Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer's Tug of War

Missed you all my Daring friends!

Now I can get back to sharing and daring with the best!

I have been trying to sort through summer plans. Balancing work and play in the summer can be quite exhausting. Priorities v. Playing!!!! Sometimes common sense must win the tug of war that plays out in the mind.

There is no better lace to sit back and combine the two, than a New England summer. I am close enough to the city, airports, and face-to-face clients. When I can remove myself from the hustle and the bustle of the city, I choose....... Martha's Vineyard for the Summer of 2010!

The "must have" is pure relaxation. I certainly choose my rental wisely. Thinking about the size - I don't mind a room or two for guests. However, I am not a fan of large cottages that people crash for the summer. I want my space - I enjoy peace - I savor the new friendships that develop and evolve - I find comfort in quiet moments reading a book.

When looking for a rental, I don't have the luxury to research for hours on the web. I put my faith and trust in Sotheby's International Reality to do the legwork for rentals.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Drink of the Week


1 oz  Brandy
1/2 oz  Dry Vermouth
1/4 tsp  White Creme de Menthe
1 oz  Orange Juice
1 tsp  Grenadine Syrup
1/2 oz  Tawny Port

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the brandy, vermouth, creme de menthe, orange juice, and grenadine.

Shake well.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Pouring slowly and carefully, float the port on top.

Spring is here!


ESPN to land more NFL rights

Reopened deals offer lockout protection, ‘MNF’ streaming


ESPN and the NFL are close to an agreement to give the media company a much larger bundle of the league’s broadband, mobile and international rights, including the ability to stream “Monday Night Football” games on broadband and wireless platforms.

The digital deal will certainly grab the full attention of the NFL’s other network partners, who could be looking to further their digital and mobile rights with NFL content. CBS and Fox have looked into streaming at least one of their Sunday afternoon games but have no concrete plans to follow through with that yet.

ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys confirmed the talks late last week, saying the two sides were “finalizing a deal for significantly expanded U.S. digital and international rights.”

The pending deal developed as the league opened ESPN’s $1.1 billion annual contract to insert language that outlined payment terms in the event of a lockout. The contract already called for ESPN to make such payments, but the NFL wanted its language to mirror previously agreed to contracts with CBS, Fox and NBC.

The digital deal will give the Bristol, Conn.-based network the right to stream “MNF” games via broadband, sources said. ESPN executives aren’t certain whether they would exercise those rights, even on its broadband site ESPN360. ESPN makes more than $4 per subscriber per month from cable and satellite operators, and ESPN is reluctant to put its highest-rated content on broadband and risk devaluing its linear TV deals with MSOs.

For the past two seasons NBC Sports and the NFL have streamed the “Sunday Night Football” game on and The online feed has had limited success, while offering a different viewing experience featuring multiple camera angles and interactivity.

ESPN will also stake a big claim to the mobile area, though several questions remain about the offer. It’s unclear whether the NFL would allow ESPN to stream its NFL content via a wireless carrier other than Verizon Wireless, which signed an extensive mobile content deal just two weeks ago that did not include rights to “MNF.”

“It might not be fully cooked,” said Dallas Cowboys owner and NFL broadcast committee member Jerry Jones in response to a question about whether ESPN would be allowed to stream “MNF” to Verizon or other carriers. “I am not really sure that I want to answer that right now.”

Even with ESPN as the intermediary, it’s hard to believe the “MNF” rights won’t end up on a Verizon platform. “They are our rights to sell,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

The cash bonanza the NFL recently realized by selling rights to Verizon in a $720 million deal shows there’s increasing value in mobile content.

“After a deal of this magnitude gets done, every rights holder is looking closely to see if they can drive more revenue from their content,” said Chris Russo, chief executive of Fantasy Sports Ventures and the former top media executive at the NFL.

The proposed deal also gives ESPN much broader highlight rights, both online and mobile. ESPN’s original deal gave the media company limited highlight rights, as the NFL has sought to make the major online destination for such clips.

