Green For The Mainstream: I’m speaking at ShiftCon 2015!

Remember ShiftCon social media conference last year?! It was like a huge party of all the people who feel the same way I do about health, wellness, food purity, and low-toxin living. And I have mentioned before that I’ll be going again this year. In fact, I still have ticket discount codes, so if you are considering going, please contact me.

Another reason to attend: I’ll be speaking this year!

I am so excited to be co-hosting a panel with my friend Anne Brock from Flour Sack Mama and #CleanCouponing and Chef Dennis of Ask Chef Dennis and Good Morning Google+ fame! Our panel is called Green For The Mainstream and is based on our collective experience working with everyday people who are just starting out on this journey toward cleaner living — in food, beauty products, health, wellness, or cleaning products.

Below is the official summary from the ShiftCon web site, but first I have a question for you: what would YOU, as a consumer, want sustainable brands and companies to know about your journey? How could they help you and what do they do to alienate you that should be changed? Please feel free to tweet me your answer, leave a comment below, or message me on my Facebook page!

~~~

Green For The Mainstream ShiftCon 2015 - I'm Speaking! | Living Consciously Blog

Mainstream America is at a crossroads, with chronic disease on the rise and an urgency to protect the planet like never before. Yet, the mainstream consumer is not necessarily ready to change old habits, even if health and home depend on it.

How do we make green truly work for the mainstream and get beyond trendy ideas to what works in the typical American household?

  • Where could you start on your own journey to live a greener lifestyle?
  • How do you, as a thought leader, respond when your audience is intimidated by change?
  • What resources could help you share?
  • How do you talk to your friends and neighbors about this sometimes touchy topic?
  • How could you bring the conversation to your social media spaces?

The Green for the Mainstream workshop will explore how social media outreach can gently transform old habits into new ones while respecting cultural traditions and limited household budgets. We will speak to the influential role of food in our everyday lives. This session will also cover strategies for reaching local communities with relevant messaging about better products and healthier lifestyles while avoiding elitism.

We will tackle the sometimes controversial topic of big brands entering the green/sustainable/organic market space and how that affects the mainstream consumer. Since many organic brands have been consumed by multinational brands, should you be concerned? We’ll cover some key details to look for when discerning quality products.

Whether you consider yourself light green and want to learn more about the ShiftCon movement without feeling overwhelmed, or whether you consider yourself a strong influencer who is looking for creative ways to reach the mainstream, this workshop is for you.

{excerpt from the ShiftCon web site, read entire description here}

#ShiftHappens: Join me at ShiftCon in LA this year!

ShiftCon Social Media Conference - Join me in 2015! Discount codes | Living Consciously Blog

Despite how totally awesome I am sure I make it look, it isn’t easy being green.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know what was done to the ingredients in our food. Sometimes I wish I didn’t mentally envision the end-of-life (landfill, never biodegrading) of those not-really-disposable plastic products that everyone else seems to be able to use without thinking twice. Or I think how convenient it would be to buy makeup at the drug store without thinking about how I’m absorbing phthalates (endocrine disruptors) through my pores.

It’s times like those that I feel a little crazy. And sometimes a little alone.

But in October of last year, I had an amazing weekend that helped me realize that I am NOT alone. Not only am I not alone, but those of us who are (fortunately or unfortunately) armed with too much information about the toxins and waste in our world don’t have to just sit around and worry about it. Together, we can affect change. We can work with big brands and companies to change the way products are made. We can petition Congress and talk to our representatives about legislation that will protect the purity of our food.

Every time I make my own hand soap or bread or buy alternative products without nasty additives, GMOs, or artificial colors, I am sending a message to the corporations that I am NOT purchasing from. I admit that I get tired of all the DIY and due diligence sometimes. I want it to be easy and fast. So I’m excited to support companies that produce convenience that is responsible, safe, and uses only whole ingredients.

What if all of us who feel this way got together in one place? What if we invited the brands who agree with us to join the conversation? What if we talked about why we want change, what change we want, and helped each other get stronger and more relevant in the movement to shift the paradigm?

We can! It’s called ShiftCon Social Media conference!

Blogger or social media influencer, brand or company: no matter where you are on your journey to a greener, cleaner, healthier lifestyle, I would encourage you to attend ShiftCon social media conference this fall September 26-27 in Los Angeles, California. I am already signed up! If you are considering signing up, I have some great ways for you to save on registration.

1.  This week through March 23, registration is $100 off! Please follow the link and read more about the discount.

2. If you’re reading this after March 23, I still have a $50 off coupon code for you, as my friend! Yep, reading my blog finally pays off. $50 for you, just contact me directly at jenny{at}living-consciously{dot}com for the code.

I hope to see you there!

 NOTE: I am now an affiliate seller of tickets to ShiftCon. If you buy tickets using this link, I get $20 even after your $50 off! Let’s help each other out!

#shifthappens and what happened there

 

#shifthappens ShiftCon social media conference

As I mentioned before, I spent the last weekend in Los Angeles, California with an amazing group of women (and I heard there were some men attendees, but I never directly spoke to any except Gary Hirshberg). We all have different areas of focus; real food, organic, living waste-free, toxicant avoidance, pesticide reform, fitness, wellness, or nutrition. But what we had in common is the desire to shift the paradigm in this country. You can see our social media conversations by searching the #shifthappens hashtag on your favorite social media platform (we’re everywhere!).

I learned from the speakers, discussions, and side conversations this weekend that what we need to do is ask for what we want. It’s that simple. It’s so simple that you can do it too!

We are all in different places on our journeys to live more consciously. When we learn that the things we eat, what we put on our skin, what we buy for our children contain toxins that are making us sick, we can choose to be more and more afraid, to withdraw further into fear and paranoia… OR… Or we can vote with our wallet and seek out alternatives. We can choose not to participate in this cycle of cheap chemicals.

But it doesn’t even have to be as difficult as changing brands: we shouldn’t have to stop going to Starbucks. Instead, we need to be asking Starbucks to change(I did this weekend and I got some Twitter flack for it, as did several others involved in the Starbucks #organicmilknext campaign). I heard over and over from people like Robyn O’Brien and Vani Hari that when enough consumers ask a company to make a change, they respond. Chipolte did. Kraft didSubway did. Disney did.

You might notice those are not small companies, but they changed their ingredients. Why? Not because of regulation or legislation — but due to consumer demand. Of course, we will still work on the legislative front. Right now there are GMO labeling initiatives in Colorado and Oregon. If you are in those states, please vote for labeling!

I, however, am not in a state that is ever likely to vote to label GMO’s. So all I can do is vote with my dollars and ask for change. I’m hoping to document a little more of both sides of my ongoing journey for conscientious change in the next few months, so stick with me!

I’d like to close this post with the trailer for a movie that ShiftCon founder has been working on. I will keep you posted on places you can see this film when it begins showing!

“A New Resistance” Teaser Trailer from Unacceptable Levels on Vimeo.

#ShiftHappens: Going to ShiftCon 2014 this week!

ShiftCon Media Conference 2014 #ShiftHappens

I am beyond excited to be traveling to LA at the end of this week to finally meet so many of my green/holistic/real food blogger friends in real life at the first annual ShiftCon Media conference!! Here’s a quick summary of what the conference is about:

ShiftCon was born out of the idea that together we can create a profound impact on the world around us. We can literally shift how we eat, raise our families and our impact on the environment. That shift has begun, and now it’s time to come together and leverage our collective influence to accelerate that shift. ShiftCon was created to give wellness and eco-friendly bloggers a place to network, share ideas, learn from experts, empower one another and organize their efforts into activism. This is a one-of-a-kind conference bringing together some amazing people with amazing talents and passions. Shift happens, be part of it.

It’s like Leah read my mind when she organized this conference! The agenda pretty much encompasses everything involved in my blogging journey to live consciously. THIS is why I blog, because we have to shift the paradigm. And better yet, at the conference the food will all be organic, GMO-free, and as conscientious as possible. I’ve been speaking to several other attendees and we are pretty sure we can continue to eat grain-free, dairy-free and sugar-free even while at the conference! You know that I have loved my annual giant blogging conference, but there is NO WAY I could have maintained that kind of food purity at that event since I am currently on my liver detox.

At other blogging conferences, I’ve spent half my time in the Expo hall talking to vendors about why they weren’t more environmentally responsible, why they used toxic chemicals, and whether their products contained GMO’s. It will be totally amazing to go to an Expo hall and not be on the defensive!

You can follow me on my journey! I will be live-tweeting from as many of the sessions as I can (follow me on Twitter) and documenting all my amazing blogger friends meetups on Instagram. During the month of October, my Instagram yoga challenge will be #LetsGetFlexy, so be sure to look for yoga poses at the conference — maybe I’ll even incorporate some yogi friends (acro, anyone?)!

