Monday, October 20, 2014

Using the #LeapPad3 on vacation

We just returned home from #BeachesMoms, the Social Media on the Sand conference hosted by Beaches Resorts, Turks and Caicos. The event was sponsored by brand leaders including LeapFrog, Playskool, Party City, HP, Land's End, Certain Dri, and many more.

The kind folks at LeapFrog were generous enough to gift a LeapPad3 and one Explorer game to the social media moms who brought children along on the Beaches adventure. They said it would be handy to have on a long flight... they were right.

Normally, my daughter begs for my phone or the tablet, but I am often catching up on work, writing, or trying to conserve the battery. Thanks to a LeapPad3 of her very own, she was entertained and barely made a peep.

Amelia is 6 1/2 years old and a super smart kid. She enjoys learning games and puzzles, as well as reading anything she can get her eyeballs on. I was not sure if the LeapPad3 games would be too "young" for her, but they do a great job of categorizing all of the apps by age and skill. I was able to choose from math games, puzzle games, creativity projects, and more.

Here, Amelia tells us a bit about her LeapPad3 (she was nervous but proud to do a video review of her own!)

So, kids think it is fun and they enjoy videos and games - not surprising! My daughter also likes the attached stylus so she won't lose it, and she loves that the LeapPad3 fits easily in a backpack.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mommy and Me: Girl Time!

Okay, so Daddy was with us too, but I was able to have some special vacation time with Amelia this weekend on our trip to Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos.

We brought Amelia and left the baby at home with grandparents so she could get a few special moments of "only child" again. She lived 5 1/2 years as an only child, after all. With fewer responsibilities, I was able to capture a bit of the old me again as well.


Friday, October 17, 2014

I miss him, but #BeachesMoms is amazing!

I soooooooo miss this gorgeous little guy.

We only just arrived, but so far the #BeachesMoms event (Social Media on the Sand 2014) has been amazing. Beaches Turks & Caicos is gorgeous beyond words. Lots of photos to come on Mommy and Me Monday and Wordless Wednesday! (Although that probably won't be wordless - too much to tell you about!)

We had an energetic and friendly meet and greet and the pirate pool party last night. Amelia is happy to be able to stay up late and soak up all of the attention. We all miss our sweet baby boy, but this experience is one in a million.

See you soon, sweet Andrew! Sending smooches and squeezes. XOXOXOXO

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Flying through the blue sky to paradise #BeachesMoms

Social Media on the Sand begins tomorrow afternoon!
Beaches Social Media on the Sand
I think I know how the morning will go; the hectic rush to get up, get the kids ready, double-check the luggage. Did we forget anything? Honey, did you remember the...? Is Amelia dressed - did she brush her teeth?
I will make time to snuggle and kiss on my sweet baby boy who will be staying home with Grandma and Granddad. I have never been away from him overnight - that will tear me up inside. I will be going through the motions of a mom on the verge of vacation while shoving aside thoughts of the goodbye I have to say to that sweet little guy.
As usual on crazy out-the-door mornings, I will probably skip breakfast. I will plan to grab food at the airport, but might manage to snag a bottled Starbucks Iced Coffee from the fridge before the husband whisks us away down the interstate. We will have Atlanta rush hour traffic to contend with; I will be stressed and worried that we will be late.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amaluna = Astounding! GIVEAWAY: 4 tickets #Atlanta #Amaluna #CirqueDuSoleil

I do not want to spoil any surprises if you have not seen Amaluna from Cirque du Soleil, but I will say that this show was one of my favorite Cirque shows yet! The all-female band was rocking it with some strong girl power. The costumes were, as always, beautiful, fun, and unique. All of the acts had the audience's eyes glued to the stage at all times.

Amaluna is a love story set on an isolated island with a shipwreck, a young woman, and a man. Also a jealous pet lizard, a cautious mother, a hilarious nanny, and a whole cast of wonderful characters with amazing talents.

The Balance Goddess was an act I had never before seen in Cirque du Soleil shows. She was mesmerizing! She balanced huge sticks, lifting with her feet, bending, and even spinning the final huge structure with perfect poise. I don't think the audience took a breath until she was finished!

I highly recommend this show! If you are in or near Atlanta from now through November 30th, buy your tickets and make plans for an enjoyable afternoon or evening out. Amaluna plays every day except Mondays. And here's a special offer for you:

Experience Amaluna from Cirque du Soleil, now playing under the iconic blue and yellow big top at Atlantic Station. Save 20% on a Family 4 Pack and take an adventure to an island governed by goddesses.  CLICK HERE and buy your tickets today.  

