Building Our Story Yum

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Another New Belt For Jude

Seems like we just updated on a belt test in Taekwondo but here we are again. Last weekend Jude had his mid rank testing for the Yellow Belt (Tigers).  Now that he is in the leadership program his forms need to be more defined and they have more steps to them but that does not bother Jude.  He knows these forms by heart. Most of the time when he misses something it is because he is looking at his classmates rather than staying focused. 


At testing there are a lot more people and classmates around so it can be a difficult time for Jude to really stay focused on him and his instructor but as he does this more and more I can see him improving on this important days.  

He showed his hard work, dedication and discipline and he was rewarded with the 2nd Yellow belt - a cheetah print belt.  Pretty cool looking too!  Hard to believe that he has been involved with Taekwondo for over a year now.  I really do think it is a great activity/sport for him and I hope that he continues to excel in it because the benefits of Taekwondo are huge.  


Jude we are so proud of your work and focus!! Congratulations on your new belt buddy!!!

What sports/activities are your kiddos getting involved in this fall?

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Vacation Countdown - Finding My Picture Confidence

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and alli® weight loss aid. All opinions are mine alone. #alliInmyLife #CollectiveBias

The countdown is on for a huge vacation month - October 2016.  It seems so far away but in reality the next 2 months are going to go so quickly and before we know it we will be hanging out with Mickey Mouse and enjoying an ocean view in Jamaica. So what does that mean for me?  A ton of camera time...yikes!  I need to find My Picture Confidence.   
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I adore this family picture and here is why.  I am behind everyone. We all look great and I was able to hide my body - the body that I find pounds of flaws in.  Let me break it down for you.  In October we are taking a family trip to Disneyland, while I will be behind the camera most of time because "Hi I'm a Social Influencer" I do want to make sure I am in plenty of family photos and pictures with my kiddos.  Now, move to the end of October, the hubby and I will be sneaking away for a couples trips to the beautiful beaches of Jamaica!  Ahhhh...sweet paradise.  Ahhh...swimsuits!
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I am not looking for a miracle to become a size two by October but I am certainly working on making way better meal choices and moving more to reach a more comfortable confidence.  I am not here to make excuses because goodness knows, I can certainly think of some, but let me into my head for a moment.  Have you ever gotten into such a rut that you truly do not care about what you put in your mouth?  Or that your clothes are getting too tight?  That is where I was about a month ago and then I woke up and thought about the memories I wanted to have on film and did not want to feel sad every time I looked at those photos.  


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About a month ago I started tracking my food intake and really focusing on a low fat diet.  In doing so, I lowered my portions and fatty intake.  See my before picture?  I am focusing on this.  Sure, it isn't terrible but wow, so not where I want to be at the age of 33.  After talking to my BFF about our joint decision to jump on to the food tracking game together we both did some additional research on alli® weight loss aid.  
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What is alli® weight loss aid?



alli® weight loss aid is the only FDA approved over-the-counter weight loss aid on the market. It works by blocking 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed by your body.


This over the counter weight loss aid is meant for overweight adults (BMI > 25) who are 18 years or older, not pregnant or breastfeeding and should be taken while practicing a reduced-calorie and low fat diet!  I felt accomplished when I knew that I had already been using that diet for over a month before taking alli® weight loss aid.


After reading the start up guide I knew that this addition would help me in finding My Picture Confidence!


I simply take one capsule per meal that includes no more that 15 grams of fat per meal, up to 3 times a day. I try to stick with a well-balanced, reduced calorie, low fat diet and activity program. And I also take a multivitamin at bedtime when taking alli® weight loss aid.  I have also made sure to increase my water intake throughout the day.  


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To help me stay motivated I created a simple printable tracking sheet of the pounds I have lost.  I am really focusing on the 25 pound mark - like I said, I am not looking for some miracle, I know true weight loss takes time, changes and focus.  With the help of alli® weight loss aid I am hoping to boost my weight loss efforts.  alli® weight loss aid prevents about 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed into your body.  For every 5lbs - 10lbs you lose through diet and exercise, it can help me lose 2-3 more pounds***!!




For every pound lost, write in the number on the tracker!  Fill up those circles!!  

