Life by Cynthia: 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Annie In Theaters December 19 #AnnieMovie Prize Pack Giveaway

Who's ready for a NEW Annie? I certainly wasn't! But it's time to get ready! Annie is in theaters December 19. Like I said, I wasn't ready for this.  I was skeptical about a movie remake of the classic that knew and loved as a child. I just wasn't sure how the new and different ANNIE would stack up. Thanks to an advanced screening of the movie, this skeptic had a big change of heart!  I have to report that I really enjoyed it! I love the music, the characters, and enjoyed the entire production. New and different is a good thing. Now I have TWO Annie movies that I really love.

Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhan√© Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything is about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he's her guardian angel, but Annie's self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it's the other way around.

Now that you are excited to see Annie for yourself please join in on the Annie Prize Pack Giveaway! Please submit your entries via the Rafflecopter widget located below. Good luck!

 The ANNIE prize pack includes:

- One (1) official ANNIE kids shirt
- One (1) 'Build A Brighter Tomorrow' activity book
- One (1) sticker sheet
- One (1) Scholastic Poster (not pictured)

The giveaway is open only to U.S. residents, ages 18+. Giveaway ends on December 30, 2014.  No purchase necessary to enter. A winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be notified via email. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. Prize will be sent directly from the sponsor. Not liable for unclaimed prizes or fulfillment.

Disclosure: I received the same prize pack and an advanced media screening in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Knott's Family Friendly 2015 NYE Celebration and Giveaway #KnottsNYE

This post in written in partnership with GigaSavvy.

2014 has gone by so quickly for us. Where did the time go? I'm sure that many of you feel the same! How will you celebrate the end of this year and the start of a new one? We are planning on spending ours at Knott's Berry Farm! All the fun is ready for us so all that we have to do is show up! Knott’s has fun and safe options for families who want to ring in the New Year together.  Extended park hours (10 am to 1 am), live entertainment (FUN for ALL ages), and a fireworks display all included in the price of regular park admission! Check out the lineup here: Knott's NYE 2015.

Join us in ringing in the new year at the Knott's Berry Farm New Year's Eve Celebration!  Thanks to our friends at GigaSavvy and Knott's Berry Farm - one lucky reader will WIN 2 (two) FREE passes to attend the celebration! Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and GOOD LUCK! Please use #KnottsNYE on any social posts that you choose to share about the contest.

Giveaway ends on December 23, 2014. One winner per household. US Residents Only. No purchase necessary to enter. A winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be notified via email and must provide mailing address for prize shipment. No cash value. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. Not liable for unclaimed prizes or giveaway fulfillment.

We are hoping that you can join us for the #KnottsNYE celebration! If by chance you are our winner and cannot attend, please know that you WILL be able to use your tickets at a later date in 2015!

Disclosure: I create original editorial content in partnership with GigaSavvy. The opinions in this article are my own. I do not have a direct affiliation with Knott's Berry Farm.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

$25 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway! Save Time and Money on Household Items with Walmart and P&G

This post is sponsored by P&G. Thanks to P&G I shopped at to order a few of our favorite P&G household items. With gift card in hand I was able to knock off one item from my HUGE to-do list!

Like most of my friends and family - I feel like I am ALWAYS busy. My time is stretched thin between my full time job at the office, moments for quality family time, and everyday chores. Squeezing in the "me time" that I crave is tough to do these days. Just a small spot of time to myself for online activities, yoga, and the occasional veg-out would be awesome. The constant juggling can be a pain and the challenge of "finding enough time" is constant one. I need as many time savers that I can muster. One less thing to juggle makes me a happy lady!

I shop online for many things and love the convenience of having my products delivered to my doorstep. Our delivery guy knows us and our shopping habits better than my best friends and family.  Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy to occasional outing to a brick and mortar store BUT lately lounging at the pool with my family wins over spending the time it takes to load up the family, drive out to the store, find parking, and wander to every family members' favorite aisle!  That's where choices come in. I love having the option of visiting Walmart in person, shopping at, OR shopping via an app on my phone! Choices for the win!

