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how not to get your wordpress blog hacked

How Not To Get Hacked: My Advice after 2 of My Blogs Were Hacked

Two of my blogs got hacked recently. I think the hacker used the same means for illegal blog entry: an old theme that I had tried out years ago and rejected. That particular theme was probably not updated over time, and it became a Trojan Horse for hackers to enter my blog.

It turns out that WordPress users are more vulnerable to hackers since it’s a big community. Don’t worry! Here are some FREE tips and action items to lockdown your security.

Trojan Horse

How about you? Have your blogs ever been hacked? What else did you do? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Giveaway: Botanical Cards from Bottle Branch

Giveaway: Botanical Cards from Bottle Branch

I discovered Elizabeth on Instagram @ehpyle and was delighted to discover that lives near my neck of the woods, one town over. Her Instagram feed is gorgeous — she’s a recovering botanist, mother, semi-professional mess maker who is obsessively learning to take better photos. Her obsession has paid off. Her photos are amazing.

Bottle Branch @ehpyle

Now she has a store called Bottle Branch where she turns her botanical collages into gorgeous thick notecards. The envelopes are equally luxurious. I received this collection from my husband for my birthday. She’s my guest blogger today and we are doing a giveaway of her beautiful cards in time for Valentine’s Day! Here’s her mompreneur story:

I was delighted when Mia asked me to do a giveaway with her on her blog, and I’m thrilled to offer a set of six botanically inspired greeting cards from my etsy shop, Bottle Branch. Read more…

Year of the Monkey Bookmark Craft

Year of the Monkey Bookmark Craft

February 8th is Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Monkey, my son’s year! This is what Chinese astrology has to say about people born during the year of the monkey:

Monkey years are believed to be an unlucky for people born in a year of the Monkey. A year of one’s birth sign is believed to be the most unlucky in the 12-year cycle. “Monkeys” (who take Chinese astrology seriously) are particularly careful about their health, love lives, career, and investments in Monkey years. from China Highlights

It’s not all bad news for those who are born in the Year of the Monkey:

People born in a year of the Monkey are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality. Personality traits, like mischievousness, curiosity, and cleverness, make them very naughty. Monkeys are masters of practical jokes, because they like playing most of the time. Though they don’t have any bad intentions, their pranks sometimes hurt the feelings of others. Monkeys are fast learners and crafty opportunists. from China Highlights

It sounds like this is a good year to lay low and read books. To help keep your place, make this Year of the Monkey bookmark craft from author Jennifer DeCristoforo of Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts: Over 100 Projects & Ideas Celebrating Chinese Culture. She’s my guest author today.

Year of the Monkey bookmark craft Read more…

The Dumpling Mama's Chinese Red Envelope GIVEAWAY!

The Dumpling Mama’s Chinese Red Envelope GIVEAWAY!

The Dumpling Mama Chinese Red EnvelopesI met Chrissy Jee of @thedumplingmama on Instagram and I was thrilled to know that she decided to open her own business designing and printing really nice Chinese Red Envelopes. I like to have them on hand. I’ve used them for my son’s 2nd grade China unit as a guest presenter. I don’t know how to speak or write Chinese so the characters always confound me. Chinese Red Envelopes are used for many things besides New Year’s.

Chrissy Jee of The Dumpling Mama

Chrissy Jee of The Dumpling Mama  Read more…

My Daughter's Cooking New Year Resolution

My Daughter’s Cooking New Year Resolution

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Grasshopper and Sensei is now a sophomore in high school and we talk a lot about how there are just a few more years to enjoy her company here at home. She likes to bring this up to make us appreciate her more. It works every time!

My Daughter's Cooking New Year ResolutionThis past winter vacation, she announced her intention to learn to cook. I thought it was a great idea since she will need cooking skills when she goes away to college at some point! She decided that she would learn by acting as my sous chef. She would chop for me and get ingredients. She was very helpful when we made a complicated Bolognese sauce together. Read more…

Massive Book Giveaway #ReadYourWorld

Massive Diversity Children’s Book #Giveaway #ReadYourWorld

Please join us on January 27th as we celebrate multicultural, diverse and inclusive books for kids for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. To help us with our mission to get diversity books into the hands of children, we are giving away packages of diversity books for kids every 5 minutes!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party

Robert Liu-Trujillo Multicultural Children's Book Day FREE poster

Win Packages of Diversity Books for Kids

Wednesday, January 27th

9:00 pm -10 pm EST

Hashtag: #ReadYourWorld Read more…

International Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day Poster Reveal! #BookGivingWednesday

International Book Giving Day takes place on 14th February each year. The aim? To get books into the hands of as many children as possible.

14th February is about sharing the love of books! #bookgivingday

International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.

  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. We invite individuals to:

1) gift a book to a friend or family member,

2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read

3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally. Read more…

New Year's Resolutions to Scare the Pants Off Me

New Year’s Resolutions to Scare the Pants Off Me

My friend Lydia convinced me that we both had to sign up for Haymakers for Hope this year.

Sign up now to be a part of Haymakers for Hope’s 6th Annual “Rock N’ Rumble” on May 19 at Boston’s House of Blues!

Haymakers for Hope

According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 40% of men and women will battle some form of cancer in their lifetime. Haymakers for Hope needs your help to change this staggering statistic.  The time has come to step out of the office and into the ring!

We are looking for men and women to train for four months at one of Boston’s top boxing gyms before stepping into the ring to literally fight cancer.  No experience is necessary, and we will match you with someone of similar size, age, and experience level. Throughout your four month training program, you will raise money and awareness for cancer research and survivorship.

Space is limited, so don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to help knockout cancer!

boxing training for Haymakers for Hope with Marc Gargaro at Nonantum Boxing Club

Read more…

Boxing Fitness Giveaway

Boxing Fitness GIVEAWAY: The 30 Day Boxer’s Diet and BOXYGEN

I’m in that perimenopause phase of life that has some unpleasant symptoms:

  • Loss of bone. With declining estrogen levels, you start to lose bone more quickly than you replace it, increasing your risk of osteoporosis — a disease that causes fragile bones.
  • Changing cholesterol levels. Declining estrogen levels may lead to unfavorable changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol — which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. At the same time, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — decreases in many women as they age, which also increases the risk of heart disease.

These and other effects are from The Mayo Clinic but it didn’t mention the most annoying one:

  • Weight gain.

Apparently, perimenopause also seems to give women a soft middle. Despite exercising at the boxing gym three times a week and practicing Vinyasa yoga once a week, I’m still gaining weight at a slow but steady amount. My mom friend Julie says the only recourse to address this change-of-life is to exercise more and be mindful about eating.

Diet and Exercise GIVEAWAY: Boxer's Diet and BOXYGENRead more…