Showing posts with label blog friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog friends. Show all posts

A Real Housewife in Beverly Hills

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two weekends ago I headed up to Beverly Hills to stay at The Four Seasons and attend the HOP movie press junket. You know, a typical weekend. Before I left I did a little grocery shopping, a little straightening up and made a pot of chili for the boys to have leftovers. I tried to squeeze in a mani/pedi too. I told Phil I was heading out to get one and I got an eye roll back.



"Well, I don't want to show up in Beverly Hills looking like a stay at home mom."

"You are a stay at home mom."

"Yes, but that doesn't mean I have to look like one!"

In the end I decided replacing my foundation was more important than my having my nails done. I left Friday afternoon and almost the entire drive up to LA I was obsessing over my appearance. My gray hairs were out in full force, I was in desperate need of a good blow out, I'd broken two nails and my stress acne was flaring up big time (thus the need for new foundation). 

Hi Russel Brand, nice to meet you. I'm Hot Mess Housewife.

Alright vanity, you win.
Instead of heading to the hotel when I got off the freeway I went straight to Beverly Center and the nearest MAC counter*. I had my face done, complete with fake eyelashes.

Now, I didn't have it done because I was worried about what everyone else would think of me. I did it for myself. Sure, I could wear makeup every day. But, why? I'm home alone all day. It's not the same as being out and about.

When I was a "working mom," putting on makeup and curling my hair was part of the package. I looked nice. Now, my standard uniform is a ponytail, jeans, wedges and a comfortable top. When I see other ladies all made up to go to Costco, it seems kinda silly.

For one night, I wanted to feel confident and self assured. I wanted to feel pretty. If you haven't tried them out, fake eyelashes do it for me, every time. 

When I got to the hotel, I pulled on my Spanx, my new shirt and boots and walked out of my room feeling like a million bucks.

L to R: Catherine, Kim, Dan, Meredith and Sara

Seana and Renee
I met new people, made new friends and was able to do it with a real smile. Not a self conscious one.

What do you to make yourself feel like a million dollars?

*I saw Amy Adams at the Clinique counter. She is just as pretty in person and tiny! I'm not used to being taller than anyone else! Thank you to Universal for the royal treatment (and my hotel, movie tickets and awesome food)! Photos courtesy of Chris and Kristen Photography

Telling Myself to Shut It

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Rancho Bernardo Inn for a morning at the spa. I chose an 80-minute. I totally needed it. Between our shitty mattress and the walking I've been doing for the 3 day, my back was a giant knot.


When it was my time to go into the treatment room I was giddy. After I got through my typical massage day freak out (Is my bikini line shaved enough? Will the salt scrub sting since I was stupid and shaved my legs this morning? I hope I don't have to pee. Please God, don't me let me pee or toot when she's pushing on me!) I settled in, ready to be kneaded.

My masseuse got started and I felt myself relaxing. But after awhile, my brain started whirring. I was going through my To Do lists, reminders, schedule, composing blog posts and thinking of what to make for dinner. I literally had to tell myself to STFU and enjoy the damn massage already! Several times.

Jen, Beth, Christine and Sugar
Here I was, in this gorgeous spa getting an awesome massage and I could. not. relax! If ever there was a time to sit back and enjoy the moment, that was it. I hate it that my mind is always working. I have white noise 24/7. There are nights when I can't fall asleep because of the whirring. It's exhausting.

I know I could do yoga or meditate to relax but I don't think relaxing is my problem. I think it's that I never feel caught up. If I'm not constantly thinking of what needs to be done and how to make it all happen I'll fall even more behind.

Perhaps my main problem is time management? Is this just a me thing? Or maybe an anal person thing? A mom thing? Have you ever had to tell yourself to STFU and enjoy the moment?

*Rancho Bernardo Inn provided my treatment, lunch and spa slippers. Katie of La Jolla Mom has a great review of the Inn itself. More pictures from the day are on Flickr.

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbok: Hot Deal on Amazon

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I met Erin of $5 Dinners when I went to General Mills last year. Erin is one of the reasons I started taking couponing more seriously. I had been reading her blog for awhile and was excited to meet her in person.

