Tag Archive for 'Ottawa'

Holy Mackerel in Ottawa

in Mom Social, Ontario and Personal Blog

Mary Moore is a mom blogger in Ottawa who tells honest stories and gets points for being so candid. The woman just started out on the web last year, but her skill is obvious, and so is her dedication. Her latest passion is photography, and she shoots crisp digital images with her Canon EOS Rebel Xsi. Unlike other Ottawa citizens, Mary is not political; “It’s a waste of time”, she writes, “I’d rather spend my days smelling the fresh air and watching my kids enjoy life”

Holy Mackerel, Mary Moore in OttawaHoly Mackerel is a random gathering of anecdotes and daily inspirations. It’s a blog about homemaking from a loving housewife who calls her husband ‘Mr. Handsome’. She details her life with her two kids, their dog Gryphon, her quilting, old movies and television shows, Octamom, and sadly, cancer treatments.

When she wrote about a tornado that touched down in Ottawa last month, I bookmarked her blog because it was pure citizen journalism. A little while later, I went back and read more. When I found the post she wrote about the last month of her Dad’s life, she made me cry. The piece is filled with precious little details and perfectly painted with her own sadness. It’s how a blog should be, filled with reliable data and insights and observations mixed with the author’s opinions and emotions. I’ve never met Mary, but after reading her blog I feel like I’ve known her all my Mom Blog buttonlife.

What’s not so perfect is her blogspot template choice (personally, I’ve never liked white text on black), and there are so many sidebar widgets that some pages don’t load properly because of javascript conflicts. But let’s remember that Mary is still finding the balance between her content and all the other facets of social media available to Mom bloggers. There are lots of attractions out there and lots of distractions too.

Mary Moore face1Mary Moore was born and raised in Ottawa and got her start in journalism in high school working on the school newspapers. She was first employed as a journalist in Wetaskiwin Alberta, on a small weekly newspaper where she worked for two years as a reporter covering crime and local politics. Back in Ontario she landed a spot at the daily paper in Cornwall as a crime reporter and there covered a few national murder stories and found it to be “very exciting stuff”. That’s where Mary met Mr Handsome and right around the same time she landed her dream job as the new managing editor for Feliciter, the national magazine of the Canadian Library Association, where she worked for twelve years.

Today, Mary is a real estate agent in Ottawa. She’s thinking about setting up a photography business and has just begun to realize her blog’s potential as a marketing tool for that ambition. “My best friend introduced the whole world of blogging to me, and told me I needed to do this.Rockets So, after some humming and hawing, I just went for it, and now it’s a big part of my life, to my family’s consternation. As my husband puts it, there’s an umbilical cord connecting me to my laptop.”

Mary Moore admits that she’s “obsessed with getting old” and her posts sometimes evidence some contempt for the young. But for the most part her work is positive, especially when she shares invasive medical procedures with her readers to mitigate the psychological affects of these treatments in her own brain.  Mary is passionate about volunteering, designer swimwear, especially for kids with cancer and seniors.

Unlike so many other Moms who set out to chronicle one or another facets of their existence, Mary didn’t have a goal when she began blogging; “I found that just being able to write again, and actually have someone (anyone!) read it was an amazing feeling. I would love to be a successful, well-known blogger/writer, and maybe someday I will be, but right now, just writing and using my creative side is enough for me.”

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Five Blondes in London

in Fashion Blogger, niche blogs, Ontario, Personal Blog and Photography

Five Blondes header

Erica grew up on a farm in western Ontario with four younger sisters – they are all blondes. Throughout their childhood, they’ve always been ‘the family of five blonde girls’ and that fact defined them. Today things are different. They don’t live together in an old farm house and share one bathroom anymore. Now Erica, Micaela, Kate, Leah and Lauren share their lives online. This is how they stay in touch with each other.

Erica BlondeFive Blondes was born in July 2007 in a Facebook message from Erica asking her sisters if they would like to contribute to a collaborative blog. Over the course of the next two days, the clan picked a project name (that wasn’t hard) and registered the domain. Erica promptly installed a WordPress engine, and in just over one year they’ve all worked together and built a terrific portal that’s both entertaining and informative. The writing is as diversified as the authors, Kate might post about assembling a new barbecue, while Erika describes innovative cell phone marketing strategies. Michaela and Lauren might write about fashion and new social trends in university, and I wish Leah would update us on her life in Calgary more often.  The comment box echoes a chorus of questions and opinions, and evidences a wide readership – sometimes mom and dad chime in to offer insights and support.

I read in Micaela’s First Week of School where she describes her anxiety at the prospect of starting teacher’s college in Windsor, alone.  But she goes on to describe how today that loneliness is mitigated by the popularity of Facebook.  Imagine that – now its easy to hook up with old friends on a new campus. How has Facebook changed Frosh week? The internet keeps all the girls together. Sometimes the group meets in chat rooms to play Cheeky Bingo, or other games of skill, with strangers. There are 12000 winners every week on Mecca bingo in the UK.

The five sisters’ blog contains a wonderful flickr widget that showcases some genuinely proud moments in their lives. Readers will notice engagement rings, fiances, lemon blueberry muffins and hay bale athletics. The Flickr photos contain descriptive text. Each sister has a slightly different writing style, and it takes a while to figure them out and put them into perspective. Flickr helps, and here’s what I get:

Erica is the oldest and the leader of the pack. She has a degree in film theory, and is scheduled for marriage in Spring 2009. She lives in London Ontario and rides a bike to work everyday. You can find her on Twitter.

Five Bloneds familyMicaela just entered teachers college at the University of Windsor.

Kate is the middle child. She went to the University of Guelph and studied agriculture, following in her mom’s footsteps. Kate married her sweetie Scott in October of 2007 and together they bought a farm. Kate is also on Twitter.

Leah moved to Calgary with her boyfriend and relies on the blog for updates on her sisters back in Ontario. She works in the non-profit sector and has a degree in Gerontology.

And Lauren, the youngest of the five is a criminology student in Ottawa.

Five Blondes is a fascinating look at the lives of five farm girls filling a technological conduit with fragments of the Canadian female experience.

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