Category Archives: Blogging

Identity Crisis

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Since I started blogging almost a year and a half ago, I have struggled with categorizing what type of blogger I am.  I’m trying to focus, really I am and  I do get that this is fairly important in order to gain readers that share my interests.  Every blogger wants to grow their audience.  However, next to “What’s for dinner?” my least favorite question to be asked is  “What type of blog do you write?”  The answer is “I don’t know.”

My So Called Glamorous Life: The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer

My So Called Glamorous Life: The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer

It happened again today.  While at church, I handed someone my business card and the first thing out of their mouth was, “What kind of blog do you write?”  I hesitated a bit then said “Well, check it out and you be the judge.” I know, it was lame, but it was all I could think of.  Here’s the thing:

I’m a mom, but I’m not a “mom blogger”.

I’m a Christian, but I’m not a Christian blogger.

I love to cook, but I’m not a food blogger.

I love good design, but I am not a design blogger.

I’m a feminist, but I am not a feminist blogger.

I am African-American, but I blog for everyone.

My favorite was when someone asked if my blog was for “older women who are empty-nesters”.  I was like “Dude! My nest is over flowing!”  However, I do appreciate the wisdom that has come with age.

In fact, I blog about all of this and more to some degree because all of this is uniquely me. My experience and my perspective.  My life (and I’m willing to bet yours, too) is so complicated and my interests so varied that I could never limit my writing to just one or two topics.  Wouldn’t you agree about your life, also?  After all, people tend to be multifaceted.

So, I guess, that if I must answer the question, I would say that I’m a lifestyle blogger.  Yes? No? Maybe?  Apparently, I am having an identity crisis.

What I do know is that I appreciate each and every one of you for whatever reason you are here.  I hope that you enjoy what I have to offer and that you walk away with information, encouragement, inspiration, an idea or a good laugh.  Thank you for hanging out with me.

 

Lisa

 

New Address…Same Me

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My New Web Address

My New Web Address

I have a new web address!  Isn’t it pretty?  Changes are coming to My So Called Glamorous Life and I thought I’d start by making it easier for you all to find me on the web.  Not to worry, I’m still going to be blogging and baking like I always do.  I’m just doing a little redecorating, that’s all.  Have a great weekend!

The Fog

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“…I believe a lot of our lives ares spent asleep and what I’ve been trying to do is hold on to those moments when a little spark cuts through the fog and nudges you,” – Canadian musician, Rufus Wainwright.

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I need more than a spark to nudge me.  It may take a few sticks of dynamite to get this girl moving.  I have no idea what’s wrong with me.  Since the clock struck midnight on 2014  I’ve been doing nothing, but spinning my wheels.  Christmas decorations are still up not to mention (dare I admit it?) a couple of follow-up Christmas packages to be sent.  Maybe I should re-wrap them and make them Valentine’s gifts?  Surely the recipients  know that I love them, I’m just having trouble getting there.  It’s like I’m lost and wandering  in a fog. Obviously, and amazingly, no one else in my house has noticed because I’m “Mom”.  Talk to “Mom” and things get done and well, that’s all that really matters.  The “how” is for me to figure out.  

Do you ever feel this way?  What do you do to bring your life back into focus?  Unfortunately, this makes me very uncomfortable  because I’m one of those  people who likes to have her ducks in a row.  Scattered ducks bother me.   It’s not an ebb in my creativity as I have started several blog posts, but I have yet to finish one.  And when I do make an attempt to complete one, I hate the way it reads and I delete it.  It’s the fog.  I simply can not see anything clearly right now.    I know it will pass,  won’t it?  I just want to know when? 

New Year, Same Me

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Chicago in the Winter

Chicago in the Winter – The Bean

I’m in Chicago on probably the coldest 24 to 48 hours in years, with wind chills expected to go to around 50 below zero.   As much as I love this city,  right now I’d really rather be anywhere else.  Well, anywhere else that the temperature is at least above zero.   Needless to say, I spent this day indoors resting, chatting, eating cookies, surfing the net and other fun stuff.  Totally relaxing if you don’t count the part where I spent hours on hold trying to get another flight home.  Living in south Texas for the past year and a half,  I have really missed Winter.  I miss the quiet stillness of the snow and the way it forms a fluffy blanket over the earth. I miss the soft glow that the snow gives off  so that it brightens the night sky.   I even miss the cold, not this extreme cold,  but normal cold winter days.  I’m from the Midwest – what can I say?

However, I am looking forward to getting home and getting back into the swing of things.  My kids, my cooking, my blogging and the rest of my life.  Even if there’s no snow at home.  I started my second year of blogging on January 1st and I am ready to get to work.  I’ve got plans…BIG plans!  Well, really, I just have a lot that I want us to talk about.  Some of it serious and some not so serious.  All of it relevant.  Some of it socially conscious, some  totally self-absorbed, all of it truly me.

