Spark & Hustle Recap with Intel Small Business Advantage

My friend Rachel speaking at Spark & Hustle. She was amazing!

Last week I had the privilege of attending Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle conference for women in small business.  It was a great experience!  I learned so much to apply in a practical way to the business side of this blog (and let me tell you it was SUCH a relief that everything was TRULY practical and applicable! You don’t always get that.), I got to hear from some inspiring women in small business, and I got to spend time with my friends Rachel and Luanne, awesome small business owners themselves!

The lovely Rachel of BacknGroovemom

My BFF Luanne of Lulee's Lollies fame!

My attendance at Spark & Hustle was sponsored by one of my favorite companies to work with, Intel.  They also sent me to the conference with a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge quipped with Intel’s Small Business Advantage tools.  These tools are awesome for those in small business who don’t really have a tech guy at the ready.  When I have tech trouble, my tech guy (aka my husband) is usually at work when I need him and not close by!

 The SBA tools allow your computer to take care of a lot of maintenance issues virtually by itself!  Here are some of my favorite features:

  • Software Monitor – Did you know there are viruses out there that can come in and turn off your anti-virus software?  Eek!  Neither did I!  The software monitor feature lets you know when your anti-virus software has been turned off or compromised so you can take action right away.
  • Data backup & restore- this feature allows you to schedule backups of your data (veeeery important, I have learned! The hard way!) and maintenance to run in the off-business hours so this important step gets done AND doesn’t interfere with your work day.
  • USB Blocker – I LOVE this feature.  It allows you to choose which type of USB devices you’ll allow to be plugged into your computer.  So let’s say you don’t want anyone but yourself to be able to plug in a mass storage device – you can allow that only after the user enters a password.  Meanwhile, other devices like cameras or printers can be plugged in by any user.  A great way to keep your files protected from anyone who might want to remove them.

I’ve loved using Intel’s Small Business Advantage tools and I know they’ll be keeping me and my data in business safely and securely!   Thanks to Intel for sending me to Spark & Hustle and supporting women in small business!

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Who doesn’t need a little Spark & Hustle?

Back in May when Emily and I attended Mom 2.0 Summit, we met a tall, beautiful lady named Rachel,of Back’nGroove Mom.

We totes didn't even PLAN the red! Also, note to self: try and grow 6-8 inches taller.

After she endeared herself to us and captured our undying affection, she started talking non-stop about something called Spark & Hustle. “Spark & Hustle this, Spark & Hustle THAT”!   I didn’t even know what it was!  Turns out, Spark & Hustle is a conference for women in small business, and it is making a tour this summer. At first I thought it was just a ploy she was using to get us to come visit her in her hometown of Pittsburgh, but Rachel is actually very involved with Spark & Hustle!  Over time and some charming text messages, she convinced me to attend the conference in Pittsburgh coming up on August 9th.  (Emily can’t come because she’s going on vacation. LAME.)

I am super-excited to learn more from Tory Johnson, the founder of Spark & Hustle, about doing a better job in small business – which believe it or not, is what this blog has turned into for Emily and me.  I am super-excited that my BFF Luanne is going to attend to get some great ideas and inspiration for her small business, Lulee’s Lollies.


Me & my Lulee-belle

I’m also totally jazzed that I have a generous sponsor  – Intel!!! – who I’m proud to represent!  I am so grateful to Intel for their support of women in small business.  Their technologies make SO many small businesses across the world possible!  I’m taking with me a Lenovo Edge ThinkPad loaded with some great small business features that I know will be a great help as Emily and I forge ahead with Mommin’ It Up.

If you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh, (it’s a 4.5 hour drive for us from here, not bad at all!) I hope you’ll consider joining us at Spark & Hustle on August 9th.  The tickets are really reasonably priced and the information is going to be priceLESS!  I can’t wait!  You can get more info at the website here.

I’ll report back after my trip!

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Til Senility Do Us Part

So, this week something very special happened.  That Emily and I totally forgot about and remembered later. Because like many couples, although we LOVE each other, sometimes we let life get in the way and forget to stop and smell THE FACT THAT IT’S OUR FIVE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY!

I’d been thinking about this upcoming event for awhile, and was reminded of it last week when Jill posted that it was her five-year blogiversary a couple weeks ago, because we started blogging at virtually the same time.  I thought, “We should do something really awesome like have a huge giveaway or throw a party or something like that.”

But instead, we just…forgot.

Emily BETTER be whittling me that chicken, is all I have to say. (Is a Bloggess reference. Go read. Then come back here and thank us.)

But anyway.  We forgot our blogiversary.


Hey, guess what??? We’ve been blogging for FIVE YEARS!! Isn’t that crazy? When we started this blog, we had only three kids between us, and now we have five.  We were both in our twenties and now we’re clearly practically in an old folks’ home.  We’d never been to a blog conference and didn’t know what Twitter was.  We had old appliances and outdated kitchens and our wardrobes were not made up entirely of Lands’ End.  And we certainly never dreamed that so many of you would care about our successes, our failures, our clothes, our kids, our jobs, our pets, or our kids’ poop.  Ok, so most of you don’t care about that last one (but I know a couple of you do! I KNOW IT!)

Thanks for sticking with us all this time. Especially through this really anti-climactic five-year blogiversary post.  Emily and I love doing this together, but what REALLY makes us grin is getting comments from you, you, YOU!  We love the feedback and interaction with you guys.  We hope you’ll stick with us for at LEAST five more years…aren’t you dying to see if we can even remember our own NAMES in five years!?  The odd aren’t great…

Thanks for five great years, you guys.  We love you. Fer realzies.

(We’d also love it if one of you sent us a wooden replica of Beyonce’ the metal chicken.  Just sayin’.)


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