Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last Week's Problogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Homework

Day 4: {Intermediate} Use a Magazine to Improve Your Blog: 
I did this with only magazine I have at home~ Family Circle and I actually got a few ideas for blog post and FONT ideas.  Also let me read my magazine which I do maybe 1 or 2 months down the road.  I will be using this tip from now on when I need some blog ideas! 

Day 5: {Intermediate}: Monitor Statistics on Your Blog Need to start tracking : 
I need to keep track of: Overall Visitors, Most Popular Posts, Referral Stats, Bounce Rates, Daily/Weekly Trends, and Exit Pages. I set up a Google Spreadsheet. 
How to make at Stat Book: http://www.kludgymom.com/creating-a-statbook-tutorial-b2sb2b-week-5/  this how I set up my Goggle Spreadsheet.

Day 6: {Intermediate} Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly 

I have to work on Apple Icons and  Meta Viewpoint Tag  Go to http://marketing.grader.com/ and it will let you know what you need to work on!  LOVE IT!

Day 7: {Intermediate} Create/Update a Sneeze Page for Your Blog


This one was hard but I did a couple: http://pinkmamasplace.blogspot.com/p/about.html and http://pinkmamasplace.blogspot.com/p/giveaways.html.  
Down the road I plan to do a sneeze page for:
*Market Mondays
*Tip Tuesdays
*Win It Wednesday


Day 8: Hunt for Dead Links Day 9: {Intermediate} Interlinking Blog Posts

This post helped me a lot!   I took out some old buttons, widgets, and just silly stuff that wasn't needed on the sidebar:  http://www.kludgymom.com/the-11-point-blog-inspection/


I'm working on my labels/categories and will go in and add to posts I never added the labels too.  If I do one a day I will get caught up soon.  I have a lot of categories and I need to narrow them down.

Guest Giveaway: Love with Food Giveaway/Review

Love With Food Giveaway 
and Review
by Brae Craig at
Love With Food is an amazing group of foodies, putting together adventurous tastes for all kinds of chefs, from beginners to the extremely talented! Their website is full of delicious recipes and amazing products. The coolest thing of all are the subscriptions. I received a free subscription for this review, which is a box full of samples to try. If you sign up for the monthly subscription, for a mere 14.00, you get a box, like the one shown below, filled with delicious, healthy samples! 
The absolute best part of this is, when you buy a box, they will donate a meal to No Kid Hungry!!! 
Of course, I was waiting for my sample box, and when I got it, I eagerly opened it to find all these delicious goodies waiting for me! Of course, my children gathered round, ready to sample with me. 
We'll start with my FAVORITE!  Spicy Apple Ginger Cider Chews by The Ginger People. I didn't let my kids try this...because they were too delicious. LOL. Also, it was very hot, but very flavorful. I will be buying some of these on my own! From the same company, The Ginger People, were Original Ginger Chews. I didn't care for these too much, because they were really really strong, and hot, and quite overwhelming. My husband, though, thought they were SUPER good. I'm also very curious about their affect on morning sickness. I have read that ginger can calm the stomach. I think, though, that these would be best cut into 4-5 pieces. A smaller bite might make it less overwhelming.
Sahale Snacks- Almonds with  cranberries, honey and sea salt. - EVERYONE in our family loved these. It was the perfect mix of sweet, tangy and salty.
It's also a given that my whole family thoroughly enjoyed the Plain Jane peanut Butter Granola from Nuts About Granola. It was, mostly, as one might expect, but with a delicious peanut butter flavor. My kids were very disappointed when it was all gone.
Somersault Snacks- Pacific Sea salt. As per the pamphlet I got in the box: These crunchy nuggets are made with sunflower seeds and toasted grains, making them rich in protein and vitamin E. I really REALLY wanted to like these. I like sunflower seeds a lot, and so do my kids. Plus, it had a really super cute package. Alas, it wasn't in the cards. I did not like them at all, and two of my kids actually spit them out. Even my husband didn't care for them, and he likes everything.
Mighty Leaf Tea- Chocolate Mint Truffle.  I let my husband test this, as he is the tea drinker in our house, and, as it's a Rooibos tea, and he LOVES Rooibos, I felt he was a better judge than I. He said that he really liked it, though, it was more of a mint tea than a chocolate mint tea. It didn't taste like chocolate at all, though, there was a hearty, earthy flavor to it, which he suspected to be the "chocolate" flavor. 
Stretch Island Fruit Co- I actually buy these all the time, but i've never had the Mango Sunrise flavor. It was delicious. And I didn't share.
(The Somersault Snacks we didn't like)
(the Delicious almonds and cranberries with sea salt.) 
Now it's your turn! I have been given the ability to award FIVE WINNERS with a sample box similar to mine!!!  Enter to win on the rafflecopter below!
***DISCLAIMER:  I received one or more products for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally, and believe will be good for my readers. ***
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting Ready for my 21 Day Mom Blogger Weightloss Challenge

