Category Archives: Blogging

I’m still there, but not like that

Almost three years ago I started on a fantastic voyage with internet friends. Sid, who had broadened my horizons and helped me find a new community to explore and was a great conversation starter with her hoarding blog topic. Carolyn, who I met doing a flash mob dance and jumped on board with no hesitation to help add people flooding in.

After BlogHer ’11 I impulsively typed up a group name, fortuitously named by Sid who wasn’t a mama, and we started a group dedicated bringing together women bloggers in southern California.

I just checked and the group was 664 members strong.

I remember how excited we were when we hit 50! 100! 500!

Blogging has come a long way the last few years. Our group had changed a lot in those same years.

I’ve had a lot of changes in the last year. I am having a heck of a time right now. I’m trying to squeeze in extra time with my adoring little boys, trying to keep my head above water and wanting to make the blog a better jumping off point for freelance work while trying to find employment to make up the difference we need.

I can’t give the group the attention it needs with over 600 members and women requesting in by the dozen.

I went to a moderator position last year when it was time for it to take the next step that had been discussed – but wasn’t something I personally aspired for, not could give the time to.

I am a cheerleader.

I am a supporter.

I am not an entrepreneur nor a great leader.

This is my last week as a moderator for the SoCal Lady Bloggers Facebook group. (Because I still have a couple of messages I’m waiting to have answered – we research every addition to make sure they are a local blogger!)

Carolyn, who has always had a greater vision for SCLB, and Melissa, who is the superwoman I am not, are awesome. and Melissa Reyes is stepping in to help moderate the second board- and she will be perfect for it.

I’ll still be a member, steering newbies toward the right answers and being surprised at the amount of knowledge I have acquired myself after these year… I was  pretty new to the game when I started the group. in August 2011. Just not there as often.

You may miss me. You may not notice my absence as much. And that’s OK. I’m still there.

American Blogger

This morning a trailer for a documentary showed up in my Facebook feed.

I'd seen it pinned by someone I follow just for her cute style and craft pins, though I don't pin them as much as I used to.

American Blogger is a documentary about, well, bloggers.

Which, according to the documentary trailer, are all cute, hip, younger types with Anthropologie bedspreads and beachy waves.

Just like that blogger.

I was disappointed when I saw this film. After blogging since 2009 and reading since before, I've seen a great variety of women and men create this industry, mold it and shape it and excel at it.

But the documentary seems to focus only on the “millennial”, the “Pin-teresting”, the “hip young mom” type.

A 'movement'? The world has already been changed, the blogging world was created and exploded and is evolving into a different medium than what it once was. Online diaries turned into a form of journalism, storytelling that sells.

Romanticizing blogging, which is something you should never do to business. Especially one where the definition is for so mny PR types is THAT type, the cool mom with expendable money.

I am trying to withhold judgement until I see it, but there should be SUCH a more diverse variety of PEOPLE shown. I'm hoping there are more in the documentary that I at least recognize or identify with.

I follow grandmothers and young singles.

Fathers and teachers.

Cooks, book authors and artists.

And moms, lots of moms. But I'm also a mom. A millennial mom, technically. One with a veggie garden but no teepee, handmade quilts instead of Anthropologie, but I do have some white furniture.

Do I hope that the documentary suprises me?

Yes, but if I've got it right, well, my couch is ready for round two.

 

If you were making a documentary about bloggers, which three would you be sure to include?

 

My three? Elise from BlogHer, Erin from Queen of Spain, and Kendi from Kendi Everyday.

 

Baby Bloggy Boot Camp

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

I started blogging on 2009 after finding out I was pregnant with Wonder Boy. I had left my stressful newspaper reporter job and wanted to share news with my fiends and family and also to keep my typing skills in shape so I could go back to it.
Well, five years a later and two baby boys and I’m still in the blogging game.
I’ve watched it change so much and walked my own path blogging – but after a break last year I wanted to jump in with both feet and do what I could to help support my family with my keyboard.
I was invited to Baby Bloggy Boot Camp and, after I found out Ergobaby was one of the sponsors, got really excited.
But I had more than getting a goodie bag out of it. I knew this mini camp, meant for newer mom bloggers, would help get me back in the game.

For PR and brands, mom bloggers (or as I dislike hearing, ‘mommy bloggers’) are becoming a standard for getting the word out about their product or service. Learning how to do it right, do it well and do it uniquely gives an advantage for helping get some different products in the house or making money for the growing demands of family.

Making money? Yep, right up my alley right now.

