Family Musings

Welcome to the first of many blog reviews and commentaries about other bloggers, bog posts, etc. As a (newer) blogger, I find it fascinating to learn about new blogs and have several favorites. This year, as part of my blogging, I have decided that each friday, I will post my favorite blogs from the week, as well as interviews with other bloggers so that you can learn about them right along with me. Today launches my blogroll and the first edition is Family Musings. This is a great blog by Jennifer Sabin and one I thoroughly enjoy reading. Below is an interview between Inside that Head of Mine and Family Musings, so you can get to know Jennifer a bit better.

How long have you been blogging?
4 years & 8 months. I started blogging in April 2007 and bought the Family Musings.com. domain name in September 2007 to better reflect what I intended for my blog.

Why do you blog?
I began blogging to keep my family in the know about the baby we were expecting. I keep blogging because I always have something to say, get a contact high from people commenting on what I said, and maybe a little because I like to try new products.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m inspired by so many things. My family is my first inspiration and my girls get more attention on my blog than anything else. Other bloggers inspire me too and sometimes posts grow out of comments that I start to write on other blogs. Three paragraphs later I realize that my thoughts really can stand on their own. This post about the need for women’s ministry is a good example of how a lengthy comment idea becomes a blog post. My friends also inspire me, especially when it comes to sharing crafts, kids’ projects, or recipes.

What are your stories about?
The “stories” part of my tagline reflects that, when you read Family Musings, you’ll hear stories about my life. These posts range from simple notes about a fun family moment with a laser pointer to longer posts with lots of pictures of our trip to the zoo. I write these stories for my girls mostly… I want them to remember the good things they did as a kid and have a record of their childhood. There are only a handful of pictures from when I was little and my mom doesn’t remember a lot of cute stories about me. The “stories” on Family Musings is my way of remedying that for the next generation.

Why recipes?
Remember when I said my friends inspire me? That’s where the recipes came from. When I make something they like or that they think sounds good, I try to post the recipe on my blog so they can find it to make later. Also, I’m so digitally focused, that the idea of writing my own recipes out on index cards to save for the future seems silly to me. I use the recipes on my blog as a resource for myself when I want to recreate a good meal.

How did you get started with reviewing products/services? What has been your favorite to date?
Good question! I had to go to my archives to find my first real product review and it was for my Arm’s Reach Mini Co-sleeper. I wrote it as part of a group writing project. Beyond that, my favorite review has been for The Bag Holder. For this review I got to work very closely with the inventor of the product and it really did make a difference in how I prepare and cook food in my kitchen.

How did you get started with give aways? What has been your favorite to date?
My first give away was on a total whim. Family Musings was not even a year old and Rocks in My Dryer hosted a link-up to give away something that represented our blogs. At the time, I was all about babies, so I gave away several baby related items. It is so hard to pick a favorite giveaway, so I’ll just point out some of the most popular – V8 Fusion with a $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card (over 600 entries using a form instead of comments), Chocomize (who wouldn’t love a customized chocolate bar?!), and Bake Me A Wish (for a cake delivery service).

What was your favorite post in 2011?
You sure do know how to ask the hard questions?! After taking a very long trip down Memory Blog Lane, I have to say that my favorite post in 2011 was Keeping Life Real and Honest. In this post I shared about my ongoing struggle with depression and the decision to medicate. I took a risk by sharing something so personal, but it was freeing for me to talk about that part of life on my blog finally. And the response I received both publicly and privately affirmed that as a blogger I need to tell the whole truth about my life, not just the fun times.

Tell me something interesting about you that your readers may not know.
Hmmm… well, only long time readers with a really good memory will know that when I was in college at the University of Miami I was a radio DJ and my on air name was Hurricane Jenn. Those were good times!

Where else can people connect with you? (i.e. facebook) What is the difference between what is posted on each?
Family Musings can be found on both Facebook and Twitter. While you will see me share links to new blog posts, I don’t duplicate content for either account. I post links to interesting things on Facebook and try to keep Twitter to the truly random thoughts that don’t warrant an entire blog post.

What is the hardest thing about blogging?
For me, the thing I find hardest about blogging is waiting for feedback. I know it is a better use of my time to pre-write and schedule my posts for the week, but that means I have to wait several days to find out what people think about a new craft tutorial or recipe.

What do you like the most about blogging?
Maybe this makes me an old school mom blogger, but I really love the interaction with other people the most. Reviewing free products and then giving them away is a lot of fun, but that’s not why I got into blogging. I truly get more excited by genuine comments and sharing than by anything else that goes on at Family Musings.

A special thank you to Jennifer for her Family Musings Blog and for taking the time to answer my “hard” questions. LOL! Welcome to Inside that Head of Mine’s Blogroll.