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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.

sunset

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:

nolagirlatheart.wordpress
facebook.com/NolaGirlatHeart
twitter.com/nolagirl4real
instagram.com/nolagirl61

Related Posts:

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

 

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, Weekly Photo Challenge

2014 52 Week Photo Challenge…

Welcome

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:

nolagirlatheart.wordpress
facebook.com/NolaGirlatHeart
twitter.com/nolagirl4real
instagram.com/nolagirl61

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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!

 

The Daily Post

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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Photo a Day Challenge January


Heads up!  Chantelle over at FatMumSlim has done it again…she has put together a great list of photo prompts for the month of January! Check out her blog for the details on when and where to link your pics…Also, leave your link in the comment section here and I will share it as well.

I would love to see where you call home on this big blue spinning ball and how you interpret the daily photo prompts… Let’s have some fun and kick off 2013 with a some creative photo posts…Are you in?

Jan 2013 Photo Prompts

Hello! (from Chantelle @ FatMumSlim)

Would you like to inject a little fun into your life? Would you like to stop each day and appreciate a little beautiful along the way? Put the photo a day challenge on your resolutions list! Whether you jump on in for the month of January or even the whole year… it is a really great way to tap into your creative side and enjoy each day a little more.

Above is the new list for January 2013 and below are all the details on how to play. Do join us!

How to play!

Where to play?

How do I remember the prompts?

What’s the fab four?

What do the prompts mean?

There are no rules when playing along with photo a day, you can be creative as you like! Interpret the prompt as you please. For those that need a little help, some more suggested details about each prompt are below:

1. Today: It’s the first day of the new year, so take a photo of how you spent the day.
2. Something new: Take a photo of something new. Something physical, the sunrise, a new attitude. Be creative!
3. Heart: Take a photo of a heart, or a heart shape.
4. The view from here: With many people around the world on holidays, it’s a great way to see where people are. Take a picture of your view from where ever you are.
5. Movement: Get moving and take a photo. You could take a photo of cars whizzing by, somebody jumping or you could even take a run and take photos as you’re jogging along.
6. Mine: Take a photo of something that’s yours. Perhaps it’s a thing, something you’re proud of or a person you call ‘yours’.
7. Street: Take a photo of a streetscape.
8. Something beginning with ‘T’: Take a photo of something today starting with the letter ‘T’.
9. Paper: Take a photo of something made from paper. Perhaps it’s someone reading the newspaper, or it could be wrapping paper. Think outside the square.
10. One o’clock: Take a photo of whatever you’re doing in the hour between one and two. It could be in the middle of the night {you party animal, you!} or during the day.
11. Water: Perhaps it’s the beach, a river, water in a glass, the bath {keep it PG!} or even the rain.
12. Surprise: I love when I stumble across coins when I’m walking. It’s a lovely surprise. That would be a lucky photo for me. Can you think of a way to capture surprise?
13. Circle: Look as you go about today for things shaped in circles. Is it the tyres on a bus? A big sign? Or something else?
14. Something yellow: Find something yellow in your travels today and take a photo.
15. An ordinary moment: Choose an ordinary moment and capture it. Is it you grabbing your daily coffee? Or playing with the kids? Or something that you do often and consider it as kinda ordinary?
16. Two things: Look for things in pairs today. Is it a lovely old couple that you see from behind? Or the salt and pepper shakers sitting on the bench? Find two things and take a photo.
17. Ready: Is it a photo of your dinner being ready? Or you ready to catch the bus? Or something else. It’s a toughy – but it will get your mind thinking!
18. Shadow: Find a shadow and shoot it. It could be your own, or a shadow of something else. Shadows look great with a black and white filter over the top {just sayin!}.
19. Delicious: What’s delicious to you? Is it the chubby cheeks of your toddler, the hunk at the gym or a cake you plan on eating for afternoon tea?
20. Something you saw: Go about your day with eyes wide open and take a photo of something you saw.
21. What you do: Do you go to school? Train elephants at the circus? Write at home? Play mum to your kids? Act as CEO to a big business? Paint in your spare time? Dance when no one is looking? Take a photo of what you do {something that makes you ‘you’} and share it.
22. Corner: It could be a sharp corner of a building, a corner of an artwork, a corner of your home or something else. Corners are everywhere. Shoot one.
23. Electric: This could be a simple photo of your toaster {but get creative} or something else electric.
24. Stripes: Look for stripes in your everyday. They could be in the zebra crossing on the road, or in your outfit or somewhere else.
25. Landscape: Step back and take a photo of a landscape near you. Or even take a little trip just for the photo. Would be nice to explore your town for a beautiful photo.
26. Together: There are many definitions for together. One is: In or into a single group, mass, or place. Take a photo of together, whichever definition you’d like to use.
27. Sun: Whether the sun is out in full force, or hiding behind the clouds today – take a photo of it. Or you could get creative and take a photo of sunlight or some other interpretation.
28. Through: Take a photo of looking through something – through the window, through the gate, through the trees… whatever you please.
29. Grow: People do it, plants do it too… get creative and take a photo of something that grows.
30. Down: Is it looking down or something that makes you feel down? Interpret it however you like.
31. Yourself: Take a photo of yourself. Or something that represents you.

