Ask Me! Time Management....??

About a month ago, @mrs07c {one of my fab BlogHer roommates} wrote on my facebook wall and asked how I do all that I do...and only in 24 hours.

How many hats do I wear?

Event planner {kiddo's birthday, Mom's wedding,bff's baby shower}
Artist
Mom
Wife
Woman
Co-Chair for Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope {London, ON}
Blogger
Freelance writer
Baker

I'm sure that there are more...but they're escaping me right now!

How do I do it all? Well...here are some tips!

Blogging
  • have an ongoing blog planner open in Word
  • plan all of the blogposts that pop into your head on their appropriate days
  • try and get as many blogposts done as you can in one hour; sit down a the computer after the kiddos go to bed and write as much as you can
  • schedule your blogposts one month in advance and you'll always be on top of things!

Party Planning
  • start as early as possible...it is absolutely not crazy to plan a party a year in advance {even if others make fun of you for it!}
  • if you have an online shop, put up a vacation notice the week of your party so you can focus on the task at hand
  • hire someone to do the cake
  • set out the party platters and food cards the night before

General
  • regular scheduled dates with your significant other
  • regular scheduled date nights with yourself; I firmly believe that when you take time away for yourself you are able to be better to those around you
  • don't feel bad if you don't get everything done...seriously! What doesn't happen today, can happen tomorrow or the day after. Chances are if you didn't prioritize it today,it means that it likely wasn't that important in the grand scheme of things.

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Atutudes


Have a little girl? Does she love to play dress up, or maybe have a special birthday party coming up? Well you can thank your lucky stars for coming across the blog today!

Kristal Lee of Atutudes Handmade Tutu's creates simply the most gorgeous and well made tutu's around. One of her personal favourites is the Pink Poodle Skirt tutu!


Layers and layers of bubblegum pink tulle, embellished with the cutest white poodle around! Your little one will be sock-hoppin' in no time!

This tutu was actually featured in the 2012 Golden Globes Press Bags! Pretty amazing stuff that celebrity publications have taken these gorgeous one-of-a-kind designs home, and now you can too!

Kristal loves to create whimsical tutu designs....and she's even branching out to create adult tutu's! I'm so excited to have one being created for me to wear at Sparklecorn and can't wait to reveal it to you guys next month!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Amber Bryce


Words cannot express how in love I am with this pendant that Amber has designed for me, which I will be wearing during the daytime at the sessions and workshops.

When Amber was designing the piece, she was impeccable with her attention to detail. She asked me what patterns I love, what textures speak to me...I picked paisley. It reminds me of my husband since he loves paisley ties, and I really love the flowing lines and intricate detail in the pattern.

Then, she asked me if there was a phrase or initial I would want etched on the other side. Hmm...immediately, I thought about having my son's O engraved, but my heart strings were tugged in another direction.

Let It Be.

For anyone who knows me personally, it was my Dad's favourite song, and the one that was played at his funeral seven years ago. It's also the memorial tattoo that I have for him on the back of my neck.

It's perfect...and Amber designed a piece so amazing...I'm absolutely in love with it.


Amber has captured something truly unique in this piece...the relationship between a father and daughter.

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Bellaroma Boutique

It's beach season and that means your tender tootsies get to {finally} see the sun...sand...and surf!

I've been using this product by Bellaroma for a little while now, and all I can say is that it is truly amazing. After the first application, my feet felt so incredibly soft and smooth...after a week they were completely beach and sandal ready!

The Peppermint and Fresh Cream Pedi is a thick and luxurious lotion that has a delightful scent of peppermint with a hint of vanilla. It is completely non greasy, and the peppermint provides nice cooling relief to tired toes.

I put it on before bed, and when I woke up in the morning, my feet were touchably soft. As a girl who hates to wear socks with her ballet flats {even in the Canadian winter}, my heels get rather rough and the pads of my feet are just peeling. Not a great feeling, but after one treatment with the Peppermint and Fresh Cream Pedi lotion...amazing!

BlogHer'12 is just TWO MONTHS AWAY! Make sure your toes are ready to go, and can brave the NYC heat...don't forget to pack your Peppermint and Fresh Cream Pedi lotion!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs

One of the biggest trends this spring and summer is peplum, and Kristine Cook Designs is taking it up a notch with jackets and cocktail jackets!

