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The Kidcon Hangover is REAL!

This weekend we had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Chicago, IL for the Kidcon event. I think I am barely recovering from the 7 hour drive home yesterday! 😀 I have already knocked out an entire pot of coffee and my eyes are still heavy.

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As I posted previously, Kidcon is the baby of the Parent & Co brand. It was super exciting to attend the first ever Kidcon in Chicago this past Friday and Saturday.

My daughter (almost three) was able to participate in just about every event/activity that they had.

We made slime, jungled through an obstacle course, played musical instruments, crushed the Yo-Yo, build the amazing E-Blox circuit boards and even got to meet some famous Princesses.

My favorite part of the weekend was being able to see my friends, my community, my people! All of which were brought together by Parent & Co events. Each of these women *& Mat too!* have been such good friends, supports and all around great mamas/dads!!! Thank you each and everyone for making me feel loved!

I look forward to what Kidcon will bring around next year and encourage everyone to follow them to see if they’re coming to a town near you in 2019 😉

They always take such good care of attendees too! Here is a sneak at the VIP bags and ROOM DROPS for staying in the Kidcon hotel block!

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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I Spent National Comfort Food Day at Swensons Drive-In

If you’re into Ohio Nostalgia, Swensons Drive-In should certainly be on the top of your list.  Today I joined fellow Northeast Ohio Bloggers in a collective for National Comfort Food Day.  Swensons was founded in 1934 in Akron, OH and since then it has grown to ten locations in Northeast Ohio and two locations in the greater Columbus area.  It surpasses modern day restaurants with it’s old fashioned drive-in style, where “lights on for service” still applies. Your server then sprints to your car to take your order (they even run with your food on a tray, such talent!).  You certainly won’t be disappointed in your experience.

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When I think of an amazing burger, Swensons is the place that comes to mind. Their signature hamburger the “Galley Boy” tops the charts with this mama.  I have traveled the country and tried many of the famous “burger joints”, but Swensons even beats the renowned “In-N-Out Burger”.

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Here are a few recommendations based on my personal favorites off the menu.  Of course you want to try the Galley Boy, as I said, it’s their signature hamburger. Although you can’t go wrong with a good ol’ Double Cheeseburger with everything on it, the flavor of the patty is just so delectable.  Sides? Easy, try the Potato Teezers, they’re a crispy, slightly heated (jalapeno), cheesy fried potato bite. Who wouldn’t find comfort in that? I am also partial to their french fries, which are super fresh and go perfectly with a side of ranch for dipping.  Swensons has three specialty fountain drinks; the California, Florida, and Ohio. The California (Grape flavored with a slice of lemon) is my all time fave and a must order every time. It is SO refreshing.  Did I mention they have over 18 flavors of milkshakes? OVER 18!! I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy making the servers name off all their current flavors, every time I go.  (A+ to my server today for not stumbling while he delightfully named them all, of course just so I could pick the very first one he said).  Today, I chose the seasonal Eggnog Shake!

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If you’re a Mother, you know how we crave the convenience of anything that is “drive-thru”.  This is a great opportunity to by-pass the fast food and have a great family meal brought right to your window.   My daughter, Addison, who is almost three, loves going to the drive-in restaurant, she gets excited when she realizes we’re at the “green olive” drive-in.  Of course, I make the sacrifice of giving my daughter my “Galley Boy” topping, the signature green olive.  Is that a baggie of green olives that the super awesome runner brought her today?!

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Swensons is a warm reminder of where we came from, especially for me.  Back in 1957, my Grandmother worked at a Drive-In (Freeway Drive-In | Oregon, OH) where she met a handsome guy in a pick-up truck who stole her heart, my Grandfather.

With all these personal recommendations, I can’t imagine it will take you long to venture to your nearest Swensons Drive-In and check it out for yourself!
View Locations Here

Thank you Swensons for inviting me as your guest to enjoy a day of comfort food!

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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There’s a Party In Chicago, Are You On the List?!

T-minus SEVEN days until KidCon in Chicago, IL.. This has been a teased event since Spring and my toddler and I are ready!

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KidCon is the newest baby created by Parent & Co HQ that brought us MommyCon. Kidcon is said to be the very first “Kid Convention” focusing on ALL ages, 0-99. The hype has been built and I am super excited to attend the very first one December 7th-8th in Chicago.

