The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

MassMutual’s State of the American Family Study! #MC

“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for MassMutual. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.”


My parents actually lived the American Dream. They immigrated from Costa Rica. They came to this country to find better opportunities and a better life. They married, they worked and raised us in the United States.
We weren't rich; we weren't poor. We were middle class. They bought a house and we went to catholic school. We sometimes struggled and didn't have a lot of extras. We didn't get the best toys or the most expensive clothes but we always had enough to eat, clothes to wear and a home. Every once in a while, we also had some luxuries. Not many, but some. They had a better life here and me and my sister are lucky that we were born here in the U.S.

Being born and raised here, I bought into what everyone thought the American Dream was. I think when I was little the American Dream was growing up, going to college, getting married, having children and then owning my own home with the white picket fence. The expectation was that my life would be better than my parents and I would be happy.

As I grew older, that dream changed. I realized that I might not want what I wanted when I was little. It was tough for my parents to save enough money to put us through college but I worked hard and received scholarships and worked 3 jobs and put myself through college. After college, I found a profession I love and worked hard to have what I have. Now that I am 50 years old, I want to retire early and have enough money to do so. My parents were able to do that and I am thankful for that.


Recently, MassMutual compiled the State of the American Family Study. Here is more information about the study:

The "State of the American Family" program, an in-depth series of research studies MassMutual commissioned over the months and years ahead, is exploring the changing definitions and dynamics of families in this country. This multiyear initiative will produce a deeper understanding of the different forms families take, how factors like ethnicity and income affect family dynamics, how family members interact on financial and other matters, and trends that can help shape families in the coming decade. The "State of the American Family" can help provide America's adults and children with the information and guidance they need to make responsible financial decisions.

Some of the highlights of the study included that American families hold four core values when it come to finances.
* Putting family first
* Being actively involved in household financial decisions
* Educating children about money
* Making sure that children aren't burdened by parents' care as they age.
These are interesting. I think it says a lot about the people surveyed. I love that more and more people are thinking about the future. It is important to start early. I know I should have started saving earlier than I did. I remember my parents made sure we had a bank account when we were little. And that taught us how to save and be responsible.

My husband makes sure I am actively involved in our finances as well. I am not great with money but he makes sure that I am doing the right things especially now that we are both over 50 years old. He has tried to set us up for our retirement because nowadays it takes so much more money to be financially secure.


MassMutual also offers these tips to help American Families plan for the future.

* Think about retirement
* Protect your income
* Plan for your children’s education
* Secure your Family's future
* Teach Future generations about finances
* Prepare for rising health care costs
I think the main thing people need to think about is the future. If you have children or plan to have children, you need to make sure they have enough to get a good education. You also have to think about your own future. Rising health care costs scare me. I know as I have aged, my health is getting worse and I need to plan for that!

If you haven't planned, there is still time. To learn how MassMutual can help families achieve their American Dream today, please review the MassMutual Family Finances study. You can also visit MassMutual to find a financial professional to help you take the next step int creating a solid financial strategy.

Remember, it is never too late to take control of your future and finances.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Help take a bite out of needle phobia with Buzzy! #SharkBuzz #needlephobia

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Buzzy. All opinions stated are my own.



When I heard about this product, I thought it was brilliant. I really wish the Buzzy was around when I was a little kid. I used to hate getting shots and I would panic. i am not really sure why I had needle phobia but I think it was an injection gone bad when I was getting vaccinations. After that, I never ever wanted to see a needle. I would cry and whine. I would squirm and cry some more. My mom would would try and distract me. Sometimes, my dad had to come in and hold me down. It was not fun.

But I grew out of my needle phobia. I am not saying I love getting shots but I now just suck it up and get the shot without crying and whining. That is great for me but there are so many others, both children and adults, who still suffer from needle phobia.


