How I do Blogging Completely Wrong

The other day I tweeted that I have been doing this blogging thing for almost six years.  Six years is a long time to stick with anything, especially when you tend to be a quitter like I am.  I tend to start things all gung ho and then after a strong start it pitters away due to lack of time and interest.

But not my blog.  Nope. I started Sluiter Nation in 2007 and I’m still going strong.

Except, I’m not really doing it right.  In fact, according to most of the blog tips I’ve read in 6 years and all the tip-type posts I’ve pinned (and even written myself), I’m doing it COMPLETELY wrong.

Oh I’ve learned a lot about how to do it “right” over the past six years…and sometimes I’ve even tried, but well, I just can’t stick with all these rules.

I compiled a list of rules and how I fail at them.  This way you will be able to judge me accordingly…heh.

Comment, Comment, Comment! – The first rule of blog club is to talk all about blog club.  Everyone knows that reading other blogs and actually commenting when you visit is what helps your visibility in the blog world and builds relationships.  Those things make people want to come to your space.

I used to be SO good at this, but somewhere in the last year of having TWO children and a full-time job, not only do I struggle with trying to read the blogs I love, but I almost certainly don’t have time to comment.  People are going to forget Sluiter Nation exists if I don’t get out of this spot and wander out and say something in other spaces, but right now, I just don’t have time.

Be Social! – Speaking of being all over and visible, I have definitely neglected The Twitter, The G+, even The Facebook (not my personal one, but my blog one). I try to share my stuff and other people’s stuff and interact, but oh my goodness!  Most days I am either teaching and don’t have time, and most evenings I fall asleep while putting Eddie to bed.

Be Consistent! – I used to have a fairly solid posting schedule.  I would write in the evenings, schedule for midnight, and promote as I could throughout the day.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I post two, maybe three times a week lately.  I write when I can, and save often instead of pounding out a post in one sitting.  I usually hit publish when I am done writing instead of scheduling.  I am not even a little bit consistent lately.

Offer Partial Feeds in Readers! – Theoretically this drives traffic to your site because people HAVE to click through.  I’ve never done that because it annoys me.  I like to read posts in my reader…especially if I am on my phone.  So to all of you who read me in a reader, I get it. I’m not going to change to partial feeds.

Learn SEO! – What? Oh Search Engine Optimasomething?  Yeah, keywords, meta somethings, and making yourself come up in searches and having Google “read” your site.  Um, I installed All In One SEO Pack over a year ago. I still don’t know what I am doing.  (and I sort of don’t care).

Make Your Posts “Pinnable”! – I have a hard enough time coming up with a picture for every post (as of typing this, I don’t have one for this post.  Unless caffeine is pumped into my veins or I do speed in the next 20 minutes, it’s probably not going to happen).  And when I do manage to get a photo up and pin it to mah boards, it goes nowhere.  Nobody repins it.  I mean, I don’t blog about fashion or food or quick tips or anything.  I’ve had others tell me that you just have to be on the right “community boards”. I don’t even know what that means.

Comment on YOUR Comments! – Oh sweet readers…how I wish I had more time for this.  I definitely choose commenting on your comments here over commenting on other blogs, but you see…time is a poop-face.  Mostly because I don’t have any. I know people like to see interaction. I do.  And I know it helps people want to come back, but if I have to sit and think of a response, I feel like I am doing it just to do it.  I also want to give genuine responses, not something canned and there only for the sake of doing it because I “should”.

Almost six years of blogging…I feel like I should be doing this thing better.

Or maybe not.

I started this blog to avoid mass emails updating family and friends about us.  And then I learned I loved to write.  Then you guys found your way here and it was more than just a little journal, it was something people read RIGHT NOW, not only something my children will read SOMEDAY.

So maybe I am actually doing it just right.

Don’t You…Forget About Me.

retireIf you follow me on facebook or twitter, you may have seen my meltdown slight panic attack last week when I read about Google retiring Google Reader on July 1st.

I have been faithfully using Google Reader since I started reading blogs in 2008.  I really truly almost started crying at the thought of having to find another way to read my favorite blogs.  If the people who were tweeting to me trying to calm me down could have actually seen me?  They would have been all O_o Even the ones who joined me in my freak out.

It’s been a few days and I’ve calmed down.  In fact, I may have found an option I love even more than Google Reader, but I will get to that in a minute.

