The New Me


At BlogHer I was fortunate to meet Laurie White who is, in my eyes, a professional photographer. She has captured many of my friends looking as beautiful as possible while not looking staged or like they’re about to kill someone. It’s been almost a year that I have had my headshot with the pink top. It’s been stolen a few times on Twitter and has been used on a few blogs without my permission. The problem with that is that I am not the copyright holder. And while I have a paper saying that I have a license to use the image I’m not dealing with people as copyright savvy as I am. So, it was time for a new headshot. Only drawback is that San Diego is humid and my curly-ish hair + humidity could be a problem. Laurie knew what she was doing and in a matter of seconds captured what I think is a gorgeous picture. And I’m quite critical of myself. Oh, and I’m sure she ‘brightened it up’ a bit. You know, to clean up a few shadows or dust spots on the lens. *wink wink*

So without further adieu, here it is …… The New Me.

Thank you, Laurie and Snapfish by HP!


Social Soiree Recap

This is what my hotel room looked like the first nite for BlogHer. And you can’t see that the closet is full of pink tote bags – 150 pink tote bags! It got worse before it got better! All of these boxes and bags were for Social Soiree. If you’re tired of reading about Social Soiree, then you’ll just have to start blogging so you can attend next year! It really was a blast!

That craziness turned in to this sea of swag-filled bags that were transported over the The New Children’s Museum in beautiful and sunny San Diego.

What was created in a Skype chat room with 10 women turned in to one of the most talked about private events at the conference.

The goal was to find a way to connect people with brands to help them establish relationships to grow their blogs. And I think we accomplished that, and more. So much so that we’re crazy enough to say we’ll do it again next year when Blogher heads back to New York City. At least I won’t have to drive nearly all the swag to the hotel. I’ll let my frugalistas share in that fun!

But the event couldn’t have happend without the generous support of our corporate sponsors. You’ve met all of them over the past few weeks. But I will be highlighting them over the next few days too. If it weren’t for the generous support of Whole Foods and Wine Twits the event would have been lacking. For a good party you need food and wine! And we had plenty of both.

And to prove we all got dressed up and didn’t just keep all the swag to ourselves, I introduce you to my fellow Frugalistas who truly were the Social Soiree Hostesses with the Mostess.

from left to right: Tamona, Alecia, Renae, Karen, Me, KellyKristin, AnnAlli and Dian


Disclosure: Whole Foods and WineTwits sponsored Social Soiree. I received no compensation. As a hostess of the event I did agree to tell you about them. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Mamavation Monday: Conference Edition

Heading to the BlogHer Conference this week and looking at my schedule of sessions, meetings and the wonderful parties they’re throwing I know one thing – I’ll be walking a lot! That’ll be great since the last few weeks I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time at my desk planning and organizing Social Soiree as well as putting together my presentation for my speaking gig at Pathfinder Day.

As I’ve mentioned before, eating well while traveling can be a challenge for me. This time, though, I have a sense of what will be available having attended BlogHer 2010. There will a buffet for breakfast as well as lunch, both with standard fare. I know I can find healthy options and because they’re part of my conference pass I won’t have to think twice about making sure I eat. And eat well.

So I’m excited to go for a million different reasons. But I’m not dreading the eating part.

Any words of wisdom? Things to avoid?

Image Credit: Image provided via a free trial at Fotolia


San Diego – For Business and Pleasure

This coming week I’m heading to San Diego for the BlogHer Conference where I will be speaking. As you also know, I’m part of a group of blogging friends hosting an event to pay it forward to other bloggers and help them meet brands.

I’ve been to San Diego quite a few times and have always enjoyed my time there. On this trip I won’t be visiting many attractions. However, I will get the opportunity to learn about San Diego. One of the sponsors of Social Soiree is the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. As the official point of contact for people wanting to visit San Diego, the San Diego CVB has established relationships with businesses that will help you have a wonderful visit. Whether you’re looking for a hotel, restaurant, transportation, family-friendly attraction, romantic dining or free events, the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau should be your first stop.

Even if you just want to do some arm-chair traveling their site is full of information and beautiful photos. San Diego is beautiful all year ’round, too, if you’re thinking you might need to escape the heat or the cold.

