The Cake Flavored Book Tag!

Howdy!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a tag, and I’ve been searching for fun things to post on here that wouldn’t consist of me doing a lot of thinking (much less move around!) so I have been reading other blogs in the last month and I have somebody who loves tags just as much as I do, and that is Shaa and she is a book blogger, so majority of the tags she’s done are about her favorite books. I checked it out, and I thought this would be a really fun thing to do. It is similar to the Books & Cookies tag I did a couple of months ago, but this is about cakes so how I can turn this down?!

Chocolate – A dark book that you loved

I thought about this question quite a bit because the word “dark” can literally mean different genres. At least I think it does, so I came up with two books that I think are “dark” in every sense of the word and they are Helter Skelter: The True Story Of The Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry and Night by Elie Wiesel. I remember reading both books in my Novels class and was absolutely floored by the horror each one discussed so that’s my answer.

Vanilla – A light read

This one was somewhat easier on me. However, there is more darkness to the story, but it is a very short book. I read this story while I was in my Short Stories class, literally a semester after completing the Novels course! It is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It’s about 64 and a really haunting read if you’re into that sort of thing!

Red Velvet – A book that gave you mixed emotions

Oh boy! There’s only one book that belongs with this question and it is The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. I thought the story of Princess Marie-Victoria was really good but unfortunately there was way too much information and far too many characters to keep up with so I had a love/hate relationship with the book itself.

Strawberry – A sweet book

A sweet book. Hmmmm…. I think I would have to say To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I really loved that book. It just brought me back to my high school days and I really enjoyed being able to look back at those memories with a smile instead full of regret as I use to do! I really need to get back to reading the sequel sometime. I might wait to reading it in the summertime. That sounds like a good idea!

Cheesecake – A book that you would recommend to anyone

Oh jeez. I have a lot of books that I would recommend to people, but I think if anyone wants to experiment with the erotica genre, and use something else besides Fifty Shades; maybe you consider Roxy Sloane’s novella series The Invitation. The first book is just 50 pages but it’s page turner and if you love British men, this will be right up your alley, trust me!

Coffee Cake – A book that you started but never finished

On my Goodreads profile, I have a total of five books that I’ve started by never finished but I think the two that have bothered me the most are Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Aszkaban by J.K. Rowling and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. The reason why I haven’t finished HPATPOA is because the movie has probably been my favorite out of the entire series, so I have trouble with comparing them side by side thus I’ve never been able to complete it. The other one is mostly because I go in and out of fantasy/magic genre. Originally, I stopped because I wanted a break… oops!

Carrot Cake – A book with great writing

Personally, I think there are at least three books that have had really great writing and they are: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (again!), Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. The reason why I’ve chosen these three stories are because I thought they each have their good notes, but the one common bond they all share is that you can clearly picture everything that is going on within the story. I have a permanent image and to each one of them.

In The Yellow Wallpaper, I still have a sense of grief and am completely terrified to see anything on my walls. Whereas Me Before You brings me hope of understanding emotionally and physically as a  disability person. And finally, Red Queen means a lot for me. The fact that the writing itself was so vivid that I could see Mare running away, basically ducking and jumping out of a window; this somehow made me want to write a story with that much action and detail.

If you like mixing cake with books, you should do this tag too! Link it back to me if you remember, okay? Have you read any of the books I listed above?

Favorite Blog Posts Of 2018!

Howdy!

Yeah, I’m a little late writing this post, but it’s January so I’m still okay with getting these types of posts up! It’s also been three weeks (or so) after I first put up my last post of 2018, I asked everyone at the end of it if you wanted to see my favorite posts of the past year. Although I didn’t get any replies for it, I just decided to do it anyways!

A lot of bloggers will do these posts of only talking about their most popular posts of the year, but I don’t like going that route. Some of my most viewed blog posts are full of grammar and spelling mistakes, so the fact that get any reads at all kind of freaks me out!

Here are some of my favorite blog post of 2018!

