Life by Cynthia: March 2014

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?

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    Core Power Fit Kit Giveaway

    Giveaway has ended.

    Calling all athletes (and non athletes too)! I'm sure that most of you have heard about Core Power protein drinks and may have seen their booth at your local athletic event.  It may already be a part of your post recovery routine! If you don't participate in such events, you may have seen their logo at the recent Olympic Games. Core Power was named the “Official Protein Drink of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.” Core Power is a real-milk based sports recovery drink and contains natural whey and casein proteins found in milk - never removed from their original liquid state. Simple ingredients and great taste, without a chalky texture.

    Personally, I had not been a fan of protein drinks. Reason: the powdery taste and chalky texture. This product is different! Since powders aren't used, I didn't notice that weird aftertaste that normally kept me away from protein drinks. This product is made from fresh milk and real honey! Lactose intolerant? No worries, it's also lactose-free! I had the chance to try 3 of their 5 flavors.  If you haven't tried Core Power Drinks yet or if you already LOVE them- you have a chance to WIN some by entering the giveaway.
    Not only will you get a chance to sample Core Power, you will also get some GREAT fitness gear!
    I received the following:
    • 3 Core Power Protein Drinks
    • Fitness Ball
    • Fitness Ball workout DVD (Not pictured)
    • Fitness Ball Pump (Not pictured)
    • Yoga mat
    • Yoga mat bag (not pictured)
    • Gym bag: Sneaker compartment, separate pocket for dirty/wet gym gear, carry strap.
    • CamelBak Water Bottle: 21 oz Podium® Chill Jet Valve™
    • Gym towel: Clean Freak Protected (antimicrobial).

    I have a lot of mommy friends out there. Even if you aren't an athlete in need of post workout recovery protein drinks - you should still enter! The drinks are good and kid friendly (2 years and older)! Not to mention that this Fit Kit is a GREAT way to keep you motivated whether you work out at home or at the gym!  Having new gear always gets me going!

    Disclosure: I have partnered with Core Power to share information about their protein drinks. Winner will be selected at random and prize fulfillment will be completed by sponsor.  All opinions in this post are my own.

    Note from sponsor:  previous winners of the Fit Kit through FitFluential ambassadors are not eligible for this giveaway.

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