About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter and son in glorious western Massachusetts.

Picture Your IBS and Enter to Win

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Picture My IBS. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All experiences belong to my loved ones, and are not representative of everyone’s experience. I want to spread awareness.

Do you or someone you know suffer from IBS? Submit your #PictureMyIBS artwork and enter to #win prizes! Share your story. Submit your artwork for a chance to win a trip to NYC. #ad

I remember the first time I heard about IBS, because I had both a relative and a close friend with the chronic condition. I didn’t understand a lot about it, and I feared that maybe I had it or would have it someday since I tend to have a nervous stomach. I know now that my symptoms had nothing to do with IBS and were nauseous feelings related to anxiety. It took me a long time to see a doctor about my symptoms, so I can understand the reluctance that IBS sufferers have to discuss their bowel movements with their doctors. When they do, though, they can find relief and support – both a long time coming.

I know what it’s like to feel trapped by your body – unable to feel you can live a normal life.

Picture Your IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects nearly 35 MILLION people in the United States alone. Misinformation and self-treatment cycles are leading people to suffer with IBS for years, or even decades, before finally seeing a doctor. It can be a difficult and embarrassing topic for people to talk about, even to their own doctors.

People haven’t been talking about it enough. Until now.

Picture My IBS is a new initiative that offers people a new way to express their feelings about the impact of IBS on their lives. You can create an original piece of artwork in whichever form allows you to best express yourself and your IBS journey – whether it be a painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, or other type of artwork that meets the contest guidelines.

Picture My IBS was created by The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) in collaboration with Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and aims to help those with IBS find a more comfortable way to communicate with their doctors, to share their IBS journey with others and to show others that they are not alone. These pieces of art are being shared by real people living with IBS, and will help elevate public awareness and shine a light on the many ways IBS affects people’s lives.

More big news is that a panel of judges will evaluate the art submissions and the Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip for two to a luxury hotel and spa in NYC. Five Honorable Mention winners will receive a $100 American Express gift card.

Share your own IBS-inspired art work or encourage a loved one to do the same – as part of the Picture My IBS initiative. You or your loved one could win one of many exciting prizes. Visit Picture My IBS for more info.

I made my own art submission – to try to understand this struggle.

I love collages, and trying to channel many emotions and feelings at once. I have to admit – Scarlet helped a lot. Her eyes lit up at the chance to do an art project, even one that highlighted a syndrome. I think that made her more interested.

So, what do you think? Are you going to enter the contest?

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the Picture My IBS initiative.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES, D.C., AGE 18 OR OVER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. THE SPONSORS OF THE CONTEST ARE ALLERGAN USA, INC. WITH AN OFFICE AT HARBORSIDE FINANCIAL CENTER; PLAZA V, SUITE 1900; JERSEY CITY, NJ 07302; IRONWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. WITH AN OFFICE AT 301 BINNEY STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA 02142; AND THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY. APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE OF ALL PRIZES IS $6,500. ODDS OF WINNING DEPEND ON NUMBER AND QUALITY OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1, 2016 AND FEBRUARY 28, 2017. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS APPLY. PLEASE SEE COMPLETE CONTEST TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT PICTUREMYIBS.ORG.

That Time We Made a Movie: Winter Activities

Here are 5 winter activities to do indoors as a family, including how to make a stop-motion movie! And, here's a $5,000 #giveaway! #goldfishmoments #ad #win

I have to say something. We made a MOVIE today! We dreamed a dream of a movie, and turned it into.. a MOVIE!

I did not think I was capable of this, but I have dreamed about making movies for most of my life. Although today was a thaw day, reminiscent of March and April and all the goodness coming our way, the fact remains that we’re still smack in the beginning of winter. I think Des agrees with me that it’s not a favorite season, because he asked me last week, “When is life going to get normal again?” I asked him what he meant and he said, “I mean – when is there not going to be snow anymore?”

Alabama-born Athena wonders the same!

Winter can be long in New England. Not only that, but afternoons, weekends, and snow days can be challenging – when you feel like you’re too cooped up at home. That’s why I have a list of five winter activities you can do as a family.

Five Winter Activities to Do as a Family:

1 – Sorry, but this cannot wait another second. We made a stop motion movie using Goldfish crackers! Other than than, the production was pure imagination and spirit. I had a tripod for my camera, but not my iPhone. I have a car phone holder for it, though, and I just need you to know – this is SO MUCH FUN. You can make one yourself too! The sky is the limit. We knew we wanted a valentine theme and thought about ways to add movement and effects. I bought some green yarn for grass, and we cut out hearts and clouds. It was so much fun to move everything on our movie board just a little bit at a time, and think about what that might come out like. We shot this movie in 224 stills, and had no idea what it would look like until it was done. It took us two hours together, but every second was bonding and fun. What you can do with Goldfish crackers!

WE MADE THIS!

2 – I have found a brand new love for sledding. I had no idea it was so freeing and wonderful. Here, Scarlet enjoys a thrilling, winter, family activity, and we didn’t even have to leave our home! This is our own long and exciting driveway:

3 – Making recipes. We had a snow day on Saturday, which wasn’t a big one, but four inches of snow and ice kept us indoors. We made pink sparkly cupcakes, homemade pasta (yes, really), and had snack time with Goldfish crackers. My favorite kind is Goldfish Baked With Whole Grain, but the kids favor Goldfish Colors or Goldfish Cheddar. There is something for everyone.

winter activities

4 – This one only takes two words – BLANKET FORT!

winter activities

5 – Arts and crafts. I’m more of an arts person – working on dioramas, photos, words with the kids. I once came home from a two hour photoshoot, and Cassidy had built an entire castle out of cardboard, though. Imagination is strong in our household.

Goldfish crackers are always baked with real cheese, have no artificial flavors or preservatives, have colors sourced from plants – like annatto extracted from the reddish seeds of the Achiote Tree, and Baked With Whole Grain Cheddar (my favorite!) has 12 grams of whole grain per serving. What I know is that they help bring our family together, always.

What kinds of winter activities do you do as a family in the winter? Visit GoldfishTales page for inspiration and information about the Goldfish Tales Animation Xperience! You can submit your stop motion for a chance to win $5,000!