Wednesday, October 2, 2019

4 Ways to Support Your Blogger Friends for FREE


Blogging is not my full time job. Do I wish at some point it would turn from a side hustle to a full time gig? Yes, I would. I truly enjoy being a blogger because it's an amazing creative outlet for me. Blogging full time would also give me the flexibility I desire to be a more involved mom for my kids.

Currently, I've have been introduced to so many wonderful opportunities to work with different brands to promote products. In exchange for creating the content and spreading the word, I may be compensated.

It may seem like bloggers are always in your face asking you to open up your wallet. I feel the same way sometimes when I see my favorite bloggers. I understand not everyone is rolling in the dough and that is okay.

Another part of being a blogger is finding new partnerships and work. Although I have a full time job, adulting really sucks. Earning money through blogging helps my family feel a little less stressed by adding a little cushion.

Finding those new partnerships can be challenging because brands usually only work with bloggers with a big reach because they are looking for a relationship that will be mutually beneficial. This is where I could definitely use your support.

I don't think everyone realizes just how much the support you give matters. Every like, every follow, every comment, re-share, tag, etc. matters so much.

Did you know there are ways to support your blogger friends without even spending a dime? Let me share with you 4 easy ways to do it!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Baby is Coming: Game of Thrones Inspired Baby Shower



My best friend, Mandy is expecting a baby girl this Winter. This past weekend we celebrated baby Jane's upcoming arrival with the most epic Game of Thrones inspired baby shower. Mandy and I are avid fans of the show and even though the series ended we relived it in all it's glory during the shower. I co-hosted with a few of Mandy's close friends and we worked hard to pull off a very special shower.

You may have caught some of the photos I shared on my Instagram account (@glitterandjuls), but if you didn't I wanted to share them in a blog post too just in case others wanting to throw a similar theme could shamelessly steal the ideas!

There wasn't much out there for a Game of Thrones baby shower so we got creative! I loved seeing Mandy's initial reactions when she arrived! Let's get to the fun stuff!

Decorations: 

Vani and Vanessa made Mandy her very own iron throne made with play swords, spray paint, paper swords and hot glue! It turned out amazing and it added a special touch to the decorations for sure!

Vani and Vanessa  also printed these "BABY IS COMING" banners and framed signs. 





I made this diaper cake for her! I loved how it turned out! It made for a great center piece! 


We had Game of Thrones tunes playing in the background and also had our favorite episodes playing on the flat screen. 


His watch begins.... Jon Snow watching over all the baby gifts!

Food + Menu:


I had such a great time coming up with a menu for this shower. I kept it in theme with some of our favorite Game of Thrones characters of course! 


Ugh.... Typo - it's supposed to say "Wildling" Wings





Our friend Cassie has some special talents we didn't know she had- creating these fun fruit and veggie trays! 


These beautiful cookies were ordered from a local Savannah bakery - go check her out at @thelittlehousebakery 

Check out the details on this cake! Also a local Savannah baker- @kmcakedesgin



Check out the mom-to-Khaleesi :) She was such a beautiful momma-to-be and I had such a fun time planning this fabulous shower! 



This shower could not have been possible without the other hostesses - Vanessa, Vani and Jenna! It was a blast ladies! A big thanks for Jenna for opening up her beautiful home to have the shower at! 


We even had a couple of friends really into the theme! I love it! 


Baby Jane is already so loved and she is so so lucky to have Daniel and Mandy as parents! We love you guys and cannot wait for the baby to arrive soon! 




Wednesday, September 4, 2019

SHEIN Fall Picks


I did some online browsing last night to share some early fall picks from SHEIN with you guys. I have been shopping at SHEIN for a few years now and I love to stock up on my favorite fall trends. They are very budget-friendly (all these are under $30) and they have pretty fast shipping as well! 


Each of these picks are more on the neutral side, which makes them versatile. I love the detail of the cream sweater with the lace back! It's so feminine and pretty.

I love the pom-pom detail on the tan sweater. It gives the top some texture and it is a great neutral color too

I am usually one for sweater sets, but how adorable is the blush sweater and skirt set? It's under $30 too!

I am having a moment with blazers. The oversized cognac cord blazer is a great piece to dress up or down. I can wear it with a graphic tee and jeans or pair it with some black slacks for work.

The other blazer is one I cannot live without. The scallop detail is just so cute!

I need your help! Which pick is your favorite? Also, leave a comment below if you have any fall SHEIN recommendations!

Use code GLITTERANDJULS15 for 15% off your order! The code is good until 9/30!



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What I Learned At TBScon 2019




Photography by: Hannah Lozano 

Yesterday, I shared a recap on TBScon. You can check it out right here. I learned so many things that I wanted to dedicate a separate post so I could share them with you. So let's get to it!

