Tag Archives: A Little Me Time

First Time for Bliss

This time tomorrow night I’ll be at a Newcomer’s Meet and Greet at Blissdom; a premier conference for women and bloggers. 

I’ve been so wrapped up in my small world of poppy diapers and tantrum-throwing toddlers that it didn’t actually dawn on me until tonight that the conference is actually this weekend! And not even the weekend, but tomorrow!! 

As I’m reading the Twitter feed of all the ladies who are attending, it’s helping make it more and more real. Women flying in from all over the country talking about what they’ll be wearing and who they’ll be meeting up with. I can’t wait to show up and begin meeting new people, and the best part, actually being able to stimulate my mind! 

But to be honest, all of this talk makes me a tad jealous. 

You see, one of the benefits of living in Dallas is that I can attend the conference very easily. It’s only a 30 minute drive to Grapevine so the drive is simple. And, it was also a lot easier to persuade my husband to let me leave the newborn at home! 

I’ll be able to attend the sessions in peace without having to worry about a hungry, crying baby; take notes, participate in meaningful conversation, and learn a little something from experts. 

But of course, him not being with me is the downside to the conference being in Dallas. 

Any other year, I would have found a friend and booked a room at the Gaylord with everyone else so that I could feel like I was getting the true conference experience, but with a 2 month old, I just couldn’t do it. So while the other women are getting a weekend of pampering and relaxation, I’ll be driving out to Grapevine every morning in traffic, participating in Blissdom, then enjoying the car ride home anticipating the needs of a crying baby. 

Although I’m “getting away” for the weekend, I’m not truly “getting away!”

But that’s okay…I’ll take what I can get. And that’s several days of fun and bliss; even if it is only until 5! 

**You can join in on the fun too by following me via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!**


Will you be at Blissdom this year? 

Make sure to find me at one of the sessions! 

Here’s a peek at my schedule: 

A #FebruaryFete by Cascade Ice Water

Media Events are one of the perks of being a blogger. You’re often the first to be introduced to a new marketing campaign or asked to experience some great new products. I don’t always write about my Media Events, but sometimes there are products that I get really excited about and just can’t wait to share them with you. 

Cascade Ice Water is one of those products! 

Last week, I headed to Frederic Fekkai Salon in Highland Park Village to join other bloggers and media for a #FebruaryFete sponsored by Cascade Ice Water. 

We were lured in with nails, hair, and make-up, 
and then once through the door, tempted with cocktails and desserts. 

I started the evening with a Cascade Ice Cosmopolitan. 
Made with the Zero Calorie Cosmopolitan Mixer and Vodka, this cocktail was under 60 calories and free of sugar, gluten, sodium and carbohydrates!

I was really skeptical before I took a sip because I’m just not a fan of artificial sweeteners like Equal and NutraSweet; however, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. 

Cascade Ice uses sucrose (Splenda) in their drinks to make it non-caloric which still isn’t ideal, but I’m not planning on drinking these every day so in moderation is fine with me. 

After I’d munched on five one or two desserts, I made my way over to get my hair smoothed out. 
Honestly, my hair is about as smooth as it gets, so the poor Fekkai stylist gave me a brief touch-up and curled my hair instead. 

(Apparently by hair is my best side.) 
Then before having my nails done, I grabbed their second cocktail of the night; 
Cascade Ice Margarita.

(Starting to doubt whether my face if photo worthy…)

The Margarita is slightly higher at 110 calories compared to the skinny Cosmo, but when compared to a normal on-the-rocks margarita with over 400 calories…no comparison!

And it genuinely tasted like a Margarita!

Once again, I can typically taste artificial sweeteners, but I was amazed at how well these cocktails were able to hide the taste of the Splenda! 
(And hide the alcohol too!)

But Cascade Ice isn’t just about the cocktails. 

With over 31 different flavors of sparkling water including a few that are USDA Organic, there’s a little something for everyone’s pallet.

If your interested in trying Cascade Ice Sparkling Water, head to your local Albertsons, Sprouts, or Market Street and browse the shelves. Explore some different flavors, but if you need a suggestion my favorites were the Peach Mango and Strawberry Lemonade! 

