Make time for YOUR Mammogram

I turned 40 this year. Let me say, I celebrated turning 40. There is a peace that came with it, that is hard to explain. An overwhelming feeling that I was finally in charge of life. What I was doing, where I was going, how to advocate for myself. It was all there. 

I have been aware for a while now that I am at high risk for breast cancer. It runs on both sides of my family and that’s not something that will ever change. I am aware of it, I acknowledge it and as I get older I have to be responsible for checking for it. It’s that little voice in the back of my head. I might be healthy today, but what about tomorrow? I check for myself often…but more importantly, I check for my boys. 

I was able to visit the Norma E. & Miles M. Zisson Comprehensive Breast Center of the Palm Beaches at Good Samaritan Medical Center and sat down with center manager Colleen Campbell. 

The first thing I noticed about Colleen is how friendly and warm she was, and how proud she was to show me and talk about her facility. My previous experience at imaging centers was to feel like a number. In and out as fast as they could… I was immediately struck that this center was different. It was not simply about imaging. It was about the patient as a whole person. 

Of course as women, we hear every year at our OB/GYN appointment that we should be checking ourselves for lumps and bumps…but what does that really mean? Younger me wanted to get that part of the exam over as fast as possible, but now as I’m older I have questions that I know I need to listen to the answers. I was able to ask Colleen some of those questions, that maybe you’ve been wondering too. 

1) At what age is it recommended that a woman gets a mammogram? Who should they ask to get one?      

Without a family history of breast cancer all women should start with a routine screening Mammogram at the age of 40, with a family history at the age of 35.

2) What should someone expect during their first mammogram? 

 With experienced team members a mammogram should be uncomfortable in the sense that it is considered an intimate exam, like going to the OB/GYN the first time.  If the right person is explaining and performing the procedure during the exam it helps. There is  some pressure but it should not be a painful experience at all. As a matter of fact I’ve been doing this so long that I have a lot of GYN’s that referrer their baseline mammogram patients to me personally for this very reason. It really helps to let the technologist know that this is your first mammogram.

3) If a woman doesn’t have insurance, what should they do to decrease the cost of a mammogram? 

 If you do not have insurance most facilities have cash pay prices that are very competitive, especially around Mother’s Day and October. Again, stay close to the Hospital based programs, (outpatient facilities that are associated w/ Hospitals. They offer more qualified and experienced staff. With insurance Annual Routine Mammograms are covered 100%, W/O insurance w/ offer competitive cash pay pricing. At our outpatient facilities the reading fee(radiologist) is also included.

4) If a lump is found, what is the first thing someone should do? 

Mark the area with a marker and call your doctor to make an appointment. You will need to know the date of your last period and approximately how long the lump has been there.

5) How is your facility different from others in the area? 

I would like to say our facility sets us apart because we are passionate about what we do and who we do it for. We all have a story. I chose my team based on their experience and passion and compassion. In the Breast Cancer world it’s not about the job we do, it’s about the people we do it for, our families, our community, our facility. 
I want my staff to feel satisfied every day that we do what’s right! To lay our heads down on the pillow every night and feel like you made a difference, even if it’s one person that’s all it takes. That’s why we chose the medical field, I believe it’s a path. My staff wants to work with me on my mission to help these women and their families.

A Birth Experience Like No Other – Good Samaritan Medical Center

Lily Pulitzer Birthing Suites at Good Samaritan Hospital

Looking for a completely different birthing experience for your self or someone you know? You have to take a look at the renovated Lilly Pulitzer rooms at Good Sameriatan Medical Center.

Good Samaritan Medical Center is partnering with iconic resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer, creating the ultimate Palm Beach experience with the design of its new Lilly Pulitzer Birthing Suites and family waiting room.

The two VIP suites are redesigned with the signature Lilly Pulitzer aesthetic, to give new moms and their families a joyful and luxurious feel when they deliver their babies. The suites art and design elements have all been donated by Lilly Pulitzer.

The rooms have been fully renovated with bedding and window coverings in Lilly Pulitzer print fabrics along with coordinating decor.

Between the waterfront views, concierge service and VIP food and beverage menu this truly is a completely unique and special experience. The stress and pressure of a standard hospital stay are taken away and families are at the center of the whole experience. Mom and baby also receive matching Lilly Pulitzer swaddle sets – how sweet is that!

