Friday, 3 July 2015

6 questions to ask before ProBlogger

There's just 41 sleeps (6 weeks) until ProBlogger starts. If you're not starting to get excited yet, what's it going to take?!

I was pondering earlier this week what I needed to get ready, and came up with 6 questions I needed to answer. Knowing the answers to these questions will ease my nerves, and help make the whole event better for me.
  1. What does my family need? I still very much believe that I need to trust Steve, but he gets home from work at 5am, and I leave for ProBlogger at midday, so anything I can do to help him before I leave is worth doing. I'll do the grocery shopping, work out what meals he thinks he can cook, and then leave them to it.
  2. How will I capture memories? I know this might sound strange to some, but so much happens at conferences, it's easy to get home and forget everything. And the scrapbooker in me wants to pull together some sort of mini album, too. The best way to remember events is to journal them. Don't just take notes during the conference, but at the end of the night spend ten minutes writing about the sounds, smells, tastes, sights, how you're feeling. You can do this via a blog post, or the old fashioned way with pen and paper (and the bonus is you'll have posts written for when you get home, and in a year's time you can look back and feel it all over again)
  3. Who do I want to speak to? This is so important! I've heard so many stories of bloggers getting home, chatting in facebook groups and saying "sorry I didn't get to meet you" Pick five people each day you want to seek out and say hello to. By the end of the conference, you'll have spoken to twenty extra people.
  4. What is my story? Knowing your why for being at conference makes it easier to take information in during the sessions. and being able to tell people, without getting tongue tied, about your blog is so important. Work out your elevator pitch, and practise it!
  5. How will I stand out in the crowd? There's a lady in the event facebook group who keeps mentioning her gold boots. I can't remember her name, but I'll know to seek out her boots and say hi. In a sea of almost 700 people, how will you be visible to others? (As I've been shopping for clothes over the last few months, I've been setting aside things to take with me. I realised recently that after years of avoiding purple, that I have several purple pieces. You'll recognise me easily!)
  6. Do I need to purchase anything? Do you need any technology? Stationery? Business cards? Clothes? Shoes? New underwear? Shampoo? It's time to take an inventory and see what's missing. I've found one of the hardest parts of going away is discovering the day before that two kids need new shoes and no one has beanies. Spreading the cost out over the next 6 weeks is much more friendly to the budget.
If I can answer all these questions, I think I'll be well on the road to having an awesome experience.

Can you think of anything I've forgotten?
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Us in July

The fancy camera has a remote trigger through an iPhone app. But I need to use the tripod, not the nearest brick wall for these photos! (And maybe I should make this a weekly requirement? Everyone is good about getting individual photos, but group photos are a nightmare, hence my scowly face.)
He is enjoying the clear weather for motor bike riding to work

but is not liking the sensor issues with his car

He is finally getting rid of some unused stuff around the house

and has learnt a lot about bees in the process
She is ridiculously beside herself with nerves and excitement about ProBlogger in six and a bit weeks

but is wondering if disaster will strike before then

She is a little bit obsessed with reading the Your Inspiration at Home catalogue

and dreaming of the recipes she can concoct for her sister
He is off to scouts camp for the weekend

hopefully the attitude doesn't raise it's head while camping

He didn't have as good a report card at the end of term as the middle of term

but we'll chat to the school in the new term, and figure it out
She has been reading lots of books these holidays

old school jokes are the favourite

She is interested in helping to cook

maybe it's time to teach her
He can count to 100

but asks for help with tens (thirty, forty, etc)

He loves going to vacation care and doing activities

but is always happy to get home for a hug
She is starting to say more words, even if only a parent would understand

bap, daw, narny, douwoo, peeza (tap, straw, natty, douglas, pizza)

She loves her first dolly

but we haven't cracked out the train set yet
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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

