Challenger International Soccer Camp 2019

For the 2nd year in a row my kids participated in the Challenger International Soccer Camp. My son is 10 and my daughter is 6. They both ended up being in the same 1/2 day camp.

Our group was very small. Only about 5 kids. I thought this was amazing though because the kids got so much attention. I was a little worried about my daughter only being 6 in with kids several years older than her and being the only girl. The other boys were very kind to her and the coach was very encouraging.

We had a couple days of rain so the camp was done in the school’s gym.

My kids really enjoy the Challenger International Soccer Camps. They learn new skills, they make it fun, and they get to meet other kids from around the area. They are sincerely interested in learning. As a mother it’s great to see how well the coach worked with the kids. I liked that they were given homework each night of camp to learn more about international soccer and other counties.

At the end of camp the coach hand wrote feed back for each kid both positive and brought each kids up to talk about their critique. I really feel like the kids get a lot out of the camp.

If you register for a camp at least 30 days in advance you get more for you money by getting a soccer ball, camp T-shirt, 2 jerseys, and access to the app that allows you to practice skills.

Register now for Challenger’s International Soccer camp and get a free international ball, t-shirt, poster, skills evaluation and new downloadable coaching app & 20 skills videos! Register 30 days before camp and qualify for a free International Game Jersey! https://www.challengersports.com/international_soccer

We received 1 tuition free in order to complete this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Why Every College Student NEEDS Amazon Prime

My oldest son will be a senior in high school this year. We are getting ready to book our first college visit. All of this just seems too real. Two years after that it will be my middle son. I feel so lost when trying to wade through all the new experiences with SATs, ACTs, driving, college applications, etc. So I really appreciate it when there is a one stop shop to make some things easier.

Amazon launches their Off To College Store for 2019. It will have everything you need to make the transition to college a little easier. This includes discounts like 50% off select Levi’s styles, 30% off Tommy Hilfiger adaptive clothing, save on dorm furniture, and more. There’s even a whole, college deals section so you can get the best prices on pencils, pens, dorm decor, water bottles, post-its, and much more.

Don’t forget as a college student you qualify for Amazon Prime Student where you can get 6 months of Amazon Prime for 50% off!

Did you know that Amazon also offers a way to rent, buy, and sell textbooks? It’s true. With your Amazon Prime Student membership that can be big savings on those way-to-expensive textbooks in the student bookstore!

With Alexa Skills Blueprint you can create and share personalized Alexa skills in minutes including custom flash cards, create and access personalized list of facts on any subject, listening quizzes to listen and recall, all perfect for study for test, quizzes, and reminders.

From needing last minute materials for a project to helping college students study, Amazon Prime has become a college essential.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links.


National Aviary in Pittsburgh: Summer Staycation Series in Western PA

This year, our family of 6 decided to do a “Summer Staycation”. We only go away for vacation every other year at this time. When we do our staycations we love discovering, or rediscovering things in western Pennsylvania. There is so much to do in western PA so narrowing it down can be hard. I realized we had never taken the kids to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.

I remember going to the aviary on a field trip with the school when I was in elementary school. I remember enjoying my time there. It’s something different that you just can’t find everywhere.

For a family of 6 we actually found it was slightly cheaper just to go ahead and get a 1 year membership. When you get a membership you can visit as many times as you like, you get free parking, and a 10% discount in the gift shop.

Sea Eagles in the background (yes they’re real)

We went on a Tuesday. It wasn’t very crowded at all. We got there around 11 am and there was a surprising amount of parking available. There were different themed areas like the Grasslands, the Wetlands, Condor court and more. It was an immersive experience. Some birds could roam around freely in each room.

Birds running freely in the Wetlands

Birds would fly past you. There was lots of greenery. Very lush and natural looking open habitats.

The Wetlands with Cranes and Scarlett Ibis. There were also flamingos and many other birds.

There are lots of extra experiences you can do if you choose. One I highly recommend is the Lorikeet feeding. For only $3 a person you can get in line to feed the Lorikeet. You’re given a cup of nectar and allowed in the room to feed the Lorikeets. These birds will land right on you and drink from the cup. I had one climb up my arm onto my shoulder and then onto my head. But the birds are small and very gentle. My 6 year old was a little nervous at first but she loved it. She even asked if she could do it again.

