Friday, July 22, 2011

Add a Google+ Widget to Your Blog

There are other types of widgets for Google+, but I chose this particular one because I wanted the option of the live feed.   Widgets Plus offers a quick and simple way to create your personal Add Me on Google+ widget!

If you do not want to include the update feed on your widget, just uncheck the box.  You can also change any of the settings by clicking on Main area settings, Title settings, Name text, Button and Bottom text too. This will give you the option to change colors and text size.

Let me know how you liked this widget.  Was it simple to create? If you have any other questions let me know!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Shorten Your Google+ URL

Those of you on Google+ will see that your URL contains a large group of numbers.  Mine looks like this:  I wanted to add my Google+ link to the Contact Information section on my Facebook profile, however, I did not want to add a long link. 

I just happened to be reading a post on one of my favorite blogs, Mike's Life and I noticed at the end of his post he entered a shortened URL inviting his readers to connect with him on Google+.  I was intrigued and found this great tool! Thank you Mike! 

It is so easy to do, just follow the steps above and very easily you will have a shortened URL that will direct to your Google+ profile! 

Now instead of that long URL I can use anywhere! 

Let me know how you like it! If you aren't on Google+ yet,  just add your email and I can send you an invite! 

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Google Plus Invites- A Brilliant Marketing Strategy

My Sixth Birthday PartyImage by Rachel Ford James via FlickrOnly a few (1900) of the world's leaders and Who's Who were invited to the Royal Wedding.  However, how many of us were watching it on the web and on television? According to the New York Times, 3 Billion!

As a child what happened when you and only a select few received an invitation to a birthday party?  It made you feel special, didn't it?  Those who weren't invited felt slighted and secretly hoped that maybe their invitation was on the way, maybe it got lost in the mail, or just maybe it will be in their mailbox later that day! In this case with Google+, well maybe my invitation is in my spam folder! Let me go check!

Google has a party going on and only a select few are invited!  Google+ actually reached it's user limit in the first two days and had to shut down the invites for now!

This isn't the first party Google has had. When they went public back in 2004, prospective investors had to meet  "eligibility and suitability"  requirements to even place a bid to purchase stocks. You had to apply and receive a "bidder ID" and have an account with one of the securities firms handling the sale. The minimum amount of shares depended on the securities firm you belonged to.  They opened at $85 a share back in 2004 and today GOOG is at $535.89!

They used the same strategy when Gmail was launched.  At that time you had to have been invited by someone with a Gmail account.  Later that changed and it was available to anyone who wanted an account. 

This strategy of course makes it desirable to those who have not been invited yet.  Just as we waited for that birthday party invitation back when we were 6, we are all waiting to be included in this next new social network. 

For those that have not been invited yet, here are some of the differences between Google+ and Facebook.  

See you at the party!

Courtesy of Technobombs dot com

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

12 Ounce Baby Amanda

Jaap Vermeulen, Jacoplane in a Neonatal intens...Image via Wikipedia
In all my years of nursing, I can say that working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was one of the most rewarding of my career.  
One of my smallest patients was Baby Amanda. She was born at around 33 weeks gestation, and weighed under 1 pound. She ended up dropping down to 12 ounces a day after she was born. An average weight of a baby at that age should be around 4 pounds instead!
When we took her first picture, we placed a pencil along side of her and the pencil was even longer! 
I was her Primary Care Nurse and took care of her every day until she went home at her desired birth weight of 4.5 pounds. 
Baby Amanda was so strong and feisty! I will never forget her not needing Oxygen or a Ventilator, she was able to breath on her own from the first day of her admission into the NICU! She was all over the Isolette, despite having her swaddled in the sheep skin blanket.  I would find her in all corners of her new home and would have to reposition her back to the center!
Her Mommy was a smoker and also had Pre-Eclampsia during her pregnancy.  When Mom arrived for the first time she asked me where her baby was, and why was there a little doll in the Isolette? I told her that was her baby girl and eventually after the shock wore off she held her little girl for the first time. 
Baby Amanda had a few scares while in the NICU, but after two months we were able to discharge her home. 
There are many studies out about smoking, low birth weight babies and all the other complications that potentially can arise.  However, this study was encouraging for moms who are able to quit smoking as soon as they find out they are pregnant.  Of course there are never any guarantees, as there are many other variables that can affect this outcome. 
"The findings are based on data from more than 50,000 pregnant women in Southampton, England, from 2002 to 2010. The average weight of babies born to smokers who kicked the habit when they found out they were pregnant was 33 grams (10.6 ounces) more than babies born to women who kept smoking during their pregnancyAgence France-Presse reported."
I lost track of Baby Amanda after she was discharged but always wondered how she was. She would be around 23 years old today! 
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Birthday Gift for a Homeless Child

