Let me tell you about Sandy. I met Sandy ten years ago at Columbia International University. Although we were never bosom buddies, I knew then she was a kindred spirit. Recently, we’ve reconnected and I have really enjoyed reading her blog, How to Grow a Gratsy. As only a kindred spirit can do, she says things straight from my own heart. Except that she is a way cooler version of me.
But I want to review this blog for you on its own merits, so, first of all, let’s talk about the name. How cool is it? 1.) Alliteration is my favorite literary device. 2.) It tells you exactly what the blog is about; it focuses on parenthood and 3.) as Sandy says herself, it is all-inclusive of parenthood; the Gratsy’s will be growing their son, Malachi, in many ways over the course of his whole life.
Now, the photography. All good blogs have good images, and family blogs must have photography. Not only is the header really awesome (Joshua, Malachi and Sandy lean into the camera on the ground and give big, cheesy smiles; the pose fits a header perfectly and it is really welcoming.) but there are visuals of everything — Malachi bonding with his daddy, Malachi looking cute in his cloth diaper, etc. It really helps you connect and feel.
Content. Sandy is an authentic author, offering pointed advice (such as “Just do it!” to cloth diapering) mixed with humility (“Hey, I do this, too.” and “This isn’t tried and tested.”). She’s honest about things like being frustrated with a crying newborn and even trying a drop of Benadryl when all else had failed. And she’s genuine in the sentimental post, “This is Life.”
Readability. This should be a given in any blog, but I honestly appreciate Sandy’s competence in introducing a topic and transitioning you to the main points. I also like her lists and can’t help but notice the way she wraps things up and leaves you with a feeling, not just information.
Involvement. Sandy’s pretty consistent about answering questions in her comments and provides plenty of opportunities to connect, providing links to her Twitter profile, Blogger profile and RSS feed. Currently, she’s doing a giveaway to encourage more connections. It’s been pretty effective for me: I realized I didn’t follow Sandy on Twitter or Blogger. I didn’t think about reviewing How to Grow a Gratsy until just a few moments ago, but I also hope the giveaway encourages you to read Sandy’s blog.
I do know I look forward to reading posts from Sandy. Recently, she challenged me to be more hospitable. I told her, I’m almost ready to start working on that. But I think I’d rather try cloth diapering first! 😛 I can’t wait to see what other heartstrings she tugs/shows me how to be a cooler version of myself.