5 tips for new bloggers

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I love that the post marking my return to (trying to) blog once again is a post for the #BundleMarathon. And, it’s about tips for new bloggers.

1. Consistency (I can hear y’all laughing at the hypocrisy)

Ok, speaking as someone who absolutely failed at this, write consistently and constantly. I think that if you are a blogger, you have to at least like writing, because you will be doing a lot of it. Writing and photos are all you have with your blog so you should write as often as possible.

2. Always include a photo.

Speaking of photographs, a post always looks better with a photo. Always.  Now, the whole blogging experience will make you a better photographer, for sure. But if you’re not too confident in your photos (or just don’t have any photos that fit), use unsplash.com: artsy photos without any copyright issues. I even used it for the photo above and PicMonkey for the words.

3. Make friends. 

As much as the internet is vast and wide, it’s easy to make friends in the blogging world. And friends make everything better. Join twitter chats. Join a Facebook group. Don’t be afraid to tweet someone. That’s one of the greatest parts of blogging; it connects everyone on so many levels.

4. Care about what you want.

I know that when I started, I did care about the stats, even though everyone says not to. I cared because seeing that one person read my post made my day. It really did. So care about what you want to care about. Don’t let any advice post tell you otherwise.

5. Take a break (from advice)

Just looking on Pinterest, there are hundreds of blogger advice posts. At some point, those posts wander away from the helpful zone and enter the do-this-do-that zone. Take a break, and make blogging your own.

 

Finally, a post. :) This season, a new #BundleMarathon post will be up every Monday, and hopefully some more throughout the week. :)

how i started blogging

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In the past few weeks, opportunities have come up that I could only dream of happening to me when I was out of school. It’s crazy! I am checking off my 101 in (maybe) 1001 days list faster than I thought. :) And you guys all know that those opportunities have mostly come from this blog. This blog, meaning you all fantastic people that I don’t really know that well but sure wish I did. This isn’t going to be a mushy thank you post, I’ve already done some of those, but rather I wanted to share with y’all the story of how I started blogging.

When I was about nine years old, in the summer too, I checked out library books every. single. day. Well, almost. I would go onto the library website and put books on hold that I thought were interesting. Even as a kid I was all about that arts & crafts life. :) I put this one book on hold thinking that it would be another craft book.

Turns out is was a how to start a blog book.

And so I did what it told me, and I started a blog. You can actually still see it here. I posted a few posts, but it wasn’t all that great. Later, when I found cardmaking, I posted pictures of my cards, entered in challenges, and even held my own challenges with bi-weekly prompts and prizes; I learned so much about emailing people, etiquette, and organization ( I also learned how to stop ending every single one of my sentences with an exclamation point).

Soon I no longer had time for crafts and making things, and so I posted less and less on my craft blog. But, I still had things to say. So hello! You’re here. You probably have been here before since many of my few readers are awesome, and come back often to read my posts (thank you). But you’re here. And I’ve been blogging for what? 5 years? That’s my third biggest commitment behind living and going to school (8 years down, 8 more to go).

Yay! for the existence of this blog, you, and a brain that has the occasional good idea.  Grazi.

la jolla cove.

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La Jolla Cove, it’s stinky and pretty weird. Sea otters I mean, seals are everywhere and they let everyone know, that this beach is theirs. But peoples still swim, snorkel, and all that jazz in the little cove of sand.
DSC_8975 copyDSC_8977 copyDSC_8986 copy The beach is stunning, it really is. The path towards the cove wraps around for a perfect view of little people in bright swim suits next to big sea creatures in dark suits. DSC_9018 copyDSC_9022 copyDSC_9026 copy Recalling these memories from only a month ago are all tainted with the delirious, tired feeling I have right now, writing this post. Isn’t being sick just great?

las vegas.

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Damn Vegas, you are quite the busy city. You are just like any other city during the day, but at night, your personality really lights up (get it?). DSC_8929 copy DSC_8935 copy

There are so many people in you, walking to this restaurant and that, that it almost reminds my of my hometown, Shanghai. You two are pretty similar, though with less bicycle-riders and food stands. The hotels placed on every single corners are grand, theme-centered, and have a casino at the bottom. I’m going to ignore you’re gambling side and focus on that one beam of light that shines directly on the clouds. I’m gonna ask you about those mountains that hover around you and make me feel as though I’m in this other world where everybody has endless money (which they don’t) and no one is relaxed and sober at the same time. But Las Vegas, I’m just talking about your main strip, not the hundreds of big houses in the desert, or the miles of windmills on the hills that make me feel as though maybe you are a little less wasteful.  DSC_8948 copy Your starless skies, your impersonating landmarks, oh how you make yourself fancier than Iggy Azalea.

