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Wordless Wednesday: Baby, Meet Chicken

16 Mar

Baby no likey the chicken.

So, You Think You Can Potty Dance?

8 Mar

There’s nothing like potty training to motivate you to totally geek out for your kid. Case in point- The Potty Dance. In my house, The Potty Dance goes like this: Pick any children’s song, change the words to pertain to anything potty, and dance around like you’ve had 15 cups of coffee and 4 Diet Cokes. Doesn’t my life sound glamorous?

Before I go any further, I have to be 100% honest here: Pull Ups contacted me and asked if I wanted to write about their Potty Dance Party. Wait! You guys should know by now that I’m naturally wary of PR related blogs and I wouldn’t write about something unless I totally thought it was worth your while, so bear with me here. Plus, there’s some free stuff in it for you guys. See? Sometimes reading my blog really does pay off!

Well, I checked out the Potty Dance Party info at The Pull Ups website and there was some really great info on there. There are tons of free resources to help parents get their kids interested in using the potty. There is a free dowloadable potty progress chart, an iGo Potty app, and you can even request a free Big Kid potty training DVD. If there’s one thing I know: mom’s like free stuff- especially if it motivates our little guys to get that poo poo in the potty, and NOT on the floor like someone’s little girl did once. *cough*

You know what else I learned at the Pull Ups website? There is an official Potty Dance. Apparently, I have been doing it all wrong. They have a pretty sweet video of Ralph’s World performing the official Potty Dance, and while I’d like to think MY potty dance is in the spirit of “interpretive” dance, the Pull Ups Potty Dance has way more mainstream appeal. I mean, the kids on the video are crazy for it-even the parents are getting into it.

This is the best part:

I have to tell you about something else super cool. Pull Ups has a Facebook page, and you guys can go on there and ask for potty training tips. Dr. Gwenn, a pediatrician, mom, and Pull-Ups Potty training parter, is available to answer all your tough potty training questions. I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call where she answered a bunch of real-life potty training questions and she was amazing! I learned a ton of really interesting information like: constipation can lead to potty training issues because a backed up colon puts pressure on the bladder. Totally gross but equally fascinating, right? She’s very real and honest and she doesn’t shove a bunch of Pull Ups jargon down your throat. She actually answers questions with real responses. How refreshing!

Ready for more free stuff?

For all my Southern California friends: Pull Ups is having a Potty Dance Party at the San Diego Zoo on Wednesday, March 23rd from 10-11:30am. The event is totally free with San Diego Zoo admission. There will be a performance from Ralph’s World (awesome!) and more  The tent has a 500 person capacity; first come, first admitted. You know I’ll be there, so come hang out with me!

Once last chance for free stuff!

I’m giving away one Pull-Ups Potty Dance Party Pack. It’s full of fun potty training gear for your Big Kid plus coupons for Pull-Ups. Leave a comment below and consider yourself entered. The giveaway will end on Friday, March 11th 2011, so get those comments in!

“Pull-Ups® training pants provided product, incentives and a reader giveaway for me to attend the Potty Dance Party. However, my opinions on the product and The Potty Dance experience are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Pull-Ups® or their products.”

Disney Princess Characters Revealed!

7 Mar

Disney Princess fever has hit our house full-force. It’s all Princess all the time around here. Poor Hello Kitty has been cast aside for Emma’s new besties: Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, and Cinderella. The Disney Princess movies are on heavy rotation here at The Little Hen House and it’s Princess dress-up central 24/7.

We’ve  ditched the “Toddler Songs” CD in favor for “Disney Princesses: The Ultimate Song Collection.” I act like this is some huge aggravation, but internally? I am thrilled. I love singing along to all my childhood Disney favorites (I’m partial to Belle and Ariel), and it’s so cute to hear Emma singing along with me.

The Disney Princess revival happening in my life has got me wondering, “Who are the actors behind these animated characters?” Well my friends, I am about to reveal to you the faces behind some of the most famous Disney Princess characters of all time:

Cinderella played by Ilene Woods:

Aladdin played by Scott Weinger:

(Fun Fact: That’s DJ Tanner’s boyfriend from Full House!)

