Apr
30

Laverne Cox spoke at the University of Minnesota April 25, 2017. Photo taken at this event, courtesy of Ms. Cox’ official Facebook page.

I’ve been a big fan of Laverne Cox since I first saw her playing Sophia in Orange is the New Black. Such a great actress. As many people do in this digital world, I liked her Facebook page and followed her on Instagram to see a little more of her life. But I never really knew her story – her journey to becoming a confident transgender woman with a wonderfully successful acting career. When I heard she was speaking in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota last week, I jumped at the chance to attend.

There was excitement in the air as thousands of diverse students waited to fill the theater. Of course we added to the diversity – three 40-year old women dressed in work attire amidst 18-22 year old college students. But instead of feeling like we stuck out, I surprisingly felt like one of the crowd. It was as if everyone’s hearts were filling the room, opening wide to hearing an important message. Collectively seeking insight and inspiration.

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Apr
16

Two months ago, a woman was silenced. She was told to stop speaking, and yet she continued. A man recounted the situation, (I won’t say his name, as this is not really about him),

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

And in that moment, women around the world felt the lump in their throat rise up and come tumbling out with a loud HELL NO. We repeated the phrase, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

It became an affirmation.

Of course we will persist.

A couple of weeks later, Aimee Blanchette published this story: “More than 100 women pack Mpls. tattoo shop to get inked with ‘Nevertheless, she persisted” in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A large group of women, many whom I know, all had the same tattoo inked in the same shop, on the same day. The script was designed by Chelsea Brink and the event was organized by Nora McInerny.

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Feb
10

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been working hard to update our house the last few (okay 9) months. Jason bought our house about six months before we met and didn’t put much time or effort into decorating since he knew at some point I might want to be a part of that equation. 🙂

About six months after we married, I started working with my friend Michelle who is an interior designer (Chelle Interior Design) to begin transforming our main level into a functional space that reflected our family and felt like home. We planned through the fall and started the hard work right before the holidays. We’re not quite finished yet – we still need to add drapes and electrical outlets and more decor pieces… but I’m excited to share some of the progress we’ve made.

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Dec
22

Are you familiar with WEGO Health? It’s a network which connects more than 100,000 health activists who advocate, educate and share their health stories with their online communities. Many of them have illnesses themselves, while others are caregivers.

I was honored to be asked to lead a seminar for the WEGO Health Activist Awards week. I shared some inspirational stories of how blogging can make a difference and 10 content ideas to help inspire the writers themselves to keep going. The session was recorded and I’m excited to share it with you here if you’d like to watch.

Thank you to the WEGO Health team for inviting me to share.

Nov
05

trunk or treatBy now you’ve likely heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project – a food allergy mom came up with the idea to help be inclusive of kiddos with food allergies. A teal pumpkin on a doorstep signifies the homeowner has either non-food treats or allergy-friendly treats. It’s a great idea and we’ve been keeping a teal pumpkin on our doorstep for the last three years.

This year our local food allergy group held an allergy-friendly trunk-or-treat event. A member of our group found a church parking lot who was willing to let us use their space. All of the participants agreed to only give out candy that was free of the top 8 allergens or non-food items.

I had never been a part of a trunk-or-treat before and needed to figure out how to decorate the trunk of my car. I had seen an example of a teal-pumpkin themed car on Oriental Trading website and was inspired. So I ordered supplies from them and the car turned out really great. I also used some of the FARE posters explaining the Teal Pumpkin Project.

toysThe week before the event, I actually heard from the folks at Oriental Trading company about their Halloween toy packages, which are perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters. They offered to send some my way to use on Halloween or donate to our food allergy group. I loved that they had so many options and chose the Mega Deluxe Toy Assortment and Halloween bracelets. We used these to give out at the trunk-or-treat event and donated some to school for the kid’s Halloween party. Thank you to Oriental Trading for helping make it easy to support kids with food allergies and for being generous to share with our family and community.

Disclosure: I paid for all the vehicle decorations from Oriental Trading. The giveaway toys were provided for free in exchange for sharing information about them on my blog. My opinions, as always, are my own.

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Marketing Mama® features articles on parenting as a working mom, health, family activities, cool products, my two adorable children and sometimes I even talk about marketing.

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