Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From Cluttered to Uncluttered

Yesterday I received the following email: 

Your blog is far too cluttered, it's barely readable. Do your readers a favor and ditch some of the superfluous widgets and badges; it will make for a much better experience.

I'm probably never going to be back, and it's because of the overcrowded layout. It's okay though, not everyone can be MckMama.

When I tried to view the senders profile/blog it was a blogger that had 2 followers and 3 posts and apparently just started blogging.   I am more then happy to take advice from someone but how could I take blogging advice from someone that just stared blogging?
I know I'm not MckMama...and I don't want to be MckMama!
At first I was shocked...and hurt but then it got me thinking....."is my blog too cluttered?"....I started re-looking at things that I could remove or improve from my blog and did some research.

A cluttered blog detracts from your site and readers don't want to stick around a site they feel is cluttered. The main goal of most bloggers is to write content - information that others will be attracted to. With that being said - the eye should be able to find that content easily - a cluttered blog distracts readers from what they came to your site for.....does mine do that??

9 out of 10 times the casual reader will not pay attention to any extra element apart from your content.....really?

Make it clean - but mine?

Make the design speak for your blog - in other words the design should emphasize what your blogging about - help the reader determine what you're all about in seconds - a well designed header is very helpful in doing this - creating a fun graphic image, a good blog title, and tagline are key....I thought I did that!

Organize your sidebars in a way that is appealing to the eye - put the least important sidebar elements at the bottom - this seems elementary - but a lot of people have junk at the top of their sidebars....check! 

Break your Widget Addiction - Widgets are one of the prime offenders when it comes to loading a site with unnecessary clutter.  Get rid of every single widget that does not have a solid and related use for your blog or business. If it benefits readers or customers, keep it. If not, then it’s just making more clutter for them – which makes them not want to stay. 
The main rule is not to overdo it....I didn't think that I did!!

The length of your posts - Also another key to maintaining simplicity in your blog is to keep your posts short- if your posts take longer than 5 minutes to read they are too long. The average person stops reading after that point and will most likely not return if you are always writing long posts.....what??  Says who??

Are there any blog tips or secrets you'd like to share? I would love to hear your input- I think it's always nice to learn from others.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Beauty Tips!! Professional vs. Generic Shampoo

Most women resort to generic shampoo brands for the inexpensive cost, bright packaging, and commercials that promise supermodel hair. The commercials on television and ads in magazines don't show the damage to hair from using generic brands, however. For a couple dollars more, sometimes even the same price, informed shoppers can get beautiful, healthy hair from a professional grade shampoo. 

A shampoo is just a shampoo. Or is it? All shampoos work the same way; they all clean your hair. Or do they? What is the difference between professional salon products and generic brands sold at your grocery store and Wal-Mart? Is there one? Some will say ‘No’, but yes, there is a difference.

Professional vs. Store Bought Hair Products

Have you ever gone to a salon and purchased a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, taken it home and tried the shampoo? The shampoo will typically lather up very quickly and will require a lot less. This is because the ingredients used in the professional products are typically of higher quality and have gentler surfactants (type of soap used in shampoo). Professional products want to give you an experience! The creators of the products want you to use their shampoo and feel luxurious, to notice the smell, and to see a difference in your final outcome. They want you to use their product and notice a difference. And in this process, the quality of ingredients used is higher than those sold in general hair care. The same companies that make products for Redken, Paul Mitchell, BedHead, etc, also make products for Pantene, Aussie, L’Oreal and other products in your grocery store.

What Generic Shampoos do to your hair

Hair strands are made up of protein or keratin. They have a softer, more pliable inside called the cortex, and a harder, stronger lining called the cuticle. Most generic shampoos are not strong enough to properly penetrate the cuticle and cleanse the inside of the hair strand, which is the job of shampoo. Instead, they coat the cuticle and only buildup on the hair. Since most store brand shampoos are made with more detergent and sulfates, the buildup they cause is usually waxy and heavy. Especially for women who perm, relax, or color their hair, these shampoos will turn shiny, healthy hair into dull, weighed down strands. 

