Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Merits of Having a Small But Mighty Blog

Cheers to CeCe on her post on BlogHer this week: "Why I Like Being a Small Blog". She spoke on points that I've had bouncing around in my head for years and some I hadn't even considered in terms of enjoying being a small time blogger, writing for fun, personal enjoyment and not feeling obligated by it.

She inspired a lot of people with her words and that is why I enjoy personal blogging. It's so refreshing to read the authentic thoughts, feelings, ideas and doubts of a personal blogger; and not those that are always trying to push products.

CeCe lists ten reasons she's glad she's a small blog. I say, "AMEN!"
  1. Pressure
  2. Scrutiny
  3. Hate mail
  4. Reader interaction
  5. Blog reading
  6. Social media and marketing

  7. Blogger burnout

I haven't been blogging regularly (if at all) the past several months. Typically I aim for one new post a week. I doubt anyone's missed my words, but I do miss writing! There is so much competing for my time and attention. I'm in a busy season of life and I'm trying to do better about cleaning and organizing my house (which I haven't made too much of a visible dent) and being more present with my three kids. I suppose my husband should rank in there somewhere too.

When I blog, I tend to check out for several hours as I work on writing, back end logistics and then promoting, which all has various levels of internet distractions along the way. Since I work full time already, I try to squeeze in a blog post occasionally from work, but I try not to make a habit of it. I feel guilty if I blog from home and I feel guilty for writing at work, and if I tried to blog from my mobile phone on the go, the formatting would be all wonky; plus it's not as relaxing and enjoyable.

Twitter is a good outlet for me from work or on the go though to get a little fix from 'micro-blogging' and connecting with other like-minded bloggers; especially other working mom bloggers. I'm @seemomwork - feel free to say hi to me once in a while! I'm a frequent dropper of the #workingmom, #wohm and #worklifebalance.

What are your thoughts on the merits of being small in a world of BIGGER IS BETTER?

Getty Images

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family Fun at Knotts Berry Farm's Camp Spooky

"Cheer - not Fear!" was the motto of our day at Camp Spooky early this October. We were invited to experience it with our three young children, and we had a blast!

Camp Spooky is inside Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, California and it's geared towards younger children. They have rides, entertainment and activities just for the little ones that don't want the thrill of the big rides and scares.

Read about all the fun Camp Spooky offers as well as all the details you need to know in my original post.

Here are some photos from our day. (My husband took a ton and better quality photos on our professional camera, but I'm writing this from work and I only have access to my cell phone photos - shhhh!)

On the way to Camp Spooky for some Halloween fun!
We had Little Miss Muffet, a black cat and a knight for children that day and they were all so cute and happy to be dressed up. I was one of the only parents dressed in costume - I was "Pumpkin Spice" with a bright orange bob wig and a funky orange velour dress. You couldn't miss me.
Me as "Pumpkin Spice" | Photo credit: Desiree Eaglin
As a side note, I was only slightly embarrassed to be one of the only moms in costume. I got a lot of looks of surprise and smiles, points and laughs, but it was a nice change from being relatively invisible most of the time. I kind of like being a dork; a cute dork.
Little Miss Muffet's cookie decoration
My black cat's cookie decoration
Snapshot of the cookie recipe 
I like watching the kids get excited about fun, childhood joys. I love to see life through their eyes. So Camp Spooky was perfect for that. The Peanuts Gang were awesome as usual and they loved doing a parade with them. They also loved the rides and going trick-or-treating at the various stops. The candy was amazing - I know because they were nice enough to share with me. 
Lucy in her Halloween costume at Camp Spooky
My knight in shining armor

Snoopy and Woodstock with my costumed chickadees
 There wasn't a lot of really scary parts of Camp Spooky except for the naturalist exhibit with the creepy, crawly critters. Yikes! These bugs freak me out!!
Scariest part of all - the Hissing Cockroaches! aka Nightmare in a Cage.
Scary scorpions from Africa!
We are already halfway through October and Halloween is right around the corner, but there is still time to go enjoy Camp Spooky at Knotts Berry Farm. It's running every Saturday and Sunday in October and is a part of the regular admission to Knotts.

So take your kids and get your Halloween cheer on!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary Camp Spooky tickets from Giga Savvy to facilitate a review.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween Cheer - Not Fear - at Camp Spooky!

It's officially October! Time to get in the spirit of Halloween! Celebrating Halloween with three small children is cute and fun. No scary or inappropriately sexy costumes in our house - yet.

We have a small list of our favorite Orange County Halloween activities, but one thing we are adding new this year is Camp Spooky at a historical Southern California theme park - Knott's Berry Farm! We are going this weekend and everyone is psyched to get a start on the festivities and the candy.

In our family, we've got an eight year old girl who wants to dress up as a cute, candy corn witch, a six year old girl who wants to be a vampire kitten (and she wants me to make her costume...hmm...) and a two and a half year old boy who wants to be Bat Man or Super Man (he keeps changing his mind.) I might dress up as Piper Chapman from Orange is the New Black (post-incarceration); so easy and so awesome. Daddy-O has a variety of funny costumes in his closet to choose from (he likes the inflatable costumes - like the man riding an ostrich).

Knott's Camp Spooky
Camp Spooky is Knott's Berry Farm's Camp Snoopy turned into a family friendly Halloween party for young children up to 11 years old (and parents who refuse to grow up.) I adore Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang! It will be going on every Saturday and Sunday in October.  It takes place during the day (before the terrifying Knott's Scary Farm activities begin) and promotes Halloween cheer rather than fear.

Knott's Camp Spooky | Buena Park, CA
Photo Credit: Knott's Berry Farm
Costumed kids can partake in many fun and entertaining activities at Camp Spooky: 

  • Snoopy's Costume Contest - show off their costume as they join cheerful monsters and Peanuts characters in a parade
  • Charlie Brown's Spooktacular Show - a theater performance of classic Halloween tunes
  • Monster Factory - a fun, interactive maze where kids make their own scary creations
  • Trick-or-Treating at five Camp Spooky locations
  • Creepy Crawly Critter Cave - Knott's park naturalist will show the kids some slithery, slimy, creepy, crawly critters
  • Scary Stories at the Lodge - master story tellers will spin crazy, creepy and silly stories to entertain the kids
  • Kooky Cookie Painting - decorate and devour a delicious cookie

Knott's Camp Spooky | Buena Park, CA
Photo Credit: Knott's Berry Farm
Camp Spooky is included with regular park admission to Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park (online ticket prices are $29.99/$39.99) and operating hours are 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

Look for me there (as Piper Chapman) this Sunday! I'll also be tweeting some fun photos - #campspooky.

Disclaimer: Big thanks to GigaSavvy who provided us complimentary tickets to attend Camp Spooky in exchange for publicity.