BlogHer ’09 From My POV

Today before I do anything else on the internet, read any mail, tweets or any other blogs I want to get my point of view on BlogHer ’09 out of my head and archived for me to read before BlogHer ’10. If you have no idea what BlogHer is, it is the biggest conference of the year of women in blogging.

It is 3 pm on Monday, the day after I arrived home from Chicago. How is it possible that I have not yet read anything else about BlogHer??? I just woke up an hour ago! That is right, I slept until 2 pm the following day. Thank heavens for having older children. When I asked them why they let me sleep so late they both said, “Cause we knew you were so exhausted from BlogHer”. That is an understatement. BlogHer is a marathon not for the weak of heart. Sleep is for the weak! Stock up on your sleep and plan nothing for the few days after you have arrived home. You feel like you have been chewed up and spit out by the biggest tornado of your life.

“Bring another suitcase” was the advice given to me by my veteran BlogHer friends. I want to slap them! One extra suitcase could not even begin to hold the swag from this event. I religiously went through and brought to the recycle swag area stuff I knew I wouldn’t take home. I was still left Sunday morning with two full ‘extra’ bags and enough stuff to fill at least one more. This was stuff I had actually wanted. There are places throughout the conference to help with shipping swag home. I can’t even imagine how much that would have cost me. Next year though, I am going to use this service but to ship to other people. Next year, mom will be getting  a box from me as well as a friend or two. There is so much stuff they would have loved that it makes sense to send some goodies out. High praise to Playskool for shipping me the basket I won from them. I have no idea how I would have gotten it home.

Next year-don’t even consider food money in your budget. Food is everywhere! It is worth getting the full conference pass vs. lobbycon if just for that. One request to Pepsi, please have more diet soda around. Loved getting to taste all the new stuff but I was hard pressed to find diet soda. Advice to me: remember to grab an extra to bring up to your room.

Have a mini sharpie on you (this should really be in the conference bag). Write on someones business card a detail or two to remind you. On the business card note, don’t even think about leaving home with less than a few hundred. I saw people run out all over the place, on the first day! Thank you, thank you, thank you Vista Print for sponsoring my kick butt cards!

Have a few buddies to stick with but break away from them once you are comfortable. Corine and no such person were my go to girls this year we all managed to make some great new friends. On that note, make the time to sit and really talk to people. I met hundreds of people. There are few that I had long conversations with. The ones I managed to though are tattoed in my head and I will be supporting them and vice versa this next year. Those connections were priceless.


On that note. Go to the Expo Hall at off hours. I made some very valuable contacts that way. We were able to really talk about the product and how we could work together. I was amazed at how many of them thanked me for taking the time to talk to them. I guess so many people were just passing by grabbing the free stuff and handing them a card that they really appreciated the bloggers that did take the time to make personal connections. However, this is not possible with thousands of people in there. I gave up a cocktail hour to go and hang out in the Expo. I will absolutely do that next year.

Clothes-I know I was not the only one who was way stressed pre-blogher about their wardrobe. There are exactly three outfits that I remember the  day after, a cute shirt that Lucretia and Military Mama had in common (although Lucretia still says I am nuts and they looked nothing alike) and Jenn Fowlers adorable outfits sponsored by Coldwater Creek. It was so not worth my days of shopping prior to. Wear what you want, be comfortable and don’t get caught up in all that. Besides, I think Naked Jenn made the biggest splash with nothing on.

So, now I am off to read the recaps from everyone else. I had a truly wonderful time and can’t wait til BlogHer’10 in NYC.

Did you write about BlogHer ’09? Leave the link below so we can all hop on over and read about BlogHer ’09 from YOUR POV (point of view):


WHOO? WHOO? Wants a Build A Bear Giftcard?

