Back to School with Amazon Opp

We are in the throes of Back to School and what better way to celebrate than with a $200 Amazon Gift Card giveaway! Clothes, backpacks and supplies all right at the click of the mouse and with Prime, you can receive those orders just in the nick of time.

Blogger Opp – Networking Perks
Back To School Event $200 Amazon GC Giveaway
Sponsored by Networking Perks
USA & Canada Except Quebec
Start Date: August 20th (as long as we continue to receive signups)
End Date: September 4th
With $20 Payment you will receive 2 links of choice (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram)
For an additional $20 become a host blog which includes a link back to your blog and 2 links of choice (Links for hostpages include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Leave a Link on a Non Giveaway Post or Leave a Link on a Specific Post). You can earn up to FOUR total links for this promo.
To take part in this event your must post the html to the giveaway with the Rafflecopter. You must promote a minimum of 3x weekly.
Sign Up Here:

3 Tips on Proper Use of Images and Photos

free photo, using photos from net, creative commons, flickr, free photos

The other day while minding my own business at my desk I overheard a fascinating conversation. One of the leaders in our organization was looking to utilize a highly recognizable trademarked and copyright protected image and logo. I could hear the uncertainty in his voice as he was curious to the proper use of the photo. He was asking another department head regarding his experience in use of this material. I heard more uncertainty in both of the parties discussion, one was a coordinator for programming and the other is a web designer, marketer. Of the two, I would have thought they would have erred on the side of caution when wanting to use this image for a blog post. Their decision was anything if not scary; they opted to use the photo because they indicated our organization was “too small to be considered for a lawsuit.” Suddenly my adrenaline was pumping with anxiety at their lack of caution to the proper use of images, photos and pictures in blog posts, public material and advertising.

Google images has made seeking out photo’s one of the easiest tools we can use today. Google, no less, has  replaced encyclopedia’s, basic knowledge and higher learning. However, the evolution of Google and the easy access to various images posted on the web does not give anyone and everyone carte blanche to utilize photos so readily and easily for Facebook posts, blog posts and other media shares. These photos belong to someone, some company and or organization that owns the intellectual rights.

Imagine if someone hacked your hard-drive or decided to help themselves to your Facebook photos, took those photos and shared them as marketing material to make money. Imagine your fury that someone took your family photos and used them as a black and white still for a picture frame cover in a large box store. All the while, you are not reaping the rewards for rights to the photo. You would consider this theft.

Even though large corporations, organizations and conglomerations exist to have an endless supply of money, resources and they might never miss the photo, the principle of the fact remains that improper use could be considered theft. Even if you think your blog is small, unnoticed and imaginary in the sea of sites, blogs and landing pages in the world, someone, somewhere might notice. Are you willing to risk being sued for improper use and attribution for a photo?

attribution, creative commonsHere are some tips to keep in mind when using photos from the web:

  • Did you create the graphic and or take the photo?

If you did, then make sure that you protect your works and credits. Slap on a copyright for your works. The process is far from difficult and most photo services when you upload your works (like Google Picasa, Flickr, etc) have an attribution option where you can add notations such as a copyright. Photo editing software such as PhotoShop and GIMP also offer watermark options where you can place your copyright. While this is not a guaranteed protection, this does ensure you did your due diligence to protect your works, especially when you register them as such.

  • Is the photo copyright protected? Is the photo public domain? Is the photo protected under attribution license?

While this is a lot to take in, the larger photo sites (Flickr, Picasa, Wikimedia Commons) fully detail and explain the differences in all these types of available photos. As mentioned in my scenario above, my co-workers were looking to use a Marvel Avengers logo. This was a huge NO NO without proper consent, permission and attribution. I sent them an email and advised them that in order to use the logo and trademark of Marvel Comics for the logo they would need to contact the organization to ask for use, credit and attribute the photo that they have permission from Marvel for use. By not doing so creates the opportunity for unnecessary risks and lawsuits that could have been avoided if handled properly.

