Four Rules of the Road All Teen Parents Need to Know


This will be my view in a year. My oldest daughter will be driving the highways. How is this possible? You can imagine the worries that are already settling into my brain. Did you know there are over ten million teenage drivers in the United States? It’s okay, don’t panic! But with so many new drivers on the road, it is critical that we encourage our kids to make the right choices any time they get behind the wheel.

With Teen Driver Safety Week taking place this week, Growth Energy has a few tips for teens – and their parents – to encourage smart, safe choices before hitting the road.

Buckle Up: Buckling up saves lives, it is that simple. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes that seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers in cars by 45 percent and light-truck occupants by 60 percent. Since 1975, buckling up has saved an estimated 255,000 lives. Unfortunately, teens are least likely to use a seatbelt compared with other age groups. We should remind our kids that a simple act that takes two seconds to complete can have profound consequences.

Avoid Distractions: According to the Pew Research Center, over 80 percent of 16 and 17 year olds have cell phones, most texting a mile a minute. And half of teenagers say they’ve been in a car while the driver was actively texting. It is not a surprise then to learn that ten percent of all fatal wrecks with teen drivers were a result of distracted driving. Remind your teen that they need to put the phones down and focus on the road. Keeping the number of passengers in the car to a minimum is also valuable advice.

Maintain a Safe Car: National Teen Driver Safety Week falls right in the middle of Fall Car Care Month. This is a good reminder that vehicle maintenance is a necessary chore. Be sure your teen knows when to change their oil, check tire pressure and schedule regular maintenance. All these things will help keep your teen’s car running optimally and safely.

Fuel Choice: Drivers today have more fuel options than ever before. Teen drivers who drive 21st century vehicles should consider a modern fuel option – E15. This fuel option is 15 percent ethanol, up from the 10 percent ethanol blend found in E10 – the fuel most of us are already using in our vehicles. Although drivers have been using E10 for years, the additional benefits of E15 may be news to many:

– Lower-cost: Teens on a budget (and moms!) are always looking to save a buck. Ethanol lowers the cost of gasoline, and choosing E15 will keep more money in their wallets.

– Environmentally-conscious: Many teenagers care deeply about the wellbeing of the environment. After all, they’re going to be dealing with the effects of global warming and pollution for decades to come. Ethanol is a homegrown, eco-friendly biofuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and replaces toxic alternatives which have been proven to cause cancer and smog. Using E15 will help make the air we breathe cleaner and healthier for generations to come.

– Good for their car: E15 is a modern fuel that is a high-performance option for any car made since 2000. It runs cooler and causes less wear and tear on expensive engine parts.

To find the closest E15 station, you and your teen can visit and begin to take advantage of this next generation fuel today!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. This is a topic we feel passionate about. All thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Countdown to 2016 Hallmark Christmas Movies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Are you singing the song with me? Oh how I love this time of year. I keep telling my husband that I need to live in Alaska so I could just think it is Christmas all year around. There is something about snow, cold temperatures, wood stove, and fleece blankets that get me all warm and fuzzy.

The Hallmark Channel is bringing us Christmas early by starting their Christmas movies on October 29th. Check out the full list of movies below. It’s time to buy the family matching pajamas and pull out the fleece blankets for family move nights!



