July is almost here, which means that move-in time for college students is quickly approaching. Leaving for college can be stressful, especially when it’s your first time, as you’re flooded with lists stacked with items you’re supposed to bring and textbooks you’ll need to buy. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of five must-haves for any college freshman or college student in general who’s heading back to school this fall.

Mattress Topper

One of the biggest parts of your dorm is your bed. After all, you’ll spend most of your time in your dorm sleeping. However, dorm beds can be quite uncomfortable if you don’t come prepared with a mattress topper to soften the blow on your body. With LUCID’s Memory Foam Mattress Topper, you can transform the average dorm room bed into a plush and comfortable bed for sleeping. The 4-inch mattress topper is made of gel memory foam that adds a soft and comforting feel. Infused with gel material, this mattress topper captures and distributes heat for a cooler memory foam experience. Buy here: https://amzn.to/3gaFc4u

Storage Cart

 

It’s no secret that some dorm rooms can be rather small. Students have to learn to utilize storage wherever they can so that their rooms don’t become overwhelmed with clothes, textbooks, and more. Luckily, there are storage containers designed to make the life of a college student easier. The Studio 3B 4-Drawer Storage Cart is one of those products. Not only is this storage cart perfect for textbooks, notebooks and other school supplies, but it can also double as a night stand for next to your bed. Plus, it has wheels, which makes it perfect for move-in. Buy here: https://amzn.to/2Bl4sFX.

 

Personal Safe

Life with a roommate can be nerve-wracking at first, especially for students who have never shared a living space before. When it comes to your most valued items, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when sharing your room with someone else. With Master Lock’s Personal Safe, you can ensure that your expensive items remain safe and secure when you’re not in your room. This portable Personal Safe is designed with a four-digit combination that you set yourself and is shock absorbing with an earbud and charging cable access port so students can charge devices or listen to music from devices that are locked inside the safe. Buy here: https://amzn.to/2V5xkZX

LED Desk Lamp

Let’s face it: college dorm lighting isn’t great. The lights provided can be harsh or too dim, and make it difficult to do work at night when light is no longer pouring in from the windows. Luckily, Yostyle has created the perfect desk lamp to solve this problem. With their LED Desk Lamp Light, students can adjust their lighting with the 4 adjustable brightness settings. Plus, the light has 4 USB ports and 2 outlets, allowing students to charge devices while at their desk, or wherever the light is to be placed. Don’t just settle for average dorm lighting. Make your life easier with Yostyle’s LED Desk Lamp. Buy here: https://amzn.to/31UZv22

Shower Shoes

The idea of a “communal bathroom” can be frightening at first, but once you get used to it, it’s really not that bad, as long as you have one very important item: shower shoes. When utilizing a communal bathroom, you’re sharing the showers with multiple other students on your floor, so to avoid potential fungal infections, shower shoes are an essential. With Ranberone’s Shower Sandal Slippers, you can enjoy your showers without any worry. Built with drainage holes throughout the shoe, these slippers are quick-drying and are perfect for the shower, plus their anti-slip design gives your feet a good grip without any fear of slipping. Buy here: https://amzn.to/3dzBNKV

The idea of moving to college can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! With these items you’ll be well prepared to enjoy your time this fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following was written by  Heather Borden Herve, GMW Editor

Gov. Ned Lamont issued his nightly update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for Thursday, April 2, 2020. It was, according to the governor, the largest, single-day increase in the number of deaths since the crisis began.

By the Numbers (April 2)
  • New one-day positive cases in CT residents:  267
  • Total CT cases:  3,824 (includes 18,300-plus tests conducted in state and private labs)
  • Total People hospitalized:  827 (approximately) (381 in Fairfield County)
  • Total Fairfield County cases: 2,132 (up 146 in one day)
  • Total CT fatalities due to complications from COVID-19: 112 (27 newly reported) (65 in Fairfield County–up 19 in one day)

Visit the state’s coronavirus webpage for several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups.

