#whatmomsgoogle is taking a vacation

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#whatmomsgoogle



Hi mommas, we're so glad you're back for another round; however, #whatmomsgoogle is taking a little vacation. It's not you, it's us. For real though.

We LOVE #whatmomsgoogle and even more than that we love the ladies who have been coming back week after week and commiserating with us. We also know that you'll understand that, especially after we talked about mom breaks last week, your resident hot-mess mommas are in need of a little hiatus.

Both Abbie and I look forward to planning our posts and are still so excited about this series but now that the snow has FINALLY disappeared we are both hoping to put a little more focus on ourselves and our littles as we both prepare for some major life events (a big move, family events and return to work to name a few).

This is NOT a breakup (it's not you, it's us) and we WILL be back (pinky swear). We will keep you posted on our return date!!


In the meantime, we're still taking questions so feel free to ask away:


Click HERE to ask... you know you want to.





A missing wagon is not the end of the world but it is enough to break a child's heart (and mine)

Friday, April 29, 2016

I have been trying to be optimistic lately, to be one of those people who sees the world as a generally good place. You know, a ‘glass half full’ kind of person. Then, today, I had to explain to my 3 year old that someone stole her wagon because, sometimes, people take things that don’t belong to them.

The Easter Bunny gifted the kids with a wagon, the wagon to end all wagons. Don’t worry, I hear he got a decent deal on it. They were so excited Easter morning that there were multiple rides down the hallway with both kids strapped in and all the toys that could be stuffed in (and then some more, for good measure).





Our countdown until Spring was a little different this year because it was centered around that wagon. “When the snow is gone, we can ride in the wagon, right mom?” “yes hunny”.

That brand new wagon sat in the garage building a thin layer of dust and waiting for its time to shine.
The snow finally melted and the weather warmed enough where full snow suits were no longer required.

That first beautiful weekend the wagon started accumulating miles as soon as possible, much to the delight of both of our children. I missed it because I was away but I marveled at the pictures sent by my husband because who knew a 9 month old could enjoy a wagon ride so much?



I returned home from my trip and it was my turn to wait for warmer weather to get them out in the wagon.

First, was a trip to the park during a playdate. Only this time Oliver got the boot because Annabelle insisted and she and her 3 year old pal HAD to ride in the wagon. There was no negotiating. The babies got the double stroller and the ‘big kids’ rode in the wagon. The ‘big kids’ who always want to walk ‘by themselves’ happily rode in the wagon. No walking required (the moms were grateful to say the least).

Then it was a long walk with mom and grandma. It wasn’t as warm as we would have liked but the kids were just happy to be out (plus they had drinks and snacks so why wouldn’t they be happy?). As we strolled the neighborhood a few people commented “what a nice wagon” and Annabelle proudly claimed ownership. The kids were happy, I was happy. In my mind I was already planning all the walks and outings to come while we enjoyed my last few months of maternity leave before my return to work.



We arrived home and in a rush to get Oliver down for his nap (and not wanting to open the garage door while he slept) I left the wagon against the garage. The last time we’d see it.

I didn’t realize right away. In fact, we took the wagon out Wednesday and I didn’t realize until Friday afternoon. On Friday, both kids were on good behavior, likely because I promised to take them to the park in the wagon. We hurried through lunch and Annabelle was so excited she gobbled her food and got herself dress (shoes on the wrong feet and everything).

I went into the garage and didn’t see the wagon. My first thought was “shoot, I left it outside” but didn’t think too much of that. I mean, I’ve left the stroller out before. Then I went outside and it wasn’t there. Must have missed it in the garage. Nope. Not in the garage for sure. The wagon was gone. Someone had taken our wagon.

I assumed my husband arrived home and put the wagon in the garage but the wagon was gone before he got home. On Wednesday afternoon someone walked up our driveway, in between two vehicles, and took MY kids’ wagon while we played inside, oblivious.