  • Do you need to use a specific photo or can you get your message across with a free domain photo?

Sometimes we purely want to use the photo because of aesthetics, but really we can say the same thing or put across the same message with a photo that requires no attribution. If you have the funds in your budget to purchase a photo, do so and be sure you use the same attribution and crediting process as outlined in the purchase agreement. Purchasing photos from organizations like ShutterStock allow you use of royalty free photos that reduce your risk by just taking photos directly from Google images. Right click and save through Google images can open a can of worms for lawsuits and DMCA notices. Know what the symbols means with each photo, see where the photo originated and who owns the rights if any.

Images are a great way to portray our image, our brand and to tell a story. We all want that advantage when marketing ourselves, our brand, our blog. We take great pride in the effort and work we put into the fruits of our labor; all artists feel this way and should be respected as such. When putting forth that effort take the extra time to do the job right. Protect your investment and your asset. Protect your images, your blog and your reputation. Respect the rights of others who also share in the same endeavor.

Next time you are thinking of using a photo and one you fell in love with on Google images, think about the artist and owner of that image and or work. Think about the proper use of their image and if you have the right to reproduce that work even if you think your blog is only a speck in the pixelated world of the internet. Do your research, be respectful, and understand how using photos can greatly impact your reputational risk and or infringe on someone’s intellectual rights as an artist.

*Written by Karie Herring, Owner and Author of The Five Fish.

You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter as Kariewithak.

Anti Social Media

A friend of mine posted the other day about how Facebook has turned into a feed of others posting videos they have seen and no longer a forum for conversation. His comment was profound to say the least.

“Do people still actually post things here or is just a forum to share videos you found on the internet?”

Our social media venues have become more of the anti social media as we fail to engage one another. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) seem to have transformed into venues of mental masturbation to help pass the minutes as we exercise, exercise bowel movements and or exercise our lack of effort into our careers and selves.

Many a late nights I used to delve into Twitter and Facebook. Twitter especially, as I engaged on many a conversations, albeit some superficial “mom talk,” as my twins were much younger and I found an online community of other women who had the same subscription of life. Bantering, high level disagreements and even some catty non-sense. However, the result was all the same. Conversation.

Today I see Twitter as a monologue, at best. Almost like a telemarketing convention where all of the sellers are dialing out to potential consumers with their tweets in hopes someone will buy their sales pitch. I was saddened to see my own church guilty of the same actions. Services were provided with a hashtag to “join the conversation.” Really? Who would we be conversing with? Other members I suppose, but I found that to be very anti social as well with other members tweeting, never actually engaging in a dialogue.

Facebook has transformed itself into much of the same fashion…coupled with the sisterhood of Instagram. Timelines are littered with selfies and no longer original and or beautiful content. I have watched these two venues turn into a cesspool of narcissism interlaced into being “social.” Social would be how many likes you received for your newest photo and nothing really ever of a conversation.

Have we let our new technology and new forms of communication dilute, if not totally eliminate, any true forms of communication or dialogue? Or is this the way we communicate now these days with pictures, videos, selfies and emoticons? How do we begin to converse with one another again?

With advancements of technology and forms of communication have we catapulted ourselves into the age of anti social media? Recalling an email I received from my dad about 10 years ago, he provided me his new phone number when he was living in Iowa and said, “text me if you want to talk.” I replied and guffawed at such a request, “I don’t text Dad.” Was I flippant, naive, optimistic that communication would remain status-quo? Maybe a combination of all three, never in my wildest dreams would I consider communicating with my parents, let alone my friends in such a fashion. Never would I have imagined creating a blog when just six months pregnant to detail the chronology of my twins in utero, their lives thereafter, our lives in their entirety as a collective over the past eight years.

I suppose since our lives are so busy, social media helps to keep us abreast of all of friends goings-on. Maybe we help show them our interests with the different shares and social likes through Facebook and Twitter. Social media has helped us connect with one another instantly and receive updates on breaking events in the blink of an eye as opposed to waiting for the following day or the late evening newscast. Yet, we seem to be more anti social because we have updates so frequently, so immediate that we can even sever friendships with the click of a button, block the information we receive, filter our lives to seem, feel and look perfect.

