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5 Blogs that Inspire Me to Be Better, Be Bold, or Be Myself

Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend’s wish!

Blogger: a person who keeps and updates a blog *

Really?! That’s the definition? Well, anyone who blogs or reads a blog (ps. we love you readers) knows better than to define us so narrowly.  Be a blogger means so much more than simply keeping and updating a blog.  For someone like me, or like the bloggers I’m sharing with you, blogging is putting a piece of your life out there for all the world to see; whether it is in pictures, words, or prose we’re sharing a part of our hearts with the lovely people who take the time to read our sometimes jumbled, often humble, and always heartfelt confessions.  My iGoogle page is filled with feeds from some of the most interesting, well written, amazing, heart-wrenching, beautiful writing from some of the most beautiful, kind, giving, funny women on the planet.

It is my hope that you find hope, humor, and inspiration in the blogs I am sharing with you today…and I hope you’ve never heard of at least of of them.  These 5 blogs never leave my rotation and I am better for reading them.

Allie from No Time for Flashcards is constantly inspiring me to be a better parent.  With her plethora of fun crafts, book reviews, and tips I am forever turning to her blog for a craft project for my almost-4 year old or a suggestion on how to ease the strain of my being gone.  Personally, Allie is one the sweetest people you’ll ever meet…and she takes so much joy in parenting that you can see it glowing from her face and her words.


Mommyality is my latest addiction, after meeting Emili and Lisa in September I found myself going to Mommyality for a break from daily life…well, daily.  Written by two long-time friends, they give it to you straight…this magazine style blog has got something for everyone.  The girls tackle everything from coupons and Etsy to green blogging and everything else.  Emili and Lisa write from the heart with a style that keeps them on my permanent iGoogle page and has made them a daily must-read.

If you’re not reading A Southern Fairytale already, then drag yourself up outta that rock and get to it!   Seriously! Rachel blogs about everything: loving your body, photography, recipes, and down-right southern living in a way that makes you both jealous and inspired at the same time.  Then. Then you meet her in person and find that she is one of the most amazing, kind, beautiful (inside & out) women you’ll ever know.  Rachel has the ability to pull you into her writing, get you emotionally invested, and wrap her beautiful words around you.  I adore her. And if you don’t read her. You should. And you should adore her as well.

I Should Be Folding Laundry is one of those blogs that makes you feel like you’re chatting with a best friend, albeit a very well spoken {written}, beautifully kind, and sickeningly talented friend. Beth pulls you in from the first sentence of her posts with fabulous writing and hooks you with her beautiful photography.  She says in her bio: ” I love my readers.” And she does. You can tell in every post she puts up, in her interactions with her readers, and in the time and talent she puts forth in creating a gorgeous blog with thoughtful posts.  She is also a kind of local, so I’m loyal. :) Oooh! And her You Capture meme is one of my favorites!

kidnapped by suburbia. How perfect is that name? And how many of us totally know where she’s coming from? Yeah. Me too. KIDnapped being the operative word there.  Kelli has a gorgeous blog and writes in such a way that keeps you interested, inspired {notice the running theme?}, and in awe of her.  She takes amazing pictures {you notice how that’s also a running theme?} that transport me to a different place and makes me laugh with her off the wall humor.  She is obviously a fantastic mother who adores her children.  Seriously. She’s hilarious.

Have you ever read a blog and thought “YES! That’s MY life!!”? Ahem. Please read the above blogs ;-) It is my goal to surround myself with beauty and each of these blogs brings that to me in an individual and completely appreciated way…take some time out of your busy schedule today and catch up with these 5 amazing blogs.  These women inspire me daily to be better, be bold, and be myself.  Who are your favorite bloggers to read right now?

Blogger definition from Wordnet Web.