When I realized what happened I had to tell her because she was ready to go and I had promised a wagon ride. I had to come in the house and explain to my 3 year old daughter that sometimes people take things that don’t belong to them. What shattered me the most was the immediacy with which she understood. She knew it was gone and that we didn’t have a wagon anymore. She understood, mostly because of Swiper the fox (thank you, Dora the Explorer) that someone has ‘swiped’ the wagon. Unfortunately, she also thought that it was, in fact, Swiper, that had taken the wagon and that she could negotiate it’s return in exchange for the gummies I had given her (yes, I gave her candy, she was heartbroken). She was less than impressed when I explained it wasn’t Swiper, but like Swiper, someone had taken the wagon, only they very likely would not be returning it.

don't worry, this was post-huge-meltdown and she got lots of cuddles (and popsicles, which apparently cure-all, or most anyways)


No, I didn’t tell her it was “lost” because it wasn’t “lost”. I didn’t haphazardly let go of the handle while I wandered around only realizing after it was too late. I left the wagon in OUR yard while I tended to my kids, mistakenly thinking it would be safe for a few hours. 

My daughter, my sweet, newly turned 3 year old, had her heart broken today because there are people in the world who simply do not care about other people.

Nevermind my feelings of being violated. The sense of injustice that I can’t leave my own property in my own yard but my God, someone took that wagon knowing, knowing that there were children, or at least one child, that would miss it, that would be devastated that it was gone. Someone took the wagon knowing it would hurt a child.

What happened to the days of kids carelessly throwing their bicycles on the front lawn as they ran off to do something, anything, else? When we come home from our walks do I have time to rush inside, throw the kids on the floor, hope they’re safe while I hustle out to put away our stroller/bikes/wagon before someone comes and claims them for their own?  How long do I have before it’s fair game for someone?

A missing wagon is not the end of the world but it changes my perception of the world just enough. Just enough to make me more “glass half empty” because it reminds me of the people that are out there, the people to be weary of, the people who care not who they hurt or who is impacted by their actions.

At the end of the day, we’re fortunate that we’re doing okay, that we owned a wagon in the first place and that we can own another; however, that doesn’t make it okay or permissible for someone to take what is ours, what is my children’s.  

There are all kinds of horrible things happening all over the world and this if this is the worst my child has to experience than I would say we are doing pretty well, but that doesn’t make it right, it certainly doesn’t make my child less heart-broken and it definitely doesn’t make me less angry.




Review - TOR Salon Products


Sometimes I find 'review posts' daunting. I like getting products to try as much as the next blogger but it can be challenging to write about things you're underwhelmed about.

Well this is NOT one of those reviews.

I love trying new hair products but I've used nearly every brand from dollar store to high-end salon products so I can be a product-snob. That, and my hair is what you'd call "lifeless" thin and usually looks kinda sad unless I put in more effort than I typically have time for.

TOR Salon Products to the rescue!! This is a smaller company (but not for long I imagine) with a really cool story and I am super excited to share my review because they've been super sweet to work with and have a great product.


TOR salon products


I received TOR shampoo and conditioner for fine/thin hair (cause that's me to a T). I love how their products are tailored to your type of hair and not what you want them to do for you (i.e. add volume, make straight etc).

The aesthetics of the products are simple and pleasing but the real surprise comes when you open the bottle. Tell me I'm not the only one who MUST smell new products before using them? Normal, right? My gosh they smell so freaking good. Like so good that you kind of want to taste it but you know you shouldn't so instead you're subtly trying to sniff your hair all day after using it.

Naturally, the shampoo was first up and for some reason I kept confusing which was which so had to make a point to read the bottle before squirting. A little goes a long way with this stuff. Nice lather and again, smells sooooo nice.

Conditioner's turn. At first, I was disappointed when I put it on my hair, it didn't make my hair feel as soft as other conditioners do and I was worried I'd never be able to get a brush through it. I realize now that the reason my hair feels so soft after most conditioners is because they leave a layer of crap on my hair. Good to know. Brushing was a little more challenging but I didn't mind it taking a bit longer because I got to enjoy the smell (ya, I'm obsessed, but I swear it's that good).


TOR salon products





































I let my hair air-dry because I usually shower at night after working out (but don't worry, I'm on a two-week exercise hiatus which is perfectly timed with the reintroduction of diary - read: pizza and ice cream - to my diet #getmetothegymstat) and then I style it in the morning. I will tell you, by the time I went to bed, Mr B was sick of hearing about how soft my hair was and how good it smelled. I made him touch it repeatedly (he loves me, but cares very little about how soft my hair is) and even he agreed it was soft and smelled good (that could have been just to shut me up but whatever).

Guys, trust me when I say this has been a game-changer for my hair! I kid you not when I say, despite regular styling with hot irons and curl wands, my hair is softer, smoother, nicer smelling (sorry, had to get that in there one more time) and really just appears significantly healthier (despite having gone a number of shades lighter recently).

I am HOOKED!!


woman with TOR Salon shampoo
this is happy me and my happy hair after using TOR Salon Products for a few weeks. See how smooth my hair is? NO other product is in it!! WHAT?!


Like I said, I have used A LOT of products, some really great high-end ones too, but for my hair, this stuff might seriously take top place. I cannot think of another product I have used with such great results and so quickly. My hair has never felt or looked healthier.

I can only speak to the thin/fine products but they also offer products for medium/thick and curly hair and I would hazard a guess that those products are great too (and my friend Abbie may or may not be telling you more about their curl hair products later in May - stay tuned).

Want to know more? I don't blame you.
You can shop online for TOR salon products and look up the salon nearest you that sells this amazing stuff.
You can visit their Facebook Page or Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest news/offers!



*I received complimentary product in exchange for this review post; however, all opinion are honest and my own*

Style Perspectives: a plaid look

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



14 bloggers each picked a look that defined their personal style.  The featured blogger on the Blended Blog showcases her signature style (the prompt for that day) and then the other bloggers (on their personal blogs) show how they interpret it AND you get to join in on the fun by linking up!!! (prompts at bottom of post)




Did you miss how to style a graphic tee last week?? Well, the Blended Bloggers did NOT disappoint. Here's a photo recap:


Did you know there were so many ways to style a graphic tee? How's that for inspiration.

and the GIVEAWAY for a "Hello I'm Fabulous" tee, bag and sunglasses (thanks to Chico's) isssssssss Denise Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be emailing you fabulous lady!

Oh and check me out over at Jersey Girl, Texan Heart as one of the most clicked in her linkup (YAY!!)

Now... onto all things plaid....


A Plaid Look (for Spring)

I've got to admit, when I saw this prompt I panicked a little because I'm pretty sure I exhausted all my plaid pieces in the fall when I went slightly mad for plaid

A few deep breathes and I realized it's okay to use the same plaid shirt I wore in the fall. No need to run to the mall for this one folks. Change up your footwear, roll up the jeans and good to go.

Here's my laid-back Spring plaid style for you:



note to self: smile in pics or you look really mean... 







The shoe saga

I fell in LOVE with these shoes (originally from the 70s) and immediately ordered a pair online. They arrived and were way too big. 
Fine, I thought, I'll return them and get another size.
Nope. Apparently I bought the last pair even close to my size in Canada. 
Cue tears. Alright, I didn't actually cry (swear) but I did get into "I MUST own those shoes" mode. 
I thought and thought and then it came to me: I'm meeting some lovely American bloggers this week and one of them is driving to Vegas so my shoes won't take up room in a suitcase.
I shyly asked Sarah (one of my fellow Blended Bloggers) if I could order the shoes from a US site to her house and she could bring them to Vegas. She said YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whew. Sidenote: Sarah is the sweetest person of life, shoe assistance aside, and had I have known this I wouldn't have been worried about asking lol.
The shoes arrived and I made Sarah try them on (she's the same size as me) so I wouldn't be disappointed in Vegas. Perfect fit!!
I'm happy to report the shoes also fit me perfectly and were the best addition to my travel wardrobe (comfy casual for walking - YES please!!).


FYI: I liked this mirror because I'm definitely not as small in real-life as I appear here


Have you ever gotten fixated on adding a certain piece to your wardrobe? What have you done to get it?


Make sure you stop by the Blended Blog to see the featured lady.  



Daily Style Finds: The Personal Stylist
Foxy's Domestic Side: The Crafty Engineer
Simply Shaunacey: Reformed Frumpy Mommy
Two Teens and Their Mama: Stylish Midlife Mama
RSquared: The Not So Nerdy Accountant
Shoes to Shiraz: The Shoe Hoarding French Teacher
Puppies and Pretties: Cube Dwelling Fashionista
Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life:  Single Girl, Simple Style
A Lovely Little Wardrobe: A Casual Petite
Making the Most of Everyday Classic Yet Current Over Forty 
NickandNik: Mama with Curves
Living on Cloud Nine: Blissful Fashionista
Whitney a la mode: A Book-loving French Teacher 


Want to know who the top two links were on last week's linkup were??? You're going to have to head on over to the Blended Blog after linking up :)


**this post may contain affiliate links - I may get $ if you click/buy so thanks, you're awesome!**


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Monday Moments of Gratitude - April 25, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016


I'm so happy you're here!! 

I'm making a point to post on Mondays about moments I am grateful for in the past week. We can all use a little more intentional thinking about things we're grateful for. With that said, I hope you'll continue to join me in gratitude on Mondays :)



Here are a few moments from this past week that I am grateful for:

Another published post!! - so I had an epiphany one day and figured out how to eliminate mom-guilt. My new trick has been working well for me and I was thrilled to have this piece published over at Her View from Home! Technically this happened on Sunday, but I was in Vegas so I was too busy to enjoy it until Monday :)

Pizza!! - my last breastfeeding session was last week and it was kind of sad... but guys, I got to eat PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm actually pretty confident I made up for my lack of cheese-eating the last 4 months just in this past week **hangs head in shame**

excuse my face, I haven't slept in like a billion hours... but I'm so happy to be eating pizza.


Reuniting with my family - yes, I had an AMAZING time in Vegas and I don't regret leaving for a second but you know what the best part of going away is? Coming home. I was exhausted because I hadn't slept in over 24 hours but my babies and husband were all smiles!

 
oh his face when he saw me... heart melted.


this sweet girl had a blast while she was gone, but she missed her momma (though likely not nearly as much as her momma missed her).

I'm an auntie AGAIN!!!! - My brother and his wife welcomed the beautiful and sweet Grace to the world on April 20th!! Love this little peanut so much already and I can't wait to snuggle her some more!!




the kids had to settle for Face Time because I was worried Annabelle was getting sick and didn't want to risk getting little Grace sick (and thank goodness we made that call because it was later that night Annabelle was NOT well).


Mommy and me pics - our last attempt at pictures was somewhat disastrous but this time, this time was a completely different story. BOTH my kids, yes, BOTH, cooperated and the lighting was stunning. Plus, we have the most amazing photographers ever!!!! Here's a sneak peek but more to come :) Needless to say, these pictures are ones I'll treasure forever.



calm - this week was all kinds of crazy but I was less stressed and anxious than I'd typically be. I attribute that, primarily, to having had a pretty good break recently but also because I'm learning to let things go in a way I never have before (more on that later). 

Random acts of kindness - so I was feeling a little down because, as fate would have it, mini-me got super sick the night before her 3rd birthday party. I was so worried she'd miss the whole thing and be devastated. While I drove around picking up all the last minute stuff I decided to put $5 towards coffee for a few people behind me. I have no idea who got the coffee but it made me feel good knowing how great I've felt drinking a free coffee!



Mini-me's 3rd birthday party - well the little princess surprised her dad and I by pulling it together RIGHT before her party.

she was pretty pleased with her cake despite not actually eating any of it lol

and once everyone left, this little party princess crashed HARD!!!!!


Other notable moments: hubby letting me sleep in, another birthday party where both my kids were super well-behaved (yay), grocery shopping and errands with no kids.

Happy Monday friends!

What moments are you grateful for this past week? Linkup your gratitude posts below!!


Linky Rules:

  1. Link to your specific blog post (not your blog's main page). 
  2. Please link posts related to gratitude.
  3. Check out as many links as you can.
  4. Not required BUT I would love it if you link back here.


#whatmomsgoogle - momma needs a break

Saturday, April 23, 2016




Hi there!!! It's #whatmomsgoogle time! Where your two resident hot-mess-moms discuss what real moms are googling. We don't promise to be right but we do promise to be real.

This post is going to be full of "let's be real" because, well, that's how I roll these days.

This week's google search:


Am I a bad mom for needing a break?

