Why We Should All Start Canning Again + Giveaway

1st August 2015

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Farm life. Man it was good. As I get older, I remember more and more of the things I used to do with my gram: grow our own veggies and flower gardens, bake real cookies and not worry about calories, enjoy fresh, raw milk from the cow and trade up for eggs with our Amish neighbors.

One of the things I forgot was how my gram would can pretty much everything. We had an entire pantry in our basement full of jar after jar of fruits, jams, and veggies. I always remembered a ton of green beans and sitting around a full kitchen table of them snapping the ends all afternoon while sipping on iced tea and watching gram prep all the jars.

So I thought – why am I not canning now? It’s a brilliant and super easy tradition. Basically if you can boil water, you can preserve food for the winter. Since we’re all big about fresh, seasonal foods all summer, why don’t we save them for enjoying during those cold winter months? We didn’t go out and order food or get tomatoes in the winter at the store, we ate what we have saved up from summer. I can’t believe I didn’t get into this sooner! Plus, it’s a super fun activity for the kids – who doesn’t love to smash berries??

How to start canning

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First, you’re going to want to figure out which fruits and veggies you’ll want to save. Then you’re going to want to get the Ball Blue Book: Complete Guide to Preserving- which will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. (Fruits and tomatoes are easiest because they can preserve in a water bath, while veggies like beans need a pressure cooker – aka higher heat – to preserve). 

This is the water bath canning kit I use.

Favorite Recipes

The easiest way to get started with canning is with fruit. Depending on the season, make a jam with the abundant berry available. 

Blueberry Lemon Jam

I use 4 cups of smashed blueberries to 2 1/2 cup sugar (you can use more!). Then I like to squeeze in the juice of one full lemon, and a little lemon rind zest. Heat on high until a steady boil (be sure to stir constantly so it doesn’t stick). After about 10 minutes the berries will become a syrupy deliciousness. Pour into a hot jar and then boil in a steady boil for about 10 minutes (for a pint jar) or 15 minutes (for a quart jar). 

Homemade Tomato Sauce

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I make this all. the. time. Follow my favorite recipe here, and then add it to a hot jar and a steady boil water bath for 35 minutes. 

Really want to get started? Join a live webinar with Ball

On Sunday August 2nd, Jarden Home Brands will host this year’s fifth annual Can-It-Forward Day, broadcast live online at FreshPreserving.com from 11AM – 4PM EST from the new state-of-the-art Jarden Home Brands headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. An event celebrating the joys of fresh preserving, Can-It-Forward Day encourages gardeners & food enthusiasts across the country to celebrate what “Made From Here” means to them by fresh preserving their favorite local ingredients in peak season. The webcast will have an integrated chat function where viewers can submit their home canning questions to be answered in real time. New this year, there will also be an exciting celebrity mason jar auction unveiled during the webcast.

Win a set of jars to get started!

If you have a large, covered pot – all you need are pint jars to get started! Enter here to win your own set and become a canner this summer!

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Donate your Breast Pump and Love with #MedelaRecycles

31st July 2015

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Let’s start from the end of the story and work backwards this time. It was a gloomy day in Pittsburgh (as it typically is). Humid, sweaty, and tired (Maximo had missed his nap), we were walking back to our car about to embark on the seven-hour drive back to New York City. I was a little annoyed with his fussiness, and snapped briefly to remind him to stay “on the sidewalk.” As we were walking on the narrow concrete, we encountered another family walking in. Maximo came face-to-face with another little boy about his age, slightly taller, completely hairless (the telltale sign of chemotherapy and cancer), with a blank emotion on his face. This boy was holding a pack of bubbles. They both looked at each other for a few moments before I took M’s hand and guided him on his way with a friendly head nod to his weary looking mother and sibling. In true Maximo fashion, he turned around and waved and yelled, “Buh Bye!” The other boy waved back as they disappeared around the corner.

Now I know nothing about this family, but I welled up with emotion. For all the little idiosyncrasies that can get to us each day, and how we laugh and crack jokes about our happy, healthy, spoiled, entitled children – we need to realize how fortunate we really are. I don’t know what this family is going through, but I know whatever it is, it was a lot more trying and challenging than our seven-hour drive full of music, Chic-fil-A and pee stops. 