Me and Erin in the General Mills Test Kitchens
Her first cookbook came out at the end of last year. I've been meaning to buy it and I'm glad I came across the great deal on Amazon today. It's only $5.42 and ships free if you have an Amazon Prime account (or if you're buying $25 in qualifying merchandise). Erin is a doll in person and I'm so happy for her and her success!

I try to be supportive of my blogging friends whenever I can, especially in ways that help their bottom line. Heck, I ordered The Pioneer Woman Cooks and I don't even read her blog. But I think it's amazing and wonderful that so many in the blogging community have been able to turn their passions into viable careers.

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook has a limited quantity at this price. At this price it's a great book to have on hand for the holidays as a hostess gift, teacher gift or an I-didn't-know-you-were-going-to-get-me-a-gift gift. Get it before it sells out! 

Other books by some of the bloggers I read:

Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats by Angie from Bakerella (I got to meet her at General Mills too!)

(I met Chris and Scott at Disney Social Media Moms. We sat at the same table during the sessions. It was one of the highlights of the conference for me.)

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by my friend Denene from My Brown Baby. She a rockstar and I totally want to be her when I grow up.

Have you read a book by a fellow blogger that I should know about? 
Let me know!
*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.

I Wasn't Going to Walk Today

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I wasn't going to lace up my sneakers today. They're in the corner of my room, kind of hidden next to my laundry basket so they're easy to overlook without feeling too guilty for neglecting my 3 Day training. But then, I read my friend Debbie's post about her breast exam this afternoon.

Now I'm scared and sad and angry and anxious and I want to DO SOMETHING, anything, to help. But, other than be a friend, there's not much I can do. Except walk.

While I walk I will say a prayer for everyone who will receive a phone call from their doctor, who is sitting in a chair with chemo pumping into their system, who has made the decision to have a prophylactic mastectomy, whose hair has fallen out for the first time, or whose family is preparing to say their goodbyes.

I will put on my sneakers today and I will walk this twitchy, nervous energy out and with each step I will send Debbie all the positive energy and love I can. I will thank her mother for raising such a beautiful person and take comfort in knowing her spirit will be with Debbie this afternoon. 

I love you, my friend.

10 Happy Things: A Meme

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mama Mary tagged me in a meme awhile ago. I'm to share with you 10 Things That Make Me Happy. It's hard for me to make lists like this because I change my mind all the time and I don't really have a "favorite" of anything. If you ask me to do this meme a week from now, heck even later today, my answers will probably be different. So, here (in almost no particular order) are 10 things that are making me happy right now.

1. Tyler
I know, I know. Putting my kid on the list is totally cliche. But. We've had a great summer. Last year at this time we were butting heads every day. I was yelling. He was oozing attitude. It was awful and we were both miserable. The first day back to school was arguably the third best day of my life (after my wedding day and his birth). This summer we're having fun. Though I can't say I'll be sad when school starts (routines are good) I'll miss him a little during the day.

2. My book stash
I love the library book store. It's my new addiction. With Tyler reading more and using his own library card, I don't need to justify stopping in. It's rare for me not to leave without at least one book, thus the piles of books I have all over. There are 25 titles in this pile*. Some are authors I've read, some are new to me and some are things I've meant to read (like Watership Down and Pride and Prejudice). I get giddy thinking of all the characters and story lines. So much promise*!

3. Peanut Butter
I went to the pool with Michele and her kids last week. I was telling her about my braces and how I'm usually hungry but eating is too much of a hassle. Peanut butter has been a lifesaver. I can eat a few spoonfuls right from the jar and feel satisfied. My neighbors, the personal trainers, were shaking their heads and lectured me on hydrogenated oils, sugar and whey protein. Whatever. Talk to me when you get braces, buff guy.

4. My new blanket
I love this! I stalked it at Z Gallerie and snapped it up when it went on clearance. It's a blanket that folds up to look like a purse. I wish you could feel it. It's so fuzzy soft like a baby blanket. When the weather cools off I'll be parked with it in front of our fixed after 3 years fireplace.