I'll share the blogger tidbits below, but in more general terms I learned the following:

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Blog Societies Conference: 2019 TBSCon Recap


I recently attended TBSCon and had an amazing time and wanted to share a recap with you.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Lily’s Journey - Part 4: Recovery


There is so much to share with Lily’s journey so I am writing them in parts. You can read them here:
Part 1: Lily Has A Tumor
Part 2: The Biopsy
Part 3: Formal Diagnosis & Surgery

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lily's Journey- Part 3: Formal Diagnosis & Surgery

At the pre-op appointment

There is so much to share with Lily’s journey so I am writing them in parts.

Read Part 1: Lily Has A Tumor

Read Part 2: The Biopsy

Friday, July 12, 2019

Lily's Journey- Part 2: The Biopsy


There is so much to share with Lily’s journey so I am writing them in parts. You can read Part 1 here.

PART 2

Once we found out Lily’s MRI showed a tumor, things started to happen pretty fast. We found out on May 8th on a Wednesday.  I don’t think I slept at all that night because my heart was hurting for our little girl and my mind was racing with the worst thoughts that she could have cancer. I mean, that is why we were meeting with an oncologist the next day, right? We share the news with our close family members and all of us felt the same way- a mix between sadness and fear of the unknown.

The next morning (May 9th), we had an early appointment with Dr. Brown, the pediatric oncologist at Memorial University Medical Center.

I really didn’t know how the appointment was going to go. I think I got ahead of myself and was thinking she would tell us about stages, survival rate, etc.  Scary stuff.  However, the first thing she told us is that we needed to find out whether the tumor was benign or malignant. To identify it, a biopsy would need to be performed. Also, we needed to find out whether the tumor was contained to one area or if it had spread so we were scheduled for a PET scan and CT scan.

According to the initial MRI results, the tumor was favored to be cancerous in nature. But only pathology could correctly identify it.  The next step was to determine who would perform the biopsy and how it would be done since the tumor was both behind the eye and extended into the base of the skull. 

It was decided the best surgeon for the task was Dr. Petruzelli, an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon. We made an appointment with him as well as scheduled the PET scan the following Monday.

Throughout our time in the clinic, everyone at Memorial was wonderful. The child-life specialists were great with Lily offering her support in case she had any questions and guiding her through scary blood draws and IVs. They also helped her to understand every procedure she was about to have done making her feel so much more comfortable about it all. It was very helpful for us too as this was a whole new world to navigate. At this point, Lily only knew we were just trying to figure out what was wrong with her eye. We didn't even know how to tell her she had a tumor.

Monday, May 13th: Our day was booked. We were to have our PET scan (full body scan) at 9 am, break for lunch and come back for the results, then meet with Dr. Petruzelli in the afternoon. We were happy things were happening fast because we were anxious to have some answers, but at the same time I felt really overwhelmed. We had seen so many doctors over the past few weeks and I really had no time to process what was going on. But still, there was no time for a pause. 

Lily did great with the PET scan and the wait seemed like forever for the results. Finally, the results were in and Dr. Brown came into the patient room with a smile. The PET scan showed the tumor was contained to one area. It was instant relief to know, even if the tumor was malignant, it had not spread. We were just very grateful for the positive news.

Lily in the clinic getting poked

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Lily's Journey- Part 1: Lily Has A Tumor

Lily at Dr. Devaro's office
I treated Lily to ice cream for being so good for the MRI

It's funny how certain dates stay with you. They mark the important dates in your life. Most of them are joyous occasions. Some of them are not. I will remember May 8, 2019 forever. That is the day I got the call that Lily had a tumor. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

DIY Thank You Gift for Doctors: Prescription Strength Candy Jars

I recently posted on my Instagram account (@glitterandjuls) about a fun DIY project - Prescription Strength candy jars. Since I received some great feedback, I thought I would share how I put them together. 

We have follow-up appointments with Lily's doctors and I wanted to express our gratitude with a small token of appreciation (along with a handwritten thank you note). 

During the week in the hospitals, we showered the nurses and staff with donuts, macarons, and chocolates from our favorite local shops. I wanted to also present something to the doctors and their teams from Lily. 

Insert the prescription strength candy jar idea! These candy jars were so easy and fun to make. I hope doctors and their offices enjoy them! Who doesn't like a sweet treat? 

Here's what you need:
Glass Jar(s) (I found these jars from Hobby Lobby - they were on sale for 50% off too!)
Copy Paper
Printer
Scissors
 Double-sided tape
Candy 

Feel free to download the label I created in Word HERE

These would make great teacher appreciation gifts too! 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Helpful Tips for Spending One Day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


I had so much I wanted to share after our mother-daughter trip to Harry Potter World that I had to split it into two posts! In case you missed it, you can read the first post here, where I share my thoughts on spending one-on-one time and ideas to help inspire you. 

I also wanted to share some helpful tips I learned after visiting the park. It's my third time to Harry Potter World and I was able to do the most during this trip. Since it was just me and Ava on the trip, we could easily cover more of the park and stay there all day.
Look for the telephone booth in "London" and call the Ministry of Magic! 

