Brazos Valley Maize Discount Coupon - Sponsored

I've got another discount coupon for my readers!  Today I am partnering with Brazos Valley Maize to offer $10 off a family four pack admission.  Click here for your coupon.  Brazos Valley Maize Corn Maize & Pumpkin Patch is in Brenham, TX and is open Saturdays and Sundays, September 28 through November 29, 2013.  It sounds like a great maize and pumpkin patch.  Dennis and I haven't visited Brazos Valley yet, but one thing we're looking forward to is the maize is open after dark!  Plus they offer campfire sites for roasting hot dogs and s'mores.  This promises to be a great family outing, so go get your discounted tickets, and we'll see you there!

This is a sponsored post.  I am receiving admission to the maize in exchange for passing on this discount to my readers.  All opinions expressed are my own!


Dewberry Farm Discount Coupon - Sponsored

Fall is here and that means it's time for corn mazes and pumpkin patches.  Earlier, I posted a list of corn mazes and pumpkin patches, and now I'm excited to be able to offer my Texas readers a discount coupon to Dewberry Farm.  Dennis and I will be taking Jack in a couple of weeks and couldn't be more excited.  Click here to claim your coupon, and remember, you don't need to have kids to have an awesome time visiting Dewberry Farm.

Dewberry Farm is just west of Houston in Brookshire, and has all kinds of fun activities including the corn maze and pumpkin patch (of course), along with a new carousel, wagon rides, trains, and zip lines.  There are over 30 activities to keep you busy.  They also have a variety of food to keep your bellies full, so you can easily spend the entire day enjoying all the "agri-tainment".  One of my favorites is the pig races!  So what are you waiting for?  Go get  your discounted tickets and have a great time!

This is a sponsored post.  I am receiving tickets to Dewberry Farm in exchange for passing along this discount.  All opinions are my own!


Blog Elevated 2013

Blog Elevated

This past weekend was amazing!  I went to my first ever blog conference here in Houston, Blog Elevated, and it was such a great time!  I know I've talked before about wanting to improve my blogging skills and take my little corner of the internet up a notch or two (or ten), but I never thought I'd be attending a live in person conference any time soon.  Being Houston based, I had been hearing about this conference for, like, forever, but figured it was out of my realm of possibility to attend.  Two days before the conference, the planets aligned and I was able to buy tickets, and I'm so glad I did.  I made my own luck, rearranged my schedule, and made it possible to go.  That may be one of the biggest lessons I learned this weekend:  make your own luck, and don't back down from your dreams.

The weekend kicked off with a welcome reception sponsored by Kroger with chocolate fountains, wine, and cheese.  We walked the red carpet (how I ended up without a picture of this is beyond me) and mixed and mingled.  The best part for me was being able to bring Jack.  I'm terrible at mixing and mingling; maybe it's because I'm an only child and used to flying solo, maybe it's because I can be incredibly shy, but having Jack around is an instant ice breaker, plus I had the cutest date in the room.  Win-win!  Dennis joined up with the party after he got off work and we had a great time.

The opening keynote speaker of the conference was John Saddington.  He was full of positive energy and very inspiring; he left me feeling like I can really accomplish whatever I set my mind to.  It was a great opening speech.  Next was a panel discussion on how to best sell yourself to brands and the most professional ways to pitch partnerships to brands.  I learned a lot of information listening to the panel speakers.  Jack took notes for me.  After the panel, we had a lunch break, so I decided to drop Jack with my mother-in-law.

I really like the way Blog Elevated set up lunch.  The conference was held at the Norris Conference Center at Houston City Centre with lots of access to several restaurants.  To encourage networking with other bloggers, everyone was randomly given a gift certificate to one of the restaurants.  That way you were less likely to go to lunch with a group of people you already knew and could get to know some new people.  I missed most of lunch dropping Jack off, so I didn't really get to capitalize on the networking aspect of lunch, but I really appreciated the effort to have everyone get to know each other.  I got a gift certificate to Grub Burger Bar and, holy cow, was it delicious!  I have three words for you:  salted caramel shake.  Enough said.

