The start of NYC blogger conference week was kicked off with a bang by Vera Sweeny & Audrey McClelland at their 7th annual Getting Gorgeous event. Like most of the events that I would attend that week, this would be my very first time attending. I had heard so many great things about last year’s event that I busting with excitement to attend.

    The Metropolitan Pavilion was transformed into a space where bloggers were literally getting gorgeous. If you name it, then it was probably there and then some. Bloggers came from far and wide to mix and mingle as well as learn and try the various products and services.


    When you first walk in there was a massive beauty area where one could receive a number of services ranging from hair, make-up and even Restylane injections. And the best thing was there were products for all skin and hair types, including natural hair! There were also stations to get massages and manicures.

    gg2The line was understandably long in the beauty area so I just looked at everyone else get styled. There was lots of laughter and nods of approval.

    After that I made my way to the back, as I always like to start from the back and make my way out the door. It’s something I do at every expo. My first stop was Cocktail Caviar. I want to let you know this is NOT liquor infused caviar. This is pure alcohol and when those little balls hit your tongue it becomes a party unlike anything your mouth has tasted. Tiny, potent and decant this is something that will be a favorite among party goers.

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    The next table I went to was Bali. They provide light weight comfortable bras, panties and other intimates. But you know the most important thing a woman needs a bra that’s going to lift and hold us in without cutting off the circulation of blood flow to our mid back section. We want to feel as though we aren’t wearing anything at all, Bali does that.


    Net stop was the Liquid Oxygen table. This is an acne fighting product stands out from its competitors by not using Benzoyl Peroxide, which is known for drying out the skin. They instead uses a combination of Oxygen, Vitamin A,B, D & E and Salicylic that is a beta-hydroxy that naturally exfoliates the skin. I can’t wait to try this product as I am now experiencing acne issues. I will update you on how its going.


    I love jewelry! So I was excited to see Trollbeads allowing attendees to build their own bracelets. There was a choice of colorful leather bands and beads. This is one that I made. I stayed neutral so that I could wear it all the time.


    Finger food and snacks were delish! I ate one, or two or three of everything off that platter from The Backyard Food Company


    But my heart went a flutter when I spotted the root beer by Small Town. Many people don’t know this, but I love root beer. I could drink it for life. So without reading the label I grabbed one, popped the cap and started drinking. But this wasn’t my grandma’s root beer. This was spiked! My acid reflux went into full effect but it didn’t matter, I popped 2 tums and kept drinking it. If you see this drink it.

    Overall, Getting Gorgeous was an amazing event that truly epitomized not only getting gorgeous but also feeling rejuvenated and recharged. I can’t wait to see what Vera and Audrey come up with next year.

    Photo Credit: Getting Gorgeous


    Last month was BlogHer15 and it was more than anything I could have ever expected! Mommy R+R just celebrated its 1st year in April so this would be my first time attending a blogging conference. It scares me to think I almost didn’t go because the price tag was so high. But I’m glad I paid as it was worth every single penny. So much so I’m ready for next year.

    There were so many things that I took away from BlogHer15 that I won’t have enough room to cover it all but these are the ones that really blew my mind:


    During The Pitch we were introduced to 6 amazing women who were pitching products and services that blew everyone away, and yet every last one of them in some shape or form diminished themselves. By saying things like, “I’m not very funny“, “This isn’t too exciting” etc. it got to the point where the host had to halt the segment so it could be stated no one should be diminishing anything about themselves, and that went for the audience as well. That hit home so hard because I too had the nasty habit of diminishing myself. I’ll say business is slow, I don’t know if I’ll ever get the hang of this or no one likes me. That is so inaccurate. I have come such along way over the last 16 months. That is an accomplishment in of itself. And there are so many other words that I can use to describe where I am in my life and career that does not involve being internally negative. My business is not slow, this is my journey and everyone’s is different.  I know way more today than I did last year at this time. And those who follow me not only like me, but love me!


    When I heard Gwyneth Paltrow, who I affectionately call Goop, would be speaking at BlogHer15 I knew I’d be going out to lunch that day to avoid listening to her pretentious drivel. But the day came and as fate would have it, the weather in NYC reached almost 100 degrees outside. I would not be leaving the hotel. I’d be eating with Goop after all. As you can guess the dining room was packed. Where I usually sat near the stage I was now all the way in the back. I’d have to use the huge screen to see her. When the woman who needed no introduction appeared the room roared with cheers and applause. I listened as she talked about her family and how she and her ex-husband protects them from the public eye. But soon the conversation moved toward her controversial lifestyle website, Goop. Now is when I started to lower my internal hearing. Before I was almost at mute she stated that at some point she would like to not be associated with Goop and she would like to see it stand on its own. I found that interesting and the more she spoke the more in interested and enamored with her I became.  She was smart, witty and charming. How could you not like that? But what really won me over was her potty mouth and her ability to make people uncomfortable.  She was telling a heartwarming story how her father took her on a daddy/daughter trip to Paris. The entire story was very much an “awwwwe” moment, but to end the heaviness she ended the story with, “then the fucker had the nerve to die on me” 98% gasped in horror, but the other 2%, which included me, was hysterical. It was in that moment I said to myself, Val, I think Goop just became a pal in your head. Are you fond of Gwyneth? It’s okay if you’re not.


    I was supposed to take another class but as fate would have it I wound up in Focus and Organization. This unplanned change was good because I have the attention span of a gnat. Not only am I a business owner I’m also a stay at home mom, which explains my attention span. Moderated by Danielle Faust and Sam Horn I learned so much about ditching my need to watch addicting television shows while I drafts posts. Why? Because you aren’t going to get anything done. You’re going to type a few lines, if that and then rear back so that  you can watch t.v. Get rid of that in order to have a clear and focused mind. There’s also the need to write things down, which I do. But I need to be more consistent. While my whiteboard is my friend it  also contains some outdated information. And lastly, the need to be organized. This is not something that I have or will ever master. My desk is an ‘organized disaster’ I know exactly where everything it but to someone else its a travesty. If I were better organized, in a peaceful environment, working on a clean desk it would allow my mind to be focused on the task at hand and not the distraction around me.


    As I was learning to become a blogging expert the ladies of BlogHer15 asked me to tap into other areas that I was already an expert in. If you didn’t know already I’m an expert in:
    Event planning, sarcasm and mixing cocktails.


    If you’ve met me in person then you know how utterly out of control I can be. I like drinking and cussing. But what happens when you’re trying to tame that for your readers? What I learned from the When You’re Too Much For Your Audience class is that you don’t, meaning you tame nothing. You express yourself in your authentic voice. Moderated by Logan Levkoff, Sarah Ann Gilbert, Thien-Kim Lam, Maureen O’Connor and Babz Rawls Ivy these 5 women became my unfiltered heroines. They taught me to just tell my story as long as the story didn’t cost me a relationship I  valued. Sometimes there are stories that will forever sit in your draft box. And truthfully I’m ok with that, as there are times just typing it out can be therapeutic. But whatever it is that I’m writing should be in no way tamed or toned down. The reader knows what they signed up for with my delivery and as the author I should deliver it. If its too much then the reader will pass over it and wait for the next post.


    At the end of all the festivities there was a BlogHer15 closing party sponsored by McDonald’s. During the party there were trays of piping hot food and drinks being passes around. You haven’t had Mickey D’s til you’ve had it like this. There was even alcohol. OMG! The thought of getting a large fry with a spiked lemonade is making me weak in the knees. But that wasn’t what caught my attention, on one of the trays I grabbed what I thought was a chocolate ice cream shake of some kind. Upon my first sip I knew something was very wrong. 2 sips, 3 sips 4 sips more. This was not any ole shake. This drink had coffee in it. I can’t stand coffee. I’ve hated it since my first and last cup of Folgers back in 88. But for whatever reason I kept sipping on this cause it was so good. Does this mean I like coffee? It must cause I’ve been craving another since last month. Have you had one yet? Aren’t they addicting.

    Did you attend BlogHer15? What lessons did it teach you? What segments did you enjoy?


    The all female empowerment rock band, The Mrs held an amazing star studded Mother’s Day event in New York City. The event was hosted by Jenny McCarthy benefiting Dress for Success, an organization that gives women donated suits in order to help them feel great about themselves at the office and in life!

    This was an amazing event! It was everything one would imagine when you’re at the top of 30 Rock. Taking place in The Weather Room that welcomed attendees jaw dropping views of the city in all directions. I thought I’d seen the city before. No. You haven’t seen NYC til you’ve seen it from here. It is glorious!

    The Mrs

    No stone was unturned for this event as it was complete with pink carpet surrounded by beautiful flowers, chic and stylish decor, delicious food and a rocking DJ.

    The Mrs
    Photo Credit: Sunday Shades & Up Front NY

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    Have you ever looked in the mirror and didn’t like what you saw in the refection? Whether its physical or mental, you just didn’t want to face that person staring back at you? As moms we can often feel as though we aren’t enough. We can be left feeling incomplete and inadequate. The Mrs are out to change that with The Mrs. Magic Mirror.

    The Mrs
    Photo Credit: The Mrs

    The Magic Mirror is nothing short of amazing. You simply stand in front tell the mirror how you’re feeling. I will not speak about what I told the mirror about but I assure you I was crying by the time she got through with me. Everyone’s experience in front of it is completely different yet the result is the same. It is meant to empower you and to get the viewer to understand that they ARE making a difference and that they are enough.

    See it in action…

    If you can’t get to the magical mirror then you can download the Magic Mirror app so that you can send yourself or a loved one a message that reinforces that they are ENOUGH!

    And if that wasn’t enough the duo of Graffiti USA created a beautiful mural right before your eyes that was inspired by the theme of the evening. Pictures will never do this mural justice. It was breathtakingly stunning!


    At the end of the night The Mrs wrapped the event with an inspiring set list that included their new song, ‘You Told Me’, a follow up to their debut ‘Enough‘, just to name a few. These ladies can jam! Everyone in the house was moving feeling the love.

    The Mrs
    Photo Credit: Up Front NY

    Watch the official ‘You Told Me’ video on YouTube & subscribe to their channel

    Thank you to Liz from One Fabulous Mom, The Mrs, Jenny McCarthy and Dress for Success for a beautiful, inspiring and moving event.


    Momtrends Travel
    Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends

    Memorial Day is approaching and with it the official start of the summer travel season. Because of this I thought it would be a perfect time to recap the MomTrends Travel 2015 event I recently attended.

    The premise of the event was for Nicole, owner of MomTrends to not only speak about the importance of traveling, but to highlight products and services that should be on your check list when preparing for your next adventure, whether its with your girls or with your family.

    Before the event got underway Nicole spoke about how before she and her husband had children they left their jobs to backpack across 22 countries over the course of a year. Umm, can we say travel goals! And when their daughter was born the first thing they got her was a passport. Her story was so inspiring because how many of us have dreamed about dropping everything to see the world? I know I have.

    momtrends travel
    NY Family magazine editor Eric Messenger

    Eric Messenger editor of New York Family magazine was in the house and spoke about how travel is the #1 requested topic with his mom readers! Moms love a good vacation…and wine too. That’s probably 2nd most requested topic. I’ll have to ask him, but for now I will just assume. He shared with us a number of trends that are upon us. Like, oh, did you know that Poconos is about to be place to see and be seen with families. Move over heart shaped jacuzzi’s, indoor water parks are taking over. There are a number coming to the area so be sure to stay up to date for grand openings.

    Once the event got started we were treated to a number of vendors who showcased a number of products that every traveling individual and family would need:

    momtrends travelWhile you can’t have too many things in your carry-on the one thing you can thankfully have with you are barkTHINS. I am not a fan of dark chocolate. But, they have made a lover out of me! These yummy dark chocolate treats are filled any number of things as they have a variety of flavors. My favorite right now are the mint, pretzel and coconut. Did I mention they come in chunks. CHUNKS. The packaging is small enough to fit right in your bag and has a resealable tab to keep freshness.


    momtrends travelIf you’re traveling to NY, Miami or LA and you need a stylist to come to hook you up then call Glam Squad. They are a mobile styling service that allows you to book styling appointments via an app for iPhone user and on their booking page for non iPhone users. They have an array hair and make-up styles to choose from. Your stylist will arrive at the time of your choosing and complete your look in about an hour.


    momtrends travelLike most families when my children were smaller and we went out of town I always had to ask, “where’s the baby gonna sleep?” I had to make sure the hotel had a crib available to guests. And once in the room I would spend 45 minutes wiping it down with Lysol cause I always wondered about previous owners and the dirty hands touching rails that my child would ultimately put their mouths on. Now thanks to Baby Bjorn, you’ll no longer have this worry. They’ve designed a portable light weight yet sturdy travel crib that will fit your littlest ones. It comes in its own case for easy travel and storage. They also have a collapsible baby rocker and a new 3-way baby carrier that will let you carry baby facing you, facing outward and on your back!


    momtrends travelPacking for a vacation can be a daunting task. You look in your closet and see some things you’d take but for the most part you’ll end up shopping for the entire trip. You’ll have an overstuffed luggage that will have too many items in case you change your mind and need a back up. Tammi and Dawn have been there, which is why they started Yamis and Dawni. With their chic designs and amazing fabrics they are bridging the gap between athletics and everyday wear. All you need are a couple of pieces from their line and you will have a week worth of various looks. With tugs (or releasing) of strings built in the seam what you thought was a form fitting top is now a shirt dress. And with a change in accessories, that they also sell you can easily take the look from day to night. It’s great because now with a decrease in the number of clothing items you’ll have to pack you’ll have more room to bring home souvenirs.


    momtrends travelSpeaking of packing for vacation, the one thing I know moms hate about travel packing is the dreaded swimsuit. I was a 2 two piece string bikini gal for years, even after the birth of my first child. However,  after the birth of my second child my tummy was not having it. I thought I’d just wear unflattering cover ups until I decided to take working out seriously. Thankfully, Magicsuit heard the cries of post baby mommies and cookie lovers all over the world. This suit is magic. They guarantee you will look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds. The Lycra spandex and great built in bra support will have you snatched in all the right places.


    bags1OiOi Bags gave families some amazing options to diaper bags. OiOi wants you to stop using your designer bags for a baby bag. Moms can choose from a vast selection of chic and stylish bags. Especially the men’s bag. They are nondescript and no one would guess the brown satchel (shown in the pic) would hold bottles, pampers and everything else baby needs. My husband needed this bag badly because he used to put the baby’s things in a backpack. Can we say milk all in the bottom of the bag.

    Nicole also spoke about her trusty travel kit. And in it she keeps, ZzzQuil so she can get a good nights sleep when she arrives at her destination, an eye mask to keep the sun out while she sleeps, a travel toothbrush and tooth paste and a facial mask to get her pores cleaned out from being on the plane for a long period of time.

    momtrends travelAnd to end the night MomTrends Travel had some amazing giveaways. I won this super cool double sleeping bag from The Land of Nod. And here I thought my ALF sleeping bag was great when I was kid. Talk about an upgrade. Not only is it super comfy it HUGE and fit at least 3 small kids. Like most of Brooklyn we don’t have any grass in our backyard but they enjoy playing camping in their rooms when they have sleepovers.

    The evening was filled with great travel tips and products. Watch the video below for highlights from the MomTrends Travel event.

    Photo Credit: MomTRENDS

    *Update June 25 – This blog post has been added to The Brown Mom Bloggers Collective for the June 25 link up to bring you a list of travel essentials for your next family, couples or solo vacation.

    BMBC Collaborative Post Blog Footer

    Check out other travel essential posts from other members of the Brown Mom Bloggers Collective. Be sure to share the love by leaving a comment on their posts, too.

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