Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Music Prodigy H and Juno Baby Review

H has always been musical. He could sing before he could talk, and I'm not talking about the run of the mill twinkle twinkle wheels on the bus gibber gabber. I'm talking about full on pitch perfect singing in octaves. Anyway, I've decided not to be jealous anymore of my friends' sons who are much more athletically gifted. In his attempts to master ball sports, H has already suffered THREE concussions so we've definitely ruled out a future career in the NFL or NHL. After all, the only sports teams Stewart and I were part of in high school were track and cross country. H's skills obviously lie elsewhere and one of those places is the world of music. And lest you think that I am delusional and that it is only my rose colored mommy glasses that make me see him as a musical prodigy, recently his violin teacher (he started lessons at age 3) said that she was impressed that H had learned how to play "Twinkle Twinkle" in two months instead of the six months it usually took students his age. She said that once he learned to read music, he could be "really good." So hurray for H!

One of the music CD and DVD series H has been enjoying for awhile now is Juno Baby. At first I was skeptical as to whether he was really getting the classical music aspect of the program. But when I heard him humming the music from the back seat of the car without any encouragement from me (we weren't playing it in the car and we hadn't watched it that day), I was a fully converted drinker of the koolaid. I like watching Juno myself because Juno reminds me of one of my best friends (my 30-something friend still wears her hair in braids sometimes!), but I know the kids like it because of the music. Another thing that really appeals to me is The Juno Company's One for All Program, which is its partnership with the National Head Start Association to bring early music education to the must vulnerable preschool age children in America. For every Juno product sold, The Juno Company donates a music education DVD to a child in need.

I was fortunate enough to attend The Juno Company's brunch at FAO Schwarz on Sunday after the BlogHer conference in NYC. I met Belinda Takahashi, the co-founder and composer of the series. I highly doubt that anyone in attendance was able to resist her infectious enthusiasm and passion for early childhood music development. I know I left the event with a renewed determination to keep H on his musical journey, no matter how painful for me it is to make him practice his violin. Kids do not need to listen to dumbed-down digital classical music that is a series of pings and synthesized sounds. They can handle the real thing and the appreciate it. Just today in the car H was singing Funiculi Funicula--give kids a chance and they will amaze you! H really enjoys Juno Baby Way to Go that I received at the brunch. R can't get enough of the Juno Baby iPhone app (it's FREE!) and learned to play music in a matter of seconds. At the brunch, I learned that The Juno Company is preparing to launch the next step of its music program. Think--what comes after baby? Stay tuned for more information.

I did not receive compensation for this post. I attended the brunch and received a gift bag including products for review.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Move Mania Part II-Reviews

This summer I've watched a lot of movies on DVD. Well, actually I watched the movies after they were transferred from DVD to Stewart's iPad so I could watch them on the way back from BlogHer earlier this month. Here are reviews of some of them.

Date Night

Filled with non-stop laughs and outrageous situations, Date Night (released August 10, 2010 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) follows Steve Carell and Tina Fey as a sensible, loving couple with two kids and a house in suburban New Jersey. Their typical date nights include a run-of-the-mill evening with little to no romance, but one night they decide to reignite the spark by going to Manhattan's hottest new restaurant---without a reservation. I really wish I watched this film in the theater. It's one I could see would be hilarious to see when you're in a crowded theater filled with couples on dates. The scenes with Marky Mark, I mean Mark Wahlberg, walking around shirtless would have been funny with the women in the audience ooing and ahhing. I really enjoyed watching the FOSTERS! (you'll get the punctuation when you see the movie) run around New York City, even though a lot of the situations couldn't happen in real life. It is a parody so even though it goes over the top, there is a hint of truth to so many of the scenes that you can't help but laugh if you've ever lived in or visited Manhattan. The restaurant that is so full of itself that it thinks it's doing you a favor by letting you eat there--been there done that. I could also relate to a lot of the references to the old married couple without much time or energy for romance, because that's generally any couple's life with multiple kids under five years old. If you are looking for a fun movie with enough genuine emotion to make it worth your time, check out Date Night soon.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Based on the best-selling illustrated novel by Jeff Kinney, the family comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid (released August 3, 2010 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) chronicles the adventures of wisecracking pre-teen Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone's life...middle school. Convinced it's the "dumbest idea ever invested." Greg considers junior high school a place rigged with hundreds of social landmines, not the least of which are wedgies, swirlies, bullies, lunchtime banishment of the cafeteria floor and festering piece of cheese with nuclear cooties that he must overcome to become popular. His diary or "journal" chronicles his thoughts, tales of family trails and tribulations and (would be schoolyard triumphs. I thought it would be interesting if I had an actual middle school age boy review this movie, so I asked my friend's son Caleb (age 9) if he would like to guest post on my blog. Without further ado, here is Caleb's internet writing debut:

