From the Den–the DPCON12 edition

(oops this has been sitting in my drafts folder for awhile….)

One of my awesome sponsors for Digital Parents Conference was Belkin Australia. They provided me with some great goodies to use while at DPCON12 – a Verve Folio Stand, the ViewLounge, a Stylus and some different screen protectors.

I can’t review the ViewLounge as hubby stole that as soon as I unpacked the box. I’ve told him he can do a review on it. Update – I did pinch it one night so I could read in bed and I have to say the bean bag like bottom to the stand makes bedtime reading on the iPad a lot more comfortable.

I already had a case for my iPad but I was looking forward to trying out the Belkin Verve Folio Stand.

Belkin Verve Folio Stand <br><h4 0

I loved the design especially the cut out for the camera (I’ve found other cases can cover the lens slightly). The strap to secure the cover is a nice touch and the leather is good quality.

I was also given a Stylus to try.

Belkin Stylus Pen <br><h4 0

I found using the stylus to be a great help when I felt like drawing (I love doodling in Art Rage). Trying to type with it, not so much but I guess if you kept using it you would get used to it AND it would be a bonus for those with larger fingers Winking smile

Now over to hubby…..

Caroline asked me to write a review for the ViewLounge so here it is. I like it. We play Dungeons and Dragons of a weekend and the ViewLounge has made it easier to read books on our iPads and take up less valuable table space than books.

Belkin ViewLounge <br><h4 0

Disclaimer: I received 2 Verve Folio Stands, 2 ViewLounges, 2 Stylus and some different screen protectors to use and review.  All opinions are my own (& those of my other half – where noted).

Our Melbourne Adventure – Pt 4

Sunday we got up and headed to the Zoo. I love Melbourne Zoo. I have fond memories of watching the ring tailed lemurs for hours and hanging out in the butterfly house. It’s changed a little bit since my last visit – more ‘open’ enclosures and more animals. Miss K loved the seals and the ‘big kitties’ and loved going on the vintage carousel. I had not one, but two! butterflies land on me, the first time ever.

 Ring Tailed Lemur Snow Leopard Brown bear seal  Miss K on the carousel Butterfly house

Sunday evening we caught up with some of my relatives before heading back to the hotel.
Monday saw us catch the train and bus out to Hawthorns training ground at Waverly Park then out to Chadstone Shopping Centre. OMG this place is HUGE. When we last visited it was still being renovated so there was a heap of new shops to visit including the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Miss K got to build a bear (well cat) from scratch sort of. You pick your ‘skin’ then you can add a sound or record your voice, stuff it, ‘shower’ it (with air), pick clothes for it and finally name it. We built a orange tabby & called her Tabitha.

Build-A-Bear Build-A-Bear Miss K & Tabitha

Tuesday was our final day in Melbourne 🙁 we just got up and ready then headed to the airport. Miss K was excited to be heading home and actually sat in her seat on the plane the entire trip.

I’m glad to be home but looking forward to our next trip!!

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Thanks to my amazing sponsors for Digital Parents Conference 2012 – FollowMe Sticker, Belkin Australia, Bella’s Blooms and George Town IT

Want to see your business featured on my blog? Please check out my Sponsor page to see if I’m looking for sponsorship.

Our Melbourne Adventure Pt 3

Saturday morning saw us wake to overcast weather but it was still pretty warm. After checking out Google Maps we decided to walk down to Albert Park to the Powerhouse Convention Centre for the Kids Business Bloggers BBQ.

I’ve never been to any of the Kids Business Blogger Brunches so was wasn’t sure what to expect. We arrived at the site to be greeted by a Britz Campervan. Those things are amazing and I think hubby would love to hire one for a bit of a family trip around Tassie.

If you’ve never been to a Kids Business Blogger’s brunch/bbq before it’s a great chance to network with other bloggers and brands. We spent the morning networking with some awesome brands including Target, Britz Campervans, Cottees, Crayola, Ella’s Kitchen, Fressure Foods, Lenard’s Chicken (I am so bummed they aren’t in Tassie), McCormick, Nads and Microsoft Hotmail & Skydrive. We left a little early as Miss K was getting restless and we had a date with the Melbourne Aquarium.

Hubby & I had never been to the aquarium and were looking forward to it. Miss K was just excited to go on a ‘funny bus’ – her name for the trains and see the fishies.

sitting with Dad The first thing we saw were the King penguins & Gentoo penguins. OMG they are so cute. Miss K loved them especially the one that kept following her.

Peguins Miss K & the penguins IMG_2186

Won’t bore you with chatter but will share some pictures. The only thing that wasn’t a huge hit was the walk through tunnel. Which is of course where the sharks & rays were 🙁

IMG_2194 IMG_2202 IMG_2214 IMG_2224 IMG_0233 IMG_0238 IMG_0239 IMG_0245

Back tomorrow with our Zoo trip and our last 2 days in Melbourne.

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Thanks to my amazing sponsors for Digital Parents Conference 2012 – FollowMe Sticker, Belkin Australia, Bella’s Blooms and George Town IT

Want to see your business featured on my blog? Please check out my Sponsor page to see if I’m looking for sponsorship.

Our Melbourne Adventure Pt 2

Or the day I went to DPCON12 and hubby had a day with Miss K.
(We’re finally home and now I’m hoping to sit down and do a bit of blogging about the Digital Parents Conference and the rest of our trip.)

Up and about early for a Friday. A quick breakfast & shower then I was off to my first ever blog conference. It was also the first time in 2 years I’d been out for a full day without Miss K.

I was super nervous but also super excited. Fortunately Digital Parents had organised bloggy buddies for us and I was paired with the lovely Donna of Nappy Daze and Kim of Working Women Australia. Thank you ladies for being awesome and helping a conference newbie feel welcome and for giving me someone to sit with and chat to 😉

After arriving at the Sebel (after the taxi trip from hell) I was met by the lovely Denyse and wandered upstairs to check in and receive the AMAZING swag bag (omg that thing was so heavy and so full of amazing goodies – the photo doesn’t do it justice)

DPCon12 swag bag After we sat down we were welcomed by the amazing Brenda and then took part in a little speed dating blogger style. I met some lovely bloggers, some who I already read & follow on twitter and some who I now follow and read.

Then we got into the serious business. A great panel of bloggers including THE Problogger Darren Rowse (he is so nice) and the ever inspiring Sawhole (Madam Bipolar) discussing Social Media for Social Good.

We then got into the social side – Morning Tea. I am so devastated that I didn’t think to take a photo but I met one of my bloggy crushes – Kelley. We’ve been chatting for years and finally got to meet (sorry for accosting you in the loos LOL) but I did get a photo with the wicked Eden. I take a shocking photo, eyes always closed!

Me & Eden *squee* Next up was the panel on Blog to Book and then lunch and a chance to meet & interact with some great brands, including Dyson, Disney, Hallmark, Macleans, World Vision, Hardie Grant Egmont (thanks for the great books – they are a huge hit) and Kleenex. Back to the main hall and we had the choice of some workshops. I stayed for the Working with Brands panel – a VERY interesting discussion with some PRs. The twitter stream was abuzz especially around the discussion of sponsored posts.

The next panel I stayed for was Blog to Business. I wasn’t sure if it would be relevant but I did find it interesting. I do look forward to reading about the other two panels – Writing Workshop with Valerie Khoo of the Sydney Writers’ Centre) and Blog Coaching Boost with Nicole Avery. On to afternoon tea and I got a Glow Job for the ever fabulous Glowless.

My Glow Job

Then we got to discuss Mum blogging and if it was a radical act. The panel started with the awesome announcement that the ever awesome Eden was being sent to Niger by World Vision. You can follow Eden’s trip on her blog and by following the hashtag #EdenInNiger on Twitter. Eden, if you read this, you totally rock.
Last up was the My Blog, My Story. OMG if you ever go to a Digital Parents Conference (or read any of the amazing stories), take tissues – you will cry! We heard so many amazing and inspiring stories. Stories of loss, parenting and stories that made us laugh (I’m looking at you Reservoir Dad). I loved Shae’s story of being a ‘hippy lala parent’ (transcript here) and the whole room was brought to tears by the heartbreaking story told by Kristie (transcript here – have tissues handy). And then it was over.

A big thanks to Brenda and the organising team, the DPCon sponsors and my wonderful sponsors (Belkin Australia, FollowMe Sticker, George Town IT & Miss Bella Blooms Creations). I’m already looking forward to DPCon 2013!

