Same Blog-New Place

This is now my old blog address-I am now one of those Wordpress geeks and my blog now sits at . So, please visit me there and if you subscribe to it, you will be my new best friend and chocolate chip cookies will fall from the sky.

Friday, April 30, 2010

This is what I saw when I looked up

I was outside in our backyard playing with the dog, when I looked up to see what the dog was looking at. When I looked up, I saw this in our tree...
The heck.

Is it??!!

Article of the day:

Online shopping the easy way

I don' t know about you, but I do a lot of shopping online. It is easier and faster then grabbing everyone up and going to the store, risking over spending and catching germs. Sometimes, not knowing where to find what I'm looking for can be hard. I know the search engines can help you, but they aren't really filtered very much.

When I found out about, I thrilled to find a place that includes Buyers Guides that help you pick exactly what you want. Upon reading how their site works, I found out that they don't sell any products and they don't charge retailers to list-so you know that you are getting a more revelent search.

For example, If you were looking for a toddler outfit, you can do a search on Toddler Clothing. This will bring up the buyers guide on toddler clothing, allowing you to search by size, price, colors, and basically whatever you are looking for. You could also do a search on toys and games and get the buying guide for Childrens Toys and Games and choose what style of toys, like classic, creative, outdoor, etc.

My favorite is the Children's Books guide. It's split up to different specifics, making it easier to find what type of book you are looking for. They even have a best sellers list for those looking to stay in the trend.

They don't just have childrens items, they have a buyers guide for EVERYTHING. Just visit their site and I bet you'll find the certain something you've been looking for.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A disgruntled five year old

Emily: "Mom, can I wear my new tennis shoes outside to play?"

Me: "No, I don't want you to get them dirty in the mud."

Emily: "Then why did we even get them if I can't wear them?!"

Me: "Good point."


Emily: "Mom, why do you have a picture of my nephew on your phone and not me?"

Me: "Because I like to put photos of him on there sometimes too."

Emily: "Because you love HIM more then you love ME!"

Me: (sigh)


Emily: "Mom, I want to wear my flower dress."

Me: "That dress is too small for you to wear anymore."

Emily: "What is this world coming too?"

Me: "Huh?"


Emily: "Mom, can I bring my drink in your car?"

Me: "No."

Emily: "But, you bring your coffee in there."

Me: "I'm a big person and big people don't spill."

Emily: "Well, when I'm big, I'm bringing coffee in my car and you can't because you will be a kid!"

Me: "I wish that was how it worked."

Article of the day:
Having problems getting your child to read?
Getting your child excited about reading.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Words with a Blogger

Words with a Blogger Wednesday
I didn't get a chance to interview anyone since I've been laid up with some bug thats kicking my butt.
I've decided to repost my very first blogger interview.
I can't believe I've been doing these for two years now!
Okay, here's my first interview!
This interview is with Kim Bloomer from:
Bark n Blog

