It is not uncommon for coworkers, students, friends, and anyone else who wants to listen to hear my dance stories. Being a dance mom is a lot of responsibility. We are first and foremost mothers, but we also play the role of makeup artist, hair dresser, costume seamstress, shoe polisher, cheerleader, and motivator. When you have a child that is in competitive dance, it is good to know all that comes with the sport. Yes, it is a sport along with being a form of creative expression. One of the parts of being a dance mom is taking your dancer to conventions. I absolutely love them. I think their value goes beyond the entry fees and team participation. Dance conventions are an excellent way for busy dance moms to fit in a dance experience like no other, in just a weekend.
Conventions are a great way for your kids to get extra practice and be taught by industry professionals that they would normally not have the opportunity to learn from. It is also wonderful to meet new dancers, young and old, from the dance world. I really like these conventions because I feel the kids learn from watching their peers. All too often, during their regular practice they can get caught up with their friends and may not be giving 100 percent. This open forum lets them see all kinds of talent from many different backgrounds. Different styles, learning techniques, expression, and approach are things they may not see during their normal practice. In my opinion, I think it can be a real eye opener for students, as well as very inspiring.
Here are some things that are important when selecting a convention:
- Where is it located
- What are the costs
- Who is teaching the classes
- What affiliations does the company running the convention have
- How do you register
- What are the days/times of the classes
- Is there also a competition
- Can you register as an independent or does it need to be through a studio
- Can the parents attend
- Are there any fees for the parents to watch
- Are there classes for teachers/studio owners to attend
- Can you take pictures
- Cancellation policies
We have attended several conventions over the last few years. This past year, we attended Wild Dance Convention and Dance Makers Dance Convention, both held in Metro Detroit. They were both great learning opportunities.
During the Wild Convention, my daughter was recovering from a broken foot. She kept up as best she could with her boot, and still had a great time. One of her favorite teachers was Mollee Gray. She is best known for her role as “Giggles” from Teen Beach Movie. In Mollee’s class, the students were taught a fun, energetic jazz routine.
Most recently, we attend Dance Makers convention and competition. I can sum this experience up in one word: inspiring. What a positive message they deliver with their program! All the teachers were magnificent. I found tears coming down my own cheeks as Kathryn McCormick delivered her heart-felt message to the students to be themselves and not be afraid to show expression and originality.
In addition to the dance instruction, the kids and parents also made friends from around the country that they still keep in touch with today.
In closing, my overall message when it comes to dance conventions is to try to make it to at least one per year. The content of the classes and the message they deliver will leave a lasting impression on the students, as they continue their dance education. The one-day or weekend experience is convenient to fit into a busy family’s schedule, and the benefits may go above and beyond your greatest expectations.
Calcium to the rescue! My daughter broke her foot on the playground a few weeks ago. As a result, it really got me thinking if our family was getting enough daily calcium. In my recent trip to the grocery store, I did a lot of research on what types of foods are good sources of calcium. Being that my daughters and myself are lactose intolerant, this can sometimes present a challenge.
I wanted to share some of my favorite finds that are great sources of calcium. Some of them may surprise you, as they definitely did me! I am undeniably excited about having more variety in our diets, while still getting the vital nutrients my family needs. They will surly please any child, as getting in enough calcium does not mean only drinking milk anymore!
BUSY MOM TOP 10 FAVORITE FINDS FOR CALCIUM
#1 – MILK
Speaking of milk, who wins the calcium battle? Milk has always been the number one source of calcium! Believe it or not, but by providing 45% daily recommended calcium, Meijer Brand Almond Milk tops Lactaid Reduced Fat Milk, which contains 30%. This high percentage is one of the many reasons almond milk has been gaining so much popularity! There is a unique taste to almond milk, so it might not be for everyone. Either way, my family loves both products!
Thank you Minute Maid for making this great tasting orange juice that not only contains calcium, but is also packed full of lots of important vitamins! Pass me another glass please!
#3 – Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate = 30%
Swiss Miss you really surprised me! My daughter was begging me to put your hot chocolate in our shopping cart. When I read now much calcium you included per serving, I was happy to grab several more!
#4 – LaTortilla Factory 100 Calorie Tortillas = 20%
In my best attempt to reduce my carb intake, I have been purchasing these tortillas for quite a while. I admit that I had only previously paid attention to the carbs and calories of this product, but I am so excited that it is providing additional calcium to my diet, as well!
#5 – Yoplait Yogurt For Kids = 10%
Yogurt is a staple in our home. I make sure everyone in my family has one serving per day. Not only for the added calcium, but also for the probiotic properties. A healthy family is a happy family!
#6 – Velvetta Cheese Slices = 10%
For being such a small food item, this slice of cheese is another “good source of calcium.” Grilled cheese, added to dishes, making quesadillas, topping burgers, stuffing chicken – unlimited possibilities!
#7 – Whole Almonds = 8%
Almonds are another added source of calcium. Take them as an anytime snack or crush them and add to a breading or top your favorite salad, yogurt, or ice cream.
#8 – Kraft Mac & Cheese = 8%
I think mac and cheese has been a part of every child’s favorite list since I was a kid! Knowing there is calcium in this product makes me happy!
#9 – Sesame Sticks = 6%
This was another big surprise to me! I had no idea there was calcium in sesame sticks. My family loves these. Eat them alone or mix them with almonds and a few other favorites to make a healthy trail mix.
#10 – Cream Cheese = 2%
Cream cheese, you made me a little sad. I was honestly hoping you had a little more calcium in you, as I enjoyed you every day of both of my pregnancies. I still love you though! This product might not have as much calcium as the others, however, every little bit helps!
The percentages above are per serving, and based on a 2,000 calorie diet. I hope you enjoy these products as much as we do! Like all good things, please remember to experience in moderation.
Stay Happy. Stay Healthy. Stay Busy!
2 lbs ground round
2 packages chili seasoning
1 – 28 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 – 15.5 oz can light red kidney beans
1 – 15.5 oz can white beans
1 – 15.5 oz can chili beans
1 sweet onion – sliced
4 stalks celery – chopped
Start by browning the ground round. Once fully cooked, drain out the grease. Add all other chili ingredients. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for a minimum of two hours. Remember – the longer it cooks, the more the ingredients will blend together, and the better it will taste!
Scoop the chili into individual bowls. Top with sour cream, and your choice of shredded cheese and crackers!
This is a great meal to make on the weekend! This could really be called “empty the cabinets” chili. When we made this delectable meal, we actually looked at what we had in our cabinets, bought a few extras and went from there. So, in conclusion, have fun! Use this recipe as a guide, and customize with your own imagination!
Hello, and welcome to another segment of Dashing Elements: Simple In Seconds – Cooking With Kids! Today, we are going to be making quick snack roll ups and fruit kabobs that are so simple to make!
- Your choice of thin-sliced lunchmeat
- Your choice of thin-sliced cheese
- Your choice of soft fruit
- Small pretzel rods
This quick snack or meal is really limitless as to what kind of ingredients you use. Because you are going to use pretzel rods instead of toothpicks, they are very safe for children of all ages! Simply roll up your choice of thinly sliced lunch meat and/or cheese. Insert one small pretzel rod through the center and you are done! You could also add some variety by skewering fruit! This is easy with grapes, strawberries, sliced bananas, raspberries, or any other type of soft fruit.
I hope you enjoyed this quick and simple recipe! It is an easy snack that your children will love to help you make! For more recipes and quick tips for busy moms, please visit the Dashing Elements website at www.dashingelements.com. Have a great day!
As part of the CWA Review Crew, I was sent a copy of “A Place in Purpose” by Kathryn C. Lang to read and present an honest review. This book offers tips and suggestions that will help you uncover why we are here and what are we meant to do with our lives.
“I need to know why I am here – in this place, at this moment. There has to be more than what I see before me.”
Kathryn’s book is a self-help style book designed to help the reader answer the following questions:
Do you know why you are here?
Do you know what to do with that idea?
Do you understand how to put legs to that what?
Do you have a plan for when you will do it all?
