Blogher 2015 Recap

Ok so this post is uber delayed. But I’ve had a pretty busy summer. I had the most AMAZING time at Blogher 2015. This year the folks at Blogher partnered with the She Knows folks and boy did they put on a show. This year’s conference was held at the Hilton NY which is an incredible hotel.

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On Thursday I walked around the expo center and chatted with all the amazing vendors. Best Buy was promoting their new wedding registry that they offer (which is pretty awesome right?) and R&B singer Kenny Lattimore was there. I only thought it fitting that he propose to me. After all it was bridal themed right? A few of my favorite booths were: Shark, AT&T, Dyson, Ninja, Baskin Robbins and of course the Embassy Suites (you know how I adore them).
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IMG_1132 (3)Friday was incredibly busy for me. My morning started out with a special breakfast and panel by Staples. Leeza Gibbons and Jaime Primak Sullivan were both on the panel discussing all things back to school. And I got to check out the amazing new back to school items from Staples. Seriously how sweet is this donut book bag? No pun intended. Also, I’ve been a fan of Jaime for a while now. I watched Jersey Belle and am religious about watching her Facebook videos. Even my hubby is into all her posts. I feel like she’s my sister from another mister. #Jersey And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that I met my new bestie Holly Rust at this seminar. We sat next to each other and hung out throughout the conference. While in Chicago this summer I got together with her and we went on a double date. Blogher creates friendships. Like lifelong friendships. I’m so happy to have met her and she gets my blogging butt in gear.

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If that wasn’t cool enough I also was invited to participate in a Sears panel on staying connected. I learned a ton about new products that help your home to stay connected and have a tech savvy home. Since we have been renovating, all these new products were super interesting and I’d like to incorporate them into my home. We actually purchased all our kitchen appliances from Sears. Including our awesome Samsung fridge that wait for it has sparkling water built in. Randi Zuckerberg was part of this panel and that was a huge surprise for me. She was so sweet and signed her book after for everyone. Seriously…. She’s so sweet. Another sister from another mister. Seriously. We might have been separated at birth.

 

Sheryl Underwood and I.

Sheryl Underwood and I.

I also got to meet Sheryl Underwood at the Depend booth.

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In the evening I was privileged to attend a screening of the new show “Grandfathered” featuring John Stamos and Josh Peck. Josh was available for audience questions afterwards and was super funny. At some point he mentioned that he can be bribed with Twizzlers. Which I happened to have in my bag. Not that I needed a bribe but I offered him one and this is what happened.

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I was so proud of myself for following my Blogher schedule. Every year I have a plan of attack and it always falls apart right away. And then Saturday came. My day started by an older woman asking me where she should wait for a car to pick her up at the hotel. Turns out the car wasn’t coming for about an hour. I didn’t want her to have to wait alone so I waited with her. Her name is Sylvia and she was in NY visiting her childhood friend that was in a nursing home. I learned a lot about Sylvia. Her first husband was in the entertainment industry. She told me all about old Hollywood and how one day she went to see her husband and John Wayne was in the room. When she left John Wayne told her husband how pretty she was. She never forgot that. So I hung out with Sylvia and didn’t attend any seminars I had planned on.

Guess the supermodel?

Guess the supermodel?

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I was super excited to meet Carson Kressley at the Depend booth. He was soooo nice.

And this happened!

And this happened!

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To end the night McDonalds treated us all to a concert with Boyz II Men and Nick Cannon. If you know me then you know that all of the Boyz II Men songs are my jams. I’m a child of the 90s.

Mitch aka GayNYCDad and I at the Gwyneth Paltrow luncheon.

Mitch aka GayNYCDad and I at the Gwyneth Paltrow luncheon.

My new bestie Holly and I!

My new bestie Holly and I!

The Secret on Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte No One Wants You to Know #PSL

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I’ve got a secret….

Do you love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) as much as I do? Are you literally counting down the days until they go LIVE in stores? I have it on my calendar I kid you not.  I’ve been so excited for next week for the unveiling. To me a PSL symbolizes the beginning of fall. But tonight my heart got broken.

Tonight Starbucks broke my heart. Here is a recap of what happened.

My hubby and I went in to Starbucks tonight. I ordered a Decaf Cinnamon Dolce Latte and paid with my app and then said are you excited for September 8th? The woman asked why. I said because PSL comes out. She said “no, I don’t like them.” Then she said…. “We have all the stuff we made one earlier today.” WHAT????? Now while this convo is happening my hubby was placing and paying for his order. (We pay separate on our apps to get the stars.) So Nick asked to change his order and I was like me too. Mind you they hadn’t started making ours yet. I don’t think they even grabbed our cups for it. The woman said “No. Come back tomorrow.” Really?

So I wanted to share the secret. Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks and you don’t have to wait until September 8th. And my heart is slightly broken from this whole experience.

Musings of Living in a Hotel for 6 Weeks – Embassy Suites

What do you do when you are going to undergo major home renovations? Where do you live? We crossed that path last October when we decided to move into my dad’s house after he passed away. The house needed a lot of work and since it wasn’t going to be worked on until the winter and we lived an hour away we thought it best to find a place to live nearby. We really just needed a place to shower until one bathroom was done. This way we were close and could be at the house daily but also not have to deal with the daily drive, weather, etc. We researched a number of places in the Piscataway, NJ area and found the Embassy Suites on Centennial Avenue in Piscataway.

How perfect would it be to have a separate bedroom and living area since we were going to be living there 6 weeks? My hubby and I went there to take a tour of the hotel as well as check out their rooms. We knew it was the place. Plus, since we were going to be staying more than 30 days we also got a special deal. Oh and free breakfast? Yes! Count me in!

