Five Things I Learned at Chicago Toy and Game Fair

This past weekend I totally had a blast learning about what Chicago Toy & Game Fair was all about.  My friend Cindy Simmons joined me as we hit up the floor to PLAY PLAY PLAY!  

You can see all the Chitag videos here. But everyone asks me about the event and I have a hard time really describing it.  But if you've ever been to Toy Fair in NYC it's about 1/10th of that plus kids, consumers & lots of PLAYFUL fun!

Games are biggies in our house and we have about 20 deck of cards.  But when I saw the TAGIE AWARDS with these cards on the table, I knew there was something totally fun about them so I grabbed one and put it in my purse.  Then today when I was going through all my laundry and luggage I decided to see what was in that box.  SO COOL!  It's a card of actual inventors.  

From the inventor of Rainbow Loom to the inventor of the Crazy Kart - here are Five Things I Learned at Chitag:

A Fearless Ghost Zapping Mom

According to Boston:

On the train to nyc

On the train to nyc

My Mom is a Fearless Ghost-Zapping Mom

I struggle. Every single day. I wonder if I'm good enough, smart enough, fast enough, talented enough. I doubt myself ridiculously in everything I do. Especially this past year. I'm in this transition in my life that often has me questioning my worth. My value & even my sense of humor.

I have the tendency to internalize all my struggles. And when something goes wrong I immediately think it's all my fault. In fact, this past year a few things happened where I had to make pretty significant changes in my professional life. Business relationship didn’t turn out the way I thought it might. It can be difficult to mix business and friendship, and that’s a lesson I learned the hard way. In the end, though, we are all moms just trying to do the best we can for ourselves and our families. We’re all unstoppable in our own way, and there’s a sense of peace that comes in recognizing that.

When you work for yourself the ebbs and flow are all over the place. There are so many times when I'm unsure of what I'm doing. But every time I learn something new that I was approaching all wrong - I focus on what I learned from that moment. But boy, as a business owner - those face plants HURT when they happen! 

Every single day I have doubts. But there is one big thing that I will NEVER doubt. I may not be able to control the actions of others - but I am 100% in control of my own. 

So what do I do to keep myself up when I can easily crawl into a hibernated state of self doubt & misery?

I wake up. I put one foot in front of the other and I FAKE IT till I MAKE IT. I don't claim to have all the right answers. In fact, 99% of the time I GOOGLE it! I am the first to admit when I did something wrong. I'm always the first to apologize because conflict gives me anxiety. 

My friend Cindy Simmons lives by ‘just be kind’ mantra like I do. She's a smart mama for sure & she too has had significant struggles in life.  Hence, Surviving Mommy is her digital home.  There are so many GREAT women in this world like Cindy who thrive on building other women up. And I got the chance to experience that while in New York in September. Not only by the other women in the campaign but from Kelly Ripa AND her daughter!

Truth be told, the opportunity to take part in this campaign with Children's MOTRIN® couldn't have come at a better time in my own life. I am often asked how I get these amazing opportunities like meeting Kelly Ripa and watching my son light up the universe with his charm.  Know what I say? 

I have absolutely no idea. 

But ya know what I have to remind myself?

This opportunity was afforded because I AM unstoppable. 

Motherhood has given me this superhero strength that only God can really create.  And when I doubt myself I look at my boys and see what genuinely caring kids they are. When they see someone hurting? They both RUN to them to cheer them up. They got that from me, I suppose. A characteristic in a human being that isn't so bad after all. Compassion. Go figure.

I'm going to continue to use myself as a platform to help others. I have a story to tell. And an opportunity to shines some light in a very dark world.  Not to mention, I have four eyes watching my every move. Two very important people growing up in this world need me to be fully aware & engaged. They need to see the difference between right and wrong. They need to see me fall but they REALLY need to see how I get back up and go for it again. 

When I first told Boston about this fun getaway in September, I knew that I wanted him to LEARN something aside from how cool he was going to be after doing an ad campaign with Children's Motrin® & Kelly Ripa.  Did I know what kind of 'teachable moment' this whole experience was going to be? Not a clue. Boy am I grateful though for seeing those teachable moments for what they are.

This experience with Children's Motrin® happened for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. I am on a mission in 2016 to focus on the positive. The raw, unedited - yet polished - part of living. During this video shoot, Kelly Ripa was a shining example. Funny story... so she was shooting with Boston and her crew was sitting in seats watching the shoot and I leaned forward and asked an adorable woman to snap a pic of Boston's smile for me because I couldn't see She was all over it!  She smiled, was attentive to my questions and even commented on what an adorable boy he was. I didn’t know it at the time but guess who that girl turned out to be? KELLY RIPA'S DAUGHTER!! 

So if Kelly Ripa, one of the brightest stars in television can raise amazing kids that are kind, thoughtful and genuinely GREAT people? We ALL can do this. This world is giant. There is plenty of room in it for all of us to live. 

