Go Ahead Take A Bite

Monday, January 30, 2012

Google Plus (G+) For Dummies Part II

 **THERE HAVE BEEN MANY CHANGES TO G+ SINCE THIS SERIES WAS POSTED, BUT THE BASICS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME - If you need to contact me with questions or concerns, please click HERE

Welcome to Part II of Google Plus For Dummies

If you got here through any method other than my Go Ahead... Take A Bite! blog, please click HERE for Part I

Let's pick up where we left off...

Creating and Navigating Circles:
(A very quick, basic video about circles)

Video Courtesy of Google

You will see that there is a circle provided for everyone called "Following".  This is the circle that I use for all of the blogs/bloggers that I want to follow. I suppose I'd call it the G+ equivilent to GFC. You can also create new circles and use them to categorize your "followers" by genre, ex. "Food Blogs" or "Product Review Blogs".

When you add someone to a circle, they will receive an email telling them that you have put them in your circles and giving them the opportunity to add you back (follow you back).  It will also show up under "Notifications" on their Google+ Home page.  The same is true when someone follows you. They won't know what circle you've put them in, unless you choose to share that circle publicly.

In-depth Management of Circles:
(This is a more advanced tutorial on creating and managing your circles)

Video courtesy of Paul Melrose. The series can be found and viewed at his blog/portfolio The Tao of E-Learning

Posting, editing posts and commenting on other people's posts:

Video courtesy of Paul Melrose. The series can be found and viewed at his blog/portfolio The Tao of E-Learning

Connecting Google+ to Other Social Networking Sites:
(Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Video courtesy of Alex. See his other G+ videos on his Youtube channel.

How To Send A Private Message In Google+:

Video courtesy of James Brooks

I really hope these videos have been helpful and that you feel a little better about how Google Plus works and how it can benefit you as a blogger.  I'm still looking around for more videos that I feel would be helpful to all of us. If you have any questions or requests for specific tutorial videos, please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to find them.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Many The Miles ~ STMUSS

If you're as discombobulated as I've been about the upcoming phase out of Google Friend Connect (GFC) and the ensuing shift to Google+ (G+), please check out my other blog Go Ahead... Take A Bite! on Monday for the first part in a series of tutorials that I'm putting together!

Hey kids! I'm away visiting relatives this weekend, but I couldn't miss out on my favorite Saturday party! So, here we go... It's Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday!

The first time I heard a Sara Bareilles song, I knew I'd be buying whatever she produced, both before and since that day. There's a hell of a lot of raw talent packed into that tiny frame and boy, can she belt it out when she wants to.

It wasn't easy to pick just one song from her ever expanding catalog of hits, so I'm posting two of my "Sara favorites" and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

She sorta kinda drops a teeny tiny "f-bomb" about two minutes in, but you can barely hear it. Sorry.


Now that's one talented lady.

Here's your ticket to the best musical Saturday party in town!  Come on along and join in on the fun!

Click HERE or HERE to link up!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chuck Negron and Three Dog Night ~ STMUSS

Want a recipe that your family (even the kiddies) will love? Check out my post on Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and her incredible Pork Meatballs HERE!

It's time for Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday!

You know those "OMG... What a blast from the past!" feelings that you get when you hear a song or a band that you haven't thought about in ages? I was in my car on my way home from an appointment with my doctor last week and one of those songs came on the radio. It was "Easy to Be Hard" by Three Dog Night.  Now some of you young whipper snappers may have heard of the band, Three Dog Night, but I'd be surprised if you've heard this particular song.  It did well on the charts at the time it was released, but was overshadowed later on by songs like "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog", "Old Fashioned Love Song" and "One" (Is The Lonliest Number)

The song was orginally written for the Broadway musical "Hair" and was later released as a single and part of Three Dog Night's album Golden Biscuits in 1971. It also appeared later on several of their "best of" compilations. The band is no longer together, but two of the original members (Danny Hutton and Cory Wells) are still touring as Three Dog Night.  Former lead singer, Chuck Negron is now touring solo.

The first video is of their "original" version and the second is from a more recent appearance by Chuck Negron. Chuck's story is an incredible one and if you ever get a chance to check it out, you'll be amazed that he's lived to tell it. (36 different times in rehab!) I had such a crush on him back in the day and I was thrilled to learn that he's making a bit of a comeback.  His voice is a little bit worse for the wear, but he's still got it, in my book.  Enjoy!

"Original" version:

More recent version with Chuck alone:

Come join us at:

Click HERE or HERE to link up

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My First Big "Aha! Moment" of 2012 Vulnerability = Connection

I found the following video while frantically pinning casually perusing the boards on Pinterest. Yep... I'm officially addicted.  It all started quite innocently, really.  I kept seeing that shiny red and white "Follow Me On Pinterest" widget popping up on blogs that I was visiting and I began wondering what it was all about.  So, I requested an invitation (yes, you have to be invited ~ still don't know what that's all about) out of simple curiosity and the next thing I knew, I was hooked. I confess. I can't get enough of this crazy new drug trend.

