Friday, March 26, 2010

I'd rather end this relationship

That's it.  It's over.  This was the final straw.  I'm leaving you.

You heard me right, Mr. Scale.  It's over.

For years now, you've been keeping my secret.  You have been diligently reporting back to me the number I craved to have.  The number I needed to know so that I could tell just how well my weight loss was going.

You were cute - at first.  All shiny and white, with retro styling and a simplicity I adored.

But then things got fishy.  You were never set to the right number - never could seem to get back to zero.

Sure you didn't need batteries, but I could step on you 10 times and get 10 different results.  What kind of life is that, Mr. Scale?  It's just cruel!  Cruel, I tell you!

And now.... now I hear that you have been lying to me.  Out right, bold faced, over the top lying.

You padded your response.  By how much?  5 pounds? 7? TEN???

You hear that, Mr. Scale?  Those are my tears.  My tears are flowing knowing that I've really been seven to ten pounds heavier this whole time.

So, it's over.  I've found something new.  Something that won't lie to me.

You thought I was going away to Fitbloggin' just for fun - turns out I also brought back your replacement.  The EatSmart digital bathroom scale.

He's just as cute.  Not retro, but more sleek - more sophisticated.  He's transparent.  He's smart. He honest.  He's mine.  

His display is large, and easy to read.  Not like your puny little numbers.
His platform is larger than yours was - and is quite sturdy.
He self-calibrates.  Not like you, who I had to prod every time I wanted an answer.
He is reliable and accurate.  He'll give me the truth, every time, with out change.

So that's it.  You're going into the garbage tonight.

My EatSmart Digital Bathroom Scale and I will live happily every after. 

(And you can too - they are being sold on Amazon here, for a pretty good price!)

*Disclosure: I am not being paid for this post.  I did, however, relieve the product as a gift from EatSmart, as they were a vendor at Fitbloggin' - a conference I paid to attend.  The opinions in this article are completely mine - and I truly am throwing the old scale away!*

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'd rather live blog about monetizing

affiliate links- amazon
ad networks real girls media
site sponsorship –
paid posts
brand spokesperson
brand ambassador
direct/private ad
create content
create a new campaign idea

What are your goals?
Your monetizing strategy needs to be tied in to your long term goal

  • write a book

  • sell product

  • become column

  • prof blog

  • become authority

What makes you marketable?

  • Being actively involved in comm

  • be accessible – are you a biz or not

  • know your stats and have media kit

Pick 5 people to measure to see if they are still interested. Need to keep adding, b/c you keep losing.

ROA return on relationship – evaluate the audience connection, that is more important than numbers. Must engage and interact – listen to feedback and make change based on that feedback. Do what they suggest.

What's the traffic – do readers comment, come back? Do they care? It's about relationships. Can you energize your community – move them to action? Even if there is not a lot, they are moving, that is good.

Need to include phone and address for marketing in biz card. Need site stats, info – what is your passion? If you don't include the contact info, then its too hard for them to contact you.

Breaking It Down, 4 categorizes according to Technorati:

  • Hobbyists – 72% of blog for fun and self expression

  • part timers 15% blog to supplement their income

  • Self employed 9% blog full-time for your own corp or biz

  • Corporate 4% blog for their company

Ad Network ex says:
$2 CPM (per 1000 impressions)
100,000 page views with 2 ads per page = 200,000 impressions
(av 50 cents to 5$ a month)

big brands are coming to ad networks – and they make us look more professional too.

CPM for direct ad is lower – you can sell more, though, if you want (1$)

How much are bloggers making?

  • 85% of hobbyists have less than 25,000 page views or 10,000 uniques

  • Only 1% have over 50,000 uv

  • 68% of part timers have less than 25,000 page views or 10,000 uv

  • only 3 % have over 50,000 uv

  • average income for part-timers $14,000 from ad rev

  • Av across all bloggers is $42,000

Be honest with your stats. Transparent. (page views and unique visitors is the info you want. You don't want hits.)

Ads are not the only way to make money! They won't be your bread and butter.

Do use tools:

  • google analytics - traffic

  • QuantCast – compare stats

  • Check Alexa – rating

  • Compete – panel rating

  • Monitor your Page rank (

Brand ambassador (linked w/ co – program/campaign – sometimes paid, sometimes just get review products) vs. brand advocates (unpaid) brands sponsor (sponsoring your content, direct relationship to speak for the company.)

Be Proactive

  • Pitch yourself to co that fit your niche

  • know the difference between PR and advertising

    • pr folks usually don't have a budget they are in the biz of “earned” media through giveaways and reviews

    • ad agencies have money for creative campaigns
Mock display ads, mock vid ads, survey for stats, pitch

OpenSky – You suggest merchandise to your followers, OpenSky handles product/customer service, then split profit 50-50.

