Dear Other Mother at the Grocery Store

This post has been on my heart for a few weeks now. The woman ahead of us in the checkout lane at the store looked overwhelmed…and was doing her best. But I could tell she was struggling. So, here is my letter to her, and every other parent who feels the same way.

Dear Frazzled MamaDear Frazzled Mother at the Grocery Store,

You were ahead of us in line, with a cart full of groceries. You had a little one in the seat of your cart, and another Big Kid standing near the cart as patiently as a 5-year-old can. It was supper time and I could tell your kids were at that “hungry and crabby and need to get out of public NOW!” stage. I could see that you were struggling and trying your best to keep your cool, despite the little one’s fussing and thrashing, and the growing impatience of your big kid.

I could also see the careful, analyzing eye that you kept on the food on the conveyor belt and on your rising total. You were figuring out how much the bill was going to be. You were calculating how much you had left on your EBT card and how much you were going to have to pay out-of-pocket, and what you were going to have to put back. Hoping you had enough to cover all of what you needed.

I’ve been there. I’ve stood at the checkout line keeping track of my WIC items, fumbling with the vouchers and balancing my wallet on my humongous pregnant belly. I’ve also seen the dirty looks from people behind us in line, shuffling their feet and clearing their throats in annoyance at being inconvenienced by waiting for us. I’ve felt the burning stares at the back of my head and have heard the mumbles.

I’ve also been in your shoes, with bored and tired kiddos rapidly approaching the meltdown stage. I’ve felt overwhelmed with stuff to do, places to go, kids to care for, fights to break up, and a life to live.

And I heard the ignorant young cashier say as you walked away, “Somebody needs to control their kids…” Hear me, Mama: I came to your defense. Whether you heard it or not.  We mamas must support each other, not judge.

Hold your head high, Mama. You’re doing your best.

Deep breaths, Mama. Those who judge you do not know your whole story.

Live your life, Mama. Hug those kiddos tight and love them like only you can.

You’re doing okay, Mama. You got this.

Edible Peanut Butter Playdough Recipe

 pb playdough

The much-anticipated post is finally here! I’ve been asked before to share our recipe for Peanut Butter Playdough, and I’m going to share it with you today!

We got the original recipe from a friend and made it our own. That’s the fun part of cooking and crafting, right?🙂

What you’ll need: 

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 cups powdered sugar

Grab a big bowl and put in the peanut butter, honey, and then the powdered sugar. Let the kids dig in there and knead all the ingredients together until the powdered sugar is mixed in. Then divide it up and let them play! (Don’t forget to snag a little for yourself!)

My kids’ favorite part is using their play dishes, and making “food” out of the play dough. I give them chocolate chips and they make little peanut butter pizzas!

There you have it, folks! Have fun!

Kim xoxo

May is National Cancer Research Month

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that May is National Cancer Research Month? Me either, until the lovely Heather Von St. James contacted me. She has humbly asked me to share her story.

This amazing woman was diagnosed with mesothelioma at age 36 and given 15 months to live. She beat the odds, and has now made it her mission in life to raise awareness about this rare, preventable disease. This very aggressive type of cancer has no cure, and that the amount of research being done for it is ridiculously lacking. The only known cause for meso is being exposed to asbestos – which is far from being banned.

Heather and I invite you to check out the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance to learn more about meso, and you may read her personal blog here. Please share her story, so that her voice may be heard.

Thank you, friends.
xoxo

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20 Tips for Shareable Blog Content

Jeff Bullas, Social Media Marketing Blogger, Strategist and Speaker presented for the Social Media Success Summit 2013 today, and gave fantastic blogging advice! A giant takeaway was his list of tips for shareable content, which gets your blog attention and keeps the cycle of sharing going!

Here are Jeff’s 20 Tips for Shareable Content:

  1. Lists
  2. Negatives
  3. Infographics
  4. Curated content
  5. How-to’s
  6. Breaking news
  7. Research
  8. Case studies
  9. Evergreen content
  10. Images
  11. Videos
  12. SlideShare presentations
  13. Top 10 lists
  14. Product reviews
  15. Problems
  16. Stats and facts
  17. Inspirational quotes
  18. Podcasting
  19. Ebooks
  20. Transcripts

What’s your favorite kind of content to write? What do you find yourself sharing the most?

The Social Media Success Summit

This month I have the pleasure of being able to attend the Social Media Success Summit 2013 put on by the Social Media Examiner throughout October on behalf of my client, Vuact.com. I plan to share the takeaways with you here on my blog, so hold on tight- there’s a lot of fantastic information! What’s so great about this event is that it’s all recorded and online! You can listen to the sessions live, or go back and listen to them when you have time!

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The first session I attended was led by Jay Baer, who spoke about why and how we need to rethink our social media marketing. For this session, I used Haiku Deck which was a really neat way to display what I learned. You can check out that deck here

My biggest takeaway from that session (mentioned in my Deck) was to do less with social media, but do more with the social media you are doing. Simply put, don’t try to do it all. Don’t spread yourself too thin, thinking that you need to join ALL of the social networks, risking doing some of them in a half-cocked fashion. Pick two or three and do them really well. 

