Listening and Successful Blogging Tips

Just in from the TypeAMom Conference, I have a few tips to share about Blogging and your own Voice. This was in my inbox this morning and I wanted to share. It's by ProBlogger's Darren Rowse . Over a year ago, I began with his daily email and wisdom. It is so worth it. Check him out. Here's today's topic.

ProBlogger: Listening - Principles of Successful Blogging #1

"Last week I shared a set of slides from a presentation I recently gave which outlines a variety of lessons that I’ve learned as a blogger over the last 7 years. Over the coming months I intend to expand upon many of the points in that presentation - starting today with ‘Listening’.

When I began blogging in 2002 I made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of false assumptions about blogging. One of the things I quickly found out didn’t work when trying to grow a blog was to use it purely as a broadcast tool.

In the first few weeks of blogging it was almost as though I was using the blog as a platform or a stage where I stood with a megaphone in hand blasting out my message for anyone who might happen to be passing by to hear. It’s no wonder that only my wife read my blog that first week (and even she never really came back).

Nobody likes a loud mouth. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of someone talking AT them.

The people we tend to be drawn to in real life are people who pause in conversation to let you have a say, people who ask questions about you, people who have a genuine interest in what you’ve got to say.

The same is true (in most cases) when it comes to blogging...." Read more here.

Also, you can check out the very informative Blogging Basics 101. It's a great resource.

For more Tips on the "Type A Mom Conference!" you can check it out at Robin @ Pensieve! There are lots of articles there. And go to "Works For Me Wednesday" for more Tips on life in general.

Please post any questions you have about blogging, the Type A Mom Conference Notes, etc. We'll discuss further.


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Be Still

"Misfortunes come not alone but in batallions." William Shakespeare

P.S. Last day to enter to Win "Disney on Ice" Tickets for Charlotte, NC Show... Enter here.


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Notes From TypeAMom Conference

The TypeAMom Conference in Asheville, North Carolina was awesome! It was such a great experience to travel with Molly from! She is a dynamic organizer extraordinaire! If you have any questions or need more help with all things Moms and Organization, check her site out. Well, check her out anyway. You'll be glad. And if you have September's Better Homes & Garden, you'll see Molly there!

Then we had a treat by our very own Boone, North Carolina's Sarah of Real Life entertained us with her guitar! Isn't she great!

Here are some of the powerhouses on one of the speaking panels. Velveteen Mind, Alli Worthington, Kelby Carr, creator of TypeAMom, and other friends.

Lastly, check out Dr. Mommy! She is techy for sure. Here she is with one of her five children checking in. Daisy is a delightful lady and one I respect. It was so fun to visit with her.

And Dr. Mommy and Military Mom rallying over who gets to get Molly connected up on Tweet Deck for her iPhone. They are hilarious! We had fun at dinner at the Table in Asheville with our Thursday night group. And again here and there.

Thank you again to my awesome sponsors for sending me to the Conference - Ocean Isle Inn, Lands' End, Fiber One Yogurt and MomSelectTeam! These companies are stellar to work with anytime.

This was my first mommyblogger conference. It was a great experience. I loved meeting powerhouse PR folk, and powerhouse mommybloggers all in one room. Expect to hear more about the conference topics and panels, etc. We covered a lot of ground in the time we had. I am still processing and also jumping back in full-on to family life, school, etc. here at Carolina Mama.

Have you attended one of the mommyblogger conferences? Plan to? If you would like more information about TypeAMom Conference and pictures, vlogs etc. go to Pensieve Robin to see more!


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Awesome Asheville

Hello Awesome Asheville, North Carolina! And Awesome Friends! The TypeAMom Conference for MommyBloggers has been so inspiring and exciting! It is beautiful here. We're had some drizzling mountain weather to bring on a little "cool" front.

Last night we had an intimate dinner - as intimate as 14 mamas can be!

Table Restaurant, Asheville, NC

Here is what our table looked like. Quaint, simple and adorable all at once. The pottery was hand-made by a local artisan.

The food was excellent. The Truffled Egg will not be forgotten. The North Carolina Trout was loved by all.

My corner of the table - with MomTalkRadio Maria Bailey! Thank you Maria for an outstanding dinner and night for the Mom Select Team and Friends!

The incredible Velveteen Mind and Alli Worthington brainstorming on the "Front Porch" as we say in the South.

Some of the best,, and MyGOMOM were a real delight!

Know that mommyblogging has some very inspirational and wonderful mamas.


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Hooked On MommyBlogging Conference

This Friday, I am Hooked on Type A Mom Conference! We're here in Asheville, North Carolina talking all things MommyBlogging, PR, Social Media, and such. Right now, I am sitting in Video Blogging and Vlogging by Sugar Jones. Janice Croze and Trisha Haas. It's awesome!

We have had a blast with Maria of Mom Talk Radio and Mom Select! . She is our expert and here she doubles her phone time with her text time. Twitter time! Follow Maria @ .

Maria Bailey

We're having fun connecting...