There will be some “controversial” speakers like the internet-viral blogger Vani, aka Food Babe. You have to follow me to hear what she says to a group of similarly-minded bloggers!

Feel free to tweet me, leave comments on my Facebook Page, or comment on my Instagram photos with things you’d like me to find out or ask the collective green/holistic/real food bloggers that I know and those that I meet!

Tips for Summer Adventures: Travel or Staycations

This month’s blog sponsor is Allstate 21st Century Prosperity agent Shawn Spalding. Since I know that Allstate has dozens of years experience in auto claims, maintenance, roadside assistance, and that Shawn is probably an expert on saving money (since he’s a financial planner!), I asked him to share some of his best tips for summer adventures, whether you are on the road or not. It might seem a little early, but I asked him this because our family has already planned several road trips for our summer this year! How about you?

Summer Adventure Tips: Travel or Staycations | Conscientious Confusion

Road Trips

  1. Get your car checked!
    A tune up is a good idea. Low tire pressure or dirty air filters can reduce a car’s gas mileage
  2. Save on Gas!
    Use an online calculator, like GasBuddy.com’s Trip Cost Calculator, to help you estimate how much you’ll spend on gas: use your route and your car model’s gas mileage.
    Then use Allstate’s Fuel Finder – fast, easy-to-use gas price locator can help you find low prices at nearby pumps. All the preparations add up to money that stays in your pocket.
    Go easy on the accelerator when the light turns green!
    Keep to the speed limit. Promotes safer driving and more fuel efficiency, but it also helps prevent you from getting a speeding ticket, which can put a dent in any vacation budget.
  3. Pack your roadside emergency kit
    Items to include: snacks and bottled water, plastic trash bags for wind protection and car sickness, first aid kit, cellphone and charger, flashlight and batteries, blankets, waterproof matches and/or a lighter, properly inflated spare tire, jack and lug wrench, jumper cables, signal flares, pocket knife, atlas and state/local road maps, extra quart of high-quality motor oil, hand cleaner, and paper towels.

Can’t head out of town? Plan a Staycation!

Some of the benefits? Saves time (no traffic/no security check-in lines) & saves money (no expensive plane tickets/no checked bag fees).

Get the whole family involved. Encourage everyone to write down an activity on a slip of paper and choose out of a hat.

Activities that are eco-friendly and local

  • Camp out in your backyard
  • Take a walking tour or hike through a local park (I recommend Trinity Audubon Center!)
  • Visit a museum or spot of cultural interest
  • Use public transportation to see the attractions (saves gas and is good for the environment!)
  • Plant a garden
  • Build a composting bin (my post on composting)
  • Organize a Taste Tour (check Dallas Moms Blogs best restaurants for kids here, here, here and here!)
  • Cook new, destination or theme oriented foods at home. Make every evening an entirely different theme-inspired gustatory adventure! (try Central Market Cooking Schools for how-to: Plano or Dallas locations)

Note from Allstate 21st Century Prosperity: We gathered these tips from articles available on the Allstate Blog.

If you have any questions, you can always reach Shawn and his office at 972-980-0865 or shawnspalding{at}allstate.com.
Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter!

Thanks, Shawn and his wonderful office staff! And, happy travels!

No SUV needed: two carseats in a sedan or compact car

So you’ve got kids. Maybe one, maybe two…Are you already resigning yourself to a gas-guzzling SUV or minivan? Maybe you started car shopping as soon as you got pregnant for the first time. It’s a pretty common trend here in Dallas. And certainly, once you hit that three-child-or-more threshold, you’re probably going to be driving a larger vehicle. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up your gas efficiency or eco-friendly driving habits just because you have one or two little buddies along for the ride!

We have driven a compact car — a Honda Fit — since shortly after our son was born in 2009. Before that, we primarily drove a Honda Civic, which we still have. Our children are currently 3 and 4 years old, so we have a convertible car seat and a convertible booster combo. Both are Britax — the Boulevard Convertible and the Pinnacle 90 Booster Combo (affiliate links), so they aren’t the smallest on the market. I’ve heard that one of the Japanese brands is actually the smallest, but I love the safety of the Britax brand.

I mention the average-to-large size of our two car seats because people often say that you cannot fit two car seats in a sedan or compact car. I am here to tell you that is just not an accurate statement. The kids are perfectly comfortable even in the grueling often-8-hour drive to San Antonio from Dallas. There is plenty of room for their toys and for an iPad hanging between the driver and passenger seat.