I am absolutely overjoyed to unveil the design for my BlogHer cocktail dress....

original design by Kristine Cook Designs
It's a fabulous geometric pattern of taupe and black, with solid black illusion panels on the sides and the peplum detailing.

Peplum.

I was unfamiliar with the trend and term until I met Kristine, and I have to say that she has completely changed my outlook on it. I thought that it would be a trend that would make a curvy girl more curvy...but au contraire! It emphasizes a tiny waist {especially with the black out panels on the sides} and gives a funky edge to the design. I have the hourglass, so why not flaunt it?

Peplum zipper front jacket by Kristine Cook Designs

The peplum doesn't stop at dresses, oh no...Kristine has taken the trend into her amazing structured jackets like the one seen above. How amazing is that!? Dress it down with a pair of jeans for the daytime, or with a fantastic pencil skirt for an evening out...all the while flaunting the shape that you were blessed with!

Thankfully, Kristine knows just how to implement these design techniques and flatter my body...a body that has changed a whole lot since having a baby and finding curves I never knew I had. She is one incredible designer who knows how to make you feel not just good in your own skin, but absolutely ravishing!




WAHM Wednesday: Podcasting?

Another seminar on Day1 of BlogHer that I'm excited about is the Podcasting 101 seminar.

My husband and his friend, Mike Arsenault, used to podcast about once a week. Usually about sports, reality TV (their recaps of Survivor and The Bachelor were hilarious!) or they would dissect a movie like Dirty Dancing {manly...right?}

I was always too nervous to get the headset on and be a guest on Mike's podcast. I'd usually just holler in the background about who I thought was trashy on The Bachelor or who I loved on Survivor.

The Podcasting 101 seminar at BlogHer has gripped my interest. I'm obviously not afraid to vlog, so why not podcast? What about the microphone intimidates me?

Do I have anything worthy to say?

Will people giggle at my Canadian accent?

What would I even talk about?

I am so excited to sit in a room and hear about Podcasting...why it's important, and how to do it {and do it properly}.

Maybe it'll even get me over my fear of the microphone!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: EKSIT Strategies...Mompreneur Tips

 

When talking with Colin and Trevor from EKSIT Strategies about mompreneurs {and entrepreneurs} who are just starting out, their number one tip was

Know what you know, and know what you don't know

I couldn't agree more, and thought that it was a really great topic for their sponsor post this month. I am a firm believer in excelling in a few, rather than being mediocre at alot, and Colin spoke volumes to that.

He said that there are alot of specialists out there, like those who specialize in legal services, tax strategies and things like that, and alot of new businesses could find themselves in tough spots if they haven't gotten the proper advice from those people; thereby admitting what it is that they don't know, which for women in general {sorry to say...} is difficult.

When I think about what it is that I know as a mompreneur, I know how to structure my time wisely, how to create some gorgeous pieces of art and how to network throughout the proper social media channels to engage with other bloggers and like minded individuals.

What I don't know is how to stay on top of my Quickbooks, how to increase my sales naturally, or how to get the most bang for my advertising buck.

I know that I know, and I know what I don't know...it's the perfect time to implement a business strategy with the guys at EKSIT Strategies.

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs...Structured Jacket


I've been trying to write this post for about a week...and I'm not quite sure than any words that I can spill out into a blogpost will accurately describe just how in love I am with this beautiful coral jacket that Kristine has designed for me.

From the pleated pockets to the beautiful button closure....the polka dotted lining to the abstract ruffles down the side
Stunning colour!

She just got me when she was designing this jacket. It's so incredibly detailed, and on trend, and artistic.

Not to mention well made. The entire jacket is lined with the beautiful polka dots {love!}, with the pleat and structured sides. I have never owned a jacket so beautiful, and likely never will again. It's quickly become a favourite in my wardrobe.


How perfect is that!!


I love that I can take it from day to night, and I fully plan on it at BlogHer. During the day, paired with dark skinny jeans, a white tank that hits just below the jacket, and gold gladiator sandals (or black peep toe ballet flats with a ruffle on the top) and some awesome designs from Amber Bryce. During the evening, paired with a pencil skirt and pulling my hair up. Easy peasy, but oh so awesome!