The San Diego CVB reached out to me to be a sponsor for the Social Soiree event I’m hosting with a few friends. I look forward to learning more about how they can help with travel planning. I love their ‘Happy Happens’ phrase too. Because I remember being in San Diego with BabyGirl when she as just a few months old and that feeling of ‘Happy Happens’.

Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. While these companies are supporting Social Soiree and will be providing something for the attendee gift bags, (of which I will get one b/c I am attending), all opinions are my own and have not been moderated by a third party.


Baby Girl’s Ponies Go To BlogHer ’10: Meeting People

Starsong and Pinkie Pie go to BlogHer '10

One of the brands supporting the 2010 BlogHer Conferences is Hasbro’s My Little Pony. When BabyGirl saw that in my conference materials and on my Twitter feed she asked if I would take some of her My Little Pony ponies with me to meet friends. Being the Best. Mom. Ever., of course I said yes. But only 2!

There was some negotiation as to how many really should come to New York, but I was firm with two. So Pinky Pie and Star Song (who I kept calling Sweetie Belle) attended BlogHer with me. On Friday, they visited the Expo hall and learned about many of the brands before heading upstairs to meet their friends at the My Little Pony booth. They had a great time, but the highlight of Friday was the BlogHer Gala, where both Pinkie Pie and Star Song got dressed up and put on their beautiful outfits.

Here are some of the great people Star Song and Pinky Pie met at BlogHer ’10.

This is Holly and Rustin from The Blog Frog. They like ponies, but not as much as they like frogs. If you don’t know about The Blog Frog, you should check them out. And if you don’t follow Holly and Rustin, you should and tell them I sent you!

This is the famous Susan Getgood! She is super smart and I met her at Blissdom for a hot second but got to meet her again in NYC and she was extraordinarily gracious to talk marketing with The Ponies and bring them up to speed on the newest trends.

This is Julie and Tricia from Mabel’s Labels. They’re from Canada! The Ponies had never met anyone from Canada before so they were thrilled to meet Julie and Tricia who told them all about how to label their things so the other ponies don’t keep taking them.

This is The Bloggess! And she loves The Ponies! Did you read that? The Bloggess loves The Ponies! She was all kinds of fabulosity on Saturday evening, typing away on a manual pink typewriter whatever the energy from your aura would communicate to her. And, you know what? The Ponies loved her too!

This is Laid Off Dad, and he has a real name but that’s not really important. He’s an artist and The Ponies enjoyed watching him make me a LOD original. In French! Well, it wasn’t IN FRENCH but he wrote on the LOD Original in French. And because The Ponies are super smart, they know French too. Oh, and, yes, they let men come to BlogHer.

This is my BFA, Bloggy Friend Alli or Blissdom Friend Ally or even Best Friend Alli. Well, I just made that up. I don’t think she’s my best friend. OK, maybe she is. She definitely is my Blissdom friend and Bloggy Friend. Her name is Alli Worthington and she is The Awesome! Anyway, Alli lives in a house full of boys so she doesn’t get much pony time. But she, too, loves The Ponies. And get this, Alli said The Ponies could come to Blissdom! Did you hear that Hasbro and @MyLittlePony? Star Song and Pinkie Pie were invited to Blissdom by none other than Alli Worthington herself! And if you think Alli is being all crazy inviting The Ponies to Blissdom, she can do that because she is one of the founders.

There are more people BabyGirl’s Ponies met and plenty more pictures. But that’s for another day. This is just the beginning of The Adventure of BabyGirl’s Ponies!

The Ponies are taking suggestions as to whom they should put on their list to meet and places they should go.  Do you have any suggestions?


BlogHer Recap Done In Haiku

Momku and BabyGirl's ponies type haiku

As you probably know, I attended a women’s blogging conference, BlogHer, this past weekend. In New York City! Ohh lala. And, as is custom after returning from a blogging conference one is to write about her experience in a wonderful post, or three or twelve.

However, this recap will be a little different.  See, I met the extraordinary momku who was lovely and gracious and sweet and kind. Her name in real life is Alana, but for me and the ponies she will always be momku. She even had The Ponies type a haiku for BabyGirl! Isn’t she just the sweetest?

Oh, the ponies. Yes, they will be one of the eleventy posts I’ll do about BlogHer, so stay tuned.

