Make Your Mark on Hunger during National Service Month

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Child hunger is an issue near and dear to our hearts at The Motherhood, because we know 16 million kids in the U.S. are not getting the food they need. Without reliable access to healthy food and proper nutrition, children face developmental obstacles that can impact them for life.

Solving child hunger in America is not something we can do alone. That’s why we’re excited to partner with ConAgra Foods, the ConAgra Foods Foundation and dozens of amazing bloggers who are passionate about fighting child hunger for National Service Month in April.

Together with their children, our bloggers have been hard at work making their mark on hunger and using the opportunity to teach their kids about child hunger and the importance of community service. Take a look at just a few of their service projects:

Nicole, Mom Always Finds Out: “14,712 pounds of food were donated on that single Saturday.”

Nicole Mom Always Finds Out

Mel, Adventures of Mel: “Helping out in a local community garden like this is just a really great way to get involved in the fight against child hunger. It’s donating time and effort toward providing nutritious, fresh foods to families in need.”

Mel Adventures of Mel

Dawn, The Frugal Mom: “My mantra is: ‘Help when you can, where you can!’ The 16-person team packed over 2,000 meals in just three hours!”

Dawn The Frugal Mom

For inspiration on how to help solve child hunger in your area, watch this video of kids sharing their ideas on making a difference. More resources are also available at www.childhungerendshere.com or our Pinterest board. Tell us how you’re making a difference using #FightHungerTogether in the comments below or tweet us at @TheMotherhood.

Featured image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Flickr)

Industry News Round Up: Social Media’s Role in the Presidential Campaign & Game of Thrones

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This week in our Industry News Round Up, we take a quick look at how politicians and entertainers are making headlines in social media:

Presidential Candidate Announces Run for Presidency via Social Media

Unlike candidates before her, Hillary Clinton opted to take a less traditional route when it came to announcing her bid for the Democratic presidential candidacy. On Sunday, the former Secretary of State used her Twitter account to inform the public that she will be hitting the campaign trail in a bid to become the first woman President of the United States. Clinton also released a 140-second video announcing her campaign on YouTube. This is an exciting social media first for the presidential candidacy, and we can’t wait to watch how social media continues to play a role in the election.

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Image: Twitter

Game of Thrones Social Campaign Excites and Engages Fans for Season 5 Premiere 

A few of us at The Motherhood are die-hard Game of Thrones fans, and every year HBO and digital agency 360i deliver a creative social media campaign to tease fans for the premiere. Last year, the #RoastJoffrey campaign garnered more than 60,000 roasts, one million social engagements and 850 million impressions. This year, the team rolled out a dragon hunt on social media to find Drogon. The #CatchDrogon campaign asked fans to create photos, posts and custom GIFs to lure the dragon to their social media feeds. If Drogon landed on a fan’s feed, they were asked to retweet that post or use #CatchDrogon in the Facebook or Instagram comments sections to be rewarded with GoT prizes.

Celebrities and brands even took part in the #CatchDrogon hunt.

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Image: Twitter

HBO Digital and Social Media Director Jim Marsh explains the success behind this campaign model: ”What makes a concept like this work is simplicity and flexibility. We are offering fans a creative platform to have fun, but what’s common about all our social campaigns is that the title, #CatchDrogon, explains exactly what the expectation is. The rule is, if you can’t explain what the campaign is in a hashtag, it’s probably the wrong campaign.”

Fight Hunger. Spark Change.: Simple Ways to Help People in Need

The issue of hunger in America can seem so daunting: one out of six people in this country struggles with hunger at some point during the year. In the spring, to make matters more difficult, food banks tend to experience a decline in donations, resulting in what’s known as the “spring hunger gap.”

Thanks to Walmart, you can take action with simple ways to help people in need. Through May 3, Walmart is providing three easy ways to participate in a Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign:

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1) Purchase a participating product at Walmart. 1 item = 1 meal, up to 75 million meals. Participating brands include Campbell’s, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Kraft and Unilever.

2) Donate directly to your local Feeding America food bank at the Walmart store register during checkout.

3) Tweet, Facebook or Instagram a photo of six people dedicated to the fight against hunger and tag it #WeSparkChange. Each public post that includes the photo and hashtag will trigger a $10 donation (up to $1.5 million). We at The Motherhood tweeted our own photo this week to contribute:

#WeSparkChange tweet

To help spread the word, you also can join a #WeSparkChange Twitter party, hosted by @theMotherhood on Friday, April 24, at 1 p.m. ET.

Funds from the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign will go toward supporting Feeding America and 200 member food banks. To kick things off, Walmart has already made a $1.5 million donation. The rest is up to us. Join the movement!

Twitter Party Opportunities: Join Us in April!

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April is a busy Twitter party month for us at The Motherhood – we’re teaming up with some amazing brands and organizations to bring you great conversations during three Twitter chats! Here’s all the information you’ll need to be a part of these convos with us!

#imbornto

Wednesday, April 15 @ 1 p.m. ET

Did you know that every year, nearly half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States? The Motherhood is proud to be partnering with the March of Dimes (@MarchofDimes), a leading nonprofit organization for healthy pregnancies and babies that works to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

During the chat, we’ll be talking about the March of Dimes’ work, the #imbornto campaign and how you can get involved and support hopes and aspirations for babies everywhere!

Prizes! We will be giving away two (2) gift baskets (featuring beautiful prizes from the March of Dimes’ partners Alex & Ani, Mud Pie and Kmart) and three (3) Visa gift cards during the chat to randomly selected participants who answer trivia questions correctly. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.

#CareToRecycle

Wednesday, April 22 @ 12 p.m. ET

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22, and what better way to celebrate than joining an important and informative conversation about ways you can recycle in your bathroom at the #CareToRecycle Twitter chat! In America, four out of five adults don’t recycle their personal health and beauty products – that’s why we are thrilled to be partnering with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies’ CARE TO RECYCLE® program to spread awareness about recycling in the bathroom!

We’ll be sharing fun and creative ways you can get your whole family involved in recycling in the bathroom, and we want to hear your tips, too! Representatives from two special partners, Keep America Beautiful and Recyclebank, will be joining us to share tips and ideas.

Prizes! During the chat, we’ll be giving away five prizes to randomly selected participants who correctly answer the trivia questions tweeted by @TMChatHost. Four (4) winners will receive one (1) prize pack of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies health and beauty products. One (1) winner will receive one (1) partner prize pack, including a $100 gift card to onetwine.com, courtesy of Recyclebank, and a family pack of t-shirts made from recycled content, courtesy of Keep America Beautiful.

#WeSparkChange

Friday, April 24 @ 1 p.m. ET

Do you want to learn how you can join the fight against hunger in America? According to the USDA, one in six people in America struggle with hunger at some point during the year. We are so humbled to be joining Walmart as they encourage the fight against hunger and spark change in local communities across the U.S.

During the chat, we’ll be sharing information about ways you can participate to help Walmart reach its goal of donating up to $3 million to Feeding America, and also help Walmart suppliers donate to help Feeding America secure 75 million meals for food banks through May 3!

Prizes! Participants will have a chance to win prizes by answering trivia questions correctly. Five (5) prizes will be given to randomly selected participants who correctly answer the designated trivia questions. Prizes will be $25 Walmart gift cards.

 

What’s New in Social Media This Week

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A lot has happened in the world of social media this week. Here’s the latest:

Facebook expands Messenger service:

You can now access Facebook Messenger on a separate platform: Messenger.com. The website allows users to view conversations on a full screen, as well as enable notifications to your desktop or laptop. This move sets the stage for Facebook’s Messenger Platform and Business on Messenger initiatives announced in late March. On Messenger.com, users can do all of the same things they did in Messenger, including easily sharing GIFs, photos, videos, audio clips and more. Business for Messenger is still being tested, but will eventually allow businesses and customers to better communicate with one another. For example, a customer could easily check on the status of an order they’ve made online through the new Business for Messenger.

Facebook still remains most used social network among teens:

The Pew Research Center released a studying this week showing that Facebook is used by 71 percent of American teens, as well as the platform that 41 percent of teens say they use the most. This data contradicts what many people may have thought about young people straying away from the social network.

Twitter allows users to say more with new “quote tweet” feature:

Starting this week, Twitter users can now embed a tweet within their retweet, then add up to 116 characters of their own commentary. With the old “quote tweet” function, the quoted tweet would appear in the user’s tweet with quotation marks and quite commonly used up most of the character space. The new function is currently available only for Apple iOS and web users, and is reportedly coming to Android soon.

Twitter experiments with new search result design:

Have you noticed a difference in your Twitter search results? Mashable reported that Twitter is testing a new search design that allows users to filter results by account, popularity, photos, videos and more.

