Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blog About What You Know

The thing about blogs is that they can be a great source for sharing your opinions and your insights, vent over what went wrong with your day, share a favorite recipe, or just journal away til your heart is content and your mind is clear. But what I've discovered in the few years that I've been blogging is that you should never, ever write because you feel you need to fill some sort of self-imposed writing quota. Just because I read something inspiring or funny on someone else's blog doesn't mean that I have to try and top it. I don't have to write about resolutions just because it's New Year's Day and I think it might be expected. Less is more, I think. If I don't have something important, witty or awesome to share, then I shouldn't feel the need to create something. If I do it won't be genuine and that will show.

If you write a blog and look carefully at the inner workings you can discover a lot of interesting things. Things like how many people view your blog on any given day, what countries your blog is being read in, and most importantly which blog entries stir readers to actually post a comment. Looking back at my blog history one entry jumped out to me as having gotten the most interaction. It was about my visit to a baby department store to shop for a baby shower. I wrote about what I experienced, what I knew, my opinion, the products, etc. I was thrilled to get so many comments from readers and hear, in turn, about their experiences and their insights.

Last week I was out to dinner with friends for a school fundraiser, when a friend asked me, 'So ... what have you read lately?' Rather than lie and list the new best seller I was honest and said, 'Well, the FAFSA form and several scholarship applications.' I don't think it was the answer she was expecting, but it was definitely a honest answer. We then rehashed the days of when our older kids were graduating from high school and having been through the college process before. We talked about how much things had changed in 9 years and how many more hoops we needed to jump through to try and help our kids get a college education. That aside, the moral of this little story is to write about what you know, have conversations about what you know, be who you know how to be. Don't try to write something or say something or be something that isn't you. JUST BE YOURSELF.

My question for you today is ... 'What's new and exciting in your life? What new hobby have you tried lately? How many pounds have you lost? (you look great, by the way) We want to know or at least I want to know. lol. I already know what's going on in my life - I want to know what's going on in yours.

Monday, January 7, 2013

There's a time to scrimp and a time to splurge!

Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I love a good sale. If I have to buy something it is VERY rare that I will ever pay full price for anything. I haven’t gone to the other side yet and become an extreme couponer, but I do cut my share of coupons and look for my share of good deals.

I’ve come to the determination that I have a clear list of items I am willing to scrimp on (although I don’t consider it scrimping … I’m just saving money on an equally good product or service). I can’t imagine why in today’s economy someone would pay full price for something if they didn’t have to. If my husband and I eat a meal out we generally always have a ‘buy one, get one free’ coupon. I buy Clairol Nice-n-Easy’ hair color and cover my grey for on average $5.99 an application (which will easily get me through 5 weeks). Yes, that’s right. I just admitted to my millions of devoted readers (ok, perhaps I exaggerated on the number of readers) that I have some areas of grey hair that I cover up. Guess my secret is out, but hey that's o.k. we're amongst friends, right? I also will buy generic brand vitamins (mostly CVS & Kroger brand) because my son (the really smart chemistry teacher) agrees that the ingredients are identical.

However, I’ve also discovered that if I’m going to scrimp on some things, it should allow me the choice of using brand name products as well. Of course, that certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t look for a coupon or check to see which store has the lowest price. So what are my products that I stand by? I’m glad you asked …lol. I will always stand by my Tide detergent (the fragrance free, free of all dyes, etc. kind), my Bounce dryer softener sheets (the fragrance free, etc. kind as well), my Bigelow Orange & Spice caffeine free herbal tea (no other brand comes close in taste as far as I’m concerned). And as David Letterman would say, ‘The #1 thing NOT to scrimp on is Kleenex brand tissues.’ After blowing my nose for the last week with a whopper of a cold I’ve decided that Sam’s Club (the brand we use at work) and Target (the brand I was buying for home) simply will not suffice any longer. The noses in my household deserve only the best and for us that is Kleenex brand tissues. (Gosh … do you think I should send them a copy of this blog? Maybe they’ll send me a free case of tissues for endorsing their products …lol).

So … my question for you today is ‘what will you scrimp on?’ and ‘what will you splurge on?’ Please share, I’m sure my millions of readers want to know.