Social media is keeping me unproductive, sort of.

It's here, it's here! Time to turn those calendars (HARD!) and kick-off a fresh, new month with a blogging challenge, yes?!? Then again, maybe you should NOT be listening to me.

NaBloPoMo August 2014

You see, I sort of triple-dog dared my friend Patti at Easton Place Designs to join me in April...then she went and ACTUALLY April...and I sort of fizzled out...around the 8th or 9th, I think...because, I'm more of a DON'T DO WHAT I DID sort of bloggity-mentor, like that...YO!!!

Sooooo, if you're like me (figuratively speaking, because not many people can handle THAT much dork) and are frequented by bouts of writer's block (because, TEENS!), there are daily prompts to help us blog along with this month's theme: MNEMONIC.

Today's writing prompt: What tools do you use to keep organized so things on your to-do list don't slip through the cracks?

Oh, I got this!!! One of the BEST tools I use to keep myself on point with my work to-do-list: logging out of my personal social media accounts.

I've got a major problem with...SQUIRRELS!!!

So, yah. That's right. I blame YOU GUYS for my being totally unproductive -- soooo, quit being so gosh-darned interesting, already.

On the other hand: if it weren't for Facebook being down and my IMMEDIATELY heading over to Twitter to find out why and verify...AYUP!...the #FacebookDown hashtag was already trending...I wouldn't have seen my friend Lizz's tweet:

Aaaaaaand, then I was all like...OH YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT... it's August 1st...oh and hey...maybe I'll try NaBloPoMo-ing it,, here we are.

Long story, short: welcome to my brain! And this is the part where you should begin to feel really, really lucky that you don't HAVE to live with me, or my brain.

[sound of crickets, running for the backdoor]

On the OTHER other hand: can we all just agree that being "organized" is totally a subjective term and...SQUIRREL?!?!?!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

 I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it this month, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far. Oh and just so you know, I'm unplugging on weekends and going blog free, because family time is also very...SQUIRREL!!!

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

#BlogHer14: A puffy-eyed view of the real people behind the power strips and surge protectors.

It was exactly one week ago today, after boarding the first of two flights it would take for me to get to the 10th Anniversary BlogHer Conference in San Jose (because California is about as far away as you can get, from Jersey!), I thought I was going to vomit on my flip flops.

I blamed lack of sleep...a nervous stomach...finishing work well after my husband had fallen asleep...on the couch...for the last month...or two...with the dog...he also has a REAL nervous stomach...the dog, too.

This morning, after another unsuccessful night of readjusting to post-conference life, I read my first BlogHer '14 recap and felt that oh so familiar churning in the pit of my stomach.

Personally, one of my FAVORITE moments from this year's conference happened pretty quickly: the BlogHer '14 opening video: I am BlogHer, where bloggers show us what it means to be a community utilizing two of my favorite online mediums -- in words and in pictures.

Sense of community, finding your tribe, being with your people -- these catchphrases, in my opinion, are the very foundation of BlogHer and what organizers have continued to build on, the last 8 conferences I've attended, anyway.

Words are powerful, like that.

On the other hand: this is my 3rd conference actually working behind the scenes, so I feel it safe to say reading feedback that borders on personal and attacks the integrity of our work...(thanks for helping me with that sentence, Melisa)...well, excuse my's a friggin' punch in the gut.

Words have impact, like that.

On the OTHER other hand: what you may or may not know is many of the BlogHer team are bloggers and some of us have been a part of the blogging community for many years, too.

Many of us are also members of the BlogHer Ad Network; some of us have been from the very beginning **raises hand** and I'm pretty sure it's why I was hired in the first place -- especially, when talking with brands about recruiting bloggers for their special events.

Blogging is complicated, like that.

Explaining the process wasn't always easy and there were mistakes made, for certain...(stupid Eventbrite!)...but now, misinformation is being tossed around like expletives on a hot summer night...(here, in Jersey anway!), yeah, it's REAL tough not to take these sort of things to heart.

Moving on, it's no secret, rather than believing that there is a behind-the-scenes conspiracy...(that one is mine AND Melisa's)...that is meant to encourage a society based on me when I tell you, no there isn't.