Whether it's a new recipe, a snarky comment that has me L'ingMAO, or an adorable kitty or puppy begging me to {heart} it,  I just have to "pin it".  I'm thinking there will soon be "pinaholic" support groups popping up out there, but for now I just try to pin in moderation.  (Does this make me a pinhead?)

OK... Enough about my addiction Pinterest. The real reason I decided to post this video is because it seriously made me stop and think about what the speaker had to say. Dr. Brene Brown is the speaker and comes to this forum with all kinds of degrees and published research findings, but what really drew me to her wasn't how bright she is. It was more about how right she is. Obviously, I can't guarantee that everyone will relate so profoundly to what she has to share, but I sure did. I do think it's definitely worth the twenty minutes or so that it takes to watch it.

If you do watch it, I would love to have you share your thoughts about it with me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shania and Lionel - Pure Gold STMUSS

My choice for this weeks Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday is one that hasn't technically been released yet.  The song, which is a reprise of the classic Lionel Richie/Diana Ross hit, "Endless Love", is set to be released in March of this year on Richie's much anticipated "all duets" album titled "Tuskegee".

The two videos below are excerpts from last season's OWN network show "Why Not with Shania Twain". The first is a "quick" version of part of the finished song and the second is a longer clip that includes a longer segment of the show and a more detailed explanation of how the duet between Richie and Twain came to be.

I've always liked Shania and Richie to some extent, but after watching the series last season and hearing the song as it was being recorded, I can honestly say that I am chomping at the bit for this album to finally hit the market.

I know the second video is a bit long, but if you have a few extra minutes to spare today, I highly recommend watching it.

OK.  First, the "quick" version:

The twenty minute version:

Come Link Up With:

click HERE or HERE to link up

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Gift Of The Heart

Howdy Everyone!

It's the new year and as most of us are fond of doing around this time, I've been reflecting on the past 12 months and pondering the year ahead.

But enough about reflection, for now. What I really wanted to do, was show you and tell you about the most special gift that I received this Christmas. Don't get me wrong...  I really love everything that I received, but there is one gift that stands out among the rest - and in the spirit of full disclosure, made me cry.  They were familiar tears, but more than anything else, they were a pure manifestation of the deepest love I have in my heart. A mother's love.  I honestly felt like my heart would bust wide open.

Our grown daughter is the light of our lives. She's beautiful and she's smart, but what makes her so incredibly special, is her heart. She possesses an infinite capacity for love, compassion and empathy. When she was just a tiny wisp of a girl, she would beg me to stop the car whenever we would pass someone along the street who was elderly or looked a bit disheveled. For some reason, she always assumed that these folks were all alone in the world and she insisted that we take them home with us, where they'd be safe and warm and we could take care of them. It usually took the rest of the day, to convince her that they'd be OK.

Although I thanked her later when she called on Christmas morning and even admitted that it made me cry, I don't know if she had any idea how deeply her gift impacted me. I won't go into all of the detail right now, but it's something she made for me as a kind of remembrance of her little sister, who we lost eleven years ago.

You see, her father and I spent an awful lot of time away from home during the time that our youngest was fighting for her life. We thought constantly about our first born during that time, but the hospital was over an hour away from our home and during the few hours a day that we weren't at the hospital, we pretty much moved in with a family member who lived close by, while she stayed with friends and family back home.

She was sixteen at the time and very much in her own world of hormones and teenage angst, and no matter how many times I asked if she wanted to talk about it with me or her dad, or anyone at all, the reply was always the same. "No, mom. I'm fine. I talk to my friends." We spoke on the phone every day that we couldn't spend with her and she came down with family members when she could, but it was incredibly hard on all of us. I can't even begin to tell you how it can tear you up inside when you are faced with spending all of your time and energy focusing on the needs of one of your children, while the other needs you just as much.

She still keeps her feelings very guarded. As much as I wish she would share her innermost thoughts with me, we all have our own way of coping and moving forward... and I respect that. What keeps me from worrying too much about her, is that I know that she always finds a way to express the things she feels. This time, it was through her beautiful handmade gift.

When I unwrapped the package, the first thing that I saw were the blue letters, printed in her own hand. As I tore the paper away further, I saw one and then another brightly colored leaf, lovingly and carefully applied to the branches of the tree. I knew the words without looking at them. I'd read them, over and over again, day after day, night after night, sitting in a dimly lit hospital room.

But I still felt the need to read them out loud. So, I cleared my throat and began. I read the familiar words, as my husband sat and listened while I struggled to get the words out. Without lifting my head from the frame in my hands, I knew that his eyes were filling up with the same salty, stinging tears that were threatening to spill out of my own.

Like most parents, we always wondered if we were saying and doing the right things. Did we listen well enough or push hard enough when it mattered?  Should we have done things differently?  Did anything we said or did right, sink in when it was supposed to?

I have my answer when I see this beautiful child who is now an incredible young woman;  No, we may not have always done or said exactly the right thing. Yes, we've made our share of mistakes along the way. But we've loved our children with all that we have inside of us and we did the very best that we knew how to do.

And in this crazy, wild, sometimes heartbreaking ride called parenthood... that's enough.

I wish all of you a Happy, Healthy and Love Filled New Year