Archive for July, 2009

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Populating Twitter’s Text Field From Your Blog

July 31, 2009

OK people, bear with my excitement here please. When I spend DAYS trying to figure something out, and then I do it, I get ecstatic! I especially get crazy when it’s something simple (programmers will understand what I mean if they’ve ever had a tiny syntax error keeping them awake for days).

But fear not, I did all the thinking and testing and working, and NEWLY bug free for you:

How to automatically populate a twitter follower’s update field using a link on your blog!

All they have to do is hit the Update button!

I saw this during Moonfruit’s MacBook Pro contest, as well as someone using a bit.ly link to achieve the same effect. And I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. It’s not hard, and I’m sure tons of people have figured it out. But when I tried to search for it, NADA.

This will come in especially handy for review/giveaway blogs, like Makes Mom Happy, The Cloth Diaper Report, and others like them (believe me, there’s TONS). Often during giveaway contests on these blogs, you can obtain entries by tweeting about the contest. Most of the time there is a pre-set message the blog owner would like you to use to advertise the contest. Now the blog owner can make a link for you and save you the trouble – if they read this post and learn how.

Review/Giveaway blog owners, here’s how you do it:

Use a link when you have a specific message you’d like tweeted, for example: “RT @halfjapanesegrl Enter a Britax Marathon CS car seat giveaway at The Cloth Diaper Report! http://bit.ly/TcYbS. Open to US and Canada!Contest is closed, by the way.

Assuming you use Twitter, click this link to see my example in action!

If you know basic HTML, like how to add a link to your blog, this will be easy peasy for you. Normally a link looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.yourlink.com”>Your Link’s Name</a>

That’s the format this Twitter tip will follow too:

<a href=”http://twitter.com/home?status=Enter the text you would like Tweeted here. The only catch is, everywhere you want to use a space, put a ‘+’ instead!” target=”_blank”>Tweet this message</a>

A couple of notes for you:

  1. DO NOT put www. in front of twitter.com or it will not work.
  2. Always put target=”_blank” in your external links. This will make your link open in a new window. Why is this important? Then YOUR site is still open in another window. Even if your visitor forgets what they were doing when they clicked on the link, eventually they will make it back to your window. This can induce more visiting on your site, and for some people this can mean more income (depending on your product or service)

Please, feel free to tweet about this blog post so other blog owners can learn how to do this too!
UPDATE: Figured it out finally, thanks to Digital Rev. Instead of spaces, use a + sign, then you won’t get any %20’s.

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Body After Baby – Week #3

July 30, 2009

Body After Baby – Week #2 Recap

I was in a Body After Baby challenge last week? Really? Hmm. Are you sure? And I was supposed to write this update on Monday? Ouch.

Actually, my bathroom scale says I was participating. I am down to 214-ish. We’ve been making quite the effort with what we eat. Dinner has been moderate portions of meat/alternative, vegetables and a starch. I point out “moderate” because that has always been our issue. We don’t eat badly (well occasionally we do), we just eat TOO MUCH of the good food. I’m talking like 12 ounces of meat at dinner, nevermind whatever the starch happens to be. But as I was saying, we’ve been making an effort there.

Last week I made goals of walking the dog every day, eating breakfast every day, cardio workout 3x and 10-minute workout every day. I’ve definitely been slipping on eating breakfast. Alternatively, I’ve been sort of grazing all day. Like a bag of crackers beside me and eat a couple now, and a couple in an hour, etc. I didn’t do the cardio or the 10-minute workouts at all (shame on me!). But we did take the dog for a walk a couple of times. Court has the mosquito bites to prove it.

I issued Court a challenge the other day. [If you don’t like TMI, stop reading here] He is just over 240 right now. I promised him if he could get to 200 by Penny’s 1st birthday (early January), I’d let him have an unmentionable act that he doesn’t normally get. By the way, apparently trading off sexual favors is allowable, according to my “Babyproofing Your Marriage” book. I think that’s finally given him motivation, where he didn’t have much before. As soon as he gets his orthotics made I’ll start pushing him back to the gym too.

In conclusion, I didn’t meet any of my goals for Week #2. I still improved, but in a different area. I think I’m going to learn from Weeks #1 & #2, and not shoot so high for Week #4’s goals. Why not Week #3? Because today’s Thursday. I wasted the week away. I’m just continuing the way I have been, and will get back on track for Monday.

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Me Time – It’s All The Rage

July 29, 2009

I don’t get any Me Time. Why is that?

I am not overly controlling when it comes to Penny. I’ve accepted that Court puts her diapers on differently than I do. I know when he changes her clothes, chances are they won’t be a matching outfit. I know his version of “getting up with Penny on the weekend” entails Penny falling back asleep in her bouncer chair while Daddy plays Wii. And I know that when he feeds her, not one drop hits her bib, and the dishes are empty when they’re done. I’m ok with all of that, because I know to stress out about any of it will just drain me more than I already am drained. I do admit though, I let him swaddle her to go to sleep, and I let him do it his way. But after 3 or 4 attempts where she just won’t go to sleep, I’ll go and swaddle her my way. It works – most of the time.

I don’t have too much of an issue leaving Penny with babysitters either (babysitters being Nana and Grampa or her other Grandpa or Grandma). I don’t feel the need to leave them with 600 instructions, although I might leave a few. I’ll point out if she has a diaper rash, or let them know where the food is. I don’t try to tell them how to feed her. I don’t panic when we come home while she’s eating and – heaven forbid – doesn’t have a bib on. They’ve all done this before. Court and I both survived, so that has to stand for something.

