New Pinterest Format

First of all, I’m not a tech blog so don’t except a whole lot of techy talk about the new Pinterest format here.  I’m just a a really big fan — for business and for pleasure — so I wanted to talk about the new Pinterest changes coming in the next few weeks.

I cringed a little when I saw the notification about  upgrading to the new format.  Ugh…First Facebook and now my beloved Pinterest.  I am not a huge fan of change.  Change takes time to re-learn things.  Yes, I know…change is good.  The new format is expected to roll out in the coming weeks.  Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann, says “the users profile pages of social network will gain a new face” adding that this will “make interactivity in Pinterest even easier.”

These are a few things I immediately noticed when I finally decided to upgrade to the new format:

1. Bigger photographs with more visual information of where it was pinned to.  This is a win in my book.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 5.48.03 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 5.48.03 PM

 

2.  Are we just pinning now?  Not re-pinning?  I swear the options were “Re-Pin” and “Like” before — am I wrong?

repin-button-pinterest

 

3.  No more Activity button.  Boo!  This missing feature bums me out the most because if I don’t see your pins in my stream, I would click onto your profile to see what things you’ve been pinning.  Pfft…no more Pinterest stalking, I guess.  That’s my friend Ashley below — you can follow her at http://pinterest.com/itsafitting/

pinterest-activity-button


4.  Uploading pins directly to boards.  I think this function was available before but it was difficult to find.  You ask “why would I upload pins to a board?”  This allows the pinner to upload a photograph or graphic that might not be included in the blog post.  All you would do is add the specific URL.  Smart.  This allows more pins for one URL but different images!  You won’t oversaturate your followers’ stream with the same image if it’s pinned to several different boards.

And now a shameless plug to follow Pin This Space.  This is a collaborative board I contribute to.  Great and diverse bloggers pin fantastic stuff here.

pin-this-space-grouo-board

 

Now that I’ve updated my Pinterest account to the new format, I should really get over there and clean up my pins.  This includes outdated pins (like that outfit I thought was really cute two years ago), checking links, updating my board covers, and reorganizing my boards so that they are follower friendly.

Why don’t you click on over to my Pinterest and check out what I’ve changed.  Follow me while you’re at it, ok?

Got a collaborative Pinterest board you think I should be a part of?  Invite me!

Note:  I wrote this post after I changed to the new format.  The changes reflected are based off memory — and I have a terrible one.  So don’t go too hard on me if I’ve made an error.  

Quote Source

 

Blogging Conference Season | Are You Going?

The 2013 Blogging Conference Season is just about here, isn’t it?  I had initially planned on attending Mom Summit 2.0 in May because it’s less than ten miles from my house.  Unfortunately, I had to sell my ticket because I have a family commitment the same weekend.  Instead, I picked up a ticket to the two-day SITS Bloggy Boot Camp in Arizona.  I’m really looking forward to it (mostly because some of my favorite girls will be there!).  BlogHer ’13 in Chicago isn’t in the cards for me this year either.  How about you?

bbcphoenix

BlogHer’11 was my first ever blogging conference. I was terrified. I actually bought my ticket weeks before the conference and scrambled for a hotel room. I had a few sleepless nights over what to wear and figuring out my elevator pitch. A lot of worry over nothing. Those three days in San Diego were incredible. I had so much fun. I met a ton of awesome people, I attended a few great sessions, I stumbled a little, and laughed a lot.

I wanted to share a post I wrote before heading down to San Diego for BlogHer ’11.   I was seriously panicking – PANICKING. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still worried about what to wear and I’m always refining my elevator pitch.

And now, last year’s post:

Panic on the Streets of San Diego

I pulled the trigger and bought a ticket to next month’s BlogHer conference in San Diego. And panic has officially set it.

Even though I’ve read the posts at Mommypants and Amber Page Writes about what to and what not to fret about as a newbie, I still can’t help but let my anxiety get the best of me.

lonely_blogging_conferencesI’m a wallflower. I’m always on the outer edges and never fully in the mix. I’ve been that way my whole life. It’s not something I love about myself but something I’ve become accustom too. It’s kind of frustrating.

I worry that I’ll make a bad first impression and won’t be able to recover. Embarrassed, I’ll retreat to my hotel room, order dinner and a pay-per-view movie and follow BlogHer’s evening events (read: parties) on Twitter.

Speaking of parties. Thank God the sponsored parties are non-RSVP. I find that I’m already feeling a lot like the middle school tween who didn’t get invited to the sleep over. I’m begging on Twitter to win an invite to some random party. Why? I don’t know. Because it seems like everyone else is going except for me. I’m starting to become a little pathetic.

But am I just supposed to cruise into the Sparklecorn or the CheeseburgHer parties and hit the dance floor by myself? I may cruise in and hit the bar by myself and then see where that takes me. I’m not so afraid to do that.

Now, don’t even get me started on what to wear. This didn’t even cross my mind until I saw Little Hen House start putting together day and night outfits for other attendees. I mean, I live in jeans, a tee, and flip flops. Dresses and skirts are so out of my comfort zone. Heels? Forget about it. And the only accessories I ever wear are usually my wedding ring and diamond studs.

But…I have started pinning some outfits I like and I picked up a pair of wedge sandals from Target to get me started. You can check them out here on my Pinterest board. Tell me what you think. 

So, are you going to BlogHer ’11? Are you a newbie like me? Or an experienced blogging conference goer?

I laugh reading this now.  All that worry and it was nothing but fun.   Thinking about attending a blogging conference during the 2013?  Which ones?

Six Ways to Keep Your Blog Organized

This week’s Friday Take Over blogger is a crafty one!  Taylor-Ann Bergeron is a So Cal girl who writes about life and crafting over at Kampen Lane.  Today she’s sharing “Six Ways to Keep Your Blog Organized” and is including some adorably designed and FREE printables for you!    

 six-ways-to-organize-blog

Hello Wendy readers….I am so excited to be here guest posting today.  I am the writer behind kampenlane.com.  We are a fun blog talking about being a momma, life and a few crafts sprinkled in.

Do you have a word of the year?  A word you live by?  A word you strive for?  This year my word is: organize.  I totally need to get organized this year or my life is going to spiral out of control (messy/un-organized wise) and I want to teach my boys how to get organized and stay that way.  I have been holding a regular blog series on getting organized!

Organizing my blog and Etsy shop is just another spot that needed help.

So….
Here we go again.
Let’s get organized.
Time to organize your blog.
We all know by now, I’m not the most organized and so this year we are working on that.

To help stay on top of the blog, which can get out of hand, I have some great free printables for you.

I created these earlier this month and have been using them for my blog at Kampen Lane and for life in general.
It’s pretty simple since I blog for fun.
It’s not a business for me.

First, I created a fun Calendar printable to help plan out a month of blogging topics.

Use it to write down and keep track when your blog posts will go live.
This will allow ample time to create, write and edit photos before its due.
Or use it for your personal life to track appointments, kids sports, and meal planning.

I printed out one for my blog and one for family activities.
And you can too.

I also created a a Blog Topic printable sheet.

So, when you get an idea and can’t jump on the computer, write it down.
I carry this in my purse so I when a great idea comes to my mind I can scribble it down before I forget.

Also included in the free printable kit is:
(Please make sure to save each document to your computer before altering)

Slap all these free printable docs in a binder and your are set – just don’t forget to use them.

These are great tools that have helped me so far this year to stay on track and enjoy bloggging.

I hope they help you too!

taylor-ann-kampen-lane-craft-blogger

Taylor-Ann from Kampen Lane

How cute are these printables?  I’ve already downloaded the Home Project list for myself because I always have an ongoing list of home chores floating around my head and when it comes time to do them – I forget where to start!  Head on over to Kampen Lane and check out a bunch of other great posts from Taylor-Ann.  I’m a huge fan of this post full of ideas for non-food related Valentine’s treats, a yummy scallops and linguine recipe, and this adorable how-to tutorial for making a crayon monogram – all Pinterest worthy! 

Find Taylor-Ann on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at her Etsy shop!

Friday Take Over // Erica Voll talks Tips for Video Blogging

I can’t wait to introduce you to this week’s Friday Take Over blogger!  Friday…what?  Yep, each Friday I’m introducing you to my favorite bloggers from around the interwebs – women who write about their kids, their crafts, their work, their passions, their…WHATEVER.  Topics are wide open – so you’ve been warned!  //  Erica Voll is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media consultant. She writes a parenting blog, No Sleep ’til College, and is co-founder of Girls’ Lunch Out. Erica rarely sleeps.  Today she’ll share with you her tips for video blogging!

I not-so-secretly desire to become a home shopping host one day. You know, touting the amazing benefits of stretch denim, or some jazz like that, but until then, I have YouTube.

I am a former television writer/producer/editor. Not only did I go to school for television production, but I worked in the industry for 6 years. First as an associate producer for QVC, the national home shopping network. Then, as a writer/producer/editor at a local Fox O&O in a top 10 market.

You’ve probably heard that video, specifically, adding video to the already rich content on your blog, is a great way to engage with your readers and subscribers, and show brands how awesome you are at talking about how awesome they are.

And what you’ve heard is right.

That’s because YouTube, as part of Google, is one of the –  if not the most popular types – of search results. People love video, and I am going to share with you some tips to make your own YouTube videos and reviews awesome.

tips for video blogging

Plan

What are you going to talk about? Have a point. If you are new to vlogging, try talking about a brand or product you love. When you plan what your video will look like, make sure it has a beginning, middle and end.
Here’s an example of a really simple video review I did for a body mist. Did I need to do a video about it? Not really, but I wanted to add it to my text-only review on my blog.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9M1SuGl5o0]
My format is this: Here is what the product is, here is why I like it, here is why you should too.
When you plan you don’t drone on and on, which leads me to my next tip….

Keep it Short

Look, I am going to tell you something not many people will tell you: Get on with it.
Get in and out with a video that lasts about 1 minute and 30 seconds or less. If you are going to add B-roll (more on that later) you can get away with a little longer. But really? No one wants to hear you go on and on for longer than 1:30 (I personally check out after about a minute).

Use a Good Camera

I love my Flip camera, but the audio is terrible, so I know I could use better camera equipment. If you are going to use your phone, make sure it is in landscape mode and not portrait.
I’ve used my monitor camera in the past, and it’s not great, but it gets the job done.

Get a Good Video Editing Program

I use Final Cut Express. Some people use iMovie. Some people use Adobe Premiere. I don’t care what you use, but learn how to use it.
Here are some things you NEED to know how to do.

  1. Edit, trim and make your video shorter.
  2. Add audio and music
  3. Add titles. One in the beginning, a lower-third title that tells us who you are for the first 10 seconds or so, and an end title to wrap it all up.

iMovie is fine, but once you start doing a lot of video and want more bells and whistles, you might want to think about investing in another editing program.

Look Presentable

You don’t need to put on a fashion show or anything, but try to look the way you’d want others to see you.
Of course, unless you are doing a makeup review in which you’d like to start off au natural and add as you go like I did in this video.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVNxfLfnWKI]

Use B-roll

No one wants to look at a talking head for 2 minutes. Probably not even your mother, but she will never tell you that, so I will instead.
Before you film yourself, think about what ELSE you’d put in this video. B-roll is a great way to keep your video interesting, and cover edits you need to make.
Here is a video I did talking about my favorite movies. I could have gone on and on about this and that, but instead, I SHOWED the videos, clips, photos, anything I could to change it up and keep the pace.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SZ_hHO7Cs8]
Note: I did this on my monitor’s camera, which sucked, but I think the music and B-roll make up for it!

Be Spontaneous

I got a review for kids’ slippers. In itself, the review was kind of boring. It was just, well, here are the slippers and here is why we like them. To add to the review, I made a super quick video of my daughter wearing the slippers. Do you think it adds to the review?

Here is another video I did on the expo floor at BlogHer. I shot it, uploaded it on the spot, and it gets decent traffic.

Be an Authority

I hosted an in-home party for Graco to introduce a new car seat. In preparation for the social push, I put this video together.

I like this video because not only does it talk about the brand, I found a way to tie it in to my personal experience AND include some education for my readers.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FisZLbxNaSk]

Spend Time When it Counts

There are some videos that don’t need a lot of attention, like a video about kids slippers, but they will still get traffic on YouTube, and love from the PR company you are working with.

Then, there are some videos you put together because you WANT to impress.

This is one of those videos. I didn’t get paid or anything, but I wanted to put together a video that would stand out from the crowd of other bloggers.

It gets okay views, but I did it more for the PR person I was working with, and she was very happy.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CViC20C2Tk]

SEO for Video

After you’ve finished your video, and put it on YouTube, apply the same great princples of SEO to your tags and description and title just like you would a great blog post.

Do I have a future career as a QVC host? I am not sure, but I do love great video. This year, why not make it a goal to incorporate two videos a month on your blog?

erica-headshot-EDITED

Erica Voll: Writer. Blogger. Social Media Maven.

I love Erica’s video blogging tips!  In fact, I had even considered leading into today’s post with a vlog of my own but I’m a huge stuffed-up-head-cold mess right now, so maybe next week!  

Definitely check out Erica’s blog at No Sleep ’til College!  I laughed my face off when I read My Toddler is an Awful Photographer.  You also don’t want to skip Hold You Baby or if you’ve ever been to Chik Fil-A The Post In Which I Judge Other Moms.

Find more of Erica Voll on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

New York City BlogHer ’12 Photo Recap

August 2 – 4, 2012. New York City. BlogHer.  Photo recap.

I still can’t believe I flew across country for a blogging conference!  The trip was fast and furious.  The conference was so-so.  The city far exceeded my expectations.

jetblue-flight-from-long-beach-to-new-york-city

I flew direct from Long Beach to New York on jetBlue.  I was so pleased with jetBlue and their customer service! A lot of friends had flights canceled on the way home due to rain.  We were luckily just delayed.  You’ll see more photos of “BlogHer Tarmac” later this week.

taxi-ride-to-hotel-in-nyc

We got into the city very early – like 6:00 am early – and before a rain storm hit!  I traveled with a couple other bloggers and we camped out in the Hilton lobby until I dragged my butt across the street to Starbucks for a much needed coffee.

new-york-city-coffee-bagels-blogher

Yes, New York bagels are pretty much awesome.  I really don’t understand why we can’t get those on the West Coast.  That early morning before the BlogHer chaos began was one of the highlights of the trip.  I sat on the steps outside Starbucks and took in the sights and sounds of the city.  I typed out a few notes on my iPhone to remember the moment.  “The streets are jammed with yellow cabs, skyscrapers, construction workers, squeaky brakes, and blaring sirens.  I can see the letters ‘R’ and ‘A’ as I look toward Radio City Music Hall.”  My friends Jessica, Terri, Erin, and Shannon showed up before I got any more wax poetic about the city.

i-rode-the-nyc-subway

I rode a New York City subway – two times in fact.  First to Greenwich Village for a New York City Food Tour (I’m writing a separate food post for later this week) and again to Little Italy for dinner with friends.  Thank God both times were with someone who knew how to navigate the subway system.  By the way, waiting for the train just about sucks the life out of you.  It’s so hot down there!

times-square

Hey, that’s me in Times Square!  I was attending a private party in the Viacom building which overlooks Times Square.  No Carson Daly (MTV’s TRL used to air live from there).  Thanks to Erica for braving the rocks and snapping this photo of me.

photos-blogher-expo-floor

Oh yeah, I was there for a blogging conference too.  Unfortunately, these photos don’t really represent the education part of BlogHer.  Yes, that’s me sitting inside a Kohler bathtub.  Kind of Ah-mazing.  I got a sneak preview of Starbuck’s new Verismo system, ogled all the organizational goodies at the Martha Stewart for Staples booth, and asked for “more birthdays” from the American Cancer Society.

I have a bazillion more photos to show you — especially from the food tour!  Take a second to check out my Facebook page to see more photos from New York City!

New York State of Mind

I’ll be in New York City over the next few days for the annual BlogHer conference and honestly I’ve been in a New York State of Mind for weeks now.  Excuse me while I breathe into a paper bag!
Times-Square-New-York-State-of-Mind

I’m mildly freaking out because this California-born-surburban-living girl has never been to the big city before.  Sure, I’ve been to L.A. and San Francisco but I feel like NYC will be both of those on steroids.  But, my saving grace is that my roomie, Erica from Girls Lunch Out, is an East Coast native and I’m hoping she’ll let me be her wing man otherwise I might be hiding out, ordering room service, and watching Big Brother.

If I gave you one of my snazzy business cards and you’re visiting my blog for the first time – WELCOME!  Please take a minute to read my About Page and perhaps my Blog Disclosure page for more information on working together!

I have a jammed pack schedule.  Wednesday I’ll be embarking on a Food Tour of Greenwich Village – which includes stops for pizza, cupcakes, Indian food, bagels, and more.  Followed by more food when I meet up for dinner with my pal Jessica of Love and Chaos and then a Tweet-up in the Hilton lobby bar.   Thursday I will hit the ground running!  I’ve got a meeting with two gals who want to take Medifast, the brunch with Nukotoys at The Radiance Tea House, and a champagne toast to bloggers at Gordon Ramsey at the London Hotel.  We also just got word today that President Obama will address the BlogHer conference members live via video.  After that, I’m praying for a wee bit of down time before I head out for a private party at the Viacom Building in Times Square followed by another private gathering at The Warwick Hotel.  Hoping to cap the night off by stopping by The People’s Party back at the Hilton.

Oh yeah, the conference.  That doesn’t actually start until Friday morning.  I’m anticipating a cold shower and a hot cup of coffee to get this girl going. I am attending a ton of sessions this year on topics I’m truly interested learning more about, including:

  • Brand-Blogger connections
  • How to promote your book
  • Pitching media outlets

I will also grab lunch with Martha Stewart.  Yep, that Martha!  She’s speaking during lunch.  I simply cannot wait!  The afternoon calls for a visit to the Starbucks suite to see some new products of theirs, The Voices of the Year readings (best blog posts read by other bloggers), another private event hosted by Poise, and finally…Sparklecorn.  Cannot wait.

Magnolia-cupcakes-New-York

Saturday, I have been invited to attend a brunch hosted by Disney Jr. – my girl is going to love this!  Another round of sessions, including:

  • Advanced SEO
  • Google Analytics
  • Determining the price and value of your services

The night includes a private party event held near Times Square and the annual Cheeseburger party back at the Hilton.  I really don’t know if I’ll be sleeping or not over the next five days!

Sunday morning will wrap up my NYC trip with a walking tour of the city hosted by Stumble Upon followed by the Blogalicious Brunch.  I don’t leave the city to head back home until later in the evening, so I’m hoping to cram in some sightseeing here.  WTC memorial, Central Park, the American Girl Doll store, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Serendipity 3.  I think I might be pushing it.  What do you think?

uptown-New-York

I’m looking at the clock as I type this out and just realized that I still need to pack.  So, I leave you to finish this line: “No sleep ’till __________!”

My Face at BlogHer 2012

BlogHer 2012 is just days away and I’ve decided to join the “Faces of BlogHer” blog hop inspired by Suzanne at Bebehblog.

This is the photo that I choose to share on my blog and on Facebook.  You know, all profesh and stuff.  Someone just said to me though “Oh my God!  You look just like your avi!”  I suppose, but I thought I’d post a few real life photos.  So, if you see me…come say hello!  For real.

Wendy-Nielsen

My poor roommates will be privy to this ray of morning sunshine.

blogher-starbucks-coffee

Showered, a little bit of make up, and a smile.  This is pretty damn close to what you’ll see wandering the expo hall.

what-ill-look-like-at-blogher

And when I recognize you!  Be warned…I hug.  Please let me know if you are not a hugger!!  Notice my hair?  It will undoubtedly drive me nuts and the bangs usually get clipped back when that happens.

i-recognize-you-at-blogher

My eyes are super sensitive.  Plus, I’m from California and will be fighting some serious jet lag.  So,  if you see me anytime outside the Hilton, I will be wearing my huge sunglasses.

sunglasses-at-blogher

I’ll most likely be behind a glass of chardonnay at any given party.

chardonnay-blogher

With enough of it, I’ll hit the dance floor with these signature moves.

blogher-dance-collage

This is usually when I get into some trouble.  SHOTS!

blogher-shots-collage

And it starts all over again the next morning.

no-sleep-at-blogher

Please drink responsibly!

