Have you ever stopped to think about how awesome blogs can be?
How many times have you read a blog post and come away inspired, amused, or better informed? Have you ever cooked a delicious recipe you found on a blog? Tried a fun activity with your family? Have you ever read something that made you feel connected to the writer and a little less alone?
I read blogs almost every day and I can say, without any doubt, that my world is better and richer for it. If you’re here reading this on my blog, I bet it’s a safe bet that you read and enjoy blogs too. But how often do we take the time to thank bloggers for all the work they do for us? Tuesday was Pay a Blogger Day, an event that started by a company called Flattr. Flattr provides a service that helps you to make small monetary donations to bloggers whose sites you enjoy. Though I don’t use Flattr myself, I’m behind this idea 100%. Because I maintain my own blog, I have a pretty realistic idea about how much time and energy goes into a typical blog post. Sure, it’s often fun work, but it still takes a lot of time to sit down and write a post, think a project through and sometimes photograph it too.
When I start thinking about what I get from blogs — almost always for free — I want very much to give a little bit back to the people who inspire me. Most often, I do this by beginning my Amazon shopping using the affiliate links on the blogs I love. It doesn’t matter what items the blog links to — anything I buy on Amazon using an affiliate link goes toward the blogger’s account. This puts a little money in their pockets for very little effort on my part. I also shop the bloggers’ stores if they have them. Sometimes, I send them a note to let them know how much I appreciate their blogs. And at the very least, I try to leave comments on the posts I most enjoy.
And today I’m going to write just a bit about my very favorite blogs so I can spread the love a little farther and you can check them out if you want too!
|Rookie Moms was one of the first blogs I read regularly. Whitney and Heather live in my area and their children are close in age to mine so their blog about activities to do with babies in tow was a good fit with my life when Wyatt was little. As the years have gone by, Rookie Moms has expanded to include activities for older children so I still read it daily. And as an extra bonus, Whitney and Heather have become my good friends in real life. If you’re looking for a place to start on Rookie Moms, check out my all time most favorite post: Write a “did do” list.|
|Whenever I’m sitting at my computer laughing hysterically my husband knows I’m looking at one of three sites: Damn You Autocorrect, Cake Wrecks or The Bloggess. If you’ve never heard of The Bloggess, she writes long, rambling, insanely funny posts about her adventures. (And I mean all that in the best possible way!) If you need a place to start on her blog, her current feud with Stephen Colbert is pretty good, but my very favorite is the time she brought her husband a giant metal chicken for their 15th anniversary.|
|Another Lunch is one of the few bento blogs I read regularly. Melissa’s lunches are adorable, but they’re not so complex that I’d never bother to attempt them. She puts in just enough more effort to give me something to aspire to when I’m making my own kids’ lunches. And again, I think of her as a real life friend (even though we’ve never met!). You can dive into this blog anywhere and get some great inspiration, but one of my favorite posts is this one featuring a circus-themed muffin tin lunch. So cute!|
|I’ve been blogging on and off for many years, but Ali Edwards’ blog is the one that inspired me to take the leap into blogging about myself and my family regularly. Ali has inspired me to focus less on the big events in my family’s lives (though those are important) and more on the day to day stuff that adds up to the big picture of who we are and what our lives are like. Her primary focus is on scrapbooking and memory keeping, but I think there is a lot on her blog for people who are just looking to be mindful about the ups and downs in a typical day.|
|Meagan Francis, aka The Happiest Mom writes about being…well…happy as a mom. She addresses a lot of the issues with parenting that make me feel guilty, martyred, or angry and she has an incredible ability to write about them in a way that turns my thinking around. I think her blog name is a bit of a misnomer because she doesn’t pretend to be perfect, but rather she aspires to be more satisfied in a role that feels like it should bring only joy but often sucks. And best of all, she never inspires any guilt. Meagan has collected some of her best articles here: How to be a happier mom.|
|Oh elsie marley! How you inspire me! Run by a woman named Meg (not Elsie), this blog is pure eye candy. And project candy. And sewing candy. And baking candy. I get so excited when I see one of Meg’s posts pop up in my Google reader because I always know it’s going to be good. Her beautiful projects are the perfect mix of modern and classic and they make me want to immediately drop what I’m doing and make something cool. I also love that Meg is funny and that she shares what was frustrating or went wrong with her projects. Her post today is a list of advent activities that I’ll be printing out to have on hand in case I need to swap out one of the things I’ve come up with. She is probably best known for running the Kids Clothes Week Challenge a few times per year.|
So tell me: Which blogs are your favorites? How do you support your favorite bloggers?