BlogHer13 Anticipation: Ode to my Roomie

It wouldn't be a summer without BlogHer and getting to see my bloggy-bff, Shannon from Baby Shmizz.

We had an absolutely blast last year in NYC and I am OVER THE MOON filled with excitement that I get to see her...tomorrow!!

My how a year has changed us both. Our friendship has grown and grown, our hair has gotten shorter, our businesses have grown and we've made sure to stay in touch about life events.

I still remember the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. I sat feeling helpless in Southwestern Ontario while my friend and her family were in the thick of it in Boston. I remember frantically texting her to make sure that she Mike and Jack were okay and breathed such a sigh of relief upon hearing that they were allright.

I am also very fortunate to have been able to plan the DIY Party with her for the BlogHer13 Official Party Plan over the past few months. From the moment that we got the email, to a frantic call to her on her cell phone {with LOTS of squealing}, to secret Pinterest boards and cross-continent craft sessions via text...planning this event has been amazing! I am so excxited to have it all come together in Chicago at the end of the week!

Friends like Shannon don't come around often and I am so thankful that she is one of mine!


BlogHer12 Recap: Memorable Moments ~fin~

There aren't many words that I can write that will do justice to the feeling of meeting Shannon {aka Shizz}

I knew it was going to be emotional, but I don't think that I was quite prepared for the feeling I would get by being around this insanely amazing woman.

Clockwise (l-r): Shizz posing for her Hubs in her Sparklecorn outfit, bloggy bff's  at the 6pm fashion show, me and my tutu, Hot Wheels #boymom
Since we did pretty much the entire conference together, it threw people when we introduced ourselves.

Hi, I'm Shannon.

Oh, hey. I'm Shannon too.

At Queerosphere, we were called

People's Party, Shan 2.0

Whatever way you slice it, bloggy bff's for sure. Meeting this wonderful woman was...well...awesome. I dropped my bags and gave her the biggest hug when I got to our room {yes, I was crying}, and am so excited to be very likely heading to her hometown to visit in the fall, then meeting up in Chicago for BlogHer13 next year.

Shizz and I have been through alot together - blog building, branding, rebranding, soul searching. Post partum depression, formula feeding, starting businesses and having breakdowns. She is a kindred spirit indeed, and I thank my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough to call her one of my best friends.

BlogHer12 Recap: My Favourite Moments

Time for a picture dump! Here are some of my absolute most favourite moments from BlogHer'12 and NYC!

Thursday: Meeting the Cocktail Deeva, riding an elephant at FAO Schwartz, the Hollister boys
Friday: taking an artistic break at the Clorox booth, snubbing Zac Efron and playing with HotWheels

Saturday: 6pm Fashion Show...hands DOWN!

Until next year, friends! Chi-town...I cannot wait to get to you!

SWH4T$: Summer Clearance

Its that time of year again, when stores put clothes on deep deep clearance.  Right now most retailers are clearing out the racks of summer clothing, and putting out fall clothing (while we are sitting here sweating our asses off still).

A few weeks ago The Children's Place was having a big clearance sale, and I had a code for an extra 20% off online.  I estimated what size Jack would be in next summer and went shopping :)  I pretty much got half his summer wardrobe for next year for practically pennies.

Here's what I got:

So that's 8 shirts (6 polos & 2 tees), 3 pairs of shorts and one pair of sandals.

Wanna guess how much I paid?  $50.66 shipped.

I know, crazy right?  I refuse to buy kids clothes full price, but I also want my kid dressed well.  Clearance rack, end of season shopping is the way to go friends!  Get out there and get shopping!  


SWH4T$: Spikey Sponge Balls

Summer is here!  And along with it comes the task of finding interesting ways to keep your kids entertained {and cool in the heat} during these deliciously long hot days.

Jack's birthday party is coming up in a few weeks, and one thing I learned from last year, is that I need activities for the kids that are either in the shade, or that will keep them cool.  Especially since this year the kiddos are a year older and mobile on 2 limbs instead of 4 :)

A great way to keep your kids cool and inspire some outdoor physical activity fun is Spikey Sponge Balls!

Each Ball requires 2 sponges, I bought 12 sponges for $4.50.
Make sure you get the plain sponges without the scrubby side!
You can use ribbon, embroidery floss or fishing line as your tie-element.

Cut each sponge in half lengthwise...

...and then cut those halves in half again lengthwise.

Stack them up, alternating colors (8 total sponge sticks for each ball)

Cut a piece of your tie-element and tie it around the middle of the stack, pulling it as tight as you possibly can.  Cut off loose ends.

These balls are great because you can soak them in water, the kids can throw them around, squeeze them on each other - and its good, clean, cold & wet fun!

The best part is that if you are a neat freak mom like me, you can put them in a mesh bag and run them through the dishwasher to clean them :)

For Jack's party I plan on filling his water table and putting the Spikey Sponge Balls in there, along with some cups and measuring spoons and letting the kids go to town!

You can find the original tutorial HERE.


SWH4T$: Couponing with Shizz!

I've kinda laid off the couponing for a while, as I was trying to just use my stockpile while we were having some money issues and really tamping down our spending in all areas of life.  However, we are starting to run low on a few things, so I needed to make a trip, and fortunately last week CVS was having some great deals!

I set up my shopping so that I went in 2 trips: the first was to earn as many ExtraBucks as I could, so that I could use them to pay for my second trip.  Also, at each visit I used a reusable shopping bag and scanned my GreenBag Tag so that I got credit towards my $1 ExtraBuck that I get with every 4th visit where I use a bag :)

Trip #1

Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner (with a bonus trial size shampoo attached!)
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo (for the beach this summer)
Suave Moisturizing Body Lotion x 2
Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Spray

Total before coupons & store sales: $25.70
Total of coupons: $6
Total AFTER: $15.93
Savings Of: $9.77
ExtraBucks Earned: $7

Trip #2

Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes Refill x 2
Secret Invisible Solid Deodorant
Palmolive Green Apple 10 oz Dish Soap x 2

Total before coupons & store sales: $17.61
Total of coupons: $3.75
Total of ExtraBucks redeemed: $7
Total AFTER: $0.55
Savings Of: $17.06

So basically, if you think about it, I got both of those shopping trips for $16.48.  Not bad at all right?


Special Post: Mother's Day Crafting with Shizz

So its the day before Mother's Day, and did you get anything for Grandma?  No?

Well, here I am to save your day :)

This super easy craft is cute, quick (30 minutes tops) and definitely something any grandmother/mother/aunt/sister/friend would love!

small flower pot
hole punch
craft knife
colored cardstock
green pipecleaners
small block of floral foam
self-healing cutting mat

1 more supply item:
Toddler for tracing :)

Cut our your hand template.
I labeled mine with his age, because I plan on using it again in the near future.

Pick out your colors of cardstock, trace out the number of hand "flowers" you want.

Using your craft knife on your self-healing mat, cut out your flowers.  Make sure to cut ever so slightly inside your traced line, so that you don't have a line that shows up on the flowers.

Next (not pictured) punch holes in the bottom of your flowers, about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the flower.
Then, fold a pipecleaner in half.  Insert the folded end through the hole in the flower, and fold down the tip about 1/2 inch and pinch flat.  This allows your flower to stand straight, and not flop over.

Now twist the ends of your pipecleaner together to make it more sturdy.

Using a bread knife (don't worry Mizzle, I used the cheap one), cut a small cube of flower foam that will squish down in your flower pot.

Then, using scissors to first poke holes in the foam, insert your flower stems and arrange to your liking.
I added a little bit of brown shredded paper "dirt" in the bottom, which also helped to make the flowers stand better.
Now give it to Grandma!

This is a super easy craft that can be used for almost any holiday.  Birthdays, Easter, Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation (use a handprint from each child in the class), Grandparent's Day, etc.

Enjoy, Happy Crafting!