Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NYC Adventures

My trip to New York City was a blast! I always thought I'd hate the city, but now I cant' wait for an excuse to go back (cough *BlogHer 10*). I had a great time hanging out with old friends and meeting many new ones.

I met up with Ilina from Dirt and Noise, Carmen from Mom to the Screaming Masses, Jenn From Frugal Upstate and we enjoyed a fun, if touristy, dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner (singing waiters!) then we walked about 100 blocks through Times Square to the LUSH store and headed to a sponsored meet and greet.

I met up with BlogHer friend Jennifer Perillo from In Jennie's Kitchen and couldn't hear more than the conversations going on to my immediate right or left in the dark noisy room. That said, when one of my companions got up to make a call, I called Drew from Cook Like Your Grandmother over and we chatted.

Jennifer, Ilina, Drew and I headed to Lindy's for late night dessert. I only had 24 hours in NYC, when else was I going to try to the local cheesecake? Despite a citywide banana shortage, a good time was had by all, including Naomi from Superdumb Supervillain, who joined us after her late arrival to the hotel.

Naomi, Drew and I wandered around Times Square, but having already had my walkabout, I headed back to the hotel on my own. Halfway there, though, I stopped, enthralled by street performers near the half-price ticket place. I finally headed back to my hotel when it started to drizzle and I feared a street fight would break out to due a crazy or drunk (or perhaps mentally ill and drunk) woman. Um, make that many drunk and/or mentally ill people gathered in a small space.

At any rate, it was midnight, raining and I was heading to my hotel alone. I was only two blocks from my hotel when I stopped to watch the street action. But when I looked down the street to where I thought the hotel would be (have I mentioned my ability to get lost in a paper bag?), I didn't see it.

I almost freaked out seeing as I was in New York City, alone after midnight in the rain, (which was really more of light drizzle).

Also, knowing all too well my poor sense of direction and how easy it is to get lost in NYC, DH warned me not to go out alone.

So anyway, my heart was pounding as I pondered calling my husband and telling him, "Hi. I'm alone in NYC at midnight in the rain. If I tell you what intersection I'm at will you MapQuest me back to my hotel?"

But at the same time, I knew the hotel was nearby. I'm not much on street names, but I know my landmarks. I knew I was down the block from the the giant M&M sign. Still, walking from the brightly lit Times Square onto a darker side street concerned me. Once I did though, I saw my problem. Construction scaffolding was blocking the Sheraton sign. Phew!

I made it back to the hotel safely. Then adrenaline still pumping through my veins, I checked email and signed onto Twitter where I chatted with Jennifer (as in the woman I shared dessert with) and Kim Tracy Prince, who has living it up in Hawaii.

The next morning Carmen, Jenn and two later arrivals, Jendi from Simple Vlogging Tips and Jen from My Kitchen Addiction and I headed to the Today Show bright and early. Make that early, but not bright--the sun wasn't even out when we left the hotel!

I left before I got my Today Show screen time because I needed to change and walk over to the event hotel. However, I did get screen time of a different sort of the Today Show Blog (I'm the fourth one down).

As far as the products I learned about, they were interesting and I'll write about them when I receive review samples. I hope it's soon because Google is already sending people looking for product information to my blog based on my introductory Ninja post. In other words, I'm number one! (Though need another lesson in screen shots. This looks like crap. Help?)

Oh, and of course, other highlights included meeting (however quickly) Nikki from Blasian Baby Notes and Kimberly from Mom in the City and getting a quick overview of the Manhattan skyline from Liz at Mom101.

Too tired to read? See my trip in pictures!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Color in Galena, Illinois

After heading to Galena, Illinois on assignment for TravelingMom.com, I realized I got my assignment all wrong. I thought I was supposed to write about where to see the fall colors out in western Illinois, along the Mississippi River, but the real story turned out to be about how to see the colors, not where.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Marketing to Moms: Panties in a Bunch over Pasties

I waffled on this post. I sketched it out in my mind and then I brushed it aside. I let my ideas slip. Now here I am, trying to recapture them, after all.

Jason Falls put up a post that had my panties in a bunch early one recent Saturday morning (9/12). Jason is a thought leader in the social space and by all accounts a nice guy. He seems like the kind of guy you'd like to hang with over a beer at a tweet-up, though he lives in Kentucky, so likely he's more of a bourbon guy and anyway, rumor has it he's partial to Reese's Cup Blizzards. The point is, he seems like Good People.

And not just good, but smart, too! His blog Social Media Explorer is currently number one on Ad Age's Power 150 list of marketing blogs.

So, Jason had a post up, 10 more reasons you should come to BlogWorldExpo, which was witty, yet convincing. He gave a shout-out to folks beyond the good ol' boy network.

For example, this excerpt: Amber Naslund (Radian6), Connie Bensen (Techrigy) and Margaret Francis (Scout Labs), all competitors, will be on the same panel talking about social media monitoring. Arm wrestling may ensue.

As I read his post, he had me going with a smile and an understanding nod, until I got to the #10 reason: "Sparkling Pasties."

Had we actually been at a friendly meet-up when he shared this list, I might have playfully tossed a salty little pretzel at him and rolled my eyes, while sighing, "Oh, Jason...." After all, Blog World takes place in Vegas, home of showgirls!

But perhaps because I read the piece online, when I got to reason 10, I reacted more with a WTH kind of comment is that? And tweeted as much.

Why? Perhaps it's because I'm a feminist bitch with no sense of humor who can not take a joke. At least that what the reaction of some.

Or maybe it's based on a lot of buzz I heard last over the summer. Although I'm not deeply immersed in feminist or tech circles online, I caught wind of several conversations and read a few posts about tech conferences that marginalize women or actively promote a frat boy atmosphere.

Seems to me it's best not to mix in talk of tatas and tech.

As a woman. A petite woman and a "mommyblogger" {cringe}, I feel that some don't take me seriously. (Fortunately, others are smart enough to actually hire me).

Really, how seriously can people take "mommies?" My boys stopped calling me mommy when they were 2 and 4, because "mommy sounds babyish."

And it's not that there aren't petite women who happen to be moms speaking at BlogWorld. Take Eliza Sherman, for example. But she is a self-proclaimed Cybergrrl/Webgrrl. I'm a technospaz who dipped my toes into the blogging world and eventually dove into social media. Sometimes feel like a technoposeur.

When BlogHer came to Chicago in 2007, the traditional media coverage of what was then the world's largest women's blogging conference was scant. Yet the Daily Kos Conference, which took place a short time later, got loads of coverage.

Of course, 2007 is ancient history in social media time. Back then, marketers were just discovering the power of connecting with women who blog.

Now mombloggers are hot. Mombloggers have gone beyond BlogHer. Some moms have started their own blog conferences-- small, estrogen-laden affairs like Blissdom, Blogalicious, and the upcoming Type A Mom Conference. I admit it; to me, there is something safe and welcoming about these events.

But BlogWorld seems larger, less cohesive, possibly even unwieldly. I've heard talk about making it more women-friendly to the point of possibly adding lactation lounges. And this year, not only will there be many women speakers, but I even know several of them. Still, I didn't buy a ticket.

It's quite possible that someday I'll put on my big girl panties and attend BlogWorldExpo, but when I see jokes about pasties, it's a sign that it's not yet the conference for me.

To his credit, Jason "changed [item 10] to something less funny … Er potentially offensive."
I am sorry if I caused any mud to be slung in his direction. We exchanged a few DMs clarifying our thoughts, but I wanted to post to better explain my reaction and concerns.

With so many blogging conferences out there, I'd love to hear how other social media moms decide which ones provide the right fit.

More on marketing to moms who blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ninja Master Mama: Blender and Karate Chopper

I rule! Well, I rule the kitchen. At least that's what some PR folks think. Perhaps because of my food blog or maybe they caught a glimpse of my old zine for women in martial arts (illustrations below). Yes, for a time I was literally a kick-ass mama!

Whatever the reason, I'm pleased to be going New York City to see the new Ninja Master Prep Blender and Chopper in action with the help of Food Network's Robin Miller (whose book is sitting on my nightstand as I type). We'll also demo new cleaning tools from the Euro-Pro/Shark folks.

Not to sound all kiss-ass-y, but when the boys were young, we had a Shark hand-vac that was as much a part of our after dinner clean-up as the dishwasher. Even now, we refer to our hand vac as the Shark Vac. As in, "Look at these crumbs?! Bring the Shark Vac over and get busy, young man."

I do believe review samples will be offered. I hereby pledge to only accept what I think will be welcome and useful in my house (and by extension relevant to my readers who are like my imaginary house guests). I promise not be one of those bloggers who translates the offer of "we'll send you whatever items interest you for free" into "let us provide holiday gifts to your family and friends at no charge to you."*

{Edited 10/5 to add that you can see the Ninja Blender in action on my food blog (and enter to win Starbucks VIA) and you can read a more thorough reviews at The Full Mommy.}

Follow along on Twitter #NinjaLaunchNYC. And if you're in my Chicago-ish neighborhood, drop me a note. Rumor has it that I'm going to learn to make mean smoothies, maybe even frappucinos, with the Ninja Master Blender. In fact, one anxious child is already salivating at the thought. Let's hope his father cleans up the drooly puddle while I'm getting a taste of the Big Apple.

*This is not to imply that anyone on the blog junket is that type of blogger. It's just that I sometimes have flashbacks to a certain event where things got a bit out of hand. And no, it wasn't BlogHer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Raising Gifted Children: Smart Child Left Behind

As if you had any doubts, about the effect of No Child Left Behind on academically advanced students, Tom Loveless and Michael J. Petrilli spell it out on the op-ed pages in the New York Times. Our guiding national education policy is hurting my kids. Maybe yours too.

We're fortunate to be in a district that offers some enrichment and leveled classes, but that's increasing rare in middle class schools, especially in states like Illinois that lack a funding and a mandate for gifted education.

To see how you state fares with gifted mandates and funding, check this map over at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. (Note to Davidson folks: time to move Illinois back to the red zone. Sigh.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yahoo MotherBoard: Me Time

This month's Yahoo MotherBoard prompt is "Me Time." Given the number of women who have jumped right in to address this, it's clearly an issue we moms struggle with.

For me, blogging is a "me-time" exercise. At least it started out that way. As with Jennifer (link below), blogging has become something more. In some ways, it's a wonderful change--I've created a career for myself that wouldn't have been possible even five years ago! In other ways, turning a fun hobby into a job takes the fun out of it.

To keep thing fun, I try to avoid getting sucked into what I call competitive blogging. And I recently resigned from my regular blogging role with Traveling Mom. I've been spread too thin and have been feeling weighed down with blogligations. It's time to reclaim, well, my me-time, and that is one step toward doing so (though I still have one more item I want to post over there, natch).

Once you get involved in so many projects, especially enjoyable ones, it's hard to reign in; isn't it?

So that's one of my struggles. Check out what my MotherBoard friends have to say on the topic. Even though each writer has her own spin, I found myself nodding in agreement as I read through each of these posts.

Kim from Passion and Art

Lisa from Workout Mommy

Kimberley from The GoTo Mom

Jennifer from Connect with Your Teens

Ilina from Dirt and Noise

Jessica from It's My Life

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gratitude Challenge: Be Grateful For Who You Are

I never blogged the final week of the challenge. I have, however, been reminding myself throughout about trying to be grateful for what I have rather than fretful about what I don't. It is a challenge. Some days more than others.

Is it possible to see the glass half empty and half full at the same time?

Week three assignments included standing in front of mirror for five minutes and focusing on five things you love about yourself. I don't know about you, but this kind of exercise would be easier relaxing on a hammock with my eyes closed. Looking in the mirror and seeing beyond the growing number of wrinkles, the errant hairs and sagging body parts (just wait til you hit 40, ladies. Oh. My.) can be quite a challenge.

But it's worth doing because once you've done it, you've got a touchstone of sorts. You can remind yourself of those good things each time you look in the mirror.

Performing random acts of kindness was also an assignment. It was more fun and less work than those five minutes in front of the mirror! One of the random acts I performed was...wait, I think you lose karma points when you share the details of those kinds of things.

I've been putting off another assignment, which is to make a video for my blog about all the things that make me so darn lovable. I've failed that one so far, and though I'd like to do it if only serve myself up a slice of life in my early 40s, if I truly approach it thoughtfully and honestly, it's not the kind of thing I'd put on this public blog.

I've rounded the homestretch and I'll be back soon with the final Gratitude Challenge post.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Parenting Gifted Children: A Back to School Quiz!

