Simple City Life

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

so #shifthapened.

I am not a blogger who spends my time traveling to conferences. For the most obvious reason, they are expensive. Flights, hotels, transportation, meals, wardrobe...it adds up fast! I also tend to stay away since it is really hard to be in a place where the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up due to the anxiety you are having. Anxiety over the sponsors who missions is completely opposite of yours, products that scare you and a competition to be the most fashionable blogger ever. For me it is like throwing a baseball player in the middle of a ballet class. I just don't feel like I fit in. When ShiftCon was announced, I knew that this was my chance, my kind of place, my people. People who also have anxiety in the grocery store and really could care less as to where you purchased you outfit. I had to go, without a shadow of doubt, I needed to be there. I worked my way there and couldn't be happier. 

If you are a reader if  Simple City Life, then you most likely would love Shift Con as well and really should join me next year. Here is why:

You will meet amazing people. 

It's impossible not too. The fellow bloggers are wonderful, the sponsors area blast to hang out with and the speakers are passionate and supportive of you and your efforts. Not only will you meet these fine people you have the chance to meet and make new friends like I did. My roommates were so great! Lori and Nicole were great to meet, spend my days with and walk away with new friendships. I am so thankful that I was able to meet these ladies and journey together as we watch this Shift Happen. You will be able to meet the amazing panel of speakers like Gary Hirshberg, Robyn O'Brein, Vani Hari, and so many more. 

You will eat amazing organic, non-GMOfoods.

Leah was extraordinary. She it this conference out of the park. Every provided meal was above and beyond all expectations. Each ingredient was carefully picked out and held to the highest standard. It was unbelievable and comforting to know that I was not sacrificing my food standards while away from home. It was a dream. Even down to the yummy and fancy cocktails. We are talking organic alcohol and specialty Kombutcha Cocktails. 


 You will have opportunities to do yoga with Travis Eliot. 

Yes. I'm serious. Waking up at 6am, not so great. Doing a great workout with Travis, the Ultimate Yogi, worth it. His class was wonderful! I am so glad I woke up and made myself head down. He is a great instructor, I really want to get his workouts now. 

 You will be able to squeeze in time to see the Ocean! 

This small trip would not have happened if it wasn;t for my wonderful roomate Lori. Since she was kinda local and drove to the conference, I was able to hitch a ride with Lori and Lisa from Naturepedic. We loved every moment on that beach. My heart longs to live out west again. 




You will meet some of the BEST brands on the market for all your families needs. 

It's one thing to follow these great brands on social media, but it is so much better to meet them face to face! Although we have been ambassadors for Molly's Suds for just about a year, I have had meet Monica. It was wonderful and she is so sweet. I am so glad that I was able to spend time with her in real life. Of course, I LOVED hanging out with my favorite Stonyfield ladies, Kristina and Melanie. hey are a absolute blast and always keep me laughing. Meeting Shari from Nordic Naturals was another wonderful moment for me. We have worked together several time over the years. They have some wonderful new products coming out. Chatting with Heidi while resting on the luxurious Naturepedic mattresses was a huge highlight. Such a great line of organic mattresses starting from birth right through adulthood. Every interaction was wonderful! 

You will learn so much! 

From how to be a better advocate, to how to run your blog better, you will be amazed at how much information you will have access too. My favorite sessions were The future of GMO labeling, Google+, and the legals of blogging. If you are bummed you missed out, fear not- you can buy the entire recorded conference here

You just might win big! 

I'm still in shock of my HUGE win! I was in disbelief when Leah announced my name as the winner of the Year Supply Of Breakfast, sponsored by Applegate, Natures Path, Rudy's Organic Bakery and Organic Valley. It was a unbelievable win and I am so thankful to these companies.  This is huge for our budget this coming year. 

Bottom line, this is the one conference I will attend this year and most likely the only one next year too. Being able to walk inspired, supported, passionate and confident is a incredible feeling. Blogging can be defeating if you are not surrounded by a fully supportive tribe. I found that at Shift Con and I couldn't  happier! 

Until next year, 
Courtney

**apologies for some of the blurry phone pictures! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Earth Footwear Review #earthfootwear

The Midwest prides itself on our gorgeous fall weather. Even with the cool temps, even this summer lover is enjoying the beauty that is unfolding outside my windows. The brilliant colors are extremely bright this year, making the last smile of the year one to remember. I will admit that even I adore the wardrobe that fall brings. Being a die hard denim wearer, I am always looking for some bits and pieces to add to my very plain wardrobe. 
The biggest challenge that I face with adding accessories is without a doubt footwear. I have flat, extremely wide feet, they may even resemble hobbit feet. As much as I love shopping for shoes, I typically leave the store feeling down about my rather unattractive feet, head home and slip back into my cowboy boots. I do shop online occasionally for shoes that are know to have a wider fit. A while back I found Earth Footwear by following Leah (aka @bookieboo). I loved the styles and the price was spot on for what I would expect to pay for a well made leather shoe. Obviously, I jumped at the chance to review this line. I held my breath, and in all honesty expected to be dissapointed. 
The disappointment I was expecting was due to hobbit feet, not the quality. When my box arrived, I unwrapped them and literally gasped at how beautiful they were. I was fearful to even put them on. I however got over that fear rather fast and immediately slipped on my new shoes. I must admit, they were a tad tight. I decided to wear them around the house and see if they would loosen up. Slowly, they started to form to my feet and the tightness did do away. I kept wearing them around the house with socks in order to fully break them in. After a week of doing this, I took them out and about. I was really surprised that I was able to keep them on for so long with out pain. I did get a few small blisters, but they didn't last long. For the first time in years, I own a extremely adorable, feminine shoe that fits. They are 100% broken in, and traveled with me to ShiftCon. I was able to walk through the airport, all around the conference and home again with out pain or discomfort.  