Do you know that you can buy your household items from or via the Walmart smartphone app which can be downloaded here?  By using the Walmart smartphone app, you can easily build a shopping list by scanning all the products you’re ready to purchase again.  You can choose to have your purchase shipped directly to your house (shipping is free if you spend $50 or more) or shipped for free to the nearest Walmart location for a quick and easy pick-up with Site to Store.

On my list of favorite P&G Items:

How I shop with and SAVE

  • I visit the website and check out their Savings Center. I like to get the most from my money and will look for Clearance, Rollbacks, Special Buys, and Value Bundles. I make sure to check out the weekly Ad too!

  • I opt for FREE shipping to my home and for some products I use the FREE ship to store option. Shipping to your door is FREE when you spend $50 or more at That isn't tough for me to do because I do like to stock up!
I don't get to keep all the shopping fun to myself! Thanks to P&G, you have a chance to WIN your own Walmart gift card! I'd love to know what you would buy and how you plan to shop if you win! In store? Online at OR using the Walmart smartphone app?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G. Sponsor is responsible for shipping the giveaway prize to the winner.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bye Bye Boring Fries, Spiral Fries are More FUN

Kitchen gadgets are great. I love them. Confession: I don't use them as much as I'd like. I have my ice cream maker just BEGGING to be used. SUMMER is here after all! The same goes for our Popsicle mold! Oh my neglected crock pot, juicer, blender, food processor... I'm so sorry to leave you so lonely for so long. I DO use my Mandolin Slicer! It's fun and the newest of my toys!

I've had my spiral tool for making vegetable garnishes so I decided to put it use and make they typical french fry MORE fun.  Even after a LONG day at the office I was motivated enough to play in the kitchen.

I used pre-washed Non GMO Baby Blondes Potato Bites so I was able to whip them up in NO TIME. These babies are pre-washed so I didn't have to scrub mud from my spuds! I worked a full day at the office and didn't have the time (or energy) for that! I want to chill out with the kiddo and the hubs while snacking on some yummy and fun to eat spiral fries!

They finished product looks like they required more effort than it actually took. So when my Instagram pal Rachel asked how I made them I just had to share the simplicity of it and put together a quick blog post! Rachel is AWESOME by the way: marathoner, blogger, crossfitter, triathlete, Turbo Kick & RPM instructor, #Nuun & #Fitfluential ambassador, and most important - mommy!

Here it is! Voila!

The "BEFORE" shot:
Note: Fry using your oil of preference and drain excess oil on paper towels. Season to taste. Just a little sea salt for us and it was perfection. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

On The Road with Disney Social Media Moms in Phoenix #DisneySMMoms

As a blogger and big fan of social media, I make most of my connections online. When I have the opportunity to meet my colleagues in person, it's hard to pass up! At blogging and social media conferences, I get a chance to connect with online friends in real life and I also learn a great thing or two from industry leaders. Connecting with event sponsors is also a big plus. Celebrity sightings are known to happen every now and then!

Pin Exchange, Photo Gift from HP, Business Cards from my new friends, Disney Treats, and THE Grumpy Cat caught napping! I was going to wake her but feared she would be PISSED OFF Cat instead of just Grumpy.

The Disney On The Road event with the Disney Social Media Moms led me to Arizona this year. This event was held on June 25 and the venue was the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 7575 E. Princess Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85255.  About 100 attendees were expected for this event, but I believe that a few had to miss the program due to unforeseen circumstances.

I have been to three Disney Social Media Moms events to date. This is my second On The Road experience and the weather couldn't have been any more different than the last one! Last year the event was held in San Francisco and it was a cold and rainy day. This year we met in Phoenix and it was dry and hotter than HOT! I think that it's great that going on the road exposes me to climates other than my own! It sure makes me appreciate the wonderful weather in San Diego! Now that we've discussed the weather, let's chat about the event!

