Cant Google Everything

May 22, 2015

10 Fun Pool Toys to Kick Off Summer!

 Even though it's not technically "summer" until later in June, around here Memorial Day Weekend is generally thought of as the first day of summer!  Everyone heads down the shore to kick off summer, all the local pools open and there is just a general "summer" feeling all around!  Since we're heading over to the beach today for some fun in the sun, I'm sharing this fun list of summer toys that would be perfect for the pool or beach!  I think the shark toss game is my favorite, how about you?

This post includes affiliate links, thank you for supporting my blog!

1. Intex Pool Volleyball Game -- $12.75

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $12.75 Shipped

2. Melissa & Doug Shark Toss & Catch Game -- $13.38

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $13.38 Shipped

3. International Leisure Shark Ride On Pool Toy -- $16.95

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $10.95 Shipped

4. Melissa & Doug Undersea Treasure Hunt -- $13.59

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $13.59 Shipped

5. Water Bomb Splash Ball, 12 pk -- $7.91

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $7.91 Shipped

6. Intex Sea Turtle Ride On Inflatable -- $18.99

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $18.99 Shipped

7. Green Toys Submarine -- $12.62

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $12.62 Shipped

8. Water Gear Turtle-in-Eggs Pool Game -- $14.84

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $12.62 Shipped

9. Poolmaster Extreme Cyclone Football -- $11.80

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $12.62 Shipped

10. Disney Princess Diving Sticks, Set of 3 -- $13.02

Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or $35 Purchase

Final Price: $12.62 Shipped

*Note: these prices were accurate at the time this post was written but may have changed slightly since!

May 21, 2015

5 Must Haves for a Blogging Conference in NYC!

Disclaimer: I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #SoFabUOTR #cbias
In June I'm heading up to NYC for the SoFab On the Road conference and I'm so excited!  The agenda is set and the keynote speaker will be teaching us all about how to use SEO to supercharge your post!  Other sessions include: Video, Email Marketing, Sponsored posts, networking, and more!

I've been to a few conferences now and I want to be prepared and make sure you're prepared, too, so I came up with a few "must haves" for blogging conferences!

1. Walking Shoes- It's tempting to put on your cutest shoes for the conference, after all, we do all want to look our best (and impress those fashion bloggers!) but walking around NYC is no joke, especially if you're from out of town. Bring shoes you are very comfortable walking in, especially since this conference includes a photo tour!  If you must bring cute, non walking shoes, you can always bring them in your bag and switch them out when you get there!

2.  A New York subway MTA map, on your phone- An easy way to get around the city, and cheaper than taking cabs everywhere, it to use public transportation. Nothing screams "tourist!" quite like lugging around a subway map, so instead download an app on your phone with the map easily accessible!  I found several free and few paid options in the app store!

3. Business cards- Business cards are a must for any blogging conference!  You should plenty to hand out to other bloggers, the conference organizers and any brands that might be there. Be sure to keep your cards updated with you most current info!  For good measure, throw in a few extra just in case.  You never know who you're going to meet in the "big city!"  True story- last time I was in NYC another blogger and me stumbled upon a brand doing a promotion for their new product on the street, spoke with them, gave them our cards and were both able to work with them!  You just never know!

4. An expandable bag- You have all your stuff, but at the conference you might get more stuff!  Besides paperwork and other bloggers cards there might be other items given out you want to keep.  Besides, you might be in town for a conference, but whose to say a little shopping isn't in order?

5. A portable charger- Of course you should bring a portable charger!  Walking around with you subway map open, tweeting and updating you Facebook during the conference and more will all eat away at your battery!  I would be very sad if my phone battery died in the middle of the day, so I always bring one of these bad boys!  You can buy them on Amazon, or any store that sells cell phone accessories.

I will be bringing all these items to the SoFab OTR conference plus: a light sweater (in case they have the AC cranked up), my DSLR for the photo walk, my planner and a notepad to write all the info down!

SoFab On The Road takes place in NYC on June 20th.  The event features hands-on, interactive sessions for influencers to implement what they're learning on the spot!  There are also On The Road events all over the country during the year including upcoming events in Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Bentonville, AL.  The event is sponsored by MüllerKraft and iBlog and put on by Collective Bias.  Collective Bias is a shopper social media community that helps pair bloggers with brands for organic social content.  

But, you do not have to be part of the group to attend the conference, all bloggers are welcome!  If you want to attend you can buy your ticket right here!  I'd love to meet all my blogging friends so let me know if you plan to come!  Hope to see you there!

