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Building Confidence to Swim

Disclosure:  Suburbia Mom loves supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs.  Goldfish Swim School has partnered with Suburbia Mom to share information about their wonderful establishment for little swimmers.  While this post is sponsored, Suburbia Mom thanks you for supporting local businesses. 

Building Confidence to Swim

I don't know how many times I've heard the story of a child who learned to swim by their parents throwing them into a river or lake and telling them to swim or drown.  My hopes is this long told story is more like a tall tale that is far from the truth.  Recently, a movie I watched had this same scenario.  A drunk dad trying to teach their teenager (who couldn't swim) how to swim by throwing her in the deep end of a pool for her to swim for her life.  Pretty harsh...huh.  The entire scene was hard to watch and luckily it was just a movie.

Where did these stories originate from?   Did people really learn to swim by being thrown in?  My guess is no...not most.  Possibly these stories came from a fearful time in the water. The first time a person realized they could sink and couldn't swim. I can only imagine how freightful that would be.

Not every child receives swim lessons and many children may only visit a pool once or twice a year.  If you don't swim often, water can be very intimidating.  A pool or lake can be a fearful place if you don't feel comfortable and are not a confident swimmer.

Every parents wants to keep their child safe around water and help them learn to swim.  Swimming is a ton of fun and splashing around in a pool is one of my favorite childhood memories. Here are a few tips on helping your child overcome the fear of water starting at a young age.

Start Young

My oldest went underwater for the first time when he was 6 months old and my youngest had her first underwater experience when she was just 3 months old.  Prior to my oldest having swim lessons, I would never have thought to take a baby underwater but thanks to the Mini One Parent-Tot Swim Class  at Goldfish Swim School, we were able to  introduce water to our babies and help build their confidence in a pool.

Swim Often

I remember growing up  swimming a lot during the summer.  My grandparents had a pool and we spent many summer days swimming.  We also had many family friends with pools.  Being around water was common during the summer which helped gain my confidence but during the winter I didn't swim much at all.  Although swimming a lot during the summer helped me become a better swimmer I had to gain my confidence back each year since I wouldn't swim all winter long.

Our swim instructor made a good point...you can't learn to swim without practicing.  Showing up for a 30 minute lesson weekly is a great start...but practice time is important too.

Swim Lessons

As I fast forward to the childhood of my own children I am faced with the responsibility of having a pool in our backyard.  This comes with a lot of fears and responsibility.  I knew before they were born that they would need to learn to swim and feel confident around water.  Just as they were learning to walk, they are learning to swim at Goldfish Swim School.

 I can't stress enough the importance of swim lessons in building confidence.  I've seen two year olds cry for the first few lessons and then a few months later are doing a back float on their own.  It's amazing to see!

Teach Water Safety

While swimming is a ton of fun it also has potential danger.  Young children need to be reminded of being safe in and around water.  Find the time to talk about water safety with your children.  Things to discuss are...

  1. Never swim without an adult
  2. Tell an adult immediately if someone falls in.  Don't try to rescue them until you get an adult. 
  3. Don't dive in shallow areas
  4. Walk safely by pools.  No running. 
  5. If you are wearing water safety devices such as a life jacket or arm floats...DO NOT take them off.  

As the weather warms up it will be time to swim.  Hooray for good weather on it's way.  Until then be sure to look into swim lessons as it won't be long and we will be enjoying the sunshine by the lake or pool.

Goldfish Swim School 

Are you looking for the perfect place for your child to have swim lessons?  Goldfish Swim School has so much to offer.  Check them out here! 

The King and I comes to The Fox Theatre and Giveaway~Win 4 Tickets (Ends April 22nd)

Disclosure: Suburbia Mom is a proud influencer for 313Presents and The Illusionist.   This is a sponsored post and tickets have been exchanged for this giveaway. and post 


Tickets are on sale now

Ambassador Theatre Group and NETworks Presentations LLC announce that the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I will perform at the Fox Theatre Tuesday, May 8 through Sunday, May 13 as part of the Fifth Third Bank Fox Theatre Series.

Tickets ($35, $45, $55, $65 and $75) are on sale now and can be purchased at 313presents.com, The Fox Theatre and Little Caesars Arena XFINITY box offices and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611. Series subscription packages and discounts for groups of 10+ are available by calling 313-471-3099.

The King and I, directed by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, won four 2015 Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical.  Hailed as “first-rate, sumptuous” (The New York Times) and "too beautiful to miss" (New York Magazine), the production played 538 performances on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Bartlett Sher is reunited with the award-winning creative team from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. The King and I has music direction by Ted Sperling, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber (Tony Award® winner for The King and I), lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and casting by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA. The King and I features choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance,” “I Have Dreamed” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

For more information, please visit www.thekinganditour.com, or on Facebook and Twitter. 

Performance Schedule:

Tuesday, May 8                      7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 9                 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 10                   7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 11                        7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12                   2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 13                      1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

About 313 Presents
Headquartered in the heart of The District Detroit, 313 Presents is a joint venture between Olympia Entertainment and Palace Sports & Entertainment offering fans, booking agents and tours one of the country’s largest premier entertainment destinations. 313 Presents is responsible for event bookings, event production, accounting, marketing and public relations for world-class entertainment events, concerts, family shows and community functions at Little Caesars Arena, Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill.

Giveaway Details

4 Tickets to The King and I on May 8th

Let's try something new!  We are giving away 4 tickets to see The King and I at The Fox Theatre on Tuesday, May 8th at 7:30 PM.  To enter please complete a quick and simple 4 question survey.  The link to the survey is below.  Be sure to leave your contact information.  Contest ends April 22nd.  Good Luck and Thank You for entering!

Enter Here

Contest Requirements:  Must be able to pick up tickets the day of the event at The Fox Theatre box office. Contestant winner will be notified by email and must respond no later than 48 hours after being contacted to win tickets.

Sunday Soup

         So, it’s Sunday.  And if you’re anything like me, chances are, you may have indulged a little too much in the “finer” things in life this weekend and you need to repent.  Maybe you had a few adult drinks or a rich dessert and now you think that your weekend is going to undo all of your hard work from the week.  This doesn’t have to be!  Sunday can be a lazy day, but can also be redeeming if you make a batch of Sunday Soup.  There is a little preplanning involved, but once you try it, you will find yourself consistently making sure you always have the staples on hand. 

Sunday Soup
My husband considers himself somewhat of an expert in the area of meat-- both grilling and smoking.  On any given weekend, our family is usually spoiled with some type of perfectly prepared protein, but our favorite is Beer Can Chicken.  My husband has gotten the execution down to a science and it never disappoints.  AND… we always have meat left over, along with bones, to make some tasty soup. 
Beer Can Chicken
Smoked Turkey
The Stock
The first staple of Sunday Soup is chicken stock.  I use the beautiful bones provided by my hubby from the Beer Can Chicken, but you could use bones from any prepared chicken (even a rotisserie chicken from your favorite grocery store-the easiest of all)!  I place a crock pot liner in my 6 quart slow cooker then add the bones/skin/any other scraps left over from the meal and fill with water to about an inch from the top.  I then set it on low and let it cook for as long as I want (usually overnight, but really any time is fine—the longer the better).  After my stock has come together I put a metal sieve over a large Tupperware type bowl and ladle the soup into the bowl, removing any bones etc., and then cover it.  Once I get one “batch” of stock, I usually fill up the slow cooker with water an additional time to get a second batch of stock.  I add a splash of white wine vinegar to help draw out all the residual nutrients in the bones during the second run.  After the stock has cooled, I refrigerate the stock so that I can scoop off most of the fat once it hardens, making the stock both more appealing and healthier.  I then measure the broth out into 2 and 4 cup portions and freeze them in freezer storage bags marked with the date and amount.  If I’m using the stock for soup within a couple days, I do not freeze it.  About one batch of stock is needed to make a large pot of soup.
Crock pot with bones and water filled almost to the top

