6 FREE Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer in West Palm Beach

Happy 4th of July!

 

Half way through the summer and moms are already ready to send their kids back to school. If you don’t send your children to an all-day summer camp, you can quickly find it’s difficult to keep them occupied and still offer variety, every day, for an entire summer. Last year, I gave you an all-inclusive activity list, but as the cost of camps rise, here are a few things you can do to keep a cap on that budget and still have a great time with your children! Here are six FREE ways to entertain your children this summer.

FREE (and Cheap) Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer

Public Venues

Barracuda Bay

A local water park less than 3 miles from the very expensive Rapids park, Barracuda Bay has a swimming pool, splash area and two large water slides for $3 for Riviera Beach residents and only $4 for everyone else. Please check the website for openings.

For more information, click HERE!

 

City Programs

The city is bountiful in programs ranging from swim classes and sports classes to an all day sports camp. Check out the following links to see what programs are happening in your city or town.

6 FREE Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer | AprilNoelle.comPeanut Island Park

A easy, FREE trip with the kids, Peanut Island Park is a local park with EVERYTHING! Boat dock, fishing, swimming, camping, fire ring, observation deck, and more!

For more information, click HERE!

Splash Pads

Get out of the hot sun and cool down with these cool and FREE spots!

 

Private Venues

Movies

 

Playmobil

At just $1 per person, this location is a steal! The kids play with Legos and you help or watch, the children can play all day. They even provide a snack room, so you can bring your own snacks for the kids.

For more information, click HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

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Women's Foundation of the Palm Beaches | GLI/STEM | AprilNoelle.com

Calling all STEM Lovers and Girl Empowerment Supporters (GLI/STEM Academy)

I love to volunteer. Thankfully, over the last five years, I’ve had the ability to do a lot of it. One of my passions is educating girls in STEAM fields: science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Even though I don’t actually work in any of those fields, I feel like I had given up on it early. My grades stayed at As and Bs throughout high school and in college (except one class) in those fields. I didn’t consider it a possibility because I didn’t know anyone else going into it. I wanted friendship and comradery and I just didn’t see it in those fields.

How I wish I made a different choice. How I wish I followed some of those passions instead of what was expected of me. What I can do is help the next generation understand that they aren’t pigeonholed into one field and they can do more than they ever dreamed.

One of the organizations that I work with regularly is the WFPBC.

The Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County

The Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County (WFPBC) will host our 8th Annual Girls Leadership Institute & STEM Academy (GLI/STEM) twice in 2017.  The first program will be held on May 20, 2017 at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens. An additional program day will be held in September at the Palm Beach State College campus in Belle Glade (Date TBD).

GLI/STEM

The free and interactive programs provide training and support for underserved girls in PBC.  The program is aimed at developing middle and high school girls’ leadership skills and passion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  We will provide this program for 300 girls in 2017 with your help.

The WFPBC is looking for companies in the STEM fields to participate in the two 2017 programs in a number of different ways. If you can help us by volunteering in one or all of the ways below or even connecting us with a company or local STEM professional you know, we’d greatly appreciate the support.

STEM Fair

We invite companies and organizations to set up a table during breakfast to provide information about the work you do.  We also ask that you have someone at the table to answer questions and speak with participants.

STEM Project Workshops

We are looking for volunteers to lead workshops. Each will guide a group of girls through a STEM-based project.  Some examples include building a bridge from food products or building a robot or designing a website.  The student groups will work with the project leaders from your company.

Women in STEM Careers Lunch Program

We are looking for women who are currently working in a STEM career to share their experience and passion with participants during the lunch hour as part of a “speed mentoring” program.  

 

STEM Follow-Up Field Trips

We are identifying local STEM activities where girls and their parents can come as a follow-up field trip in PBC.  Maybe your company can arrange a tour of your facility or you are a nature preserve or a museum with special STEM exhibits.

 

After-School Programs & Internships

We are identifying after-school STEM programs where girls can receive continuing enrichment and we also want to share STEM internship programs with the girls. 

 

Please complete this short online form https://tinyurl.com/GLISTEM2017 to share your interest in participating in the 2017 Girls Leadership Institute & STEM Academy.  You can learn more about WFPBC on our website WomensFoundationPBC.org.  If you have any further questions please contact 561-206-2319 or email Alex@WomensFoundationPBC.org.

 

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A Glimpse of Hidden Figures

The commercials have been all over the place and I can hardly turn on the television without seeing an ad for this film:

Hidden Figures

I have to admit, I knew little about this story, or should I say stories.

