Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Thursday, May 29, 2014

a new place to play


Hey y'all,

I have some fun news. I am starting a new website where I can share notes about motherhood and my writing process. I don't plan to include specifics about my kids because, as I mentioned in my last post, I am trying to give them their privacy back. But I do want to let you in on what I'm working on now, and I hope it becomes a place to do that. I am also hoping it does not become a place that will, as Stephen King puts in his memoir,"leave me feeling like either a literary gasbag or a transcendental asshole." But you can be the judge of that. So go take a look and tell me what you think! And if you like it, you can sign up to follow along here. I'm also still at the same Twitter and Instagram accounts if you wanna hang out there.

Cheers & xoxo,
~J

Friday, May 02, 2014

some things I wanted to tell you before I go


Every time I try to type the word "blog" today it comes out "glob," which makes me giggle. That I suddenly keep mistyping the word is somehow fitting for what I want to tell you today, which is that I am no longer going to write posts here.

Now that I'm writing this post, I realize you probably already saw this day coming. I could do a whole cutesy "It's not you, it's me" bit, but you know that already. My mom and I have this joke when I want to transition to say something about myself. Instead of beating around the bush, I jump in saying, "Well, that's enough about you, let's get back to me." I suppose that's what a blog is all about, right? Back to ME.

Writing a post announcing the end of the blog does seem overly dramatic in part, but on the other hand I don't like the idea of people coming here expecting more posts when that's not my plan right now. I guess I don't feel sad because I know that whenever I want to, I can start something new. That's the beauty of the Interwebs!

I began blogging in 2005 when I had only just learned what a blog was. I called it Aimless Digressions, and that title truly represented the topics I wrote about, which spanned from what it was like to live in DC to the new camera I wanted to buy. I really enjoyed playing with that new toy for that year or two that only my friend Caroline read the blog.

Then I got pregnant, graduated school, moved to England, had my baby, and moved back to DC all within one year. I didn't write very often then, but in those years that my dad, my mom, and my uncle Joe started reading the blog, I began to find my writing voice and enjoyed keeping my family updated on what was happening overseas and back again. I enjoyed having a digital baby book too.

Then we moved to Boston. I felt lonely in my new role as a stay at home mom to a newborn and toddler--and judged for my choice to stay home--in a new (and freezing cold) town. I wanted a place to talk about motherhood and how it was different from my expectations. My good friend and first reader Caroline suggested I use my free time to write more. So I dusted off the blog and gave it a new name. I am grateful to her for encouraging me find my writing voice.

In the years following that change, I have welcomed old friends here and even met some lovely strangers who have become friends. I've had some great opportunities come my way because of it, like our commercial, and I'm grateful for the writing connections it has granted me.

Though I'm saying goodbye to this space, I do see myself finding another home for my essays on motherhood. Maybe some day I will even work toward that book that is clawing its way out of my hazy memories. So much of creativity is ephemeral, and I am trying to take my time in creating a new space that will define me as well as "the lone home ranger" did for the past 3+ years.

Whatever I write, I know those posts will contain fewer personal details of our lives. Our little girls are growing up, and though I've enjoyed cataloging their beginning days here, I want to give them back their privacy. I decided to stop posting here when Vivi turned six because it seemed like a big milestone.

Thank you so much for listening to my rants, both coherent and incoherent, and for sharing your stories with me. I would love to keep in touch so we can keep chatting about what we're reading, and eating, and whatnot. I have more to say to you! Let's keep in touch on Instagram and Twitter. I will leave the blog up so you (and I!) can come back to use some of the recipes from time to time.

Thanks for the laughs! I will miss y'all.

One more tip:
This stuff smells fantastic. I think it comes from Bath & Body Works. Gitcha some.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

{3/52}: on form and function

3/52: Post swim class warm-up with blankies and vanilla milk.

On the one hand, I wish I had a better portrait for this week. On the other, this iPhone snapshot really does do our week justice. It is gritty, blurry, glassy-eyed, and struggling to find composition. We are freezing cold up here! The high today was something like 10 degF, and we're getting a snowstorm tonight.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

{1/52 & 2/52}: writing intentionally

1/52: Note helpful tongue.

2/52: Note new rug! What do you think?

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to do another year of the 52 project, so I let a few weeks go by to see how I felt. And I missed it! I consider it forced journaling, plus it gives me a great way to keep track of good photos of the girls. Since I didn't post anything the first week of the year, I'm squooshing them both into this post.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

yours, mine, & ours: best of 2013


I was reading Dooce's year-in-review post a few days ago and was reminded that it's time again to do our year-end round-ups. 2013 was my third year blogging on a regular basis, so this will be my third year-in-review post (see 2012 and 2011). Time flies when you're writing about daily life!

2013 was the first year I felt like a real grownup, with a home of our own that feels like ours and a family that is growing in our lovely traditions and routines. This summer saw an unexpected  and delightful revival of my summer camp counselor days, and in the fall I began to discover where my voice might fit into the written world.

I am grateful for these days.

Monday, December 23, 2013

...in which Pooh goes hunting for trolls and finds some

Yesterday I suddenly remembered I had never gone on Facebook to read the comments about my article on Natural Parents Network. The new thing seems to be to comment on Facebook instead of directly on a blog, presumably because there are no comment moderators to delete whatever nutty thing they feel like saying. Indeed, moderation is not a word one would routinely ascribe to the Facebook medium.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

self-analysis is probably on the list somewhere

Have you ever had your personality type tested? Mine was identified by psych researchers studying pot-luck roommates during my freshman year of college. You can do a mini-version of that test online here. Here's what that Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (aka. Jung typology) test page says about my personality type in reference to career path:

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things that interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values.

It's hard to believe there are only 16 personality types out there, but ENFP gets me so spot on that I must agree I'm one of the 16. Here's the flip side of having all those "skills and talents":

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivious to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members.

Ha, sorry dear.

This next statement rings true in some ways for me as a parent, and I hope Vivi will forgive whatever flaws I have as a result of my personality type:

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendencies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child's best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

And here's probably why I enjoy staying at home and why I have a love-hate relationship with blogging sometimes:

They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled.

Ultimately, I don't think a MBTI score has to lock you into any one method of being, but I do think it's good to analyze and predict what might come to be. I'm sure that's also an ENFP trait...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

hey y'all, I'm syndicated!

BlogHer

I have a post syndicated on BlogHer.com today. It's the article I wrote a few weeks ago about how we changed the way we eat after reading French Kids Eat Everything. If you get a minute, please go check it out and leave a comment! I'd love for everyone to see how great my readers are, since I know they'll love you as much as I do. Thanks!

Just as exciting, the publisher has offered a few books as a giveaway over here. Isn't that sweet? I'll let you know more about that in a few days!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

if you can't say anything nice...move to Boston

[An aside about my post title: I mean it in the most cordial of tones. I own that it did take a while before I embraced the common use of the eff-bomb in ordinary, everyday Massachusetts vernacular. Whereas I once thought Yankees had all the charm of a snake, after two years in residence up yonder, I see their affably blunt manner in a new light. Bostonians say fuck with aplomb, demonstrating at once both their status as a person of the world--a reckon-able force, I daresay--and their passionate candor. The Irish blood shows itself in their heightened color, irresistible sarcasm, and a retributive justice that lends a simple ardor to their storytelling (see also: Bill Burr). When I ponder migrating southbound again, it's surprisingly this aspect of New England life that gives me pause more than any other. I've grown fond of telling it like it is, y'all. And so I wonder, would I be able to speak as bluntly in the honey-dripping, bless-your-heart Deep South? I fear not.]

I feel I owe you some deets after missing another blogging day yesterday. It is complicated, this 31-days-of-posts business. Let's get on with it, shall we? I'll begin by telling you that when I brought the kids home from school today, I stood in the kitchen for five minutes, "making out furiously with a jar of Nutella." I blame Nate, who suggested I might eat more calories now that I am pseudo-training for a triathlon. Thanks, dear.

In my defense of the Nutella binge, allow me mention that winter has finally beaten me into a dazed submission. It started snowing while I was milling about the preschool hallway, and I cried actual tears on my friend's shoulder while she patted my back. Me!, grown woman who does not cry (that would be my Native American name, I think). We are simpatico, these girls and me, and I feel lucky to have some best-good friends who understand the meltdowns of a transplanted southerner WHO JUST WANTS TO FEEL FUCKING WARMTH ON HER SKIN IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.

This morning (I realize I'm going backward, but that's how stream of consciousness works sometimes) an older lady in my neighborhood was wearing a plastic grocery bag on her hair while walking to her car. So this is still A Thing, this bag-over-the-hairdo thing?!  I'd like to have a serious discussion with you about this sighting. I remember ladies doing this practice when I was a child, but somehow I thought the passage of a few decades would mean the extinction of such a behavior. The fact that it is alive and well means the following scary truth: Daughters of those ladies witnessed their mothers' placement of the bag, laughed at them, and yet. Yet! Somewhere along the line these same women thought "This seems like a good idea" and started doing it too. I would like to go on record now to my future grown children that if I ever start wearing a plastic bag on my head, you have my permission to pull it the rest of the way down. Because, no.

In closing, I present to you a sweet picture of my kids huddling close to each other during the scary part of a movie (Cars, I think? I can't imagine what scared them, haven't sat down to watch it yet). Pay no mind to the clean but unfolded sheets under them on the chair.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

p.s. I'm not raising toilets either

Among members of my dad's family, there are some well-known parenting phrases that came from my great grandmother, who had eight children and lived to be 92. It's hard to pick a favorite. When asked how she raised so many children so well, she always replied "With one blind eye and one deaf ear." I love that one because it's basically the only way I've stayed sane since becoming a mom.

The one I've got on my mind this week is "I'm raising children, not furniture." She would say it whenever one of the kids would spill, break, or generally mistreat an object in her home. I love it because it's so true! Whatever angry outburst that I am inclined to have when my kids break something is never worth it compared to the positive and lasting worth of the patience and love I can show them instead.

 photo ae6eefaf-4857-441b-8d8d-6994310809d8_zps42ef99b7.jpg

That's not to say I don't erupt from time to time, like when they combined forces to make the toilet overflow yesterday, just so they could "use the potty fixer thing like Mommy does," and I walked in to find water drowning the floor, the kids, and my humility. La di da, la di da.

I find another use of this phrase--perhaps unintended by Great Grandma--is an internal mantra when I'm pondering whether to play with my kids or clean up. Tonight we voted for playing dominoes at the dining room table instead of doing the dishes. And so, okay, dishes aren't furniture, but the general meaning is the same.

Random assortment of above-the-sink collectibles. Items change weekly but never disappear completely.


The likely reason I've got the phrase on my mind this week is that instead of doing my nightly cleaning and organizing, I've been writing and reading. I have gotten back into the swing of writing every day, even if it's only a paragraph, and I'm immensely enjoying myself. NaBloPoMo (the blogging every day thing) really helps me get the gears turning. Tonight I'm doing more reading than writing, since I am doing my part to vote for The Bloggies. Check it out, but don't say I didn't warn you about the potential for time suckage.

Be well and stay dry,
~J

Saturday, March 02, 2013

how to build your blog readership

How I ward off writer's block: Caffeine and sugar. It works!

One of the greatest tips I've learned about writing is that the best way to get over writer's block is to write every day. In that spirit, I'm planning to blog every day in March! I have a few recipes, some ideas that have been bouncing around my mind, and some great guests who are going to join us. I'll start today with a practical post about blogging.

I recently wrote to a friend who is starting to blog for her business with some of my tips for how she can build followers. I realized after finishing the email that I had written a lengthy list of ideas that could also be useful to others.

I seem to have been pretty good at developing a group of followers on my blog (hey you guys!). The Facebook page is another story, but maybe if I do a better job of asking people to like it--I have a hard time doing that--I'll be more successful there. If you're reading this, why not pop over there and say hi or share it with your friends? Thanks!

One of the most important tricks of website traffic is the number of sites that link to you. I find that at first, no one was finding my blog in Google, but now I get followers that way because my search engine hits are so much higher.


Here are a few ways to jumpstart your blog:

1) Join link parties/blog hops. I'm not big on these any more because they are so time-consuming, but I think they are worthwhile when you are just starting to blog. The following link parties (i.e. blog hops) are a few of my favorites:



2) Join a "blog carnival," where you write a post on a specific subject that is listed on a single page with a bunch of other bloggers' articles on that topic. Here's a list of natural parenting carnivals.


3) Guest post on another blog in your topic area. Start with local writers, and stick with writers in your metier. My best writing is always on subjects near to my heart. I'm happy to have you post on mine too, just send me your pitch! One way to get guests is to reciprocate and allow them to post on your blog.


4) Quarterly online magazines and group networks are a GREAT way to get followers. I write for "Rhythm of the Home" and "Natural Parents Network."


If you want ads, you need to establish a blog and have a certain number of pageviews first. The second way both to get traffic and to make money is sponsorships. You can pay to "sponsor" another blog, which means you buy a little square ad in the sidebar. Then you can run some on your blog too. You'll see a few in my sidebar over there >>>>>.

Author's Note: This post is part of LHITS DIY Linky.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

yours, mine, & ours: best of 2012


Is instant nostalgia a blogger thing or is it a product of my generation? Whatever the reason, I'm enjoying the 2012 recaps I've been reading (see: mermag, local kitchen, Doodles & Jots). And since I did my own recap last year, I thought I'd make a tradition out of it and do another.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the seven year itch



This just in: I have officially been blogging for seven years! Sometimes putting my thoughts out into the world makes me feel like that guy up there (minus the man junk), but mostly blogging is a wonderful part of my life. I am so thankful--and frankly surprised!--to have all of you lovely readers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

happiness feels like this

Hello Readers! Did you miss me? Is that the most narcissistic thing I could ask? Perhaps I should start with: How are you? I hope you are enjoying the spring. I enjoyed my week off of blogging, but I actually missed talking to you more than I thought I would. But I also loved reading the guests posts along with y'all, just like one of the gang. Tell me, had you ever pondered raising rabbits for food previously? And are you thinking about it now? I also already feel more organized after Barb's great tips on creating a routine. Just as soon as I can pry myself from Pinterest, I plan to enact some of them.

What else can I tell you about us? Let's see, Charlie would probably like me to report that I am failing in the "Remember which pasta shape my kids loves most this week" department. You see, pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs is her favorite lunch, one that she would like at every meal and nothing else (except maybe a few peas), thank you very much. And she made what was--in her mind--a very clear move away from the mini bow ties (not the big ones, mind you. What are you thinking?) and toward the direction of the wagon wheels. Yesterday I made a big batch of mini bow ties, and when I put a bowl of them in front of her, she gave me a look which can only be saying "Excuse me, but I'm pretty sure I ordered a bowl of wagon wheels." We have opinions around here, people.

Lucky for her she's cute. Minus the dried snot.

Friday, April 13, 2012

hello new peeps

Hello! This is my first time joining up with the Ultimate Blog Party. I'm a little late to the party, as I just discovered many people sign up at midnight with their posts. These must be the twentysomething bloggers. If you are a veteran reader, you can probably skip this post, unless you'd like to meet moi all over again.

