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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why bloggers have more than one blog

After 16 years as a writer and editor, which includes four years of blogging, I still don’t want to run more than one blog. I don’t mind contributing to other blogs or having other editing and writing projects, but having a successful blog takes a lot of work. Although I don’t think I’m a “top mom blogger,” I am happy with my measure of success and love those who read on a regular basis as well as those who follow on GFC, Twitter, Facebook (<—yup, I included my link if you wanna follow!) and all of the other social networking, bookmarking and media sites I try to keep up with.

image Having reached a certain measure of success (recognitions?) with this blog, It’s a woman’s world!, means that I’m offered opportunities  to write more and more paid posts. That’s great for me because although I started my blog to share my life and fuel my joy of writing, I also wanted it to supplement my income. You see, I was a work-at-home mom before I started this. I was a freelance writer who mainly wrote magazine articles and edit manuscripts. Right around the time everyone’s finances took a nosedive, I was on maternity leave. The few local magazines I wrote for went through some major changes: A couple cut their budgets and one went out of business altogether.

So where does that leave a freelance writer who still needs to make money? Oh, and to add to it, I was separated from my now ex-husband and eight months pregnant. I turned to the web to discover how to amp up my blog and make money writing web content. Being the single parent of four children I have to make sure I can be as focused and organized as possible – that means I can only manage one blog.

All of that has led me discover why some bloggers start another blog – or two – so that their main, most popular, one isn’t drowning in paid posts. I’m happy to have the opportunities that are presented to me and over the past week or so there have been several reviews (are you really not gonna comment just ‘cause I got a free product or book?), numerous paid posts and the like with only a splattering of my life. Since this is a woman’s world – that woman being me – I can make it whatever I want it to be, but I notice everyday lately for as many Twitter followers that I get at least one drops off. Is it because I haven’t managed to follow back or that a lot of my tweets are about the paid or sponsored posts that I write? I must insert that I’ve been so busy the past two months with the financial repercussions of my daughter’s auto accident and my health that my creative muse and fuel to talk about life in general has been dormant.

I want those who read my blog to read it because they genuinely like me. I think I’ve mentioned this before: The bloggers that I really like I read the majority of their posts – even the paid or sponsored ones – because I like them. Because I support them. And I’ll even comment sometimes. Yes, only if I have something to say that’s relevant, but I look for the chance to do that. I know, if they’re like me, that they’re only trying to supplement their income and they’re not taking advantage of me or wasting my time. I may not be interested in something they’re writing about, but that doesn’t make me stop following them.

I get a little sad when I see a follower has dropped off or there are a bunch of posts without comments and I wonder what I’m doing wrong. But I have to continue what I’m doing and try to do it to the best of my ability because it is apart of what puts food on the table, gas in my car and whatever else we need or want.

In other blogging worlds more than one blog is created to balance out the paid and sponsored posts from all the fun, everyday stuff, but in this world – this woman’s world – I have to do a little of both. And believe me, I don’t just throw stuff up all willy nilly and I hope that you’ll at least find the writing interesting enough to read it even if you don’t agree with the content.

So bloggers: Do you have more than one blog? What’s your opinion of the paid and sponsored posts among the everyday stuff? If you don’t like it at all then please share why (you’ll probably want to add why you don’t watch television commercials either! LOL).

Until next time…

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Professional makeup artists

When I worked as an assistant editor for a local magazine one of my responsibilities was organizing and coordinating the photo shoots. I had to book photographers and make-up artists, determine and/or suggest locations, submit contractors’ information and invoices and make sure everyone was in place on the big day.

It was actually a portion of the job I enjoyed the most especially since every avenue of creativity intrigues me. I love to observe photographers, the types of lenses they use, backdrops, lighting and compare that to the final product that was sometimes altered for creative reasons. It was equally as pleasurable to watch the makeup artists who manage to transform a subjects’ face into a masterful painting.

While observing these creative folks I had the opportunity to learn a lot about their businesses and experience. For instance, some of the makeup artists simply did photo shoots on the side, but worked out of salons or spas providing services for wedding parties, celebrities and the everyday client. There’s a makeup artist in Newport, RI, that I hear is pretty good and if you live in that area you should stop by the store – Cosmetic Cosmos – and check out their services.

After having seen so many fabulous makeovers, I would suggest everyone to pamper themselves at least once on a special occasion or just because. Have you ever had a make over?

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A little up, a little down, a lot round & round

I am pretty pleased with how this week has went – for the most part. I’ve been very productive with work (still catching up), with home duties (almost done finding a place for everything and processing paperwork) and mom stuff (spending time with my youngest and suffering helping with homework).

