Survey Aftermath

by Roo on February 19, 2013

in blogging biz, miscellany

For the past couple of days, I’ve been poring over the results of the NGN survey.  I like these surveys because I think people are a little more free to be forthcoming under a veil of anonymity (even though the internet already seems to provide that).  It helps me understand what’s working, what’s not, and if there are some things I should change (if I can or if I should).  If you took it, thank you!!  If not, MMHMM, it’s okay, I’ll get you next time, boo.  Here are some of the results.

(WARNING, long post ahead.)

how-do-you-subscribe

In the survey, some of you said that you want to get NGN in your email, and aren’t quite sure how.  Short answer: click here and you’ll start getting posts delivered to your inbox.  As far as Facebook goes, Zuckerberg keeps changing the algorithms on us – if we’d like to reach all of our FB ‘fans,’ we now have to pay – and then only maybe some will see it.  (This is a frustration for lots of bloggers who simply want to get info out to people who have already voluntarily liked our pages.)

This is fairly new, and feel free to utilize it – you can get notifications every time your fave pages post on NGN.  Here’s how:

facebook-notifications

 

If you check out posts through a reader, know that I always share full feed, and I will never go down to partial feed.  (If you’re going huh?, this just means that if you’re reading through Google Reader, you will have access to the whole post, and not have to click through to read a blog post in its entirety.)

ngn-survey-results

 

I did ask which aspects of the blog you like the least, and the answers ran the gamut.  Many, many of you said “I like it all” which made me feel sooo good and I did a lot of smiling.  Thank you for that!

34% of you said that Ballers of History is your least favorite part of the blog.  Miniature Abe Lincoln and I were crushed.  CRUSHED!  I noticed in the notes that a few of you said you had to pick SOMETHING since the survey made you (oops, my fault on the back end) so you just picked whatever.

Pretty sure my errors mean this survey is no longer scientific.  Regardless, BoH is probably going to stay, if only because I reeeaally like it.  And as one really astute survey taker said, “Listen, I may not love a post, but I’ll just blow through it and wait for the next day’s.  NBD.”  :)

a-note-on-sponsored-posts

 

2% of you mentioned sponsored posts, in either a positive or negative light.  Some comments:
- “I have no ‘least favorite posts.’  I actually really like sponsored posts, because they’re fun and entertaining, and I’ve found many brands and Etsy shops that I now love that way.”
- “I think blogs should be just for fun, and no one should have sponsored posts.”
- “The sponsored posts are still funny, but when I get to the disclosure at the bottom, I feel duped.”

Oh, man.  Don’t feel duped.  Let me explain about sponsored posts.

I get – roughly – 20 emails a day about adding content to my site.  (I delete the ones that say, “Dear Blogger.”  My name is the fifth word on my about page, come on now.)  A person may ask me to write about their brand, product, or the company they rep, and may or may not offer to pay me.  When I take on a sponsored post, I *only* do it if I think it’s a good fit for me and my readers.  I have – with some serious pain – turned down $$$ offers because they just don’t fit.

(This is not to say that people are throwing dolla bills at me; this is not at all true.)

Often, I’ll mention a company or product without any pay or perks.  An example of that is last week, when I mentioned an Indiegogo fundraiser to build an urban garden at the bottom of a post about fruits + veggies, or a couple of months when I did a post on Operation Christmas Child.  I didn’t get compensated to write those posts; I wrote about them  because I think they’re both great causes – and the latter being a fun way to instill the idea of giving in your kids.

Some blogs are just for fun, and although this blog IS a lot of fun, I would not be able to devote the time and money I do if I was not monetizing it somehow.  I also appreciate a sponsored post because it gives me a topic and some inspiration.  My site isn’t niche specific, and as silly as that sounds, having such a broad scope sometimes makes it really hard for me to nail a topic down.  For example, this post was sponsored (i.e., I agreed to write for them; they agreed to pay my rate), and I had fun waxing nostalgic about my AOL days, as well as addressing some concerns that I think are relevant to most of my readers.  In summary, I thought it was a fun post!