So why was I in Pittsburgh and hanging out at the Ronald McDonald House that day? Let me give you a little background:

#MedelaRecycles

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Having been a breastfeeding mom myself (we made it six months!), I know how difficult it can be. It’s a full-blown commitment when you don’t have anything else to worry about – like a baby in the NICU. I’ve seen and helped many friends work tirelessly at these efforts, breastfeeding doesn’t always come easily, including a mom having to leave the NICU to come home and pump on zero sleep to try and maintain that milk supply for the little girl waiting back for her in the Children’s Hospital. These pumps at the RMCH will help change that. And if I can make even the slightest change to help make another mom’s life just that much easier, I am happy to help.  

I want to take a moment to really thank Medela for inviting us to be the Pittsburgh ambassador for their #MedelaRecycles program. Thanks to them, we’ve been donating hospital-grade breast pumps all around the country this year, including two here in my hometown at the Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh

Supporting RMHC Families 

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With nearly 40% of the families served by RMHC caring for babies in the NICU, Medela asked RMHC to support mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies. In an effort to provide greater ease and comfort to RMHC families, while reducing the stress of having a baby in the NICU, Medela will provide moms with the same high-quality equipment they use at the hospital for their stay at a Ronald McDonald House.

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As of writing this post – 4,536 pumps have been donated – are you next?

How You Can Donate Your Own Breast Pump

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Medela is asking you to recycle your own breast pumps. I know you’re thinking – how does that work and is it sanitary? YES!  You can print a shipping label here, and Medela will pick up the cost to send your Medela electric motor back to them. 

Is it hard to part with your pump?  I’ve taken my portable pump pretty much everywhere – including a Pittsburgh Steelers football game. I don’t need to elaborate on how fun it was to explain to the security guard what I was trying to smuggle into the stadium. But sometimes you just have to let go. Mine was sitting in storage for almost two and a half years. Will I use one again? Maybe. But why should I continue to hold on to something that is a “maybe” when it can immediately be offering help to someone in dire need of it.

Sometimes we go through the motions – we think about our actions and our decisions and how they may affect others, but we never really get to see that action ripple through time. This time I did. I realized that just this one act of kindness and giving would change someone’s life. It would make it easier, if only for a brief moment in time. And that’s what it’s all about right? 

Cottage Cheese Pancakes w/Friendship Dairies + Sweeps

29th July 2015

IMG_9036Summer. Great for tans, not great for cooking indoors with heat. Plus, who can really eat big, heavy meals when it’s so hot out? To keep our waistlines trim and our summer eats light, we switch up to only eat fresh foods – and that usually means whatever is in season at our local farmer’s market. But this picky eater “threeanger” also still loves his two favorite things – pancakes and hot dogs. 

So, what is a mom to do? Cottage cheese pancakes. Actually, Friendship Dairies cottage cheese pancakes. I mean, I don’t even know why we still eat REGULAR pancakes to be honest – these are super light, there is only a small amount of carbs (so not heavy and good for diets!), and they taste AMAZING. Seriously. I just fed them to about six people in my house and they all begged me for the recipe and I made them wait until I wrote it up on my blog. 

Why we love Friendship Dairies Cottage Cheese

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Because growing up on a dairy farm, I’ve always been a huge fan of cottage cheese – and it’s been a Friendship Dairies superfood original since 1917. Cottage cheese doesn’t get a lot of love these days, but it’s really a versatile food (as you can see!) and it’s a great substitute in recipes for other high fat or high carb ingredients. Plus, it’s high in protein so it’s filling and keeps you energized throughout the day. 

Cottage Cheese Pancakes 

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 cup Friendly's Cottage Cheese
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Whip everything together in a large bowl.
  2. Heat a griddle or large pan (I use organic Pam to keep them from sticking) on medium high heat.
  3. Pour out silver dollar size batter into the pan.
  4. Watch to flip them before they burn. (Pancakes are tricky - the first one is always going to stick while the pan is heating to a consistent temperature. You want them to cook about 1 minute before flipping so they're more stable to flip).
  5. Top with fresh fruit, powered sugar or even lemon. Real maple syrup is the only way to go.
football food & motherhood http://www.footballfoodandmotherhood.com/

About the sweepstakes:

Friendship Dairies is giving away more than $5,000 in weekly prizes, including three $498 Vitamix®grand prizes!! How you can enter:

  1. Use the Superfood Generator to select a cottage cheese (It’s a fun, inspirational tool that helps you see the endless deliciousness of cottage cheese with mix-ins, and their nutritional benefits – we personally love the 1% the most!)
  1. Choose up to three mix-ins (hello seasonal fruits and veggies!)
  1. Get a super summary (see just how much protein you’re packing!)

