British Soccer Camp Review

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: In exchange for giving you the Mom Scoop Amber was able to attend British Soccer Camp. All opinions, chatting, and blue haired children are my own.

British Soccer Camp Review

What seems like it was just yesterday I shared with you about Why It’s Better to Do Sports In The Summer. Our camp week has now come and gone, and as it was our very first experience with British Soccer Camp I wanted to come back and let you all know how it went!

Going up to the camp there was good communication through email. The first day we ended up getting rained out and they were great at keeping us in the loop about whether or not it would be canceled. To make up for the first day that we missed they added on extra time at the end of each day to make sure all the parents got their investment’s worth.

As I mentioned before Amber loved being in soccer, but only when she was able to be the goalie. As a result, she was a little unsure if she would enjoy the camp or not. After the very first day, though, she said she was really enjoying it!

When I first showed up I realized that the kids were grouped into two groups, the younger kids camp, and the bigger kids camp. Because of this Amber had some kids her age at the camp, but also a few teenagers. I was wondering if this would be a problem, but it wasn’t at all. There was a nice mix of learning, drills, and games.

They also did a great job of mixing in lots of fun. For her week they split all the kids into different world soccer teams. Then they kept score throughout the week to see which team would win the World Cup. One of the ways to earn points was to dress any way you could in your team’s color. We went all the way and I even let Amber dye her hair blue using a temporary wash out dye! (Our family has an affinity for fun hair if you hadn’t noticed by now). The coaches couldn’t stop laughing when she showed up in blue from head to toe, but she did earn extra points! Each day they had a new fun, funny challenge for points.

Another fun thing they did was during snack and water break they had the kids take turns telling funny, silly, or other kinds of stories. The kids all loved this, and there was lots of laughter!

The coaches were so nice, too! I especially loved Coach Dan who was over the younger kid’s group. Since it was only part of the time Amber was in camp he spent lots of time chatting with me and the other parents. He even helped Tyler hunt for bugs in the woods. The coaches British accents are just way too fun and we had a great time comparing life in Texas to life in Great Britain (so many differences!)

The very last day was all fun and games. At the end the coaches even let all the kids attack them with water in all its fun forms. (Personally, I think that they really enjoyed it since by Friday it was HOT!!!)

We had a wonderful experience and I am very impressed! Many parents showed up and watched from the sidelines the entire camp time. However, you were also free to drop off your kids and leave. I did both throughout the week. During our sideline chats several moms most told me that they do this camp every single year. It was clear it’s always ran well, and that they all love it. We had a great time and I know Amber is looking forward to doing it again next summer!

If you’d like to find a British Soccer Camp Near You Check out the Challenger Sports Website Here.

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How To Tackle Your Wellness Journey and Stick With It This Time

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NeuroGymFit #CollectiveBias

When I stepped onto the scale and she read out the number I thought it must be broken.

There was simply no way, no way that I could have gained nearly 30 lbs in one year. But, the crazy thing was I had, and I never even knew.

I was a newlywed and was doing my yearly women’s doctor check up. I’d always been what I thought of as “medium healthy” when it came to weight, and through my teens and college years I didn’t own a scale or think at all about what I was eating or how much I was moving. So I nearly burst into tears when I stepped onto that scale 11 years ago and discovered that I was no longer anywhere close to where I was comfortable being.

Since then I’ve been bouncing up and down between that number and my original weight. Of course, pregnancies made it go up more, but I was able to go down again after….and then slowly back up again. With my “baby” having just turned 7 last week I can no longer blame anything on my “baby weight” and yet the number continues to bounce but mostly climb. Throughout the years I’ve shared my “hot healthy & happy” journey on this blog. I’d track calories, I’d exercise, I’d set huge goals and I’d share them.

Each time, though, slowly the same bad habits crept back in and the number rocketed back up. I stopped sharing and slowly slipped away from the programs, groups, and people I used to hold me accountable as I messed up, again.

Over the past year our move, work, sicknesses, and the crazy that life is lead me to throw any attempt or progress on my wellness journey out the window. Once again I went a long while without stepping on a scale, only to be shocked when it again reflected a number that I know is not what’s best for me.

Because of my story, this quote really resonated with me,

If you just exist in the world we live in without a plan, without conscious action to create a different lifestyle, you’ll end up in the normal position, which is being overweight.

I heard it from Ari Whitten as part of the NeuroGym Winning the Game of Weight Loss program.

You see, just as I was trying to decide which way to try to re-tackle my regained weight I heard about this program that approaches getting healthy in a totally different way.

 

I took their Weight Loss Quiz to make sure the program would be right for me. It was fast and easy (took me about 5 minutes) and then I got a video response that was customized for my results. Sure enough, John Assaraf (the founder of the program) let me know that I already do have many habits that have kept me at what the BMI scale calls a healthy weight. He also said, however, that there are areas I am stuck in, and that if I wanted to change my mindset about weight loss this program could help. One thing that’s really cool about this program is that when you purchase it, you have access for life. There is no monthly charge or annual fee to continue membership, ever!

You can take the Weight Loss Quiz as well! It’s free and will help you find out if this might be what you’ve been needing, too!

This is one thing that I’ve loved about Winning The Game of Weight Loss from the start. As I mentioned, technically I’m considered at the top end of a healthy weight. Sometimes I even get funny looks when I talk about weight loss or needing to re-start my wellness journey.

However, I’m going to be honest with you all right now. I feel chubby and self-conscious at my current weight. I don’t love pictures of myself like I used to. I lack energy and feel exhausted and stressed a lot of the time. I know my bad habits and back and forth weight loss are taking their toll on my body. I want to create good habits, get healthy, and have success in this area for the rest of my life. Everything I’ve seen so far working through the first levels of Winning the Game of Weight Loss aligns with this, and I’ve already learned so much!

This program is all based on Innercises. Sounds weird, right?  Innercises are science based techniques to help individuals unlock their brain’s fullest potential so they let go of the mental and emotional blocks that prevents him from losing weight and keeping it off. Now, it might sound strange, but honestly, if you’ve taken Psychology 101 or done any scientific research into how the body and brain work together and affect one another it starts to make a lot of sense!

I’d definitely encourage you to take the quiz and see if this program is right to help you Win The Game Of Weight Loss! It comes in easy to watch videos and audio clips that even the busiest person *cough*me*cough* can fit in. I’ve been watching and listening to them while cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning the house which is perfect. Mindset is the differentiating factor between this and any other weight loss program. Instead of following a strict “do this, don’t do that list” you are retraining your brain.

So today I want to share with you some of the ways I’m revamping my life so I can tackle my wellness journey head on and stick with it this time. Hopefully, these will inspire you to begin as well!

How To Tackle Your Wellness Journey and Stick With It This Time

Focus on the Big Picture

After taking the Weight loss quiz if your answers are a good fit then you’re given the chance to attend their free Winning the Game of Weight Loss Webinar. During this one thing that really jumped out at me was they spent a lot of time talking about figuring out your big picture. They said that you can’t just focus on looking better. That is a vain and shallow reason that is all too easy to jump ship over.

I think that’s been a big problem for me. All along, although I have had deeper reasons, if I’m being perfectly honest I really just wanted to get my hot body back. I wanted to see that magic number on the scale, wanted to wear my tight clothes again without rolls showing up in spots they’re not “supposed” to be, and I wanted to turn heads like I used to do.

Yeah…pretty shallow. So since it was all based on my desire for approval and gratification it’s no surprise that when stress hit or I wanted to feel rewarded at the end of the day a generous heap of something oh-so-sugary or salty was a quick fix.

This time I’m focusing on the Big Picture. Because when I truly dug down deep I discovered do have valid and important reasons to Win the Game Of Weightloss. The biggest ones?

These two precious kids! My dear friend and I were just talking this week about our real reasons for wanting to be fit. We both agreed that we truly desire to be those little old ladies who are still driving, still serving, and still able to do all sorts of fun things with their great-grandchildren well into their 80s and 90s.

I want to live a long, beautiful life with my kids and husband and be able to adventure and explore throughout it all. I know I can only hope to live that life if I start making the right choices, habits, and mindsets now.  So I’m digging in deep, and writing it down so I don’t forget.

Start Tiny & Grow

This one is a toooough one for me. I’m very much an all-or-nothing kinda gal. So anytime I get excited I dive in head first, make all these crazy elaborate plans, and try to go full tilt boogie. When I (of course) fail miserably I throw up my hands in dismay and reach for a brownie. In Level One John Assaraf made a comparison that really stuck with me. He compared this journey to a garden. When I’m working in my little plot I have to plant tiny seeds and take care of it in order to get the end result after a long wait. In the same way I can’t try to do all-the-things-all-at-once in my own growing process.

