Entries Tagged as 'social media'



I was browsing Facebook today, when I came across a video that resonated with me:

I love photo books but have absolutely no time to make them. I still haven’t finished GB’s baby book on Shutterfly and he’ll be three in March. So I decided to give Chatbooks a try.

Chatbooks links with your Instagram, Facebook or iPhone favorites to automatically populate a photo book. When you get to 60 photos, your book is made. 

Chatbooks @ohbotherblog

You can go in and exclude any photos you don’t want to have printed. I post a lot of food photos, apparently, and obviously don’t need a printed book of all the food I’ve eaten, thank you.

You can also edit your cover photos, choose not to include your Instagram captions, etc.

Chatbooks @ohbotherblog

And then… you order your book! The standard book comes with a soft cover and costs $8. You can upgrade to a hard cover for $5.

Chatbooks works on a subscription system as you fill your books: you can indicate if you want books immediately sent out once filled, 1 a month, 5 a month or 10 a month. 

Chatbooks @ohbotherblog

I spent about an hour this morning setting up my account and excluding all of my Instagram photos from the past 5 and a half years (that’s a lot of food photos). Because I had about 15 books’ worth of photos, I signed up for the “5 a month” subscription to get myself caught up. If’/when you want to change your subscription level, you can do that at any time.

You can also order individual prints and seasonal books!

Chatbooks @ohbotherblog

We all know we post our “best” photos on social media, so looking back, these seemed to be a pretty fair representation of our life for the past five years.

If you’re a hot mess like me, I have a feeling Chatbooks will work for you. Give it a shot!

*Disclosure: these links to Chatbooks are “Friends” links. You’ll get your first book free and if I get five friends to sign up, I’ll get a free 5-year subscription to Chatbooks!

guesting for susquehanna style


Guest blogging for Susquehanna Style @ohbotherblog


I’m pretty psyched to share that I’m going to be guest blogging for Susquehanna Style, Central Pa’s style magazine. Check out my first post–an intro to me, this blog and my crazy life–over at Susq Style now!

I’ll be writing monthly blog posts for the magazine, in the similar vein of what I do here–basically demonstrating my feeble attempts at motherhood, Pinteresting and life in general.

I know what you’re thinking, “But, Meg, how can you write a monthly blog post for them when you’ve been sucking so much at posting on your own blog?” And to that I say, “You’re right. Oh, bother.” 

Gatsby’s birth story, or how I live tweeted my labor again


As I shared, I was not particularly loving the final week or two of pregnancy and was trying pretty much everything to get this little guy out.

Stuff that does not work to induce labor:

  • Having the doctor strip your membranes
  • Spicy food: Mexican, curry, triple-chili powder chocolate cupcakes
  • Third trimester tea
  • Pedicures/foot massages
  • Labor Cookies
  • Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Skipping
  • Bouncing on a large ball
  • Walking miles and miles
  • Running on an elliptical
  • “The thing that got you into trouble in the first place”
  • Anything to do with your nipples
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Jumping off the bottom step
  • Squats and lunges
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Dancing
  • Full moons
  • Walking miles and miles

What Does Work to Induce Labor: Having a baby that’s ready.

Mommy and daughter bouncing on the labor ball @ohbotherblog

Gatsby’s Birth Story

On his due date, March 23, I woke up to some really mild contractions around 7am, while I was lying in bed. I didn’t think too much of it because I had literally been having contractions for about three weeks at this point. I kept an eye on the clock—they were about 8 minutes apart. As an hour ticked by and the contractions got a bit stronger, I began to realize that this might be it, but I still didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Side note: Having to rely on your own assessment of your discomfort to make that call to the doctor really sucks, especially when you’re a stubborn mule like me who likes to think she’s tough. Having your water break—like mine did with Holden—is at least a clear sign of labor, although, boy, does that make your contractions so much more intense.

Around 8am, I got up and took a shower (I had this weird thing with both pregnancies where I wanted to get myself “ready” to go to the hospital). My contractions were lasting about a minute, were 3-6 minutes apart and were still relatively mild. I called my doctor’s office at 8:36am and my parents at 8:42am. My mom took me to the hospital while my husband stayed at the house with still-sleeping Holden.

We got to the hospital around 9:45am. I wanted to make the walk to Labor & Delivery rather than take a wheelchair, and I could feel my contractions intensifying and coming faster. My OB met me in L&D for my exam: I was 5 cm dilated and still kinda thick by that point, so she wanted to put me on the monitor to see how I progressed before deciding if they would “keep” me… which pissed me off because 1) I knew this was it and 2) the contractions were getting stronger and being strapped to a bed (without meds) is pretty much the last thing you want when you’re in labor.

I was only on the monitor for about 20-30 minutes before they came back to admit me and take me to a room—I guess my moans of pain and the huge peaks of my contractions on the monitor told them this was the real thing. My OB told me then I was a bit too smiley when I first came in and that’s why she didn’t admit me right away… so if there’s a next time, I’ll keep that in mind.

