Category Archives: Reccomendations

Top Women’s Newspaper Journalists of Past and Present

helenthomas

In honor of Women’s History Month, last week I took on the daunting task of listing some top women television journalists that deserve our support. I would like to continue to honor this month by attempting to list top political newspaper journalists, columnists and editors who deserve the same kind of respect, support and place in history. And for a final tribute next week, I will tackle my list of top twenty liberal women political bloggers.

Women are now expected voices during political dialogue – speaking their minds and taking names, so to speak. But how did we get here? After all, we have only had the right to vote since 1920 (a mere 90 years ago) and finally had our first shot at a woman President only in the past year. Wouldn’t you know it, women have been affecting the political scene long before we were voting and have been fighting for their spot on the soapbox in the male dominated field of journalism ever since. Did you know that the International Federation of Journalists reported that only of 38% of working journalists are women?

So as a woman blogger, political junkie and proud feminist, I would like to tip my laptop to the following women of note:

  • Marguerite Higgins was the first woman to win a Pulitzer prize for international reporting in 1951.
  • Ethel Payne covered the civil rights movement and became the first African American commentator employed by a major news network (CBS) in 1972.
  • Ida M. Tarbell was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her historical investigative reporting about the Standard Oil company at the turn of the century.
  • Margaret Fuller was the first writer for the New York Tribune in the mid 1800s and was also the first female foreign and war correspondent.
  • Nellie Bly is famous for her undercover work as a journalist who faked her insanity so that she could report on the inner workings of a mental institution in the late 1800’s.
  • Katherine Graham was a Pulitzer prize winning author and managing editor of the Washington Post during the explosive early 70s when the Post unearthed the truth about Nixon.
  • Nancy Hicks Maynard was the first African American female reporter for the New York Times and former owner of the Oakland Tribune.
  • Ellen Goodman is a Pulitzer prize winning columnist who has focused her career on bringing attention to the women’s movement while writing a nationally recognized syndicated column.
  • Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist who, in 1990, became the third woman in history to write a regular column for the New York Times Op-Ed page.
  • Helen Thomas was the first female member and president of the While House Correspondents Association and has been in the white house press corps since JFK, sitting front and center of every white house press conference. (See image above.)
  • Arianna Huffington was named as one of Time’s worlds 100 most influential people and  is the co founder of the Huffington Post.
  • Margaret Carlson was the first female columnist at Time magazine and is now a columnist at Bloomberg News.

IN 1937, the National Federation of Press Women was founded. For a list of accomplished women journalists found in their Hall of Fame, please visit their site.

With such amazing journalists and inspiring women preparing the ground for future female writers, it is no surprise that such a fabulous crop of political bloggers have sprung forth today, enlightening, demanding and questioning the political arena at large. So who are my favorites? You’ll have to wait until next week when I will finally reveal my top twenty favorite political bloggers. Until then, happy Women’s History Month!

Cross Posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Bloggers, Communication, Educating myself, Feminist tendancies, Giving respect, Inspiring people, Politics, Raising Awareness, Reccomendations, Women

Toms Shoes: A Review and a Give-away

shoes3

By now you should know that I won’t do a review on Morningside Mom unless there is something about that product that truly impresses me. Well, I have another one for you. Toms Shoes approached me and asked that I review a pair of shoes for them. But these aren’t just a pair of shoes. In case you don’t know about Toms Shoes, I am going to tell you what makes this specific shoe company so very special.

shoe4The Toms Shoes company was started by Blake Mycoskie after he visited Argentina and noticed how many children did not have any shoes. His dream for this company was to create a shoe that he could sell and give away. Let me explain further. He wanted his company to make it possible to donate one pair of shoes to a child in need with every one purchased. That’s right. And he did. After one year, he and his family and friends were ready to donate over 10,000 shoes to children in Argentina. Next stop was South Africa where he and his crew dropped off 50,000 shoes. And in 2008 it was planned that they donate over 200,000 shoes worldwide.

Ok, now watch this.

Pretty amazing, right?

Ok, so lets get down to the shoes themselves. What did I think?

shoes1

Well, in terms of style, I was a liiiittle nervous. I’ll admit, I was worried they’d be kind of like grandma shoes. I am just being honest here. I wasn’t sure they’d really be my style. So I looked through all the various patterns available online and went for a fun “Element” shoe style. At least I knew these shoes wouldn’t look anything like what Grandma would wear.

shoes2But here’s the thing. When I got them, they actually looked a lot cooler than I expected. I was pleasantly surprised. And my favorite part about the shoes? When I slipped them on, I didn’t want to take them off. Because, my friend, they’re like butta. So dang comfy. Granted, they don’t have a ton of support – these are flat shoes made of canvas. But they are well made and I really, truly never want to take them off. (Maybe I should get Grandma a pair, I think she wouldn’t take them off either.)

Now down to the fun part.

It’s giveaway time!

I have the DVD of their award winning documentary about their first shoe drop in Argentina and a coupon code worth $50 in Tom’s Shoes to give away to a Morningside Mom reader.

How do you enter? Leave a comment below about a time you’ve given back to your community or something you would like to do for your community. Real answers please, don’t just respond with some general Ms. America “I want to save the world” comment. Think about it for the sake of making change happen – like Toms Shoes has.

I will pick a winner at random on Monday March 16th.

Thanks and good luck!

**UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER!!**

Ilinap from Dirt and Noise was picked at random and has won the Toms Shoes giveaway! Congrats Ilinap!

shoe5

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Filed under Africa, Causes, Children, Contests, Gifts, Philanthropy, Raising Awareness, Reccomendations, Reviews

The Today Show Defines the Digital Mom, Part Two

todayshowIt should come as no surprise that I was glued to my television this morning. The Digital Moms series on the Today Show has me sucked in. After being somewhat disappointed by yesterday’s show and the impression it gave viewers, I was ready for something better today. In fact, I was excited because I knew some of the women featured this time. Well, ok, so I actually met Wendy aka eMom at Seaworld but only knew Melissa aka @Consumer Queen and Amber aka @JerseyMomma from twitter. Amber was actually backstage brainstorming with producers during the segment. But STILL. I was behind them, and I had a feeling they’d come through.

So I poured a really reeeeeally big bowl of Cheerios for my thrilled two year old, and saddled up in front of the TV with my laptop – a twitter window open and ready to go. While I waited, Amber and Wendy sent tweets from the green room and the Digital Moms responded with all sorts of support. Melissa’s portion of the show had been filmed from her her home so she anxiously waited for the piece to start right along with us. Trusting that these woman knew what they were doing, and having read Wendy’s tweets from the day before, I had a good feeling about this segment.

And then it came on. See for yourself.

Right away a cheer went up across twitter as Melissa (Consumer Queen) showed viewers that all of the products she reviews have come as a result of “a lot of hard work”. She reiterated the importance of her perspective to consumers and the narrator followed up by noting that Melissa is “influencing corporate America” and listed some of the big corporations that have asked for Melissa’s review.

Phew! Yes. Finally. Thank you. It seems this segment would be taking the impact of Digital Moms seriously.

Next the Today Show mentioned the example of the Motrin Ad. Someone on twitter posted “OMG they’re talking about the Motrin Ad!!!” Yes, any digital moms who were on twitter last fall will remember the Motrin Ad well. In November, Motrin released a new ad campaign with some pretty condescending phrasing about baby wearing – women everywhere were insulted. No, really, it was bad. Twitter and blogs alike exploded. Horrified. Outraged. What were they thinking? I am fairly sure it took about 48 hours of this sort of uproar from Digital Moms before Motrin pulled the entire ad campaign. For a summary, ready Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s post about it here. It’s only one example of many who blogged their opinion about the Motrin Ad campaign. And guess what? The company heard these women loud and clear. Why? Because these women are affecting the the success (or not) of a product simply by responding professionally with strong, heartfelt, honest writing.

Once the intro piece was over, Ann began her interview with Wendy and Terri Walter – an advertising Executive from Razorfish Media. They did a fabulous job. I appreciated that immediate focus was given to women as important influencers, not just as women looking for a bunch of free stuff. They underscored how much heart and soul goes into their work. Digital Moms care about what they are doing and take it very seriously. The relationships that bloggers build with readers was emphasized as extraordinarily valuable and full disclosure with readers was the only way to maintain such a relationship. I could not have agreed more when Terri stated that pressure is then put on the product to stand up to real consideration since these women will speak their minds in their review.

And finally Wendy made sure to say that digital moms are “making a difference and changing lives out there”. She disagreed when Ann asked her if this was all just a passing trend. “It’s just the beginning”, marketing has changed thanks to word of mouth and “consumers expect to have a voice, there’s no going back.”

And that’s exactly it. There is no going back. Products are finding success or not based on these women’s opinions. A fancy ad campaign with all the bells and whistles is just not enough anymore. Consumers are always skeptical. They want to hear real opinions from real people. They want to see someone kick the tires and tell them the honest to God truth. And that’s where we come in.

So I’ll say it again.

