Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Am A Bad Friend



I am a bad friend. I know I am a bad friend but I promise you I think of you daily and smile about the good times we have had and the friendship I hope we still share. I work from home, am raising a toddler who doesn't sleep and am caretaker for my disabled father. My plate is full.

My days consist of caring for my dad, caring and playing with my demanding 3 year old (whom I love to death) and finding time to work from home with a full time work load. Being productive during the day is almost impossible when someone always seems to need something or my girl is pulling my hand for me to play with her. This means I need to wait until my very supportive husband gets home from work to be truly productive and actually complete the tasks that probably should have been done earlier in the day. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, I work nights. 

My dad and child don't disappear on the weekends and although during this time I have help from the hubby I am still getting caught up with my work and need to do some cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. Then there is almost always one family event over the weekend. Plus my husband and I try to do something for fun with our daughter and have some "family time" even if it is just a family trip to Target or going to grab some pizza. We don't get the opportunity often so we need to take these little outings when we can.

When I am actually caught up with work, housework and we don't have plans, I am downright exhausted. This rarely happens so if I have a day to do nothing I really want to do nothing. I don't want to have to get dressed or clean for anyone. I want to sit on my couch in my PJs in my cluttered living room in complete bliss until of course my daughter or dad need something. 

And no my daughter doesn't nap. She hasn't napped since she was one. I don't have that time some other parent's have to get stuff done. She also requires very little sleep. Up until about midnight or later and up by 7am. So I do not have the luxury to do stuff after she's in bed or before she gets up unless I want to cut down the 5 hours of sleep I get a night to 3 hours of sleep. And before you lecture me on why my daughter is up until midnight this is an improvement from 2am and believe me I wish I was lucky enough to have her in bed and asleep by 9. Nobody wants that more than me. 

On top of all of this, my father cannot be left alone. So if I want to go out I need to have someone to sit with him which isn't always so easy to find. People don't understand that for my husband and I  to "go out" we need childcare for Liv and someone to take care of my father. It's an ordeal and sometimes not worth the trouble.

Now when I do get that day or two a month where the planets align and I have the free time to go out and am not completely and utterly exhausted I run into my next dilemma. There are a couple of you. I am blessed to have a few really good friends so I need to alternate who I use this time to see.  So I could go a few months without seeing you.

It truly breaks my heart that I cannot spend the time with you that I used to but my days are consumed and I am tired. I meant it when I said I think of you daily and want to make plans but sometimes the reality of that isn't always possible. I didn't write this for you to feel bad for me. I love motherhood, my family and my work but I wanted you to understand that you are still one of my best friends. I just hope I am still one of yours. xoxo

Friday, February 27, 2015

Seizing An Opportunity



I went on twitter last night and became totally and utterly confused by all this "dress" drama.  I quickly got myself in the loop but still couldn't comprehend what all the hype was. It was a blue and black dress end of story that was until I had friends equally as passionate about it being white and gold. Say whaaaat?!! I still don't know what the deal is with that although I am hearing it was indeed a blue and black dress. I am like I know I have perfect vision as does my hubby and that's what we saw but I'm sorry the point of the post wasn't to further this debate.

My real point here is how to take something as ridiculous as the color of a dress going viral and using it to your advantage. Most of you know I already that I design jewelry, I woke up with the idea of making blue and black bracelets and white and gold bracelets. I posted on social media saying support your team or which team are you and used hashtags such as #thedress #blueandblack and #whiteandgold. Because of this sensation and the utilization of these hashtags I am getting more traffic.

Do I really expect to sell blue and black and white and gold "the dress" bracelets? No, not really but that wasn't my purpose. My purpose was to get more traffic to my website and social media pages and I have been successful in doing so and hey if I sell a few of those bracelets it's an added bonus. Because of the heavy traffic flow from this idea (I wish I thought of last night) people are favoriting my Etsy shop, following my Instagram and becoming fans of my Facebook page which in turn will get my "real" designs more exposure and more sales.

Will something like this work for everything that trends on twitter and social media? No of course not but you should always have your brain thinking is this something I can put a twist on and incorporate into getting my business more exposure, Sometimes is the craziest things that do the most good.

In case you want to support your side go here.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Random Thoughts On The Dancing With The Stars Season 20 Cast


I was excited to find out the cast of DWTS season 20 was announced but as usual I found myself wondering who these people are and only caring about the pro dancers. Of course I will watch and will end up falling in love with a few of these people I know nothing about but until then here are my thoughts:

Who?

Witney Carson better be one of the pros this season and why is her supposed partner a secret.

Robert Herjavec!!! Love him from Shark Tank. Really hope he can dance.

Why do they use they same damn formula every year for picking the "stars." Let's walk on the wild side.

Nothing is going to beat "The Carlton" from last season. Nothing.

The dancers at this point are more famous than their partners. I get more invested in them than the pro.

