Nov 22, 2017

Use it or Lose It - Brought to you by #Visionworks

"Use it or lose it" is an English proverb most people are familiar with, indicating the urgency of applying skills or knowledge as they might be lost over time.  This also applies to property and privileges which may have a clear expiration.

Here is a list of my top six things you should use before they are gone for 2017! 

1.  Vacation days or paid time off

Many companies no longer allow this time to be rolled over into the next year.  This is our top "use it or lose it" item as paid time off from your work can lead to better productivity.  Taking a break usually will leave you feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated.  Find out how much time you have left and be sure to schedule every last hour of time that your company is giving you.  You don't even have to go anywhere or plan an elaborate trip, sometimes a staycation or staying at home to relax is better than a vacation.

2.  Languages

If you speak a second language, using the language regularly is the best way to maintain your knowledge.  If you don't have someone to speak with, you can check out an awesome app called Duolingo which allows you to practice, maintain and build your language skills.  The app allows you to practice reading, writing and speaking.  

3. Cognitive Ability

Your mental acuity can be lost over time if you don't use it.  Keep your brain active with brain games like crossword puzzles, memory games and more.  There are many apps that can be used like Lumosity or CNN All Free Brain Games.  

4. Muscles

Keeping your body in good shape takes time and practice.  You should keep your muscles toned and strong with regular workouts.  That might be hard when you are a mom, but we have a few articles on how to manage from our health and fitness blogger, Theresa.  

5. Produce

How many times have you opened up your fridge only to find the produce you bought and forgot about last week has gone bad.  You are not alone, according to a Guardian report released in 2016, roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away. That is about 60 million tons, adding up to $160 billion worth of produce annually. You can prolong the life of your produce by storing it properly and only buy what you plan to eat.  

Meal planning can really help with reducing waste.  Metro Detroit mom, fellow blogger, friend, and author, Hope Comerford, has a great and easy slow cooker cookbook that makes meal planning a breeze.  You can buy her book on Amazon (affiliate link): Fix-It and Forget-It Lazy and Slow Cookbook: 365 Days of Slow Cooker Recipes
Another idea is to have a list of produce items on the fridge so you can easily see what you have in stock and cross items off as they are used. The list will be a reminder to use up produce before it goes bad.

6.  Vision Benefits

Your vision benefits likely expire yearly, make the best use of your benefits by visiting your local Visionworks for your annual eye exam and get a new pair of glasses before your FSA dollars or vision benefits go to waste.  

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Nov 21, 2017

Random Acts of Thankfulness

What does it mean to be thankful? Better yet what does it do for us as parents to showcase gratitude to our little ones? Well I tried an experiment for myself shortly after having my son. I vowed to keep a daily gratitude list. Every day as a new mom of this spunky and very loud infant I noted what I was grateful for. Please understand that at this time I was sleep deprived, had limited maternity leave and was coping with weight issues and adjusting to mommyhood. So why the list? To keep perspective. To keep my calm. To keep realizing how blessed I actually was. I began to notice that in every complaint a opportunity for gratitude exists.

Do you want an example? I figured you would. Okay. So I found myself annoyed that I needed to get up for work. I had a job. I was annoyed that my baby would wake early from his nap. So many gratitude options there. One, I had a beautiful baby, that communicated when he was awake, that had a warm place to sleep and that wants my cuddles more than anyone else. You get the picture?

So as we near another day where turkey is plentiful and the next day we might get a tv snatched out of our grip by a stranger I wonder if we can think of a way to change the tone of this week. Is there a way to randomly make our own level of gratitude a way for others to be grateful? How can we get our kids involved in doing nice things for others and even recognizing their own good fortune by being aware and mindful of the things that they can be grateful for? Some tips below:

-Gratitude scavenger hunt check list (bundle up and list 10 random things they can be grateful for outside)
-Have the kids recall their holiday wish list from last year and remind them of how much they received
-bake thankful treats together and give them to people who your family is grateful for.
-Make a family thank you board. Get creative with stickers and glue if you need to.
-Go to McDonald's and pay for the person's meal in line behind you.
-Go to the grocery store and purchase someone's items in the express line
-Leave quarters and a note on the bubble gum and small toy machine in the store
-Send a family you care for pizza for dinner
-Have a friends-giving party in which every guest receives a small token of why you can be thankful for them.
- Have your child write a thank you letter or card
- Volunteer as a family to help those in need 
- Give a hug, handshake or high five along with a smile and say "Thank you!" 
- Create a daily routine of asking your child (maybe at bedtime or meal time) "What are you thankful for today?"
- Look for those teachable moments when you can express gratitude and set the example for your child.  
-come up with your own list as a family

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel
I received a complimentary night in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
Last night I had the pleasure of checking out the all-new Hyatt Place Ann Arbor! So, I met up with a few of my friends to hit Ann Arbor. Can you believe after living my whole life in Michigan that I've never spent an afternoon in Ann Arbor? Yeah, me either!

