Relieve the Holiday Stress with Massages By April

I have only ever had ONE professional massage in my entire life. I have tricked Dave into giving me a massage every now and then (and no offense to you dear) but it just doesn’t compare to a professional massage. Professional massages can release the stress and tension of your everyday life as well the ridiculous stress and tension that the holiday season can create.

My first and only professional massage was the day before my wedding, over 9 years ago. To say that it was relaxing would be a lie. I felt uncomfortable and not relaxed at all. I obviously never went back.

A few months ago I met April through Kelly from Sunny Social Network, a mutual friend. She raved about April massages and that piqued my interest. I have always heard about how much people love massages so I figured that I should try it out again. Maybe I just had a bad experience my first time…

When I arrived at Bloom Studio Salon I was greeted with warm, friendly faces and asked if I wanted water. I accepted the water and was given some paperwork to fill out as to why I was interested in a massage and if I had any health complications.

As soon as I finished the paperwork I was greeted by April and taken back to her private massage room. Immediately I felt at ease. The warmth of the room and the calming scents were enough to start me on my journey to relaxation. I was still a little nervous, but I knew that April would put at me at ease…and she did.

My first and really ONLY question was:  Do I have to get completely naked? I had actually googled this question the day before to see what other people did. (Professor Google knows all.) Some people enjoy their massages totally nude and some don’t. I was of the non-nude, but everything came off except for the underwear. I need to have a little barrier. April just told me to do whatever I felt comfortable with. She gave me time to remove my clothes and slip under the sheet on the table. I slipped under the sheet and waited for April to come back in the room.

Soothing music played in the background and I was treated to a very warm and relaxing rice pack under my neck, which April makes herself. I knew immediately that this massage was going to be awesome. To me, there is nothing better than a warm heating pad/rice pack, etc. on my neck and shoulders after a long day.

April practices therapeutic massage, which includes releasing muscle tension and pain relief. She also helps you with relaxation for stress relief, which was something that I was in desperate need of.

When April is ready to work on a certain part of your body she will remove the sheet from that part only, while keeping the rest of your body covered and warm. I love this because I never felt exposed the entire time I was there. Believe it or not, I am pretty self-conscious about by body.

The massage was AMAZING. I have never felt so relaxed in my life. There were certain moments when I almost fell asleep. There were definitely some sore moments. I am a very tense person and have had some injuries to my back in the past, which causes me to have HUGE knots in my back and shoulders. April was very firm, yet still gentle with these sensitive areas. She really helped to work the knots loose.

After the massage was finished and I was fully dressed again, April explained to me where my problem areas where. I was surprised at how messed up my left hip was. She gave me some stretches that would help relieve some of the tension and stretch out certain muscles.

I loved that she didn’t just push me out the door as soon as the massage was over. I was able to relax and step back into the real world…slowly…after the massage. My entire body was breathing a sigh of relief after we were done and it took me a few minutes to get back into the mind set of having to leave the calming sanctuary.

April walked me out and reminded me that I needed to drink plenty of water when I got home so that my muscles could continue to heal. She also showed me her collection of hot/cold rice packs that she actually makes herself. I had to have one, so I got one.

Look how relaxed I am….. And how pretty the rice pack is…

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With the holidays coming up it couldn’t be a better time to book your massage appointment! Also. Don’t forget that massage gift certificates make a great gift for Chrismahannukwanzukkah! Feel free to stop by Bloom Salon Spa and ask about gift certificates for Massages By April. You will not be disappointed!

Connect with Massages By April on Facebook.

You Will Do Better In Toledo

If you ask someone what they think about Toledo, Ohio the answers will vary greatly from “I love it” to “Never heard of it”. Living in Toledo my whole life this surprises me. I have never really thought that Toledo was the best place on Earth to live, but I never thought it was the worst. Unfortunately, many people, including some of Toledo’s residents do not think very highly of  the area.

Things need to change. Toledo really is a great place to live, but until we can start changing the minds of it’s residents we won’t be able to change the minds of those living outside of Toledo. There are so many great things that Toledo has to offer so we need to start spreading the word and fast.

Earlier this month, Sunny Social Network hosted the “Get Connected” networking event at Costco in Toledo, Ohio. The goal of this networking event was to get area local business together to hear what is going on in Toledo and network with other local small businesses, while listening to some very motivating guest speakers.

costco Collage 1

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coscto decor

*Event decor courtesy of ComplEvents.