But now, there is Buzzy. Buzzy was created by pediatrician Amy Baxter to help tackle the challenge of needle phobia and needle pain. It provides natural pain relief. It uses a cold and vibration to overwhelm the body's pain nerves. The cold  and vibration dull the sharp pain from the needles. It is easy to use as well. You just put it near the area that will get the shot or on the area after the shot is given and it will help the pain. Here is a short video explaining how Buzzy works.


The Buzzy is also super cute. It is in the shape of a bee. It has cold pack wings and is fun and colorful.



This week on Friday the 28th, Buzzy will make an appearance on ABC's show "Shark Tank" at 9pm CST. That is so cool. Not only can Buzzy get funding but it is also a great way to raise awareness of needle phobia. You can join in by attending #SharkBuzz Twitter party! Participate in the party by using the #SharkBuzz hashtag and you will have a chance to win a Kindle Fire and Buzzy products!! How cool is that?

I think this is such a cool product especially for kids. I remember the horror I felt when having to get a shot and if I had a Buzzy, that might have eliminated the the pain and fear. So check out Buzzy and see if this is something that can help you!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Verizon Wireless' More Everything Program #VZWBuzz

Disclosure: As a member of the #VZWBuzz team, I received compensation for this post.


I am a loyal customer of Verizon Wireless. They have great service in my area and, if I ever have a problem, the customer service is first rate. I have been a Verizon customer for about 4 years now and was so excited when we were able to get Verizon in our tiny town! We even got a new Verizon store a few months ago! We are moving up here in Sylva, NC.

What I love about Verizon is that there are always new plans that are introduced that make my plan better! The MORE Everything Plan is one of those new programs.

If you are a Verizon customer, the new MORE Everything will simplify your plan. If you are a Verizon Edge user, then the More Everything plan will give you a better price. Edge users will receive $10 off their monthly fees if you move up to an 8GB plan and $20 off if they move up to a 10GB or higher plan. As a Share Everything plan user, you might see your data allowance increased for no extra added cost.


If you are not an Edge user, you will also benefit. You might be able to take advantage of discounts that Verizon is offering. Some customers will be able to double the data allowance for the same price. Plus, you can receive up to 25gbs of FREE cloud storage! That is so awesome because nowadays cloud storage is huge!

If you have a family plan, MORE Everything plan users can take advantage of the FamilyBase for free. You can receive 3 months free. Family Base allows parents the ability to monitor app usage, set boundaries on content and limit usage. You can also add Verizon's International Long Distance Value Plan to your MORE Everything plan for $5! This I need since my family lives in Costa Rica!

The MORE Everything Plan makes it easier and more affordable to:
* Add devices to your account
* Connect multiple devices anywhere in the Verizon Wireless network with Mobile Hotspot
* Keep in touch with friends and family all over the world with unlimited international text


This is a great deal for Verizon Wireless users. The options available through Verizon are getting so much better as time goes on. So if this plan fits your lifestyle, it might be a great option for you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hispanic Babies at Increased Risk of Developing Severe Seasonal Illness: Learn the ABCs of RSV #ABCsofRSV

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Once in a while, I am asked to write posts to bring awareness. This is one of those posts. I have written about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) before and it is important to keep trying to get the word out. RSV is a common, seasonal virus contracted by nearly 100 percent of babies by their second birthday. Although RSV is extremely common, many parents are unaware of the dangers that RSV presents to their children. In fact, two-thirds of Hispanic mothers have never heard of RSV, and one in five Hispanic moms only becomes aware of RSV once their child has contracted the virus.

The RSV virus can lead to mild respiratory infections but it can become more serious especially in some preemies. So it is important to get the word out to everyone especially the African-American and Hispanic communities because babies born into those communities are at increased risk of developing severe RSV disease. Currently, one in eight Hispanic babies is born premature and it is likely that high prematurity rates are a reason for increased risk of RSV within Hispanic communities.

Learning the ABCs of RSV is a simple way to keep your family healthy during RSV season. Here are the ABC's. Pass this along!

