Posted on April 18th, 2013 No comments
As a busy mom and a professional communicator, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to “do things” in my car. (No, not text and drive). But, I have been known to take a picture of a logo/advertisement for a dog boarding service or a kid’s clothing boutique on someone else’s car. These days, with everyone on the go, and everyone armed with smart phones, that’s got to be one of the best ways to advertise.
Signazon.com is one of the innovative companies that creates car stickers, decals and a host of customized signage products to serve the needs of everyone from individuals to large corporations. All of their products are customizable, so their customers get exactly what they want. I love their large selection of car magnets and yard signs and I’m preparing to order a graduation banner for my daughter’s upcoming graduation.
Signazon’s six main product categories are:
- Business signs:
- Car Magnets;
- Decals; and
- Offset printing
Signazon also offers personalized calendars, oversized checks, backdrops, backlit prints and canvases. They have really cute, affordable items, like “Just married” car magnets, customizable graduation announcements and wedding invitations, plus so much more.
And, the online designing tool is easy to use and options are almost endless. For example, the company offers six different options for the window graphics, not including the multiple choices for materials and sizes. And, if customers need help deciding which material to choose, or any other questions, there is a help center that includes materials details, installation instructions and other tools to help make the shopping experience more efficient.
Signazon’s designers go the extra mile to make sure every order is completely accurate, printed in high resolution and in full color, and they take the time to proof every order that is submitted. Quality assurance is a top priority.
The company has always supported nonprofits, and currently they are hosting their third annual nationwide scholarship Design-a-Sign contest, which allows students to demonstrate their creativity in return for a cash prize of up to $1000. The contest runs through May 24 and details on how to enter are on Signazon.com home page in the sliding splash images.
This is a sponsored post.
Posted on March 12th, 2012 No comments
If you love getting awesome, name-brand stuff at ridiculously low prices, then you need to visit a Ross Dress for Less store. And that visit got a whole lot easier for St. Louis-area residents last week (3/3/12) when the nation’s largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain made its debut in the area with two new locations in Chesterfield, Mo. and Fairview Heights, Ill.
I was among a lucky group of women who got invited to a special opening of the store and I left the place with a LOAD of great bargains. Here’s a list of my delightful finds, all for $134.19:
- a name-brand (can’t say the brand) dress for me to wear to my Godson’s first communion
- a boutique-quality sundress for my teen
- two pairs of shoes (also name brand) for my 4-year-old
- a name-brand summer top for me
- a “sliders” burger basket for my grill
- a “Live Laugh Love” wall decal for my family room
- an 18×24 wooden framed mirror for my kitchen
As promised, I found the same brand names carried in department and specialty stores priced at 20 percent to 60 percent less at Ross. In fact, the above-mentioned dress would have cost me nearly “$130 at my favorite department store, and I got everything on that list for $134.
Ross Dress for Less stores — more than 1,000 nationwide — have been in business for 30 years and carry apparel, shoes and accessories for the whole family, as well as home fashions. It’s literally a treasure hunt shopping experience.
The Ross “strategy” is “no frills, big thrills.” And that holds true in the store — no fancy displays or staging of the merchandise but thrilling merchandise just the same. Despite the “no frills,” the store was super organized and easy to navigate, and the racks aren’t overstuffed like you find in some discount stores. Plus, the associates were helpful, efficient and informed, even on the first day the store was opened for business. I think that bodes well for the customer service going forward.
But don’t take it from me — try it out for yourself. I was told (and I believe) that the best way to find those treasures at Ross is to visit often and snatch them up when you find them. If you want to win a $25 giftcard to Ross Dress for Less to get you started, head on over to my other site to enter the giveaway.
Posted on February 23rd, 2012 No comments
There is a growing trend towards obesity in the United States that has become an area of increasing concern. According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly 34 percent of adults and 17 percent of children, ages 2 to 19, are obese. This is a steadily rising trend that can have a significant impact on both the people who are overweight and the country as a whole.
Weight and Health Care
Being overweight can have a negative impact on a person’s health and ability to obtain health and life insurance (even through comparison sites like http://www.comparethemarket.com/life-insurance/). Excess weight makes a person more susceptible to conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. As a result of this increased risk, health insurance companies assume that the cost of medical care for overweight individuals will eventually be greater than the cost for people of average weight. Based off of this assumption, overweight people often pay higher health care premiums. In addition, being overweight also makes it difficult to get a life insurance policy. In some cases, a person who is considered morbidly overweight may even be denied life insurance by certain companies.
Common Causes of Obesity
There are many factors that contribute to America’s weight issues. Excess eating is often the first thing that comes to mind, but while it is a contributing cause of obesity it is not accurate to claim that it is the only cause. A person’s metabolism, genes, environment and even culture also play a part, as does a lack of physical activity. Income level can also be a reason for excess weight. Often foods that are more nutritious are out of the reach of low-income families, while higher calorie and less nutritious foods are more affordable. As a result, one out of seven low-income children are obese by the time they reach preschool.
Defeating Adult Obesity
To overcome adult obesity it is important to change the behaviors that contributed to the problem. People can do this by reducing sedentary behavior and incorporating physical activities into their daily routine. Changes should also be made in terms of the type and amount of food that is eaten. Preparing meals at home as opposed to eating out will also help control what is being eaten as well as help control portion sizes.
Fighting Childhood Obesity
It is important for parents to take an active part in reducing the risk of childhood obesity. To do this they should reduce sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, and encourage children to participate in physical play. This will not only help them to burn calories, but it will also help strengthen bones and muscle. Parents must also buy foods that are healthy for young bodies. This means purchasing vegetables, fruits and other healthy items, while avoiding foods that are high in sugar and fat. What children drink is equally important to managing their weight. Sodas and other sugary drinks should be eliminated and replaced with water or milk.
Although the percentage of overweight Americans is high, it is not an impossible statistic to change. When properly educated about the risks of being overweight, people can make better choices to successfully battle and overcome obesity.- sponsored post
Posted on February 9th, 2012 No comments
Dr. Diane Sanford, Ph.D. , is hosting a free event at the Lodge of Des Peres that involves eating chocolate and talking about the strategies to cope with the mental, emotional and physical challenges of motherhood. I personally owe Diane an enormous debt of gratitude because I heard her speak when I was four months pregnant with my second child. I had suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of my first child and was very worried about it happening again. Thanks to Diane, I prepared during my 2nd pregnancy and was able to ENJOY the weeks and months following the birth of my second.
Postpartum depression affects one in eight new mothers and the stress of parenting a toddler, depression and anxiety are common occurrences. They are very real, but very treatable. Start by treating yourself to an evening of chocolate-tasting indulgence.
This event (and the yummy chocolate) is free, although reservations are required. Space is limited to 100 attendees, so call today to RSVP.
Tuesday, February 21, 7-9 p.m.
The Lodge Des Peres
1050 Des Peres Road (south of Manchester Rd.) St. Louis, MO 63131
RSVP to 314-812-9366
Invite your friends, but please leave your baby/toddler behind. This is for Moms only.
Psychologist Dr. Diane Sanford has been passionate about helping women improve their health and lead happier lives since counseling her first postpartum mom 25 years ago. She is among the most called-upon women’s health expertsand has been interviewed for TV (Good Morning America), newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post), and all major women’s magazines.
In her new book, Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide, she offers practical advice on how to thrive during pregnancy, postpartum and motherhood. To preview the book, visit her website. To schedule a consultation, please call Women’s Healthcare Partnership at 314-961-5666.
Posted on November 22nd, 2011 No comments
Fetch! Petcare of West St. Louis County is my latest awesome find. We have a new Golden Retriever puppy and Fetch! offers in-home (yours or theirs) cage-free boarding. I plan to share more details about Fetch at a later date, but today I want to tell you about a different kind of food drive — one to benefit animals.
