Category: Link Round-Ups

Link Round-Up: I Think My Baby is a Werewolf Edition

You may have noticed the blog’s been dark for a couple of weeks.  I could hem & haw and give you excuses, but hey, isn’t a picture worth a thousand words?

Pip vs. Owl

Sure, he looks all sweet & innocent there, but once dark comes, he transforms into a squealing, non-sleeping, gum-gnashing little monster. I think we’ve actually turned the corner on the 4-month sleep regression, but during July’s full moon, when Pip was squealing at 2 or 3 a.m. (after having been up at midnight, 1 a.m. and again at 5 a.m.), I was pretty convinced he was actually a baby werewolf with alopecia.

So, if the blog is ever dark when it shouldn’t be, you can blame that guy up there most likely.  The thing is, my priorities go like this:

  1. Health, safety & well-being of Pip, T, myself, & our menagerie of animals.
  2. Freelance clients.
  3. Regular updates to this here blog.

That leaves out a LOT of other priorities, but you get the picture.  So, even though you should update your blog regularly and consistently, sometimes life is going to prevent that — and that’s OK.  And that goes for most facets of your business.  Sometimes an order gets messed up, or a customer service experience is less than stellar.  The important thing to do is to own up (or blame a baby who may or may not be a werewolf) and do what you can to make it right.  (Here are some tips on what to do when you mess up.)

So, in the spirit of honesty, please bear with me as I learn to work in proper updates here along with balancing my need for sleep with my werewolf-baby’s need to squeal and/or eat.

And now, on to the links!

Have a great week, everyone!


Back in Action + Link Round-up: Drink Up Edition

Parenthood is a very strange thing. It feels like it’s only been a week since our special delivery arrived, and yet it feels like our little Pipsqueak has been around for ages. Life is kind of like that anyway, but having a kiddo around really drives the point home.

Poolside Nap, by Elizabeth Ditty

In any case, it’s been three months, and that means it’s time to get the show back on the road in this space.  I won’t be posting as frequently as I was before — three times a week is a bit too much for me to handle on top of my freelance load and our ever-evolving mini-caveman — but I’m planning to bring you fresh content every Tuesday.

For now, let me leave you with some fresh links!

Link Round-up: Drink Up Edition

The Naked Grape, by Elizabeth DittyHaving given them up for 9+ months, I have a newfound appreciation for coffee and wine. Luckily, both come with health bonuses as well as simple enjoyment!

Speaking of coffee, Starbucks is raising their prices today.  Here are a bunch of different ways to make coffee at home.

Joss Whedon offers some great advice on how to be prolific.

How to daydream.

Have a great week!

Friday Link Round-Up: Weakness Edition

Collapsed Pup by Elizabeth Ditty

Whether you’ve faced the question in an interview or have been provoked to do some soul-searching on your own, there’s something to be said for knowing your weaknesses and how to deal with them.  Reviewing Steve Jobs’ biography earlier this week got me thinking about strengths & weaknesses and how we manage them.

Thought-Provoker of the Week

The first step to dealing with your weaknesses is learning what they are and how to talk about them.  Penelope Trunk talks about how to do both.

Lesson of the Week

Once we’ve identified and come to terms with our weaknesses, we can then focus on turning the into strengths.  ZenHabits talks about how to do just that.

Recipe of the Week

This Men’s Health article suggests that the problem with most of our restaurant comfort foods is cheap, poor-quality, artificial ingredients.  By using high-quality, real foods, we can take our favorite comfort foods into something that, if not exactly healthy, at least isn’t detrimental to our health.

Product of the Week

Coffee is definitely one of my weaknesses, and while I adore my Starbucks baristas, I’m trying to be more responsible with how much money I spend there.

To help in this endeavor, in addition to my pour-over coffee, we recently spent a grand total of less than $40 on a Bialetti espresso maker and a milk frother to use at home.  So far, we’re very impressed with the simplicity and quality of both, and it’s nice being able to have what feels like a little bit of luxury at home.

Laugh of the Week

Sometimes the best way to face a weakness is simply to embrace it, just like Loca, the dog who can’t run.


Friday Link Round-Up: Patience Edition

Patient Gargoyle, by Elizabeth Ditty

As of writing this, I’m still waiting on this kiddo to show up. I’m not exactly a patient person to begin with, but having to deal with the anticipation of actually holding and interacting with my kiddo in person (instead of in belly) and the desperate desire to have my body back to myself is really putting me to the test.  And so, for this week’s round-up, I’m going to grudgingly focus on patience.

Lesson of the Week

If patience is important in waiting for a kiddo to arrive, it’s going to become invaluable once I’m a parent.  Zenhabits has 10 tips to become a patient parent that seem workable.

Thought Provoker of the Week

When it comes to business, is patience still a virtue in this day & age of Instagram & Pinterest? FastCompany thinks so.