Don’t forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend’s wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Type-A Mom Conference Run Down

Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with some of the most amazing women in the world. That’s right, the world. Since I had the privilege to not only speak at the Type-A Mom Conference in Asheville, North Carolina  but was also able to moderate an amazing panel on community, lead an education tribe discussion, and serve as volunteer coordinator for the conference I’ll go on and readily admit I was busy, so much so that I found myself unable to attend as many of the sessions as I had planned. But I’m not complaining. OH NO. Trust me when I tell you I still learned a lot.

A lot about myself, this blog and it’s future, but also about the multitude of bloggers who are not only moms, but are also entrepreneurs, businesswomen, and all around kick-ass. Before I get too much farther into this post, I want to throw a huge thank you out to the woman {and men} who came out and volunteered their time to make Type-A Mom so amazing. If you don’t already know them, do it now.

I’m pretty certain I’ve forgotten someone…if I have please PLEASE leave a comment and I’ll add it to the post! AND accept my I apologies.

After arriving on Thursday I found myself immediately jumping into conference prep with swag bag stuffing and registration room prepping. Hours later with still more bag stuffing today, Ang and I headed out to Malaprops from some Blogger book readings. Can I just say these mamas {and a papa too} can really write?! ½ a tasty muffin and some sweet baby Adam time later, we were headed back to the Renaissance for some more swag bag prepping. Add in a near midnight airport run to pick up my girl, Shannan, and I was d.o.n.e. for the day.

Friday morning I spoke at my very first session on “Rebranding Your Blog”, check out Christina’s amazing live-blogging of my session {I need to remember to do this from now on when I’m in sessions}. Guess what?! I didn’t totally suck. I mean in my opinion I probably repeated myself a lot and skipped around {all things I can work on in the future}, but I had several people thank me and tell me I did a good job. Gasp.

After making sure my volunteers were set for the day {and that they had my phone number if they needed me} Amy, Shannan, and I headed out for a visit to the Biltmore Estate. Touring Biltmore with adult friends sans children is so much better than dragging children along. After walking til our legs felt like they might just fall off, we indulged in a little wine tasting and found I like Biltmore’s Century Wines best of all.

On Saturday I had the privilege of moderating the “It’s About Community not Competition” panel with Janice from 5 Minutes 4 Moms, Jennifer from Mom Bloggers Club, and Laurie from Kirtsy. Such an amazing group of women. I was inspired and awed by them. Seriously ladies {and gentlemen} it really is about supporting each other. Saturday night I helped a fellow blogger quickly do a rebrand {which I’ll be writing about more soon}, went out to eat at Early Girl Eatery with 20 of my closest friends, drank some very tasty Middle Sister red & white wine in the always amazing Aliza and Heather’s room before the Biltmore wine reception. Later {much later} I was able to spend some time with another truly amazing and dear friend, Caitlin.

Sunday found me heading home shortly after dropping Amy off at the airport for her flight in hopes of missing the rain {I didn’t}. I had such a great time and have a huge Thank You to go out to Kelby and Mike for organizing such an amazing conference and the sponsors for helping their vision become reality.

Next post: Top 3 Key Take-Aways from Type-A Mom and be watching for photos to pop up through out the week.

What I Learned on the Internetz: 1-9-2010

What I Learned On the InternetzThis week was the week for resolutions and goals…there was plenty to be inspired by on the blog’osphere this week and I soaked up as much as possible.  Here’s what I have to share with you this week:

Wisdom Begun provides a fantastic resource for homeschooling your preschooler, including free handwriting worksheets. Bigs has terrible handwriting, so I have started printing out these worksheets for her to practice with (I love that I can personalize them with Scripture). For some added practice she reads them when she’s done.

The Incslingers remind us that this year it’s not just important to know what we’re listening for but also to take action on what we’re hearing.

MOMeo Magazine offered great advice on being successful in the coming year.  I particularly agree with the section about stopping selling yourself short…YES I am worth it.

