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Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 17. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How I Spent Last Tuesday (hint: MICHELLE OBAMA!!!)

Well, they didn't kick me out of the White House, so there's that. Oh and the Metro was up and running, thank God. They closed that thing down at midnight the day I was in DC. THAT would've been a nightmare.

Wait, let me start at the beginning. If you guys read my last post, you know that I was invited through BlogHer/SheKnows Media to the Let's Move! Event at the White House on March 15. In a nutshell, the event was to bring together about 150 bloggers, mothers (and some fathers), social media junkies and all-around big mouths like myself to get the word out about Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" Campaign and to discuss the successes to date and the future plans for this amazing and life changing campaign.

Okay, first thing's first. Let's get all the fan-girling and touristy stuff out of the way. This was my first ever trip to the White House and I took a ton of pictures.

Me in my "I'm going to the White House, Bitches!" dress.
Inside the gates! No stopping me now. (and pretty trees)
The Obama girls, with Dad and Dog!

Presidential China that wouldn't fit in my purse.
Nancy Reagan's portrait

And the flowers under Nancy Reagan's portrait

Me looking all classy. Just like Jackie Kennedy. Or not.

Presidential hand towels. Yes, I took two, thanks for asking.
George W

Bill Clinton (with a very talented Marine playing piano)

Ronald Reagan
The view of the South Lawn. The fountain was running green in honor of St. Patty's Day
Coffee out of the Presidential China (which also didn't fit in my purse. Next time....bigger purse.
JFK and me.

My girl Stephanie of When Crazy Meets Exhaustion. VIPs in the front row!
And now let's get down to the meat of the matter: Let's Move! We were brought to the White House to discuss the health of our kids. You know, those little humans that live with you and spend every waking hour either on their phones or on the couch watching TV or playing video games. Them. The Let's Move! Campaign was created to bring about change. To inspire action, and to put kids on the path to a healthy future. Here are some pretty amazing statistics about the Let's Move! Campaign:

  • Nearly 80 million people (nearly 1 in 4 Americans) now live in a Let's Move! City, Town or County
  • More than 30 million kids are eating healthier school breakfasts and lunches
  • 2 million kids now have a Let's Move! Salad Bar in their school
  • OVER 10 million kids attend Let's Move! Active Schools where they strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day
  • 1.6 million kids are now attending healthier daycare centers where fruits and veggies have replaced cookies and juice
  • Thousands of chain restaurants have created healthier kids' menus, and food & beverage companies cut 6.4 TRILLION calories from their products
Did you know that the government now offers a program called Every Kid In A Park?  All over the US, fourth grade children can go to this link and obtain a pass for free entry for them and their entire family to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide for an entire year. How freaking cool is that?

Deb Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let's Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition
We also learned about the "Farm to School" programs which is a mutually beneficial program for both local farmers and school districts. Deborah Kane, Director of the Office of Community Food Systems at the USDA told us about this program. She said that there are grant funds available to start a Farm to School program in your area, where they provide technical assistance and make materials available. They also like to champion the success stories and applaud kids for farming. At our elementary school here in Mayberry, we had a Roots and Shoots program to teach the little ones  about growing plants, veggies and how to maintain gardens. GREAT program!

Now before I get people saying "Oh well the crap they're serving in my kids' schools is terrible" let me say this. It's not Michelle Obama's job to come to your kid's school and serve them a healthy lunch. That is the job of the school districts. They are given the guidelines and some funding to put healthy lunch on your kid's plate. If your school district isn't doing the job or following the guidelines, don't complain to me, complain to your school district, and if you don't have any success there, go up the food chain. 

Cris Comerford, the White House Executive Chef gave us a demonstration on making a Tuscan Kale Salad to Go in mason jars. Since I skipped breakfast, that salad looked so amazing that it was all I could do to NOT rush the stage and steal one. I think the Secret Service had their eyes on me, so I showed amazing restraint. The best part was when Chef Comerford admitted to all 150 of us that she actually stole the recipe from Pinterest. Go Chef! We'll keep your secret. Oh, crap.