Goals For 2018
Shuffle The Music Tag
NYE Shenanigans
Are There Two Babies
3/4
What I Love About Afternoon Tea
My Worst Fear
Favorite Dance Films!
Why You Should Blog Now?
The Disabled Blogger Tag
Baby Shower
Top 11 Life Mottos To Live By
How Do I Stay Organized?
Nolan’s Nursery Tour
Why I’ve Never Joined A Book Club
Becoming An Auntie
4 Favorite Female Stand-Up Comics
Summer Playlist 2018
The Assassin
What It’s Like To Be A (Disabled) Blogger
6 Halloween Movies For Adults
5 Favorite Shows About Nature & Culture
The Baby Name Tag
Basketball Is Back
Routine Or Nostalgic?
Bad Kitty

I think 2018 had a lot of informative pieces. I wanted to give new bloggers some tips that have helped me over the years. I also wanted to be a voice for the disabled people who might be thinking about creating a blog, that talks about their lives as well. I think having more than one perspective on a disability is good for everybody, because we have our differences but always looking into resources to help one another too.

Despite being sick at the start of the year and going through a major depression spell at the end of the summer, I managed to get a lot of interesting posts written up for you guys. And here I thought, it was just all about movies, but nope. I talked about various things that go with all three of my niches: disability, lifestyle, and music.

I even tried to bring back a couple of old stuff too! I really do miss doing those flash fiction challenges. All of the ones I used to do have ended and blogs have all but disappeared. So, I’ve had to search on Twitter and Pinterest for various prompts, and I’ve been successful. When March came over, I wrote my first story on here since probably 2012! It was great to be back doing some free writing again. I’m hoping to continue on them for 2019 too!

One last thing that I did this past year was talk about babies. Between my sister and cousin Kristi, it was baby central on the blog! Since Kristi and her family now live in Louisiana, I will not be able to do a lot of intimate blog posts about Joseph and her new baby! However, I will eventually do the post about her second child’s arrival. I still feel extremely guilty for not being able to get that up in November! Of course, I will be talking about my nephew this year. I think we’re due for another update on him and I will work with Blondie to see what kind of pictures she’d like to share with you.

What were your favorite blog posts of 2018? Is there a topic you’d like for me to discuss on a future post? Let me know!

Album Review: “Everyday Is Christmas” by Sia

22815397_10155910264913408_3424297924083747063_nI am finally starting on my Christmas album reviews! Originally, I had an idea of doubling up the amount of music. I even made up two of the same poll for Facebook and Twitter and apparently everybody likes Christmas music because they won by a landslide! Unfortunately, I was dealing with some things, mostly worried about if I had enough time to get all six reviews up and ready for you. So, I scratched that idea and went with my normal routine of three brand new Christmas albums for you instead. I apologize for the voters that looked forward to it, but it’s now something to possibly look into for next year’s blogmas!

The Australian singer-songwriter Sia recently released her first ever holiday album to the world back at the end of October! I don’t necessarily follow her anywhere, so when I found it on Spotify a while back, I knew it would probably find its way to my Thursday lineup! As far as I know, it’s all Sia, there’s no featured singers listed, but there are 10 festive songs on the album itself, so let’s have some fun!

The first song is “Santa’s Coming For Us” and first off, I want to say I love her unique voice. It’s not really raspy, because she can hit some legendary notes! What I like to call it, is a happy voice, because you instantly get kind of cheerful while listening to her music. So, she really has the perfect Christmas music type of voice! Anyways, the beginning is sort of slow and quiet, which I really liked but what I really enjoyed was this like tropical feeling, almost reggae sound coming through my speakers! It wasn’t your everyday Christmas song and that’s what I love about reviewing these albums the most! Now as I say that, we have a very traditional take to a festive song with “Candy Cane Lane”. There’s a nice whimsical feel to it and it was really hard to stop dancing and type, so I thought that was a good sign!

Third is “Snowman” and I’ll be honest, I really don’t think I’ve made a snowman before. I’ve thrown a small, puny snowball at my mom once while coming down the ramp, but I’m pretty sure it all landed on me instead. Anyways, the song itself has a real jazz-y feel to it. My papaw would have been semi proud of me for that. Generally I thought it would be a lively type of song, but it’s not, you can’t help swaying back and forth in the darkness of night whenever it comes on. The next is something similar as it’s called, “Snowflake” and I really liked the piano introduction. The jazz atmosphere is there, but it’s not as prominent as the previous song. One word to describe it: romantic. If snow can actually do it, some people would disagree with me here.

