The Blogging Queens
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2011 15:18 Written by Allison Tong
It wasn't too long ago that new moms sought tips on pregnancy, baby care or parenting from their own moms or books. Today they go to blogs.
Want to know if cloth or paper diapers are more rash-resistant? Well, now there's a blog for that. Is it time to enlighten yourself on how to keep stress at bay during the first trimester of pregnancy? There's a blog for that too.
Fifty-five percent of women rely on blogs as their top source of information for pregnancy and baby topics, according to a 2009 Women and Social Media study by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners.
Lisa Stone, CEO and co-founder of BlogHer (www.blogher.com), a networking site and premier blog platform for women launched in 2005, believes that blogging can be an incredible tool for moms to connect and reach out to one another.
"If I had all the [parenting] blogs to read when my son was born, parenting would be so much easier," Stone says, who is a mother of a 9- and 14-year-old.
The site connects to thousands of blogs, feeding headlines from an array of categories‚ everything from food to fashion. But the category with the most blogs? You guessed it: mommy blogs. BlogHer connects to more than 6,000 mommy blogs dishing the latest tips, advice, opinions and stories from all over the nation and shows just how popular the trend of parenting blogs has become. Stone says 67 percent of the 29 million women BlogHer reaches have children under 18 years old.
And mommy bloggers are everywhere, even closer than a click of a mouse. So Parenting OC has brought the world of blogging a little closer to home by reaching out to six of the top mommy bloggers in OC. Each shares with us their inspirations and motivations for starting their unique blog. Hopefully, after reading their stories, it'll stir your inner blog-goddess to scoot to the nearest computer and start writing! (Or blogging, shall we say?)
Cheryl Rosenberg, Orange County
Special Sauce in the House
Year started: 2006
What it's about: My life, as a mother, a wife, a woman. I like to think of it as a place where we can share our stories: the good, the bad and the really, really poopy. It's about the sometimes stinky, frequently joyous, occasionally heartbreaking, often hilarious but always real moments of parenting.
Why I started it: I initially started my blog as a virtual scrapbook; since I am the anti-craft and the only record I kept of my kids were simple word documents. But as I progressed, the blog became an outlet for my thoughts and experiences‚ a surprise home birth, training for and running two marathons, a miscarriage, a surprise pregnancy, kids starting school, dealing with a child who has severe peanut allergy‚ and I found a tremendous community of women who could relate and to whom I could relate.
Why it's different: I'm the only former sportswriter-turned-mom who blogs that I know of, so that gives me a different background, especially when it comes to putting a few words together.
Sneak peak: I'm scared of lots of things. There is the silly stuff that terrifies me, like big hairy spiders (okay, even the small bald ones) that crawl across our ceiling and, if my husband doesn't immediately squash it, I'm positive it will descend on its silken string and investigate my ear drum in the middle of the night; scary movies, especially if they deal with paranormal creepiness; mayonnaise; the sight of my hair after it air-dries.
Then there's the BIG stuff: Something happening to my husband or, heaven forbid, one of my kids; dying before I see my kids grow up; dying at all; not being a good enough mother, wife, friend.
And yet, I have courage.
‚ Cheryl Rosenberg, "Courage is Within All of Us." (May 10, 2010)
Kristi Frutos, Tustin
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Year started: 2007
What it's about: Orange Juice is generally about what's at the forefront of our lives at the time. Right now the main focus is "Kid Trips" and healthy living since we spend a lot of our time finding fun places to go and because I have spent the last eight months working hard to lose 60 pounds and get healthy.
Why I started it: I started blogging probably for the same reason most mommy bloggers do. Initially, I just wanted to share our lives with friends and family who live far away. The blog was a way that they could be a part of our daily lives and watch our son grow.
Why it's different: Family and friends have often commented that reading my blog is like sitting down in a room and talking with me.
Sneak peak: 12/13/06 I was exhausted and falling asleep in between pushes as I labored for my 16th hour. I was in the hospital for 2 days prior to birth being monitored because I thought my water broke. Turns out I had just peed my pants. Nonetheless they monitored me and decided to induce because of some inconsistencies during the monitoring. For those 2 days I didn't get more then a wink of sleep.
‚ Kristi Frutos, "Zorro's Birth‚ A Reflection." (Dec. 13, 2009)
Marla Meridith, Irvine
Family Fresh Cooking
Year started: 2009
What it's about: Family Fresh Cooking inspires the home chef to get into the kitchen to cook for their family. We all feel and look our best when we eat natural, healthy, whole foods. I provide my readers with creative recipes that use these high-energy ingredients.
Why I started it: Because so many people saw me with my lunchbox every day and wanted the recipes for the goodies they saw me eating. People in the gym always want to know how I stay in great shape. To answer all these questions I started my blog. I never thought I would find myself with a new full time job!
Why it's different: FFC is a vibrant journey filled with wonderful graphics and inviting photography. Whimsy and humor can always be found in my blog. My background as a textile designer and graphic designer for Disney has evolved into food stylist and photographer.
Sneak peak: I concepted the recipe for these cookies while doing the d ly drive to drop my kids off at school. They were bopping their little heads to music in the back of the car and I of course was thinking about food. Ag n. I wanted to wow all of us with a concept so different, but at the same time with recognizable textures and flavors. I think I accomplished that here. My husband was taken, so were my kids. No one could figure out my secret ingredient. They thought it was oats‚ .nope. The ingredient that makes up these chocolate drop cookies is‚
‚ Marla Meridith, "Skinny Chocolate Drop Cookies." (Feb. 26, 2010)
Tracey Clark, Huntington Beach
Mother May I
Year started: 2006
What it's about: As the years have passed and my children have grown more independent, my blog has shifted and changed from being mostly about motherhood to being more of a creative outlet for me. Photography‚ being my greatest passion‚ has always been an important element of my blog but it's more of a focus in and of itself now than it was before.
Why I started it: When I began my blog almost four years ago, I had no idea what it would become. My original intention was to use it as a community builder and marketing tool for my motherhood journals that had just been published. I loved to write and had kept journals for most of my life so going a little more public with it felt compelling and fun.
Why it's different: My blog now feels more like an online canvas where I can celebrate beauty, muse on the questions I have about life, love and motherhood and share the things that bring me joy. Although I'm not shy about sharing my struggles, I tend to put a positive spin on things. It's who I am as a person and that definitely comes across on my blog.
Sneak peak: As I stepped out onto the beach in Baja for the first time on my recent trip I thought to myself I cannot wait to find all the treasures just waiting to be discovered.
‚ Tracey Clark, "Seek and Find." (April 9, 2010)
Shanna Coady, Newport Beach
My Favorite Everything
Year started: 2009
What it's about: A site to help busy moms and families. I try to offer "Simple tips, fresh ideas and great products to make busy lives brighter." I've found that friends have always asked me what my favorite "X" is. A restaurant, Christmas cards, how I manage our family on a daily basis, organizing a party, where to get the best fish tacos, how I wrap a gift, what do I like at Costco, how we travel with small kids. I try to share as many of my favorites and organizing tips in the hopes that it helps other families.
Why I started it: I considered the fact that I hate to say "no" to anything, that my plate is somehow always overflowing, that I want to spend time with my family, have a career, be a fabulous wife and mom, and also have time to brush my teeth and eat. I figured there are probably a lot of moms out there like me trying to do it all and that we could all use a little help in making it all work.
Why it's different: I try to make it really user-friendly and all about what our family is actually doing and using. I offer the Favorites Gallery to point out true favorites that I love and use. I also try to offer a weekly menu, shopping list and monthly "to do" list to try and spur on your own thoughts of what you may want to accomplish in a month.
Sneak peak: "My Favorite Everything‚ For Baby." Best high chair! I'm not big on a ton of "baby things" around the house...I know, I'm a snob. But if I can find things that can fit in with the decor AND that my kids like, I'm all in! Phil & Ted's MeToo! Travel Highchair is perfect! Hayden has been using it since she was about 4 months, and Addie at 19 mos still uses it.
‚ Shanna Coady, blogged in "Baby Favorites Gallery."
Katie, Ladera Ranch
OC Mom Activities
Year started: 2007
What it's about: It's about everything Mom. Whether it's a new product I love, a local activity to enjoy with the kids, a great recipe or what I lovingly call "Mom-isms," I love to post about anything that inspires me as a mom.
Why I started it: I lost my mother to cancer before I was married and before having kids. Once I became a mother that meant everything to me. My children are my world. I choose to re-focus the p n of the loss of my mother in to being the best mom I can be for my kids. Enjoying every minute with them is so important to me.
Why it's different: I try not to focus too much on what other people are writing about on their blogs, instead choosing to only write about things I am passionate about and I believe that shows in the posts.
‚ Katie, "Event for Silicon Valley Moms Blog SoCal Style." (Feb. 28, 2010). Check out her blog for more free giveaways!