Unlike previous years, I found no reason to find a new me.  I like the old me just fine.  I do want to tweak a few things like my organizational skills, better meal planning and sticking to my grocery list. Oh, and limiting my Target runs to once a month.   And of course the perfunctory eat better and get more exercise.  I’ll work on that, too, but that’s it.  I’m good.  In fact, I’m better than good.  I’m great!  So, I’m hoping that you all will come along for the ride.  I hope that you will feel free to share and comment on my posts and musings (you all are so quiet) and  I hope that I can inform, encourage and uplift each of you. So, hang on and enjoy my so called glamorous life!

2013’s Top Ten

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It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m doing some cleaning and organizing and reminiscing.  This has been a great year for my blog (My first year at that!  More on that tomorrow) and I thought that it might be fun to take a look back at some of my most read posts.  A couple of these surprised me and, happily, two of them were my favorites.  What’s really interesting is the wide range of topics that are covered in this list.  Not only is my mind all over the place, but apparently you like it that way!  This list is compiled using the number of views across all of my platforms (WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogher).  Also (and this just blows me away), the first two posts on this list had over 2,000 views each! I recognize that there are much bigger blogs with a much larger audience, but I started this blog one year ago with no goals, no expectations and no idea what I was doing.  I just like to write.  This is extremely humbling.  Thank you! ♥

1) It’s Not Just About Trayvon

2) What Color is Your Doll?

3) A Lesson For Parents From Nelson Mandela

4) Intent Is 9/10 of the Law

5) The Last Time That She Knew Me (a personal favorite of mine)

6) Back to School Basics: The Parent/Teacher Partnership

7) We Partied Until Dawn

8) Finding My Christmas Spirit

9) FAT! (another personal favorite of mine)

10) ‘Tis the Season for Pumpkin Pie (this one surprised me).

Thanksgiving

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Over the last 27 days leading up to Thanksgiving, I have blogged a lot about things for which I am thankful.   In this, my last post for the blog link up at Champagne to Crayons, 28 Days of Celebrating Thanks, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for YOU, my readers.  I am so appreciative of the time that you take out of your day to spend with me. I sincerely hope that there is something that I have said that you have found encouraging, comforting, amusing, informative or anything else that you may have needed at that moment.  As you spend time with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, please remember that you are never far from my thoughts and prayers and, again, thank you for your support and encouragement.  Most of all, thank you for being you! Peace.

Lisa

Over Looking the Obvious

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Today’s post topic on the 28 Days of Celebrating Thanks blog link – up over at Champagne to Crayons is “a project that I have done”.  I had no idea what to write about.  I mean, sure, I’ve worked on projects at work over the years.  There have been school projects with the kids and house decorating projects.  My husband,   he’s a project of mine sometimes, but really I could think of nothing that made me want to blog about it.  So, this morning I was talking to my son, Mr. C., about needing to find something suitable for this topic and he just kind of stood there and looked at me with an expression that said “You poor, poor old woman.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”, I asked.

“Well, Mom, you could write about…your blog.”

“Oh, yeah…I could, couldn’t I ?”

I know, right?  It was really obvious, but somehow I missed it.  In my defense, I’m exhausted and barely forming coherent sentences, so it’s a bit much to expect me to think clearly.  Also, in my mind, a project is something that you plan from conception to completion.  Trust me when I say that there was no planning.   I told my husband that I was going to start a blog, and I did.  I had no idea what I would blog about or how often I would post to the blog.  I did a little research on various types of blogs, followed a few blogs and that was that.  I had no way to measure success and I set no goals.  Hardly a project and I was certainly no project manager.

However, over this first year of blogging, I have learned an awful lot about my craft.  I am learning the lingo: clicks, referrers, page views, etc. I have even set goals for my blog and myself over the next 1 to 2 years. Now, I just have to figure out how to reach them.  It’s definitely a work in progress, but I’m most proud of the fact that I have been consistent and stuck with it.  Blogging is much harder than I thought it would be, but it is well worth the late nights, constant picture-taking and checking my stats.  What makes it satisfying is you, my readers.  I am always surprised and humbled when I encounter someone who is a regular reader.  It is because of you that I want to do this to the best of my ability.  Thank you!

So, I guess what started out as some sort of experiment has evolved into a legitimate project. That’s kind of exciting! I’m nowhere near completion, but I am certainly looking forward to Phase 2.

Validation – My Shining Moment

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When I first started this blog it was as much about being validated as it was about having an outlet.  I was bitter about moving away from my friends and family and I needed some way to express that, but I also needed something in my life that was genuinely mine.  Me. It needed to be about me or at least completely my creation.  I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t share much of it because I was too afraid of what other’s would think.  Let’s face it, writers want people to like what they are writing.  We put our thoughts, and our hearts, out there for others to see, judge, and comment on and hope for the best.  Deep down, every one of us wants our readers to agree with us or validate our musings.  At the very least we don’t want to be told that we suck at it because honestly, most of us aren’t making any money at this.  Most of us write because it’s our passion.    

