TRY PAMPER ME PANTRY – PAY IT FORWARD!

Disclosure: I received a Pamper Me Pantry box in support of this review.  No money compensation was given and all opinions are my own. Please note, this blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your healthcare practitioner.

Product subscription boxes populate my social media feeds and promise an inviting array of colorful, delicious products, sure to brighten my day!  Still, my penny-pinching ways caused me to hesitate, wondering whether or not I’d even use all the products …UNTIL NOW!

Autism Hope Alliance’s Pamper Me Pantry subscription box feels smarter, healthier, and fuller than other boxes I’ve seen, won’t flood my cabinets (because I’ll use what’s in the box before the next one arrives) and, best of all, supports families touched by an autism diagnosis. Companies that give back, or pay it forward, live in a soft spot in my heart and automatically win my dollars.  

Everybody knows someone touched by autism. Per their website, “Autism Hope Alliance embodies hope for families facing the diagnosis of Autism through education, financial support and volunteerism. The Autism Hope Alliance is the first non-profit foundation for Autism to emerge from the natural foods industry.” Rather than simply pull together a box of any goods to make money for their cause, they’ve thoroughly read the research on Autism and carefully reviewed and selected natural food products that are also socially responsible. Many are gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan.
…AND DELICIOUS!

They’re delicious because you feel the goodness that you’re putting into your body, but they also offer flavors that you crave.  Whether you know someone with autism, or brain injury, or just want to try to incorporate more health-centric products into your daily diet, I highly recommend the Pamper Me Pantry box!  

I knew the moment I laid eyes on the Vegan Rob’s Cheddar Puffs (dairy free and vegan) that they’d be my favorite!  They were crunchy and light like a puff should be and with a bold cheddar flavor, not just “cheese flavored.”

I loved the Nordic Naturals Complete Omega Junior supplements because while my kids turn up their noses anytime they catch a whiff of “healthy” – they love taking their vitamins as if that provides their superpowers. I’m already a fish oil advocate for my heart-health, but was excited to learn about the improved brain function to help my kids through their first (my daughter) and last (my son) high school years.

It was a tie between the Strawberry-Kiwi Barlean’s Superfruit Greens and the Cool Chocolate Vibrant Health Super Kids Vibrance because I feel like they have dual purpose and do well as stand-alone drinks, but would be even more amazing sneaked into my kids’ favorite meals – smoothies!  I’d probably make these, freeze them in ice cube trays and blend the Superfruit Greens with blueberries, cherries and bananas and the Super Kids Vibrance with milk, non-fat greek yogurt and peanut butter.

I look forward to waking up tomorrow, tasting the Straw Propeller Banana Bread oatmeal. I love oatmeal anyway, but when you add bananas and walnuts, it awakens my inner gourmet!  I also am eager to learn more about the benefits of the many supplements in the box such as the Silver Wings Colloidal Silver (helps boost immunities), and Morningstar Inner Vitality Mineral Supplement (Humic/Fulvic supplement – a powerful antibiotic).

Now a lot of this feels like a foreign language to me, but as I enter the half century point, I’ve taken a larger interest in the science behind foods and using food as fuel as well as for entertainment. I look forward to learning more about and testing these products for my general health as well.

If you know someone touched by Autism, or want to try some of these products yourself, don’t miss out on their next box! They’re just $39.99/ea (Products valued at $125.00) and there will be 4 boxes this year.  If you can tell you’ll love Pamper Me Pantry as much as I do, save even more by subscribing to a year for just $124.99 for the full year.
DISCOUNT for my readers: Use the code Hope 6 you can get 10% off of your first order. 

I admit – I don’t have much personal experience with Autism but learn a bit more every day. Nonetheless, I’m impressed by what I see on AutismHopeAlliance.org. Having worked at non-profits before, I am pleased when a non-profit proactively digs in and tries to help educate, financially support while building an army of volunteers to help spread their mission. I feel their passion and their follow-thru every time I use one of these products.

 

I’m not a doctor, so I’d love to hear feedback from you.

  • Have you tried any of these products before?
  • What were your results?  
  • What products would you love to see in a Pamper Me Pantry box landing on your doorstep?
  • Have any favorite smoothie recipes for me to sneak my healthy powders into?
  • Want to win a box?

