Monday, August 8, 2011

On not dancing naked at BlogHer, and 14 other revelations

Some of you will be sorely disappointed but once again, I failed to dance naked at BlogHer or do anything even mildly wild and crazy (I admittedly have a history of being a BlogBore). Although I did recklessly put in my contact lenses as I sat in my seat during the plane ride!!! And I boldly requested a room change so I could see the San Diego harbor! And I went riding backward down an escalator as I chatted with someone standing on the step above!!! And I broke my low-carb diet!!! Yeah.

I so wish more of you could have made it to BlogHer, especially for the Special Needs Mini Conference (note, everyone there was fully clothed, so clearly I am not the only person who failed to engage in debauchery). We had lunch, chatted amongst ourselves and listened to Rob from Fighting Monsters With Rubber Swords, Shannon des Roches Rosa of The Thinking Person's Guide To Autism and Squidalicious, and Aurelia Cotta from No Matter How Small.

Here I am with Maya from Musings of a Marfan Mom. One thing I've come to realize is that you are going to feel like a Weeble if you stand next to beautiful tall women. Moms I met included Jennifer Bush from Anybody Want A Peanut?, Dana from The Sears Fam, Cheryl from Little Bit Quirky, Angela of Empty Uterus Syndrome and Astacia Carter from Mamikaze, among many others. At just a couple of hours long, the Special Needs Mini Con felt about six hours too short; it should have lasted a whole day (are you listening, BlogHer Powers That Be?).

The conference has gotten ginormous—supposedly, there were 3700 bloggers there. Whew. As usual, I picked up some good nuggets of info and heard about cool stuff:

• At the Voices of the Year keynote, where bloggers read from selected posts (always my favorite part of BlogHer), I listened to Invisible by Diane of Momo Fali. It's about her son, a one-time preemie who has special needs. This, you must read.

• Maybe the best parenting idea ever, from Danielle who helps run and who plucked it from an article there: Buy a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go! Each year, have your child's teachers write notes to him or her in it. Show the book to your child someday when he is grown up.

• Walking around conferences helps burn carbs, although how some women do it in four-inch wedges is beyond my powers of comprehension. I wore flats and was still desperately happy to snag a pair of Dr. Scholl's custom fit orthotic inserts. They make your feet very happy—and they are carb-free!

• If you ever need a local special education advocate or attorney, visit the Council of Parents, Attorneys & Advocates (thanks to the wise and wonderful Liz Ditz for that one).

• There's a breakthrough new widget, &you, you can place on your blog that'll list all your fave causes. It's an easy way to keep track of events and make donations (I just put one up on the right).

• I got my hands on a copy of The Digital Mom Handbook, written by my friends Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla. I am still hoping Max becomes a supermodel so he can support me in a style I'd like to become accustomed to, but if you have dreams of making a living off blogging, check out this book. It's packed with genuinely helpful info. In it, I speak longingly of naps.

• I'm loving these adorable message and name bracelets you can create, by ShainsWare (they have notebooks, too). Everything's made from recycled material, and the company donates 10 percent of sales to environmental organizations.

• Interesting site: Pinterest, a virtual pinboard. It's like the love child of Tumblr and Flickr.

• If you've never signed up for Upromise, a free service that lets you sock away money for your kid's college education just by shopping, consider it. We're saving for both Max and Sabrina. I'm not just dreaming Max will go to college; I am determined he will. He can put his supermodel career on hold for awhile.

• Leapfrog is coming out with the LeapPad tablet on Aug 15. It has 100+ activities and games and a built-in camera, and if I get one for the kids it would make me their favorite mom EVER. Oh, and if you are a child who drops it OR you are an adult fondling one at a demo and you happen to drop it (eep), it will not break!

• Something I learned at the Life Well Lived day during an aromatherapy session in which everyone inhaled: Dab frankincense on your wrists, or another essential oil, so you get an invigorating whiff throughout the day.

• One night, a bunch o' bloggers got a sneak preview of Pan Am, an ABC TV series set in the sixties about the escapades of flight attendants. It debuts September 25 and stars Christina Ricci, who I love. The show seemed amusing enough, and made me wistful for the days when airplane travel was glam and you didn't have to worry about security. Or snacks with carbs.

• Speaking of which: If you are going to break your no-carb food plan (more about my Eat Well or Die regimen coming soon!), you'd better do it on something good. I'd say that a Dove Bar counts. Especially if you get to down one as you are sailing around the San Diego Harbor. Note to self: Find yacht for sale on eBay and/or check if Retail Me Not has a coupon for one.

