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How to back up your blog on Blogger

If you’re a blogger you’ve probably had a nightmare or two about your blog disappearing. All of your hard work, photos and years of writing poof GONE. I’ve had it a few times and I usually back up my blog as soon as I wake up the next morning. Over the last year or so I’ve heard/seen that many people do not know how to back up their blogs or they’ve just simply never done it. So I am hear today to show you how to back up your Blogger blog if you aren’t aware how. It’s really a simple process, no need to pull out the big guns here. Just follow these simple steps are you’ll be all set.

Select Settings

Select Other (it’s the last option under settings)

Select export blog

A box will pop up saying
“Export your blog into the Blogger Atom export format. You can do this to move your blog to another blogging service or simply to store your blog on your own hard drive. Learn more

Don’t worry, your blog will still remain on Blogger until you delete it.”

Don’t freak out, just click Download Blog” and save the file and that’s it. Nothing will be deleted, or moved. Everything will be just as it was but now you will have a file of your blog so if something were to ever happen and your blog went missing in action. 

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Wordless Wednesday-Happy New Year

The last week in 2012 was an awesome week. We had a wonderful quiet Christmas with our kids and we got to experience our very first white Christmas. While we didn’t get a whole bunch of snow on Christmas we ended up getting some more snow two days later. I am not sure which day had more accumulation but in the end it didn’t matter. Seeing my kids outside playing together, running around chasing each other with snow and making snow angels…it was perfect.

I know I shared two photos last week of the snow but I am still giddy over it that I have to share a few more.

First thing I did when I woke up was grab my camera and run outside…in the safety of the garage of course, it was windy.
 I don’t know what possessed me to do this photo in black and white but I just couldn’t see it any other way.
 Snow cone perhaps?

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

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Making holiday shopping easier with Kmart layaway

This is a sponsored post, I am a Kmart Layaway blogger, though all opinions are my own.

BLG_Logo_Horizontal.jpg (3 documents, 3 total pages)

Would you believe that I have never actually used layaway? Yeah, sad isn’t it. I have always wanted to use a layaway program and this year I plan to take full advantage with Kmarts free layaway. For me it’s kind of like going on a shopping spree for free. Okay not really free free but being able to make payments and having no service fees associated with Kmarts layaway is a HUGE help for a single family income. Another thing I love and I think is genius is that their layaway program is not just during the holidays but year round! So you can start your holiday shopping or birthday shopping at any time during the year. Here is a brief breakdown on what Kmart layaway offers versus some other major retailers.

Kmart Free Layaway Grid 09_12.jpg

Another benefit is being able to shop from home. I know many of you might not think this is a huge deal but being a stay at home Mom to three children does has it’s disadvantages when it comes to shopping for gifts. It’s rare when I get a chance to go out with out my kiddos so given the chance to shop online or in the store I will choose online. It’s not just for the conienance either. My kids, bless their little hearts but they don’t know how to keep a secret and I don’t want any surprise ruined for any of them by someone saying “ohhhhh Mommy and Daddy got you a _________” for Christmas!” Yes it has happened and I have since learned my lesson on shopping for holiday gifts with my little ones.

I’ve been browsing their layaway and have already found a few…okay a lot of things that I would love to get my kids this year.

My kids would absolutely flip over this playset. Not only would it look great in the yard but it would provide hours of fun for the kids.

My daughter has been asking for a Monster High Doll ever since they first came out.

My youngest is all boy and loves all things Lego, he has been known to steal his big brothers Legos as soon as my oldest turns his back so this would be perfect for him.

And my oldest while he is also a lover of Legos he is also a lover of airplanes and has been hinting about wanting a remote control airplane. I think this one would be a great starter for him to take to our local remote control airplane strip.


As if we would need another reason to go check out Kmart and their layaway program, right now they have a fabulous giveaway kick off this years holiday season. Kmart’s Big Layaway Giveaway. There will be one winner, every every week from every store who will win their remaining balance of their layaway cart being paid off. Yes you read that right, they will pay the balance on your layaway cart! So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Kmarts free layaway and start your holiday shopping!

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Cradle of Rome 2 Winner

And the winner of the Cradle of Rome 2 for Nintendo 3 DS is……..drum roll please……

CONGRATS commenter #33 @misaacmom  who said “i would love to win this for my DD”. I hope your daughter loves it! I will send you an email shortly Mary.

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PSA for the new school year [Guest Post]

As the new school year winds up, I always like to share video as a reminder. Education is the key.

