Category: Blog Everyday in November

#BEDN ~ Something Different

As the #BEDN topic is to write about something different today, I’ve decided to write about two passions I have in my life. They are Formula 1 and Moto GP. I’ve been watching F1 my whole life and can remember growing up, eating a sunday roast watching it, hearing Murray Walker getting over excited about an epic overtaking maneuver. Moto GP is more recent addition to my Sunday afternoon TV watching repertoire, but there is something about super fast motorbikes that enthralls me.

F1I was lucky enough to see Lewis Hamilton win at a very wet Silverstone in 2008. I bought my OH & I tickets for his 30th birthday. Almost every time I’ve been to Silverstone, I’ve got rained on, walked miles & got stuck in massive queues leaving the car park! But even sitting in wet clothes couldn’t dampen my excitement at visiting Silverstone for the first time, let alone watching Massa spin out of control right in front of our seats! But having a Brit win the race was amazing and a real dream come true for me. I’m a real Hamilton fan and will always support British riders and teams above any other, but I was most definitely cheering on Alonso this year – anything to stop Vettel and his Schumacheresque winning streak. ย I will miss Mark Webber with his honest opinion about drivers, stewards and rules next year, but the changes to the cars will make it a very exciting season indeed. And maybe a different World Champion altogether – Come on Hamilton!

Moto GP

I’ve seen more Moto GP races live, though, mainly because it’s way cheaper than F1. And who else can I support in Moto GP other than The Doctor, Valentino Rossi? The seven time world championship winner is charismatic and passionate, even when he’s riding a losing Ducati. It’s been an interesting season this year, with Casey Stoner having retired early and the rookie, Marc Mรกrquez, becoming the youngest rider to win a Moto GP World Championship ever. Poor Danny Pedrosa, despite having ridden with Honda for 8 years, still hasn’t won a World Championship.

Endurance

Both sports have their pros and cons. Some of the F1 races can be dull and the tyre issue this season has been ridiculous. A driver shouldn’t win or lose a race because of how well they’ve looked after their tyres. Not all Moto GP races are exciting to watch either. I have been known to fall asleep at a few and I’ve taken my knitting with me, along with my blanket to help keep me warm, when we’ve gone to watch the races at Silverstone! If you haven’t seen a motorsport race live, you definitely should. It’s exhilarating – just make sure you take a radio to listen to the commentary, or you won’t have a clue what’s going on!

#BEDN ~ Blog Chat

Lots of people still don’t understand blogging. Some see it as a sort of online diary, which it can be. Others see it as living your life online, which it can also be. Personally, I see blogging as a way of sharing what I’m doing, learning new skills & being part of a community. And that’s why I do it, because I enjoy those kind of things. If you’re thinking of starting a blog or just want to know more about it, here are a few tips.

blogging tips

  • Blog because you want to and write about what you like. When you’re in a bit of a blogging funk or you just aren’t feeling it, don’t push it. It’ll come across in your writing. If I’m finding it difficult to write a blog post and it’s just not flowing, then I don’t even bother saving it as a draft. If it’s difficult to write, it’s not going to be enjoyable for my readers.
  • Blogging is harder & more time consuming than it looks. When I first started, I read a few blogs regularly, but I’d never even thought about how much time it actually takes. Not only do you have to come up with something to write about, you have to put the words down, take pictures, edit them, think about SEO, add all the tags, description & keywords etc. Then you need to share it via social media without it being boring to the people who follow you there. There’s also proof reading & previewing it to make sure it looks okay. It can take an absolute age, though some posts take less time than others. Plus, I’m not a perfectionist. My OH, who blogs over on Coffeisseur, is a real wordsmith and will often point out any typos I might have on my posts. But that kind of thing doesn’t worry me. I know it probably should, but I’ve noticed typos on the BBC website so I know I’m in good company!
  • I use WordPress as my blogging platform and am self-hosted with 1&1, though I will be moving to Krystal because their support is amazing! WordPress is a great free blogging platform that can do a lot and you can change & improve your site as your blogging skills grow. There are also lots of great online communities that can help you out if you have a problem, need people to bounce ideas off or just to connect with. Blognix is a great blogging community. They’re on Twitter, Facebook & G+, where they hold regular hangouts. There are also quite a few G+ communities that are worth checking out, including Blogging UK and Craft Blog UK for craft bloggers. The number of Twitter chats for blogging seems to grow weekly. I don’t take part in these very often, as I find Twitter chats quite overwhelming and I try not to spend too much time online during the evening, as I spend all day online! (Am starting to wonder if my eye checks & glasses can be considered an expense!)

