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Showing posts with label conferences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conferences. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zachary Levi needs our help! #IwantmyNerdHQ

Okay, so take a look at the adorable Zachary Levi. He's a nerd like me. And you. 

Don't pretend you're not one. We all know that most bloggers are ... at least a little bit. *wink*

Oh, don't get huffy now. It's a compliment. I promise.

Now - let's talk NerdHQ.

NerdHQ is an event that Zac (we're that close, I can call him that - fine, we're not but I will anyway!) is working to get off the ground again this year. He is trying to raise funds, get sponsors, do all the things that are required for an extremely large and exciting event such as NerdHQ.

I won't do it justice, but I'm happy to help promote this event because ALL OF THE PROCEEDS from the actual event will go to Operation Smile. So while the event is free to anyone attending, there will be things for sale and whatnot, and those proceeds will go towards supporting this incredible organization. 

As stated on Zac's NerdHQ Indiegogo page:

"As always, One Hundred Percent (100%) of the money raised by panels, auction items, photos and signings will continue to be donated to Operation Smile."

Joss Whedon, Zachary Levi, and Nathan Fillion at Nerd HQ 2013

To find out more about NerdHQ you can watch this video:

Consider donating to help get NerdHQ off the ground by contributing at the Indiegogo NerdHQ page.

And if you want to spend a good hour or so with Zachary Levi? Check out him being extra adorable in this video below. He's got loads of info on NerdHQ and answers a bunch of questions about Chuck, himself, and pretty much whatever gets asked of him (he even tells someone he can't ask them to marry him - but soo soo cute anyway!).

And if you skip to about fifteen minutes in you'll hear him talk about Operation Smile, how NerdHQ is NOT a non-profit, but they absolutely whole-heartedly support one with all of their efforts.

It's worth a watch. At the very least you'll realize that he's not just a celeb. He's a normal guy. Normal. Open. Honest. Real. Raw. Just like you and me.


* This post is sponsored by the Entertainment New Media Network. I have not received any compensation for this post, but am participating as an ENMN influencer at this time. *

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Lifesaver II by Mio ~ product review

I have had the opportunity to use the Lifesaver II by Mio over the last few months and have to tell you, I don't know what I have been doing living without it for so long.

The Lifesaver II is a portable power pack for your cell phone or tablet. I've primarily been using it for my phone and it really has been an amazing little accessory.

I got a new phone around the holidays and I haven't been dealing with as many battery issues as I had in the past, but that doesn't mean I don't overuse my phone sometimes and totally need a way of getting some juice.

Ideally the best way for a blogger like me to test one of these portable chargers would be to attend a conference. And I was able to do that recently, twice.

The first huge test was when I attended a social work conference earlier this month and was there for the entire day. I relied on my Lifesaver to keep me charged for any online reading I needed to do, but what I didn't expect was that I'd end up helping my neighbor at the conference, as well. The gentleman sitting next to me was having issues with his phone and I totally plugged him in and charged him up so he could turn his phone on and see what was happening. I think I just sold him a Lifesaver II! He even wrote it down. Admittedly, he was an older gentleman, and I don't think he even knew that portable phone chargers existed.

I also had a full weekend worth of opportunity when I attended the Shot@Life Champions Summit in DC a few weeks ago. It was the first time I was away from home for several days straight and using my smartphone pretty excessively. As anyone can tell you, when you attend a conference as a blogger, you're likely to need your phone or your tablet to keep active on social media during the trainings and sessions. And this event was no different. I also found myself away from the hotel and out on the hill (yes, the hill in DC! More to come on this soon!) and I needed to know that my phone would be working no matter what.

This charger did not disappoint. I'm thrilled to have it and thrilled at how quickly it charges my phone. I pretty much keep it in my bag all the time now with the small cable attached. The only disappointment I had was that there was no attachment to charge my iPad. Although I've read that it does work with them, so maybe mine was missing? Either way - no matter - it's still a great charger.

I know today's society it's awful how reliant we are on our phones, but sometimes, when it comes to blogging, our jobs, our roles as parents or employees, we're counting on them - I know you feel me. And so the Lifesaver II by Mio has absolutely helped me to be more available and helped me avoid the anxiety of that dreaded flashing low battery warning!

I'd definitely recommend this product for those in the market for a portable charger. It's really sleek and can fit into a pocket in my bag WITH my cell phone. It's not clumsy, clunky or any other type of negative adjective you can think of.

So check it out! And if you do let me know what you think. I'm curious to hear your opinions.

* I was provided with a Lifesaver II charger by Mio to review. I was not compensated for this review in any way. All expressed opinions are strictly my own. *

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rachel Ray Nutrish #ad

This sponsored post is brought to you by Rachael Ray Nutrish as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post campaign. All expressed opinions are completely my own. Image was taken by me at the event indicated in the post below. 

A few months ago I had the opportunity to meet with Rachael Ray Nutrish while at the Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta. I was lucky enough to be invited to a private lunch where I ate well (I can't begin to describe that chocolate cake!), chatted with friends, met new people AND learned about Rachael Ray's Nutrish products.

We learned that Rachael's food for dogs is all-natural, contains no filler and nothing artificial. The food and treats are made up of natural ingredients you can feel great about feeding your dogs.

Nutrish even has a line of products that are grain-free. It's like gluten-free for dogs! I sound like I'm kidding, but I am totally serious. The Zero Grain line has several flavors that have no grains, glutens or fillers. Another line that is wheat-free is their Just 6 products. These are corn and soy free, as well.

I got a chance to look at the products up close while at the event. I also received a few samples to bring home to my pups. They devoured the dry samples, and loved the treats I brought home, too. Nutrish has a variety of treats that seem to work well with dogs of various breeds and sizes. My two large mutts enjoyed the large soup bone treats and pretty much gnawed through them as soon as I put them in their mouths! The real meat flavor had to be a hit because they were sniffing around for more once they were done.

If you know me, you know how important my pets are to me. And how much I love animals. What I love most about Nutrish is that a portion of the proceeds goes to Rachael's Rescue, which was founded to help support and spotlight many organizations that take care of animals in need.

I especially loved heading over to her site to find North Shore Animal League America represented as one of the organizations she supports. North Shore is extra special to me because that's where we found our dog Dexter and our cat Harley when we lived in New York. Supporting them (NSAL) has always been important to our family, and I love that Rachael supports them, too.

So, if you're looking for a healthy food for your dogs, one that is completely natural with ingredients you recognize when you're reading the label, I suggest that you check out Nutrish. Rachael is a celebrity who cares about animals. With a pup of her own she recognizes that they're more than just pets, they're part of the family. I can stand behind someone with that mindset and support their mission.


This post was sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish. Be sure to follow @nutrish on Twitter, like Nutrish on Facebook and follow Nutrish on Pinterest.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How do you blog?

So. You know what's been happening with me lately.

It's obvious I'm filled and consumed with grief after unexpectedly losing my father a month ago.


Stupid word, isn't it?

When does one expect to suffer such a loss?

