I went to Build A Bear for #PayYourAge Day

I just got home after a busy day with the kids and friends.  Our main focus was to go to Build A Bear for the Pay Your Age promotion.  I really didn’t think it would be that busy and I thought it would be a fun time for the little ones that had not had the opportunity to Build A Bear yet.  We got done and I opened up my phone to a ton of negativity about the event and that is really just not cool because honestly, it was a fun day.

About the deal:  Any child was able to go to Build A Bear and pay their age in years for any bear of their choice.  So if your child is 1, you pay $1!  If you are older than 29, you were 29 for the day and could pay just $29 for any bear.  BAB Pay your Age

 

They definitely marketed the sale well.  I heard about the sale from many sources and was intrigued and wanted to bring my kids.  Well apparently other parents also had the same idea.  After hearing from several people that they were going to go, I figured I would arrive early to get in line so we could be the first ones in the store.

Reality:  I arrived at the mall around 8:30.  The mall doors had not even opened up yet so my friend and I hopped in the line to get into the mall.  I chatted with some other moms in line and I arrived about an hour too late if I wanted to truly be one of the first people in the store.  A friend of mine arrived at 7:30 AM and she was in the first group of 10 to get in the store.   That was smart on her part because for my kids it was really the wait to get the bears stuffed that was the killer.  Watching the other kids get their bears and not being able to help is hard for a three year old LOL.

Build A Bear Line

They had a full staff at Build A Bear, they had help from Mall Security, and managed things really well at our store.  First you waited in line to get your bear.  For US it took about 2 hours to get to the bears.  This really did not seem to take very long at all.  Dad walked around the little ones, my friend’s 6 year old daughter is exceptionally behaved and enjoyed snacks and playing while we waited.

The store had a system.  Once you reached a certain point, you received a name tag with your age on it.  Then you continued up to the from of that line.  Once you moved up there your were grouped and moved to another line where you were the next group to pick your bear.  They even had an empty store next to Build A Bear where they encouraged you to leave your stroller so it would be out of the way in the store.

Build A Bear Caleb Fluffing

After you picked out your bear, you could either pay for it empty and come back another time to stuff it, or you moved over to the stuffing line.  The only restriction was that if you selected a Pokemon Bear, you HAD to get it stuffed there, you were not allowed to bring those home and then back to stuff later.

The stuffing line was the hardest stretch for us.  THAT line alone was another 2 hours.  NOW… the reason it was another 2 hours was because the wonderful staff was doing such a great job.  Yes… your kids had to wait.  BUT once their turn came, they got the royal treatment and got to stuff their bear and fill it with love.  Again, snacks, walks, pointing out letters on the walls, playing games.. etc… and we made it through!  It was FINALLY our turn!  Caleb helped stuff little brother’s bear and fluffed them, we paid and we left with three happy kids!

Build A Bear Caleb Stuffing

Now.  If you did not arrive early, I am sure your experience was not the same as what I am describing because you may not have had the opportunity to make a bear.  My location “closed the line” somewhere around 11:00.  I didn’t think to ask why- but the staff member I chatted with told me that they had enough bears in stock for everyone that is in line to get a bear.  So instead of making children stand in line to not get a bear, if they wanted to get in line, they were given a voucher for $15 off any bear on their next visit.  They had a security person standing at the end of the line signing out the vouchers.  I am pretty sure if I had not arrived early, I would have been happy to accept the coupon and save my kids from waiting in line for 8 hours to pay a few dollars more for the bear.

Since arriving home, Build A Bear posted on their Facebook that due to the crowds and many stores closing, or fire marshals closing lines, etc., they issued a coupon that Bonus Club Members can download for $15 off any bear on their next visit.  So even if you did not brave the crowds, you can still get a deal with this coupon.  You have to print it or screen shot it by July 15th and stop into any Build a Bear store before August 31st, 2018 to redeem your coupon.  The coupon reads one coupon per account, so if you have two kids you will need your spouse to sign up for an account.

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 7.37.33 PM

Also, if you did not know, Build A Bear has a promotion that during your child’s birthday month they can go and build the Birthday Treat Bear for their age.  They also have coupons all the time to help make the Build A Bear experience more affordable when you sign up for the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club.

