Category Archives: Thoughts on Blogging

At a loss…

I am at a loss…my thoughts have been stifled, my creative juices dried up, my fingers are frozen hovering over the keyboard…My spirit is willing but my mind is not a willing participant… total disconnect.  There is always hope that tomorrow will be filled with inspiration…

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Happy Anniversary … To Me!

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You registered on WordPress.com 3 years ago! Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

It’s always nice to open up your snail mailbox and find a card or letter instead of the barge of bills or junk mail.  It’s also nice to open up your inbox and find an email from a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.  As nice as these little surprises are, they do not compare to opening up your blog and discovering that someone has remembered it is your blogging anniversary…Thank you WordPress for  all you do for the blogging community…Thank you for your tireless efforts to keep things fresh and exciting!  Thank you for creating exciting challenges and great looking blog templates.  And, thank you for remembering today is my 3 year blogging anniversary.

Let’s do this for another 3 years….just write!

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nolagirlatheart:

Facebook is for keeping up with your friends and family, Twitter is for interacting with strangers, Linkedin is for professional networking…All I ever wanted to know about social media in one place. Great Post!

 

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

Image courtesy of Flickr user dewmuffins

Image courtesy of Flickr user dewmuffins

All of your friends subscribe to your blog, right? What about your coworkers? Your family members? Your classmates or former classmates? People who don’t necessarily know you, but work in your field? People who don’t know you at all, but like to mock the same celebrities you do?

Chances are, your social network is larger than you think it is. Luckily, these days, there are more ways than ever to reach people who share your interests, your pet peeves, and your sense of humor. Done well, social networking is the single best way to make friends and influence people on the web.

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Too Many Tags…

tags

Well, it’s that time of year when we all take time to reflect on the past year.  We look at our achievements and short comings. We assess our 401K’s and stock portfolios or at least whats left of them.  Some of us look at the goals we set at the beginning of the year and make new goals for the coming year.  And then some of us try to tweak our blog layouts while thinking about what the new blogging year might hold.

The one area I would like to get a better grip on is the tags I use on my blog posts.  I have been blogging for almost three years…and I have used over 1200 tags.

I think this must be way too many…I am wondering;

  • What is the best way to tag posts?
  • Have you written a post on tagging?
  • How many tags have you used on your blog?

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An Unexpected Gift…an Award if you will…

Gift
In this world of a gift for a gift gift…A gift is truly a gift
 only when you receive it for no particular reason and when you least expect it. When you have no real way to give a gift in return except to say thank you and mean it.  That is exactly what happened this week.  My blog buddy Emily over at My Pajama Days awarded me the Liebster Award.  Just when I thought I had fallen off the blog radar because I have been so busy this year with my 9-5 and my postings have been inconsistent.  Emily thought enough of me to give me a shout out.

I have to share a little back history on my friend Emily…My Pajama Days was the very first blog I followed when I jumped into the blogosphere 3 years ago.  I felt an immediate connection to the flannel pajama clad writer who has a love of salt and vinegar chips and chocolate.  Emily has bared her soul with the blog world and has touched my heart.  I wish I were as brave as my girl Emily and could lay it all out there but alas I have my own hesitations and reservations.   Although I think I may be closer in age to Emily’s mom, I think if were neighbors we would be great friends.

I don’t know exactly how Emily knew I needed a little blog hug, but I believe that God knew and he whispered my name and Emily heard it and acted on it.

As a Liebster award receiver, I must do the following:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated/awarded me.
  • Answer 11 questions asked by the person who awarded me.
  • Nominate/award 11 other blogs with links.
  • Pose 11 of my own questions to my nominees.
  • Put the Liebster Award logo on my blog.

Here are the questions that Emily posed to the bloggers she awarded the Liebster Award…

  1. How do you balance your creativity with your life?  My 9-5 allows me the ability to be incredibly creative but somehow it doesn’t translate over to my blog…So lately my blog has suffered while I have been pouring all I have into the store and my volunteers…it is painfully obvious that I am not living a balanced life. 
  2. Why did you start blogging?  I started blogging for several reasons; the first is because a friend suggested that I write a book…I thought before I could ever write a book I had better write something.  The second reason is because I was “down” in the back…really down for almost two weeks of sitting in the recliner, drifting in and out from the pain meds and watching old movies. At some point I decided all of that was for the birds and began to research this new phenom of blogging. And finally, I decided to really go for it when we sold our home of 12 years and decided to move to the country.  It was a very emotional time for me, I needed to get my feelings out of my head.
  3. Do you own more books in print or electronically?  I am book buyer for a small bookstore, I love real books!
  4. What kind of music do you listen to when you write?  It has never occurred to me to listen to music when I write…maybe I will give this a try in 2013. 
  5. Which of your 5 senses would be the most devastating to lose?  I think losing my eyesight would be most devastating.  I would miss seeing my family, their beautiful smiles and silly expressions. I would miss my ability to come and go as I please. I would miss being creative; writing, decorating my house, junk shopping and looking into the eyes of my husband and knowing I am loved unconditionally. 
  6. What is the worst advice you have ever received?  My Mom’s girlfriend told my 15yr old self to marry for money not love…I still wonder which side of the coin she was speaking from…
  7. What is the best advice you have ever received?  Put others before yourself and you will end up being the one who is blessed…this has turned out to be true time and time again.  
  8. What food comes to mind when you think of “comfort food”?  I love pasta…so I would have to say that my go to comfort food is mac and cheese.  Even though I haven’t had this in forever…velveeta shells and cheese!  And now there is a gourmet mac and cheese restaurant in Houston…yes gourmet mac and cheese.  It is on my foodie bucket list!
  9. Do you crave salt or sweet?  YES!
  10. What one thing are you most proud of from this past year?  The hubs and I made a decision to change our eating habits…I lost 20#! 
  11. What one thing to you most hope to achieve in the next year? I hope 2013 will be my year of living a well-balanced life.

Drum Roll Please…..And the Liebster Award goes to….

Humbled Pie…a little southern living and traveling for your viewing enjoyment.  This blog takes me home…

Jason M Brooks…writes with purpose

Mike Patz…Apprentice of Jesus. Son of God. Husband of one. Father of at least seven.

The Hip Hostess…Menus, tips and ideas for hosting with style!

Blogging for a Good Book…A suggestion a day from the Williamsburg Regional Library

The Faux Martha…Mel makes me want to eat my computer when I am reading her blog.

Just a Smidgen…One of the most beautiful blogs I have seen…A Canadian with a verve for life!

Channeling Contessa…and she does it so well!

Emjayandthem’s Blog…One woman’s observations on her way through life.

JannaTWrites...A very creative writer who will one day have a book on the New York Times best seller list!

Piglet in Portugal…Piglet makes me want to visit Portugal with her humorous tales of everyday life in Portugal.

Should you choose to accept this award here are your Questions…

1. What happened today that made you smile?

2. What is your favorite all time movie?

3. Do you have a favorite dessert?

4.  If you could retire anywhere in the world where would it be?

5.  Are you a winter or summer person?

6.  What’s the last book you read?

7.  What’s your favorite book?

8.  Do you say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

9.  What’s the longest vacation you have ever taken and where?

10.  Are you still friends with any of your childhood friends?

11.  What’s the weather like where you live today?

liebster-award-2

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I’m Sorry…

I’m sorry I haven’t stopped by or dropped a line lately…I recently changed my email notification setting to limit the amount of emails dropping in my inbox…about the same time something went awry with my my ability to see your posts under Reader “blogs I follow”…I have missed you!  I have changed my email setting so that I get a notification when you post…see you on your next post!

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Blogging Hiatus…

Maybe you have noticed and then again, maybe you haven’t.  I have been on a blogging hiatus.    This hiatus was an unscheduled break and an interruption in my efforts as a blogger and a writer. 

My first experience with this sort of hiatus dropped in on me last year after I had completed the 30 day April A-Z Challenge.  Again this year after posting everyday of the month for theApril challenge my creative ideas were depleted.  I even found my brain couldn’t focus on the simplest Wordless Wednesday post.  I think I owe Frizztext a couple of posts for the A-Z Archive Photo Challenge.   

 Then there was the added busyness of my 9-5 job during the month of May; Mother’s Day celebration, Baby Dedication weekend, Outdoor Church Wide Baptisms, Graduation Recognition and Corporate Communion for 3000 people.  Whew…

Everything that was on my plate overwhelmed me and I just had to say NO to something. 

“Sometimes we have to say No to good things so that we can say YES to even better things.”

My blogging hiatus has given me the opportunity to spend time with friends and family.  There have been graduation parties at the park and birthday celebrations on the river.   There was a fishing tournament that benefits returning wounded veterans and new car shopping. 

I have missed the camaraderie of my like-minded blogging friends…I have missed reading about your comings and goings…your real and imagined stories…your delcious recipes…and your junkin’ excursions…and your wonderful photos that usually take my breath away and leave me wishing I was there and thankful that you have shared your view of the world with me. 