5. Ciao Bella Gelato
Lemon and lime are two of my favorite flavors. I was in the mood for something last week when Tyler and I were at the grocery store. I thought I'd get sherbert but the neon green packaging of this gelato caught my eye. Key Lime Graham gelato is pure genius. It's like a piece of frozen key lime pie. I can tell I'm going to have a long, healthy love hate relationship with Ciao Bella.
6. This coffee mug
It's from Starbucks. I saw it a few years ago around Christmastime and fell in love with it. But not enough to buy it for $15. I took a chance and waited until after the holiday. I had to go to two different stores but I got it for 75% off.

7. Chai lattes
I know these aren't new but they're new to me. When I'm at the coffee shop I order it as a grande, light water, non fat, 2 pump sugar free vanilla chai latte. I know. I annoy myself. But, I'm trying really hard to stay on a budget and stopping at Starbucks once a day isn't the way to do it. Enter Costco. I got this for about $9. I add a little microwaved milk and a splash of vanilla coffee creamer. Not quite the same but it keeps Phil from yelling at me. 

8. Shoes
I've shown you a little bit of my shoe collection before. Last week, I was trying on things for BlogHer and I had all these shoes spread out around me. All the different colors, textures and styles were so pretty to look at. It made me smile. I love my shoes.

9. My DSLR
I don't think I could have chosen a more expensive hobby to get into. But, I'm having a lot of fun learning the ins and out of my camera. I hope I'll be able to improve the quality of my pictures so they show talent and technical skill not just dumb luck.

10. Chocolate
Ice cream, cookies, with peanut butter (see above), in bar form, in baked goods, in a martini, as hot chocolate, S'Mores! White, milk, dark, melted over strawberries. There's almost no form of chocolate I don't like.

What's making you happy today?

*If you want to know the book titles let me know. See the other meme participants at Mama Mary's site.

If You Give A Mom A Mojito

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If I win the lottery I'm going to go into business with my mom. We both love to entertain, bake, cook and play hostess. Party planning and events are up our collective alley's. Spending someone else's money on good food and drinks? Yes, please!

Even though it was touch and go in the beginning, I had a lot more fun putting together this year's Mom's Nite Out than last year, mostly because I knew what to expect. I also decided not to stress (as much) and if things came together, awesome, if not, I tried. It's gratifying when hard work pays off. To hear people say they had a good time, that feels good. When people are still talking days later, that feels really good.

 Me, Jenn, Jen, Ali's laptop, Cathy, Natalie and Sondra
More pics on Flickr

I met new people, which I love to do, connected other people, which I also love to do and got to hang out with friends. Love to do that too. I'm sensing a pattern...

The view from the Porto Vista rooftop deck was awesome, the food was great, the staff and service were impeccable. Everyone enjoyed the raffle items and the prizes, the gift bags were a huge hit and I got wear killer shoes. I couldn't have asked for more.

Thank you again to all the sponsors!

A Very Bossy Night (No) Book Tour San Diego

Thursday, May 13, 2010

 Friends are relatives you make for yourself - Eustache Deschamps

A few weeks ago I met up with old friends and made a few new ones. San Diego was a stop on Bossy's No Book Tour and Jenn was gracious enough to host us. We used her Magic Vibrator for margaritas and checked the Couch of Doom for corpses from her last party.

As usual when bloggers get together the laptops and iPhones are always close by. Matthew had a great idea that we could celebrate my 10,000th Tweet at the party. If you were on Twitter that night, I apologize for all the inane, useless things I said just to make it to that milestone, only to give you more inane uselessness.

We ate, drank, laughed, Tweeted and played a game of Happy/Crappy all while Cameraman Scott was filming. I hope he got my good side.

I don't know how it happens, but I usually find myself in a conversation about shoes at some point in evenings like this. Curious. My new Michael Kors beauties from Ross got their 5 minutes of fame, which means they've totally paid for themselves.

And there was cake. It deserves a sentence of it's own because it was so good. This was not a 'oh, I'll only have a little sliver' type of cake, this was 'two honking slices please', type of cake. Or maybe that was just me. I'm pretty sure it was just me.

After everyone else left, Deb and I tried to help clean up. Jenn said, no, we said OK, and plopped back onto the Couch of Doom and talked poor Bossy's ear off until she was practically asleep in her chair.