6 Winter Tasks to Prepare Your Home for the Spring

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 9.10.40 PM

Image Pixabay

When you live in an area that has harsh winter conditions, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your home and yard. However, if you start to plan for these circumstances in the winter, it can make your spring cleaning and spring preparations so much easier—and sometimes even less expensive. Whether you’ve owned your home for a while or are a first-time owner, the following are six winter tasks to do that can help prepare your home for springtime.

1. Seed your garden.

Many homeowners make the mistake in thinking that your landscaping is something that needs to be done only in the springtime, but this isn’t true. In fact, preparing your garden in the winter is actually one of the better things you can do for your landscaping. That’s because your yard will naturally start to die down and hibernate for the winter, but the winter provides a great amount of moisture for your yard that it will use to fuel up.

By seeding your lawn, and even by planting flower seeds, during the winter, you can actually see the benefit of doing so come springtime. Even setting up a garden irrigation system during this time will prove fruitful come spring. Your yard will not only be thicker and more plush, but your flowers will grow more quickly and be a sight to see.

2. Dig up old flowers.

If your yard has annuals throughout, it’s a good idea to get these pulled out before the first frost. Not only are these dead flowers an eyesore during the winter months, but leaving them during the winter will make them freeze, and the bulbs are harder to dig up come springtime. Instead, if you rid your yard of the necessary plants and flowers before winter, you’ll have an easier time getting them out. Then, you won’t have a lot of yard work to do in the springtime, making your yard easier to prepare for the season.

3. Put items away.

If you have an outdoor space that you use often, chances are there are items there that possibly shouldn’t stay out all winter long. If this is the case for your home, be sure to put these items in storage for the winter. This way, you don’t have to worry about them becoming broken or damaged during the winter, leaving you with a large mess to clean up when spring comes. Instead, you’ll be able to re-use these items, allowing you to have less money to spend as well.

4. Prepare your pool.

If you have a swimming pool, it needs to be properly maintenance before the winter season approaches. Doing this not only protects it, but ensures you have an easier time getting your pool ready once spring and summer make their way in. In addition, if you have any issues with your pool now, this is the time to fix them. Most common pool repairs can be done yourself, but if you do need to call in a professional, most lower their prices during this time of year due to the seasonality of their business.

5. Fix any outstanding issues.

Sometimes there are issues around the house you don’t touch, but when the winter season approaches, it’s a good idea to fix these issues before winter. Usually, the winter weather can make smaller issues worse, and then you’ll find yourself with a very intrusive or very expensive fix in the spring. Instead of finding yourself in this situation, it’s important for you to fix these issues right away, especially if it has anything to do with your home’s exterior, foundation, or roof.

6. Clean it out.

Most people do a big spring cleaning, but there’s no law that says you can’t do this in the winter too. If you clean your home out during the winter season, you can reap plenty of benefits. First, you’ll create more storage space that you can use for all the new things you’ll get during the holidays. In addition, you may come across something you forgot you had, which can make a perfect re-gift or could be put to good use this time of year. Finally, cleaning your home out now makes it less of a project to tackle in the spring, so you can make more time for the springtime fun.

Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, and taking the time to get your home ready during the winter can actually have a positive impact on your home during the spring as well.

Check out Netflix’s True and The Rainbow Kingdom NEW EPISODES!

True and The Rainbow Kingdom now has two more stand-alone titles that are being released TODAY:  TRUE: MAGICAL FRIENDS and TRUE: WONDERFUL WISHES each with 5 episodes…for a total of 10 NEW EPISODES!

image002

 

If you haven’t seen the first season of True and the Rainbow Kingdom, this preschool series follows 8-year-old True and her best friend, a cat, Bartleby, as they help the whimsical citizens of the Rainbow Kingdom, a really cool universe that is colorful, bright, and happy, filled with delightful and fantastical friends.

In the new season, True goes deeper and learns about the people and creatures living in the Rainbow Kingdom. True’s adventures show kids how to deal with the unexpected, be emotionally resilient and to care for others.  This Netflix series has a very positive vibe, True is happy and always looking to the best outcome!

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 4.22.38 PM
If your kids like True and the Rainbow Kingdom, you may also want to download the True Wishes App so your child can play games with True too!  The True Wishes app is available on Google Play or Apple Apps Store for just $1.99.