Have these “social” venues created an opportunity of anti social behavior?

Social media has allowed us to avoid having meaningful and legitimate dialogues with the click of a button, removing people from our lives when conversations become crucial. While we can connect immediately, we can disconnect just as easily. As opposed to having a healthy dialogue, we just shut the conversation down with block, delete, un-follow, unlike. We can avoid sharing how our lives are imperfect by sharing some of the best photos of the day when the picture behind the camera would suggest normal humanity, beautifully broken. Suddenly we have keyboard muscles that we exert as our form of exercise, because to exercise our mental capacity to accept diversity that something is less than perfect or a comment is less than favorable we remove the threat. Our behavior on social media is dramatically different that in person, acting as if we lack any inhibition to hurting another because we may not actually have real life interaction with people.

Have you found yourself in the vortex of anti social media? Have you found you are only sharing videos and other posts and never really engaging in real, healthy conversations or dialogues? Has your social media become a monologue and not a dialogue?

Tackling Tax Season

Our favorite season is upon us: tax season. The W2’s and other miscellaneous tax documents have been mailed and received, now begins the daunting task of preparation and filings. If you are like millions of other Americans, the most uncelebrated day of the year is most likely April 15th. However, we can show you how tackling tax season does not have to be a headache.

What I have done with my tax returns in years past is create a consolidated folder. I have a physical folder on my desk that contains all of my documents that I will need to file my taxes. Ranging from W2 forms to 1099-DIV to student loan interest statements, I compile all these documents into a folder so aptly named TAXES. Then I travel to all the various websites that house the other documents that I need to file my taxes: bank statements, investment statements, Walgreen’s prescription statements, you name it I go hunt and print the document.

Bank statements these days are great depending on who you bank with. I bank with Wells Fargo and they have a spending report that allows me to export every red cent I spent from the year prior into a handy excel spreadsheet the breaks out all of my spending into medical, household, restaurant, the whole nine yards. I am able to use this when I itemize in such an easier fashion.

But if you are also like me and keep every receipt, this is great if you spent cash on some of your itemized deductions. I am a stickler for receipts. Considering I had been audited once in the past I have been sure to keep every single receipt from the dawn of time. Not really, but keeping your documents for at least seven years is the way to go if you claim them on your taxes. Tax filings are much the same as well, I finally just shredded my tax filings from 1997…I swear I am not a hoarder. However a good idea to keep your tax documents in case of an audit or you need to file an amendment to a prior year tax return.

When you actually go to file your taxes some things to keep in mind, especially if you have special circumstances like a blogger, gambler, contest winner and or are self employed. Many of your expenses are tax deductible. We will take a gambler for instance, many gambling winnings are claimed, but I have yet to see the losses claimed. You got it, when you win, you sometimes lose as well. We always claim the income, but are unaware that we can claim the expenses that are attributed to earning (or winning) the income.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most folks file the minimum and do not ask for other ways to save on their taxes and or ask what is tax deductible.

I did a YouTube video some years ago that even covered this topic coupled with the first time home buyers tax credit. This year many of us will be feeling the pain of the Obama Care (Affordable HealthCare Act) tax penalty and or filing. In years past we have claimed everything for our healthcare from the cost of the premium to the prescriptions to the mileage on our vehicles to drive to the physician. Check on the IRS website, TurboTax and or your local tax advisor for more information, but don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Finally, do not stress. Taxes are a way of life. Tax filings are inevitable, just take a deep breath and dive in. Yes they are a pain in the neck. Yes, they can be confusing, but they don’t have to be. In general they are only confusing because we are trying to work at them while our emotions and stresses are heightened. Set aside some quiet time to work on these where you are not rushed and you can apply some thought and patience. Tackling tax season shouldn’t feel like you are wrestling a bear. Take it in stride and know there are plenty of resources available to you to answer any questions you may have.