#PamperMePantry #AutismHopeAlliance #BrainHealth #Autism #NaturalFoods #Vegan #DairyFree #Vitamins #Minerals #Supplements #MakesMeWander

  • Did you use the code HOPE 6 for 10% off your first order?

MAKES ME WANDER BY MAROONED 3

This is the year of full-circle moments! In one week from today, thanks to KIIS-FM and Del Taco, my daughter and I get tickets AND a backstage tour at Wango Tango music festival here in Los Angeles. Now we still don’t know what this entails, but I hope to cross paths a few performers and ask them what they will do to mix it up during this year that Oprah has dubbed “The Year of Adventure!” Since, to me, their lives look like a daily adventure already, I look forward to riding their train of thought!

WTF! Wango Tango Fangirls! Tickets still available!

Then it hit me sending me flying up to and around Cloud 9 like a squealing deflating balloon… My odds improved exponentially that I could cross paths with Maroon 5 and Adam Levine! Because I still tend to get all goofy brained when I see certain musicians still and due to an iron-clad agreement to not make my daughter CRINGE at the show, I’m putting down how Maroon 5 influenced the name of my blog in writing should it make Adam wonder what that uber excited lady smiling at him and holding his arm a little too tight in selfies was trying to say.

From Men’s Health magazine

March 2007, the one-year anniversary of my split with my kids’ dad came around the calendar. I still felt like a boxtroll wearing a cement-filled box stamped “Divorcee.” Somehow we kept moving, sold the house in the burbs, packed up our lives and were marooned on the beach to start over. Ultimately we loved where we’d landed, made all-new friends and the kids hit their strides in this new environment! I felt like less of a boxtroll and more of a potted plant relaxing on my patio.

So one day I’m in my too small living room turning on MTV for background noise when this funky beat starts coming from the speaker bouncing off walls, pushing me into my couch, too close to my TV and all I could do was wait to see who was commanding this plane exit ramp. When Adam’s cheekbones wrapped in that tux came into view followed by the whole band rocking with Virgin Airlines sexiness pounding out overlapping pulsating layers of sound, it grabbed my full attention. It became my theme song and my awakening that summer.

This song made me begin to process the cone of crazy I was wearing and start to process what I’d been through. I questioned everything and started figuring out the answers. Now Adam wondered if he ever gave a F— about someone and while I slid straight towards both possibilities, eventually I landed at yeah, I did, but I also could give a F— now because of the present we were in at that time. With each pounding chord from the piano in the background I felt my cement wall being chipped away. There was another accent layer that felt like skipping through his swagger and it got my heart pumping again. The song reminded me that somewhere inside I was there and I’d be refilled with wonder and growing curiosity and a fresh perspective.

So even though it took another 5 years to get to the starting of my blog – I knew what I wanted it to be called. Only it wouldn’t just be filled with things I wonder about but filled with things I experience as I wander about – working to be present in each gifted moment. (Plus, I didn’t want to get sued by A&M or M5 – I had faith that I’d find a better way than a court case to someday cross paths with the band).

From A&M/Octone

Because I’m a fan girl I know there is a hint of politics peppering the lyrics, but I’m not touching that, nor did I interpret it as such. I’m just not a fan of politics.

So if I don’t get this all out when we cross paths and my tongue gets tied up – thanks Maroon 5 and Adam for giving me something to believe in and inspiring the name of my blog.

What about you?
What adventure will you seek this year?
Going to a music festival this summer?
Are you a parent taking your kid to a festival and don’t know how to prepare?
Have any life-changing songs?
Favorite musicians or bands?

#WangoTango #MusicFestival #Kiisfm #DelTaco #Oprah #YearofAdventure #OMagazine #OMagInsiders #Maroon5 #AdamLevine #Music #Divorce #Therapy #MakesmeWonder #MakesMeWander #Inspiration #Blog #Blogger

CURRENTLY: O MaG!