White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford.....making me hungry

Another really cool thing that I learned was that the Obama Administration is extremely 'Mom-Friendly'. They announced early on that if anyone needed to use the White House's Nursing Room, it would be made available to them, and that there are MANY nursing moms as well as moms of children and teens working at the White House. As a matter of fact, every person who spoke to us on Tuesday was a woman. Rock on, ladies!

Dominique Dawes!! The Three-time Olympic Gymnast!!

Michelle Obama came out last to speak to us and let me tell you: she is STUNNING. Just to be in the same room with her was tremendously cool. She's confident, she's funny, she's a mom but she's one of the most powerful moms I've ever met. Physically fit, well-spoken and just a pleasure to watch. Seriously, I was girl-crushing for a bit. My takeaway from her speech was that the Let's Move! Campaign is working. Childhood obesity rates have stopped rising and are slowly beginning to decrease. It's working. But we as parents have to continue to demand that big brands continue to work toward providing healthier options for us and for our children. Here's a quote from Mrs. Obama's speech:

"As First Lady, I've seen the impact of this work on a national scale as well. After so many years, childhood obesity rates have stopped rising, and rates for our youngest kids have actually started to fall. And I have no doubt that if we keep pushing forward on this issue, one day, we will look back on the food we used to feed our kids and it'll be like looking back on the days when we didn't wear seat belts or bike helmets or sunscreen. We'll be like, 'Man, can you believe we used to eat that stuff?'"

Totally fan-girling. Look at her!
After the events in the East Room, we were given a swag bag (got me a cool new 1-quart water bottle, and if you've met me, you know I always have a water bottle with me so this is a GREAT gift) and led out to the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn. Very cool to see where the fruits and veggies are grown. Also, did you know that they keep bees at the White House?? Seriously, I talked with Deb Eschmeyer, the Executive Director of Let's Move!, who told me that last year the White House had given out well over 125 jars of honey as gifts. Seriously, very cool stuff! Luckily the bees were dormant because of the cool DC weather that day. (which was totally fine with me, because BEES STING).

Overall, it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I can't believe I almost didn't go. What a knucklehead. Here's a bit of advice from your old pal Snarkfest. If you're ever invited to the White House, don't think about it, don't weigh the pros and cons. Just DO IT. It may never happen again, and I'm so glad I went.

Thanks, Obama!

The only picture I could get of both Mrs. O and me.

Amanda Mushro from Questionable Choices in Parenting and me AT. THE. WHITE HOUSE!
THE White House Kitchen Garden!
The BlogU Girls together again!

24 comments:

  1. YOU ARE THE COOLEST PERSON EVER! Love, love, love your pics!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Dyanne! Maybe not the coolest but totally lucky for the opportunity.

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  2. Congratulations Teri! What an honor. Thankx for the info on Let's Move, a message worth sharing...

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  3. What a fabulous experience. I have to be honest, I never really knew much about the Let's Move Campaign until I read your post. Thanks for the valuable information.

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    1. I'm glad I could share this awesome info!

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  4. Such a cool experience and I can't think of anyone better to experience it.

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    1. Thanks Kari! EVERYONE should get to do this!

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  5. Amazing article, amazing experience and even more amazing that there aren't pictures of you being tackled by Secret Service and them pulling all kinds of White House crap out of your purse, pockets & bra!!��

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  6. Replies
    1. Still on a high from the experience, Marcia!

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  7. Wow what a wonderful experience! I can't believe your thought about skipping! I would have sent my RSVP the second I read the email.

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    1. I am stunned that I even considered not going.

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  8. Such a great post. Love all your photos. We were so lucky to be there at the front table. Such a fantastic day. Let's keep in touch!

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  9. We were at the White House. I still can't...

    SO happy we got to go together!!!!

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  10. (Whispering): I took hand towels too.

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  11. man, why didn't I think to take hand towels?! What a great experience!

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