News Releases

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What's your child's playlist when it comes to social media?



Andrew, Charles, Graci and Randi at Playlist Live Orlando
It's summer and that's means most kids are out of school, on vacation and have more time to be on their phones or other electronics. It's the age we live in and we can't do too much about it. As a mom, I try to keep up with my kids and what they are doing on their electronics. I have two daughters ages 12 and 13, so as you can imagine they are on either their phones and iPads quite a bit. What's interesting is what my kids do on their phones and iPads. Most of the time they are watching videos made by YouTubers. YouTubers are people who create videos and usually star in the videos. These videos can be anything from their everyday life to do-it-yourself (diy) videos. These YouTubers or video creators have a fan base. It's incredible when you really start learning about this whole new world of  social media stars.

These YouTubers are like Hollywood actors and actresses, most of them though aren't on the big screen or on television. They are on social media sites mainly YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Musical.ly. And yes, they do make money, some of them make millions of dollars.

I recently went with my girls and my friend's twin boys to a convention called Playlistlive in Orlando. It's a place where fans and YouTubers meet.  I took my older daughter Randi by herself the year before and she loved it so much that my other daughter Graci wanted to go this year. It's the eighth year the convention has gone on and it truly was an eye opener to me. I had no idea what it was all about until going the first year and this year I learned even more about this whole new world of social media from how my kids are influenced to how companies are marketing.

This convention had all types of YouTubers and Creators. There are about 500 of them and more than 13,000 fans from all over the United States. The convention sells out every year. It is three days long and brings in fans from all walks of life and ages mainly from 13-25 with about 80 percent who are female. The event includes concerts, panels, meet-and-greets and fan convention.

My kids have their list of YouTubers they watch daily and some of them were at this convention. They also met new people who they now follow. When you buy your passes you can purchase meet-and-greets with the YouTuber or creator you want to meet. These meet-and-greets are great for the fans. The fans get to talk to their favorite celebrities, take photos and get autographs. The YouTubers are wonderful and really take time with each fan. Most of the kids I saw and talked to loved this part of the event. Some were even star struck.

It's funny as a parent to watch some of the YouTubers who have a huge following go in the lobby of the hotel and have kids yelling and chasing them down the hall. It's as if the Beatles were there. I am not kidding! There's lots of security at this event, so not to worry too much, but still you have to watch your kids.

I found there was plenty to do throughout the three days. My kids had meet-and-greets and we watched some of the concerts. One of the concerts my daughter Randi loved was with Scotty Sire, a YouTuber who does daily vlogs and some music. She actually had been practicing one of his songs on piano "Mr. Glassman" for a few months prior and when she heard he was coming to Playlist, she was so excited to see him live. Yes, she even got a photo with him when he was walking down the hall.

During the convention they have an area where they sell merchandise. This year there were more vendors. I always like to ask the vendors how the YouTubers help them with their products. One of the vendors was trying to launch their makeup website called Wheesearch, where they help people find the right makeup products. They were looking for a vlogger to help them out. I interviewed the founder of the company and she told me by the end of the convention it looked like they had found someone.    

Another company Crofter's Premium Spread, sells organic jams and they were there because last year a YouTuber  Thomas Sanders, said in one of his videos, "This is the only jelly I'll put in my belly," and their jelly sales skyrocketed. They ended up making him a spokesperson for their jelly and even came out with a special jelly called "Logan's Berry" named after one of his characters on his YouTube channel. They were giving out samples at the convention and of course my daughter had me buy it.

Yes, YouTubers are huge influencers on our kids of today. It's important to know who your kids are watching.

To see behind the scenes videos and interviews from Playlistlive go to Kadi's Facebook page www.facebook.com/mom2momwithkadi

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Things to do with the kids this summer on a budget


The kids are out of school and if you are like me, you are looking for fun things to do that won’t cost you ton. Every year I browse the paper, internet and flyers sent home from school to find some of the best and cheapest things to do. Here are some of the activities I’ve done with my two girls, ages 12 and 13, over the years and a few new ones I’ve found.

My kids love going to the movies, but they can be so expensive. During the summer you can go to the movies for $1. This is part of the Regal Theatres Summer Movie Express. It runs for 9 weeks starting June 5th in our area.  The movies are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Go to their website at www.regmovies.com and look up promotions. The movie theatres locally are Park Place Stadium 16 and Regal Largo Mall 8. The movies are G or PG and start at 10 a.m. Some of the movies include: Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon2, The Lego Movie, the Peanuts Movie, The Secret Life of Pets, The Minions and more.

For older kids and adults Clearwater Beach offers free movies on Friday and Saturday nights at Sunset at Pier 60. You can see movies like Lion King, Black Panther, Apollo, Moana, Jaws, A Wrinkle in Time and more. Go to the their website to find the listings at www.sunsetsatpier60.com.

If older kids want to see the latest releases head to Studio Movie Grill in Seminole all movies all day are $5 on Tuesdays.