Photo from I Am Bossy's Facebook page

From left: Kelly, Cameraman Scott, Jenn (who doesn't blog but we like her anyway), Christina, Katy, Jenn, Deb, Jacquie, Matthew and Bossy who only had 4 hours of sleep the night before. Her gene pool is brimming with awesome.

It was a good night. I think. Just kidding I remember almost all of it. Thank you again, Jenn, for opening up your home and sharing your drink making sex toy (read the details of the inside joke here.)

*I posted a few more pictures on my Flickr page.

Admit It, You've Done It Too

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Monday. You have a party to go over the weekend at your new blog friend's house. You need a pedicure but think, I've really got to get caught up on laundry, I'll go tomorrow. The next day it's grocery shopping and so on and so forth until finally it's Saturday afternoon. 

Of course your outfit, down to the peep toe shoes, is already planned. So, what to do? You have two choices. Either change your outfit at the last minute possibly resulting in a clothing crisis, or, you can get creative:

I had the flower painted on at the Head to Toe Women's Expo
I went with the latter.

Neediness and Accolades

Monday, March 22, 2010

I've said before that external validation matters to me. I know it shouldn't, but it does. It's a hurdle I face almost daily. It's not necessarily what other people think of me, or whether they like me, but more about whether I'm noticed. That sounds incredibly egotistical but I don't mean it to be. When I say noticed, I guess I actually mean "do I matter."

Does it matter to anyone that I did two loads of laundry today? Does it matter that I got caught up on my emails? Has anyone noticed the bathroom sinks are clean? That I made the bed? I went to the store for orange juice, milk and bread so we wouldn't run out. Etc. etc. etc. 

It's needy and insecure. I know that. I wasn't this bad before I became a SAHM (at least I don't think so). When I was working, I could expect feedback from my co-workers and bosses. Good or bad, at the end of the day, I knew where I stood. 

Now that I'm home, I still need that feedback. When I get a, "the house looks great," or "hey, key lime yogurt, thanks mom!" I know that what I've done and the time I've taken to do it, has been noticed. The same goes for this blog. For the most part, I'm OK with the traffic and lack of comments. I have to earn those. 

But it's so nice to be recognized by your peers, and even better when those peers are some of the best in their fields. I put a lot of effort into this site. I think about it more than I should. It's so nice to have someone say that what I do here matters.

I want to thank the people from InflunceSD for the recognition. It means a lot to me and I can say with all honesty it's an honor just to be nominated. I'm in excellent company too, which makes it even sweeter.

Thank you!

Blissdom 2010 Recap: Blissfully Inspired

Monday, February 8, 2010

What to say about Blissdom? If I only could only use one word it would be fabulawsome. In the airport on the way home, I wore my tiara from the pajama party because I wanted the feeling to last just a little bit longer.

Alli, Paula and Barbara wanted to create a welcoming, comfortable environment and they succeeded in spades. Even in a space as ginormous as the Opryland they managed to make it an intimate experience (seriously, I was having 3 Day flashbacks with all the walking we did!).

Even though I didn't know too many people before the conference, now I feel like I have a whole new circle of friends. It's always so nice to meet the people behind the avatars and blog posts. And can I just say, y'all were an amazingly beautiful and well dressed bunch of women! (Southern nod to Rachel and Robin)

I will have a lot more to say about Blissdom in future posts, but here are a few of my highlights:

*The workshops. I went to Vlogging and Editing, SEO, Advanced Social Media and caught the tail end of Media Training. I got a lot out of all them and hope to put what I learned into practice and make this a better place for you to hang out.

*The opening keynote. Man, did Kevin Carroll knock it out of the ballpark! We laughed, we cried and then laughed some more. I will never look at a soccer, basket or kickball the same way ever again.

*Hanging out with my fellow Tastemakers and watching Jessica showcase her inner cheerleader (someone, please tell me they got that on video!?). The event (the whole experience) was fun and different. I appreciate the chance to participate and embarrass  myself in front of a live audience. Congrats JoLynne and Rachel!

*Getting to see Renee, Danielle, Christine, Stacie, Casey, Audrey, Julie, Melanie, Erin (and her adorable baby!) and so many others again. A virtual hug just isn't the same as a real one.

