Life by Cynthia: July 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Growing Boy

We are the parents of a 13 month old boy who seems to be growing by the minute.  Since we were the last of our friends and family that have entered the parenting arena, we are lucky enough that our loved ones have gifted us smartly.  For our baby shower and our sons birthday party our friends and family gave very thoughtful and useful items.  Especially when it came to clothing items.  Just the right sizes for him to grow into.  Experienced parents just know exactly what would be most helpful to new parents & a new baby.  Up until now we haven't really had to shop much.  Our son had received so many clothing items that we were covered for his first year of his life.  So much that  we really need to invest in a larger storage system for just his clothes. We are now finding that we have to shop more since he quickly outgrows EVERYTHING.  Items tagged for 18 to 24 mo olds are starting to need replacements...the things that were given to him to "grow into" are dwindling!  He is already into most of them.  Mom & Dad will now have to shop more often for baby clothes.  It can be quite an adventure.  I do enjoy shopping for outfits for our little guy.  There are so many really cute outfits to choose from.  I can only imagine the fun that moms of daughters must have!

Since he does outgrow things so fast I try to find the best deals that I can.  We always gift his outgrown items (which are usually nearly new and worn just a few times) or donate them.  No need to store them "just in case" we have another boy.  Some people that we know have done that but we don't have the space to store an accumulation of clothes and would rather it be put to use than put away.

Baby clothes are fun to shop for and so are accessories!  For our Maui trip I had the best time shopping for baby sunglasses, hats, and beachwear!  Toys are another beast altogether. Our son has received SO MANY TOYS.  Is there such a thing as too many?!  YES!  Soon it will be time to find new homes for his toys.  It won't be too tough now since he hasn't really developed any attachments to any one particular thing. BUT as he gets older I'm sure it will turn into a battle.



Favorite Thing Friday

SippyCupChroniclesFavoriteThingFridayFinally! It's Friday. Favorite thing: A FULL tank of gas. Driving home from work yesterday I found myself staring at the lowfuel [EMPTY] light. GREAT. I was too tired to go to the gas station so went straight home. Re-fueled this morning on the way into the office. Upside: full tank of gasoline. Downside: $55.74. Happy Friday Everyone!







Thursday, July 28, 2011

Comic Con

Dear Luna,

I was moved by your comment in defense of your best friend and have decided to close the post. Good luck to you and your friend.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on this blog.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Making Friends Monday

StacyI'll admit: I'm not a blog hopper. But things can change. There's a first time for everything!  I've never really participated in one but this time I thought I'd give it a try since my girl Sweaty is featured as this week's spotlight!  I wanted to show some love & support so here goes! Please click the Making Friends Monday icon for more details on the hop.



While you are at it, check out Do Sweat the Small Stuff (If you don't already follow her). 



I hope that you all have a great Monday and hope that you check out the hop. You never know, you just might make a couple of new friends!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

BlogHer '11 and ME

I'm Going to BlogHer '11Guess who's going to BlogHer '11?!  I am!  I have been dreaming of going for some time now.  I'll be a first timer.  My husband knew how badly I wished to go and offered to pay my registration fees.  Truly sweet of him but I wanted to make my way there without him buying my way in.  I have been getting my feet wet again in the blogging arena since I had dropped the habit back in 2004.  I  couldn't quite justify the cost.  Especially since I have been a bit directionless.  OK not directionless - just headed off into EXCESSIVE directions!  I'm all over the place when it comes to blogging.  I can't find my niche.  Quite honestly, I don't want one.  I don't want to be wedged into any one place no matter how much I'm told it is a necessity.  Maybe I'll change my ways once I have a few sessions under my belt at BlogHer.  I'm stubborn though - so I doubt it.  It's bad, but I don't always care what "experts" think.  I do what makes me happy.

I looked into doing sponsored posts as a means of  raising funds to spend on my BlogHer registration.  I do work outside of the home and earn a decent living but I refused to spend our family resources on my blogging venture.  So far I'm proud to say that I've earned a pretty penny dabbling in  Sponsored Blog Posts.  Enough in fact to cover the cost of registration PLUS a couple of cute outfits!  It's been a gratifying experience earning money doing something that I enjoy.  Especially since I would be doing it ANYWAY.

I was thrilled when I was invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Naturalizer Shoes & MyBlogSpark (Blog Post: BlogHer '11: Cynthia The Super Hero?!).  The prize?  An entry to win a sponsorship for my attendance to BlogHer '11 and to share some great shoes with conference attendees!

I even attempted to volunteer a few months ago.  The volunteer positions were all filled.  Apparently they fill up quickly.   Recently BlogHer re-opened their call for volunteers.  Of course I had to find out all I could about that.  They were only looking for a few spots to fill.

Today I registered for the conference.  The cost?  $0.  Lesson learned:  Where there is a will, there is a way!

Hmm...now I've got to find a way to obtain a SmartPhone to use while at the convention!  My current phone is ultra low tech!  Do I have time before the conference to locate a sponsor for a SmartPhone and learn how to use one?!  That way I can leave my laptop at home.  If not, how about a sponsor for a stylish and comfortable laptop bag?!  Oooh....a clothing sponsor to help me with my BlogHer '11 "Look".  Maybe a company to offer new hair & make up?  I'm dreaming but like I said: Where there is a will, there is a way!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chuck E. Cheese's: Where A Kid Can Be A Kid!

Just a few weeks ago my husband and I trekked to a nearby Chuck E. Cheese location with our son and his two cousins.  We had our 7 year old and 3 year old nephews along with our 1 year old son.  Thankfully there were not too many birthday parties booked on the particular weekend that we went so it wasn't as kid crazy as other times that I can recall.  We ordered pizza, of course.  The boys ate before playing any games - we were surprised that they were able to contain themselves and eat first!  Kudos to their parents for raising well behaved children!  They seemed to have liked it - what kid doesn't like pizza?  I had some and found it to be OK.  It's taste, to me, is geared more for a child's palate so I didn't expect much.  I did have a second piece, now that says a lot because I can be picky when it comes to pizza!

Our family has be invited to check out Chuck E. Cheese's NEW pizza recipe!  Not only will we be able to sample any large pizza of our choice + beverages...BUT (drum roll please...) we will also be provided with tokens for the kids to enjoy the MANY game choices.  The skeeball and basketball games are my favorites.  I say that just in case the kids get too tired to use up all of the tokens.

Hopefully our schedule will free up one weekend soon so we can taste it for ourselves and share with you our reactions. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here is a video on the new recipe and customer comments:




Is your family a fan of Chuck E. Cheese?

We did not receive any compensation for this post.  A complimentary family meal and game tokens were provided to sample the new pizza recipe at Chuck E. Cheese's. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Favorite Thing" Friday

SippyCupChroniclesFavoriteThingFridayI have stumbled across a link up that sounded like a fun post to join in on.  Just click on the icon to participate. Thank you Jenny of Sippy Cup Chronicles!

My "favorite thing" is being involved with word of mouth marketing.  I've been earning money blogging about interesting products & services via my sponsor SocialSpark! I invite you to sign up here: http://izea.in/rtIQ using my referral link.

I have a few blog posts detailing some of my experiences with sponsored posts and I am very happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Set Your Price. Choose your Advertisers. Sign up for SocialSpark!

Related Blog Posts (in no particular order):
Could YOU Use A Couple of EXTRA Dollars?
Blogging Adventures
Excessive?
What People Do For Money
Thankful

As always I have to thank Lisa Brown of It Keeps Getting Better who introduced me to Social Spark.

Monday, July 11, 2011

BlogHer '11: Cynthia The Superhero?! "Shoe To The Rescue"

I have no claim to Superhero powers but with help from Naturalizer and MyBlogSpark that could all change!  Imagine ME coming to the rescue of my fellow Bloggers at THE event of the Summer: BlogHer 2011, which just so happens to be hosted in my lovely hometown of San Diego! When I received the invitation to be one of the select bloggers chosen to participate in the Naturalizer "Shoe to the Rescue" contest, I was doing backflips! I am absolutely thrilled to participate for a chance to win a sponsorship to the event.

I am going to be a "first timer" to this event so you can imagine my nervous excitement! I have been doing my research by catching up with seasoned conference pros such as Parenting by Dummies.  With her lovely post a few months ago: Dumb Mom’s Guide. Making the Most of Blog Conferences, I feel like I have the inside scoop on what to expect. Like a nervous girl attending her first day of high school, so many thoughts crowded my head.  It can be intimidating attending an event of this magnitude as a newbie!  Naturally, the thought of "what to wear" was tops on my list.  I'll be experimenting with a few different looks! I'll try to post what I come up with!

I really find comfort in having an "assignment" should I be selected. What better way to ease the nerves AND make friends by being a helpful hero?!  I would be on the lookout for BlogHer conference attendees who are wearing uncomfortable shoes and coming to her "rescue" with an emergency pair of  the Naturalizer Violette!  Trust me - it will be obvious who needs help!  From experience, I know what an uncomfortable walk looks like!
BlogHer 2011-Naturalizer "Shoe To The Rescue"
I love the details! Style + Comfort!


Ladies, please channel your good Karma my way and cross your figers (and toes!) that I am selected for the opportunity to rescue those in need!  I'll have more than a "band-aid" for blisters - I'll be armed with a cute, comfy pair of stylish Naturalizer footwear for relief!










Click on the thumbnails for more information on these styles:



This fabulous opportunity was presented to me by Naturalizer and the Brown Shoe Company, through MyBlogSpark.  This post serves as my entry to win a sponsorship for my attendance to the 2011 BlogHer Conference.

To keep up to date , you can follow Naturalizer on Twitter and Like Naturalizer on Facebook

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Could YOU Use A Couple of EXTRA Dollars?

I just had another deposit made to my PayPal account today.  Every single time I am thrilled and can't believe that I am earning money doing something that I do anyway: Blogging.  If you would enjoy writing something like this: Forget Shopping. I'm Swapping, you can benefit too.

If are interested please let me know if I can help. I've really enjoyed blogging about interesting products & services via my sponsor SocialSpark! It especially fun on those days that I am stumped on what to write about.  Here is my referral link it you are interested in signing up: http://izea.in/rtIQ.  YOU set your price.  YOU choose your advertisers.

I am still very new at it but will gladly share what I have learned.  I currently have 8 blogs which I once thought was Excessive but I have since changed my mind!
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