 4. Enter the sweepstakes (win, baby!)

The sweeps run July 1 through August 31. Participants can come back once a day to enter through August 31. Each daily entry is submitted into the grand prize drawing. Plus, when you share the sweeps on your wall, you get a bonus entry!  Sweepstakes disclosure: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. For rules, see http://bit.ly/1RJDkOm.

Baby Registry Basics Twitter Party with Gugu Guru 7/29

22nd July 2015

GuguGuru Registry

Come talk Baby Registry Basics with some friends of mine on Wednesday, July 29th at 8PM EST! Lots of great prizes from Bambo Nature, Naturepedic, Babyganics and more!

Hosted by @ThirtyMommy
Co-hosted by @TheGuguGuru and @IntroNYC

Follow the party: #GuguGuruRegistry

 

Please RSVP for the party by adding your Twitter name and link to our list in the widget below. All participants must RSVP to be eligible to win.

RSVP HERE!

Ruby Rocket’s to the Rescue!

14th July 2015

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Ruby’s to the rescue! Or that’s how I like to think of them at least.

Every. single. day. The Ice Cream Truck comes down the hill (in the photo above) playing his taunting and torturous music to all the parents in the neighborhood – letting children know to come running out and fill themselves with delicious over-sugared and over priced treats that melt before you can even get them back upstairs to enjoy. Every day. Over and over. That music haunts me in my dreams. If you’re a NYC parent, you know just what I mean – how many times have you passed an ice cream truck on the street and said, oh sorry babe – that’s a BROCCOLI truck! .

So to avoid meltdowns when Maximo just stares at the truck from the balcony like a caged animal waiting to be freed, a mom has to have some backup, something that you can feel GOOD about giving your kids. Something – with, did you say, hidden vegetables?

Ruby Rocket’s Come to the Big Apple

I’ve always been a big fan of Ruby Rocket’s – they’re low-sugar fruit and veggie pops that are made with REAL ingredients that even a six-year old can pronounce, each have no more than 40 calories and are made without any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. And now you can finally get them right here in NYC.

Organic Ingredients and Probiotics for the Win

We’re smart ones, us moms, we actually read labels and want to know what we’re feeding our children. And finally, I am happy to say (and promote!) products that I feel good about giving to my son without guilt. Yes, there are going to be times we just have to stop for a dirty water dog in Central Park, but that means we stock up with the best and healthiest foods at home. If you surround yourself with GOOD food, then you’ll EAT good food. 

Ruby Rocket’s are the first and only (non-dairy) pop with probiotics – Ganeden BC30 composition, which has the ability to survive the manufacturing process to withstand freezing temperatures; allowing you the same healthy benefits in frozen form. Plus they’re made with non-GMO, 70% organic ingredients. They don’t even add sugar  – they use Monk Fruit (a melon that grows in the Pacific and is up to 250 times sweeter than sugar). If you’re up to date on healthy living news, this melon is gaining popularity as an alternative to aspartame or sugar and has the delicious sweet taste without the calories. Read – NOT A CHEMICAL.

Flavors Available

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Oh, I thought you’d never ask! Personally our favorite is Rock-It Red (I mean, who doesn’t love bright red cherry lips and tongues!), but they also have these fun flavors to try: Orbit Orange,Galaxy Green, Celestial Cherry, Far Out Fudge, Meteorite Mango, Gravity Grape and Planetary Pink Lemonade.

Where to Find Them

Ruby Rocket’s are expanding to a market near you. In fact, in just two years, they’ve grown from 75 stores to 3,200 stores nationwide, and four of them are here in NYC (and they’re only $.4.99 for a box of six, that’s WAY more affordable than those $3 cups of diabetes from the ice cream trucks):

  • Gristedes
  • Union Market
  • Kosher Marketplace
  • Babeth’s Feast “Frozen Grocery Store”

Buy One Get One Offer!

Because every mom needs her own box, you can click here for a buy one box get one free coupon. Enjoy!

Thank you Ruby Rocket’s for sponsoring this post and helping to keep our family healthy.  

Three Milestones Not to Miss (with Basic Invite)

8th July 2015

When I was pregnant, I remember expecting and planning for everything to be perfect. The cutest new baby room, picture perfect baby showers, a natural and painless birth. And then it all happened. We had a tiny crib squeezed into our tiny one-bedroom NYC apartment, people were drunk and crazy at my baby shower, and well, birth is anything but painless.

