Monday, May 28, 2012

Investing in Noah's Future

Noah is starting kindergarten in the fall, where has all the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday he was a baby.  Now that I have registered him for school, and soon will be buying him school supplies and paying book rental and sending him on the bus, it has me thinking about the future. I have always thought about the future but I really need to start some kind of college fund for him so when he graduates high school, he can go to college.  I am not going to be a parent that relies on a scholarship for my son. I have faith that he is smart enough to get one but you never know.  I know that he is very advanced for his age but I need to be proactive about this.  I need to sit down and look in to investing my money in to something that can provide for Noah’s future if he goes to college or not.  I want to check out purchasing some walking liberty half dollars.  I was always told that gold and silver were both a good investment. 

My dad gave me a couple pieces of silver when I was in Jr. High and I still have them both.  I couldn’t tell you where they are, but I still have them tucked away somewhere.  I thought it was really cool that he gave them to me.  I could have sold them at a pawn shop or something, but I kept them for a rainy day. I think I might pass them down to Noah when he gets older.  You know I am big on heirlooms and by the time he is an adult, they will be over 25 years old. I know some of you might be thinking he’s only 5 now and I have time, the last 5 years has flown by so I am assuming the faster I get on the ball I am able to help him go to the college of his dreams.  He wants to be so many different things, it changes all the time so who knows what he will do with his life.  I just need to check out a company like Independent Living Bullion to start investing in Noah’s college fund while he is still young.  The longer you have the more likely you are to be able to do something like this.  I have big dreams and hopes for Noah to be whatever he wants and will help him achieve his goals in life.

Do you invest in anything? Do you have college funds for your children?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Adventures Unlimited Trip #Gulfcoast #Brandcation

One of the adventures we went on Brandcation, turned out to be the biggest adventure of all. We went to Adventures Unlimited in Milton Florida.  They offer zip lining, tubing, kayaking and even camping.  The property was absolutely breath taking. There were so many lush trees and it was hard to believe I was in Florida still. It was like I was out in the wilderness.  I know that not all of Florida is palm trees and beaches so it was different when you think of being so close to Pensacola Beach.  One of the things I noticed was how friendly the staff was.  They were all very nice and Jack the owner made a point to personally talk to me a bunch.  It made me feel like I was one of members the Adventures Unlimited family. 

I am not a wilderness girl.  I grew up in the suburbs.  I went to camp and stuff when I was younger and love to go camping. Honestly, when I thought about zip lining, I had no idea how high it really was going to be. The only zip line I had seen before was at a pumpkin patch. I wouldn’t say I was afraid of heights, just more afraid to actually do the zip lines. I did the practice zip and stopped short of the platform, so I had to pull myself in.  I know that everyone else had a really great time.  I just wasn’t able to take the leap off the normal ones.  It’s not my thing.  Although I didn’t zip line, I was able to spend some time just talking to the staff and taking in the natural beauty of Adventures Unlimited. 

After zip lining we went tubing in Cold Water Creek.  I was excited to be able to go tubing because I loved going tubing at water parks. It’s not the same obliviously, but I thought it was a similar experience.  I had been tubing in the past where you are pulled by a boat and that is a lot of fun.  This kind of tubing was where it is you, your tube and your faith in the river to get you to the exit.  The tubing adventure is almost 4 miles long. It can be really relaxing for some.  I had a hard time managing myself to stay out of the trees. I learned to become very creative when it came to pushing off things, like tree limbs, branches and rocks.  Be sure to stay fully hydrated because you don’t know how long you will be in the river.  The water wasn’t very deep so that was a good thing. One thing I will tell you that I learned very quickly is to make sure you are aware of what is in the water. I didn’t see any snakes but there are stumps that you have to be careful of. You don’t want to bump your bum or worse get stuck on a stump.  As long as you keep your bottom up and are aware of your surroundings you should be alright. I ended up getting heat stroke in the process so; I only remember part of the tubing adventure.  I guess I was hallucinating and passing out.  I want to give special thanks to Lisa she made sure I made it safely.

For more information about Adventures Unlimited please check out their website.

