As most of you know, I just walked in my front door this afternoon after spending a fabulous week in Turks & Caicos thanks to Beaches Resorts! For the past 5 years Beaches Resorts has hosted an event called “Social Media On The Sand” (SMOTS) where they invite top parent influencers to their resort for a week of sharpening business skills beachside with our families! That’s right, the awesome people at Beaches let the kids and hubby’s tag along for all the fun. Not very often brands include family too!!!
This is the 3rd year I have been blessed with a SMOTS invite and the first I was actually able to attend since there weren’t weather issues canceling the event! Yes, that really happened!!!! If you follow my travels, I swear hurricanes follow me everywhere and those hurricanes do not discriminate against SMOTS events lol.
Since all the business knowledge I picked up from incredible business minds like Jamie Kern Lima (Founder It Cosmetics) Daymond John (Shark Tank/FUBU) and Rebecca Minkoff is fresh on my mind, I figured I would share my takeaways before getting into all the why you need to go to Beaches NOW content! I’m sure all my fellow boss babes can use a tip or two and these business minds had a few fabulous ones I just need to share!!!
Don’t Let Copycats Intimidate You.
This is honestly the biggest thing I left Turks feeling better about. I may only be considered a macro-influencer, but other influencers love to copy me! People in my very own backyard don’t even hide the fact they copy everything down to what I eat, drink and say online! If I’m keeping it real with y’all it low-key makes me self conscious. Like how would other people know I was the original?! How would readers know I started that trend? Having your hard work and ideas ripped off is a horrible feeling to deal with.
Then I heard Jamie Kern Lima give a very inspirational pep talk about copycats! She created a billion dollar beauty business and had brands bigger than her steal her ideas and you know what? They eventually failed at what she was excelling at because people know when others are faking things.
The truth always comes out! My ideas and what I say are real online and will be the same real 10 years from now. I never plan on changing only growing as a person and brand! These copy cats can only copy for so long before they get burnt out and can’t keep up with the lie anymore! People will eventually see right through it all and click that unfollow button.
Long story short, all of us boss babes need to stay in our own lanes and keep on kicking ass ignoring those copycats. They will take themselves out eventually.
Numbers Do Not Matter
Long gone are the days where only youtubers with millions of subscribers are the only ones to make that cash! According to speakers from both google/YouTube and Facebook/IG, brands are looking for community these days. It’s the macro influencer time to shine!!!! Same with you micro influencers!
Have a strong community behind your blog/socials?
Share that in your pitches!!!
Likes/followers are a thing of the past and those shares/comments mean way more when it comes to cashing in and making your dream job of creating content for a living a reality!
Figure out your “secret sauce” for sharing on your insta stories! The good news is I tend to over share on my stories and I was pretty much told that I should keep on doing that! No such thing as over sharing since over half a billion people actively post to their stories daily!!! That’s right half a freaking billion since stories are an amazing tool to let your community into your life!
Blog about vacations?! Share how you find those amazing vacation deals on those stories!
Is makeup your jam?! Do your daily makeup on your stories!
People love to see the un edited version of your brand, so share it!
Not Balancing It All? You’re Normal!
One thing I have struggled with since the beginning of The Trophy WifeStyle is balancing it all! I may look like I have it all together online, but in real life? Hahahaha! If my family life is better than ever on insta stories, then the business side of my blog sucks! If I‘m pumping out bomb content 24/7, I’m probably neglecting my family more than I would like to admit! The worst part about all of this is that my business is built on my family! This is what I write about so how am I not able to balance it all and fit everything and everyone in perfectly?!?! I felt like I was failing in life since my work/family life balance is never even! What if I said this is normal and every last person feels this way!
Daymond John from Shark Tank/FUBU didn’t hide the fact that this was one of his biggest struggles. If a Shark can feel this way that has employees helping him on the daily, little ole me with zero employees feeling like I suck at balancing it all is ok.
We just have to figure out a rhythm that works for us and flow with it! We will never be 100% balanced and that’s ok and normal and we shouldn’t stress about it too much. My family doesn’t hate me and my blog is doing better than ever, so I must be doing something right! That balancing it all stress is a total time sucker we need to eliminate so we can use those extra minutes to better our families and/or businesses!
Y’all ready for another Las Vegas post?!? I’ve been fighting the worst cold EVER all week, so I’ve actually had a chance to catch up on all my travel writing! I don’t want to contaminate the masses, so I’ve literally been living on my computer typing away all week for entertainment!
Since a “review” of the Las Vegas High Roller would be rather cheesy. We already know it’s freaking AWESOME! I figured I would pass along a few tips. There are a few things I wish I knew ahead of time and I’m going to pass this info on to you so you can have the most epic experience ever and spin away with zero regrets!
1. Bring The Fancy Camera, Tripods Etc!
This is one excursion I’m kicking myself for not only leaving the DSLR in the hotel room, but not even bringing a tripod for my phone! The view is pretty sweet AND the ride is long enough that you can chill with the fam, enjoy a cocktail AND shoot those epic pics and still have a few minutes to spare! If I were to do it all over, you best believe my DSLR & my tripod would be joining me.