Who?

Is Willow Shields, Brooke Shield's daughter?

Julianne Hough is a judge again. UGH. She's annoying.

How many more faces will we see from So You Think You Can Dance?

Why does poor Tony Dovolani always get old kooky partners?

Why do they always set up Derek and Marc for a win?

I need to become a HUGE blogger so I can be cast one year a la Bethany Mota.

I wonder who will appear to be romantically involved this season.

I miss Maks.

Who?

Will they start the season saying: "May the odds be ever in your favor."


I am anxious for the season to begin and to hear your thoughts on this season's cast.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Nothing Ever Goes As Expected

So my first week back from vacation didn't go as nice and as productive as I had envisioned. Besides being absolutely exhausted from a week of 16 hour days in the park the whole family was feeling a bit under the weather. We brushed it off to the drastic change in climate. As the week went on the hubby and myself were just getting sicker and sicker.

 By Wednesday my cough was so terrible that it was causing my stomach to have weird muscle pains. My stomach was feeling so odd that I needed to investigate further. Then panic set when I found a hard lump, mass around my belly button. After spending a few hours at the doctors office on Thursday it ends up the severe coughing caused me to get an umbilical hernia. And guess what? I need surgery. As if I haven't been put through enough these past few months. It isn't an emergency but should get taken care of. My stomach still hurts and is very tender to the touch.

 As if that wasn't bad enough. I woke up Friday with my eye crusted shut and red eyes, hello pink eye. I called the doctor I had just seen the day prior so see if they could write out a script for me but nope because I hadn't specifically come in for my eyes. Seriously? I went in the day prior for feeling sick and for my stomach and the doc looked at my eyes. I was furious especially since it's hard for me to get out since I cannot leave my dad alone. I couldn't get out for the doctor two days in a row. Luckily a family friend informed me about a CVS minute clinic that is super close to my house and they were able to help me out in a really short amount of time.

 Then on Saturday, I heard a weird noise coming from my dishwasher as I walked by it, the thing is it wasn't on. All of a sudden, water started pouring out of the thing and flooding the kitchen. We jammed towels underneath it while Joey tried to get the water turned off but since we are still getting used to where everything is in our new home this took a little while and the towels were getting soaked quicker than we could replace them. We eventually got the water off and mini flood cleaned up but again another mishap we could have done without.

 But one thing I am excited to share from the past few days are a couple edited photos from my nephew's newborn photoshoot. I took the photos before we went to Disney and my sis who is a master graphic designer and editor finished them off. The two photos I am sharing in this post I absolutely adore. They are different and really show what a snowy, cold winter it's been. What do you think?

 Anyway, I'm starting to feel a little better but still run down. I definitely did not accomplish everything I wanted to last week including all the blog posts I had up my sleeve. Oh well, it's a new week and hopefully things are a little less eventful. A nice boring week will truly do me some good.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Oh Sh*ts!" Of Blogging



I like to pretend I have my act together, I think we all like to try and put up that facade especially when it comes to blogging but in reality I think the majority of you are unorganized messes just like myself. Let's face it blogging isn't the only thing we do. We either have families, jobs or something else pulling us in a million directions that blogging sometimes needs to be put on the back burner. Because of that little fact I find myself saying "Oh Sh*t!!!" quite often due to the blogging world. Examples:

When you are being featured on a cool blog and you totally forget to have an awesome post scheduled for that day for all the potential new readers. This is me today. I have a lovely little feature over at Sage and completely didn't have a good post up this morning. Hopefully Cassie's readers are forgiving and will still give me a try. Total blogger fail.

When you forget your camera for a major event or visit to an amazing place. As bloggers I think we always look at everything we do as a possible post so we always have to be ready to document everything. Having to rely on your camera phone for Pinterest worthy photos is typically a bummer.

Missing a deadline. Whether it be for signing up to be a part of a fabulous giveaway with your best blogging buddies or linking up for a creative link up, missing these things is never fun. That is why I try to sign up for giveaways and such as soon as I get the notice because I know if I put it off I will forget.

When you actually have a super post written and you forget to schedule it or publish the day it was intended. Every once in a while I have my posts written a few days ahead of time but then I either forget to schedule it or hit publish the next morning. Bummer especially when the work was put in.

You have no clean place in your home for product or DIY photos. I work from home and have a toddler, not really the best situation for having a tidy home. Time to clear off half of the dining room table and anything that's in the frame of the photo. All around what's in the photo is pure chaos. Again it's all a facade.

You realize you need to start actually getting dressed more than once a week. All the other bloggers you follow seem to have fabulous photos of themselves in the cutest outfits in every single darn post or their Instagram is full of the greatest selfies. Meanwhile, I am over here looking for old photos of myself in something other than yoga pants and a t-shirt.

What about you, what are some of your "Oh Shit!" moments of blogging?? xoxo

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Should You Invest In Disney's Memory Maker?


When I was planning our Disney trip I came across info for Disney's Memory Maker, a service that allows you unlimited downloads of photos taken of you and your family taken by Disney photographers throughout your vacation. This service costs $169 if purchased ahead of time. While planning I went back and forth on whether or not to invest in this service but ultimately decided to give it a shot because I wanted family photos of all three of us and didn't want to have to rely on bothering strangers. I am glad I went ahead and did go with this but was disappointed in a few things about the service. As with anything there were pros and cons and I will now break it down for you.

PROS:

You could check out your photos in a matter of minutes. Most photos were able to be viewed just minutes after they were taken through My Disney Experience. This was awesome because if we didn't like a batch of photos we could make sure we took them again.

The ability for us all to be in the photo. This was a big one for me. I didn't want a bunch of photos of Joe and Liv and a bunch of Liv and I. I wanted photos of the three of us as a family and we were able to get many of them.

Not having to lug around a camera. It was nice to be able to be camera free, plain and simple.

Character photos. There was a photographer with every character who got photos of Liv getting her autograph book signed as well as getting a posed photo of her with the character. This made things stress free for us, not having to worry about getting these photos and we have a photograph to to go with every signature.

Special Effects. A few of the photos that were taken had Tinkerbell and other characters added in the photo which created some fabulous Disney photos.

Memories to last a lifetime. So many times I bring my camera to special events and on vacations and I hardly ever take many photos because I am caught up in enjoying the moment. This is a good thing but leaves me disappointed when it's over with very little photos to capture the event. Getting this package was a way to make sure that didn't happen.

CONS:

Weren't as many photo ops as I thought there would be. There were a decent amount of photographer setups but not nearly as many as I thought there would have been. I was most disappointed in Epcot. We went "around the world" and only came across two photographers. I thought there would have been one in each country. Also in Magic Kingdom there were many photographers on Main Street to take your photo with the castle in the background but otherwise I felt there weren't many elsewhere.

No ride photos. I assumed there would be ride photos, you know the ones where you get those photos of everyone screaming at a certain point on the ride. Well, only one ride we went on had a photo available for download.

You have to ask to get photos. The photographers aren't hunting you down, you need to hunt them down. The first day we were there I felt awkward asking random photographers I saw to take our photos but by the following day I realized this was the only way we were going to get them.

No resort photographers. We stayed at the Art of Animation Resort which had so many amazing photo ops but there were no photographers on the resort property. This was a bummer because I would have loved family photos at the hotel.

Lack of props and original posing ideas. Only one photographer had some huge heart prop which was cute but made me think there should have been more props. And I must have at least five photos at different locations of Joe and I kissing Liv on the cheek. Each photographer had the same three poses they wanted you to do. You can tell each photographer has the same list of poses they are given in training but it would have been nice if they had some of their own ideas to add to the mix. A few did but most didn't.

Overall, I am happy we decided to get the Memory Maker package. Even with the cons I listed I am grateful for the photos we did get and we wouldn't have had them otherwise. If you are going to be at Disney for more than a day or two I believe it is well worth the $169. But you have the honest list of pros and cons above which will hopefully help you make a more educated decision. Below is just a small sampling of some of our photos from the package.


Have you purchased the Memory Maker in the past? Or are you planning a trip to Disney? Is this a service you would invest in? Would love to hear your thoughts. xoxo

Monday, February 16, 2015

Back From Disney



I am back from our week in Disney and now feel like I need a vacation. It is so true when they say you need a vacation after your vacation especially one where it is "go, go, go" for 16 hours each day with a three year old. We truly had a blast but it was exhausting.

It was good for me to get away for a week to try and forget my new reality although at moments I had my mini meltdowns. We went to Disney with my parents when I was younger and a few things triggered memories that made me sad. I think I cried during the whole "It's A Small World" ride remembering that it was my mom's favorite ride. And normally I would have been calling my mom each night to tell her about our day and knowing she wasn't there to call hurt.

Don't get me wrong, overall I had a fabulous time but I guess you can't ever truly escape a pain so deep. But it was good to be carefree and see how excited my daughter was to meet all the characters and go on all the rides. It was nice to have some family time, just the three of us.

I feel like I have so much to tell you guys about the trip and learned some great tips about traveling to Disney that I don't know where to begin. I was trying to figure out if it would be best to do a post about each day we had there or just do a looooong post about the whole trip. I decided that over the next week or so I am going to be sharing about certain aspects of our trip and go into detail about each specific thing. So be on the lookout for posts about The Art of Animation Resort, The Disney Memory Maker, Flying JetBlue, The people of Disney and some things I find strange about Disney. I am very excited to go into detail about all of the above and hope to to help out anyone who may be planning a trip to Disney World any time soon. xoxo

Because taking selfies with Ariel is a must