A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a Canadian PR company asking me if I would be interested in checking out MasterCard’s new Tech Hub in Manhattan. As soon as I read the email, my eyes got crazy big and my heart started to flutter. Could you image? Two of my favourite things – technology and New York City together, could anything be more exciting?
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Most of the time, when bloggers put up a post after a long delay, they start off by apologizing. This isn’t something I am going to do. In fact, I’m proud of myself for not posting. Weird, I know.
A year ago today, I asked my husband to leave myself and the girls. Our life together wasn’t making either of us happy and it was starting to affect the kids. Even at the young age of one and four, the girls were fully aware of being in a home without joy. As much as I tried to make life great for them and myself, it become very clear that you can’t fool anyone. You can’t fool your kids, friends, family and certainly not your own mind. On March 27th, 2013 I decided to make myself a priority and this took a lot of change. A LOT of change.
Terrible moustaches make me laugh. Like milk out of your nose laugh. Like full on body convulsions laugh. Like can’t breathe, too much snorting laugh.
Since Movember is the month for a disgusting facial hair, I typically get in my fair share of laughs. This year, I swear I haven’t seen enough used car salesman mos. I’m not sure if this is because people are scared to show of their terrimos (see what I did there) or I have been spending too much time looking at homemade zombie awesomeness on Etsy.
Sometimes, I visualize social media platforms as a giant grade school classroom. I see a teacher sitting at the front of the class asking the room who would like to read their book report first.
One hand shoots up enthusiastically and starts waving in the air. She immediately starts saying “Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!” over and over again. At this point, she’s almost moved herself right out of her desk.
The teacher picks her as she is the loudest in the room and offered to be first.
My brain has been squishy all week. In fact, I’ve learned so much this week that I believe my brain has leaked other information out. Seriously. I have been struggling with simple math today and I’m blaming it on feminists.
I hear the word ‘feminist’ being thrown around a lot lately and honestly, I didn’t know what it truly meant until this week.
Remember the dog from Up? The one that is all excited and listening, then turns and yells: “SQUIRREL!”? Well, that’s me in a nutshell.
I have a million things going on in my mind at any given time. I try so hard to concentrate on one piece, but I know all it will take is one shiny object to take my attention away.
I think this is why I love Twitter so much. I read, scroll, read, scroll and then something catches my eye and a conversation starts or a link is shared. No need to really focus on one thing at a time. It’s perfectly normal for people to be having more than one conversation at the same time with different people and my feed is constantly refreshing. Twitter works with my “shiny” attention span.
My lack of an attention span gets me on trouble a lot. I come home from work, set down my bag and head down the stairs to change out of my work clothes and onto my comfy clothes.
Somewhere during the attempt to change my clothes, I get distracted.
Here is the typical conversation in my head while I’m getting changed after work:
“First thing: go downstairs and change clothes”
“The baby is okay for a couple of minutes, right?”
“I should check my email”
“Wow, there is a lot of cat hair on these stairs”
“10 stairs till you get to the bottom”
“Is that the baby crying?”
“I wonder why that client hasn’t gotten back to me yet”
“I really like this perfume”
“Do the cats have food?”
“What’s on TV tonight?”
Hubs: “Jen, what are you doing down there?”
Me: “Changing out of my work clothes. Be right up.”
“Woah, it’s only been a minute”
“Okay, 5 minutes”
“What am I wearing for work tomorrow?”
“Shouldn’t the lightbulb down here be brighter?”
“I had a pair of earrings that I really liked down here, I wonder where they are”
*roots through jewelry box*
“Hmm, wonder where they are. When did I wear them last?”
Hubs: “What the heck are you doing down there? You still making supper or what?”
Me: “YES! I’ll be right up”
“What are we having for supper again? Oh yeah, salmon and rice. I should make that yummy honey garlic sauce. Do I still have that recipe somewhere? Pinterest maybe?”
*Searches through Pinterest for the recipe. Gets distracted by a zombie bedding set. Finds recipe and accidentally swipes right, making the recipe blog move to a more recent post. Anger ensues. Finds recipe again and then accidentally moves it to another blog post again. So very angry now*
Hubs: “Jen! Seriously! Are you coming upstairs?”
Me: “YES! Holy!”
This is when I finally kick off my jeans and feverishly take my sweater off. In a rush, I leave my clothes in a pile on the floor. This pile gets me in hot water at least twice a week. According to Hubs, It should be easy to take my clothes off and hang them up so they don’t get dirty or covered in pet hair. This logic is completely lost on me.
If I ever tell you to text/call or email me a reminder about something, this is why. I’m dedicated, creative and loyal, but I’m also terrible at paying attention to any one thing at any one time.
What was the topic of this blog post again? Oh yeah, I should go pick up my pants.
Mama Blogs was a great event put on by some amazing Edmonton women. I was flattered and grateful to have a chance to speak about blogging and voice online.
I joked my way through most of the questions and only teared up once. This is a huge win for me these days. There is a lot of emotion in my world these days. Most are tears of happiness.
Such a great night. Such a great group of women.
After the event, I went through the #mamablogs hashtag and saw a couple of tweets that made me stop and think clearly about what I had said.
These tweets were about how the authors felt like they need to censor themselves on their blogs.
Mind if I jump on a soap box for a moment to clarify?
When I write, I chose my words carefully. I think about my daughters reading these posts in the future. I know I will embarrass them at times, but I know they will appreciate my willingness to speak on topics that others may not approach.
When I wrote my post about being a child of abuse, I chose not to go into details. I decided I didn’t need to. Just the moment flashbacks were enough to bring me to a place where I could write without being afraid or feeling shame. If I ever feel like I want to write one of these stories in detail, I will chose to publish it on a site like Violence Unsilenced where abuse survivors speak freely.