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I’d to hang out with you some time again, maybe after I go visit San Fran again, when I’m not with distant relatives that get tired easily and don’t plan enough time to truly enjoy you.

Have a good night, LV

I know you always do. :)

 

 

 

In case you were wondering, we stayed at the Planet Hollywood hotel and went to see the majestic, musical fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace.

21 Days to a New Habit

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It’s freshman year already and you know my thoughts about it. With every new year, whether that be in sun rotations, birthdays, or days of school, I always start something.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, what better time to start than now?

Ok, maybe not right now. I started this on the first day of school, September 3rd, and so far it’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs.

Tips:

An accountability partner is good for some, but for me the most important source of motivation has to come from me. My biggest challenge would be trusting myself, saying if I plan to do this, I know I will do it. Trust yourself is my mantra, and I think it deserves to be made into a poster. (if anyone wants to do that, share it with me!)

Flexibility is huge. My habit is actually a routine, so I’ve found that sticking too strictly to the schedule actually decreases my productivity. And, life happens. There will be days when I just can’t complete my task everyday. And each day has a different list of to-dos and to-go-tos and the habit might not fit in everyday in my situation. For others, maybe it’s something small and could should be done everyday. That needs to be flexible too, though maybe less. :)

Make it visible. For me and my schedule, I open up Evernote right when I get home and so I know exactly what I should be doing right now. If your habit is to use a product everyday, put in a place that you’ll see and thus will remember to use.

 

And there you go, my tips for forming a habit. I’ll be sharing more info about my own habit, in the next habit update. :)

1/40 a long year

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Three days down. and it’s been a crazy bag of mixed feelings about freshman year.

first day

two hours of ice breakers with teachers is not fun. Small groups are better.
the school feels so crowded, even through there are less students than in my middle school
caring around a backpack means a whole new organizational system
lockers are a pain!
organized teachers are the best
it looks like there will be a lot of self-learning happening this year.
upperclassmen are quite scary
there is little to no “free” time. I barely have enough time for lunch.

second day

the people, the people, the people
not as bad, i think i can do this

third day

picture day
lunch with some new/old people
robotic team = all the nice people in school
bus riding sucks
and it’s going to be a long school year

 

I’ll let you know how it goes, and how I try to make this year…better. :)

 

 

grand canyon.

Next up in our west-of-the-rockies road trip, the Grand Canyon.DSC_8812 copy DSC_8821 copy We finally arrived at the South Rim around 7 pm. It was not the best of planning that day. The drive through was absolutely beautiful, a single black line through the red carpet. When we arrived, we only had a few hours to take in the stunning views before driving back to our cabin through the dark, lightning-filled skies.  DSC_8834 copyDSC_8836 copyDSC_8837 copyDSC_8839 copyTip!! One day, or even two, is not enough to take in all of the grand C. There’s a special bus that takes you to the most beautiful road in the park, and only that bus is allowed to drive there. If possible, take a ride on as many buses as you can before they close. DSC_8861 copy DSC_8864 copyThe next day, we went to Zion National Park. DSC_8898 copyDSC_8902 copyDSC_8922 copySimilar to the Grand Canyon, but smaller, and with a orange highway they perfectly named “the carmel highway” running through the whole park. It was a nice stay-in-the-car experience, the last nature activity before we entered the city of lights and spending money on luck.

liebster award.

It seems there aren’t enough small bloggers talking with other bloggers because I got nominated twice (by the lovely Emily and Chloe) through twitter. Here are the rules, to this appreciation-game:

  1.  You have to answer the eleven questions created by the person who tagged you. 22 since I was nominated by two people.
  2. Pick between 5-11 bloggers to nominate. They need to have under 200 followers.
  3. Compile a new list of 11 questions
  4. You can’t nominate the person who tagged you.
  5. Tell everyone that you’ve tagged, that they were nominated.

Ok. From the 22 q’s I got, I picked 11 of my favs.

1. Who is your style icon?

Hmmm… I don’t really have one. I just took a style icon quiz from Buzzfeed (which asked me to choose a guard and a kitten) and I got Rihanna. Um, no.

2. What place in the world would you like to visit the most?

Europe, mainly Scotland, Finland, those places. :) Oh, and Alaska.

3. What’s your dream job?

I really wish I knew exactly. Currently, owner of a creative business.

