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5 Beach Essentials For The Baby

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5 Beach Essentials For The Baby

The idea to spending a day at the beach with the family and baby fills you with excitement. It is a wonderful chance to create happy memories. But when heading to beach with the baby, it is not only about sand and sunshine; it is also about the safety. Before leaving home with the baby it is best to grab extra supplies to nourish, entertain and protect the little one. With little planning and preparations you will be able to have fun and not worry and scramble around looking out for the forgotten beach essentials for the baby. The following beach essentials must be packed:

  1. Umbrella: Babies skin is too sensitive to bear harsh sunrays. Therefore, it is a good idea to buy a wide beach umbrella. In case you just love being on the beach on weekends, it is best to buy beach tent. This will protect the little’s one skin.
  2. Baby-safe sunblock: If your kid is older than 6 months then it best to slather the baby skin with baby-friendly sunblock before you leave your home. Yes, before you leave the home as skin takes time to absorb the sunscreen. And re-apply after a while to mitigate the chances of errors.
  3. Swim shirts: It is important to add another layer of skin protection by making the kids wear quality swim shirts. When buying swim wear ensure that it is loose and light in wear to avoid the chances of overheating. The more covered swim suits you buy for the babies, the better it is.
  4. Hat: You might feel that this is no-brainer. But, don’t you often forget the most obvious thing that you need at beach most of the time. It is best to buy the legionnaire-style hat as it covers the baby’s back of the neck and even the ears. To avoid the inconvenience of picking up the hat time and again, buy the hat with chin strap.
  5. Swim diapers: Yes, when you go to beach with the kids it is best to make them wear swim diapers and not the regular ones. The regular ones will fill up with the ocean water and will weigh down the little one. Look online for the disposable or reusable swim diapers. There are many websites that feature them. TO make this purchase affordable it is best to look for promotion codes at http://www.frugaa.com/.

Lastly, don’t forget to pack change of clothes as nobody likes to go home in wet swim suit. After you have wiped the little one clean and removed the crevice of sand, make them wear light cotton clothing. It is best to slip the baby in soft cotton lowers as after a tiring day at beach, they will fall asleep while travelling back home.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying Gold Peak Coffee Brings Back Memories #SipofHome

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GoldPeak @GoldPeakCoffee  #SipofHome

Life is so busy and most women I know run 24/7.   When a woman (or man) is living the busy life of multi-tasking it is nice to know that we can enjoy the simple things in life, like a good cup of coffee.   Thanks to Gold Peak Coffee I was able to enjoy a cup myself last week while doing my weekly full day of errands and shopping and running from here to there.   Now doesn’t this look like a great cup of coffee?  Oh, it was, read on below ~

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Hubby and I take one day a week to head out fairly early with our list of supplies and groceries and things that need to be done and we head to town.  Now, for us, town is about a 45 min drive, which is why I try to squeeze as much as I can into my once a week run.  I do find I run to town more than once a week, but I do as much as I can when I have hubby’s help.  (he hates that).   While in town last week we had a full list of errands and at about 2pm I was just dog tired.  Lack of sleep, and many things on my mind, we decided to take a break and stop for a late lunch and some coffee.   Boy, the Gold Peak Coffee was just what we needed.  Now, I am not a huge coffee drinker, but do enjoy coffee when we dine out or are away from home.  Hubby, a huge coffee drinker is pretty picky about his coffee.  He wants it strong, bold, hot, and no training wheels (cream or sugar).  Hubby (Tony) has always enjoyed Georgia Coffee which is now Gold Peak Coffee.  Before our meal he and I ordered a cup of coffee and then after our meal we enjoyed every last sip of coffee before heading back out to finish our errands.   Gold Peak Coffee is perfect and embodies warmth; and is a comforting way to start the day, enjoy before or after a meal, and share with others.  Upon finishing our coffee, we headed out to finish our errands and then back home to start home projects (not fun).  It is nice to know that when we are out and about we can always stop and enjoy a great cup of coffee.