So if Court can handle being alone with Penny, why don’t I get any Me Time. And if we can handle leaving Penny with grandparents, why don’t we get any Us Time?

I know why I don’t get any Me Time. But I don’t understand why. Why is it that I feel like I need to be SuperMom? I have this obsession with proving to everyone (who everyone is, I’m not sure) that I can do it. I can hack being a parent. I can take Penny and do groceries without any help. I can do all the running around that needs to get done. I can do the housework… oh who am I kidding? I don’t do housework. I do some laundry – when it gets hard to climb Mount Laundrynus to get into the bedroom, or when the lack of clean underthings becomes an issue. But why do I need to prove this to everyone? No one has ever said anything to me to the contrary. I’ve never felt awash by someone’s doubt that I can be a good mom.

Because I need to be SuperMom – I need to carry Penny in my mei tai, and have 16 grocery bags on my arm, and the dog on the leash, and that 20-foot high ball of laundry from the commercial is chasing me down – I don’t get Me Time.

I want to go swimming, just for something to do. Actually it’s one of very few things that I can envision myself doing sans baby or husband. I honestly don’t know what else I would do without them. Maybe I’d consider taking some classes at the University and start on a degree in HR. It’s hard to justify that though when the classes are in the $400 range EACH and you need like 30 of them for the degree. We’re building a house right now, people! $400 is 1/3 of a mortgage payment! The only other thing I could see myself doing alone is shopping. Ah, Retail Therapy. Nothing can beat spending money, especially on wants, not needs. Although if it’s needs we need, then by all means therapy away! But then again, we’re building a house here, people! Hmm, not so much retail therapy then.

Going for a walk by myself is not a Me Time option. I feel bad because the dog could be walking with me. If I take the dog, Court feels guilty for not taking her for a walk, and then he has to come too. And if the dog and Court come with me, well… Penny has to come too. Strange how that works.

I know I need Me Time. And after 6 months of not having any Me Time, I sort of need it desperately. I just don’t know how to get it or what to do with it when I do have it.

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DeviantArt on Display

July 28, 2009

Breastfeeding_by_AmandaPPH

Breastfeeding by ~AmandaPPH

A small note about DeviantArt on Display: I have saved all of the artwork and uploaded to this blog simply because it only takes one person reporting this art as offensive for it to be removed from DeviantArt.com. They are beautiful, not offensive. This is why I am displaying them here.

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Another Britax Marathon Giveaway

July 27, 2009

How can you tell I want a Britax Marathon carseat for Penny? And how can you tell I’m determined to get one with a minimum of wallet-action? Those suckers are expensive here! But Stacey at OneTinySuitcase.ca uses them because they’re the safest and the best. So I want me one too.

And one of the ways I can get me one is to tell you that The First Time Around is giving away a Marathon CS carseat in cowprint. Click through here and go enter for yourself! There’s about 300 entries as I write this, which is not alot for a high profile giveaway like this.

Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s open to Canadians!?!

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World Breastfeeding Week • Aug 1-7

July 23, 2009

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I’m not going to do anything spectacular for World Breastfeeding Week, like participating in a nurse-in. Like Cindy Ambrose said about her plans, “for breastfeeding week, I will breastfeed my daughter. The end.” That sounds about right to me!

There are events being planned all over:

There are many, many more events being planned around the world. If you know of one, either email me so I can add it here, or add it in the comments!

In my search for WBW events, I also found a huge wealth of information on ways to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week at the National WIC Association.

Set up a “rock and relax” booth at the state fair with three areas: a changing area with diapers and wipes, an area for breastfeeding education materials and someone to answer questions, and another area with rocking chairs for mothers to breastfeed their babies.

Recognize businesses that accommodate breastfeeding employees or patrons. Give a certificate or send a thank-you note.

Look for companies or communities which may provide low cost banners on World Breastfeeding Week to display in a shopping center or downtown areas.

Give dads a certificate to recognize their support of breastfeeding mothers and infants.

Develop a proclamation for your governor or local mayor to sign, emphasize the importance of Breastfeeding during an emergency.

Honor long time breastfeeding mothers, over 1 and 2 years.

These are all wonderful ideas! I thought about making WBW pins out of nursing pads and selling them for $2 as a fundraiser for our breastfeeding clinic. I don’t know how I would do it though, so if anyone in Calgary is interested in helping with that one contact me!

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Blow-my-mind Contest!

July 22, 2009

The first review/giveaway blog I came across was MakesMomHappy.com, and I thought it was the coolest blog ever! And pretty soon I found out there’s no less than 672 review/giveaway blogs out there (number pulled outta my @$$). So, I don’t try to enter every last giveaway I see because there’s just too many. I could spend my entire day entering these things.

But once in a while, a great one comes along. This is one of them. Emi over at The Cloth Diaper Report reviewed a Britax Marathon CS Carseat. Not much reviewing needed to be done by her – she was recently in a horrific car accident, and her Britax carseat saved her daughter’s life. But along with her review, she is giving away a Britax Marathon CS in your choice of colour! This is a blow-my-mind contest! Britax are like the Cadillac of carseats, way up there on price, but WAY up there on safety. These are what Stacey over at OneTinySuitcase.ca uses for her carseat rentals, and she swears by them. You know what else is great? 1. They have pink. 2. They hold up to a 65 pound child. 3. THE CONTEST IS OPEN TO CANADIANS!!! I don’t think I can fit in enough exclamation marks for this one. All the good contests are never open to Canadians.

Make sure you get over there – entries are at about 218 (with all of mine to come) at the time of me writing this. 218 ain’t alot for a giveaway this big!