On the health side of things and how I feel physically it’s been up and down. Last week I spent a lot of time working from the bed because I had exhausted myself with rental car and van repair issues, school shopping and everything in between. The series of naps and resting gave me a little energy, which I was able to use throughout the weekend and this week. But last night I had a BIG setback that prompted me to take some meds that make me extremely sleepy. Well, those pills have not worn off and it’s been more than 13 hours and I’m so drowsy that I keep dozing off where I sit. Where I sit right now happens to be the floor so I just lay down and rest ‘til the feeling passes… and give into a little dozing here and there.

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That little face above is the one who keeps waking me up and who keeps me smiling.

Now if I can just make it through a work task without dozing off I can move through my work at a slow and steady pace. Otherwise it’ll be a long weekend of work and trying to fit in rest – or is that the other way around?!

How has your week been?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Take a trip down 175 Cherry Lane

One of the constant and universal things in life is music. Good tunes can cheer you up when you’re having a bad day, make you happy when you’re feeling sad, give you pep when you’re dragging your feet, and good music can also bring back long-lost memories – good or bad – to fuel your spirit and capture your heart.

You’ll find those long-lost memories in Rhinebeck Fever, a single on 175 Cherry Lane by KO. It’s a true story that KO tells where the characters are real, the first yoga class was experienced and where memories of the beautiful Rhinebeck and the people who live there. The Rhinebeck experience gave KO a good vibe and that feeling made its way to the album.

I know you wouldn’t dream of missing a song that can evoke such thought and feelings, so take a moment listen to Rhinebeck Fever and all of other classic songs from this “throwback” rock album on iTunes: 175 Cherry Lane by KO.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quality time with my baby

My youngest child has been going a little stir crazy since all of her siblings have went back to school. Her school doesn’t start until August 26th and now that she’s here a lone it seems like the days ‘til the first day are just dragging along ooooh soooo veerrrry sloooowly.

Being at work-at-home mom I don’t really have as much free time as I would like, but being that I AM an work-at-home mom who runs her own business I can set my own schedule and take time off if needed. I shouldn’t just take time off when I’m not feeling well or to take someone to a doctor’s appointment, I have to make time for special time with my children.

One of the challenges of being a mom to four is that my time is normally very thin and I often have all of the children around me at one time. With Anna, the baby, I have an opportune moment to bond with her without the distraction and noise of the others.

So yesterday when she asked me to go to the park today I caught myself from saying no and telling her that I had to work. I instead told her that if she acted appropriately we would go to a different park today. Even when I got up today I tried to postpone the park adventure saying that we’d come back home after dropping the kids off at school and then go later. A little voice in my head said, “You know if you come home you aren’t going to want to go out later.”

We dropped the kids off, went to Wal-Mart and then to the park and I am sure glad we did.Img_00137  Img_00138

We sat on the bench swing together… And she asked, “Who’s doing that?” (Making it move! LOL)

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She raced me from one point to the next… Only problem is she didn’t tell me we were racing!

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We were really impressed by the playground because it was just like a big tree house. It had all kinds of cool handholds and footholds…

Img_00144 See my little munchkin up there?

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Img_00147Watching her play (especially being able to swing alone), listening to her laughter, her constant chatter and questions, and observing her discover new sights and sounds made for a wonderfully pleasurable – and tiring! – morning. The most important part of that? Her laughter and the fact that mommy made her day.

And, truth be told, she made mine too!

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Walking on air {product review & offer}

No matter what we put our feet through they still support us. For women, we have squeezed into pointy-toe shoes, tittered on four-inch heels and beat them up by walking miles, exercising and standing on our feet. Whether we’re taking care of our family or doing something for ourselves, our feet are always busy. Even men put their feet through the ringer, some wear steel-toe boots, which I remember to be very uncomfortable from my stint in the military, and some are on their feet all day.

Since most of us don’t get the rest we need we have to take time to pamper our feet. That may involve getting a foot massage, propping your feet up for 20 to 30 minutes in the evening, wearing supportive shoes and using inserts. I recently had the chance to try Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insoles when the BzzCampaign came up on BzzAgent.com.

I was pretty excited about this one and signed up as soon as I heard about it. Not only do my feet hurt from regular “wear and tear,” but I have chronic pain throughout my body and sometimes the pressure on my feet is really bad. At first I tried them in a pair of flat, casual shoes I slip my feet into, but even with them cut down to size (which was extremely easy to do) they made my shoes a bit too tight. So, I put them into my exercise shoes – the ones with the curvy bottom to help your bottom! – and I absolutely loved them!

The gel of the insoles supported my foot and absorbed the shock of walking by using their new dual-wave design (TM) soft blue gel cushions. It honestly felt like I was walking on a pillow top mattress or that cushioned, blue floor mat that gymnastics’ center have covering the floor. The insoles are available in men’s sizes 8 to 13 and women’s sizes 6 to 10.

I’m definitely going to try the other massaging gel products including the Dr. Scholl’s Heel Pain Relief Orthotics. There are about seven varieties of the gel products. To find out about all of them, you can visit DrScholls.com.

