Archive for Christy

Boston Parent Bloggers Welcomes the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston

P1180659I know we’re always looking for new and fun things to do with the kids, especially when it’s too hot/cold/wet to be outside. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston in Assembly Row, Somerville, launches next week (May 23) as the newest option for indoor family fun. Several of our members had the chance to check it out and are giving away passes so you can enjoy it with your own family.

Check out the reviews and giveways at:

 

 

On Patriots’ Day and the Boston Marathon Tragedy

If you don’t live in the Boston area, it’s probably hard to understand what the atmosphere around Patriot’s Day is like. It’s the first day of spring break, and a state holiday. There’s the marathon and a morning Red Sox game. There’s so much optimism and excitement – like an unofficial start to spring. I’m heartbroken that it will never be the same.

These words are from Boston Parent Bloggers co-Founder, Jodi Grundig. People around the world will associate the tragedy today with the Boston Marathon, but for those of us in/from the area, it’s not just Marathon Monday. It’s Patriots’ Day and it is now forever tied to today’s tragic events. Boston is a city that was forged in struggle and hardship. Patriots’ Day is intended to honor that. We hope the spirit of Boston and the fierce pride and determination of her citizens rise above once again.

As parents, children, spouses, and friends, our thoughts, prayers, and good wishes go out to those impacted by the bombings.

 

Virtual Vigil for Sandy Hook

Our thoughts go out to those impacted by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT this past week. As parents, we wanted to reach out, speak out, and send our love and support.

These posts authored by our members reflect our diverse thoughts and feelings as we try to comprehend the violence and fear, as well as celebrate the memories of those lost.

photo credit: 53 mm photogRaphy via photopin cc

My kids at Disney Social Media Moms, or why I don't have mommy guilt about my blog

Mom, Do You Have What it Takes to Launch a Successful Blogging Business?

My kids at Disney Social Media Moms, aka why I don't have mommy guilt about my blog - do they look lonely and deprived?

Every single week, my husband and his friends get together to play video games.  I used to joke that I’d have to be dying for him to stay home. The truth is that they commit to it and make it happen. It’s not unusual for one of them to miss it (they all have very young children), but game night goes on. I once tried to organize a monthly get-together that consisted mostly of the wives of this same group of guys. We got together one time because they started dropping out each month. Their husbands were working late (something that never happens on game night), the kids were sick, or something else had come up. I was one of the only ones in the group who was able and willing to consistently put that time aside for myself, ask my husband to back me up (which he happily did), and make the ongoing commitment.

Fast forward to now as I grow my blogging and freelancing career. It probably seems to newbies that mom bloggers are successful because they’ve holed themselves up in their home offices typing away (and tirelessly caring for their home and kids). While there are a few cases where this is true, generally it is not. These bloggers are out making connections, building relationships, and growing their businesses. Although I’m hardly the most successful blogger, I am still one of those women. I know that regardless of the size of my blog, I won’t get the opportunities if people don’t know who I am. And just as importantly, I have to know who others are, as well. Once again, I put that time aside for my business, ask my husband to back me up, and make an ongoing commitment by attending events, traveling, and meeting new people. If I can make it to an event that I’m even vaguely interested in, I go. You never know what interesting people you’ll meet.

The past few weeks, I’ve had a number of public and private conversations with other moms about growing their own blogging businesses and connecting more with brands. And the consistent challenge that I’m seeing is that they are not able and/or willing to put forth the investment of time, money (yes, building a business will cost you something), and self that is required to properly launch a business. Much like the moms in the social group I tried to start, they have too many hurdles – childcare fell through, a sick kid is home, a hubby has to travel/work late/do whatever, there is a family commitment.

So here is the big secret of successful bloggers who are moms: they jump over those hurdles whenever they can. We all have to deal with those things. Dads have to deal with those things, too. And this is where you have to make a decision. You either find a way to bypass as many hurdles as possible, or you accept that you are not likely to launch into blogger superstardom right now. Because the worst thing you can do is hover in the middle, making commitments and breaking them, and burning all of your bridges in the process.  Your professionalism is part of your blogging currency.

Please understand that this isn’t a judgment. We all have different circumstances and priorities and that’s OK. But if you look at the bloggers who are getting the big opportunities, you’re going to find that they generally have some things in common.

  • They’ve got childcare help, either from a truly supportive partner, or family, or a reliable sitter or nanny. Most likely, there’s even backup help.
  • They are flexible and creative with hurdle jumping. When something comes up, they work to find a solution and they use all of the resources at their disposal. It helps them remain a reliable person to work with.
  • They have some kind of budget for their business. And don’t forget that it may be funds they’ve been saving for years.
  • They’ve managed to either let go of or channel their mom guilt. You simply can’t build a business without sacrificing some time with your kids, especially if they are home with you 24/7. And you probably won’t be there for every soccer game, talent show, or science fair. I let go of mine by reminding myself that my kids are watching their mom follow her passion – exactly what I want for them – and that they get some pretty cool perks out of it.
  • They are present. When opportunities arise, they are there, because they know that’s where the magic happens.
  • They work damn hard. Regardless of what you think of their writing or content or layout, chances are that they have put in their time (writing and/or networking).

So now is the time to ask yourself if you’re ready. Do you have most or all of those elements? Can you put them in place? If no, that’s fine. Now isn’t the right time for you to go all out. You can work on slowly building your business until you are ready. Otherwise, jump on in, Sister. There’s plenty of room for us all!

Win a Ticket to Blog Better Boston

We know how hard it can be to travel to conferences, but we also know the value in the learning, networking, and inspiration. That’s why we’re so excited about the upcoming Blog Better Boston conference on March 24, 2012. We’re not the only ones… Blog Better Boston is now sold out, but we’ve got a ticket for one lucky blogger!

The giveaway is open to all, but we do have a bonus entry for Boston Parent Blogger members. The giveaway runs through the end of the day on Wednesday, March 7. Enter now! Leave a comment below answering the question, “What is one thing you want to learn about blogging or social media?” and then click “Do It!” in the Rafflecopter widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Boston Parent Bloggers Tip of the Week – Legwork

One of my favorite things about Boston Parent Bloggers and about blogging in general is the chance to help other people start seeing their visions come to life through blogging. Whether it’s just a place to express yourself, promotion for another business, a chance to meet new people, or the beginning of your social media empire, blogging is fun. When you’re just getting started, there are so many questions you may have, and it’s great to have someone who can lend a hand, mentor you, and keep you from making some big mistakes. I truly enjoy that and I’m happy to help out. That said, you have to be willing to do some of the work on your own.

  • If you’ve researched blogging platforms and want to know which one I use and why, please ask. But don’t ask me to choose a platform for you, or outline all of the pros and cons of each.
  • If you want help installing a plugin on your blog, or have a problem with a particular setting, ask. But don’t ask me, “How do I get started?”
  • If you’re attending a conference for the first time and I’ve already been, I can certainly provide some tips for getting the most out of things, but you should also read the conference website and seek out other blogs that have information on how to prepare and what to do.
Google (or Bing or even Yahoo) is your friend. Do your homework. And this is not only because I’m a busy person and I expect that you’ll honor how valuable my time is, but because your blog is your business. If you aren’t motivated enough to go out there and look around, if you aren’t so excited and curious that you want to learn as much as you can, you are not going to succeed. The bloggers you see making an income from their work (not through their blogs, but through work that comes from their blogs) didn’t learn to do so from a book or from someone holding their hand through every step. They got there through trial and error and a passion so great that nothing could stand in their way. So, do as much as you can on your own. But do know that if you get stuck, there is most likely someone else out there who is happy to help you get past your hurdle.

Boston Parent Blogger Tip of the Week – Relationships

Becoming a respected member of the blogosphere is all about building relationships and it doesn’t happen overnight. Connect with other bloggers, join and engage on a few social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook being the most important right now), attend events and conferences, and participate on other blogs you enjoy. If you’re looking for opportunities, you can’t just tuck yourself away and focus on your blog. You’ve got to build those relationships as well.

Win Tickets to Disney On Ice Presents – Pixar-Disney Toy Story 3

I'm Celebrating with Disney!Disney fans have reason to celebrate in Boston! Quite a few Boston Parent Bloggers will be attending the opening night of Disney On Ice Presents – Pixar-Disney Toy Story 3 in Boston on February 18 and each of them is giving away a four-pack of tickets on their own blog. We invite you to blog-hop and enter them all! You might even find a great new blog to add to your reader.

[These contests are not affiliated with Boston Parent Bloggers. Rules of entry and deadlines are determined by the individual blogs.]

*Bloggers: Please submit the name of your blog in the “Link Title” spot.

Parenting Adventures in New England

Kate, of Adventures in Parenting, recently moved to the Boston area from St. Louis. As a New England native, I sometimes take for granted all of the amazing things there are to do in our area. Kate and her family spent the past year really delving into all of the wonderful places that make New England special (including the ability to easily get to NYC!). She blogged about it on her site, and I’ve snagged her YouTube video so you can see how amazing New England truly is. Once you’ve fallen in love with New England (and her adorable kids), head over to Kate’s site. She’s also a fantastic writer.

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Boston Parent Bloggers Launches!

Boston Parent Bloggers launched last week with more than 40 members present to help us celebrate. The event, which was hosted at the Barefoot Books Flagship Store and Community Center, was both colorful and fun. Bloggers of all experience levels mingled, networked, and had plenty to eat! There are so many fantastic recaps on members’ blogs, so I won’t try to capture it all here, but here are some pictures to give you a sense of the atmosphere.

Member Recaps:

Thank you again to all of our fabulous sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks also to Angela Tseng of MommyBytes.com for acting as “official” photographer for the evening. Lastly, thank you to Kim of Mommycosm and Melanie of TheCouponGoddess for helping us stuff 120 gift bags.