Me feeding a Lorikeet and my son in the red shirt.
My 6 yr old participating in the Lorikeet feedings. She loved it.

Another affordable experience that ended up being my husband’s favorite was the SOAR! Birds of Prey presentation. For $5 per person you can go to the sky deck on top of the building. Trainers give a presentation on different birds of prey. Our presentation included a falcon, vultures, and black kites. The birds are well trained. They swoop in and catch treats, perch on the trainers arm, and more. You are not able to touch the birds but you get pretty close.

Vultures taking treats from the trainer.

If your budget’s a little bigger you can get in on experiences like the Sloth Experience, Armadillo experience, Penguin feedings, and more. There is also a theater on premises that shows different films and presentations.

There are two small gift shops and a food court available as well. If you’re not doing any of the added experiences you only need about 2 hours to see all the birds. If you are doing the experiences add at least 30 minutes for each experience. We got there around 11 am and left about 2:30.

If you want there is also the beautiful Allegheny Commons park surrounding the Aviary with a playground area, picnic tables, ponds with bridges, and lots of shady spots for a hot day. We let the kids stretch their legs at the playground and explored the park a little before heading out.

The National Aviary is located on the North Shore and is close to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and not too far from the Carnegie Science Center, It’s also only a 15 minutes drive from Phipps Conservatory.


2019 Pittsburgh Children’s International Film Festival

Discover the odd, colorful, and delightful world of children’s cinema this summer at the 2019 Pittsburgh Children’s International Film Festival. Join us July 26 – August 1 for week-long line up of children’s films that range from blockbuster hits to fun and quirky international flicks.

The festival will feature several Pittsburgh premiers, as well as the best short films from the 2019 New York International Children’s Film Festival. Complimentary special events, guest appearances, and hands-on activities are planned throughout the week.

The festival will be hosted at Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville, which will play movies at a lower volume to protect young ears and provide kid friendly snacks at select screenings. In the spirit of the festival, children are welcome to move around the theater, chat, and just be kids.


SAVE THE DATE July 26-August 1 – International Children’s Festival – Save the Date!! Discover the odd, colorful, and delightful world of children’s cinema this summer at the 2019 Pittsburgh Children’s International Film Festival.
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Affordable Home Renovations To Consider As You Get Older

Blogging is my side-gig, my day job is actually a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at a local hospital. I’ve been working as a COTA for about 18 years. One of the many things I do is to make recommendations for home set up when a person is discharged home to make their home safer so they can stay in their home longer. I recommend home health Occupational Therapy comes in because they can actually see the home and make specific recommendations for a person’s specific medical needs and of course their home.

When my husband and I bought our most recent home about 3 years ago I was already thinking of things that will need to be done and things that will help us when we get older.

There are often simple changes people can make in their own homes that don’t cost a lot of money. From preventing falls, to making it easier to get around these are things you can do fairly easily.

  • Remove throw rugs: This is a big one we recommend to elderly patients, patients with frequent falls, and gait problems. The reason being they’re easy to trip on, can move, and tend to bunch up.
  • Add hand rails to stairs: One of the first things i noticed in our home when we bought it was there was no handrail to go upstairs. I told my husband we will definitely need to add one. Not just for when we’re older but for the kids safety too.
  • Switching out door knobs: For those with arthritis or grip issue a regular round door knob can be hard for people to grip. Switching door knobs to a lever door handle can make it so much easier to open door. This can be done for entry doors and interior doors.
  • Create clear walking paths throughout your home: moving furniture and decor to create a wider, clear walking path throughout the house can make it much easier to navigate through your home, especially if you’re going to be using a walker or another type of device in your home.

Unfortunately, not everything is a quick or cheap fix. For some things like getting a lift chair or an elevated seat on the toilet insurance can help some. Then there are things such as adding a bathroom to the first floor or creating a ramp into the home that may take more financial resources. The Associates Home Loan of Florida can help you refinance, get a home equity loan, or get a home improvement loan if needed.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.