We’re One! Happy 1st Blogiversary to Me!

WOW!  I’m ONE!  Well, actually I’m not one (I’m about 20 or so years older than that) but my blog is!  I can hardly believe that this journey has survived an entire year.  

A little over a year ago, I was unemployed and a Facebook junkie staying at home with my babies.  I wasn’t particularly unhappy, but we as a family were broke!  Then a life-long friend approached me.  She said I was funny, she said I was a good writer, she encouraged me to start a blog.  A what I said.  A blog, you can do this and you can be successful and continue to stay at home!  I was intrigued and on November 13, 2010, with a LOT of help, Insanity Is Not An Option was born.  It debuted with a post about parenting entitled Parenting Is Rough and a couple of people read it so I was encouraged and continued to plug away.  
I continued to rant and people continued to read.  WOW crazy!  A month or so after I started this venture, I posted The Top 10 Most Annoying Facebook Personality Types and by this time, people were finding my blog by searching Google!  Holy can this be true?  Yup so I plugged away and y’all let me rant.  Can you say FABULOUS?  Well I sure can (5 times fast even)!
I don’t have a huge blog, but I truly am digging this gig! I love my followers (again, can’t thank the 12 of you enough…YOU ROCK), and this journey has been amazing!  It has stressed me out at times, I’ve wanted to quit, I think I even cried once or 100 times!  But now, after a year, I’m happy to be where I’m at and I’m glad I stuck it out.
I have no great wisdom to offer, no grand prizes, just a sincere thank you and a list of the top 10 things I love about what I do and the people that have supported me.  So without further ado, my top 10:
#10 – There a gazillion and 50 blogs on the web, and people actually choose to read mine!
#9 – I get to rant, rave, and review and no one can tell me to shut up!  Well they can, but I don’t have to listen!
#8 – I’m my own boss!
#7 – I write what I want PERIOD!  
#6 – If people don’t like what I write, they don’t have to read it.  It’s not like a report at work.  It’s just my life!  SCORE!

#5 – After about 6 months, I began making money while staying at home, doing what I love….WRITING!
#4 – I get to stay at home with my babies!
#3 – I’ve found some really great new friends in the blogisphere!
#2 – My husband and my children for supporting me in my efforts, as I stress, as I cry, as I’m ready to give up, they have encouraged me.  They are my foundation and without them I am nothing!
And the #1 thing I am thankful for on this (one day late to my own party) blogiversary is….

#1 – Jules at A Little Bite of LifeWithout her encouragement, without her help, and without her support along the way (and that occasional hanky), I wouldn’t have held out.  I would have packed up my blog and gone back to work.  I would have left my children in a day care center.  
So raise a glass, toast a toast, and let’s celebrate!  I’m one and I’m thankful!  Thank y’all for this sparkly year!  And MANY MORE!

No, But You Can Have My Heart

B and I have an odd relationship.  We pick on each other way too often.  We love each other way too much.  
A month or so ago, he was on yet another fishing trip here on the island.  The babies and I decided to stop by and visit.  While we were walking down the pier, I saw him walking our way.  I was excited.  He was coming to greet us!  NOT!  He was headed to the port-a-potty!
He hadn’t even seen us until we passed him and he explained where he was headed.  DOH!  So as he visited the “john”, the babies and I enjoyed the beauty of the ocean.  I was snapping pictures and they were running and playing.  
On his way back through, he startled me by hugging me from behind.  I said, “How is your boyfriend today?”.  To which he replied “He’s fine, thanks for asking.”.  So I said, “Can I have his number to find out what he has that I don’t?”.  I expected another smart-ass reply.  But instead, my rarely-romantic husband said “No, but you can have my heart” at which time he handed me a glass heart.  
On his way back from the potty, he found a glass heart on the beach and he placed it in my hand.  I will cherish that heart forever (both his and the little token).  You see, it’s the little moments and the little treasures that make my world go round!  
I’m forever grateful to have his heart!

Happy 1/2 Birthday Collective Bias! How Do I Love You? Let Me Count the Ways! #CBias #SoFab

Those of you that read and follow my blog (again, I just can’t thank the 12 of you enough…YOU ROCK), have read my many references to Collective Bias and Social Fabric.  Some have asked, others may just wonder, and others possibly don’t care!  But I’m a talker (just in case you hadn’t noticed) so I’m here to tell you all about it now just to lay all of this mystery to rest!

What is Collective Bias exactly (other than just awesome)?  They define it as (and I quote directly from the Social Fabric Community Information Page):

  • Collective Bias is a shopper marketing agency in Bentonville, AR that develops campaigns for clients.  These campaigns provide insights to the clients about how consumers interact with their products and brands from the point of sale (in store) through their experience with the product at home.  Collective Bias (CB)  is “The Company”.

And what is Social Fabric (other than my favorite online hang out)?  Again, I quote:

  • Social Fabric is the private community owned by Collective Bias.  Members of Social Fabric support, participate, discuss and help develop campaigns for Collective Bias.  Social Fabric (SF) is “The Community” that powers the campaigns written by Collective Bias “The Company”.
For me, simply put, Collective Bias is a company that understands both brands and the average consumer (like me).  They understand that word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and they partner with brands that understand this concept as well.  
And Social Fabric is the awesome community that invites bloggers in to help promote these brands!  And we don’t just support brands.  We talk, we brainstorm, we support each other, and build relationships.  

Through Social Fabric, I have been given the opportunity to support and promote fabulous brands like Clear American Water, Glidden Paint, M&M Mars, Murphy USA, Smarties, and Del Monte just to name a few (that’s right, you might have heard of some of these).  I get to craft with my kids, go to the zoo, play at the pool, fish, and other fun stuff that supports my family’s active lifestyle.  I don’t have to “step out of my box” to do this.  I truly believe in the projects and brands that I help to promote.  

That’s the beauty that is Collective Bias and Social Fabric.  I never have to compromise my integrity to make a buck.  I simply am a stay at home mother of 6, living on an island, and telling all of you, my awesome readers, what I think of these products and how I use them while staying true to myself.  SCORE!
And to top it off (as if it could get any better than that right?), I have made some REAL friends through the Social Fabric platform.  I don’t mean online friends.  I mean women in the blogging community that I actually connect with!  Other moms, housewives, fellow bloggers who share my love of the wit and integrity, and just down right sparkly people!  I talk to them on the phone on a weekly, daily, (and oh heavens on those bad days) hourly basis.  They make me laugh, they let me gripe, and they support me!
This blog is my business.  I enjoy what I do.  It’s a public diary of sorts.  I didn’t start with the intention of making any money.  I did this for me!  I did this at the insistence of some friends.  And I’m glad I did.  My blog is quirky, sometimes witty, often off-color, and always FUN for me!  And with the help of Collective Bias and Social Fabric and their support of my “work”, I have been able to monetize on this quirky little adventure of mine, and I will forever be grateful for having this time with my babies.  
Thank you Collective Bias and Social Fabric!  And a very happy 1/2 anniversary to you!  Rock on and always sparkle!  And speaking of sparkles, no anniversary would be complete without a virtual sparkly card from Bug and I!  Happy 11/11/11 from our asylum to yours!
Disclosure:  This post was in no way compensated nor solicited by anyone!  All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own!