A New Year's Resolution to Cross Off My List...Finally

Sunday, March 29, 2015

 I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #SoFABUOTR #cbias

So it's almost April and I'm not sure I have been quite faithful to my New Year's resolutions.  However, I do have to say that I am officially crossing one off my list -- I am attending my first blogging conference, SoFabU On the Road - Cincinnati!  I'm going with my friend Kat from A Mom's Impression and we are totally making a Mom's Weekend out of it.  

Let me break down the deets for you:

What:  SoFabU on the Road
SoFabU on the Road is a unique event that allows influencers to take advantage of educational opportunities that will help set them a part from the rest.  SoFabU on the Road features hands-on, interactive sessions for influencers to implement what they're learning on the spot. The sessions are paired with fun city-specific adventures where attendees get to practice their newly learned skills.
Events are open to all bloggers and influencers!

When and Where:  April 25 at Ahalogy, Cinncinnati
But you can also catch the conference in a city near you!
April – Seattle
May – Dallas
June – NYC
July – Chicago
Aug. – Minneapolis
Sept. – Atlanta
Oct. – Bentonville

Why Should You Attend?
Learn from great speakers!
Joe Robb is a thoughtful communicator with a diverse background in marketing strategy, pedagogy, digital media, SEO, editing and writing. He is the Digital Marketing Director at SparkPeople.com, a multi-platform media and technology company with leading health, fitness and food websites and mobile apps.  Attendees will walk away with a solid understanding of how to pair analytics data (Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook) with common, free publishing tools to grow their audience with data-driven processes. With the tactics provided, you will increase your site traffic without dramatically increasing the amount of time you currently dedicate to social media.

Improve your blogging with up-close and personal demonstrations from the best!
Nate Engels will walk through creating a custom recipe around a brand's product and how he tells a story around the recipe that will draw the reader into the emotional tie to the brand and blog post. From styling the plate, to the props, lighting and background, we'll learn how to create a visual gourmet image. He'll show how he takes beautiful photos (even without natural light) and manipulates the images to spotlight the food. We'll form groups where we will use props and creativity to produce photos on the spot. Then Nate will share how to make so-so photos into WOW! Shareable images through simple techniques and tools like Picmonkey.

Meet other bloggers and brands!
We’ll also have networking, brands and other learning opportunities (check out the agenda on the SoFabUOTR website!)  This year's national sponsors include Johnny RocketsMüllerKraft and iBlog . 

Collective Bias® has been an amazing shopper social media company to work for, so I am super excited to be able to attend a conference!  Collective Bias® is the only shopper social media company that solves shopper marketing problems by weaving together organic social content with engaging, real-life stories to generate millions of impressions, increased share of voice, SEO and retail sales for brands and retailers. Top brands such as Tyson, Nestlé and Duane Reade rely on Collective Bias to sell their stories socially. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, with satellite offices in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Cincinnati and London, Collective Bias was named one of America's 25 Most Promising Companies by Forbes and a part of the Inc. 5000.  Social Fabric® is Collective Bias’ proprietary community of nearly 3,000 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multi-channel reach in excess of 130 million.  For more information, please visit Collectivebias.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope I have convinced some of you to attend!  I'm excited to be able to put faces to some of the blogs I have started following and see if the voices I use when reading your blog as the same or similar to the real life ones.  Plus I'm pretty sure that it is your turn for a Mom's Weekend too.  
See you soon!


Project 52 - Week 11

Sunday, March 22, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children once a week in 2015*

We had Cohen's Spring Parent-Teacher conference this week and it was everything a parent could ask for -- especially through the eyes of a teacher!  She said academically he is exactly where he should be and seems to be quite bright for his age.  She also told us he's the most athletic boy in his class and is very respectful of his teachers and other students.  As you can assume we were both extremely thrilled to hear this information.  While he misses the cut off for Kindergarten by a month for next year, I have to say I'm completely alright with him being a older for his grade.  But I'm just so confused as to when he started growing up?

As of lately, Lola has turned into a chatter box!  While it's not all coherent language, some of her favorite words are Coco, No, Mama, Tada and Go when she is referring to the dog (I think its because are constantly telling him to GO! when someone is eating of he will snatch it right up).  In this picture she is saying "Cheeeeese!"  Even though she has been fighting a nasty double ear infection, she was nothing but sweet last week.