This is my blog and my voice and I chose what to publish on it. I feel very lucky to have the choice to write about anything I want.
Your voice has impact. Your actions have impact. This is the most amazing part of the blogging/social media world. You may inspire people in ways you never even dreamed was possible.
To be honest, I may never have started a blog if I hadn’t come across Attack of the Redneck Mommy. The first time I found Tanis’ blog, I spent over 4 hours reading through laughter and years. She inspired me to start telling my own story and to speak from the heart. I will be forever grateful to her for this.
Please don’t censor yourself, be mindful in what you write instead.
That’s the end of my soapbox rant
Instead of whining about the amount of contests and review giveaways I see in my Twitter timeline, I’m going to try winning.
For the entire month of September, I am going to enter every contest I come across. Every single one.
At the end of September, I’ll put together an analysis post on contest/giveaway usability (ease of entry), content and share some of the most interesting ones I come across.
Wish me luck!
If you have a review/giveaway on your blog right now, leave a link in the comments below so I can enter.
I was offered a week with a 2013 Lincoln MKS from Focus Communications and Ford. Of course I said yes, but then I wondered what the heck I would review about it. I know nothing about cars, so I based it on features that would be important to me during a zombie apocalypse.
You may wonder why the looks of a car would be important during a zombie apocalypse, but they are. Yes, zombies won’t be wowed by a shiny, beautiful and spaceship like vehicle, but you might need to reproduce to keep the human race going. This car will help you attract humans of the opposite sex.
It’s one beautiful machine.
This car is so fast. Seriously. This is the car that will get you some major speeding tickets if you aren’t careful. Good thing there are no photo radar tickets during a zombie apocalypse.
If you are the type of person that likes to follow the rules, you can actually see the speed limit in the dash.
Speed is a major factor when fleeing from zombies and for running them over. If you hit a zombie when you are going too slow, you risk blood and guts all over and the possibility of a broken windshield. The MKS is crazy fast. No worries here.
What happens when you are going fast in one direction and then see zombies and have to go quickly in another direction? Reversing is easy in the MKS, there’s a handy back up camera and it even beeps when you are getting too close to something. Perfect for finding popup zombies. It also corners like a dream.
Cargo space is important during a zombie uprising. You need somewhere to put all of your necessities and ammunition.
I could fit all of my Costco shopping and a stroller in the trunk. I suspect it would hold at least 2 bodies as well.
Park Assist: I love this feature so much. Park assist will park your car with the touch of a button. This would come on handy when you are thinking more about zombies than parking. Especially if your passengers are screaming.
Stereo System: Music will make or break your zombie killing experience. Throw on some Enya and you might as scream “come eat my brains”. Blast some Biggie Smalls instead and turn it up. The speaker system in the Lincoln MKS almost demands you play it loud.
Didn’t remember your Biggie CD when feeling from the city? No need to worry. You can play it off of your smartphone, UBS or Sirius.
Imagine how many extra zombies you can shoot with two sunroofs.
Night driving: If you need to drive at night when you are running from packs of zombies, this is your car. The dash lights up without being too bright or overpowering. The headlights even follow your turns. I loved driving at night in this vehicle.
Passenger Space: The only negative of my family using this car during a zombie apocalypse now is the carseats. The MKS fits a booster seat fine, but not a rear facing infant seat.
Every time the car shut down, the front seat went back to factory settings. This completely squished the car seat and it was hard to get it out of the vehicle. Once the MKS was turned back on, it would allow for more room.
Overall, the Lincoln MKS would be a great vehicle during the zombie apocalypse. It’s sleek, luxurious, fast and has a ton of great features. I would suggest that you wait until your children have grown past the baby stage though. You wouldn’t want to be struggling to get a car seat out with zombies around.
Big thanks to Ford and Focus for giving me the Lincoln MKS for the week. It was super fun to drive.
Yes, I spend a little too much time tweeting my tweeps on Twitter. I’ve sent almost 50,000 tweets. Eeekk, I know. My name is Jen and I’m addicted to Twitter.
As I spend a lot of time on this social media platform, I consistently see people starting their tweets in ways that minimize how many of their followers are going to see it.
Let’s take a look at an example:
In the top tweet, Jose started his tweet with @twintower7264. In this case, you would assume Jose wants to share his twin tower talk with all of his followers, instead the only people who are going to see it are people who follow Ozzie and Jose or read through Jose’s tweets (like I did).
When you start a tweet with an @mention, you are starting a conversation with them. This is not the way to start a conversation with all of your followers.
This happens a lot during conferences, live tweeting events or sharing links. The first tweet in this picture is an example.
I’m assuming Jeff at NextCast wanted to show all of his followers the article on Rand Fishkin. Instead, it will be seen by people who follow @nextcast and @randfish, creep timelines or see this retweeted in their feed.
In the second tweet, @bobbrains and @SEOAware are having a conversation and added Rand into it. Makes sense that the tweet was created like this.
In the last tweet, Courtney is sharing a link about Rand with his Twitter handle at the end. The way that it’s written, she’s sending it to all of her followers and is letting Rand know she’s sharing it. Well put together tweet.
This is why you will sometimes see tweets starting with things like:
.@Randfish I love Whiteboard Friday’s (period in front); or
.@Randfish I like your orange sneakers. (space in front), and
Hey @Randfish, your wife is hot. (start with a word).
In these examples, all of my followers would be able to see these tweets.
Once you decide the intent of your tweet, you can start a conversation with a person or your followers. Then you can write silly tweets like this one:
Yes, brains with bacon might be overkill. I think I would prefer brains sautéed in butter with root vegetables.
Now, go maximize your tweet reach or start a conversation.