Web 2.0 hands down a timely reminder about texting that should be applied to all social media interactions…Think before you hit send. Please. You have to see the video starring James Lipton and created by LG. *Video not appropriate for children*

Holly’s guest post on Remarkablogger encourages corporate bloggers to blog as themselves rather than their brand. It is so important all of us to remember, people are much more likely to work with a person they feel like they “know” rather than a brand.

My good friend, fellow blogger, and my Blissdom sponsor, Katja Presnal, is offering one other lucky blogger a FREE ticket to Blissdom!! Talk about pay-it-forward.  I encourage you to spend some time reading the entries already posted and get inspired to live your life to the fullest!

And because this sounds like a conversation I’ve had in my own home…Muthering Heights lightens the mood a little for us…

SO take a minute, grab some coffee and snuggle up with some great weekend reads!

See more of What I learned on the Internetz!

What I Learned from the Internetz:1/2/2010

image courtesy of CandyKelty.com

image courtesy of CandyKelty.com

For those of you who don’t already know the girls and I have pneumonia and I’ve been offline pretty much for two weeks. And since I didn’t do a 2009 wrap up post or Resolutions post etc I thought I would  gather some of my favorite end of the year posts, as of tonight when I put out a call for links. Here’s a look at what the Internetz have taught me this week:

Barbie Thumbelina doll sets have been known to cause major chocolate intake and too-big Tu-Tus do nothing but take up space.  The toy maven tells us some of her biggest toy-fails for 2009.

Jessica reminds us that we serve an awesome God who gives us the chance at a fresh start daily with his loving mercies.  Be sure to read this and be inspired and reminded of God’s precious mercies.

While I didn’t set a bunch of resolutions this year, I did spend some time brainstorming goals for my blog (more on that later), life, family, and church.  One of the main things we are looking to embrace this year is the value of play. Good old fashion playtime with the girls.

Thanks to Childhood101 for getting me to thinking about 5 words to define and focus on in the coming year.  For me the words are: Focus, Family, Faith, Memories, and Faith.  Each of these words represents an area of my life I want to focus and work on in 2010.

My friend Kelly reminds me that 2010 is going to rock! and to be specific about my blog goals.  Kelly has inspired me to focus on consistency and read more BOOKs :)

Another of my personal goals is to read through the Bible this year, but my girl Tara is blowing me out of the water and inspiring me with her devotion to journal her journey through the Bible in 90 days!  She’s also planning on losing 100 pounds this year (wow! You go girl! I know you can do it!) and pay off 1/2 of their debt! Awesome and totally attainable goals for the new year!

Amber welcomes 2010 with a great list of personal, spiritual, financial, and bloggy goals with us. Amber also shares a goal with me: to write/publish/sell an ebook this year…though I just have to figure out what I have to say anybody wants to read…

Ya’ll know I love me some Geek, so I had a great time checking out GeekDad’s 12 Geek New Year’s Resolutions. I love his ideas on going green “geek style” and I’ve already started with the indoctrination of our children. Seriously. Little Geeks in Training I tell ya!

And finally Amy, who is always Resourceful, shares with us her favorite Resourceful posts of 2009. My favorite is the one about the minimuffins!

I’d love to keep reading! If you have a post that you think teaches us something, feel free to share it here! You never know it might make it on next week’s Things I Learned from the Internetz…

WoW. Blog Awards.

Mom Maven awarded me these blogs early last week, but I’ve been so sick I haven’t been able to do this post until now. Thank you Momblog_is_fabulousaward Maven for your generosity!


The Fabulous-Coolest Butterfly Blog award comes with a few rules: Put the logo on your blog or post. Nominate at least 10 blogs which you think are fabulous and cool. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog. Share the love and link back to this post on Mom Of Faith where I nominate your blog.

There are so many Fabulous and Cool blogs out there, how do I even begin to choose? I have some favorites though, so I’ll pass them along to make sure you know about them. Here they are in no particular order:

Elizabeth and friends get their party on over at Party Planning Professor.  Invite them to your next party!