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor is located just minutes from the University of Michigan.  This hotel is close to Briarwood mall, picturesque Kerrytown, and some fantastic shopping which was perfect for our girl's trip!

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

When you walk into the Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, you will feel right at home. There is a bunch of places to sit relax and catch the game. Or, you will find quiet spots if you would like to read a book.
Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

The floor plan is open, so the bar, the book area, and sitting area are all in one room

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

The decorating is a mix of modern and farmhouse. I loved the decorations. I was impressed, and I'm picky!

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

This wall art grabbed my attention. It looks like something you would find on Pinterest. Not in a hotel lobby. I loved it.

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

Your stay at the Hyatt Place Ann Arbor includes a complimentary breakfast! I must say that I was impressed with the tasty coffee and I found that I had wished I had grabbed two for my drive home. As you can see everything is clean and gorgeous.

Not only do you and your guests receive a free breakfast but you will receive free wifi from the moment you walk into the hotel. There are no annoying passwords that you find yourself forgetting 5 minutes later.

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

While staying at the Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, you don't have to skip your workout. This spacious hotel includes a heated pool and a workout room!

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

The bedrooms are big and provide plenty of room. I thought it would be a little crowded for my friends and me, but that wasn't the case. We had two king-sized beds, and they looked small in the room since it was so large.

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, Michigan, things to do, U of M, girls trip, Hyatt Hotel

My favorite part of the room was the sitting area. It allowed us to spread out. I was impressed!

Everything in our room was tastefully decorated!

Would I recommend staying at the Hyatt Place Ann Arbor? Yes, it's in a fabulous location, decorated nicely and the best part is the hotel is quiet!

If you're planning a trip to Ann Arbor make sure you check out the all-new Hyatt Place located at 3223 S. State St., Ann Arbor, Michigan. To book your next trip visit!

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Perfect Christmas Gift: Super Blanky Hits Target Shelves

A few years ago I saw this awesome product made by local mom, Karen Bonnici, on television.  I contacted her and asked if we could feature her product on Metro Detroit Mommy.  You can see our review here:

The biggest thing I love about this product is that Karen has solved a huge safety issue with capes.  The innovative concept that turns a regular blanket into a superhero cape is the slide on sleeves, which means the risk from choking from a string around the neck is eliminated.

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE is that this cape also doubles as a blanket.  My girls love their Super Blankys, they wear them around the house pretending to save the world, cuddle and snuggle with them on the couch, and take them to bed and use them for a blanket.

Finally, I love that Super Blanky and Target have teamed up to create beautiful themed products.  With characters from Trolls, My Little Pony, Batman, EmojiNation, Trolls, Paw Patrol and so much more.

Hurry, quick, they are on sale at Target through 11/28 {on sale for $10.49, regular price $14.99}

EmojiNation Super Blanky
Jurassic World Super Blanky
DC Comics Batman Super Blanky
Despicable Me Fluffy Unicorn Super Blanky
PJ Masks Catboy Super Blanky
My Little Pony Twilight Sparkle Super Blanky
Trolls Poppy Super Blanky
Paw Patrol Chase Super Blanky
Paw Patrol Skye Super Blanky

A Super Blanky would make a fantastic gift for children who love to dress up.  Which style is your favorite?

Connect with Super Blanky™:

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Nov 20, 2017

Counselor's Corner: Thank You and You're Welcome - A Seasonal Blog About Gratitude

Parents, we teach our kids at a very young age what we consider basic manners. At the height of those small teachable moments is saying two words. "Thank you". This month we talk a lot about gratitude and being grateful but should we expect others to be and if we that okay? Let's explore the topic.

