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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Burbs or Bust

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Yes, instead of packing I’m writing.  Do you blame me?  I have yet to meet – or tweet – anyone that enjoys packing.  Despite my best efforts to purge continuously, we’ve managed to amass over 5 thousand pounds of “stuff” at least that’s what the movers are estimating.

So why the move?  Well, I was hoping that our move would be to Atlanta, but not yet.  In the meantime, we thought it was time to spread out a little so we’ve rented an adorable little house, slightly larger than our current abode, on a quiet street and with an ample back yard, perfect for two kids.

Is it what either of us imagined?  No.  But it “feels” right.  So Rolling Meadows here we come!!  Granted it’s not another state, but there are some changes so here are my tips on moving to a new area thus far:

  • Get a list of resources from your realtor or the area’s city hall.  City hall is also a great resource for questions like, garbage, water, city stickers and other rules & regs for the area you’re moving into.
  • Call your utility company and change your mailing address with the USPS about 3 weeks before so that you’re not running around last-minute doing these things which could have been handled well in advance
  • If you’re using a moving company know that “insured and bonded” means that they cover their employees and the home in the event of an accident.  Your goods are not covered in transport.  You either need to purchase additional insurance or contact your home owners insurance for a “transit rider” or a “peril count” change.
  • Call the school you are going to move to and find out their enrollment needs, as well as their curriculum.  Remember parents we are advocates for our children.  For that matter, let your child’s current school know that you are moving asap.  My Frick is still little and having her current teacher’s support has been instrumental during this transition.
  • Purge people, purge!! Salvation Army and Goodwill will pick up, plus there are many other (perhaps needier) organizations who are happy to take your stuff (but you may have to drop off).
  • If you want boxes for free, grocery stores on Sundays, Craigslist or check with your mover if you are using one.  If you’re going to purchase boxes, I’ve been told unanimously that Home Depot has the most inexpensive boxes.
  • If you’re using a mover, ask.  Most will breakdown and set-up furniture.  Some will provide wardrobe boxes (I highly recommend these, clothes go from hanging in the closet to hanging in the box to your new closet).  Some movers want your dressers emptied, others will move them full.
  • Always. Ask. Questions. From your mover, from your realtor, from the seller, landlord, whomever.  You don’t know unless you ask and if you don’t know what to ask tell them, “I’m moving into the area, is there any advice you could give me”.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local hospital.  Yes, it’s grim, but I’ve learned from my husband to “plan for the worst and hope for the best”.

Ok, that’s it for now.  I REALLY have to get some packing done.  Really.  Oh and I will update #BurbsOrBust on twitter so stay tuned for the (hopefully) hilarious and (definitely) exhausting process of moving.

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It’s a wrap!

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As you may know I was on the organizing committee for the LATISM’11 Conference this year.  Working from the inside gave me a unique perspective which, despite the difficulties, I would not change for the world.  My poor husband saw me slowly transition from wife and mother with a project to a consumed woman and mother who occasionally made him dinner.  The machine that is known as Casa Dieppa in the last couple of weeks before the conference was in crazy mode, and he found himself stepping in to make up the slack.  When Frick and Frack met Reina (@Soylamar) Frick said, “I’ve heard you say that name a lot on the phone” and when we were looking and some of the fantastic pictures and videos many other directors and attendees have posted, Frick excitedly pointed at the people she knew in the pictures, Ana (@AnaRC), myself, papa and even my mom who attended the Gala (ella nunca se pierde una fiesta! she never misses a party!) and what a party it was!

For those of you who don’t know about Latinos In Social Media, or as we lovingly call it #LATISM, it is a volunteer based organization that started two years ago with a tweet and has grown into chapters around the country, a sustainable development program in Montecristo, Dominican Republic, a relationship with the White House, Latino2 (our tech conference), and most recently the LATISM National Conference this past week in Chicago.

As a volunteer based non-profit, we were wowed when so many great sponsors expressed their interest, put their dollars on the table and – more importantly – put together unique experiences with the LATISM community in mind.  There was an incredible amount of attention to detail put forth to ensure that our conference and community needs were being met in a manner that’s consistent with the LATISM mission of educating and empowering our community.  Take for example the Sears/Kmart opening reception “Noche Buena, Cartera Llena“.  A delightful way to kick off the conference with tastes and sounds from around Latin America.

And the sounds of Latina America followed us throughout the conference thanks to SoundCulture who provided all of the live bands that greeted us for every meal.

                  

                 

Then there were the wonderfully appointed suites, which I hope everyone had a moment to visit – PBS kids partnered with us and brought their new bilingual “Virtual PreK” program which was developed in conjunction with the Chicago Public School system, and a tool I will use at home since no one will accept a 3yo in preK.

Johnson & Johnson, a long time supporter of LATISM, from the sustainable development project in Montecristi to LATISM’11 where they brought information about their Text4Baby program as well as interviewing Ana and other LATISM directors in their suite throughout the conference.

