The Only Accessory You Need At BlogHer

We are now in countdown mode for the biggest blogging conference of the year. In less than two weeks, thousands of fabulous bloggers will be in New York City. There will be a lot of hugging, and a lot of squeeing. And I can't wait! Even though it's my third time attending BlogHer, I have not stressed about what to wear, because I plan on bringing everything in my closet with me.

Okay, I'm totally exaggerating, but I do plan on bringing enough clothes so I can change three times a day. Sounds crazy? Maybe. I just like having options and sometimes, different parties and events call for different outfits. I like to be prepared!

No matter how many dresses and high heels I bring with me, though, it's really all about the accessories. No outfit is complete without this - the one thing that can really dazzle a crowd - and it is really all you need to bring with you.

I'm not talking about the perfect necklace or the perfect earrings to make your outfit complete. I'm talking about your smile.

Seriously. You can be decked out in Valentino from head-to-toe, but if you're not happy and smiling, it won't even matter.

To help you put your best smile forward, I've teamed up with Crest to give you an even more fabulous smile. I've used Crest my entire life, and I love their 3D White products. From the Crest 3D White Whitestrips to the 3D White Advanced Vivid Toothpaste, the results are instant, and they last, too. Whenever my friends ask me what I use to make my smile so bright, I tell them about the Crest 3D White products.

Now, I'd love to give you a package so your smile can dazzle!

I'm giving away:

- Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects 2 Hour Kit
- Crest 3D White Advanced Vivid Toothpaste
- Oral-B White Advanced Vivid Toothbursh
- Crest 3D White Multi-Care Whitening Rinse
- Oral-B 3D White Floss

Trust me, forget the stress about what to wear during BlogHer. Bring some of your favourite outfits and comfortable shoes, and remember - your best accessory is your beautiful smile.

Leave me a comment below telling me what makes you smile, and you'll be entered to win the Crest 3D White package. I'll pick a winner randomly on August 30th.

Good Luck!

On Gun Control

I just spent a great weekend with my children and family doing the things we love to do on summer days and evenings - bike rides, park visits, swimming into the night, and even baking, a not so frequent occurrence for me. However, my heart is heavy, as I've been thinking about the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting non-stop, trying to wrap my head around this real-life massacre that took place. I've read some great posts on this tragedy that got me thinking.

Anyone who knows me will know that I've always been against guns, since I believe their only purpose is to kill.

When I was in college (after graduating university, and moving to D.C. for an internship with CBS) I did a 10 minute documentary on gun control for my broadcast journalism assignment. I went to a shooting range to get some video, and held a gun for the first time. It was heavy. It was loaded. I aimed, and shot my target man in the chest. I was pretty sure I'd never want to hold a gun again. Ever.

Next stop? A gun show in Maryland. There were tables of guns, bullets, books on making bombs, and other paraphernalia. There were hundreds of people holding guns, buying bullets, and having a good time. I saw some scary looking people that day and I wondered what all that was for. Hunting? Really? A hobby? Really? 

In 2000, I interviewed a man who worked for The Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence in D.C. He was well educated on the subject of gun violence, and the numbers he shared with me about innocent people dying because of gun violence were staggering and upsetting.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people." And yet... a man who purchased 6,000 bullets online killed a dozen people with his fully loaded gun. A baby. A six year old. Someone's daughter. A sports journalist. Someone's son. Someone's friend. And on. And on. And on. Pretty sure if the shooter walked into the theatre holding a a Pez dispenser and not a gun, no one would have died.

It it without question that we needs to do something about gun control. Without question. From the Beltway sniper attacks, to Columbine, to the Eaton Centre shootings, something has to be done, now. Sadly, we will never rid society of evil, no matter how great our gun control laws are, because guns will always find a way into the hands of evil people, illegally. But at least let's try, okay? Because controlling access to guns is a step in the right direction. We need to be more responsible. No one should be allowed to buy 6,000 bullets online. Period.

I stumbled upon Jason Alexander's brilliant post yesterday about the movie theatre massacre and gun control. I've re-read his words a dozen times, and I can't stop nodding in agreement.

"We will not prevent every tragedy. We cannot stop every maniac. But we certainly have done ourselves no good by allowing these particular weapons to be acquired freely by just about anyone.

I'll say it plainly - if someone wants these weapons, they intend to use them. And if they are willing to force others to "pry it from my cold, dead hand", then they are probably planning on using them on people."

I could not have said it better myself.

I hope we can do more to prevent other horrific tragedies like this from happening again. We owe it to the victims, at least.

No Sleep Till BlogHer

It seems like only yesterday I was in San Diego for BlogHer 2011, missing my kids like crazy, but having a great time with friends, attending fabulous parties, and wiping away my tears (as usual) during the Keynote.

In a few weeks, almost every single blogger I know and love will be in New York City for BlogHer 2012. I am beyond excited that BlogHer is back in NYC, because 2010 was my favourite BlogHer ever, and I'm hoping this year will be even more amazing.

From Mom 2.0 to BlissDom Canada, there is something unique and special about every blogging conference I attend. Sure, the parties, the ones put on officially by BlogHer and the private ones, are amazing, but the late night chats at 1 a.m. in the hotel lobby, or the fun that happens before or after all the parties and sessions is what I remember the most.

I wrote a post last year offering advice to people attending BlogHer. It can be stressful, and it's definitely busy. I consider BlogHer the Amazing Race of all blogging conferences, but it really is what you make it. You might not have enough time to hang out with everyone you were planning on spending time with, and you might need some time alone to unwind. Go at your own pace, do what you came to do, and step out of your comfort zone. We're all there for (more or less) the same reasons anyway. Have fun. Be friendly. Smile. Wear comfortable shoes during the day, and pack your party shoes for the night.

You don't have to bring much to a blogging conference besides your smile, party shoes, and awesome personality, but you know what else I always bring with me? Business cards. Trust me, you'll need them. They are so worth it, and you'll hand them out to everyone you meet and see.

I worked together with my friend Lindsay to create a new card that matched the look of my new blog design, and she created exactly what I wanted. And now, we'd like to give YOU some new business cards just in time for BlogHer! How great is that?

Just leave me a comment below telling me what you love the most about BlogHer (or any blogging conference) and I'll randomly pick a winner on July 18th.

I can't wait for BlogHer 2012, so I can hug all my friends again, attend the amazing parties, (I've had to start an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything!) and walk the streets in one of my most favourite cities of all, with some of the coolest people I know...

See you all SO soon - and good luck!


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