Thursday, April 10, 2014

Who Does Hannah Look Like? Throwback Thursday

My mom posted this picture of me on Facebook yesterday.  

This is tiny Carla at 3.5 years old - the same age as Hannah.  

I cant believe how long my hair was, but what first struck me was the mischief in my eyes.  
I recognize it because I see the same look it in Hannah's eyes everyday.  
I've heard "She looks just like her daddy!" since the day Hannah was born, so I thought I'd compare this picture of me to some screenshots of Hannah from my recent video with her:
None of the poses match up exactly, but I think it's pretty obvious that she has my eyes and eyebrows.

So then I figured I'd find a picture of tiny Christopher and see just how much Hannah looks like him.

Isn't tiny Christopher just the cutest!?

When I added him to the mix I was blown away:
Hannah is our daughter.  There is no doubt about it.
It's like you put my eyes and hair on Christopher's face, but she really does look just like him.
It's neat to think that these little kids grew up thousands of miles apart, 
met at a frat party in college, and made a cute little family together.

Next time we'll have to compare pictures of William!
kinda creepy, huh?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How I Organize My Blog Files | Naptime Organizer

Usually I film my Naptime Organizer projects on YouTube, but today I focused on catching up with my photo and file organization.  I'm interested in how others backup their video and blog files, so I figured I'd share part of my current system to start the conversation.

Since I've been more active on my blog this year, I've used and created more graphics and photos for blog posts.  These files are watermarked and branded with 'theBubblelush' so I set them apart from my family photo archive and into their own business files.  I don't want to just delete them after uploading them to my blog, so I've created a system to back up my blog files.  I'll also share how I back up similar files for other social media platforms.

The first thing I want to direct your attention to are the files on the desktop at the top of the picture.  These five folders have very distinct uses for organizing images and photos:
  • Vlogs - This folder contains all video thumbnails (sorted by year, then month), as well as any photo, graphic, or image created for the video.  An example would be a stock image of a product I received in a subscription box.
  • Branding - This folder contains all the background music I've downloaded for use in videos.  It also is where I save all of my social media buttons and profile pictures, channel art, cover photos, watermarks, signature images, and my end slate graphics.
  • Blog - Let's come back to this one.
  • Company Logos - I use company logos quite often, so I save them here to save myself from having to redownload them next time.  Examples include: 
    • Social media platform logos like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
    • Subscription Box logos like Birchbox, Ipsy, Citrus Lane and Kiwi Crate.
    • Cloth diaper company logos like FuzziBunz, CottonBabies, and GroVia.
  • Business Files - This folder is mainly for company records that I'd use for tax purposes like scanned copies of receipts, screenshots to prove items were a business expenses, as well as a separate folder for each sponsored social media campaign - like the Piggy Paint giveaway I hosted in March.
The 'Blog' folder contains any image that I use in a blog post including the raw screenshot or stock photo to preserve the original source image if I have it, and any final watermarked versions that I've edited.  (Other images like my blog header or social media buttons are all in the 'Branding' folder.)  Like the other folders, 'Blog' contains subfolders for previous years, and monthly folders for the current year (as seen above).  I label these folders with a 4 digit year, 2 digit month, 2 digit day for blog images, and a brief description so that they are sorted chronologically by post date, not 'date modified' or 'date created'.   

I back up the previous month's folder on the 1st of each month to an external hard drive, and delete old files from my iMac as needed to free up memory.  I suppose in this way I have a sort of triplicate backup - the online storage through Picasa/Blogger, my computer folder for short term storage, and my external hard drive for long term storage.  

Is this overdoing it a bit?  Perhaps.  It's not necessary vitally important to archive your blog images, but this system seems logical to me and I works well with the way I use my computer.

How do you backup your blog images?  If you're a vlogger - do you save your custom video thumbnails?  I'd like to hear about your file organization systems.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

They're Always Listening

William is 12.5 months old, and while he makes a lot of noise, he's really only mastered the word 'mama' and occasionally 'dada'.  (Chris gets called 'mama' a lot.) But tonight we realized just how much he understands.

Hannah was napping, and Chris got home early from work.  He sat on the couch with me and William and you could see him just decompress and relax after a long day.  His shoulders rolled back, he melted down into a comfortable position, and he exhaled all the stress.  And for a beat we were quiet.

Then the dogs started scratching (loudly) to be let inside.

Usually this is Hannah's job - She let's the dogs inside and outside, and makes sure they have food and water - but she was still napping.  Chris, not wanting to get up, turned to William and whined "why can't you let the dogs in?".

William immediately launches himself off the couch and toddles towards the back door.  Naturally Chris and I turn to each other, "he's not really letting them in, is he?"
We both strain to see what William will do next, and see him reach up in an attempt to slide open the door to let the dogs inside.  (Thank goodness I've gotten in the habit of locking the back door each time I close it, or I'd have an escape artist in no time.)


And so we squealed, and clapped, and got really excited, because you see - He understood us!  He knows what "let the dogs in" means.

Which is shocking because every time we say "no", "drop it", or "come here" he smiles and runs the other way.

Stinker!  He totally had us fooled into thinking he was a baby that didn't understand what we were saying, but he's been listening the whole time.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Superheroes Can Be Pink

My daughter Hannah will proudly walk up to strangers and tell them that she's three years old.  She'll then launch into entire conversations about her life, her baby brother, how much she loves Frozen, and that she wants to be a superhero when she grows up.  

She is not shy.  She is bold, and brave, and charismatic.  
Her favorite color is pink, and she knows all the Princess' names, 
but if anyone could make a living as a superhero, it would be my daughter.

We recently celebrated my son's 1st birthday and I let Hannah help me pick a theme.  Naturally it was a comic book themed party.  She wore her pink Super Hannah shirt with a sparkly cape, and a bow in her hair, and happily pretended to her a superheroine for the day.


When it came time to pick out items for her Easter basket, it was easy to pass by the Doc McStuffins and Princess figurines once I saw the Avengers Play Set.  That is, until I noticed what was missing - the lone female member of the Avengers - Black Widow.



I want to start by saying that this post isn't meant to bash or vilify Disney or any other company, but to join in on a conversation that already exists between parents, toy manufacturers, and advertising agencies about the "pinkification" of toys for girls, and the gender line that exists in the toy aisle.


We all know that our children are being marketed to, but it wasn't until I had my son and began purchasing toys for both a boy and a girl that the divide became evident to me.  The gender line goes beyond just a pink box, and all the way to the limit placed on what is marketed as appropriate for our daughters to play with.  To further prove this point, I narrowed the search parameters and just looked at Action Figure Toys available on the Disney Store.  There are TWO items for girls to choose from, both female characters, and to add insult to injury, "pink" was the only searchable color.

Whereas the boys have 21 items marketed to them (over 10x more than the girls), including both of the "female" toys shown above.  


I think two points are obvious so far:
(1) Disney does not market their superhero and action figures to girls.
(2) Disney admits that boys will play with feminine characters (like Jessie and Izzy dolls above) otherwise they would not be included in the 'boy' toys.

Back to the original question - if Disney believes that boys will play with feminine characters, then why create an Avengers play set that only includes 5 of the 6 members, and without the only female character?  Other play sets at the same price point include a minimum of six figurines, so the added expense of an additional figurine can't be it.  I'm left to assume that they deem her unimportant.  
And they're wrong.
Superheroes can be pink.

A stroll down the pink aisles of any big box toy department makes it clear that a demure Princess will always have a role in children's toys, but deep down Disney knows that there is a push for stronger female role models.  This is evident in their recent additions to the Princess line - 
Rapunzel of Tangled.  Merida of Brave.  Elsa and Anna of Frozen.
All of these characters exude traits of a superheroine: 
They are brave, independent, and strong.

Yet there still exists a line in the sand as to what they think qualifies as a 'girl' toy.

As parents, we have to be aware of how our children are being marketed to.  Gendered toy marketing might not create gender roles, but it does reinforce them.  And while it might be profitable, what is the long term expense to society and our daughters?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Browser Window Shopping: Kohls

I'm window shopping while Hannah and William watch Sophia the First (did you know that Amber and James are twins?!  Me neither!), and came across a good deal on Kohls.com:

They're currently running a sale on kids clothes and offering $10 off $30 kids' apparel and shoe purchase using code KIDDING.  Plus if you use your Kohl's card you can save an extra 25% off with code BUNNY25.

I didn't find anything I just *had* to get for Hannah (I've got 2 consignment events this week, so fingers crossed for some amazing deals!), but figured I'd share the code with you just in case.

Happy window shopping.
~ Carla

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