january update

hey, friends! today is going to be a super informal chatty post just talking about january!

honestly january was not the greatest month – ww3, kobe, the koronavirus… but hopefully the rest of 2020 will be better ūüôā

Continue reading “january update”

Christina and Camera CHANGES

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agg why do I have no idea how to start posts?

ANYWAY…. how was your weekend? Mine was great! My Dad was home, and a break from school is considered great no matter what, haha. On Friday, I talked about my goals for February (and I have already failed the journaling one… I didn’t journal on the 1st. I know, I’m a horrible person. Seriously. I¬†might¬†be able to catch up on that, but I don’t know, haha. And I ramble way too much.) but I also hinted at a couple fun new changes to Christina and Camera. Soo… here they are! I’ll also be sharing the results from my question about what posts y’all what to see.

 

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Two posts per week//¬†I’m changing up the amount of posts per week.¬† They’ll probably be a little shorter, but hopefully around the same length. I really want to get more content out there, and I love blogging, so we’ll see if this works out.

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Email List// I seriously haven’t been able to use this like I wanted too. Most bloggers send out emails with their posts, but if I’m email subscribed to them too, it gets annoying. Soo… what do you guys want to see in the email list? The stuff that I normally put in there are things I want to feature on the blog, so I really don’t know! Maybe more personal stuff??? Honestly I have no idea.

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More personal// Honestly, I’ve been treating blogging like a business. Posts have to be done by a certain date, I¬†must¬†have this amount of followers, I need to be as professional as possible, yada yada yada. While this mindset is great for some people (aka those who actually blog as their job) I really need to stop. Healthy goals//deadlines are great, but I don’t need them to be set in stone. Y’all’s favorites of my posts are generally the personal ones, and the impersonal, business-style posts don’t get much feedback.¬†how did I just figure this out!?!¬†Basically, I want to post more things that are peeks into my real life, and more things that are personal to you guys.

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Post ideas// Here’s the part of the show¬†post where¬†larry comes out and sings a silly song¬†I share the results for what you guys want to see.¬†Plus does nobody get that reference? Please please someone get that reference. I don’t want to be the only Veggie Tales fan out there… *looks around awkwardly*

ANYWAYS.

I suggested 8  categories, and you guys also made up 2 more.

  1. Devotional//Bible study series 4 votes
  2.  DIY//Crafting 4 votes
  3. Desk tour//organization ideas 5 votes
  4. The Lego Vlogs 1 vote
  5. Book reviews 5 votes
  6. Tags//Q & A// Collabs 3 votes
  7. Recent photography 4 votes
  8. Planner//planning 5 votes
  9. Animal related one of your categories, 1 vote
  10. Movie reviews one of your categories, 1 vote

So. I’ll be sharing pretty much all of the categories with 4-5 votes this month (except Bible Study series, I’m still working on that, but hopefully I’ll be sharing that sometime in March or April.

 

SO.

 

Bye, see you all on Friday with another post! Please chat with me in the comments.

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the pictures in this post are from unsplash, a lazy photographer’s best friend¬†

How I write my blog posts

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Have you ever wondered how I write my blog posts? It’s definitively not one size fits all, but my current method works well for me.

Planning

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This step might seem minor, but it’s actually very important! About a month in advance, I pick the posts for the next month from a list that I keep of things I’d like to post. Then, I add them to an excel sheet that I keep (excel is like sheets for google) going.

I used to use monday.com for this step (just because I had a 30 day free trial) but it’s expensive if you want to keep using it, so I just decided to use an excel sheet.

Here’s an example of my excel sheet for June, July, and August:

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Once it’s added to the excel document, I open a google docs and start planning the post. For example, in my bible journaling post, I listed all the supplies I would include and found links and prices for all of them. Most of the time this is just a simple bullet list of what I want to include in the post (for some posts, I don’t even do this, like a photography post).

Photos

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I try to include photos in all my posts, even if I grab them from Unsplash (like the one above). If I need to actually take photos with my camera, I do that, but if I’m getting the photos online, I pick the one’s I plan to use. Then I add EVERY SINGLE photo that will be in the post to an empty draft. This includes my “Hello” Photo, signature, and dividers.

Writing

 

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This step is pretty self explanatory: actually writing the post! This includes typing captions for photos, and actually building a post. I generally do this in 1-4 stages (depending on how much work it is).

