Feeling Lightheaded (in the best way) with a Lightheaded Beds Giveaway

November 4, 2013

The Glow of Lightheaded Beds

I’m big on sleep. As in, bordering on the obsessed. Since the start of my adult life, I have been a huge sleep advocate. From afternoon naps to sleeping in late whenever possible, sleep for me has always felt like the best gift I could give myself. I distinctly remember driving across country in my 20s and taking every opportunity to sack out in the back of the VW bus, as I listened to my best friend say, “I can’t believe you’re sleeping through this”.  But, I didn’t let that stop me. I just, unapologetically fell asleep.

Many years later I had my first child and the patterned continued. Not as much for me and my sleep, but for hers.  Ever since then, my family can attest that sleep has become one of my main motherhood “things”. Since my kids we’re just babies through today, I have fixated on the importance of sleep, doing everything in my power to keep to any shred of a sleep schedule that I could grasp. For some parents it might be food, for others maybe play, but for me, it is and probably always will be sleep. From keeping track of napping hours to being vigilant about regular bed times, I have been a mother on a mission to ensure my kids are getting the sleep they need, and maybe even more than they need. I did admit it borders obsession after all.

Once my daughter started High School I had to start letting go of my tight grip on her sleep schedule. Freshman year was a huge transition for all of us, with my teen’s busy schedule, rigorous homework load and never ever enough time in the day for her to get it all done. So, the days turned into nights—late, late nights—and I had to helplessly watch as she slowly weaned herself off of the sleep routine I had pushed so hard to set. It wasn’t easy, but I had no choice. And now, as she’s headlong into her Junior year, it’s just as bad, if not worse as on many nights I go to bed long before she does, although I will admit it still pains me to do so. At least now, she’ll sleep in on weekends (when she doesn’t have something going on) and she’ll nap whenever possible (I believe she might be coming around to my way of thinking).

Thankfully, I am still able to somewhat regulate the sleep schedule of my 10-year-old which now I know will be short lived. Alas, I will do what I can when I can. Viva la Sleep!

It would stand to figure when I was recently given the opportunity to give my girls the experience of new—and awesome—Lightheaded Beds, I was pretty excited. My draw to Lightheaded Beds is obvious to anyone who knows me. Beyond the emphasis on style and variety of the beds themselves (beds, headboards, footboards, storage) they feature the coolest way to feature photographic images IN the headboard of the bed itself. I know, it’s brilliant, right? For sure one of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” inventions. Anytime I can “create my own” anything and use my own photography it’s a plus! And it’s not only the photo part that I love, it’s the glowing nightlight part that made it that much more awesome.  Sure, I have a teenager than doesn’t sleep as often as I wish she would, but with her new Lightheaded Bed, she can be in bed while studying, reading, using her laptop, ipad, iphone with this beautiful glowing photography (her beloved NY at night skyline that I shot on a recent trip) illuminating her as she works and eventually drifts off to sleep. Yes, there is a timer that can be set for the light to go out all by itself. Swoon. If you don’t have your own photos to use, but you love the whole idea of a Lightheaded Bed, you can order from their huge selection of options right from their website.

As for my 10-year-old, this is one of the best beds I could have ever asked for for her, mainly because of her love (and need) of a nightlight. The glow of her photo (a shot I took of the Disney World skyline on our visit) not only comforts her but helps ease her to sleep. One of the most exciting things about this bed for her (and I would imagine children even younger than her) is not just the choice of what photo she can display but having her very own remote control where she can set the strength of the light and the timer, all by herself. It’s pretty sweet.

Lightheaded Beds Disney

Want to check out a Lightheaded Bed for yourself? Besides being available online, Lightheaded Beds are now available at your local Sam’s Club. Coolio!

And drumroll please…as a part of this sponsored post, Lightheaded Beds in partnership with Today’s Mama is offering an awesome giveaway right here on my blog so that YOU can win your own Canterbury style Lightheaded Bed in white or chestnut and a coupon for a few photos of your own or from their library of options. Huzzah! You’ve got 2 weeks from today to enter. And hint: for a way to get an extra entry,  just follow Your’s Truly on Instagram. Easy-peasy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!


It’s Not Easy Being Teen

September 26, 2013

 on-being-a-teenager

Sometimes I just cannot believe I have a teenager. I’ve always kind of felt like being a parent in general was surreal but, as time passes, the feeling only intensifies. I often find myself wondering how the heck I got here, how does time move so fast and how it’s possible that my child will soon be off to college. It just doesn’t seem real. And yet, here I am. Here we are.

