504 Main by Holly Lefevre: blogging
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts


My 10 Day "Cut Through the Chaos" Experiment

I needed to take a teeny-tiny break.
Over the last three years...
my family has been on a roller coaster...
living apart...
living apart...again...
now moving (soon!) to another state.
Image credit: pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo

During this time, I have lost sight of a lot of things.
I have been happy and angry and just plain pissed off.
And had a lot of late night pity parties.
I have embraced some changes and hid from others.
I have had the support of some really amazing people in my life,
but I cannot rely on anyone to stop the ping pong balls of life
that are bouncing around in my head.
I need to do it without any unnecessary distractions.

During this time, everything in my life has suffered....
I have had health scares.
I am flat out exhausted...I think I run on coffee alone.
I "snap" at the kids.
I "snap" at my husband.
I just "snap."
And that is not working anymore.

I need to get my house in order.
I need to help my kids with some things.
I need to go back to appreciating what I have.
I need to take care of myself.
(I did a detox and felt amazing...
but my bad habits overtook the good ones...again)

I have decided to take 10 days off to Cut Through the Chaos in my life.
Why 10 days...I have no idea...it just sounded right.
I am really good at starting things.
I have developed a lot of good habits.
Then promptly developed a lot of bad habits to counteract the good ones.

In the next 10 days I will focus on some house issues,
some kid issues, prepare better meals, exercise more,
focus on why my mind is filled with chaos, and get back on track.
And hopefully emerge with a better attitude and a clear head.

I know we all have buys crazy lives.
I am no different than anyone else.
I used to be able to keep it all in check...
But after ignoring the signs for too long,
I know I need the time.
I have not been able to pull it all together.

I want to be a good mother.
I want to be a good wife.
I want to accomplish my dreams.
I need to clear my head.

Fresh air, family, and friends will help.
I want to draw with my girlie.
Watch my boy play baseball.
Take walks on the beach...
collect some sea glass to take to Texas.
Listen to the ocean from my deck
(a sound I will soon not hear anymore on a daily basis).
So, thank you for listening, for reading, and being supportive!
You are awesome!
See ya next week! 
(I can't stay away!)
If anyone has any tips and tricks to share on getting your act together
go ahead and share them hear...PLEASE!

Be sure to visit Meegan this week as she will be hosting Tickled Pink on her blog!


This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre


10 Easy Tips and Ideas for Bloggers


I began my blog without doing any research.
I did not know who the big bloggers were or
what I was even supposed to do.
I eventually figured some of it out,
and continue to learn something new almost every day.

I think we all have great ideas to share with one another,
ones that inspire us,
one that support us,
and ones that can help us manage time
and make the most out of a hobby or business we love.

You will not see time management tips here...
because, well, I am not qualified to give those for sure!
I am accepting ideas (and organization too).
But I do have some other ideas.

Back in January I shared these tips for Bloggers over at LinkyHere.com. 
So, I thought I would share these tips here
(I added a bit here and there)
and see what else you all think is important.

Tips for BLOGGERS!

1. Be who you want to be – if you want to cook one day, craft another, and write a creative story another day, do it. It is your blog and you have to own it and love it. Some will tell you to find a niche, and that is OK too. For me personally I love to cook, and write and craft and I want to share it all. 

2. Your blog will evolve naturally. My own blog made all sorts of twists and turns before it ended up what it is…and there are more changes in store. Let your blog and you passion for whatever it is you do evolve. This shines through in your posts and makes your blog authentic. Authenticity is HUGE for me when reading a blog.

3. Make it and keep it fun. Don’t (or try not to) overload on the blogs (I did early on and then took breaks)..social media is all consuming these days – you may even find yourself wondering “when is enough enough.” Blogging can evolve into a business or it can stay a passion or it can be both. Everyday there is a new social media outlet to master and someone telling you "you have to do it." You don't..pick the social media outlets you feel comfortable with and enjoy! FYI - I am currently in the overload mode - it happens. I spend hours and hours working on projects and posts...and sometimes you just loose that mojo a bit.

4. Your blog is YOURS! If you do not want sponsors, don’t do it…if you do not want giveaways, don’t do it. All of these things will change your blog and take it from a hobby to a business. I originally told myself "no ads," "no sponsors," but I changed my mind. I spend a lot of time and money on my projects and my blog, and eventually the light bulb went off (it was about 1.5 years into it), that I can run ads and help make my blog self-supporting. I try to keep any sponsored posts relevant to the content on my blog and have turned down many offers. Trust your self and your judgment. Ads and sponsors are not for everyone, and that is OK too.