Oh, yes; it's that time of year. One wrought with anxiety and maybe a few tears--and not just for us parents of highly gifted children. Perhaps you've heard that the minimal funding Illinois had allotted for gifted education has been trimmed from the state budget? Urgh. When I said to one of my boys with the best of intentions, "Who knows maybe this will be an exciting year?" We looked at each other and started laughing.

But we're all off to a decent start. My 11-year-old came home excited on two occasions: one when a teacher told him they'd be doing high school level work and the other when he had a chat about string theory with a teacher who's a former physicist. Needless to say string theory is not on the syllabus, but I saw a tweet from Jeanne, gifted advocate/blog friend/mom of high-ability children that gave me an idea. I'll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, I offer up this quiz of things that may have been said by school staff or administrators in recent weeks. Guess which ones are actual statements and share some of your own real or imagined comments based on your experiences.

A) If our students aren't challenged, they're cheated.

B) There's nothing we can do to challenge him beyond what we have.

C) We will do anything to challenge you children.

D) We wish there was a way for him to be challenged other than homeschooling

E) None of the above.

F) All of the above.

Really though, it could be worse. There do seem to be some teachers and admins who putting though and concern into the placement and challenge issue. And the Gifted Academy, the private school to which we previously sent the boys, continues to have growing pains and appears to be bleeding students in the higher grades, so I think it's best the boys no longer attend there.

Enough about us. How is your school year going?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jersey Boys: A Guest Blog

A PR firm invited me and a guest to a recent weeknight performance to Jersey Boys. I brought DH along and then put him to work as my guest blogger. A quick note from me. Three out of the last five musicals I've seen have been performed by elementary school students, so it's no surprise I loved the show. And the backstage tour afterward was a real treat.

The school band director has given parents a heads-up on field trip to see Billy Elliot in 2010. The trip is for the students, of course, but I just might need to chaperon. There are several family-friendly options for the upcoming subscription year. See the Broadway in Chicago site to learn more.

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From DH:
When I was a kid the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons was already oldies. I was never into “street-corner pop” or easy listening, and preferred music that had a back story or a message. The major ‘60s icons (The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Who) recorded albums with innovative techniques, depth and purpose, spawning a revolution that changed the course of human society. In contrast, I felt most music that preceded Bob Dylan was fluff: simple love songs about juvenile topics meant only for dancing to. Enjoying a song like “Sherry” would have hurt my cred as a soulful pre-teen.

Watching the exciting musical biography, Jersey Boys, reminded me first that Valli and his group were still racking up hits in the ‘70s of my youth (“My Eyes Adored You,” “Who Loves You,” “December 1963 [Oh, What a Night]”). As well, the four lads had endured lives with just enough tragedy for Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice to weave a story that, if not epic, is dramatic enough to breathe life into these four men, of whom I had only ever heard of the lead singer.
Still, their calamities—debt to the mob, jail time, divorce, losing a child to an overdose—never came through in their hits: “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Walk Like a Man.”

And although the legend of the band includes a Joe-Pesci-like character (literally Joe Pesci, who brought Gaudio to the group, although he was portrayed more as My Cousin Vinny goofy than Goodfellas tough), the music never seemed gritty, nor inspired myth. A great song like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” doesn't invite listeners to look behind the lyrics at the tortured soul beyond. And yet, Valli is an ironic figure, a hoodlum with a falsetto higher than anyone before the Bee Gees.

This was a feel-good musical, a hand-clapping, foot-stomping nostalgia trip to the 1960s, and it was impossible not to get dragged along with it. Songwriters Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe penned some brilliant work and made excellent use of one of the most unique voices to come out of Rock and Roll. Far more than one- or two- or even six-hit wonders, the Four Seasons produced an impressive catalogue of catchy, peppy tunes and dramatic ballads that, while they didn't define the ‘60s, have enough staying power to entertain decades later. Many of these made it to the stage at Bank of America Theater and had me grooving along.

The acting, singing and dancing in Jersey Boys was terrific, and the minimalist design made creative use of two staircases and a balcony to add height to the set and put distance between the characters. Dominic Scaglione Jr.'s on-key falsetto like Valli’s and convincingly portrayed him as both a troubled teenager and a wizened adult.

But perhaps most importantly, watching the play makes me want to listen to “Sherry” again, this time without any shame at all.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

President Obama's Speech and Gifted Students

I love this snippet from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg in this morning's paper.

