Philly Bloggers Cross the River to Meet a Dinosaur in Trenton

Philly Bloggers Cross the River to Meet a Dinosaur in Trenton

Yes, it’s true. December 29, Philadelphia Social Media Moms and their families crossed over the bridge to meet a T-Rex in Trenton.

Last month, Jersey Family Fun organized a Family Fun Day in Trenton to give families something fun to do and show off how family friendly and affordable a trip to Trenton can be. We had an amazing time.

Karla's kids became part of the exhibit. Their bodies actually fit in the footprint of one dinosaur. Photo credit Jennifer Auer | JerseyFamilyFun.com

We started our day by meeting up at the New Jersey State Museum. Paleontologists from the Field Station: Dinosaur exhibition took us on a tour of the dinosaur fossils on exhibit.

Did you know that the first dinosaurs discovered were found in New Jersey?

Paleontologists Dave and Jason shared with us some interesting facts and took questions from the kids. From there, the kids joined Sam, the Dinosaur Troubador in a dinosaur sing a long.

Sam, the Dinosaur Troubadour lead us in a sing a long. Photo credit Jennifer Auer | JerseyFamilyFun.com

Well maybe it was something about the kids singing but it got the attention of a certain T-Rex. As the kids were still singing, he headed around the corner, slowing peaking in on the kids before making his grand entrance. The T-Rex  snacked a little on one of our guests, caught on film by the Trenton Times. Then, he posed for pictures and allowed the kids to pet him.

Karla did a great job catching her kid's reaction to the T Rex's grand entrance. Karla Trotman | blog.BellyButtonBoutique.com

 

Photo Credit Hillary Chybinski | hacscrap.com

When the show was over, we moved onto the New Jersey State Museum Planetarium to see the Laser Nutcracker Planetarium Show. Our speaker showed us what the sky would have looked like during Christmas years ago when Washington crossed the river. Then, we all put on our 3D glasses to enjoy the show. While holiday music representing Christmas, Hanuakah, and Kwanzaa played, neon images danced and some of us even sang along.

For lunch we reserved a room in a nearby building. Most of us brought our own lunches, but we ended our lunch with yummy goldfish and Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farms and doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

The action didn’t end with lunch though. Some of our families returned to enjoy the New Jersey State Museum while others headed to the New Jersey State House. Barbara, our guide, led us on an extensive tour of the State House and shared a wealth of information about the State house’s history and symbolism of many of the details.

No, we didn’t meet the governor, but we did score a bonus. Since the assembly was not in session, we got to see many areas that would normally have been off limits.

Creating patchwork quilts at the New Jersey State Museum Hillary Chybinski | hacscrap.com

 

Hillary Chybinski | hacscrap.com

 

Jennifer Auer | JerseyFamilyFun.com

After our tour was over, older children participated in a Make a Law program in the visitor center classroom. We hear they even passed a bill. As younger kids waited outside the classroom, they passed the time playing with the interactive exhibits and building the State House with blocks.

Waiting for the Make a Law program to begin. Photo Credit Jennifer Auer | JerseyFamilyFun.com

Building the State House with blocks. Photo Credit Jennifer Auer | JerseyFamilyFun.com

Everyone had a fun time, and the best part was hearing parents say they didn’t realize that Trenton had all that to enjoy. It does! And you don’t have to be a blogger to enjoy it. Both the New Jersey State Museum and New Jersey State House offer free admission and free parking throughout the year.

The event was organized by Jersey Family Fun and was open to the public.

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.

Hebrew National’s Better-Than-A-Picnic Picnic Kickoff Event in NYC

Bright and early Saturday morning, a group of Philly mom bloggers gathered to hop a bus to NYC for Hebrew National’s Better-Than-A-Picnic Picnic Kickoff event.  After a late start and a defective bus (they sent a replacement, and we were able to wait comfortably at a Wawa, so it wasn’t TOO bad, all things considered) we arrived at Randall’s Island for the picnic 2 hours late, slightly nauseous, but in good spirits.

The event supported the Food Bank for New York City.  Here, two PSMM members, Sherry and Valerie help their daughters decorate lunch bags for the Magic School Lunch Box program.

We had a great time visiting with friends and making new ones.

Melissa, Kelly, Cecily, Whitney, Jo-Lynne

Hundreds of hot dogs were cooked and served in this enormous airstream bus.