Usually I do this exercise to check in with myself every so often, remind myself to be present and grateful during my endless day-to-day grind. This time, my mind is whirring a million miles an hour since receiving a jolt of adrenaline in the form of a great adventure! I’ve been picked, with 50 other people, to become O Mag Insiders: The Inner Circle of O! I always remember Oprah saying that she didn’t believe in luck and this week I saw this play out in my own life and it’s phenomenal!

CURRENTLY GRATEFUL FOR
Visible Growth!
So many people I know have side gigs to earn a little play money on the side. For me, I knew that if I was going to dedicate my treasured free time to something, it needed to be something involving writing and that didn’t steal me from my children. It hasn’t always been easy – blogging from my car during kids’ practices, staying up late. It hasn’t always had perfect results – now my kids groan when I bring out the camera. However, then I remind them that we’ve been working our way through short-term goals of making memories while building our base with adventure and eating reviews. We then plan to ramp up to accepting occasional invitations for a weekend getaway and building eventually to a long-term goal of taking our whole extended family (meaning their dad, step-mom and most importantly their little sister) to Aulani or on a Disney Cruise before my son leaves for college. They’ve witnessed the progress!

CURRENTLY SURPRISED BY
Inner harmony!
Somewhere in between the other emotions a warm stillness emerged. If you know me, you may already recognize chaos between both sides of my mind – the logical, rational left side of my brain and the creative artistic right side – as they battle for control. Add to that: ME – How I present to others; MYSELF – My true self/gut instincts and I – Me being present. For once a consensus has been reached that I’m right where I should be and it’s powerful!

CURRENTLY PANICKING
Making the most of the experience!
Applying for this brand ambassador role a few months back was so impulsive and whimsical that I hadn’t really considered the reality that I might be one of the people chosen for the role. Based on the odds alone – thousands of people applied, and I am 1 of only 50 chosen for this program this year.  The amazing group of people that I’m fortunate enough to be a part of are both so inspiring and humbling that my logical brain tries to factor how I fit in. My heart commands me to stay present to experience this year in real time (and this blog can remind me of anything that escapes my long-term memory).

CURRENTLY REBRANDING
Myself!
Since the time of my divorce, I’ve worked to figure out who I am and to honor that truth. I’m a Caffeinated Mom, a Blogger, Pre-Midlife Female, a University staff member, I’m Hapa, Korean Adoptee, and so many more. There have been several incidents along the way that made my dreams feel frivolous and challenged my definition of myself. I still question the reasons for the challenges, but what I know for sure is I had to get raw before I could start new and grow to call myself a writer.

O Mag Insiders Headshot

WTF: Way Too Fantastic!!

CURRENTLY READING

O Magazine!
I now allow myself a segment of daily time to be still with my favorite magazine and really pore over every word and article, not just flip through, skimming snippets and folding pages to go back and read later. I’ve always loved Oprah’s magazine as it gives me the opportunity to hear from her and her team of experts more regularly. Her team digs deeper than even my best girlfriends do and ask the hard questions that I need to ask myself!

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO
My gut!
I’m not that far past the point where I’d listen to what everyone else said and dedicated my time to working on what I thought I should be doing, rather than what I wanted to do. Fortunately my gut, or some part of me, kept leading me into careers or opportunities that I felt were coincidence until my scientific brain realized these weren’t just happy accidents and to take notice. With this latest opportunity, my gut whispers “Told You So!”

O Mag Insiders Icon Logo_wHashtag

 

CURRENTLY ANTICIPATING
Adventure!
O Magazine has dubbed this the Year of Adventure! This is the best year for me to be taking this trip with O Magazine!  How we’ll participate in the publication, what new experiences will present themselves remain undefined thus far. I hope I’ll be able to include my children in some because I have so few years left with them overall. Still, I’m open to not simply following them into adventure, but choosing some of my own while I try to remind myself who I was before they were here! I’m a big believer in spending money on adventures, not things. That’s where we build our strongest family connections!

CURRENTLY WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE
Staying true to yourself isn’t always easy but it’s worth it!.
Following my gut and being myself has allowed me to find and stay on the path I’m truly meant to navigate. This is far more rewarding than following my previously laid out corporate career plan of my 20s. I’m not someone who will kiss butt to get ahead or lie to make a sale. A) I’m a terrible liar; B) It’s too hard to remember the lies told; C) Dreaming up and implementing falsehoods takes more time and energy than I have in a day. I try to do great work with a sunny disposition and build mutual respect with co-workers.  I am invigorated by a challenge and my blood pumps with anticipation of this new role.

img_3641

WWOD (What Would Oprah Do?)? – I did exactly as Oprah does, worked to be ready when opportunity came knocking!

Where I’ll wind up after this whirlwind year remains to be seen but I am so grateful for the opportunity and promise to make the most of it!

Here we go!

What about you?
Do you still believe in luck?
Do you know the path you’re on or are you still searching for your path?
What 1 thing will you do today to move you towards your goals?
When’s the last time you sat down and read any publication – like O Magazine?!
How do you calm your mind when it’s trying to talk over you?
Do you lead with your head or your heart?
What are you currently doing?
Do you want to be one of the next group of #OMagInsiders?

Consider these:
CURRENTLY AVOIDING
CURRENTLY EATING
CURRENTLY INDULGING IN
CURRENTLY WATCHING
CURRENTLY COVETING
Or dream up your own!

#OMAGinsiders #YearOfAdventure #Oprah #Magazine #Creative #Opportunity #Blogger    #Influencer #Writer #Coincidence #Chance #Fate #Preparation #Harmony #Challenge #WhatIKnowForSure #HereWeGoC #WWOD #WTF

SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT (The rest)

After finishing our first month of school, I’m reminiscing about my summer escapes.  I let the kids watch videos longer than they should, to savor a few more words (WTF: Wait ’til finished!)!  Sure, they read books, too, but books feel different when optional vs. requisite!

I’m excited to share this 2nd part of my Summer 2016 reading list. PLUS, one I’m cracking open tonight AND one already Amazon wish-listed – containing unforeseen twists even before creasing the cover. Click on the links to check out the books!

booksparkschoice

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

My reading pattern alternates between (or reading concurrently) heavy and light-hearted stories. I visited local Dave’s Used Bookstore and found another Sparks book! Though a fairly recent film release, my #BookBeforeFilm mantra insisted I read this one before watching the film that same weekend. Sparks also wove the characters’ pets into the story, for a warm-fuzzy touch to this heart-squeezing story.

bookmwrinkle

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

(Daughter’s summer reading assignment #1) – I finished this book with my daughter – 4 years after starting it with my son. I wish I’d read this when I was in elementary school because the technology mentioned wasn’t as real then and IT’s power may have been more frightening. Though, on the heels of another internet security breach, the fear feels real. Movie remake coming soon!

bookserumblefish

Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton

(Daughter’s summer reading assignment #2) – Mentioning S.E. Hinton’s name makes me giddy a) Because she is female, b) Successful in her teens, c) And, wrote The Outsiders – THE most amazing story and hunk movie of my teenage years.  I feel like Hinton’s characters speak their truth so well, that you can’t help but empathize and join them in their journey – blow by blow.

booksparksthree

Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks 

I’m always curious to read different genres of my favorite authors to compare story construction. I thought each chapter would begin “Dear Diary, Today we…” Instead, it revealed their adulthood as a result of their childhood – perhaps many of our childhoods, when kids ran free. It was also exciting for me – as a writer – to learn where his life inspired his books (A Walk To Remember) and how he presented those personal stories.


NEXT IN MIND:

jk

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I mentioned starting this book on my Currently – September 2016 list.  Finally I’ll make an honest woman out of me, no kids, red wine, pjs, and grown up book by Jo sounds like the perfect reading environment!

bookrgcuckoo1

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Richard Galbraith

I salivate over juicy mysteries! This one starts in immediately with the author!  I’m the last person on the planet to learn that Richard is really Jo (see above)!  This set of 3  (and growing – named after the lead character/investigator), The Cormoran Strike series, are giving people chills and a thirst for blood pumping crime series!  

Here are the other two (don’t have to be read sequentially):

bookrgsilk2     bookrgcareer3

Though I can’t keep the summer reading pace during the school year, I hope to read one new one per “Currently” post. I want to hear what you’ve read in the comments below!

1st part of my list is HERE

What about you? What are you reading next?
Did you already know about Richard Galbraith?
Who is your favorite author?
What book is your guilty pleasure?
Are you a daily, nightly, weekly or sporadic reader?
Do you like when books change covers?

#Readabookday #NicholasSparks #MicahSparks #RomanceNovel #SciFi #Murder #Mystery #BookIsBetter #SummerReading #BookClub #TheCuckoosCalling #RobertGalbraith #JKRowling #MadeleineLEngel #SEHinton #Pseudonym #PenName #AWrinkleInTime #TheChoice #ThreeWeeksWithMyBrother #TheCasualVacancy #CuckoosCalling #Silkworm #CareerOfEvil #CormoranStrike #Detective

DOES MY BLOG NEED MORE FOCUS?

LMU’s M-School has an amazing class called Personal Branding that I was fortunate to get a peek of today. First of all it’s never too late to reinvent ourselves and secondly, because I’m currently rebranding and rearranging my blog so this class will ask me all the right questions to get a wide perspective of what I want the blog to focus on.

Photo from brandincambodia.com on her self-reflective post. Inspired me to reflect!

 

WHY’D I START THE BLOG ANYWAY?
This blog (my third) started in 2012 as a daily writing exercise. Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers preached that 10,000 hours honing my skill would make me a pro so my goal was 365 days of 365 words. Whether or not one agrees with Gladwell, one can’t argue that practice helps as does dedicating regular time to your skill. For a few months I spent 2-3 hours a night pounding out 1,500 words about anything I thought twice about, to later reduce to 365. Things stalled while I gathered application materials for/got into grad school.

Once I got my masters in Communication Management (and realized I am not changing my day job for now) I focused the energy towards rebranding and growing my blog.

DOES MY BLOG NEED MORE FOCUS?
Every time I think I have my glittery new focus (MINDFUL MIDLIFE for those still chasing older kids, while chasing down their center so they can remember who they were before kids) then I wanna do a pokemon post or something that demographic doesn’t relate to.

img_1891

Mayim Bialik had such a refreshing perspective on blogging and branding!

MAYIM BIALIK’S ADVICE
(from Blossom and The Big Bang Theory):
At the Blogher conference she revealed that her team and marketers are constantly asking her to focus, “What is the theme of your groknation.com blog”? She said, “How about that I’m human and I like to think about a lot of different things?!” Amen, Sistah!

So now, thanks to growing confidence in my “Why” (whole personal branding exercise to be explained later), I need to go through my content and organize it in general categories that will be easy to navigate. The other thing is being regular. With regular content, people will get to know you and your voice, and the kinds of things that you do. Some will eat up every post, some will only love the cooking or whatever, don’t get caught up on the overthinking part. Truly, if you’re producing posts then that is the most important!

Over-thinking leads to writers’ block which leads to crickets and tumbleweeds.

Hey, that’s a cute name for a blog!  #4?!

 

 

SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT

The last night before school started, both kids crammed to finish summer reading assignments.  Though I don’t get summers off, the reprieve from micro-momagering homework allowed me some personal reading time.  So, here’re my book reports (to check the books out, click on the book photos to be teleported to Amazon):

One With You by Sylvia Day

I bought this at Target while waiting to get tires fixed. I didn’t realize this book closed out the sultry Crossfire series. Briefly, I considered holding off on finishing this book to read the first few novels in the series. Honestly, I won’t… for a really stupid reason.  During all the hot scenes, there were lots of fantastic descriptors for the guy’s joystick but called the gal’s thunderdome her “sex.” Boring and irked me.

fg

Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness by Suzy Favor Hamilton 

One of my book-loving friends loaned me this book. This was a fascinating read braiding worlds I’ve never personally experienced: Olympic training, Bi-Polar Disorder and champion Vegas call girl.  I couldn’t put this book down. I felt like she was spilling her heart out to me over coffee so I couldn’t help but stay put and hear her out.

walk

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Another book-loving friend loaned me this book when they saw my bullet-journal page I’d created tracking Nicholas Sparks’ books and the few I’d yet to read.  Not sure what took me so long to read this – perhaps because I prefer to read books before seeing the movie. To make up for lost time, I read the book and watched the movie the same weekend!  Those weren’t allergies making my eyes puffy! Very touching too, to learn the inspiration behind this story too in a later book by Sparks…

Night by Elie Wiesel

(Son’s summer reading assignment #1) – This book is powerful, yet the length makes you confident that you’ll survive it with your heart and humanity intact.  This was my 2nd time reading it, the first time after seeing Elie on Oprah.  I wanted to re-read the book to be able to discuss it with my son.  It saddened me to learn that Elie Wiesel passed away while his voice was in my head.

