How to Help Houston After Hurricane Harvey

How to Help Houston After Hurricane Harvey

As we all process what is going on in Houston, TX with Hurricane Harvey – here is a list of the best ways to help.  Also, if you pray, continue to do so. Harvey has destroyed and caused so much damage – to make matters worse, he has not even left the building yet. 

Give Money 

There are numerous organizations that are doing amazing things to help those hurt and impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The best way to help is to give money.  EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS. If your bank account only allows you to give $5, that is $5 that these organizations didn’t have. If you have more and can, give. If everyone gave just a little, it would be a whole lot. Every penny counts.

While our donations are going to Red Cross, there are several organizations doing good and helping those Harvey has hurt. Here’s a great article from Texas Monthly with several ways to give.

How to Raise Money on Facebook – Use Social for Good!

Here is a simple tutorial on how to raise money on Facebook. Facebook is generating a ton of money in donations by the simple power of social sharing. Jump in on the action and use social for good! This feature costs you nothing but can create a huge ripple effect in giving!! 

How to Raise Money on FacebookSupport Businesses That Give

There are so many businesses that are reaching out and doing good thru either donation or service. It so important to help these businesses know that they are doing the right thing and that you will support them in the efforts. 

Here are a few businesses that we would like to give kudos to. If you own a business, consider how your business can help. Please feel free to leave any other businesses that you know are helping Hurricane Harvey survivors in the comments below. 

Furniture Gallery

Have you seen the story on Mattress Mack? He is a local Houston commercial celebrity and owns a chain of Furniture Gallery stores. When the hurricane hit, he opened his doors to his furniture warehouse (reportedly costing him $30,000 a day.) This story brought us to tears. Service over self is something many of us need to learn to do. This man gets it. Watch this story, and if you are in the market for furniture, please consider buying from Furniture Gallery. 

Ford Motor Company

FordFord Fund is contributing $100,000 to disaster relief efforts in Texas, following historic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. In addition, Ford Fund will match up to $50,000 in employee and dealership contributions to the Red Cross, raising potential assistance from Ford to $200,000. THANK YOU, FORD!

Learn more about how Ford is helping

Magnolia Market

 

All proceeds from the TEXAS FOREVER shirt will go to Hurricane Harvey relief thru the end of September.

Click here to purchase

Skylight Salon

Skylight Salon TexasSkylight Salon in downtown Allen, TX and McKinney, TX is matching donations this week. You can add your donation to the Red Cross to your ticket and they will match the donation. 

Learn more about Skylight Salon

Buc-ees

If you aren’t familiar with Buc-ees, you may not be from Texas. Imagine the gas station of ALL gas stations. Well, that is Buc-ees. It’s more than a gas station, it’s a destination. Anyways, if you are in Texas – you must visit one.  

buc-ees

image credit: facebook

And how great is this company? They are housing first responders and allowing them to eat and drink whatever they want! (Which anyone who has been to buc-ees knows what a buffet that would be!)

Learn more about Buc-ees

Video Game Museum

Video Game Museum Dallas TX

The National Videogame Museum (NVM) will donate half of all admission sales this Saturday (Sept. 2) to the United Way of Greater Houston. The museum will guarantee a minimum donation of $2,500.

WHEN:

Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:

National Videogame Museum –  8004 Dallas Parkway, Frisco, TX 75034

ADMISSION:

Admission: $12
$10 for children 10 and under, as well as for military, educators, seniors
(Valid ID required upon purchase of military, educators and seniors tickets.)

About the National Videogame Museum

The National Videogame Museum is the only museum in America dedicated to the history of the videogame industry. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings together the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) values within videogames. These values are presented both as an entertainment medium and a career path as a highly interactive, entertaining and educational experience. The NVM archive is unparalleled in size and comprised of dozens of one-of-a-kind artifacts, in addition to more than 100,000 pieces of rotating videogame hardware, software, documentation and memorabilia. The museum also offers yearly scholarships to high school seniors who are interested in pursuing videogame or technology careers. The center is available for corporate events, birthday parties, field trips and research studies and is open to the public six days a week. For more information, visit www.nvmusa.org.

Hours: Monday (closed); Tuesday – Thursday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Friday – Saturday (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.); Sunday (noon – 5 p.m.)

Perot Museum

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science near downtown Dallas is offering free admission to the families displaced by Hurricane Harvey. From now through Sept. 30, 2017, families who reside in the effected multi-county region can receive complimentary general admission for up to seven family members. A proof of residency and photo ID are required. Find a list of qualifying counties and other details at perotmuseum.org/discounts.