In honor of momku, here is my haiku recap of BlogHer 2010 in New York City.

I type words and tweet

and now see you in real life

I’m with my people.


My Year of Awesome – 1st Quarter Update

Well, I’ve been remiss in keeping you up to date with my Year of Awesome project. Partly because it’s been so, well, Awesome. And partly because sometimes it’s not and I’m stressed out and forget to look for those silver-lined clouds.

Here we are, 3 months in to my Year of Awesome and for the most part it’s been more than I could have imagined. I type this as I fly to New York City to attend the BlogHer Conference where I’m going to meet real life friends and online friends for a weekend of learning more about blogging and brand relationships.

But, lets go back to May when it all started. And turning 41. Not all that eventful or even a milestone, but I wanted to make this birthday year about me and things that relate to me. And my family is a big part of me, so my awesome-experiences extend to BabyGirl and CycleGuy too.

Shortly after getting my Year of Awesome underway, I was approached by Hollee Temple to guest post about my Year of Awesome on the blog she does with Becky about work/life balance. And while asking to guest post is very flattering, I was fan-girl extatic! You see, Becky & Hollee write the Work/Life Balance column for the American Bar Association Journal, and I’ve been reading their stuff for quite some time. They’re HUGE! And they wanted me to guest post! Talk about Year of Awesome!

Now I get to hang out in NYC at BlogHer with 2,500 of my bloggy friends, many of whom I’ve admired for quite some time. But it’s not just about me being a stalker, uh, I mean fan-girl, yes, fan-girl. I get an opportunity to learn from the best and brightest about blogging, writing, photography (I can definitely use some help here!), authenticity and branding. Even more exciting is that I get to be on a radio show with several of the ladies I team up with to bring you frugal living tips and deals. Me! On the radio!

OK, so it’s not like we’ll be on Howard Stern or anything like that. It’s an online radio show called Diva Toolbox Radio and the segment is called “Savings in the City”. Cute huh? I’ll post the segment if I can.

My Year of Awesome continues. Some days I lose sight of the small bits of awesome that surround me. I’m often looking for these giant, in-your-face kind of moments. Really, though, it’s kind of like the math philosophy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. For me, that means that each small experience of Awesome is equally deserving of my attention and appreciation as the big ones.

I’m eager to see what the 2nd quarter of My Year of Awesome will be like.

Take this trip with me. Have your own Year of Awesome! It’s not all about happenstance and luck. We can just as easily create Awesome as wait for it to fall in our lap. How will you create something Awesome for yourself this weekend?


Catching The Brass Ring

There are times when you watch from afar and other times when you grab that brass ring and go for it! And that is what I did. When presented with the opportunity to attend the BlogHer conference in New York City next week, I went for it. And while I thought maybe I should save for next year and maybe I’ll go ‘someday’, I decided to put walk into the talk. Stop Wishing, Start Doing!

And so next week I will join a few thousand other bloggers to learn, meet, laugh, cry, walk, talk, smile, schmooze, eat, dance, get up early, stay up late and generally have a great time. Instead of having nearly a year to plan, as many do, I’m living life on the edge and taking the plunge in to the biggest blog conference for women with merely a week notice. Seriously, people have been planning outfits and arranging for parties and events and all kinds of things for months. Me, I’m doing something very NOT ME. Not much wishing, and a lot more doing.

I’m fortunate to be connected with some great women bloggers who have invited me to share a room, attend a few parties and even be a hostess at one of the hottest breakfast tickets in town.  My friend Heather, who is the genius behind Team Inexpensively, is letting me room with her. I will also be a table host at the Bacon, Egg, and Coupon Breakfast along with Renae from Madame Deals, Corrin from Oh hey, What’s Up?, Toni from The Shopping Adventures of Cheapo McFrugalpants, Alicia from Making Time for Mommy, and Melissa from MultiTasking Mama where we will talk about the various aspects of blogging in a round table discussion.

I have had great experiences at the other blog conferences I have attended, Blissdom and Bloggy Bootcamp, and I expect that this one will be no different. I’m looking forward to learning more about blogging and how I can improve not only myself but also my blog. It will also be an opportunity for me to get out and live. To show BabyGirl that mommy has a life outside of taking care of her. Welcome to my Someday #2746!