We Moved!….kinda.

No no no… hold your horses.  We haven’t moved into the new house just yet.  We have, however, moved in this crazy world wide web… to a new blog!

It’s been my intention, and goal (cuz I don’t have enough of those floating around), to change the name of my blog for a while now.  After the divorce a year ago, and changing my name back to my maiden name (I’m a Valyou again!), I felt it only fitting to switch the blog to reflect my fresh new start.  Now, the problem with switching to a new blog means lots of work.  When you have a blog setup, it’s really easy to post – just click a button, type, and publish it.  Starting a whole new one took a little more time…

First, I had to think of a name for the blog.  This only took me, oh… say… a year!  I brainstormed and thought of a bunch of good ones, then a couple days later, I would look at them and re-think it again, not happy with the final ‘name.’  It’s really hard to come up with a blog name that encompasses everything I write about.  I don’t like claiming a stereotype either, like ‘BloggingMomRunner’, because I write about more than that, and those three words don’t define me.  I wear so many hats, as a Mom, a SINGLE Mom, a Divorced Mom, a daughter and friend and sister, a career woman, a runner, a country girl turned city girl turned country girl again, a soon-to-be homeowner, etc…

So, after much deliberation, and a light bulb (thanks to my dear friend, Kate), I chose a new blog name – a new identity that would encompass all I write about.  Now, that was just the start of this new adventure (aka challenge, aka another thing to cram into my already full day of working 8 hours and spending time with my son and family, but why not? because it’ll be worth it in the long run).  I had an idea and plan – I just had to make it happen.  This was the even harder part.  I enlisted the help of my go-to computer and website guru (Thanks, Phil), and with much help from him, and a few days of skipping workouts to find the time to (whoops, sorry Jarrod – I’ll get my 100 squats in today, I promise!), my new website was born!  I transferred everything from the old blog over, and still have lots of formatting glitches to fix and personalize it a bit more, but it’s live, and before I push the off button on this site, I’ll give everyone a bit of time to get used to going to the new site… maybe a couple weeks?



Let me know what you think…. and HAPPY FRIDAY!



2013 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


I realized last night that I hadn’t posted since last Friday – a week ago, today.  A whole week!!! It’s not like me to go a week without posting, so I feel I need to explain myself:

  1. Instead of working on the blog at lunch, I go to the gym!  This is great, so I get my whole night with Avery and house to-do stuff, but by the time I sit down at night, it’s too late to work on the blog or I have noooo energy left!
  2. My computer is busted.  Seriously.  I picked it up the other day and the screen is cracked so I can only see half of it… ugh.  Very difficult to work on it when I only have 4 inches of screen.. .it’s like I’m back in the 80s or something – how did they do it?!
  3. Work has been soooo busy!  I haven’t been able to take a quick break and pop on the blog to work on a post.  Well, I have once this week but only got a few lines down before I got pulled back to work.  Plus, I am totally loving my job, so if I have tasks to work on, I push to get them done, instead of taking a break.

So, there’s my little ramblings for the week.  No pictures.  No updates on Avery (one coming next week because he turns 21 months this weekend!).  But I have lots to share….  just where can I find the time to blog?  Maybe I need to get up earlier in the AM and blog before I leave for work, or do it on the weekend?  Between work, the gym, Avery, the house  – where do I fit it in?  So much to do, and so little time!

But, it’s Friday and the parents are visiting this weekend to knock off more items off the Honey-Do List!!!  Happy Friday!!!

When do you squeeze in time (and energy!) to blog???

Liebster Blog Award – Thrice as nice!

I just had time to catch my breath after writing up my last Liebster Blog award when Kaela Moore at The Girl Who Blogs swooped in and nominated me for the award again – for the third time!

How exciting!  And what’s even more exciting is that I’m finding time to respond to the award nomination in less than a month!  Well, I have lots of award business to attend to, so without further a-do…



Liebster Award Rules

  1. The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers who have 200-300 followers (FYI we’re quickly approaching 200, eek!, so let’s enjoy this award while we can!)
  2. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
  3. Each blogger should answer the 11 questions given to you.
  4. Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award on to and link them in your post.
  5. Create 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
  6. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
  7. No tag backs.

Who came up with ’11’ for every category?  Crazyness.  I’m going to stick to my ‘5’ like last time.  11 is overkill IMO… I barely have time to post a couple times a week – give a working Momma a break!

#1: Check, we have 166 amazing followers!

#2: 11 5 Random Facts about Moi:

  • I speak french – enough to get by a basic conversation and thanks to my HS French teacher I can tell you to ‘shut up’ too 😉
  • I get sick if I eat ice cream – a recent development and man does it stink cuz I love ice cream!
  • I think have a habit of naming my children after TV show characters – I spent a good deal of this weekend trying to remember the name of the character who loves the character ‘Avery’ on Grey’s Anatomy… you know just in case it sounds good with Avery.  BTW, it was ‘April’…not sure I like that name.
  • I can’t stand having dirty feet.  I have to wear socks in the house because if dirt sticks to the bottom of my feet I get soooo irritated!
  • I have a super-sore throat.  I don’t think it’s allergies because I spent the weekend outside building a new walkway (pictures to come!)… maybe the dry air?

(I tried not to repeat ones I shared on the past award and other blog awards)

#3:  11 Questions from Kaela:

1. What is your favorite book? The Notebook

2. What is your dream job? A SAHM & PT Interior Designer

3. Who inspires you? My Mom, Marathon Runners, people doing random acts of kindness

4. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be? well-rounded

5. Cabin or beach house? Why? Beach house… Avery loves the beach and we love going as a family.

6. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Control Time… wouldn’t that be nice?!  But something actually possible… I’d love to learn sign language, fluently.

7. What does your name mean? I had to look this up.  I know Meghan orignated from the name ‘Margaret’.. but it also means ‘pearl’… and I love pearls!

8. What is your best memory? There are too many to choose from!  I can’t pick one over the others.

9. What is one chore you absolutely hate doing? I hated dishes growing up, but with a dishwasher now it’s bearable.  I hate cleaning the bathroom now…

10. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do? Get rid of my fear of heights by skydiving, bungy jumping, or maybe just jumping off a really tall building!

11. Why do you write? To keep in touch with family and friends… and it’ll be awesome to look back at everything – like a virtual family diary.

#4.  11 5 Blogs I Nominate: 

#5.  11 5 New Questions for the nominees 

  • When is your favorite time of day to blog?
  • If your life was made into a book, what would the title be?
  • What is your favorite sound?
  • What blog is most inspiring to you?
  • Where were you born?

#6.  Go back to their page and tell them about the award. (check!)

Happy Blogging! xo

Blogiversary I: Top 10 Reasons I Love to Blog

This month marks ONE YEAR since our first blog post. I’m psyched that I kept up with this for a whole year.  It’s been fun keeping in touch with family and friends around the world, sharing tips, tricks, triumphs, and mishaps with other bloggers, and inspiring friends to blog.  To kickoff our First Blogiversary celebration, here’s my Top 10 Reasons I Love to Blog:

1. Keep in Touch with Family & Friends

Although I grew up in a close-knit community of friends and family, we’re now all scattered across the world.  We’re all busy with family, careers, school, etc. so it’s difficult to keep in touch.  A sparatic phone call or email helps, but when you have a new house, husband, and baby, everyone wants to know AND SEE how things are going.  This blog allows me to share pictures and even videos of our renovation projects of the house, and of Avery as he grows.

2. Mommy Outlet

While the initial intent of this blog was to keep in touch with family and friends, it quickly turned into a perfect outlet for my mommy thoughts, questions, triumphs, and rants.  As a working mommy, I don’t have much ‘me time‘ and as much as I love my hubby and son, I need some time for me.  Some time to relax and get out my thoughts, a hobby that I enjoy outside of the everyday things I NEED to do.  This blog allows me to do that, and I can squeeze it in at lunch during the week and some nights after Avery has gone to bed.

3. It’s A Virtual ‘Baby Book’

Blogging about everything under our roof, especially what Avery is up to is a great way to document Avery’s first year with photos and videos.  I still keep the traditional ‘baby book’ but instead of printing photos and pasting them in the book – this is a much easier way to document Avery’s first year.

4. New Friends

I knew NOTHING about blogging and the world of bloggers when I started this adventure… I had no idea how much I would connect with other bloggers out there and how close we would become popping into each others lives via the internet.  It’s refreshing reading stories from other mommies, commenting on other home renovation projects, getting great DIY ideas from others, and especially getting feedback from them when I post something.

5. Comments  I heart the feedback when I post something.  Sometimes I’m excited to share what Avery’s doing, or stressed about him STILL not sleeping through the night, or sometime we need help picking a paint color. Whatever the post is about, I love getting an email telling me we have a new comment!  I’m always excited to see who it is and what they have to contribute to the discussion.  Sometimes its another blogger, and other times it’s a dear old friend from college, or a distant relative in India!

6. It’s Cheap! And for anyone, it can be free.  I spend $18 a year on our domain name “www.RatnamResidence.com” because I’m anal like that and had to have a theme and name for our blog so I had a direction for what I was blogging about.  What other hobbies cost less than $20 a year!?