I had been plugging away for a few months when I decided to start submitting posts to BlogHer.    For those of you that don’t know, BlogHer is a blogging website with a reach of over 60 million viewers and has a variety of some of the most talented bloggers and business women out there.  I was unsure of what to expect, but I was certain that I would be a very small fish in a gigantic ocean.  And I was, however, I was not prepared for what happened shortly thereafter.  Soon after I began posting on the BlogHer website, I was notified that my post, What Are We Doing to Our Children?  was chosen to be featured on their Website, Facebook and Twitter.  I was floored!  I was flattered! Finally, I was validated!   Finally, someone who had no connection to me at all had confirmed what I had always known; that yes, I am a writer.  Not to mention, they thought I was talented.  Bonus!  And, not just anyone, but BlogHer, a giant in the blogosphere.  It was a good day…no, a good week…make that, a good month!  I have had posts featured on BlogHer a few more times since then and every time I’m just as honored, and surprised as I was the first time.  I’ll never quite get used to it and I will never forget that first time.  That was definitely my shining moment.

*This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 16: My Shining Moment, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks.If you would like to tread more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

Charity

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I think this graphic says it all.


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 I have said this before, but reading the comments on blog posts and internet articles is by far my least favorite part of blogging.  I read a lot and in fact believe that if I’m going to do this job well, I have to stay connected to what’s going on in the blogosphere.  I am constantly amazed and disheartened by the tone that many people take when they are hidden anonymously behind a computer screen.  And, I am convinced that most people would think twice before saying these same things face to face.

Why are we so quick to judge and to attack?  Why do we always need to be right?   Whatever happened to giving someone the benefit of the doubt? Disagreements are fine and a healthy debate is good.  If you pay attention to the other party, you just might learn something. However, disparaging remarks, name calling and pointlessly antagonizing each other is so unnecessary and fruitless.  After all, isn’t our goal to be better?  Shouldn’t we be expecting the best from each other and in turn giving each other our best? 

If we all had a more charitable spirit, I think we would choose our words more carefully.  We would take our time and think about our response before we hit the first key on the keyboard.  We would remember that life is far more complicated than what is conveyed in a blog post and rarely are things as black and white as what we read on a computer screen.  Just a thought.

*This post is a mash-up of Day 14: Life Lesson and Day 15: Charity  on Champagne to Crayons’ 28 Days Celebrating Thanks.  If you would like to read more posts by my fellow bloggers, click here.

November Blessings

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Hello Novemeber

Despite all of the dire severe weather warning of the past few days, Halloween was a smashing success!  The rain finally stopped around 2:00 in the afternoon, that Texas sunshine came through and by the time that the girls and I went out, it was perfect weather for trick-or-treating.  Of course, Big Poppa was waiting for us to come home so he could “check” (read “eat”) the candy.  Safety first, you know…what a guy. Thing 1 and Thing 2 had their obligatory 4 pieces of candy each (Thing 1 can’t count, she had at least 6), took their bath and the subsequent sugar crash.  Afterward, they fell fast asleep probably dreaming of still more candy.  Hope Big Poppa didn’t “check” all of it before  morning.

So, now we turn our attention to November.  I love, love, love November and not just because it’s my birth month…and my son’s birth month…and my husband’s birth month.  No. The reason that I love November is Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year.  It’s the one holiday that I’m not required to spend a lot of money on gifts; I get to spend time with the people that I love the most; there’s fantastic food; and best of all, I am almost compelled to think about all of those things that make me thankful just to be me.  In fact, it’s my love of Thanksgiving that makes me so annoyed when Halloween is barely over and out come the Christmas trees.  Heck, we’re lucky if we don’t see Christmas lights before the jack-o-lanterns make it to the garbage!  I like to savor every moment of November and let December wait it’s turn.

I have recently stumbled upon a blog called Champagne To Crayons where new mom Nicole Mildren blogs about motherhood, life and all of the stuff that comes along with it.  You should definitely check it out, but for the next 28 days, Nicole will be hosting a blog link up entitled “A Celebration of Thanks: 28 days of Celebrating What You Are Thankful For.”   Considering how I feel about Thanksgiving, you know that I’m all in.  Of course, this will require me to write every day for 28 days, which scares me, but I certainly have 28 things (and more) to be grateful for in my life.

I think that if most of us took the time to really think about it, we could all find things, both big and small, that would qualify as blessings.  Things for which we should be eternally thankful.  For instance, I consider myself truly blessed when in the middle of a pounding thunderstorm, I find a parking space at the grocery store right in front of the door.  Or when Thing 1 manages to come out untouched my Thing 2’s bout with the flu. Blessed!  Likewise, I didn’t realize just how big of a blessing it was this summer that my husband got to spend so much time with his father during our vacation until his dad died three weeks after we returned home.  Yes, blessings great and small.  I could go on and on and I’m sure that you could, too.   The thing is that unless we experience the seemingly miraculous,  all too often these daily blessings go unnoticed and we get stuck in the monotonous grind of our lives and..well, you know how it goes.  I recently wrote about finding joy in the sometimes mundane routine of our daily lives (you can read it here) and I believe as with counting your blessings, it is a conscious decision to humble ourselves and just be grateful for the lives that we have.  Joy and gratitude go hand in hand and think of all of the things that we routinely miss by not drinking it all in.  Yes, I’m looking forward to the daily writing prompts in this twenty-eight day challenge because I’m looking forward to focusing on the practical reality of Thanksgiving. Counting my blessings one day at a time.