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Social Media…Friend or Foe?

Social Media…it all started off friendly enough.  A few years back I heard about Facebook and I hesitantly but excitedly stuck my foot into the waters of social media.  It wasn’t long before I was sending out friend requests and playing some of the games.  Then I noticed that all I talked about was Facebook this and Facebook that.  Then the May to December affair began to fade and the indifference set in.  Even though I tried to breakup with Facebook my friends would have none of it.  The next thing I knew I was signing up for a WordPress blog.  I was posting, commenting on others blogs and checking my stats like a person with a compulsive disorder.  This naturally progressed to tweeting and then pinning came along and now there is LinkedIn and google+ and the list is every growing and changing. 

My life is truly consumed with social media…from almost the first thing in the morning to almost the last thing at night.  I am checking emails, making status updates, tweeting, pinning, commenting and retweeting.   This is not a complaint, it’s a statement.  The more I try to keep up with the trends the more I discover how fast things change.  Staying relevant is hard work and time-consuming.

I have learned if someone is going to use social media to develop a personal brand or a business brand they must stay focused and committed to keeping their sites current and interesting.  Having a social media site that is neglected is more detrimental than not having one at all. If I visit a blog or a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in more than a month I assume the page/person isn’t relevant to what I am searching for at that moment.  I am on to the next page with a click of my mouse and not a second thought is given to the previous site. 

Through trial and error I have learned that there should be continuity from one social media site to the next…that is if you are looking to develop an online presence.   I am not sure when or why all of this social media branding will come into play in my life’s journey but I am doing what I can to keep my online presence focused, current and interesting. 

I do know that human resource departments of large and small companies alike are very interested in your online social presence.  They want to get a closer look at who you are when you let your hair down.  This is where your social media presence can turn into a foe.  If you are wild and carefree with your postings and leave your privacy settings wide open you are opening yourself up to being examined under a microscope.  A good rule of thumb to follow…If you wouldn’t want your mother or grandmother to see your post then don’t post it.  Unless of course your mother is Sharon Osborne then you would probably want to choose a different gauge for your postings. 

My WordPress blog, Nolagirlatheart is a personal blog it gives people who read it a glimpse into my hobbies, interests, views and lifestyle.  My Facebook page  is focused more on my friends, acquaintances and business associates with a sprinkling of my personal comings and goings.  I also manage two Facebook pages; Nola Girl at Heart and New Hope Church Bookstore .  I also enjoy the very popular site Pinterest for keeping up with the trends in fashion, home decorating and cooking.  I know this site has a place in the social media spectrum but for know I will keep it for my personal use and not for building my online identity, but that will probably change very soon or maybe it already has.   Then there is my Twitter page nolagirl4real which is a combination of all of the aforementioned social media accounts wrapped up into one place. If I follow your blog or like your Facebook page or am interested in what you do I will follow you on Twitter.  What’s next?  Well I am continually asked to join Linkedin…the professional networking social media site.  So far I have declined all invitations to join…I recently looked into Google+ but I decided not to jump in. 

What will all this matter a year from now?…Who knows… maybe I will get a call from out of the blue offering me a once in a lifetime opportunity that no girl in her right mind would turn down. You know the one that pays you obscene amounts of money to work from home Blogging about your favorite recipes and chalk painted furniture you found on Pinterest while updating your Facebook page with the photos of your attempts at cooking and painting and then crafting 140 character tweets to entice your followers to click on your link.  Ahhhhh….I think I am qualified for that job!

Social media…friend or foe it’s your choice…choose wisely.

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Expect Excellence!

Do it with Excellence!

If you are going to do something you should do it with excellence or you shouldn’t do it all!

What is excellence? 

  • Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or very good.  
  • The quality of excelling; possessing good qualities in high degree.
  • Excellence is the state or quality of excelling. Particularly in the field of business and organizations, excellence is considered to be an important value, and a goal to be pursued.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

  • Performing at a level of excellence means to exceed the expectations of the intended recipient. 
  •  To perform at a level of excellence is to meet someones unspoken need or desire. 
  •  To go above and beyond what is expected. 
  • To anticipate the need and then at just the right moment to meet the need. 

No matter what I choose to do, I choose to give it my very best.  I remember exactly when I realized that working with excellence mattered to the person on the receiving end.   It is very rewarding to be a part of someones unexpected experience with excellence. 

I have the natural ability to observe a situation, access it from a distance, determine an unpoken yet expected need and react to it.  I have been told that I have my finger on the pulse of my surroundings. I thought I was just being helpful. 

We should always expect excellence.  Expecting less will get you less. 

Excellence begins with a genuine attitude of caring for the needs of others. Excellence requires that you take responsibility for meeting those needs of. Once you commit to a level of excellence you must see it through to the end. 

Once you have experienced a level of excellence from an individual, a brand or company it is what you should always expect.  To expect less or even to accept less will only encourage a lifetime of accepting mediocrity.   

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.
W. Somerset Maugham

If you say you are going to do something, then do it.  Better to not make a promise you do not intend to keep.  Thus the problem with automatically generated social media support centers. 

I have come to expect a certain level of excellence from my social media providers.  Just because social media sites are offered free to the end-user doesn’t mean that we the user should accept less than excellent service. 

I understand that Facebook, Twitter and WordPress are continually updating their sites and services.  Which can and will cause somewhat isolated and temporary problems for some users. 

I will not belabor the ongoing issues I am having with my WordPress blog.  I will just say that if you as a provider of a service or a product are aware that consumers are experiencing less than excellent service, Communicate!  Do not leave them in the dark. 

Communication will show you genuinely care about the situation.  Communication will show that you are taking responsibility for the situation.  Communication will show that you are going to see the situation through to an acceptable resolution.

I do realize that we are privileged to have free access to such a great resource.  But in all things…if you are going to do something whether for a fee or for free you should strive for excellence.

Booker T. Washington
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.

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my first year blogging…

It all started with a conversation between friends about blogs they were following.  My interest was piqued.  Then the buzz word was BLOG!  Everyone was either blogging or talking about someone who was blogging.  

After sustaining a back injury, picking up a towel off of the floor to put into the washer, that would have me off from work for almost 3 weeks.  And having more than enough free time to consider, read, follow and even try my hand at blogging it began. 

I decided that I would blog my way through the selling of our home of many years as well as building our new home in the country.  Little did I know how much I would come to enjoy blogging.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into and I made a few big blunders right out of the box.  It wasn’t like I  borrowed someone elses post and presented it as my own.  I just didn’t think through my blog name and now I am sort of stuck with this one.  C’est la vie!

My blog has given me an outlet for the emotional roller coaster that came with selling our homemoving into a 26′ travel trailer…leaving everything familiar behind and embarking on a whole new chapter in what is the story of my life. 

Blogging has allowed me to fill a space in my life that I didn’t know needed filling.  I have re-discovered a love of writing and expressing my thoughts and sharing them with others. 

My blog is … the rest of the story

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does facebook have an expiration date?…

I really enjoy the social aspect of Facebook, feeling connected with my friends even though I don’t see them very often.  It has also been a great tool to reconnect with my family and friends that are scattered across the United States.

 When I discovered Facebook a couple of years ago, I jumped in with both feet.  I set up my account, started collecting friends and farming.  Yes I know, farming, but it was all very social.  I would meet up with my friends on the farm and we would plant and harvest and chat. And I do mean chat like we were sitting in the same room with one another or talking on the phone. 

Then the farming became more of a chore than a social event and my Facebook friends moved on to other games and I didn’t.

In the beginning it seemed as though everyone was online, posting their every move, commenting on everyone else’s posts and playing games and sending game gifts.  Then ever so slowly the newness began to wear off and the majority of my status updates were tied to the games.  So I began hiding the games and now when I log on to my FB page I will have 300+ updates,but it actually ends up only being about 10 or 12 posts and the rest are the hidden games.

Now a days it seems the FB craze is to get people to re-post this or that post, which I refuse to do.  I also don’t “like” random organizations.  So I asked my self…What am I doing here on Facebook? 

So the other day…I logged onto my FB page and my friends weren’t on-line and there had only been a couple of updates and I felt like what’s the point.  Then I thought maybe, just maybe Facebook had run its course for me.  Some of my FB friends are feeling the same way but admit to being “addicted” and therefore would not be able to walk away.  And then there are other FB friends who are just getting “hooked” on the FB phenom.  But I am still pondering whether or not…Facebook has reached its expiration date for this girl…

Then I began to think about what it would be like to “log off”  and walk away.  So over the last few days I have really paid attention to the “real” posts.  And what I would have missed out on if I had “logged off”. 

I wouldn’t have known it was Jane’s birthday or that Derek’s son successfully launched his rocket.  I wouldn’t have know that Joshua’s wife makes world-famous Gumbo or that Tammy has a nutritional counseling page.  I would have missed the pictures of Lucia at boot camp and our friends on the cruise.  I would have missed the exasperation my friends were feeling over their favorite football teams.  And I would have missed reading about my cousin moving her family to New Zealand or another cousin who has an appointment with the oncologist.    And of course I wouldn’t have know how the planning is going for my sisters’s big Halloween bash, and another sister is feeling under the weather and baby sister is really enjoying the colder temperatures where she lives. 

So when I look at whether or not FB has reached an expiration date for this girl…I have to say that would be a GREAT BIG NO!!! I am social by nature and I have to admit that FB has been a great resource for me and has really catered to my inherent need to be with people… I love keeping up with everyone and feeling like I am a part of their daily lives even if it is only through my computer screen…

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Filed under Life..such as it is, plain and simple