The Morning I realized I was my mother

 I’ve always been a matchy-matchy kind of gal. I don’t know why- it’s just one of those things that makes me, me. I adore high heels, revel at the fact that MAC has released a new lip color, and never say no to a chance to dress up. But today was the day I realized I was my mother – if in fashion only. My mother was many times the same way, although growing up she was, as she proudly proclaimed, “dirt poor”. She was the daughter of a boat…

He Named Me Malala on NatGeo February 29, 2016: Would You Have the Courage?

“There is a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up.” -Malala Yousafzai What if someone told you your daughter couldn’t attend school- not for lack of fortune or location, but simply because she was a girl. You’d undoubtedly be so angry and confused you’d either want to run and hide or stand up and fight, right? I tend to be the stand-for-what’s-right kind of gal, so I was instantly enraged. I couldn’t imagine someone telling me that, yet in countries all over the…

Snuggle Up with Starbucks Cozy Collection

 This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review. You know those nights: they’re the ones that beg you to snuggle up with a good book or movie. It’s chilly outside and you have absolutely nothing else to do on your agenda but cozy up in front of the fireplace, grab a cup of hot cocoa and a soft blanket, and just…be. I, personally, love grabbing a book that I haven’t finished reading yet…

Dolphin Browser for iOS and Android: User Friendly- and Free!

 I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MoboTap. I received a PayPal incentive to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.   The busier my life gets, the more I want (and need!) my apps to run fast and smooth and know what I want before I know that I want it, you know? I mean, in reality I’d love for each of them to just know what I’m thinking or what I need to look up and automatically do…

Keeping My Resolution with Nature Made Vitamins- and Giveaway!

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.” It’s February already.  No kidding. Remember New Year’s Eve and the resolution or resolutions you probably made? I do. I remember how I promised myself I’d exercise as much as I can, eat healthier, avoid stress when possible, and generally just be well. I know you must be wondering if I’ve kept my resolutions and, I’ve gotta tell ya, so far, so good. I have an elliptical rider in my living room so I’ll…

The Choice: From Beloved Book to Anticipated Movie #TheChoiceChat

 This post was sponsored by Lionsgate as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. You know those kind of books: romantic, heart-wrenching, hopeful. They’re the kind of books that resonate through you to your soul, the kind that strike such a heart-warming chord in you that they become impossible to put down. They’re the ones that make it okay to be a hopeless romantic- and proud of it. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks is all of those descriptions rolled into one unable-to-put-down-for-a-minute novel.…

A Sprinkling of Pixie dust at Sola Salons Studios Pittsburgh

I cannot count how many years I’ve seen The Kid with the same hair style: a pony tail. Day after day and year after year, it’s the same old, same old. And it’s not for lack of trying, either. When we go to Disney World twice a year I bargain with her to change her hair, even just a little bit. Until earlier this week. We were headed up to Sola Salons Studios in East Liberty to check out the new digs and ten minutes before we headed out the…

Finding Out What Matters Most with a Life Coach (Hint: It’s Okay to Say No!)

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Life Reimagined. All opinions are my own. Even though I tend to put my life right out there on the web, I tend to be more internal when it comes to talking about life issues in person. After all, writing about travel and family, love and life for me is a form of therapy in a way. Over the past six months or so I’ve talked with Mr. Locke about reorganization and what’s important in my life. I have talked about wanting more…

Metro PCS Presents Monster Jam in Pittsburgh February 12-14: Details and Giveaway!

 Monster trucks. World class drivers.Never the same show twice. Sound appealing? Then you definitely need to take the family to Monster Jam® in Pittsburgh! From January 12-14, 2016, Consol Energy Center will be transformed into an off-roading dirt track filled with some of the most recognizable Monster Trucks ever including Grave Digger®, El Toro Loco®, Monster Mutt®, and so many other fun trucks. Parties in the Pit will be available for select shows and you and the kids can get up close and personal with the trucks and the drivers- not…

Why You Should Drink Milk Before Noon- and Fitbit Flex Giveaway!

This post was sponsored by Milk Life on behalf of Influence Central. When Mr. Locke and I flew to Las Vegas to get married, the morning of our wedding we chose to splurge in a beautiful restaurant at our resort. The wait staff had the white linen cloth draped over their arms and were the epitome of class. With chargers on the table, we perused the morning menu and my choice was simple: a bowl of cold cereal with milk. True story. The story has become somewhat of a running…