There is no sarcasm font

Hurt can cause irreparable effects that reverb. A ripple effect of sorts the way the betrayers can cover an enormous amount of ground, burden our hearts and steal our trust. One thing I have experienced professionally and by working online as a blogger and in social media is the power of hurt, betrayal. Our world has expanded across the globe yet shrunk since we all converse and collaborate online. However with working online and through electronic forms of communication we lose what is most important in our connection, the humanity. Unfortunately in email, posts, instant messages there is no tone, or sarcasm font.

We type out our emails, posts, messages and we can hear our own voices in our head, we can hear the tone. Somehow the tone is not transferred, or sometimes the tone is transferred improperly, in these transmissions. Sadly at the same time we then hit send to our recipient thinking nothing of the sorts.

Online transgressions are not limited to only our electronic correspondence. We have much of our business online as well. As bloggers we deal with people all the time. We put a great amount of faith and trust in people and never think twice about hurt or betrayal. How do we overcome? How do we learn to trust again?

I know my personal dealings ended painfully. Working hard to build a beautiful blog with a devout following for the messages I had to share, heart felt, raw, and real. When I opened myself to making “friends” online I was met with my past slapping me in the face as a way for those to seek revenge, to hurt me for their personal gain. My “friend” burned my contacts with falsities, attempted to burn my income, all in the name of pettiness. An act of high school retaliation because someone got her skirt in a ruffle. The part I played was that I would not play into girlish antics. I backed out tastefully, respectfully, calling the cards indicating my distaste and dissatisfaction for the events, the disrespect and that our relationship was truly not genuine or of a friendship.

This past year an online friend rekindled my trust and faith for the online world. My faith was even more broken as I was “voted off the island,” as my husband refers to my termination from corporate America. Shifting in moments of self pity, self deprecation, anger, rage, hurt. My friend pulled me back to show me a renewed faith and helped me rekindle my love for people once more. She encouraged me to seek my reinvention. Life was bigger than me, my Faith was telling me to believe. Believe that everyone deserved a second chance, delivering forgiveness, redeeming people as a whole instead of condemning them for a single bad egg of the bunch.

My friend showed me that not all two people are the same. Working online could be fulfilling again. I could write to my hearts content. I found my voice. I found my love which was once lost. I found I could continue to love people, empower them as I once did, share in their triumphs and trials, put feelings into words.

I found that I could trust again and work online with strangers, even if I did use some sarcasm font as a defense mechanism. When I came back to work with Joie, she encouraged me to become vulnerable again and lead the charge with other vulnerable bloggers who were just like me. Have you been scorned by people online? People in your “community?” Are you afraid of history repeating itself? Well know you are in good company as we are all in the midst of a great leap of faith to create something wonderful, powerful, moving. If we happen to trust again, give something bigger of ourselves and maybe forge friendships of the same caliber, success monetarily and professionally would just happen to be an afterthought with all we will gain on a personal level.

February #EatInChallenge What The Fork Are You Eating

Networking Perks is challenging families to join the Eat At Home Challenge. Disconnecting from technology, work life, and the day to bring together family, the best way to do that is with family dinner. Sitting down and eating together as a family is important; we discuss the days events from our worst moments to the best moments. Meals are an intricate part of our togetherness in how we show our love for our family as we serve them. In our busy lives we struggle to balance the time between work and family, however Networking Perks is promoting every opportunity to make family first. The February Eat In Challenge asks us what are we eating when we sit down as a family.

Each month we will host a new giveaway which will look to enrich your lives. This is a FREE event with a single Twitter link. If you would like additional links included in the giveaway and event, they are available for a fee (purchase). In addition, the point of these posts are to show some mouth watering, delicious meals to help build your repertoire of culinary finesse that not only can save you time, money, but energy so you can get back to focusing on what really matters: family. Our bloggers will showcase the finest in culinary variety from gluten and dairy free to the utmost in decadence with our favored comfort foods and desserts.

