You Don’t Want to Miss the Surprise in My Bluprint Review!

Hi there! My name is Bethany Kemp and I live in Denver, Colorado. Since I have a lifestyle blog, Colorado Pretty, I was thrilled when I learned of Bluprint, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s new, expanded subscription service and premier digital destination for lifestyle learning through online classes.

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What exactly do I mean by lifestyle learning? Great question! When I went to Bluprint’s site, I was blown away by the wide variety of classes available. Bluprint’s classes promote and facilitate self-expression in areas including music, writing, dance, yoga, fitness, home decor, entertaining, and kids and family.

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’m into everything related to interior design, so naturally, the first place I headed to on the site was the home decor section. Here are two of my favorites classes!

  • Blank Wall Rehaul w/ James Worsham: How to fill a big blank wall? In this Bluprint original series, designer James Worsham helps homeowners and businesses around Nashville transform blank walls into unforgettable installations. It’s your one-stop shop for DIY tips and tricks.
  • The Flower Kitchen w/ Carly Cylinder: You don’t have to be a celebrity to surround yourself with beautiful blooms! In this Bluprint original series, floral artist Carly Cylinder demonstrates easy, approachable methods to building breathtaking bouquets in your own kitchen. You’ll learn how to visualize arrangements, pick the perfect blooms and expertly style them.

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One of the other areas that piques my interest the most is the Cooking section. Here, I found classes including “20 Essential Cooking Techniques” and “Fall and Winter: Root Vegetables & Winter Squash.” I absolutely love this class on plant based meals!

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Bluprint is also the place for families to turn online inspiration into offline ways to imagine, play and grow. With 24/7 access to exclusive series and easy-to-follow classes, families can learn and try new things together — no matter their skill level. Bluprint’s family content is developed with kids 6-12 in mind, and led by trusted, family-friendly experts.

What’s Included With A Bluprint Subscription

Bluprint has a deep content library with more than 3,000 hours of original classes and produces original entertainment series featuring creative experts who will help inspire, empower and entertain both the experienced creator and everyday doer.

Bluprint serves a passionate and engaged community of more than 13 million and growing, keeping them informed and one step ahead of trends. It connects members with similar interests through premium and enhanced original editorial content, social media engagement and live, one of a kind events.

Did I mention a surprise?

Beginning this Friday, October 5 through October 12, Bluprint will be hosting its Get Started Event allowing makers, doers and creatives alike to stream unlimited classes and series for free with registration. And now through October 20, visitors have the option to select one of two limited time offers: Monthly subscription for $9.99 (regularly $14.99) OR Annual subscription for $100 (regularly $120) + a free Bluprint Box of their choice.

Where To Find Bluprint

You can find Bluprint on the web, Roku, on iOS in the app store, and on Android in Google Play. And don’t forget to check out and chat with other Bluprint subscribers on social!

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Denver Lifestyle Blogger Styles a Bar Cart from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

 

Ever since the days of Adam Chandler on All My Children, a well-stocked bar cart in a dimly lit room in someone’s home has been a symbol of class and prestige. I remember watching Adam saunter over to the bar cart (and the camera), sigh as he thought of his most recent enemy or current love interest(s), and plan his next calculated move that would ultimately result in the continuation of his position of power.

Since that time I’ve dreamed of styling my own bar cart and stocking it with staples suitable for every type of guest. Enter Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale. There is so much inspiration out there on Pinterest and other sites to take ideas from. Here I’ve compiled great deals from the sale that are must-haves for every bar cart. Stock up with this glassware and decor and all that’s let is liquor. Have fun!

Denver Lifestyle Blogger Shares What to Wear to Work

The fact that I’m writing a blog about what to wear to work seems a bit ironic. On a normal day, I step into my office in Golden in what would be considered less than business casual. I have a lot on my plate at work, as many of us do, so putting on makeup and doing anything other than throwing my hair into a top knot is out of the question. We’ve all been there right?

I usually roll up to work in what I would call ‘soccer mom clothes.’ Cute yoga pants, some trendy trainers, and whatever I can find as a top to match. I forgive my dismissal of corporate attire in favor of soccer mom clothes by justifying that I’m dressing for the job I want, not the one I have. #kiddingnotkidding As you may expect, this comment always makes my boyfriend laugh … followed by silence when he realizes that I’m probably serious.

