Green Juice I Actually Enjoyed and {Winner of Biggest Loser} Danni Allen’s Tips To Stay Healthy

(Disclosure: Walgreens invited me to an event while I was in Chicago last week. I received a gift bag at the event but all thoughts are my own.)

The thought of “green” juice used to make my stomach turn. I could never figure out why people enjoyed drinking these vegetable filled drinks. I have had a few of these green juices and could never take more than one sip so you can imagine how I felt about going to a blog event and being subjected to these green, healthy drinks. In my head I thought there is no way I am going to like this stuff.

When I picked one up I discovered that it actually smelled good. There was a fruity smell to it instead of it smelling like a salad. I took a sip and surprisingly it was nice and refreshing and tasted nothing like vegetables. I actually hoped they’d come around with another tray of it because I wanted more of that green juice. Later on I got the ingredient list….cucumber, celery, kale/spinach, green apple, lemon/lime. Would I choose it over my flavored coffee? Probably not. But would I choose to drink it over my favorite pop {or soda for you down South…}, yes I would.

Here are Danni Allen’s top 5 healthy tips:

1) Drink mean, green and clean juice {As shown above, you can find one that tastes good.}

2) You can always find 20 minutes in a day to work out {Her quick routine is 40 mountain climbers, 15 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 plank up-downs and repeat until 20 minutes is up.}

3) Recovery is just as important as exercise. {She suggests stretching or Restorative Yoga}

4) Motivation is key! {Find a way to push outside your comfort zone by joining a team or signing up for a race.}

5) Food is about quality not quantity. {Danni says: don’t buy cheap fruits and veggies!}

Walgreens had lots of delicious, healthy items on their “fresh bus” for us to check out and enjoy. I loved our picnic (even though it rained and we collapsed a picnic table lol).

Colorful Fashions For Women At Kohl’s

(Disclosure: Kohl’s gave me gift cards to shop for my conference wardrobe but all thoughts are my own.)

I tend to wear a lot of neutral colors. Black, grey, white, and brown items fill my closet because I have always been drawn to how easy they are to match with other items. Lately I’ve tried to look for clothes that had some color to them. I shopped at Kohl’s for the conference I just went to and got so many compliments on my clothes that I think I will continue to add colorful pieces to my closet. I wanted to share a couple of the items I wore last week {sorry about the low quality cell phone pics!).

First thing I wore was black and white….


The next shirt had some beautiful blue color in it. This was me experimenting with color {check out my lips, too! Hello red!}


Doesn’t this shirt and necklace combo just scream summer? I loved the bright colors and flowers with the pops of yellow. I paired it with a white cardigan and some cute white sandals.

Do you tend to wear neutral tones or do you go for the bright colors in your clothes? If you usually don’t wear much color I’d encourage you to try adding a few colorful pieces here and there.

BlogHer Wardrobe Shopping {And Some Tips On What To Wear}

(Disclosure: I received gift cards from Kohl’s but all thoughts are my own. Honestly, I would have done most of my BlogHer shopping there anyways, even without the gift cards, since I love their selection.)

I’m headed to the BlogHer conference at the end of this month. It’s one of my favorite blogging events and one I know can bring anxiety about what to wear for those going for the first time. Having been to the conference back in 2010 {and many other blogging conferences since then} I have some tips on what to bring wardrobe-wise:

1) Wear comfy shoes. Those heals may look adorable but trust me, they won’t look so cute on someone who is limping around in pain.

2) Pack more than you plan to wear. At the last conference a friend spilled wine on my dress. Thankfully it was white wine so I was able to stick it out with the wet spot but you never know what could happen. You need to have a few extra outfits for accidents or change of plans.

3) Pack something warm. I live in the Chicago area and earlier this week we had one day that was a high of like 63 degrees. Even on hot days the city seems a bit cooler than other areas and conference rooms tend to be a little cold so pack a cardigan or light jacket just in case.

