Second Chances Girl - a Miami family and lifestyle blog!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DIY No-Sew Tote Bag

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

It's summer and time for fun in the sun!!

We are all about spending our time outdoors during the summer. We love going to the pool and the beach, fishing off piers and playing basketball at the park! Outdoors is the best way for us to stay active as a family and bond at the same time! When you spend as much time as we do outdoors, there are three simple rules to follow: drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and always carry a bag with snacks!

Since we always need a bag to store snacks and gear, especially when we go to the beach, I like to practice my reduce, reuse, recycle skills and create a bag. Yup, me, the lady that has no idea how to sew creates bags. Nothing fancy, just a simple tote bag to carry our things. Totes are super easy to make, are an easy no-sew project and even the kids can get in on the fun!

DIY No-Sew Tote Bag

Old T-Shirt

Only 2 materials and about 10 minutes gets you a tote bag. Unbelievable, right?

I started this tote bag with an old tank top but you can easy use a shirt with sleeves. First step is to cut out the sleeves (if you have them) and all around the neckline. 

Then cut along the hem of the shirt. Cut into the hem about 1 1/2 inches. These cuts do not have to be perfect. I eyeball it.

Grab a set of strips and tie into a double knot. Continue along the hem until all strips have been knotted.

Turn your bag inside out.

Ta-dad.......easy no-sew tote bag perfect for any outdoor activity. Mine is packed with a beach towel, a bottle of Blue Lizard® Sunscreen, a bag of chips, a book to read and my phone!!

Originally created in Australia, where sunscreen standards are the strictest in the world. Blue Lizard® is now made in the U.S., in Johnson City, Tenn. Ranked as one of the top sunscreens by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).Baby and Sensitive varieties are paraben-free, chemical-free and fragrance-free. Face is also oil-free and all formulations are mineral-based containing Zinc Oxide.Sport is extremely water resistant. This formula meets Australian standards of staying on 240 minutes of whirlpool water.

Blue Lizard's® patented PBA-free Smart Bottle™ changes color from white to blue (or pink for Baby) when it is exposed to harmful UV rays, reminding you to put on sunscreen.

You can easily find Blue Lizard® at Walmart stores.

Join iBotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen - Sensitive, 5 oz. bottle only.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Easy Summer Snack: Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias. Inc., and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackSnapShare #SnackStories #CollectiveBias

Summer break is so close we can taste it. The kids only have 4 days left of school and then we are all free!!! They are so ready for fun in the sun, lazy summer days and summer snacking! We are so lucky to live in South Florida and to be able to enjoy so many sunny summer days in the pool....

fishing off piers....

and building sandcastles on the beach.

We spend most of our days outdoors so along with lots of sunscreen, I make sure to pack lots of snacks for my kids to enjoy. I pack the usual water bottles, sandwiches and fresh fruits. I also like to pack special treats that I know my kids love, like their favorite: chocolate covered potato chips and pretzels!

Chocolate covered potato chips and pretzels are the perfect summer snack option! They are easy to make and made with simple high-quality ingredients! #SnackSnapShare #SnackStories #ad

Chocolate covered potato chips are the perfect sweet and salty combination. I love potato chips and I love chocolate so once I tried chocolate covered potato chips at a party I attended, I knew they would be a fun treat for my family. They are an easy way to satisfy everyone's snack cravings. 

Chocolate covered potato chips and pretzels are also a very easy snack to make. I make them the night before, pack them in an airtight container and toss the container in my beach bag. Easy snacking made from simple, high-quality ingredients like Cape Cod® Potato Chips and Snyder's of Hanover® Pretzels!

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips and Pretzels
Time: 2 hours

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
sea salt

Over medium heat, bring a double boiler, or a bowl over a pot of water (like I do), to a simmer. Add chocolate and stir until melted.

Dip 3/4 of your chips and pretzels into the chocolate. Tap lightly on the side of the pan or bowl to remove any excess chocolate and then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let chips/pretzels rest for about 2 hours or chill in fridge for about 20 minutes if needed in a hurry. 

Like I mentioned before, once ready, transfer to an airtight container or serve on a plate and enjoy. 

Summer is a great time to get creative with your snacking. I really enjoy trying new things and so do my kids. 

Cape Cod Potato Chips and Snyder's Pretzels are available at many retailers, including Target. Stop by the chips aisle and make sure to pickup your favorite Cape Cod chips, along with some melting chocolate and you have a delicious snack!!

