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5 Reasons Parents Should Use eBay

When I was first contacted by eBay to be a member of their Parent Panel my first question was "Why?"

I was satisfied with the answer I received so I accepted. But that didn't quell my primary question: "What the hell do eBay and I have in common (besides the fact that I sell on eBay) and what am I supposed to be telling other parents who don't sell there or sell anything for that matter?"

At the beginning of September I was shipped off to Orlando, Florida for eBay's biannual eBay On Location convention. While there I was immersed in all things eBay and surprisingly I learned many new things about blogging and social media. Lesson learned: you're never to seasoned to learn a thing or two or three from someone new. All you have to do is be open to learn  And now hopefully you will be open to learn these 5 reasons for buying and selling on on eBay.:


Reviews Vs. The Real Me

I'm sure those of you who have been reading me for years have noticed the recent changes here at MakesMeWannaHoller there are more product reviews and more brand ambassadorships than ever before. There is one simple explanation for this: I'm getting paid for 90% of them. Times are tough and I have mouths to feed and children to clothe.

In July this blog suddenly became profitable --- profitable in that it cost nothing but my time and mental energy to produce it, which in my opinion is priceless but that's just me. So it actually isn't profitable, but clearly some money beats no money at all.


Turning 40: 7 Secrets To Staying Young

At 6:48am this morning I turned 40 years old. I don't feel any different than the day before or the hundreds of days preceding today. I've done some thinking about it though and come up with this short list of not-so secrets to staying young at heart, mind and soul. Hopefully by doing these things the body will also follow suit:


[STATS]: Eating Dinner As A Family

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know that today is Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™. My family and I eat dinner at least 5 days out of the week barring some serious upheavals to our schedules. It is a naturally expected part of our daily routines. As an ambassador for Family Day I'd like to share the following statistics with you:

Teens having frequent family dinners are:

1.5 times likelier to report having an excellent relationship with their mother.

2x as likely to report having an excellent relationship with their father

Almost 2x as likely to report having an excellent relationship with their sibling(s).*

This is compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners:

Teens who have infrequent family dinners are almost two-and-a-half times likelier to report that their parents do not regularly make time to check in with them.*
This plays a critical role in the lives of younger siblings who view and respond to the actions of their older siblings.

Teens who believe their siblings have or are using drugs are:

More than 5.5 times likelier to use tobacco

Almost 3x likelier to use alcohol

6.5 times likelier to use marijuana

More than 3x likelier to expect to try drugs (including marijuana and prescription drugs without a prescription to get high) in the future*

Less Time Spent with Parents Is Related to Increased Risk for Substance Abuse

Teens spending 7 hours or less are 2x as likely to use alcohol, and 2x as likely to say they expect to try drugs (including marijuana and prescription drugs without a prescription to get high) in the future.*

The Length of Dinner = The Quality of Time Spent

5% of teens say their family dinners usually last less than 15 minutes

27% say 15 to 20 minutes

41% say 21 to 30 minutes

28% say dinner usually lasts more than 30 minutes.*

“Although having dinner is the easiest way to create routine opportunities for engagement and communication, dinner isn’t the only time parents can engage with their children,” said Kathleen Ferrigno, CASA Columbia’s Director of Marketing who directs the Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™ initiative. “If your schedule can’t be rearranged to include family dinners, engage in other kinds of activities with your children so that you are a reliable, involved, and interested presence in their lives. Remember the magic that happens over family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the communication and conversations around it. Creating opportunities to connect is what’s important.”*

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Are you having dinner with your children tonight? Please let me know in the comments section below.

*Source: Importance of Family Dinners Report VII

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Mondays With Michelle: Baked Crispy Chicken Wings

Today, I have for you a spin on a classic: Chicken Wings! They are usually fried and covered in some type of finger licking sauce (which I love by the way). But in an effort to be a tad more health conscious I have taken to baking them.

Crispy Wings, Baking. Yum...

It’s a pretty simple recipe. You really just need a good spice mix and some time. Here is the recipe…


7 Tips And Ideas For Family Day

Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™ is a national movement launched by CASA Columbia in 2001 to remind parents that frequent family Dinners Make A Difference! While there are no silver bullets – substance abuse can strike any family regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age or gender – the parental engagement fostered at the dinner table can be a simple, effective tool to help prevent substance abuse in kids.

Family Day began as a grassroots initiative and has grown to become a nationwide celebration. In fact, in 2010 President Obama, all the Governors and more than 1,000 Mayors and County Executives proclaimed and supported Family Day!*

Even if you only have little ones at the moment, introducing them to a daily (or as many days of the week as possible) regimen of mealtime as a family will lay the foundation for the facilitation of easier communication between you and your children as they age, it will be the source of many fond and lifelong memories and they are very likely to continue the tradition into adulthood and pass it on to the families they build, and so on and so on.

As a Family Day - A Day To Eat Dinner With Your Children™ Ambassador I'd like to provide you with some tips and ideas on how have an effective Family Day™ Dinner at your home.


Ode To Life

Cherry Blossoms
© Eric Payne 2010. All Rights Reserved

Ah, Life...

I take you in and I breathe you out

you bring me pain as well as joy,

you show me love yet you give me hate.

I have the courage of all who precede me

yet I am visited by real fears for the future.

Yet and still while I have breath in my lungs

I WILL live Life abundantly!

Even in the midst of the greatest tragedies...when all hope in humanity seems lost...there are shades, strands and droplets of Life!

RIP to ALL who have died unjustly at the hands of Man.


September Is World Alzheimer's Month

It's late in the day and as of right now the fate of Troy Davis has the nation and our beloved media at a standstill. And all of it weighs very heavy on my heart and soul. At the same time I'd be remiss not to mention a cause very near and dear to me. September is World Alzheimer's Month. Alzheimer's is a disease that has effected a noticeable number of my family members. Before their passing, it has robbed them of their 80+ year histories, reducing them to being without their mental faculties. Today, September 21st is Alzheimer's Action Day. Take a moment to learn about this disease. If it has effected you, your loved ones or someone you know and/or their loved ones you can take a stand. How, you might be asking yourself? Check out the video below:

Go Purple!

A Father's Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep

I thank the Lord for my heartbeat.

I pray for balance everyday,

for strength and courage to ignore the fray


You Know What They Say About Big Feet?

Kicks by Eric Payne

I was recently telling a fellow female parent, a.k.a. a mom that my son wears size thirteen shoes.

To which she replied, "Well, you know what they say about big feet?"

I said, "Yeah, I can't skimp on any of his shoes anymore because they're more expensive than mine."

I'm almost positive that's not what she meant.


Mondays With Michelle: Coast Seafood & Raw Bar Review

Coast Seafood & Raw Bar is a part of the infamous Here to Serve Restaurant Group (Strip, Twist, Shout, Noche and many more). It is located in Atlanta's ritzy Buckhead neighborhood, on the corner of Piedmont and West Paces Ferry. It has a fairly large, casual patio great for evening dining and an indoor dining room adorned with kitchy beach decor and bright blue walls.

My girlfriend and I were sat immediately and wasted no time in ordering appetizers. We started with a Caesar Salad and Seafood Nachos.


E.Payne Joins The Family Day National Initiative

Family Day_CASA logo
As a child, my parents and I always had dinner together. From my pre-school days of enjoying everything that was put in front of me, to my middle school and adolescent years of hating everything that was put in front of me, to coming home on breaks from college and knowing that dinner time was family time --- no matter the circumstances --- we ate dinner as a family. Whether I liked it or not (and 99.85% of the time I liked it) it was a time for us to come together to talk, discuss current events, share stories and get reprimanded (the latter refers to me).

As a grown man, married and the father of two kids it went without saying that we would eat dinner as a family. It was simply automatic.


10 Ways To Spice Up Your Marriage

The battle of the sexes rages on, even in marriage. Maybe that's because people call it a battle? Too many times spouses get caught up in pointless and perpetual battles for superiority inside the home and out. It's not about working together, instead it's about how wrong the other person is or how right you think you are. Many times the journey together is overlooked for the sake of pointing out all the mistakes along the way. No team would ever function, let alone win a single game, if it operated the way many marriages do. A marriage is supposed to be a team of two...one of the strongest couplings man has at his disposal.

But in 2011 this is hardly the case. Especially when emotions are involved...

WANTED: African American Stay At Home Dads

Are you an African American Stay-At-Home Dad who has transitioned to the home from the workplace as a result of a layoff? Tara Pringle Jefferson of The Young Mommy Life is is writing an article for Loop21 and would like to hear from you.

If interested, please contact Tara at www.theyoungmommylife.com/contact or you may email her at Tara[dot]Pringle[at]gmail[dot]com.

Hopefully I will be reading about one of you soon!


(Not so) Wordless Wednesday: Hurdling Around The World


Ok so not so wordless...


Mondays With Michelle: Baked Tilapia With Asparagus

Happy Monday to you all! I hope you had a yumtastic weekend!

Nice & Healthy, yum!

Time being of the essence, I thought I would share another quick, go-to meal with you. It’s not unusual for me to get home after 9pm during the week; this meal is for those nights. Especially since I just started working out with a trainer and drive thrus are no longer an option!

Here is the recipe...

Baked Tilapia with Asparagus


The Best Writing On The Bathroom Wall EVER!

Discovered while in the loo...


What Works vs. What Doesn't Work

Me, Thinking
In 21 days I will be 40...

There's nothing grave in this statement for me. I don't plan on losing my mind. Although my wife has talked about trading me in on more than one occasion, I have no desire to swap her out for a newer model with more gizmos and options. You won't see a taxi cab yellow and chrome chopper sitting sparkling in my driveway. I won't be in a convertible at least until I'm able to put my current alternator-free SUV back on the streets. I don't plan on buying a four carat diamond to stick in the vacant piercing in my left ear. Nope - no mid life crisis for me.

Back To School With Crocs - That's Right Crocs

My daughter has had a at least one pair of Crocs in her life since she began to wear shoes. Each pair has been more sophisticated than the last pair but they've all been variations on the same theme: some sort of open-toe or open-heel shoes made of some kind of foamy rubbery stuff. They are the quintessential wash and wear summer slip on. She's rarely worn them to school and on those occasions (when Mom dressed her in them) the teacher would always pull me aside at the end of the day to politely ask me to make sure she wears closed toe shoes. Well now the game has changed.


Mondays With Michelle: The Hos(ess) With The Most(est) - The Finale

Happy Labor Day To All! We’ve made it to the 3rd and final installment of Hostess with the Mostest. The goal was to give you some delicious football season snacks to WOW your guest at all your Football gatherings.

We started with a tasty alternative to the standard chicken wings and did Mediterranean Chicken Skewers with a Greek Yogurt dipping sauce. Then we dove into the classic delicious homemade Salsa and Guacamole.

This week, for our final dish I am going to share my secret recipe for the best spinach dip EVER.

Here is the recipe…


Site Update for Mobile Users

If you spend most of your time on your mobile device these days you may have noticed that this blog is optimized for your screen, simple, streamlined and a simple scroll down experience. What you may not have noticed is that now you can leave comments using your phone via Disqus - the same comment system in place on the blog.

Simply scroll all the way down to the bottom of whatever post you are reading and you will see the comment box or you will see it loading. I can't wait to hear from you.
- E.Payne

Labor Day Weekend Family Events in Atlanta

Has the Labor Day Weekend snuck up on you and the kids and now you're stuck trying to figure out what to do? Please no worries. I've got a great listing of events compiled by Atlanta With Kid.

For families that decide to stay in town for the Labor Day weekend, there are plenty of fun events around town to keep you busy.

Check out our round up of fun, family-friendly events on Labor Day Weekend in or around Atlanta

1. Dragon*Con Parade @ Atlanta

You don’t have to be a geek to enjoy the Dragon Con parade. This annual convention is one of the biggest fantasy and sci-fi convention in the country. If your kids love Star Wars like my kids, they will probably enjoy this parade. Head downtown to watch the parade in the early Saturday morning and have a chance to interaction with almost-real costume. Beware that some costume might be more realistic than a little one can handle. Use your parental guidance and judgement call on this one.
Also check out our ultimate guide to Dragon*Con Parade for Families with Kids
Make sure to head out early to secure a front row spot. Limited parking so it’s best to use Marta to get to downtown.
Place: Downtown Atlanta
Date: September 3, 2011
Time: 10AM
Cost: FREE

2. Arts on the Creek @ Johns Creek

This Music & Arts festival is hosted by Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce. The festival is a fun family friendly filled with performances, art exhibits and children activities.
Place: Perimeter Church 9500 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA 30097
Date: September 3-4, 2011
Time: Sat 10am – 5pm , Sun 1pm-6pm,
Cost: FREE

3. Sixth Annual AJC Decatur Book Festival @ Decatur

Calling all bookworms young or old, it’s time to check out the 2011 AJC Decatur Book Festival this Labor Day weekend. Meet your favorite authors, check out various children activities, listen to the Live music performed by nationally touring musicians, watch Cooking demonstrations by noted cookbook authors and enjoy food and beer from local vendors. This is a Bookzilla size festival that will entertain the whole family.
Place: Downtown Decatur, GA
Date: September 2-4, 2011
Time: See event schedule here
Cost: FREE

To view the rest of this list, please visit: Labor Day Weekend 2011 Events In Atlanta With Kids.


Gary Owens on "Black Churches"

A little levity as we cruise into Labor Day Weekend. I do not intend to offend with this clip. In many cases it is so undeniably true.

Happy 1st Day of September!