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nana :: The Nana Blogs

We started theNanaBlogs.com so every Nana and Grandma and Mema can have a voice... a place to share thoughts...and a place to brag about grandkids!

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Archive for nana


What to do when grandma leaves?!

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For the last three weeks, my mother has been visiting.  We get to see her usually 2-3 times a year, since she and my dad live about 10 hours away.  Dad came along for the visit, but he could only stay the first week.  Because Mom doesn’t work full-time, she has more flexibility with her time, and she has begun making her normal visit around 3 weeks long.

As usual, we tried to cram too many things into the three week time-frame, and we managed to do most, but not all of those “things”.

One of the BEST “things” we did was spend hours (literally) filming and photographing the kids doing various projects for a new “Crafts With Mema” blog series.  (You’ll be able to see these videos and photo tutorials over at NanaHood.com every Monday for the next several months!)

Of course the kids loved EVERY minute of their crafting with Mema… as did she.  In fact, I’m not sure WHO loved it more – them or her.  They made everything from Sock Puppets to Homemade Flour Dough to Homemade Paint to Stained Glass (paper tissue) butterflies.  I counted up the projects last night, and I think there are FORTY projects for me to post once a week over the next…almost year!

Mixed in between craft projects, the kids also enjoyed almost daily trips to Walmart and the park…. a few trips to our local museum… a movie at the theater… and lots and lots and LOTS of yummy goodies baked and cooked by Mema.

And then she went home.

The kids are adjusting fairly well.  Well, if asking for her 30 times in about 45 minutes is “fairly well”.  All three kids have asked when we were going to do a project.  And all three have asked if we could go to Walmart.  (“Not now”, and “No” were my replies… no wonder they miss Mema!)

It’s such a huge blessing to my children (and to me) that my mother is able (and willing) to come and spend so much concentrated time with us.  I watch her with them – her easy and fun and relaxed way with them – and then I remind myself that I need to be more relaxed as a Mom… to take more time for FUN… to let them BE them.

I know I still need to “be the mom” and teach and discipline and “raise my kids up right”.  But I can also let a bit of Mema-fun creep in, even when she isn’t here.  I can say “Yes” more often to the requests for cookie making or brownies for breakfast.  It definitely won’t hurt for me to hug and love on them more, and tell them how special they are to me, just like she does when she visits.  It won’t even kill me to take ALL THREE kids to Walmart more often (gasp).

Yes, I can learn from my mother, and how she “grand-mothers” my kids.  As Martha Stewart says, it’s a good thing…

Ok, who wants to do a project???

Categories : Love Thursday
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Frugal Friday – FREE blogs!

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I am writing a “Frugal Friday” post for the first time, and while I suspect the blog posts for FF aren’t supposed to be “selling” anything, I’m hoping I can get away with this because… well, what I’m “selling” is actually free!

Here at theNanaBlogs.com, we are offering free blog space.  Our goal in starting this website was to offer a way/place/setting for Grandmas and Nanas and Memas (and Mamas too) to have a wordpress blog for free, AND to be part of a larger community of Nana Bloggers (and Grandma Bloggers, and all the rest).

We call it the NanaHood Neighborhood.  And it’s just getting started!  The spaces are available, plenty of lots are empty here in the Neighborhood, just waiting for new Nanas and Grandmas to join us and break ground on their new blog home. Construction has started on quite a few, and we’re so excited about the new Nana Bloggers we’ve met lately.

Won’t you join us?  If you are interested, you can read more about how to sign up, here.  And you can always send a message with questions or concerns through our contact page.  If you need help with setting up your blog, adding a new theme, or just blogging in general, let us know!

This post is linked up at LifeasMOM.com‘s Frugal Friday post.