5 social media tips from a teenager

This is a guest post from Chloe. She's going to be appearing here more often, sharing tips for brothers and teenagers, and sharing her stories.
1. Don’t share naked pictures around. No matter what age, but especially if you’re under 18.
Okay so you know how parents say that everything that you share on the internet will be there forever? Yeah, it really is. No matter the social media platform that you share these types of pictures on police can, and will, track them. If you send these pictures out you get fined for supplying child pornography, the person who you sent them to will get fined for possession of child pornography and it’s not really something that you want because that stays on your record forever.
2. Not everyone online is being truthful about who they are.
You’re told all throughout primary school about ‘stranger danger’ and the internet is another entire playing field. Strangers sit around every single corner, they lurk in dark places of the internet and wait to pounce on anyone they can get their hands on. An ex-friend of mine dated a guy she met online for ten months; one day she called and was extremely distressed, the boy actually ended up being another friend of ours and she had been lying for ten months. Be careful who you trust online.
3. Use your time wisely.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who uses social media but it’s a huge distraction. Ten minutes becomes three hours and before you know it the assignment due in tomorrow is long down the drain and you know you won’t hand it in on time. Internet is a tool that can be used for both good and bad.
4. Don’t send anonymous hate.
I understand exactly how social media works and, shockingly, how high school works. I mean somedays I get home and just want to scream into the endless abyss that is social media but I don’t and I certainly will never attack someone on social media through the use of anonymous messages. Online services such as Tumblr and have exceptionally high rates of anonymous messaging because services like that are usable, unlike Facebook/twitter/etc. But just because this service is there means that it shouldn’t be used for that kind of evil. From my own personal experience I know how awful it is to receive anonymous hate especially when you look around your classroom and you know that any one of those people could have been attacking you online.
5. Social media is a privilege.
Remember that your parents hold the key to your social media. They can give and take it as much as they want. Sure it’s not something that you want to admit because you like to think that you’re an independent teenager but guess what unless you have bought your phone, pay for your phone credit/wi-fi then your social media is not yours. And until you do those things your social media won’t be yours so thank your parents for having the privilege of social media and don’t break their trust in you.

Linking with Essentially Jess
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Monday, 29 June 2015

Hello Monday

Hello, no internet. Still. Yes, I'm using the internet, but it's ridiculously limited, because we've used all our data allowance, and still don't know when we'll get internet back again.

Hello, school holidays. I mentioned last week that I'm not worried about school holidays, because I have a plan. Now Steve's work roster has changed, and I'm a little bit worried, because he'll be gone all week.

Hello, teen tantrums. I'm almost at my wit's end. We'll figure it out, and he'll get it one day, but meanwhile it feels like there's no end in sight.

Hello, scout camp. Douglas is the patrol leader, so he's responsible for getting his patrol to and from camp, and making sure they've got everything. Which is kind-of funny, because according to his report card, he isn't very responsible. I wish he would apply his good scouting behaviour to his school behaviour.

Hello, book club book. We're reading "Girl on the Train" this month. Sometimes, it's great when they choose popular books, sometimes it isn't. Jury's still out on this one.

Hello, random ideas. I think I mention random ideas every other week. Sometimes I write them down in my bullet journal, sometimes I forget as soon as I've moved away from the computer. But I think I need to find a better way to capture them, because they're worth something to me, whether it's memory kepping, blog post ideas, or things to try.

Hello, Monday, a new start every week.

Linking with Eva at Multitasking Mummy, Alicia at One Mother Hen and Kristy at My Home Truths
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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Dear Sophie | today you are two

Dear Sophie

two years ago, our world changed.
Definitely for the better.
You are noisy, bright, funny, loving and joyous.
You love playing with water, your newest word is "tap"
You run screaming to the stairs when dad gets home
and wait patiently for Riley to finish school.
You wake Douglas every morning for school, and help him pack his bag for the day
You love baking cakes and pouring ingredients into bowls
and drink tea with dad when he's home
You run screaming when you see Amy or Molly
and always wave bye to Caitlin.

You drink 'beer' with dad on Saturday afternoons

and supervise gardening jobs

You love jumping in the water at the beach

and slipping down the slide.

Today you are two, Sophie

and you are so very loved.
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