Aug 4, 2011 Today's Agenda
So for a lot of my readers it’s late afternoon, time to start thinking of dinner and winding down, but I’m in San Diego for a blogging conference, so most of my day is still spread out ahead of me. Also spread out ahead of me at the moment is this amazing view, from my balcony at the Marriott Marquis Marina.
I got a ton of work done on the plane, which was good, but also meant that I didn’t sleep much (thanks to two kids sitting right near me who cried a lot of the time). So I’m going to relax for just a little while as some things upload (it’s almost like I’m working!) and then I’m going to head out for my first event: a huge party being co-hosted by two of my Blogging Angels cohosts, Nancy and Rebecca, for their awesome kid review site KidzVuz. I’m so proud of them!
After that it’s another party then, I’m hoping against hope, an early night. Tomorrow promises to be a very long day, and I’m running on fumes already.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.
Aug 2, 2011 Today's Agenda
This morning on ABC the weatherman said about a thousand times that today would be a pleasant day, without much humidity. I’m hoping against hope that he’s right, because feeling like I haven’t showered even right after I step out of the shower is getting old.
Today has been a productive day already. When you get up at 5:30, a lot gets done before 11am. (Then again, you’re tired enough for bed by 9pm.) But both kids got off to camp without incident and I hit the ground running. Well, walking. If I don’t get the treadmill out of the way first, it’s not likely to happen. Also cleaned the kitchen, fed the turtles, got some bread started, and did some weeding in the garden.
Now it’s writing and laundry until it’s time to get Fiona and go to what looks like a really fun back-to-school event, Don’t Fret the Sweat, hosted by the people who make Degree and Dove. Fashion, make-up, pictures…OK, my basic nightmare. But Fiona will love it.
Then tonight I get Jake packed up for an overnight trip with his day camp tomorrow, and get myself ready for a trip to San Diego for the BlogHer conference on Thursday, where I’m not just attending but also hosting an exclusive breakfast for sixty fabulous bloggers with my fellow Blogging Angels and the ladies from Zebra Partners. It’s a lot to do. But I’m not panicking. Really.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.
Dec 22, 2010 What's Going On
I changed my twitter picture yesterday, for the first time ever, and I’ve lost count of how many compliments I’ve gotten about my hair. Yes, I curled it that day (I was going to a party). And yes, it took a long time – about an hour start to finish (I have a crapload of hair). Actually, that hairdo is due completely to an event I went to at BlogHer over the summer, Getting Gorgeous.
At the event I received several hairstyling products courtesy of Remington, and the most intriguing one was a Ceramic Curling Wand. I’d never seen such a thing. It came with a little heat resistant glove, so that you can wrap your hair around it right to the ends without burning your fingers (your ears, though, are on their own).
Also at that same event I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Potempa (who had just given birth to her first baby a few weeks before!), a celebrity hairstylist, who was there asking trivia question and giving out prizes. After BlogHer was over I found out that I had won the grand prize from Sarah, a haircut and style! I was so excited, but also felt a little bad for her. My hair is super thick and stubborn and I was really hoping she’d be able to show off her skills, but knew it would be quite a challenge (little did I know just how good she is!).
I made an appointment with her for my birthday, figuring that would be as good a day as any to have gorgeous hair (I was going out to dinner with The Ass). I got out of the subway near her office to find a really apologetic message from her: the photo shoot she was working on had run over, and would I mind meeting her there instead? Of course not, it was only a few blocks away, and I’d get to peek in on a photo shoot! I waked over quickly, dying with curiosity about who would be there.
I arrived at the shoot and Sarah greeted me warmly, looking gorgeous and not at all like someone who has a small baby at home. As she led me upstairs she let me know that the shoot was with Jake Gyllenhaal (her client) and Anne Hathaway, who appear together in Love and Other Drugs. Wow, jackpot. I was suddenly feeling very frumpy and nervous. I don’t tend to get nervous around famous people, but I’m usually a bit more prepared for it – I’m going to an event, I’ve got an interview appointment, I’m stalking them – so I was trying very hard not to act like a big nosey dork as I waited on a couch, Anne and Jake looking gorgeous on the other side of the room as music blasted and they posed for the November 26th cover of Entertainment Weekly (no, I was not there for the naked part – dammit!).
At various points during the shoot Anne wandered over a couple feet away from me, but I behaved myself and kept my nose in my newspaper, sneaking looks at her when she was distracted (she’s ethereally beautiful). When the shoot was over Sarah brought me in to the hair and make-up area, and we got started with my consultation.
