We went to see Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Musical at the Stages Theatre in Hopkins last weekend and had a wonderful time. You can see Avery was grinning ear to ear sitting next to Rudolph and Hermie after the show. It runs through January 3rd, and if you or your kiddos love the annual TV movie classic of Rudolph, the musical is nearly identical to it. Definitely go see it!

The play was super special for my family, as a certain almost-7 year old has been practically obsessed with Rudolph for about 5 or so years. Here are a few of the fun pictures of her with Rudolph over the years.

She brought Rudolph with her to go see Santa!

She drew this picture for Rudolph and left it with carrots and granola for him to eat when Santa brought presents. You can just barely see her little handwriting that said Rudolph across the top.

And here she fell asleep one night holding Rudolph and wearing antlers on her head. I just can’t… my heart…  and then here’s her little voice just 3 years ago… talking about Rudolph being a love story.

There are also Rudolph books and ornaments and multiple pairs of Rudolph pajamas she has already outgrown. Maybe the fact that her birthday is on Christmas Day has influenced her to embrace the season. :)

And I may have picked up a couple extra secret things at the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Musical last weekend…

Hope you are all finding joy and moments of peace this holiday season.



Note: We are regular patrons (and donors) of the Stages Theatre in Hopkins. These opinions and photos are my own, this was not a blogger review as we paid full price for our tickets!


Note: This post is about my experiences going through the process to get LASIK eye surgery as a brand ambassador of Joffe MediCenter.

Here I am with the wonderful Joffe MediCenter team in Minneapolis the next morning after my LASIK surgery.

I’m excited to tell you all about my experience getting LASIK at Joffe MediCenter in Minneapolis! Just a week ago I wrote about my history with glasses and contacts, and how my free consultation eye exam went to see if I was a good candidate for LASIK (see post here). Today I’ll share a few pictures and a short video clip from the surgery, with some tweets sprinkled in for good measure. :)

Since I know many of you don’t live here in Minnesota, I want to mention that there are Joffe MediCenter locations in Atlanta, Houston and Louisville in addition to Minneapolis!

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Note: This post is one in a series where I’m documenting my journey to go through LASIK eye surgery as a brand ambassador of Joffe MediCenter. This means I am receiving free services in exchange for sharing my honest opinions and experiences throughout the process. 

A selfie to commemorate my last few days wearing glasses. I think I’m going to miss them!

While I’ve wanted to get LASIK for quite some time, I’m having some surprising feelings now that I’m so close to getting it done in just a few days. Since my goal is to be as honest and forthcoming as possible going through this experience, I wanted to share some of these feelings here.

I won’t be the same without glasses – I know that sounds silly, as obviously I’ll still be the same person. But I’ve worn glasses for the past 10 years or so consistently, only rarely wearing contacts. Many people only know me with glasses. They’ve become part of my persona. I’ve spent a lot of time and money finding just the right frames to suit my personality and for them to be just gone one day is weird to think about.

My friend Julio Ojeda-Zapata shared his own reaction about me ditching my glasses, commenting on my Facebook post earlier today, “Y’know, I’m a little sad because, as I’ve said, you look sensational in spectacles … but I’ll like the new you just as much.” I feel I can relate to my specs-wearing friends, like Julio. There’s a part of me that is sad of letting go of my glasses, and that connection with others who wear glasses.

I won’t have glasses in common with my kids - This goes way deeper than looks, this one is about family bonding and identity. Both of my kids have worn glasses the past five years. In our family pictures you can easily see that one way we are connected is that all of us are wearing glasses.

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Have you checked your dryer vent lately? No, I don’t mean the lint trap that you should clean each time you do laundry. I mean the vent that leads from the back of the dryer to the outside. Did you know that many house fires each year are blamed on these dryer vents being clogged or dirty from lint? This can put you and your family at a serious safety risk. Most web sites I’ve checked say you should clean them out once a year.

A couple of years ago, I had called a service repair company to check on my dryer, as it was taking a really long time to dry clothing and I feared something was wrong with it. The man who checked on it said it was working fine, but he cleaned the lint out of the venting, which may have been making it run less effectively. I noticed a difference right away. He didn’t show me how much lint he removed and I hadn’t really thought about it since then.

Recently I’d become worried that my dryer wasn’t working as well again. But instead of paying someone to come out and check on it again, I decided to buy a lint brush so I could do it myself. I found a few different options at Home Depot, but ultimately decided to the get Everbilt Dryer Lint Removal Kit. I liked that it had multiple sizes of brushes and a vacuum attachment. It was about $25.

I finally got around to it today and am so glad I did! I was seriously shocked to see how much lint had built up in my dryer and dryer vents over the last couple of years. I’ll share some of my tips here and some pictures in case you want to give it a shot.

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I’ve been doing this allergy-free cooking for 6 years now – imagine cooking for the holidays with no milk, no eggs, no nuts… but over the years I’ve figured out substitutions here and there. Most of the time it means making things by scratch, which can be time consuming.

This year our lives got a lot easier when So Delicious came out with a dairy free whipped topping called CoCo Whip! I found it in the freezer aisle at Whole Foods. They have a regular and a lite version. It stays frozen, but then you put it in the fridge for 4 hours before wanting to use it.

It tastes wonderful, of course there’s a hint of a coconut flavor since it’s, you know, made from coconuts. The texture is just as wonderful as a home made whipped topping or the other dairy-laden brands. The ingredients are top-8 allergen free, but do contain pea protein which some families with peanut allergies also avoid, so I thought I’d mention it.

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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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