True and the Rainbow Kingdom is produced by Guru Studio, in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER, world-renowned artist collective, FriendsWithYou and Home Plate Entertainment.  They are the same animation team that also brought you Paw Patrol, Backyardigan and Ever After!     They are no longer just an animation studio though, but also an entertainment company; they have evolved from animation projects into creating their own stories, which is super awesome!

Follow the hashtag #trueandtherainbowkingdom on social media to see what everyone is saying about the new True episodes!

Bored with Your Career? Consider These 6 Exciting Opportunities

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.56.34 PM

Image Pixabay

There comes a time for many of us when we grow bored with our careers. Maybe we got into this career without really thinking about where our passions lie, or maybe your conditions have changed over the years, making the job less exciting. Or maybe you’re just in the mood for a change, and you want to do something different with your life. Whatever the reason, when the time comes, you’re not entirely sure where to go next. To help you out, here are some of the most exciting career opportunities, to give you something to think about.

Starting Your Own Business

Rather than working for someone else, why not work for yourself? Starting your own business is very exciting, and you get to choose what type of business you want. Maybe you want to sell homemade quilts, or turn your home into a bed and breakfast. Whatever it is, following your passion and starting a business is always exciting. There are of course some risks involved, and you’ll need a lot of planning in order to start off right. But plenty of people have quit their jobs to start their own business, so there’s no reason you can’t be the next.

Learn to Fly

What could be more exciting than flying an airplane? Pilots get to fly all over the world, while being fairly well compensated. By finding a professional pilot program in your area, you’ll learn everything you need to know, and get hands on experience in flying. Once you learn to master the skies, you’ll wonder how you ever settled for road trips!

Become a Travel Blogger

If the idea of traveling suits you, but you don’t want to do the flying yourself, then perhaps you could earn a living as a travel blogger. Travel bloggers visit places all over the world, and write about their experiences. Finding a way to get paid as a travel blogger isn’t always easy, but if you can pull it off, you’re likely to find yourself in a career that you love. You’ll need a talent for writing, along with some knowledge on how to run a blog and market yourself. Also keep in mind that a lot of people are trying to make it as a travel blogger, so you’re going to have some competition.

Learn to Act

Many of us harbor a dream of one day appearing on stage, TV, or film, but we never pursue those dreams. Maybe it’s because of stage fright, or maybe it’s because we think we don’t have any talent. Whatever the reason, we settle for watching people perform, always wishing it was us. If this sounds like you, consider doing something about it. Take some acting classes in your local area, or learn to act on your own. Once you have some of the skills down, muster up the courage, and start looking for acting opportunities in your area. Most places have regional theaters you can audition for, or if you’re near a major city, you could audition for TV commercials or smaller productions. You might not become a celebrity overnight, but if acting is really your dream, then it’s time you went after it.

Fight Fires

Nothing says exciting like running into a burning building. If you want to help your fellow humans, and do something worthwhile with your life, the country always needs more firefighters. Talk to your local fire department about becoming a firefighter, and the training that is necessary to join them. In some cases this is on a volunteer basis, and in other you could turn it into a lifelong career. Fighting fires is a dangerous job, but if you really want excitement, this could be the way to go.

Become a Paramedic

Lastly, if helping out others appeals to you, but you don’t want to have to enter a burning building in order to do it, think about becoming a paramedic. Paramedics work in high-stress environments, rushing to locations to quickly help out people in distress. Becoming a paramedic takes a decent amount of training, and a large time commitment, but it is an excellent way to give back to your community and have an exciting job at the same time.

Try Something New to Find the Right Career

The above careers are only a small sample of the exciting job opportunities that exist out there. Think about what it is you’ve always wanted to do, and then find a way to do. You don’t have to quit your current job in order to try out something else and see if you like it. Just be open to new ideas, and if an exciting career opportunity comes along, be brave enough to consider it.

Tips for finding the right car for your family #Ad #CarsCom

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, I am being compensated for mention of the brands in this post, however all opinions are my own.  

Buying a new car can be exciting and stressful, but the first step to buying a new car is figuring out what kind of car you NEED.  If you aren’t sure where to start, cars.com can help you narrow it down, but before you head there, some food for thought and tips to help you pick the right car for you!

cars com

1. How many people will be traveling in the vehicle regularly?
It sounds easy, but think about it, how big is your family?  Are you the mom that picks up all the other kids for soccer practice?  Do you carpool?  Are you a group leader and use your vehicle for outings?  These are all things you need to take into consideration when you buy a new car.  Obviously if you are a family of 8 you need a mini van to start will!