To schedule a tour or to make a reservation, please visit

https://www.goodsamaritanmc.com/services/obstetrics

Fresh Bruschetta – A Crowd Pleasing Appetizer

For years, one of my favorite go to snacks has been bruschetta. There are so many different ways it can be made, but the one I love best takes only a few minutes, has fresh ingredients and fills your house with amazingly yummy smells.

Now the great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it with the ingredients that you love. The freshest ones available to you. If you ask me, there can never be enough onion and garlic, but I know that’s not everyones favorite, so make a few different varieties.

One thing that doesn’t change though is a quality olive oil. There are hundreds of varieties of olive oil, and we are loving this Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Flavor Your Life. The higher quality oil you use, the better the flavors come out in any recipe.

The Flavor Your Life campaign aims to educate North American consumers about authentic extra virgin olive oil from Europe. Flavor Your Life is empowering consumers by educating them about the rich history and delicious properties that these oils display—and sharing the delicious extra virgin olive oil culinary culture that’s been harvested in Europe for generations.

The best part of this, is that you are making this from the heart, so there are no exact measurements. Handfuls of fresh tomatoes, a bunch of basil, grated cheese of choice, finely chopped onions and garlic… and of course extra virgin olive oil to incorporate all of it together.

We used a food processor for this, but a blender works or simply chopping all of your ingredients together too. Now some bruschetta is much chunkier than this, and it is complete based on preference. I enjoy mine like a spread, that I can add more cheese and tomatoes on to. Each bite is a little different. Sometimes I want more basil, other times more tomato.

Most of the time this never makes it onto a plate. The family going around as I make different batches and we eat it off of the cutting board. Dip it, spread it, eat it off of the spoon. Just enjoy it.

Finding recipes and meals that use fresh foods make me feel like I’m making better choices for myself and my family.

Of course, find your favorite bread and enjoy. Don’t worry so much about the rules of cooking…and focus more on your favorite flavors.

Spend the Holidays at Fantasy World Resort – Kissimmee- Florida Snow and Ice Skating

Fantasy World Resort pool.

One of the best things about spending the holidays in Florida is that you can really experience multiple seasons in one day. My family and I recently spent the weekend at Fantasy World Resort in Kissimmee, Florida and went from ice skating and drinking hot chocolate to relaxing in the pool. The best of both worlds.

Ice Skating at Fantasy World Resort

We have stayed with Fantasy World Resort a few times now, and each time there is something new to experience. The staff really does feel like family now, and during our entire stay they do whatever they can to keep the kids entertained. That means parents can actually relax for a bit, which means the world this time of year.

Check out all of the fun from my Instagram stories on property here.

This year, along with the ice skating and tons of Florida snow, they added fun photo ops. If you know me, you know I love a fun photo location.

There are four different to choose from, including this one from The Christmas Story. Which happens to be one of Billiam’s favorites. I personally loved the large tree and twinkle lights, but I’m a classy kinda gal. Hehe.

Photo backdrops at Fantasy World Resort

Fantasy World Resort goes all out for my favorite holidays: here is a post about their Halloween activities too!

As the property has grown, there really is no reason to leave throughout your stay. Each time we go, there are new activities to explore. Mini golf, volleyball, basketball… the lazy river and water slides.

Plus, they are pet friendly, with a dog park too!

Poolside cotton candy at Fantasy World Resort

Pool games, cotton candy, teddy bear building, pool side tie dye. Only a few of the activities they offer, and each hour there are more surprises. Let’s not forget trivia, which is my personal favorite.

Living Room at Fantasy World Resort

No matter what your plans are for the holiday season, make sure to include a stay at Fantasy World Resort. You may just want to make it a tradition (like we do).

No time to go until after the holidays? No worries…their Winter fun is available until January 2nd. 2022.

Buddy The Elf Spaghetti Snacks – For Someone Special

I remember going to the theatre ages ago to see Elf in between college classes at FAU. I had a huge gap on Mondays and always popped in to see something new. I honestly had no idea what to expect and had probably seen every other movie they had to offer.

