Is there anything better than summer? I’ll wait……

…….

That’s what I thought! We are full-blown invested into summer this year as we make our way to the pool on a regular basis. The cool thing is, Luke and Eden can SWIM! I’m not even talking about doggie paddling, or floating, they are actually taking windmill strokes in the big pool.

Luke can swim the entire width of the pool without assistance. Yes, I still keep a very close eye on them…but I am truly amazed at their development. I credit 100% of it to Goldfish Swim School.

I had a meeting last Wednesday, so my husband took the kids to swim lessons. It was the first time he had seen them swim in about 6 months and he was blown away. He texted me:

“Did you know they can actually swim!?!”

Eye roll.

But it’s true, until you see them in action it’s kind of hard to believe.

Goldfish Swim School has a lot of incredible things happening July. If you’re on the fence on signing your child up for swim lessons this summer, hear me out. I know we are halfway through the summer and some of you may be thinking…okay, next year we learn how to swim…but it’s not too late!

Goldfish Swim School’s unique Jump Start Clinics are specially designed for families looking to get their kids water-ready in a hurry! They’re a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of water safety, take full advantage of school vacations, get peace-of-mind before a water-centric vacation.

Jump Start Clinics include four or five consecutive days of 30-minute swim lessons that focus on everything from teaching the fundamentals of water safety to fine-tuning stroke technique. These clinics are so effective, we guarantee you’ll see significant improvement in your child’s swimming skills in just four or five short days!

Call today to sign up!

*This post is sponsored. All of the opinions are my own.*

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My older two children have now been enrolled in Goldfish Swim School for a full year. We take weekly, 30 minute swim lessons. I can honestly admit that even after a full year, it is still something they look forward to every week.

But it’s not for every child, there are plenty of children who end swim lessons after a few weeks or right at the start of spring/summer.

Here are 4 fascinating reasons to KEEP your child enrolled in swim lessons:

 

1. Swimming lessons may save your child’s life.

Knowing how to swim can help prevent drowning. One of the reasons we love Goldfish so much is they are always enforcing safety. We will spend all summer at the pool or on a boat, and it helps me rest a little easier knowing they know how to float, tread water, and get to safety.

2. It takes a while for kids to adjust to swimming.

For some children, it takes quite a bit of time to adjust to having water splashed on their face, or going under the water. If you let your little swimmer quit swim lessons before they’re really comfortable in the water, he or she — and you — may miss out on seeing some extraordinary results. Give your children time to adjust to the water.

3. Swimming is great cardiovascular exercise — and helps burn energy.

AMEN! Did you know that swimming works every muscle group? It’s such a fantastic way to exercise — without even realizing that you’re exercising! It strengthens all the muscles, which is great prep for any other sport your little swimmer may decide to join. Plus, it wears my children out. WIN!

4. These aren’t just swim lessons; they’re LIFE lessons.

You probably know several adults who don’t know how to swim or who are afraid of the water. I know I do. As a parent, it’s just very important to me that all three of my children know how to swim, for life!

As the warmer weather finally heads our way, we won’t be slowing down anytime soon on the swim lessons. It truly amazes me to see how far my kids have come with their weekly swim lessons.

I’ll be enrolling Adam in to the school soon, as well!

Weekly lessons with Ms. Jordan are Luke's favorite.

4 reasons to keep your child enrolled in swim lessons.

 

Zac walked across the living room, passing his father with a brief message.

“I’m just going to run down to a friend’s house, I’ll be right back.”

Andy almost said, “Be careful.” But he didn’t. He knew his 18-year-old son Zac was always careful on his motorcycle. He always wore a helmet. He never sped. He was a safe, responsible young man who just celebrated his birthday. Instead, Andy said, “I love you.”

Those were the last words he would say to Zac. It was the last time he would see his son alive. Zac was killed on his motorcycle less than a mile from their home two years ago.

When Andy went with Zac to get his driver’s license, Zac asked his father if he should be a donor. Andy didn’t hesitate, he simply explained to Zac that he had been a donor his whole life. So Zac agreed.

By saying ‘yes’ to being a donor, Zac was able to save 4 lives – his kidneys, liver and pancreas were donated along with his corneas and tissues.

I had the honor to sit down with Andy Gillespie this month at Lifeline of Ohio to listen to his own words about his son’s bravery. Zac was a very unique young man who thought outside of the box. He had a serious girlfriend, a loving father and a younger sister. Through his loved ones, and his decision to become a donor, he still lives on.

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Did you know more than 14,000 people are currently on the national waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant? One donor could potentially save 8 lives. There are a lot of myths surrounding organ donation, such as being too old or too ill to be a donor. Another myth people have heard in the past is a person will not get good medical care if they are a donor and that’s simply not the case. Medical professionals are most concerned with saving lives and donation isn’t discussed until doctors have made every effort to save the person’s life.

It’s easy to become a donor. Anyone who has a state driver’s license, permit or state issued ID can register.
– It’s a minors decision at 15 1⁄2
– Until the minor is 18, a parent/guardian can amend/revoke decision at the time of death
– At 18, the decision becomes a legal authorization
• In Ohio you can register by saying “yes!” at the DMV or BMV, filling out an enrollment form, or visiting https://lifelineofohio.org/.
• Anyone out-of-state can go to www.registerme.org to register.

April is national Donate Life month. Spread the word.

Are you a donor?

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Andy Gillespie stands outside the Lifeline of Ohio Memorial where Zac’s name is engraved.

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I enjoyed meeting Andy and hearing Zac’s story. 

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Zachary DT Gillespie saved at least 4 lives two years ago. 

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Zac and his longterm girlfriend.

Tick, tock… it’s not yet 5:00 and I am out of everything! Milk, bread, eggs, you name it. Oh, how I wish I could wait until my husband got home from work to go to the grocery store. I also wish it was super easy for me to snag a sitter while I stock our fridge, but that’s not a reality for this busy mom of three. Sure, I look forward to the day when my children are old enough to help me out at our local food spot, but until then I do believe I’ve mastered some grocery store tips and tricks without losing my ever-loving mind.

We are frequent Kroger shoppers. There is a Kroger about 1 mile from our house and it’s crazy convenient. Not to mention, I save money on food and fuel. So, hi, I’m a busy mom and I’m addicted to Kroger.

Here are 10 of my grocery shopping Mom Hacks:

  1. Create a Digital Account – This is really step one to unlock all the savings. It’s really simple to sign up! Head on over to Kroger.com and register. It legit takes 1 minute, even a busy mom can do that.
  2. Get Organized – In my single days, I could walk into a grocery store and know exactly what I needed without a list. With my mom brain moving 10,000 miles a minute, I need to be organized and have a shopping list prepared before I step inside the store. You can create a shopping list on your smartphone’s Kroger App. Just click on the “more” tab at the bottom right side of the homepage… it also estimates your total, which is an awesome feature when on a budget.
  3. Get Social – Speaking of the Kroger App, I downloaded it about a year ago and absolutely love all the savings! I’ve never really been one for clipping paper coupons, plus I know they’d get lost in the storm of our stampeding children. Having it digitally loaded on my smartphone saves me time and the headache of keeping track of one more piece of paper.
  4. Be Loyal – This is an obvious one, but do sign up for the Kroger Plus Card. Did you know that the Kroger Plus Card has more than $400 in digital coupon savings? Not to mention it helps you keep track of those pre-loaded manufacturer coupons. If you forget your card, you can simply type in your phone number. Also, make sure your address is up to date, so you don’t miss out on exclusive promotions offered to Kroger Plus members.
  5. F R I Y A Y (Kroger Free Friday) – Don’t even pretend like you don’t like getting things for free. The awesome thing about Kroger Free Friday is you often get to try items you may not typically purchase, which saves money and it might introduce you to a new staple item for your kitchen.
  6. ClickList– oooookay, I’m going to be completely honest and tell you I hadn’t taken advantage of this service until recently. I know, weird. But one rainy Monday I decided to take the plunge and try out Kroger ClickList and I’ve never looked back. It’s not as intimidating as you might think! You simply place your order online, pick a time for pickup, pull right up to your local store and let the fine folks at Kroger do the rest. My kids can continue watching their DVDs or nap, and I don’t lose any more years of my life as I stressfully steer giant shopping carts through the aisles. Pro tip: ClickList will tally up your total for you and waive your first three online order fees to help you stay on budget. After that, the online order fee is $4.95.
  7. Home Delivery: say whaaaaat?! Coming to a Kroger near you SOON via InstaCart. I do believe the skies have opened and I actually hear a chorus of Halleluiah ringing out. I actually didn’t realize this was available in my area until recently. Delivery of your groceries in one hour or less. Also, your first delivery is FREE! Yep, I’m loading up my InstaCart right now. *check to see if your Kroger delivers here: InstaCart
  8. Digital Coupons and Customer Mailings – I actually have this tab open on my laptop as I’m writing this blog post. I scanned through the more than $400 of coupons and simply loaded the ones I’d use to my loyalty card. Next time I check out, those coupons will be honored, saving me time and money. Also, make sure your address is up to date. As a loyal customer you will receive additional savings in the mail.
  9. Fuel Points: Every dollar spent at Kroger is typically worth one fuel point. Points do reset every month, but that’s not really a problem for a busy mom who’s constantly taxiing kids to dance, soccer, swim lessons, play dates and school. Check the bottom of your receipt OR check your app to see how many points you have saved up. Here’s a fuel breakdown:
    100 fuel points = 10¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at participating gas stations (i.e. Turkey Hill and Shell).
    100 fuel points = 10¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at a Kroger store.
    200 fuel points = 20¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at a Kroger store.
    1,000 fuel points = $1 off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at a Kroger store.
  10. Try the Kroger Brand: We actually love the Kroger brands, especially Simple Truth Organic. That’s the brand of milk you’ll find in our fridge. My oldest son is slightly obsessed with their white cheddar popcorn, it’s something always stocked in our pantry. We also have a lot of products from Kroger’s premium line: Private Selection. I typically buy their crackers and cheese when I do get a chance to entertain other people than my kids.

