Review: The Rough Guide To Blogging

December 6th, 2013

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 A few months ago, I found myself rummaging through an old stack of books lying around the house, and I came across a book I acquired some years ago, like 6 years ago. I don’t even remember why I purchased the book in the first place considering that I was in middle school and I had not even been serious about the blogosphere at the time. I actually cannot find a justification at all for the purchase in my memory, but boy I am glad I have it now!

I pulled it out again recently, because I am finding myself developing some habits I had spent time over the Summer trying to get rid of such as consistency of posting, and other rules of thumb. I needed a little kick that inspired me, and kind of reminded me of some of the fundamentals of blogging!

This book is a great choice if you are new to blogging, or trying to achieve my incentives from above. There is a lot of explaining of the principles of blogging and what it’s purpose is. It also contains many resources to online hosts, blog examples, html design and even has a whole section on Podcasting! It really does cover it all!

I will admit, one thing about this book is that it was published in 2006, making some of it’s resources and ideas out of date, considering that world of blogging has definitely evolved since then. While the actual online resources may be “out of date,” a lot of the principles shared from the early 2000s actually are much more helpful to review from a time when blogging was way less competitive and more about the content being posted. If you are looking to write with more authenticity, I think this is a great resource!

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I am enjoying finding old, and new resources as I grow to keep me motivated and keep me grounded when it comes to the fundamentals of blogging! I hope you have a fantastic weekend readers!

November Windup: Monthly Favorites

December 1st, 2013

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This month has seen endless exam preparation, fall play rehearsals, and freelance photography! All of these things I cannot complain about in the least! I did well on my exams, the fall play was a grand success, and my clients have been pleased with my work! The month has quickly brought temperatures in Michigan to an all time low, and the snow is coming in, which is bringing the holiday spirit to this home!

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Kat, I have been waiting to feature you for my monthly favorites, even though you have been a favorite for a while! Kat Williams of RockNRollBride shares the alternative weddings of many love birds along with her own writings of life as a blogger and the business behind it. She also is a headmistress of the Blogcademy, a workshop to help bloggers reach their full potential! I am getting a kick out of looking through all of the wedding photos for inspiration!

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Do you have that one accessory you recently purchase and cannot wear it enough? That is this hounds-tooth scarf from H&M! I find myself this winter wearing more black and white, and I cannot complain! It has kept me warm through my walks from the parking lot into school, and during photo-shoots with clients.

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Although I have NOT seen Frozen, this song done by Idina Menzel was absolutely amazing! I felt nostalgia to her performance in Wicked, and she has such an amazing voice! I cannot get enough of it, and am quite tempted to go see the movie!

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This past month was a busy one bringing my senior year closer and closer to an end. Finishing one show, and bringing another show to a beginning is a lot of work but a lot of excitement as well! December is going to bring a close to a great year!

On Giving Thanks

November 28th, 2013

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Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that’s importance comes along with the contemplation of the importance of the holiday itself. As I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade I am reflecting on what I am actual thankful for in my life. When I open up a new tab for my blog I shudder at the most recent post date is November 4th. I have not even been able to get myself to formulate a cliche post with excuses about why I haven’t posted.

That is when I stopped. Excuses? I should not have to feel sorry for the other accomplishments I have been focusing on my lifetime for my senior year. I gave way to turning my excuses into positive means of things to be blessed with.

Here are some things I have be thankful for on this day:

  • Performing for a lead role in my last high school, fall play.
  • Receiving A’s on all of my school work this past trimester.
  • Maintaining photo jobs throughout the season.
  • Performing in choir for a choral festival across the state.
  • Developing a portfolio for school.
  • Getting accepted to all of the universities I have applied to for school.
  • Still keeping a strong relationship with my recently-moved sister.
  • Being able to stay close with friends.
  • Enjoying my senior year!

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So while these are only some monumental things I highlight to be thankful for today, I have come to love Thanksgiving every year when I take a step back  forgetting all of the great food, following sales of the day, and remember the true importance of the holiday and reflections that come from it. I hope you all have a great holiday and I am glad to be back in my writing game. Don’t eat too much turkey now. Happy Thanksgiving!  xxoo

October Windup: Monthly Favorites

November 4th, 2013


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November 1st for most is an instant transition from spooky season into Christmas season leaving Thanksgiving for Americans overshadowed. October has been a busy month of juggling school, extracurriculars and design life all in one big jumble. The tenth month of the year has definitely came and gone in a flash.

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One day, I was curious to see if their were any other avid bloggers from Grand Rapids that shared the same passions that I have. This quick Google search led me across Tieka of Selective Potential! She is a self proclaimed designer by day and blogger by night. Her blog features along with her design, many posts of her style and ventures around Michigan, especially emphasizing her admiration of Michigan lighthouses.

