Get Clued In’s Year in Review – 2014

Last year’s review paints 2013 as a great year, both personally and professionally. This year has been both busy and ended with a lot of random illness sweeping through the house, and apparently our extended family’s homes.  Hopefully, 2015 sees the end of the bad juju of illness sweeping through all our homes.  We didn’t travel as much as last year, but we did our share of trips and had a great time.  I took a life-changing journey of taking a 100-day course, and it has been eye-opening.  I did a lot of promotions and even a big tech switch.

Here are my top posts for 2014, not necessarily because of traffic to the site, but because I enjoyed writing them and sharing with you:

10.  A Review of Samsung Galaxy s5 Active with Gear Fit –  In the area of technology and some changes, I went from an iphone 4S to a Samsung.  What a fun and different journey.  The iphone is great for some things, and the android is better in some areas.  They are both great, but I enjoyed writing this review, and I have enjoyed my free Samsung Galaxy s5 active and Gear Fit that I won at a AT&T blogger event.  What fun it’s been.  I passed down the 4S to hubby and he loves having a modern data phone, and shhhh, I still use my old iphone for some tricks I still can’t figure out how to do properly on my droid.

9.  Things I am still learning – You@TheCenter (R) $100 offer- I did a lot of fun promotions, attended some great blog events, but this was by far the most life-changing, beneficial perk I received as a blogger.  I took a course which has been life-altering, and as the New Year begins, one which I can take to greater heights through the amazing things I have learned and put into practice.  Here’s to 2015, and possibly better focus on things that matter: Me, and the things which are top priority for us.

8.  Magical fun showing our #DisneySide @Home Celebration - Another cool and exciting opportunity as a blogger centered on doing something fun with my kids, and yet another punch card list, action item met from the 100-day course.  We had a great time showing our #DisneySide and hosting a fun party, and it was also right around my birthday and my younger daughter’s birthday.  Can’t beat that!

7.  City Girls Visit a Farm - Right in line with spending quality time with the kiddos, I had the rare opportunity to attend a fun and educational field trip with my daughter’s Kindergarten class.  Not only was the cuteness factor completely exceeded, we brought home bags and bags of organic fruits and vegetables to share with friends, and cook up into great, healthy meals.  What a fun time, and I know memories we will cherish for a long time to come!

6.  From Philly to Washington, D.C.  – Independence Day in our Nation’s Capitol –  Our trips were fun too and always eventful.   Our trip in summer took us to the east coast for a wedding, and seeing family and friends from all over the world.  Visiting our nation’s capitol meant a lot to the girls, and the birthplace of Independence.   And, it was Independence weekend to boot!  How can you not love that.  From the Pandas at the National Zoo, to the liberty bell, and everything in between, we had a great time, and saw fireworks from a rooftop condo where we stayed.

5.  Florida- ahh - We also made two trips to Florida, one late in 2013 into New Year 2014, and then another one to shower my sister-in-law to welcome a baby in hot July and August of 2014.  Florida is far away, but it is full of family, and friends for us, and so many exciting things to do.  How can we not love Florida – ahhhh!  And if we time it just right, we can avoid those nasty Colorado winter sub-zero, arctic temps.

4.  Frozen at Hollywood Studios- “All good things” on a 110-degree day – The second time we went to Florida, we were all dripping and soaking wet from the sweat and heat – it was summer in Florida, but we were there for a good cause, and so we did what most tourists do, visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios and cooled off with the gang from FROZEN.  It felt great on a hot, humid, 100-degree PLUS day in Central Florida.  And we met the whole cast, and then some, and we sucked it up, ate a lot of ice cream and snow cones, sprayed water bottles on each other (with fans built-in) and made it all work.

3.  Milestones and Memories- Her First Sleepover-  Then begin the memories and milestones posts.  What an eventful year for our children, and so many firsts.  My eldest daughter went on her first sleepover.  May not seem like a big deal, but it so is!   Not just for her, but for all of us.  They just grow up so fast, so happy we have this blog, and so many other captured memories to help us remember how I felt, what we saw, and what we captured and remembered.

2. Perfect Moment Monday – Where does the time go?  My friend Lori hosted her last Perfect Moment Monday, and this was the final installment on Get Clued In!  Not only that, but it captured the weekend in February perfectly.  We had family in town, and celebrated by daughter’s milestone 5th birthday, and then enjoyed a date night – how exciting! Noticing is important, and capturing these moments is even more important.   Time just flies!

1.  Milestones & Memories — They are both in School!  Finally, our favorite milestone moment from 2014 – they both are in school!  Our youngest started Kindergarten, and now we have one drop, one pick up, and in August, a lot of anxiety from all especially mommy. How can she be in Kinderrgarten already? Letting go is hard, but they teach us, one small step at a time.  Our eldest is in 2nd and youngest in K, and now we struggle with camps during their breaks, and what to do during those random in-service days.  It is hard indeed, but with any milestone, we will overcome yet again and focus on the positives and blessings in our lives.

Here is to 2015 and many, many more amazing milestones and memories, and wishing you and your loved ones a Happy 2015 filled with goodness, happiness, love, success, and most of all – HEALTH!  Thanks, as always, for taking this amazing journey with me, with us.

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Magical fun showing our #DisneySide @Home Celebration

20140302-113553.jpgWe had such a blast showing our #DisneySide @Home Celebration.*  The kiddos made T-shirts, decorated Mickey cupcakes, and took home some neat little trinkets, like bracelets, Muppet calendars and Donald Duck tattoos and Mickey Mouse stickers.  To see all my #Disney posts, check out the category or tag “Disney.”

We asked everyone to dress-up in their favorite Disney character 20140302-113614.jpgcostume and show up for some fun.  We didn’t print photos on-site, but each mom who came went home with a HP Photo card pack to create their own photos from the event.  The photos can be customized at http://www.disneysidecelebrations.com.

Here are the some more pictures, and look at all the characters that showed up:  Sleeping Beauty, Anna from FROZEN, Snow White, Rapunzel, Mickey Mouse, and we even got to host Luke Skywalker!

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20140302-113745.jpgWe had great timing this year because it is also Mardi Gras, and we were able to combine two parties in one- Mardi Gras King Cake, yummy Community coffee from New Orleans and assorted snacks.

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*Disclaimer: I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Also see Get Clued In’s general disclaimer.

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A New Decade & New Look for Get Clued In!

I finally did it, I finally made the change to a new look for my blog.  Starting a new decade ain’t all that bad but I also wanted a make-over for more than my life.  You may have read through some of my recent posts, like Are you a Fred? Fabulous 40 and From the Mouths of Kindergartners along with others, and noticed the common theme for me:  Being more positive, learning something from every situation, and just trying to be a better momma, wife, and person.

So, since the trend for my life is a fresh new outlook I also wanted my blog to have one too.  My goal for Get Clued In is still to post for fun because I love, love writing.  I plan to continue blogging about products, dining, movie reviews, book reviews, giveaways, and the like but I  really want to rejuvenate the blog that was known as Clueless in Colorado.  This was my previous blog identity (which was anonymous) and I had so many posts on self-improvement, lessons learned in life and love, and plenty of philosophical underpinnings.  I am still uncertain whether I like blogging without the anonymous shield to hide behind but we will see how all that goes.  I love having loyal readers and conversations with my friends and other bloggers about topics.  The comments on my posts  by those who are reading them are so very nice and engaging.   I do love politics and writing about my opinions which can be controversial at times but they are mine opinions and I may, from time to time, draw fire from those who disagree or misinterpret my intent.  But, I am okay with all of this and fully expect it – it is part of the territory of having a public blog and remaining open to improving.

I am excited for this new look, and so happy you are here to join me on the journey.*  As the new title above the cover photo reads, “day by day, experience by experience, growing, learning and hoping to…Get Clued In!”   So much more to experience, so much more to learn and hope for and a fresh new look to boot.

*My new header picture was taken by Brent Worth- I have written about her photography before.  Beautiful photos, beautiful edits.  Thanks, Brent!

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Fabulous 40 – here I come!

Fabulous 40This is my final post at Get Clued In before I hit the big 4-0 this weekend.  Wow, what a decade it’s been!  As I write this, I realize it has been almost 9 years since I began blogging and it has been quite the journey.  When I think about where I was in the year 2003 and what I was doing, I am amazed at how much has changed and yet, how much stayed the same.

