Category Archives: Blogs & Blogging

Ad Swap in June

Standard

Just a random, pretty picture from when I spent the weekend up North a few weeks ago! 

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m taking in new ads for the month of June, if you’re interested. My sponsor “program” (if you’d like to call it that) is based on a swap- You host my blog button (or guest post or anything, really) and in return I post your blog button and offer you a guest post opportunity, if you want one. Plus I always love my sponsors and I love talking about them around here. 🙂

If you want to know more information you can check my Sponsor Info page. I’d love to have you!

You can leave me a comment below if you’re interested (with an e-mail address) and I’ll contact you ASAP.

Happy Tuesday!

Meet the Sponsors! {April}

Standard

The great thing about sponsoring blogs through an ad swap is that all the ladies on my sidebar are bloggers I have come to know and love their work. I currently have six sponsors up on my sidebar, and am willing to go up to TEN. So if you’re interested in having a spot up there, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at mliss024[at]gmail[dot]com.

All the lovely bloggers who’ve agreed to sponsor me don’t really know that I’m doing this, but since I’m a fan of their work, I thought I’d introduce you to the six of them today and why I think you should be reading THEIR blogs. 

Allyson from Lovely Explorer
 

Allyson reminds me SO MUCH of myself as a blogger. She writes about life as a Public Relations intern, travel, music, and everything in between. I discovered her through our ad swap and have been SO happy learning more about her!

You can also follow her on Twitter

Stephany from Stephany Writes

Stephany is one of my absolute favorite bloggers and my blogger BFF. I’ve been a follower of hers for years now, and love reading about her life as she makes her way through all of its adventures. From health, to travel, to her goals, all of her posts are worth checking out!

You can also follow her on Twitter

Liz from Dance to the Radio

I first discovered Liz because of the gorgeous jewelry she makes over at her shop Craft to the Radio. Other than trying really hard to not buy out her entire stock of necklaces, I love reading her blog. It is my fix for new music any time I need it, interspersed with bits and pieces of her life!

You can also follow her on Twitter

Natasha from Small and Charming

Natasha’s blog is a fantastic space if you’re looking for great writing. If I’m not mistaken, she writes almost every single day, and her posts are always so well done. Not to mention she also has a Life List, like me!

You can also follow her on Twitter

Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine

Jessica and I first met over our mutual love for Mumford and Sons. Since then, it has been so good getting to know her through her blog. She writes about music, books (we have SUCH SIMILAR TASTE in both) and her adventures accomplishing goals, as well as being a mama to two beautiful little boys.

You can also follow her on Twitter

San from The In Between is Mine

San is a lovely blogger that I met thanks to Twitter and our love of books. Her blog is filled with her life adventures, beautiful pictures, and the things that inspire her every day. She is one of the sweetest ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting through the blog world!

You can also follow her on Twitter

I hope you’ll take some time to check out the bloggers that you didn’t already know, and leave them some love! 

Who are your current must-read blogs? Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you’d like to do an ad swap with me! 

Inspiration from around the world

Standard

Last week I wrote a post called “If you don’t succeed, try & try again” because I was feeling kind of hopeless about figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing in my life. The great thing about blogging stories about my successes and my failures is that I am always sincerely amazed at the responses I get. I say this all the time, but I do try more than anything to write for ME; I am just so grateful when YOU take the time to write a comment of understanding.

Because in the end, we’re all endlessly looking for the THING we are meant to do. 

As much as I am happy with my life right now, I am always yearning for something more. On the day that I wrote that post, I had worried myself into believing that wanting more meant I was unhappy. I was reminded thirteen times that wasn’t the case.

I love all the comments I receive. I really do. But sometimes, I’ll receive a particular one that really sticks with me. I often try to reply to comments on my blog, but every once in a while I like to send out e-mail responses. It’s more than just letting new readers know that I love having them around; I love sending out those e-mails because it means making a longer lasting connection with someone who took the time to reach out to me when I was doubting myself.

Today, I want to share a comment that I received on that post that turned into a series of e-mails and, I think, a new (long distance) friendship.

—–

Here’s the comment: 

Hey Melissa,

I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now and even if it’s not that much and that we only read and learn about what you agree to share with us, I can tell this one thing, you’re worth it. Otherwise, why would people come and visit your page again and again? I can tell I’m inspired by your life goals, the life lessons you sometimes talk about here and I also can feel how passionate about some topics you are.

I don’t blame you for doubting, I’m a 23 years old girl dreading the same things as you do, sharing the same dreams and obsessions as you do (Harry Potter forever^^). I’ll just tell you this, you go girl, the world is waiting for you.

(Sorry if there are any English mistakes… I’m French)

Yep, even in Paris you’re famous ;)

—–

Here is part of the e-mail I sent her soon after receiving the above comment: 

I don’t always send out e-mails to people who comment on my posts, but I just HAD to after reading yours today. I had literally just had (another) bad morning even though I was trying so hard to have a really great day, and I was really beginning to get frustrated with the whole world. And literally as soon as I’m about to call it a day and just give up until tomorrow, I get your comment. I’m not even sure I can explain to you how much I smiled! I’m so glad you’ve been reading and following along on my blog, especially all the way from Paris- how cool!! 

