BlogHer and Perfection Salad

So, I mentioned celery recently. It actually was in the discussion of Perfection Salad. (Not my recipe, but there is a picture) Yes, I have picked up another cookbook with a version of Perfection Salad. Yes, the recipe is probably the epitome of bizarre foodstuffs. I will confess something: I like the idea of Perfection Salad and a well done execution. Why? Because all sorts of different things that you don’t expect to go together, do. It may not be your thing. You may recoil reading about it. You may not even like it when you taste it. You might look and not want to start to try. It can be an acquired taste.

BlogHer conferences are the same way. Huh? I dare compare jellied vegetables and fruit to a conference? HERETIC! A beloved conference even!

But wait a minute. Here is the thing: BlogHer is perfection salad.

  • Invented by a woman
  • Improved upon by women
  • Makes use of things that others scoff
  • BlogHer elevates women–all women–in a way that is near perfection
  • BlogHer takes a mixture of women and puts them together to make a whole.

Ok, ok. It is a strange metaphor; go with it.

This year, BlogHer 2014, was back in San Jose. It was the first time back there since 2006–my first BlogHer. I am still muddled by the landscape of San Jose. It really could be some foreign habitat. I have trouble with California towns. (Though I did like San Diego a lot) There is a persistent unease I feel on the west coast. I blame my east coastal upbringing.

The hotel was ok. I was glad that we stayed in the Hilton connected to the convention center. The lights are long in San Jose.

The convention center seemed very nice and the staff was nice for the most part. I gave up dragging my laptop to the conference this year, but it seems that Team San Jose’s wifi upgrade really worked wonders. I didn’t hear any complaints about wifi in the conference center. NONE.

The Sponsors were by and large fabulous. I was not particularly pleased by the Hairfinity people who seemed to think that my young adults would not benefit from their product. I also have mixed feelings about sponsors who wanted me to spend precious conference time doing an “experience” or tweeting something in order to win/get swag/whatever. Some of it was fun. Some…gah…don’t put me on the spot.

The speakers–especially the 10×10 speakers knocked my socks off. Really. The VOTY, of course, was awesome (and the PHOTY) Morning and closing keynotes: YAY!

The women–so wonderful. I really took steps this year to talk to other women. Learn. Listen. It made my conference! I sometimes forget in the hustle to see, learn, do, that the WOMEN of BlogHer are the best. I stepped away from sitting with the same women I always end up with. I wasn’t the hanger on with the oldie BlogHers and staff. (I love them. But, it was awesome to not ponder a lot of what passes every year during conference season.) I didn’t spend the conference looking for my children, worrying about my mother (iPhone and texting for the win), or trying to locate Denise. If she was there, she was there. If not, we could find each other relatively easily. I think there were only a couple of “where are you?” texts. Oddly, I think we spent more time together and happier time together at this conference than other ones.

And the closing party? LOVED IT. Fresh McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries? YES. A party area that wasn’t mind-numbingly loud to prevent conversation.  Rev Run! (yes that part was very loud but VERY entertaining and I danced.)

So, it was a really good BlogHer. It was the sort that reminds me why BlogHer still matters. It reminded me that nowhere else will I get the sort of “summer camp” where I meet new women, really get to know women who’ve attended in the past, and renew relationships with veterans. Yes, one can say it is an expensive party weekend. But, is it really when it makes you think about what you are doing? Where you want to focus? And just what doesn’t matter anyway?

Get Ready for #BlogHer 14!

I'm Going to BlogHer '14!BlogHer14 is around the corner! This will be a magical time–a tenth anniversary celebration of all good things female and Social Media! Learning new things, meeting new friends, seeing old ones. Many of us are sitting and wondering (or pacing and wondering) what is on the to-do list before BlogHer.

Here are my suggestions of things you may forget:


  1. Clean your laptop and phone screen. Even if you aren’t taking your computer all day long with you–nothing shows screen grime like airport or hotel lighting.
  2. Post on your blog. Something decent that you won’t mind sponsors and new friends pulling up while you stand there.
    If you haven’t posted for months–make the effort.
    If you’ve posted and the most recent post is going to be something minimalist, just your latest workout or a picture of your lunch and that isn’t representative of what you want to be known for posting–then draft and/or publish a post that is the core of your blog.Don’t fall into the trap of just posting a giddy “I’m going to BlogHer! I hope to see you!” Yes, you can do that, but post something solid.
  3. Make sure there is plenty of space for new pictures and video on your phone. If your camera icon is hard to find: move it to the front page.
  4. Keep an eye out for the app announcement. There will be paper agendas but if you are anything like me–you won’t have them when you need them.
  5. Put an alert on your phone calendar for any do not miss items.
  6. Check out the sponsors. Follow them on Twitter/Facebook if they interest you. Explore their websites a bit.
  7. Wear the shoes you plan on taking. Seriously.I tend to end up getting a pair for wearing with a dress and then…the first time I actually wear them I am blistered in an hour. Better to know that before I go.
  8. Check out the conference group on Facebook. Follow @blogherevents on Twitter. Join the Skype buddy system if you need a buddy or just want to share in the excitement.
  9. Pack a heating pad, medications for headaches/migraines and your usual meds. Oops need a refill? Get it.
    After years of packing for BlogHer and doing the “Is it worth the extra space to take this med? I mean I haven’t had an asthma attack, stomach flu, stuffed up head for years” I recommend taking them.
    Granted there are drugstores in San Jose. There are even sponsors with such things. But, the time you don’t bring them–no dice.
    Likewise take your “feminine” care items. I don’t care if you haven’t had a period for 8 months or have just finished your period–surprise bleeding is common at BlogHer. If you have a uterus–take supplies.
  10. Open your heart and your mind to new ideas, new people. Be ready to poke yourself into a group of other people if they interest you.
    Practice not taking slights, bad wording, bad manners, bad attitudes to heart.
    That woman who pushed past you without a second look? She probably had other things on her mind, bad news from home, something that seemed important to get to on time.
    Be open and receptive. At the same time, don’t take things personally.
    Many of us aren’t professional conference go-ers. Some of us don’t ever get out. The whole range of insecurities, unpolished manners, and stress can lead to someone saying or doing something that takes you aback. Don’t let it ruin your conference.
    At the same time, make an effort to try to be aware of others, speak to them, smile, shine up your own manners. Tuck insecurity away.
    You are special. You are worthy.  You are a BlogHer. Prepare to sparkle!

Take a Quick Survey

I know, I know. I started the month pretty good and then bam…nada. I have a reason though. I have been in the hospital for a chronic condition flare. Or maybe it isn’t the chronic condition but previously undiagnosed other chronic condition, or maybe I expect too much out of myself. You see the hospital didn’t give a lot of answerThe upside to hospitals are: meds! Good Jell-o (once they let you have it) and… TV. I rarely watch TV at home. (Survivor in season, sometimes something with the kids but rarely) We watch TV in hotel rooms…and I watch it in the hospital. I have no focus and can’t read. Pulseox thing makes it hard to type. (Darn touch typing! Why can’t I just be a classically trained two finger typist?) and of course, the meds and being sick makes everything sort of horrible sounding. Seriously–I read status updates and texts and a post I wrote last week –embarrassing. Completely. I still am ramble-y and messier than usual. I’ll work back up to minimal polish soon. I promise.

In the meantime, back to tv. I watched a lot of it. But, I didn’t watch the nifty BlogHer TV–instead relying on the dubious production and storytelling values of cable television. Yes, I may have babbled incoherently about Amish/Mennonite kids at a bachelor party in Atlantic City and the sheer genius of some show about a duck call making family.
I should have watched BlogHer TV! You should too…go click the video in my sidebar. There are some really great ones and I am sort of hooked on the Hila vids in particular; even though I don’t do food pictures or food tv. She makes me laugh. Watch a lot from here too because I get some pennies from it for my hospital fund–ok for probiotic purchases? dog toys? Something.

All of this leads up to… BlogHer wants your opinion about how you watch or don’t watch video on the internet. What size box makes you cringe and what makes you click. Go answer this super quick survey. Seriously–very quick even if you are slow brained like me today. Your thoughts are so valuable and your opinions will help make better decisions about video content. So do me a favor and click the survey link!

Survey Link:

BlogHer Video Survey (Super quick, under 5 min, please!)

The Smell was Unstopable…

As you know, I was at BlogHer. That means I came home to that lovely chore: washing stale laundry. I don’t know about you–but I know that my clothes may never smell quite so bad as after a trip. I blame the suitcase. It couldn’t be four days of walking, dancing, sweating, eating standing up, eating while animatedly chatting, or pressed against strangers in elevators. This year…I have no fear that I will catch the scent of conference food in the air whenever I wear the same clothes. Why? Downy Unstopables In Wash Fresh Scent Booster

How do I know? last year, the nice folks at P & G demonstrated Downy Unstopables In Wash Fresh Scent Booster at BlogHer. Ok, they talked and handed me some. I looked at them skeptically. I am NOT a scent person. Wouldn’t it be waxy? It looked waxy? What would I do with them?

In fact, I may have handed them off to oldest child (Johnny Mac Pippin’s Mama) when we got home. (I did) But, we had more.

One day, while doing a load of laundry known around here as “dog towels” but generally includes anything unsavory smelling–I threw some in the wash. And…MAGIC. Not only did the dog towels not smell when they came out of the laundry–a feat that doesn’t occur with our normal cleaning regimen–the smell didn’t pop back up as the haunting ghost scent of that section of the towel area.

Then, it was on to (shh–don’t tell the scent hater) OUR towels. You see we don’t wash them after every use. Everyone has their own towel and it makes no sense to wash seven or eight or ten towels every day. Sometimes, the “people” towels would have an odor…after just one use. It wasn’t the unclean bodies touching them. It was some sort of reactivation of deep down mustiness. Blame the child who hoards wet towels in her room. Anyhow, using the Downy Unstopables In Wash Fresh Scent Booster meant I wouldn’t smell that “wet towel” smell. I also wouldn’t notice that freshly showered boy smelled like he needed another shower after an hour in his room. hmmm.

I hear you thinking “Ok, why is Tarrant talking about LAST YEAR’S swag? I know she’s running late with her posts on the conference, but that’s excessive” I will tell you why: P & G is running a nifty program–now through the end of August. (Coincidentally-my birthday is in August. This is a great way for you to give me a birthday present and get some nifty stuff!) Click the link in the widget below! Buy some Unstopables (or any other product on the site!) and I get a nifty commission. You can get Unstopable nice scented clothes…or a Swiffer…or an Olympic themed bundle!

Guess what else is cool? FREE SHIPPING if you spend more than 25.00. 10% off ALL orders through the end of the month.

So, you save a bit of money, you don’t need to schlep the stuff home. (and really…if I were you…I would pick up some of that Olay Regenerist while you are at it. I think buying wrinkle stuff at the drugstore feels worse than buying condoms or a pregnancy test. Who wants to stand there and try to figure out which one and whether you are worth it…then face the scorn of the checkout clerk? You are worth it. I am secretly plotting my OWN purchase of more Regenerist. (Yes, I use it. Yes, that is why some of you think I still look like I am in my 20s.) Also, know that Swiffer is the official mop of the Flamingo House. You want one of those too.

Click! Buy! Anything will give me a bit of a commission for my birthday AND give yourself some mighty fine products.

Downy Unstopables In Wash Fresh Scent Booster

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