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Photo source: Mashable

Instagram announces new notification options:

On Tuesday, Instagram announced the Color and Fade tools for editing photos. Users can now choose from eight different colors to add “flair” to their photo. The Fade edit tool softens the colors, letting you achieve more of a “quiet tone,” according to Instagram.

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Photo source: Instagram

But what we find even more interesting is that users now have the option to receive notifications from accounts they already follow. Simply go to a user’s profile and hit the “” in the top right corner to enable notifications. 

Tip for brands: Aside from creating and posting colorful photos, tell your followers to turn on notifications to stay updated on your posts! It’s common for a photo to get lost in the usually crowded users’ Instagram homepage. A study by Over-Graph from July 2014 showed Instagram’s lifespan to be about 21 hours, but this new notification feature could make that time longer.

LinkedIn buys lynda.com:

On Thursday, LinkedIn announced that it bought online education site lynda.com for $1.5 billion. Details of how the two sites will be integrated are still unclear, but Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content at LinkedIn, painted a picture of what this partnership could look like: Job seekers will have the ability to see the required skills for a job, then instantly take a course to help obtain those skills. Roslansky said that both lynda.com and LinkedIn’s users value job talent — “acquiring it, training it, or retaining it.”

YouTube announces ad-free subscription service:

This week, YouTube confirmed that they plan to offer a subscription service for ad-free streaming. The video sharing site sent its partners an email this week, informing them of the upcoming move. The cost of a subscription service is still unknown, but according to Bloomberg, it could become available as early as this year.

6 Truths About Failure GoldieBlox Can Teach Girls

Photo by Stacy, Kids Stuff World

Photo credit: Stacy, Kids Stuff World

The Motherhood is thrilled to once again partner with GoldieBlox, a brand that is helping girls develop an early interest in learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills. Each GoldieBlox product features a fun story about a girl named Goldie, who has to solve a problem by building a simple machine. The products come with the same pieces Goldie has in the story, so girls can learn and build along with her. We love how Goldie encourages young girls to take risks, try new things and most importantly, never give up.

“The biggest reason for tears in our household are those of frustration. Tears of failure. Tears of being even too afraid to try. And I’ll tell you right now that no amount of saying to my children, ‘You can do it!’ – is going to make them really just try something again that they’ve failed at or were too afraid to try in the first place.” – Tracy, Sellabit Mum

Sound familiar to you? Unfortunately, fear of failure keeps many children (and adults!) from trying new things. Research shows that fear of failure is learned in young girls, not inherent, which means we can help reverse this mindset in girls!

Here are a few truths about failure that a group of awesome bloggers have been teaching their daughters using GoldieBlox:

1. Failure does not mean the end. 

“It is so important for her to learn that failure is not the end! It is just a curve in the road. We talked about my failures. I fail all the time! But it gives me the push I need to keep going and try again. She has that same fire. I hope she never loses it! GoldieBlox encourages this too!” – Heather, Living on Love and Cents

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Photo by Jennifer, Sweet T Makes Three

2. Failure makes room for creativity and innovation.

“Sweet T hauled Goldie and her zipline equipment to her room for quiet time this afternoon and innovated on her own without my help! She doesn’t know what ‘tension’ means, but she couldn’t get enough of it to make her zipline work so she figured out a way to tie one end of the zipline to her rocking chair and move it around the room to get the tension she needed. I checked on her a little later and she had solved the problem of an unstable rocking chair by placing her giant stuffed Eeyore underneath to stabilize it.” – Jennifer, Sweet T Makes Three

3. Failure’s lessons will make you better the next time around. 

“It’s important to me that my daughter knows that it’s ok to fail. Failure is what makes us do even better the next time around. Failure is what makes us be our best.” – Mellisa, Mom Luck

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Photo by Kelly, Texas Type A Mom

4. You can often avoid failure by remaining calm and confident. 

“You know, it’s in the midst of trouble that our true character comes out, isn’t it? She began to get frustrated when she put the drum together, then realized the inside parts were not facing the right direction to finish putting it together. She had to tear the outside paper to get back into the drum to fix it. I wondered how this would affect her. Would she be disappointed? Discouraged? ‘Mom, we can just tape it!’ It was a no brainer! Problem solved. No biggie. There’s not much in life that we get right the first time, is there? Figuring out a solution without losing our cool is a great thing to learn!” – Esther, Laugh With Us Blog

5. Overcoming failure is empowering. 

“Solving problems can make you feel powerful and GoldieBlox helps them achieve that feeling while having fun.” – Bridgette, Experimental Mommy

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Photo by Allison, Some the Wiser

6. Failure is a part of life, and that’s not a bad thing.

“I love that GoldieBlox wants us to teach our children that failure is okay. Many great inventors and leaders failed, again and again. I don’t want my daughter to ever fear failure because failure can lead to innovation. We shouldn’t let fear of failure stop us from trying.” – Melissa, A Sparkle of Genius

“Knowing that adults don’t do well with failure makes it even harder to teach children about it. But as parents, it’s our responsibility to teach our children about failure. The sooner, the better so we can help them vocalize and overcome their failures from early age when those failures aren’t quite as significant as when they’re older.” – Kelly, Texas Type A Mom

Your daughters can experience Goldie’s stories while learning these truths, having fun and confidently growing in their STEM skills! Use coupon code Spring2015-2b8badcd to receive 20% off of any purchases on the GoldieBlox website. Hurry though, offer ends on April 5, 2015!

What lessons has failure taught you that you want your daughters to know? 

Blogger Spotlight Series: Amanda, Dude Mom

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“An optimist is the human personification of spring.”

- S. Bissonette

Spring is a time of optimism, joy and beauty, and our featured April blogger is an example of all of these things. We’re excited to spotlight Amanda of Dude Mom to kick off the spring season. Like so many of our influencers, Amanda brings passion and joy to every project she touches!

Check out what Amanda had to share with us in this month’s blogger spotlight, and give her a shout out at @thedudemom!

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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Nominated for Emmy Award

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The Motherhood is thrilled to congratulate Angela Santomero and the talented teams who work on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood for their Daytime Emmy Award nomination! The program has been nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program.

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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has always been a winner in moms’ eyes, and it’s wonderful to see this amazing show also receiving recognition within the television industry.

This prestigious nomination follows the recent announcement that The Fred Rogers Company was named the 2014 Pittsburgher of the Year for their use of new media technologies, reinvigoration of a beloved legacy and passionate advocacy for children.

The Motherhood has partnered with The Fred Rogers Company on several award-winning programs that celebrate the much-loved Daniel Tiger and the legacy of Mister Rogers. We are honored to have them as a partner, neighbor and friend and are thrilled to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

Our Favorite Spring-Inspired Passover & Easter Recipes

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At The Motherhood, quite a few of us have a passion for cooking, trying new recipes and coming up with some of our own. When a holiday approaches, we’re all quick to share and exchange recipes we love. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spring-inspired dishes (and a dessert!) to share with you.

Read on for some of our favorite Easter recipes and Passover dishes, and feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments below!

 

Italian Easter Pie

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Italian Catholics make it a tradition to enjoy this savory pie to mark the end of the Lenten season. The week of Easter, Brittney visits her local Italian market to pick up some basket cheese (the name comes from the basket in which it’s formed). Some years she makes the crust from scratch, while other years she goes the pre-made route, but this dish is always on her family’s table!

Italian Easter Pie Recipe

Italian Easter Pie

Photo Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

Approx. 10-12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

For the Pie Dough:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes

7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold, cut into pieces

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Pie Filling:

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

4 ounces pepperoni, chopped

4 ounces hard salami, chopped

4 ounces prosciutto, chopped

1 pound fresh basket cheese, drained and cut into bite-size pieces

1 pound ricotta cheese, drained

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

Freshly grated black pepper

For the Egg Wash:

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Visit Brown Eyed Baked for the complete recipe, including recipe directions.

 

Springtime Asparagus & Mushroom Lemon-Parmesan Pasta

Source: Brittnee Hammonds

Brittnee’s husband’s family has a strong Italian heritage, so he’s never been one to get overly excited about her family’s traditional Easter spread of ham, potatoes and various side dishes. So, when it was their turn to host Easter, she asked him what would get him excited about dinner and his (not surprising response) was, “Pasta!” This light, spring-inspired pasta dish was born from that request.

Springtime Asparagus & Mushroom Lemon-Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Approx. 6-8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Olive Oil

1 pound fresh asparagus

16 ounce fresh mushrooms

Salt, pepper, garlic salt

1.5 pounds spaghetti noodles

2 lemons (both juice and zest)

1 large orange (both juice and zest)

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Asiago or preferred cheese to shave over top of pasta

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put water on to boil 1.5 lb spaghetti noodles. Add salt generously to water and cut half of your lemon (juice it and set aside for later), and toss lemon into boiling water to flavor water.
  2. Clean and cut (into bite size pieces) asparagus and mushrooms. Heat splash of olive oil in large pan. Toss asparagus and mushrooms in pan, seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste. Sauté until cooked to your preferred doneness. Set aside.
  3. Put noodles on to boil; cook until al dente.
  4. Juice and zest the rest of your lemons into a bowl (using the juice you set aside earlier, as well), in addition to your large orange.  Add olive oil (approx. ½ cup), as well as salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste.
  5. Drain pasta, and add cooked veggies, citrus and olive oil mix you previously made and grated parmesan cheese. Toss until noodles are coated. Add additional olive oil as needed.
  6. Season with additional salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste. Shave Asiago (or cheese of choice) over top of pasta dish and serve warm.

 

Cuban Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls

Source: The Cuban Reuben

Erin’s family is not Jewish; however, a number of her close friends from college are, and she learned a bit about the holidays and culture from them. During her senior year in college, a group of both Jewish and non-Jewish friends combined efforts to cook traditional dishes and host a Seder dinner for Passover, including one of her favorites, matzoh ball soup. This recipe is an interesting twist on the standard matzoh ball soup.

Cuban Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls Recipe

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Erin, of The Motherhood, and friends from college enjoying Seder dinner for Passover. Photo Credit: Erin Olson, The Motherhood

Approx. 8-10 servings

INGREDIENTS:

For the matzoh balls

1 cup of matzoh meal

½ cup club soda

4 eggs with yolks

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of salt

dash of pepper

dash of nutmeg

For the soup:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

15 whole allspice berry

3 bay leaves

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 medium malangas*, peeled and coarsely diced

2 quarts of low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon of bijol powder (optional)*

6 culantro leaves*

½ Kabocha squash, peeled and coarsely diced

Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper

4 baby bok choy, cut into quarters, lengthwise

2 zucchinis, sliced into ½” slices

1 lime, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Visit The Cuban Reuben for the complete recipe, including recipe directions.

 

Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles

Source: Wine and Glue/Taste of Home

Serena was looking for a cute, spring-themed dessert recipe for her family’s Easter brunch that both the kids and adults would enjoy. She’s been intimidated by chocolate-dipped recipes before, but as Lisa of Wine and Glue said, these truffles “stay together perfectly, and they dip beautifully.”

Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe

Cookie Dough Truffles

Photo Credit: Wine and Glue


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

pink, blue, purple, and white candy melts

DIRECTIONS:

Visit Wine and Glue for the complete recipe, including recipe directions.

Will you be trying any of these recipes? If so, let us know which one!

Case Study: Engaging Bloggers to Create Ad Content

At The Motherhood, we organize and manage creative campaigns with bloggers, typically in partnership with PR agencies or brand marketing managers. On a fairly regular basis, though, advertisers ask us for help in creating authentic content for print ads, as well as shining a social media spotlight on those ads.

Here’s an example:

Media company Hearst, which publishes dozens of women’s magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, ELLE and O, the Oprah Magazine, asked The Motherhood to create a campaign that would engage bloggers to expand the reach of one of their advertisers, a national ice cream brand.

Planned for the July issue of dozens of Hearst’s women’s magazines, the ice cream brand had purchased a one-page advertisement to share tips on guilt-free summer indulgences, which aligned with the messaging of their newly launched, no-sugar-added ice cream products.

Beginning in February, with enough lead time to provide content for the magazine ads, The Motherhood brought in 15 high-impact food and lifestyle bloggers to participate in the campaign. The two most influential bloggers were asked to provide several tips for summer indulgences that eventually appeared in the print magazine advertisement. Additionally, all 15 bloggers sampled the new ice cream products and published review blog posts (with photos) on July 1, the day the ad hit newsstands, to extend the messaging of the new no-sugar-added ice cream products and other summer indulgences to the blogosphere.

The campaign resulted in beautiful blog coverage and social media extensions garnering five million impressions for the brand in one day, and it brought their advertising messaging online to live indefinitely on the digital bookshelf.

If you’re an advertiser interested in a similar program, please email us for a customized campaign recommendation at contact@themotherhood.com.

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