First off, I am grateful and honored to be included in the invite-only conference. Thank you Disney Social Media Moms and BSM Media!  I was so happy visit with friends that I haven't seen in a while, to make new friends, and to meet the ones that I regularly chat with online face to face. The energy at these events is awesome. The day goes by SO FAST!  I wish that I could have met more of the ladies that were there. But the day just whizzes right by. You will definitely come away feeling inspired. Throughout the program random drawings for door prizes are held which adds to the fun. This year we also did a pin exchange.

Here was an attempt at a group selfie. Melissa, so sorry that I cut you off - I'm going to have to practice a little more!

Mindy, Raquel, Me, and Melissa

I am so happy that my San Diego friend was attending this year! Raquel was completely in her element at the Disney event! She is a Disney Mom through and through!

San Diego Disney Social Media Moms

What did we do during the conference? Here's a snapshot of our speakers and the agenda for the Phoenix leg of the 2014 three city tour (Chicago, Philadelphia, and Phoenix):
Panelists for Lessons Learned, Experiences Shared – The Life of Mom Business Owners:
Allyson Phillips is mom, inventor of Tilty Cup, and a business owner
Romy Taormina is Co-Founder of Psi Health Solutions, Inc., the maker of Psi Bands
Lisa Cash Hanson is the CEO & Mom Inventor behind Snuggwugg INC

I was a tiny bit disappointed that Gary Buchanan, Walt Disney World Social Media Managing Editor wasn't at the Phoenix event. He is a riot! The picture below was taken earlier this year at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at the Disneyland Resort. You can see Gary above us in the big screen photo bombing! 

From the Disneyland Resort with San Diego Friends and Disney Social Media Moms, Melanie & Chelsea.

We all enjoyed talk of Disneyland's upcoming 59th birthday. I know that I'm excited!  In 2015 the Disneyland Resort will celebrate 59 years of magical memories! We can all get a sneak peek on July 17 at 10 am Pacific time on Make sure to follow along on Twitter @Disneyland with the hashtag #Disneyland60.

Each of the speakers had very useful information to share. We received advice, heard success stories, and a got a BIG dose of encouragement and inspiration. If you ever get that magical invitation, I encourage you to attend. For those interested in applying for future events visit Disney Social Media Moms and follow on Twitter @DisneySMMoms.

Disclosure: I was invited by BSM Media and Disney Social Media Moms to attend the conference.  I received complimentary registration, breakfast, and a Disney gift bag. All opinions contained in this post are my own.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Whole Body Department at Whole Foods Market #WFMSummerFun

Thanks to an event sponsored by Whole Foods Markets in San Diego, I had an amazing opportunity to learn about skincare, beauty, and bodycare items that were selected with the highest quality standards in mind.

Whole Foods held an event to showcase their Whole Body Department. I enjoyed the product demos, food, drinks, AND information about the high standards that Whole Foods Markets maintains as far as the products that are offered in their stores.

Attendees received a goodie bag full of products from their bodycare line. THANK YOU Whole Foods! I enjoyed the added bonus of catching up with my blogger friends!

Whole Body Quality Standards:
  • Whole Foods Markets carefully evaluate each and every product sold.
  • They are passionate about aromatic, luxurious, effective personal care products and the pleasure of sharing them with others. 
  • They encourage vendor partners to use plant-based and naturally-derived ingredients, pure essential oil fragrances, gentle preservatives and non- petroleum ingredients.
  • They are committed to high-quality body care products that have a proven track record.
  • They ONLY sell personal care products that have not been tested on animals.
  • Provide personal care products that support health and well-being. 
After seeing this LONG list, I decided to go home to see how many of my current products had ingredients from this BAD list!

The following brands meet the Whole Body Department standards for body care products and were at the event to demonstrate their products:

Mineral Fusion
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
Evan Healy
Aura Cacia

Mineral Fusion

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
Learn more about the Whole Foods Whole Body Department by following them on facebook and on twitter.

Products that I received in my goodie bag. ALL meet Whole Foods Market Standards.

San Diego residents are in for a treat! For ONE DAY ONLY, on June 27th, you can use the coupon below to save 25% off of Bodycare items at Whole Foods Markets!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market La Jolla. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 20, 2014

WIN a Mamma Chia Vitality Prize Pack and #SEEDYOURSOUL

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mamma Chia.

Mamma Chia

Mamma Chia is a conscious and sustainable company with a mission to share the magic of chia through delicious, high quality, organic chia-based foods and beverages. This spring Mamma Chia unveiled several highly anticipated new products including:

  • Two new Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack flavors – Mango Coconut and Wild Raspberry
  • Convenient four packs of the Chia Squeeze Vitality Snacks
  • Mamma Chia’s organic bagged chia – black and white seed varieties
Mamma Chia Organic Chia Seeds

WIN Mamma Chia goodies! Total retail value: $75. Winner will be selected at random and prize fulfillment is direct from sponsor. Giveaway open to U.S. residents. Winner must reply with 24 hours with address and T-Shrirt size, otherwise an alternate winner will be selected.  The Mamma Chia prize pack includes:
  • One week’s supply of Mamma Chia products - 7 Chia Squeezes (varied flavors) and 7 beverage vouchers
  • One copy of Janie’s book – Chia Vitality 
  • One Mamma Chia T-Shirt
Fitfluential Giveaway Mamma Chia

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Chia Vitality – the debut book from Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO Janie Hoffman. This book details Janie’s personal story of how she suffered from a host of debilitating autoimmune diseases, including severe lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome. After years of trying Western medicine, she turned to alternative methods, including mediation, an organic diet, and, eventually, the chia seed. Within three months of making chia a daily part of her diet, she was symptom-free. Chia Vitality nourishes the body, mind, and soul with a combination of yoga, meditation, service, and, of course, the amazing chia seed. In 30 days, this plan harnesses the power of chia as part of a healthful lifestyle to boost stamina, lose weight, get healthier, and feel more alive than ever before.

Founded in 2009, Mamma Chia is a category innovator and maker of the first-to-market chia beverage, as well as the Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Janie Hoffman created Mamma Chia in the kitchen of her small, rural San Diego farm.

Mamma Chia donates one percent of gross sales to support farmers, community groups and organizations that build healthy local food systems. Mamma Chia is available in natural food markets and mainstream grocery stores nationwide..

Disclosure: We have partnered with FitFluential and Mamma Chia to share the news about Mamma Chia products.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2 EXPERIENCE IT IN IMAX 3D

Looking for an action-packed weekend of fun for the whole family? Head to your local IMAX® Theater for the premiere of How to Train Your Dragon 2!

Starting this Friday, June 13th, the second chapter of DreamWorks Animation's beloved How to Train Your Dragon franchise is soaring to all IMAX theatres domestically in select engagements. The IMAX 3D release will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®, creating a unique environment that will make audiences feel as though they are flying alongside heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon, Toothless.

Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig reprise their respective voice roles, joined this time by Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett, Djimon Honsou and Kit Harington.

For more information about How to Train Your Dragon 2, please visit DreamWorks Animation's official website.

For IMAX Theater locations and local showtimes click here!

Disclosure: The information for this post was provided by IMAX®.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Take on Disney's Maleficent

Last night I attended an early screening of Disney's Maleficent. I was very excited about the movie since attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration earlier this year. During the conference, which was held at the Disneyland Resort, producer Don Hahn spent time with us to share information about the upcoming movie. We had a special sneak peek at an extended trailer.  We got such an early look at it that were were instructed not to share what we saw with our social networks. THAT was not an easy task!

Hahn also introduced us to Elle Fanning who plays Princess Aurora. She just had her 16th birthday and we got to celebrate by singing Happy Birthday to the young star. After she blew out her candles we all had cupcakes! A future post about that in in the works. Back to the movie...

