SwimToday and Dara Torres Promote Swimming as #FunnestSport

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of joining an informative media event at the Asphalt Green for SwimToday, hosted by our friends at MomTrends. SwimToday is a joint, industry effort created to promote and grow participation in the sport of swimming. The campaign is led by USA Swimming, Arena USA, Speedo USA and TYR Sport.

Dubbed the #FunnestSport, this campaign hopes to highlight the many benefits of swimming as a sport. SwimToday and MomTrends brought together influencers to listen to Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medalist, Dara Torres, and hear several swim moms share their kids’ experience as swimmers. 

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Before Dara shared her experience, I enjoyed learning some benefits of swimming as shared by SwimToday:

·       It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby

·       Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches)

·       Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport

·       Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started

·       Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social development

·       Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high

·       Low risk of injuryNo contact makes for a safer environment

·       Swimming = total body fitness– Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports

·       Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age

·       Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport

I appreciated the swim moms’ different perspectives about their children’s involvement as swimmers. For some, their kids love for swimming began as tots, for others, swimming opened brand new avenues and camaraderies. I enjoyed how the moms shared how swimming rounded out their kids altogether.

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Dara Torres shared how her career as a swimmer didn’t always go swimmingly. In fact, there was a time she said that she didn’t always come in first. Since her youth, however, she said she worked hard and never gave up. She was constantly reinventing herself and striving to do more as a swimmer. I loved listening to her speak as a swim mom and how her career has molded her outlook as a parent. She was so down to earth and well-spoken. I think we could’ve listened to her talk longer, had there not been any time restraints.

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Since we live at a lake, I’m proud to be a current swim mom. My older guy enjoys being active and participating in sports, and swimming is one of those sports that we’ve just recently added to our summer schedule.

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Unlike the contact sports that he prefers, swimming is a challenge because it’s still new to him and he’s constantly competing against himself in addition to participating as a team. As the other swim moms mentioned at the SwimToday event, swimming competitively allows the kids to develop special bonds with teammates. It gives kids a chance to challenge themselves and learn how to better themselves with every lap. At 7 years old, my guy isn’t the strongest swimmer, but I appreciate his willingness to try hard and to pull through for his team.

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I see us continuing to be a swimming family, especially now knowing that my younger guy loves the water. For someone who’s had so many challenges, being in the water seems to make him feel invincible. It didn’t take much for SwimToday to convince me that swimming is the #FunnestSport. We are pretty lucky to live by the water and are able to enjoy swimming almost every day in the summer!

To learn more about SwimToday and the #FunnestSport, be sure to check them out on Facebook. Head to SwimToday.org to find a swim club near you.


Beachin’ it with Paul Frank Summer Essentials

Lazy summer days simply don’t exist in our house.  Since we live in an active lake community and an active town in general, we typically find ourselves trotting from one fun event to another. Most of our summer mornings are spent at our lake’s “beach,” so we are in beach mode for almost the entire summer.


For us, “beach mode” entails snacks and meals on the go or packaged to eat on the beach.  We also always have our beach essentials packed into our beach bag and wagon.  Beach essentials include staples for the kids such as sunscreen, towels, beach toys and, of course, snacks!

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On that end, our June Saban Brand-bassador box included some super cool Paul Frank beach staples to supplement our ample supply.  I love that our Paul Frank pride is on display with the Skurvy Beach Towel, Reusable Snack Pack and Tumblers.

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The Skurvy Beach Towel is a big, cozy towel that’s both suitable for guys and girls.  It has polka dots, complemented by the signature Paul Frank Skurvy.  Both of my guys love warming up in this towel after a swim or simply laying out on it under the sun.  This towel can be found on Amazon.com for $17.00.

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The Paul Frank Snack Pack is a cool eco-friendly reusable snack pouch.  It folds flat, yet opens up to an elongated triangular shape that seals with Velcro.  The Snack Pack holds fun snacks like pretzels and popcorn and is perfectly sized for smaller portions.  My only wish is that it was bigger!  The Snack Pack retails for $6.50 each on Zak.com

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The tumbler is a fun cup, perfectly suited for either of my guys.  It has Julius on the front, with a convenient rubber bottom.  Like the Snack Pack, the tumbler is BPA-free and dishwasher safe, so clean up is easy and convenient.

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All of these beach essentials are perfect for on-the-go summer outings or relaxing days at home!


Full disclosure:  samples were provided as part of the Saban Brand-Bassador program.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Children’s Place Summer Emphasizes Bright, Bold and Fun(ctional)

Just in time for our trip to see the Mouse last month, our friends at The Children’s Place once again invited us for their Media Shop Day, this time to check out their latest in summer styles. SummerPlace at the Children’s Place is all about bold, beautiful and fun patterns and graphics, with a whole lot of functionality thrown into the mix. The baby and I had a fun time perusing the bright racks in the Union Square store, stocking up on the great baby and big boy pieces for our trip, but to also last us through our busy summer.

Among my favorites from the Summer 2013 line are the swim coordinates for boys; athletic wear and the cute jumpers for girls. Bright aqua tones for boys were a common sight and we noted lots of orange and pinks for the girls.

