Tag Archives: blog

2014 52 Week Photo Challenge…1/52: Goodbye

As we look forward to the new year and all of its possibilities we must pause for a moment and think on all that the past year was and wasn’t…Then it is time to say Goodbye!  Although 2013 wasn’t the blogging year I had hoped for it was a great year overall.

So to kick off the year with a blogging bang I have decided to host my first blogging challenge.  The 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge begins today with saying Goodbye to 2013.  I am looking forward to getting to know you and your part of the world through your interpretation of the challenge prompts.

A sunset is the only goodbye I look forward to…each one is beautiful in its own way and entirely unique.


Saying goodbye to 2013…

Also be sure to use the #NolaGirl52weekchallenge so everyone who is playing along can follow you and see your photos.

Follow nolagirlatheart here:


Related Posts:

Git’er Done! @ aroundustyroads
Last 2013 Post @ neihtn
It’s a Wrap @ AngelineM’s Blog 



Filed under Blogging Challenges, Weekly Photo Challenge

2014 52 Week Photo Challenge…


Welcome to my first attempt at hosting a weekly photo challenge...

Over the years I have participated in a number of annual blogging challenges. However, this will be my first attempt at hosting a blogging challenge.  Because I am busy as are most bloggers…I have decided that a weekly photo challenge is all I have time to commit to for this year.

I plan to keep this simple…The weekly photo prompt will be posted each Sunday, except for this week we will begin on Wednesday January 1st. Throughout the week I will re-post and share any pictures that link up to my social media sites.

To play along you will want to share your interpretation of the photo prompt on any of the following social media formats;  your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  You can tag me @nolagirlatheart on your social media site so I can see your interpretation of the weekly prompt.

Also be sure to use the #NolaGirl52weekchallenge so everyone who is playing along can follow you and see your photos.

Let’s keep this fun and friendly…I am also challenging myself to leave more comments this year…this past year I “liked” lots of blog posts but I didn’t take the time to write a meaningful comment. I felt more like a creeper than an active member of this community.  This year will be different!

I am looking forward to seeing your interpretation of the weekly prompts...Let’s have some fun and support one another in what I expect is all of our favorite past times…blogging

Follow nolagirlatheart here:



Filed under Blogging Challenges

Happy Anniversary … To Me!


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!


Filed under Thoughts on Blogging, You Inspired Me

Embracing Change…and a new blog layout!

Here in Southeast Texas Spring is in the air …some would call it early spring or false spring…none the less, it feels like spring.  The Low temperatures are in the mid 50’s and the High temps are in the 70’s.  The birds are flocking in from wintering in Mexico.  The wild dandelions, clover, azalea, thyme, parsley and mint are the first to arrive in the flowerbeds.  The vegetable garden has been tilled and made ready for the first planting of the year.  All of the brightly colored Christmas decorations have been replaced by a softer palette of pinks and greens…Even the air has changed, its smells fresh and clean!  Change is inevitable…


Some people I know have a hard time with change.  They are more comfortable with the status quo…I am cut from a different cloth.  I embrace change.  I look forward to the changing seasons and discovering new things. I like to mix things up from time to time….That is why my blog looks different today.  Change is a good thing…

March marks my 3 year blogging anniversary…I have changed my blog layout each year.  Changing the look of my blog is part of who I am as a blogger.  Change is an essential part of what I do for a living… I am always looking for ways to make changes that keep people engaged.  When things stay the same for too long they become comfortable and things seem to fade into the background.  Change is gonna come…


For instance, while visiting my parents, my sister and I, rearranged their living room.  We moved the furniture, changed  out the accent pillows and the wall hangings.  The room took on a much warmer and inviting feel…After the re-do…My parents had my Aunt and Uncle over for dinner and they commented on the “new” display cabinet…It had been in that room for 5 years…Change can improve your outlook…

I have been searching for my new blog layout…I love the look of  le zoe musings, Channeling Contessa,  and Just a Smidgen’s blogs…charming, comfortable, inviting…All the things that people say about my home when they visit…so why not incorporate that into my blog..A blog is a reflection of who we are or who we aspire to be…The blogs I mentioned all have custom designed layouts, at least from what I can tell.  However, because I like change and more than likely this won’t be the last time I change my layout I would rather use a free one from WordPress.  Embrace Change…


I have chosen the free WordPress layout “Pilcrow”.  The layout is similar to the ones I mentioned and that I find most inviting…and it looks really good over at Meg Writes.


