Archive for the ‘Mom It Forward’ Category

Momming It Forward in Portland

April 21, 2009

What a perfect little weekend getaway!

My husband was traveling last week, he landed in Portland one day before we drove in. It was a 5 hour drive for me, but quite possibly some of the most gorgeous country on EARTH! I’m serious. When you think of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. THAT’s where I was! From 5 feet of snow on the top to crabapple trees in bloom down the other side!

Eating lasagna at Cheri‘s house. THANKS so much for letting us stop over and eat your YUMMY food!! {And play with your dog!} How’s this for sweet of her, it was HER birthday and she made dinner for US!!?

The next morning we rocked the Portland Saturday Market, with all the little artisan shops. My husband got a little bored though.. He was all? How many spices, and blown glass can you look at? But my 11yrold was soo in love with these twirling whirly gigs with a large round glass orb in the center. “Only $20 mom! I’ll pay for it, I will!”

She and her sister ended up with cute matching hats instead…

Later that night I ditched the family and went to The Fat Straw Cafe down in the ‘OH.MY.HECK awesome neighborhood of the Hawthorne District’.

I met up with:
Michelle (@DapperSnappers)
Cheri (@nottoosticky)
CC (of If Only I Had Superpowers blog fame!)

And others… We had a great time, talking and getting to know each other.

{And trying out Bubble Tea, very cool, very weird,
who knew tapioca balls would be a phrase I’d say out loud??}

We all tried out the Yummy products from Basa Body. And we all agreed the Lotion smelled divine, and the mint chocolate soaps from the Kiss Me Kit were VERY hard not to outright lick! And… we agreed the best thing in the kit is the Basa Body Stick. It has a subtle smell, BUT OH!…you will be smitten the first time you rub this on your elbows! 100% coconut oil, what’s not to love?

I rubbed the stick on my 8yrold’s atrociously dry hands AFTER she fell asleep and I swear her hands were soooo much better in the morning! Imagine what this will do for your feet!!

We raised over $200 for and the mom entrepreneurs in Kenya that night! And a lot of why we were able to do that was thanks to our sponsors. Will you do me a favor and click over to each of these sponsors and say thanks with your mouse?

  • Have you seen these Toddler belt clips? I promise if you have a toddler you need to SEE these! These are the kinds of thing you will be seeing on Oprah soon, so if you hurry you will be able to say: “I knew about Dapper Snappers waaay before!
  • I’ve already been singing my 4yrold’s praises of this site.. go see for yourself… or wait til tomorrow when I’ll be giving away a 6month subscription!
  • You absolutely must see the Mother’s Day gift ideas.. I picked this chocolate explosion of a gift! What would you pick out for YOURself!?

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A little recap. My one year in the bloggy world.

February 19, 2009

Sometimes I shared the not so pretty in my life.
(Do you know what Lake Stink is?)

And often I shared what I was in love with.

I started Apricot A Lot, designing custom bags and totes!

I started my not-every-Sunday-posting called Church Chat.
Read them all here.

Kids Medford Temple

I moved two states away.

But not before having a GarBage Sale.

Sometimes a Recipe.

Salmon Recipe (maple-y/mustard-y/jalepeno-y yummy-ness)

I started a series of posts about my childhood here’s the first one.
(That’s the only one I did…it’s coming, I promise!)


I was syndicated once, Namiste.
(See the article over at the Title Blog)

Oh yeah.. I started a little thing called #GNO over on Twitter? Heard of it?

And that little thing has turned into a full-fledged teenager complete with gangly-ness and zits sometimes (don’t ask about the new website that STILL isn’t complete!) We call the whole thing ‘Mom It Forward’ have a look! Hope to see you on Tuesday nights for #GNO, where we do Girl’s Night Out, Twitter style…!

Thanks for joining me. I am better because of you.

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!

Mom It Forward’s First Gab & Give!

January 27, 2009

Enter for a Chance to Serve & Score!

Four Different Giveaways.
Five Amazing Prizes.
Thirteen Winners.
Four Ways to Enter: Vlog, Blog, Photo, or Comment.
One Great Purpose: To Mom It Forward!

Introducing Mom It Forward’s #GNO Gab & Give Event. In celebration, we are having 4 different giveaways. You may enter all of them, but you may only win once.

Hint! This giveaway is all about promoting service—the mission behind Mom It Forward. We are partial to those that truly embrace the spirit of Mom It Forward and help others catch sight of the vision as well.

Click on the links and images below to learn the entry requirements, see the specs for each prize, and find where to enter each giveaway. Please do not enter in this post.

Vlogging Giveaway 1
HP Mini 1535NR Laptop Specs
Click Here to Enter
Deadline: Saturday, February 14

Blogging Giveaway 2
HP Photosmart 6380 All-in-One Printer Specs
Click Here to Enter
Deadline: Saturday, February 7

Photogging Giveaway 3
Muvee Reveal Movie Editing Software Package Specs
Click Here to Enter
Deadline: Monday, February 2

Giveaway 4
He’s Just Not That Into You
Movie Soundtrack CD or Hoodie

Click Here to Enter
Deadline: Tuesday, January 27 (10 p.m. EST)

Thanks to Sugar Jones from Living In Theory for awarding us winners of the HP Magic Giveaway. Giveaways 1 and 2 include prizes from that contest and these giveaways are an effort to spread the HP Magic even further.

Do you use social media? Join the MomItForward group accounts:

Momitforward Facebook
Momitforward Flickr
Momitforward YouTube group

How Social Media Caught Up To Me

January 11, 2009
(Reprinted from MomItForward)

I started blogging in February of 08. I began my online business in March of 08. I met hundreds of people in just a few short months…! I’ve even figured out Facebook, (Jyl forced me!)

I began writing for the community site BoutiqueFlair in July of 08. I think I had submitted a single article when one of the other contributors there sent me a nice email and was so welcoming to the network! Wow I thought… people are so sweet and I felt all warm and squishy inside.

After I replied to this author I got a zippy email back….

Hel-LO!! Carissa, this is ALYSON! You know, your college roommate? The one you set up on a blind date. The one who MARRIED that same blind date! The one you faithfully exchange Christmas cards with yearly and haven’t seen in 13 years!!

Alyson of 3Ps In A Pod fame (and the Blind Date)!

Oh. My. Crazy.
THAT Alyson?
Are you serious!

Turns out she’s a Blogging Fool and writer extraordinaire and I didn’t know it? I hadn’t come across her site in my bloggy travels and it took our membership and eventually our contributing to a social media networking site to catch up our real life friendship to our virtual friendships!

Wow? What has Social Media done for you? Do you catch up with high school friends via Facebook? Do you Blog and meet new bloggy friends daily? Is Twitter your social poison? How many Networks do you belong to and if someone asked you how many people do you talk to on a weekly basis… can you answer 4,000!?

Over at MomItForward we’re taking it up a notch and combining it all. Where mom’s are making a difference one social media network at a time!

PS I was just talking with Alyson making sure I could borrow that lovely Tutu pose of her husband… and guess what? She will be heading to Nashville for BlissDom 09! I get to catch up with her in real life… are you going?

A Twofer Cuz I’m humbled

January 6, 2009

I was all set to write up this great (and snarky) post about how my parents came to visit over the weekend. They got in town just after New Year’s and they brought my little old grandma, who is pushing 90. She has early onset Alzheimer’s Disease and she hasn’t fully adjusted to not living on her own. And while her short term memory is non-existent, she can recall with full clarity and even annoyity (forgive my fake word) the smallest details about a trip they all took down the California coast 30+ years ago!

(4 generations)

I was going to write how my parents have raised 10 kids with a few extras sprinkled in for good measure. And they have really never lived alone empty nest style more than about 6 months at a time. A sibling (along with their kids and/or spouse) moves back in while waiting for a house to get built, or while waiting for a divorce to finalize or while some other part of their good & crazy life gets settled. And now they have my grandma living with them who is little more than a kid. Complete with the fact that she goes to daycare during the day!

I was going to write how my parents traveled over 10 hours to visit us for only a few days so they could support my 8yrold who was getting baptized. How the weather get’s scary in this part of the country and the roads…ahem… aren’t always cleared very quickly.. (grrr).

I was going to write a thank you to my parents for all they have done for me and are still willing to do…. (And I’ll still get to that.)

But instead…

I’m writing a giant thank you to Jay over at Half Time Lessons.

(And to Deb from Dirty Socks and Pizza)
Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

I’m not even sure why? Why would he chose to be a woman if he could? Why he compared Jyl and I and Mom It Forward to Mother Theresa… Or was it Jenny McCarthy??

#GNO started because I was lonely. And I selfishly figured if I taught a couple online friends the Twitter ropes on a Tuesday night in September ’08, I would get some more social fulfillment… And I did. Boy did I ever and MORE! #GNO– where everybody knows your na-a-ame….

Wow, it’s amazing to see the stories and willingness unfold from so many women through #GNO (and men…yes you… Jay and Chris and Steve). And humbling. Even surprising that there are so many people who ‘get’ the Mom It Forward vision. Can we help each other while strengthening ourselves and our families and our communities… Yes We Can! (thanks Bob). And Thanks Jay. I plan to visit you in YOUR community and Mom It Forward… Don’t be scared I’ll give you warning first!