“Maleficent,” the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty,” reveals the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora, only to later realize that the child may hold the key to peace in the land.

You know the tale now find out the truth.I did!

The movie is rated PG and had a good share of action scenes, violence, and scary images. Young children may not be ready for this.

I don't want to share too much - no spoiler alerts here! The movie was fantastic! I love the unexpected! The characters are so much fun to watch. The story is awesome! We can chat more about it once you see it! My husband enjoyed it as well. He didn't expect to see so much action! In fact there is a lot of action scenes. The movie has it all. I enjoyed the beautiful imagery, the story, the drama, a bit of comedy, and the talented actors. I thought the movie was well narrated and I definitely plan on seeing it again.  Once available, I'm adding the movie to my wish list! 

Have you ever watched a movie trailer and all the best scenes are there? For me, many times I am wowed by the trailer and once I see the movie: the rest falls flat. Well NOT at all with this movie! I was not disappointed, the entire production was even better than I expected.  And I had some pretty high expectations. So go see the movie so we can chat all about the details! In theaters Friday May 30.

Here is a bit that I can share without giving away too much:

Sharlto Copley as King Stefan: I enjoyed not liking him!

Sam Riley, who plays Maleficent’s loyal servant Diaval - was an easy favorite character for me, I didn't expect him but easily adored his role.

They young Maleficent played by Ella Purnell was a treat to watch.


Did you know that the child actress as the very young Aurora is Brad and Angelina's daughter? I loved their scene together!

People Magazine Article | Jolie as Maleficent and Vivienne as Princess Aurora

Disclosure:  I was invited to a free media screening of Maleficent. I am not obligated to write a post but wanted to share my love of the movie. Maleficent, both a Hero and a Villain. Brilliant!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tea for Energy, Metabolism, and Digestive Health #FitTeaDetox

This is a sponsored post for FitTea.

FitTea is a detox tea that helps burn fat and suppress your appetite. FitTea is made with natural ingredients like green tea, ginger and pomegranate. The product is designed to give you energy, boost your metabolism, and aid in digestive health.  With all of the juggling that I am doing - this sounded great. I am a big fan of tea and was willing to try the product out.

I signed on for a 14 day program.  I didn't start it right away because I had a planned conference/family vacation at Disneyland.  Since this product was new to me, I wasn't sure how my body would react to it. My biggest concern: bowel disturbances. Yeah, I just said that and should probably feel a little embarrassed for saying so but I'll be honest - I did NOT want to be at Disneyland hunting for a restroom!  I took the cautious route and I didn't start the product until I returned. Now let us move on from my TMI moment about my biggest apprehension and back to my personal experience using FitTea.

I have been using the product now for the past 10 days.  I can report that I am down 4 pounds.  I will be honest in that I am not looking to lose a certain amount of weight. I was most interested in the added energy and benefits to my digestive health.

The ingredients are: Organic Green Tea, Oolong Wu Yi, Organic Rooibos, Ginger, Pomegranate, Guarana, Birch, Stevia, Corn and Honey Powder.

I did not have any adverse reaction to the the detox tea. I was concerned, at first, that the product would cause me to feel jittery because it lists Guarana as one of it's ingredients. I avoided other sources of caffeine while taking the tea and was fine. Since "detox" was in the product name, I was also preparing for the side effects.  I am happy to report that didn't experience any ill effects. No headaches, no caffeine overload, no cramping or stomach issues.

Taste. That is important. The package states that you can add lemon or honey for taste.  As a tea drinker, I never sweeten my tea unless I am making an iced tea.  I just prefer hot tea without sweeteners.  I didn't feel that FitTea needed the addition of honey or lemon.  It tasted fine as is. For me, the predominant flavor was ginger. I like ginger tea, so I liked this tea.  I didn't feel any immediate boosts in energy but that's just me. I'm a 42 year old in denial about my age, have a full time job outside of the home, and I keep up with a 3 year old boy- I often feel drained. Lack of sleep and job stress adds to my sapped energy levels.