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The aroma of Gold Peak Coffee gives us the sense of being home, relaxed and enjoying each others company.  It also brings back memories of time with my Mom, who passed in 2007.   She loved her coffee and so many stories, Mother/Daughter talks, laughs and tears shed were all done over a cup of coffee.   Being able to have those memories and feelings come back to me when I am taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee always put a smile on my face and a warmness in my soul.    I would recommend Gold Peak Coffee to anyone looking for a great cup of coffee.  Why not let Gold Peak Coffee connect you with the simple comforts of home.  For me, when I think of home I think of family, friends, special moments and making memories.  A warm cup of coffee is comforting for my hubby and I.  Reminds him of his Grandpa who was a very special man, and sometimes I even see a tear in my husbands eyes when we have chats over coffee and memories of those who are no longer with us.  Coffee = togetherness and memories.

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Do you like coffee?  Or should I say, do you Love coffee?  What memories or feelings do you have when you drink coffee? I would love to have you share your thoughts about coffee with me, and my other readers.

 

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl has written this sponsored post on behalf of Gold Peak Coffee.  All opinions and commentary are my own. 

 

5 Best Apps for Busy Moms

5 Best Apps for Busy Moms

 

Busy moms need the help of powerful apps to get through hectic days and events.

There are numerous productivity apps out in the market today. Due to your crazy schedule, you may not have time to screen newly released apps on a regular basis. That’s why we complied the top 5 apps for busy moms. Check them out below.

1. Cozi

Keeping track of your daily schedule doesn’t have to be a daunting chore. With the Cozi app you can juggle multiple tasks throughout the week all on one screen. Switching from weekly views to your daily to-do list is as simple as sliding your finger.

Additionally, if your work schedule is on Google calendar you can import the reminders into the app. No more wasting time transferring entries one by one. One of the best features of the app is the family journal. With Cozi, you can upload photos and notes for your entire family to see and comment on. This app is highly recommended for busy moms!

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Image via Flickr by I-5 Design & Manufacture

2. Grocery iQ

Turn your weekly trip to the grocery into a relaxing experience with Grocery iQ. The app allows you to create lists with your smartphone and arrange them according to the aisle configuration of your favorite supermarket. If that’s not impressive enough, the app also has a built-in barcode scanner that can help you budget your groceries without using a calculator. Lastly, Grocery iQ features multiple lists for different stores and coupon integration.

3. Fake-A-Call

Did a conversation with your neighbor prevent you from picking up your kids on time? Now you can put an end to small talk without offending anyone using Fake-A-Call. As the name suggests, you can trigger the app to ring in the middle of a conversation, faking an important phone call. There are several settings to tinker with; including a trusty timer and a voice script to make it sound like someone is on the other line when you answer. The app works extremely well and can pull you out of the most compromising situations. Your only job is not to get caught.

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Image via Flickr by angeloangelo

4. TripCase

A family vacation is far from relaxing for busy moms. In fact, it can be more stressful, depending on how you plan and manage the trip. For situations like these, TripCase app can help. You can literally plan every aspect of your trip using the app. Instead of carrying around a folder filled with your travel information (itinerary, flight details, car rental confirmation and hotel reservations), you can have it all in your mobile device.

Vacations hardly go according to plan. Someone could fall sick or you may want to stopover at another destination before heading home. With TripCase, you can take notes, find driving directions and make new reservations with the push of a button. Sharing your new plans with your friends or other family members can also be done through the app.

5. My Baby Today

New moms have a lot of burning questions about their baby. Not all questions require a trip to the hospital. With the My Baby Today app, you can have a reliable source for everything related to taking care of your little one. All of the information found in the app is approved by The BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board. Therefore, you don’t have to waste precious time cross-checking facts. Apart from general health and safety tips, you can also keep track of your baby’s growth by uploading photos and adding milestones.

