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Taking a break from my blog over the summer allowed me the time to focus on getting creatively charged, re-inspired and more in touch with Blogging and Social Media.  In August, I attend the BlogHer 2011 Conference in San Diego, California.  Since I began my blog in April 2010, I’ve taken advantage of some of the Social Media conferences available to me in the last year.  BlogHer 2011 was by far, the biggest.  I had no idea what to expect, so I went open minded, and came out with a whole new perspective on direction for my blog. (Above: Rocking it @CheapSally party @StingareeSD with @RedLotusMama. Photo courtesy of @SDBargainMama)

One of the reasons for these conferences is not only to learn more…there are seminars and sessions and key note speakers throughout the entire event.  You get to hob nob with some pretty impressive Social Media Mavens who have fought to make a name for themselves in this vast dimension of communication, and it is also quite inspiring to have such a large group of women in one place, all looking to achieve the same goals, as different as we all may be.  But, it is a huge opportunity for SPONSORS!  PRODUCT! SWAG!  Though I found many of the seminars to be quite interesting, and did take away quite a bit, let’s get real…the reason you are reading this is to find out what products and companies I got the goods on!  So, without further ado…

Here are my Top 10 Likes from BlogHer 2011:

1.  philosophy Red Velvet Lip Gloss– The Expo is huge! It literally took me all three days to make my way through this monster, and see every booth.  I set out on a goal to make Philosophy my priority, but oddly enough, I didn’t come across it until my last day.  And, it was well worth it.  I spoke with the PR Rep who introduced me to their entire skincare line, Miracle Worker, which I will go into later.  At the end of our conversation, she handed me their Press Kit, which just so happened to include samples of this line, along with their Red Velvet Lip Gloss.  OMG.  I love it!  It’s the perfect amount of sticky, sweet and color rolled into one.  Especially since I have a complexion that can handle reds, this hint of color is perfect for me!  I really don’t have time to get all dolled up every morning with a fabu make-up job, so I tend to stick to some powder around my eyes, a swipe of neutral shadow across my lids, some charcoal liner (on a good day) and mascara.  Forget any thought of lipstick…so this fun little treat made the perfect addition to my purse to keep me looking somewhat put together throughout the day.

The Help cocktail party with @RedLotusMama and @JustOneMiss

2. “The Help” screening- Some of you may have seen my posts on FaceBook and Tweets about the movie “The Help”.  Many of you may have already seen this terrific movie, which surpassed $100 million at the box office recently.  Being a RockStarMom of 4, I never get to see adult flicks, so when Disney/DreamWorks invited me to this special screening during the conference, it was one of my top things to do.  The movie was played at the Reading Gas Lamp Theater in DownTown San Diego.  Following the movie, they treated us to Southern-inspired desserts created by  Campine Catering and cocktails concocted by The Snake Oil Cocktail Company that were literally out of this world.  My favorite cocktail was The Skeeter.  If you haven’t seen the movie, I encourage you to check it out.  I would pay to see it again, it was that good.

3.  SmashBurger- While down there, I was also invited to attend dinner and an after-party with a group of amazing women bloggers in San Diego, the SDMomfia.  They arranged for their group to be driven by limo to the Smashbuger restaurant located DownTown, followed by an after-party at the Stingaree (more to come).  The great thing about Smashburger, is that there are several locations in Las Vegas!  (Just missing Henderson...) And, the food was truly delicious.  Scott, the owner, took us into the kitchen and gave us the 411 on the hows and whys of "smashing" the burger.  A few of the ladies even got to try it out, proving it to be a culinary skill one must obtain.  It's a great little burger joint offering burgers- build your own or order one of theirs: chicken, beef or veggie; sides-sweet potato fries w/sage, onion rings, skinny fries to name a few; milkshakes like Peanut Butter Cup and Butterfinger; sodas, beer and wine.  Here is the list of Las Vegas locations.  Write to Scott and tell him we need one in Henderson, too!!

4.  The Stingaree San Diego– Coming from Vegas, I’m going to be honest and little

Rooftop Buddha at the Stingaree San Diego

snotty here, but, yes, it’s difficult to find hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in other cities that can compete.  Now, I’m not saying ALL cities, obviously, New York, Miami, Los Angeles…right up there with the nightlife.  But, sadly, San Diego and Orange County sometimes just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to that sort of thing.   So when we were invited to the Stingaree San Diego for the Cheap Sally party, I really wasn’t expecting much.  Wow.  I was wrong.  First off, the venue is huge.  With over 13,000 square feet of space, including a rooftop bar, dance floor, lounge areas, and table seating…I was seriously impressed.  I loved the rooftop bar…it reminded me of being at parties in New York in the summer time.   Atmosphere…great.  Drinks…great.  Food…great.  I couldn’t stop talking about how great the Stingaree was, and wondering why it didn’t exist when I was attending college in San Diego.  Probably because the guy who owns it went to college with me, and needed a few years to make that happen.  (No bias.  I found out when I got there.)  It was a beautiful place that I will definitely be recommending to anyone that travels to San Diego looking for a fun night out.

5.  Ella’s Kitchen– When you have twins, the organic baby food booth is also on your top products to see list.  They handed me a few coupons and some samples, which I gladly took home, but what I loved about it…100% all natural, organic ingredients.  There is not even added ascorbic acids or water or anything to enhance*.  It just is what it is.  It is a company based out of England, and as the story goes, Ella’s dad wanted her to have the best baby food available to her, and thus created Ella’s Kitchen.  It is on the pricier side, I must admit, but the combinations offered make it well worth it.  I was able to find it at my Target store, and they are now available at Smith’s (Kroger).  So far, the boys are loving the combos: butternut squash/carrots/apples/prunes; peaches and bananas, strawberries and apples, & sweet potatoes/pumpkin/apples/blueberries.  They also have some pouches for “brekkie” that is a combo of fruits with rice cereal and yogurt.

*Does contain less than 1% of organic lemon juice.

For the sake of not taking up all of your time, and keeping this short…I’m stopping with my Top 5.  I will continue next time with my top 6-10.

Thanks for stopping by!  Lots of great things to share with you guys!  For more fun pics of my BlogHer2011 trip, visit my FaceBook page.


BlogHer 2011 is a Social Media conference that I attended and paid for out of my own pocket.  There were sponsors, product and services offered to me for free.  Any of the top 10 places/products on my list were given to me for free, however, my words and thoughts are 100% my own.