If you’re active around the twitter and the “book,” you may be aware that come the first week of May, a sweet conference will be taking place by the name of SoFabCon – or Social Fabric Conference. Currently, I am a member of Social Fabric, and I decided to share with you all a couple of reasons (plus three) why I should be picked for the scholarship.
Like to hear them? Here they go.
1. I need to stay true to getting a photo of Ted Rubin’s socks, now that I have been alerted to how he rolls. I started the first of what I assume will be many photos this year at our #CBias event in Chicago. Gotta love a man that knows how to wear polka dots.
2. Chicago is a bit on the chilly side, and we ALL know what couples do when it gets too cold. I’m sure a flight out of the city for a couple of days will do the trick. I can’t risk adding more to the Houseful this year. Did you see that Mr. Houseful and I have been outnumbered since 2010? The cellist will be 13 this year too – I can’t photograph him anymore without signing release forms apparently.
3. I really do love Social Fabric. They provided reasons for me to trick my son into doing a Book Report Board Display, take my daughter to eat ribs and meet Ty Pennington. I’d say, you want to see more of that, correct?
4. A blogger who earns scholarships, is a better blogger: Honestly, it’s no secret that HFofNicholes is part of the bigger picture of me being blessed enough to stay at home with my children. Which means that I never get vacation time away from my children. We all love and adore the cellist, the ladybug, and the twizzlers, but mom needs time off (if going to a conference and willingly learning new things counts as time off) to focus on things that make me a better mother, and wife. Can’t forget Mr. Houseful – who will turn into Mr. Mom while I’m gone. It’s hilarious. His Michael Keaton is EXCELLENT!
5. I kinda of secretly want to room with The Peanuts Gang blogger. Yeah. I’m all about selfish reasons here. Samantha is cool peeps, and she and I will add SO much to the blogging conference. Don’t tell her, I’m stalking her…kinda. She’s all types of great, and honestly the reason that I am writing the post in general. Who can beat that You Tube submission she did?! Just trust me, we’re a double act (IF by double act I mean that one person doesn’t know UNTIL the act is happening)
So, there you have it. My reasons that I should be given one of the 12 scholarships to attend the first #SoFabCon in May! Quite honestly, I’m ready to start this year off with a BANG, and what better way to do it, than the So Fab way?
I set out on a series of firsts. My first time going to Las Vegas, Nevada. My first time attending the Blogalicious Conference. My first time speaking on a panel in a blogger conference, and the first time that I have been able to share the experience with two people who I grew up listening to on the radio. One a hip-hop legend, and the other being one-third of an R&B group that has provided many soundtracks to my adolescent and teenage life. I had lots on my mind. The magnitude of it kind of hit me on my train ride to O’Hare Airport.
I truly embraced the conference theme of “Make It Personal” and focused on bettering myself, my blog and my family.
This may get a bit lengthy, but I’ll have pictures and great bloggers for you to get to know – pinky swear.
I ended up flying American Airlines and I’ll just let the statement that I probably won’t be flying them again settle here. Each flight was late, and I ended up stuck in the airport coming back to Chicago for 12 hours. It was horrid. I should have blogged, but I did not.
My first day there was pretty low key. I went to a poolside tweet up hosted by Desiree of Mommy Reporter. I know that I had seen her all over Twitter and Facebook kept recommending her as someone to friend, so I went on over and introduced myself. Good thing I did since I was given a little something free!
From that meeting I was introduced to the likes of Pamela from Still Dating My Spouse, Merieta of Single, Saved, and Searching, and Marie from The Curvy Fashionista. I’m sure that I interacted with more bloggers, but those three really struck a chord with me that first evening, and had me literally in stitches sitting poolside outside of the Red Rock Resort. By the way, if you are EVER in Vegas and don’t mind driving back and forth to the strip, I highly recommend the Red Rock. Beautiful hotel, and you could literally stay in the hotel your entire visit and be happy. There’s just that much to do.
I did do some eating with the famous Miss Lori of Miss Lori TV and Fred of Mocha Dad ( who I paired up with last week to write about the Teacher’s Strike.) We had SUSHI and laughed and talked a lot. *PLUG* Fred is also pledging 1 dollar for each comment up to $250 to help end domestic violence. Visit his site and cheer him on!
