Blogging

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

It seems a cruel irony that hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the fear of long words.

I’m actually learning the proper names for lots of phobias by watching Figaro Pho, a gothic animation show about a boy with an alphabet of fears. It’s unusual but oddly delightful.

So. Dooce is quitting.

While I was living my life, this news quietly broke and I’m just now finding out about it. Man, some days you log into Facebook and WHAM!  you get hit with something you had no clue about.

 Heather Armstrong

You can read the related article here or read the announcement of her retirement on Dooce.

One does not simply argue with Melissa

So I learned from The Bloggess that there’s a new trend where you Google your first name and “meme.” Then you post the results.

Since I’m totally trendy… oh wait, I’m not. Anyway, I decided to do it and I’m so glad I did.

I need to get this printed and framed:

meme1

And look, Ryan Gosling wants me to cheer up:

meme2

Also, people are happy I exist:

meme3

But sometimes I exasperate people:

meme4

It’s true, I do. I can’t argue. This is me saying sorry:

mad-sorry

See that sarcasm? That’s part of what’s so exasperating about me.

5 Bloggers I’d Like to Meet

People follow blogs for the same reasons they watch a television show – primarily for entertainment. They’re attracted by the humor, drama, suspense, or romance of the story and then they become invested. They want to find out what happens next.

Or I could be totally wrong. I know it’s why I’m hooked on several blogs. I like checking in to see what Leta and Marlo are up to and what Chuck has balanced on his head. I’m curious to see what antique find Victoria got on Craigslist. And anytime I need a laugh, I can always count on Jenny Lawson.

Of all the bloggers whose posts make me laugh, make me think, or inspire me, there are a few that standout. These are people I’d like to meet in real life. Here are my top 5:

5.  Heather Armstrong – Dooce
I caught on to this mommyblog maybe a year and a half ago – I was very late to the party. Dooce has an enviable amount of followers and more page views in a day than I have in a month. That’s to say nothing of the awesome brand campaigns she gets but boy does she have her haters. At first that didn’t surprise me since she has voiced polarizing opinions on religion and politics but that’s not why some people don’t like her. They’re critical of her parenting style, her divorce and new boyfriend, among other things. I don’t agree with everything she says and does but personally, I’d like to meet her because I think she’d have some valuable blogging advice to give. And, I think she’s probably misunderstood.

4.  Janet Reid – Query Shark
Here is a literary agent who teaches aspiring authors how to write an effective query letter. She does this free of charge and with the bluntness of Simon Cowell. That’s what I like about her. She wouldn’t hesitate to tell someone the novel they’ve worked on for three years is nowhere near ready for representation and not only that, it needs a total rewrite. You know what? It helps make writers better at their craft. For that I’d like to take her to lunch at a fancy restaurant. I’d be praying to God I used the right fork.

3.  Jordan Ferney – Oh Happy Day
One day I’m going to be a real grown-up and have furniture that isn’t a hand-me-down, didn’t come from Ikea, and actually fits into a decorative scheme. Scheme? Is that what I mean to say? Jordan would know. She could take me under her creative wing and help me figure out those kind of things. I’d love to see what she could do with my game room. Jordan, if you’re reading this, please take me shopping with you.

2.  Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
Now here is a girl I could be friends with. Her fanaticism for Elvis is matched with mine for Davy Jones. And Victoria knows how to take a good T.V. show seriously. I haven’t gotten around to watching Mad Men but I’d happily have a marathon viewing with her on NetFlix. Then I’d introduce her to Breaking Bad because that show is how television is supposed to be done. I’ll bet Victoria could help me decorate too. I mean, she found The Portal to Downton Abbey that also has an entrance to Narnia. What could she find for me?

1.  Jenny Lawson – The Bloggess

The Bloggess

Photo by TheFlirtyBlog via Flickr

If you’ve read her blog even once, this probably needs no explanation. Being friends with The Bloggess might mean opening your door one day to see a giant metal chicken standing there. It’s that unpredictability that would keep life interesting.

If you could pick any blogger to meet, who would it be?

Pardon My Dust

TA DA! My new blog design!

At the beginning of this year I mentioned that I’d be making changes to my blog. Then the new theme that I was so excited about and just had to have, the one that Lucas got with credit he had, that he was testing and ready to make live – I didn’t like it anymore. It was like buying a gorgeous pair of impractical shoes and getting them home only to realize they’re rubbing your heels raw and you have maybe two outfits that go with them.