I’m amazed to report, there are more books from my summer reading pile!  Check back in a few days to see what else occupied my mind and to learn the inspiration behind A Walk to Remember!

What did you read this summer?
How’d you hear about the book?
Hard copy or Kindle?
Autobiographical or Fiction?
Books or Movies better?
If I ask you to list what descriptors you would have used in One With You, will that create a whole new set of Adult ads on my page?!

#Readabookday #NicholasSparks #Vegas #Crossfire #Target #BookIsBetter #SummerReading #BookClub #SylviaDay #OneWithYou #ElieWiesel #Night #SuzyFavorHamilton #FastGirl #NicholasSparks #AWalktoRemember #BookReport #TearJerker

KEEPING UP WITH THE KID ACTION: POKÉMON GO WTF!

WTF: Way Too Funtastic!PokeGoLogo

Before night falls, there is a good chance you will cross paths with Pokémon Go, and ponder whether to wander along after it.  I never watched or played Pokémon (gasp!), but became hooked by the funtastic AR (augmented reality) app upon spotting my first Pokémon. Follow me…

*Topics with an asterisk will be discussed in a future post – coming soon! If you have specific questions, leave them in the comments below!

 

WHAT THE…
When app opens you’ll see a cartoon GPS map of where you’re standing, except the app reveals things you’ve never seen before. Whoa!

pokegopost1map

WHAT ARE THOSE?

POKÉSTOPS:
LOOK LIKE: A little blue table with a blue cube floating above it. Click on them to see what landmark it features. As you get closer, it opens up to a rotating, blue flat Pokémon ball.
PokeGopost1stops2
WHADDYA DO: Click to open it, then swipe to spin the center part with the picture. When things pop out of the ball, tap them to store in your bag*. These items help you catch or battle Pokémon*.
TIP: When purple, you’ve already collected items-come back later.

GYMS:
LOOK LIKE: Towering helipad with red, yellow or blue* spotlights and a Pokémon on top.
pokegopost1gym
WHADDYA DO
: Until you hit Level 5, nothing*. You can click on these and remember their locations.

FLUTTERING LEAVES:
LOOKS LIKE: Small bunch of green confetti – appears sporadically.
pokegopost1leave
WHADDYA DO: This indicates a Pokémon’s arrival, so safely make your way towards the green leaves.
TIP: On the bottom right of the screen you’ll see 3 Pokémons on a white strip. Tap on that to see several Pokémon with footprints that are nearby. As you walk closer, the number of feet will go down.
pokegopost1mapnear

FLOWER PETALS POURING FROM POKÉSTOPS:
LOOKS LIKE: Pink confetti (Appears for up to 30 min.). PokeGopost1stops
WHADDYA DO: This was a Lure Module activated by another player to lure Pokémon here. Hang out, you’ll catch a bunch! You, too, have a lure module in your bag* to activate a Pokéstop. Other players see it and show up.

PokeGopost1Lurereal

TIP: Catch multiples of Pokémon to help evolve them to stronger Pokémon*.

HOW TO MOVE
Walk, run, or drive (put down phone while moving)! If you walk, you may meet other players! There are game benefits of walking*.

pokegopost1friends

HOW TO AVOID REAL DANGER

  • Look both ways before crossing streets
  • Travel with a pack of friends or parent
  • Don’t go into isolated places or strangers’ homes

pikawarning

SUBSCRIBE SO YOU DON’T MISS THE NEXT STEP:  HOW TO CATCH/MANAGE POKÉMON and WHAT’S IN MY BAG?

Please share if you have a friend trying to get into the game but you don’t have time to stop and explain it to them because you have Pokémon to catch!