If you're planning a trip soon, this post is definitely worth a read! 

First thing you need to know, the marketing geniuses split Harry Potter World in two parks. To fully experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you'll need to purchase the park-to-park pass. I definitely think it is worth it and you can totally do it in one day. 

To ensure you do, I'm spilling my secrets! So let's get to it! 

1) Download the Universal Orlando Resort App on your phone. The app comes in really handy when checking wait times for rides, when you need to quickly look at a map and also to reserve a ride time using Virtual Line. 

2) I found it extremely helpful to have an initial game plan. What do you want to do first? What rides do you want to ride the most? We came up with our list and mapped it out so we knew what direction to head once we got into the park. We used the map to familiarize ourselves on where things were and it was extremely helpful! Of course, you won't be able to stick to your game plan all day, but having a plan for arrival will save you confusion and precious time. 
Ava outside 12 Grimwald Place. Take a peek in the window and lookout for Kreacher! 

Stop and chat with the bus driver of the Knight Bus. The hanging head also talks!
 
3) I cannot emphasize this enough- wear comfortable shoes! You will spend most of the day walking and standing so don't try to look too cute with your brand new sneakers. Wear your tried and trues for sure! We spent 12 hours in the park and I was so grateful for my broken in Toms. They were comfortable and I didn't have one single blister to slow me down! 

4) If you're wondering what park to go to first, I say head to Diagon Alley (located at Universal Studios) first. It's the least crowded during the morning and you can take the best photos! We bought our wand first at Olivander's wand shop and then rode on Gringott's ride. Another quick tip- Olivander's is the official wand shop, but it's not the only place to purchase a wand, in fact, there is a pop-up wand shop just around the corner from Olivander's if you don't care about "The wand chooses you" experience that had no line at all! By purchasing the wand first thing, you can take advantage of all the magical spots to use your interactive wand.

5) Don't get discouraged if Harry Potter World is already crowded. There's lots of stores to explore and you can always come back. We actually left Diagon Alley to head to our other favorite rides like The Simpsons Ride and Men in Black. We walked around the loop making our way through all the rides with the least amount of wait times and ended back at Diagon Alley to hop on Hogwart's Express to the other park. The best time to come back is the golden hour- 7pm. We found there was little to no wait times in all areas of the park! People get tired and leave the park so take advantage of this by coming back to your favorite attractions or ones you missed earlier in the day.
Ava just purchased her interactive wand and it comes with a map for all the magical spots to use it!

Diagon Alley on our way to Gringotts! You can exchange your money for Gringott's gold to use throughout the park!

Knockturn Alley

Platform 9 3/4 in line for Hogwarts Express

Inside the train cart. Be sure to ride the train both ways for two different experiences!


6) Ride the Mummy! We came for Harry Potter World, but the Mummy is still my all-time favorite roller coaster at Universal! Ava was scared to at first but she loved it just as much as I did the first time I rode on it!

7) Florida rainy season is no joke. But I find it's all about attitude and preparation. If you know it will rain while you are in the park, pack your rain jackets. The ponchos in the park are over priced and are cheaply made. We didn't get rain on our trip, but I have in the past. The good thing about the rain is that is doesn't tend to last all day. It will come in waves so just have a good attitude about it and explore the shops or stop for a meal/snack until the rain stops.

8) Bring only a small back pack. If you don't have someone watching your belongings while you're on the rides, you'll have to use lockers for some of the rides. The free lockers are pretty small. We packed a back pack and just had a few essentials in it so it easily fit in the lockers.

9) If the wait times are long, take advantage of the single rider lines. I have to admit I was a bit jealous of the express pass people, but tickets for them are steep! But single rider lines cut the wait time in half! Ava is 9 and I was a little nervous at first. But, we agreed we would just wait for each other in the spot right after you get off the ride. And actually, we would end up riding at the same time just in different seats.

10) Ava and I packed some light snacks in our backpack so when we got hungry in lines we had something. We saved our money for a few fun park treats like churros and butter beer of course! We skipped lunch because wait times go down while people stop to eat, but we made a point to enjoy a nice dinner. Ava didn't care for the menu at the Leaky Cauldron (British menu) so we had dinner at The Three Broomsticks. She had chicken fingers and I had a nice rotisserie chicken meal.
Don't forget this photo op in Hogsmeade next to the butter bear cart! Frozen is my favorite way to drink it! 



11) My last tip is check to see if there is a nightly parade. During the parade, lots of people stop to watch. Use this time to go on your favorite attractions/rides! The wait time was 5-15 minutes during the parade so it was perfect!

If you're planning a trip soon, then I hope these tips are helpful! We had such a fun time and we rode all the rides and checked off everything on our Harry Potter list! I hope enjoyed reading this post and if you have other tips for us, please leave them in the comments! I know this will not be our last trip to Universal so I'll keep your pointers in mind for our future trips!
Ava outside of Hogsmeade! 


Ava and I outside Hogwarts! This is another must-have photo op!

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