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Archive for Blogging
September 23rd, 2013
Headed to New York for the Day
As many of you know I’ve been the Green-Living Expert over at Manilla for quite some time. It’s been a fun gig, but the Manilla funometer just went through the roof.
For those of you unfamiliar with Manilla, it’s a free and secure service that lets you manage and organize your bills and accounts in one place online or using their mobile apps. With just one password, you can manage all of your household accounts, including your finances, utilities, travel rewards, subscriptions, daily deals and more. Pretty cool.
Filming 5 Manilla Mini Topic Videos in New York
This week I had an incredible opportunity to travel to New York and film 5 short videos for Manilla covering the many ways we can all go ‘green’.
I’ve known about the trip for a while, but somehow still managed to leave my packing and wardrobe selection until 10:30 pm the night before. Take note: trying on multiple outfits over and over for your husband at 11 pm isn’t advisable unless they have a Victoria’s Secret label. These did not.
After several wardrobe malfunctions and juggling the logistics for the next day’s childcare and soccer drop-off/pickups I was ready to roll.
I absolutely love heading to New York City. I’ve always had a special connection to the city since I was born there and spent the first five years of my life trying to perfect a New York accent. More importantly, both my parents were born and raised in the heart of the city.
I arrived at the Hearst Tower just in time for the shoot and was greeted by two of the fabulous women from the Manilla team- Sarah and Caroline. If you’ve never been to the Hearst Tower I can assure you that it’s pretty spectacular. The elevators alone are a techno-geek’s dream. This building houses many of the magazines that we’re all familiar with including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping and Seventeen.
Up in the elevator I went and then into the private studio for filming. After makeup and hair touch ups (a 3 1/2 hour train ride from Boston isn’t great for hair and makeup) I was ready to shoot.
Thankfully I was able to use a teleprompter for my lines. I thought that my glasses might have to make a guest appearance in the videos if the print was too small, but we were able to adjust the font so I could actually see.
Filming was interesting. I was alone in the studio with a chair, a microphone, a camera, a teleprompter and some mighty bright lights. All of the controls were handled outside the studio. I could hear everyone only through a loud speaker-asking me to smile, read through a script again or telling me “that’s a wrap”. There were several hair fixes in person, but otherwise I was solo in the studio. After an hour or so of shooting we had 5 videos ready for editing.
And that was that. I had a 1/2 hour to kill before taking the Acela back to Boston. Just enough time to stop at my new favorite lunch spot: Juice Generation.
And then, in the blink of an eye I was plopped back into my life and everything returned to its normal chaos.
The videos will be ready to share over the next few weeks so stay tuned…….
What’s your favorite place to visit in New York City?
September 11th, 2013
A photo really does speak a thousand words.
It’s hard to believe 12 years have gone by. The memories are hard to shake. Memories of where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with. Memories of all those lost and those who experienced heartbreak. Just like it was yesterday.
We all remember.
Our hearts broke and continue to break. Thinking of all those who were needlessly lost.
But one question continues to mind over and over: “Why can’t we all just get along?”
This morning I paused to look at this photo sent over by friends. Chickens and a dog. Different yet the same.
As my youngest reminded me- people are all different. My wish for all: To live in peace with others despite differences
Take time to remember. Take time to hug those in your life a little tighter.
How are you taking time to remember?
It’s no-so Wordless Wednesday so this is a simple post which features a photo to convey a message that speaks for itself without using many words.
In honor of not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s Momsense, Live and Love Out Loud, and Mama Dweeb.
July 31st, 2013
BlogHer Safer Chemicals Healthy Families gang, Penelope from Toxic Baby, Kathy from Safe Mama, Lindsay from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, Micaela from Mindful Momma, me, Anne from Flour Sack Mama.
I just got home from a whirlwind of a weekend at BlogHer in Chicago. This was my third BlogHer and I managed to keep up my tradition of coming home inspired, rejuvenated and completely exhausted.
After giving some thought to my experience as a whole this year there are at least 10 things I took away from the conference.
1. A cute outfit matters. Let me clarify this so I don’t sound completely shallow. It’s so important to wear something that makes you feel good. If you’re going to spend 2-3 days pitching yourself and/or your product you need to feel confident and gorgeous from within.