There are tips for weekly activities and news updates on the latest baby trends. A unique feature of the app is advice for the personal development of mothers. Late nights and demanding feeding schedules can quickly zap away your energy. The My Baby Today app is filled with articles on how to stay motivated and focused, which can help fuel those tough days and sleepless nights.

To conclude, these useful apps can shave time off your full schedule and turn you into a productive machine. Don’t forget to keep your apps updated for the latest features and bug fixes.

What are some productivity apps you are currently using? Let us know what you think.

 

 

I Dare You to Share a Smile

I Dare You to Share a Smile!

Seems like a funny thing to dare someone to do, right ?  Well United Healthcare doesn’t think so, and neither do I.

A smile, is a simple but yet complex thing we all do, every single day for many reasons.   For me, it can be the simplest thing that make the corners of my mouth turn up and my eyes glisten.   My dog walking in the room, my husband coming home from work, a text from a friend, a funny commercial, a picture of someone on Facebook, the smell of something yummy cooking, a catchy tune on the radio, and even the sun shining.   See, check out my smile today because the sun was shining and my view from my deck is so pretty.

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United Healthcare says ~ We dare you, to take a small step every day to a healthier life.   You can join in their monthly dares by visiting their wedareyoutoshare.com website.

June’s dares ~   Take a picture of someone smiling, test your smarts or take the fitness challenge.  Or, do all 3!  Then come back next month to see the new dares posted on the website.   So, tickle your kids, or tell someone a joke, or cook hubby his favorite meal.. then when they smile snap a picture and share it on wedareyoutoshare.com .   I DARE You!

I would love to see you take these dares.   If not for yourself, then do it for me ;)    Better yet, do it for yourself and then spread the word and get others to do it as well.   Or, do it because you might win something.   Like $400!   Wow… I know I could use that.  Or even a $25 weekly prize.   So, what ya waiting for… I DARE you!

Check them out on their social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl has been compensated for our cooperation in spreading the word about United Healthcare wedareyoutoshare.com .   All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.

 

 

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Greatest Gifts for Grads Moving Out #GreatestGrad @BestBuy

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Disclosure ~ The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the
product/service at a reduced price or for free.   @BestBuy #GreatestGrad

June is that time of year when you will see Graduation caps flying high in the air, lots of cheers and tears as kids Graduate and then realize that they are now adults and have to figure out what the future holds for them.    My son has already graduated in 2011, but this year it was my nephews turn.  My nephew, one we all wondered for a while if he was going to graduate.. DID IT!!

And, another thing that threw me for a loop is that Curtis actually enrolled in school for graphic design and media.  Wow..  the kids I wondered about for some time has turned into a fine young man.   As of the other day he and a buddy were apartment hunting.   I know what it’s like to have a new place to call my own, so thought that Best Buy would have some of the best gifts to get him started on his new journey.  Now, I asked myself.. what do young men do the most? Well, they eat!  LOL!   So, I figured the perfect gift I could get him is a 4-Slice Toaster Oven.   A toaster oven is perfect because it does more than make toast.  You can make many things like pizza rolls, hot pockets, toast, pizza, reheat leftover, etc.   A simple kitchen item can do many things.   I know he will get a ton of use out of it and just love it!

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Do you have a grad that is moving on ?   Check out all the great gifts at Best Buy for someone moving out.

I know for me and the whole family we are all very proud of Curtis.  Sometimes kids can totally surprise you, in a good way.
I also think that since he is going to school for graphic design and media he might have use for a camera too and Best Buy has a special for a Sony QX10 Lens offer for a free case with purchase.

