At Annie’s suggestion, I’ve created a Facebook event for BOLO 2012. Please feel free to mark yourself down as attending, and to send the event around to any friends or family you think would be interested in coming out.
Annie isn’t just one of Ottawa’s top bloggers; her blog, PhD in Parenting, is known internationally for its powerful activism. She believes in taking good care of children, and she is more than willing to call out companies or organizations who don’t share that goal. A strongly worded post by Annie can have an immediate, lasting negative impact on that company, leading to a PR scramble. And yet, she’s not about scandal for scandal’s sake; she’s smart, organized, and reasonable, and her posts have the power of logic behind them.
She’s aware of the politics of parenting, and when there’s an interesting issue in the media, Annie’s opinion is always carefully considered and bang-on true. She continues to advocate for equality for women, access to healthcare and breastfeeding support worldwide, and accountability for governments and industry. Annie has long been an advocate of attachment parenting, and her own two young children are the best example of its positive effects on kids.
She’s also a builder of communities, using her blog and other social media tools to create a place to foster conversations, debates, and the sharing of information among other thoughtful and thought-provoking parents. Come join Annie for another interesting debate at Blog Out Loud.
Grace has the soul of an artist. Whether it’s a new painting, a new poem, or a subtly captured life moment, Grace shares her beautiful creations on her blog, Mothermind. Hers is a place for quiet reflection, a place to take a moment’s pause and just be.
Grace’s writing is lovely, and she has a way of perfectly capturing a thoughtful moment, a strong emotion, or a single, sad moment. Her posts are moving because she is so honest – there’s no up or down that can’t be shared. Her family is the source of her strength and her love for them shines in every single post, but she also doesn’t try to hide the darker times that every parent experiences. Especially while she struggles with depression and infertility, Grace gives us a vivid picture of all parts of her personality and life.
Sometimes devastating, sometimes joyous, Mothermind is always engrossing. Don’t miss your chance to meet the artist behind it all in person, at Blog Out Loud.
After serving as our emcee last year, Ross is back this year with a more personal reading from his blog The Brown Knowser. Although he has been blogging in one form or another for a while, The Brown Knowser has really evolved over the past year into a more personal place for Ross to call home. His tales from his youthful days, through his journeys abroad, up to his present day life as a father and author are intimate anecdotes that invite us to get to know the real Ross.
He’s also known for his photography, and blog posts may feature anything from the lush tones of a scanned in slide to a funky Instagram pic. His “Where in Ottawa” monthly contest not only showcases his photography skills, but also his connection to this city we live in – he often seems to be everywhere at once. When he’s not posting lovely still life shots, he is likely to be posting shots of beer – he’s a beer aficionado, and no one can comment on local and foreign high-end brands like Ross. Put all that together, and if you’re looking for a night on the town, Ross is the guy you want to go to for advice.
Now you may find yourself wondering what he’ll be drinking at Blog Out Loud – the only way to find out is to come on out yourself.
Amanda may consider herself The Maven of Mayhem, but she’s really an expert in something else – laughter. Her posts are hilarious meanderings covering her epic Adventures in Parenting (capitals a must). Her smart, shameless, and bold blog posts are full of those oh-so-true moments that all parents can relate to, and I’m happy to say that she’s just as fun and funny in real life as she is on the page.
Amanda gets my vote for Blogger Most Likely To Have a Sitcom Made of Her Life – her quick wit and her command over punchlines have a way of turning any small event into a half hour of sheer wackiness. Her three boys provide more than enough fodder for hilarity and sass – and the sweet moment of truth required to round out each episode. Amanda may be funny, but even better, she’s uplifting. Despite more challenges than usual as a parent, she never loses her sense of humour, finding hope and joy in the smallest successes.
All that’s missing from Amanda’s world is the half-soused best friend character. Want to audition for the part? Be sure to say hi when you see her at Blog Out Loud.
Julie is a braver parent than I. A big part of her blog, Coffee With Julie, is detailing the travels she’s taken with her two children, and just the fact that she’s willing to get on a plane with kids in tow makes her a pretty impressive mom. Her own spirit of adventure leads her family to embrace new locations and new challenges, and together they’re slowly exploring the world.
Julie’s also an explorer of local life, as well. Whether she’s talking about interior decorating, a great new shop, a local artist, or a charity event, Julie’s tapped in to what’s beautiful here in Ottawa. Her blog posts sometimes read like magazine spreads – chatty, heartfelt descriptions that make you want to run out and be a part of something, right now. Add to that her love of social media, and you’ll find her blog an inspiring place to get involved.
Julie is someone who is completely comfortable with change, and always looking for a new experience. Come be inspired by her to try something new yourself at Blog Out Loud.
Danielle is a woman who embraces life. Her blog, Dish and Dash, began as the story of her newfound healthy and active lifestyle. After turning herself from a couch potato into a passionate and dedicated runner, she launched the blog to continue to track her running efforts as well as her path to a healthier diet. Now that she’s also cooking gluten free, she’s got even more great ideas to share about food.
But exercise and eating right aren’t the only things Danielle is enthusiastic about. Her bubbly excitement about excellent books, fine films, and marvelous TV shows are common subjects on the blog, and if Danielle loves it, she’ll soon have you convinced that you’ll love it too. She’s also really committed to international aid and being a part of a larger world community. It’s not enough that she has made her own little corner of the Earth a better place; she’s working to improve the rest of it, too.
Danielle has a ton of pluck and drive, and she’ll need to spend a little bit of nervous energy to survive Blog Out Loud. Come out and show her some support as she takes her turn at the mic.
Sasha’s blog, Rambing Notebook, is her. It’s a life diary, and at any moment in time you might find her wondering about politics, eating healthy, parenting, crafts, writing, or music. It may sound, well, rambling, but what ties it all together is Sasha’s own strong, clear voice. She’s caring, kind, open, and more than willing to admit that she doesn’t have it all figured out; she’s just trying to make a little forward progress and find a little peace.
Sasha has plenty of loftier goals, too. She’s trying to reform her eating habits. She’s buckling down on her writing, working hard to improve and figure out if she can really do this thing. Like many of us, she wants to be a great mom and often shares what’s working, and what’s not. As she explores what it really means to Be Sasha, we’re all invited to chime in. Reading her blog is like making a friend.
Come and say hello to a great internet friend in person, when you see Sasha face-to-face at Blog Out Loud.
Tariq is a thoughtful kind of guy. His blog, Exit Strategy, is full of absorbing, intimate, detailed discussions on a huge variety of subjects. He’s looking for direction in life, both for himself, his family, and his country, and his mindful and calm explorations of how to find his way make for fascinating reading.
Tariq’s love of motorcycles runs as a theme throughout his writing. Whether he’s repairing one, lusting after one, or riding one off into the sunset, he’s a man who loves the feel of the wind and the open road. He’s usually looking for the right course, both for his ride and his life’s focus. But his writing is just as sharp when it’s exploring new directions and considering aimless journeys as when he’s arguing a point or declaring a new goal. Getting there is half the fun.
Come take a trip into Tariq’s smart, thoughtful world when he takes his turn at the mic at Blog Out Loud.
Maranda is at the top of her game. As a busy mother of four, she loves to explore great ways to get her family to eat healthy, to get involved in events around Ottawa, and to volunteer. She’s becoming one of Ottawa’s busiest social media gurus, taking her love of community online. This year, she’s earned several publishing credits, and continues to grow her reputation as a writer. And she’s still known as an expert in the field of gaming. It’s a wonder she finds the time to document all her adventures on her blog, Momicon.
Visiting Maranda’s blog is like stepping into a warm kitchen. There’s tons of recipes to share with your picky eaters, accompanied by the kind of neighbourly chit chat that goes best with a cup of tea and a scone. Maybe you’ll hear about a few good video games for families, or share some adorable shots of Maranda’s sweet family. You might get some good advice about social media, healthy living, getting organized, or just finding the joy in life. It’s like spending a lazy afternoon at your older sister’s house.
So pull up a chair at her table, buy her a drink and share a quiet moment with Maranda at Blog Out Loud.