Friday, May 11, 2012

Kangaroo Mama Interview!!!

Interview with Kangaroo Mama!

I personally asked this blogger to let me do a spotlight interview with her since I have been following her blog as well as talking to her pretty regularly.  She is a very interesting individual.  I love the unique name for her blog as well as the cute layout.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family. 
To start with the basics, I'm a happily married 30 year old to my husband, aka Honey, of going on 7 years and counting and a mama to my now 18 month old daughter, aka Kiggster.  We live in San Francisco and enjoy pretending to be tourists around the city.  Yes, we like hitting up some touristy spots and taking pictures together, walking through (not buying) the souvenir shops, and sampling different foods throughout the city!  I enjoy learning new things and collecting hobbies but I get bored pretty quickly or lose interest so I don't usually stick with anything for too long, which also means I'll never be an "expert" at anything.  We try to do things that are best for our health, which just happens to also mean it's good for the environment, stereotyping us as a "granola-munchy," tree-hugging, and go-green family.  So that means we eat as much organic foods as possible, less processed and more whole foods (not to be confused with the store), cloth diapering, breastfeeding (I think I've hit the point of extended breastfeeding now), baby-wearing,  natural childbirthing, using holistic methods first before going to pharmaceutical drugs, and more.  I am also a Signing Time Academy instructor and teach children 3 and under ASL in fun and interactive ways.  I absolutely love it and have seen amazing results in our communication with Kiggster, through the use of ASL, even before she learned to talk!

Do you have more than one blog? If so, tell me about them!
I'm still trying to keep up with the one blog, I'm not sure I could ever add more blogs to my resume!  I absolutely love blogging at Journey of A Kangaroo Mama.  That's where I share a lot about my life and the different stages that I'm at, my daughter and her milestones and quirks, projects that I'm working on or learning, and other craziness that fills my life!  I also do product and service reviews of things that are relevant in our life right now, whether it's items that help with making life easier in our busy city life, makes life funner, healthifies (that's a word, right?!) our meals, or just because I was curious about it!

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging since February of 2011, right after my maternity leave ended.

Why did you start blogging? Is this also why you continue blogging?
I started blogging because I was returning to work after a 3 month maternity leave and I couldn't bear the thought of being away from my family (Honey wasn't working at the time so we got lots of time together too) all day long and only getting a couple short hours each evening together.  So that drove me to finally start my blog (I always wanted to start one but not enough motivation to actually do it) so that I could use it to think more about my family even while I was away at work, stuck in a dreary conference room that had no lock, no blinds, and one that coworkers liked to steal because they'd never look at the calendar to see I had it blocked out as "Kathy-EBM" (Expressing Breast Milk).  My first several weeks back at work were miserable, I had to tape up paper over the huge window so no one could look in, block the door with a chair but still almost had people walk in on me before, and just cried a lot because I was having some bad separation anxiety!  

The blog was like therapy in a way because while writing a posting about my family, I would look at all the photos that I was posting and it would instantly bring me to a different place both emotionally and mentally!  It is still the reason why I blog and I don't think I will ever stop sharing on my blog.  I have plans to print my blog into a little book, especially all the ones pertaining to Kiggster and use it as a e-journal, scrapbook, photo book sort of way since I know it captures almost all her milestones and quirks on there.  

Who does your blog appeal to? Is this who you thought would be your target audience?
I would love to say everyone but it probably appeals to less men than women.  I think my target audience was originally just myself because I wasn't sharing my blog with anyone at the time so my audience now is definitely different than when I originally started!  I think my blog can appeal to a lot of people (more specifically women) because I touch on a lot of topics and like I mentioned earlier, I have lots of hobbies so someone is bound to find something on my blog that they like!  I don't pretend to have it all together or to have perfect meals, most organized home, or that I even know what I'm doing so I think it makes it relatable to others that are also going through the same thing.  We can be surrounded by so much perfection, especially with my Pinterest boards filled with other people's awesomeness, that sometimes we just need someone to show us that we're not alone and life doesn't have to be about having a showroom-style decorated home (though I'd love to), 4 course gourmet meal nightly, family photos that make even Brad-jelina jealous, or whatever else we can feel guilty about.  Those are the people that I think my blog appeals to and I want to appeal to.

What direction do you see your blog going in the future?
I think my blog is changing constantly and my goal for 2012 was to have a goal for my blog!  Does coming up with a goal count as a goal?!  So on my blog, I still share a lot about Kiggster and Honey, projects I'm working on, but have also added more product reviews and giveaways.  I think for the future, I want to make the reviews more themed or part of a series that i'm talking about.  So a series I have in the works right now is for potty training and I'm in the process of testing out and seeking out more potty training tools, accessories, and methods as we work towards potty training Kiggster.  We have not succeeded yet but this series will still launch prior to her being fully potty trained because every step is a victory for us, even if it's just the fact that she does the potty/poop sign to us or just enjoys sitting on her potty (never mind the fact she sits on it with her diaper) and I want to share every step of it with you all.  

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far with your blog?
My biggest challenge so far is finding more time for my blogging.  I think my little brain is busting with ideas for postings and series I want to do but I've been afraid to start a series and not have enough time to continue it. I would hate to drop the ball on people after starting something.  Right now my blogging hours are midnight onward and that not only gets tiring but it's also not enough time for me to do all my blogging.  I think my other challenge is all the html coding I didn't know I would have to learn in order to run a successful blog...I'm still trying to figure out how to do my blog roll with everyone's pretty buttons all lined up in a row and allows people to click on it and link directly to their blog.  So because I haven't learned it yet, it is still sitting there saying, "coming soon!"  Anyone have an easy to follow tutorial for me?

What do you love about blogging?
I love the people that I've been meeting through blogging, too bad they're not all closer to me because I could really see some great friendships blossoming even more if distance wasn't an issue.  I love how supportive a lot of the blogging community has been.  There's a group for every type of blog, a group to help build your blog, a group to build your Facebook fan page, for Blogger blogs, Wordpress blogs, blog drama...everything!  I have gotten so much help from others learning how to blog, how to stay motivated and much more.  They share their knowledge freely, support you anyway you need (comment, tweets, shares, etc), and help make you feel like a million bucks even if your blog is teensy-weensy!

What do you NOT love about blogging?
I don't love getting rejected by companies or worse, no responses!  But I feel like I've been really lucky and have been able to work some amazing companies and review a lot of really great products so far! 

What types of product reviews and giveaways do you feature? (if applicable)
I feature things that are relevant to my family's lifestyle and needs.  So that could be cloth diaper related items, products that help simplify a busy city life, snacks/food that are not overly processed or loaded with sugar, organic items, and anything else related to the million hobbies that I have.  I am currently trying to put together a potty training series of all the products, services, accessories, songs, etc that we're using to aide us in this journey.  If you know of good training pants or a company that might want to be featured in this series, let me know!

What was your favorite product to review? 
We've had a lot of favorites and some that I haven't even posted yet but I think if I had to choose...

Honey's favorite, which I will be posting a review for closer to Father's Day, is probably the Newman's Own Organics.  Stay tuned for the review and of course there will also be a giveaway!  I'm saving it for closer to Father's Day since it was one of Honey's favorite!

Kiggster's favorite product to review was the Twenty-4 Zen granola, she would not share the Lemon Ginger flavor! 

My favorite and most used review item so far has been the SnazzieDrawers boutique PDF patterns and tutorials.  I use the tutorials so often and have shared a lot of their projects on my blog!  They are great even for such a bad sewer/crafter like myself! I've made headbands, flowers, a dress (my first and only so far), used it to embellish clothing and hats, made pins, etc.

What advice do you have for those wanting to get into this or up the value of their giveaways?
Oh I feel like such a newbie still that I don't qualify to give advice.  But I think when I started doing product reviews and giveaways, I started with items that I'd already used and just contacted those companies to see if they would host giveaways on my blog to accompany those reviews.  Essentially I did the review free since I did not even receive free products but I was able to use them for different blog giveaway hops (I absolutely recommend blog giveaway hops) and gain more followers that way.  The companies were more likely to say yes to me (actually I got all yes's when I went that route) and they didn't question about my blog #s/statistics.  Then when I got that under my belt, I started pitching for the items I hadn't used before but wanted to.  I started small, then slowly started pitching bigger companies.  I have gotten some no's and lack of responses but I've also gotten yes's to things I thought I probably wouldn't!  You never know until you try and don't forget to always follow-up.  Remember not to sell yourself or your blog short and just reach for the stars and beyond!

Besides your blog, how else can people find you? (Examples: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) Which method is your favorite/least favorite? 

I have a Google+ account but I don't use it much because it kind of confuses me and seems slightly excessive when I have all the above social media platforms to keep up with already.  So I guess G+ is my least favorite method!  I'm addicted to Pinterest but I use it a lot for my own personal pins more than blog pins.  My favorite social media platform for my blog would probably be Facebook.

Share your top 3 favorite posts from your blog.
My first favorite would be my Daddy's Diaper Duty Apron that I made for Honey!  That was so fun to put together and everyone had a kick out of it at our baby shower!

My second favorite would be when I planned Kiggster's 1st birthday party and I shared about it on my blog.  I learned to make a lot of different things for that party and am so glad the internet has such a wealth of information (namely tutorials and crafts at my fingertips)!

The third that has been a favorite to my readers was when I share about Hospital Provided vs Special Delivery Gowns.  It's definitely something an expecting mom should take a look at, whether it's your 1st or 12th child!  I loved having my special delivery gown, it made such a difference in my mood, how I felt about having visitors and pictures taken!

Do you have any bloggers that you consider to be mentors?
A lot of my mentors are from some fabulous Facebook groups such as the Newbie Blog Hop and the Blog Help Group.  I absolutely loved taking Blogelina's blogging class, that actually helped kick start me into high gear and got me searching for those Facebook blogging support groups.  

Do you have a weekly, daily, or monthly Blog Hop or Meme that people should join in? Tell me about it and share an info link.
I currently post weekly about my 366 Project where I take a picture a day or try to and share weekly one picture from each day and write a little blurb about that day/picture.  

You can find my 366 Project postings here: 

In a couple weeks, I actually plan on including a linky list to those postings so others who are also doing a 366 project can link up their project for all of us to get inspired and motivated by.   Doesn't have to be the photo a day but could be a craft, recipe, quote, or something that is daily that you want to share with others.  If you're interested in joining this link-up, leave me a comment on my latest 366 Project posting so that I can let you know when I get the link up and running!  I can't wait to see what some of you have going on and it gives me a glimpse into what others are up to!

How do you find time to blog?
Haha, time, what is that?!  Well, I guess that ties in with the question about my biggest challenge in blogging!  I do most of my blogging in the midnight onward hours when all are asleep!  I am still hoping there will magically be more hours in the day!

What else would you like us to know?
I love when my readers tell me about themselves so that I can get to know more about them and their families.  Come visit me and join in on this journey into the unknown and unpredictable path of life!!!

Now that you have learned all about Kangaroo Journey do you have any questions or comments for her!? I know she would love to hear from all of you!!!

If you would like to be spotlighted on here just use the contact me field  to request a spotlight.

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