If you are not sure what to get that special grad on your list you can check out all these great gifts

Top Gifts Under $50:

Disclosure ~ The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the
product/service at a reduced price or for free.   @BestBuy #GreatestGrad

RIP my Sweet Fur Baby

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RIP my Sweet Fur Baby Abby

What a tiny ball of fluff I got back in October 1999.  This little girl was my whole world.  She was a fun, spunky, stubborn, loving, energetic, affectionate and all around great fur baby.   She stole my heart from first glance when I picked her out of the litter and she held onto my heart for almost 15 years now.    I just don’t understand what happened, and I guess I never will.    Abby seemed totally fine a week ago, running around the yard, playing, enjoying life as she always did and then on Wednesday May 21st she seemed to be sick and started to lose interest in things.   She didn’t care to be outside as much, roaming the yard with us or care to do anything except lay by me or on her bed.  Even though Abby slept a lot on a normal basis this was even more than normal.  She just wasn’t right.   I thought she might be wormy so the morning of May 24th I gave her worming medicine with her soft food.  She ate all her food, went and did her normal roll on the floor like she had done every day after eating.   She then got up and was walking funny.   She seemed so out of touch with things and just laid down on the floor.   When she would try to stand, she would fall over.   It was like watching a drunk dog.  She was not right.  I called the emergency vet and rushed her in.  All the way there I watched her on the seat next to me.   She was not the same dog as a few days before.  Really out of it, trying to move around and falling.  Shaking, uncontrollably.   I had this awful feeling down deep in my guts :(    Upon arriving at the vet they took her in the back to do some tests and check her out.   The doctor came into the room to talk with me and said that Abby had no signs of anything out of the ordinary for a dog her age.  The way she was acting was not related to anything ingested or anything she might have gotten into.    He told me that he felt she had a brain tumor.  Could be cancer or not, but that is what he felt she had.   The reason she was all disorientated was due to it growing and pushing on the nervous system part of her brain.   And since Abby had been on meds most of her life for Epilepsy, she was not showing signs of seizures even though what she was doing was a partial sign of a seizure.  It was like she had a stroke and could only walk in circles.   She kept falling over and was so confused.

I was given a few options.    Bring her to a major vet hospital for more testing and a cat scan, but the price of all that was so high and being that she is almost 15 he didn’t recommend it but it was an option.   Or, take her home and watch her get worse and fear that she might injure herself because she can’t stand or walk without falling.   I couldn’t do that as we have steps to go in and out of our house, and deck that she used to love to hang out on, and I just couldn’t handle if she was in pain or would injure herself when we weren’t home.  Last choice, put her down.   I hate that choice!!   Hate it!   He left me alone with her for a bit and I just sobbed.   I held her, told her how much I love her, and what a joy she has been.   Told her she cold now see her buddy Loki (our male Shih Tzu we lost a couple years ago to a brain tumor).  I told her we will miss her and I pray she forgives me for having to let her go.    I got to hold her as she took her last breath.   Dammit!!  Why is it so hard to say goodbye?    Did I do the right thing?   I know it’s to late to ask that, and in my head I know I did but in my heart I want her here forever.    14 1/2 years is a long time to have something in your life.    She was a part of our family for so long I am just now lost without her and she has only been gone less than a day.

Rest In Peace my sweet little girl.   I love you, my fur baby.
I will miss your little bark, they way you snored louder than any human I know, the way you run around the house and play fetch, the way you beg for treats, the look you give me when you want to sit next to me on the recliner, the way you push your food dish around before you eat, the smiles you bring to me every day with every little look you give me.   I will just miss you, all of you, forever.

The RAINBOW BRIDGE~ Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills f
or all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

Are You Ready for #Maleficent – Opening May 30th

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I know I am ready!!  So Totally Ready!  I haven’t been this excited about a movie in a long time.  I keep watching the video clips on YouTube and just can’t get enough of the mean Angelina Jolie who plays the part of #Maleficent.   She is one of my favorite actresses and I think she is gonna knock this role right out of the park.   I love her, I love Disney.. and together they will have me glued to the movie screen.