A is for Awareness:
RSV is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. Preterm infants, however, are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.

* RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year
* RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year
* RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five
* Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers (and two-thirds of Hispanic mothers) have never heard of the virus

B is for Babies:
* Premature babies—defined as those born before 37 weeks gestation—are most at risk for developing severe RSV disease because they have underdeveloped lungs and fewer antibodies to fight the virus than babies born full term.
* Amongst Hispanics, the preterm birth rate has grown six percent over the last decade. Currently one in eight Hispanic babies is born premature and it is likely that high prematurity rates are a reason for increased risk of RSV within Hispanic communities.

C is for Contagious:
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. Learn the symptoms of severe RSV disease and contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

* Persistent coughing or wheezing
* Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
* Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
* Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]


Once RSV is contracted there is no treatment. So it is so important for parents to know about RSV and how to prevent it. Prevention is the key. Taking your baby to a pediatrician and asking questions is critical for parents. RSV can also be prevented by taking common sense steps like washing your hands, avoid putting your baby into situations where germs can spread, washing toys and blankets and keeping anyone who is sick away from your baby. These are things that should be done to avoid any illness and during RSV season it is so important to think about these things.

For more information about RSV and prevention, visit www.RSVprotection.com. Please visit the page if you have a baby or know of someone who does. It might save a life.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coffee-Mate Giveaway!





I recently wrote about my Companero Perfecto. Of course, my perfect partner is my hubby. We have been together for 18 years and, hopefully, there will be 18 more years!

You all know that I am a coffee fanatic. I love coffee. And the perfect companion for my coffee is always Coffee Mate. I love it with my coffee. I do not drink black coffee so I always have to have a little something something in there. And Coffee Mate is always delicious. I love the Cafe Mocha flavor. And my new favorites are Natural Bliss creamers. They are made with natural ingredients and I am all for that. 


Coffee-Mate is the perfect companion for your cup of coffee as well. If you haven't tried the new flavors, you must. They are delicious. I know I always will have Coffee-Mate in the fridge. During our big snow storm last week, I ran out and was going crazy!

Thanks to Coffee-Mate, I have this wonderful Prize pack to giveaway to one lucky reader. Included in the pack is a $25 gift card so you can go out and buy some Coffee-mate creamer. It also includes these adorable mugs and a French Press coffee maker. I love these! 


If you want a chance to win this great prize, just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Costa Rican Shrimp Ceviche!


One of my favorite Costa Rican recipes is Shrimp Ceviche. Ceviche is a dish that incorporates raw fish, lemons or lime, onions, herbs. The acid from the lemon or lime "cooks" the fish. It is served as an appetizer or accompaniment to an entree. I love it as an appetizer.

In Costa Rica, a lot of the ceviche is also made with shrimp. It is this ceviche I love. I love making it during the summer because it is a light dish and it is cool and refreshing because it is served cold. But it is such a great dish, you an eat it anytime.

Here is how I make my Costa Rican ceviche.


You will need the following ingredients: red onion, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, shrimp, lemons and Salsa Lizano. Now you can mix and match these items and substitute. I know not everyone has Salsa Lizano, which  is the Costa Rican version of Worcestershire sauce. You can use that or leave it out. You can use limes instead of lemons. You can use regular onions, instead of red. And you don't have to add tomatoes. You can also add a chopped jalapeno is you want an extra kick.  I do because this is how my mami makes it. You can use cooked or raw shrimp. The raw shrimp will need to "cook" in the fridge for a while before you eat it. That's why I use cooked shrimp because you can eat the ceviche immediately. Remember, you can also use raw fish. It has to be a thick and meaty fish that will hold up to the acid. 



Chop the onions and garlic. 



Slice the lemon. I use 2 lemons. You can add more to suit your taste. You can even add both 
lemons and limes to the ceviche



Chop the cilantro.



Chop the tomatoes.  



