Blog : lovelinks

lovelinks @TheBloggess sidebar ad winner + prizes announced

lovelinks @TheBloggess sidebar ad winner + prizes announced

With two first place judges’ picks and a total of 80 points, the winner of the text ad for a month in the sidebar of The Bloggess is Erin of A Book for my Daughter!

Three second place picks and a third pick gave Deborah of MannaHatta Mamma 70 points. Deborah wins a text ad for a month in the sidebar of Mommy Shorts donated by Mommy Shorts.

Two second place picks and a third gave Ado of The Momalog 50 points and a text ad for a month in the sidebar of Motherhood in NYC donated by Alison@MamaWantsThis.

Congrats to the top three winners!

And, wait, there’s more! Thanks to all of our donors who provided enough loveloot to cover all 14 finalists and two additional, randomly selected lovelinkers from Week 1 through Week 3.

1. A professionally edited one-song video montage made from the winner’s family photos or home movies OR a comedic cinematic short starring the winner’s rugrat. Donated by Lindsay at peek-a-berry.

WINNER: Rach at Life with Baby Donut

2. A handmade soul necklace donated by Heather at Dollar Store Crafts.

WINNER: Julie at Mama Mash

3. A $10 iTunes gift card donated by XLMIC at Take It On.

WINNER: Jamie at Chosen Chaos

4. A 30-minute session of tweaking the winner’s blog code to perfection donated by Justin Wright of Zoopmedia.

WINNER: Bitches in the Burbs

5. A delicious batch of the winner’s favorite homemade cookies donated by Betty Bakedgood.

WINNER: Kerry at The Signing Life [randomly selected from all Week 1-Week 4 participants]

6. A pair of BabyLegs donated by Jess at Sweet Pea in a Pod.

WINNER: Lolo at The Lyons’ Din [randomly selected from all Week 1-Week 4 participants]

7. A $25 gift card for any item in Kelly’s Etsy shop donated by Kelly Zalenski.

WINNER: Leila at Don’t Speak Whinese

8. A copy of Jane Jones: Worst Vampire Ever donated by its author Caissie St. Onge.

WINNER: Peter at Peter De Wolf

9. A premium WordPress theme from Elegant Themes donated by Erica M.

WINNER: Lindsay at peek-a-berry

10. A complete tai chi Rhythmball exercise set donated by Lynn at Motormouth.


11. A cherished copy of Mom Blogging Guide for Dummies donated by Ado at The Momalog.

WINNER: Danielle at Motherhood Truth

12. A premium subscription to CommentLuv donated by Alexis at Troublesome Tots.

WINNER: Sweaty at Do Sweat the Small Stuff

13. Genuine French Quarter pecan pralines from Laura’s Candies in New Orleans OR a pound of New Orleans blend Community Coffee donated by Lori Lyons at The Lyon’s Din.

WINNER: Andrea at Momma Teach Lady

Congratulations to Erin and all the lovelinks winners. Claim your prize in email, and I’ll put you in touch with your donor. Thanks, everybody, for an amazing five weeks. Watch your email for future lovelinks events, and please keep the lovelinks spirit!

Lovelinks #27  opens Tuesday.

lovelinks judges' pick #5: @abook4mydaughter by Natalie

lovelinks judges' pick #5: @abook4mydaughter by Natalie

I’m a 35-year-old, unmarried woman living in Houston.

No kids.

(Seriously, that’s how my mom introduced me on more than one occasion at a recent family event.)

It was hard to relate to many of the lovelinks finalists’ posts. Don’t get me wrong; you guys are great writers. Moving, knowledgeable, entertaining, witty writers. Hell, I caught myself tearing up and LOLing more than once…often at the same time! But, like my momma said, I’m. Single. Unmarried. Not. A. Mom. However, I am a daughter. And that’s why I chose A Book for My Daughter as my personal lovelinks winner.

This was a blog post I could totally relate to. I mean, I embodied the teenager this blogger fears in her essay “Spend time with me!”

But boy, what a difference 20+ years make. Today, my mom is my best friend. We talk on the phone every day, chatting away like, wait for it…teenagers! And I would give ANYTHING to go back and spend more time with her.

The advice the blogger gives her daughter is right on point. Geez…you moms are always right! (And, I’m OK with admitting that now that I’m older. ) But, I digress. Like I was saying…the advice is right on point. Daughters should “recognize the times in life that are fleeting—those moments that will eventually end—and cherish them, enjoy them.”

