Category Archives BlogHer

Ultimate Blog Party Memories

It’s that time of year again! Yes, on Friday bloggers from all over will participate in the Ultimate Blog Party 2012, or UBP12 for short.

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

The ladies at 5 Minutes For Mom are inviting everyone to participate and share memories from past UBPs. I know I have been participating in the Ultimate Blog Parties for quite some time. I think I found them five years ago when I was very pregnant with my youngest son. It was a fun way to get to know new bloggers. Of course, as social media increased over the years, so did the number of people participating.

In 2010, the party had extra special meaning to me. It was the year that I really got into the spirit. I wrote my Ultimate Blog Party 2010 post, did lots of blog hopping, participated in Twitter events, and more. I had taken the year before off because of so many things going on at once. It felt great getting back into the swing of things. I had a great time meeting new friends and even wrote about it for the After Party celebration.

Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t mention that the 2010 party also is special to me for another reason. You see, I am sitting here typing away my post on the Grand Prize from that event. YES – I was the winner! Of course, the way I found out was pretty funny. I had gone to sleep early that evening because I was not feeling too well. I knew that the party was ending that evening, but was too tired to follow along.

The Ultimate Prize

I fell asleep, but when TechyDad went to go to check on one of the boys, I heard a text message (used to get Tweets via SMS messages) come to my phone. By this time, it was very late. Then, before I knew it my phone kept beeping, beeping, and more beeping. The Tweets were coming in so quickly that I could not even stop to read any of them. I had TechyDad check on his computer to see what was going on. That is when I read everyone congratulating me.

The timing on this prize could not have been better as my old laptop was dying. It was so nice to have the new Toshiba. My laptop has now gone with me to BlogHer, Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, SheStreams, and beyond. So many memories and many more to come as I get ready for The Ultimate Blog Party 2012 – thank you 5 Minutes For Mom for another fun party starting later this week.

Will you be participating in the Ultimate Blog Party 2012? I hope to see you there! For more details, click on the button from 5M4M above.

It's Me

Disclaimer: I wrote this post because it was a lot of fun to participate while getting ready for the Ultimate Blog Party 2012. In addition to this, there is a possible prize via Rafflecopter for sharing my UBP story.

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The year that was 2010

Happy New Year everyone! It is really hard to believe that 2011 begins today. This past year seems like a whirlwind of events that just blows me away. Here are just a few of the highlights from the year that was 2010.


  • JSL fell in love with Piggy Oink-Oink. A year later and he is still going near and far with us.
  • Disney was on my brain a lot in January. A quick invite to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration required planning a Disney trip in just about a month and a half. As a Disney planner, this was fun and challenging. A lot of Disney posts followed with Dining plans, stroller rentals, and more!
  • I realized that knitting and reading is possible. Thanks to audio books, I was able to knit and listen to books on my MP3 player.
    Brotherly tickle attack


  • TechyDad bought a new scanner to capture photos from his Grandma. While he was doing that he scanned a few from my childhood. A lot were from Disney in the 80’s.
  • Lots to share from our Disney Social Media Moms Celebration trip. It truly was a magical experience and I can not wait to head there again for the 2011 event.
  • My little brother and his wife welcomed their son into the world. He was sweet enough to wait until we were back from Disney so we could be there for his bris.
  • I wrote about the importance of a formal Technology Education program in schools. With budget cuts in most schools, this seems to be something that was never there, or first to go.
  • NHL learned the fine art of wearing your PJ’s inside-out to bed.

Breakfast with Donald, Goofy and Minnie at Cape May


  • We traveled between winter storms at the end of February to be there for cousin BA’s bris. It was a fun time being with lots of family.
  • My bloggy shell was really starting to crack and let me spread my wing. After DisneySMMoms, I realized that it was a necessary step.
  • Once back from Disney, we decided it was time to push the envelope with JSL. He was almost 3 and had to ditch his binky. We finally said Bye-Bye to Binky and celebrated with some fun.
  • Threats to close NHL’s school dominated a lot of time. The unknown, getting the word out, interviews, and rally’s filled much of the month.
    Heading in to see Mimi


  • Much to my horror, NHL became his own barber at six years old. The scissors are now kept where I have to get something to reach them.
  • TechyDad and I finally managed to have my December birthday dinner. I really enjoyed going out and celebrating without having to worry about snow and ice.
  • The weather was gorgeous one day and we went to get supplies to plant some fruits and veggies. Everyone was excited about the prospect, but in the end we know it was a bust.
  • I wrote a post to bloggers to beware of content scrappers. This continues to be an issue and getting more and more difficult to stop and track.

