Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Pt. 2: Las Vegas x10 Edition









Wordless Wednesday Pt. 1: Rapunzel Edition




P.S. Here's the throwback post of Nia in her bunny costume her first time at our church's fall festival. I still love watching the video!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our First Big Apple Circus Experience

Disclosure: I was given tickets to The Big Apple Circus with no obligation to write this post. All opinions expressed are my own.


We have an unspoken rule in our household: do not ask to go to the circus*. It has something to do with a certain grown man’s someone’s fear of clowns O_o Yes, folks I’m serious and apparently clown phobia is pretty real (I think it has something to do with this). What our household rule doesn’t imply is that if you’re asked to go to the circus you’re not allowed to go so when I was given 3 tickets for the Big Apple Circus' Luminocity dress rehearsal and Mr. Lovebird just happened to be away on business I knew exactly what to do: call up my sister Ariane and plan a fun family night out with Nia to see the circus for the first time.


Luminocity is the 36th season of The Big Apple Circus, and I first became intrigued with this iconic circus during the fascinating PBS documentary Circus that ran a couple years ago. Not only giving a history of the show, it showed a behind-the-scenes look at how the show is put together as well as personal stories of the circus team. It was almost like Real World circus-style.

As I watched the show I couldn’t help but imagine the back story of the performers – I loved the diversity of the cast and acts. The actual live performance didn't disappoint:

The Big Apple Circus is also running a Golden Nose contest for children ages 6-9 years old to submit a video for a chance to be cast in their upcoming commercial. Contest ends November 3 and you can submit your entry here.


This is opening week of the Big Apple Circus so if you’re in the NYC area you have plenty of time to catch a show as the season runs through January 12, 2014. I highly recommend it even for a date night – it’ll make you feel like a kid again!


Oh and about the clown thing: there really weren’t clowns. There were performers who provided comedic relief throughout in a similar way that a clown might so I just might get Mr. Lovebird out to a show after all!

To learn more about the Big Apple Circus and purchase tickets visit their website.

Is there a circus in your city that you enjoy going to?
*We’ve been to Cirque du Soleil, but I’m talking about the traditional circus here!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vegas x10



Two days. That's what separates me and Mr. Lovebird from our 10th trip to Las Vegas.

Yep, 10 trips!

If you're a regular reader, you know how passionate we are about Vegas and compared to our past 9 trips this trip is going to be quite different. Like I've said before, what I LOVE about Vegas is that the city changes so constantly that you will never run out of things to do and you can create a completely different experience each time. 

So what are we doing differently this trip? Here's a preview . . .

Red Rock Resort & Casino - waaaay off-strip
Staying in 3 different hotels (and all for free!) - sounds crazy, I know, but between Mr. Lovebirds' hotel rewards from his frequent business trips and comps from our last visit to Las Vegas we're going to be shuffling around a bit; I think it's going to make for a unique experience as we'll get to enjoy the best of both worlds: being both on and off the strip

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Attending the inaugural Life is Beautiful Festival - we scoured the Vegas events calendar a while back and saw this music, art and food festival happening this weekend; initially we weren't going to go as only 2-day tickets were available which was more than we'd want to commit to. The first day line-up was more appealing to us anyway so we put it on the back burner. Once I saw on Twitter they opened up limited single day tickets we jumped on them! The festival takes place in Downtown Vegas, where we were going to spend our first day anyway so it works out

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Seeing Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson One - It's been many years since we've seen a Cirque show in Vegas and we've heard such great reviews about this one; as huge MJ fans I know it's going to take everything in me not to hop out of my seat and start embarrassing myself dancing

Not climbing these, but they're pretty!
Hiking - I've never done it, but Mr. Lovebird did on his Vegas trip with his BFF a couple years ago and said it's a must; we'll be trekking across the Red Rocks very early so we don't pass out from the heat


Then of course are the regular things we do . . .

We love to eat in Vegas!
  • Renting a car - hands down the best way to experience Vegas! 
  • Eating at In-N-Out Burger, Lotus of Siam, Ellis Island (the sourdough bread and root beer brewed on-site is AMAZING) and Hash House a Go Go
  • Swimming - the Vegas temps are in the 80s, and I totally lusted after Red Rock's pool last year as a Blogalicious conference attendee (we stayed off-site) and can't wait to indulge!
  • Checking out Bellagio's seasonal display (Mr. Lovebird rolls his eyes at this but indulges me anyway!)
  • Late night bowling - we bowled at Red Rock last year during Blogalicious and can't wait to check it out again! In years past we've gone to Orleans
(And to answer the frequent question I keep getting: nope, Lil Lovebird is not coming along!)