So for the next 6 weeks we lived in a hotel. Which sounds crazy I know. And it was, kind of. Because I mean who lives in a hotel? My hubby kept calling himself Royal Tenenbaum. But it was so close to where we needed to be and it really was like our home. We got to know everyone that worked there over our stay. Every person we met and got to know was nicer than the next. We especially got to know the staff at breakfast (they have a great cooked to order breakfast daily) Agnes, Hernando, Margot as well as the all the bartenders Carlos, Tyrell and Wendy. And you can’t forget Sue the waitress in the bar area.  Every night we both received a free cocktail (which if you knew about all we went with in our renovations you know we needed it) and snacks as part of their daily evening managers reception. Our room was always spotless but we always knew when Emma cleaned it. She took care of little details, plus used Fabuloso which smelled so good. For Valentine’s Day she made us a heart out of a napkin and left Valentine’s Day candies. I learned that not all hotels have bad food. My past experiences with hotel food have not been so hot. Seriously… this hotel has the most amazing French Onion soup ever. In fact, all their food is really good. And trust me we tried everything! The portions are huge and enough to share. I also learned that if I purchase food or drink I should charge it all to my room because I will earn extra points. Were if I just charged it I wouldn’t get anything. But as a Hilton Honors member I get extra points any time I charge to my room. Done and done.

The Embassy Suites really was our home away from home. We were treated like family. Every day we were greeted by staff. They might have been thinking oh here are those crazy people just living in a hotel. But we came to find out a number of people actually lived there. Mainly during the week because they worked at a nearby company but some for years. We got to know the other people that stayed there as well.

We eventually moved into our house but when it came time to have our floors redone we needed to move out again and guess where we went? Of course! We didn’t want to deal with the smells, chemicals from the floors so we moved on back to the good ole’ Embassy Suites. Everyone was so excited to see us (or at least they made us feel that way).

I’m happy to report that we are all settled in at our home now and couldn’t be happier. Although I am craving some French Onion soup so I think we may have to run over to our old stomping grounds.

 

How Many Lip Balms Does a Girl Need? Def This One!

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Like everyone I know I am completely obsessed with lip balm. My husband thinks I’m nuts because I’m always buying new ones, acquiring ones, etc., I have a gazillion. And guess what? I have more!

The folks at Rimmel London knew how much I love lip balm that they sent me a few of their new Keep Calm and Lip Balms—the perfect lip product for hot summer days to add moisture and soften dry lips.

IMG_1063Seriously…. How cute are they? Right? But not only are they super cute and a great conversation piece but they are super moisturizing (which is the point, right?)

The Keep Calm and Lip Balms come in six shades and they each provide a slight tint and sheen while healing those dry cracked lips.

Available Shades:

  • Keep Calm and Shop: clear
  • Keep Calm and Kiss: pink blush
  • Keep Calm and Rock: berry blush
  • Keep Calm and Play: rose blush
  • Keep Calm and Party: violet blush

WHAT THEY COST: $2.50 (that’s a steal!)

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Chain drug stores and mass retailers nationwide.  Visit www.RimmelLondon.com for store locations.

*Disclaimer – The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. The kind folks at Rimmel sent me these lip balms for review.

 

The Difference Between Colds vs. Allergies – CVS MinuteClinic #SneezeFreeSpring

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Achoo! Excuse me. Well it’s that time of year. The seasons are changing and there is a lot of sneezing, itchy eyes going on in our house. My husband and I both have horrible allergies. Mine are more seasonal. His are seasonal but he is also allergic to a number of other things. Which is why with our renovations we got rid of the carpet and refinished the hard wood floors. Less allergens that way.

Usually at some point in April I wake up and think I have a horrible cold or that I’m on the verge of a sinus infection. It turns out it is always allergies. I’ve been lucky that if I wake up feeling like I’m sick I’m usually fine the next day. But I always question whether or not I have a cold or not and completely freak out and say I can’t get sick I have this and that coming up. Who has time to get sick right?

Do you often wonder if it’s allergies? Here is some great info provided by MinuteClinic on allergies that will help you navigate allergy season.

The Lowdown:

What IS an allergy?

An allergy is the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, and even some foods can cause allergic reactions.

What causes seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies are a reaction to small airborne substances. These allergens are small proteins that usually float around in the spring, summer and fall.

So, those springtime colds may actually be allergies?

Yes. A cold will typically clear up pretty quickly, within 7-10 days. Allergies may last weeks or even months!

Colds vs. Allergies

Did you know that 35 million Americans suffer from allergies and don’t even know it? That’s because many people confuse the symptoms of spring allergies with a common cold. Here’s what you need to know about the two:

  • The main difference between a cold and allergies is that a cold is caused by a viral infection while allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s own immune system’s attempt to fight off an allergen.
  • If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time each year and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
  • If you have a cough, it’s probably a cold. Most people with a cold will have a cough, but not everyone with allergies has this symptom.
  • If you’re aching all over, it’s probably a cold, not allergies. Aches and pains are not symptoms of allergies.
  • Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but RARELY occur with the common cold!
  • If you have a fever, it’s not allergies! A fever is sometimes present with a cold, but will never occur with allergies.

Treatment and Relief:

How can I protect my family and myself?

Symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Nasal saline, decongestants and over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines may help relieve symptoms as well.

So, how do I get allergy relief?

There are plenty of options! At MinuteClinic, our nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate.

If you’re diagnosed with allergies, medication may help relieve your symptoms. The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the allergen – whatever it may be.

Stay on top of your allergies by following MinuteClinic on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more visit: http://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic

 

                                                                                                                             

*Disclosure – The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I was provided a CVS gift card as compensation for this post.