Network with bloggers—without feeling skeezy

The internet gets a bad rap these days, with hateful trolls mobbing people’s Twitter feeds and cyberbullies toppling kids’ confidence like a tower of stacking blocks. But online I’ve found a welcoming, encouraging and supportive community of bloggers. It’s no wonder I’ve been wanting to network with bloggers in person, face-to-face, in real life.

Giving online high-fives, hugs and fist bumps is all well and good but, as I’ve written about before, meeting up with internet friends—and yes, even network with bloggers (it’s not a dirty word!)—off the computer feels even better. Plus, meeting up IRL is a wonderful chance to share ideas, collaborate, give advice and learn from each other.

It can feel awkward or even intimidating to meet other bloggers face to face, though, especially if you don’t know them well. So here’s a little advice to help you feel confident, prepared and excited to network with bloggers in real life.

So you want to network with bloggers—but you hate networking. Here's how to meet up with online friends and colleagues IRL without feeling skeezy. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

How I organize my blog with a bullet journal

I’ve always been one of those people who has to write everything down; that need has become even more vital since I became a mom and all my brain cells were sucked, zapped and fried out of me. So when I thought of a blog post I wanted to write, I jotted down a note in a to do list notebook.

I got more ideas. And more ideas. And soon enough, my ideas were so cluttered that the blog post list wasn’t helpful. The disorganization took a toll on my productivity.

When I actually had a chunk of time to write a blog post, I didn’t know where to start. I’d sift through messy list of ideas or click on the many drafts in my WordPress dashboard to figure out what I needed to do to complete a post.

By the time I actually got to work, I’d have wasted a half-hour. Busy moms and bloggers feel me: We do not have a spare half-hour to waste. 

So when I started bullet journaling a few months back, I knew I wanted to keep track of my blog posts: ideas for future posts, posts in progress and scheduled posts. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this beginner’s guide to bullet journaling. You might get hooked, too!) So I started to organize my blog with a bullet journal spread.

Voila: my BuJo blog post page.

When I started this bullet journal page, my blogging productivity and organization skyrocketed! This is some serious BuJo inspiration. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Blogging IRL

Over the weekend, a new acquaintance asked me why I blog.

I was a bit surprised by the question, but after I collected myself, I think I rambled off an answer that may or may not have been coherent.

I blog because I am a writer and I love to write. I blog because I want to collect the everyday stories that form a portrait of motherhood. I blog because I don’t want to forget the fleeting, sweet, frustrating, precious moments that fill our days. I blog because I need to vent about the moments I desperately want to forget.

And I blog because on the internet—a place more often populated by trolls and bitter forum-members—I have found a community that makes me feel heard, understood and supported. 

Last week, I got to meet some of these witty, creative, driven, passionate folks in real life.  Read more

Life > Blog

Balancing life with two kidsLong time no see, Blog.

I’ve been writing here much less frequently since Kiwi was born. Well, duh, you might think. I do, after all, have an eight-week-old and toddler to take care of, plus a husband to occasionally talk with, plus a full-time job writing. (Cleaning and cooking have completely fallen by the wayside, too. Our house is a constant disaster.)

My hiatus is perhaps to be expected, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

I like this blog. I enjoy writing it, sharing it, connecting with other people and building a community of other bloggers and readers. It doesn’t bring in a cent and probably isn’t advancing my career in any way, but it has become something that’s important to me.

As moms, it’s easy to let go of the things we enjoy—but that don’t tangibly contribute— especially in the hazy first months of a baby’s life. But we shouldn’t.

Even though this blog centers around my family, it’s for me. I am a writer, and writers write. Sure, right now I’m writing and editing full-time, but this is fulfilling in a different way. I get to say what’s in my heart (or in my sleep-deprived mind, at least).

At some point, I’ll regain some of the balance that’s missing. In the meantime, I haven’t completely forgotten about my tiny corner of the internet. I’ll be back.

Real Neat Blog Award—and 7 questions

I was happy to see the other day that Raising Alex The Great nominated me for a Real Neat Blog Award. (I’ll send you my address so you can send me the check/plaque/gold-plated statue. K?) She writes about motherhood and the unique challenges—and joys—of having a premature baby. Check out the blog!

She posted a few questions I answered, below. Beyond that, I’ve nominated 7 blogs that I love—take a look for some phenomenal reading.

  1. What’s your go-to dish to make when you know you’ve got important company coming over?
    I tend to make black bean-sweet potato enchiladas. (I made them last night, in fact, though we didn’t have anyone over. They’re just so good!)
  2. Do you believe in the 5 second rule?
    Abso-freakin-lutely. I know that science says that food on the floor picks up germs, but I’m with the 87% of people who give dropped food the thumbs up. I’m just not germ-phobic.
  3. What is your favorite online shop?
    I don’t like to shop, either in person or online, but when it’s someone’s birthday, I head to Etsy. I like that I’m supporting independent creators and that my friends and family get unique gifts.
  4. What is your favorite joke?
    I’m not a good joke-teller—I tend to laugh before I get to the punchline—but I like the corny ones.
    To wit:Where did the king keep his armies?
    In his sleevies!
    *crickets, crickets*
  5. What is one thing that has made you smile today?
    Peeper, as usual! She loves walking into our bedroom closet and sticking her head out the other end. “Peek!” she says. It makes me laugh every time.