Do you have a favorite travel destination you keep returning to? Tell me about it!



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cozy Bedroom Tips from Robin Wilson Home


Disclosure: I am a compensated brand ambassador for Robin Wilson Home. All opinions expressed are my own. 

How I delay turning on the heat - a proper comforter!

This time of year I have a special tactic to prolong turning on the heat as long as possible and I see many others doing the same across my social media feeds: layering!

I feel the same in cooler temperatures as when summer approaches with the reluctance to turn on the AC. I really do try to wait as long as possible. There's just something psychologically about giving in and turning on the heat for the first time when cold weather starts to set in. 

When I mention layering it's not just about clothing but about bedding as well. A proper comforter can make the world of difference and in September's issue of Heart & Soul Robin Wilson shared her tips for creating a bedroom that's a sanctuary.

Here are my favorite practical tips from the article:
  • The Power of White Noise - I admit I still use white noise for getting my 3 year old to sleep, but Robin recommends it for adults as well especially for those of us in noisy urban environments the sound of running water, ocean waves or a whales can really help us drift off to sleep

  • The Life Cycle of Pillows - Did you know you're supposed to wash your pillows twice per year and replace every three years? I'm definitely not good about this! And if you're like me and wondered how to dispose of your old pillows, Robin recommends donating them to your local animal shelter - such a great idea!
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  • Dust Mites Abound - Beyond their abundance in carpet, dust mite carcasses can be a problematic allergen for many as it's also in bedding (hence the pillows advice above!) and furniture. Hypoallergenic bedding can really help with this issue such as Robin Wilson Home's newly launched comforters found in-store at 100+ Bed Bath & Beyond locations nationwide as well as additional bedding available online here
  • Eliminate Bedroom TV - I've shared my thoughts before on why we don't have a TV in the bedroom, but Robin confirmed that it's definitely a bad idea because the light disrupts the brain's melatonin production

For more tips from Robin Wilson Home check out the Heart & Soul article here

How do you create a sanctuary in your bedroom?



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lil Lovebird's First Picture Day

In honor of Nia's first picture day today I've decided to be brave and share my own kindergarten picture* . . .




I associate my early picture days with memories of having my hair meticulously braided the night before, getting fitted for Buster Brown shoes, being polished with Vaseline on my face and somehow ending up in Peter Pan collars and/or bows. 

Ughhhh. 

As I got older and looked back on my school pictures I often asked my mom, "Why'd you let me look like that???" She lied replied that she thought I looked cute. 

When I look at Nia I see glimpses of my preschool self - her eager smile and knowing eyes with a hint of mischief. Lots of personality comes through and according to my mom I am getting payback. 

Here's to many more picture days!

What are your memories of picture day growing up? Was it something you loathed like I did?



*P.S. *There is a preschool picture too (that Mr. Lovebird clowns me about SO badly!), but if I can get a copy from my mom I'll come back and update this post!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Is Anger at Failed Technology Justified?

We had a good weekend, but I'm struggling folks! I've shared about my technology woes from time to time and my current issues are making blogging a reaallll challenge lately (my final Hi Virginia video still isn't up!). My current (outdated) technology setup is this . . .

This whole thing screams: "UPGRADE ME!"

Yep, pretty lame.

I'm using a nearly 2 year old refurbished laptop that has a wonky screen - a similar issue a different brand of laptop had prior to this one. As a result I've connected my laptop to my TV via HDMI so I can work as my laptop screen flickers time to time.

We actually took it to get it fixed and the repair was more than the value of the laptop and we then went laptop shopping for 2 hours with a super patient 3 year old but just didn't find anything we liked especially with the whole Windows 8 thing - NOT.A.FAN, (we're team PC and Mr. Lovebird's experience with Apple for work keeps us that way!). I use Windows 8 on my tablet which is filling in the gap at times for my laptop, and I'm nervous to upgrade to the new 8.1, but we'll see. There's so many intuitive things that are missing going from Windows 7 to 8 and from what I've read 8.1 isn't that much better.

Then with my Galaxy S3 (you can read my mini-review here) every time the software updates something happens to my battery and/or storage efficiency. I'm not as productive on it as I used to be, and I need to invest some time into getting it back to how it was. Ughhh!

