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Favorites from 2014

When I look back at 2014, it was a year filled with changes. I did not post on my blog as much because I was focused on specific freelance work that is now over. More responsibilities came with personal life commitments. I continued to fight for public education through educating others about the corporate takeover of the educational world. Then, on the flip side, I worked hard with our school to get my son ready for the transition to middle school. Stress meant trying to give myself more time for ME. This included reading and crafting in whatever small amount of time I could squeeze in. Of course, the me time spurred an interest in pampering my own nails and starting a business which I hope to grow more in the year ahead.

Now it’s time to look back at some of my favorite blog posts that I wrote in 2014. They are in chronological order, just because it’s easier to share that way.

The Other Reality Television – An episode of Parenthood really hit a nerve with me. As a parent who has been through a child being diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, I often sit and watch the show with tears in my eyes. There is just something about Max that reminds me of my kiddo and his personal struggles with peers, school, and even family members.

Puffy Paint Snowmen and the Last Snowman Blog Tour – A friendship with artist/author JC Little spurred a memorable painting experience with my boys. We had so much fun making puffy paint and creating our own snow people that I have a feeling we will repeat it again this winter.

Last Snowman Puffy Paint Creations

 

Autism and Sensory Overload – In an attempt to share more with others about autism and help them to be aware, I wrote this post about sensory overload. It really can be hard to understand what it must be like, but to individuals on the spectrum they simply don’t know know that we experience the world in a different way. The video I shared is something that everyone should watch at least once.

Autism and Sensory Overload

Choose to Refuse in New York – For the second year in a row, we refused to allow our oldest son to take the New York State Math and ELA exams. This year it was my mission to get more people to understand why the tests are not something we should allow kids to take. At least 60,000 kids refused the NYS tests last year and it is expected to increase again in 2015. The following quote is what keeps me fighting for my children:

For too many years, we have been taught to blindly trust those in charge of the world of education. Right now, families across the nation and New York are standing up and saying that enough is enough. We are not going to sit back and let this testing madness continue. Our children deserve a proper public school education like past generations. If we don’t stand up and fight, the victims will be our kids who have already suffered enough in recent years.

Choose to Refuse

Capital Region CANstruction 2014 – The CANstruction events across the country are absolutely amazing and we are lucky enough to have one that takes place in the Capital Region. The boys have learned so much and they are powerful because they teach kids about helping others.

Capital Region Canstruction - Toy Story

VZWBuzz posts – There were so many during the year, but ones like Smartphone Video to the Rescue where I showed how my Lumia Icon saved the day with video remind me how lucky I am to be a member of this group of bloggers. Of course, while I am connected most of the time, my phone helps me to capture natural beauty like in Capturing Natural Beauty on the Go.

Beautiful orchid

Tuesday Tales – Grossology Exhibit – Our science museum membership got quite the workout thanks to the Grossology exhibit that was there for several months. The boys adored going multiple times to explore everything. There is just something fun about watching your child climb into a nose.

Going into Grossology at miSci NY

Saying Goodbye to Elementary School – The boys would never be in the same school again and it was an emotional time. The end of NHL’s elementary school days hit hard.

First Days of Elemtary School

Movies and Sensory Concerns – A trip to see Guardians of the Galaxy inspired a post about sensory concerns at the movies for many individuals, especially those on the spectrum.

Movies and Sensory Concerns

The Middle School Phone Debate – When a new phone arrived, it made me debate whether or not my son needed his own to head off to middle school. I listed five items to think about when making this decision in your family.

The Middle School Phone Debate

Middle School is Just What the Doctor Ordered – Worries for years started to melt away when NHL landed on his feet and loved middle school. It was hard to write this post because you never know if it could change, but I wanted to focus on the positive and share with others who are getting ready for this big transition.

Transitioning to Middle School

Tuesday Tales – The Albany Children’s Book Festival – Reading is huge in our house and the boys love getting to see the authors and illustrators behind their favorite books. We had a lot of fun catching up with several right after Halloween.

Bad Kitty sign drawn by Nick Bruel

Planning a Bar Mitzvah – Reality is coming whether I like it or not, and so is my son’s eventual Bar Mitzvah. Sharing how the planning process must move from denial state.

Bar Mitzvah Time Traditions

So many other posts with books that we adored, events that we went to, technology that I shared, and topics near and dear to my heart. Thank goodness we can look back to remind of of the year gone by and what goals we hope to accomplish in the year ahead.

What is your primary goal (I don’t like resolutions) for 2015 and why? I know for me I hope to maintain focus. If I allow little bumps in the road to allow me to have a squirrel moment, it is too easy to get districted and lose that focus.

It's Me

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Sparkles and Valentine’s Day Nails

For years, I had given up on manicures. No matter what I tried, they did not last and it was frustrating to me. I wanted to have pretty nails because it reminded me of my Nana. I used to spend hours helping her with her beautifully manicured nails. Nail polish would chip and literally pop off my finger nails shortly after they dried. As the mother of two boys, I don’t have little girls asking me to polish their nails so I mostly gave up.

Thank goodness I was introduced to Jamberry nail wraps over the summer. Since that time, I decided to become a Jamberry Independent Consultant. For my birthday nails, I decided to channel my inner Elsa. After two weeks (<—YES, they really lasted that long), I removed them and decided to use my November host exclusive that was festive and full of sparkles.

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I quickly fell in love with the way the sparkles on the wraps would shimmer and shine. I even used a photo of them with a snowman cookie for my Merry Christmas image on Instagram.

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The funny thing is, I am already thinking ahead to what I will put on my nails next. I can’t wait to try some of the other Jamberry wraps that I have purchased like these:

Different Jamberry Nail Wraps

So many possibilities and now there are even more options since Jamberry just released fun new wraps for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter.

Jamberry Spring 2014 Holiday Designs

What is your favorite new design? I truly love them all and can not wait to see what other new items they add in the months ahead. Message me if you are interested in trying a sample, want to host a party (you earn FREE wraps), or place an order.

It's Me

Disclosure: I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant and paid for my own starter kit to sell these products. If people purchase items from me, I will earn money for my business.

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Channeling My Inner Elsa

Tis the season for lots of festivities, activities, and chaos. It all started here the night before Thanksgiving when our ten year old oven decided to make a loud pop and sparked. Au revoir Mr. Oven and hello Black Friday weekend appliance shopping. When we went to the store, they told us that it would not be delivered for over a week. The date was my birthday, but there was an event that evening that complicated things a bit more. They promised me that the oven would be here before I had to leave to get the kids from school.

Channeling My Inner Elsa - Let It Snow

TechyDad took two days off of work to do some deep cleaning with me and to spend oven delivery day at home. What we did not anticipate was an ice storm wrecking havoc on our entire area Tuesday. It took TechyDad almost an hour for a round trip to the middle school that typically take 20 minutes. When he got home, he said there was no way we were going back out to take the little kiddo to his school. An hour into our delivery window, the appliance store called. There were complications with the storm and we understood. If we were not flexible with the delivery time, we would have to wait until the weekend. We told them we would work with it.

Picking up the big kiddo from school was not too horrible for TechyDad. It was raining and the temperature was just above freezing. The event for the evening was still on and we were waiting for our oven. As I waited, I decided to do my nails with new Jamberry wraps. Yes, the photo above was my selection. I thought they were pretty and would be nice for the start of Chanukah next week.

What I didn’t expect was the nails to create a Frozen land making me feeling like Elsa. Just after I was finished we could hear ice pelting up against the house. We also noticed an hour had passed since the delivery truck had called saying they would be to us in about 20 minutes. When I went to greet them, it was a mess. There was sleet, freezing rain, and snow! The two men from Cocoa’s Appliance were fantastic and professional in a really bad situation.

When they left, we decided to eat dinner and assess the situation outside when we were finished. In about 30 minutes, everything had glazed over and the car was completely encased in ice. There was no way we could get to the event. Our new oven still had to warm up before it could be used. TechyDad made me some mini-cupcakes in our little cupcake maker and they had a theme to them.

Frozen Birthday

We stayed inside the warm house and tried to forget about everything else. Of course, I laugh that it has hardly stopped snowing since I put my Let It Snow wraps on my fingers. If I get some tropical Jamberry designs next, will that work too?

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the winter? Around here, it’s definitely when Elsa does not give up. Quite honestly I want to let it go and NO, I do not want to build a snowman!

It's Me

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Holiday Gifts and Online Party Incentives

Over the years, holiday shopping has changed a lot for me. I used to love going to the mall and outlets. It was almost a sport to try to get a good deal during the month of December. Since I got married and had kids, life has changed a lot. The chaotic pace of every day life means that I don’t have the time or energy to deal with crowds, parking lots, and too many people. That is time that I can be making memories with my boys.

If you are still searching for the perfect gift for a loved one, friend, teacher, co-worker, or other woman in your life look no further.

WrapUpTheHolidays_Square

As a Jamberry Independent Consultant, I would love to assist you in selecting some nail wraps and products for gift giving this holiday season. If you place an order before December 10 (US), it will arrive by December 24.

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Jamberry also has a festive new set for the holidays. The Tis the Season Holiday Gift Set includes the Joyful Season, Joyful Celebration, Joyful Laughter and First Frost (December Sister’s Style Exclusive) wraps. Those would be a wonderful gift alone, or you could add a little something extra on.

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If you want to get a group of friends together to host an online Jamberry party (you earn rewards), just let me know. I have a special going on that may interest you.

December Jamberry Booking

Let me know what your favorite wrap is (or a top three), I would love to know and why you selected it.

It's Me

Disclosure: I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant and paid for my own starter kit to sell these products. If people purchase items from me, I will earn money for my business.

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Jamberry Independent Consultant

Since I wrote my post about putting Jamberry nails to the test, I made a big decision. Here’s a clue that you may have noticed on the blog (this is the mobile view).

Jamberry Independent Consultant

It’s official, I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant and I am beyond excited for this new adventure. As I watched my party being hosted on Facebook, I fell more and more in love with the company, people that work for them, and the product. Jams are something I can stand behind and I am looking forward to sharing this with others.

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To celebrate this exciting news, I am hosting a Launch Party. Please take a moment to look around at all of the fantastic options available. There are varieties that are perfect for the holidays, winter, sports, and to match whatever mood you are currently in.

Holiday 2014_Birds Eye-TisTheSeason

If you have any questions, leave a comment here and/or email me. I would love to share more information if you are interested. The best part, the Jams are always Buy 3 get 1 free and if you are in the United States and order by December 10, they will arrive by December 24.

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Oh and one other thing, don’t forget to ask me about hosting an online party. Hostess rewards are available and it’s fun for everyone.

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Take a look around at the wide variety of products and let me know which is your favorite design.

I have to admit, I am not sure I could narrow mine that easily. My favorite part about the product is that the in home manicure lasts, they do not chip, and there is no pesky waiting for my nails to dry like after using polish.

It's Me

Disclosure: I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant and paid for my own starter kit to sell these products. If people purchase items from me, I will earn commission for my business.

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