Fetch! Petcare of West St. Louis County is hosting a Hungry Bowl™ Pet Food Drive to benefit homeless pets of Open Door Animal Sanctuary. As part of an international effort spearheaded by Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s largest association for professional pet sitters, the Hungry Bowl™ Pet Food Drive collects much-needed pet food donations for local shelters across the country. Open Door Animal Sanctuary is in great need of pet food donations as it enters 2012.
Donations will be accepted December 1-12, 2011 and can be dropped off at the following locations:
- One Lucky Mutt!, Wildwood
- Manchester West Veterinary Hospital, Ellisville
- Pet Supplies Plus, Ballwin
- Sulphur Springs Veterinary Clinic, Ballwin
- St. Albans Post Office, St. Albans
- Dickey Bub, Eureka
- Eureka Feed Station, Eureka
For more information, contact Jane Peacock of Fetch! Petcare of West St. Louis County at 636-549-8610
Posted on October 15th, 2011 No comments
By Connie Diekman, Registered Dietitian
As a mom, you likely know what your child eats for breakfast and dinner, but what about lunch at school? Typically, kids get about 30 to 50 percent of their calories while at school. The good news is there are several changes happening in school cafeterias across the country this year to make lunch time nutritious and delicious for students.
This year, moms will be pleased to know that school cafeterias are serving more whole grains in unexpected places (like pizza), more fresh vegetables (especially nutrient-rich leafy greens and orange vegetables), lessening sodium content and offering great-tasting flavored milk with fewer calories and less added sugar than in the past.
As the beverage of choice among students, the change to flavored milk is an important one. On average, school chocolate milk is projected to have just 31 calories more than white milk and 38% less added sugar, the result of ongoing work by milk processors with local districts across the country over the last five years.
This school year when kids pick up a carton of flavored milk with their lunch, the majority will be less than 150 calories and will have all the same nine essential nutrients as white milk – including vitamin D, calcium and potassium, nutrients that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say children need to consume more of.
As a registered dietitian, I know most kids ages nine and older are far from the recommended three servings of dairy a day, and it’s important to offer a variety of choices, both flavored and white milk, to ensure kids have more opportunities to get the nutrients found in milk, versus choosing drinks with no nutritional value.
The food choices kids make today can have a big influence in shaping their future. Providing wholesome, nutritious meals for students increases their ability to pay attention in class, provides energy for sports and exercise, and reduces the risk of health problems later in life. These nutrients are important for kids’ growth and development, and for many children, school meals may be the best source of real nutrition they get all day.
So remember, nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring! Low-fat chocolate milk strikes a great balance between good nutrition and good fun.
For more information on school flavored milk reformulations, please visit: http://www.whymilk.com/school_milk.php.
Connie Diekman, M.Ed, RD, LD, FADA is a nutrition communications consultant in St. Louis, Missouri. Diekman is the past President of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and is a former chair of the American Heart Association – Missouri affiliate.
She is the voice of the “Eating Right” minute, which airs daily, on WBBM radio in Chicago. She is also a former television nutrition reporter with St. Louis’ NBC affiliate and the local FOX affiliate.
Posted on October 3rd, 2011 No comments
Amid the craziness that defines our busy lives, we have decided to add a puppy to our family. I’m not even going to try to explain the reasons why or how we came to this decision. Just know we gave it a lot of thought, and we are putting in the time to read up on properly training this dog (which we never did before). And know that our family is over the top excited.
I’m writing about our new puppy here because I want to tell you about our breeder. We are getting our Golden Retriever puppy from Daisy’s Golden Retrievers in Cuba, MO, owned by Terry & Bob Grayson. (They also own Daisy’s GoldenDoodles). And they ship puppies out of state — see below.
We got to meet Terry and Bob last weekend when we went to pick out our puppy from a litter of Goldens that was born in August. (It was soooo hard to choose). Anyway, they have a very nice, clean, well-organized, loving environment where they are breeding Golden Retrievers and Golden Doodles.
