Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The end of Naptown, but our road will lead us home.

Six very short years ago, two young kids moved to the Indianapolis area at the ripe young age of 24.  They'd both recently finished their degrees and had begun to work at real, big-time jobs.  They were fresh and new and full of purpose.

Those two kids?

They were DH & I.

When we moved to the Indianapolis area, we were light-years away from where we are now.  We had endless time, much more disposable income {oh, to be dual-income-no-kids... lol}, and all the hopes and dreams in the world.  Life was really just starting for us.

In the past six years, life has changed for us a little bit.  We've been homeowners for six years.  Between the two of us, we've had eight jobs {three of which we currently still work for}, two children, four vehicles.  We've trekked the transition from happy-go-lucky kids to responsible adults.  We've braved the years of marriage it's taken to truly know each other and love each other for not only our strengths but also our faults.  We've dealt with issues from broken air conditioners in sweltering heat to work situations that have been unhealthy enough that we've walked away without back-up's to the passing of a beloved pet.

But we've also enjoyed some of the biggest high's in our lives.  We've welcomed two beautiful babies into our lives.  We've rocked and played and tickled and snuggled and laughed and loved.

Oh, we've loved.

We've loved each other and these sweet children more than we ever thought was possible.

We've had so many successes and triumphs and learning and growth.

Underneath all of that is the place that we've lived.  Looking back at all those memories, both good and bad - I see our home.  I see the hospital where our babies were born.  I see the bed where we all snuggle in the mornings.  I see the restaurants for those dinners out before babies.  I see those trips to the museums where happy children reached for our hands and dragged us off to see the next attraction.  I see the back door where the kids come running over to their daddy when he comes home from work.  I see those nights sitting in our backyard with a fire burning staring at the stars over the field behind our home.

This is the place I learned to be my own person.  This is the place I learned to be a mother.  The place where my world shifted and my life changed and I became better.  Where I learned it's okay to be unapologetic for exactly who I am, but at the same time that being kind and understanding toward others trumps all.  Where I learned the best joys of my life come from the giving of myself to others that I love.  I became me here.

In the past six years, we've met so many wonderful people and made so many memories.  From friends to colleagues to our visiting family - we've been so lucky in the community we've enjoyed and created.  There have been many here who have touched our hearts and lives along the way.

And I will be very tightly holding all of this to my heart as we embark on the next page in the story of our lives - which, as of October of 2014, will include our leaving this city and our home to create a new journey.

Because we're moving to Missouri.

My wonderful, awesome husband and I have decided to move our family out of Indiana and into the state of Missouri {the Kansas City area, to be exact} after he was offered a really great job opportunity within his company.  We are excited and nervous and hopeful and happy and scared all in one regarding the process of selling our home, packing our home, and moving our lives several states away.  I'm sure I'll have many thoughts in the upcoming days, but the only thought I'm left with tonight is this -

Thank you, Indianapolis.  Thank you for everything.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Green Scene Mom - New Mommy Giveaway!

New Mommy Giveaway
Green Scene Mom has partnered with Guava Family and many other brands to bring you this fabulous giveaway featuring lots of great products for new moms and their babies! Each of these products was designed to meet a unique need and make life simple for mom and baby.

Green Scene Mom - Guava Family Giveaway

Guava FamilyLotus Everywhere Crib - $249.95

The Lotus travel crib is so easy to use and easy to take with you, you will want to use it everywhere... places you never would even consider taking more traditional portable cribs simply because they are too bulky & heavy. Use the Lotus at home, at a friends house for dinner, or even in the airport terminal. The Lotus is more than a travel crib. It's an Everywhere Crib.