Heather spends her days in the world of finance and many nights juggling the demands of  a wife, mother, and writer. Her blog, Cool and Hip, I Am Not, is widely read by at least six people.  She loves long walks on the beach, appropriately placed apostrophes, and ice-cold Diet Cokes.  Her first novel is in the works. 

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Top picks for free Android photography apps

I have been using the Droid Razr for four months now and I have to say I love this phone. Seriously LOVE it. In one of my previous posts I mentioned how it felt like the top of the phone was top heavy to I always felt like it was going to drop. Since purchasing a phone case for the phone it helped even out the balance issues I was having while holding the phone and I haven’t had any issues since.

One of the things I use my phones for a lot is taking photos. It is my go to thing to grab if I don’t have my Nikon with me. And of course half of the fun is sharing those photos online so an app with social sharing is a must. I wanted to share a few of my favorite free Android Apps for photography.

This app is a given. Instagram has a lot of followers/users and since it’s release on the Android market those numbers have probably only doubled.

This app is a new one to me but I very quickly became addicted to it. The fun thing about it is the many choices of cameras it offers. Along with the different camera options you can also choose different lenses with the cameras. It also offers three different resolutions (Small:472px, Medium:700px, Large:1280px).


This app currently has over 70 free effects and tools to edit your photos. Little photo also offers more ways to edit your photos such as adjusting the brightness, contrast, exposure, saturation and smoothing the skin. The plugin is not free but with all of the options available on the free version I would definitely suggest checking the free version out first.

Another app that is more about the camera then the editing afterwards. One of my favorite camera options is the fisheye. Yes I said fisheye. It’s very fun to take photos with. They also offer the Instant camera which adds toy camera effects to your photos. It also offer Posters images, Symetric and of course Normal camera.

Another app that has quickly become a favorite of mine. With features such as Tilt shift, Panorama, Collage, and of course sharing through social networks. And even better this app is not only available for free on Android but you can also get it free for your iPhone and iPad.

This app offers a wide variety of filters for you to choose from as well as borders and lighting that you can add to your photo. And they don’t have just your typical borders and textures that a lot of the other apps offer. I have been using this app for well over a year and I still love it.

There you have it, my pick of top free Android photography apps. Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention? I would to know what your go to photography app is.

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Dealing with phobias in children

I wrote this post in May of 2010 but for some reason it never made it to the published folder. My daughter has started to grow out of her phobias, well some of them, not all but I still wanted to share this advice and hopefully get others opinions and/or advice on this subject. 

The other week the kids and I were driving to pick my husband up from work when the older two started freaking out. There was a fly in the car. Now my oldest has always been a little panicky over little things so I was used to his reaction. What I wasn’t prepared for was my daughters. She was in full breakdown mode. Shaking, lots of tears and you could tell just by looking at her she was terrified. We had a similar experience a few days ago while she and I were running some errands. This time the bug was no bigger then the tip of a pencil. When I parked she climbed into my arms and told me she didn’t want the bug to kill her. This just broke my heart hearing her say this.

So I started researching phobias in children. The definition of phobia is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to compelling desire to avoid it (from Anxiety and phobias are completely natural in children. It helps them grow. When your child goes through separation anxiety, it is a phobia of being away from you. According to some of the most common fears are as follows:
  • Babies experience stranger anxiety, clinging to parents when confronted by people they don’t recognize.
  • Toddlers around 10-18 months old experience separation anxiety, becoming emotionally distressed when one or both parents leave.
  • Kids ages 4 through 6 have anxiety about things that aren’t based in reality, such as fears of monsters and ghosts.
  • Kids ages 7 through 12 often have fears that reflect circumstances that may happen to them, such as bodily injury and natural disaster.
Every child experiences these phobias/fears differently. My son used to be afraid of the dark and sleeping. This was caused from how many times we moved in a short period of time. Adjusting his sleeping situation really caused havoc on him feeling safe in his own home. There were many nights spent sitting on the floor next to his bed holding his hand or stroking his cheek until he fell asleep. Here are some signs/symptoms of having a phobia (Taken from
  • becoming clingy, impulsive, or distracted
  • nervous movements, such as temporary twitches
  • problems getting to sleep and/or staying asleep longer then usual
  • sweaty hands
  • accelerated heart rate and breathing
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • stomachaches
While my daughter is facing her fears (she notices a bug) I hold her and tell her the bug will not hurt her and that I am here for her. I do this over and over until she calms down. We saw a snake a few months back and it brought on nightmares for a week. Soin addition to her normal bedtime routine we also held her hand as she closed her eyes since that was usually when she would have the hardest time. We also explained all about snakes while she was awake and answered all of her questions. I’ve found that children have an easier time dealing with their fears if they know all about what it is they fear. A lot of fears are simply because it’s unknown to them. So educating them is a great way to help them.

Now, how do you handle this with your children? Are there certain tricks that have worked with your little one?

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Sunset Sunday-Goodbye SFO

I know I have been a little lack on my Sunset Sunday posting and for that I apologize. Between the holidays and a surprise trip to California my mind has been on overdrive. I sat down this morning to search through some old photos when I remembered I had taken a few shots while in California and ended up finding two shots I took from the plane as we took off from San Francisco. Lucky for me they actually turned out. I wasn’t expecting them to since I quickly turned on the camera, took the pictures and then right away turned it off. Sneaky, but I couldn’t resist capturing the view.

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Wordless Wednesday-Cali style

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone. This week has been one chalked full of all kinds of emotions. Happy, sad, excited, a bit of anxiety and fun. I fly back home tomorrow and while I will miss my family I cannot wait to see my husband and babies. I miss them so much and I may or may not have cried a few times because I am just a sap like that. 
Here are a few pictures of what I have been up to while I’ve been here.
 Got a new purse big enough for my laptop, yay for sales and gift cards!
 My sister treated me to my very first manicure
 It’s January and I am wearing capris…woohoo
Right after acting like little children with my sister and niece and 
we all cried from laughing so hard. Fun time right there.
Drinking coffee from the cup I gave my parents of the kids. I’ve used it every day since I’ve been here. This mama bear misses her babies.
For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:
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Lego announces Lego Friends

Lego announced recently that on January 1, 2012 they will be releasing a new line called Lego Friends and it’s geared specifically for girls. I don’t know about you but I am excited about this. We have two boys and one girl and my boys LOVE anything and everything Lego. My daughter also enjoys Legos but more often then not, she feels a little left out when the boys are playing with their Legos building airplanes, warships and whatnot . She will occasionally build some things but it’s a little hard to build something to her liking when the millions of pieces that we own are all from boy themed sets such as Star Wars, Hero Factory and Cars. I know they have the boxed sets that include Legos with all sorts of colors, and they even have a pink brick box geared for little girls that they can build a house, a car, a horse with.  In case you’ve never seen it it can be found here.

Today I came across an article on Circle of Moms: “Lego Friends Line for Girls Raises Controversy“. And curious I searched and found a few more.  Jezebel wrote “Lego Targets Girls with pink blocks, cute figures, & no creativity“. HLN wrote “Do girls really need pink Legos“.

Honestly I do not get what all the hooplah is about. This whole should toys be separated by gender is a joke. Most toys out there today are in fact separated by gender. What are Barbies? A toy geared specifically for girls, or how about Disney Princess, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, the list goes on and on. And it also goes visa versa for toys geared specifically for boys. There’s Tonka, Hot Wheels, Action Figures, Batman, Star Wars. It’s been this way since I was a kid. We had most of the items I mentioned above and a few more such as She-ra and Rainbow Bright and boys had He-man and die-cast Transformers. You get the picture I am trying to paint?

The second article ruffled my feathers a little bit just in it’s title. No creativity, really? I think they did pretty darn good in the making of these Legos. Not only were the characters created as smart but in the descriptions of each character they lists a few of their interest and for them to list what they want to be is awesome in my mind. I mean what little girl wouldn’t want to play with a Lego such as the character Olivia who’s bio states:

I love: My friends, science, school, drawing, inventing things, nature, hiking, photography, history. 
I want to be: A scientist or an engineer. 

Or how about Andrea. Her bio states:  
I love: Writing and composing my own songs.
I want to be: A musician/singer-songwriter.
No girls do not NEED pink Legos but there is nothing wrong with adding a little extra touch to a product to gear it towards a specific sex. It’s called marketing and people in that field know how to do their job and in Legos case I think they are doing it extraordinarily well. Not only that but Legos in general are a great resource for growing kids. They can provide hours of entertainment, and not mind numbing entertainment that a TV provides but they get you to use your brain. Figure out what piece goes where, you can build by separating by color, by size, they can be used to teach math, they teach them how to think three dimensionally, helps with fine motor development, learning patterns, do I need to go on? 

I for one will be purchasing a set or two, possibly even three for my little girl not only for the learning benefits but simply because I am all for toys with positive message behind them.

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