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I am making so many changes in terms of my health before we head out on our month of vacation fun in hopes that the pictures we take will bring smiles to my face rather than sadness and disgust.  I know I have a long way to go but since I started this journey a month before adding alli® weight loss aid to my daily life I feel like I am really focused and ready to change!  I am looking forward to sharing my results with you in a few months.  


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Pick up your package of alli® weight loss aid at your local Walmart and get started.  Let's do this together!  Make sure you print out this coupon before going shopping.


***alli®  weight loss aid (orlistat 60 mg capsules) is for weight loss in overweight adults, 18 years and older, when used along with a reduced-calorie and low-fat diet. Follow label directions. In studies, most people lost 5-10 pounds over 6 months.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dance Party Fun - Live Life Confidently!

This conversation is brought to you by Acorn and Poise Impressa® Bladder Supports. All opinions are my own.



We have all heard the quote, "Life is too short to not have fun" right?  Do you live your life according to this quote?  Some days when I get totally caught up in life and work I have to stop myself and really remind myself that life is so short - fun is a must.  Often my kids are the ones that give me those reminders. Like I have shared before, Miss Teagan is our tiny dancer.  And the moment any music starts playing that little body starts moving and grooving. 


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Lately, she has wanted to have dance parties after dinner and why not?  Dance parties are super fun for the whole family!  I needed to come up with a great playlist for our dance parties that had some kid approved dance party music.  I came up with 12 kid approved songs that are perfect for our nightly dance parties!

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Being a mom is such a blessing but with that blessing has come some additional things I have to worry about. Sure the normal parental responsibilities but also that lovely light bladder leakage that loves to show up when I am having the most fun.  But just like that quote says - life is too short - I cannot let little leaks hold me back from enjoying fun dance parties with my little lady.  

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Before Impressa® I was always worried about running, laughing and dancing with my kids but now that I #TrustImpressa I never have to worry about those annoying and embarrassing leaks when having fun!  

What is Poise Impressa?


Impressa
® Bladder Supports are a non-absorbent, removable product that helps stop bladder leaks before they happen. Yes - BEFORE! Hello confidence, welcome back into my life. Impressa® Bladder Supports are inserted just like a tampon to gently lift and give support to the urethra. This added support to the urethra helps prevent urine from leaking. Brilliant!

Leakage can happen when you laugh, exercise, sneeze, dance, jumping, and so many more activities.  Most of these activities bring joy and fun to your life but sometimes those worries about leaks can lead to more anxiety than fun.  Not anymore - there is no reason to skip out on that fun.  After adding Impressa® to my daily life I have found that I am not worried about leaks.  It is a relief!

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What do you think about our Dance Party Playlist?  Fun right?  We certainly love it. Let me know what song you would add to your dance party playlist too! I know we will keep adding more and more fun dance party songs as Teagan keeps asking for more dance parties.  I love this special time with her and it is so much fun to see her enjoying life.  Live confidentially!!

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Poise is making this easy on you to start living confidentially - simply pick up the Poise Impressa® Sizing Kit from Walmart and #TrustImpressa!  The size (1,2, 3) is not about how much you leak or how much you weigh. It is all about the best internal fit for you. Poise Impressa® is inserted like a tampon. Start with Size 1, and if you still leak, move to size 2, then size 3 if necessary. Once you know your size, you can purchase the box of your size only. It is important to note that you should not use Poise Impressa® when pregnant or on your period.



Our dance party is THE dance party to be around for! Hearing Teagan laugh and dance is so much fun.  I love it!!  Not only is it a great way to spend the evening but it is a great way to get in a little work out. 

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Now it is your turn to #TrustImpressa!


What leaking activity are you most excited to start enjoying again once you start using Impressa® Bladder Supports?


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"State of Influence" Panel Discussion with Tapinfluence

A few weeks ago I had the honor to sit on a panel discussion all about social influencers. This discussion was all about what I love to do - blogging, influencing and social media.  A well known social influence marketing agency called Tapinfluence is based out of Boulder Colorado and I was so excited to visit this place.  I love having agencies like this literally in my backyard.