After some mingling and refreshments, we were introduced to Matt Keersemaker who is the General Manager for the Toledo Costco. He explained some of the great charity work that Costco is involved with. Each year Costco donates 420 backpacks filled with basic school supplies to local children in need. Did you know that at least 50% of students are on a free or reduced cost meal program? That is just crazy!

85% of their employee base donates to the local United Way. How amazing is that? They are a very charitable organization and Toledo is so lucky to have them.

The first guest speaker was Aubrey Hornsby from Adams Street Publishing which publishes the Toledo City Paper and Toledo Area Parent. I was surprised to find out that Aubrey has lived all over in some major cities and now lives in Toledo. He is originally from Florida and has lived in Atlanta and San Francisco as well, yet he LOVES Toledo. Some may find this shocking (and I was one of those people).

Aubrey -Adams Street Publishing

Aubrey realizes the potential that is in Toledo. He is most excited about what the future holds for Toledo and what Toledo has to offer. He offered some great tips for being successful in Toledo, as well as anywhere you may be living.

Some of the tips included:

- Be persistent. Don’t take no as an answer.

-Create Relevance. Bring something new each time you approach someone about an idea, project, etc.

-Develop relationships.

-Network.

If you are anything like me, networking freaks you out. I know you may think that I am a very outgoing person, but I am not. I always feel very awkward approaching new people. Aubrey had some great suggestions

-Meet 1 new person. Find out something relevant about them and remember it.

- Don’t be conscious of the fact that you are networking. Just don’t think about it. Yes, it does seem hard, but once you stop thinking about it you really do become less anxious about networking. Try it. I did!

-Don’t lead with business.

-Be brief.

-Make it all about them.

Next up was Toledo’s Mayor, Mike Bell.

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No matter what your political affiliations are, you need to hear this man speak. He has a way with words that gets you all fired up. This was the first time that I had really heard Mayor Bell speak and it was great.

Mayor Bell LOVES Toledo. He wants it to be am amazing place and also sees the amazing potential that Toledo has. He has traveled internationally to tout the amazing opportunities that Toledo has to offer. People is such a great place to live and he wants the whole world to know it.

Did you know that crime is down 24% in Toledo? Those fun cameras around the city really have done an amazing job deterring crime. If the criminals know (and can see) you are watching they are less likely to commit a crime. The city is starting to move in the right direction.

One of the biggest issues that he sees in Toledo (and I am sometimes guilty of it) is the bad attitudes regarding Toledo. There are so many great opportunities in Toledo. We all need to just sit back and think about it for a minute.

Toledo is a perfect hub for commerce. We have roads that travel north/south and east/west, railroads, access to shipping ports and and unbelievable workforce. We need to start believing in Toledo and caring for each other. Once this happens the businesses will come and Toledo will thrive.

As I stated before, things need to change. Toledo really is a great place to live, but until we can start changing the minds of it’s residents we won’t be able to change the minds of those living outside of Toledo. There are so many great things that Toledo has to offer so we need to start spreading the word and fast.

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Me and the amazing Kelly Palenske from Sunny Social Network with our game faces on! We are ready to make Toledo a better place, are you?

If you are a local business owner or employee be on the lookout for more networking events from Sunny Social Network. I will be promoting them here and on my Facebook page. You will not want to miss what is next!

*All photos copyright Holly Omlar – Oh! Photography

Moms Are The New Hotness Makeover Giveaway

I am so excited to finally announce that the Moms Are The New Hotness Makeover Giveaway is now live! This has been a labor of love that actually started last year so I am so happy that this has finally been able to be pulled together this year.

I love being able to promote local businesses through this blog and I also want moms to realize that their life and their hotness doesn’t end after the have kids. I decided to combine both of my loves into this one huge giveaway! I was overwhelmed by the amount of businesses and people that wanted to help out and donate their goods and services.

mommy makeover

We will have a Grand Prize Winner and a Runner Up and least one extra Mother’s Day giveaway (maybe more) during the contest period. We couldn’t just let one person have all of the fun!

Want to see what you could win?

Grand Prize Winner: $1, 012 Value

Runner Up Prize: $195 Value

Mother’s Day Tea Giveaway: $40 Value

While listening to the soothing harp strings of Denise Grupp-Verbon of the Tapestry Duo, mom and a guest will be treated to the tasty tea time treats of the Traveling Chef and 7 Little Cupcakes. Tea Time is Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Now I am sure that you are thinking, HOW DO I WIN???