My first post, when I began to blog says it all!  The post was written in October 2004, and called “Clueless? Why?”  I was literally known as “Clueless in Colorado,” and that was my identity until 2010.  I blogged anonymously back then and treated my writing as a journal- an outlet for me.  Inspired by the character of Carrie on “Sex & The City”, I wrote about my life as a single woman in her 30s living in Colorado, dating, building friendships, working and all the trials and tribulations of that, and just trying to have it all!  Back then, I had just hit the milestone age of 30, and embraced a new decade, a new journey in my life.  I had come to Colorado bright-eyed and determined to do well with my career and hoping to find love.  Mission Accomplished, with a few bumps along the way.  Check out my archives on the right side, from 2004 and 2005- what a fun ride and along the way, so much growing up.

I am now approaching 11 years living in Colorado and so much has changed in my life:  My career took a different direction and I am now working two jobs- both equally satisfying, both jobs that I like with bosses that are truly amazing.  My personal life though is where all my real rewarding changes have been.  After leaving my active duty career, I realized that the work I do does not define who I am.  A job is a job – it’s what I do, not who I am nor does it define me.  Each day, I still turn a new leaf and write this journey as I go – it has its ups and downs but I would not change it for the world!

Since starting to blog, I have met the love of my life here in Colorado -a decade ago this April.  We got married two years later, and we now have two beautiful daughters.  They are all the center of my universe and so daily, I strive to achieve balance in all I do- activities, jobs, and the most important job of being a mom of two and wife of one.

This Saturday, I reach a milestone, turn a new leaf:  Fabulous 40 awaits me and a new decade full of change, full of love, full of tears and laughter, full of amazement, and full of hope.  It is time to leave the 30s behind and embrace a new decade of many more firsts and milestones; a decade which will bring new and even more gratifying adventures.  But, for me, it’s not the destination, it’s not even the journey, but the people that I have met and will continue to meet along the way.  It’s about the people who accompany me in this journey, and those who influence me to be better – a better mother, a better wife, a better person.   I can’t wait …  see you on the other side!

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Mattel’s Polly Pocket© – Hangout House & Stick N Play*

My girls love the Polly Pocket© Hangout House and the new Stick N Play toys… how cool that they can stick all the little pieces on the surfaces of their hangout doll house and move it all!  Here are some shots of them playing with the Patio set, attached to their Hangout House- and the possibilities are endless.  All the different sets connect and keep connecting to have endless fun.  So, the girls have the Hangout House, and to it they have connected the Stick N Play Patio set which has a bar/cabana area with patio chairs, drinks, a BBQ pit which moves, and a friend for Polly to hang with.  There are even little drinks and a hot dog which attach via suction to the bar area.

Polly Pocket Hangout House with the Patio set attached

In the hangout house, there is a bathtub to place in there with suction, a TV, picture frame, a cat, a swing chair that hangs, and of course, chairs and the essentials: a toilet even! There is an elevator that moves up and down and a swimming pool that flips over to become a bed.  The doors flip in the back to go from day to nighttime.  The girls are loving their new toys and they place nicely together.  The hard part is the small parts and sometimes they fall off when the girls move the house.  So, the easy fix was- I got them a container to put their small pieces into when they are not using them.  Otherwise, I am sure I will find them all over the house.  I think the pieces are portable but I am not sure the house itself would be easy to travel with.  The girls really love playing and moving all the stuff around, and then when it’s nighttime, they flip the doors so Polly and her friends can go to sleep.  So cute!

My kids are in love with Polly Pocket© and want to get other inter-locking sets that go with their new home.  This outta be fun and as birthdays and holidays come, will make great gifts.  We are looking forward to building it into something cool.  But, do get a plastic container that can be used for all the small pieces like drink cups, food, photo frames and so on.  The one thing I will mention about the suction cups is that you have to push down on them pretty hard or they will not hold.  Keep that in mind and realize that suctions will only hold if they are pushed down on.     Check out all the cool sets and options here: http://www.pollypocket.com

*Disclaimer:  In addition to Get Clued In’s general disclaimer, please note the following:
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mattel Polly Pocket. I received a product samples and a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. Please refer to www.momcentralconsulting.com if you would like additional information. 

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