I suppose if someone is sick it is less unexpected, right? I guess. I don't think it's any easier, but different. I'm rambling, I know. But that's part of what's on my mind.

Do you ramble when you blog?

Do you write like me? Do you talk about everything and anything?

I do. Obviously. And yet, sometimes I don't.

It's interesting.

I'm not one to come and complain here. Not about things that supposedly matter.

I get personal, but I don't get deep.

Or is that crap? I do get deep? I talk about what I want to talk about.

I've been thinking about how I've been writing about grief. I've been wondering if it's too much for people. You - the people who read my words.

I know I have a handful of strong supporters. A handful of you who listen to me and send me love no matter how sad I am and no matter what I have to share.

You, those people who have sent me Facebook messages offering love. You, my friends who have mailed me handwritten sympathy cards that I came home to. Phone numbers offered. Ears, shoulders, warm hugs. These come from you - my friends who blog. Blogging friends.

You're real.

But sometimes I say, well, what about the rest of you? Not every reader loves me in a way that my friends do. So maybe the grief is a bit much? Maybe it's a lot to share. And I remind myself I write, not for page views, not for money, but for me.

It's why I still blog (to borrow a phrase used at Type-A Parent). I write for me. And maybe my words help someone else out there? Maybe someone experiencing such grief will pick up their pen, or laptop or something and write, too. Maybe they'll put their pain down on paper and share it, or not share it.

But it's my space and that's why I use it the way I see fit.

And no, nobody has said they have had an issue with my words at all. It's me. It's my mind, ya know? It's my thought process that leads me to thinking what if people think ...?

A very good friend this morning told me, 'Write what you need to write,' and she was, and IS, SO right.

So today I say what's on my mind, and I'm thankful for the reminder from friends that I can be me here in my space and talk about whatever it is that matters to me. And right now, that's finding my way through the clouds of grief and emotion to see the sun shining in. It will take time. It will take small moments to remind me that smiling is allowed, laughing is okay and sometimes even singing is permitted.

I just need to remember to let myself feel that stuff. Let myself do it all.

And remember that you are all here as a sounding board, listening, reading, commenting, or not. But either way it's all okay. I'll be okay.

Miss you, Daddy. But you taught me to stay strong. You taught me to do anything I ever wanted. You taught me to bring home an A when I didn't think I could. You motivated me. You supported me. And most of all, you loved me. I have others who do those things, too, but I must always remember to do them for myself, as well.

You taught me well. I won't forget. Ever.


Friday, July 12, 2013

The Internet is interesting.

So I'm watching all the people talking about all the conferences.

And it's interesting to me.

I'll tell you why.

Last year I went to BlogHer in New York City.

As you all know, New York is my home. I had to go home. And with the conference being there I was excited about the possibilities.

Post-conference I was a little let down. Don't get me wrong, I loved some parts of it.

Like the people. The people you connect with at blogging conferences are incredible. Last year at BlogHer I found myself meeting people I'd been speaking with online for some time. I found my friends. It made me happy.

I connected with some of my favorite people in the world. Some new friends, some not-as-new, and some that felt like home.

So this year BlogHer is in Chicago. Y'all know I live in NC. Chicago isn't quite a hop and a skip from here. So I won't be going. And I'm okay with that. And then I see some of my peeps talking about it and I feel a twang (yes, a twang - it's not quite a pang, as I'm still okay with not going, but it's there, so twang it is.) of sadness. Not envy, really, more like, dang, I wish I was able to see this person and meet that person and actually spend some quality time with so-and-so after meeting at Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte this past May.

And here I am, tossing around links and making it seem like I'm the conference goer. I'm the one who knows what conferences are like. But seriously, people? I'm just me. I'm just a person, a blogger, who goes when I can go and is excited about going for whatever reasons make it important to me.

BlogHer is huge. It was a little too huge for me last year because I went in with the mindset of a Type-A Parent Conference. I expected to sail around and in and out of sessions and learn and meet people and damn, it was huge. So I know many people got what they expected out of it, and I know many people were underwhelmed, or overwhelmed. And the team at BlogHer busts their humps in a huge way to get this thing going. And damn, if they don't do a kick-ass job with it. But you have to remember it might not be for you.

It's okay if you're going and you're feeling afraid. Nervous. Anxious.

You wouldn't be human if you weren't.

But I see so many people apologizing for feeling a little scared. And so many people telling them it will be fine. Myself often included sometimes. And I apologize for that. Because it WILL be fine and you WILL "survive," for lack of a less dramatic word. But it might be a lot for you to handle. You might want to go for a walk alone. Or hide out in your hotel room for a few hours to decompress.

Or you might want to skip a certain part of the Expo Hall because it's freakin' huge.

And that's okay.

You don't HAVE to do it all. You don't have to want to, even.

Just go. Be you. If you were brave enough to purchase a ticket you obviously want to be there. Enjoy it. Don't stress. And don't let yourself be disappointed. I did that a little bit and was cranky with myself for it. But I also did that for a bit at Type-A last year because after my first year it was in a different place and I was not sure what the other differences were but it felt different and I was trying to find my way. (Can I say different one more time?)

And then I got home and reflected and damn, if I didn't have an amazing time and meet some incredible people. So, yeah. Go with it. Get out of your own head. It'll be fine.

Make it what you want it to be.

Be nervous. Stressed. Anxious. But let that go when you walk up to someone you know you know and say, OMG! HEY! It's YOU!! It's ME!! And HUG. Because you'll probably be shocked at how many people you hug that weekend.

As for me? I'll be in Atlantic City with my college peeps. Catching up on years of girls' weekends I've missed. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Though I will miss meeting some of you. But hey, there's always Type-A ...

* This post is not in any way affiliated officially with either BlogHer, Bloggy Boot Camp or Type-A Parent Conference. I am simply using my own experiences to reflect on my thoughts with respect to conferences in general for bloggers. 

** I wrote this post yesterday (Thurs) but did not hit publish as I had a book review scheduled. It appears that at this time of the year there are LOADS of people posting about the conference of conferences and the like. I don't want to seem bandwagon-y, I just wanted to say what I wanted to say. If you know me, you know that and are cool with it. If you don't, no worries, it's all good. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why I go to blog conferences.

If you follow me on twitter you already know I spent part of this weekend in Charlotte for Bloggy Boot Camp with the SITS girls. Dayum, people, it was pretty awesome.

I met a bunch of peeps. I learned a bunch of stuff. And I have a lot to say, but I'm still fried. Or slightly fried. So I'm going to share pictures instead. Mostly.

These shots don't cover all the peeps I got to connect with, but they include a small handful. And that's okay. The cameras didn't have much time to come out, as this one-day-intensive was all about blogging.

So much so that I want to go to Dallas for their business intensive. Damn.

Anyone want to send me?

Think I'm kidding? Check the hashtag. I'm SO NOT KIDDING.

Anyway, like I mentioned, omgahhhh! I met some friends!!!

