Category Archives: Late Enough

Welcome to AbbyGabs! (Again!)

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Abby, who had the gift of Gab.

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And so she took that gift and shared it with the world, via her blog. Days and nights she slaved away at her computer, manipulating turns of phrase, exhausting her mental bank of adjectives, and punctuating to her heart’s content. She was proud of that which she had worked so hard to create, and she reveled in the delight it brought her readers.

As time passed, the girl grew weary of issues with her blog’s platform. Frequent outages, crummy comment forms, and the inability to make her blog look exactly like she wanted led that gabby Abby to search the internet, far and wide, until she found the perfect platform for the blog that was her pride and joy.

The process was a daunting one: transferring RSS feeds, securing self-hosting, learning the ins-and-outs of HTML code. It took 5 days, and as many nights, for all of the components to fall into place.

Finally, she had complete creative control over her blog. Finally, she had reliable service from a provider she knew she could count on. And finally, she had her own personal account supervisor, who could come in at a moment’s notice and answer any questions she had about her host.

And so, the girl with the gift of gab officially became Queen of the Internet (for the day.)

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It soon became apparent to her, as she toyed with the new platform, that she had lots to learn. There were widgets to master, and menus to create, and coding to learn. But as she settled into the new space, she knew two things for certain.

One: WordPress already, so quickly, felt like home.

And two: no Queen of the Internet (for the day) can have a successful rule without one of these:

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Welcome to the brand new AbbyGabs!! If you haven’t already, click around and get to know the place a little. And feel free to follow me on the many social media sites that I use on a regular basis simply by clicking on the thought bubble buttons that took me three days to make!

Special thanks go out to:
Brian, for keeping me calm during the moving process, and talking me down from the ledge when things didn’t go just so.
Carrie at akaLaverne, for always being willing to answer panicked questions, give me advice on design, or send me her top 10 favorite themes just to get me started.
Alex at Late Enough, for giving me the courage, and the information, I needed to make the move in the first place.
Walt at Lucky Puppy, for giving me new ideas for the site, as well as cheering me on from the sidelines while the move was made.
Jordan, author of MamaBlogga, and the creator of the 10-step process that safely (and easily!) moved my blog from Blogger to Word Press.
And finally, to Cole, my account manager at Blue Host, for answering all my silly noob questions with grace, kindness, and complete accuracy.

Going For Gold–An Abby Gabs Video Blog

Have you been watching the Olympics? We have! Soccer, swimming, gymnastics, diving, cycling, speed walking, trampoline-ing…you name it, we’ve seen it. In fact, the hubby and I have been practically glued to our TV since the games started back in July.


Which explains why I didn’t see the Late Enough Olympics until yesterday.


Now, I’ve told you all about the genius that is Alex before. I’ve praised her, I photoshopped bandaids on her face, and I even created a unicorn t-shirt design with her. But when I say that this particular vlog of Alex partaking in her favorite Olympic events is comedic gold…well, you should believe me. Because it is.


And Alex isn’t the only one who’s pole-vaulting over her living room sofa. So is Katie from Sluiter Nation. Don’t mess with this family when it comes to the gymnastics floor exercise. They’re the Russian gymnasts of the blogosphere.


Anyhoo, when I watched the video blogs these ladies created all about the Olympics, I decided that I had to mercilessly copy participate with them, in true Abby Gabs fashion. And so, I present to you, an Abby Gabs original video blog titled “Going for Gold.”

 

(If you can’t see the video, click HERE or go to: http://youtu.be/0HmevvCo_cw)



**Thanks to Alex and Katie for inspiring me to go for my Olympic dream. And for not wanting to shun me for totally copying your original ideas. You guys rock.


***And PS: Don’t miss my first-of-three co-posts with Laverne! Did you know that you still have to do a mountain of laundry even if you vacation without kids? I spoil your vacation fantasies in a post titled So This Is What It’s Like.