The camp was a reminder to be unique, take great pictures and make sure I tell a lot of my own stories, not just sponsored content. It’s been hard getting in front of a computer lately! Anyone else?

And the most important thing I keep reminding myself- ‘Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great!’ I have spent a lot of time lately on things that haven’t brought me a lot of joy. Time’s up.

Especially with two littles instead of one. I don’t have time to flip through a magazine with a mobile and curious 9-month-old baby, let alone on writing blog posts that don’t benefit me.

So my takeaway from the camp, which I urge all my fellow bloggers to do, is look at what you are aiming for and decide if it is the best you can aim for. Aim that bit higher. Aim a lot higher. Cut out what doesn’t benefit you.

Even though I am probably not going to be in maternity wear ever again, I took a look at the Liz Lange maternity dresses at the Baby BBC. I dealt with really hot weather both times I was pregnant (being from SoCal) and they looked like they would have kept me looking cool and fabulous.
Because pregnant women deserve to feel like they look fabulous, right?

I’ve been playing around with the yet-to-be-released Ergobaby 360- and so has my husband. I’m so glad to have a carrier that accommodates both of us.

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I have no prior experience with an Ergo but always had a crush on carriers – but since I had an independent first born I didn’t really ‘need’ one then.
I sure do with this mama’s boy – I can walk laps around the house and lull him to sleep in it too!

I promise, a full review coming very soon on this.

I sent the Ergo wrap on to my cousin who just had a baby. She is very petite and is happily wearing her new little girl around the house in it- being a wrap-style carrier owner for two different babies, I recommend them for new moms who end up holding their baby for long periods of time.

So Baby Bloggy Boot Camp? More than swag, but inspiration to reach higher and work more efficiently toward higher goals.

What inspired you to start blogging, if you are a blogger? If not, what brings you to a blog?

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

Grace Stacked upon Grace

Blue_walkedamilebadgeI am part of a blog swap along with many other SoCal bloggers. My guest post in this endeavor is a lady I’ve seen around a lot of places, and I drool over her horse photos on Instagram and beyond.

But I’ll let her introduce herself.

Hey there everyone! Most of you may not know me,
but I am Erin from Horsing
Around In LA
and I am here guest posting today on a special
assignment. When I found out that AJ from Confessions of a Fat
Girl
was going to host a “Blog Swap” for any of us in the SoCal Lady Bloggers that
wished to join in, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this fun
project. The goal was to learn, grow, and to challenge ourselves. The
idea was to write outside of our comfort zone and to see what it’s
like to write about what another blogger always writes about. In other
words, to WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES!

I got paired up to guest post here on Megan’s
blog, Sunshine Wonderland. I sure can use some sunshine right now,
along with a nice long vacation after the crazy stressful month I’ve
had so far, so I cannot think of a better blog to have gotten paired
up to guest post with.

Megan’s word this year is grace, so this is what I will attempt to write about. This topic couldn’t come at a better time, when I feel extremely exhausted, tired, burnt out and like I have too much on my plate with unexpectedly ending up working full time hours at the beginning of this month, then trying to find time to keep my commitments that I had already made with my blog and having to write my posts in the wee hours of the night when I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus by the end of the day and all I want to do is sleep. As busy and tired as I am though, I know it will all be worth it in the end. I know I need to accept it all with grace and be thankful for all of these opportunities.

Many things come to mind when I think of the word Grace. To me, Grace is a humble word. Someone with grace is not boastful, unkind, or hurtful in their
words and actions. Grace is a
blessing that we may not deserve or understand at the time, but are
given for one reason or another. Having faith and believing in
yourself and others around you along with a positive attitude will
allow you to be filled with Grace and to also be able to give it and
be a blessing to someone else.

Grace is the
opposite of expectations because it is so, well, unexpected.

 

One of the pastors, Harold, that I grew up listening to in
church as a child would always use the phrase “Grace Stacked Upon
Grace.” For some reason, that saying has always stuck with me. When
you are a blessing to others, good things will come and you will be
blessed in return by others. It builds on itself as we grow, learn,
and continue to be a blessing to others and become better versions of
ourselves that we want to be. Grace Stacked Upon Grace.

Grace can also
be defined as simple elegance or refinement of movement. As a horse
crazy girl, I love this meaning of grace too as nothing can match the
grace and beauty of a horse running free. The equine is a very
majestic and beautiful creature to watch. They are very graceful and
soulful beings. The bond you can make with a horse is indescribable. I
have been graced by being able to spend so much time with these
amazing animals over the course of my lifetime.

Graceful Allie

Synonyms: Elegance, gracefulness, finesse, poise, agility,
suppleness

Grace can also
be considered due honor or credit to someone or something by one’s
presence. “She bowed out from her teaching position that she has
graced for three decades.” As a teacher myself, I can totally relate
to this, and can truly appreciate all the hours and handwork teachers
put in outside of their contractual day. This goes for many other
professions and jobs out there as well, like all the moms! ;)

Teacher Grace

Synonyms: Dignify, honor,
favor, distinguish, glorify, enhance, ennoble

Grace
I find a lot of grace in nature as well. Nature
isn’t something we can control and it is fleeting. We have to enjoy
these moments when we are given them and graced with them. Sometimes
we might not even notice these moments if we don’t take the time out
of our busy lives to take a second to look around to enjoy the grace
and beauty all around us. I think it’s so important for us all to
remember to stop and take a little break like that to enjoy a sunrise
or sunset or to just get outside on a nice day and enjoy some
sunshine, smell the roses and to take a look around you. Living in
beautiful, sunny, and WARM, Southern California, I am very blessed to
live here, I cannot see myself living anywhere that has freezing cold
winters with snow and ice. I don’t know how all of my Minnesota and
North Dakota cousins do it.
Grace & Beauty

That’s just a little bit about what
grace is to me. What does grace mean to you?

grace

Sunset Millenial Summit

Disclaimer: I was asked to write a recap of the Sunset Millennial Summit after attending and received a swag bag. I would have written one anyway. All opinions are my own, no compensation was given.

You know how once you make a decision, the universe rewards you so you know you’re going down the right path?

That was me last weekend.

Over and over I was being pulled to the Women Get Social conference, so I was glad right after I got my ticket I was invited to the Sunset Millennial Summit that ran directly prior.

SMSummit-23

And by summit, I mean a group of like-minded women gathering to talk real life blogger talk and to learn from each other and be inspired by each other.

SAMSUNG CSC

I was fumbling around in blog land without a clear path most of 2013, so I knew that an evening that talked about how to grow and manage myself as a growing blogger (one of my goals for 2014) would be perfect.

Call it serendipitous.

As refer to myself, always late but worth the wait, I cruised into #SMSummit late with several bags and a baby in tow, wet. Hello, SoCal decided to have all of its winter weather in one weekend.

The Sunset Vacation Rental home in Ocean Beach was an easy find from the Sea World exit, only a few minutes away from freeway and only three blocks from food and a Chase bank, which I needed to find for an errand Friday morning.

SAMSUNG

Again, serendipitous.

I loved having a chance to watch experienced women ask some very open and personal questions about blogging without judgement, and look forward to another meeting of the minds someday.

And amazing- Lil’ Wonder and I shared the master bedroom, which had plenty of room for the queen bed and a fold-up one with wheels, and a pack and play mercifully already set up for me. I felt sorry having so much space to myself but after staying up half the night talking, it was nice to retreat and get an hour of sleep before Lil’ Wonder woke me up.

I was starving after my long hike in, so I aimed right for the food from Whole Foods La Jolla, which was the store my brother used to work at when he lived in an apartment with three other guys and a blue furry easy chair.

I mean, if you skinned Cookie Monster and used his pelt to cover a a 90′s recliner, you’d have that chair. Which made me hope they had a neighborhood watch on Sesame Street.

Off topic, I apologize. I think that chair still haunts my nightmares.

SMSummit-26

The baby and I fought over the asiago cheese on my plate as well as bites of salad and fruit- he definitely enjoyed his dinner!

SMSummit-22

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By the next morning, even my little mama’s boy was one of the group. Especially when handed a piece of bread- he’s a major carb lover.

And myself, a little richer- not only in new friends, some great guidance and a running start to a weekend full of education and broadened verizons, but a goodie bag from the generous Whole Foods. The Whole Foods pomegranate soda is chilling as we speak, the plum jam from Jackie’s Jams is waiting for my son’s habitual toast breakfast on preschool days, the Whole Foods honey lip balm has been coating my lips and the 365 Everyday Values chocolate is hiding in the office for when no one is barging in. Which may be never with this crowd.

The trail mix never made it very far.

photo(4)Demolishing this today- thanks @wfmsandiego and #smsummit ! pic.twitter.com/5wnFmQo460— Megan McClain (@MrsWndr) March 2, 2014

The other attendees of the SM Summit were

(thanks for hosting ladies!)

 

Some of these photos were provided by Millennial Blogs to use, and thank goodness, because Lil’ Wonder kept my arms full!