While looking at the schedule, I couldn’t help but start to prepare my list of speakers I want to hear. The topics are well spread and great points of interest…

Mat York of ThatDadMat (https://www.instagram.com/thatdadmat/) will be speaking about what to do with all your baby gear once you’re done having babies, now while I am not done having babies, I am super intrigued to prepare for the future! Plus my history with buy/sell/trades, I am super excited to hear what he recommends.

Chelsea Surplus will bring us the forever feared, “how to talk to kids about sex”. While I am a WAYS away from having this discussion (my daughter is going on three). I have her on my scheduled list of speakers 😉 Plus I had the pleasure of meeting Chelsea at a fun little Pop Up event back in August, she’s superb!

Some of the other topics, Sensory Hour, Teenage Friendships, Understanding your own body language and many more! I won’t go into super detail because you can visit http://www.kidcon.com to view the full line up.

There will also be special zones for kids throughout the exhibitor hall, how fun are theses?

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If you are in the greater Chicago area next weekend or even a short drive like me (6.5 hours, haha) make the trip! Find me and say hi 🙂

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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Always.

My family and I had the pleasure of attending Akron Symphony Orchestra’s Live Performance of Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets at EJ Thomas Hall in Akron on April 21st.  The combination of live orchestra and full length movie was like no other.  My husband and I are huge Harry Potter fans, we watch the complete series at least three times a year.

At first, I was skeptical to take my two-year-old with this being her first big screen movie but I was pleasantly surprised. For her, my favorite part might have been the way the staff welcomed her with smiles and fun discussions (fit for a two-year-old) and even offered a booster to use in her seat.

Our seats were in the perfect location, just a few rows from the live orchestra.

My daughter, Addison, was simply mesmerized by the music and the different instruments.  Once the movie began, she was glued to the screen.  I  appreciate how this was made to be great for families. The conductor encouraged families to clap and praise and carry on throughout the movie.  And let me tell you, they did! Families, teenagers, couples, and even grandparents enjoyed this unique and exciting experience.

 

When the next movie comes to your town, grab your tickets, your wands and your robes and prepare to be taken to the magical world of Harry Potter live in Concert!

 

 

 

‘Always’

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

Cleveland Birth Expo

THIS COMING SUNDAY! We will be at the Northeast Ohio Parent booth and would love to see you there! Tons of free raffles & giveaways plus guest speakers every hour talking about hot prenatal and postpartum topics. Get your FREE tickets here:  CLICK HERE

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Mention you follow my blog and receive a free keychain 😀

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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Lately the weather has been so bipolar.. & consequently so have I..

First off, who knows who Relient K is? Kudos to you if you do!
If you don’t know, go listen, this song is so relevant to Northeast Ohio right now. Click HERE (goes to Youtube)

Living in Northeast Ohio, you are a glutton for punishment when it comes to weather this time of year..  One day it’s snowing and the next it’s 70 and sunny…  Well it’s not 70 today, it’s freezing cold but the sunshine is simply beautiful! So today I am enjoying the view from my couch; where for the first time in a long time, I have a Sunday afternoon of peace and quiet..!  My husband went to the movies, my daughter is napping, the television is turned off, the phone is on silent and it’s not a “work” day.

(insert 1 hour work distraction & 2 hour break cause daughter woke up)

Anyways.. Back to the weather… Does anyone ever feel like the weather completely affects yours mood/attitude? I have had this overwhelming feeling of disorientation, like I can’t concentrate when the weather is gloomy. What is this?

It might just be mom brain…  At least I can always count on coffee!

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|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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What is MommyCon? – Chicago Recap

This year was my first ever MommyCon! I was so excited for this adventure and opportunity.  MommyCon is the number one natural parenting convention in the United States.  With a two-year-old that is still breastfeeding and all the natural parenting I try to keep up with, this was where I needed to be!

