Sunday Afternoon Mix-Up 05.21.12

Inspired by Kelly the Kitchen Kop‘s Monday Morning Mix-Up posts, I thought I’d write a Sunday Afternoon Mix-Up! I always enjoy her newsy Monday posts because so much of her posts are very content-rich, information-based types of posts — which is great; that’s her bread and butter, but it’s also nice to just hear her talk to you about what’s going on in her life. When I posted my Reader Survey last winter, a lot of you wanted more personal posts, so here you go. Maybe this will become a regular feature, who knows.

If you’re wondering why it is MONDAY, and I am posting a SUNDAY mix-up, it is because yesterday afternoon, I had this post almost entirely written when my browser crashed, and I lost a good half of it. OMIGOSH, how irritating! So if it sounds rushed, that is because I am just trying to reconstruct it as fast as I can. Blergh.

I loved your answers on my #VlogMom post when I asked if you like videos and if you watch them and why the comments are usually so low on those posts. Funny thing, all the “experts” will tell you that posting videos is a great idea and helps keep people on your site longer — although that’s not really why I’ve been doing them. I like to do videos more to get experience being comfortable in front of a camera and because I know they are valuable to brands. But personally, I hardly ever watch videos. I don’t like the time it takes to load, and usually they’re too long. Plus, I’m a skimmer. I like to read along at my own pace. So the fact that so many of you expressed the same sentiment doesn’t surprise me. I guess this just goes to show, the experts can spout all the facts they want, but ultimately we must know our audience. I’m going to keep doing the videos for the experience, but I will also include a transcript from now on so if you don’t want to watch, you don’t miss out on what I have to say.

This past weekend was a whirlwind. I drove into the city on Friday night and stayed at the Omni at Independence Park. It’s not often you get to stay at a hotel in your own city, but definitely something you should try to do every once in a while. The Omni is located in the historic area of the city, and the views from my room were amazing.

omni independence park philadelphia

Friday night, Trina and I grabbed dinner at Talulah’s Garden before we headed over to a party at Marathon Grill hosted by GLO. I will definitely be writing up a review for you local yokels. It was AH-mazing. I rarely get into Philly for dinner, but I think I need to make that a higher priority. Not only was the food and wine superb, but the atmosphere was positively enchanting.

On Saturday, before Bloggy Bootcamp started, I took an early morning jog around the historic area and over to Washington Square with my friend Kelly. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a run. Time flew because I was so busy looking around. Plus? It is flat. I did NOT miss the hills of the suburbs. After a full day of conference sessions and learning, we were treated to a wine party courtesy of Mirassou Winery. I was already a fan of this wine, it is one that I do purchase on occasion. Here are Colleen and me with our Mirassou Pinot Grigio.

I wrapped up the weekend with a stroll around the city and a fun dinner outside with Colleen and a couple of her high school girlfriends. The weather was perfect, and we hung out until after dark, chatting and laughing and generally unwinding after a long day of conference sessions.

I was looking at my Google Analytics this morning, and I noticed a lot of people are coming to my blog after searching “fashion over 50” — and not only finding it. They are actually sticking around, which makes me wonder a little bit about my sense of style. I do have a milestone birthday approaching, but it’s not 50. I turn the big FOUR-OH this summer. I’ve been dreading it, but now that it’s almost here, I have decided to embrace it. I know so many gorgeous 40-something women who are thoroughly enjoying the decade, and I plan to celebrate being in the best shape of my life. I’m running more regularly now, and my weekly TRX and weight training classes are growing less miserable and more empowering. Maybe forty won’t be so bad!

I also have something else to celebrate this summer. If you’re subscribed to my monthly newsletter, you have heard my latest bit of news. (And if you’re not, why not!??) I consider my newsletter subscribers sort of like my inner circle. I figure if you’re letting me into your inbox, you must really like me. I know I don’t let just anyone into MY inbox! So from time to time I will give newsletter subscribers a sneak peek into what’s going on in my life, as well as a great recap of my posts and some really fun giveaways. In my last newsletter, I shared some exciting news, and now I’m ready to go public with it.

I. have. a. job. I mean, I have had a job for a while — a myriad of jobs is more like it. I’ve been putting in fulltime hours between all my various projects for several years now. But this one comes with a title and a steady paycheck and a hefty chunk of my time. (I’m either going to have to get a lot better at time management, or I’ll have to give up a few of my smaller gigs to make sure I can give 100% to this new position.) I am now officially the Social Media Manager for Rose Romano’s Italian Peppers!! (Or I will be on June first.)

You may remember that I shared in a blog post a few weeks ago about meeting Marshall and trying out his Italian Peppers. He is hoping to harness the power of social media to get his product out there, and it looks like it’s going to be all on me!! I’m really excited to see where it all leads. For a while my blog is going to have to take a back seat to this new position, although knowing me, I’ll still manage to find the time to post every day because that’s just what I do, lol. But I probably won’t be able to give my posts the same time and attention that I’d like, at least until I get into a good routine with my new job.

Strawberries are in season a bit early this year! Last week I drove out to my favorite farm stand and picked up a few pints of fresh, locally grown strawberries as well as some homegrown rhubarb and made a strawberry rhubarb crisp. I updated my post with a new photo. Here it is. Gorgeous, yes???

strawberry rhubarb crisp

Finally, a brief comment about sponsored posts. Besides the incredible amount of time and effort I put into writing posts and keeping the design fresh, there is a lot of maintenance that goes along with running a blog this size, and it does cost money to host it and keep it running smoothly. I would love to have an ad network that aligns with my principles, but so far I haven’t found one that works for me, and I don’t want to advertise products I can’t wholeheartedly endorse. (You don’t have a lot of control over the ads that are displayed when working with an ad network.)

So I do accept occasional sponsored posts — but only when the topic is something I can write about from the heart. I do my best to keep it real and to space them out so they don’t overwhelm my organic content. Please don’t discount them because they’re sponsored. I realize that sponsored content can be a turn off to some people, but please know that I write those posts with as much honesty and transparency as I do anything else I put on this blog. I’m always trying to find that fine line between keeping this blog true to myself and allowing it to generate some income that helps support our family. I’m totally open to your input on how I’m doing with that. If you feel that it’s working, I’d love to have your support by commenting on those posts whenever you can.

I value each and every one of you who stops by to read, and especially those who take the time to leave a thoughtful comment. It’s the community that we’ve built here that keeps me going strong.

Be sure to follow my Facebook Page for more conversation; we have a lot of fun over there. And if you’re not subscribed to my RSS feed or daily email updates, you totally should be!!