Blogher 12

Thanks for Helping Me at Getting Gorgeous

While I was at Blogher ’12 in NYC in the beginning of this month, I was lucky to be invited to Getting Gorgeous, a fun event filled with pampering and treats, I mean brands. There were treats, too, though.

The lovely Not Your Mother’s Hair Care line and CVS had beauty bars set up for a makeup touch up or a new hair style. I chose to have my hair straightened – I can pretend I was testing the product for a review but, really, I just wanted my hair to look better and it did! The product held up to the heat and humidity of a seriously sticky day in NYC. I took a walk after my session (to the MoMA) and then I had an interview (thanks, my hair still looked good and it continued to look good for the rest of the day and night – the stylist had used the aptly named Beat The Heat product). I also came home with a sample of the Dry Shampoo and am trying it out for my morning dog walks that I sometimes wash my face for and decided I could take that up a notch and look a bit more awake (we call bed head Einstein hair in our house). Taming my outer Einstein is a good thing!

hanes socks from getting gorgeous post blogher capability mom blog
My cute and comfy Hanes socks – post Blogher ’12

I also met the nice people from Hanes and learned they are partnering with Box Tops for Education – which I love. We still collect Box Tops for our favorite elementary school P.E. teacher – we give him our stash of them every May and he gets great fitness equipment for the school (we even have my mom clipping Box Tops as part of this effort). OGreat partnership between two family faves! Now Box Tops are on Kids’ Underwear, Socks and Outerwear Tees. Look for Box Tops on bonus packs of Adult Socks and Underwear at Back to School and Holiday time and all Hanes bonus packs have Double Box Tops.
Huichol Bowl from Mexico Image by Handcrafting Justice

What else did I do at Getting Gorgeous? I quenched my thirst with a freezing cold Diet Pepsi and tweeted about it (because they asked so nicely) and also brought a few to my waiting in line friends at the Cold Water Creek jean station (yes, they were oh-so-nicely giving away jeans – super cute jeans but we had to try them on and thus, the line. I will write more about them in another post) which was next to the HandCrafting Justice table where you could sit and make a bracelet, add to their Pinterest Board and learn more about them.

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Mission Statement: HandCrafting Justice provides access to Fair Trade markets for unique, handmade goods created by enterprising women in the developing world working to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. By fostering self-reliance, ensuring fair wages, and building support networks, the organization offers far more than Fair Trade: HandCrafting Justice promotes human dignity by empowering women to overcome social and economic injustice.

Is there more? Much more. I chatted with the lovely people from Mabel’s Labels (I have long loved these labels). Super sweet styles and perfect for sleep-away camp, too.

Naturalizer Shoes was there with a very popular booth – most bloggers had seriously aching feet by Saturday – I know I did. I was sent a lovely card for me to order a free pair of shoes or boots and free shipping and one to give away to a reader. Read about it here.

I met bloggers from all over and had a great time exchanging business cards and twitter handles and sharing bits of blogger talk that you just don’t get to do in every day life (you can – people just glaze over though). At Blogher, everyone was constantly looking at their phones, taking pictures of their food or vlogging from the Expo Hall, and it was expected and encouraged. It’s good to find your tribe.

Thank you Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney and Getting Gorgeous. I’m still not gorgeous…but I’m a little closer.

The Best Part of BlogHer 12

So you know I won prizes if you read my last post, in my head I call it Break Even Blogher, that makes it look like all I did was collect stuff. Not true. I had lovely conversations with many people, attended sessions, chatted in hallways, elevators and in line (lots of lines), and learned about small start ups, new products as well as talking to established companies. I basically went through the expo hall once and stopped wherever I was warmly greeted, curious about the brand or already knew and liked the brand. What did I like? Quite a lot.

Britely, a site to make picture flipbooks and share them easily – great for bloggers. I recognized the rep from the Newbie Breakfast line. She is a blogger and we had a lovely chat.They are even running a contest – Brite of the Week through September, Get on board, you could win $1000! I just made one for Blogher 12…

Muller Yogurt (recently bought by Quaker Oats and really delicious). I thought I would only want a small taste, I ended up eating a whole container.

The National Honey Board gave out great recipes and as a bonus, honey sticks. I had one after my run on Saturday with a banana and a Kombucha. Breakfast on the fly., my favorite business card source was there and their reps are just as nice as their cards.

Zeo,  A headband like device that helps you track your sleep (I could sure use that) – a cool product and app.

Love with Food – Get 8+ new gourmet foods delivered to your door for $10/month and they’ll donate a meal to a hungry child. What a good idea! The foods were all great and you are doing good at the same time.

The Expo floor was completely overwhelming, I saw pushing when the Pioneer Woman took to the butter booth…Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond at Blogher 12 Capability Mom Blog

The only swag I sought out was the big Blogher Bag that was really hard to find, tucked into a side room – you had to ask where people got it.  I was told it was there to drive traffic to the room, but there needed to be signage…maybe Blogher footprints on the floor?