TEXAS STRONG

This is just a drop in the bucket to people chipping in and helping. We are TEXAS STRONG and TEXAS FOREVER. Thank you to everyone who is making a difference and helping this tragic situation that Hurricane Harvey is leaving Houston with. 

If you know of an organization giving back, please let it in the comments below. #TexasStrong

A Parent’s Guide to Teens and Social Media

A Parent’s Guide to Teens and Social Media

Teens and social media – those words scare me. Why? Because I am now a parent to a teen and as someone who spends A LOT of time on social media, I know what type of trouble they can get themselves into online. 

Teens and Social Media

While we did let our daughter tip-toe into social media as a tween, her exposure was limited.  Teens and social media is an on-going conversation we are going to have here on Digital Mom Blog. Why? Because we are hearing more and more from parents of teenagers about their kids social media usage and we feel it’s an important topic to address. 

We want this to be a guide for parents to reference in regards to teens and social media. Let’s be real. Social media was NOT a thing when we were teens. THANK GOD. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I don’t even want to know the trouble I would have gotten myself into. I was an early internet adopter and online as a teen, but thankfully there was NO social media or camera phone!

Young and Dumb Before Teen and social mediaLike all things we write here on Digital Mom Blog, this is meant to be a guide that you customize for yourself. When I started writing a parenting blog many years ago, I never wanted to readers to feel like my answers were the absolute answers. I want to provide suggestions and real-life guidance on parenting subjects so that parents know how other parents handle situations. I know that each of my kids are individuals and each requires separate discipline and guidance, so take what is said here and make it your own. Tailor to fit each of your kids. And most important, we want to hear your feedback. More on that, let’s talk teens and social media.

From One Parent of a Teen to Another 

This is from me to you. Some of these things may feel stupid and some you just may not even want to talk about with your teenager. But let’s be real. If we don’t talk to our kids about sex, our kids learn on their own. 

Rule for Teens Posting on Social Media

I read some great advice from teen YouTube sensations Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight’s father, Shaun McKnight. He said that the twins have a “three Ps” rule whenever they’re considering what’s appropriate to vlog. “If you wouldn’t say it in front of your parents, pastor and principal, then don’t put it out there,” he said. I love this rule and can be applicable to any of the social networks! (source: Cnet)

Digital Footprint

We often emphasize to our kids that whatever they post online stays online. Teach your kids about their digital footprint – what it is and how it can follow them for MANY years to come.

Teach Digital FootprintA great example to share with your kids is the recent news about how Harvard rescinded admission to 10 students because of offensive Facebook memes. (Read more about this here on Forbes.) Just because you think the conversation or what you are posting is private, it really isn’t. Time and time again, examples of such play out. From hiring to college to in general real life reputation, knowing about your digital footprint and what to post and what not to post is a lifeskill kids NEEDS to know. 

 

Talking to Teens About Social Media

If we don’t talk to our kids about social media, they WILL learn on their own. Even if your teen doesn’t have a phone, they will have access to social media. This is one of those on-going conversations that you need to have with your kid. This isn’t a talk once, and done. As social media changes, and your teenager experiments – you must be on top of what is going on in their lives. 

 

Teens Online - Social Media is a beast!Clear Expectations and Understanding

I have always told my kids, whatever they do one their phones, tablets and computers – I have access to. I like setting clear expectations and understanding that they cannot hide things from us. We pay the bills and more so, our job is to be their parent. Being a parent means guiding them on the rights and wrongs in life before they enter the real world. 

Read: Everything You Do Online We Can See

Setting Boundaries with Teens and Social Media

It is important to set boundaries for your teens and social media. 

Set boundaries with your kids onlineFor example, an online boundary that we have setup for our kids is that there is no screens in the bedroom. This puts a clear boundary that smart phones and computers, are not in their bedroom. There is no reason for our kids to need their phones in their room. 

Another post to read is setting boundaries with kids online.  

Sexting Pics

Sexting pics is not something I care to talk to my teen about, but you know what it’s a discussion you must have. As teenagers start experimenting with all things sex, they need to know the consequences for doing stupid things like sexting pics. Make sure you read our post on teen sexting facts. It really bothers me on how clueless teens are when it comes to sexting.

What Apps Are Teens Using?

Check out our post about trending teen apps and learn what teens are using and how.

what apps teens are usingTeens on Snapchat

If you are unfamiliar with Snapchat, familiarize yourself with this app. We have a complete guide to using this app. Read: What is Snapchat?

