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the mamabird diaries

Mar
23
2018

(This is a sponsored post for the Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel. All ideas are my own.) 

When you think of an airport hotel, what do you think about?

Super convenient for frequent travelers but probably not the hippest accommodations around, right?

Not anymore. Seriously.

I recently had the chance to review the Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel (a Marriott property) at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

It only opened 10 months ago. And it’s gorgeous. It’s got a contemporary vibe with lots of southern inspiration.

You’ll find cool couch swings, wicker chairs and lots of different areas to lounge and relax in the bright space.

It also has a super cool bar. I enjoyed an insanely good cafe mocha (choice of dark chocolate or white chocolate) on a recent morning.

You can enjoy delicious southern cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, Hickory & Hazel. It’s locally inspired with a New Orleans twist. Did someone say New Orleans?! One of my most favorite cities EVER so you know I was impressed.

There are some cool, quirky things about the hotel that I just loved…

The office meeting space is creative and contemporary – taking a little of the boredom out of those long meetings when Lila from accounting can’t stop talking. (Now my apologies to anyone name Lila who actually works in accounting.)

Quotes of inspiration in the hallways…

A question mark or exclamation mark on every door. What does this mean?! Mysterious.

The housekeeping employees are called stylists because they style your room. So you kind of get your own stylist. Glamorous!

The windows have a triple pane which means you can see but can’t hear the planes. And we all know planes are meant to be seen and not heard.

It is steps from the Sky Train (which takes you to the airport) and then you can get on MARTA to get into the city. It’s also close to the Georgia International Convention Center.

And you have access to the indoor salt water pool across the street at the sister Atlanta Marriott Gateway hotel. Plus, another Marriott property, Springhill Suites is also walking distance. And the Delta Flight Museum is close by and a great place to visit with kids.

And once you’re in Atlanta, there are all kinds of things to do… The Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca Cola, The Children’s Museum and my favorite activity… eating biscuits.

Hot Little Biscuit? That might be my new nickname!

You can find more info on the Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel here.

Plus, follow on Facebook @RenaissanceAtlantaAirportGatewayHotel

And on Twitter @RenATLGateway, #GatewaytoDiscovery


Mar
21
2018

If you come to South Florida, you’ll immediately notice the driving is uh… very creative.

Like for example, if someone is all the way in the left lane and suddenly wants to get off at an exit, they will somehow skillfully drive across four lanes of traffic – while also avoiding a couch someone dumped on the side of the highway – and get off at their exit. It’s sort of impressive. And crazy.

There don’t seem to be a lot of rules on South Florida roads. And using a turn signal seems very optional.

Which is why I laughed when I saw this…

I mean how bad is the situation on Florida roads if someone is motivated to write that on their window?!

And then about 5 minutes after seeing that car, I got pulled over. What?! I’ve never been pulled over in Fort Lauderdale.

So what was my offense? NOT USING MY TURN SIGNAL. Yup.

I mean, allegedly.

Am I about to get a ticket for accidentally not using my turn signal because I was too busy thinking about a car that was promoting the need to use turn signals?

(I was trying to explain irony the other day to 7-year-old Harlowe and I think I may have an example.)

I started to apologize but then suddenly a teenager comes weaving down the street on a skateboard going the wrong way.

The officer shouted out, “You can’t skateboard there!”

And the teenager angrily shouted back, “Yes I can!”

And then they started getting into a shouting match. The officer suddenly turned to me and said – “You’re free to go!”

Really??

Yes, really.

Well, I know from watching cop shows that when an officer tells you, “you are free to go” –  YOU GO.

So I did. I couldn’t believe my luck. And with all my children in the car, I knew I had taught them an important lesson.

When you’ve made a mistake, pray like heck that someone else comes along that makes a bigger mistake so you get away scot-free.

Wait, no, that’s not it.

The lesson is… use your turn signal. Even in Florida.


Feb
27
2018

Not too long ago, 7 year old Chase wrecked on his scooter.

Almost every day, Chase and Harlowe bike or scooter to school with me running behind them, carrying their backpacks like some underpaid sherpa and yelling out extremely calming statements like, “WATCH OUT FOR THE BUS. A BUS IS COMING DOWN THE STREET!! DO YOU SEE THE BUS?!”

So Chase was scootering and all of a sudden, he was a heap on the ground.

I ran over to him. I mean, maybe not the speed at which I would have run over to my first child if they had fallen but I promise you, there was definitely a quickening to my step.

As I got to him, he was pulling himself up. I said, “Chase, are you ok?!” (As a parent, always add some urgency to your voice so they are convinced of your concern. It’s also important to not look at your phone while you are doing this. That’s a free parenting tip right there.)

Chase looked up at me with worry in his eyes and said… “Is my hair messed up?”

 

That was it. Despite some scratches and a possibly bruised leg, he only had one overriding concern and it was his hair.

Chase’s hair has become quite a focus.

It’s always garnered considerable attention because of its reddish color. Many a person has sauntered over to Chase to proclaim, “I wish I could bottle that color!” at which point Chase gives the person a sheepish look that says, “I wish I could get people to stop talking to me about my hair.”

But then one day, he started styling it.

The styling process involves wetting his entire head in the morning, slicking it back and then asking me to hairspray it in place.

