Kohl's Cares: Gifts That Give Back

**Disclosure: We were provided with product to help facilitate this feature. No monetary compensation was received. 

Picking up last minute gifts can be stressful! I remember when my kids were younger they were always invited to birthday parties and I would always forget until last minute - never failed!  Kohl's has the perfect solution for you!  Whether it be a birthday or baby shower; give a gift that gives back with children's books and soft toys from the Kohl's Cares collection.  The products are priced at just $5 each, with 100 percent of the net profit supporting children's health initiatives nationwide.

Every couple months, Kohl's will offer a new collection.  Now through September, you can find hardcover books and soft toys of the beloved children's classic, Clifford The Big Red Dog.  The charming stories of the larger-than-life canine focus on kindness and send a positive message to young readers.  As a parent, we get that additional feel good moment about purchasing the pieces with 100 percent of the net profit benefiting children's health initiatives nationwide.  And at only $5 you really can't get any better than that!  

At some stores, you might still be able to catch their summer collection.  I just looked online and they still have a few products from their summer collection available for purchase.  They are so cute!! I want to mention too, that even though these are $5 - they defiantly do not reflect the price.  These are not little stuffed animals you can cuff in your hand.  These are large, high quality plush dolls!  These would also be a great idea to pick up as the holiday's approach.  For just $10  you can get the plush and the book to go with it - would make a great holiday gift or even a great donation to a local charity for the upcoming holiday season! 

To date, Kohl's has raised nearly $300 million through the Kohl's Cares merchandise program.  To reinforce the companies commitment to children's health.  Kohl's has donated financial support ot hospitals across the country.  The donations fund hospital outreach programs focused on children's health initiatives and address the specific issues needed most in each hospital's community.  These tailored programs provide vital resources to families at no cost and include topics such as injury prevention, asthma awareness, dental care and fitness.  A complete list of hospital partners is available online.

Supporting Our Children

Summer's been quiet here in our home.  With good reason too.  This is the first summer we have taken a break from sports.  Usually my son plays baseball year round.  Due to an injury, we were forced to take the summer off to allow him to recover.  I wasn't happy about it first, I mean what were we going to do?  Our life literally revolved around baseball.   Then as the weeks of summer passed by, I realized how important it really was for him to take a break, not only to fully recover from his injuries, but playing year round is really not necessary for kids these days.  Parents today, push and push their kids, year round, not taking any time off, letting their kids get some rest or even pursing a different sport.  I was guilty of that and this injury forced me to take a step back and just let  him be a kid.  Since he started playing club ball, some of his coaches have been ex-major league players.  They have given some great advice and agree that today, parents just push their kids too much and that is why you see younger MLB players not being able to play as many years as they use to back in the day.   Before kids use to play one sport in the spring and one in the fall.  Or even just play spring baseball.  Today kids play so much that they wear their arms out and end up with a not so lengthy career, if they even get that far.   There's a good percentage that even end up having to have surgery before they even hit their senior year of college.

Our son is 13 and plays club ball.  He has been playing for about eight years.  He plays second base and is a monster on the field.  Over the years I have learned his style and what I can do to support him.  When he has a bad game or just a bad day, he shuts down.  He knows what he did wrong and how he played, so there is no reason for me to get on him.  I am sure he replays the game in his head and knows what he needs to work on next time.  My daughter is 12 and plays fast pitch softball.   She has only been playing for about four months.  I am so proud of her!  She stepped up and took on the hardest position on the field - catcher.  She is a natural at it!  For only playing for four months she rocks!  She still has things to learn and work on and as time goes by I am excited to see where it takes her.  She is total opposite of my son.  When she is out there and has a bad game or is behind the plate missing every ball, she will get embarrassed and upset and sometimes start crying once inside the dugout or after the game is over she will become emotional.   She is one that needs that hug, that encouragement to pick her head up and get em' next time.