I recognize that now, and I’m not afraid of them coming to an end this time around. After all, they are a part of me. Thanks for the much needed reminder!

Natalie’s judges picks:

  • A Book for My Daughter first pick: 40 points
  • MannaHatta Mama second pick: 20 points
  • The Momalog third pick: 10 points
Lovelinks leaderboard:
  • A Book for my Daughter: 80
  • MannaHatta Mamma:70
  • Momalog: 50
  • Chosen Chaos: 40
  • Don’t Speak Whinese: 40
  • Mama Mash: 40
  • Peek-a-berry: 20
  • Peter De Wolf: 20
  • Bitches: 20
  • Motherhood Truth: 10
Prizes and winners announced Friday!
lovelinks judges' pick #4: @Book4MyDaughter by Carina

lovelinks judges' pick #4: @Book4MyDaughter by Carina

Spend time with me!”

How often do we say this to those we love? Almost never, but when you listen hard, you can hear the message coming through loud and clear. I’m guessing we all get busy and some of us even set aside that alone time when we don’t let any others in—but when we stop with the hustle and bustle we can even hear this request in ourselves: spend some time with those you love and cherish them.

This week, Erin from A Book for My Daughter reminded me that sometimes changing a habit to let others in can be a freeing and eye-opening experience. I remember being an awkward geeky girl—I probably didn’t do funny dances in the grocery store, but I was my own person. I remember wanting to spend certain times with my parents. I was always grateful when they said yes.

Life is one of those things that is always changing—it’s supposed to. Nothing can last forever, so when you find yourself in those moments you love, you’ve got to hold onto them.

For my vote, I’ve chosen Erin from A Book for My Daughter. She reminded me to stop and take a look at some of those things in my life that I love and reminded me to cherish the time. She reminded me that just because a thing passes out of time or habit doesn’t mean it doesn’t stay with us.

Thank you to Erica for hosting all of these wonderful posts and this contest here at lovelinks! Thank you to all of those who submitted over the last month. It’s been a pleasure reading and keeping up with you all.

Carina’s picks:

  • A Book for my Daughter first pick: 40 points
  • MaNNaHaTTaMaMMa second pick: 20 points
  • Peter DeWolf third pick: 10 points
Lovelinks leaderboard:
  • MannaHatta Mamma: 50
  • A Book for my Daughter: 40
  • Chosen Chaos: 40
  • Don’t Speak Whinese: 40
  • Momalog: 40
  • Peek-a-berry: 20
  • Peter De Wolf: 20
  • Bitches: 10
  • Motherhood Truth: 10
  • Sweaty: 5
More judging, then prizes announced on Friday. Congrats, Erin! Congrats MannaHatta Mama and The Momalog! We’re on the home stretch.
lovelinks judges pick #3: @mama_mash by @mamawantsthis

lovelinks judges pick #3: @mama_mash by @mamawantsthis

When a blogger writes about how she did housework nude, how could you NOT love her?

And when she describes how she had to restrain herself from slapping her father with a purple plastic penis, seriously, I ask again,  how could you not love her?

Julie, author of Mama Mash is truly one of my favorite bloggy finds, found very early in my blogging journey. She has never failed to evoke a laugh, sometimes tears and, many a time, drool when she shares some of her delicious recipes complete with pictures. She also makes me want to run over and give her gorgeous son Monkey a big hug.

But truly, one of my favorite Julie posts is the one about The Drawer.

Imagine your most embarrassing moment multiplied by the most mortifying experience of your life, and you get what must be a fraction of how Julie felt when her father discovered the contents of her Drawer, after a hurricane swept through her house.

Any parent would probably have tried to hide the fact that they just found their child’s naughty toys. Pretend they never saw it. Julie’s dad however, clearly has an wicked sense of humor – instead of ignoring the box of goodies, he asked Julie if she thought they might have sentimental value!! How awesome is this man?

By extension, how awesome and funny is Julie? Plenty aweswomesauce I say.

And,that is why Mama Mash’s ‘The Drawer‘ is my favorite lovelinks post.

Bring out the purple plastic penises and let’s party!!

Alison’s judges picks:

  • Mama Mash first pick: 40 points
  • The Mamalog second pick: 20 points
  • MannaHattaMamma third pick: 10 points
Lovelinks leaderboard:
Congrats, Julie! Congrats, Mamalog and MannaHatta Mamma! Carina’s picks tomorrow, prizes announced Friday! That’s a lot of exclamation points in one paragraph! I’m excited!
lovelinks judges' pick #2: @dontspkwhinese by @lindamanydogs

lovelinks judges' pick #2: @dontspkwhinese by @lindamanydogs

Peanuts not Penises: you had me with the title.