Eventually Jake Gyllenhaal wandered in, and hung out for a while as I was getting my hair cut. Yes, hung out. Thankfully, having to keep still for Sarah kept me from leaping on top of him. That would have been embarrassing. We talked about kids, and NY theater, and Brooklyn…I think. It was all a blur. I don’t get wowed by celebrity – it just doesn’t seem to take much to get famous these days – but I’m easily floored by talent, and he’s got it. I think I first fell in love with him in Moonlight Mile, and what can I say about Brokeback Mountain that hasn’t already been said? He’s amazing.
I’m not usually one to need pictures with every celebrity that I meet. Often I’d rather take the picture than be in it, or skip it altogether. In this case, though, I was the one sheepishly asking for a picture. I have to say that Jake’s expression in the pic is just about what it should be: another picture with a person I don’t know, yawn. I don’t blame him, I was basically bothering him in a place where there aren’t usually fans wandering around. He was super nice about it all.
After he left, Sarah got back to doing my hair. She cut it completely dry, which was something new for me, but makes total sense. My hair has a mind of its own, and often does something completely wacky after I dry it. so it’s so much better to cut it that way. She straightened it, to make sure the cut looked good that way too, and then asked me if I wanted her to curl it. I’ve wasted thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to get it curly, what was one more try? I didn’t really hold out any hope that it would even last through dinner, but it was worth a shot.
The first thing I noticed was that Sarah was spraying each strand of hair with a water-based hairspray, which she said was key. The second thing I noticed was that she wasn’t using her curling iron the usual way, by grabbing the end of the strand in the little clip thing and rolling the rest around the barrel. Instead she never opened the clip, but wrapped it around the barrel starting at the root. Wait a minute, that’s what my new Remington Curling Wand is for! Hmm…would I actually be able to reproduce this at home?
Not only did my hair turn out great, but it stayed that way throughout my entire date. I never once had the urge to put it behind my ears, which is huge for me. I finally tried it myself for a Hanukkah party, where I saw a bunch of people who usually see me unshowered and in sweats, dropping my kids off at school. So my hair was quite a hit. Plus, since my Remington Curling Wand is smaller than the curling iron that Sarah used, I got a much tighter curl (of course, it took a lot longer too).
Now all I have to do is get quicker at it, so that I don’t just have to save great hair for special occasions! Thanks again to Sarah Potempa. Sarah has an awesome website with all sorts of tricks and tips for doing your hair, plus news about which celebrity head she’s got her hands on. You should check it out, it’s really entertaining, and you can even ask her questions.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.
Aug 17, 2010 Blog & Social Media Stuff
I’ve decided that the only way I’m ever going to get thin is if I spread myself that way, so three friends and I have started a new website, The Blogging Angels. We’re starting with some podcasts, and since the biggest mom blogging convention in the universe just happened a week ago, that’s our first topic.
So what’s a podcast? I knew nothing about them two weeks ago. I do videos. Why would I want to go backwards and take my face off of the thing? Because people can listen to podcasts while jogging, driving, cooking, cleaning, and many other things they couldn’t watch videos while doing. I mean, they could, but shouldn’t. So enter podcasts, and also enter my good friends Rebecca, Heidi, and Nancy. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any topics you’d like us to tackle – parenting issues, tech, George Clooney, anything – please let me know!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, Momtourage, and The Blogging Angels.
Aug 4, 2010 Uncategorized
I’m supposed to be getting ready to head to the BlogHer conference tomorrow in the city (that’s what we Brooklyn dwellers tend to call Manhattan, as though we live on a farm), thanks to my awesome sponsors at eBay Classifieds. But I just saw a string of emails from my kids’ school about school supplies, apologizing for not having sent out the lists yet. Back to school shopping lists? Seriously? Isn’t the start of school still months away?
Of course not. It only seems that way. For many people school is just around the corner, and that means pencils and markers and notebooks and all that other fun stuff. But since this is 2010 and we’re not Amish, it also means printers and voice recorders and calculators…and coffee makers and irons and a zillion other things. Which is why eBay is running a week of sales and specials for back-to-school items, through Friday. Not only is there a big selection and great prices, but all of the back-to-school items in the Back to School Blowout have free shipping as well!
There’s also an instant win game where you might win a $25 eBay gift certificate, and they’re giving away an iPad. So check out the deals and enter to win a couple of great prizes. And remember, just like all of their other fabulous Daily Deals, they change…daily! And sometimes even multiple times each day if they sell out quickly. So check back often.
OK, seriously, packing now.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has Compensation Levels of 7, 8 & 12. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and Momtourage.
Aug 13, 2009 Uncategorized
I always think, when I’m filming something, that I’m being smooth and suave. And then I watch it back and I’m such a dork! :-) But I love talking with Maria Bailey from BSM Media – a great PR person and my offline friend as well. She filmed a bunch of blogger profiles last month in Chicago at BlogHer. Thanks, Maria!
If you like seeing videos made by moms you should check out her video site, MomTV, which is where this video is posted.
UPDATE: I just found out that someone I know built the site that Maria mentions in the video, LaundryHE (I’ve done other videos for them too): Carrot Creative. They’re very frequent and helpful tipsters on my other site. Talk about a small world!
Jul 19, 2009 Weight Loss
A weird thing played out on Twitter this morning that started with me tweeting out of a desire to delay working and ended with me eating a s’more for lunch that I didn’t even start out really wanting. My daughter went into a cupboard to get something and of course left it open. From where I was sitting at the dining room table I could clearly see marshmallows, Hershey’s Kisses, and graham crackers. So, I tweeted this:
I wasn’t really serious about making s’mores before lunch. Hell, not that much time had passed since breakfast. I wasn’t even hungry. But then almost immediately these tweets came in:
Followed by these:
So, even though my first tweet had just been to hear myself “talk” (as so many of them are), the idea of eating a s’more was now firmly rooted in my brain. I didn’t really want to have it. I mean, I did, but I knew I wasn’t hungry. So I sent this, hoping for a way out:
I’ve been chronicling my weight loss attempt for a while now, and I’ve always said that the only way that I can do it long term is by not giving up the things I like. I still eat ALL of the same foods that I did when I weighed 30lbs more than this. The keys for me have been not eating when I’m not hungry, weighing and measuring everything, and recording it all on My Food Diary. The past few years have shown me that I’m a slave to numbers and statistics. So, I do those three things and I’m halfway home.
But sometimes I get tired of counting and weighing and measuring and tracking. And for reasons that I just can’t figure out, if I’m not keeping track of calories, then my brain thinks it’s OK to stuff my face and eat s’mores when I’m completely full (of chocolate chip pancakes, no less – this was definitely not a matter of me feeling deprived). So, I used Twitter as my excuse. I hate to give up control, and yet this time I did it willingly. I got the ingredients out and starting assembling a nice big s’more: two full sheets of graham cracker, four big marshmallows, and six Hershey’s Kisses.
Then this tweet came in:
Sigh. That got me to stop, look at what I was doing, and put more than half of the ingredients back, leaving one graham cracker, one marshmallow, and two Hershey’s Kisses. Twitter had given, and Twitter had taken away (at least partially). It was about 130 calories, not bad for a snack. But still, not one I would have eaten if I hadn’t been on Twitter.
As I was eating my little s’more, I started to think about what had transpired. Did my tweeps have my best interest in mind? I tweeted about the ingredients sans context. Would the response have been different if I had started by saying that there was a dress I wanted to fit into for BlogHer and wasn’t there yet? Or were my tweeps living vicariously through me, the way I encourage other people to spend money recklessly? Or, like me, were they just bored?
So I’m going to do an experiment. I’ll be counting calories Monday-Wednesday this week (I usually do it six or seven days a week, but it’s just too hard when traveling). I’m NOT going to let the twitterverse decide what I eat, since a) I’m way too picky, and b) I know what I need to eat in order to be reasonably satisfied and lose weight. But what I am going to do for the next three days is rely on my tweeps for back-up, encouragement, or a way out. If the general consensus seems to be that a size 14 woman is fine, and I should just eat what I want to stay this way (even though I’m stating in no uncertain terms that I want to lose another 30-40lbs), so be it. If the consensus is that it would be great if I looked better and thinner and I get loads of encouragement, fantastic.
Does the twitterati think that I should stick to my guns and do what I mean to do, or will the masses decide that I should just relax and not worry about it? Will my tweeps ultimately let me off the hook? And if so, will it be because they’re telling me what they think is best, or some other motive?
Then, of course, there’s this possibility: that my lifelong problem with authority will rear its ugly head, it will all be too much, and I’ll say “Screw you, Twitter, you don’t control me!” Where’s the line between encouraging someone, and telling them what to do in such a way that they want to do the exact opposite?
If I know you (online, at least), your tweets will have more weight in my brain. I know, for example, that @JessicaGottlieb is a good 8-10 sizes smaller than I am. If someone else had tweeted exactly what she had, I may very well have eaten the big s’more.
