What Is REAL?

mimi 2

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a really long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." The Velveteen Rabbit is an ache-y book for me. I haven't read it in years and this morning felt a stirring to dig it out of the still-unpacked box of books in the boys' room … Read More

A Picture Is Worth How Many Words?

visual images magnify the impact of your words.

We are so close to the end of 31 days of small changes. I've loved this series because it's made me think about being intentional with my blogging as well and my goals. Today is all about image. Not the whole image of your blog, but the images you use in each post. This can go hand in hand with your Pinterest goals as you work to make your posts more pinnable. Here is today's task:   Among those of you reading, there may be equal parts people who have mastered all these tips already … Read More

Pinterest Is Prime Time!

small steps day 20

This past week, I have been not as tuned-in to my blog and social sharing because I've spent so much time with the family. And yet, my stats have been just lovely. Why? One word: Pinterest. Consistently and almost without exception, Pinterest is my top referrer. The great thing about it is that once you have a post up there, it can perform and perform and perform and perform. So it is in your best interest to know how best to use Pinterest and make it work for you with what you are ALREADY … Read More

Hazard-Free: Celebrations Holiday Gift Market

celebrations gift market in katy

In exchange for promoting the Celebrations Holiday Gift Market, I am receiving two gift certificates to shop at the market. All opinions are my own, and you better believe I will be there! Once upon a time, I used to go every year to a holiday gift market in Houston with either Rob's mom or my mom (and I think one year, both). We would peruse the booths of beautiful things, buy a few Christmas gifts (mostly I just looked), and every single time bought a fancy caramel apple from a special … Read More

This Week in Beauty

this happy week 3

It's a strange thing, spending time together as a family these days. There is something unspoken in our conversations and our activities. Sometimes we speak of it, but usually we don't. There is an undercurrent to everything that brings both joy and sorrow. Here is just a glimpse of our week. … Read More

Let’s Plus & Stumble!

small steps day 19

Today in our 31 Small Steps to Grow Your Blog series, we are going to look at two forms of social media that absolutely need their own posts. But since I'm not an expert and people balk most at these two, I'm going to make it short and sweet. Today, friends, is all about Google Plus and StumbleUpon. While some people use both G+ and SU frequently, I would guess that to most, they are a mystery. Let's get to know them a little better, shall we? Consider this post like an internet dating … Read More

Find a Tribe

small steps day 17

Because I mostly blogged in a bubble of 1 until last year when I connected with other bloggers at a blogging conference, I have no idea how long blog tribes have been around. Apparently since at least 2013, as this great post from Honest Mom about creating a tribe. I instinctively formed a kind of tribe after reaching out on Twitter and seeing if any other writers wanted to form a community. At first it was maybe 6 girls. None of us had met in real life and we all wrote different kinds of … Read More

Be a BETTER Student of Blogging

small steps day 17

At the moment, I am multitasking. I am helping two kids dress like ninjas, drinking coffee, listening to a podcast, and writing this blog post. Which is maybe too many things on a morning when even my face feels tired. How does this relate to you and to our 31 Small Steps to Grow Your Blog? Other than drinking coffee, which I would ALWAYS recommend for any occasion, today's work has more to do with ninjas. Just kidding! (Did I mention I'm tired today?) Here's your task: Today (or this … Read More

Cancer Doesn’t Care

cancer doesn't care

Cancer is the worst kind of thief. It arrives stealthily and silently and lives in the dark, uninvited. While you eat and sleep and breathe, it is there, feasting. Brain, liver, bones, blood---it will take any cells it wants, choosing, it seems, at complete random.   It takes the healthy. It takes the unhealthy. It takes the young. It takes the old. It takes and it takes and it takes.   Cancer is SO selfish. It does not care who is left behind, or left wounded. It does not … Read More

Blogging on a Schedule

small steps day 16

What is the magic number of posts per week? Should I plan out and use an editorial calendar? These are two VERY common questions with two simple answers: 4.7 and yes. Just kidding! If you haven't noticed so far in this 31 Small Steps to Grow Your Blog series, I haven't promised easy answers or given formulas. I mostly don't believe in them. I also mostly don't trust anyone that promise if you follow these five steps, you will sell a million copies of your ebook or get 1 million hits on … Read More

Fruity Mocktails with Canada Dry TEN

Fruity mocktails with Canada Dry TEN. #drinkTEN #shop #cbias

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. It's time to raise your glass and #drinkTEN! Being pregnant for basically the past two years means that I have missed out on a lot of margaritas. Okay, I don't actually drink THAT much, but you always miss the things you can't have, right? Now I'm breastfeeding, so Mocktails are a lot more my speed. What's a Mocktail? I know there are at least a few of you about to hit up Google right … Read More