After having read the whole series, I watched the movie of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Overall I liked the movie more than I disliked it.
I liked the Cheese Touch scenes because we still play it at school. I enjoyed Greg and Rowley as Safety Patrol members because they looked cool in the suits. A funny part was when Patty Farrell was having an apple fight in the Wizard of Oz play with Greg and the other "trees."
I'd like to say more but, on to the unliked! I didn't like the woods on the Halloween scene because it creeped me out. Ms. Irvine, aka the alien, was a bad scene because the sky and the sound effects had little detail. "Bikeball," as I like to call it was the wrong scene. Rowley broke his leg, not his arm. He broke his leg in the book, and the arm in the movie.
Well, that's my report on Diary of a Wimpy Kid! I would give the movie a three stars out of five. Thanks for reading this!

Letters to God

Letters to God (released August 10, 2010 by Possibility Pictures and Vivendi Entertainment) is the heartfelt and inspiring story of what happens when one boy’s journey touches the lives of his family, friends and community.  An intimate, moving and often funny story, the film follows the path of Tyler, a young child with a terminal illness, who through his battle becomes a warrior for hope and a champion to everyone around him.  Surrounded by a loving family and community, the young boy takes comfort in prayers written as letters to God.  These letters find their way to a conflicted postman who is at a crossroads in his life, searching for meaning.  Featuring moving performances from Robyn Lively, Jeffrey S.S. Johnson, Tanner Maguire, Bailee Madison, Michael Bolten and Ralph Waite, the film is a stirring “tribute to faith, hope, and love through the eyes of a child” (TBN). Letters to God received the highest Dove Approval Rating and an endorsement from the Parent Television Council.

What really drew me into the film was the fact that it was based on a true story. Tyler's real life father wrote the screenplay after Tyler passed away. It is a fictionalized version of his life, since the real version is a bit depressing with someone stealing money out of Tyler's cancer fund. The acting and dialogue at times verged on cloyingly sentimental but because you know that it is driven by something that actually happened, it's understandable. At the end of this film I was crying buckets, tears would not stop streaming down my face, which is a real problem when you are a six-hour flight with no tissues and the captain has directed the crew not to answer service calls due to turbulence. The message of hope this film conveys is definitely worthwhile. It made me think how grateful I needed to be that God has blessed me with two healthy boys. Any parent who has nearly been driven insane by their kids' antics should watch this film to realize how good they have it that their kids are alive.

I did not receive compensation for this post. I received DVD copies to facilitate my review.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

California Strawberries: Teapot GIVEAWAY

CONGRATULATIONS TO #11 AS PICKED BY RANDOM.ORG! Please respond to my email within 72 hours. Thanks everyone for participating!
Berries figure big in our house. I think it all stems from my reading the book Jamberry to H even before he could eat. His dreams must have been filled with blueberry waterfalls and meadows of strawberry jam. We loved that book so much the first copy fell apart and now we're on the way to loving the second copy to its death. So it's no surprise that berries are a staple of H&R's diet. During the summers, we've had California Strawberries every day, from the supermarket, from the farmer's market, and even from the garden at H's school. When I saw the California Strawberry Commission represented at the Child's Play Bloganthropy Dinner at BlogHer, it made me feel like a piece of home that had followed me all the way to New York. That's why I really had a great time at BlogHer. It was a gateway to learning things that I wouldn't ordinarily come across on my own. I didn't even know there was a California Strawberry Commission and I live in California!

