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26 Apr 2015

5 Trades Away: Helping With Chopsticks #5TradesAway

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A fabulous friend and inspirational mover and shaker, Maria Bailey, has put out a challenge, which started actually as her homework assignment. I read about the once before where a kid took a toy car and traded up until he got a real one. Maria has gone. Step further and has challenged us to trade away, but there’s one catch…we give it away to be auctioned off in the end to help other Moms. Brilliant.

I’m all for helping make the world a better place and have decided I will use her chopsticks to trade do my part to help. Many hands make light work.

About the cause: (From Diaries of a Blue Suit Mom)

“Each day, 800 moms die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Many of these women live in villages in Uganda and die because they can’t get to a clinic. Imagine. Better yet, watch this video to understand the magnitude.

Pulse, a company building village transports that universally hook to the back of any bike or motor scooter, is working with health care organizations to supply Village Ambulances to remote communities. I will be going to Uganda in June to work with Pulse on maximizing their efforts. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity but most of all, passionate about this cause.

Giving birth is a blessing, it shouldn’t be a death sentence. We deliver our babies in clean birthing suites and these mothers can’t even get to a clinic.”

I’m only 5 Trades Away. Life depends on it.

Do you have something you can trade with me? Would you like your own pair of chopsticks? How can you help?!

Sign up here. Get your chopsticks and start trading. You only have until May 1st!

For additional information or thoughts, feel free to email the creator of 5 trades away at Maria@bsmmedia.com or on a Twitter at @MomTalkRadio.

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Follow Pulse on Twitter too.

26 Apr 2015

My #BeautyStory: Make the world a beautiful place.

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This is my #BeautyStory

We all have a choice on what we can teach our children. I choose to teach them what my Mom taught me…

When I was little, I remember my Mom getting ready for school (she’s a teacher) and I would tell her she looks beautiful and she would respond, “Beauty is much more than how I look. Beautiful people can make the world a beautiful place.” It was something I didn’t understand until much later. She raised me to be a confident, smart, genuine, woman, that always told me I could do anything and be anything I believed I could be. My inner beauty shines from her as I know that beauty means so much more just how I feel, it’s about how others feel too and what you can do to help others. She raised two beautiful daughters and now I’m raisin three beautiful daughters and can’t wait to share my beauty story with them.

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Having three daughters of my own, I know they watch my every move. What I do to get ready. What I wear. How I treat people. What I say. What I do. They even watch how I feel.

We talked about being beautiful the other day, and what I learned was proof that it’s up to me to teach them what beauty means.

I told my girls they are beautiful. But I ask they if they know what that means. My 5 year old, Shelby said it best.

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Photo Credit: Instagram.com/sam_I_am_stevens.

She excitedly said, “A butterfly!”

I said, “Yes, but why is a butterfly so beautiful?”

“Well, when it’s in it’s shell, it’s not that pretty. But I know it’s pretty. And that’s why you should treat caterpillars like they are the most beautiful animals on the planet. You never know what it’s going to be when it grow up! Butterflies are the nicest and most beautiful creatures on the planet. And the butterfly makes the world a beautiful place too.”

Right there. My five year old had told me the answer. Teach them confidence. Team them to be nice. Teach them to choose to be the beautiful people I know they are. Teach them to take care of themselves and others so the world can be a better place. Others will see the beauty that lies beneath. Once it is unearthed, all the beautiful people will make the world a better place.

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We now have a beauty talk when ever I can evoke a conversation about why that was beautiful. I love the word and love showing my children all the beauty in the world, in themselves and how they can make the world beautiful too. I say exactly what my Mom would say to me, “Beautiful people make the world a beautiful place.” I finally understand what my Mother taught me.

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There is so much I want to pass on to my daughters about being a woman, empowering them to make a difference, choosing to be the beautiful people I know they are. I want to raise happy kids. I know they will make the world a better place.

Being beautiful is a state of mind. And the mind is powerful. Their beauty holds to power. I will teach them to use their powers for good. They are beautiful. I am beautiful and together there is no stopping our beauty.

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I am attending the Mom 2.0 Summit in Scottsdale, AZ and was asked to share my #BeautyStory if desired. I have not been compensated for this post in anyway shape, or form. I do not work for Dove although I do love what they stand for.

