A Comprehensive Guide To Using Triberr Wisely

Yes, I know I have done one of these before, and it might even look a little like the previous version, but it’s totally different. Re-written, updated and more comprehensive than ever. No I am not affiliated with Triberr. I’ve just learned a lot through trial and error and thought I’d pass it along to you. Updated: 8/25/2011 – I decide to re-post this tutorial and completely re-write it . I have been working on it over the past few weeks and I added much more and some photos that the previous version was lacking. Please, if you think of something I should add, or you have a question that isn’t answered here or on Triberr, don’t hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment below, or email me: nicole AT dailydishrecipes DOT com.

Do you know what Triberr is? Are you on Triberr? After spending lots of time in the Bonfire area of  Triberr answering questions, I noticed that several of the same questions keep coming up over and over again. I thought I would create a  Triberr Basics Tutorial that I can send people to, which answers their questions and/or tells them step by step directions how to do something. So here we go.

What is Triberr?

Let me start off by saying, Triberr is awesome. It really is. If you think it’s not, you don’t know how to use it correctly, and that’s what I’m going to try to show you.

It’s not going to work for you if you’re not on Twitter. So if you don’t have a Twitter account, you should get one. Honestly, you should get one not just because of  Triberr, but because it’s one of the best networking tools and places to meet other bloggers in your same niche. Of course, if you don’t care about that, that’s fine – however – you do need a Twitter account to use Triberr.

So What is Triberr? In a nutshell,  Triberr is another way to network with other bloggers. Only it’s unique and different in its approach. Once you join Triberr (more on joining later), whenever you publish a new post on your blog, everyone in your tribe will tweet it to their followers. And you do the same for everyone in your tribe. This all happens automatically, so there isn’t any extra work aside from setting up your account. If you feel like you need to know a more in depth explanation, you might try this link.

I don’t understand, I already tweet my posts. Why would I need Triberr?

Most people who have a blog are looking for more exposure. They might like more business contacts, they might wish to engage with new and different people or they might just want to reach a different audience than their current followers or even gain new followers. Whatever the reason, Triberr does all of those things. In the past 2 months since I have been on Triberr, I have  more than doubled my followers on Twitter with no extra work at all, found many new people to engage with (I like to talk to people) and the one single most beautiful thing is that I have made is new friends, some I have grown to care about as if I’ve known them my whole life. Triberr is amazing. It does however need to be used wisely.

But if all these people are tweeting my posts, doesn’t that mean that I will be tweeting all of theirs?

Let’s delve into that a little. First, yes – you will be tweeting all of your tribemates posts. That is the point of Triberr after all, more exposure for everyone. Can your feed look spammy? Absolutely. More of that in the next question – but here’s the deal – everything on Triberr is controlled by YOU. That’s the point a lot of people are missing. Those that get annoyed at people they are following because they are members of Triberr need to realize that the member you are following has complete control over how often they are sending posts through, and even what type of content that is sent through. There is nothing that requires them to stay in a tribe once they’ve joined it, and if they feel there is another tribe that is a better fit, or they’d like to start their own and screen people a little, that is all possible. But it’s up to them to do it. It’s all in the settings. More on that later.

People who use Triberr look spammy. They are just tweeting these posts all day long. Are they even reading them? How can I ensure that I keep MY Timeline from looking spammy?

Obviously I cannot speak for what every member of Triberr does. I can only speak for myself. For the past two weeks, I have been screening every single post that goes out. I read them first, I consider whether they would be appropriate for my audience on Twitter and then I make the decision whether or not to allow them to go through.

When you are a member of Triberr, you can set up how often you tweet your tribemates posts. I am in four VERY small close-knit tribes where members post at the most ONCE per day… I have my settings at tweeting every hour during the day, and then at night before I go to bed, I move it up to every 20 minutes and will often use the “tweet now” button to send any posts through that are time essential that are still waiting in the cue. I actually do the “tweet now” thing during the daytime several times too, if I notice a post that needs to be tweeted before it’s scheduled time. For instance, a post about an event that needs to be completed by midnight that night, an offer only good that day, etc.

In addition, you have the option of keeping members of your tribe on automatic or switching to manual.  If you switch to manual, all posts have to be approved by YOU before you send them out. You can check in at Triberr several times a day and approve posts to go out. The only problem that I see with using manual, is that you really do need to check in several times a day to ensure you don’t have a backlog of posts to approve. Don’t worry, when you do approve them – they don’t all go out at once. Some people set their settings to manual and then forget to come back and check. This is the quickest way to get removed from a tribe. Just sayin’.

In addition, you should also pay attention to what type of blogs/posts your other tribemates are writing and what kind of Tribes you are joining. For instance, I am in a food tribe, because I am a food blogger – it makes little sense for me to be in a tribe for weight loss when I am posting recipes that aren’t specifically for that group of people. As well as, they would have little place in my food tribe. That of course doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t work, but if you feel like your Stream is full of posts that don’t really apply to your readers, you should re-evaluate whether that tribe is a good fit for you. And you can always start your own Tribe on any topic you choose.

Okay, so I’m sold, I’d Like to Join – How do I become a member of Triberr?

Membership to  Triberr is by invite only.  There are two methods to get an invitation.

One of course, is that if you already know someone on Triberr, and you feel like their Tribe would be a good fit for you, you can ask them to send you an invite for their tribe. They can only send you an invite for a tribe that they are the chief of.  Your invite will show up via DM on twitter or via email. (more on this in the next question).

The second method, is to go to Triberr and request an invite from one of the tribes listed in the directory. This does not ensure you an invite, some tribes are already maxed out on numbers, or perhaps might not feel your blog is a fit for their tribe. Don’t get upset, simply try another tribe. When I joined, I requested to join three different tribes. I was actually SUPER excited to get an invite from the one I wanted most. About a week after I joined, one of the other tribes sent me an invite, but because I was already a member, and they didn’t have inbreeding unlocked yet, I could not join that one also.

Triberr has changed their front page and now you can go to each category and actually see the top members of the day and their most recent posts. You can also see what Tribe they are in. This allows selecting a tribe a bit easier. You can click on the name of the tribe and get a description of the tribe, info about requirements and see how many are currently in the tribe. You can also see the Tribe’s reach, which is the number of people that have the ability to see your post when you are a member of that tribe.

WARNING: Do not get caught up in a numbers game. At the beginning, I had a reach of over 400,000 people amongst the tribes I was in. I was terrified when I left those tribes that my stats would fall. Guess what? They rose. Because now I am in Tribes that match my niche, their followers are engaged – (it’s hard to be engaged with users when you have thousands of people you’re following) Originally, I was not getting near the number of hits I have gotten in the past couple of weeks after removing myself from those huge tribes. I will stress it again, use Triberr wisely – it’s not as much about the reach as you think, if you’re not in the right tribes. So while your reach may decrease by leaving a tribe that doesn’t fit, if you join up in another tribe that is more your niche, you’ll watch your stats rise. Did you know the majority of those new followers I have now, that I mentioned above were in the last 2-3 weeks. After I removed myself from 3 out of the 4 tribes I wound up leaving.

I Received an invite to Triberr, what do I do?

If you received a code via email or DM – your invite should read something like this:

I’d like to invite you to join my tribe (Made From Scratch) on http://triberr.com/ext/register.php. Invite Code: 0123ABC

The link will probably be different. Probably shortened.

Clicking on the link will take you to a page that looks like this:

image1

I didn’t want to post my other tribemates photos, so normally there would be more members next to me on the page. You can click on each member and learn more about them – their twitter id, their number of followers and people they are following, their tweet count and their URL to their blog.

You will need to fill out the form completely and if your tribal code doesn’t automatically appear in the box(it should if you click on the link within your invite), just cut and paste it from the DM or the email into the box next to tribal code.

You will need to also input your Blog RSS Feed and there is a help button if you are not familiar with RSS or how to find it. Clicking on help will take you to a page on Triberr that will explain in depth all about RSS and how to find it. You need to make sure you set this up correctly, because otherwise your posts will not be imported into Triberr.  As a side note: I did notice that they have begun letting you know right away when the RSS feed isn’t correct, which should eliminate those problems.

Next, you need to accept the Terms.

The final check box on the form is “Keep me in the loop”. If you plan to check into Triberr often, you probably don’t need to keep that checked, but if you only plan to check in periodically, it will keep you updated on the happenings around Triberr.

If you have any trouble getting registered, make sure you are signed into your twitter account at the same time. Haven’t figured out why this matters, it just does. So it would be good if you just did it to save yourself a hassle later on.