Then, I schedule the post! I write my posts about 1-2 weeks before they go live, which relives me of stress. For some posts that are more personal and need to be written closer to when they go live, I try to prep as much as possible ahead of time.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my blog post planning+preparing process (triple points for alliteration)!

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Why I don’t have Pinterest + an alternative

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Today I decided to share an easy alternative to Pinterest!

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I’m going to share this alternative with y’all right off the bat… Unsplash! I know, right? If you don’t know what Unsplash is, it’s a free photo website full of high-resolution photos. They’re all free for the taking and you can use them anywhere, plus they’re great quality! Awesome, right – if you want photos. But you can use Unsplash for other things too! I use it for a Pinterest board. It’s not the same, but here’s what it DOES have.

  • Tons of great quality photos- if you want photo inspiration, this is WAY better than Pinterest. These photos are professional and hand picked daily!
  • Bible journaling and art inspiration- this is surprising but true. There are quite a few gorgeous spreads for bible journaling, art, bullet journaling, and planners.
  • Cute pictures of babies- I know! But they’re so CUTE ūüôā ‘Nuff said.
  • Food pictures- I have a whole board on this one ūüôā
  • Boards- You can make collections that are kind of like pinterest boards! It’s very similar.
  • Appropriate photos- the photos are all hand picked and very appropriate.
  • You can submit photos- I can’t promise that they’ll be accepted, but you can submit them!
  • You can like photos
  • You can follow other people’s feeds
  • Your feed is specific to your interests

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VIEW MY UNSPLASH ACCOUNT 

One thing I love about Unsplash is that it’s not ads for products. On pinterest, the pictures make you want stuff, but Unsplash pictures don’t (for me).

Go to unsplash.com today to sign up, or check out my unsplash account with the link above.

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April Recap + May Goals

Hi guys! Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my previous post(s).

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April recap

Sadly, I don’t have goals to recap for this month ūüė¶

This month’s posts:

YOU can help pregnancy centers

Collab with Megan @Animal Wonders Blog

I’m launching an email list??

To the woman that’s had an abortion

Quick update

Yay, I posted 5 times this month! That’s my goal, so I’m so glad that I accomplished it. I had 1 Monday post and 4 Friday posts, again, my goal! That’s great.

This month’s stats:

Total followers: 62 Yay, we passed 50!

Top three countries:

America wins with 278 views

Malaysia comes to a close second with 23 views, and

India gets 3rd place with 15 views.¬†Wow, Malaysia and India? That’s so cool! I was definitely¬†expecting America, Canada, and another country to be the top 3, but that’s not what happened!

Views: 333 Wow, what a cool number! 

Visitors: 106¬†Wow, it’s amazing that 106 different people viewed my blog this month. That’s amazing!

Likes: 92¬†That’s not great, but it’s high for me! Also, it evens out to about 18 likes per post, which is pretty good.

Comments: 108 WHAT? There are more comments than likes, which is super crazy and funny. This one evens out to about 22 comments per post, which is great!!

Those are this month’s stats. I think that this month was awesome stats wise.

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May Goals:

  1. Use my bullet journal every day, with the exception of 1 day per week.¬†I don’t normally bullet journal on Saturdays or Sundays, but this month I want to bullet journal on Saturdays too.¬†
  2. Review my new planner.¬†I have a special review planned for this month… get ready!
  3. Write 5 posts for this month.
  4. Plan ahead 2 posts for June. I want to take a vacation, but still post for you guys!
  5. Post some photography.¬†I just got my first ‘real’ camera, so I’m really loving taking pictures.
  6. Clean out my desk and computer files from school things. I only have  1 more week of TPS and 2 of Veritas, so this month I need to finish up school things.
  7. Send out emails every Monday and Friday this month. This will be a lot, but I think I can do it.

Thanks for reading!

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Quick update

Hi everyone!

I am on a sort of vacation right now, so here are some updates!

My grandfather had a collapsed lung, so me, my mom, and sister came up to visit them and help them out. Please pray for them! He is an elder at his church and a devout Christian. We’re so thankful to all the people at our church who took care of my brothers throughout the week. Thanks, guys!

I don’t know how much longer I will be up here, but I’m still with them. My mom and sister had to head back home, though.

They are avid photographers, so I’m using their cameras to take photos every day. I will try to post a sort of trip diary for the times that I am there (I have some awesome pictures already!)

 

Just wanted to let you guys know what’s going on. I am not going to be sending out the mailing list while I am gone, so sorry!

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Sign up for the camera club here.

Join the mailing list here.

 

I’m launching an email list??