State of Influence - Unplugged 



When I was initially asked to do this I was so nervous.  While I love to write and blog behind my computer screen the idea of public speaking totally scares the crap out of me!  ha!  But I knew this was a great opportunity, honor and experience that I needed to do.  I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone once again in the name of blogging because it was a great event filled with amazing conversations, brilliant writers and super creative Tap employees.

The panel consisted of the following guests:

Sandra McCollum - Influencer, A Dash of Sanity

Mother of five, professional caterer, and successful blogger, Sandra will give tips on how to optimize influencer content to spur higher engagement from audiences.


Lane Radbill
- Content Marketing Coordinator, CW Hemp

Lane will share how the CW team uses the power of influencers to inform product development and define an emerging category of plant-derived wellness and beauty products.

Censie Sawyer - Influencer, Building Our Story

Non-profit worker by day, influencer by night, Censie will speak to the value of long-term influencer partnerships and the most effective ways to leverage and repurpose content.

Julianna Vorhaus - Director of Influencer Development, TapInfluence

Julianna runs the TapExchange influencer marketplace, and she will give strategic analysis into the panelists’ insights and frame the best way to address issues raised by the Altimeter research.





Description of our panel:

Featured in Built In Colorado and Boulder Startup Week, TapInfluence is one of the fastest-growing players in Colorado tech. Join some of the brightest minds in the business and learn why influencer marketing is the way forward for the digital ad industry. The evening will feature an interactive panel discussion and networking over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.  Expert panel discussion on creating lucrative synergy between influencers, consumers, and marketers. Time and resource-saving tips to help you maximize returns on influencer campaigns. Outside the Box I.M.: How one brand uses influence to drive people-centric product development. In-depth insights into our premiere influencer marketing study with Altimeter.



Here is our recorded panel discussion, I highly recommend you take the time to listen to this.  The discussion was enlightening, entertaining and full of great tips for all types of influencers.  



     

I even treated the guests with one of my most popular sponsored recipe - Fresh Fruit Cones.  They were a hit!  




This was such a great event and I hope to attend more events like this with Tapinfluence.  This is a great agency and I love that it is in my home state of Colorado.  



What did you learn about the social influencer market after watching our panel discussion?


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Monday, August 22, 2016

1st Day of School 2016 - Picture Idea

Hard to believe that the first day of school has already come and gone.  Both Jude and Teagan were so ready for this day and have had great days in school since.  This year we continued our tradition of using a chalkboard to create a fun first day of school picture.  I love this tradition and hope to continue it for years to come.  I might need to buy another chalkboard though once they start school on the first day!  

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Jude's First Day of Kindergarten - 2016

After years of planning we are finally here.  Jude turned 6 in June and that meant he could technically be in 1st grade but we made a decision a few years ago to delay Kindergarten for one year.  While he will be the oldest and tallest/biggest in his class we felt that this was the best decision for him when looking towards the future of his education.  

This is Jude's 4th year in school but his 1st year going full day.  What a huge change for him!  The first couple of days went great for him.  He was exhausted but had a great week learning the new classroom and catching up with his friends.  

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He is going full day but at this school it is a little bit of a modified full day Kindergarten.  His first half of the day is traditional Kindergarten and the second half is an enrichment using Montessori curriculum.  I love that he is getting another year of Montessori as it has been a great way for Jude to learn. 

This year he decided that he wants to be a Lego Master when he grows up too.  Such a creative mind! 

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Teagan's First Day of 3 Day Preschool - 2016

This is Teagan's first full year of school.  She started mid year last Winter and it went great for 2 days a week.  This year she will be going 3 days a week for half days.  She is also in a Montessori program which like Jude is a great option for her.  
She has a new classroom and new teacher this year but is very familiar of her teacher because Jude had her for 3 years!  Teagan was asking daily when it was her turn to go to school so she was so ready.  In fact, she asked to go every day instead of 3 days a week but our plan is to follow the same track that Jude has been on.  

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She is such an independent little lady that she had no fears of starting school.  Sounds like she has some new friends in class and enjoys them.  I cannot wait to see how this year plays out for her.  

This year Teagan made her grandma and grandpa smile by saying when she grows up she wants to be a teacher!!  I think she would be a great teacher!  

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I believe this year will be full of fun and lots of learning for both Jude and Teagan!  Here's to a great school year!! 