It’s Really Up To You 

Deciding to use professional products over the generic product is clearly up to you and your checkbook. One way to see if you notice the difference is to buy a bottle of shampoo and conditional from a salon and use it for 3-4 weeks. Notice the way your hair feels and looks. Then go back to your generic brand and see if you notice the difference. If it’s worth it to you, then go for it!

Which one is best

If you looking for a store brand shampoo without the high cost and
yet gives great results then try Clariol Herbal Essences or Pantene!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meet Me On Monday!!

Welcome to the 3rd edition of "Meet Me On Monday!"

Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Monday I will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

"Its a great way to to meet new friends and for others to get to know me Monday at a time!!!" quoted by the Chacogirl!!

I will make this SIMPLE and FUN!!!

I will add a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them better!!  Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!


1. Are you a collector of anything?

2. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

3. What is your favorite salad dressing?

4. What was the last thing that you ate?

5. What was the last movie that you saw?

My answers:

1. Are you a collector of anything?
    I collect vintage weather houses!!   They are hard to find but I love them!  When its going the rain the person on the right side comes out of the house and when its sunny the person on the left side comes out!

2. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Ok so you know how I am with this age thing....well for my 40th birthday Joe bought me a tramp stamp!  It is small and on my lower back....and I can cover it up!!

  I also have my belly button pierced that I got 1 month before I found out I was pregnant with Short!!  I told the doctor I was not taking it out and I didn't!  I kept it in the whole time I was pregnant!   Then last year I got my nose pierced!!  I have a tiny small stud!  I also have my ears pierced and my cartilage (upper ear).

3. What is your favorite salad dressing?

4.  What is the last thing that you ate?  
      Fisher's Popcorn that we brought home from the beach! Yum!

 5. What is the last movie that you saw?
     Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakqual with Short!

Time to link up and meet!!

This is a blog hop so if you want to put the linky on your post just click the "Get the Code" at the bottom of the linky.

Your link MUST include your Meet Me On Monday post or it will be deleted!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vacation: Day 7

Day 7 is posted down below the Follow Friday 40 and Over in case anyone missed it!

We got home last evening and took the boys for Hibachi.  They did not like it and we might as well of  took a $100 bill and threw it out the window!  

Don't forget to join me in the Meet Me On Monday blog hop!!
I will have it posted Sunday night for you to add to your blogs on Monday!!

 Happy Saturday...I will be busy doing laundry, putting things away, taking Short to a birthday party and trying to get back into real life vs. vacation!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Follow Friday 40 and Over!!

Welcome to the 5th edition of the  
Follow Friday 40 and Over!!

Are you a blogger over 40? Yeah, welcome to the club!

Please join in the fun and get to know your fellow bloggers!!

We are happy to announce this week I have Audrey from Audrey's Country Crafts hosting with me!!

no pics

Please hop on over there to join in on another fun way to meet new bloggers and to make new friends. She has an awesome blog and I know you'll have fun over there!

The RULES to join in are very simple!

1. Grab the button
2. Add your link to the list
3. Visit as many other blogs as you can
4. Follow the ones you like (and comment on their blog to say that you are following)

NOTE:  PLEASE leave your blog address when you leave a comment!!  I have had several people wanting to follow back but the blogger can't always be found through the google info page!!

This list is new each week. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.

While you are here, make sure you check out the
Over 40 Blogger List!!

Be sure to join if you haven't already!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vacation: Day 7

Today was another HOT day at the beach! No clouds or rain to be seen! So off to the beach we headed!

Grande, Tall and Short by the water.

 Then Joe and I walked up to the inlet and saw lots of Dolphins!!

 It was a beautiful setting for pictures!

 Even some surfers!!

After the beach we drove to Rehoboth Beach to go to Grotto's Pizza and shopping at the outlets!!

 Then it was time to head back to our room to pack up to leave tomorrow.  The week went by so fast!  Back to reality!
Thanks for joining me on our Vacation was great having you all along with me!
Don't forget the Follow Friday 40 and Over Blog Hop!

Vacation: Day 6

Today was super hot!! I think it was the hottest day yet! If you didn't get in the water then you were sweating your you know what off!! The waves were really rough today! Joe and Short were out in the water for most of the day!

