Friday, August 22, 2014

California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse :: New Report Exposes Abusive Litigation Spending by School Districts #lawsuitabuse

Disclosure: This post is brought to by California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

The school year is about to begin, and California’s students are about to head back into the classroom. While school districts are always stretched tight, one thing that’s really hurting schools is abusive litigation, which is forcing districts to spend money fighting lawsuits instead of educating students.

CALA_StopSignLogo_California - 2010.jpg 
That’s the finding of a recent report from California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. As a life-long California resident, I'm absolutely appalled to learn about this! The report analyzed the litigation costs to 12 districts for fiscal years 2010-2011 through 2012-2013, and found that the districts combined spent more than $125.6 million on litigation, spending $96.1 million on outside counsel, and $29.4 million on verdicts and settlements.

The 12 districts examined in this report account for less than 20 percent of the total enrollment of California’s K-12 public school districts. When the other districts are taken into account, who knows how many millions – or billions – of dollars our districts are spending?

WHY You Should Care

This report makes it clear that California’s schools are just one more victim of the state’s plaintiffs’ attorneys, some of whom view lawsuits as a means to get rich rather than achieve justice. Because California’s laws encourage this behavior, our students are paying the price. Our school districts are wasting money!

Californians need to make sure, especially as the November ballot approaches, that they know whether their candidates support legal reforms that would put an end to abuse like this. Legislators need to help solve the problem by passing legislation that stops abusive lawsuits, instead of encouraging them. 
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation :: Apply NOW for Financial Assistance with Medical Expenses #UHCCF

Disclosure: This post is brought to by UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.

Is your family in need of financial assistance for your child's health care treatments, services or equipment? We all know that medical expenses can be truly outrageous, especially when they're out of pocket. Thankfully there are wonderful organizations of there that may be able to help.

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per child to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids

To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.UHCCF.org, and there is no application deadline.

In 2013, UHCCF awarded more than 1,700 medical grants, worth $5.6 million, to children and their families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy.

New Children’s Book to Raise Funds
To help raise funds for its child medical grant program, UHCCF has published a new children’s book, “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” – the second book in the Oliver & Hope series.

The new 32-page hand-illustrated book continues the story of Oliver the lovable bear and Hope the spirited butterfly as they join their friends Millie the barn owl and Chewie the English bulldog for their first camping trip. The night is filled with amazing discoveries and silly games that make the shadows a little less scary and the adventure a lot more fun. The book follows last year’s award-winning book, “Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure.”

Both “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” and “Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure” are available on Amazon.com for $13.95 each. The first 250 people who purchase an “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” book will receive a Chewie the English bulldog plush toy, to be shipped separately.

Proceeds from UHCCF products, including the Oliver & Hope books, help fund UHCCF grants that help families pay for children’s medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by commercial insurance. Also, organizations and private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF which are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.

Both books were written and illustrated by Meg Cadts and Samantha Fitch. Meg Cadts is the pen name for the UHCCF team of writers and contributors.

The Oliver and Hope characters also host their own page on the UHCCF website, Oliver & Hope’s Clubhouse, which features free audiobook versions of the books, activities and games.

For more information on UHCCF, to apply for a grant, to donate, or to visit the clubhouse, visit www.UHCCF.org.
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kick It Back To School with Umi + Kickboard {NEW Sweepstakes}


Back to school brings lots of new sweepstakes and giveaways to ring in the season. From Umi Children's Shoes we have a new sweepstakes that starts today!

Three Grand Prize winners will receive a $100 Umi gift card and a Kickboard Maxi or Mini Scooter!

To enter, just fill out the simple entry form at Umi. This sweepstakes ends on September 1, 2014, so enter today!



 

Booming Back to School with Florsheim Kids + Appaman {NEW Sweepstakes}


Florsheim Kids has partnered with Appaman to run a fun sweepstakes in honor of Back to School season!

Three Grand Prize winners will receive a $100 Florsheim Kids gift card and a $100 Appaman gift card!

To enter, just fill out the simple entry form on Florsheim's website. This sweepstakes ends on August 24, 2014, so enter today!


 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mom Voyáge :: Motherhood with a Global Perspective

I participated in a Blog Blast on behalf of Mom Central for Urbini. I received information from Urbini to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. 

Motherhood is universal, no matter where you're from. Enter Mom Voyáge, a cool new online community from Urbini that's comprised of blogging mom contributors from the US and far off places like Japan, Australia, Netherlands, and Britain. 

Learn how baby showers differ between cultures, how maternity leave is handled, what pregnancy cravings are common in various countries, and so much more about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood around the world.

Since I've traveled abroad and visited nearly a dozen countries throughout Europe, I have a love of culture and doing things out of my own cultural norm. The insight into how other moms raise and parent their children can really add a new dimension to your own parenting, so I think this site will be a valuable resource for moms!

Connect with Urbini 



 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Go Back to School with Masterlock #MasterBacktoSchool

This post is sponsored post brought to you in partnership with Global Influence. All opinions are 100% my own.

