Category Archives: B2S/B2B

TIPS from Social Media For NonProfits Seattle (#SM4NP)

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Social Media For NonProfits conference held on the Microsoft campus.  According to the Social Media For NonProfits website,

Social Media for Nonprofits is the world’s only conference series dedicated to social media for social good and to date has earned a 92% approval rating from over 2,500 nonprofit leaders across the USA. Instead of abstract concepts and theory, our focus is on sharing practical tips and tools for fundraising, marketing, and advocacy with nonprofit decision-makers.”

Oh.My.Gosh. It was A-MAZING!  8 hours listening to talented, skilled social media experts who work every day in the world of non-profits and explained how “social media is the great equalizer enabling community-based organizations of all sizes to have massive impact” (Social Media For NonProfits).  The knowledge they have for tips and tricks to help a non-profit successfully grow their organization and use social media as an amazing tool to engage those interested, volunteers, donors, potential donors and goverment programs to just name a few.  This event completly opened my eyes to use social media as an instrument to impact social change.

Here are some of the best tips and hints I received (and tweeted) during the event I came across during the conference and now while I’ve gone back and re-looked at all the presentations!  These tips were generated to help nonprofits, but I think many of them (if not all) can help even the personal blogger grow and expand his or her online presence!

*Note, I included a link to the actual presentation slides that go along with the tips or quotes if you are interested in learning more!

      • Evernote is a great tool for organization-I admit I’ve had Evernote on my IPhone for months.  I think Jackie or Jillinsisted I downloaded this, I cannot remember for sure..but to be honest I have never used it and that little elephant app has sat empty on my phone until now!  I’m so ready to try out this tool!What does Evernote do?  You can capture anything by saving your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.  You can access it anywhere as it works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device.  AND you can find things fast by searching by keyword, tag or text!  How cool is that?
      • “Content Curation is not stealing, it’s the way the web is going” - Zan McCollochLussier (@zanarama), Presenter of Creating and Curating Killer Content

        Content curation is a process of sorting, organizing and arranging a compilation of items/information/etc around a specific topic.  The example of content curation that makes the most sense to me is Pinterest.  On Pinterest people organize (pin) similar items or ideas together into one coehesive organized board.  There are many content curation tools and sites that can be used to compile information together, however [currently] the only automated curation site that pulls together information from your twitter followers into a [somewhat] cohesive online daily newspaper, is Paper.Li….which I was thrilled to hear since I already use it!It’s important to remember that it is quality over quantity and “make sure what you’re sharing is the cream of the crop” (@zanarama).
      • “If you are boring offline, you will be boring online, but now amplified”Ash Shepard (@NPTech_Ash), Presenter of Don’t Just Do It, Do It Well!  Process and Management of Social Media EffortsHow true is this statement? If you are boring “in real life,” just your friends and family will see it, however once you put something on the internet it is blasted out to the world and suddenly you are no longer boring to just a handful of people…you are boring to the entire world! In nonprofits, it’s important to present the organization by managing the conversation through tone, voice, story and messaage. Be engaging! Storyboard your campaign! Have a plan! Connecting and linking interests to your organization’s mission is the key to real relationships and sharing which will lead to more broadcasting of your content

        Get the community involved and participating in posts. Ask questions. Engage with your readers. Make it personal. Make people talk. This will begin a fast moving ripple effect of engagement with your readers and your community.

      • “Social Media is the 21st century cigarrette break”Ritu Sharma (@ritusharma1) & Laura Coltrin (@lauracoltrin), Presenters of Leverging Social Media for EventsPeople don’t spend their cigarrette breaks smoking anymore (well at least not many of us!)…we now use it to check Facebook, Twitterand other Social Media outlets!  Heck, how many people can go to the bathroom without their phone?  Heaven forbid we sit on the toilet without our phones!If we are checking out social media during those times, so is the rest of the world.  Therefore, it’s important to push your content to be published during those times!  The number one times people are online during the day is between 8-9am, lunchtime, 3-5pm and after 9 when the kids are in bed.  AKA during the commute (of course not when YOU are driving!), lunch and the afternoon lull.  Furthermore, the most strategic time to hit an even bigger audience its recommeneded to post Tuesday-Thursday between 9-11am and 1-2pm.  Oh and don’t forget it’s important to post on the weekend too!  If you’re sitting bored and surfing the net, there’s a high chance someone else is too at that very moment!
      • Visual content is SIMBA [think Lion King]: Snackable, Inspirational, Motivational, Bold, ActionableNoland Hoshino (@NolandHoshino), Presenter of Lets Get Visual!  Visual Content Marketing StrategiesFace it, you are more attracted to a blog post when there are pictures involved?  Am I not right?  Who wants to read a ton of text?  It’s the pictures that grab people in and get their attention.  (Note taken…this post sucks when it comes to visuals!)  The goal of visual content is to generage fan-created content as visuals are processed 60% faster by the brain than text.