I met the Dose Girls. If you don't know my friends over at The Dose of Reality then you are missing out. These ladies are some of the funniest women in the world of blogging. For serious. They're also so damned sweet. And I adore them. So much so I have two pictures to share. And sorry, I cut out two new friends from the Diva shot below because I needed to focus on my girls. But I am excited to have made some new friends, too. I just needed to show you me and this duo close up, m'kay?

I adore them. And you know how we feel like people we only know online are like floating heads? I mean, we only see their twitter and facebook profile pictures, and even if we're friends on facebook we usually end up with shots from the neck up. Well, see above. ^^ They're PEOPLE!

But, of course, taking our own picture - our selfie-trio? We're ALL floating heads together.

*Snort* I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. We're cute, though, aren't we?

I also got to spend some quality time with Jen of Jael Custom Designs. Jen was amazing enough to give me a ride to and from Charlotte. And we were roommates for the night, and I don't think she got sick of me, so that's a good thing. We're practically neighbors and yet we don't get to see one another nearly as often as I'd like. Hopefully we can change that and do lots more bloggy-business together in our area.

One of the cool things about this conference was that the ladies of SITS planned it so all attendees were assigned tables for the first few sessions of the day, and through lunch. And then you were able to be "free" to connect with your "friends" - this guaranteed you a chance to meet people you'd never even heard of before that moment in time. So Jen and I were together for our first table (oddly coincidental, perhaps?) and then after that we didn't see one another til after lunch. So we met different people, made different connections, and had totally different experiences.

And yes, we surely would have anyway, but you know there are people who go to conferences and ONLY sit with people they know. And they have their set experience planned out. This was kind of cool and different in that way. No cliques, no seat saving, etc. I liked it.

Anyway, here we are as the conference came to an end. I think we look pretty good after a day filled with learning and networking!

 I also got to meet two local bloggers who I hadn't yet met. Apparently we had to go all the way to Charlotte to connect. They are Allison and Sarah, two of the ladies over at Mom in Chapel Hill. Allison also writes at Go Dansker Mom and wrote an incredible post about the BBC experience that's already up. (Overachiever!) Sarah writes over at 2paws Designs and also, apparently, has a recap post up. (Y'all are too speedy for me!) And I got to reconnect with my BlogHer12 roommate, Amy, of Somebody's Parents. Who - geez - I might not have seen SINCE August? What the heck? Seriously. She lives here, too. What is WRONG with me? Why don't I connect with people IRL when they are RIGHT HERE? /note to self: change that ASAP. Here we are taking a picture below:

* Note - I did a lot of tweaking with picmonkey on these shots. I sadly left my Verizon Wireless Blackberry Z10 home this weekend because it was missing when I was packing to leave. Of course I found it hiding on my desk when I got home - but my pictures suffered from the lack of it.

Lastly, I got to take a quick shot with Deirdre of JDaniel4sMom. We did not get to spend as much time together as I would have liked, but it was still awesome to connect with her. If you're looking for ANYTHING to do with your little one? Anything at all? Head on over to her place. You won't regret it. I promise.

Are you tired of my name-and photo-dropping?

Yeah, I am, too. I suppose I could have done a recap instead and been done quicker.

But if you haven't seen my tweet AND my #BBCChar facebook post about the most important way to sum up this (and any other) conference, I'll fill you in on why this was critical for me to share.

First off, I've done so several times before. I've talked about the amazing people I met and hung with at Type-A Parent Conference 2012. AND at Type-A Parent Conference 2011.

And then I also shared how I was SO excited to meet some of my friends in NYC at BlogHer last year! For me, that was the most important part of BlogHer12.

So it should be no surprise that I'm giving you a post like this again.

And the last reason why is a quote that comes from the incomparable Tiffany Romero:

"Conferences are invaluable for meeting people face-to-face."

Yep. Yes. THAT is why I go.

Sure - I go to learn. That's a given. But the people? They are why I keep going. And probably will continue to. So - who will I see at Type-A Parent 2013 in Atlanta in September?

Monday, May 6, 2013

The best things in life are ...

I've decided to hang out with Stasha today for Monday Listicles.

I've been slack in posting the last few days or so - or more. I had a lot of post ideas and just didn't have the motivation to sit my arse down and write.

So today, seeing this prompt? Perfect.

Ten things in your life that you love that are free. Hmmn. Sounds sketchy, right? Nothing's for nothing in this world. Or so it seems. But I take this as a challenge! I have to find something ... or ten things!

Giving of yourself to help others can be completely free. You don't have to donate money. Or items. You can donate time and find that it is one of the best experiences of giving you'll ever have in your life.

Friendships get harder when you get older. But they don't have to cost you a penny. You can take a walk together. Talk on the phone. Write letters. Emails. Text messages. Connect somehow. However you need to. Friends will be there for you. Without any money changing hands. Old friends. New friends. It's the ship that never sails.

Sure, many of us pay for our domain. We spend money on much-needed blog conferences. We go back again and again. We have to, how else will we meet some of our amazing bloggy friends in real life? Face-to-face connections! They completely rock and we don't care about the money so much when we're there. Although we'd like to save some money before we go ... but I tangented big time there.

Blogging, totally free. Sure, you need a laptop or computer of some sort. But you can pop onto Blogger or Wordpress and set yourself up and just start writing.

Just wait and see the world that opens up for you then. Incredible. Amazing. Powerful. Blogging. Just do it.

Sure sometimes being weighed down by your emotions seems to suck the life right outta you. You feel like THAT girl, and it sucks. But it's okay. Emotions make us who we are. A good cry? Cathartic. A pee-your-pants kind of laugh? Required more often than we get to experience them, I'm sure. For sure I could live without some of the anxiety I experience. Anxiety is a bitch, after all. But check it ... I write about my emotions a lot. I share them, share me - my raw emotional self -  with you all. Y'all. hee hee. And it's okay. I know it's who I am, and I feel it makes me more human to share them, and to FEEL them. So just do.

Sure. Love is an emotion. I guess. Kinda'. Sorta. But it's free. All that talk about money can't buy you love? It's true. I promise. I hope you find it and feel it if you haven't yet. But before you say you haven't, look towards your family and friends. And remember you have. Love. It's the real deal.

Whether I need it or know someone who does. Offering a few words of kindness, love and support? Can make or break someone's day. JUST DO IT. *Why is that my theme today? Hmmn. I might have to change the title of this post! Thanks, Nike, don't be mad at me, okay?*

Uhoh. Just do it? Again.


Seriously. I've felt SO crappy the last few days. And so this AM I realized why. I haven't been out there moving. MOVING. You don't need a fancy gym membership or fancy work out clothes. Just get out there, lace up your kicks and walk. Run. Do whatever you have to to get yourself moving. It's totally FREE. And good for you. Better than good. Get on out there, girlfriend. Or boyfriend. No boys comment in my 'hood, though. Am I too girly? Real men should be comfortable with my pink background, right? There I go again. Chatting away about whatever!

MOVE IT! MOVE IT! Find the colorful moments in your world and take them on whole-heartedly!