4. Why did you start blogging?

To feel like maybe, just maybe, someone was listening to what I had to say.

5. What came first the chicken or the egg and why?

The egg. Because there were dinosaur eggs, turtle eggs, and microscopic organism eggs.

6. What’s your favourite movie?

I can’t answer that question. What are my favorites? Well, Lord of the Rings, the Way Way Back, and…

7. What’s your favourite season?

Football season.

8. What is your plan for a zombie apocalypse? 

Run to Costco.

9. If you could only shop in one store for the rest of your life what would it be?

Target.

10. Where is your dream holiday?

Walking around a city, and going to a mountain range.

11. If you were a superhero what would you wear?

A cape, duh.

11 random facts about me:
  1. Grand Teton is one of my favorite national park.
  2. I really want to go to Shake Shack.
  3. I just watched Captain American:  Winter Soldier
  4. Mac and cheese is a love of mine,
  5. So is my dog.
  6. I like tacos.
  7. I have two classes outside of the main building.
  8. I used to collect rocks as a kid.
  9. Beanies don’t stay on my head.
  10. I have one dimple
  11. And can’t do that weird thing with my tongue.

Here are the questions I’m giving the people below:

  1. Where were you born?
  2. What does an average day look like for you?
  3. What are you’re plans for the future?
  4. Favorite drink?
  5. Will you give us a sneak into what you have planned for your blog?
  6. Are your ears pierced?
  7. If you could put a message in a bottle and send it off, what would you write?
  8. Do you like answering questions?
  9. What’s your to-do list for today?
  10. Any pets?
  11. Play an instrument?

Who do I want to answer these questions? Well, 

Hello, Cathy!

Straight on till Morning

Tash Brilliant Book Blog

A Fashion Tale

and Just Melkate 

 

p.s See all these amazing photos? They’re from unsplash, a site that gives you photos you can do whatever you want with.

review: thistle and poppy’s snap point frames

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this tweet couldn’t have come at a better time. In the past year, I’ve been working on making my photography better, and better. And some real gems have come from that effort; worthy of being put on my wall to be seen every single day. Then Thistle & Poppy tweeted looking for bloggers to review their whimsical picture frames. I tweeted back, obviously, and now I’m here to share with you my thoughts on Thistle & Poppy’s Snap Point Frames.DSC_9285

What, snap point? What does that even mean. Here’s the backstory of how things all began:

Snap Point Picture Frames were born shortly after the founding of Thistle & Poppy by me (Christie) and my husband Jens. We started out making custom picture frames in our garage for my photography clients. The companies that I was working with either didn’t have the styles I was looking for, the prices were way too high or they just took too long to be delivered.

After spending a grueling holiday season in the wood shop making tons of frames and ornaments, Jens and I were simply discussing ways to make our process more efficient and trying to find ways to maintain the huge variety of frame styles I wanted to offer while he was insistent on making the business profitable ;) We finally stumbled upon a revolutionary solution sitting on our workbench, magnets!

We had been in the process of designing a very cool interactive led wall decor display and had tiny magnets leftover. The light bulb switched on for both of us and within minutes we had our first snap point prototype! A picture frame that would allow you to simply place your photo on the base, snap the trim style of our choice on top and voilà! Framing in seconds!

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Now, after hanging this beauty on my wall, here are my thoughts:

the good:

  • these are shaped picture frames. So, that means they come in all different designs, both the base and the frame that snaps on, and there are lots of options.
  • and they have an easy to use designer to pick those designs
  • solid wood (!)
  • color is bright and vivid
  • frames snap on and don’t fall off
  • and customizable too, easily decorate them
  • no glass! it’ll still hurt though, if it falls.

DSC_9307the bad:

  • there isn’t an option for 6 by 4, which is the size of most my photos
  • much heavier compared to other frames but that’s because it’s solid wood.
  • a little on the pricey side, but worth it for solid wood and versatilities
  • paint rubs off a bit on the edges and the corners

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and the amazing versatilities:

  • doodles
  • photos
  • nursery decor
  • whiteboard
  • design paper
  • magazine pages

So many ways to be used as home decor! And these frames are crazy affordable. Each base is only $18 for SOLID WOOD. The base is heavier than my dog. Sure, she’s only about 15 pounds but that’s already a lot for a frame. These are a fantastic product, and I love my frame!

On a different note, I’ll be starting school this week -no, TODAY- and it’ll be quite crazy. I’ll let you know what happens this Friday. :)