2. Midwestern accents make me feel at home. Having grown up in Madison, Wisconsin there’s nothing that makes me feel more at home than hearing so many midwesterners talk the talk. It got to the point where I was stopping random people just to have a conversation.
3. You can actually learn something from attending a session. Sometimes I tend to get wrapped up in everything but the sessions. This year I ran into Laura Fuentes from MOMables in the Expo Hall and she reminded me that she would be speaking. I went to her session and got my money’s worth and then some.
4. It’s OK to step outside of your niche and have some fun. Yes, I’m a green lifestyle blogger, but I’m not one dimensional. I have many other interests and they’re not always perfectly “green”. There are two standout events from this year’s BlogHer that I will remember forevaaah.
Having my hair styled by celebrity stylist Mark Hill and his team was a weekend highlight.
Attending a screening of Delivery Man was a perfect way to wrap up the conference. I laughed and I cried with some of my favorite bloggers.
Trina from O’Boy Organic, Micaela from Mindful Momma, Leah from Mamvation, Me, Sarah from Mindfully Frugal Mom.
5. The people at the conference are what make me tick. There’s nothing like meeting someone in real life that you’ve been connected to online. Hearing those coveted words “I read your blog” or “You helped me change” is what it’s all about. Real life community.
Me, Mariel Hemingway, Penelope Jagessar Chaffer and Tamara Rubin at the Healthy Child Healthy World, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families event.
Micaela, Ed Brown of Unacceptable Levels (I’m hoping to bring a screening to Boston) and Me.
6. Sponsorship with like-minded brands and organizations works. There have always been mixed reviews on whether or not sponsorship to a conference works. Over the past two years I’ve been sponsored by brands and organizations that I believe in, which for me makes it an organic fit. This year I was honored to receive sponsorship from Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, an organization that I’ve worked with for quite some time. I also was sponsored by two fabulous eco brands, Better Life and MightyNest.
7. It’s not about the swag. I have a gene from the depression era buried deep within that encourages me to seek out free products. It’s innate. My body goes into overdrive and my inclination is to run through the exhibit hall collecting free swag from every station. This year I managed to take a step back and ask the question “Do I really need this?” The press-on nails, the bra sizing kit? I left a lot for others to enjoy, but somehow my luggage still managed to tip the overweight scale at the airport.
8. There will always be drama. Throw a large group of people together and there will always be controversy. Was Sheryl Sandberg’s presentation spot-on or did she miss the mark? Should the tradition of private, off-site parties continue to be allowed at BlogHer?
9. Find time for yourself. BlogHer can be overwhelming, especially for those of us not used to being ‘on’ 24/7. Finding time for myself was my key to survival. I was able to find time for some yoga and a run around the lake.
10. My family is amazing. But I already knew that. Without the support and encouragement of my family my 4 days away would have never happened. I knew that while I was ‘working’ the conference my husband was entertaining our three kids plus one friend. No worrying needed on my end. They had the time of their lives. Whether it’s family or friends, finding support in everything you do makes a difference.
I have so many more photos to share so stay tuned!
Have you been to BlogHer or any other large conference? Any words of wisdom?
April 8th, 2013
There’s something about getting together with other bloggers in real life that makes me smile. For those of you who write for a living, you know that there are times when writing can be a very lonely profession. Given that I lost my blogging buddy last week I’m finding that I need a constant distraction.
I feel very fortunate that there’s a strong community of bloggers in the Boston area, comprised of many articulate men and women sharing their words in a variety of venues. One of my favorite blogging perks is getting together with pieces of this community at really cool events.
Recently I participated in two blogger events worthy of sharing pictures (at least I think so!). Both events were just what I needed to help me smile, connect with some local friends and experience something fantastic fun.
Old Navy Blogger Fashion Show
So. Much. Fun. Our job was to showcase Old Navy’s new line of dresses for spring. Quite a few kids along with their moms were the models. My kids opted to sit in the audience and cheer loudly for their mom. I’ll take that.
Here I am with Sharon from umommy and KidNosh and Jessica from Don’t Mind the Mess.
I was lucky enough to walk the runway with the adorable fashion blogger, Alana from The Good Girl Gone Blog. She also happened to organize this event.