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Back to brown has been the theme of this month and next month. Not exactly an aesthetic choice, rather then the hair color of the role for the show I am currently in. Either way, I am digging the chocolately brown even though I will definitely be going back to blonde at the end of this current month!

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Every time I go to Starbucks, I manage to pick up their Pick Of The Week, and this was the one a few weeks back. I love the upbeat tempo. I am tempted to take a road trip based on this one song. It’s crazy how one song can be so moving.

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As said previously, senior year is taking me by storm. It is hard to realize how much I am juggling to keep up with everything. I have a show coming up this month along with more photo jobs. I am ready for the holiday season! I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween! Have a good November! xxoo

Vegetarian Challenge: Asian Noodle Salad

October 22, 2013

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One week in! This is a lot easier then I thought, even though it is only a week in and I haven’t even approached obstacles like American Thanksgiving or other family gatherings, but I am enjoying making healthier choices. The first highlighted recipe for me to share with you is an Asian Noodle Salad with Peanuts and Mint, a recipe I found on Martha Stewart‘s homepage.

The meal was fairly simple to prepare. It mostly involved cooking the noodles, whisking the sauce, and chopping vegetables. Further instructions can be found on Martha’s website.

I was a wee-bit skeptical to the use of lime juice, and soy sauce in the sauce mixture, which I actually found to bring the whole recipe together. There is just enough in there where you can barely taste it, but it gives the whole meal flavor, and who can argue with that?

One challenge I myself, have to overcome in this challenge is to become more open-minded in what ingredients are added into a meal. I was also skeptical of the mint leaves and scallions just from the blatant sense that I don’t eat them often, but all of these ingredients were necessary to give it the flavor it needed.

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One week in, and I am pretty sure I can carry out for the next month. Even if I only do this for a month, it is broadening my horizons in terms to healthier foods I am willing to try, and eat. Now time to search for a new recipe for this week, and to chow down on some salad. Before I close, I’d like to thank Martha Stewart for this recipe, and Bubby&Bean for sharing this recipe, along with other vegetarian recipes on her site! I recommend checking it out! Have a good one! xxoo

Best Of Grand Rapids: Downtown Market

October 20, 2013

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Grand Rapids has grown tremendously over the last ten years. Our skyline has evolved, and the culture within downtown Grand Rapids has also evolved. Upon years of obtaining new sights and things to do in the city, the Downtown Market has caught my attention.

Basically the Downtown Market is a venue downtown full of local food and good vendors in a friendly environment. It has a very communal layout of small shops and vendors, that makes for easy shopping!

The second level of the market has a lot of green space and open space for future vendors. It is still very new so there is still plenty of space to be filled so I cannot wait to see for it to flourish!

The vendors throughout the market are very friendly who are specialty to the background of what they sell. Mostly the goods sold here are organic which is again, another plus.  Most of the food related venues offer samples, and who doesn’t like samples!

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I recommend anyone living downtown, or in the Grand Rapids area to at least check out the Downtown Market, especially if you are into buying local organically produced products! I enjoy finding places that make Grand Rapids a little more unique and the market definitely adds to it. Have a good one!

The One Month Vegetarian Challenge!

October 14th, 2013

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If you are like me and have tried multiple times to change an eating habit, you know that it is a lot of hard work with a lot of sad attempts. More of my personal friends know I have been working on weight loss since around the birth of this blog back in June of 2012. I am proud to say I have lost 80 pounds with a healthier body along with it! I have come a long way, but I know I can do better. Everyone who changes to a healthy lifestyle knows it gets hard after a while and you give yourself a break… once a week, then twice a week, and then before you know it you are on your fifth slice of Hawaiian pizza while sobbing to season 4 of Skins… Hypothetically of course… haha

This recent lack of motivation and inspiration has brought me to THE ONE MONTH VEGETARIAN CHALLENGE All ruled out by me and me myself only! This idea came to me very recently, and started as just a truce with my friend to try going vegetarian for a month. Then I thought to myself that I can use the power of cyberspace to share recipes I use and find to get me through this month, and maybe be a convert throughout this challenge.

Guidelines? Not really other then the basic guidelines for eating vegetarian. I will be adding rules and certain guidelines tailored to myself as I go, and I will be sharing one vegetarian recipe a week so keep a watch out! Once the month is over, I will reflect on the results and satisfactory, it’s all about trials right?

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I hope to learn through this month is that there are tastier things out there that include more veggies. Those who read my Twitter know my obsession with Steak N Shake, so it will be a challenge I am willing to face head on in hopes of living healthier! I encourage you all to do the same. Have a good one folks!