A “Place in Purpose” offers advice for finding the answers to these questions and discovering your path in life. This publication is meant to help the audience find their purpose and prepare them to live life “outside the box.” Through her book, Kathryn asks the question, “Do you know why you are here on this earth? What will you do with your gifts once you realize what they are?”
I liked this book because it is another guide that got me thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. The author has valid points that break down how to assess where you are and where you would like to be. She also makes the reader feel good about themselves stating, “You are unique in all the world – designed for such a time as this.”
You can read more about the author here:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.
It is becoming that time of year again when fresh produce is bountiful and in season! A quick and easy way to prepare them is by roasting the vegetables in your oven!
Almost any vegetable can be oven roasted! Pick your favorite fresh produce from your home garden or stop by the local farmer’s market. Clean and cut up the veggies. Then, spread them out onto a nonstick backing sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the tops. Mix the vegetables around so that everything has been evenly coated. For a variation, you can also sprinkle sesame seeds and/or parmesan cheese on top.
Before we begin cooking, I have one quick safety tip for this method. Please make sure to not oversaturate the vegetables. You do not want the oil to splatter as it heats up. Along with that, make sure to use a large baking sheet or dish with sides, so that everything will stay in place and not cause any type of fire hazard.
Now that we are ready, pop them in the oven at 425 degrees. As far as cooking time goes, it depends on what you are roasting. Thin, stringier veggies like asparagus or any julienned produce will cook quicker than if you chose to cube your selections. My rule of thumb is to check and turn them every 5 minutes or so. Once they start to crisp up and you can easily poke a fork into them, then they are done!
In no time flat, you have prepared a healthy and flavorful dish that your entire family is sure to love! You will be amazed at how mouthwatering the vegetables taste when they are freshly roasted!
This recycled yogurt container ballerina will inspire any little girl to dance! Not only is it a cute addition to a room, but the tutu also serves as a fun accessory for your child’s hair! You can find most of the products to make this craft around your house. All you will need to make this pretty ballerina is a drinkable yogurt container, ponytail holder, tulle, paint, markers, foam, and pipe cleaners.
This is a great craft for a birthday party, and has minimal cost! You can also make the project with your children any time!
Wash a drinkable yogurt container. Paint the container with pink paint. Use the top of the yogurt container as a template. Cut out a small circle of foam. Place the foam into the top of the yogurt container. Be careful not to push it in too far. It will also need to be a tight fit, so that when you put the pipe cleaners in, you will not push it all the way into the bottle. Cut strips of tulle. Tie the tulle onto the ponytail holder to make the tutu. Slide the tutu onto the yogurt container. Cut the pipe cleaners into four-inch strips. Push them into the foam to make hair. Draw on the face, and your ballerina is complete!
Sometimes I wonder if there is a mother out there who isn’t stretched to the breaking point with commitments. How do we find time for exercise? Yet we do, and we must if we want to stay healthy. These tips make finding the time and getting the workouts a lot easier.
1. Schedule It. Hey, we’re moms. We have to schedule everything from dentist appointments to dates with our husbands. So it is with exercise. If I don’t have it in the plan, I might get to the end of the day and realize that I never found a free moment. I don’t want to spend my life looking for free moments, though. So I put it on the schedule. Whether I get up a little early, take advantage of naptime or squeeze in a quick workout while I’m preparing dinner, I know that I will get it done. And that way, I’m not perpetually feeling like I’m a little behind in my exercise.
2. Break It Up. Let’s face it: finding a whole open hour in the schedule doesn’t happen every day. For most of my workouts, I can chop it into pieces. While getting a consistent period of cardio is better, it’s not leaps and bounds better. Four chunks of 15-minute workouts is almost as good, and it’s way healthier than an hour on the couch. For example, if I know that I’ll be going for a walk in the midday or evening, I’ll just get up a little earlier and doing some resistance training or calisthenics to add to it.
3. Weekend Date. There is a time when I might be able to get a longer workout or¬¬–gasp–an open 90 minutes to go to the gym. It’s called the weekend. Everyone else is off on those days, so that’s my time to be on. I leave the kids with my spouse, family or friends, and hammer out a detailed workout. Sometimes I go for a long, meditative run. Other times, I’ll hit the gym and use every type of machine they have. It’s more fun when I know I don’t have to play beat-the-clock with the gym daycare.