  1. A Wish For Christmas
    Saturday, October 29, 8/7c
    Starring Lacey Chabert & Paul Greene
  2. The Mistletoe Promise
    Saturday, November 5, 8/7c
    Starring Jaime King and Luke Macfarlane
  3. A Perfect Christmas
    Sunday, November 6, 8/7c
    Starring Susie Abromeit, Dillon Casey, & Erin Gray
  4. Every Christmas Has a Story
    Saturday, November 12, 8/7c
    Starring Lori Loughlin, Colin Ferguson, & Willie Aames
  5. Christmas Cookies
    Sunday, November 13, 8/7c
    Stars Jill Wagner and Wes Brown
  6. Home & Family Holiday Special
    Thursday, November 17, 8/7c
    Hosted by Mark Steines and Debbie Matenopoulos
  7. My Christmas Dream
    Saturday, November 19, 8/7c
    Starring Danica McKellar, Deidre Hall, & David Haydn-Jones
  8. A December Bride
    Sunday, November 20, 8/7c
    Stars Daniel Lissing and Jessica Lowndes
  9. Christmas in Homestead
    Wednesday, November 23, 8/7c
    Stars Taylor Cole and Michael Rady
  10. Christmas List
    Thursday, November 24, 8/7c
    Stars Alicia Witt and Gabriel Hogan
  11. Journey Back to Christmas
    Friday, November 25, 8/7c
    Starring Candace Cameron Bure, Oliver Hudson, & Tom Skerritt
  12. A Heavenly Christmas
    From the Hallmark Hall of Fame
    Saturday, November 26, 8/7c
    Starring Kristin Davis, Eric McCormack, & Shirley Maclaine
  13. Broadcasting Christmas
    Sunday, November 27, 8/7c
    Starring Melissa Joan Hart, Dean Cain, Cynthia Gibb, Jackée Harry, & Richard Kline
  14. National Christmas Tree Lighting
    Friday, December 2, 8/7c
  15. A Dream of Christmas
    Saturday, December 3, 8/7c
    Starring Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker
  16. Looks Like Christmas
    Sunday, December 4, 8/7c
    Starring Anne Heche and Dylan Neal
  17. A Nutcracker Christmas
    Saturday, December 10, 8/7c
    Starring Amy Acker, Sascha Radetsky, & Sophia Lucia
  18. Meant to Be
    Sunday, December 11, 8/7c
    Starring Brennan Elliott
  19. My Christmas Love
    Saturday, December 17, 8/7c
    Starring Meredith Hagner, Bobby Campo & Gregory Harrison
  20. Sleigh Bells Ring
    Sunday, December 18, 8/7c
  21. When Calls the Heart Christmas
    Sunday, December 25, 8/7c
    Starring Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin & Jack Wagner

Will you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project? #FoodAllergyAwareness

As many know, L suffers every day with eosinophilic esophagitits. She amazes us with her strength. Recently, she started her own YouTube Channel to raise awareness about this disease and to help others suffering with the disease.

This Halloween season, all children deserve to have a safe and happy trick-or-treating experience. Check out L’s video about the Teal Pumpkin Project!

My Family Surprised Me With….

I’m just going to say it. It is hard to spend money on myself. Normally, the extra spending each month goes towards doctor visits or my girls. Paying doctors and meeting my daughters needs are my top priorities, so it is very rare that I will buy something just for me. My husband came home about a week ago, and said he was in our local Belk’s store and noticed a brown purse. The purse that has been my sidekick for the last year started to fall apart but it was still usable. Since I am very frugal, I told my husband that I couldn’t imagine paying $50 for a purse. Let’s wait till Black Friday and maybe it would have a big discount.

When I was waiting on my daughter to get out of dance class, I strolled through Belk and laid eyes on the purse. Immediately, my heart was with the purse. As time goes by, I decide to walk away. $50 on sale is a great deal, but $50 could purchase a lot of grocery items.

Fast forward two days and my husband and daughters meet me in the living room when I come in from work. All three have giant smiles across their faces. What did they pull off? Their money was pulled together along with two coupons and the much-wanted purse was purchased for a total of $33. You can imagine my face when the family presented me with this huge surprise. My oldest daughter said, now you do not have to worry about trying to find room for all of L’s medicine. Bless her heart! My family pulled off a huge surprise and I am extremely grateful.

Check out this beautiful Nine West purse!


Purse: Nine West at Belk
Pants and Shirt: Belk
Wedge Shoes: Crocs
Cardigan: Jarrett Bay Clothing Co.

Never a Dull Moment….

Life is busy right now. Being a full-time employee outside of the home, a full-time college student, and of course being a wife to my handsome husband and a mother to my two awesome daughters, it can make for a busy schedule. Throw in multiple doctor appointments for my daughter L’s health journey of eosinophilic esophagitis, and now more doctor appointments for M’s journey to correct her flat feet. Since both girls are going through different medical journey’s, I thought I would give updates to see if we can help other families.

A little back story on M. When she was three years old, I took her to the doctor to have her feet checked because she walked with her feet going inwards. The doctor assured me that her feet would correct themselves over the years to not stress about how she is walking at three years old. Parents, trust your instincts.


This was the wrong advice and now fast forward 10 years, we are dealing with a foot grown wrong.


The last 18 months, we have been seeing local orthopedics and finally decided to transfer care to a children’s hospital. This was a good decision. When we arrived with M’s soft orthotics, the pediatric orthopedic asked why she was wearing them? In his words, those will never work for M’s foot. He decided to put M in a cast for 4 weeks and is having custom braces made for when she has the cast removed.


Her foot now also has a cyst on top of the big toe bone.


We are hoping the cast will help take the inflammation away and the cyst will go away. If the cast and braces do not do what they need to do, M will face surgery in the future.

As a family, we are being very optimistic that the cast and braces will work. Time will tell. Stay tuned and we will keep you posted!

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