NO
Nope
Not even close
Are you kidding me?
So not
Heck no
NO
Just NO

Ya feeling where this is going? You are NOT a bad mom for needing a break. You are NOT a bad mom for wanting a break and you are NOT a bad mom for TAKING a break. 

Let's say it together: "I am not a bad mom for needing time away from my child(ren)"

Exhausted and in serious need of a break. Oliver too, apparently.


Life is not perfect 100% of the time. Yes, we are healthy (as far as I know) and yes, my kids are the cutest things that have ever existed and I am grateful for this life every.single.day. That doesn't mean it's easy and that doesn't mean I don't need a break.


Yup, I'll take a break... or help... you can keep the quotes though, unless quotes babysit.


Let me further address the above Google search. Am I bad mom for needing a break is number 2? Of ALL the things you could potentially Google being a bad mom for, needing a break is number 2? Not even taking  said break, just needing it.

Bullshit.

I call bullshit.

There, I said it.

Moms, we not only need breaks, we freaking DESERVE them!! We earn it every single day.

Sure, there will be those moms who delight in being around their children 24/7 but don't let them fool you, they are NOT the norm. It is okay, no, it is NORMAL to want, need and take breaks from parenting.



Taking a break does NOT make you a bad mom. In fact, if you're anything like me, I am a worse mom when I don't get breaks so technically, taking breaks make me a good mom. Take that Google.

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as the children are born there should be a plan for "mom breaks". I'm not saying mom should take off to Las Vegas or anything (cause, like, really, who would do that?! Oh wait, that would be me) but maybe leave the house without children. You can start small, go for walk, do groceries or something but then set your sights high friends, you could find yourself weaning your 8 month old onto formula just so you can take off for a girl's weekend (yup, I did that).

child-free in Vegas!


Parenting is a lot of work. Whether you're a stay at home mom or a working mom, you're still a mom and you still need breaks. You still DESERVE breaks.

Let me tell you something personal (cause you know, I'm all about keeping secrets HA): prior to my Vegas trip I was kind of a mess. I was dealing with tons of anxiety and overwhelmed by even the slightest of things. I was grumpy and irritable and not a whole lot of fun to be around. I stressed over everything. I worried constantly. I had knots in my stomach and crappy sleep (and not just because my wee one is still getting up once a night). I fretted about everything both trip-related and not.

And then I left. I pushed my mom-guilt aside and I left.

On Thursday morning at 4:50am, after my last breastfeeding session with my wee man, I left.

I left and as I drove away, anxiety started to mount again and I took a breath. It will be OKAY. I will be OKAY. They will be OKAY. And... I need this.

I made a decision to let go.

I BREATHED (and made a beeline for the nearest Tim Hortons for an egg sandwich WITH cheese).

I didn't forget my kids, I missed them like all get out but you know what? They survived (although I wonder how at times especially since I got a text from Mr. B saying Oliver had climbed the entire set of stairs while he was doing dishes. How many dishes could there be? Um close the flipping gate. UGH). Okay, so ALL the anxiety might not have been gone, but pretty close.

Where was I? Oh right, I had to make a conscientious decision to stop feeling guilty not just for taking a break but for needing it. I had to decide to enjoy this time, embrace it even.

me and some super cool ladies (notice the lack of children)


Sometimes, I want to punch mom-guilt right in the face. Seriously. I recently wrote about how to eliminate mom-guilt for good (where I also talk about feeling guilty about taking breaks) and I made sure to practice this the entire time I was away. It helped. It also helped to be surrounded by some other amazing and encouraging mommas who recognized the value in time away.

It got easier as the days past (all 5 of them) and you know what? My kids not only survived, they had a great time. I'll admit, I was a little sad they did so well because it felt like they didn't need me but I am also so proud to have a partner who is truly a partner in parenting and that I trust so much.

I was secretly worried he wouldn't remember me but he was ALL smiles when he laid eyes on me and has been ever since. 

My sweet girl was such an angel while I was gone. She had her first sleepover at a friend's house AND attended her first birthday party without mom and dad. Pretty exciting stuff! 
Excuse my face here, I haven't slept in like 30 hours and am close to passing out (that happened about 30 min later)


What else happened? I came home a better mom.