Here is the Top Ten List for California Strawberries I picked up at the dinner. California Strawberries are:

1. Considered a super fruit because of their high nutrient content.
2. Voted the favorite fruit among kids.
3. Versatile and great for both sweet and savory dishes.
4. Grown by hundreds of caring and passionate family farmers.
5. Recognized global leaders in food safety.
6. Among the safest and healthiest fruit in the world.
7. Packed with vitamin C and loaded with beneficial antioxidants.
8. Available year-round across the country.
9. Found everywhere with 90% of strawberry production in the U.S.
10. The favorite topic of discussion at www.facebook.com/castrawberries

If you go to the CSC website, there are a lot of great resources for school-age kids, including fun facts and games as well as a cookbook and downloads. There's plenty for adults as well, including a link to a free iPhone App with recipes from top food bloggers and information about a strawberry recipe contest the CSC is running this month--$250 Amazon GC prize! If you like strawberries and prizes, the CSC will give one Random Mommy reader a Strawberry Teapot like the one pictured here to help make drinks to accompany your strawberry desserts.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:  Contest period runs from Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM (Pacific) until Friday, August 27, 2010 at 11:59 PM (Pacific). Enter by leaving a comment about your favorite fruit, and leave your e-mail address OR sign in to comments using your Blogger ID, making sure your Blogger profile is public and includes your e-mail address.

Bonus Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry, it counts if you've done any of these so leave a comment for each one)
1) Follow me on Twitter
2) Like California Strawberries on Facebook
3) Follow California Strawberries on Twitter
4) Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect by clicking on the sidebar

If you don't leave a qualifying comment and your e-mail address or public Blogger profile, your entry will be disqualified. I reserve the right to extend the contest period. At the end of the contest period, I will utilize Random.org to randomly choose the winner. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to my e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will go to the next place winner as decided by Random.org. This contest is open for US Residents only. A huge thank you and much appreciation to my friends at the California Strawberry Commission for their generosity! Good luck!

I did not receive compensation for this post. The CSC offered a giveaway to my readers and I took it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Fun at BlogHer 2010: Child's Play Bloganthropy, Bumble Bee Foods

Theoretically I was at BlogHer to learn how to become a better blogger so I felt duty-bound to attend the conference sessions. It was my first conference so I also attended the Newbie Breakfast after running the BlogHer 5K (if you saw women running in tutus in Midtown and in Central Park, that's what that was). I quickly learned that not everyone goes to the sessions, but I'm really glad I did go to the professional session: The FTC Guidelines: After A Year, Has Anything Changed? Basically a statement on the top page of your blog to the effect that "this is my real opinion, I'm not compensated for my views on this blog" is not good enough to comply with the regulations that came out last year. You have to mention in each post if you received product samples or other items that a reasonable person might taken into account in deciding how much to trust your review. You also need to disclose that you are part of any advertising or link program, like Amazon Associates (yes, I'm a part of it). It seems to me any reasonable person should know that if an ad appears on someone's blog or a link takes you to a purchase site like Amazon, it means that person is getting compensation! I'm glad I didn't go the blanket disclaimer route on my blog so I don't have to change gears at this point. Thank you panelists Lisa Stone, Susan Getgood, Kimberly Coleman and Stacey Ferguson!

I had so much fun and learned even more about blogging at the BlogHer Expo and the many, many parties during the weekend. I think that's the real reason people come to BlogHer. To have fun and make connections. And considering most of us have kids that run us ragged or day jobs that aren't very glamorous, I think we all deserved to have fun and get a bit of pampering. I was treated to a wonderful pedicure at the ECCO Shoes suite. My feet were so swollen from running around Manhattan in heels that it was really a treat to have someone rub lotion all over them. But it wasn't all about pampering, or even mostly. I learned so much about things going on in the blogosphere and in real life that I wouldn't have been exposed to had I not been at BlogHer. P&G's water for Africa campaign for one.