#PokemonGo #Nintendo #Niantic Labs #Pokémon #PokémonGoApp #PokemonGoDown

ARE YOU AN INFLUENCER? POSITIVE?!

I don’t know about you, but when something good happens to me, I share the information and experience to spread the joy! If I find a product, shortcut or upgrade, I regale about it to my circle of friends! We all support each other through “being grown-up” so why not give each other an advantage?  
As a fellow blogger, writer, mother I’m not going to insist you do anything to take you to your next level. Everyone’s traveling a unique and different path. Still, since I’ve found some ways to earn fun perks, or a great excuse to push back from our keyboards for a party, I’m going to give you the down low. What you do next is up to you.   

 Influenster leans towards trying products – whether you love them or would love to try them – then sharing on multiple social media platforms. Influenster scores you based in your social media followers to determine how to best work with your areas of influence. They have virtual campaigns where you get a coupon to try something, perhaps attend a Twitter party to learn more, then a list of tasks for you to complete to “earn” campaign points. VoxBox – a box of goodies based on your interests – arrives at your door. 

 

#SuperMomVoxBox

 
My #SuperMomVoxBox had a collection of known brands’ products. I loved trying new things from brands I already trust. Some brands ask for specific tasks to complete, some offer choices so you customize your campaign. Winning campaigns may earn more product. Visit: http://www.influenster.com/r/1777191 

 This company orchestrates House Parties: Host a party for your friends. They provide the product and materials to host a fun themed party! Chatterboxes blow up social media in a creative ways around a brand. They guide you through specific tasks or mediums to cover. For either, you must apply for that brand’s campaign then do a few exercises to increase your chances of being picked. We’ve had a delicious time so far. Visit: https://www.houseparty.com 

Both offer convenient websites and phone apps. For me it’s a way to practice writing reviews (working towards reviewing events/destinations) and experimenting with social media. 

What sites do you work with? Any tips to share?

MIDLIFE MOTHER’S DAY REMIX

Am I the only one who was glad to not be harshly yanked from my dream of driving down a scenic cliff side road in a vintage convertible with sun on my face, breeze in my hair only to find cinnamon toast showering her sheets as the kids get ready to rumble?

wake up

Even as  youngsters, holidays never started at the crack of dawn. For my now tween and teen – Rewritten Mother’s Day rituals (as they dawned on me today):

Sleep in or entertain yourselves until the clock passes 10am – This morning I am loving watching them sleep, listening to their snoring like I used to when they were babies in their cribs. Advanced kid move: If you wake up early, silently read in bed or make a list of 10 things you love to do with Mom.

The little (free) things matter most – While I love any great adventure that the kids dream up, please know that one sibling-bicker-free day, not having to repeat myself/find it for you or the gift of a longer-than-fleeting smile while your games reload makes me feel rich! Advanced kid move: Good long hugs earn you almost anything.

Leave no trace – As the amazing day you planned draws to an end, put the house back into better shape than when you found it without Mom lifting a finger. Cinnamon toast in bed – you strip the sheets and wash them. After the celebrations make time pass too quickly – go work on your homework without being told so her glow doesn’t turn to glowering. Advanced kid move: Set up the next day in advance so Mom eases her way into Monday, too – backpacks and sports gear packed, clothes out, lunches made (bonus points if you make Mom’s lunch), coffee machine locked and loaded.

cleanAll Mom’s deserve days of appreciation for their relentless dedication! For me, laying in bed since I woke up 3 hours ago, blogging from bed, looking forward to watching a mom rom com and take a walk together will be the best Mom’s Day yet.

Photo by SprayedOut.com

Here’s to you (& single Dads who mother too) and those many who support you all in being the best mom’s ever! Thanks to my kids whom I love more than words and who truly amaze me every day!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: LANDSCAPE

After a long, sometimes really lonely, sometimes exhilarating, drive the landscape of Death Valley not only thrills you but truly takes your breath away. When we pulled into the one-way road through Artist’s Drive we worried that we couldn’t see where the road led to. Once in the  drive we couldn’t wait to see where the next curve led to. Each landscape offered a different palette, different geology. I can’t wait to go back and hike it so I can breathe it in more slowly, savoring each view!

   
   

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