These are real people...trying to do a good job...and, more importantly, do right by their community.

Liz Thompson OUT!
after visiting each and every conference attendee's blog and social media accounts, you guys sure can write about a lot of stuff.

Oh, and she probably looks a lot like this: still in pajamas, all glassy-eyed, wearing a matching set of heavy eye baggage and complimentary stress zits on her chin...YO!!!

 ©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! 

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

#BlogHer12: Blood, Sweat & Tears AND More Sweat

This was my 6th time attending BlogHer yet here I am again, sitting for nearly an hour in front of a blank screen, wondering "Where in the heck do I start?!?"

Me and Busy Mom
Yeah, I'm hanging out with Busy Mom...WHAT?!?

I could choose to begin by telling you some crazy-assed story of nearly popping a blood vessel just trying to get there, like my dear friend Busymom did, but my train ride into NYC from Jersey is less than an hour and was completely uneventful.

#PopCapMoms Afternoon Tea at the St. Regis Hotel

Or, after attending my first event shortly after arriving into NYC and drinking my weight in tea (that's A LOT of tea, btw) how I had to find a bathroom REAL BAD and was tackled by Jenn in the lobby of the hotel.  

Me and Jenn at MoMA
Me and Jenn scarin' the straights at MoMA

Seriously, nearly had the pee squeezed out of me, that Jenn's SUCH a good huggah!  Not for nothing, but she seems to also enjoy making me pee my pants snort-laughing every blessed chance she gets, bless her heart.

9/11 Memorial: pool of tears.

There were tears, as well.  This was my first visit to the World Trade Center, or downtown NYC for that matter, since the 9/11 attacks.  The rain just added to the terrible feeling of loss and, personally, living just across the river, I couldn't help but reach out and want to wipe some of the wet away.

Patty and Me
Visiting my bloggy-friend Patty.

Thankfully the happy outweighed the sad.  Like visiting with Patty and her mom in Queens (gracias por las empanadas, Senora!) while she's recovering from surgery was most definitely a highlight for both me and Melisa

Me and Michelle
With my two other roomies: Michelle and Flat Sue

Traveling the subway, in 1000 percent humidity, not so much (even the camera is all like, b*tch please!) however, traveling with Flat Sue?!?  EPIC!!!  Don't believe me?  Check out Melisa's post Flat Sue visits #BlogHer12.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Invite to Martha
Table setting courtesy of @TheNextMartha

This year, however, stands out above all others:  I was invited to sit @TheNextMartha's table during Martha Stewart's lunchtime keynote.  Trust me when I tell you that my new friend Jen is ALL that and a bag of blue glitter.

Sue @TheNextMartha table
Flat Sue says, "THPBBPBBPBPBPTH!!!"

I was totally honored to share the experience of MARTHA STEWART DISSING ALL THE HARD WORK THAT WENT INTO CELEBRATING PURE INSPIRATION AND JEN'S CREATIVITY ENTIRELY with her.  No, really.  It's okay.  Glitter-envy is hard.

BlogHer12 Peeps
MMMF, I love you, you're number one!

Along with spending much needed quality time with some of my favorite people IRL (see also:  Melisa's entire BlogHer12 photo stream) priceless.  My stomach still hurts from all the snort-laughing and giggle-talking that went on and, well, I wouldn't trade in those moments for all the swag in the universe.  Truth!

Then again, BlogHer is not ALL fun and games (mostly, not all) this year was a working trip for me and live-tweeting from one of BlogHer's newest sponsor's suite ALL DAY was an awesome experience that I will write about, on my other blog, at a later date.

MoMA Double
At the MoMA:  we could be related.

Or, as soon as my eyes uncross -- you're welcome!!!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

BlogHer12: Caution, Professional Dork at Work!

@BBSummit with friends
Tracey, Me, Melisa and OH LOOK! It's freakin' Busy Mom at #BBSummit12!

