HUGE News: Garth is BACK with GhostTunes, “Mom”, Contest

Triple Holiday News from Garth Brooks + A Touching Story

Huge News garth Mom Ghost Tunes

Garth is BAACCK! What holiday presents is he bringing your way?

Garth Brooks’s Holiday Present #1 — “Mom”

Huge News garth Mom Ghost TunesGarth Brooks, country artist and legend-in-his-own-time, returns from a self-imposed sabbatical of over 13 years. He comes smashing back with his new album “Man against Machine” and launches it with his new single “Mom”. No matter your relationship with your mom, this song will bring you to tears!

Garth himself describes his new song launch. Have a listen:


Garth Brooks’ Holiday Present #2 — Revolutionary music service

Garth Brooks’ return to recording also includes his founding of a all music platform, GhostTunes.You will find millions of songs, albums, products and creative bundles from artists across all genres. What makes GhostTunes unique? GhostTunes celebrates the personal connection between artists and listeners who live for and love their music.The GhostTunes platform gives fans the freedom to listen to purchased music on the device of their choice while providing artists with a new way to sell their music any way they dream.

ghost tunes Garth Brooks 700

I signed up for GhostTunes in about 2 minutes. Within another minute, I was cruising through the featured artists’ albums and singles. But don’t stop there! Digging deeper using the search, I was astounded that almost any artist I sought was on GhostTunes including popular artists like Taylor Swift and all my fav. artists from the 80s including Tracy Chapman and Robert Cray.

Experience more at

Garth Brooks’ Holiday Present #3 — Full expense paid trip for two to see Garth Brooks in concert!

Huge News garth Mom Ghost Tunes 180In celebration of Garth Brook’s brand new single, “Mom,” GhostTunes is offering one lucky mom and a guest the opportunity to see Garth Brooks live in concert, complete with hotel and airfare! For more information and to enter to win the contest, visit


<====== Or simply click the picture to enter!



Garth Brooks reminds us all how precious the role of “Mom” is…

I found the highlighting of the Garth Brooks new single “Mom” to be so touching.The song talks about how God is sending a newborn baby to earth and the wonderful qualities of the new mother he will meet there. I know with the special relationship that have with my mom and my kids, that a Mom tribute song like this hits home with me.

My mom is really such a joy and a wonderful person. She has always been there with me through thick and thin (and WOW have I been through some thin!)  My  dad and she (it’s hard to think of them separately) have always been the best parents on the planet and have shown me so much love it hurts my heart to talk about it. I only hope I have embraced these same qualities and passed this unconditional love along to my children as well! Love you Mom…and thank you Garth Brooks for reminding me once again how dear she is to me! Like Garth sings “You’ll never have a better friend!”

garth Brooks Mom Ghost Tunes Still Blonde after all these years

Get Social with GhostTunes

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Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by GhostTunes via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Ghost Tunes or MomTrends. 


Switching Daily Email Newsletter from FeedBurner to Mad Mimi — DMARC Yahoo AOL issue

Feedburner emails no longer going through to AOL, Yahoo and More? DMARC Yahoo Issue

Feedburner DMARQ AOL Yahoo Emails 2

Wrong number subscribers shown & not receiving email with blogposts

Yahoo and AOL have made a drastic change to their ability to receive certain emails, specifically feed emails. Millions of mailing list deliveries are getting bounced and the subscribers have no idea! They’re not even given the opportunity to review it first.

Have you checked your Feedburner? Drop may be the the DMARC Yahoo Issue

My numbers of emails to my subscribers had been cut by more than a half (4600 subscribers versus 1900 receiving) due to this DMARC Yahoo issue which started around April 7.

Here’s some in-depth articles you absolutely must read on the DMARC Yahoo, AOL Issue. I did not go into detail in this blog post, so read these articles :
From Yahoo:

From Googole Feedburner Forums:!topic/feedburner-statistics/yYkyRkFCYoY!topic/feedburner-statistics/oN91YADNjWM

Observations on the DEMARC YAHOO issue:

If you are using feedburner and your “FROM” address associated with your Feedburner feed is a Yahoo email ( or or or others, ALL YOUR EMAILS (or some) are bouncing to anyone who has a yahoo address or gmail or aol or others. (The same “bouncing” phenomena is true of AOL or any other ISP using DMARCS).  Let’s be CLEAR.  A TON of your emails are not getting through at all, they are being rejected.  They are not going to spam, they never even get through.  Some people may say they are getting them but MANY ARE NOT!

Feedburner DMARQ AOL Yahoo Emails

My “FROM” address on my feedburner was a gmail one and still I had this massive drop in received emails after April 7. Even when I changed my “From” address to, the issue continued (this is one of the two recommended courses to follow).


#1 Unless Yahoo (Aol, gmail, etc) reverses this setting, one recommended workaround (which did not work for me) is this:

a) The Blogger with the Feedburner account (NOT the subscribers – the Blogger), must log in to their Feedburner account.
b) Click on their feed
c) Click “Publicize” then “Communication Preferences”
d) Change the “FROM” email address from using a Yahoo email to some other email – preferably one that is tied to the domain that the feed is for, such (I was not using a yahoo account but a gmail account. I switched it to this format where I had a email as well. This method has worked for some, it did not for me!)

~ Jim P. via Google feedburner forums

#2 If after a few days #1 doesn’t work, switch your feed to a paid email service.

(Like Mad Mimi, Mail Chimp, Aweber)  This #2 fix seems to be working for most. I can tell you I didn’t want to have to pay but a majority of traffic comes from my email feed so here I go!

I will update if this approach fixed my situation. I signed up for Mad Mimi after much research into pricing and recommendations by some huge bloggers (Simply Stacie and Amy Lynn Andrews).

UPDATE 5/5:  I signed up for Mad Mimi all 4600 of my emails went out instead of the 1900 that were going out on Feedburner!  Big score! I have never worked with such a great company as a blogger. They have a CHAT function and answered questions all day as I set things up!  Highly recommend.

 Mad Mimi Pricing and Service

Madmimi custom plan


VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Mad Mimi seems to jump from FREE for Basic to $42 but if you look on the right hand side when you have clicked on the pricing tab under “CUSTOM PLAN”, you will see a place to put in your actual numbers of  subscribers/contacts. A lower price will show up! $27 versus $42 for me.  I also use Mail Chimp for my giveaway newsletters because they are free but their daily email RSS feed pricing is triple what Mad Mimi is ($75 versus $27 for me)…so DUH!

You can sign up for Mad Mimi HERE.

Mad Mimi Email Marketing

*Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support in this way!

How To Host An Online Party, Verizon Makes It Easy

Steps to Host an Online Party Steps as a Verizon Boomer Blogger

This How to Host an Online Party post is presented in conjunction with my participation in the Verizon Voices Boomer program and I have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

How to host an Online Party

 The Chief Blonde co-hosts an online party for Verizon! 

Have you ever considered a online digital party instead of a twitter party?

Recently, I co-hosted an online house party. As a Verizon Blogger, we are required to host two house parties. However, my co-host Lynne Cobb and I decided an online party might be a fun alternative. If you are preparing to host an online digital party, then there are steps to follow to ensure a great party.

1. Pick a co-host or get family members to support you.  Just like an at-home party or a twitter party, it’s very hard to run an online party alone. I chose Lynne Cobb from, another Verizon Voices Boomer blogger (or maybe she chose me, I’m not sure.). You will appreciate having a capable partner like Lynne Cobb because a digital party takes a lot of effort to plan well.

lynneCobb ShelleyZurek 1

2. Pick a day/time to host the party.  This sounds simple but you have to take in account the schedules of all involved including your co-host, the attendees, and the deadlines established by the host company.

3. Determine who to invite.  Your invites should be based on the party theme and host company’s needs. You also have to have some incentive for participants to attend such as a giveaway or prizes (or your great company!) For our party, we decided that inviting other Michigan bloggers would be fun. They would get exposure to Verizon’s great line of products, we would meet many new Michigan bloggers and Verizon would garner new names to use in their Midwest ambassador program, if needed.

4.  Choose hosting software/app.  There are a multitude of ways that you can host a party online.You can utilize a Google Hangout, meet in a Facebook application, or utilize meeting software (like Meeting burner or Go-to-Meeting). The meeting function that you choose must be able to host the number of people that you want to invite, preferably have a way to host pictures or video, have a chat function so participants can talk to you, and be easy to learn. We chose Meeting Burner for our party.

5. Schedule pre-party meeting. Lynne and I had 6 pre-party meetings to prepare slides, practice using the software, decide on logistical details like sending out invites, etc. Plan, plan, plan. Practice, practice, practice. I cannot stress this enough.

6. Put together a detailed agenda.  When hosting your party, it goes so fast. Chat is whirring by, you may be demoing products, questions are being asked, prizes are being drawn. You will miss important elements if you do not have a tight agenda.

7.  Determine your hosting facility.  Lynne and I decided to meet at church where she works and host  the party together in the same room. We had 3 computers going and we traded off presenting the Verizon products that we were demoing and giving away. A place to do this with great reliable internet is a must.

8.  Be quick.  During the actual party, even though you have everything planned, something will not go as expected. Hopefully, your practice will prepare you for anything that might go wrong but you must be prepared for the worst. Be quick on your feet and try to help participants understand what is going on if a hiccup occurs.