5. Don’t compare. Yes, easier said than done. Some one will always be “bigger” or more “popular” but who cares – be who you want to be and create/do what you want to do. That said people will be inspired by and knock off your projects and not give you credit. You do NOT have to like it, but you need to be aware it will happen. It has happened to me and in one instance I see the particular project credited to the "knocker-offer" over and over...but what can I do. I really could do a whole post on this...but I will stop for now...

6. Don’t publish ANYTHING that you don’t want copied or out there for life. It may be your idea, but once you publish it, everyone can see it and knock it off, etc. Also, be wary of writing negative things or embarrassing things about kids, spouses, etc. It does not go away just because you delete it. What you write can affect a lot of people, both positively and negatively. It may be your blog, but you can hurt other people.

7. Treat others how you want to be treated. Provide link backs on linky parties and to others who have (tremendously) inspired your projects or whose tutorials you have used. Share comment love and support and be a nice blogger. When I began blogging I replied to every email and commented on everyone's blog (plus some) who commented on mine. Well, I spent a lot of days and nights on my behind staring at the computer...and then it became a chore. I still have not found a happy place for comments. I try, I really do. I read them all and do my very best to respond somehow. (this was part of the evolving) 

8. If you choose to have sponsors and work with brands, be respectful and true to the brand. I am not saying you need to lie or make things up...but I am saying you need to use the product correctly and follow guidelines set forth by the brand. For example, would you expect white paint to cover a red wall in one coat perfectly? I would not. So, don't do it and then say the paint is crappy. Get it?

9. Word verification is awful and the new word verification is the spawn of the devil for sure. 2 squirrely nonsensical words...really!?! I get very few spam comments, and usually they are on older posts. Michelle at So Wonderful, So Marvelous (I hope I got the right person...I asked this question on FB so long ago and cannot find the post) suggested on facebook to add comment moderation on posts older than 14 days because most spam happens on older posts.

10. Even if you do not want to be a blogging powerhouse, fill out your profile, have an avatar, and link your blog and email to all of your social media. People want to find you and know who you are...make it easy for them. 

So,these are a few things I learned along this journey...
and I did not even get into making your blog easy to read
and easy to navigate and music and...
I have read so many likes and dislikes...
I asked these question on Facebook and got AMAZING ANSWERS!
They need to be shared! I will work on that asap!

Not everyone will agree with what I say and that is fine,
but I do want t know what you think.

What do you have to add to the list?

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Celebrating My Blogday and Getting "Back to Blogging" with SITS

Yep, it is the week - I cannot believe it actually!
My ONE year anniversary!
My Blogday!
{get it birthday - blogday} 
So, the actual date of my first post was 9/14,
I thought I would kick off the week by revisiting
the beginning of my blog and my first post.
In October 2008 I secured my blog names
and set up my blogger profile...
but did not a single thing until September 2009.
So what was the hold up?
I was scared, nervous, unsure...
and quite frankly still thought blogs were just weird.
BUT finally I did it!
Some of you are happy about that and some of you may not be,
although I assume if you are reading this you are at least OK with it.
With no further adieu...My First Posts!
Yes, I did three that night!
{Post 1}
Monday, September 14, 2009
I just got out of the shower - I shower at night...it is the only way I am assured of getting at least one shower a day - and my mind is racing with dozens and dozens of thoughts about my blog…and then I had to stop! How can I blog about all these great ideas when I have not even had the nerve to write the first post, so...4, 2, 1 – GO! (That’s how my 2 year old Jules counts down!).
{Post 2}
Monday, September 14, 2009
My hubby and I attended a 50th b'day party awhile back. The birthday boy and his family have a tradition they shared with the guest that night - they toast each other with limericks...well, that got me all fired up. I needed my own limerick to explain my life...and here it is...  

There once was a girl from LA....
planning weddings was how she made her pay
and then one day…
her husband whisked her away
to a small little town on the Monterey Bay

where she worked as a mommy by day.

OK, no worries, I am not quitting my day job (as if I could!), but I have decided that I {heart} limericks! However this may be a tradition that only I will be participating in...everyone thinks I am nuts. 
{Post 3}
Monday, September 14, 2009
I {heart} mochas a little too much
Back in the day...I used to take a walk everyday down Main Street in El Segundo and get the best ice-blended sugar-free mochas EVER at the Blue Butterfly - I justified the calories with a walk! Then my husband came to me and told me we were moving...HUH!? Moving I am an L.A. girl...well not anymore...for now anyway...but all of that is another post...this is about mochas and my addiction, yes, I feel like I can and should call it an addiction (soon there will be a post about my addiction to blogs!).