20180302_114938*the beginning of the adventure*

MommyCon was three days of learning, entertainment and community that took place March 2-4th in Chicago, IL.  Sessions included tips on breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering and even sex after baby! Companies such as Ergobaby, EzPz, and Ju-Ju-Be were present and ready to educate families on their products. For months prior to the event, I followed the “MommyCon Chicago Discussion Group” on Facebook.  This group gave moms and dads the ability to build relationships prior to the event and then meet in person at MommyCon/DaddyCon.  New for MommyCon this year was the accompanying DaddyCon, a special series of sessions and games just for Dads!  The attendance for MommyCon/DaddyCon weekend exceeded 2,500 Moms and Dads ready to learn.

20180303_114004.jpg*The fun backdrop for MommyCon hashtag printer*

MommyCon started Friday afternoon with great sessions and a special sneak peek of vendors called “Sip & Shop”.  Friday was open to VIP ticket holders, three-day ticket holders and media only.  My group and I participated in a Groovaroo flash mob dance to start off the “Sip & Shop”!  It was a fun choreographed dance filled with baby wearing parents (and a few strollers). We had a blast!  VIP ticket holders were treated to complimentary henna tattoos and glitter lips, how fun right?

20180302_162234*My spectacular henna by Crescent Moon Henna*
20180303_101205.jpg*The view from the play area for kids*

On Saturday the event was in full swing! The halls were full, the sessions were buzzing, and the communities were building.  Here’s a few of the highlights – sessions from Saturday:  “Potty Training Through Parenting with Laura Wojwhere I learned new tips for the beginning stages of potty training.  Laura taught us how to use baby-led training complete with fun Potty Training Punch Cards (Like a coffee card for your potty training toddler!). “Sleep Consultations with Rebecca Michi” which was one of the most beneficial sessions I attended. This has helped me with my two year old’s sleeping pattern. Her methods for ending night feedings have proven to be successful! “Crouching Mommas, Hidden Cameras by Erica Hafferty” Erica taught us how to take camera quality photos with just our phones! Catching the perfect angle and capturing the unforgettable moments. “Managing the Motherload with Julie Cole” and “Fathers Raising Daughters by Michael Redden”.

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*Potty Training Through Parenting with Laura Wok*

In the evening, Ju-Ju-Be hosted a “Pink Lady Get Together” which was open to the Ju-Ju-Be fan club known as the “Pink Ladies”.  It was a wonderful place to meet new friends! They had a bag scavenger hunt that encouraged us to get up from our tables and go and meet new moms, with incentive of course, then they gave out a nice selection of new bags.

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*Ju-Ju-Be Pink Lady Get Together*

It was sad to think that Sunday was the last day of this educational adventure.  The sessions and shopping continued but most importantly the relationships were strong!  As a mom that lives in the country, I don’t have many opportunities to meet other moms. MommyCon broke down that wall (or plowed that cornfield 😉 ) and made a connection for us.  It was so wonderful to have somewhere to go and meet like-minded families.  I drove my 325 miles back home with a new community and a new event to look forward to each year!

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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Hear ye, Hear ye, Hear me?

Hi everyone! My name is Samantha and I am the mama behind Coffee & A Juice Box!  I am married of [almost] three years to my husband, Andy and blessed with one amazing [almost] two year old daughter, Addison!  We live in a small town in Ohio, where we see more Amish buggies than cars.  My husband works as a controller for a local company and as a CPA, does a few taxes on the side.  I am a work from home mom who loves to get involved with all things baby/toddler.  Aside from working for Northeast Ohio Parent magazine, I also run a small crafty creations business called Coffee & A Juice Box Creations.  So… Why did I decide to start blogging?  Because I didn’t have enough on my plate 😉 I often think back on the last few years, I think about the years that led up to my pregnancy, my pregnancy over all and how my past two years of being a mother has gone.  My adventure has not been an easy one.  I have battled difficult (beginning) breastfeeding, postpartum depression, infant tooth decay and the list goes on.  I want to be able to help moms and dads that have experienced some of the struggles I have dealt with (and am still dealing with).  I like to think I have picked up some tips and tricks along.  And that’s why I am here, to share the honest motherhood.

Why “Coffee and a Juice Box”? Simple, that’s our “usual”. Mommy loves her Coffee and the toddler digs the Juice Box!
C&AJB

Please bear with me while I re-build my page! On top of being a totally awesome mommy, I am a marketing guru; I love to photograph and review products, so you’ll be seeing some fun stuff from me here 🙂

|Peace|Love|Caffeinate|

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