You guys, I can't believe school is starting in just a few weeks! My little guy will be officially starting kindergarten, and the accountability of homeschooling "for real" honestly feels a bit daunting. Curriculum has been ordered and enrollment in extracurricular activities has been completed. There are still many lessons and days to plan out down the line, but we're ready for the most part. Our grand adventure is about to begin!

Since we're homeschooling, keeping valuables safe at school isn't really an issue for my family. However, we do have several outside activities where sports equipment and my own belongings may be at risk such as my purse and cell phone. Did you know that nearly half of North American parents admitted that their child has had an item stolen from them at school, with the most valuable being their cell phone?* Yikes!



For over 90 years, Master Lock has been providing innovative security solutions for your home, car, campus, store security needs and more. They are the world's largest manufacturer and recognized leader of padlocks and related security products on the market today. As your kids head back-to-school this fall, Master Lock wants to help families live more safely and securely by offering a great selection of stylish, secure, and customizable products to meet your needs. Your student will be back-to-school savvy with Master Lock.

After some really neat product releases in recent years like the dialSpeed digital padlock, this year Master Lock has introduced new colors inspired by the fall 2014 PANTONE Fashion Color Report. How fun!

Master Lock offers a lot of back-to-school gadgets. For a lock, check out the 1500eDBX dialSpeed Digital Combination Lock. With an electronic light-up keypad, this high-tech gadget even stores multiple resettable guest codes. It has a sleek, ergonomic design for one-handed, no-look operation for ultrafast entry to lockers and other equipment needing safe storage.

For older kids up to college age, the 5900D SafeSpace Portable Safe is the answer to keeping valuables stored and secure at school. We received this safe last year, and this year also from Master Lock, and I think it's the coolest thing! This is a personal-sized safe that can store your cell phone, camera, jewelry, keys, passport, sunglasses, MP3 player and other small valuables while on-the-go. There's an integrated cable that can be anchored to a fixed object, or can be used as a handle when carrying. The portability factor is awesome.

Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge
Master Lock is holding an interactive online game right now, the Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge.

Through September 7th, go to MasterLockPhotoHunt.com for a chance to win Master Lock security items and to create a Master Lock shopping list. The game has players spot the differences between two back-to-school images for the potential to earn up to two sweepstakes entries per play. Sharing the challenge on twitter also earns the player an additional entry.
There are daily instant win prizes, weekly prizes, and one grand prize (a Samsung Media Center Package!) up for grabs, so go grab as many entries as you can!

Join the Twitter Party
A Master Lock Back-to-School Twitter party is being held this coming Tuesday! Click here to RSVP.

When: Tuesday, August 5th from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: #MasterBacktoSchool on Twitter
How: Tweet with the tag and follow @ResourcefulMom as well as sponsor @MasterLockUS


*Survey conducted by Survey Monkey in May 2014 among Americans representative of a National U.S. Census
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Get Ready for August Audio Fest at Best Buy! #AudioFest

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

We really enjoy listening to music in our home and on the go in the car too. If you enjoy music to any degree, you likely notice the quality or sound (or lack of) your audio equipment puts out. Is it time for an upgrade? I know we're definitely due for something new, and next month is an opportune time to shop for the best in audio.

Best Buy's Audio Fest is about to kick off in stores this Sunday. From August 3-30 you can expect great deals, audio specials, events and more. Best Buy will be offering the best deals on the best audio products on the market today. This is a killer opportunity to upgrade or enhance your home's audio experience with additional components, speakers and headphones.

From portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to home theater solutions and car audio, test out an try the latest and greatest in audio during Audio Fest!

LOVE THE WAY YOU LISTEN.

You don't have to be an audio pro to have a fantastic sound system in your home. A Samsung SHAPE Wireless Audio System lets you listen to, share and experience music how you live. Whether it’s a single speaker in one room, or a multi room system in two rooms or every room in your home, it’s never been easier to immerse yourself in your favorite sounds. Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity lets you send music from your library or favorite App straight to your speakers.

Samsung Shape Wireless Audio is an expandable system – now music can follow you anywhere in your house. Play one song in any or all rooms, or different songs in different room from any number of speakers. Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity lets you send music from your library or favorite App straight to your AC powered speaker.

You can control volume, streaming services and playlists, or switch to a speaker in a different room. However you enjoy your music, Samsung Shape™ Wireless Audio makes it happen.
 
Top content providers include Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, tunein, amazon cloudplayer, and tracks.

One of the audio systems I'm excited about trying soon is the Samsung M5 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. It features a Bluetooth interface and near-field communication technology for easy wireless pairing with compatible iOS and Android devices and select PC and Mac computers also. I love that this system is expandable and allows you to enjoy audio in multiple areas simultaneously when you purchase additional speakers.

I definitely won't need any expertise to set up this speak system with my home network. I can enjoy my favorites like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Rhapsody and other music services through the speaker.

The Samsung Wireless speaker HUB is designed to be compatible with the M5 together to create a whole-home audio solution (that we so desperately have needed to figure out!). It has multiple device capability so I can connect more than 1 device at a time, and of course it has easy set-up for the technical challenged like me.

This August, SHAPE YOUR MUSIC EXPERIENCE with Audio Fest at Best Buy. Check out the best in audio so you can be sure your home entertainment system is the best it can be. After all, good music makes the heart sing.