January 27, 2013 § 6 Comments
My 1200 calorie limit per day lasted a whopping fifteen days, before the pull of a 400 calorie Starbucks scone was too delicious on my tongue, and too painful to input into My Fitness Pal.
I haven’t become a total failure in the calorie ingesting department, rather I temporarily quit counting and measuring, though I know this is necessary for long-term weight management.
The good news is that I have shown some semblance of control; I didn’t eat the entire pizza we had for dinner last night, the whole bowl of mom’s buttered noodles at her house on Friday, or the entire container of Brian’s home-made ice cream (Mint Oreo yumminess).
I think this is progress.
But as happens when one obsessive behavior is put on hold, another one likes to creep in and take its place.
Fashion and Internet shopping (not buying, there’s a difference) is the reason that my little bog has turned clothes hungry, my physical hunger momentarily subdued. Have you noticed?
I’ve been so out of the fashion loop, all mixed up with the unsexy stuff that normal life becomes when you aren’t looking (or scarfing down chocolate cake with a fork).
Clothes, for me, are fun. Fitting into clothes is motivation.
It used to be that you could browse higher-end merchandise on sites like Saks and Bergdorf Goodman, but even with store discounts, prices remained so high and quantities so limited that getting your hands on the good goods was still out of reach.
Large online retailers, once our only choice for finding the pieces that couldn’t be found in stores (or remained full-prce in stores), has changed exponentially with the advent of Internet-based boutiques (shoot-offs from brick and mortars; smart business for selling merchandise that may not be moving quickly enough at its location).
Seemingly overnight (or maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention), retailing boutiques have popped up online and are unloading unsold pieces for unheard of prices; getting rid of the old to prepare for the new.
For example, the online counterpart to South Carolina based boutique Hampden Clothing carries labels like Rachel Comey and Alexander Wang (at significantly reduced prices), and has more than 1,200 Twitter followers.
Larger New York based company La Garconne (with over 6,000 Facebook followers) is marking down (plus adding discounts on) lines like Proenza Schouler and Girl by Band of Outsiders; serious designing-know-how, seriously expensive.
The hitch here is that the significantly marked down items are final sale. If you don’t like what you’ve bought, however, there’s a good chance you could re-sell it on Ebay for what you paid, or more (depending on the designer and the piece, obviously).
My newest discovery ChicNova, an online boutique selling reasonably priced, fairly fashion-forward merchandise is also thinking forward and paying bloggers with 1000 followers or more to review clothing that they are given. It’s a form of bartering; one of the biggest forms of payment in social media.
For bloggers with less followers, ChicNova will pay real dollars if said blogger buys a piece themselves, and then blog review their purchase, linking back to their personal forum. Incentive for both to team up and build their businesses.
Social media has changed much in regard to the way the world is run. Not only do we socialize differently, business has changed, and new jobs for bloggers and retailers have opened up fashion possibilities to regular women everywhere.
Regular women like me no longer have to go sleep to dream of wearing a pair of Rag and Bone red leathers. With a little research (hire me… I’ll do it for you), those red leathers can be hanging in your closet in 5-7 business days!
What do you think of this new way to shop? Do you shop online or prefer to wander through stores where you can touch and feel, but maybe not get the same kind of price adjustments?
What about the idea that when you stop a behavior, another one creeps in?
January 14, 2013 § 10 Comments
Through excited proclamations at pre-school drop-off and a status update on my Facebook fan page, I tried to spread the word about my article that was published today at xojane.com.
I purposely avoided my regular Facebook page, as I know there are spies there who follow my every move and report back to my soon-to-be ex when they deem something worthy of his attention. Those spies need to find something else to do.
Because of the spies, and the nature of the piece itself, which I entitled, “I Knew My Marriage Was a Mistake,” I questioned whether to publish it under a pseudonym or whether to publish it at all.
I’m sick and tired of writing about divorce. I think I may be done for a while (although another article regarding help for co-habitating spouses is in the hands of another editor at a different publication). Today’s piece has garnered over 200 comments, though, so it appears that it struck a chord with the readers. This is what ever writer wants, so the inner debate continues.
Despite my divorce and the litany of reasons why it had to happen, I really don’t wish any ill will on my daughters’ dad. I know he won’t be thrilled about his role in my story, which is the kittenish reason I have kept it off his radar.
Secrets don’t stay secrets, though, do they?
At some point I’m going to be confronted, at which point I will say something like this, “…and what day are you taking the girls to school this week?” or this,”…the handyman will fix the garage door on Tuesday.”
Avoiding arguments is key when living with a separating spouse (if Babble would publish that piece already you’d know that this is rule number one).
Do you think that some things are sacred and should never be mentioned or written about (assume we agree on with minor or victim protection, of course)?
Totally unrelated, but much more fun to share is my vote for best dressed at the Golden Globes 2013. Nicole Richie in this long-sleeved lavender blue embellished Naeem Khan! Styled with the with blue eye and the House of Harlow fringe bag? There’s a reason she’s a style icon. Source
January 5, 2013 § 3 Comments
Content is key, but so is the place where your precious work lives and breathes. If you are like me, you continue the search for the right theme; the template (or home) where your ideas are held for viewing. Personalization is so important.