I love traveling to blogging conferences and when people ask me, "What IS it that you do again?" I half-jokingly reply about my being a Professional Dork, by definition:

  • A little odd
  • Often times silly
  • Extremely clumsy
  • Breaks things (a lot!)
  • Prone to laugh-snorting
  • Jumping jack hating
  • Careful to cross her legs when sneezing
  • Average, every day, you just can't make this stuff up, dork of a mom

In other words:  what you see is what you get and, well, it's our imperfections that make us unique...most especially, in the blogging world...yes?

That being said, I feel blessed to be able to work with some of the smartest, kindest, funniest folks I've ever had the pleasure of meeting (IRL) and touched upon this while speaking on the Blogger and Brand Relationships panel during #BBSummit12 last weekend.

I'm still working on a blog-worthy recap (soon-ish, rather than later-ish) but my friend and BlogHer12 roomie Michelle actually live-blogged the whole shuh-bang AND my sistuh-from-anuh-thuh-muh-thuh Melisa shared her experience as one of the awesome organizers, as well.

Today, I am honored to be able to share with you my partnering with Readers Digest and Taste of Home Magazine during BlogHer12.

I will be live-tweeting from the Reader's Digest BlogHer Suite #4203 as:

Continue reading "BlogHer12: Caution, Professional Dork at Work!" »

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

I Left My (insert body part, here)
In San Diego

BlogHer 2011 Headless Mom and Me  Toasting a safe arrival into San Diego with my dear friend, Headless Mom!

I had the extreme privilege of attending BlogHer 2011 (thank you, Kmart!) and honestly, even after pulling all-nighters in a New York City hospital, saving BlogHers with Busy Mom, I don't remember being THIS tired, last year.

BlogHer 2011 Biking Around in Coronado 

Then again, biking around in Coronado with Melisa, Sue and Michelle can be very, very EXHAUSTING oh and absolutely HILARIOUS (trust me, I was there!) but, I'll let Melisa blog about it, once she stops laughing, I mean!

UPDATED TO ADD:  Which, she did, right here.

BlogHer 2011 Clever Girls Party Gals Left to right:  Me (Michelle, in back) Christina (Headless Mom in back) Jenn (Busy Mom in back) Melisa and  Carmen (don't her arms look great?!?)

It's REAL hard work, you know, keeping up with the cardigans (dang, but it was chilly) and my Clever Girls Party sistahs.

BlogHer 2011 Me and Melisa at Clever Girls Party

After all, seeing as this is my 5th BlogHer, I feel it safe to say that networking is, you know, REAL hard work!

Liz and Silvia of Mama Latina Tips

Seriously, being this gosh-darned cute AND huggable, every time (MamaLatina Tips, not me, DER!)

BlogHer 2011 Jenn, Me and Busy MomCourtesy of Elizabeth @Table4Five

Attending sessions, learning from other bloggers and celebrating each other's accomplishments, like, that of the awesomeness of my dear friends, Jenn and Busy Mom (pictured above) speaking on the Old School Blogger Panel, is what we blogger-types do best.

Liz Team Pic at Pan Am Party
Also, meeting bloggers I admire (like Elizabeth Peterson and the amazing Liz Strauss) for the first time at really cool events, like here, attending the Pan Am dinner with Busy Mom.

BlogHer 2011

Getting all decked out for the absolutely awesome harbor cruise, courtesy of Dove Ice Cream (thanks for sending me this before pic, Melisa!) and checking off yet another once in a lifetime moment, thanks to writing in my silly little blog.

Photobombed by Busy Mom
Aaaaaand, oh how we danced and laughed whenever one of us got photo-bombed by BusyMom (I did and it was AWESOME!) these are the BlogHer moments I love best.

Getting caught talking with my hands (again!) and spilling my drink all over Backpacking Dad, not so much.

[covers face with hands, hangs head in shame]

Thank goodness no one else at CheeseburgHER seems to have noticed, or even cared, that he smelled of appletini (heh!) 

At least, I don't think they did, seeing as I was too busy throwing my back out on the dance floor...YO!

Oh, and I seemed to have left my ass on Coronado.

Can't WAIT to see what happens, next year!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Don't Have a Zombie Name for BlogHer?
Go Ahead and Get One (I'll Wait!)