Today I'm going FOCUS on what I need to do to get ready for this challenge and not be the spoiled brat who wants to eat and eat.  I need to work on a Food Plan, Exercise Plan, and what I'm going to blog about.  


This is the challenge I'm taking: http://mommybloggerweightlosschallenge.com/ I will be posting 3 times a week about my progress plus I might do a video post too! This is going to be a life changer!


Rules:

MUST BE COMMITTED!
MUST HELP PROMOTE!
MUST EITHER WRITE A PROGRESS POST AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK TO EVERY OTHER DAY OR DO A VIDEO DIARY ONE A WEEK OR EVERY OTHER DAY!
MUST POST YOUR POST TO TWITTER AND FACEBOOK!

I will be posting a GIVEAWAY for his book "FIT MOMS FOR LIFE" by Dustin Maher on Feb 1st!  Come back to enter.  BTW the way its an AWESOME book that every mom who wants a healthier life needs to read.  Look for a REVIEW of the book with my giveaway. 


ALSO WHY DO I DO THIS:  OMG I have been eating and eating like this food won't ever be around again.  My excuse to myself  is I'm starting a diet on Feb 1st so I should eat all the CANDY, CHIPS, and SODA, I can until Feb 1st! What am I doing!  Sabotage comes to mind for sure!  Stop it Pam!!



 I/We are using Dustin Maher's Fit Mom's For Life Program. To learn more please visit Fit Mom's For Life.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

CLOSED: FLASH GIVEAWAY- 1 Winner Takes ALL~ Jan 28th-Jan 29th

Mom Blog SocietyMom Does Reviews and many other great bloggers have joined together to bring you a fabulous MBS Daily Flash Giveaway. ONE winner takes all prizes!
a Rafflecopter giveaway GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Funny Friday- Favorite Pinterest Pic of the Week


Now we (bloggers) all know we have said this to ourselves when we say/do/see things that are blog worthy!  


My kids will do something these days and ask "are you going to put this on your blog?" or if they get in trouble its "mom, please don't put this on your blog!" so it sounds like my family knows- I'M GOING TO BLOG ABOUT YOU!  I try not to blog too much about my hubby- that can get a bit messy and of course I don't want him mad at me- don't bite the hand that feeds you kind of thing of going on!!! 


Well of tho work I go but of course I would rather be here BLOGGING!!  


Also FOLLOW me on Pinterest~ http://pinterest.com/pamallen68/


What is Pinterest~ Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.




If you need a Pinterest Invite~ email me at pamallen68@gmail.com and I'll send one :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Win It Wednesday- Link Up Giveaways

Link up your Giveaways
Enter the Giveaways

OPEN ALL WEEK!

Have Fun and GOOD LUCK!!! 

PS EMAIL WONT SHOW!  Also try to enter the giveaway above yours! Let's share the fun and lets WIN!






Tuesday, January 24, 2012

School Bullying- What Can Be Done???

Yes, I know every school has bullies and it's something every kid will have to deal with at some point in their school life. But as a parent I HATE IT! I don't want to go up to the school and have to hurt some kid- just kidding of course!!!

 My 10 yr old son is being called some HORRIBLE HURTFUL names and wants to go to another school so bad! If he tells on the bullies then of course he gets picked on for that too. He has been at this school since he was in Kindergarten and we have held on because I wanted stability for my kids (something I didn't have). The school has been going through changes the whole time we've been there and now its a whole new school environment- nothing like it was when we started. Different kids/Different parents!

 My 7 yr old daughter has this one kid in her class that disrupts the class, hurts others, and takes the teachers attention away from teaching EVERY DAY! She is tired of dealing with this everyday. She wants to LEARN and not have to battle with others to do that!

 As a parent of course I want to MARCH right in that school and DEMAND CHANGE but of course that's not going to happen just like that. So how do I do this without being that PARENT that admin and teachers hide from because they don't want to deal with you? I'm disappointed that my children have to deal with the bullies everyday.  Every morning it's a challenge to get them out the door- today I lost the fight with Lil Mama- I let her stay home.

I do know I will be asking for some ANTI-BULLYING prevention. Will it help though??? I guess it might be time to move on for my kids sake but then will be it be different at other schools?

 What are ways you deal with bullies in your kids school?  Or how does your school deal with bullies?

CLOSED End of the MONTH BLOWOUT GIVEAWAY~ 1/24- 1/31

Photobucket
 JANUARY'S END OF THE MONTH BLOWOUT!! THIS MONTH 11 BLOGGERS HAVE JOINED TOGETHER TO OFFER YOU $55 IN PAYPAL CASH OR A $55 AMAZON GIFT CARD! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 20, 2012

CLOSED Forget The Resolutions Giveaway HOP 1/21-1/26


Forget The Resolutions Giveaway Hop
January 21 - 26, 2012

Hosted by Planet Weidknecht and
Going Crazy!!Wanna Go??

It's been three weeks since you've made all those resolutions.It's said that it takes 21 days to make a new habit, so you've probably already broken your New Year's Resolutions. I say - FORGET THE RESOLUTIONS! Let's have a giveaway hop instead!

The Forget The Resolutions Giveaway Hop runs from January 21 @ 12:01 a.m. EST to January 26 @ 11:59 p.m. EST. Each blogger is hosting their own giveaway of at least $20.00. After you enter my giveaway, be sure to visit the other blogs and enter theirs too!


PinkMama's Place is giving away a PERSONALIZED Custom Airbrush Pillowcase from Mr Airbrush Hands  (value $25.)  You pick colors, simple design, name/nickname.

Examples:
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

a Rafflecopter giveaway "


Fabulous bloggers hosting amazing giveaways:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Putting on My PTA Hat Tonight

It doesn't FIT!  Just kidding LOL!  I've been fighting being on the PTA (we call ours PTC-explain later) all year because I've been Secretary and Vice Chair for 2 years and this past summer I put myself in retirement. 

Which by the way didn't really work.  I thought I was home safe when in September we had ALL officers positions filled and everything was going great.  I got to sit back and be a PARENT not plan/work at/communicate what was happening at the school- I was LOVING it!  Then BOOM- Secretary left to go to another school and no one wanted to step in so I was asked very nicely by the Chair who is one of my closest friends- and for her I would do it.  Then BAM our Vice Chair had to move- GONE.  We were able to fill that position but that parent was put on the spot so not sure how she feels about it. 

I've been slacking and not really doing my job- kind of like a spoiled brat who doesn't want to do something.  So tonight I will let the parents know I'm sorry and I will do better!  I just need to suck it up and hope next year they can get some parents who can commit and stay at the school, lol! 