I’ve always said that I write just for myself, but sometimes I get comments like yours that just make it all worthwhile on the days that feel extra crappy. So I just wanted to send you a quick e-mail to say THANK YOU for totally making me smile today! I really needed it 🙂
—–

I wasn’t even expecting a reply back to my e-mail. I just wanted to let her know that I sincerely appreciated her taking a second to leave me a comment. Instead, I received a response detailing the reasons she loves reading my blog.

And to top it all off? In her own words, “a photo of Paris taken two days ago, to give you a little inspiration back“.
—–

I love the photo. It’s a picture that one of her friends spontaneously captured. It’s no secret around here that I love to travel and I love seeing pieces of the world. There is no way that I would keep such a pretty picture all to myself; I want to share her friend’s image in the hopes of sending everyone else a little inspiration from another part of the world.

You can check out Alice’s gorgeous work on her website Alice’s Wonderland, too!

It may have only been a couple e-mails and a photo from across the ocean, but Iwas definitely re-inspired, not to mention reminded that the world isn’t as terrible and hopeless as it sometimes seems. There’s a reason I’m always dreaming of bigger and better things!

Have you ever received a comment, e-mail or even a photo from someone that inspired you or made you smile?

February: Little Moments [& a swap!]

Standard

Before getting started, if you’re interested in doing a blog button swap for the month of March, let me know! I’d love to have you blog button on my sidebar under my ‘Sponsors’ and in return all I ask is that you feature mine as well. I very rarely take blog buttons down after a month, but as long as we’re doing some kind of shared advertisement, we can work something out.

I also love having guest bloggers, so we could do a blog-swap for a day in the month- I’ve done this before and had LOTS of fun with it!

If you’re interested you can either leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at mliss024[at]gmail[dot]com

Little Moments in February

1- Spent some time  planning my trip to Orlando!

2- Another cooking day-off with my sister-in-law & some quality time with my nephew

3- Started my Stratejoy application, got really excited to take a chance on myself & apply (whatever happened in the end!)

4- Valentine’s Day celebrations with my girls

5- Spent the day at home babysitting my nephew, and one of my best friends came over specifically to meet him with her boyfriend. It was so sweet!

6- Even though I was sick, I got to spend the day watching Sex and the City… And I even got my hair cut 🙂

7- A day to reflect on everything I learned while being a vegetarian. I had SO much fun with it.

8- Felt really good after eating a summer light & yummy avocado/cherry tomato salad for dinner

9- Took part in a self-portrait challenge on the blog today & felt really great/confident about it (so rare for me, it seems)

10- Brother sent me the cutest picture of my nephew this morning, I love sweet little surprises like that

11- Small family dinner to celebration my SIL’s dad’s birthday

12- Surprised my mom with a mega 60th birthday bash at a restaurant… She cried, success!

13- One of the best showers I’ve ever had- (probably) too long and very hot, just what I needed after a 14 hour study day

14- Happy Valentine’s Day! Loving on all my friends & family today ❤

15- FINALLY NEW PUPPY DAY. Longest 2 days of waiting ever- and he’s SO cute!

16- Early morning cuddles with puppy and kitty… I could get used to this ❤

17- Made really yummy Zucchini Parmesan for the first time. I love vegetarian meals. Om noms.

18- Family finally agreed to name new puppy #1 after many days of debate… His name? Zorro!

19- SO EXCITED to get on a plane in the morning… I love vacation anticipation 🙂

20- Getting on a plane & heading to sunny Florida! Spending the day exploring a new city

21- HARRY POTTER WORLD. Need I say more?

22- Experiencing my very first dinner theater show in a pirate ship

23- Spending the whole day at Universal Studios

24- Last full day in Florida spent sun-tanning & having one last butterbeer in WWOHP

25- Arriving home from Florida and finding out that my family was coming over for dinner to welcome me!

26- Spending the day getting back into my things after my trip, lots of puppy cuddles with the two new furry balls of love in my life

27- Getting Pandemonium- the second book by Lauren Oliver in her Delirium series- a day early

28- Finished ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ by Johnathan Safran Foer for #twookclub and LOVED the book

29- It’s a leap year, how exciting!

I Vlogged!

Standard

Okay first off, it is so weird talking to my camera. But I pretended you were all hanging out, listening to me, and that made it less awkward. 🙂

Second, I think I have a really funny Canadian accent. After listening to myself talk I got all self conscious about it. Ha!

Third, I skipped a few of the longer questions and tried to answer as many as physically possible in this one video. Here are the people’s questions I answered:

– Paul
-Stephany
-Caitlin
-Susan
– Sweet Green Tangerine
– Amanda
– Jen N. (Scarlet Wonderland)

If I didn’t answer your question it’s not because I didn’t want to, it’s because I tried including in a previous attempt at my vlog and it made it too long 😦

Also, I just realized my room is super messy, which you can kind of tell in the background. It’s all very natural, that’s all!

