PSMM Bloggers Attend John Legend Education Event

On July 20th, a group of PSMM bloggers made their way to New York City via P&G Give and Bloganthropy to hear award winning singer and spokesperson, John Legend, give voice and passion to education and drop-out prevention.

Every nine seconds, another student will drop out of school. And 2,000 schools are responsible for 50% of the nation’s dropouts.

Picture: 1st Row: Sarah Peppel, Julie Pron, Kelly Whalen, Debbie Bookstaber; 2nd row: Jim Leish from P&G Give, Grammy Award winning recording artist John Legend, Dan Cardinali from Communities in Schools.

Prior to the blogger roundtable, Legend sang his song, “Shine”, with the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation choir from M.S. 390 in University Heights, Bronx. Dan Cardinali from Communities in Schools shared his vision for helping build communities to keep kids in schools.

Quotes from the blogger roundtable:

Dan Cardinali, Communities in Schools: “We are breaking out elementary, middle and high school programs and focusing on kids reading by 3rd grade.  . . . We build a community of support around kids and families. . . . We want to turn off the pipeline of drop-outs. . . .Relationships transform kids’ lives not programs.”

John Legend: “There were people in my school that cared about whether I showed up . . . a guidance counselor, a music teacher, a gym teacher. That’s what’s needed in school. . . . Having things like talent shows made me confident about being a speaker. They helped me connect. . . . When you take away those programs, you take away the will of kids to succeed. We have to invest in the future. . . . Teacher quality is the most important thing in education excellence.”

Jim Leish, P&G Give: “A lot of it [what we are doing] is to use our marketing muscle to drive awareness. There ARE solutions. . . . When kids can see kids like themselves succeed and we can be the medium, that’s success.”

Last question: “How do you help kids with special needs?

Dan: “We focus on diagnosis to make sure kids are in the right program for what they need. Our high schools are our number one referral system for the juvenile delinquency system. Once in, it’s hard to get out. If we can identify what’s causing kids to act out and stop it young, we have a better chance of keeping them out of trouble and in school.”

P&G is starting a new campaign with their July 31st brandSAVER flyer. When you use their GIVE Education coupons, 2 cents of every coupon will go back to Communities in Schools who works hard to fight drop-out in schools! You save, they win!

Read more blogger input on this event at Bloganthropy.org.

Written by Sarah Peppel of Genesis Moments

PSMM Golf Workshop with PGA pro Pete Coffee

Friday, July 22nd was the hottest day of the summer.  Heat advisories warned people to minimize their outdoor activity.  PECO had record breaking energy usage.  But it didn’t stop 4 brave souls from hitting the links…well, the driving range.

PSMM members Jessica, Hillary, Jeanine and Karla with PGA pro, Pete Coffee

PSMM members Jessica, Hillary, Jeanine and Karla with PGA pro, Pete Coffee

Hillary was the first to arrive, completely decked out in her adorable golf outfit.  One would never imagine that she only had a single experience with a golf club.  Jeanine and Jessica were also new to the game, but all of the ladies picked up the fundamentals rather quickly.  Our instructor was PGA pro Pete Coffee, owner of the Pete Coffee Golfing Academy in North Wales, PA.

Hillary and Pete Coffee

Pete has such a laid back style of teaching.  He recognizes that each person will have a different swing, a different stance, a different grip.  The goal is to learn and understand the fundamentals, so that you can enjoy the game of golf.  Here is what a few of the ladies had to say:

“I thought the golf clinic was a ton of fun. Pete was so sweet and patient. His instruction about the “L to L” swing and the wrist hinge really struck with me.” – Hillary

“Pete Coffee was really a great instructor and used humor as well as expertise to teach us beginners the basics, while showing the more experienced players some ways to polish off their swing.  Personally, I feel I learned the most from realizing that the key to a good golf swing is to just relax.  That’s right.  Just to loosen up a bit and relax and not to worry too much about how far the ball goes or if I even hit the ball!  I found that once I was less worried about hitting the ball with force or strength, that not only was I having a lot more fun but that some of my golf balls were sailing out onto the driving range.  Pete helped me to see that the key to being good at golf is to relax and enjoy yourself.  And who doesn’t like to do that?” – Jeanine

We had such a good time that Pete is offering us the opportunity to have a second clinic in the early fall.  We hope that more ladies will join us.