Green Scene Mom - Coromega Giveaway

CoromegaBe Bright Superfood Oil Blend, 2 90ct Original Orange, and 2 30Ct Orange "Tiger" - $140

Coromega selects only the finest ultra-refined fish oil for use in its products. Our fish oil originates deep within the wild fishing stocks in the clear waters of South America. Once extracted, the crude fish oil is delivered the experienced hands of our Norwegian refinery where it is given its superior sensory characteristics to be clear, taste-free and odor-free. Since 1999, Coromega has produced the most effective and advanced delivery form of Omega-3, making it into incredibly tasty, natural citrus flavors with no fishy taste, aftertaste or fishy burps!

Green Scene Mom - The Bumble Collection Giveaway

The Bumble CollectionBrittany Backpack in Lace Floral - $99.99

The Bumble Collection is a family lifestyle brand specializing in children's products including diaper bags and family accessories such as lunch bags, picnic baskets, and food/beverage coolers for our fashionable families. Since 1999, our diaper bags have graced the pages of magazines and have been carried on the shoulders of many A-list celebrities. Our products have been placed on the shelves of top retailers spanning the globe. All products from The Bumble Collection are made of the finest materials using an all-natural process without the use of synthetic preservatives as we respect and embrace the value of sustainability and it's effects on the environment.

Green Scene Mom - Yummi Pouch Giveaway

Yummi PouchYummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches + cloth snack & sandwich bag set - $24.99

Yummi Pouch eco-friendly snack time solutions encourage healthy snacks for active kids. Our reusable food pouches are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, BPA-free, Phthalate-free, and can be filled with healthy blended snacks and easily taken on-the-go, no spoon required! Yummi Pouch cloth snack bags are lined with a water resistant interior and decorated with colorful prints. Perfect for crackers, chips, and sandwiches.

Green Scene Mom - Belli Skincare Giveaway

Belli SkincarePrep & Glow Trio from Belli Skincare - $69.99

Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub is an invigorating scrub with peppermint that sweeps away old skin cells to reveal healthy skin. Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash is a pure facial wash featuring lactic acid that leaves skin clear and refined, without over-drying. Belli Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator is a lightweight moisturizer rich in Vitamin C and botanical humectants that help refine and soften skin texture.

Green Scene Mom - AVENT Electric Bottle and Baby Food Warmer Giveaway

Philips AVENTElectric Bottle and Baby Food Warmer Giveaway - $45.99

The fast, safe way to warm expressed milk and baby food, the Philips AVENT Electric Bottle and Baby Food Warmer warms 125ml/4oz milk at room temperature in around 4 minutes.

Green Scene Mom - Buttons Diapers Giveaway

Buttons Diapers2 diaper covers + 2 daytime diaper inserts + 1 small wet bag - $36

Buttons Diapers feature a quality and affordable two-in-one diapering system that consists of wipeable PUL covers and super-soft absorbent inserts that snap into the covers to stay in place! Buttons Diapers fit babies from 9-35 lbs, have two layers of stretchy waterproof PUL throughout, and double gussets at the legs to keep messes in.

Green Scene Mom - Mixie Giveaway

Mixie8 oz. bottle, 4 oz. bottle, 1 package each of Stage 1, 2, and 3 silicone nipple replacements - $51.95

Mixie is the first baby formula bottle that can be fixed now and mixed later. Formula goes in the little compartment. Water goes in the bottle. At the first cry, just push the button, shake, and blend. Simple. Yet really quite genius. On a flight, or in the middle of the night, Mixie has you covered. Because when baby wants a bottle, baby wants a bottle now.

Green Scene Mom - Lollaland Giveaway

Lollaland1 Lollacup + 1 Straw Replacement Pack + 1 Mealtime Set - $41

Lollacup is a stylish and functional, drinking cup whose innovative design helps infants and toddlers successfully use a straw. Lollacup's flexible straw has a weighted end that allows children to drink effortlessly, even when the cup is tilted. The straw is valve-free, which makes it easy to use and clean. Lollacup is BPA and phthalate-free and is proudly made in the USA. The Lollaland Mealtime Set is the perfect complement to the well-loved Lollacup. Lollaland's Mealtime Set consists of a plate, bowl and dipping cup designed for smaller hands and toddler-sized portions.

