The Importance of Being Reese: March 2013

Tired of Being A Bully: Review+Giveaway+Twitter Party

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a dear friend of mine with an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. As you may remember, bullying is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Especially as a mother of a young daughter who will inevitably encounter this sort of behavior once she reaches school age.

The opportunity in question was the chance to review a brand new children's book called Tired of Being a Bully, by Dicy McCullough, which lays the foundation for understanding and coping with bullying. In this book, a young dog named Rocky encounters bullying when his new doggy neighbor moves in. As the story progresses, you understand why the bully, named Lucky, is so mean to Rocky.



For the past two weeks Jasmine has been absolutely enamored with this book. Which, as a mother, makes me both incredibly proud and extremely relieved that there is a book to help young children understand what bullying is, and where bullies come from.


This book is definitely a must have for parents who want their children to understand that most bullies become bullies because they've been dealt a bad hand, and as a result, are taking their frustrations out on other people.

The great news is that today, you'll have an opportunity to win your very own copy of Tired of Being a Bully! Awesome right? Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below for all the dets for the giveaway. Also, be sure to join us Tuesday, April 2nd at 9:30 p.m. EST for a twitter party hosted by the lovely Lydia from Cluttered Genius. All night long we'll be chatting about bullying and giving away TONS of fun prizes. Swing by Cluttered Genius to RSVP. Get in soon because spots are filling up fast.

Join us! We’ll have Dicy McCullough @DicyMcCullough, Dr. G (Dr. Deborah Gilboa) @AskDocG, and Kelly Karius @KellyKarius as part of our panel along with my fabulous bloggy pals:

Greta @gfunkified of GFunkified
Rachel @rachhabs of To Hab and to Hold
Jeanae @jeanae of Waiting for Supermom
Shannon @ShannonMSander of Aries Mommy

See you on Tuesday night!

Until then, 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


XOXO Reese
  * I was compensated for writing this post, however this post is reflective of my real thoughts and opinions.



Journey to Myself

From the moment we are born, we are taught to strive for greatness. To reach for more. More education. More money. More. More. More. It's a constant theme in our lives from birth to death.

Lately I've struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Most of it due to where I currently am in my life versus where I thought I would be at this point. Five years ago, I had it all planned out. I knew what I wanted, when I wanted it, and how I would get it. It seemed so easy. Too easy.

Too bad life doesn't happen that way.

Been a Long Day by Rosi Golan on GroovesharkSo I had to step back, regroup, refocus and redirect.  And it has taken time.
A lot longer than I anticipated. But I've finally realized that I am content. I finally realize that I may not have the fabulous career I had envisioned, or the trendiest wardrobe, or even the quaint little townhouse in Greenwich Village.

I have none of these things. But what I do have is much more than all of those material possessions combined. I have a man who makes it his life's mission to ensure that I am happy and loves me not in spite of my shortcomings and flaws, but because of them. I have a little girl who, with one simple smile, has the ability to chase away all of my doubts and fears. Who gives me a reason to push a little bit harder every day.

They are enough. They are so much more than enough. They are my whole world. Simply by having them in my life, I feel I've accomplished more than I ever thought possible.

It's not that I no longer aspire to reach for more. To be something more. I do, but at the same time, my happiness is no longer dependent upon how successful I am.  I've taken that little voice that tells me that I've somehow failed out of the equation. And for the first time in a long time I finally feel complete.

Henry David Thoreau once said, "Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves." The first time I heard it, I didn't understand. What I didn't realize at the time is that I hadn't yet begun my journey. I hadn't given myself time to get lost. But finally, I understand. In all this searching for success and gratification, I finally found the one thing that matters the most. I found myself.

Photo cred) cafemayibuye

Reese

Monday Morning Bloglovin' Bloghop + Starbucks Giveaway


Good morning beautiful people!

As many of you are all aware by now Google Reader is going bye-bye in July. I think for the most part we all understand the implications of this. I've seen the angry tweets. The facebook shares. The blog posts. All in outrage that more than likely our cherished GFC widget will be going away as well.

So what does that mean??