…And Many More…

What happens when the Best of the Blogosphere turns up to wish me a Happy Birthday? Well…you get the kindest Tweet of the day from Alex of Late Enough fame…



A silly (and slightly revealing) blog from my father-in-law, Walt, over on The Lucky Puppy, including an homage to my Photoshop/Paint mash-ups of late.


And three of the BEST digital birthday cards EVER CREATED from Laverne, co-author of Kindred Adventures. (Seriously, if you’ve never seen the “Hey Girl by Ryan Gosling” series popping up all over the internet, you might live under a rock. If you’re in the dark, just google it. Then you’ll see why the graphics below are SO MUCH COOLER.)

 

Card #1–in reference to the Kindle Fire my hubby got me for my bday.


Card #2–in reference to my current hair crises.
And my favorite of them all, Card #3–in reference to Donnie’s famous birthday tweet of 2011.



To all those who tweeted, Facebooked, texted, called, emailed, and sent up smoke-signals, thank you for all the birthday salutations. They were–each and every one–greatly appreciated. 


And now, on to the 31st year of my life. I have a feeling it’s going to be the best one yet!

Unicorns and Rainbows

I read a lot of blogs. A lot a lot. But there are only a handful of blogs that I read on a daily basis. One of those in my “top five” is Late Enough, written by fellow blogger and zombie aficionado, Alex. She’s a planner, she’s delightfully funny, and she’s a Super Mom (i.e., the kind of Mom I hope to be one day.) And did I mention that her husband is always enthusiastic about participating in her blog? (Hint hint, Brian…)


In short, I am a major Late Enough groupie. It’s true.


One average, run-of-the-mill Wednesday back in March, I was enjoying my daily dose of Late Enough humor with a blog post titled “What I Did Instead of Writing A Thoughtful Post.” I smiled. I recognized a few of my own best procrastination techniques. I even giggled a few times. But it wasn’t until I got to the bottom of the posts and read the tags that I literally laughed out loud. 


Alex never misses a chance to draw a laugh out of her audience, even if it happens in the tags (which, let’s face it, most people don’t bother to read.) I, however, try to create silly tags for my own posts so I always read them. And this one has to be, hands down, my favorite tag, ever. And so, in true worshiper fashion, I left Alex a comment.



I laughed when I read her response, totally assuming that she was just being her witty self again, even in the comment form. I went about my day, occasionally picturing unicorns dancing in my head, but never putting much more thought into her request for an Abby Gabs Photoshopped graphic….



….Until she called me out on Twitter a few days later.


Needless to say, I was thrilled beyond belief that Alex wanted to collaborate with me on a Late Enough project. Naturally, it had to be PERFECT. So I spend a couple of days choosing the right images, deliberating over the perfect fonts, reworking the wording of the selection.



After about a week, Alex and I had come up with a graphic we both loved. And just a few days ago, that graphic was released for purchase, worldwide, on Alex’s Zazzle shop.


That’s right, readers. You can now own your very own Late Enough/Abby Gabs t-shirt, coffee mug, or bumper sticker!!

T-Shirt Terrificness
Coffee Mug Coolness
Bumper Stick Awesomeness


I truly couldn’t be more excited about this if I tried. Getting to work with Alex was so much fun, and I’m secretly keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll think of another graphic idea that she wants soon. I am her slave in the Photoshop world. 



In the meantime, if you love unicorns and sarcasm, this might just be the graphic for you. Feel free to visit the Late Enough Zazzle Shop in order to tweak your design. You can choose different t-shirt styles, colors, and fits. You can also choose between a plethora of different coffee mugs. 


It’s everything that is awesome about Late Enough and Abby Gabs, all smooshed into one picture. After all, what could be better than unicorns, sarcasm, and pretty colors? Well, I’ll tell you. A coffee delivery system with unicorns, sarcasm, and pretty colors, that’s what.