I get some great PTA/PTO ideas from: http://www.ptotoday.com/

Maybe I'll takes notes tonight and actually write up minutes for the first time this year!  I keep telling myself its for the KIDS!  My kids love me being so involved with their school and my son says he is proud of me. 






Day 3- Blogging Buddies- 31 Days To Build a Better Blog

Oh WOW they really want me to get out of my comfort zone.

I have a couple bloggers I wish were my buddy but the "hey let's be blogging buddies" conversation never really comes up. We comment on each others blog, google page, fb page and an email here and there but that is it. 

Guest posting always scared me because what if I'm not a good enough writer (you know that grammar/spelling mistakes everyone loves to point out lol)or what if my post is stupid. Can someone have blogging low self esteem because I think I have it! Great yet another issue I need to overcome. Now I'm always OPEN to other's people posting on here- I would love it actually so if you want to ever guest post on my blog just contact me (pamallen68@gmail.com)and let me know!

I've joined a couple Facebook Groups on giveaways, mom bloggers, and yesterday joined a blogging buddy one so I know I'm reaching out now I just need to make that leap to engage!

I do agree that having blogging buddies will help with:
  • Support
  • Encouragement
  • Be a sounding board
  • Advice- ask or give
  • Tips/Tricks
  • Promote your/theirs projects
  • Blog growth
  • Being part of a community
With all those points above who wouldn't want a BLOG BUDDY!!!

Okay better catch up on Day 4!  http://www.thesitsgirls.com/

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DAWGS FOOTWEAR Giveaway~Win it Wednesday

I got my DAWGS the other day and I LOVE THEM.  As a waitress I need comfort, slip resistant, and support because I'm on my feet for 8 hours.  I like how they feel and OMG they are so light!  I'm looking forward to wearing them at work.  Also if I spill anything on them all I need to do is wipe them off.

DAWGS FOOTWEAR also has many other styles of shoes, boots, ballet flats, and slippers.  They have something for everyone in the family.  I saw a couple things I plan to get the kids soon.

Here is some info about the shoes:http://www.usadawgs.com/Women-Mary-Jane-Pro.html

Do you want to WIN A PAIR of Mary Jane Pro's (I'm telling you so worth it) then please enter below and GOOD LUCK.







I received a pair of DAWGS Mary Jane Pros for the purpose of my honest review.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blessing in Disguise- Life Lessons!

Yesterday I wrote a BOOHOO whiny post and today I deleted it!  Wow, I was on a emotional roller coaster and I guess I needed to vent out my issues for all of the INTERNET to read. 

Today though NO whiny post but a THANKFUL post is needed! Found this quote and it made a lot of sense to me:

Stop looking at what you don't have and Start being thankful for what you do have.

OMG...how TRUE is this!  Last night between breakdowns I had so much fun with the kids.  Even daddy got involved- which barley ever happens. Without cable we actually had conversations with each other and found other ways to occupy our time.  After dinner (which we ate together) Lil Man and Dad had a dance off-  I wish I had video to show you because man that was heck of funny! 

I wasn't sad we didn't have cable I was sad because I felt I was letting my family down because I didn't have the money to pay our bills.  When I picked up the kids at school they could tell something was wrong and wanted to know if I was OK.  I was honest and told them I had a hard day and cried a lot, they both told me everything will be okay and we will get through this- I love my kids!!! 

My husband told me that yesterday morning on his way to work (3am) he had stopped at the gas station and was getting gas when a pregnant woman came up and asked for change to get something to drink.  He didn't have much but he still gave her all his change.  He told me even though we are going through some hard times there is worse off people out there and we should be grateful for what we do have.  So very true.  I've been there before- homeless and I guess that is what scares me the most- going backwards.  I want to give my kids everything but most of all I want to give them stability.  I want them to never have to worry about where their next meal might be or if they will have a roof over their head. 

As for the other things that are weighing down on my heart~ I can't feel guilty for other peoples actions.  They need to own that- not me! 

