Friday, August 1, 2014

Hello August!

Is it really August already?  Where has this year gone?  Before we know it we'll celebrating Labor Day, then Halloween, Thanksgiving and eventually throwing up the Christmas trees.  For now though, I'm focusing on making it through this month.  My goals for August are:

Finish School Shopping:  We still have to buy uniforms, a handful of supplies from Moo's supply list and a bookbag for JJ.  We might also have to shop for thermos as well to go in their lunchboxes.

Successfully Complete VEDA/Vlogust:  Today was the first day of VEDA (Vlog Every Day in August) & Vlogust.  For my first video I did the About Me prompt from YouTube Mommy Meetup. Fingers crossed that by the end of the month, I will have 31 vlogs posted!  Don't forget to subscribe to my channel if you haven't already.

Continue Working Out: I'm on a mission to retone my abs, arms and legs.  So far I've been doing really good with my workouts.  With school starting soon, I'll have more time to feel the burn after I drop the kiddies off.

Try More Hairstyles:  Now that I've pretty much perfected my twistout, I'm ready to start experimenting with more natural hairstyles.  My sisters and I have decided to do a 30-Days No Heat challenge.  I've been giving some thought to doing either flexirods or a straw set next.  I want to try doing a pineapple, but I need a little more length so that my curls will the way I want them to.

Interior Decorating:  We may have everything unpacked, but now it's a matter of making this place flow and shine.  I'd love to get some photos developed to hang on the walls.  I need to designate a vlogging space other than my bathroom. We still have to buy a dining room table set and Moo needs a new bed.  This list goes on, but that'll be a later post.

Blog More:  I've been blogging significantly less this summer and I'm ready to get back to blogging on pretty much a daily basis.

So, there you have it folks.  Nothing too complicated, but I'll check-in on September 1st and evaluate how I did.  

What are your goals for August?

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thankful Thursday!  Can y'all believe tomorrow is the first day of August?!  And for some kids summer vacation ended this week.  We still have a little over two weeks to go here.  Although, it's going to be an adjustment having an empty apartment for half of the day (JJ will only go a half day), I'm thankful because I'm planning on using that time to get back on my blogging game as well as making sure I finish strong with this VEDA/Vlogust challenge. (See here).

I'm also thankful that they'll have the opportunity to make new friends.  I'm thankful that our Publix is almost done and the countdown to the grand opening has begun.  The dust has been blown off of my coupon binder and I hear that Publix is the place to rack up on savings.  I hope so because y'all our budget gets shot purchasing all these gluten-free products.  A box of gluten-free flour is almost $7!  I'm talking a box smaller than a cereal box.  

My baking style  has been cramped.  And gluten-free bread is no better.  I think I ranted about that once on here already.    I'm thankful that the kids have had fun reading.  We've read over a 100 books this summer and successfully completed the Summer Reading Program at our library for which we got some cool prizes like a huge tote bag (it will definitely get lots of usage), a ballpoint pen that doubles as stylis, puzzle balls for the kids and more.   

I'm also thankful that we've enjoyed two days as a family.  Yep, the Mr too!  The kids always love it when he has an occasional day off.  We're definitely grateful that Moo is feeling better.  She just had a mini stomach bug, but it's ran its course and she's back to normal.

Last but not least, I'm thankful for that I have new blog sponsor.  I'll be sharing more about that next week!

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When A Rough Day Turns Great

You always hear people saying perspective is everything.  Well, that has never been more evident than a day like today.  These last few days I have been pretty sleep deprived.  Monday morning, Moo couldn't hold down her breakfast, but otherwise seemed ok.  Then, over the weekend Moo and JJ seemed to have morphed into Tom and Jerry.

Seriously, at one point I sent them to their separate corners on Sunday because I had had enough of the foolishness.  My tolerance level for chaos of any kind is not high.  I'm chalking this hiccup in their sibling relationship to age.  Moo is in adolescence and JJ is still a toddler very much in toddler mode.  Plus, he's becoming such a boyish boy now- rough play and all.

Then yesterday I discovered that Moo has a second row of teeth pushing BEHIND her baby teeth instead of just pushing in regularly and knocking the baby teeth out.  Long story short it's caused a big gap in her bottom teeth that seemed to happen overnight and some crookedness.  So, I had to hunt down a new dentist that takes our insurance.  Around 11 PM, I was just ready to call it night until I heard Moo get up.  

I thought she was just using the bathroom as usual, but then I heard a strange almost muffled noise.  I fast walked to her bathroom and there my poor baby was puking all over the bathroom floor.    Honestly, being grossed out never crossed my mind.  That look of utter helplessness in eyes as she saw me standing there is like forever stuck in my brain.  

We got her cleaned up, but then it started all over again.  I had literally just finished getting her bathed, redressed and cleaned up the bathroom.  So, I moved us all to the living room because the bed in the master bedroom is too high off the ground to set a trash can near it for her to reach.  In the middle of this JJ woke up and thought it was get crunk time.  I literally wanted to pull my hair out because in the back of my mind I was thinking "Gee, this would be a great time to have a husband who works days so that when stuff happens in the middle the of the night, I'm not juggling it alone."

