Category Archives: SITS Girls

SITS Blog Critque


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Hi, SITStahs!

Is this awkward?  It feels like this might be a little awkward.

Is this awkward? It feels like this might be a little awkward.

I just got word that my blog is going to be critiqued today and I’m kinda sweatin’ buckets here! (Mmm, what a delightful thought!)

Back in 2010 when my blog was only a few months old I actually had my SITS day…except I thought the following day was going to be my SITS day and I was like, “Hey, why are all these people visiting my blog?” Then I had to scramble around to get a post up…and then another post.

I think maybe I talk too much.  Which is probably why I started a second blog, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. My blogs are wordpress.com because moving to .org is too intimidating. I scared!

Soooo anyway…I’d love to hear your constructive criticism on how I can improve my blog. I hope that it is easy to navigate and not too cluttered, but we’ll see. Do the polka dots cross your eyes? No. They don’t. You’re probably just mesmerized by my incredibly gifted blogging ability. Ahem.

Whatever.

Give me your worst. And your best. I’ll keep my eyes closed until you’re finished.

You can check out the critique over on the SITS Girls Facebook Page!


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31DBBB Day 2: Write a List Post


*I’m joining The SITS Girls in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge (31DBBB).*

Day 2: Write a List Post

Today’s challenge is to write a list post. I actually wrote a list post for Day 1 of the 31DBBB Challenge about my Elevator Pitch. I’ve written many other list posts before so I’ve included all of the links below for your convenience.

For today’s post I asked my hubby, “What should I write my list post about…it’s so broad it could be about anything and I don’t have any focus or inspiration right now.” And he answers with a grin, “Write about me!”. So I did 😉 I wanted him to get his own post instead of me squeezing it in here with all of this nonsense, so to read today’s list post go here:
15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome

Here is a list of all of my list posts 😉
*My Blog in 30 Seconds or Less
*My 100th Post: 101 Things in 1001 Days
*10 Ways to Shake Up Your Christmas Pajamas Tradition
*Writing a Letter to Santa
*Top 10 Posts of 2010: A linky list of my most popular posts
*Bottom 10 Posts of 2010: A linky list of posts that nobody wanted to click on 😦
*The Giant To Do List (a.k.a. “Large Marge”)
*Don’t Worry, Be Happy
The following posts contain extensive lists of outside links:
*Fun Ideas for Groundhog Day
*Free Printable Santa Paper and More!
*Emailing a Letter to Santa

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
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31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge


Today I begin the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.
I’ll be going through the challenge with The SITS Girls. We will be skipping weekends so the challenge will run from 02/07/2011-03/19/2011

I’ll be updating this post with the links to all of my 31DBBB posts.
Just in case I’m behind in updating this post you can also find all of my 31DBBB posts here and I have a link in my left sidebar under the SITS 31DBBB button (which is under the “Recent Comments”).

Completing the 31DBBB challenge is on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list, so let’s hope that I can get it crossed off of my list!

WEEK 1
02/07 DAY 1: Create an Elevator Pitch
My Blog in 30 Seconds or Less (Completed in November 2010)
02/08 DAY 2: Write a List Post
Day 2 Intro and my list post:15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
02/09 DAY 3: Promote your Day 2 post
No Writing Task for today
02/10 DAY 4: Analyze a top blog in your niche
No Writing Task for today
02/11 DAY 5: Email a blog reader
No Writing Task for today

WEEK 2
02/14 DAY 6: 27 Must Read Tips from Successful Bloggers
Here are the must reads
02/15 DAY 7: Write a Link Post
Valentine’s Day Links: Free Printables, Crafts, and More!
02/16 DAY 8: Interlink your old blog posts
02/17 DAY 9: Join a forum and start participating
02/18 DAY 10: Set up alerts to monitor what is happening in your niche

WEEK 3
02/21 DAY 11: Come up with 10 post ideas
02/22 DAY 12: Develop an editorial calendar for your blog
02/23 DAY 13: Take a trip to the mall and improve your blog
02/24 DAY 14: Update a key page on your blog
02/25 DAY 15: Find a blog buddy

WEEK 4
02/28 DAY 16: Solve a problem
03/01 DAY 17: Watch a first-time reader use your blog
03/02 DAY 18: Write a Sneeze Page
03/03 DAY 19: Write an Opinion Post
03/04 DAY 20: Leave comments on other blogs

WEEK 5
03/07 DAY 21: Breathe life into an old post
03/08 DAY 22: Pay special attention to a reader
03/09 DAY 23: Call your readers to action
03/10 DAY 24: How to use a magazine to improve your blog
03/11 DAY 25: Ask a Question

WEEK 6
03/14 DAY 26: Improve another blog
03/15 DAY 27: Hunt for dead links
03/16 DAY 28: Write a Review Post
03/17 DAY 29: Develop a plan to boost your blog’s profile & readership
03/18 DAY 30: 17 Statistics to monitor on your blog
03/19 DAY 31: Plan the next steps for your blog

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*

10 Ideas for Your Christmas Pajamas Tradition


10 Ideas for Your #Christmas #Pajamas #Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block)

Our family has many different Christmas traditions, but perhaps our most favorite tradition is receiving new Christmas pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. I dare say that most of you reading this have this same tradition. Today I’m going to give you some ideas to make an old tradition new!

1. Use your pajamas before Christmas: Unheard of, I know! In most families new Christmas pajamas are given and worn on Christmas Eve, but if you have small children that grow out of clothes quickly you might not feel like you’re getting the most for your money. You can solve this problem by handing out Christmas pajamas early in the season. Consider giving Christmas pajamas on Thanksgiving Day, on December 1st, or on December 5th (the Eve of Saint Nicholas Day) or you can have a spontaneous Pajama Day and surprise everyone with jammies on a random day.

2. Wear your pajamas for everything: If you give your Christmas pajamas earlier in the season consider wearing them for all of your Christmas-related activities. Wear them to bake cookies, decorate the tree, or watch your favorite Christmas movie. Just don’t wear them to bed…save them for bedtime on Christmas Eve! Wear your pajamas everywhere you go on Christmas Day. Wear them to Grandma’s house and to deliver cookies to your neighbor, but maybe not to church 😉

3. Have your pajamas delivered by Santa or an elf: What better way to receive Christmas pajamas than to have them magically delivered by an elf or Santa himself. If you have an Elf on a Shelf or an Elf Magic elf, they would probably be thrilled to deliver your Christmas pajamas. Christmas pajamas have been known to magically appear on the front porch, at the foot of the bed, by the fireplace, or under the tree. Sometimes they even magically show up in the car while your family is shopping or out and about! Speaking of elves, how cute would matching jammies for your elf be?!

4. Have a scavenger hunt to find your pajamas: Yes, do that. That sounds like fun 😉

5. Pair your pajamas with another gift: You can give robes, slippers, a sleeping mask, or a new stuffed animal. My favorite Christmas pajama companion is a new book. It can be a Christmas book, bedtime story, or just a book you know they’ll love.

6. Pajamas and Christmas lights: Wake up the kids and take them out in their pajamas to drive around and look at Christmas lights. Don’t forget to bring some cookies and hot chocolate with you and pump up those Christmas tunes! You might even consider a Random Pajama Gram…visit the house of friends or family then knock on the door in your pjs and sing some Christmas carols to the unsuspecting residents.

7. Use old pajamas to Countdown to Christmas: If you do a Christmas Countdown, such as unwrapping a different Christmas book each day, you can use pajamas from previous years as the wrapping paper! Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Advent, or the 12 days of Christmas, this idea will work. If your children have gotten to the age where they can wear the same size several years in a row they can wear their old pajamas on the day they are unwrapped.

8. New ways to wrap your pajamas: Put the pajamas inside of a pillow case and wrap a bow around it. Use the pillow case on Christmas Eve. You save on wrapping paper and a new tradition is born! Similar to the Countdown to Christmas you can use your old Christmas pajamas to wrap up the new ones or use the new Christmas pajamas to wrap up another gift you plan to give that night.
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9. Turn your old pajamas into a keepsake: For you crafty folks you can use your old Christmas pajamas to make pillows or save a square off of each pair to make a quilt. You want a tutorial? Too bad. I said you crafty folks…I don’t happen to be one of them. I just bring the ideas here, people. However, if one of you crafty people wants to volunteer to turn my old jammies into a quilt…you know where to find me 😉
Here’s someone craftier than me that gave the pajama quilt a try:
upcycledpyjamaquilt

10. Give pajamas to someone in need: There are few gifts you could give your children at Christmastime that could compare to the example of a giving spirit. Share your beloved Christmas pajama tradition with those less fortunate than you by donating pajamas. Purchase new pajamas to donate to a nursing home or women’s shelter. You could start your own “Jammie Drive” or give to an already existing pajama charity.

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Check out my sponsored post on behalf of Joe Boxer pajamas from Kmart!
Show Your Joe with Joe Boxer Pajamas from Kmart

What are your Christmas pajamas traditions?

10 Ideas for your Christmas jammies tradition

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

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10 Days of Christmas PJs!: Our Christmas jammies from the last decade!

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NOTE: When this post was first published in December 2010 it was my SITS feature day as part of SITSmas. The following was originally included at the beginning of my post.
Welcome, SITStahs! I was confused and thought that my SITS feature was tomorrow and not today, so I’m totally unprepared. You can read all about it here. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll take a look around and decide to stay 🙂 Now let’s pretend none of that ever happened and move on to the post that I’m supposed to have up for you…

SITStah’s…Stop here first!


***There’s been a little confusion and I just want to point out that I’m only the featured blogger today…I am NOT the designer that will redesign your blog (and everyone lets out a big sigh of relief after noticing the mess that my blog is). Mariah from Jula Studio is the designer that you could potentially win a new blog design from! (Congratulations, Cheryl, on winning the blog design!) Again, I repeat it is definitely NOT ME as I have no idea what I’m doing and would love a blog redesign of my own. Best of luck to you all!***

Oh my goodness! I can’t even believe this! How about I thought that my SITS day was TOMORROW the 15th and it’s not and I didn’t even put up my post or anything! TODAY is actually my SITS day! And I’m a little, um, unprepared. I don’t know what day it is! I can’t believe it…I feel so stupid!
So give me some time to set up my post…Christmas Jammie fun is on it’s way I promise.
(It’s here now!)

I managed to slap this post up real quick before realizing that the baby had just pooped…seriously. On top of that she’s totally attached to me today and won’t give me a moment to, well, do what I’m doing now. For TOMORROW I had a babysitter lined up so that I could spend all day long exchanging witty comments with other clever bloggers. I used to be totally on top of things and then I had a baby and my brain fell out of my ear and never came back. Oh, planning and preparation my frenemy. How you mock me so.

Here’s the deal…I want to blog about making family life fun, traditions, holidays, birthdays, making things special…whatever you want to call it (oh, I’m too frazzled to be eloquent right now). But the truth is that a good bit of the time I blog about my life as a mama and all that jazz. I like to think that I’m funny, but that’s open for debate.

So, here we are…my blog. I’m far from perfect and today it’s really showing. Welcome to motherhood. It smells like poop. And sunshine…don’t forget about the sunshine.

(Oh yeah, and WELCOME and stuff…)

Now let’s pretend none of that ever happened and move on to the post that I’m supposed to have up for you…10 Ways to Shake Up Your Christmas Pajamas Tradition…enjoy!

My Goose Tribe
(Take the time to visit these ladies when you get the chance, they’re pretty awesome!):
Anne: Homeschooling 911
Brandy: Spotted Smiles
Brook: Mattew 5 Verse 6 for Women
Donna: Donna Perugini Children’s Author (Check out her books for great Christmas gifts!)
Heidi: Wonder Woman Wannabe
Jules: Mommy Ramblings
Kelly: God Bless Kelly’s Home
Kristy: Learning as they Grow
Missy: Are you there God? It’s Me.
Nisha: New Wife Memoirs
Rebecca: What Beautiful Feet You Have
Retha: Mommy Bee Wisdom
Sarita: Lone Tater
Shannon: Mom Improvement
Tonya: Homeschool Mom’s World

P.S. If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this post you are a patient person, and I thank you. I shall give you a virtual hug and then we shall sway and sing. I’m going to be interested in having some guest bloggers soon. If you’d be interested in putting a family-friendly post on my blog please email me at coolfamilyblog (at) yahoo (dot) com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Thanks a bunch 🙂


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Guest Post: Food as Tradition – Norwegian Butter Cookies


The following guest post is by a fellow Goose, Retha, from Mommy Bee Wisdom.

Growing up every Christmas Eve we went to my Great Grandpa’s house, where all of the family would be gathered. The table there is so large, you can fit around 16 people at it. But there were so many family members, and so much food that no one ever sat at that table. The table would always be covered with food from edge to edge. My dad’s family is Scandinavian, so I believe the word for it is Smorgasbord. We would have a turkey, ham, goose, and some sort of fish as the main meats. The sides would include stuffing, rice pudding with an Almond (the almond is a prosperous sign, and who gets it gets pregnant or married), potato sausage, pickled Herring, lufka (a salt cured fish of sorts), and several cheeses. The desserts would include pies, cookies, and breads. My favorite of all the cookies would be the butter cookie. Our family refers to it as the Norwegian Butter Cookie, but in all actuality the recipe is the same from Russia, to Germany, Poland, etc. These little cookies are a bright yellow, not very big, and so crumbly soft that you can’t just eat one.

This recipe is so very simple, only has 5 ingredients and such a big flavor they are always a hit!

Warning: DO NOT eat the whole batch yourself or you WILL get a tummy ache! Don’t ask me how I know this.

Ingredients:

4 eggs: Hard boiled
2 stick of softened butter (use real butter, margarine will not work right)
1/2 cup of white sugar (Splenda will work here if you need to use that, but add a dash of salt to it to stop the after taste)
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of Almond or Vanilla extract (imitation will work, but the real is best)

Instructions:

1. Start by hard boiling the eggs. Try not to boil them for longer than 2 minutes. As you want a bright yellow yolk, a green yoke means you cooked it too long.

2. Once your eggs are cooled off enough to handle, separate the yoke from the whites, and eat the whites. There’s no point in wasting anything. And preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Cream (use an electric mixer or food processor) together the butter, sugar and egg yolks.
4. Slowly mix in the flour and extract.
5. Your dough will be quite thick and crumbly (almost the consistency of play dough) This is normal and don’t be tempted to add more liquid.

6. Take a soup spoon and scoop out pieces of dough, roll into a ball and lightly press on to your ungreased cookie sheet. These cookies will not expand, or change shape.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a light brown, and the tops look fluffy.
8. Allow to cool, if you can!

I can never wait for the first batch of these to cool, it’s like pulling Christmas out of my oven. And more often then not I am playing hot potato with a cookie. I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

Retha Barton blogs at Mommy Bee Wisdom where she teaches other moms that living life from scratch isn’t as hard as it sounds. Retha shows you that you can make it without a lot of money and that sometimes doing things the old way can be more rewarding.