Recipe of the Week

A couple years back, during a rough time in my life, I spent the morning making this “weapons-grade” ratatouille on the recommendation of my friend Jon (and subsequently wrote this about the ratatouille-making experience).  Does it require patience? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Product of the Week

Back during the ratatouille phase, I was struggling with where I was in life versus where I wanted to be.  The book “You Are Here” by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh really helped me learn to recenter myself by getting back to acknowledging and appreciating the present moment.  It’s a great read with very practical advice no matter what your spiritual inclinations.

Laugh of the Week

I may be 30, with child & happily attached, but I’m not going to miss an opportunity to include both Zac Efron and Elmo. Come on.

Friday Link Round-Up: Sleep Edition

Snow Day Schmo by Elizabeth Ditty

As a new parent-to-be, people like to tell you how little sleep you’re going to get for basically the next 18+ years of your life.  Which is a super nice thing to do to an expectant parent, by the way.  Which is to say it’s a really horrible thing, and people should stop doing it. Let’s all make a pact, OK?  No more scaring parents-to-be with tales of no sleep. Deal? And on that note, let’s talk about sleep!

Lesson of the Week

Given how important sleep is, it’s a wonder parents survive their children’s infancy at all, if you believe the horror stories.

Thought Provoker of the Week

Granted, some people claim they can get by on very little sleep — and these folks seem to be doing pretty well with less shuteye.

Recipe of the Week

If you do care about sleep, though, these sleep-enhancing recipes might help you have a better shot at getting some when you have the chance.

Product of the Week

I bought a memory foam mattress a couple of years ago and absolutely love it.  It sits on a platform instead of a box spring, so it’s a nice, clean look in addition to a great night’s sleep.  My kiddo-co-creator likes a softer sleep, though, so we got one of these plush toppers, and it does the trick for him without bothering me one bit.

Laugh of the Week

Regardless of whether a kid is a good sleeper or not, I’m sure there are nights when this applies for just about everyone.  (WARNING: Contains a certain word. Repeatedly.)

Friday Link Round-Up: Life Balance Edition

Golden Buddha, by Elizabeth Ditty

By the time this goes live, it’s entirely possible I could have a baby in my arms instead of in my belly — and if not now, then soon!  So, as you can imagine, I’m looking for any and all advice on how to maintain a good life balance between a day job, freelance work, family and creative pursuits.  So this week’s links are all about finding some semblance of balance.

Lesson of the Week

One of my favorite bloggers, Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo, has done two life balance series where she interviewed a variety of women to find out how they manage it all.

Thought Provoker of the Week

Despite all the advantages women have today, Anne-Marie Slaughter argues why women still can’t have it all — and what needs to change for real equal opportunity to exist.

Recipe of the Week

I’ve talked about freezer cooking before, and I recently made a freezer version of Shutterbean’s Curried Chicken & Coconut Rice for easy meals while I’m on maternity leave (and beyond).  I’ve also heard awesome things about her Freezer Burritos, so those may go on my to-make list soon, too.

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair

Product of the Week

What is a better representation of work-life balance than sitting on a balance ball while you work?  I’ve wanted one of these Balance Ball Chairs for a long time, and this may finally be the year I treat myself to one.

Laugh of the Week

Why I’ll probably keep the chair at home instead of at my office job.

How do you all maintain work-life balance?

Friday Link Round-Up: 2013 Oscars Edition

Oscars Poster

If you’ve ever visited my personal blog, you might have gathered that I’m quite the movie fan.  It’s not atypical for me to watch between 100 & 200 movies a year, so as you might guess, I normally get a big kick out of watching the Oscars every year.  So pardon me while I indulge in a little Oscar mania for this week’s link round-up.

Lesson of the Week

With Django Unchained being up for Best Film this year (along with Amour, Life of Pi, Argo, Lincoln, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty), here are four lessons we can take from Quentin Tarantino movies.

Product of the Week

Any serious movie buff needs a great way to watch movies.  I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years and couldn’t be happier (despite their missteps last year — but that’s a post for another time).  I watch a lot of media directly on my computer, but when I feel like taking advantage of my big screen and my comfy sofa, I use my Roku.  It streams Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu+, as well as a variety of Roku-exclusive channels.

Also of note, I cancelled my cable/satellite service about three years ago because I was tired of paying $120 a month for access to the four HD channels I watched.  The only downside I’ve ever experienced since is when I want to watch something live.  Last year, I finally broke down and spent $15 on an HD antenna so I could watch the Oscars.  While big events are adding live stream options every year, it’s still nice to be able to catch something live on TV every once in a while, and my HD antenna works great.  (Pro tip:  Learn more about the types of antennas before you buy (don’t automatically assume more expensive is better). I have a combined VHF/UHF that works great.)

Recipe of the Week

Epicurious has a fun round-up of themed menus inspired by this year’s best picture nominees.

Thought-Provoker of the Week

From 2011, what do a year’s most popular movies tell us about our culture?

Laugh of the Week

Silver Linings Playbook was my favorite film of 2012, so I got a kick out of Jennifer Lawrence’s SNL monologue.

That’s it for this week! Who are you rooting for at this year’s Academy Awards?