2.  Where will you be driving the vehicle?
Will this be the family vehicle or is this the car dad drives back and forth to work?  Do you want something with better gas milage if you will be driving it a lot?

3. Will you be putting CAR SEATS in the car?
This is a big one for parents.  For 8 years your kids are in carseats, so if you will have kids in booster seats, rear facing seats, or convertible carseats- you need to figure out who will sit where and if the new car is equipped to handle the amount of carseats.  Fun fact- it is It is hard to fit three carseats across any car.  It is like a puzzle of car size, car seat type, and car seat brand to make that happen.

4. Features
You know what you like and what you need to make your driving experience a pleasant one.  For me- remote start and heated seats are my must haves.  If you are getting a used car, I would make a list of “Must Have” and “Would be nice to have” features so you know what you want and what you need when you are car shopping.

5. Color
I know as a child you are told color doesn’t matter, but I feel like when it comes to a car, it really does.  Did you know that dirt actually shows up more on black cars than white cars?  Ya, a little fun fact I learned while car shopping with my mom 15 years ago.  Also White, black, and silver cars usually have a higher resell value than odd-ball colors like Green or Pink.

6. Price
One thing you really need to consider is how much you actually want to pay for a car.  You might want a luxury vehicle, but your price point might be more of a value vehicle.  Look at the numbers for price points and what you are willing and able to spend.

7. New versus Used
This is a big one.  Do you want that brand new car with 0 zero miles on it?  Or are you okay with saving money by buying a car that is a year or two old?  (Personally I prefer a new to me car and not a BRAND new car)

8. Trunk space
Ahh another tip from a mom- test out to see if you can fit your stroller in the trunk before you buy the car!  I ended up having to get rid of my last stroller because it wouldn’t fit in my trunk!!  For me trunk space is a huge priority since I use it so much, grocery shopping, mall shopping, travel- I need room for storage so if you are like me- looking for a car with a good amount of storage space is important!

I hope this helps you narrow down what you want when you are looking for your next vehicle.  Cars.com is great tool, and here are some things to think about when you are starting to find the right car!  And here is me and my last new-to-me-car :-)

Me and my new car

 

Things to do with Kids in San Diego

If you are wondering what activities would you do with your family and children while on a trip to San Diego. Well, you need not worry as there are plenty of fun things to do and an endless number of attractions or the whole family in this fantastic city. It is no wonder that San Diego is considered one of the world’s best family destinations, thanks to those gorgeous beaches and perfect weather the whole year round. With loads of family-friendly San Diego vacation rentals and resorts, there is truly something for all ages to enjoy. It is time for the whole family to enjoy special experiences together, whether it is at the zoos, the parks, the beaches or other attractions. The Pacific beach city is well known for its beaches, museums, and gardens. Read on to know more about the fun things you can do while on vacation here with your family.