The new deal would allow ESPN to use highlights on its home page, its local Web sites and to stream them to mobile devices. It also will be able to stream games, though that part is still is taking shape.

One of the biggest parts of the deal is internationally, where ESPN will gain the rights to televise its “MNF” game and “Monday Night Countdown” pregame show in the United Kingdom via its newly launched British cable channel, ESPN UK.

“MNF” has not been telecast in Britain for the past several years. This deal, however, marks the first time in more than a decade that a TV network other than Sky Sports will carry live NFL programming in Britain.

Since 2006, the league has streamed games overseas via “NFL Game Pass,” a Sunday Ticket-style service that streams all games for around $240 per season.

ESPN and the NFL negotiated their digital deal at the same time as they both reworked the network’s “MNF” contract. The NFL looked to insert language into the deal to ensure payments continue in the event of a lockout.

Sources have said that the two sets of talks were separate and are not related.

The networks have said that they consider the payments loans that will be paid back by the league if games aren’t played. At an industry conference earlier this month, Fox Sports’ Ed Goren said, “It’s not as if we are running a charity. We give every year. That money comes back.”

When asked if it was a loan, Goren replied emphatically, “With interest.”

NBC Universal Sports and Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol also said that the relevant language in the new TV contracts signed last year by NBC, Fox, DirecTV and CBS was no different than what’s been in past contracts, questioning the furor over the networks guaranteeing payments.

“I have been around longer than anybody else, and I don’t remember a deal, certainly all the way back to the early 1980s, that this wasn’t in,” he said. “This is not a new development.”

The broadcasters do get their money back with interest if games aren’t played. The one exception is DirecTV, which would not get all of its money back for games lost, with the reasoning being that the network is able to secure subscribers because of the NFL, and the loss of a few games would not materially harm that income.

Get Hatched with Teri Hatcher

Hatcher added to

The new online expert for Disney site

Disney is adding "Desperate Housewives" co-star Teri Hatcher to its lineup of online experts, launching with the thesp in May.

Branded as "A Chick's Guide to Life," site will have the actress, and a staff, doling out advice to women through articles, blogs and webisodes that will be "empowering and provide, with humor, insight and vulnerability, solutions to the needs and obligations of today's modern women," Hatcher said in a statement.

Hatcher will oversee the creative and editorial content, while will produce the site.

DisneyFamily, a popular online destinations for mothers, is part of Disney Online's mom and family portfolio, which includes, and

Hatcher's book "Burnt Toast and Other Philosophies of Life," published in 2006, provided family and career advice to women. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Reality has forced many people to reconsider travel.  Getting away with friends for the weekend seems to not be as popular. The summer trips with families are dwindling. 

Last summer was the summer coined "STAY-CATION!"  Really odd terminology, but it was catchy.  Therefore, I have decided to put the luxury all-frills on the back burner.

This doesn't mean that you must sacrifice everything to just get away.  Below, we will look at ways to consolidate expenses that add up on the back-end of your vacation budget dollars.  
~ HM

Those annoying fees that seem to pop up out of nowhere!

Airlines "convenience fees" can range from $5 to $45 per ticket. Almost every major carrier adds a surcharge for non-Internet bookings, so avoid this sneaky fee by booking online. 


I am not talking about First Class vs. Coach seats.
JetBlue charges for six "extra legroom" rows. Surcharges can range from $5 to $350. Don't be picky about the seat, bring your iPod, and listen to a book or music on your iPod. Before you leave for the airport, see if other desirable seats have opened at no extra fee. If that is not the case, at the airline counter, or at the airport kiosk, a representative is usually there to guide you. Smile sweetly, make small talk about the excitement of the trip . . . and voila, they have codes that they input to check to see if there are better seats.


These are the most annoying fees. 

The carriers are charging fees for EVERY checked bag! Fees range from $25 to $60 per bag,        and if you dare bring a second or third bag ~ watch out! 
Now this doesn't include the oversized/overweight charge. The fees attached to overweight          bags can range from $25 to $175 per bag, in addition to the extra bag fee.
How many people know this? You can check in your bags from home at a cheaper fee. You          still incur a fee, but it is discounted if you do it online with the carrier.