Feeling lucky? I also have a 4-ticket giveaway! These tickets are for the 7:30 PM show on Wednesday, November 5th. Enter via the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amaluna on Facebook
Cirque on Twitter
Cirque on Instagram

I received complimentary media passes to see the show and share my opinions. All opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Snug & Dry for the speedy baby on the go! @Huggies #MC #sponsored

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
The baby boy in this house is now over eight months old and a total speed demon. He kind of reminds me of Turbo, that racing snail from the animated children's movie. He's a little guy on all fours, scooting around the room, but scooting really FAST. It seems no obstacle can contain him; he is a baby on the move with lots of things to see (and taste).
With all of that zippy crawling, I have recently noticed red marks around his legs from diaper chafing. Not all diapers fit the same way. Some are more of a rectangle shape and fit more loosely around his little squishy thighs. Looser = more chafing, it seems.

Enter Huggies Snug and Dry diapers with the Sure Fit design. This diaper has more curve to its shape and a thinner feel. It hugs baby's soft and sensitive skin and stays with him as he moves and races throughout his busy baby day. We have been testing Huggies Snug and Dry for a few days now, and no chafing! Before, I was using baby lotion or petroleum jelly to soothe the red marks. Not needed anymore! So far so good, and he seems as happy as can be on his daily quests for adventure.

When you are diaper shopping, don't forget the wipes! All wipes are not created equal.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Amaluna from Cirque du Soleil - celebrating women and femininity

Date night tonight!

My husband and I are off to see this evening's performance of Amaluna from Cirque du Soleil. It is playing at Atlantic Station in Atlanta from now through November 30th.

Really awesome fact, mamas: For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the cast of a show is 70% female and the band, 100%.

“Amaluna is a tribute to the work and voice of women,” explains Director of Creation Fernand Rainville. “The show is a reflection on balance from a woman’s perspective,“ he adds. Show Director Diane Paulus says: “Amaluna is less about feminism and more about reconnecting to our world in a different way.”

Acts tonight will include the Peacock dance, juggling, aerial straps, Chinese pole, and balance goddess, among others. Shows in Atlanta are performed every day except Mondays for the next two months. There is no excuse to miss it!

For more on Amaluna, including gorgeous photography and tickets for Atlanta and upcoming venues, visit the Cirque du Soleil website.

(image above, Cirque du Soleil)

I received complimentary tickets to Amaluna in exchange for sharing information about the show. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Texting my husband (not a love note)

Before I was a mother, I did not understand why people needed to text. Why not call? Or email? But once I had a child in one arm, or a kid napping, or my hands tied up in a diaper change attempt with a squirmy uncooperative little thing? I got it.

I text because it is fast and easy. I rarely have the opportunity to sit and focus on a phone conversation. And I have a short memory (Mom Brain is real!). Life is busy and I easily forget whatever it is I wanted to tell someone. So I zip off a quick text before it slips my mind completely.

My husband and I text during the work day often. I dump whatever to-dos are in my brain at any given moment, not expecting him to jump on it right away, but so I know I sent the thought out there and he can get it when he gets it.

Most of our text exchanges are about everyday life. Quick and easy communication to get stuff done.

  Is pizza OK for dinner? Had a crazy day.   --> Yep.
  Got a media invite for a show, you free on Friday night?  --> Sure, find a sitter.
  Soccer practice tonight, will you make it?  --> Meet you there. Traffic is bad.

I often pass along airport news for my husband, who is an engineer on various projects at ATL (among others). This one the other day made for a good giggle:

Oh, texting. Thanks for letting me send random thoughts and sometimes pointless news to my friends and family during work hours.
- - -
Linked up to Mama Kat's Writers' Workshop. Thursdays. Prompt: "A recent text exchange that made you laugh."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Sandals Foundation: Making a difference in our Caribbean #BeachesMoms

Beaches Social Media on the Sand
Social Media on the Sand starts in less than two weeks! The conference attendees have been busy meeting and greeting on various social media and the what to pack talk has begun.
It is a three-night excursion for me, and I already know that I am checking a bag. Why, you ask? Why would I pay an airline fee to check a bag for three nights? I will tell you: I am packing for a purpose! Not only do the Sandals (and Beaches) brands equal fun and relaxation and pampering in the sun, they also support the Sandals Foundation. They have asked us to pack for a purpose.
The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International and it plays a meaningful role in the lives of communities across the Caribbean - in so many ways.
Adopting schools.
Awarding scholarships.
Training teachers.
Building computer labs.
Supporting infirmaries and children's homes.
Donating books and computers.
Creating marine sanctuaries.
Planting trees. 
Providing access to dental and eye care.
All of these things (and more) are done through the funds, supplies, and manpower donated via the Sandals Foundation.

I am stuffing an extra backpack full of school supplies to take on the trip. Beaches even sent the attendees a backpack to help us in our donation efforts. I will check a small suitcase and use the backpack as carry-on with a simple tote for my other personal belongings. I can even donate the backpack back to the Sandals Foundation once I arrive - I plan to do so!
I love that the BeachesMoms experience allows us to give back on top of all the fun and learning we will do in the gorgeous Turks and Caicos islands.

For more information on the Sandals Foundation, visit
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