Blog, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

Creative Threats

Parents, are you ever surprised by the creative completely not-well-thought-out things we say when our kids are acting out? This morning was one of my finer moments of linguistic lashouts. Calmly, of course. We don’t yell in this house, we only very sternly, sometimes loudly, express our displeasure at naughty behavior.

First of all, child #1 was distraught because I had the audacity to get child #2 ready and dressed for the day first. Apparently I am supposed to know that SHE wanted to get dressed first…obviously. Clearly I misunderstood her lack of response to my call to come upstairs and get ready as disinterest. Child #2 happened to decide she needed to go potty at that moment. She was halfway undressed already I figured, why not?

Little stomps up the stairs, round the corner into the bathroom, then….

“AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! BUT I WANTED TO GET READY FIRST!” Tears begin to fall. Hard.

Rationale explanation failed. Redirection failed. Promise to get her ready first for bedtime made matters worse. Prompting to get ready anyway so I wouldn’t be late to work- failed. So, I ignored. Behavior extinction theory. Also, failed. Ten minutes of flailing in the hallway and guttural noises of a bear. I lost my cool. Very sternly came the words out of my mouth…”If you don’t stop making that noise and pull yourself together I am going to pick you up and put you outside, in the cold, in your pajamas, and leave you there with the squirrels.”

Classic stuff. Good shock value. Confusion Theory. With the squirrels?? Mom wins. Squirrels are terrifying. Child #1 pulled herself together.

I did thank her for calming down and told her that I was sorry I didn’t know that getting dressed first was so important to her, and that even though I didn’t like the behavior, I still loved her. Then we hugged. That’s what she gets having a mommy who is a social worker and a writer. Calm, but stern creative threats and a hug afterwards.

What’s the strangest thing that’s come out of your mouth when kids are acting up? I’d love to know I’m not the only one who has these moments.

Best,

A.Lockhart

 

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Blog, Food & Drink, Risk, Travel

Vegas, Baby – 2.0!

The post you’ve all been waiting for – reviews on #7-12 from our time in Last Vegas this spring! If you missed #1-6, you can find it here! Let’s jump right in…

7. Hakkasan Nightclub: Let me just say, this place is very cool and hip. The nightclub is super high-end and beautiful. Frequented by Tiesto, Calvin Harris, and on the night we were there – Lil Jon – it is a place to see and be seen. However, our experience was quite comical. We were clearly the group of four that are in their 30’s, have kids, and from the mid-west. The drinks were $15-20/per. We were blinded by the flashing lights, couldn’t hear anything, were stepped on, were exhausted after being there for one hour. We literally laughed about it the remaining nights of our trip. Unless you love to (literally) be on top of one another, I suggest going with a group of friends and getting bottle service. It will run you $1500+, however you’ll have a nice couch, enough space to breath, and drink service to your space – or, head to Napoleon’s instead!!! 🙂 One last thing – a guy will stop you and offer to put you on the guest list – along with every other person they stop, except for the 5 total people who agree to pay full price and stand in the general admission line. Unless you are a group of 2+ females, don’t plan on getting any special treatment or accelerate your time in line if you arrive at 11pm or after.

8. Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill: We hit up this place TWICE! It is in the MGM, and open until 4am. One night, we landed here at 1am for some lovely cookies and milk before bed. The next night after an amazing night at Napoleon’s, we ended up here to enjoy a yummy burger, fries, and the best blue-cheese-queso-and-chips EVER. Highly recommended.

9. Tao: Tao – WOW! What can i say. One of my favorite places to eat, ever! Besides the aesthetics, all I can say is:

  • Cucumber Lime Mojito
  • Spring Roll (Lobster. Crab. Tuna.) = AMAZING
  • Chinese Sausage Fried Rice + Fried Egg
  • Crunchy Orange Chicken
  • Scallops
  • Cantonese Cauliflower
  • Asparagus

ORDER. IT. ALL!

10. Mesa: Bobby Flay. Rib-Eye. Salmon. Cauliflower Au Gratin. SO SO GOOD. Amazing place to eat a wonderful dinner in the heart of Caesars Palace.

11. Fatburger: We made a trip to Fat Burger. The experience of ordering a burger is reason alone to give it a shot. The four of us shared two burgers – and were still stuffed six hours later!

