The HoCo Fire Dept is hosting a special blogger event! (And other hoco parties!)

HCDFRS is fired up and ready to meet you!

This should be fun … and certainly interesting! The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will be hosting a special blogger event to meet the Fire Chief and the Public Information team, and to get a hands-on tour of their special operations pods that contain many tools of the trade that are used during hazmat response and other technical rescues. But, first, they need to know when the best time is to host the event. Kindly fill out this super-short form and let them know. A formal invite will follow to those that sign up on the interest form with additional details.

The event will take place in late July, so please take a moment now to complete the form.

And remember …

Cirque du Umbrella – July 3rd, Centennial Park

Will you be in town for the July 4th weekend? A local networking powerhouse, The Umbrella Syndicate, is hosting a fun, outdoor party at Centennial Park called Cirque du Umbrella. Make sure to register and use the promo code TUSdiscount100 to get your FREE ticket.

Absolute Entertainment is providing the music/DJ, Mission BBQ is catering the event, La Cakerie is providing the desserts, Emperor’s Vodka is providing vodka, Linganore Winecellars is providing wine samples, Human Spirit Foto Booths is providing the photo booth, Screen Designs will be printing T-Shirts featuring sponsors, Fantasy Artz will be providing body painting and balloon artistry, and The Umbrella Syndicate will be providing the photo and social media love. Yelp is the official check in sponsor and will be blasting the event out to over 155,000+ people in the DMV area.

Reach thousands of local people for just $149/year

Does your business serve the HoCo region? Reach thousands of local viewers for only $149/year on, HoCo’s online calendar.

Firm it up!

If you’ve got loose and/or saggy skin, Nerium Firm is a remarkable product for firming up your skin (neck, upper arms, torso, butt, upper legs, you name it). The gal behind HoCoBlogs and TotallyHoCo (me), is a Nerium Brand Partner, loves the products, uses the products and recommends the products! And I’d love your support in terms of sales and/or referrals!

The Colonel seeks thy poetry … and other bits

Colonel Gateway is having a poetry contest

The Great Gateway Poetry Battle. Check it out.

Centre Park Grill party

The Bare Midriff hosts the next HoCoBlogs/TotallyHoCo happy hour at Centre Park Grill on June 23.

Small time. Big help.

HoCoBlogs (me/us/we/it) seeks someone to post the monthly “welcome, new bloggers” post. It’s about 1.5-3 hours of work a month. Email me if interested, e.g. this.

Post*Find*Share Events, HoCo’s online calendar, is unlike any other we know of. Post, find and share local events there. Reach thousands of local viewers for only $149/year.

Three parties for bloggers and their readers (plus a bonus party)

There are three summer parties coming up for Hoco bloggers and their readers. (Plus a bonus party invite.)

Tonight, June 3

Secolari’s Oil & Vinegar. I can’t say enough good things about this locally owned place! I love artisinal olive oils, vinegars and salts! Yum! (We’ll have lots of tasting opportunities.)

New restaurant – June 23rd

Check out the new Centre Park Grill. The Bare Midriff blogger, Elizabeth Brunetti has been here several times and has set up this party for us. This restaurant and the party is in the location of the old Cafe de Paris off Route 108.

Goodbye, Claire! – July 23rd

Aww, man! Claire of UK Desperate Housewife is heading back to, of all places, the UK. Mickey, Candace, Kris and Claire have organized a goodbye party at locally owned Portalli’s in Historic Ellicott City. Come on by!


… And another party because this one is near and dear to me

Burning Man Friend- and Fund-raiser

My Burning Man camp, More Carrot, is awesome! We gift to others fresh fruits and vegetables in one of the harsher environments on the planet. We’re having a fun and light event on July 25th at Gogo Guru.


Food, Parties, Theatre & Art

Oil & Vinegar do mix!

The TotallyHoCo & HoCoBlogs party is coming up, June 3rd, at Secolari’s Artisan Oils & Vinegars in the Columbia Mall. Hope to see you there. RSVP and details here. Our party is Wednesday, June 3rd, and, as always, bloggers, blog readers and those who actively use social media are invited to attend. Light fare be provided by Secolari’s neighbor, Maggiano’s, right across the way. We’ll have tastings and opportunities to learn; plenty of mingling space and energy; and lots of love and goodness in the air.

Put the Columbia Festival of the Arts on your radar

The CFA is coming up and there are tons of art, music and theatre events happening right here in our community. Tune in to their website and for more information about upcoming free and fee events.

