Welcome to Adulthood

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Wordless Wednesday: Adulthood is Clever



Photo of “iCake” via Janetmck on Flickr.

Welcome to Adulthood – Our New Site is HERE!

After months of planning, the new Welcome to Adulthood site has finally launched!
(Having problems viewing all our cool features? We run best in Internet Explorer 8.0, Mozilla, Chrome, or Safari. Our excellent designer Mike is also working on fixing all the bugs for the old versions of your browsers. Stay tuned!)

If Adulthood is about milestones, this has to be the biggest milestone our little-blog-that-could has achieved in its nearly two years of existence.

When I first conceived the blog, I had a vision of a blog that was a repository of collective wisdom about the themes and issues and complexities and celebrations of being an adult. I wanted it to be a place where people could come and learn from one another. A place where people could engage in the dialogues and discussions about what was relevant to them as an adult – whether they engaged as silent reader who visited the site, as a frequent commenter who gets the discussions going, or as a guest blogger.

In its new and improved layout, Welcome to Adulthood can finally grow into the dynamic space that it was always conceived of being.

But making the new look wasn’t a process that happened in a vacuum. We took all of YOUR feedback very seriously. You wanted Adulthood updates in your email – check! You wanted a more logical way to explore ideas and themes – check! You wanted more themes—check! You wanted to be able to submit for publication on the blog–check!

Morgan and I worked hard to hear all of your great words of encouragement and feedback and put it into one master layout (on a budget of course.) We couldn’t have done any of it without the work of our wonderful and talented designer, Mike Smith of Made by Guerrilla. Honestly, I can’t say enough great things about Mike. He was absolutely amazing to work with, and was so patient with Morgan and I’s many requests. He was also a knowledgeable sounding board for us on things we weren’t sure about, and gave us honest, thoughtful advice. He worked within our budget and he was extremely trustworthy. Not to mention, though we have never met him (he is out of Knoxville and we are in San Diego), he is a really nice person and someone I now consider a friend. It goes without saying that Mike is extremely talented, and we love the art direction he took our blog.

So, everyone, take a look around and let us know what you think of our new digs! Also, check out our “Submit” tab for more information on our first Call for Submissions.

Watching a project you have worked so hard on hit such a milestone is an awesome feeling. Friends, today adulthood feels really inspiring and I want to thank you all so much for all the love and support you have given us in this special little Welcome to Adulthood community that we have all helped to create.



Meet Morgan

Thanks for the introduction, Mara, and thanks for linking to my guest blog from last year. I had forgotten about it and reading it tonight brought back some memories. I wrote it when my husband was deployed to Kuwait for a long seven months. It was nice to have an outlet at Welcome to Adulthood to write something… anything to try to express the really complex emotions I had about that experience.

That is what Welcome to Adulthood is all about. It is a platform to discuss meaningful things that relate to the art of growing up and being good at it. Mara has always welcomed guest bloggers and discourse in the comments section, but starting this August we will put in place a few changes to make the conversation even easier.
First, we will roll out a new design that we think will make it easier to move through posts by topic. It will also get a little face lift, but that is just for fun. Also, August will be our first “themed” month. We will release the theme soon, which will be a thread to tie all of the posts for that month together. We think it will help inspire us (and you) to really think hard about what adulthood is, and what we have to say about it.
Lastly, and most importantly, we will be putting out a call for submissions for personal essays on the monthly topic. A prompt and instructions on how to submit will be up shortly so get creative! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Big News!

I have a BIG announcement for Welcome to Adulthood. It is so exciting and will really allow this blog to grow into what it was originally conceived for: a place for meaningful conversations and collective experiences about adulthood.

In pursuit of helping Welcome to Adulthood actualize into the unique and exciting space that I envisioned in my early days of blogging (one year ago), I am going to be relaunching the site in August with a whole new look and feel.

The new design will help organize Adulthood by themes and ideas and conversations, and hopefully inspire everyone to join the discussions.

In order to achieve this dream, I have collaborated with a writer, my dear friend Morgan (who guest blogged for Welcome to Adulthood here), who has been a creative sounding board for me over the last year. She has hashed out ideas with me about this blog from the very beginning, and it seems so fitting that she will be joining Adulthood at this exciting time.

She is a creative and free-spirited person: the kind of person you just want to be around all the time because she is a thinker, and a laugher, and a smiler, and a listener. She is also a great writer and currently blogs over at Urbanist Guide as their food reviewer (how cool is that?!)

I am going to let Morgan tell you a little more about what we have in store for you in August and the months that follow, and also introduce herself.

Stay tuned! So much more to come!

Adulthood is Exciting

This week has been an exciting one! First, I was asked by the lovely and talented Sara over at Sweet Land of Chaos to guest blog for her and I just finished up my piece on “The Budget Bridesmaid” this morning. I will let you know when that goes up!

I was also asked by my bff Nicole over at The Fickle Nickle to do a guest cupcake blog in honor of the Fourth of July. I better get workin’ on that! I am thinking blue velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting topped with a raspberry. A subtle yet delicious red, white, and blue treat. Stay tuned for that and make sure to enter Nicole’s super awesome giveaway from Anne Taintor (yes, the calendar lady actually emailed Nicole directly!) Also, Brenda over at www.peekatmypaper.com has an AWESOME giveaway of bakeware from Le Creuset!! It ends on 7/2 so enter before it’s too late!

Third, and maybe the most exciting, is that my love and adoration of cupcakes allowed me to touch base with the wonderful Lyndsay over at Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery and Cupcake Supplies. As you all know I’m fanatical about cupcakes and cupcake paraphanalia, and Lyns has got a TON of stuff over there. I am talking like hard-to-find-super-cute-spice-up-your-cupcake/party/holiday-supplies kind of stuff.

So the big news is: right here on Welcome to Adulthood one lucky winner will receive a cupcake windfall prize pack courtesy of Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery and Cupcake Supplies.

Stay tuned for more details in the next few weeks!

Finally, in personal news, I adopted two rescue kittens this weekend on a whim. More on them to come, but for now, just look at how adorable they are. We named them Mungojerrie and Memory. They are brother and sister, 8 weeks old.

The First Annual Adulthood Blogging Awards

There is a lot going on for Adulthood these days. Firstly, we have more readers than ever before – and all of your thoughtful comments, emails, tweets, and good vibes keep the dialogue continuing and the laughs coming! So, thank you!!

While just a few blog entries ago I wrote about the challenge of balance in adulthood, today I celebrate just how fun adulthood is too. What makes this blog fun for me is hearing from all of you. So, before I continue, I would like to say keep thinking about things, and if you have a contribution you would like to make to our discussion regarding adulthood – write it down and send it to me in an email at mara@welcometoadulthood.com.

Now, on to more fun stuff: somewhere in this big blogosphere I have connected with some really special people. They are like-minded bloggers with lots of interesting and funny things to say. They support me when I feel like I am juggling dogs, and they encourage me with tweets, comments, advice, and general awesomeness. They have bestowed upon me a virtual award and have spoken such kind words about Adulthood on their blogs. This award means a lot coming from seasoned bloggers with such awesome content and a great niche. So thank you to Nicole at http://www.theficklenickle.com/, Tricia and Siana at http://2girlsonabench.com/, and Rachel at http://www.rachelintheoc.com/. Check out their blogs too and become a follower. Oh yeah, and tell them Mara sent ya’…

Now down to business. Here are the rules that go with the award:
•Thank the person who gave you this award. (Check!)
•Share 7 things about yourself.
•Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!

Here it goes.

Seven things about myself:

(Okay, so I took a non-traditional approach…)

Mara the thinker. Mara the bright. Mara the lover of cats, chocolate, art, and sunshine. Mara is always learning. Mara dreams big. Mara laughs loudly. Mara gives strong hugs.

Fifteen Outstanding Blogger Awards (in no particular order) go to ::drum roll::

(Okay, so I didn’t do 15, but this is a more targeted approach. Now you can check out these select few. They have great blogs, and many of them are just getting started so now more than ever we need to support them! So, do me a favor, next time you are taking a break from work or are having a lazy morning with a cup of coffee, check out these blogs. No one likes just lists, so I have given you some context about each blog’s most recent entry.)

Decadencefactor – Yum! Rhubarb Tart!
Sweetlandofchaos – Her Wordless Wednesday photo was her childhood home burnt down this past weekend. 🙁
Datingafter40 – On her “pre-celebrity status.” She is one comical blogger!
Supersavingsense – Sizzling summer deals in AZ and beyond
Peekatmypaper – What do a blossoming artichoke, a Laker game, and a Chinese grocery store have in common? Find out.
Coffeenerdedlawyer – She answers questions about law (and sometimes Jon Gosselin). And she is super smart. Score.
Vicariouschelsea – cute, cute kids and give-aways galore!
Highschoolpoetryslam – One of her funniest entries yet, where she continues to deconstruct the poetry and writings of her high school self. Yes, I am talking about her high school diary.
Jackmcclane – A critical review of the Lost finale. And he lives in Australia. And he is a great writer.

Congrats fellow Bloggers!! You deserve it!

Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

Well, I touched down in San Diego this morning with a renewed sense of inspiration. I think you all may remember my entry from about a month ago To Tweet or not to Tweet, where I pondered the power and purpose of Twitter. I have seen the light.

Twitter is probably the single most powerful social media tool to date. Best of all, I have been making so many new friends! Not only the smart, lovely, kind, and supportive ladies (and gents) I met at the conference, but others across the country who have interesting ideas, witty commentary, and great advice.

To talk about adulthood we need more than just blog — we need to start conversations. That is why, over the course of a few months, and with the encouragement of a new tribe of blog-tastic gurus, my goal for this site will be to talk more with each other, engage more, learn and laugh more.

Twitter is a remarkable celebration of literacy in 140 characters or less. The way I see it is that literacy has to be one of the, if not THE, major perk of adulthood. We must embrace the opportunity share ideas and it is almost our duty to create meaningful discourse with all the tools we have available: speaking, writing…and tweeting.

So, my friends, hopefully we will be hearing more from each other very soon! In the mean time, check out some of the pictures from our conference. Nicole (@TheFickleNickle) and I really had a blast! I can’t wait until next year!

More to come, oh and yes, to answer the emails, I will post about how to make awesomely cheap flower arrangements as promised. Thanks for keeping me on track!

To Tweet or not to Tweet?

Being without a computer for the last few weeks has been a major change in my routine. My usual habit of catching up with my social networking sites and blogs after dinner has been confined to the tiny screen of my iPhone. It also made me realize just how connected I am to both friends and strangers via social networking.

I was talking to my friend about this and she asked me if I had a Twitter account. I didn’t (until this morning) have a Twitter account. I explained to her that I really don’t feel the need to update the Twitterverse on what I am doing, what I am eating, and what I am thinking every few hours (or minutes!) I also informed her I have enough going on in my own life, I don’t need to hear about everyone else’s.

Her: “But isn’t that exactly what you are doing on your blog, and on Facebook, and when you read and comment on other blogs?”

Me: (In a defensive tone) “Uh, noooo. That is way different!”

Her: “How?”

Me: “Because blogs are an expression of ideas in a robust way. They are not 140 character sentences about what a person is eating! Also, blogging is a community.”

Her: “Sometimes blogs are about what a person is eating (Your baking posts, for example, Mara). And Tweeting is really just another way to communicate ideas — just with more brevity. Twitter is a community too, you know. You need to be able to evolve with social networking, because it is always changing and growing.”

Me: “But what kind of meaningful discourse can come out of 140 characters?”

Her: (smiling, she knew she had me) “You’ll never know until you try…”

So, this week I am going to experiment with Twitter. If anything, maybe it will be another way I can connect with my blog readers and possibly interest some new readers. Also, my friend informs me that you can get news Tweets, and museum Tweets, and theater Tweets, and band Tweets! That would be pretty neat.

If you have any words of Twitter-wisdom, or any thoughts on Twitter, please leave them in the comments. Or, you can always shoot me a Tweet at @AdulthoodMara!

(picture via ZoomInfoBlogger)

Happenings Around the Blogosphere

Because blogging is such a community, I just had to share a bit about some of my favorite WelcometoAdulthood contributors. As emerging bloggers, it is all of our efforts (and all of our dear readers, like you) that keep our blogs relevant. In the spirit of this kind of community of support, I am proud to announce some really cool happenings.

Sarah Busta, who is all over the blogosphere with The Papery Dolls, and the amazing Call-it-Inspiration (and who also designed this very site) has been featured on Brooklyn Bride’s Annual Card Swap!

Here is a little peak at her expertly designed original holiday card.

This is a huge accomplishment because Brooklyn Bride is a well-established national (maybe even international) blog and Sarah is a talented lady who deserves tons of accolades.

Second, check out guest blogger Morgan Leahy, who recently got married and was featured on Ruffled at her “Vintage Mexican Wedding.”

Sneak peak from photos as seen on Ruffled.

Congrats to Morgan on your feature!

Annnndddd, coming up next on WelcometoAdulthood, we will continue our theme of The Epic New Year’s Resolution Project with a guest blogger with a lot of sass, and a great new year’s resolution. That’s all I’ll tell you for now…
Stay tuned!

Want to contribute to The Epic New Year’s Resolution Project? Send me your thoughts on our theme, what it means to you, or why it is epic, and we’ll keep the conversation going.

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