Category: Blogging Thoughts


Happy Nine Years of Blogging

Posted 7 June, 2016 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 40 Comments

Tags:

Happy 9 YearsNah nah nah nah, they say it’s my bloggiversary!

Nine years, y’all. I won’t mention that that’s almost a quarter of my life.

And now I’m feeling bummed about my upcoming big 3-5 birthday in August. Ha!

I really struggled with what to do for today’s post. Confession–my bloggiversary was actually on Sunday. I procrastinated writing my post, debated not writing anything at all, re-read my 8 year post and wondered if I had anything new to say–finally I put it off and then ran out of time to have something up for Sunday. Sunday was busy busy and another day went by.

As it turns out, today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is 10 Things I Love About X. Perfect! Instead of sitting here whining about how blogging isn’t really what I want it to be right now or how my life has changed in the past 9 years, I thought I’d focus instead on what I DO love about blogging, or what blogging has taught me.

9 Reasons I Love Blogging

All the Hobbies

Without blogging I would have never gotten into quilting the way that I have. I credit all of this to Lisa who showed me that there is so much more to quilting than a simple patchwork blanket. I also likely wouldn’t have gotten into cooking an experimenting in the kitchen–Weekend Cooking is such a great excuse to get creative. And I would have never learned of Bullet Journaling. Really 90% of my life can be related back to blogging in some way. In all the best ways.

Community

From the very beginning of blogging, community has been such a huge part of this world for me. While it’s true that these days I do more typing up of posts than actually publishing or commenting, community is always in the forefront of my blogging brain. I love connecting on twitter or Instagram and constantly wish that I could do more of this on actual blogs. I’ve been missing how active in the community I used to be, but it’s still one of my favorite aspects.

Inner Reflection

Ahhhh, the woo woo part of blogging. The OMG I’ve learned so much about myself. The let’s examine what’s going on in my head for better or worse. But really…it’s true. Even the act of writing this post involved some kind of inner reflection. Blogging has helped me become more self-aware.

Books Books Books

As an extreme book nerd, I always feel that I must constantly downplay my booknerdism in real life. But here I can scream BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS and y’all will scream BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS back at me. Bookish muppet arms for the win. It was a breath of fresh air to find people as loony about books as I am.

Learning

Blogging is always pushing me to learn new things–this can be overwhelming and scary at times, but the best way to grow as a person is to stretch our limits. Some of this has to do with the hobbies–sewing, cooking, adventuring–but the learning also has come leaps and bounds in terms of how to actually keep up with a blog. Maybe one day I’ll actually learn how to code. Bahaha!

Confidence

Socially awkward introvert right here! I am not nearly as outgoing in person as I am through the screen. But allowing myself to be me here has enabled me to take leaps off screen as well. From meeting other bloggers, to going to face to face book clubs (where I didn’t know anyone before hand), to realizing all of the things that I can do–I am grateful to blogging for giving me a boost in confidence and to let some of my enthusiasm here eek out in person.

Fantastic Friendships

I have met so many wonderful people through blogging. So many wonderful people. Even if I were to quit blogging today, I know that I would still maintain relationships that have come to mean a lot to me. And of course I have to throw out a special hug to one of my oldest blogging friends, Lisa–I can still remember how excited I was to tell her seven years ago that we would be coming to South Dakota and I would meet her. She’s one of those rare people in life that I can share anything with and I am forever grateful.

Something for Me

I lost myself after I had my first baby. It was an incredibly tough time when I was trying to be supermom and felt that I had to focus all of my energies on motherhood and my little one. It took too many months for me to realize that I desperately needed something for me. Throughout the past five years, blogging has been a steady constant in some shape or form. And even if I’m not actively writing, all of the things that come along with blogging (see hobbies above) are never far from the forefront of my mind.

Letting Go

It took me a long time to learn how to let go, and I think part of it is survival mode with having kids, but through blogging I’ve realized that I can’t do everything that I want to do and still sleep at night. I’ve had to let go in order to keep my sanity and to keep my life prioritized. It’s OK to say no. It’s OK to ditch a book or a challenge or a project. It’s OK to not do it all. It’s more than OK to just let it go.

 

I’ve decided to leave the last one open, mostly because I do have every intention on being here in a year, even if my space continues to grow smaller (can something grow smaller?!). For all of my lack of blogging the past year (or more) and even my lack of commenting–I do want to reiterate how much I love this space here and how much I love the connections that I’ve made with you. And for those of you who have stuck around, so many thanks to you as well!

What do you love about blogging??

Signature

Divider

Ten Websites I Love [That Aren’t About Books]

Posted 10 May, 2016 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 21 Comments

Tags: ,

Awesome Nonbookish Websites

 

My feed reader is bursting full of awesome book blogs–one day I assume that my baby will nap and I’ll actually get to read some of them again. Snort.