2. Make Sure You Have Plenty Of Time!
This is definitely an excursion you want to have plenty of time for! Definitely not an activity to kill some time unless that amount of time is longggggg. While the wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution, plan on at least an hour to accommodate entering and exiting the wheel. There is a bar, professional photos etc before you even enter the pod! Thankfully I never plan too much at the same time, so we were fine time-wise, but the one thing I overheard others mention while wondering The Linq was not planning enough time and being rushed to get to the next excursion on their schedule!
3. Buy All The Drinks & Snacks!
Just do it! The ride is longer than you think and you will be thanking yourself that you purchased those drinks and snacks! The champagne looks so chic in my photos, but I definitely wish I went with a real cocktail or maybe even a dry wine so my drink wasn’t gone in 2 sips!
4. Purchase Your Tickets Ahead Of Time!
I was so thankful that I’m a huge planner and purchased our tickets ahead of time because the standby line the day we went? Wholly molly!!!!! Since we purchased tickets online, we skipped the long line and headed right inside to the AC! I was so happy I didn’t have to stand outside in the Vegas heat sweating to death waiting and waiting to get inside!
5. Use The Bathroom Before Entering The Pod!
This tip is for all the drinkers and small kids!!! Even if you don’t feel like peeing, just go! Obviously there are no bathrooms inside the pods, so take care of things before you board. You’re welcome;-)
Have you been on the Las Vegas High Roller?
Hi y’all!!! I’m back! Did you miss me while I was chillen with Mickey?!? Sorry to go completely dark over here, but a break from routine was needed and honestly it was exactly what your girl needed! My mind is so rested now and I’m ready to pump out that bomb content you expect from me.
The first of many topics I plan to touch on in the next few weeks is Frontier Airlines! I posted a photo of my daughter on my insta stories and I got swarmed with questions! Basically the same question worded slightly different over and over.
That question?! What do I think of Frontier Airlines?!?!
Since my flight experience is so fresh in my mind, I figured I would start with telling you the pro’s and con’s! That way you can make a decision for yourself on whether you take Frontier on your next family vacation!
Price ~ I’m pretty sure the only reason anyone is drawn to Frontier Airlines is due to the price. They are so much cheaper than every other airline!!! My family of 3 flew to Las Vegas DURING SPRING BREAK for $300 + bags! Our trip to Disney over Labor Day?!? $375 + bags! You can’t beat these prices!!!
Luggage Cost ~ $38 a bag!!!! Most major airlines charge $25, so the luggage price is slightly higher. Honestly though, it’s not ridiculously high like other budget airlines, and even after adding it to your round trip ticket, this con isn’t that bad! Worst case scenario? Share a large suitcase since you get 50lbs!!!
No Carry-On ~ you can take one personal item with you and that is it!!! The personal item can be a small backpack. Think laptop backpacks and children’s backpacks, even purses. Basically anything that fits under the seat in front of you. Want to bring a carryon suitcase and place it in the overhead?’ That will cost you! Honestly, this con really does not affect many. Just choose if you’re checking or carrying your luggage. It’s going to cost you the same for that bag being placed on or under that plane!
No “Free” Drinks ~ While there are flight attendants that serve beverages, those beverages will cost you! That’s right! No “free” in flight soda! They need to cut corners somewhere and this is apparently one corner they cut! Annoying? Yes! But you can always bring a drink on the plane with your if you really need that in flight soda that bad.
Seat Assignments Cost You ~ want guaranteed seat assignments?!? Again, that will cost you! Honestly, this is something all airlines seem to be doing these days! Even American wants you to pay for those guaranteed seats! So annoying! I however have never once paid for a guaranteed seat since I’m always flying with a small child. I have always asked for seats together at the airport if I happen to get a separated seat assignment and they place me with my daughter.
Emergency Situations ~ Now this is what made me write this very post! While this is just an overall sucky situation, it’s something you need to consider when booking a flight on any budget airline! If your flight needs to be canceled for any reason! Say a hurricane named Dorian was headed your direction and your flight gets canceled?! You are straight out of luck! You either get a refund or a rescheduled flight when they happen to have an empty seat! You see, small airlines are not alliances with other airlines! Your flight on Delta gets canceled?! No big deal! They are partners with several other airlines and can possibly put you on another flight with a partner airline that day. Frontier however cannot do that. We had to take a refund and drive ourselves home since our flight was canceled due to weather and the next available flight was 4 days later. Unless we wanted to stay in a hotel for 4 more nights, we had zero choice but to drive a rental car home! While these situations are rare, they do happen and they are something you should think about when booking your vacation!
While my list of cons definitely outweighs the pro’s, you may be shocked to hear me say I would fly Frontier Airlines again! You just can’t beat the price and the con’s aren’t that bad! The worst is the emergency situations, but how often are you stuck in a hurricane in Orlando of all places?!?! That really doesn’t happen too often believe it or not. I lived in Orlando for 8 years! Orlando is where people evacuate to, not evacuate from! It was a rare situation that just sucked for everyone!
