Archive for February, 2009

Enough talking about blogging

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Some photos for Friday.

We had some gorgeous weather this week.  Sabrina was so excited to get out of the house and walk and swing and slide.  Tessa was less impressed but seemed to enjoy the change of scenery.

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I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day.  We don’t tend to celebrate and don’t have any plans out of the ordinary.

My life is a niche so my blog can’t be

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

After this post, I promise to shut up about Blissdom ’09 and return to rants about the grocery store bag boy and cute photos of my children. But I do want to talk a little bit about the actual conference.

I think the majority of my readers are aware that there is another world of blogging out there the same way we are all aware of quantum physics.  We know it exists but we aren’t particularly clear about the details.  I attended Blissdom for almost purely social reasons (ironic considering how socially awkward I’ve been telling you I was, no?) but I am fascinated by this other world of blogging.

Some of these women make a living or at least a decent paycheck from blogging.  These women work hard.  They network with great purpose.  They beat the cyber pavement.  They spend many hours building up their blogs and their numbers and their advertisers and their reputation and their presence.  They read.  They comment.  They facebook.  They twitter.  They do these things because it is their job.**

It is a world driven largely by numbers.  Numbers in the sense of traffic and numbers in the sense of dollars.  No one wants to divulge their numbers.  There was a lot of discomfort when anyone asked about numbers.  I’ll share: about 550 per week day but weekends are significantly smaller and $0.  Those ads on the sidebar have generated nothing and will be removed when my husband gets around to it.  I’m okay with that.  Blogging is my hobby, my therapy, my entertainment, my semi-creative outlet.  I don’t want it to be a job.  Would I mind having more people visit me? No but I feel like you all are my friends and I like knowing who comes to see me every day.  Would I mind making a few bucks? Well duh.  But I like what it is now.  I’m satisfied with my blog.

One of the main themes I heard this time and at Blissdom ’08 in the fall is that in order to have a profitable blog, you need a niche.  You need a narrow(ish) focus so that people always know what they will find when they visit you.  My thought then and now is my life is a niche so my blog can’t be.  I like writing about whatever is on my mind that day.  I like posting recipes, ranting memos, pictures of my beautiful children, political rants, and whatever else is going on inside my head because out loud I am limited to what my 2 year old can comprehend.  They also talked about brevity and editing and I think we can all agree that isn’t my strong suit.

So I go back to the thought I started with – I like my blog. I wouldn’t turn away more readers or a little cash but I’m not willing to change it to get there.  The occasional give away or product review is as big time as I get around here.  I will leave blogging as a business to the other bloggers and I will continue to admire them for doing it.  If some niche idea comes to me and I want to give big blogging a try, I will do it elsewhere.  You all propped me up through my adoption and my pregnancy…now you have to help me through potty training and pre-school.

**Just a point of clarification – these women have a passion for what they write about.  It is a business but something they enjoy as well.

PS If anyone has any specific questions about what we discussed, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer in the comments or via email.

PPS Did you all see that White Trash Mom commented on my last post and claimed to be a fan? I’m sure she was just being nice but *Swoon*

PPPS Proof that I was there (I don’t remember where I lifted this photo so I apologize for not giving credit)

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Blissful bullets

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Things I did on my summer vacation this weekend that I rarely do either due to discomfort or lack of opportunity:

  • Put on eye shadow. I’m not sure I can tell you the last time I wore eyeshadow.
  • I broke out blazers because there was no one to puke on me.
  • Dangling earrings!  No one to pull on them.
  • I sat my ass down at a table full of strangers for the morning session and lunch on Saturday despite knowing I could seek the safe (and quite enjoyable) company of my Nashville peeps.
  • I danced in public.  Sober.  Hell, I danced with White Trash Mom.  Okay, maybe not with her – but near her.  I didn’t know who she was until I saw the photos later and someone named the people in them.
  • I asked Jen Lancaster to do me a little favor.  Yes, bloggess/author extraordinaire, Bitter is the New Black, Jen Lancaster.
  • Handed out some of my silly blog “business” cards.
  • I called Chris Mann a hawtie on Twitter.  I’m such a dork.  (I think that is the equivalent of calling and hanging up back in the day.)  But he really is.  And he is really charming and can sing like you woudn’t believe.  There were 250 married women crushing hard on him.  He almost lost me when he said he respected mom-prenuers because his mom is one too and I was all “Is he comparing us to his mom?” but he was funny enough I forgave him.
  • I was briefly a “Woooo!” girl (if you don’t watch HIMYM you likely won’t get that reference) during Chris Mann’s performance.
  • I talked to my girl crush from last Blissdom.  She knew who I was and didn’t seem creeped out so my blog/twitter stalking must have stayed below the restraining order level.
  • I asked a question on a microphone during a session.  I tend to avoid such things since Mrs. Salapack told me I wasn’t allowed to ask more than 3 questions a day in the 3rd grade.  I stiffled my public curiousity from that day forward.
  • Didn’t roll my eyes at the Wal-Mart mentions and even managed to give them mental props for having a social media guy.  (I don’t tend to be a big fan of them.  And don’t talk to me about them owning Sam’s Club because I love Sam’s Club.)
  • Ate so many 100 calorie Little Debbie snacks that the 100 calorie part became moot.

Next up, I might actually talk about the conference.

We have a winner!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I used the “Truly Random Number Generator” to give me a number between 1 and 45.  The winner was comment #33 – Jenn! The thing that made her laugh:

“OMG – the {BJ} imitator! Do you think my husband would be upset if I handed that to him next time he wants one? LOL”

(A little editing to keep things family friendly on the front page here.)  Congrats Jenn!

Jenn will receive a $50 Gift Card for Eden Fantasys.

I hope you all had fun with my first give away! I know I did…and I learned a l little bit about some of you in the process.

And a huge thank you to Drew from Eden Fantasys for contacting me to do this fun give away!

Contest open until noon central!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

You have just a few hours left to enter the contest for a $50 gift certificate to Eden Fantasys!  I will close the contest at noon central time.

If you haven’t entered, visit Eden Fantasys and tell me what item makes you laugh the most in the comments of this post.

If you win, you could order something romantic or something sensual or something a little naughty for Valentine’s day.

Swag Swoon

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Blissdom this weekend was a great time.  First thing in the door we were handed some lovely swag bags.  The bags themselves were swag!

dsc08717We all know that Lands’ End makes the best canvas totes.  They supplied them in pink and a coupon for free shipping if we want to order something else.  Thanks Lands’ End!

Everytime I surf their site, I want to move to the beach, ride a bike everywhere and carry everything in a nifty canvas bag with a sweater tied around my shoulders.  Anyone else? No? Just me?

There were all sorts of other goodies in there too.

dsc08720A reusable grocery bag from Walmart.  Did you know that Walmart has a person devoted entirely to managing their social media interactions?  I didn’t either!  Apparently, Walmart “gets it” that bloggers and Twitter users and Facebook users have the power to influence a large number of others.  I give them props for that.  Anywhoo, he was there and I have to say he seemed like a neat guy.

Crocs provided the lanyards for our name tags and a $50 gift certificate for each attendee. I’m loving these but probably more likely to go with this or that.

If you see the bright green lanyard…you might be able to see that I actually had blog cards made – they had my header and email/blog info.  I felt like a fraud ordering them and considering the minimum was 250, I have about 200+ left.  But Vista Print rocks and they cost less than $10.  All the cool kids had them so I was glad I could whip my own card out when someone asked.  No that has nothing to do with the swag bags but I had to tell you all about my silly little cards.

Chris Mann, who is a serious hottie with some serious pipes, provided a preview CD with a couple of his songs. He even has a blog and has been twittering with attendees for the past couple of weeks.