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Dr. Kim Bloomer. I am a veterinary naturopath. My blog name is Bark N Blog ( I do all the blogging for my dog, Shadrach who is a Neo Mastiff.
When did you start blogging and what made you decide to blog?
I started blogging in March of 2004. What made me decide to blog was my dog. He was a pretty horribly abused, malnourished puppy when we got him. Because of that and his poor immune system he not only didn't thrive with traditional veterinary care, he was in fact ailing. Through a series of events, my passion (and at the time my anger) fueled a need inside of me to get out the word about natural animal care - the only thing that had helped my dog get into a much healthier state because it focuses on the whole dog not symptoms. Anyway, I had been reading online "geek"e-zines for a couple of years so I knew about "blogging" - but didn't quite get it. However, when I was submitting an article to an article bank I found out about a blogging software called "Quikonnex" and I thought that it would be far easier to do than a newsletter and also much more viral. I had no idea what I was really doing but I learned and was helped by generous souls who took me under their wings and taught me. I now also do a monthly email newsletter...fancy that! I've also since moved to a different blogging software that has allowed me to be more versatile with the blog.
What kind of blog do you have?
My blog is a dog blog, actually written in "first dog". Originally it was a holistic pet care blog but a business coach helped me to see the humor and the audience connection just using my own personality and love of my dog to convey the same message. Blogging in first dog has been fun but my dog also has a very serious side to him - online and off! It has helped me see things more from a dog's eye view also which is important to the message we share on the nature of a dog, natural dog care and their welfare.
Do you make money from your blog?
Yes, this blog has always made me an income. I didn't say wealthy but it has been an income earner from the first year I started it and not on purpose, it just "happened". Because of my blogging efforts a publisher approached me to write a book on natural dog care. I of course jumped at that opportunity. They asked me to bring a veterinarian on board with me (at the time I did not have my degree in veterinary naturopathy) so I did. That was my first income. Then a new media platform called "Pajamas Media" started and I applied to be one of their bloggers and they accepted me. During this time I changed the blog from blogging in first person to "first dog". I told them that after they had accepted me but they didn't seem to mind that at the time since they were a start-up political news site. I blogged with them for their first year until they got the attention of the mainstream media and then "no longer required my services" LOL! I am still blogrolled on their stie though, so it's all good. But the pay from them was decent. Now I earn from direct, ongoing advertisers on my blog and through affiliate programs I have listed on my blog. All of my advertisers have approached me and asked to purchase advertising to be on my blog.Really the opportunities to earn from your blog are as endless as your imagination. AND more importantly if you have good content, then your ranking will grow and you will have advertisers asking you to allow them to advertise on your blog.
What do you do to network/promote your blog to bring in readers?
Well I promote my blogs on my website, and I also have mentioned it on my podcast quite a lot. I also cross-link all my sites. Also I blogroll other bloggers who's blogs I like and most of the time they reciprocate. Other times I am approached and asked if they can link to my blog. I always check to make sure this is a blog I want my blog linked to first. Plus blogging affords pingbacks and tagging from others. Another way I promote it is on social networks I belong to.
How do you balance blogging and family?
Family comes first. I'm not a mom - unless you count being a dog mom. But I am a wife, so I make sure that I am offline by a certain time each day. What I've discovered (after much trial and error) is that the world will not end if I don't blog. Also what I do is often spend part of a day blogging all sorts of news that has been sent to me, and then post them up in drafts for those days I don't have time to blog. Then I can just put up a post that has already been written that day. It's all about priorities. I used to spend way too much time online doing this and then I had to get a grip and realize that my family life deserves as much if not more focus. With Web 2.0 and all this social networking I think it can get out of hand. There are only so many hours in a day so we just have to prioritize. Sometimes a YouTube video or a photo with a few words can make a really great blog post - and it won't take up so much of your time if you just have to feed your blog craving!
How frequently do you post?
As with all news, even blogging has its ebbs and flows. During abundance news times I will have a couple of blog posts per day. During slower times once a day - maybe six times per week. Again that is because I took time on a slow day to put blog posts up in drafts so I don't have to rush to get a post done daily. If there is breaking news then I rush to get it up there, otherwise I go with the flow of the day. One of my blogs only gets posted on a couple of times a week during slow times and maybe 4 times per week during busier times.
Do you own a business and blog about your business?
Yes I own a business but natural dog health care IS my business so I just blog what I know. I don't blog about my business per Se, but my podcast listeners and blog readers know I am a naturopath. They know I have a business and the name of that business. I put a link to my site at the end of each blog post like this "Bark N Blog is brought to you by Aspenbloom Pet Care" and I hyperlink that back to my site. On my aromatherapy blog do something similar but link back to my essential oils site instead.
What do you recommend to blog about?
I blog about natural dog health and care. I blog about dog welfare and dog issues such as breed specific legislation. I also blog about cool things that are being discovered in science about dogs or about cool new dog items. It is rather eclectic but with a central focus on natural dog health. Why? Because these are what I am passionate about and know about. So blog about what you know or enjoy! That always makes for the best blogging anyway in my opinion. The top bloggers are opinionated and passionate!
Have your readers influenced you in any way?
I would have to say that the positive comments have encouraged me, while the negative ones have honed my responses. Sometimes I don't think those comments warrant a response other than to ban them, especially if they use words that show an utter lack of command of the English language. Readers have often sent me links to news I wasn't aware of or asked me questions so then I can blog about my response to that...or shall we say my DOG's response :-) To answer your question then I'd have to say that yes, my readers have influenced me.
Has blogging changed your life in any way?
In a word: YES. Blogging helped me to fulfill a dream of writing. I never thought I could write but longed to write a book someday. I've always been an avid reader, and very interested in self-education as well. Blogging has afforded me an outlet for my angst and passion...I just had to get over myself which translates to my fears of what others would think. It doesn't matter what they think, it just matters if we do it or not because you'll never know if you want to do this unless you try it. It's not easy to put yourself out there for the world to read. People can be cruel when they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet using pseudonyms instead of their real name like I do. But to me, it's been worth it just knowing I've helped even one dog owner have a better life with their dog. And I've been able to face down and conquer fears and grow from that. Plus, I've also learned that everyone has an opinion and whether or not they agree with me isn't the point, especially since they are still allowed to have their own thoughts about things.
Who are your favorite bloggers?
My favorites are friends blogs like The Whole Dog News by Dr. Jeannie Thomason, MMilani Blog by veterinarian Dr. Myrna Milani, Pet Sit USA blog by Therese Kopiwoda, Dog Politics by Barbara Haywood, and Pet Connection with Gina Spadafori whom I don't know personally but I sure like her style!
What is your blogging style?
Well goofy and funny at times and other times edgy, laced with veiled sarcasm. It's just that I have my viewpoints about things but that doesn't mean they are right. It just means I have viewpoints on things. So I share that, from a dog's eye view. I get into what I think is the mindset of what this world might look like from a dog's viewpoint and how they possibly view us humans. How much simpler things are for them without agendas or power plays or economics to concern themselves with, but more about just being who they are (when allowed and afforded that liberty). That's my style.
What do you do when you get writer's block?
I'll do a couple of things: read some news I know is going to annoy me (grin) stoking the fires of passion in response OR go lay down beside my dog for a furry hug OR go hang outside in the sun with him and remember why I started doing all this in the first place.
Do you have any advice for newbie bloggers?
Honestly I see so many quit just because blogging isn't what they thought it was going to be. So ask yourself why you're doing it in the first place and be honest with yourself. If it is to make oodles of money, then I'd find something else to do. If it is because you truly have a message to share, one you are passionate and knowledgeable about, and also even very opinionated about, then DO it. Share it and stick to it because you just never know who you might help or what you might discover along this path - about yourself, your life, others...and possibly even leave a legacy of your special footprints upon this old earth.
Thanks, Kim!
Now that you know about her, please visit her blog and tell her how great it is!