Add some Salsa Lizano



Mix all the ingredients. 



Add the shrimp and mix. That's it. OMG how easy is that. Anyone can make this. There is no way you can mess it up. At this point I also add a little more salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a little cumin or coriander as well. 



To serve, I add a little fresh avocado because I am a nut for avocados. You can leave it out. In Costa Rica, we also serve it with crackers and ketchup. I know that sounds weird but I like adding the ketchup because it gives it a little sweet taste. 

I bet you had no idea how easy making ceviche could be, right? But it is and it is so tasty. When we have parties, I make up a huge batch the day before because it actually tastes better the next day. Then I serve it up and my guests love it. It is also great to serve it as a surf and turf dish. And, it is great on white rice! 

Buen Provecho! Enjoy! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Exclusive Interview with NFL’s Super Bowl Champion Derrick Coleman's mom, May! Plus, a Duracell Giveaway! #TrustYourPower

This interview opportunity and prize package are sponsored by Duracell.


I recently had the opportunity to interview the mother of Derrick Coleman, May Hamlin. Derrick is the first NFL deaf offensive player. He also plays for the World Champions Seattle Seahawks. Congrats to Derrick on the Big Game win!! I know May is so proud of him. But she also should be proud because Derrick has never let adversity stand in his way!

In my interview with May, I was able to ask her she handled that adversity, did she ever doubt Derrick's ability and how does she help others that reach out to her. Watch the video below.


Derrick and May hope to inspire people, especially children, to TRUST THE POWER WITHIN to achieve their dreams just like Derrick Coleman trusted that power and he made it to the NFL and the Super Bowl. Duracell filmed a video with Derrick Coleman to promote Duracell's #TrustYourPower campaign.



Derrick's story is inspiring to many people. He is an inspiration to me. And so is May. I applaud her for supporting Derrick every step of the way. It is great to see such a great mom like May. I thank May for taking the time to speak to me and The Art of Random Willynillyness readers. I appreciate her time and answering my questions.

To celebrate Duracell's #TrustYourPower campaign, Duracell has given me a Duracell gift pack filled with Duracell goodies to one lucky reader. To enter, just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Mantry - The Modern Man's Pantry Food Subscription Service


It's funny because when I received my Mantry box to review I thought sure this is great for men but I loved it too! First of all, The Mantry is a subscription service that delivers a box of gourmet and artisan goodies to your house for a fee of $75. As they say: We scour America to hook you up since you don't have the time! As a wanna-be foodie, this is right up my alley.

I love artisan food and gourmet goodies but sometimes I have no idea what is good or if I am getting my money's worth when I shop online. There are so many products out there, I don't have the to search for specific products that may or may not be good. The Mantry does all the work and I like that!

I received The Mantry Retox box. The Retox Mantry box is all about booze infused foods. And let me tell you, I was thrilled. Inside the box were 6 delicious foods that I would have never tried if not for Mantry. It was a great mix.

In the box:
Reginalds's Bourbon Pecan Butter from Sabot, VA
Dogfish Head Brewery Hardtack Chowder from Rehoboth Beach, DE
Olli Salumeria Calabrese Salami from Mechanicsville, VA
Butter  Scotch Green Chile Margarita Corn from Brooklyn, NY
Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup from Brooklyn, NY
Wondermade Guinness Marshmallows from Orlando, FL

What can I say? I loved the box. There is something for everyone in this box. I loved the products were all from small artisan shops that take pride in making these delicious concoctions. The Retox box really represented the "booze infused" theme.

The Bourbon Pecan Butter was to die for! I am a peanut butter addict but now that obsession might be replaced for Bourbon Pecan Butter. It was sweet, boozy and delicious. I had a Pecan Butter with some Margarita flavored jam I picked up in Mexico a few months ago and it was heaven. The Butter & Scotch Green Chile Margarita Corn was amazing. It was sweet and spicy. You can taste the green chiles and the sweetness of the margarita flavor. It was a surprise how much I liked this. Hubby had the chowder and gave it a thumbs up! I haven't tried the Ginger Syrup but it will be great for parties!