You might already be familiar with these hacks, but hopefully you learned something new. Either way, I promise adding at least one of these hacks to your next shopping adventure will save you some grey hairs and possibly add stress-free years to your life.

*This post is a paid partnership with Kroger.*

Shanisty Ireland (Kroger App- shopping list)

Using the Kroger App to make my shopping list. Believe it or not, I meal plan every week so making a list is a must-do.

Shanisty Ireland Kroger (Instacart)

Delivery is coming to a Kroger near you, via Instacart! Woot!

Busy Mom's Guide to Grocery Shopping

We are big fans of the Kroger brand, Simple Truth Organic. We find almost all of our groceries in the naturally grown aisles.

Shanisty Ireland Kroger App

Finding additional digital savings on the app.

Busy Mom's Hack to Grocery Shopping

A successful day at the grocery store deserves a pic. Especially when shopping with Stevie Wonder, a cat lady dressed in fur and an 80-year old man in a Members Only jacket.

 

The Midwest didn’t get the memo that Spring has sprung. Would you believe we actually had snow on the first day of Spring? I know my friends in the Northeast are dealing with a lot more than our dusting, but still, cold is cold is cold.

The kids’ Spring Break is next week. If I didn’t have a busy week, I would totally pack them up and ship out to Florida for a few days. Hmmm…. excuse me while I see if I can switch some meetings around and make this happen.

Okay, I’m back. Ain’t gonna happen.

So, we’re making our own Spring Break, complete with cheap pink flamingos, sunshine and waves. Don’t hate on our spring break, and we won’t hate on yours.

This week was “Water Safety Week” at Goldfish Swim School, so they had to practice swimming without their goggles. Fact: if your child is in danger, the chances of them actually having their goggles on is slim, so it’s important they know how to get to safety without them.

Since spring is here, whether mother nature wants to acknowledge it or not, it’s a great time to enroll your little ones in swim lessons.

Next week (March 25-31), Goldfish Swim School’s has their Jump Start Clinics again which are specially designed for families looking to get their kids water ready in a hurry. The clinics are 5 consecutive days of 30-minute swim lessons focusing on fundamentals and water safety.

Here are a few benefits of teaching your kids to swim:

  • Building confidence.
  • Learning how to stay above water.
  • Treading water (mine aren’t to that level yet, but it’s so important!)
  • Getting out of the pool safely.

So whether you are heading to the water this spring break, or pretending in your living room…summer is right around the corner, and it really is a wonderful time to enroll your kids in swim!

*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. All opinions are my own.*

Goldfish Swim School

Eden floating during her lesson this week.

Swim Safety Week

Luke didn’t use goggles this week for “Swim Safety Week”.

Our spring break is lit.

Our spring break is lit.