Chicken stock after it's been cooking for 5-8 hours

Straining the bones/skin/etc. from the stock
Let the stock chill so the fat can separate and be removed from the stock

Visible fat removed from the stock
The Protein
The second staple of Sunday Soup is chicken.  We usually have leftover meat from Beer Can Chicken and just chop that up into small chunks.  If not being used in the next couple days, I freeze and label that as well.  Note: I do use chicken and turkey interchangeably.   I have not noticed any issues mixing and matching my poultry, and nobody in my family seems to mind. 
Chopped smoked chicken
The Starch 
The third staple for Sunday Soup is some type of carbohydrate.  I usually prefer either egg noodles or rice.  Since I am a frugal gal, I love to use up leftover rice (ex: plain white rice from Chinese takeout or leftover brown rice from weeknight dinners).  If you are “low carbing” it, you could totally skip the rice/pasta and just make a chicken and veggie soup. 
I try to have complex carbs on hand for soup
The Veggies
The fourth staple is vegetables.  I personally always have mirepoix, the fancy name for carrots/celery/onions, on hand.  I have also been known to add in any vegetables I have in the fridge, including but not limited to: peppers, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and corn. 
Chopped veggies ready for the soup
The Process
Ok, so whether you have all the ingredients fresh or frozen, the process is very similar.  First, I boil the stock, and here is where the lazy Sunday part comes in.  If I have all day to cook the soup, I start it in the slow cooker in the morning.  If I start the soup closer to dinner time, I use a large pot on the stove.  I usually make a batch that will last at least two meals, requiring at least 16 cups of liquid.  That can come from either fresh or frozen stock.  While the stock is coming to a boil, I start to chop up the veggies to add into the soup.  Vegetables take some time to cook, so you’ll want to add them near the beginning of the soup process.  Let the vegetables boil for at least 20 minutes (if using a pot), or about 4-5 hours on low (if using the slow cooker) checking them to see once they have softened.  If you have a good liquid to “stuff” ratio, meaning a lot of liquid verses veggies/meat, you can cook the noodles/uncooked rice in the soup.  I just cook it according to the cook time on the box/bag, but be aware that the noodles/rice will soak up some of the liquid, so if you are worried you won’t have enough liquid in your soup you can cook the noodles/rice separately and then add them in to the soup at the end.  The chicken and leftover cooked rice (if using in place of noodles) can be added in at the end, just to be warmed through.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and I have been known to add some chicken flavoring to add a little punch of “chicken-y” flavor, if needed.  When serving up the soup, I usually throw a couple ice cubes into my kids’ bowls and they always request some crackers to dip in their soup.  Hubby and I eat ours piping hot without crackers.  Soup is a very forgiving meal.  I find that every time I make it, it turns out a little different, which keeps it from becoming too boring.  I have entered several of my soup recipes into My Fitness Pal, and one bowl of Sunday Soup (around 1.5-2 cups) usually has around 250-350 calories depending on what all you put in it.  It has roughly 15-20 grams of protein,  20-30 grams of carbs, and 2-10 grams of fat.  All in all, a satisfying meal that you can feel good about eating.  
Finished soup, ready to eat!
Here is the list of ingredients from my most recent batch of soup

My Fitness Pal's nutritional breakdown from this batch for a 1 cup serving

Meet Annie

Me, January 2018

I’m Annie, a Reading Specialist and Reading Recovery teacher at a charter school in Pontiac, Michigan.  I am a 35 year old wife to Nathan and mommy to two beautiful children, Brennon (8) and Quinn (4).  I enjoy reading, drinking wine, cooking/baking, spending time with my friends, and dark chocolate.  I have battled with my weight for most of my life and decided to make a change in April 2016.  I have changed the way that I eat and made getting active a priority.  I have lost a lot of weight, but still have some work to do to hit my end goal. I have good days and bad, but I never give up because tomorrow is always a new day. I am a new(ish) runner and am so glad I gave it a try!  I am always looking for ways to challenge myself physically and mentally.



A Must See! 

The Perfect Family Outing!


The Illusionists at the Fox Theatre Friday, April 27th & 28th

Show Times: 

Friday, April 27th- 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 28th- 2:00 & 7:30

On the heels of a highly successful multi-city tour and run on Broadway, the world’s best-selling touring magic show, The Illusionists – Live From Broadway™ (www.theillusionistslive.com), will play the Fox Theatre in Detroit from Friday, April 27 through Saturday, April 28 as part of its North American tour in 2018.


Tickets ($30, $45, $55 and $65) are on sale now and can be purchased at 313presents.com, The Fox Theatre and Little Caesars Arena XFINITY box offices and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611. Series subscription packages and discounts for groups of 10+ are available by calling 313-471-3099.


The Illusionists – Live From Broadway™ is produced by Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and MagicSpace Entertainment. Conceived by Simon Painter, the show’s creative team also includes executive producer Tim Lawson, director Neil Dorward and creative director Jim Millan.

Full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, The Illusionists has shattered box office records worldwide and thrilled audiences of all ages with a mind-blowing spectacular showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth.

Creative Producer Simon Painter said, “We can’t wait to bring this electrifying show to Detroit for a truly entertaining experience for the whole family. The Illusionists is the most non-stop and powerful mix of outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on the live stage.”

The seven stars, each a master in their own field, are:

 The Trickster, Jeff Hobson is the epitome of glamour and showmanship. Don’t be fooled by his innocent appearance; Jeff has audiences laughing long after the curtain goes down.
·         The Inventor, Kevin James is known for innovative illusions, is an inventor, comedian and collector of the strange and unusual. Kevin is one of the most prolific inventors of magic in the world and has created some of the most celebrated illusions of the last century.
·         The Deductionist, Colin Cloud, one of the greatest thought readers of all time is a psychic savant known as a real-life Sherlock Holmes. Don’t play against him in a game of poker – he’s never lost.
·         The Manipulator, An Ha Lim: The first place winner at Korea’s Busan International Magic Competition (2006), Italy Club Convention Manipulation (2006) and World Magic Seminar in Asia (2007), An Ha Lim was also a Golden Lion Award winner at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas (2008).
·         The Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin, is widely considered one of the most creative, skilled, and frankly crazy stunt performers in the world. He is an accomplished knife thrower, archer, escape artist, fakir, martial artist, free diver, and free climber. Unlike the other performers in the show, Jonathan is not a magician or illusionist but he will leave the audience breathless with his death-defying stunts.

Simon Painter is a visionary creative theatrical producer who hails from London.  Simon started his career on stage as a classical violinist, and performed the lead role for Spirit of the Dance in Las Vegas. The first show he produced, Le Grand Cirque smashed box office records at the Sydney Opera House selling over 40,000 tickets in 10 days. His two subsequent productions, Aerial Dreams and Adrenaline also broke records in Sydney and across the world and achieved critical acclaim. In 2010 Simon had five versions of Le Grand Cirque playing concurrently.  In late 2010 Simon joined forces with Australian producer and close friend Tim Lawson and began assembling the greatest magical minds from a wide spectrum of disciplines. His production of The Illusionists has already performed to record breaking crowds in theatres and arenas across the globe including Australia, Mexico, Latin America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In addition to The Illusionists: LIVE FROM BROADWAY, Simon’s current projects include Le Noir (The Dark Side of Cirque) and Illusionists 2.0, both of which are currently playing extensive international tours.

Tim Lawson is the CEO of TML Enterprises, servicing Australia and international territories with first class musicals and family entertainment with productions spanning across over 100 cities in 20 countries. Australasian theatrical touring credits include Sweet Charity, Buddy – The Musical, Jolson starring Rob Guest, Spirit of the Dance, Oh! What A Night, Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol, It’s A Dad Thing!, Weary – The Life of Sir Edward Dunlop, Shout! The Musical, Brave Men Run In Our Family, Jekyll and Hyde starring Brad Little and The Rocky Horror Show narrated by Richard O’ Brien. Tim's award winning production of A Chorus Line transferred to the prestigious London Palladium, and his production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang recently completed a 13 month tour. With partner Simon Painter, credits include Le Grand Cirque, Ariel Dreams, Adrenaline, Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque, The Illusionists and The Illusionists 2.0, all enjoying record breaking success and extensive international arena and theatrical touring.

About 313 Presents
Headquartered in the heart of The District Detroit, 313 Presents is a joint venture between Olympia Entertainment and Palace Sports & Entertainment offering fans, booking agents and tours one of the country’s largest premier entertainment destinations. 313 Presents is responsible for event bookings, event production, accounting, marketing and public relations for world-class entertainment events, concerts, family shows and community functions at Little Caesars Arena, Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill.

Giveaway Time!  Now it's your chance to win two tickets to the show on Friday, April 27th.  

Click on Rafflecopter to begin. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Suburbia Mom is a proud sponsor for 313Presents and The Illusionist.   This is a sponsored post and tickets have been exchanged for this giveaway. and post 

How to Make your own Organic Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup is known for its health benefits but can have some side effects. Please research elderberries and understand both risks and benefits.  This post may contain affiliate links. 

Make your own Elderberry Syrup

When trying to treat or prevent an illness, Elderberry Syrup is an excellent immunity booster.  Elderberry Syrup comes from the Sambucus Plant which is found in the northern hemisphere of North America and Europe.  

There are many health benefits from taking elderberries.  They have been known to reduce allergy symptoms, fight bacteria and infection, along with strengthen our immune systems. 

I'm sure you are hearing a lot about elderberry syrup since it is cold and flu season. You can find elderberry syrup for sale at your local health stores and I'm even seeing commercial ads on television.  But for a fraction of the cost, you can make your own. The best part is you know exactly what is in it and it is super easy!   

Let's Talk Ingredients

All ingredients can be found at any health store and or grocery store.    The elderberries can be a little challenging.  I've found them in the bulk food sections where you can purchase by weight at Fresh Thyme Market or you can purchase here online.  The 1lb bag will last you quite some time.  So far I've made quite a few batches and still have a half bag of dried berries. My guess is the 1lb bag I purchased will last me through summer.

Elderberry Prices

I paid around 18.00 for my 1 pound bag.  Currently prices are up on elderberries due to the high demand and it appears the main company that sells elderberries to the distributors has their dehydrator down.  My guess is in a few weeks we will see these prices vary and go down a bit.  

What you Need

  1. 3/4 cup of dried organic elderberries
  2. 1 cup of organic raw honey
  3. 3 cups of water
  4. 2 tablespoons of freshly grated organic ginger
  5. 1 teaspoon of organic cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon of organic cloves (can be purchased by weight also)

The Process

Add all ingredients except the honey in a pot and bring to a boil.  Then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes.  

You are looking to simmer until the liquid reduces to about half. I periodically use a fork and mash the berries to release its juices. In the end you will strain the berries from the liquid. 

Once you've reduced the liquid, it's time to strain the berries from the juice.  

Time for Honey

The honey is the last ingredient you will add.  Add the honey once the liquid has cooled to room temperature. Once it's cooled, stir in the honey.  There you go... You have Elderberry Syrup!  


You can place in a glass jar or  bottle and store in the refrigerator.  I've read that it's good for a few weeks and I've read it is good for a few months.  I say it's good until it's gone!  It doesn't last long at our house.  The kids ask for it every day and never let me forget.

How much to Consume

We take one teaspoon daily for immunity boosting properties during cold and flu season.  When we are under the weather, I boost the dosage to 3 teaspoons a day or whenever the kids ask.  

I've also read that it is beneficial to take it for 5 days and then take 2 days off and then repeat.  Supposedly the 2 day break helps give your immune system a boost. 

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the final product.  I will add that here soon but until then...it is time for you to make your own elderberry syrup!

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