Today I had a short presentation to give during my company’s monthly strategy call. I thought if I dressed the part it would help me feel more confident and therefore sound more confident when presenting. Sure enough! Spending that extra time this morning helped me to project a more self-assured “girl you got this” voice.

Until it’s soccer mom time, I’m willing to bet that there is a connection between how I present myself at work, how I’m perceived, and possibly how I’m compensated. To be continued…

For now, I thought I would share with you my #ootd from today at the office. Slay on.

Denver Lifestyle Blogger | Adored Home Accent Pieces from the Nordstrom Early Access Sale

 

The clock is winding down on the Nordstrom Early Access Sale. Less than four hours and the doors will open wide to everyone. Now is the time to snatch up those last minute items that have been sitting in your shopping cart for the last week!

Interior design has grown to be one of my greatest passions. It’s rare to find high-end home decor statement pieces at a price that doesn’t send you running to the nearest IKEA. Fortunately, this Nordstrom sale has an endless inventory of everything you could possibly want to perfectly complete the aesthetic you desire–whether it’s this chenille pillow to finish off a perfect bedding ensemble or this hand-knit throw to complement the armchair in your study.

Sit back and daydream while picturing these in your own cozy home.

Denver Lifestyle Blogger Picks Best of Women’s Activewear from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Hello lovelies! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access! I took a break from the wonderful madness to go on a hike in Aspen (photos and deets to come in a later post).

At the hotel, I threw on my usual workout clothes that I had packed and headed out to the trail head about half a mile away. It wasn’t until the hike was over and I was enjoying a well-deserved breakfast that I realized how gross and sweaty I was and needed a shower ASAP. I also realized that I have owned the workout clothes I was wearing since …wait for it … 2011. It’s so not ok in so many ways!!! Enter the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access! Take me straight to activewear please!

Holy overwhelming! Sports bras and leggings and tanks OH MY! So for you, my little workout fiends, I’ve pulled together a collection of ten activewear items that will get you on the road to looking fabulous both in and out of the gym. Phew! Don’t worry! We’ve got this!

Denver Lifestyle Blogger | Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access Ten Favorite Tops Under $20

Day two of the #Nsale craziness is upon us! I love being a resource for all of you fashionistas! Have you had a chance to find your favorites with early access for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Are you thrilled with what you’ve picked up so far? You can find my recap of the first day of the sale with my favorite sweaters and coats for fall here. I’d love to hear about your favorites from the sale!

For today’s roundup, I thought it would be fun to share a post featuring a few of my most adored Nordstrom Sale tops under $20! So maybe more than a few … how about ten of my top picks!!!!

Dates to Remember

Remember, early access ends on July 19th before the sale opens to the public the next day. If you want early access, apply for a Nordstrom card here.

If you aren’t interested in the Nordstrom card, the sale opens to the public on July 20th and will run until August 5th.

How to shop

One of the best parts about this sale is the fact that you can do it all from home. Who doesn’t want to sit in their pj’s online shopping this weekend? Shopping online is best to way shop this sale to ensure that you’re favorites pieces don’t sell out before you can get your hands on them. So get to it!

Denver Lifestyle Blogger | Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access Roundup

HELLO LOVES!! I’m so freaking excited today … because it’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year! Early access for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here!! That’s right, early access has officially opened up and if you have a Nordstrom card you can shop ALL of the deals now before anybody else!! If you don’t have a Nordstrom card and you want one to shop these sales now, you can sign up here. Now is the time to score some great deals on your new fall wardrobe … or spoil yourself with the home decor you’ve had your eyes on!! Before I get into it all, I wanted to say, you DEF want to be following me on my Instagram stories during the sale. I am going to make it my life mission to show y’all my favorite finds during the first couple of days!

Today, I’m sharing my FAVES in women’s sweaters and coats and jackets! So, grab some coffee and let’s shop! Make sure to check back to my website as I’ll constantly be updating the best sale items throughout all of your favorite categories … shoes, accessories, jeans, home decor … you name it!

Don’t forget, Early Access runs from now until July 19th!! You’ll probably notice that items are already starting to fly off the shelves but not to worry as I know they’re working hard to restock items. If you see something that’s sold out, make sure to check back as it COULD be available again soon!!

Happy shopping (and saving) and don’t forget to share what you’ve stocked up on for the fall season!