Gratitude is one of those things that can brighten your mood when you feel it personally but also when you see it in someone else. One of the exercises that I have practiced myself but also suggest to my clients is to try gratitude lists. The practice of writing down even one small thing that we are thankful for can change our outlook. It forces us to look for the good in our day, in our lives and in our chaotic world. It can be much easier to wake up and think about a long to-do list, a busy work day and a dirty home. The perspective changes when we think about the fact that we woke up and that alone is something to be grateful for. We also switch our mindset when we welcome a long to-do list because we are valuable and needed, a busy work day because we are capable and talented, and a home that needs to be nurtured and cleaned because we have a place to stay. Did you see that? I just changed the narrative.

Now...a bit of a deeper dilemma...what do we do when we give a gift and we do not get a thank you? What about when we celebrate someone and they ignore our efforts? I love to buy coffee for the person behind me in line at Starbucks. Typically I get a resounding "thanks" and a domino effect ensues. This makes me feel awesome...why?? Because the person behind me is grateful. What about when the person behind me does not acknowledge my effort? This has only happened once during my coffee gifting. I was at Starbucks and my son was a small baby. I reveled at the fact that he would witness kind gestures and goodwill at such an early age. I bought my own coffee and a drink for the man behind me in line. He said absolutely nothing. He took his coffee did not even crack a smile at me or my curious baby and he left the shop. I felt terrible. Did he realize that he was supposed to say "thank you" I thought? Why was he ungrateful? I asked myself. I realized I should not ask myself about the man who was a stranger to me and I a stranger to him...I should ask myself why I cared about him acknowledging my effort. This is where I needed to work on my own character.

I teach my child gratitude. I share techniques with my clients. Gratitude is a good thing but I should not do things simply to get other people give me gestures of gratitude I should do it because it is the right thing to do. I recently bought a lovely bouquet of flowers in a vase for someone. They did not say thank you. They did receive them. I felt terrible. The flowers were not inexpensive. My thoughts were negative when I did not receive a grateful gesture back but here we are again right?

As I teach my kid how to be grateful and how to be kind I also have to teach him that we should not expect anything in return for doing something thoughtful. Parents, I am still learning this lesson but I need to do it fast because my four-year-old is watching me and he knows when his mom's mood is up or down. My mood should not change because someone said thank you to me for a kind gesture. My mood should be lifted because I had the ability to do it. What about you? How do you show your children examples of gratitude? 

Here are some tips for this month:
-Write thank you cards for your child's teachers signed by you and your child
-Bring a treat to your daycare or pre-school for the administrative team to share
-Choose a person of the day to celebrate as a family
-Take one of your babysitters out for a nice dinner all expenses paid for by the family

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Nov 19, 2017

Patty Burger $50 Gift Card Giveaway

If you are searching for the perfect place for dinner for you and your family, Patty Burger in Lake Orion might just be the place.  From their flavorful burgers, delicious sides, handmade shakes and a generous selection of beers, wines, and liquors, everyone is sure to find a favorite item at this one of a kind fast casual restaurant.

Patty Burger in Orion Charter Township is located conveniently off of I-75 on Baldwin Road near Great Lakes Crossing.  Patty Burger was built on the philosophy of fresh is best, so they construct your burger using veggies that are cut daily and meat that is never frozen.  And to top it off, their buns are baked fresh daily. 

This Patty Burger location offers a dining space with an open industrial feel with great lighting and a couple interesting artistic pieces. 

We started our meals off with onion rings, cheese curds, and milkshakes.  YUM.  The girls wanted to try the pumpkin spice milkshake, which was amazing.  The Cheese Curds are made from Wisconsin cheese, deep fried and served with ranch.  

The burgers are most certainly where Patty Burger shows off.  Hubby ordered the Cali Girl which is served with fresh sliced avocado, alfalfa sprouts, applewood smoked bacon, provolone cheese, and wasabi ranch sauce.   I love the combination of flavors in this burger, great when you are craving a savory flavor. 

I went for a combination of savory and sweet with the Waffle Burger.   I chose a beef patty which was served with cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, honey chipotle sauce all on two fresh waffles.  The sauce was amazing and it added a fantastic sweet flavor you want with the waffles. 

We ended the night with the sweet bites which were delectable balls of fried dough covered with sugary goodness and dipped in chocolate sauce.  If I had known how great these were, I would have started with dessert.  

One of the features that makes this fast-casual burger restaurant unique is their offering of craft brews and alcohol which can be enjoyed in a traditional drink or added to one of their milkshakes.  Making this a great place to enjoy a great quick meal and unwind!  

Connect with Patty Burger

Enter our Giveaway

Enter below for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Patty Burger in Lake Orion

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Nov 18, 2017

Metro Detroit Family Fun Events for the Week of November 20th, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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