Well, I have yet to find a mocha - iced, blended, or hot - that can compete with by beloved Papillon. So for the past four years (yes, four years later I am still mourning the loss of my daily Papillon - they are that GOOD!) I have been ordering sugar-free dutch chocolate powder from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and making my own. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! Besides, I have probably saved my hubby about $1,000,000 (OK, at least $5,000 - now that is scary how quickly those $4.00 coffees add up!). What did sort of kick me in the butt was the realization that now the components of heaven were sitting on my kitchen counter and I found myself making mochas all day long (it is cold here!)

Well, enough is enough. While I have known this coffee habit was a little naughty, I always justified it by saying there are worse things I could do! BUT, today I cut my coffee consumption in half. Yippeeee! Better yet, I didn't kill my kids or any other unsuspecting souls. Still better, I did not replace it with chocolate or wine!...Let's see what tomorrow brings.
{UPDATE: The coffee habit comes and goes}
That's it...aren't you sad you missed it.
Basically it was just time to bite the bullet...
I knew I had to get something written...
until I hit POST it wasn't real...and with those posts it was.
Well, my timing for my blogday couldn't be better...The ladies at SITS are having a "get back to blogging and jump start your blog" challenge all week long. I thought this was perfect timing - I was already planning on doing a few of the topics anyway. To sweeten the deal, the event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances, and someone may get to take Thelma and Louise home with them!
That is Thelma and Louise - 
Electrolux beauties in all their Turquoise Sky glory -
and they would look so good in my laundry room...closet!
Thanks everyone for reading and visiting,
especially during these crazy days.

????What was your first post about???? 

Along with another SITS "back to blogging" post: 
"Re-upload a post you wish more people had read
and explain why it was important to you."
P.S. There are two posts today! If you want to see the DIY post, click {HERE}


DIY Day...NOT! Announcements and Pondering Blogiquette

Life got in the way of DIY Day!
But that it's all good…one is coming later this week.
It was a great weekend with the family and friends….
all part of my rethinking my priorities.
Anyway, thought I’d use today to do a little housekeeping…
And stay tuned...a few giveaways are coming up!
Part I
There is a new writing prompt, Write On with Tattoos and Teething Rings. The prompts are up now and the Mr. Linky goes up on Tuesday. Go visit HERE to check out the link.

Part II
This Friday, March 26 is the last day of "rethinking" and Bare Escentuals is giving away a B-I-G prize! Go take the quiz and get entered! Once rethinking is done {at least on the blog}, I will be showcasing a new product, idea, recipe, you-name-it on Fridays. What the heck you say? I have been so impressed with projects I have seen, people I have met, recipes I have tried, that I would love to share them with everyone. I have the first few lined up already...so if you have a "discovery" email me {it is on my profile} with the particulars...you will get some recognition too via a link! I am still thinking of a name for the feature/day...Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? It starts, April 2!

Part III
For the post on the letter project with Wasabi Mommy Project, click HERE. Also, a BIG thank you to Wasabi Mommy {she knows why!}.
Wasabi Mommy is experiencing technical difficulties...for now, please click HERE to see a compilation of her posts {that I did on this blog}.

Part IV
Now, let's cause some controversy...nah just kidding, but I thought it is time to touch on a post I have had in the edit section since December…blogging etiquette. I am not the first to address the situation. I am not going to preach or rant {I could} or make you believe that I have it totally right, but I totally believe in bloggy etiquette, and do my best to adhere to it and what I think is good bloggy etiquette.

I consider myself to still be a newbie, but some basic principles were pretty apparent early on, especially as I visited more blogs and comments and all I ever got was {crickets chirping}. So I quit visiting…why should I participate when it seems no one cares? To me that is what blogging is {partly} about. OK, then I started again, I visited a few big bloggers and I actually received responses…different kinds…some would send an email back, some would comment on my post, some would do both. I was thrilled.

I still have blog nerves when I visits "big" blogs. Recently I visited It's So Very Cheri. I was nervous {yes, I am a dork!}...I had seen Cheri's blog around since before I began blogging, I had heard about her linky parties and seen her "I've been featured at..." buttons around. I figured she would never respond to me. Man oh man was I wrong. Cheri is a perfect example of how bloggers should treat one another. She just recently moved to Wordpress...so go visit her if you have not already and follow along, you will not be disappointed with her creativity and inspirations.