John encouraged us to pick little, achievable goals for today. Not the ones that I normally go for, but one that gets me excited and will be just a teensy bit of a challenge. While I’m excited to finally make progress, I have to keep reining myself in from making crazy goals that I’m sure to crash and burn on!

Make It Easy & Fun

Another thing I love about the Winning The Game of Weightloss program is that there is no specific diet or exercise program you have to follow. This is huge for me. I actually have never followed one of the popular “diets” just because the thought of them immediately made me angry, haha! I love that this program provides great, scientific information from the leading experts.  You create a plan that is completely and entirely based on YOU with the program’s help! Your bad habits, your goals, your food preferences, and how you enjoy moving.

So as I get started again I’m focusing on easy and fun ways that will get me happy, not grumpy about starting my journey once more. I love fresh fruit and veggies so an easy change for me will be to start buying it to snack on throughout the day and night. This will help replace all the less than healthy options I’ve been defaulting to lately. It’s something that makes me smile, and from now on I’m going to focus on these kinds of easy steps that make me happy and are achievable!

These are a few of the realistic and attainable ways I’m starting my journey for good this time! What are you focusing on in your wellness journey right now? Let me know!

And don’t forget to take the Weight loss quiz!

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Why I Require My Kids to Share a Room

 

Let’s face it. Sibling relationships are complicated.  Two (or more) little imperfect humans are placed into one family, each with his or her own blend of personality, habits, desires, frustrations, jealousies, and quirks.  So it’s no surprise that kids spend a crazy amount of time arguing, yelling, hitting, name-calling, and tattling.  Everyone knows that some sibling rivalry is to be expected in families with multiple kids.  When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly.  But I’ve come to realize that brothers and sisters can actually be friends.  That’s right, friends.  With each other.

When my youngest was a baby, I put my other two kids (who were 5 and 3) into one room simply out of necessity.  The baby needed naps during the day and still woke up several times a night, so for the sake of everyone’s sleep she needed to be in a room by herself.  So we doubtfully put her big sister and brother together, wondering how long this arrangement would last.  They had always had their fair share of sibling rivalry.  One was loud and the other liked peace and quiet.  One liked to spread out Legos EVERYWHERE while the other needed space for dolls and reading and creative pursuits.  One was an early riser and the other a night owl.  Were we crazy to put them together?

Initially things were a bit rough. But soon they surprised us by starting to get along better.  They came up with games and activities that were fun for both of them.  They shared their toys more freely.  Every night they listened to audio books together.   They started to actually enjoy being together.  

There were still plenty of disagreements and frustrations, but they had learned to work most things out.  To consider each other’s feelings and preferences instead of just thinking of their own wishes.  To take turns choosing what to play or what book to listen to at bedtime.  To be quiet when the other was asleep.  They were learning to live together in (relative) harmony because they had to.  When we took a two-month trip to see my husband’s family, they were inseparable.  They wanted to sit together on every plane, bus, and train.  They told us they were travel buddies and couldn’t be separated.  They treated each other like friends.

As I marveled at their newfound friendship, I thought back to my own childhood.  I was the oldest of four and we lived in a 3-bedroom house the whole time I was growing up, so my sister and I shared a room until I got married and moved out (a bit extreme, I know).  I often resented having to share with her, but there were so many nights we stayed up talking and laughing and connecting.  We would have missed out on all of those conversations if we were in separate rooms.  We both learned to live with each other’s quirks, habits, messes…things we would eventually have to learn when we got married.  Today my sister is one of my absolute favorite people in the world.  As much as I wanted my own room back then, I’m so thankful that I never got it because I would have missed out on so many blessings if I had.

So when we moved to a new house this summer, it seemed like it was time for our youngest to have the blessing of sharing a room with someone.  We gave our oldest daughter, who is now 10, her own room for the first time in years, and put the other two, who are 7 and 4, in a room together.  Several family members and friends were skeptical of this decision, and a couple of them genuinely tried to talk me out of it because my two youngest have always been at odds.  They are both strong-willed, emotional, dramatic, and really good at pushing each other’s buttons.   But we decided to give it a try anyway.  And I’m so glad we did!

They still fight like all brothers and sisters. We still have days that make me want to separate them so I don’t have to listen to any more arguing. But in the few weeks we’ve lived in the new house, my 7-year-old son has let his sister choose the audio book almost every night.  For him this is huge.  He has kept his Lego mess confined to one rug.  He brings her water at night when her cup is empty.  And she serves her brother in so many small ways.  She puts away his laundry so he won’t have to.  She surprises him by making his bed.  She encourages him when he gets frustrated or disappointed.

