Blogging Dear Diary

Be True To Yourself.

I’ve recently come to the realization that I want this blog to be more.  Mostly, because I want myself to be more.  I know that most of you don’t know me and have probably never read a single word I’ve ever written.  Even each and every one of you who now make up the 3k+ followers I’ve gained across social media in the past few months.  I know this because I have been around the block a few times. When I started blogging the entire point was to actually write.  I know, can you believe it?  We all wrote because we wanted to be writers.  SO STRANGE, I know.  We anonymously poured out our souls to each other convincing ourselves we all cared so much,  although we never actually planned to meet in real life.  There was no Twitter or Instagram, or Facebook.  There was no behind the scene pictures and videos.  Blogging was all about the words, the writing, the feelings, the stories.  OUR STORIES. You weren’t running around trying to promote your own face, monetizing and collaborating with brands.  Yet somehow over the past twelve+ years that I’ve been blogging, it has come to this.  The diary like platform I once knew and loved has turned into a full fledge industry crammed with -UPDATED- Because, I am really not the bitch this post makes me out to be. Alright, I’ve definitely said too much.  This isn’t me.  I am not a mean person, I am honestly a really easy going -Nice person.  Well, maybe not easy going but I am nice.  I respect others.  And, I will certainly help anyone who asks, whenever I can.  I have spent the past few months getting to know and help these woman because I genuinely enjoy it… who knew.  And because of my involvement I have now been nominated for two “blogging awards”.  I am pretty sure whoever invented these awards just saw it as another way to pull in page views but lets pretend they actually mean something.  Lets just say, I kinda feel like I have arrived.  The people, they are coming.  I have doubled my page views every month for the past three months.  That is seriously impressive to me.  I laid in bed last night like a crazy person studying my stats projecting my growth for the next year.  What – On – Earth is happening to me? I never saw myself being the type of blogger who could actually make money off of anything that I have written.  And, maybe that is why I have become so salty towards those who do.  In my mind somehow I have convinced myself that I just don’t fit into this world.  I am not all pink and glitter, my house isn’t ready for the pages of Better Homes at any given moment, my look isn’t refined and trendy, I don’t see why anyone would care about my life.  But maybe that is the point.  Maybe there is a place …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Tongue Tied

After the week that I have it is hard to know where to start with this post.  Summer is sick, again.  I am fighting off whatever germ she has on top of that wonderful monthly visit.  I swear she gets a cold virus/ diarrhea thing every month perfectly timed with my schedule to guarantee that my immune system will be low enough to catch it too.  Yesterday was super stressful between dealing with her doctors office and her school.  Yes I will admit she has missed a lot of school this year.  But, every single day that she has spent home was 150% necessary.  I do not agree with this no fever, no throw up, you’re going to school thing her doctor’s office is now trying to convince me of.  If my daughter can’t breath or is at risk for pooping her pants you better believe she is staying home, fever or not.  Yet today, I was basically forced to send her to school with a zip lock bag full of spare clothes and flushable wipes because she doesn’t have a fever.  Thanks, I will just sit here a nervous wreck all day, no problem.  The only good thing that I can say about the situation is that her teacher is a sweetheart and loves Summer, at least emailing her always makes me feel more at ease. I feel like I can’t transition this first topic into anything else right now.  We got a new piece of furniture and a rug over the weekend which I want to talk about and share pictures of but this doesn’t seem like the appropriate time.  I have always been doing some serious soul searching and have finally came to some major life decisions which I also really need to get into but, not now.  I think I am just going to go. My featured image today is my sweet napping dolly and here is one of my little stud. I can’t get enough of these overalls, they are from last season and honestly just about too small but they are too cute he needs to wear them until they can no longer button!! <3 Peace.  

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Dear Diary

The Not So Queen of Blogging.

After yesterdays sob fest I was up early today ready for war.  I need to get myself out of this rut.  I know that writing helps so I am going to continue to write.  This blog means a lot to me.  It is my dream.  Photography, this blog and flipping houses.  Those are my dreams.  If I could imagine a perfect life it would be photographing and blogging about flipping houses.  The fact that our finances are officially fucked and I really need any income I can get right now, right now, really throws a wrench in the gears but I don’t know maybe it doesn’t.  This has to be what rock bottom feels like.  Or honestly maybe not.  I still have a roof over my head, a nice roof at that.  I still have an amazing man who stands by my side with a smile on his face no matter what.  I still have these two beautiful kids who call me mom and show me their big beautiful smiles every day.  Maybe life isn’t that bad.  Even if we loose everything, I hate to sound cliche but isn’t it said that you are only free to do anything once you have lost everything? If you are a new reader or maybe you’ve been hanging around awhile, even so I would like to re-introduce myself.  My name is Danielle, I have been blogging for 12 years and I like to refer to myself as “the failed blogger”.  I say this because, I have never in my life heard of anyone trying to blog for twelve years and be here where I am still at the beginning.  Here is how I failed at blogging so maybe you won’t make the same mistakes that I did…. When I began blogging I was nineteen years old and working full time at night in debt collection.  I was alone in an office building every night and lonely.  I was also dealing with some personal issues that come along with being nineteen years old living on your own with your boyfriend.  I had very little contact with my family, we were struggling financially, everything was all just so hard and we were so young.  I found a site called Xanga and I thought it would be a great way for me to continue journaling and maybe make some online friends in between phone calls. For years I blogged on Xanga, I even taught myself some HTML and started coding my own health and fitness website called Thinspirationsinc.com.  I was excited and obsessed, I loved coding and growing my site, I would just get lost for hours in it!  But somewhere along the way I started going to school for Graphic Design and lost site of my goals.  I married my boyfriend, we bought a house, I got pregnant and switched my major to nursing thinking I was being more realistic and practical.  I stayed with the medical billing company for nearly eleven years working my …READ MORE

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Dear Diary The Daily Dress

A Dairy Free Life

A stomach virus ravaged my house for the past three weeks slowly passing from one of us to the other.  It ruined my birthday.  My husband was the sweetest thing bringing me home this beautiful special ordered carrot cake, he said the only cake he’d ever seen me eat was carrot cake.  His heart really was in the right place.  The problem was, my husband is the kind of guy whose ability to cook stops with toasting his bagel in the morning so he had no idea the cake was loaded with cream cheese and butter cream frosting.  It was a devastating blow to my very fragile state but, I healed and pushed through it.  By Wednesday last week after being sick for five days I finally woke up feeling full of energy again and ready to go.  The kids and I went to the beach Wednesday, the zoo Thursday, and back to the beach Friday with my little niece. The girls had a cute little sleepover Friday night and then we spent Saturday hanging around the house.  It was a great, very busy week.  Then Saturday at about two o’clock in the morning I realized I had never brought the kids to go have their picture taken with the Easter bunny, it broke my heart.  Mark was really upset too, we have a picture every year from the time that summer was an itty baby.  Last year we have one of Summer holding itty bitty Mason. So missing it this year makes me so sad.  But at the same time, Mason really doesn’t like masks or strange people.  This was his reaction to Santa…. I mean lets be real here, I already have a picture of him screaming on a strangers lap.  Yet still, I am bummed.  So much that I considered renting a bunny costume just so we could take the picture ourselves.  But when I brought up the idea to Summer she said, “Mommy, I really don’t want to do the picture this year”.  She didn’t want to “do” the picture with Santa this year either, it was like pulling teeth.  Is our tradition over?  Excuse me while I go wipe my tears, I’m crushed.   It has been over a month since I decided to give up dairy as a two week experiment to see if it could help to clear up my skin.  I have cystic acne.  Adult hormonal cystic acne.  Or at least that is what the dermatologist I saw told me.  He also told me to load up on these crazy drugs that were going to change my hormones.  I was like, hell no!  I mean why would anyone be so obliged to make such a drastic decision without at least trying to adjust your diet?  We are what we eat people!  When your inner body is not digesting something correctly, if you are becoming inflamed from eating some (like dairy) especially when you are intolerant (lactose) to it, your insides aren’t the …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Back and Ready for Action

This is where I start over again.  This is where I say to myself this time it is going to work, this time I am going to push through all of my insecurities and pour my heart out the way I always picture it in my head.  This time is going to be different. The month of February was like something out of the shining in our house.  It was the absolute definition of Murphy’s law.  When I say everything that could go wrong did go wrong I mean it with every ounce of spirit I have left inside of me.  And, were still going here days into March but somehow I am still optimistically naive that we are almost through this. As much as I really do want to unveil the play by play here I just don’t have the inspiration right this second to pour my heart out so I am going to stick to my main agenda.  Which is, proving to myself that I am still here that this blog is not going to fall by the wayside like all blogs of the past and to celebrate that I am finally able to blog after the death of yet another laptop. I am going to write every day for the next month even if it means just little blurbs like this where I’m like hey I am alive and well dear diary or something more meaningful.  This is how I ease into becoming the blogger I have always dreamed of being.  This is how I create the habit of writing that this time will stick.  I got this.

