Christmas Blogcation

Each year, I look forward to the holiday season because it forces me to slow down and I am reminded of the many blessings I have in my life. And this year, Christmas break (which is two whole weeks off for the kids – eeeek!) is a vacation of sorts for my family even if we don’t leave the house because we are taking some well deserved time together.

Basically, I call it my Christmas blogcation and will return next week excited to share some reflections of 2013 and of course, ring in the New Year with you! Until then, you know I’m never far – just an email or tweet away. And if you’re a blogger, I highly encourage you to take a holiday blogcation for yourself. As a blogger speaking from experiencea little blogcation is always good for the soul!

So from my home to yours…

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Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!!!

500 and Counting

As I press my fingers against the keys on my laptop to write this post, let it be known this is the 500th post I am publishing on this little ol’ blog.

500 stories.

Hundreds of lives touched.

Thousands of public communal comments.

Countless searches and shares nearly five years in the making.

 Five years!!!!

And somehow, through these words, comments, conversations, shares and exchanges, Theta Mom® is alive and well even through the many blogging changes over the years.

I mean, remember this girl??

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I had several redesigns, adapted to many different social media platforms, stayed relevant in the process and even started my own business. I feel like I have been through it all and I’m so proud that Theta Mom® continues to be a leading destination for women meandering their way through the journey of motherhood – a place to read, connect, or simply feel like you can talk with a friend who understands.

I hope to continue to inspire you and share words of encouragement; stories that resonate with you and make you think about a particular post even long after it’s been shared. And I remain passionate about only endorsing products that I know and trust. With the exploding inbox of pitches that arrive daily, I am proud to be very selective of the companies and brands I choose to work with – the kind of businesses that are aligned with my own set of values as both a mom and a blogger.

After nearly five years of working in this industry, I’m proud of the fact that I have remained true to what I believe in and what this blog stands for – especially when other bloggers have taken a much different path.

It’s no question that blogging has changed dramatically over the years and there’s no doubt it will continue to change. Where is it really headed? Nobody knows for sure, but as I said one year ago, “I hope my ability to tell a story will be enough.”

Whenever I begin to question myself or wonder if this whole bloggity blog journey is worth it, I am reminded that I’ve come way too far to ever think about giving up.

I mean hey, I’m 500 and counting – and I love the sound of that.

Introducing the Powerful and Versatile Shark Rocket™

The holidays are here! It’s no secret this is one of the busiest times of the year as we celebrate with close family, friends and entertain guests. It’s also the time of year when we open up our hearts and homes – which means some serious cleaning before guests arrive and of course, when the parties are over. So once again, I teamed up with Shark to test out their latest product which has revolutionized the industry since it has re-engineered the full size vacuum.

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Meet the Shark Rocket™ one of the most versatile, lightweight and high-performing vacuums on the market today. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new vacuum or surprise someone on your list this season with a special holiday gift, you must check out this new product.

                                   Features Include:

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2 Speed Brushroll

Easy Emptying Dust Cup

Cleaning Wand & Washable Filters

Storage Hooks

Wall Mount Storage

Extra long 32′ cord

Swivel steering with no loss of suction or power

Deep cleans carpets, rugs and bare floors

 

This vacuum is the most lightweight vacuum I’ve ever used – but don’t think this lightweight machine can’t do the job because it absolutely can! Shark Rocket™ is advertised as being as powerful (if not better) than a full size Dyson, but the beauty in this machine is that it is so versatile without the heavy weight of a full size vacuum. Whether you are using it to clean drapes, vacuum the staircase, or up on those high ceiling fans, this product does it all. The added cleaning tools that coordinate with this product snap easily within one click, so you can get to those specialty areas in a cinch.

We have mostly hardwood floors in our home, but in the rooms we do have area carpeting, I love the fact that this vacuum is slim enough that it rolls and slides easily underneath the bed! I can actually vacuum under the bed without an issue whereas many other vacuums are too bulky and big to perform on this area of carpeting without having to physically remove the bed. The other favorite feature for me is there are two settings on the vacuum; one is for hardwood floors, tile and non carpet areas and the other setting is for carpeting and area rugs, so you can also use this product on any floor!

