Be Blogalicious Fun Stuff Archives - Be Blogalicious

Fun Stuff Archive

The 2017 Blogalicious ‘Tribe Up’ Holiday Gift Guide!

In just a few days, Black Friday will be sounding retail alarms everywhere! Luckily for us, our community is filled with sounders who have amazing products and stores, ready for purchase. In this exclusive guide, we’ve included more than 30 gifts for him and her, for the home, and for the culture. Take a dive into this year’s official holiday gift guide presented by Team Blogalicious. And if you find something you’re dying to have, share this guide with your audience. Happy Shopping Supporting!

Trendy Fashion

Entrepreneur is a Lifestyle sweatshirt from Respect the Grind

Reclaiming My Time t-shirt from Essential Tees

Naturally Fit apparel & accessories from Naturally Fine 

Minimalist feminine clothing from Shop Ifill

Handmade Huarache sandals and jewelry from Ix-Style

Pumps, boots & wedges from ShuEsq

Caribbean clothing & accessories from Merch Carnival

Specialty shirts & boots from Steele Divine, Inc.

Accessories & Trinkets

The Anthem Keychain from Pin Living Color

Blessed & Hydrated makeup bag from Shop Slay Culture

CROWN enamel pin from Christa David Art

Afro-Caribbean jewelry for him & her from Baaba’s Jule

Tea is My Love Language mug from Ven & Rose

Laptop decal from DecalDeez 

Phone cases from The Dyna Smiles

Stylish, budget-friendly jewelry from Gold Rush Boutique

Journals, Planners & Books

Whose Shoes 2018 Transformational Planner from Purpose Driven Media

FitPossible Planner & Journal from Fit Fly Fab

Detox the B.S. Journal by Vernetta R. Freeney

Free Your Mind Journal by Be Free Project

Find Your Fierce Book by Nicole Roberts Jones

Galaxy Visionary Journal by Keep Chasing the Stars

Walks of Inspiration photo journal from TP Events

Manifest Your Passion, Power & Perseverance by Lakitia M. Woodard

Skin, Beauty & Hair

Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System from Naturalicious

Liquid Matte lippie from Couture Cosmetics

Matte lipsticks in various colors from Liquid Courage Cosmetics

Makeup for Latinas Holiday collection from Vive Cosmetics (pictured)

Conditioners & cleansers from Koils By Nature 

Bombshell Beauty Box Deluxe Set from Life of a Bombshell Cosmetics

Non-toxic, fast drying nail polish from EA Polish

Plant-based skin care from Zandra Beauty

Health & Wellness

Honey & Sage luxury soy candle from Alikay Naturals

Waist burner belt from Kish Power Fitness

Black Girl Magic workout apparel from Natural Fit Designs

Self-care gift package (2 books, tote bag & sleep serum) from The DocSwiner Store

Joy to the Box from Bawdy Bookworms

Happy shopping, family. Be sure to follow these awesome brands on social media and join their newsletters. The sales don’t stop!

9 Fun & Affordable Things To Do & See In Miami

In less than one month, our annual reunion conference is going down in arguably one of the greatest cities in America, Miami, Florida. With every conference, we intend on learning and networking but having loads of fun, too. And what better place to do that than in sunny beautiful Miami?

The beach will be upon us. So will great food, tropical drinks, and “the strip” we’re sure everyone has experienced – or wants to – at least once. During your conference breaks have you considered exploring Miami? If you’re going that route with a few conference-mates, consider these spots.

9 Things to Do & See In Miami


Little Havana

From restaurants to the Bay of Pigs Museum to Hoy Como Ayer, Little Havana is the place to be. This section of Miami totes historical Hispanic culture that is open to everyone who visits. Here’s more information.

Prime 112

In short, Prime 112 is fantastic! If you’re looking for unique menu items that will Wow you for days on end, we’d recommend Prime 112 in a heartbeat. Located on Ocean Drive, this spot is sexy, thrilling, and often packed with celebrities and high rollers. The wait time can be monstrous but if you can get a table, it’s worth it! Check out their menu.

Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science

We found this blurb on the Museum’s website that instantly made us want to visit:

“Sitting on four acres within Downtown Miami’s waterfront Museum Park, the 250,000-square-foot Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is divided into four distinct buildings: the Aquarium, the Frost Planetarium, and the North and West Wings. This unique campus-like setting takes guests on a journey from the ocean to the Everglades, and from the human cell to outer space. It investigates life as we know it while exploring the process of science and innovation.”