4) Pack a little purse and a larger tote like bag. Going around the conference and expo you will want a large bag to put business cards, pamphlets, and swag in. For the parties you will want something small to keep your cell phone, wallet, and lip gloss in.

5) It’s okay to wear items you already have. I’ve done some shopping for the conference but I plan to wear some clothes that I already have. Keep in mind that most of what you already have in your closet are clothes that none of us have seen so your “old” clothes will be new to us :)

With that said, if you are shopping for some new items I wanted to share some tips on what to look for at the store:

Cute accessories! I love this bracelet pack because these will go with a variety of different looks. I can wear them all together or separately.


It’s all in the details! Look for cute prints and details on shirts. This is a flowy shirt that goes over a tank top and it has these buttons on the sleeve that make it a short sleeve top.


Instead of regular old rubber flip flops (which I seem to live in during the summer), give your feet some bling.


When looking for dresses, find one that works for your body type. I found this dress that has stripes in the skinniest part of my middle which slims me because the eye is drawn to that portion of my body.

What about you? Any tips for us all? Or if you are a “newbie”, any questions I can answer? Leave a comment or tweet me! @aliciamarie112

View Chicago’s Skyline From A Seadog Cruise

(Disclosure: I will be going on a Fireworks Seadog cruise in July during BlogHer but thoughts are my own.)

I love living near Chicago. It’s such an exciting place to be and an absolutely beautiful city. I don’t get to the city to explore as much as I’d like but the BlogHer conference is in my hometown this year so this July I will be spending a lot of time doing “touristy” things. One of the things I can’t wait to do is go on a Seadog cruise along Chicago’s scenic lakefront.

Seadog offers four exciting ways to see and experience Chicago from the water:

Lakefront Speedboat Tour

This 30-minute cruise along the shoreline offers a descriptive tour of Chicago’s famous skyline, while playing your favorite music.

Extreme Thrill Ride

This cruise is perfect for the dare-devil in you! This 30-minute ride features splash down stops, 180-degree turns, slalom runs and more.

River and Lake Architectural Tour

Enjoy historic views of Chicago’s famous landmarks and neighborhoods during this 75-minute cruise on both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.

Lakefront Fireworks Cruise

Enjoy front-row seats to the spectacular fireworks display aboard the Lakefront Fireworks Cruise! Cruise along Lake Michigan with an exciting speedboat ride paired with an informative tour of the Chicago skyline, then end the evening with a dazzling fireworks show and top-40 hits playing in the background! The open aired vessel allows for panoramic views, providing a perfect view. The Seadog Fireworks Cruise is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running from Memorial Day – Labor Day.

Seadog is great for both individuals and groups and they offer customizable group events for up to 450 people. Seadog also features specific holiday cruises, such as Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Halloween.

For more information, please visit or call 888-636-7737.

SoyJoy Review and Cookbook Giveaway

While in New York for BlogHer I attended a SoyJoy sponsored brunch. I wrote about it on ShePosts here.

Michele, from my review team, tried some of the SoyJoy bars and here is what she had to say about them:

“L.O.V.E, I am in love! I am in love with the tastiest little bar chocked full of good for you things…SoyJoy! That’s right, SoyJoy. Not only does SoyJoy use U.S. grown non-GMO soy for these delish bars, but they made sure they were only using whole soy, real fruit, they are gluten free, low GI, and have no trans fat.

I have to be honest…I have never met a SoyJoy bar I didn’t like. I love that they make a great snack choice for Mr. Not So Big as well as myself. They are convenient (just throw then in your purse or bag), have protein, and have real fruit pieces (you can actually see them), along with great flavors. For the purpose of this review, I was given blueberry, strawberry, and their newest flavor, banana. Blueberry and strawberry certainly top my list of yummy and the banana was my little guy’s fav. SoyJoy comes in 6 flavors, Banana, Blueberry, Strawberry, Berry, Mango Coconut, and Apple Walnut.

