Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Destination Play Date, Tree Top Style

By Meg Hodson

This is a sponsored post by Treetop and Mom It Forward .  All opinions, photos, and writing are my own.

The extent of my destination play dates have been the play structure at the mall.  And not that there is anything wrong with that.  But with children who are age 10, 8, and 5, we are quickly outgrowing it.  So when I was invited by a fellow blogging friend, Heather, who blogs at Heather Likes Food, it sounded like a lot of fun.  

We were headed to the Play Boutique, an upscale indoor play area for kids, complete with bouncy house, climbing structure, and an open area to run and play with toys.  Parents can sit on the sidelines, drink coffee, and check their email.  There's even specialty classes and meeting rooms, which is where the mom bloggers gathered on this special play date.

#TreeTopPlayDate

#TreeTopPlayDate

While the kids played, we were treated to a wonderful lunch and we got to sample some new products from Tree Top. What a treat! They have a new line of  Fruit Full "Smoothies" out that are sure to please....ready to pour deliciousness in flavors like Strawberry and Mango. Tree Top Fruit Full is a convenient, shelf-­stable smoothie, containing 3g of fiber and 10 percent daily value of vitamin C. In addition, they’re made with 100 percent real fruit and contain no high fructose corn syrup or added sugar.  My kids loved them!  They were smooth and easy to drink.  

The best part was trying out a fun recipe Heather presented to us, a Strawberry Smoothie Mocktail Mojito. I love real mojitos and I was pleasantly surprised at how refreshing and satisfying this easy drink way.  The kids were happy, too, with the flavor.

#TreeTopPlayDate Mocktails Mojitos

#TreeTopPlayDate

Here's the recipe:
Strawberry Mojito Mocktail
10 mint leaves
1 tbl. sugar
1/4 of a fresh lime
1/2 cup Tree Top Fruit Full Strawberry Smoothie
1/2 cup club soda or seltzer water

Place mint leaves, sugar and lime wedge in a 10 ounce glass.  Use a muddler or back of spoon to crush mint and lime, dissolving the sugar.  Fill glass almost to the top with ice. Pour Tree Top Fruit Ful Strawberry smoothie over the ice almost to the top, then top with club soda. Garnish with additional lime and a fresh strawberry; add more sugar to taste.

We finished the Tree Top play date with a fun food craft activity.  The kids used cut-up fruit to make fun "art" like fish, spiders, and turkeys. A perfect end to a perfect lunch!

#TreeTopPlayDate craft

#TreeTopPlayDate craft



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Friday, July 25, 2014

Reaching Blog Milestones

By Meg Hodson

Blogging and writing has been quite an adventure for me from the beginning.  There are many emotions and excitement that one feels when first beginning a new project, such as a blog.  I could have never imagined I would be where I am today when I started my blog.  

Blog milestones are definitely important. When I clicked over 1000 followers on Instagram recently, it made me feel great. Obviously enough, I took a moment to reflect on the path to get to that point.  I had started this, my 2nd Instagram account, in conjunction with the start of my blog. It quickly became my main account for personal use.  It's one of my favorite ways to connect with close friends as well as blogging colleagues.

Blog Milestones

But Instagram is a funny one when it comes to the numbers.  While reaching that milestone is humbling, what does it prove? I know Instagrammers with 200 followers that will get more likes than myself on a photo. With so many young users on Instagram, the definition of "engagement" takes a new form. What I do know is that the relationships I have created on Instagram are valuable. While "likes" are important and a good ego booster, it's not the be all, end all to success as a blogger.

I can't forget that I have a blog that I hope people are reading. But I am quick to point out that social media is an extension of my blog.  I share the articles I write on social media. But sometimes, I share on Facebook or Twitter only, asking questions and creating conversation. There are days I don't want to write at all and just talk with people. Sometimes my blog is Twitter or Instagram, albeit for a short while. Other times, I can't stop the writing process and almost have too many posts to share at once. I use social media as a gentle reminder to drop by and read what I have to say.

I am happy with all blog milestones that I reach. While follower benchmarks may be the most gratifying, there are others, too. I will never forget when American Idol tweeted me directly, inviting me to become a VIP blogger for them with behind-the-scenes access. Maybe it's a retweet from a famous person that is a huge stepping stone that leads to other opportunities. When readers leave positive comments on my blog, it touches me every time. Relish the tiny milestones and the big ones on your blog.....and everyday.


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bloglovin' Blog Hop #80




Your Devoted Host:


Your Fabulous Co-Hosts:

          

     



1.  Add your link DIRECTLY TO YOUR Bloglovin' profile.  You will need to manually upload your picture.
2.  Follow your host, co-hosts, and sponsors.
3.  Visit a few other bloggers in the linky and follow them, too!
4.  Tweet and share this hop!

Happy Kids, Inc.
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