Then at the first annual Bloganthropy Awards announced at the Dinner’s On Us event sponsored by Bloganthropy.org and Child's Play Communications, I learned about what great work other bloggers were doing to raise awareness for social and personal issues through their blogs. The winner of the award was Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum anxiety, postpartum psychosis and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. It was encouraging to see and hear about women who make a difference by using social media effectively to promote a good cause. Hearing Katherine speak brought tears to my eyes because I could relate to how isolating motherhood can be during those first few crucial months. If only more women knew about resources like Katherine's blog, we wouldn't hear about those mothers who go insane and harm themselves or their children. The event wasn't only about serious matters, though. I was introduced to some great companies and their products, including Zillions Electronic Money Jar. I knew H would love this toy, and I was absolutely right. Maybe he loves it a little too much because every time he sees it, he shouts, "more money, more money." He emptied out the change from our wallets, and then I even used cash at the supermarket in order to get change for him. Don't worry--he's doing chores to earn the money!

The Bumble Bee Foods reception featuring Chef Scott Leibfried at the Viking Demo Kitchen was the source of some great new recipe ideas. Here is Chef Scott walking us through how to make Vietnamese spring rolls using Bumble Bee Sensations Seasoned Tuna Medley Bowl Spicy Thai Chili, fresh vegetables, rice paper, and his own special sauce:

We got to try the spring rolls after he finished making them and they were delicious! I'm definitely going to try this at home, especially since Bumble Bee Foods gave us free product coupons in our gift bags. I like Chef Scott's suggestion to use bagged coleslaw as a quick cheat to cutting up all those vegetables.

Here are some more photos of me or taken by me at BlogHer:

And if you think I'm done recapping, think again. More to come!

I did not receive compensation for this post. Dinner's On Us event photos courtesy of Child's Play. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BlogHer: A Week Ago Thursday? Avery SocialLuxe Lounge ROCKED!

It seems unreal that BlogHer 2010 started just a week ago last Thursday when I flew into Newark on the red-eye from LAX. It was 6:30 in the morning so 3:30 PST but I wasn't tired, even though I hadn't slept much on the flight. I was just a few miles from Manhattan and the excitement and adrenaline that had been building up all year carried me through the next few hours. I took the shuttle with no problems to Port Authority. Then I walked to the Sheraton on 52nd to drop off my suitcase. I wanted to stop by Zabar's on the way to my friend Donna's place so I walked from Midtown to the Upper West Side, the exact same route I took back and forth to work when I lived in New York. It was so surreal, passing Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, Gray's Papaya. I couldn't resist getting a fresh sesame bagel at H&H (in your honor KMY!) to eat with my Zabar's cup of coffee. So good! When Zabar's finally opened at 8 AM, I made a beeline for the coffee section. So many choices, but not so much room in my suitcase so I opted for just one pound of their aromatic hazelnut coffee. I took the crosstown bus to Donna's and then CRASHED.

But it was only for a short respite because I had to meet another friend for lunch in Soho. I'm glad I was by myself when I got off the subway because there were so many memories that came rushing back, the late nights at Balthazar, the Saturday treks to Kate's Paperie, spending way too much at the cosmetics counter at Bloomie's, but then I was jolted back into reality by a sight that I thought I would NEVER see in Manhattan, much less Soho. A CROCS store. It was huge and filled with every CROCS shoe you could imagine. I never owned a pair of Crocs before I lived in Southern California so I was shocked to see the store in one of the trendiest areas on the planet. Of course I had to go in and of course I spied about ten different kinds that I wanted to get for H&R. I restrained myself, just barely, since I had just bought them Crocs in the next sizes up and I didn't want to buy for years in advance. I think it was the strong smell of rubber that really woke me up to meet my friend Sharon in a less than comatose state.