Though most of the blogs I read are bookish in nature, I also have folders for cooking, quilting, and the miscellaneous. When I saw that The Broke and the Bookish was asking for Top Ten Nonbookish Websites for today’s meme, I started compiling a list of my favorites.  I posted a similar list about five years ago and when I reviewed my lists I realized that while none of the websites are the same, the themes are the same–quilting, food, and awesome.

Ten Websites I Love [That Aren’t About Books]

The Kitchn

The Kitchn

I don’t officially subscribe to The Kitchn because they put out too many posts, but I love their twitter feed and am more likely to click through to their articles than that of any other website. The Kitchn is full of awesome information including recipes, tips and advice, kitchen trends and must haves, and much much more. Since writing this post, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of how to make pasta sauce more amazing, to basic pasta sauce, to how to doctor jarred tomato sauce, to…omg where did the last hour go?!

 

Dinner A Love Story

Dinner: A Love Story

I first fell in love with Dinner: A Love Story when I read Jenny Rosenstrach’s cookbook like a best selling novel (if family dinners is your thing, you need to get DALS). I love DALS for many reasons but mostly because of how approachable Jenny is. She lays it all out and keeps it real while also providing wisdom and inspiration. She’s a mom to two girls (now 12 and 14)–take her post on Catastrophic Happiness–I find so much of what she writes incredibly relatable. Plus she has recipes for cocktails, so.

 

Smitten KitchenSmitten Kitchen

Smitten Kitchen is one of the first foodie blogs I stumbled upon years ago and while I’ve never actually made anything from Deb’s site, I loooove looking at her gorgeous pictures and drooling over the recipes. Her’s isn’t a typical food blog that has huge pictures that cause readers to have to scroll to see the entire image–you can tell that she’s there for the recipes and that’s it. Maybe it’s time I actually make something from her website? Like this chocolate peanut butter tart. (On a side note, I did browse her cookbook but while her recipes are droolworthy and the pictures even better–I don’t think the recipes are realistic for our family right now).

 

Old Red Barn CoOld Red Barn Quilts

I subscribe to about 30 quilting blogs (I know, I know), but Old Red Barn Co written by Dana is my absolute favorite. She blogs about her lovely vintage looking quilts (though some are more modern in style), but she also writes about life in such a beautiful way. She includes gorgeous pictures of nature and her farm life as well as other little snippets of life. She makes me feel like I’m checking in with an old friend.

 

Crazy Mom QuiltsCrazy Mom Quilts

If you’re looking for suggestions on quilting blogs to read, I can share many with you (if you share your favorites with me!), but Crazy Mom Quilts is definitely at the top of the list. She has a ton of great tutorials (her quilt binding tutorial is my go to) and lots of inspiring projects. Check out this scrappy quilt top! But besides quilts, she has lots of other sewing projects that I keep pinning to do one day. One day. Like these cute little bunting notecards.

 

PicMonkey BlogPicMonkey Blog

I loooooove PicMonkey for creating graphics as well as occasionally touching up some of my own photos. I love it so much that I have a Royale account and wonder how I ever survived without it. The PicMonkey Blog has great tutorials for anything you can imagine and I love picking up tips and tricks for how to better utilize PicMonkey. My only complaint is that the feed is partial which means that I have to not be lazy and actually click through to the website.

 

Outfit PostsOutfit Posts

A little over a year ago, Lisa and I started texting our daily outfits back and forth to one another. I can’t remember now why we did this but it definitely made me more aware of what I was wearing, what I enjoyed wearing, and what I could put together to feel more together. Around the same time, I also started to pay attention to what my style might be (I was also receiving regular Stitch Fix boxes). I discovered Outfit Posts and love the way that this blogger puts together outfits based on an outfit she has seen and been inspired by. There is SO MUCH inspiration on her website, if her style is your style (which for me it mostly is).

 

nosegrazeNoseGraze

I met Ashley from NoseGraze when I migrated from Blogger to WordPress two years ago and she is a WordPress GURU. Her blog is full of WP tips and tutorials as well as other useful blogging information. If you’re already on WP, check her blog out for great tricks and if you’re considering moving from Blogger to WordPress, she’s your go to gal! Plus she’s a former book blogger (though she still has bookish posts on her blog), so she has lots of book blogging tips as well.

 

Modern Mrs DarcyModern Mrs. Darcy

Ok, Modern Mrs. Darcy is about books, but she takes blogging about books to an entirely different level than what I see on most book blogs. While I don’t read every post that she puts out or listen to her podcasts, I find myself inspired by her blog and the way that she presents her material. It’s the kind of blogging I would love to do. Hers is just such a beautiful and eyecatching blog that even when the material doesn’t interest me, I can’t help but be drawn to it.
The Skimm

The Skimm

Technically The Skimm is a daily email subscription, but I look forward to that email every day to give me little soundbytes of what’s going on in the world. The Skimm provides current events in a way that is fun and cheeky and on more than one occasion I’ve impressed my news junkie of a husband with some of my recent knowledge. Go ahead and subscribe and make your morning a little happier.

 

What are some of your favorite nonbookish websites??

Signature

Divider

Combating the Blogging Blues

Posted 19 February, 2016 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Reading Nook / 33 Comments

Tags:

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

If you’re just jumping in for the week, this week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week. The event started in 2008 by My Friend Amy: “Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance for us to totally nerd out over books together. And of course, shower each other with love and appreciation.” The gals at The Estella Society are hosting it this year.

I’ve decided to combine the last two days of BBAW into one because in many ways the topic of staying connected and blogger burnout are so intertwined. Day 4 How do you stay connected to the community? Day 5 One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

brave headdesk

In my early days of blogging, I tried to do it all. I joined more reading challenges than I could keep track of, I was spending every minute I could with a book, and I wanted to be the best commenter possible. Eventually I bottomed out. Since then, blogging has been a back and forth battle for me. Of course a lot has changed since I started blogging–I’ve had three kids (I still can’t believe it!). I can no longer blog the same way that I used to, or read the same way, or comment the same way.

You know that song…the one that I still have to sing to my two year old every single night at bedtime? “Let it go” is a phrase that is constantly running through my head. Just let it go! Do what you can when you can and let the rest go. In a way it’s become a bit of a mantra for me. Also, can we talk about the volume of Elsa’s hair? How do I get that??

Let It Go GIF

Giving advice is not necessarily my strong suit–who am I to give advice when I feel like I’m constantly a hot mess. But the below are things that I strive for in terms of blogging. Not always successfully, but one day things will magically click, right?

Don’t Follow the Rules

This is a trick suggestion because there are no rules! Every blogger needs to find that path best for them and sometimes that means breaking all of the rules.

Know Your Limits

I know that I can’t read all the books in a year. I know that I can’t comment on every post I read. I’m still sad that I had to give up responding to comments here, but there it is. I’ll forget to open Instagram for days. Sometimes life happens and the computer takes a back seat for a week…or two. Or more. It’s also OK to say no. To everyone if you need to. One thing that has really helped me with this is to stop paying attention to my blogging stats. I’m less stressed about how many visitors I have and it’s allowed me to let go of some of the pressure.

Let Go of the Guilt

Admittedly this is the toughest part for me. Feeling connected to the community is such a huge part of what continues to draw me back in, and I’m always so grateful for everyone who continues to stop in here and say hi–even when it’s been weeks since I’ve been able to return the favor. But I’ve had to recognize my limits and organize my time accordingly, and if I didn’t let go of the guilt it would continue to eat at me until there was nothing left. It hasn’t been easy, but I feel much freer for letting go of guilt over not being able to do it all.

Take a Break

Sometimes a post doesn’t get written, and that’s OK. Sometimes a post doesn’t get written for a week or two, and that’s OK, too. One of the big rules of blogging is to post regularly, but remember what I said above about there not being any rules? Your regular readers will stick with you and be there when you return. You’ll hopefully feel refreshed and remember what it was that you loved about blogging.

Now if I could only figure out a way to let go of always having a perfect post topic before sitting down at the computer to write! I might actually post more often. Heh.

Have you ever suffered from the Blogging Blues? How do you combat those feelings?

Signature

Divider

Bloggiesta | Fall 2015

Posted 17 September, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 16 Comments

Tags:

Bloggiesta To Do List

So, this weekend is Bloggiesta which is a virtual “fix up your blog” party. I seem to only really participate in this event during the fall–maybe it’s something about the change of seasons? I didn’t think I had a ton I wanted to do, but then I started creating my lists and holy cow! Of course I’ll be happy with just drafting up a few posts and updating some of my pages. It is nice to have this focused time for the blog, though! I always seem to be much more motivated during Bloggiesta.

This time I’m also hosting a mini-challenge! Please check out my post on creating post templates. After working on this post (and recreating the wheel from previous posts), I think I’ll create a Bloggiesta template for next time!

Go sign up for all the Bloggiesta fun! I’ll just be updating this post all weekend if you want to pop back and see my progress.

On my To-Do List:

  1. Update Reviews by Title and Reviews by Author and Recipe Box
  2. Add Pin It Button to images (used a plug-in)
  3. Add post ideas to Evernote
  4. Create a new header?
  5. Clean up tags/categories (groan)
  6. Scour mini-challenges
  7. Visit participants and cheer them on

Pipe Dream Goals:

  1. Fix signature on old posts
  2. Fix links on old “Trish’s Reading Nook” posts
  3. Get my email inbox to one page

Questions I have:

  1. How do I add a comment link at the bottom of my posts (yes, in addition to under the title)?
  2. How can I get rid of feedburner RSS address without switching services or losing followers?
  3. If I change old images on pinned posts, what happens? (why do this? because many of my old pictures are horizontal when vertical pins “better”)
  4. If I add an auto signature to my posts if it will add a signature to all my old posts? (thus duplicating my signature)

Posts to Draft:

  1. Packing for Mars / Drums of Autumn mini-reviews
  2. American Gods full review
  3. Top Ten Tuesday – Fall List / And maybe some upcoming TTTs?
  4. Elle Right Now
  5. Mesa Verde / Other trip pictures
  6. Pin it and Do It link-up for Monday / Inspiration on Monday Shell drafted anyway
  7. Sunday Bookish Funday (topic??)
  8. Pregnancy Stitch Fix postbloggiesta

Mini Challenges:

  1. Turned my pins into Rich Pins thanks to Alexia’s mini-challenge! See how all my pinned posts have the little heart with my blog name?
  2. I created a template for future Bloggiesta to-do lists based on all the major sections of this post! Mini-challenge is my own template mini-challenge. :)

Things Not On My Original List:

  1. Updated my Audiobook Review Index

Final Thoughts:

 

Um also…Want to help me out with a blog topic? *here’s me begging* *per usual* *blows kisses*

Are you participating in Bloggiesta? What was on your agenda for the event?

Signature

 

Divider

Creating Post Templates | Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

Creating Post Templates | Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

Hello!!! Perhaps you are visiting because you’re participating in Bloggiesta this weekend! Or maybe you want to learn more about creating post templates in general. Or possibly you’re not looking for anything in particular but deep down you wonder if you can make blogging a little bit easier and streamlined. I’m hoping that today’s post will help with that.   Years and years ago when I first participated in the Readathon, I created a new […]

Posted 16 September, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Reading Nook / 33 Comments
Divider

Celebrating Eight Years of Blogging

Celebrating Eight Years of Blogging

Bloggiversaries always make me happy, but for some reason I’ve had a tough time trying to formulate my thoughts for today. The past year has been one of big transition–second baby, lots of travel, going back to work part-time and then full-time, and having my time stretched more and more thinly. Life has been GOOD, but it is a great contrast to when I started blogging eight years ago and needed a hobby to fill my […]

Posted 5 June, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 60 Comments
Divider

Best Blogging Advice

Best Blogging Advice

      Yesterday started the first ever week long Bloggiesta. Bloggiesta is a fun event where bloggers get together (at their own computers) and work on tackling blogging to-dos such as writing or brainstorming posts, working on the look of the blog, and cultivating new relationships via social media. If you’re timid about certain aspects of blogging, this is such a great and supportive event to ask your questions and get some answers or help. […]

Posted 24 March, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Reading Nook / 33 Comments
Divider

What Happened When I Stopped Stalking my Stats

What Happened When I Stopped Stalking my Stats

What happened when I stopped stalking my blog statistics? THE WORLD ENDED!!! MY BLOG BLEW UP!!! Just kidding. So, a little confession. I am a blog stat stalker. I’ve gotten better over the years–I don’t check to see how many people subscribe to my blog and only pay cursory attention to how many twitter followers I have. I don’t even notice anymore who likes my pictures on Instagram or even Facebook (though I do see your […]

Posted 5 March, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 51 Comments
Divider

Top Ten 2015 Bookish Goals

Top Ten 2015 Bookish Goals

It’s that most wonderful time of the year! When everything is all new and shiny and fun and exciting! Right? Right?? So, I had planned on writing in my new journal on Sunday but have already failed at that. Happy New Year everyone. Here’s one of the big problem with goals–unless the goal is specific, how can we determine whether the goal has been accomplished? And once a number (or some sort of measurement) is […]

Posted 6 January, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Reading Nook / 43 Comments
Divider

Ask Me Anything!

Ask Me Anything!

Hello Dear Reader! This post is shameless. Shameless shameless shameless. I’ll totally admit it. But let’s just think of it as a little reader survey. I did one of those a couple years ago and had great success…but then I forgot to do much with it. The truth is that I love blogging. I love connecting with you. And sometimes I’m struck with great ideas and sometimes the well is dry. I blame the babies […]

Posted 4 January, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 22 Comments
Divider