One of the things I'm looking forward to the most about attending the BlogHer Conference, next week (besides, enjoying the company of online friends and meeting up with co-writers, some for the very first time, not to mention, the whole, yah, San Diego is GORGEOUS thing, of course!) is attending the Old School Blogging session.

Not only are 2 of my most favorite people in the whole wide web, Jenn and BusyMom, speaking (Melisa and I have reserved the front row, just so you know) seeing as I will also be celebrating my 8th Blogiversary, in September, I feel as if we are INDEED kindred spirits.

(AM SO!)

I am also honored to be able to call them out as very dear friends, IRL, too (yes, they know about it!)

Why?  Is that weird?  It's not meant to be, really. 

We've shared the ups, downs and somewhere in-betweens of blogging, while under the influence of children, for 8 years, now (not an easy feat, by the by) and each of us has, quite literally, watched our kids grow up, online.

Because, contrary to all the reports about blogging being passé, or very nearly dead (at best) there are some things that don't translate well on Facebook, or Twitter.

So, at the risk of sounding all mushy (I know, E., too late!) I thought it would be fun to wear my new Zombie Name Tag proudly at BlogHer, this year:

Zombie Name Generator

Seeing as I'll be very surely, nearly dead, by this time, next week, anyway, preparing for a 6 hour plane ride and all (Dramamine is my co-pilot!)

Either way, if you are a blogging newbie, or a first-timer to this particular conference circuit, as a 5 time attendee, my best advice (unsolicited as it may be) can be summed up in 3 simple bullets: 

  • Do NOT sweat it, my friend (we are ALL as nervous, as you are, I promise)
  • Blogging is most assuredly alive and STILL kicking creative ass (see blogroll above)
  • There is plenty of room for everyone (even dorks, like me)

Just don't make me have to bite you, okay?

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Haven't Slept in Days, I Blame Harry Potter

I was emailing, back and forth, with a friend, early today, when I noticed something funny.

Not like, in, ha ha, funny (I need at least 2 cups of coffee for that to happen) but, more like, hey, wait a minute, that sentence didn't read like my head...anyway.

Which is when I realized something.

Not ONLY do I talk in my sleep (you lucky BlogHer roomies, you!) but, I think real fast, when I write, too.

However, I'm not sure if it's because my mind is used to racing...ALL THE TIME... or, if my fingers just can't keep up and, um, what are we talking about, again?

OH YEAH...I remember now...Harry Potter.

Harry Potter Tweet 1 Actually, I was really looking forward to Harry Potter 2 and my 15yo's best friend (since the 2nd grade) was moving to Florida, with his family, the next day, so, I was more than happy to give them once last chance to, you know, hang out.

Standing in line, for an hour, with a couple of 12yo boys (my son tagged along with his bff, however, this was a last minute thing, so the 15yo's had separate tickets, were seated within 5 minutes AND our theater just happened to be the last one to empty out right before midnight, go figure) insisting that, YES, of course I will remember to buy them popcorn, once the movie started (liar, liar) not so much.

Harry Potter Tweet 2So, of course, I had to tweet about it and lucky my friend @melisalw was, you know, still awake.

We FINALLY took our seats (4th row, center, my neck still hurts) at a minute passed midnight and, for the next couple of hours, I literally could NOT take my eyes off the screen and the boys didn't seem to mind the fact that, you know, I forgot ALL about the popcorn.

The movie was THAT good and, well, 2 out of 4 of my kids can now add "Watched the sun come up," to their, "What I did for summer vacation," list.

Playdate Picnic Collage
Right next to "host a playdate with a brand new friend," and "have a Hula hoop contest," oh and "travel into New York City" to see whose spit lands the closest to Jersey (fyi: 12 yo boys seem to really excel at this, just so you know!)

The fact that...YES!...we did all this (and more) at the SAME time, within a 48 hour period, is very relevant to the reasoning behind the title of this post (I think, maybe, I dunno, I forget) BUT, it IS the quickest and simplest excuse to why I most probably will be talking with my hands, too, at BlogHer, next month, and my obvious penchant for writing perhaps the longest paragraphs, in blogging history, really.

Aaaaand, like my busted flip flops and the blisters on my mangled feet, I'm sticking to it (you're welcome!) where's the coffee?

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.