Five Blogs You’ll Love

    by -

    What I Wore Today
    Founder: Kasmira Kit


    When did you start your blog? I started the blog on Oct 6, 2006. I wear that same outfit (nicknamed "Limey") on the anniversary of my blog, each year!


    Why did you start your blog? I started blogging out of loneliness. After leaving the US Marines, I moved to Cincinnati (from Okinawa, Japan) and knew no one in the area. I began my first blog (Cincinnati Cape Cod) to make connections with other home and garden enthusiasts. The relationships I made with my new, virtual friends eased my transition into home ownership and a new city.


    Two years later, I had integrated into Cincinnati and civilian life, but had no one with whom to share my newfound passion for style. My first blog had worked well to connect me with renovators, decorators, and gardeners, so I thought a wardrobe diary might help me find stylish folk. I knew of only a single style blog when I started (Allie’s Wardrobe Oxygen, Now there are dozens and I’ve found the community I was looking for.


    How has it evolved since you started? In addition to the daily outfit entries, I’ve also added "how to" articles and "mail bag" posts. I occasionally post ruminations on personal style and style blogging. However, the focus remains on my daily outfits.


    The photography has improved since I began. I started with a Canon Powershot and a tripod in my spare room. I used the camera’s timer feature and the flash. I sometimes neglected to include my feet in the frame and had little variety in my poses. Now, I use a Nikon SLR camera and an array of lenses. If I’m on my own, I use the tripod and a remote. If my boyfriend, Dan aka Beefy Muchacho, is available, he takes the photos. I almost never use the flash because, although it blasts away wrinkles, the photos have more of a three dimensional quality with natural or ambient light. I’m sometimes stuck taking pictures in the house, but, if possible, Dan and I like to search Cincinnati for famous, beautiful, or just interesting backdrops. Some of my favorite locations are Glencoe Hole, Eden Park, Longworth Hall, and Union Terminal.


    My style has evolved, as well. Some of the change is due to trends in fashion, but more of it is a result of my growing confidence in my own aesthetic. I love to experiment with color, pattern, and layers. I’m not afraid to try something a little risky (like two loud and clashing patterns) because I can always wear something else tomorrow!


    Tell me about some of your most popular posts? Surprisingly, the most popular of my posts are the "how to" entries! Two of my hair tutorials (How To Make a Messy Bun and The Lazy Girls Updo) are in my top five most viewed pages. My tutorial on dyeing one’s eyebrows is also among the most viewed. The second most popular post in my blog’s history gives instructions on over-dyeing denim with Dylon dye. A few of my style advice entries are also in the top ten: Color Yourself Happy, Yellow Pumps, and Layer It.


    What makes you different than other fashion blogs? Longevity: I’m approaching my 5th anniversary! Frequency: I post at least 5 outfits a week Focus: I post my daily wear, not trends or sales or Polyvore collages. Demographic: I’m 35 years old, work at a Fortune 500 company, and shop on a budget. Many other popular bloggers seem to be younger, less stable, and in receipt of a lot of free clothes! I sometimes dress like a crazy bag lady, but I’m otherwise fairly accessible to the working woman.


    What do you enjoy most about writing your blog? I most enjoy the satisfaction of creating something beautiful and enjoyed by others. It is amazing that I can share my outfits, photography, and writing with thousands of readers. It’s as if I baked an apple pie and offered everyone in the world a bite. I love the experience of making and sharing my art.


    Anything new on the horizon that readers can look forward to? In October, in honor of my fifth anniversary, I will look back at the outfits from my first month of blogging (October 2006) and post a "where are they now?" entry for each ensemble. I’m amazed at what pieces remain in my wardrobe and how many were casualties of wear or accidents!


    Anything else you’d like to add? Your outward appearance sends a signal to the world about the person inside. Style (clothing and grooming) is the simplest way to express your beliefs, interests, and passion to others. Developing a personal, unique style brings harmony between your personality and appearance. Who among us isn’t special and unique?


    Think about the last thing you felt great in. What was it that made that outfit so comfortable and "you?" Why can’t you dress like that all the time? Identifying and following one’s personal style is a way to feel great every day.


    I certainly understand the fear of sticking out or making a fashion misstep. It’s bound to happen. I certainly have outfits I regret! But you can always wear something else tomorrow (or you can go home and change at lunch).



    Skinny Mom
    Founder: Brooke Griffin


    When did you start your blog? Skinny Mom started in April 2011…so we really are still in our infancy and just trying to connect with as many moms, expecting moms, and women as possible!


    Why did you start your blog? When I was five months pregnant, I found myself always online trying to find a community or website that I could get fitness advice and answers to my questions from "Is it safe to do abs while pregnant" or "how soon can I workout after the baby", plus I wanted to connect with other women going through the same things and learn from them and be inspired by their success but I couldn’t find anything so I just decided that I wanted to change this and thus Skinny Mom was born.


    How has it evolved since you started? In the beginning I was so afraid to call it Skinny Mom as I was really afraid that I would offend people with the name…I am not skinny myself, nor do I want to be, but after I started the site, I was so surprised how the name is what got people talking and remembered the website! Moms shared that as soon as they went to the website they knew that it wasn’t able being Skinny but rather redefining skinny and living a healthy lifestyle. I also started the blog with just myself writing but now I have 7 other moms who write for the website. The website started just as a blog but we now are hosting events, from fitness camps to a virtual 5K that we did last weekend that attracted around 500 women from across the country! We have lots of things in the works but our foundation is still in the stories we tell and the articles that we love writing.


    Tell me about some of your most popular posts? A really popular post was on the Dangers of the HCG Diet…we interviewed a leading expert from John Hopkins University. As moms we started hearing tragic stories of other moms and women going to dangerous extremes with the HCG diet (a very low 500 calorie a day diet with injections of the pregnancy hormone HCG to lose weight), moms were having strokes, passing out, and losing their hair…we knew that we had to bring attention to this story and the dangers involved. We also have had the opportunity to interview some of hollywood’s hottest moms and our interview with Real Housewive Teresa Guidice from New Jersey was a big hit!! Another favorite was our September Workout Challenge…we had over 1,000 moms participate in the challenge to do 30 pushups, 40 squats, and 50 abs exercises everyday in September.


    What makes you different than other fitness blogs? We strongly believe that Skinny Mom is for moms by moms…meaning that we write for moms specifically and everyone who writes is a mom! Other fitness blogs have great trainers and dietitians but a lot of them have never had kids or don’t have the demands of juggling a life with children and trying to be healthy. Having kids changes the game completely whether it is from trying to lose the baby weight, cook healthy for your family, or fit in exercise…we want to help moms and do it from a moms perspective.


    What do you enjoy most about writing your blog? I love waking up and getting to do what I love everyday which is being a mom and sharing my passion for health and fitness! I love connecting with other moms and seeing the difference that the blog is making in other peoples lives!! When you have women writing in and telling you that they ran their first 5K or have lost 50 pounds because something you said inspired them….it is amazing!


    Anything new on the horizon that readers can look forward to? Yes, we have some great things to look forward…some things I still can’t share yet;( but a few that I can share that others can look forward to are…in the coming weeks we will be launching a race team for moms, a competitive fitness team, and lots of new video workouts and recipes.

    Anything else you’d like to add? Skinny Mom really wouldn’t be possible without the help of the other amazing moms that are a part of the site who blog every week! Thanks Katie, Laura, Sian, Shelley, and Brandy!



    Savings Lifestyle
    Founder: Andrea Deckard


    When did you start your blog? I started the site in January, 2008 as Mommy Snacks. I rebranded and changed the site name to Savings Lifestyle in October, 2010.


    Why did you start your blog? When we were pregnant with our youngest son, we found out that he had a kidney disorder called hydronephrosis. While the doctors said that 99% of the cases correct themselves without surgery, that wasn’t the case for us. Since I had resigned from my HR position months before, I knew going back to work with a child recovering from surgery wasn’t a possibility.


    I heard about using coupons and as I looked into it, I realized that the savings potential were great. As I become a savvy saver (saving enough to pay for our son’s surgery expenses after insurance), I began to share all that I learned with friends and family…and their friends and family. Soon after, the site was born and we’re celebrating our 4-year anniversary in a few months!


    How has it evolved since you started? Well, the rebranding is a result of the evolution that has taken place. When the site first started, it was just my passion to help others save and there was no real focus. After a few years, I realized that it was becoming more than just coupons and deals because it takes more than coupons and deals to help save money.


    Knowing this, the site now covers great deals, coupons, freebies but also general savings tips like what to do if your mortgage bill decreases and saving on big ticket purchases. We also now have two hyperlocal sites, Savings Lifestyle Cincinnati and Savings Lifestyle Dayton. My vision is to help those in our area find a great local deal and support the local establishments that keep our city awesome!


    Tell me about some of your most popular posts. My 8 Reasons to Use Coupons post is pretty popular. Even non-couponers can see the value when they read through my reasoning. Our personal finance series of posts resonates with many readers too since they see that reducing our consumer debt wasn’t done overnight. Also, 5 Simple Tips to a Healthy Weight Loss is a popular post. I’m proof that losing weight AND saving is possible since I’ve done both!


    What makes you different than other "mom blogs" or "coupon bloggers"? Savings Lifestyle is all about saving money but it’s not about being a miser. I save on what we need so we are able to spend (and save) more on what we want. I don’t feel guilty about my Joe’s Jeans purchase. After all, I got them at the outlet using a coupon. Saving money is different for everyone. There are never judgements made about who saved more or how many coupons you did or didn’t use.


    What do you enjoy most about writing your blog? I’m truly enjoying more of the writing now. While sharing hot deals and freebies are great, getting to share more ways to save in the hopes that it will inspire someone to try is so rewarding. Knowing that what we share helps people pay their bills, give to those in need, or just have more for what’s important in life is extremely rewarding.


    Anything new on the horizon that readers can look forward to? We are always adding new resources on Savings Lifestyle. We are working on making the savings tracking tool interactive and easier to use. We are also adding more local lunch ‘n learn workshops to our schedule, as well as adding a virtual coupon workshop. The more I can help people save money, the happier I’ll be!


    Anything else you’d like to add? Saving doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I believe in taking a realistic and focused approach. You can subscribe to our free coupon ecourse and learn how to save more in just 7 days. I’d love to help you be a chic saver in the Queen city!



    Family Friendly Cincinnati
    Co-founders: Shannan Boyer & Amy Cribbs
    Contributors: Kandie Barnes, Karen Eborall, Kristin Goecke, Michelle Foster Hammers, Sara Jackson, Phyllis McCarthy, Katie Scheper, Amy Quinn


    When did you start your blog? We started developing the concept for Family Friendly Cincinnati in early 2009 and the site went live later in August of that year. We just celebrated our two year anniversary!


    Why did you start your blog? Amy & I were always looking for things to do with our children, but couldn’t really find a place online that not only shared things to do, but also gave some insight into the experience. After talking about it, we decided we’d create that place ourselves. It was a big undertaking and we knew if we did it we’d want to represent the entire Tri-State, so we invited some of our friends from different parts of the city to join us.


    How has it evolved since you started? While we started off really just sharing things for families to do, the site has grown into so much more. At FFC you’ll find our thoughts and reviews on family-friendly restaurants, events & retailers, we host giveaways; we try to raise awareness about local non-profits in our community and we try to get people out enjoying the city. We’ve also developed relationships with local media outlets such as The Cincinnati Enquirer and WLWT which have helped us get the word out to even more parents about all of the family-friendly related places & events that exist around the Tri-State.


    Tell me about some of your most popular posts. Our most popular post is our weekly "Family Fun This Weekend" post. Each Thursday night we publish a list of ideas for fun ways to spend the weekend with your family. We work really hard to not only share the "big" events, but also to search out the smaller community events you might not be familiar with. There’s so much to do in Cincinnati and we try our best to offer a wide range of ideas, across all age groups. In addition to these weekly posts, our Kids Eat Free and Kids Birthday Party idea posts are pretty popular.


    What makes you different than other "mom blogs"? When you visit our blog you’re going to hopefully learn about some of the area’s hidden gems as well as be kept in the loop about great activities, organizations and places you might know, but also maybe you haven’t heard of before. We’ve got ten amazing writers contributing to the site with children ranging in age from infant to pre-teen so you’re going to find information on businesses & organizations from all parts of the region and for a wide range of ages. We really try to give readers a broad look at what’s going on around town. Family Friendly Cincinnati is also a great resource for families visiting the area. Finally, we also have a really engaged Facebook fan page that is a great resource for both locals and visitors. Not only are we sharing information throughout the day that you won’t find on the blog, but so are our fans. It’s also a great place to ask questions. Our readers and writers are always happy to help.


    What do you enjoy most about writing your blog? We love Cincinnati and think that it is a great place to raise a family. Sometimes people don’t realize how much Cincinnati has to offer families and we love being the place where people can come and learn about it all. We also love our readers and enjoy learning about new places and fun things to do from them.



    Naked Dingo
    Founder: Zach Day

    When did you start your blog? Our first post was in June of this year. We’re the new bloggers on the page.


    Why did you start your blog? We felt a blog would fit perfect into our vision, which includes Convenience, Education, and Community. A blog also gives us a chance to give back to great pet people in the community.


    How has it evolved since you started? We are able to bring more community into what started out as an education focused blog, and we are so excited. Being involved in the pet industry keeps you on your toes, so our newbie blog will continue to evolve.


    Tell me about some of your most popular posts? Barktoberfest is a fun local event that attracted a lot of attention, but we feel it’s important tell readers about the Pet Health Day in OTR and a sweet Greyhound needing rescued in the same article. Popular educational posts include "Must Know Pet Food Phrases" and "5 Tips Walking Your Dog".


    What makes you different than other pet-related blogs? We educate and entertain by combining our knowledge with a fresh energy and vibe, while keeping a local presence.


    What do you enjoy most about writing your blog? Helping local pet services and rescues tell their story, because Cincinnati is lucky to have so many great pet people working hard to make our lives easier, and our pet’s life better. We always love to entertain, and be entertained, after all we are Naked Dingo.


    Anything new on the horizon that readers can look forward to? We are excited about our new "Paw-p" Culture posts that bring you a little closer to families of local and national celebrities and their pets. Look for articles from breeders, businesses, and lighthearted posts that include funny vet conversations in the future. We will continue to evolve as a blog and presence in the community as we find ways to educate and entertain. I also see a big event this Spring in our future.


    Anything else you’d like to add? Besides my previous life where I played professional baseball for 12 years, I have been involved in all sides of the pet industry. My mom breeds and shows Golden Retrievers along with running a kennel, which includes retail and grooming. Oh yeah, we have these wicked super soft logo tee’s for only $5.