What Happens When You Give Up Target For Lent

Target is my happy place. So when I failed to give up any of my favorite foods, Facebook or fun in general for Lent, I decided to give up the Bullseye for 40 days. 40 looong days.

Rob joined me in this venture, except the day he cheated on me with another woman.


I'd know that nail polish anywhere.


I had to, he said. I couldn't get this anywhere else, he said. #weak

But for 39 days, we made it work and here's how:

-by using deodorant that burned Rob's armpits because the grocery store doesn't sell his brand
-by utilizing all of our travel toothpaste
-by having grandma give Gabby diapers for Easter
-by handing Gabby pacifiers designed for newborns after Howie ate all our MAMs
-by not combing Faith's hair on a daily basis because we didn't have her detangler
-by allowing Faith to wear shoes that were probably too small for a few weeks
-by buying Cascade at Menards
-by continuing to procrastinate on printing pictures
-by regifting giving creative gifts
-by stuffing Easter eggs with Valentine's day candy

Hey, it wasn't easy for any of us. But it was all worth it for this:


I sent this picture to Rob the other day with the caption: How You Like Me Now?

As an Easter present to ourselves, we planned to make a Target run on Sunday, but not before we ate our weight in cheesy potatoes. Word to the wise: Target is not open on Easter Sunday. Good for them. Sad for us. Not only could we not get the necessities we so desperately needed, we also couldn't walk off our carbs. We settled for Starbucks (Rob's happy place) and a cookie for our little peep who woke up puking BEFORE she even ate any candy. #kidfail

Faithy feeling better after she puke-ded -- her new word.

People continue to ask us  if we take advantage of our new roommates as built-in, free babysitters. Them offering to babysit on Easter Monday actually cost us money. $228 to be exact. We're never doing date night at Target again.

Bloggy Boot Camp Part II: Blogs to Follow

I'm back with a bunch of new blogs for you to follow in addition to my tribe members' blogs. I met each and every one of these ladies (and one man) at Bloggy Boot Camp in St. Louis where we were forced, though we went willingly, to sit at assigned tables and exchange business cards. As an extreme extrovert (read: girl who likes to hear herself talk) I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet all these new people and hear about their niches in the blogging world. They range from puppies to parenthood to Pinterest-worthy DIY projects that will probably never turn out for me. I hope you'll subscribe to a few of them, or follow along with them on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/MyFace

OK, Myface is not a social network, but a boss of mine once asked "What do you think of MyFace?" Before I could answer, "Well, your nose could use some work," I realized he meant Facebook but had combined it with MySpace to become MyFace. I digress as usual. So, about those blogs you should follow:


A Cup Full of Sass

All about Fun, Family, Food and Fitness


ALLterNATIVE Learning

Raising Eco-Conscious Kids of Faith in a Modern World


Chocolate and Sunshine

Anytime your business card comes attached with chocolate, you're winning. This St. Louis area blogger tries to add chocolate and a ray of sunshine to each day. And her post on adult Easter baskets: yes, please!





Dirt and Boogers

There is not a better name for a blog written by a mom of two boys. Amanda is a play therapist who writes about "thoughtful parenting." I'm anxious to read more about her "Stop Yelling Challenge."


Grillin Fools

You Guys: Grill Tips. I don't know how to turn ours on, so hopefully there's a post on that. One of my new roommates also may want to look into this blog as he almost burnt the house down the other night trying to operate our grill. Not naming names, but STEVE, CLICK THIS LINK!



LalyMom

A Chicago-based stay at home mom of two with some great ideas for preschool crafts.


Learn from Yesterday

Jodee started her blog later in life and writes about what she's learned from her experience cooking, traveling and more. She reached out to everyone before the conference and connected with so many attendees by commenting on their About Me pages. Thankfully, it helped me catch a typo on mine.


Lemon Lime Adventures

The story of a blended family, a mom who homeschools and a little boy with sensory-processing disorder. Wonderfully and honestly written.


Mommy Works a Lot

Vanesse is a fellow member of the Omaha Bloggers Group. She blogs about being a career woman mama to a 5-year-old with asthma.



Makeovers and Motherhood

Alisha, a mom to three boys (THREE!) shares her adventures in motherhood, along with decorating tips and makeovers of the home and heart.

