Musings About Life... After Birth

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MondayAgain?

Posted by Colleen on September 12, 2011

It's a rocky start over here, as I'm apparently out of coffee. Ouch. I thought about reverting to hot tea, but in one of my last bursts of organization inspiration I moved the bags I keep on hand to God knows where. (Stupid organization). So I'm basically hitting the ground running sans caffeine. Le sigh.

Here's wishing you all a full-loaded, productive, awesome week of wonderfulness. We have some great stories lined up, as well as some amazing giveaways. (And I mean really amazing. Like anyone-who-is-a-mom-would-elbow-her-bestie-in-the-face-for-a-chance-to-win amazing.)

PS. Want some other mom-related reading while I go scrape coffee grounds to munch on? Pop on over to YourTango, where I discuss Beyonce, Rachel Zoe, and foreplay. All in one post. What can I say, I gots skills.

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HowtoSoundSmarterWhenYouWrite:FreeLesson

Posted by Colleen on September 08, 2011

I was an English major, but I'm no grammar pro. My third grader asked me to check her predicate homework last night, and I was all, "Uh, sure. What's a predicate?" So we aren't talking advanced English here, folks. But please, for the love of all that's good and holy, stop treating apostrophes like jewelry for your words. They don't make them fancier. They make them wrong.

I know grammar lessons are a distant memory (hello, predicates!), so here's a crash course for those of you who need to dust the cobwebs of off that chapter of your native language.

  • Use an apostrophe if your word owns something. (Colleen's blog post.) Personal pet peeve: The signs at the end of driveways that read "The Baker's." The Baker's what? House? Driveway? Yard?
  • Use an apostrophe if a letter is missing because you've combined words. (Baby, it's cold outside.) An apostrophe does not make your word more plural. So saying "Aren't these table's GORGEOUS??" doesn't make me any more enthusiastic about your project. It makes me cringe, and by the time I'm done cringing I've probably already finished scrolling to the bottom of your page and may be pulling you off my Google Reader.

And that's it. (See what I did there?) There are other simple/common grammar mistakes, and some of them probably bother you more than others. Hell, I bet you're even annoyed by the ones I've made within this post. But here's the deal: I'm seeing apostrophes used more liberally in blog posts and professional communications than butter in a Paula Deen recipe, and y'all. It's bad.

If you're in a business environment, PEOPLE JUDGE YOU.

If you have a blog, you are a writer. It doesn't matter what you're writing about, you're a writer. Writers are allowed to break any and all rules as long as they break them on purpose. Don't abuse that right. PEOPLE JUDGE YOU.

The bottom line: The fact that your readers judge you doesn't make them shallow. Or mean. Or ugly. It makes them smart enough to consider the source of the information they're receiving. Information on the Internet is free and abundant. Don't give your readers a reason to skip over your message. You don't want them wondering if whether you're smart enough to be their boss if you weren't smart enough to proofread. Same goes for blog posts. No matter how cute your photos are, if I see a glaringly wrong error, especially in your headline, I'm not going to read your blog. Sorry.

With that, I'm going to dismount my soapbox before my pinky gets a little trigger happy and hits that apostrophe key.

If you're interested in user-friendly grammar tips, check out The Grammar Girl's posts. She'll keep you honest. And sounding smart.

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TheMomtourageanswers:Ourfavoriteblogs

Posted by Chelsea on February 12, 2010

We gets lots of questions here at The Momtourage. We get all sorts of interesting, kid-related questions for our panel of expert docs, inquiries about various products (What’s the best stroller? Do I really need an exersaucer?) and sometimes, fashion and beauty questions too. Recently, Tamara, a reader in Knoxville, TN wrote in to ask us for a few blog recommendations. Here are the ones we’re loving right now:

1) Reality Blurred - All the news you need about reality television

2) Lucky Right Now: Lucky Magazine’s Shopping Blog - All sorts of sale news, clothing and product recommendations, etc.

3) May/December  - A blog by Melissa C. Morris, a 20something NYC socialite married to a guy old enough to be her dad. Before you judge, however, know that she’s truly the the anti-Real Housewife. She’s sweet, preppy and loves to cook and travel. Her blog chronicles her activities, the dinners she prepares, her dog’s adventures, etc. We’re hooked.

4) Jamie’s Foods and Finds - Written by a friend in the DC-area, this blog offers some truly awesome daily tips for deals and freebies.

4) Pete Bakes! - Another DC-area blog, this one, by a guy who loves to bake, chronicles his adventures in baking, complete with yummy pictures.

5) Apocalypstic Now - A very funny, honest beauty blog

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Welcometoournewhome!

Posted by Chelsea on June 19, 2008

After having my second child, I figured it was the perfect time to get a little “work” done - to the blog. This new and improved “look” comes courtesy of the amazing Joelle Reeder at Moxie Design Studios. Seriously, is it not totally adorable? And yes, that cute little brunette up there is a likeness of me (okay, a slightly skinnier me) holding my two sons (who look like their little cartoons too!). 

As far as the new(ish) title is concerned, I still can’t believe I’m somebody’s mother, but I find “The Momtourage” much more representative of how I envision the purpose of this new and improved site. Sure, there will still be all sorts of snarky posts about pop culture, recounts of my adventures with my Momtourage and product recommendations, but I’ll be adding posts featuring advice from the pros - a pediatrician, a child psychiatrist, an OB-GYN and a whole host of other specialists - because even though I might think I know everything, I don’t. I also be featuring many more contests and yes, more frequent posts.

One super-cool feature I’ve added is The Momtourage Mailbag, a monthly newsletter of sorts. I promise - it won’t be some annoyingly lame-o mom-tastic email that you’ll eventually find yourself deleting before you even read it like I do with Daily Candy. Instead, it will only come once a month, and only include cool stuff like bonus tips from our experts and special discount codes to use when you shop for our favorite products and from our favorite vendors. Additionally, when you sign up for the mailing list, you’ll be automatically entered to win our contests and giveaways. Ohhhh, the goodies I have to give away. Just wait!

The way I see it, as corny as it may sound, this blog is really about the larger Momtourage - the community of Moms across the country, so I want to create a forum where I not only share information with you, but you can also share it with me and everyone else who’s reading.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of our new look and hear your ideas on ways in which this blog can be more of what you want it to be. Post your comments below or shoot me an email at chelsea@themomtourage.com!

xoxo Chelsea

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