Two car seats in a Honda Fit, traveling to San Antonio in 2012
This picture was taken from the top of the iPad
resting between the driver and passenger seat

Just last week, we had to put the Honda Fit into the shop for repair work, and both car seats were moved back into our 2000 Honda Civic. Here they are in the back seat of the 4 door sedan, with room for all their toys in the middle.

Two Car Seats in a Honda Civic

And all that about not having enough trunk space in a small car? The trunk of our Civic is much smaller than the Fit (the Fit is a hatchback), and yet I was able to get all 11 of my yoga mats for kinds yoga inside their wheeled container, plus all the groceries from a trip to the grocery store into the Civic’s trunk with plenty of space to spare, as seen here.

Trunk of a 2000 Honda Civic

Obviously, we only have two kids right now. And it’s true that we cannot carry any passengers. We’ve had a few very ambitious family members (and once, myself) attempt to squeeze between the car seats in the back of the Fit, but it’s a terrible idea. My hips are very narrow and even I was unable to sit completely straight and was uncomfortable after 5 minutes.

It’s inevitable that as our children grow older and we wish to take passengers/friends with us in carpool situations, we will most likely have to purchase a larger vehicle. In a way, this post might even be a requiem for the dream of having the extremely fuel-efficient cars that we have had for the past few years.

I guess what I want to say is: please know that you CAN hang onto that smaller car a little bit longer. Save your money for when the kids are old enough to carpool or that third child. Hang on to that fuel efficient car as long as you can!
No SUV required - two car seats in a sedan or compact car | Conscientious Confusion

NOTE: There are 2 affiliate links in this post to Amazon, but I was not paid by Britax, Honda, or anybody else to write this post. Opinions are my own.

When eating clean is hard

But...This is Hard!

As I have struggled to adhere to the food avoidance diet for my son in the last 2 weeks, both my husband and I have occasionally questioned why we are making the effort to take this natural health journey at all. Why take extreme steps like visiting a naturopath and avoiding foods that everyone else eats with no trouble if no one is actually sick? Eating clean is hard! Shouldn’t we just live like the rest of the world and visit a doctor only when we are sick to get medicine that will make us better?

I asked our naturopath this question, and just this weekend my own experience proved that her response was spot-on. Here is what she said:

“This is a question I hear often. You are not alone! I think that a lot of people don’t know what it feels like to feel good…They numb themselves with food — remember how we talked about gluten and dairy acting as opiates? The brain gets foggy and sleepy [from what we eat] but we keep ourselves going with caffeine and sugar.

Everyone is born with toxins already in their body. What differs if each person’s threshold for these toxins. At some point the ‘garbage can’ overflows, sparking an immune reaction. The reaction can be to anything, but it is usually food because we eat all the time! Conversely, people who live cleanly, eat grain-free, dairy-free, etc. know what it is like to feel good. When they consume something bad, it stands out!”

First, let me say that my goal for myself and my children (I can’t speak for my husband, but I would hope…) is exactly that — to live cleanly so that our immune systems are able to react appropriately to legitimate threats of bacteria and viruses. I am particularly vigilant about phthalates in body products (endocrine disruptors), trans fats and artificial colors in food so that our immune systems are not constantly weakened from expending energy reacting to toxins. And I have seen the results over the years with my children. We have now gone two cold and flu seasons without anyone getting more than the sniffles or a mild cough.

Secondly, I had a chance this weekend to prove that eating cleanly actually feels different. I was visiting family out of town this weekend. We were celebrating two different graduations and Mother’s Day, so there were two separate cakes in addition to a huge amount of processed, packaged, sugary and salty comfort and holiday foods. There were fruits and veggies — not organic — served with plenty of creamy dips. And of course, even though I packed most of our lunches, we still had to eat some fast food on the road trip. These are all things that I usually only eat in moderation. Of course, I also had to leave my kombucha and green smoothies at home. And while I never judge my hosts bath and cleaning choices (I am thankful to have a shower and a nice, clean bed and shower!), I know that I was probably around more phthalates than usual. I wanted to get in some yoga or a workout of some kind, but I did not have the opportunity in time or location.

I knew all this was going to happen, and I was prepared to binge a little. I even thought it might be kinda fun. I wasn’t prepared for how my body would react! By Saturday, less than 24 hours after my diet had altered, I was texting my BFF about how sluggish and bloated I felt.