Instead of heading to the dinner I headed back to hubby & Miss K with plans of heading out to the MCG to watch the mighty Hawks take on Collingwood BUT Miss K had other ideas. Ideas that included her going to sleep at 6pm and not waking up until 7am on Saturday morning. So hubby & I ordered in Chinese from Good Luck Tea House using Eat Now and watched the game on telly from the comfort of our couch.

crashed out for the night even with shoesTea from Good Luck Tea House

I’ll be back tomorrow with pt 3 of our trip

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Thanks to my amazing sponsors for Digital Parents Conference 2012 – FollowMe Sticker, Belkin Australia, Bella’s Blooms and George Town IT

Want to see your business featured on my blog? Please check out my Sponsor page to see if I’m looking for sponsorship.

Our Melbourne adventure (pt 1)

Originally the plan was for us to go to Melbourne for the weekend and I’d attend the digital parents Conference and we’d come home on the Sunday. We sat down and had a thought about and thought about what we’d like to do and decided to make it a bit longer holiday for the whole family. And it was miss K’s first plane trip.

As per usual for me I had all the details planned and packing lists created using a couple of useful apps (but that’s another post) so we were all set when it came time to leave on the Thursday.

I was pretty much all packed and ready to go on Tuesday night! Wednesday saw us catching up on a few last minute things including the hairdresser for me, dropping off our car to get fixed & doing my nails.

After the usual morning routine, Mum picked us up & we headed off to the airport. Miss K had a lovely time watching the planes come in and leave. Our flight ended up being delayed by about 20 mins but it was no biggie.
So all was good up until we got on the plane and Miss K didn’t want to sit in her seat! There was lots of tears and “mummy, knee”. The Jetstar staff were lovely and gave me an belt extension. Things were ok after that as she had a feed and promptly fell asleep and slept the whole flight until just before we landed!

The original plan was to get the Skybus to the CBD then the train to South Yarra. We ended up getting a direct to hotel shuttle for about the same price and it didn’t involve carrying luggage around. Always a good thing.
We got to where we’re staying about 6 so chucked the bags in the room then went for a wander to find some food. Our meal for the evening was from a lovely little fish & chip shop – Watergrill. If you are ever in South Yarra check them out. Hubby had a piece of flake and chips (which Miss K shared) and I had a grilled chicken pita. YUMMO!


We had a quiet night in watching the footy and trying to get an excited little girl off to bed. She ended up going when we did.

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Thanks to my amazing sponsors for Digital Parents Conference 2012 – FollowMe Sticker, Belkin Australia, Bella’s Blooms and George Town IT

Want to see your business featured on my blog? Please check out my Sponsor page to see if I’m looking for sponsorship.

Leaving on a jet plane..

but I do know when I’ll be back again 😉

This time tomorrow I’ll be at the airport all ready to get on a plane with hubby & Miss K, heading off to Melbourne for Digital Parents Conference & a bit of a holiday.

I am super nervous about Friday but super excited because I get to meet so many of my bloggy crushes and there will be much squeeing. I’m a little bummed I can’t make it to the dinner after the conference but other plans were made. I’ll be following on twitter though. That and following 2 games of sport as both my teams play Friday night – Go the Dragons & Go the Hawks.

We’re all packed, there’s just the personal things to take care of (like shaving legs & giving hubby a hair cut) and getting my nails done. Oh and I guess I should get my business cards done 😉 Now where did I put that card???

Will I be seeing you at Digital Parents Conference? If so, come say hi.

Blogging Conferences – some resources

With only 11 (!!!!!) days til Digital Parents Conference I thought I’d do a bit of sharing & linking up to some posts I’m finding really useful in my own prep for the first blogging conference I’ve attended.

For the last couple of weeks, Twitter has been buzzing with the topic of clothing and what people are wearing to Digital Parents Conference. Especially this dress (nicknamed the condom dress).
and then there was this comment by the lovely Tina of Tinagraydotme

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puts it into perspective a bit. I remember reading somewhere, I can’t for the life of me think where though, that you should dress in clothes that are you and are something that you are comfortable in.

What am I wearing? Ah, that will be a surprise. In other words I have no real idea yet but I have some clothes picked that all coordinate so I’ll pick on the day. Thanks to my awesome mum I have a few new outfits for this trip 🙂 (love you mum!)