Then, once you’ve picked up some Cascade Ice, here’s some recipes you should give a try! 

Cascade Ice Cosmopolitan
1. In a 16oz mixer cup half full of ice, add juice of an Orange and Lime wedge with 1 & 1/4oz of vodka.
2. Add 4oz of Cosmopolitan Mixer.
3. Shake gently or stir aggressively and strain contents into an 8oz Martini glass. 
4. Garnish with a floating orange wheel and when in season drop 4-6 fresh cranberries in the bottom of the martini glass.

Tropical Rum Cocktail
1. Combine 1/2 c. white rum (chilled), 1/2 c. frozen pineapple, 1/2 banana (chilled), 1 c. Cascade Ice Peach Mango, and 4-5 ice cubes in a blender. 
2. Blend until smooth. 
3. Pour in two glasses and garnish with a slice of fresh peach or other fresh fruit. 


Grapefruit Chargers (Non-Alcoholic)

1. Mix 6oz of Pink Grapefruit with 3oz of club soda. 
2. Squeeze in some lime wedges for a zesty kick! 
3.Garnish with small grapefruit wedges and you’re ready to serve!

What do you think?
Is this a drink you’d give a try?


*I wasn’t paid or compensated for this review of Cascade Ice; however, I’d be more than happy to accept compensation if they felt desired to do so! The opinions expressed in this blog post are 100% my own! Salon photos courtesy of Emilia Gaston.

Sleep Intervention: 1 Week Later

It’s been a little over a week since we started the Ferber sleep training, and a week since my last posting about it. I’m happy to say by Night 5 & 6, Mark was officially sleeping all the way thought the night. And I’m not just talking the medical sleeping through the night of 6-7 hours. He now sleeps from 8pm to 6am. Occasionally, we’ll hear a whimper in the night, but he goes back to sleep pretty quickly. 


Nap times are also on schedule. He goes down at 10:30am and 3:30am with a little bit of fussing, but once he’s asleep naps range from 1-3 hours. 


He’s even napping right now!

Words cannot describe how much of a difference this has made on our lives. Leading up to the sleep intervention, I’m not ashamed to say that I was not enjoying my son. Anytime I was around him, he would scream and cry in my ear. He was just fussy all the time. Naps times were a beating. I was convinced I was going to break my ankle at the rate I was having to rock him; or at the least he was going to fly out of my arms. 


And now, he’s a completely different kid! He’s happy during the day, and loves to be around me. We’ll have “giggle time” in the afternoons, and he’s just so sweet. I feel like I have my Little Man back. Another benefit is that I’m not falling down exhausted anymore. I’m getting continuous sleep, and I have time to myself during his naps.   


Now, to be completely fair, he did have 2 top teeth come in right around the weekend we started the sleep training. Tim will tell you his behavior was 80% teething. I’ll slightly agree with him, but I think it was more like 40%. I only feel this way because he never slept this way before he started teething either. Nap times were no where near as good as they are now. At the most they were 30-45 minutes.  


I hope by blogging about this it helps a few people. I know the Ferber method hasn’t worked for everyone, but I will say it’s at least trying if you can stick to it. 


In the end, here’s a few of my personal tips I have if you’re interested in making it work:

1) Read the book Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (New,Revised and Expanded Edition) by Richard Ferber. I tried to cheat several times by picking up pieces of information here and there and letting him just “cry it out.” You should really understand the way your child sleeps and the correct process before going forward. It’s a very easy read! 
2)  If you give in one night, don’t give up! Pick up right back were you started. 
3) Make sure that you can apply naps to your sleep training. Getting good sleep during the day helps to get good sleep at night. (It’s all in the book!)
4) Remember, it’s just one week! Each time I felt terrible for letting him cry, he’d wake up smiling at me in the morning and have no recollection. If it doesn’t work, it’s only a week of his/her life, and you can move on and try something different. You haven’t scarred them for life!


And please, I’d love to help if you have any questions!
It has definitely changed my life!

What’s in a Shoe?

I love shoes!