Governor Implements New “Safe Store” Rules

Gov. Lamont instituted new rules to protect store employees and shoppers, effective Friday, April 3.

Occupancy, store layout, and managing customer flow

  • Occupancy capped at 50% of store capacity. At entrance, staff will maintain a count of the number of customers entering and exiting stores.
  • Clearly mark 6-ft. spacing in lines on floor at checkout lines and other high-traffic areas and, as much as practicable, provide ways to encourage 6-ft. spacing in lines outside the store.
  • Post conspicuous signage and floor markings to direct customers and limit bottlenecks and/or encourage spacing and flow in high-density areas.
  • Have aisles be one-way in stores where practicable to maximize spacing between customers. Identify the one-way aisles with conspicuous signage and/or floor markings.
  • Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout lines, including, but not limited to, only using every other checkout line, where and when possible.
  • Install Plexiglas shields to separate employees from customers at checkout lines and other areas in the store where practicable.

General

  • Communicate with customers through in-store signage, and public service announcements and advertisements, there should only be one person per household during shopping trips, whenever possible.
  • Discontinue all self-serve foods (e.g., salad bar, olive bar) and product sampling.
  • Allow “touchless” credit card transactions. If not possible, sanitize credit card machines (including pen) regularly and consistently.
  • Cart and basket handles sanitized between uses (by staff).
  • Wherever possible, employees will wear gloves and face masks at all times that they are interacting with customers and/or handling products.
Governor Lamont signs 21st executive order

Gov. Lamont Thursday signed another executive order–the 21st since he declared an emergency–which enacts the following provisions:

Prohibition on non-essential lodging:  Prohibits all hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and short-term residential rentals (including those arranged through online hosting platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo) from renting to customers for leisure or vacation purposes. Instead, lodging at these facilities must be limited to:

  • Health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers;
  • Workers engaged in transporting critical materials to hospitals;
  • Vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless;
  • Connecticut residents who need a place to self-quarantine away from family or roommates;
  • Those receiving long-term care or specialized medical treatment;
  • Connecticut residents in need of housing as a result of property damage, such as a fire;
  • Persons unable to return home because of constraints on travel; and
  • Persons engaged in providing or servicing lodging.

Further clarification of limits on restaurants, bars, and private clubs:  Permits, under certain conditions, food establishments and liquor manufacturers to deliver alcoholic liquor and allows additional manufacturers to sell alcoholic liquor for pick-up and delivery. This will provide additional opportunities for these businesses to safely deliver their products directly to customers and reduce travel outside the home.

Suspension of notarization requirement related to Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program:  Suspends the notarization requirement for certifying compliance with nondiscrimination laws for applicants seeking assistance through the recently created Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program for small businesses in order to ensure that applications can be completed and processed in an efficient manner.

Flexibility to maintain adequate child care infrastructure:  Provides the commissioner of Early Childhood with the authority to implement a financial package to compensate emergency child care and stabilize the child care field to support providers through the emergency response.

Suspension of rehearing rights for temporary rate increases for certain health care providers:  Enables the Department of Social Services to provide relief to various providers, including nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities for the intellectually disabled, and residential care homes, by way of a temporary rate increase to address the COVID-19 public health emergency without being subject to rehearings challenging the overall magnitude and methodology of the rate increases that can, in some case, take years to come to a conclusion and expose the state to increased costs beyond those necessary to pay the temporary rate increases.

Alternative to affidavits in relation to orders of protection and relief:  Suspends the requirement that victims of domestic abuse sign an application for an order of protection under oath before a notary or attorney. Instead, the order enables them to sign an application outside the presence of a third party under the penalty of false statement. Gov. Lamont thanks the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Judicial Branch for their input and coordination on this important matter. This order, along with additional changes the Judicial Branch intends to make to its Rules of Civil Procedure, will ensure victims of domestic abuse continue to have access to our courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access Health CT extends special enrollment period for uninsured residents to April 17

Access Health CT–Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace–Thursday announced that it is extending the deadline for the new special enrollment period for uninsured residents to enroll in health insurance plans. The special enrollment period opened on March 19 and was originally anticipated to end April 2; however that deadline is now being extended to April 17. Anyone who enrolls during this extension period will receive coverage effective May 1.

