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Inspiring Afternoon Meeting the USA Olympic Dive Team

Just before the Olympic Diving team left the States for London, we had the opportunity to meet all of them at an event held at a local swim center.

First there was an autograph session where the girls got a photo with now Silver Medalist, Abby Johnston




Afterward we watched an incredible dive show that had Olympic Divers and members of the Montgomery Dive Club.

Here's a video I made of the event.

The girls became glued to the TV during the Olympics any time diving was on. Having met the team in person, watching them do those incredible dives right in front of them, and then watching some of them medal was truly inspiring.

Congratulations to the entire team!


Do you prepare meals for your family before you leave for a weekend away?

As I prepare to head to New York City for a 4-day conference I have a lot of preparing to do.

I need business cards
I need to choose appropriate outfits
I need to work out camp carpool.

Then there is always the issue of FOOD.

The Mister is very good about fending for himself and the girls, I try to at least have some foods that make the fending easier. I also let go of the fact that he might not be feeding them the way I would, but they are fed nonetheless... And alive... And usually happy when I return.

I recently polled my friends on Facebook to see who prepares meals for their family when they embark one 'girls's weekend' and who just lets them figure it out.

There were basically 3 types of responses
1. "I don't need to prepare anything because they end up going out or ordering in all weekend"

2. "I let them fend but I make sure to stock the fridge"

3. "Are you serious? My husband cooks more than I do!"

Notice not one actually admitted to cooking and freezing an entire meal.

Times have changed.

I find this fascinating because this week I received the ingredients and the recipe for an easy to make meal, plus the Glad storage containers to keep it fresh from the folks behind Glad Mom Made

 I pictured myself calling my family mid-trip to see how much they enjoyed my enchiladas. I believe I briefly pictured myself in a 50s style dress and apron in an I Love Lucy episode. You know, me being a redhead like Lucy and all.

When the packages arrived I realized,
"Who am I kidding? I don't have any time to make this! But how awesome that my husband has No Excuse NOT to make it! "

And better yet, I expect leftovers stored for me in the Gladware when I get home.

Times have changed Ricky.

So let me ask you dear readers, do YOU prepare food for your family when you go away with friends for the weekend?

It's important to note that Glad Mom Made has tons of cool things from easy recipes (to make yourself or leave for Dad) to crafts and more.  Check it out on Facebook!


Disclosure: I received the items in the photo for the purpose of this review. It also qualifies me for an entry to win a gift card from BSM Media. All opinions are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published. I just loved the idea of having a meal prepared!


Be Proud of Who You Are with Be You Be True

I'm headed to Blogher '12 this week and I will be celebrating while I'm there.

Positive Messages for Girls, Moms and Bloggers

Having twin girls I have always been hyper-aware of the face that they will always be compared:

"The smart one"

"The prettier one"

"The taller one"

"The funnier one"

"The fast one"

It's inevitable that they will start to hear these comparisons from their friends, classmates, teachers, even coaches, as they get older. Knowing this, I have always tried to teach them to embrace their differences. Love yourself, recognize YOUR strengths, celebrate them, and celebrate the strengths of others. But, ultimately, keep the focus on you. Be the best you, you can be.

The same could be said for some of my fellow bloggers. Not all. SOME.

Celebrate who YOU are!

The blogging arena can be somewhat competitive. There is a lot of discussion and comparison about who gets invited to go on press trips, who has a book deal, and who is speaking on a panel at a conference.. including Blogher.

This is why now is the perfect time to share with my fellow bloggers my love for the Be You Be True line of products. They offer positive messages for girls of all ages to celebrate who they are, right now. Be who you are, embrace it, celebrate it.

The more we focuse on ourselves, on being the best we can be, the happier we are.

Interested in working with Be You Be True?

The folks at Be You Be True are putting together an Ambassador program for bloggers who are interested in reviewing the products, being available for testing new products, and possibly participating in focus groups, among other things.

If you are interested in learning more, go ahead and complete this short survey so they can learn a little more about you!

And, be sure to find me, check out the Be You Be True t-shirts, and follow my tweets while I'm at Blogher! (@janinenickel)



Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am being compensated by Be You Be True, however all opinions are my own as are my neuroses with raising twin girls to love themselves as much as they love each other. This post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.


GM Wants to Help You with Back to School Supplies

A few months ago I test-drove a Chevy Eco for a week as a treat for simply being a Mom.  Now I'm partnering with GM Northeast to help fill backpacks of school supplies for local families! 

Operation Backpack

I'll be getting a GM loaner car to use to deliver much-needed backpacks filled with all sorts of school supplies to Operation Backpack.  My twins will be entering 4th grade and I am expecting to spend $50 or $60 on supplies...NOT including a new backpack and lunchbox! That is an incredible burden on many families in our area who have already been affected by the mortgage crisis, layoffs, and more. If you think you can help, I encourage join us August 9th as we deliver supplies for Operation Backpack to Central Union Mission at 1350 R Street, NW Washington, DC 20009. You might also consider donating direct to the Operation Backpack program at Volunteers of America.

Do YOU Need Help with School Supplies?

Lands End wheeled backpack my twins use

One local blogger is giving away $100 gift card for a local family to win to help purchase school supplies. Not only that, the winner will be chauffered around in a GM loaner car as they shop!  Want to enter or do you know someone who really needs the help?

Visit  The Mummy Chronicles to nominate someone you think might benefit from the generosity of both GM, and Vicky who is hosting the giveaway.


Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post though I will receive a loaner car for a week for the purposes of delivering filled backpacks to Central Union Mission. All opinions expressed here are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.


When the power goes out, I have my priorities straight

We got back for a week at the beach to find a terrible storm had ripped through the DC area leaving over 400,000 people without power. In our county alone!

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for us.

Luckily, we bought a generator last Christmas as a present to ourselves.

As I was cleaning and combining food from the various refridgerators I came across a bottle of champagne leftover from, yes, New Years.

Then, as we were going through the mail I found an insulated package that contained Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolates!

Both promptly went into the one fridge that was starting to cool thanks to the generator.

We may not have a lot of space, but times like these it's important to keep your wits about you. We are looking at possibly a week without power (nothing we haven't had to live through before thanks to Pepco), a water restriction, and 100 degree temps.

Champagne and chocolate can get a mom through the worst.

Also, Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolates have 30% less fat than regular chocolates! I sampled the dark chocolate with chocolate creme and OMG - each nibble took me further and further away from my troubles. And that is NOT the champagne talking - not yet, anyway. I'm waiting to pop that open on day 3 of no power.

Check out the Declare Your Independence contest with Hershey's Simple Pleasures on Facebook for a chance to win some sweet prizes. 

Then tell me what helps you get through a night (or three) of no power!


Disclosure: I received a package of Hershey's Simple Pleasures dark chocolates at no cost. All opinions are my own and so too is my bad luck at living in an area where we lose power A LOT. I plan to buy plenty more of these little treats to get me through the next storm too! This post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.