A Straight Up Mommy Mayhem Week and How to Survive It

Friday, March 20, 2015

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

You know those weeks where you just can't catch your breath?  Well, that was my story last week.  As a mom, you know you dread these moments.  The ones where your sweet children are sick and helpless, you feel terrible and want to help them and no one gets a wink of sleep.  Now add meetings, assessments, and long work days on top of it all and you've got a recipe for a mommy meltdown.  It happens to all of us, right?  Great.  Now, let me share with you a peek into my week straight up...

Lola slept a total of five seconds.  Okay, maybe ten seconds but that means I got about seven seconds of sleep that night.  My sweet girl went to bed with a low grade fever and woke up about fifty times that night just sobbing.  My husband swooped in and saved the day by staying home with her.  The little stinker took a 3 hour nap for him and I stayed awake at school by inserting toothpicks into my eyelids.

Cohen's cough started coming back with a vengeance.  We were at the end of our antibiotic and steroid round so I knew we were in for it when the cough started coming back deeper and chestier.  Lola also decided that sleep was for the birds and slept about thirty seconds this particular night.  My sleep deprivation started catching up with me and I'm pretty sure I was seeing things and talking to invisible friends.

In a last ditch effort to save my family's sanity and ensure some sleep, I took Lola to the doctor because the poor kid was now coughing and had a nose that was running like a faucet.  While her chest sounded fine, her pediatrician informed me she had a raring double ear infection.  
After one round of antibiotics and some ibuprofen, the kid slept for 13 hours straight.  I slept for 9 hours.  I know I slept well because I woke up with serious sleep lines on the left side of my face.
Mama was back!

After my rejuvenating sleep, I felt ready to conquer it all!  I even ventured out to Walmart to pick up some things for dinner since Kurtis was working late that night.  I decided that I deserved a little treat for myself so I grabbed a few bottles of the new Snapple® Straight Up Tea, some cheese and apple slices.  A good sleep warrants a healthy snack, right?  Plus the real brewed taste of this tea is super refreshing - it totally hit the spot after my long week.  Luckily I had three levels of sweetness I could pick from - Sweet, Unsweetened and Sorta Sweet.  I also loved the convenience of the 18.5 oz plastic bottle which made it easy to transport from the store, to the car and into the house.  Snapple® Straight Up Tea combines refreshing real brewed tea taste with the perfect level of sweetness which makes it exactly what you are looking for during those moments when you feel like you need help over that slump...or when you are running on zero hours of sleep.  It definitely hit the spot.

So remember that amazing sleep I got the night before?  Well, this time I made it about two hours until poor Cohen awoke hacking up a lung.  After a long night of breathing treatments, numerous glasses of water, back scratches and stories, I was barely motivated (nor alive) to get out of bed.  The only way I did was because it was Friday and I could wear my IU sweatshirt to work.  And it ended up being dirty, but I wore it anyway  (Shhh. Don't tell.).  I survived the work day but left early to take Cohen to the pediatrician.  The result ended up being the onset of his allergy induced asthma.  We eventually made it home with more meds, but not before Cohen had a coughing attack at the pharmacy and threw up red slushy all over the aisle.
Yes.  I was THAT mom.

Well Moms, you're not alone.  As you can see, we all have those moments.  The ones where you wish them away as fast as possible.  Those times that you won't ever welcome back with open arms.  That week of torture you are more than glad to see be gone.

But with every horrible, no good, very bad week, there comes a silver lining.  It's that fabulous feeling of kicking up your feet, taking a deep breath and realizing, "Oh my word.  I seriously made it."
And you did.

Need a break from your Mommy Mayhem?
See more reasons to love Snapple® Straight Up Tea on the Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea social hub where you can also confirm the product is available at your local Walmart and download a coupon to save on your Snapple® Straight Up Tea purchase.

Moms - tell me about that horrible, no good, very bad moment!  How did you get over that mommy mayhem slump?  Share your tips with us!


Weekend Shenanigans - Spring has Sprung

Monday, March 16, 2015

I think we can officially say that Spring has sprung here in Central Indiana.  While the weather last week warmed up to a gorgeous weekend (and even more gorgeous Monday) it is supposed to get cooler, but I'm okay with that as long as there is no snow.  Sadly we spent three out of the four days at the doctor last weekend.  Cohen's allergy induced asthma flared up pretty quick and Lola sprouted a double ear infection.  Hence the fact I was pretty quiet on the blog last week.  We pretty much hung low all weekend long, but not without enjoying some of the fresh air!  