Some time later, I found myself back in my gorgeous room and completely worn out. I don’t think that I even remember my head hitting the pillow, BUT I did get a chance to enjoy THIS:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
There was lots to do, but I had more than enough time because the conference didn’t start until noon (whoever suggested that is a SAINT) and I was still on Central Standard Time. I ended up buddying up with Tara of The Young Mommy Life who is an absolute blessing of a friend. I’ve blog stalked adored her for a minute and it is an honor to call her my friend now. We ate breakfast and skedaddled on to the first keynote of the day, and seriously, the day flew from there. It really did.
We then attended a blog community jam session that had a panel of rockstars and they stated some things that although I’ve heard before, I grabbed on this time around. It’s important that even though your message may be the same for a bit, everyone hasn’t heard it, and sometimes, someone like me may need to hear it a FEW times before the lightbulb clicks on.
There was a High Tea with Shop Your Way Rewards of Sears/KMart – I’ll let you know a little bit more about them in a later post, but I will say this. If you haven’t signed up for the program, you’re losing. Big time. And no, I’m not a paid spokesblogger. I’ve literally saved tons of cash by participating in the program, and I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to. At the tea, I got to wear my Easter dress that I sewed for myself this year again. I think that I fell in love with it all over again. I also got to meet the famous Denene Millner of My Brown Baby – another blogger who I have stalked admired for a while. She is so funny, and so real, and so gorgeous! Her hair was a HIGH point of conversation this weekend, and she even blogged about it. You should check it out. It will educate. Seriously.
Since I was speaking on a panel the next day, I had a couple of meetings to go over last minute questions that I might have, or that might come up, and I still felt the need to vomit. Yes. Me. The introverted extrovert. Doesn’t make sense does it? I love being around people, but I am SO afraid of disappointing. SO. AFRAID. Most who know me probably chuckle at this, mostly because I volunteer to speak on a large basis, but not to people who have been in the game much longer than me. People that I have followed for so long in the blogosphere, and not with the likes of Chili from the R&B group TLC. She didn’t really make me nervous (probably because she’s fun-sized just like me!) but her presence at the conference brought more people into the room than I anticipated. It was a blast though. An absolute blast. Mostly because after our meeting, we got to eat sushi again. And yes, if General Mills is hosting, then the food is going to be plentiful. It was great to get caught up with my other Box Tops for Education Blogger Panel members and the General Mills staff that accompanied us to the conference. If you don’t know, the BTFE team works tirelessly to make sure that schools are earning as much as they possibly can each school year. It’s a busy job, that’s for sure! We ended our night on a high note, and I retired back to my room, chatted with Mr. Houseful and once again my eyelids were closed before I hit my pillow.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2012
Like all conferences, breakfast was served, and we were off to more sessions and fellowship. The sessions were invaluable, especially the presentation by Mario Armstrong – From Free to Fee. Let’s just say, he lit a fire for me, and helped knock out some of the doubt of valuing my time. Sometimes people rely on you not knowing your worth, sometimes, they don’t realize how much you’re worth, and sometimes they just don’t care. I’m going to make sure that I value my time so that others can’t continuing siphoning it for free.
At this point, the feeling of nausea started creeping back up. Seriously y’all, my gut was all aflutter and I felt completely sick. On the outside I’m sure that my joking nature didn’t convince anyone that I was scared, but I started getting antsy again. So I decided to go and play a bit. I saw my friend Renee Ross (marathon runner extraordinaire) setting up hula hoops, jump ropes, and hopscotch, and I got a wee bit happy. I’m sure that there are some photos out there of me hula hooping – with a knee brace mind you – and turning double dutch and having a grand ol’ time. It was fun that only can be had around people who make you feel like you’ve known them forever.
Eating lunch didn’t seem like the SMARTEST thing to do next, but I did. And I was happy. Let’s just say that Chef Pierre made me want to smack somebody!
After lunch came a sensory-gasm (yes I made a lewd reference) of sessions, sights and sounds. Miss Lori presented and told us why the importance of ourselves in the social media world is HUGE.
