Category Archives: Techie Stuff

Win Your Own Bit of Fabulous: a Vivienne Tam HP Wireless Mouse

vt-double-happiness

As I’ve mentioned before, my entire NYC Vivienne Tam experience with HP allowed this uber practical, coupon clipping, “never splurges on self” mommy to enjoy the luxury of a few beautiful things. It wasn’t something for my children or my family – it was just for me. Honestly folks, it’s unheard of around the parts. I am still so appreciative.

And now I want to share a small part of this experience with you. HP has graciously given me three Vivienne Tam HP Wireless mice to giveaway here on Morningside Mom. (Did you know they aren’t even available for purchase in the U.S.?) I am thrilled to be able to share a little bit of beautiful with you all.

vtmouse

How do you enter? Simply leave a comment below explaining how everyday working, parenting, budgeting women can take care of themselves when they so often forget to. I will pick three inspiring comments and announce the winners on Friday, March 6th.

And one last bit of trivia about Vivienne Tam before I sign off. The enter key on the VT HP mini has a chinese symbol on it. Do you know what it means? It means “Double Happiness”. And now doesn’t that just make so much sense? I hope this giveaway brings a small bit of happiness to three of you.

Good luck!

**UPDATE – WE HAVE THREE WINNERS!**

Congrats to our three winners: Cami, Chandra and Carol! They wrote inspiring comments and I encourage you all to read them. In fact, I would encourage you to take a moment to read every comment here – what fantastic advice for women to follow. Thank you to everyone who participated, it means so much that you took the time to share this wisdom.

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Filed under Blog love, Contests, Gifts, HP, Mothers, Parenting, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Women, Working moms

My Fellow Bloggers Post about the Vivienne Tam NYC Experience

nycgroup

So, you can’t enough of the NYC Vivienne Tam week, huh? Then please go read the posts on my fellow blogger’s sites. They did a great job and its fun to see this experience from several perspectives. Remember that some of us were parent/mom bloggers, some were fashion or accessory bloggers and others were technology bloggers. All were amazing people and I could not have picked a better group to experience this with!

The Art of Accessories
Moosh in Indy (She has video of our initial reactions to the surprise gift too!)
Tech Starlet
A Mom in Red High Heels
Notebooks
Techdiva
Tech Mamas
Mobile PC World
The Mama Bird Diaries

Of course these are not the only bloggers who attended or the only posts about the experience. There were and will be more posts. These are what I grabbed for the time being. (And NYC bloggers, share your posts here if I missed yours!)

Oh and are you STILL wishing you could get a bit of the Vivienne Tam experience for yourself? Well, stay tuned. I may have something to share with you all. Don’t get your panties in a bunch though – its not the HP mini itself. But its still pretty damn cool. You might even see what I’m talking about on some of the sites above. I’ll be posting about this “tech chic” giveaway very soon.

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Friendship, Techie Stuff

Vivienne Tam: Giving Thanks and Feeling Worthy

vtstoreme

Do you know that feeling when you watch reality shows like “Extreme Home Makeover” and you see amazing things happen for people and you say out loud “that sort of stuff never happens to me”? Or how about the reality show “What Not to Wear”. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear really nice clothes instead of jelly smeared jeans? I know these sorts of shows well. I watch, I smile and I think “not in a million years”.

Well, during my time in NYC, I kind of had an “Extreme Home Makeover / What Not to wear” moment. A real one. I think it would have made a great reality show actually. And it all has to do with Vivienne Tam.

As you know by now, I spent 4 amazing days in New York City for fashion week thanks to the folks at Buzz Corps, HP and Vivienne Tam. The entire experience in itself was “reality show” worthy in that this sort of stuff *SO* does not happen to me. I spent every day thanking everyone around me. I thanked drivers (oh wait I hugged him too), door holders, hotel folks, waiters, even random people I passed on the streets for slightly stepping out of my way. I was so damn grateful to be there. Every crack and crevice I happened upon heard my gratitude, loud and clear.

But then something even more amazing happened to all the bloggers on this trip. “What? MORE?!” I hear you mumble. Yes, more. We were given a gift.

