Category Archives: Blogs and Bloggers

Type-A Parent Conference Pass Giveaway

It’s that time of year. School is almost over and the puzzle of our summer schedule is almost complete. A morning program for this one, and afternoon program for that one. Two weeks away here for one kid, a couple of weeks away there for the other one. And let’s hope those two completely gutted bathrooms are complete by mid-July.

Which is to say that most of my time and money are earmarked for the house and the kids this summer, so I’ll be sitting out the Type-A Parent Conference. Would you like to go? It’s going to be amazing; Kelby always puts together a fun and informative event with a relaxed vibe.

So relaxed that last time I attended the conference, I was looking to speak with Kelby and asked around for her in the middle of the day and was told she was taking a nap…because she was pregnant. (In retrospect, I think that person thought I was looking for Kelly/Kelli, etc.) So later I told one of my friends (the name is repressed rather than redacted) that Kelby was pregnant and when that friend later ran into Kelby, she congratulated her on the pregnancy. Except that Kelby was not pregnant.

If you’ve ever been asked if you’re pregnant, when you are not, you know how horrifying that is. And if you’ve been the person who asked you know how equally horrifying that is. It’s also embarrassing to be a third party in this situation. Sorry, Kelby!

So one lesson I learned from the Type-A Parent conference is to never comment on a woman’s pregnancy unless there is a baby coming out of her vagina.

Also, I should just keep my mouth shut at conferences, except for when I’m speaking on a panel or doing a presentation because I do that well.

No doubt you’ll learn lessons of your own at the conference. Mainly, you’ll walk away with ideas and plans for how to be a better blogger/vlogger/social media rockstar!

Want my ticket?

Please note that I’m giving away a MomImpact t-shirt and a conference pass only; transportation and hotel are on you.

I’m going to keep in simple:

1. (required) Comment once on this blog by 11:00 PM CST on Monday, May 28, 2012 for a basic entry.

Optional extra entries:

2. Tweet about the entry and come back to let me know you did.

3. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and come back to let me know you did. (Bonus: I’ll likely subscribe to yours, too!)

4. Mombloggers, join MomImpact. We’re cutting back on product review tours, but still connect bloggers with opportunities. It’s good to be on the list and the ticket is provided courtesy of MomImpact. Be sure to submit a separate comment letting me know you joined or are currently a member (yeah!).

Winner will be selected in a random drawing using a plug-in called, “And the winner is” and announced on May 29. Conference pass must be transferred by June 1, so if the winner does not get back to me within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Also, as part of Swimsuit Confidence Week and a blogaversary celebration, I’m giving away a Lands’ End swimsuit. And learn how you can win a dreamy Serta Mattress set.

My Big News Might Be a Snooze to You

Serta's Great mattress heistAfter sleeping sitting on this news for a few weeks, I’m delighted to announce that I’m serving as a Serta Blogger Ambassador through the end of the year. It’s been said that I do my best work in bed and I love to sleep, so it seems like a good fit.

From time to time I’ll be sharing news about the Serta and their products, and maybe a giveaway or two.

Speaking of which, after working with Serta last year and giving away an iComfort Sleep System on this blog, not to mention showing off my own, several of you asked if there’d be another chance to win an oh-so-relaxing Serta Mattress.

There is!

Serta recently a new campaign featuring those cute little counting sheep (several of which are scattered about my office).

The Great Serta Mattress Heist

It seems the sheep (which find themselves out of work due to Serta’s dreamy mattresses) have broken into Serta HQ and escaped with a Perfect Sleeper Mattress. They’ll soon be sharing clues on Facebook as to where they are stashing the purloined* goods.

Serta is asking Facebook fans to find and reclaim the stolen Sleeper by decoding clues left by the sheep. In addition to the grand prize, there will be weekly giveaways to fans featuring plush Serta Sheep (so your office can look like mine), Serta pillows and other tokens of comfort (I’m hoping this includes including their super soft plush blanket that I enjoyed until one of my boys snuck it away).

Once all three clues have been delivered, Serta will ask participants to complete a simple form and submit their guess as to the location of the hidden mattress. Correct guessers will be entered for a chance to win a new Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress set complete with a full Sleep to Go top-of-bed pack, a personal letter from Sheep #1 and an exclusive Serta Counting Sheep gift basket.

Speaking of a Serta Sheep gift basket, look what I received gave myself nearly a year ago. I can’t believe it’s almost a year since we bought the house! Though perhaps that’s because we’ve only been living here a few months. At any rate, it sure feels like home now.


(Please not that the giveaway mentioned in the video was held in 2011.)

As a Serta Blogger Ambassador, I will be receiving compensation as well as Perfect Sleeper mattresses for my boys, making us an all-Serta house (except for in our guest room, where we have a lumpy old futon–sorry guests!). All opinions are my own unless my husband writes a guest post in which case all opinions are his.

* Seriously, have you used that word since high school?

Are you still reading? Go channel your inner Nancy Drew and find that mattress!

The By-Gone Bee, Your New Source for Vintage Housewares

By Gone Bee Etsy shopeThis is the kind of thing I think about doing, but makes Hubs go into convulsions, so I’m pleased to that my friend Emily of The Happy Home is doing it instead. She’s just launched an Etsy shop, The By-Gone Bee, that sells vintages housewares and prints. Given that she’ll be scouring the LA area for finds, she’s sure to stock a cool inventory. Who knows? Maybe she’ll even get her own show on HGTV one of these days.

It’s A Buyer’s Market, After All

A year ago, I started filming what was to be my last episode of Property Sluts while I was at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. You see, shortly before heading to Orlando we placed a bid on a small ranch house that we thought we’d top off with a second story. A chain-smoking window had lived in what we termed The Smokin’ House for decades, so it smelled like an ashtray, and her brother-in-law had started building a “master bath” in the middle of the family room (without a permit) in the hopes of passing off that space as a master bedroom. It was a wreck.

Needless to say our bid was low. The night before we left town our agent called with a counter offer. As I remember it, we tried to put him off until we got back because nerves are running high before a family trip even without the pressure over whether to pay more than we intended for a house.

But we caved and countered. They accepted.

Shortly after our return and another tour of the house with a professional in tow, we cancelled our contract.

Thank goodness.

The house sold 2-3 months later for less than what we would have paid.

I was giving up hope for finding a house. We talked about renting. And then we saw and bought Casa de Renovation and I finally got to finish my video, the all-singing Property Sluts finale featuring an all-star cast on mombloggers, It’s a Buyer’s Market, After All.

I heard a real estate report that said prices are down the levels last seen in 2000, so the buyer’s market continues. This stinks if you want to sell, but if you’re ready to buy, you’re in luck.

Selfish Mom:
We’ve seen houses big and some houses small,
We’ve seen moldy basements and shower stalls.
Though the market is weak, sellers price like it’s the peak, but it’s a buyer’s market after all.

MacaroniKidNYC, Honest and Truly, Jen Rab, SAHM Reviews, and Dancing Hot Dogs:
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all.

Sweet Life, Rock and Roll Mama:
Interest rates are low, but the prices are high,
Even for estate sales where the owners have died.
The recession isn’t nice, you may need to cut your price
Cuz it’s buyer’s market after all.

Classy Mommy, Me:

Same Old Shannon, French Foodie Mom, A Savings Wow:
The housing supply now exceeds demand,
So if you want to sell give your buyer a hand.
Though it’s hard to admit, makes you feel like sh*t, it’s a buyer’s market after all.

The Five People I Didn’t Meet at the Blissdom Conference

Carol Schiller and Stephanie Schwab

Not house bloggers, but fabulous women, nonetheless. Carol Schiller (L) and Stephanie Schwab (R)

I had a wonderful time at the Blissdom conference seeing old friends, making new ones and getting to know some really great women at a deeper level. As a Community Leader in the business track, I met a lot of women making a living in or around social media, but I missed the chance to connect with many outside that niche.

I brought my tool belt and work boots (which, BTW, took up a ton of space in my small carry-on), but I never wore them. Well, I wore the work boots on my trip home because otherwise I would have had to leave my three new canvas bags, five new t-shirts and a copy of The Lorax back at the hotel along with my bottles of VO-5 shampoo.

Or something like that.

Anyway, had I been bold enough to break out my Renovator Kim outfit (seriously, don’t call it a costume even if I do wear it in almost all my videos), I’m sure there would have been some sort of Law of Attraction thing going on and we would have met. But I can still read their blogs, and so can you.

Here are five home/house/DIY bloggers that I did not meet at Blissdom, but wish I had:

Confessions of a Curb Shopaholic

Pretty Handy Girl

My Repurposed Life

The Country Chic Cottage

House of Hepworths

Who else did I miss at Blissdom? More importantly, do you think any of these ladies would want some of my vintage fabric? Do you? It’s free to a good home.

About that photo: I was fortunate to spend lots of time with both Carol Schiller, the community manager at Cozi, an online family calendar that I love, and Stephanie Schwab who is, among other things, creator of the Digital Family Summit.

Droid Bionic Giveaway

Win a motorola droid bionic smart phone

See, I even saved the packaging for you!

I’m finishing up my time with the Verizon Wireless Midwest Moms Program with a flourish- a big giveaway with one of the devices I tested. I knew from the beginning that I’d be keeping one device and passing along the other and early on it was clear to me that the Motorola Xoom tablet was my top pick. Therefore, one of YOU gets to keep my Motorola Droid Bionic smart phone.

Not that I’m passing along sloppy seconds. Indeed, because I was worried about damaging, misplacing or outright losing the Bionic and its associated cables and charges, I didn’t actually use it that often. As noted in this post by Amy Oztan, knowing an item isn’t mine to keep affects how I use it. In the end, I don’t think think that served me or the brand well, but it’s a bonus for the person who wins it!

In addition to learning a valuable blogging lesson, I can tell you that the Bionic’s photo quality is good on still shots.

You can capture some pretty sweet video with the Bionic.

And the Verizon data service worked well.

It didn’t play so nice with Hootsuite, though. Especially when I tried to post pictures.

But it’s still a pretty nice phone. The key features of the Bionic, as told by Motorola, include:

And did I mention it is so very gently used?

Not only that, the winner will also receive a sleek silicone phone cover.

Win it!

You want this phone, eh? Ideally, you have( or plan to have) Verizon data service so you can take full advantage of theBionic. 🙂

1. (Required) Comment once on this blog by 11:50 PM CST on December 28, 2011 for a basic entry. US addresses only. No purchase necessary to win, but the winner must be 18 years of age. The prize has a retail value of approximately $580. Winner will be randomly chosen by the WordPress plug-in, “And the Winner is.”

You can also have up to five optional extra entries; I need a separate comment for each of these items, so I can count each one as an extra entry:

2. Tweet about the entry and come back to let me know you did.

3. “Like” Reluctant Renovator on Facebook and come back to let me know.

4. Subscribe to our newsletter, Progress Notes. We send one update a month featuring our progress and advising you on our fabulous home product finds and giveaways. Come back to let me know.

5. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can keep up with Reluctant Renovator video blogs.

6. Follow @RenovatorKim on Twitter.

Winner will be chosen and notified by December 30, 2011 and will have two days to respond to me. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen.

 Disclaimer: I was not paid for my involvement in the Midwest Moms program, but I did receive the two mobile devices mentioned above as well as a Verizon data plan.  All opinions are my own. I will be shipping the phone to the winner in early 2012.