Boston Parent Bloggers: Giveaways Week of June 10, 2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerCheck out this week’s giveaways from the member sites of the Boston Parent Bloggers. While you’re there, take a few moments to read a post or two. You never know when you might find a brand new blogger to follow.

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

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” area.

Dr. Panda

Boston Parent Bloggers Review Dr. Panda! Teach Me

Dr. PandaThis past April, 20 members of Boston Parent Bloggers had the opportunity to participate in sponsored posts and reviews of Dr. Panda! Teach Me.  This fun iPad/iPhone app, focused on kids aged 2-5 years old, teaches kids with fun games and puzzles. Our members played the app with their kids and then wrote thorough reviews on their own blogs.

Check out our members’ reviews, linked below!

Disclosure: This campaign was sponsored by Dr. Panda!

Meet Our Members: Leah from Pearls & Oysters

Let’s meet Leah from Pearls & Oysters, Oh Baby Boston, and Foodie Family Eats.

What do you write about?
I write about food and family. Raising kids and feeding them in addition to where to go out and eat on date night or with the kids. Some travel is included especially since where to eat on the road is always a question with picky eaters.

Where do you live?
Cambridge, Massachusetts

How long have you been blogging?
For about 5 years.

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

Not yet, but I do really like my first post I did on examiner.com http://foodiefamilyeats.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/pizzanight/

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?
http://smittenkitchen.com/
http://labelsareforjars.wordpress.com/
http://angrychicken.typepad.com/

What inspired you to start a blog?

I thought I was just keeping a journal for myself…and then it snowballed into a job freelance writing. Now I still mostly blog for myself but I enjoy the community of bloggers and am always happy when to share information with those who are interested.

How many children do you have?

2, ages 5 and 7

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

I like the community of bloggers and to find out about the different interests as bloggers, as parents, as “business” folk.

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?
I like wordpress.

Boston Parent Bloggers: Giveaways Week of June 3, 2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerCheck out this week’s giveaways from the member sites of the Boston Parent Bloggers. While you’re there, take a few moments to read a post or two. You never know when you might find a brand new blogger to follow.

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

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” area.

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!

Boston Parent Blogers Celebrate National Mom’s Nite Out With Raising A Reader

Gretchen Kinder of Raise A Reader MA.

Boston Parent Bloggers celebrated National Mom’s Nite Out at an event hosted at the Barefoot Books Flagship Storein Concord to shine a light on a local charity, Raising a Reader MA.

Raising a Reader MA is an evidence-based early literacy program that helps families of young children develop, practice and maintain habits of reading together at home. A key component of their programming is the Red Bag Book Rotation Program where bright red bags are filled with quality children’s books and are rotated through families’ homes.

Event attendees listened to and engaged with former Globe Parenting columnist Barbara Meltz and were able to experience the Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studio located at (and courtesy of) Barefoot Books. In addition, guests enjoyed a delicious spread of food sponsored by Stop & Shop.

Special thanks also goes to other sponsors including Pop Chips, Wegman’s Wine Shop, and National Mom Night’s Out.

Meet Our Members: Gilda from Evan and Lauren’s Cool Blog

Let’s meet Gilda from Evan and Lauren’s Cool Blog
(Gilda is also a guest blogger for Label Daddy.)

What do you write about?
Local shows, area attractions, activities in the area, product reviews, crafts, cake decorating, and the adventures of our family.

Where do you live?
Billerica, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston – 20 minutes away)

How long have you been blogging?
4 years as of April 2012

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

My favorite one is when I got to work with Disney and have an In Home Celebration. I love Disney and sharing my knowledge with others, and I got to gather items to rebuild my daycare provider’s daycare. Her house had just burned down and she lost almost everything. This was a great way to host a wonderful event and give back.

http://evan-and-lauren-a.blogspot.com/2010/04/42510-celebrating-giving-back-and.html

It goes along with this post:

http://evan-and-lauren-a.blogspot.com/2011/11/111511-mickey-mouse-will-always-have-my.html

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?

Mommy Niri – She was my friend before she started blogging (I already was). She is great and very grounded due to what she has gone through in life. http://www.mommyniri.com/

Occasional Rambling – She is my friend Dorene who started me blogging – http://www.occasionalrambling.com/ Though she hasn’t been posting much since her 3rd child. :-)

http://www.adventuresinparenting.me/ – I love people that move to Boston from some where else and share their thoughts. I have lived here forever so she has a different outlook.

Quirky Fusion – I also have known Christy for quite a while. Starting with Gymboree classes, and we have two common friends. http://quirkyfusion.com

And of course all of the Boston Parent Bloggers.

What inspired you to start a blog?

I love sharing pictures with friends and family. In fact when we got married I created a Wedding Web Page. I guess that was my true start. I am technical as I went to school at WPI for Aerospace Engineering – Read:

http://evan-and-lauren-a.blogspot.com/2010/02/21710-what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you.html

So sharing pictures and being technical was great. I could combine two passions. Despite the fact that my husband is a computer developer I learn on my own how to set stuff up.

How many children do you have?

2, a boy age 6 and a girl age 4

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

When I joined Twitter I noticed Christy on there and then made the connection.

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?
Statcounter for statistics
Google Reader
Blogger – I guess not my favorite but it was what I use
Linkys

Boston Parent Bloggers: Giveaways Week of 5/27/2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerCheck out this week’s giveaways from the member sites of the Boston Parent Bloggers. While you’re there, take a few moments to read a post or two. You never know when you might find a brand new blogger to follow.

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

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” area.

Meet Our Members: Laura from Being Loopy

Let’s meet Laura from Being Loopy.

What do you write about?
Life, bargains and chocolate.

Where do you live?
South Shore, Massachusetts

How long have you been blogging?
It was two years on January 19, 2012.

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

http://beingloopy.blogspot.com/2011/09/kardashian-kollection.html

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?
The Coupon Goddess
Kelly On The Brink
Laugh and Say Cheese

What inspired you to start a blog?

Melanie from The Coupon Goddess inspired me to start a blog. After reading her wonderful, quirky adventures I decided to give blogging a try.

How many children do you have?

0, I’m an Auntie to 9 children ranging in age from 6-22.

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

I joined BPB to connect with other area bloggers. As a part-time nanny, I knew I would enjoy connecting with parents.

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?

Truth be told, I’m not a “techie.” I use Blogger for my blog. I like it because it’s user friendly.

Boston Parent Blogger Member Giveaways: Week of May 20, 2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerTake a look below for the links to this week’s giveaways from the Boston Parent Bloggers member blogs. Entering a contest may lead you to discover your new favorite blog!

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

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” spot.