Transferring from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

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When starting our blog, Em and I didn’t have a sense for the differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.  As we got the hang of the blog and wordpress software, we quickly realized there was no advertising, blog her or skimlinks capability on wordpress.com!  This was very under-advertised when we signed up originally (as novices, didn’t fully understand the differences).   After talking to a few friends and trusted veterans, we concluded that there was no question we needed to migrate from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.   Like yesterday.

But how?!

Through and doing searches I ended up here:

http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/

This showed us the step by step process on how we would transfer it ourselves.  Looked manageable.  But I was still intimidated.   The initial part I understood, but all the bells and whistles and widgets that were just “in” wordpress.com, I had no idea how to optimize.  I had never dealt with widgets, nor did I have the time or energy to figure out which widgets were absolutely essential, etc.  (I work full time and have 1 4 year old and twin 1 year olds, so anything I can outsource…).

I came across this on the wpbeginner site.

http://www.wpbeginner.com/free-wordpress-blog-setup/

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Dare I!? It seemed to good to be true.   I figured I’d start the process and if at any point my scam radar went off, I’d take a step back.

First step. Sign up for a host through their affiliate link (this is how they make money from the process).   The cost is no different than otherwise would be, so I felt ok doing that.   I get it.  We want to do that too.  Anyway, we picked bluehost.  I did this on a Friday afternoon and submitted the request to wpbeginner immediately after that (they ask you to paste in your receipt).

The next morning, I got this email:

Hello Laura,

Thank you for requesting the setup for www.goodnotperfect.com . We are excited to help you getting started with WordPress. You will totally love it.

In order for us to transfer your WordPress.com account over to a self-hosted WordPress, we would need your WordPress.com login username/password.

We would also need your updated Bluehost password, so we can start the process.

Ok I got nervous. Giving passwords away? I googled away, looking for reviews on the wpbeginner service. I COULD NOT FIND ANY.  They have such good SEO that everything I tried to google regarding them just took me to their site!   But I also didn’t find any obvious red flags, like scam alerts, scathing reviews.   And their site was full of helpful reviews and good information.  It appeared to be a legitimate business with a reputation to protect.   But how long would it take? What was the exact process? No clue.

I replied asking for a phone call so I could talk to a human. They informed me that they do not have a phone assistance, and politely directed me to the tutorial link should I not feel comfortable with the assisted route.

That was disappointing, but at least someone personally responded in a specific manner.  Upside? Sign of a human being actually reading my email.

So here’s what I did.  Knowing Em also had an admin account on wordpress.com, and knowing worst case we could fry that entire site and not be devastated since we’re like 9 posts in … I took a leap of faith.  For the benefit of novice bloggers everywhere, I offered myself as an experiment.  Yes, I am your official wpbeginner guinea pig.

I changed these two passwords to something easy (not giving them my real password) and sent them over.  We are so early in the blogging process I felt like I could be a guinea pig.  And either way I thought I’d have something to write about (hopefully not a headline like: Blogger gets scammed by Kenyan Prince).

The next email from my nameless, faceless geek helper was this:

Hello Laura,

We are almost done with the migration process.

Your new site is temporary located here: http://xxxxx/goodnotperfect.com

Please login to check if everything looks good.

If everything looks good, then we need you to change the nameservers, so we can finish the final step of the migration.

To change the nameservers, you need to go to your WordPress.com admin area. Go to Store > Domains. Scroll to the bottom and select Change DNS. You will have to create a password and such.

Your nameserver needs to point to Bluehost, so it would be ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com

Note: As of this point on, please DO NOT make any changes to your WordPress.com site because they will not be moved over.

This was it.  So I went to go daddy (my domain registrar) and pointed my nameserver to bluehost.  If you registered domain at wordpress.com it would be there instead.

Sunday night at 7:30 (roughly 55 hours after submitting my initial request) I got this glorious email.

Hey Laura,

We are finished with the migration process.

You can login to the site by going to:

http://goodnotperfect.com/wp-admin/

username/password is: XYZ

From this point on, you will be using the above admin panel to write posts, moderate comments, and everything else. You will no longer use the WordPress.com account.

If you are not familiar with WordPress, then we have created a 17 set video series that will help guide you through it. As part of your Free WordPress setup, it is our gift to you. You may find the videos here:

http://videos.wpbeginner.com/ (It is free to create an account there)

To ensure good SEO, we have installed WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin (the same plugin that we use on our site). To see maximum results, we would like to encourage you to fill out the meta title, description, and keywords when writing the post. It is fairly self explanatory. Basically that is the information that will show up when people search for you in google. This plugin gives you a google live snippet preview as well. This article below will help

http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/properly-seo-functions-wordpress-posts/

For performance optimization, we have installed W3 Total Cache plugin, the same plugin that we use. You don’t really have to do anything to it. It just runs in the background. Should you have questions regarding other useful plugins, then feel free to visit our Blueprint page.

http://www.wpbeginner.com/blueprint/ << This is a list of all tools, services, and plugins that we use to power WPBeginner. A very handy resource.

We’ve installed Jetpack which will allow you to transfer your subscribers over. Use the contact form below to request a transfer:

http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/?jetpack=needs-service

You may have to ask around in the support forums if direct support is unavailable.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Once again, we want to thank you for choosing WPBeginner. We hope that you will come back and visit the site regularly to take advantage of our awesome WordPress tutorials.

Done.  That was it. Everything worked, the links transferred over, etc.   I had to go in there and configure the time zone, reset my password to my private one, etc.   Turns out the whole process was that simple.  All I was in charge of was worrying, constantly checking my email in hopes I didn’t miss anything, and eventually redirect my nameservers for them.

All in all, pretty painless.  We are really pleased.

Hope this helps!

Laura Sig

 

Bread and Butter

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Last Sunday I got a text from my coworker today that made my day.

To start the day, after the babies were down for their morning nap, I took big sis and went to Great Harvest bakery. I sampled some delicious bread that had whole pumpkin seeds and an appropriately short list of ingredients (they grind their wheat and make their bread on site, Monday-Saturday).

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Going to Great Harvest takes me back in time, since my mom used to take us down to Indianapolis every so often to buy some fresh whole grain bread and visit her beloved Broad Ripple health food store.  I can still visualize the dashboard of this sweet ride, which became my first car.

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sweet ride via here

By the way, my sister and I didn’t know how lucky we were at the time to have a mom who liked health food stores and whole grain bread … I was just focused on the next stop, aka a trip to a “real” mall for some school clothes.  I grew up in Muncie, which is basically a slightly more sophisticated, bigger, college town version of the fictional Pawnee, IN from Parks & Rec.  Our mall had JCP and the Buckle, but nothing nearly as “cool” or “upscale” as the Gap (until, of course, I moved away for college).

Anyway, this Sunday I was lucky enough take along my mother who was visiting for the babies’ birthday.  So I was already in a great mood.

I dropped one loaf of bread off at my coworker’s house (she’s really taking the lunch share rules seriously).  I was still flooded with post-bakery-bread-sampling euphoria, out on a walk with the kids, when I got the following text from her:

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Asking me for a chance to share the results of my many trips to the grocery employing Mindful Label Reading?  SURE!  So, over afternoon nap (the best time to cram in errands), I left my husband at home and ran to the regular grocery to check out the butter aisle and see what options they had.   Snapped a few pics so I’d be armed with visual aids.

I am aware that there are definitely more “perfect” fats from a health standpoint (it doesn’t get much more perfect than minimally processed EVOO or coconut oil).  And I know, I know, you don’t need butter at all, there are other options.  But again, sometimes I just want a pat of butter.  There’s not much like a regular ol’ slice of butter on a baked potato, hunk of crusty bread, or in my house, green beans.

So if you are like me, grocery shopping will inevitably bring you here once in awhile.

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Where to begin?

For starters, I noticed there were not many things called “margarine”.  There was actually only one honest-to-goodness margarine brand I encountered.  It was actually hanging out in an entirely different section (by the tortillas).

unapologetic margarine
Unapologetic Margarine

  At least Mother owns it.

Turns out, according to USDA regulations, butter and margarine must contain at least 80% fat. In butter, that fat comes from milkfat. But in the case of margarine, the fat can come from vegetable sources or a combination of animal and vegetable sources. The USDA does not specify how much fat should be in the spreads category, so the fat content varies between brands.

