Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Questions...

Four simple questions today...

1. Do you usually dress up for Halloween?

2. What are your kids dressing up as this year?

3. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?

4. What type of candy do you pray is in your child's candy bucket? :)

(My answers: I never dress up. Darth Vader, Cinderella, Tinker Bell. Rainbow Bright. Reese's )

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Results - Questions 2 & 3

Today I'm revealing the results to questions 2 and 3 from my online survey regarding our online habits.

I expected the winning answer to question 2 to be a popular choice but I was surprised that it took the cake, so to speak.

I asked:

What draws you to certain sites/blogs regularly?

- I know the blogger/blogger is a personal friend
- Blogger always posts helpful information
- There's something intriguing about the site/blogger
- Routine/loyalty
- Funny/uplifting
- Searching for specific information

The most popular answer was...drum roll please...can you guess it?? YES! Something intriguing! Did you guess correctly?

I don't know why I'm so surprised by this. I was sort of thinking the winner would be 2 or 6. Or something pertaining to wanting to read about what interests you.

Instead, this just proves that social media is indeed SOCIAL! We are all about people and their creative takes on any given subject - even a subject we might not care that much about.

"Content is King", "It's not about you". Do you believe this? Or will you admit that you visit blogs that hold no value for you other than there's just something about the blogger that you like...maybe their hair, or their humor, or their pictures, or their voice. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe you're totally intrigued by some other irritating nuance and you just have to confirm regularly that, yup...still not a fan.

I will shamefully admit that there are a few blogs I visit often that do nothing for me other than to answer the question, "what did so-and-so write about today?". These are the blogs I never comment on. I just drop see. But, for whatever reason, they do have the intrigue factor in their favor.

Question 3 was:

Do you prefer the blogs you love to be...

- Longer, meatier posts/information
- Short, sweet and to the point
- I like both. Mix it up some.

This one was split. Half of you said short and sweet and half of you said mix it up. So head's up to all you long winded folk. :)

What do you think? Do you agree with the results from my survey? Is intrigue your biggest pull to certain blogs? How do you interpret the results from question 2?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is Your Favorite Fall Treat?

I've been feeling "homey" lately.

Like I want to decorate and bake and glue orange tissue paper to pumpkin shaped cardboard.

This feeling usually takes over around this time of year when there are so many different ways to make the holidays fun for my kids!

I was sitting and watching TV the other night and a sudden sweet craving hit me. Only I couldn't place what it was I wanted.

It wasn't chocolate (weird!) or ice cream (too cold) or even something warm and cakey (which is usually what I want).

And then it hit me! Caramel apples! Yum! And so totally fall-ish!

So I went searching for a recipe and found this one from Betty Crocker.

My goal is to attempt to make these with my kids this weekend. Worse case, I'll have a large pot of melted caramel to lick!

What is your favorite fall treat? Do you find you always crave the same sweets or do your cravings sometimes shock you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Survey Results - Question 1

Last week I posted a social media survey to figure out where you spend most of your internet time, how much time you have to allocate to web socializing and just what you are looking for when surfing cyberspace.

Some of the results were expected and some made me go, "hmmm?" I plan to share the results over the next few weeks.

1. How much time do you spend on social media sites?
Less than 30 minutes a day = 21%
About an hour every day = 36%
2-3 hours a day = 43%
More than 3 hours = 0%
Hardly ever, maybe once a week = 0%

The results for this question didn't surprise me that much. After all if you want to create an online presence you have to be online. Go figure!

This news seems discouraging at first glace to someone like me, who literally has about 15 minutes in the morning to skim blogs, maybe pop onto Twitter and add a quick status update on Facebook (which if I'm honest hasn't happened for days.)

Is it possible to build a web presence if you're never on the web? Or if you never make your presence known? The obvious answer is no. Worrisome...for writers like me.

The majority of the people who took my survey are online between 2-3 hours a day. My measly 15 minutes can't compare to that. And truth be told, it shows. Authors like Jody Hedlund and Keli Gwyn, who make a concerted effort to be everywhere, have very successful followings. But I'm willing to bet they put in the hours to make it all happen.

What do you think about the results to this question? Do they surprise you? Is time spent on social media sites something you have or something you find?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Thursday Funny

I saw this commercial and just had to share! It made me laugh so hard.

Oh, the things we try...

That poor lady is totally me...or has been at one time or another.

I've been the runner that's always being passed.

I've been the lady returning an ab roller.

I've tried the green smoothies.

I've been the one pushing my bike up a hill.

I attempted the Wii fitness game.

And yes...I've even done strip aerobics. (Although the video kind cause I was way too embarrassed to try it outside of my home!)

Smile! It's almost Friday! :)

Oh and if you haven't taken my social media survey, please do!!! I'll be sharing the results next week but until then would love all the perspectives I can get!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

QUICK Social Media Survey

I often wonder about bloggers, their followers and what exactly readers are looking for.

So whether you're a blogger or a reader, I'm really curious about what you have to say.

I promise it's quick and easy. Only 10 questions. And it's anonymous so you can be as brutally honest as you'd like!

If nothing's always fun to take surveys...right? :)

Click here and have fun!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tis The Season

Halloween is right around the corner followed by the fast moving weeks that lead up to the end of the year.

In a blink it'll be 2012. Geez!

And since I pulled out my calendar today and started plugging in events for the next three months (pumpkin patch, apple picking, turkey hunting, Christmas light decorating, tree chopping, etc. Just kidding about hunting a turkey...although, now that I'm thinking about it...) I'm wondering what does your next three months look like.

Are they jam-packed with fun kiddie activities? Do you like to keep it slow and simple? What is your favorite holiday? And what is a favorite tradition of yours for that holiday?

I'm a Christmas nut. So, we'll all be singing along to the Chipmunks the day after Thanksgiving - sometimes sooner if I can justify robbing Thanksgiving of it's moment of glory. :)

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Conference Experience, The PG Version

Today I have a few pictures to share from my recent trip to St. Louis. There have been many wonderful pictures floating around various blogs and Facebook and I'm so thankful there are!

When I got home and scrolled through my pictures, I realized that I hadn't taken very many at all. And the ones I did take aren't of stellar quality.

But even considering my lack of photographic proof, I had a wonderful time! Aided greatly by my tour guides, Keli Gwyn and Erica Vetsch, two angels that always seemed to appear every time I felt lost or overwhelmed or alone.

The conference itself offered a plethora of learning opportunities; from the various workshops and publishers spotlights to the nerve-wracking appointments and the early bird session.

Which, by the way, I have to talk about for just a minute. Stanley Williams gave a wonderful 150+ slideshow presentation about story structure and the moral premise behind it all. For the record, this five hour class made the entire trip worth it for me. Seriously. It was wonderful!

But if I may be a goof ball for just a moment...

So, I'm sitting in a big conference room with two ladies that shall remain nameless. We're on hour 3.5, we're getting hungry, I'm freezing(!) and things started to become extra...funny.

Mr. Williams was citing the movie Where the Heart is with Natalie Portman. He was going into great detail about the symbolism (amongst other things) in the movie and how beautifully it was scripted. One of his examples was how the character Forny, was a safe place for Natalie Portman's character (I forget her name). He said, "Since she has been searching her entire life for a home it's only obvious why they named the guy Forny. Forny...homey...they kinda rhyme."

In my head I'm thinking, "no they don't" but I wasn't about to point out what word really came to my mind since I didn't want to offend my new friends - just in case they weren't as jaded as I can sometimes be. Thankfully, one of them leaned over to me and said, "uhh, that's not what that rhymes with."

It took me 10 minutes to compose myself enough so that I wasn't biting holes in my tongue to keep from laughing out loud! That poor lady sealed her fate then and there. I'll forever be a big fan!

Another fun moment was the morning I had breakfast with these three awesome ladies. Too sweet and too much fun. There are some people you meet and you feel like you've known forever. I love it when that happens!

The food on the other hand was not as wonderful, in my humble opinion. There was just always a little something that This was served one morning for breakfast. I won't say any more! :)

For me, this conference was just what I needed right when I needed something. I learned things I've wanted to learn, I talked with people I wanted to meet, I got dressed in something other than my mommy sweats, I found other Seat of the Pants writers (definitely more spiritual), I bonded with other "I'm-all-about-being-a-mommy" mommies, and I laughed and laughed! Which is always such good medicine for anything.

Interesting how I haven't mentioned my appointments yet (which were all very successful). I guess it just goes to show that relationships truly are more important than anything else.

Have you ever been to a big conference? Was it scary for you? Did you have people to help champion you along?
And for extra credit: Do you know what a Home Run pie is? What is your favorite flavor? (It has nothing to do with anything except for the fact that I'm eating a cherry one right now!) :)