How to host an Online Party

Lynne Cobb monitors the party chat feed during the Verizon Voices Online House party

Our Verizon Voices Digital Party

As you probably remember, I have been a member of the Verizon Voices program when I started as a style blogger and transitioned over to being a boomer blogger.

Verizon Voices Boomers

As I mentioned in the steps above, as Verizon boomer bloggers we are required to host 2 parties during the 6 months of the program.  For our parties, Verizon provided us with a wonderful grouping of products to giveaway, including a swag bag just for attending.

How to Host an online Party 5

Prizes for the party included: (left to right, top to bottom) a Verizon Swag Bag,  Belkin Net Cam, Tagg Pet Tracker, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Zip, Home Phone Connect, Sure Response, 4g LTE router with Voice, Total Mobile protection.

The participants had great fun in the chat room. They not only asked us questions about the devices we were presenting but they also related stories to one another about the devices and made lots of fun jokes. One woman told how her mother used the Sure Response and how much she loved it. I had not anticipated having such a good time.

We drew for prizes after each presentation (with an included drum roll) and gave away 14 prizes totaling $1900. You can bet our 19 party participants enjoyed that!

What we learned from our first online house party

All in all, a digital party entailed a lot of work. Some of this was due to the learning curve necessary to teach ourselves the meeting software. Next time, we might try a Google hangout. We also learned that demoing a large number of items is a challenge for the presenters but those attending didn’t seem to notice. We recommend sending the entrants a pre-party slide package, as we did, so they can learn about the products and enter to win the prizes they want ahead of time. Drawing winners ahead of time is an absolute must IMO but can be tricky if one of the winner doesn’t attend.

The next Verizon Voices Online party will be during the second week of December so watch for that!

See all of our Verizon Voices Boomer & Style Posts  including our most recent review on the DROID Motorola RAZR  MAXX HD!

Top Ten Tips to be Cyber Safe During Internet Safety Month and Beyond

Get Cyber Safe — Let’s Be Careful Out There!

I participated in this Cyber Safe campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


Click on the banner above to take the Cyber Survivor Challenge! 

Cyber Safe Futures for all!

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in partnership with Sprint has developed Cyber Safe Futures to give youth and parents tips and tools to safely navigate an ever-expanding online world. It’s BGCA’s goal for every young person to have a cyber safe future.

Children will be children, teens will be teens,  and boys will be boys.  When my kids were growing up, each of them tested the limits on the internet from porn to inappropriate contact with girls to lack of privacy controls to poor choices of games and music.  Do you have that problem too?

I took the Cyber safety quiz, and I scored 5 out of 7.  Even with 4 grown children (24, 23, 22, and 20) who all went through the ramping up of the internet, I still have more to learn and awareness to build.  During the course of raising my kids, especially the three boys who were heavy into gaming, I developed a few tips which you might find helpful.  I also added tips from Cyber Safe Futures, as even an old dog can learn some new cyber tips!!

Top Ten Tips to help your family be Cyber Safe

Cyber Safe

  1. Make sure you “Friend” your children on social networks.  Also, know their passwords.
  2. Be a Cyber Smart parent and help  your children be Cyber Safe, hit all these important areas:
    1. cyberbullying
    2. online privacy
    3. social networking
    4. mobile smarts
  3. Keep talking!  New Cyber Safe issues come up frequently.  Renew and review often with regular conversations
  4. Google your child’s name often.  Set privacy controls!
  5. Check your child’s phone.  Before you give your child their first phone, let them know you will check it periodically.
  6. Set privacy controls on Facebook tightly. 
  7. 13 is Facebook’s minimum age.  Don’t cave in and let a young child start social networking too soon.
  8. Stay informed.  You can’t keep your kids Cyber Safe if you aren’t Cyber Aware! I was surprised to learn that one in three parents believe their teens to be much more tech-savvy than they are.
  9. Computers remain in public sight. In our house, the kids shared one computer until they were over 17. It stayed in the dining room, facing out so a parent or brother and sister walking by could see it.  Files were checked regularly, poor choices were deleted, and suspensions resulted often!
  10. Phones stay on the kitchen counter at night.  Establish a family charging center in a public area. Determine a time of night, where surfing and texting stops.  I didn’t do this with my children as smart phones were just becoming mainstream as my kids were leaving high school.  I sure would do this now!

What is your family doing to ensure they are CYBER SAFE?

Watch this informative video by the BGCA to see how much you know about Cyberbullying!  Then head over to Cyber Safe Futures to watch other videos about online privacy, mobile smarts and social networking.