The only way to sign up for this special enrollment period is by calling 855.365.2428. Telephone enrollment is available Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Individuals who lose coverage due to unemployment, experience certain other qualifying life events, or qualify for Medicaid/Children’s Health Program (CHIP), can always enroll online, in-person or over the phone and all help is free.

Nearly 1,500 people enrolled during the initial-two week special enrollment period.

Department of Social Services extends deadline to apply for winter home-heating assistance

The Department of Social Services today announced that it is extending the application period for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. Residents will now have until June 1, 2020 to apply for assistance to help cover this past winter’s heating bills (the previous deadline was May 1). Application sites and eligibility information is available online, by calling 2-1-1, texting CTWARM to 898.211, or contacting a community action agency.

Department of Social Services extends Emergency SNAP benefits to 97,000 households

The Department of Social Services is providing Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefits to nearly half of Connecticut SNAP participants on April 9 and April 20. Authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, the extra food benefits will go to approximately 97,000 households not currently receiving the maximum benefits allowed for their household size. This means that all households enrolled in SNAP will receive the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size, even if they aren’t usually eligible for the maximum benefit. More information is available online.

Department of Revenue Services extends filing payment deadline for gift tax returns

At the direction of Governor Lamont, the Department of Revenue Services today announced that the filing and payment deadline for gift tax returns is being extended until July 15, 2020. Gift tax returns reporting gifts made during 2019 had been due on April 15. This extension does not apply to the estate tax.

“This action, which aligns with the U.S. Treasury’s announcement of an extension at the federal level, will help support taxpayers and tax practitioners meet their responsibility to file returns and remit payments,” Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello said.For Connecticut taxable gifts made during calendar year 2019, a donor will not pay Connecticut gift tax unless the aggregate amount of the Connecticut taxable gifts made exceeds $3.6 million.

As a blogger, I get compensated for some of my posts when I discuss a product and someone purchases it. This is my job and how I get paid. I will not, however, recommend or discuss a product that I don’t feel is of benefit or value to my readers. My thoughts on these products are my own.

I LOVE aroma therapy. I have a diffuser with eucalyptus in my home office, I spray lavender before I go to bed and I use spray water infused with citrus oil in the morning to wake me up. 

For those of you who are new to essential oils, here’s what you need to know:

Essential oils, what you need to know

But I can assure you that using essential oils can relax you, energize you and focus you.  Not only that but they can be used for cleaning your home.

What I don’t love is how expensive everything can be.  Trying to DIY it usually requires buying a lot of extra stuff such as the carrier oils to use with the essential oils or a roller ball bottle or salts. 

Enter Simply Earth

I’d never heard of the company until they reached out to me asking me to try out their products. It’s a family-owned business that, like so many entrepreneurs, saw a problem and set out to solve it. 

That problem was all the chemicals that invade our home through cleaning products on a daily basis. Chemicals that end up on our clothes on the plates we eat from and the air we breathe. For those who follow my blog you know I have a son with intellectual disabilities and a husband with primary progressive MS so that impact of environmental toxins on our bodies is a big issue for me. Their mission is simple – make our homes natural at an affordable price.

On their website, their Simply Pure Promise is:

Simply Pure essential oils promise

Here’s what’s awesome about them:

They source their oils in small batches from all around the world, wherever that particular plant grows best, from ethical farms.

All of their oils go through third-party testing to make sure they’re pure and completely free of fragrances, contaminants and fillers.  And they post the GM/MC reports for every batch on the product page so we can see them.  Full transparency!