Categories : Frugal Friday
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The fastest growing demographic when it comes to social networking and blogging are what I refer to as “Nana Bloggers” — grandmothers 50-plus.  That’s me, an over-50 nana of one, and I just love to blog.  Not all my friends blog as often or as much as I do.  “I just don’t know what to blog about,” they say.  My answer to them is, “Write what you know. When you get together with all your girlfriends what do you talk about?” In case you don’t know what women my age talk about, I’ll tell you.  The next time you are stuck for a topic, just refer to this list.  (And no apologies to David Letterman – these days, with all the wackiness at NBC, he has nothing to complain about.)

What Nana Bloggers Know Best …

10.  Causes. Women my age have sat through way too many PTA meetings.  We have volunteered countless, thankless hours at schools, and helped our kids persuade our friends and neighbors to buy everything from Girl Scout cookies to overpriced candles. At this stage in our lives we have a little more time and can afford to give of our time and talents to organizations that depend on volunteers to help others.  Pick one – Haitian relief, the Red Cross, Save the Children, World Vision, Compassion, the environment. Whatever you care about, blog about it.

9.  Men. Yes, they are from Mars. They think PMS is a television channel.  They don’t understand why women prefer Sleepless in Seattle to The Terminator or Rambo.  Young boys are made of frogs, snails and puppy dog’s tails.  Teenage boys are made of dreams of teenage girls, pizza and trucks.  Real men are made of Old Spice and M&Ms – they’re hard on the outside, soft on the inside, and they melt in a woman’s arms.  Behind every successful Grandpa there’s a Nana who helped him get there.  Where would they be without us?

8.  Kids. We push them in baby carriages, push them to join play groups, push them to get into the best schools, push them out of the house and into college, sometimes they boomerang and come back to us so we push them back out of the house… again, we push them into marriage and finally, we push them to give us grandchildren.  Then the mom pushes the baby out and, voila, we start all over again.

7. Medication. Ailments, we got ‘em: constipation, heart burn, heart attacks, cataracts, cholesterol, Geritol, colonoscopies, mammograms, menopause, migraines, hypertension, depression, diarrhea, bunions, root canals, insomnia, acupuncture, arthritis, bursitis, and colitis.  Been there, done that.  Nanas can give advice, loan you pills, and recommend a doctor, a hospital, a procedure, a surgeon.  Whatever malady you have had Nanas have either had it, know someone who has or know someone who’s going to get it any day now.  If someone in the family is sick don’t call the doctor first — call Nana.  She’ll tell you what to do (and you won’t even need your insurance card).

6.  Politics. Let’s face it: when it comes to politics the Nana Generation has seen it all. We’ve lived through decades of people who never should have been in politics but somehow ended up there.  We’ve had Presidents who were actors and adulterers. Presidents who thought it was okay to spy on the opposing party, and Presidents whose mouths needed to be washed out with soap.  Politics and politicians are fun to blog about because usually government is packed with very smart people who do really stupid things.  I mean, what woman would come home from having an affair and tell her husband she wants to work things out and she’s sorry she had a fling with her soul mate?  Absolutely no woman hiking the Appalachian Trail, that’s for sure.

5.  Sports. You think men are the only ones who can blog about sports?  Think again.  We don’t wear jock straps but we sure suffer with the jocks.  By the time a woman is my age she has endured enough little league, grade school, high school and college basketball ballgames that she could referee better than most paid officials from mid-court, using only a pair of binoculars (though I can’t run up and down a court without having a heart attack) and a whistle (the hearing isn’t what it used to be, either).

4.  Food. Even women who don’t cook love food and often get more excited over going to a 5-star restaurant than they do from a blue-light special at K-Mart.  Nanas love bargains but they love good food even more.  Especially when someone else does the cooking.  And you don’t need to be Julia Child to be a nana food blogger – you just need to be hungry.

3.  Decorating. Home improvements are fun to talk about because what starts out as a small project always morphs into a whole-house makeover.  Decorating comes natural for women with Martha Stewart genes but the rest of us have to find gay guys with good taste to help us out.  (Besides, gay guys are so much fun to hang out with.  Aside from having impeccable design sense, they’re not prone to plumber-butt… as some spouses, ahem, all too often are.)