O.k. I’m In. I’M Now a  Triberr member, what’s Next?

Sit back, write quality blog posts, and Triberr does all the rest of the work. Eventually in your twitter mentions, you will begin to notice other people, some you might not even know or connect to on Twitter, will begin tweeting your blog posts. At this point, what is happening, is that everyone they are connected to on Twitter is seeing that tweet, which is about YOUR blog post. Imagine if you are in a tribe that has 10 members, and each member tweets your blog post – that’s 9 people tweeting your blog posts beside yourself. And every single twitter user that is following that person will see your tweet. Lots more exposure. My stats jumped on day 1.

Let’s do a math lesson real quick, just to show you the numbers, since everyone is so into the numbers.

If you join a tribe of ten, there are nine people (besides you) that will be tweeting every blog post you write from that point. Let’s say that each of those tribe mates have at least 100 followers. (some have thousands, so I’m using a really low # here.)

Nine people, tweeting your blog post x 100 followers each – That’s 900 people that have the potential to see your post! Imagine the increase in traffic if you are writing quality, entertaining posts with catchy titles. Yep, it’s going to be good!

How do I navigate around on Triberr?

When you are on signed in to Triberr, at the top will be a menu bar. Here is an explanation of each choice starting from the far left.

Triberr logo – This will take you to the front page of Triberr and allow you to see which posts are popular, check in on other tribes and see what their members are posting and just let you have a general feel for what is happening across Triberr. It will look like this:

image2

Tribes – This is where you will find the tribes you are in. When you click on it, a drop down menu will appear with the names of the tribes you are in. (It will look like the photo below) If you click on the tribe name, you will then enter the tribe. In a tribe that you are not the chief of, you can leave messages on the wall (tribal council), check out other members or change your account settings. In a tribe you have created you get the additional choices of seeing the applications for those that have applied to be in your tribe, check out any invitations you have sent or send an invitation or change the overall Tribal settings for your entire Tribe.

Image6

Bonfires – This is the Triberr forum where you can go to ask questions, get technical support, find new tribemates once you have unlocked inbreeding (more later), find people to guest post on your blog or just chat in general. It looks like this:

Image8

Search Bar – You can use this to find other members that are already on Triberr.

searchbar

Home – This is where you’re going to find your Tribal Stream (the posts that are scheduled to go out that are from your tribemates), your Stream (your own personal posts) and any inbreeding invites you might have.

This is what your Tribal Stream will look like when you have posts running through it from your other tribemates.

homescreen

This is what your own personal stream looks like:

mystream

The first column has three features – a replay button to replay your post again after it’s been tweeted, the pause button if you want to wait for it to go out later, and the button to stop your post from being tweeted entirely from you other tribemates.

Next column is karma – your other tribemates will give your posts karma – thumbs up and thumbs down.

Third column is a brand new feature to Triberr – it’s a Quality Score, which apparently measures the clicks you get from your other tribemates. This might be helpful in determining whether you have a good choice of titles, or perhaps even if you are in the correct tribe for you.

The larger fourth column shows the title of your post and when it was imported into Triberr.

The last column is a pie chart. You simply click on the pie chart – it’s nice to gauge how your posts are doing by individual tribe mates. I might get into that more later, but I don’t place a lot of value on it, though it is nice to see how many clicks you’ve gotten overall.

I like the tribe I’m in, but I would like to have my own tribe, how do I do that?

If you click on Tribes, you will then see a drop down box that shows the tribe that you joined, and a selection to add a new tribe. You will need 50 bones to create a tribe.

When you click on the ‘Add New Tribe’, you will then get a form that will come  up. It will say Begin Your Tribe. It will look like this:

build_tribe

In the first box, you need to enter the title of your tribe. Be sure and name it something catchy but that still tells others what its about so that people will be able to find you.

Next, select a category to put your blog under. You do have the option of adding your own category, but I am seeing a lot of duplicate categories created and it’s become a huge mess. I would try to find something that is already there unless your category is that different.

Next it will ask you to select your RSS feed you would like to use for this tribe. The reason it is asking this question, might be confusing to someone who only has one blog.  Triberr allows multiple RSS feeds to be entered into  Triberr but you can only assign ONE RSS feed per Tribe. This allows you to join different tribes for different blogs you might write.

Choose the RSS feed that you would like to use for this tribe. If you only have one RSS feed on the site, it will have already selected it.

Next select a twitter account. If you only have one, again this will already be selected.

The next side says Tribe Lore, the first box is for Tribe Description. This is the description you want others to see that tells them about what your tribe is.

Next box is Application Requirements. Use this if you want to specify “rules” for your tribe. For instance:

  • You must have at least 500 twitter followers.
  • You must post on your blog at least once per day
  • You must have a blog that is primarily about Dogs.  (you might think if you name your tribe “All About Dogs” that only people who post about dogs will want to join. From my experience, this is simply NOT true.)

Next, add your tags that will help others locate your tribe and then pay your 50 bones and you have your own Tribe. Keep reading to figure out how to build your tribe.

What are Bones?

Bones are the Triberr currency. You start out with some free bones. You randomly earn bones by giving Karma (thumbs up and thumbs down) in different areas of the site. Currently it is in your main stream of your tribe mates posts and it has also been integrated into the Bonfire area. The last selection on the bar at the top is Bones. You can click on that to go purchase more bones. You need bones for several things on the site, so it is important to give out Karma if you want to earn them.

How Do I invite other users to my new Tribe?

The rule on Triberr is that you have to recruit 5 new non-Triberr members in order to unlock inbreeding. Once you have unlocked inbreeding, you can then invite other current Triberr members to join your Tribe. You also will not be able to join any other Tribes besides your initial tribe, until the Tribe you wish to join has inbreeding unlocked. It will cost 50 bones to join a new tribe.

If you are ready to invite non-Triberr members to your tribe, here are the directions:

Inside a tribe you run, your sidebar on the left will look like this:

sidebar

Click on + Invite Friends and you will get a pop up box that looks like this:

applicant

This is for those that are not on Triberr, so fill it out and voila, they will receive an invite with a code that looks like yours did when you signed on. Remember that the person you are sending a DM invite to on Twitter, need to be following you or they will not receive the DM.

 

I have 5 new members in my tribe, and now I want to unlock inbreeding. How do I do that?

This video tells you exactly how to do it. Seriously. Watch it. I did – and I unlocked it and yep – I can invite anyone now. http://triberr.com/blog/how-to-do-inbreeding-on-triberr/

What is the Tribe Members tab for in my tribe?

This lets you see other members that are in your tribe.

I switched from automatic to manual, but I’m still having tweets send that I didn’t approve.

That is because before you switched to manual, tweets from your tribemates have already been scheduled. When you switch to manual, everything from that point forward will need to be approved. However, all tweets that were already scheduled will still go out.
If you are in a huge tribe(s) or if you have tribemates that post a lot during the day, you will have a greater chance of having many more posts already scheduled. But once those are sent out, you’re in the clear… you will then need to approve any new tweets/posts.

Under My Stream, when I click on the pie chart for one of my posts, why are some red and some green?

Green means they have been “Sent” and Red means they have “not sent” … yet.  There are instances where a red (not sent) could have some visits. Say for example if a tribemate clicked on the link to visit the site once or twice, but never sent it to their followers. Then you’d have a few visits, but it wouldn’t be officially “sent”.”  – Dan Cristo

On that note, Dan also fixed it so we can see exactly why a post didn’t go out. Possibilities are “waiting to be sent” – it is still on the schedule to go out for that user, “user declined” – that user declined your post for one reason or the other or “has been sent”.  This helps keep track of your data. I will say with my experience, even though a post is red, it does not necessarily indicate that it has not been sent – I’m just sayin’ – I actually was a bit obsessed with that for about a week, trying to figure out how it all worked – I discovered that sometimes it will say a post was not sent, but if you look in that person’s twitter feed, you will see your post. I don’t know why it does that, but it happens from time to time.

I am in a tribe and I am seeing everyone twice or others are telling me they see me twice, or I don’t see myself. What do I do?

Go to Tribe Members. At the  bottom of the tribe member list there is a button. Above the button it says “Re-add me to the members list?” and then the button says “Add Me In”. Click that and see if that doesn’t fix your problem. If anyone tells you they see you twice and you’ve already clicked it, have them click it on their end as well. This usually takes care of the problem.

Do you have more questions about Triberr? Leave them below and I will answer them as we go along.

You should also visit both Triberr School and the Triberr Blog.

Check out these articles from Dan & Dino as well:

  • Why you shouldn’t be on Triberr
  • New Interface with Video and Tutorial
  • Why You Shouldn’t Be On Triberr

And for the record, I am not affiliated with Triberr in any way shape or form, except that I am a member of the website and I think that Dino is genius for coming up with the idea of Triberr and Dan is brilliant for making it come to life, and both of them for putting up with so much from the members.  I only created this Tutorial because the same questions keep getting asked over and over and I think many people are confused.  I also wanted a place to send my tribemates to help them out. So I’m just trying to help. Thanks for checking out this post.

Top 10 Recipe Posts for August 2011

It’s interesting to take a look at your stats and see which posts people click on most in a month. Sometimes it’s the recipes that take top spot, but sometimes it’s not. Each month I go through and find the top 10 recipe posts for that month specifically and share. Here are the August 2011 top posts. (click on the photo to visit the recipe)

Rigatoni with Bacon and Asparagus Recipe

Moist Sweet Cornbread Recipe

Homemade Lasagna Recipe

Bologna Cake Appetizer Recipe

Pistachio Muffins

Kool-Aid Cake or Cupcakes Recipe

Delicious and Healthy Baked Loaded Potato Skins Recipes

Homemade Ranch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe

Moist Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Review: Sand Gone Sand Remover

Product Description

SAND GONE is a dry body powder that, when applied to sand covered skin, removes the sand and leaves the skin soft and smooth while feeling fresh and clean.

Sand Gone comes in an attractive eight ounce jar with a screw-able lid. Within the jar is a microfiber applicator. It is extremely soft but also durable. It can be cleaned by household washers and dryers when necessary. The applicator also has a strap across it to help secure it to the user’s hand as the powder is applied.

The dry, white powder is both non-toxic and non-talc. It also contains a hint of coconut fragrance. Sand Gone is best used when cleaning up while leaving the beach. However, Sand Gone works perfectly well when cleaning up after the sand box, playground or wherever one encounters sand.   It’s like having a “dry shower” from a jar.  In addition to removing the sand, Sand Gone also removes the salt from your skin after a day at the beach.  No more uncomfortable ” scratchy feeling” under clothing during the drive home.

After using Sand Gone, you will quickly find that it becomes one of those must-haves at the beach,sandlot or park.  You will know to bring you sunblock and shades….but also your SAND GONE.

My Review: The first thing I noticed about the product is when I opened it, a strong fragrance of coconut came wafting out at me.  It reminded me of the beach, and summer and it smelled so good, I couldn’t stop smelling it.

I was a little skeptical at how well it would work, because one of the biggest problems we have when we leave the lake is trying to get the sand off our arms, feet and legs. Sand seems to be everywhere, and just went you think it’s gone, it’s not.

I brought the Sand Gone Sand Remove with me to the lake and after a long day of lying on the beach, we were ready to head home. There’s 7 of us that were pretty sandy and still fairly wet. We did our best to try off and then went ahead and applied the Sand Remover.

Honestly, we were shocked and how it just brushed it all right off. It didn’t hurt or feel abrasive, like it does when you try to brush sand off your legs. It was silk smooth and the ride home was much more comfortable than normal, not to mention my van smelled like the beach with coconut surrounding us all. We loved it.

I was surprised later that night as I was heading off to the shower, how soft my legs were still. Even when I got out of the shower, my legs still felt very soft. I definitely recommend this product to anyone heading anywhere there is sand that gets stuck to your body.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wordless Wednesday: Amazing Food from Ghana

Food From Ghana is interesting to say the very least!

My best friend just returned back from a 2 1/2 week school/work related trip to Ghana, Africa and I couldn’t wait for her to get home. She kept me entertained with photos and stories along the way on Facebook, but I still couldn’t wait for her to get home and tell me all about it.

It’s crazy, but while I found everything completely fascinating, what I did see right away, is that I found the stories revolving around the Foods she ate or was exposed to Africa, were my favorite stories. So, for today’s Wordless Wednesday, I am sharing her photos she took of the crazy, awesome, amazing food she ate while there.

Food – Go Figure!

So she ordered Fish & Chips one night – and this beautiful photo here, is what she got. Yes, the entire fish is fried from head to toe, including the teeth. I still laugh every time I look at it. She covered it in lettuce and tomato so she wouldn’t have to look at it, which also makes me giggle.

And then there was the evening she ordered Coffee & Kahlua and they brought her a hot coffee with Kahlua in this:

Coffee MarTini Anyone?

Can you see the view in the background of this photo? Right on the beach, ocean view – doing homework and eating fresh pineapple. Amazing!

Here are a few more of her meals:

Plantains with Chocolate Sauce – Yum!

Yummy Chocolate Cake!

Sorry if some of these are blurry – I tried to clean up what I could to make them look less blurry and feel as if I might have made a few of them even worse. Anyway, I think I’m ready for a trip to Africa to try some new food. But I’ll pass on that fried fish.

Don’t Start Over: What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

frustrated_writer_no_textEveryone, at some point feels like giving up. So what do you do when you feel like throwing in the towel and scrapping all the hard work you’ve put into a piece of writing – whether article, manuscript or otherwise?

You don’t give up!!

Characters-Try getting to know your characters better. You can ask them questions, or try writing in a more natural voice. Sometimes just making minor tweaks to dialogue or knowing a character better, why they do the things they do, etc. can make such a difference in your writing.

Editing-Don’t do it. Unless you can actually see how editing yourself is going to change the direction your book is going, avoid it at all cost. Try to just plow through and make changes later. If you absolutely have to edit, try choosing small parts to fix and leave the bigger things for later.

Inspiration-There are so many different places to find inspiration when you feel like there isn’t any. Try looking at Inspirational Photographs. Put yourself inside the photograph or write what is happening in the photograph. Is there somewhere in your story that could fit in? Try to incorporate it into your current WIP. Another trick, is to change where you’re writing from. Try writing at a coffee house or outside in your backyard. Sometimes a scenery change can help a lot.

If you feel like you have to walk away, do it for now. Put it away somewhere, file it away on your computer, but do it with the intent to come back to it. It would help to even set a date that you plan to come back to it. A couple of weeks, a month, six months – whatever. But don’t completely scrap it and throw it away.

Don’t Give Up!

Menu Plan Monday 8/29

Menu Plan Monday

It was a pretty crazy weekend and I didn’t have to cook – my birthday weekend. Gotta love husbands. Except he didn’t cook anything either, we got take out and of course this means there are no leftovers for tonight, our busiest night of the week. That’s okay, we’ll figure out something.

I also have lots of little groups and blog hop things I’m participating in where I have to make recipes, so this menu plan is scheduled to change at any given moment, and probably will. LOL

Monday

We have fife & drum practice tonight and I have a meeting during it, so I need a no stress meal tonight – I’ll probably pick up subs on the way and grab a coffee to mellow me out while I’m there. LOL

Tuesday

Dinner: Grilled Salmon Steaks with Dill Mustard Sauce

Wednesday

Dinner: The Perfect Mac & Cheese – Yep, recipe will come next week, don’t worry.

Thursday

Dinner: Crispy Lemon Fried Chicken

Friday

Dinner: Ham and Cheese Calzones

Saturday

Dinner: Chicken Gyro’s

Sunday

Dinner: Paprika Pork Roast

If you’d like to participate in Menu Plan Monday, be sure to check out this post.

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday,

Bacon & Swiss Cheeseburger Recipe

bacon jam 020

For a really long time, I have been seeing bloggers talking about Skillet Bacon Jam. I wondered about it since the first time I saw it. I am a huge fan of bacon, so I really wanted to get my hands on a jar of the stuff and try it out.

I was ecstatic when I got chosen to receive a sample jar to try out, review and blog about. It arrived a couple of days later and I sat and stared at it mocking me, and begging me to try it for two days. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it. It’s a sample size, so it was important to me that I didn’t waste it and I tried it on several things before deciding what I thought. It did say on the paper I could dip my spoon in and eat it plain if I wanted. But no, I really didn’t want to try it that way. Finally, I had an idea.

bacon jam 002

I decided I wanted to try it in something simple first. So I decided to make Bacon & Swiss Cheeseburgers. I thought the melted Swiss and Bacon-ey flavor would go well together, and who doesn’t love a good cheeseburger. So here’s what I did.

bacon jam 006

In a bowl, I put the ground beef, I added some salt, pepper, garlic powder and 2 heaping Tablespoons of Bacon Jam. I probably could have used more for a super bacon-ey flavor but I was worried about using too much.

Now, I’m going to be really honest. When I first peeled back the safety seal on the Skillet Jam, I thought the concoction inside actually looked pretty gross. In fact, I showed it to all five of my kids and my husband and we all agreed it seriously looked unappealing. However, what did happen, was the beautiful bacon-ey smell that wafted out of the jar took over all of our senses. It smelled absolutely amazing, just like home-cooked bacon. So seriously, ignore what it looks like when you open it up, because it’s deceiving.

Now you need to mix all that up and form four or five patties. Now I did sort of have an a-ha moment where I realized, that if I had planned a head, I probably could have premixed everything and let it sit and kind of “marinate” or a bit and it would have probably had a stronger flavor. Food for thought for next time.

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Now, normally I would have taken them out to the grill to cook them up and I really wanted to, but it was super hot out there and my house was nice and cool, so on the stovetop they went. Obviously you can cook yours wherever you’d like, including the grill. One of the perks about cooking in the pan was that I could drop about a tsp. of the Skillet Bacon Jam into the frying pan while I was cooking the patty. I’m pretty happy I did. 

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Cook both sides until browned and cooked all the way through. I cannot tell you how often a kid came by the pan while it was cooking and commented on how good it smelled. Mmm… Bacon. When the burger is finished cooking, grab your hamburger bun, top with the patty, top that with some swiss cheese and then dress your burger the way you like. I also brushed some garlic butter on both sides of the bun, spread some more of the Skillet Bacon Jam across the top and then broiled the buns for about 2 minutes.

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Then it was time to take a bite. Wow. Talk about extremely savory, delicious, melty goodness. I have to say the Bacon Jam was absolutely amazing. It added a lot of flavor to the actual burger and smearing it across the buns was not a bad idea at all. It was a sort of smoky, rustic flavor. Others have described the bacon jam as slightly sweet, but I didn’t taste that in the burger at all. It is simply a must have in my kitchen now. There is no question.

I am already planning on using it with some omelets in the morning, which I will definitely share and post about and my mouth is watering at the thought. I highly recommend the Skillet Bacon Jam, and I can assure you, I will be purchasing a much larger jar of Skillet Bacon Jam this week.

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For more information please visit (www.skilletbaconjam.com) or email for inquiries (eat@skilletstreetfood.com).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Baby, Think It over–before you do something stupid

So my daughter has her “Baby Think it Over” this weekend for Child Development.

This is the 2nd Baby Think It Over we’ve had. Zane came home with my oldest daughter last year. But baby Ava Rae graced crashed into my middle child’s world yesterday afternoon.

She’s uhm…. not as easy as baby Zane was last year.

In fact, Ava Rae is down right:

Fussy and Demanding!

Melissa was able to get a few hours of sleep last night but the wake up calls came at 1:30am and 5:00am which since her room is in the basement, certainly didn’t interrupt my sleep.

It’s 2:13 in the afternoon and guess where she is?

Sleeping!!

I don’t blame her, really. I mean – that thing cries about a million times a day. I’m so happy it’s her and not me. And I think, honestly, anytime that baby fever returns, I just need to remember this weekend. Because I think 5 is enough, and I don’t want to go back to that again.

In other news, besides dealing with a screaming, demanding, sleep-depriving baby,

  • One of my kittens is sick, because hubby bought expired food from Target. Aggravates me that we need to be checking for that, but we’ve never had a problem before. I’m not risking it so I’m no longer purchasing our kitten, cat & dog food from Target.
  • Because Cheeto is sick, We had to completely change his food for the next few days which is expensive AND I have to feed him separately from his sister. Not fun.
  • We are dog-sitting for one of our puppies we placed back in February. Sassy is a super easy dog, but she doesn’t eat the same food as my dogs so she has to be fed separately, she has a different schedule than my dogs… it’s just been an adjustment.
  • Tomorrow is my 29th birthday. What? You don’t believe I’m 29 again? You’re right LOL Just add almost a decade to that and you got it. I have absolutely no plans tomorrow and I’m okay with that. A few of my kids have plans, hubby will probably work in the evening and I’m actually fine with it all. I just want a relaxing day. Without screaming, crying babies and without sick animals.

Is that even possible?

How’s your weekend going?

ABC’s of Me, With Prompts

abcsI was blog hopping yesterday, and I came across a post over on I’m a Mom Too titled ABCs of Me, With Prompts and I was intrigued.  A writer by nature, who just loves prompts – it looked like a fun post and something that might be fun to do so bloggers could get to know each other a little better. If you want to do it, or if you have done it – just leave a comment with the link. I’d love to go check it out. Here’s mine:

 

A – Age: mid-30s

B – Bed size: King Size with LOADS of pillows. I really like space when I sleep.

C – Chore you dislike: Dishes. There’s 7 of us… can you blame me?

D – Dogs: Yes, three – all Shih-tzu’s… Lily, Bella & Maggie.

E – Essential start to your day: Coffee.

F – Favorite color: Blue.

G – Gold or silver: Silver.

H – Height: 5’5”

I – Instruments you play(ed): Piano for 13 years, Recorder (that counts, right?) and I am getting ready to learn the Fife (my kids are going to teach me!)

J – Junk Food: French Fries? Do they count? I make them all kinds of ways and they are my one weakness.

K – Kids: 5 of them. 4 Girls, 1 boy.

L – Live: Missouri

M – Mom’s name: Mimi

N – Nicknames: Nic, Nikki, Mommy

O – Overnight hospital stays: Only to give birth to my kids.

P – Pet peeves:  Bad Drivers or Texting/Talking on Cell While Driving (they go SO SLOW and weave everywhere!)

Q – Quote from a movie: “Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?” – What a Girl Wants and/or “If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus a day so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh

R – Righty or lefty: Righty

S – Siblings: Three brothers, 1 sister.

T – Time you wake up: About 5:30am

U – Underwear: Yes.

V – Vegetables you don’t like: Brussels Sprouts

W – What makes you run late: Social Networking and/or trying to get 5 kids out the door.

X – X-rays you’ve had:  Arm, Ankle, back, neck… I can’t remember anymore.

Y – Yummy food you make: Have you seen my blog? There is NO way I can pick one.

Z – Zoo animal favorites: Monkeys & Giraffes.

So, that’s it. ;)

Wordless Wednesday: The Smallest Soldiers Take on Galesburg w/pictures

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If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know that occasionally I cannot help posting about my kiddo’s. This particular post is about the Lewis & Clark Fife & Drum corps. and our awesome weekend in Galesburg, Illinois. I have four out of five kiddo’s in the corps. and several times a year we travel around to these huge full weekend rendezvous and battle re-enactments. It’s actually loads of fun, but every single weekend we go, I come home wishing we had a back up weekend because I’m so exhausted. lol

Thought I’d post a few of the pics from this weekend:

Lewis & Clark Fife and Drum corps. playing just before the re-enactment battle began.

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This is Braden (Color Guard Sgt.), Ryan (Color guard), Jessica (Color Guard) and Lakin (Fife Sgt.).
Ryan is my kiddo who just turned 17 and Jessica is my 12 year old.

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This is Lakin (Fife Sgt.), Brielle (Color Guard & Fife), Darby (Fife), Eli (Fife) and Melissa (Fife).
Brielle is my 13 year old, and Melissa is my 14 year old.

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This is Canaan (fife), Nathan (Snare), Andrew (Snare) and Reed (Bass)

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These are our kids that “died” in battle. There are at least three of mine in that mess of bodies. ;)

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The four that made it to the end. They were so proud of themselves.

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This is my son who died before the end of the battle.

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Jammin’ in camp – both of my daughter’s on the fife. Galesburg Heritage Days 114

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I thought I would throw this photo in too. I took it with my cell and posted it on FB when we got there. This is our camp.

 

The whole weekend was fun. We were supposed to go to a Civil War Ball on Saturday night, but instead we received a torrential down pour and we had massive flooding in the boys’ tent. We instead spent about an hour in slight panic mode, calling around to hotels to find out that they were all booked (I’m telling you this is a HUGE event), and then trying to hang everything to dry. My son opted to sleep in my van overnight because his sleeping bag was WAY too wet to sleep on, I felt terrible but it was his decision. We were trying to find him stuff. LOL

Our next huge overnight weekend event is in October. I have to take LOTS of blankets because it gets super cold overnight but really hot during the day. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be just as happy to get home at the end of the weekend. ;)

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