For those of you who follow blogs via Google Reader, there are other options!!!

You can “like” all your faves on the Facebook and choose “get notifications” to make sure you see everything they post. Of course getting notifications means you will also see when they post about how their kid just pooped on the couch, so choose this option wisely.

You can join twitter (if you’re not there already) and follow your faves that way. Twitter lets you make lists of certain people so you don’t miss their tweets. I have lists of my fave mom bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers, funny bloggers, new sites, etc.

You can always take the dive into the world of Google+ and add and/or follow  people there to see what they post.

Of course with Facebook, Twitter and Google+, stuff moves fast.  If you aren’t always on to see the newsfeed fly by, and you don’t have time to sift through the rest of the conversations, you may miss stuff.  Although you’ll get to read a lot of pointless awesomeness, so there’s that.

You could always sign up to receive blog posts in your email.  I have a handy dandy widget over there in the side bar that you can enter your email address into and BAM the Nation right in your inbox!  Because of my OCD I only do this for a few blogs that don’t post daily.  I’m a reader girl through and through.

There are other readers out there too.  If you go to my RSS feed thingy, you get other options of readers besides Google to choose from (you can also do the email sign up from there as well).

I recently signed up for (and added a little follow button) Blog Lovin‘. It’s right there in my sidebar.  Blog Lovin’ is a nice little reader that is pretty to look at and has a nice mobile app for those of you who like to read from your phones.

My favorite new reader app is Feedly. I use the Chrome app and it is AMAZING. First of all, it pulls what you follow in Google Reader (if you currently use that), and they claim that once Google Reader is gone, it will keep all the blogs you follow and work seamlessly.

Plus it’s all magazine-looking and pretty.  See?

feedlyscreenshot

Things I like about Feedly:

  • It’s nice and neat and not a hot mess.
  • on the right-hand side it lists ONLY the blogs I follow that have posts that are unread.  It’s not a list of ALL of the blogs.  For someone OCD like me, this is less overwhelming that Google was.
  • It’s visual.
  • When I click to a blog that I want to read, I don’t have to scroll through (and thus mark things “read” even if I haven’t read them yet like in Google Reader). I can click on the ones I want to read.  See:
I can click whichever one of Angela's posts I want to read without other ones getting marked "read" before I get to read them.

I can click whichever one of Angela’s posts I want to read without other ones getting marked “read” before I get to read them.

  • I also like that if the blog offers full feeds, I can read it in full feed.  And it’s MUCH prettier than it was in Google Reader. See?
full feed AND it looks like I'm reading it on the blog.

full feed AND it looks like I’m reading it on the blog.

  • I have to click through to leave comments, but I can share posts via facebook, twitter, google+, and email straight from Feedly.
  • I can bookmark posts that I want to keep and they stay in their own folder.
  • I can organize the blogs by folders (Mommy, Fiction, Food, Fashion, Funny, Etc).
  • It’s got a kick ass mobile app.  I have never read blogs on my phone before but that just changed this weekend.  I put the app on my SG3 and went to town reading posts.  From what my tweeps tell me, it is also quite awesome on the iphone.
  • Did I mention Feedly is pretty?  And soothing?  And perfect for my OCD?  Ok, just making sure.

I’m clearly an advocate for Feedly.  In fact it was this post by Kludgy Mom that made me go and try it out, so if you don’t trust my opinion, go check out hers.  And Late Enough gave me the idea to remind you guys that there are ways to keep Sluiter Nation in your life even when Google Reader goes away.

I’ll still be reading all your words even when Google Reader goes away.  I’ve made sure of it.  So now…don’t forget about me, Ok?

the priceless conversation

This summer Cort and I did the responsible adult thing and we did some estate planning.

It was long past due that we get some sort of will in place and choose guardians for our children.

We don’t have many material things, but our children’s well-being in case of the worst happening was weighing heavily on us and it pushed us to take this step.

We chose a lawyer who specializes in Estate Planning and offered the best package for the money.  It was completely personalized to our needs.  I’ll spare you all the boring details, but if you are in the Grand Rapids area and have not done your estate planning, hit me up and I’ll give you the details if you’re interested.  We had an amazing experience.  And that is saying a lot since we were mostly talking about depressing things like being dead or incapacitated.

Anyway, at the very end of the entire process, we did something called a Priceless Conversation.  Our lawyer asked Cort and me a series of questions which we answered while a small audio recorder ran.

It started out sort of interview-ish.  We were asked to describe what our children were like right in this moment.  To talk about their personalities and their likes and dislikes.

Cort and I took turns adding things about each child.

But the conversation quickly turned into an actual conversation between me, Cort, and our children.  We were asked to talk about family, our faith, why we chose the people we did as their guardians.

By the end, we were talking about what we hoped for them in this life in the case we were not there.

Cort very confidently went first, “Always remember you are more than you think you are.”

I had never heard him say that before, but it was true.  This is something we strive so hard to instill in our boys: you are a valuable, important piece of the puzzle called life.

There were tears thinking about the boys listening to this after we are gone, but there was also some sort of reassurance that they would have our voices to hold on to.  Our words.

Our lawyer–who reads this blog–pointed out that by writing down my thoughts, my experiences as a mother, the experiences we have as a family, I am creating the rest of the chapters of the priceless conversation.

I am filling in the cracks right here on this blog.

Whether I am here until my kids are grandparents, or if I never get to meet my own grandkids, my words describing my life…OUR life…will always be here.

This is why I blog.

I would give just about anything to have diaries or letters or notes written by my grandmother who passed almost 12 years ago.  I would love to have things my own mother and father wrote.

I don’t know many of the stories of those who came before me, but I can give my stories to future generations.

Maybe they won’t care about my displeasure with the stress of always trying to do it all.  Maybe they won’t be able to relate to my depression and anxiety.  Perhaps they will find my swoony letters to my sons glib and lame.

But they will still be there.  They will be there for someone to find someday.

Maybe Eddie will marry and have kids. Maybe his wife will suffer from depression.  Maybe my words will help her get help or feel a sense of not being alone.

Maybe I will have a daughter someday who feels the pressures of trying to be everything to everyone and she will see I struggled with the same thing.

I don’t know if my words will leave a lasting impact or if they will get buried under new technology and down in the deep dark hole of the internet.

What I know is that I feel called to write these words.

To leave them for someone…hopefully my children.

the season for other things

We are almost done with the fourth week of the school year.

Four weeks.

It’s been a month since I went back with the rest of the teachers and my boys started daycare full time.

You would think I would have a handle on our new routine by now, but instead of maintaining the status quo, I am frantically trying to be ready for just the next day.  Ready for next week Wednesday?  Pfft. I don’t even know what that day holds. Right now I can only tell you what I am doing tomorrow…and what I need to get into work early to get ready for tomorrow.

All I know is that I have copies to make in the morning.

I don’t even know if that last paragraph makes any sense.

My day starts as soon as the alarm goes off at 5:15am (assuming it didn’t start earlier with a wake-up cry–or three–from a child) and is nonstop until sometime after Eddie is tucked in bed.

I only have time to peek in at twitter and facebook on my lunch.

I check in here (if I even had a chance the day before to post) 2 or 3 times all day–not exactly time to “promote” anything.

Once I walk through the door with both boys, most nights I am on my own for getting the day put away, dinner in the boys’ tummies (and mine if I am lucky), bathes, jammies, and bed time.  If I am lucky, Cort gets home from class a wee bit early to relieve me from sleeping in Eddie’s bed story time with Eddie.

Today I realized that I only peed three times by 7:30 at night…and I had a LOT to drink today. No wonder I am getting kidney stones.

Things are shaking around here…just not the blog.

By the time I sit down in my chair with everything ready for the next day and crack open  my laptop, I usually just stare as twitter zooms by and facebook refreshes.

All the words in my brain are gone.

The most frustrating part? As soon as I lie down to sleep, the will start whirring around…collecting themselves into partial blog posts, letters to my boys, and poems about my life and experiences.

Somewhere between dusk and dawn, the words soak into my pillow and disappear.

Except from five years of writing it all down, I know that they haven’t really disappeared.

They are tucked safely under my pillow until I get a handle on things…which I will, because every year I do.

Then the words will sneak back.  They will crawl back in my head and whiz around behind my eyes demanding that I get them out and onto this blog.

But for now, I choose work over my blog.

I choose my boys over my blog.

I choose peeing over my blog.

And I choose sleep over my blog.

And that is all Ok.

It’s the season for other things right now.

At least most days.

Quick Share

Other places you can find my writing from this week…

On Borderless News and Views, I wrote about how my being a teacher has nothing to do with politics: Politics Aside: I am a Teacher.

I also wrote about how I am proud to be a member of the teachers union and I tried to dispel some misconceptions about the need for unions: Union Proud.

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Don’t forget to check out California Footwear Company.  For the month of September, your total purchase is 15% off with 15% of your total going to Brittany’s Hope Foundation to help children around the world. See details and get your discount code here.

Also don’t forget to check out the new journals in the babEblessings shop {among other inspirational prints}. Journals are available for pre-order right now! I can’t WAIT to get mine to be my #SheReadsTruth journal.

Quick Share

If you follow me anywhere in the internet world…or in real life…you know this week has been back to work and back to crazy busy.  Even crazier busy than normal.

I don’t have much to share, but I thought I would highlight a few things.

If you read NOTHING else this weekend, please read Every 26 Seconds a Teen Drops out of High School by Stephanie at Ooph. Her amazing story reminds me of why I work SO HARD to be a consistent smile and encouraging word in the lives of my students and children.

And since we are on the subject of back to school, you should really go read P.S. To Kill a Mockingbird Rocks, Right? by Julie at By Any Other Name. She writes a loving and honest letter to her freshman son’s English teacher.

And if you want more of my words, I was featured on Care.com this week talking about teaching my sons manners in Being the Model of Good Behavior.

I also had a piece syndicated on BlogHer this week: How to be an Irresistible Blogger.

That is it, friends.

Happy Labor Day weekend to my friends across the US and happy weekend to my friends everywhere else in the world.

 

advocacy vs avoidance

Over the past week, five totally unrelated people who know nothing of each other’s existences asked me similar questions:

“Do your students know about your blog?  What do you do if they find it?”

“Do you think your students know about your mental issues?”

“What if parents or administrators found your blog?”

“How can you advocate for being open about depression and stuff on your blog, but not talk about it in real life much?”

“You don’t talk about depression at your school, do you?”

In a nutshell, no I do not advertise my blog at school, but I like to think I write in a way that if a parent or administrator were to find this site, there would be no issues.

I mean, when you google “Katie Sluiter” I am the entire first page of search results (at least I was the last time I checked which was not just before I wrote this, so things could’ve changed).

But yes, kids find it.  Usually while we are in the computer lab doing something that has nothing to do with google searching your Spanish or English teacher.

This is how it usually goes…

Kid: Hey Mrs. Sluiter!  I just found you on google!  You have a blog?  HA HA HA HA!
Me: Yup.
Kid: What’s it about?
Me: It’s on your screen; read it.
Kid: Looks like mom stuff.  BOOOORRRING!
Me: Are you done with this part of your assignment that you should have had done 10 minutes ago?
Kid: Wait. What are we supposed to be doing?
Me:  O_o

And that is all I hear.

Except when I hear this:

Kid in hall to me when no one else is listening or after school in my room: Um, Mrs. Sluiter?
Me: What’s up?
Kid: I saw you had a blog.
Me: Oh yeah. I do.
Kid: I like it.  You have really cute kids.
Me: Aw thanks.  Yeah, they are handsome guys.
Kid: Um, I like that you talk about your depression.  I am on celexa (or other antidepressant) too.
Me: Oh yeah?  Small world! I hope it’s helping.
Kid: Yeah. It does. {insert longish, awkwardish pause} I like that you wrote about it.  Thanks.
Me: No problem. It helps to write it out.  You don’t have to put it on the internet like I do, but it does help.  You should try it.
Kid: Yeah. Maybe I will.  Thanks, Mrs. Sluiter.
Me: You are always welcome.

I have had a total of one parent comment on it.  It was a parent/teacher conferences and it was one of my writing students.  One of the coolest, most supportive moms I have had the pleasure of working with.  She told me she loved my open, honest writing and that my school and students were lucky to have me.

I’ve sent the link to my principal so he knows it exists.  Pretty sure he has never read it, but maybe he is just silent about it. I don’t know.

I don’t talk about my depression and anxiety in school at all.  Sometimes with a few co-workers, but not with students unless they bring it up.  And I never stick my hand out to parents and introduce myself as the English teacher with PPD.

Consequently, I don’t talk about it much with my family or friends either.

They either read the blog and know about it, or know about it because they have been made aware of it.  Either way, it’s not a conversation we have much.

I’ve been accused of being hypocritical because I don’t shout it from the rooftops.

I am all about breaking down the stigma.  It’s why I talk about it here.  But I don’t know how that translates into “real life”.

It’s uncomfortable to bring up out of no where with people, but if someone asks, I am good about dispelling myths or telling them what my experience is like.

But I don’t go to restaurants and order my burger and then tell my server about my PPD, PPA, and OCD.

I don’t let the dressing room attendants at the GAP know I have Generalized Anxiety.

I don’t let the cashier at Target in on my PTSD.

And I sure as heck don’t put any of that stuff in my syllabus in the About Mrs. Sluiter section, nor do I introduce myself that way in my welcome email to parents.

If someone asks about it, I don’t lie.  I mean, duh. The google search.

Do I hide it?

Do I fear stigma?

Am I afraid parents won’t want their kids in the class of someone who suffers from depression and anxiety?

Do I think parents/students would blame ME when their child gets called out for behavior because I am the one with a problem?

I guess yes a little to all of these things.

But only as much as I feared these things being a pregnant teacher too.

Kids all the time would say, “You’re just mean because you are pregnant.”

No, I am being mean because you have been talking to your neighbor ALL HOUR WHILE I AM TEACHING.

You see what I mean.

So where is that line?  It seems to be a mighty light, hard-to-see line between being ashamed and being an advocate.

For me, it’s easy to “talk it out” here because I am not talking out loud to a face.  I can think about my words. Pace myself.  Say things exactly how I want to.

In real life I am awkward and nervous and can’t look you in the eye well when I talk about it.

Here I bring it up. Over and over and over.  Mostly so I can process it and document it, but also so YOU can feel less alone and YOU can know how your best friend, sister, wife, mom, whomever is feeling.

In real life I don’t bring it up, but I definitely don’t run from it.

Here it is natural.

In real life it is awkward.

Why is that?

The Saturday Share…BOOM!

Oh hey.

So the other day I was all, “nobody reads blogs on Saturday.  Why in the world do I even put up a post on Saturday?  Who even cares?”

And of course 4 people, unprovoked, told me how much they like it.

Well then.

I have a few things this week for you.

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First, some bloggers you should be reading.

Changing the Universe.  I love popping in to see Nicci at her blog!  Not only does she make cute stuff in her shop, but come ON…she is SUCH a cute pregnant momma!

And speaking of cute pregnant mommas, check out A Bittersweet Existence. Dawana is my sister from another mister. I love her honesty and her sass.  Plus she tells me I have a black girl hidden inside me which just make me giggle and tag her in instagrams of when I am listening to the rap.

And lastly this week is mannlymamaBrandy is not pregnant…anymore.  She recently gave birth to the adorable Oliver, so now we both have 3ish year old boys and newish boys.  She is funny, sweary, and her fitness puts my booty to shame on the daily.  I love her.

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Another thing I want have to share with you is that my friend Cameron is halfway through her novel, Buck’s Landing.YAY!

This means she is starting to think about editing and production and promotion and all that fun stuff.

Do you know how time consuming and expensive it is to publish your own novel? It so is.

That is why Cameron is doing a little bit of the fundraising.  Because the blogging world is so fricking supportive, she has already met her first goal so she can hire an editor.  I would like to help her push to be able to afford some post-production things like promotion/marketing as well. If you have $5 to throw at a SUPER worthy cause, this is IT.  Plus that are pretty neat perks to doing so (like getting your name IN THE BOOK!).

Click on the button below to learn more…

 

 

 

 

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So I tweeted that I made this for breakfast this week…

blueberry breakfast cake. nom nom NOM.

But let’s be real here.  I got it from pinterest.  Oh yes I did.  Right here, in fact.  So I will let you go to the source for that.  It’s yum.  You really should try it.

Instead, I will tell you about this little gem that took me a week to make because I couldn’t find mascarpone cheese ANYWHERE, so I ended up making my own.  But it was TOTALLY worth it.

Cheesecake Ice Cream

with Raspberry Sauce

This recipe came from my Cuisenart Ice Cream Maker “cookbook”, so you know, you sort of need an ice cream maker to do it.