Sigh. I'm kind of stuck at seven.

Oh, wait!

Don't ever stop at where you are. Keep on dreaming. You can always find something else to do. Something to make you happy. Even if you ARE happy now - keep dreaming. Make a life list. A bucket list. Whatever you want to call it. And then get out there. Start checking things off!

Those life list moments? Remember them. Always. Where you've been. What you've done. If you're like me you have loads and loads of pictures. Remember when we used to actually print out pictures? Yeah - those! Do you have 900 photo albums tucked into the corner of your guest bedroom? I do. Yep. For sure. Your memories are your own, and they will remind you of what you can do moving forward. Hold onto them and pull them out now and then. The pictures are wonderful, but your mind is like a diary, blog, photo album, journal, etc. all rolled into one!

Okay, I've got ten.

It's freaking beautiful, people. I mean, look ...

And there you have it.

The best things in life really ARE free.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lost in Suburbia, Tracy Beckerman ~ Book review

I was standing at the outskirts of a party at a blog conference last June. Part of me felt *thisclose* to heading up to bed, but the other part of me wanted to schmooze some more. 

There was this woman standing nearby and we started talking. 

I'm not quite sure what we said to one another, but I knew I liked her right away. 

This was before I knew she was such a riot. (Who uses that word? I sound like an old Jewish woman from Brooklyn! Oh, wait ...)

Seriously, though, she's pretty damned hilarious. 

It was also before I knew she was one of mah people. 

Sure, she's a mensch.  

mensch: person of integrity and honor ... hmmmn. 

She's also a NY/NJ girl. A mamalah after my own heart.

And I have the privilege of offering up a review for you. A review of her latest baby. 

Meet Tracy Beckerman. 

Tracy Beckerman was out of her element. She tells us her story in a "momoir" - what better way to describe her journey could there be?  Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir of How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs is hilarious. 

From running around town in her bathrobe to battling the bulge, Tracy is someone I can relate to. Completely. Even if it scares me to say as much.

She walks us through pregnancy, sharing her understanding of the way our lives change after motherhood begins. With pricey haircuts, fancy lunches and sample sales, life before motherhood is a breeze. Compare it to stretch marks, under-eye circles, skimming french fries off your child's plate and shopping at strip malls and TJ Maxx and you'll wonder where you went wrong.

Letting us come along on the ride with her, Tracy has allowed us to laugh, SO hard. Laugh at her. Laugh at ourselves. Just plain laugh.

Some of my favorite parts of the book were so awesome I highlighted them so I could head back and share. I don't usually quote books in my reviews, it's not really my style, but for this one, I just had to. I feel like the words that best help you learn to love Tracy come from Tracy herself.

* ... if you are one of those women who frowns upon using drugs to ease the pain of childbirth, go read another book * RIGHT!?!

* motherhood itself was exhausting. In a way, it was a lot like doing laundry. As soon as you get it done, you immediately have more to do, so you never really get a chance to feel good about the laundry you have just gotten done. * PREACH IT, SISTER!

* When you're a baby and you have dimpled thighs, it is adorable. When you're the mother of the baby and you have the same dimpled thighs, it's not nearly as cute. * LET'S NOT GO THERE...

See? Don't you already love her?

Now look at how cute she is. I almost don't want to show you because you might think you can't like someone this cute - but I promise - you can and you WILL. And if you don't, it's okay, she'll tell you the secrets to finding your cool again and then you totally WILL!

Now, for the even better news ...

I am giving away a copy of Tracy's book! What? Yes! I know! Woo hoo!

If you want to win all you have to do to enter is leave me a comment here that shares what the title of your very own momoir would be. I don't care if it's 2-3 words or 10-20. Go for it. Nobody's watching. Well, I am, but so what?

You can also tweet, if you'd like, but leave me an extra comment with the URL of your tweet as your second entry! You can use this one if that makes it easier for you, because who has the time to come up with their own, right?

I'm hoping to win a copy of Lost In Suburbia by @TracyinSuburbia over @goodgirlgonered's place. You can enter, too:  

Winner will be chosen one week from today via

If you can't wait to test your luck and absolutely must buy your own copy, please do.

You can find Tracy at and Amazon, Books-A-Million or order your copy directly from Penguin.

It's totally worth it, I promise.

But I know you already believe me.

Because I'm good people and I have good people as friends. And I'm proud to call Tracy one of mine!

* I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review, and was offered the opportunity to give one copy to one of my readers. I'm delighted to do so, and all expressed opinions here in this post - especially the friendship and love-y ones - are strictly my own. *

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's my 3rd year. #typeacon

If you haven't heard by now I'd like to update you on this year's Type-A Parent Conference.

It is in Atlanta this year.

And in September.

It's different.

It's not NC.

Which is where it has been, AND where I'm from. Currently.

It's not in June.

Which is when it was the last two times I attended.

And yet.

When the tickets went up for grabs I kind of couldn't wait. I had to buy mine.

Had to.


Type-A Parent Conference rocks.



And you know what's even awesome-er? (Yeah, I know it's not a word!)


I'm an Official Partner. 

Crazy, right?

And I couldn't be more excited. Seriously.

You learn SO much at this conference. So very much. You reconnect with your reason for blogging. You're motivated. You may - like I did - find yourself making changes TO your blog while sitting IN a session. (Not that I recommend it, but hey, I'm being honest.)

You want to register right now, don't you? That's cool, registration is over here. But don't stop reading because there's a discount code for you down below!

Now, aside from all the learning and growth you'll experience while at this conference, there are a few more important pieces of information I have to share.

It's fun!

There are parties! Yes. Parties!

I have proof. Look ...

And you find yourself connecting with the most incredible people.


Check it out ...

I'm not in the picture, but one of my favorite people is. And I can't even begin to tell you the number of connections I made last year who qualify as close friends for me now.

It was insta-bond. For serious. It's just amazing to be among those who truly get you. Get what you're doing and why. No questions like, What? A blog? Why would you want to do that? Do you think anyone's going to care about what you have to say? * Step back, people. Rudeness doesn't fly here!

Now, don't you want to go?

I want you to, too.

So read on. Grab my discount code. Save some money and plan ahead.

It's worth it. I promise.

And don't tell me you're a nobody. There are no nobodies at Type-A.

 And the excuse that you are someone who blogs like once a month?

Forget it. If you want to, plan to, or even THINK you want to blog more -- come to Type-A.


Type-A Parent Conference, in its fifth year, is the world's top conference for mom and dad bloggers. The conference has a well-established reputation for outstanding learning with actionable takeaways. It features power networking with the best and brightest parents who blog, plus the major brands and firms who want to engage them. Type-A is where influential digital parents grow their business and connect. Register today at Eventbrite to get your ticket! And use code GOODGIRLGONEREDNECK for a 25% savings (for a limited time!). So hurry and get your ticket today!

** I am an official partner for this year's Type-A Parent Conference and there are affiliate links throughout this post. But please don't let that stop you. The coupon code saves you money, it's totally worth it! Go on now ... what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Friendship is so strange, isn't it?