Finally, I also love how compact this product is, especially for easy storage or when you need to carry it up and down the stairs. The swivel steering gets in and around every corner so it really gets the job done well, even in those hard to reach areas. It handles beautifully with such easy maneuverability. I highly recommend this vacuum to anyone who is looking for the power and versatility without all of the added heavy weight.

You can purchase the Shark Rocket™ here and follow Shark on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest product information.

Disclosure: Theta Mom® abides by word of mouth marketing standards and believes in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. I received the Shark Rocket™ from Alpaytac, Inc. to facilitate this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Meet Issuu – A Digital Publishing Platform

The following is a sponsored post.

I used to be an avid reader of magazines. However, I slowly ended up with large stacks of magazines that unfortunately were not being read because I was always online. So, if there was ever a way for those magazines to become free and accessible online, I probably would have kept up with them.

Well, this was until I met Issuu – the world’s fastest growing digital publishing platform. Issuu allows users to build their own stacks and discover new content online. It even lets users follow other people’s stacks and of course, share. It’s like Pinterest for magazines – so awesome!

Issuu contains over 14 million publications with 25,000 new publications added daily. Millions of readers visit Issuu daily to read FREE publications created from publishers all over the world. These publishers include top names in the fashion industry, the world of sports as well as many lifestyle publications. Many have often wondered, “Where has this site been all of my life?” Well, 53 techies were wondering the same thing which is why together, they founded and created Issuu. They each shared a passion for the publishing industry and today, it’s one of the largest publishing networks on the planet.

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Natural Awakenings is one of the publications that immediately grabbed my attention. It focuses on a healthier and balanced life providing guidance to readers. It  includes the latest information and news on natural health, nutrition, fitness and even green living. And the best part? All products and services contained in this publication promote and support a healthy lifestyle.

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I especially enjoyed reading the recent December issue of Natural Awakenings which had many articles pertaining to spiritual growth. This is the perfect way to reflect on the previous twelve months as I prepare for the new year ahead.

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I also like that this publication of Natural Awakenings is centered around my state of New Jersey – so the products and services shared within this publication are very relevant to me. You can find Natural Awakenings in other states as well. Simply search “Natural Awakenings” in the search box on the Issuu site and you’ll find a long list of publications in various regions across the United States to choose from.

If you love reading publications online for free, I encourage you to check out Issuu and the many wonderful features it has to offer for both readers as well as future digital publishers. Follow #DiscoverIssuu on Twitter for more details.

Theta Mom® abides by word of mouth marketing standards and believes in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. I was selected for this opportunity as part of the Girls’ Lunch Out network. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by either Girls’ Lunch Out or Issuu.

When Life Hands You a Bowl of Lemons

I haven’t blogged in nearly a month. It’s so unlike me, but there is a reason why I haven’t touched the keys on my laptop to weave words together in this space. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been chasing an opportunity – one that I was sure God put in my path for the taking. I was absolutely convinced this was the right position for me, but to my dismay, it did not work out.

And I’ve been heartbroken.

I feel defeated, disappointed. I was certain this was the one key that would open up a whole new world, a profound path I would end up traveling – but at the eleventh hour, it all fell through.

And it hurts.

It’s at a time like this I begin to question why.

Why did I get presented with such a possibility if in the end, it wasn’t meant to be mine anyway?

Why did I work so hard trying to achieve something which now seems so futile?

Why wasn’t this picture perfect arrangement destined to be for me?

WHY?

The reality is I can’t answer any of those questions. All I can do is seek inner peace by leaving it up to my faith to help carry me through. I have to believe there was good reason as to why this did not work out. Perhaps, the man upstairs has something better in store for me.

Disappointment

I’ve missed you. I’ve missed this blog. This recent heartache has opened my eyes to a new perspective, one that has forced me to see the many things I do have in my life that I’ve been blessed with.

They say everything in life happens for a reason – and maybe I was put through this test to take stock of what I do have and be grateful. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this could not be a better time for reflection and redemption.

I’m also told that these tough experiences in life help to shape who we are and who we will become; that these challenges build character and provide us with unexpected strength.

So instead of drowning in my sorrow, I must dust myself off and get right back in the game because there is something better waiting for me. I’m going to take the lemons that have been handed to me and turn it into some damn good lemonade. And no need to add sugar – because sometimes the struggle is what makes success even sweeter.