Dallas Blogger Brunch x SitterNeeded

Coffee and Sweats Dallas Blogger Brunch Sitter Needed

This past weekend  I attended a fun Dallas Blogger Brunch hosted by Rhonda Jenkins and sponsored by Sitter Needed. I had the pleasure of meeting Rhonda at a previous coffee meetup and this girl knows how to get people together! If you are familiar with Rhonda and her Dallas Blogger Brunches you already know how fabulous her events are. I was super excited when I heard this brunch would include other mom bloggers and that we would have a special guest Jennifer Dickson talking about Sitter Needed.

I mean look at the tablescape I noticed as soon as I walked in.

Check out the gorgeous flowers from @OliveGroveDesign

 

I love a good table setting. Also, I love my name monogrammed on everything. It may have something to do with never finding my name on a key-chain as a kid so just monogram my name on anything and I will be thrilled.

Brunch was at Sixty Vines – I’ve been there before and I’m always impressed with their food. It’s not just delicious food but it’s the presentation too. Look at the hummus and pita bread presented in a rolling pin! Am I easily impressed? Maybe, but I was lowkey trying to find a way to hide that rolling pin in my bag.

During the brunch I got the opportunity to learn about Sitter Needed – an on-demand babysitting service staffed by nursing students. The nursing students are all CPR trained and background checked and have already committed to a profession of caring for others.  It’s a concept that Jennifer came up with while she herself, was in nursing school. After becoming a mother Jennifer saw the demand that families have for reliable caregivers and finally brought her idea to life. I love the concept of having someone do all the hard work of finding someone trustworthy and interviewing them for me. I hope to use this service sometime soon (hello much needed date night) and will report back to you guys!

 

It was a fun event talking to other bloggers and mothers –  It’s like two of my tribes collided into a table of yummy food and drinks! Can’t wait for the next one.

40 days

40 Days

I cuddle my babies as often as they will let me. Which lately has been a lot. They’re young but intuitive enough to be kind to a sad mother. I scoop them up and relish their warmth, inhale their scent. I hold them close enough to feel their little hearts beating.

Forty nights ago I lay my head on my sister’s chest and begged God to let me hear a heartbeat.  I wept against the silence. She was beautiful even in death.

I now know what it means, to become undone. But there were forms to sign. Decisions to be made. A hysterical mother to comfort and a father who had aged ten years in the blink of an eye.

Twelve hours later I was washing her body. Tears streaming down my face the entire time. I recited prayers and told her not to be scared like she could hear me.

I know she could hear me.

In the car, the little one asked for her over and over again. He saw every relative but not his favorite.
Where is Khalamoni?
Where is Khalamoni?
Where. Is. KHALAMONI!?

The growing urgency of his innocent voice ripped me open.  She wasn’t here. This wasn’t happening. I was spiritually spent and wanted so much to fall asleep and wake up to everything being perfect again.

When they lowered her into the Earth my knees buckled and I forgot who I was.

How life changes in 24 hours.

********************

My parents.

I want to wrap them in bubble wrap and guard them against the world. They are in pieces. I can’t fathom their pain, nor do I ever want to. They don’t look like themselves anymore.  I wrap them in love and treat them kindly.

Is Khalamoni going to be ok? The older one worries about her. He feels her absence and
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Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase

Disclosure – I received complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

I’ve been in this suburban bubble for quite some time now. My minivan doesn’t venture too far past the preschool pickup line,  the pediatrician, the grocery store or my mom’s house. So when I got the chance to check out the 29th Annual Dallas Observer’s Music Awards Showcase I jumped on it. Fifty bands across nine stages all on one night.  I was going to catch up on the last ten years of not going out all at once!

I drove down (yes in my minivan) to Deep Ellum – the entertainment district in Dallas and the place was so alive. I forgot people go out after 9 pm.  I also forgot about how much it sucks to find parking and after driving around in crawling traffic, I decided to pull into a parking lot which, I could clearly see was completely full. I drove around and suddenly a woman appeared in front of my car and walked towards the driver side. I lowered the window and she handed me a ticket and said ‘Here I’m paid up until 11:30″ then turned around and disappeared into her car.

I still hadn’t registered that I was holding a parking permit until she had pulled out of her parking spot.  I slowly realized that I was about to park the car right across the street from the bar and it was completely paid for. This night was meant to be!

I quickly parked and walked a whole two minutes to the Green Room which was one of the nine locations with a schedule of bands from the Showcase. Green Room had an open deck stage upstairs with a street view, perfect for a crisp December night in Dallas. I arrived just as the Straw Hat Society had started playing.  Which was perfect timing because I was hoping to catch a country band (oh you didn’t know I’m into country music? ) They were so good! They had people dancing and twirling around. Their songs were catchy and had the crowd singing along and…who doesn’t love an upright bass?

After the Straw Hat Society finished their set,  a whole group of people went onto the stage. What I especially loved about this next band was that they had a trumpet, saxophone, electric guitar and bongos! I love music and the way these sounds all created a mix of jazzy soulful funk was beautiful, fun and entertaining.

The crowd didn’t miss a beat switching from country to soul. They continued to dance and sing along.  Quentin Moore was interactive, getting off the stage and performing within the audience. The band sang to us, taught us the words then sang with us.  I ducked out before the next band came on because I knew the kids would be up at 6 am regardless of what time I got home.  I could have swayed with the music until they threw me out but I left feeling energized.  I love how music brings together the most random mix of people. It makes people put aside differences and enjoy life.

I’m grateful for the Dallas Observer for hosting such a great event and giving me a  reason to get out. I’m already making plans for next year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase.

 

Aaptiv Review

Aaptiv App Review

Disclosure: I received a complimentary trial to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Remember that time I signed up for CrossFit?   Or the  5 am Bootcamp?   Well, I’m going through another one of my “I must get hot right now” fitness spurts. So when I got the opportunity to try out a fitness app I was all about it.

I like apps. What I don’t like is talking to people, especially sweaty people. Also, I have serious commitment issues so signing up for a yoga class every Monday and Wednesday at 10 will give me all kinds of anxiety.  So I have apps that log my calories, that count my steps, and chart my weight.

The Apptiv app doesn’t do any of that. It’s more like experiencing an instructor-led workout whenever you want.  You can choose a  class by workout type, difficulty,  or my favorite – duration.   If you travel a lot or are a busy mom (hi) and don’t know when you will have time to fit in a  workout this app is great. I also really loved that the workouts are all set to a playlist just like a class you would take at a gym. You can filter a class by music genre too (even hits from the 90’s and Reggae!).

The other night I decided at 11 pm that I wanted to do a quick ab workout. I found a Beginner Core workout that was 9 minutes and 30 seconds. I like that I can have a personal trainer in my living room at night encouraging me to hold that plank for a few more seconds. Granted, he was in my earbuds and not physically in my living room but he still got me to break a sweat in less than ten. I could also download a workout to my phone so I don’t have to burn through my data plan if I choose to take the workout outside. There are plenty of outdoor running classes or training for marathon classes where this would come in handy.  There are so many classes to choose from you can never get bored. There is even a Maternity program for working out during every trimester of your pregnancy. Already popped out baby? There are stroller workouts. Aaptiv where were you three years ago?! I’m glad all the expecting mama’s now,  get to take advantage though.

There were a few things that I wasn’t a fan of. These classes are pure audio. So if you are unfamiliar with Downward Facing Dog then there is no video to show you how to do it. The audio-only aspect took me a little while to get used to, especially since I’m very visual and it helps to see someone demonstrating the move.

Also, there is a subscription.  Aaptiv has monthly and yearly subscriptions or even a lifetime membership for those of you who are not commitment-phobes.  You can find more information here.

Or, how about a free two-week trial? Visit here and enter the code AAPTIV2WEEKS. Then download the app and sign in. Make sure you come back and let me know what you think!