More than that, ” the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a leading science museum dedicated to sharing the power of science, sparking wonder and investigation, and fueling innovation for the future.” Get there when you can, fam!

Bayside Marketplace

Shopping, dining, and entertainment are what you’ll find at Bayside Marketplace. Play on the water in a community water taxi or pirate boat. Plan your shopping experience (yes)! Fill your belly at one of the Marketplace’s multiple eateries. It’s all there for you!

Art Deco District

Instagram photography fiends, take some time to explore the beauty that is the Art Deco District. The Miami Design Preservation League hosts tours that benefit philanthropic efforts.

“Tour Proceeds benefit our non-profit mission to preserve, promote, and protect the architectural, cultural, social and environmental integrity of Miami Beach and the surrounding areas.”

Find your tour here.

Miami Tower

Per Wikipedia, “The Miami Tower is a 47-story, landmark office skyscraper in Miami, Florida, United States. It is located in central Downtown. It is currently the 8th tallest building in Miami and Florida.” 

History, beauty and downtown Miami in one fell swoop.

Little Haiti

Known as the Haitian diaspora, Little Haiti is a celebration of Caribbean culture and history that’s displayed in bookstores, museums, family-owned restaurants, and more. Tourists frequent Little Haiti for its rich art scene as well as its live music and culture. Learn more about this magical place here.

Azucar Ice Cream Company

Visiting Azucar will take you back to Little Havana, which isn’t a bad thing. Good ice cream is worth a trip anywhere! This spot offers more than 20 flavors that dance between seasonal and signature flavors known to Miami natives. The menu made our mouths water!

Miami Beach

…because who doesn’t love the beach! Fam, bring your swimsuits and water garb and steal a few hours in the ocean. We won’t be mad at you for soaking up sun rays, making sand castles, and getting that glowy tan only Miami Beach can give you!

What are your favorite things to do or places to visit in Miami? Do you plan on doing any of these things in a few weeks during Blogalicious 9?

Our ATL Blogalicious Pop-Up Experience Was Everything!

Our next Blogalicious Pop-Up Experience is less than a week away. Before we embed links to the forthcoming kick back, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recap the Atlanta Experience.

As you know, Atlanta is our home away from home. So many of our community lives and works there, so it’s literally a reunion “every time we link up”. Because the love is mutual, you guys showed up and showed out, reinforcing the love we have for our southern delight. Here’s a recap of the Blogalicious Pop-Up Experience: Atlanta, featuring moments, run of the show, and photos drenched in tribe goals.

ATL Blogalicious Pop-Up Experience Panel Experts

We’re sending a special thank you to:

Precious Bivings of Surrender, Work, Live! who moderated the event. Precious is an accountability coach whose mission is to “M.ake A.mazing S.h*t H.appen”. We support her message and appreciate her support of Blogalicious.

Paulette Jewsome, representing Coca-Cola. Thank you, Paulette.

Denene Milner of My Brown Baby. Denene is the journalist mama to know! While her accomplishments are too lengthy to list — hello, Denene Milner Books and award-winning website — her heart is ten times bigger. We appreciate this woman.

Alexis Davis Smith of PRecise Communications, an award-winning boutique public relations firm specializing in consumer brand marketing, media relations, social media management and multicultural communications. Thank you, Alexis!

and last but not least, Danica Kombol of Everywhere Agency. Danica has been in our corner for years. There aren’t enough words to express what our connection truly means. Aside from letting us host our Pop-Up in your beautiful office, we appreciate Danica and her amazing team!

A Memorable Quote

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” – Seth Godwin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Candid Photos

Thanks to Team Blogalicious members Cara Paige and Terrance Gaines for capturing these moments in Atlanta for us! Use the left and right arrows on your keypad to view all photos.

We’ll see you at our next stop in New York this Saturday at Vapiano! RSVP here.

‘Go With the Flow’: Lessons in Fatherhood From Brotha Tech

Being a great dad isn’t always easy but it doesn’t have to always be hard. Our resident father of 3, Terrance Gaines, a.k.a. Brotha Tech, has 8 practical and inspiring tips for dads who want to get it right. Check out this list and share it with all the awesome dads in your life.