These three women were an integral part of history.

The Women

Hidden Figures | AprilNoelle.comKatherine Johnson – the brains behind getting many men into space, including the flight of the first man in space, John Glenn. Glenn’s confidence in her mathematical ability forced NASA to request Katherine’s verification of the trajectory before his launch.

Dorothy Vaughan – the first Black supervisor at NACA (predecessor to NASA) to a group of African-American female mathematicians. She learned to operate the first IBM machine at NACA to ensure that she had a position once they computerized the department.

Mary Jackson – after going to court to be able to get the required education, she became the first female black engineer at NASA.

Did you know any of that?

Not during one of my history classes, even during Black History Month, did we cover these women.

The movie was well-written, well-directed and well-acted.

The Story Continues

One thing bothered me, though. This issue has nothing to do with Hidden Figures, the movie, directly. Sadly, it was the laughter that ensued when there were some racist statements were made.

Granted, I think some of it was nervous laughter, but something about it made me uncomfortable.

Not living in the 50s, most of the audience never had to be on either side of the “whites only” and “coloreds only” argument.

I’m not blaming anyone, I laughed too. But as I get older and I see my children, knowing that there are plenty of places where this behavior has not changed.

True, most people aren’t racist. But it exists.

There’s a line, another one that caused a few chuckles (paraphrased):

White woman: “You know I don’t have anything against you.”

Black woman: “I know. I know you believe that.”

That line made me tear up because it still happens today.

How many more black children would have gotten into programming if Hidden Figures were revealed 20 or 30 years ago? How much more progress would have been made if we told the entire history of our country, the Chinese, Latino, Jamaican, etc.? What if we truly integrated our schools and our education?

That said, I’m not sure of the purpose of this post. These were just my initial thoughts.

Either way, GO SEE THE MOVIE! It’s an extremely well-done film covering some pioneers in our history.

 

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Our Lost Ones | AprilNoelle.com

Our Lost Ones

2016 ended with a bang ~ and not a good one.

This world lost a host of widely known celebrities that have shaped our lives –

  • Carrie Fisher, a champion for female empowerment
  • George Michael and Prince shaping many memories
  • Big Ang, who brought us some great entertainment on Mob Wives

just to name a few off the top of my head. But so many more recognizable people died as well.

Our Lost Ones | AprilNoelle.comThat doesn’t include the people who passed who touched us personally. Just in the last week, I’ve had a friend lose her brother and my “Big Sis” died.

Lori Anne was a mentor, a confident, a leader. As sad as I am that I’ve lost her, I can’t help but think about how many lives she touched.

She’s the one that introduced me to the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Orange County, an organization with which I still volunteer today. She was the biggest cheerleader of me becoming a stay at home mom, always making me feel better about my decision when so many people asked me “why I am wasting my law degree”.

More importantly, after posting this on Facebook, the sheer number of people who reached out, not just to comfort me, but because she had touched their lives too.

She showed me how to be strong against adversity and how to be grateful for the life I’ve been given.

I spoke with her just last week, and although there were some issues, she was positive, enlightening and always left me with words of wisdom.

Even in her death, all I can think about is how she was happy until the end, at least that’s what she told to the world and how she sounded on the phone. She told me that she had to put her health in God’s and doctors’ hands and her only responsibility was to live her life the best way she could.

So, to her I say, Rest In Peace “Big Sis”.

To everyone else, are you living your life the best way that you can?

 

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All New Amazon #PrimePhotos Features! {+Win a $500GC} #Ad

Amazon.com is providing the gift card prizes. Please read on for giveaway details.

I would have to say that I was hesitant to get Amazon Prime, so less than a year ago, I sent out a Facebook question:

Responses to this post really got me thinking and I joined shortly after.

Amazon Prime Photos

At the time, I was not aware of the awesome Prime Photos aspect, but believe me, I have been wildly impressed.  Amazon has taken the time to code Prime Photos to tag them, which means that I have been able to find a photo super quickly. After I logged in my family, I was able to quickly find old photos in mere seconds, as opposed to combing through thousands of photos.

It’s not just people! Quickly find and rediscover your favorite photos: I took a picture that included a pizza. Don’t ask me why I was looking for this particular photo.

Guess what I could search? Pizza!

Guess who found the photo quickly? Me!

Look what happens when I sort my photos by person:

Prime Photo Features

Recently, Amazon Prime has just gotten better. They have launched an all-new Prime Photos experience with Family Vault. Now, Prime members can share their benefit of unlimited photo storage with up to five family members or friends at no additional cost. Prime Photos is free for Prime members and makes it easy for family members to safely store and share all their favorite photos.

