Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

What Did I Learn From BlissDom09?

February 12, 2009

The main thing?
To start planning NOW for next year! Will you be there? I hope to meet you!

10 Takeaways from BlissDom09…

1. Face to Face and Confidence
When Megan Jordan of Velveteen Mind walks up to you and recognizes you? Wow. When you hear that as little as 100 visits to your blog places you in the top 10% of the mommy bloggers? When you get 2 minutes to talk to a PR rep. and after only 30 seconds they look you in the eye and say — “I’m amazed, please email me with your ideas!”
I loved that 30 seconds where you say hi I’m Carissa and they say hi I’m Roni… and then you read their tag and realize OhMiGosh! “You’re @Ronisweigh!” You then emit a scream, while lifting her off the ground with an embarrassing bear hug! Again, wow. Worth it.

2. Finding the Dollar Store in Nashville
I mean what else are you going to see while spending a weekend in Nashville. Yup, that’s all I saw. If you need party balloons.. I know where to find them!

3. The importance of Elevators, Hallways and Lobbies at Midnight
More than once—several times in fact—Jyl & I would find ourselves early to one thing and late to another only to catch the event coordinator Barbara Jones setting up, or the Disney Producer finishing up and gaining a few minutes of one on one time with each of the Hot Yanni Voices dudes (one of which turns out went to BYU.. who knew?). The serendipitous meetings and interviews may have been worth the whole conference right there.

(one of the hotties from the Yanni Voices: Nathan Pacheco-
yes the blond one kissed Jyl!)

4. If you are nervous about introducing yourself?
Get over it!
So is the other person… making the first contact is over in 15 seconds— so jump in and it will be pasat you and easy after that. The bigger problem? Second contact when you recognize their face but can’t remember their name… And worse the third time, same problem. But 3’s the magic number and I kept saying so…worth the effort!

5. Organic Vs. Fertilized / Finding Your Own Voice
(Then losing your voice to late night shout sessions of Karaoke).
Define organic based connection leading to a sponsorship please? Okay here goes: When I mention to someone I met on twitter that I LOVE their new children’s book, and can I please write up a review of the book back at my blog. They say..really? For free? And I say, well yes? I really like your book! And he says..well, can we offer a giveaway or something to your readers? And I say..oh? Okay, sure, even better why don’t you participate in my upcoming #GNO event on Twitter, we could host the giveaway there, and would you mind making them signed copies? He says sure! And I say…um.. the two copies that I just bought..?? would you sign those as well? Love to, the end.

6. Stats Vs. Reach
I kept having this conversation over and over during the conference. “People are commenting on my blog less and less. Instead they tweet me that they like my post?” I kept replying, you know what? That’s Perfect! It may lesson your blog stats—but it widens your personal REACH. Get ready now for the shift. —Are you using Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media sites to increase your reach? You could be, you should be. When we talked to a sponsor about helping us with our BlissDom After Party, they were more about our overall reach and not just our blog stats.

7. Delivering the Elevator Speech
The what?
I have no tips here? I didn’t even know what that meant 6 months ago. The What? In 30 seconds or less tell me the big piccture, the dreams and goals you have for your business. About the time a typical Elevator Ride takes. I fail right there. I talk too much. My tip? Figure out how to listen more—now if I can just take my own advice…

8. How to Contact PR Reps
(ie. Don’t wait for them to find you.) Do you have a great idea for your blog? Is there a product you already love? Did something you mastered change your life? Pitch an idea for a partnership to an ad agency or the company directly. There are ad networks interested in you, PR Agencies too and try out Don’t get discouraged, I heard several ‘successful’ bloggers say they failed 2 & 3 times before thy got a relationship with an ad agency to work.

9. Hosting Your Own Event at a Conference
Think you can’t do it? Think again. We thought we would host a silly slumber party in our room the 1st night of BlissDom09. But we realized there was a similar event already on the conference schedule that night? So we contacted the event hosts and turns out they were thrilled! So, we created an After Party the last day of the conference! Mom It Forward also sponsored a service project at the Nashville Rescue Mission, and Jyl recapped the details on her personal blog: Mommy Gossip. Wow, so worth it! We are planning now for other events…okay dreaming is more like it: Mom2.0Summit, SXSW, and BlogHer… See you there? (Marie and Ghennifer chopping veggies at the Nashville Rescue Mission)

10. I don’t have 10

Oh well. If you wait to be nearly the last one onto the airplane you can often choose from empty ROWs at the back of the plane… and when your travel day takes 3 separate flights with really long layovers, for a total of 14 hours…that extra space pays off!

Plus because you made it all the way to the end of my long long long post? Free Shipping from Lands’ End. I know I love that! But you have to hurry! You only have two days til it expires! Lands’ End code: blissdom, PIN: 2175

What are these? A few of the sponsors of blissdom, and yes I met representatives of all three!

It’s been a photoshop weekend…

April 27, 2008

After looking at P-Dub’s site, and Karen Cheng’s site, I was ready to jump into some serious photo editing. Remember I don’t have the big boy photoshop, I have the step-sister version.

But I was pretty happy.

Before (Original)




Snow storm in April. Sucks. Had to find a way to make it better.

The last four are fun ones. They’re just some old photos I wasn’t worried about experimenting with. Lessons on cropping, filters and photo modes. The last one was particularly fun.

Spelling Bee Saga

March 19, 2008

Parents should be banned from school spelling bees. As my husband likes to say, “Kids are never allowed to LOSE anymore”. Everyone gets a medal, everyone is special, yada, yada. Except in spelling bees. Spelling bees are the last hangers-on in our PC schools, where someone is crowned the best speller of the grade, right?

I will be un-inviting myself from future spelling bees, I promise.

7yrold has a knack for reading and pretty much everything else academic. It just comes easy for her. She won her 1st grade spelling bee on the word ‘SUFFICE’. (I had to spell check it just now, for crying out loud).

5thgrader… not so easy. She has to work for everything, and in the previous years she has always studied and scraped her way past her class bee and into the grade bee. She then misspelled on round 2 or 3. Which was fabulous for her and she knew it.

Back to this year. — 5thgrader again made it to the grade level bee and I attended the showdown, she wants my support I figured? She passed off her 1st word, and then a second and a third (the third word was LINX–what the heck is THAT?) and then whoa (!) she was one of five left! Yay, go girl! Every time she got up to spell MY heart would nearly smash through my throat (and I was only WATCHING). Two more kids got out and then she spelled another word correct and the kid after her got out, and OHMYGOSH she was one of two left. And then…the other kid spelled a word wrong…I’m thinking wow, how cool is that to have TWO kids in the same day, same household as spelling bee champs!

(it gets tricky here, so stay with me)

All day, in the other grades at this point in the bee the rules change–the last two go into a sudden death approach and instead of sitting down when missing a word, the remaining kid standing must spell the missed word correctly, and then becomes crowned winner of all things spelling.

My daughter stood up to re-spell this incorrect word, I kid you not, she had the microphone in her hand and had opened her mouth….when…

A gentleman (hard to type that calmly) stood up and decided to rail on the poor volunteers who had been running the bees all day (and last year for that matter). He argued, how could this be fair to the kid who had just gotten out and labeled third? Why didn’t THAT kid get to be allowed to have his word ‘corrected’ (or not) and possibly stay in the running? This man (and this kills me the most) walked over to the volunteers and bullied them into changing the rules. I didn’t dare say much, he was scary.

So the third placed kid comes back into the queue. They start a new ’round’, and yes you guessed it, by the time it’s all spelled and done, my 5th grader catches third place and the original third place kid wins 1st. How sickening. It was like a bad afterschool movie, but there I was in a real school. Nice lesson for them to learn, eh? Bullies get what they want, and if you are a man and large all the better, you win. I was too upset to stick around long; I kissed my kid, and made her spell out loud the word she was never allowed to respell (the one that would have made her the winner)–Serenity. (how fitting) She couldn’t understand what had just happened, neither could I. And then I zipped on out of there. I was much more upset than she was.

She told me after school that a decision was reached, and both kids were awarded 1st place. How very PC of them. Like kissing your sister, the one who did win the spelling bee.

Here they are, my two Spellers!


March 4, 2008

I won’t have my laptop for the rest of the week, and lately it has been attached at the hip, so I’ve been transferring vital stuff from the laptop (the good one) to the old computer (old slowpoke).

Here’s the websites I plan to peruse and use and scrutinize till the wee hours of the morning.

You might ask why? Because I am working on a new look for the blog. I want a customizable layout where I can change out the background (either tiles or a picture), change the font colors and the main wrapper with my own stuff–without altering the whole layout. Not everything in the above list makes sense for blog design, some are just for inspiration… And if I ever make anything from one of those craftier sites, I’ll post a picture of course!

February 26, 2008

Still testing out fonts….

Another one….

And the last one….

There are three different fonts here, can you see them?? They are all fonts that came with my computer nothing more fancy than that.