Am I a Funny Girl?

The tale of Goldilocks and the three snacks

cbias disclosure#WhenImHungry #CollectiveBiasGoldilocks and the 3 Snacks #WhenImHungry #ad

This is the story you don’t hear as often… after her experience with the bears and the porridge, Goldilocks went on to marry her own Prince Charming, find a great job, and have an adorable baby. As a busy mom, Goldilocks was always on the go, and often needed to find snacks to sustain her on her daily errands.

She tried rice cakes, but they left her sad and still hungry. A fast food burger, while convenient because she didn’t have to get out of the car, was too heavy and unappealing. But a quick trip to her local Circle K provided Goldilocks with the perfect snacking solution; a SNICKERS® Almond candy bar. It was just the pick-me-up she needs for her busiest days.

And she lived happily ever after.

Snickers Almond #WhenImHungry #ad

Snickers is just right #WhenImHungry #ad

I totally associate SNICKERS® candy bars with motherhood, because it was always the first thing my own mom stole from my Halloween candy stash. I thought of them as “grown-up candy bars” for a long time, and may not have discovered the fabulouness that is SNICKERS® until high school or so, when I was obsessed with all things “grown up.”

Nowadays, it’s one of my favorite candy bars, and while the classic SNICKERS® will always hold a place in my heart, the Almond and Peanut Butter versions have recently joined the ranks as well. They’re all delicious, and just what I need when I’m on the go and hungry. I don’t want to commit to a meal, or the timing isn’t right for that much food, so a SNICKERS® is just the thing to tide me over.

Snickers Almond and Peanut Butter #WhenImHungry #ad

Easy to grab and eat on the go, it’s a must-have in my purse for those days when I have to Go-Go-Go and need a sweet little kick to keep me moving.

Want to see more great SNICKERS® recipes and fun stories? Check out the SNICKERS® social hub!

Ready to run errands #WhenImHungry #ad

Enter the SNICKERS® “Who are you when you’re hungry?” contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.

In-store Circle K #WhenImHungry #ad

How am I doing on “the year of DO”?

I set my word for the year, back in January, when I named 2015 as 2015 the year of do While it’s been a bit of a challenge in some ways, it’s also been a good reminder for me to do things that I might not have otherwise. It helps having Jamie there to encourage me, of course, but it’s always there, in the back of my mind. So how’s it going, here at mid-April? SLS Fired UpThe single biggest thing so far was my trip to Utah with NASA and OrbitalATK. It was an extraordinary experience; in the course of a short 48 hour visit, I saw how rocket fuel is made, saw said rocket fuel fired off, met 4 astronauts, and scores of new social media friends. It was incredible, and I owe it to Jamie for first encouraging me to even apply. “Do it,” he said. “Isn’t this your year of doing?”


DisneySMMC banner There are things that I am doing this year that are actually out of my control; for the first time, I was invited to Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration, which has been a sort of bucket list item of mine for some time. Even just being invited is a huge honor, and while it might be insane to jump on board for a family trip to Disney World with about 2 months’ notice, we’re jumping and going and OMG, I can’t wait! (We haven’t told Max yet; we’re telling him on Friday, his birthday, so expect a video of the reveal next week!) As an added bonus, it’s *my* first trip to Disney World too, so I can barely contain my excitement!


transporter In case you don’t know, my birthday is July 4. One of the busiest camping weekends in the country, and we’ve never done it… we usually plan camping trips at the last minute, so booking for a holiday weekend is basically impossible. This year, though, with my birthday being on a Saturday, we managed to snag a few camping spots with some friends, so we’ll spend the weekend camping on the beach with some of our nearest and dearest. If you’re unfamiliar, state parks in California open their reservations six months in advance; popular parks, and popular weekends, can book up in MINUTES. I was online right at 8am when the reservations opened on January 3rd, and still only got our second choice park. Seriously.


alaska

Photo credit: Flickr user WorldIslandInfo.com

And speaking of brithday’s, Jamie’s got a big one coming up this summer as well. It’s not my place to say exactly how old he’s turning, but you can probably guess. ;) Because it’s a big birthday, I’d been saving some money so we could do something really awesome. Well, the awesome thing is a cruise to Alaska! It’s Max’s and Jamie’s first cruise, and only my second, so we’re all really looking forward to it. It’s also pretty cool that we’ll see both Florida and Alaska in the same year!