They’re super affordable!  If you have ever bought 100% pure essential oils, you know they’re pricey.  While you can buy individual products such as the essential oils (including CBD Oil!), jewelry, diffusers and other products, the best thing about Simply Earth is they offer a monthly subscription that is a fraction of the cost of purchasing these products anywhere else. 

For just $39/ month you get:

Four 15 ml bottles of essential oils which is a $100+ value compared to other big essential oil companies. You receive recipe cards for using the oils. Plus, six containers to hold your creations along with the extra items you’ll need to complete the recipes.

Plus, on your first order you’ll get a FREE Big Bonus Box with tons of stuff like carrier oils, the roller ball bottles and beeswax.  No need to go out to the store to get these extras.

My initial thought was that I’d never use up all 4 essential oils every month, but I realize you’re not supposed to – you can build up a variety of essential oils.

Here’s what makes it even better! If you use my code SAFETYMOMFREE you’ll receive a $40 gift certificate with your first subscription box and FREE Big Bonus Box to use towards your next month’s box or a future purchase.

Simply Earth Essential Oils monthly subscription box
  • The Simply Earth return policy is a full year (365 days).
  • Shipping is free for continental U.S. states on orders $29 and up.
  • And what’s really cool about this company is they donate 13% of their profits to organizations who help find, rescue, and restore victims of human trafficking.

Now on to the fun stuff – and I do mean FUN!

You get to create a variety of aroma therapy products for yourself with the recipes they have.  There are tons of recipes on their blog and you can also download The Essential Oils for Beginners Book.  But each of your monthly boxes comes with recipes such as the Anxiety Relief Inhaler, the Persevere Roll On and the Creative Zone Diffuser Blend (my personal favorite so far!)

Essential oil for beginners

Are you an aroma therapy addict like me?  I’d love you to check out Simply Earth and let me know what you think of their products. 

I’d really appreciate you also using and sharing my code SAFETYMOMFREE to get the $40 gift card with your first subscription box.

My life is divided into two parts  – before my son’s death and after. Connor was my first child and he died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at 3 months and 24 days. I barely remember the person I was. I do know that I was carefree and naive and at the same time arrogant. Arrogant to believe that unspeakable tragedy could only happen to other people. I credit Connor’s death with making me empathetic – for recognizing that everyone has a story and if we open ourselves up to people we connect through our vulnerabilities.  

The time between his birth and death is also a blur – after all it was only four short months.  I remember the normal first-time mom anxieties of worrying how to hold him to give him his first bath. But I also remember quickly falling into a wonderful routine.  His death was like a bomb exploding – it happened so quickly without any warning.  What began as a perfectly ordinary day changed in a second with the phone call from the daycare provider who uttered one of only two sentences I remember from that day; “There’s a problem with the baby. He’s not breathing.”  After that it was the chaos after the explosion and all that was left was me standing in the rubble of my life. 

As the CEO of First Candle I speak to hundreds of bereaved parents – some within days of their baby’s death and others many years later. The new ones always ask me the same question – “When do you start feeling better?” There’s never an easy answer to that. Again, it’s similar to the bomb analogy. The initial pain and trauma thankfully don’t last forever but there are times when it comes back such as seeing your friends’ babies who are the same age your child would have been. The first birthday after your child has died and the first anniversary of his death are especially painful and instantly take a parent back to that day when life changed forever.

Researchers now agree that the grief a parent experiences after the loss of a child is a type of PTSD.  I was one of the lucky ones – I had the support of my community, family, friends and co-workers.  Others aren’t as fortunate. There are parents who, after their baby has died, must deal with insensitive investigators and state workers and are forced to re-enact the time of death using a baby doll. Families who face the reality of having their living children removed from their home because they are suspected of abuse. Recovering from these experiences takes years and even decades.

For the first year after Connor’s death I wouldn’t let anyone take a picture of me.  I just couldn’t bare to see how sad, old and tired I looked.  Physical ailments are common among bereaved parents.  Grief causes our immune system to crash and induces chemical reactions in the body what can last over a long period of time.