Some days I look at my life and think to myself - I don't really have friends locally.

Not that many, any way.

Not the kind that I can call up at a moment's notice and say, hey, what are you up to and do you want to come over?

I underestimate the relationships I have in that way. It remains true. In many ways. And then when I decided to sort of wallow in it in my head, life threw me some curveballs and I connected with some friends again.

A friend called me up to take a walk with her. She came here, we walked my neighborhood and talked for like an hour.

Another friend texted me and twisted my arm to join her for a night out.

A third asked me to go for coffee/tea/whatever with her one morning.

Another asked me to grab lunch on a free day.

That same friend picked me and my kiddo up yesterday for lunch out the four of us.

On Sunday I got a call inviting me to go for dinner. These friends had already coordinated my pick-up and drop-off. Talk about good friends, right? (Yes, I'm like a child. This non-driving thing still sucks sometimes.)

And then I look back at my opening sentence. And I scratch my head at myself.

Because I just proved otherwise, right? I suddenly have friends, right?

But it's not sudden, because they've been there all along.

But I wonder what makes me feel the way I do.

Is it Facebook? So many people say how Facebook makes them feel horrible. Alone. Friendless. Like they have a crappy life.

Weird, isn't it? The one place where you can truly SEE the number of "friends" you have leads you to feeling alone and without? How does that even make sense?

It doesn't. I can promise you that.

Is it that I have relocated from my "home" and moved here from New York, where a majority of my friends STILL live. At the very least are in the tri-state area. And sometimes they get together and I miss them. And I see their kids connect and want that for mine.

Is it that some *friends* are the kinds who are supposed to be blogging friends and are really so much more? I said as much ON Facebook recently. When I expressed how many of my list of closest friends are people I've met once. ONCE. Through blogging. Attending conferences is how we met IRL. But really we knew one another before then. Or some of us did. Some didn't. And yet we connected. That's amazing, isn't it? It is.

But it's not so uncommon anymore.

Blogging friends don't need to be called blogging friends. They're just friends now.

I belong to a mommy board that I have been on for years. I used to make reference to these people and talk to my husband about who I was going out with, etc. I'd say so-and-so from the mommies' board. And another so-and-so ... but then they became names. It's like that with blogging, too. It's not this friend I met through yadda yadda ... but it is, when I explain. When I say I'm heading to Atlanta and rooming with two people I only met once in June, and another who I saw in June and met once before that. How's that work? It just does.

We sleep side-by-side and just KNOW one another. Weird? Maybe. Odd? Also maybe. Real? Truth? Totally. We just get each other. We just know.

Sometimes I wish we could all live in the same community. Have a bunch of houses in the cul-de-sac where our kids would roam freely through open doors. Sometimes I wish these friends were right next door on the days I have extra food leftover from dinner and want to share with someone. Or made too many cookies. (I usually find takers for those!)

I'm starting to know my neighbors and I already have friends here. I won't say I don't. But it's rough. Schedules conflict. Timing is off. Kids are into everything and all over the place and have us busy. And so we pass like ships in the night. Or something like that.

But I remind myself that things wouldn't be like they used to be no matter where we lived, because I'm uprooted from the world I knew back then. I'm not single. Or not engaged, or newly married. I'm a mom with a husband and a kid. And pets (lots and lots of pets)!

And I can't just pick up and run, though I so wish I could with my husband and my kid. We'd take drives to Connecticut to see the friends that we used to, and our children would know one another. Or we'd head to New Jersey for best friend connections and her son and my daughter would remember one another - more than just from one NY visit. And my old roommates in Long Island would know my child and I would know their son from more than when he was about a week old. It would be easy. But it probably isn't that easy. No matter where you are.

You can't always take your friends with you, so you carry them with you as a part of who you are. What makes you the kind of person and friend you are and always want to be.

And you continue. *I* continue. To make more friends and connections and then say to them, or myself, omgahhh! I'm going to meet her in Charlotte in May! And I'm going to find a way to spend some real and quality time with her when I see her.

Because we're already friends. We just need to confirm that in person with a huge hug. Or two.

And maybe a snuggle ...

Friendship can be hard. It can be something you miss so very much. And it can be something that lasts forever. Forever and a day, if you're lucky. And your memories? Those never fade. So hold onto them and remember, far or near, next door or across the oceans, it's all good.

* Linking up this week with Pour Your Heart Out over at Things I Can't Say.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Conference Recap, Part 2

Yes, here I go again. Talking about BlogHer12.

I feel like I need to give more of a recap, and I am quite sure many of you are tired of reading about it, hearing about it, etc. I'm okay with that. After all, blogging is for me as much as it is for you, so it's all good.

The first session I attended at BlogHer12 was titled Blogging for the Love of it.

This is me. I'm not all focused on blogging for money. I want to get my voice out there and be heard. I want to write. I love to write. I write because I absolutely must.

And yet - I love my audience. I feel good when people comment that they have read what I have written.

I've come to understand the change in blogging audiences. I myself am one of those members. One who reads a blog post and comments back on twitter or Facebook. It's different than it used to be. It's changing and growing. It's slowing down. And yet it's a way of communicating with each other - through the blogging world.

I didn't necessarily gain all of this knowledge through BlogHer, but it was certainly discussed and touched upon. And therefore tangents with my thought process, I suppose. It kind of is how it goes, with respect to writing just to write, writing for other reasons, looking for a future in blogging and your audience.

So many of us find it meshing together. So many of us balance the love of writing and the hopes and dreams of turning it into something that helps us thrive. Whether it be professionally, or financially, or in a way that is beyond the rush we experience when we take pen to paper, or as in most, fingers to the keyboards.

Another session I attended I truly loved. It was about pricing yourself with respect to those looking to work with you. I sadly had to leave that session early because I had an appointment to learn about Media Kits. A critical requirement if you want to work with brands, companies, etc. So while the women of the session were telling me I MUST have a media kit, I slipped out somewhat gracefully to attend that private Geek Bar session.

Sadly, the remainder of the sessions didn't work for me. I either didn't make them for timing reasoning, or because they were or seemed so crowded that it just wasn't anything I could make happen.

BlogHer is serious. It's intense. It's real.

It's not for everyone, and it may or may not be for you.

It was for me this year, as it was held in NYC, my hometown. I knew coming home would work for me to attend, and I wouldn't have missed it. I can't say that in the future I will go back. I think it is too soon to tell.

I may have had issues with a lot of the experience, but I also loved the opportunity to meet so many people I would not have had a chance to connect with. My blogging friends from across the interwebs I had the chance to chat with up close and personal. As you can tell from a previous post, that matters most. For now, I think I'll stick with smaller conferences, as I prefer an easier way of connecting. Will I stay away forever? I don't know. Maybe if I approach the conference with a different way of thinking it won't disappoint. After all - I did get to listen to President Obama address us all, AND watch as the women of BlogHer interviewed Katie Couric (which was pretty awesome). I missed out on Martha Stewart as it was too jam-packed, but I survived and was smarter the next day with an early arrival to catch Katie!

Also, I took this shot of a beautiful piece of artwork by the incredible Robin Plemmons at the Come As You Are Party.

It was quite possibly the first time all weekend that I felt this AT a party there. The other parties were fun. I found time to connect with friends like Lora from fever and my sweet roommate Amy from Somebody's Parents, but I also felt a little bit lost in the mix of it all. This party grounded me. I wish it had happened earlier in the weekend, honestly. I needed it!

I'm sure I have more to say, but in the meantime I have lots of friends who have written about their own experience, and you know me, I like to share and promote my peeps. So check 'em out!

Robyn of Robyn's Online World

Jen of Jen has a Pen

Erin (one of my fabulous roommates!) of A Parenting Production ... you can read more from her here, too.

That's just a sampling of the bloggy love I have to give post-conference. I'm sure I'll hit you all with more soon. In the meantime, mwah! Chat atcha later.

Friday, August 10, 2012

BlogHer12 - The most important part

I am sure many of you are seeing the insanity that is the rush of BlogHer recaps.

I have plenty to say but I am all over the place in what I want to share. There are many recaps I can recommend for you to find all aspects of the good and bad of the weekend.

But for me, I would like to share the most important part.

The people.

Of course, the people. What did you think I was going to say? The 900 or so reusable grocery bags I brought home? Negative. Nice. But negative.

I had a chance to meet some of my absolute favorite people in the world at BlogHer, for Realz. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the people I already knew and had met before. Brand new faces I was able to hug in real life! Ah, love!

Jen, from Jen Has a Pen

She's adorable. Totally sweet. And so much fun. We might have texted one another about eleventy-billion times throughout the weekend, but neither one of us cared or had to identify ourselves when doing so. And when I didn't get to see her, she was spending time with my awesome roommate, Amy. More on her later ...

Our picture is too dark, though. I'll have to share the other one later.

And so I think Jen and I were separated at birth. Or something. She is a fairly new New Yorker and I adore seeing my hometown through her eyes. She's also one heck of a writer. Her openness, rawness, realness? Beautiful. You should find her. You will surely adore her, too.

Then there was Yael.

Have you met Yael yet? A beautiful woman with a beautiful soul that she opens up and shares with you if you need her to. Sometimes she just knows, even if you don't ask. I could breathe more peacefully with her beside me. A hug and a smile is all you need.

Yael can be found over at and my home away from home, Mama's Comfort Camp, which is somewhere you must consider going if you are a mom.

See her beautiful smile? Completely resonates in all she does.

This is where I have to take a pause. I am blogging on the road and I think my iPad might not be cooperating. So for starters check out these two special friends of mine and stay tuned for more on the peeps I met, and my BlogHer12 experience.

And I'll see you when I see you ... which will be soon enough! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's not my first conference.

If you know me you already know that I'm headed to BlogHer next month. And yes, I know that 900 other people have written this same kind of post. And I'm okay with that. Maybe you happen to stumble across mine and haven't seen all the others and I save you somehow! Woo! I saved you! Or not. Either way I'm good. Keep reading. It's all good.

And you might also know that I have followed things on Twitter and just about lost my head a few times when I saw all the things that the people were talking about and ALL THE THINGS I'd never heard of in my life.

Fortunately the ladies of BlogHer tweeted back at me when I gave a huge shout, and explained that BlogHer has loads of amazing parties and no invites are required. All you need to do is wear your nametag/ID/BlogHer pass (whatever it's called) and you're all set.

And that? Is my kind of partying!

I have a few tips that I shared before I went back to my second Type-A Parent conference in June, so I figured I'd remind any conference newbies of some important things to pack. I'm also adding a few in for the NYC location of BlogHer. I was just there in April, and want to remind y'all again that I could live and breathe NYC if it were possible, so I'm sharing my insight with you. You love me - you know it.

* Your camera
Yes, your cell phone will probably be what you use more. Most. Always. But with just the chance that a flash of you wanting to snap a few non-cell pictures will pop up - it's worth bringing your point-n-shoot to be safe.

* Cell phone/Tablet/Laptop
Given. Android. iPhone. Whatever. Something you can tweet from. Connect with peeps through. Yeah - do it, bring it, if it works for you as far as note-taking goes? Bring that, too.

* Pen and Paper
Important. I don't care if you never use it. It's an irreplaceable back-up for the chance that your electronic device goes kaboom.

* Power strip
Consider it. I forgot mine for Type-A but did okay because I did lots of phone charging and iPad charging, but if you have one you'll make loads of friends. I'm sure of it. psst. Check out the new travel one my husband picked up for me for this trip. It even has USB!

* Portable snacks
Protein bars, granola, gum, mints, fruit, chocolate. Chocolate. If you're hungry, it'll be a huge help. If you're not it won't hurt - and you can always make a new friend by sharing. Like me. Especially if you have chocolate.

* Water/water bottle
If you don't have your own my guess is someone will be giving them out at the event. But carry one you can refill because those hotel rooms are dry and the conference rooms are, too.

* Sweater
Be sure to bring that baby to all the sessions. It's cold in there - especially when there are like 900 people in the room and they crank the AC up really high. Do it. You'll thank me.

* Comfortable shoes
For some - like me - this will mean a pair of closed toe shoes for during the day because, again, the sessions are in rooms that are freezing. At the very least toss a pair of socks in your bag so you can slip off your flip-flops and cozy up your toes. And for the parties? Don't wear those new shoes you've never worn before. Just don't. Really. Your feet will thank me. 

* Business cards
From what I hear about BlogHer, it's so huge and crazy that business cards are a must. And don't think it silly or that you won't use them, because you absolutely totally will. So do it.

* A Starbucks gift card.
For yourself. There's a Starbucks in the hotel. And about one on every street next to the hotel. Budget some money for your coffee and tea needs. And midday/mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. Dunkin Donuts locations are really close by, as well, so you can always get one of those to get you through.

* Cash
If you're planning on hopping into a taxi and AT ALL you will need cash. Period.

* MetroCard
If you decide you want to brave the NYC Subway system, please buy yourself a MetroCard to cover a few trips so you don't end up having to go to the window or the machine and stand there for ages to buy a two trip (I think that is the smallest you can purchase, IF that!) card. Spend that $10 and you'll be thanking me the third time you have to go through the turnstiles. *If you are not planning to leave the hotel or walking distance from the hotel you do not need one of these.* 

* My next post.

Seriously. I'm going to give you all tips on amazing places to eat, drink and be merry in NYC. Most of them you won't even have to bust open your piggy bank to afford! So stay tuned!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Type-A Reflections ... the people

It's like they say on Toot and Puddle: 

We saw great sights, We made great friends
And now our journey has to end.

Or something like that. It could be wrong, but whatever. It's all good. 

Either way - it's not the end. It's a cool journey on a conference weekend and though I think this was quite a different experience for me this year over last, I made new friends this time around, too. And reconnected with old ones. I'm happy to say these are people I think will stick around in my world. And I'm all the better for it. And for that - I thank them. Each and every one!

Me and the Lovely Lisa from Two Bears Farm! She was my roommate last year, and though we didn't room together this time around, she STILL brought me baked goods. Can you believe it? We were lucky enough to get in some quiet dinner time just the two of us and I'm thankful to be able to call her a friend. 

I was truly lucky to meet the incredible Nicole of Cute Culture Chick and Beauty and the Bypass and we clicked. I mean I seriously clicked with this woman. Thank goodness for Type-A. I may never have met her otherwise!

psst. By the way, this perfect picture was taken by the incredibly talented Sarah from Water Water Everywhere. I got a chance to get to know her on the drive to Charlotte and as you can tell - she's one killer of a photographer.

Do you know Mama.Mommy.Mom yet? No?
Go meet her. Jamie is my unlikely friend. 
When you meet someone once and rarely get a chance to talk you don't expect such a connection.
And then suddenly ... BAM! We started interacting via Twitter and our blogs. Friendship say wha? 
She also took this picture which I love. Crimped hair and all. 

Jennifer of MommyBKnowsBest is one of my favorite peeps that I met last year at Type-A.
We connected and somehow wound up roommates this time around, which was pure luck.
Love this chick. She's adorable (and we oddly look like we could be related in this picture - which is really a compliment to me) and totally real. I puffy heart her. Also? 
She can dance. Like shorty can move. For realz. /wink wink!

There are so many more pictures to share, and so much to say about the things I've learned, the places I ate (best.guacamole.ever), the people I connected with, but I have to stop here before I turn this into a tribute to each and every person I spent some time talking to. Sadly I don't have pictures with them all (I'm looking at you, Adrianna! - next time, I promise!).

I *think* I'll be writing up one more post about the conference ~ after all, last year I wrote three, too ~ and will try to cover the primary points of the sessions I attended, and what I actually LEARNED. Although, as you can tell by now, for me, this weekend was all about the people. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why we blog: my reflections

So y'all know I just returned from Type-A Parent Conference. It was a whirlwind of a weekend.

I'll admit to a few things I didn't mention beforehand.

I was a little anxious. I was driving with someone I'd never met. Rooming with people I'd met once or not at all. And feeling kind of like, wow, this is yet another experience I'm tackling solo. I don't have that "best bloggy friend" that I can run to if I feel overwhelmed. It all turned out okay, though, and I have more to share on these thoughts - but that's a whole 'nother post!

One thing I will say? G-d, it felt good to let my hair down. Literally, figuratively, shed that Mommy title for a few days. Ahh. Don't I look relaxed? 

Type-A Parent Conference is about the people. And yet it's about so much more. I'm starting with some blogging-related informative takeaways. I'm doing my twitter recap post, because last year I felt SO great getting that done. And this year it's a part of my plan to do it again. 

This time I likely am using more of my own tweets, because of what stuck with me most. But you'll see some RTs as well. And forgive the overload of links. I copied some of this directly from twitter and am too danged lazy to remove them all. Plus, you should really know who I'm talking about - so CLICK 'EM!

And honestly, there is no way in heck I am going to be able to fit it all into one post, so be forewarned that many more will follow. Or - like last year - I'll end up doing like a small handful and just fall asleep on my notes. We shall see.

Actually, now I'm overwhelmed. So I'm going to stick with a few tweets about the amazing "Why We Blog" panel of these three incredible and beautiful women. @Cecilyk and @postpartumprogr and @redneckmommy.

So read on for my tweets. Where I'm quoting the speaker and reacting. Important things I must remember as I reflect back:

FOMO. Fear of missing out. @cecilyk #typeacon OMG. Yes. I have this, too. Totally. Yes.

RT @AlissaEnders: I try not to tweet on weekends. - @redneckmommy thinking of trying to do the same. GASP.

Blogging has brought me amazing people. Friends. Community.@postpartumprogr ~ truth. Incredible world to exist in. So supportive.

Seriously. People drive themselves crazy. I can't do it. ~ RT @AnissaMayhew: "dont play the (blog) number games"@redneckmommy

Amazing @Cecilyk talks about number of times that she has considered stopping blogging. #TypeACon ~ Reminds me we all feel the same sometimes

Influence is getting other people to ACT. @postpartumprogr

I am never going to buy followers, EVER. (includes FB, twitter, etc.) -- YEs! @postpartumprogr 
Y. E. S. yes.

Love these words. RT @MelACulbertson: "get out there and be who you are." wise words from @postpartumprogr 

YES. Do it! RT @ErinCLane: I write for me. You should write for you.

Something many could consider. RT @CiaoMom: A blog turned resume. One key to evolving in the social media space. via @redneckmommy 

Focusing on sharing stories that are relevant to me. @redneckmommy talks about blogging w.o the mommy blogger badge. LOVE.

Truth. So much truth. RT @teachmama: 'women have such power, and there is wisdom in our words' via @redneckmommy

@elleinthecity There are these women out there writing what I can relate to, feeling what I am feeling. -  @redneckmommy

Yes. This. So much more than stats+numbers. RT @AlissaEnders: You laughing, crying, responding...that's why we blog.- @Cecilyk

I'm going to love and live in the body I have! @Cecilyk

@kikarose I always love hearing @postpartumprogr talk. She inspires me to write those tough, from the heart, blog posts y'all love.

Listening to the incredible @Cecilyk ... Words that hit home and speak to my heart. A-to-the-WOMEN. 

@MamaMommyMom I hadn't really planned on crying at #typeacon , but this is hitting a nerve.

my reply: @MamaMommyMom Welcome to the reason I am here. :) 

And what I feel was my most important tweet: 

*Why we blog. If you didn't get it before you heard these women, you absolutely do now.* 

So, just a small drop in the bucket of what this weekend brought forth. This panel of women - incredible, amazing, powerful, unassuming women? The BEST part of the conference. And seriously - wholly - why I was there. I thank them, and Kelby for bringing us this incredible window of time where their words were all I needed and more. 

And stay tuned for what's sure to be way too many follow-ups to this post! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to approach the conference #typeacon

Okay, so you already know I'm going.

And I've already told you what to bring.

Now I'm going to tell you how to approach the conference. How I recommend you do - not how you must - because I don't play that way. But you know that about me already!

I have to tell you this because I know that last year I spent each morning going over the schedule, freaking out and thinking - why can't I go to BOTH of those? And what else do I want to hear, learn, etc?

And you know what? You can. You CAN go to both of those.

A simple Type-A Conference tip from me to you. It's okay to attend a 2hr session for half of the time and walk out to get to your next session if it happens to start during the first one.


Last year I was in a 2hr session and while I enjoyed it, I kind of felt like if I stayed the whole time I'd be missing the session that would probably mean more to me. And though I felt like I was sneaking out of class a little bit, it was okay. I repeat: It was totally OKAY.

You can do it. You can stay for an hour and move on. If you're loving it and learning every single thing you ever wanted to learn? Stay! If you're feeling like you need a snack or might lose track if you blink for a second? Go. Move on to the next thing. It's probably a better fit for you. And nobody will care if you do it.

YOU paid to attend. You're the reason you're there, right?

While we go to conferences to meet other people - other bloggers - our online friends, we're also there for US. We're most important here. We're allowed to skip a block of time during the day to miss sessions, go for a walk, go get a coffee, work out, chat with friends, it's totally okay to walk away for an hour and read. It's what you make of it. The whole long weekend. You make it work for you.

I know there are many cool sessions on the agenda for the coming days, and I'm excited about a lot of them. And I know there will be a small part of me circling things and jotting them down, maybe even scheduling reminders in my phone so I know where I'm going and at what time. But I also know that if I happen to miss something? It'll be okay.

Except try not to miss the opening and closing keynotes and the panel. That's awesome stuff. You should attend that. But honestly, if you don't that's on you. You're allowed to make those choices for yourself! Be Type-A if you must, but cut yourself some slack. It's not an assignment. It's a conference. Be sure to have some fun while you're there!

And look for me. Say hey, give me a hug, ask for some gum - whatever - I promise I'm approachable!

I may or may not have glasses on, but I still look like this:

Charlotte here I come!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Heading to #typeacon? My tips!

type-a parent conference

So this year I'm going back to Type-A Parent Conference. 

And I'm really excited!

But I'm also kind of laid back about it. I'm not stressing over the schedule. I just know I'll be slightly OCD when I get there, and when I have the schedule in my hands I'll be reading, re-reading and living off of that thing for the entire weekend+. I can't let myself stress about it now, or I'll turn into loopy mode and won't be able to function on the other stuff that's important before I head off to Charlotte for this trip.

So - I know you've read loads of tips by now, but I'm going to give you mine anyway. Last year Type-A Conference in Asheville was my first conference ever. This year in Charlotte is my second. See a pattern here? I totally do!

Anyway, some of the things I brought with me last year that I found essential may seem the norm for many conference-goers, but I'm going to list them out for you anyway.

* Your camera
Yes, your cell phone will rock. But your standard digital camera, if you have one, or your fancy-schmancy point-n-shoot, whichever works for you? That's needed. The better pictures I got were on my digital camera. I may not use it all the time, but I'm bringing it anyway.

* Your phone
I know - Duh. But last year the hotel's wireless was wonky. It was so frustrating and the ONLY way I was able to get online was through my phone. Seriously. I had a slightly crappy phone, and it came through for me in a big way. Yay, phone!

* Chargers
Of ALL nature. Your phone. Your iPad. Your tablet. Your laptop. Your camera. Whatever else you might need to charge up - bring it. For reals. And while you're at it ...

* A power strip
I kid you not, you'll find a lot of people who want to be your best friend if you bring one of these with you. I need to be sure I have a working one this year. I didn't bring one last time - but I absolutely borrowed some juice off of someone else's!

* Pen and paper
Sure, in today's electronic world we rely on note-taking methods that run the gamut. But a pen and paper are a no-fail back-up. What if you run out of battery? What if you can't type fast enough? What if - what if? What if you're like me and sometimes just love writing stuff down? Bring it.

* A sweater/long-sleeved cover-up of some sort
Because yes, it's pretty hot in NC in June. But it's also pretty air-conditioned in those conference rooms. Without a doubt.

* An easy to carry water bottle
Reusable is the way to go for me, so I recommend it. It's the best way to ensure you're not dried out while sitting in the aforementioned AC-d rooms. And it's easy and always free to fill 'em up! Plus? Environmentally friendly. Go for it.

* Snacks
If you're like me and can't make it through an all-day class without at least 2 snacks? Bring a few of your own. Plus it's really nice to make friends w. your roomies or whomever else you're hanging with if  you share your extras.

* Gum
Say you have something spicy/salady/soupy for the meal you had prior to the session/party/etc. you're attending? 'Nuff said. Bring enough to share and you'll make new friends for sure.

* Business cards
They're often a given, but if you don't have your own please be sure to collect them from others. Take notes on them, if you can (remember that pen) and remind yourself where you met people, what stands out about them, etc. And if you DO have your own? HAND THEM OUT. Seriously. Don't feel weird. Even though it DOES feel weird. Do it anyway. You didn't buy them for nothing, right? Just do it. I promise nobody will look at you funny.

* Cash
It's always good to have some extra cash on hand. Just cause.

* Socks, or closed shoes
If you're like me and your feet tend to freeze those conference rooms might not be kind to your toes. Bring socks or closed-toe shoes to keep your tootsies warm during the day and save the open-toed shoes for night. Or outdoors. Plus socks are great if your feet get cold when you're going to bed. And then you can avoid packing slippers if you're one of those people who don't like to walk on hotel carpets without some sort of buffer.

And speaking of your room and the other aspect of the conference ... the following options could be a plus for you and your roomies:

* bathroom spray (I don't need to explain this - right?)
* water/wine/beverages of your choice
* a treat or two for your new friends (baked goods are ALWAYS a hit)
* snacks (see previous entry) (and the one before it!)
* whatever else you bring with you that gives you the comforts of home? And doesn't include a pillow and/or towel? Bring enough to share! Your roommates will thank you for it.

I'm sure I have more to add here, (I'm not even going to touch anything to do with clothing, aside from my thoughts on shoes!) but for the time being I'm going to wrap up this post before it becomes even more novel-like.

So, what do you think? Was this helpful? Did I forget anything? If so - what? Please tell me! I still have time to pack. Oh! And DON'T forget a small bag of some sort for the swag. Because yes, Type-A does have swag, and you may get your own reusable grocery bag to carry it home in, but if you're flying that then becomes your carry-on, and you all know you only get one of those, so ... think ahead!

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm giving you a set of business cards!

Have you heard of

I have. And since I had seen their cards before I took it upon myself to see if I could possibly work with them on a review and/or giveaway for my readers.

Lately they're working hard to promote their Mom Business Cards. As many a mom knows, these kinds of cards are kind of trendy (and definitely fun!) when it comes to making new mommy friends, coordinating playdates, and more importantly, when it comes to blogging.

I was excited for an opportunity to receive cards from UPrinting as I have recently purchased my Good Girl Gone Redneck domain, and I am attending two blog conferences this summer. So cards are essential. If you've got a conference in your future, you need a batch of cards. Without a doubt. And if they're free, even better for you - right? So check out the details below to find out what you could win, and how to go about entering.

Small blogging disclaimer ... nothing to do with the prizes in question, but this is my first time using Rafflecopter for a giveaway, so please let me know if you have any problems or questions. And forgive me in advance if anything doesn't work. Rafflecopter newbie in 'da house!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone! Winner will be picked in one week. I hope it's you!

Disclaimer: You should assume that the owner of this blog will receive free print products in exchange for this post. Any and all reviews posted are solely based on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in any related purchase making decisions.