Green Scene Mom - Ubbi Giveaway

UbbiTwin pack cloth liner - $29.95

Using washable diapers? We have exactly what you need! The Ubbi cloth pail liner is a necessity for cloth diapering parents. Bring out the green in your diaper pail with these biodegradable liners. Twin pack includes 2 bags that are washable, waterproof, odor-resistant and reusable. Using the Ubbi cloth pail liners add to the eco-friendly experience.

Green Scene Mom - Water Wipes Giveaway

WaterWipes12 packs of 60 wipes - $42.99

WaterWipes are the world's purest baby wipes. Made from 99.9% water & 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. And that's it! Nothing else! Only 2 ingredients. Completely free from chemicals, WaterWipes are the baby wipes parents and healthcare professionals have been waiting for. All natural and pure, WaterWipes are safe to use on baby's delicate newborn ultra thin skin. WaterWipes are effective yet ultra-mild, pure and gentle. WaterWipes are unlike any other baby wipe on the market, and have been produced using cutting-edge technology to give unrivalled mildness, purity and safety.

Green Scene Mom - Pearhead Giveaway

PearheadBabyprints Photo Frame - $24.95

This classic white wooden frame has spaces for your baby's handprint, footprint, and adorable photo. It's simply the easiest way to capture your baby's prints. Just press your baby's hand or foot onto the included "Clean-Touch" ink pad to reveal a detailed print. The baby's foot never touches the ink, so it's completely mess-free. Includes beveled mat stamped in silver with "My Little Prints". This keepsake frame is the perfect gift.

Green Scene Mom - Toofeze Giveaway

ToofezeBaby Teether - $19.99

Toofeze is recognized for its cutting-edge design and ability to soothe, calm and comfort fussy teething babies. Three distinct chewing surfaces made of food-grade ingredients. Stainless steel disk chills instantly in cold water for quick symptom relief. Soft silicone handle is never too cold to hold. Smooth contoured shape enables firm counter-pressure against erupting teeth. Toofeze allows babies to self-satisfy and self-manage their changing teething needs.

Green Scene Mom - So Rad Giveaway

So RadMagic Romper - $25

So Rad's romper has short sleeves for warmer days, even featuring a rear access entry door for easy diaper changes. This romper has no snaps, buttons, velcro or zippers! The kimono style front opens up so bebe can squeeze his little chubs into it and it's made from bamboo and organic cotton.

Green Scene Mom - Itzy Ritzy Giveaway

Itzy RitzyInfinity nursing scarf - $24.99

At Itzy Ritzy, we believe life on-the-go in style is possible. Our modern multi-purpose products pack a number of dazzling punches to provide attractive solutions to everyday challenges without making you do a lot of work. Now with a global presence with thousands of retailers, Itzy Ritzy is reinventing practical luxury for modern families around the world. We consider our job done when you get your job done in a stylish, exciting and refreshingly simple way.

Green Scene Mom - Googaro Giveaway

Googaro 1 monthly box - $50

Googaro is a subscription box service delivering the best, most exciting new products for tots 0-3 years of age. We want to simplify your life and help you discover incredible new products that are a perfect blend of practical, safe, stylish and fun.

Green Scene Mom - Olli and Lime Giveaway

Olli and LimeDots Decals pack of 50 - $20

Olli & Lime dots vinyl wall decals create a dramatic feature on your wall. Each pack includes 50 one-inch dots, in your choice of colors. Olli & Lime designs modern nursery bedding and decor, for design-conscious parents. All products are made in the USA.

