Posts Tagged ‘interwebs’

Obligatory BlogHer Advice Post

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

If you are not a blogger and couldn’t care LESS about blogging conferences (which you imagine are pretty much like Star Trek conventions without the awesome dorky costumes)(you’re wrong, by the way, blogging conferences are MUCH more uncool than Star Trek conventions) feel free to skip this one. I’ll have more ginger baby pictures up in an hour or two.

blogher 11 photos

I saw lots of people and did lots of things

I started writing this post days after coming back from BlogHer’11 in San Diego, when the whole experience was still fresh. I added to it for a few weeks as I gained some perspective and finished it up just yesterday when I was talking to some of the friends I made last year. Since I’ve only been to one BlogHer I am by no means an expert, but I hunted down and read every single one of these posts I could find last year so I thought I’d throw my hat peacock feather fascinator in the ring.

Pre- and At BlogHer Advice

1. The fun actually starts long before the conference. Last year, almost everyone I knew got into town on Wednesday night, so they had all of Thursday to hang out and/or attend Pathfinder Day. I didn’t want to leave my nursing baby for an extra day so I skipped it – and regretted it (well, not the part about missing the baby, the part about missing the fun). I’m going to make sure I’m in NYC for a long time.

2. Don’t be afraid to call your friends. Even the ones you previously only talked to online. I did a lot of texting and tweeting and Belugaing (a free app that’s like texting), but would miss people because of lag time and I ended up being alone more than I wanted to. But the women who were brave enough to just dial a number and say “Hey, where you at?” met up with their posses much faster.

3. 200 business cards is too many. I handed out a LOT, even to my friends, just because my cards were super cute but I still came home with at least half of them, even after dropping a bunch in bowls for giveaways.

4. Nobody cared what I was wearing. I spent tons and tons of time worrying about it but in the end all that mattered was having comfortable shoes. If you’re a fashion blogger, you’re already good at wearing cool clothes. If you’re anyone else, just wear clothes.

5. Don’t commit to things that will keep you away from your friends for too long. Sure, private parties and invites and appointments and swag suites are AWESOME, but your time is precious and if no one you came to BlogHer to see is invited to your super secret event you’ll be there alone. One of my roommates last year went to a private party that was incredibly cool but took place on an island after a boat ride and she missed a ton of fun (SPARKLECORN) because she was there.

6. Put away your phone. I had SUCH a hard time doing this, but my best conversations happened after my phone was dead and I was forced –FORCED I TELL YOU – to focus on the people I was actually with.

7. Send some emails. Start a Facebook group. G-chat. Really get to know the people you are hoping to hang out with. EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT, and if you let your social anxiety prevent you from talking to your friends’ faces through the internet it will be a lot worse when you try to do it in person.

8. The Expo Hall is a great way to connect with brands but it is not the ONLY way to connect with brands. A lot of companies send representatives to the actual conference, so it never hurts to chat with the strangers at your table. The first company to contact me after BlogHer with actual stuff I was actually interested in using was because I put on my best brave and friendly face and sat with strangers during lunch.

9. Come up with a brief summary of your blog so that when people ask what you blog about you don’t say “Oh just my kids and stuff”. Sometime this is called an elevator pitch, but that name totally put me off. I thought “Naaaah, I’m not going to pitch my blog to everyone I meet! Imma just be ME”. I somehow forgot the ME the people (might) know IS my blog – and the ME brand representatives and sponsors want to get to know is my blog too. Since I’m slightly awkward in person (SHOCKING I KNOW) I’m going to plan ahead a little better this year.

10. Have a good time. Let your hair down. Dance on the stage with the DJ. But remember: falling down and throwing up are no fun, so don’t let “Open Bar” mean “Super Drunk”.

Post-BlogHer Advice:

There will be a LOT of posts about BlogHer and what people thought and where they went and how they loved seeing their friends. Sometimes they will mention you. Sometimes they won’t. Don’t let their memory of the conference skew your memory. If you had the Best Time Ever then it WAS the best time ever. If you were a little disappointed then it was a little disappointing. Stay in contact with the people you met and enjoyed. Don’t feel obligated to add every single blogger to your Google Reader, but it might be worth adding them all to your Twitter for a few weeks to see if you have stuff in common (Pro tip: go through the pile of business cards you collected while waiting for your flight/train home and everyone is still fresh in your mind. It’s a great time to tweet “It was great to meet you!” so they can follow you back).

To be 100% honest with you, I spent way, way too much time last August worrying everyone I had met secretly hated me or thought I was fat and ugly and lame and boring. I’m sure I won’t be able to avoid some of those same feelings of doubt (hellooooo, I’m a blogger because I am insecure and awkward and you probably are too) but it’s a full year later and since most of the internet friends I met at BlogHer11 are STILL my internet friends, I’m assuming they don’t dislike me too much.

If you’re going to BlogHer in NYC and we aren’t already friends, let’s start now. Tweet me, email me, comment here, or just come find me (I’ll be hosting at the Serenity Suite on Saturday from 2pm-4pm) and we can go get some free humus or cottage cheese together. One month! I’m so excited!

sesame street panel blogher 11

That’s real Elmo, not some cheap knock off.

p.s. If you’re looking for me this year, I’ll be wearing pretty much ALL the same clothes as I am in the above photos. Just to make it easy for you.

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Changing the Universe Giveaway

Monday, March 5th, 2012

My friend Nicci just launched her brand new Etsy shop where she sells handmade fabric coasters and throw pillow covers and she asked me if I’d help her spread the word. OF COURSE I said yes – I love having so many talented, crafty friends and I greatly admire someone with enough ambition and talent to throw their hat into the handmade biz ring!

