Monday, June 27, 2011

All the Blogger bloggers, all the Blogger bloggers (to the tune of "all the single ladies")

.... If you like it then you could give me some feedback.

Ok, so maybe that doesn't work with "all the single ladies"... it doesn't really sound right :)

However, I know that many of my dear readers and commenters use to power their blogs. I have a unique opportunity to give some feedback to a community manager at Blogger, and wanted to reach out to see if any of you have criticisms/feature requests or compliments/praise for me to pass along?

Here is what I want to bring up so far:

1) Reply-to-comment functionality. This is the number one thing that I really want, and wordpress offers it. It's a big enough deal for me to seriously consider switching over! I want to be able to reply to comments that folks leave on my posts, rather than just commenting on the post itself.

2) Better template design functionality: auto-resizing of banners, more variety and better customization (a la wordpress).

3) Google FriendConnect/blogger "follow" button integration with Google Reader. Now, when I "follow" a blogspot blog using the "follow" button, it puts it in a folder in my reader automatically. I can't move it from this folder (if I do, it stays in the folder, as well as moving to the new folder, so it is in my reader twice, which I find annoying).

4) A better android app. The official one has very limited functionality, and there are no good unofficial ones out there either.

Any other feedback on functionality and features from my readers out there?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Welcome all ye from the "blog of note" post!

My, my, such a spike in traffic and commenters and followers over the past few days! For those of you wondering where all the new folks have come from - I was featured as a "blog of note" by the blogger community managers on Friday, which is very exciting for me!

It's great to have so many new folks around here. Make yourselves at home! I try to respond to all my comments, that may not be possible for the surge I've seen in the past few days but hopefully I'll be able to! If not, please know that I appreciate all of the comments so much!

Also, I've gotten a few comments and emails asking me to promote or do link exchanges. I actually don't do link exchanges or promotion of other blogs in that way - BUT I love finding new blogs and following back the blogs that I find interesting. Also, I definitely love mentioning posts that are really special or a cut above or that are funny or that I relate to and think my readers will relate to.

I've also gotten some emails from new bloggers asking for advice, which I think is funny since I still feel like I barely know what I'm doing when it comes to blogging and am definitely not a pro! However, here are a few things that have worked for me:

- finding a community of bloggers that I identify with
- reading a bunch of blogs regularly and commenting with insightful comments (rather than "hey, nice blog, follow me please", which doesn't really make people want to follow you)
- Having good pictures on your posts
- Posting pretty often, but not too often (2-4x/week works best for me)

For more advice on how to build up a reader base as a new blogger, I came across a great article the other day - here it is if you'd like to check it out!

hugs and kisses!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Getting my home-making on

Dear readers, I must tell you, last weekend I home-maked like a BOSS.

I made JAM!!!!

Made from peaches.

That were food-processored.

Then packed up to give to friends.

It was my first time making jam, I was inspired by this recipe but followed the instructions on the sure-jell pectin (which I'd recommend, they are easy to understand and it turned out great!). Other than the fact that we got sugary peach slurry all over the countertop when trying to pour it into the jam jars.

I started to hand-write the labels on post-its-notes, but then I thought "if I'm effing MAKING JAM FROM SCRATCH I can get out the typewriter like a respectable crafty person."

Also I made bread! From scratch!

We don't have a cooling rack, so I use a metal trivet. Resourceful, I am. And, judging by the smiles from my friends, they thought the bread and jam turned out pretty good.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

OOTD: in which I wore my hair down for the first time in MONTHS

Today, we lazed about the house until dinnertime. I actually blew my hair dry today and decided to wear it down. It's been forever since I've done that - it's getting really long! I like it.

After hair drying adventures (as if anyone needs any more adventure in their day), we went to Target to buy hangers (what can I say, my clothing collection is getting a bit out of control), then to dinner, then to see Thor.

Isn't this husband adorable? We, through no effort of coordination, wore the exact same shade of green.

All in all, a fine evening.

Also, I have to share, even though this is in no way fashion related... We got Waffles a summer haircut.

From this:

To this:

Isn't she adorable? She's a lot smaller underneath all that hair than we thought she was! She looks like a little bear cub!

What's been going on with you lovelies this early summer? Any summer haircuts for yourselves or your pets? Do share in the comments!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We're back! (and have been for awhile, sorry!)

We had an AMAZING time in England! It was so so wonderful. The best part was meeting Claire in real life and hanging out with her and her husband Rob.

But a close second was the the awesome Big Beach Bums meetup that Kirsty put together! I didn't bring my camera with me for that (not a suave blogger move on my part). Luckily, Ragini and Claire (part one, two) both took pictures and posted them. We all looked smashing, I must say.

Here are some pictures of the rest of the non-meetup things we did whilst there.

the Doctor Who experience was amazing!

Dover Castle (super, super windy and cold, but still awesome)

Brighton Pier (claire took this pic!)

My new Evans dress, outside our hotel, about to go meet Claire and Rob for dinner.

My favorite british dessert ever, I only was able to find them on my last day.

Hilarious flyer in a shop window in Greenwich. "The solemn promise that you will practice like the devil"

And, after 10 days walking around various parts of England, it was time to retire the old lady boat shoes. They were good shoes. I'll probably do a retrospective post or something, I've seriously worn them nonstop for more than a year. Best $9 I ever spent.

Oh, thank you all for your comments lately - I've read every one of them, I just haven't had time to respond. Hoping to get back on the responding bandwagon soon!

I hope you are all enjoying your pre-summer days!
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