I'm pretty sure when I went to sleep at 7 AM this morning that was the last thought on my mind.  Needless to say when my alarm went off just a few hours later to get up for JJ's therapy session, I was feeling some type of way.  I just knew my rough day wasn't going to be better.  The clouds of negativity had descended and I was content to let them stay.

But then I had to check myself.  Y'all so many people didn't wake up this morning.  If all had going on in my life was a little sleep deprivation, a sick kid, etc then so be it.  At least, I'm alive to experience these moments.  I made up my mind right then and there to change my attitude and adjust my perspective.  Rough days happen. 

This wasn't the first and won't be the last.  I can't control the fact that Moo caught a stomach bug, but I did make sure I did everything to ensure that she was comfortable.  I can't control the fact that JJ's boyish ways are driving her (and me) crazy, but I can give him opportunities to burn off his energy and teach him how to be more gentle his play and distract him when his sister wants her space.  I can't control the hours my husband works (the Gov don't play that).  However, I can be thankful that he has a job and that he works hard.

Want to know what else helped to change my perspective today?  Well, I've finally mastered the art of a rocking twist out! No joke, I got my life even more (Tamar reference) after I saw how fabulous my hair turned out today.  I even got complimented it on it at the library this afternoon.  Speaking of the library, we scored cool prizes for completing the Summer Reading Program!  Y'all we've read over 100 books since June.

Then, I hopped on Facebook and saw that my She Inspires feature was live on The Young Mommy Life!  If you aren't following that blog, you're missing out.  Tara is making moves and knocking down barriers for young moms. I'm not going to be surprised when she gets interviewed by Oprah.  Remember you heard it here first folks. It made me think, I can't be inspiring others today with a funky attitude.

I don't want to write book here on perspective, but to wrap this post up I just want to say that life happens and it doesn't always happen nicely or the way we think it should.  But you either choose to focus on what you can't control and be miserable or change your perspective, get happy and turn a rough day into a great day!

How do you check yourself when you're in a funk?

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

VEDA/Vlogust Anyone?

Earlier this year, I decided to expand beyond blogging and try my hand at vlogging.  I thought it would be a great way to expand the YUMMommy brand as well as a great way to connect better others.  Another reason, I started vlogging is that it's a great alternative to sponsored post.  Pictures are nice, but for some products like electronics, toys or kitchen appliances, a video works better because viewers can actually see the product in action.

Anyways, I've been connecting with some other vloggers (some mommy vloggers, some lifestyle vloggers) through different Facebook groups.  I saw a few of them talking about VEDA and others talking about Vlogust.  Being the newbie that I am, I totally thought these some kind of conference or meetup.  However, I later found out that VEDA is an acronym for Vlog Every Day in August/April.  Vlogust is a mashup of Vlog and August and the concept is the same.  So, what better way to further immerse myself in the vlogging community than to give VEDA/Vlogust a try?  Can't hurt right?

Now that I've pretty much decided to give this a go, I'm feeling excited and anxious.  What happens if I miss a day vlogging?  Will I feel like a total failure?  Do I even have that much to talk about for 30 days straight?  Does pre-filming and scheduling vlogs still count as vlogging every day?

There are so many questions jumping around in my head now that we're two days out from the start date.  At the end of the day though, I'm going to give VEDA/Vlogust my best shot.  This is going to be a great challenge and an even better way to connect with y'all as well as other vloggers.  Who knows I might even turn this into a BEDA/Blogust challenge as well!  

Do you vlog?  Are you doing VEDA/Vlogust 2014?

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday

So, I totally forgot today was Thursday.  I've just been getting my days mixed up a little bit this week.  For some reason it feels it's the weekend already to me.  Anyways, Happy Thankful Thursday!!  This week I'm going to keep it short and sweet.

We've been having a lot of rain.  I'm talking about raining cats and dogs for on and off for hours.  Although, there was some severe flooding in neighborhoods near us (I'm talking coming halfway up cars and flooding homes), I'm grateful that we didn't have any in our neighborhood specifically.  We've just always been really blessed to not live too close to all of the different rivers, lakes and creeks that are here.  So, I ask that you all keep those families who were flooded in your prayers.

I'm thankful that JJ had some really awesome therapy sessions this week.  I just see him continuing to blossom and become more sure about himself.  I think that he knows he's different from a lot of other children his age (his sister included), but he's learning to be okay with that.  He's becoming more outgoing in social surroundings.  Can't wait to see how he'll blossom even more once school starts in a few weeks.

This week I've been able to make more progress and do some storyline edits on my novels.  I'm also grateful that I stumbled upon a wonderful writer's group on Facebook.  That group is full of such a wealth of information and so far, fantastic people.  You have former editors from publishing houses, some writers who are really starting to make a name and have a decent following of readers.  And it's like everyone checks their egos at the door and if you have a question, you can count on helpful answers and suggestions.

Also, I'm thankful that I've had a chance to pull out my crochet hooks, yarn and get started on a few projects.  
My first star blanket.  I'm doing a white and silver color combo.

The beginnings of my prayer shawl for this fall. I'm doing a lilac and navy color combo on this one.

What are you thankful for this week?

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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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