Being a blogging conference, of course tech will be a big thing to bring be it laptops, iPads, smart phones.

Nikki at Styling You has a great Geek girl guide: what to take to a blogging conference and Danimezza has a list of 10 things to take to an event.

I’ve made my list of what I’ll take & I’m hoping it’ll all fit in a great little bag I bought on eBay last year for my iPad

dpcon post

1. my iPad (obviously) & iiNet mobile wireless (case by Belkin Australia & stickers by FollowMe sticker)
2. Bluetooth foldable keyboard
3. pens
4. a blank notebook
5. business cards
6. some mints (not pictured)
7. makeup bag
8. camera and spare batteries
9. backup power for iPad & iPhone

Other useful links
Blogging Basics 101 – Attending a Blog Conference: Tips & Advice
Blog Conference Newbie (US focused) has some interesting posts
My Front Porch Swing has a couple of great posts – Prepping your blog and what to pack in your bag
Whispered Inspirations has a great conference guide for newbies
The anti-clique conference by Zoey @ Good Goog
Crash Test Mummy – A guide to surviving DPCON12 for the shy blogger
Fake it Till You Make it – How to Confidently Fake it from Sonia
Blogging conferences and what to expect
DIGITAL PARENTS CONFERENCE 2012: The Event, The Lifesaver & The Link Up 

Have you decided what you’re wearing? What your bringing?
Do you have a great resource to share that I can add to my list?

I’m also joining in with Tina’s Piquing my Pinterest

Tina Gray {dot} Me

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Digital Parents
Want to see your business featured here? I’m still accepting sponsors. Please email me or check out my Sponsor page.
Join the list of current sponsors including FollowMe Sticker, Belkin Australia, Miss Mommy, Bella’s Blooms & George Town IT

Business Cards for Blog Cons

I’m in the process of designing my own bloggy business cards for the upcoming Digital Parents Conference (OMG it’s only 42 days away!!!) and thought others might be in the same boat as me and have no real idea what to put on them.

After a little Google searching I came across Momcomm and their series of articles on blog business cards (from 2011).

I also found a post by David Risley – 5 Important Tips for your Blogger Business Card. I love the idea of using your photo. And from Table of Five – Get Your Business Cards Ready For Blog Conferences!
Then there’s Blog Design Heroes’ Business Cards for bloggers (check for typos!!).

So what are you putting on yours? Have a great resource to share? Or know of someone who designs kick ass cards?

Look forward to swapping cards with you 😀

FollowMe Sticker

I’ve been a fan of FollowMe Sticker now for some time after winning some freebies thanks to their Twitter account (@FollowMeSticker)

FollowMeStickerlogo

So as you can imagine I was pretty happy when they came onboard as one of my sponsors for Digital Parents Conference. I asked Stuart Lawson, Founder of FollowMe Sticker to share a bit about the company.

‘”FollowMeSticker was started after reading several articles on how small businesses were taking advantage of Social Media to launch or increase their business. One example was a small cupcake shop owner who invested time in Twitter to gain a local audience and introduce coupons and deals to bring new customers into the new store. This success can be seen by many other businesses who decide to invest some time into developing an audience on Social Media platforms. By developing a community on Facebook or Twitter that is local- you increase the amount of people talking about your business and that gets more customers into the doors.

Our stickers let customers know your business is on Facebook, Twitter, or other Social Media profiles. That means customers can go online and look for coupons or interact with others, as well as interact with your brand. FollowMeSticker was started to help individuals and small local businesses increase sales and word-of-mouth with only a small investment.

Although Social Media doesn’t work for every business- some businesses can really take advantage of fostering a small local community of folks who are supportive of your businesses values, and who will openly share their positive experiences about your company online. I hope that gives you a good idea of what it is and what our goals are. We are here to help local businesses increase their buzz and word-of-mouth.”

FollowMe Sticker produces

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Get your own social networking stickers for 25% off in time for Digital Parents Conference by going to FollowMeSticker.com and entering TWITTER42

You can follow them on Twitter or Like them on Facebook

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Digital Parents

Want to see your business features here? I’m still accepting sponsors. Please email me or check out my Sponsor page.
Join the list of current sponsors including FollowMe Sticker, Belkin Australia & George Town IT