Would you like to be my next victim-er, I mean interview?
Comment on this post and I will stalk you and peek in your windows to watch your family eat dinner just like the Australian guy that follows that gecko character on Geico-Or, I'll just send you an email with a list of interview questions for you to answer.
Article of the day:
Do you have a picky eater?
Find out some great snack ideas.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Behind closed doors-Zestra Review

If you are shy reading about woman sex products (or a guy reader) you may want to skip this review.
If you haven't heard of Zestra, it is specifically designed to improve feelings of sexual desire and arousal for women. If you ever had "that" kind of problem, you might want to try it. Check out Zestra's website to find out about the clinical trials they conducted. These clinical trials showed that Zestra worked well in women with the following conditions, as well as women with no conditions at all:
*Women experiencing different stages of menopause
*Women taking oral contraceptives
*Women taking anti-depressants
I really don't have this problem, but Zestra still can add to a woman's enjoyment. Zestra gives a more pleasurable sensation and make you tingly and warm. If you are bored in the bedroom or just want to add to the excitement, you might want to try this!
See for yourself. Go to their website to find where to buy Zestra products-maybe they will give you a sample too!
"I was given two sample packs of Zestra to give my honest review."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Writing from home can be easy

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A secret of mine

Earlier this week, I talked about Emily being around other children a lot and mentioned that I would explain about it later. Well, this is later.

Not many (if any) of my readers know that I have a background in childcare. In fact, I run a daycare on top of all my other crazy adventures. I decided to use my training by incorporating it into my new found love; article writing. I have been obsessed with it (article writing) and I just became's Davenport Child Care Examiner! You can click here to see: . I would really appreciate any support by visiting and even subscribing to my articles!

