Well, I’ve come to the conclusion there must be a ghost in our house. (I don’t mean the ghost cat. We know she’s here.) Why do I think we have a ghost? Because things keep happening that can’t be explained.
- There’s often no toilet paper in the bathroom.
- There’s always pee in the unflushed toilet.
- There are dirty dishes left on the kitchen table.
- The dog food bowl was filled to overflowing.
Now you may think I’m crazy for thinking a ghost did any of these things because clearly my daughters are the culprits. But I asked them. And this will be shocking, so get ready. They didn’t do it. Any of it. They each claim the other was responsible, but if they both deny it, then what other possibility is there? A ghost.
I think this boy probably knows.
He looks a little like he sees the ghost, doesn’t he?
Note: Reagan is doing a little bit better about some of these things since we made her new kid checklists. Two days in, she’s done everything she was supposed to each day.
Linking up with Greta and Sarah for #iPPP:Read More
I had the opportunity to attend a blogging conference for the first time this past weekend, and I’m so glad I went! Bloggy Boot Camp was a perfect first conference for a blogger like me.
What I Loved:
This conference was fairly low-key. The atmosphere was casual and really encouraged friendliness and networking with other bloggers.
Rotating assigned seats for the morning sessions and lunch. Because I’m very introverted and struggle a little with networking in person, I loved the fact that the seats were assigned, so I didn’t have to worry about approaching someone and deciding where to sit. This also helped me more comfortably talk to several different bloggers who I may not have approached otherwise! I could have done a better job networking, because I was still a little nervous, but without the structure of assigned seats, I probably wouldn’t have spoken to nearly as many people!
The organizers. Tiffany and Francesca were amazing. I loved hearing both of them speak and share their motivational views on the blogging world and encourage all of us to be the best we can be.
The speakers. I learned so much from all of the speakers:
- Shell and Ashley provided a lot of useful information about getting off your blog and increasing your online presence with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.
- Casey made me realize that there’s a whole lot to this whole SEO thing and that I need to spend a lot more time looking into it. Fortunately he mentioned several tools that can help me get started.
- Brittany spent a lot of time sharing her thoughts about blog design, including mistakes some of us are probably making right now (I certainly fall into that category). I need to look at my blog keeping her tips in mind and think about making some changes.
- The hilarious Robin shared the story of her path to becoming a published author. While I have no plans to pursue that path for myself, several of her ideas will be helpful for me as we work to get my husband’s fiction novel published! And she really made me laugh so much that I definitely plan to buy her book.
- Tiffany, Francesca and Allison helped us learn why we aren’t being selected for brand campaigns and what we can do to change that!
- Cynthia gave us some very helpful photography and design tips that I need to apply to my blog right now!
Next Steps to Take Right Now:
Get into Google+. I’ll admit I’ve mostly avoided Google+ so far because I just don’t get it. But I learned that it’s critical to SEO, and I just need to get over it and get on there. I’ve already updated my profile and shared a post on G+ for the first time, so I’m taking baby steps in the right direction.
Begin using Facebook Scheduler. How did I not know that Facebook’s Scheduler existed? This was one of my favorite tips from Shell and Ashley. My regular job makes it very difficult to be active on social networks throughout the day, but I can use Facebook Scheduler to space out some fun posts throughout the day rather than sharing everything that amuses me in a one hour period in the evening. My Facebook page posts already feed to Twitter, so I accomplish both at once with the Facebook Scheduler. And I already use Buffer for tweeting links to my own posts.
WordPress Plugins! There are some I should be using that I’m not, like Yoast, SNAP, and the Facebook plugin that shows your Facebook feed. I’ve already added all three, though I may need to reconfigure SNAP.
Update my About Me page. I learned from Tiffany how important the About Me page is, especially to brands and recruiters quickly checking out my site. I’ve already made one update based on her guidelines, but it may be a work in progress for a little while!
Build my community. I need to spend more time commenting on other blogs and sharing my new friends’ posts. I moved my Google Reader over to Feedly, and I really like the way it’s set up. I think it will be a big help for me. I learned that my community is almost as important, if not more important, than overall page views when determining influence, so I need to build it more.
Determine my blogging goals. I began blogging years ago on a smaller blog for the purpose of keeping far away family up to date on our lives. When I relaunched with this blog in July 2011, I decided to try to do more with my blog. But I haven’t really defined what “do more” means to me, and I need to set specific goals if I want to achieve them.
Overall, Bloggy Boot Camp was a great experience for me. I can’t capture everything in this post – and I’m not going to because if you really want to know what it was like, you should attend Bloggy Boot Camp yourself! I would highly recommend this conference to anyone considering a blog conference, and I’d love to attend another one if they come back to my area. If I went again, I would probably actually try to stay overnight so I could attend the networking cocktail party because I do feel like I missed out on a lot of fun by just attending the conference!
Thanks to the amazing brand sponsors:
Brew Over Ice – I really want a Keurig now so I can make myself lemonade and make my family other iced treats every day!
Salsarita’s – I can’t wait for my next Salsarita’s meal!
Collective Bias – I learned so much from Casey!
Mirassou – While I didn’t stay for the party, I did get a chance to speak to their wonderful representatives!
*I completely failed to take any pictures while I was absorbed in getting all this awesome information. It’s like I wasn’t even there, but I swear I was!
If you want to hear some other perspectives on Bloggy Boot Camp, check out the other posts linked up over at Four Hens and a Rooster.Read More
We finally took Brinky to get his too-long hair cut again this weekend. He was pretty good the first time. He just basically sat there and took it. This time, not so much. But my mom was there with us and she pointed out that it seemed like the screaming kid getting his haircut nearby may have made Brinkley realize it was something to scream about. But he survived, and we wondered about how tough the Snip-Its hair cutting job must be, and then we went out to Golden Corral for a treat with my mom.
I think he looks kind of pretty in this picture, and a little bit like he’s wearing lipstick.
Later that afternoon we went to a graduation party for a friend. I kept a tired Brinky in the carrier because I still love it, even though he’s getting kind of big. And someone did in fact think he was a girl. I don’t really care about that though. What does bother me is the fact that Jenny somehow looks taller than me in the pictures that were shared after the party.
Maybe it’s because she’s skinnier than me? Because Brinky’s weighing me down. Either way, she’s not actually taller than me. Yet.
That same girl made the mistake of leaving her milkshake on the table the next night. Jenny and Lee and I were in Lee’s office looking at some songs on iTunes and then remembered that Brinky was still downstairs wandering around. We went to see what he was up to and found this:
It was kind of a mess. Definitely required a bath, which was so annoying because I wasn’t planning to give him one right that minute, so I made Jenny help. We did stop him when he started trying to eat the styrofoam cup. What’s still cracking me up though? Is that Greta realized how I really should have captioned this picture on Instagram:
Greta sure is funny. Her #iPPP post today isn’t funny, but it’s definitely something that should be read. So go check it out and link up with Greta and Sarah:
I’ve been traveling a bit more for work recently, and because I’m too lazy to load up some songs I like on my iPod and take it with me, I’ve been listening to the radio more. Jenny likes to educate us on good music these days (yes, “these days” like I’m an old lady) by playing through the Top 100 songs on iTunes. Or on Amazon’s music store since we’re mad at iTunes. When we did a quick run through the list this evening, these are the songs that I gave in to. I admitted I like them. And they’re the same songs that cause me to stop flipping through radio stations and listen. And maybe sing a little. So I’ll share them with you to start your week off right.
My two favorites:
Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man” – It’s just beautiful, okay?
And Rihanna, “Stay” – It’s so sad and pretty. And it makes me think she’s just stuck with Chris Brown and can’t help it. Even though I think she can help it.
And a few other songs:
Lumineers, “Ho Hey” – It’s fun and happy. And the version I really love is the one from Nashville! I was so proud of Rayna’s girls that I wanted to cry.
Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble” – This song is amazing. And everyone in my house loves it. (I also kind of like “22.”) And if you really want to laugh (and get a weird version of a song stuck in your head), watch this version.
Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” – It’s clearly from the 70s. And awesome. Last week it came on the radio when I’d run out for an errand, so when I pulled up to the house it was still playing. Reagan asked me to roll down the window to listen to her. So I rolled down the window, blasted this song and danced and maybe embarrassed her in front of her friend. True story.
Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack” – I don’t particularly like or dislike Demi. And I don’t think her voice is distinctive. But I’m loving this song. And so are Lee and Jenny. Because we’re winners.
Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors” – I’m not a fan of “Suit and Tie,” but I have totally given in to this song. I love it.
Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines” – I haven’t actually heard this one on the radio, but I have heard it on that Radio Shack commercial, and we’re big Robin Thicke fans now because of Real Husbands of Hollywood (which you should definitely watch if you haven’t). I love it.
And this song basically sums up my feelings about this whole post:
Icona Pop, “I Love It” – I don’t care. I love it.
There’s actually a lot of other music I’ve been enjoying in recent months, particularly the more folk-y and fun songs like fun., (though I can barely handle that punctuation), but really that’s more expected of me, I think. I’m actually kind of glad I’m not yet too old to enjoy some popular music. Though I’ll freely admit there are a lot of songs on those Top 100 lists that I can’t stand.
What songs have you been enjoying recently?Read More
You probably haven’t noticed that I quit Project 365 because I was going such a terrible job of keeping up with it. So I decided to share a random assortment of phone pictures that I haven’t already posted on here from the last few weeks for today’s #iPPP post.
Reagan and her friend lounging backyard-pond-side a few weekends ago. I wouldn’t put my feet in that water, but they were fine with it.
Way back at the beginning of the school year, I had big plans (as usual) to be organized this year, including the use of this RE:Writes refrigerator white board for meal planning. Jenny instead uses it to share her current obsessions. Above: Can you tell she’s been re-reading Harry Potter? Below: And she watched The Princess Bride?
Brinky and Reagan being so sweet while he got ready for bedtime.
In bed, asleep with his ball. And his cat.
Reagan ready for tacky day at school. Just the thought of wearing a different shoe on each foot makes me uncomfortable.
Giant, long-haired, happy swinging boy.
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this on here before or not, but we’ve planted a tree in our yard for each of our kids when they were born. In the foreground, Brinky’s little tree finally showing signs of growth. In the background above the pond? Jenny’s giant tree.
Just relaxing. (And if you’re wondering, that’s Jenny’s leg behind him – he’s not quite as contorted as it looks like he might be.)
All caught up! And happy to be linking up with Greta and Sarah again after I missed last week.Read More
I missed the Old School Blogging linkup last month, but I’m glad I caught it this month because you know who loves pop culture? Me.
1. What was one of your favorite shows as a kid? Why?
I can remember loving lots of shows as a kid – and I’m considering a kid pre-high school for this question. I’m going with some of the shows I remember being really into in middle school like Blossom and Roseanne, and my favorite, Wonder Years. I was so excited when Jenny watched some Wonder Years on Netflix a few months ago. Who wouldn’t love Kevin and Winnie? And the awesome music. Another show I remember loving that didn’t last long at all – so brief that I just checked IMDB to see if it was really a show or something I dreamed up – Rags to Riches. Does anyone else remember that show?
2. Which actress(es) do you see on the red carpet and kinda wish you could be for a day (or three)?
I have a slight celebrity gossip obsession, but even with my Us Weekly love, I never really feel like I’d want to be one of those celebrities. If I had to pick one, I’d probably pick Jennifer Garner because I’ve always related to her, so it’s kind of like living my life with a lot more money. And that would be fine with me! Plus I don’t feel like I’d have to start wearing a ton of makeup to be Jennifer Garner – she looks pretty relaxed.
3. Which actor do you wish you could, um… hang out with?
I’ll just stick with the theme and go with Ben Affleck.
4. What is one (or two or some) of your favorite movies that you have seen in the last few years?
We don’t go to the movies very often. I have had two wonderful movie experiences the last couple years – midnight showings with my oldest girl. We saw the last Harry Potter movie (her reward for reading all the books by the time the movie came out) – her first midnight premiere experience. Then we went to see the Hunger Games at midnight when it came out. The most recent movie I’ve seen and loved though? Pitch Perfect. It’s exactly my kind of movie – and so much fun to watch with my girls!
5. Who is one celebrity out there now that you could totally do without? That you wish would just disappear?
Oh, there are several of these. Chris Brown. Lindsay Lohan (or she could just somehow de-age back to her Parent Trap days when she was young and good). Amanda Bynes (I don’t understand what happened to her). Gwyneth Paltrow. All the Kardashians. Just to name a few. I won’t add any pictures of any of them because I don’t want to look at them.
6. Have you ever met a celebrity? If so, who? What did you say/do when you met them?
Actually met a celebrity? I don’t think so. I was in an elevator with Rosario Dawson once, but I didn’t talk to her.
7. Which shows do you look forward to watching every week?
Right now at this point in the year: Nashville (the best new show of this TV season!), Grey’s Anatomy, Hart of Dixie, and Mad Men. While they’re not new right now, I also love Parenthood (yay for renewal!) and Breaking Bad.
Wasn’t that fun? Head on over to link up!