2.  All women talk about the Big Three: boobs, butt and belly.  Whenever a group of women get together it’s just a matter of time before they discuss body parts.  They talk about the need and cost to fix them, and whether or not it’s worth it.  They compare whose are the biggest or sag the most.  Whose is wider or sticks out more.  It never ends.  No matter what we look like, we are never, ever satisfied.  Which is why cosmetic surgery appears to be one of the few truly recession-proof industries.

1.  And the number one thing Nanas can blog about better than anyone else: the grandkids (of course). If you didn’t guess that one, you obviously haven’t seen pictures of my granddaughter.  She’s the most beautiful, smartest, most talented child in the universe.  The only other children as beautiful as she is have not been born yet. They are my future grandchildren — and I can’t wait to be their nana, too!

About TheNanaBlogs

TheNanaBlogs.com is a new site dedicated to turning nanas, grandmas, memas (and moms) into bloggers.  The site provides them with the space and the technology to begin blogging. Nanablogs offer grandparents a voice, a place to share thoughts, a place to brag about grandkids – and a new way to connect with family.   Like its sister site, NanaHood.com, TheNanaBlogs.com is a creation of Teresa Bell Kindred.  Teresa is a wife, mom, author, and proud nanablogger.

This post is linked up with Works For Me Wednesday.

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Write for theNanaBlogs…

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We are looking for bloggers! Are you interested in writing for theNanaBlogs?

We actually offer two places where your blog posts can be featured – www.NanaHood.com and here at www.theNanaBlogs.com.  If you think you have an article or post that others NEED to read,  send an email with your blog link to submissions@nanahood.com

Topic ideas:

  • Fun (and affordable) activities to do with (your) grandchildren
  • Anything hobby related
  • Challenges facing grandparents today (special needs grandchildren, raising your grandchildren, etc)
  • Legacy – what do you want your grandchildren to know and value
  • Bring on the funny – humorous stories about the grandkiddos
  • Reviews – music, movies, art, tv, books – we want to hear your opinion

Please don’t feel limited to our list of topic ideas – if you have an idea, we hope you will share!

Again, the email address is submissions@nanahood.com What are you waiting for??

We reserve the right to NOT publish anything that we deem inappropriate for our website and goals.

Categories : Writers Wanted
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A Few Ideas for Getting More Traffic

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Here at theNanaBlogs.com, you can build a blog for free and begin posting content right away about your life, your family, your grandkids.  And while it can be fun to write for your friends and family, you might just be interested in getting a larger following!  (And maybe even figuring out a way to make a little pocket change with your blog)!

Here are a few ideas to bring extra traffic to your blog:

1.         Fresh Content – no one wants to visit a blog day after day and see the same posts. We recommend that you update your blog content at least twice a week. One easy way to do this is to write several posts ahead of time and upload them at the appropriate times.

2.         Social Networking – these sites are everywhere. Join Facebook, MySpace, Squidoo, Twitter or a dozen others and make connections. You can join groups of like-minded people who are also bloggers, nanas, or even entrepreneurs.  (We’ll write in more detail about this topic in another post!)

3.         Viral Marketing – this is where you spread the word about your blog. Talk to friends, family and even strangers.  You might even consider giving out business cards (or calling cards) that have your blog address on them.

4.         Use RSS Feeds – RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Readers can subscribe to your feed and get email updates when new content is posted. It is an easy way for them to keep up with your blog without spending all day online.

4.         Submit Blog to Search Engines – doing this allows your blog to be ranked. Google and Yahoo! are two of the most popular search engines you want to crawl your blog pages.

5.         Visit other blogs – show your appreciation to those who visit you by also posting comments on their blogs. It is a kindness that shows others you are not just out to advertise your blog alone.

6.       Social Bookmarking – submitting posts to social bookmarking sites allows others who are members of those sites to track you back to your blog.

Using any of these ideas will start the traffic moving in your direction. It takes time but you CAN build the readership you want.

And as always, we are here to help!  If you need assistance with any of the suggetions above, feel free to use the Contact Form and ask your question(s).

Categories : How-To Posts
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What is this “blogging” thing anyway?

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If you are brand new to the world of blogging, this post is for you.  We want you to be caught up and “in the know” after all!

According to wikipedia.com, “a blog (a contraction of the term “web log“) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.”

Wow, was that clear as mud?

How about this?  A blog is a personal website… an online journal… your own space on the world wide web.

You can use your blog to write journal entries, articles, devotionals, fashion tips, and brag about your kids and grandkids.

You can post pictures.

You can share with the world all your deepest thoughts… or you can keep it simple.

It’s YOUR choice, because it’s YOUR blog.

(Do you want one?  You can have one… HERE)

In the “old” days of website design, you had to pay someone (like me) money to design an entire website, page by page, for you.  You had to then pay that same someone (or a different someone, in some cases) to update and change your page content.

But no more… in that last five-six years, the blog world has virtually (pun intended) exploded, making it possible for anyone with Internet access to have a personal or even business website.  Now changing the design on your site is fairly easy and inexpensive (often free)… and you can have total control over the content of the pages on your website.

Here at theNanaBlogs.com, we make it as easy as possible.  We use WORDPRESS, a blogging “software” program that is web-based.  (That means you can log in to your site wherever you have internet access).

We provide a variety of different design/themes for the free blogs, so you can have a pretty look with one click (or two) of a button.

And we are here to answer questions as they come up.  To help you get started.  And to encourage you as you go!

So, if you haven’t yet joined the NanaHood Neighborhood… won’t you click on over and do it now?

Categories : How-To Posts
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Welcome to theNanaBlogs.com

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theNanaBlogs.com is a new site dedicated to nanas, grandmas, memas (and moms).  Our “sister site” is NanaHood.com, started by Teresa Bell Kindred.   Teresa is a wife, mom, author, and now a proud Nana Blogger. 


A few links to get you started:

You can get your own FREE blog by signing up HERE.

Get answers to all your questions HERE.

Read a tutorial or two, HERE.

Send us an email, HERE.

Want to “prettify” your new blog?  Check out our upgrade customization options, HERE.

Already have a blog and want to be added to our blog roll?  Send us a note, HERE.

Have you written a blog post you’d like to share on NanaHood or theNanaBlogs?  Send us another note with a link to your post, HERE.


And the post by Teresa that started it all…

NanaHood (originally posted at nanahood.com)

When I found out that my husband and I were going to have our first child 28 years ago, I started keeping a journal. I wrote to my unborn child and dreamed the somewhat naïve and inexperienced dreams of a young mother. I thought for sure the baby was a girl (it was a boy). I thought that labor and delivery were the hard part of parenting (wrong again). I thought I couldn’t possibly love another child as much as I loved the first (definitely not true).

I was wrong about parenting so many times that I couldn’t even list all my misconceptions, but I got one thing right. There is no love like the love of a parent for a child, and while I made more than my share of mistakes, I made them out of ignorance, not because I wasn’t trying.

Now I am into the second phase of the motherhood journey. My granddaughter will be 4 years old this month and I’m doing my best to get this “nanna” thing right. I spoil her, love her, and hand her over to her father when she gets fussy. I make sure I have plenty of corn as well as mac and cheese when she comes to visit. We watch Hannah Montana, Disney movies, and sometimes we sing karaoke into a pink and purple microphone. (I can also sing the SpongeBob SquarePants song if you’d like to hear it).

I learned about being a mom from my mother and about being a nanna from my grandmother. If ever there was a perfect nanna, it was Grandma Layne. My twin boys were recalling just this week how they loved Jell-O when they were little (they called it jelly). Grandma Layne had tiny, little white bowls and she made them their favorite treat every day. She lived just down the hill from us, so I’d watch as my boys ran over the hill to her house to gobble up a bowl of Jell-O.

All Grandma Layne’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren have special memories of her. I hope someday my granddaughter has wonderful memories of the moments we share. I already do.

Being a nanna is a wonderful thing!

Categories : Site Updates
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