Karen Ballum

Karen Ballum

Hi, I'm Karen Ballum. I'm a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. You might know me as Sassymonkey ...   see full bio
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Karen Ballum

Hi, I'm Karen Ballum. I'm a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. You might know me as Sassymonkey.

I live in Ottawa, Ontario -- Canada's national capital. Keeping me company are my husband and cat, commonly known on the internet as the Fake Husband and the Fake Cat. Last I checked they were both still very real to most people but according to Denise, it's not real unless she can see it. (She's met the fake husband and has seen pictures of the cat but once fake is always fake in her books.)

Karen Ballum Sassymonkey

I have been blogging about life (and food, I like food) since 2004 on my personal blog, Sassymonkey.ca, and started my book blog, Sassymonkey Reads, in August of 2005. I don't read quite as many books as I used to but I still love hearing about the books you love.

While I spent a LOT of time here on BlogHer.com you can also find on Twitter. If you want to judge for yourself whether or not my cat is fake, she features prominently in my Instagram stream. (But you never know, I could be using a stunt cat.)

I also have a slight addition to the overuse of parentheses. (Oops?)

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Wow Guests With the 'In' Dessert This Spring: 14 Easy Pavlova Recipes

Pavlova recipes starting popping up in my social media feeds this spring. That made sense: These meringue cakes are light and fluffy on the inside, but crispy on the outside, and they are often topped with fruit. Then, more photos filtered in, as people started making pavlovas the star of their birthday celebrations. I decided it was time for me to get in on the pavlova action—and you can, too! Here are 14 pavlova recipes you can make. They look fancy, but they're actually really easy to master!...more
WOW! Each one looks better than the last.more

10 Books to Read This Spring

When it comes to selecting reading material, sometimes I feel like I suffer from an abundance of riches. There is just so much choice. There are so many wonderful books being published all the time. When I feel like this, I turn to my friends for their book suggestions. ...more
blissfulpages Thanks!more

5 Key Facebook Insights Metrics All Bloggers Should Look At

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#ToTheGirls: What Do YOU Want Girls to Know?

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Don't keep family secrets from good friends. If they're really a good friend they won't judge. ...more

What to Do With All That Leftover Turkey

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Four Easy Leftover Ham Recipes

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Love these healthy deserts!!more

8 Gorgeous New Ways to Make Easter Eggs

One of my earliest Easter memories is watching sharp pins being delicately pushed in the ends of an egg and then being shown how to carefully blow out the whites and yolk. We handled the fragile empty eggs with care as we dyed them. I recall we used wax and carefully, though not exactly skillfully, layered on the colours and designs. Well, the adults and older children mostly used the wax but I was able to help with the dipping....more
sassymonkey Pictures, please! -Momo RebeccaAngelmore

7 Green Treats for St. Patrick's Day

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diaryinparadise Mine too!more

6 Fun Crafts for St. Patrick's Day

I've always had a soft spot for St. Patrick's Day. It's probably because I have auburn hair and it's the one time a year people are really into gingers. Sadly, as far as I know, I don't have a speck of a Irish in me. I still celebrate it and while in year's past it may have involved a bit more of a parades and party feel, I'm more of homebody these days. You know what's perfect for homebodies? St. Patrick's Day crafts. ...more
I love the bottle centerpiece idea.  For some reason, glass bottles just always seemed special ...more

How to Build an Awesome Online Community (and Why It's So Important)

When you start a blog, you will hear a lot about how to grow your audience. You will read about gaining readers and followers, and why SEO is important. All of those things are important for page views—but there is something I believe is far more rewarding and important for everything you do online: building your online community. ...more
Kindness. Exactly. I think it's the kindness above all else. Yes, you can have bad days and ...more