#SnackSnapShare Sweepstakes

Time to share your snack story using the #SnackSnapShare and enter for your chance to win one of the following:

  • 1) Grand prize- $10,000 cash prize for a family vacation of the winner’s choosing.
  • (8) Weekly Winners- One weekly winner will win a year’s worth of snacks so they can continue to share the love all year long.
  • (57) Daily Winners- winners will receive a $50 prepaid Visa gift card to stock up on snacks at their favorite retailer
If I were to enter the contest, this is the photo I would use..........I mean look at this delicious treat!!

#SnackSnapShare #Sweepstakes (5/30 to 7/25)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Ultimate Survival Guide for New Swim Parents

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and The Coca Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SaveSnackScore #CollectiveBias

So you are a new swim parent.....welcome to the club! Swimming is an incredible sport that we are very lucky to have our children participate in. Swimming teaches kids to work together as a team as well as to challenge themselves over and over again. It's competitive, it's time-consuming and requires lots of dedication. But don't worry, as an "old-timer", I'm here to share some practical advice on how to survive as a new swim parent!

As a parent and a swimmer's biggest fan, you need to make sure your child has all the gear they need at practice. Being prepared is so very important for them to be able to perform in the water. As a parent to two swimmers, we have gone through a lot of gear and I will share with you exactly what we use:

  • Mesh bags to carry gear
  • Goggles 
  • Training fins
  • Pool buoy
  • Swim caps
  • swimsuits
  • towel
  • flip-flops 

Boredom busters
Becoming an amazing swimmer takes dedication from both the swimmer and the parent. We spend two hours a night, 5 nights a week at the pool. That many hours in the same place can become extremely boring and monotonous. This is where you must get creative as a parent. To cure boredom, I read novels and magazines, go over homework, work on my blog (thank goodness for wifi), exercise, catch up with friends over the phone, cheer on my swimmers and sometimes, I have been known to take a nap. 10 hours a week is a lot of time so there are days where I use this time to run errands like going to the grocery store. Use your time wisely and just like any sport, plan ahead to be the ultimate sideline hero!

Once again, 10 hours a week is a long time so I am sure you will get hungry sitting on those bleachers. I know I do. I pack my bag with lots of snacks to keep me from becoming hangry. I have been known to pack fresh fruit and oatmeal bars but my favorite snack is definitely a snack-sized bag of RITZ Bits Cracker Sandwiches. Paired with an ice cold POWERADE, RITZ Bits Cracker Sandwiches are my guilty pleasure! 

POWERADE 8 pack 20 oz bottles and RITZ Bits Cracker Sandwiches are affordable (swimming is expensive enough!), delicious and a lifesaver for busy sideline or bleacher bound parents! Oh and be sure to share with all the other parents hanging out by the pool. If you are a big RITZ fan like me, be sure to use these coupons on your next purchase at Walmart:

  • coupon neck hanger on POWERADE (8pk 20oz): Save $1.50 on NABISCO 20-pack Multipack
  • coupon sticker on boxes of Nabisco snack packs : Savings of .75 when you purchase a 12-pack or larger NABISCO Multipack

Swim Meets
After a couple weeks of practice, your child will be invited to participate in their first swim meet. In my opinion, swim meets are the best part of swimming. Swim meets are where your kids get to show off everything they've learned and have bonding time with their fellow teammates. Your child's first swim meet is a nerve-wracking experience for both your child and for you. With a little preparation, you can all make your first swim meet a memorable one. 

Pack appropriately:
For your child: all their swim gear mentioned above, plus extra goggles. You ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS need extra goggles and competition suits. For the meet they will also need a chair to use while they wait to swim, robes or swim parkas to keep them warm while waiting, extra towels, sunscreen (for outdoor pools) and fresh fruit to snack on.

For the parent: a chair to sit, pens and markers, cash for entrance fees and to purchase a heat sheet and snacks. I highly suggest purchasing hear sheets. These are like a program and let you know when your child is swimming. Without a heat sheet, I would be terribly lost at meets.

Remember, the swim meet is about your child and their team. Step back and let the coaches do their thing. You are there to be their biggest cheerleader and jot down their times. That's it. Unless they are incredibly gifted swimmers, the first swim meet is for them to get their first times. This is very important as these times are the basis for them to work harder at practice and get "placed" in their next competition. Be very supportive and YELL!!

I am so very happy that you have decided to join the swim family. I say family because we are all in this together, no matter where your child is swimming. Please feel free to share all your child's accomplishments because they deserve it. I have shared a lot of information here but I promise it is all very helpful information I wish I had known when we first started. For more ideas on how to be a sideline hero, click here!


You might also like: