Category Archives: Travel

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

BlogHer Revisisted: Sharing the Goods, the Bloggers and the Exhaustion.

We are finally back home. I still have bags to unpack. More laundry must be done. Another trip to the grocery store for items other than milk and bread might be nice. There are bills to pay, school supply checklists to complete, and phone calls to return.

And yet, here I sit. With my BlogHer gear spread out around me. My name tag is hanging on the wall while business cards, brochures, buttons, stickers and other various types of swag are dumped out here on my desk.

I am ready to remember my fabulous trip to San Francisco.

Or perhaps I’d like to click my heels and wish myself back there.

Some people like to call it BlogHer 08, but I like to think of it as the Magical Mommy Mystery Tour. What a wonderful, crazy trip it was.

(Be prepared my loyal readers. This post may be a doozy and even a bit too long for me to stand. But this conference, like this post, was overwhelming, lengthy, and a tidal wave of blogging information in of itself.)

It all started on a Thursday. I leaped onto a plane with my laptop strapped to my back, leaving my swirling world of mommy groundhog day in the capable hands of my husband. Five hours later I found myself in SF, being picked up by my long lost college roommate, her three boys and current boyfriend. She lives in Mendicino and lives a wonderful organic lifestyle on a farm there. We piled into the van, the smell of incense was thick, she offered me a sip of her raw chocolate milkshake. Oh thank the heavens, I was soooo not in Kansas Florida anymore.

We bounced through the city and met up with another long lost but equally wonderful college friend of mine whom I would be staying with. She’s an artist and has a piece hanging in gallery downtown. We stopped in to check it out. Art. Oh what a fabulous luxury to make, enjoy, consider and be a part of. ESPECIALLY without my children to wrangle. I have to give her a shout-out. You can find her here. She is amazing and I am so damn proud of her!

That night I reconnected with the old me. The me in college, the non-mommy me, seen through the eyes of old friends with good memories. Rejuvenated and officially back in touch with that that old self of mine, the next morning I was dropped off at 7:45am in front of the Westin-St. Francis Hotel. Again, I had my trusty HP laptop backpack strapped to my back (perhaps as my own blogging parachute of sorts) and I crossed the street to make my way into the hotel.

Deep breaths. Ok, where should I go? Is it really even here? What if the whole BlogHer thing is only a part of some online fantasy world. I mean, c’mon… bloggers? In REAL life? Could it even be possible? And then I saw a sign pointing me in the direction of registration. As I reached the top of the staircase, there I found a long line of women – blogging women – waiting, chatting, various and interesting. I found my place, got my name tag, my swag bag, and was off.

The maze of rooms, ballrooms, and hallways threw me right away. Where could I sit down? My overwhelmed brain was attracted and distracted by the flashing lights and stim from every direction. Table after table of vendors offered cool gadgets and big smiles. A group of women were playing Wii Fit in front of a flat screen TV. Smells of coffee, roombas vacuuming at my feet, computer screens flashing, laughter, women, even TV cameras and then a large blue mascot standing in front of me for some new PBS kids show… c’mon, hold on a sec, I can’t quite absorb all this… I need to eat first… where could I sit down? Finally, there was the grand ballroom filled with empty tables and I plopped down to eat my bagel.

The first two women I met were amazing. Shark Fu – aka Angry Black Bitch – to my left and Zanaru at Create It Herself to my right, the conversation was fun and light and I was so glad to meet them both. As the morning went on, I met Moosh in Indy, Mama Spohr, Susan Wenner Jackson from Working Moms Against Guilt, and Kim Sue Ellen from Simply me. I met Lucrecer from Art Slam– what a cool blog! And Allese Thomson just starting out at Behind the Make-up had such interesting things to say.

I jumped into my first break-out session: Is mommy blogging still a radical act?  Watch part of it for yourself. It was one of the best sessions. I am also now a huge fan of Polly Pagenhart, otherwise known as Lesbian Dad.

Then I went to a mommy blogging session on Parenting and Privacy. It was there I met Christine Rury from Home Team Wins– we sat and stressed over the pictures of our children on our blogs that could be photoshopped, stolen – oh man, what were we doing to our babies? Out there in mommblogger land, the kosher amount of information we share about our children seems to run the gamut. Some don’t post their children at all, some post pics and their full names. It’s a personal choice. And I realized what sort of reality show and entertainment for the masses blogging can be.

I met more cool women over food, in the halls, having coffee: Clairenation, Lara David, Spinning Yellow, Stimey (I blame you for my new Twitter addiction! Honestly, I am glad I got over it and joined. It was so great to meet you.), ShallowGal, Crummy Cupcake, Anne Fritz from The Jet Set Girls, Katherine Gray of Dirt to Dish, and Vampituidty.

But wait. I can’t forget my new friend Terri who works with HP. She helped me get my new laptop and video camera up and running. Supportive, smart and so positive about blogging, Terri was a wonderful friend to have there! And if it weren’t for Terri, I never would have gotten video footage of me meeting a true celebrity, recognized far beyond the world of blogging: Grover and Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street. Actually, what was really fun was talking to the voice behind Grover, and she caught that too. I hope to post the video soon.

Before BlogHer wrapped up for the day, there was a community keynote with about 20 bloggers reading various posts of theirs. I gather BlogHer will be posting more of the readings from that evening. Honestly, people, these speakers were AMAZING – and you can watch the first speaker here.

That night, the bloggers made there way to an uber-hip club called Ruby Skye. It was very cool but I felt frumpy. I was still in the same clothes since I did not have a chance to change. But the food was great and I met an awesome mommy blogger: Tricia from Four Plus Four Equals Ten. We chatted, compared notes on the day and missed our kids together. On the way out the door, I met two more very cool bloggers. Military mama whom I follow and had her sweet little one with her asleep on her shoulder. And then Deb on the Rocks – and she actually does rock, no doubt.

The next morning, I felt a little less peppy and a lot more weary. I sat down from some breakfast, hardly feeling exactly witty or on my “A” game. And who should make her way and find a seat next to little ol’ me? One of my fav bloggers ever: Pundit Mom.

Um, ok. How do I NOT look like a dork? How do I just chill out and seem as unstalker-ish as possible. I did my best, I really did Pundit Mom. Not sure if it worked though. But I’ll gush here because I can: I think you’re really smart and cool and it was honestly an honor to meet you. And thanks for the little Pundit Mom pin, I wore it the rest of the day. (I know I know, my friends. I am a big old nerd.)

I also met A Girl and a Boy who is now expecting a boy! Congrats to her! And then met Slouching Mom and I am now an official fan of her site too.

Revived by the cool bloggers I had met, I slung my backpack over my shoulder, found my way through the maze of hallways and pushed into the most crowded session I had been to yet: How we communicatre building traffic via content and community. I found a small spot on the floor, I could hardly see the speaker, but solomenly took notes on my laptop. It was an excellent session and I learned a great deal. Phew though, I guess I have a looong way to go.

The day continued and onto more sessions I went. My bag got heavier, the jet lag was catching up to me and I finally found myself hiding in corners just to catch up on email and try not to make too much eye contact. I had a feeling the women huddled over their own laptops here and there felt the same way too.

A quick note about the “high school”ish reputation BlogHer seems to get. Eh, I guess there was the cool crowd, the cliquish types and even the star bloggers (who are probably so nice) that I couldn’t quite bring myself to say hi to. (Julie Pippert, you’re one of them, as well as Mom-101 and Queen of Spain. WHY didn’t I just suck it up and say hi??? Silly me.) Here’s the thing. I went to a women’s college (go yoke!)and I “get” women together. Sure, you’ll have some catty stuff here and there. But I honestly think most women just aren’t used to being in an all women’s environment. They ASSUME catty stuff, gossiping and backstabbing is happening all around them. However, I’d bet if you did go up and chat to that cool group of women laughing about whatever, they would gladly have you jump in on the conversation. Women seem programmed to think other women will rip them down. It’s very discouraging. I honestly have more faith in women than that. All women environments can actually bring more strength and confidence than you can imagine. There is camaraderie, there is room for everyone to be a leader, there is no glass ceiling. It might just be hard to figure that out in a couple days, where everyone is feeling insecure and outed when they usually are somewhat hidden by the blogosphere. It certainly makes for an interesting dynamic. But enough about that.

The final highlight of the day was the Closing Keynote speakers: Heather Armstrong and Stephanie Klein. We all gathered in the grand ballroom, excited and twittering “DOOCE DOOCE DOOCE DOOCE”, our laptop screens lit up like lighters at a concert. They were great. We hung on their every word. I am not a regular reader of either but to see such successful bloggers talk about their lives in the public eye was fascinating and extraordinarily eyeopening.

That night I had a red-eye to catch home. I popped into the party over at Macy’s briefly but I just couldn’t hustle up the party-girl in me to get too fired up and stay for very long. Instead, I hauled my stuff to the lobby and called my husband. I was ready to come home.

But BlogHer had one more surprise up her sleeve for me. As I got settled into the airport shuttle van, who should I run into? But two other bloggers, of course. Not just bloggers, but panel speakers. Adele at A book Without a Coverand Shaz at Shaziamistry. We were fast friends and had an early dinner together at the airport before parting ways (Adele, I hope you made your flight! My tweezers DID make it through security, by the way…). I would recommend checking out Shaz’s website if you are a newbie blogger. She has all sorts of techie advice, especially hints about wordpress! If you want real in-depth help, she loves Starbucks (hint hint)… or I am sure she wouldn’t mind being paid for real either. But what a wonderful treat to meet such cool women on the heels of such an amazing event.

And with that, I climbed onto the plane. I popped my contacts out, said a prayer of thanks there was no “Mr. McFeely” or possible groper seated next to me to worry about, and fell fast asleep.

Friends, if you have made it to the bottom of this post, a round of applause to you for sticking out BlogHer 08 with me. And stay tuned for Grover and Abby Cadabby video coming up soon! Now I better clean all this BlogHer stuff up, it’s like I am pining away about my college days or something. Sheesh.

(p.s. Did you see the BlogHer 08 write up in the NY Times? And then I also found Pundit Mom’s response pretty interesting too.)

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, BlogHer Conference, Educating myself, Feminist tendancies, Travel, Twitter, Women

Vacation Blogging, all I ever wanted.

I am in a packing frenzy and have very little time for any mucking about. Except, I have to share this bit of advice: don’t put your packing off until the last minute. Especially, when it is just you alone packing for everyone and you have two small children nipping at your heels.

Oh, and don’t save the laundry until the last day either. Washing colors and whites recklessly because you just want it DONE, is honestly not so smart.

And I also wouldn’t decide that you don’t have enough luggage until the last day and then haul the kids out and spend a half hour hemming and hawing over the cute luggage patterns in the outlet store (“Would THIS one be cute to bring to BlogHer, what do you think T.?” Blank stare. “If I am a good boy, can I have a Popsicle?” I’ll take that as a yes…).

And then don’t STAY in the outlet store once you’ve found what you need. Whatever you do. Don’t decide that maybe now is the time to spruce up the house with some new vases from the Home Decoration section. And then after 20 minutes of more hemming and hawing, don’t then decide that there isn’t any extra money to be spending on stuff like this and put it all back. It also might not be so smart to have spent so much time accomplishing nothing, that it’s close to lunchtime, and your two year old is having a cracker throwing, sippy cup tossing, mommy kicking, red faced squealing tantrum in the shopping cart. Yup, bad.

And then, once the kids are home and fed, don’t then decide to call your neighbor and gab about the mean couple at the fourth of July party. Because that can go on forever, establishing why they snubbed you or how they were rude to your neighbor’s children (for example, when my neighbor’s daughter approached their baby to say hello, the mom yelped in a panic “Oh my son is allergic!” and scooped him up. Allergic? To what?? …Ok, ok, I’m over it).

And then don’t realize you have not ordered your son’s school uniform and hem and haw (“hemming and hawing”, it’s a true skill of mine) over which colored polo shirts to get. He looks FINE in yellow, just buy the damn shirts already.

And whatever you do, for the love of Pete, don’t get on the computer. STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Its eeevil. It will suck you in. It will steal hours out of that last valuable day while you ponder if the post you are composing is an utter waste of time and just a silly statement of the obvious. (Press “publish” and get on with it, girl!)

Groan. I am horrified, the afternoon is almost over! Please, if you are also heading out tomorrow for your vacation but have found yourself sitting here reading this (waste of time, stating the way too obvious) post, don’t follow my hopeless example. Please refrain from all this silly mucking about and procrastination. It will be your down fall, let me tell you. Just buck up and get packing. Spend the time preparing, read your list and check it twice, and do right by your suitcase.

Because you know what packing is all about? It’s not about having absolutely everything while you are on vacation (because, c’mon, we’re not heading into the Amazon, Wal Mart is -unfortunately- everywhere and you can always get what you need). A smart and thorough packing job, my friends, is about avoiding that certain moment in the car the next day. I am sure you know what I am talking about. After you are all packed up, and in the car (probably a little bit later than you’d like), and you’re excitedly speeding down the highway, it’s that moment when you think out loud “I feel like I forgot something.” And then, if you didn’t do a stellar job like you SHOULD have the day before, you probbaly have forgotten something. So then you need to decide if you should turn around. I hate that moment. I detest that moment. Realizing I have, in fact, forgotten something and then demanding we turn around has sent my (hates to be late) husband to the brink, let me tell you. Not such a good way to start that family vaca.

So, whatever you do, if its your day to pack before vacation: don’t shop, don’t call friends, don’t tinker and dawdle and daydream, and above all else, DON’T GET ON THE COMPUTER. Get packing and have a clean conscious that you did your best. While driving to the airport, allow yourself to laugh in the face of that “moment” and respond aloud “Well, I didn’t forget anything”, and then sit back, put your shades on and smile smugly …even if the “are we there yets?” have started up in the backseat.

Ok folks, I’m outa here. I will be blogging from the road, to be sure. Who knows where or when you will hear from me next but I will be back here, harassing you all, soon enough. Peace out.

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Filed under Packing, Procrastination, Travel, Vacation

If You Blog it, They Will Come.

Have you ever paid attention to the universe around you? I mean, REALLY paid attention? I am not sure if it’s something supernatural, something religious, something mystical, spiritual, or a big mish mash of hocus pocus mumbo jumbo, but if we are paying close close attention, the universe does send us signals. And, while taking the risk of sounding completely coo-coo for cocoa puffs, I have a feeling the Powers That Be are trying to tell me something. And I’m not getting subtle smoke signals in the distance either. Something big has been laying down a runway, with lights, and huge arrows, and blinking neon signs with the words “GO THIS WAY” all in caps, and all the gods and goddesses and wonderful souls that watch over me are jumping up and down at the end of that runway screaming: “C’mon! Yoooo whooo!!!! Over here… OVER HERE!!!!”

I know, this is a nut-so idea. I know it sounds like I’ve been spending a liiiitle too much time sniffing my kids markers. But, for real, I believe it. So let me tell you what’s going on.

I started blogging about 5 months ago. And reading back in my recent post about thanking Blog Her, you know I feel extraordinarily humbled by the fantastic opportunity I was given to attend Blog Her. It felt as if the universe opened itself up and dropped this trip in my lap. I was completely caught off guard and have been beyond appreciative. It’s honestly all I have been thinking about over the past couple of weeks. I just can’t wait. And right about when I found out I could go to Blog Her, I think that runway vaguely seemed to be coming into view.

And then it happened to me again yesterday. The universe opened itself up and dropped another fantastic opportunity in my lap. I was contacted by a PR firm representing HP and Microsoft to try out some of their products and bring them to Blog Her. What kind of products? Ohhhhh…. a laptop and video camera. For me. To use. No strings. Just see if you like them. And I don’t even have a laptop (remember, my 6 million dollar computer pieced together with parts, some dating back as far as 8 years?) and then – a video camera? Are you kidding me? I just about fainted dead away. Yup, the runway is clearly blazing with super mega watt lights. *Bing* *bing* *bing*, this way, this way, this way!

So, ok, I’ve got a free trip to this conference. And then just when I was feeling like HOW could I ever POSSIBLY be cool enough at BlogHer without a laptop but, whatevs, I’ll figure it out… um… one is now being magically delivered to me? Yup. Poof, the universe drops one from the sky. Of course.

And then there has been the support for this blog. The wonderful comments and unsolicited encouragement I’ve recieved, well, I am immensely grateful. I have made new friends and have learned amazing tips from other blogs that I have incorporated into my life. Yup, I take this positive experience and the amazing connections created with fellow bloggers as another sign. It’s honestly as clear as day, right? No doubt, the Powers That Be are absolutely doing their “over here dance” at the end of that runway.

Maybe you’d call it luck. Or a crazy coincidence. Or serendipity. Or Karma (that would be nice). Or something from a religion you believe. Whatever it is, something BIG is trying to tell me something IMPORTANT. And what do I think that is? BLOG. Write. Create. Keep doing this. If you blog it, they will come. For real folks. I think this is what some people might describe as: “A CALLING”

Too many magic (they don’t call ’em magic for nothing) markers, I know, I know. But I had to share what’s rattling ’round in my brain. It’s what bloggers do, right?

And that’s the other thing. You see, when good things happen to me, I need to acknowledge it publicly. Why? Because I am truly grateful. I need to call right back up to that hole in the universe, where so many things seemed to have fallen out of recently, and say THANK YOU.

So those are my deep thoughts for the day. And you know I will be looking “fly” with my new gear at BlogHer too, just be sure to come over and smack me if I seem a tad too smug. But what’s more likely is that you’ll have no trouble spotting me from a far. Why? Well, I’ll be the one in some crazy hat that has a sign on it blinking “THANK YOU” out at the world around me.

I’ll let you know if that hole in the universe opens up again. Shoot, a nice family sized hybrid might fall out of there next! But in the meantime, I am going to be paying attention to these signs around me and keep heading down the path I seem to be on. It’s certainly well lit, there’s no trouble there. So, I hate to tell ya folks, blogging it is. I’m going to be around awhile.

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Filed under Blog love, BlogHer Conference, Deep thoughts, Religion, Self-analysis, Signs, Spirituality, Stuff I have, Travel