This is how bloggers and Old Navy staff looked for the ‘crazy’ photo. Pretty crazy, eh??
Whole Foods Spring Smoothie Summit
It started off with a simple Tweet and ended up being a great event at Whole Foods in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We went shopping, courtesy of Whole Foods and bought our favorite smoothie ingredients. For those of you who’ve been reading along you know that I’m a huge smoothie junkie. My Instagram feed is full of them. Exciting, I know.
Here’s what made its way into my smoothie. Yes, those are my favorite chia seeds.
It turned into a pretty mauve mix. Thus the name.
Everyone’s smoothie was very unique and super delicious.
Big shout out to Whole Foods for pulling together such a fantastic event. Some of the lovely bloggers that weren’t mentioned above who are all over these pics are Sharon from ViolaCay, Julia from It’s Not Like a Cat, Emily from Random Recycling, Isra The Frugalette, Niri of Mommy Niri, Leah from Oh Baby Boston, Annmarie from Trendy Mommies, Nicole of Good Golly Miss Blondie, Charlene from Charlene Chronicles, Gilda of Evan and Lauren’s Cool Blog, Erika from That’s IT Mommy and Jean The Shopping Queen.
What’s made you smile over the past few days?
Fashion show photos taken by my hubby.
April 4th, 2013
Blogging has been on hold. It’s been a rough few days around here. My 13 year old lab decided that it was time to go. She lived well beyond what was expected and I’m so grateful for that extra time we had together.
It’s interesting how all the memories start to come to the surface after a pet’s death. At least that’s what’s happening for me. About 13 years ago we drove south to Rhode Island to pick her up from Tony, the breeder. His house was crazy and chaotic. Filled with puppies, grown dogs and his elderly mother in her pajamas. No joke. We weren’t sure what to make of it, but we knew that a little chocolate lab puppy was coming home with us.
After struggling with unexplained infertility for a few years it was nice to finally have a change of focus. She would be my first baby.
We placed her in a small box and she whimpered all the way home.
She has been by my side most days ever since. I’ll never forget the first time I took her for a run with me around the Charles River in Boston. I ended up having to carry her half way around the river.
She witnessed our family grow as we created a family through both adoption and natural childbirth. She went from being the center of attention to one of the many needing attention. This dog was able to withstand three energetic boys literally climbing all over her, tugging at her ears and pulling her tail. She was a saint.
When I decided to place my law practice on hold to raise my family she wagged her tail in support. A few years later when I started my own business I was grateful for the flexibility it gave me to be home when my kids came home from school, and it also allowed me the ability to spend time with my sweet dog during the day while I was working. She was always close by. She reminded me (by needing to go out during the day) that taking breaks to stretch and breathe fresh air is an important piece of the work day. She taught me how to live in the moment.
She inspired posts about Tips for Choosing Healthy Dog Food, Natural Flea and Tick Prevention, and just cute photos of her. She was an inspiration both for my blog and in life.
So if I’m a little off over the next few days or weeks now you know why. She was my first baby. Please bear with me as I find a place for all of this. It’s going to take me some time.
Let me know if you have any tips to help with the grieving process. I’m learning very quickly that I’m not very good at this stuff.
January 4th, 2013
What a green year it’s been! I kicked off last year with 3 words that helped define my goals and experiences for the coming year: honesty, present and learn. Looking back at the year progress was made, but my three words will continue to play a role in the new year. I have plenty more to do and learn.
Highlights from my Groovy Green Livin Year
It turned out that Tide Free & Gentle® isn’t so gentle. A report released by Women’s Voices for Earth, Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products? found high levels of the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane in the detergent. 1,4-dioxane doesn’t appear on the product label or on the product website, so consumers have no way of knowing it’s even there.
I put together a petition asking Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) to strip this harmful cancer-causing chemical out of Tide Free & Gentle®! Thanks to many of you the petition has over 78,000 signatures.
Appearance on ABC World News talking about BPA
A seemingly normal day turned into a crazy day. I was quoted in a wonderful article by Jack Kaskey in Bloomberg News about bisphenol A (BPA) and how mothers are impacting change even when regulators fail to act. I was then asked to appear on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer to talk about BPA. A camera crew showed up at my door smack in the middle of a radio interview with Mrs. Greens World. The ABC News clip was incredibly fun and hopefully sent a strong message.