I really love writing for them and article writing in general, as I said. You can research a topic. Write about. Get paid for it. Then, do it again. If you enjoy writing, you should try it. I also signed up for Hubpages, Bella Online, and Associate Content (please visit there too!) I've talked to many moms that pay their bills by writing for these great companies-I plan on doing it too.

So, I'm off to write about Earth Day-I hope to see you over there!
Oh, and if you are thinking about signing up, please use my ID number 43610

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Words with a Blogger Wednesday

Words with a Blogger Wednesday
This week's blogger is

Tell us about yourself and your blog.
I'm a 21 year old college student with crazy curly brown hair. I have one son with my husband of soon to be 2 years, and he is in school as well. We both work in the medical field part time and on computer projects on the side.
I love blogs! They help me meet people I would have never known otherwise. I think the blogosphere is an amazing place. My own blog is currently devoted to helping others learn how to grow their blog, reach new readers and such. I actually read books about this kind of stuff just for fun, can you believe it? haha Right now I'm learning about marketing in niches as well as using emotions in marketing strategies. I share information like this to my readers to help them in their own efforts to reach out to others.

Do you make money from your blog?
Makin $$$$?? Not really. I have a sponsor that is totally awesome and when I was doing blog designs I earned a little mulah, but no Big Bucks at the moment. But, if the time does come, of course that would be nice.

How frequently do you post?
This is a great question. I recently wrote a piece on blogging in moderation and gave examples of my own blogging habits. I usually post around 4 times a week; usually thats on weekdays, not weekends. I had to come to a balance to what I thought was best for both readers and writer.
Do you have a favorite blogger(s) that you just can't live without reading?
My readers blogs! I love to read their great posts and what they're up to. I also love finding a new blog and blogger to meet. That's always fun.

Have your readers influenced you in any way?
Oh, totally. I blog for them to help them as much as I can. I look into what their needs might be to grow their blogs and research for information. COMMENTS MEAN A LOT TO ME. (Hint hint to all my readers who want more of a specific topic. Tell me so!) It helps me know whether or not the post was helpful and what they may need more information about. It makes blogging worth it to hear from my readers.

Has blogging changed your life in any way?
Blogging has helped me develop my character and personality as an individual. I used to be a very nervous person and had a hard time reaching out to others, afraid of what they might think. I have come a LONG way from my naturally timid and shy personality. Am I completely over it? No, I still have moments. But I'm not as afraid to approach others with big personalities and opinions. And there are so many nice people in the blogging world. I love the people I've met blogging and how nice they are! It reminds me that yes, there are nice people out there. (Not creepy nice, just plain ol' polite nice).

What do you do when you get writer's block?
Read a book. Research information. Review old e-mails. I sometimes forget how much information is out there for me to learn and grow from. Research and reading gets my thinking wheels going again, and I can usually find a hammer to break through the block. Sometimes you can just write about anything, and it will lead to something productive you can put on your blog.

Any other advice you might have for newbie bloggers?
ATTENTION ALL NEWBIE BLOGGERS: Don't give up! Keep on going, and keep on blogging. If you don't you'll never know how it might have all turned out...
Thanks, Sarah !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I've been featured!!

If you read last week's Words with a Blogger Wednesday, then you found out about a very interesting blogger, Manon. She's a Business, Money and Self Worth Coach who uses the Law of Attraction in her methods. Her goal is to help woman who want to achieve their dreams. Who do you know that has such an awesome goal?
When I announced my book coming out, she contacted me and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed.
Well, ok then!
You can find the interview here:
Please go read it and check out her site while you are there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting ready for Kindergarten

Last week was Emily's kindergarten roundup and she had been anxious and scared to go the whole week. Every morning, she would wake up and ask if that was the day to go to her new school. I would tell her that it was still a couple of more days and she would sigh and go back to bed.

I have also been anticipating this myself, only because I have been curious as to how Emily will handle being in an environment where she is not the boss and will have to listen to the teacher. You see, Emily is the baby of the family and used to ruling the roost. She can be a bossy child and I've been trying to break her of this habit for years with no avail. We also never did the preschool thing to get her ready for a school environment. I figured that she would be in school long enough in her life and wanted to savor her time at home as long as I could. She has been around kids her whole life for the social skills thing (and I will be explaining this later this week) but she really hasn't been away from me so that would be an issue as well. So, I was interested in seeing what a taste of being at school would be like.