The Stuff you Need For the Ice Cream:

12 oz of cream cheese cut into pieces
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of mascarpone, room temp (I made my own)
1 cup whole milk, room temp
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream, room temp

The Stuff You Need for the Raspberry Sauce:

12 oz bag of frozen raspberries, thawed
3 Tbs granulated sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of orange zest

What You Do for the Ice Cream:

>follow your ice cream maker’s directions for setting up/freezing your mixing bowl.

>Put the cream cheese in a stand mixer and cream on medium speed until very smooth.
>With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and salt; let it mix until it’s homogeneous.
>Add the mascarpone  until well combined.
>Slowly add the milk until smooth.
>Mix in the sour cream.
>Cover mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

>Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions for adding ice cream mixture.

What You Do for the Raspberry Sauce:

>put the raspberries into the bowl of a food processor with the metal chopping blade and process for about 15 seconds.
> Add the rest of the ingredients and process for about 45 more seconds.

>Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the seeds.

>Taste and add more sugar if needed.

I served my cheesecake ice cream in the little pre-made graham cracker crusts…the tiny ones.  Then I put the raspberry sauce on top.

I am fairly certain this is my new favorite thing EVER.

It’s just the right size where I don’t feel like I am gorging myself on a sweet treat, but it’s also just the right size for a nice bit of cool yum after a meal.

If ever there was a reason to get an ice cream maker, THIS IS IT!

I also made peanut butter cup ice cream this week.

And next up? Banana Walnut Chip.

Go ahead and drool.

Now it’s your turn.  Share something with me.

Saturday Sharefest…BOOM!

I’ve decide that Saturday isn’t just for the bloggers or posts I’ve loved all week, but for all the random things I want to share.  I might want to remember this stuff someday, so I may as well throw it up on the blog.

Lucky you.

Let’s start with internet things…

Last week I finished up telling you about the blogs that show up in my Google Reader.  I also have a list on facebook of blogs I like that I don’t want to miss.  Some of the ones in my reader are also on this list, but here are some I haven’t mentioned yet that you should check out.

Mommy Shorts. Ilana cracks me the crap right up. I read almost every post she writes, but only comment sporadically.  To be honest, I just can’t compete with her hilarity.  Anything I would add would just be lame in comparison.  But the funny part?  She reminds me of my best friend in real life.

 Mama’s Losin’ It! I love me some Mama Kat. She is funny, smart, funny.  Funny gets me every time.  I am fairly certain she is one of those bloggers I follow who doesn’t know me, but I am ok with that.  Also?  Her vlogs/videos are some of the only I will watch.  So there’s that.

Sellabit Mum.  Yeah, Tracy is not English or a nun. She is in Minnesota and she has kids. And don’t tell her, but I don’t “get” her blog title.  But I love her.  Her posts bounce between poignant and hilarious.  Really.  I never even know from the title whether I am going to be crying from laughter or empathy.

So yeah…go check those mommas out.

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The other thing I was going to share with you today was a fricking delicious recipe for pork loin with a mustard sauce served with yellow squash and zucchini.

It was so yum.

But instead, just as I was going to make the mustard sauce–you know, the thing that ties the whole dish together?  I grabbed the pan handle that had been in the oven.

I didn’t say any swears out loud, but I did cry later.

Yeah. So that sucked.

Instead I will give you the recipe of Cort’s favorite cookie: The Snickerdoodle

I am not really sure why it’s called a “snickerdoodle” since there are neither snickers nor doodles, but hey, here we go…

 

Snickerdoodles

Disclosure: I did not make this recipe up, however I have no idea where it came from.

The Stuff You Need:

1 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups of flour
2 tsp of cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
2 Tbs of sugar
2 tsp of cinnamon

What You Do:

> Mix the butter, sugar, and eggs together.
> Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
> Roll dough into small balls
> mix the 2 Tbs of sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon together in a small bowl
> Roll the dough balls around in the mix
> Bake on an ungreased pan for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F

That’s it.

Then you hide half the batch from the husband so he won’t eat them all in one sitting.

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Oh wait!  One more share…

and then my Teacher Heart burst.

Happy Saturday, my peoples.

so you’re going to BlogHer…or not.

I went to this big blogging conference last year–you  may have heard of it?  It’s called BlogHer and it’s kind of a big deal.

Anywho, I went while I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with Charlie. I flew across the country, by myself, while popping zofran and tums like candy, on lots of medication to help me feel ok.

I still barfed during sessions.  I still needed to go back to my room every afternoon for a pregnant nap.  I still left all the parties by 11pm so I wouldn’t turn into a pumpkin could get some sleep for me and Charlie.

