Some end-of-the-month housekeeping: A roundup of some of the significant products, services and events I've enjoyed this month, plus a giveaway for SoCal readers (comment on this post to enter!):
Once I got over my New Year hangover, I had to hit the ground running, thanks to an invitation from Clever Girls Collective to be one of 100 bloggers attending the Ford Green Technology event at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Ford put us up at this hotel, which turned out to be a lot more luxurious than its name implies. It's a 4-star property with spacious guest rooms, luxurious bathrooms and terrific service. And don't get me started on the food served in the hotel's five-star Iridescence restaurant (the site of the dinner Ford hosted for all the bloggers following our day at the Auto Show). So glad I decided to wait until my return before starting my diet back up!
Ford paid for my travel and accommodations at the two-day Driving Green Technology event. I was not compensated by them in any other manner for my time.
Thanks to a massive snowstorm that hit the East Coast the week I visited Detroit, I had to deal with long delays at the airport (SEVEN HOURS on the LAX end!)
I don't know how I would have killed all that time if I wasn't carrying this nifty little USB modem, which allowed me to connect to ClearWire's 4G broadband network. I had multiple deadlines to meet and was able to put all that waiting around time at LAX to good use.
ClearWire's 4G/3G network is available nationwide, so when the wi-fi went out in the Ford booth at NAIAS the following day, I was still able to get online.
And since my return, I've enjoyed the freedom I craved when I switched to a laptop in the first place (some 20 years ago!). The combination of my new mini-netbook and the Clear modem allow me to work wherever I may be: the mall, the orthodontist's waiting room, my car parked in front of my daughter's school... No need to hunt down a Starbucks or Panera for a wi-fi network.
And when last week's MOMocrats BlogTalkRadio guest Gloria Feldt could only be available at 2:00 PM (which conflicted with school pickup time), I didn't skip a beat. I drove to my daughter's school and ran the switchboard from my parked car!
Too bad the modem is a loaner with temporary service for this review; I am going to have a tough time giving it up. Fortunately, Clear costs a lot less than similar wireless broadband services I've priced: unlimited data plans start at $45 per month. This is something I am going to have to look into!
Clearwire lent me one of their 4G laptop modems and prepaid service for 45 days. Upon return of the modem, it will be donated to a local Los Angeles area school for student use. I am seriously considering buying one of my own.
Romy Schorr is an LA Mom Blogger who specializes in beauty and lifestyle topics. I've known her for about a year, but only virtually - via Twitter and blog comments. And during that time, she's invited me to a number of events that I wasn't able to make.
I stopped worrying a lot about my appearance when I hit 40 and decided that no matter what I did, I was never going to look 30 again. It was liberating. But that doesn't mean I don't still enjoy playing with makeup - and I do like facials and manicures, which were being given out at the event. So attending was kind of a no-brainer.
I did not expect that I would have as much FUN. Aside from finally getting to meet lovely Romy in person: I got to hang out with some of my favorite LA Mom Bloggers, I enjoyed a cool coconut water cocktail from O.N.E. Natural Experiences and really terrific food catered by Heirloom LA. I'm so glad the party occurred BEFORE I went back on Lindora - it would have been really difficult to stick to the diet while faced with butternut squash agnolotti, polenta topped with wild mushroom ragout, chicken and waffles, etc.
I was most impressed with the ROB|B salon. I have passed it many times on my way to other destinations along Ventura Boulevard but had paid it little attention. I presumed it would be as modern and tasteful on the inside as it looks from the street. But I had no idea that the place had a well-appointed second-story patio... or that the building is LEED certified (the manager told me they are the only gold LEED salon in Los Angeles, and one of just four in the country)...
...or that owner Robbie Schaefer is the son of the CEO of OPI (which even I know is the best nail polish on the market).
I had a lot of fun, and walked away with one of the most bountiful goodie bags I've ever seen, which I divvied up with my delighted teenage daughter. I kept the full-size box of Therapon products that ROB|B's estheticians used for my facial.
I am really bad about using skincare products. A lot of people are really kind and tell me I look younger than my 54 years, and if that's true, it has nothing to do with good habits and everything to do with heredity. But in the last decade or so, I've been bothered by how dry my skin has become, and so from time to time I have tried out different products -- for a while. My skin usually responds to skincare products by breaking out, and that's when I quit.
I liked the way my face felt after my facial, so I've been pretty good this week about actually using the products from Therapon.
Do I think that using these products will slow down my aging process or make me look 10 years younger (oh, to be 45 again, LOL). No, I don't think anything will do that, nor do I think it's a good thing to fight aging - but that's fodder for another post. But I am very happy with the immediate results from the skincare line, and especially that I have not had any breakouts or blemishes since using it. And that's a good start.
I received no compensation for attending the Face2Face Therapon Party, and I made no promise that I would write about it. Opinions and observations are my own.
From the press release I received:
"In Mother Words," written by some of contemporary theater’s most talented voices, tackles the subject of motherhood in an eye-opening, hilarious and irresistible night of theater andmakes its West Coast debut with award-winning actors Jane Kaczmarek, Saidah Arrika Ekulona and James Lecesne. As theprogram states, “Whether you are a parent, have a parent or ever want to become a parent, this play will elate andterrify equally – much like motherhood itself.”
The Geffen is holding a special Moms Day Out event on Saturday, February 19. I will be attending the 3:00 PM show, followed by a reception - and they have graciously given me two tickets to give away for the same event. Want to meet me there? Leave a comment on this post; a week from today (February 7) I will pick one winner at random.
I received no compensation for promoting the Mother's Day Out event at the Geffen, other than a pair of comped tickets for myself.