SanDiego_Skyline_JohnBahu_1280x642_downsized

  • Learn to Surf
    One of the coolest things to do in San Diego is surf and get your family on board. Even your five-year-old kid can take surfing lessons! And it is possible for the whole family to get together and take group lessons in private. You could surf in Pacific Beach or at La Jolla Shores. There are plenty of accredited surf schools along the coast.
  • Go Whale Watching
    Blue whales are the largest creatures on earth. Whale Watching is a popular activity here in San Diego and at least for about nine months. More than 20,000 whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Mexico from mid-December to April. So get your family here during those months to enjoy watching those grey whales. There are several local companies that arrange for the whale watching tours.
  • Snorkel or Swim
    Go to the Jolla Shores Beach that is home to the major aggregation of leopard sharks in the world. They come here during the summer, and their numbers can peak around August and September. One can easily see them even in knee-deep water, but the best way to watch them is while snorkeling. Although they are sharks, they do not bite.
  • Visit Children’s Pool seals
    This is one of the most fun things to do in La Jolla, and the best part is that it is free! Children’s Pool seals are really cute but are a bit stinky. The small stretch of beach is guarded by a seawall that was initially meant for a safe place to swim for the children. One can hang around and sunbathe in the area as well as swim here. This is a great locality for photographs and for watching a myriad of sea lions.
  • Enjoy A Falconry Lesson
    Your children will love taking a basic Falconry lesson that is organized at the Alpine ranch by Sky Falconry. This is your chance to learn the history and story of falconry and get lessons from licensed falconers. The classes offer an in-depth look and insight into one of the oldest field sport in human history. You get to learn not just about falconry but also become a falconer. Get acquainted whet specialized falconry equipment and training techniques involved with falconry.
  • Take the Old Town Trolley Tours
    Hop on and off at several stops around San Diego once you get on the orange and green Old Town Trolley. The tour eliminates the need to take a rental car in San Diego. One can simply download the interactive map on to their phone to get info on various attractions, stops, and restaurants.
  • Enjoy Winter Tide Pooling
    Enroll at tide pooling season that starts in November and carry on through about March. This is the time when the tides are low during the day, and it is easy to see sea anemones, sea stars, sea slugs, hermit crabs, octopus, and more in the pools. The Birch Aquarium near Scripps Pier and Shell Beach in La Jolla and the Tourmaline Surfing Park in Pacific Beach are other great locations.
  • Explore the Carlsbad Flower Fields
     It is indeed a joy to walk across the rainbow of colors that fill the 50-acre Carlsbad hillside. It is simply amazing to gaze at the ranunculus flowers that bloom against an ocean backdrop. The family-friendly San Diego attraction remains open to the public for about eight weeks and offers hay rides and other special events.
  • Kayak the Sea Caves
    All you need to do is hire a double kayak from La Jolla Shores Beach and explore the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater. It is easy to spot the friendly sea lions and orange garibaldi fish from above. All the sea caves are visible from the ocean, and the barks of sea lions are almost deafening near the Clam’s Cave. The sea cave tour is highly recommended.
  • Drive to Legoland
    Take the drive from San Diego to Carlsbad, especially if you are a Lego fan. You will love riding on the Royal Joust or getting wet at Pirate Shores. Get your driver’s license at the Volvo Driving School, and if you are wondering where to spend the night, well Legoland California Resort is just nearby!
  • Amazing experience at San Diego Zoo
    Do not miss your trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo that is home to thousands of endangered animals. Enjoy looking at a beautiful display of exotic plants spread across those hundreds of acres of the zoo. The well maintained and spacious zoo is dedicated to conservation and research. Some of the main attraction of the zoo include Skyfari tram, the pandas and the Polar Bear Plunge.

Preparing for a Child with Disabilities

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 11.22.06 AM
Image Pixabay

It’s something that no parent wants to hear. Before your child is even born you can be told about severe disadvantages that your child may have in life. It is a heartbreaking moment, but it shouldn’t be a life-breaking one. Finding out early can prepare you to understand some of the challenges that you and your child will face, so you can focus on bringing the most happiness into your child’s life. Even if your child is injured at birth or develops a disability later during their development, such as autism, you can be prepared.

Prenatal Testing

A prenatal test cannot determine whether your child will develop autism or other learning problems but it can give parents tremendous amounts of insight into the health of their baby. Prenatal testing allows parents to know if their child will have down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, or other genetic abnormalities before the child is born. There are a range of tests that can be done in the prenatal period.

Blood tests happen regularly during pregnancy, and while they don’t give much information on the baby, they do check on the health of mother.

Ultrasound is one of the most well-known prenatal tests. Obviously, it is the key tool used to determine the babies gender, but a skilled ultrasound technician can also verify how viable the pregnancy is and how far along the pregnancy is. Ultrasounds also give doctors the opportunity to check on the child visually, to ensure that everything is ok with its limbs, organs, and for any heart defects.

Amnicentesis is commonly used during high risk pregnancies, when doctors already suspect that there might be a problem. The procedure is done using an ultrasound-guided needle, which removes a small amount of amniotic fluid. The fluid is then taking to a lab and used to test for Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.

Other prenatal tests include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and Triple or Quad screens. Both of these test for genetic abnormalities or defects including spina bifida.

Research

If you know your child is going to be born with certain conditions, researching that condition will give you better insight on not only his or her life, but the experiences of other parents. Learning about treatment options will give you a solid foundation to build from. If you look on the Internet, remember to take everything with a grain of salt. The Internet is a wonderful place, with all the information you could ever need at your fingertips, but a whole lot of filler too. Plus, most of the stories you’ll see on the Internet feature either the best or worst case scenarios. While that could certainly be your experience too, it is more likely that you will fall somewhere in the middle.

Another good idea is to contact your hospital based social worker. Most hospitals have one or two social workers who have dealt with similar cases before. They can give you support and advice for raising a child with disability. On that same note, many communities also offer support groups for parents and children with specific conditions. Attending meetings can relieve anxiety and create a better sense of comfort, as you hear the stories of other people who have been through the same things as you.

Figuring out the best health insurance plan for your family will be a key part of your research as well. The time between when your child is born and when you discover his or her disability should be enough time to pick a health insurance provider. Take the time to re-hash what is already covered by your insurance so you can then decide whether a secondary insurance is necessary. Pretty much all insurance plans pick up from the moment of birth, so treatments should start being covered immediately. Look for specific state-run programs that can assist with out-of-pocket costs for things like heart problems. Make sure you know what treatments your child will need, before he or she is born. This includes meeting doctors, touring hospitals, and learning about alternative methods and treatments.

Wrap Up

Advances in healthcare have led to breakthroughs that allow children with disabilities to live full and happy lives. It is important to recognize the unique challenges you and your child will face together, but not to let them overwhelm you. With the right support, you can still focus on being a mother first. Nothing will replace the love you give your child, even if he or she is born with a disability.

Five Ways to Cut Down on Household Expenses in the New Year

As we look to finish off the year it’s quite normal that we look back and reflect on what we’ve accomplished, the hurdles we’ve faced, and the challenges we have before us as we head into 2018. For many families out there, the biggest challenge facing them today is money, more specifically having enough money to pay for all their expenses.

Piggy Bank

If you found this year to be particularly tough and you’re looking to lessen the load next year, then you aren’t alone. Here are five tips you can use heading into the new year that will help you to cut down on household expense, giving you that extra breathing room you’re after.

Embrace Couponing

If you’re the type that has never really thought much about coupons, nor have you used them, it’s time to think twice. Nowadays, you can find coupons for all kinds of items; it’s no longer just for groceries and toiletries. Coupons range from small price cuts to giving you a free item.

The key to using coupons successfully is knowing where to find them. Typically, the best option nowadays tends to be online, rather than the traditional flyers people used to clip. Coupons can then be stored on your smartphone and scanned at the store.

Sites like eCouponsHub feature all the latest coupons in a large variety of categories. You’ll be able to find significant savings such as the Pizza Hut coupon code 5 off which gives you $5 off your order. Before you know it, these savings start to add up over the month and suddenly you’re freeing up cash.

Look Into Bundling Your Services

Most people spend a fairly significant amount each month on their landline phone, mobile phone, cable provider, and internet provider. Experts recommend looking into bundling your services with one provider, as they will often take a percentage off your bill each month. While you’re speaking with your provider, take a look at your current add-ons and ask yourself if they are really all needed.

Watch Your Energy Usage

Finding ways to cut back on your energy usage can result in significant savings too. Look into things such as energy-efficient light bulbs, energy-star rated appliances, doing things such as laundry and dishes during the off-peak hours, and making sure you turn everything off when it’s not in use.

Cut Back on Outside Entertainment

If you’re the type of family that loves going out to the movies, dining out, and visiting local attractions, now is the time to reign that spending in. Start looking for fun activities you can do at home, or for free. You’d be surprised just how much your town likely offers in terms of “free activities”.

Consider Using Public Transportation

For those families that are a two-car household and looking to make drastic cuts in the budget, then it may be time to consider selling one of those vehicles and using public transportation instead. Obviously, this is a pretty big move, but if your family is able to make do with one car, the savings will be well worth it.

There are Always Ways to Cut

When it comes to cutting your household expenses, the good news is that there are always places you can make changes.