        Photos also say a lot without saying a lot!  Through photos, videos, infographics, sketches and slide shows you can share lots with your readers.  Another tip was “chunk”-ing infographs….I’m still confused by this but according to this presentation by cutting up infographics and staggering shares will prolong engagement.  Are you an infographics ninja?  Help me understand!
      • How energy efficient am I being?  Great ways for measurement dashboardsHolly Ross (@ntenhross), Presenter of Social Media Dashboards that Help You DriveHow many of you are addicted to reading the metrics of your blog or site?  Prior to my blogging slump that was me.  Two years ago I participated in Kludgy Mom‘s B2S/B2B event where she introduced me to the wonderful world of metrics (blog statistics) and how to incorporate them into growing and making my blog even better (I know hard to believe it could get any better!).  I even created a statbook, that I (used to) fill out monthly to keep track of all the fun statistics!  Below you can check out Gigi’s amazing blog posts on blog statistics, making them actionable and creating your own statbook.KludgyMom’s Tutorials and Tips on Creating StatBooks:
        –> Blog Stats – The Magnificent 7 
        –> Making Your Blog Stats Actionable
        –> Creating a StatBook: Tutorial

        Back to Holly’s presentation and using metrics with nonprofits …. by creating your own measurement dashboard (I recommend and use Google Analytics) you can see the reporting that is important to you and your organization!  Keep track, bring order, structure and a process to the raw data that is important to helping you grow your nonprofit’s social media presence online!  Metrics are more important than how many followers and/or likes you have … that’s a shocker I know!

      • “People Give to People” and Not OrganizationsDarian Rodriguez Heyman (@dheyman), Presenter of A Guide to Social Fundraising 

        Did you know that the most powerful form of an ask is a “Peer Ask”?  People are more likely to donate to a person who shares a cause or has a personal connection or story to the organization.  You need to tug at the hearttsrings of your donors.  Once you have done the ask, turn your donors into your personal fundraisers by making it easy for them to share with their social network after they donate.  Nonprofits with this online option will see a 20-200% bump in revenue!  How crazy is that?!You have about 3 seconds to catch the attention of potential donors.  Does your homepage have photos, videos, statistics – something to grab the attention of visitors?  It is recommnended to think incrementally to show the greatest impact.  For instance at Eastside Baby Corner a donation of $10 pays for five days of disposable diapers , keeping a baby dry and healthy.  $15  buys 3 days of formula, ensuring that a vulnerable infant has adequate nutrition for proper development, $25 ….Secondly, if it takes more than 3 clicks to donate from any page on your site, you need to redo your site.  People will give up and not follow through with their donation if there is that many steps involved.  Make it easy.  Make it convienent!  Don’t make your potential donors work to hard, do the work for them!

Wow!  That was quite the post!  Can you tell I loved this event??  I could go on and on, but these were the items that really stood out to me, that I wanted to share and pass along to others!

If you get a chance I highly recommend you attend Social Media For NonProfits.  They have conferences all across the United States and starting next week they will be in New Delhi in India!  It is WELL worth the money spent to attend!!

Anxiety

Anxiety.

That word alone is enough to send chills up and down my spine – those same chills that have traveled up and down my back since I was 12 years old, half my life. 

What is anxiety?  “Associated with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts in certain situations, leading to anxiety” (citation.)

I have never been good with change.  Changes and the unknown for me brings on my anxiety.  Change is something I dread and dislike immensely.  Even the little changes in life have been enough to physically take me down, to the point of being violently ill.  I’ve gotten so sick that on several occasions, I have ended up in the ER trips for anxiety.  I have been very close to being admitted for in-patient treatment of anxiety.  For me, anxiety is a VERY real and physical disability.

When I was first plagued by anxiety entering into 7th grade, I was embarrassed and ashamed.  I was so scared to start Junior High that on day 1, I got sick at school – went home early.  I played it off as “I have the flu,” so my friends didn’t realize it was from being scared to start at a new school.  To this day, my anxiety symptoms manifest similar as the stomach flu, which makes it easy to hide when I’m having an attack. 

Do you know what else sends chills down my spine? When people talk about anxiety as being made-up.  For those of you who suffer from it know how debilitating it can be.  It’s anything BUT made made-up, it’s as real as having the stomach flu or the measles.  Until you witness the middle of the night sweats, vomit sessions, spinning head and pacing, how can you claim it’s not real?

What have I done to help myself? First of all, I have accepted that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain, causing me this extra stressor.  To balance the imbalance I need medication to help level off my the crazy chemicals in my brain.  The medicine immensely helps!  Another thing that works for me, is I take a walk around the block.  There’s many nights where I grab my cell phone, text or call my mom to warn her I’m walking and walk, walk, walk until my brain has had a chance to calm down.  I also have a counselor who I visit quarterly, she’s so fantastic that a visit or two with her normally sets me up for 4-6 months of freedom from extreme anxiety!

Do you have anxiety?  What works for you?

 

This post was written from a question taken from from Kludgy Mom’s Idea Bank: Anxiety Are you one of the lucky ones who suffers from anxiety? What do you do to get through it!?! 

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That’s A Wrap!!

Wow, the amazing Back 2 School, Back 2 Blogging Event is officially over!!  I learned so much, and I cannot thank Gigi [Kludgy Mom] enough for all knowledge she past on to me!!  I feel like my blog will be in debted to her for awhile!!  Let’s take a walk back through my Back 2 School, Back 2 Blogging experience!

Week 111 Point Inspection: I followed the step-by-step directions, to make sure my blog was running as smoothly as it could!  I checked all my links, added/removed pages, followed myself to make sure that worked, plus a lot more!  I couldn’t have done this week without Jami of Keeper of the Penguins, for being my blog partner for this challenge!  She also went through the 11 point inspection on my blog!!!

         Homework: Find A Cool Plug-in and share itWordPress Plug-In: Make Your Cell Phone Blog Friendly! 

Week 2Keeping Your Blog Writing Alive: This week, Gigi, introduced us to the Idea Bank!  The first part of this challenge was to come up with 10 writing prompts of our own.  I was scared/anxious/nervous for some reason for this part.  But with the help from my new found B2S,B2B friends, I came up and submitted my 10 questions!! 

          Writing/Reading Assignment: Writer’s Block
          Homework:
Pick a Idea Bank prompt and write about it: Most Vivid Childhood Memory…

Week 3Networking: Learned I was in the “second” grouping of bloggers – Another words, I have between 100-300 followers on my blog.  [As of right now I have 331, via Google Friend Connect].  I also gained a fairy blog mother, Kristen from Ladybug Blessings!  Thanks Kristen for being willing to help me and my blog grow!!  Did I mention we also learned about Stumble Upon?  Yeah, I’m totally digging it!

         Writing/Reading Assignment: Pick, Practice & Plan
         Homework:
I Love Cori?!
         Extra Credit:
My Fairy Blog Mother

Week 4How to Build A Loyal Readership: We were introduced to the “fab 5″ of making contact with your readers!  I gained lots of ideas to interact more with my readers, including through email, twitter, facebook, etc!

         Writing/Reading Assignment: Shoutout to My Favorite Commenters

Week 5Statistics: I’ve always been totally into looking at my statistics, to see who, when, and where my visitors are coming from!  However, it wasn’t until this week that I learned how to usethat information!  I made a StatsBook, that I will update monthly, so I can really track my statistics and use the information from it to my advantage!  This was soooooo helpful, I cannot wait to add my November stats to my Statbook!!

Week 6Bloggy Buffet:  The final week of B2S,B2B, featured a different topic each day!  Gigi, helped clarify how to use Feedburner (RSS feeds), received some photography tips, learned how to find/do product reviews and my personal favorite….time management tips!  It was a plethora of topics, but all were so very much helpful and needed!!

Thank you again, Gigi, for hosting and running this fabulous challenge!  I had a great time, learned a lot and cannot wait to put all my new knowledge to work!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

I hope to have Halloween pictures to post on Monday!!!

 

Shoutout to My Favorite Commenters

I’ve been blogging for over two years now and until this past April I was blogging just for me.  I hadn’t discovered the trick to getting commenters (visiting and commenting on other blogs and of course BlogFrog!) and gaining followers.  Once I ventured into BlogFrog and started checking out other blogs, I started to gain “friends” in the blogging world!  There were three commenters (outside of my family and friends) that started regularly stopping by my blog and leaving comments.  I wanted to take a moment to publically thank them and make sure my newer followers and friends are checking out these blogs too!!

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Liz, of A Belle, A Bean, A Chicago Dog, was the one who helped me figure out the whole commenting and blog world.  The first week I was on BlogFrog, I quickly befriended her and constantly was bugging her for help!!  She was so sweet and when I would tell her “I hate to bug you again, but…”  She would respond by saying, “Don’t worry, I was you just last year, trying to figure out blogging!”  She has consistantly stopped by and commented on my blog, and I always know I can go find her whether on her blogtwitter, facebook or her Blog Frog Community!  Liz also is the host of the world-renowned (or at least blog world-renowned) Word Up, Yo meme!  She also just started a second meme on her blog, Dear You Guys…. which is quickly becoming a fan favorite too!

If you haven’t “met” Liz, yet, make sure you swing by her place and say hello!  You’ll definitely keep going back, I know I do!!

Old Tweener

Sherri, of Old Tweener, became my first, nearly every day commenter.  Like clock-work I knew I could always look forward to a comment from her when I woke up in the morning!  Her blog is THE FUNNIEST blog I have ever read!  This lady leaves me cracking up eachtime I leave her blog!  (In my opinion) She is the QUEEN of Word Up, Yo!  Her entries are always spot-on and of course….hilarious!! 

Sherri’s blog is great because she blogs about every day things like going grocery shopping or teaching a child to drive.  Both tasks, you’d think wouldn’t make very exciting blog posts.  But Oh.My.Gosh. Sherri makes them so exciting and will leave you in stitches!   If you want a great blog to read, then Old Tweener is for you!!

In addition to her blog, you can find her on twitter and facebook!

Funny Story….I was sitting down to finish the post and my little sister goes, “Oh My Gosh, you have to check out this blog, it’s HILARIOUS”.  Alex isn’t one who is into my blogging that much.  She reads it when I make her, but that’s about it.  As much as I love Sherri, I’ve never talked about her to my family (sorry Sherri!).  I ask her what’s the name and she says “something Tweener”.  Turns out Sherri’s blog (and specifically her grocery shopping smackdown post) is making it’s away amongst my sister’s Facebook Friends!  I was excited to get to brag….I know her, Sherri and I actually email and tweet eachother daily!  Not to mention, I had already written this part of the my shoutout post!  Funny!

Not long after Sherri found my blog, so did this fabulous lady, Nain of View From Down Here!  Nain and I clicked right away, and started helping eachother increase eachothers amount of comments (not on perpose, just happened!).  I have spent the last 6 months, feeling like I was right there with Nain as she planned her dream wedding!  The wedding took place last month, and through blogging I felt like I was apart of it all!!  Not only did I get to “go” to her wedding, but she was sweet enough to take me (and all of you)  along with her on her honeymoon to Dublin!  She’ s still playing catch-up from her wedding and honeymoon, so make sure you stop over there and read all about it! 

Not only can you find Nain at her blog, but also on twitter and facebook!  Stop by, say “hi” and enjoy some great reads!

Honorable Mention:

Oh and you are all probably wondering who my Fairy BlogMother I picked was, that I talked about in last week’s B2S/B2B homework assignment!!  Well, those of you who have been following my blog the last couple of months probably have an idea, this was a no-brainer for me!  I chose Kristen of Ladybug Blessings and she was willing (and excited) to help me!  Kristen has helped me 100% of the way through my move from blogger to wordpress and without her, I’d currently not have a blog and living in blogland limbo!!  If you haven’t already, make sure stop by her blog, especially on Tuesdays for her Handmade Pact/Handmade Tuesday’s, where you can check out and link up some great homemade goodies!!

Kristen’s on Twitter too…so make sure you follow her!!

Kludgy Mom 
My homework for Week 4 of the Back To School, Back To Blogging Class over at Kludgy Mom!

Pick, Practice & Plan

We’re now into the 3rd week of Kludgy Mom’s Back To School, Back To Blogging Class.  This week we’re focusing and learning more about tips on using Social Networking (working with Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon and other Blogging Networks) to gain more faithful followers.  This class is perfect, because it helps EVERY blogger, no matter the size!  Gigi (Kludgy Mom), wrote three separate posts for week 3, on tips to help different “levels” of bloggers: New Bloggers (less the 100 followers), Growing Bloggers (100-300 followers) and Established Bloggers (300+ followers).  I’m honored to fall into the middle category of a Growing Blogger with 215 followers on Google Friend Connect!  (Not following me yet?  Don’t worry click the FOLLOW button in the Google Friend Connect box on my right sidebar!)

The challenge this week was to Pick another Idea Bank prompt and write about it.  Pick and practice one of the tips that Kludgy Mom talked about and implement at least one of those tips into my blogging.  The final part is to plan what I want to do to grow my blog to the next level and determine how I am going to get there!

Pick: My post on Monday, I Love Cori?!, completed this task!

Practice: There were two separate tips that I want to work on…

      #7. Comment, comment, comment on blogs you love – I try really hard to leave a meaningful comment on each blog I stop by, even if I’m just popping through!  I know how wonderful it feels when someone leaves me a comment and I want to pay-it-forward!  I try to stop by and comment on everyone’s blog who comments on mine.  I follow this protocol, because it helps me keep track and make sure I’m getting my commenting in!  Plus, it’s a great way to say Thank You to my readers!

     #8. Find a fairy blogmother – One person immediately came to mind, who would be PERFECT to by my fairy blogmother.  I’ve already shot her an email to ask if she’d be willing to!  I hope she says ‘yes’!

Plan:  Stopping by and leaving comments on others blogs has been the best way for me to gain followers and faithful readers!  So I want to continue to leave comments and pass on the bloggy love to others.  I need to also work more with Stumble Upon and “vote” for other blogs, so that more people Stumble Upon my blog!  Those are my goals for the next couple of months!

Kludgy Mom
Part 2 of my homework for Week 3 of the Back To School, Back To Blogging Class over at Kludgy Mom!

I Love Cori?!

I took a trip to Kludgy’s Idea Bank today for inspiration for a blog post!  The prompt that immediately hit me was If you could be a fictitious mom (from TV, books, etc), who would you be?  In about 2.2 seconds, I knew what TV mom, I am most like is the one and only….

i-love-lucy
Why Lucy?  Simple.  Lucy and I are one of a kind.  All we want to do is help other people (and get ourselves noticed and famous at the same time!).  However, whenever we try to do so, we always get into some sort of scuttle along the way!!  Yep, that’s me, all I want to do is help…however it normally doesn’t turn out so picture perfect!  This famous Lucy look…

i_love_lucy2 

Yeah…that’s a famous Cori look too! What, Did I Do That??!!

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Everything I do is in good intention…if only it always came out that way…

Kludgy MomPart 1 of my homework for Week 3 of the Back To School, Back To Blogging Class over at Kludgy Mom!

I Love Lucy Photo Credits:
Photo #1: http://google.com/images….
Photo #2: http://www.posters.ws/images/311690/i_love_lucy.jpg

Most vivid childhood memory

I know I said I wouldn’t be posting my second part of the Back To School/Back To Blogging homework until Tuesday, but well I lied!  So here I am doing my homework early, so unlike me!

From the Idea Bank Prompt #353

There is one memory in my life that has always stuck out as my most vivid memory.  The odd thing is, it’s a memory from when I was just barely three years old.  However, this memory (at that time) was so traumatic, it has actually caused me years of anxiety and stress.  I’ll preface by saying, looking back now, it’s silly, I wasn’t in any harm at all, but when you’re only three-years-old it sure felt like it! 