This all leads me to my oh-so-scientific formula of...
MY Blogiquette Do's:
{I cannot say that I have not missed a blogger here or there along they way but it was not on purpose…I just messed up - it happens...ask my kids.}

1. The number one way I respond to comments is by visiting your blog and commenting. HOWEVER if your blog is not linked to your profile and you do not leave the URL in the comment, I cannot…I have had a handful of these instances recently and I feel bad…and the emails are also “No-Reply @ Blogger,” so there is no way to contact anyone. If you need to know how to link your email, go to your dashboard, click on edit profile, go down to the box that says "Show my email address." Don't want to plug up you regular inbox?...Get a free email {it is easy} and add it further down on that same page where it says "Email Address."
2. If you ask me a question, I will answer it in an email or at your blog {if you are a no-reply @ email person}.
3. I try to leave a decent comment. I won’t lie…I have visited some blogs and I am at a loss, but I think of something beyond “great post.” Unless of course, your comment to me was "Nice post." You may just get that back. Warning I use "love" and "fabulous" a lot but only if I mean it!
4. Personally, I think it is rude to not respond at all to someone who visits and takes the time to comment. This happens to me a lot and it is my pet peeve. So, I strive to respond to comments.

Linky's and Blog Hops
1. If I join a Blog Hop/Blog Party {via a linky} I will always follow the person whose blog I am joining the party at {it only seems fair}. I will leave a comment as well {I have slipped up there a time or two when it has been late at night}.
2. If I join in someone’s giveaway, I will follow too…most require this, but even if they don’t, it only seems fair.
3. I have never hosted a linky, so I will remain silent about the host/hostess job until I do.

1. As far as following goes…if you follow me, I will generally follow you {unless you are weird...sorry but I do have some blocked followers}…if you leave a comment and let me know!
2. Do I unfollow people?…I will be honest, yes I have – just a handful…but for very good reasons…they have become offensive or just have plain have tacky behavior. Occasionally an attack of {millions and millions of} crickets have caused this, but only if there is another reason as well.
3. I do participate in Friday Follow/Making Friends/Etc. parties and follow the rules…if you follow me, I follow you. Am I going to be able to visit all of these blogs...no, are they going to always be able to visit me, no...but I will not unfollow for that reason.
4. EDIT***I follow different blogs for different reasons, and I am sure different people follow me for different reasons. I touch on cooking, crafting, creative writing, etc., so I am not surprised I have a big reading list.
5. EDIT***I follow blogs I want to follow. If after continued comments, no one responds, I may continue to read, but not bother commenting anymore.

Reading Blogs
Um yeah, I would have to win the lottery to be able to sit on my behind and read every blog I follow. I do not even know the number and really do not want to. So here is how I read...
1. If you comment on my blog...you are first on the list of who I visit.
2. When I finish visiting the commenters on my blog then I hit my folder of must read blogs - ones with great writing, great ideas and inspiration {they do not all get comments...lots of crickets chirping}.
3. Then I hit the reader.

Yet another edit...I realized this sounds like I am calling out big blogs, but I have also gotten a lot of crickets from small and medium blogs too. Also, I will comment 1-2 {sometimes more depending on the blog} just in case...I know I miss a comment here and there but when you miss 2,3, and 4 times...that is just ignoring.

Edit 3/23/10
Katie of Katie's Nesting Spot brought up a very good point that I did not touch on here - so I am adding it...In her own words..."If your craft or idea is inspired by someone else you should say so, and leave their name, not "here" and link. I also think if you take someone's photos for a feature you should always drop them a line, telling them so."

Building trust and a community, to me, are essential components of blogging. It is only fair to link and credit the source of the inspiration or photo.I am pretty sure I have done this continually...giving someone else the credit they deserve is no skin off my back and helps us all. And I know I need to start watermarking my photos!

Matty {yeah, he rocks} left a comment that summed up a lot of what I wish I had said. "...When I didn't have as many followers as I do now, and wasn't following as many blogs as I do now, I was able to read and comment on every single post of every blog I followed. Every single one. And I religiously replied to every single comment I got on my own posts.

It has now reached a point where with work, life and family responsibilities, and the ever growing number of blogs, that I had to make a decision....for my time and my sanity. I now no longer have the time to read and comment on every single post. I just get to as many as I can, starting with my favorites and the people who visit me. And with a few exceptions, I have stopped replying to comments just to save time. Instead, I make it a point to read and comment on their blog.

The days of double dipping.....commenting on their blog AND replying to their comments on mine are just too time consuming anymore."

I enjoy blogging {maybe too much}. I try to treat other bloggers, whether they have 5 followers of 1500 followers, with respect. I do get behind in my commenting and posting, but try to make up for it...
I am only one woman with two wild kiddos!

What do you think?
Have anything to add?
Experienced any bad or good blogiquette?
{I am keeping a personal list...he, he, he} 
Am I crazy? Had enough of me yet? 
Have a good name for my Friday Thingy? 



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