One of the worst parts of the melting snow is the poop minefield that is left in the backyard.  After picking up enough dog poop to fertilize a cornfield, we spent a lot of time swinging on the swing set, blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk and going on numerous wagon rides.  This wagon was the best gift ever.  Cohen got it for his first birthday and both him and Lola have loved it so much.  I'll ask Lola if she wants to go for a wagon ride and she grabs her coat and heads to the door.  Cohen likes to start off walking during our journeys, but ends up with Lola in the wagon by the end.  While he can be meaner than dirt to her and she can be just as rotten, the two truly love each other beyond belief.  On this particular ride they both thought it was hilarious to hug each other.  Cohen would hug Lola, she would lean over and hug him and then together they would bust out laughing.  I wish Lola was just a little bit older to keep Cohen busy or at least be able to keep up with him better.  However, in a few years I'm sure she will have no problem catching up to his races.

I love that this Monday is almost over.  I stayed home with the kids because Cohen was up all night crying about his ear.  Poor kid is so congested he's ears are clogged up.  But now I need to clean up the children's chaos before my husband gets home...

How was your weekend?


Project 52 - Week 10

Thursday, March 12, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

Oh this sweet boy has had a rough few weeks.  We are battling end of the winter colds and coughs. I am thankful that he had a pretty healthy flu season considering his respiratory issues.  It's always hard this time of year as we transition into Spring and the weather gets warmer.  His lungs need a little extra support against that pollen and spores flying through the air.  But he sure loves to snuggle when he doesn't feel well.

As of this week, Lola has discovered her instruments that Santa brought her.  This could be a good thing or eventually a bad thing.  But she loves to shake, move and make tons of noise.  She also has been sleeping horribly the last two weeks.   I took her to the doctor yesterday for her cough only to find out she had a double ear infection.


Weekend Shenanigans - Cough, Cough, Sniffle

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring, you have arrived.
Thank you sweet baby Jesus.

It was a glorious 50 degrees today with the sunshine peeking through sporadically.  This week is supposed to get even warmer and bring much more sunshine.  There's something about the sun, warmer weather and the spring smells and sounds that can totally turn one's mood and attitude around.

We started off our weekend with a trip to Dr. Harper's office.  Poor Cohen had been fighting off a cough and cold that I knew was to the point where he wouldn't be able to kick it on his own.  I love how our doctor knows my son's symptoms and is extremely proactive when it comes to his respiratory issues.  Luckily over the past two years, he has gotten a lot better.  I know this is just the start of Spring allergies,but I'm hoping it's one of the last antibiotic runs until Summer!

Saturday we had dinner with some friends.  It was fun to see them since we all have had kids now.  It's also funny how your Saturday plans change to accommodate those little ones.  We were home and in bed by 8:30.  #dontjudge

I forgot to mention that my husband is crafting an amazing dining room table.  I also neglected the fact that he decided to stain it inside.  I think the smell is permasealed into my nostrils.  For real.  So on Sunday I made him open the windows again and air the stank out.  We did our usual cleaning and attempt to finish the laundry.  I was able to take Cohen and Lola out in the wagon.  Unfortunately I was alone so I couldn't get any cute pictures.  But it was also Daylight Savings weekend and I want to thank my not-so-man Mitch for this change several years ago in Indiana.  He obviously didn't have children because this time change thing blows.  I spent the evening trying to entertain crabby and overly tired children who were both coughing, sniffling and so over the fact that there schedule was completely screwed for the day.

My Brady ruff ruff also had his yearly teeth cleaning.  This is a big deal because they put him under to get those pearly whites clean.  He also was prescribed an OCD medicine for his obsessive paw licking.  People, I can't make that up.

Here's to a new week and just 15 school days until Spring Break.
Can I get an AMEN??

Winter Wonderful Giveaway with NCircle Entertainment

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I can feel Spring.  It has to be coming, right?  Lately we have had horrible weather.  I mean freezing cold, snow and ice.  What am I supposed to do to keep a busy body four year old going during these long Winter days?  Crafts, dancing, cars, blocks - we have done it all.  But sometimes we all need just a little downtime or even something to keep the rascals occupied long enough for me to cook dinner.  Luckily, NCircle Entertainment has come to our rescue during this ever long cold spell.  Here are our four favorites this Winter:

Pocoyo: Fiesta
Sing and dance with Pocoyo and friends in Fiesta!  Enjoy this never before seen feature showcasing thirteen songs from all your favorites – Pocoyo, Pato, Elly and even the Martian Brothers!  These songs will have your little one dancing along the whole time!  It’s time for a Fiesta with Pocoyo!
Never before seen feature-
Bonus karaoke videos

Octonauts: Pirate Adventures
Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! On this pirate-y DVD, Kwazii swashbuckles with swordfish, goes on a treasure hunt with a pirate parrotfish, and in a special double-length adventure, journeys down the Amazon to find his long-lost grandfather! 