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How did your kids first day of school go?



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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Nolah Mattress - Sleep With A Purpose

Disclosure:  We were provided with a complementary Nolah Mattress in return for our honest thoughts and review.  As always, all opinions our my own and are not swayed by outside sources.


When we moved Jude's crib to a big boy bed we used a mattress that we had in our guest room for years.  It was another hand me down.  It has worked well for the last 3 years but when I had the opportunity to work with Nolah Mattress, a Denver (local) mattress company I was pretty grateful and excited that Jude's bed would finally get an update.  

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When I was first contacted by Nolah I was very intrigued about the shipping of the mattress - we went with a full size - and were told it would simply come in a box and delivered to our front door.  Well, okay then.  

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Sure enough, that box came to our front porch with a full size mattress in it.  Crazy!  When we told Jude that his new bed was in the box he was rather confused so we couldn't wait to unbox this beauty and see what Nolah Mattress was all about.  
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The steps are simple.  

1.  Unbox Nolah:  bring the box to where you want to sleep.  Lay the box on its side and pull out the mattress. 

2.  Positioning:  With the mattress still rolled up position it on any flat surface, slatted surface or box spring.  

3.  Unwrapping:  Remove the outer wrap and gently cut the inner wrap with out cutting the mattress cover.  Watch with wonder to see your mattress take in air and expand to full size!

4.  Watch the magic:  In a heartbeat your Nolah has done most of its expanding and with in 24 hours it will be fully expanded.  Nolah can be used immediately after unwrapping.  

See our Nolah Mattress Unboxing fun below...

 

Pretty amazing right? And to answer your question - yes, the Nolah bed is so comfortable. Nice and soft and forms to your body. Our little man will be sleeping good.

All About Nolah Mattress:


Nolah Mattress is a company based out of Denver Colorado. They have a mission to bring great sleep but also live with purpose. Not only do they provide the best mattress for your sleep and health, they are also on a mission to protect the future of our american wildlife. your contribution makes a difference and will help protect wildlife and natural communities.

When you purchase a Nolah mattress, you'll also be protecting our wildlife. for every mattress sold, Nolah will adopt an animal on your behalf (for free) through their partnership with defenders of wildlife, an american charity navigator accredited wildlife charity. You'll receive an official adoption certificate for your chosen animal, sent to you by their partner, defenders of wildlife. It will arrive separately from the mattress that is shipped to you directly from U.S. factories.  

When I had the opportunity to choose an animal I decided to adopt the Sea Otter - my very favorite animal ever!  I loved getting the information in the mail on Sea Otters and knowing that by bringing this mattress into our home we are also helping wildlife.  

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Specs On The Mattress:

  • Free Shipping & Free Return
  • 120 Night Trial 
  • 15 year warranty Nolah Air Foam™ 
  • Healthy Pressure Relief
  • Cooling Technology
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A.
  • use the Nolah mattress on any flat surface
  • not too firm, not too soft, but just right
  • Fast set up
  • Fantastic pricing
  • Sizes:  twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, cali king

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What is Nolah Air Foam™ ?


Latex is from the 1920's. Memory foam is from the 1970's. Both are outdated materials inferior to today's technology. That's why Nolah created the Nolah Air Foam™ to make a better mattress using today's most advanced foam technology. The innovative Nolah Air Foam™ comfort layer is first-to-market in the U.S.A., and with billions of tiny air pockets, it ensures a perfectly balanced pressure distribution. Combined with the bouncy ultra-premium latex-like avena® foam support layer, the Nolah mattress provides an unparalleled level of sleep comfort and support.

There are 3 important points to building the Nolah Air Foam™; healthy pressure relief, personal sleep comfort and keeping you cooler.

Nolah Air Foam™ has 4x times less peak pressure on your hip and back area when compared to conventional high-end memory foam. The mattress contours to every body shape and weight, making it the first truly universal mattress in today's online market. Because it's not temperature sensitive (as memory foam is), the Nolah Air Foam sleeps significantly cooler, even in the summer! It’s an ultra-premium foam that is more durable than latex, fully hypoallergenic, highly breathable, and overall, it has a better bounce and feel than latex.