I am Digital Mom, here me post.

(Ok, no. That just sounds cheesy the second time around…)

Nevertheless, my panties are in less of a bunch today. I am feeling more optimistic about this series now. And I do realize that any focus on what digital moms do is a good thing. You women rocked out today. I’ll certainly be posting some more on this as the week goes on. Cheers.

**UPDATE**

I just DMed Amber aka @jerseymomma to ask if another segment was on this morning (3/11) since I never saw one. She let me know that it seems the series was only Monday (3/9) and Tuesday (3/10). But she did say that the producers were very excited about this topic and she is hopeful they will do more in the future.

So that’s it for now I guess. To sum it all up, digital moms seemed defined by the Today Show as very social mom bloggers who get free stuff and influence corporations if we work really really hard at what we do.

Hmmmm. I think there’s room for more on this topic, don’t you?

Until next time…

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Giving respect, Reccomendations, Reviews, Women, Working moms

Top Women Television Journalists We Should Support

While it may come as no surprise to you, I still think I need to fess up: I am a news and politics junkie. And in honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to share with you my favorite women pundits, correspondents, news anchors, bloggers and political writers. Women news sources are still in the minority so this is my simple way of supporting every woman out there reporting on what will certainly become history some day.

Now how could I ever sum up the women I support in one concise post? Exactly, it’s utterly impossible. So this will be a three part post – and even then I am quite sure I’ll be skimping on you. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot. This week, I will share with you my picks for the best women television news sources that you need to turn on and follow. Sure, do it for the future of women’s journalism, do it for women’s solidarity but really just do it because they are accomplished professionals making an important impact on mainstream media.

Until the early 1960’s, news reporting was strictly a man’s gig. So first things first – let’s give a shout out to some of first women who reported the political goings on in Washington. Nancy Dickerson was in fact the first woman television reporter. She opened the doors for such news greats as Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Ann Compton, Lesley Stahl and more recently, Katie Couric. The stories I’ve read about how difficult it was for these women to break into journalism makes the hairs on my neck stand up. They deserve respect and credit for the ceiling they have all cracked together.

maddow

Today, there are a number of television pundits and correspondents who have established themselves as top news contributors. But who tops my list? None other than the amazing and brilliant Rachel Maddow. If you don’t watch her MSNBC show at 9pm every weeknight (or follow her on twitter), you are missing something impressive. Ann Marie Coxis often a guest on her show and I have become a fan of hers also.

Another good perspective comes from Campbell Brown and her show “No Bias, No Bull” is my “go to” when I am not watching Keith Olbermann (and while he’s a “he” and therefore does not fit the bill for this post, I am a loyal viewer of his also). And by the way, Alison Stewart(previously of MTV fame and Emmy award winner) does a fabulous job filling in for Maddow and Olbermann – I hope to see more of this amazing news contributor in the future.

Gwen Ifill is the Moderator and Managing Editor on PBS’ Washington Week. Along with the stiff shirts of the McLaughlin Group, my father watches her regularly. I am a big fan myself and think she handled the vice presidential circus debate with grace and professionalism.

And while I stare at my monitor most afternoons, I usually have MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell quietly on in the background. She’s smart and does a fantastic job asking the right kinds of questions. And then Norah O’Donnellis the MSNBC chief washington correspondent and also hosts the 3pm hour of MSNBC.

While not your traditional political pundits, I have to mention the women on The View. They have made a significant impression on this country with their ideals and fiery political debates. Say what you will about The View being an actual news source, Whoopi Goldeberg and Joy Behar have my utmost respect.

And finally, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, deserves every bit of recognition she has received including the Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards and has been named the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). She speaks three languages and fearlessly positions herself at the epicenter of war, chaos and international instability on a daily basis. There is no question that she has earned my deepest admiration.

The only way we will see more women reporting and commenting on important news stories is if we support the women currently doing just that. Take note of who sits around the table during Meet the Press or gather in the White House Press conference room. Is our women’s perspective represented? Let’s hope it will be the case more frequently in the future.

Feel free to comment about some of your favorite women journalists below. And stay tuned for next week’s second post in this series about my picks for favorite women political newspaper journalists and writers that deserve their place in history.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Educating myself, Feminist tendancies, Giving respect, Inspiring people, Parenting, Politics, Reccomendations, TV, Women

Mom Bloggers Tweetup at Seaworld

seaworld

This Sunday, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Seaworld with a fabulous crew of mom bloggers. All thanks to Ted Murphy at IZEA and Wendy Piersall at Sparkplugging.com, we were able to spend an entire day at the park soaking up all things aquatic. I had never been to Orlando’s Seaworld before and was very excited to see what all the fuss was about. And while I wasn’t able to bring my children, I got to see the park through the eyes of the other mom blogger’s children – all while plying them with cotton candy.