I think I needed to go through yesterday to make me appreciate TODAY!  As for NO CABLE- we will be just fine and as a family we decided to change some of our nightly routines and have more family time- also cut back on the cable! 

Tonight~ Wii night!!! 



Day 2: Set Up Alerts and Monitor Your Niche


Key Concepts for Today:
In addition to writing actual blog posts, watching, monitoring, reading, and listening to what others are saying are important activities.
Reasons to be aware of what others are talking about in your niche include getting ideas for new posts, being aware of breaking news, profile building, networking, and managing your reputation.
You can set up alerts through a variety of different sources, but the two most common include Twitter Alerts and Google Alerts.
Types of alerts to set up include words relevant to your blog’s niche or your industry, i.e. “wedding dress” if you blog about weddings. Other keywords to monitor include “vanity alerts”, which are keywords like your name, blog name, or company name.


Today’s Assignment:
Use knowledge from alerts in your niche to brainstorm a new mini-series or to develop a new weekly feature or Meme for your blog. Share your ideas here. You can also share your favorite Meme’s from other bloggers here in the forum. What do you think makes them successful. Use that information to help you with your upcoming planning for a future series or Meme.

Reference posts:
SITS: http://www.thesitsgirls.com/education/blog-tips/google-alerts/
****************************************************************

Oh I love GOOGLE ALERTS!  I have several alerts already but added a few more today like:
  • mom blogs
  • blog giveaways
  • school pta
I added those because I wasn't thinking Google Alerts=Blog Posts, shaking my head I didn't think of that.  I have google alerts set up to ALERT me when someone mentioned Airbrush (hubby) or Social Media Manager (me).  Now this is cool and I hope it helps with the brainstorming. 

As for the assignment~ that means I need to PLAN.  I do a WIN IT WEDNESDAY when I have giveaway to do~ which I'm working on one today.  TIP TUESDAY is always a fun one to do too!  Also would like to incorporate my Pinterest finds in a weekly feature!  Okay good figured that out!  Now I need a name for my Weekly Pinterest Finds~and what day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WIN- 6 month Blockbuster Gift Subscription


A group of bloggers have come together to bring you this awesome giveaway! One winner will be selected to win a 6-Month Subscription to Blockbuster with unlimited through the mail and unlimited in-store exchanges. Only 1 DVD out at a time.

Enter using the super easy Rafflecopter form below. For the first entry be sure to say that PINKMAMA'S PLACE referred you. Then, just "like" all our Facebook pages using the Rafflecopter form below for a total of 26 entries. You can also earn up to an additional 6 entries per day by coming back and clicking on the daily vote links and tweeting about giveaway.

This giveaway will begin on January 17th at 10:00 PM EST and run through 11:59 PM on February 1st, and is only valid for U.S. residents 18 years and older. Please note this giveaway is in no way associated with Blockbuster or Facebook.

Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 16, 2012

Analyze a Blog in Your Niche~Day 1 (31 Day to Build a Better Blog)

I signed up to do a 31 Days to Build a Better Blog on http://www.thesitsgirls.com/ and I'm looking forward to learning more about blogging.

This week's theme is Assess Your Blog

Key Concepts for Today:
Studying successful blogs in your niche will show you what’s working well for them, as well as topics you might be able to tackle. Look close and see how they implement advertisements or promotions and what their readers are asking about. It’s important to note you don’t want to copy another blogger. Be unique, but allow them to inspire you!

Today’s Assignment:
1. Identify a successful blog in your niche.
2. Take 10-15 minutes to analyze the blog.
3. Share what you have learned here in this discussion string or on Twitter using #SITS31DBBB.