Wiggly Pig: Playtime!
Wibbly Pig is an animated preschool comedy series that takes the daily routine of a young child and finds humor and fun in every part of it.  From day to day activities like getting into bed, wrapping a present or climbing a tree, to fantasy play like meeting a giant or going to the moon, Wibbly turns the simplest tasks into a comedy routine! Wibbly loves to share adventures with his very best friend - you!

The Wiggles: Wiggles House
Who's in The Wiggles' House? All your favorite friends, Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony, and twenty-five new songs! Join the fun of 'The Laughing Doctor,' taste the delights of 'Pappadum,' 'Do the Hawk' with Lee Hawkins, 'Have a Good Day (Kia Pai to Ra)' with New Zealand's Robert Rakete, and so much more. So open the door to a house full of fun as we raise the roof with Wiggle House!

Are you feeling the Winter Blues too?  Have no fear - you can win this set of Winter-Wonderful DVDs!  Enter the Rafflecopter below!

Disclosure:  I received products for my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Project 52 - Week 9

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in a 2015.*

This kid has some seriously Spring Fever.  It's all I can do to keep him busy these days.  So what do we do on snowy days?  Bust out the costumes of course!  We literally played "Ironman to the rescue" for a good hour.  He would come out of his closet and ask how he could help me.  Then I would tell him and he'd use his secret powers to get the bad guys.  After they were dead, he'd wave to me and go talk to Smash Hulk in his closet about the day's plans.  This boy makes me laugh all the time.

My parents brought Lola a baby doll this weekend and this girl's motherly instincts kicked in right away.  She would hold the baby, cradle the baby and loved to feed the baby her bottle.  It was so sweet how gentle and kind she was to her baby, unlike her brother who would hold the doll up by her feet and swing her around.  Boys and girls are so different.  So different.


The Happiest Race on Earth

Monday, March 2, 2015

I am so excited about this amazingly fun opportunity I get to share with you all!  I am an Elite Ambassador for the Indianapolis Color Run!  I have always wanted to run this race and when I heard it was coming to town again I so excited.  And then I was even MORE excited when I became an ambassador for the race!

Since I am super excited about this opportunity, I had to share the fun with you all too! 
Join my team and save $5 now when you sign up!
Use code: INDY5 to save!

Let me hype you up some more...
A global phenomenon is reaching all new heights as The Color Run Shine Tour 2015 jumps from sea to shining sea. Are you ready Indianapolis on 6/6?! With sparkly new course elements, The Color Run is bringing you all the glitz. Dance, twirl or skip your way to sparkly goodness! Sign up HERE!

What are you waiting for Indy?!?
 Join me and let's rock this race and have a blast doing it!

Have you ever ran in The Color Run?  Share your experience with me!


Disclosure:  I am an ambassador for The Color Run.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Weekend Shenanigans - In Like a Lion...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hooray that March is finally here!
Apparently Mother Nature didn't get the memo as she dumped almost 7 inches of snow on us here in central Indiana.  
Spring Fever has never been so bad.  Actually, I think this happens every year and I feel this same way every year but now I remember how annoying it is.

So how was my weekend?  Well, my parents came down for a little visit on Friday since we hadn't seen them since Christmas.  Both Cohen and Lola light up when they see their Nana and Papa.  Even if they don't see them for awhile they pick up right where they left off.  And that's usually Papa carrying Cohen around on his back for hours on end and Lola suckering her Nana to hold her from the moment she's awake until she goes to bed.  Seriously though, aren't grandparents just the best?

My parents left late Saturday afternoon with the anticipation of this supposed snow that was coming Saturday night.  We went to bed with nothing on the ground and woke up to over 5 inches of snow everywhere.  The snow didn't stop until after 4:00 Sunday afternoon so I think we got a good 7 inches.  But remember, it's March?

 My kid would throw up deuces.  

Kurtis and I attempted a sled ride with the kids but the snow was way too deep and heavy.  Poor Lola kept tipping over sideways or backwards.  Cohen got outside, saw the neighbors and told me he changed his mind about the sled ride.  I let him play for a good hour sledding down their homemade ramp and building a massive snowman in the backyard.  Kurtis shoveled and Lola and I once again enjoyed watching the snow and cold from inside.  I'm not a Winter gal.  I can hardly wait to feel the sand on my toes and the sun on my face in 30 short days.  But who's counting...

Well, we tried.  A for effort, right?

So it's the final countdown until Spring Break my friends (20 school days - boo yeah).  Have a glorious Monday!

What did you do this weekend?