My favorite products were the Olli Salumeria Calabrese Salami and the Wondermade Guinness Marshmallows. The salami was spicy, smoky and delicious. I served it with crackers and a Gruyere cheese and some beer and hubby finished it off in under an hour. Of course, I helped! The Wondermade Guiness Marshmallows were interesting. When I ate one I was not impressed. The texture was strange and the taste was good but I was unsure. Then I served them in a cup of hot chocolate and that changed my mind. When in the hot liquid, as the marshmallows melted you could the Guinness and paired with the chocolate, made for an amazing drink!

The Mantry makes a perfect gift for any man on your gift list. We have a few single friends that would appreciate this. If you have a foodie in your life, they would love it. I know I would love having a new box filled with artisan goodies delivered to my house!

The subscription price is $75 a month. It seems steep but, honestly, for the products I received, I felt it was a good bargain. You receive 6 full size American Artisan food products that you might not be able to try otherwise. Plus, they come in the cutest signature wooden crate. A Mantry box makes a great gift for your dad, brother, hubby or any friend. You can purchase just one box, a 3 month or a 6 month subscription. Any of these would be amazing gifts.

I have almost convinced hubby that this is something we should invest in because we have can have some great foodie gifts without actually doing any of the work! We would pay the same, I believe, if we hit local shops.

If you want to try Mantry, visit their website and check it out. You can also follow Mantry on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TurboTax Launches the First Full Mobile Tax Preparation App in Spanish + GIVEAWAY!!


As you know 2014 Tax Season is here, and TurboTax announced today the launch of the first full mobile tax preparation solution in Spanish: TurboTax SnapTaxAccording to the Pew Research Center, about half (49%) of U.S. Hispanic adults own a smartphone and at least 34 percent own a tablet, making mobile tax preparation an easy, convenient option.

This year, 52 million U.S. Hispanics and any other American will have the chance to prepare their simple tax returns (1040EZ/A) in either English or Spanish, from the convenience of their smartphones or tablets. Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, SnapTax automatically puts the information on the right place on your tax return. All you have to do is snap a photo of your W2 form! Then answer a few simple questions, review your return and tap “File My Taxes” to electronically file their taxes in as few as 10 minutes. Here is a video to show how SnapTax works:




This sounds so easy. I think it makes sense that we are moving towards being able to do almost everything online. I have to say that it is probably a good product. We have been using TurboTax for over a decade now. We love it. We even tried another tax program one year and, promptly, went back to TurboTax because it was so much better. 

What I love about TurboTax is the ease of use. We buy the program and download it on our laptop. Luckily, since we use it every year, it remember all out pertinent information and fills it in so it saves us time. It also saves us money because we spend less than $100 on the program depending on the bells and whistles we need. We can do it from home and it has never let us down. Check out the TurboTax prices.



If our taxes weren't so complicated, I would even consider using SnapTax. But we have stocks, freelance income and other things that complicate matters. But even with all the complications, TurboTax comes through every time. 

But if your taxes are not difficult to do, you should consider SnapTax. It will save you time and money. You can download and file your Federal taxes for free. Now if you have to file state taxes, there is a fee. But it is well worth using TurboTax because it will be easy! 

SnapTax is available on the App Store, Google Play Marketplace, Amazon.com and at SnapTax.com.

To help you along with your taxes this year, I have 3 gift cards for the Deluxe edition of TurboTax. The Deluxe edition includes Federal taxes and your State tax program. YAY! This is the one we use and it works out for us! Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo Wing with Frank's RedHot Sauce + Giveaway!!!


