Tablescapes

Tablescapes
Tablescapes

Gardening

Gardening
Gardening

DIY Projects

DIY Projects
DIY Projects

Updates Around the House

Industrial side chair added to the living room

Made some updates around the house. A new Industrial chair followed me home and I did an updated version of a gallery wall in the hallway.


In the winter months when the temperature drops, I sometimes find myself noticing things a lot more than any other season. 

Romantic and Rustic Tablescape

Rustic and romantic tablescape with white dishes and colorful touches

For Valentine's Day I wanted to set a pretty romantic table, without it being too fussy.

Just an easy, colorful table that can be used for any time.

Chalk Painting a Kitchen Table

Chalk Painting kitchen table

I took the plunge and painted my kitchen table with chalk paint. 


We bought this table about 6 or 7 years ago at a local department store and it has given us a lot of use over the years. But the color is just something I cannot stand anymore.

How to Watermark Your Photos for Your Blog

How to watermark your photos

Watermarking your pictures or photos is a great way to protect them from people trying to steal them or use them without your permission. 

I got a couple of requests to walk people through how I do this, so here is how I created a custom watermark for my blog photos.

Breakfast Tablescape with Rustic Style

Breakfast Table Setting

Breakfast Tablescape with Rustic Style

Setting a breakfast table this morning to start the day off with a bright and cheery outlook.
Mixing Vintage Dishes with Modern ones for a bright breakfast table, that even without coffee...

Would wake everyone up with a smile

Entryway Decor Changes for the New Year

Entryway or Foyer Decorating Ideas

Entryway decor using rustic and farmhouse decor

Decorating the entryway or the foyer has to be one of the best rooms for me to decorate. 

So switching things around for Winter, didn't take long at all. 

Best Blogging Tips You'll Need To start a Blog


Tips to use before starting or having a blog.


Thinking about starting a blog or maybe already have one, then you might want a few tips. Because no one ever wants to be that one person walking around in life or on the internet with a TP Tail or worse.

Looking like a thief.

Or have a huge chunk of spinach in their teeth! Right?



Here's the one of the best tips about blogging and it can be summed up in one word

RESPONSIBILITY

That's it. Ok it's, not it but let me clarify.

You start your blog about what you're passionate about. You take pictures. Ok, so they are not so great. But they're yours. Good for you!

You find a website who has pictures that are stunning. They're crisp and bright and stunning. You think it might be ok, to right click on those images and save them, post to your blog? It's not. 


It's not ok to save someone else's pictures and post them as your own without their permission. Would you walk up to someone's house, take the wreath off the door and put it on yours? I didn't think so.

Borrowing without permission? No, it's stealing. And with a just a few clicks of my mouse, I can have your blog taken down. So ask before you do it. Some websites or bloggers will let you do it, if you put a link giving credit where credit is due.


The other thing you can do, is open up your drapes, take a photography class, learn about some free online picture editors to amp up your images. Natural sunlight and free online picture sites are your best friend now. Use both! Need to protect your photos and hardwork? Watermark your photos. To learn how you can read my tutorial "How to watermark your pictures or photos". Want some tricks on where to store those photos and keep them organized for free? You can read "How to use Google Photos"

What ever platform you use to blog with, whether it's blogger, wordpress, wix whatever has a "TOS" Section.


Terms of Service

and if someone violates it, like stealing content, or pictures or say publishing child pornography? Your site and/or blog will be taken down. And no they don't send anyone a "warning" email giving you 30 days to correct it. This is adulthood. Not Kindergarten. That's the first tip.



Tip #2

Be truthful. Don't spread rumors. Backup what you're saying with actual facts!


Now, if you're blogging about you, your home, garden, nosebleeds? Whatever the content is,

that's perfectly fine. As long as it's YOUR opinion and/or experience. But if you are going to go online and hit publish and the post is about the best blogging platform and give specific reasons?


Back it up with links from the ORIGINAL SOURCE as to who, what and where. If you're going online to instruct me that Wordpress is the best blogging platform out there? Back it up. I want links from wordpress. I want prices. Anything other than that? is your


OPINION or it's click bait.

But don't spread rumors. I support any platform you choose to use as a blogger. I want you to get your thoughts and opinions and passion out there. I don't care what platform you use to do it either. But this whole Blogger vs Wordpress debate? 


Don't spread it because it's not true.

You've seen the lies haven't you? That SOME WP users like to spread to boost their credibility?

That Blogger owns all our content, so we as bloggers should switch to Wordpress? 


RUMOR! High School! Lie!

Not true! So, if you want to tell a newbie blogger why using Wordpress is so damn great, tell them your opinion. But don't spread that unintelligent rumor that we should switch simply because blogger owns our content and we can be taken down for any reason. Because if you do, now you have a racoon toilet paper tail coming out of your pants.




Because if you do, I'll call you out on gossiping. Remember what I said about backing up what you say with actual facts or proof?

Well here's my proof that some unethical Bloggers (whom I equate with The National Enquirer by the way)

haven't read. Blogger/Blogspot is owned by Google and here it is for you to read right from their mouth:




Want to jump right into the part where it says Bloggers on the Blogger platform own their content? I'll tell you right where it's at: Scroll down to "YOUR CONTENT IN OUR SERVICE". It's not far, and it will take just seconds to read it.

