Brand New Somewhere

Figuring out travel, food, life & exploring Brussels whenever I'm there

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Much Belated Picture Notes from BlogHer 12 – Day 1

So, I attended BlogHer 2012 Friday and Saturday, August 3rd – 4th. For those folks who’ve never heard of it, BlogHer is a blogging conference centered around women bloggers and was created by the online blogging community / site of the same name. A majority of the attendees are mom bloggers, some are activist bloggers. Some are travel bloggers, photo bloggers, fashion bloggers or are blogging for mental health reasons. Some are sexy sex bloggers. And, some are folks who just like to write to get their thoughts out of their heads. I fall into the last category. There really is something for everyone especially considering the mini-workshops they hold as well. Here are a few pros and cons of attending:



  • I missed the iPhoneography session but the live blog of it lives here.
  • It felt like more advanced sessions were needed, especially about pricing one’s services. I would have preferred to hear concrete numbers instead of, “price what you’re worth”.
  • There were a lot of brands there but I mostly ignored them as they were in the Expo area.
  • Some of the panelists hogged the mic or the panel moderators didn’t moderate (the over talking panelists or the audience).
  • I would love to see more actual sessions focused on the craft of writing and not necessarily relegated to short 45 minute workshops.
  • The Geek Bar and Writing Workshops should have more than 6 spots available per workshop/mini-session. In a conference with almost 5,000 attendees, only about 200 – 300 available spots over two days seems insane.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be pouring over the BlogHer ’12 Virtual Conference section. In there, you’ll find live blogs, video, audio and photos of any sessions you/I may have missed, especially if you couldn’t make it NYC this year.

If you’re looking for a reason to go, I highly recommend it, especially if you are just going to learn or meet up with people you know online. Next year BlogHer 2013 will be in Chicago July 25th – 27th. On to the Day 1 photos; the Sparklecorn 2012 Party shots will be in another photo post later tomorrow…

The creepy Lorax guy.

A Lorax...or something.

The woman in the Kikkoman bottle. I asked my (Indian) coworker if I should be slightly hilariously offended they picked a brown woman to be in a brown bottle costume. Laughing ensued.

The poor Kikkoman bottle lady.

Jamba Juice guy knows how to get down.

The Jamba Juice banana in full effect.

Oh, Martha Stewart, I heart you. (from the lunchtime keynote)

Oh @MarthaStewart, I heart you #BlogHer12

If you want Martha Stewart’s elves to consider to be featured on the site, tweet her with this hashtag below or email them. 

If you want Martha Stewart & her magic elves to consider featuring you...

Panel for Strategic Content Development Across Multiple Media: Onstage, Onscreen, and Online

Issa Rae of @awkwardblkgrl, Franchesca Ramsey @chescaleigh of Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, @Luvvie & @DrGoddess #BlogHer12

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Traveling / Changing Bag at Sophia & Matt in Greenwich, London

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London in June 2012 – Day 2: Teaching at General Assembly, Shopping at Sophia & Matt and Peckham

Now, on to Day 2 with more interesting tidbits such as shopping in Greenwich and wandering around Peckham…

Teaching at General Assembly, London

My core purpose for going to London end of June was to teach two courses at General Assembly London, a tech-incubator and knowledge space. They’re located down on Back Hill Rd in the Clerkenwell section of London.

Students at my UX Basics Workshop at General Assembly London

06.29.12 Students at my UX Basics Workshop at General Assembly London

The Bank of group

Bank of America group - 06.29.12 Students at my UX Basics Workshop at General Assembly London

Bank of America group's features list - 06.29.12 Students at my UX Basics Workshop at General Assembly London

Shopping in Greenwich, London at Sophia & Matt

After wrapping up the course at General Assembly, we headed back to our hotel over in Greenwich and stopped by a curious store I spotted the previous night. The store is called Sophia & Matt and I fell in love with absolutely everything in it and wanted to buy it all. Really. Their origin story is a great one, as told by their lovely shop attendant. The two started making the bags all by hand and selling them in the stalls of the famed Greenwich Market. More about them and my bag lust after the jump…

Love this travel/changing bag at Sophia & Matt’s in Greenwich, London. Only £85! Tell them how you’ll use it and they’ll thrown in a free interior bag.

Love this travel/changing bag at Sophia & Matt's in Greenwich, London. Only £85!

Pencil cases at Sophia & Matt in Greenwich, London

The company story on the wall at Sophia & Matt in Greenwich, London

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Just a heads up: I’m playing catch up.

I let this blog stay dormant for the last 9 months especially during my Fall 2011 trip to Europe for a few months. I’m in the process of creating new posts for my recent June/July trip to London and Brussels. After that, I’ll start creating new posts for all my photos from last Summer and Fall. After all, it’s been almost a year since I left last September. In the meantime, please browse around and click through to my Flickr feed or Twitter page on the sidebar.

Also, let me know if the advertising is slightly off-putting. This is currently hosted on and am open to eventually switching to a self-hosted instance. Thanks, folks.

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Working on the balcony in Brussels with my laptop. Thank you please.

Working on the balcony in Brussels with my laptop. Thank you please | Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

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Photo: Jeff Wall Showing at Bozar Expo in Brussels until 9/11

Well crud. I may be able to catch this on the very last day. My friend and I arrive in Brussels the morning of the 9/9 and then leave for Paris 9/12. Hopefully I can convince her to attend with me or I can just wing it myself. Jeff Wall’s work is what inspired me to start making lightboxes my last couple of years of undergrad photo school. Hell, I’m craving doing that again with my Lomo film while in Brussels.

More details here: BOZAR EXPO – Jeff Wall.

Jeff Wall - The Thinker

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How Frequent Fliers Exploit A Government Program To Get Free Trips : Planet Money : NPR

Turns out some folks are really good at noticing and gaming the system. NPR reports that some people are using their credit cards to buy U. S. Mint $1 presidential coins from the government $1,000 at a time, which are shipped free, to rack up points on their miles credit cards or just bonus points in general. They then deposit the coins in their bank accounts and immediately pay off the credit card purchase.

Pretty damn ingenious to me. According to NPR’s Planet Money team, the only downside to people doing this is they adding to the problematic issue of surplus $1 coins the government isn’t able to properly get into circulation anyway. As it stands, the U. S. Mint has a surplus of $1 billion in $1 Presidential and Sacajawea coins that people won’t buy. By shipping the coins free to the mileage card gamers only to have them redeposited into a bank a couple weeks later, the federal government is losing money on shipping costs and time recounting/accepting them again.

Read the whole story here:  How Frequent Fliers Exploit A Government Program To Get Free Trips : Planet Money : NPR.