Showing posts with label BlogHer09. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BlogHer09. Show all posts

August 2, 2009

It Was Nice Meeting You... BLOGHER '09

The cards Rick from Tiny Prints surprised me with when we met. On the back was all my contact info. I had so much fun receiving other bloggers' cards and handing these out. (Photo by Crooked Eyebrow... my poor camera took a swim in lemonade at the fair.)

This is Haley, one of the sa-weetest people you could ever meet. Here we are outside the People's Party. I'm so blessed to finally be able to hug Haley in real life.

Wearing Ivy in one of my gorgeous Sakura Bloom slings*, pictured with my beautiful friend Farrah wearing her son Caden. Photo by Beth Fletcher.

With the lovely Elaine and her darling baby girl bump in the hotel lobby.

On the red carpet at BowlHer, with dear friends Sarah & Amy. Wearing another Sakura Bloom sling*. Photo by Deb.

At the Cheeseburgher party with my Indiana homies Casey & Emily.
Photo by Rick Bucich

I know there are lots more. I can't wait to see the photos that keep being added on Flickr. I don't think I am a vain person, but I love taking my picture with people I love! So if you have a picture with me, send it my way so I can see it, mkay?

Also, a blogging friend that wasn't at BlogHer but you still might know her and need to be aware of her bloggy move- Jaymi from FlipFlopMomma now calls Sticks & Stones her home. Make sure you update your feeds!

*These slings were gifted to me from Sakura Bloom and I wasn't asked to link to them but they are so so very lovely, I couldn't resist.

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July 28, 2009

I Only Took Two Photos While I Was Away

... and neither of them are of people.

Wednesday night I stayed at the Doubletree in downtown Chicago because I would be getting up early to attend the KmartDesign styling session before BlogHer. I got a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in, and pillows of affirmation on my bed.

That night ranks up there as possibly my favorite of the whole trip. Jenny (my friend I've known my entire life) came by after she got off work and we went to dinner with Esther & Jude.Then Jen hung out in my room with me & Ivy and we just chilled and talked and it was nice. She's not a blogger or a Mom, but she totally gets it.

The next morning we were off bright and early to the Sears headquarters where we met the designers and look! I had my own tag thing on the clothes rack like at a fashion show!

You can see photos they took here and they even filmed some of it- you have to see the video here at the site (I LOVE THIS VIDEO!), as well as a contest you really should enter- they are giving away 25 $100 gift cards- super simple to enter.

I still haven't had a chance to scour flickr for all the pics people took at BlogHer so I can show off some of the KmartDesign pieces I chose, including the jeans. Yes, jeans.

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July 27, 2009

I Brought My Baby To BlogHer Part Two

I'm afraid there has been a big misunderstanding.

When I was planning for BlogHer, I was excited about taking Ivy and showing her off. BlogHer is known to be very baby-friendly and at Blogher 2008 in San Francisco I remembered Julie and Catherine wore their babies at sessions and parties and I imagined something similar for us.

And for the most part, it was a great experience having my baby with me. I wouldn't have been able to attend otherwise. I wore her in the sling almost the entire time. Occasionally letting her crawl on the floor where she might have eaten crumbs from Social Luxe hors d' oeuvres and when I thought it might be getting too crowded, I picked her up. When I needed to nurse her, I found a couch in a corner and fed her. And when I had said my quick hellos, watched my friend win an award, I left without incident (and without swag.)

As for the actual conference, I did find it limiting to take a baby. Every single session I tried to attend was too full- I couldn't even stand in the back or the door way. If I hadn't had her with me, I might have tried to squeeze in somehow. I then decided to wait in line for 45 minutes to hear the last session I wanted to attend, and got a seat in the very back. Ivy napped and then nursed and when she wanted to get down and move around, I left immediately so that we wouldn't be a distraction (even though Jenny had told me beforehand she wanted her to make all the noise she could because it would be awesome. And then she said she was going to kidnap her. So I got the heck out of there.)

If there hadn't been a line to even listen in the doorway I would have tried to stick around once she quieted, but I couldn't get back in.

Yes, there is childcare. But I can't even leave my baby in the church nursery. That is not BlogHer's fault. That's mine. Also when I found that I had no cell phone reception in many areas of the conference, I was wondering if I had done childcare, how would they get a hold of me?

Even hanging out with friends was frustrating because I wanted to do things while she napped on me so that I could get the most out of whatever it was we were going to do but then there is a lot of waiting at BlogHer. Wating on people, in your hotel room, for the elevator. And it started to wear on me that I would waste a good nap just waiting.

The part where I started to feel like I was seeing things in a whole new light was after the parties.

I was a guest of Katja's at the Hanes party held at Rebar in the Trump Tower. It was a bar. When I first received the invite I immediately let her know I'd have the baby.
They didn't bat an eye at my bringing Ivy with me. The driver installed her carseat. The bar staff were incredible and brought her crackers to crush into their carpet. I sat with her on my lap in the back, on a couch. The Hanes people were gracious and entertained by Ivy's tricks. And then she slept in the sling the rest of the time.

In my head and heart, I want you and anyone there to know that I was thinking "blogger event" the entire time. I wasn't thinking "bar". I honestly probably wasn't thinking. Even though it was BlogHer weekend I was tired, and I was still Mom. I was me.

Looking back I am now realizing that maybe I should have thought it through a bit more and considered that while it was a wonderful gesture that they invited us both to come along, I didn't have to accept. Maybe they were outwardly smiling and sweet but on the inside thinking how annoying or inappropriate it was that I had brought a baby to a bar. Maybe they were scared off by what could happen if you upset a nursing Mom blogger.

That is not who I am.

Yes, I do nurse my baby in public but I don't wave my rights around like a gun. I know the right time and place. At least I thought I knew.

At BowlHer on Saturday night we had an absolute blast. In the music room there were mini concerts and plenty of room to chill and let the babies crawl around. Ivy was dancing and clapping and at one moment I turned and said this was the best moment yet. Only I didn't say it. I had to shout it. And I looked at Kim and asked if I was an idiot. If we had to shout to hear each other, what were we doing to the babies' ears?

The set ended and we took the babies out before the next musician came on. I felt like everyone was watching me and, although I am honest and make plenty of mistakes here on the blog, it seemed like in real life? I wasn't allowed to make any mistakes. Because shame on me if I just had a learning experience like any other Mother.

I started to question myself. On my way back to our hotel room I stopped in the Cheeseburgher party because I wanted to say hi to Isabel and Lindsay. I'm so glad I did because I also got to see Rick from Tiny Prints again and seriously if you were there this weekend you will agree with me at least somewhat that he was the happiest and most cheerful person there. He was taking photos and having a great time and I wished I could see the conference through his eyes. (And yeah, he was also my sponsor but that is a blessing that I basically just fell into.)

Anyway, as expected, their suite was packed. I made my way through with Casey & Emily and got my bag hat, burger, Dr. Pepper, with Ivy in the sling. I was able to say my thanks to the girls for the party, they were glad we made it, and then Ivy and I wriggled our way out to the hallway and back to our room.

By then, the weight of the weekend came crashing down. I was embarrassed if anyone thought I was being inconsiderate for bringing Ivy with me to a bar and concert. I didn't want to be thought of as some selfish nursing babywearing Mom that keeps her baby with her all the time no matter who it might inconvenience. All this time I had thought she was welcome. And I began to wonder about all the other times I might have given the same wrong impression. No event, no amount of friendship or networking is worth risking my reputation (and sanity), someone else's reputation, or my child's safety.

Next year I'll hopefully still be nursing her and so it doesn't look like I'll be going. It's just not the right season in my life to be doing these things. And if I hadn't already committed to another blogging event coming up next month, I wouldn't be taking her to that either, even though she was clearly on the invite with me. I'm looking at everything a bit differently now.

It's my choice to keep her with me at all times even if that means we have to stay at home. And I won't be moping around about it either.

Photo by Beth.

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July 25, 2009

I Brought My Baby To BlogHer

Here's a fun photo from the FABULOUS BowlHer event last night.

Beth, Sarah & Asher, Me & Ivy, Amy

I'm working on sharing my thoughts and feelings about bringing a baby to BlogHer. I admit I am torn, trying to be considerate for the women without children, the Moms that left their babies at
home to come to a conference in peace (only to see and hear other babies here), and those that chose childcare. And I'm thinking about the baby... and what it means for the little one. Is this experience fair to her? Is it selfish of me? Is BlogHer, and all that comes with it, really a place for babies? Let me think on it.

