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Oct 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Happy Halloween!! Just got back from taking the girls Trick Or Treating and now I'm heading out with some friends. :)  I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!  

Update on the new site: It's coming along great!!  I am hoping that by Thanksgiving it will completely be ready to open! :)

Oct 28, 2010

Should you really compare the obese to drug addicts?

I may not be obese nor am I morbidly overweight, but there was a time where I would have fit in those categories.  I have many friends and family members who do fit into these categories and because I once was classified as obese, I can relate to the insensitivity of some people.  I was one of the chubby kids that would always be made fun of and I would be called terrible names.  Honestly, I thought the "bullies" would grow out of their phase of disliking people for their image or hair color.  I guess I was wrong.

Through another blog, my attention was brought to this article written by Maura Kelly entitled "Should Fatties Get A Room?"  (It disgusts me to even link this article.)  This article made me actually made me nauseous and completely disgusted me to see a grown adult act so childish and immature.  She reminded me of one of those bullies that called me degrading names and made my confidence plummet to low levels.  Basically, she said that obese people on TV made her sick and so did "obese people walking across a room."  Really?  

Seeing overweight people as actors/actresses on television, in my opinion, is something that should have been done years ago.  So maybe being obese isn't healthy, but some people have conditions where they can't help it.  They don't just sit there everyday all day and eat.  Why shouldn't bigger women be able to act on television too?  In Rosanne her and her husband were overweight and there was NO controversy like there is now over the more recent shows.

What got me, was this: "To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair."  That is more or less comparing their view of someone with obesity to that of a druggie or alcoholic.

The author did write an apology, but the hurtful things she said still resonate with those who relate to the subject of the bullying.  Once a bully, always a bully...

Oct 26, 2010

I've been neglecting all of you!!

I most recently started as a Customer Service Rep and Personal Shopper for and haven't had the chance to get on here.  I have been working about 60 hours a week and completely neglecting this blog.  I have, however, been planning on ways to make this blog bigger and better and that's what is going to happen by November!  I'm planning on this site to be more than just a personal site but a point of reference for anyone who wants to know anything about parenting, crafting, cooking, etc...  We're going to get a complete revamp with a new name and style. :)  I'm really looking forward to this change and have great visions for this site!  A big thank you to everyone who e-mailed asking if I was ok and those who stayed loyal to us!  You'll have some great surprises coming while we get closer to Christmas!  

I apologize for neglecting all of you and promise for great things to come!

Oct 12, 2010

Popular Mommy Bloggers: What makes them different?

I love reading other blogs and Heather was one of the first blogs that actually inspired me to write more about my kids, my life and to become a mommy blogger.   However, I think about some of these other mommy bloggers that are considered among the most popular of the "mommy bloggerdom" (Yes, I made up a new word.  It's cool dammit!!) and I wonder just why they're so popular.  Don't get me wrong, I love some of these very popular mommy bloggers, I love to read their blogs and follow them daily, but what makes them any different than the rest of us?  They have good designs, but so do a lot of other blogs, some of the little known ones.  Sure they write well, but other blogs do as well.  Some of these very popular blogs haven't been around for too long -- how do they skyrocket to bloggy fame?  

If I said I didn't want to be amongst them, I'd be lying.  Just like in any hobby or occupation, you want to be one of the top.  Of course, being popular isn't what blogging is all about.  
I write because I love to.

I write because I have the inspiration and love the outlet.

I write because I love to share things with others. 
If no one followed my blog, I probably would still write because it's like therapy for me, but of course you want people to read and acknowledge your hard work.  Most bloggers spend a good amount of their free time (and kids naptimes!) working on their blogs, writing posts and doing what they love. In my experience, blogs can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to write well.  (And that is with much proofreading and revisions too!!)  I'm probably just rambling on and on, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

No way am I even near the ranks of those popular mom bloggers, but I was thinking about and trying to analyze just why they were so popular.  I found a post somewhere on the internet with the ranking of the top mommy bloggers and went through the sites trying to compare and contrast.  Of course, I did see some vast differences from smaller known blogs, but nothing that they couldn't improve on.  Basically, these are the things I have found:

Regular Blog Posts - You don't have to blog daily, but blogging 2-3 times a week to keep your readers interested and engaged is a very important thing.  It's important if you're one of the more popular bloggers or just a little blog starting up.  You want to have something to grip your readers and pull them in.  Posting about your day, your newest recipe and pictures of your totally adorable food covered child is good in moderation, but you also have to have posts to make people think or to start a conversation.  Investing time into your writing whether it's during naptime or well into the night is important.  Not all the time, but whenever you have the inspiration.