National Stroller Brigade in DC
I traveled to Washington DC on a trip organized by Safe Chemicals Healthy Families. We gathered on Capitol Hill for a National Stroller Brigade to let Congress know that we demand the passage of Senator Frank Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act. I also had a chance to catch up with some of my favorite green advocates, Shane from Environmental Booty, Diane from Big Green Purse, me, Micaela from Mindful Momma and Anne from Flour Sack Mama.
Go Green Get Fit Challenge
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you probably know that exercise is a big part of my life. I mix it up with a little yoga, running, cycling and going to the gym. I ramped it up a few years ago and trained for my first sprint triathlon in honor of a little boy in our town who lost his life to cancer. It’s been four years and the triathlon has become an annual event. This year I joined forces with a group of 25+ remarkable green bloggers in the Eco Mom Alliance’s Go Green Get Fit Challenge presented by Healthy Home Magazine. We completed a 12 week health and wellness series where we all shared our ups and downs throughout the challenge. I even ventured into the world of video with my 3 Tips to Keep Fit.
How young is too young for Facebook?
I was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, sharing my opinion about Facebook allowing children under the age of 13 years old to use the social-networking site with parental supervision.
BlogHer in New York City with Stonyfield
This year I headed into one of my favorite places, New York City, to attend BlogHer. BlogHer is the largest blogging conference and this year was a big crowd with over 5,000 bloggers, speakers, brands and others. After a few days filled with laughter, sweat (incredibly hot and humid), reconnecting with old friends and making new BlogHer 2012 came to a close. The friendships formed at events like this are truly some of the greatest rewards of blogging.
Disney Petition and CBS Boston
As many of you know, television cameras came to my house yet again! This time they were from CBS Boston. I was very happy to see how the piece turned out. This time I was talking about another petition I started asking Disney to remove the toxic chemicals that were found in children’s vinyl back-to-school supplies including Disney lunch boxes. Thanks to many of you this petition has almost 60,000 signatures!
Phew! There you have my 2012 in a nutshell.
Now to you my loyal readers I can’t say thank you enough. You make writing, advocating and continuing on worthwhile. Thank you.
Now let’s make 2013 even better!
photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc
December 17th, 2012
Had you asked me last week what I was planning to write about today my answer would have been very different than it is right now. There’s only one thing on my mind. After the horrible, senseless actions of one man everything aside from the lives lost feels very trivial.
I took the weekend off. No writing, no television, no news. Just time with my family.
I found myself looking at my kids differently after Friday, actually thinking what life would be without them. Unimaginable.
This morning I woke up and found myself starring for too long at a blank computer screen. I’m at a complete loss for words. Everything feels insignificant. Scheduling and planning no longer matter. Because of one man and many needless deaths I’ve changed and I know you have too. The world has changed.
We struggled all weekend with whether or not to tell our kids and with how much to share. I need a manual. I don’t know what to say or how to act. So many of your words helped me. Then I thought of the Newtown families. Telling isn’t a choice.
When the yellow school bus arrived to take my kids off to school I said my goodbyes as I do every day, but it didn’t feel the same. I resisted the urge to get in my car and escort each of my boys to their respective schools and watch them walk safely into their classrooms, now guarded by a police officer.
Trying to act normal isn’t cutting it. Returning to life as we know it isn’t possible. Maybe I need one more day, maybe two. The people of Newtown can’t hope for that. Everyday will be a constant reminder that something unimaginable happened. My heart breaks for them.
To honor the memory of so many who needlessly lost their lives last week, I’m dedicating this day to them. No debates about gun control and mental health. There is a time and place for that. Today is a day only to honor those who are no longer with us and show peace and compassion to all. There’s only one way to go from here. We must continue to work together to make this world a safer place for our children and all children.
Please stand by. I’ll be back on track someday soon.
How are you coping?
Barbara Meltz, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Barefoot Books a few months ago, wrote an article in the Boston Globe which discusses how to talk with your children when they come home from school today. I found it very helpful, I hope you will too.
Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc