Ads in February : Who Are They?

Hello and welcome to the February advertisers!

This month, we’re chatting about productivity, writer’s block, and juggling being present both in real life and on social media.

Deanna | Soul Like a Spider

What is a guilty pleasure you love too much to give up?

Taco Bell! I don’t love it as much as my husband and his best friend, but it is delicious and I still continue to eat it even though it’s probably alien food.

How do you balance using the internet and social media with being present to the people around you?

When I’m at home and working, I stop what I’m doing on the computer when talking with my husband. Otherwise I’ll completely zone out and the laptop will take my attention. Also, in social situations I try not to play on my phone until someone else does. That sounds like a dumb rule, but if you’re sitting with strangers and the conversation dies and someone pulls out their phone, I might. Otherwise I try to leave it in my purse. Basically: make sure whoever you are with feels like you are listening to them.

When you have writer’s block, how do you jump-start your creativity?

One of two things. This is especially true when I’m having trouble starting is to quit trying to make the angle or opening perfect. I just start word vomiting on the page, even if it’s what I think is the middle of the piece. I just go on a stream of consciousness and spit out as much as I can. I can clean it up and make it pretty later. Additionally, sometimes I’ll take a break and get a glass of wine, put on my favorite kind of music (jazz and blues, like Billie Holiday and Robert Johnson), get a blanket, and read some blogs. It can help me get the pressure off of what I’m doing and open my brain.

Do you have any tips or tricks to manage your time well?

Do you? I need them! I’m terrible with procrastination. The only time I’ve learned to get better with that is this year when preparing lunches ahead of time for myself. If I take fifteen minutes and make a big batch of oatmeal I can have premade breakfast that will save me time. Basically, it’s a pain now, but I’ll be happier later. (Now if I can only convince myself to do this with my biology homework…)
Deanna Ogle is a writer and web designer from the greater Detroit area where she works at a small software firm. A few of her favorite things are carnations, hair dye, peanut butter, and bluegrass. When she is not working she can usually be found curled up with her husband watching movies. She is published in the anthology “The Age of Conversation 2: Why Don’t They Get It?” by Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan and has had articles featured in Provoketive Magazine.

Find Deanna: Blog | Twitter

Becky | What Bex Loves

What is a guilty pleasure you love too much to give up?

Ahhhh…The Kardashians.  I know, I KNOW!  But I just HAVE to watch…and read…it is my silly escape.

How do you balance using the internet and social media with being present to the people around you?

This is a tough one, especially since my iPhone is attached to me practically 24/7.  Since I work full-time and am in law school part-time, I don’t get as much time with my husband as I would like.  Lately I have made the conscious decision to put my phone on the table when I get home and only check it a couple of times a night.  I turn the ringer on, so that if someone NEEDS to call me, I can hear it.  I just realized that when I’m checking Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Email every 34 seconds, I am not spending the little time I do have with my husband in the best way possible.  But, like most things, it is a work in progress!

When you have writer’s block, how do you jump-start your creativity?

No. Clue.  I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this, though!

Do you have any tips or tricks to manage your time well?

I am a HUGE procrastinator, and I REALLY want to change this.  I make lots of “To Do” lists and break them out by day for the week.  I find that my crazy lists seem less daunting when there are only a few things I have to do each day.  Plus, I’m realistic with my time constraints.  I don’t get home on Mondays until past 10 pm, so I don’t schedule as many tasks to do at home as other nights of the week or the weekend.

Hey there! I’m Bex. My tag line reads “wife. daughter. sister. aunt. godmother. friend. worker bee. law student. makeup addict. world traveler. lover of wine and tequila, although not together,” and all of these many hats I wear have led me to discover SO many things out there to love. From beauty products, to books, to movies, to gifts, to experiences, to travel destinations to…well…maybe something I haven’t even discovered yet! My theory is that there is enough negativity out there on the interwebs, so you’ll only read about things I LOVE on “What Bex Loves.”

Find Becky: Blog | Twitter


Erin | Reinventing Erin

What is a guilty pleasure you love too much to give up?

Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Chocolate, ice cream, hot showers, cuddling with Mr. O, vacations

How do you balance using the internet and social media with being present to the people around you?

I used to be pretty connected to Facebook, but I find I get too frustrated in the past few months when  I spend time on there, so I’ve definitely been able to pull back, and I can see how it frees up more time for Mr. O and Wolverine. But managing my “real” life (family, friends, school, work) and my “online” life (blog, 101 in 1001 challenge, twitter, facebook) is so tough. I can’t seem to find a good enough balance. I think I just try to give a little attention everywhere, and when I do that, things are slightly balanced. 

When you have writer’s block, how do you jump-start your creativity?

Writer’s block and I have a long history. I’m getting my MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University, so needless to say, between the blog, school, work and journaling, I do quite a bit of writing. I think it’s really tough to fend off writer’s block. I usually have to try new things all the time. First, I find that regular writing helps me ward off writer’s block. But if you aren’t regularly writing? I’d suggest using other forms of art or media. Write about a picture you’ve taken recently. Sometimes it is tough, but all you have to do is force yourself to write something to get the ball rolling.

Do you have any tips or tricks to manage your time well?

HA! I wish. I am a huge procrastinator. I live by lists. If I have detailed lists, then everything will get done in my life. If I don’t, then watch out world; I’ll be hot mess. I also love my agenda. I need to keep track of the events in my life pretty carefully to make sure I’m getting things done. Lately I’ve found that one trick that’s helping me in school is that I’ve set aside ten minutes here and there for writing (before I go to work, my lunch break, before dinner etc). Those ten minutes don’t seem so overwhelming, yet sometimes create such great material for me to work with. The other thing I found very helpful for blogging is scheduling my posts. I try to write up a bunch of posts and schedule them for future dates. For example, Monday through Friday of this week I’m posting recipes and photos of food I’ve cooked. Overall, if there is anything I’ve learned, it is that you’ve just got to do the best you can with what you’ve got. No one is perfect.

Erin is a happy, grateful, occasionally cranky young lady who prefers experiences over presents. She’s a graduate student studying creative writing and loves the #5, lowercase letters, alligators and ice cream.

Find Erin: Blog | Twitter | 101 in 1001 Blog

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About Ashley

Ashley is a web designer by day (and night). She blogs about her attempts to live more simply and pursuing happiness while juggling a job she loves and life with an adorable toddler and an academic husband.