I LOVE http://www.scarymommy.com/ so I wanted to analyze her blog.  She doesn't have a lot of junk on her sidebars.  It's clean and she has other info about her blog on the bottom.  Now all her social media buttons are up on top where everyone can see and its just plain SIMPLE!  Also she has a COMMUNITY!  I haven't joined yet only because I've had some crazy history with message boards.  She also BRANDED her blog BIG TIME!  She now has a book coming out and I applause that hard work. But most important she is REAL and I love her posts because I can relate to a lot of them.

I also ENJOY http://www.aboutamom.com/ because she has a little bit of everything.  I like how she has Sponsor buttons but also all her sidebar info is nice and neat.  There is a lot going on but its organized beautifully and flows very well.  She has a "Pin" button on every post and since I'm a Pinterest addict I love that.  She has all the information I want on one page.


I have some ideas now and really need to do a blog makeover.







Legos for Girls- Friends

Lil Mama has a new hobby~ LEGOS!  Her brother loves his Legos and she wanted to start doing Legos too but it was always BOY STUFF.  She hated that but now she found GIRL LEGOS!


She saved up her chorepad points and got a TRIP TO TARGET and bought herself some Legos- Friends.  She is super excited and now wants the HOUSE for her birthday.  She wants me to find a table so she can set up her Heartlake City.  She wants to build all the sets.  She is super excited to have Legos just for her- not her brother BOY LEGOS!  

I highly recommend getting your girl the Lego Friends http://friends.lego.com/en-us/Default.aspx

Here she is with the start of her city:


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Walgreens Supports the Community Without Express Scripts

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Walgreens and Express Scripts have been in negotiations for the past year on their contract and have been unsuccessful.  So as of Jan 1, 2012 Walgreens nationwide are no longer a part of Express Scripts.  

 
This has caused pharmacy patients to find other pharmacies that are less convenient and sometimes farther away.  Walgreens offers more 24 hour and drive-thru pharmacies than any other pharmacy in the country.  Patients are not saving money and now its taking more time and money to get their prescriptions.  
 
Express Scripts continues to make their money because as a middleman its profits have grown at a rate more than two times the average of peers in health care.  The relationship is unbalanced when the middleman is making more money that the providers.  Express Scripts wants patients to use their mail order pharmacy not the community pharmacy.  Patients have been going to their local pharmacies for years, there is a relationship built within the community.  I would rather go to the pharmacy that knows my family.  Express Scripts are taking away the convenience and the community out of the pharmacies.  
 
This also puts our Military Families in the middle because Tricare, the main Military health coverage, is one of Express Script's Clients. This means our Military families can no longer get their prescriptions filled at Walgreens. In many cases, Walgreens is the only pharmacy within a reasonable driving distance, are reasonably priced, or have the hours to accommodate the crazy military training schedules.  Walgreens even offered to contract separately for Tricare but Express Scripts rejected that offer.  
 
Walgreens unveiled a comprehensive national effort to make this transition as smooth as possible for patients.  Walgreens is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Walgreens Prescription Savings Club.  An individual can join in JANUARY for only $5 or $10 for family membership.  Regular annual membership is $20 for individual and $35 for a family.  Thank you Walgreens!
 
Help support Walgreens and stay updated by liking Walgreens on Twitter and following Walgreens on Facebook
 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mom Blog Society Flash Giveaway 1/13 CLOSED




This is my 1st time participating in a FLASH GIVEAWAY and I'm super excited!  

Please enter below and see all the COOL prizes that are offered by Mom Blog Society, Pink Mama's Place and many other bloggers!  


The Daily Flash Giveaway is live from 9pm, EST (01/12) - 9pm, EST, (01/13). 


1 Winner Wins All 18 Prizes!!  Good Luck and look forward to doing this more!  



a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Vacation I would Like To Take in 2012

Ask my kids and they would say:


But if it was up to me:


I would love to go to a SPA for like a week- by myself :)  I'm sure that won't be happening for years but it's worth the wait.

Disneyland seems to be our next family vacation.  I need to find deals or try to WIN a vacation.  Legoland looks fun too.


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