This is the fun part. Send an e-mail to randomblogette@gmail.com telling me why you, or someone who you are nominating, deserves to win this. Nominate yourself, mom, sister, cousin, niece, grandma, best friend, teacher, neighbor, etc. Anyone that you think deserves to be pampered this Mother’s Day is the perfect nomination. Please send a photo if one is available. After we receive your submission we will send you a photo release form to sign. We must have a photo release for you to be a part of the contest. Make sure to leave me a comment after you have e-mailed me your entry so that I can make sure that I receive it.

Contest Details:

Submissions will be accepted until Thursday May 2nd at 5:00 pm. After the submission deadline a panel of sponsors will choose the Top 5 submissions. During the week of May 6th we will set up voting on The Random Blogette for the public to choose the winners. The winners will be notified Mother’s Day weekend. The Mother’s Day Tea giveaway will be held separately.

Any Questions?  Does your company want to contribute to the giveaway or a separate one? E-mail me!

Special thanks to Kelly Palenske, Stacia Momany, Krista Wales, Amanda Lust, and Kathy Jaworski for helping make this all happen!

FTC Disclosure: I was not given any free products from these sponsors.

BOOM. Literally.

The day after Independence Day was quite an interesting day around these parts. Have you heard about these crazy storms that have been randomly beating down on the Midwest over the past week or so? These storms have been popping up, spreading havoc and destruction for miles, and then disappearing in a very short amount of time.

The week before, my in-laws were hit in Columbus, Ohio and lost power for several days. Two of the households had power resorted after 24 hours. One is still without power. It has been a week.

Last Thursday, it was our turn. I was sitting in my office with one of our partners (who is also a friend) catching up on life, when the sky turned dark and it started to rain. He decided to hang out for a few minutes until the rain died down. We had no idea what we were in for.

The rain started coming down sideways and the trees were bending in half, outside of my window. A tree actually fell down in the middle of the road, while several trees were uprooted and branches were scattered all over town. I cannot lie, it was quite terrifying. I even had to back away from my office window for a few minutes just in case it was blown out. (And friend that works at a car repair shop was walking through her showroom when the glass was blown out. She was so lucky to be ok.)

The storm quickly quieted down when I got a text from Dave.

We almost had to get 2 new cars.

I didn’t understand. I knew that he was currently driving my car because his was overheating… And then it hit me. He is a wine rep so he drives around all day and was probably stuck in the storm. Then my heart sank.

While Dave was driving he watched as a large tree was struck by lightning. He immediately hit the gas because he knew it was coming his way. The tree fell between him and the car behind him. Dave thought that he had a good 6 feet between the car and the tree, but he was wrong. After he got home and looked at the back of the car he saw the scratches from the tree.

That night he even had nightmares about lightning hitting that tree and I had nightmares about losing him. I still think that someone was watching over him. Someone pushed him just enough so that he didn’t get smashed. Unfortunately, there was a life lost due to the storms. A man walked out to move his brand new car from under a tree a little too late. The tree fell on top of him and crushed him. All that I could think about was Dave.

And if that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, watch this video of a transformer blowing up just minutes from my office. (Beware of some foul language, if you are not a fan. Really you don’t even need the sound to get the full effect of the video.)

If that doesn’t freak you out, check out the video from inside the car dealership right next to the explosion. You need to go to the 1:52 mark. I would have started crying. No joke.

Mother Nature is a vengeful bitch. Keep your eyes to the skies people. Also, don’t forget to tell your loved ones that you love them. You just never know.

 

Stikii Shoes Giveaway!

Did you get a chance to check out my review about Stikii Shoes with my super fun photo shoot with my favorite model ever?

I am sure that you have all been waiting with bated breath for me to post a giveaway and here it is!

Stikii shoes are available in select sizes at this time, so make sure that the size is right for your kiddos! Sizes available are: 10-11, 12-13, 13.5-1, and 2-3. You can even design your own shoes too!

I also have a little sneak peek for all of you too! Shh… Don’t tell anyone but this is a preview of the new line of stik-ems!

Win it: Win 1 Pair of your choice of Stikki Shoes and 1 Pack of Stik-ems!

Giveaway ends Monday May 28th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I was given a pair of Stikii Shoes and Stik-ems and have a working partnership with Stikii. Even though I have received these items all opinions are 100% my own.

Stikii – Why Can’t Shoes Be Fun?

You can have fun with your clothes

And now you can have fun with your shoes too, thanks to Stikii!