My girls love to bowl. Kids can go bowling for free all summer long. It is part of the Kids Bowl Free program. Bowling alleys all around the United States participate. Locally kids can go in Largo to Liberty Lanes, in St. Petersburg to Ten Pin Lanes or Sunrise Lanes, in Dunedin to Dunedin Lanes and in Clearwater to Maple LanesCountryside, in Seminole to Seminole Lanes and in Port Richey to Lane-Glo Lanes North. Kids get to bowl 2 games free a day. You must register at www.kidsbowlfree.com. Remember to bring bowling shoes or you can rent them.

We are so fortunate to have baseball all around us. Not only do we have the TampaBay Rays, but we also have 4 minor-league baseball teams in the area. If your kids like baseball, the minor league team tickets very affordable. The Clearwater Threshers have dollar Tuesdays, where the tickets and food sell for $1. We went recently, and it was a blast. The Tampa Bay Tarpons formerly the Tampa Bay Yankees have a great kids club where you pay $20 and get a bunch of fun items including a hat and all Sunday games are free with a food voucher for hotdog, soda and chips. The Dunedin Blue Jays and the Lakeland Flying Tigers also have kid’s clubs and great promotions on ticket deals and food. Go to the team’s web sites for more information.

One place my two girls love going to is the beach and it’s free. Did you know that on Friday nights there’s a place on North Redington Beach that offers hula dance lessons to kids and adults? It is at Mango’s Restaurant and Tiki Bar which is located right behind DoubleTree Beach Resort. You can listen to tropical music on the beach and right before sunset on Friday nights the Sunset Island Dancers come out and put on a wonderful hula show. The kids have a lot of fun!!

If your children like to read and like baseball, they can read their way around the bases with the Reading with the Rays program. Just for reading a certain number of hours during the summer, they can get a free ticket to a Ray’s game. You can find out more at your local library.

Kids can also earn a free book at Barnes and Noble with the Barnes and Noble Summer reading program. It is for kids grades first through sixth. If your child reads 8 of their own books and journals the books, they can get a free book at the store. You can find out more at www.barnesandnoble.com.


If your children like to build things or make crafts, take them to Home Depot this summer. They offer a free workshop for kids the first Saturday of the month from 9 am to noon.  On Saturday, July 7 they will host a workshop on building a fishing game. Recommended ages are 5-12. The crafts the children make are incredible. The kids get to keep their craft and receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron and commemorative pin. This may be something a grandparent wants to do with their grandchild. I know my kids love it!

The Glazer Museum in Tampa offers free museum admission on the first Tuesday of the month to everyone from 12-7 p.m. You can find out more here

The summer is a great time to explore where you live. There are so many fun things to do right in your own backyard. You just have to know where to look and make the most of it!  Hopefully this gives you a few ideas of things to do with your kids and you won’t have to spend too much money.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Seminole High graduate also becomes Eagle Scout in same week

Left to Right: Jayson Weiner, David Weiner (Jayson's dad), Levi Siewert, Ray Siewert (Levi's dad), Philip Cappelli, John Cappelli (Philip's dad) and Ned Covel at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Largo on May 21.
Note: to view article in paper go to bit.ly/JaysonWeiner

In December of last year, we told you about a Seminole High School senior, Jayson Weiner, who was working on becoming a Eagle Scout. The project he picked to become an Eagle Scout was to help a former nonprofit, St. Pete Beach Support our Troops, who had lost all their volunteers and needed to ship care packages to the military overseas. The organization had all the boxes to send, but not enough money to send the packages. 
"After I had been informed that I had to fundraise the money for the shipping, I thought this project was over due to the fact fundraising $10,000 with a deadline of 9 days seemed impossible. The support I received from the community helped me ship a total of 566 care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan before Christmas," said Weiner.
After calling local businesses and an article running in Tampa Bay Newspapers, Weiner was able to collect the money he needed to send off the care packages. "This would not have been possible in any world without the backing of the community, and I would like to thank those people dearly, they include: American Legion Post 252 ($2500.00), American Legion Post 125 ($1,000), American Legion Post 79, Operation: Military Matters, United States Postal Service: Seminole Post Office, and St. Albans Church," added Weiner.
Weiner received the honor of Eagle Scout on May 21, 2018, during a ceremony at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Largo with several of his friends who have been in scouts together since starting . It was a wonderful week because earlier in the week he also graduated from Seminole High School. In the fall, he plans on going into the Marine Corps to help fulfill what he says is his civic duty and to get his college education.
Fewer than 4 percent of all Scouts in the United States reach the Eagle Scout rank, achieve the scouting purpose in the building of character, training of leadership, and the practice of serving.

Some of the 500 care packages Jayson Weiner shipped to the military overseas.

Jayson Weiner and other Boy Scouts who helped him with his project back in
December 2017, before shipping the care packages overseas.