This won’t be a group of people deciding democratically what I eat. I don’t have the stomach for that, literally or figuratively. But in this new world of online peer pressure, I’m curious whether Twitter will help me or hurt me, or even help me redefine what success for me even means.
Jul 17, 2009 What's Going On
I mentioned in a video yesterday morning that there’s a lot of angst in the air about BlogHer. And some of it is manufactured for fun. I do it too. “Oh my God, Tim Gunn is going to be there, what am I going to wear?” I have no problem with the manufactured angst. I have no problem with sarcastic tweets meant to get a laugh. And I enjoy reading the posts of the fashionistas who are genuinely interested in what they’re going to wear. Some of them have posted pictures of their outfits. And frankly, I’m jealous. I wish I had the organization to figure out what I’m going to wear two weeks – or even two days – before an event (a Wednesday-night run to Target is a given). So I have no problem with them either.
But there’s something else. This Mommy blogging thing – and for some reason, if you’re a woman and you have kids then you’re a Mommy blogger, no matter what you blog abut – has blown up in the past year. There are cool kids, and kids who get the traffic and the press and the attention. There are the product bloggers – I think I probably fall into that category – who accept products and trips and whatever else comes our way, and then those who haughtily shun free stuff and call us sellouts. And then there are the quiet ones who stay above the fray, doing what they do well and ignoring the histrionics below. But the bottom line is popularity. If you don’t care about being popular, if you’re not desperate for it, you’re probably more likely to achieve popularity. But unlike high school, where popularity will just get you knocked up, popularity in the blog world translates into money and opportunities, and some people are basking in it and some people are jealous.
It reminds me of how I feel when I see D-list stars squabbling in the tabloids. If The Real Housewives of Wherever are D-list, bloggers are somewhere around G-list. And maybe that’s why BlogHer brings out the angst. I read a study a while back about why some races seem to care if they have nicer stuff than their neighbors and why other races don’t seem to play that game. The conclusion of the study was that everybody – regardless of race – will try to one-up their neighbors if the playing field is level. So if you have a bunch of similar people with similar incomes all living in the same neighborhood, they’re going to spend a lot more time and energy and money trying to dress better and have nicer cars and decorate their house better than their neighbors. But in a neighborhood with lots of different income levels, where someone with less money has zero chance of having the nicest stuff, they cease to care, and they just live their lives.
Out in the real world, interacting with “real” people who look at you crosseyed when you say you’re a blogger, you’re just not going to be one of the popular people, so there’s no sense trying. But at a convention, in a hotel packed with 1,000 people who all do, at a basic level, the same thing that you do, there’s more opportunity to compare, to size up the competition, to evaluate your worth next to that of the popular, successful bloggers.
But still, I’m not nervous. And it’s not because I’m confident, or fabulous in social situations, or above all the stuff I just talked about. I get jealous of the popular bloggers. I go on compete.com and compare my sites to other sites and wonder why they’re doing so well. Or wonder if I would be able to stomach what some of them do to get their traffic. And with a few I just read them and enjoy their writing, because it’s their incredible talent that brings in the traffic and the attention. I’m not above anything. I’m judgemental and reactionary and all of the other things that I accuse other people of being when I disagree with them.
No, I’m not nervous because I already know exactly what’s going to happen to me at BlogHer. As sure as I’m sitting here on my couch, unshowered and sleepy, I know what will happen next weekend in Chicago.
- I will introduce myself to at least ten completely unfamiliar people, only to have them tell me that I’ve met them before/been to their house/been in their wedding.
- I will get friendly with someone and only find out deep into conversation that I’ve tangled with this person online and we’ve said mean things to each other.
- I will make at least three huge faux pas in casual conversation, probably regarding religion, politics, or Disney (which has given me a generous chunk of change to help get me to BlogHer). And if I’m really hot I’ll manage to work all three into the same embarrasing quote.
- I will drop something/trip/knock something over on my way into a panel and everyone will look.
- I will get a zit visible from space on my chest or back that is not covered by any of the dresses I’ve brought for the parties, and I will sit in my hotel room, staring at my suitcase, hoping for a fancy turleneck to materialize (it never does).
- I will get stressed after a long day being around hundreds of people, and my stress will manifest itself with me making a big deal about something inconsequential (my guess is, it will have to do with food).
- I will say something dumb to the most famous/popular person I encounter.
- I will tell everyone how great it is to be away from my kids for four days, drawing the ire of everyone missing their own kids. Then my kids will call me and say something that makes me cry.
So you see, I’m no less angsty than the other attendees. I’m just getting it over with early.