My Smart Puppy

This blog by Sarah Wilson is full of practical advice from a professional dog trainer who has written 8 books and has 35,000+ Twitter followers.


Oh Me Oh Mom

I met Alexa at the Mirsssou wine party at Bloggy Boot Camp where we chatted about her newborn blog and The Book Stop she helps her parents run in Illinois. What a sweetheart. She blogs about a little bit of everything.



Pumpkins and Projects

The is authored by the owner and operator of a pumpkin patch. As I shared on Facebook, they are trying to get Jimmy Fallon to agree to be immortalized in corn for their maze. The hashtag video is #hilarious.




Simply Designing

I had lunch with Ashley Phipps and couldn't wait to visit her DIY blog. She's an interior designer by trade and her projects are all Pinterest picturesque. Can I just hire her already?


STL (St. Louis) Motherhood

Where St. Louis moms find fun, but also tips on crafting, good books to read and products to buy.


***Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally

The homepage description says it all: "I'm about beer, Bill Clinton and being a basketcase. Holly spoke at the conference and had me snort laughing. Her writing is top notch and she will be one I definitely follow from here on out.
*This is my favorite!



Whitney Kate

Whitney Kate's website is beautifully designed and all about loving and living in style.

Meet My New Tribe: Bloggy Boot Camp Part 1

So I attended my very first blog conference over the weekend in St. Louis. I won't bore you all with the details of Bloggy Boot Camp except to say MIND = BLOWN. While I am not going to reiterate the contents of the conference, I am going to do a series of posts about it. #1 introducing you to my "tribe." #2 sharing a list of new blogs for you to follow (yes mom, other people do this too.) and #3 - 5 life lessons I took away.

What exactly is a TRIBE you ask? Well, it's that group of people you consult when you're a) indecisive as all get out like me b) down in the dumps about how much you suck at life and need a lift or c) want someone to make you cackle out loud or col.

I already have a"personal life" tribe. You ladies know who you are...the ones I call to help me listen to my heart and just listen in general. Thank you for always being there. But I've never had a "professional life" tribe before and now I am beyond grateful that I do. I feel like I'm bringing home a boyfriend to meet my family for the first time, but instead I'm introducing my four online girlfriends (play on playa) to you all, whoever you are (hi, dad!).


Because the tribe is all from the Omaha area, we decided to carpool down to the STL together. Some of these ladies knew each other before the trip. None of them knew me. I could have been a mass murderer except I'm the mother of two kids who can't stomach CSI or cut an onion without cutting myself. But they took me in anyway. And the bond we shared over 12+hours in the car, multiple glasses of Mirassou and one extremely long cab ride is now cemented. These ladies are my homies, my sistas, my TRIBE.

front row: the Nicoles; back row: Jen, Lisa, Julie
In no particular order, there's:

Jen Schneider from Liv, Laugh, Love Media
Jen blogs about her beautiful young daughter, knows her social media stuff and is a rockstar in general at making the most of opportunities that come her way. She's also a lifter. She knows the exact right words to say to lift others up and tell them that they're awesome, which I witnessed on numerous occasions. Jen is just plain fun.



Nicole McDonald from Mom Saves Money
As I got to know my friend with the best name ever, I learned she is a badass at life. She's former Navy, a mom of three and what else can I say, she's from Nebraska and she can ride a bull. For real, this woman is saving people tons of cash with her coupon classes and books. Her network is huge, but the thing I loved most about her was her unfiltered honesty about everything. That is one of my absolute fav qualities in a person and she has it in spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds.

Lisa Trudell or #lisafreakingtrudell from The Walking Tourists
For those of you who haven't heard of her (all two of you ;) Lisa is one of those people who gets it done. She's got a sweet voice but she drives a hard bargain and can get access to anyone and anything just by asking. Her travel blog is going places because it's great quality content and she's just going to make it happen, I have no doubt in my mind.

Julie of Family Fun in Omaha
What a woman! There is so much to be said for simply "being nice." Julie is nice to everyone. Her blog's purpose of getting the word out about family-friendly Omaha events just so families can have fun together is so genuine and selfless. I'm so proud to know Julie and proud of her for how hard she's worked and how far her blog has come.

So there's my tribe. We're all so different, yet we have one major thing in common: we're all in this together.