With all the scary messages out there about how horrible, trying, difficult teenagers can be, I guess I was expecting the worst. I feel fortunate that it really hasn’t been much like what I had heard (knocking on wood). That’s not to say parenting at this stage doesn’t have challenges. But still, it’s not what I was anticipating. In fact, it’s way cooler than I ever thought it would be. And, I think my daughter feels the same way about her teenage years. Sure there’s the quintessential “issues” that are somewhat Universal to the teen experience, but I think she’s putting those into a healthy perspective as she pans out to the bigger picture of  her life’s journey. Not an easy thing to do for anyone, let along a teenager. I give her major props for that!

Last night, at yet another back to school night, my husband and I traipsed around her high school stomping grounds getting the scoop on what is her daily life. It was the 3rd time we’ve attended as my daughter is a junior now (see? I have no idea how that happened) but even as high school veterans, it still totally amazes/bewilders/eludes me. Tracing her steps from building to building, walking the paths, passing through the architecture, sitting in the seats and staring at the walls of her life outside of home is never lost on me. As I listened to each teacher’s jam-packed presentation, tried to keep up with the power points, and took notes of anything I felt like might be of importance for future reference, I couldn’t help but think how hard it must be to be in high school now. With so much academic pressure, so many extra-curricular expectations , and so much  responsibility to keep it all together. They are having to live in the present while focusing on the future, all the time. And that’s not even mentioning the social pressures. We all remember that. From navigating friends to communicating with teachers to hyper-active hormones, it just can’t be easy.

It’s really no wonder then that things can get dicey at home. I get stressed out just watching my teen live her life. True, I might be a little more involved than I have to be (my husband tries to remind me to take a step back for my sake and hers) but even still, I can hardly keep up with her and everything that she’s got to squeeze in every day,  and it’s not even my life. I know that she’s exhausted and often pushed over-capacity. I know that when I get frustrated with her for forgetting things, staying up late, waking up late, wasting her time, it doesn’t help. At all. I know she is doing the best she can under overwhelming expectations.  Which is why that even when I’m fuming mad at 11pm waiting for her to get released from musical theater rehearsal, I try to remember that she needs me. When she calls in the middle of the day in a panic that she forgot her homework on the printer, she needs me. When wakes me, home late from an evening with friends and she wants to tell me all about it over tea, she needs me. For help, for support, for understanding, for guidance, for companionship, for unconditional love. And no matter how fast the time passes, no matter where her wings take her, no matter how grown up she gets,  I am so hoping she will keep needing me for all of that. Today, tomorrow and for always.

I recently shared a story and a project on my Babble Voices blog Reframed that relates to the subject of my daughter and how hard I know it is growing up and being a teenager. If I can continually repeat the uplifting, inspiring and encouraging messages I believe she needs to hear, then I know I’m being the best advocate I can be for her. Plus, I know (and she knows) that these messages ring true even when I’m unable to keep my cool on the tough days. Thankfully, the Rhonna Designs app offers all of these amazing messages and more. It’s a photo app dream come true and helped me say the things I always want to say to my daughter. The collection of cards I made for her (and the ‘how-to” part) can be found at Babble. I also made cards for her that are OF her. using pictures of her that I love, paired with words that I know fit her to a T. These few probably mean the most to her. And to me. Sniff sniff.

empowering-messages-for-teens

 


25 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

September 24, 2013

25 things about tracey clark
I’ve been hanging around the interwebs for so long now, sometimes I forget that even still, I am meeting more and more new friends each and every day. That being said, I thought I’d just toss out a few things about myself. You know, for the sake of getting to know each other a little better. So, here’s 25 things that you may or may not know about me.

1.  I’m tall (5’10”)

2.  I’ve been married for nearly 18 years (which we both think is pretty awesome)

3.  I am / we are raising two bright, beautiful, and unstoppable daughters (10 & 15)

4.  I have /we have 2 ridiculously adorable and hilarious dogs

5.  I spend / we spend most Saturday mornings herding cats (true story)

6.  I have an extreme problem with clutter

7.  I collect coffee mugs and pint glasses (because I love coffee and beer, usually not together)

8.  I believe that photography saves me everyday

9.  I did not go to school for photography (I graduated with a BA in art)

10. I have finally realized that I am enough

11. I write a blog at Babble called Reframed

12. I’ve written 4 books, which still feels surreal to me because…

13. I did not get good grades in English

14. I’m a Champion for the United Nation’s Shot@Life Campaign and still…

15. I consider myself the unlikely activist (my daughter has lead the way for me)

16. I have a new found love affair with Project Life (yes, that means scrapbooking. unlikely? kinda.)

17. I’ve been #NintendoEnthused since 2006 and…

18. I would consider us a “gaming” family (again, pretty unlikely and yet here we are)

19. I am the first born of the 3 Disney Sisters which of course means…

20. I love all things Disney (parks, movies, games Infinity anyone?, magic, etc)

21. I really love speaking and sharing at gathering and events and as a matter of fact…

22. I’ll be at 2 retreats in October; Click Blogger Retreat and The Creative Joy Retreat. Sidenote: I would LOVE to see you at one of these!