When the day finally came for us to go, she was excited. When everyone arrived and were settled in, the principal announced that the children would go with the teachers in another room while he talked to the parents. Emily's eyes got big as saucers and she instantly grabbed onto my arm. All I could think was, this isn't even the first day of school yet.
I told her it would be okay and to go with the nice teacher, and I watched as she hesitantly followed the other children in her group out the doors of the gym.

I tried to listen to the teachers giving their welcoming speech, but all I could do was wonder how Emily was doing. Was she planning her escape to come find me? Was she bossing the other kids around? Was she telling the teacher what to do?

After an hour of listening to each teacher speak, we were given a tour of the school. I'll tell ya, of all the years that I've gone in that school, it never seem so big as that night. I'd rather have pins stuck in my eyes then wait any longer to see how my child did and if there were any other survivors.

They finally led us to the library where she was and there she stood, in one piece, and so were the other little kids. She smiled when she saw me and then ran up to me. I took her hand and we started to walk out, when a little boy ran up to her and waved and said bye to her. She made friends with another kid tonight? There may be hope yet!

As we walked to the car, she rambled on about what they did and how many kids there were. I sighed with relief and wondered if kindergarten would not be bad after all. But, my dreams of not getting calls from the principal were put on hold, when we got to the car and she turned and looked at me. She proceeded to tell me that she didn't like that the teacher wouldn't let her tell her something while she was talking. Then she wanted to let the teacher know something later and she wouldn't let her tell her then either.

Good luck, Ms. Teacher. You've met your match this fall.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why everyone should take photos outside.

Some of you already know that I do photography. Not as much these days as I'd like, but this is the perfect time of the year for me; It's nice out without being too hot. I don't do indoor photos unless I absolutely have to. If I were to run a class on photography, I would tell everyone to go outside and take photos.

Outdoor lighting is usually perfect and ou really can't go wrong, but there are some common mistakes that people can make. One thing is thinking that your subject should be in the bright light of the sun. Wrong. I used to be one of those people. Iused to hope for a sunny and bright day, but now I hope for cloudy days. Why? they offer just the right lighting. In the article,
How do I take great outdoor photos? the author states, High clouds turn the entire sky into a giant lighting softbox, and all of nature becomes your portrait studio.

Another mistake one may make is posing their subject in the direction where the sun is, thus causing them to squint. Positioning your subject with the sun behind them allows them to be able to see and not squint.

Of course, according to the article, Basic Photography Tutorial, you still need to rely on these three things:
ISO-Controls sensitivity to light
Shutter speed-How long light can get through to the sensor
Aperture-How big of hole the light can pass through

They might sound scary, but most digital cameras make it easy for you to control them for a perfect photo.

Ok, now go get your camera and go outside and take some awesome photography!

Using Contrast to make a great photo.

Contrast in a photo can make all the difference between an okay photo, and an awesome one. There are two types of contrast in photography. According to the article, Digital photography contrast highlight and shadows, Tonal contrast is the term used to refer to the range of grayscale tones between the darkest black and whitest white in an image. A high contrast scene has mostly black and white with few (sometimes no) shades in between.
Both kinds of contrast can work for a photographer when trying to pose a photo and set a mood.

Take the popular black and white newborn photos that most photographers do now. The bright white of the baby contrasts with the black background, thus creating a tonal contrast.

Posing your object or model in the shade and working with the sunlight coming in to create the contrast will look more natural then using a flash. I don't know about you, but I try not to use flash if all possible and I try to use the shadows that fall on your subjects face and where the light hits naturally is a much better look.

Working with contrasting takes alot of practise, but with time, you'll automatically find the right lighting and exposure and take beautiful photos!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Words with a Blogger Wednesday

Wednesday Words with a Blogger
This week's blogger:
Tell us about your blog, Manon
My Blog is intended to bring awareness on how the use the Universal Laws, including the Law of Attraction can be implemented in Moms lives to attract MORE, attract more clients to their business, attract more time for all of the tasks Mom have especially Moms that work from home.Understanding how our beliefs set the stage for all of our successes and failures and how we all do have the power to create an abundant life. Both in our careers and our personal life.
When did you start blogging?
I started Blogging in 2008 but did really commit to it until September of 2009
Why do you blog?
I Blog because I love the fact that you have the ability to add new content as often as you wish. Because as we grow and learn more about ourselves and our own abilities to accomplish things and achieve success in ou lives, we have the power to change peoples lives. Growing anything takes persistence, consistence actions and dedication, the journey is not always easy and we all have our own self imposed limitations. Hearing about somebody else journey provides guidance, inspiration and the knowledge that sometime is missing for our own growth.
What is your blog about?
My Blog has the purpose to teach and inspire Moms to go after their dreams, I believe working from home Moms CAN have it all success in their careers and powerful family involvement that builds strong family bounds which provides a solid foundation for children to be self-confident and happy.
What do you want your readers to get out of your blog?
I want the readers to get a "glimpse" even if it is just a small one of the possibilities of a better life, no mattr what the circumstances. When we get a glimpse nobody or nothing can take it away and it fuels our courage and drive to seek what we need to achieve success. I want my readers to get some inspiration and the tools to market themselves, the ability to reach more peoples through internet marketing.
What do you do to keep your readers coming back?
I use the tools that I have learned from studying the law of attraction, I manifest the right moms to show up in my life just at the right time for the purpose of both our growth.
Do you have any favorite blogs that you read?
I read a variety of Blogs, some are on self care as I tend to neglect that as a Moms everybody seems to come first and I know I need some help with taking proper care of myself. So I read what catches my attention on any specific day.
Any advice to for other bloggers?
By true to yourself, clarify what you want to share with your readers. What is your unique gift no matter how experienced you are we all have something to offer. Have the courage to be bold in how you want to make a difference and how you can help others. Set goals, write it out and work towards them everyday.Reach out to other bloggers and see how you can help them, let's build a community of empowered moms that truly understand the value of their self-worth!
Thanks so much!
Would you like to be featured?
It's easy!
Just comment on my blog and let me know, or send me an email.
I just require you to post about being featured on your blog the day of your feature.
Come on, you know you want to!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Giveaway!

Okay, some have asked when I was going to hold a giveaway for my book. The time is right. The time is NOW.
Anonymous is a novel about a famous mommy blogger who has an obsessed fan who takes things too far. Soon, other bloggers turn up dead. Will she be next? Could there be a twist in the plot? You know you want to find out what happens.
So, if you haven't already gone out and bought a copy (why haven't you? ;) ) You can try to win a signed one-not that my autograph will ever be worth anything-BUT, you never know...
Now, for the rules...
It's pretty darn easy. For one entry, just leave me a comment telling me what is your favorite genre to read. Do you like thrillers? Romances? Nonfiction?
For more entries, (leave an entry for each thing you do).
1. Follow me.
2. Follow me on Twitter.
3. Post about it with a link back to contest. (5 extra entries!)
4. Twitter about it. (2 entries!)
Don't forget to include a way to get a hold of you if you win. Have fun!
Contest ends May 3rd.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Photography-Focusing.

This week's Friday Photography, we are going to discuss focusing your subject. Many beginning photographers with autofocus cameras tend to have the nose or chin in focus, forgetting to place their focusing spot on the subject’s eyes when shooting. This is a prominent problem with photographers who tend to rely on the camera, which by default focus at the center of the image.

The proper way to focus, is to find your subject’s eyes in the frame first, slightly depress the shutter-release button, holding the focus, compose the subject in your frame, then further push the shutter-release button to take the photo. This technique may slow you down a bit at first, but once you develop a feel for it, you’ll find it will ensure your subject’s eyes are always in focus.

To add to focusing, you need to think about space around your subject. In the article, Photography Positioning of the Subject of Your Photo , it states that positioning the camera horizontally creates a sense of space in the photograph, while positioning the camera vertically provides a sense of focus on an object.

If you learn to focus on the eyes and compose the image, your subject’s eyes will be sharp and people will think that your photos were taken by a professional!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Words with a Blogger Wednesday

Words with a Blogger Wednesday

I've been anticipating this blogger's interview!