Okay…now back in time we go to early morning of September 13, 1988….

I woke up, just as I did every morning.  Climbed out of bed and wandered into my parents room.  Upon entering the room, I realized that my parents weren’t in there – no big deal, they must be downstairs already.  I remember wandering downstairs and into the kitchen.  To my shock, nobody was there.  I remember walking out the garage and the car was gone.  The most vivid part of the memory I have is walking back towards the stairs, and climbing the first step thinking “they’ve left me, they don’t want me anymore”.  I was scared out of my mind.

I wandered back up the stairs and was surprised to be met at the top by some family friends.  Turns out, my mom had gone into labor the night before, and delivered my little sister Kelly after I’d gone to bed.  My parents didn’t want to wake me, so they had their friends come stay at the house.  Instead of staying in my parents room, they stayed in our guest room – thus me not noticing them until that moment.  I survived and lived to tell the story, and was “lucky” to get to meet Baby Kelly a few hours later! 

Obviously 22 years have now gone by, but I’m pretty sure that initial “abandonment” feeling has left a strong impression on me.  My whole life, while I know with out a doubt my parents love me and would never everabandon me, I’ve still suffered from extreme anxiety and stress.  I’ve learned to work through it and am getting to the point of being able to say I’m “over it”.  But the memory is still there.  The pain is still there.  I still think about those moments a lot.  The memory still haunts me from time to time.  Not to mention my mom, who for years felt absolutely awful about the pain it caused me.  I wouldn’t trade my parents for anything…but I’d definitely be willing to trade that memory for another one!

Cori & Baby Kelly

  Kludgy MomPart 2 of my homework for Week 2 of the Back To School, Back To Blogging Class over at Kludgy Mom!

 

Writers Block

This week’s Back To School, Back To Blogging theme is on overcoming Writers Block.  The last couple of weeks, since I switched over to WordPress, it seems like I have no motivation to blog.  My blog posts have become more sporadic and not as heartfelt, at least in my opinion.  I’m finding I’m spending more time tweaking the look of my blog then I am adding content to it.  Hopefully that need will soon flip back to the writing aspect!  Until then, I continue to battle Writers Block.  Gigi (Kludgy Mom), had a great Guest Post on Writers Block by The Alabaster Cow, be sure to check it out if you are also struggling with it!

This week Gigi introduced The Idea Bank, where everyone who is participating in the B2S/B2B challenge will add 10 writing prompts to add to the bank.  When the week is over, The Idea Bank should have over 1,000 prompts to go to when Writers Block hits!  This is just the list I submitted…

My List….

  1. Oh No I Didn’t!  Have you ever hit “enter” to soon?  Or realized after you did something that you shouldn’t have!
  2. Anxiety Are you one of the lucky ones who suffers from anxiety?  What do you do to get through it!?!
  3. Go back and re-read your 99th blog post – What did you write about?  What would you change?  Has your blogging style changed since then?
  4. Favorite Childhood Teacher Who sticks on in your mind?  Was it a grade school teacher, a church leader or just a friend you looked up to?
  5. Why did you start blogging?
  6. ….and it landed me in the ER… Explain a time you ended up in the ER, what was the end result?  Did you ever do whatever “it” was again!?!
  7. What one food could you live on the rest of your life?
  8. Ever been thrown a surprise party?  Were you surprised? Shocked? Happy? Angry?  What happened?
  9. Favorite Disney Memory. Was it at Disneyland/Disneyworld?  Was it a movie?  Was it a trip to the Disney Store?  What’s your favorite memory?
  10. Have you met a celebrity?  Who?  Where?  How? 

Come back on Tuesday, and I’ll answer one of my prompts I came up with! 

The other suggestion that was given was participating in “Memes” (describes a concept that spreads swiftly via the Internet).  I’ve participated in quite a few over the last few months.  I have slacked off on my Meme posting lately, but think I’ll start participating in them more to get my thought juices back and flowing!

Kludgy MomPart 1 of my homework for Week 2 of the Back To School, Back To Blogging Class over at Kludgy Mom!

Until tomorrow my friends!

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