In the middle of a labor contraction @ohbotherblog

Like my labor with Holden, the time from being admitted until receiving the epidural was a blur of pain. Contractions were coming every minute or so and, while they weren’t at the same excruciating level of my first pregnancy (when my water broke), they still felt like I was being eviscerated with a rusty bread knife every 60 seconds. I was still strapped to a bed, receiving IV fluid before they would give me the epidural and still on the monitor. So no walking or ball-bouncing. Just me alone with my pain.

Around 11am (so after about an hour), the doctor gave me the painkiller, Stadol, which doesn’t stop the pain of the contractions but “takes the edge off”—which means makes you kind of high so you can’t focus on the pain as much. It made things a bit better, but the real joy came when my anesthesiologist entered the room around 11:15am.

Getting an epidural @ohbotherblog

I endured one more painful contraction before the sweet, sweet nectar of anesthesia washed through my body and I began the blissful, zen-like ride of no feeling—like, I literally couldn’t even feel my legs. Also, I was still kind of high.

So now that I was feeling good, it was time to let my friends know where I was and to start…

My Labor Live Tweet, Part Deux

(ps – I also live tweeted my labor with Holden, which you can read here.)

In case you don’t feel like scrolling through all the pages, here is the “highly popular” video of me dancing to “Push It,” like I did last time:

Around 1:50pm (so after about 2.5 hours), the doc came in and said I was about 9.5 cm dilated and we’d start pushing within the hour… which came as news to me because I had no idea I had progressed that quickly. I was still feeling nothing. Like, my leg looked and felt like a huge hamhock lying in bed with me.

She came back around 2:20pm and said it was time. So even though I couldn’t feel what I was doing, I was going to push this baby out. They wheeled over the mirror—always a surreal experience—and I watched as, with three pushes that I couldn’t feel, the baby slipped on out. The process took less than four minutes. No drama, no tearing (thank god—guess those padsicles weren’t really necessary).

They put my beautiful baby boy on my chest and I was still in shock that it had all happened so quickly. But here he was, right on time.

And nothing would be the same again.

using facebook promoted posts to boost your blog traffic


So, despite the fact that I “do” social media for my j-o-b, I’ve been pretty lazy about promoting my blog on social media. I mean, I didn’t even really share posts on my own personal Facebook until a little over a month ago. I think part of the reason for that is 1) I wasn’t sure if this whole thing really sucked so I wasn’t quite ready to put it out there and 2) I didn’t want this to be a blog that just my friends read. But, on the other hand, it is a little disheartening to write something you put a lot of time and thought into and then only 11 people see it. So I decided it was time to get a little traffic.

I started slowly. About two weeks ago, I posted on my personal Facebook encouraging my friends to “Like my blog already.” I got about 50 Likes off the bat, which isn’t much, but it was enough to give me access to Facebook Insights, which are analytics (numbers/metrics) for your Facebook Page. You access your Facebook Insights via the admin panel at the top of your Facebook Page.

Using Facebook Insights for your blog @ohbotherblog

Insights will give you info on number of Page Likes (and new Likes), Post Reach (how many people saw your posts), and Engagement (how many people Liked, commented or shared). Insights will also show you specific reach and engagement for each post. You can go super in depth with your Insights and find out follower demographics and geography, see what times your Fans are online, and your best post types (links, photos, status updates, etc.).

Using Facebook Insights for your blog @ohbotherblog
So now that I had access to my Insights I could see how few people were actually seeing my posts. Starting with a super-low number of Followers obviously isn’t the best, but coupling that with the fact that the average post from a brand page only reaches about 16% of Facebook fans meant that like six people were seeing my posts on Facebook.

So Facebook offers an easy an inexpensive way to “boost” your post and get it in front of some new eyes. I mean, there’s nothing worse than posting something you think is blog gold and it turns out it’s going into an Internet black hole. So I started dipping my toe into Facebook Promoted Posts about a week ago.

You choose the post you want to promote (the blog gold) and click the “Boost Post” button at the bottom right of the post. The minimum is $5, which, for me, got me a new audience of 700-1,400 people. Pretty sweet. You can choose to promote your post to People who Like your Page and their friends, or you can target other users by geography, gender, age and interests.

Boost your Facebook post views with Promoted Posts for your blog @ohbotherblog

Through boosting just a few posts, my Facebook Page views are up like 2000% (which, lets be honest, wasn’t hard to do) and my promoted posts have reached 1,200 people or more (who wouldn’t normally have ever seen my posts). After boosting my first post, my blog traffic increased 418%. AND I’ve gotten 14 news Facebook Likes.

So, anyway, I’m a fan. I mean, see how that post up there with the adorable croc flipping the bird only reached 7 people? Yeah. Give it a shot on your blog and let me know how it goes!

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