For me, it means I've learned a very valuable lesson. Don't ever put all of your eggs in one basket. While it's going to be hard to let go of GFC, I'm even more determined to grow my blog once again. This time however, I'm stepping into the ring with Bloglovin'.

So if you're ready to dust your your bootstraps and get back into the ring with me, come join the fun. This party will be kicking off every Monday morning starting today. Be sure to tweet it. Facebook it. Share it. Spread the love. The more the merrier. After all, we're all in this together.

As a special treat this week all Monday Morning Bloglovin' Bloghop participants will be have the chance to win a $5.00 Starbucks Gift Card. A name will be picked at random using Random.org. In order to have your name entered into the drawing, be sure to add your link to the widget and follow the bloghop rules.
 
 
The Rules??
  • Please follow me, the hostess of this lovely gathering, via Bloglovin'. I will be the first person on the widget labeled accordingly. Leave a comment below and love will be returned :).
  • Be sure to follow the lovely ladies labeled as co-hosts. You will find them at the top of the list. They're great so you won't be disappointed.
  • Make sure that you spend a bit of time mingling with the other people. You can't just put your name in the linky and expect people to magically come to you. Get out there and work for it :)
  • Make sure that your Bloglovin' widget is in a visible place so people don't have to go on a hunt to find it.
  • Finally, if you could, just spread the word. Grab a button, tweet, or facebook share. It's not a requirement, but the more people who know about this hop, the better for you. If you're interested in co-hosting, shoot me an email at tasutton22@gmail.com
Bloglovin Bloghop
I'm looking forward to getting to know you guys! Don't be shy :) Now, grab a nice hot cup of coffee, get comfy, and prepare to go meet some new friends.


XOXO Reese

The Monday Morning Bloglovin' Bloghop # 1


Good morning beautiful people!

As many of you are all aware by now Google Reader is going bye-bye in July. I think for the most part we all understand the implications of this. I've seen the angry tweets. The facebook shares. The blog posts. All in outrage that more than likely our cherished GFC widget will be going away as well.

*Gasp* I know. James came home to find me curled up in the fetal position on the couch with a gallon of Birthday Cake ice cream the day the news broke.

I'm sure so many of you were like me and put a lot of time, effort and money into building up your GFC following. Sadly, this will probably all be gone.

So what does that mean??

For me, it means I've learned a very valuable lesson. Don't ever put all of your eggs in one basket. While it's going to be hard to let go of GFC, I'm even more determined to grow my blog once again. This time however, I'm stepping into the ring with Bloglovin'.

So if you're ready to dust your your bootstraps and get back into the ring with me, come join the fun. This party will be kicking off every Monday morning starting today. Be sure to tweet it. Facebook it. Share it. Spread the love. The more the merrier. After all, we're all in this together.

The Rules??
  • Please follow me, the hostess of this lovely gathering, via Bloglovin'. Leave a comment below and love will be returned :).
  • Be sure to follow the lovely ladies labeled as co-hosts. You will find them at the top of the list. They're great so you won't be disappointed.
  • Make sure that you spend a bit of time mingling with the other people. You can't just put your name in the linky and expect people to magically come to you. Get out there and work for it :)
  • Finally, if you could, just spread the word. Grab a button, tweet, or facebook share. It's not a requirement, but the more people who know about this hop, the better for you. If you're interested in co-hosting, shoot me an email at tasutton22@gmail.com
Bloglovin Bloghop
I'm looking forward to getting to know you guys! Don't be shy :) Now, grab a nice hot cup of coffee, get comfy, and prepare to go meet some new friends.


XOXO Reese

How Much Should You Charge For Sponsored Posts?



Update: Be sure to read part II of this post for a more accurate explanation about what you should be charging for sponsored posts.

Before I became an active member in the blogosphere, I had absolutely no idea that people made so much money by blogging. Now, a year later, I'm still fascinated at how some people have turned blogging into a such a lucrative career. The opportunities and possibilities are endless. For today however, I'm going to talk to you guys a bit about sponsored posts.

Lately I've had a few run-ins with companies that want me to do sponsored posts for them, but aren't willing to pay. Now, I am far from being greedy. In fact, when it comes to sponsored posts, my rates are extremely reasonable. For $25, I do one sponsored post (which includes links to their main site and social media pages), two sponsored tweets and two facebook shares. I also advertise the business (at no additional cost) on my sidebar for the entire month. Most of the time I end up doing additional work just because I actually like the company and want to spread the word.

Last month I stumbled upon this post on Babble by CecliyK that is just brimming over with some awesome advice about what bloggers should be charging for sponsored posts based on their PR and number of followers via blog and social media. She even managed to get 25 bloggers who were willing to share their stats and what they charge (which only further solidified my belief that I probably should charge more). Also, apparently I've REALLY been out of the loop because there is a nifty little formula for bloggers to help determine what we SHOULD actually be charging. Check it out:


Pretty neat huh?

My point today is don't get conned. I just want you guys to understand what you could potentially be charging for your services. Public relations practitioners know the value of word of mouth marketing. Believe me, they understand the importance of building strong long-term relationships with their publics. Don't underestimate your opinions or your worth.

So what do you think? Is $25 a reasonable rate? What do you guys charge?



Photo cred) CecilyK

Goodbye GFC

 
As we've all heard Google Reader is on the way out, which means that GFC will probably be going as well. Like most of you, I have actively spent my blogging career growing my followers. From giveaways to countless blog hops and just plain making connections with people on a deeper level. It wasn't something that just happened overnight. It.Took.Time. And so much energy. It's so incredibly disheartening to think that this may all be gone soon.

If this change does take place, a few things will happen. (1) More than likely I will take a hiatus while I try to figure out what to do. and (2) I will move to Wordpress. (At this point there will be nothing tying me to blogger any longer.

To prep for this I've decided to explore other options for following. Although I do have a networked blogs widget, I don't actively promote it. Until now :) I've also signed up with bloglovin. If you guys are interested in following me via bloglovin, just click on the follow me with bloglovin button at the top of this post. If you're interested in following me via networked blogs, just click on the follow bu
tton on my networked blog link. Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to return the favor.

Also, I'm highly considering starting a Bloglovin' Bloghop. If you think you may be interested in co-hosting, shoot me an email at tasutton22@gmail.com

Anyhow, I hope you all are finding ways to prep for this change. If you have any tips, be sure to leave a comment below.

Until next time

 XOXO Reese

My Top 5 Most Inspirational Bloggers

Now that my first year of blogging has come and gone, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate those who have played a pivotal role in my decision to begin and continue blogging. You. That's right, I'm talking about you. There, behind the computer screen.You guys have been amazing! Truly. Unconditionally. Irrefutably amazing. Without your support, comments, emails and advice I would have given up about 11 months ago.

So in honor of a successful first year, I'd like to dedicate this post to a few of you lovely ladies that have inspired me thus far.  If you have a few moments, please go check them out. These ladies are truly talented and have been blessed with the ability to inspire others with their beautiful stories.


2 Kids, a Mini Van and a Mortgage

Kate from 2 kids, a Mini Van and a Mortgage is one tough mama. On February 23, 2011 her beautiful daughter Lucy Hannah was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. A few days later, Lucy underwent a 9 hour surgery. That was just the beginning. Be sure to keep the tissues handy as you embark on this incredible journey of faith, love and the healing power of prayer with Lucy and her family.


Beautiful Brown Baby Doll

 There are some women that are placed on this earth to encourage, motivate and inspire others to achieve their goals. Nina of Beautiful Brown Baby Doll is one of those women. Having lost over 100 pounds, Nina knows all about hard work. She's also a fellow naturalista, with drool worthy gorgeous locs. In fact, she is one of the reasons I decided to go natural myself. I encourage you all to visit her site. White, Black, Native American, Hispanic, she has something for everyone who needs a bit of encouragement, or healthy lifestyle advice.


E-Tells-Tales 

If  you love quirky humor, adorable babies and love stories that make your skin tingle, you'll love Elizabeth from E-Tells-Tales. She has a penchant for truly engaging her readers and her conversational tone makes it feel as if she's literally sitting right next to you telling you about the latest shenanigans her cutie-pie son Everett has just gotten into. Her unconventional tale of love was just the icing on the cake. I've always been a sucker for love stories, and theirs is definitely one for the books!


Apples of Gold

I stumbled upon Apples of Gold quite recently. It's a bit on the smaller side, but that's actually one of the main reasons I enjoy it so much. It's quiet and comforting. Like your favorite reading nook on a rainy day. Becky's faith is unshakable. Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, and my faith is crumbling a bit, I swing by and find words of encouragement in her blog.


Finding Joy

Rachel from Finding Joy is the type of woman you could see yourself spending hours in a coffee shop just talking about life with. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and since then, they have been through it all.  Her story is so important because from time to time when I get frustrated about something minor, I visit her site and am reminded to "live, joyfully and fully. Now. In this moment.  No more waiting for things to get better, no lamenting the time lost, but rather finding joy in everyday - even when the everyday doesn't look perfect. It's in choosing to live today to it's fullest, being thankful, and above all grateful." By the way, did I mention that she has 7 children and looks a-ma-zing??

*******

As I said before, I hope you all take a moment and visit these sites. Sometimes when we feel defeated, it's important that we reach out and surround ourselves with positive people.  If you guys stop by these blogs, please come back and let me know what you think. Also if you know of any blogs you think I would be interested in, leave me a link and I'll check em out!

Until next time

Happy Reading

XOXO Reese


Hold The Spam Please

Hello beautiful people!

Apparently within the past few months my blog has officially become popular enough to attract spammers. At first I was a bit touched. I felt as if people we're starting to take notice. Unfortunately, it's the wrong kind of people, or to be more specific, the wrong kind of computers that are taking notice.

Because I have basically zero experience with handling spammers, I'm wondering if any of you kind folks out there in the blogosphere have any advice for a girl? Especially advice that doesn't include turning back on my captcha setting. I have it turned off for the express purpose of encourage you wonderful people to leave me feedback and comments. After all, what's more annoying than having taken the time to write out a thoughtful comment, and then having to spend 30 minutes trying to decipher whether or not that's an s or a 5?

Anyhow, if you guys do have any tips or advice on how to handle those annoying little buggers, drop me a line or two.
Thanks a mil! 
XOXO Reese

Photo cred) BostInno.com

5 Things No One Told Me About Parenting

  1. You never get any sleep. Okay, that’s a lie, that’s basically the first thing EVERYONE tells you. But you never believe it until you’ve been up for 48 hours straight with a wailing infant/toddler, wearing a vomit stained t-shirt, hair astray, and you can't recall the last time you ate. 

  2. Sometimes no matter how much you try to discipline your toddler, it's like talking to a brick wall. You get no where... and you look a little cray cray in the process. 

  3. Sometimes having only one child is like wearing a target sign on your back. For whatever reason everyone feels the need to spout out unwanted advice. Your co-workers, the UPS lady, some random lady standing at the bus stop, the homeless guy holding up the "will work for food sign....

  4. If one baby hair on your child's head is out of place, other mom's look at you in disgust. Which is why I HATE having James bring Jasmine to me if I'm out and about. I know, without a doubt, he will show up at 2:00 in the afternoon with her still in her pajamas with oatmeal smeared on her face. I can basically guarantee that I will spend the day trying not to notice the judgy looks that I'm getting from other mothers. However, when James is out with her, it's adorable. He plays that whole "I'm such a sweet Dad and trying so hard to take care of my precious baby girl" card like it's going outta style.

  5. If your child is a bit lighter/darker than you, people can get very confused. You would not believe the amount of people who say things like "awww she's so precious, it makes you want to have one of your own."  No people, she is mine. I didn't just snatch this one out of the nursery because she was the cutest. She actually mine. And I've got the stretch marks to prove it.
I think that about covers it...for now. In about 11 years, I'll be sure to follow this up with Part II "Things No One Told Me About Raising A Teen." Until then, what are some lessons that parenting has taught you? Have you experienced any of these situations?

Photo cred) weknowawesome.com


XOXO Reese