Okay, here are a couple of pet hates I have about some blogs & websites in general:

  • Pop up boxes. Whether it’s to sign up to a conference, a newsletter, the blog in general or worse, a bloomin’ advert, I HATE pop up boxes & it’s a surefire way for me to close that tab & never return. Why? Because if I’ve visited that site, it’s because I want to see what’s on it. If I have to click about 5 times before I can get to that content, I’m out. I’m busy! Life is short! Don’t make me click unnecessarily, just give me the good stuff!
  • Continue reading links. Lots of people use a reader to manage the blogs that they read. I use Bloglovin’ because it’s easy to use & I like it. However, if you’ve got the ‘Click to continue reading’ setting on, and I have to go to the actual site, I’m not going to read that post. Why? Because I read a lot of blogs & I want the post right there in front of me. If I have to click again to continue reading it, I’m not gonna! I understand why some people have it, so people have to go directly to that post to read it and it helps you see what posts are more popular than others, etc etc, but for me, it’s a big turn off.
  • A crowded blog. Whether it’s adverts that automatically play music, a site that’s cluttered and cramped or it’s got a really busy background, then I’m probably not going to be a regular reader. Why? It hurts my eyes/ears! I look at a computer screen all day. If I’m reading your blog, it’s because I like what you’re writing. Don’t spoil it with a website that looks like it was made in the 90’s!

Obviously, how your blog looks & feels is down to you. But while you might write for yourself, it’s always good to think about the reader perspective so it’s well worth considering that & looking at it from their perspective.

Okay, I’ve been blogging for a few years now and I have some questions that I need some help with! I’d love to know your thoughts:

  1. How often do you tweet about a blog post? I only tweet about a blog post once (I also post it on my Facebook page & add it to my Google+ page when I remember). I’ve seen other bloggers tweet about it 3 – 4 times on the day that it’s published, but I’ve also seen other bloggers tweet about one post 12 – 13 times over the course of a few days. Can you tweet about your blog too much?
  2. Is there such a thing as blogging too much? Depending on time & inspiration, I’ll blog about 5 times a week, but is that too much? There are lots of blogs out there, so will people have the time to read all those posts?
  3. How much attention should I be paying to my stats & analytics? I’ve got Google Analytics, but to be honest, I don’t really look at it. I look more closely at my Jetpack stats on my blog, but they don’t affect what I write about. Should I?

I’d love to know your thoughts on blogging. If you’ve written about yours today or would like to share your views, just post in the comment section below!

#BEDN ~ A Day in the Life of A Crafty Chai

My day generally starts about 6.30am, which is when Poppy stirs. She’s really struggled with the clocks changing, but seems to have finally realised that 5.30am isn’t time to get up! When I’m not feeling under the weather, like I am today, I’ll usually start my day with Pilates, but all I could manage this morning was a chilly walk with Poppy & my OH.

Morning dogwalkAfter getting home & feeding Poppy, it’s time for my own breakfast at about 8am, which is usually cereal or porridge, but this morning my OH & I decided we deserved a bit of a treat!

CroissantsThen after doing the dishes and a few other very exciting chores around the house, I usually sit down at my desk at about 9am, where I start checking all the different social media streams that I manage and set about responding to emails & catching up on blogs.

A craty chai at workToday we had a guy from a double glazing company come round to give us quote on replacing two windows that are permanently saturated at the moment. The current windows are probably Edwardian, so not original to the house, but still pretty old. We did look at refurbishing them, but to be honest, they are so cold & let so much noise in, that replacing them seems like the best option. Can. Not. Wait.