We hope you take the time to visit each blogger and their recipes.

What the Fork are you eating, Eat In ChallengeBest of all is our giveaway this month. We are giving away THREE (3) copies of “What The Fork Are You Eating: An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate” where the author debunks food myths and misconceptions. Stephanie Sacks is a certified dietary nutritionist, dietician, who breaks down the best way to shop and eat foods. Her personal struggle with food allergies and conditions and extensive knowledge makes her rich in the topic. The book shares 50 mouth watering recipes that help you clean up your pantry and save time and money as well!

If you haven’t signed up yet this month please do so! Otherwise please enjoy our giveaway and the great recipes from our fellow bloggers for our February Eat In Challenge.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. if you have any additional questions or comments.

How Not to Run A Giveaway

Kristin Lesney-Ruiz giveaway cheater

Blogging is easy. Running a blog as a business is not. You see blogs are as diverse as people in the world with our various creeds, cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, colors, you name it a blog exists for or about the topic. More so is the rising cut throat popularity and business of giveaway blogs. Some years ago I wrote about the “not so” up and up practices of a giveaway blog; bloggers sweeping for traffic and never living up to providing a fruitful giveaway. Seems more are capitalizing in this fashion but with the added factor of collusion plus a ponzi scheme. Worth repeating I might share how NOT to run a giveaway.

Nowadays big brother is involved on a deeper level than the role Linda Lovelace ever played in American pornography. Every post has a disclaimer, every page has a disclaimer, every product, link, back link; a perpetual circle jerk of monkey’s appeasing an ever tiresome topic driven by fear. However, the fear should be real in the event one individual decided to pony up with legal representation and assert action. Maybe we should go over the basics, I might save you a trip to the Library of Congress to seek out the information I have so readily at hand.

1. Your Giveaway is technically a “Contest”

The true definition of a “giveaway” is if you just enter and by some asinine, random luck the blog owner picks you. Congratulations. Contests on the other hand require some panache, finesse, albeit skill to enter. Post a comment, follow me on Twitter, sit and spin. You know the drill. Even though the jargon is used interchangeably, if someone would like to get specific (especially when the law is concerned) you might want to understand the differences. If you were truly running a “giveaway” you need to provide an alternative form of entry such as “provide a self addressed stamped envelope to 123 Mickey Mouse Lane, Bagdad, AZ 85009” of which you now have your entrant with their information so you may contact them if they are chosen as well. This get’s sticky, can you feel it?

2. Make sure your contest is visible to all parties

The beauty of the age of information, technology and having a husband who is an IT (Information technology) guru, you cannot hide from anything in this world. Everything is on the web and everything has a history. Google me for instance. You can find my name, address, phone number, travel ten pages deep before you hit the obscurity of darkness that drowns out the name Karie Herring. Terrifying actually. I digress. Anyhow, when running a contest, you need to ensure that if you are the host and you will be pimping out the link like a whore (yes because you are receiving payment from others who are assisting in the promotion), the least you could do is:

  • A) Ensure a permalink on your blog for said giveaway. This is most excellent for SEO if you give a damn.
  • B) Ensure you post for original content to be indexed by Google and other robots and search engines. You want to be recognized as legit….get your content out there, even if you are prostituting services.

sham TRUS giveawayTake this photo for example. The blog labeled Blog A is the blog that posted the HTML as part of a legitimate service to share the contest at large. The blog labeled Blog F for “failure,” “fluff,” “flob,” I think you get the picture. This bollix of a blogger failed to even post this giveaway. Anywhere on her blog.They are HOSTING  the giveaway as indicated in Blog A’s screen shot. Wouldn’t one think that they would have a permalink post for this giveaway they are hosting? Or the other hosts for that matter….where are their posts? I stalked the post of the host in question. Her blog. Google cache. Nothing. Nada. No where in the nether webs was this posted. But she’s hosting? How do you indicate an official capacity without having official capacity…I’m confused. Maybe someone can clear that up.