Sneak peek at my new hair!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Atutudes Handmade Tutu's


What’s that? A new sponsor for my journey to BlogHer’12? You betcha!! Introducing the prettiest and most fashionable couture tutu’s around…made by none other than Kristal Lee of Atutudes Handmade Tutu’s



I started looking at the party schedule for BlogHer’12 and I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed looking at the timing of everything, all of the options, and all of the different themes. Burgers in bed {holla!}, multicultural-esque festivals…and then came the word I’d been dreaming about…
Sparklecorn


Have you heard about it? The glitter and the glowsticks? Well…I have and I must admit, I have no idea what to wear. It’s one thing to wrap your head around a fabulous peplum cocktail dress for a night out on the town in NYC, but a totally different thing to wrap your head around what you’ll need for a night of dancing…with glitter.

Kristal to the rescue!! I’ve been encouraging her for a long while now to create some couture adult tutu’s…tea length…big and full…lovely and dreamy. Well…now she’s creating me one, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Stay tuned as I reveal design specs and talk about the process to creating the perfect Sparklecorn look!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Hanlon Lain Photography...getting messy!


Last month, I had the great pleasure of working with my BlogHer sponsor Hanlon Lain Photography  on a fantastic photo shoot. 

I had a vision of me in one of her fields with my canvases, paint and easel…just being me and being inspired by the space around me. 



The messier part of the vision was that I would end up covered in paint….head to toe {not hair to toe…} in paint. My feet were an absolute mess by the end of the shoot since I was literally standing in the drippings off the paintings and my easel, and my hands were blue by the time everything dried and I got home {and I still had to go to the grocery store!}



I would never in a million years have thought to capture what Laina did. Her use of angles, the way she captures the light that no one else can see, and the way she caught my expression was incredible. I was able to just paint, do my thing and have her capture who I am as a true artist.

The entire experience was amazing. It made this whole artist thing seem...real. Like this is what I was meant to do and who I was meant to be. What an amazing feeling!

I am absolutely thrilled to feature one of her photos on the bio-side of my media cards that will be passed out at BlogHer this year!

BlogHer Love: Tina Dean Designs....custom creations!



We’ve all done it; dreamed of the perfect handbag to hold exactly what we need to go shopping at the market, out with the girls for brunch, a full day out with the kiddos….everything that you need in one stylish bag. 

It’s a dream, absolutely, and it’s the perfect situation to go to Tina Dean Designs for a custom creation.


custom tote for Cari Cucksey of HGTV's Cash and Cari

The process of working with Tina on a custom creation couldn’t be easier, and I should know! Right now, she’s finishing up my messenger bag for BlogHer…a custom design that she created just for me! It’ll be based on her peppermint tote bag {below, and also custom designed for Lauren Conrad!} but in a messenger style with an adjustable strap and flap closure. The lining…a chevron to match my logo and branding!


And it’s pretty awesome to work with a down-to-earth designer who has made custom bags for Lauren Conrad, Cari Cucksey, Tess Masters, and Zooey Deschanel. 


So much intricate detail and time goes into each one of Tina’s bags, and each piece is made with precision. Tina has recently been working on more custom pieces and has many more designs that will be making their way to some Hollywood A-listers. Pretty incredible!

Get your hands on a custom Tina Dean Designs bag before it’s too late!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Amber Bryce...Mi Alma Para

I absolutely cannot wait to share this new piece from Amber Bryce - Luxe Bohemian Jewelry with you.


How stunning is that!? Amber has delicately set Genuine Crystal Drusy, Aquamarine, London Blue & White Topaz, Moonstone in sterling silver and fine silver components to create a showstopping piece that is truly one of a kind; it will never be replicated!

It is so lovely and romantic, telling the perfect story of a summer romance on the beach. Stones clinging together in perfect harmony....peaceful and wonderful.

It pairs perfectly with a simple white tshirt, as all of Amber's gorgeous pieces do, and a pair of bermuda shorts for the day...maybe with a pair of graphite gladiator sandals.

Then take it up a notch and pair it with a stunning black peplum cocktail dress? Wowzah!


BlogHer Sponsor Love: Bellaroma Boutique...giveaway!



Remember that oh-so-amazing of slathering your body with luxurious lotion after a long hot shower?

No?

Then you must be a mama, and you likely take about 5 minutes to shower…forget to shampoo your hair, hear a baby screaming, then have to dash out, without rinsing the suds from your shoulder.