I plan to share the takeaways from each of the sessions right here on my blog, in hopes that it will help some of you! Please let me know what you think!

Are you attending the Social Media Success Summit? If so, what is your most actionable takeaway so far?

My Mother’s Hands

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The other day my mom and I were sitting on the bench at the park while the kids played on the playground. She said something about “these old hands” as she struggled to open a water bottle. Her hands have age spots and wrinkles, and show the characteristic bend and twist of arthritis. She calls her pointer finger her “witch’s finger,” going along with an old joke about her infamous exasperated finger-point at countless students over the years who pushed her buttons and tested boundaries.

As I looked at her hands, I realized once again that she sees her hands differently than I do.

So I told her…

Her hands have held, carried, and fed 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Her hands have rocked, comforted, and protected. She has cleaned faces, wiped noses, brushed hair, prepared food, wiped tears, bandaged owies, played games. In her decades of teaching elementary and middle school children, they have guided, encouraged, and instructed.

These actions, while they may seem insignificant on their own, have given her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, little friends and hundreds of students the gift of her touch in their lives.

Those “old hands” are a blessing.

How NOT To Suck At Facebook

There are so very many ways to suck at Facebook. I encounter it daily, reading others’ pages and statuses, and seeing the moronic things that get posted via group/fan pages. People post way too often, share information that is way too private (or TMI), and generally talk out of their behinds.

I get it, I really do. The internet gives everyone a VOICE. It gives us a way to tell the world about ourselves, our lives, our cat, and our obsession with Ryan Gosling. How cool is that?! An audience, seemingly captivated by me, and hanging on my every word! My god, I should have a blog so that I can share every detail about myself with the world, and force them to read my drivel. *ahem*

And have you come across TROLLS? Holy cow, trolls are especially vicious creatures who hang out looking for a fight, and then proceed to try to make someone look like a jackass, but instead, end up making complete jackasses of themselves.

golum internet troll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People can be assholes. Seriously.

So, here is my list of ways NOT to suck at Facebook, because let’s face it, there needs to be a how-to on this kind of thing.

  • Drunken bars pictures on your Facebook (FB) wall are simply a bad idea. It’s lame, and always a potentially detrimental career move. Think about it. If you don’t want your boss to see it, or catch wind of it, DON’T POST IT ON FACEBOOK. Duh.
  • Don’t post pictures of you potty training your kid. If you want to mention you’re doing it, or want advice, fine. But we don’t need to see a picture of your kid sitting on the toilet. As cute as you might think it is, there’s no need to put that on FB. And not to mention, it could be dangerous…remember pedophiles?
  • No Vaguebooking. We’ve all seen it. Vaguebookers post a status like, “BIG NEWS!” or “In the hospital…” and not explain themselves, thus making us have to ask what’s going on. It’s annoying.
  • Don’t be a troll. (See above.) If you are going to complain about content on someone’s status, get a life. You DO have the ability to NOT read their stuff, you know. And if you are so inclined, you can block and/or unfriend them.
  • On a related note, if you don’t agree with the content on someone’s fan page that you voluntarily “like,” don’t just sit there trolling, complaining, and generally making an ass of yourself. If you don’t like the content, don’t report the content as offensive…UNLIKE the page and don’t let the door hit you on the way out the door. Duh.
  • Have a political opinion? Awesome. Have a religious opinion? Awesome. But pretty please don’t cram it down your FB friends’ throats by clogging up their news feeds with irrational rants.
  • Only posting pictures of your show dog, Mr. Muggles, and nothing else is LAME.
  • Do not make a FB profile for your pet. It’s weird.
  • Regarding kid pictures: only posting pictures of your little darlings, and nothing else, can be overwhelming to FB friends; moderation is key. (I’m guilty of this one sometimes, actually, so that is why I have tried to be kind about it.) Another thing to consider is that you may have FB friends who have lost a child or who are desperately trying to conceive a baby. Slap in the face, much?
  • Oh, you have a blog? AWESOME! Pretty please keep your posts on your personal FB about your blog to occasional links or photos. If you want to share more than that: multiple links to your blog, giveaways, contests, etc., you can start a fan page for your blog; that is the perfect spot for that.
  • If you do have a FB fan page for your blog or business, let me give you a teensy bit of advice: don’t worry about your stats, “likes,” or insights. If they start to fall, it can be discouraging and frustrating, and you are better off focusing on content, not numbers.
  • Keep FB game requests to people who you know actually play the game. Some FB games automatically post invites for you, but you can fix this by changing your settings.
  • Keep the Grammar Nerd Police in mind. Pay attention to spelling and grammar, or risk looking silly. (Related: if you notice that someone did happen to make a mistake in grammar or spelling, don’t point it out like a jerk.)
  • Don’t air your dirty laundry on FB. Fights with your significant other, your sex life, or complaints about your job are personalDon’t make it awkward for your friends.
  • If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see your status or photo (read: the content is embarrassing or inappropriate), don’t post it.

What would YOU add to this list?