I think June will see my back banging away on the computer.  In the meantime…

Unscheduled blogging hiatus’ can be one of those even better things…see you in June!

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You Inspired Me…to change

You inspired me to change…my blog layout.

I think it is great that WordPress gives bloggers the opportunity to choose from so many great free layouts.  This past year my blog layout included the option of  a custom header.  I chose to highlight my beautiful companions, Ripley and Chloe.  I loved the pretty pink background that framed my rants and raves.  Viewing my blog was like going to my happy place.

I have heard it said by someone I respect…if we are not changing and growing we are dying.  So in order to prolong the life of this blog I began to think about shaking things up.  I thought a new blog look for 2012 would be a good place to start.

I wanted my blog to have a fresh clean uncluttered feel.  I knew choosing a new layout would take time and energy.  Hours of searching and test runs.  I thought it would be a long process.   Then inspiration struck like lightning!

This week I linked a related article suggested by WordPress to my Suncreek Garden Chronicles post. When I clicked over to make sure the suggested post was indeed a relatable article I was smitten.  When is the last time you were smitten, or have you ever been smitten.  Anyhoo…. I immediately thought how much I liked the look of the  layout.  Then I spent a little time absorbing the feel of the blog.

The blog I visited is hosted by Bridget @  arignagardener.  I liked that I could see her 3 most recent posts at a glance.  The layout had a clean contemporary feel.   My immediate attraction to her blog page could also have had something to do with her recent posts.  They were very similar to my own.  There was this one on her garden.  Then there was this one on Welly Boots.  And then there was this one on Seasonal Recipes.

So here’s to Bridget and her awesome blog postings and layout…Arignagardener for inspiring me…to change!

Have you changed your blog layout for the new year?  I would like to hear what inspired you to make the change.

The layout is called DePo Masthead by Automatic and it’s FREE!

Related articles

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Hopes and Wishes for 2012

My Hopes and Wishes for 2012 are simple.  To live the life that God has planned for me…a life filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness,  and Self Control.  Galatians 5:22-23 

I hope to love without fear of heartache.

I wish to laugh until it hurts.

I hope I will never stop trusting that I am on the path that will lead me to a life everlasting.

I hope to offer up grace and mercy to those who cross my path.

I wish for everyday of the new year to include random acts of kindness, so much so that they become a part of who I am and not something I do.

I hope to live my life above reproach so that my actions do not cause others to stumble.

I hope to have the faith of a child..to believe in the wonders of the world without question to why or how.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

I hope to continue to grow a spirit of gentleness that has only come to me through stopping to consider the other persons situation before reacting.

And lastly but certainly not least of all…I hope to continue to grow in my understanding that self-control does not come from my self-centered mind-set but a mind centered on the Spirit that dwells within me and the small quiet voice leading me, guiding me through all that is my life.

I hope to continue to live a life filled to overflowing.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

This past year has been filled with many blessings. My husband blessed me with his unconditional love and support without fail or hesitation, he is my biggest fan.  I have watched my son treat his girlfriend with love and respect that can only come from the example set by the way his Dad treats his Mom.  Although a few friends have passed away from this life my life is richer for having known them and called them friend.  I have enjoyed a renewed love and passion for writing.  I have realized a long time desire to have a little junk resale business of my very own.  I have entertained my friends and family in my home.  I have seen my prayers answered when the Doctor finally found  a treatment for my Dads Parkinson’s that has given him back his quality of life.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” unknown

This past year has been filled with many new friendships.  I have met their families; rejoiced at the arrival of precious little ones and experienced heartache over their losses.  I have enjoyed a cup of tea as well as delicious desserts at their kitchen table.  I have watched the sun rise and set from their decks and patios.  I have heard them sing in church and I have celebrated their anniversaries and birthdays.  I have even traveled with a few of them on their wonderous and amazing vacations. I have come to appreciate the differences that make each of us unique.  But it is our uniqueness that draws us together and links us together.  Our camaraderie comes from our willingness to “just write”.    My friends have shared their lives with me yet we have never met in person.

Here are some their reflections of the past year as well as some of their hopes and wishes for 2012.

Making Room (emjayandthem’s blog)

“Your closet should contain 3 categories of clothing: clothes you love, clothes that fit you now, and clothes that garner you compliments whenever you wear them.” Peter Walsh, organizational expert.

View Outside My Window for 2012 (This Man’s Journey)

“I wish for 2012, more love, inner peace, loads of smile and laughter, of happiness that comes from a contented heart for me, for my family, for my friends but more importantly for those whose 2011 had been covered with anguish and struggles.”

