Karen Ballum

Hi, I'm Karen Ballum. I'm a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. You might know me as Sassymonkey.

I live in Ottawa, Ontario -- Canada's national capital. Keeping me company are my husband and cat, commonly known on the internet as the Fake Husband and the Fake Cat. Last I checked they were both still very real to most people but according to Denise, it's not real unless she can see it. (She's met the fake husband and has seen pictures of the cat but once fake is always fake in her books.)

I have been blogging about life (and food, I like food) since 2004 on my personal blog, Sassymonkey.ca, and started my book blog, Sassymonkey Reads, in August of 2005. I don't read quite as many books as I used to but I still love hearing about the books you love.

While I spent a LOT of time here on BlogHer.com you can also find on Twitter. If you want to judge for yourself whether or not my cat is fake, she features prominently in my Instagram stream. (But you never know, I could be using a stunt cat.)

I also have a slight addition to the overuse of parentheses. (Oops?)

5 Things I Learned Training for a 5K

I spent the last few months training for a 5k run. I've run close to half a dozen of them in recent years but I've never actually trained for one before. I'm not saying that I'd just pop out of bed on race day and go run but calling what I did real training was a bit of a stretch. I'd run once or twice a week but really only if I was in the mood for it and I didn't run very far. This spring I decided I wanted to give this whole training thing a proper shot....more
Rita Arens I am so unathletic it makes it pretty easy to not feel competitive. It does get ...more
: The fake cat is totally WACKY today. OMG.
: The fake cat is totally WACKY today. OMG.

5 Things I Learned Training for a 5K

I spent the last few months training for a 5k run. I've run close to half a dozen of them in recent years but I've never actually trained for one before. I'm not saying that I'd just pop out of bed on race day and go run but calling what I did real training was a bit of a stretch. I'd run once or twice a week but really only if I was in the mood for it and I didn't run very far. This spring I decided I wanted to give this whole training thing a proper shot....more
SeraFiana It helped! It really did. I felt a lot more confidence on the course than I usually do.more

5 Things I Learned Training for a 5K

I spent the last few months training for a 5k run. I've run close to half a dozen of them in recent years but I've never actually trained for one before. I'm not saying that I'd just pop out of bed on race day and go run but calling what I did real training was a bit of a stretch. I'd run once or twice a week but really only if I was in the mood for it and I didn't run very far. This spring I decided I wanted to give this whole training thing a proper shot....more
Laurend1985 I will never win a race and I'm a-okay with that. I'd like to more more to the front ...more

5 Things I Learned Training for a 5K

I spent the last few months training for a 5k run. I've run close to half a dozen of them in recent years but I've never actually trained for one before. I'm not saying that I'd just pop out of bed on race day and go run but calling what I did real training was a bit of a stretch. I'd run once or twice a week but really only if I was in the mood for it and I didn't run very far. This spring I decided I wanted to give this whole training thing a proper shot....more
beyondelsewhere I have more success some weeks than others. I actually find it hardest to get ...more
: I accidentally posted a blog that i was not finish typing twice. I need to delete them PLEASE HELP! @Denise
: Goals for today. 1-Run. 2-Finish post #1. 3-Start post #2. 4-Spreadsheets 5-More post #2. 6-Remember to eat lunch.

4 Tips on How To Get the Most out of BlogHer '14

I’ve written about BlogHer before—many times, actually. This year will mark my 3rd BlogHer conference in a row… so I feel like I pretty much have a good grasp on it by now. ...more
JoulesDellinger yesnofilms Katie also gives awesome tackle hugs.more

What's In a (Starbucks) Name?

Amoeba. Armenia. Ambibia. Ar-na-by...what's your name, baby? It's rare for someone to say my name correctly on the first try. It happens, but it's rare. I've been called all of those above and a few others that make less sense. And by less sense I mean less sense of a seemingly normal person who thought Amoeba could be correct. ...more
You would think Karen wouldn't be hard but I get Carrie, Erin and, if I'm in Quebec, Karine.more