Prime members can now order photo prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from their Prime Photos account. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Download the new Prime Photos app here: www.tinyurl.com/PrimePhotos

Available on computers, iOS and Android phones, and tablets

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
 Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

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One Small Action to Support a Great Film | AprilNoelle.com

One Small Action to Support a Great Film

Early this summer, Jeff, my husband, and I met this couple: John and Jackie*. They are an older couple and we have learned to look up to them in a lot of ways.

We were making dinner plans one day and we had an interaction that went something like this:

John*: Are you going to see “Southside with You”? Jackie and I are going to see it on Friday night. We’d love for you to join us.

Me:  I doubt it.

John: Really? Why not?

Me: It’s hard to get discount tickets for new releases. (Yes, I’m that frugal.)

John: Oh

Me: No, I mean, the Costco movie tickets tend not to work on opening weekend. We normally go on the second or third weekend.

John: Well, you know seeing a movie on the first weekend helps the movie stay open on weekends two and three.

Me: Um, I know that.

John: You also know that most black movies aren’t open more than a couple of weeks. When we don’t support it the first weekend, it may not be around a second. If you want to see it, you really should try to see it the first weekend.

Me (deflated): ok…

One Small Action to Support a Great Film | AprilNoelle.comI felt like a deflated child. I felt like my parent telling me that I’ve been doing wrong even when I thought I was doing the right thing. It was like the day I took one of the horoscope things from the grocery store because I thought it was free only to find out I stole it.

And this was so simple. So easy.

See, I’m all for supporting the minority movie, not just black, but small movies, independent movies, movies that teach important lessons, movies that are against the moral grain, etc.

And truthfully, we rarely go to movies on opening weekend. For the bigger movies, I don’t want to fight crowds or get bad seats. For the smaller movies, it’s just me being cheap.

But when John said it, I felt like I had spent a lot of time trying to save a few dollars and possibly costing a good movie real support.  Movies that deserve more attention. Movies that don’t fit the minority stereotypes. Ones that are well-written and beautiful. Movies that we wrote. Movies that my brothers and sisters wrote, not an already established actor or director.

We need to break the stereotypes, the molds. We need to support the movies that are not typically blockbusters and turn those movies into the ones that production companies are clamoring to make.

So, what’s the one thing you could do to help movies that could lead to progress:

Go to the movies on opening weekend.

Go with your friends.

Make it a date night.

Drag your siblings.

Whatever you can do.

This is a plea to see a new movie, one out tonight.

Loving.

Loving tells the story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C., but the family ultimately tries to find a way back to Virginia.

This story is the epitome of the melting pot of the United States. It shows us the struggles that previous generations have gone through to lead us down the path of choosing our partner.

If the plot of this movie even ignites the smallest spark in you, go out and see it. And if it doesn’t, choose to go see other movies that you normally would wait for it to come out on DVD.

 

*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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Hurricane Matthew: Getting Ready for the Storm | AprilNoelle.com

Hurricane Matthew… Getting Ready for the Big Storm

**This is not a disaster preparedness post. For those coming for that, I have linked guides for actual hurricane preparedness.**

If you aren’t on the East Coast, you probably haven’t heard much about Hurricane Matthews bearing down on the eastern seaboard, the largest in a decade. For this area, I believe it’s the largest since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Since my family and my mother live on the east coast, my sister called us out of worry. Neither of us are evacuating, we are both buckling down and preparing for the storm. She told me that I seemed calm, was it a big deal.

The truth is… it is and it isn’t. 

 

Earthquakes

I happened to be in Florida the last time a hurricane hit Florida, Hurricane Wilma in 2005. I was scared, really scared. Coming from earthquake country, we have no forewarning, no way to prepare right before it happens.

For me, there’s no anxiety behind it. It just is. When one hits, you move quickly and within a minute, it’s over. You survey the damage and in most places in California, there isn’t much damage to homes or streets. There were the big ones, San Francisco and Northridge, but no one could prepare for that intensity.

 

Hurricane Matthew: Getting Ready for the Storm | AprilNoelle.comHurricanes

But in a hurricane, you start asking yourself tons of questions:

  • Do I stay, do I go?
  • If I go, where do I go?
  • Can I afford to go?
  • If so, how long can I afford to stay away?
  • How long do I stay gone?
  • Is it better to be near your home if there’s damage than return to it and see the damage days later?