Now Mr. Lovebird has no patience for my tirades against failed technology especially when my Google Maps goes down despite a full strength-4G signal, and I go berserk when I have to drive around NYC and call him at work for directions. He lectures me, "Google owes you nothing! Don't you know back in the day you'd have to use A MAP!"

This totally brings to mind comedian Louis C.K.'s take on this issue:


I guess he does have a point about patience waiting for your phone to load: "Give it a second - it's going to SPACE!"

Do you agree? Should we simply be honored to have access to technology in this "amazing age" we live in or is it wrong for us to expect it to just work?


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Support Little Pim on Kickstarter!

Disclosure: I received the Little Pim Spanish DVD set for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Afterschool learning with Little Pim

My Lil Lovebird has developed an interest in Spanish - not only do we frequently hear it spoken out and about, but she has friends who speak Spanish as well as an obsession with Dora (then Diego!) that started a few months ago. 

I have an upcoming review on Little Pim, the award-winning, language learning program for children (Nia's been asking to watch it nearly every day after school!), but I first wanted to give a preview by sharing a special Kickstarter campaign they have running:

 

I love the diversity that this campaign presents - the holiday season is a special time for many faiths and cultures, and I like the idea of a child-friendly e-book for kids to learn about traditions around the world.

With 10 days to go (the campaign ends on October 31), Little Pim is nearly halfway to their goal. You can find the campaign here.

Every little bit counts!

Has your child taken an interest in learning another language? Which language would you want your child to learn?



Friday, October 18, 2013

Posts On My Mind This Week

Highlight of the week: Nia's first field trip
As we head into the weekend here's a few posts I've read this week that I'd like to share: 
  • Did you know there's a quiz to see if you're good at detecting emotion in others? I scored 31/36. What's your score? (TFS Cup of Jo!) 
  • A tragic ending to a father's cross-country journey to memorialize his gay son's suicide 
Have a great weekend!



Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Belated Birthday at Fête Paradiso


As a kid at heart when I heard that Fête Paradiso a traveling, vintage French carnival was at Governor's Island (the same location as the Jazz Age Lawn Party) I told Mr. Lovebird I really wanted to go for a belated birthday visit. We risked it by going on the last day of the carnival, and thankfully the beautiful weather and lack of crowds made for a delightful afternoon. 

Here's a quick little video I made to recap our visit:

 



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wimbled and Squirreled

I don't know where it came from, but our Lil Lovebird has a funny phrase "wimbled and squirreled" to describe when she's a bit discombobulated. It's one thing to be wimbled, but when she describes herself as both wimbled AND squirreled we know it's really intense! It's such a perfect silly phrase that we've taken to using it whenever we're a little out of sorts. 

I was feeling a bit wimbled and squirreled epsecially since coming back from Blogalicious5 - information overload I guess! I didn't run last week AT.ALL.(boooo!) but thankfully I'm back on track (literally and figuratively) this week, and it feels great.  

Plus the sun is shining!


We had a chill weekend and fun Columbus Day* at a local pumpkin painting party with Nia's little buddies she hasn't seen much since starting preschool. 


Unfortunately, Mr. Lovebird wasn't off work yesterday, and he'll be away again alllll next week on business. I feel like I miss him already, but I'm SO looking forward to leaving for Las Vegas next Saturday (see how we do Las Vegas here).

I'm just concerned I might end up a bit wimbled and squirreled again post-Vegas O_o

We'll see...

Do you have any funny little phrases in your household like wimbled and squirreled?  
 


*Speaking of Columbus Day did you see the Oatmeal's controversial cartoon history lesson about the holiday? YIKES!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Blogalicious5 Recap: A Grand Blogger Reunion

Hands down meeting bloggers IRL is the best part about blogging conferences. Seems kinda obvious, but you'd be surprised how easy it can be for the swag or connecting with brands to take precedence however, for me I was thrilled to see my favorite bloggers all in one location. It was a grand blogger reunion!

Thursday

I was up at 3a.m. to make the first painful flight out of NYC to ATL, but it was allllll worth it . . .


I had two roommates and we met for the first time at Blogalicious! They were fab: Jenee of Cocoa Fly and Jyl of Mom it Forward. We didn't spend much time in the room anyway and since I had such a positive conference roommate experience I'll definitely go this route in the future (super budget-friendly!).


The venue including a room with a view; my roommate had to air-dry her things over the furniture as her airline left her luggage in the rain - definitely  deserves a squeaky wheel follow-up!
After dropping my things I was ready for that afternoon's sessions; I'm only featuring two here but you can see the full schedule on the Blogalicious agenda:

Founder Stacey Ferguson welcomed everyone to Blogalicious5

The Ripple Effect of Blogger Professionalism


I was especially looking forward to hearing from Amy Lupold, aka Resourceful Mommy, as I'm fascinated by how she's cornered the market on twitter parties.

Key Takeaways:
  • Avoid sloth by sticking to your deadlines
  • Put high quality content first
  • Beware of greed: don't say yes to the maybes so you can say "hell yes" to the definitelys 
  • There is plenty of work to go around
  • Brands are attracted to bloggers who are #flawesome (awesomely flawed - they keep it real!)
  • I also appreciated City Mama's sensitivity to those who aren't blogging to make money - so often it's easy to forget it's not every bloggers focus; when I started blogging I had no clue some bloggers got paid - now I find it's a nice added bonus!

10-Steps Intensives

These quick-hit tips were fantastic! Here are my faves:

From Amy Mascott (aka TeachMama)
  • Use lists to stay organized on Twitter (no one has time to scroll through their entire timeline!)
From Amy Vernon
  • A few recommended apps:
    • Nimble - to organize your social media contacts in one place
    • IFTTT - consolidates social media experiences
    • Buffer App - for easily sharing content on social media
From Susan Wenner Jackson - so many good Pinterest insights:
  • Get verified
  • Set up at least 10 full boards (empty boards aren't attractive!)
  • Put a face NOT a logo as your profile photo
  • Participate actively in select group boards
  • Post 15-25 pins/day (there were audible gasps at this part - me included!)

During the brand/blogger mingle my business card was selected and I won the book Mom Incorporated and got to share a bit about my blog!  (Thank you Koils by Nature for the pics!)

We had a quick bite to eat...


Then it was time for . . .

Luvvie, the hostess, in the center
I can't remember if I've shared it here, but I'm not a Scandal fan (the horror, right?!), but knowing Luvvie was going to be hosting a viewing party and everyone was going made me cave in to peer pressure and attend the premiere. Since my social media feeds are flooded with all things Scandal when the show is on I pretty much knew the storyline and regardless, loved hearing from Luvvie IRL. I have to say I was a bit nervous watching it with a possibly interactive audience, but Luvvie was so good at reigning everyone in so we could hear what was going on.

Everyone was encouraged to come out in their Scandal-ous finest and while I definitely wasn't dressed the part, I LOVED fellow Jersey-resident The Get Fit Diva Aliah's fashion statement:



Friday



I always see "fun runs" scheduled on conference agendas but never worked up the nerve to participate until now. Since I've been running for almost 2 months now I thought it be a great way to connect with fellow runners and to support the American Cancer Society, whose headquarters were nearby the hotel. The day before the conference was also the funeral for a dear family friend who lost her battle to cancer and in my heart I ran for her. Last year I bowled for more birthdays in honor of my Uncle Mike who also lost his battle to cancer. I'm so thankful to Blogalicious for this partnership and giving the attendees this opportunity! It was also the only time I broke away from the conference center to see a bit of Atlanta and I'm especially glad I did - Atlanta is a beautiful city and no matter how many times I visit I can't get over how clean it is compared to NYC!


After the morning welcome it was time for the opening keynote from Amy Dubois-Barnett, Ebony Magazine Editor-in-Chief who shared 7 ways to get yours, from her new book. I was especially interested in hearing Amy's perspective after spending years in media and struggling to get clients to add Ebony to their media plans due to their outdated image. I was thrilled to hear how Amy's brought a fresh perspective to the magazine! She told her story succinctly but profoundly in a way that let us hear the personal challenges she's faced over the years. I love when speakers open up and are honest with their audience! Her point to have integrity really agreed with me as it's something I've written about before: Do what you say you're gonna do!

I then had a one-on-one coaching session with the self-proclaimed "Innerpreneur" Ananda Leeke who helped me carve out a strategy for accomplishing my upcoming goals especially when it comes to completing the co-authored e-book I've been working on.


Next up was the All-Star Blogger Keynote Panel featuring such powerhouse bloggers such as Afrobella, Luvvie and Lamar Tyler who shared how they've built their businesses. I've heard from a few of these bloggers before, and I always find them so motivating!

After a quick break there was a session on Analyzing Analytics where we heard from Mike Street - a social media phenomenon founder of Harlem NYC. He and his co-panelist Maribel Lara from M80 reiterated the importance of learning from the success of others. Mike emphasized copying which alarmed me, but I'd revise that to say be inspired by what others are doing and put your own personal twist on it.

With panelist Jacque Reid - and yes, her hair is as fierce in person as it is on screen!
We had a quick lunch presentation by OraQuick regarding relationships and HIV testing (did you know it's recommended for married couples to test every 6 months for HIV???) and we were given tests to take home. I was glad to hear two awesome bloggers I met at last year's Blogalicious ask specific questions to open up the topic to all ages - discussions on HIV aren't just for young couples.



Patricia of Boomer Wizdom and Pamela of Still Dating My Spouse

Here's how the rest of the afternoon went:


Digital Storytelling: The Next Wave of Brand-Blogger Relationships  - moderated by Brandi of Mama Knows It All (her daughter reminds me of Nia), my roommate Jyl was in this session and I really appreciated her point of thinking of brands as friends; one-on-one relationship building is key for lasting partnerships



VIP Workshop: Master Your Elevator Pitch - hands down my favorite session; Harriette's candidness with all of us helped us learn from the feedback she gave each of us publicly

How to "Lean In" to Your Business Without Sacrificing Your Relationships or Family -I was late to this session but definitely would like this to be a regular topic - balance is hard! I'll definitely be checking out the collaboration apps they mentioned: Asana and Wiggio

That night we had a DNADiscovery Reception presented by 23andMe followed by McDonald's 80s themed party . . .

Yes, those are cassette tape centerpieces!

Partying with my roomies

Saturday


I was up bright and early to hear from Adrienne Bailon, star of upcoming film I'm in Love With a Church Girl - as she mentioned she knew it was hard for people to see past her as a Cheetah Girl, but I enjoyed learning more about her path to where she is now (and that she's originally from NYC!). She even briefly addressed her association with the Kardashians, something I wondered about, simply saying she was not part of the show and if the cameras were on when she was there then so be it! I love how this faith-based film is a step above the tom-foolery out there and to her point, to show these types of movies are wanted we must go out and support them.



As an avid user of PicMonkey I was thrilled to hear from the founders on Divining Awesome: A Creative Approach to Branding for Bloggers - the notion of creating purple cows (via Seth Godin, a marketing guru I love!), really resonated with me. I intend to find more ways to stand out in the coming year!

Winner! Capital City Mumbo Sauce
Keeping in line with this year's theme of CREATE.BUILD.FUND Wells Fargo hosted a Perfect Pitch Competition. Three finalists were up to do an elevator pitch with the hopes of winning $5,000 seed money. The winner was Capital City Mumbo Sauce, a dipping sauce very popular in D.C. They intend to use their funds to purchase UPC codes for their bottles. I loved hearing the growth of all the business presented, and it's spurred me to keep pursuing my own business goals.

Here's what happened the rest of the day . . .


After lunch I found some time to test drive KIA, a sponsor this year. . .

I returned for a roundtable lunch with Lorraine Ladish from Mamiverse on freelancing for bloggers - another profit center I'd like to explore (print still pays more than online!)


We heard from Hamilton Brown, Sr. Marketing Director, The Taco Bell Company on how they do much more than make tacos (I grew up on Taco Bell and never knew about their community involvement!)

Lynn of Non Techie Pros, Uneeka of Powerful U Media Group and Telisha of Battle of the Sexes shared the How-To on Speaking Engagements, Live Events and Webinars
Then it was time to close out Blogalicious5 . . .

  • Hearing from Elisa Camahort-Page, COO, BlogHer about funding our business plans
  • Watching the BlogHerLicious Vlog Contest Winners who will be going to both BlogHer and Blogalicious next year
Getting carried away at KIA Motors Closing Cocktail Reception with Amy aka Teach Mama, Terez aka dbabetta and Karen, from PicMonkey

The grits bar was GLORIOUS (said in an Oprah voice!) - sausage and shrimp??? YAAAASSSSS!
I debated grabbing a 2nd bowl of grits, but one of my roommates left that evening and the other was away so I opted to happily head up to my hotel room and sink under the covers watching HGTV the rest of the night... I was one happy mama!


Sunday

My flight wasn't until 11:45a.m. so I had a leisurely time getting ready to head to the airport - it was a quick easy ride on the MARTA and only $6 roundtrip.



The bonus??? I made the journey with my blogger buddy Stacy-Ann, aka Weather Anchor Mama and her adorable son!


Sooooo to answer the question I keep getting: "How did Blogalicious5 compare to 2012's conference?"

I'm a bit biased because of my general love for Las Vegas, but here's why I enjoyed '12's a bit more:



  • Venue - Red Rock's conference center was spread out on one sun-soaked level, vs. the Hyatt's multiple subterranean levels. I kept missing folks this year whereas last year it was easier to connect with everyone all on one level. Also, I loved having outside sessions at Red Rock's conference center either on the terrace of poolside. I don't know if it's officially seasonal affective disorder, but I'm greatly affected by lack of sunlight. I get groggy and a bit down without enough sun, and I spoke with a few attendees who felt low-energy this year vs. last year. When I mentioned the sun issue it was like, "Ohhhhh yeah!"
Hearing from Harriette Cole in 2012

  • Content - yet again Blogalicious packed a punch with so much content and I found the VIP session with Harriette Cole was the most beneficial session I attended. Regarding actionable content, last year's sessions were more helpful in that regard. I was surprised to hear speakers apologize saying they hadn't prepared, just met their group that day or simply just get up and talk about themselves without providing key takeaways while using tons of filler words. Maybe I was spoiled by Mario Armstrong's session last year, but the Toastmaster in me wanted more polished and detailed sessions. I think this is motivation for me to submit to speak going forward...
clockwise from top left: Weather Anchor Mama and Baby Making Machine with their adorable sons; La Shawn Wiltz (formerly Chronicles of Pookah's Mom), Brooklyn Active Mama,; Shootie Girl founder LaShaun Martin; Lipgloss and Binky
  • The Bloggers - more of my favorite bloggers were in attendance this year which made it even more fun than last year! I'm sure as Blogalicious continues to gain followers this will only increase. I do love the intimate vibe though and being able to catch up with my blogger buddies in addition to meeting new ones
  • Food - similar to the venue, there was much better food at Red Rock - I likened it to spa food. It was more fruit/veggie/protein based whereas the food at the Hyatt was more carb centric. Again, biased towards Vegas, but I simply think Vegas beats ATL in the food department hands down. Vegas is one of my favorite cities to eat (and I can't wait to go back in a couple weeks!)
  • Parties - I knew it was going to be hard to top Doug E. Fresh as not only his performance but the club venue was over the top incredible last year. With Blogalicious celebrating its 5th year I was expecting even more awesomeness, but I do have to say the 80s baby in me especially enjoyed the themed décor this year

2013's swag bag

  • The Swag - I have quite the story here: I don't come to conferences for the swag, but it is a nice bonus. I had planned on doing the same as last year and mailing my items home via USPS however the closest post office to the hotel was not open on Saturdays as I'm accustomed to in NYC. The only option was the FedEx within the hotel. They estimated it would be about $35 to send everything home. Comparing to the USPS' flat rate fees, I cringed but went back the morning of my flight and was first in line right when they opened to ship my stuff. Little by slowly a line formed and a clerk came by pretending that he didn't see us to post a sign that they were opening at 9:50 instead of 9a.m. O___o REALLY?! We were annoyed and confronted him and he said there was an emergency. After inquiring with hotel staff who explained FedEx is independent of the hotel, they said they'd get hotel shipping and receiving to help us but it was slow going and we had flights to catch. Stacy-Ann  was waiting with me to head to the airport and she's quite the feisty one let me tell ya! She wasn't going to take it and pushed back to the staff that they couldn't help us. Thankfully, a couple other staff members came by, took our things, names and addresses and told us they'd arrange to ship our stuff to us. Now, if you've followed my Instagram you've seen they sent everyone's boxes to me which I'm currently sorting out pick-up and reshipment with FedEx, but a big thank you to Gregory, the hotel associate, and Weather Anchor Mama for being a squeaky wheel! With that being said, I do have to say I liked the swag a lot this year especially the hair care products. The transitioning kit was great as I was just looking at another here locally and I look forward to trying the Eden Body Works products on Nia's hair. We're not a video game family, but I'm sure I can find a special someone to give the Hasbro console to.
No word yet on the location of Blogalicious 2014, but I'm hoping for New Orleans although Mr. Lovebird mentioned hurricane season might be an issue. I really don't see the city being an issue for me - as long as I can get away to see my blogger buddies IRL I'm all set!

Thank you to Justice Fergie and her team for yet another fabulous Blogalicious!

Which city do you think should be next? Will I see you there?



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