Dawn is a mom of all trades and is totally fabulous while doing it over at Painter Mommy. She’s got an awesome Valentine’s Day Giveaway Bash going on right, so check it out!

Tara at Feels Like Home welcomes us into her home and her kitchen.

Jessica from Jessica Knows inspires us to be better bloggers and to take ourselves seriously. I love that!

NES at Not-Ever-Still-Life keeps me utterly entertained daily with the escapades of her family. She has a way of writing that blows my mind. I love to read her words.

Chris from Notes From the Trenches keeps me in stitches as she chronicles her life as a life loving sports mom.  She gives an honest and hilarious view from her trenches and makes you laugh a little more about your own.

Melanie gives up my dose of Southern hospitality straight from Georgia by way New Mexico at This Ain’t New York.

Liz has some of the most beautiful items over at Fray Baby, and the conversation isn’t too bad either!

Lisa at Organizing Junkie tries to help me keep my house in at least workable order. I said tries…I didn’t say I always followed her directions.

Becky over at Nickels-n-Dimes keeps my grocery bill low and provides me with some interesting tid-bits.

Congratulations ladies! I am a true fan of each one of you, you are my “must reads”!

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Be sure to check out, Project Buzz Butter and the Featured Mom-business, DPK-Virtual Assistants at the top of the blog.

Don’t forget to sign up to win in our FABULOUS GIVEAWAYS!!

BlogHer ’09 Here I come (I hope)

A most gracious Queen of Spain has posted a most fabulous opportunity to one lucky blogger: The opportunity to attend BlogHer ’09 for free.  I am entering in this contest because it has been my dream since learning of BlogHer to attend, but I know we are simply unable to afford to send me. Not that my wonderful husbandd wouldn’t do everything in his power to send me, including put us into debt…don’t worry I wouldn’t allow that.

This past year saw my family buy a house, my husband lose the position previously “promised” to him, and both of my grandmothers diagnosed with advanced cancer. It also saw me spend my first year in the blogging world though.  Since beginning to read great blogs like Rocks in My Dryer and Freebies 4 Mom, I have dreamed of attending BlogHer. I dream of being able to connect with women who inspire, motivate, and push women like me…but I also dream of being one of these women.  I am one of a long line of strong, independent women in my family and long to inspire women with the experiences of my life and the lives of other strong women.  I intend to use my blog to inspire women (and men) to go out and make a real difference and positive impact in their own communities (as well as others) for the glory of the Lord.  It is our responsibility to lead our communities and to teach our children to do the same.  In attending BlogHer I would hope to glean all the inspiration, information, and advice as possible from the many beautiful (inside and out), intelligent, and successful women that will be attending.  I hope that this year I will be able to turn MomsofFaith into a small moneymaking blog, while I don’t expect to make a lot I would love to contribute more than just my frugality sense in my family.  I would also like to inspire my church family and immediate family that their dreams can come true, even when they seem far out and far away.

Having only enough money to pay our bills each month (and just barely at that), I could not imagine asking my darling, hardworking husband to charge the registration bill.  We are saving to be able to afford a new HVAC system and new windows for our house.  Since moving in, we have discovered MANY shortcomings in our wonderful 40 year old house.  There are many things that need to be repaired and I cannot imagine taking money from our savings to send me on a trip, even if it would help us in the long run and help me achieve a dream.  Ever since I was a little girl I have dreamed of being REALLY good at what I do for the rest of my life…and love it.  I LOVE to blog and I’m pretty good at it.  I have so much to learn and would love to learn it from the best.  Blogging is where I “go” when I need some time away from the “real” world and just be me.  I am thankful for the opportunitys blogging affords me, the friendships it awards me, and the therapy it is to me.  I pray that if I don’t win this wonderful opportunity that someone more deserving will and will truly appreciate the blessing that this opportunity is.

Peace be with you all this New Year…