We move on with “Ho Ho Ho” and I am happy that this has an adult themed lyrics in it, because I really didn’t know how this was going to call when I first saw this on the track list! Now you’re probably wondering how this was made for the adults in mind? Well, for starters, Sia literally lists different alcohols in the verses. If anybody out there watches The Kitchen on Saturdays via the Food Network channel, do you think this is like GZ’s theme song for the segment “Kitchen Cocktail”? It’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard it! The sixth song is “Puppies Are Forever” and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit insulted… what about the cats? They love Christmas, I mean they love destroying the decorated trees every year so they must love it too! Anyways, this is so freaking cute! We’ve all had these moments with any baby animals–both domestic and exotic! You just want to take them home every single time and when you can’t, you know you’re not the only one leaving with a broken heart

“Sunshine” is on now and I thought this was interesting, since you don’t normally see anything about the sun in a holiday themed album, but I was open to it though! This was pretty mellow, it was just upbeat enough to capture the likeness of sunshine, at least to my eyes! I was really surprised about how much I would end up liking it. Next there’s “Underneath The Mistletoe’ and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve already changed my name on there to “Mistletoe Megz” so I’m fully in tune with Christmastime. I was instantly grateful that this was much softer, I really do gravitate towards her ballads because I just want to hear her slow down and become this gentle giant in the music industry.

We are at the final songs, beginning with the title track “Everyday Is Christmas” and again, we have this sort of melancholy and jazz-y type of beat. I think I like this one compared to the other one I listened to earlier. This has both of the classic jazz and bluesy track mixed with a slow pop ballad. It’s a nice medium between generations! And finally, we stop with “Underneath The Christmas Lights” and this is stripped down to its core with this lonely piano and I really love it, mostly because of the way we started this journey, it was such on a high note–no pun intended–and then it just slowly fades away, kind of like at the end of Christmas day.

Have you listened to Sia’s first Christmas album? If you did, what were some of your thoughts about it?

snowflake

The Baby Name Tag – Extended

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Howdy!

If you’re a frequent visitor to YouTube, there’s a big chance you’ve seen a lot of videos talking about baby names! It’s a tag open for anyone that either have their future children’s names picked out like me! I have decided to include two separate tags into one post, the first batch of questions comes from SJ Strum as she’s the one who created the tag in the first place. While, the second part comes from browsing my WordPress Reader and finding another large collection on Lucy Niblock’s blog. 

Since finding both of these tags, I’ve changed some of the questions below because for repeats and other little things, but for the most part, everything is still the same from the original layouts. When some of the questions ask for both genders, I’ve also decided to share what I’d use for the middle name(s) as well. I am a big fan of adding more than one name after the first, but don’t worry I don’t get too carried away with my choices though!

If you had a baby tomorrow, what would you call them? Boy & Girl

When I first read this question, the girl name popped out at me immediately! Sophie Rivers. I really love the name Sophie a lot, but I thought it was strange for me to choose “Rivers” as a middle name. Now for a boy, it was more difficult, but I did think of Luxor and the only reason why I’d pick it is because I love everything about Egypt!

What would you rename yourself keeping your same first initial?

When I was in middle school, I tried to make everyone call me “Monique” because nobody ever spelled it right and I just got tired of it all, and for some odd reason I thought this was a perfect fit! I actually remembering signing my name that way on a friend’s end-of-the-year-tye-dye-t-shirt. I really hope she no longer has that top because that’s just embarrassing!

What would you have been/wish you had been called if you were the opposite gender?

I’ve actually never known what my parents would have named me if I was a boy, so I had to ask her about this one. She told me, I would have been “Derek” and honestly, that’s not too bad compared to “Salem Rachelle” (my original name) and it is one of my favorite, casual boy name too!

Favorite Vintage baby name for boy and girl?

This is like the second worst question, because I love vintage baby names! For a girl, I have: Cecily Anne Victoria and the boy would be: Arthur Hugo Michael.

Favorite Nature baby name for boy and girl?

Apparently I like nature names a lot more than I thought I did! We had a cat named Wren years ago, and I still love that name so I’d probably go with Daisy Wren. I think thought be a really cute, girly name! For boys, I really enjoy the name Forest, but I feel it’s becoming popular again so my second favorite is Leif.

Favorite YouTuber’s name and/or baby name?

I love Jonathan and Anna SacconeJoly’s oldest daughter’s name: Emilia. It’s like the Italian version of my sister’s name! I also think Emilia Jane sounds so feminine too!

Recently I found Tania Licciardo-Toivola also known as the “mom of 10” the other day and I’ve been learning her children’s names and I’m actually loving them. I’m still missing at least two of them, but so far the names are Leonardo, Jerusalem, Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Nefertiti, Aphrodite, King James, and Omega. So, they’re really out there, but I actually really like them! I’ve always wanted to use Nefertiti in some way because she’s one of my favorite Queens ever, so I tend to put it as a middle name, but I really love that it’s front and center for her daughter.

Favorite Literary name?

I grew up in the early 90’s so the name “Jessica” was very popular in school, and even though I had to mesmerize about 8 different ones, I never lost my love of the name itself.

Favorite “O” name that isn’t Oliver or Olivia?

This is really difficult because I really love both Oliver and Olivia a lot, but the first boy name that popped into my head was Otto, and apparently it was pretty popular with several other people who took this tag too! It doesn’t hurt that it reminds you of Rocket Power, right? The girl “O” name I really like is Oona, which is Irish. I am really obsessed with Irish names! If that didn’t work, I’d exchange it with Olympia, which is Greek. I fall in love with this one long ago, so I see myself using it more than Oona unfortunately!

What did you wish you were called when you were younger?

I really like my name “Meghan” but I have never enjoyed having the letter “h” right in the smack dab in the middle. So, honestly, I would have kept it but maybe have it spelled just “Megan” to make things easier on everybody!

What name would you immediately VETO?

When I originally began working on this post, I bravely put that I didn’t have too many names I would veto, but after a few days and I searched for other names, my veto list actually grew so I managed to really surprise myself! The names I had mentioned for this question were: Nova and Sailor, but after thinking about it, I felt that I needed to add both Fergus and Tillie. It just reminds of an old lady in her 90’s! I don’t like Fergus because I just want to automatically change it to Ferguson!

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What is your favorite boy and girl name from the Top UK names list?

I think for a boy my favorite is Jack and for a girl, I really love Nora.

What is your least favorite boy and girl names from the Top US names list?

I’ve never liked Asher or Grayson for boys, maybe because they are so common nowadays. As for girls, this was a lot harder because generally I love girl names, so to find one or two girl names that I hate isn’t very ideal, but I don’t like Addison, which is strange because at one point I loved it!

If you had twins, what would you call them?

If they were both boys, they would be Mason David and Michael Brandon. Now if it was a girl and a boy, I would do Saint Isabella and Amerik Morgan. If I had two girls, then it would Emily Catherine and Leah Reverie.

You have four children, any gender, their names have to start with the same letter. What names would you choose?

Madeleine, Mason, Micah, and Magnus.

What’s your favorite celebrity’s baby name?

Since I love Celtic Woman a lot, and we’ve already established my love of Irish/Gaelic names. I really love both Mairead and Eabha a lot! Mairead means “pearl” and it’s pronounced as “MYarade” while Eabha means “life” now the pronunciation is different as it’s “AY-va” like the name Ava.

What’s your favorite animals inspired name?

Besides Wren for a girl, I don’t like too many girly animal names, except for one other name. Sparrow! I’ve never cared for it as a boy name, but for girls it always makes me smile! However, I really love both Hawk and Robin for a boy. I am obsessed with hawks and robins and cardinals we see and use to remember my papaw. So, apparently I love birds!

What’s your favorite color inspired name?

Honestly I love the name Lavender, whether or not I’d actually use it for my future children or characters one day is still a mystery, but it’s really cute! I love Scarlett as well, but it has been used a lot lately. And then for a boy (or a girl) there’s Navy! I like that Jason Aldean and his wife Brittany, are naming their second child, a girl Navy Rome. I think it’s a beautiful, unisex combination!

What are your top 3 favorite boy names?

This has always been a VERY difficult answer, but my favorite three names are: Milo, Hudson, and Sebastian.

What are your top 3 favorite girl names?

I thought I’d have a better idea for my three favorite girl names but unfortunately I don’t, so I wouldn’t surprise me if I change my mind later on! Anyways, the names I love right now are: Harlow, Francesca, and Siobhan.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure name?

Ooh! My ultimate guilty pleasure name! Honestly, I think it’s Charlotte or Elizabeth. I really enjoy old-timey names for babies, but when it comes to boys I like the outlandish ones like Aspen or Ever.

