Would you look at that? It’s the last Wednesday of the month, so let’s dive in with another speedlink.

My heart always grows three sizes when I see one of my blogger friends get the recognition they deserve. Over at the Parent Life Network, Melissa Robertson shares her interview with Janette Shearer from Ava to Zoe. They talk about how Janette got started with her award-winning blog and her successful online business selling handcrafted items like dream catchers and stamped leather keychains.

The world of blogging has helped to connect me with so many incredible people, including the one and only Casey Palmer. He documented his recent trip to New Orleans for the Dad 2.0 conference. I had wondered about attending ever since I first heard about this conference for dads, so I definitely appreciate the insight and camaraderie.

Remember earlier this month when I talked about the different childcare arrangements that parents have? Andy Shaw collected some data on how much it costs to send a baby to daycare. This is going to vary based on a number of factors, but he’s saying the average in the United States is just under $12,000 a year. I know pricing in Vancouver is higher than that (but so is everything else here).

As a parent, you learn to hustle and scrounge to make ends meet. And it’s important that you teach good financial habits to your kids too. That’s part of the reason why Reg Lok chooses to pay her kids a portion of what she earns through sponsored posts on the blog. After all, her girls are such a big part of the stories she tells. They’ve earned it!

Life is hard. Louise Chapman recognizes this. She also recognizes that many of our hardships are self-inflicted, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. When you see a friend who’s struggling, choose your words of support carefully. Instead of leading off with an “at least you’re not…” line of reasoning, remind them that what they’re doing is important and meaningful.

There’s a common misconception that introverts would love nothing more than to curl up under a blanket, alone, in the corner, with a good book. Well, that would be nice, but it’s only part of the story. As Rachel Ginder explains, it’s not that introverts hate people, per se. It’s that they hate shallow socializing. That’s true. I’ve never been any good at idle chit-chat and small talk. If you get into a certain comfort level with me, though, I’ll chew your ear off with my endless ramblings.

Looking for a new movie to watch that probably slid under your radar? Damien Riley offers his review of the Japanese film Audition from 1999. While it has been technically classified as a horror film and it is “definitely not for weak stomachs,” Audition kicks off with some heavy drama about a widower, followed by the mystery of a CSI TV show.

And finally, we turn to Joshua Shinn as he explores the modern male ethos. More specifically, he talks about “improving the merits of a man’s principles,” working toward an “excellent degree of morality, character, or virtue.” What does it mean to be a modern man? What should it mean to be a better man? Do you have the courage to be more?