Brush Your Shoulders Off.


Something that used to irk me as a new-ish parent is all the people who come up to me and ask “Are you getting any sleep?” OF COURSE I’M NOT. I have to remember that there are way more important things to worry about as a father than silly questions, so I fake smile and keep it moving.


Enjoy Every Moment.


As a new-ish father, I look at my two other kids and can’t remember them as babies, so I try to enjoy every moment with a newborn, because before you know it, they will be bothering you to death when the home WiFi goes down.


Take that extra “L”.


It’s probably easy to say “let’s divide everything down the middle and share all the duties”. What fathers sometimes don’t realize there are things that mothers deal with that we simply can’t relate to. So even though it’s “her turn” to stay up with the baby, it’s okay if you step in and take over every once in a while.


Get Your Self-Care In.


It’s easy to get into that daily grind and forget that self-care is important for Dads too. So when you get a chance, even if that chance is super small, sneak in that 30 minutes of Xbox.


Send Mama Some Love.


As new mothers, with a baby stuck to their boob, hair all over the place, crusty eyes, and a never-ending wardrobe of baggy pajamas, that sometimes double as errand clothes, they may not feel all at desirable. It’s up to you to remind her why (and how) y’all had the baby in the first place.


Go with the Flow.


Everybody who claims to be a parent will try to drop a laundry list of things you need to do before, during and after the baby arrives. Sure, there are some essentials, but with babies you have to learn them just like they are learning you. So don’t get bent out of shape if that feeding/changing/sleeping schedule isn’t followed to a tee.


Tribe Up.


It’s hard for me to ask for help, so when we had our first child, I was hell bent on letting the world know “I got this”. But as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be vulnerable and admit that you need help. So take the time to build up a strong support network of people who are more than willing to pitch in and take a load off your shoulders when it gets to be too much. The BEST way to do that is to be that support system for somebody else. “Do unto others…”


Do You, Bro.


It’s easy to always put the baby first. But you have to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process of just being “Daddy”. It will be hard at first, but make sure you simply grow into adding the role of father to your arsenal, versus letting fatherhood completely change who you are.

Happy Father’s Day!

Part 1: Notable Keynotes and Celebrities that Showed Up and Showed Out at Blogalicious Weekend

Selecting a keynote speaker for Blogalicious Weekend is a task we take very seriously. This individual has to bring the energy and set the tone for the entire Weekend. Below, we share some of our notable favorites! 

Blogalicious 2009:  Karen Walrond and Kim Coles 


Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks lit up our inaugural conference with her powerful message about “The Beauty of Different.” Kimberly Coleman (Mom In The City) shared this reaction: “The message really resonated with me. She encouraged us to figure out what made us different – our “superpower.” That’s the only way that we can be who we are meant to be and to live out our own personal dreams.”


During Disney Interactive’s The Princess and the Frog New Orleans-style Luncheon, one of us did a double take. Is that THE Kim Coles from ‘Living Single’ tip-toeing into the ballroom?! Turns out she was in the hotel as part of the presenting team for the BET Hip Hop Awards, and saw the fabulous group of ladies entering the luncheon; she decided our event was more fun to attend and she crashed for a few minutes. She said she would be back! Later that night, Kim joined us in the Clever Girls’ Yummie Tummie Suite. We had a ball sipping on bubbly and noshing on tasty cupcakes Good times! We love that, 8 years later, she is still connected with our community.

Blogalicious 2010:  Loni Love, Marc Morial and Kindred The Family Soul

Whew! Let’s talk about Miami, shall we? We had the great honor of having Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League (and former mayor of New Orleans), present our Opening Keynote. We felt inspired as Mr. Morial applauded us for lifting our voices and talked of the important work to be done in our communities. We’ve remained good friends with the Urban League – and Blogalicious family members were invited to live blog President Obama’s speech at their Centennial Conference! A Moment to remember.

And then, there was Loni Love! Presented by McDonald’s – a long-time Blogalicious partner – Loni, a Cafe Mocha Radio personality and co-host on The Real, had us in stitches as she hosted our luncheon AND took the time to interview several bloggers one-on-one.




A private performance for the Blogalicious attendees by Kindred The Family Soul, capped off an evening presented by General Mills (complete with topless waiters serving Yoplait martinis!) The duo was so down to earth and personable that they blessed us with a repeat, surprise, performance the next day. We’ve kept in touch and have been cheering them on ever since, through their webisodes, Wal-mart commercials and more!


