Reviews

Welcome to my review page!

On this page, I will collect and post links to any reviews (HP products and contests included) and causes that I have supported or promoted in a post.

Keep checking back for new updates all the time!

An important Morningside Mom disclaimer: I am not paid to write any of these reviews. Yes, I do get to hold onto the review products “for an extended period of time” and that is certainly a benefit. However, my reviews and opinions are my own. I promise that I’ll be straight with you. If I like something, I’ll tell you. If I don’t, I’ll tell you that too. (Oh and are you wondering what my immediate reaction was to the new FTC regulations? Here it is.)

Review Products

1) HP and Microsoft

Over the past year, I have had the wonderful opportunity of working with a PR company to review and learn more about HP and Microsoft products. How does this work exactly? Well, HP, Microsoft and the PR company they have hired are interested in the feedback and opinions of their average, everyday customers. Where do I come in? Right now they are curious about my perspective as a mother – who also happens to be the one balancing our family’s budget and deciding where every dollar is spent. As a blogger I can share my opinions about their products with them while giving my readers the skinny on their products.

HP Pavillion dv6000 Entertainment PC and HD Canon Video Camera Review

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My first contact with the PR company Ivy Woldwide (formally known as Buzz Corps) was a few weeks before BlogHer08. They were looking for a mom blogger to try out some HP gear. Call it luck, call it fate, call it a very lucky day for me but one of their very wonderful reps just happened upon my blog. She liked it, she contacted me and *poof* just like, I wound up reviewing the very fabulous HP Pavillion dv6000 Entertainment PC at BlogHero8. The amazing thing about this laptop is that it is ideal for movie making and picture editing. There are all sorts of extra USB plugs, a spot to upload pics directly from your SD card and a DVD drive and burner. The HD Canon Video Camera was a wonderful addition so that I could try making HD movies right on this laptop. Once I had the correct firewire, it was a cinch. All of the movies I put on my blog are made using that HD camera and HP Pavillion laptop. For an example of a video I took at BlogHer (its of Dooce and it’s pretty cool) and links to these products, check out my review on this blog here.

Vivienne Tam HP Mini Netbook Review

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I am very excited about my opportunity to review the new Vivienne Tam edition HP Mini Netbook. HP is hoping that this product will meet the needs of moms (and bloggers) just like me: always online, always needing access to a PC and always on the go. And it is impossible to overlook how gorgeous this HP Mini is. HP has teamed up with the designer Vivienne Tam to create something fabulous for women who don’t want to sacrifice fashion for technology. I think they are describing this mini as “tech chic” and it is also considered the first “clutch” PC. For more feedback from me – and even some 12 second videos I made with it – check out my review here.

The New York Trip

To truly illustrate the full “Vivienne Tam meets technology” experience, HP took tech, fashion and parent bloggers to the City.  Yep, you heard right, I joined a fabulous crew of bloggers and went to NYC for fashion week to experience the Vivienne Tam collection for myself. Check out my post about all of the bloggers who went with me.

Once I arrived in NYC, I had to post from my fabulous hotel room right away. I was thrilled to be there and absolutely besides myself.

The next day we went on a tour of the city and then went to the Vivienne Tam show that evening. I posted about our amazing evening and actually meeting Vivienne Tam herself!

On our last day, we were given gifts. We were stunned and taken aback. Curious about what we got? Then read on. We also had another opportunity to meet Vivienne Tam again that evening. Read here about our gifts, the entire experience and my appreciation for turning this regular mom into a fabulous woman for one evening.

My Vivienne Tam Wireless Mouse giveaway can be found here.

Here are some of my favorite posts about the NYC trip written by other bloggers who were there experiencing it all with me!

If you are looking for more of the blogger’s posts rehashing our amazing NYC trip and experiences at fashion week, visit the HP website .

2008 HP Magic Giveaway

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Welcome to the Morningside Mom Magical HP Giveaway Contest!

How did it all begin?

The announcement of this contest was posted on my blog here.

What did my family and I think of all Giveaway prizes once we had a chance to check them out?

My family had a chance to review all of the HP Magic Giveaway prizes on my blog here.

Who won?

I am so thrilled to announce that I am one of 50 bloggers worldwide being offered the opportunity by HP and Microsoft to give away a prize package of hardware and software worth $6,000.

THE WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED! Congratulations again Laura, President and Founder of Moms Without Moms!

I received well over 300 submissions. Thank you again to all entrants.

Where is HP’s site about this contest?

HP MAGIC GIVEAWAY SITE

2) Tom’s Shoes

I was given the opportunity to review a pair of Toms Shoes and then give a pair away. So what attracted me to this company? For every pair of shoes purchased, they give a pair away. Granted the shoes do cost close to $50 each but they do have a great idea going. I still wear the shoes too, they are very comfortable. My review is found here.

3) Creative Memories

I picked up some free Creative Memories digital scrap booking software at the Type A Mom Conference. I loved playing around with it so much, I had to post a review here.