Well…here’s a treat for you from Diana at Bellaroma Boutique

Blush – Classic luxury Lotion 



Relish those moments after your shower or bath and indulge in the seducing scents of ylang ylang, jasmine and rose. It’s completely romantic and will whisk you off your feet…like a knight in shining armor (amore!)

What’s even better is that this week…you can win one right here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

WAHM Wednesday: #Roadto30 Updates!

Welcome back, everyone!

I'm really excited to share with you some updates from my amazing roommates, Shaun and Mel, who I'm sponsoring in their #Roadto30....a journey to lose 30lbs each by BlogHer this summer!



Their journeys are going strong - Shaun and I have even connected on the Map My Run app for iPhone and I love reading about the routes she is taking. Every step may seem like a small one, but it's a step in the right direction and that's what matters!

I am growing increasingly proud of these ladies. They're not stopping at BlogHer...oh no...in fact...they're going to keep pushing themselves and are going to run the BlogHer 5km Fun Run! Amazing!






I'm considering joining them for the run. It might be crazy...it's be the first 5km I've ever run in my entire life...but I want to support them to the very end of their journey and show them just how incredibly proud I am of them.

Stay tuned! More on their journey next month!

Interested in sponsoring them? Contact Mel and Shaun today!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Michele from Mary Kay


Remember a few weeks ago when I was showing off my {lack of} makeup arsenal? Yeah…it was pretty pathetic right?

Well, that’s when I sent an SOS to my fabulous friend, Michele Thomson who happens to be an amazing makeup artist and Mary Kay Independent Sales Director!

I showed her my blogpost, and she agreed; I needed help. 

I was so excited to have our consultation...I laid out all of my makeup and took a {little} inventory.

My makeup and my skincare...that Rimmel is about 8 years old...
Eye compacts that are at least 6 years old, mascara that is about 2 years old, lip gloss from my wedding (which Michele did my makeup for and made me look, and feel, stunning!) which was nearly 4 years ago…noticing a trend?

Then a before picture, no makeup. This is pretty much what I look like every day.

Well, hello there!

And we got to work. I showed her the amazing outfits that Kristine Cook Designs is creating for me and we started talking about trends.

I want to be able to represent myself as an artist, stay true to me, have a professional {yet quirky} look and represent my sponsors with a fresh faced. While, sure, I could do that without makeup…I want to…pull together a more pulled-together look and feel really confident at BlogHer’12.

Bold lips…dewy cheeks…smokey eyes…nude lips. We talked tips and tricks…and over the next few months, you’ll be able to learn how to….

Two eye looks...smokey peacock on the left and smokey pinks on the right

Create a gorgeous smokey eye…with a pop of colour!
Create a bold-lip-dewy-face look
Learn all about foot and hand care with a special Mama’s Time Out feature
And a few other tips and tricks that Michele has up her sleeve, like proper skin protection, favourite products and trends for fall and winter 2012!

WAHM Wednesday: Nostalgic New York

Unlike some of my roomies, attending BlogHer isn't my first NYC experience.

Thankfully, my husband has family about a 40 minute train ride from the city and we've been able to go and visit them a couple of times. We even had a little babymoon in NYC just before we got pregnant with our son.

I was feeling a little nostalgic, and started looking through our pictures from our last trip in 2009.



Oh roomies...we are having cupcakes from this bakery...it is a must!



Can we squeeze in a Yankees game??



Excited for a group shot in Times Square

As much fun as it is to go on vacation with your husband, there's just something about a girls trip that is really exciting. Being able to get all dolled up in some fancy new clothes, going out for a fabulous dinner and then drinks on some rooftop patio

*sigh* Why is it only April!?

WAHM Wednesday: Updates!

So this journey to BlogHer is really heating up!

So far, I've...

  • met with my amazing fashion designer, Kristine
  • secured sponsorship for my flight
  • booked the hotel
  • collaborated with Amber on accessories
  • finalized the design of my messenger bag with Tina
  • finalized the design of my new business cards being printed by TPH

Everything's coming along tickety-boo as they say {do they still say that??} and I'm really excited that the conference is only 5 months away.

Still on the to-do list...

  • finalize a makeup sponsor and try to do something with my mug {...errr...face}
  • figure out a hairstyle that is going to work for the summer and still be trendy for the conference
  • continue on with sponsor posts the first week of every month
  • decide on what seminars and workshops I will be attending
  • blog about said workshops and seminars
  • figure out what places in NYC I really really want to make my way to with my roomies

How is your journey coming?

Blogger {at} BlogHer12: Introduce Yourself

Well, hello there!

Linking up with my roomies from BlogHer12 in a new blogpost called....



What's it all about? Well, it's a chance for a few of us mama bloggers to connect and learn about one another, and our journey's to BlogHer before we even get there. Pretty appropriate since this week is all about my sponsors!

This weeks theme is Introduce Yourself and Your Blog

So...hello! I'm Shannon...great-greaddaughter of Stella {where the idea of Sweet Stella's came from, clearly}.

I am an artist, with a clear and inspired vision in abstract paintings, journals and hand sculpted art for your home as well as wearable art for yourself.

I am a mom to an incredible little {very busy} boy named Owen, who I love with my whole heart. Without him, I don't think my world would be filled with colour.



I am a wife to an amazing man, Colin, who loves me with his whole heart {a sentiment which i happily return.}

I'm just me.

My blog? Well, it's all about inspiration and creativity. It supports mompreneurs and other crafty types. It helps spread the word about neat and cool companies in London, Ontario, and hopefully...it entertains!

What about you? Are YOU off to BlogHer12? Hope to meet you!

SWH4T$: DIY Cake Stands

Happy Thursday everyone! Since I know that you're all probably planning out Easter dinner and brunch menu's, I wanted to blog a little DIY project today that you can do super quick and easy to make your dessert table pop...without breaking the bank!

Blog Hop Rules

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC or BlogLovin'

2) Post our button on your blog for others to follow along

3) Link up a post that helps you save time, money, frustration...your sanity!

Have fun linking up and reading other mama tips!


SWH4T


DIY Cake Stands

Planning an Easter dinner or brunch? Have a bevvy of desserts to display? This thrifty little DIY will have your table looking fabulous in no time flat, and with little money spent!

Supplies:
White plastic plates or trays from the dollar store
Glass candle sticks or tumblers from the dollar store


How-to:

Flip over your plate or tray.

Using a permanent adhesive {I used Epoxy because I had it on hand, but I'm sure that you could use hot glue. Just be warned that hot glue won't give you as permanent or strong a bond between the plate and candle stick or tumbler}, smear about a 2" circle on the bottom side of your plate or tray.


If you're using epoxy, make sure that your room is well ventilated and that you're doing it away from children. Heavily toxic and you don't want it getting on your skin either!

Place the candle stick or tumbler on the adhesive. Since I was using tumblers, I put them end to end...flat surfaces will give you the strongest bond and the most stability in your cake stand.

Place a hardcover book or two on the tumbler. The weight will help the bond become good and strong.


Leave the stand to dry for 24 hours.

After it's dry, place cookies, sweets, treats, cakes...whatever you'd like on display for your guests! you could even tie seasonal ribbon around the base to make it more festive!



Link up your thrifty frugal crafty time and money saving ideas today!






WAHM Wednesday: Fresh Face Forward

A couple of week ago I started dreaming about BlogHer and the fantastic nights out with my roommates Shan, Shaun and Mel...

Who am I kidding? I've been dreaming about this for months! What I really started thinking about, since I'm working with an amazing fashion designer on some really great clothes to wear at BlogHer was my face.



Sounds silly right?

Well, I started thinking about the fact that I never ever wear makeup (what busy WAHM does?!) and rarely even get out of my jeans a tshirt.

All of that is going to change but the change has to come from within...

Within my makeup bag that is!



Serious slim pickins' in there...



Definitely am not afraid of colour, love to shimmer and shine...but I never wear the stuff. The Lancome compacts of four and single purple and green are about...oh...6 years old. The bronze at the bottom? About 4 years old.



Mascara (which I only started wearing 4 years ago...) was new...Christmas 2010. And the black Rimmel eyeshadow...you don't even want to know. I got it from my roommates collection in university, and I lived with her in 2004...

I definitely need some new tricks in my bag, and need to figure out how to put my best face forward at BlogHer to ensure that I'm representing myself and my amazing sponsors to the best of my ability.

I mean...I dont even have blush or bronzer! Who does that?! {this girl...this girl right here}

What are your favourite products, brands and tricks to keep in your makeup bag? Any trends that I'm missing out on by being makeup free on a daily basis?