The next half of the day I took a class from Angela England (who is a-mazing)  and the day was capped off by a lecture from Rae Hoffman about mastering SEO (which I now think I may actually be able to do - what???).  By this point in the weekend, my mind was blown.  So much information had been shared, and so much positive energy was in the air, I felt like I could do just about anything.  That evening was a fashion show put together by Houston Fashion Bloggers and a dinner reception.  Dennis and Jack met back up with me for the dinner and fashion show, and Jack met his first pinecone, Puffy, from the Woodlands Resort.

 The final day of the conference had so many great things on the agenda I had a hard time picking which classes to take.  The day started with a lecture about being a brand ambassador, but I missed most of it because Jack wasn't as interested in taking notes as he was the day before.  After watching all the great lectures the day before, I think Jack thought he was supposed to be giving a lesson on all the things he had already learned.  I was able to take him out in the hallway and still hear most of the lecture.  Unfortunately he was just too squirmy and refused to take a nap (and can you really blame him with so much going on?), so I left early to take him back to my mother-in-law's.  I missed the two classes I was really looking forward to, but all was not lost.  The speakers provided copies of their lessons to conference attendees, and I was able to get some notes from what I missed.  Again, I made it back for lunch, from Go Picnic, and sat in on a photography class by Rachel Matthews.  I have a loooonnnggg way to go in the photography department.  The final keynote speaker, Karen Walrond gave the perfect, uplifting talk about building community and positive communication.

I feel so pumped about everything, and I really came away with some priceless information.  Blogging isn't just about connecting with people, it's also requires technical skills and professionalism to be successful.  Blog Elevated provided lessons on all of these necessary skills.  It was a very well rounded weekend, professionally organized, and very personal.  I met some new people, and learned some new things.  I will absolutely be attending next year, and I highly recommend you do the same.


Fall Festivals and Corn Mazes: Sponsored

A couple of years ago, Dennis and I went to Dewberry Farm's Corn Maze and it was seriously some of the most fun we've ever had.  It was before we had Jack and the whole time we were there all we could talk about was how much fun the maze, pumpkin patch, and all the other activities would be once we have kids (I even thought about borrowing some friend's kids and going back).  We did end up bringing the Boys with us and they had a great time, too!

Well, I came across this amazing list of fall festivals and corn mazes and just had to share it with my readers.  It's a nationwide list, so hopefully there's a maze near you.  Please let me know if you end up visiting one!  You don't need kids to have fun in a corn maze, either, so all you non-parents can get in on the action, too.  I can't wait to go back with Jack this fall!  So. Freaking. Excited!!

Schnepf Farms - Queen City

Tolmachoff Farms- Glendale, AZ

Forneris Farms - Mission Hills

Anderson Farms - Erie

Flat Acres Farm - Parker
Fritzler Maze - La Salle
Sunflower Farm - Longmont
Mile High Farms - Bennett
Wishing Star Farm - Calhan
Harvest Farm - Wellington

Devine Acres Farm - Devine
Fiesta Farm - San Antonio
Yesterland Farm - Canton
South Texas Maize - Hondo
Dewberry Farm - Brookshire
Brazos Valley Maize- Brenham

CM Farms - Dry Creek

Lane Southern Orchards - Fort Valley
Poppell Farms - Odum

Harvestmoon Farm- Masaryktown FL 

Farmer Charley's Corn Maze Adventure - Monroe

Amazing Fall Fun - Waterloo
Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch - Lowell
Hobson's Fun Farm - Rockville
Guffey Acres- Kokomo

All Seasons Orchard - Woodstock
Kuipers Family Farm - Maple Park
Odyssey Fun Farm - Tinley Park
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm - Lockport

Summers Farm - Fredrick County

Sauchuk Farm - Plympton


KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze - Gardner
Shuck's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch - Pleasant Hill