Email or DM me on Twitter if you are interested in your 15% off at the lovely, North Carolina Inn Ocean Isle Inn. And if you are looking for your Free FiberOne Yogurt Coupon!! .

That's a wrap, this Vlogging session is over and we're off to Little Debbie Snacks/Break Time another great session and then we're off to our Speaker Dinner with Maria Bailey! See above. We're Hooked on MommyBlogging Conference!! That's right! What are you hooked on?!


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PR and Type A Mom Conference

We've made it to beautiful Asheville, North Carolina! Is there anything better than the North Carolina mountains in the Fall! Oh, yes, North Carolina Mountains @ Type A Mom Conference!

My friend and travel companion to the Conference Molly of MyGoMom Inc. on our requisite Starbucks stop on the way up.

This is an awesome time with the mom blogging community, great PR companies and connecting. Stay tuned and Hello to the best Sponsors in the World: Lands' End, Ocean Isle Inn, Mom Select, and Fiber One Yogurt! You're the best.

Let me know if you have any questions about this MommyBlogger Conference. I'll fill you in. For now, rest must come. Hope you are well.


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Grocery Bill Savings Tips

This "couponing" thing can be really fun and rewarding.

Of course, it can be nerve-wracking too. And it always seems just when I am on a roll with my list, coupons, BOGOs, all the bargains... there is Mr. or Ms. CEO right behind me in line. They are there with their "just got the call from home bring" Milk, a bottle of wine and a token bottle of Pasta Sauce.

At least the dude last night, was all like "Don't worry about me, I always pick the long line anyway!" Made me laugh.

Here is a picture I took to show you my savings. :) Some of these things were not on sale. Some were 'just' on sale like the Traditional Hunts's pasta sauce which is a go-to here - whether we are jazzing it up or going for a simple sauce with veggies mixed in - this one is a keeper. A few items were just need them - like my son and I crave and love Claussen's PIckles (and they rarely go on sale. How about a coupon Claussen's? :) . So even with that here is the run down of expense rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Total Bill: $158
Total Spent: $ 42

Believe me as a Homeschool Mom, it is fun to have some of these quick and somewhat healthy snacks for the boys to have quickly during our school day. Shout out Chex Mix, Chex Mix Bars, Fiber One Bars ! and Trail Mix! Even the Toaster Strudel is a fun quick breakfast on a cool Fall morning.

Woot! Woot! We were very pleased. How does she do it? Simply clip coupons from your Sunday paper. Gather the weekly flyer and match up sales. Purchase BOGOs (Buy One, Get One Free)) Shop "Triples" - triple coupons like we do at Harris Teeter. And check out a real expert Jen @ Beauty and Bedlam. :)

Do you Coupon? :) Do you think we're crazy? Are you attempting to demystify this whole saving greatly on groceries concept:?
I've done all of these stages and I like this one best. I invest some time and get a huge return on items we purchase regularly anyway. Money to be saved! Those are my Tips on Grocery Bill Savings that really add up. What's your Tip? And to find more, join us at "Works For Me Wednesday!"


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Happy Fall Recipe & Giveaway

Happy Fall! We love the seasons and always enjoy another 'reason' to celebrate! We made this recipe and I wanted to share it because I love the simplicity. My children love it too. Actually, we all love these. The boys discovered these in Vacation Bible School where the theme was Ocean related and these were the "Sea Snacks" or "Shark Snacks" something to that effect.

I found this recipe on Flickr to share rather than reinvent the wheel. The only thing I will say is have fun with it, mix it up - literally - with your own favorite seasonings.

We baked ours @325 for 15 mins.

We used the Ranch version with a third of the oil and used olive oil for healthy sake. And I drizzled the oil around the rim of my bowl to better mix. That way you do not have a few crackers with all the oil or end up using too much. This is likely how I got away with using less oil. Less calories, points. You get the idea.

Hope you like this fun snack. You truly get your salt fix with them. Next up, we're trying them with our Tony Chachare's Seasonings for the Cajun flare and with Cheese Seasoning for a Cheddar Cheese Snack. What would you try?! :)

This is part of the Tasty Tuesday Swap with Jen. Let me know if you add a recipe or if you have a good version of this one.

BONUS: Enter to win the Disney on Ice Tickets!! How awesome is that - go here and good luck!


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Phantom of the Opera - Durham Performing Arts Center

We had an awesome and blessed 11th Anniversary Weekend! As you saw, it included Swan Lake.

Just call us Beaux Art - ode to busy arts and social times. It's an artsy time here in the Carolinas. After all, the new Fall Season has just premiered and with tickets just went on sale for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! at the Durham Performing Arts Center.


Take advantage of this opportunity to see a classic and support the DPAC. I have several "Phantom" memories, the favored one being while dating Mountain Man, and we saw "Phantom" at the Dinner Theatre. That was awesome so I have special place in my heart for Phantom. Thanks to my parents and their love and support of the arts. Our love of music runs deep.

***Bonus Giveaway ReLink :) Enter to Win Disney on Ice Tickets Here!

What are your "arts" plans for Fall? It's a busy sports season, so let me know if you are broadening your horizons and that of your children? We usually do and are happy to include the Durham Performing Arts Center this Fall.


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Sunday Scripture - "Here I Am... "

"I will put my trust in Him... Here am I, and the children God has given me." Hebrew 2:13

Love this verse! The Lord gave this to me a couple of weeks ago, and I love it and wanted to pass it on. We were immensely blessed on our Anniversary!

The children are truly treasures. We had an awesome day together. They were so precious and thoughtful.

We assured them that they are a true example of the verse about being "blessed beyond measure, more than we asked or imagined!" That eleven years ago on that secluded and heavenly Honeymoon, we never dreamed the gifts that God would grant us in these twin sons. How quiet it was in those early days.

Today, I am still laughing at the 'fireworks' going off in our bedroom this morning - the Tigers had gotten their Toys RUs toys guns and loaded them us. They were shooting off 'fireworks' saying, "Happy Anniversary!" It's a moment and Anniversary I will always treasure.

We heard from heaven.

Have a blessed Sunday! This is my "Not Me Monday!" post because "No, Not Me!" I did not go back to my regularly scheduled sleeping in on Saturday morning, even after the lovely "Fireworks!" sounded off. Again, I am so blessed.


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Carolina Ballet Dedicates Swan Lake To Elena Shapiro

Many are aware of the tragedy that took the life of Elena Shapiro a Carolina Ballet Dancer last week. On opening night of Swan Lake, the Carolina Ballet dedicated the Swan Lake performances to Elena and her family.

Elena Shapiro

There are so many really great things going on in the Art community here in North Carolina! This season at Carolina Ballet presents Swan Lake! Opening night was this past Thursday. We are fortunate to have such an excellent ballet company in this area.

Swan Lake Carolina Ballet

If you can reach out to the Carolina Ballet in any way during this time especially these Swan Lake performances, the dancers would surely appreciate the support. If you can get your tickets and enjoy this amazing performance.

Are you a fan of the Arts? Fortunately, Mountain Man and I both have had a strong upbringing in music and arts. We're looking forward to taking The TIgers to this complete performance of Swan Lake in celebration of our 11th Anniversary!


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Carolina Mama And A Mom Conference

Blessings abound. I'm happy to announce I'll be attending the Type A Mom Conference here in Asheville, North Carolina. I am looking forward to seeing lots of amazing bloggers, writers, speakers and friends. Also, I am looking forward to meeting many contacts I have through Carolina Mama - live and up close and personal - and getting to listen, learn and share ideas about all of the things we mommybloggers do each day!

It is a real privilege to represent these amazing Sponsors who are sending me to Type A Mom Conference.

1) Ocean Isle Inn: One of North Carolina's own, Ocean Isle Inn is one of my sponsors and I will happily be spreading the word about this amazing Oceanfront Inn that is ideal for families or couples just getting away from it all. It is truly top notch. Look for me I'll have special offers that are unbelievable from Ocean Isle Inn and a prestigious Spa... Stay tuned. Thanks Lee and Friends!

2) Lands' End : Lands' End has been a constant in my life. Whether it's the consistent great outfit, quality or a new favorite sweater like the new "Feel Good Sweaters" of BlogHer and the Campaign, or being one of my first Sponsors, I am thrilled to take it to Asheville with my friends from Dodgeville, Wisconsin in mind. Lands' End is a mighty company and I value our working relationship and their trust in Carolina Mama. Thank You Lands' End.

3) The Mom Select Team: Blogging really came to life for me in a personal way this Spring when I met Maria Bailey of MomTalk Radio, MomSelect and MomTV. Not only a Mom and Author, aside from her Professional side, she's a "Mom's Friend!" Each of us Moms on the MomSelectTeam are thankful for the camaraderie we have with Maria. Though she's traveling the country with business, she's settling down on Twitter to talk and keep up with the Moms. Thanks Maria and MomSelect for your Sponsorship.

4) FiberOne Yogurt: You all know, I heart FiberOne Yogurt! i.e. LOVE it! And Zero Guilt! The Tigers do, Mountain Man does. We're fans of all things FiberOne and the FiberOne Yogurt is our favorite go-to healthy snack of choice! I am honored to represent such a health conscious and natural company that is doing good things for families. Thank You FiberOne! Look for me at TypeAMomConf, I'll be the one with Certificates for your own FiberOne Yogurt! Hurry while the goodness lasts!

How awesome is that! I'll be engaged at the Conference as a mom team member for a great North Carolina resort, promoting my favorite quality family clothing company and the most awesome healthy yogurt on the planet! With that lineup, I could win on Survivor! That's all I'd need on an island or in an ordinary day as a stay-at-home-mom!

Thanks again to the most awesome Sponsors in the world! Stay tuned next week for some very real-time Live Blogging, The Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina - TypeAMom Conference!


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