Life happens, and it’s really only memorable when you can look back and laugh at the memories that occurred. Especially when you realize that mom brain is real, and you’ll never remember all those little things that happened in the first few months. I am by no means creative or a scrap-booking type of mom, but I do look back and am glad I turned into that mom to send out birth invites and fun, cute invitations. Plus, when you’re pregnant – you still have all the time in the world to address and mail out tons of little envelopes. I used to balance the cards on my belly as I would finish writing them out, and laugh to myself as Maximo would kick and knock them off while still in my belly.

Now that he’s about to turn three years old, and I still have his birth announcement on my fridge, I am glad to be able to look back and see these milestones, and one day even pass them over to him to keep.

Thanks to affordable, beautiful cards by Basic Invite, you too can easily order timeless memories on paper that you’ll look back and be glad you ordered. Bonus – you can have them in as little as five days (if baby brain or lack of sleep is causing you to procrastinate). AND they also offer to write out all your return addresses on the envelopes (LIFE CHANGING!)

Here are the three milestones you’ll want to start planning for:

The Unisex Baby Showerburgers

More and more baby showers are turning into friendly get togethers instead of the traditional female only tea party. Since Max was due in July, we decided a cookout would be the best idea (and these would have been the perfect invite!) Instead of a pinterest-pretty a pool party, we ended up with keg stands and late-night topless swimming. It was more of a fraternity-themed party, instead of a cookout, so make sure when you plan yours – you keep a limit on the booze.

The Birth Announcementbabay

As a laid-back mom, I rolled my eyes more than once at the fact that I should take newborn photos of my baby to blast out to everyone. Weren’t people tried of baby pics, yet? Once he was born, I quickly jumped on the bandwagon, and I too was overcome with the need to show the world just how much I thought everyone needed to see my cute new bundle of love. To this day, I still love looking at his days-old wrinkly face that is still proudly displayed on my fridge. You won’t be sad you made then either.

The First Birthdayone

Everyone has become obsessed with out doing the first birthday. As a mom who has survived, a few things to remember are: keep it simple and chic, don’t invite the world, and don’t get lost in Pinterest and Etsy. You need to make an invitation that worth keeping for years and years – and this one that can hold the famous monthly images is even worthy of framed art on the wall.  This can become a sort of party favor in itself.

This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting Football Food and Motherhood.

The Heinz Effect

3rd July 2015

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Last week we were having breakfast on the beach in the Caribbean at a little joint called Hemmingway’s. Hot coffee, fresh coconuts and scrambled eggs. One thing didn’t miss my eye. As far away from civilization that we were, there it was – like a little piece of home. The mini Heinz ketchup bottle

You might not think twice about your ketchup – but I’m a native Pittsburgher – where ketchup is just as important as our Super Bowl rings. We take it very seriously – you’ll never find another name brand on a restaurant table or in a true Yinzer’s home (I’m honestly surprised they carry any other brand in the grocery stores!). I’ve actually called out restaurants on road trips – ask anyone I’ve traveled with – when they mis-mark their “Heinz” bottles as well. “Excuse me, miss? I am sorry, but can you explain why the ketchup coming out of this Heinz bottle is bright red, and this one is a dark brown?” hmmmm…. seems someones been refilling those bottles in the back. 

I take great pride in my hometown’s competency to turn tomatoes into something so grand. The Heinz family name has resonated through the years, and the product hasn’t changed much – except to adapt to better healthier lifestyles – such as their organic line. The taste isn’t different – but you know that there are less chemicals and no GMOs going into the ketchup. This is a huge deal in this day and age, and as we all start to look more closely into what’s in our foods – I think it’s important to realize that processed food – aka condiments – can also transform into these healthier options.

No one is ever going to give up ketchup – so wouldn’t you rather just eat tomatoes that are the next best thing to growing your own in your own garden? Plus, let’s just be honest here – we’re moms. We’re not Julia Child’s creating mind blowing feasts everyday in the kitchen – we grill hotdogs (or grab then in Central Park!) and don’t serve veggies with every meal. But, ketchup is tomatoes right? 

Here are a few summer swap tips for healthier options:

1. Hot Dogs

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One of Maximo’s favorite things are hot dogs, and it’s not always the best things for kids – so I try to keep 100% organic beef hotdogs on hand at all times. Because, well, we know the ones in NYC aren’t exactly – er – organic. My favorite? The Great Organic Un-Cured Beef Hot Dog by Applegate Farms. Yes they’re still full of sodium, so don’t eat a bunch at once, but they’re a lot better than most. Check out this list of the 9 best grass-fed hot dog options for ideas

2. Organic and non GMO

You can make easy, simple swaps to make small differences, and your family won’t even know. Start with the heavy hitters like milk, ketchup, coffee, juice and eggs. I couldn’t be more proud that Heinz is introducing their new Happy. Healthy. Heinz. products. In response to consumer demand, Heinz® Tomato Ketchup, America’s Favorite Ketchup® for generations, has expanded its product offerings to include two new sizes of its popular Heinz® Organic Ketchup, made with 100 percent USDA certified organic tomatoes, and Simply Heinz® Ketchup, made with real sugar. It’s time more mainstream brands followed their lead – especially since Heinz is also carried in so many restaurants and amusement parks throughout the country – this is an easy, nationwide healthier change that is HUGE. 

 3. Try it – grow your own

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This is Maximo’s little garden on our balcony. He has some herbs sprouting, his own kids-sized tools and we just planted some tomatoes that I think will spring up shortly! Everyday he runs out to check on them and see if they need water. 

It’s a trend that I love seeing everyone do these days. Gardens are popping up everywhere – even here in NYC. Even if all you have is a fire escape – you can still grow your own herbs (think basil and cilantro), and thanks to Heinz, we’re even potting some tomato plants on our balcony this summer! Many city schools are turning old parks and even rooftops (and classrooms!) into miniature gardens and teaching our children it’s possible to grow food and plants almost anywhere. What a beautiful thing – literally. It’s it more fun to see green plants growing in your house, as well as give them a reason to get dirty AND tend to something each day? 

Thanks, Heinz for being a pioneer in the healthy lives of your consumers. We hope this trickles down to replicate in many more of our every day food items.

Win Organic Heinz Ketchup with a tweet!

Want to make the switch? I’m giving away three coupons for full-sized organic Heinz ketchup. Who can’t use a little ketchup! All you have to do is tweet and follow Heinz and myself. We’ll see you and pick a winner next week. Happy Fourth everyone! 

Thank you Heinz for sponsoring this post and helping to keep our family healthy.  

Thomas Takeover for Summer 2015

28th June 2015

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Peep! Peep! Thomas the Tank Engine is steaming his way around the country this summer on his annual Day Out With Thomas Tour and this year he’s celebrating 70 years of friendship with his friends! That’s right—you and the kids can jump on the real steam engine pulled passenger train for a tour of the countryside! Of course, Maximo loved it last year so we’ll be going again this year when he pulls into Philipsburg, NJ.
 

As if we didn’t already have Thomas overload – did you also know that the Thomas Land Amusement Park is set to open in August? Maximo will be heading up shortly to give you a full play-by-play of this new toddler adventure just outside of Boston shortly. 

But, in anticipation, here’s a sneak peek into the train ride we did last year, and why you might want to join us for our traintastic summer plans.

Gear up for the main event

Hosted at real train stations throughout the United States, families get to experience an old-fashioned passenger train ride, complete with a real steam engine (spouting off steam!), ticket booth, conductors and coal. Kids also have the chance to grab a photo with Thomas before he takes off. The train ride itself lasts about 25 minutes, and departs immediately on time.

While the passenger cars don’t allow strollers, there is a parking area for them beside the boarding area. We also recommend grabbing one of the open window seats so your child can see and point at the scenery outside!

Meet Sir Topham Hatt

There’s a special guest appearance by Sir Topham Hatt—the man who oversees all of the engines on Sodor—so be sure to stop by for a quick photo. We were told he’s curious to know who your favorite engine is—Thomas, Percy, Henry or Belle. Or maybe it’s Cranky the Crane!

Explore Imagination Station

After the ride, kids can spend time at Imagination Station. Wooden and electronic train tables are set up for the kids to play with—they can even reenact the train ride they just took with these mini versions. Other activities include temporary tattoos, color stations and craft activities (we were fans of the design-your-own-railway project).

DATES AND DETAILS

Where to catch the train:

New York and surrounding areas: Utica, NY (June 26-28); Phillipsburg, NJ (July 10–12, 17–19); North Conway, NH (July 10–12, 17–19).

To view a full listing of dates and locations, click here.

Cost: Tickets are $16 to $36 per person (the prices vary by location). It’s recommended that you arrive one hour before your departure time. Book your tickets online here.

This post was originally posted on MommyNearest.com.

Taking Time For Me

27th June 2015

When was the last time you went somewhere and didn’t take any photos, any videos – and just lived in the moment. You just took the chance on banking on your memory to remind you of the sacred pieces of time you would never want to forget. 

This is what I did in June.

Okay, so I took SOME photos. But there are a few trips you didn’t even know I went on – because I didn’t post about it. Instead, while flying high in the air from city to city I would play a song that took me right back to that moment in time, and remember the faces, the moments, and most importantly to me – the words and emotions that I felt at that moment. These are my memories, and there is a genuine fondess and knowing that they are mine and only mine.

I haven’t wrote in a while because I purposely took some downtime. I have been working around the clock (who doesn’t!) and just writing and being on social media because monotonous to me. Watching everyone post and attend all these events just made me exhausted – I have lost my mojo. Between all these planes trains and automobiles, passports, customs lines and cabs, I spent more time than not disconnected. 

What happened is I reconnected with my soul.

Literally – I jumped off mountains in the Poconos, snorkeled in the coral reefs off deserted islands in the Caribbean, met locals, ate new foods, heard fascinating stories from mountain men and “belongers” and reaffirmed my love for travel, discovery, facing fears and then showing the world the world they never see. I may not be Anthony Bourdain, but he was on to something – we all shut ourselves into this tiny bubble of life that we know and are comfortable in. As a mother, it’s my duty to teach my son about the world he has – and that everything and anything is possible.

Did the Supreme Court not just pass the law allowing gay marriage nationwide? #LoveWins

But love yourself first.

Yeah yeah – I know you’re saying Stephanie’s gone off the deep end – where’s the yell voice we all love and relate to? I’ll never lose my voice, but I had to go back and find it – isn’t that what life is about? The journey?

 

SwimToday for Tomorrow

12th June 2015

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I learned to swim when I was about 4 or 5 years old. The memory is burned into my memory like a branding stick to a steer. It was at Thiel College’s indoor pool and I was there with my aunt. They told me to jump into the water and she would catch me. She didn’t. I went under. Obviously I came up. 

I think I still hold a wee bit of resentment towards that class and teacher for not catching me to this day. Not because I swallowed a couple gulps of chlorine water, but because they all betrayed my trust on something that was scary to me as a child. At 34, I still remember. I guess I am lucky it didn’t scar me enough to scare me away from water from good.

My dad doesn’t know how to swim. Still.

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So swimming has ALWAYS been a huge concern of mine when it comes to Maximo – how young do you start? I am timid to do it correctly – will he like it? Will he be scared like me? We did attempt a swimming class back when he was six months old. He loved it. He went under. AT SIX MONTHS. 

Learning to Enjoy the #FunnestSport

I’ve always loved swimming – growing up at a lake and having a pond on the farm made swimming second nature. But after my traumatic experience, I want to make sure Maximo will love the water as much as I do. I want him to think of it as fun, and not a life saving skill. 

Through SwimToday, pools and swim teams nationwide are inviting new swimmers and families to experience the sport with incentives such as free swim team trial periods, customized swim caps and promotional materials from kits sent to 1,500 swim teams to use locally.

Why You Should Try Swimming This Summer 

Thanks to SwimToday, Maximo is enrolled to take swimming lessons over the summer. I’ve excited to get him in the water and learn how to love it (and swim on his own!) and here are 10 reasons why you should be to:

1. It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby. 

2. Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches). 

3. Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport.

4. Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started

5. Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social developmen

6.  Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high

7. Low risk of injuryNo contact makes for a safer environment. 

8. Swimming = total body fitness – Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports.

9. Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age

10. Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport

Meet Dara Torres

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“Being a part of a swim team is one of the most fun and most rewarding experiences a child can have. I’ve benefitted from the sport’s values in every aspect of my life and that’s why my nine-year old daughter is a swimmer. It’s also why I’m so passionate to share with other parents and invite them to understand what the sport has to offer. Once they know, more parents will have swimming at the top of their lists.” – Dara Torres, a five-time Olympic swimmer-turned-swim-mom

I loved having the opportunity to chat with Dara (can’t you tell! We were too busy laughing to pose for a photo) not just as a swimmer, but as a fellow mom. She’s hilarious – and made understanding water safety and swimming as a concerned mom not so scary. The best way to be a mom is to just dive right in – literally! Just make sure it’s deep enough first. 

Be sure to follow along as we chronicle our journey of swimming lessons with SwimToday over the summer of 2015!

Parents can learn more about participating teams and find those nearest them by searching their zip code at www.SwimToday.org.

Thanks to MomTrends for the opportunity to learn more about swimming through SwimToday and Dara Torres. We were provided complimentary swimming lessons to document our experience.