And I came back with a wicked case of antenatal depression.

BUT I HAD FUN!

I really did.  I met some of the most fantastic women; I solidified friendships; I hugged one of my best friends for the first time; and I was recognized by someone whom I was pretty sure had no idea I existed. Plus? San Diego is gorgeous.

However.

I am not going this year.  Lots of reasons.  Not the point of this post.

I will be going next year.  I’ve already decided (please, BlogHer Goddesses, let it be more centrally located in the country for this midwestern bumpkin).

When I do go again, these are the things I think I will do differently…

>>>I will NOT stress out about what to wear.  Seriously.  Last year I think I wrote three posts panicking about clothes.  CLOTHES.  My BlogHer vet friends told me not to worry.  They told me over and over.  I worried.  Needlessly.  Most of the stuff I painstakingly picked out?  I never wore.  At the time I blamed pregnancy, but let’s be honest.  That is not how I roll in real life.  I put something on in the morning and willmaybe change up part of it to go out at night.  Not do a complete overhaul.  Also? NO ONE CARES.

>>>I will NOT bring 87 pairs of shoes.  I wore two.  TWO pairs.  flip-flops by day and ONE of the nights I wore a cute pair of red mary jane pumps I had.  Again, I was pregnant.  But I wasn’t THAT pregnant.  I’m a teacher.  I am used to being on my feet, but I also wear comfy shoes.

>>>I will NOT try to do ALL THE THINGS.  It’s not possible.  Well, maybe it is, but you go home with jet lag and antenatal depression and no desire to blog ever again.  I tried to go to sessions and speakers and the expo and all the parties I could possibly attend.  Man, I want to go to bed just reading that.  Next time I will maybe go to some sessions.  Or maybe I will just get an expo pass.  Or maybe even just a party pass.  Quality over quantity is a true statement.

>>>I will NOT care about parties.  I really didn’t care last year, but I rsvp-ed and went to them all because the crowd I was with went to them all.  I ended up underwhelmed at most of them.  I am sure part of it was my lack of drinking, but I am not a HUGE drinker, so I can’t really blame that.  I just think some of it is over-hyped.  Like prom.  Remember how you wait your whole life for prom and then you go…”meh. I guess it was fun.”  Yeah. That.  Don’t get me wrong, a few of the parties were off-the-chain-ALL CAPS-awesome, but that was mostly due to WHO was there, not WHAT was there.

>>>I will NOT worry about my impression.  I know last year there were people who were let down after meeting me.  But they didn’t know I had maybe just barfed, or just woken up from a nap, or was on my way to a nap, or was on a mission for water, or was amazed they knew me, or was still shell-shocked by the sheer number of people I knew, but didn’t know…but KNEW!  I know I came off as aloof, snobby, whatever to some people.  I am bad at showing emotion.  It’s why I talk to people IN MY COMPUTER.

>>>I will NOT just stare at someone I love, but go talk to them.  I wish I had gone up and said hi to so many people who I saw from afar.  So silly to not do it.

>>> I will NOT be a swaghole. Of all the free stuff I was giving/took, I left about 30% of it behind.  Of the stuff that came home with me (smashed in its own suitcase that I had to check/pay for), I probably only kept/used 10%. I gave another 10% of it away as gifts, and I chucked or donated the other 80%. I’m  a language teacher, and even I know that I played that game wrong.  No one needs 43573987 tubes of lip balm.

>>> I WILL make time to just sit and chat.  The best…and I mean HANDS DOWN THE BEST part of going to BlogHer was meeting IN REAL LIFE people I have been pouring my soul to in this space, whom I have been whining and venting to on twitter, whose words I read faithfully over my cup of coffee in the morning or my glass of wine in the evening.

Did you make it this far down my list?  You did?  AWESOME.

Want more tips?  I’m over at Daddy Runs A Lot today (the fool let me roam his place alone…unsupervised…oh the amok I will run…) giving him some tips too because he is going to BlogHer!

I figured that poor soul has visions of hot moms having pillow fights in his head and what he is in for is very, very…NOT THAT.

So follow me to his place for a big party…I mean…tips for Dad Bloggers at a Mom Blogger conference.  Weee!

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Also, don’t forget that I am doing a super awesomely rad giveaway with Papersalt over here.

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