Break the Blogging Rules

It showed up as a meme on various blogs: writing advice by Elmore Leonard. Writing advice tends to pop up on blogs, the artistic medium of choice for those who like to play with words. I am drawn to these lists like spiders seeking warm rooms in winter.  Who knows when someone will discover the magic key that unlocks novels, or figure out a way to make a positive post (that does not contain baby animals) go viral every single time?  But so far, I've left every single list of Blogging Dos and Don't or Ten Best Writing Tips with the same thought: Break the rules. ...more
Hi Melissa, your blog came like manna from heaven.. I started to blog in 2008, merely for the ...more

You Are the Pinterest Perfect Real Mom

You are that mother. You, right now, the mother wearing the shirt with stains on the shoulders, and your hair swept back, with the toddler on your hip in their pajamas and the preschooler watching Disney Jr. You, that mom, are the Pinterest perfect real mom. You, the mother sitting at home while your 16-year-old drives away, and the middle schooler works on homework, and you trying to balance a schedule that is much too full as you remember those days when they were little and loved Little People. You -- the tired, overwhelmed, joyful, nervous, worn-out, thankful, get-out-of-bed everyday mother. You go on the Real Board....more
thank for this post. I am a pinterest mom!!! but thats because it has saved me so much when it ...more

My Parenting Pet Peeve: "If You Do That One More Time..."

I took the kids to the pool last night, and while they enjoyed the pool fun, I sat on the sidelines with a book and relaxed. I quickly found that the book was a decoy for the people watching that was about to go down. There was only one family at the pool with us, but between trying to figure out the dynamics of the family and just simply watching their curious ways, an hour had quickly gone by, and I had enough ammo data for today's post. This family preyed on the biggest pet peeve I have of parenting -- the biggest....more
 @ChristyNobleKerling Haha... yeah, my Dad did this... 3 1/2... 3 3/4... 3 7/8... I learned that ...more

Why It's Good to Ignore Your Kids

Sometimes I ignore my kids. Perhaps ignore is a strong word. It has a negative, slimy feeling to it that doesn't quite express what I'm talking about. Maybe I should use a euphemism here. How does encouraging independent play sound? Good? Okay then I'll carry on....more
My little boy says the same thing!  But when he's left alone to work and concentrate he is ...more

Raw Menopausal Truths and the Indignities of Getting Old

To be “raw” is to be pure and honest; it is to tell it like it is, unadulterated. However the fear of offending the listener, in this case the reader, is a problem; but to tell it other than the unvarnished truth is nothing more than sugar-coating. What to do, what to do? After taking a few brief moments to think this through, I’m sorry, but the menopausal Wailing Banshee in me must be allowed to vent, to rant, to tell the truth and nothing but the raw truth. So to the “sensitive” among you; sorry, you’ve been warned?!...more
Hi- just found your blog.  I started this journey somewhere between age 39 and 40- my husband ...more

What to Do When Your Blog is Removed

I knew that my blog was important to me. I knew that it was responsible for finding good friends, connecting with others in the Adoption/Loss/Infertility community and really coming to terms with my own experience with infertility and loss. Yesterday I realized my blog is almost a physical part of me. And when it was taken away, I ached. I was numb. I was in shock. I couldn’t sleep. ...more
I have my own domain so the only terms of service I can violate are my own. At one time, I had ...more

I Made My Blog Pretty So Visit It

We read plenty of posts telling us that if our layout is a mess, people will not visit our blogs. But with the popularity of feed readers, does anyone really visit the actual space anymore? Everyone who reads my posts in Google Reader misses out on the lovely additions I've made to my sidebar. I don't dress up during the day because no one sees me (one of the perks of working out of your house), but I definitely take the time to shower and throw on a dress when we're going to a party. Yet blog design is starting to feel as if your blog has shaved her legs and slapped on a little make-up just to sit at home alone. If no one is seeing her anyway, why bother dressing up? ...more
I am currently in the midst of a redesign- my 3rd look in 3+ years- and it's like a new lease on ...more

10 Tips to Get Your Creative Mojo On!

[Editor's note: Swelldesigner's tips. They're awesome. My favorite is #10. No, wait, #5. My favorite for photography is definitely #1, which I am constantly reminding myself to do. -- Julie] I would consider myself a creative person, but I wholeheartedly will admit that sometimes it is hard to keep your energy up. Seems like there's work, family, and other stresses that can sometimes break our creative spirit. Here's a few tips fog getting your mojo back and letting that creative juice flow!...more
Really helpful tips! My creative mojo has suffered a lot lately, and I really need a jumpstart.  ...more