Choose a baby based on a food/drink

This was REALLY difficult, but I actually don’t like using food or drink inspired names but I do have an exception to one and that is Clementine and what’s interesting, is that when it comes to herbs and some spices I have a lot. I really love: Ginger, Anise, Basil, Caraway, Lavender, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

Choose a baby name based on a month

I’ve always wanted to use August in some way. I’ve had Levi August picked out since I was in middle school. I do love May but I would have to use it like Mae because of the way it’s used in my family, but those are the only two that I really liked.

Choose a baby name from a movie

Here we go again, another hard one to answer because I like to watch a lot of movies! For a girl it would be Mavis from Hotel Transylvania and then my boy name would probably be Benjamin after The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button!

Choose a name that’s already in your family

Oh boy! Since I know more about my mom’s side, I’ve realized that we tend to like the letters: E, L, and M a lot! I’d love to have as many family names as I can in some shape or form, but I’m not allowed to use the name Mary because my mom (who is one of the inspirations for using it in the first place) thinks it’s too old fashion for this generation. So I’ve had to find other names that were similar to it, like “Margaret” and as much as I love it, I’d still like to have “Mary” instead.

My three times great-aunts all had very unique names. The oldest was Regina and she didn’t pronounce it like everybody else would of course. It was “Ra-kee-na” and I have a combination that I’ve created recently that I really like, it’s Ava Regina Elizabeth. We have had a few Marys’ and so she’s the second reason for my inspiration there. I’d like to use it for Mary Louise. Third was Elsaleah, and her name is probably my favorite of the bunch. I’ve picked out to use it in Maud Elsaleah. And then finally we have Lula. She was given the middle name Thomas, and this was before unisex names were a thing! The only way I’d have it as Lula Rose.

Hope you have enjoyed this tag! If you decide to do it too, please send me a link of it after it’s published, okay? 

snowflake

What It’s Like To Be A (Disabled) Blogger

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Howdy!

Last Friday, I celebrated another milestone, nine years of blogging! I know some of you are probably wondering why I didn’t just skip celebrating it when it’ll be the big one zero next fall, but I think it’s important every single thing, big or little, that happens in your life. There’s also the possibility I may not continue blogging next year too, although that is not going to happen anytime soon, but a lot can happen between now and then honestly.

For this post, I wanted to give you an insight on what goes on as a blogger, from my point of view as a disabled person. I think it’s important to show you (someone on the outside) what I do on a monthly basis. Honestly a lot of the time I’m in a panic because I haven’t gotten one day of the week finished yet and my mind has already moved on to the next two weeks! It can get really crazy but I have made it a point to not push myself as a writer. I go at my own pace, sometimes it’s a little fast, but it’s a steady pace!

 

A Day In The Life

Where normal people have their laptops either placed on a table or on their laps, I don’t have that luxury. Mine is always at the foot of the bed so I can get to everything easily. I started going about it this way, because it is getting increasingly harder for my parents to pick me off the floor. I did try it on the floor a few times in the beginning, but it was very uncomfortable as far as how I sat on my butt and my back instantly hurt everytime I went to type on the keys. This other way became my only way to continue my blog.

One more interesting part to this set up is the fact that the laptop is not flat on the floor, unfortunately that is too low for the way my feet are arranged, so it sits on a mobile seat cushion that a person would normally use during sports events and even graduations! I’ve used two or three of these things in the last six years, and the one I have now is a beloved, family cushion of Indiana University and yes, I feel horrible that it is literally breaking at the seams!

You might see pictures of other people with their computers, they look absolutely gorgeous as they’re clean and polished. Well, mine is not that way at all! It has a lot of hairs and dust on the screen and keyboard. Hell, I’m even missing the letter “D” but like I tell everybody that takes a look at it, “it still works!” I do try to wipe it off the best I can, but nothing really works. Let’s be really honest, have you tried your best to clean your screen on your phones and/or reading tablet?

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You are probably freaking out that I actually shared a picture of it, but if I want to be brutally honest about my layout. This is part of it too. You have to remember, I use my toes to type on this, so they can collect different particles, sorry to the ones who are terrified of feet! If you had to use your feet to do everything for yourself. you’d be surprised what could happen! I mean, despite that, think about the ones who have to use pencils to prick the keys or maybe their tongue to work it, that’s a lot of different flecks from various places that get stuck in between those small areas.