After lunch at Famous Ben's Pizza, I walked back up to Union Square, then threw in the towel and took the subway back to the hotel. Afternoon coffee with Jane gave me the energy I needed to prepare for the Avery SocialLuxe Lounge, my first BlogHer 2010 event. I got to the party right when it started, and I'm so glad I did because it meant I was first in line to get the manicures and massages that were offered inside. I absolutely love the purple color I picked for the manicure and wish I had remembered the name of it because I'll probably never find it again. The shoulder and arm massage provided by Aveda superstars was so relaxing that I promptly fell down the stairs after they finished working on me. Totally worth it! Only one huge scrape--and I was able to fix my broken heel so no harm done. I figured I should sit down after that so I grabbed a delicious coffee drink made by Beau, the fabulous International Delights barista. Even before I started blogging, I only used International Delight coffee creamer because of the company's commitment to sustainability and because it doesn't use unfair labor practices like its closest competitor. I was so excited when I saw them at the party! Refueled and ready to go, I checked out the new fall line at Stride Rite and took a Glam photo with some fellow bloggers. After I heard who the 2010 BlogLuxe winners were, I had to run to another event. Literally. In heels. My feet did not appreciate that and it was a godsend when I opened up the SocialLuxe swag bag and found antibiotic ointment and bandaids to put on my feet in the morning. Many thanks to Avery and the other SocialLuxe Lounge sponsors for a fantastic party and the wonderful party gifts!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clean Water Blogivation contest: Vote and Donate Water

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water (Source: World Health Organization and UNICEF). That’s one in eight of us. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren't strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation. If there is anything on which all of humanity can agree I would venture to bet that it is the right of each person to water. This is an issue I've been involved with for some time now so when I came across the Clean Water Blogivation campaign (open to all female bloggers) at BlogHer last week, I knew I had to participate. If my blog receives the most votes, I will win an opportunity to join Dr. Greg Allgood on a clean water expedition to Africa and a $15,000 donation to my favorite charity tackling water issues.

Going to Africa would be the realization of a long-cherished wish, one that I've had since studying both East and West Africa as a history major in college. And a $15,000 donation to charity: water would be used 100% towards directly funding water projects. But I'm realistic, I know that my little blog doesn't have much of a chance to win, and that is not why I'm posting today. Each time you vote for my post in the Clean Water Blogivation contest (voting is once per day until August 27), Proctor and Gamble will donate a day's worth of clean drinking water (2L) to a person in need in a developing country! I would love to be able to give 1000L of water through my Random Mommy Readers. Just look at this video and see how Proctor and Gamble, in alliance with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program, has provided clean drinking water to the people most in need by distributing PUR water purification packets—an innovation that easily turns contaminated H2O into safe, drinkable water.

The PUR packets are unique in being extremely effective in removing dirt and pollutants like arsenic while removing greater than 99.9% of parasites, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.9999% of bacteria. PUR packets are also proven to reduce diarrheal illness by up to 90% in particularly vulnerable people like those living in refugee camps. I watched a demo at BlogHer and it was amazing how they transformed a container full of dirty brown water into one that was clear and purified. Please help get this clean water to those who need it by participating in this campaign. You can vote for my post through the widget below. Every vote and every drop of water counts, so much more than you can imagine. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stonyfield Farms Yogurt Review and GIVEAWAY

CONGRATULATIONS TO NUMBERS 7 AND 13! Please respond to my email within 72 hours. Thanks everyone who entered!
H&R both started on YoBaby yogurt at 8 months old. H's pediatrician said that yogurt is more easily digestible than whole milk and could be started at that age since H had already started on stage 3 foods. I started R at that time because he was having food issues (not eating) and I was desperate to get him eating anything. For some reason, YoBaby was one of the only "baby" foods he would eat. So when I was given the opportunity to review Stonyfield Farm yogurts and host a giveaway for my readers, I was happy to do it since Stonyfield Farm yogurts have always been a part of my (I've eaten my fair share of O'Soy) and my kids' diets. 