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So far, Jude loves this mattress and I love how simple it was to pick out, receive and set up.  This is truly the new generation of mattress buying.  Plus the idea of being able to "Sleep with a Purpose" gives me a smile on my face.  

Stay tuned for a giveaway for your very own Nolah Mattress but in the mean time if you are in need of an updated bed make sure you use this link and receive $50.00 off your purchase of a Nolah Mattress. 

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Stay connected with Nolah:

Nolah Mattress website 
Nolah Mattress on Facebook 
Nolah Mattress on Twitter 
Nolah Mattress on Instagram


Are you in the market for an updated mattress?  Is Nolah a brand you might consider?


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Monday, August 15, 2016

Clean Kitchen In Under 15 Minutes

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScotchBriteSponges #CollectiveBias


I would love to tell you that our kitchen is always perfectly clean but that would be a giant lie.  The dishes that pile in the sink on a weekly basis can be pretty impressive at times and the crumbs that find themselves all over our counter tops could probably feed a pack of mice for days.  Gross but reality.  So, the question is - How Do We Change This?


Clean Kitchen In Under 15 Minutes

Like most moms I am busy, working a full time job out of the home, running to and from after school activities, being a mom, being a wife and then working my second job as a blogger I suck up literally every moment in the day.  But, like you, I can find an extra 15 minutes by either multitasking or sacrificing some sleep in order to feel better about our kitchen.  


To find my motivation and inspiration to a cleaner kitchen I decided to run to Target and get some new Scotch-Brite™ Brand sponges, my favorite brand of sponge. Beginning 8/14/2016 you need to take advantage of the great deal at Target - Spend $50 on Household Essentials at Target, get a $15 Target Gift Card - don't mind if I do!! This offer does end on 8/20/2016 so make sure you make your Target run soon!

Honestly, with out the motivation, plan and great tools (Scotch-Brite Sponges) a clean happy kitchen will not be achieved.  


My shopping trip had me walking into our kitchen with 4 new sponges!  Not sure why I am so excited about new sponges but I am!!  Here's the deal Scotch-Brite™ knows that our cleaning surfaces and situations vary.  So for every situation you have a sponge option.  Finding the right tools for every surface is important to Scotch-Brite™, let's not ruin our pots and pans folks!

The green Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge is a sponge that was built to work hard. It cleans tough messes 50% faster and removes tough, baked-on messes on your pots and pans, and grill and oven racks 50% faster than any other competitive sponges. This sponge is great for Jeremy, after a great meal he usually attacks those baked on messes with these green sponges.    

The blue Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge is perfect for my daily cleaning routines. This sponge safely cleans our counter tops, stove top and even the kitchen table. I feel safe using this sponge anywhere in the kitchen because it will not scratch where I use it.



Lets get cleaning!!  

To have a clean kitchen I have started taking 15 minutes a day to do some simple yet surprisingly helpful chores that result in a huge difference in our kitchen.  

Clean Kitchen Tips:

  • Toss all trash from counter tops and kitchen table into trash can.
  • Attack the pile of dishes using the Scotch-Brite™ sponges to quickly spot clean the pots and pans.
  • Load the dishwasher.
  • Spray counter tops, stove and sink with cleanser.  Using the blue sponge wipe down the surfaces and push the crumbs on the floor.
  • Sweep the floor.
  • Wipe down the refrigerator handle, light switches and cabinet handles.
  • Take trash out.
  • REST!!  HA!



Seems like a lot but once you find your groove that 15 minutes works and you will end up with a much cleaner space.  



As the kids get older we are trying to come up with chores that are age appropriate for both Jude and Teagan.  Helping with the kitchen clean up and dishes has been added to their list.  Just like I am motivated my new cleaning tools so are they!  I picked up the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Soap Dispensing Dishwand and Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Soap Dispensing Dishwand that allows them to help rinse their plates when they are done with their meals.  Just like Maria Montessori teaches, we are letting them learn through hands on training with our assistance.  I love this part of parenting - allowing the kids to clean up and learn at the same time with with a little parental supervision of course! Building good minds and character!


Do you use Cartwheel at Target? Save now on Scotch-Brite® Scrub Sponges at Target with this Cartwheel offer!



Want to find more great cleaning inspiration? Check out these great ideas here.


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