If you have know my family for 5 years or 5 minutes, one thing you know is that someone in our house is a Build A Bear fanatic! With well over 100 of them, Carter has been collecting since he was 2. One of the really cool things that I love about the bears though is that I have been able to motivate Carter to learn his states with them and learn about endangered animals. See, many Build A Bears are specific to a certain area. Here in Colorado you can get the Buffalo. Arizona has the coyote, Maine has the lobster and so on. You can click here to see more of them.  In order for Carter to get the stuffed animal, he had to learn about the state it was from. Sometimes the stuffed animal would inspire research, “What makes an alligator different than a crocodile”, “Why is a lobster red?”, and “Why are lowland gorillas endangered?” are all questions are Bears have inspired us to answer. So, when I was contacted by the PR reps at Barkley on behalf of Build A Bear, we jumped at the chance to share with our long standing love of Build A Bear with you. Carter was sent this adorable snowy owl, which he named Feathers and a 3-D Treasure Hunt for (which has been a BLAST for him to play each day) and a $25 giftcard to give away! To show you how I have tried to make his obsession for Build A Bears as educational as possible I thought we could play a trivia game to determine the winner!

*the funny thing about this video is he just happened to be wearing that t-shirt! It was not a set-up, I swear!
So, want to take your kiddo(s) on a trip to Build A Bear? Here is how you can win a $25 giftcard!

You get ONE entry for EACH correct answer to the trivia questions. That means you can enter 5 times per family. Have your kiddo’s read this page: Snowy Owl Facts and then help them answer the questions below. Leave a separate comment for each question and make sure to let me know what number question you are answering!

Let’s play Snowy Owl Trivia:

  1. When do snowy owls sleep?
  2. What do the circle of feathers around the owls eye’s help it do?
  3. How many mates (breeding partners) do snowy owls usually have in their lifetime?
  4. Where are snowy owls most commonly found?
  5. What movie in the theaters now features a snowy owl as a working pet? (ok, so that is sort of a freebie!)


To keep this fair, all comments will be held in moderation until the end of the contest. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be drawn by according to their comment number. We reserve the right to remove any entry from this giveaway that doesn’t have the requested information. This giveaway ends July 30, 2009 11:59 pm EST. Please allow up to 4 weeks to receive your item. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.

PS..Carter does more silly bear video’s on his blog if you have not visited there. He LOVES comments to his blog from friends!

Disneyland Homeschool Convention in Sept

Mickey_Mouse_marchingJust booked us! WOOHOO! So excited to be staying at the Grand California. I have ALWAYS wanted to. We went to this two years ago and it was by far one of our favorite homeschool experiences ever. This is the last year they plan to organize it so go if you can! My kids LOVED taking classes from the Disney staff!

Join thousands of homeschoolers at the Not Back to School Days Rally and Conference as we celebrate our freedom to homeschool, network with new friends, and be examples for the growth of homeschooling! This conference will be held September 14-17, 2009 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.


FIELD TRIP: Kids ages 8 and up can take a Y.E.S. (Youth in Education Series) class, taught in the theme parks by Disney staff. These can only be reserved in advance through a booked group, no walk up registrations for YES classes.

CONFERENCE: Exhibit hall and workshops – a carefully selected program, with something for everyone. Walk up registrations welcome, advance registration appreciated.

RALLY: Celebrate our freedom to educate our children as we feel best. Cheer with special guests who are homeschoolers and work hard to preserve your rights.

NETWORK: This is a priority with our organizers, so expect to meet new friends as you interact in scheduled group activities. Talent show, homecoming dance, more.

VACATION: You won’t find a less expensive trip to Disneyland, from the park hoppers to the hotel rooms, seriously. Your family will thank you over and over again. Send them off to the theme parks, while you soak up some conference action – it’s a win, win solution to past dilemmas of what to do with the kids. Bring the skeptical inlaws – they will get a first hand glimpse of the benefits of homeschooling.

There is so much to do, just download the updated complete conference packet and see for yourself – most of your questions can be answered in the packet:

Walk up rates are now in effect, but we have added more vendors and more classes, so for those who have procrastinated, here’s a 5-day coupon to save 50% on your conference passes – put in code LATE3 at the bottom of the first page of registration. The coupon will expire on July 24th.

Membership in the sponsoring organization is not required to attend this conference, it is open to all home educators, and especially inquisitive and skeptical inlaws and neighbors. Bring them and show the real fruits of freedom in education!

Hope to see you!
Contact (not me!): Dianne McLean