SOLUTION: Less is more! Pack with common sense. There is a strategy here: less shoes, those tried and true tested mix and match weekender outfits. Pack smart! Try to do a carry-on, and if you must bring in a checked bag - pre-check from home.

Collision-damage waiver (CDW) can cost as much as the actual car rental. 

SOLUTION: Check with your credit card company AND auto insurance companies before you leave home, and make sure you are already covered. Then when you get to the rental counter, DECLINE - DECLINE - DECLINE! 

When I am in Washington, DC, I know that the hotels charge for parking, and in and out fees.  If I can, I go into Virginia, and eliminate such charges, Don't become a victim of hidden hotel fees at check-out. Make sure, when booking, to confirm what services are included with the hotel rate. Things to be on the lookout for, are;
Wireless Connections 
Hotel amenities ~ pool, fitness center, or business center
Free breakfast ~ full or continental
Bottle of Water ~ Looks free, but they charge between $1.50 to $3.00 per bottle 
       of warm water 
      on the counter.
Movies and Games 
Parking ~ valet, overnight, and in & out charges

SOLUTION: Call ahead to confirm what is included in your rate. Ask for specials, and utilize hotel reward programs. Sign up online with the hotel chain BEFORE making your reservation - they are free for basic memberships. Use your AAA, or Super Club memberships, and don't forget to check with your HR department for discounts. Then check online with google, and see how many people will point you in the direction of discounts.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


She is beautiful! 
She is talented!
She is a breath of fresh air!

A fresh and flawless performance was executed beautifully by this wonderful actress.
Keep your eyes on the screen!
Mia will be sure to please us for years to come.
Her talent was not just tripped over. Mia has earned a home in Hollywood!
She will have choice scripts delivered, and lunch requests that outnumber days in the week - by summer's end!  Here is to good management and lawyers, and the rest  will be  here dream come true.  There is no worrying about Mia keeping her head on straight, she exudes class and that personality American's drink up with guiltless pleasure.  She is likely to be compared to America's Sweethearts ~ Jen Aniston, Julia Roberts, and Sandra Bullock.  Mia's looks will be  compared to ~ Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore. Most importantly, Mia will stand on her own two feet! She has that extraordinary foundation to keep her firmly grounded!  

Mia, continue to Dare to be Yourself! Thanks for making today an enlightening day!


I remember a particular question Matt Lauer asked a guest a few years back on the Today Show.  The question was simply put, "Do you google yourself?"  I chuckled! Google was after all, NEW!  Google wasn't popular, it was still unknown to many, and most importantly  - the information reliability was questionable.  Google has come a long way, to say the least. 

We all utilize google daily! I google news, pictures, and gather basic information quickly! What time does a particular movie start? Google it!  Recently, boardrooms all over the world are asking their employees about SEO's (Search Engine Optimization.)  These companies are looking for their google ranking to rise quickly!  That's great - that's yesterday! Google apps are more advanced than SEO's. 

I was reminded of the Matt Lauer interview recently, because I asked my mother to . . . .  you guessed it . . . . Google me!  Every so often, I ask my family to do the Google Check! As an entrepreneur, I need to keep my name unblemished!  I come from a family of hardworking individuals, and I am determined to keep the family name clean!  My hope, is that the other Helen Whitney's in the world  ~ keep their nose clean!  

Mom called this weekend with good news ~ actually it was great news! All the years of education and hard work seem to continue to work in a positive manner for me (and my same-namers.)  I am not a porn star! Mom and Dad are proud, and my family in France said it's alright to visit them. 

Years ago, my parents would tell me to study hard, play hard, and keep my name out of the paper! Now they are proud that Google doesn't dish ay dirt on me or those with my same name.
So, Google Me! I am not a porn star.

Keep working hard, and keep playing hard, and keep your name clean!

Dare to be Yourself ~