Thank you to Adventures Unlimited for sponsoring a full day adventure for all of the Brandcation attendees. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blogger Olympics and Dolphin Cruise #gulfcoast #brandcation

The first day of Brandcation in Pensacola Beach we did the Blogger Olympics.  It was a lot of fun. We did all kinds of goofy things like a digital scavenger hunt with our condo mates, we had to build a sandcastle, and there was even a hula hoop contest.  There were even medals and trophies and prizes to win.  First we did the digital scavenger hunt where we had to find all kinds of random things. Most of them we were pertaining to Portofino where we were staying, like pictures of the pools, a picture of the spa, and other beach themed things. It was crazy to run all over the place, but it was a good way to break out of my shell. I ran for the first time in a long time for my condo mates trying to beat the other teams. I was in a lot of the pictures that we had to take to “collect” the items on our list.  We had a bonus item to find a man with a hairy chest and take his picture. I went up to this man and said can I take a picture with you? He said sure. He was a really nice guy. That isn’t something I would normally do but I did. 

After the digital scavenger hunt we headed down to the beach, and had to build the White House out of sand. I suggested we had an Obama with a head I made out of random seaweed and plants. It was really cute.  We made sure we had all of the White House’s features and came really close to the real thing.  We only ended up with one bucket so we sculpted the White House with our own hands.  We didn’t even use the bucket.  The sand was our clay. We also had to ride on a raft out to a point and then ride back to shore that was difficult but fun.  If it would have been swimming or running it would have been easier but the Olympics are not easy!  All of the Blogger Olympics was sponsored by Jambu Shoes.   Jambu sells adventurous footwear that is not only comfortable, but also stylish and adorable. You can get footwear for the entire family with Jambu shoes.   Be sure to check them out.  They are awesome and Thank you Jambu Shoes for sponsoring one of my favorite events.  They provided us with the equipment for the Olympic games and the medals and the adorable sheep trophies that the winners won. We came in last place but I proudly wear my bronze medal.

The last day of Brandcation we went on a Dolphin Cruise.  I wasn’t too sure when I found out we were going.  Cruise is such a loose term, it could have been a fast boat or more of a leisurely ride. Either way I knew it was going to be fun.  I love boats and I would love to own one someday.  It was a nice relaxing leisure cruise.  We didn’t have to worry about getting wet even though that would have been fun.  We were able to see a bunch of dolphins. We even saw infant dolphins which was really neat. The captain and crew were really nice too. Some of my fellow bloggers were able to drive the boat!  Thankfully we made it back safely. We also learned more about Pensacola Beach’s history.  They showed us supposedly haunted light house. It was pretty creepy. I get scared pretty easily so I kept looking to see if Eleanor was holding on to the rudder.  They also had beverages available and a snack. It was so amazing to be so close to dolphins without glass between you like at the zoo.

The dolphin cruise was sponsored by the awesome PR firm Circle PR.  Thank you so much for the chance to see the dolphins. I look forward to working with them in the future as they represent some really great companies.  If you are a company looking for a dedicated company to promote your business or products check out Circle PR.
The events were sponsored as part of Brandcation Gulf Coast.  Thank you again to Jambu Shoes and Circle PR. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Secret Things of God is Amazing!!!

I have had many people tell me about “The Secret”, they told me about all the great things that happened to them and I was interested in learning more. I remember going to Borders and looking for the book. I didn’t find it and I remember thinking, I don’t know if this book is right for me.  A little voice inside me was saying don’t read this book.  I just felt like I shouldn’t read it. I wasn’t sure where this secret came from. I am a Christian and although I am not someone who only reads Christian books or very many for that matter, I just felt like I needed to research it more. I wasn’t able to really find a source of where the Secret came from, I looked on CBN’s website because I figured Pat Robertson would know.  I didn’t find anything either way so I stopped looking.

I started wanting to know more about The Secret again. I still couldn’t find the source of the secret so I decided to download the audio book. I listened to the first 45 minutes and was falling asleep. The book was like 4 and half hours long.  I decided I would listen to it later.  I knew there was a DVD version and if you know me at all, you know I love to watch movies. I remember someone saying it was on Netflix. I wanted to get Netflix anyways so when I did, I found out that The Secret wasn’t on Netflix any more.  I even called Netflix and I asked them because it was showing on the site before I signed up.  I guess it was only available on DVD. I didn’t really want to deal with signing up for DVDS too.  So, I let it go.  I knew I would have to start the audio recording again and that wasn’t an option.  I kept feeling like I shouldn’t watch it.

