Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Updated What I'm taking to BlogHer List

I was going to update my first post but found so many of the things to have changed. I figured this would be a good follow up post now that I'm not looking at it through such Newbie eyes (but still kind of a newbie, at least until next week).

I do still plan on taking my iPad

Along with the new keyboad

and case.

I'm really loving the combo of the two and it's turned my iPad into a mini laptop.

In order to keep everything charged so I can tweet and facebook and instagram and look at my ever growing schedule and make sure I don't get myself lost trying to find another great food cart, I've picked a mophie powerstation.

I also got this surge protector that will probably earn me a few friends during the conference.

I love that it has both plugs and usb ports.

I got 300 of these business cards to pass out from Zazzle.


There was a mixup with DSW and my order didn't arrive and then the neutral wedge I was going to buy was sold out. I really don't want to break in any new shoes while in New York so I kind of gave up after that. However, I couldn't resist picking up these red wedges on clearance for $9.

They're so comfortable and I'm so happy to finally have a red shoe that I can wear again.

Otherwise I'll have my TOMS to go sightseeing in. I just don't want to leave myself without a little heel variation like I did in Europe.

I also plan to bring some ziploc bags to make icepacks to help with my swollen old man toe. Let's just hope my cankles stay away!

Clothing wise, I really just shopped my closet. I picked up a few accessories and a couple of tops, but they were things that I really needed. I did get a new pair of jeans since mine are getting too snug. I did buy a cute dress off Piperlime, but it was too small.

I also picked up a new pair of faux spanxx since mine are getting a little worn out. Spanxx and thigh chaffing have been major points of discussion on the BlogHer Facebook page. I apologize to all the men that are going.

I also decided against a new bag. Instead I'm taking my crossbody bag I took to Europe.

Source: via Faith on Pinterest

I decided it was the best choice since I'd want to have my hands free and not lug a shoulder bag around. I'm also taking a wristlet with me for parties and such.

I made my tutu for Sparklecorn


It's been really hard explaining Sparklecorn to people. Maybe this video will help:

MamaPop Sparklecorn 2010 from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

Basically. I can't wait.

I also made pants. My roommates will probably thank me for this.


They're a little shorter than I had planned, but for my very first time sewing pants let alone anything since I was 14, they turned out pretty damn good.

I still have one more pair to put together this weekend. I'm going to shorten the waist to give me more length in the legs.

After that, all that's pretty much left is to pack. I'm going to spend tomorrow sewing pants and putting together outfits. I may have to wait to put everything together because I'm not sure how to hide a suitcase full of clothes during a showing.

I also need to figure out how I'm going to pack. I keep hearing people saying they're packing a bag and putting inside a larger suitcase. I guess the plus side to that is that I get to check two bags for free on my way home!

To stay organized I'm using a couple of things.

An excel/shared google doc of my schedule. A really helpful thing that I did on here was to add my outfits for different days and events. Hopefully it'll keep me from totally over packing.

I also have my entire schedule including travel times on my calendar. I can pull it up on my phone or the iPad. I hadn't originally planned on doing this, but I think having the reminders pop up on my phone will make sure I leave places on time.

I created a custom google map as well. It has all the locations I need to be at and I added the event, date and time to each location. I can also pull this up on my phone in case I'm walking there.

App wise, I've got all my tickets on the Eventbrite app and downloaded HopStop so I can navigate the NY subway.

I think for session note taking I'm going to do plain old pen a paper. I'm a bit undecided on this. I can type on the iPad with the keyboard I'm just not sure how maneuverable it might be. I may just play this one by ear.

Three days and counting!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Right now if you're not a giant mound of filing in my office or related to BlogHer, New York or selling my house you're not going to have any attention paid to you. That includes this poor blog. So instead you're going to get bits and pieces of things I'd write bout if I had the time.

Oh-M-Gee I leave one week for today to New York and to BlogHer! **insert post on how totally excited I am** One to counter all the crazy I'm overwhelmed posts that are popping up.

I can't decided if I'm more excited to meet, interact and learn from 4,500 other bloggers or the food I'm going to eat in New York. **insert post about sightseeing and restaurants here.**

I sewed my first pair of pajama pants and they fit! **insert how to sew big girl pajama pants including 10 pm on a Sunday night phone calls to your mother because "you don't think you're doing this right" here.*

We've had a whopping 4 showings on our house. **insert I'm going to go insane keeping this house clean 24/7 post** **insert how comments people leave about your house also drives you crazy post here** **why is the the one time we leave the house a total wreck people come to look at the house post here**

I'm doing this fitness challenge at work. All the gyms are doing it and we have a friendly corporate office competition going on. **insert I've never been so tired in my life from working out 5 times a week and yet I've still managed to gain 5 pounds in the past month post here** Followed by **who wants to place bets on how much weight I gain in New York post here**

I have ants in my toilet. John does not think this is a problem. One crawled up on me. I can no longer pee at home. No post needed for this one. It's scary enough in four sentences.