Zen Living for Idiots (Spirit Lights the Way)

“As we cultivate mindful awareness, we begin to view the world with alert curiosity, rather than through the distorted lens of stale judgments, attitudes, and opinions.  We start to see things as THEY are rather than as WE are.”

Failure Succeeding In the Opposite Direction (Janna T Write’s Blog)

“My relationship with God is the glue that bonds me as a wife, mother, friend, writer, employee, leader, and compassionate human being. Sometimes I feel like parts of me threaten to peel away, but I want my life to be held tighter than crazy glue between fingertips.”

Reflecting on… this past year, today and the coming year (Pocket Perspectives)

May those of us who might be reflecting during the next few days…

review with clarity
ponder with insight
consider with love,
gentleness and forgiveness

appreciate with heartfulness

prioritize with wisdom
wonder with depth and imagination

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Looking Back at Post a Day Challenge 2011 meme…

I am looking back at Post a Day Challenge 2011 as the end of 2011 is fast approaching.  Many of us are taking stock of the past years accomplishments and challenges.  I have been thinking about my January 2011 commitment to the post a week challenge.  Then the good folks over at The Daily Post offered up a post to help evaluate 2011 blogging and 2012 goals.

Here are the 11 Questions from the Daily Post to help break things down to bite size pieces.  I turned it into my first meme.  It took me all year to figure that one out.  Oh well, better late than not at all…Right? Right!

  • Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge?

I began the Post a Week Challenge strictly as a way to stay focused on blogging.  I had been blogging for just less than a year and I wasn’t very consistent. 

  • Describe the state of your blog at the time you started the challenge.

In December of 2010 I was averaging 3 posts per week, 21 daily views, 9 total comments for the entire month, half of which were from my family. 

  • How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge?

I can honestly say that my blog blossomed through the Post a Week Challenge.  I quickly met other bloggers who were committed to supporting bloggers involved in the challenge.  Their comments were supportive and encouraging!  My blog has quadrupled in followers and views.

  • Did you post as often as you had hoped? Why or why not?

I signed up for the Post a Week Challenge but found myself posting on an average of 5 days per week.  There was an incredible amount of encouraging and creative ideas being shared by bloggers that helped to keep the creativity flowing.

  • What type of blogging strategy works best for you?

I found that mixing up the type of posts helped to keep things fresh and interesting.  I participated in the Weekly Photo Challenge, the 30 day A-Z Challenge and Wordless Wednesday in addition to my general blogging topics.

  • If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?

I definitely would have given more thought to the name of my blog.  Originally it was just “Jeanne’s Blog”.  I added nolagirlatheart later on and it really has become my blog name. 

  • What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?

The WordPress Challenge helped me find my voice and rekindle a passion that was smoldering under the surface.  I am a writer!  Even if it is only in my own mind.

  • Name 3 great blogs you discovered through the challenge.

NOLA Details  Carla takes me on a tour of New Orleans neighborhoods through her snapshots.  She loves New Orleans as much as I do.  This blog is always colorful and fun just like my beloved NOLA!

Incredible Lightness of Seeing Teresita hosts an incredibly beautiful photoblog.  Her posts are always beautiful with a dose of inspiration and a sprinkling of daily gratitude.  This blog is a quiet peaceful place in a world of noise and confusion.

This Man’s Journey This blog is the path of a man whose past has carried him to his present on the way to his future.  He loves his family and he has a unique way of sharing the depth of love in his heart while respecting the privacy of his sweet family.  I am always amazed at the thoughtfulness of his posts as well as the way he uses his photos to give us a glimpse of all that is his life.   

  • What surprised you about the challenge?

It was much easier to “just write” than I thought it was going to be.  When my creativity waned I found inspiration in the simple everyday experiences.  Especially the weekly photo challenge.  It became a game for me to find ways to think outside of the box when interpreting the weekly topic. 

  • What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly?

Make a commitment!  Be consistent!  Just write!

  • What are your blogging goals for 2012?

I am hoping to figure that one out very soon.  I am considering committing to 3 or 4 focused weekly segments.  One being a photo from the same place, day and time of the week for 52 weeks.  I am also considering a weekly post highlighting a vintage find from my junking adventures.  I haven’t figured the rest of it out just yet.  I am hoping to find inspiration from the same place I have found it this past year…from my blogging buddies!

That’s my look back at the Post a Day Challenge 2011…How did you do?

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