Okay. Here it is. It may get rather boring, but I had to at least try doing it once! Sorry it kind of lags at some points, I have no idea why that happened but I was too lazy to do it all over again!

For more information on my favorite band JACK’S MANNEQUIN… Click on their name! They are seriously awesome.

Just for fun, feel free to take any of the questions I answered in my vlog and answer them in the comments below. I’d love to know your answers too! 

Thanks for watching!

#102 On… Posting Every Day

Standard

{source}

This month, I vowed to participate in NaBloPoMo because I knew I wouldn’t have time for NaNoWriMo, which I’d been looking forward to for quite some time. It went pretty well for two weeks, although by the end of the second week it was getting really difficult to make enough time to blog. In theory, blogging every day is awesome. But realistically? It’s unrealistic.

Last January, I started to participate in the WordPress ‘Post A Day’ Challenge. It was the 102nd goal to go on my 101 in 1,001 list, and in the last 10 months, I have posted nearly every single day. There are some months where I missed a few days here and there, but in the 4 years I’ve blogged here, I more than DOUBLED my posts this year alone. That is kind of amazing. 

Before starting to post (almost) every day, I didn’t really understand the blog world. I blogged as an outlet for my every day life- I’ve simply always loved to write and keep track of time somehow. In the last year or two, this little place of mine has developed into something I never would have imagined. My writing interested people; people who started to follow my blog, people I’d like to say are like real friends to me now.

I took the last two days off blogging because I simply did not have the time, inspiration, or energy to write. I know that the point of posting every day is to force my brain into writing overdrive, but there are some days where that is just counter-productive. Also? I had a lot of homework to do. I really wanted to get back into writing every day with NaBloPoMo, but as I think about it now I realize that with school, work, and the little bit of social life I can muster… It’s just not always possible. Sometimes I’m too busy living life to write about it. 

The mix of NaBloPoMo and Post A Day 2011 have taught me many things about blogging.

First, it is only by writing regularly that you will become better at it.

Second, there is no point in feeling guilty about taking a day (or two, or three) off blogging. As much as I would love to take an hour a day to come up with something to write about, it’s just NOT always possible. I won’t always have that kind of time.

Third, although I love this little place of mine, priorities always come first. I often made blogging a priority in my life before doing other things, and I realize that’s not right. I have a lot of other things that are very important to do, and by posting every day I would lose sight of that at times.

Fourth, it’s quality, not quantity. I discovered that there were some days I would write just to WRITE. Anything, everything. Sometimes it’s nice to just write whatever comes to mind- I love writing rambling-ish posts- but more often than not they were fillers on days that I was feeling completely uninspired. Those should be blog-rest days

Fifth, posting on weekends is a tricky situation. I love to write for myself, don’t get me wrong, but readers don’t come around so much on Saturdays and Sundays. As fun as it is to write, it’s also fun  to get feedback on your work. It would be more ideal to use my free weekend time to SCHEDULE posts, rather than to publish them right then and there. That way I can be more sure that I’ll have quality writing and it will get some of the attention it (hopefully) deserves!

I still have just over a month to try and post as many days as possible, but I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the journey that it’s been to try and accomplish this goal. It’s been a hit and a miss; NaBloPoMo definitely hasn’t worked out as well as I would have liked, but Post A Day 2011 has been such an amazing experience for me. I think I’ve become an entirely new writer because of it and I already consider that goal accomplished, even though there won’t be 365 posts in 2011. 

I still have an infinite amount of lessons to learn about blogging, writing and prioritizing. I hate *giving up* on goals, so admitting defeat on NaBloPoMo (among other things this month) is not easy for me, but I don’t regret it one bit. I’ve loved getting to know myself by pushing to find inspiration in every day life. I can’t wait to use all of the things I learned in a new year of blogging in 2012. I have great things in mind, and I can’t wait to hopefully continue to grow as a blogger here!

What has blogging taught you as a writer?

Sunday Inspiration + Links v.2

Standard

This may be my favorite day to blog, officially. All week as I read things around the internet I tried to remember them so that I could share them in my Sunday post. I really hope I remember to show you all the fun stuff I’ve seen & have had shared with ME.

Enjoy!

-NaBloPoMo’s first week is over. Check out these blogs that I love who are participating! Are you doing NaBloPoMo? Link up in comments, I’d love to see what you’ve been writing so far this month.

– Next month, I want to steal Stephany’s idea of ‘Everyday Moments‘. So sweet!

– This video called ‘I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy‘ is hilarious. I’ve watched it half a dozen times and I’m still hysterical! The last two kids? So darn cute.

– I really like these tips on how to find more time for yourself.

– If you’re feeling a little down, here are 31 ways to add happiness in your life!

All about food cravings. I should probably print this out and stick in on my fridge.

– I can’t tell you HOW MUCH I love these 50 Secrets & Life Tips.

– Kristin’s post on living life on her feet… In India. Working in a hospital. Honestly, this girl inspires the heck out of me.

– Since I’m trying to eat healthier, I thought this was really interesting.

– This Etsy shop. Can I buy all the jewelry? Please?

This place looks BEAUTIFUL. See for yourself:

What are you favorites from the week? Happy Sunday!