Have we made time travel possible yet? Or at least can I develop a super power where time freezes and I keep moving so I can get other things done? Yes?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Marrow Donation

I joined the National Marrow Donation Registry 3 years and 1 month ago today. I didn't have a reason to do it really. I'm lucky to not have been directly affected or related to someone that would need a marrow transplant. I did want to help though. I am an organ donor and if something were to happen to me I would want my organs to help others. Becoming a marrow donor was easy to do and why not help if I am able?

A few statistics but not enough to bore you from the website:
Over 10,000 people each year need transplants, over half don't receive one.
70% of patients don't have a match within their family and rely on the registry to find a donor.
People ages 18-44 are 10 times more likely to be called to donate
There are over 70 life-threatening diseases out there that marrow transplants can give someone a second chance at beating.

There are two ways to join the registry:
In Person

If you choose the online registration, which is what I did, once you are signed up they will send you a cheek swab kit. You'll follow the instructions on the kit and mail it back. If everything is done correctly you'll get added to the registry.

For the past three years I received regular email newsletters and was asked to keep my information up to date.

Today I received an email that I was a possible match for marrow donation.

I chose to call back, but there is an online option to respond. I gave my information and was asked if I was still interested in donating. I was then asked basic health and medical questions - medications, height and weight, general health, if I was diabetic or had AIDS. We also discussed the two ways to donate.

The first is to be put under anesthesia and have the marrow removed from your hip. It's an outpatient procedure that takeslabour 90 minutes. I was told the Dr. requests this about 25% of the time.

The other 75% is similar to platelet or plasma donation. Your blood is removed through a needle in one arm, the stem cells are separated and the remaining blood is then put back through a needle in your other arm. This process can take 6 hours and you'll need to receive injections in the 5 days preceding the donation.

For now that's it.

I don't know anything about the person I may be helping. Right now it's preliminary. Their Dr. is working on a treatment plan and finding a potential donor if it's needed is part of that plan. It could be that I'm not the best match. It could be that they don't decide to do a transplant. Maybe some long lost family member pops up. It could unfortunately be something worse that happens.

If the patient decides to go through with the donation, and if I am the best match, I'll go through further screenings and information sessions. If it does, I'll update here as the process moves forward.

Please consider becoming a donor. You can also give monetarily or consider donating your baby's cord blood.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

5th Annual Hinchman Olympics

I had hoped to get this up a bit earlier, but an unexpected trip to Indiana put us back a bit. This year the Olympics were as fun as ever, but they were a little bittersweet. On the 4th my dad left to Indiana as word came that my grandmother would pass away soon. He arrived on the 5th just 30 minutes before she died. I'm glad he was able to make it and be there.

We decided to go forward with the games and leave that night for the trip to Indiana. A huge thanks to all our friends that helped clean up and take care of things around the house while were gone. We couldn't have done it without you all.

We brought back jello shot bingo so making the jigglers was part of the prep. It started with this giant patriotic themed bottle of vodka


and ended with these:


I basically made these, except I didn't use the white, I made these kamikaze ones as the filler.

I made two boxes of red and two of blue. The kamikaze recipe is enough for a double recipe too. Halve it if you're only doing 1 box of each. Mine made 2 large pans of jello shots.

I didn't take too many pictures as I was participating this year. Kandis snapped these of the water balloon relay though:




Our halfway totals:


The annual log of meat:


After lunch we played How's It Hanging



and Defying Gravity



The standings at the end of the day:


The Red Team


Of course, no Hinchman Olympics can be complete without a round of Guitar Hero.


Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Teams and Games

What you've all been waiting for! Here are the games and the teams for this year's Hinchman Olympics!

Individual Games:
Chubby Bunnies
How's it Hanging
Defying Gravity

Jello Shot Bingo during the lunch break

Team Games:
Rapid Fire
3 Legged Race
Water Balloon Relay
Beer Relay

Now the Teams:

Red Team:

White Team:

Blue Team:

Purple Team:

See you all at the games. Be ready to bring it!

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