Saturday, July 19, 2014

UFOs In The Queen City?!

I never thought I'd see that the day that aliens would land in the Queen City. Alas the Discovery Place has confirmed that 15 UFO spaceships have indeed descended upon Uptown Charlotte.  These UFOs have taken refuge among various business on North Tryon Street (between 8th and Trade Streets).

Okay, okay, in all seriousness though 15 UFOs like the one pictured above are indeed hiding out Uptown and starting Monday, July 21st if you find one it is redeemable for 2 tickets to the Discovery Place.  The tickets will include entry to the new Alien Worlds and Androids exhibit as well as 2 tickets to check out Hubble in their Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre (located inside the Discovery Place).

I haven't had the opportunity to check out the Alien Worlds and Androids exhibit yet, but a few of my friends have and they loved it!  So, if you want the chance to score some tickets to check it out as well, make sure that you're following the Discovery Place on Twitter Facebook and Instagram.  They will be posting clues every day that will help you find the location of the UFOs via these social media channels.  When you do find a UFO, be sure to follow the instructions that are outlined on the tag in order to claim your tickets.

So why did they choose North Tryon to hide the UFOs?  "North Tryon is home to many of Charlotte's wonderful restaurants, businesses and cultural and community partners, and this scavenger hunt lets the public explore the area and programs happening here," says Discovery Place president and CEO, Catherine Wilson Horne.  "From our own new TryOn Science exhibits to Charlotte Center City's Pocket Park programs and food trucks for lunch crowds, this is another great way for us to bring the excitement of what's happening on North Tryon to the public."   

I have to say that I agree with Horne.  Having lived Uptown, there is definitely a lot to do and take in.  In fact, my first trip to Charlotte was to the Discovery Place on Tryon Street when I was in Girl Scouts.  Afterwards, when I moved to the QC for college, my besties and I have several fun (and funny) memories from exploring Tryon Street.  Although, we have moved away from the Uptown area, I definitely think that kiddies and I are going to set aside a day next week to go explore and see if we can find our own UFO. 

Happy searching!

Do you believe in aliens and UFOs?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

#WOWSummit 2014: 3 Reasons I'm Going

Have you heard the new?  Yours truly has been invited to attend WOW Summit 2014, November 7-9th in Orlando, Florida thanks to Moms Meet.  For those of you not familiar, WOW Summit is a conference designed for moms (and dads) who are interested in living and raising families in a healthy/natural lifestyle. Today, I'm sharing my 3 reasons for why I'm going and why you should plan on attending too.

The Experts

When it comes to healthy living I feel like there is still so much out there for me to learn, especially when you have family with some many allergies like mine.  Therefore, what better way to learn more about how I can make this journey to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle than by taking a few notes from the real experts.  I'm also working on a list of questions in case there are Q&A opportunities at the end of each session. My three sessions that I am really looking forward to sitting in on are: 

The Brands

As a blogger having the opportunity to interact with representatives from brands like Zevia and KIWI Shop, just to name a few, can be like the winning the networking lottery in many ways.  We're no longer just a face on a social media page or a name on a blog.  Likewise, we get the chance to really feel out brands we already like and make connections with new brands that we may have never tried before.

As mom, I get to really ask the hard questions like "Is your product really made of all natural ingredients?" or make suggestions like "Have you thought about adding gluten-free and/or dairy-free products to your line?"  At the end of the day what I've learned in the past through my interaction with brands face to face is that they really value the feedback of their consumers.  They're about making sure that they are providing the best products that they can and what better way to do that than with feedback from the families who buying their merchandise.

The Moms

Did you know there's going to be a poolside cocktail party and a Mom's Night Out comedy show at WOW Summit 2014?!  Listen I love my kids, but sometimes I need be around other moms (and dads) for some grown up talk.  I'm anxious to see if I'll run into any familiar faces from the blogging world and excited at the possibility of making new friends with both bloggers and non-bloggers.  I'll have my phone, contact cards and an address book with tons of ink pens handy to exchange emails, blog urls and phone numbers.

How Can You Attend WOW Summit 2014?

So now that I've told you my top 3 reasons for heading to WOW Summit 2014, I hope that I've piqued your interest and that you're now planning to attend as well.  Still need a little extra motivation?  What if I told you that you could save 50% off your ticket price with their early bird special ($75) by registering by July 31st!  Regular tickets are $150 otherwise.

You'll also be entered for a chance to win tickets to Walt Disney World Resort if you purchase an early bird ticket.  Still need more incentive?  Use promo code Summit-STW046 and receive 20% your ticket price for both early bird and regular tickets. 

Now for the really good news . . .   Moms Meet has been generous and gracious enough offer me the opportunity to give YUMMommy readers a chance to enter to win a ticket to WOW Summit 2014!  I can't wait to see which one of you YUMMs will be hanging out with me in Orlando this November.  Just check out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  The giveaway will end August 18th at 11:59 PM.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday YUMMs!  The week started off rough to say the least.  However, I'm thankful that despite a bit of drama, I'm ending it on a positive note.  I'm most thankful this week that JJ's therapist actually showed up for his therapy session on Monday.  We were so used to her not coming that we were actually still asleep when she got here.  The look of surprise on my face when I opened the door totally gave me away.  (I need to work on my poker face more.)