May 20, 2015

Wanderlust Wednesday: Venice, Italy!

We just returned from our whirlwind trip to Italy and we had so much fun!  We saw and did so much it'll be hard to write about it all, we were doing stuff nonstop!  Needless to say we did three things to the max: eat, sleep and take a ton of photos!

We started off out trip in Venice!  We arrived by train from the airport and stepped out of the train station into the hustle and bustle by the water taxi stop!  Because the streets are cobblestone, uneven and full of tons of stairs and bridges, it's much easier to take the water taxi to the stop closest to your hotel.  I can't imagine carrying our suitcases much more than we did!

We actually flew into Milan, it was so much cheaper, and took the train to Venice from there!  If you fly into Milan, you can take a shuttle bus (10 Euro) to the central train station and go to your next destination from there.  It was a very smooth and easy transport.

Our hotel in Venice was gorgeous!  It looked like one of those hotel rooms you see in movies with a big living room, tall ceilings and furniture that you aren't sure if you're supposed to sit on or not!  Our room had two balconies so after taking pictures of each other I set up my phone with the timer and ran over to the other side so we could take a picture together.  The first night we basically walked around checking out the city and had our first Italian dinner.

The next day we went to two islands off of Venice.  First, we went to Murano, which is the glass making island.  I've always wanted to go here, so I was pretty excited!  Our hotel included a free private "taxi" ride to the island, but you can also take the water bus over.  We did a tour of the factory where they make all the glass by hand.  I'll be honest, it was a little gimmicky and sales-ey but it was still cool to see!  Their techniques date back 100s of years from the 1500's and are passed down in the family.  They make blown class, like the bowl in the background, and pulled glass like the horse he's holding.  It was so hot that after he posed for this picture he lite his cigarette on it!  You can see the furnace over his shoulder, they heat the glass up to 2000 degrees!

Next we went to the nearby island of Burano, which is known for it's lace making.  We actually didn't see much lace or people making lace or even very many lace shops but that's okay.  It was Sunday after all.  The island is also known for it's bright and colorfully painted buildings, which was pretty cool!  Both of the islands have canals like Venice and people travel around by boat- no cars!

Here's my husband on one of the bridges over the Grand Canal! The church you can see in the background is not Saint Marks, which is on the left side of the canal in this photo, but Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (St Mary of Heath).  There are so many basilica's it was hard to keep track!
One notable place to visit is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (15 Euros), which is one of the premier museums of modern art to visit in Europe.  I am personally not a big fan of modern art, but to each his own.  The museum had some fabulous works, such as the two you can see above.  And no, that one on the left isn't a drawing I framed from my toddler! "Modern art."  Joking aside, they did have a very good special exhibit showcasing works of Charles Pollock which runs through September 14.  You weren't allowed to take photos of his work, but you can also see some on display at MoMA in NYC if you're interested.  The building was also pretty cool, and right on the Grand Canal, so you could go out back and sit on the steps to watch the canal traffic go by!

Another spot worth visiting is Saint Mark's Basilica! It is a gorgeous cathedral connected to the doge's palace (also worth visiting!) and was both of our favorite churches we saw in Italy.  A good thing to know is that you can buy special tickets to skip the line for 2 Euros each and it's well worth it!  The line was huge!  Buy online ahead of time and have your hotel print them out.  There is also a pretty cool museum in the upstairs area of the church, which cost 5 Euro per person, but has some really cool artwork, old impressive statues and great views of the inside of cathedral as well as the square.  You can actually go out on the roof from here and see a great view of the square from three sides, which is where this picture was taken!

As a sidenote, please do not buy a selfie stick from one of the annoying peddlers.  Just do it the old fashioned way and ask a fellow tourist to take your photo!  Selfie sticks are quite annoying in these crowded tourist areas, and some of the places we went to even had signs up requesting you not use them!

We ended our last full day in Venice with a stereotypical gondola ride!  While it did feel a little cheesy, it was also pretty fun and a great way to see around the city.

Venice was very beautiful and fun to see, but we probably won't be going back any time soon!  It was also quite crowded, especially on the weekend and everything just felt a little too touristy.  You can basically walk around and find great restaurants anywhere to eat, so don't get pulled in by the overpriced places on Saint Mark's square!  We found plenty of great bars and places to eat and the wine is especially affordable!  Be sure to bring very comfortable walking shoes and expect a lot of stairs!  Venice is not a great place to bring a stroller (or young kids for that matter) because of all the stairs!

Next we headed to Rome, which I'll share all about next time!  Ciao!