Crazy weekend in New Orleans

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Two weeks ago I went to New Orleans for one of my favorite social media conferences of the year, Mom 2.0. This particular conference is a really good discussion between marketers, PR agencies, and brands with bloggers.  I spoke last year on the panel 3 Mormons and a Bloggess and spoke this year with an equally talented group of ladies.

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with the details of my panel {we spoke about taking your blog past a review + giveaway medium to something more meaningful} but I will tell you about New Orleans.

best friends

This photo kind of sums it up.  I was roommates at the Ritz Carlton {which in my humble opinion isn’t quite as nice as the Grand America,which is neither here nor there} with Marie LeBaron and Rachael Herrsherr with a one night guest appearance of Susan Peterson.  The roommate situation and of itself was worth the flight to New Orleans, but it doesn’t really make a lot of sense since all of us are from Utah and could have a sleep-over every weekend in Salt Lake City if we got our acts together.

Whatever.

The conference was amazing, it always is but the highlight was the location.  Did you know it’s warm in New Orleans?  Seriously warm.  It felt like New York City in August which was such a refreshing change from all the cold rain and snow and ENDLESS winter we’ve been having in Utah.  The weekend was filled with swanky parties and reunions with amazing friends from every corner of the country {and Canada! we can’t forget Canada!} but the best part for me, aside from the massage* at the hotel spa {so much happiness in that place} was the service project Saturday afternoon.

girlfriends

I’m an ambassador for Dr Pepper/Let’s Play who hosted a service project in a devastated area of New Orleans.  Dr Pepper/Let’s Play has teamed up with Kaboom!, an amazing non-profit organization that’s trying to save play for kids all across America.  Kids all over the country don’t have safe places to play and these organizations are trying to remedy that.  In fact, Kaboom! is about to build its 2000th playground.  Very cool.

playground build

Saturday afternoon, in-between conference sessions we headed to a playground build that had been in progress since 6 o’clock that morning to help finish up in time for the ribbon cutting ceremony.  I wish we could have been there all day to help, but I was thrilled to have even taken a small part in this New Orleans build.  An entire playground was erected in one day.  Can you believe that?

Hundreds of volunteers pitched in building picnic tables, an arbor for shade, filling in the playground space with bark chips, painting, and any other random assortment of jobs it takes to make a playground.

playground

I was really emotional the entire time we worked, thinking about how much I take for granted the fact that my children have a backyard with grass and a sandbox and swings all safely fenced in within my sight.  Kids all over the world don’t have anywhere safe to play, and we all know the importance of play in developing so many crucial life skills.  These adorable kids in New Orleans haven’t had anywhere to play since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and I was thrilled to play even a tiny part in restoring that to them.

kid

During the build I wandered over to the area where all the local kids were hanging out, far away from the danger of the building area.  There were two little boys on a makeshift stage showing off their mad dancing skills.  They didn’t play around, these little boys knew how to move.

dancing dancer

And that’s exactly why they need a safe place to do it.

play ground

All in all, I’d say the weekend was a total win if you don’t count Bourbon StreetAnd I don’t.

 

*{Body Logic gave me a gift certificate to use at the spa, and I did use it ohhhhhh yesssssss}

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Allison

Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

10 Comments

  1. The Mommy Therapy :

    I can’t believe that park went up in a day! Very cool!

    Nothing like a happy place for kids to go to and just be kids! What a fantastic organization.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Allison :

      Kaboom is an amazing organization, seriously. I want to do another build.

  2. kelleyn :

    Hey! Is that a picture of your son with Jennifer Gardner in Lifestyle Magazine. It sure does look like him. Glad your having so much fun!

    • Allison :

      I don’t think that’s him, but he was floating around in the background somewhere! It was a super fun day.

  3. Jenny :

    That looks awesome. Where are they installing the diet Dr Pepper mom drinking fountain?

    • Allison :

      Well, that one gets put in my yard in July.

      Kidding. Although, wouldn’t that be amazing?

  4. Michelle :

    Kaboom is an amazing company, how fun that you got to be on a build. It’s on my list of things to do now that I am finally graduating from college!!

  5. Marie :

    I love that photo of us. So fun! I loved that weekend.

  6. Katrina :

    Dr. Pepper? Did they hear you were coming?! hahha