Anyways, hopefully we won't have any more skipped sessions for the rest of the summer.  And while we're on the subject of JJ, I'm thankful that as of late, I have been finding more moms within my blogging and vlogging circles that have children who are special needs as well.  Y'all it's so refreshing to have moms who I can talk to that understand what we're going through as well as give me advice.  As much as I'm staying positive the reality of the situation is that JJ's learning disability will probably always have some impact on him and I need to know what that might look like when he's older.  So, having moms with older kids sharing their experiences with me has been a lifesaver and helped me to not be so stressed out or down.

I'm also thankful that I got in a good workout this week.  Like seriously, I worked up a sweat. Not one of those baby sweats either.  It feels good to be focusing more on my self-care.  I'm pretty much knocking on 30's door and we all know that with getting older we need make sure our bodies stay in the best shape possible, especially for me since diabetes and high blood pressure plus obesity run in my family.  The kids had a good time playing while I used the tennis court to get in a few laps as well.

Last but not least I'm grateful for excellent friends who check-in on me just because!  Hope y'all have a blessed rest of the week!

What's on your gratitude list this week?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dr. Scholl’s® DreamWalk™ Or DreamNot?

Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent and received the product below to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I have been a fan of the Dr. Scholl's® brand for years.  Definitely at least for a decade now.   I've purchased several of their shoe insoles as well as their shoes.  Therefore, when I had the opportunity to try out their DreamWalk™ High Heel Insoles, I didn't twice about accepting the offer.  As stated in this post, my only complaint about Dr. Scholl's® was that their shoes didn't seem to last long enough for my liking.  

Now the Dr. Scholl's® DreamWalk™ High Heel Insoles are suppose to :

  • Prevent pain from high heels 2" or higher
  • Shift pressure off the balls of your feet with its ultra-soft gel arch
  • Offer immediate and long-lasting comfort
  • Be practically invisible
  • Not make shoes feel tight
  • Stay firmly in place and remove easy without shoe damage
  • Keep feet dry with wicking fabric

So, I decided to pull out my favorite pair of black scrappy high heel sandals from Nine West a week or two ago and try these babies out.  I love shoes from Nine West, but they are always incredibly uncomfortable.  We were headed out the movies and I knew the sandals would be great paired with my skinny jeans and long top.

Let me just say that I didn't have any issues with the insoles showing through, they did stay in place once I put the shoes on, they kept my feet dry and I was able to remove them without any damage to my sandals at the end of the night.  However, wasn't able to do until the end of the night was keep my shoes on!  As much as I like Dr. Scholl's®, I am not a fan of the DreamWalk™ insoles.  They did not shift the pressure from the balls of my feet, give me any comfort and they definitely didn't prevent any foot pain.

When I first put my sandals on after inserting the insoles, they felt a little uncomfortable.  I decided that I would adjust the shoes once I got the car since we in a hurry to make it to the movies on time.  I checked the insoles to make sure had the right insole in the right shoe and I did.  I adjusted the straps on my sandals and still they felt uncomfortable.

Shifting the insoles up and down in the shoes didn't help either.  By the end of the night, after a movie and walking around at a store, I was ready to throw my Nine Wests and DreamWalk™ insoles in the trash.  Yes, my feet hurt just that bad.  To me, the problem was the gel used in these insoles was a little on the hard or too firm side for me.  I would have preferred more of a memory foam type insole as they conform to your foot's natural arch while cushioning. 

I would not recommend these insoles based on my experience.  Sorry Dr. Scholl's® these DreamWalk™ High Heel Insoles did not tame my shoe.  I hope these were just a bad batch because I've seen a few people really give glowing reviews about their pair.  However, I'm not sure if I want to even risk another bad experience buying a new pair to find out.

What are the most uncomfortable pair of shoes that you own?

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday YUMMs!  I'm starting today off thankful that our air conditioner is fixed.  It went out over the July 4th weekend and oh my goodness was hot it.  Thankfully, the apartment people were on it and got us back up and running in a reasonable amount of time.  They also provided us with a portable air conditioner to help keep us cool as well.

While I'm on the topic of repairs, I'm also thankful that the floor in our kitchen is finally repaired as well.  When we moved in that was pretty much the only thing that need to be fixed.  So, this morning a small floor crew came and fixed the large soft spot we had.  They even took up the flooring in one of the bathrooms and replaced it as well.  After our two disaster rentals it feels great to have a property management team that gets on repairs in a timely manner.  We've been pretty much stress-free since our move and I don't take that for granted at all.  Environment is everything sometimes.

I'm also thankful that JJ has been trying to add new words to his vocabulary.  Although, we are having an issue with his speech therapist (I'll go into detail about that in a separate post), for the most part I'm continuing to see small changes in him.  We've made more progress with potty training.

My trip to New Orleans got cancelled as I mentioned a few posts back, but another door for a trip opened up later on this year and I'm super excited.  I'm thankful to my friends who reminded me that not being able to attend the Essence Fest trip wasn't the end of the world and that God had another door He was going to open up.  I'm grateful to have friends who remind me to stop sulking and trust God when it seems like my faith is wavering a bit.

Lastly, I'm thankful that my baby sister has finally launched her blog and brand Chatting With Cat!  I'm super excited for her as this is a new chapter in her life and I know it will only bring great things.  For a while now she's been too nervous to get into blogging and writing period despite really wanting to.  I'm glad she took the leap and hit publish on her first post (check it out here).  You can also follow her on Twitter (@ChattingWithCat)!

What can you expect from her blog?  Well, she's very opinionated, especially on social issues.  She loves to cook and I know for a fact there will be some recipe posts.  I can definitely see her posting about fashion here and there.  I'm sure they'll be tons of personal/self-reflection posts.  My sister is a very creative person and she writes beautifully once she gets out of her head.  So, I'm excited to see where this will take her and hope that you all with show her some support as well.

What are you giving thanks for today?

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Make Bathroom Cleaning Easier With Icky Stick

Cleaning.  That's how I spend most of my evenings after I've put the kids to bed.  And for the most part, I have to admit that I enjoy cleaning until I get to the bathrooms.  Like most people cleaning the toilet is my least favorite task and can be somewhat stressful when you have hard to remove stains from hard water build up or if you have a three year old who likes poor his KoolAid in the toilet and it ends staining the porcelain purple.  Thankfully, I've stumbled across a new product that helps to take all the fuss out of cleaning our dreaded toilets - the Icky Stick!

Say good-bye to your bucket of toilet cleaning scrubs and liquids because the Icky Stick is all you need to get your toilet nice and clean.  It's pumice stone that gently scrubs your toilet without scratching it and it actually works.  Now, I still put a bit of bleach in my toilet afterwards just because JJ can open the bathroom doors and likes to tosh his toys in it sometimes.  But if you're in the market for a new toilet cleaner definitely give the Icky Stick a try.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday YUMMs!  I'm very late getting up this week's Thankful Thursday post, but for good reason.  We've been spending some much need time as a family (including the Mr) and that is the thing that I am most thankful for this week.  We all slept in kind of late thanks to the Mr waking up JJ by taking the loudest shower ever.  Of course, JJ is like me and gets very cranky when his sleep is interrupted.  So, he woke in kind the the fit of crying rage.

I had managed to get him settled and then the Mr came out of the bathroom talking loudly and JJ woke up again.  Long story short it was a long night.  Anyways, once everyone woke up in better spirits, we decided to make a dash for the pool before anyone else could take it over.  The kids were too excited that we were finally going to go.  I kind of wish we had a camera crew to have captured the moment.

The smiles of pure joy and delight that lit up their faces was priceless.  At first, my little man was not a fan of the water when we got in.  But then he adjusted and didn't want to leave.  Moo was the complete opposite.  She was a big fan of the water until we actually got in and then all she wanted to do was hold down the steps.  She was not sad in the least when it was time to go.  All in all, I'm thankful we had a good time.  We all got tans too considering we stayed in the pool for almost two hours.

I'm thankful Netflix.  I've been overdosing on all the awesome BBC America crime shows.  Like why didn't anyone tell me about Luther with Idris Elba?  I just got hooked on it and just like that it's over.  They aren't making anymore seasons, which I figured since it was just designed to be a miniseries with about 4 to 5 episodes for each season.   I did see that they're supposedly working on a movie though so that fans get one last fix.

I've also fallen in love with a show called The Fall featuring Gillian Anderson formerly of The X Files.  Love her!  I'm hoping it got picked up for a season two.  I'll have to search and find out.  Anyways, it's been nice to have some great tv shows to keep me company as I continue to finish up my books.

Speaking of books, I'm thankful that the ideas have been steadily flowing.  With the move and everything, I was starting to get writer's block and anxiety about Forever Branded and LBB.  Now, Forever Branded is well over 100 pages typed and I still have pages that I've written by hand to type up.  As much as, I love LBB, Forever Branded is definitely the story that I connect with most emotionally.  The characters' struggles and pains just feel so real to me and I just hope when it's published that I will have done a great job at portraying that to the readers.

I'm also thankful that I'm not as anxious about the kids starting school, especially JJ.  I've been praying a lot and just focusing on the good things like them making new friends, all the cool parties they'll have, getting to be class mom, etc.  My attitude rubs off on them and so I have to be positive and optimistic about this new journey they are about to embark on.

I'm thankful that a new travel opportunity opened up for almost immediately after we found out we couldn't go to New Orleans because of the Mr's job.  I'll be posting more on that later, but it looks like our family vacation will be happening the end of this year.  I'm excited because this will also be a trip that will that help me as a blogger and mom.  A little business, a little pleasure.

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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