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BlogHer 09 So Far

Let me just tell you that this year's BlogHer is so different than last year's. And much different than I would have ever expected. Both good and bad, as is probably many things in life you look forward to.

First of all, I have to say I've had a blast hanging out with Beth and did you see how awesome a time she is having and who she met?

I wish there was more down time for me to just sit on the floor and hang out with many of my in-real-life and also on-line friends. Having Ivy and a too-packed schedule has been wonderful, but limiting. Hopefully today...

Apparently many women attending BlogHer this year are ONLY here for the swag bags (which really aren't that great if you're sitting at home all envious.) There have been tramplings and pushings and shovings come swag hand out time and I think this is so disappointing. Thursday night I didn't even ask for my swag bags. I didn't care, and I was too busy saying Eeeee! every time I would see someone I couldn't wait to hug. They were much more valuable to me than samples of laundry detergent and a pair of Crocs.

But don't get me wrong- the swag bags I have been given that had my name on them and were going to be mine no matter what time I made it or how long I stood in line, they have had some pretty sweet stuff in them. (Thanks Hanes & e.l.f.!)

I had been asked if I wanted to attend the Nikon party a while back and declined because it was not in the hotel and with Ivy, it's hard to be coming and going like that, plus it was ending late. I kinda just went with my gut feeling EVEN though it was Nikon. And everyone I talked to that heard I turned it down thought I was an idiot! Well... turns out it was meant to be because the Moms with babies that planned to attend were turned away from the party. Because they had babies. I don't think it has anything directly to do with Nikon, as I've heard that it was the restaurant's policy, but still. You know.

If I had gone and had been turned away? I would have probably cried.


I really wanted to attend one session in particular yesterday and the room was too small and filled to the brim with people, so I couldn't even fit inside to see or hear the panelists. I am hoping to arrive early to the two sessions I am determined to sit in today.

This morning we plan to head outside for a bit and hang out with friends and then come back for the sessions we want to see in the afternoon. And then, I think, more parties.

My experience so far really has overall been very pleasant. I have been able to finally meet so many of my favorite bloggers, my favorite readers, and I only wish I had ten more minutes with each of them, or just more time to sit down instead of passing in a hurry in the halls. I am not here for the parties, but for the people. So I need to remember that for next year. Less parties. More people.

The best parts about the BlogHer experience is what you just let happen, the little things that surprise you.

There was a moment Thursday morning as I awoke next to Ivy and we snuggled, and I thought back to last year with her kicking in my belly and knowing she was a girl, knowing I had so much to look forward to, I feel so incredibly wealthy that I get to love her. She's mine.

And she's all the swag I need.

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July 24, 2009

We Are Here.

I don't know where to start! I am hiding in my room right now- just had breakfast, got my swag bag, and came back up here to let Ivy nap for a bit. She's out on the bed, cutest thing ever. And I swear she had her picture taken more last night than EVER in her life. If you can believe that. She has been blowing kisses and waving hi and flirting and I am so glad I have her here with me.

Last night at the Social Luxe Lounge I set her on the floor and turned and she was gone. I found her at the feet of Chris Mann.

I'm going to try to get some organization to my room while Ivy sleeps- our roommates (Erin & Alice) are off to explore the city. (By the way, Alice is the first baby ever that Ivy doesn't try to tackle! They are CUTE together.) Then I'm off to walk around downstairs and finally meet Rick from Tiny Prints, and then we have lunch and sessions and eighty million parties tonight.

This is fun.

Photo by Liz Henry

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July 22, 2009


Three suitcases and three bags and we're off to the citay!

I'll try to upload photos here or on my flickr when I get the chance. But another way to keep up is to follow us on Twitter as well as search flickr for photos tagged "Blogher09" and see if you can find us!

I hugged Gray extra tight last night as I tucked him in. He's probably never looked cuter. And as always, I considered not going.

I would totally trade the amazing BlogHer experience to be with my kids, if faced with such a choice. But, thankfully, I am still going. I need this. And for their sake... they need this. Just moments ago Gray cut open the center of a brand new bag of cereal with scissors and it spilled all over the kitchen floor.

I can't get out of here fast enough.