We were so impressed with how professional Terry and Bob operate, from scheduling appointments for families to come meet the puppies, to encouraging you to take your time with these puppies, playing with them and asking questions and doing whatever you need to do to make the hard decision about which puppy is right for your family. Terry also consulted with me multiple times via email before we went to visit, offering advice on books to read, asnwering questions about what crate to buy, etc.
Our puppy was chipped already and once we chose her, Terry scanned her chip and gave us the number so we know (and she knows) what puppy is ours. We can’t bring her home until she is 8 weeks old, so that will happen around Oct. 14. On that date, we will be taking home a puppy that has her current shots, along with:
- Information on NuVet Supplement (samples also)
- Packet from Kennelwood Pet Resort
- Knotted rope
- Small brush
- Puppy shampoo
- Puppy Kong
- Leash and collar
- First heartworm/all around wormer treatment
- 2 year signed health guarantee
- Current health record
- Small bag of puppy food to mix with what we purchase
- Booda bones (dog chews fighting plague and tartar)
Here’s the super good news: Terry and Bob still have one female left in the litter from which we are choosing. They also have another litter of Goldens that will go home around Christmas and they have Goldendoodles available between now and Christmas. And, their prices are EXTREMELY reasonable, based on my research. So reasonable, in fact, that I questioned Terry about it, thinking there must be a catch. No catch — the dogs are pure breeds, with papers, etc. Terry just feels she makes a fair amount of money and she wants them all to be placed as soon as they reach 8 to 10 weeks. She also provides a host of references and her veterinarian’s contact information for anyone who wants to do their homework. And, she will ship a puppy on a plane to anyone who lives out-of-state. I spoke to two of her references who chose that option and they couldn’t be happier with their dogs.
Be sure to check out Daisy Pups websites (links above) and Facebook Page. If you decide to get a puppy from them, please let me know by leaving a comment below. And I’ll soon post more pictures of Ellie’s homecoming.
Posted on September 13th, 2011 No comments
Schools are in session and the ever-so-dreaded shopping for school supplies is in the past….for now. Before you know it, the semester will be over and it will be time to replenish your child’s school supplies.
To make the job a little easier, St. Louis mom, Marlene Denoyer, recently launched American Student Supply, an online store where you can purchase all of your child’s school supplies with one click of the mouse. American Student Supply works with St. Louis schools and pre-packages all of the necessary school supplies for each specific grade into a Mypack supply kit. Best of all, shipping if FREE.
What’s unique about the Mypack supply kit is that a portion of all proceeds from each sale will be donated back to their school’s parent organization in support of their efforts of providing programs and enrichment tools that may not be provided by district budgets.
Schools also have the opportunity to become a Partner school, where parent volunteers assist American Student Supply with delivery of MyPacks helping to reduce shipping costs. In return, the parent organization cash donations double to 10 percent of gross sales. Find out if your school is a partner school here.
STL Facebook Sweepstakes
Let American Student Supply know what you think about their Mypack kits by participating in a short survey on their Facebook page. For completing the survey you will be entered to win a $210 Essential Balance gift card to Ginger Bay Salon in Kirkwood, Mo.
Posted on September 13th, 2011 No comments
Did you know that a child dies every six seconds from malnutrition and related illnesses according to reports by the World Health Organization? On Friday and Saturday, October 14-15, the Danforth Center in St. Louis is hosting a community food packaging event to commemorate “World Food Day,” a global day to increase awareness, understanding and action to alleviate hunger. It is annually observed in recognition of the founding of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Center is hosting for a second year, a World Food Day Commemoration with a goal of packaging 500,000 meals with the help of 3,000 volunteers. You can sign up here. It’s a great way to help your kids get necessary community service hours for school, Scouts, etc.
The Center’s program consists of one-hour food packaging sessions, where volunteers assemble nutritious rice/soy meals to be sent to those in dire need in Africa. After packaging, participants will have the opportunity to tour the Danforth Center and learn about our long-term research to reduce hunger and malnutrition around the world.
- Minimum Age: 7
- Kid Friendly: Yes!
- Dog Friendly: No
- Non-Smoking: Yes!
Event Packaging Hours:
- Friday, October 14 – 9:00am – 7:00pm (last packaging starts then)
- Saturday, October 15 – 9:00am – 5:00pm (last packaging starts then)
In 2010, 1,900 St. Louis volunteers, packaged more than 350,000 rice/soy protein meals during the Center’s two day event that were sent to critically malnourished children living in Tanzania. It’s a great event where you can join other families, sports teams, students, scouts, youth groups and corporate teams to eradicate world hunger one meal at a time.
Questions: please contact Karina Benabe at 314.587.1072 or email@example.com. Stay updated with Twitter at #WFD (WorldFoodDay), @WorldFoodDayStl or @DanforthCenter.
For more info visit: http://www.danforthcenter.org/world_food_day/.
Each package provides nutritionally complete servings for six children. The food is designed to reverse the starvation process, help restore health, and improve mental and physical alertness. The sealed packages have a shelf life of three years. The cost of each life-sustaining meal is approximately 25 cents. Built into this cost are all the ingredients, packaging, administration, and international shipping of the food. These costs will be covered by the Danforth Center, our generous sponsors and donations from the volunteers.
Students are asked to donate $10 and adults $20 per person for this event. Their tax-deductible contributions will be matched by other generous donors and sponsors so that the full cost of a one hour packaging session – approximately $30 per person – is covered.
Posted on March 17th, 2011 No comments
Guest Post by Anna Giacomini
St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS)
All of the severe weather lately has been disconcerting for many of us, particularly in the aftermath of the New Year’s Eve tornadoes in the St. Louis area. We would all like to think something like that won’t happen to us. And, if it did, we would like to think we’d know what to do.
However, when the sirens go off, how many of us sit and debate whether to go to the basement? Do we have a plan in place for reconnecting if the family is not together? For working parents, what will we do if we are at work and our kids are at school or daycare? Are we familiar with the school’s emergency procedures if they had to evacuate or shelter in place? If we are affected, do we have enough emergency supplies packed and ready to go – prescriptions, sanitary supplies, insurance papers, etc.? And just where is that flashlight?
Think about those in your family that depend on you and what items they literally would need to survive. As a mother of a 6 month old, I think about how long it takes me now to pack up for a weekend trip to visit grandma and can’t imagine trying to evacuate on a moment’s notice in the event of an emergency. Diapers? Bottles? Pacifiers? Blankets? Formula and/or batteries for my breast pump? And as a breastfeeding mom, I need more water per day than the average person; have I accounted for this? This is a lot to think about now, but I know I will feel more at ease by having these essential items in my kit and ready to go.
As some of you may have heard, last week was Severe Weather Week in Missouri. Take this reminder as an opportunity to make sure your family is prepared for emergencies where you should feel the safest: your home. And we’re talking tornadoes today, but the importance of being prepared applies to all sorts of emergency situations. The earthquake in Japan no doubt has many of wondering about our own earthquake risk. For access to a host of tips and tools to help you be ready for tornadoes, earthquakes and anything else, visit AllReadySTL.com.
All Ready is a new initiative for residents of the St. Louis region to take it upon themselves to prepare today for what may happen tomorrow. It is meant to inspire all of us to take the three steps to emergency preparedness: 1) Make a plan 2) Get a kit 3) Be informed.
Visit the website and look around. You’ll find resources for every step of the process, as well as specific information for handling special circumstances, such as disabilities or pets. Plus, as an incentive to get your family prepared, the American Red Cross is offering a 15 percent discount at its online store with the code AllReady2011.
Preparing for the worst isn’t something most of us like to think about. But preparing for the worst is the way we can protect our family the best.