Nominated by Jackie of Jade & Oak for this itty bitty teeny weeny blog hop. We spent the weekend in the mountains with the family. Grant gave this waffle house an A OK in his sleep.
Why do I write?
I enjoy being teased. This is the ammo.
What am I working on?
How to have twins next.
Another writing passion???? Well, right now I like to write code for this website!
How does your blog differ from others of its genre?
Hmmmm…SASS. The kind you’d find in the “Sassy Sea” (SNL) if ya know what I mean.
How does my writing process work?
It usually starts with an Indian head massage and a glass of scotch. NO.
I sit in my little nursing den/chair, look at what photos I have from the week and then try to squeeze interesting out of them like blood from a stone. If it doesn’t seem weird enough and if I slept more that 6 hours the night before, I massage more weird into it.
Hope you are having a wonderful start to the weekend! We’ve got some family fun and a hospital tour this weekend! It’s Easter!
The top fives for this week…
Here’s a place we like to go for happy hour every once in a while. It’s called Brick and Mortar and it’s in the slightly less touristy part of Santa Monica on Main Street. This particular restaurant is off the main street, kind of hidden.
Yep, parmesan fries and a beet salad plus pizza. An acupuncturist’s dinner. Totally. You’ve GOT to live a little.
The other 4 of the week were the responses to the survey!!
Thank you again for taking the time!
1. Here is how responders rated their post interest from MOST Favorite to Least Interested:
I would love to do more personal/lifestyle posts. These posts are easy and fun. I’m trying to improve my photography and I’m getting more comfortable with being more open. Thanks!
The rest of the category interest levels will help me to look at the percentages of posts I do in those categories.
2. Layout Design:
a. A few people suggested that it would be easier if I did a full post layout on the main page so you don’t have to click on the post of the day to read it. I really like this idea and I’m going to work on it. I do my own programming/layout nowadays so this may take a bit. 🙂
b. Some people find the mobile site difficult to navigate. It is set to be a site where you have to minimize/maximize on a mobile device. You have to do that pinch thing with your fingers to navigate the site.
The benefit of this is that the layout on a computer will show up EXACTLY the same on any mobile device (with minimizing or maximizing). The drawback is the extra step needed to make it readable on a smaller device. Sometimes mobile site programming looks different than the site on a computer. The benefit here is that it’s made to have posts easily read on a mobile device even if it looks a little different.
Again, now that I’m on my own for programming, I’m going to look into easier ways to make this mobile and I may have to hire some help. Great feedback! I want to make it easy.
3. More sharable posts:
OK, I am so glad you let me know that it wasn’t clear that the images were even pinnable. I added the white overlay and a new Pin It button for images. I hope you like it and encourage you to pin!
I am working on making more pinnable content layouts for the future: recipes, acupuncture, health etc.
4. LOVED seeing your favorite blogs and I’m checking them all out.
Although I addressed the most commented features on the survey here, I absolutely read all the feedback, took it to heart and I am going to continue to tidy up the site.
Have a lovely weekend!!! Thank you for stopping by! Linking up with The lovely Lauren Elizabeth!
Hey, thanks for all the really nice support yesterday! I feel a lot less like a freaky weirdo.
So after a year of blogging there have been many transformations: writing style wise, photography wise, content and layout. I wish I could pick one layout and just stick with it forever. I am a tortured re-designer, constantly learning how to code little things in css or making layouts/effects in GIMP (free version of Photoshop available online). I am constantly reading other blogs and gaining inspiration while figuring out what layout/design is a reflection of my work. As my work sorta changed, so did its face.
You can see today’s layout. let me show you the progression of the blog. WARNING: it starts out embarrassingly primitive.
Some of the first headers. I made these on Powerpoint! I know, you’re super impressed and want to know how I did these. I’m shrinking as I post them.
One of the first layouts. A purchased theme that I tweaked and customized a bit. This is from before I knew how to take a screen shot! (Shift + command + 3 on a MAC). Oh the purity. I remember learning how to install and modify widgets. Those precious early days of frustration. 🙂
An early profile picture taken on our couch by Chris with a little Sony point and shoot. I kind of fixed my hair. I thought putting on a bit of liquid foundation here made it very professional. I may or may NOT be wearing pants here.
I hired a website designer to help! She creates this logo from a few concepts I have. I photograph and email a pen and ink drawing of how I want the logo and menu to be set up. She does a really good job.
My friend and celebrity photographer/stylist Jen Kleiner takes more professional photos of me for this headhsot to match the new look of the site.
This is a screen shot taken while some kinks were being worked out-BY ME, after the web designer had done what I asked. I am a constant tinkerer. It can be challenging trying to convey to someone the image that you want to portray online. I was frustrated every time I had to ask the web designer to move a space here or change the font size there-it would take days and if I knew what to do it could have taken seconds. The impatience really motivated me to learn skills that would allow me to translate my ideas myself. I was eventually able to make small adjustments and then I took on bigger challenges as I got more confident.
Here is the layout as of about 2 weeks ago. You can see some more changes…then I started a few more little changes. I wanted a more minimalist look from the start but didn’t know how to get there. I slowly transitioned into it. Finally, I bought a decent camera, learned how to edit a bit, then learned how to put text on photos and do layouts.
…and you get what you see today. I wanted less with the layout/background so I would be motivated to take better photos and have the focus on that.
I totally recommend wordpress.org as a platform to set up a website. I’m happy that I used it from the start. It’s very easy to learn and use. There is a tutorial for everything and using little drag and drop widgets is the easiest way to personalize your site. Once you get comfortable with that, you can start cutting, pasting and tweaking code to do even cooler things like make buttons that lighten when you hover etc. I borrowed SO many great little widgets and looks along the way and I still do all the time!
The best advice I could give to someone starting out with a website is to just get started and do so inexpensively. Unless you can definitively look at an existing site and say, “Yes, build me a site JUST like his/hers,” or “I completely trust your vision as a designer to make something perfect for me.”
Build your content. As you develop as a cyber-being, see tons of other cyber beings and find out who you are on the internet, look to hire a professional who you can work closely with in translating your vision. Find someone who has a portfolio full of the types of looks that say “you.” Along the way, learn how to make adjustments to your existing site-this will save you $$ as designers may charge for any changes after a certain point after the main design is complete.
You can check out more blogging topics by clicking on the “Blog Land” button at the bottom of the page. Share some blog layout horror stories lessons below if you would.
Linking up with Glossy Blonde and Karly Kim today.
Dear body, if the baby gets hungry at 3:30 a.m., please remember that there is plenty of “energy” in my thighs. Actually, please use the energy in my tricep area first then move onto the thighs if necessary. You must have forgotten about those spots because I had to wake up and eat cereal…then half a bagel. I’m not proud of it but it was the only way I could get back to bed.
What did I do in my living room in the middle of the night the other night? I noshed and FINALLY read the instruction manual for my camera. I searched Pinterest for tips on how to take better indoor photos. My camera is an Olympus EPM2. It’s what is known as a 4/3 camera, not a DSLR. It does have a big lens and manual settings so I got to studying. Then I couldn’t WAIT for the sun to come up so I could practice with the settings.
Here’s a sampling:
I blasted the ISO on this egg photo and I enjoy the “noise” it created. I like the softer look.
Charlie cooperated for some side lighting on the couch.
Outdoor photos are SO much easier to take with auto settings. Here is one in the shade on a sunny day some time around 2:00 in the afternoon by my friend, Jen.
I have successfully been disciplined in things like running or time management but when it comes to artistic discipline like decorating my house or even writing articles for my blog, discipline is very challenging. I have to remind myself that there is a connection between discipline and art. Discipline applies to everything! So, when I go shopping for things to decorate my home (think Home Goods), I have to really hold back from buying a super modern large piece of art or vase. It looks gorgeous in the store display and I love it there but when it comes into my fundamentally traditionally decorated home, it’s a bust and I’m disappointed. I LOVE my traditional looking home. It grounds me and reminds me of my grandparents’ home. Fortunately, ANYTHING from Pottery Barn is going to look right but I don’t always want that big price tag so I’ve gotta put some work in.
The red tree skirt above is the one I chose. Here is one I was contemplating:
They both would go in my home but I wanted to stick to my red/nostalgia theme. The neutral one was soooo tempting.OK, confession, I bought both and the neutral one is getting returned. 🙂 You can find these at TJ Maxx and Home Goods.
This was a roundabout way to say that when creating your blog, brand or home decor, it is important to stay focused so your audience feels right when you bring in a new article, tweet or chachka. Find your balance: a repetitively decorated house many look completely coordinated but lacks personality. People enjoy predictability with slight variations. I read a blog (Penelope Trunk) where the author really writes about the same things in a million different ways. I still enjoy the message, each time I read a new variation. It validates how I think about some things.
I will always be a sucker for a white t-shirt. I want super thin, soft cotton in: carrying sleeve lengths, v-neck, crew neck, little collars etc. I probably buy 10 a year. It never gets old. We watch the SAME movie over and over with different actors and scenery. I love every 007.
So for bloggers, keep in mind that people coming to your site will be consistent if you are consistent. Some people may seem to be all over the place but if you look closely, you will find a common thread and voice. As for decor, anchor your spaces with a theme and pickle with different aspects of yourself and family.
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