*Disclaimer – The lesson with Pete Coffee was free, however all opinions and testimonials were honest opinions.

PSMM Workshop Series Debut

In order to better serve the needs of our PSMM community, we have launched a series of monthly educational workshops on various blogging topics. The first workshop addressed Beginner and Intermediate Blog Design and was led by Jo-Lynne Shane of Musings of a Housewife and DCR Design and Dresden Shumaker of Creating Motherhood and Plaid House Designs.

Women came out from all over the Philadelphia area to the Radisson Valley Forge for a morning of networking and learning.

psmm ladies

mychinoki generously sponsored our room. Matt and Jay came out and spoke to us briefly about their business and how they can work with the PSMM bloggers to bring their brand to our audiences.

matt and jay from mychinoki

After the workshop, Denise got some hands on help from Dresden updating her blog.

Our next workshop will be held on August 27th at the same location. The topic will be SEO, led by Tara Ziegmont of Feels Like Home.

Thanks again to @mychinoki for sponsoring our first workshop!

If you are a local brand who might be interested in partnering with us on future workshops, contact Jo-Lynne Shane.

For a quick recap of our workshop material, check out this post by Andrea at Real Life in RoFo.

PSMMs Visit a Horizon Dairy Farm

Last week a small group of Philly Social Media Moms gathered at Byler’s Dairy, a Horizon Organic family dairy farm in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

Byler Family Farm

Barry Byler explained that he grew up on a farm, studied agriculture and genetics, and then started his own farm. Within the past 10 years, he transitioned his farm from conventional to organic and now he sells most of his milk to Horizon for use in Horizon’s organic dairy products. Horizon partners with over 600 organic family farmers from every region of the country in addition to running to large organic dairy farms of their own. They are committed to pasture grazing and using sustainable farming methods in order to preserve the land.

The highlight of the trip (for the kids, at least) is when Barry took us up to the pasture and showed us a cow patty and all the living organisms inside since there are no insecticides on their fields.

He explained the beauty of the organic farming model to the kids — the grass grows, the cows eat the grass, their waste fertilizes the grass and helps it to grow again. The kids were duly impressed, and I dare say a few of the adults were too.

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch, compliments of Wannamakers General Store, and then we took a tour of the farm. Barry’s son demonstrated the Bale Wrapper, we had the cow patty demonstration, and then we returned to the barnyard where we met a 2-day old calf that Barry fed with milk from a gigantic baby bottle.

All in all it was a fun and informative day, and we want to thank Farmer Barry for opening up his home to us and the Horizon team for sponsoring this trip.

PSMM members in attendance were Brandi from Mama Knows It All, Trina from O’Boy Organic, Melissa from Girlymama, Stephanie from Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom, and Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife.

Here’s a little slideshow with pictures from our day at the farm!

Disclosure: Attendees were provided with a gift card to cover travel costs.

Consumer Electronics Week with Techlicious

If you are not familiar with Consumer Electronics Week (CE Week), it is the tech world’s cotillion for their newest products.  Attendees get the opportunity to see/touch/experience everything before it reaches store shelves.  Techlicious generously extended a one-day conference invitation to several bloggers from Boston, DC, Philly and NYC. Transportation was provided by the CE Week sponsors. Julie Meyers Pron, Melissa Angert, Valerie Palmer, Andrea Howard, Robin Elton and I attended from Philadelphia.

Upon arrival, we sat and listened to a panel discussion moderated by Techlicious CEO & Founder, Suzanne Kantra. Bloggers Amy Oztan – www.selfishmom.com, Nancy Friedman – www.hiptohousewife.com and Rebecca Levey – www.beccarama.com answered questions about working with bloggers and best practices when contracting with bloggers. Following the session we had a mini blogging conference where Suzanne gave us some tech tips and showed us some new software and products that we could use to spice up our blogs.  Target sponsored a giveaway of an iPad 2, which our very own Robin Elton won!

Following a yummy lunch and discussion sponsored/given by Cohen & Wolfe, Suzanne gave is a tour of her favorite products at the show.  Here are a few highlights:

iTwin – A smart connector that allows you to grab and transfer files from one computer to the other without expensive monthly services agreements.  Its a safe way to access, edit, download and upload files without limits on storage.  Just connect the two ends to any online computer and the data is encrypted during transfer.  This means that you can travel anywhere in the globe and access your home or office computer.

 

iTwin

Courtesy of Just Precious

Speck – A full line of technology accessories for your iPhone, iPad, Android, GPS, Kindle…you get the drift.  One of our personal favorites was the iGuy!  Great for when your kids want to play with your iPad.

Speck Just Precious

Photo courtesy of Just Precious

nPower Peg – A device that allows you to generate your own power, OFF the grid.  Its a passive kinetic energy charger for your portable electronic devices that works by merely shaking it.  You can put it in your purse or backpack and the mere motion will store energy in its internal battery.  The potential for this technology is incredible.  The reps talked to us about placing larger energy collection devices on ocean waves in an effort to utilize alternative power.  Its really an amazing company that is bound to be on the forefront of green energy solutions in the near future.

 

nPower Peg

Courtesy of Just Precious

iLuv – Another brand that manufacture consumer electronics accessories.  We fell in love with this portable iPad keyboard!

iLuv

Courtesy of Just Precious

Overall, it was a great day.  There wasn’t enough time to see all of the amazing products at the show.  And to think, CE Week is just the smaller, mid-year gathering in comparison to the annual conference in Vegas…it blows your mind!

We are all thankful to Techlicious for the opportunity to attend the event.  In a stroke of luck, I stumbled upon some great finds that I plan on highlighting on NBC Philadelphia in August for Back to College, so stay tuned!

 

* Thanks to Julie Meyers Pron for organizing our group and being the point person for the trip.

**Disclosure:  we did receive free transportation and entry into the conference.  Gift bags were given out as a thank you, but all opinions were my own.

PSMM Scores with the Camden Riversharks

It may have been the Camden Riversharks facing the Road Warriors, but May 21, when Shannon of Premier Baby Concierge invited PSMM to a Camden Riversharks we all scored.

@Jersey Family Fun

Just look at this view. Amazing! Yes, a little ominous at that moment, and we all held our breath for a few minutes. But the clouds moved through quickly, only dropping light drizzle on us for a few minutes.

In attendance representing PSMM was Jennifer Auer (me) of Jersey Family Fun, Caitlin Night of Raising Global Kids, and Elizabeth Norton of Party Planning Professor. Shannon, was the hostess with the mostest, creating a mommy-to-be extravaganza where all moms and moms-to-be got the chance to connect with some great family-friendly business (and pick up some great swag.) Sorry no group shot, we all had our kids and you know how that goes.

@Jersey Family Fun

When our kids weren’t glued to the game and antics on the field, they were having a blast at the Kid’s Fun Zone. Where despite some lines, they still had an opportunity to play on playground, jump in a moonbounce, climb a rockwall, and practice some hitting and throwing off balls.

As the game came to a close, the Riversharks and Road Warriors put on a tough fight with the Warriors only coming out a run ahead. Did our kids notice? Not at all. It was a beautiful night with great PSMM friends and lots of fun, to them and us we all were winners.

In full disclosure, some PSMM were provided with free tickets to enjoy the Camden Riversharks game.

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