  • Digestive problems such as loss of appetite or overeating
  • Sleepiness and sleeplessness
  • Heartache and chest pain
  • Forgetfulness and memory loss
  • Cognitive changes including general confusion and difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional changes including sadness, crying, and prolonged weeping
  • Respiratory problems including shortness of breath and asthma
  • Panic attacks; i.e., sweating, rapid heartbeat, numbness, and tingling
  • Confusion with an associated feeling of loss of control or a feeling of “losing one’s mind”

I became pregnant very quickly after Connor died which was the right decision for our family, but my second son has intellectual disabilities and to this day I wonder if it’s due to the stress of grief I was experiencing. 

As a society we’re not good at dealing with grief and it can ruin relationships. The rate of divorce is high among parents who have lost a baby. Men and women often express grief in different ways and it’s difficult to understand if a spouse appears to not care or shut down. We often receive calls from men who are afraid to grieve in front of their partner because they feel they need to be “the strong one.”  Months after my son died a friend was talking about how exhausting it is to have a toddler. I felt like screaming that I wish I had the chance to be that exhausted and had difficulty getting over what I perceived as an insensitive and thoughtless comment.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. If you’ve experienced a loss, what advice would you give to a newly-bereaved family?  Share below.

This summer was the season of freedom for my 16-year-old daughter.  Remember that first summer when you had your driver’s license and some spending money in your pocket, and you could head out to the beach whenever you wanted to?  It was exhilarating.

With her freedom comes mine.  I’ve got less driving around to summer activities and sleepovers. I’m starting to feel the reigns of obligations slip off me and with that I can feel myself ready to start discovering me.  Not the person I was pre-kids – she’s long gone. This new me has a lot more wisdom and confidence.

Here are a few things the new me is excited to do:

The new me is anxious to try new things. I used to be intimidated to try a new class at the gym for fear I’d look like an idiot because I couldn’t keep up. Not anymore.  Now I bravely stand at the front of the class and laugh when I screw up but even more importantly I’m proud that I did it and congratulate myself for the moves I could do.

The new me is ready to have adventures.  I saw a show the other day about these two people touring Thailand and visiting these incredible waterfalls. When you have kids it’s darn near impossible to have trips like that. Disney is the ultimate adventure and while that was fun, I’m ready for the real world not a place that recreates adventures.

The new me is ready for the next big leap in my career.  For years now I’ve made my living blogging and doing TV segments about safety and wellness.  Don’t get me wrong – I love it and will continue to do that. The way my career started was because of the death of my first son.  It drove me to want to help save other kids’ lives. As I’ve gotten older new things drive me.  Listening to women who are scared to leave a relationship or start a new career or struggle with being a caregiver motivate me. I love speaking to these women and offering them support and guidance. I envision a world of confident and happy women and, through retreats and speaking engagements, I want to create that.

The new me is ready to have a few deep friendships.  When we’re in our 30’s and 40’s we’re building a career and/or family that consumes our time. Our friendships tend to be created around the interests of our kids. Some high school and college friendships remain but get-togethers are few and far between and finding current commonalities is tough. For years my girls have been involved in All-Star cheerleading.  For those of you not familiar with this sport, it’s year-round and requires a lot of travel.  When you’re a “cheer mom” that other moms become your friends. But one day your cheer life ends and naturally these friendships fade. But a few transcend the mutual bond of cheer (or whatever activity your child is involved with) and you connect over the big issues. Now I have time for a few friendships that are based on mutual respect, shared beliefs and willingness to talk about the real stuff.  You know the real stuff – our hopes and dreams but also the fears that keep us up at night.

The new me understands that my health is something I can’t take for granted.  When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I worked out to have a hard body and look great.  Now I work out to prevent osteoporosis and keep my heart in good shape.  I used to choose my food based solely on what tasted good.  Now I select food that tastes good and will provide me the nutrients I need to cut cholesterol and provide the right vitamins.  When the kids were younger, I would always  get them to their check-ups but mine would be missed because there wasn’t time.  Now I realize that making the time for health screenings and exercise is what will allow me to live life to the fullest.