*My first (but hopefully not last) speaking opportunity. It was slightly out of my comfort zone and all the faces in the audience made me want to faint but I'm so glad I did it. Having people ask me questions at the end of the session was incredibly gratifying.

*Being alone in the hotel hallway with Harry Connick Jr.! He was on his way backstage and I didn't want to bother him, but holy regrets I should have asked for a picture. Listening to him sing wasn't too bad either.

*Finally meeting Redneck Mommy (more on that later, she threatened me, and I liked it).

I learned so much at Blissdom and have so much to think about, both personally and professionally. I must also give a special thank you to Liz Strauss. At the Personal Branding session, she answered my question about bringing more of myself into the blog and her answer smacked me over the head and was exactly what I needed to hear. 

There will be way more Melanie coming out on these pages soon. I hope you'll like her, I hope you'll respect her voice and appreciate her desire for increased authenticity. I hope she doesn't scare you away. But, if she does, she will have to be OK with that. She'd rather lose traffic and followers than to keep losing any more of herself. She learned that at Blissdom too.

Other things I took away:

We are powerful.

We are trendsetters.

We are trail blazers.

We are loyal.

We are experts in our own rights.

We are amazing!

What did you take away from Blissdom?

There are Blissdom recap posts all over the place. JoLynne and Tamara are hosting link ups.Christine has a giant linkfest. There are tons of Flickr photos too, including ones for Annissa. If you feel the need to know about every spectacular moment, search the #blissdom hashtag. Pictures coming soon!

Thank you to everyone who made attending Blissdom possible: To Alli and Barbara for asking me to speak. I am still beyond flattered. To Jessica, Liz and Brittany; Fleishmann-Hillard and the US Potato Board for sending and taking such good care of me!

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2010

We stayed at my mom's house for a few days and I did something I haven't done in years. I went to church. Midnight mass at that. I was pleased that the lapsed Catholic in me still knows all the words to the prayers and when to stand, sit and kneel.

2009 seems to have kicked our collective blogging butts. I think that's part of the reason why I felt I needed to go to church. I wanted to let go of the negativity and sadness and open myself up for whatever this new year has in store for me in a place of peace and worship.

When it was time for communion I stayed in the pew and prayed. I said prayers for Anissa and Shellie. I prayed for everyone in our community who was touched by tragedy this past year. I can only hope that 2010 has better things up its sleeves.

Thank you all so much for sharing your time and thoughts and with me. I appreciate it more than you know. I wish you happiness and love in the coming year as well as peace and prosperity.

Happy New Year!


(image from Flickr)

I'm Tired of All the Ugliness in Social Media. A Letter to Those Determined to Ruin the Internet for the Rest of Us

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One of the reasons I started blogging was because the community totally blew me away. When I was only reading blogs and hadn't started my own, I was impressed, awed and inspired by this group of people I didn't even know existed but was so happy to discover.

They were forging friendships, relationships and support networks that spanned the country and even the globe. This group had formed a community that was willing to support, encourage and help one another. They were totally vested in each others lives. And that was something I wanted to be part of.

But times are changing and not really for the better. The community and the sense that "we're all in this together," is being replaced with divisiveness, attitude, holier-than-thou, anger, finger pointing and a general ugliness that is really detracting from what we've worked so hard to build. Some days, blogging is not even fun anymore.

I read several blogs whose authors are so candid and revealing. They get much more personal than I do here. It's refreshing to read other people say the things I often think but feel I can't put here. Some of the bloggers have recently recounted the emails, comments and Tweets they receive that are so incredibly negative and insensitive. Which, really? Don't do a whole lot of good. Sometimes an actual conversation or dialogue takes place, but more often than not there's nothing but defensiveness. I'm all for discussion and debate. Hell, sometimes I wish I could write the type of post that really gets people talking. But the spite and hatefulness are just not necessary, and it's bringing us all down.

We put our hearts and souls online. And to be slammed by the very people who are part of our community, people we should be able to trust, is such an insult. The spaces we create are for our thoughts, hopes, dreams, hesitations, insecurities, fears, triumphs, joys and sorrows. Our spaces are whatever we need them to be, when we need them to be it.