At this point you may be wondering “Where can I get my hands on these delish bars too?” If you check out their website; you will be able to locate a store near you that carries them. Don’t worry, I’ll leave a few for you, I won’t shelf clear ;) Having said all this, I feel as though I should point out that there are a few people that maybe do not have the same love for SoyJoy as I do. Give SoyJoy a chance and make your own determination.”

Big Green Cookbook (2009) by Jackie Newgent

Jackie’s cookbook is full of recipes that make fruits and vegetables more interesting and fun. She shares how adding herbs and spices can change the taste of our favorite meals and how important it is to have fun with the presentation of foods.
How To Enter (leave a comment for each):

1) Tell me what your favorite food is.
2) Tweet: “Enter to win a cookbook from @aliciamarie112 at”
3) Enter another giveaway and tell me which one you entered.
4) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy
Giveaway ends on November 29, 2010 at 11:59pm.
(Disclosure: I received brunch as a guest of SoyJoy and also received the SoyJoy bars and cookbook from them. All opinions are our own.)

Wordless Wednesday: Bloggers at BlogHer

The above is a picture of myself, Renae, Anna, and Krissy in a limo on our way to Martha Stewart’s Blogger’s Night Out.

This is a picture of me at an evening event with Morgan, Maria, and another blogger.


I have linked this post to: Wordless Wednesday Home

5 Minutes for Mom ~ Go Graham Go! ~ Jolly Mom

Mom of 3 Girls ~MomStart ~ Two of a Kind…

Momma Findings ~ Mom Knows It All

Frosted Fingers ~ A Daily Dose of Toni

One Week

In the past week I have…

cleaned my whole house, washed massive amounts of laundry, shopped, ran errands, packed four people for vacation, spent over 30 hours in a car, ate too many cupcakes, made new friends, attended parties, rode a ferry, got a pedicure, went sightseeing in NYC, experienced disappointments, stepped out of my comfort zone, worried too much, connected with some awesome brands, walked all around New York City, got my haircut (twice), learned how to hail a cab, cried, introduced myself to random people, went on both a bus tour and a walking tour, tried new foods, carried around heavy bags of “swag”, got autographs, waited too long for elevators, ate delicious food, brainstormed a plan for a new blogging venture, obsessed over the #BlogHer10 hashtag on Twitter, learned to lower my expectations of others, took the subway for the first time, spotted Martha Stewart, told everyone how awesome the Chevy Traverse was, talked with some “big-name” bloggers, took lots of pictures, hurried from one place to another, made the “A” list, found myself on the “B” list, laughed till I cried, enjoyed late night chats, rode in a limo (twice), practiced forgiveness, won some fabulous prizes, survived on too little sleep, learned more about myself, and missed my family more than words can express.

This week…

I’M TAKING A BREAK. I’m spending quality time with my family and reviewing my goals, both personal and professional. I’ll be back soon with stories, pictures, reviews, and giveaways. I will also catch up on my giveaway “winner” posts and my overflowing email inbox next week. Thanks for your understanding :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Things To Do Before NYC

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I am headed to NYC in about one week to attend a blogging conference known as BlogHer. In the blogging world this is THE conference to go to with over 1,500 in attendance. This is the first of probably many posts related to the conference (apologies ahead of time if you aren’t attending) and in order to organize myself I am creating a list of things I need to do before I leave.