@thisfloridamom

Love the movie #Elf? This is the yummiest snack to make. It’s just like a rice crispy but with chow mein noodles. #baking #christmascountdown

♬ Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Michael Bublé

I don’t remember any of the other movies I saw then…but I remember Elf. Of course, it is one of our favorite holiday movies and we still watch it every year. Multiple times.

“Buddy the Elf, What’s Your Favorite Color?”

This was the easiest treat to make, and the boys ate half of it while we were making it. I did too. We will probably make it a few more times in the next few weeks too. These are a great and fun surprise at holiday parties or neighbor cookie swaps.

Depending on what you want to add to yours, you might have most of the ingredients already.

Of course, there are no real measurements with this and it’s only a hyped-up rice crispy treat. Minus the rice crispies.

2 cans of Chow Mein noodles

1 bag of chocolate chips

1 bag of white chocolate chips

1 stick of butter

1 bag of small marshmallows

1 canister of Freeze-Dried marshmallows bits

M&M’s

sprinkles

Anything else you may want to add.

Melt half stick of butter with a full bag of marshmallows.

Melt other half of butter stick with bag of white chocolate chips. When bother are completely melted incorporate them together and stir.

Pour into a bowl of chow mein noodles. Mix well and pour onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface.

Pour chocolate chips on the top while still warm. The chocolate will start to melt as well.

While everything is still warm flatten the noodles and add your toppings.

Once the treats come to room temperature and harden, cut, and serve.

Make for someone special of course.

Screen Free Minecraft Gift Ideas – Get these before Christmas

Both of my sons are obsessed with Minecraft. I’m not really sure how it started with the oldest, my youngest of course loves what his older brother loves. With that in mind, I wanted to find a few things they would enjoy for Christmas without it actually being more video games.

Continue reading “Screen Free Minecraft Gift Ideas – Get these before Christmas”

Both of my sons are obsessed with Minecraft. I’m not really sure how it started with the oldest, my youngest of course loves what his older brother loves. With that in mind, I wanted to find a few things they would enjoy for Christmas without it actually being more video games.

Continue reading “Screen Free Minecraft Gift Ideas – Get these before Christmas”

Disney Inspired Gifts – Ages 4 – 8

I absolutely love the magic of Disney… I can say the same thing about toys. When I’m able to find toys that tie in with our lifestyle and get the boys excited about the next trip I grab them. I’m also “that” Disney aunt. You know…the one that always gives Disney gifts… guilty as charged and not one regret about it.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t find any new one though, or run out of ideas for them. As I was looking for holiday gifts I can across a few that I wanted to share in case you might be looking for some too.

One gift that never gets old is a game to add to our game night rotation. These came in perfectly during quarantine and now that the world is a little back to normal, we’ve decided to keep our game nights. Finding games that all of our family can play and enjoy can sometimes be a challenge, but these are two I was excited to add to our collection. Mad Tea Party and Meme the Game.

I wasn’t sure how the Doorables would go over, but after I grabbed the Villans set for Halloween, I knew I needed more. My youngest loves little figurines and the fact these are all different versions of Mickey is awesome. Again, depending on what your child is into — there are probably Doorables for that.

I love Melissa and Doug toys because they are a quality product and hold up well for years. My boys love spending time in the kitchen and have a play kitchen too. These pizza and cake slices are amazing for little hands.

Bath toys are great for siblings. Either they can play with them together in the tub or one on one – but there is no fighting with them outside of the bathroom. I actually grabbed both of these sets for my nephews. Here is the Finding Nemo bath set – and the Mickey Mouse Basket Ball set.

Something that drove me crazy is that I could never get LEGO bricks that were Disney unless it was a princess. I wanted classic Mickey but non in DUPLO form. I was so excited when I saw these. There are actually quite a few to choose from. I’ve put these on our holiday wishlists for other family members to grab too!

Egg Nog Blondie Bites – Fun Festive Food

I asked my husband what his favorite holiday flavor was going into the Christmas season… and was a little surprised when he said Egg Nog. Now, I absolutely love Egg Nog — always have–but I try not to buy it because I will non-stop drink it. Do you have any food like that?

So when he mentioned Egg Nog, I was glad I could buy some and use it to bake with.

Continue reading “Egg Nog Blondie Bites – Fun Festive Food”