LMP at the White House

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These days...when you have something to say...you know who you need? Bloggers. At this moment, bloggers are the ones with the voice. Bloggers have the power of marketing. Social media has completely changed the way we do business today. Social media has proven to be the most effective form of advertising and marketing. While I often fear that I am exposing myself a little too much to the world through selected forms of social media I then quickly realize that it is the best way to educate our generation today.

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Around here...we don't tend to refer to ourselves as bloggers, because we are party planners. We just use our blog as an outlet to showcase our work. So when a VIP invitation to the White House arrived in my inbox last week, I thought it was a mistake or some type of spam.

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When Abby told me it was real it took me a little while to process. The White House? Why would they want me there? Mom Bloggers? Do they think I'm a Mom Blogger?

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Abby explained that they invited a range of influencers to cover the event on social media so I stopped asking questions and started planning my outfit.

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The invitation came through the social network PopSugar. I have worked with them on some sponsored content over the years and was honored that they chose me for this very special event. The event that was being held at the White House was for Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to help kids and families lead healthier lives.

When I heard this was subject matter I thought...hmmm...maybe Mrs. Obama has been following Luke's little cooking series and caught the tantrum over the deviled eggs? NAHHH....can't be. Whatever it was, I was very intrigued and excited to learn more! And what better way to tell Americans that the government WANTS to help make schools healthier and focus more on nutrition then through a bunch of mom bloggers who are addicted to their phones. Was pretty genius.

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The invitation made it very clear that they wanted us to have our phones out and on all through this event. That was a request I would have no problem following...

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At the event there were several blogging buddy pairs and couples. I noticed many of gals were there with friends who happened to meet up with each from all over the country after finding out they got the same invite. Lucky for me, my friend Ilana was also amongst the list of invitees so we were able to plan the trip together. Made my life a little easier knowing I would have a friend there since I wasn't allowed to bring the rest of our LMP team.

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When we arrived at the White House on Tuesday we were taken through a few different security check points but the entrance was seamless. We entered through the south wing and had some time to roam freely. There was so much to see and I didn't know which way to look first. The photos of so many Presidents hung on the walls, there were libraries full of old books and beautiful paintings, vintage couches and tons of Presidential dishes and platters.

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(this photo was taken by Mommy Shorts)

After snapping 1000 photos, we walked upstairs towards the ballroom and grabbed a juice and granola bar on the way. Of course took some more photos and then found a seat.

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The agenda was made up of a panel of speakers including Deb Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let's Move and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition who led the event along with several Doctors, other White House advisors and Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympic gymnast who is now a Mother of two and Co-chair of the President's council on fitness, sports and nutrition.

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The conversation was extremely powerful and interesting as I have a great love for food and have always practiced healthy eating in our home.

Then the big moment arrived and out walked the FLOTUS. My jaw dropped when she came onto the stage dressed as chic as I imagined her to be. I've always been a huge fan of Michelle Obama. She seems so genuine and that's exactly how she came across at this event. She spoke to the audience like an equal. Like a mother speaking to other mothers and (some fathers!) who are just trying to figure out what's best for their children.

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While speaking about the issue at hand, she pointed out that no one should ever claim they can't afford to feed their children healthy food but we can't afford not to. Treating obesity will cost much more and we no longer have the luxury of ignoring this issue.

"When people mock this we have to say, excuse me, but our children's health isn't a joke" --Michelle Obama.

It's true isn't it?  There is nothing funny about obesity and children who have diabetes, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol.

Many parents may argue that their children are picky eaters or it's too hard to get them to eat fruits and vegetables. What you need to remember is that YOU are the parent. YOU are in charge. So maybe it just takes some extra effort and food needs to become a little more fun? There are so many great cookbooks and recipes online these days for kids. One of my favorites is Weelicious. Her recipes are healthy, easy and fun. We have her cookbook and my kids love flipping through choosing recipes to make for their meals.

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Once the conversation came to an end, we were invited to walk the White House grounds and see the White House Kitchen Garden. The garden was full of winter veggies such as kale and lettuce. We dug our fancy heals into the dirt and took a ton of photos with these veggies.

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Ilana and I were the last to leave the garden and instead of getting kicked out we chatted it up with one of the Let's Move staff members. I asked her how they choose the children who get to come to the White House each spring to plant the veggies in this garden. She said they choose children who attend schools who excel in their nutritional values and programs. "Funny You should say that" I said to her...because I just so happened to bring along with me print outs from my son's school. They crush the nutrition department to a point that I never could  have imagined. They have a garden on the roof of the school where they grow herbs and veggies to use in the school cafeteria, the lunch menus are incredibly healthy AND delicious, they do interactive cooking labs for the kids every quarter and they bring in top Chefs from the neighborhood to give demos during lunch. My son is doing a restaurant study in first grade now and this week alone we went on field trips to Quality Eats and Gramercy Tavern. Lucky that I got to chat with that gal and give her all this info because she took the paperwork and my card. Now let's see if the White House calls.....!

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I joked about the first lady catching onto Luke's "cooking show" but all joking aside, it seems like we're doing something right over here. Getting the kids into the kitchen and involved with cooking is the best way to get them to eat their veggies and get excited about food. One of our favorite brands, Cheeky posted this last night...confirming this is a great way to Make Meal Time Matter.

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In closing Mrs. Obama said "don't ever doubt the difference you can make as bloggers and as parents". I thought...hmmm...I guess no matter how big or small of an influencer you are, you can have a voice out there if you make the effort.

With that said, I now feel it's my responsibility and new mission to help make a difference. Tune in with us Tuesdays at 3pm on Snapchat at LMPNYC to find out what Luke will be whipping up next. This upcoming Tuesday we'll be making the Kale Salad in a mason jar that the Executive White House Chef demoed for us during the event. And of course if you miss it, you can catch it all on our LMP YouTube channel.

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So in closing, thank you to all of YOU who follow Little Miss Party and support this little business that we have created here. You have given us a voice and we will continue to use it.

You can learn more about the Let's Move! initiative on their website. And if you're looking for a contact at the Government's office regarding a school's nutritional programs you can contact them at letsmove@who.eop.gov