This is part of a Blog Hop so join in if you plan to be at BlogHer next week!

 

New Digs!

How do you like my new digs?

blog-redesign-by-steph-calvert-hearts-and-laserbeams

I’m certain this is what Steph looked like working on my blog re-design! Drawing by Steph Calvert.

I am really loving my new blog design.  I can’t say thanks enough to the wonderful Steph Calvert from Hearts & Laserbeams!  I made her work with a theme she wasn’t familiar with, she changed things over and over again so I could just see what it would look like, and she beat my “it has to be done before BlogHer” deadline!

I am really excited about what this new blog might bring.  At the very least, it’s a platform for my new story.  You’ll want to click on the “About Me” tab to find out what that exactly means.  And no, I’m not talking about fiction.

Here’s a couple of highlights:

  • A brand new About Me page.
  • A Cancer and Me page which lets the readers know a little about my history with the disease.
  • A totally updated Blogroll.  Come see who writes my favorite blogs.  Maybe you made the list!
  • I’m offering advertising at a competitive rate!  Interested?  Click on the Advertising page for more information.
  • New Advocacy and Breast Cancer 101 pages.  Many more details to come on those pages!
  • Social Media links on where to find me elsewhere on the internet.

I hope you like what you see and I really hope you’ll come back and visit often!

If you’re in need of some awesome and affordable graphic work or SEO help – definitely get in touch with my pal Steph at Hearts & Laserbeams and tell her I sent you!

 

 

BlogHer’11 Shopping Revisited

I’m serving up another “best of…” post today in preparation for BlogHer’12.  It’s about clothes and despite my best attempt to not worry so much about what I’m wearing this year, I’m officially worried about what I’m wearing.

***

Lori-Mazelewski-Nordstrom-personal-stylistI have let this whole BlogHer’11 weekend really get in my head. You see, I wear t-shirts from Old Navy and jeans from the Gap. I like old sweatshirts and ratty pajamas. And you’ll only see me in one of the following on any given day: tennis shoes or flip flops.

I really lack any kind of style.

So, instead of shopping at my usual haunts and coming home with another pair of hideous denim capri pants, I decided to call on a professional.  With a couple of phone calls, I set up a personal shopping appointment at Nordstrom.  Did you know that this service is totally free?  Lori had three questions for me:

  1. my size
  2. the color of my hair and eyes
  3. an idea of what I was looking for

The third one was probably the hardest one to answer.  I knew I didn’t want to wear a dress or skirt but I wanted to look put together and professional.

I found all this when I stepped into my huge private dressing room.

nordstrom-dressing-room

There were at least ten super adorable outfits including jeans, sweaters, blouses, and four pairs of Tory Burch shoes. I literally spent the first fifteen minutes taking pictures!

First up was the designer denim. She had pulled the usual suspects: 7 for All Mankind, True Religion, and Hudson.  I really, really wish I had the bod for these jeans.  I’m convinced these are made only for teenagers who haven’t hit puberty yet.  On me, it’s all plumbers crack and muffin top.  But, I tried them all on because Lori went through the trouble of pulling them off the rack.

Just as I thought…way too tight!  And worst of all were these skinny jeans!  I honestly looked like a penguin.  Lori jumped to plan B which included several pairs of trouser cut jeans which better suit my shape.  A gorgeous pair of Rivet & Blues came home with me.

skinny-jeans-don't-work-on-curvy-girls

There were so many cute tops to choose from!  I was immediately drawn to this blue and brown blouse and the adorable necklace she paired with it.  I loved it on the hanger but on it looked a little like something Stevie Nicks would have worn.  Against my better judgement, I purchased it (and returned it almost as quickly when my friend said it wasn’t flattering)!