Bear's Birthday

Join Bear as he celebrates his birthday in this latest addition to the bestselling Bear series. Help Bear count backwards from 10 to 0 and find out who is making his balloons disappear.
Ages 2 to 6 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Debbie Harter

In the month of July for every Bear's Birthday book sold, Barefoot Books will donate a book to:
Birthday Wishes Bringing Birthday Parties to Homeless Children  

The Birthday Wishes Mission

"Our mission is simple: To bring birthday parties to homeless children. Birthday Wishes recognizes the importance of a birthday in a child's life and believes that the gift of a birthday celebration provides normalcy, joy and hope in these children's otherwise unsettled lives. 

Our grassroots philosophy fosters the spirit of volunteerism and community service in the adults, children and families who donate their time and resources to our mission." 

"Birthday Wishes was founded in November 2002 by Lisa Vasiloff, Karen Yahara, and Carol Zwanger – three friends and colleagues who wanted to help homeless children build self-esteem. Having volunteered in several homeless shelters, it occurred to the trio - as they attended one of their own children’s birthday parties - that at the shelters, children’s birthdays often came and went uncelebrated. Their subsequent research indicated that no organizations existed exclusively to provide birthday parties to children living in homeless shelters. After speaking with local shelters and state advocacy groups, they found that most homeless shelters do not have the personnel or resources necessary to hold birthday parties for the children who stay there. Furthermore, the parent (usually a mom) is often unable, both economically and emotionally, to organize a party for her child. Some parents, embarrassed that they don’t have money for cakes and presents, don’t even tell their children that they have a birthday. For homeless children, birthday parties are a luxury that neither the parent nor the shelter can afford.

Yet a birthday is an important event in the life of a child, and Birthday Wishes was founded on the belief that every child, regardless of their living situation, should have their birthday recognized and celebrated. Birthday Wishes has found that something as simple and ‘normal’ as a birthday party has the power to make these children feel both special, and, perhaps more important, like a “regular kid”. 

Send a Free Birthday E-card to Your Friends and Family!
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Don't forget to visit Birthday Wishes to see how you can help bring a birthday party to a homeless child in your community! Thank you!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July- A Family Tradition

We love to go out on Puget Sound on the 4th of July.  We usually spend the day on the water and then watch the fireworks from the boat.  It is one of my favorite things to do.  This year my husband has to work so we will not be able to go.  So I decided to post our pictures of a previous year to share with everyone.

At times I take for granted the wonderful backdrops that our State has to offer.  Mt. Rainier is one of them.  There are times while driving I will come upon a view of this majestic volcano and it takes my breath away.  However, it is something to see when it hovers over the Puget Sound, as you can see above in the picture.

My husband and I usually go earlier in the day.  He loves to fish and I will just rest on the boat reading a good book.  I love watching the seals as they come close for a visit too!

We sometimes stop and park the boat at C.I. Shenanigans Restaurant and walk up the back deck to have lunch, right from the water!  After a great lunch we go pick up the kids at one of the local docks.  

We have two granddaughters now, but this picture is of Grace, our eldest.  This was her first ride on the boat and she loved it! My daughter-in-law was pregnant at the time these pictures were taken with our second granddaughter Adia! 

Grace and Alyx

Alyx and Grace
Randy and Grace

Then the sun starts to set and you begin to see all the boats congregating to their special spots on the water.  By this time Grace is getting excited!  She can hear some of the early fireworks being shot around town.  You hear the first boom and then they start!  She thought they were falling right on top of her!

4th of July Fireworks on the Sound
We normally spend the night on the boat and then in the morning drive over to Gig Harbor for breakfast!  Now that ends a perfect weekend.

We had such a great time and can't wait until next year. Wishing all of you a safe and wonderful 4th of July 2011!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Destruction of a Family-The Loss of Caylee Anthony

Flower by NGA Fountain

I have not been able to watch the murder trial about the precious little girl, Caylee Anthony.  Yes, I have seen portions of it on the news.  However, there is something about the destruction of a family and a loss of a young child that keeps me from watching the details.

The ramifications from this child's death are insurmountable. Waking up each day, for a brief second thinking that it was all a bad dream and realizing that it wasn't, must be a horrible fate for them.

The loss of a child is unbearable, but if they die as a result of our hands or from neglect, then I think I would not be able to wake up each day. I pray for the entire family.  I can't even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow that this is bringing them. They have lost a grandchild and a daughter at the same time.

I picture little Caylee in the arms of Jesus in Heaven, happily playing with the other children.  It is the only way I choose to think of her. Not how they found her remains or how she died.  She is a little angel of God and she will live on with Him by His side.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.