Check out these videos ~

 

Like MALEFICENT on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent

Follow MALEFICENT on Twitter: @Maleficent

YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTnR43JTLNs8AKNpJ4KFI6SSdpTzkcXjw

Instagram: http://instagram.com/disneystudios

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/maleficent/

Tumblr: http://disney.tumblr.com/

 

MALEFICENT is rated PG and releases in theaters everywhere on May 30th!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day from me  – Sheila

No, you are not my Mom, but if you are someones Mom I just wanted to wish you a wonderful day.

Do your kids get you or make you gifts for Mother’s Day?   Does your hubby or partner do something special ?   Well, for me, I am lucky if my son remembers Mother’s Day.  Not that he doesn’t care, just that he is forgetful and .. well… Um..  of the male species ;) LOL!   It used to bother me, but not anymore.   I know he loves me and I know in due time he will come into his own and remember things like Mother’s Day and my Birthday. (Sept 9,  if anyone wants to know).   Sometimes my hubby will bring me flowers, but generally I get the “you’re not my Mom” line from him.   Totally get it!  I don’t give him stuff for Father’s Day either ;)

Now, I no longer have a Mom to shower with my love on Mother’s Day.   She was taken suddenly from our family on Feb 3rd, 2007 .  She is missed every single second of every single day, and there are certain days that are harder than others and Mother’s Day is one of them.   Does time heal, well in my opinion no.  Time helps us slowly ease the initial pain of loss, but never does it heal what was ripped away from us so suddenly.

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This is for my Mom ~

Precious Mother
Happy Mothers Day ~ I love you.

I Wish I Could See You One More Time
Come Walking Through My Door
But, I Know That Is Impossible
I Will Hear Your Voice No More
I Know You Can Feel My Tears
And You Don’t Want Me To Cry
Yet, My Heart Is Broken
Because I Can’t Understand Why
Someone So Precious Had To Die
I Pray That God Will Give Me Strength
And Somehow Get Me Through
As I Struggle With This Heartache
That Was Caused By Losing You~
~ In Precious Memory Of Barb Cooper
Who Walked Through Heaven’s Gate
February 3, 2007

This year I decided to give myself something to smile about and I went and had my hair done at my favorite local shop.  I treat myself to full cut and color about 2 times a year.  I am busy and just don’t make time for my hair but thought.. Mother’s Day is just around the corner so here’s to me!

I love what Toni at Envy Salon in Two Harbors, Mn. did for me.   Here is a before and after pic, and then a pic of all sides.  Now, these are as of the day my hair was done (May 6th), and I am sure it won’t look this cute again as I never curl my hair.  But, I do like the curls so might have too start curling it.   But, I don’t have a big rod curling iron.  Guess I need to pitch a company to get me on.  ;)   Now, excuse the no makeup, and the fact I also had my eyebrows waxed so they are all red.    And man, when I smile big I have lots of smile lines (not wrinkles) LOL!

Hairbeforeafter Hairafter

So, tell me about your Mother’s Day.   What did you do?  What did you get?   Do you ever do something fun just for yourself?

Help Your Child Thrive While Living With Diabetes With These 6 Ideas

livingsmartgirl.coHelp Your Child Thrive While Living With Diabetes With These 6 Ideas

Living with diabetes is tough for anyone
let alone a child. Trying to understand it and come to terms with their
diagnosis can be hard for you and especially your little one. Though it’s not
without its challenges, kids can lead very satisfying lives with Juvenile
Diabetes. Here are several ideas that can make coping with T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) a bit easier.

1. Switch up the Meal Plans

Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner or
eating desert first every now and then? Living with T1D is a routine filled
lifestyle so switching up meals can add a little excitement for your little
one. It will make eating a fun experience and ultimately it becomes a routine
that your child will love.

2. Find a Support/Play Group For Your
Child 

Having someone else in their shoes can be
a great way for a child to come to terms with living with diabetes; and what
better way than to do that by finding other children with T1D? Kids need to know they are not alone, and by having kids their own age dealing with the same adversities can help them tremendously. Not only will the playgroup be great for you but families who understand the daily struggles of T1D also surround you. There are many resources online to help you find something in your area. If you can’t find a specific group in your location, there are definitely ways to help you form your own group. It’s beneficial for your child, and it gives you peace of mind that they have
children around them who understand exactly what they are going through.

3. Reward System

It’s no secret that kids love positive
reinforcement particularly if it comes in the form of stickers. There are many
day to day responsibilities that children with Juvenile Diabetes have to
endure. Having a reward system in place can help motivate them to keep up with their routines and make it fun in the process. One example is having a weekly chart. If your child completes their tasks everyday, have them place a sticker on their chart. Once they get to the 7th day, they can do an activity that they like. Maybe it’s taking them to the movies, the park, or a little adventure into town. By having this in place, it will give your child something to look forward to as well as making their health the
priority without them fully realizing it.

4. Reliable Devices

Ensuring your child’s glucose levels are
in the normal target range each day is a daunting task. Whether they are at
school, at a playdate, or at home, you want to make sure you have the best
device on hand to make sure that your child is safe at all times. In addition
to having a device that works well, it also should be easy to use and child
friendly. Gadgets like Dexcom G4 Platinum Receiver help
significantly in such endeavors. Not only is it accurately consistent  in
readings, it is suitable for children as young as 2 years old. Having the
proper equipment for your child can really take the stress off of you by making
sure your child is healthy at all times

5. Listen to Their Frustrations

One of the best things you can do for your child is to listen. It’s hard for them to fully grasp what they’re up against and feelings of resentment, frustration, and guilt are
a reality for them. Let’s not forget how the diagnosis affects you as a parent.
It can be hard on the whole family, but it is important to remember that kids
cannot fully understand their illness, so it’s important that you give them
your attention when they just need to vent or get out whatever it is that
they’re feeling about the situation. Just being there and letting them know
they can come to you with questions and complaints at any time can really make
an impact.

6. Give Them a Creative Outlet

Sometimes when children cannot verbally
express themselves, it is best that they have a creative way at home to do so.
Freedom of expression is such a great tool to help your child and it has many
benefits as well. By having construction paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
your child can creatively get out what they’re feeling. At times they are going
to feel that the extra tasks they have to do daily are unfair and they can
become upset. Give them the opportunity to release
those feelings with art
. Type 1 diabetes does not only affect kids
physiologically but psychologically as well; so being able to express
themselves in different outlets will really give them a chance to thrive.

Having little ones with T1D is not an
easy circumstance, even in the best situations. It impacts the whole family and
there are a lot of life changes that need to occur to ensure the best for your
child. That being said, juvenile diabetes doesn’t always have to be burdensome.
By using these ideas, you can create a positive atmosphere for your child.
It will help them realize that there is so much more to life than being defined
by their diagnoses. It will also give them healthy outlets in coping with T1D,
which can give them encouragement when they need it, most. Living with Juvenile
diabetes is not without its complications, however you can give your child the
support they need to live happy and flourishing lives.

 

Help Support the MDA by Donating to my Bail

campersmile.jpgI’m proud to tell you that I’m going “behind bars” to help in the fight against muscle disease. I’m joining other community leaders to help raise critical funds for MDA, and I need your help to reach my bail!

 The 2014 Duluth Lock Up takes place on April 17th, but I’m raising my bail before I go to jail! All you have to do is click here to make a secure, online donation today. Your support will help families living in our community with muscle disease, and help guarantee that I get out of jail. I will be sure to add you to my list of contributors.

 Please support me in this important goal by visiting my fundraising page and making a contribution. Your tax-deductible donation makes a difference to the hundreds of kids, adults and their families who live right here in our local community.

Thanks in advance for your help. Don’t hesitate to call or email me with questions.

Every donation helps, no matter how big or small.  Please help me send 2 amazing kids to camp this summer.