Let’s move on shall we.

3. Pull a Winner. A legitimate winner

The beauty of a contest is that the winner is based on luck of the draw, pun intended. No mathematical equations, statistics, algorithms or minutiae of the sorts is involved. Just plain old lady luck. With that being said, however, some fail to realize that everyone has to have an opportunity to enter and they have to have the same chance to win. In the event that a winner is already predetermined by the blog owner this is in direct violation of the 1995 Crime Bill passed by President Clinton and subject to sanctions of two years in a Federal prison plus any hefty fines as deemed fit by a court of your peers. If you suspect someone of this fraudulent activity, reach out to the FTC to file a complaint.

If you pull a winner, do not post right away. Not everyone responds within the time frame which, in turn, defaults to choosing another winner. Be honest and solid on your times. If you pull a winner at 11pm, and they are provided 48 hours, give them the 48 hours and a few minutes. Tweet it out there, email to them, Facebook, make this notice public, not just on the widget yet because the widget would indicate finality. Think of the post on the widget and your blog as you have notified family members of a death before releasing to the media. Make sense? Once you have made contact then make it final on the widget. Done.

Finally, stick by your word. Your word is your bond. If you claim to be a professional act like one or subject yourself to a lashing greater than any troll or sweeper. Federal sanctions, state sanctions, imprisonment, fines, oh my. Playing with the big leagues can bring big league regulations. When in doubt, PUNT, tell the truth. Contestants, bloggers, brands and people alike will respect you if you have a legitimate giveaway and provide legitimate winners. How you run your giveaway is a clear indication of how you run your business. How not to run a giveaway, well that is a clear indication that you are a fraud and acting in a manner to deceive others, so ladies, enjoy your bedfellows of Bernie Madoff, Lou Perlman and the like.


The above was written by Karie, but I want to add (Joie) that when a sweeper or someone questions me about the validity of an entry or giveaway winner I take it seriously.  I was asked by a sweeper about this giveaway here that was hosted by Deb Picard at All About Parents because when googled NOTHING comes up with this name and spelled this way.  In our day and age this doesn’t happen.  What also brought attention to this is that it states that this giveaway winner was personally selected on the Giveaway Tools Widget.


Screen Shot of Giveaway Tools Hosted By All About Parents Note the widgets states a number of these winners were personally selected.
Screen Shot of Giveaway Tools Hosted By All About Parents Note the widgets states a number of these winners were personally selected.

I wanted to give this blogger the benefit of the doubt and here are the emails I exchanged with her.


On 1/24/2015 6:27 PM, All About Parents wrote:

Wow… I just noticed this. I ALWAYS have the tool draw randomly for me. This is odd and I am going to email giveaway tools myself about this. I will keep you updated on what I find out. I have never selected the winners myself. I am wondering what this about myself now.

Visit me on!
All About Parents

On Jan 24, 2015 6:29 PM, “Winter Witch” <> wrote:

Hi Deb,

Thanks so much for checking on this some of the sweepers are mad and I can understand that because bloggers have been accused of cheating in the past.  I am in NO WAY saying you’re cheating, but I wanted to check because this is one of the giveaways they’re squawking about and I want to give them an answer.

Thank you again,

Below is Deb’s Answer to me:

Well, thats bull. I have never once chosen my own winner. It really upsets me that people are “squaking” about my giveaway and haven’t one come to me about it. I have been sponsoring my own giveaways for the last few months and I was already thinking about not doing it any more after the current giveaway that is running. Its a shame that others have to point the finger. I just got done emailing giveaway tools. But for sure now I’m not sponsoring any more giveaways and I’m just gonna stay to myself just as I have always done with out any problems. Thank you for coming to me with this. I will keep you posted on what happens when they email me back.

Visit me on!
All About Parents

I emailed Deb from All About Parents again on 1/26/15 to follow up on this and she hasn’t replied:

Hi Deb,

I’m following up to see if you found out anything on this.  The winner is now not on the widget and I want to get back with the sweepers.  There are other giveaways too that have the same problem that I worked on with you.