Earth® footwear is doing women's feet right by constructing their footwear with a padded heel area to displace shock , adding a reinforced arch support to stabilize foot and placing multi-density latex cushioning layer for extra support. The inside of the shoe is literally made super soft pillows to cushion and protect your feet. I could not be happier with these shoes and am already planning out my next purchase. When you find a brand that fit, stick to it right?!

If you are interested in purchasing a pair for yourself, which I highly suggest, you can shop directly at Earth® Brands. Sign up for the newsletter and never miss a sale or preview of new styles.

If you love my shoes, The Maize,  check them out here in three different colors. These retail for 109.99. The Maize design is inspired by vintage men's loafers and reimagined in a sophisticated, feminine silhouette, every detail evokes a feeling of confidence.
These shoes feature:
  • Premium burnished leather upper with glove-soft leather lining
  • Exclusive comfort footbed cushions your foot from heel to toe
  • Cushioned arch support for all-day comfort

Join the Earth® Footwear Community on all their social sites: 

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful week,
Courtney

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dear Colorado,

You hold a huge place in my heart. I chose to move there when I was twenty one in hopes that I would discover new and exciting things. I fell in love with your beauty and the people who grew up in your amazing state. I even fell in love with a full blooded native and married him six months later. Moving away was one of the hardest things we have ever done. We miss you daily and long to be back in your glorious scenery.

As we sit here in the Midwest longing for your mountains and glorious sunshine, I am more hopeful that you are taking very serious the rights you have as voters this coming November. You have a huge responsibility. Something that can help move other states forward in the same manner. Something that can shape our country and change lives. I promise you I am not being dramatic when I say this. What am I wanting you to do? I want you to vote. Vote with all your power, let your voice be heard and do not rely on others to do it for you. You have the ability to vote YES on 105. You have the right to know exactly what is in your foods. You have the right to decide between nature and science. Labeling GMO's is not a new concept. Sixty four other countries have already chosen to have labeling laws. American food corporations are already labeling these foods for the European and Asian markets.


I believe that you can make a difference. No family should have to wonder if their foods contain chemicals. No person should have to guess whether their food came from fields that are highly saturated with insecticides and toxic chemicals. We as Americans have the right to know. As a consumer, we have the right to make a choice. I choose to not serve my family GMO's. I choose to avoid foods that are full of chemicals. Did you know that GMO crops are covered with Round Up? Round Up is the same product that states on the package to not store under your kitchen sink. These toxic chemicals used to treat the crops we are consuming and these very toxins are showing up in mother’s breast milk.

When other countries chose to ban GMO's because they have not proven to be safe for human consumption, America decided to use them because that had not been proven harmful yet. Without a long enough study, they rolled out these products and you and I became the test study. As we raise our families, we are being hit with horrible illnesses, the rise of childhood cancers, obesity, diabetes, food allergies, ADD, ADHD and autism. I can't help, as a mother, to question what is okay with putting chemicals into our food. As author and food analyst Robyn O'Brien has asked, "Are we allergic to food or what has been done to it?" Please take a moment to watch this TEDTalk with Robyn.



While I am writing you out of my utmost love for the family and friends I have residing in your beautiful state I will also leave you with a brief message to please ban fracking while you are at it. I understand you are looking at revenue. But please consider the conditions in which you are choosing to do this. This definition below sums up what fracking is. 

"Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, pumps water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into rock formations thousands of feed underground, cracking them to allow the oil and gas to flow through the cracks into wells." *


This article breaks down the chemicals used and the risks involved in using them for fracking purposes. If that does not send a wakeup call, I am afraid of what it will take. Recently fracking companies have jumped on the breast cancer awareness bandwagon and have even painted their drill bits in a brilliant pink. It's genius really, or perhaps a way to avoid guilt, for polluting the land with known cancer causing carcinogens. Learn more here


Again Colorado, I love you so much and I am hoping that you take these issues seriously. Thanks for reading, and I will be cheering for you here in the Midwest. You can do this! Oregon, you can too! And God help me, I will work hard to see these changes here in Wisconsin too! 


~Courtney


*update: GMO Label Twitter Party for Colorado and Oregon October 21st at 6pm PST/9pm EST #LabelGMOs

*http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/earth_to_power/2014/08/colorado-fracking-ban-roundup-shows-3-ruled.html?page=all