But wait, that’s not it.

An important part of the process also seems to be asking his sister Harlowe and me roughly 10 million times if his hair has been messed up.

Things that he worries could mess up his hair…

  1. bike helmet
  2. the slightest breeze
  3. wrestling with his brother
  4. gravity
  5. not enough hair spray
  6. anyone touching it
  7. anyone looking at it
  8. anyone talking about it

But for the most part, it always looks pretty perfect.

If perfect is slicked back and sprayed with strawberry scented Suave max hold.

Now Rick has been talking about the importance of hair for a long time and maybe it just finally sunk in for Chase. Although I don’t think Rick ever mentioned strawberry scented Suave max hold.

And for all those desperate to know… that day when he crashed on his scooter and fell on the tough, unforgiving streets of Fort Lauderdale?

His hair was thankfully okay.

 


Feb
02
2018

(This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging campaign. All opinions are my own.)

On my 19th birthday, I distinctly remember saying to my best friend, “I’m getting old.”

Yup. 19 years and I was practically ready to start researching senior homes.

Where had I gotten this clearly crazy idea?!

Cindy Gallop, a legendary advertising exec, digital entrepreneur and the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn knows exactly why.

(Photo credit: Brady Hahn)

Gallop says, our attitudes towards age and aging are set very early.

We hear our mothers not want to mention their age.

We are influenced by pop culture that often seems to only value youth.

And the advertising industry can promote this idea to ridiculous lengths. “We live in a world where beauty manufacturers sell beauty aging cream to teenage girls,” says Gallop.

I’m definitely starting to understand why my 19 year old self was worried about my fleeting youth.

So we know the problem. And according to Gallop, women can take an active role in fixing it.

First step, don’t hide your age.

Gallop is 57 and she’s happy to divulge this information.

“I tell everyone how old I am as often as possible. I shout it from the rooftops. I deliberately do that. There is this feeling that women should not tell anyone their age.”

There is nothing shameful about the number of years you have been on the planet. Gallop believes it’s something to be celebrated.

“Older people are fantastic. I live in New York. I will look at older women I pass and I will think, you have an amazing story behind you and I wish I knew what it was,” she says.

Let your children hear you proudly speak your age. Let them absorb this.

Second step, promote your own value. 

As you age, you bring skills and experience to life and your job. Champion what you bring to the table.

“I encourage older women, especially in the work place, to actively promote their own value. We have tremendous value. Great leaders. Great negotiators. Get paid what you should get paid for it,” Gallop says.

And young women need to also promote what they can offer…. which is a lot.

Gallop says, young women are often dismissed and their ideas are not valued. She wants every teenage girl to understand the fresh perspective she brings at that age.

Third, you’re never too old to do anything. 

Gallop tells a story about a palm reader who looked at her palm and said, “You’re only half way.” (She was about 50 at the time.)

It was a poignant moment for her. Because her 50th birthday didn’t signify the end, but rather a midway point on what could and will be an extraordinary journey.

Gallop says, life is opening up. Not shutting down.

“There are so many opportunities to take everything you’ve learned, experienced in the course of your life and your older years are the perfect opportunity to leverage that to do what you want to do.”

So it’s time to disrupt aging. And for women to define themselves for who they really are.

Gallop says, “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. We are prepared to stand up for ourselves. I encourage all women to do that.”

Maybe we can all begin today by trying to be a bit more like Cindy Gallop.

(This is a sponsored post. All ideas are my own)


Jan
31
2018

If there is one thing I hear a lot it’s “I don’t know how you do it with five kids.”

Well, I have no idea either.

Really I don’t.

I do know that like any parent, I just keep going – dealing with one issue at a time.

Like recently, 7 year old Chase came home early from school with a sore throat.

Meanwhile his twin sister Harlowe had a terrible toothache from where she had a chipped a tooth and had it bonded a few months back.

(Note to all 7 year olds: If your brother says to you, let’s play tug-a-war with a rubber band with our teeth, it’s advisable to skip it unless you’re into getting a fake tooth.)

Yup. That’s really what they did. A tug-a-war with a rubber band using their teeth. (Hey at least they weren’t on screen time!)

So here I was now – trying to figure out who was in more dire pain (Chase or Harlowe) and who most needed to see a professional that afternoon. I didn’t have any help so someone had to take priority.

I mean, how do you choose between these two?

I finally chose to take Chase to the pediatrician but know it was a heart wrenching decision based on a complex parenting technique called “eenie meenie mo.”

And yes, Harlowe finally got to a dentist.

And might even need a root canal!

In retrospect, “eenie meenie mo” may not be the absolute best way to make medical decisions.

I think about when I first became a mom and everything seemed so important…. the right bleach free diapers, the right healthy snacks, the nap schedule and on and on.

And somewhere along the way parents just realize most of it just doesn’t matter all that much.

Which is why when 4 year old Cash came home with the wrong water bottle from gymnastics camp over the holidays, I immediately did nothing.

And then did more nothing.

I figured the universe had just decided Cash was now going to have a Paw Patrol water bottle instead of the one I bought him.

I hope there isn’t some other kid really missing their water bottle.

Or if he/she is, I hope they understands this mom is just doing the best she can.



kelcey kintner


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