2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo Wing – a momentous occasion sure to be celebrated by sports fans and foodies alike. First created in Buffalo, NY in 1964, the original recipe was as simple as combining Frank’s® RedHot® sauce and melted butter. As the history books tell it, wings were seen as a culinary cast-off at the time and Buffalo wing sauce was created in a pinch to stave off the hunger of some late night revelers stopping by a neighborhood tavern. But fifty years later, this secret sauce still exhibits a flavor profile that continues to take the country by storm. It’s one for the history books: the lowly Buffalo Wing catapulted from basic pub grub to menu mainstay, all across America.

That is awesome! I love chicken wings. It is one of my favorite party foods. I have them for the Big Game, dinner parties, picnics, BBQ's, and for any other occasion. They are the perfect party food because they can be eaten with your hands.

You can also make different types of chicken wings. You do not have to just have Buffalo wings. You can have different flavors! It is amazing how versatile the chicken wings can be. But the one thing I always know is that they have to be spicy! And Frank's RedHot sauce is the best way to spice up your wings. Here is a delicious recipe that I want to try!

SWEET CHILI ASIAN CHICKEN WINGS


Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 20 mins
Makes 6 to 8 servings

3 lbs, chicken wing pieces
¾ cup FRANK’S® RedHot Sweet Chili® Sauce
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. grated peeled ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. minced green onion or cilantro

1. BAKE wings in foil-lined pan at 500°F on lowest oven rack for 20 to 25 min. until crispy, turning once.
2. MIX Sweet Chili Sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in large bowl.
3. TOSS wings in sauce to coat. Sprinkle with green onion or cilantro.

Alternate Cooking Directions: Deep-fry at 375°F for 10 min.
Broil 6-inches from heat 15 to 20 min., turning once.
Grill over medium heat 20 to 25 min., turning often.

Yummy! I cannot wait to try this! Thanks to Frank's, I have a wonderful Frank's RedHot Sauce prize pack for one lucky winner. The pack includes:

* Frank’s RedHot Back-pack
* Frank’s RedHot Drink Coozie
* Frank’s RedHot Keychain
* Frank’s RedHot Blinking Hot Lips
* Frank’s RedHot Magnet
* Coupon for product


For a chance to win, just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow Pictures!

Here are some pictures of the big snow we had here in Sylva, NC. These are of our house. The snow is beautiful but I don't like snow. Luckily, it melted away pretty fast but let me tell you I am over winter!!









Saturday, February 15, 2014

Citi Every Step of the Way Program helps U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek help Figure Skating in Harlem. #Everystep

This post was created in partnership with Citi®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.




This year, Citi is helping Nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes help Nine programs in need. Citi is donating $500,000. But you can decide where this money goes with just one click. First introduced for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this initiative helps future athletes reach their full potential through U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and Community Programs that inspired Team Citi on their journey. Together, we can nurture the next generation of U.S. athletes on their road from ambition to achievement. Check out this video that will explain the Citi Every Step Program.


I am a huge figure skating fan. Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed watching this sport and it is my favorite Olympic event. When I went tot he Citi Every Step site, I noticed that one of my favorite skaters, Even Lysacek was involved in the program. His charity is Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH). Here is a little information about FHS.
Our mission is to transform young lives and help underserved girls grow in confidence, leadership, and academic achievement. Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH) is a pioneering nonprofit organization founded in 1997 that provides opportunity, education, and empowerment for girls in underserved New York City communities. Using the artistic discipline of figure skating as a powerful magnet, we provide girls with innovative education and fitness programs that promote academic success, physical health, and emotional well-being. As a result, our students experience physical, emotional, and intellectual growth in a safe and supportive environment.


I really love this charity as well. By trying to help underserved girls to maybe one day live their dream or just help them find self-esteem and confidence, FSH really can do wonders. So when I went to the Citi Every Step program, my vote went for Evan and the FSH!




So head over to the Citi® Every Step of the Way® Page and vote Team Evan. Or vote for your favorite. All of the nine programs are well worth voting for! So go click and help your favorite Olympian help their favorite charity!