Quite frankly, most people stay, for the good or the bad. With a hurricane, you never know how hard it will actually hit until it gets here. You can watch the maps all day, but in the midst of it, a hurricane can speed up or slow down.

Last year, there was one hurricane, I can’t remember the name, which everyone was worked up over until it hit land and completely fizzled out. It was no worse than a heavy rain storm.

This year, people waited until they saw the tracking map that showed that it would almost definitely hit Florida. See, that’s how it is, an “almost definitely” is really the best they have.

Hurricane Matthew could hit the States and fizzle, or instead, get stronger. The hurricane could also turn inland or go out back into the ocean. Fun right?

 

The Store Run

As the news predicts that Hurricane Matthew would almost definitely hit this part of Florida, there was the run on the stores for batteries, water, food, and fuel. Water was the first to go.

But the dang batteries? You know those D batteries that don’t have a place in day to day life anymore? Well, you need those… and since you have no idea how long the power will be out, you need to make sure you have enough to last every night. Most places only sell four or eight packs unfortunately and those were sold out everywhere!

So, where did I find mine? Bed, Bath and Beyond. After posting online, someone also mentioned trying Barnes & Noble too! Gotta think outside the box when looking for emergency items.

 

Major Concerns

The Hurricane itself isn’t the problem for most people. Mobile homes and lighter structures, yeah, but for the rest of us, the major concerns are:

  • Flying debris (broken trees, garbage left outside, anything loose)
  • Flooding (if drains clog or too much rain for the area at one time)
  • Lack of Electricity (the power will most likely go out, so the real question is “how long?”)

As I sit down to write possibly the last blog post for the next few days, and listen to my husband put up shutters around the house, I think of what my major concern is.

For us parents, the biggest fear is “How am I going to take care of my children without electricity and without killing them?”

So, I’m going to sign off while grabbing some board games and using my Brita to filter some more water.

Be safe.

 

Which scare you more: hurricanes or earthquakes?

 

Hurricane Preparedness

Red Cross

 

If you are planning to evacuate your home and need to seek shelter, you can dial 211 on your phone or click a link below for information on shelters in your area. If you plan to remain home, please take time to prepare your home and ensure that your family will be safe and secure.

Hurricane Shelters

Palm Beach County

Martin County

St. Lucie County

Okeechobee County

Broward County

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Flora's Cocktails and Canvases | AprilNoelle.com

Flora’s Cocktails and Canvases in West Palm Beach

Paint and wine parties are all the rage and deservedly so. For two hours, you sit with some friends, showcase some art skills you didn’t know you had and, of course, drink some wine.

So, when one of these places opened up in my backyard I had to check it out. I had heard the buzz about Flora’s Cocktails and Canvases from some friends and was really looking forward to it since the next nearest place is a couple of towns over. Why drive extra if you don’t have to?

About Flora’s Cocktails and Canvases

From the website:

Flora’s Cocktails and Canvases™ is the new trendy upscale and chic paint party studio in town! Come join us in our cozy studio and relax in our classy white and blue leather couches as you sip on a cup of coffee, tea or wine.

Everything but your favorite drink is included: the canvases, aprons, brushes, paint, tables and chairs, etc.

Our studio turns into the “chill” place to be after our night classes end. We turn up the music and turn on the strobe lights. The party has only begun!

Grand Opening

For the grand opening, I arrived between classes and it was pretty empty. Honestly, I was pretty nervous wondering how this place would do. It’s in a great location, but sometimes new businesses don’t start out strong. I asked Flora about how the morning went. She said that all of the previous classes were booked solid. So I waited.

In thirty minutes, it went from empty to completely full. Only three seats (out of 36) were empty in the entire class.

Flora was our teacher and she stood on the elevated platform with a mic, camera, and television. She used her phone to show the details of her painting on a large television. This really helped me see what she was doing up close for such a large class.

Gallery and My Finished Pieces

We painted a bird surrounded by beautiful purple flowers. I have no artistic skills, but I’m surprised what a good teacher can bring out of me. The left is Flora’s Cocktails and Canvases’ Gallery Piece. The right is mine. As if you had any question…

Ok, I’m no Van Gogh, but we knew this going in. The fact that it actually looks like a bird and the flowers look like flowers is a triumph.

How do you think I did? Would you go to a Cocktail and Canvas night?

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Iconic EyeEye Doctor in Palm Beach| Care Review | AprilNoelle.com

Understanding My Vision | Iconic Eye Care {Review}

Back in 2004 or 2005, I woke up blind. Initially, I thought it was that thing that happens to your eyes when someone flips on the light in the dead of night. But after a few minutes, I still saw nothing. Dark gray surrounded me.  Floating specks peppered my views.