And ya know what else? 



Meet my amazing mom friends!  Becky, penelope, kristin, amanda, heather & kelly!!!

Meet my amazing mom friends!  Becky, penelope, kristin, amanda, heather & kelly!!!


I have been compensated by, and received information and materials from, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, the makers of Children’s MOTRIN®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

Visit to create your own My Unstoppable Mom book cover with your kids and celebrate your unstoppable power as a mom seen through the eyes of your kids! Also, visit #MyUnstoppableMom to learn more about how the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® are supporting literacy for those in need. 

Also, hop on over to Twitter, December 3 at noon ET for a twitter chat with #MyUnstoppableMom & the other awesome moms who experienced this journey with me. 

7 Really Great Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

You Procrastinator you!

We're set in my house.  Darth Vader and a couple Storm Troopers up in here!

But I saw this on and it got me in the holiday spirit!



You can actually buy them at the costume shop - but why when you can MAKE YOUR OWN POO! ha.  My favorite emoji by the way. But there are some really great ones out there!  

소녀와 소년 이모티콘. Girl + Boy 👫 #AmericanApparel #AAHalloween

A photo posted by American Apparel Korea (@aakorea) on


And this is the easiest ever!  Put on a wedding dress and sneakers.  Run Forrest RUN!

Ok, so I don't have time to share anymore cause I gotta grab a costume and head to my kids Halloween parties!  

But, I surely don't want you to stay indoors because you don't have a costume - so check out a (VERY) old video that I made with some seriously fun ideas!






Three Things NOT To Do On Periscope #RealMomTruth

Are you on Periscope? 

You TOTALLY should be!  

This year I have set myself up for a big, fat, slap of reality.  Reality in every direction of my life.  From family to friends, business, neighbors, all of it.  Even you.  My dear 5 friends that still come back here in hopes of getting the REAL Joey to return.  You have all made it abundantly clear that I have to step out from behind a keyboard and in front of the truth.  So, that is what I'm doing.  I'm going to #LiveYourTruth.  I won't always call myself out - but if I do - it will be visually.  Instagram or on Periscope.  Mainly Periscope because I believe wholeheartedly in authenticity.  And hiding behind a computer screen really stifles the authenticity of the person in front of it.  So, living the truth.

My friend Cindy Simmons and I are on a journey of self discovery.  Living life out loud.  And using it as a sense of accountability for ourselves.  Starting this month you will find #RealityMoms on Periscope with our #RealMomScopes Show.  Yes, I know.  How do you have a duo titled with a hashtag?  Lame, right?  Nope.  Brilliant.  And we're sharing why in our show so WATCH US!!!  lol

Ok, aside from that entirely shameless plug - let's talk about the popular P place.  

Three Things NOT to do on Periscope

1) Don't scope the Pope. 

WHAT?  Yeah.  Not necessarily the Pope but important people in your life.  Don't do it UNLESS you have 100% gotten them signed off on broadcasting them.  **You can rip them in your blogs but a PUBLIC & LIVE broadcast?  Eh...NO.  Be the bigger person.  (Don't rip them in your blog either unless it's a subtle and no one knows. Ahem.)

It's funny because my friend Cindy and I were just talking about this the other day.  She scoped someone at a conference we were at and that someone totally jumped her for scoping near her kids!  Which is totally fine and understandable, but it was a SOCIAL MEDIA EVENT!  Not to mention, there is no privacy with kids anymore.  

Notice that I'm NOT saying that you should do it.  I am saying, if you DO know the people in your scope then by all means let them know ahead of recording.  And don't get mad if they shoot you down.  It's their life truth too.  But pissing off a family member is NOT worth the scope session.  Promise. 

2) Don't cuss.  

I know.  I find myself cussing.  A LOT on Periscope.  In fact... just today, a guy was harassing me and I blurted out to him to go "f" himself.  Oh yes.  Classy of me, I know. I do it because I KNOW my mother is not watching it.  Cause she would have disowned me by now.  But that is a BAD thing.  I am now going to act as if my mother IS watching it. So mind your manners, Joey.  And you too who grabs that scope time.  Think about it it as if 'What would I NEVER do in front of my mother' and then LIVE it.  At least in your live broadcast. **Editors NOTE:  She IS watching it. Game over. lol

3)  Don't lie.  

Don't lie to yourself.  Your viewer. Your mother.  Just #LiveYourTruth.  If you think you need some accountability - go there!  I find myself opening up a LOT when I'm on Periscope.  Sometimes more than should be - but it's a work in progress.  But honesty is the best policy for sure!

But at the end of the day - all about REALITY!  Be REAL.  Authentic.  

***Drops the scope-mic.

By the way - leading a whole conversation at PA Conference for Women about live video and how to use it for your biz!  Are you coming?