CBD treats at night to help their anxiousness. They love to bark at strangers and other animals, and would occasionally get nervous during storms. When they get CBD, they are completely mellow.

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Overall, this hemp extract has given all of us a better night’s sleep and more energy.  I can’t recommend this enough. I love it so much, I am now an advocate to help others struggling like I was.

Not all CBD oil is going to be created equally though. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Ask yourself: 
Where was this grown? 
How was it extracted?   
What are the ingredients?
Is it an Isolate or Full Spectrum?

Do they third party test for purity and potency? Am I able to see those results?
Does it come with a money back guarantee?

If you would like to learn more about the product I use, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Facebook or Instagram. I absolutely love talking about it.

Shrimp Boil Bake

Back to school is upon and so therefore there is a need for some super easy yet delicious meals that you can throw together in less than 30 minutes! Below is one of my go to’s that is so delicious. It’s a shrimp boil bake that tastes just like a shrimp boil. My daughter requests it all the time because it’s so good! A few recipe tips: 

  1. if your potatoes are big quarter them before you boil them. 
  2. You can easily add any other seafood we added crab legs once when they were on sale at Publix! 
  3. It taste great with frozen shrimp too so don’t feel like you have to use fresh. 
  4. Try turkey sausage to cut back on the calories! 

Happy cooking Mamas! 

https://damndelicious.net/2017/02/13/sheet-pan-shrimp-boil/

Everyday Mom’s Guide to Understanding Football

Written By: Lisa Westmiller

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year!!  No, not pumpkin spice everything, not cooler weather or even bon fire date nights. It’s everyone loses their man to the couch, the remote and endless amounts of football. Unfortunately, for us it’s not just a Sunday passion anymore. This goes on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and even Saturdays now. And these are just game times, it doesn’t include fantasy football leagues, recaps, and highlights on Sports Center. GREAT!!! (insert eye roll here)

While most of you know there is college football as well as the NFL, there is also the Canadian Football League, Arena League, XFL, high school  and fantasy leagues. The plus side is it is all played the same for the most part. There are some minor details that unless you are an avid fan you don’t need to know. The rest though is cake once you know the lingo.

Let’s start with the basics…..

Each football game consists of 4 quarters. These quarters are 15 minutes long.  The first two quarters are played back to back with only a commercial interruption between. After the first two quarters are over there is a halftime. That is 15 minutes long. During regular season this is boring, but during the Super Bowl the show is usually pretty amazing. Once the regular game is over IF there is a tie it would go into overtime. Or OT as most will call it. Now overtime just recently changed so if you are following along up to this point great, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t grasp on to this part. I know, you would think 60 minutes would be plenty of time to figure out whom won but more often than not OT is the deciding factor. Now OT is figured by both teams having possession of the ball. If the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown then game over. If they don’t then the other team gets a chance to score. That team then only has to get a field goal or a touchdown to win the game. If neither team score then they play another “quarter” of the game but this time it is only 10 minutes. If no one scores still the game ends in a tie. Either way someone will be mad that their team didn’t win. Go figure.

Now the harder stuff. Each team has three squads in itself. You have the offense, the defense and the special teams. Offense is on the field when they have the ball. Defense is on the field when the other team has the ball. Special teams is on the field at the start of each half and after a touchdown for the point after and for the kick off once points are scored. Each squad consists of 11 people. More than that and it’s a penalty. But don’t be confused because you will hear about the 12th man. This is not a player. I repeat this is not a player. It is you, the fan, acting as an extra player by your noise to help confuse the boys on the field. However, I don’t suggest calling yourself the 12th man at home when you are trying to get your hubby to help with anything.

The offense has the following positions: The Quarterback, or QB. The Center or C. These two work very closely together. The Center is the person who hikes the ball to the QB. Sometimes you will see the QB with his hands up the butt of the Center and sometimes you will see him standing further back from the Center waiting for the ball. Both of these ways are legal. Then you have your Linebackers, or LB. These are the guys that block the other team from coming at your QB. Then you have your running backs and wide receivers. These are the ones who handle the ball during the play. The running backs obviously run the ball and the wide receivers are the ones who catch the ball and then run with it.

Then you have the defense. These are the bigger guys on the team. Their job is to stop the ball from moving down field. The defensive players do try to catch the ball from the other quarterback. That is called an interception. If this happens and the defensive player runs it in for a touchdown this is known as a pick six. Then you have players that are trying to tackle the player with the ball. Their goal is to stop the player running down field but also to strip the ball from the player. This is when the defensive player tries to take the ball away from the offensive player.

Special teams are easy. The goal is to kick the ball as far down field as possible. Then to run it back 100 or less yards in order to score. This is very rare. Maybe happens a half dozen times all season among all the games. I guess tough guys don’t like to run that much!

There are things that are called penalties. This happens instead of timeouts. They are punishable several different ways. Some are by loss of down, some are a 5 yard penalty, and it goes up to the point the infraction took place. This could be 75 yards or more. Players, coaches, and fans hate penalties. You will hear your man yell at the TV more for these than anything else. Penalties are the exact same thing as timeouts for your two year old. A minor meltdown and then over it once a few minutes go by.

If you have made it this far bless you. As you can tell football starts out okay and then kinda tapers off, just like this post. HAHA. This is just the very minimum on the sport. There is lots more detail & lots more to learn. But knowing just this little bit will help you bond with your guy during his favorite time of the year. FB1