Grande and Tall came out for a couple of waves!

Then we saw Santa Clause on the beach!!!

For dinner we went to Harbourside!

After dinner we went to the Haunted House! Short didn't want to go!

We saw some scary stuff!!!

Then on the boardwalk we saw this lady all dressed up in Silver!  I think she collected more money then I make in 2 weeks!!!
I can't  believe we only have one more day here!  Time went so fast!  I wonder what the adventures the last day will bring us!! 

Hope to see you then!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vacation: Day 4 and 5

 The last 2 days have been lots of fun..and not so fun! On Monday it was so darn hot and we spend most of the day on the beach. For dinner we just had pizza but it was really good pizza!! The evening was spent on the boardwalk and Joe and I ended up in an argument (that is the not so fun part) was over something stupid (aren't they always) and we made up then but I hate having an argument...let alone having one on vacation! We don't argue very often and so I was upset that we had one...we didn't go to bed mad and Tuesday everything was fine.

Tuesday was quite a lot of action on the beach! I love people watching and I had to take a picture of this guy....wonder where he got those trunks?:

And then I had to take a picture of this girl....I think she lost part of her suit somewhere where we can't see it:

Then all of a sudden the ocean cleared out and everyone was pointing at something!!
What could it be??  A shark??  Nope!  A group of 5 or 6 STINGRAYS!!!!!

 I never saw people run so fast out of the water!!  The Stingray stayed in the area in front of us for awhile!
After all that action, we built another sandcastle!

For dinner we went to Phillips Seafood House:
 Then we played miniature golf...Grande didn't go because he was meeting some friends on the boardwalk:
 I beat all the boys by 6 points!!

In the beginning of the week they said rain on Wednesday so we thought we would go to the outlets but now its going to be sunny and so maybe we will go on Thursday!

See you tomorrow....I'll be at the beach photographing other people.....I'm terrible aren't I?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Beauty Tips: Summer Beauty Steps You Shouldn't Skip!

Yes, you can ease up on some of your summer routine―but not these steps!!

1.Smoothing rough soles.

Not only are calluses unsightly when they peek out from summer sandals but they can also crack and become painful. Slough off dry skin with a pumice stone for a minute at the end of every shower.

2. Lining your lips.

Steamy heat tends to melt lipstick, causing it to smear and run. Spend 30 seconds applying lip liner first to keep color in place.

3. Washing your face at night.

Because your makeup is lighter in the summer, it's tempting to hit the sack without washing. But even light makeup, when coupled with nighttime sweat, can cause breakouts. Before you turn in, take two minutes to wash or use a premoistened face wipe.

4. Using topical antioxidants.

In the summer, you should be particularly diligent about using a cream or a serum with antioxidant ingredients, like vitamins C and E, to combat sun damage.  Apply each evening.

5. Applying a hair mask.

A rich conditioning mask, left on for 20 minutes once a week, rehydrates hair that has been dried out by sun and chlorine.  I recommend Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask!

Vacation Days will be back tomorrow!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet Me on Monday!!

The Meet Me on Monday meme is down after the Vacation: Day 3 post!!! Be sure to check it out!!!

Vacation: Day 3

When we woke up this morning and pulled open the blinds, instead of sunshine we saw Rain!! We turned on the weather channel and saw that apparently it rained all night long and we didn't even know it!! The forecast said morning showers followed by afternoon sun! So we had a leisure breakfast and next thing you know, the sun came out...and boy did it come out!! It ended up so hot that we couldn't even play booce because the sand was so hot and you can't wear flip flops to play, so we ended up not playing.

Instead, we got lots of sun!

Joe and Venti built a sand castle.

Short loved jumping the waves!

After the beach Venti and Mocha got showered and packed up and headed back home.  It was sad seeing them go.  The boys then gave Joe an Ipod for Father's Day and we headed out for dinner.

We went to this really cool place called "Dead Freddies!!"


I had to take pictures of the bathroom doors!!
A couple more shots of the boys!

Don't forget about Meet Me on Monday!  See the post below!!
   I can't wait to read your answers!

See you tomorrow for Vacation: Day 4!