So hi there! Allow myself to introduce...myself. I am an urban homesteader who writes about natural family living. I strive to do more with less. My posts vary from recipes to daily life to parenting, but they all generally originate from my simplicity-focused philosophy on life, aka. my {minimalist manifesto}. You can learn more about me on my {first time here?} page and {about} page. There's even more to learn on my list of {32 things} and my post about {the fam}.

That's a lot about me! But I'd also like to learn about you. I welcome comments, and I hope this blog will become a place that you come to share ideas and learn from each other. I have also begun welcoming guest posts, so if you would like to contribute to the blog, please email me at lonehomeranger [at] gmail [dot]com. I welcome ideas related to real food, do-it-yourself homesteading, and any other topic related to simple and healthy living. I hope to have a page up soon with some guidelines to help you get the most out of contributing a guest post.

Today has become a twosome post kind of day, and depending on when my contributions to other blogs air, it could become a threesome or foursome kind of day. Which is not a bad thing at all!

I'm so glad you're here, and I hope you'll be back soon.
xoxo
~Justine



Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

and the band played on

Progress.

Yesterday I had a day of mixed emotions. Mostly, I was super psyched because I shared my first post with the Carnival of Natural Parenting, a huge step for me in my quest to allow myself to be vulnerable with you in this bloggy space. I got some great feedback (yay!) and was feeling the love. Additionally, I was invited to write guest posts on two of my favorite blogs! And, I'm having my own set of guest posts next week by some lovely writers! But, I also encountered my first snark attack.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

sharing is caring: {blogger lessons}

I'm sharing this post because I've been asked my opinion by bloggy friends on some web tools, so I thought I'd blab my thoughts with y'all on what I've been reading and learning about recently. I'll be back tomorrow to dish on some of my inaugural canning lessons (spoiler alert: I broke my jar cherry..and broke a jar!); if blogging isn't your thing, I hope you'll catch me on the flip side. If, however, you are a blogger, I hope you'll find this information useful. On a related note, I also wrote a few tutorials a while back that you might be interested in: How to make a blog button and How to make a social media bar.

A quick disclaimer: I'm sharing what I know as I learn, but if you feel like something I say doesn't jive with your knowhow, please speak up! I hope this blog will be a positive learning space for everyone, including and perhaps most notably me.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

simplicity vs. minimalism

Are they the same thing? Which of these titles do you prefer? Perhaps it's best not to ponder that question too much, or risk defeating the purpose of both words. Ah, yes, it's a paradox. Or is it a conundrum?

As I've begun to define my parenting philosophy over the years, I have vacillated between the two terms. A quick search on Pinterest demonstrates there IS a subtle difference between the two.

Simplicity can get you this...




Not what I call simple.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

rollin' with my homies

Future surgeon, or future nerd?
Ha! Yeah, I went there with the ridiculous post title. Blame my cocktail (Gosling's black rum, grapefruit juice, ice. Muy delicioso). Who could resist, when the Apartment Therapy blog awards are called "The Homies"? A bunch of fantastic blogs are on these nomination lists, including yours truly on the Best Family Blog list. I recommend settling in and spending some time checking out these links. I've already discovered a great blog called bleubird. I'm late to the party, but what's new on the old frontier?

And hey, while you're on there, why not do a quick clickey-poo vote for my blog? You have to sign up for a free account, but it takes all of a few seconds, and Apartment Therapy is way worth the quick sign in. If you haven't seen their site yet, you're in for a night of some fun surfing. You're welcome!


Thursday, February 09, 2012

you found me how, round 2


I have a confession to make. Okay, so it's not a biggie confession, but sometimes it's nice just to get the feelings out there on the table, knowwhatimeanvern? I used to be so paranoid about what I said on the blog, as though the comments I made about running around bra-less would one day be used against me in a job interview or during a bank loan meeting. Or maybe there'd be this stalker who would just love to know all about my trips to the farmer's market. It was a thing, my worrying. Probably silly, but there you have it.

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