Fleshing Out My Name

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by Jean

Day two assignment of Zero To Hero recommends fleshing out my name. I don’t foresee changing my blog’s name, but allow me to go into detail of how I chose the name, “Jean Has Been Shopping”. In 2006, my sister said, “Try MySpace. It’s fun and new.” I signed up, and waited for the fun to begin. It didn’t. Where was the fun? Took me a while to discover it, but I finally found fun in the blogging community. I thoroughly enjoyed reading blogs, and was inspired by the antics and honesty of my new-found friends. I felt that I could blog too!

myspace icon photo myspaceicon_zps8347438e.jpgNow on MySpace, we didn’t use our real names. Unlike FaceBook, I would never have spelled out my first, middle and last names. MySpace prompted you, when signing on, to share what you were doing or how you were feeling. I would fill in the status with, “… has been quadding”, “… has been napping”, “… has been SHOPPING”.  Nine times out of ten, my status had to do with shopping, so the status (and name) stuck!

On December 21, 2006, I published my first post simply titled, “Online Sales”. It read, “Napastyle is having their year end sale. They have such nice items.” Can you believe I hit publish on that drivel?! No links, no photos, just two sentences.

Although my blog used to be about shopping, it has evolved over the years into a feel-good site dedicated to humor, family, friends, travel, photography & videography.

Through this wordpress challenge, I’ve expanded my tagline from “wife, mom, business owner, blogger” (yawn!) to “40+ wife, mom, publisher wears rose-colored glasses in the Southwest” (perk!). I’ve also added the Tag Cloud widget so you can see at a glance the tags I use most.

• How did your blog get its name?

• Do you use a tagline?

• Tag Cloud widget – fan or foe?

Introducing me!

Posted on January 15th, 2014 by Jean

I thought I’d follow along with the Zero To Hero assignments to improve my site. The first challenge is to introduce myself.

Hello! I’m Jean, a 40-something woman making her way through life, trying to juggle family, business and everything in between. We live in Arizona although I hail from the Bay Area of California and spent my high school years in Reno, Nevada. I also did a short stint in Appleton, Wisconsin, and spent two summers in Sarasota, Florida.

My husband, Tom, and I have been together twelve years. We run our own business (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!) publishing the local real estate guide. It is a full color, glossy magazine of which we are very proud. It is distributed in California, Nevada and Arizona.

We have two daughters, ages 11 and 9, who love school, dancing, drawing, acting, acrobatics, and animals. During the summer months, we travel to Anaheim as a family, and enjoy many of that area’s attractions. On shorter breaks, we visit local points of interest such as Grand Canyon Caverns, the Wild Animal Park in Valentine, or the old mining town of Oatman. We also enjoy boating on the Colorado River which is 3 miles from our house.

When I need to get away, I visit nearby Las Vegas, a 90-minute drive north, to shop at the various malls and enjoy a decadent meal. I always bring a treat home such as cupcakes, cheesecake, or fresh fruit from Trader Joe’s.

Before falling off to sleep at night, I watch recorded episodes of The Housewives of (name any city), Vanderpump Rules, The Shahs of Sunset – all things Bravo – or The Dead Files, Ghost Hunters, The Haunting Of – all things Travel Channel. I wake up to Headline News or Weekend Express every morning. I love to know what’s going on in the world.

I don’t exercise. I don’t eat right. But I think about both every day.

I’m not very crafty, but I will attempt crafts for the sake of my children.

I’m shy and reserved, but I won’t take crap.

I enjoy learning and sharing knowledge.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please ask.

Meet The Blogger | Two Sisters & A Blog

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by Jean

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Angie from Two Sisters & A Blog.

2 Sisters AngieAngie is one half of a dynamic “blogging sisters” team. Her sister, Mindy, is the other half. Their posts are always engaging, and their writing styles compliment each other. Angie’s 3 year old daughter, Mayhem, steals the show with her unique style. Trust me on this! Follow Angie Mayhem on Instagram for instant mood enhancement and a spring in your step! Follow Two Sisters on Facebook.

Q & A with Angie

Q. How did you and Mindy decide to share a blog?

A. The idea for a collaborative blog came about in September of 2010.  I was 9 months into the SAHM gig with Mayhem after having spent 12 years in the professional photography world. Mindy was 4 years into her WAHM career as a medical transcriptionist following 9 years of working as a preschool teacher.  To say that we were both in need of more adult conversation is a bit of an understatement and we’d talk on the phone daily.  These sisterly conversations led to abnormal amounts of laughter and we wondered if anyone else might find a little humor in some of the things we discussed.  So we decided to collaborate on a blog with the idea that we’d keep the topics (or at least the tone) light and/or sarcastic since the rest of life seems to be stressful enough.

Mayhem Paper DressQ. Your tutorials on watermarks, glitter cups and lemon sugar scrub are excellent. What tutorial are you planning next?

A. Thanks so much, I’ve enjoyed creating those posts.  I’m not sure what’s up next but I’ve had several requests to post a “how to” on the paper dresses Mayhem and I create that show up under the #fashionbyMayhem tag in my Instagram feed.  Personally though, I’d like to create one on retouching people in a professional manner.  I see a lot of bloggers who are super duper over doing it with facial retouching and it makes me cringe.  I see these high profile bloggers making themselves look like plastic or totally flat and I don’t think they realize how bad it looks.  Retouching faces while still maintaining the contours of the face truly isn’t that tough, but you do have to pay attention to highlights and shadows.

Q. How did you decide to have Mayhem tested for allergies?

A. Great question!  The first time she ever ate peanut butter was about a month before she turned two, and she immediately had a reaction.  Up until that point, she refused to eat peanut butter.  The mere smell of it made her turn away (apparently SHE knew she shouldn’t have it), but I basically force fed her a single goldfish cracker with a small dab of peanut butter on it.  Within seconds she began scraping her tongue off with her hand and I knew something was wrong. I gave her a drink of water and she, in turn, threw up all over our carpet. A call to the pediatrician led to a visit to the local Children’s hospital and a blood test which confirmed she did have a peanut allergy. We were advised to keep her away from all nuts until we could have further (more accurate) skin testing performed, which is not recommended until age three. Two months after she turned three, we were able to get her in with an allergist and were stunned to find out the extent and severity of her food allergies.  It’s been a definite lifestyle shift for us, but we’re working through the challenges.

Q. You were a guest speaker at Bloggy Convention last year discussing “Photography and Your Blog“. Are more guest speaking appearances in your future?

A. I hope so because I do enjoy it.  I spoke at Bloggy Conference again this year which was just about a month ago and I also presented at a beer bloggers conference (yes, you read that correctly) in February of this year.  I only had one sleeper during my session at that conference which was immediately after a lunch that included all the free beer you could drink.  And, I was told by the event organizers, that even the sleeper gave my session very high ratings in the conference follow up survey.  So I’m currently scouring the internet for “margarita bloggers conferences” to apply to as a presenter 😉

Q. Where does Mayhem get her sense of style?!

A. That’s the $64,000 question….  Not from me for sure, as my daily wardrobe consists of jeans, a solid white or black shirt, and not a lot of bling. Mayhem is definitely the anti-me where fashion is concerned, but honestly, I admire her sense of style.  I often think that her wild style is here to remind me of the creativity that we all have inside, but sometimes gets squashed as we grow up.  One of my greatest hopes is that no one, me included, ever squashes that pure creative imagination she has.
Angie, thank you for your time!