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Category Archives: Blog Stuff

Win a ticket to The Mom Con in Pittsburgh!


I’d love for you to join me and a group of other ladies at The Mom Con in Pittsburgh. Introduce yourself, tell us your goals and your dreams. Just be you, whoever that is. Hey, I’m an awkward weirdo, but that’s okay, and I’d love the opportunity to be awkward and weird around you!

To read more about The Mom Con Click here or on the image below or just go ahead and enter the giveaway by clicking the link at the bottom of this post! 🙂

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Because a shared experience is a powerful thing. It creates community, which allows for sparking ideas and learning from each other. Social media can take us a long way toward building relationships with each other, but it will never replace the power of face-to-face contact. The Mom Con is a day to get inspired by our speakers, empowered with new ideas, and connect with each other in real life. It’s a place for creative + motivated moms to be who they really are.

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Enter to win a free pass to The Mom Con on Saturday November 15, 2014 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
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Minute to Win It Games Using Household Items


Here are some games you can play as a family using average household items typically used for housework and housekeeping. Play these games to celebrate No Housework” Day on April 7. Wouldn’t it be great to declare a day of fun and games with the spouse and kids rather than doing housework?!

Housework Games: Games using household items

Below you will find links to games that you can play with household items such as a broom, bucket, iron board, laundry basket, forks, spoons, plates, and cups! Way more fun than doing the laundry and washing the dishes!

Minute to Win It Games on GSN

*Broomski Ball: Roll tennis balls over a taped down broomstick and jump them into three buckets at different heights.
02broomskiball
You’ll Need: 3 Buckets / 1 Broomstick / Tennis balls / Foul line / Tape
1) The game begins with the broomstick and buckets affixed to the floor, and the foul line placed 9 feet back from the front of the first bucket.
2) When the clock starts, player can begin rolling tennis balls.
3) To complete the game, player must land at least one ball into each basket.

*Bucket Head: Catch 3 balls in a bucket on top of the head.
01buckethead
You’ll Need: “bucket headgear” made of small bucket or water jug with top cut off / materials like a sweatband to keep it affixed to the head / container of ping-pong balls / wall with a foul line on the ground 5′ away
1) When the clock starts, player may grab 1 ball at a time and bounce it so that it hits the floor then wall before attempting to catch it in the bucket headgear.
2) Only balls caught behind the foul line may count toward total.
3) Ball must bounce directly from wall to bucket in order to score.
4) Player can’t play from a kneeling or seated position, or touch the bucket with the hands while trying to catch a ball.
5) To complete the game, player must catch and retain a total of 3 balls in the bucket atop the head within the 60-second time limit.

*Get Forked: Roll quarters from behind a foul line so that one stands between the tines of a fork from a designated distance.
03getforked
You’ll Need: Fork / Foul line
1) Create a foul line.
2) Secure the fork a designated distance away from the foul line so that it is face down and the tine openings are facing the foul line.
3) When the clock starts, player rolls quarters toward the fork.
4) To complete the game, get one quarter to stand in one of the tines within the 60-second time limit. The quarter must remain in the tine opening for 3 seconds.

*Ka-Broom: Drop a broom onto a plate, catapulting a marshmallow into the air, then catch it in a cup.
04kabroom
You’ll Need: 1 cup / 1 broom / 10 paper plates / 10 large marshmallows / table
1) Set up each plate so that it hangs halfway off the table with a marshmallow centered on the portion of the plate covering the table.
2) Create a foul line 7′ from the plates.
3) When the clock starts, player places broom bristle side down, and releases the handle so it makes contact with the plate.
4) The marshmallow should catapult into the air and the player must attempt to catch it in the cup while at least 1 foot is behind the foul line.
5) If a player’s hand makes contact with a marshmallow, the attempt does not count.
6) To complete the game, player must catch 3 marshmallows so that they are in the cup concurrently within the 60-second time limit.

*Nimble Thimble: Player must bounce a marble into each of 6 thimbles.
05nimblethimble
You’ll Need: 6 thimbles / at least 6 marbles
1) Affix each thimble to the table with the open side facing up.
2) When the clock starts, player may toss 1 marble at a time towards the thimbles.
3) A marble must bounce at least once on the table, without being redirected by the player before landing in a thimble.
4) To complete the game, a marble must be stationary in each of the 6 thimbles concurrently within the 60-second time limit.

*Spoon Frog: Bang down on a spoon to propel another spoon into a glass.
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You’ll Need: at least 6 spoons / 3 glasses
1) Set up 3 glasses in a row.
2) When the clock starts, player may begin arranging spoons and banging down on them to propel them into the glass.
3) Player must make a single motion, making contact with only 1 spoon when catapulting the spoon into the glass.
4) The spoon must land in the bottom of the glass to count.
5) To complete the game, player must land 1 spoon into each of 3 glasses and they must remain there concurrently within the 60-second time limit.