Filed under Random Thoughts

One Beautiful Blog…

There are so many talented individuals sharing their passion for life through photography and writing.  My interests are varied therefore I am all over the place on the blogs I follow;  photography, travel, books, humor, diy, culture and food.  I have been inspired and encouraged by many in the blogging community by simply reading their posts.

There is one blog in particular that gives me a warm cozy feeling every time I visit.  Stopping by JustaSmidgen is like walking into my favorite cafe.  I can smell the coffee brewing and the bread baking.  There is the smell of fresh cake in the air.  I sink into the overstuffed chair at the corner table and all is well with the world.

The visual layout is inviting.  The writing is comfortable.  The photographs are warm. The recipes leave my mouth-watering.  This is one beautiful blog…I would love to curl up at the kitchen counter and watch this blogger in action.  But, calling Barbara a blogger doesn’t quite do her efforts justice…she really is an artist!

Here is a chance for you to experience this beautiful blog.  Barbara has compiled her top 10 recipes of 2012 in one post.  I hope you enjoy the beauty and creativity of Barbara at justasmidgen as much as I do.  Here is a photo from one of the featured recipes…just a sample to whet your appetite.  Enjoy!

man cake just a smidge blog

1 Comment

Filed under All Things Foodie, Blog Re-Posts

An Unexpected Gift…an Award if you will…

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?



Filed under Blogging Challenges, Thoughts on Blogging

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!


Filed under A-Z Archive Challenge, Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, Thoughts on Blogging, Weekly Photo Challenge

uniquely the same…amazingly different

Macaroons and macarons…are very often lumped into the same category.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  A Macaroon is an American cookie made with a flowerless egg white base.  Most often made with coconut.  Macarons are french cookies made with crushed almonds and egg whites that are sandwiched around a cream based filling.  They come in a rainbow of colors and flavors.   The french macarons are all made using the same recipe, making them all macarons…but the color and filling is what makes them special…it’s what makes them enjoyable.

A blogger is someone who keeps and updates a blog. We are often lumped together in one general category by people who don’t quite get what we do or even why we do it.

I think Bloggers are like macarons…the french version…somehow uniquely the same and amazingly different all at the same time. We are colorful and full of flavors, flavors that come from uniquely different life experiences.

 Behind every blog there is an incredibly unique and special human being. 

 We are Men and Women, Husbands and Wives, Moms and Dads, Brothers and Sisters.  We are Designers, Painters, Photographers, Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, Gamers, Techies, Gardner’s, Small Business Owners and CEO’s.  We are Athletes, Dancers, Musicians, Chefs, Students, Pastors, Teachers, Writers, Active duty Service Men and Women and we are Retired.  We are like-minded individuals and strangers.   We are from every continent, represent every race and practice every religion. 

We are uniquely the same and amazingly different!

Every post is the reflection of a unique life.

We have the desire to share our life with the world.  We lay our heart and soul out for people to embrace or trample on.  We hope that our words will inspire and encourage.  We are driven to write about everything and nothing. We focus on a specific category or post random thoughts. We have the ability to say something wonderful by sharing a single photograph. We can open someones eyes to a new point of view by sharing our own. We can make people laugh or cry, dance or sing by sharing who we are with those willing to spend a moment getting to know us through our shared writings.

 What drives us to share the stories of our lives?  Is our blog a true reflection of who we are or is it who we want to be? 

Who am I?  I am a child of God, a Christ-follower, a wife and a mother.  I am a daughter, a sister and a friend.  I have a heart for helping people find the one thing in life that will give them their greatest joy.   I love to travel but I love coming home more.  I am a city girl who lives in the country.  I love the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach but I prefer a snow skiing vacation.  My taste is eclectic.  I am a collector of other people’s discarded things.   I have a knack for creating an inviting and welcoming space.    I am a thinker!   I am a dreamer!   

And I Blog! 

 Who are you?  Why do you blog?  Do your friends and family get what you do?  Do they know you blog? 

A special thank you to my sister Heidi for sharing her photos from her recent trip to Paris!  je t’aime petit soeur!

This post was revised from a January 31, 2011 post…uniquely the same



Filed under Life..such as it is

A-Z Archive: C! Challenge

A-Z Archive: C! Challenge                             C R A B S: Louisiana Blue Crabs


Filed under A-Z Archive Challenge, Snapshots of Life, Weekly Photo Challenge

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!

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Filed under Thoughts on Blogging, You Inspired Me