Poor eating text

Then Sharon’s words came back to me and I realized why we eat and live the way we do. Because we feel SO much better! I don’t love getting up at 5am all the time, but I do it, and it isn’t that bad. I don’t always feel like making bread or kombucha instead of taking a nap, but I do. But I am not running out of energy by 3pm, and I am not glued to the couch at 7pm. I don’t take any energy boosting supplements (unless you count NingXia Red, which is just highly concentrated fruit juices and essential oils) and I only have one cup of coffee in the early morning — no caffeine for the rest of the day. It’s because my body is functioning the way it should, for the most part, that I am able to recognize the symptoms of a cold when it starts and stop it without drugs.

I know there are a lot more steps I could take to eat even more cleanly (I still love carbs. SO MUCH.), but this weekend was a great reminder of why I go to “all that trouble”, even when it seems difficult to maintain sometimes.

How about you — what motivates you to eat clean and live green? And how can I help you in your next steps?

BlogHer 2012: Part 2 of recap

BlogHer founders, BlogHer 2012
I’m officially BlogHer exhausted! Still sharing the love on Twitter and reading about people traveling home, seeing their kids, and unpacking swag. I got a moderate amount of swag but I was so busy this year that I actually didn’t make it to the Expo hall until the last day about 2 hours before it closed. Many vendors were completely out of handouts by then. Which is fine because really, many of the vendors I wouldn’t work with anyway (I am looking at you, LYSOL). The only one I was really sad to miss was SoDelicious, who makes my son’s favorite coconut milk. I heard they had coupons, but I never found them in the Expo hall.

We are going to power through a review of the rest of BlogHer 2012 because you and I are both anxious to get back to our regularly scheduled blogging topics, right?

Despite all the parties and socializing this year, I did attend sessions! A few were not my personal choice because I was Mic Wrangling, but I still enjoyed them. The first of the day was Advocacy: Blogging Across Issues and Borders. I am not an advocacy blogger or a Latina but it was interesting to hear women who were so passionate. Takeaway: This panel was a good reminder not to give up on blogging when it gets difficult, but to surround ourselves with others who encourage us to keep going.

BlogHer Martha Stewart

Of course, the big deal on Friday was Martha Stewart speaking at the lunch keynote. I am not going to lie, I stayed for about 5 minutes and then left. I really do respect Martha and all she’s done – she’s a powerhouse and soooo talented! But the lunch was so crowded and people were literally pushing each other out of chairs in the ballroom. I’m not a craft blogger, and I don’t do Martha-type stuff, so when I got claustrophobic I just left. I ate lunch next to this adorable baby right outside the ballroom!

Soshuga's cute baby

I was excited to see another Room Of Your Own about small blogs this year, since I am definitely considered a small blog by anyone who looks at size. Takeaway: In the Celebrate Your Small Blog session I was encouraged to keep doing what I’m doing and not be influenced to change my topic/convictions just to make more money or gain more followers. I was also reminded that I could probably work harder on ways to allow my followers to comment on the blog posts more easily from mobile devices.

Me, Carrie, and Alex from LateEnough (I was starstruck!)

After that session, I walked a few blocks and took a class at SLT NYC, a Megaformer Pilates class just like the ones I teach here in Plano. I love taking classes from other instructors because it gives me great ideas for new moves or moves I’ve forgotten. Of course, the class kicked my butt (in a good way)!

SLT NYC

I arrived at the annual Voices Of The Year keynote all sweaty and wearing workout clothes, but it was a beautiful and inspirational experience, as always. A big shout-out to my fave Fearless Formula Feeder who did a great presentation of her manifesto about feminism and formula feeding. If you were part of the Twitter fiasco following this keynote but did not actually get a chance to hear the reading, I’d encourage you to read it for yourself before taking a stance. I saw several people on Twitter misquoting things that Suzanne read in her post. It’s important to take this post in the context of its entirety.

After the keynote, it was up to my room to shower. I had several parties that night that I ultimately decided to skip so I could spend time with my friend Mica from MayBooks, who was in town for BlogHer as a vendor. We skipped the super crowded line for Hasbro and went to a cute Italian place with my roommate Jenn from Punky And The City.

Mica of MayBooks
All 3 of us spend dinner on our mobile devices 😉

It was 10pm when I got back to the hotel but Sparklecorn was just getting started!! I might have had a lil more to drink that usual, and danced way too late into the night.

Sparklecorn
The dark, thumping dance blob that is Sparklecorn

TheEcoChic and TheEcoChicMan gettin' down at Sparklecorn
Calley and her husband gettin’ down on the dance floor!

Rock on, Calley, Chris, Julie, Amanda, Alex, Carrie, and Blessing!

I was up super early the next morning for absolutely no good reason. Oh well. I do have to say that the food at BlogHer was not as good as previous years, and there was a lot less of it. I had to actually purchase food, which I’ve really never had to do before.

First session in the morning (after opening keynote) was the one I was most excited about: Pro Tips: Branding and Blogging Professionally. I was stoked because my friends Jill and Gina were leading this panel!! It was a great panel, as expected – lots of laughs but lots of practical advice. Takeaway: Do not drink so much at Sparklecorn next time or you will forget what you learned in the panel your friends led.

Next I was back to Mic Wrangling for When It’s Time To Spend Money To Market Your Work. I am not going to lie, by this time my energy was draining fast. It was a good session but about 3/4 of the way through I almost fell asleep. Takeaway: When is it time to start spending money to market your work? Probably not yet, for me. All the panelists assumed you make money at all – hahahahaha….I don’t.

Although I dearly wanted to go up to my room and nap, I was also hungry so I went to lunch and the lunch keynote with Katie Couric. Surprisingly, this lunch was less packed than the Martha Stewart lunch. Huh? I thought Katie was amazing – very personable and her upcoming show sounds really interesting.

I met up briefly with Stephanie from City Moms Blog, who is the umbrella organization for Dallas Moms Blog (you know I write there too, right?). I would like to apologize to Stephanie for my zombie-like state. I was literally about to fall over. I barely crawled up to the 42nd floor where there were free massages being offered by RosaceaFacts.com. Then I oozed back down to the 26th floor and took a good long nap. Unfortunately, I was forced to get up so I could stop by the Expo Hall before it was time to Mic Wrangle the closing keynote. This is why I didn’t get much sponsor swag – it was so late in the conference that many of them were packing up. Oh well, I still got Beth Terry to autograph my copy of Plastic Free: How I Kicked The Plastic Habit And How You Can Too, which I have already started reading and IT IS AMAZING.

The closing keynote revealed that next year, BlogHer 2013 will be in Chicago and it will be in July (2-27) instead of August. So excited!

For dinner, I got to eat at a local Asian fusion place with all the wonderful women I met and some who I just totally admire/stalk like Gina The Feminist Breeder and her husband.

The Feminist Breeder and Hyphenated Husband (!)

Powerhouse of Feminist Bloggers
Powerhouse of feminist blogging: Think Feminist, The Feminist Breeder, and Danielle Elwood

When we got back to the hotel, I packed up for a super early exit (6am!) in the morning. I was so sad to leave my friends, old and new.

Saying “bye” to Calley for another year – our third BlogHer together!

Overall, this BlogHer was another new and great experience. I am exhausted more than I’ve ever been in past years, but I’m also seeing even more opportunities on the horizon.

If I met you at BlogHer and you have any great pictures or would like to say “hi”, please do! I miss you all already!

I survived a road trip with toddlers

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I’m still around, although I have been lax in posting. We took a 7-8 hour road trip (each way) with our two toddlers, so I spent most of last week planning and packing and this weekend listening to children scream. We also had a good time with family and got to celebrate a very special young woman graduating high school. I am glad to be back and will have a post soon on a new method of workout that I am attempting.

If you are taking a road trip this summer as well, my fellow contributors over at Dallas Moms Blog have great articles about road tripping with children. Please do visit them!

I’d love to hear about your summer, so please tell me all about your plans in the comments or on my Facebook page!

A little trip and a reminder: Cottonwood Art Festival

I am excited to be taking a little 24-hour trip to visit my favorite friend Millie in Kansas City today and tomorrow! While I’m gone, Christian will be in charge of both the kids and the house and the cooking (well, actually, EcoMaids will be taking care of the house…).
I wanted to remind everyone that Cottonwood Art Festival is this weekend! Check out my previous post about Cottonwood Art Festival Kids ArtStop fun. My family and I will be there bright and early Saturday morning and I’ll have photos of this year’s fun up by the afternoon.

Paintings
Little Sir at Cottonwood Art Festival when he was less than 1 year old! He’s 2.5 now!

Will I see you there?