Weekend Snapshots 43 - Jack's Birthday Weekend

Ya'll, Jack turned four this past weekend.  FOUR.  I now have a four year old kid - no longer a baby or a toddler - where the hell does the time go?!?  This edition of Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by Jack's first Ferris Wheel ride at his birthday celebration at the Kemah Boardwalk.  Make sure to link up with me and Ariana at 3twentysix for our Weekend Snapshots Link-Up and share the love!

Saturday:  Jack's Birthday!!!  We started off the day with a birthday breakfast at Denny's before heading down to the Kemah Boardwalk.  I had to wake Jack up because we'd spend the day before out at an amazing pumpkin patch and wore him out, lol.  When we made it down to Kemah, the boardwalk midway was super crowded and overwhelming for all of us, so we browsed the shops for a while before riding some rides.  We started at the arcade, went to Build-a-Bear, and ended at the candy shop - perfect shopping for a 4th birthday!  When we got done with the shops, Jack had a blast running through the fountain with some other kids - yes, it's still warm enough here for him to play in a fountain in late October.  Most of the water kept missing him, but when some would get him, he'd run over to us and yell, "Water got me!!! Ha ha ha!!" and go back for more.  Then we rode the carousel and Ferris Wheel before hitting up Bubba Gumps for dinner and cake.  After dinner, it was back to the midway to ride the train.  Jack wanted to ride all the big rides, but he's not tall enough yet - I swear, that kid has no fear!  We found a kid's ride he could go on that raised you up in the air and then bounce-dropped us, and OMG, he LOVED IT!!!  The first few times he rode with me (I have to admit, it was lots of fun), but then he got brave and rode it all by himself (they grow up so fast, lol).  And finally, he had to ride with Crazy Mimi (yes, that's what he calls my Mom).  I'm pretty sure he rode that thing at least 10 times in a row!  I can't think of a better way to celebrate turning four!!!

Sunday Confessions 43 - Yup, on a Monday

I confess:
  I had such a busy weekend that I just want to sit on the couch, power watch TV, and nap all day long.  Unfortunately, that's not in the cards for me today.

I confess:  I hate pooping in public bathrooms.  My dislike of pooping in public doesn't stop me from doing it, I just prefer the privacy of my own home.  Even though I know EVERYONE POOPS!!!

I confess:  Now that I'm all caught up on The Walking Dead and I have to wait a week between episodes like everyone else, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.  Also, I'm 100% heartbroken over the premier of Season 7.  It's had me down and depressed all day.

Linking up with United States of Becky

5 Reasons You Should Go to a Blog Conference

It's that time of year again.  Blog Elevated is happening this weekend here in Houston, and I'm super lucky to be attending (for the 4th year in a row, yo!).  I've attended the Blog Elevated conference since it's inaugural year and I hope I never have to miss this amazing conference.  I learn so much every year and make some really amazing connections with bloggers and brands, not to mention all the fun I have.  If you've never attended a blog conference before, you need to stop what you're doing and go find one to register for right now!!!  There's still time to register for Blog Elevated if you're anywhere near the Houston area.  If you're still not sure you should go to a blog conference (you totally should), here are 5 reasons you should go to a blog conference - you can thank me later!

5 Reasons You Should Go to a Blog Conference

1.  You're going to learn some amazing things.  Spending a weekend at a blog conference is like the most amazing crash course in all things blogging and social media.  You're going to come away with new skills and strategies that would've taken you a whole lot longer than just a weekend to learn.  New Pinterest strategies?  Check.  Streamlining your workflow?  Check.  Instagram growth?  Check.  Monetization, SEO, and Email?  Check, check, and check.

2.  You're going to meet some amazing people.  I make new blogger friends every time I attend a conference.  You're not going to get that from sitting in front of your computer in your pajamas attending a webinar.  And you're not just going to meet some amazing people, you're going to meet some amazing bloggers - people who truly understand what it's like to write and manage a blog (usually while juggling other commitments).  You're going to find your tribe at a blog conference.

3.  You're going to take your blog more seriously.  The first time I attended Blog Elevated, I was a complete noob blogger.  Sure, I'd been blogging for a little while, but if you look back at my blog then versus my blog today, well, I had a lot of room for growth.  After attending Blog Elevated (and making the financial investment in a ticket), I really started taking my blog more seriously.  And if you make a financial investment in your blog, no matter where you are with your blog, you're going to take things more seriously.  And that's where the real growth and return start to happen.

4.  You're going to connect with brands.  Most of us start blogging as a fun way to express ourselves, but I don't know a single blogger that doesn't want to turn their blogging presence to a financial return in some way or another.  More and more brands are realizing the benefits of working with bloggers and brands that want to work with bloggers usually have a presence at blog conferences.  What better way to establish a relationship with a brand than actually getting to meet their PR rep in person?  I can't think of a single better way.

5.  You're going to have a ton of fun!!  Attending Blog Elevated is one of my most fun weekends of the year.  I really enjoy socializing with other like minded bloggers and make the most of all the mixers and parties that happen during a conference.  I'm especially looking forward to Blogger Speed Dating at this year's conference.  As much as I like being social, I can be pretty shy and introverted and speed dating sounds like a great way to meet some new bloggers.  Blog Elevated is one of the only times during the year where I get to get dressed up, do my hair and makeup, and get to be around other adults.

Going to a blog conference is something every blogger should do at least once.  You'll come away with more knowledge than you could get anywhere else, you'll make lasting connections with other bloggers and brands, and you'll have so much fun you won't know what to do with yourself.  If you're nervous about attending a conference, check out this post I wrote about How to Survive a Blog Conference When You're Socially Awkward, Shy, Introverted, Have Social Anxiety, or Are Otherwise Socially Compromised for some really useful tips!

Have you ever been to a blog conference?  Did this list convince you to sign up for one today?  Did I leave anything off my list?  What are some of the reasons you attended a conference?  Let me know in the comments!!!

If you can't attend a conference in the near future, check out Blog Elevated's amazing newsletter, their Facebook groups, and look for their Twitter chats on Tuesday nights at 9pm central time - just look for the hashtag #BlogElevated

Weekend Snapshots 42

Welcome to Weekend Snapshots 42, brought to you by Jack's curly hair - the dirtier he gets out at Faire, the curlier his hair gets, and as you can see, we had a very fun (and dirty) weekend.  Keep on reading to hear more about our weekend adventures and make sure to link up with me and Ariana at 3twentysix!

Saturday:  Jack and I stayed in town Saturday day because I decided to take a client (mo money, no problems).  He went to Mimi's house and I worked.  I was undecided on whether or not to drive out to the renaissance festival that evening since we'd only be staying for part of the day on Sunday.  But then I realized that all the things I though I'd be taking care of around the house probably wouldn't have actually gotten done and that we won't have the chance to be out there for a few more weekends.  I threw my adult responsibilities out the window and decided to go to faire.  We stopped for snacks on the way (and our signature car selfie, this time with a donut for Jack and a burrito for me - so healthy, I know).  We got out there just in time for Dennis, Jack, and our friend, Michelle, to have a fun game of chase and throw the toddler.  Soon, it was time for fireworks and for the day to wind down.  I took some cool video of the fireworks in slo-mo (love that feature on my phone!).

Sunday Confessions 42 - The Walking Dead Edition

I confess:  I'm almost caught up on Season Six of The Walking Dead {affiliate} and I think I'm going to need stronger blood pressure medicine - I know how the season ends, who is on the chopping block to get killed by Negan, and that we don't find out till the start of Season Seven who dies, but every time a character says the name Negan I want to yell at the TV, "NO!!!  STAY AWAY FROM HIM!!  JUST STOP!!!!"

I confess:  I'm not sure which character I can stand to lose.  I know Glenn dies in the comic book {affiliate} AND I CANNOT LOSE GLENN OR MAGGIE!!!  I don't *think* they would kill Rick or Daryl (I mean, come on, is there really a show without those two???) - I think the only one I could part with would be Rosita (and that's probably why she's not the one)

I confess:  I'm really worried they're going to kill off TWO characters in the season premier - Glenn, like in the comics, and another main character, maybe Daryl, because he has a new show and has been doing more movies.  I am not prepared emotionally to see the premier of Season Seven.

Linking up with United States of Becky

Our Steampunk Wedding

steampunk wedding, steampunk bride and groom, red wedding dress, louise black corset, retroscope fashion, kempner park galveston, garten verein, galveston, wedding

October 13, 2010.  The weather was perfect - a nice sunny day in the low 70's with a soft breeze and scattered clouds.  Dennis and I had been planning this day for 18 months; it was finally here and things couldn't've been more perfect.  Our best friends and family had come together to help us put the finishing touches on our vision and it was time for our Steampunk Wedding.

I started this blog after Den and I tied the knot and I've never written about our wedding.  Today is our sixth anniversary and now seems like a great time to write a recap of the day.  We got married under a beautiful oak tree in Kempner Park in Galveston, TX and had our reception in the Garten Verein - a Victorian era garden club for the perfect Steampunk setting.  It was a Wednesday (or rather WED-day as I had been calling it), and before the ceremony, we hosted a Victorian picnic in the park for anyone that wanted to miss traffic and drive down to the Island early.  Costumes were encouraged, but not required, and we were very pleasantly surprised when about 90% of our guests put together their own steampunk outfits!  The picnic also gave me the perfect excuse to have two different dresses for the day.

Weekend Snapshots 41 - Opening Weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Huzzah and Happy Monday to you!  It's time for another edition of Weekend Snapshots brought to you by Jack out at the Texas Renaissance Festival.  It's that time of year again, so be prepared to see a lot of TRF in my Weekend Snapshots link up with Ariana at 3twentysix.  Make sure to link up with us at the bottom of this post!

Saturday:  Saturday was opening day of TRF.  We got out there on Friday afternoon to unpack our stuff and settle in- we have a bunk house behind our booth so we stay out there all weekend.  Jack was so excited about Faire that he insisted on wearing his costume all day on Friday, too, lol.  Jack got a pretty bad ant bite on his foot on Friday and ended up having to take some Benadryl on Saturday, so he was a little grumpy for most of the day.  He wouldn't let me get a pic of him, so I kept trying to sneak pics.  I finally got him to take a nap (poor guy was fighting the Benadryl sleeps so hard) and was in a much better mood once he slept and even made some silly faces for the camera.  He ate a good lunch, so I agreed to get him some cotton candy, too.  He played with some goggles and kept pretending that we were launching rockets with guns on them to shoot bad aliens.  I managed to get some good pics of the closing fireworks show, too!

Sunday Confessions 41

I confess:  Whenever I listen to a song and the lyrics are even the slightest bit ambiguous, I always assume it's written from the point of view of a vampire.  Especially if that song is even the slightest bit sexy.  Like, this new song I'm obsessed with, Gold by Kiira - totally sung from the point of view of a vampire. AND YOU CAN'T TELL ME OTHERWISE!!!!

I confess:  I'm gaining weight and I can't figure out why.  I haven't been eating that horribly and I've been going to the gym regularly, yet I'm gaining - and I don't think I'm gaining muscle even though I've been adding some weight lifting to my routine.  I can't figure out what's going on and it's driving me crazy.  I really don't want to have to resort to a diet lifestyle change as extreme as Whole30, but I'm starting to worry I'm going to have to.  I'm just not sure what's going on.  And it's frustrating.

I confess:  I feel brain dead and have no idea what else to confess.

Linking up with United States of Becky

October Intentions

It's been a long time since I've written a post about my monthly goals or intentions.  It's not that I've been skating through the past few months without any ideas as to where I want to be by the end of the month, it's that even though I give myself some goals each month, I've been having trouble reaching them.  Part of it is lack of motivation.  Part of it is bad time management.  Part of it is my ADD taking over and deciding other goals or projects are more worthy of my time and attention (so at least I'm still getting stuff done for the month - just not what I originally set out to accomplish).  And, for some reason, part of it is just me freezing up and not knowing what to do next to reach those goals (also an effect of ADD - being overwhelmed by the steps of a process if they're not clearly outlined).

So I decided to join the Monthly Intentions Blogger Collaboration with The Clutter Box Blog and Fairy Lights and Dreams to maybe help get my shit together.  I'm also going to try to narrow down this month's intentions to just a couple in each major category of my life so I don't overwhelm myself - October is a crazy busy month with Jack's birthday, our anniversary, the renaissance festival, and Halloween - oy, so much!

October Goals

Personal Goals

  • Workout 3 times a week every week in October
  • Use my bullet journal daily - and use my daily habit tracker
  • Dye my hair back to a fun color
  • Print anniversary family photo
  • Plan Jack's birthday party

Blog Goals

  • Post 3 times a week
  • Catch up with and post regularly as part of the #FallForSYBL Instagram challenge
  • Add 40 new Pinterest followers
  • Figure out why that share button is randomly floating at the top of all my posts & fix it
  • Fix my Amazon Associates account - AGAIN, FFS

Business Goals

  • Get space ready to rent
  • Send at least one (preferable two) newsletters
  • Research and place a Facebook ad (or two)
  • Set up at least one massage partnership for reciprocal referrals
  • Brainstorm holiday specials

Home Goals

  • Clean Jack's room and organize his toys
  • Clean area of extra bedroom and set up Jack's classroom
  • Do my weekly Power Hour every week
  • Stay on top of the dishes and laundry
  • Find the knobs for the kitchen cabinets and install
I think that's more than enough to keep me busy this month.  The trick is to actually stick to this list of intentions as much as possible - one of my big problems is not following my to-do list once it's made.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know the other bloggers taking part in this project - if you're interested in participating, too, check out all the info you need over at Angela's blog.

Here's to an awesome month where we all get tons of shit done!!!


Weekend Snapshots 40

Wow, ya'll, this past weekend was quite a doozie!  Jack and I went to visit Mom and the whole time we were there, it was non-stop go, go, go.  It's Tuesday and I still feel like I'm recovering from all the fun we had.  This edition of Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by Festival Plaza and the Red River Revel (one of the many things we did this weekend).  Make sure to link up with Ariana from 3twentysix and I to share the Weekend Snapshot love!  Link-up is at the end of the post!

Thursday:  Jack and I drove up to Mom's on Thursday.  While we were loading up the truck, Jack insisted on bringing an armful of his stuffed animals - so many he could barely carry them (not that I minded).  He kept dropping them and I got that cute pic of him on the kitchen floor in exasperation.  It was a beautiful Autumn day (shocker!) and when we made it to our halfway Starbucks stop we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the breeze.  Jack kept commenting on the blue sky and then accurately explained to me why the sky is blue (or at least as accurately as an almost 4 year old can explain those things).  I'm not sure where he picked up that little nugget of information, but color me impressed, lol.  As per usual, he spent most of the trip there asleep - he really needs to brush up on his road trip companion duties.

Sunday Confessions 40

The United States of Becky

I confess:  Jack's birthday is in less than 3 weeks and I have zero dollars to get him anything.  Business hasn't been what I had hoped it would be and keeping a roof over our heads is more important than birthday presents, but I still feel like a shit parent.  I mean it's not like he's not going to get some really awesome things from his Mimis and the family, but I can't get him anything and that feels like shit.

I confess:  Part of me really wants a pet dog.  Despite the fact that we have a house full of cats (and now two outdoor cats) and totally not having the lifestyle or time (or money) for a dog.  Maybe I just want an animal that needs a little more care since it's obvious I'm not getting pregnant any time soon.  Maybe it's that Jack's favorite shows all have dogs as the main characters/focus and I think he's really love having a puppy.  Maybe I'm just a crazy pet lady and can't get enough fur babies.  DON'T LET ME GET A DOG!!!  But if I ask for a capybara, just say yes.

I confess:  I really have the urge to do something crafty.  I'm not sure what, but we have a ton of craft supplies just sitting around the house and I want to make something.  But I'm not really that crafty and I'm not sure I have the time or attention span to finish a project.  I'm trying to avoid getting ideas from Pinterest because Internet black hole.  Maybe I'll just bake something instead.  I know I can handle that.

Linking up with United States of Becky
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