I love the black and white striped cotton top. I got that and the green one behind it too. Aren’t you supposed to buy double of something you love?

black-grey-stripped-shirt-nordstrom

This was such a miss. I didn’t even try it on. Can you say Paula Poundstone?

paula-poundstone-looks

I wasn’t sure about this top either. The colors were so pretty and it goes perfectly with the dark blue denim pants I chose. It might be a little Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company, but I don’t care — I’m wearing it to the Saturday conferences.

This was a pretty sweater and I thought might be good for a chilly hotel but it was too matronly. I did love that sparkly number on the right but didn’t know if I’d wear it for sure. Maybe to the Sparklecorn party? I’m kind of regretting not getting it now. It’s very Las Vegas and would look adorable with black trousers and heels or black skinny jeans — but again, I don’t have the bod for the skinnies.

I couldn’t resist trying on the black Tory Burch flats and it was love at first sight.  I wanted so badly to get the tan wedges in the background but just couldn’t justify it.  I knew I’d get some mileage out of the flats but tried being realistic about the wedges.

I wanted these black cuffed pants SO BADLY but I had to pass with a price tag of $198.  I’m hitting the Gap or H&M tomorrow to find a similar pair.

This wool Tory Burch cardigan was also a big NO after seeing the price tag. I tried it on though. And it was itchy, thankfully.

The sea foam green blouse also came home with me but I returned that as well. It’s just not practical and I know it will sit in my closet unworn if I keep it. I did steal that black tuxedo jacket. I so want to wear it with dark denim and my red Foo Fighters t-shirt underneath but I fear looking a little manly.

In the end, I got the black flats and a couple tops, a pair of jeans, and the black tuxedo jacket. And maybe a necklace. But I still don’t feel prepared. I think I need something dressier for the evenings.

If you’re going to BlogHer have you packed?

***

Looking back, I did wear the green stripped top, the Mrs. Roper blouse, and the Rivet & Blues jeans.  I ended up getting an adorable black tank dress from Target that I wore to Sparklecorn and it was by far my favorite outfit (and cheapest) I wore all weekend.  Even though I’ve found myself spun tight over my attire for BlogHer’12, I just need to remember that everyone else is more worried about themselves and no one is worried about what I’m wearing!

Favorite Posts and Favorite Bloggers

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope you are enjoying the holiday with family and good friends!  I’m taking the day off from publishing new content today but wanted to share a couple of my favorite posts and also introduce you to a few of my favorite bloggers!

Favorite posts:

This time last year we embarked on a total kitchen renovation.  While I’m not happy that my snazzy Wolf Microwave Drawer is already on the fritz (thank goodness for a full two year warranty), I’m still really in love with the space.  It’s gorgeous, right?

Yesterday, I headed to the Santa Ana Arts Village for the bi-annual Patchwork Indie Arts Festival.  I couldn’t believe the size of this year’s show!  I still love my little strawberry stamped spoon.

Last week I wrote a guest post over at Mommy of a Monster and Twins confessing why my daughter is talking like a sassy 8-year-old.  I’d love it if you left a comment at Mommy of a Monster and Twins!

John Mayer released his most recent album, Born and Raised, last Tuesday and it’s so good.  I’ve listened to it so many times already!  Earlier this month, I was treated to an evening with Mr. Your Body is a Wonderland and wrote about it at The Trend Tribe. Go give it a read.

Favorite bloggers (click on the image to go to their sites):

I adore Mama Bub.  You will too.

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Steph from Hearts and Laserbeams draws the funniest Draw Something pictures.  You must see them.  And if you’re a blogger you should definitely download her Easy S.E.O book for Bloggers.  Insanely informative!

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My pal Ash takes great photos and has awesome recipes.  Check out her new “Good Enough to Eat: The Chicken Series” posts from the woman who is actually raising chickens in her backyard!

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I can hardly wait until August when I get to room with E from Mommy’s Fabulous at BlogHer ’12!

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I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday!  I’ll be back Tuesday with a new outline for how the hell I’m finally going to lose some pounds or fail miserably in my own #iwillrockthis weight loss challenge!