Action items:

  • evaluate your goals – and if your audience will like the ad/ ad format

  • start running analytics if you're not

  • create a media kit

  • start following people who can help you

  • Identify brands you'd like to connect with
Don't forget to disclose.

You can reject certain ads from google ad sense.

Create a fan page for facebook, aside from your regular account.

Just starting out, don't know who to contact, or what to do?  Pitch ideas - don't be afraid to say no.  Join Mom Central, or other similar networks.  Ask friends for connections.  Attend events to get PR info.  

I'd rather live blog about Blogs and Body Image

Marsha Hudnall, Green Mountain at Fox Run - a women's retreat for healthy living founded 40 years ago (on the premise, diets don't work)
Melissa Henriquez "Lissa" - Tales of a (Recovering) Disordered Eater
Carla Birnberg "MizFit" -
Josie Maurer "Yum Yucky" -

"Young gils are more afraid of becoming FAT than they are of cancer, nuclear war, or losing their parents."

Eating Disorder Stats:  10 million females suffer from anorexia/ Bulimia, Millions more are struggling with binge eating.  Many cases are not reported b/c of shame and secretiveness.

Anorexia has DOUBLED each decade since 1930.

((Sorry, I lost a bunch here b/c of bad internet connection)

Focus on behavior, not size

Our readers read our blogs and internalize what we are saying about our selves and our attitude and carry that with them throughout the day.

We want our kids to get healthy behavior modeling from reading our blogs – we can be honest about the good and the bad, but not wallowing in the negative.

MizFit tells us about how her daughter mimics some of her behaviors, "I'm MizFit and I'm eating this brownie and I don't like it." :D

YumYucky tells us how her and her daughter support each other.  Just recently her son has used body image issues to attack her daughter.  They are working through that.  

Listener recalls a memory of her older brother taunting her about her weight when she was younger. Her mom did reprimand him, but not in front of her.  She suggests to nip that in the bud now.

YumYucky recalls a song "moose on the loose" - a song making fun of someone - that was sung to her friend.  Now that person is stuck in yo-yo dieting, etc.  The end result of that teasing has been very negative.

ALL kids can benefit from health improvement - not just the "obese" kids.

The kids are picking up on the little cues that others may not think they are okay the way they are - even if they are average, or even smaller.

Attendees tell stories of their youth (when they were healthy kids) of them being called bigger, or chunky, or needing diets - when they were too small to even be thinking about weight over health.

Where is the healthy line between eating healthy, and not being obsessed?  MizFit says lead by example.  Marsha says the parent is responsible for the environment, the kid is for wether they eat or not.

YumYucky tells us about her baby and how she eats with out stop - and she is called out on it frequently.  Marsha says to focus on intuitive eating.  Recognize the cues.

Mindless Eating - a book an attendee recommended - that highlights changing how we eat.

YumYucky encourages us to accept what we have - that certain genetics will always be a certain way.  There is very unrealistic FAKE images that we try to attain.

We need to be proactive, and point out that there is not a certain size to be - it is about health.  We need to be comfortable with where we are and where we come from with out comparing ourselves to others.

Our kids are seeing us journaling their food, tracking our points, taking food pics for blogs, etc etc.  Is that a healthy image for them to see?  Does that make them think too much about food?

As girls reach the teenage years they naturally fall into troubles with self esteem and self image.  We need to role model good behavior for them to see, but it may not be enough.

If our kids are seeing us say we are "fat" or "too big" they will compare themselves to how we look - "mom looks average but says she's big, and I look like mom, so...."

Paying the close attention to what we are eating takes the joy away from eating.

I'd rather live blog about Wordpress

Wordpress from .com to Self Hosted by @JimDoran
(slides can be found at: )

"The road to hell is paved with NON-intentions."

Blogging Landscape
  • Blogger
  • TypePad
  • LiveJournal
  • Tumblr
  • Easy to set up
  • 17th most popular webssite according to Alexa
  • Sub domain of, ie - jimdoran is the subdomain
  • They offer 82 themes - more than blogger
  • Upgrades - pay to... get rid of adds, custom css, etc. $239.82 to buy all of them
  • WordPress is open source software
  • Akismet - catches spam before it get to your blog.
  • Big Names are listed at CNN, New York Tims, CIA etc

Register you kids names as domains for the future!  Post their art work for now.

Put your brand on your own server - stop putting content on other sites!  Build your own brand on your own site.

Wordpress self hosted:

  • Can bring your blog over, from multiple sources too, ie - blogger and posterous, etc,
  • Hosting - recommended via GoDaddy, Bluehost, Dreamhost, etc.
  • Can install as many blogs as you want to.
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Wordpress is like playdough and no two themes are the same
  • Themes and plug-ins make endless possibilities
  • 1100+ free themes
  • Premium themes you must pay for.
  • Plugins
    • 8700+ plugins available
    • Favorites:
      •  All-In-One-SEO pack
      • Akismet (spam filter)
      • WP-Commerce (if your are selling anything - intergrate with paypal, etc.)
      • WP Super Cache (keeps your live if innundated with traffic) 
      • BuddyPress (social network for your website)
      • PollDaddy
      • Google Analytics
      • PODS CMS (build a website on your blog - posts AND pages)
      • bbPress
    • Some plugins are maintained - may need to go back and fix it later.
    • Plugins use code, theme's use code – some clash so be careful - don't use too many
    • You can't install plugins in
  • Other features:
    • Automatic Upgrades
    • Community support via Codex, Hackers List and IRC
    • WordCamps - self organized community events with user info and tech info 
    • Semantic Code (SEO, find-ability, accessibility)
    • Taxonomy - categories and tags (use different names for each, ie: Recipe tag, Recipes category) 
    • Non-destructive 
    • Change permalink directly
    • Past from MS word and remove goofy formating
    • Word Count
    • Paste pain text
  • Enhancements coming in June to Wordpress
"... pessimism robs ordinary people of their powers."  ~Colin Wilson

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'd rather use Yoga for headache relief

I get headaches.

All. the. time.

Headaches from stress.  Headaches from allergies.  Headaches from hormones.  Headaches from sulfa in food.  Headaches that kick up 10 notches in bright light.  (Yes, I'm aware I resemble a Gremlin.)

The nice little mogwai in me convinced me to take a "Yoga for Headaches" class at my local studio, Paige One Yoga.  I really enjoyed the class.  There were 7 of us - from mild headache sufferer, to full blown migraine veteran.  We were all just looking for a little relief - and I think I found some.

Paige One Yoga studio

It makes sense that yoga would help headache suffers.  A study was done in 2007 that found that regular yogic practice helped reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches in sufferers.  In observing my life (and those around me) I would have to agree - since I started taking regular yoga classes, the amount of headaches I get seems to have gone down.  Yoga = less stress = less headaches.  And if you are nervous just with the word of (dun-dun-dunnnnnn) "yoga," don't be!  If my rollie-pollie body can manage it, you can too.  Plus, the type of yoga you will do for headaches is a great place to start - it is less active, and easy to follow.

Now, if you are in the middle of a headache (or are feeling that "headache hangover" from a big migraine,) then you should try to keep these things in mind:

  • Use Gentle poses and breathing.  Don't do intense poses that serve more as a workout - you are looking for relaxation and restoration instead.
  • Keep your head above your heart in all the poses that you do.  Blood rushing to your head will only make the pain worse.
I highly recommend you look for a class in your area if you are a headache sufferer.  Some practitioners will offer (as mine did) a one-time workshop, or look for classes that use "restorative yoga" or possibly even schedule a one time private instruction to learn good techniques.

I obviously can't teach you a whole class here, but I can offer some breathing techniques I learned that might help you.  I will describe them the best I can in such a small space, but check with a yoga teacher (or professor google) for more info.  You may feel pretty silly (or down right ridiculous) while doing some of these moves, but just close the door and get over it.

  • Begin with centering.  In yoga this is sitting, with legs crossed ("Criss-cross applesauce" or like the picture above.)  Shoulders are down and away from ears, jaw is parted, lips are lightly touching, spine is elongated.  Inhale and exhale deeply through nostrils.  Relax and concentrate on your breath.  This is great for decreasing stress on the spot.  It's a grown up version of what I tell my kids to do when they are upset - "okay, honey, take a deep breath..." Keep these principals in mind while doing all your breathing techniques.  
  • Skull Brightening Breath:  This consists of alternating quick exhales and longer, passive inhales - both through your nose.  Exhales are made by quickly and powerfully contracting the lower belly.  Inhales are an automatic response to releasing this contraction.  You will contract your muscles 8 to 10 times on the exhale, then inhale deeply.
  • Humming Bee Breath:  Keeping teeth parted, but lips closed, use your thumbs to to close your ears by pressing in the flap in front of your ear.  Put your pinkies on the "third eye," the space between your eyebrows and allow the rest of your fingers to rest on your head.  Deeply inhale, allowing your belly to expand, then exhale and gently hum while bringing navel to spine.  Feel the vibration in your skull - give your brain a little massage.
  • Healing Yawn:  Pinch your earlobes and gently pull them down.  Act out a yawn to release pressure on your blood vessels.

I make no claim (at all - whatsoever - not a one) that I'm a yoga teacher.  But, you might be interested in the poses we moved through.  If you don't understand the terms I use in the next paragraph, I encourage you to again, find a class.  Alternately, visit Yoga Journal for their list of poses - they offer instructions, pictures, benefits, and cautions.  If yoga makes you nervous, skip the next paragraph. ;)

Here is the asana we moved through:
We started with neck stretches (neck smiles, looking left-right, nodding) and shoulder/arm/wrist warm-ups.  Then we moved through seated forward bend, one legged bend - using a bolster to prop up our heads - and seated twists.  Next was table, cat/cow, and thread the needle.  Up we stood, and moved into Mountain, followed by a Double Angle fold, which is a fold that stops parallel to the floor (so that head stays above heart) while the hands claps behind head and stretch to the sky.  Back to floor to hero, then into pose of the moon (like child's pose, but while kneeling and keeping head above heart.)  Into reclining twists, flapping fish, and finally corpse pose.  Whew!  (Okay, I barely understand that, but there it is for all you yogini's.) 

That is just about all I have for you from the class.  But there is one last suggestion - track your headaches.  Make a journal or chart to note the date, duration, intensity, trigger, and anything that you used to treat it.  It goes a long way to figuring out what will work best for you to get past these greedy little time-sucking monsters, and on to your happy life!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'd rather know who's going to Fitbloggin'

I'm so flipping excited to meet all my fellow Fitbloggin' attendees!  BUT, I only "know" a few of you.  I decided to create a linky so that we could all stalk each other properly. Sign in and share a favorite post of yours, your about section, or any post that will let us get a peek at who you are.

Only a few more days!!!!

Don't forget to check back and see who all has linked up.  See you soon, with a Pomtini in my hand!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'd rather be mingling 3/14

Oh my gosh, my Monday Mingle is done on time! No, it's done early! Be still my beating heart. (I bet there are a handfull of you that didn't even know I mingled the last 2 weeks because I posted them so darn late.  But not this week. Woo hoo!)

And to top that, I even found 5 minutes to do it alone.  Miracles apon miracles, I tell you.

Don't forget, Monday Mingle is hosted by Jennifer at Eighty MPH Mom.  Join us!

Have a laugh at the freeze frame:


And the happy 5-year-old:

Have a great week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'd rather focus on the positive

Happy Monday everyone!  I know a lot of people hate Mondays (and, I'm normally one of them) but this Monday is good.


Because I can breathe out of my nose again!!  Hallelujah!!

I was M.I.A. this whole past week with a killer cold.  It was doubly hard because I was on demand 24-7, as daddy was away on business.  I tell you, every time he leaves, I get another reminder of just how awesome all you single moms are.  It makes me want to send flowers and coffee to my bestie (she's a single mom to 3) because that is hard work, with no relief.

Anywho, as some of you may know, I was too darn sick to work out (steps made me winded) and I didn't have the ability to eat as well as I would have wanted.  Actually the eating was funny - at times I was fantastic (lots of fruits and veggies, water, soup, etc) then others I ... uhhh ... wasn't.  (It's really hard to cook for everyone when you have a box of tissues glued to your hand.) (Oh, and all those girl scout cookies sitting in my dinning room really didn't help matters!)

So, I stayed the same for my weight this week.  I'm a-okay with that, and I am still feeling very motivated.  My husband and I have fallen right back into our competition and there isn't an end for that in sight.  (Actually, that continues to be a really great motivator.  If you haven't tried it - you really should - especially if you all like to smack talk.  We obviously do, judging by his "anonymous" comment on my last mamavation post.  Silly man, doesn't he know he stands no chance?!)

Also, I went to a friends baby shower this weekend, and saw a bunch of people I hadn't seen in a looonnng time.  I got a lot of compliments - even a "you're looking thinner!"  So, I know I'm on the right track.

Here are a couple other random tidbits for you all:
  • I met Roni, the organizer of Fitbloggin', while at Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend, and she is fantastic!!!  You really should check out her sites - they have so many great recipes and ideas.
  • I triple dog dare you all to go try steamed artichokes.  Not the canned, mushy kind, but the kind where you have to scrape the meat off he leaves with your teeth.  It is a childhood favorite of mine, and I'm happy to say that my daughter has found the joys of it too!
  • I attended a yoga for headache workshop a week or so ago, and I plan on writing a post about that soon!  They gave us lots of good info - and I've already been putting some of it to use.