Besides the laptop setup, I have two other things that I use to help me out on a weekly basis. My nana gave me a small bookshelf a couple of years, and I actually have a lot of fun organizing it, as I continue to get things to help stack papers together and make more room for other things too. This was a picture I used in the original blog post, it has now changed, but I’m thinking of switching it back to this, because it looks less chaotic! Anyways, I have everything from my pens to numerous notebooks placed in the two shelves, all ready for me to grab and figure out what I need to do next.

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I have a Styrofoam box that my nana used to get her meals delivered in a couple of years ago. We had one stashed underneath the kitchen table at my grandparents house, and she let me take another one home so I could have a makeshift table to write on right by my bed. I actually use for various things; like writing out ideas in my notepads or looking at my daily planner. I can even use to do simple things like read a book or place my remote on it in the middle of the night so I don’t have to worry about kicking it off the bed!

Despite all of this, blogging is still a lonely thing to do. What gets me is that the only time we allow others to join in is when we want guest posts, other than that we are the ones that do everything for our blogs because it could be we’d rather do everything ourselves. We update our social media accounts and network our asses off! We usually get whatever ideas come to us in different times of the day (or night) and they’ll drive you nuts until you have to get out your phone or in my case To Do List and write out a collection of prompts to keep in mind for future open spots.

Overall though, blogging is fun! You get to “meet” wonderful people that are usually trying to do the same thing you are and because of them, you can express your worries and celebrate every good thing that comes your way. Unfortunately, not everyone will congratulate you on your accomplishments, but there is always someone that will send you a “good job” comment or tweet that will make you feel loved, and I think that’s part of the reason why we continue to do it, because thanks to them, we’re being appreciated for our hard work and it makes everything worthwhile!

snowflake

 

How Do I Stay Organized?

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Howdy!

Originally I wanted this post to go before both my seven year blogging milestone and how to become a music blogger posts, but I could not figure out how I wanted everything arranged so I’m going a bit backwards, but I hope you’ll enjoy it just the same!

This post will go over everything I use to keep my thoughts about future blog posts and information for other articles, such as for my pieces for History Of Royal Women in line!

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Electrical or manual daily planner?

As a blogger, there are many ways on how to keep things neat and organized, funnily enough I’m just now finding out how good it is to do this. When I was in school, we were given little daily planners (we had bigger ones while in middle school!) and I never used them for myself, my aide(s) mostly wrote in them. So I was never really taught how to follow up on a planner like everybody else, but this also goes for taking notes in classes too, because since I was so slow at writing and typing, my aide or the teachers would provide the notes for me!

I know a lot of people will use planner apps on their phones or Google’s spreadsheets to keep everything on track, which is perfectly fine, but I have become the type of person who needs something right in front of them to organize posts on a monthly calendar. Personally, I figured I’d prefer a larger print calendar, that you can fit multiple things inside the boxes, but then I realized how much space it would take up around my bookshelf, so my mom bought me one in 2015. I was actually really excited to use it, because honestly I needed one, I’d always forget when I’d schedule my blog posts during the week or a few weeks in advance, so I knew I’d eventually have to break down and get one.

It’s a medium sized book, it has enough room to write out multiple things on each day, and at the start of a new month, it gave a two page mini calendar of that month, and then the next page starts it off. I figured I’d use it a lot more, but honestly I think I used the “notes” sections in it than I did anything else! One of the main issues I had been the fact that it was so bulky! Since it had a lot of pages in it, plus the first six months of 2016, it just wasn’t very practical for me, and of course, I felt horrible about it.

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By February of 2017, my mom went to our favorite meat place and she saw that they were giving away free daily planners. I don’t know why a place like this would be giving out planners, but okay. She came back with one for me and again, I was excited but also a little worried, I didn’t really use the last one, I thought what would be different about this one? Well, for one, it’s lightweight and had nothing but an actual calendar of the whole month, no individual spots for each day, just a medium sized box that you could fill up.

Unfortunately, again I didn’t really use it all that much in the beginning. It wasn’t until September, when my WordPress calendar went away and I wasn’t allowed to see what all was taken already and that really bugged me, so I remembered the green planner and that’s when I started using the crap out of it! It was really handy and I didn’t dread getting it out all the time either. So, when I went to my mom’s work in October and I was given another one for 2018, I knew that I was set! It had the same layout as the other one, except this is definitely more sharper looking and it has a little bit of a larger print compared to the other one! I also don’t feel like it’s going to tire and/or break on me either!

My trustee black notebook

This is extremely important to me, because I’ve realized that I do get some of my great ideas late at night. It’s not the best of times for it to happen, but if I am wide awake around midnight or three in the morning and a thought comes to me, I’ll write out.

I have a number of notebooks on my mini bookshelf, but nothing compares to my black notebook though. I kind of made a vow to myself that I needed to at least try to finish a notebook in my lifetime. Even when I was in school, I never filled in a whole booklet, and I always felt as though I wasted it! So when I found this perfectly unused notebook, I knew this would become my trustee sidekick!

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In the beginning, it was purely just for blogging but once I started thinking and looking up information for my story, it kind of switched to having sections of notes in the middle. Honestly, the whole thing has a lot of stuff stored inside of it, and I’ve only just started to write out my ideas for my future blog posts in like a bullet point format, it’s actually helpful branching everything out like that. Unfortunately, as you can see, it is really beat up! I’d say I have about 30-40 pages left in it, but the wiring is coming undone and papers are starting to slide out-of-place, so I will have to invest in a sturdier notebook soon!

Other things that are handy to have nearby

Whenever I don’t want to shuffle through my bottom shelf for my notebook in the middle of the night, I have a stack of different notepads to use that are very easily to get to in the dark!

My mom got me this red, white and gold love-y notepad for Christmas and every two months, I have to switch out the sheets because I literally have no more room to write on the front. I don’t write out my plans in a bullet point, because of the limited space so I usually try to write the thoughts and ideas, because I don’t look at my phone enough in the day and I know I’m liable to forget about it after a while, so that’s when I started using that hardcore! It’s become very handy for me.

How do you keep yourself organized? Have any tricks up your sleeve?

snowflake

Why You Should Blog Now?

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Howdy!

I may be getting ahead of myself a bit, but on Sunday, I’ll be celebrating seven years of blogging on here! SEVEN! It still shocks me that next year I’ll be blogging as a whole for 10 years! Blogging wasn’t supposed to mean anything to me, other then another outlet to do school assignments in one of my English classes, and yet here I am completing another milestone!

I’ve been trying to rack my brain on what all I could talk about today. I could have ignored the meaning of the day and publish a simple favorite movie post, and in my defense I’m actually having fun coming up with those, so if I annoy you with all of the different types, sorry not sorry!

So the only thing that I thought would be a response post to a swirl of blog posts I’ve been seeing online.

Apparently blogging in general is losing its shine on people. They’d rather watch videos on YouTube then read a bunch of articles on a blog, and in a way I understand because I roughly read four posts a week. I may follow over a ton of sites, but it’s true I don’t read as many of the blogs I used to. I will say this, it’s not smart to read a restaurant review at eight or nine o’clock in the morning without having breakfast first!

What is the point of having a blog, if nobody is going to read it? 

If you created a blog for the sole purpose to share it with strangers on the internet, even maybe make a little money on the side, then yes, this is a question that you’re faced with every single day. For me though, since my views are somewhat low anyways–we’re keeping it real today–I don’t really care. I’m not focused on my stats anymore. I’ve literally switched that section to the bottom of my dashboard, I do enjoy the comments I get from fellow bloggers and some of my readers, it makes everything worthwhile, but when that fades away, would I still blog?

My answer will always be yes and this goes back to the first blog. Despite the fact we made them in school, that didn’t mean that they were all set on private, they were very public, but we got our laptops so late in the semester (it was a one semester class!) that our teacher couldn’t give us the low down of the settings of the site. I actually didn’t know where the stats section was until probably four months prior to creating this one. I hardly ever received a comment on the various things I would talk about there, so I didn’t really care or knew anyone who read my stuff, I  just wondered how that person came across my post in the first place!

If you do decide to create your first blog, here are some most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked in the past. If there is anything else, please ask below and I’ll try to answer it.

How many times should you blog on a daily basis? 

This is your decision. I don’t recommend on blogging 365 days. I actually did that once and even though I only missed four days out of the whole year, I absolutely hated it. You shouldn’t force yourself to talk about something, you won’t produce genuine posts!

I think it is important to come up with some kind of routine. I don’t have a daily routine of when I write my posts, but I usually start in the early mornings when it’s really quiet or past noon, after I’ve eaten lunch. It just depends on how much free time you have, if you’re an early riser or have an afternoon/night to yourself, then I’d use it to your best ability.