Because I come from a family who misunderstands words with regularity, this post by Leila at Don’t Speak Whinese spoke to me immediately.

My husband wondered aloud why Madonna was singing about Iranians with her song “Like A Persian, Touched For the Very First Time”.  My grandson thought the Star Spangled Banner was being sung for his friend (“Jose can you see, by the dawn’s early light”).   When I read this post I laughed aloud and recognized the ground truth of the matter.  Kids can be hysterically funny.

Added to the overall humor, there is a sense of sorrow for a little two-year-old girl who must be taught to be afraid of things that could harm her if ingested.  That made me sad because it’s quite a burden to carry for a child.  Still, any little girl of that age who knows the word “vulva” is wise beyond her years, obviously.

Leila knocked it out of the park with this one.  I think the length of the post was perfect, it didn’t waste a word, and it didn’t drag at any point. I actually smirked at the end where she wonders if she should have let her daughter think she had an allergy to penises. This was funny, sweet, and totally charming!  Very nicely done.

I had a very difficult time choosing my favorite because I can honestly say I enjoyed every one of the offerings.  I’m so glad that Erica of free fringes put this “Lovelinks” program together so that we all get to read posts we might not have seen otherwise.

Linda’s picks:

  • Don’t Speak Whinese first pick: 40 points
  • MannaHatta Mamma second pick: 20 points
  • Motherhood Truth third pick: 10 points

Lovelinks leaderboard:

Congrats, Leila! Congrats, MannaHatta Mamma and Motherhood Truth! Alison’s judges’ post coming tomorrow. Keep an eye on the leaderboard; we’re getting there. Plus, the list of prizes and donors now has something for all 14 finalists. Cookies and pralines and text ads, oh my.

lovelinks judges' pick #1: @chosenchaos by @headlessmom

lovelinks judges' pick #1: @chosenchaos by @headlessmom

When you have your first child, you make all kinds of mistakes.

Or what you believe to be mistakes. Or what you convince yourself are mistakes. I’m not convinced, however, that they are actual mistakes. That child is learning to be someone’s child and you are learning to be someone’s parent. You’re learning together and there are going to be inevitable ups and downs in that relationship.

I know that I made what some may call mistakes when I first became a parent. Moments that are snapshots of time, forever etched in my mind where I could have done so much better by our first born. The craziness though is that I’m probably the only one that remembers them as parenting failure moments or even remembers them at all.

It’s different with my boys. Well, to some degree anyway. Yes, I misstep, lose my temper, come to the end of my patience. Have an afternoon that will.not.end. But those kids of mine, they rescue me every time. They are the sun, the bright, in the darker moments, when all isn’t well with the world, (or even just our little world.)

shamelessly stolen from

In Jamie’s essay “the one about living with a super hero” she reminds me of me. Her oldest boy is like my oldest boy… just like me. In all my glory, (and not so glorious traits,) he is like looking in a mirror sometimes.

“Being him is hard in our house. We rely on him to be the big brother, the big kid, and all the while expect him to understand words like responsibility, effort, and attention.”

Oh boy, Jamie, do I know. But like you said, “he rescues me….[and] even super heroes need a mommy.”


Jamie’s essay “the one about living with a super hero” from Chosen Chaos is my choice for the Love Links winner. It spoke to me, to my relationship with all of my children, and having difficult yet loving and meaningful bonds with them. My kids are my super heroes because every time I think I can’t go on, cook one more meal or do one more load of laundry, one of them is there with a smile or a hug and I get a transfer of powers-just like the Wonder Twins!- and I can go on for one more day.


Thanks, Erica, for the chance to be a part of the Lovelinks Very Important Week here on free fringes. I really enjoyed reading all of the submissions and want you all to know that it was difficult to come up with just one post. Keep writing and keep submitting, Y’all are some great writers and I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of you through your lovely words! Thanks for having me. Hope I didn’t over stay my welcome! xo

  • Chosen Chaos first pick: 40 points
  • Momalog second pick: 20 points
  • Peter DeWolf third pick: 10 points

Lovelinks leaderboard:

Congrats, Jamie! Hang in there, everybody. With all the cool prizes being donated, no one will leave our contest finals empty-handed. Linda’s judges’ pick on Tuesday.