Belle played by Paige O’Hara:

Ariel played by Jodi Benson:

Aurora (aka: Sleeping Beauty) played by Mary Costa:

Gaston played by Richard White:

Jasmine sung by Lea Salonga :

Snow White played by Adriana Caselotti:

Tiana played by Anika Noni Rose:

Ursula the Sea Witch Pat Carroll:

Elmo played by Kevin Clash:

(Ok- I know that Elmo isn’t a Disney character, but OMG! That’s Elmo!)

Tell me: Were you surprised by any of these faces?

This post can also be seen here at Rated by Mom.

How to Make a Blog Button with a Grab Box: A Tutorial

31 Jan

By now you guys know that this isn’t a blog about blogging, but every time I learn something new about blogging (usually invloving HTML code) I like to share it. If you are visiting for the first time, I also have a tutorial about how to add custom social media icons to your blog as well as how to add custom feedburner/RSS icons.

I recently helped A Day in the Life of a Surfer Wife make a button with a grab box for her blog, which turned out to be a learning experience for both of us. I even found a way to fix the wonky button I had made for The Little Hen House a few months ago. It took a lot of trial and error to get both of the blog buttons right, and there was a lot of conflicting information out on the internet.

I was so frustrated with the tutorials I found online that I decided to make my own. Here are the most basic instructions I can provide on how to make a blog button with a grab box for your blog. I’m sure there are different ways to do it, but this is what worked for me. Let’s get started!

How to Make a Blog Button with a Grab Box

Step 1: Decorate and size the image you want to use for your button.

I use Photobucket to do this. It’s free. Open an account and upload the image you want to use.

Helpful tip: Keep in mind that the blog button is going to be a perfect square. I find it helpful to crop my image as close to a square as possible before I start working with it. This helps me stay within the boundaries and get a better visual of the end result.

Once your image has been cropped, you can add effects, letters, fonts, borders, icons- whatever design pleases you. Photobucket has a lot of different options and I highly recommend playing around with a few looks until you find something you are happy with. Try to make a button that is representative of your blog and will catch a reader’s eye. Using a graphic or photo from your blog, as well as the same color scheme, is a great way to keep everything consistent.

Helpful tip: Make sure you have the name of your blog somewhere on the image and it should be easy to read. The image is eventually going to be pretty small, so you want to make sure your blog name stands out. If the lettering doesn’t stand out on its own, you can try to add a text box with a colored or white background to make it easier to read. You can see examples of this in the photos at the top of this post.

After you get the image to look the way you want you want to save a copy of the image. Then you need to re-size it. The standard is 125 x 125. Some people use 150 x 150. My button is 125 x 125 if that helps you get a visual. Save a copy of the re-sized image as well. So, you should have three images: the original, a decorated one in the same size, and a decorated one in the small size. Having copies of the original and large sized images will help you make changes in the future so you won’t have to start from scratch.

Now that your image has been decorated and re-sized it is officially ready to be put to use.

For Blogger users ONLY: Once the image is saved, Photobucket will provide you with the direct link to your image. You will need this later. Write it down, save it on a Word document, or keep the internet window open.

For WordPress users ONLY: Save your Photobucket blog button image onto your computer. Go to your dashboard. Under “Media” on the left hand column click on “Add New”. Upload the blog button. Once the image has been uploaded, WordPress will provide you with the “File URL”. You will need this later. Write it down or save it to a Word document.

Step 2: Adding a widget.

I use WordPress, so I’m going to use WordPress language, but I know that all you Blogger users will be able to adjust as needed. Go to your dashboard, then look under “appearance” in the column on the left hand side of the screen and click on “widgets”. There you will find a list of WordPress widgets. Find the “text” widget for arbitrary text/HTML. Click on the “text” widget and drag it over to your sidebar on the right where all your other widgets go.

Step 3: Writing the code.

This is the part that always gets me. One little mistake and I have to go back and write it all over again. It can be maddening.

Helpful tip: I find working with the code on a Word document really helps me fix mistakes and it gives me a nice, clean space to work with.

I’m going to give you two different codes: one for WordPress and one for Blogger. You will need to take these codes and fill in the appropriate information for your image and blog.

WordPress Blog Button with Grab Box HTML Code

[div align=”center”][a href=”http://www.YOURBLOG.com” target=”_blank”][img src=”http://YOURIMAGEURL”%5D%5B/a%5D%5B/div%5D

[div align=”center”][form][textarea rows=”3″ cols=”19″ readonly=”readonly”][a href=”http://YOURBLOGL.com” target=”_blank”][img src=”http://YOURIMAGEURL”%5D%5B/textarea%5D%5B/form%5D%5B/div%5D

YOUR BLOG= The URL for your blog.