I got to adult and feel like I'm still something and someone outside of my mom role. Sure, I talked about my kids ad nauseam, but I also adult-ed (and I'll pretend that I wasn't talking baby-talk to the 8 month old across from me or that I didn't ask all the moms at the airport about their kids... yup, I'm that person).

I came home and jumped back into the daily grind of parenting but I did it with less stress, with less worry and less anxiety.

I took a break and I am a better mom.

palm trees would make anyone happy, I'm sure of it.


After nearly 9 months I took a solid break, one that was overdue, and we are all better for it.

So guess what? Regular scheduled breaks will be coming at this momma. Screw the mom guilt because in all honesty, I will feel more guilty knowing I tried to parent while feeling stressed out all of the time.

It's better to ask for and take the time you need so that you can be there for your kids at your best. They deserve that and so you do.


When is your next break scheduled? What's your favorite 'child-free' activity?


Now rush over to see what Abbie Answered. You won't regret it.

AND don't forget to come back next week to see how we answer your burning mom questions... or questions about burning something. Whatever.





To Annabelle on her 3rd birthday

Friday, April 22, 2016

Annabelle:

Three years ago today you made me a mom.

YOU made me a mom.



Here we are, three years later and a little brother thrown into the mix.

By now you know I am not a perfect mom. I yell sometimes, get frustrated and I don't get everything right. I am sure you know those things but I hope you know other stuff as well. The good stuff.

I hope you know, no, I hope you FEEL how much and how fiercely I love you .I hope you know there is not one single thing I wouldn't do for you.

I trust, that when I snuggle you in bed at night, that you feel love emanating from me because I truly feel consumed by it at times, my love for you.



I want you to know you are perfect. Even when you are being defiant and I reprimand, know that I first look away because I'm smiling at how strong your spirit is. Remember that prior to consequence, I am laughing under my breath at whatever hilarious line you came out with. Never forget that no matter how many timeouts you might get, my love for you never takes a timeout, it's here, waiting for you to stop tantruming long enough to revel in it again. It will always be here, waiting for you whenever you need it. 



Know that you are the best big sister in the whole wide world. Sure, you could be gentler at times, but your enthusiasm for your brother is beautiful to watch. Yes, I often wonder if your choke hold hug will render him unconscious, but I know your heart is in the right place. Also, in case this changes, you should know that your brother looks at you unlike he looks at any one else. I cannot tell you the number of times I have asked you to come over and just talk to him to make him smile because, no matter how grumpy he is, one look at you and he's smiling again. The love and adoration he has for you is palpable. I delight in the moments when he smiles as you and you proudly exclaim "mommy, he likes me" no, my sweet girl, he loves you and of course he does, who wouldn't?!



If, when placing baby orders, I got to pick the exact personality I would want my baby girl to have, it would be yours. 

You are calm and quiet at times but mostly outgoing and wild. 

I can't quite capture in words the intricacies of your spirit but it is a strong and wondrous one. You, my dear girl, are going to do and be all of the things because already, at just three years old today, you have such a fire in you, such a strong will but so much kindness. 

You are the perfect balance of all things.



Annabelle, you are beautiful, and not just because you are adorable but because you have such a kind heart. I think of when we went to meet the Easter Bunny and all the kids were taking candy out of his basket to put in their own, and you, you my sweet girl, took a few candies out of your own basket and gave them to him. I am reminded of all times your brother has cried and you have either rushed over to comfort him or beckoned me to do so. You offer to help me clean and always enjoy tidying up while singing the cleanup song. You are also really good at making messes. 

You're also so brilliant and you surprise me daily with the things you have learned (and I'm quickly learning to watch my tongue because you have the most amazing ability to recall all the poor choices of words I have used).



Your independence is something I both admire and fear. No one can get you to do something you don't want to do (including me) and you are quite happy to entertain yourself with all your toys for hours. You're quick and busy and getting a still picture of you is next to impossible.

My heart is full today but a little sad because you're truly not a baby anymore. You are growing into this courageous, fearless and strong young girl who I am so very proud to be mom to.