Green Scene Mom - Earnest Eats Giveaway

Earnest EatsSuperfood Snack Set - $130

At Earnest Eats we uncomplicated good food choices by creating whole food happiness in everything we make. You'll feel great every time you eat one of our foods! Our Superfood Hot Cereals are made with Superfood Grains – Whole Oats + Quinoa + Amaranth – plus fruits, nuts and seeds like almonds, blueberries, chia seeds, cranberries, and unsweetened cocoa for an added powerhouse of protein, fiber and nutrition to fuel the day. Our Baked Whole Food Energy Bars are made with whole nuts, fruits, seeds, whole organic oats and superfood almond butter, baked in small batches in ovens for a soft cookie-like texture. No spray-on vitamins or protein powders. No corn, peanut or soy oils. Our Superfood Chewy Granola Bars are made with their Superfood Grain Blend – Whole Oats + Quinoa + Amaranth – providing slow-release energy along with protein, fiber and phytonutrients. All in under 150 Calories and 9g Sugar.

Green Scene Mom - PAK Urban Survival Kit Giveaway

PAKOriginal Green PAK (28 of PAK's on-the-go essentials) + Micro Black PAK (up to 16 of PAK's most essential "pocket-sized" items) + a Towelette Gift Bag - $90
The ultimate Urban Survival Kit: Unique kits stocked with personal care essentials needed on-the-go. PAK's product makes the perfect gift, ideal travel companion and a necessity for the girl on-the-go. It's there for you in a pinch, keeping you prepared for life's "misadventures". Moms are always doing a million things at once while going ninety miles an hour. PAK makes life a little less chaotic by putting all of your personal essentials into one compact place. Keep it together with PAK.

Prize Gift Set - Retail Value $1,200

New Mommy Giveaway prizes - Green Scene Mom
Open to the US - Ends 11:59PM 8/13/2014
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, August 1, 2014

How to utilize Google Analytics data to transform your blog!

As you all have seen posted on the blog, I recently gave a talk at BlogHer '14 on blogging analytics.

blogging analytics, functional use of google analytics, how to use google analytics to increase pageviews

Nerd glasses?  On.  

While I absolutely love a good analytics course, I often find that most sessions talk about only how to find your numbers and not how to apply your numbers.  My session was mainly focused on providing real, take-away nuggets to help you find your top posts, optimize how those posts are seen and viewed, and then learn how to repeat your patterns to continue your blogging success!

I mentioned to a few of the ladies who attended my session that I'd post online so they wouldn't have to take a million notes, so here are the slides!  Please check out the link below and feel free to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I wore - BlogHer '14

Last year I did a post about the clothing I wore to BlogHer '13.  Mainly I had gone out, shopped for new clothes, carefully picked outfits, and then delicately packed away those outfits with care for Chicago.

This year?

I dumped the excess crackers out of my purse and re-visited a bunch of clothing items I already had hanging in my closet.  I did re-purpose several of the outfits or in general re-wear several of the outfits from last year, with a few new pieces thrown in that I'd picked up along the way since the last conference.

This year's photos were taken by my absolutely FANTASTIC roommate/should-be professional photographer, Drea from The Maiden Metallurgist.  If you want to check out some fantastic photos, her site is the place to visit!!!

Without further ado, here are this year's photos!

what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style, hair, dutch braid
Travel hair - Dutch braid.

what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Saturday's sessions- purple cigarette pants and polka dot top.
what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Friday's Sessions {& MY Geek Bar Session} - Navy wrap dress & funky jewelry.
what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Wednesday night - pajamas and glasses.  Does this look like Laura Prepon to anyone else?

what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Thursday's parties {Blogger Baby Shower & Eppa Sangria Soiree} and Evening at the Expo.
what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Repeat from above just because I LOVE this photo!

what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Saturday night's skirt/top for the {hot, outside} closing party.
what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Friday night's party dress!
what I wore to BlogHer '14, fashion, style
Wednesday's travel outfit - blue shorts, a white flowy top, and a green chevron scarf.

If you can't tell by the smiles for miles in the photos - I had an amazing time.  Stick around this week for a sum up BlogHer '14 posts and information {including slides!} from my Analytics presentation!

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