Win a Ticket to Goodwill's "Little Black Dress Fashion Show" & Boutique October 16th!

Hey gang!  Goodwill is giving me two free tickets to the Goodwill LBD Fashion Show with Boutique shopping.  I'm totally using one for myself, and I am offering one to YOU.  Who wants to come with me October 16th at Avalon Manor in Merrilville?   

If you do not know about this awesome event, check out my post from earlier this month or the other one from when I walked the runway for them last year.





Goodwill’s 2nd Annual Little Black Dress Fashion Show will be held on Thursday, October 16th at the Avalon Manor Banquet Center in Merrillville.  

Goodwill Industries of Michiana is partnering with Comcast, Adams Radio Group and WIMS-AM to raise funds to support their mission to provide jobs, training and placement services for people with barriers to employment.

Models will walk the runway in clothing from Goodwill showcasing the latest fashion trends while guests enjoy a gourmet lunch.  Kathy Friend, nationally known as a stylist and image consultant and President of the Style and Image Institute, will produce and host the program.  She will be joined by Emcee Laura Waluszko, Adams Radio Group News Director.  WIMS-AM Partner and General Manager, Ric Federighi will join the event as Goodwill’s Celebrity Model. 

Guests will enjoy shopping in the Goodwill Boutique complete with dressing rooms to find that perfect outfit.  Doors open at 10:00 am for shopping 50% Off in the Goodwill Boutique and the Luncheon / Fashion Show will begin at 11:30 am

Event               The Little Black Dress Fashion Show

Date / Time       Thursday, October 16                10:00 am – 3:00 pm
   Goodwill Boutique                     10:00 am – 11:30 am & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
   Luncheon & Fashion Show         11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location           Avalon Manor Banquet Center
3550 East US Route 30 / MerrillvilleIN  46410

Contacts           Katie Paceley / Public Relations Specialist
Phone – (574) 472-7379

DIY Passenger Seat on Your Bicycle: A solution for bigger kids

I want a Yuba Cargo bike, or an Xtracycle, or a Madsen.  I want a cargo bike.  You can find my lustful collection of cargo bike options with kids on my Cargo Bikes with Kids Pinterest Board here.  I desire more and more and more from my bicycling with family as transportation.   These higher end bikes are quite a bit above my *ahem* used bike budget.  Maybe in the future, but for now, I need a solution.  My two daughters were squished in the bike trailer, and I prefer to go places by bicycle instead of car when possible.  They love traveling by bike, but not when they are on top of each other in the trailer.   What is the solution to riding with little kids too big for a baby bike seat or double bike trailer?



First I got a sturdier rear rack for my bike, compliments of my distractable Dad.  He bought it for $25 and left it lying around my garage for just long enough for me to snag it and get it installed on my bike.  The rack weight limit is posted at 55lbs but some bikers say it will easily take over 100lbs. There are racks for around $100 that hold 100 lbs, this is a better option.   Or find the Xtracycle "Free Radical" kit to add on your existing bike.  That could be the solution for when your child is too big for a bike seat.


Portia and I rode around a bit with her on just the back rack,  her holding my waist.  We did lots of talking about keeping her feet away from the tire.  We were planning to add wheel skirts and a handle for her 'later'.  Later was too late.  We had a horrible accident.  Her precious foot.  Bike Spokes.  Thank God there were no broken bones or anything worse than an ugly scrape and bruise and her terrified tears. 


Some wonderful unknown landscaper stopped his truck and took my bike and trailer home while another friend drove us to Urgent Care.  I felt like a terrible mother and vowed to do things more carefully, but still was determined to find  a solution for riding with both kids too big for a baby bike seat.  I was grateful she wanted to get back on and ride with me but she still didn't want to share the double trailer.  