Her name is Genny, and she's a busy woman and a has a great blog:

Tell us about yourself and your blog:
I live in California with my husband Mike and our two kids, ages 9 and 11. I'm an author, blogger, book reviewer, coffee lover, and far-from-perfect mom who’s the first to admit that after years of parenting, I’m still learning. I love being encouraged by the stories and experiences of other moms, and I especially love being able to give some of that encouragement back. Although my blog is mostly focused on moms, I write about all kinds of topics--from parenting stories and tips, to recipes, going green, taking time for yourself, reaching out to others, faith, health, photography, books, writing, and more. I hope you’ll take a minute to stop by!

When did you start blogging?
I started blogging about a year and a half ago for professional reasons for my writing, as a place to post some of my parenting articles. But then I realized blogging provided an opportunity to do more than just post information; it enabled me to connect with many other moms, writers, and bloggers. It really opened doors to several communities and friendships. I took a break from blogging last year to work on one of my book manuscripts, and then returned just before summer. I’m so glad to be back at it!

Do you make money from your blog?
I do have a few ads on my blog, but the money is really minimal. I typically put it back into my blog, with updated blog designs or something like that. My intent has never really been to set up my blog as a business.

How frequently do you post?
I post about four times a week. I run a parenting feature on my blog on Mondays called Mom-Monday where I post mom-related stories or tips and bloggers can come and link up. It’s really a day for moms to come alongside each other. I also host Talkin’ About Thursdays on Thursdays where bloggers can post about topics from the schedule I put up ahead of time, stop by, link their posts up, and get “talkin” to discover each other’s blogs. On the other days I post, I typically write about my personal experiences, things I’ve seen that have inspired me, various tips, or I share photographs. (I just got a new camera a few months ago and I loving it!)
Do you have a favorite blogger(s) that you just can't live without reading?
There are so many great blogs out there. If I could, I’d list them all. But, I do have a few favorites...Rocks in My Dryer – This is one of the first blogs I discovered when I started blogging, and I was instantly drawn to it. Shannon is a gifted writer and has a way of pulling you in. Nathan Bransford’s blog – I think any writer should subscribe to this blog. From how-to’s on query letters to industry updates, Nathan always has great information. Plus, he’ll make you laugh.Bring the Rain – When I first discovered Angie’s blog, her story about her daughter Audrey Caroline and her post The Past and The Pitcher had me glued to my computer with tears pouring down my face. She’s an inspiring woman, a beautiful writer, and she also recently published a book.

Have your readers influenced you in any way?
Definitely. I've gotten to know many of my readers through comments and, truly, it's through my readers that a sense of community has been built. I’m so thankful for that. I've discovered many great blogs and resources, too, simply by readers taking the time to share information or leave comments. It’s been wonderful. I've loved learning about people’s families, recipes, tips, successes, challenges, and what's going on in their lives. And it’s been fun “meeting” people in places like Israel, Sicily, Ireland, and even my own backyard here in Northern California.
Has blogging changed your life in any way?
It has. Blogging motivates me to write about topics I might not otherwise make time for, it helps me to capture moments I don’t want to forget, and it enables me to reach out to others with my words. It’s also opened up doors to opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I weren’t blogging. I’m lucky enough to be the managing editor at, a sister site to and that opportunity opened up through blogging. I also had a parenting story (which was originally a blog post) published in the book Kirtsy Takes a Bow – A Celebration of Women’s Voices Online. Blogging has been wonderful--both personally and professionally.
What do you do when you get writer's block?
Actually, I hardly ever get writer’s block. It seems like I have the opposite problem; I have more ideas in my head than time to write them all! lol
Any other advice you might have for newbie bloggers?
I’ve had bloggers contact me with questions about growing their blogs or getting more comments, and I think it’s important to remember not to get discouraged. Visitor numbers can go up and down. Comments may or may not indicate how many people are reading your blog. And both don’t define whether or not your blog is “good”. As long as you're posting on a regular basis and providing valuable content to your readers, your blog will grow over time. I would focus on writing quality posts and connecting with others, and an increase in traffic will follow. And even more importantly, write what’s on your heart and your blog will be a reflection of you.
Thanks, Genny!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Never going to another electronic store again.