I apologize if this seems like a rant, because it damn well is. Blog on whatever platform you feel comfortable with. What you can afford or use without getting frustrated. But don't get online and tell the World lies. Bloggers have a responsibility of owning what they put up on their blog and that's its true and factual. 

The only difference between Blogger and Wordpress is function. That's it. The blogger platform makes you do some of the coding yourself, or you have to find an app or widget to do it online. WP has a widget for it. Some are free, some are not. If you want great SEO traffic to your blogger blog, you have to do the optimizations yourself. WP has a widget called Yoast for it. Function, FUNCTION is the only difference between any blogging platform.

Thats tip #2.



Tip #3


Re-name your pictures. If you're doing a blog post about gardening, name your pictures about what you photographed before you upload them. It will help boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

example:

red roses

summer garden tour

summer tablescape using white dishes



Tip #4
Using Social Media (Pinterest, Twitter, Periscope, Facebook, etc)

If you blog just to blog and having 10K followers so you can earn money blogging is NOT your thing, then pick one or two Social Media ways for users to be able to follow you. Whether it's by email, twitter, facebook. Whatever works for you.

Give readers a choice. If your goal is to have 10K followers then get online and educate yourself about SM. Create your twitter page or Facebook page with the same name as your blog. Use the same name for all your Social Media Platforms and have that name in everything. Want to send them a newsletter and you're tired of Feedburner not working? Then you can read my "Mailchimp Tutorial" on how to create and import your current subscribers.

Sidebar - don't fall for the "oh you need to get on this type of SM or THAT type of SM too"! No one reader or follower is going to follow you on all 15 different types of SM. And no blogger (unless they are ignoring real life) is going to have time to schedule posts on 15 different SM platforms either without paying a monthly fee for it. Or hiring a virtual assistant. So to start off, pick 2, perfect it and them add more if you want. 


Tip #5

Use labels for your blog posts. 

In blogger the label button is on the right side when creating your blog post. Create a up to 3 labels for your post. Labels are like categories. I've seen experts recommend using between 3 and five for each blog post. And be consistent. If your blog is about gardening, then you might want labels such as:


Winter Garden, Summer Tablescapes, Roses, Hydrangea Care. Find what works for you and your readers. These categories are how your followers can search your blog posts when they're on your site. 


Tip #6

Pictures. How many should bloggers put in one post. 


This is your blog, so post as many as you feel necessary. But know one thing. 45 pictures on one blog post, takes a helluva long time to load. You might want to consider narrowing it down. If you want Search Engines or readers to read your blog it should load pretty quickly and having tons of pictures in one post? Might not be the best way. My opinion...not a fact. But how long will someone wait for your page to load 45 pictures before their coffee gets cold?


Tip #7

Network with other bloggers. 


You want to get your blog out their, gain some followers? Follow other blogs in your realm. Leave them comments, follow their SM Platforms. You really want to learn about blogging? Learn from people you trust, then find some groups related to blogging. Google+ or Facebook have groups you can join that support bloggers. There are even specific ones targeted to say Email marketing. Or how to use Blogger, Wix or Wordpress. 

Any good blogger who has been out there for over 2 years knows a few. Ask them to share what groups they are in. If they say no, dump them. There is enough internet out there for all of us to share, so we should unconditionally support each other.

Not guard secrets like it's a matter of National Security!



Tip #8

Don't apologize if you get blogger burnout. 

I understand. I've been there! There is only so much I can post about, believe me. Years ago I spent 10 to 14 hours a day at work, on the computer, fixing computers and networks. I refuse to do it now. I make no apologies. You are allowed to go sit on your ass or spend time with your family. Don't get pressured into thinking you have to post every single day. Unless that's what you want to do.

Tip #9


Don't Work For Free just because you blog

Companies will approach you for free traffic from your site to theirs. To help their SEO. They will give you all the compliments you deserve but none of the $$ or compensation. It's totally up to you, but your time is valuable. If you are not getting compensated in some way, then my OPINION is don't do it. Would you go to a Department Store and help behind the cash register for free? Nine times out of ten they are not going to help promote your blog in return. Ask them, ask them for payment or goods in exchange for writing that blog post. Your time is valuable! For more specifics you can read "What to charge for Sponsored Blog Posts"


Tip #10

My last tip for you if you want to start a blog? Make it Yours. Customize it to fit you and don't let blogger or wordpress stop you. 


There are widgets and apps for almost anything and everything you need with regards to blogging. Find what works for you or what you can afford. There are free templates you can use to change the look of your blog, or paid ones. There are free social media icons, widgets that give links to your FB page. Too many to discuss here, find what you want and add them! There is always a way to totally customize your blog so it's yours. Ask. That's all, just ask your favorite blogger how they did that.

We are bloggers after all. We love to talk!

I hope you enjoyed my rant with tips and tricks and found it just a tiny bit useful.


XO,



Rustic Winter Tablescape

Winter Tablescape with Holiday Greens, Antlers and Animal Print

Setting a Winter Tablescape using antlers, zebra print and leftover holiday greenery.

Trying to warm things up visually around the house

With temperatures outside hovering around 25, there's nothing like a little texture to make it seem warm and more cozy. 
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