We’ve come a long way from last year’s event when our husbands grilled hot dogs squatting over portable grills.

Big thanks to Emily and Cooper of The Motherhood for organizing this fun event and Hebrew National for feeding half of NYC on Saturday.  For future picnic locations, check out the Hebrew National Better-Than-A-Picnic Picnics circle at The Motherhood.

PSMM moms in attendance were Jo-Lynne, Whitney, Cecily, Melissa, Kelly, Robin, Sherry and Valerie.

Martha Stewart Blog Show

In January a large group of Philly area bloggers headed up to New York City to attend a taping of the Martha Stewart show. The show was billed as the “blog” show, and you had to request tickets with your name, contact info, and a bunch of stats about your blog. Ironically stats didn’t seem to play a part in the ticketing, since many of our bloggers with large audiences ending up coming as guests.

I secured an awesome deal on hotel rooms, and we all went up and stayed the night since you have to be at the studio super early.

This is before the big show. A group of us had to get in our caffeine fix before we headed into the studio.
martha
L to R Mindi, Jo-Lynne, Whitney, Kelly (me), Colleen, Colleen, Julie, Liz, and Sarah.

We went through security, checked our coats and had time to mingle. Unfortunately when you get over 100 bloggers in a room together it’s difficult to keep us quiet or in our seats as the production assistants seemed so keen to do. We did manage some hugs, conversations, and one very big group shot with all the Philly Mom Bloggers and one woman I think we trapped behind our crowd. (see all the way in the rear on the left)

Philly Mom Bloggers

Back Row (L to R): Lollie, Sarah, Kelly (me!), Colleen, Sarah, Jennifer, Bay
Front Row (L to R): Mindi, Jo Lynne, Colleen, Julie, Liz, Bay’s friend, Whitney, Melissa

While the show didn’t exactly have a blog focus (2 Martha fans, and Martha’s daughter with one actual blogger does not make a blog show), we had a fabulous time together, and it was neat to see behind the scenes of Martha’s show. I could live on that set!

Next time we’ll plan a brunch at someone’s house and watch it from home.

The Golden Inn Cabbage Patch Party

If you are a blogger, The Golden Inn is offering an amazing opportunity to go to BlogHer 2010 in New York City this August. For details of the Golden Inn/ BlogHer conference contest, stop by the Golden Inn’s blog, and tell them where you found it.

In late November my girls and I packed up and loaded into PhillyBurbMom’s car and headed to Avalon, NJ to a wonderful Avalon hotel called the Golden Inn. We arrived to a gorgeous beachfront hotel, and loved the lobby, and fireplace that was roaring on such a cold day. (winds were 40mph+)

We had the opportunity to explore Stone Harbor that evening, followed by a little mom’s time at the beautifully decorated restaurant after the little one’s went to bed. We shared the weekend with a group of Sinatra fans (so much silver hair!), and a wedding party, so the bar was busy.

Saturday was busy with holiday activities throughout Stone Harbor, including origami, some shopping, lunch at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, and a visit with a local nature guy. He brought an adorable owl, a hawk, and 2 other owls.

Sunday was absolutely gorgeous. After 2 days of bitter cold wind, we had much milder weather, so I took the girls down to the beach for awhile. We have some shells, and sand in our shoes to remember it by. Then we headed over to Luigi’s (a little restaurant attached to the hotel), which had been transformed into a cabbage patch complete with a green runway!

Elizabeth put on a FANTASTIC party. She started with storytime, had some snacks (the hotel had some of the best fresh fruit I’ve ever seen), and then the adoptions started. Each girl got to choose a doll to take home. Talk about a tough choice! My youngest chose a Pop ‘N Style Cabbage Patch Kids Doll named Catherine, and my older girl chose a CPK ‘Surprise Newborn’. (which was thankfully a girl)

Elizabeth took some photos with cute sunglasses, and even took an oath to be good mommies to their dolls while John from the Golden Inn played judge and signed the birth certificates.

We also made cupcakes with help from the chef at Golden Inn, and the girls made adorable hair clips with ribbons inspired by the Pop N Style dolls.

My girls and I had a fantastic time. Their favorite part was the party, my favorite part was the comfy pillowtop bed, and the free wifi in the hotel room. It was wonderful to meet other local bloggers, and get away for the weekend.

Kelly

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