Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Christmas Town in the Cascade Mountains

No matter what time of year you visit, Leavenworth is one of the prettiest towns in Washington!

However, if you can make it to Leavenworth in December you will not be disappointed!

We have been able to visit this beautiful "Bavarian" Town several times since we have been living here in Washington State.

The Christmas Lighting Ceremony is one not to be missed. Check out all the wonderful activities just waiting for you in this little Christmas Town!

How to Get to Leavenworth

A fun way to get to Leavenworth for the Christmas Lighting Ceremony is on the Snow Train from Alki Tours.  The tour runs on December 3 or 10 or 17, 2011.

Alki Tours
By Car or Train
From Seattle to Leavenworth
From Portland, OR to Leavenworth
From Spokane to Leavenworth
From Vancouver, BC to Leavenworth
Via Amtrak

Some of the Fun Activities

If you would like to stay in Leavenworth, we recommend visiting the Sleeping Lady- A Mountain Resort. We have stayed there several times and wouldn't stay anywhere else. Your stay includes a wonderful breakfast and dinner. 

A Day in Leavenworth With the Family

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Did Triberr Give Me Klout?

Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What is Triberr?

Triberr was created by Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo.  For the "mom and pop" or new blogger it is a great tool to increase reach on Twitter and exposure to your blog.

For Triberr to benefit you, you must have a blog that you post on regularly and also have an account on Twitter.

To join Triberr you would receive an invitation, which will be sent to you via direct message on Twitter by somebody you know.

To Find Out More About Triberr Click Here!
How Has Triberr Helped Me?

I was invited to Triberr at the end of August 2011, however I wasn't blogging due to an illness. 

At the time the tweets were automated so it looked like I was somewhat active on Twitter!  This feature is no longer available at this time. Once I returned and started blogging again I began to see all the benefits of using Triberr.

Each time I wrote a post on my blog my "Tribe" members were tweeting them and of course I was doing the same for them.  I created my own "Tribe" and joined other "Tribes" too.  My Twitter reach began to increase.

I control which posts I would like to tweet out and before deciding on joining an already established "Tribe" I visit their blogs as well. 

Where Are Your Posts Going?

Not only are your blog posts being "Tweeted" on Twitter, they can also be "Liked" on Facebook, "+1'd" on Google+, "Stumbled" on StumbleUpon and shared on LinkedIn!

Remember I Had Stopped Blogging?

To measure how Triberr has increased my reach, I am going to use Klout scoring as my example. To learn more about Klout please visit their Website Here.  During the time I stopped blogging, Klout also changed their algorithms.  When I returned in October, my score had plummeted.

Here you can see that 30 days ago when I wasn't blogging, my Klout Score was only 31.  On October 28, 2011 I started blogging again.  As of today, November 27, 2011, my Klout Score has increased to 43 and my True Reach increased by 568!

Visit Klout Here!
In Review

I recommend Triberr to any blogger that would like to increase their exposure in the blogosphere! I feel that in the past 30 days, being a member of Triberr was what helped me get back on my feet so to speak!  I also have been able to connect with other bloggers and visit their great blogs too. 

Please refer back to Triberr's website for more information and to see if you would like to join this very active community.

If you would like an invitation to Triberr I have a few requirements! Send me your blog link  and request to @LisaLadrido on Twitter!

Thank you Dino and Dan for this great community of bloggers called Triberr!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mom Bloggers~ A Great Community for You!

I wish I could remember how I stumbled upon VoiceBoks, so I could thank the person who had this badge on their blog.  I know I must have been Blog Hopping for sure. However, thankfully I did and joined this great Community.  The group of mostly women and yes even a few Daddy's are gently and graciously guided by the creator of VoiceBoks, Lexie. Besides having a young baby and husband at home, VoiceBoks is her other baby! 

She has created a community that embraces the promotion and support of others.  Once you join you are greeted immediately by members who make you feel like you are stopping in for a cup of coffee and sitting down at their kitchen table.

We have Blog Hops integrated on the site, wonderful groups that help you gain followers to your blogs utilizing the different forms of Social Media, education and support.  Some of the categories that you will find here are Pregnancy, Children, Health, Recipes, Deals and Steals and an organized Directory.  The Directory includes Arts and Crafts, Go Green, Parenting, Party Ideas and even Shops, to name just a few.

When I watched this movie "Oh, Thank Goodness, It's Not Just Me!", I thought of this wonderful group and community called VoiceBoks ~The Voice of Motherhood.   

Make sure your volume is up, click Play and Enjoy this quick movie! 

"No matter what stage of life a woman is in, Oh Thank Goodness It's Not Just Me by Lisa Hammond and BJ Gallagher, shares a message of hope woman to woman and heart-to-heart: You are not alone. The authors encourage women to overcome self-doubt, anxiety and self consciousness by connecting and sharing real-world experiences with each other." 

"Oh Thank Goodness It's Not Just Me illustrates the power of sharing stories and celebrates women's interdependence. It taps into the power of connection and community, eliminating the need to be perfect, while giving women the freedom to share their feelings, to forgive both themselves and others and to ask for help. The book allows women to see the possibilities of rebounding and reinventing themselves." 

"Oh Thank Goodness It's Not Just Me shows women that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences—that they are free to share who they really are with the world."

To me this book and movie describe exactly what VoiceBoks is all about. Just click either of the VoiceBoks' Badges and come and visit us, you may want to stay awhile!

Lexie Lane and Ro Little have also created WikiMommy! You are welcome to visit this great addition to the VoiceBoks Community and even become a contributor!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

@TheEllenShow - Please Help Rachel Breathe

Help Rachel Breathe Official Website
On November 2, 2011 I wrote a blog post about Rachel Phillips. Please read it here.  

We are trying to get Rachel and her story on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to raise awareness for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and at the same time get the donations for the surgery and aftercare that Rachel needs.  

Here is where you can help!  Go to this LINK: The Ellen Show 

Scroll down to:  "Be a Part of the Show" & "Nominate a Deserving Person in Need."  

Fill out the upper part of the form. When it asks for a picture, use the picture above that is used for this post. 

When it asks for the web address... use this web address:
(it will link them to the helprachelbreathe web page)

Next it will ask you to TELL US YOUR STORY: You can copy and paste the text below...however keep the same title and remove the part (***my personal info***) and ENTER YOUR OWN INFORMATION.

PLEASE USE THIS EXACT TITLE BEFORE ENTERING YOUR OWN TWO SENTENCES. WE WANT ALL OF THEM TO HAVE THE SAME TITLE! There is only space for 1500 characters, so when you enter your personal information in between the *** make sure you don't go over! Here is the text:

****My name is Jaclynn Boley and I have Classical Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome just like my friend Rachel Phillips. EDS is a debilitating disease that led to me being disabled and unable to work at the age of 33.*****
Rachel is 34 years old and a former dancer with the Royal Ballet of London. She also danced at the Kirov in Russia, the Nashville Ballet, Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah and other dance companies both here and abroad. Unfortunately, she developed a serious medical condition that has caused her to put her life on hold for the past several years. Her airways are failing from severe tracheobronchomalasia (TBM), a condition that causes trachea and bronchial airways to collapse. The underlying condition that brought about this problem in her case was Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – a genetic, connective tissue disorder that affects the collagen in the body. Dr. Paolo Macchiarini is using Rachel's own stem cells to create new trachea to replace the one collapsing over 90% every time Rachel takes a breath. Because of regulations in the us the surgery must be done in Sweden and will be performed after the first of next year. Rachel and her husband Steven have exhausted all of their savings to keep her alive and need your help to get to Sweden to get this surgery. Without the surgery Rachel has been given less than a year to live.
Please help us save Rachel's life and bring awareness to EDS and this surgery that could save so many other lives.


Then simply hit send and it's on its way to the show's producers....
You do not have to be from the U.S. to fill out and send this & * If you are under the age of 18, your parent/guardian must fill this out with his/her info and then tell your story on your behalf.

With your help we can get Rachel's story to ELLEN and hopefully get Rachel and Steven Phillips the help they need.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to fill this form out. It will only take a few minutes out of your day and could change the lives of two very deserving people.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Letter to My Daughter

© Merrill Dyck | Dreamstime.com

We found out I was pregnant with you not too long after our honeymoon! I was so happy, I had been wanting to be a mommy for as long as I could remember. Having a life grow inside of me was truly a miracle from God.

Your Daddy and I lived in a one bedroom apartment in Tampa, FL.  We had already planned to put the bassinet in our room in the beginning. We were thinking of moving into a bigger place by the time you were old enough to be in a crib.

Morning sickness hit me pretty hard, but it reminded me that you were here with me. That lasted a good 12 weeks. I remember getting ready for work in the morning and your Daddy would play some Cat Stevens music, that was his name back then!

The both of us in 1983
Work was pretty tough, I was working as a CNA until I took my Registered Nurse license exam. One of my co-workers would always disappear when I needed him the most.  I had to lift and bathe patients and didn't want to do any lifting while pregnant. Sadly, I ended up doing quite a bit of that, it became unavoidable.  Sometimes I think back on those days and wish I had protected you more.