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Blogging

How-To Create your own Logo for FREE

When you are putting all your time and efforts into promoting your blog or Etsy shop a great logo can make all the difference in the world!  You may have thought that creating a logo would be at the cost of hiring a graphic designer and praying they see your vision the way that you do.  By the end of this step-by-step how-to post you will see that you can create a killer logo at home for FREE without needing any design experience at all!  I promise! STEP 1 Head on over to PicMonkey.com.  This is my absolute favorite online tool for graphic design.  They are chock full of editing tools, fonts + clip-art type graphics or you can add your own.  They offer a large portion of their site for free or you can upgrade to a subscription plan for $4.99 a month for full access.  Also note:  if you don’t find a font that you like on their site there are ways around that to still achieve your end game:  a killer logo.  There are apps like: font candy, for example that offer even more text fonts to choose from.  You could always create the font portion on your phone and then upload it as an overlay.  What is an overlay you ask?!  We will get to that soon I promise! STEP 2 Find out the optimal size for your logo and enter it in as a custom size.  If you are using assisted WordPress.org, this will be located under Appearance: Customize: Header or Logo.  If you have questions about where to find your optimal size please contact me, I would love to help you out!  Side Note:  If you are creating a personalized Facebook Cover Photo, there is an option just for that, with the exact size already set!  But that is a entirely different lesson I will get into later.  It could be a very similar concept though, if you already had a logo and were looking to create a Cover Photo to display it. STEP 3  Now that you’ve chosen the size you need (don’t worry if you make a mistake here, there is an option in Basic Edits to resize) click: Make it!  This is the fun part!!  Now it is time to play around with text fonts, click the Tt and then add the text for the word portion of your logo, keep that box active and go down the list of fonts clicking on the ones that look good to you and watch as the words you typed change with each different font. Once you find the font that you like, this is also where you will be able to adjust the size and color.  Or choose to bold or italicize your text or change the blend mode by lightening, hardening your text, etc. STEP 4 Maybe all you wanted was a text logo, if that is the case then at this point you are all done and ready to save!  But if you …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Dear Diary, Putting My Best Foot Forward.

I have been blogging for longer than I would ever like to admit.  Not because I am ashamed of blogging but because, I have had more blogs under various different names depicting different aspects of my life than probably anyone, ever.  Ok and maybe I am just a little bit ashamed.  Not because I should be but because, I am painfully shy and blogging like this is a real push.  I have sat by and watched other women as they swoop in and become “overnight” sensations, in the matter of a few years taking their hobby blogs from unknown to full blown business while I sit here still trying to figure out what my niche is.  I mean I am a mom, I know that I like to blog about recipes, crafts and my kids so technically that makes me a mom blogger, right? But I have been blogging for so long that I am old and new all at the same time and it is all very confusing for me.  When I started blogging, blogs were more like journals where people let out their frustrations and then prayed that someone, anyone might read it.  Or maybe prayed that no one would ever read it because we wanted our blog to be private yet for some reason felt the need to publish our private thoughts online for all to see.  There were no hashtags.  We could not tweet our recent posts, add them to our Facebook page and Instagram an accompanied photo.  Twitter and Facebook didn’t even exist.  I don’t know, don’t quote me on that, maybe it did but if so I wasn’t using it yet.  I know Myspace was a thing at the time but I wasn’t using that either.  My point is, I am still trying to figure this blogging thing out. I find myself writing blog posts in my head every day that never make it to the screen because I guess most of the time I am just too scared to put it out there.  Something has always been holding me back.  My blogging story is basically a metaphor of my life.  I somehow hold myself back from everything just at the end, just when things are about to get good.  We build a beautiful house, it is 95% finished, we’ve been living in it for over three years yet it still has primer on almost all of it’s walls.  I go to school for a hundred years part time, I am one year away from my nursing degree with no desire to finish.  I get everything out to start a project then everything sits on the counter for a week before I even look at it again.  Story of my life.  I have been talking about trying to make money blogging for so long that it has become a running joke in our house.  But how do I admit that I have been at this for over ten years and still have no clue what …READ MORE

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