As I’m closing in on another birthday I’m loving who I’m becoming and can’t wait for the next chapter. What’s in your next chapter?  Share below as writing it down makes it more real.

First-of-its-Kind Ornament Designed to Effectively Detect Fires Before They Spread

Disclaimer  – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

Safer Alarms™ announced the nationwide launch of the most innovative Christmas tree essential on the market: an ornament that detects potential tree fires. Unlike a basic smoke detector, the Safer Christmas Tree Alarm looks like an ornament, but is designed to detect fire risk at the source. It is compact and hides directly in the tree. Upon detection of a fire the ornament sensor instantly sends a signal to their remote alarm, placed in a safe location.  

Every year U.S. firefighters respond to roughly 200 Christmas tree fires. They are some of the deadliest in the home, resulting in one death per 32 occurrences on average, compared to one death per 143 home fires.

“There is no fire alarm system that alerts faster and detects at closer proximity, all while eliminating an increase in nuisance alarms. Simply put; faster detection is safer detection,” said Marc Toland, Safer Alarms Founder and CEO.

Toland founded Safer Alarms after three girls and their grandparents tragically died in a horrific Christmas morning fire. Toland and his family lived down the street. Toland is now on a personal crusade to raise awareness to fire safety and bring lifesaving products to market.

Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/J0GKgfCdk1U

Why It’s Better

Smoke detectors have been around for decades and are in almost every home and office, but their placement, usually in the middle of a ceiling in a hallway, makes them less than ideal.  The reality is, by the time you hear your smoke alarm go off, it may be too late to do anything about it.

How It Works

Safer Alarms transforms the fire safety industry with its temperature heat sensors, placed at the source of common fires.

Patent pending technology recognizes when temperature hits “danger zone” (150 degrees F or higher).

TheChristmas ornament transmits a wireless signal to an alarm unit and the alarm sounds instantly and continuously to alert the consumer to danger even if the ornament sensor is melted. The product is easy to assemble, no tools required.

The Safer Christmas Tree Alarm is available today on Amazon and saferalarmsinc.com with a second line of products launching soon.

About Safer Alarms

Safer Alarms is dedicated to creating products that detect fires straight from the source. Unlike typical fire alarms, Safer Alarms creates niche fire detectors that result in alerting homeowners as soon as danger arises.

Disclaimer – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

For anyone caring for an older relative or parent we know that everything can change in an instant.  One fall can lead to hospitalization and the very real possibility of losing the ability to live independently.  Last year my family dealt with just that issue.  My aunt, who lived downstairs from us, must have experienced a fall in the middle of the night.  When we finally discovered her the next morning thank goodness she was OK but we learned she had experienced a stroke and slid off her chair.  In a mere 24 hours we were thrown into a world of social workers, case managers and rehabilitation.  While she recovered mentally, it became obvious that she was too frail to return home.  After an extended stay in a rehab facility we needed to move her into a nursing home.

When dealing with a fall, time is critical. The longer it takes to get help, the greater likelihood of a long hospital stay and permanent damage. Unfortunately, my aunt, even at 89 years-old, is extremely proud (and a tad vain?) and despite the many times we tried to get her to wear a medical alert button she refused.  I have to admit, I get it.  There’s nothing pretty about a clunky white piece of plastic on a chain.  I’ve even tried to get my mom (who also lives with us) to wear one because even though she’s very healthy she’s tiny. 

Well, as I always say, the answer always presents itself and mine came in the form of a company called MobileHelp who reached out to me with their new product Trelawear

It was one of those “why didn’t someone think of this before” moments! Instead of some ugly piece of plastic MobileHelp now offers beautiful pieces of jewelry that are actually medical alert systems.  Trelawear is blue-tooth enabled and it comes with a mobile device and base station.  If you’re away from home you simply need to carry the small mobile device with you. 

