Are Your Blog Fonts Legal?

Fonts

I had never thought much about the fonts that I use on this blog for my blog design and graphics.  If I could get a font for free somewhere, I was just excited about it!  I pinned all the images with cool font pairings and downloaded some of them to use in graphics for my posts.  Who doesn't love a free cute font, right?

Then last week I read this post on font types at Pink Heels Pink Truck and I don't know why I never thought about it before, but obviously there are people who created these free fonts.  And they may only want them to be used in a certain way.

Taylor does a great job of explaining the different font license types, so I won't re-do that here - please go read her post.  But the bottom line is this:

If you advertise on your blog, you need to use fonts that are free for commercial use.  

If are advertising on your blog and you have used fonts that are only marked free for personal use, then you need to purchase a commercial license.

Talk about a nightmare!  Back when I created the majority of the graphics that are on my blog I was not advertising on my blog - so it was fine to use fonts that were free for personal use.  But earlier this year I started advertising with Blogher and selling sidebar ads - so all those fonts that require a commercial license that I used in the past needed to be fixed!  

I spent two long nights going back and changing all the fonts I could find on my blog that were not free for personal use, and purchasing a commercial license for a few of the ones I used heavily.  Thankfully most of the ones I had used in the past were already either free for commercial use or the commercial license was pretty inexpensive - but I still had to change a lot of my graphics and it took forever!  

You want to know the one that really hurt?  I've been using a font called "Before The Rain" for the watermark on all my pictures for the last few years.  I knew I was going to have to buy the commercial license for that one, because there is no way I could realistically go back and edit all those pictures with a new watermark.  Well, the commercial license for "Before The Rain" cost $60!  Yes, $60!  Ouch.  There goes all my ad profits for the last few months.

In the process of researching all my fonts, I found a website that has only fonts that are free for commercial use, called Font Squirrel.  You can try to research the licensing information for every font you want to use (trust me, it can take some searching for some of them), or you can just get all your fonts from Font Squirrel.  They include a file with each font that gives the specifics of each font license, and most of them are fine for commercial use on blogs (though you should still read the individual licenses to make sure). 

So blogging PSA:

If you advertise on your blog, or you think you might advertise on your blog at some point in the future, make sure all the fonts that you use on your blog are free for commercial use

You'll save yourself a lot of work, money, and stress later on if you do.


(Click on image for more posts in this series.)

Secret Announcement Answer and Winner!

There were a lot of good guesses as to my secret pregnancy announcement hint.  Several of you guessed the hint might by my mentioning cravings, or Gwen being an older baby, but the actual hint was sneakier than that!  Take a look at the picture below of my post on Gwendolyn:


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Notice anything unusual in that text there?  Take a closer look at the word "babies".


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See the "s"?  That is actually a link to this secret pregnancy announcement page on my blog!  On the secret page, I included a crossword puzzle that says "Coming Spring 2014, Baby Number Three!"  Go check it out!

I included a single-letter link in each of those three posts.  I felt like it was so obvious, but only one friend of mine found it before I mentioned it on Instagram!  I think it just seemed obvious to me because I put the link there!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway and took a guess at my hint!  I wish I could give you all prizes.  

The winner of my Fall Reader Appreciation Giveaway is:

Christy F!

Congratulations Christy!  I sent you an e-mail, please send me your mailing address and I'll get your prize sent out!

14 Weeks Pregnant (Baby #3)

I'm 14 weeks pregnant as of Saturday! 

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Not too much new this week. I'm still feeling good, just very tired because I haven't gotten as much sleep this week.  We went to a corn maze on Tuesday, and I wore a couple layers because it was cold - and my hips were killing me by the time we left.  I had sciatic nerve pain the rest of the night, which only seems to act up when I'm pregnant.  But it went away and I feel fine now!  I have also been getting round ligament pain when I walk too much - it starts earlier and earlier.