If you think about it, which you might not if you are a casual web user, many sites are so familiar that you don’t even realize the careful thought that went into putting them together. Yet there is comfort in knowing you’ve arrived at your intended destination …
Oh look, Perez’s pink and center scrolled content.
Here I am, People(dot)com’s familiar logo and layout.
Poppy’s Style header of pretty poppy flowers.
Bluehost’s un-pretty yet powerful, jam-packed screen of icons (not so scary once you start to click around).
Here’s how it works:
- 1. If you want to blog you need to pick a theme, which is like a template for your work. It’s the first step in building your page (or in my case, the next step in growing a page).
- You install a template and begin to play with customization, as long as there is a customization option. A theme might be visually appealing and exactly what you’re looking for, but the colors may not be (a problem unless you read code and know how to change color codes in HTML). For the beginning blogger who doesn’t know HTML, you are stuck with a theme that isn’t a perfect fit, or keep testing themes until you settle one that you can live with.
- If you find yourself completely stuck, the next option is to start google searching. There are many website designers across the globe who create templates, so the choices are abundant. Some of them are free, but many cost a small amount ($30-$75). If you are lucky (and happy) with the color options and layouts, you’re ready to roll, and your new template is sent to you to be unzipped and imported. You are off and running.
- Another option for finding website designers with pre-made themes is on Etsy. I fell in love with Angie Makes Websites, but after a couple of conversations, realized that the theme I had chosen was made for the Blogger platform. Also, I ran the template past my mom who said it was pretty, but not exactly “me.”
- The final decision, which is usually made after exhausting the other options is to design your own website with the aid of a pro. This can cost anywhere from $200 to $1000; a lot of money for the casual blogger. If your blog is just a hobby, it may not be worth the cost. But if you have big dreams of building a business and/or want to share your knowledge in a way that helps people, it makes sense. If you have high hopes that one day your bounce statistics are lower than 50% and/or you catch yourself daydreaming about ways to get your subscription rates to more steadily move upward, customization could be the best investment you make to a long and fruitful social media career.
Hey bloggers … what route did you take? Have you been happy with a pre-made theme or did you hire the big guns?
December 11, 2012 § 10 Comments
I am less than a week into the self-hosting journey (moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org); today being the first day that my website is up and running.
There were many reasons to make the leap (to be discussed later in a thoughtful post when my brain cells have had time to renew and recover from today’s social media extravaganza, 2.2).
There’s so much that I didn’t know.
Yet there was a lot I figured out on my own; even more that will need test driving to determine functioning ability.
I never considered myself an IT/HTML/code enforcer kind of lady.
But I’m no dummy, either.
So when my brain cells return I will have to share the wonderful world of Akismet and ham, Bluehost email configuration, Google Adsense, Google Analytics, and the difference between widgets and plug-ins. I promise to try to figure out “Child Themes” (and CSS code) enough that I can be of some service to beginners taking a similar leap.
The part of my brain that’s swimming in new knowledge can’t believe how much I’ve learned in just one day.
The corner of my mind that houses the fear wonders if I can really pull this off (can I?).
The place where my ego waits is like a kid on a bike; ”Look ma! No hands!”
“Is she wearing a helmet?” You might ask.
It’s called VaultPress. I might be crazy, but I’m not stupid.
Are you a blogger who’s thought about self-hosting?
November 21, 2012 § 4 Comments
Apparently WordPress is being fussy, posting a terribly boring beginning of a poem I’d written (ages ago) without my consent.
If you received the erroneous email, please disregard.
I’m now off to delete every other ancient draft (out of pure fear that it could happen again), while wallowing in the embarrassment that anyone believed I thought the content in the piece entitled, “Lemonade,” was good enough to publish.
Has this ever happened to you? Could it have published from my phone? I haven’t even visited the WordPress App today!
November 16, 2012 § 11 Comments
For the third time in as many days I’ve been led to opportunities that require me to disclose my blog statistics, including my unique monthly visitors; the number of times one person clicks on your site, as opposed to overall clicks (if the same person came back 10 times, your UMV would be 1, not 10).
WordPress.com (my publishing platform) is great in so many ways. Primarily it’s easy, and I do have access to my statistics, only not to the UMV. In addition (and much to my dismay), WordPress.com doesn’t allow the use of Google Analytics, which is what everyone off of WordPress.com uses (it seems) to gather such information and more.
Folks in the business and marketing worlds want information like UMV (as well as other numbers like Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, etc.) to help them decide if it’s worth their time to invest in you. The good news is that readership in this little blog is growing as I continue to snuggle into my niche (writing as a practice over a single focus like mom blogging or fitness blogging).
But moving to another platform (like WordPress.org, which would give me more creative freedom and financial opportunities) is daunting and can be expensive. Self hosting can be a security risk, which (let’s face it) would send me straight over the edge should I get hacked.
So many decision must be made everyday. This one’s got me in a muddle.
My purpose was to use the blog as a writing outlet, but if I’m missing out on opportunities, wouldn’t it be wise to make the change? What would you do? If you are a WordPress(dot)com blogger, have you made the switch, or are you happy where you are?