Exercise science- the new buzz word

Exercise science is a very wide term. It encompasses everything from fitness, to body movement, to diet and more. It is the study of the mechanism of human body movement, physical activity, and exercise. It studies how exercise should interact with the human body. It lends a scientific touch to fitness and to enable people to understand the physiological impact of exercise and its impact more objectively. Exercise science is used interchangeably with kinesiology. Both the terms are closely related. While exercise science is the effect of physical activity on the body; kinesiology includes the studies of biomechanics, motor control and physiological effects of exercise.  Exercise science typically covers areas of exercise physiology, kinesiology, sports medicine, human performance and physical education.

exercise science

How did it all begin?

During the early 20th century the subject of exercise science gained prominence. The resurgence of Olympic Games was a major contributor too. What was being studied at the time was the effect of exercise on the heart rate, lungs, and hemoglobin.  Exercising at higher altitudes, oxygen consumption and other related areas were also researched. This was also the time when insulin was synthesized for treatment of diabetes. Organizations, as well as, individuals woke up to the importance of fitness, physical activity and awareness about the same increased. Aerobics became a buzzword in addition to exercises like walking and jogging.

If you wish to pursue exercise science or are pursuing the same and are wondering about your prospects there are some useful resources like withmydegree.org out there. Sharing here some key terms associated with the discipline. The field of study in the discipline is fairly wide and a degree in the same can open several career paths for you. Though some of the more advanced occupations based on exercise might require further education.

Understanding the discipline of exercise science better

Kinesiology: It can be literally defined as the study of human movement. It can be broadly defined as the study of the biological, social, behavioral and developmental bases for physical activity, sports, etc.

Sports medicine: It deals directly with sports-related injuries also including injuries sustained during physical activity or exercise. It also covers the prevention and treatment of such injuries.

Exercise physiology: Though used interchangeably this is not the same exercise science. While exercise science might embody kinesiology, physical education, human performance and more, exercise physiology only covers a fixed a field of study. This is more or less standardized curriculum focused on physiology.

With increased interest and the need for fitness globally exercise science has become popular. It is an interesting field of study. There are several new discoveries in exercise science that have been path-breaking for the fitness industry; the 7-minute workout being one of them.  There have been studies projecting growth for the job prospects for exercise physiologists and athletic trainers. This is in addition to median salaries for professionals in the field also increasing. It is fast becoming the most versatile field of study.

The Best Comic Books for Teens and Older Kids

comic books

Some people will always think of comic books as being exclusively for kids, however this notion has been challenged in recent years as an increasing number of comics and graphic novels aimed at older audiences have started to appear. While adults are now catered to with offerings such as The Invisibles, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and many others, the teen market has still been somewhat neglected.

However, for those who know where to look there are a number of quality titles on offer. In this article we have put together a list of some of the most critically acclaimed titles available for the teen and young adult market.

Runaways, by Brian K. Vaughan

Part of growing up is coming to the realization that our parents are not infallible, and are flawed human beings like the rest of us. This has been a recurring theme in young adult literature for some time and it is also a prominent feature of a number of the young adult graphic novels. In Runaways that realization plays a central role in the story, in fact it takes it one step further, the protagonist comes to realise that their parents are in fact evil supervillains. The teens run away as a result, later discovering that they have inherited some of their parents’ powers and have to decide what to do with them. It is a classic coming of age story combined with a superhero adventure.

Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan

This quirky adventure tells the tale of a group of badass newspaper delivery girls in the 1980’s. It deftly combines classic science fiction tropes with a dose of 80’s nostalgia. It has been referred to as Nancy Drew does punk and this accurately reflects the overall feel and aesthetic of this unique graphic novel.

For teens who would like to have a go at creating their own comics, the website Rage Maker is an excellent start point.

Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon

The X-Men series has always been one of the most effective vehicles for exploring adult themes within the realm of comic books. The series focuses on the trials and discrimination faced by a group of humans born with genetic mutations which confer them with super powers. Over the course of its history, the series has explored a number of important themes such as discrimination, eugenics, and the difficulty of coming of age while a member of a discriminated community.

As you would expect of a series which has been going for so long and which has produced such a large number of titles during that time, some X-Men titles have been received better than others, while some have been criticised for falling victim to overly dramatic scenes and soap opera tendencies. When the X-Men is done right, and its setting used to its full advantage, as is the case with Astonishing X-Men, the stories it produces are involving and relevant to the reader.

There are now more comic books available than ever before to the teen and young adult markets. The titles on this list are just a small selection of the many excellent titles which are now available.