By Norine & Jessica of Science of Parenthood
With bazillions of blogs online, it can be tough sifting through the noise to find blogs you really want to dig into. Enter Bonbon Break, an online magazine that aims to package the best of the blogosphere, serving up an irresistible buffet of original and syndicated blog content, made to appeal to busy moms and, increasingly, dads.
Restocking the buffet, as it were, is Val Curtis, a science teacher turned food blogger turned digital publishing entrepreneur, as well as a mom of two.
"Creating Bonbon Break let me pull all my skills together," says Val, the site's editor-in-chief and CEO. "Since Bonbon Break's headquarters is wherever my laptop is, I'm flexible enough to work and still volunteer in my children's classrooms."
Bonbon Break launched a substantial redesign this year, unveiling its new look and new editorial team. The site is organized like a big, ol' rambling house, with blog content curated in various "rooms" by established blogger-editors. For instance, you'll find Tara of Noshing With The Nolands sharing food posts and recipes in the Kitchen. Ellie C. at MusingMomma talks all things family-related in the Family Room, while Amelia Mayer of Tales of A Mountain Mama covers outdoorsy stuff in the Backyard. And just for mom, Rebecca Gallagher of Frugalista Blog gets personal in the Bedroom; Keesha Beckford of Moms New Stage feels reflective in the Attic; and Jenny Melrose of The NYMelrose Family shows you how to do Pin-worthy DIY stuff in the Mom Cave. (Full disclosure: Science of Parenthood posts humor on Bonbon Break every Friday.) The site also has its own YouTube channel, Bonbon Break Live, a fledgling weekly talk-show vlog that features interviews with the site's many contributors.
"I wanted a place where people could walk in the front door, so to speak, and then go find what they needed quickly," Val says. "Our goal is to introduce exceptional blogs in a way that's fun and easy for busy people."
Since February is the month of love, we asked Val which blogs routinely tug at her heart strings. She said these are her favorites:
A true writer's writer, Alexandra Rosas puts her whole heart into every story she tells of her often humorous journey as a woman and mother to three boys. Whether she's writing about decoding her son's dreams decoding her sons' dreams, reflecting on how society has influenced her parenting, or describing how she celebrates Valentine's Day with her family, Rosas — who has been named a BlogHer Voice of the Year and a Babble Top 100 Blogger and is currently co-producer of the Milwaukee production of Listen To Your Mother — always sweeps you off your feet with her tales.
More Than Words was the first essay by Kristin Shaw I'd ever read, and it was so beautiful that it actually stunned me into silence. Using her own trials and tribulations to examine big concepts like happiness, love, respect and friendship, she never fails to leave me breathless.
When I'm having one of those hairy, crazy, "I can't make it; I'm a horrible mother" days, I go to Shawn Fink's blog. This mom to twin girls, who transformed her Awesomely Awake blog into The Abundant Mama Project to teach others how to get more joy from motherhood, is such a soothing writer, she makes you feel like whatever you're going through is absolutely normal. Her 8 Power Struggles Parents Should Let Go (and Why), Real Mantras for Real Parents and 5 Sleepy Rituals For Tired Parents posts are ones I return to again and again.