New Mexico

My Child Is A Grass Hugger

Tree hugging runs in the family. It’s in our blood, but grass hugging? That’s a whole new thing for the latest generation. Tiny-Small is a grass hugger. Literally. I think it’s because she rarely sees grass. To her it’s a plant on the verge of extinction and when she finally gets her feet in it and her arms around it she is pretty happy.

For some reason her grass loving ways just seem so foreign to me, but I grew up on the East coast where grass is plentiful. So plentiful in fact I barely spent much time appreciating it while I was there. I mean, grass was a dime a dozen. I spent entire summers barefoot and running through it without a care in the world. I mean, I never thought one day there would be no grass.

Then, I moved to New Mexico where grass is a hot commodity. I mean, people try to grow it, but then they have outrageous water bills and all of the guilt that goes with not accepting a naturally landscaped lawn. Water is a precious resource here. People tend to go the native grasses route and invest their time in creating rock gardens instead. Because it’s easier, less expensive, and let’s face it…the critters eat everything anyway.

My Child Is a Grass Hugger In brown New Mexico.
Subtle shades of brown with spots of green.

Tiny-Small lives in an environment that has intricate shades of brown and sometimes spots of green. The trees surrounding her on a daily basis are more like giant bushes carved to look like trees. The grass is mostly brown too, unless we have a lot of rain and then it turns a little green, but not like the green you encounter in places where rain comes in abundance.

Luckily, we live near some National Forest where there are tall pine trees and sometimes luscious cotton wood trees. We took her there a few days ago to go on a hike. The tall trees create a canopy and grass grows near the streams. When we hiked down a hill and found ourselves next to a stream Tiny-Small started yelling, “Grass! I love grass!” Then she threw herself right on the ground and rolled around hugging it to her chest. It was long grass. It wound around her like a grass skirt.

My Child Is A Grass Hugger (Life In New Mexico)
New Mexico has some green too. You just have to go looking for it.

I sometimes worry that she is missing out on all of the wonderful things from my childhood…grass, fresh seafood, the beach, humidity (well, that might be pushing it), but lately I’ve started realizing that she is going to have her own childhood. It’s going to be filled with rocks and lizards and snakes and mountains…and the biggest blue sky in the whole wide world. Not to mention enchiladas (red or green?) and home-made tortillas.

We aren’t going to share the exact same childhood. Which sometimes feels a little strange, but she isn’t going to long for the same things I do (like Mystic Seaport and strawberry picking) when she grows up. She’s going to have an entire different version of “home” than I do. She’s a New Mexican, desert girl. Grass is always going to be something special because it’s so rare, but she will probably never long for humidity or the drastic changes in seasons. She won’t really miss snow and will probably find the idea of shoveling your car out to go to work each morning a major crisis she wants no part of. She won’t miss the beach and dream of falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing. She’ll be missing the howling of coyotes and seeing mountain lions cross the road on her way home at night.

My Child Is A Grass Hugger (life in New Mexico)
Pretending to fish.

I am just grateful I get to be a part of the making of her childhood memories. I’m also grateful that I have a little person in my life to remind me to stop and enjoy the little things. Like soft, green grass. I never appreciated it as much as I should have. Watching her enjoy it so much makes me realize it’s often the things we take for granted that really mean the most to us. I am becoming a grass hugger myself.

Also, I think we often idealize our childhoods and the place we come from. I know Jim thinks California is the cats meow and don’t even get me started on the debates we have had over which coast is superior. I, of course, prefer the East and he will always prefer the West. it’s just what we grew up with and what we miss. When we go back to our hometowns now we are almost always a bit disappointed. Things aren’t the same. That old saying “you can never go back” is true. The real lesson I am learning through all of this is that we all have our own memories. Before long, Tiny-Small will be old enough to join our debate. I am pretty sure she will be arguing that New Mexico is the best place to live and far superior to either coast. She’ll have a good argument too because we all know what we know and like what we like. Nobody can convince us otherwise.


Abstract Purple Iris

I’ll Be In The Shower When You Get Here

If I invite you over, I’ll be in the shower when you get here. It’s some kind of universal law. I am always the last to get ready because I’m running around picking up, trying to get Tiny-Small dressed, or trying to squeeze in a quick blog post before you arrive. Even when I am ahead of schedule and jump in the shower early, I’ll still be in the shower when you get here because, for some reason, on that day, you will arrive a little early.

When You Get Here I'll Be In The Shower

It happens every time. I was thinking about this yesterday when I was in the shower and Jim quickly opened the door and said, “That guy is here about that thing already.” So, I had to rush around and rinse the soap off and pull on clothes as quickly as possible while having a flashback to my childhood.

My mother was also always in the shower when guests arrived. I don’t know if we have time management issues or just don’t delegate chores well or both, but somehow everyone else is ready when guests arrive and we are always in the shower.

These are the moment in my adult life when I am acutely aware of how much I am turning into my mother. It’s amazing how quickly it starts to happen. First, people will say you look alike. Then you start noticing you are adopting all of those weird habits your swore you never would. I always swore I’d be ready when people arrived, but here I am in the shower when everyone arrives. It’s like I can’t crack the code or break the spell. I am just turning into my mother at an increasingly rapid pace.

Abstract Purple Iris
A touch of Spring for your day!

I have so much more understanding for the struggles my mother faced when we are kids. I guess that is because I am living them now.  When you are running around trying to create a pleasant atmosphere, clean children, prepare food, and make your house look at least slightly better than usual right before someone comes over, it’s almost impossible to also make yourself look respectable in time. Running out of time happens so easily when you are focused on getting things done for everyone else. Your husband can’t find clean socks. Your daughter is hiding under the kitchen table refusing to brush her teeth and before you know it your guest is knocking at the door and you are still standing in the living room wearing blue, sheep pajamas with a Flock of Seagulls type hairdo.

I remember, eventually, that my mom just stopped doing all of the things for everyone else. She’d just say, “Don’t forget to bring a sweater.” If we forgot, oh well, we were cold. I guess I’ll get there eventually, but Tiny-Small is still small and our house will always be a bit chaotic. We are chaotic people. I can’t keep up with it all.

So, for now, when you get here I will be in the shower, but maybe one day, in like a decade or so, I’ll finally take a shower early and delegate better to my family. That day will be worth celebrating because our friends will finally know what I look like with dry hair.

One can only hope.


Pregnancy makes me miserable. 10 Steps I am taking to make this pregnancy better.

Pregnancy Makes Me Miserable

Pregnancy makes me miserable. 10 Steps I am taking to make this pregnancy better.

Pregnancy makes me miserable which is probably why it took me over four years to do it again. After Tiny-Small was born I told Jim all future children would be adopted. Seriously. So, now that I am pregnant again and making friends with the porcelain gods (yes, the toilets…all of them) I am remembering why I was not a fan of pregnancy.

Four years is just enough time to forget. Just enough time to forget that you had morning sickness all day long for eight months last time. Just enough time to forget that  brushing your teeth made you sick and Dove soap made you want to die. Just enough time to forget how pre-eclampsia forced you to be on bed rest and endure a Pitocin induced labor. I am not good at being sick and I really like to be busy doing things. I have a hard time taking it easy. Unfortunately, the memories are all coming back to me now as I sit here trying to keep my mind busy and the barfing at bay.

What’s also coming back is how much pregnancy made me miserable in other ways. Like how my skin kept breaking out and how I didn’t dye my hair for fear of hurting the fetus. I stopped drinking coffee and none of my shoes fit. I am not a pretty pregnant person. I am not a happy pregnant person. Last time I was pregnant I read all of these articles featuring beautiful pregnant mothers talking about how much they loved being pregnant and I envied them. I still envy them. They were models of health in their pregnancy. I looked like a cast member for The Walking Dead.

So, here I am. Pregnancy number two and I really want it to be different. Everyone keeps reassuring me that it will be. I hope they are right because I want it to be better and I think it will be this time because I have a bigger support network and people I can reach out to. I have been through this before so I know what’s coming and I can prepare for it. There is not as much fear this time. Plus, I know that even though it’s really uncomfortable and I am going to look like a hot mess (and probably go up two more shoe sizes) it’s all going to be worth it. I mean, one look at Tiny-Small and I know our family is going to just get more awesome with the latest addition.

Tiny-Small and Jim
The two people who keep me laughing through all of the hard times.

I’ve come up with a Big List to get through pregnancy with as much grace as possible.

1. Stop reading about people who love being pregnant, are still jogging five miles a day, and look like movie stars when they are 9 months pregnant. We don’t all have to be beautiful pregnant people. We don’t all have to love being pregnant. I think I really felt like I should love it more, but let’s be honest, it’s not all that glamorous for a lot of us and if you are sick during pregnancy you feel pretty miserable. That’s OK. If you do love pregnancy and are gorgeous through the whole thing that is awesome too, but you probably aren’t going to be reading this cranky post since pregnancy doesn’t make you miserable.

2. Do whatever it takes to not have a reoccurrence of the vomit fest of 2010 (just insert the last year YOU were pregnant here). I have listed every food known to curb nausea and I am buying them all. Every single one! I have ginger, lemon, mint, celery, and my beloved goldfish crackers. I am eating when it helps and not worrying about weight gain. I am making Jim clean up any and all dog poop. Sorry, Jim! :)

3. No matter how yucky I feel I am walking every day. I am still aiming for 10,000 steps, but mostly land around 6,000. There was a recent study suggesting that exercise in early pregnancy might help reduce the risk of getting pre-eclampsia. I will try anything to keep my blood pressure stable. Since I was already on an exercise routine before I found out I was pregnant I am going to keep it up.

4. Buy some nice pregnancy clothes. Last time I was wearing whatever I could squeeze into. It made me sad. This time I am not going to be sad when I look in the mirror. I might be laughing or amazed, but I refuse to be sad!

5. Continue with my hair stylist appointments. I will not let my hair go to the dogs this time. I will not completely give up on my appearance. I am fighting back! This will not be an ugly pregnancy if I can help it.

6. Ask for help when it’s needed. Even if it’s embarrasing. I am totally going to hire someone to clean the house. I don’t care what we have to give up to pay for it.

7. Sleep when tired. Even if you have to demand time and space for it. Or, if you have to hire a babysitter. Or, find a friend to take your husband out for the day (mine is chatterbox).

8. Keep painting (or whatever it is YOU love to do). Last time I was pregnant I gave up on all of the things I enjoyed and just laid on the bed or the couch numbing my brain with TV shows and movies. I felt like a human incubator. This time, even if I am put on bed rest again, I’ll be able to keep writing my blog. I’ll have a community and a job. This will keep me sane. I am so grateful to have all of you to keep me going!

9. Laugh. A lot. Tiny-Small will keep the comedy rolling and her day-to-day care will keep the time flying by. Plus, I can’t just cry and drool on the couch waiting for the time to pass because I have to chase this crazy kid around. I am so thankful for that distraction and the love! She is so excited about being a big sister. Her excitement is contagious! If you are experiencing your first pregnancy, get some friends to distract you. Become obsessed with your dog. Find someone or something that makes you laugh.

Pregnancy makes me misreable.
That’s me rocking my miserable face with uncombed hair. Also, my phone was from the Dark Ages, obviously.

10. Don’t let anyone take your picture unless you are dressed and have your hair combed. Seriously. Maybe I should make this #1.


Anybody else out there find pregnancy a bit miserable? Got any tips to add to the list? Believe me, I am taking notes!


P.S. Don’t watch the movie UP while pregnant unless you want to cry, then sob, then cry some more. Stay away from the tear jerkers. They are not your friends right now. Stick with the comedies.

Develop Your Presence

Imitation, Inspiration, and Some Good News

Imitation is the biggest compliment, right? I mean, that’s what my third grade teacher told me when little Johnny wouldn’t stop copying my every move. It’s no secret that I fall in love with the work of other artists, try to learn new skills, and imitate when I am inspired. I mean, I learned how to draw whimsical faces with Jane Davenport, I dove into alcohol inks with Karen Walker, and I even attempted some mixed media people with no arms and lots of fancy scrapbook paper after visiting Kelly Rae Robert’s site.

Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” He’s right too. I copy all kinds of things because it’s part of the big experiment and sometimes speeds of the learning curve. I mean, copying is a tool and often in art schools students are asked to recreate a painting. This helps you learn techniques, match colors, and figure out what makes an excellent composition. Of course, when you copy someone you can’t claim it as your own work. It’s about learning and practice.

Stealing from another artist is another story. I don’t think Picasso was saying paint something exactly like the other person did and sign your name on it. I think he meant steal the color combinations, the technique, the materials, or the composition and incorporate it into your own work. Digest all of the information and spit it back out in your own style, using your own subjects and creative ideas.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been obsessed with Lisa Graham Art. She paints these people into scenes that tell a story and I just love them.