Blogalicious 2011:  Jessie Jones, Paula Patton, and Chef Aaron McCargo Jr.

jessie jones

Jessie Jones’, then-founder of U-ology, motivational speech tackledrelationship building.  “We need to develop an “army” with those that want to build with us. If you only have support from 2 people then great, build from there. Don’t waste time with people who won’t support you.” (Quote source: Mommy Factor) We enjoyed having our Canadian brother grace the stage – congrats on your new agency, Jesse!!!


paula (2)

The line for the Cover Girl QUEEN Collection Suite was out the door! That’s because the gorgeous and warm Paula Patton was their brand ambassador on hand to meet and greet with the Blogalicious community. Justice Fergie’s mom was oh-so-tickled when Ms. Patton told her that she should be so very proud of her daughter – we’re proud of you, Paula!




Breakfast for dinner you say? We think that’s a great idea! And so did Aunt Jemima, who brought their brand ambassador, Chef Aaron “Big Daddy” McCargo from the Food Network to Blogalicious. Not only did he perform live cooking demos  and host our Pancake Dinner, but he also took the time to autograph his cookbook: Simply Done, Well Done for everyone in attendance. Keep cookin’ with grease, Chef!



Blogalicious 2012: Mario Armstrong and Doug E. Fresh 


Mario Armstrong kickoff Blogalicious 2012 on a high note. He gave an energizing keynote sharing his entrepreneurship journey, and kept it all the way real by sharing a screenshot of his negative bank account statement to show that the road to entrepreneurship is not always paved in gold. After his keynote, 30+ bloggers continued the conversation outside of the ballroom! Attendees couldn’t get enough to his wisdom and energy. [P.S. Congrats on the launch of The Never Settle Show, Mario!!]



Those of you where were there already know. This is hands down THE BEST closing party we hosted in the history of Blogalicious. Gain took us back to early 90’s and bought Doug E. Fresh to help us relive the nostalgia. Attendees are still talking about this party today! Thanks #GainFresh!!


But wait! There’s MORE. Part 2 Up Next!


Blogalicious 2017: Who would YOU want to see this year? 

who edit

Comment below or tweet us at @beblogalicious with your suggestions!


{P.S. Blogalicious 2017 Weekend call for speakers will open in May! Stay tuned for more details) 

9 Podcasts We Think Are Worth Listening To

New podcasts are popping up in our social media feed daily!  As the web becomes more visual (graphics! video! filters!) it’s refreshing to see growth in a medium that doesn’t require you to have your face beat to share your content. There are so many podcasts worth bookmarking and sharing that we can’t keep up. Here are just a few that are on our radar these days…


1. Super Mamas


Every Tuesday, the Lopez sisters provide a judgment-free space where new, expecting, and experienced mothers can come together to learn from one another; be inspired by each other, and bond over their similar upbringings and cultural background. They’re also super fun and super smart!

2. Myleik – #MyTaughtYou 


The Founder of Curlbox shares gems she’s learned along the way and interviews rising entrepreneurs. Judging by all of the tweets in our feed, her audience LOVES the knowledge she drops and wait for her episodes like folks line up for the new iPhone.


3. Smart Passive Income


Need we say more? Over 10 million followers listen to Pat Flynn share his entrepreneurship and money making tips. As content creators and influencers with our own platforms, it only makes sense to use our skills to our advantage. We should each have at least one passive revenue stream (if not several!) Tune into Pat’s podcast to hit the ground running.


4. Being Boss


Emily and Kathleen share daily insights they’ve learned along the way about being a boss, putting in work and breaking the rules without sacrificing their true selves. We love that they’ve gone from entrepreneurs to having their own successful branding agency, to teaching us how we can ball too.


5. Another Round with Heben and Tracy

another round

Grab your favorite cocktail! Heben and Tracy  cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show backed by the Buzzfeed brand. We’re hooked. ‘Nuff said.

6. Startup Podcast


The StartUp is a podcast about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. Expect interviews, honest stories and tricks of the trade in a beautifully produced format. Season 1 might still be one of our favorites – it’s all about starting up a start up. Meta. Yet brilliant.


