Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weekend Update with Lady Erin - Series 1, Part 2

So this weekend's "Weekend Update", a new series launched last week was a bit delayed by "Sandy." Although productivity was slightly disrupted, I certainly didn't feel the wrath like other's did and prayers continue to go up as folks continue to assess the damage and rebuild. The biggest distraction resulted from school closings and my trying to keep the lil ones from suffering "cabin fever." Schools reopened today. Can you hear my "hallelujah" shout??? #MommyMidday

Me and the divas (Janesia Simmons, Maaden Eshete), themselves of Divas, MPH
October is "Breast Cancer Awareness" month and we've been making every effort to lend attention to just being more aware. On last week's #BeautyTalk, we partnered with Divas, MPH to offer great tips to Bag Ladies listeners. If you missed, catch up OnDemand:

Additionally, I attended #PassionBehindPink, a Divas, MPH happy hour at Tabaq in DC. Divas, MPH partnered with FitFam Foundation and Whitman Walker Breast Health Initiative to provide an intimate setting for women to increase awareness and share personal stories. I was touched by the candor of those who attended and that which was shared. I shared too. I also learned alot about "getting to know my girls" and being comfy with, "feeling myself up", all in the name of increasing awareness. This is a great post with great pics from #PassionBehindPink by Gee James (Resident Photog on deck), regarding #PassionBehindPink:

Me and the coolest cat eva, Kurt Elling!
Besides being on "Sandy" watch this weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Saturday night performance of my absolute FAVE jazz artist , Kurt Elling. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a jazz fiend. I can listen to jazz 24/7 ...And I ain't old ;-). Kurt Elling is a GRAMMY award winner and for the last 13+ years, has been named the best "Male Jazz Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalist Association. Kurt Elling just released a new album, this month. I grabbed up 1619 Broadway right before jetting off to Vegas for #Blogalicious12. Nope, I didn't download, I actually bought the album. I know, unheard of right? But upon finding out that he was performing in DC at the Kennedy Center, I grabbed two tix with the "quickness." I've seen Kurt Elling live at least three times and he NEVER disappoints. And that band ...As always.  But the new drummer out of Houston, Kendrick Scott ...Gracious! I had orchestra seats to Saturday's performance (third row from the stage), and just when I thought nothing could top the performance itself, Kurt Elling proceeded to join attendees in the lobby for a bit of mingling. My date and I were literally headed towards the exit when I came to a screeching halt upon seeing Kurt Elling. I jumped in line for a picture and chat with "the man." I actually cut in line (shhh ...don't tell), but it's Kurt Elling! Oh, what a nite. BTW, thank goodness for "dial-a-date." He was good for something, snapping the pic mostly ;-). #TalesOfSingledom

From the Side

From the Back
BONUS: My 8 yr. old is gonna one day pray she doesn't have a "ba-donkka-donk" this big but for the sake of curbing "cabin fever" over two days of school closures, I let her have her way. I literally fell out and was CTHU when she burst in my room saying, "Mommy look!!"

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekend Update with Lady Erin ...

Miss J dishing in the Press/Media Lounge
Note: #NailSwagBL
Miss J pointed at me and literally put me on the spot.
Winning approval from Miss J (Alexander) himself or herself rather, was certainly one of the biggest highlights of my weekend. Of course I didn't get a pic of myself but I was adorned in a leopard print, spandex Sheba dress from Tobi which of course I accessorized and jazzed up with jewelry and B.A.I.T. Hilda Red Alligator Pointed Shootie Booties from Lulu*sMiss J is an Author but is widely known for work on America's Next Top Model. Miss J's flamboyant style and outlandish personality, garners attention always. Miss J put me on the spot by saying, "You are working that dress. You're good." Translation, approval! I had the pleasure of attending the 4th annual, "Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Expo" (#FBL2012), on Saturday. Produced by WDCW-TV/DC50, the "Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Expo" is a meet and greet, shopping extravaganza and fashion show all in one. The Washington Convention Center was overflowing with "fashionistas" looking to schmooze with style icons (like Paul Wharton), shop, mix and mingle. Free makeovers, style sessions and over 60 vendors, made #FBL2012 an experience to behold. New this year, the CW Lounge which screened upcoming shows including the much anticipated "Carrie Diaries", said to profile the early days of Carrie Bradshaw, premiering next year. The models literally ripped the runway during a continuous fashion show produced by Event Producer, Maggy Francois and featuring Hush, Catwalk, Current boutiques and more. The most applauded efforts were for the little ones, modeling fashions on behalf of My Bougie Baby. Too cute!!