4. Multitasking. When I really do not have a lot of time to exercise, I have to be very efficient. It doesn’t make sense to spend 15 minutes with a set of dumbbells, if that is all the time I have. On those days, I pick workouts that have a lot more punch to them. It might be high-intensity interval training at home. The new Focus T25 workout from Beachbody has been on my radar. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials with Shaun T– the program is only 25 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Other options are walking, jogging or even jumping rope. These exercises require little to no equipment, work a lot of muscle groups, and can be done just about anywhere.
5. Involve The Kids. It doesn’t always make sense to involve my kids in my workouts. But some days it just seems near impossible to get even a minute alone. On those days I just have my kids join the fun. Sometimes I just load them up in the stroller and go for a run to the park. But other times I like to get them involved in the actual workout. Somehow, I don’t feel so uncoordinated while I’m doing my exercise videos with them. They are so eager to try it and be like me that I find my self-consciousness drift away. Before I know it, my workout is done and I’m grinning from ear to ear. If you have a baby at home, this article might interest you. Hey, whatever gets the job done!
Years from now, I won’t look back and wish that I’d spent two hours exercising every day uninterrupted. Instead, I’ll be glad I put time into my busy schedule to work out and showing my kids the way it’s done. I hope my example will serve them for decades to come.
Welcome to the “New Year’s Kickoff Giveaway Event” sponsored by Tip Hero and featuring some wonderful bloggers. With the New Year in full force, we thought the perfect way to celebrate would be with a great big giveaway event!
There are some great things to buy in January, and one lucky winner will get something that could come in handy while shopping. One winner will receive a $100 Walmart gift card to help start off the new year right.
This giveaway begins on January 15th and will run until January 29th at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It will be open to residents of the US only, 18+. Use the PromoSimple form below to enter, and make sure that you take advantage of the many entries you can gain. Also, be sure to come back daily for more chances to win. Best of luck!
Disclosure: Dashing Elements is not responsible for prize distribution. If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries are optional, but if the winner task is a task that you did not complete, a second winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email. If a winner does not respond within 48 hours of the time when the email is sent, another winner will be chosen.
I had the opportunity to participate in a review for Herbal Essences Naked Collection Volume Kit. In exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions, I received a gift card to purchase this product and try it out for myself.
After using these products for just one week, I was truly in love with the Herbal Essences Naked Collection Volume Kit! There is no need to search through all sorts of beauty products! This was the perfect solution for this busy mom!
The Naked Collection Volume Kit includes Naked Volume Shampoo, Conditioner, Volumizing Soufflé Styler, and Dry Shampoo. It is an online-only offer! This limited-edition kit can be purchased at Walmart.com. You can click on this link to take you directly to the products http://www.walmart.com/ip/33006917 !
Naked Volume Shampoo & Conditioner won me over by their fresh, clean aroma. The clear shampoo was very light weight. It is made with zero heavy residues, dyes, and parabens. As soon as I started rinsing the conditioner out of my hair, I instantly noticed an incredible smoothness to my hair! It helps keep hair detangled, nourished, and maintains full volume.
Naked Volume Dry Shampoo is made for days when you don’t have time to wash your hair. By gently spraying the product in and working it into your roots, the natural tapioca formula absorbs excess oil and transforms lifeless, oily hair into fresh hair.
Naked Volumizing Souffle is a weightless, volumizing styler that gives you a lift for fullness that lasts. I also really enjoyed this product because of it’s scent of grapefruit and mint!
Not only does the Volume collection work to give you softer hair, but it really appealed to me because of the invigorating blend of white grapefruit and mint extracts. As it contains zero dyes, I felt confident that I was using a product that left my hair naturally clean
Now it’s time for a Give Away WINNER! I have to say that this was my most popular giveaway to date. Thank you to everyone that wrote in and entered this contest! A name was selected at random. CONGRATULATIONS to Debbie from Ridgeway Missouri! She has won a $50 Walmart gift card to purchase the collection!
The Walmart gift card and information have been provided by Herbal Essences. I hope you enjoy these products as much as I have!