Now as far as figuring out a daily schedule. If you want to work on pieces and publish them at a later date, that’s not exactly a bad thing and I don’t know why more bloggers don’t do it. I actually post on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at roughly the same time each day, around seven o’clock in the morning. Whenever I publish my posts on Facebook, they actually have an exact time schedule and that is 8am. Every day has a different topic, such as Monday’s are usually more personal, whereas I leave both Tuesday and Thursday as my entertainment days, this is why you see my movie posts on Tuesdays and music reviews on Thursday!

Should you establish a niche for your blog?

For me, I always knew I was a lifestyle blogger. I wanted to discuss things that went on in my life as a person with a disability. Even while I was still on my first blog, I knew what kind of content I wanted to create on a weekly basis, but I didn’t know there was an actual category until about five years later and found the motherload of fellow bloggers like myself.

To answer the question for you though, no, I don’t think you should. I think it’s fine to play around with different topics at first, but if you are an amateur expert at a certain niche, then go ahead and give it a go! I just don’t think you should close off on other things though. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers who, for years, have only talked about one or two very specific things and literally feel like they’re repeating themselves or notice other people talking about similar things and they want to change things up, but are too afraid that they’ll lose followers in the switch.

Should you buy a domain, professional layout, and/or accept sponsored posts right off the bat?

This one is a difficult one to answer, because you have three different things wrapped into one question, but they all do go together because they all involve money. Now this is purely my opinion, but you shouldn’t buy a domain or template until you’ve at least blogged for a year, for example, say you only use your blog for six months and don’t go back to it until a year later. By that time, you’re going to be kicking yourself because you could’ve used that money for something else.

Now about the sponsored posts part, I’m not the best person to answer that section. I wouldn’t know how to get started on it or do it in general. If you know some bloggers already that have a widget for monthly sponsors or pieces that say that they were sponsored by a certain brand, then you could ask them how they got started with it. However, I will say this as a fair warning, not everybody is as friendly about it as you’d think, especially the ones who work with bigger brands!

When is it time to branch out of your blog though?

When is it time to branch out and do other stuff? Honestly, if I was asked to writing articles for Disability Horizons in either 2012-14, my editor would have hated me, for the fact that I had such horrible writing!

I think being asked in 2016 was the perfect timing because I was starting to really care what I was talking about, and I edited my posts that desperately needed to be taken care of before I officially scheduled it to be published. I don’t think you’re never ready to do something out of your comfort zone. Blogging has become my security blanket, I’ve grown into it, and with that being said, I believe I can grow into writing for other sites too! That’s why I’m building a relationship with the creator of the History Of Royal Women, because as passionate as I am talking about disability issues, I am also a fan of history and the royals!

It’s like what I said before about being open about discussing other topics on your blog, you shouldn’t close your mind from something else you enjoy and have some type of knowledge for it because it doesn’t go with your original blogging plan. It does get boring every once in a while and when I decided to write about my love for Anne Boleyn last year, I literally had the same freeing experience I had whenever I started blogging about music full time. Don’t worry, that post goes up soon!

If you’re asked to work with a site or another blogger that either is similar to what you write about on your blog, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with it, because if you decide one is enough, then at least you can say you were published somewhere!

How to deal with the misconceptions of blogging

Thanks to a recent lifestyle blogger chat on Twitter (hosted by a favorite of mine Amie!) I’ve decided to add a section of it to this post.

Back in January, I was asked by an old friend from school, who was thinking about creating her own blog. She had looked up the different platforms and asked me array of questions about blogging. I actually think she’d do good as a blogger, because she already knows how to promote and I thought she could bring something new to the blogoshere, but ultimately she decided not to go for it. She’s recently had a baby, so she doesn’t have a lot of free time on her hands.

Blogging isn’t for everyone, and I think it’s fair to keep that in mind. I mean, it isn’t easy by any means. People who don’t do it just assume that you are sent things from brands for free all the time but whenever a blogger is being sent things, the blogger has post multiple times on their blog, social media accounts, etc to help promote the brand itself. They may not always get a commission from the brand itself, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it that people just don’t understand!

Should people continue to create blogs if the trend itself is dying?

Again, this is a yes for me!

If you’ve learned anything about this world, nothing really fades away. I mean, just look at MySpace, it’s still holding on with all its might! So who knows, blogging could catch its second wind, but I think I’ll be here anyways.

I know I’ve already said this, but if you have any more questions, send them my way!

snowflake