Monday, April 28, 2014

Edging the Garden: A Necessary Evil

Edging the Garden: A necessary evil?  Uh, no... Let me rephrase this... completely unnecessary.  But evil, for sure!  However, it's definitely beautiful if you have the time & energy to tackle this kind of project.

For the last couple years, I've been eyeing my next door neighbor's edging. It's something I notice and admire every single time I'm outside.  Is that weird?  Yes... I think so, too.  (I know many of my neighbors have beautiful edging... I'm just forced to look at theirs, next door, all the time.)

Turns out, this was a very good example of why I love blogging.  2 days into this project or about 5 hours, I was really beginning to wonder why I was doing this and if it was worth it.  Seriously.  Am I wasting my time?  This can't be making that big of a difference!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Desperate Plea: Blogger Comment Advice Needed

*Update:  I'm beyond thankful for all of the suggestions I received from so many of you!  I think after looking at the options, my best course of action for now will be to reply directly through email to comments.  I will reply through my comment form only if it's a comment that doesn't need a specific answer or if the commenter is not attached to an email address.  As always, feel free to email me directly, as well.  If you're interested in a couple of good blogs that cover this topic a little more in-depth, feel free to check out The Blogger Tutor and Threading My Way.  

If you're a regular around this blog, you may have noticed a little bit of confusion on my part lately.

I've been slowly working to tidy up the place a little by making fancier tabs to organize the projects.  This will hopefully make it easier for you to find projects that were posted in the past.

I feel like this transition went pretty smoothly.

I even, finally, got onto the Google+ boat!  That link will take you to my Google+ page!  Or, you can find it over with my new, fancy social media buttons on the right side, there. I also feel like that jump went really well.  I'm having a lot of fun with Google+.  It seems to be way more "blogger friendly" than my FaceBook page.  Although, I'm still not sure the most efficient way to share other's posts with Google+...

So, where's all the confusion?  Oy!  It's the comments!!

I have gone from the usual "Blogger" setup for comments: It works well, I like that I can get an email update each time someone leaves a comment.  The problem is, when I reply to that comment on my blog, unless they check back to read it, they'll never see it!  Boo....

So, I noticed there was a quick and easy click of the mouse to switch my comments over to Google+. This seemed amazing until I received an email from a lovely reader explaining that she couldn't leave a comment because she hadn't set up her Google+, yet.  Sigh... She's not the only one!  I mean, I JUST signed up myself.  I definitely don't want make it so someone who wants to get in touch, can't!

I think at this point I went back to regular blogger comments, again.

Then, I realized I was getting these awesome emails from bloggers who I had left comments with.  They were using a plug-in called Disqus!  So I installed this plug-in and I felt satisfied with it... except all of my comments were appearing in my inbox as if I left them myself.  That was frustrating.  But at least it still looked okay on the blog... Then, I found out that it was too much of a process to be able to leave a comment.  People saw the Disqus plug-in and they'd rather not deal with it.  I don't blame them!  Time is precious!  Oh, and now that I've deleted Disqus... It looks like I'm leaving myself comments! hahah ohhh the joy of blogging.

So I've deleted that and I'm back to the regular blogger comments, again.  I don't want to appear as a "no-reply blogger" because I really do appreciate each and every comment that is left and I do respond.  But why would you go back to a post you've already read just to see if I've responded...?  Sigh...

I need help!  What do you use for a comment form?  Are you happy with it?  Are you able to sufficiently interact with your readers?  I've googled and googled and I need to rely on those who really know!!  (That's you!)

Thank you so much in advance!

Monday, April 14, 2014

[B] is for Bloom: Scrap Lumber Flower Vases

We have a TON of scrap wood laying around from framing out our basement.  Like my dad says, "We're busy making little pieces out of big pieces."  Those little pieces won't all go to waste.  I have a few project ideas up my sleeves and even the hubby has one that he's itching to complete!

The first project that I was so excited to make were these wooden flower vases using test tubes!  Let me show you how to make them:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Snickerdoodle Sunday Link-Up Party

Good Sunday Evening, everyone!  I have some exciting news to share with you!  I was asked by the fabulous ladies over at 2 Crochet Hooks to co-host a link-up party with them!  So, if you're a blogger, be sure to share your best projects & if you're not... no worries!  You'll have a bunch of inspiration to click through at the bottom of this post!  Not only did they ask me to co-host, they are featuring me!  Sheesh!  I really am blushing! Enough of my babbling... let's let them babble and get on to the party:

Welcome everyone to Snickerdoodle Sunday!! We are so glad you made it and brought your fab posts to share :)  You may have noticed we posted this a day later than usual. Starting this week we are running Snickerdoodle from 8pm ET Sunday to 8pm ET Tuesday.  We announced another change last week about how we were switching to one featured blogger. The plan is to showcase their blog, social media and a few of their latest and greatest posts. Kristina and I hope you will take the time to connect with this featured blogger as well as connect with those that have linked up to the party!  We will also give the featured blogger the option to co-host the next week's party and pick that weeks feature!

Our Featured Blogger & Co-host this week is: Janice from Nearly Handmade!

“I’m Janice from Nearly Handmade! I’m a stay at home momma of two with another little mouth to feed coming in June! I’m married to the most wonderful man in the world who puts up with my crazy ideas on how I want to make our home nearly handmade on a budget. I’m not afraid to pick up a saw, drill, or a paint roller to make my day dreams a reality and with a little help, I know you can do it, too!”
You can follow Janice here: Facebook, Pinterest, G+, Bloglovin'
Last week she linked up her So Simple Pinwheel Wreath

Monday, April 7, 2014

Liebster Award

Exciting news over here in blog land.  This little blog of mine has been nominated not once, but twice for the Liebster Award!  Ah, you have no idea what the Liebster Award is, do you?  (Neither did I!) It's an award given to new, up & coming blogs to help network with other newbies!  It really is quite an honor because it's now like I have a built in bloggy buddy!  And since I was put in charge of nominating 11 more for this award, I have a whole slew of bloggy buddies now!  Score!!

I'm so thankful to have gotten to know Ashley from 3 Little Greenwoods over the past 5 months since she contacted me for the first time back in October... blush... You have to remember, though, that basically right after I was nominated, I ended up taking a long, unannounced absence because I was plagued with morning sickness like nobody's business!  That's right, I'm blaming baby #3 on my procrastination!  Sorry, Ashley!  Hope you're a big believe in "better late than never", like I do!

So here are the rules:

11 Facts About Me:
1. I have a St. Patrick's Day Birthday...There's always a party!
2. I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.  On purpose.
3. I have run 3 full marathons with my husband. Each with a faster time than the last. I was pregnant for the last two we ran.
4. We planned our wedding in 6 weeks (3 of those weeks we spent on vacation at the beach together).
5. I'd rather hike up-hill than down-hill any day of the week.
6. My parents taught me how to drive a manual transmission and I taught my husband while we were dating.
7. I learned how to surf while in Waikiki, Hawaii.
8. I could nap all day and still sleep perfectly fine at night.
9. I could eat an entire bag of Salt & Vinegar chips and not feel guilty about it. (Okay... I feel guilty, but not enough to stop because they are SOO darn good!)
10. I rarely bake.  I'd much rather cook eat a meal.
11. I have played the piano since I was 3.  I hate playing in front of people.  Consequently, my kids and husband just started hearing me play for the first time recently.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ombre Flower Pot Gift

My wonderful mom celebrated her "25th" birthday again last month. (I'm not allowed to say how many times she's turned 25, now.)  She really is young at heart.  I'm lucky to have a mom that's able to keep up with our two toddlers.  For her birthday, I made her an Ombre Flower Pot stuffed with a few goodies.  

Mom's aren't tough to buy for since you can just get them something you like! (I'm sure most mom's would say a year worth of house cleaning, meal cooking or lots and lots of diamonds are always on their list). However, this year I decided I wanted to make her a handmade gift.  I started with painting the terra cotta flower pot. I used a tube of acrylic purple paint that I had on hand and just added some darker purple and black to darken and white to lighten.