For someone to step into another person's space and be disrespectful is almost unconscionable. So many blogs read as though we're sitting in a kitchen, having a conversation. If someone came into my kitchen with no other purpose than to spew negativity and vitriol? They would be permanently uninvited. Mind you, I'm not talking about disagreeing with me. I'm speaking of the hostility and judgement that I've seen lately. It's mind boggling. And sad. And disheartening.

It seems that for some, the other side of the keyboard creates this magic force field of righteousness. There are ways to have a conversation without name calling. There are ways to create a dialogue without getting on a soapbox. There are ways to express an opinion or disagree without resorting to, "I'm right, you're wrong."

When I first started blogging, a lot of the advice to newbies on what makes a "good" blog was: keep your blog real. Be authentic. Be honest. No one wants to feel we're getting smoke blown up our asses day after day because life just isn't like that. We want the good and the bad. So many bloggers took that advice and do just that, and then they get hammered.

From where I sit, I hear, "I want honesty, candor and realty, but not too much honesty. I want someone to share the nitty gritty, but take note: If I don't agree, I'll absolutely let them know in no uncertain terms just how wrong they are."

There are people who really seem to think their shit doesn't stink and they have every right to judge. Well guess what? Light a match because I can smell it from here.

I fear that many people I read are going to clam up. They'll get so tired of all the negativity they'll start to edit themselves. That's not honesty, that's self censorship. Who wants to read that? I know I don't. Even worse, what if these people putting their hearts and souls into their work get so tired of the abuse they shut their sites down altogether.

What a travesty that would be. For all of us.

I don't know where this change is coming from. When I first appeared online there was this sense that we're all here to support one another as women, men, parents, entrepreneurs and writers. One minute we're all in a circle, holding candles and singing the Coca Cola song and the next we're tearing each other down. Disagreement doesn't have to equal disrespect.

For what it's worth, I do still see a lot positivity. But the negativity cloud keeps getting bigger and bigger and the few rotten apples in the basket are making it harder and harder to keep perspective and focus on the good. It feels that there used to be a lot more 'unity' in our community. I close my reader sometimes and feel like I need a shower.

Remember Dirty Dancing? "This is my dance space, that's your dance space." In this modern age of 'unfollow,' 'unfriend,' 'unsubscribe,' and all the other 'uns'; if you don't like what someone is doing in their dance space, you have a lot of options. If what I'm doing on my space isn't interfering with yours, then we're all good.

So here's a question for the soap box standers: why are you giving up your power? In my mind, the more time someone spends complaining, pointing out another person's flaws (as you perceive them) and operating in a space of negativity; that's counterproductive. You're giving someone else an awful lot of control over you and your emotions. I'm trying not to speak for anyone else, but I've spent much of my adult years trying to keep my power. Take care of your own business before you tell someone how to take care of theirs.

This post has been in my mind for awhile. It's been floating so long I figured it's best to get it out and hope that I can move on. I'm not linking to anyone or any of the instances I've observed because there are many. I'm not trying to point fingers. This is just a 'state of the blog world as I see it.'

I'm hoping next year is different. I'd like to see a return to courtesy and respect. I think there will always be controversy and asshatery (especially from those who need to hide behind the Anonymous curtain). But I hope whatever feelings people are bottling up can be let out without there being so much ugly and bitterness.

We ask other media outlets to take us seriously. We can't expect them to if we don't take ourselves seriously and behave accordingly. We have a whole new year in front of us. Can we start with a clean slate? Can we all remember there are real people on the other side of the screen?

When we put our minds and hearts together we are a powerful force. I hope we can continue to use that power for good. I'm really looking forward to 2010. I want to be proud of our community again, not ashamed to tell people I'm in it. Please don't let me down.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Numero Water Boutique in Littlle Italy [Whrrl]

Can You Help Mocha Momma? [small purses wanted]

Friday, November 13, 2009

The lovely and inspiring Kelly from Mocha Momma needs help. She is assistant principal at a high school and is collecting small purses for the female students. For security, the girls are no longer allowed to carry purses bigger than a sheet of paper. Kelly will be holding a purse sale at the school where the girls can choose a bag for $5 and the proceeds will go to her school.