I feel like I'm starting to look more pregnant.  I bought a new bookshelf for Wyatt's big boy room (it's in the works, hopefully will be done soon!), and the store manager called one of the clerks to help me bring it to my car - and it occurred to me later that he might have done that because I am starting to look pregnant, especially right after eating.  The belly button is going to be another outy, I can already tell.  No maternity clothes yet though, all my regular pants still button.

I'm feeling like I should try to get a head start on deep-cleaning my house.  It might be nice to get it done early this time instead of stressing myself out toward the end of my pregnancy.  The kitchen is on my list for this week.  I'd especially like to get as much done as possible before we find out the gender, because I want to be able to just focus on the nursery once we know.

As for baby - he or she is 3 1/2 inches long and is exercising those facial muscles.  Thumb sucking may be happening right now!  How cute. I love thinking about my little baby, and what he/she looks like, or what he/she is doing in there.  How precious life is.

I haven't felt any movement yet, I don't think.  One day I thought maybe I had, but I'm not sure.  Hopefully soon!

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How To Make Blog Images Lay Flat Against The Background



(Click image  for all the posts in this series.)


For my blog, I really like the look of having my images laying flat against the background.  Not only does it look cleaner, but when I want an element to look like it's embedded in the page, I just make the background white!  This lets you do images that appear round, triangular, with rounded edges, or like the text is embedded into the post or page.

(This seemed like a good time to share a picture of Harvey.  He's kind of cute, even though he drives me nuts sometimes.)

Unfortunately, Blogger automatically adds this annoying shadow/box thing around the photos you add to your blog.  If you're like me and you want your images to just lay flat against the background, there is a way to remove the photo shadow that Blogger adds!

Lots of people have written very nice tutorials on this, so rather than re-write one here, I'm just going to point you to one that I think explains things well.

 How To Remove Image Shadow In Blogger

One thing that I will note is to make sure to hit the space bar after adding the HTML to custom CSS box!  I couldn't figure out why it wasn't working, and then I realized I just needed to hit the space bar to get the code to register.

Also, I've noticed lately that when I upload a picture with a white background, it sometimes appears a yellowish white on my actual blog.  Which kind of defeats the purpose of making the text look embedded. I was even having problems with my new header because of this!

Thanks to some experimentation and good 'ole Instagram informational sessions, I learned that it's some sort of issue with Blogger and .jpg's.  So if you want the background to truly be white, save your image as a .png instead and it should work!


How To Potty Train Your Toddler

 So ironically, after I briefly mentioned potty-training in a post a couple weeks ago, I got a few requests for a post on my potty-training strategies.

This is ironic because I think I am the absolute last person who should ever be giving advice about potty training!  Here is a brief history of my potty-training resistance. . .

Early This Year:  I knew I should probably start thinking about potty training when Wyatt turned two.  So in February, I gave it a go.  Wyatt might have been kind of ready, but I lasted all of two days before I decided I just wasn't ready and gave up.  Someone I know started potty training their kid at two and half, and he got it right away.  So decided to wait until two and half too.

Early Summer: I was pretty much dreading July/August this year, because I knew I should probably start by then.  Wyatt was ready.  I was still not.

July/August: We started, but let me be honest, it was a half-hearted effort on my part.  Which only served to confuse my poor child.

September: I finally buckled down and decided to get serious, and I stopped buying diapers.  That brings us to now.

I made lots of mistakes, and I've felt pretty overwhelmed about it all.  Potty training is hard!  Not even a month ago the words "Surely I can just hire someone to do this for me," have passed through my lips.

But unfortunately, I don't think there are professional potty-trainers out there.  Even if there were, you probably shouldn't hire them for your kid's sake (two years old is not too young to get embarrassed).  No, this task falls squarely on mom's shoulders.  *sigh*

So, I bring you a few potty training tips from possibly the worst potty trainer to ever grace blogland.  You're welcome.


1.  Get all the gear.  I can't tell you how many trips I've made to Walmart for more potty training accessories.  You might think you don't need all that stuff, but unless you are one of the lucky ones whose kid understands everything right away, I have news for you.  You are going to need it.  Here are the things I recommend:

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1.) Step stool.  For help reaching the toilet and the sink.  We have a light-up Disney one, and Wyatt loves it.  This Bumbo one looked nice too.

2.)  Free-standing potty chair.  I think it's good to start with this at first, and it's nice to have if you need to go somewhere (we haven't done the whole public-bathroom thing yet).

3.) Child toilet seat.  For practicing on the "big potty".

4.) Training pants.  I like to use these at night.

5.) Underwear.  We use regular underwear during the day.  Buy more than you think you need.

6.) Plastic pants.  Also for use at night.

7.) Stain remover/disinfectant.  There will be accidents.

8.) Rewards!  Smarties do the trick for us.


2.  Go to Goodwill and buy more pants.  Because your former diaper bag will be stuffed full of dry pants and underwear from now on.

3. It's fine to let your kid run around the house with no pants at first, but be sure to practice with pants too.  I think I tried every potty training method out there, and the nak.ed method was one of them.  Later on I learned that you need to practice with pants too if you are ever going to leave the house.  I decided I don't really like that method much.

4.  Once you are in, go all in.  I.E. Don't put your kid back in diapers at night or when you have long car trips or when you put your child in the church nursery.  I think this was my biggest mistake.  It totally confused Wyatt on when it was okay to go in his pants, and when it wasn't.  Once we dropped the diapers it took a little re-training, but he understood everything so much better.

5. Be prepared for potty training to take over your whole life.  You'll probably spend most days either washing laundry or running your kid to the potty chair or giving him more water so he'll have to go.  I'm told this doesn't last forever, but right now it kind of feels like I've never been doing anything but potty training.

6. Rewards, rewards, rewards.  Around here it's candy.

7.  Try actual underwear.  I think training pants are fine, but Wyatt responded a lot better to actual underwear.  I think he felt more grown-up wearing them, and they felt different than a diaper (as opposed to training pants, which are thicker and somewhat absorbent).  We only use training pants at night (because sometimes you need a little bit of absorbency).

8. Don't expect too much at night for a while.  Most kids understand holding it during the day a lot quicker than they understand holding it at night.  Just have some dry underwear ready and use plastic pants to save the sheets.

9.  Do expect accidents.  They will happen, and they'll probably happen for quite a while.  It's all part of the process.

9. Don't expect it to happen in a couple days.  We all have that friend who potty trained her kid on a weekend, and the child has never had a single accident since.  I'm not saying I don't believe it, but I am saying that I don't think that's the norm.  When you are potty training it sometimes feels like you must be doing everything wrong, because shouldn't this only take a week?  Um, no.  Those people who had it easy are just the people who talk about it (I would too if it happened that quickly).  I'm pretty sure the majority of kids take longer than a week to understand potty training, and most kids aren't completely potty trained until they are over three years old (the average is 36 months for girls and 39 months for boys - that's an average).  It's okay.  You're not doing it wrong, and the accidents won't happen forever.  They all get it eventually.


Pottytraining
(Wyatt's monkey practicing using the potty chair.)


We're not done potty training Wyatt yet - if my mention of potty training a couple weeks ago made it sound like we had it done, I mistyped!  I'm just really happy because I see progress!  Progress is my goal until we finally reach that point where I can say he's completely potty trained.  I'm not putting a time limit on myself anymore.

12 Weeks Pregnant (Baby #3)

I'm really 13.5 weeks now, but this is my 12 week pregnancy update!  Hopefully we can get all caught up after this.



So far I am feeling great!  I haven't had much nausea since I reached 8 weeks.  I think this pregnancy has been the easiest one so far as far as morning sickness goes.  The fatigue has lightened up quite a bit now that I reached my second trimester!  The only real symptoms I have right now are round ligament pain (yes, already!), occasionally feeling dizzy, and being overly emotional.

I've been paying close attention to see if I can feel any movement.  So far none, but I felt Gwen around 15 weeks, so maybe soon!

I had a 12 week doctor appointment last week, and everything looks good!  Baby's heartbeat was 155 bpm!  

My doctor did mention something about seeing how things go and thinking about inducing me toward the end of my pregnancy, since I'm so far from the hospital.  I probably won't induce though unless other factors come into play and we feel like it's the right thing to do.  They're really worried about me not making it to the hospital again.  I'm not worried.  I think I will make it if I just leave at the first sign of labor this time, instead of waiting.  And I might have to convince my mom to camp out at my house when we near the end!

I am definitely showing a bit earlier with this baby!  I think it comes from having three babies in a little over three years.  Even though I'm showing more, I feel like I am making my regular clothes last longer this time.  Most of my regular pants still button, there are just a couple pairs that I have to use a rubber band with.  Though I did splurge a few weeks ago and buy some polka dot maternity jeans!  They're cute.

I haven't gained anything yet - actually I lost a pound at my last doctor's appointment!  They gave me a talk about making sure I eat balanced meals, and I just laughed, because I am, and I am eating a lot.  I thought I was eating too much.  I took the talk as a blessing to go for that extra brownie if I want to!  Just kidding.  Kind of.

New baby gear - so far just a double stroller that I'm pretty excited about!  It's basically just a tandem umbrella stroller, but I love it because it folds down small and fits through doorways - both of which are problems with a lot of double strollers.  I got away without one between Wyatt and Gwen, but I figured I'd need one now for Gwen and the new baby.  Wyatt and Gwen are loving it right now though!  Too bad they don't make triple strollers.


I'm also looking at getting a better baby carrier since this baby will probably have to spend more time in a carrier.  Gwen hated the baby carrier, but I think this baby will just have to learn to like it.  I don't know how I'm even going to go grocery shopping otherwise.

And the other big purchase - we got a new vehicle!  More to come on that.

I've also bought a couple things for our gender reveal.  We have to do something fun for this baby since I had gender reveal parties for Wyatt and Gwen.  I have an idea of what we'll do, so stay tuned.

That's about all that is new!  Feeling great, excited about this baby, and really excited to start feeling movement!  That's my favorite part.  There is nothing quite as special about pregnancy as feeling your baby move.

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Return To Me Review

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I recently received Return To Me by Lynn Austin in the mail.  I actually requested this book in the summer, but I wasn't sure I was approved to review it - and I unknowingly requested it again!  So I actually received two copies of this book from two different review programs!  Whoops.  I'm thinking someone might just get a little surprise present.

This book is about the period of time in the Bible when the Israelites are exhiled into Babylon, and King Cyrus issues the decree that the Jews may return to their homeland to rebuild the Temple.  It follows the story of Iddo, a descendant of the temple priests, and his family as they make the journey back to Jerusalem.  When they arrive there they receive a lot of trouble from the local people, and the building of the Temple is put on hold.  Will they ever get it built? (Obviously you who know your Bible know that they eventually do.)

I love Biblical-based fiction when it is done well, and this book is done extremely well.  Not only is everything in it very biblically accurate, from what I could tell (I'm thinking I need to go back and read those passages in the Bible again - it's been a while), but the story was gripping.  I love the personal stories of the characters that Austin weaves through this book.  I could hardly put it down!  I think this book may be the first in a series, and now I'm definitely keeping an eye out for the next one!

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Biblical fiction or is curious to read more about Biblical history.  This book is a really fun and interesting way to do it, and I was inspired while reading it to dig further into the actual record of these events in the Bible!

Also, check out this page to enter to win a free Kindle Fire and RSVP to Lynn Austin's Facebook party on October 22nd!

Note: I received this book from Bethany House publishers, and also from Litfuse Publicity Group, for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.
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