Seward Farms Maze - Lucedale

Afton Apple Orchard - Hastings

The Maize at Grandpa's Farm - Billings

Camp Fontanelle - Nickerson

VonThun Farms - Monmouth Junction
Sahl's Father Son Farm - Egg Harbor City

New York
Wright Family Farm - Warwick
Harbes Family Farm - Mattituck

North Carolina
Patterson Farm Market and Tours - Mount Ulla

The Corn Maze at the Sharp Run Market - Millersburg
Meadow View Growers - New Carlisle

Hurricane Hill Farm - CoatsvilleTriple B Farms - PittsburghReillys Summer Seat Farm - Pittsburgh

Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms - Hope (Western Cranston)

Cows-N-Corn - Midland
Wayside Farm Fun - Berryville
Belvedere Plantation - Fredericksburg

Cornbelly's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest - Spanish Fork

In exchange for writing this post, I am receiving tickets to Dewberry farm.  All opinions are my own!  The photos are from a previous trip to Dewberry that I was not compensated for.

T-Minus 40 Days

T-minus 40 days until Jack turns 1!  I can't believe I just typed that...time goes by so fast, but I'm glad I realized how quickly his big day is coming up so I can start planning his birthday party.  And by planning, I mean Pinning anything and everything even remotely related to planning a circus themed first birthday party.  I'm letting my imagination run away with me and having the best time fantasizing about throwing a hugely orchestrated, highly detailed, and uber-planned themed birthday extravaganza.  In my semi-lucid dream state, there are hired circus entertainers (trapeze artists, tight rope walkers, and aerialists), someone is blowing fire in the background, there are decorated tables full of well coordinated carnival foods and desserts, there are countless children running around playing different carnival games for prizes and the piece de resistance, a circus tent in the backyard.

In reality, his birthday is on a Tuesday and we're only going to be inviting a handful of friends and family, none of which are children.  I realize the First Birthday isn't really for the kid, it's for the parents, and more specifically, the mom, so I'm willingly scaling back the scope of the party.  But it's still going to be themed, and the house is still going to be decorated.  Unfortunately no one will be blowing fire, but I *might* end up wearing a tuxedo jacket with tails and a top hat.

I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to party planning, and if all goes well, I'll be posting updates as I acquire all the necessary decor and decide on food and drinks, etc., but for the time being, I decided to share some of my favorite pics that are inspiring my vision for The Ultimate Circus Birthday Party.

I am definitely looking forward to getting this party planned. I'm pretty sure I can pull off an adult friendly carnival party that satisfies my flair for the dramatic and appeals to my kid at heart, too. Any tips or tricks you can offer me? I'm always looking for new ideas or better ways to do things. Have any of you thrown a big birthday party?

Day in the Life, September 1, 2013

Here we are at the beginning of another month.  And that means another photo an hour, day in the life post!  I really love documenting my days this way.  As usual, I take all my photos with Instagram.  Yes, my profile is still private, but if you ask, you can follow along with my shenanigans.  I take all my pictures on the first of the month.  I don't plan anything special for the day.  I simply document one day a month, hour by hour.  Yesterday, Dennis and I were both off work again, so I used his baby watching skills and went on a DIY binge.

9 am
working on a blog post

10 am
perpetual motion

11 am
post breakfast rinse

12 pm
ready to paint

1 pm
first coat

2 pm
next project

3 pm
champagne break

4 pm
grocery shopping with my boys

5 pm
second coat

6 pm
next project

7 pm
first coat of paint

8 pm
nursing the baby

9 pm
dinner time

10 pm
bedtime - finally!

11 pm
third coat - with assistant

12 am
DIYers never sleep

Actually, I did go to sleep not long after this picture.  Jack woke up once to nurse, but I pretty much slept through it and didn't take a middle of the night picture.  We were all exhausted!!

8 am
up and at 'em

Yesterday I had one of the most productive days ever!  I'm so glad Dennis was able to help with baby duty so I was able to DIY to my heart's content. I think realizing Jack's birthday is next month (whaaaat?!?) has finally motivated me to get this place ready for a par-tay!  Nothing like a baby to light a fire under your butt.  How did your start your September?
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