Mocha Mommas Purse Drive

Read about how the One Small Purse project began on Kelly's blog. I went through my closet and have 4 small bags boxed and ready to mail. If you're making a Goodwill run, posting on Craigslist or donating to Amvets, please consider sending your unused small purses to Kelly instead. Thanks!

BlogHer 2009: Connections

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I went to BlogHer with basically only one expectation: to have a great time. And I most certainly did. It was busy, loud, hectic, crazy and fun. There are so many bloggers I love and admire and I was hoping to get the chance to tell them so in person. I was fortunate that I met many of the people I wanted to meet, and others I was hoping to meet. I'm not a shy person by nature but there were a few times I backed away from introducing myself, and now that I'm home I'm kicking myself for not putting my big girl panties on.

It was important to me to make connections. To put names with faces and meet the person behind the avatar. Every one of these business cards is someone I looked in the eye, shook hands with and/or hugged. It's a good mix of bloggers, brands and PR people.

Some are people I've already met and got to reunite with. Some are people I already follow on Twitter. Some live on the west coast, a few are even in my neighborhood. All are people I'm pleased took the time to meet me, no matter how briefly.

And then, there was the unexpected connection. In all honesty, I didn't think I'd
get to meet Bossy. Not because I was afraid she wouldn't speak to me, but because I thought for sure I'd never get within five feet of her because of the crowd of admirers. Thankfully this was not the case (with Bossy or anyone else).

We first bonded on the dance floor at the MamaPop party. The DJ was on fire and when the unmistakable opening beat of Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club came out of the speakers, we jumped into each others' arms like sorority girls. "I LOVE this song!!!"

And for the rest of the weekend, it was game ON. We went to the CheeseburgHer party, where apparently I was proposed to (the details are a little Mango Smirnoff-ed) and then out to the Hunt Club with people we met in the lobby over board games.

(I forget what this shot was called but it was nah.sty!)

And then there was Sunday. Both our planes left late in the evening so we spent the day walking the city. We walked, and talked (I. could. not. shut. up!) and ate and took pictures. I cried a little talking about Tyler. I want to tell you all about it because it was SO awesome. But then, I don't want to tell you because it was SO awesome that once I put it out there, it won't be mine anymore. Suffice it to say, it is one of the highlights of BlogHer. Thank you Bossy, for spending the day with me, for listening, indulging a childhood memory and being a friend.

I will share that a man was crossing the street in the opposite direction as us. He changed direction and followed us, offering this commentary:

"I'll be 56 years old this year and I've had the privilege of gazing on millions of beautiful women in my lifetime. You [me] are in the top 50 and you [Bossy] are definitely in the top 10."

I wholeheartedly agree.

Meet Me at the (San Diego) Zoo

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This past Friday we were invited to the opening of the new Elephant Odyssey exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.

The exhibit is amazing and I can see why it took four years and $45 million dollars to create. I really liked the focus on conservation, recycling and saving the elephants.

The Odyssey spans 7.5 acres and I'm sure I walked all of them. Much thanks to my husband and Deb's husband, The Rock, for wrangling the children while we drank Pink Elephants socialized. The food was great, flowers beautiful, the costumes were superb, the elephant cakes (not made of, just shaped like) were amazing and the kids got to touch snakes, birds and alligators.

I can't remember where Jenn and Bridget were when we took this picture, but they were there too. It was nice to get together with the girls!

(left to right Sondra, Tonya, Sugar, Deb and Charity,)

Tyler and Toots (Deb's daughter, who has decided Tyler is her brother) got his and hers Grim Reaper tattoos. (sorry, Deb!)

Everyone got super cute bags to take home with one of the best pieces of swag ever: a picture frame made of real elephant poo!

(yes it's real poo, no it doesn't smell like poo and yes I'm enjoying typing the word poo)

Thanks so much to Drew and the zoo for the invitation!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I lost two subscribers recently and it's been bugging the crap out of me, wondering what on earth I could have possibly said. The subscribers I lost came just after I posted about how hard the mornings can be getting Tyler to school and that sometimes he pushes my buttons so much he's thisclose to getting a spanking. I would be lying if I said that losing subscribers after I posted something so personal and 'real' doesn't sting a little. Maybe that's not why they left. Maybe I'm just getting really boring.