After years of sitting on the sidelines, supporting my kids and their dreams, this is the best advice I can give you when it comes to supporting your kids:

  • Let the coaches coach, don't be that one on the side line telling your kid what he "should" be doing.  
  • Stay away from the dugout during games.  As hard as it is, again, let the coaches do their jobs. Make sure your child has water and everything they need before the game starts. 
  • Never talk negative about your child's coaches in front of your kids. 
  • Stay quiet and don't yell negativity at your child while he's on the field.  Your child has enough stress on him during the game, especially is he's an older child - when my son was younger I was that loud mom yelling from the side line.  Finally one day my son told me "Mom, please don't yell anymore, it just makes things worse."  I respect that, and now I just sit quietly on the side line, cheering my child on.  
  • Don't live your dream through your child.  I see that a lot - too much.  Dads living their sport dreams through their children.  Let your kids create their own dreams, even if it comes time that they no longer want to play or change sports - let them and support them! 
After so many years of baseball, I can literally go on and on, but I thing that main thing that we can all remember is just support your kids.  Love your children.  Support them the best way you know how and if you're not sure - ask your child.  Find out what it is they need from you in order to help them be successful.  Just don't get your feelings hurt and remember they are their own individual, living their dreams.  

Homeless Youth in Need of Back-to-School Supplies

It’s back-to-school time and while it’s an annual event filled with shopping and prepping for the new school year for most kids and families, there are thousands of homeless youth in Southern Nevada without the means or funds to buy the necessary materials for school, let alone new clothes. In fact, last year alone there were more than 11,000 homeless youth enrolled in Clark County schools, a 34 percent increase from the year prior.

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth is providing a solution for these vulnerable teenagers. The nonprofit organization has established a school supplies closet for homeless youth to get what they need for back-to-school preparation along with providing essential services such as emergency shelter, family reunification, mobile crisis intervention, survival supplies, outreach, education and employment assistance, transitional housing, Drop-In Center services, and other extra-curricular programs. However NPHY still needs the public’s help filling the school supplies closet with backpacks, notepads, pens, pencils and other needed items, including clothing, for these thousands of youth.

Along with some NPHY partners currently holding back-to-school supplies drives, including Tropicana Las Vegas, Cox Communications, Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas, and The 2nd Annual Backpacks 4 Class Acts school supply drive being hosted by 98.5 KLUC radio personality Alex Davis, NPHY needs your help ensuring thousands of youth are able to start their new year with new backpacks, clothes, and school supplies. The next time you’re shopping or going through closets, consider purchasing additional school supplies and donating them and gently used or new clothing to NPHY.

Please join us in giving back and helping these families!  It's so easy to do and there are so many exciting deals out there to take advantage of! 

Donations can be taken to the NPHY Drop-In Center, located at 4981 Shirley Street near UNLV, or online donations can be made to the Backpacks 4 Class Acts drive by going to https://www.gofundme.com/2c5fnrjy.

About Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth is the most comprehensive service provider for more than 11,000 homeless youth in Southern Nevada, serving hundreds of youth through its core programs and by touching the lives of thousands more through outreach each year. Programs stabilize homeless teens' lives, meeting their immediate needs and providing a safe, supportive environment and a path to self-sufficiency. They include: Outreach, Safe Place Mobile Crisis Intervention, Operation Go Home Family Reunification, Drop-In Center, Emergency Shelter, and Independent Living Program. For information and to support NPHY’s critical work to get homeless youth off the streets, visit www.nphy.org or follow NPHY on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/nevadapartnershipforhomelessyouth.

Denny's New Money-Back Guarantee

How committed is Denny’s to its recent claim that it has made a fluffier, tastier pancake so good that it might be even better than those beloved recipes made at home? So committed that its inviting all of America to come in and if they don’t LOVE them, then the pancakes are free. It’s that simple.

Through the month of August, Denny’s is introducing its Love ‘Em or They’re Free Guarantee for its new pancakes—made with fresh buttermilk, real eggs and a hint of vanilla.  The satisfaction guarantee applies to any Denny’s dish featuring pancakes; from the iconic Denny’s Grand Slam to the all-new Signature Builds, even the famous $4 All You Can Eat Pancake dish.