New shades


  • A freak storm literally blew a section of our roof off. I never heard it happen and noticed it several hours later.
  • More of my bloggy shell came off in May. Christina (from CutestKidEver) and I were interviewed by Elaine Houston for a local news segment. I wrote about Elaine coming here and then about the actual segment.
  • Lots of time was focused on finding Winnie the Pooh items for JSL’s 3rd birthday. The weekend of his birthday was filled with family, fun, and a fire!

Great Grandkids and Mimi


  • The boys love to see live shows. We won tickets and took them on an adventure to see Curious George Live and had a blast.
  • If the roof flying off in May was not bad enough, our house tossed another one our way. I went down to start a load of laundry and was greeting with a river flowing in our basement. A burst water pipe changed our world for several days and beyond.
  • We traveled to a family wedding and the boys had a blast. Both declared that they needed another wedding to go to since they had so much fun.
  • Father’s Day weekend was filled with lots of fun memories, including a trip to bowl.
    A lot of dancing going on


  • To celebrate the 4th of July we took the boys to see Toy Story 3. This was also JSL’s first time seeing a movie in the theater. We had a fantastic time.
  • We went to see Uncle I, Aunt M, and cousins SG and BA for a fun filled family weekend. We went cherry picking and did a lot more during the time together.
  • While our roof was finally getting fixed, we became potty training central. Thanks to NHL helping out – JSL was using the potty after a few days. Good bye diapers!
  • I also wrote about how not all Amusement Park First Aids are created equally. To update this, nobody from The Great Escape (a Six Flags Park) has ever gotten back to me about my son’s injury, the safety of the ride, or their horrible response time. Numerous e-mails, phone calls, and Tweets were sent with no reply from the powers that be. Sick, sad, and not a good PR day for Six Flags.

Fun in our driveway


  • Growing up I spent most summers with my neighborhood best friend J. After going way too long without getting together, we finally met for an afternoon of chatting.
  • TechyDad and I went away without the boys for the first time to BlogHer 2010 in NYC. We had an amazing time learning, laughing, and meeting many people over the long weekend.
  • Time refuses to stop, so NHL turned 7 in the middle of the month. No fires at his party, thank goodness. We had a fun weekend with family going to a fair and celebrating.

Where's Perry?


  • We spent Labor Day weekend at the lake with extended family celebrating Mimi’s Birthday. We had fun playing games, running outside in the rain, and driving the boat.
  • Back to school was a lot different this year. NHL went off to second grade and JSL started nursery school three days a week.
  • TechyDad and I went to open house for both of the boys. The one for NHL brought back a lot of memories.

Moments with Mimi


  • The sun came out for a beautiful Fall day, so we had a Hexbug party with the neighbors outside. Fun was had by all – including the adults as the kids played for hours.
  • The world of children’s book had a controversy. Some were saying that picture books were not needed. I weighed in on the subject for one of my Tuesday Tales.
  • A new adventure began. The KidsFunPlaza NENY magazine was launched at the end of September. Such an amazing experience that just keeps getting better each month. Now available at Price Chopper stores across the Capital District, there were over 20,000 magazines published in November!
  • With almost no time to go, we took the boys apple picking. The day was perfect as we managed to get 29.5 pounds of sweet fall goodness.
  • The boys were healthy and had a fun filled Halloween. We went to the party at NHL’s school, walked around the mall, and did a few houses around the neighorhood. I think Luigi and Tigger enjoyed the Halloween weekend.

Picking lots of apples


  • TechyDad and I went on a date early in the month. It made us realize the importance of getting out without the kids from time to time.
  • The beginning of snow falling rekindled my need to knit. One project was frogged for a time, another picked up, and more started soon after.
  • My brother and his family came into town to have Thanksgiving with us this year. It was so great seeing them and other extended family. We did an early Chanukah with them as well.
  • After several months of keeping it quiet, TechyDad and I told our readers about some serious things going on behind the scenes. Cyber bullying is serious business and we are not going to back down.
  • November 30 marked sweet angel Cora’s first birthday. I have written many times during the year about Cora and her parents and their mission to save lives.

4 cousins


  • Chanukah came early this year. We lit the candles each night and down played the present giving as much as possible. We also had a nice family dinner with Nana, Papa, Mimi, and Aunt T.
  • With two digital cameras that were not working, TechyDad and I bought new ones. It had been so much fun having a camera that cooperates and takes gorgeous photos.
  • My birthday came and went without a trip to the ER or snow storm. A new Vera Bradley bag, lunch out with Nana and JSL, dinner out with TechyDad, and cake with the boys made it a wonderful day.
  • I won a Keurig machine and no longer had an excuse to leave the house to get coffee at my parent’s house. Thanks to a little caffeine each day my headaches have mostly gone away.
  • We scored some tickets for Disney on Ice – Toy Story 3. It was a magical night for everyone. This was the first Disney show for JSL, so he was a bit overwhelmed with everything. Everyone loved the show and even watching the video I took.
  • The end of 2010 was filled with sickes and snow. A massive blizzard hit the northeast and we got at least a foot of snow that trapped us in after being sick all the weekend before.
  • My silly boys during photo shoot

    Of course, these are just some of the major events that took place here in my world. Thanks to my blog, I have many other moments captured for our family. Thank you to my family, friends (both IRL and online) who have supported me this year. Another thank you to the wonderful PR people and companies that I have worked with this year. Everyone’s interest has been crucial to helping to be a success. I look forward to 2011 and beyond with all of you.

Happy New Year to all of you and your families.


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Mastermind Game – Review and Giveaway

In August, TechyDad and I went to BlogHer in NYC. While there, we had time to go to the Expo Hall to connect with some amazing companies. One booth that intrigued us was Pressman Toys. The area was set up with their items on display. Betsy, their PR representative, came over and talked with us for quite a while. She introduced us to their products and showed us the revamped version of Mastermind Game and Animal Mastermind Towers (Review and Giveaway coming soon for this). TechyDad and I were immediately interested in them since our oldest son, NHL 7, loved items like this.

A short time after BlogHer, we received both of the games to review. They came just before a big family reunion for my grandmother’s birthday. I packed up the games and took them with us for everyone to play. Here are some photos of my cousin J and Aunt A playing Mastermind. They were quite competitive and tried to make it even more difficult as they got going.

Mastermind Game in Action

More about Mastermind:

MASTERMIND® Classic Edition

Will you play the part of the codemaker, or the codebreaker? In the classic edition of our MASTERMIND game, the codemaker chooses from six different colors and sets a code of four colored pegs, which are concealed behind a flip-up shield. The codebreaker’s task is to replicate the code in ten moves or less. With each of the codebreaker’s attempts, the codemaker gives clues about the pegs’ color and position. There are more than 2,000 possible code combinations, making every round of this codebreaker logic game an exciting, brain-bending adventure!  For 2 Players. Ages 8 to adult.

The Classic Edition of Mastermind retails for $15.00. There are also other versions of the game available including Advanced Mastermind, Ultimate Mastermind, Mastermind Travel Edition, Mastermind for Kids, Disney Mastermind Towers, and more.

What we thought:

TechyDad and I love games that make you think. Before we had our kids, we used to have game nights playing games similar to Mastermind. After taking Mastermind to the lake to use with family, TechyDad and I also tried it out on our own. The first item that I noticed was the compact case that holds all of the pieces. All of the colored pegs are within a storage compartment that keeps them secure. There was no need for an annoying plastic bag to hold them or worries about pegs flying all over the place. In addition to this, the board itself is small and easy to store. When space is limited, this game is perfect to take along, or tuck away. 

Testing out Mastermind

Game play was a lot of fun. It makes you competitive not only as the codebreaker, but also the codemaker. When you are the codemaker, you have to be able to use the smaller red and white pegs seen above to give hints to the codebreaker about their guess. It was not difficult to figure out how to use these clues and fun challenge to use them to break the code faster each time. TechyDad and I have said we would like to try this game with our 7-year-old one day soon. We think NHL would really enjoy it and is probably ready to try the deductive reasoning skills. We have also said we may step it up a notch and try repeating colors in our codes for an extra challenge.

I highly recommend this game. It will keep you on your toes, make you think/use logic skills, and have a good time. This would make a great gift for anyone for Chanukah, Christmas, or a Birthday. I even think it would be a fantastic item to donate to a teacher for a classroom (the inner teacher in me talking here). Teachers are always looking for educational games to have on hand for students when there is a little bit of down time in the day.


Thanks to Pressman, one lucky winner will receive their own Mastermind Classic Edition to play.

Mastermind Game

Rules for Giveaway:

  • MAIN RULE – Tell me what your favorite board game is and why.

The following Bonus Entries may also be done. Please be sure to leave separate comments for each that you complete below to make sure you get the right number of entries.

  • 1 Bonus Entry – Who will you play Mastermind with and do you want to be the codemaker or breaker first?
  • 1 Bonus Entry – Tweet the following about the giveaway (May be done once a day): Put your thinking cap on and enter to #win your own @MastermindGame Great for holidays! #Giveaway
  • 1 Bonus Entry – Subscribe to my RSS feed (or let me know if you already are) in a separate comment.
  • 1 Bonus Entry – Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway posts from the month of October/November. Leave a comment here to let me know which one. This Bonus entry may be done three times per person.
  • 3 Bonus Entries – Add my blog button to your website and leave a link with the location. Be sure to give yourself 3 comments for credit.
  • 5 Bonus Entries – Write a post on your blog linking to my blog about the giveaway. Be sure to leave 5 comments about this to get credit for all of your extra entries.

To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section. Contest starts today November 4 and ends at 10:59 EST on November 18, 2010. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to U.S. residents only.


Disclosure This review and giveaway was made possible by Pressman Toys and their PR company. They provided me with Mastermind Classic Edition to facilitate this review. The opinions of this review are mine and I received no other compensation.

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Meet the Divas – Twitter Edition w/Giveaway

On our bus ride back to the airport from the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in February, I saw several familiar faces. Among them were Cecelia and Bridgette. Then I realized that I not only knew them from their blogs and recent venture, they were the ones that had won a night IN Cinderella’s Castle. There they were holding the key, a glass slipper and sharing their magical memories with us.

We talked briefly about their new adventure with the Double Duty Divas. In August of 2009, while at BlogHer in Chicago, they decided to start this project together. To learn more about the Divas head over here.

When I arrived home from Disney, I went to the Double Duty Divas website and signed up to be a part of the group. While at BlogHer in NYC, I was supposed to go for a few minutes to meet up with the other Divas for coffee at Starbucks. Unfortunately, I had a prior commitment and was not able to get there in time. I was in one session with the ladies and Tweeted to them from the front of the room, but never got a chance to say hello.

One of the fabulous things about the Divas is they share with the community of bloggers. An example of this is going on right now!

Meet the Divas Twitter Edition

To help others to see who the Divas are within Twitter, the fabulous Double Duty Divas are having a Blog Tour promoting everyone on Twitter. So why not join in the fun? If you do, you have a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card (Note: one winner will be randomly  selected from all participating blogs).

From the Divas: This is a Twitter only giveaway since Twitter followers is our main focus.  Readers can use this link to follow the participating Divas with one click.  When you click the link and are in the TweepML site,  you can uncheck individual Divas to not follow.

So, if you are a member of Twitter and want to have some fun, meet new people and have a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card click on over and follow some of the other amazing Double Duty Divas. Leave me a comment with three members of the Divas that you are following on Twitter along with your Twitter name – it’s that easy!

Extra chances:

Since this is a collaborative giveaway you can get extra chances by going to other Divas blogs and entering at their posts. Come on back here and let me know where you entered for another entry. Please leave a comment for each comment on another bloggers post with a link. You may do this each time.

You may also Tweet the following for an addition entry: #Win a $20 Amazon GC from @DoubleDutyDivas Twitter follow. Open to everyone. @TheAngelForever #DDDivas

This opportunity will end on September 2, 2010 at 10:59 EST, so I have time to forward the entries to the head Divas to be included in the prize drawing. Good luck, have fun and happy Tweeting!


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A few of my blogging friends

Not going to be 100% wordless this week. I wanted to take a minute to share some photos of friends that I met (or saw again) at BlogHer ’10 in NYC. Of course, there were many other people that I met and forgot to get photos of. So, here are the photos that I took and some linky love to their websites and Twitter names. 

Bloggy Friends finally meet

C’est moi along with Debra (A Frugal Friend), Cathi (Simply Cathi) and Kailani (An Island Life

Mom Select Swag Suite

Deb (Mom of 3 Girls), Christina (Cutest Kid Ever), Me, Kailani (An Island Life) and Xenia (Thanks, Mail Carrier

Post session meeting

Christina, Jennifer (, Me, hubby (TechyDad

Sparklecorn 1

Christina, Robyn (Robyn’s Online World) and Moi again 

Sparklecorn 3

Connie (Brain Foggles, Connie’s View, and My Chronic Life) and Me 

Sparklecorn 4

Shannan (From Cribs to Car Keys) with Moi

Sparklecorn 2

Moi with Tamara (Mom RN) and Christina

Sparklecorn 5

Me again with Elizabeth (Table4Five, Mom Reviews, Mom Cooks)

Thanks to everyone pictured above and others that I met for so many wonderful BlogHer memories.



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