I found the Bobike Junior Child Seat for $200.  It is a child's bike seat for bigger kids 5 years to 10 years and holds 77 pounds.  My awesome Dad designed and attached skirt guards on my rear wheel to protect little passenger's feet.  They were really slick & the bike shop guys were impressed!  Next, I needed a better seat.  As I waited to have the money to buy the Bobike Junior seat, I chatted up my local bike shop.  Again.  They sell Yuba Cargo Bikes and I come often to pet them and drool and talk about bikes.  I bike a lot so I am at the bike shop a lot.  As we talked about my latest efforts, some gear shift trouble I'd been having and my desire for Portia to ride behind me on my bike, things began to happen!  After chatting with a bunch of us in the shop, Jeff my Buck's Bike Shop buddy made "a modification" to my bike.  Heaven opened right up and sang, friends.





THEN I talked to Eric, a fellow biker at Home Depot, about my new bike passenger seat and handlebars aka stoker bars,  and my desire for foot pegs.  (If you give a mouse a cookie...) he suggested hose clamps and L shaped shelf brackets. ($10) BOOM.  My awesome hubby put those puppies on for us.  (See how excited the girlies are?)























My 5 year old has her own "Jump Seat" on my bicycle for the next year, and my 3year old has lots of space solo in the trailer.  This is our cheaper answer to the cargo bike.  Maybe this is a solution for when your child is too big for a bike seat, or you have two kids and they do not want to share the trailer?  I can do my shopping or errands without a car and everyone wins!

Tell me about your thoughts on bicycles or cargo bikes, I'd love to talk more!

Bodacious Blog of the Week: Beyond Baby Boot Camp by Meagan Francis!

I met Meagan Francis of The Happiest Home Blog & Books when we did Listen to Your Mother Show together and I have been the better for it.  I enjoyed her "Happiest Mom" book immensely and use it during my "Life (with toddler) Rules" presentations.  I've continued to watch and admire Meagan's blog and books, but THIS BOOT CAMP: Oh you mamas, this free BEYOND BABY bootcamp is for YOU.  

Yup, for you.  

One thing I think I am pretty good at as a Mama is SELF CARE.  I've written about why moms should bother.

You aren't good at this.  I know you.  

Not. 

Good.  

So take 5 minutes a day and bless your sweet woman self under all that mama action and take the Beyond Baby Boot Camp deal thingie.  I do not think any crunches or burpees are involved and I ADORE the first two days of posts.  

Love YOURSELF woman.  Read Meagan's posts.  She is awesome.

Day One: Create a Self Care Ritual is HERE.

Day Two: Clean out your _____  ??? is HERE!

You can find her Beyond Baby private Facebook group page here. (say hi, I'm there too!)




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Modern Moms Launches THIS MORNING in Valparaiso, Indiana!

I want to encourage women.  I struggle to balance this with my own shortcomings and need for encouragement on a daily basis.  Here on the blog I do many things, including encourage you, hopefully to your enjoyment.  But I haven't shared my biggest change this year with you.  I began leading a Moms Ministry at my church.  My friend from the moms group Connie Hazelett led the moms group for eight years and thought maybe it was time for a change.  She talked to me about it and I started leading the moms group mid year last year.  I was elated, honored and scared to death I would cuss in a meeting.  I did, actually.  (Sorry Jesus.)

While this Modern Moms deal hasn't  been a secret, I haven't said anything much here on the blog until now.  I like to be funny here, I like to share my heart here, I like to hear from you guys here.  Y'all know I love Jesus.  I hope I do that in a way that inspires instead of puts off.  I hope you as my friend and reader are able to take what you need from my words on faith and leave the chaff behind.  I hope you know I value you even if we do not have the same beliefs.   And I value your beliefs, too.  I'm a weird Christian and I like that about myself.

So today is the Fall Launch of Modern Moms and I am excited.  Valpolife shared about it online.  It was also in the NWI Times newspaper!   We have invited the community at large into our group for breakfast and free childcare.  We hope our regular attenders come back for more of what they already enjoyed and we hope some new mamas wander in looking for refreshment.  I want to inspire women so that they can be filled up with the energy to inspire others themselves.  Life is hard and wonderful and none of us are grateful enough for what is in front of us.  When we want what we have, we do not need much.

