May 15, 2018

My Interview with Kristen Bell at Mom 2.0

If you follow me on social media, then you are well aware that I attended the Mom2.0 Summit last week in Pasadena. This gathering of digital women, mainly mothers, is a place for bloggers, vloggers, authors, digital influencers, marketers, media, PR, brands, and friends to connect over the unique HUSTLE that is making it in the online playing field.

This year was extra special because Mom2.0 turned 10 years old! A whole decade of digital power-women supporting each other… BOOM!

I have been to all but maybe two Mom2.0’s, so these summits always feel part high school reunion/ part business conference, with a whole lot of inside jokes and ab-workout worthy laughter sprinkled on top.

One of the highlights this year was a keynote interview with Kristen Bell when she sat down with Access LIVE’s Natalie Morales for a chat about motherhood, philanthropy, marriage, Hollywood, and everything in between. I liked Kristen a whole lot before, but I’m full on girl-crushing on her now. She’s as witty, fun, and real as you hope her to be.

And as if that weren’t enough…. I GOT TO INTERVIEW HER NEXT!

That’s right, we had a one-on-one pow-wow for TODAY Parents over on!
In the interview, Kristen Bell opens up about anxiety and depression, her social media rules, and of course, playing with her kids!

Watch the video above and you’ll have a major girl crush on her too, I promise.

On the last day of the conference I held a PLAYshop called "The Success Building Magic of Goofing Off" in one of the Langham Hotels cottages that pepper the back lawn. It was an intimate gathering where we focused on how to incorporate more playfulness into our daily hustle.

We laughed, we cried, we made promises to ourselves to PLAY as hard as we work… or at least half as hard.

Friday night brought us the coveted IRIS Awards. Our version of the Golden Globes, where the best in blogs, vlogs, LIVE feeds, podcasts, philanthropic campaigns, instagram feeds, and more are honored by the community.

I was thrilled to present the award I won last year, “Break Out of the Year" to Happy Loud Life. If you don’t follow them, go… go now.

Next year Mom2.0 Summit is headed to Austin TX, and I hope to see you there! Women truly supporting women is rare. I’m super thankful to Mom2.0 Summit for consistently setting a stellar example of how it should be done.

Apr 26, 2018

Five fun DIY ideas for Mother's Day

Looking for some unexpected gift ideas this year for Mother's Day? I've got you covered with five fun and easy gift ideas for the women you're celebrating.

1. 10 Balloons & 10 Things I Love About You

Adapted from this fun surprise idea from Studio DIY, fill a big box with ten helium balloons. Then, tie one note to each balloon with a special message. The balloons may not last forever, but she'll keep the notes for years to come. We even created a special printable with beautiful cards with prompts (and a few blank ones) you can print and use for your notes. Download the printable here.

2. A Year of "Open When..." Cards

I love the idea of "Open When..." cards. A little pick-me-up when we need it the most. We've created a printable so you can give mom a year's worth of "Open When..." cards. It includes 52 cards, with lots of prompts to get you started, and a few blank labels so you can include some inside jokes and special secrets you share.

There are four envelope labels on each page, so print and cut them out. Then use a glue stick or cute washi tape to attach them to envelopes. They're 3x5 inches and can fit most envelopes. Inside the envelopes, include notes, photos, or little gifts. Download the Open When Cards printable here.

3. Photo Bookmarks 

I love these "fly away" bookmarks created by Wendy Hyde. Have your kids post like they're being lifted away by balloons (or whatever funny pose they love), print them out, and use them to create these bookmarks. Try sticking one in mom's favorite book for an extra special gift. Get the full instructions over on Wendy Hyde's blog.

4. Family LEGO Portrait

Does you family love LEGO? I always enjoy seeing the latest mini-figs that come out, which makes this project just super fun. Either mix-and-match parts to create custom mini-figures that look like your family, or pick a favorite character for each family member. Get the full DIY over on Apartment Therapy.

5. Pom Pom Branches

Give mom a super unique bouquet by creating your own Pom Pom Branches. I made these last Fall and they were so easy, and pretty! I still have them in my living room today. Use mom's favorite colors, or pick colors that match the colors in your house. See the full DIY video and get all the instructions here

Good luck with these DIY's! If you create one for mom, post it online and tag me @meredithplays or with #BeWellPlayed. 

— Meredith

Apr 20, 2018

My new favorite plaything: Nintendo Labo

“Fri-YAY!” has become quite the thing lately, and I love it.

And today is an extra-special Fri-YAY because today is the launch of one of my most favorite new playthings EVER… Nintendo Labo!

In my line of work, I see and often get to test out, a lot of new toy and game inventions.

So when one takes my breath away with excitement and awe, you know it’s something mighty special.

My son Truman and I got to travel to San Francisco recently for a hosted trip by Nintendo to learn about, and fully wrap ourselves up in Nintendo Labo’s greatness.

While these new sets are intended for kids slightly younger than my 16 year old son, he was instantly sucked in (as was I), by its innovation and “maker” style play.

Nintendo Labo kits invite children to “make, play, and discover”. To be active participants in the creation and exploration of their own playtime. Each maker kit comes with cardboard punch-out parts that kids bend and fold and connect together to create various toys and games.

Then, once built, the Nintendo Switch brings the toy or game to life. Your kids can create things like a working piano, a fishing pole with which to catch digital fish, a driving console, and more. Using a free app that provides 3D instructions that you can see from various angles, kids create each new plaything with ease.

There are several kits to pick from, and each one is as delightful as the next.

If you're following me on Instagram, you probably saw some of our goofy videos in my stories (included below just in case you missed out).

Nintendo Labo launches into the world TODAY and can be found at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and various other retailers.

I truly think it’s one of the most incredible playthings ever created. Perfect for the upcoming summer break with kids!

Happy Fri-YAY, ya’ll!
— Meredith

Nintendo paid for our trip and provided a Nintendo Labo for me to test out, but all opinions are my own and this is a product my family truly loves. 

Mar 30, 2018

Keeping It Classic on National Stripes Day

Back in 1984, when I was a full on teenager, the classic striped rugby shirt seemed to be on everyone’s style wish list.

The pullover that turned my head when worn by the upperclassmen boys I crushed on, and for me, something I really wanted for my own closet.

Back then, J. Crew was a bit out of my parent’s budget, so I never possessed a real one of my own.

Fast forward 34 years, I’m shopping with my family at the Grove in LA, and you can only imagine my teenage elation when I see the windows of J. Crew peppered with brightly striped rugby shirts on parade!

Yep, They’re BAAAAACK! It’s all 1984 up in here, girls and boys! 

It should come as no surprise that I marched myself right in there, and bought myself one on the spot. I know these bad boys aren’t going to last, and I wasn’t about to miss my shot.

It was hard to decide on the color-combo… there are so many to pick from! But after a little consult with my hubs (who consequently I met in 1985 so he gets it), I landed on the orange and white color combo (or Cerise Ivory as J. Crew calls it). It just feels most like me, and perfect for the launch of SPRING!

For a spring walk, I paired my new fave shirt with some white denim and my go-to sneakers. I can't wait to mix it up. In the video below from J. Crew, they recommend pairing with a full skirt! Love it!

With tomorrow being the second annual National Stripes Day (created by J. Crew of course), I figured this was the perfect opportunity to share this style fave. For me, this throw-back fashion classic is a playful reminder to let my inner 14 year old out a little more… especially during spring.

Cheers to spring stripes and playful style!
— Meredith

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