Now a word from our sponsor: "Give us a few weeks and we'll give you a new waistline"

-Boosts immune system
-Promotes fat burning
-Promotes and soothes digestion
-Antimicrobial properties

If you have concerns about caffeine, FitTea offers a caffeine-free alternative. The ingredients are Holy basil (Tulsi) spearmint, rosehips, lemon myrtle and linden blossoms.

I am sharing MY personal experience and still have not completed the entire program as of yet. It is safe to say that individual results may vary. To read more about what other people think about FitTea: results.

With my 14 day supply of tea, I also received the FitTea African Mango Complex Fat Burner.  I'll update my post as I incorporate it with my final few days on the 14 day plan.

I have yet to pair a fitness routine into the mix because of my busy schedule. I just changed my hours at work. My goal is to have time to fit it all in! I am in the office at the crack of dawn now, but since I am off earlier in the day, I plan to get my workouts in AND have quality family time with my husband and our son before kiddo's bedtime.

Overall, I had a good experience with this product.  I lost 4 pounds. I will confess that I did not adjust my diet or activity level and still lost a few pounds. My appetite was suppressed as the product claimed and I enjoyed the flavor of the tea.

FitTea is available for purchase online. The cost for the 14 Day Detox is $25 USD.  FitTea also offers a "pro pack" which is said to double your results and your energy.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FitTea. All opinions are my own. The information provided to me has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Moms' Night Out Movie Screening with San Diego Moms #MNOmovie

Moms' Night Out The Movie

A few of my friends and I were invited to a VIP early screening of Moms' Night Out.  We enjoyed the movie and the chance to get together to reconnect. I, for one, am excited about the release of Moms' Night Out on Mother's Day weekend because I want to see it AGAIN! It is a fun movie. I honestly think that my husband would enjoy it too since there are some pretty hilarious scenes that he might relate to as a husband and a father. Perhaps a date night is in order... OR...we could easily make it into a family outing since it is a family friendly film. Or maybe, just maybe, make it another moms' night out!

#MNOmovie Moms' Night Out
Angela (Mira Mesa Mom), Becky (misspriss), Raquel (Stronghold Mom), Brianne (BriGeeski), Myself, and Anna (Future Blogger?)
I don't want to give away too much about the movie details but I will include the official movie trailer below! Casting was GREAT! The characters were fun to watch. Now the movie IS a comedy, but there were some scenes that triggered our emotional side! I suspect that there may have been a few misty eyes in our row at the theater, but I won't call anyone out!  All in all we agreed that it was a great film. I sat next to my friend Raquel and this girl was enjoying the movie so much! I know that she LOVED this movie even before we got a chance to talk about it! I am so glad that she took the time for herself to make it out to join us! Get your girlfriends together and watch this movie!  In theaters May 9.

Disclosure: The Moms' Night Out Screening Team invited media influencers to a VIP screening of the movie. Though a post was not required, I wanted to share my experience. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 Sharp Blogger Ambassador Program #iheartsharp

Sharp HealthCare works in partnership with select San Diego-based lifestyle and family bloggers to spread the word on Sharp's news, events, hospitals, services and more. This year I was selected to participate in the program.  I am very excited to be a participant and to be able to share what I learn with you.

Bloggers at the Sharp Women’s Health Conference 2013

For even more Sharp HealthCare news and events, please visit my friends and blog ambassadors listed below.

• Danielle – Simmworks Family Blog
• Leah – Leah's Thoughts
• Angela – Mira Mesa Mom
• Brianne – BriGeeski
• Nicole – Funthusiast

Health Screening at the Sharp Women’s Health Conference 2013

The Sharp Rees-Stealy Del Mar Community Open House Event

Disclosure: I am a participant in Sharp HealthCare’s blogger ambassador program. While Sharp HealthCare has provided me with samples, event opportunities and/or resources to serve as content for my blog posts, all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Countdown to The 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration #DisneySMMoms

We were invited to attend "The Most Magical Social Media Conference of the Year". The 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. This is the FIRST year that the event will be held at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. We're going!  The countdown is on.


The recap video from the 2013 Celebration has added to our excitement level!  I am honored to have been included to attend the invite only event!  My family an I are sure to make some wonderful memories!  My first Disney Social Media Moms event was the On The Road Celebration San Francisco last June. The announcement was made then that the Disneyland Resort would be the venue for the 2014 celebration. I, along with the entire group, have been hoping to be invited since the announcement last year. I received word in February and have been looking forward to it ever since. I can hardly wait to share more about the experience!

I'd love your tips if you have attended in the past. I'd also love to connect if you will be there this year! Time to start packing! Is anyone participating in the Fun Run?

We're going to Disneyland!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Women Get Social at Baby Bloggy Boot Camp in San Diego #BabyBBC

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby. Product was provided.

I was thrilled to attend Baby Bloggy Boot Camp in San Diego. The event was held at the Bahia Resort Hotel. This was the second mini conference that I attended that was hosted by The SITSgirls' fearless leaders Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci. This time with the Sway Group. I LOVE learning great new things about blogging, social media, and making life work while engaging in it all!  Hearing from moms that are succeeding at it is just the inspiration that I needed!

The Rookie Moms, Whitney and Heather, made me long for a blogging BFF and partner! They made it sound like so much fun to be on the motherhood/blogging journey together!  I couldn't do this with my friends. They were sending their first born off to college while I was potty training mine. True story. Anyway back to the conference... Whitney and Heather did a great job at sharing ideas for creating compelling content for moms. Good stuff!

Tiffany and Francesca discussed how get paid. SEO techniques, ways to tweak your blog, and how to make sponsored content rock.  Here is a quick and easy share that you may find helpful when working with brands:

  • Stay true to your voice
  • Incorporate a story
  • Reveal Something

  • It's not important to have all the answers.

    For this mini conference I got my feet wet. Literally. We had a stormy situation in San Diego and by the time I left the event I had to find a way past a pond surrounding my car.  I had 3 inch deep water to contend with. I figured that my feet would get wet no matter what I did so I opted to save my shoes and go for it barefooted. My friend was dismayed and said I that should NOT have gone sans shoes.  Oh well... On my tippy toes I went. In the end my cute little Michael Kors ballet flats were spared! Barefoot and pregnant? No, just barefoot.

    I really loved the idea of bringing together women that are new mothers, pregnant ladies, and those that are trying to conceive.  OH, and to see all of the adorable babies that were with their mamas was so sweet! It brought me back to my early days of motherhood!

    I must say that it was GREAT how candid our table was in sharing our experiences. We were able to speak about ALL things motherhood related - no holds barred! I can't think of any other instance where it was completely OK to ask a stranger if they are pregnant (without fear of offending), to confess how much pregnancy weight they put on, and various other VERY personal things!  Morning sickness, breastfeeding, labor... We talked about it all. Even how sad it can be when you are TTC and thinking that you just might be pregnant, only to get your period the next day... TMI? Here it was OK to talk about.

    We were so at ease. I told people that I JUST met how much weight I put on during pregnancy.  I didn't even tell my HUSBAND until after the weight came off!!  I really was THAT comfortable in this setting. BTW - I put on 50 whopping pounds! Note: I'm only 5'2"!  NOT doing that again.  I am also not going to allow myself to be frumpy all the time! Liz Lange makes some fashionable and affordable maternity clothes that are available at Target. Figure flattering to boot so you can feel pretty in pregnancy!  We all got to take home some Liz Lange apparel. Thank you Liz Lange!

    Liz Lange
    Liz Lange® for Target® Maternity Sleeveless Maxi Dress

    I got this sweet maxi dress. I am tempted to wear it even though I am currently NOT pregnant! The sale price for this Liz Lange® for Target® Maternity Sleeveless Maxi Dress is $34.99. Reasonable, no? I have the Black/Mesa Gray combination pictured above, but would totally buy the Fresh Melon/Washed Red option! I tried it on and it is very comfortable. Not to mention much prettier than what most of what I wore when I was pregnant! Available at Target!