YOUR IMAGE URL= The image URL from WordPress that I had you write down earlier.

YOU MUST REPLACE ALL THE BRACKETS IN THE CODE WITH < > ie: [ = < and  ] = >

Input the appropriate information into the HTML code. Put the code in your text widget. The spacing needs to be the same. Click “save” and then “close”. Go to the homepage of your blog and you should see it there in all its glory. If it doesn’t look right, start over with the code. Double check the image URL. Double check everything.

Blogger Blog Button with Grab Box HTML Code

[center][img src=”PHOTOBUCKETIMAGELINK”/][br/][br/][textarea style=”width: 129px; height: 129px; overflow: scroll;”]&lt;a href=”http://BLOGURL/&#8221; style=”border: none;”]&lt;img alt=”BLOG TITLE” src=”http://PHOTOBUCKETIMAGELINK&#8221; style=”width: 129px; height: 129px;”/]&lt;/a][/textarea][/center]

YOU MUST REPLACE ALL THE BRACKETS IN THE CODE WITH <> ie: [ = < and ] = >

 

Helpful Tip: in the code where it says “BLOG TITLE” enter the name of your blog with spaces. If I were doing it, it would look like this: “The Little Hen House”. Also, the / after BLOGURL needs to be there.

Once the appropriate information has been inputted into the HTML code put the entire code into the text widget. Save it and go to your blog homepage. If the blog button and grab box doesn’t look right then you will need to start over. Double check your Photobucket direct link.

Helpful tip: This works for both codes- anywhere you see the word “center” you can replace it with “left” or “right” to adjust the alignment. For example, I replaced “center” with “left” and now my button is aligned to the left of my sidebar.

THE END

That’s it everyone! Hopefully you haven’t all pulled your hair out, or smashed your computer with a hammer. You all should have beautiful blog buttons with grab boxes adorning your brilliant blogs.

Wordless Wednesday- Hot Damn!

19 Jan

Don’t mind me. I’m just having a mild heart attack.

You can learn more about why this photo is a really big deal here.

Indulgence

11 Jan

Indulgence means different things to different people. To me, it entails the following: Getting in bed at 8 o’clock, reading US Weekly front to back, and then perusing my favorite fashion and lifestyle blogs (and yes, I totally look like that when I read in bed- isn’t my life glamorous?).

That’s exactly what I did last night. Let me tell you: it was…. heaven. Yes- I may be into chickens, natural foods, and we don’t have TV, but I love me some fashion and celebrity gossip.

So instead of complaining about sleep or the baby’s most recent developmental milestones, I thought I would share some of the highlights from my evening. We all need a little more indulgence in our lives.

What does indulgence mean to you?

Wordless Wednesday: The Literal Hen House

5 Jan

I’ve been working on my New Year’s resolutions: paying better attention to my Google Reader (only 217 posts until it’s clear!), going to be an hour earlier (I might have to hold off on that one until I get the Google Reader issue sorted out), and getting chickens (the planning has begun).

Step one: Build a little hen house- literally. I’m looking for something cheap, easy, and functional. I can tell you one thing: it isn’t going to look like any of these, but a girl can dream….

Photo courtesy of Woot! Finger Tips.

Photo courtesy of Modern Design Interior

Photo courtesy of Backyard Chickens

Photo courtesy of Rustic Rooster Interiors

Photo courtesy of A Bright Space

Photo courtesy of Southern Green Living

Jenny McCarthy Just Gave Me the Creeps

16 Nov

So, I was feeding my addiction to Twitter last night when I noticed my “internet friend” Surferwife tweet this:


So then I tweeted this:

And like one minute later, this is what pops up:

And then I died. Just kidding. It did totally freak me out though.

Now, for those of you who are huge Jenny McCarthy fans like Surferwife and I are- you must go enter Surferwife’s giveaway on her blog. She’s giving away a signed copy of Jenny McCarthy’s new book “Love, Lust, and Faking It.” I have my little piece of Jenny McCarthy on my Twitter feed and now you can have yours in her new book.

Go. Now.

Good luck!

Is It Too Late for Wordless Wednesday?

11 Nov

I only have one word: holyfuckingshit

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