Here are 3 giveaways I worked on with you and none of the winners are posted.  Unfortunately the FTC states that we as bloggers must post the winners publicly.  I usually post winners on my site of all giveaways including group giveaways.  I go back and check the widgets and many times I email when there is no winner posted.

If I could get the winners and the source of how they won I would appreciate it so I can share the information with my readers.

All the best,

When I wrote the above not there were NO winners on the widgets and now the original widget in questions reads like this:


There are so many good and honest bloggers out there and it only takes one to give us all a bad name.  There are rules and laws to protect us all and something isn’t just isn’t right.


Sign Up For The Monthly Eat In Challenge

We are so glad you are here and are ready to make huge changes in your life and the lives of others. Networking Perks is excited to host our monthly #EatInChallenge where we challenge families and bloggers alike to step up to create more time with family. What better way than through dinner time, where we disconnect from the traffic and busyness of the day to gather as a family and enjoy one another through a great meal and great company.

Each month we will host a blog hop and giveaway for you to post your amazing recipes to share for others to come visit your amazing blog. Additionally we will help you grow your blog and social media following. Our goal is to create a powerful and amazing group of women and bloggers through enrichment and collaboration. Work is hard, but we don’t want to make this any harder for you.

Here is how the Eat In Challenge works: Each blogger will provide their own recipe for a meal (any meal) or dessert along with their own, original photo. After you sign up we will supply you with the post details, linky for the hop and HTML for the giveaway. This is a FREE Event with a single Twitter link. If you would like additional links included in the giveaway and event, they are available for a fee (purchase).

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Are you ready to make big changes to your social media following and blog in 2015?

Well then take the plunge and sign up here:


Basic Info:

Event: ‪#‎EatInChallenge‬ Giveaway Hop – February
Prize: (3) Copies of What The Fork Are You Eating: An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate
Dates: 02/01/15 to 02/28/15
Sponsor: Networking Perks
Host: Networking Perks
Open: USA
FREE Link: Twitter & extra links available for purchase
Sign Up:
May contain an affiliate “nofollow” link.
You must post your own recipe and include an original photo in your post and on our linky.
You must post the html provided to you that will include the giveaway and Linky.
You must promote this event at least 3x a week.
If you have any questions please let us know. Use the sign up form to join. No payment is required unless you choose to add other links. We are currently wrapping up the January Eat In Challenge.


Women in the Business of Blogging

Women in business make me giggle quietly to myself. Cackle actually. They are like a super power of vaginal geniuses converging together in a coup to overthrow the world of men. Not really, but in the corporate world this is how women band collectively. Women have a respect for each other that they will not undercut the other in an effort to get ahead, rather they recognize their areas of opportunity and surround themselves with powerhouses that help make up for the shortcomings. A marriage of harmony, using each others strengths, instead of exploiting their weaknesses,for the same end goal.

My mind is boggled how in the online world, social media, blogging, women can act like the ants of the world, assholes. Attempting to dominate one another, tearing one another down behind the others back, all in an effort to climb the imaginary ladder of success. What is the need? Why do women lash out to one another in such a vindictive way?

I see these actions as putting feminism back by years. More so it puts blogging as a business back years.

Day after day I see women preaching how their blog is their profession but they do not treat what they do as their line of work. An entitlement of sorts to receive payment for the work they put into their blog, but they make no effort to put work into relationships that further business. You see business was not built just on the product alone, business was and is built on relationships. Relationships like everything else require the same passion we put into our work, no matter how awful the task.

Eating crow, massaging and stroking where needed, is just how to be successful.Back stabbing, whining, complaining, and creating a path of destruction in the wake is not a way to be successful.