12. Javiers‘: Javiers’ has my heart. Almost a decade ago – A and I found an amazing little hole-in-the-wall place in Laguna Beach, CA, when we were living in So Cal. It was amazing – good tacos, enchiladas, and of course $3 margaritas. The people were amazing, the food was spectacular, and it felt like ‘home’. A few years later while on a visit back to our “stomping grounds”, we find out Javiers’ moved to Newport Coast – to a magnificent local. After being featured in Housewives of Orange County, it exploded. They now have locations in Irvine, CA, Cabo, Mexico, and of course – Last Vegas. Located in Aria, it is beautiful and always busy. The prices have ‘creeped up’ (if you can call a 500% increase a ‘creep’), but it is so worth it. This reminds me of the true American Dream – and I love supporting this successful operations. Plus, once you try their guacamole, there is no going back!

This wraps up my comprehensive review of good ol’ Las Vegas! What is your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas?

Cheers,

H Bloomer

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Blog, Health and Wellness, Uncategorized

Allergic Reaction

On Monday night I started to get an itchy, spidery, crawling sensation on my neck. I put some lotion on and went to bed. Tuesday morning, I woke up at 6a and headed immediately to the gym. When I wake up, I usually get ready in the dark so as to not disturb my still sleeping family. After I returned home for a shower (yes, my gym has showers, but I have a “thing” about showering anywhere other than home) that is when I noticed something was seriously wrong. I peeled off my sweaty workout clothes and discovered that the itchy, spidery, crawling sensation from the night before had blown up into a full-fledged hive-like outbreak! One look in the mirror and I was like WHOA!!!

Red spider-webby stripey splotches all over my torso, neck, and shoulders. So weird! None of it itched and I felt totally fine. Post-runner high was in full effect. Mood was great…However, I certainly looked like I had just gotten into a tussle with a tiger. I’ve had hives before, maybe 15 years or so ago and knew enough to take some Benadryl right away. I recall that the last time I had a random outbreak like this it resolved within a few hours. I am now on day #3 and this crazy condition just keeps evolving. It’s fading on my torso and neck, but now my fingers and elbows are victims.  I’ll spare you any pictures. Don’t feel like you’re missing out. There are plenty of awful ones available on the internet if your Google searching of symptoms and causes ever takes you down that path.

I did visit the Minute Clinic at my local CVS on Tuesday evening, but nothing conclusive was determined to be the cause. No fever, O2 levels good, heart rate and blood pressure were stellar. Most likely it was an allergic reaction to something, but what that could be is still TBD. One benefit of having a pretty healthy lifestyle and a chemical free home is that I can rule out a lot of possibilities. It’s not my organic-free-of-everything laundry detergent, face wash, body wash, shampoo, lotion, or cosmetics!

Current theories include a zinc supplement that I took for a few days leading up to this outbreak, ironically, to boost my immune system. Perhaps I kicked my immune system into overdrive and now it is in combat mode! Another theory is black lentils. I’ve never had a legume/peanut allergy before, and I’ve had my fair share of hummus or other lentil soups, so I’m not convinced, but on Sunday I had black lentils for the first time ever. They were SO good I had them for dinner on Monday night too. I was almost going to post a recipe blog about it, but maybe I shouldn’t! (Well, it’s still worth a mention…roasted sweet potato, black lentils, scallions, and celery tossed with olive oil, honey, and lemon juice.)

lentils

Could this be the delicious culprit??

It is such a mystery! I’m probably just allergic to work. It’s been a stressful few days. Think I could get an MD note excusing me for the rest of my, um, life?

Here’s hoping I can run tomorrow! This girl has a half-marathon to run in a few weeks! I don’t have time for this craziness.

Here’s to your health!

A.Lockhart

3.24.16

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Career, Food & Drink, Risk, Travel

Vegas, Baby!

I jetted off to Vegas this weekend to check out some amazing (and some not-so amazing) venues for food, entertainment, hospitality, and transportation!. If you are like me – the tiny-bit-gambling-but-only-for-entertainment-type of person, this read is for YOU! It outlines, fun, yummy choices without the im-so-sick partying and potentially dangerous gambling-is-my-retirement-plan mentality.

Heidi’s Vegas Top 1-6 of 12

1. MGM Grand: We elected to stay at the MGM Grand. It is a ‘classic’ hotel on the Vegas Strip and has all the amenities that were important to us: good location, food choices, a pool, and was within our budget. We stayed over March Madness weekend, and from Friday – Monday, we paid ~$180/night + a $100 resort fee (for 2 people). Our room was on floor 5 of the West Wing, and definitely left some to be desired. Ultimately – I would describe it as “fine”. Comfy bed, enough room to put two suitcases, a large shower, and no bugs were found, after extensive looking. 🙂 However, it didn’t have a true “bathroom” – as the sink was located right when you walk in – with a frosted glass non-locking or latching door for the toilet room, and for the shower. In addition, the room was tiny, had a view of a next-door roof, and the carpet was disgusting and needing to be replaced. Again, overall it was “fine”.