I took notes on my FAVE oyster varieties.
You eva have one of the days where you say to yourself, "I'm ready to blow this joint." Well such was my day on Sunday. Following church, I had an itch to just get out. I'm not a football fanatic. I had a weekend to myself (meaning the kids were away #MommyMidday). And the weather was gorgeous! I had an oyster craving started by @JKnowsGoodFood, that I hadn't yet satisfied so ...A spot in DC I've long since loved for oysters, recently opened a new location, Hank's Oyster Bar aka Hank's On the Hill. And to put it in perspective, I text'ed a friend while dining who said her and hubby were considering for a date nite because she loved the other location. My reply, "If you love Hank's already, visiting the new location will make you love Hank's that much more." I absolutely believe that dining/eating out should be an experience. From the service to the food to the ambiance ...Everything should contribute to the overall experience. Hank's does not disappoint. From the bartender's amazing expertise as it relates to drinks and mixing and pairing to their very informed knowledge of the menu to just the personable, friendly and welcoming attitude of the staff.  BONUS: One of the bartender's allowed me to sip a drink not even on the menu. DELICIOUS! I hope it's added soon. The decor sets a warm and comfortable tone and the one bartender in particular with a voice made for the airwaves and a look like he stepped out of a Gladiator or Spartacus movie, didn't hurt either. VERY easy on the eyes ;-). I mean if posted up at the bar which I was, why not have a great view? Oh, did I satisfy my craving you ask? Yes, a dozen oysters on the half shell (one variety, the Golden Mantle ...So good, I didn't require cocktail sauce), lobster bisque and two must-have drinks ..."Virginia is for Lovers" which features an ice chunk (not a cube), the bartenders literally shave while you wait. And if a gin and tonic gal (I am), you must try the "Biggie Smalls." It features two gins #WhatsSippin. It was so good, I couldn't keep it to myself and extended an invitation to a friend to meet me at the bar ...#TalesOfSingledom ;-).

Before 7 Day Whitening Treatment
So the weekend marked completion of my Crest 3D Whitestrips with Advanced Seal No Slip Technology Review. As of Sunday, I was done with the daily task of applying the strips and peeling them off after the recommended two hours although I typically kept the strips on for three hours. I applied in the morning when most busy, less inclined to eat and more stationary. A few points:

  • The strips are very easy to apply
  • The strips are barely visible once applied
  • Noticeable when talking but the strips don't impair your ability to talk
  • Upon peeling off, no residual gel left behind
  • After Removal of Strips
  • The strips adhered to my teeth surprisingly well

After 7 Day Whitening Treatment
In conclusion, I would say the results are more a noticeable "brightness" as opposed to my teeth being whiter per se. I noticed a distinct "brightness" already on Day 3. The strips produce a result comparable to a highlighter you might apply to your face. My entire tooth isn't "whiter" but there is a "brightness" and less a sharp contrast so it's not like part of your tooth looks bright and the rest looks dull. When I smile, I see a difference and in the end it's about you. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to laugh and smile so while in the midst of the review, I felt like I was making a conscious effort to improve myself in some form. I did have some slight sensitivity which is to be expected so when I drank something particularly cold, I cringed a bit but it subsided in like 24 hours. I particularly love the feeling after peeling the strips off. My teeth had that post-dental visit feel when you wanna just run your tongue along your teeth because they feel so clean. I have a visibly "brighter" smile.

Lest I forget, I got my nails did too so #NailSwagBL in effect! Always nice (and necessary), to just sit and be completely pampered. Thanks to my Nail Artist, @MikalB23!!! How do you like this most recent design? Upon seeing a similar design on our #BeautyTalk Pinterest board, it made me think of a superhero and the pink signifies this month's focus on Breast Cancer Awareness. @MikalB23 worked her skills.

Tune into this week's #TalesOfSingledom featuring @lovein30days airing Wednesday, 7:30p EST on

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Lil' Ones FAVE #Blogalicious12 Take-A-Ways ...Part 2 #MommyMidday

So being as though I'm a Mommy, whenever I refer to having to go out of town or travel, the immediate question from my lil' ones is, "what are you going to bring back for me?" And multiply the question by three (I have an 8 yr. old and 6 yr. old twins). So my trek to Las Vegas for #Blogalicious12 was no different. I got one call from my babies while in Vegas and it certainly was not to see how I was doing (they could care less), but rather to check-in on how much swag I had collected for them. Although I did get an "I love you Mommy", before the call was over ;-). I recall being so exhausted when they called. The "I love you Mommy", provided an immediate energy boost ;-). So my previous post as per my #Blogalicious12 Recap Series, detailed my FAVE take-a-ways, here are theirs (I couldn't leave Vegas without their goodies):

I didn't immediately reveal the goods upon return. I set up a nice display as a surprise and invited my kids into the living room to see all that I brought back. Although I don't have the pics to show it, you can only imagine how quickly Mommy's cute little display was totally demolished by 6 hands reaching and grabbing for everything all at once.  I think it took 10 seconds, probably less! 

I knew prior to leaving Vegas that I had to somehow find a way to snag another S.I.S. by Barbie included in our swag bag. I have two girls. The oldest is 8 and my twin girl is 6. Thank you to the attendee (shall remain nameless),  who upon hearing me talk about having two girls, offered me her Barbie. Thank you!!! So I had both Trichelle and Grace and although in my mind, I knew which one would go to which daughter, inevitably they did argue over who would get which one. That's what kids do ...But I diffused the situation with the "quickness" cause that's what Mommies do.

The cookies shaped like purses were also a FAVE amongst my girls. Bear in mind, my 6yr. old son is kinda standing at a distance by this time with the pound puppy face, wondering what is for me. There wasn't necessarily alot of swag that would appeal to him. Admittedly, I had to supplement a bit. I got him a new football, soccer ball and kick ball so he wouldn't feel left out. 

The illuminating glasses were an absolute HIT with my lil' ones! My son grabbed the clear ones and left the purple ones for his sisters. These were compliments of McDonald's from the sponsored "Viva Las Ladies Night", poolside party. McDonald's transformed the Red Rock South Beach Pool into the ultimate ladies night and the glasses were provided along with other accessories like boas and hats, to dress up pictures with the "wanna-be chippendale guys." Alot of fun was had with those guys ;-). Perhaps I will muster the courage to share pics from that night although that would totally contradict my "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" stance.

My 6 yr. old twin daughter is an absolute natural in front of the camera and felt totally compelled to model her new purple illuminating shades, blue bracelet (also a hit), and as we tagged it, the "blingy ring" also compliments of McDonald's from the sponsored, "Viva Las Ladies Night." My daughter has plenty of showmanship. Note: the sticker plastered to her chest

The Box Tops For Education change purses appealed to my girls because of the purple color.  And what's crazy, they hit me up for money right away saying, "isn't that what the changes purses are for Mommy?" Thanks Kelly! My kids were actually excited to learn that Mommy scored 300+ Box Tops for Education bucks in the wind booth at #Blogalicious12. My son, "was your hair blowing in the wind booth Mommy?" My reply, "Mommy's hair texture doesn't really support blowing in the wind son. It stood still LOL!" I'm definitely looking forward to donating those bucks to their school. Although I kept the laptop feet, my son kept the McDonald's pouch. His equivalent to a change purse. He wasn't feeling the purple.

This is as close as I got to winning big in Vegas. Although I tried my hand, a "gambler" I am not. So the BTFE bucks were the only bucks I came home with. Still claiming "winning!"

The bracelets were most popular with my son mostly because the colors weren't "girly" as he says. And upon explaining the concept of, my kids couldn't wait to run down their Christmas wish lists. My son loved the Gain #GainFresh pin. Why? He's a kid. There isn't always an explanation. My daughter loved the McDonald's, "Viva Las Ladies" tokens until such time as she realized they held no monetary value. The McDonald's earbuds which were given away throughout the conference were a fave of my oldest. She has both a NOOK and a Nintendo 3DS. Let's see how long these earbuds last. All the earbuds previously given to or bought rather for her, have all gone missing. She is only 8 yet already a gadget fiend. She's sometimes more up to par on the latest and greatest gadgets, than I am.

Kellogs being a sponsor, each of my kids got their own bowl along with some random treats like cereal,  Mott's Snack & Go Applesauce Pouches and more. And trust, as far as my lil'ones were concerned, there could've been more. Kids ...#MommyMidday

BONUS: I attempted to shoot my kids via socialcam, as I surprised them with "swag" but alas, I had to stop abruptly because the, "that's mine" arguments were starting to get out of control. Note: The audio speaks for itself ;-). The funniest moment is my son mocking me by saying, "swagger."

There were alot of Mommies in attendance at #Blogalicious12 and it was such a pleasure meeting some of you and exchanging tales. How did you distribute swag amongst your little ones or did you keep the swag all to yourself? Please share.

Lady Erin

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FAVE #Blogalicious12 Take-A-Ways!

So there likely isn't much more that I can offer about the magnificence that was #Blogalicious12, that hasn't already been spoken, written, "tweeted", posted, captured, etc. ...

I had the pleasure of attending #Blogalicious11 and I knew immediately that Blogalicious is a must-attend annual event and #Blogalicious12 did nothing but reaffirm and leave me with tons of motivation, a plethora of new friends, great contacts (still in the midst of following up), nothing left to tweet ;-), unfathomable exhaustion (sooooooo worth it), and loads of "sin city" tales. And before you even go there, please don't ask. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

The experience that was #Blogalicious12 is hardly one that I could or would keep to myself so to kick-off my #Blogalicious12 Recap Series, which will include fave moments, fave quotes, fave speakers/presentations, fave food, fave drinks, fave parties ...Oh hell, everything about #Blogalicious12 is a fave. Anyway, below are my ...fave take-a-ways ;-):

Gracious! I had to hit the Red Rock Biz Center to ship all the #Blogalicious12 swag (freebies)!!!!! It was cost-effective and arrived most expeditiously. The cost would've been more had I bought another suitcase (to stuff with swag) and checked it. Lawd knows, there was no room in my already two overstuffed bags.

There were many failed attempts to get ALLLLL the swag in one shot. FINALLY ... 

1. I've actually always wanted to try Crest Whitestrips and with Proctor & Gamble (P&G), having been a sponsor of #Blogalicious12, I can now give them a try on P&G's dime ;-). Hopefully they will yield the promised intensive professional effects. (A before/after will be posted)

2. The temps are literally dropping as I type and winter is soon to be upon us. In my household, moisturizer is in much higher demand during the colder months (we don't do ashy ;-), so thank you Eucerin.

3. Every woman knows you can never have enough tee shirts to pow around in and if you are a blogger, you absolutely understand being up in the wee hours trying to curb writer's block and comfort being an absolute MUST so thank you Gain for the tee(s). I sooooo wish I'd grabbed those bottles of detergent offered.

4. My lil ones snatch my lip balm whenever I turn my back (like thieves in the night), so although one might not think, the Coors chap stick is truly cherished.

5. McDonald's not only had a great set-up as one of the sponsors. And not only threw a fabulous poolside party but they also provided nourishment throughout the conference. I'm hooked on the Strawberry Parfait. But McDonald's also had great goodies! I've been using my laptop feet everyday since returning from Vegas.  I let my son take the black pouch with that infamous McDonald's "M" that he knows and loves.

6. Nail polish given to all attendees as per the "trip to da strip" hosted by Tao and Lavo. I mean what can you say, it's nail polish. Always good. #nailswagbl #BeautyTalk

7. Being the "Bag Lady" that I am, I love bags ...Of all kinds so the #RossDressForLess bag is all good. Check me in another week. I likely won't be able to see the bottom.

8. The card holder in the @RealityFashion swag bag is too cute. The glitter/sequin accent gives it just the right hint of Vegas bling. All the better to hold  my FAB new moo biz cards.

9. Hanes socks/footies. Great!! Once I lotion down with my Professional Repair Eucerin, on goes a pair of Hanes socks. Ahhhhh ...

You may have noticed a few items not contained in the swag bag given to all attendees. A true "shopaholic" (which I've long since proclaimed), always makes time to shop and thus I did. The hot pink leather bracelet, leopard print scarf,  and earrings were on my dime but are nonetheless fave take-a-ways ;-). 

The gold dangling earrings dipped in neon green are too cute!! The pic doesn't do them justice. I got these in the airport no less while awaiting departure. I'm a total earring fiend. I was so flattered by @TheManeSource's compliments of my earring choices during the conference. 

And there you have it. What were some of your fave take-a-ways and how are you either using or planning to put to good use?? #Blogalicious12 Recap Series continues ...

Lady Erin

Thursday, October 4, 2012

One Tweet Is All It Takes ...The Power of Social Media

The power of social media. While most of us were likely totally engaged by last nite's Presidential Debate, KitchenAid was issuing an official apology. You know KitchenAid, the brand that manufactures all types of cooking appliances. You or someone you know likely has a KitchenAid mixer, blender or toaster stuffed into a cabinet. If anything like me, the appliances barely fit and you can never quite get that cord to stay in so it hangs, just peeking outside the cabinet door ;-).

Well, a totally irresponsible tweet which read, "Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president." tweeted last night about President Obama's deceased grandmother with the hashtag #nbcpolitics attached, caused a firestorm and totally emphasizes the power of social media. Read additional details here: 

KitchenAid has issued an apology and per KitchenAidUSA, supposedly the head of KitchenAid, Cynthia Soledad is offering to go on record and discuss what occurred. It has been tweeted that the individual responsible won't be tweeting for KitchenAidUSA anymore. Uh, yeah! Whatever will KitchenAid do ...What say you?