Halloween, Yay!

Confession: I am a total holiday dork. I love the decorations and the special foods and the general giddiness that surrounds them. For this I place the blame squarely on my mother's shoulders. She made holidays so fun and so special (and yes stressful at times but I mainly remember the special.) Lately I have really been trying to emulate her by not just putting the decorations up but by going the next step and coming up with fun things to do. So after we put up window clings the girls and I sat down to get our Play-Doh on with some fun ideas I got from the new Play-Doh Playdates section on the Hasbro website. Have you seen the playdates section? They have great themed ideas for play dates (or just an afternoon of fun) completely with play doh activities, printable crafts, and snacks. Lucky for me, they just came out with their Haunted House play date. I had the laptop close by so I could show the girls the steps as we worked on our ghost, cauldron, and spider web. It was … [Read more...]

Fall Adventures

This past weekend I got started on our Fall bucket list by planning an outdoor adventure for us. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate with my original plan of taking the girls canoeing for the first time. We live twenty minutes from the Missouri River and I've been itching to canoe it since we moved. I was so excited that the girls were finally old enough to go and figured early Fall would be the perfect time. Darn those clouds. Instead we headed our for a modified Missouri River trip... some time on the Katy Trail along the river. I toyed with the idea of us biking down there but since I didn't think it was fair to ask my husband to pull the girls the entire time, we took the car instead. We started off in Rocheport with a pit stop for ice cream and then started down the trail. I envisioned a little more hiking but the only stress was avoiding the hordes of bikes. I was glad however, that we had packed snacks and water bottles as the stops were plenty. But who can blame … [Read more...]

New Food Site : Foodiacs!

Totally intrigued by this new site Foodiacs that launched today. The deets: "Foodiacs is tailored to people who are passionate about food and will connect them with product offerings that are exclusive to the site. Each Foodiacs offering will be available for only a limited time, and at a limited quantity, and will not match any offer at any other online retail outlet."   As a small city dweller, I don't have access to a food specialty store so I can see myself becoming addicted to this site. The first offering is a mushroom growing set from Back to Roots. Each “Foodiac” that purchases two boxes will receive a third box and classroom curriculum to be donated to the school of their choice. Cool concept.   Tempting, very tempting. If it got the girls to eat oyster mushrooms, it would totally be worth it. The deals launch every one to two weeks on Tuesdays. Do you see yourself buying things from the site? Next year they plan to partner with the food … [Read more...]

BlogHer Parties : I Came, I Got Swag, Have Some

So yeah I am writing a post about BlogHer, weeks after it ended. Why? Because I read Amy's post about the Clever Girls Collective and her honest opinon made me revisit my draft post with a list of all the parties and the pros and cons of each. But I never got through the list and because I am old and had a lot of fun in college, my memory is not what it used to be.  So instead here is my experience with private parties.   First off, this year there was a large call among what I consider the bigger name bloggers for people not to attend private parties and instead attend the official BlogHer parties (which are pretty amazing and I appreciate the effort that they put into them and that they are open to everyone.) There was a lot of talk about swag before and after BlogHer with people saying connections are worth more than swag and they can get free stuff anytime etc. To answer those people, this is why I go to private parties... -Free food and drink : why spend money on … [Read more...]

Back To School : A Letter to Myself

Dear 2012 self, First off, do we have flying cars yet? Because it seems like in 2012 we should have flying cars.   But enough about the flying cars... have you stopped worrying? Does your stomach no longer flip when the bus pulls up? Are you at peace with that decision yet? Are are you still wondering if it was the right thing to do? Do me a favor: today look at the window and wave to her like you did the first week of school. Stand there and watch her smile at you and blow kisses to her.   And when you drop her sister off, tell her you love her. Tell her now while she's still young and let's you tell her. And today on the way to school, don't rush, let her look at all the leaves and read all the signs. So what if you have to sign her in one day out of many?   Most of all remember these moments. Remember the sweetness that may be gone soon. Remember the small accomplisments instead of worry about the big ones yet to happen. It's so easy to forget after … [Read more...]

