Atlanta Movie Ticket Giveaway: Love, Simon

by Desiree Miller on February 17, 2018

love, simon

Love, Simon… It’s a new movie being released that is sure to get conversations going in homes and schools around the country…conversations about love, life, and the challenges of both.  ln this movie, 17-year-old Simon Spier faces the struggle. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay. He’s fallen for a classmate who writes anonymously about being gay, yet he doesn’t know who that classmate is.  Publicists say what ensues as he resolves both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. The movie stars Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel (two of my favorites), along with  Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Miles Heizer, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, and Tony Hale.

The movie is set to be released on March 16, but there’s an early showing set for this Tuesday night (February 20th) at 7:30 at Atlantic Station.  We have dozens of free tickets to give to StressFree, Baby readers. Just comment below with who you’d like to take to see it. We’ll draw 15 names at random from those who enter–and those winners will each get 4 tickets, so they can invite a few friends! We will contact you early Monday with the details on your tickets. Hope to see you there!

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Mr Money Spray: Show Me the Money

by Desiree Miller on January 27, 2018

Mr Money Spray

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I did something yesterday that surprised even me.
I went a little hoodoo.
I’d never even heard the term before stepping foot into Miller’s Rexall Drugs in downtown Atlanta.
I was there as part of a media trip a year or so ago. You see, Miller’s Rexall is kind of famous.
Blame it on Paul McCartney first. His solo album, ‘Run Devil Run’, credits Miller’s Rexall for the inspiration for the album. It’s been in the spotlight since then as part of several movie sets (turns out the basement of the building makes for quite the terrifying setting in horror films).
Miller’s is actually a working pharmacy just south of the old Rich’s department store at 87 Broad Street, and over the years, it has come to specialize in products designed to ward off Satan and bring the good life. The shelves are stocked with bottles of bath beads to chase away the devil, incense, candles, and even a spray that promises to bring on the money.

Well, how can you refuse that?

Mr Money Spray
So, while in the store as part of a movie tour in the city, I decided to buy a can of the Mr. Money Spray. I saw it as a small investment in a fun experiment, if nothing else.
No, I wasn’t really counting on it working, but man, what if it did?
When I got home with my purchase I set the can aside, intending to put it to the test the next day, and forgot about it.
Until I moved recently. I stumbled across the spray and set it out on my dresser. Then got sidetracked and it sat…again.
Until yesterday.
After getting some bad news about a job this week, something inside me told me to stop wasting time. After all, what did I really have to lose?
How was I supposed to really find my way to money if I wasn’t even willing to use my Mr. Money Spray that was just staring at me?

Mr. Money Spray
So, I flipped that can over, read the instructions—‘spray in all four corners of the home—including bathrooms and bedrooms’—then went to town. I sprayed every corner in every room.
It didn’t smell great. Certainly not like money. Maybe a cross between a disinfectant and a cleaner. Definitely not like a scented air freshener. But yeah, I still sprayed it all over the place. I admit it. In some cases, I sprayed twice. For good measure.
And waited.
And here’s what happened the rest of the day.
A check arrived in the mail for a freelance project I’d done months earlier…a check I thought I’d get much sooner, had checked on twice, and then, boom, there it was.
I also booked two more vendors for an event I’m hosting three months from now.
And finally, the big one: I got a phone call letting me know the freelance gig where I made the majority of my income—the one that had been cut two days earlier—appears to be saved, at least temporarily, which will buy me time to work on more of my potential future ventures, while still having an income (admittedly lower), that allows me to be a little more selective with the new ventures I’m creating.
Could all three of those things still happened without the spray?
Possibly.
And yes, I hear you. This could be a bit of a placebo effect—just believing it would happen made it so, regardless of the spray.
It doesn’t really matter to me.
I just know I finally sprayed it. Tried it. And good things happened. Things that directly involve bringing more money into my bank accounts.
And you can bet I intend to keep on spraying.
It doesn’t feel quite so desperate anymore.

(Note to readers: Nope, I’m not an ambassador and nope, I get nothing for telling you about this spray, but also am not responsible if you buy it and it doesn’t work. Sometimes, you just gotta’ believe. If you can’t get to Millers, I did find this online…you can click here. Again, I get no percentage of sale…just sharing my experience.)

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Atlanta Baby and Child Expo set for April 21 at Fox Theatre

by Desiree Miller on January 18, 2018

2018 abc

The 2018 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is set for April 21st from 11am until 2:00pm, at the beautiful Fox Theatre ballrooms.

We here at StressFreeBaby.com are proud to host this event…the only baby event in Atlanta produced by people who call this city home, featuring local vendors who want to make life as a parent even more incredible.

This is THE event of the year for anyone expecting a baby, or couples who have little ones. The Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is well-known for its fun, party atmosphere.

It’s the eighth year for the annual event. You can see video of last year’s expo below.

Attendees can expect to find the ultimate in pregnancy preparation and parenting products, and will be eligible to win thousands of dollars worth of prizes.

Not a mass expo event, this elite experience is an intimate treat where you’ll find products and people who make the new role of parenting much less stressful.

This is a perfect way to spend the afternoon with your girlfriends, your mom, and especially the daddy-to-be.

You can find out more about the event by going to the website, AtlantaBabyandChildExpo.com. Tickets are available there, along with information for potential vendors.

(Participating sponsors and vendors will be listed below as we add them to our event.  More will be added in the coming weeks, so check back often!)

 

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Day One of Be Good, Do Good, Find Good

by Desiree Miller on January 5, 2018

begoodlogo

As I launch this journey to ‘focus on the good’, it occurs to me that I don’t need to look far to find good—lots of it—and that I am not on this journey alone.

It’s been less than 24 hours since I kicked the concept into gear, sharing my intentions on my blog and Facebook page, and already have a dozen people volunteering to jump in and get it rolling.

Some, like Krystyn Hall of ReallyAreYouSerious.com, are helping with logo design and website creation (she’s a badass at both, so if you’ve ever considered launching a site, start with her)…others, such as Michelle Jordan and Liz O’Keefe (who happened to work as TV reporters back at a station I was a News Director for decades ago), volunteered to jump in and contribute content. Others, including Karin Sheets and Mary Lebeau, are fellow bloggers I crossed paths with on my travels many years ago and remain in touch with, thanks to social media and their good hearts. Still more are simply friends, people who also appreciate the mission driving us here. Some are neighbors, others are people I’ve never even met ‘in real life’.

My point here: good really is all around us. Everywhere. We simply have to choose to see it.

There are people doing good each and every day, most without ever expecting to be acknowledged for their selfless efforts. It’s our goal to give them the pat on the back they deserve.

It’s also our goal to help you ‘be’ good…suggesting ways you can ‘do’ good around you…or to ‘find’ good when you need it.

We want to share all the good places, good people, and good things in the world that we can.

Feel free to jump in on the journey with us. Hey, one day, maybe we’ll create t-shirts to help spread the good.  Until then, we want you to send us ideas, write stories of your own that we can share with the world, tell us all about any good you see around you.

Help us FOCUS ON THE GOOD.

(How do you like our logo? Sweet, right? Kudos to Krystyn… and don’t worry, as soon as we can get the site published, we will–and will share all this content over there as soon as possible).

 

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coincidence

Do you believe in coincidences? Or, are you more like me, inclined to think these serendipitous events are more than chance happenings in life?

Especially after a few recent ‘coincidences’, I’m in the camp with Deepak Chopra, who points them out as ‘clues from the universe’.

In his 2003 book, Chopra explains “Coincidences are not accidents but signals from the universe which can guide us toward our true destiny.”

I was reminded of this as I opened an email yesterday that caught me totally by surprise.

The subject line: Karlin, your seat neighbor from London to Boston

I instantly dove deep into my brain to recall my flight home from London to Boston last month. It was one of three legs in a very long day, which started that morning in Barcelona, Spain, and ultimately ended in Atlanta, GA, on the night before Thanksgiving (honestly, it ended up being the morning of, but let’s not digress).

Anyway, I opened the email and the message inside left me in tears. Happy tears.

I’ll let you read:

Hi Desiree!

I hope that your flight to Atlanta was smooth and that you have had a fantastic holiday season. Happy New Year!

I am unbelievably grateful that the Universe sat me next to you on that flight from London to Boston in November. What you told me really stuck with me–“when you have an idea, go for it, buy the domain, don’t hesitate, don’t wait, nail it down”!

Guess what I did the next day? I bought a domain (www.thewanderingswami.com)! Not only that, I outlined an entire business plan for the business that I am now launching, piece by piece. 

Thank you for sharing your knowledge (and armrest) with me. I will always be grateful.

Wishing you all the best,

Karlin

PS. How is “Be Good, Do Good, Find Good” coming along?

Immediately, the conversation, and Karlin’s face, came rushing back. She was younger than me, probably in her mid 20’s. We talked a bit about life. I mentioned my TV job, along with my websites. As a travel lover, she embraced the website idea, and told me she shared her photographs online with family and friends, but not really with the world. I encouraged her to make the leap, and gave her my business card in case she wanted to reach out later. I honestly didn’t think I made that big an impression, so the email now—six weeks later–really hit my heart.

But here’s the crazy part.

Her last name, which I don’t remember her saying before, is Krishnaswami. It showed up in the ‘from’ portion of her email address.

The Krishna part is what jumped out at me.

Why?

Well, on a flight a few weeks after the Barcelona one, as I was making my way down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I sat next to a woman who was incredibly upset. I was in a middle seat, and she was sitting at the window. She was trying hard to hold it in, but there was no way to ignore her tears, her entire body shaking with emotion. I don’t know how anyone could witness that kind of hurt and not reach out, so I did.

I asked if there was something I could do for her. She wasn’t able to speak. I put my hand on her hand and told her she didn’t have to talk, but I wanted her to know someone cared. That she could take my hand off hers if she would prefer I leave her alone. Instead, she squeezed it. So I took it one step further, putting my arm around her in a hug of sorts. I let her know that the plane was safe, so if she was afraid of that, we’d be ok. If it was something more, she could tell me about it if she wanted me to know, and that I was a good listener. I told her I’d also been hurt deeply, and knew what it felt like to believe you were dying inside, or wish you were. To this, she gave me her eyes, and finally spoke, saying yes, that’s what was happening with her. She explained that, as she sat next to me, her partner was in the back of the plane, choosing to be apart from her. She was crushed. We talked a little more, about big things like getting therapy, and about little things, like the jewelry she was wearing. She regained composure as she shared her belief about flowers—that they were smiles from God. I told her I agreed. I asked her name. Krishna, she said. She asked me mine. I told her. She smiled wide, then said of course I would be named Desiree, the same name as her little sister’s best friend. She felt it was divine that I was seated next to her. There to help.

And by the time the flight landed, she was stronger. Perhaps even ok.

And now, a month after that last flight, this email appeared from my previous seat-mate, who turned out to also have Krishna in her name.

Two flights. To two very different parts of the world. Seated next to two very different people.

Coincidence? Much more.

And here I was, in the weeks after both flights, looking for direction of my own. Feeling a little lost, and honestly, a bit sad, about what comes next in my life. My marriage now over and family very different today than it was a year ago, I was struggling. Yes, I’d been feeling stronger and even hopeful for a few months, but as sometimes happens to the best of us, the hope started losing to loneliness, and my mind’s fear over what was ahead for me was winning my daily battle for happiness.

While on the flight to London, I had told Karlin that during my trip to Barcelona, I’d bought the domain name for a new website I wanted to create: Be Good, Do Good, Find Good. It came to me while having drinks with my sweet friend who was hosting me on the trip. It felt like an epiphany at the time. It may have been the cava she’d introduced me to (again–the irony–cava is a Spanish drink, similar to my beloved Prosecco, pronounced very much like Cabo, my destination weeks later). Karlin had even asked about it in her PS in her email.

Yet, I’d done little more than think about that site in the weeks since purchasing its domain. I knew I wanted to put more good out in the world, but wasn’t putting the work in to make it happen.

And here, thanks to what some would call coincidence– two Krishna’s in my life, I believe the universe is sending me a signal, pushing me—hard—to pursue my new destiny: to get that site up…and to spread more good in the world.

So, I’m taking the hint. Expect to see the new site in the next month.

If you also want to ‘Be Good, Do Good, Find Good’ let me know and I’ll put you to work with me. I promise, it’ll be good. Great even.

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Hacienda Encantada: A One of a Kind Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

December 22, 2017

There are certain spots on the planet that offer something rare, unique from the rest of the world, and the Hacienda Encantada Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is one of them. It’s the kind of place where you can fade into the stunning scenery…sit and watch the waves crash on the rocks for hours, staring off into the distance at Land’s End and the famous Arch, and, sometimes, if you’re lucky, spot a whale swimming by…and you can do all of this from your waterfront balcony. It […]

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Button Lets You Talk Through Child’s Toys: The Chappet

December 16, 2017

(Note to readers: I was compensated for the review of this device. As always, my opinion remains my own and I would not recommend a product to you that I would not buy for my own family.) We’ve all heard of toys that talk, but how about one YOU can speak through? That’s what Chappet allows. It’s a large button you can attach to your child’s favorite stuffed animal. The button acts like a speaker as you talk through it using a phone app. Technically, Chappet is a Bluetooth speaker encased […]

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Day Stay Options at Resorts: Hotels By Day Review

December 7, 2017

  When you have a long layover, or just want a quick getaway in your own town, give a day stay at a local resort some consideration. It’s an option I’ve tried twice now, for very different reasons, and in both cases, was so glad I did. In the first case, I was in Los Angeles for the day, staying at a very affordable hotel that lacked any great bells and whistles, but I was flying in on a late night flight and didn’t think it was worth paying more […]

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Braves Legend Daly Murphy Opens Murph’s Restaurant

December 5, 2017

He’s a legendary Braves ball player, member of the Humanitarian Hall of Fame, and now, owner of a restaurant that hits it out of the ballpark when it comes to mixing great taste and good fun in Atlanta. It’s called Murph’s, and Daly Murphy serves up a home run with this new eatery, located just across the walking bridge from the new Suntrust Braves stadium. I stopped in on a recent afternoon and was met by the big ball player for lunch. Nope, I’m no celebrity…nor were the tables full […]

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VOLKSWAGEN 2017 GOLF ALLTRACK TSI S: Review

November 17, 2017

It was supposed to be a quick run down to the beach. Just my oldest daughter and me. Our goal: a getaway from it all for just a few days. Relaxation. A couple hours tasting some of the best oyster combinations you could think up at the Annual Oyster Cook-off. And some quality girl time. The Volkswagen 2017 Golf was our ticket to freedom this weekend. In tornado red. Maybe not the best choice in colors, thinking we were looking forward to fabulous weather all weekend. But, we were headed […]

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