On your third birthday know that I love you so very much and that you gave me the most precious gift three years ago when you made me a mom, your mom. My wish for you today is that you continue to foster that beautiful spirit of yours and that you embrace all that this life has to offer because, my sweetheart, you deserve it all.

Happy birthday Annabelle.




**check out Miller Ellis who take the majority of our professional pictures**

what happens in Vegas...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"... ya, well, not when you're a blogger friends.

First, you need to know this will not be the play-by-play account of my Vegas trip because I'm apparently still suffering from jet-lag, had a play-date today, a photo-shoot tonight (that sounds quite glamorous doesn't it? lol) AND had to scoot on over to the hospital to meet my NEW NIECE (Grace, the sweetest little thing).

Soooooooo this is going to be a super quick run down with a few quick snapshots. Good thing my fellow travelers are posting their recaps so you can probably just add some wine to their adaptations and consider that my trip. Fair?

Vegas in Summary

Conference: 
We attended the BAM 2016 conference. Yes, BAM stands for Bloggers at Midlife. While I like to think I'm not quite there yet, some of the sessions sounded great and it was in Vegas soooo ya, sign me up.
In short, got some fun swag, met some cool ladies and learned some bloggy stuff. I would have liked to get to know some of the other attendees a little better (some ice breaker activities might have helped that) and some intentional networking activities (a business card exchange or something).
Given that it was a conference very much directed at Women at Midlife, there were times I kind of felt a little like I didn't belong or shouldn't be there. I can't really say if I felt that way because of my own insecurities or if there was something else going on. Perhaps this was something I should have anticipated heading to this conference? I did meet a few pretty awesome women so I consider it a win.
The sponsors (and there were some AMAZING ones) were engaging and all around phenomenal and I got a new graphic tee AND lots of homeopathic goods from Boiron.
there were some sessions that I found incredibly motivating and that really served to help me figure out what direction I want to go (more on that another day... still sorting stuff out).



Blog friends:
This trip was essentially one giant friend-blind date. Seriously. Have you ever flown across the continent to meet up with people you've never met before only to spend a weekend with them? Um probably not.
If you think about it, it's kind of sketchy lol.
Thankfully, for the most part, everyone was just how I thought they'd be and there weren't any crazy surprises. Okay, that's a lie, I pegged Christy ALL wrong!! She technically didn't come with us, but Deena and I met up with her in Calgary during our layover. She's so outgoing and chatty and for some reason I pictured her as shy and quiet. WRONG. But in the best way you can be wrong. She's awesome and super stylish and I could see us getting some mean shopping done!

Oh geez, now do I go through everyone? I can't, it's almost my bed time.
Deena, Sarah, Carrie, Lana, Alison and Sheila were all just how I imagined for the most part. I seriously have a love for this group of gals that can't be described. Maybe it was the lack of children, but I felt like myself for the first time in a long time.


As excited I was to reunite with my kids (more on that later too), my heart broke a little bit saying good bye to everyone knowing it would probably be a good while before we met again (except Deena, she's a glutton for punishment and coming my way this summer - sucker).

me and mu bff listening to the Jays on the plane

I promise to write more later but I'm sleep-deprived and have a toddler birthday party to plan (Saturday, yes THIS Saturday. FYI: going away before your kid's birthday and saving all the 'to-do's' til the last minute is BAD idea!).

LOVE this girl!! I swear, she's even prettier in person and can do hair like no one I have ever seen. Do you think I got her to do mine? Um no, I'm an idiot.

afternoon drinks and waiting for the Bellagio fountain

hey LADIES!!!!

No big deal, just a street named after me... whatever.

SHOPPING!! Deena (aka 'shopper extraordinaire' is taking pic)

enroute to Vegas I saw the shadow of our plane circled by a rainbow... WEIRD but super cool, no?!

I had high-hopes for this post but I'm getting sleepier by the minute and there's no way I can capture all the awesomeness that was this trip.
I'll leave you with this: sometimes, you need to get out of your comfort zone to realize how awesome life is, that your kids can survive without you and more over, that YOU can survive being away from them. You are still your own person, parenting aside, and YOU get to decide what your life looks like. You get to chose who you spend time with and how you spend that time. It's a gift, all of it, use it wisely. Oh and eat the the good food and drink the yummy wine. 

Until next time...



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