Teens using snapchat

What you need to know about teens using snap chat and other social media apps.

We don’t want our teen daughter on Snapchat. I know, it’s one of the most popular apps for teens, but guess what – nope. I don’t care if you want to see Kylie Jenner snapchat, it ain’t happening.

Snapchat porn is huge and unnecessary. Online porn access with social media could be an entire post. I’m not going into a lot of detail on that in this post, but just know this is just another reason we are avoiding this teen app. (Actually, it’s not just for teens. Adult usage is huge! I used it for a while, but after a while I stopped using it. I’m an Instagram user for life. 

How many teens are using Snapchat? Despite being an eighth the size of Facebook, Snapchat has almost as many teens as Facebook. 

Instagram offers most of the options of Snapchat now and while yes, there are disappearing photos and what not – we are constantly monitoring her account. This article on a Teen committing suicide because of Snap Chat – this is one of many instances that I’ve read about and nope – we just aren’t going there with our teen. 

What really is disturbing is there are sites dedicated to finding teens on Snapchat. While sure, a teen maybe searching to find other teens on Snapchat. There are also a plethora of pedophiles, sexual predators, weirdos – or whatever you want to call them – that do the same. 

 

 

Social Media Bullying

There is a reason online bullying, specifically social media bullying is getting so much attention online. IRL bullying is bad enough, but bullying online – specifically on social media with apps is easy, feels anonymous and is just awful. From comments or reposting inappropriate photos to social media, social media bullying is not one single thing.

Screen Shots - Teens and social media

This is another subject you need to talk to your kids about. Not only do you need to talk about helping them understand that people are online say things they most likely would never say in person. You need to help them understand that what THEY say online needs to be appropriate. 

Make sure your kids know what to do in the event they are bullied online. The school our teen attends has made it a point to stay on top of this subject. 

Read: Why I’m Not Letting My Teen Watch 13 Reasons on Netflix Alone

It Takes a Village to Manage Teens and Social Media

This isn’t an easy task to do. This will be an online going discussion here as we tackle teens and social media. It does take a village. I have a few family friends and family members following my teenager on social media. I regularly receive comments about some of the sweet things she posts online (she is a total motivator!) Then again, I have received a few comments saying “you may want to look at your daughter’s latest posts.”

Embrace both the good and bad, and use that to help in talking to your teen.

Continuing the Discussion

As mentioned, this will be an on-going discussion here on Digital Mom Blog. We feel that we need to keep this discussion relevant and up-to-date as everyday social media grows and changes. And everyday, more and more teens are involved in social media.

What topics in regards to teens and social media do you want to know more about? What advice do you have to parents in regards to their teens online? Let us know! Your input is valued! Leave a comment below. 

As more subjects come up, we will be discussing those topics here – so stay tuned.

 

Why My Tween No Longer is Allowed to Use Instagram

Why My Tween No Longer is Allowed to Use Instagram

Continuing our Kids and Technology series: Instagram is a popular photo sharing social app. We originally let our tween get an account – read on to learn why she no longer is able to use it.

I’ve been on Instagram since the beginning. I love the personal aspect of sharing photos. It’s replaced my previous photo sharing site Flickr (yes, I should back up my photos there more, but anywhoo…) The ease of taking a photo, choosing a fun filter and sharing with new friends and old = FUN. Of course my family is on there, so when my daughter, then 10 wanted to create an Instagram account – I thought what’s the harm, if I make it private…. WRONG!

Instagram Rules for My Tween

What started out as something innocent, soon became something I realized she was just not ready for. With the world today, we had a heart to heart with our daughter about what to share online and what not to share online. What photos to take and what photos to take and share. There would be no bikini or swim suit photos. No pajama photos. No embarrassing your brother photos. She would use Instagram to keep connected with her family and a few friends that we knew. The rules were set. Here, use your iPod touch or the iPad – but remember the rules. 

So, I setup her account on Instagram for her. I told a few family members who had Instagram to friend her (and to let me know ASAP if anything inappropriate was going on!) Her account was open and all seemed fine and well for the first month or so. Or so I thought.

One day I grabbed her iPod to do something and went on Instagram. WOAH. Her follower count was in the hundreds. How did that happen when her account is private?   Her profile photo was of her. For some reason, people were wanting to follow and she was letting them. The followers – well there were several guys who were no where near her age. And then older girls, which had me curious to if these were really older girls or older guys posing as girls. None the less – this was defeating the purpose of her having a private account.
Tweens on Instagram

NEW PLAN.