2. MGM Grand Pool : One FANTASTIC thing about the MGM Grand is their pool! Numerous pool options, never an issue finding a spot to set up camp, and wonderful service. We elected to hang out by the lazy river area on Saturday and Sunday. Easy access in and out of the pool, as well as tubes to rent ($13-16/day). In addition, it was close to restrooms, shade, and a TV for those that have a wager on a sports game. Jenny, our poolside server, was AMAZING. She helped us out for 2 days straight! On Monday we elected to lay by the Grand Pool while we waited for our late-check out, and Jenny found is there too (as the Lazy River is closed on weekdays). Overall – a spectacular pool experience, especially with 85 degree weather. 🙂

3 & 4. Delta: We flew Delta. We had two fantastic flights. We left on a Friday afternoon in March 2016 from MSP – and expected security lines to be looonnngggg due to recent reports. However the airport did a great job, and we had time for a quick glass of wine before boarding. The subsequent flight was uneventful, we landed a few minutes early, received our checked luggage promptly, and headed to catch our Uber (they are allowed at the LAS airport, and easy to access on the 2nd floor of the rental car lot)! Our flight back on a Monday evening from LAS was also great. Easy check in, easy boarding, one of our party of four was upgraded to first class (which was me! Fantastico!), and a flight that arrived early. Minimal turbulence, and checked bags that arrived safe and sound – and we were on our way home again! If you are able to upgrade your seat to a preferred seat, or Delta Comfort for no cost (based on your Medallion status), I highly recommend it. However, for a domestic flight without kiddos, I do not think it is worth it to pay for an upgrade.

5. The LA Comedy Club: On Saturday night, we decided to take in a few laughs. We found a comedy club that had a late show – 10pm – and bought VIP All-You-Can-Drink tickets for $70. The drinks were rail, but between the four of us, we downed 13 of them, so felt we got our money’s worth! In addition, we got comfortable seating toward the front. The MC and guest act were hilarious, as well as one of the headliners. The main headliner was having a rough night, and any laugh that did happen (which wasn’t many), were pity laughs. Overall, my thoughts are:

  • Worth our money
  • Funny
  • Very raunchy – so if you can’t stomach that type of humor, I suggest NOT attending
  • They shouldn’t let the ‘not feeling well act’ go last!

6. Napoleon’s: What an AMAZING lounge! Dueling Piano’s, Drinks to DIE for, comfortable seating, and just an all-around good time. 10/10 for this place! SO FUN! GO HERE!

Stay tuned for #7-12, which will be published on April 3!

 

In Good Travel,

H Bloomer

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Blog, Career, Family

Such a Hot Mess!

Lately I feel like I am THE DEFINITION of a Hot Mess! I am all over the place. I feel organized one moment, and scattered the next. I feel like I am…SQUIRREL… !!! Yeah, you get it now 🙂

I used to be calm, thoughtful, and detailed. But I truly don’t have much time for that any more.  My company, Avant Synergy, preaches about the benefits of being and staying organized and focused. After realizing the truth to this advice, (that I myself, give!), I have realized, there is one thing I need to do:

help

ASK FOR HELP! As a self-proclaimed “Organized Creative”, I am always planning, documenting, erasing, and updating. I also have a game-plan for getting things done, and doing things the right way (my way!). However, the need for vulnerability has set in. the need to refocus on what I find tolerable and acceptable, vs. what I don’t want to tolerate. And, to be honest, I have NO GAME PLAN right now. I am taking things one (maybe two) days at a time. I am enjoying it, too. It won’t last forever, because I love and value planning too much for that; but it is fantastic to give myself a break, and take a bit of help along the way.

To Clarity and Mental Health 🙂

H Bloomer

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Beauty, Blog, Family, Health and Wellness, Parenting, Uncategorized

Oh, Baby!

Baby powder that is. I have had some in my girl’s bathroom up until this very morning. I just did not know. The product seemed so innocent…I mean, it goes on babies for crying out loud! What is more innocent than babies?! This product was literally found guilty- and Johnson & Johnson had to pay up. Check out this article from Time Magazine, Johnson & Johnson Is Just the Tip of the Toxic Iceberg, dated March 2, 2016 to learn more about the need for tougher safety standards and informed choice about safety of products in the cosmetics industry. To learn more about the $72 MILLION dollar lawsuit, check out this article from Time, Jury Awards $72 Million to Woman in Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cancer Suit, dated February 23, 2016.

If this information disturbs you, get curious! Learn more about product safety by visiting the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.

If you want to take action, join a movement in asking Congress to Hold a Hearing on the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It hasn’t been updated since 1938!!

Your voice matters!

A.Lockhart

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