I have a notebook near my bed and a small notebook in my purse.  (I also use my phone's memo pad sometimes) When I have inspiration, I write down a topic in those notebooks.  Sometimes, in the notebook near my bed, I'll just write out an entire post.  This happens a lot if I wake up in the middle of the night and just think of something. (And I'm too lazy to actually get up and write it on my computer.)  There are days I just sit down and write saved drafts of all the posts I write in my notebook.  It makes it so much easier for me to just schedule a post when I have a block.  Though, I've been writing for many years and I really have bursts of inspiration at the most random moments.  I would suggest this to anyone who may be the same way. 

Networking - I'm not going to say spam other blogs with comments such as "follow meeeeeee!!!!" ha!  That's just wrong and it won't get ANY blogger to like you. :)  They may actually 'blacklist' you if you do that. ;)  I'm saying that if you read other blogs and like a post, comment and tell them how ingenious it was, or share your thoughts on the blog, share your opinions.  Bloggers put themselves out there and almost always love to hear your constructive criticism or opinions on what they're writing.  Feedback is good.  Who knows, that blogger may actually like to visit blogs that comment on theirs and they may like yours as well.  From there maybe they would share a post, tweet a post, facebook a post or add you to their blogroll.  From there it's like a domino effect.  I always love to visit blogs on another blog I like.  I'm one who checks their blogroll to see if I can find new and great blogs to read.  Networking is a huge part as well.  

I know there are people who think that PR and "giveaways" is a way to gain popularity and I guess in a way it can be... but I don't think that's anything to really focus on.  For myself, I do giveaways and reviews because if a company contacts me and I like what they have to offer, I take them up on it.  I find it as an honor to review and promote their products or services.  Of course giveaways do gain attention through word of mouth, but in order to KEEP those readers, you have to have something of substance on your blog.

Honestly, I think this is just the beginning for the Mommy Blogger world.  There are so many more companies and media outlets that are just getting wind of this.  There are companies and media outlets that are realizing just how effective mommy blogging is and how good of a promotional tool it is as well.  As I may be contradicting myself now, I feel that there will be a huge climax for mommy blogging and a lot more attention in the future.  Of course, it's really luck and being in the right place at the right time to even get noticed by any of these outlets, but who knows.  Maybe one of the underdogs will get recognition!  

Remember -- While there are bloggers who make a living off their blogs (few and far between!!) most bloggers do it because they love to.  I write because I love to.  It's a hobby, not a career.  Who knows what the future will hold, but for right now we have to keep on doing what we love.  Keep on writing, Keep on networking and keep on promoting ourselves. 

Oct 10, 2010

"Mommy, why was your childhood so boring?"

I remember being a child and having to use my imagination to play with Barbies, my doll house, Polly Pockets, dolls and other various toys.  Back in the 1980's, electronic toys were few and far between.  When I had a toy that was electronic, it wasn't very advanced; they were just being developed and were very plain.  I would get out of the house daily and for a long time.  I got exercise by playing with my friends, by going to the park, riding my bike, my scooter, my roller skates/ roller blades and using my imagination to play different games with my friends.  

Fast forward to more modern days where preschoolers learn computers as part of their curriculum in school!  By kindergarten, children are computer savvy.  Hell, some kindergartners even have their own computers.  I see 8 year olds with their own cell phones, texting and even with their own e-mail accounts.  I'm not saying that knowing the computer when you're young is a bad thing, but I know many parents who have young children and don't monitor what they're doing online.  I know many parents who tell me they trust their children and don't feel like they have to monitor what they're doing.  It's not the fact of distrusting your children, but the fact of distrusting others and knowing the dangers that are out there in cyberworld.

I understand the need for technology, however I also worry.  Kids aren't getting the exercise they need because of technology.  Sure, we have the Wii and I love Nintendo for coming up with such a great concept; a gaming system that conbines family time, exercise and fun.  Even so, children need fresh air and more physical movement.  I also believe they should go outside and enjoy their time because it's better than being stuck in the house.  Even voluntarily stuck.

It really dawned on me when I had brought some of my old toys up from the basement for my girls to play with.  My oldest, Alayna, asked me how did I play with the toys when it wasn't electronic.  I had told her that when I was younger electronic toys were just being created and she really thought my childhood was boring!  I had to explain to her that when I was a kid it was 1980 and most of our fun was created by ourselves.  We had to use our imagination to make the dolls talk and to come up with scenarios.   She didn't really understand why there was no electronics, but I realized that our kids now are brought up with Nintendo, Playstation, XBox, computers, toys that talk and walk and poop and pee...

My kids have great imaginations because that's how I raised them, but I think there are some parents who depend on the toys that do the work for them.  In fact, I know some of those parents.  More children should be limited to the technology toys and should spend more time with the toys that stretch the imagination and build the creativity.  Not even that, but kids should be able to get out of the house and exercise, play games outside, going to the park.  They need the fresh air.

Sometimes I see 4 and 5 year olds playing outside all by themselves.  While it's good that they're outside and getting the exercise, where are their parents?  I hear some parents talking about how they can't wait to get their little kids outside because they want the time to themselves. These are the parents who will act like the big and mighty protective parents when something bad happens, God forbid.  Honestly, I don't mean to criticise any parents, but when I see this and hear parents talking about this, I do go off.  And I have gone off on parents who have said they let their 4 and 5 year olds outside alone in a busy urban area.  It angers me.

What do you think about this topic?  What do you think about the parents who distract their children with video games and electronic toys so they can do what they'd like to do?

Oct 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Princess.

Five years ago my little princess was born, Alayna Danielle.  She was born prematurely at almost 35 weeks and had digestion problems and her sucking instinct was not developed at that time.  My little baby had reflux and was in the hospital for a month after she was born.  She had gone through so many test, she was misdiagnosed a few times and had to be finally fed through a gastro tube because she couldn't hold down formula from a bottle and in the beginning, she couldn't even suck on the bottle. That was the worst month of my entire life because my little girl wasn't home with me.

She finally came home a month later and was the best little baby that anyone could ever ask for.  Since then, she's grown so much and has become the smartest and best little girl that anyone could ever ask for. (When she behaves! lol)  I can't believe she's already 5 years old.  She started pre school this past September and loves her friends. 

That's Alayna's 1st birthday picture

And here she is at age 5... Such a big girl who's grown so much.

I really got emotional this morning when I realized my little baby was already 5 years old! It's so hard to believe.  She's gonna have a great birthday party on Friday with her friends from school!

Happy Birthday, Alayna Danielle!!

Oct 3, 2010

Why do you write?

I think this is a pretty cliche post for any blogger to publish, but I also think it's important.  It isn't like we have to justify our thoughts, opinions and passions, but I think that so much can be learned by answering this simple question.  I also believe that every blogger has their own reasons for blogging, reviewing, writing about parenting and other issues close to their heart.  Why not learn about those reasons?

When I was young, I used to want to write a book.  I would write and illustrate "stories" when I was a kid and throughout my life.  Of course, they all started out being short stories with stick illustrations written on a few pieces of construction paper and tacked together with those gold swing tacks. The stories usually consisted of flying dogs and dolphins that could talk.  They all ended with, "And they lived happily ever after..." as well!  The most important thing, looking back, was that I had two passions and ambitions: Art and Writing.

At age 10 I was in fifth grade and when I transferred schools we really got into writing.  They encouraged us to share what we would write in class, and I had found that I had a talent in writing.  I now had even more motivation for writing.  It was now my inspiration to do something with my new found talent.  I wanted to be a writer and had dreams of publishing a novel.  (Which I did start and just never finished.)

There are many reasons why I write:
  • I believe mommy bloggers have a few different (but important) purposes.  One is to spread the positive/negative opinions about products.
I've always loved to review products I purchased and loved to spread the word if I loved an item.  I would really promote it to death to my friends and family.  I feel that word of mouth is really better promotion/publicity than a company spending so much money on advertising.  If someone you know loves an item, wouldn't you want to purchase something that is tried and true?  I would!  I'd be more inclined to buy something that I know works!  That's why we usually check the reviews on products before we purchase them!
  • Maybe, through my blog posts and obstacles and successes, someone can learn something from a post of mine.
This one delves deeper into my reasons for blogging.  I feel that maybe some of my difficulties or mistakes could possibly help someone.  If I impact at least one person, I feel like I have done my job.  Honestly, I feel like I am a very strong person for situations that I have been through.  I post so openly about them because I am proud that I have overcome so many obstacles in life, obstacles that I'm sure are very common amongst others.  Things that I'm sure I can help someone prevent or repair if they were in some of the same past situations as myself.  I feel very strongly about this, and I hope this is something that I can eventually do.
  • To blog about their children and just brag!
Every mommy loves to brag about their kids!  Friends and family get tired of hearing about it, but I'm sure the blogosphere loves to hear about it!  :)  Even if they don't, I still brag!  

Most importantly, I write because I want to and because I love to... That's all that counts.

So, why do YOU write?