7. Fare of the Free Child


fare of the free child

Blogalicious family member, Akilah S. Richards, and her guests discuss the fears and the fares (costs) of raising free black and brown children in a world that tends to diminish, dehumanize, and disappear them. It’s brutally honest and completely necessary. #RaisingFreePeople

8. Gilmore Guys


Whether you love the Gilmore Girls TV show or not, everybody has an opinion on it. Including the Gilmore Guys!  Super fans Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe go deep into Gilmore Girls episode by episode with special guests to analyze, praise, mock, and gab like gals about all things Stars Hollow and beyond. We’re here for it.

9. Call Your Girlfriend


Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere, hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman and produced by Gina Delvac. Every other week, eavesdrop as Aminatou and Ann call each other to discuss the intricacies of pop culture and the latest in politics. It’s inspired at least one blog post by Justice Fergie, and we’re betting they’ll inspire you, too.


These are the 9 podcasts we’re into at the moment – in no particular order. What are yours?  Chime in the comments below. We’re all ears! (pun intended) 

6 Bloggers Share Why They’re Excited About #Blogalicious8


We’ve used the word ‘excited’ so many times to describe our feelings toward #Blogalicious8 that its become cliched at this point. We’ve shared the shimmy on all our sponsors, upcoming sessions, day parties, and so much more. Instead of rehashing what’s already been said, we chose to rely on our community to learn firsthand why their excitement persists. See why 6 bloggers can’t wait to pull up to #Blogalicious8 in Atlanta, Georgia in 2 days.


6 Bloggers Share Why They’re Excited About #Blogalicious8

profile-pic“Blogalicious is the very FIRST blogging conference that I ever attended back in 2013.  At that time I was new to professional blogging.  It was at that conference that I got my very first paid opportunity and it has been uphill ever since. Now I have my own brand! I haven’t missed a Blogalicious conference since that day. Each experience that I have had at these conferences has been positive and uplifting. There is tremendous sisterhood and fellowship and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  I cannot wait to connect (and reconnect) with likeminded people.”

Stacey Taylor

Professional blogger and Social Media consultant





“I’m excited because this is the first conference where I feel like I’ve found my true voice. I’m comfortable being me now, and I know the information I receive at Blogalicious will enhance my skills versus define my skills. When you’re new to the blog world, you can let too much information stifle your true self. I feel like now the sky is truly the limit to what I can learn at Blogalicious because I finally realized the only person I’m competing with is “me.”

“I’m ready to collaborate and learn from some amazing voices. Let’s all win together. Plus, I’m part of the Social Squad, so I can’t wait to serve and help my fellow “Blogging Queens & Kings”.

Pamela Davis





“After attending Stacey Ferguson’s Rock Star Retreat there was no other choice for me but to make sure I did not miss #Blogalicious8! I thought that transitioning from traditional media to #newmedia would either dilute and devalue my brand or that the blog world didn’t have a place for me. That it wasn’t the kind of exposure I was looking for, what do they know that I don’t know? And now I just can’t enough of the opportunities for growth and the new ways to connect and identify with my audience. Since the launch of my new blog, the support from the Blogalicious Community has been fabulous! Knowing that what I do and what I offer is valuable professionally, financially and emotionally. An entire industry, an entirely new audience to reach out to, share with, grow with and be inspired by.” 
Jorge Alvarado
@iamofficiallyjorge – Instagram
@jorgeisofficial – Twitter

“I am beyond thrilled and blessed beyond measure that I am registered for #Blogalicious8. I claimed this awesome conference last year after three years of blogging, praying for a breakthrough, and standing firmly and boldly on my faith.
The blessing of #Blogalicious8 is that the amazing team brought this spectacular opportunity back to Atlanta. As a wife, mother, blogger, and mompreneur I have to schedule my time wisely, and when I  make a commitment to anything in my life it is a family effort, so Atlanta fit perfectly since I am a recent  transplant to the Peach State from Michigan. Last but never least, this is my absolute first blogging conference! I am humbled, honored, and ready to take my blog to the next level, meet like-minded smart people, network and collaborate with new kindred spirits and just have a blast at #Blogalicious8!”
Toiia L. Rukuni MA
Pinterest Marketing Strategy Coach
Mommy Lifestyle Blogger

quianaagbaipic“Blogalicious 2016 will be my 5th time attending and 2nd time speaking. It was the 2nd blogging conference I ever attended, and I was instantly hooked because it felt like family. To see so many of my favorite bloggers in one place while being in a top-notch learning environment has made it a MUST-attend event for me annually. My family has even got in on it! My husband attended my first Blogalicious with me in Las Vegas in 2012, we made a family trip out of it when it was in San Antonio in 2014 when I first spoke and next week in Atlanta my 2-year-old son will be joining me. I attend a lot of conferences but when bloggers ask me if they can only attend one which it should be it’s an easy answer: Blogalicious!” 

Quiana Agbai





leanne-fairweather“My first year attending Blogalicious in 2013 I was a newbie to networking. After participating in the workshops and sessions I gained the confidence to introduce myself, talk about my platform, and learn how to market my brand. Using social media helps me express my interests and stay connected with industry tastemakers. Online is where I can communicate with thought leaders, share my own voice, and create the best version of me. Thanks Blogalicious for recognizing my accomplishments in the digital landscape.”

LeAnne Fairweather







We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. #Blogalicious8 is the conference to attend this year and we truly hope to see you there!

Register for Blogalicious Weekend While We Still Have Tickets!

The Official #Blogalicious8 Tees Are Here!

We’ve partnered with Tees in the Trap for the third year in a row to bring you the official #Blogalicious8 tees:



No IOU’s.
No layaway.
No payment plan.
What is a bitcoin? Nah!
No gift cards.
Exposure doesn’t pay my bills.
Show me the money!

In other words…Checks or it didn’t happen!





Don’t worry about what I’m doing. Don’t ask about my next move. #StealthMode until I launch. Don’t believe me? Just watch.


The shirts are available in black OR grey and limited quantities. Once they are gone, they are GONE! Click here to order your official #Blogalicious8 tee. 

If you are attending Blogalicious Conference in Atlanta November 3-5, you may opt to pick up your shirt on-site. Select “Ship Everywhere Else” option and we’ll have your shirt ready at the bStore.

All You Need to Know About February’s ‘He Named Me Malala’ Premiere

We’re excited to announce that Malala Yousafzai’s incredible story, He Named Me Malala, will have its commercial-free television premiere on Monday, February 29th on the National Geographic channel at 8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm CT.



We had the honor of screening the film at Blogalicious Weekend 2015. Malala’s story is powerful and reinforces the principles of gratitude, courage, community and humility. We stood with Malala last summer and are excited to do it again on February 29th.

Watch this two minute trailer to learn more about the young heroine.


This film is one your family and friends can watch. Please share the news of the premiere with your social media family by sharing this tweet:

#HeNamedMeMalala premieres commercial free on @natgeochannel 2/29 @ 8/7c! Stand #withMalala + watch with your family


Follow the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai online: 

  • Twitter handles: @malalafund
  • Hashtags: #HeNamedMeMalala #withMalala
  • Instagram: @malalafund
  • Facebook:
  • Malala Fund URL:


Important Premiere Details: 

— Date: Monday, February 29, 2016

— Time: 8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm CT

— Channel: National Geographic (@natgeochannel)

— Film: He Named Me Malala

— Disclaimer: You might experience immense joy, humility, tears, laughter, inspiration and gratitude!


Will you stand #withMalala?



He Named Me Malala Premiere | Be Blogalicious

It’s Summertime: Don’t Forget to Come #OutToPlay! {sponsored}

Don’t you feel like summertime gives everyone permission to be a kid again? Wearing cute sandals, splashing in the pool and swinging in the hammock on our patio all take me back to summertime as a little girl – growing up in Montreal meant that summertime was cherished  because, before you knew it, it would be even too cold to snow.  Now that I’m grown (in theory), I try to treat summertime with the same amount of anticipation and appreciation so that my kids consider it as special as I do.

Since Hubby LOVES being outside anyway (a Florida boy, born and raised), it take zero convincing to get him to hang out by the firepit on a mild summer evening or to head out saltwater fishing – his most favorite pastime.  One of my family’s most favorite summer fun activities is to attend outdoor festivals.  WE LOVE THEM.  And, in DC, we have no shortage of outdoor festivals to choose from and to keep us playing outdoors.

Technically the summer season hasn’t officially begun and we’ve already been to the Colors of the Caribbean Festival at Strathmore and the Capital Jazz Fest at Merriweather Post Pavillion.  And we’re gearing up for a full summer of tons more, including going out with a bang during Labor Day Weekend; last summer we hit up Jazz In the Garden at the National Sculpture Garden, The National Book Festival and the DC Blues Festival – all in one weekend!  We even made it to the last Truckeroo food truck festival of the season last year. We were one of the only adults with kids in tow, but it didn’t bother us in the least.

Why Do We Love Outdoor Festivals So Much?

  1. They’re low-maintenance.  We don’t have to be there at a specific time or wear a certain kind of attire or bring a dish.  We’re all about get-up-and-go around here.
  2. There’s something for everyone.  Be it music or food or games or dancing or really awesome people-watching; everyone in the family, from Mom and Dad to L’il Buddy can expect at least some enjoyment out of a festival outing.
  3. The energy is contagious. There’s just something about a large group of people getting together for a good time. The mood is light and the smiles are plenty – throw in some funnel cake and a live band, and you’ve got a recipe for a levity.

I recently co-hosted an outdoor festival of sorts with Blogalicious community members Jessica McFadden of A Parent In Silver Spring and Amy Mascott of TeachMama on behalf of CLIF Kid – makers of super delicious and nutritious snacks for our little ones.  CLIF Kid is dedicated to reclaiming play, and they’re encouraging boys and girls (and families!) everywhere to get back outside, push their boundaries and feed their adventures.  The brand has taken great care in creating CLIF Kid snacks to give kids fantastic-tasting food with the right kind of nutrition they need for their growing, active bodies. To demonstrate their commitment to play, CLIF Kid created an online Hub to inspire outdoor experiences that will encourage kids (and parents) to get outside and be kids.

ClifKid Collage 1

We chose a local splashground in the city where we live to host our CLIF Kid party – and it was a hit!  Let’s see if it meets my checklist for Outdoor Festival Fun:

It Was Low-Maintenance. Check!

All we had to do was to invite our friends to join us on a certain date and time and be ready to splash! With help from CLIF Kid, we were able to provide some simple play snacks and easy outdoor games.  The gazebo at the splashground provided the perfect respite from the heat and housed a spread of fresh fruit and vegetables and dip in addition to BUCKETS of CLIF Kid Zbars and Zfruit twists, as well as bubbles, hula hoops and sidewalk chalks for the kiddos to grab and giggle with.

There Was Something for Everyone. Check!

The splashground was brilliant because all ages were able to enjoy the afternoon.  The smallest of babes could play in the gentle spray; the bigger kids could splash to their hearts’ content in the big waterfall; the sports fanatics (there were lots!) were able to hit the baseball diamond for a game; and the parents were able to kick back and chat as their kids played, worry-free.

The Energy Was Contagious. Check!

I can speak from personal experience that the energy was contagious.  My kids and I arrived with at least one 9-year-old in tears because a certain little brother of hers had just deleted her Minecraft house that had taken her 3 hours to build.  And, at least one 10-year-old was already in her Tween ‘mood’ because she was anticipating that there wouldn’t be any kids her age there and it would be boooring.

Let me tell you that it just took one run through that waterfall and all troubles were washed away!  All three of them had a blast and played with all of the kids there and ate up all of the snacks and way too many Zfruit twists.

My best friend of 18 years even came and brought her two little girls, so Mama had a chance to catch up with her friends too.

Clif KID 2

In the spirit of the CLIF Kid #OutToPlay initiative, I want to encourage you and your family to check out at least one new outdoor festival this summer! Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to have a great time:

Outdoor Festival Checklist

  • Find festival that is kid-friendly (and one that allows you to bring your own cooler is a bonus!)
  • A cooler (if permitted). Pack it with cold beverages and a few snacks. You’ll most likely end up buying a funnel cake or gyro or two, but at least you’ll have some munchies to buy you some time before hitting the concession stand lines.
  • A blanket and folding chairs. It’s always a good idea to roll with your own seating – that way you’re not at the mercy of the venue.
  • Sunscreen, mosquito spray, hats and shades. For, you know, outside.
  • Hit the potty before you enter the festival. Festival restrooms are never a good look.

Here’s to seizing the rest of your summer by feeding your adventure and discovering new frontiers in the great outdoors. After all, a family that plays together, stays together.  Show us how your family plays by sharing a fun summer activity using the hashtag #outtoplay!


This post is sponsored by CLIF Kid in partnership with One2One Network. All opinions are my own!

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