His children's school did not share President Obama's speech and the superintendent (whom he did not name, but I am tempted to) send home a letter rationalizing the school's lack of coverage.

Neil writes:
Perhaps sensing that any individual excuse was completely ridiculous, he offered three:

1. "Instructional time is very precious." Since when? Don't they still blow days at a time, cramming for and then administering standardized tests? Every school in America burns hours with hygiene filmstrips and boredom. But Barack Obama appears, and suddenly they're all too busy to look up for 18 minutes.

2. "Are we committing ourselves to an annual speech from the president of the United States, whomever that person might be?"

Yeah, because that's one of the big perils facing American education -- the school year being eaten up by an intruding president.

Any parent of a child suffering from giftedness recognizes the sausage-maker's mentality behind that ploy, the if-we-let-one-president-speak-we-have-to-let-them-all blowoff. "Gosh, we know your kid's already mastered calculus, but if we let him take classes at the junior high, we'd have to do that for every student bored out of his mind in math, and the logistics would be bothersome."

3. "The speech can either be recorded or accessed on the Internet for viewing at home." True! But you can also study geometry online at home. Heck, you can do your entire school year at home, and that's looking like a more and more attractive idea. School is supposed to be a safe public space where kids can be challenged, and who better to challenge them than the president?

My boys did not see the speech at school. I did not receive a note about this from any teachers or administrators (though as I write I realize I didn't dig through any backpacks, so maybe there was a note?).

Did you child's teacher show President Obama's speech?

Monday, September 07, 2009

You get paid for it?!

That was my nine-year-old's comment when I mentioned the $17 and change I will get paid for serving jury duty tomorrow. The whole thing sounds pretty awesome to him, but then again, he's picturing me playing a crucial role in some major trial, one that could send someone to jail for years.

More likely, I'll be sitting in the jury pool room until they send me home at 2:00. I think only once or twice have I even made it into a courtroom and when I did, I didn't get chosen, though I would have (in theory) been glad to serve. The one time I recall being interviewed, I made some comment about limits on the dollar value of pain and suffering. Or perhaps it was the lack of limits on the dollar value of pain and suffering. Whatever it was, one of the lawyers didn't fancy my thoughts. I was sent packing.

Even if I don't get picked for a jury, Pikachu thinks it's pretty awesome that I can bring a book and sit around reading or playing Nintendo DS most of the day and get paid over $17.

DH and I explained that most working people in our country make more than $17 each day. In fact some, make $17 or more an hour.

Of course, to a nine-year-old that's pretty mind-blowing, so he continued. "Yeah, but what if you worked, but you had the day off and nothing else to do and you could get an extra $17 for jury duty? That would be pretty good."

Hmmm. Maybe we could take the 9% of unemployed Americans and put them to work on juries?
As my son points out, "$17 a day is better than zero dollars a day."

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gratitude Challenge: Bodies in Motion

As part of The Gratitude Challenge, I was asked to put my whole self in, as it were. That is, tune into my senses to tap into the joy that surrounds.

As some of you may know, I have rheumatoid arthritis. At this point, I take a few medications each day and I'm fine. I can type, exercise, swing on a trapeze; I can do anything. I'm healthy and fit(ish).

Before I was fully diagnosed and medicated, however, things were bad. It's almost inconceivable to think about now, like a bad dream, but for a while, and I mean months, I was living in the body of an 80-year-old. It hurt to go down the stairs, it took several hours for my body to warm up each day. And when I say warm up, I mean function in a useful manner. The pain was awful, the stiffness, my useless hands and fingers made me cry more than once. (Or should I say more than once a day?)

One of my most humbling and frustrating experiences back then was wrestling with a cereal box, trying to open it and make breakfast for my boys who were 4 and 6 at the time.

The cereal box won.

I couldn't open the brand new box. My fingers were just too stiff.

Let that sink in. Imagine the pain. The frustration. My useless hands. The fear of what I had become and what I would be in the future. My outlook as a 35-year-old was understandably bleak.

But here I am, nimble fingers gliding over my keyboard, thanks to good doctors, good medicines and Costco which fills my prescriptions and low, low prices (beating out my insurance plan by thousands of dollars(!) at one point).

I offer you a little dance of joy in gratitude of a well-functioning body, even though it's my son's and not mine.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Meanwhile, Back at The Gratitude Challenge: From Crane Wife to Bluebird of Happiness

Between the crush of a family getaway just before school, an important yet deeply disappointing meeting with an administrator of said school, and the fact that DH is closing in a a very long time without a job, I haven't been a model of sunshine or light, let alone gratitude. (Well, except for the trip.) I'm probably not helping things by listening nonstop to the Decemberists' less than chipper CD* (Album? Collection of tunes? What do we call these things now?), The Crane Wife.

But as the vacation haze cleared and I sorted the school supplies into neat piles and then ran out at the last minute to fill in missing items, I found time to discover where I'd hastily stashed the Gratitude Cards prior to our departure for Galena.

There was a directive to send letters to friends on the cheerful personalized note cards the TinyPrints Folks provided for me. So I grabbed the cards and sent out a few notes letting people know I was glad to have them in my life. And really? It lightened my mood. And from what I heard from the recipients, they enjoyed my snail mail.

Yesterday, I saw one of my Tweeps send out a message apropos of nothing, really. Just one of those random things. But I read it and thought of a fun surprise to send her (sort of an impromptu Cluttercast, if you will). Sending off that package felt nice.

It's the opposite of a vicious cycle; a virtuous cycle, if you will. I may not feel like I have a lot of love to share, but I realize that the more I do share it, the more I have to give. There's a parenting lesson, a life lesson, in there, no doubt.

Next up in the Gratitude Challenge: I figure out what day I'm supposed to be on and what day I'm actually on.

*After setting out to search for a link, I learned this "new" album came out in 2006. Gah, I am hopeless when it comes to hipness. Not only did it come out in 2006, but it was voted album of the year by NPR's listeners that same year. My God, I do live in a cave. But at least now I understand the story better. It's still depressing, but a bit less bizarre.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Blog Conferences, Brand Events and Retreats

Kim has attended:
TypeAMom Conference (speaker)
Blissdom 2010 (speaker)
Blogalicious 2009 (marketing panelist)
BlogHer 2007, 2008, 2009
Club Med Punta Cana
Consumers Union
General Motors
Johnson and Johnson's Camp Baby
Ninja Kitchen Launch (EuroPro, Shark)

Kim has also participated in many Chicago-area brand events including those sponsored by Allstate, BOCA, Epson, General Motors, Graco, Lands' End, Leapfrog, 1-800-Baskets, and Staples.

Kim has also hosted local blogger events including a Willis Tower Skydeck Tweet-up, and the Sexy Side of Kenmore.

Momblogger Marketing

MediaPost Engage: Moms Feature article: Social Media Moms: A Worthwhile Investment (October 2009)

MediaPost Engage: Moms Feature article: Invite Diversity to Your Brand's Blogger Retreat (May 2009)

MediaPost Marketing Daily Commentary
Quoted in article, "Avoid Social Media Mistakes with Moms" (February 2009)

Consulting with LeapFrog on blog reviews for new products (March - September 2008)

Blog Outreach for Eli's Cheesecake on President Obama's inauguration (January 2009)

Social Media Mom consulting for ConAgra (March 2009 to present)

Compilation of posts on marketing to moms

Published Writing: Print and Online

Father's Day Breakfast in Bed guest blogger (June 2008)

Ask Patty, Automotive Advice for Women
On the Road with Subaru's Fantasy Rally (April 2009)

Qualified for the Job essay
Navigating the On-ramp, Kim's back-to-work blog

Momformation featured pro-blogger (November 2007 to January 2009)

Invited to help jump start the site's Chicago-area blog. Wrote about Chicago area factory food tours and provided an overview of some of my family's favorite ethnic eats here in Chicago's northern suburbs. (May 2009)

Chicago Moms Blog contributing blogger (May 2006 to June 2010)

Chicago Parent magazine
Arizona travel story (November 2005)
Families in Martial Arts short piece (March 2003)
Genius Denied book review (December 2004)
Going Back to Work book review (September 2005)
Inconsolable book review (September 2006)
Literary Mama book review (May 2006)
Momfidence! book review (February 2007)
Mr. Smartypants essay (December 2006)
Peanut Butter, Playdates & Prozac book review (November 2006)
Recipe for a Happy Meal essay (August 2006)
Scrambled CAKE @ Chicago Parent food blogger (August 2006 to October 2008)

Davidson Institute for Talent Development E-newsletter
Illinois Special Feature (May 2006)

Forum, the national newsletter of Mothers and More
Working Vacation humor essay (February 2007; print only)

"Waking to Grandma's Hands" essay in the book From There to Here: Points on the Circle of Life, JRC Press 2005.

North Shore

Super Taster humor essay (March 2006)
Scott Lew profile (July 2006; print only)

Featured problogger at Bird's Eye View blog (October 2009 - present)

Syndicated Posts
"The family jewels are gone" Originally published on Chicago Moms Blog July 2008. Syndicated in newspapers around the U.S.

"Grade skipping AKA grade acceleration, Part II" Originally published on Hormone-colored Days March 2009. Syndicated via BlogBurst to the SunTimes NewsGroup.

Print Coverage: Noted and Quoted

Chicago Tribune, business section
Quoted in, "How to solve problems with Groupon or other daily deals" (November 2010)

AOL's ParentDish
Lead quote in article, "The myth of testing for giftedness" (May 2010)

Quoted in reference to appearance as a trend expert at the Sweets and Snack Expo (May 2010)

Lead quote in article, "Women guilty of feeling too guilty" (February 2010)

Chicago Parent Magazine
Quoted in article, "How to tame the collectible clutter" (January 2010)

The New York Times
Quoted in article, "Skin deep: Many cutbacks, but not for straight teeth" (April 2009)

Parenting Early Years
Profiled in "5 superhero traits all moms have" Hint: I'm ferocious. (March 2009)

Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging
Quoted on page 159 (December 2008)

Chicago Tribune (May 2008)
Quoted in "The kids are all right, no thanks to mom"

Automotive News (June 2008)
Quoted in "GM bets on bloggers"

Parenting magazine (May 2008)
Quoted in "Kiss mommy guilt goodbye" feature article

Christian Science Monitor (January 2008)
Quoted in "Automakers put bloggers in the driver's seat"

Web Coverage

In December 2009, Hormone-colored Days was named one of Chicago's top 10 parenting blogs. Kim is a managing editor of The Chicago Moms, the leading regional momblog in Chicago. Kim has written for two Nielsen Power Communities, Chicago Moms Blog (spring 2007 - summer 2010) and BabyCenter's Momformation Blog (fall 2007 - winter 2009). She's also provided content for other blogs and has been interviewed at several other sites.

Quoted in story on multigenerational family travel (May 2011)

Blogging Angels Podcast
Featured guest on this popular podcast about social media and mom bloggers (February 2011)

Smart Series Interview on Kim's Property Sluts vlog series (December 2010)

Syracuse.com Family Life Column
Featured blogger (June 2009)

MotherProof.com Guest Drive
(May 2009)

MediaPost Marketing Daily Commentary
Quoted in article, "Avoid Social Media Mistakes with Moms" (February 2009)

Consumers' Union Cover America Tour
Interview (June 2008)

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Quoted in "Catch you later, Cookie Monster: Finding alternative activities when the TV turned off"

Marketing to Moms: Avoiding Blogger Burnout

The blogosphere is constantly evolving. It grows so fast that it's hard to notice that our little blogging circle of life has quite an attrition rate. Indeed, several of my favorite must-read moms from back in the day don't even blog anymore. I miss them; I hope to be around for the long term.

Which is really a lengthy excuse for why I don't have a full post today. I've got a to-do list as long as my arm, and with the boys back in school, I need to get back to a solid work schedule. Of course, that is not to say that my unemployed husband won't provide a welcome distraction at some point. In fact, there is no shame in admittedly placing a bit of afternoon delight ahead of a thoughtful blog post. Is there? Even if I am blushing as I type this.

At any rate, Liz at Mom101 wrote an excellent post on the worth of a blogger. Go read it. Her post and the 100 or so comments that follow got me thinking about many things related to marketing and moms, some of which are sure to show up on this blog. But first, there's that to do list. And then the husband. ;-)

Click for more thoughtful commentary on marketing to moms.

And there's still time to join the Back to School Webinar with the Supermarket Guru!

And if you have any tips on avoiding blogger burnout, share them below.