And I know many, many of you had a moment to recharge, play and chat in our Wifi lounge, sponsored by Nintendo.  This groovy space was perfect for recharging your laptop, phone, tummy (there were snacks) and mind (hello, we’re talking gaming people!) as a proud member of the WiiFamilia I was happy to have them at LATISM’11 and know you were too.  The only time there was an empty seat in the suite was during the breakout sessions!

In between the suites, breakout sessions and days of running from break out sessions to the ballroom to handle catering details and run-of-show, there were the cafecito breaks.  Sears and Kmart were kind enough to provide us with delicious snacks, espressos, cappuccinos and lattes – que rico! I don’t know what I would’ve done without that special touch to get through those long and amazing days.

The sponsors gave LATISM’11 cache.  As you walked in, you knew that you were dealing with an organization that meant business, not as a friend put it, a meeting de las comadres.  We had large corporations, like McDonalds hosting breakfast, Google+ (how cutting edge Latino’s In Social Media is that?!) giving Google+ workshops and teaching us about the new business pages, Cricket mobile had their @MiCricket team there providing us a fun-filled dessert break with music from their Cricket phone – yes, that was a phone that we were Muving to!

Let’s not forget the amazing awards gala, and the generosity of Toyota, that not only brought us a lovely evening, their Corporate Communications Specialist, Javier Moreno (@Javi_NYC) and two gorgeous Camry’s which were displayed in the ballroom (I don’t know why I get a kick out of cars when they are inside), but they also brought a fleet of cars!  Many delegates also got to test drive the Prius and Camry during the conference thanks to @jeanmanolo.

And last, but certainly not least, Amway brought their makeup line Artistry.  After listening to the incredibly inspirational and moving closing keynote by Tony Melendez con bocas abiertas  (thanks @latinorebels for this clip), many of us were crying from exhaustion, happiness, euphoria, and epiphanies as we digested this amazing persons life.

Then as we composed ourselves and began the last dance of LATISM’11 we were able to have our makeup touched up (or in my case put on) by the Artistry makeup artists.

The glam was back, the cocktails were served, la tribu de LATISM was ready to go out with a baile!  And baile there was!

Overall the conference was amazing, at one point I was telling @TonyHTonyH that it was like “meeting old friends for the first time” which is something that only social media can do.  Instead of waiting for introductions and the right moment, it was all besos y abrazos as we shared handles, retold online jokes IRL and shared new jokes (#JSS)!

But it’s not all about branding, there were many other sponsors that helped in so many other ways, from design to media and scholarships, we received an overwhelming response from the business community.  So mi gente, what does that tell us?  That we should keep on doing what we’re doing, having honest conversations online during our Twitter parties and then taking those ideas offline through our chapters, our volunteering and collaborations to then all meet in Houston next year for LATISM12!! And let’s never forget que sin trabajo y negocio no hay fiesta, without business and hard work, there won’t be a party, so GRACIAS to everyone who made LATISM’11 possible, the sponsors, the community, my husband and YOU!!  

To really get a feel of the conference take a moment to watch this video compiled onsite by the creative genius @EdwinGil  (thank you!) y nos vemos en LATISM ’12!

Many thanks to http://www.photopeddler.com and Jacinto Ariza for their amazing coverage of LATISM ’11.  You can see more pictures on LATISM’s page at Google +


Eight days…

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Yes, eight.  Count them!  8 days until the LATISM conference here in Chicago.  The conference that I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year – or spring?  I can’t remember, it’s all been a blur.  One fantastic, mind-blowing, inspirational, frustrating, amazing, stupefying ride.  And it’s not over yet!

During those months there were so many other amazing things that happened in my life (a girl cannot live from work alone right?!) a few highlights include:

  • The time I Zaarly‘d someone to come clean and @AHauntrepreneur from the Zaarly Chicago dream team was the one to respond (which for the record, his mama did a good job, that boy can clean!)
  • The fabulous BlogHer-a-thon with @AnaRC and @ergeekgoddess, that’s 72 hours en tacones learning, networking and meeting all the fabulous twitterati like @LaLicenciada @laflowers @typeamom @presleyspantry and, WHAT?! Nipples and feet?! NOOOO @nibblesNfeasts !!!
  • A live radio interview with Poco A Poco bilingual radio show in Chicago with the energetic and intelligent Maya Escobar and her fabulous father, Gonzalo Escobar.
  • Frick attended a high tea with me at the Intercontinental Chicago for the Royal Wedding and it was executed phenomenally!  Every detail, every flower, every delicious morsel.
  • My husband and I celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss!  More like my husband and I and our kids (they keep following us around!!  Something about make us breakfast, help tie my shoes, I can’t do my buttons – geesh!!) celebrated our anniversary.
  • We took a family vacay to the Choo-Choo Hotel in Chattanooga, TN.  It sounded like a cool experience for the kids, and, thanks to my fabulous shopping techniques, I scored a deal for 2 nights in the converted train cars (1 night would have sufficed).  We also went to Rock City while in Chattanooga, and it rocks!  Plus, there’s a Starbucks right across the street.

Like that, there are many other great stories and people I’ve met along the way, but now, eight days before the conference, I’m freaking out because we’re moving to the suburbs at the end of this month!!!!

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