It's made me wonder though just how much of myself I can reveal here. The "real me" hasn't made too many appearances on this blog. I'm not really sure why. I'm not controversial on here even though I've got an opinion on
everything. I've never dropped the F bomb here even though I do in real life because sometimes it's the perfect thing to say.

There's been a lot going on lately that it would be nice to air out, and get my thoughts and feelings in order. Some of it is still too raw to talk about, some of it I may never get to since it's about my marriage. I won't invade my husband's privacy. Knowing how many people say they like to read about the good and the bad, then losing two people after I share some of the bad gives me pause.

I've said before this blog is a work in progress. Hopefully I'll always feel that way because it means I'm continuing to learn and grow. If I ever get complacent that will be a sign that maybe it's time to walk away.. I left this comment on Angie's blog recently:

"Delurking to say I think everyone's blog goes through some sort of evolution. Our sites are what we need them to be, when we need them to be it. You can really tell who your friends are by the ones who stick with you through all the stages."

I guess I just want to say thanks to everyone who's stuck with me so far, and thanks to those who decide to stay should anymore of the "real me" decide to make a visit.

National Mom's Nite Out: Thank You Just Isn't Enough

Monday, May 11, 2009

When I was young, my mom drilled into me the importance of saying 'thank you' and writing a note to someone who has given a gift or done something really nice for you. Those two words are so small, and often not adequate which is definitely true when it comes to our Mom's Nite Out party last week.

I had a speech prepared to thank everyone for attending, to thank Megan and Ingrid for the great location and Lizzie from Bailey Gardiner for putting us all in touch, and to thank Deb and Charity for their awesomeness and for still being friends with me after experiencing first hand the anal compulsive, over bearing control freak that I am.

And I completely forgot to give said speech. I remembered at the end of the night when the room was empty and we were cleaning up. I felt like such a heel. Still do. So, to all those involved in making our party so fabulous, please humbly accept those two small words and know that they have big, BIG feeling behind them.

Megan from Seaport Village
Ingrid from Buster's Beach House and Longboard Bar
Lizzie from Bailey Gardiner
Maria and everyone at BSM Media
Kathy Ireland Worldwide
Chelsea at Pat and Oscar's
Jeff at Cosmic Frogs Photography
Joan at Laughing Rhino
Sydney at Dropps
Shari's Berries
One Step Ahead
Ashley at Tunix
Meri at Avon
Build A Bear
Kevin at KanYo Fuse
Sheryl at TableTopics
Paula at Rae Florae
Ciaran at Francie Pants
Liz at The Cookie Chew
Laura at VPG Printing
Bella d'Ora Spa
Kin Spa at the Manchester Grand Hyatt
Big Honcho Media
Candice at Bid My Cleaning
Karen at Captain Cooks
Sugar Jones at Sugar Snaps Photography
Hands 2 Go

The Simple Stencil
Little Debbie

National Mom's Nite Out: San Diego FAQ

Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, not really. Sorta. We've had questions in our email and over Twitter about the party so I thought I'd address them here.

On Wednesday I had a bit of a panic attack about the party and I called Deb. When she answered I said, "I'm freaking out!" We greet each other with random comments like "I'm fat" before we say hello so she's used to it. She talked me down and agreed to meet me. We took the kids, who are now brother and sister, then went to dinner.

We made a little video while we there. I wasn't going to use mine because my face looks like a connect the dots of splotchy-ness and Deb has forbidden me to post hers (but I haven't erased it. shh). I'm going to put mine on the Facebook page anyway.

Anyway, the FAQ's. People have asked:
1. Can I bring a friend? Absolutely!
2. Is it really free? Really and truly.
3. What is the cost for the raffle? Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 with all money going to the March of Dimes.
4. How much is parking? We're validating for three hours, after that it's $3 an hour, but free with a purchase in the Village (spend your $3 on a latte!)
5. Do I have to be a mom? Nope. We want to meet all fun, San Diego women.
6. Do I have to be a blogger? Not at all.

If you have questions please let me know. Looking forward to meeting you!

Wordles Wednesday: Not A Bad Way to Spend an Evening

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Dot, What's That Smell
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