The guarantee is Denny’s actually putting its money where its mouth, asking America to come in and taste for themselves.


Today, Nevada Donor Network (NDN) will kick off National Minority Donor Awareness Week with a clothing drive to benefit our community’s underserved students. 

The clothing drive will serve as a "pay it forward" effort, which ties into the mission of encouraging more people to “pay life forward” and register as organ, eye and tissue donors, in addition to building goodwill within the community. Nevada Donor Network is collecting new and gently-used clothing of all sizes for children in grades K-12. Items needed include pants, shirts, tennis shoes, sweaters, jackets, underwear (new only), and socks (new only). Nevada Donor Network is teaming up with businesses and partner organizations across the valley that will serve as drop off locations for items, including Funeraria Casa de Paz, National Title Company, Rockin’ Jump, Sambalatte, Grand Canyon Development Partners, and Phase 1 Sports to name a few. A complete list of locations is available at www.nvdonor.org

After all items have been collected, the organization will host a shopping event at a local partner school, inviting parents to come choose items for their children. The event will also serve as a health fair featuring vendors with general health and wellness information. Attendees will also have the opportunity to register to become organ, eye and tissue donors and learn more about the critical need for more multicultural donor registrations.

Based on data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there were 9,097 deceased donors in the United States in 2015. 16.3% were African American, 13.6% were Hispanic, 2.5% were Asian and 1.1% were Multiracial. Many health conditions that lead to the need for a transplant, such as diabetes and hypertension, occur in greater numbers among multicultural populations. 58.1% of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list are multicultural; however only 34.3% of deceased donors in 2015 were of multicultural descent. Nevada ranks 45th in the nation with just 41% of its 18+ population being registered donors.

During National Minority Donor Awareness Week, Nevada Donor Network is asking for those of multicultural descent to visit www.nvdonor.org to learn the importance of donation in multicultural communities and register as organ, eye and tissue donors.

The Secret Life of Pets & Fandango Collectible Gift Cards Now Available

 I have accepted free Fandango promotional codes from Fandango in exchange for this feature. No monetary compensation was received. 

A movie with pets and you just can't go wrong, right!?  The Secret Life of Pets has been topping the box office.  We have been waiting for this movie to come out, one we've really been looking forward to.  I'll be honest, we haven't seen it yet.  We had a death in the family and that's been keeping us busy.  So while I can't give a review of the movie, I can join you in the excitement of seeing the movie!

The Secret Life of Pets is also shown in 3D which always makes any movie more fun to see!  The Secret Life of Pets is about Max; a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in New York until his owner adopts Duke - a giant and unruly canine!  While they are out on their walk they run into a group of alley cats and end up in a truck that is on it's way to the pound.  Luckily for them, a rebellious bunny named Snowball is there to save them from ending up in the pound.  But, Snowball wants something in return - Snowball wants Max and Duke to join his gang of abandoned pets on a mission against the humans who have done them wrong.

Check out this cute video of a 7 year old interviewing the cast! 

In celebration of the movie's release, fans can now buy these fun collectible gift cards from Fandango.  Available in both digital or physical form at fandango.com/giftcards.

Fandango is giving one of our readers a $50 Fandango Gift Card.  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only 18 years of age and older.   Prize fulfilled by Fandango.  

Congrats!! Our winner is Twitter follower


Just wanted to give everyone an update as we've been out for the past two weeks.  My Father In Law became ill almost two weeks ago.  The outcome was not good.  So we packed up and hit the road quickly with a seven hour road trip ahead.  Last weekend we were told there was nothing more the Doctors could do.  He had multi-organ failure and his heart was only working at 15%.  Last Monday, they placed him in Hospice care and he has been fighting on his own since then.  Our kids are leaving for church camp this Sunday and we had to pick up our dogs from boarding so made the long trek home today.  Hospice nurse's say he doesn't have much time left.  Thank you!

We left knowing he is now at peace and is comfortably resting.  I ask for continued prayers for him in his last days, as well as our family throughout this difficult time.  

We will resume this Tuesday