And that’s my year of doing update so far! There are little things, too… We finally got a big garbage pickup scheduled so a bunch of stuff got hauled away, I actually paid my car registration the day it came in instead of waiting until the last week before it expires. We paid off our last credit card (Woo hoo!) and are working on finding a weekend to book a spot at a local flea market to really clear stuff out of the garage and guest room. Whew!

Did you choose a word for the year? Are you still trying to apply it to your daily life?

Ideas for celebrating MLB Opening Day at home

IT’S BASEBALL TIME! Jamie and I have been Giants fans since before the 2010 World Series, back to the 2006 season, when we had season tickets and missed very few home games. Basically, we were fans when they were terrible. Our Giants have thankfully rewarded us with three world championships in the last five years, so the Giants fandom has only grown, and it’s become more and more important* to find new ways to express our team spirit. *Level of importance is open to interpretation. But for us, it’s Important. world series pics We generally celebrate Opening Day at home, because OMG crowds, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a special day for us, even if we’re “just” watching on TV. Some of the things we do to make Opening Day special: celebrate opening day at home 1. Serve ballpark food for lunch or dinner; we do hot dogs and garlic fries. Having a wide variety of toppings available is one way to make it a little more special than a normal day. We always have ketchup, relish and mustard, but will add pickle spears, onions, cheese, sauerkraut and stuff like that to take it next level. As a side note: How many kinds of mustard do you have in your kitchen? Because we have like seven. hot dog toppings2. Baseball snack food is a must, including that stuff that’s a pain to eat at the ballpark, like chips and salsa. I also like to throw in team sprit-y foods, which is easy with our orange team color. If you have trouble coming up with snacks to match your team, check out my team spirit colored popcorn! snack food 3. Decorate the house: Put up some team bunting, pick up a few balloons, and get dishes and cups to go with the team logo, and you’re set!

4. Get into the spirit with a game of catch: Max and Jamie spend quite a bit of time playing catch all summer. It’s especially fun now that it’s actually becoming catch, and not just Jamie playing fetch with Max. playing catch5. Dress the part. Because isn’t this the most important thing? Fanatics.com has everything you need to outfit yourself, your family, your home and your car with everything for your favorite team. The largest retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, it’s a one-stop shop for sports fans. (They carry NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, and PGA, for over 200 professional and collegiate teams) Here’s my Opening Day outfit: Styled outfit’47 Brand Helm Closer Flex Hat – Black | Majestic Women’s Cool Base Player Jersey
Giants Clutch | Bring on the Bubbly World Champion Women’s T-Shirt

And because he keeps growing at a pace that I can’t keep up with, Max needed a new Giants jersey this year, to go with his new World Series t-shirt. I told him he could pick which player’s name was on it, so guess who he picked. His favorite player, of course!
max buster jersey

Hooray baseball season!

What’s your team? Are you a jersey or a t-shirt wearer?

And last, but not least… CHEERS!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Life is a beautiful mess, if you know where to look

cbias disclosure#SweepTheMess #CollectiveBias

Find the beauty in the mess #SweeptheMess #ad

Can I tell you secret? I’m kind of a terrible housekeeper. I try, mostly, but never seem to get quite caught up. There are pretty much always dishes in the sink, junk mail on the counter, and toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

Because Jamie and I both have travel and commutes for work, we don’t spend a whole lot of time at home, and the time we do spend? There are other things we’d rather be doing than chores.

It can be easy to stress about the mess sometimes. I will watch things slowly pile up on the coffee table, and it can be a source of stress for me. Here’s what I mean:

Coffee Table Mess #SweeptheMess #ad

Tissues, water cup, a book, tax paperwork, phone, keys, sunglasses… just a pile of STUFF. But a simple change of perspective allows me to see the beauty in this scene. Do you see it?