Unfortunately, my shoe collection isn’t huge, but I do love the ones I have. It’s the one piece of clothing I will spend money on and could possibly be considered an addiction. (I learned awhile ago to stay away from the DSW clearance section.) Now that we’re on a budget though, I haven’t been able to purchase any since Mark was born. 

Well, thanks to a birthday present from my mother-in-law, today I went shoe shopping! And boy, did I need some. My feet haven’t seen the outside of a sneaker in months; with the exception of Sundays. 

Before heading out, I decided to come up with a game plan on how to get the most out of my gift card. I took a look at my shoe collection to evaluate what colors and styles I really needed. When I looked in my closet, here’s a sample of what I found: 
1) Worthington Monaco
2) Rampage Monika
3) Joan & David’s Victoria

When I look at these shoes, I think “woman on the go.” They remind me of my days as a working woman; when dinner out was the norm and heels were just as comfortable as flats. 

But, let’s face reality. Wearing pumps or sandals everyday while trying to bounce and rock a 7 month old is just…impractical. Not to mention murder to my feet! So, after browsing the aisles of DSW for almost an hour, I walked away with a few pairs I think will help me not feel so much like a disheveled mom. 

4) CL by Laundry Marque
5) Bandolino Jolly Jo

And now that I have my new shoes, I’m putting aside my pumps and heels; except on Sundays!
For awhile, I’m now a “flats” kind of girl.

These new shoes now say that I’m a mom who’s ready for a date with my man or a playdate with my Little Man and capable of anything!

When you take a look in your closet, what do your shoes say about you? 

Housekeeping!

Via
Yeah . . .right!

We just arrived home after a long weekend away. Normally I’d be stressing out trying to get everything in order before the week gets started, but not tonight! 

My wonderful husband got the hint that I’ve been overwhelmed lately, so for my birthday he got me the best gift ever! 

A one time housecleaning!!

It might sound odd to some, but for me, it’s the best gift ever! Since Mark was born, I’ve been avoiding those cobwebs in the corner and the layer of dust forming on the coffee table. I can barely maintain the dishes, clothes, and the basic “cleanup.” It’s almost impossible to think about doing more like mopping, dusting, or getting down into the grout. So for 3 hours this Tuesday, I’ll have TWO people helping me with the housework. I almost don’t know what to do! 

No, really. . .
 I don’t know what to do!

I’ve never had a cleaning service or “maid” in my home before. What should I expect?? For those of you who have regular cleaning people or have experienced this before, I’d love your answers to my questions! 

What do you do while people are trying to clean around you?

Is it expected that you’ll tell them what needs to be done,
or will they just get started? 

If they run out of things before the 3 hours is up, 
can I come up with things for them to do?

Do you tip?

Please help! 
I don’t want to embarrass myself!

My First Exposure to FinFest

This weekend, Tim and I are in Bastrop, TX at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort. It’s a first experience for both of us as we’ve never been on a corporate retreat before. Coming into it, we both didn’t know what to expect; although, recently watching Cedar Rapids, I had a small idea! 


For the first day, we were given a schedule of break-out sessions that Tim was expected to attend. These were the ones he chose:

Session 1: 8:15-9:15
The Power of Lifestyle Leadership

Session 2: 9:30-10:30am
Denali-Microsofts Next Data Platform

Session 3: 10:45-11:45am
Harnessing the Power of BigData through Hadoop

Session 4: 1:15-2:15pm
Machine Learning for Fun and Profit

Session 5: 2:30-3:30pm
Kinetic Interaction Now Enhancing Computer Technology

($5 to the first person who can accurately describe what each of these sessions was about!)

So, while he was attending these break-out sessions, my in-room sessions looked a little like this:
Session 1: 8:30-9:45am
Article Brainstorming & Writing for KCL

Session 2: 9:45-11:30am
Coupon Cutting & Recycling

Session 3: 1:00-2:30pm
Mexican Snacking & BAB Reading

Session 4: 2:30-3:00pm
Brief Exercise in Fresh Air

Session 5: 3:00-3:30pm
A Little Shut Eye

Whose day was more productive?
😉

Fun Fact Friday: High School Edition

In honor of my 10 Year High School Reunion this weekend, I thought I would theme this Fun Fact Friday around my teen years. This is an embarrassing time in my life as I thought I was “soo cool,” but I will reveal a little about myself from this time period. Maybe we’ll have something in common, and I won’t feel like a big nerd! 