Our doctor was Dr. William Capps, he was wonderful. We went for our check up and we heard your heart beat for the first time. The sound was so magical. You sounded like a horse galloping!  You were moving a lot by now.  Your Daddy and I would talk to you and tell you how much we loved you.

By now I was starting to feel better and the morning sickness was gone. I loved being pregnant! You made me so happy! I couldn't wait to meet you. Since we still had a few months to go, guess what we did?  We got a puppy!
She was a Cocker Spaniel and her name was Bernadette.  She loved to chew on everything! Your Daddy named her after his favorite actress, Bernadette Peters!  She had red curly hair too and such a cute puppy!   Now I can see why your Daddy wanted to name her Bernadette!!  I couldn't wait for you to get here so that you could play with her! 

Bernadette Peters at a Broadway Barks booksign...
Image via Wikipedia
We were getting things ready for you. My friends from work gave me a baby shower!  I think I went through and folded and refolded all the tiny clothes that you would soon be wearing!

Daddy and Mommy both worked at the same hospital.  On our way home from work we had a hit and run accident. I was 7 months pregnant and that night I started to have contractions.  We were so scared.  Daddy took me to the hospital.  They checked me out and thankfully you were okay!

Your Grandma came and visited us from Puerto Rico.  You were going to be their first grand-baby   She made you a Bambi cross stitch blanket.  Together we also made a wall quilt that was going in your room. It had little animals in a hot air balloon, rolling hills and a tree with birds flying through white puffy clouds.  I made yellow gingham curtains to match and we painted an old dresser white that was going in your room too. Time was getting close for you to arrive.  We had a great visit but she had to get back home to Grandpa!

Around a week before you were due to arrive I went shopping with your Aunt Debi for more items for your room.  A couple of times during the day I started to get painful cramps, but they only lasted a few seconds.

After I got home, Daddy and I sat and began to watch "The Miracle of Life".  I started to realize that I hadn't felt you move in the last few hours.  My heart sank, we both tried to make you move but nothing happened. Daddy quickly called Dr. Capps and we were off to the hospital.

I was so scared, you just had one more week to go, I didn't want to think that maybe we had lost you, at least not yet. They placed me in a room and asked Daddy to go to admitting to fill out some paperwork.  My Dr. wasn't there yet, so the on call Dr. arrived and turned the sonogram machine on.

As an NICU nurse I knew what I was looking for. As he placed the warm gel on my belly I started to pray silently to God.  Then your tiny little image appeared on the screen, but your heart was no longer beating. I didn't have to wait for the Dr. to tell me the news, I already knew.

Daddy finally showed up and I had to tell him. We were devastated and heart broken. They tried to induce me and as I was laying there separated by only curtains, I could hear the other moms giving birth to their healthy babies. Tears were just streaming down my face as I heard the cries, I knew I wasn't going to be hearing the sound of your sweet voice.

My contractions were getting stronger, however I wasn't feeling any pain.  The nurses couldn't believe it. I was determined not to deliver you naturally.  I couldn't go through with it, I was physically and emotionally drained.  They wanted to wait another day before they had to perform a C/S.

The next day they tried to induce me again.  I wasn't dilating or feeling any physical pain.  My heart was aching, the loss of being able to have you in my life was unbearable. Our doctor finally decided to perform the C/S.  I was relieved, I don't think I could handle another day of the same.

After the surgery the nurse brought you in to us.  Soon I was holding you in my arms. You had dark curly hair and a sweet turned up little nose. You were precious. I didn't want to hand you back to the nurse.  I couldn't, not just yet. I had to look at you so that the memory of your sweet little face would never be erased for as long as I lived. We named you Alexandra Christine.

Your Daddy was so strong, strong for both of us. He took care of the baptism and burial.  I couldn't deal with it. I had to stay in the hospital for a few more days.  I felt empty inside. I would wake up from sleeping and was hoping it was all a bad dream.  I had carried you for nine months and now you were gone.  
© Crystalvenus | Dreamstime.com

I love you my dear Alexandra Christine and I miss you terribly.  You are in Heaven now with your Grandma.  I know that you are both looking down on us.  You have three younger brothers too!  One day we will all be together again.

Love Always,
Your Mommy

I have been wanting to write this down for quite some time.  I guess I have been avoiding doing so because of the fear of reliving the pain all over again.  However, it was long over due.  I want to thank Elisa Hirsch from The Golden Sky Blogfest, for allowing me to write about my sweet daughter.

EC Writes

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Social Media Etiquette

Social Media Etiquette-What Would Emily Post Say?
I have seen many mistakes when it comes to posting on the internet.  I have made some of these mistakes myself! Some of the posts that I have seen make me cringe! I often wonder what would Emily Post say?!!

Erik Qualman the founder of Socialnomics says, “We don’t have a choice whether we Do social media, the question is how well we Do it.” 

Image: farconville / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
   Desperation Breeds Contempt  
Maybe contempt is too harsh of a word, but we are trying to make a point!  These are a few synonyms found in the dictionary under contempt, “Unworthy of one's notice or disdain”.  Stop the self promotion!

If your wall streams are only of your glorious opportunity and how your readers need to join now, then you are going to turn away many a potential customer. 

Maybe your product or opportunity is the best thing since peanut butter! Let’s try to find other ways to promote it, not by posting continuously about it or about you.

One question for you to ponder, how do you feel when you walk into the car dealership, do you want to be the salesman or the relationship builder? 

Share information that others send out, give credit where credit is due. Give more than you receive back. Relax and enjoy the ride!

Image: ningmilo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Say it Correctly
Sometimes I find that I may be over thinking when it comes to posting, but I try to be careful regarding grammar, punctuation and content.  

Keep it simple and to the point, thankfully with the arrival of Twitter you have to be to the point, in just 140 characters! 

Make sure your links are working too. Always test your links before you send them. Again we are all being judged whether we like it or not! 

Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Friend Requests Without Messages
When you are requesting to be “friends” with people you personally do not know on Facebook, you should always send a message with your request. 

Using common courtesy should be common sense! I am more apt to accept a friend request from someone that has a message attached than from those that have not.  

Most of the other social networks allow you to add people to your "Circles" or "Followers" without a request, as is with Google+ and Twitter. It is then up to you if you want to return the "Follow"!

Image: mack2happy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sending Messages with Just Links
I receive many tweets with just links; I will not open those links.  

There is no guarantee that people will click on your link even with a message.  However, the odds are you will have more that will if you are including a message with it. 

Of course building trust is an important piece of this complicated puzzle.

Image: Damian Brandon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Scarcity vs. Abundance Mentality
How to handle competition can be difficult for some.  According to the Internet World Stats’ website there are currently over 2 billion internet users worldwide.   

If you are selling face cream, then there are a lot of potential faces out there that you could be targeting, even if you are just trying to sell on the web!  In other words there is enough for all of us to share in this abundant market. Just embrace your competitors and think abundantly!

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Using Automated Messages 
This can be debated either way.  There are some that will automatically stop following those that use this method.  Then there are those like myself that just grin and bear it! There are several twitter automation tools. 

Welcoming your new followers with a generic message is something that is a time saver.  However, once the message is out you should follow up with a personally written message.  I do not recommend posting a link to your opportunity in these messages. 

If you use these tools, you should still manage your tweets and how often they are tweeted. You need to avoid that the same welcome message is sent repeatedly to the same followers.

Remember we are here to build relationships.  If you are just using automated messages, this does not necessarily send that message.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The X Factor USA with LeRoy Bell!

Enter LeRoy's Website

I am a Simon Cowell fan, so of course I began watching The X Factor when it first started airing.  As a 50 something grandmother and mother of 5, I loved that there was no upper age limit unlike American Idol

One of the contestants is LeRoy Bell.  He is the oldest member of the current contestants trying to win the Grand Prize, which is a $5,000,000 recording contract! Does he look 60? Uhmm... No!! 

View of Mt. Rainier near our home in Washington!

When I first heard him sing it was amazing! Then I realized that he was also from the Seattle area too!  So quickly he became our number one favorite in our home! 

Visit his website to read more about him! 
Nicole Talking About LeRoy

Who is your favorite?  Don't forget to vote!
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Monday, November 7, 2011

New Feature on #Triberr!

For those of you on Triberr there have been quite a few changes happening in the last few days!  The Triberr Team have been quite busy, Batman and Robin they are! Among some of the new changes is the "Editing Your Post Titles".

Adding the Hashtags to our tweets has been something that I have wanted to do and couldn't figure out how. Thankfully Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo are always on top of the newest and the latest and they took care of it for us!  It is very easy to do.  

Click on "My Stream":

Then Click "EDIT":

In this post, I had published my blog post and then went back and changed the title. However, when it fed into my Triberr Stream the old title still was showing.  So now I am able to change the title right on Triberr so when my Tribemates tweet, it will be the correct Title! 

After you click "EDIT", it will bring up the box where you can change your title and add hashtags if you so choose. This picture is showing my old title. 

Here I changed my title and added the Hashtags!  Don't forget to "Save"!

After you click on "Save" it will show you the message that, "Your New Title Has Been Saved", showing you the changed title.  Now you only have to "Refresh Your Stream" and that is it!

Now wasn't that easy?! Thank you Batman and Robin!!  How do you like Triberr?

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