Archives for September 2011

Monster Likes #35

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Every Saturday, it’s Monster Likes time! I list my favorite selection of posts I found throughout bloggy land over the past week.

If one of your posts is listed below and you want the badge, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll send you the badge to put on your post!

And now on to the good stuff….

My friend Jen over at Buried with Kids wrote a post about spending A Little One on One Time with one of her triplets.  I cried happy tears when I read it, and planned a date night with Ethan.

I’ve written about blog scraping before, but do you know what to do when someone steals your blog post? Head over to Blogging Basics 101 to find out.

Carri over at Mommy’s Little Monster Blake wrote a touching post called You. I think it’s a post we’ll all relate to on some level.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Yes please! Head over to Lerner’s place Stay At Home Babe for the recipe.

If you’re a writer, you should really have a Facebook fan page…but do you? Head over to Write on Edge to see  Ashley’s (@porchswingmom) post about Why Writers Need Facebook.

Morgan over at The Little Hen House teaches us How To Make Graphics Without Using PhotoShop.

This seems like such a great cause that I had to mention it: Jennifer Garner has teamed up with Frigidaire in supporting Save the Children. Every time you explore their holiday cooking tips and ideas online, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children as part of its $500,000 commitment to helping children living in poverty in the U.S.

You might have seen my post this past week related to moms who drink alcohol. In the last couple of weeks, there were at least 5 posts written on various blogs on the topics of drinking and alcoholism, and each and every one of the posts was helpful to at least one person. But, the one thing that none of us thought to offer you are the resources where you can find help if you need it. Here is some information for those of you who need it:

• Alcoholics Anonymous – http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org
• Al-Anon/Alateen – http://www.al-anon.org
• National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/FAQs/General-English/Pages/default.aspx
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – http://www.samhsa.gov

DIY Blog Critique eBook Review: How To Critique Your Blog Like A Professional

I’m not afraid to admit it: I’ve been blogging for over a year and a half now, and I’m still not sure if my blog is what I want it to be…or if it’s what it should be, for that matter. I love my monster design, but is it too cute? What message am I sending? Does it fit my brand? If you met me in person would you see the connection?

Sigh.

So many questions, and unless you know where to look, it’s hard to find the answers. But I have the answer for you:

DIY_Critique_Ebook_cover Yep, the DIY Blog Critique eBook written my Melissa of MomComm. And Melissa knows her stuff. Her background is in marketing communications, so she knows what sells and what won’t. She not only blogs at MomComm, but also at  Adventuroo. And she is also the Brand Building Contributing Editor at SITS Girls and a freelance marketing consultant. So like I said, she gets it.

Now you might think like I did: I can’t critique my own blog! I don’t even know what I’m supposed to critique!

And that’s why this eBook is so fantastic. Because not only does Melissa tell you what to do, she tells you how to do it and why it’s important based on your own personal goals and style. The book is a 43-point guide on making your blog full of  awesomeness (no really, she says so in the title)!

This book is not full of  checklists and “here do this because I said so”. This is a comprehensive guide on everything about a blog broken down into four main categories: prepwork, design, functionality, and navigation and content. But before you get into the nitty-gritty, Melissa will ask you to really think about what it is you want out of your blog. She asks questions that will make you define your blog and what your goals are for your blog.

Then based on your answers, it’s like a personalized plan to improve your blog…whether your a beginner or you’ve been around for awhile. She gives you hints, tips, and suggestions, and makes you consider things that you’ve probably never even thought about.

But she doesn’t just tell you how to improve your blog, she gives you some incredible resources, too. Do you want to know how to choose the right colors for your blog? There’s info and a link for that. What should be in your sidebar? Yeah, she’ll tell you that. Want to know about advertising? SEO? You’ll find it all in this book.

So now I know that you want the book. Because who wouldn’t?! All you have to do is click on this affiliate link (yes, you can become an affiliate, too!). Click here to visit Momcomm to purchase the DIY Blog Critique eBook. And are you ready for this? You can get the eBook right now for only 14 bucks…yep, the introductory price is only $14!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the DIY Blog Critique eBook for this review, but as always, all opinions expressed are mine. And I really, REALLY love this book and would absolutely have recommended it even if I paid for it! The link that is included in this post that takes you to the page to purchase the book yourself is an affiliate links to the eBook, make sure you get your own affiliate link, too!

Also…today, I’m hanging out over at Jamie’s place, chosen chaos.

She asked me to write about what I would say to my 18 year old self if I had the chance. I had no idea what I was going to write about until I sat down to write it, and then it just poured out. Thank you Jamie, for both asking me to guest post and for making me sit down and do something so cathartic!

Good Wine, Good Friends…Good Cause

Do you know who that is? That, my friends, is the amazing Pursey Galore. Almost a year ago to the day, Pursey Galore visited us here in So Cal for what ended up being called Pursey Galore’s un-adventurous weekend.

Who the heck is Pursey Galore? If you don’t know, where have you been? let me explain…A year ago my beautiful and charitable friend Lori over at In Pursuit of It All launched a fundraiser for the American Stroke Association. In memory of her grandmother, and to “share” the world’s tackiest accessory, a sequined, zebra-striped handbag by the name Pursey Galore, Lori’s had Pursey traveling the country from blogger to blogger, raising awareness and money for the ASA for over a year now.

And I have supported Pursey from the beginning, and will continue to until her last sequin falls off. And many of you have too, and so we’re hoping you’ll continue to support her in one last hurrah…

Me and the awesome women who make up Have Wine, Will Drink immediately jumped in and said, let us help!

We had Have Wine, Will Drink’s first impromptu Twitter party last week called #WineBuzz. It was way more fun and way more succesful than we ever imagined, so we decided to turn our second #WineBuzz into a “wine tweetathon” to get Lori to her fundraising goal.

And that’s why we need your help…

Please come and support a good cause…and you can drink wine, water, beer, soda, or whatever while you’re at it! It’s going to be a blast, and we are asking for your support. Lots of bloggers you know will be there. We’ll tweet about wine. We’ll ask people to give up Starbucks for one day and make a donation to ASA instead. And yes of course we’ll be giving away some awesome prizes, like magnetic wine charms from Simply Charmed and gift certificates from Lot 18 and ONEHOPE Wine…two brands I love and have endorsed before…

And? Twitter parties are fun if you’ve never been to one. Meet new tweeps, chat for an hour and kick back and enjoy yourself.

So you’ll be there, right? It’ll be at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST Wednesday, September 28th. You can follow hashtag #WineBuzz and #PPNB. Or, join our custom Tweetgrid here: http://bit.ly/pO1yFa.

If you want to RSVP to the party, head over to Lori’s blog and RSVP there. If you want to win the prizes, though…you’ll have to make a tiny donation to the ASA and then tweet about it. Totally worth getting free wine, right?

If you can’t make it, no problem! You can still show your support  by  making a donation here. We can get Lori to her goal…let’s do it!

Mommy Moment – Rachel Style

That’s right! It’s time for another Mommy Moment at the Monster! If you’re not sure what a Mommy Moment at the Monster is, head over and read all about how Mommy Moments at the Monster came to be.

So let’s welcome Rachel from Mommy Needs a Vacation! Rachel is a mommy of two and is a California girl like myself. We also have similar personalities and thoughts on parenting. We originally became friends through Twitter, and I was lucky enough to meet her at BlogHer in August, and can’t wait to meet up with her again in Vegas next year for Bloggy Boot Camp! She is also a wine lover like myself, but unlike me, she actually is extremely knowledgeable about wine and even lucky enough to write a wine column over at Momtastic!

Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!

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If you know me at all, you know that I have a hard edge. I don’t like frilly crap. I am not sappy. What you see is what you get.

My children are still learning this about me. Kids, are you listening? What you see is what you get. I am not going to miraculously change my mind and let you have ice cream for breakfast. Also, when I ask you to stop bashing the ground with your favorite truck (50x) and then you finally bash your hand? I am not going to care.

Because I told you so.

I love my children, but they drive me totally insane. One minute, we are having a wonderful time enjoying books together. The next minute? They are plummeting each other. I separate. Scold gently.

We begin our activity again.

More plummeting.

I separate. Scold gently.

Rinse and repeat.

Motherhood is exhausting, and that my friend, is an understatement.

I used to think that I should make an effort to be nicer to my children. However, I then decided that I am not supposed to be their friend. I am their mother. My job is to raise happy, healthy, independent children that can one day function without me. I may not be a sappy, nice mother, but I am a damn good one. Also? I am FUN. I think all of the dance parties I host in my kitchen more than make up for not caring when they smash their hand with a truck, after I told them to stop (50x).

Here are just a few Mommy Monster things I do…on a regular basis.

~ When my kids fall off of the outdoor kiddie table, after I told them to get down (50x), I have to bite my tongue not to laugh…and sometimes? I actually do laugh. I told them to get down.

~ There are many, many days that I wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have children. Do you think I am a monster of a mommy to think that?

~ If we are at a friend’s house for dinner or at a birthday party and my kids have not eaten the main meal, I have no problem telling them they may not have dessert or cake. Sorry kid. I told you to eat. You can scream, cry and throw a fit in the corner. I will never give in.

~ Back-to-School is my FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR. It is like Christmas for children, candy for fat people. When my son started preschool this year for the 1st time, it meant that BOTH kids were in school for 4 hours twice a week. I was beyond ecstatic. So much so that when my son cries, carries on and throws a fit when I drop him off, I could care less. Why? Because I know that within 5 minutes, he will be just fine. I skip out of the classroom door with a giant smile on my face, whistling Dixie! After all, it is my time to get in a good workout and shop at Nordstroms before pick up time.

~ Experts say that TV is bad for kids. Well, yeah…if you let them watch Aliens vs. Predators. My kids? Watch a lot of TV. It is mostly educational but they love a good Disney movie. I am sure many people might think that I am a monster of a mommy to let them watch so much TV. But I mean, seriously. How else am I supposed to blog, check Twitter and Facebook?

{Do you have Mommy Monster Moments like me? As in…every day?}

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Thank you for sharing these moments Rachel, and for being honest about had frustrating motherhood can be. I respect so much that you tell the truth about your real feelings, even if others might think that those same thoughts make you a mommy monster! And that part about TV? I’m in the same boat 😉

By you sharing your thoughts on mommyhood with us, you are reminding us all that it’s a hard job, it’s challenging, and we can’t always be the good guy…being in the business of raising responsible, respectable people isn’t easy!

There’s no manual out there for what we do, so sharing stories like this helps us all learn from each other.

Now head over to Rachel’s place Mommy Needs a Vacation and if you are new there, make sure to tell her that I sent you! And if you’re a wino like we are, make sure to go read her wine column at Momtastic!

Monster Likes #34

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Every Saturday, it’s Monster Likes time! I list my favorite selection of posts I found throughout bloggy land over the past week.

If one of your posts is listed below and you want the badge, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll send you the badge to put on your post!

And now on to the good stuff….

Blogging Basics 101 had a great post: Can I legally use company logos? I think it’s a question a lot of bloggers have, and one worth sharing the response to.

Morgan over at the little hen house wrote an amazing post about Brighter.com and BlogHer. Go read it…it will make you proud to be a blogger and even prouder of brands who respect us for it.

Remember my post about Guest Posting Etiquette? Alison over at mama wants this wrote a post all about How to Host Guest Posts  and it’s a fantastic read for all bloggers!

When I was at Evo in July, I was given a candle warmer from Candle Warmers, Etc. and I love it. So I reviewed it over at SmartMomPicks.com.

I also love Celebrating Home, so I wrote about why I love it over at SmartMomStyle.com. And if you like wearing aprons, you’re gonna love Flirty Aprons!

What was your favorite post of the week? Leave it in the comment section below so we can check it out!