Sony Music provided us with the soundtrack from “He’s Just Not That Into You” (anyone see this yet? looks really like fun from the previews).  And to be honest, I assume the CD is from them – no one told me that for sure so if I am wrong, sorry!

Not pictured because I have no idea what might possibly have happened to it, is a box of Little Debbie 100 calorie snacks.  I want to talk more about these another in case anyone is curious but let me say that the chocolate cake ones rock!  Serious yum.

Other sponsors were Geek Squad (still not speaking to them after my laptop issues so I refuse to link – but I might dislike them a little less after this weekend), Care.com (which I need to check out…hooks you up with babysitters, pet sitters, housekeepers, and tutors based on zip code – they give you back ground check info, prescreening questions, reference checks…sounds worth looking at more closely), New Line Records (website is nothing but their name on my screen but maybe I’m missing something), RGM (ad network – an alternative to Blogher and Adsense), Blue House Blog, and Lijit (I’m a little unclear about this…need to read more…a search engine for your blog is my understanding).

So there is a little sponsor love because we all loved our swag and the less tangible good stuff sponsors provided to keep the cost of Blissdom down so that it would be affordable for all.

I have so much more to tell.  This week, I’ll tell you all about how Jen Lancaster and I are totally BFFs now, all of the things I did that were outside of my comfort zone, more about the guy 250 married women were crushing on, how I sat next to someone from the burgh who knows my hubby and SIL, oh and the actual conference and what I learned.

Blissdom ’09

Friday, February 6th, 2009

I’m at Blissdom ’09 this weekend struggling to start conversations without a small cute child to use as a social crutch.  It is much harder than I remember.  I used to even be kind of good at it.  Socially awkward would be the phrase of the day!

I’ll be back next week with all sorts of pithy comments about things I observed while lurking in dark corners or standing uncomfortably on the fringes of groups or spending a questionable amount of time in the ladies room to avoid standing alone during breaks between sessions.  Or I could take a flask and be the hit of the party!

Giveaway reminder

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Don’t forget to enter the Valentine’s Spice Giveaway!

You can win a $50 gift card for Eden Fantasy’s.  Go on now.  Enter. You know you want to.  I won’t tell your mom.

Clorox Green Works Wipes

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

dsc08707I received a sample of Clorox Green Works Wipes to test and share my thoughts about.  Thanks to Clorox and Mom Central for the opportunity.

I’m a fan of the regular Clorox Wipes.  I’m a lazy housekeeper.  I am much more likely to clean if it is easy.  I’ve always found if I keep a canister of the wipes under the sink of each bathroom and the kitchen, I am more likely to pull them out for quick clean ups.  They do a great job.

When I saw that these were biobegradable and could be thrown in the typical family compost, I was happy that I could keep my lazy ways while being a bit friendlier to the environment.  We are not hard core green in our house but I try to do what I can.

I tried them in the bathroom and in the kitchen.  I was a little afraid of them shredding easily or streaking my fixtures.  I am pleased to report both concerns were unfounded.  I used them on my toothpaste spotted bathroom sink and faucet.  As you can see, it is clean and streak free.

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The real test my the stove.  I have a black stove so streaks are a constant problem.  And I had made spaghetti sauce that night so there were splatters and herbs around the burners.

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No streaks, no lint, no shredded wipe, and no dirt left.  I was pleased with the wipes and will replace my regular Clorox Wipes with the Clorox Green Works Wipes in the future.  Oh and they smell pretty good too!

Another Guatemama doing good stuff

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I love hearing about all of the families who adopted from Guatemala and are now working to give back!  It is so wonderful and inspiring to see people keeping Guatemala front and center in their hearts and actions.

I’ve been contacted by a new organization: Across All Borders.  They are wrapping up a cook book salethis week – proceeds go toward a mission trip to Guatemala.  Go visit their site, check out their mission, and buy yourself a cookbook full of yummy recipes – including some traditional Guatemala dishes. You have until Friday to order your book so visit today!


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