You can always count on my honesty in a post – if I don’t like a product or a brand, I decline the opportunity to work with them.  I have also written less than stellar reviews.  Not in a mean way, but I’m forthcoming in a “This aspect is cool, but this part didn’t work at all – if that’s a deal breaker for you, then pass on this one” kind of way.

Changes I will implement:  At the top of each post, you’ll see that there are categories listed.  From here on out, when I write a sponsored post, you’ll see “SPONSORED POST” under the title, and you can decide whether or not you’d like to read the post that day.  :)  As far as monthly sponsored posts go, I do a round-up once a month highlighting the brands that have purchased ad space.  As a thank you to you guys, these will also be paired up with a giveaway.

 

 

web-design-chart

Most of you love it or don’t care.  I did notice that my guy readers (sup) leaned towards really liking the design (65% love it, 35% are indifferent, 0% clicked anything else).  A few of you mentioned missing the old design and that having my face at the top made me it seem a little bit more personable and a little less sterile.

Changes I will implement: There were a couple requests for better categorized archives.  As a short-term fix, I’ve put a drop down box in the sidebar, but I’m working on a way to have everything organized + categorized appropriately.  Thanks for pointing this out!  As far as the design goes, I’ll poke around over the next couple of weeks.  If you see any crazy font changes; ignore me.  I’m just working through the fact that I’m really bad at messing with html.

cant-make-you-love-me

(This is the first and last time I quote a country song.  Holy moly.  That’s never happened before.)

Some direct quotes from the survey:

“More posts on parenting.”
“Fewer posts on parenting.”
“More DIY.”
“Less DIY.”
“More cartoons!”
“More post about Etsy shops!”
“I hate, HATE, HAAAATE the This is How I Feel series.”  <—I got an essay on this.
“I want This is How I feel EVERY SINGLE WEEK.”
“I like that your website is varied.”
“More stuff about dealing with your kids’ allergies. My kids have them, too!”
“More Jack!”
“Longer posts – the endings are too abrupt.”
“Shorter posts.”
“Less diet stuff.  What the hell is that, anyway?”
“You only post once a week.” <—-I think… you may be mistaken.  I have upped it to four times a week.
Everyday Gangster isn’t relevant to me.”
“Everyday Gangster is perrrrfect for me!”

So, as you can see, there is no way I can please absolutely everybody.  On top of that, I want this to be a website that *I* love, too.  With that said, I’ve taken ALL of your input into serious consideration, and have decided to implement some changes (as noted above).  For now, I’m keeping Ballers of History, This is How I Feel, and Everyday Gangster, even though I know not everyone loves them all or feels that they’re relevant.  If I get to the point where I post one up and I’m getting *crickets* as a response, then.. fine.. I’ll let them go, haha.  :)

As far as requests for more serious posts, personal posts, parenting posts, cartoon posts, DIY posts, fashion + haircare + tell me about your love for Sephora posts, thanks for letting me know what you like!

shoulder-lean

Okay, that has nothing to do with anything, but I am doing the shoulder lean in my chair because this post is almost over.  Mmskk mmskk mmskk mmskk.

I highlighted some of the negative comments in this post, but I got hundreds of really encouraging, wonderful, wonderful comments that just made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.  I love you guys.  For real.  I’d give up Cheetos forevaa for you.

I know I’ve covered a lot here, so you’re all welcome to discuss in the comments – I will happily respond.  :)

♥ ♥ ♥

Okay, that’s enough now.

Thanks again!!

 

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah Butler February 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I’m one of the “get updates in Facebook feed” peeps. Although I will say that since Zuckerberg keeps messing with how/where/when/what direction/shape/font my updates show up to me on what seems like a DAILY basis…if I don’t see anything new show up for a couple days, I just pop on over manually. And SOMETIMES, there are a bunch of new posts (yay!)! Overall, I’m squarely in the “you’re awesome, keep on doing what you do” column. And I shall keep stalking your blog in a non-threatening, let’s be buds, I swear I am not scary …kinda way.