However, flying out of the country on Frontier?! I think I would pass on that since getting stranded over seas or even in the Caribbean?!? Ughh! That sounds like a nightmare! I will forever fly out of the country on airlines I know are partners with many!!!
Cheap airline tickets to Disney or Vegas?!? Sign me up! I will take the risk knowing I can eventually get myself home if an emergency were to happen.
I know what you are thinking!!!! Really Courtney? Sunflower field tips?! Yes really! I know last year I would have been rolling my eyes at such a topic! Then I went to my first sunflower field and boy was I not prepared. You best believe I wish I would have skimmed what I assumed would be a pointless post before going on my first sunflower adventure.
On Monday Haylie and I went back to our favorite Sunflower Field, Sunflowers of Sanford NY for the second year in a row. We were definitely prepared this time around and I will fill you in on what you need to know below :)
1. Bring Water ~ You will be doing a lot of walking! Even if you don’t feel like carrying a bottle of water around with you, have a bottle in the car for when you are finished. You will be doing more walking than you expect. You will thank yourself later that you brought that bottle of water along with you on your Sunflower adventure since it gets hot!!!
2. Shoes ~ I know you want to look insta fabulous for those sunflower photos, but wear an old pair of shoes or sandals. Old sneakers would be preferred since it is a muddy field, but if you’re like me, you want to look glam. Rock an old pair of sandals that you care less about, so when they get dirty, you could care less.
3. Weather ~ Check the weather. Last year we went on our sunflower adventure the day after it rained! Even though it was 85 degrees and sunny, the field was still a muddy mess! I so wish we would have waited a day or two for the field to dry up! Our feet were covered in mud by the time we left.
4. Bring Cash ~ If you plan on picking your own Sunflowers to bring home, plan on bringing some cash! I think it’s safe to assume most Sunflower fields are cash only! Thankfully this was something I assume about all farms so I was prepared, but a lot of other folks were disappointed to leave Sunflower-less.
5. Timing is Everything ~ Sunflowers topically have a lifespan of two weeks. That’s right, you have two weeks once those sunflower bloom to snag those insta shots! You want to stalk the sunflower farm near you to find out when the sunflowers are due to bloom and head on over ASAP. If you wait too long, you will end up like us last year with droopy sunflowers in the background.
6. Beware of Bumblebees ~ Sunflower fields are like Disneyland for bumblebees. They are everywhere. If you’re allergic to bumblebees, you might want to stay away, or at least wear some bug spray!
Have you been to a sunflower field?
Another fabulous Big Bounce America weekend has come and gone! We had so much fun at last years Big Bounce America event in Buffalo, that we had to go back again this year! We heard that there were so many new additions to the event that we just HAD to check them out!!!
Since we like to think of ourselves as pros at this point, I figured I would share a few tips since so many people keep asking me if the Junior Session is “safe” from crazy older kids? I figured I would give everyone some peace of mind here and tell you yes!!!! Your kiddos are safe and give you a few other fabulous tips you may need to enjoy your day at the Big Bounce America!!
1. Be Prepared To Run ~ while I feel like adults will have just as much fun as the kiddos, be prepared to run all over that bounce house! It wasn’t just my daughter bouncing off at lighting speed. Everywhere I would look I would see a parent racing after their kiddo. You don’t realize how fast your kids are until you look away for 2 seconds and they are off to another corner of the bounce house! So much fun, but you will literally lose 729202 calories from all that bouncing and chasing you will do! No need to work out for about a week now lol.
2. Pick A Meeting Spot ~ Just Incase you do lose your kiddo, before you start to even bounce, choose a meeting spot. If your kiddo loses you, they know where to head. We chose the DJ booth since it was smack in the middle. Easy to find and you can still have fun if you get separated bouncing to the tunes! Thankfully we did not have to use our meeting spot, but it did give me peace of mind knowing we had one just Incase the unthinkable happened!
3. Who Can Bounce?? ~ Any kids aged 7 & under and their parents/caretakers!!! No big kids allowed which is nice if you have little ones. Unfortunately this does mean if you are the mama to a few older kids and want to attend Big Bounce America as a family, you will need to attend the older kid sessions since older kids are not permitted.
4. What Goes On Inside The Bounce House? ~ Inside the bounce house they have inflatable activities such as basketball hoops, obstacle runs! They have inflatable chill out areas (big boats, oversized sofas, palm trees etc), inflatable animals and characters for you to grab a photo with, slides, ball pits and all manner of awesome entertainment!!! There is also an awesome DJ Spinning age appropriate tunes such as Frozen and Dora the Explore. So fun and nice since every kid trying to do these activities is under 7! You don't have to worry about too much since all the kids are pretty young! No fighting etc, just a bunch of little ones having fun.
5. Bring Water! ~ While yes, Big Bounce America does have a water stand with Dixi Cups, I would recommend bringing your own water. You will be crazy thirsty after all that bouncing and depending on how your event is set up, the water station may be far away. Our station was on the complete opposite end of the Main bounce house. Bring a water bottle! You will thank me later!!!
Have you been to the Big Bounce America?
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.