If you are a mom of any age or stage in NWI area, c'mon by this morning.  At 9:30am we will be having breakfast together.  We will be talking about Shiny Things together.  We will be inspired, together.  I cannot wait!

Find us on Facebook "Modern Moms Valpo FUMC" or by clicking here.


It's coming: Goodwill's Little Black Dress Fashion Show (& Boutique Shopping!)

Friends, I told you I would tell you when this was happening.  It is HAPPENING!  If you like to thrift shop, but never can find "The Good Stuff", mark your calendars.  Goodwill’s 2nd Annual Little Black Dress Fashion Show will be held on Thursday, October 16th at the Avalon Manor Banquet Center in Merrillville, Indiana.  

You remember when I walked the catwalk for Goodwill's Little Black Dress Fashion Show last year at Strong Bow Inn.  You may have seen my AWESOME bright blue trench coat  I wore & bought for $4.00  It is MAGIC on me. Kathy Friend  picked it out for me and I do not understand why, but that coat makes me look GREAT.  


If you have seen me dressed up in the last year, it was in one of the two vintage LBD I bought from Goodwill's Little Black Dress Fashion Show for $10.  Both are totally my style, fit me perfectly and were CHEAP.  I could throw them away I have already gotten so much utility from them in one year...but they are magically timeless and will be favorites for many years.

I just spent two hours shopping Target, Marshall's and JC Penny's looking for a cross body purse, and came home empty handed.  I dug out my Black Leather Tignanello purse from Goodwill's Little Black Dress Fashion Show that had WAY more character than the pleather $30 and $40 purses I almost bought. I bought it at Goodwill's Boutique during the fashion show for $7.00.  They go for about $100 online. It is leather.  Thank you very much.




I confess:  The lunch & fashion show was expensive to my stay at home mama budget at $40.  But let me tell you something, folks, PAY IT.  IT IS WORTH IT.  The price includes lunch, fashion show and access to the boutique.  I do not know brand names, and certainly not higher end stuff.  Imagine someone who did handpicking all the best stock from ALL THE GOODWILL STORES IN NORTHERN INDIANA.  Yeah.  That is what is in the boutique.  And you are shopping all of it half off just for attending the luncheon and fashion show.  And it isn't crowded either. I didn't get into a single fisticuff with anyone. I'm totally going even though I will have to buy my own lunch this year.  It is worth in in deals and quality merchandise.  Especially if you are some kind of budget fashinonista.

OH, and the money goes to a good cause.  Goodwill Industries of Michiana is partnering with Comcast, Adams Radio Group and WIMS-AM to raise funds to support their mission to provide jobs, training and placement services for people with barriers to employment.


Models will walk the runway in clothing from Goodwill showcasing the latest fashion trends while guests enjoy a gourmet lunch.  Kathy Friend, nationally known as a stylist and image consultant and President of the Style and Image Institute, will produce and host the program.  She will be joined by Emcee Laura Waluszko, Adams Radio Group News Director.  WIMS-AM Partner and General Manager, Ric Federighi will join the event as Goodwill’s Celebrity Model. 


Guests will enjoy shopping in the Goodwill Boutique complete with dressing rooms to find that perfect outfit.  Doors open at 10:00 am for shopping 50% Off in the Goodwill Boutique and the Luncheon / Fashion Show will begin at 11:30 am.  Again, the price for the lunch, fashion show and boutique access is only $40....and if you buy tickets after October 1st, the price goes to $45, so buy em NOW people!  It is worth it.

Event               The Little Black Dress Fashion Show

Date / Time       Thursday, October 16                10:00 am – 3:00 pm
   Goodwill Boutique                     10:00 am – 11:30 am & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
   Luncheon & Fashion Show         11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location           Avalon Manor Banquet Center
3550 East US Route 30 / MerrillvilleIN  46410

Contacts           Katie Paceley / Public Relations Specialist
Phone – (574) 472-7379
Email – kpaceley@goodwill-ni.org



For even more information, people can check out the website:  www.GoodwillFashionShow.com or email: FashionShow@Goodwill-ni.org or call:  (574) 472-7300 and ask for Sharron Steward.