Bloggers have a tendency to react the opposite due to the 24hour news cycle with information constantly flowing on and through the internet. Getting their panties in a bind they immediately turn to their social networks and bashing ensues. Suddenly these women and bloggers forget that the other person is just that, a person, completely human and subject to error. Granted, some women do not have the emotional maturity to keep their inner bitch at bay, but even pretending goes a long way to keeping the peace, furthering your career.

I found in the corporate arena that no matter what position or title you hold there is a certain level of expectation for how you act, react, behave and your tone. Sometimes that requires playing nice when you don’t want to and or sucking up to a situation that is just foul. My most successful mentors knew how to play this game well and had a tremendous amount of influence. They were successful because they never had anything bad to say about anyone (even though they would want to throat punch some of these people). These ladies surrounded themselves with people (men and women alike) who had strengths that offset their weaknesses and they communicated patiently and calmly. Rather than flying off the handle at the impossible, they would ponder the information and review all the various sides in order to understand the situation.

Conflict is going to happen. Conflict is evident. How we deal with that conflict says more about our character and professionalism than page views, page rank or Alexa data. Women do not have to be best friends, but they must have a certain level of respect and professional candor to be taken seriously. Consider how asinine men would look if they acted as foul and obnoxious as women do to each other; they have a conflict, speak their peace, tell the other party to piss off and the next day it’s as if the event never took place. End of story.

One of the toughest pieces of advice I can ever share is to swallow your envy, jealousy and pride. Stop trying to be like the other person. Stop vying for what they have and go after it yourself, but do it with honesty, integrity and class. Stop being so proud that you cannot ask or share help. A favorite comment made to me as a 19 year old girl in management was this, “I want you to have my job, take my job. I want to teach you everything I know and then some. Your success means my success.” My boss told me that two decades ago and it stuck with me. I busted my ass, made friendships, acquaintances, and networked before social media. I learned to work with people in difficult situations. I learned to accept that everyone is not like me and I am not like them. Each of my experiences taught me how to be better, I took a nugget away if the relationship was irreparable and recognized any immaturity on behalf of either party. That is emotional maturity and professionalism to admit and accept fault, especially when working with women.

Even though you continue to get business this may not mean that you are seen as a pro, as in professional, but more of pro as in prostitute. Your services are being acquired and paid for, but no one really wants to admit they work with you, just that you are a means to an end. The single most valuable piece of advice of being a woman in business is to always be humble. Always. Humility is the key to success. Just when you think you are too big, you probably are and soon you will be reminded how big your ego is and how little humility you have left. Your lack of humility could also lead to a lack of a paycheck and lack of professional respect by your peers. So consider your comment next time on Facebook, email, a blog that anytime you bash a peer (especially a woman), you bash the entire community and end up isolating yourself. Food for thought.

Organic Pancakes from Scratch Recipe

**Originally featured on The Five Fish

Sunday mornings are a ritual family breakfast for our family. Generally a large breakfast and one we all enjoy together. This last Sunday was pancakes, I love pancakes and I love to mix up my recipe ingredients to try a new spin. My newest addition made this batch, light, buttery, and fabulous with some fresh fruit. Even better….these pancakes are not out of a box and the cost is $2.00 for the these tasty delights!

  • 1 1/2 cups Organic Flourorganic flour, organic baking
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Organic White Sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups Organic (skim) milk or Organic Soy (gives it a rich, fluffy taste)
  • 1 egg (love my cage free, free range Organic brown eggs)
  • 3 tablespoons Organic butter, melted (or margarine)
  • 1 tablespoon Organic lemon juice

All those ingredients and yes, all together based on the weight of each item is a total cost of $2.00 to make a dozen and a half pancakes, guilt free, good for you, good for the environment and all of the ingredients are items you would normally have in your pantry or fridge. No need to buy any additional cake mixes or boxed batters or even those spray batters in a can (really? I thought that was only for whip cream?!) that have compressed gases and what not. Fresh, easy, easy on your budget, and you can double your batch, freeze them and save them for the following weekend or during the week when the kids want some. My kids scarfed these down with some fresh fruit and they always want more.

Who said organic had to be expensive?

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