  1. Go shopping. My daytime looks will mostly consist of items that I already own. I do want to pick up a couple of fat sucking in tank tops though :) I also need to purchase some evening outfits for all the party hopping I am going to be doing. After trying on all the dresses I own from my pre-baby days I have discovered that I have absolutely nothing that fits me. I need to find some cute, comfy shoes to wear, too.
  2. Get a haircut. Not sure if I am going to just get the split ends trimmed off or a drastic change in look but I do know that this is a necessity. The last haircut I got was when I was pregnant with my son… he is now 13 months old…
  3. Figure out arrangements for my children. Not sure yet where they will be sleeping each night but I know they will be with family so I’m not too concerned about this one. Just gotta work out the logistics…
  4. Figure out travel related things. I am road tripping to New York thanks to the generosity of Chevrolet so we are leaving on Wednesday (two days before the actual conference starts) and we need to decide on a time to pick up the car and start our journey. I also need to choose what I am going to bring along for the very long car ride (over 13 hours-one way). I know that my computer will be with me and I am bringing the Wild Things book I won from The M.O.B. Society but other than that I’m not sure..
  5. Make a packing list and pack bags. A list is a necessity for me to ensure that I don’t forget anything. I have the worst case of mommy brain and would probably forget something important (like my wallet or my super comfy shoes) if I didn’t make myself a list. I also have to pack the boys for their “vacation”.
  6. Write and schedule some posts. Before I leave I have to make sure that I have posts written and scheduled to post on this blog and on the other sites that I contribute to. Maybe we will have some great giveaways go up including a giveaway of something fabulous I’m road-tripping with (sorry it’s not a car…)
  7. Put together my itinerary. I have never tried packing so much into so little time before. Between sessions, helping host a breakfast, being a friendly face in the Serenity Suite, meeting some wonderful bloggers in real life, connecting with brands, attending parties, maneuvering through the city, and meeting Martha Stewart (ok so maybe I won’t meet her but I AM going to her party where she MIGHT be) I am wondering when I will eat and sleep. Most likely I will end up changing things as the days go by but I can make myself a schedule and stick to it if I decide to. I can also party all night or decide to do nothing but catch up on my sleep if I want to (I am without children after all).
  8. Decide on a budget and figure out how to stick to it. I have heard that everything in NYC is expensive. I will be on my own for some meals and need to decide how much I can spend and research some food options that don’t cost $50 a plate.
  9. Clean up my house. I’d like to come back home to a clean house. Sinisa and the boys will be gone most of the time so if I clean the house it should still look decent when I get home. This is a good thing because when I come home from this five day trip at about 3am Monday morning I will probably be wanting to sleep all day on Monday.
  10. Stop stressing about the trip!!!!! and Stop spending all day long on Twitter to see what others are saying about #BlogHer10!!!!! Enough said.

What about you? If you are headed to BlogHer next week what is on your to-do list to prepare? Oh and if you have any vlogs or posts about what you are wearing feel free to leave a link below… I’m still working on to-do #10 :)

Energizer Recharge Me, Please!

I’m a mom of two toddlers. Two toddler BOYS. Not to mention that my oldest is lets say… “spirited”. I’m constantly going in multiple different directions. I love my children so much but boy do they wear me out.

And obviously since you are reading this, you know I blog. I currently contribute to three sites with two more coming this month. That means that when I’m not chasing my cute little monsters children around I am on my computer writing and networking.

Then there’s the housework.

Laundry for six people is a big job. Two little ones means lots of outfit changes due to potty accidents and messy meals. There’s also a teenage girl in the home which means lots of debating on which outfit looks best and clothes strewn all over the floor which means I get the pleasure of washing extra clothes… ones that weren’t even dirty in the first place.

Then there are the dishes, the sweeping of the kitchen floor at least five times a day, and picking up toys.

TOYS. Toys that light up. Toys that move around. Toys that make music. Toys that talk to you. Do you know what the talking, singing, moving, music making toys mean to me? LOTS OF BATTERIES. And of course none of them only take one battery. They are all in 2’s or 4’s. Four batteries for a toy that makes loud, obnoxious music? Really? Yes, as if the toy’s noise making wasn’t enough to annoy me there is the added cost of buying all those batteries.

So along comes Energizer with a solution: the Energizer® Recharge Smart™ Charger. What a fabulous invention! Don’t buy packs and packs of batteries anymore! The new charger features a LCD screen with a countdown clock displaying the remaining charging time. It also has a fuel gauge indicating the current level of power in the batteries that are charging. No more guessing when your batteries are fully charged or hoping that the battery you pick up from your drawer has some “juice”. I also love the fact that the Energizer® Recharge Smart™ Charger has a bad battery alert that lets us know when the battery can’t be charged any more.