That's it for this week.  I hope all of you are having a great week, and if not, then I hope you are picking your selves up and moving forward.  Because you are Maaaavelous, dalinks, simply maaaaavelous.

PS - Did you know I always link these posts back up to the blog carnival at Bookie Boo?  The support of the Mamavation ladies has been key to me.  If you are lacking that in your life, please consider joining us.  Plus, if nothing else motivates you, there are giveaways each week. ;)

I'd rather be mingling 3/8

Time to mingle once again!  My daughter is helping me out again this week - and it might be the last tme for a bit. I love her help, but this is the third take, and mama needed some sleep!  Anywho, she cracks me up (even when she's wordy) - as you will see at the end of the clip.

Remember, to mingle, just go to Eighty MPH Mom to get the questions, link up your vid, and visit other participants.  It's easy and fun - even a 7 year-old can do it. ;)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'd rather be wordless wednesday 3/3

My dog annoys the heck out of me sometimes.  You may have heard me blog or tweet about the "EA Active chewing" incident.  Or the "shoe chewing" incident.  Or the "vacuum noises scare me, so I pee" issues.

But then, there are moments like this one, and I almost forget about all the other ones.

Darn dog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'd rather be mingling 3/1

Happy mingling monday!  I'm so late today - still have the sickies.  But I have a co-minlger to help me out tonight. ;)

If you'd like to join in Monday mingle go to and join us! Just create your own video, link up, then go watch and comment on other mingles.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Sorry for my sniffles this week...

Monday Mingle March 1 from Mandy Sellers on Vimeo.

I'd rather have a motivating list

I brought it!  I brought it!

Before I go a step further, I've got to say a big thank you for all of the comments I received on last week's post.  I gathered so much motivation from you all!  Some of them made me scared, some of them made me look inward, and they all re-energized me.  If you skip the rest of this post (and, I really wouldn't blame you because, holy hannah am I long winded) then just read this list.  It is some of the suggestions you all gave me to get out of my rut, and get motivated.  (I repeat, these are not my suggestions - they are that of my Mamavation Sista's.)  Save them to use in your "weight loss tool kit."

  • Read your old posts, or a journal if you're a non-blogger.  Read the ones when you are sad to see what you want to avoid, read the ones when you had tons of motivation to channel that energy.
  • Think about your kids.  If you can't do it for you, do it for them - so that they see a good healthy role model.  (Twenty years from now I don't want my kids to feel like I sometimes do.)
  • Have someone give you a pep talk.  Sometimes you just have to be told "you CAN."
  • Figure out what drives you - what is the end result you want or don't want.  Will you be okay with staying in this rut forever?
  • Find someone who is in the same place and urge each other forward.  (See below for the contest results with my hubby.)
  • Try something new - new workout, new workout clothes, new foods.
  • Suck it up.  Push your self forward.  Shove the "I can't" monster in the closet and just fake it til you make it.
  • Act like who you want to be (like your future healthy self) or emulate a healthy role model.
  • Get threatened with wearing a cheese bra topless.  (Yikes!)
So, thats the list.  What follows is my progress for the week.  Seriously, feel free to skip it - I know there are a lot of posts to read, and my feelings won't be hurt. ;)


This week, the competition with my husband saved me.  If you didn't see it last week, we had a contest to gain the most "healthy habits" points.  Points were gained by working out and taken away for eating out or even suggesting we eat out.  It worked so well for both of us (working out 5 times this week!) that we decided to keep it going.  So no clear cut winner right now.  BUT, I am one point up as a write this post. ;)

I decided to pull back on weight watchers a bit.  Well, truthfully, I have been out of it for a while, but I decided to take a new approach to my eating in general.  I was getting really tired of counting points and measuring, so I decided to put my years of WW knowledge to the test - to see if I could do it with out all the scales, and cups, and trackers.

Surprisingly, it has gone pretty well.  Every time I'm hungry, I go first for something that is nutritious in some way: fruits, veggies, high protein, fiber.  I still allow myself a bit of chocolate from time to time but I'm finding I am craving things less.  I didn't really "need" that evening snack as much this week.  Several times I thought, "well self, there's nothing in this house that is worth it, so fa-get-a-bout-it."  I'm still making progress, and of course this helps:

It has saved me a few times when rummaging in the pantry looking for "I'm bored so I might as well eat" food.  I see it, I get irritated, I silently kick myself for doing something so annoyingly useful, then I allow it to work.

All of this combined is doing good things - I'm down 2 pounds.  I brought it.  Did you?