Have you heard of Stikii shoes? If you haven’t you are missing out. Stikii is a new kids’ shoes company located in Toledo, Ohio! When I say new, I mean new! Stikii was just launched on December 1st, 2011!

Curious about how Stikii shoes work? I sure was. I was first introduced to the company at The Toledo Baby Child & Family Expo last weekend. They looked like such a fun company. I wanted to be a part of it too! They even rolled a car up in the Expo building!

They also gave me a shout out, along with Jacob’s help!

Stikii’s microfiber stik technology allows children to continuously fashion their own unique shoe designs by adding our one-of-a-kind Stik-em accessories to each pair. This microfiber stik material holds the Stik-em’s firmly in place while still permitting children to easily remove the accessories in order to redesign their shoes. This process is similar to that of Velcro, and both the shoes and the accessories have a special attribute that allows them to effortlessly adhere to one another. The Stik-em’s were created to complement the fun style and colors of our footwear and are available in an assortment of colors and sizes that are sure to appeal to any taste.  At Stikii, we envision children building collections of the easily removable Stik-em’s, even swapping them with friends, to further personalize their Stikii shoes. Trading encourages sharing and will also assist in building the Stik-em collection. -Stikii.com

I actually got a chance to go to the Stikii Headquarters and meet the team in person. Normally, I only work with brands by e-mail, so it was nice to actually be face to face with the team. Learning hands on about a product is so much fun! I was even able to see the prototypes for some new stick-ems, but they are super secret! Trust me, they are awesome. I was even able to put in my suggestions for the stick-ems!

At this time the shoes are only available in a few select sizes; 10-11, 12-13, 13.5-1 and 2-3, but there are more sizes in the works! Luckily Paige’s feet are big enough to fit in the size 10-11 and she loves them! She loves them so  much she wanted to put on her own fashion shoot.

I can’t wait to work with Stikii to help them promote their shoes. There is so much fun in store for this partnership. Make sure to look out for more posts regarding Stikii in the near future. There may even be a giveaway coming soon!

Want to know more about Stikii? Make sure to check out their website, Facebook page and follow them on Twitter at @Stikii!

And My Big Announcement Is…

I have been so patiently waiting this announcement! I am so excited that I can finally share it with all of you.

NO, it’s not a baby. Well, it’s like a baby, but with several mommies!!

Without further babbling….

The Social Parent Network – Press Release

Area parents sharing real perspectives on trends, events and businesses.

For immediate release – November 10, 2011

Contacts: Lisa (419) 206.9395 or Yiesha (419) 309.4834

Facebook: The Social Parent Network

Website: www.thesocialparentnetwork.com

Email:  thesocialparentnetwork@gmail.com

MOMS INSPIRE, SHARE AND SHOWCASE AREA TRENDS

Toledo, OH, November 10, 2011 – Inspire, showcase, encourage and share are the key words for the new group formed by six moms that felt their community needed a collective voice.  The Social Parent Network will offer engaging conversations that will showcase trends, events and businesses.

SPN (Social Parent Network) thought that it would be really cool for women in our area to come together and just do what we as women do best…share.  These moms initially met through their other social networks that include blogs, events and their own businesses.  They began meeting once a month just to encourage each other in business, sharing contacts and brainstorming ways they could be a resource to their community.

“We are a group of six moms coming together to promote and showcase area happenings and trends. Our mission is to share our real opinions as we discover various products, places, and trends that are girlfriend, date night and family friendly!”

The Social Parent Network is diverse in their backgrounds, family makeup and their views. With this group, we are sure that there will be interesting topics, reviews and discussions.  The Social Parent Network can be viewed on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and thesocialparentnetwork.com.

Their very first review will be a new cosmetic boutique called Face Junky in Perrysburg, OH.  Face Junky has invited them to try out some cool products and they can’t wait to support this new area business!

Meet The Ladies:

Jen is an Ohio native in her early thirties, married, and mother of 2. She enjoys a good deal, a good book, and the love and support she receives from her family. She has a deep hatred for cooking, yard work and dirt. A true mompreneur at heart, she has made a career living out her passion for saving with www.DailyDealsforMoms.com . She lives by the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. When not found seeking the next best deal, she can be found caring for her family in Genoa, Ohio.

 

Jayme is a 30-something mom, blogger, wife and aspiring social media maven. She has been known to sing instead of talking and break out in dance, with jazz hands, at any given moment. While she is not at her day job at an IT Company you can find her blogging at www.randomblogette.com about her sitcom-like life and encouraging all women to embrace their womanly bodies. If that isn’t enough to make her want to collapse she is also a contributor at Off The Deep End. She needs a nap and a coffee IV stat.