My session then came, and I assure you that I did not throw up. Actually, I fell into sort of a calm as I spoke about my love for the Box Tops for Education program, homeschooling my ladybug and being a parent in general, no matter what great things may be thrown into my plans. I received great feedback, and some folk almost brought me to tears with their kind words. Seriously, it takes a lot to make me want to cry. Actually, since having the twizzlers, it doesn’t, but I’m trying to stay strong here! Mocha Dad (Fred Goodall) did an excellent job of capturing some great candids throughout the session. I apparently make LOTS of faces when I speak.
Photo Courtesy of General Mills
Photo Courtesy of General Mills
Photo Courtesy of General Mills
Photo Courtesy of General Mills
Photo Courtesy of General Mills
The Blogger Panel minus our own Keonte from Mommy2K – we missed her a LOT!
There were other sessions that I hope to recap next week, but THIS is what I ended my night to. This man embodies so many of my childhood memories that it’s not funny. This guy let me know that my life before adulthood didn’t suck. And the fact that he seemed to have more energy than I did (and let me tell you, I danced like a fool that night) makes me feel really pitiful! Mr. Doug E. Fresh capped out night off in a way that old school Hip Hop heads (and I’m not nearly as deep in as I thought) can appreciate.
~Video Courtesy of Denene Millner of My Brown Baby
It’s time for me to go and get some sleep. I’ll continue with my update later next week.
Disclosure: I am a Box Tops for Education blogger, and all travel and expenses were compensated for Blogalicious by General Mills.
There is no other way to sum up this weekend other than:
It freakin’ ROCKED!
Ahem. Maybe you didn’t hear me. This happened:
You say you don’t know who that is? Why that’s Mr. Doug E. Fresh (and he smells SO good!) of rapping FAME and the majority of the bloggers present in Las Vegas this weekend temporarily lost our super composed minds. There’s something about seeing someone that you grew up listening to live. As a little girl who was raised Pentecostal, there wasn’t a whole lot that I could listen to, and when I did sneak and listen to secular music (sorry Mor-Mor) it was usually the likes of hip-hop from the day and Michael Jackson, with some Paul Simon thrown in for good measure.
Wait, where was I?
See, I’m so excited that I posted a photo of something that I did on SATURDAY first.
This is mostly going to be a teaser post because as I write this at 1:46 in the morning CST, I am still sitting in the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, NV. American Airlines is going to hear SO MUCH from me it’s not funny.
My legs are also sore from all of the dancing that was required with such a phenomenal artist as Doug E. Fresh in the building.
Now, maybe if you give me 6 minutes, I can come back with the full recap.
There are so many Blog Her recaps floating around the interwebs, I felt that it would just be a hodgepodge of wording if I wrote yet ANOTHER one. I will say that overall, I had a fantastic time networking and laughing with fellow bloggers, and that the non-private, non-official parties (read – talking in the ballroom about the fabulousness of Lafayette from True Blood until one in the morning with The Cubicle Chick, The Uncommon Chick, and Miss Versatile) were the most fantastic ones of all.
Driving to New York with Sister Save-A-Lot and dodging traffic cones had to be the highlight of our trek TO NYC. This was my fourth time in the city that never sleeps and by far one of the most interesting. I got to see Barry Watson on 5th Avenue, and he is GORGEOUS!
I was slated to ride one of the many Gray Line New York tour buses for the #payitforwardexpress as a wonderful campaign organized by Aimee of Madame Deals and Dawn from Mommy Needs Her Coffee, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find time during the week, and by the time the weekend came around the lines were long, and the atmosphere was muggy. I’m kind of irritated that I didn’t go, because I am so sure that a tour of the city would have been the PERFECT end to a long weekend in the city. The tour that I selected was a nighttime loop tour which would have taken me through all boroughs and hit the most popular spots. >sigh< Definitely next time. The tours are convenient as I would have been able to hop on and hop off at any point of time during the day that I purchased the ticket.
Blog Her overall was a great time. I’m learning in this short year of “socialized blogging” that I have had – that bloggers come from all walks of life. Some are fully professional, some are hobbyists, and some are not sure where they stand in the spectrum, but there is a place for everyone – just not greedy bloggers, because well, greed is horrific.
I will also use this space to neither confirm nor deny that Martha Stewart got to pose with many of us on the last day of BlogHer – she may even have come home with me. Maybe.