One Surefire Way To Silence This Gabby Abby

My little website may not be much. It may not be fancy, or invite hordes of readers or make any important or political statements. It doesn’t change the way people view the world, or enlighten with brand new ideas, or create a stronghold on the internet that seems impenetrable.

In truth, my little website is just a silly blog, written for fun and amusement, mostly for myself. If others find it entertaining, that’s just icing on the cupcake.

Mmmm. Cupcake.

I don’t often post anything controversial here on Abby Gabs, and have never done a post about politics in any form. But today is different. Today, I’m standing up for Abby Gabs, and other websites like it.  Today, I’m holding out for my right to be heard, my right to be a voice in the millions on the internet. Today, I’m educating my readers about the SOPA and PIPA bills, in case you’ve never heard of them. And rather than climbing up on my soapbox, I’m going to leave it at that, step back quietly, and let this video do the talking for me.

See you tomorrow, readers.

*Thanks to Alex at Late Enough and Walt at The Lucky Puppy for inspiring today’s post.

Fashion Hour, With Your Host, Me

When it comes to being an enviable fashionista, there are a few key rules to remember when you’re digging through your closet in the morning. They are rules that I live by, and so I’m going to share them with you today…

DO: make sure that your hair is bigger than your crown. Especially if you live in the south. It’s just proper.

DON’T: follow fads. Because as soon as you get that mullet haircut with Elvis sideburns, it’s gonna go right outta style.

 

DO: embrace color coordination. It’s a fashion fact for a reason–it works! (Yes, even if that means wearing purple socks.)

DON’T: wear this sweater. Ever. Just burn it. Trust me.

 

DO: commit fully to whatever style you are rocking. Don’t do anything half-assed. Go for the whole enchilada, or stay home ladies.

 

DON’T: use a mixing bowl as a guideline for your next hair-do. The end result is not pretty.

 

DO: pay close attention to detail. Accessories are a must. (Dinosaurs may be extinct, but they never go out of style.)

DON’T: forget to be mindful of your surroundings. Where you are being photographed is just as important as what you’re wearing. Heaven forbid if the background clashes with your well-thought-out ensemble.

And finally, the most important rule in my fashion toolbox is this: no matter what you’re wearing, no matter what the situation, the most important accessory to remember is your smile.
(Even if your dress is too big and your hair style makes you look like a kindergarten teacher.)
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Today’s post was inspired, once again, by our favorite blogger, Alex, from Late Enough. I’m a total blog topic poacher, but she doesn’t seem to mind. For now. Hopefully she won’t sic zombies on me when the apocalypse finally arrives…

Abby Gabs: Unplugged

As previously mentioned last week on Abby Gabs, and inspired by Alex from Late Enough, I’m gonna be unplugging from reality for awhile.

My father  – and sister-in-law are coming for a visit.

(Read: Despite never leaving home and still having to work while they’re here, this is the first vacation we’ve had since 2009. WOOO!)

The true test of a writer is whether they can physically stay away from their blog for more than 24 hours. (Picture Brian dragging me away from the computer, tears streaming down my face, so we can go party like rock stars at the beach.)

Truth be told, the idea of no new blogs for an entire week leaves me a little worried. Chilled to the bone, as they say.

I’ve been having separation anxiety about it, so rather than leave you blog-less, instead, I’ve taken a page from Alex’s book and will be posting pre-written blogs all week.

Look forward to a few list blogs, a cartoon or two, and a few posts revisited.

But rest assured, readers…my mind will be solely elsewhere for 7 solid days.

Until next Tuesday, then, readers! I bid you adieu. And may you enjoy at least one margarita this week, as I’ll be enjoying many.

Summer Reading List

I would describe myself as a lot of things. A wife. A friend. A Donnie Wahlberg Addict. A writer.

But the one description I’d never leave off the list is Avid Reader.

I’ll read anything if it’s not nailed down. My bookshelves bloom with murder mysteries, trashy romances, classic novels, biographies, pop fiction, science fiction, and fantasies. I was the kid who always kept my text books: “Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense,” and “AP Style” and “Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters and Viewpoint.” Authors reign like rock stars on these shelves: Steinbeck, Wells, Lamb, Franzen, Tolkien, Austen, Rice, Card, Bellow, Follett. I have a separate shelf in my room for my childhood books: Light in the Attic, Dr. Seuss, Chatty Chipmunk’s Nutty Day, The Great Bunny Race, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and the entire Little House series.

In short: I love books.

I love the way they smell, the way they feel in my hands, the delicious anticipation of turning to the next page. I love the way words look, the weight of a 700-page book, the feeling of completion when the last page is finished. I savor each book like a treasure: I never turn down pages or write in margins; I save book jackets, carefully peeling them away while I’m in the process of reading the book so I can wrap it back up for safe keeping; I’m a re-reader so keeping the book in bookstore-shape is important to me.

When the world first introduced digitalized reading, I was hugely skeptical. What about BOOKS? Am I supposed to give up all those things I love so much about the physical BOOK in order to read from a tiny little screen? What about the smell, the weight, the actual PAGES? Can you still refer to your favorite new novel as a “Page-Turner” if you’re not actually turning pages?

I was never one who was held captive while reading from a monitor. I found researching on the internet tedious, and would often just print off pages to read later. The stark white backgrounds, so many black words swimming in space, would trigger headaches for me. I just didn’t like reading anything digitally.

Then I stumbled upon the blogosphere.

As a member of the blogging community, it quickly became obvious to me that, in order to gain the respect and readership of fellow bloggers, I had to, in turn, read and comment on their blogs. It was a slow process at first: there are a LOT of blogs in the blogosphere that are less than appealing. A lot of artificial facades for selling insurance or software or other less interesting wares.

But for every 500 blogs, there’s one that’s an absolute treasure.

These are a few of my favorite treasures:

Meet Alex, author of Late Enough. Alex is the kind of blogger that is so good at what she does, she inspires me to do better. From slap-your-knee funny posts to thoughtful, emotional posts about motherhood, Alex always has something to say that is actually worth hearing.

One of the first blogs I read at “Late Enough” was one about how Alex was preparing her family for the apocalypse, and the resulting zombie take-over of the world. Clever, witty, funny, and just strange enough that I know we’d be instant friends. (Who doesn’t worry about how they’ll deal with zombies?) From that post, I ventured into the depths of her blog, and discovered a family who’s creativity knows no bounds, a mother who parents her children with thought and fastidiousness, but who’s not afraid to laugh about life’s awkward moments. But seriously, if you read no other blogs of Alex’s, you must read The Yellow Bow and Princess Solidarity. They will break your heart, make you smile, open your mind, and make you an instant Late Enough fan. I know I am. I never miss a post.

After my daily visit to Late Enough, I point my browser to Ryan’s blog, The Woven Moments. Ryan is a mommy of two whose blogs revolve around the business of parenting. Thoughtful, funny, well-illustrated posts, paired with a laid-back writing style, will have you feeling like you’re sharing a conversation with a friend over coffee.

The first thing that really sucked me in to these Moments is Ryan’s description of her own great love affair. When you can compare your marriage to a cicada, you’ve definitely got something worth talking about.  Coming from experience, I know how rare it is to have something so special, so when I read about Ryan’s wedding, I knew we had something very rare in common. Ryan is another thoughtful, careful Mom who blogs her daily lessons with those of us wanting to learn. One of my favorite posts of hers is about her daughter’s frustration with her lack of jungle-gym-climbing-ability, and the lessons Ryan learned from her daughter in those moments.

One thing I know for sure, Ryan’s blog is the type of blog you bookmark and return to daily. Check her out and I think you’ll agree.

As a blog reader, I look for blogs that are well-written, funny, witty, delectable and downright beautiful. Few have the gamut. But when you find one with all of those aspects and more, it joins the list of “My Favorite Blogs.” And GreatFun4Kids, written by New Zealand resident Simone, is that very blog.

The first thing you’ll be struck by upon visiting this blog is the delicious photography. Seriously delicious. If you don’t read a word, you’ll be struck by beautiful pictures of landscape, family, children–Simone’s life.

But if you’re smart (and I’m betting you are) you’ll sit down with a hot cup of coffee (or tea), read the first post you come across, and spend the next 2 hours with Simone’s blog. Her recent post about watching her daughter run her first race, was thrilling and heartwarming, all at the same time. Her advice to new bloggers is helpful, informative, and supportive–all the things a new writer needs to be successful. If you’re looking for an inventive party idea, Simone’s your girl. Check out this adorable Toy Story party she threw for one of her children. Simone’s posts feel like illustrated poetry to me. And I love that!

One of my favorite things about Simone is her support of new bloggers. She wrote a post very similar to this one a few days ago, introducing ME to her blog world. (For which I am still awed and SO grateful for!) So check out this gorgeous blog–I’m betting you’ll find it as scrumptious as I do! And thanks, Simone, for being so supportive of AbbyGabs!!

Finally, I’m going to point you to one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. This is the blog I go to when I’m in desperate need of a pick-me-up. I’d skip the coffee while reading Hyperbole and a Half, because it’s very likely it would end up spraying out of your nose before it’s all said and done. And truthfully, that would REALLY hurt.

Allie’s blog is a combination of a comic strip and a blog. Her sense of humor is a bit twisted, a lot warped, and right up my alley. There are very few posts on this blog that I haven’t read and laughed out loud, and that really does make Hyperbole a special blog. Her blog about spiders was so hilarious, it inspired my own version, which you might remember as the post titled “I Finally Know I’m Not Alone.” The tales she weaves about her slightly neurotic, incredibly moronic dog are gut-busters for pet owners. Her colorful, hilarious encounters from her childhood, particularly the story about her birthday cake, are pee-your-pants funny.

While Allie is busy writing a book and doesn’t post nearly as often as we (her fans) would like, you will entertain yourself for HOURS reading her previous posts. Seriously, bookmark this blog. It’s better than prozac.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I admire women who blog. I hope you’ll join me in reading some of these fantastic blogs–and I’ll keep reading each of them daily.

Where Has All My Funny Gone?

I’m having a slight panic attack today.

Why?

Because I can’t seem to find my humor.

That makes writing a humor blog a little difficult.

I’ve gone through a few ideas in my head this morning, but I couldn’t think of anything to write about that felt authentically funny. So, we’re on the hunt for my funny bone today. Apparently, it’s missing.

Scoot couldn’t find my funny, either.

I don’t know how naturally funny people maintain their funny everyday for a month. Don’t they ever have days where they feel serious? Or blue? Or can’t think of anything remotely laugh-worthy? Don’t they have days where they just feel like sitting quietly and pondering the state of the union instead of using clever words to prompt guffaws?

Not even Photoshop could inspire me today. The photoshop of the Silly Hat, and the Cross-Dressing Dwarf, and the Cinderella Facial.

Seriously. Those posts were really funny. So if you’re looking to me for a gut-busting laugh today, you might look to one of those posts rather than this one. Because this one is seriously lacking in quality material.

I’m not necessarily sad today. Or blue, or serious, or quietly sitting to ponder the state of the union. I’m just feeling….unfunny.

I hope this isn’t the end of my blogging career.

Sigh. What am I without my funny?

So. I’m going to work on this. I’m going to find my funny. Tomorrow’s post is going to be all about How Abby Got Her Funny Back. And in the meantime, I’m going to take some sage advice from my pal, Alex, from Late Enough. And spend some quality time high-fiving myself to boost morale. Thanks, Alex…

 

If you can’t see the video, click HERE.