For months afterward I searched for themes and played around with the live previews until I got sick of them. I was more fickle than a bride looking for a wedding gown. Then I found Literary by Mean Themes and it was love at first preview. The colors! The font options! The cute social icon buttons! THIS was the theme made for me. With this, my creative juices would flow. My followers would quadruple! My blog would be catapulted to the Top 100 Mommyblogs!

Lucas didn’t share my enthusiasm. “Are you sure you really like it? And you’re going to want to stick with it? It looks kind of plain to me.”

“It’s not plain!” I protested. “It’s sleek and functional. Modern.”

Last night after the kids were in bed I convinced Lucas it was the perfect time to get my theme up and running. He agreed. (Read: He couldn’t think of an excuse to get out of it.) ”So we’re keeping nothing from your old blog? Are you sure people will recognize this as your site?”

See how he tried to plant seeds of doubt in my mind? Sneaky little devil, don’t you think? Now, I’ll admit I was ignoring the voice in my head telling me about branding and blah blah blah. I want color options! And fonts! Nothing was stopping me from forging ahead.

Within a half an hour Lucas said, “Okay, it’s ready. Come check it out.”

FINALLY I was going to see Nouns and Violets content in all its new theme glory. I was a kid on Christmas morning.

And then…

Ho hum.

“How come there’s no tab for the Home page?”

“Because it’s 2013 and people know to do this,” and he showed me that my blog title is a hyperlink to the home page. Well, I didn’t know that and I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one. Humpf.

“The formatting on this post is all wonky.”

“Yeah, I know. You’re going to have to mumble-mumble-mumble,” he said. Something about how to fix it. Technical crap.

Then I noticed each post ended with Continue Reading, even when it wasn’t truncated. I didn’t like the default font or its size. My tagline wasn’t showing and Oh dear, did I just throw a house warming party and I still have boxes lining the rooms and haven’t even unpacked the silverware? Yep, looks like it.

But okay, this is my new theme. And I love it. And I’m unhappy with a few things. But I’m working on fixing those so please bear with me and pardon my dust.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40

As the mother of a six month-old baby girl, I was really excited to be invited to review the new Graco® SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 infant car seat. First I got to meet-up with some fellow bloggers and enjoy good food at Tryst Café, an organic food restaurant, to learn all about safety and the new car seat.

Safety First

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that toddlers are more than five times safer when riding rear facing in a car seat. They recommend keeping them rear facing until two years old. With this safety standard in mind, Graco® created the SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 to accommodate newborns (4 pounds) to two year-olds (40 pounds). And Moms, this is the only car seat on the market that can do that.

Comfort and Convenience

In addition to safety, the car seat was also designed with baby’s comfort and Mom’s convenience in mind. To fit a growing baby, the base adjusts with 8 reclining positions so they get the most leg room possible. With the Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System, the harness and headrest are easily adjusted with one hand. An extendable footrest keeps seats safe from active little feet. It is compatible with all Graco® Click Connect™ strollers with a one-step secure attachment.

This car seat is sturdy but lightweight, safe but still easy to use. Moms, this is the comfortable car seat you’re going to want on your next road trip to visit Grandma. Purchase the Graco® SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 today online or in stores at Babies R Us. Available in two great fashions: Mena™ and Moonstruck™.

Pictured: Moonstruck™

Fast Facts

• Price:  $219.99 at Babies R Us
• Purchase:  Online and in stores at Babies R Us
• Colors:  Mena™ (for girls) and Moonstruck™ (for boys/unisex)
• Features: 4 to 40 pound weight limit, 8 reclining positions, Simply Safe Adjust™ harness system, Click Connect™ stroller attachment
• Learn more at GracoSafety.com

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Disclosure

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sub Zero

This is Sub Zero Ice Cream. They make it from scratch and freeze it with liquid nitrogen. It was worth ordering a cup of chocolate ice cream with crushed graham crackers just to see this sweet lady make it.

Jack Face and Tatum Dog

Lucas took these pictures of our dogs, Jack and Tatum. He printed them, framed them, and hung them in the corner of the kitchen where we keep their food and water dish. I’m telling you, without my husband there would be no pictures on the walls, light bulbs wouldn’t get replaced, and the garbage cans wouldn’t make it to the curb before trash pick-up. He’s pretty awesome like that.

Cartoon Hudson

My teenage nephew made this picture of Hudson wearing his signature Spongebob backpack and Converse shoes. Isn’t it awesome? Already he’s an entrepreneur, having successfully started his own clothing company a few years ago. This picture is getting framed and hung in my living room.

Bubbles

It is amazing how much joy a little water, dish soap, and plastic wand adds to childhood.