 

Yiesha (pronounced I + E+SHA) is a Midwest chic who’s 30 something, married, a mom, innovator and a serial vegetarian. She hates bugs, loves to recycle, travel, frequent resale shops and produce events. She has a slight addiction for shoes, boutiques, fresh markets and the usage of periods (.). She owns and runs www.humilityproject.com and www.toledobaby.com. When she’s not trying to invent or create new things, her other drug of choice is to encourage other women to follow their dreams. Yiesha’s truth? “I never want to live a life where I said woulda, shoulda, coulda…just do it…the worst thing that can happen is that you’ve failed…but then again, if you’ve learned from it have you really failed? Experience always leads you to something better!” Warning: So if you don’t want to live out your purpose don’t approach her…she’ll want to push you into your destiny!

 

Lisa, the youngest of The Social Parent Network, is the ultra-optimistic soon to be mother of 2. She is the co-creator of www.MomsInHeels.net and enjoys sharing her spontaneous & generally embarrassing moments with her readers. People often get annoyed with her because she lacks the ability to make any type of decision but its just part of her laid back personality. If you want to hear for yourself you can listen to Moms In Heels live every Wednesday on the Andrew Z In The Morning radio show. Aside from all that, Lisa tries to encourage other women to make time for themselves, I mean let’s be honest, all you really need is a little mascara & a pair of stilettos :)

 

Brandi is a thirtyish year old mom who is in love with her double ds- husband, Denny and 3 year old son, Dylan. She is perfectly content sitting back and exploiting her unsuspected family on a blog she co-created, www.MomsInHeels.net. Until that pays the bills though she applies her MBA at a local charter high school. When not giving her son the prince treatment she loves to read murder mysteries and no substance magazines, watch reality tv, and cheer. Don’t make me spirit sprinkle you. Basically, Brandi is just a mom attempting to navigate gracefully in a good pair of heels.

 

 

Michelle is a social media mama in her late twenties (almost thirties but is in complete denial). A wife and mom of 3 she works full time as a Registered Nurse and Health Educator. At night when the kids are tucked in she is busy on her blog www.alwayshealthymom.com. She has been dubbed Toledo’s Healthy Mom by 101.5 The River. She also reaches more mamas with her monthly article in the Toledo Area Parent and local news segments. If she is not roaming the aisles of The Andersons for the next best food item she will be enjoying a family walk in the park. She has a love affair with all things healthy and is a Starbucks Black Ice Tea addict! Her mission is to bring Health into your home!

 

 

Staycation All I Ever Wanted!

So if you haven’t heard me screaming from the rooftops (Twitter and Facebook) you may not know that I started my vacation this week! This is the first time in over a year that I have had a full week of vacation. I couldn’t be more excited right now! Even though we have limited funds we are still planning on having a fabulous time around NorthWest Ohio.

We have a super fun-filled week ahead of us so I will be pretty absent in the blogosphere, but fear not my loyal followers, I have a couple of awesome posts lined up for this week! I hope that you enjoy them! No guest posts, just more of my awesomeness, fueled by my lovah!

 

 

 

Holy Shitballs Mother Nature!

So , I know that I have no room to complain about the weather. I live in Ohio so it is going to be cold in the winter and yes there is going to be snow and blah blah blah. Well, I am fine with the cold and the snow, but when the ice comes I wanna cut a bitch.

Now, yes the ice can be a beautiful thing to look at, but when it has encased your car and you cannot get into it and your hubs has to drive you to work it is a son of a bitch. Also, when you see tons of trees down all over the city and most of the city is with0ut power right now, Mother Nature needs to be junk punched.

embedded by Embedded Video

Didn’t the groundhog creature see it’s shadow or something and we are supposed to have an early Spring? I guess Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.  Instead, she gave us this…

The beauty and the destructiveness of nature….

All photos from 13abc.com’s facebook page.

So Who Else Is Freezing Their Balls Off??

So I checked the weather forecast for next week and I am a little nervous. I know that I live in NorthWest Ohio and that it gets cold and snows around this time of the year. Now I can deal with some cold, but anything under 20 degrees is a little much.

And then I saw this…

Oh God! I am going to freeze my ass off next week. If you need me I will be huddled in the corner with my Snuggie and a giant thermos full of hot chocolate. Winter sucks big donkey balls! I am on my way to Texas now Ange! (I freaking wish!)