P.S. Minnie definitely needs a stick figure. Something with flames!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Thanks, girl! I’m glad you’re not letting Zuckerberg get you down!

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Mary February 19, 2013 at 11:36 am

I forgot to mention…Minnie needs a stick figure rendition! I LOVE THE STICK FIGURES.

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

You’re right! Minnie totally needs one!

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Emily February 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

I literally started reading your blog the day before your survey went up, so my answers were with little knowledge of the site. But so far so good! I for one cannot wait to see what you and little Abe Lincoln are up to. Keep on keepin’ on!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Welcome, Emily! Thanks so much for finding me and sticking around! :)

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Liz February 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

I didn’t get a chance to take the survey, but I did want to say “MORE MINNIE!” My little guy is almost 9 mos old and so I can’t get enough of the babers.

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Hahaha, I will do my best, Liz!

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Brad @ MrWriteAway February 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

Keep doing you, Roo. Holler back youngin…

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Holla back! (woop woop!)

(Thanks, Brad!)

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Rachel February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

Damn, numbers are sexy, right? I missed doing the survey.. oops! I will never understand people who really complain about certain kinds of posts, because God invented the scrollbar and all. That said, the Everyday Gangsters series gives me life. I feel like it could be its own wildly successful blog with a mascot even.

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Hahaha, Rachel! Thanks so much – I really do like the EG series. :)

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Brady February 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

Good post. It could have even been longer if you wanted. That reminded me of “You could drink whole milk if you wanted to.” (I can’t be the only one that still quotes Napoleon Dynamite, right?” And I like what a reader said about just blowing through if you don’t like a post. Just skip it! Or scroll through for cartoons and then skip it.

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

MY LIPS HURT REAL BAD.

Thanks for reading the whole thing, Brady. I owe you a cookie.

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Jenn February 19, 2013 at 11:52 am

An essay on hating This Is How I Feel?!?! Those make my day! :D Haters to the left ;o) It’s certainly good to get feedback & hear what’s working & what isn’t, but overall I think you’ve gotta keep it something that *you* love too, so I’m glad you’re keeping BoH too. :) Maybe I’m biased since I <3 U in real life, but I really can't think of a post that I haven't liked and/or related to in SOME way…so I say do what you love.

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Awwww Jenny. You are just the sweetest.

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Amelinda February 19, 2013 at 11:53 am

Don’t focus on debbie-downers, we love you Roo!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Thanks, Amelinda! I’m totally cool with people having their own preferences….

For example, I don’t ever want to eat a red Starburst.

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Jenny February 19, 2013 at 11:58 am

Rock on, Roo! Love your blog :)

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Thanks, Jenny! (fist bump)

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Karen F February 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I like your idea about creating a category for sponsored posts. Ya gotta pay the bills, right? I think you handle those posts very well.

I also think not having a “none of the above” option probably did skew your results a bit! We love ya, Roo!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

You’re totally right – next time I’ll fix that bit with the survey. :) Thanks so much, Karen!

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Natasha February 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Wait…..this is ‘your’ blog, amirite? I took the survey, I lurve your blog, even the sponsored posts. GO ON BRUSH YOUR SHOULDERS OFF. I like the variety. We can’t all read Babycenter all the time (gag)

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Natasha, you are the BEST. Thanks, girl. xoxo

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Kelly February 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I like the results, and the updates you’re making from the feedback you got. In the end it’s YOUR blog, we’re just guests in your funny stick figure, gif-filled, gangsta referencing world.

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Thanks, boo. ♥

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Anne Taite February 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Couldn’t have said it better Kelly!

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Monique February 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

This is one of the few blogs I have read where I kinda love it all. Some stuff more then other stuff, but I consistently enjoy!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Aww, thanks, Monique! I really appreciate that!

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Steph Reiner February 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Umm how could anyone not love This is how I feel???? Let alone write an essay about it?? Those seriously are my absolute favorite posts in the whole wide internet world!!!

Seriously I giggle with glee when I read those titles and then when I finish reading the post I get a little depressed like when the Harry Potter series ended so then I read it again.

And then I spend hours on those gif websites trying to find funny ones but you must have a gift because I can’t find any that make me LOL. So you should just keep doing those if only for me cuz I’m selfish that way.

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Michelle February 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm

What Steph said!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Ahahahahaha, I’m keeping it until it’s obvious that only you and I enjoy it.

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Jess RI February 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm

So. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but… come on! (a la Andy from Cougar Town… please, someone know what I’m talking about) You don’t like something? Don’t read it. BOOM. And, though I enjoy a serious post now and again, if This Is How I Feel goes away, I will cry. I will write an essay on why you should NOT make it go away, if required.

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Michelle February 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Yep, make that two more essays coming at ya!

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Stephanie February 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I missed the servey because I was out, but I gotta say, Ballers of History is straight dope. This is How I Feel is a masterpiece. And I work full time, but even Everyday Gangster posts give me ideas for getting more done on weekends. I read your blog through email subscription, so I haven’t seen this blog design with the header like this, but I admit (only because you asked), I did prefer a former design that had your mug. You send smiles to my inbox almost daily here at work! How many other people send smiles to my work inbox? Not many. Love you, mean it!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Aw, Stephanie, I love you back!!

I’ll keep that in mind about the design!

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Kelli February 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Awww…missed your survey! Doesn’t matter…I LOVE your blog. It just makes me happy when I read it. I don’t need to get into specifics! I also worked at home (as a free- lance artist) when my kids were little. I have three daughters and one son…all nearly grown. *sigh* Your posts remind me of the challenging times, the funny times, the sleepless times…and believe it or not, I miss them! But just so you know, you have lots of fun to look forward to! And sleeping all night is highly over-rated! Haha! BTW…on a completely different note…did you know that the iPhone has a CHEETOS app? Thought you should know, in case you didn’t! Write on!
The Original Lurker

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Cheetos app? Say whaaaa!

Thanks so much, Kelli! Although I don’t believe you about sleeping through the night being overrated. ;)

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Gwen February 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I’m still too new to the blog to feel like I could really comment on any feature. That said, I’m glad you explained your sponsored posts, it makes me feel better about it. The first time I read one, I too felt duped but glad to know that you only write about things you either like or support (adding under the title is helpful too).

I wasn’t too sure about BoH, but this was not really knowing what I was talking about. I’ve never cared much for history – unless it’s ancient Greece/Egypt – but your take on it, plus the drawings make for a fun read…and hey, refresh some memory that my junior high school social studies teacher would be ashamed I forgot!

Next time a survey comes around…I’ll participate. Promise. (Also, I’m a graphic designer and I like/am not offended by the design of the blog. Simple. Easy to ingest)

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Hey Gwen – so grateful for your feedback! I really appreciate it. :)

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Anna February 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I CANNOT believe someone wrote an essay on how much they didn’t like the “This Is How I Feel” posts. Those posts have literally brought me to tears…..OF JOY!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Hahaha you’re the best, Anna!

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Steph February 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Me too!!!!!

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Nicole February 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I took your survey, so you already know how I feel (love you!!), but I do want to comment again and say I think you do an amazing job with your sponsored posts. You work from home, have 3 little girls, a husband, etc… you deserve any monetary gain you get from this blog, and I fully support your (and any other bloggers) decision to take on sponsored posts. I like that you only pick products/companies that work for you/your readers, and you are honestly the only blogger I read that can make a sponsored post interesting and entertaining. So hats off to you, Roo!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Nicole, thank you so much! I really, REALLY appreciate that. xo

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Sarah February 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Cooool. SO glad you did the breakdown. Maybe it’s just my weird analytical self talking, but I’m always SO curious about the results after I take a blogger’s survey…