Nicci sent me a set of Zen Garden coasters to try out and they’re even cuter in person than online.

I love that they’re fabric and lined with fleece to absorb drips and protect my coffee table, but also something I don’t have to keep putting out of reach from the kids. In fact, they’re perfect for teaching small people the importance of coasters!

One coaster is good!

So two coasters is better!

Everything is ready-to-ship and made in limited quantities, so if you see a pattern you like buy it quick! I think coasters would make a cute hostess gift for a neighbor or a housewarming gift for a friend – everyone uses cups! And tables! And everyone hates water stains! It’s universal! Nicci’s hoping to add new patterns and fabrics to the shop every couple of weeks. You can follow her blog, her Facebook page and her Twitter for shop updates and new deigns.

AND you can enter to win a set of your choice! Just check out the Changing the Universe shop and leave a comment telling me which item you like the best. Or you can go ahead and order yourself a set and use the code BEBEHBLOG at checkout for a 10% discount.

I’m keeping this one short since I’ll be gone next week, so I’ll draw a winner on Friday. Good luck!

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Friday, December 30th, 2011

So long, 2011. You were cool and all, but I have PLANS in 2012 and they cannot get here fast enough.

In January I adjusted to being a mother of 2 by almost falling apart and dispensing tons of helpful advice, but I also discovered how much I LOVED having another kid. I shared pictures of Caroline’s nursery, posted my tutu tutorial (one of my top posts ever!) and failed at cloth diapers.

In February I made some muffins, which might have contributed to my slightly ranty post about my feelings on dieting.  I had a huge realization about why doing the dishes wasn’t such a chore after all – although honestly, I should reread that once a week, since I’ve pretty much forgotten it again. Because I like embarrassing myself, I shared my high school poetry anthology and I talked about headbands. A lot.

In March I failed at parenting not once, but twice. I tried to decide if the kids looked alike or not. And I bemoaned how even good advice isn’t always good.

In April, Evan turned 2 and we gave him a room makeover and an awesome birthday party. I embraced my inner hippie and joined a CSA (which turned out to be a GREAT decision). I knit some cute stuff while avoiding knitting the sweaters I’ve had started for more than a year. I had totally forgotten I made these scones until just now but I’m definitely making some this weekend.

In May I discovered Pinterest and my life was never the same. I tried to explain how hard it is to get things done when you ALSO have two kids to watch. I dressed Caroline up for a baby fashion show. To battle the evils months I reorganized my pantry and made it prettier. And then my toddler drove me to drink by asking WHY a zillion times.

In June I made a list of ways I might be crazy, but it turns out a lot of you are crazy too. We took on the hugest house project to date and built ourselves a gorgeous patio. Caroline had her half birthday – and it’s so crazy to look back at my just-barely-sitting-up and not-yet-crawling baby compared to the second half of the year! I wrote about the evils of Pull-Ups  and the joys of my amazing stroller.  And I complained for the zillionth time how parenting feels unequal.

In July I joined Weight Watchers (something I see to have forgotten recently) and  shared some of the amazing handmade shops I’ve found. I took a lot of adorable pictures at Lake Compounce and the Sunflower Festival.

In August I went to BlogHer, posted my 1000th post, and celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary. I dorked out with my kid’s dinosaurs and Caroline took her first step. I also baked a galette and redecorated my living room. And we all survived Hurricane Irene with minimal fuss.

In September I made a lot of stuff, like sriracha and cupcakes and shit with pinecones, which is one of my top visited posts ever. We went to the beach, which was epic. I decided having two kids wasn’t so bad after all.

In October we went to the fair and I met one of my long time interwebs friends IRL. We had a Halloween party where Caroline was her sunshiney self. Evan turned two and a half. I did that stupid accent meme vlog and I told the story about how I was once almost in a movie.

In November I posted every frickin day, which is too exhausting to recap.

In December I tried and failed at twinkle pics of the kids. I declared potty training a success but not necessarily a happy one but having a two year old is still kinda awesome.  I made super delicious cookies and the internet agreed. Caroline turned one and I threw her a pretty nice party. Then we tortured the kids with the all important Santa picture and had a very nice Christmas.

Whoa, I sort of can’t believe all the stuff happened – and that I wrote about all of it. I think I liked 2011 better than 2010, mostly because I was less sick, not pregnant and really let myself blog for the love of blogging (mostly). I am going to KEEP enjoying myself in 2012 and I’d be honored if you decided to keep reading.

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Thankful Day 30: DONE

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE

Today I am thankful that NaBloPoMo is DONE and I DID IT and I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN. I am both proud of myself for posting every single day (MORE THAN ONCE if I had sponsored content, because I felt like that was cheating) and annoyed at myself for posting every single day (because I am not that interesting). I think I ended up annoying people more than anything – my comments dropped significantly, which for me defeats the whole purpose of blogging. Not because I need constant reassurance that I’m awesome (although that sure is nice TOO) but because hearing YOUR stories and thoughts and advice is a huge part of why I bother to write my thoughts here on the interwebs instead of in my journal. So, dear friends, if I promise to write less crap, will you come back now? Pretty please?

Things I WILL be blogging about in December: cookies, Caroline’s first birthday party, how much I hate cleaning my house, knitting, my fight with myself over possibly weaning the baby, Little Evan’s inability to control his own strength, house plants, tattoos, traveling with kids and Christmas decorations. I will also be taking more naps, eating too much and dedicating a LOT of time and energy to finding the perfect bubble bath.

Today I am thankful my blog can go back to being whatever I want without feeling like a quitter.

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