It was the first time my kids tried YoToddler, which is a fairly new line that bridges the gap between YoBaby and YoKids. It contains protein, iron and DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid that helps brain development) that toddlers still need in their "grow" years. Whole milk YoToddler comes in 4-cup single flavor packs with DHA in both Apple with DHA & Iron, and Strawberry Banana with DHA. Like its predecessor, YoBaby Plus Fruit & Cereal, YoToddler combines fruit & cereal with the benefits mom wants (DHA, iron) in a delicious organic yogurt that picky toddlers love. I don't think the boys cared that YoToddler is certified organic, but I know they loved the taste because they ate it all up. As their mom, I definitely appreciate that there are no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors or flavors. We also tried YoKids Squeezers. Stonyfield's low-fat YoKids yogurts have 25% less sugar than the leading kids yogurt and only pure, organic ingredients. H&R absolutely love the Squeezers. They finish them every time, which they don't do with the other leading brand of yogurt tubes. I think it's because the Squeezers are less sweet and also have a slightly higher milk fat content so they don't get overwhelmed with a sugary taste in their mouths. Whatever it is, they love them!

YoToddler and YoKids are kosher and feature Stonyfield's exclusive blend of six live active cultures. I'm a firm believer in the power of probiotics. My boys had problems with regularity and it was only when I started introducing probiotics into their diet that they stopped having those kinds of issues. I think when people don't see the word "probiotic" in big letters on a package they tend not to realize that all yogurts have them. All Stonyfield products have an exclusive blend of six live active probiotic cultures--more than any other leading national brand. Probiotics strengthen your immune system and support your body’s natural resistance to harmful bacteria. It is especially helpful to enhance our immune systems, which tend to slow down as we grow older.

Stonyfield Farm, celebrating its 27th year, is the world's leading organic yogurt company. Its all natural and certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its use of organic ingredients helps keep over 180,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers known to contaminate soil, drinking water and food. To help reduce climate change, Stonyfield offsets all of the C02 emissions generated from its facility energy use. The company also started a nonprofit called Climate Counts which shows people how they can help fight climate change by the way they shop and invest. Stonyfield also donates 10% of its profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth.

Stonyfield Farm will give two Random Mommy readers the opportunity to enjoy these yogurts and see the benefits of their proprietary probiotic formula. One Random Mommy reader will win a prize pack of YoToddler yogurt coupons, an Eric Carle illustrated growth chart, and a Preserve green travel bowl. The other Random Mommy reader will win a prize pack of YoKids yogurt coupons, a YoKids superhero cape (like the one modeled by H), and a Preserve green travel bowl.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:  Contest period runs from Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 2:01 PM (Pacific) until Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM (Pacific). Enter by leaving a comment on your favorite way to enjoy yogurt, and leave your e-mail address OR sign in to comments using your Blogger ID, making sure your Blogger profile is public and includes your e-mail address.

Bonus Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry, it counts if you've done any of these so leave a comment for each one)
1) Follow me on Twitter
2) Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect by clicking on the sidebar

If you don't leave a qualifying comment and your e-mail address or public Blogger profile, your entry will be disqualified. I reserve the right to extend the contest period. At the end of the contest period, I will utilize Random.org to randomly choose the winners. The winners will be contacted by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to my e-mail. If the winners do not respond within 72 hours, the prizes will go to the next place winners as decided by Random.org. This contest is open for US Residents only. A huge thank you and much appreciation to my friends at Stonyfield Farm for their generosity! Good luck!

I did not receive compensation for this post. I did receive product samples to facilitate my review.

Monday, August 9, 2010

BlogHer 2010 Discounts and Deals

My full posts are brewing but I wanted to share these deals with you as soon as possible since they're only available for a limited time:

Hillshire Farm: $1 off any one package of Deli Select lunchmeat
Juno Baby: 15% off first purchase with code beginner
Cambria Cove: 10% off with code SOCIALLUXE

Stride Rite: 15% off online purchase with code BLOGHER2010
Torrid: $5 off online with promo code CHECKUSOUT at checkout
SOAP.com: 15% off first order with code BLOGHER2010

Here are just a few photos from Blogher in the meanwhile:

Live Blogging Technical Issues

Lesson number 1, when you're traveling with an electronic product for the first time, make sure the power source you've chosen actually works. I power up my iTouch with my iGo whenever I travel so I thought I could do the same for the iPad. Umm...not so much, probably because my iGo came out before the iPad. So my plans to live blog the entire Blogher conference were stymied by this issue. Only after I got back did I think, "oh, I should have asked the nice rep from Kraft's Big Fork Little Fork app if I could charge my iPad at her booth." Live and learn. Here is my excerpt on Friday that never made it online. Now that I'm back, I'll have time to organize my photos and thoughts into more cohesive posts:

My first Blogher conference session on Friday was the one on FTC regulations. One of the panelists was Stacy Ferguson, an attorney at the FTC (she qualified her statements by saying, "these are my own opinions and do not represent the views of the FTC"). I had asked my friend Donna from law school and her baby E to come to the session with me so we could pretend we were in Professor Pitofsky's antitrust class again. Except this time I wouldn't be wearing my Eye of Sauron watch. She politely declined stating that E probably would not sit through the session and we instead met for lunch. After the afternoon expo visit (can't really live blog from expo when you are walking around), I had just enough time to organize some of the swag (I knew I couldn't take it all with me) before I had to go to the Aiming Low EZPZ event sponsored by HP. I met some very special ladies whose blogs I will definitely be checking out once I get back to my own computer back in SoCal. I wish I could have stayed for the entire event but had to leave early to meet my friend Ann who took the Chinatown bus down from Boston just to see me. Ann and I had a fabulous dinner at Braeburn in the West Village. Then we walked to the Blue Note for the 12:30 show. By 1:30 I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and we took a cab back to midtown.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Live blogging from Blogher 2010

First time live blogging from an event. I'm here at Blogher 2010! I borrowed Stewart's iPad so I could take notes easily and post (although I had to learn how to cut and paste on the iPad, not intuitive!). Bruce Jenner is here with Pepsico, only mentioning that bc he was born on the same day as me and I did a report on him in middle school. Had a great time running through central park this morning for the Blogher 5k. I only got a photo of myself in my tutu (tutus for Tanner) in my hotel room bc I didn't want to carry my camera while running. But I did get a photo of some other women in tutus and tiaras at the Gatorade breakfast after the run. This is just a note, my full posts will go up next week after I've had a chance to digest everything. So far met some really fun ladies at Avery SocialLuxe, Child's Play Bloganthropy Awards, and a cooking demo with Chef Scott Leibfried sponsored by Bumblebee at the Viking Test Kitchen. Definitely looking forward to sessions and visiting the expo. More later.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vote for JustOne at Sweatshirt Blanket Blog

Just One is an organization I'm involved with that addresses issues of extreme poverty. Ever since I've been involved with the group, I've learned so much about things that are hidden in our community. For instance, many of the illegal aliens that people are so upset about working in our country are here because they were forced or brought under false pretenses. You know those massage parlors or chiropractor offices that you know offer more than just massage--many of those women are modern day slaves and have been trafficked into this country. I posted about their plight and human trafficking on the LA Moms Blog. Just One is a group that is working to combat this hidden evil in our communities through their One Voice to End Slavery initiative. (If you live in the South Bay area of Southern California and are interested in participating in the formation of a coalition against trafficking in the area, please contact Jim Loduha.) Another Just One program is Laundry Love. Laundry Love Projects partner with local laundromats in cleaning the clothes of those living in shelters, motels, cars, garages and on the streets. It also helps families who are struggling financially, such as those who have been recently laid off and a free trip to the laundromat means another meal on the table. These are just a couple of the issues that Just One is trying to address and I am extremely grateful to be part of an organization that does so much good. That's why I nominated the organization to be profiled as a cause on the Sweatshirt Blanket Blog. I wanted to raise awareness about these issues and about Just One. Please read the profile and vote for Just One to win a dozen customized sweatshirt blankets free of charge to distribute to those people that so desperately need help in our community. Thanks for reading!