Thursday, March 31, 2011

Temporary Insanity

I recently had a moment of insanity.  I did something I normally wouldn't.

Now, I'm not one of those people who resents happy people...or hides under the covers on Valentine's Day or complains loudly that it's a day manufactured by the greeting card companies.

But, this Valentine's Day, I stepped out of character and did something a little crazy.

I've always had a boyfriend.  The same one, for most of middle school, high school and then we married. I've never really dated anyone else.  We got married young and have been together ever since.  But, then, a year and a half ago, I left him.  And now I live alone, with my two boys.

And this last V-Day (about a month ago), I gave in to temptation and signed up for an online dating site.

There, I said it.
It's out.
I'm hiding my head, I'm blushing. 

I got on the site, made a profile and looked around at available men...

and haven't been back since.

I'm not ready to date.
I don't need a man.
I NEED to fix myself first.
Get my life in order.
And then maybe I'll find time to date.

I'm not ready.

It was just a moment of temporary insanity.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Science of Timing

Yesterday I participated in a HubSpot webinar hosted by Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist.
The topic was The Science of Timing.

24,000 people signed in and listened to learn the best times are to publish blog posts, send emails, or post updates on Twitter for marketing activities.

Here's what I learned:

2-5pm ET is the most retweetable time of the day. 
Tweets are more likely to be read late in the day and later in the week.
Don't be afraid to tweet too much.  Some people have pretty heavy Twitter steams, and you won't show up if you don't tweet often.  An average of 22 tweets a day would be good.
It's OK to link as much as you want to other sites, but don't send out links to your own site too much.

Don't crowd your content.
It's probably best to post every other day.
It's best to post in the morning hours, but weekends are the biggest times for sharing.
People are much more likely to share content on the weekend.

People usually check their email in the morning and early afternoon.
Email gets more attention on the weekend.
It's a good idea to send email very early in the morning.
You can find your most retweetable time by going to TweetWhen

People read blogs more in the morning and during the week.
Know your audience.
The best times to post are probably 10am-11am for page views.
The best time to post for comments is on the weekend.
The more you post, the better, the more views....more than once a day is great.

Find your sweet spot in all these areas. 
Experiment to find the best times for your audience
and then use that timing to make more money. 

Have you ever sat in on an online webinar?
On what subjects?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My 5 Dream Jobs

When I was younger, I wanted to be Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

And then as I grew older, I figured I either be a writer or a doctor.

Everyone now and then I get a wild hair and decide there's something I absolutely MUST do. 

Recently? I decided I wanted to train Annie to be a search and rescue dog so we could help out when children go missing or during tragedies...

And I really wanted a farm so I could grow fruit and vegetables and have lots of animals, including a dairy cow and chickens...

Which led me to ponder 5 jobs I'd enjoy:

1. Professional Traveler - I'd love to be paid to travel and write about it.
2. Island Caretaker - Pay me to live in your exotic island getaway
3. Book Reviewer - I'd love to read books all day and review them.
4. Electronic Gadget Reviewer - New technolgy, fun, fun, fun!
5. Best selling author - paid to live out your imagination on paper.

What about you?
What did you want to be?
What is your dream job?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010

Did you know that Twitter turned 5 years old last week?
Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Do you use Twitter?
I do
Do you not understand why anyone would want to use Twitter?
This video is very illuminating for those who don't "get it."

25 billion Tweets were sent in 2010.  
I bet we'll be WAY over that for 2011. 
Especially since, according the Twitter Blog, the world now tweets 1 billion tweets per week!  

Want to see the top ten trends for last year?  Some I expected, some I didn't. 

10. Pulpo Paul - the Octopus who perdicted FIFA World Cup wins
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - The final Harry Potter book
8. Justin Bieber - Teenage Canadian pop singer with a famus hairdo

7. Google Android - New Google Phone
6. Apple iPad - New Apple Product
5. Vuvuzela - a plastic horn used to make noise, especally at the FIFA World Cup

4. Haiti Earthquake - Catastrophic earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 in Haiti
3. Inception - A Leo DiCaprio movie about a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion
2. FIFA World Cup - Football World Cup (soccer) won by Spain in 2010
1. Gulf Oil Spill - Deepwater Horizon oil drill spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico for three months

I can already guess some of the top trends for this year:

Charlie Sheen
Japan Earthquake/Tsunami or Nurclear Crisis

What do you think?
Do you tweet?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Texas Word Tangle on Facebook

Yep, Texas Word Tangle has a Facebook Page.

If you're interested, you can visit and "like" the page.
Then, when I update the blog, it will show up in your own Facebook feed.

Exciting, I know. (insert sarcasm here)

Do you Facebook?

I have it on my iPhone, so it's super easy to visit daily.
I love being able to keep track of family and friends.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lucky Ducks

Today Remy's baseball team had practice at the Towne Lake fields.
And I desperately wished I had my camera.

I did have my iPhone, so I snapped a few photos.

The Spring weather is beautiful in North Texas right now.
Sunny, windy, not too hot.

"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath." -- actor Michael Caine

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Find your happy place

Maybe you're a perpetually peppy person who wakes every morning 
with a bounce in their step and a song on their lips
...but I'm not.

Some days, it's a struggle to just get out of bed.

I have strong motivation though, to get up and get things done, and that's my children.
When I want to burrow under the covers and never come out, I immediately tell myself:

You have to set a good example for your boys.
How are you going to pay bills to house and feed your kids if you don't get up?

This usually works.

But, I have a few backup methods to switch my mood around:

1. Make myself take a shower, wash my hair and brush my teeth - 
it's amazing how much better you feel when you're clean. 
Like you can take on the world.  
However, sometimes even this is too much, if you're really struggling.

2. Get out - 
If getting clean is too hard to take on at the moment, then skip it and try this: 
put on your shoes, your favorite comfy gear and get out of the house.  
Whether you go for a walk or get in the car, 
a change of environment does wonders.

3. Find your happy places.  
For me, the bookstore is a safe haven that comforts me and inspires me.  
I could spend hours and hours there.  
Another place is our local flea market/trade days.  
Give me my camera and let me explore the trade days...
or anywhere outdoors, and I'm content.  
Maybe you prefer antique shopping, or riding horses, 
working out or gardening? 

Do you ever have days like this?
Have you found your happy place?  
What works for you?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

To Crack or Not to Crack, that's the question

Cracking Knuckles.

"There is no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage such as arthritis in the joints."  
- Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center

"Knuckle "cracking" has not been shown to be harmful or beneficial.
More specifically, knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis."
- WebMD

Now, I did read that it could be a subconcious nervous symptom,
and that makes sense to me. 
WebMD suggests that whatever your subconcious habbit may be,
nail biting, knuckle cracking, cuticle picking, chronic coughing, or throat clearing,

1. Make it concscious. 
Start trying to figure out when you do it and why you do it.

2. Write it down. 
Make a log of when you're doing it and what proceeds it.

3. Change it. 
Decide on something different to replace the habbit.
Doodle or do something else with your hands.

Do you crack your knucles? (I do)
Do you bite your nails or clear your throat? 
Any other nervous habbit?

I think I have lots of nervous habbits,
but I may try these three tips to see if I can change them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Catcher Remy

2-hour baseball scrimmage today...
and I managed to burn.

Yes, I'm that pale.

Time to break out the sunscreen!

On the other hand, my Remy played catcher!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Blog

I've had this blog for three years now. 
So, am I a veteran blogger
Not necessarily, 
but I have learned a lot in these three years.

And there are definitely reasons you should NOT blog.

1. You open yourself up to the crazies.
2. You realize you yourself are crazy.
3. You open your parenting to criticism.
4. You realize your parenting needs criticism.
5. Your family discovers things about you that perhaps you didn't mean to share.
6. You realize your family and friends don't even bother to read your stuff.
7. You realize you don't have much to say.
8. You realize you don't have anything good to say.
9. You realize no one cares what you say.
10. Your kids discover you're talking about them in an online forum and freak out.

That being said,
there are a ton of reasons you should blog, blog, blog
and never stop.

1.It's a great creative outlet
2. You can connect with amazing people
3. You learn more about yourself
4. You learn more. Period.
5. You can share your life with family and friends you rarely have time to communicate with.
6. You have something to refer back to, like a scrapbook, to remember events and moments in your life.
7. It's a great forum to make a statement or share a message.
8. You connect with the world in a new way.
9. It's fun, fun, fun
10. Did I mention it's fun?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Signs of Spring

The trees at my apartment complex.

The flowers outside the office at work.

My boy, starting baseball season.

What are the signs of Spring around you right now?

Monday, March 7, 2011

My thoughts about the Kindle

I put one on my wish list for Christmas.
I wasn't sure I really wanted one,
but I thought I'd try it out.

OK, the real reason?
My mom and sister had one,
and I felt left out.
I love electronics and new technology,
and I love books,
so while I had some hesitations about combining the two,
it seemed like something I should check out.

I received the Kindle for Christmas, to my suprise...
and slowly fell in love.

It wasn't a full blown immediate, passionate love affair,
but a slow, kindling kind of fire.
Pun intended.

I personalized it with a cool-looking skin and found a nice purple case to keep it safe,
and it fits in my purse and goes with me everywhere.

I've downloaded free word games...
to further my addiction of word games.

And I can connect to Amazon anytime I want via the Kindle...
to browse books and download the first chapter FREE of any book I want.

The instantaneous access is powerfully addicting.
The cheaper price of new hardbacks and best sellers is extremely gratifying.
I don't have to feel guilty about buying the latest Karen Marie Morning or Kim Harrison novel.

(Amazon hasn't paid or compensated me in any way to write this post!)

Also cool? 
You can loan some books to anyone else with a Kindle. 
And, since my mom and sister have one,
and we all read voraciously, this is awesome...
although not many books are "loanable" yet. 

I have a Kindle App on my iPhone now where I can read any of the books on my Kindle, on my iPhone.  The Kindle and the iPhone share knowledge
and keep track of where I am in a book. 
How smart is that?

I love technology. 
And I love reading. 
And I now love the Kindle.

Have you tried an electronic reading device?
Are you for or against them?
I don't want hard and soft cover books to go away, or bookstores for that matter,
but I love the buying convenience and the ability to store thousands of books on my Kindle.