23. I’ve taught (and am teaching) a whole slew of online photo creativity classes at Big Picture Classes

24. I’m the founder of Shutter Sisters, co-founder of Our Collective and we offer a lovely monthly publication (And lots of other good stuff to come)

25. I am really trying to keep it real

And now, it’s your turn. What should I know about you?


Capturing Summer Stories One Photo at a Time

July 7, 2013

 Summer Stories

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here.

On the heels of lamenting about how much I miss stories (of the written kind) I decide to sift through my iPhone images from our summer so far just to enjoy the visual stories I have captured. It’s only been 3 weeks but we’ve already had a number of wonderful experiences. From camping to swimming, the 4th of July traditions to a trip to Disney’s California Adventure to our summer community service project, not to mention some well-needed time for rest  plus a little time for doing nothing much of anything, which is really what summer should be about, right?

Collecting these summer shots in the Disney Story App (have you tried it yet?) reminds me that we’ve gotten a pretty great start on creating one awesome summer.

How is your summer story shaping up?

 


One Unstoppable Experience

May 16, 2013

girlsunstoppable

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here.

I recently had the privilege of attending the Mom 2.0 Summit. I haven’t been able to make the event in years-my, how it’s grown-so I was extra-excited to attend. It being held in my own backyard made it that much sweeter. It was as inspiring as I knew it would be and so much more. Having my daughters come spend the weekend at the extravagant Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel with me during the conference was such a fun opportunity. They hadn’t seen a conference like this first hand before and observing how it all goes down was enlightening for them and sharing a girls weekend with them made it really nice for me. Don’t get me wrong. It was tricky for me to switch back and forth from work mode to family mode but I was so happy it all worked out and really glad to have them there. There were a number of moms who brought families along so I wasn’t the only one doing the juggling act.

There were many highlights for me at the event, most of which were centered around conversation and connection. I had the best time sharing my thoughts and ideas on The Creative Process with the talented, smart, funny and adorable Lindsey Garrett. Even the work we did on the presentation before the conference was fun, so it’s no surprise that I loved tag teaming with her on our panel. Does it seem strange to admit that I actually learned some stuff about our brain and how creativity works from sharing the stage with her? I hope not because I did. That Lindsey. She’s good like that…teaching me stuff I didn’t know I didn’t know. I love that about her.

Connecting with the fabulous team of the United Nation’s Foundation’s Shot@Life was fantastic. I love that group so much, I believe in what they stand for and feel so honored to be a Champion. Chatting with Amanda Peet and introducing her to my girls was really fun for me too.

And probably my favorite part of the whole event was getting to participate with my daughters in Jess Weiner‘s Girls Unstoppable workshop. If you don’t already know Jess is Dove’s Global Self-Esteem Ambassador and an all around amazing human being. LOVE HER! Seeing my girls eagerly soak in Jess’s messages was the greatest moment. I loved what she had to share and how she engaged the girls there to use their voices and speak their truth. It was a perk to having my girls stay at the hotel with me that came as a last minute surprise and let me tell you, it made the trip!

Obviously, I could go on and on. I listened in on a number of excellent panels and shared in many enriching conversations and appreciated the brands involved and the care that the Ritz and the whole team of Mom 2.0 afforded all of us. It was a stellar experience for me and my girls loved it too. Win win.

To share a little window into our Mom 2.0 extravaganza, I created a Story about it, using the new Disney Story app. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you have got to check it out! Disney asked me to try it out to see what I thought. Love! And it seemed to be a great way to share some of the highlights from our girl’s weekend! To see this story in all it’s glory, be sure to click the “play story” button.

Aren’t you dying to try this app? I thought so. Download the Disney Story app from iTunes  – for FREE – right here!

And if you’d like follow the Disney Story Twitter and find the Disney Story Facebook page too!


No Distractions

April 7, 2013

baja-beach-1

If I had to categorize our Spring Break trip to Mexico, I’d have to call it a color experience. Cool blues of the sea, vibrant greens of the palms, and swirling yellows and oranges of the golden hour were all vying for my attention, begging to be captured through my lens. And even still, as I sift through all the amazing color of hundreds of shots, it’s these few black and whites that stop me in my tracks. And so, I offer you the images from the past week that captivate me, enchant me, and give me reason to pause with no distractions.

baja-beach

baja-beach-2

Baja-beach-3