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Glad your brain is satisfied, Sarah! :)

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VivaLaCottage February 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Great recap, Roo. We think overall those who read your blog is because they feel a connection to your inner voice and love it! You can probably talk about paint drying and if it’s done in Roo talk then you’re golden. So hopefully the survey did more to bring directional clarity rather than stress you out. Seems so and that’s great.
Personally, we connect with your sense of humor, drawings, and love of bass (how low can you go?) music. We totally just realized that the middle thingy has made us reminisce about the ol’ school 10th grade days, when note writing was at it’s peak in our lives. So keep the stick peeps coming!

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Roo February 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Thanks so much, guys! :)

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Jennifer February 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I didn’t see the survey so I didn’t get to take it (sorry, busy, forgive me?), but I do want to say… Your blog is YOU! And first of all it should make you happy. I think it is very cool that you take the time to get feedback about what people like/dislike, but ultimately, I read because I like YOU, and I want it to stay YOU. Period.

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Steph February 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I don’t like Cheetos. You can keep ‘em. :)

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Monica February 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Didn’t take the survey… one because when I saw this post on fb first (then rss later) then fb again I was like oh crap that was due today?? And secondly because you are doing awesome and don’t need to change a thing! Oh and the comment about being duped by a sponsered post, I get to the disclaimer and go “dang that was an ad??” in awe and amazement because lots of times I can’t tell until the end.

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Anne W. February 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I de-lurked to take it :) What is that beautiful cursive font that you are using for “let your shoulder lean”? I covet it.

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Roo February 21, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hey Anne! It’s “Wisdom Script.”

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Anne W. February 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Awesome! Thank you :)

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Sharon February 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Love me some NGN, just so ya know. its often a topic of conversation with friends. keep on Roo’in!

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Roo February 21, 2013 at 10:41 am

Thanks so much, Sharon! I’m flattered + honored.

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Renee February 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I didn’t take your survey but I LOVE the “This is How I Feel” posts. I have shown them to my closest peeps and keep going back to them for a good laugh. #2 is my fav so far :) I’m not a parent, mother, or blogger but I love ALL your posts and was just discussing with family how you are one of the funniest people I know! :)

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Ingrid February 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

So fresh Fridays? Where’d they go!? Although, I love this is how I feel posts too :)

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Roo February 21, 2013 at 10:43 am

Oooh, you know, I ended up bagging So Fresh Fridays. I was only posting three times a week, and I couldn’t justify devoting a third of my posts to it. People didn’t seem to *loooove* them, though.

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Lauren February 20, 2013 at 8:57 am

I stumbled over here after you pinned yourself with no shame – I’ve never been so glad to find a blog! You’re relatable and hilarious, and you should keep on keepin’ on. (Is that a country song? Sounds like it could be.) Keep it up, Roo! Other Hip-Hop-Lovin’ Mamas out here are loving what you’re doing! :)

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Roo February 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

You are so sweet, Lauren! Thanks for finding me!! xo

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Ashley L Pelletier February 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

kEEP DOIN WHAT YOU’RE DOIN- I LOVE THE COMMUNITY YOU HAVE CREATED HERE. I love how this isn’t just a “blog.” It feels more like a family member, like a comfy place to hang out. :)

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Roo February 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

AWWW Ashley I could cry my little eyes out reading this comment. Thanks, girl! ♥

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Tricia Hicks February 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

“I can’t make you love me” ,the first and last time a country song is quoted huh? Full disclosure-I live in Nashville, the home of all things country, (but hey McCartney is headlining Bonnaroo !) Anyway, this song, recorded by Bonnie Raitt in 1991, that went #6 on “Billboard Adult Comtempary” & # 18 on Billboard Hot 100″ is not exactly a legitimate country song. Check out “You never even called me by my name” by David Alan Coe. It’s a true cryin in your beer, my dog died, she left me for my best friend country song. In fact, some say it’s THE perfect country song. Check it out!
Love NGN!

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