Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Sponsored Post: Your Memories Live On with LiveOn

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Thank you to LiveOn for this sponsored opportunity to blog about storing and sharing my most important memories with those closest to me. Although story ideas were provided, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

There are a lot of ways to share photos online. Email. Facebook. Shutterfly. Snapfish. Flickr. Blogs. I use all of them, in one way or another, on a weekly basis. It’s great that even though they’re far away (or far far away) (or really really far far away – Hi Carolyn!) my friends and family can see little parts of our lives.

I sometime worry about the impermanence of all those formats though. I realize once you put something on the internet you have to be prepared for it to be out there in the world forever (did you hear that, teenage cousins on Facebook? FOREVER), but what happens if my server crashes? What happens when I lose my password or my account gets hacked? What happens if the hard drive where I stored all the photos from Little Evan’s first year of life fails unexpectedly and they are lost forever (true – very sad – story)? (more…)

Elsewhere, Again

Friday, July 15th, 2011

My most recent BlogHer Book Club review for What Happened To Goodbye is up today over on the book club site. This month was a nice summery young adult/teen fiction that would make a good beach read.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen isn’t so much about goodbyes as about choices. Mclean Sweet’s life is all about choices — who to live with after her parents get divorced, what to call herself, whether or not to forgive her mother for the betrayal that tore her family apart, and what to do about the fascinating boy next door who seems intent on being more than friends. How do we choose who we are and can you reallychoose to be someone you’re not?

Read more on BlogHer Book Club…

I totally forgot to tell you my friend (and future roommie) Molly asked me to be part of her guest series this week on some of our favorite Pinterest finds. So go check that out, and definitely look at what her other guest posters this week pinned too – there were some GREAT finds!

And before yet ANOTHER week goes by without my mentioning it, I have to tell you that the (now not so) new blog design is courtesy of the AMAZING Marjorie at Color by Letter Design. I mentioned on Twitter I was terrified to make the jump to Thesis (a blog design template all the cool kids use but that requires some technical skills) and she said “We should talk. I’ll email you” and then BAM! She had a concept and a color scheme and did a fantastic job (at an extremely reasonable price) and now I’ve got my grown up blog all set up. I THINK we’ve gotten all the kinks worked out now too, but if you click something and it takes you down the rabbit hole or are looking for something and can’t find it anywhere let me know and I’ll see if she can help.

p.s. I know I mentioned it once before, but Sarah from One Starry Night designed my social media buttons and I just love them so much I wanted to tell you again. She is also extremely affordable and does great custom work, so drop her a line!

Have you heard about Pinterest?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Warning: DON’T READ THIS POST IF YOU LOVE THE INTERNET. Because if you’re as addicted to blogging and tweeting as I am, the last thing you need is another online way to waste time.

But if you like: art, food, home decor, dessert, crafts, photography, fashion, happiness, make up, tutorials, jewelry, etsy, joy and being inspired on a daily basis, I highly recommend you get on the Pinterest bandwagon as fast as if your pants were on fire and the wagon was covered in hot firemen.

My friend Brigid actually sent me an invitation months ago, because genius that she is Brigid knew it was a brilliant next-big-thing idea and also the sort of something I would love. I should send her a fruit basket. Maybe I’ll go look for creative fruit basket ideas on Pinterest. Because there are probably FORTY BILLION of them. I procrastinated for a few weeks, thinking I’d check it out when I had time and surly it wasn’t some sort of life changing website.


Here’s the overview: When you sign up, you create pin boards (like digital bulletin boards) where you can stick ideas you find online. The easiest way to pin is to add a shorcut to your toolbar following the instructions here. Then all the stuff you like is in one convenient, organized, neat-looking place. It’s  like a visual representation of bookmark folders in your internet browser. Here’s a screenshot of my recipe board, where I’m keeping all the recipes I’ve meal-planned for this week. It’s so much more fun SEEING the food than just reading about the food that I am actually more inspired to cook:

The second stage of Pinterest is following other people and their boards, so you can find inspiration right there on your homepage. You can follow all of someone’s boards or just one or two, based on what you’re interested in seeing in your feed. When you click on something that’s been pinned it takes you back to the original website, where you can get the info you need to make/cook/buy/try/read about the thing that was pinned.

This is what mine looks like right now:

Food, tutorials, fashion, all in one place. And here’s another shot, if I scroll down my page a little:

Home decor, a playhouse, tutorials, crafts, more recipes, things to buy…really, there are PLENTY of things to look at on a minute by minute basis.

Have I convinced you to sign up yet? Or do you have an account you’ve been neglecting because you just didn’t really “get it” yet? Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts to help you understand how to get the most out of your boards:

Pinterest DO’s:

– DO follow lots of people. The more people you follow the more stuff shows up on your homepage.
– DO follow people you don’t know. I promise it’s not creepy or stalkerish, so if you find a board that you’re in love with always add them!
– DO repin when you love something.
– DO use the search option to find more of what you want. I searched “polka dots” every day for a week to find inspiration for Little Evan’s birthday.
– DO check in often. Your friends will go on pinning sprees and looking at several days worth of stuff at once means you might miss something.
– DO unsubscribe from a board before a person. Maybe you love your friend’s sense of style but you don’t like pictures of babies or celebrities or quilts. Keep following their fashion board but unfollow the board you don’t like.
– DO use Pinterest to keep track of stuff you find in magazines. I do this a lot with recipes – if there’s an online version it’s so much easier to pin it than hold onto ripped out pages.
– DO check out the “staff favorites” boards and the ones Pinterest suggests you might like. It’s about expanding places you find inspiration, not looking at stuff you’d see on your friend’s blog anyways.
– But DO pin stuff from your friend’s blogs when you love it. I’m not going to lie, being pinned feels nice.
DO be my friend on Pinterest!

Pinterest DON’TS:

– DON’T just repin stuff from other people’s boards. Add new content to the Pinterest community when you find it online, whether it’s from blogs, shops, websites, or friends.
– DON’T pin stuff to multiple boards. Pick the category it fits best and pin it just once.
– DON’T forget to label your pins with helpful tags and explanations, especially when pinning recipes. “Yum!” isn’t as helpful as “strawberry shortcake cupcakes”. For stuff from shops, adding prices is nice.
– DON’T just pin stuff from your blog. You can pin your own some sparingly, but follow the social media 80/20 rule: Promote other people 80% of the time and yourself 20% of the time.
– DON’T think Pinterest is just for bloggers. You don’t need anything besides an email to sign up and you don’t need online friends.
– DON’T post EVERYTHING you pin to Facebook or Twitter. I accidentally put my pins in my Facebook feed and was super annoying for a few hours before I noticed.
– DON’T forget that just because a picture is on Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s not subject to copyright. You cannot just take and use them on your blog without checking with the owner.

Seeing all the things I want to cook/make/buy all at once makes my life so much easier and more organized. I can actually re-find stuff I saw on the internet and thought “oh, I should do that!” Now I CAN do that. I’m also slightly addicted to checking what’s been pinned from my own blog. It’s reaching an unhealthy no-there’s-nothing-for-dinner-can’t-you-see-I’m-busy-looking-at-recipes-on-pinterest-WHAT-DO-YOU-MEAN-THAT’S-SUPER-IRONIC??? levels of time consumption, but I don’t even care. I love it.

Are you going to sign up now? Are you addicted yet? Do you have any suggestions for ways to make the most of Pinterest?

Advice is for suckers

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

I’m going to give you the most important piece of parenting advice you’re ever going to get:

Don’t listen to parenting advice.

At best, what you’re getting is someone’s own personal experience with a very limited number of children in a closed set of circumstances that you cannot possibly replicate exactly. At worst, they’re suggesting your dip your kid’s binky in Jack Daniels to deal with teething pain. True story.

Of course, no mother ever in the history of the world has managed to have a baby without getting some advice, whether she asked for it or not. For the most part, it’s all really well-meaning and kindly and just a way moms connect to other moms. It’s practically an automatic response, just like saying “Fine” when someone asks “How are you?” Someone holding a baby says “Jeeze, these diapers I’m using keep leaking” and BAM! I’m spewing word vomit about brands and sizes and cloth diapers versus disposables all over their face. I am totally guilty of the unwanted advice attack, even as I tell myself to stop.

The trouble is, it’s so damn easy to mistake advice for guidelines and guidelines for rules and as soon as something starts feeling like a rule the mommy guilt kicks in when you break them. When you’re exhausted and bleary-eyed and someone at playgroup says “You should put the baby to sleep in the crib so he gets used to it right away. That’s why my kids are such great sleepers!” suddenly everything you’ve been doing is wrong and those naps the baby’s been taking in your lap have doomed you to never sleeping through the night again. You’re a terrible mother!

Or when you mention in passing that you’re not really sure what you’re supposed to be doing with your infant all day long. I mean…she just lies there. Sometimes she smiles, but since she can’t even get her own hand in her mouth yet it seems a little early for baby signs or story time at the library. “Swim lessons!” says one mom. “Kindermusik!” says another. “Read her War and Peace!” says another mom, “Even though she can’t understand it it’s never to early to start the classics!” And then there you are, suddenly doubting the happy cooing and peek-a-boo games you’ve been playing aren’t doing enough to enrich your baby’s teeny tiny mind and she’s somehow falling behind the other babies before she can even hold her head up. Terrible mother!

Even really benign comments, like “I always put on make-up in the morning, no matter how busy my day is. It’s important to me to make the effort” can sound like “Look at you, you slob! I am judging your unwashed hair and pony tail and yoga pants! Obviously you’re just too lazy to make an effort!” especially to a new mom. Hell, you don’t even have to be a new mom, since every single stage of motherhood is challenging, every single time. A sleepless toddler thanks to his new big-boy bed is just as exhausting as a colicky newborn. An infant having trouble nursing is just as stressful as a 2 year old who won’t eat anything besides Goldfish. We’re all scared of making mistakes, all unsure about some of our choices, all blaming ourselves for every cough and sneeze and bump and bruise, so we turn to those around us, desperate for that one mommy secret everyone but you must know. But when well-meaning advice makes us feel even worse it is no longer helpful. You are the parent, you get to make the decisions, even if it is the total opposite of what your best mommy friend told you worked for her.

Of course, some advice is good. I want to kiss the person who suggested stickers as toddler entertainment right on their mouth. I’ve gotten great advice when it comes to breastfeeding from my (now defunct) nursing moms support group. And the internet has helped me in countless ways when I needed to connect and get a new perspective on what’s going on with my crazy toddler.

But in the end, don’t let anyone’s advice get in the way of your happiness.

Kokomo Dentist. You’re Welcome!

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

I get a lot of spam here on ye olde bloggity blog. I would take it as a sign that I was somehow hitting the big time in the internet world but the truth is I’ve ALWAYS gotten a ton of spam, even when I had exactly three readers. I think I just look like an easy target: no comment verification, no captcha, the ability to post with a fake email address. Luckily, WordPress has a handy-dandy feature called Akismet that catches 99.9% of the spammy comments without any effort on my part. But that’s not to say the spammers aren’t TRYING to get published. Today I thought we could examine some of the valiant spam attempts to get their links and keywords published instead of banished to the spam folder (current count: 3,682 comments)…

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Never thought blogging could be soo fun and interesting. Man you know how to do it brother. (Thanks…brother)

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Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog! (Oh noes, penis enlargement medication website, I am SO SORRY we’ll never know what you had to say!)

Randomly Political:
Thanks to the Glen Beck wannabees this stuff is occasionally taken at face value. (on a post about breastfeeding)

I think this president #needs to# go and let’s #get back# on path. I Worship this country! (on a post about my wedding)(and left by someone called “lake havasu city tourist sites”)

“In a recent study, the United States was ranked the 114th happiest country in the world. Then Sarah Palin stepped down. Now we’re at 17.” –Conan O’Brien (that was all part of the comment – I really doubt it was actually left by Conan)

Perhaps English is not their first language. Or their second:
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(Don’t those all sound like that episode of Friends where Joey uses the thesaurus to write the recommendation letter? “Large aortic pumps!”)

Helpful and Important (and Fake) Tech Information:
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Doing some browsing and observed your internet site seems a fraction messed up in my AOL cyberspace browser. But fortuitously scarcely anyone practices it any more but you may want to look into it (maybe your problem is you’re still using AOL?)

And my favorite, Honesty:
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