Twinskin Vs Yummie Tummie

So BlogHer is under a week away and it's time to pull out the suitcase and start the packing. Per my own packing advice, I've been pondering what I am going to wear for a few weeks now. So I already knew what I needed. All I had to do was pull it out of the drawers and do a final run through to check for any lingering stains and hidden snags. And that's when the plan itself showed a snag. You see summer is a stressful time around our house with the loss of the routine and I am nothing is not a stress eater. Let's just say that instead of my cute shoes and sequined tops being the standouts, my tummy is taking a starring role. The infamous twinskin is now comfortably surrounded by a layer of fat mainly composed of sangria and beer. Not to mention summer ice cream cones. My first plan was to run out and envelop myself in some kind of corset. But I want to be able to eat unicorn cake and get my groove on at Sparklecorn so I was planning to just brave it lumps and all. Then I saw … [Read more...]

BlogHer Boot Camp: Top Ten Tips for Networking and Socializing

On the Sundays leading up to BlogHer11, I am posting Top Ten Tips lists. Check out my ones on packing and fashion. Have a question, something to add, or a suggestion for a subject my last two lists? Leave me a comment. Thanks for reading, I hope it helps a little. And I will see you in 17 days! Top Ten Tips for Networking 1. Establish Your Goals: Why are you going to BlogHer? To see friends? Meet other bloggers? Meet brands? Learn how to be a better blogger? Have fun? Whatever your reason, know it and plan your agenda around it. Otherwise  you will be spread too thin and will  come home with nothing else than a bag full of swag and business cards and that's it. I went in last year with no goals and while I had a fabulous time I also regret not taking the time to connect with other bloggers and follow up with the brands I met. My blog would be in a different place now if I had. 2. Take (GOOD) Business Cards: This seems like a given but a lot of people leave it to the last minute. … [Read more...]

Frozen Pizza Fridays : Shakespeare’s Frozen Pizzas, Grilled

I feel like I am cheating a bit, this particular Frozen Pizza Friday report, because this is a local pizza maker that you won't be able to lay your hands on unless you want to take a trip to visit me here in Columbia, MO. Which would be awesome. Because CoMo rules. I have a whole blog about it. Or you could just order one and have it sent to you. That might be easier.   So anyhoo, we took two of their pizzas (cheese and Italian sausage), preheated the grill to 400 degrees, and then put those two together for about twenty five minutes. Afterwards, we realized this is not at how you are supposed to do it. But our store was out of the little direction sheets and we couldn't find it on their website.  The good news is our pizzas turned out well. And we scarfed them down post haste. At around $6.75 a pop, they are a great deal too. Item: Shakespeare's Frozen Pizza Cost: $6.75 Taste (scale of 1-10): 8 Value (scale of 1-10): 8 Will buy again: yes Sorry no pictures, it … [Read more...]

LiveBlogging Wordcamp Kansas City : WordPress Marketing & Monetizing Your Blog

Wordpress Evangelist from a Marketing Perspective presented by Scott Shorter of Concera Media Wordpress as a content platform gives you control and empowers you to create. The Basics of Marketing through Wordpress: A w3c standards complaint theme - go to to check W3.org to see if your theme is compliant Good on-page SEO practices - use meta-tags, Google friendly in every way possible : use Google Webmasters Social Intergration : use social media tools as a funnel to your site, then use Google analytics to track where you should be spending your time online Conversion Goals like email signups Tracking and reporting of results : really use Google analytics, set goals   Foundations for WordPress as Your Marketing Platform Google anlyticator Plugin : puts it on your dashboard so it available right when you log in XML sitemaps Plugin All-in-one SEO plugin Mailchimp (or similar plugin) : premium theme framework : clean themes like Thesis do well in … [Read more...]