Her painting “Grandmother’s Garden” has been calling to me. I’ve been back to look at it at least a dozen times now. I know, I am probably a little crazy, but some art just speaks to you and gets under your skin. You can’t get enough of it. Lisa Graham’s work has all of the elements I have been working on for the past year: Mixed media, people, story telling, rich, layered backgrounds. Anyway, I really loved this particular piece because it was based on an old photograph and I just happen to have a bunch of old photographs because I had been collecting them for a class I took with Heather Murray.

I dove in and incorporated a person based on an old photograph, some mixed media techniques (the background has at least three layers), and words. I am still working on the story telling part. I think that might come more easily when I get better at putting people into spaces. I am still working on just getting my people to look right. I want them to have some character and proportional features. It sounds much easier than it is! My technical skills still need some work. I also don’t want my people to look like the people all of these other artists have created. Each one of the artist’s I have referenced in this post have very distinct people. I mean, you know who painted them! Their style shines through. I am still working on my style. At least I think I am. I have a much more difficult time recognizing what makes a painting scream “this was painted by Lillian Connelly” but I can easily recognize the style signature of the artists I admire. Here is what I came up with:

Imitation, Inspiration, and Other Good News
Develop Your Presence, Mixed media on Wood Panel.

On to the good news! A few of my watercolor and alcohol ink paintings have been turned into needle point kits and are officially available on the Chelsea Needlepoint website. I am so excited!

But wait…there is even more good news! Jim and I just found out we are pregnant! I really thought Tiny-Small was going to be an only child, but I guess she isn’t. Over the past few weeks Tiny-Small has been asking, “When am I going to meet my sisters?” I’ve been telling her she doesn’t have any sisters, but now I am wondering if she knew something before we did! Of course, the fact that she has been saying “sisters” instead of “sister” has me a little worried, but I’ll keep you posted! Plus, she could still end up with a brother, won’t she be surprised if that happens?

Have an excellent Wednesday!

P.S. Remember imitation is an excellent way to practice, but you should always give credit where credit is due and never try to pass it off as your own work. That could get you into a boatload of trouble.

P.P.S We are going to have Tiny-Small Squared. I’m already hoping they invent some kind of cloning machine so I can clone myself. Hurry up technology!


Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger has been a big topic of conversation in this house over the past week. Apparently, when my mom was here last weekend she and Tiny-Small talked about strangers. My mom told Tiny-Small that if a stranger ever tries to take her anywhere that she should throw herself on the ground, kick and thrash her arms around (like she is having a tantrum), and yell, “STRANGER! STRANGER!” They also talked about how all strangers weren’t bad. Some strangers were even nice. My mom told Tiny-Small that if a stranger says good morning to her, or asks her if she is having a nice day at the grocery store, that the stranger is probably just a nosy person, but not a bad one. Yes, she said nosy, and yes, that made me laugh. I’ve been laughing about it all week even though I know I probably shouldn’t.  We are accidentally indoctrinating Tiny-Small into the life of an introvert where making small talk is just nosy, annoying, and a complete waste of time. Good grief we are in a lot of trouble.

I know what my mom meant though, some adults bend over and get right in your face and ask personal questions. It’s uncomfortable. I wasn’t a fan when I was a kid. Judging by moms description of strangers I am pretty sure she had several of these uncomfortable adult interactions during her childhood too.

Stranger Danger

Anyway, Tiny-Small has been talking about this all week. Today in the car she gave me an example of what would happen if a stranger tried to take her. I thought it was funny and pretty smart so I am going to share it with you.

Tiny-Small: Sometimes there is stranger danger and sometimes there is just nosy people. If a stranger tries to take me I will scream, “Stranger! Stranger!” until the police come. The police will tell the stranger that I am not their granddaughter and they can’t take me. I belong to my parents house and my Memé and my Brenna and my Uncle Eric. I don’t belong to that stranger because I am not their grandson either. Then the stranger will be sad because the police will take them away and put them in a cage like when we got Stevie Wonder from animal control. The stranger will be sad because when you do stranger danger you have to go with the police and live in a box. That doesn’t happen to nosy people. That only happens to strangers who try to take me and make me be their granddaughter, but I belong to my mom and dad because they are my parents.

Since her only experience with jail was when we adopted Stevie Wonder from animal control (which is part of the police department) I was pretty impressed that she could make the leap from doggy jail to human jail. She at least seems to have the basics down. I also like how she whole heartedly accepted that there are two types of strangers; Dangerous and nosy.

I couldn’t help but think about how in my early twenties I was with a friend and his kids when this adorable old lady stopped us in the parking lot. She had just bought girl scout cookies outside of the grocery store and wanted to share them with us. She thought the kids were cute. I didn’t want to be rude, so I took a cookie. Later, my friend read me the riot act. He said, “You just took candy from a stranger!” The one, big thing every parent was telling their kids not to do at the time and there I was, eating girl scout cookies with a complete stranger setting an excellent example of what not to do. Oops! In my defense, girl scout cookies are really hard to resist even when you are twenty years old and I have always liked little old ladies. I am sure by now you are shaking your parental heads and marveling that I wasn’t kidnapped as a child. Luckily for me, I was an extremely cautious, shy child who would have run away if someone even smiled at me in a parking lot. I’m not sure when I stopped being that shy kid and turned toward a life of stranger danger cookie eating, but at some point on my journey I took a very bad turn, obviously. Probably more than one.

As we navigate through these being cautious versus being a polite member of society discussions, that so often contradict each other, I just hope Tiny-Small learns to make good choices and to trust her instincts. I also hope she magically manages to ignore her mother’s bad examples because I am sure she will see many during her lifetime.  While it’s probably rare that a child is taken by a stranger it does happen and I am sure it’s one of the worries many parents share. So, in an attempt to make this process go a little more smoothly for my family, how did you talk to your little people about stranger danger? What have you taught them about speaking to strangers in public places? Have you had any goofy mishaps like we had when we accidentally separated strangers into the two distinct categories of nosy and dangerous? Please share! I could use some direction and maybe even some commiserating at this point.

Spring is finally here! Apple Blossom and Daffodil paintings.

Spring Has Finally Arrived Plus An Apple Blossom Painting

Spring has finally arrived. I am pretty sure we are all sighing in relief. This has been a long winter, especially for our East coast friends. One of my friends reports that her kids have only had two full weeks of school since Christmas. They are going to be in school for half the summer at this rate! Let’s hope we don’t see any more snow until next winter. It seems doubtful, but I will not lose hope!

I have been painting some Spring flowers to cheer us all up.

Spring is finally here! Apple Blossom and Daffodil paintings.
Apple Blossom 5×7 alcohol ink on claybord. Available in my Etsy Shop: Dome Life Studios.

I love painting flowers so Spring is kind of fun for me. Not to mention all of the seed catalogs have been rolling in and I am planning all of the gardening I hope to do this year. I mean, I have to say plan because half of what I plant never grows. I blame the lack of water and the fact that I have a black thumb. My sister got the green thumb in the family. She just throws seeds over her shoulder and everything glows like magic. If I sound jealous it’s because I totally am.

Spring is Finally Here Daffodils and Apple Blossom Paintings.
Daffodils in Spring 5×7 alcohol ink on Yupo paper available in my Etsy Shop: Dome Life Studios.

I hope you have some bright, Spring-like, spots in your day today. If you have kids, I am sure you will at least hear some funny things. Last night at dinner, Tiny-Small told me she was a big girl now. I guess that happens in the Spring too! Here is what our conversation was like:

Tiny-Small: I do big girl things now all the time.

Me: Oh yeah, like what?

Tiny-Small: I exercise, I go to work, I play games…

I don’t what kind of work she is doing these days, but that three year old child’s description of her daily big girl activities certainly sounded like an example of my life in my early twenties! Boy, that was a long, long time ago.

I hope you have a fabulous first day of Spring!


Audience Watch Me Gives Excellent Blog Reviews

Audience Watch Me Provides Excellent Blog Reviews

Audience Watch Me offers a free website review (for a limited time so don’t wait!) and then emails you a feedback report with helpful tips about what works and what doesn’t work on your website. Meg Cook, owner and operator of Audience Watch Me, does the review herself. I signed up specifically to get help with my header. I asked Meg Cook to go to my site and give me her first impression of it because a little voice inside of me wasn’t too sure about the way my header looked, but I didn’t really know what was missing. Meg Cook figured out what was missing quickly – pictures! She suggested I add some photos of my art and myself so people would be able to connect with me and my work more quickly. She even suggested particular art pieces because they demonstrated a skill or visually represented me well as a person. I even included a silly photo of me because I wanted people to know that this is often a humor blog too.

Audience Watch Me Gives Excellent Blog Reviews

I think what I liked about Meg Cook’s suggestions is she really emphasized connection, which is the primary reason I blog. I want to connect with people and make connections between people. Community is extremely important to me. If it wasn’t, I’d just have an art website and no blog. If you want to read the review of my blog header just click here: Lillian’s Audience Watch Me review.

Yesterday I wrote a review about UserTesting and I answered some questions about that service so I am going to answer the same questions about the Audience Watch Me review today:

1. Was it helpful? Yes! Meg Cook gave me some excellent concrete suggestions that I was able to implement immediately. She also checked in after the changes were made and gave me her thoughts on my new header. She did all of this for free. She obviously cares about her work and the people she works with very much. She also gave me some feedback on how my blog represented me. She could see the fun, humor, hope, and creativity that I am bringing to the Internet. This helped me see that I was sending the message I wanted to be sending to readers and so I felt very encouraged. This feedback helped me to understand that I am making choices based on my values and my dreams. Sometimes, because I can’t see myself or my work from the outside, I don’t know if people can see the cohesive thread that runs through all of the different things I make and write about.

2. Does the reviewers opinion matter? I didn’t know Meg Cook at all when I submitted my website for review on my first visit to Audience Watch Me so I think her first impression of my blog header was fresh and unbiased. When I read her review I discovered that she likes art and is a parent. She is a woman too. I don’t think I could have chosen someone to better represent the demographic of my average blog reader any better. If I were actively seeking new readers, she would be a member of the group I would be pursuing. So, her opinion is very relevant to me and my blog. Not to mention, she is a mom with an Internet business so she knows some of the challenges I face without me ever having to verbally communicate them.

3. How did it make me feel? I have to tell you I trusted Meg Cook from the first email she sent me. She sent my review and told me that it was published on Audience Watch Me, but that if it made me uncomfortable for any reason she would remove it. I also felt that she understood what my vision was and was willing to work with me to represent that vision in a more obvious way. She checked in with me to see how my new header looked. She also shared information with me about how (what photo programs might be helpful) to make a new header so I felt like she was invested in my success. I felt like I was part of a collaborative team. So, my Audience Watch Me review made me feel optimistic and energized. It gave me the courage to attempt some other changes I have been considering and to act a little more fearlessly because I knew, if I needed help, that Meg Cook would be there to share her knowledge.

4. Would I use this service again? Yes, I would. In fact, I plan to. There will come a time in the future when I will need feedback and I will be contacting Audience Watch Me to get it. I would have no reservations paying for Meg Cook’s services either because I know she is committed, honest, and cares about what she is doing. She understands how relationships can be important, finds positive and negative things to discuss, builds on your strengths, and has excellent customer service.

I think in some ways, what makes Audience Watch Me my preferred blog review service is that I know the person doing the review (her website has some biographical information and a picture of her on it) and it’s more personal than the services with a big pool of employees. It’s an ideal situation for me too because Meg Cook is such a perfect representative of my blog demographic. I got a comment on my blog post yesterday, about Peek (UserTesting) and the writer pointed out that I took the Peek review too personally and she was probably right, but I can’t think of anything on the Internet more personal than a blog. I mean, you are writing about your life almost daily and putting it out there for the world to see. Criticism of your blog is difficult to separate from criticism of yourself. In some ways, I think the problem with my Peek review is that it wasn’t personal enough. There are some people who would never come to this blog. They would have no reason to. There isn’t much here for a single guy with no kids who has little interest in home decorating for instance. Having a review from someone in that demographic wouldn’t really be that helpful. Connections are important to me, but there are some people I am just never going to connect with. Just like in real life…I am probably not going to be spending much time socializing with a young, single guy without kids, unless he is related of course!

I am also an introvert, so a one on one experience with a real person just makes more sense to me than a video created by an anonymous person that I can’t ask any questions of. How can I make improvements without having more details and a better understanding of a person’s experience? Sometimes things needs to be clarified for better understanding.

So, to summarize, UserTesting may work well for certain people and certain businesses, but for someone like me, Audience Watch Me is a much better choice. I need to feel like the person I am working with cares about my success and is someone I can trust. Maybe I am expecting a different type of feedback than the average UserTesting customer so if you have had a good experience with them I am glad for you. They do have an excellent customer service team. I was grateful when a company representative emailed me about my experience yesterday. In the end, we all have to do what works best for us. For me, that means hiring Audience Watch Me for all of my blog reviewing needs.