USAA Digital MilEx Conference

USAA Community Managers at #USAADigiMilEx
USAA Community Managers at #USAADigiMilEx

I had the privilege of spending last week in San Antonio at a two-day (plus a bonus day at USAA headquarters) conference hosted by USAA. The lovely people I am pictured above with are:

Wendy Poling http://mymilitarylife.com/
Angela Caban http://homefrontunited.com/
Chad Storlie www.CombatToCorporate.com

I work with them as contractors for USAA writing for their Member Community and moderating a member forum. It is the BEST job. I can work from home with my little one and the hours are flexible.

Back to the conference: The energy and inspiration coming off a conference is a pretty wonderful feeling. I took notes during many of the presentations to remember their enlightening tidbits and made an attempt to meet everyone in attendance. I am still in awe of some of the inspirational people I was fortunate to listen to present and meet. I am looking forward to writing a more in-depth summary, but until then, I encourage you to consider attending a conference in your area. What conference you ask? Anything that you are passionate about! A blogger conference, a parenting conference, a candle making conference; you will be invigorated by your fellow attendees success and drive!

In addition, it may give you a chance to be photographed mid-speech and enables you to examine your awkward speaking faces and hand gestures! At least they didn’t catch me mid shimmy! (I have a tendency to use large and flamboyant hand movements)

USAA Community Manager Speaking at USAA DigiMilEx
Speaking tip: don’t roll up your notes. It makes them harder to read…

Can’t wait to highlight many of the other bloggers and entrepreneurs I met! I am going to spend today following up with all the wonderful people i met, a must do after a conference! Twitter is full of fun tidbits and photos from the conference, search #USAADigiMilEx if you are interested to see who was there and some candid photos!

Donating my Hair

I got rid of my security blanket. This is the shortest my hair has been in the past 20 years. I went into the salon asking for a Jennifer Aniston cut (who doesn’t want to look like Jennifer Aniston!?) and came out convinced I should donate my hair and 7 inches later…

 

dontating hair

I feel like it is a HUGE differenceĀ  (my hair before), but my husband got home and did not notice until I pointed it out…<insert heavy sigh>. Good news is, I think it is growing on me, and it is literally growing, so it wont be too long before it is long again!

My hairdresser said he was going to give my hair to a local place he knows that makes wigs for children who cannot afford them. It makes me feel good that someone could benefit from my security blanket. I encourage you to research different hair donation options other than Locks of Love (which my hair donation was too short to qualify for) if you don’t meet their standards, there are many other options! This blogger does a great job describing her experience and providing some alternative places to donate!

 

Have you ever donated your hair? What was your experience?

National Reading Day: My Current Book Recs

National Reading Day Book Recommendations for you and your toddler

In honor of National Reading Day, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite books from the past year (I included some of Reagan’s at the end too!). It was hard for me to make this list because there are so many books I enjoy and honestly, I have a hard time making decisions about most everything; especially what to read next.

Review of Wonder by RJ Palacio
Image from Goodreads.com

Favorite Message: Wonder by RJ Palacio

Everyone and their brother, sister and mother (you get my point) should be required to read this book. This is the type of book that reminds you to be a better person and to strive to always treat others with kindness. Get the tissues ready, I had to take a few breaks reading this book because I was sobbing. I don’t know if this book had such a profound affect on me because I have a daughter who I hope, as she grows, treats others with respect and compassion and I pray others will do the same for her. Great. Book.

Review of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Image from Goodreads.com

Favorite Narration: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

If would give up wine to write like this author. She has such beautiful prose and descriptions and you cannot help but be enthralled in this characters many lives. Read this, then let’s have a cup of tea and discuss it together. (Perfect for a book club!)

Review of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
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Favorite Non Fiction: Shantaram by Gregory David Robert

Escaped convict from Australia (convicted bank robber and addict) makes his way to India where he lived for ten years becoming engrained in slum life and gangs. He lives through some crazy stuff, makes some bad decisions but in the end his heart and mind are in the right place. (warning: this is LONG)

Review of The Shadow of the Wind By Carlos Zafon
Image from Goodreads.com

A book I just loved for no one particular reason. I liked the voice, and the characters and the story: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This story is set in Barcelona in 1945 about a family who owns a bookstore and finds a mysterious book. (this is a trilogy and i liked each of the books, although the first is the best!)

 

My 14 month old daughters current favorites:

Review of First 100 Words
Image from Goodreads.com

Baby’s First 100 Words

We have read this 284 times, TODAY. She loves the pictures of the babies in this book and I try to do the sign language sign (to the ones I can remember) and I think it helps her associate the object pictured and the sign!

Review of Do Cows Meow
Image from Goodreads.com

Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon

This is a lift the flap book that she find to be very entertaining! Luckily the flaps are very sturdy so we can read it six times in a row seven times a day and the flaps are still looking relatively good!

Gotta end with a classic…

Review of Pat the Bunny
Image from Goodreads.com

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

This is a simple book, Where Paul and Judy do lots of things and encourage the little reader to do the same. Every time we read the line “How big is bunny” Reagan will lift her arms in the air and squeal while I say SO BIIIIGGGGG. That line may be coloring my review but it is so cute I don’t mind reading is 632 times.

 

Share your favorite books, I need to know what to read next! :)