Maybe Matilda: This week (and next)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This week (and next)

Our week looked like this:

. . . but whinier, plus a lot more phlegm and hacking and snot bubbles. The kids have both been sick and somehow I miraculously escaped it. And yes, I realize that by typing that sentence, I’m cursing myself to wake up tomorrow with a full blown case of SARS or something equally disastrous. In an attempt to perk up one little sickie, I dragged the baby swing out of the basement, where it has been languishing after being rejected by a newborn who couldn’t care less about it (a serious blow to its confidence, I bet, since Forrest spent the majority of his infancy swinging). I knew Darcy was getting big, but dang! Babyzilla’s feet were hanging off the end of the swing, her head was nowhere near the little pillow, and you should have heard the pathetic creaking and groaning as that swing did its darnedest to try and haul her massive girth back and forth. It was a noble effort, but I put it out of its misery pretty quickly when Darcy realized she was big/strong enough to sit up in the swing instead of lying back, and almost toppled the entire thing over.

Another testament to how gigantic she’s gotten: I was out recently, carrying Darcy, when a woman stopped me to say, “What a beautiful girl! I have a knack for guessing baby’s ages. She must be . . . let’s see . . . 14 months.” (Nope. NINE.)

Bow before me and call me Martha, for I flipped a Bundt cake and we both survived to tell the tale! All Bundt-removal credit goes to Baker’s Joy. Many, many people have told me that it is the secret to not butchering baked goods, so I finally tried it out and it’s as great as they say. This raspberry chocolate chip cake was incredibly delicious—I’m talking gone in a single day delicious. I’ll post the recipe next week, or maybe the week after. I made it as a ‘thanks for babysitting my ill children while I perfect my selfless mothering act by getting a massage while they cough and hack in their sickbeds’ gift for my sister, then promptly ate 50% of it myself.

I read The House at Riverton this week, and you know I love me some Kate Morton, but this one just didn’t really deliver for me the way her other books have. Part of the blame might be assigned to my habit of only reading it late at night when I was tired and loopy and grouchy and ready for bed—maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it when I was more awake and alert—but I thought it lacked some of the suspense and mystery and character strength and overall grippingness (grippingness?) that I loved in The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours. I still liked it, and I’ll write more about it and my thoughts on it when I do my August reading recap, but I thought it was her weakest I’ve read so far (which I suppose makes sense . . . it was her first novel).

So, that was this week. But in my title, I promised a little next week.

Guys. I’m embarrassed in advance.

Here’s the deal. If you are unfamiliar with the monetary side of blogging, I’ll fill you in a tad. There are quite a few companies out there that connect bloggers with brands, and let you know about opportunities to write sponsored posts (examples of sponsored posts on my blog are, say, the Raspberry Yogurt Salad recipe from earlier this week, this Summertime Survival post, and this post on Whole Wheat Banana Bread Waffles). So, there are brands that want to promote their products, or get word out about a coupon or deal on their products, and bloggers are hired to incorporate the product into a post in (hopefully) a natural way. Now, I work with quite a few of these companies, and with most of them, you are free to apply for whichever sponsored post opportunities interest you, but you often don’t know if/when you’ll hear whether you’ve been selected to write the post, or when you will be required to share your post. You just go on your merry way, applying for the campaigns that sound like a good fit for your blog, and you certainly can’t guess which ones you will or will not be chosen to write about. This can make it a little tricky to plan out your blogging schedule, since you never know when you’ll hear that you’ve been chosen (or not chosen) to write a post, and they almost always run on very quick, very tight schedules (ie, congrats, you’ve been chosen to write X post! your deadline is this Tuesday).

Well, my biggest sponsored post fears will be coming true this week. Without having any idea how close these posts’ due dates would be to each other, I was selected for four sponsored post campaigns. All (inflexibly!) scheduled for next week. All required to go live on consecutive days.

So, I hope you’ll be patient with me this coming week. I talked to each campaign leader about changing my ‘due dates’—errybody said no. I thought about cancelling some of them, but I worry I’ll be put on some sort of black list and miss out on future opportunities if they think I’m unreliable. And I feel really, really stupid about it (how dumb is it going to look, FOUR days in a row, to see posts starting with that little sponsored disclaimer at the top?!)(answer: EXCEEDINGLY DUMB), but I guess I’m not seeing a good way around it, so I’m just coming out and admitting it: YUP, it’ll be stupid and maybe annoying (but hopefully not annoying!).

The plus side, perhaps, is that I try really, really hard to make sponsored posts as natural as possible. No one wants to read some blogger going on and on about how product X and brand Y are just SOOOooooOOoooo great and she just luuuuuuuurves them to death (I swear, if I read ONE MORE of those posts . . . I have no end to that sentence, I guess. It’s an empty threat. I just hate fake posts like that—you’re not fooling anybody into thinking you’re a diehard fan). So if the products stink, I’ll say they stink. If I don’t like them, I’ll say I don’t like them. Luckily, this hasn’t needed to happen often in my experience, because I’m careful to only apply to write sponsored posts about products/brands I’ve already used (or been interested in using) and been happy with and can feel good about sharing with you. And I don’t do sponsored posts about topics/products that I wouldn’t consider writing about, even without any money behind it.

So, that’s my embarrassing little confession for the day. I’ve got a bit of a slew of sponsored posts coming up, and I guess I just want you to know that I feel awkward and dumb about it. But the good news is, they are all posts I’m actually excited to share, and the products are all things I’ve loved using so far. So at least they’ll be honest. That makes it a little better, right?

Have a nice weekend, folks.


  1. I love your honesty, seriously...too funny. And I'm GLAD you're honest about sponsored posts. I too go nuts when I read other bloggers posts how they just LOVE this or that product and I'm thinking, "Gee, these people are so easily pleased and just LOVE everything out there." ;)

  2. aaaw, sorry the kiddos were sick, that's the pits. About your sponsored posts though, I have to say that compared to come other blogs I've read, I practically LOVE your sponsored posts! I essentially don't read several blogs anymore because when they do an SP, the entire tone of their writing changes, and they don't tell you until THE VERY END: "ps, this post was sponsored by so-and-so, and of course I loved and adored everything about it because they gave me a free meal". I get that this is both a blessing and a curse for bloggers, because it does help support your family (and believe me, if I could, I would do it), but you should be proud that your SPs actually do sound lovely and natural! :)

  3. I just finished "the house at riverton" too. Ehh, mildly interesting. I have the distant hours sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read but haven't been too excited to pick it up due to this last book. You think it's worth it though? Sorry your kiddos were sick, that's no fun at all!

  4. Haha, we'll suffer through. Seriously, yours are never painful to read because they come from your unique voice...but I'll close with a quote from one of my favorite comments on your blog: "sponsor sponsor sponsor".

  5. HAhahahah. One of my favorite comments of all time.

  6. I think The Distant Hours is worth the time, yes. I liked it, but my favorite of hers, far and away, is The Forgotten Garden. Granted, it's been a few years since I read it (I always feel nervous recommending something if it's been awhile since I've read it), but I LOVED that one!

  7. That is SO good to hear! I hate reading that sort of post, and I'm sure I'd hate writing them too. I'm glad they don't come across that way!

  8. You're such a dork. Baby swing, massage, bundt cake, sponsored posts - all of it. But that's why I love you! It's no secret how I feel about the whole sponsored post thing, but honestly, you are one of the BEST when it comes to making them actually ummm... not fake. (you know what I mean!) It still sounds like YOU. The dorky you. ;-)


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