Even better… Energizer is not only a recharger of batteries but they want to rechargHER too! Both Barefoot Mommies and An Island Life are each giving away (2) $2,000 to people going to BlogHer. I am attending the conference and jumped at this opportunity to represent Energizer. Not only could I really use the sponsorship to fund my travel and my hotel stay but I feel I would be a great choice for one of the four sponsorships available because I really understand what it means to keep going, and going, and going, and going, and going…. I would love the chance to tell others about Energizer and their new Energizer® Recharge Smart™ Charger both at the conference and in my local community. Also, as a previous Social Media Manager, I really feel I could use the skills that I have to network online and use social media tools like Whrrl, Facebook and Twitter to spread news about Energizer. I know that I would go above and beyond what is required to accept this sponsorship and really become a brand ambassador for them.

That being said, I would be honored if you, my readers, would help me out. Could you please send a tweet or two for me to let Energizer and the ladies at An Island Life and Barefoot Mommies know that you feel I should get chosen? I would really, really appreciate it…

You can tweet:

“@kailani Please choose @aliciamarie112 to win a $2000 #BlogHer10 sponsorship from #energizer”


“@BarefootMomma Please choose @aliciamarie112 to win a $2000 #BlogHer10 sponsorship from #energizer”

(Disclosure: I’m trying to win a sponsorship to BlogHer which is in a few weeks. I have not been compensated for this post but may be in the future.)

Lovable Labels BlogHer’10 Getaway Contest

A Day In The Life Of A “Mommy Blogger”

This is how my day goes if S works the day shift at his job:

5:30-8am- My children wake up. I change their diapers, bring them both milk and put a short movie on for them (either Thomas or the Wiggles). I normally return to bed with the intent on getting a few more minutes of sleep but normally just lay there awake. I hope for the boys to fall back asleep but that doesn’t happen. So I get up, throw some clothes on and get the boys dressed for the day.

8-9am- The boys have breakfast and then play in the TV room while I finish getting ready, clean up the kitchen, and fill their diaper bag with everything we will need for the day. Normally by the time all that is done they’ve dumped a few containers of toys, wrestled a little, and Lucas has climbed up the steps about a dozen times.

9-11am- I get them in the car and we head to wherever we are going for the morning. Occasionally we stay home (in which case I’m still in my jammies at this time) but normally we go to a playdate, meet some friends, or head to the library.

11:30-12pm- Once we get home the boys have lunch and then it’s time for naps. After I lay them down I clean up the kitchen, grab a pop from the fridge, and then have about an hour to myself. I respond to emails, check my blogging groups, and talk to people on Twitter. I normally don’t do any actual writing during this time.

1:30-4pm- Jacob wakes up at 1:30 and has a snack and a choice of quiet activities (puzzles, reading library books, coloring) while I continue online work. After this we do an activity or craft  together and then cuddle on the couch and watch a show. Lucas normally sleeps until 3:30.

4-7pm- Once Lucas wakes up I give him a snack and we run errands and/or go somewhere child friendly like an indoor or outdoor playground. Once home, we have dinner, bathtime, and then the boys play in their room.

7-12am- The boys go to bed. I do some cleaning and then I start my blogging and networking. I write posts, email, open the boxes of items for review that came during the day, use Twitter, check and Facebook, work on to-do’s, and anything else that has popped up that needs my attention. Once or twice a week S and I will have a “date” night at home and watch a movie together.

12am- Time to shower and head to bed. Once in bed I normally check my email and Twitter on my blackberry again before closing my eyes.

(Disclosure: I have written this post as part of the Lovable Labels contest in hopes of winning a spot to represent the company at BlogHer in NY. If I win my trip will be paid for.)

So Excited….

I now have tickets for both BlogHer and the Relevant Conference. I am so excited to be going to both but sadly have to wait over five months for one and eight months for the other. I surely will talk about both in greater detail as the months go by but just couldn’t wait to make the announcement! :)

I'm going

I am currently looking for companies to sponsor me to both conferences and can’t wait to tell you about the awesome companies I will be representing once they are confirmed!