Category Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Things About Strawberries

top-ten-tuesday.jpgStrawberries are almost here! I know this, because I obsessively check the farm’s website starting around Easter, and the latest harvest estimate is June 12. Since I have strawberries on the brain, let me share some information you’ll be glad you don’t have to live another day without.

  1. Earlier is better.  The first crop is the sweetest. I don’t know why, that’s what the lady at the Strawberry Farm told me. Perhaps it is a marketing technique, (“buy early! buy often!”) but I am not messing with it.
  2. I really want to try this recipe for Fresh Strawberry Limeade Slush from Amy’s Finer Things.  It looks like something you’d find on a cruise ship.
  3. There are over 200 seeds on every strawberry.
  4. Apparently, they are not a berry after all.  They are a fruit.
  5. This is an absolutely amazing resource about where to find a strawberry (or any berry. or fruit. or whatever) farm near you.
  6. I know Megan in real life, and sincerely hope she finds an occasion to make this Strawberry Cake where I will be in attendance.
  7. You can dip strawberries in all kinds of things; not just chocolate. For the record, I am not against dipping them in chocolate. Not at all.
  8. I try to have the best of both worlds with this picking-from-the-field stuff.  I let my kids pick a few quarts, but order up a couple of flats already picked too.  I would grow old and die right there in the field before my kids got enough berries for me.
  9. I still have a few quarts of strawberries in the freezer from last year. Oops. I just didn’t want to run out. Way to live on the edge.
  10. I also make jam, and can it. It’s crazy good. Four cups of sugar will do that to anything, though.

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Top Ten Things I Learned At My First Blog Conference

top-ten-tuesday.jpgI did it. After very happily writing for three years, I decided it was time to learn how to move beyond content. I think I’ve grown as a writer, and made a lot of connections in my community, but I felt like other blogs were growing their readership while I was slowly adding readers.  How are they doing that? I went to Gleek Retreat to find out. 

Incidentally, “Gleek” doesn’t really have anything to do with the TV show Glee, but please don’t let it stop you from enjoying a Gleek Retreat video with a song from the Glee soundtrack.

  1. Do not ask the guy from the Big Ad Network  if they are interested in a small blog, with good influence. The answer is no. Even if you stalk him a little, and ask him again. It will still be no.
  2. Upon learning that a Big Blogger has an interest in birds, do not announce to her that your children have an Adult Bird Book. It sounds like you are teaching them about some kind of Rookery Brothel, and you’ll never be able to recover the conversation.
  3. Small is the new big. Although big conferences offer lot of opportunities to network; the setting at Gleek Retreat was less hectic and afforded a little more in the way of really hanging out
  4. Meeting people you have previously only known on line is an amazing, rewarding experience. It’s more like seeing an old friend than meeting a new one.
  5. I was relieved to find out that speaking at a conference is not that scary, because I will have to give an acceptance speech for “Most Improved Blog” next year.  I actually just made the award up therefore have not really been asked to speak, but I still found this to be good news, you know, just in case.
  6. Even at a small conference, there will be people you didn’t get to spend much time with. (Next year, my friend!) 
  7. Sitting at a table, laptops open and tweeting each other is not only completely acceptable, it is crazy fun.
  8. I don’t have to be envious of people who went to conferences and landed amazing opportunities anymore. I made connections that I know will make the world (and our blogs) a better place.
  9. If, upon returning home you abruptly decide to learn how to use Mr. Linky and invent a completely unannounced carnival that evening, your new friends will join you. MWAH!
  10. Should you ever have the opportunity to have your blog’s name painted on your arm, do it. 


Do you need more Top Ten Tuesday (or a fun giveaway!)? See what’s going on with OhAmanda.

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Designer Imposters

top-ten-tuesday.jpgA few years ago, I was sporting a fairly fancy L.L. Bean windbreaker.  My friend asked me how I could afford ‘stuff like that’, knowing that our income was – well, knowing what our income was.  I admitted that I’d found it at Goodwill. She said I was a “Secondhand snob”.  I want the good life, but I don’t want to pay for it.

I’ll own that.

I have compiled a list for you, should you also “want the life’ without paying for it.  Here are some substitutes that are so good; you’ll never miss the original.

  1. Aldi Hazelnut Spread for Nutella.
  2. McDonald’s Mocha Frappé for Starbucks Frappucino*
  3. Happy’s Square Pizza for Jet’s
  4. Meijer Organics for – do I dare say it?? TRADER JOE’S. Oh yes I did.
  5. Douglas J Aveda Institute for somewhere crazy expensive.
  6. Grand Rapids Griffins  games for Redwings games (I may take a little flack for that one…)
  7. This recipe for – rhymes with Wastefully Dimple Nana’s Apple Cake.
  8. Vacation Bible School for camp I have to pay for
  9. Pericoro Romano for Parmesean
  10. Lake Michigan/Saugatuck’s Oval Beach for the cold, salty ocean with creatures that want to sting and/or bite me.

 *Possible parallel move.

Do you need more Top Ten Tuesday? See what’s going on with OhAmanda.

Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe to my RSS feed, get Big Binder by email, follow me on twitter, or become fan on Facebook. Or, just leave a comment saying you stopped by


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