Many tests (and many doctors and specialists) later, no one could not tell me what happened. Their best guess was that I had a virus that seemed to only attack my eyes. They gray was slowly going away, but I still hadn’t regained my full vision and had to be driven around. Over a decade later, the effects of that day still linger. I still see the floating specks, but I don’t have the grayness.

I give you this introduction because when I went to Iconic Eye Care, I went mainly to support my friend, Dr. Adam Ramsey. I try to support local small businesses whenever I can. Not to say I wasn’t expecting much, but I get my eyes checked every year and I haven’t heard anything new in ages.

My son and I went right after school with my two toddlers in tow. We were immediately greeted by Jackie who asked if the girls wanted some markers to draw. My jaw dropped!

“Uh, you know that they are two and four and I can’t guarantee that they will only write on paper,” I said.

She smiled and replied, “These are special markers that only write on this paper.” I was relieved.

They took my son, Bunny, first to test. About five minutes later, I was called into the room. I started to get anxious because my husband was supposed to be there by then to take the girls.

She called all of us girls into the room. My rambunctious girls and testing my eyes did not sound like a good combination. I preferred they stay with their brother in the lobby. Knowing that they are both mommy’s girls, they would be in the testing room in seconds anyway.

Jackie invited them to “help”: raising and lowering the machine and giving them little things to do. Not only were my girls not in the way, they were so freaked out by looking at my eye, they were happy to leave me alone for a few minutes.

When I was done, my son was called into the exam room. I wanted to see what was going on and luckily my husband arrived right in time so I wasn’t distracted. I watched Dr. Ramsey go diligently through the letter eye exam, and as my son repeated what he thought was right as he memorized from the other slide, Dr. Ramsey quickly switched and asked my son again for row 4.

 

Beauty is in the EYE of the beholder and this is one beautiful boy. #myson #lovemykids #lovemyson #eyeexam #noglassesneeded

A photo posted by April | AprilNoelle.com (@theaprilnoelle) on

 

 

When it was my turn, I thought I knew what to expect. Based on my almost annual visits, I had a lot of experience with optometrists. Not only does Dr. Ramsey have the top of the line equipment, he used it to explain thoroughly the remnants of that day over a decade ago. Since he didn’t see (nor have access to) my prior reports, he couldn’t assess what initially happened, but told me about the disconnected parts of jelly that had become floaters and that they would likely be there for life. He also said that I had astigmatism, which I was told before, but he explained what it meant and how glasses would help me at night (even though I hadn’t mentioned that I had problems with night vision).

I found his services professional and thorough. I highly recommend Dr. Ramsey if you are looking for an eye doctor in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Their contact info is:

Iconic Eye Care
Main Street at Midtown
4871 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

(561) 336-0733

Home


By the way, I was not compensated in any way for this review.

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Spinning Plates

Blog life is a journey.

From the outside, a blogger wakes up, dribbles a few words onto the page and pushes that button “Publish”, then goes about their business.

The reality is there so much more to the story. Some start out with a niche, a specific theme for their online space, to share with the world. Others, like me, have no idea what they want to share or how they want to share it.

Entrepreneurs know that their blog will be their business, their job, their career. Their products, advertisers, and content writers are laid out in front of them before they even buy the domain name. Their growth is exponential showcasing their business acumen.

All progress takes place outside the comfort zone

Niche bloggers may also see massive success because day after day, week after week, you will find the same type of content each time you return. They spend hours planning, creating and preparing their post and you can see their growth over time, finding out more about their viewership, giving them more of what they want.

Then there are bloggers like me. I’m disjointed. I’m all over the place. I talk about what I want, when I want. I sell advertising and I write stream of consciousness.

After years of writing, I haven’t gotten better. I haven’t found that niche.

Then, I realized, my blog is truly an extension of me. It’s who I am at that time and I’m a disjointed mess.

I have several plates spinning and am always trying to add another. Yet, none of these are connected.

Just to say a little about what’s going on in my world:

  • I’m a full time stay at home mom. No babysitters, no nannies, no child care for my two little girls under two.
  • I’m studying to become a real estate agent.
  • I volunteer at least four hours a week at Christ Fellowship, my home church.
  • I taking a class become a life group (bible study) leader.
  • I volunteer with National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a non-profit organization, no less than a few hours a week.
  • I help several other people with their work, from brainstorming ideas to social media to business plans.
  • I’m on my never-ending weight loss journey.
  • I’m building a homemade all natural body care line, Bahamas Sands Body, with my husband.

