Friday, February 4, 2011

"Fab 5" - as selected by

I had the TRUE HONOR of being selected as a "Fab 5" Blogger by Shannon of Chester County Moms. I honestly cried when I read what Shannon had to say about me. Thank you!!!!

 Who are my "Fab 5" Bloggers, you ask?

Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend's wish!

When asked to write a blog post about 5 Fabulous Bloggers, I thought "No Problem! This will be so easy!" And it was.... in fact, it was SO EASY to think of bloggers that are fabulous that this exercise quickly became VERY DIFFICULT as I tried to pare the list down to JUST 5 people to highlight. In this world of new media and blogging that Sarah and I love and are so immersed in, you can easily find fabulous people to read, interact with, and be inspired by.

I decided to narrow my list down by featuring local bloggers here in the Philly Burbs, since ya' know, that's what we do here at Philly Burb Moms! So without further ado... I give you my "Fab 5" list:

1. The first blogger I want to highlight is Jo-Lynne Shane. Aside from wanting to be just like Jo-Lynne when I grow up, I think she is a true gift to the blogging community. As I've gotten to know Jo-Lynne personally over the last 2 years or so, I've been so inspired by her journey to eat local whole foods and introduce these foods in interesting ways to her family. She's documented alot about that journey on her personal blog, Musings of a Housewife, and that birthed a passion inside Jo-Lynne to help others along their path to eating more whole foods (myself included).

Jo-Lynne's local resource site, Eat Local Philly, is a dedicated to local whole foods here. You can get all sorts of information on this site from local Farmers Market to Buying Clubs to Restaurants to Wineries, all sorted by county. Genius!

And while we're on the subject of Jo-Lynne, and totally unrelated to local blogging, do me a favor and check out a new venture that Jo-Lynne and our good friend Melissa from Girlymama are about to launch any second now ...... All Things Chic!

2. Here in the western Philly suburbs, we have another fantastic resource for foodies (from amateurs to pros) .... The Town Dish. Started by Mary Bigham, The Town Dish suite of sites are dedicated to thoroughly covering the all things food in Chester County. The Dish sites include West Chester Dish, Downingtown Dish, Phoenixville Dish and the recently launched Exton Dish. You'd think that 4 foodie blogs might keep Mary and her team too busy to think about other endeavors, but you'd be wrong. While she is very busy making sure her sites are always "delicious", she has big plans for 2011. There will be at least 3 more Dish sites launched this year AND she will be busy with her Dish Trip travels, where she visits a variety of U.S. cities to experience and document their culinary delights!

Whether you live in Chester County or you just want to try out some new restaurants, festivals, and all other food fun, take a peek at The Town Dish sites, and ENJOY!

3. This next woman inspires me whether you know her "story" or not. She is just a go-getter with what seems to be to be boundless creative energy. K.C. Agneta is a Montgomery County mother who runs a business called The Diaper Bag Wrangler where she designs and sells high-quality baby products such as link loop diaper bags, changing pads and zippered wet bags. She also has a wildly successful line of Toddler, Kid and Adult size personalized aprons. We have several of K.C.'s products in our home and have given them as gifts time and time again. She uses beautiful fabrics and trims but yet keeps reasonable price points.

Her blog on The Diaper Bag Wrangler site is a mish-mash of ramblings about what is going on in her shop, the Etsy treasuries she being featured in, the P.F. Chang - inspired Lettuce Wraps that she is making for dinner, and her all out war with breast cancer. In 2008, K.C. was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, had a double mastectomy 2 weeks later and immediately started chemotherapy after that. K.C. did not stop mothering her young daughter, K.C. did not shut down her website or stop selling her products. K.C. boldly and strongly stood in the face of cancer and she never complained. K.C. has the most amazing attitude and resiliency that I have ever witnesses and I am happy that I can say that I know this woman. After she courageously battled her way to health and went through re-constructive surgery, K.C is a model for living life after cancer (to it's fullest).

4. I'm going to bend the "rules" a little bit on this one. I'd love to highlight a blogger with forward-thinking ideas on new media, interacting with your local community and local blogging. She does have a hyper-local site, just not here in Philly :-) I'd like you to meet Sarah Pinnix. Sarah is the founder of High Country Mom Squad as well as her personal site, Real Life Blog. High Country Mom Squad is an e-zine packed with all sorts of lifestyle information for Moms in the Boone, NC area to enjoy and take advantage of. In addition to her sites, Sarah's wisdom on using new media for small businesses is being shared via her Talk of the Town Workshops and she provides individual consulting for small business in her local area as well as large brands. I've been impressed with Sarah's philosophies and love her openness and willing to share. She is my social media "crush" (what, we all have them, right?) and I'd love to collaborate with her on a project in the near future!

5. My final pick is to highlight a blogger that is located here in the local area, but is by no means a local blogger. Since Colleen Padilla burst onto the blogging scene 5 years ago, her career path in new media has continued to skyrocket each year. Colleen's site, Classy Mommy, is a widely read review site for Moms wanting the very best products for their children. I love Colleen's candid feedback and natural writing and vlogging style. You'll enjoy getting to know her and her two amazing children as you read/watch along with them. Colleen has also been a brand advocate for several large companies in the US, she is a trusted social media consultant and has been sought after by news organizations to give her commentary on new media. Colleen is working on a book right now with her partner Audrey McClellan from Mom Generations that is due to be out later this year.

The best part about Colleen is her willingness to help her fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs. In their pre-motherhood careers, Colleen and my business partner Sarah were co-workers and friends. As Sarah would talk to Colleen about the launch of Chester County Moms, or the Holiday Extravaganza, or other ideas we had for the Philly Burb Moms sites, Colleen has always provided advice, support, encouragement and help along the way, and for that we are very grateful.

So, tell me, who are your favorite bloggers? I love being introduced to new sites and being reminded of others I once read. Let us know who makes you want to read more!

Don't forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend's wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

photo credit: BlogHer

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