So who did I go with? Well the wonderful Shellie from Blog 4 Mom , the brilliant Susan from Egg Marketing and Sometimes Parenting Sucks , the wildly witty Britt from Miss Britt, and the beautiful Melanie from Modern Mami. And had I ever met these women before? Well, here and there on Twitter or in passing at Blog Her last year – but for the most part we met as strangers. But c’mon. Give us some credit. We blog, we’re moms, we had pleeeenty in common. We really had a wonderful day together and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to hang out with them and their families.

Now what about the park? From sea exhibit to shining sea exhibit, I had an amazing time. Since it is February, the weather was perfect and the park was not very crowded. We walked casually to each section, we never felt too overwhelmed by other visitors and enjoyed every sea creature we saw.

The dolphin area was amazing. Visitors had the chance to feed dolphins and reach out to pet them if they happened to be at arms length. You could truly enjoy this creatures curiousity – they are such wonderful and social animals. The under water viewing area was impressive. The dolphins peered right back at us, swimming slowly by. I think they were equally entertained.

After checking out some wonderful manatee (and debating with husbands whether they are technically considered “cute” – which they are), we went to the Blue Horizons Whale and Dolphin show. I happened to capture the finale on video to share with my children and all of you.

Afterwards, we grabbed some lunch and then headed over to the shark exhibit. I really enjoyed being able to move through the shark tank and see them swim over us. I also appreciated seeing how thick that glass was separating us and the sharks!

The big event for the afternoon was the Shamu Show “Believe”. We all made sure to get spots as close to the front without technically being in the “splash zone”. If the kids had a choice however, we would have been right down front, bracing for wave impact. Nope. We mom bloggers are practical, we stayed dry. But I did catch that finale on video also.

At this point, the kids had been pretty good about following our agenda so we let them run wild in Shamu’s Happy Harbor while we chatted. Or should I say, the moms chatted and the dads braved the climbing contraption with netted tubes three stories above us. While we compared blog tips and tweeted from iphones, the dad’s sweated their way through it all, each coming back down exhausted and a bit overwhelmed. Be prepared if you head up into that maze yourselves, it is not really built for adults sizes or large crowds and can get very warm!

Our final stop was for the wild at heart. A few of the mom bloggers braved the Kraken – a ginormous roller coaster found at the back of the park. It absolutely took my breath away and was an incredible ride. Awesome for sure, but it left me seeing stars a bit on the way back to the car. (Groan, am I getting too old for roller coasters? …never.)

All in all, it was an amazing day. Seaworld is wonderful park for every aged family member. While it brings a lot of the Florida sea life to visitors, it does a great job giving us real accessibility to the animals. Afterwards, visitors are left with an educational visit and a true appreciation for what is really living in our oceans.  

Find some time when it won’t be crowded at Seaworld and go yourself!

**Update**

Izea is sponsoring a Seaworld trip for four! The contest begins February 11th and ends March 10th and is very easy to enter. Go check it out!

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Filed under Animal appreciation, Bloggers, Children, Florida, Reccomendations, Reviews, Theme Parks, Vacation

Bloggers to Take On the Big Apple

famous-buildings-new-york-city

As the fates would have it, Morningside Mom is heading to New York City. I know, pretty fabulous right? Now you are probably wondering why? And how? And don’t I have kids to watch and coupons to clip and… other, um, important stuff to manage?

Well, thanks to HP and the fabulous folks at Buzz Corp, I am a part of a crew of bloggers headed there to learn more abot the Vivienne Tan HP Mini Netbook. Four days of blogging from the center of the universe. Four days of checking out all that is fabulous about the designer Vivienne Tam. Four days of meeting HP peeps and getting the scoop on this product so I can report the real skinny back to you all. Four days of looking up a lot.

viviennetamhplaptopmini

And what about the kids? Well, let me send a quick shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Morningside who are braving four days of kindergarten pick up lines and potty training to make this happen. I know they’re wondering what they got themselves into but no take-sies, back-sies. They’re coming and I am grateful.

Back to NYC. So I am heading there in mid February and will be meeting up with a whole crew of bloggers on the same adventure as I am. I think it is only polite that I introduce myself and my readers to them here. Come take a look at who is a part of this and what they’ve had to say about the VT so far. If you are interested in purchasing a VT, it should be a real advantage to have access to so many opinions in one place. And this is only the beginning so be sure to come back and check in with all of us later!

The Art of Accessories and her VT intro post.

The Technology Starlet. Check out the Journey of a Pro Fashion Techie and Vivienne Tam HP Mini!

A Mom in Red High Heels and her VT intro post.

Moosh in Indy and Moosh’s Buys and Tries site.

The Gadgeteer

OSNN

VivirLatino

Gizmodiva, Newlaunches and PCLaunches

The Coveted. Check out both her VT intro post and her VT mini review.

Gotta Be Mobile

Geeks!

Notebooks.com and here is her VT intro post (be sure to check out her great video too).

Gear Live

Digital Home Thoughts

Techmammas

Techie Diva and her VT intro post

Gear Diary

Chip Chick and her VT intro post.

Mobile PC World

(Fellow bloggers: If I’ve missed your post and you’d like me to list it, just let me know!)

Hey, and did you see how I’ve organized my HP Updates page? Be sure to check there to find links to all of my HP product reviews and information in one place.

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Filed under Bloggers, HP, Reccomendations, Reviews, Techie Stuff, Travel

Inauguration Activities for your Children

change-has-come

In case you hadn’t noticed, I am very excited about the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Obama. And as a mom, I think it is only fair that I share the excitement of this historical event with my children too. I also think this is the perfect opportunity to teach our children about the United States presidency and the purpose of an inauguration. So, after doing some research, I have found all sorts of fun ways to engage our children in this historical event.

Where to begin? First, and depending on their age, you might want to explain to your children what the United States President is actually responsible for. Ben’s Guide will give your kids a simple but fairly thorough explanation.You may also want to show your children our nation’s past 43 presidents. White House.gov provides a list of past presidents along with interesting facts about each. And what better way to remember our presidents than to learn a rap about all 44 of them? The song and lyrics can be found here.

The inauguration is as much a celebration as it is a learning experience for our children. Parents should think about explaining what this inauguration is for and what it means for so many people. Here are some excellent books which will teach children further about the presidency and the inauguration process:

Our President-Elect represents a great deal to our country. His principles, his history as a politician and recent election can teach our kids many important lessons. Princemensah at Ehow wrote a wonderful article about the inspiring lessons children should learn from Barack Obama. One suggested lesson reads:

“Point out the lesson of working with different people.

The President-Elect has a history of working with people with differing views. From Harvard to the Hill, he has established faith and friendship with people who do not share his views. This attitude is critical to a nation sharply divided over war and worries over the economy. Your children need to know about the value of being able to gain the respect of your enemies.”

While teaching our children about the inauguration is important, there are plenty of fun, interactive ways to include them in all the celebrating too. Active learning with lots of cutting and pasting always gets the brain moving. As I mentioned in a post before, Kaboose.com has some excellent craft ideas for children. More crafts can also be found at Amazing Moms.com.

Does your child dream of becoming President of the United States someday? Scholastic.com has a fun game for older children where they can decide what they would do if they were president.

If you have an inauguration whiz on your hands, perhaps the whole family can sit down and play this inauguration quiz found at pbs.org

Or do you have a musician in the house? Have them try playing “Hail to the Chief”. The sheet music can be found here if you click on the “score” icon at the top left of the page.

Are you looking for coloring pages? So that your young ones can stay busy coloring up a storm on Tuesday, we’ve got plenty of links to share:

While the rest of your household readies for the inauguration, you may be wondering how you can engage your tween or high schooler further. Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel and MTV will all be hosting events with many favorite performers like the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus.

With millions of visitors expected to converge on the capitol next week, it is likely that some of you are headed there as well. Due to all of the security restrictions, I am sure you are frustrated to hear that it may be very difficult to bring your children to the inauguration itself.

That being said, there will be so much to do in the DC area for families. Be sure to check out Go City Kids for all of the city wide activities. And did you know that there will be, in fact, a Children’s Inaugural Ball?

And for those families like mine who are scrambling to figure out how to celebrate inauguration day hundreds of miles away from Washington DC, be sure to check locally for events and activities for children on the day of the inauguration. I know that Borders will hosting inaugural events in some cities, so it’s worth doing further research online.

So strike up Hail to the chief, hang your coloring pages proudly, maybe do a little presidential rap, and enjoy celebrating the inauguration with your entire family this coming Tuesday, January 20th.

Crossed posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Children, Education, Family, Government, Inauguration, Inspiring people, MTV, Music, Obama, Parenting, Patriotism, Presidency, Reccomendations, Teaching kids