Then, I run this blog.

Besides this blog, each of these plates are separate and apart from another. This blog is what can bring it altogether

I struggle with bringing this to you in a coherent fashion and often end up saying nothing. I don’t know if it’s what you want to hear or read.

That will be changing. Even more so, I’ll be bringing more voices to the party. Some big things are coming soon.

I’m glad that you’ve been here so far and I hope that you’ll continue to join me on this ride to change to from a bunch of spinning plates to a community.

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Getting Help Around the Holidays

Getting Help Around the Holidays

The holidays are almost here – and so are the added pressures that come with them. Unfortunately, the holidays can bring a lot of good times, and bad ones. I know that many people find it hard to make it through the season because of:

  • Family pressures
  • Financial stress
  • Colder or unpleasant weather like rain, snow, wind, etc.
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness

Even worse, it’s hard for those who are in recovery (or have been in recovery) to stay on top of their progress. Family and financial pressures are quick to float to the top of the discussion when talking about how hard the holidays can be. Yet, the weather is rarely brought up for those who are negatively effected by the colder weather.

If you didn’t know, there’s a very real type of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — which begins and ends at or about the same times every year. SAD can be a silent trigger for some, relapsing during the colder months, as they are stuck inside, only venturing outside traveling to and from work.

origins behavioral healthcareWith the average temperature in Florida sitting around 70 degrees year round, Florida is a perfect place to start or continue your recovery. There are many drug rehab centers in Florida to choose from where you can seek recovery under sunny and warm skies.

If you are struggling with addiction as this holiday season comes around, please seek help and look into checking into rehab. What is rehab? Rehab, the common word when talking about rehabilitation centers, is a course of treatment for drug or alcohol dependence, typically at a residential facility.

What is good rehab? A place course of treatment that focuses not only the physical and mental aspects for drug or alcohol dependence, but also the emotional and spiritual needs as well. Without the emotional and spiritual components, recovery can often be short-lived, especially during the holidays. With the added holiday pressures, your recovery will be tested and tried.

With all of those factors in consideration, Florida is a great place to work on your recovery because of it’s sunny and warm weather year round.

Do you need help? Do you know someone who does?

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.

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3 Steps to Effective Crowdfunding

Over the summer, my friend and I attempted to fund a summer camp through crowdfunding. It was an epic fail. I don’t say that to discourage you in your desires, but I say that to say that I’ve given it a try.

We didn’t do it right, we didn’t use our resources or our friends to make it successful. At the beginning of the summer, another friend successfully started a crowdfunding campaign that hit his goal. I was surprised, so I inquired to figure out what he did. It turns out online fundraising is much easier than many people think. There are three steps necessary to making sure that your crowdfunding campaign is successful:

3 (1)

Find the Right Platform

The explosion of crowdfunding sites means that you have options. You have to research the one that’s right for your cause. These sites are often separated by types of requests: creative endeavors, charitable causes, personal gain and/or business investment. Also, some sites will allow you to keep the amount you raise while others require you to return the funds based on whether you hit your goal.

Crowdfunding sites also are grouped into two types of sites: donation-based and investment-based. Donation-based crowdfunding is where a group of people donate towards a goal, often receiving something, like a perk, in return. Investment-based crowdfunding is where businesses sell a piece of their business in return for their investment. The hope with this type of funding is to recover their funds, plus share in any successes of the venture.

Each platform will give you step by step instructions on how to make their platform work for you. Taking the time to find the right one can quickly get you to the next level.

Create Your Pitch

Make sure that you find the right verbiage so that others can easily understand why you’re raising funds. Whether selfish or selfless, you want to clearly make your cause known, making your case for others to support.

Remember, you will have to convince your potential backers that you are a trustworthy and reliable cause, often in just one short paragraph.

Advertise

Advertise, advertise, advertise. You can call it sharing. You can use messaging or emailing, but whatever you call it, get the word out there! As much as I believed in our summer camp, I would have to say that I did not like the idea that I was bombarding my Facebook timeline with a “cause”, even though I believed in it. I wanted it to come easy. I wanted the few posts I made to move all of my friends to drop their cash. Truth is, the way social media platforms work, information moves quickly and not everyone sees everything. No matter what way you choose to advertise, DO IT. Do it well. Do it often.

Have you run a crowdfunding campaign? What has worked or not worked for you? Would you do it again?

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.

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