Technically, she had not done anything wrong. She hadn’t broken the rules – so I wasn’t going to punish her for breaking the rules when she didn’t. New plan, we created a new account – with new instruction – if a friend wants to follow you – I’ll be the only one to approve friends. Deal? DEAL!

This plan went well. No weirdos friending my 10 year old. She had a private account. Well – then I walked by her one day and saw her surfing Instagram. She was looking at the POPULAR feed. Have you ever looked at the popular feed? Some of those Instagram photos are quite risqué. At that moment, my mom alarm set off. This isn’t something she needs. I had totally not thought about this element at Instagram, because quite honestly I had never looked at it and never in my mind thought that she would be exposed to anything out of her maturity level .

#MOMFAIL – THIS MOM WAS TOTALLY WRONG! I ADMIT IT!

Sorry kid, because of this I just can’t let you on Instagram. I’m sorry your friends have it. I’m sorry I initially let you on it, but sweetie – you are 10 (then) and your mind is just not ready for this and you don’t need to be exposed to this much of the world quite yet. When you are 13, we will talk about this again.

I know she is upset. She loved the platform, and well we caught her on it a few times too many after telling her no. Unfortunately, she just isn’t old enough or mature enough to handle it.

Disclaimer: If your tween is on Instagram, I totally am not judging your parenting! For us, it was just too much too soon — unfortunately.

I do admit, I miss her pics in my feed. Tweens are quite entertaining in photos.  See example a and example b:

what_tweens_instagram

tween_instagram_pics


What Are Your Thoughts on Instagram and Tweens?

5 Things to Know Before You Go To a Dallas Cowboys Game

5 Things to Know Before You Go To a Dallas Cowboys Game

This past week, our friends at #GoVerizon invited my husband, Betsy and her husband to the Dallas Cowboys game. I’ve lived here in the Dallas area all of my life (minus 7 dreadful months in Arkansas), and I had NEVER been to a Cowboys game. I had no idea what to expect, but woah – being at a Dallas Cowboys game (especially when they are playing the New Orleans’ Saints) is nothing like watching football on TV. I am sure it totally helped that our boys pulled thru and beat the Saints

Things to Know Before you Go To a Dallas Cowboys Game

Anywho, with all of the fun – I learned several things about going to a Dallas Cowboys game. Here are 5 things to know before you go!

What to Know Before You Go To a Dallas Cowboy Game

1. Take Uber or Taxi

parking at dallas cowboy game

Parking is OUTRAGEOUS at the stadium. Seriously, stores nearby charge $100 to park near the stadium and if you plan on parking in the parking lot – plan on walking.

Take a Uber and then you’ll be dropped off right at the stadium. You will be able to drink and get home safely. Believe me, it’s worth the expense.

UBER PROMO CODE

Use Uber promo code: VTAILGATE and you will get a ride up to $30 FREE!!

2. Go Early and Tailgate!

Head over to Fishbone Bar and Grill for the Bill Bate’s tailgate party. Our friend’s at Verizon will be there with fun goodies! Good grub, beer and fun – the perfect way to start off the Cowboys game!

Fishbone Bar and Grill, across from Cowboy’s Stadium
816 N Collins St.
Arlington, TX 76011

3. Read the Rules for Bags and Purses!

dallas cowboys clear bag policy

You must have a clear stadium bag! Cowboy Stadium has banned bags in general except for small clutches. What’s a small clutch? Get out your ruler, it has to be no bigger than 5 inches by 8 inches, roughly the size of a piece of notebook paper folded in half. This applies to ALL events at the stadium, NOT just Cowboy games!

4. What to Wear to the Cowboys Game

dallas cowboy stadium

Trying to decide what to wear to the Dallas Cowboys game? Wear your colors PROUD. People are hard core about their football teams. Make sure that if you are a Dallas Cowboys fan that you are wearing the navy blue, white and gray. The couple in front of us were in black and this kid kept talking smack to them thinking they were Saints’ fans. Nope – they just didn’t choose their clothes appropriately.

Here are a few options for Dallas Cowboy attire:

Cowboys Dallas Football Rhinestone V Neck Short Sleeve Tee Shirt (1X)Cowboys Dallas Football Rhinestone V Neck Short Sleeve Tee Shirt (1X)Nike Men's Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant #88 Navy Game Replica Jersey Navy MediumNike Men’s Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant #88 Navy Game Replica Jersey Navy MediumNFL Dallas Cowboys Grey Football Practice T-Shirt Mens LargeNFL Dallas Cowboys Grey Football Practice T-Shirt Mens LargeDallas Cowboys Stencil Crew Tee - Men's (Navy, Large)Dallas Cowboys Stencil Crew Tee – Men’s (Navy, Large)rc_Cowboys Womens Dak_Prescott 4# Navy Dallas Jersey Src_Cowboys Womens Dak_Prescott 4# Navy Dallas Jersey SDallas Cowboys Men's Long Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt (2X)Dallas Cowboys Men’s Long Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt (2X)Dallas Cowboys Practice T-Shirt Black LargeDallas Cowboys Practice T-Shirt Black LargeLONG SLEEVE Navy Zeke DallasLONG SLEEVE Navy Zeke DallasTainted Apparel Dallas Dak Logo Men's T Shirt (XL)Tainted Apparel Dallas Dak Logo Men’s T Shirt (XL)Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott #4 Nike Player Pride Name & Number Tee (LARGE)Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott #4 Nike Player Pride Name & Number Tee (LARGE)NFL Dallas Cowboys Men's Lamar Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt (2X)NFL Dallas Cowboys Men’s Lamar Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt (2X)

5. Join in On Social Mediadallas cowboys game

When at a game (or just watching the game at home on the couch) – join in on the conversation on social media.

Dallas Cowboy Hashtags

For the best in Dallas Cowboys news, follow #cowboysnation #dallascowboys

The things with watching football on TV is that ESPN or whatever channel you watch football on shows you ALL the details. Someone gets hurt – you know. Someone scores, you know exactly who and how many yards he ran this game and every game in history. Well the Dallas Cowboys game, there is SO much going on it’s hard to keep track. Thankfully social media makes it easier to find out what is going on!!

Enjoy the game! Here’s a sneak peek of the Dallas Cowboys vs New Orleans Saints game:

What Advice Do You Have for Someone Attending a Dallas Cowboys Game?

Thanks Verizon for the tickets to the game, and the excellent cell phone coverage allowing me to tweet and Instagram the entire game!

 

 

 

 

Hello Facebook Stalker Facebook Cover Photo

Hello Facebook Stalker Facebook Cover Photo

Hello Facebook Stalker – that’s the thought I get every time I look at someone’s Facebook profile that I don’t know. It’s amazing some of the things that people share. Now with the lovely timelines and the Facebook cover photos, you can call out your Facebook stalkers! How? Check out this perfect cover image:

Facebook Stalker Cover Image

That’s right – download your very own HELLO FACEBOOK STALKER Facebook cover photo!

Click Here to Download the Hello Facebook Stalker Facebook Cover Photo

My Facebook cover image was dated so thought this would be funny. After a few requests from non-Facebook stalkers asking if they could use, I figured this would make a good post. Use this as one of your profile pictures for facebook, nothing like letting them KNOW that you they are  stalking…

Facebook Stalkers Should Read This

Speaking of Facebook stalking… did you know Facebook saves search results?  Have you been searching Facebook for an ex-boyfriend or that high school friend that you know stole your favorite dress in 9th grade?  Facebook is saving those searches! Yes, imagine that.  They probably are saving those instant messages to (but I can’t prove that – I am sure some developer is having a hay day somewhere reading thru everyone’s personal deets).

Facebook Stalker Cover Image

Fortunately, you are the only one who can see what you are searching for – but if you leave your Facebook account logged in or if you die (hey, I’m a realist) – there maybe things that you don’t want certain people to know you are Facebook stalking – I mean Facebook searching.

How do you delete your Facebook search history? Easy peasy – just follow these instructions and you’ll be free from forever being branded Facebook Stalker.

Have an idea for other funny Facebook cover photos? Leave them in the comments. I’ll be creating a series of free Facebook cover photos for download and would love to include your ideas in an upcoming post.

Lame plug – are you following Digital Mom Blog on Facebook? Do it. Do it. Do it.

Facebook is the Ultimate Productivity Killer

Facebook is the Ultimate Productivity Killer

facebook im trying to work

FACEBOOK! I am trying to work!

Is Facebook Your Ultimate Productivity Killer?

pinterest daily repin

Hello Pinterest Addicts! The Pinterest Daily Re-Pin is a daily series of something fabulous found on Pinterest. Follow me – leave your Pinterest link in the comments and I’ll follow you back. Need a Pinterest Invite? Let me know! Happy Pinning!