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Posts Tagged ‘Mother’


Being a blogger has introduced me to so much.  I’ve made good friends, used my social media influence to help raise money for charities like K.I.D.S, R Baby, The Lamp, Mothers2Mothers, and Women in Need. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how bloggers give back, like Jennifer James and her initiatives for women in Africa, or Elena Sonnino, and her work towards encouraging kids to use social media for social good.

Sometimes, being part of the blogging the community really is about making a difference in this world.

And sometimes, it’s all about the swag.

There are times when, yes, I admit it, I go to an event just because I know there will be awesome swag there.  I’m not proud of it – but there you have it.  Confessions of a swag hound.

Here are some details of last week’s swag-a-licious events!

BirchBoxFirst, I went to the beautiful roof garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel (I went to the Bryant Park Hotel first, by mistake, but let’s not relive my embarrassment, shall we?) for a BirchBox event co-hosted by the always lovely Amy Tara Koch.  BirchBox, for the uninitiated, is the original Beauty Box Delivery service.  Pay a fee, and each month, BirchBox will send you a box filled with sample products tailored to your specific needs.  Go online, and the Birchbox editors will have detailed info on how to use the products in your box, and links to purchase full sized versions.  It’s the super-fun version of try before you buy.

BirchBox’s co-founder, Katia Beauchamp, was there, and she told me that what separates Birchbox from its many imitators is their editorial staff. “We have a bigger editorial staff than Allure (magazine) she told me.”  And I will say, that the full-sized products in my special Mother’s Day BirchBox bag, (they do full sized curated boxes you can purchase throughout the year) did have some awesome stuff in it.  I’m especially fond of the Cynthia Rowley liquid eye pencil. Even I can’t mess it up!

chaise 1My next totally self-indulgent blogger event was Fit, Fab, and Fly at the 92Y on the Upper East Side.  Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City invited me to try a new exercise class, Chaise Fitness, and then to get pampered for my efforts by Priv, a beauty-on-call home service, Blue Print, the famous cleanse, Zen Home Cleaning an upscale, organic home-cleaning service, and Elemental T’s the t-shirt company started by two moms who make shirts so cute I wish my twins were still 4 years old so they could fit into them.

Chaise Fitness was not easy – but the eerily-reminiscent-of-Cindy-Lauper co-founder of the exercise system, Lauren Piskin made it fun.  Basically, Chaise Fitness involves a sort of spring loaded chair/bench thing with bungee cords hanging above it.  You do exercise on, over and across the bench, many of them including working against the springs in both the bungees and the chair (chaise) itself.

If doing the workout will make me look even 1/10 as fit and toned as it founders, sign me up.

Once I was sufficiently sweaty, I headed out to find Priv.  It’s a genius idea: beauty on demand.  Why should celebrities be the only ones with make-up artists and people to do their hair?  The folks at Priv send the beauty professionals to privyou –on short notice. Hair, nails, massage, make-up – you name it.  They’ve got a roster of professionals ready to make you beautiful.

And as if that weren’t enough, Brianne et al also thought to make sure our homes were beautified, too.  Zen Home Luxury Cleaning was there, showing off their all-organic, super elegant cleaning service. Yep, you heard that – elegant cleaning service.  Custom uniformed, fully screened cleaning personnel will come to your home and do everything from re-arranging to downright scrubbing.  All with organic, specially made products.  So your home is clean and safe.

After all this beauty and fitness it was hard to resist the last bit of swag that arrived this week: a case of pop-chips!  Did you know they now come in sour cream and onion, sweet potato, and bar b q flavor?  Good thing I got some free Chaise Fitness classes to help me work them off.

 

 

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Disney's New Fantasyland. Ariel's Grotto

My last trip to Disney. Also without the kids!

Tomorrow morning, I leave for the Disney Social Media Moms conference.  A coveted ticket that I was honored, this year, to receive.

I could thank Disney for inviting me and my family to what promises to be a fantabulous weekend of conference, park, and perks.  I could thank them for the suitcase from American Tourister that I will never, ever NOT spy on the luggage carousel.  I could thank them for the sneak preview of Monsters Inc that I’ll be seeing on Saturday.  Or the room at the Contemporary Resort.  And I do thank them for all that.

But what I really want to thank them for, is letting me skip Mother’s Day.

I looked back over my Mother’s Day posts from years gone by.  There was Can I Have Mother’s Day Off?, and Mother’s Day: Thank God it’s Over.  And this year, over on the Mothers2Mothers Network, Hate Mothers Day? You’re Not Alone.

See a pattern here?

So that’s why I’m especially happy that this year, the Disney Social Media Moms conference (#DisneySMMoms to those in the know) is being held Mother’s Day weekend.  See, my kids decided not to join me at the conference.  (I know. Clearly they are insane) So I will be at the conference with my sister in law and niece.  (I am now solidified as The Favorite Aunt forever.) Which means that I get to skip Mother’s Day.