We started out mid morning in our shuttle not exactly knowing where we were headed. When we pulled up to Vivienne Tam’s boutique, it was familiar to us after having been there the night before for her show. So we stepped out of the bus and walked in, curious. The entire space had changed into a “store” with racks of her dresses lined up, mannequins dressed, shoes and bags on display. We all wandered around, happy to see the goods in daylight for better pictures and also excited to see more of her line. We snapped pics, picked out favorites, held them up to each other, laughed at the possibilities and moved along.

And then Alan Wang, the Vivienne Tam boutique manager and all around very nice man, got our attention. He stood at the front of the store and thanked us for being here this week. He told us how much Vivienne Tam truly appreciates our support and that she recognizes the important work we do. And as a symbol of her gratitude, she would like to give us a gift. Each of us were welcome to pick out one dress. To keep.

Blank stares. It dawns on us. Mouths drop. Rushed whispering. Quiet squeals. And then me, “Can I hug you right now?”

I am not sure what he said next (although I remember that he diplomatically ignored my invitation for a hug, smart man), but it had begun to sink in. Kind of. We could pick a dress in that room to take home. To wear. To have. To feel fabulous in.

And we were off. Some spending time carefully considering. Others leaping on the handbags and shoes (understandably). And then there was me who grabbed one dress and dashed for the dressing room. What if they changed their minds? Quick. Let me get this on and out the door before they decide this isn’t such a great idea.

I wound up with the second dress I tried on. I truly felt amazing in it. I ran around the store in it. I teared up. Three times. Shamelessly. My friend Moosh in Indy saw my Hanes her Way and that’s cool by me. This was serious business. I got an amazing dress. A Vivienne Tam dress. Glamorous pieces of clothing like this just don’t exist in my life. But now one does. (And it is laughing at everything else in my closet as I write this.)

So what happened next? Just wait. Yes, there’s more.

That night we were welcome to attend another event back at the Vivienne Tam boutique. This was the official launch of the Vivienne Tam Hp Mini. Another night on the town? What better excuse to don our fab dresses. And that we did.

vtdresses1

I also brought my VT HP Mini with me. I just figured it would be good to have it since that evening was all about it.

And so what happens? Vivienne Tam arrives, speaks to her guests and then offers to sign anyone’s computers. So now, under my right hand in the bottom corner of my Mini, is Vivienne Tam’s signature. She signed it for me and you know what she said to me? She said I was so beautiful in her dress.

Wow. This mom with jelly smeared jeans and a leaking sippy cup in her purse could be beautiful.

It was a moment. To be sure.

vtsig

And that’s what the dress and the computer have come to represent. Women running around managing the insanity of their lives, elbow deep in dirty boy socks and sticky pots of mac and cheese DO deserve nice things. A dress like this, a computer like this – well, they are simply special things. Little bits of fabulous that remind you that you are actually “worthy” – socks and mac n cheese aside.

So I had that “What not to Wear” moment. And staying true to the thanking theme of my week, I thanked Vivienne Tam that night. I thanked her for making me feel more beautiful and special than I had in years.

My gratitude is endless, my heart is full and my sense of beautiful is in check.

For that (just one more time) I say: Thank you.

vtandme

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Gifts, Giving respect, HP, Identity crisis, Mothers, One of those moments, Parenting, Shopping, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Women

Experiencing the Vivienne Tam Show

mevt

After an evening trying to whip myself together into some sort of presentable look for fashion week, myself and the 20 other bloggers tromped out into the rain to go see the Vivienne Tam show.

What did I expect? Some very beautiful, thin, doe eyed girls trooping around in fabulous outfits and a crew of fashionistas getting it so much more than I am, and eyeing everyone up and down. I doubted I’d see VT herself, but what do I know about how these events go down…

And what happened?

Well, we arrived, were escorted right in and handed glasses of champagne. And there was Vivienne Tam standing with all the models in front of a row of Touchsmart HP screens! After many pictures, the models moved on and the crowd mingled. The wonderful DWJ from the Art of Accessories grabbed my hand (I love this woman, by the way) and managed to get us in for a picture with Vivienne Tam herself!

Um. Is this my life? Here we are. (I have no idea what happened with my hair. I am clearly channeling “A Flock of Seagulls”. Whatever. I’m standing next to her!)

vt-pic

And then a few minutes later, they lined up all the bloggers with Vivienne Tam and took endless pictures. This sounds silly but I totally had a red carpet moment all of the sudden. Little ol’ me. Whoda thunk. I don’t have a big group shot now but will post one when I do.

Anyway, we saw the amazing collection. Its absolutely gorgeous. I fell in love with a beautiful leather dress of hers and was amazed by the beauty of the detail in her dresses.

vtdresses

A Mom in Red High Heels and I checked out the Touchsmart PCs. We pulled up our sites and took pics of ourselves at the event.

We talked to interesting people, learned more about the inspiration of her collection (which I hope to post more about in the future) and just generally had an amazing time.

vtdetail

I think what impressed me most was Vivienne herself. She was so taken aback that we were all women bloggers there to support her show. She said it meant so much to have women supporting her this way and was extremely appreciative of us being there. I said to her that women bloggers absolutely adore this mini and all want one. Her face absolutely lit up. She spun around to some very nice man behind her. “Did you hear that?? The bloggers love the Mini!!!” She was genuine, she was warm, she was truly grateful to have us there.

Grateful. Yes. My words exactly.

What an amazing evening.

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

 

mmsite1

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Friendship, Giving respect, HP, Inspiring people, Photographs, Reviews, Techie Stuff, Travel, Women

A Room with a View and a VT

I’m here and this suburbia bumpkin is amazed. It is hard to get perspective on how utterly awesome Time Square really is. Like trying to capture the depth and size of Grand Canyon, two dimensional pictures are frustrating and minimizing. But offI go, stumbling along, taking pictures of everything around me and moving along in a stream of people, voices, languages, cultures.

Today I head out for a tour of the city and tonight we are going to see the Vivienne Tam show. Its fashion week so its very fabulous around here. 

I’ll leave you with a pic of my room. This is where I sit and post and tweet and annoy all with my “I’M IN NYC!!” updates. I’ll be back with more but the tour bus is waiting.

nyc-room

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Filed under Techie Stuff, Travel

Trying my Damnedest to Be a Part of It, New York, New York.

leavetonyc
Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today.

That’s right, the day has come. Morningside Mom is finally heading to the City. My parents have flown in to help take over all of that stay at home, groundhog day, going around in circles, cat corralling that I do on a daily basis. Today I fly away from the “oh so predictable” kid schedule of my life and drop into the land of fabulousness, cosmos, culture, no bedtime routines… hell, I’m about to go spend 4 days at the center of the universe.

Bring it on.

And I am going all for the sake of the Vivienne Tam HP Mini Netbook. See mine sitting there? All ready to go?  And the new uncomfortable looking but actually very comfortable shoes I bought for the trip? (Target, by the way. Don’t tell anyone.)

And check out that bag. My mom brought it back for me from Vietnam. The fabulous part is that the silk lining of that bag almost exactly matches the silk handbag that comes with the Vivienne Tam Netbook. Cool, huh?

Well. I think so.

So. Ok. Here I go then. I am going to try and blog as regularly as I can. I’ll be twittering it all too and uploading pics and video when I have something cool to share. And of course, I’ll be doing everything from my VT Netbook.

So here I go, leaving the mommy gig at the door. Off to be… um… fabulous.

I hope I don’t look as clueless as I feel. See you on the flip side.

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Filed under Bloggers, Packing, Panicking, Parenting, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Travel, Vietnam

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

Vivienne Tam HP Mini “Netbook” Review

hp-viviennetam_270x486

Ok folks. I got really lucky again. And I mean REALLY lucky. My favorite PR peeps over at Buzz Corps brought me into the fold of another project for HP. And a couple days ago, they sent me the product we’re reviewing this time. What is it? Oh, you’re gonna like this one. Its a Vivienne Tam HP Mini Netbook. It’s pretty damn fabulous – and I’m going to tell you why.

Now, I am going to warn you. I am going to post here all about how I endorse this product. But I am going to try my damnedest NOT to sound too much like an infomercial… I’m not sure I’ll succeed, but stick with me anyway, ok?

So to keep it interesting, I decided to also check out the 12 seconds site. Instead of typing a bunch of bladdy bladdy blah text, I thought I would try sharing my top 5 reasons why I love the HP Mini on there. Consider it my first stab at “Vlogging”, if you will. But I love the concept of the videos only being 12 seconds – its my personal guarantee that this review can’t get too boring. So check it out because if you’ve read this far, you clearly have an attention span of more that 12 seconds.

So here we go.

Reason #1: It has a camera

Reasons #2: It’s the perfect size

Reason #3: Lovely design = “Mommies Only”

Reason #4: It’s light

Reason #5: SD port for pics

(So, be honest. I really don’t think I got away without sounding a little bit like an infomercial, did I?  Yeah well, what are you gonna do. I’m sure Vanna White is quaking in her stilettos…)

Now there are certainly many other reasons why I like this mini so much. And I know that if you read on it will take more than 12 seconds, but bear with me if your interest is peaked now.

viviennetamhplaptopmini

While it is certainly very light and easy to pop open and work on just about anywhere, it also doesn’t get as hot as my other HP laptop. The weight and low temp make this HP Mini seem almost effortless – and extremely easy to curl up on the couch with. (I guess it should be no surprise it has an energy star rating, right?)

The operating system is Windows XP and comes with Windows Media Player (which I use all the time). But I know someone else who just put Windows 7 on theirs and it sounds like it is working great.

It has two USB ports, one of which I am using for the remote mouse, a headphone/mic jack, a network jack, an expansion port, an SD card reader, and a security cable connector. Along with its camera, the HP Mini has speakers to play tunes on (and for such a little thing, its speakers actually sound surprisingly good – about as good as my regular sized HP laptop).

I know I talked about the design in Reason #3 but I have to go over that point one more time. It is really lovely to look at. The design makes it feel very unique. This mini even comes with a silk cloth “clutch” that you can slip it into. From there, I slip it into my purse. And as I mentioned before, all the flowers and femininity acts as its own security system – my husband, brother, father and the rest of the dudes in my family won’t be taking it out in public to use. With no threats of it disappearing, this mini has become the uber Mommy laptop.

Ok, how about a couple cons? Well, once again, I would have to say the very shiny screen is a frustration (this has been an issue I’ve seen with most HP screens). The shininess is very pretty to look at initially but it is just too shiny. Its very hard to look at outside, especially if the mini is unplugged and the screen is not as bright.

The overall shininess of the Mini also means many finger prints. Finger prints (and other various types of smears) are a reality in this mother’s world. I feel like I need to wipe it down a lot to keep it looking beautiful.

Also the camera seems dark. I need to be outdoors or near very bright light to have any hope of being seen. Perhaps I don’t have a setting quite right but I have heard this is an issue for other VT users too.

**Update about the Webcam!**

While on our Vivienne Tam NYC trip, the wonderful HP rep who came along explained to us that some of the first VT HP minis still have a small bit of plastic over the webcam. She wasn’t exactly sure why it was left on, one idea was that it was to protect the camera from the paint treatment. Nevertheless, it is fixable. She actually opened each of our VT HP minis and peeled the piece of plastic off. If you are having issues with yours, I would call HP tech support and explain the problem. HP has now recommended that you do not try to do this on your own in case it causes unnecessary damage.

If you unplug the Mini fully charged, you really don’t have too long on it without having to power it up again. I think I’ve gotten a couple hours out of it, but that’s about it.

All in all, it is a fabulous ride. And my bottom line is: if you’re someone looking for something stylish and easy, something more than just a blackberry but less cumbersome than a regular sized laptop, you might want to check out one of these Vivienne Tam HP Minis.

In the meantime, I am going to hope the men in my family don’t get over their complex about flowers too soon and do finally walk off with the thing. Wish me luck.

For other blogger reviews of the HP VT Mini, visit this post of mine for links to each blogger involved in this review. They should be listed at the HP Website also. For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

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Filed under HP, Reviews, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff

Blogger Cheer: Giveaway Winners and Posts to Share

Two winners have been chosen at random.org for my Muvee Reveal Blogger Cheer Giveaway! And they are (drumroll, please)….

1) Heather from East Coast Transplant

2) Shellie from Creating with Shellie

CONGRATULATIONS!

I would also like to list the posts that entrants submitted too. It’s just one more way to spread some blogger cheer. If you have some time, check these out! Maybe you’ll discover a great new blog.

Over the Hill and Through the Woods at Chickens in the Road

Bizzie Princess and her Christmas Concert by Bizzie Mommy

Christmas Clutter at Dirt and Noise

Santa May Sue by Lipzip

The Greatest Dog Story in the World – Be a Part of It by ThreeDogBlog

Top Holiday Gifts – Noisy Toys for Nieces and Nephews by Dad’s House

This Playroom Thing at Finding Yourself, Despite Yourself

A Silent Night by Dress up and Diaper Changes

First Wild card Blog Tour by Laura William’s Musings

Thoughts from the Mrs.

Humor Du Jour by Three {Ps} in a Pod

(And I just wanted to note: MomBabe, I couldn’t read your link! If you try it again, I will add it to the list!)

Keep reading blogs, folks! It’s what makes the blogosphere go ’round.

Congrats again to the readers and have a wonderful weekend!

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Contests, Gifts, Techie Stuff

Muvee Reveal Blogger Cheer Giveaway

dvd-wrapsheet-mockup

This weekend I had the opporitunity to try out a very fun new kind of movie making software called Muvee Reveal. Lucky me, I was approached last week and asked if I would like to do a review of the product. Considering I have a lovely new Canon HD video camera and the overwhelming project to create a “Best of my kids’ Christmases” DVD as a gift for my family… well, this review could not have come at a better time.

A newly updated version from the muvee autoproducer family, Muvee Reveal was explained to me as a very easy to use software that will create professional movies in a matter of four simple steps. I could not wait to try it out.

Sure enough. As soon as I downloaded the software, I added one hour of film I happened to have on my computer already. Then, clicked the transition I wanted, added a couple songs and pressed play. VOILA. Muvee Reveal took my film and transitioned through different scenes to the length of the songs I chose. While it did pull scenes randomly and flipped thorugh them fairly quickly, if I added more songs, it would lengthen the “show” and it really did a great job of picking nice scenes. I’m not sure how it does that. However, after doing some reading, apparently this software has a mind of its own and has been designed to focus on faces and sync them to the beat of the music. Um, how cool is that?

Now, if you want more control over the scenes, the transitions, the music, etc. – you can have that too. You can label scenes, do voice overs, add titles and credits and control which scenes you want in there. And then the software will help you share your movie just about anywhere such as the web, HD TV, a DVD or even your PSP.

So, do you want to play around with this software too? Well, guess what? The folks at Muvee were kind enough to offer TWO sets of software – valued at $79.95 – for a giveaway here on Morningside Mom. What a fun gift for someone (maybe even yourself) this holiday season, right? Read on for more details…

Muvee Reveal Blogger Cheer Giveaway

Well, if you know me, I like to do as much paying it forward as possible around these parts. And with this giveaway, I’d like to pay it forward to other bloggers. You see, I haven’t been reading in my google reader enough. I haven’t been spreading Blogger Karma NEARLY as much as I like to. So, maybe this contest can help with that. Especially with it being the holidays – lots of bloggers have ads on their sites and more hits could bring them a few more pennies from heaven. Lets help up some of their traffic!

Giveaway Rules

1) Go find your favorite blog, read one of their posts.

2) Comment. Tell them they wrote a great post and tell them you are going to post it here for this blogger cheer contest.

3) Come back here and paste their post link here.

4) You can enter as many blog sites as you would like. Each will count as an entry. I would encourage you to read some of the links others have posted too and comment on those!

5) I will pick two winners at random on Friday, December 19th.

That’s it! Now go love your fellow blogger and come back and tell me about it. I can’t wait to read some good posts and do some more giving this month. Good luck!

The best way to spread holiday cheer,

is reading blogs far and near!

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Gifts, Holidays, Karma, Movies, Techie Stuff