So, did you know . . .


I had a boy haircut. My junior year I thought it would be so smart of me to use my mall discount at the Master Cuts across the way from where I worked. I told the hairdresser that I wanted it short with a frame in the front. An hour later, I had something that resembled Julia Roberts from Steel Magnolias and Justin Bieber. Did I mention this was the week before Homecoming? 


I once walked out on Coldplay. This was June 2001, and they were performing at the Bronco Bowl in Dallas. I worked for Sam Goody, and one of the perks was free concert tickets. My manager gave them to me, and I went with a friend to see the opening act (who I now ironically don’t remember.) We stayed to hear Coldplay perform “Yellow” and a few other songs and left. At the time, I was into garage bands, and when Coldplay came on I remember thinking, “This feels like a techno concert with all the strobes and lights!” Biggest Mistake EVER! This is one of those times were I wish I could take a time machine and go back to beat my younger self over the head! – I still have the ticket stub though! :)


I practiced my handwriting. For some reason, I always wanted perfect handwriting. I’d spend a lot of free time just working on my cursive until I got each letter perfect. I’m still a perfectionist on my signature. I don’t think my kids will even know what cursive is!

Check out some more facts about me here!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I celebrate 29 years! 
via

For the first time, I’m feeling like today is just another day. I’m doing my best not to be a “Debbie Downer” but being at home alone with a teething and sick baby, I have little time to think about myself. I’m just hoping I survive the day unscathed. 

So, here’s to one more year before the big 3-0!
 I know great things are to come!

A Quick and Cute Look for Mommy!

Braids are back!
 Which I’m super excited about because for me, the never went away!

I think braids are timeless, and when worn appropriately don’t make you look like an 8 year old! They’re an easy way to keep your bangs out of your face while working out. They can easily transition from daytime to nighttime. And for a mommy like me, they’re a great way to look like you spent a lot of time getting ready; when in reality…not so much!

The Today Show did a feature this morning on some of the more modern braid styles, but I think YouTube is a great resource for ways to do your own braids at home! Here’s a few of my favorite styles. 

Blogs I Love!

I love nap times! There’s the usual reasons such as the ability to shower, opportunities to clean, and just some down time, but my favorite reason is getting lost on the Internet. I could waste hours just searching through Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. 


I don’t think I’d consider myself a stalker; I’m not out there trying to figure out the personal lives of others. I like it more for the creative ideas! Each day, someone’s blog inspires me to do something to better my own situation. It could be a home improvement technique or a new recipe for Fall goodies. There are so many great things out there, and I know there’s just not enough time (or money) in the world to do them all! So, I read about them. And occasionally copy. :-)

Right now I’m reading – 

This is what I imagine my next life being. The story of one woman making the move from the Bay Area of California to Manhattan. You can read about her adventures as she raises her two toddlers in the City while her husband attends Dental school at NYU. I love the pictures she captures of her kids with taxi cabs and hot dog stands in the background. 
Last Blog Post: (Pre)ma Ballerina





The alternative Blog to the Krazy Coupon Lady. This blog sends out daily emails of free deals, giveaways, and great coupons! I subscribe to it on top of the Krazy Coupon Lady to make sure I’ve not missed anything. Very organized and easy to read! 
Last Blog Post: $25 for $75 at Picaboo.com
Not a nationally recognized blog, but definitely worth reading! Rachel does a great job of using Pinterest and her own professional photography skills is able to capture amazing photos of her children, projects around her house, and delicious new recipes. If you have time, stop by the link on her page to their Book Club Recipes
Latest Blog Post: Upstairs Hallway

A style blog written by my cousin-in-law. (Is that a title?) Lauren writes about her anything-but-boring life as she lives and works in England. Check out her blog for original descriptions and writings of famous people and places. She also does a great job of finding unique fashion and design each place she visits!
Last Blog Post: Notting Hill: Happy Late Birthday To Me 

What are your favorite blogs to follow?
I’m always looking for more great reads!