No faux sentiment.  No disappointment when it isn’t quite as special as I’d hoped.  No frustration when the kids whine because, well, they’re kids, no matter what day it is.  No Mother’s Day.

Plus, when I get home, it’ll still be – technically – Mother’s Day (well, Mother’s Night).  And since I’ll have been gone for four days, my kids will be excited to see me, and will greet me with hugs and genuine happiness to see me.

And that’s really all I ever wanted for Mother’s Day anyway.

 

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A Long Ago Mothers Day

As I write this, Mothers’  Day (Mothers? Mother’s? I never know) is, thankfully, almost over. I hate Mothers’ Day.

It’s not that I don’t think mothers matter or  that I don’t like being given breakfast in bed, or beautiful gifts (Missoni from Loehmann’s!), or handmade cards that really mean something.  I like all of that. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my own mother. Hey, my mother went back to grad school in her early 50’s, got a Masters in Fine Arts, and has since written four books, two libretti, and won two major literary prizes…one of them a Guggenheim. And she still rocks a creative, hip look. I appreciate her plenty.

My daughter pointed out that I shouldn’t mind Mothers Day – after all, she said, it doesn’t mean you’re getting older.  True. And yet I still hate Mothers’ Day. Let me count the ways:

1. When your child whines on a normal day, it’s annoying.  When she whines on Mothers’ Day, it’s a personal affront. (more…)

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Not Me. Not my kid. But look! She’s a mom!

Here’s something I’ve noticed at Mom Blogger events: to most PR companies, “Mom” means “mother of a baby.”  At most Mom-Blog events, all of the products are geared towards babies.  It was such a relief at Blissdom this past weekend, to see Unilever there with a campaign geared toward tweens – Don’t Fret the Sweat.  It was a deodorant campaign, true.  Not exactly sexy, but at least it acknowledged that not all moms have babies.  My kids are loooong out of diapers, and I’m still a mother. Really, I am.

It’s odd that this “all moms are baby-moms” thing bothers me, given that it also bothers me that companies pigeon-hole me as a Mommy Blogger in the first place, even though I almost never write about my kids. I think it’s because assuming that every mom in the universe needs a diaper bag demeans all mothers.  Let me explain.

How many of you stay at home Moms with school age children have been asked “What do you do all day?”  As if, once your children are gone from the house for a few hours a day, you’re home free.  Well, I’ll tell you what we  do all day: a lot. We keep the house in order, we do the grocery shopping, we get the kids to school, and to their dance classes, and basketball games, and playdates, and piano lessons.  Then we get them home and feed them dinner (that we cooked) and  help them with their homework.  We wait for the plumber.  We do the laundry. We remember to send Grandma a birthday card.  We volunteer at school.  Oh, and a lot of us also write blogs, keep up with friends online and through Twitter, and manage relationships with brands and sponsors to bring in a little extra cash.

That’s what we do all day.

But somehow, the world has once again conspired to minimize what we do.  When your children are diaper-aged, they patronize you by assuming that all you are is a bottle feeding, diaper changing, spit-up stained cliche. But at least they recognize you, that you’re doing something.  The world at large knows (or at least thinks they know) who you are. And then, when your children are at school, they suddenly assume you are….what?  Not a mother anymore? Just some person filling up their days with talk shows, lunches and vacuum cleaners? It’s as if, once the baby stage is over, they have no idea what to make of us. As if being a mother to babies was the sole defining aspect of our identities, and once those babies are grown, we no longer exist. I don’t like either side: being solely defined by my motherhood, or having motherhood – an essential part of my identity – discounted.

Motherhood is motherhood at any stage.

And if that’s not enough of a reason for PR companies and marketers to think twice about me, how about this:  the tween market is huge.  Look at this from MSN:

Twenty million strong nationwide, tweens — kids ages 8 to 14 (…) — now flex $43 billion worth of annual spending power,

So even if you think that moms of school aged kids sit around and eat bon bons all day, you should also know that we have access to those coveted Tweens.  That those tweens are still young enough to care what we have to say. And that all of those tweens have parents who care what we have to say, too.

Motherhood is hard enough – just read this post –  without feeling like you have to defend it simply because your children have grown up a little.  What would you rather?  That we kill off our young and make new babies every two years, just so you know how to categorize us? We are no less mothers than women who have young babies. (who, by the way, will also grow into school aged children.  Go figure.) Once a mother, always a mother.  And motherhood no more defines a woman when her children are babies than it does when they are adults.

I am woman. I am writer. I am blogger. Sister. Daughter. Wife. Business Woman. Friend. And yes, mother.

I will not be categorized or pigeon holed. Get used to it.

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