Save the date for a #HoCoTogether blogger party

July 23rd at Portalli’s. Hosted by HoCo bloggers the UK Desperate Housewife USA (Claire McGill), Howard County Moms (Kris Schneider), Life & How to Live It (Mickey Gomez) and Is This Thing On? (Candace Dodson Reed). Four fierce, fun and fesity women who love Howard County have come together to host a summer celebration of HoCo at Portalli’s. All witty, smart and totally HoCo bloggers and their friends are invited (that’s you then!). Laughter, merriment and blog-worthy stories guaranteed. RSVP and more details here

TotallyHoCo & HoCoBlogs Party at Secolari’s

Join TotallyHoCo, HoCoBlogs and a host of lovely local social media activists at a fun, tastebud-expanding and delightful party at Secolari Artisan Oils and Vinegars at The Mall in Columbia. I love this store and am a regular customer, often stopping in to taste their seasonal oils and vinegars, rarely failing to walk out without a new bottle of something or other to try.

RSVP here.

Our party is Wednesday, June 3rd, and, as always, bloggers, blog readers and those who actively use social media are invited to attend. Light fare be provided by Secolari’s neighbor, Maggiano’s, right across the way. We’ll have tastings and opportunities to learn; plenty of mingling space and energy; and lots of love and goodness in the air. 

Secolari’s is owned by a Clarksville couple and they represent a phenomenon not seen much in The Mall in Columbia in the last couple decades of national-brand dominance in retail: they are a true mom-and-pop shop … and an upscale one at that! Show them some local love. Come by to the party. Bring a social-media savvy friend. Tweet your tastings at the event. Like them on Facebook and write a short review there. But most importantly, be there with your love for your community, your belief in our ability to redefine and update the vibe in Columbia and HoCo, and your willingness to try some new tastes and have new experiences.

See you soon! Tweet about the party using #HoCoEvents.




Blog posts from our Secolari party last year: Super Sana, Annie Rie, HoCoConnect

Sponsors – SecolariHoCoBlogsTotallyHoCo, Maggianos


A note from a fellow blogger:

Fellow Bloggers: Please support my latest venture in any way you can!  My short story FACEBOOK CAN BE FATAL has a good shot at winning an online contest. To win, I need to receive the most (FREE!) downloads before June 4. First prize is $15,000 and I plan to donate every cent I receive to two animal rescues: Big East Akita Rescue and Rakki Inu Akita Rescue. You can find my story here: For more info, contact me at Thanks!

Welcome, new bloggers

Welcome, new bloggers.

We’ve gotten lots of April showers and are already seeing the May flowers (and trees) blooming! It’s really time to enjoy spring (achoo!) before the heat of summer is upon us. Enjoy this list of new bloggers, too!

Join the HoCo Blogging Community!

Spring months bring lots of outdoor activities and lots of plans for the upcoming summer. Talk about it with your community. School plays? Prom? Travel plans? It doesn’t matter the topic as long as you are part of our HoCo community! Go ahead, submit your blog now!

It’s time to really get local…and share local.

You know it, you live it, let’s share it. I’m talking about your local community! #ColumbiaMd #EllicottCity #OaklandMills #LongReach #HarpersVillage and YOUR specific community. Use your hashtags and follow them on Twitter.

And don’t forget to use the hashtags on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more.

You can always find our list of local hashtags here.

Share your local events and learn about others!

Have you heard about yet? It’s a fantastic local calendar where you can both find and share local events for free. Check it out.

Much to do around HoCo: 7 helpful tips & sites

There’s a lot going on in Howard County … especially as the spring months come into bloom. Find out about much of what’s happening by checking in on these resources.



Transparently, this is a project of mine. TotallyHoCo is an online calendar that is beautiful and fun to scan. It’s organized by the type of event, where the event is happening, the intended audience and other factors. Individuals, orgs and businesses in HoCo can post their events free (at least for now). Please remember to post a photo/flier/graphic.

What can be posted? Pretty much any event happening in HoCo. Arts & culture, community-wide yard sales, movie nights, book clubs, wine tastings, geocaching, live music, trivia nights and much more.


Check out Annie’s post

Yappy Hours, outdoor markets, festivals and more. Check out her post.


Art & Appetizers

Rhona LK Schonwald creates some museum quality abstract art, and she’s having a show in Maple Lawn the first weekend of May. Check it out here.

Must See: Sheep & Wool Festival

If you’ve yet to go, go! It’s huge and attracts a national audience … right here in your back yard. First weekend in May.

Remember Wine in the Woods

Mid May. Huge. Fun. Awesome. Be there. Deets here.

Downtown Columbia Partnership

These folks have a calendar, too. Check it out.



Use your hashtags! :-) And follow them too … like this.