My best friend watched The Secret, and she had already figured out the secret before watching the movie. She found it on Amazon Prime, I wasn’t a member and I wasn’t going to sign up for it.  I thought maybe I would look On Demand, you never know what you will find on there.  I started looking and I couldn’t find it.  I did find something called “The Secret Things of God”.  I read the description and found out it is a faith based version of The Secret.  I wasn’t sure about this either, so I was able to find something on CBN’s website and a short video of Dr. Henry Cloud. I watched it a couple times.  My favorite part was when he was talking about being on an airplane with this woman and she was talking about how angry her boyfriend always was and how they always break up and get back together.  Dr. Cloud said something like you know there is an old proverb that says “If you rescue an angry man you will have to do it again tomorrow”.  She was like that’s amazing where did you learn that?  He said it’s in the Bible, Proverbs 19:19. That just rang through me; I knew that I needed to watch The Secret Things of God. 

I know that doubt creeped in and I decided to read other peoples reviews, many people put it down, called it cheesy and talked about the audience being fake and mindless. I didn’t focus on the audience, I was so focused on the message and the secrets of God.  I hesitated for a few moments to order it, I know that everyone is a critic and some people go to seek out to be negative. Those leaving the negative reviews about it and calling it a cheap knock off of The Secret, aren’t practicing their positive thinking skills.  They were instead of focusing on the point of the seminar; they were looking for what was wrong with it. I guess I don’t understand why they can discredit something because it came from God but sit there and believe some kind of magical mystical thing like “The Universe”.  I think that there is a whole stigma when it comes to God, but will put their faith in other things, that they believe to be true.  I am not trying to say what you believe in is wrong, we all have the choice in what we believe in.

While watching The Secret Things of God, it opened my eyes and my heart.  I have been a Christian for a long time and it helped implement my faith.  It wasn’t a sermon by any means and it was actually really awesome. It wasn’t like a seminar about why you should believe in God and if you didn’t your life would be miserable.  It was more about how God works in our lives through different keys or secrets.  I learned so much about things I didn’t even know.  Dr. Cloud is a psychologist so he also included his clinical views along with his personal views.  All of the things he shared are backed by psychology and science. There were also other people sharing information  and personal stories like Dr. Drew and a Rabbi to name a few.  I learned that my relationship problems are due to my patterns and that I attract a certain type of person and I have to figure out what kind of person that is, by exploring past relationships and realizing who I am attracted to.  I will have to spend some time thinking about it, but I will definitely blog about it. 

I love The Secret Things of God so much that I watched it twice in a row.  I was tired after the first time, not because it was boring but because it was getting late. I put it on again and I watched the whole thing and when it was over I was wide awake.   I was unable to sleep because I was so excited about what I learned.  Needless to say it was 3 AM at this point.  After watching it I wanted to blog about it. I opened my laptop up and decided to wait until morning.  I am so excited about The Secret Things of God and using the keys and secrets that God designed me to use.  I highly recommend it to anyone.  Especially people who have faith in God, or are searching to learn more about God.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thank You Brandcation #Gulfcoast Sponors

This past weekend I went to my first blogging conference.  I went to Brandcation Bloggers Gone Coastal.  It was hosted by Brandfluential  and Momdot. It was in Pensacola Florida.  I am not sure if I had ever been to Pensacola before and it was absolutely beautiful.  The scenery was nothing compared to all the wonderful women I met. I had spent almost three years chatting with these women so having the opportunity to meet them was so exciting. We spent time bonding together and learning about brands and going on adventures.  It was definitely the experience of a lifetime.   We had some amazing sponsors that made this whole thing possible, without costing a fortune to attend.  
I want to take a little time to thank all the sponsors:

Adventures Unlimited  invited us out to go zip lining and tubing.

Portofino Island Resort  was our accommodations in beautiful condos.

Dunkin Donuts Thanks for the bagels and coffee. An Everything bagel hit the spot after a long trip in.

Jambu sponsored the wacky Blog Olympics where we had to do all kinds of silly things. They also provided us with awesome tote bags for our swag.

Hotel Coupons  for sponsored our Murder Mystery Night. They have awesome coupons to help you save on travel.

Circle PR made it possible to go on the Dolphin Cruise

Dole  provided us with some healthy condo snacks.

Stargazing with Dewey was such an experience.
The Swag Sponsors:

Mogo Charm sells adorable magnetic charms for kids that Noah loves.

The Tervis Water Bottle  was one of my favorite swag items because it is a great water bottle that is pretty much leak proof. They also sell glasses that contain patches of different things like sports logos and even monograms.