24 Apr 2015

Tampa Mama Top Picks: Screen on the Green and Friday Extra Concert Series

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There are some pretty awesome family friendly events coming to parks in the City of Tampa. Mark your calendar, bring the kids, and pack a picnic! Here is what you need to know:

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20 Apr 2015

Abby

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Naptime with Theo and Beau

06 Apr 2015

Easter With My People

No Comments Adventures, Lifestyle, Monday Motto, Raising Children, Uncategorized

Monday Motto: Keep it real.

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A simple day. Just us. No fuss. Just family time. We cooked together. We laughed. One of the best holidays.

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16 Mar 2015

Soulmate Sisters

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I have been hotel hopping since I was about 8 years old. When I was young, we visited a number of pretty snazzy hotels and resorts all over the Milwaukee and lower Wisconsin area. Mostly with my Papi while he worked. My sister and I would play in the pools, meet other kids on vacation, marvel at the opulence that was in every corner and on every wall of the hotel. We became professional hotel explorers.

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It was fun to be rich, even if just for the weekend.

I had a déjà vu moment this past weekend as oldest girls, about the same age apart as my sister and I, frolicked during a night swim on my last vacation. It brought me back to swimming at the pools of my youth when my Papi would bring us, while he worked, to hotels for the weekend. I hadn’t remembered the similarities until just that moment.

My infatuation with hotels and weekend getaways was finally making sense. What if this was a way my father was telling to remember the best times of my childhood? Could it be he’s sending me a message? I fully believe in signs and have always believed in the way that things do happen for a reason.

Ten years ago, my Papi left two little girls on this Earth. We were his world I’ll always remember that for sure. But signs are everywhere telling me he hasn’t ever forgot us and even surfacing out memories I haven’t thought about in years.

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Sisters are soulmates.

We used to stay at hotels because he would work as a mariachi singer and play Sunday brunches for these fancy hotels. The rooms were comped and food was always complementary. We enjoyed our weekends in the hot tubs and pools with him because it was much better than the fridged Wisconsin winters outside. We would have so much fun getting ice cream, using fancy glasses and running around exploring the hotel.

It all stopped so suddenly. Like over night. And then he was gone. And it happened no more. Because we weren’t rich. And that wasn’t what a normal kid did every weekend.

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But the other night was magical. Watching my girls laugh, splash and soak up every moment of being a kid in a fancy hotel pool… Just like I did…once upon a time. And reminding me that my first friend, my oldest companion was my sister. I’ve been with her since day one. She knows what we’ve been through, what happened, how it felt and is my soulmate. Sisters are a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.

So on that night I was reminded that childhood memories are all for the making. There’s a small window to make them remember what their childhood felt like. But sisters will always be there to help you remember where you came from.

Happiest days of birth to my little sister, Gina. May happiness fill your soul and feed your life with pure bliss. xoxo

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16 Mar 2015

A Million Memories And Counting

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How quickly time flies when you are young. As Spring Break ’15 is all over and wrapped neatly with a bow and we are on to the next chapter. It seems surreal that it’s over and upon us soon will be year end parties, summer celebrations and endless summer nights. But are these memories just a dream in the making or will they truly remember what we did together?
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01 Mar 2015

Celebrate Life & Do Something: Life with a Rare Condition

No Comments CAH, Everyday, Kids, Parenting, Raising Children, Uncategorized

“The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Albert Einstein

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Today is February 28. Only month in a year that we have 28 days, sometimes 29. Crazy, I know. But do you know why we have a leap year?

A common year has 365 days and a leap year 366 days, with the extra, or intercalary, day designated as February 29. A leap year occurs every four years to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit about the sun, which is about 365¼ days.

Without the extra 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds that is needed to make the cycle complete, time would be off. Everything would be out of sync. The stars wouldn’t align and the seasons, eventually would be off. It just wouldn’t be “right.” It’s a rare day that February 29th, but we all accept it and celebrate the extra day we get every 4 years.

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Shouldn’t everyday on Earth be a celebration? We’re alive, right? That’s exactly how I feel about my kids. They are mine to celebrate and mine to protect. Unique in their own ways, but exactly who they are because of what makes them…them. And without them, for me, and many people who love them, the world wouldn’t be what it is without them either. We celebrate life, the normal and realize life is precious everyday.

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02 Feb 2015

A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

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When I was 19 I started working at a bar. It was a popular bar that I had snuck into with friends. Started chatting with a gentleman at the bar (soon to find out he was the owner) who graciously asked, “How the f”ck did you get into my bar?” at the end of a very nice conversation. It was also followed up by, “You start tomorrow.” The next day was St.Patricks Day and I would work the longest shift I’ve ever worked. 9am to 6am. Best night of my waitressing career.

From there, lots of memories unfolded behind the bar of this quaint Irish Pub set back in the suburbs of Tampa. I meet lots of people who I still call friends to this day. Many friends I have lost touch with, but I could pick up a conversation with them if I saw them…In a heartbeat.

“It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin.”

I continued on to finish college while working there and was able to finish college debit free because of this job. I enjoyed my job and loved the people there. The owners and co-workers were family. Many of us spent holidays and many occasions together, at the bar, with customers whom also were like family. This definitely was the place where everybody knows your name. Each night was finished off with Piano Man on the jukebox and a great (loud) rendition of Sweet Caroline. I meet many of my closest friends for the first time at the bar so long ago.

To me, this was more than just a bar, just a job, just people who were crossing in my path in life. I spent the better part of my 20′s there, growing up into the person I am today. Meeting people, learning their stories, before social media, when you weren’t glued to your phone when you went out, taking pictures of your beer and posting it. Lots of fun and memories that live on inside my mind and in my heart.

In that tiny bar, I met a boy, who I fell madly in love with. We had never met before and because all the stars were aligned, we crossed paths at that very place.

I truly believe that everyone has meaning in your life. For me, had I never had that conversation with that gentleman at the bar, my life might not be what it is today. People are put in your path for a reason and then taken out, too soon before you can even say thank you. Not sure where I’d be if I wouldn’t have taken that job.

I won’t have the chance to say thank you to Bernie for giving me a job. He was loved by everyone and I was proud to say I knew and worked for him. Thank you for the fond memories and for placing me in the right place at the right time.

“And the piano sounds like a carnival.
And the microphone smells like a beer.
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar.
And say “Man what are you doing here?”

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feeling alright.”

Thanks for the memories Bernie!

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08 Jan 2015

I will ENJOY 2015

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Dear 2015,

So nice to finally meet you! You seem to be pretty relaxed and I like the way you’ve handled yourself, you know, being so new and all. Being the shiny new kid on the block, sometimes people seem to get super excited and ambitious about your new gizmos and gadgets, but I taking a different approach this time. I think I’m going to sit back and have everyone test drive you first, get the feedback I need and then make an educated decision weather or not I should buy into you this year. Sounds good, right?

Yes, I know… This is typically not the way I operate, but it’s time for a change. See, last year wore me out. And so have the preceding 10 years before that. So I’m tired. Well, I’m not THAT tired, but I am older and thus wiser, to see that it’s not always the shiny new bells and whistles that will make me buy into things any more. I want long lasting, durability and longevity. The past ten years have gone by so fast. Lots of new things have been the focus of years past, but you…your different than them.

I’ve finally moved on from that first series into the second. The good stuff. I don’t want new any more. I want to enjoy what I have and relax because it’s about time I don’t have to read the owners manual ten times over to make sure I’m doing it right. 

I’m definitely in this for the long haul and I’m going to sit back and enjoy the ride. I purchased my ticket on this train awhile ago and haven’t truly enjoyed the scenery. So that’s what I’m going to do this year. Enjoy. My new word of the year. 

I want to sleep in more. I want to do more yoga. I want to cook with my kids. I want to play more games with my family. I want to travel to places I’ve never been to. I want to enjoy this wonderful life that I have been blessed with. Life will never stay the same. And I just really don’t want to miss out with what is happening right now.

I hope we get along great this year! I’ve probably had the best year already, and I we if we are only 7 days in, I’m excited to see what the next 360 look like. Here are a few pictures of what you look like so far. Not too shabby!

Thanks in advance for the memories, I’m sure they will all be wonderful.

xx~
M

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