*Spoon Tune: Arrange glasses of water within 60 seconds so that they play a preselected song when tapped with a spoon.
07spoontune
You’ll Need: Glasses / Water / Spoon / Table / Tuning instrument
1) Prior to game start, fill glasses with water and tune them to the notes of the preselected song. Arrange the glasses in random order in the center of the table.
2) When the clock starts, contestant may start arranging the glasses in a line and tapping them with the spoon.
3) Glasses must be positioned in a clear line within 60 seconds to count toward completion of game.
4) If contestant knocks a glass over or spills enough water to change a glass’ note, the game will result in failure.
5) To complete the game, contestant must arrange the glasses in a line in the correct order correlating to the musical notes of the preselected song and have hands off the glasses within the 60-second time limit.
6) “Jingle Bells,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” are just a few examples of recommended songs.

*By a Thread: Use 1 hand to run a piece of thread through the eye of 10 needles.
08byathread
You’ll Need: thread / 10 needles (each with an increasingly smaller eye)
1) All needles are placed sharp side down into a stable surface, arranged from largest eye to smallest.
2) Before starting the game, the player may hold thread with hand of choice, but may not lick or bend it.
3) When the clock starts, player may lick or bend thread as needed, but may only use 1 hand at all times.
4) To complete the game, player must get the thread through the eyes of all 10 needles within the 60-second time limit.

*Iron Board Man: Two people maneuver opposite ends of an ironing board in an attempt to land a marble in one of three designated holes.
09ironboardman
You’ll Need: Ironing board / Marbles
1) Prior to game start, players stand in designated start zones with their hands holding the board with a marble preloaded on the ironing board.
2) Once the clock starts, players may place their hands on the sides of the ironing board behind the designated zone and will begin rolling the marble down the board by tilting the board.
3) If a marble falls off of the board at any time, the player must re-use marble or pick up another marble and place it in the start zone before attempting the game again.
4) Only one marble may be on the board at a time.
5) To complete the game, player must get one marble from the start position to one of the 3 end positions at the middle of the ironing board as described above within the 60-second time limit.

*Magic Carpet Ride: Player must sit on a bathroom floor mat and use an inchworm technique to move around obstacles.
10magiccarpetride
You’ll Need: 1 standard bath mat / 3 obstacles (i.e. toilet brush, plunger, toilet paper roll) / smooth floor with start line
1) Set up 3 obstacles in a line in front of the start line.
2) Player begins game sitting on bathmat with fuzzy side down.
3) When the clock starts, player may begin moving across floor using the designated inchworm motion to move around the obstacles.
4) Player may slalom in any direction around the obstacles, then turn around and slalom back past the same obstacles.
5) If player touches the ground with any part of his or her body, he or she must stop moving forward until their body is correctly positioned back on the mat.
6) To complete the game, player must slalom around the obstacles to the end and back, and the bath mat must cross the start line entirely within the 60-second time limit.

*Whack Job: Use a broom to knock a pie tin off a glass, allowing the egg that is sitting on a toilet paper roll on top of the tin to fall into the glass.
11whackjob
You’ll Need: glass of water / pie tin / toilet paper roll / raw egg / kitchen broom
1) Set up tower so that it has a glass of water with a pie tin on top. On top of the pie tin is an empty toilet paper roll with an egg balanced on top.
2) When the clock starts, player steps on broom bristles and releases handle so that the handle hits the pie tin with the demonstrated motion.
3) The player may not make contact with the egg tower, and the entire egg must land inside the glass to count.
4) To complete the game, player must knock the egg off the tower and completely into the glass within the 60-second time limit.

*Whippersnapper: Player must use a towel affixed to the floor to whip a ping-pong ball into a laundry basket.
12whippersnapper
You’ll Need: 1 towel / ping-pong balls / 1 laundry basket
1) Set up laundry basket 15′ away from a towel which has 1 end affixed to the ground.
2) When the clock starts, player may put a ball on the towel and “pop” the ball into the laundry basket by holding the 2 closet corners of the towel.
3) Player may place the ping-pong ball anywhere on the towel, but may only place 1 ping-pong ball at a time.
4) To complete the game, the player must toss 1 ping-pong ball into the laundry basket within the 60-second time limit.

Link up your housework related projects with the No Housework Party April 07-12, 2014. Domestic Goddess’ and the Domestically Challenged welcome!
Tweet using the hashtag #nohousework
No Housework Party


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The Ultimate Blog Party 2014


Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Hi, I’m Jenn! This is my 4th year participating in The Ultimate Blog Party and after four years I’m not sure how many different ways I can introduce myself without sounding repetitive, so this year I put together a little video that describes my blog.

(Watch video here)

Coolest Family on the Block is about birthdays, holidays, traditions, and family fun. I also love vlogging and blogging about myself and whatever pointless, sarcastic thing pops into my head, but I do all of that over at my other blog: I Make Myself the Queen.

You can read more about me on my about me page (duh) and over at my personal blog I Make Myself the Queen.

Coolest Family on the Block: Top 10 Posts of 2013

Please leave me a comment and tell me about your blog! Give me a shout out on social media so that I can follow you back!

ULTIMATE BLOG PARTY
Ultimate Blog Party 2013
Ultimate Blog Party 2012
Ultimate Blog Party 2011


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That one time that Buddy the Elf stole my blog…


You probably saw the title of this post and thought,
“Oh, that silly Jenn. She’s probably going to tell us a story of some weird crazy dream she had about Elf and her blog!”
But, no. I’m totally serious. Buddy the Elf stole my blog. Sorta. Except not really. But he kinda did.

Elf stole my blog

Yesterday at 2pm my husband sends me a message “Buddy the Elf is posting your St. Patty’s Day post on Facebook.” and I’m like, “I have no idea what that means.” So he tells me that his sister sees this picture of our house in her Facebook feed and she called to tell him, and then he told me.

At first I was excited thinking about how awesome it would be to get a ton of unexpected traffic from a Facebook page with over 11,000,000 followers. And just in case you have trouble following all of those zeros, that’s over 11 million people. Woo to the hoo!

So I go to the Buddy the Elf Facebook Page and I see my photo has been “liked” over 6,000 times and shared on Facebook over 1,000 times. And my heart sinks. Because here is no source link back to me included. In fact, there’s no link at all.

Elf stole my blog

To make things worse it was an older version of the photo from 2011 that wasn’t watermarked. I hadn’t even been blogging an entire year yet when I published that post and it never crossed my mind to watermark my photos.

Elf stole my blog

Then I saw a glimmer of hope. There was a link in the comments to a pin…maybe I was given credit after all! The link goes to a pin on Buddy the Elf’s Pinterest account with the description, “Have you seen these toilets? They’re GINORMOUS!” And when I click on the pin…

Elf stole my blog

It leads nowhere. Well, actually it leads here. The original pinner (Buddy?) had pinned the image url instead of the post url, so when you click on the pin it just brings up the photo instead of leading directly to the post. The good news is that “coolestfamilyontheblock” is included in the image url, but most people aren’t going to take the extra step to search for the blog.

So this is a cautionary tale for you, girls and boys. Always watermark ALL of your photos before putting them on the internet, because you never know if your content will be stolen by a 6 foot tall elf with a following of 11 million people.

Furthermore, never pin or repin a photo without a proper link to the original source! This means that you should be clicking through and checking sources before repinning. I know that Pinterest can be addicting and you can get pin happy and just start pinning all of the things and who has time to click through when I’m so busy planning my dinner/wedding/birthdayparty/dreamhome/workoutplan?!

Elf stole my blog

But you seriously need to slow your roll, pinner, and make sure that you are pinning responsibly! It doesn’t do anyone any good to spread “bad” pins around that lead nowhere or that lead to the wrong place. It’s frustrating for fellow pinners who are seeking the original source for content/information and frustrating for the bloggers (content creators) who are missing out on traffic and potential new followers. Follow the golden rule while pinning, if you wouldn’t like someone else spreading around an unsourced photo of yours then please don’t repin without checking the source first.

Elf stole my blog

I know that you’re busy. So am I. (sorta) If you really like a pin and you really don’t have the time to check the source, please repin to a secret board and then go back and check the source later before pinning publically. (“Woah, Jenn, what a great idea!” You’re welcome, imaginary blog readers.)

Elf stole my blog

As I’m writing this my image has now been shared on Buddy’s Facebook page over 2,000 times and has over 10,600 “likes” and his pin has been repinned 250 times. And mama ain’t seein’ none of that traffic 😦
Woo Boo to the hoo.
I could report the photo on both Facebook and Pinterest and have them removed for not crediting the original source and copyright infringement or other fancy legal sounding what-nots, but I have no interest in this at the moment. I don’t care if they shared my photo…I just want my traffic. In an attempt to remedy the situation, I started dropping my link in the comments on both the Facebook page and on Pinterest. I started “liking” the positive comments and replying to some of them. Did it help? I don’t know. “Buddy” hasn’t responded to me at all.

How can you help?! I’d really appreciate it if you could help me get the watermarked version of this photo along with the source link out into the internet, particularly on Facebook. It would be great if you could share it on Facebook through your personal profile and/or Facebook page.
I’ve included some links below for quick and easy sharing!
*Share/like/comment on Facebook
*Repin
*Share/+1/comment on Google+
*Retweet

It would also be great if you could head over to Buddy’s Facebook page and find my comment where I left my link and “like” it so that it gets bumped higher in the comment thread. Click here

Leprechaun footprints and green toilet water

Do you always watermark your photos? Do you check sources before repinning? Has an elf ever stolen your blog content? Let me know in the comments!


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This post is linked to SITS Sharefest

How to add Pages to Interest Lists on Facebook


*ATTENTION!: This post was written in January 2014. If you are visiting here from the future please be advised that this information is probably no longer valid/current because Facebook will change how it works approximately 12 minutes after I hit publish. Because Facebook hates us all.

How to add Pages to Interest Lists on Facebook

I’m active in many blogging forums and Facebook groups. Recently someone asked me to explain how to add Facebook pages that you “like” to Interest Lists on your personal profile. I “like” a lot of Facebook pages and I currently have over 100 private interest lists on Facebook. The images below are poor quality because they’re just screenshots that I used Paint to write on top of…super high-tech stuff here. Double click to make the images larger.

I used the Facebook page “We Know Stuff” in my example, check them out and give them a “like”! 🙂 And while we’re being all social, you can “like” Coolest Family on the Block and my other page I Make Myself the Queen on Facebook!

I have created a public list for SITS bloggers pages.  It currently includes over 300 pages and counting!  If you are a fellow SITStah you can follow the list on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/lists/636757593051688!

FIRST, you currently can not add interest lists when you’re logged in as your page, only when you’re logged in as your personal profile. You also can not view your interest lists while you’re logged in as your page.

Adding Facebook pages to lists

STEP 1
(Log into your personal profile, NOT your Facebook page.)

Adding Facebook pages to lists

Adding Facebook pages to lists

STEP 2

Adding Facebook pages to lists

STEP 3

Adding Facebook pages to lists

STEP 4
You’re done!

Adding Facebook pages to lists

THEN THIS HAPPENS

Adding Facebook pages to lists

HOW TO FIND/EDIT YOUR LISTS AFTER YOU’VE CREATED THEM

Adding Facebook pages to lists

HERE THEY ARE!

Adding Facebook pages to lists

Do you use interest lists to organize the pages you like on Facebook? What is your favorite/most used list? Do you keep your lists private or public? Let me know in the comments!


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Top 10 Posts of 2013


Coolest Family on the Block: Top 10 Posts of 2013

Here are Coolest Family on the Block’s Top 10 Most Popular Posts published in 2013 and the Top 10 Most Popular overall.

CFOTB Top 10 Posts of 2013
I wrote less than 20 posts this year, so there wasn’t a lot of competition for the top 10.
I’m a slacker.

10. Artist and Masterpiece Sibling Costumes
Artist and Masterpiece Sibling Costumes (Coolest Family on the Block)

9. Santa Proof: Watch Santa feed his reindeer LIVE! (Free)
Watching Santa feed his reindeer

8. Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree 2012
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7. Half Birthday Celebrations
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6. Santa Proof: Photos of Santa in your home!
Photos of Santa in your home!

5. Product Review: Blackout EZ Window Covers
Product Review Blackout EZ Window Covers

4. 50+ Ideas for the Thanksgiving Kids’ Table
thanxkidtabletxt5

3. How to Make Shadow Puppets (Links)
Great activity for Groundhog Day, Halloween, or any time of year!
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2. Santa Proof: Magical Santa Bootprints
Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot prints

1. Christmas Traditions: Gift Wrapped Doorway
Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway

CFOTB Top 10 Posts

10. Ladybug Picnic Birthday Party
Ladybug Picnic Party

9. Easter Bunny Paw Print Trail
Bunny Paw Print Trail

8. Pink and Green Polka Dots and Cupcakes Birthday Party
Polka Dots and Cupcakes 1st Birthday Party

7. Free Printable Santa Paper (Links)
Free Printable Santa Paper!

6. Hot Air Balloon Crafts (Links)
50+ Hot Air Balloon Snacks and Crafts

5. 30+ April Fools Pranks to Play on Your Kids (Links)
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4. Ribbon Topiary Video Tutorial
Ribbon Topiary Video Tutorial

3. 10 EASY Dr. Seuss Snacks
10 Easy Dr. Seuss Snacks

2. Police Officer Crafts (Links)
Police Officer Crafts

1. FREE Dr. Seuss Fonts (Links)
cfotbdrseussfonts00

What was your favorite Coolest Family on the Block blog post this year? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts:
Top 10 Posts of 2011 / Top 10 Posts of 2010 / Bottom 10 Posts of 2010


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This post is linked to: Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop