Tag Archives: wordpress

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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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  All of the brightly colored Christmas decorations have been replaced by a softer palette of pinks and greens…Even the air has changed, its smells fresh and clean!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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

“The intellect of the wise is like glass; it admits the light of heaven and reflects it.”  Augustus Hare


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This photo was taken at the Houston Museum of Fine Art with my iphone…It was part of an exhibit by Carlos Cruz-Diez.  Standing in the exhibit was like standing in a rainbow.  It was very illuminating!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Stephen Kelly Creative 

Fabulous 50′s 

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Blogging Challenges, Weekly Photo Challenge

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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Filed under Leadership

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge…Unfocused

Unfocused….Not seeing clearly, or not giving a clear image, faint, invisible, subtle, blurred, faintly, unseen, fuzzy, undetected.  Without a clear purpose, aim, or direction, unstructured, haphazard, chaotic, undisciplined, disorganized, unplanned, hasty.

 

Ecclesiastes 6:9 “Better is the sight of the eyes (the enjoyment of what is available to one) than the cravings of wandering desire.  This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it!

 

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, 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

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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Filed under postaweek2011, Thoughts on Blogging

Weekly Photo Challenge…Opportunity

This weeks WordPress weekly photo challenge is Opportunity.

What is an opportunity?  According to Merriam Webster; An opportunity is a favorable juncture of circumstances.  A pleasing connection at a point in time where a condition or event determines another.

My mind immediately focused on the many opportunities that present themselves each and everyday… more precisely missed opportunities.

How many opportunities have I missed?  I hope not too many.  I do try to think of others needs before my own.  I am not claiming to be a Saint but I do try to live my life with JOY!   Remembering to follow Jesus first and put others before myself.  A life filled with JOY doesn’t have too many missed opportunities.

I believe that I have daily opportunities to reach my hand across the chasm of the unfamiliar and make a difference in one persons life.  A genuine smile, a warm handshake, an available shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, a hand to hold and a genuine heartfelt conversation.

How many times a day do I pass by someone who for the smallest random act of kindness would change their day, their week, their life?

I do not think that I can interact with every person who crosses my path in a day but I can take the time to positively interact with someone.

For this weeks photo challenge I am submitting a music video.

How many missed opportunities are there everyday?  How many times do we unconsciously make a positive impact in someones day just by our random acts of kindness?  I hope the random acts of kindness out weigh the missed opportunities in all of our lives.

Slow down…take your time…look for…the next opportunity…to make a difference…in someones day!

Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity.  ~Marie von
Ebner-Eschenbach

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Filed under encouragment, postaweek2011, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is Faces

These are the sad faces of two stinky little dogs.  They were less than enthusiastic about having their picture taken.  But a picture is worth a thousand words…well at least a few captions to help express the attitude I was getting.   Dogs are very instinctive and I think they knew their face was going to end up on my blog! 

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Other Faces:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces (aartigarde.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces (Fresh Faces 27 People in Hats)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces (Life’s Little Slices)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces (This Man’s Journey)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces (Spirit Lights the Way)

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, Man's Best Friend, postaweek2011, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

Salty Pretzel Rods
Melted White Chocolate
Crushed Peppermint Candies
Melt, Dip, Sprinkle,
Leave to dry on waxed paper
Store in an airtight container

Add some Texture to your Life:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (FlickrComments.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (petalpusher.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured (island traveler)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (staceyarcher.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (nrhatch.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (huffygirl.wordpress.com)

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges, Weekly Photo Challenge