By the way! I have quite a few $5 coupons left to share. If you send your mailing address to petulawrites@comcast.net with gel insoles in the subject line, I’ll be happy to mail one or two your way.

Disclosure: I received coupons from BzzAgent.com, of which I am a member, to share with friends and family. I also received one pair of Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insoles to try for myself for the purpose of sharing information about them with others through word-of-mouth, blogging and/or social media. The opinions expressed here are my own and are in no way influenced by BzzAgent or Dr. Scholl’s. Submitting my post to BzzAgent.com will earn MyPoints. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.

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Professional makeup & spa services

For a lot of women doing something special for themselves on certain occasions is something they look forward to. For instance, I’m my 40th birthday, a few years ago, I wanted to go to the spa and for my daughter’s 20th birthday this year we went to the spa again. We’ve since decided we want to go more often and on just about every special occasion including everyone’s birthday (we’ll celebrate for them!), any time we decide it’s a go-to-the-spa holiday and, for sure, the day before her wedding. Uh… which I hope is at least 10 years from  now.

Brides-to-be everywhere decide on spa services as well, but those who live in the Newport, RI area have the pleasure of visiting Cosmetic Cosmos where they can receive relaxing spa services along with the skill of a professional makeup artist to enhance their beauty for the big day. Most brides agree they want to look extra special when they walk down the aisle.

Join other brides and their bridal parties for makeup artist, Newport, RI, to put your best face forward on that special day. If you’ve visited a spa and experienced a professional makeover or the services of a makeup artist, leave a comment and tell me what you liked most about it? Anyone live in Newport, RI? Tell me if you’ve been to Cosmetic Cosmos.

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Playing catch up!

I have no idea where the time is going or exactly how it got away from me. Well, that’s not true. My most recent life upheaval was when my daughter was in a car accident, which wasn’t her fault,  while driving my van. She’s fine, but the domino effect that accident  had on our finances, time, health, education, work, etc., has been tiring – to say the least.

RJ & Amber going down isle That, my friends, is why you haven’t seen me around as much as you should. I haven’t had a chance to tell you about the musical car game I played, which I’ll have to share in another post. To give you an idea: I was without my van for about seven weeks and had about 5 different rental cars. Why do I say “about?” Because I really can’t remember.

100_0998 My two middle children started school last Monday, which I did get a chance to tell you about, and Amber started yesterday. That leaves me at home with Anna until her school starts on August 26th. Needless to say I didn’t realize how much her siblings keep her occupied until they’re not around. Anna is a little ball of movement and energy that doesn’t sit still for more than a minute. Even when you can get her in a seat she only remains still for about 30 seconds before she’s turning, sliding, spinning… Oh my goodness, and the talking! When did she start talking so much? I guess I’m so used to tuning her and the others out that I hadn’t realized it, but she talks non-stop. About everything.100_0999

100_3085One of the worse parts about her being home – besides my lose of sanity – is the fact that she’s getting even more attached to me and is getting extremely, embarrassingly spoiled. It was worse before the kids went back to school now I’m hoping for a magical anti-spoiling pill. What makes it even worse is that I’m the “mean mommy;” I don’t give in easily, I’m consistent and all the things I was when I first became a parent 20 years ago. For some reason, however, that little girl still manages to get away with something or get around something. Even her fake crying sometimes gets a reaction.

She’s just so adorable… All the more reason for time to pass quickly and get her outta here.

PetAmber04Then there was the week I wasn’t feeling well. Everyone who reads fairly regularly knows about my health challenges, but that’s a link to catch you up or refresh your memory. As you know I experience pain daily and too much exertion, lack of sleep and inconsistent days along with stress exasperates my conditions. All of that built up and landed me in the bed for about a week. I was up and about briefly, but as soon as I returned home I would climb into my bed, try to work and end up falling asleep.

This time, instead of fighting my body, I gave into it. I realize that if I don’t care for myself the way I’m supposed to I can get a lot sicker and I don’t have the time or resources for that. Now if I can just keep up with my night-time schedule then all will be right with the world.

Until next time, I hope you’ll come back and read some of the sponsored and paid posts as well along with browsing old posts to get to know me better. Oh, and while I’m on the subject of paid posts and review: 95 percent of what I write is because I am interested in it and/or I think you’ll be interested in it. It’s not just the money, but a writer has to make a living, right?

Just nod in agreement and leave a nice comment. :-) … LOL

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  1. Amber is about 11 years old there. So sweet… and she still is.
  2. Amareah & Andre are still that cute together. It’s always so sweet to see him hugging on his sisters. Today he sat down next to Anna to watch television and said, “I like hanging out with my baby sister.” Soooo adorable!
  3. Amareah & Andre are only 15 months apart in age.
  4. That’s Anna in a highchair. Probably almost 1 in 2008.
  5. Amber and I in 1996 or ‘97.
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