    Check out these Ergobaby products! When our preschooler was an infant, and during his toddler days, I used a carrier. He love it, I loved it. I'm SUPER EXCITED about the soon to be released Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier. We watched a video for the brand new product! YES a FOUR position baby carrier! It can be used from infancy through toddler years!  Look out for it in mid April.

    Ergobaby Wrap, Ergobaby Swaddler, Ergobaby 360

    Ergobaby did a great job at demonstrating how to use the Ergobaby Wrap.  We used a wrap style carrier and it can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it - it's a cinch!  I am thrilled that Ergobaby makes a Swaddler! Our son was like Harry Houdini and would easily come out of a standard swaddle. This sweet swaddler has arm pockets, leg pouch, and hip positioner. AND it's a two pack! Yay!

    THe Honest Co.

    We received products from The Honest Co. Included items: pack of honest wipes, diapers, and
    a sampler pack consisting of hand soap, healing balm, face + body lotion, shampoo + body wash, and laundry detergent.

    Motherhood has been such a blessing. The sponsors for this event were generous in sharing products that moms want to use, the speakers were knowledgeable, the food was good, and being in the company of moms, moms to be, and blogging friends old and new made my day.

    Disclosure: This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby. Product was provided.

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    1Hour Break Natural Relief For Stress and Anxiety #BEATANXIETY

    This post is written in support of 1Hour Break to help them launch their Indiegogo campaign on March 25th.

    I am sure that many of you can relate to stress and anxiety. I'm no stranger to it. I work full time so I feel the pressure of work obligations combined with making sure that I am there for my family. I am an "older mom" at 42 with a 3 year old - I need to take care of myself!  I want to be around for many, many years. Did you know that STRESS is is linked to the top five causes of death in the United States? Here are a few other interesting facts about stress:

    • 95 million Americans suffer from stress-related illnesses every week.
    • 1/4 of all women in the US suffer from anxiety disorders.
    • Stress and anxiety suffers often self medicate with pills, alcohol, cigarettes, and food.

    My biggest stressor is feeling like there is never enough. Not enough time, not having enough energy, and that I'm not doing enough to accomplish it all.  Every day isn't this way, but when it is - I wish for a break!

    Luckily, I can recognize when I am getting stressed out and grab some extra hugs and kisses from my son and husband. It helps.  But during most of my stressful situations, I am not around my husband and my son! If it hits at work I'll take a break and go for a walk. I can't always just up and leave so I am excited about the option that I can have with 1Hour Break.  Here are some facts about the product:

    • First all natural oral spray that relieves stress & anxiety.
    • Made from Kava Kava root, widely known in Hawaii for its stress-relieving properties.
    • Made more effective by adding three herbs that help with relaxation; Lobelia, Passion Flower, and Lemon Balm.

    As far as anxiety, I do experience social anxiety when prepping to go to blogging events.  If we meet up one day you may see it.  I get worked up, nervous, and have an obviously tired look from lack of sleep. I never sleep before an event because I get very anxious. You may also notice that I'll end up talking a lot and speaking fast - that's my anxiety glitch.  I try to disguise it as best that I can and after a while I can loosen up. I need to mellow out so I don't get anxious!  I haven't tried the product yet, but I am hopeful that this might be able to help me.

    I will definitely tune in to the Mamavation Twitter Party to discover more so that I can learn to #BEATANXIETY!  I do hope that you will join me!

    Tuesday March 25th, from 6-7:30pm PST (9-10:30pm EST) for a twitter party to discuss the causes and effects of stress and anxiety and strategies we can use to combat it naturally. This will be a great opportunity to connect with the founders of 1Hour Break on the 1st day of their new product launch on Indiegogo.

    I am hoping that you will leave a comment and share what stresses you out. How are you dealing with your stress and anxiety?

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