7. Inspiring Others  I don’t blog to make an influence on the world, or on anyone in particular – but apparently I have.  I had one woman respond to my health kick this past spring that I inspired her to start working out.  How cool is that?!  And I’ve won a few awards in the blogging world, all nominations by other bloggers – pretty cool.  Oh, and did I mention, two friends of mine have started blogging – not solely because of me, but because our blog made an influence on them?  Sharing the blog love… www.DaretoDesert.com & www.Kouzmitch.com

8. Ideas Ideas Ideas Have I mentioned how much I hate love Pinterest?  That site is amazing.  So many ideas – but they overwhelm me and I get frustrated because I want to try to make this and buy that and do a project like that…  because of that, I have to limit my Pinterest browsing.  Reading other blogs (when I have a spare minute) gives me some great ideas…whether they are recipes, or quick and easy DIY projects.  It’s a lot less overwhelming than the smorgasbord over at Pin-sanity.

9. I am an Expert well, maybe not an expert, but I get to share my opinions, tips, tricks, and knowledge I’ve learned with others.  Other mommy questions I can help with, I give my two cents.  Someone wants an opinion on the room they are redesigning, I pipe in.  I may not have the ‘right’ answer, but I might be able to help someone.

10. It’s FUN! Many things in day-to-day life are monotonous, especially when you have a house and family.  There’s dishes to wash, bags to pack for daycare, laundry to fold, the sump pump died again, there’s a leak in the ceiling, oh crap we ran out of formula gotta run to the store…. every day is a dance to get as much as possible done so tomorrow things aren’t piled up and most of it isn’t exactly ‘fun’ although we try to make them best of them.  Blogging is always fun 🙂

How long have you been blogging?  What do you love about it?

baby walking  kabobs on the grill baby helping with laundry

We’ll continue the celebration later this month with:

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Although we had less visitors this past month (because everyone’s on vacation?! right?), we’re still making new friends in the blog world…. and our new friend, Patty at Discover and Devour likes us so much that she nominated us for the “The Very Inspiring Blogger Award” !!!

Thanks, Patty!  Let’s cut to the chase and go over the rules for accepting this honor…

The Rules:

1.  Display the award logo on your blog. Check!

2.  Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you. Check!

3.  State seven things about yourself.

1.  I have a tattoo.  I got it a few years ago with my Grandma on a girls weekend trip.  I kept teasing her that we should get tattoos together, and we did!

2.  I know ALL the linking-verbsThanks Mr. Tyson.  In 6th grade, we memorized all the linking verbs, and to this day, I can still recite them.  Prove it?  OK. do did does am is are was were have has had seems appears. would could should can may might will shall.  would be could be should be can be may be might be will be would’ve been could’ve been may’ve been might’ve been…and the nots!

3.  I don’t eat my vegetables.  Yeah, to this day I still hate them.  I eat a few (lettuce, peppers, cucumbers) and manage to eat as much salad as I can to supplement, but if I was made to eat a carrot today, I’d douse it in ranch dressing like I used to as a kid…bleck!

4.  I can never decide if I like my hair long or short.  It gets long and it’s harder to maintain, but it’s so pretty.  Then I cut it and it’s so easy to get ready in the morning, but it’s not as feminine… so for now the mommy in me that would rather save 10 minutes blow drying my hair in the morning wins over and for now, it’s short 🙂

5.  I strongly believe everything happens for a reason.  Even when something bad or difficult happens in life, there’s always a reason for it.. whether its a lesson or it points me in a direction for something good in the future.  A great example is that 2 months after we got engaged, we found out we were expecting.  This pushed up our wedding (a whole year) and my ‘brother’ stationed in Germany was able to come and stand beside me on our wedding day.  Had we not moved up the wedding, He wouldn’t have made it this year (originally our wedding date/year).

6.  I love surprises!  I love them so much that I’ve given surprise gifts and parties to tons of loved ones.  We surprised my friend at work by all wearing t-shirts for her 50th birthday, I’ve given Vinay a couple surprise parties, and my sis and I threw our parents surprise a 25th anniversary party.  I should put a byline into my friend contract ***being friends with Meghan may result in lots of surprise parties!***

7.  I wear contacts.  Probably a result of #3.  You’ll rarely see me in my library glasses (oh yeah, they’re hott).  But I’m always wearing contacts.  I wonder how Avery’s eye-sight will be.  I better feed him carrots for dinner tonight…

4.  Nominate 7 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.

In no specific order, here are a few blogs that I love to check-in on for humor, recipes, home renovations, mommy tips & guidance…

Bachs by the Beach

Run Around My Blog

Flavors of Life

Sixtine and the Little Things

Chasing Fulfillment

A Goode House

Dare to Desert

5.  Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated. (Check!)

Check out the other awards we’ve been nominated for here!