Coffee Table Results #SweeptheMess #ad

Max and Jamie are having this moment together, instead of cleaning. Will Max remember the pile of stuff on the coffee table? I doubt it. Will he remember reading with his Daddy? For sure.

Sometimes, finding the beauty just takes a change in perspective.

Nine times out of ten, when I go to set the table for dinner or breakfast, this is the scene on the table. Detritus from doing homework after school, miscellaneous scratch paper, colored pencils and markers. Some have rolled off the table and into the floor, and they are *everywhere*

Drawing Supplies Mess #SweeptheMess #ad

But it’s because I have a little boy who can’t get enough drawing, and he loves sharing his creations with me. The mess that’s made in the process? Worth it.

Drawing Supplies Result #SweeptheMess #ad

This is a dramatic re-enactment, but it’s something that totally happened… I was in my room getting ready in the morning, and I came out to the kitchen to see this:

Cheerios Mess #SweeptheMess #ad

An almost full box of Cheerios spread across the kitchen floor. It’s easy to freak out about it, to rumble and grumble and let this wreck the start of my day. But instead, I tried to find the beauty in the cereal spread across the lino. And you know what? I found it. We are raising a smart, independent little boy. In an effort to help me and Jamie out, Max had tried to make his own breakfast. Because we have been doing a good job, Max thought this was a task he could do on his own. Unfortunately, gravity won over, the box was freshly opened, and the mess was made. But it’s because Max had taken initiative and tried to do something on his own. I’d call that a win.

Cherios Cleanup #SweeptheMess #ad

O-Cedar wants to help you find the beauty in life’s messes, too, because even the worst of the messes can bring beauty. Check out this video to see what I mean:

O-Cedar Angler Broom #SweeptheMess #ad

We love our O-Cedar Angler Broom, and we can rely on it to help us clean up those messes that life throws our way. Want to win your own broom AND up to $500 in Visa gift cards? Enter below!

And tell me: How do you remind yourself to look for the beauty?

O-Cedar “A Beautiful Mess” Giveaway

10 podcasts to download today (other than Serial)

10 favorite podcasts to downloadLike basically everyone else in my Facebook feed, I got hooked on Serial last fall, and that addiction series opened up to me the wide and wonderful world of podcasting. Since Sarah Koenig stepped away from the case of Hae and Adnan, I went searching for new things to listen to on my commute. I’ve historically listened to music, but realized that podcasts are a great change of pace AND I actually learn stuff sometimes!

My dad’s a big audiobook listener, and he has recommended many of them to me. I’ve never been able to listen to them, though… I just have trouble tracking the story and the characters when I’m only listening. I find that listening to podcasts has helped me develop that skill (Is it a skill?) and I have gone from 10 minute anecdote-based shows to longer ones. I’m anxiously awaiting the next series of Serial, but until then, here’s what I’m listening to. (All of the show names are linked to the iTunes listing for the show; sorry Android people)

CriminalCriminal: I randomly came across this true crime podcast a few weeks ago, and quickly ran through all of the available episodes. They basically cover all sorts of crime stories; from a 9 year old who was convicted of murder back in the 1800s, to a woman who works as a volunteer “exit guide” for people who have terminal illnesses and choose to end their lives. There’s the Oakland man who put a Buddha on the median in front of his house in an effort to stop people from dumping trash there, and has now seen an 80% reduction in crime in his neighborhood. Just all sorts of interesting stories with the common thread of crime.

StartUpStartUp: I started listening to StartUp because, as a tech startup employee myself, these things are interesting to me. Alex Blumberg, a former NPR producer, has struck out on his own to start his own podcasting company, and he takes you along on the ride of building a startup from the ground up. From terrible first pitch meetings, to launching their first show other than their own, it’s really interesting to hear a founder’s perspective on the whole process. I am looking forward to season 2, which is tagging along with a different startup… Alex is a white dude with lots of connections from his previous work; he funded WAY fast compared to the real world, so it will be interesting to see how next season’s company works out.

Reply AllReply All: Speaking of StartUp, this was their first show to air. And it’s fabulous. It’s kind of a pop culture slash history lesson, but focused on the internet. Where it’s been, where it’s going. From JenniCam livestreaming her dorm room in the 90s, to weird and random apps (ever wanted a stranger to deliver a message, in person, to a friend or loved one?), to confronting online trolls and SWATTING and doxxing. I’ve really enjoyed listening, and I highly recommend it if you are proud of your geek streak and can re-enact the sounds of a modem connecting at 24.4

UpvotedUpvoted: This is basically the Reddit podcast. They pull stories from the archives, or more recent than that, and share more about it, or the backstory to the users involved. There are amazing stories of Redditors who joined before going to prison, and now work for the company. The Reddit Secret Santa, and Reddit’s Redditgifts.com site that now runs that and other themed gift exchanges, and what happens when a Redditor announces to a bodybuilding forum (r/swoleacceptance) that he is transgender and will be transitioning to female. (Spoiler alert: Happy ending in progress) I don’t think you *have to* be a Redditor to enjoy these human interest stories, but it probably helps.

Savage LovecastSavage Lovecast: The “Savage Love” advice column was one of my favorite parts of reading SF Weekly when I was college. Free paper, broke college student, I devoured that stuff. Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” movement, doles out relationship and life advice that you may or may not want to hear. Some of his opinions may be unpopular, but he also backs them up with really logical reasons. I find it really interesting to hear from such a huge variety of people, because I think that any time I can hear from people who have a different perspetive or experience than me, it will only help me learn.

Nerdette:Nerdette Their tagline is “Because we’re all a little nerdy about something” Hosted by two women, Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda, they describe it as “a safe space for nerding out about all the things you’re watching, reading, listening to and encountering IRL.” Sometimes it’s guests or authors, and I really love is their Unsung Women of Science series, as well as the weekly call-in “Nerd Confessions” They assign weekly homework, which will only make you a better person and nerd, and assignments and other info can be found on their website.

And now we get to the NPR portion of our programming… I don’t/didn’t set out to download All The NPR Podcasts, it just happened that way. I actually had been listening to even more than these, but I found myself letting them slip by without listening, but these ones are my can’t miss.

This American LifeThis American Life: Basically the 500 lb gorilla of NPR, right? Ira Glass and his stories. If you’ve never listened to This American Life, stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and download. Every single one is fabulous. Stories about everything, with short collections tied together by a general theme. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll press pause while you’re listening on the train because people are looking at you and your reactions.

InvisibiliaInvisibilia: This was the first show I picked up post-Serial. I think they advertised on Serial a lot? Anyway, it’s a look at the invisible forces that impact our lives. People who lack the ability to have fear, and how fear impacts our lives in both good and bad ways, how we categorize and sort things we encounter, and how those things affect every aspect of our minds, or entanglement, which is a crazy theory about people interacting at a molecular level. Good stuff here.

Ask Me AnotherAsk Me Another: TRIVIA! I don’t know that I’ll ever actually make it on Jeopardy, so I might realign my sights to get on Ask Me Another instead. Silly games, with song parodies or word play, and prizes like having a celebrity record your voicemail message, or awesome Ask Me Another t-shirts, it’s not a high stakes game, but it’s definitely a lot of fun.

Pop Culture HHPop Culture Happy Hour: And last but not least, it’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, which is basically a talk show with a variety of subjects… around the release of Selma, for example, they discussed the use of artistic license in historical films. There was an interesting discussion recently about the importance of anniversaries in pop culture, about how celebrating the anniversaries of album and film releases may or may not lessen the importance of milestones. Some compelling talk around what could be a pretty foofoo subject.

So tell me, what podcasts are playing in your ears these days?

5 unexpected ways to reduce your environmental impact

cbias disclosure#BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias

Five unexpected ways that your family can reduce your environmental impact.

We try as hard as we can to “live green” around here. Being from California, a lot of it is second nature for us, like turning the water off when you’re brushing your teeth, or separating our recycling and having a compost bin on the kitchen counter. Just because there are some things we do without thinking, that certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t do things to reduce our impact even further.

Of course, there are the obvious things, like taking shorter showers, turning the lights off when you leave the room, and recycling your glass, plastic and paper items. But what about some things that might not be quite so obvious? I’ve got a few ideas for you, and would love to hear what else you might do.

Buy in bulk and keep in smaller containersBuy in Bulk #BringingInnovation #ad

I don’t know about you, but I was always brought up to think of warehouse shopping as a money-saving endeavor, more than an environmental one, but there are things that can greatly reduce waste when you buy them in bulk. We buy white rice 25 lbs at a time, and keep it in a big bucket in the garage. (A clean bucket purchased just for this purpose; you can get bucket and lid for less than $10 at your local hardware store)

We use a big glass jar to keep rice close at hand and to free up space in the pantry. Instead of buying 25 1-lb bags of rice, we purchase one big bag, keeping about 20 bags worth of trash out of the landfill. Some other things we buy in bulk and store include coffee beans (we grind fresh every morning), flour, and sugar.

Shop thrift and consignment shopsShop consignment #BringingInnovation #ad

This is another one that is obviously about saving money too, but many people forget the environmental impacts of clothing. I love shopping consignment, because it allows me to find high-quality pieces at great prices, without adding more new stuff into the cycle. I spent less than $50 for the three dresses shown above; if I’d bought them at retail, they would have easily gone for about $100 each. Good for the wallet AND the planet? I’m in.

Buy used when possible for other things, tooCast Iron Pans #BringingInnovation #ad

Like clothing, buying other things used is also a way to help conserve. There are *some* things I don’t buy used; I’m certainly not going to buy used undergarments, and generally avoid buying things that can be worn out. Like I wouldn’t buy a used blender, because I have no way of knowing how much the motor has been used.

One thing though, that is actually improved by buying used is cast iron cookware. Jamie loves to find rusted old pieces at the flea market and then recondition and restore them. Old cast iron is amazing, and can actually cost a bit more than buying new. But it’s worth it. An old pan, with a generation’s worth of seasoning on it is a valuable addition to any cook’s collection.

Buy Energizer EcoAdvanced batteriesEnergizer Eco Packaging #BringingInnovation #ad

While batteries aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think about “environmentally conscious,” Energizer’s brand new Eco Advanced batteries are making them a whole lot friendlier. The EcoAdvanced batteries actually use old recycled batteries for some of the materials, AND they are Energizer’s longest-lasting alkaline battery ever. Available in AA and AAA sizes, these batteries will hold their power for up to 12 years in storage, so don’t be afraid to stock up!Energizer Eco instore #BringingInnovation #ad

I picked up my EcoAdvanced at Walmart, where I found them right at the checkout stand, making them easy to grab as I prepared to pay. It’s like having a source of guilt-free energy, knowing that they used old batteries to make these new ones. As parents, we go through many, many AA batteries around here; my computer mouse uses one, but Max’s variety of toys can go through nearly a dozen batteries a month. That’s an awful lot of batteries! While I’m on the subject of repurposing old things, the last thing on my list is…

Repurpose old/damaged textilesUpcycled Pillow #BringingInnovation #ad

How cute is this throw pillow? It’s a case of something being worth more than the sum of its parts, right? I had an old sweater that had a big stain on the sleeve, and an ugly throw pillow that I was tired of looking at. Using the torso part of the sweater, I easily recovered the old pillow with this fun new look, giving me a cute and cozy new pillow for the living room!

If I really wanted to go hard core, I probably could have turned the sleeves into legwarmers or something, but I didn’t want to get carried away. ;) I’ve also seen t-shirt collections turned into quilts and stuffed animals, if you have pieces that have sentimental value but you want something to do with them other than just leaving them in the bottom drawer.

So tell me, what do YOU do to help reduce your impact?

And as long as you’re here, why not enter the GuiltFreeEnergy giveaway? You could win up to $1000 in gift cards!

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