• At a breakfast thrown by The Blogging Angels (their podcasts are excellent...and carb-free!), we got scoop on making your blog more fab. One tip: Make it easy for people to share posts. Voila! My new thingie below (the one that says "Share the love!"), also known as a Sexy Bookmark. And I got me one at the BlogHer Geek Bar, courtesy of Sarah from Technology For Moms who has vast amounts of patience. One of these days, I will quit being so html-phobic. Can't someone create some html that will let me eat carbs?

I have 10 coupons for a free container or carton of Dove Ice Cream, and I'd be glad to help you break your diets too! If you want one, say the word below and I'll email you for your address. Or just share what wild and crazy thing you did or did not do this weekend.

Note: I received some of the stuff mentioned above gratis, but the opinions expressed and calories are solely my own.


  1. glad you enjoyed the conference..i'd love some icecream, Thanks
    nannypanpan at

  2. oooh! A coupon? Please, please! (and thank you for having such a great blog) Sarah e cannon at gmail dot com

  3. Would love a Dove Coupon. My favorite!!! and worth the calories.

  4. Blog conferences sound like such a fun time! One of these days I'm going to attend one just for the heck of it!
    Free ice cream? Yes Please! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds like a great time! I agree with you that the special needs conference should be longer. Special need blogs are a great way for parents to connect and share knowledge.

    I would love a coupon mommy 2 Ike at gmail dot com.

    Thanks ellen

  6. free ice cream please

    betsy0040 at

  7. I did dance at BlogHer'11 but I was not naked. For the record.

  8. It was great meeting you at the BlogHer Special Needs miniconference! I'm sure it was an unintentional oversight, but have to say that the mini con would not have happened without Julia Roberts (, co-founder passion, dedication, and hard work. I do hope the BlogHer PTB keep us meeting up like that again and again!

  9. I love all of the resources I can did from your blogs. I have a lot more links to check out now from your conference! :)

    Free ice cream? I'm in! I don't care about diets... Or at least I try not to.

  10. im super into free ice cream...if its redeemable internationally..(in canada lol) conferences sound almost makes me want to start a blog...

  11. 33 weeks pregnant = icecream IS my diet. I would love a coupon.

  12. Hi Ellen --
    I am the co-founder of Support for Special Needs now on hiatus while I'm neck-keep in grad school. The mini con was all Julia's brainstorming and a culmination of what we always hoped SforSN would be. I'm glad you found it inspiring! I hope you will take note of the hard work and loads of time that Julia put into it. I was witness to her scrambling (and absolutely useless 'cuz of that whole hiatus thing). She had to sell it to BlogHer, sell it to the speakers, get everyone lined up and promote it all for the sheer love of her community. Just to be clear -- it wasn't BlogHer that came up with this. Julia came up with it and ran with it. She's an amazing woman but then you know that because you've met her. :) (I haven't met her IRL yet!!!)

  13. Um, of course Julia deserves props! Last year, when we did the Birds of a Feather lunch together, we'd talked about something bigger. I was glad she went ahead and did the mini con. For that, Julia gets a special shout out in my next post, to be written once my brain cells are active again.

    Mandy: Yay!

    Ice-cream lovers, unite! Treats forthcoming.

  14. I would love some ice cream! I too have a child with CP and love to read your blog. I also have a friend with a blog who had breakfast with you this weekend :). Thanks.

  15. Oh, email address is

  16. any left? i had a migraine all weekend. a coupon for some ice cream would go a long way here. :)

  17. Yes, Chaney, ice-cream for everyone!

    MyLittleMama: Who was it?!

  18. It was so good to talk to you, even if it was just for a few minutes (which was infinitely longer than we talked at Blissdom)!

  19. I know. We need a conference where all we do is TALK! I think that's known as a party. So maybe we can find a way to organize a three day party?

  20. What an amazing summary of BlogHer11! It was great meeting you too! I really enjoyed the special needs mini-con. It was the absolute highlight of the weekend. Okay, all the parties were pretty damn great too!

  21. Wow. I feel honored to be in such company. Thanks so much for the shout out! On a totally different note, from one low-carb prisoner to another, have to tell you that last night I cut up some fresh tortillas, put them in my convection toaster with some garlic powder on them, grabbed some salsa for dipping, and voila! Yum heaven. Maybe not quite a Dove bar, but not all of us can be so lucky...

  22. Hey, I only got $1 of coupons for Dove!? NO FAIR! :)

    It was fantabulous meeting you. xoxo

  23. Sn conference? I don't care if its on MARS. I will be there. Make it happen! I can't remember if I posted this or not, but I feel it should be located near that super accessible playground.


Thanks for sharing!

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