According to Michael Giannelli, lead designer, “For summer 2013, the trend we’re seeing everywhere is clothes in bold colors and prints with blazingly bright, neon accents. This style is perfect for kids who love fun, cheerful looks and great for parents who want to keep track of their little ones. With our bright collection, you’ll never lose sight of them.”

True story: I always dress my boys in orange shirts when out and about in large crowds since most people dress their boys in blue and girls in black. Orange is one of those hard to miss, but super fun colors!

Here are a few great finds we spotted at TCP!

It’s been a month since we picked up our selections from TCP and as expected, we’ve been getting the most wear out of the athletic shorts and the coordinating swimwear. Because Biggie plays in various sports, the athletic shorts have been a great to have onhand. I only wish I’d picked up some of the matching sports shirts. The swimwear for baby are all fun, yet durable for frequent washes.

And, in case you don’t get TCP emails, it looks like they’re having a big sale right now. Head on over to stock up on summer essentials before the school clothes hit the racks.

Disclosure: I received a giftcard to purchase clothes to facilitate this review.

The Olympics and Swimming with SwimWays

With the Olympics wrapping up last night, I’d be remiss without giving an update on Biggie’s swimming progress and how it coincided with the games, and actually, our community’s latest festivity.

As I previously mentioned, this summer will forever go down in history as the summer that Biggie officially learned to swim, and we’re so thankful for Swimways for helping to make that happen. Of all the fun products we’ve been enjoying all summer, it’s the Sea Squirts Swim Assist vest that has helped Biggie build his confidence and skill in the water.


Together with swim lessons from certified instructors and daily trips to the lake, the Sea Squirts has given him the boost to learn his ability on his own.He can jump into the deeper swim lanes to swim laps, as well as play around in the shallower water without hesitation. He’ll take off his vest to swim freely and confidently, but he still knows his limits, and when it’s time to put the vest back on. I like that it’s lightweight and buoyant, so the vest doesn’t do all the work, or make him stay floating up top. And, not only has it been a fun teaching tool, the clever blue shark fin has garnered so many cool compliments from other parents, the lifeguards and friends.

We loved watching the Olympics this summer, now that Biggie is a swimmer. We enjoyed watching all the different swim styles and watching history be made right before our eyes! Biggie had the chance to meet Olympic Gold Medalist Aaron Piersol at an event for Auro-dri last summer, but to see this latest batch of athletes excel in their craft, was something truly special.

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Of all the swimmers, like many other kids, Biggie was mesmerized by Michael Phelps. As we watched him collect even more medals to become the most decorated Olympian in history, Biggie had some words to say to him.

Dear Mr. Phelps,

Thank you for helping kids to like swimming. I like swimming and watching you is cool. I like how you practice hard and win your races. Keep helping kids so they can be happy and exercise too. I like all of your medals! Good job!

Biggie is a boy of many words, as you can see! But, as a family, who has spent most of their summer in the water, we’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics, and especially witnessing Phelps’ trials and triumphs. I admire his work with kids and the influence he has on the importance of water safety. I can’t wait to see what he does next.


On a related note, our lake community has a roster of fun activities for families throughout the year. This past weekend was Royal Weekend, which is a long tradition that has been passed down generations, and one that Biggie was so excited to be a participant. The Olympic-themed event was held all weekend, honoring a duo of high school students and their achievements, before they go off to college and start their lives away from the lake. It’s a quirky tradition, but still so fun to see and take part in. The “royals” are both lifeguards and fixtures at the lake, so, to see the little kids look up to them is so fun.

What a fun, fun summer this has been!

Full disclosure:  I received product samples as part of the SwimWays Swim Team program, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Review: Relaxing with the Swimways Spring Float

Believe it or not, when we’re not at the doctor or hanging out in the hospital, we’ve found time to have some fun this summer.  In fact, the summer of 2012 will forever go down as the summer that Biggie learned how to swim.  And as a family that lives in a lake community and visits our beach hometown often, swimming IS our summer!

As a member of the Swimways SwimTeam, I’m so proud to report that we officially have a swimmer/fish.  It was a big step to go from that in-between stage where Biggie understood how to swim, and then graduate to the official newbie swimmer status.  He swims with so much confidence, truly, almost too much.  But with his confidence, I can relax a bit more.

And speaking of relax, Swimways sent us a Spring Float for review, which we happily tested out in our next door neighbor’s pool while we were “pool sitting” when they went on vacation.  Like many of Swimways’ products, the Spring Float is efficient in the water and when it’s time to pack it up.


It was quick and easy to set up the float, unlike so many full-size floats.  It takes less than 2 minutes to set up the float after opening the package.  It “springs” open from the circular shape to reveal a long, oval mesh-like float with an inflated edge and pillow.  Check out this video of how quick it pops open.

Because it’s been so hot, we’ve been swimming later in the day when the sun isn’t so intense.  So, floating around in the Spring Float for an afternoon swim is a great way to decompress and relax, especially after the craziness we’ve endured this summer.  Well, rather, I should say, it’s relaxing when I can wrestle the float away from Biggie!

I love how the float offers just enough support to stay afloat while keeping you cool. And then when swim time is over, it’s simple to pack it back into its compact shape. We’ve still got a month left of summer, so we’re not ready to pack it up quite yet!

The Swimways Spring Float retails for $29.99 and can be found at retailers such as Target.