I also got to hang with Mim from Lipgloss & Binky - I also happened to have stolen this photo from her, because I think that my face looks fabulous! She has nothing to worry about – she always looks great!
and Trina from Baby Shopaholic - she’s standing right next to me! She’s SUCH a sweetheart.
All in all, I had a fantastic time despite some wrenches here and there. I however can NOT wait until it is in my neck of the woods. CHICAGO! Can’t wait until next year!
And I’m POSITIVE that the little bambino that she has baking away is going to be JUST as fantastically lovable as his mommy.
This is Roshini from Glamazini.com . She was the first guest blogger in my Mother’s Day series. You can find her HERE and she also is the person that went with us on that crazy long and hilarious ride to Houston, TX last April. Wait, you don’t remember that?! You can read about it HERE - you might giggle a time or two. Roshini even has video to prove our craziness.
Anyhoo, Sunday morning, I hopped in my Sonata (sweet memories that car has given us) for the last road trip before we traded her in, and skeedaddled on down to St. Louis for a baby shower that was SURE to be full of laughter and hugs.
It didn’t disappoint. Roshini received so MANY great things, and while there was an abundance of ducks – I shall not judge – and we *may* have chopped the head off of a duck cake – now, don’t YOU judge – it was good being in the same place as my good friend.
Roshini and I go way back when she was my natural friend in my head and I stalked her perused her natural hair site when I decided to stop putting chemicals in my hair. One day, I’ll do a more in depth post on it, but not today. She and I then ended up on the same site planning our weddings, and I sent her a private message telling her about my stalkerish ways appreciation for her blog, and I haven’t even been able to be rid of her since.
She even forced herself into my wedding to do a liturgical dance.
Okay, okay, okay, maybe I requested her to do it. And maybe she was fantastically anointed in the execution of it. Maybe. Okay, she was.
Anyway, this is just my post to let her know that I love her to pieces, and I think that she’s awesomesauce (that’s the new bloggy word these days, right?)
May the Lord richly bless you and your husband and the newest addition to your tall house.
Hello and welcome back to our Mother’s Day Series! You thought we were going to be done just because we were celebrated yesterday? Boy you thought wrong! Today we welcome Sandee H. from Motherhood is Beautiful…and Other Lies . She is a bloggy friend of mine who answered the call of posting! Please welcome her to our Houseful and go by and check her out!
Our Mother’s Day Series continues with Makeba G. of MELISASource.com. She is someone who I met during a twitter hop and let me tell you, she is a breath of fresh air! Always posting something uplifting and you can feel her smile through her posts! Please welcome her as she shares with our Houseful her thoughts on motherhood.
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mother. As a child, I did remember doing more for my dolls than the average little girl would do. I sewed clothes for them by hand, using scraps from my mother’s leftover material that she had lying around from her sewing projects. Since I had two beds in my room, the other one was their dwelling space—never my toy box or a shelf. I had all of the ‘unnecessary accessories’ for them that a little girl could ask for, and whatever my parents chose not to buy, I did my best to make myself. See, in my eyes they were not just dolls—they were my babies. And as their mother I felt that it was my role to keep them looking their best and safely tucked in bed every day and night.
Hello there! Welcome to yet another series that I have running on the blog – but this one is all about Mother’s and mother figures – to mothers. I hope that you enjoy what each guest blogger has to say, and that something sits with you long after this month of celebrating mother’s is over.
Please welcome Roshini Cope of Glamazini.com as she shares with us her thoughts on becoming a mother. She’s having her first baby and here is what she wants to share with us. By the way, she has an AMAZING social media presence, and I feel like I have a superstar guest posting today!
I never wanted children.
I know that sound a bit harsh and abrupt, but it’s true. I never dreamed of starting my family, or finding my prince charming for that matter. My dream was more of jet-setting time spent with my French boyfriend in a flat overlooking the river. Don’t ask me which river LOL!
Just wanted to shout out a program that will be premiering on PBS’s - WTTW (that’s a Chicago station) tonight at 8:30 pm.
Family Travel with Colleen Kelly
Airing nationally on Public Television in Spring 2013, each 30-minute episode offers a personalized, “exclusive” behind-the-scenes tour with an upbeat, high-energy delivery and pace that engages viewers from the start.
I was also blessed with the privilege to be spotlighted on their website today, giving some advice on travel and what my favorite places to go in Chicago are.