Dates to Remember

Early Access for Nordstrom Cardholders: July 12th – July 19th

Sale opens to the public: July 20th – August 5th

Last day of the sale: August 5th

Hello Sunday Scaries

It’s 3:27 PM on Sunday and the weekly broadcast of this week’s Sunday scaries is well underway. My anticipation of Monday morning is now in full swing. FULL. SWING.

When I graduated from college seventeen years ago and entered the career world, I made a promise to myself that if I consistently dreaded the arrival of Monday morning for more than a month or two, for reasons that were more than just a phase, I’d find a new job. If I didn’t absolutely love my job, fine. However, I vowed that I wouldn’t sign myself up to drag myself anywhere on a regular basis during this lifetime, including work. I’ve kept this promise to myself and have never looked back.

This time feels different. I’m not convinced that it’s the job I’ve had for the last twenty-seven months that’s at the heart of the issue. I’ve been on a personal journey for the last five months, to be reflected on here at another point in time. This journey has left me depleted. Just really damn tired and exhausted on every level. While the chapter that began in January is appropriately coming to an end, I find myself struggling, although I know that how I feel is more complex and consuming than the word ‘struggling’ implies. What I envision for myself is to end this chapter by enthusiastically turning the page to find myself staring at the blank page before me. Cue the Hillary Duff theme song from “Laguna Beach” here and yes, I’m LC, eyes wide, shoulders back, smiling wide as I look into my future. I am acutely aware that right in front of my eyes are endless blank pages, bare and unencumbered by the mental, physical and emotional heaviness that the last five months have carried.

In reality, the page, as I turn it, seems so heavy that I’m unable to overcome its weight. When I’m finally able to turn to a new, clean, crisp blank page and I put pen to paper to write the beginning of the next chapter I’m finding that there’s no ink in the pen. So I push harder. I scribble frantically in endless circles. If these efforts prove successful, it’s only for a word or two and it’s unable to be sustained. These few meaningless words come nowhere close to the representation of the amazing, can’t wait to be lived chapters upon chapters I’ve already written in my head.

As I anticipate the new week just fourteen hours away, I know that there are people depending on me and expecting me to be on, and I don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t want to disappoint myself. The next emotion I feel is fear. Not the fear of what I’ll find when tomorrow comes, but the fear that tomorrow will find me and I won’t be ready.

Tell Me What Labor Will Really Be Like

by Dianne Kemp

I have been asked this question more times than I can count. Asked by students in the childbirth classes I taught, by friends who were aware I worked in the field of obstetrics, and by my children and their friends as they got older and started thinking about starting families. And it is truly a question that is impossible to answer. Let me explain.

The moment a woman announces that she is pregnant – or even that she is thinking about getting pregnant – people (especially another woman) start coming out of the woodwork to tell their labor stories. I have never understood why women like to scare each other with horror stories about labor and birth – is it to make them look like the hero that they “survived”? Or to tell a secret? I don’t know but I do not like it.

I find that these stories are rarely true – factually true. They are certainly true in the mind of the person telling the story – perception is truth. In the present day, the story usually starts out with “you HAVE to get an epidural – and as soon as possible”. I often told my students that everyone was different and there was a wide range of pain tolerances and pain management. And that desire for pain management in some woman started with wanting an epidural at week 38 of the pregnancy – or at least in the garage on the way to the hospital.

The story continues with every gruesome detail – from the ride to the hospital over bumpy roads to painful IV starts, painful exams by sadistic nurses, failed epidurals that had to be redone, catheters, monitors, pushing, ripping and tearing, blue babies who did not breath or cry at birth, fainting partners – the list goes on and on. And if a mom dares to say “Oh, labor was easier than I thought it would be”– she is ridiculed and hated by the horrid storytellers and told she must have been drugged and had forgotten most of the pain.

 

OK – now what did I tell them. Well, first there is no one answer to the question: “What is labor really like”. Everyone has a different pain tolerance, a different labor, different emotions, different situation, different support staff, different medical staff, etc.

I tell them that it is important to note that we live in an age of choices in childbirth – from home birth with no medical interventions or medical staff present to a cesarean section with all the trimmings!!

I believe it starts with your emotional state at the time you go into labor – how you feel about having a baby, do you have support, have you really prepared for the experience with accurate knowledge – and do you trust yourself and your body to get the job done. Do you believe that birth is a task that the female body is meant to do – or do you believe that you need all of the help medical science can give you. And are you able to give up control and let your body do what it is meant to do?

This was hard for me as I am a true believer that woman are meant to birth – that home birth is fine in the right situation for the right people. I had to keep these beliefs hidden when I taught childbirth classes or I would have been tarred, feathered, and fired by the physicians. So, I taught from a place of choices.

First – the old days – the way my mother gave birth to me – unconscious. Some women thought this would be ok – but very few. Then, the epidural – a thin catheter placed in the epidural space – just outside of the spinal cord. This is done with a large needle and although most women express fear of this needle, it is a very popular option for the mother to be as awake and alert but feeling no pain. Narcotics were popular before the epidural came into vogue. These are given either into the muscle or the IV and cause the mom to be sleepy and foggy, to “relax” between contractions – but the narcotics do not take the pain of contractions away.

Then comes “natural” – my definition of natural? A healthy mom and a healthy baby no matter how the baby gets here – but that is not the definition most people understand.

Natural to most means no medication, no epidural. Women who have natural childbirth use breathing and relaxation to get through their contractions – they work with their bodies instead of against them. Let me explain this the way I did in class. When I go to the dentist, I am usually very anxious. When the dentist comes at me with a drill in hand, I grip the armrest, tense every muscle in my body and hold my breath. When a muscle contracts, it uses oxygen and when I hold my breath I am not giving my muscles much to work with.

In labor, the uterus contracts to push the baby out. The uterus is one big muscle and needs oxygen to do its job. So, if a mom-to-be uses the breathing and relaxation techniques that I taught in class, they would relax all of their muscles during contractions and breathe – giving the uterus what it needs to do its job in labor. We would practice this in class and I could always tell who would use the techniques and who thought I was crazy and just wanted “drugs”. The people who believed the relaxation could work asked me for audio tapes of my relaxation exercises so they could practice at home. They took my suggestions of practicing the techniques with the same music and planned to bring that music with them to use during labor. And it usually worked for them.

I was always adamant in class that a mom-to-be should never make their partner promise to “refuse to get an epidural”. I believe this is unfair to the partner. As I have said, every labor is different and no one knows how they are going to respond – so options must be kept open.

In class, I often told the story of my third labor. I was determined when I found out that I was pregnant for the third time, that I would “do it right” this time. For my first birth, I had a spinal anesthetic at the end with a forceps delivery (which was the practice of the time). My second birth was medication free and I did well – but I did not practice the breathing and relaxation as much as I should have.

So, during the third pregnancy, I practiced relaxation every day. And I used music – Four Seasons by Vivaldi. I would play the music on headphones and consciously relax my muscles – contract and relax on command. And it worked well during my short four-hour labor.

But then, my son had many congenital anomalies and went through many painful and scary procedures. I took the tape player to every hospital stay, every surgery and played Four Seasons for him. It was amazing. This baby who everyone thought was mentally impaired and did not really feel – after all, newborns do not really feel, right!! Well, as the music started, he would visibly relax – he remembered what it did for me when he was living inside of me and he used it for himself. With all of my guilt over his problems and what he had to go through – looking back at least I was able to help him a little.

Back to the question – “Tell me what labor will really be like”.

I do not have an answer, just information, and suggestions.

  • Do not put too much pressure on yourself
  • Get all of the ACCURATE information you can
  • Practice relaxation and breathing
  • Use all of the support you can find
  • Give up control – go with the flow
  • Trust yourself
  • Accept what happens and always be proud of yourself
  • Do not look back with regret – but with pride at your accomplishment

 

Dianne Kemp was born in Detroit and moved to Lexington at age 9. She received her Associate Degree in Nursing Science in 1972 from SC4, and a Bachelors in Healthcare Psychology from Graceland College (Iowa) in 1996.Dianne’s career developed from her love of babies. She was a Maternal Child nurse for 45 years – developing and teaching childbirth and parenting education classes, working as an RN in Mother Baby Care and was the first lactation consultant in the county. She is now volunteering as a chaplain at River District Hospital since losing her vision in her left eye due to a retinal detachment in 2010.
Dianne is the proud mother of three children (one who was disabled and passed away in 2007) and two grandchildren.

This article was first published in Blue Water Healthy Living. You can request to join her Facebook group, The Baby Whisperer, here.