    Peeper is an equal opportunity peek-a-booer.
    Peeper is an equal opportunity peek-a-booer.
  6. What makes your house a home?
    An open door. Our place is always a mess, especially now that Peeper can pull her own books and toys off the shelves, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting friends or family to come over.Growing up, our house was in a permanent state of disarray. I was rarely embarrassed, though, and my parents were always more than happy to set the table with an additional plate for a friend who stopped by—or even throw down an extra mattress for someone who needed a place to crash for months.

    Home is a welcome mat.

  7. What’s for breakfast?
    Lately, I’ve been eating Life cereal. Peeper’s breakfast requests have been getting very specific, though (“Hot dog! Avocado! Fork! Bib!” was her demand request the other day), so her tastes keep mornings interesting.

I nominate the following blogs:

Urban Bliss Life is a down to earth but stylish lifestyle blog with posts about recipes, kids’ parties and actually easy DIY.

The Monster In Your Closet tells it like it is, hold the BS. She writes about work, raising two sons and the balance of immersing yourself in the present moment without abandoning the past.

Loni Found Herself chronicles the adventures of raising a toddler in LA. I admire her openness in goal-setting and reflecting on how becoming a mom has changed her.

Little Fall Creek is a mama-homesteader who mixes posts about wrangling free-range chickens with photos of her daughter getting muddy in the yard.

A Tiny Rocket posts about motherhood and art. I can’t figure out how she finds the time to create her gorgeous paintings daily (follow her on Instagram, too!), but I find her dedication inspiring.

West Metro Mommy reads more than I thought humanly possible and publishes honest reviews of each book. This is where I go before heading to the library; I get most of my recommendations from her.

Snapshots & My Thoughts is a style and family blog out of Austin. I love her photographs, inspiring style posts and—ahem—giveaways!

Here are my questions for you bloggers to answer!

1. What do you do if you have writer’s/painter’s/photographer’s/creator’s block?
2. What’s your food guilty pleasure?
3. If you could magic yourself into an alternate career, what would it be?
4. What was your favorite childhood book?
5. What’s one thing you love about yourself?
6. Dogs or cats?
7. Any upcoming travel plans? Where?

Real Neat Blog Award—and 7 questions

I was happy to see the other day that Raising Alex The Great nominated me for a Real Neat Blog Award. (I’ll send you my address so you can send me the check/plaque/gold-plated statue. K?) She writes about motherhood and the unique challenges—and joys—of having a premature baby. Check out the blog!

She posted a few questions I answered, below. Beyond that, I’ve nominated 7 blogs that I love—take a look for some phenomenal reading.

  1. What’s your go-to dish to make when you know you’ve got important company coming over?
    I tend to make black bean-sweet potato enchiladas. (I made them last night, in fact, though we didn’t have anyone over. They’re just so good!)
  2. Do you believe in the 5 second rule?
    Abso-freakin-lutely. I know that science says that food on the floor picks up germs, but I’m with the 87% of people who give dropped food the thumbs up. I’m just not germ-phobic.
  3. What is your favorite online shop?
    I don’t like to shop, either in person or online, but when it’s someone’s birthday, I head to Etsy. I like that I’m supporting independent creators and that my friends and family get unique gifts.
  4. What is your favorite joke?
    I’m not a good joke-teller—I tend to laugh before I get to the punchline—but I like the corny ones.
    To wit:Where did the king keep his armies?
    In his sleevies!
    *crickets, crickets*
  5. What is one thing that has made you smile today?
    Peeper, as usual! She loves walking into our bedroom closet and sticking her head out the other end. “Peek!” she says. It makes me laugh every time.

    Peeper is an equal opportunity peek-a-booer.
    Peeper is an equal opportunity peek-a-booer.
  6. What makes your house a home?
    An open door. Our place is always a mess, especially now that Peeper can pull her own books and toys off the shelves, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting friends or family to come over.Growing up, our house was in a permanent state of disarray. I was rarely embarrassed, though, and my parents were always more than happy to set the table with an additional plate for a friend who stopped by—or even throw down an extra mattress for someone who needed a place to crash for months.

    Home is a welcome mat.

  7. What’s for breakfast?
    Lately, I’ve been eating Life cereal. Peeper’s breakfast requests have been getting very specific, though (“Hot dog! Avocado! Fork! Bib!” was her demand request the other day), so her tastes keep mornings interesting.

I nominate the following blogs:

Urban Bliss Life is a down to earth but stylish lifestyle blog with posts about recipes, kids’ parties and actually easy DIY.

The Monster In Your Closet tells it like it is, hold the BS. She writes about work, raising two sons and the balance of immersing yourself in the present moment without abandoning the past.

Loni Found Herself chronicles the adventures of raising a toddler in LA. I admire her openness in goal-setting and reflecting on how becoming a mom has changed her.

Little Fall Creek is a mama-homesteader who mixes posts about wrangling free-range chickens with photos of her daughter getting muddy in the yard.

A Tiny Rocket posts about motherhood and art. I can’t figure out how she finds the time to create her gorgeous paintings daily (follow her on Instagram, too!), but I find her dedication inspiring.

West Metro Mommy reads more than I thought humanly possible and publishes honest reviews of each book. This is where I go before heading to the library; I get most of my recommendations from her.

Snapshots & My Thoughts is a style and family blog out of Austin. I love her photographs, inspiring style posts and—ahem—giveaways!

Here are my questions for you bloggers to answer!

1. What do you do if you have writer’s/painter’s/photographer’s/creator’s block?
2. What’s your food guilty pleasure?
3. If you could magic yourself into an alternate career, what would it be?
4. What was your favorite childhood book?
5. What’s one thing you love about yourself?
6. Dogs or cats?
7. Any upcoming travel plans? Where?