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July 20, 2009

When you wake Ring for Drake, Drake will bring your tray

I've been away on a little family vacation. I left my phone in the room and stole away moments to write in the dark as everyone slept to the hum of the air conditioner on the wall.

I started reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I have this thing where I put off reading books suggested to me until a movie is going to come out. Then I hungrily read the book before I see the movie. That's my rule.

At one point, on our way home, all the right songs played on the radio. The sky was blue patterned with cartoon clouds and the children napped in unison. I was physically and mentally high on no other substance but good things. Very good thoughts and very good things.

In just a couple days I'll be heading up to BlogHer in Chicago, my travel, hotel, & conference fee generously paid for by Tiny Prints. I have lots to prepare, and once I am there I have so many places to be and things to do and I know in a blink it will be over.

For me, this week is my time to live a little larger than I do the other 361 days of the year...

Thursday morning a car will take me to be outfitted and styled by Kmart Design in Chicago. Later that evening I'm set to attend the Social Luxe party, Crocs Party, and People's Party.
Friday I'll get my hair "did" by the Suave celebrity team and then whisked away by private car again to Rebar at the Trump Tower for a private Hanes Comfort party. Then we'll be on to the Method suite, e.l.f. makeover event, MamaPopRocks, & Type-A MOMfluence party. Saturday is BowlHer and the CheeseburgHer party.

(Get me now, holy cow! Would someone pinch me please?)

And of course there's the sessions and hanging out in my hotel room and late night hallway chats and seeing my favorite city and showing off Ivy LaRue finally in person (she will be with me the entire time), wearing some gorgeous Sakura Bloom slings as well as the rest of my entire carrier stash that I am bringing along to share.

Let me get fancy for a while, and I'll be ready to be the old me again.

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January 15, 2009

Simple Tips For Getting Sponsorships

I'm super excited that I've been fully sponsored for this year's BlogHer conference- BIG BIG thanks to a fabulous site to get beautiful photo birth announcements, personalized cards, stationery, and more. I'll have a contest for you to enter soon, too!

And I'm happy to share some simple tips on how to go about seeking a sponsor for your own blog.

1. Be Available: Make sure you have a contact page or email address easily available on your blog. (Mine's in the "Who Is She?" button to the left and I have been meaning to make it more obvious actually.)

2. Be Prepared: Have a break down of just what you will need. For example- $250 conference fee, $300 airfare, $600 hotel, etc.

It Never Hurts To Ask: Your inbox might be holding the key. If you do reviews or contests or are emailed press releases to blog about, turn that into a request for sponsorship. Even if you can't do or don't want to do what has initially been requested, the company might be interested in sponsoring you for an event or even advertising in your side bar.

4. Don't Wait: Don't wait to be approached- you might have to do the reaching out. Often companies wouldn't even know where to begin if wanting to sponsor a blogger, so they might be waiting for you to come to them!

5. Who? Consider anyone and everyone you've enjoyed working with in the past. If you haven't established a relationship with other companies and contacts yet, then start reaching out. Start with the products and services you love and would want to work with! Even better if you have a personal story behind their product. Most websites have a contact page. That's a great place to start.

4. Don't Hesitate: Even though BlogHer 09 isn't until July, it's good to start asking now. (Or whatever event you're wanting to attend.)

5. Give & Take: Think about what you are willing to do in return for sponsorship. It could be links in your BlogHer posts, a button in your sidebar, passing out business cards at the conference, wearing a t-shirt... get creative! The possibilities are endless!

6. Be Yourself: Partner up with someone that makes sense for you and your blog. It should be someone you like and/or a product you are proud to have sponsor you. Sure, I could take $1000 to represent baby formula, but that's not me. And your readers know when you're not being you.

Additional tips...

Be original. If you see that another blogger has partnered up with a company, I think it's respectful to seek out some place different to work with.

Share the love.
At the same time, if you are sponsored and know that there are more sponsorship opportunities available for other bloggers, put in a good word for your friends!

Twitter. Be in the know and follow the movers and shakers on Twitter! (I'm babysteph by the way).

Win. Keep an eye out for contests offering sponsorships to BlogHer. Last year HP gave away several $250 scholarships and even this year some bloggers have been in the giving mood.

Volunteer. BlogHer offers BlogHerships and other opportunities in exchange for your time and talent. See if there is something available for you!

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