4) Maghound and Sweepstakes logo_maghound_all

The PR group Ivy Worldwide invited me to experience and write a review for Maghound – a magazine subscription management site. It is actually a very cool way to organize, start and stop magazine subscriptions so I was excited to try it out. Also, they are promoting an amazing contest where grand prize winners go to NYC for a shopping spree and make over. If one of my readers wins the sweepstakes, I get to go too. Here is my post about it all.

5) Wii Fit Plus

I adore my Wii Fit. It’s my only hope for regular exercise. Thanks to my friend Britt, I got to try out the new Wii Fit Plus at a Nintendo party. Check out my review here.

6) Seaworld

After five years of living in Florida, I will admit that I had never been to the Seaworld in Orlando. I know. Crazy. So when offered the chance to attend a mom blogger’s tweet up at Seaworld, I jumped at the opporitunity. I met some fabulous bloggers and had a fantastic time. Here is my review which includes some videos of the dolphin and Shamu shows.

7) Busch Gardens Sesame Street Safari of Fun

I live about 20 minutes away from Busch Gardens. And sure while I love Disney too, it seems Busch Gardens offers my family the most bang for our buck. For around $70.00 each, my family members can enjoy the park all year. They have a fantastic safari animal area, all sorts of roller coasters and something for every age to enjoy. (And I mean that too because my non coaster riding family members adore this park too.) I was recently invited to Media Day at Busch Gardens to check out the new Sesame Street Safari of Fun opened up for preschool aged visitors. Here is my review which includes a video of our visit.

8) Lenovo A70z All In One PC

Once again, I was lucky enough to check out a new flashy computer. This time I reviewed a PC instead of a laptop. But this is one very cool PC. The hard drive is built into the monitor itself which means this PC saves space and it is extremely easy to set up and run. While it is aimed at the small business market, I found it makes a great family PC too. Come check out why this PC makes me want to take a cold shower.

9) Busch Babies: The Series

Busch Gardens asked my three year old and I to come check out and review their new preschool series called Busch Babies. They offer three 45 minute classes once a week where kids can learn about animals through art, singing, stories and even meeting animals. We had an amazing time. Here is my review.

10) Island Nights Adventure Island

Adventure Island invited my family and I to check out the park during their “Island Nights” evening hours. We had a blast. Truly. In fact my kid demanded that we sleep there and never leave. Here is my review – and be sure to check out the quick video I posted to get a feel for the place too.

11) Insect Lore

Between 2010 and 2011, I am an official “Buggin’ Blogger” for the company Insect Lore. Every month for a year, they will send me products to test with my children. I also give two review items away, one for a reader and one for the reader’s child’s school. Considering how much I love wildlife, it has been a very fun – however, wild – experience so far. I have reviewed their Buzzerks glasses, an anthill and praying mantis egg sack.

Causes I Support


I have been involved with some public relations groups specifically to raise further awareness about causes that I happen to support. And a little note to PR groups on this topic: I love doing these sorts of “reviews” because blog posts always have the potential to educate others and affect change in a positive way. And if I can do that in any small way at all, well then sign me up. Below are links to the posts I’ve written to support a few particular causes.

1) Over the Counter Medicine Abuse smaicon_resize

The Edelman PR group has done extensive work with OTCsafety.org which promotes safe and effective ways to use over the counter medicine. It is also working to be sure over the counter medications aren’t abused either by parents mis-dosing their children or teens intentionally abusing such products as cough medicine.

Edelman contacted me for a mom blogger interview with Chandra Wilson (the actor who plays Dr. Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy). She is their spokesperson for the Treat with Care campaign and is working to educate parents about the correct way to use over the counter children’s medications. Here is my interview with her.

Awhile later, Edelman contacted me again to find out if I would like to come to Washington DC and learn more about cough medicine abuse. Myself and two other bloggers shadowed Five Moms who have had their children or lives affected by cough medicine abuse. We all went to Capitol Hill and met with both senators and representatives to lobby for more support. We also had a surprise guest come along to support this important cause: Dr. Drew. It was an amazing experience and my post can be found here.

2) Preserving Clean Water poeticsocialmission

A representative from the One drop Foundation and Cirque du Soleil contacted me to find out if I would like to support their cause. The One Drop Foundation (its founder is also the CEO of Cirque Du Soleil) has been set up to spread awareness about the world’s access to clean water – or really, their lack there of. Clean water is our planet’s most important resource and I was happy to be involved to raise further awareness. On October 9th, One Drop hosted a world wide event with 14 celebrities to support this cause. U2 was one of the groups involved that day, and they happened to be performing in Tampa. One Drop asked me to attend the concert and report back about the event. They also provided me with a fabulous, amazing Flip Video camera that I absolutely adore. Here is my first time using the Flip Camera and here is my post and video about the concert and the One Drop Foundation.