Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

My mom lives near the newly opened National September 11 Memorial & Museum (also known as the National 9/11 Memorial Museum) so she was able to be one of the first to visit it, and to do so free of charge. The museum officially opens today, May 21.

My mom admits that she went thinking she would not like the museum at all, but left feeling it was a beautiful and solemn tribute to a terrible event. In addition to an emphasis on the events of September 11, the museum also focuses on the construction of the twin towers, and the complex and massive engineering feat that construction was, as well as on the rebuilding of the towers that are present today. On display are a few of the massive beams, as well as other relics from the original towers.

There is also a "museum within the museum" where personal artifacts, photos of those who died, and other personal tributes are displayed, which while sharing important historical pieces from September 11 does not necessarily complement the feeling of reflection and contemplation brought on by the open spaces of the rest of the museum complex.

One of the highlights of the museum is the ten minute film Rebirth at Ground Zero created by Project Rebirth, which will be permanent part of the museum.The film, which is a time lapse compilation of the reconstruction of the towers, is the final piece in a series of nine short films which followed nine people directly affected by the 9/11 attacks over eight years. You can read more about the film, and the experience of viewing it at the museum in their press release "Rebirth at Ground Zero" Opens at the National 9/11 Museum. The film's score is by composer Philip Glass, and is magnificent.

In general, my mom thought the 9/11 Memorial Museum was very well done, with just a few misses. One of those misses is the regrettable choice to have a gift shop, and the other, to charge a very steep admission fee -- $24. (Both of these choices are discussed in 9/11 Memorial Museum's Admission Fee, Gift Shop Spark Controversy.)

In addition to the museum there are also 9/11 Memorial walking tours of the area.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Boy with sweatshirt in spring

How fun is it to wear a sweatshirt on your head?
Very fun.

How fun is it to wear your sister's sweatshirt on your head?
Very, very fun.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

This June, Get Schooled: The Inaugural Blog University Conference is Coming to Baltimore!

This June, Get Schooled!

The inaugural The Blog University Conference is coming to Baltimore, and I'm honored to be a part of this fantastic new conference that is happening from June 6 to 8 at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore.

If you have a blog or have been thinking about starting one, join us for education, making connections, and more.
But hurry... tickets are only on sale for a few more days.

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Tickets to Blog U are all-inclusive (check out the full conference schedule here) and includes all meals, parties, social events and sessions and accommodations on the beautiful and historic Notre Dame of Maryland University campus.

I'll be speaking with Nicole Shaw about How to Make Money with Your Writing. You can read more about our session as well as all the course descriptions here.

So fast-forward your writing career, hone your skills, make friends, and network!

You an stay up -to date with all things The Blog University (BlogU) Conference on Facebook at /TheBlogUniversity and on Twitter at @theblogu. Oh, and I almost forgot, to register: click here.

And one more thing... this Sunday night, May 11, we're having a Twitter Party and the grand prize is a ticket to BlogU. So join us online from 9-10 EST for fun and for one lucky person... a ticket to BlogU!

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Hope to see you at BlogU this June!

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Friday, May 9, 2014

All about RoC Brand and how anti-aging products can help your skin age gracefully

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Despite my many perseverations about my appearance, I will admit that worrying about wrinkles was not one of them. Until recently. Seemingly overnight, and in conjunction with turning the big - and I will admit dreaded - 4-0, I now devote much time and interest into the state of my skin and what anti-aging products can help my skin age as gracefully as possible.

When I heard about the opportunity to learn more about RoC Brand skincare products as well as skincare in general from New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman, I knew this was information I needed.

I got the amazing chance to meet and learn from Dr. Jaliman last week at the #Eyes4NYC event at Duane Reade where we got to "walk the aisle" with Dr. Jaliman.

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Dr. Jaliman had a lot of tips for keeping the best care of your skin, including that it's never too early, or too late, to start an anti-aging skincare routine. Dr. Jaliman also recommended when using product to remember that a little goes a long way. A dab of product is usually enough, and more is not necessarily better.

Dr. Jaliman also covers skincare basics and her advice for maintaining beautiful skin in her 2012 book Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.

We discussed ways that RoC products can help keep skin healthy and also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and that when choosing a product to look to see if there are clinic trials to back-up any claims about results that are being made.

Since then, I've been using RoC's Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, and it has definitely made a difference both in puffiness and in the wrinkles around my eyes.

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RoC has lots of other products to help with anti-aging including Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer, Retinol Correxion sensitive eye cream for retinol-sensitive skin, and Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum, which is especially for deep wrinkles and works well under makeup.

All of RoC's products are priced well, have great packaging, clear directions on how they should be used, and are easy to find at Duane Reade stores.
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Do you have a great skincare tip? If you do please share in the comments!

Thanks so much to Collective Bias, RoC Brand and Duane Reade for including me in the great #Eyes4NYC #collectivebias event!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

For Mother’s Day: #BringBackOurGirls

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I like the commercialism of Mother’s Day about as much as I like seeing July 4th items on sale at my local Target last week. For me, the idea of buying some cheap token for Mother’s Day celebrates everything superficial about the holiday and very little about the real substance of the day, which to me, is taking a moment to think about mothers everywhere.

So against the sea of ads for jewelry and perfumes and, I wish this wasn’t true, weight-loss solutions, that are coming through my Facebook feed in “honor” of Mother’s Day, all I can think is how very little this matters to me, or I would guess any mom, when over 200 girls are missing in Nigeria.

More than two weeks ago, militants stormed a residential school in Nigeria and abducted school girls, still missing, and most recently, the leader of the group that kidnapped them at gunpoint are threatening to sell these girls. I cannot even contemplate the horror, and I am completely removed from this situation. And while I know I cannot even fathom how these families are feeling right now, at least as part of the global community, we can give our voices to the demand to #BringBackOurGirls.

This recent attack on the Nigerian school is not the first by militant organization Boko Haram (the name translates to “Western education is a sin”), which has targeted schools in the past, leaving 22 students dead in June in 2012, and 59 dead in an attack this past February. It’s beyond comprehension that these attacks continue, but they do.

This Mother’s Day lets forget the contrived brunches and do something that really matters and #bringbackourgirls.

Here’s how to help:

Sign a Petition
Petition Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria via (235,000+ signatures)
Bring Our Daughters Home via (140+ signatures)
Petition President Barack Obama via We the People and (12,000+ signatures)
Get Involved with Social Media Campaigns

Change your Facebook or Twitter Icon to this image from Girls Rising.

Like Bring Back Our Girls on Facebook to keep up with information, including protests being held around the world.

Girls Rising and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls held a Google Hangout at Noon on Tuesday, May 6, to share a conversation with prominent journalists and leaders in girls’ education. Those participating found out direct and factual information about the situation in Nigeria and what they can do to help, including an “action pack” of tools to make a difference.

Tweet with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Share this post or a similar one on Facebook and, if you have one, your blog.

Read other blogs, like this one from former Montclair resident Nicole Blades at Ms. Mary Mack.

The information age we live in is amazing because it means we can make a difference no matter whoever, and wherever, we are. And social media makes it possible that even small voices can put pressure on world leaders and make a difference when joined with others. Let’s make sure they are and #bringbackourgirls.

Thank you to Barista Kids, This Unique* Weblog, Ms. Mary Mack and Other than Lovie for posting as well. If you wrote a post, please add your link in the comments below so we can add it to the list of voices demanding to #BringBackOurGirls.

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