I know being room-mates won’t make them into selfless angels, but my hope is that it will start a bond between them that will last into adulthood.  Learning to live together in harmony is such a valuable gift I can give them, even though they may not see it that way right now.  When the time comes for them to have their own rooms, I hope they will go looking for each other because they want to be together.

 

Save Money For Back To School With Groupon

When I think Groupon I usually think of huge discounts on amazing experiences. But that’s not all that Groupon is amazing for! Did you know that Groupon has over 9,000 retailers and over 70,000 deals?!

With back to school barreling on us I’m trying to get all my shopping out of the way now so I can avoid the crowds. My favorite way to do this is by shopping online, shopping now, and using Groupon Coupons.

Of course my love for Amazon is no secret by now. From birthday gifts to school supplies we’re always ordering from them.  The great news is that right now Groupon has over 156 deals on amazon items! Right now, one of the Groupon Amazon deals is FREE shipping with Amazon without having to have Amazon Prime. So if you don’t have it like us you can stock up!

Groupon isn’t just about Amazong though. There are so many retailers you can shop such as Target , Macy’s, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, and Aeropostale. No matter what your shopping need may be, Groupon has a deal for you! So, get saving and check on the deals for yourself!

How to Choose Accommodations When You’re Traveling With Kids

Traveling with kids can be a nightmare if your accommodations don’t accommodate them. Lots of hotels simply aren’t kid-friendly. The secret to a fun family vacation is ensuring the kids have a good time too; otherwise, you’re going to be subjected complaints and negative attitudes. The following is a guide to help you choose accommodations that your kids will love so much they’ll be raving about the fun they had for years to come.

Kid-Friendly Hotels in Adult Cities

Some destinations are more fun for adults than kids. For example, Hollywood. If you’re not riding rides at Universal Studios Hollywood, there’s a chance your kids are going to be bored. But, family friendly hotels do exist. A fun hotel can cheer a kid up and give them something to look forward to. The best boutique hotels in West Hollywood are the most kid-friendly, such as Loews Hollywood Hotel which is located on the Walk of Fame and features a rooftop pool and lots of kids toys. Look for resorts, huge pools with water slides, and on-site arcades to accommodate kids in adult-friendly destinations.

Is It Near the Beach?

It’s hard to find an ocean-front hotel that doesn’t cost a fortune, but kids love to play in the sand don’t they? They also love to boogie board, swim, and splash. Instead of paying for a hotel, why not consider the benefits of a beach front home or condo rental. AirBnB is a great place to seek out waterfront property that fits in your budget. For added fun, seek out places that include watersports equipment, such as use of kayaks or snorkeling equipment. This will provide hours of fun for kids, but requires safety demonstrations beforehand.

Look for On-Site Restaurants

If your hotel has an on-site restaurant (and, it’s great if it does) call ahead to make sure they accommodate kids. Do they offer crayons and pages to color? Do they encourage kids to be themselves? Are there games to play and a menu that’s packed with the stuff they like to eat? Keeping kids full and having fun will ensure your vacation goes swimmingly, and a stuffy hotel restaurant won’t help with that at all.

It helps if the restaurant also serves a daily breakfast. Some will offer a free hot or continental breakfast; others will charge for breakfast. What you want to do and what you can afford is up to you; however, feeding kids bright and early will help them start the day with positive attitudes. All day long, they should be treated to nutritious and filling meals because it will help keep them happy while traveling.

Be Nearby Attractions

If your attractions aren’t already on-site, such as staying at an all-inclusive resort, make sure they’re nearby. Long walks or car rides aren’t going to bode well with your little ones. Of course, they can suck it up for one vacation, but if you’re looking to keep the trip on the sunny side, don’t expect them to always have a smile on their faces (especially on long journeys). They are almost guaranteed to complain about long trips, but will be pleasantly and happily surprised by nearby destinations. Look for rentals and hotels that are right by your favorite attractions or expect to be complained to.

iMom recommends that you identify what’s bothering a whiny kid. It’s likely a sour tummy or they’re too hot, or some other travel related reason. Then point out and challenge the attitude. Offer the kid some incentive to turn the attitude around, and the ride should go more swimmingly. You can basically use that method to solve any of your journey’s issues; coupled with kid-friendly accommodations it almost guarantees a happy vacation.

 

By Monique

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