A woman follows her husband around the electronic store as he looks for a certain dvd player.

"Why don't you just ask someone for help?" she asks him after the third trip down an asile.

The husband doesn't answer and keeps walking up and down aisles. After the fifth time down an aisle, she asks him again.

"Why don't you just ask someone for help?"

He still doesn't say anything and keeps looking up and down the aisles. The woman starts getting dizzy from going up and down the same aisles. She wonders why they haven't been pounced on by a salesperson by now. Isn't that their job? To pounce on you when you walk through the door?

She tries again. "Honey, why don't-" She is interrupted by his evil stare. She sighs and keeps following him up and down the aisles-again.

Finally, a salesman comes up to them and asks if her husband if he needs help. Her husband nods and the salesman helps him find the right dvd player. The woman gives the salesman a big smile and makes a mental note to send him a huge fruit basket for Christmas this year.

Why don't men just ask for help?

Monday, April 5, 2010

How can I make money blogging?

A blogger that has worked hard to bring in readers and networked with the blogger community to raise their page rank level may have fun blogging about their family, products, or whatever may cross their mind. But maybe they are ready to expand their horizons and find a new use for their blog. Or, maybe they might want to find a way to supplement or even replace their present income. What opportunities are out there for bloggers who want to earn an income from their blog?
In the article, Make Money Blogging for Profit , one way is to do paid posts. What is a paid post? Basically, it's what it states; you post about a product or company and you get paid for it. Some bloggers don't agree with this type of writing, but some see it as an opportunity to get paid for your opinion. Most companies have a list of opportunities for you to choose from, so you aren't forced to write about something that you don't agree with. Others send you offers and you can decide if you choose to write about it or not.

Payment is usually once a month, but some pay on the spot or weekly. Paypal is also the usual way most send you your money and that way you don't have to wait forever for a check.

Connecting with Facebook and MySpace might lead to paid posts also. In the article How to create a MySpace profile to build your Social networking experience you can learn how to set up a page to link your blog to it to bring in more traffic without the expense.

Do web directories help?

As part of my new offerings to my blog, I am including different topics that I will be posting about weekly. One of them is learning how to blog for money and getting traffic to your blog/site.

SEO and Web Directories
I'm sure that everyone has come across a Web Directory at one time or another. If you don't know what exactly a Web Directory is, they are not search engines, but basically a big catalog of websites that is edited and managed by people. By submitting your website to a web directory, you can help you boost your search engine visibility. Sounds like a great deal, right? Maybe. But like anything else online, directories range from quality to a waste of time.

How does a web directory help you improve your search engine rankings? How are they different from a regular search engine? It is very important to understand how they work. Directories have databases full of websites and a search field where you can enter phrases-just like a search engine would, but they are so different in every way else.

Search engines have robots or "spiders" to find websites and add them to the search engine's database. In a directory, human editors find websites and screen them for quality and relevance before adding them to the directory's database.The human review process is the main factor between a web directory and a search engine.

Take Yahoo for instances. They are partly a directory. Look at the directory portion of Yahoo. This system is used to organize websites into categories and sub-categories, and is done by humans to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. is similar in how they run too.

So, how do Web Directories Help Your Search Engine Ranking?
What is the connection between a business web directory and SEO? One benefit of listing your website in a web directory is that people can find your site when they search there. Another is that Google will rank you high because when you are listed in the directory, you gain a one-way link to your website. This helps to increase back linking, which in turn helps to boost your search engine visibility.

My favorite is Yahoo, because it is a high-quality directory and can help you score more "points" with a search engine like Google. Since Web Directories use human editors— not a robotic crawler — it tells the search engine that your website has some degree of quality, legitimacy and relevance.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A book giveaway!

I'm so excited to announce that my friend Michelle, from over at Eight Helping Hands is having a contest! She's giving away a great product. In fact, it's MY book!

You have got to go over there and check it out. Or, if you don't want to wait, you can buy a copy here. OR, you can go enter AND buy one to help me reach my goal of selling 2000 copies. :)
I forgot to mention that I want to sell 2000 copies because I donate a % to St. Judes Children's Hospital and that would make a great donation!