Social Media Reciprocity

A quick google search of “Social Media Reciprocity” will showcase what a number of Social Media experts believe is the correct netiquette for retweets and followings. I don’t claim to be a social media expert (and, also don’t believe in experts in this field – it changes far too Imagequickly), but I have challenged myself to begin reciprocating the love when I am followed. And, I have a few take-aways:

  • By truly reviewing who is following me and what their blog/website/information has to offer… I am learning a lot of neat stuff!
  • It’s a great way to see who is connecting with you purposefully and who is just adding people… and adding, and adding…
  • There is so much spam out in the twitterverse!!
  • Most people will reciprocate back, check out your blog or thoughts if you take the time to check out theirs.

How this can be done without being social media tacky:

  • When someone follows you, check out their profile. Read their blog, review their website, see if they have tweeted something interesting lately.
  • As appropriate, follow if you really do feel that you have something to connect about.
  • Even if you do not follow, find something interesting to say, ask them about their blog, comment on one of their recent tweets… or simply.. thank them for the follow.
  • Ignore the spam.

Have you an avid reciprocator? Do YOU appreciate recirprocity? What are you tactics and strategies? If you don’t… why not?

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Perfect Moment Monday

My perfect moment was actually Sunday morning, but thinking about it on this crazy Monday of a day makes me smile. Sunday morning, I woke up wedged between my dog, baby, and hubby… see the blank space on those awesome snowman sheets in our Queen sized bed… I was curled up there. I woke up and just started giggling to myself and had to take the photo. While my bendy skills and super tiredness allowed me to sleep in such an awkward position, it also hit me in that moment how lucky I was to be surrounded (literally) by all the people and pets that mean the most to me, too. It’s just a reminder when I feel that I can’t take eating another cold meal, fold anymore laundry or one more crazy request at work… that having to share my precious bed-space isn’t such a bad thing… in fact, it’s kinda great!

More about Perfect Moment Mondays.

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A Lesson in Composting…. and Life.

I was so taken a-back last month when a bag of leaves was placed next to our compost box by an anonymous neighbor. I was also ashamed at myself for immediately jumping to conclusions that a neighbor was stashing trash in our lawn. I am angry that I immediately thought the worst, and then become even more guilt-ridden that I have come to a point where I would be angry about a bag of trash. It’s a bag… of trash… not worth any anger.

Once I discovered it was a fellow compost friend, I was over joyed that someone wanted to contribute and in fact, took the time to bag up their leaves and walk them over to our lawn.

So, fellow humans… come join our compost! And, thank you for the reminder that it is so important not to jump to conclusions and immediately think the worst in people, especially neighbors. That is a lesson worth keeping in mind and so powerful in that moment, that I needed to share.

Oh, and if you don’t know about composting, it’s super awesome. Learn how.

A Call to New Moms… Volunteer!

New moms will all agree (or maybe 4 out of 5?), that time is a precious commodity. Whether you work at home, if you are an active SAHM, or out in the workforce… parenthood is equal parts amazing and challenging. One of those challenges is finding time to fit everything in the day, with a wonderful partner or not. So why am I calling on new moms (and dads, caregivers!!) to spend some of their precious moments not working, cleaning, feeding, diapering, sleeping (sleeping… who am I kidding?), or general caring to serve for free? There are so many benefits!

The obvious benefits of volunteering are that the community/charity/individual that you assist benefits. And, there is plenty of research out there about the scientific and health benefits of volunteering. But, there are some really great individual benefits for new parents, as well (disclaimer – this is just my opinion!).

First, some time away from your little one can be good for both you and your little guy or gal. It’s refreshing to have adult conversation that is non-work/child care related and if you choose a volunteer opportunity that is a passion of yours it can be refreshing to get back into it after a few months of 24/7 nurturing. It helps to fill your individual needs by giving to others, and, maybe use skills and knowledge that has been pushed aside to devote time to your bundle of joy. Also, it’s a great way to gain perspective. In the throws of new parent-hood it is SO easy to get caught up in the details or purchases, milestones, and self-doubt. Volunteering can certainly help to put things into perspective, again and regain focus in our personal lives of what really counts. Besides accomplishing something, anything through volunteering can help us to feel a little awesome… who doesn’t want to come back to the kiddos feeling like Supermom/dad/caregiver?

How to make the most of your volunteering time? Skip a date night with your partner and use that time to volunteer together. Time together + service = time well spent. If you have a parents circle or close with family, take the opportunity to volunteer together. Or, use it as a chance to get some “me” time – it may not be a spa day, but the endorphins are just as good! Also, you can consider this as creating a good habit that can be shared with your little one, once they become a bit older.

Not sure where to begin?

Check out professional volunteering sites like Voolla or Catchafire on ways to volunteer or give your skills pro bono. Really short on time? Check out micro-volunteering sites like Sparked that allow you to volunteer your thoughts and ideas during your lunch break. Let me know if you need help getting started in Volunteering – it may seem overwhelming, but I am happy to help – @KatieMang

Adventures in Extreme Couponing

I Love competition. With a capital L. However, with my unique ability to fall over even while standing still, I never quite made it in sports… perhaps I was the best darn fan in the stands, and one heck of a debate team member… but never a sports team member. However, I have still maintained a healthy sense of competition into my adult life.

So, this leads me to my new competitive event… couponing. Last month when I decided this was the year of saving money and living simply (it’s all about the fine moments, right?), I looked at ways to cut costs. Well, with so many fixed bills, I decided to tackle the most flexible cost I had… shopping, namely groceries.

Now, the Mang household is already pretty budget savvy… we have the Safeway Club Card, we buy generic brands and shop the sales… so I took the challenge head on. I did some research and found that stores will match manufacturer coupons along with store coupons (did everyone except me know this?) .

I sought out the best manufacturer coupons that my family used (baby items, cleaning supplies, food) and found a wonderful supply at All You Magazine Online along with Personalized Coupons on the Safeway 4 U App. I even added in a few deals from the new Ibotta App.

While it took a bit more prep work than I intended, I started off to the store armed with my grocery list, reusable shopping bags, menu for the week, baby Bjorn, and phone (for the apps). It turns out, the line that says savings at the bottom…$70.00 in coupon savings…. what? That was $70.00 that I would have spent otherwise, still in my bank account. I didn’t even skimp on the wine!

Was it the right combination of sales and coupons? Did the cashier feel bad for a flustered mom with a wiggly baby in a funny front facing backpack? What will she make with sale items smoked sausage, zucchini, chickpeas and angel hair pasta (yes… this was made and it was delicious.. see Chopped). I’m not sure, but I am out to do it again this week… or maybe even beat my best $70.00 savings. I haven’t figured out if it’s a race against myself, my bank account or maybe the grocery store, but I finally found a competition that I can win… and that $70.00 savings was my first place at the finish line.

How do you save on weekly groceries and household items? Please share with my by posting or send me comments at @KatieMang

 

Post Zero.

My blogging adventures begin, again. This time, instead of a focus, just the random musings about life, being a new mom, seasoned partner, and full-time professional. Posts will center on my semi-crafty trials from pinterest, things I find funny, and my pursuits in keeping balance, finding humor and seeking financial freedom. I may also share occasionally things I am passionate about like the awesome power of social media, writing from the heart, and volunteering/community.

That’s all for now. It’s all quiet in the house, sleeping baby, and time for a sweet cup of tea. You can also find me at @katiemang… let’s chat!