The new Trelawear “smart” jewelry pendant comes with all of the safety features of a traditional personal emergency response system paired to a cellular base station. This high-end pendant comes in a silver or gold finish – providing customers with the freedom to remain safe and stylish – at home and on the go.

If there is a medical emergency the person simply needs to hit the button on the back of the pendant and an emergency responder will contact them to determine the issue and summon help.  The person’s exact location will be identified through GPS tracking so even if they can’t give their location they can get help.  Even better, because the technology can identify “normal” motion, if the person falls it can be detected and emergency responders will immediately be contact even if they don’t press the button.  If they are unable to speak help will be summoned immediately. 

This past week I had the opportunity to do a series of television segments with the CEO of MobileHelp Rob Flippo talking about Trelawear.  You can check out one of the segments here to learn more:

Extra $25 Off MobileHelp Solo, Duo or Classic Annual Plan with code MOBILEHELP at MobileHelp.com

This summer was the season of freedom for my 16-year-old daughter.  Remember that first summer when you had your driver’s license and some spending money in your pocket, and you could head out to the beach whenever you wanted to?  It was exhilarating. With her freedom comes mine.  I’ve got less driving around to summer activities and sleepovers. I’m starting to feel the reigns of obligations slip off me and with that I can feel myself ready to start discovering me.  Not the person I was pre-kids – she’s long gone. This new me has a lot more wisdom and confidence. Here are a few things the new me and my life after 50 is excited to do: The new me is anxious to try new things. I used to be intimidated to try a new class at the gym for fear I’d look like an idiot because I couldn’t keep up. Not anymore.  Now I bravely stand at the front of the class and laugh when I screw up but even more importantly I’m proud that I did it and congratulate myself for the moves I could do. The new me is ready to have adventures.  I saw a show the other day about these two people touring Thailand and visiting these incredible waterfalls. When you have kids it’s darn near impossible to have trips like that. Disney is the ultimate adventure and while that was fun, I’m ready for the real world not a place that recreates adventures. The new me is ready for the next big leap in my career.  For years now I’ve made my living blogging and doing TV segments about safety and wellness.  Don’t get me wrong – I love it and will continue to do that. The way my career started was because of the death of my first son.  It drove me to want to help save other kids’ lives. As I’ve gotten older new things drive me.  Listening to women who are scared to leave a relationship or start a new career or struggle with being a caregiver motivate me. I love speaking to these women and offering them support and guidance. I envision a world of confident and happy women and, through retreats and speaking engagements, I want to create that.

The new me is ready to have a few deep friendships.  When we’re in our 30’s and 40’s we’re building a career and/or family that consumes our time. Our friendships tend to be created around the interests of our kids. Some high school and college friendships remain but get-togethers are few and far between and finding current commonalities is tough. For years my girls have been involved in All-Star cheerleading.  For those of you not familiar with this sport, it’s year-round and requires a lot of travel.  When you’re a “cheer mom” that other moms become your friends. But one day your cheer life ends and naturally these friendships fade. But a few transcend the mutual bond of cheer (or whatever activity your child is involved with) and you connect over the big issues. Now I have time for a few friendships that are based on mutual respect, shared beliefs and willingness to talk about the real stuff.  You know the real stuff – our hopes and dreams but also the fears that keep us up at night.

The new me understands that my health is something I can’t take for granted.  When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I worked out to have a hard body and look great.  Now I work out to prevent osteoporosis and keep my heart in good shape.  I used to choose my food based solely on what tasted good.  Now I select food that tastes good and will provide me the nutrients I need to cut cholesterol and provide the right vitamins.  When the kids were younger, I would always  get them to their check-ups but mine would be missed because there wasn’t time.  Now I realize that making the time for health screenings and exercise is what will allow me to live life to the fullest.

As I’m closing in on another birthday I’m loving who I’m becoming and can’t wait for the next chapter. What’s in your next chapter?  Share below as writing it down makes it more real.