WindowAfter scheduling lots of social media for the weekend, it was time for lunch & a damp dog walk. It was pretty wet out there, so Poppy & I were only out there for a short time. We went to the park, where Poppy was bitten the other day. It’s only a small bite & she’s taking her antibiotics like a trooper, but I needed to go back to the park before it became an issue. There were a few other dogs there & I was terrified the whole time, but Poppy took it all in her stride!

Damp dogThe afternoon was spent blogging, doing blog post research and catching up on the Freelance Lifestyle ecourse I’m doing this month. Quite a nice way to end the week actually! As I’m off tea due to feeling rubbish, I’m enjoying my new favourite drink instead. Cannot get enough of this stuff!

cherry cola

After quite a productive afternoon, and while I’m waiting for the dinner to cook (a very uninspired oven chips & veggie kievs), I’m going to be catching up on my reading while watching some of Grey’s Anatomy series 9 on Lovefilm. Not a bad end to the working day!

magazine stackAfter a pretty disappointing dinner (if you’ve not tried the Quorn mini kievs, don’t bother. Yuk!), it’s time to chill out. Watching a bit of mindless TV & doing some knitting in front of the fire. Yay for Friday nights!

knitting

And so to bed. I’m not much of a night owl, so I am generally in bed by 10.30pm at the latest, maybe a bit later on a Saturday, but not much. I’ll read for a bit, until my OH falls asleep, then it’s lights out. Am currently reading Restless by William Boyd for book group. Like it so far, but I’m a slow reader so it’s taking a while.

RestlessSweet dreams! x

 

#BEDN ~ 10 Things

As I’m feeling a little under the weather today, which is a pain as I’ve got lots to do & want to be getting on with things, I thought that I would think about some of the things I would include in my perfect day.

1. Pancakes for breakfast. OMG. I LOVE them. Preferably with lots of maple syrup, a fried egg and an endless cup of joe!

pancakes2. A walk on the beach. There is something about being by the sea, like the sea air warms your soul or something. There’s nothing else quite like it!

Walk on the beach

3. Cake. Everyday should have cake in it or at the very least something a little bit naughty. My Nana used to say ‘A little of what you fancy does you good’ & I couldn’t agree more!

Mmmm... cake4. Beautiful flowers. Sometimes all you need is to buy some beautiful flowers to help make the day perfect. Unusual ones, cheap ones, as long as they’re pretty (& not chrysanthemums or carnations!), they’ll brighten up any day.

Beautiful flowers5. Getting organised. Whether it’s updating my Filofax, planning events with friends, crossing off chores from my to-do list, I love it when I’m organised. It brings me a huge sense of calm!

6. Enjoying some quiet time. Whether it’s knitting, reading, watching a film or just chatting, there’s nothing better than spending some time offline and just being.

Jamaica Inn

7. The Walking Dead. As I mentioned the other day, I have a morbid fascination with zombies. Therefore it’ll come as no surprise that I LOVE The Walking Dead. I’ve seen each episode multiple times & it still fascinates me. Gotta’ watch out for those walkers!

walkers

8. Snuggles with Poppy. There’s something very indulgent about not having to rush about in the morning, getting Poppy walked before carrying on with our day. Or it might be stopping work for a few minutes and spending them with Poppy. This picture is of Poppy helping me change the sheets. Hmmmm…snuggles with Poppy9. Getting cosy. We’re very lucky to be able to have a wood burning stove this winter. Before then, we had an open fire. There’s something gorgeous about being out and about in the crisp autumn air, then coming home to a roaring fire & getting cosy for the night.

Cosy fire

10. Red, red wine. I’m not a big drinker, but there is something delicious about enjoying a glass or two of lovely red wine of an evening. I’ll always open the bottle earlier in the day to let it breathe a bit, and if I’m being really indulgent, I’ll even use the big fancy glasses!

red red wineHow about you? What would you include in your perfect day? Let me know!