The best part of Blogher was not the coupons, free stuff or even the sessions, it was hearing the people nominated for Voices of the Year read from their work.  I cried every day at Blogher. Yes, every day. Maybe it was all that estrogen in one place. I cried at the McDonald’s breakfast when the young mom blogger got up to thank McDonald’s for the support she received at the Ronald McDonald house while her son went through 17 heart operations. I cried at Voices of the Year, more than once (I laughed a lot, too).

Voices of the Year wasn’t overly promoted – it actually was not promoted enough at all and I am so glad that I went.  I was solo and nipped in the back of that really cavernous banquet room, plugged in my phone (8% power left) and recharged both physically and tech-wise. Other women around me were similarly solo or in groups of two or three at almost empty tables, plugged in, some on laptops or hunched over phones like me, shoes off, some grabbing wine or a snack from the dinner setup. From the back of the room it was a drop-in session, I never made it to the front of that room so I have no idea if it felt more formal and pulled together up there, I hope so.  The large screen television screens were how I watched and listened and learned.

The readings were varied – some poignant, lovely, funny and heartfelt and some were all of the above.  It reminded me that what I want to do is to write. Sometimes playing with plugins, tweeting, and playing with social media gets in the way of why I started this blog.  Go here for a really well-written post about it from Jess of Don’t Mind the Mess.

Because Pragmatic Mom is all chatty and friendly, we met and shared a cab to Penn Station with Nancy Baggett of  (her new book is about cookies…sign me up). Nancy taught a writing lab Waging War on Wordiness: Tips for Writing More Powerful Prose at Blogher. Now I am re-reading my posts for possible wordiness….



I am a Blogher Newbie

Why Being  Blogher Newbie is a Good Thing

Not only a Blogher Newbie, but a blogging conference newbie (I have a feeling that this conference is so large that  it wouldn’t matter). I am very lucky to have landed in a group of generous, sharing bloggers in the Boston Parent Bloggers.  This incredibly supportive group is kind and helps with anything from favorite plug-ins to how to manage the behemoth* (the second definition) that is Blogher ’12 with their sage advice and kind, calming words.

I did spend a bit of time trying to find clothes that make me look like a slightly nicer version of my usual self (really, you should see how I go out to walk the dog). I tend to over-pack anyway, so imagine how I pack if I am trying to look nice. I am also traveling with neighbor and blogging friend, and consummate under-packer (it is a skill), Pragmatic Mom. It is actually primarily her fault that I even have a blog. Ask her, she will verify this.

I also chose this week to tweak my header image, tagline and title. Sure, good timing. I also played (mostly nicely) with plug-ins, and considered a new theme (wisely I am holding off). I also cleaned the house, co-hosted a party (actually we called it MINoBBot – Mothers In Need of a Bracing Beverage or Two), had two lovely house guests,  cleaned most of the house and, of course, the usual other stuff I do, including a lovely Blogger Luncheon at MGHfC (Mass General Hospital for Children). There I learned about the wonderful facility and staff ( fantastic, dedicated staff, knowledgeable and caring) and met a fellow Martha fan (who agreed to sit with me during Friday’s lunch – Martha is our Keynote Speaker)! ! The always fantastic Katie Couric is the Keynote Speaker for Saturday. We are so lucky to have such an incredible roster of speakers (I can’t even begin to name all the speakers for the break-out sessions) and, not to put him last, and with all due respect, President Obama is speaking via satellite on Thursday. Wow.

Do I sound overwhelmed? I am, a little. I love visiting NYC and the energy and inspiration I get from visiting this dynamic city. I have read the twitter streams, the facebook updates, the emails, the invitations, the non-invitations, the sponsor updates, read the blog posts and I have chosen my sessions although did not know you had to sign up for Geek Bar until it was booked up and am shut out. Oh, well. I will get my geek on, anyway, I always do.

fenway park, sharon schindler photography, capability mom blog
Photo credit: Sharon Schindler

I am excited to meet new people, connect with virtual friends in real life, learn as much as I can to continue to improve (in SEO, writing skills, blog design, making a media kit, (the list goes on), get inspired and share it all here.

For the next few days, instead of driving carpool and making lunches, I will step out of my normal routine and I will be at Blogher ’12 – tweeting, sharing on Facebook and hunching over my iPad with the cool stylus I found at Blik (a favorite art store) and connecting with a bunch of people who probably care more about my header saga than my family does (the glazed looks were the giveaway).

Conversation with teen child after I showed her the crayon/stylus. “Aren’t I cool?” I believe I asked, knowing I had a cool item in hand.

” Mom, you have cool things” was the response. Noted.

This is what I look like at a cool place. There will be more pics of me at another cool place- Blogher ’12!









*Behemoth be·he·moth/biˈhēməTH/ Noun:

1. A huge or monstrous creature.

2. Something enormous, esp. a big and powerful organization.

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