So why don’t I buy margarine?

Trans fatty acids are unhealthy fats that form when vegetable oil hardens in a process called hydrogenation. They are often used to keep foods fresh for a long time, and for cooking in fast food restaurants (and are the key ingredient in shortening).  Trans fats can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels in your blood. They can also lower your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.  (fact check: here )

If you wanna really nerd out with me, check this post I found through scienceblog.com that is a summary of the chemistry of trans fat … bonus points for calling it “Kinky fat”.  I typically enjoy a little science humor.  It’s safe to assume, there are not many redeeming qualities about artificially created trans fats.

Even though most of the containers I saw in this section said “no trans fat*”, I’m not so easily fooled.  The claim is often accompanied by an asterisk that says *Per serving.  So yes, these spreads may actually still contain trans fat.

Not chock full of trans fat, there is a grouping of less offensive vegetable oil based spreads.  Unfortunately, these spreads usually are largely made with canola and/or soybean oils, which, unless labeled otherwise, are likely GMO (you can look at label for Organic or Non GMO verified).  Up to you if you want to take this gamble, but for me, GMOs are relatively recent development in our food world, and I don’t necessarily want my kids to be the guinea pigs.

So that all seems like bad news.   And GNP is in the business of spreading cheer, not fear (bear with me, still trying out tag lines).

Ok so where do we go from here? Remember I promised not to tell you to “always” or “never” do anything.  Maybe I should have added buttery spreads to the disclaimer list along with fake creamer and identity theft.  Oops.  Well, good thing Wellness Mama is here to say what I can’t.

Ok so if you are hell bent on purchasing a buttery spread, for dairy allergies, lactose intolerance, or 1980s nostalgia (maybe my station wagon picture has triggered something for you) … here’s the best buttery spread I can find at the regular grocery.

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It is organic (which by law means non GMO) and is dairy free.  Best dairy free option in this section.  It comes in sticks too if you want to more easily measure for baking.

But here’s the thing.  I don’t love any of these buttery spread options.  They are highly processed.  Thanks a lot, Napoleon.

Now butter, I can get behind.  It tastes better, and does not require a factory to produce.  It meets my great grandparent rule (they would recognize it, and have it in their pantry).   Butter is easy to buy, has been readily available for generations and it doesn’t require a laboratory to make. In fact, you can make it in your blender.

If you are going to buy it (like I do), then just make sure you pick real butter.  Turning the label over you should see two ingredients:  Sweet Cream, Salt.   The most cost effective is private label (as long as the ingredients match, name brand butter shouldn’t really be any different).

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I just keep flipping over and reading ingredients – name brands have made some tubs of butter that are spreadable by adding Canola oil to some (again, likely GMO).  Even better (free) idea – You can just take your stick of butter out of the fridge a little while before dinner and it will be perfectly spreadable.  Bonus is you get to use that butter dish you registered for.

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If you are the type who needs spreadable butter straight out of the fridge, they make one with olive oil (3 ingredients: Sweet Cream, Olive Oil, Salt).

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Ok, if that’s not clean-eating-enough for you … you may want to take it up a notch.  I spied some organic butter on the top shelf.  Even Better. I see this more and more at regular groceries now.  It is pricey – $5.29, vs. $2.99 for the regular butter.  But, you can count on this being rBST free, and not full of antibiotics.  Wahoo!

Of course, USDA Organic is not a panacea.  It’s not necessarily the only or best option if you want to make the “cleanest” food decision.  If you have a local dairy that you trust and like how they farm their cows, that can sometimes be more pleasing, even though they didn’t pay to get USDA Organic certified.  Or, they may not fit the Organic rules 100% (for example, I am not opposed to a farmer using antibiotics when cows are sick).

This is where you have to go beyond the label and do homework.  For me, it all comes back to the source.  What were the cows fed? In what conditions were they kept?  Organic cows may still be fed a diet full of corn and soy (and, after all, you are what you eat eats).  So it’s all about tradeoffs.

Which brings me to my pick for overall best in show. My new favorite.

best in butter showThis tastes good.  Plus it is from primarily-grass fed cows that get lots of pasture time.  And if you browse their website, you see the following:

“The Irish laws strike a healthy balance to ensure that the product is pure but that animals that require medical assistance are helped. Vaccinations & antibiotics are given to Irish cows if required in order to protect the health of the animal. If a cow does become ill and needs antibiotics, the milk that they produce is segregated from the rest of the herd for a specific withdrawal period until they recover & the antibiotic has left their system. Once this withdrawal period is complete, they return to producing milk as normal. This ensures the purity of the product and the welfare of our animals.”

I read this and decided I am comfortable with the butter produced under Irish law.   And lucky for me I have seen the Kerrygold brand at Costco, Roundy’s, Trader Joe’s, and even the conventional grocery I visited for this post.

Why do I love grass fed cows?  This is where I have gone a bit beyond label reading.  Digging a little deeper, it turns out that when you use cream from grass-fed cows to make butter, it is higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a beneficial fatty acid that protects against some forms of cancer.  CLA has also been shown to lower total cholesterol and reduce atherosclerosis in animals. Butter from grass-fed cows also contains high levels of vitamin E and beta-carotene (which is responsible for the yellow color in butter).

So here’s the thing.  Everyone has different priorities.  You have to decide what yours are.

So what will I tell my coworker?  I’ll tell her this.  Just say no to the giant tubs of spread.  I know they are cheap.  But look, they have ingredient lists like this that don’t sound yummy or healthy.

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If you are cost conscious, and that is why you’ve chosen this, perhaps it’s worth re-evaluating how much spread you really use.  Maybe you can modify recipes slightly to budget for the real stuff.  Or try to make your own butter from cream in your blender in about 15 minutes (cheapest).  If you don’t have time for that, get the store brand pure butter (2 ingredients).  Trader Joe’s has taken a non rBST pledge so their regular butter would be an even better choice.  But please, don’t vote with your hard earned dollars to support the manufacturing and marketing of big tubs of highly processed GMO soybean oil.

If you are not as concerned about cost (maybe you don’t use a ton or like the splurge), I’d get that top shelf Organic or Kerrygold (depending on your personal preference).

To summarize …

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Perfect:

Absolute perfection in the butter department would be getting your butter from a local farmer who has grass fed, pastured cows.

You can safely rule out the other 96 options without fear of missing out on flavor or health.

If you’re scared of butter because you think it is fattening, talk to your doctor – but here are some articles that I found interesting:

Carrie Vitt’s Hashed Browns post.  Carrie lives in SoCal and is a military wife, like Emily.  She has some good recommended books if you want to learn more.  Carrie also guest posted on 100 Days of Real Food, where she lists her recommended oils and oils to avoid.  This is a good list to reference if you want to get away from butter completely.

NEJMWeight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet – A phase of maximum weight loss occurred from 1 to 6 months and a maintenance phase from 7 to 24 months. All groups lost weight, but the reductions were greater in the low-carbohydrate and the Mediterranean-diet groups than in the low-fat group.  Also interesting, the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol decreased during both the weight-loss and the maintenance phases. The low-carbohydrate group had the greatest improvement, with a relative decrease of 20% vs. a decrease of only 12% in the low-fat group.  Then you can read this interesting interpretation of this study and the saturated fat / heart health.

Finally, Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease.  See – the fact that I enjoyed these articles tells you I should have been a bio major. 😉

So why exactly did my coworker’s text make my day?  It is so comforting to think that I have even in a small way helped influence my coworker to make cleaner food decisions.  Next time I pick up some bread for her at Great Harvest, I will cross my fingers that she and her family will be enjoying it with a generous spread of real butter, not the big brown tub of processed GMO soybean oil.

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via here

Until next time, just remember … Butter is better (unless you’re allergic of course). :)

Laura Sig

Working Lunch – Week 2

What a week.  As you may recall I was planning the twins’ Not Pinterest Worthy Bday, and work was crazy busy.  I actually was really glad to have my lunch share for a few days because it was one of those weeks I didn’t even feel like I had time to leave my desk to go GET food.  One of those weeks where you look at the clock and it’s 2 pm and you haven’t eaten yet…

So here’s a quick recap.

Day 1 (Steph)

She made an awesome Chicken Waldorf Salad from Paleo Plan.  Now, obviously the delicious slices of whole wheat bread from Great Harvest are not Paleo … oopsies.  Alas, we are not going to fit into a “100%” anything diet anytime soon.  Basically we’re looking at the ultimate GNP style lunch.  Whole food, short list of ingredients, meets the lunch share rules.  Check out those beautiful sliced tomatoes from the garden too.  Yum yum.

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Day 2 (Steph)

Day 2 was a bit of a debacle.  Steph forgot our lunch share at home and so had to run home and get it.  We’re talking like 25 minutes away.  This is a girl who takes the lunch share seriously.  I probably would have trudged downstairs to the “trough” (aka our building’s basement, no windows, dungeon-slash-cafe) for a salad if not for her sticktoitiveness.   So she got our lunch, but after all that, she forgot the extra apple that the recipe calls for.  No worries on my end, it was actually even a bit better the 2nd day.  And do you see that dessert?  Um yes, the most delicious pineapple I’ve had this side of Maui (from Whole Foods).

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I know the above picture may be slightly shocking.  Only one slice of Great Harvest bread for me?  Well that was the plan.  I dutifully placed the other slice aside to enjoy an “open faced sandwich”.  But then around 3pm the extra slice was still sitting there staring at me, so I put it out of its misery.  It was the humane thing to do.   #carbivore

Day 3 (me) – Slumgullion

This is sort of a favorite catch-all recipe for when my husband’s traveling and I need to make something one night to last big sis and I several days.  The sauce consists of

  • 1 lb of browned grass fed ground beef (I buy it frozen from peapod.com)
  • 1 chopped up pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 handful of mushrooms  

To this veggie concoction I added 1 whole jar of store-bought low ingredient pasta sauce.  This pasta sauce is Bertolli Organic Basil & Garlic and it actually tasted really good (mind you, this Organic, low ingredient sauce was purchased from a conventional grocery – it is possible if you employ Mindful Label Reading!).  They even carry this particular sauce at our local Walmart.  Proof you don’t have to go to Whole Foods to be goodnotperfect.

Anyway, I used 1 whole box of gemelli pasta (one of the pastas shown here).   I cooked it al dente.  I poured the entire sauce mixture onto the pasta and mix together.  You will end up with one giant bowl (scientific measurement) that equates to about 8 servings (and I mean real people servings, not ingredient box 1 spoonful type servings).

I had made this pasta concoction on the prior Saturday and then froze two individual portions, already in the lunch containers (I continue to be inspired by Lisa).  I even remembered to take the lunch containers out the night before my lunch share and let them thaw.  Whew.

Unfortunately, the next morning this amazing memory of mine failed me.  I literally backed all the way down the driveway and realized I had forgotten to finish and pack the rest of the lunch.  Didn’t even have them in the car.  Would have been a downstairs “trough” day for us (I told you, it was that kind of week).  I couldn’t let that happen.   So I threw the van in park, ran inside, cut up a cucumber (creative, eh?), put a dash of vinegar and a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper on it.  And cut up an organic apple for us (from TJ’s).

Voila, a complete lunch, all compiled in literally 96 seconds.

My coworker told me her mom used to make something like this and called it “slumgullion”.   Heretofore I have called this pasta with meat and veggies.  Henceforth, I shall call this slumgullion. 

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Day 4 (me … More KALE!)

This was not my favorite kale salad.  Oh why, oh why did I dare stray from the two salads that have treated me right!?  This was sauteed veggies and wilted kale with grated fresh parm.  Despite sounding gourmet, it didn’t hit the spot quite like the other Two Kale Salads I make repeatedly.  But I must. keep. trying. more. kale.

I added some leftover chicken thighs I had thrown in the slow cooker using my go-to “base” recipe.  I put a few ak-maks as “crunchies”, and a half of a cherry pie larabar as a dessert.

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Bottom line, we survived a crazy week.  Well fed, pretty healthy overall if you ask me.   And no visits to the trough, despite a few close calls.

Recap of week one:  Here

Anyone else have a coworker they are going to share lunches with?

Happy Lunching,

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Laura Sig