blogging friends

The blogosphere is a strange place. I try to explain it to my family but mostly, I just get blank stares.

Nate: Let's go to the movies on Friday night.
Me: Friday's not so good. I'm hosting a party.
Nate: We have people coming over? Shouldn't we go grocery shopping or something?
Me: No, it's a Twitter party. I haven't met most of the attendees, but I'm chatting with them online about our lives for awhile, and then I get to give away a bunch of stuff. Well, I don't really give it away…the sponsor technically sends it out. But I draw names from sort of a virtual hat and…
Nate: (blinking in confusion)
Me: Just…nevermind. Friday's no good.

Traditional media often paints bloggers as a bunch of dramatic, bored housewives. My own experiences have shown that couldn't be further from the truth. I've met some very talented and inspirational people online and together, we've formed a community that collectively celebrates each other's triumphs and offers support in times of difficulty. When Nate and I got married, I tweeted out pictures of our wedding and other bloggers oooohed and aaaahed over our reception venue. After Some Boy was born, I received floods of cards and real-life gifts from my online friends. I've exchanged holiday ornaments with bloggers who I have never even met in person. It all sounds very strange, but the fact is that working from home can be isolating. It's not surprising that bloggers create forums to interact with each other the same way office groups chat over the water cooler and bring each other cupcakes for birthdays.

fun finds for families

So it didn't seem strange at all to me when I started working with International Delight on their #IcedCoffee #CBias campaign and they asked if there was another blogger who I'd like to send a gift to. It's just something bloggers do – we share the wealth! Many companies have worked hard to understand the dynamics of our online communities, and I really appreciate when they go out of their way to strengthen blogger relationships with each other and support our efforts. I decided to have International Delight send some of their new iced coffee drinks out to Alissa from Fun Finds for Families. Alissa and I don't know each other in person, but I'm so thankful to have her blog as a resource when it comes to things like money-saving tips, organizational ideas and fun crafts for kids.

international delight

Iced coffee seemed like the perfect gift for her because, much like myself, she's a super-busy mom who could probably use a little pick-me-up now and again. She's constantly on the lookout for good deals to help her family save money, she's extremely active in her Philadelphia community and she still manages to post multiple times per day. I can totally relate. I can also totally relate to that happy feeling you get when someone notices your hard work and goes out of their way to let you know that they appreciate you. It makes your day. That's really what the blogging community is all about: sharing the good things and showing appreciation for others.

If you want in on some of this coffee goodness, International Delight Iced Coffee is now available in the dairy section of Walmart and Sam's Club. And if you want in on some of the blogging community goodness, stay tuned! I'm starting a whole series on blogging, with tips to help you get involved in the blogging world, writing inspiration, ideas for how to handle different situations like working with PR and handling negative feedback, and personal stories of what's worked for me. The first post in the series will be up by next week.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions are my own.