Capsul Cases are hard wallets so you don’t have to worry about your cards getting all bent up.

The Village company  makes Mr. Bubble products and other luxurious bath items.

Hasbro provided us with The Game of Life zapped for iPad and you play with both a game board and your iPad. 

Noah is so excited to listen to the Kidz Bop CD I received.

Carex  sells all kinds of cool products. We all received a Pediatric medical kit complete with a thermometer and different items to dispense medicine. We also received a detachable pill box that some of the proceeds go to Breast Cancer awareness. My favorite item from Carex is the Neck Buddy pillow. You heat it up and it is heavenly.  I have it on my back right now after having it on my neck.

Lush Gourmet Foods makes delicious gourmet nuts and I was lucky enough to try some.

Nivea provided everyone with a sample of fifteen lip care products, Sun Kissed Lotion and body wash and a men’s product to try out. I love Nivea!

Lady Fortunes makes beautiful cookies and treats with your company’s logo on them. 

I don’t know how many times I have had to lug my purse somewhere because I had no pockets for my phone.  I am so excited that I received Pami Pocket because now I don’t have to worry about carrying my purse with me, which weighs a ton.

Island Def Jam Records provided us with some music to jam to long after Brandcation is over.

Ayala’s Herbal Water provided beverages for all the ladies to drink during the conference.

Wikki Stix is one of Noah’s favorite items I received. He loves shaping them in fish and sting rays and other assorted sea life.

Phone Fetcher will definitely be a life saver.  I am always losing my phone in my purse. I really need to clean it out.  I am so glad that I don’t have to spend time looking for my phone because I can attach it to my purse.

Page Stationery makes really cute personalized stationary and cards.

Cereusart provided everyone with a wine charm. I love that mine was a starfish.

Annemarie Gianni Skin Care provided everyone with a sample of their organic, wild crafted and natural  skincare products.

Veri Peri Sauces makes sauces with a kick of spice and they had me at Garlic!

Twin Cottage Industries  makes really cool bungee bookmarks. They hire mentally disabled people to make the bookmarks which are absolutely awesome.

Kids Gear provided me with kid friendly headphones. If you know me I am always breaking head phones and these are well made and will survive the headphone curse!

Smart Mouth makes Activated Mouthwash that uses patented Smart-Zinc Technology.

Sacs of Life  gave me my favorite swag item so far. They gave everyone a brown diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag and makes a great bag for a mom on the go.

Bright Star Kids provided me with a really cute cupcake bag tag. They must have known I love cupcakes!

KleenSlate makes dry erase paddles for classrooms so children no longer have to shout out the answer and it helps shy children participate too.

EAD Designs provided everyone with an owl decal and a blogging geek car decal.

Wahmies Eats makes reusable casserole covers which is awesome because I am always fighting with plastic wrap and losing.

Blue Orange Games provided everyone with a game to share with their families.

DVO Enterprises  makes the Cook’n Recipe software. I have so many random recipes that are written on paper, from the newspaper or printed out. I tend to lose them sometimes and with this software I can keep them all safe digitally and access them on my laptop and tablet.

When I was in school I was always forgetting my locker combination.  I wish they had Wordlock when I was in school because I could remember a word to unlock my locker.

Our Giveaway Sponsors:

Rubbermaid provided the prizes for the Blog Olympics teams.

Etching Expressions makes really cool etched wine labels and personalized plaques.

Belkin makes all kinds of fun tech things. I received a tablet holder for when I am cooking in the kitchen and don’t want to spill anything on my tablet. The coolest thing is it does not use screws so it won’t ruin your cabinets.

Velvet Pepper makes beautiful purses and bags.  I really need a new purse.

Frangelico is Hazelnut Liqueur and everyone received a bottle and hand crafted Frangelico chocolates.  

Tiny Love provided the Musical Stack & Ball Elephant as a giveaway prize. I know one of the other bloggers would have done anything for her son to get one.

Atlantic Luggage makes great luggage that is lightweight. My mom has a suitcase that weighs 17 pounds which is a pain when you have a weight limit of fifty pounds. I will look in to purchasing her some new luggage.

Drama Queen Bows makes really sweet bows for little girls.

I also wanted to thank our wonderful hosts who spent 5 months organizing and planning:

I plan to go in to more detail about our adventures and some of the awesome sponsors and swag items we received. Noah has already gotten in to and ran off with quite a few of my swag items.