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Hello everyone! Today, I have a surprise that’s not really a surprise if you read the title.

I’m launching an email list!

I finally decided to launch an email list. Yay! Here’s what you will see if you sign up.

Mondays: Weekly Newsletter

This email will contain:

  • Books I’ve been reading + Book Spotlight
  • Posts coming up
  • Goals for this week
  • Spotlight: (Music, Product, etc…)

Fridays: Post Update

This email will contain:

  • Sneak peek of the post + notifies you that new post is up.
  • Behind the scenes of the post that just went up

If you’re interested¬†in the content I will be providing, please sign up for my email list here.

I will be sending the first email on Monday at 1:00 PM EST, so please sign up by then if you would like to see that post. I will also be putting the newsletter every week in the sidebar for easy access.

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Abortion: My Viewpoint

This post may make you uncomfortable. It might make you squirm. Abortion’s not THAT bad. What are you talking about?¬†But it needs to be said. So I’m going to say it.

Melanie from Reflections of The Heart (amazing, check it out) has plenty of amazing posts about this topic. She’s an amazing pro-life teen, and her blog is very inspirational and amazing. I’ve been following her for a while, and she’s great! Her posts range from modesty to lifestyle, from decor to relationships.

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I’m sure you all heard about the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 17 innocent people were shot in a location that is meant to¬†be a safe haven for them. I hurt for the families¬†who lost a piece in their lives- may it be a spouse or child. Their lives will be forever different.¬† I hurt for these families, but I have a greater hurt than that. My heart aches because of the response this has caused. Almost everyone shows sympathy- and that’s not bad. It’s good that many people are against such a thing. The sad thing is that people are totally against this- but over 125, 000 abortions occur¬†each day. Over 125, 000 innocent babies are murdered each day; what’s more, in a location that should be the safest place possible. How can shooting be wrong and hated, but ripping apart unborn babies be admired? How can everyone hate the fact that 17 humans were robbed of life, but not care about the billions of unborn humans who never even had a chance to live outside of the womb?¬†The question is: How can we be so enraged at the shooter when we have taught him that life is disposable?

Don’t get me wrong, I am most certainly against shootings- especially this one! What happened was horrible and should NOT have happened. But everyone who is also hurting for the children, adults, and their families and not hurting for the billions of unborn children should reconsider.

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This was just as hard to write as it will be to read.

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I know this was short, but I hope you enjoyed! Tell me below ūüĎáūüĎá

 

 

 

Reveiw of Design Pique Studios+New Blog Design!

Hey guys! As you probably know, Mukta recently redesigned my blog. If you haven’t¬† seen it yet because you’ve been reading my posts in your reader or your email¬†or not at all, then come see it! It’s absolutely¬†gorgeous. Mukta took my hard to understand vision and made it into the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Let’s take a look!

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What Mukta did:

  1. Picked a new theme (I love the open, clean layout)
  2. Designed an AMAZING header.
  3. Designed a blog button and post schedule.
  4. Designed headers for all the site pages and sidebar elements.

Check out the site if you haven’t already. I am in LOVE with the design *heart eyes emoji*

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Review Of Design Pique Studios

Design Pique Studios is Mukta’s professional unprofessional business (you’ll see what I mean in a moment).

One thing you must know about Design Pique Studios is that it is an unprofessional business¬†that designs professionally. Mukta’s business¬†is free, but her designs are professional. This may make you think twice, but when you see the designs she’s done (she does book covers too), you’ll fall in love with her company.

Design Pique Studios has designed plenty of blogs and book covers, so naturally, Mukta is very busy. However, she was very kind (even when I disturbed her on vacation… twice) and always found time for our emails. We were able to get the design completed in less than two weeks.

Overall: I love Design Pique Studios and recommend¬†it to you, whoever you are :). It’s very professional, not pricey at all, and easy to do. She makes the process so simple and easy and I really do recommend¬†her.

Check Design Pique Studios out here!

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I also have something extra special for you…

Interview with Mukta

You guys are going to love this. Definititly check¬† out Mukta’s blog and design website.

How long have you been blogging? (also, can you send a link to your blog in the answer?)

I’ve been blogging over at my personal blog,¬†Born Free¬†for four years now! (I know right, sounds like forever ūüėČ )

 

What are your goals for your blog and business?

For my blog, well, my dreams are like anyone else’s. To meet and get to know people who share my interests, and to hope that every step I take is towards improvement. As for my business, it began as an experience for my working in the design field, and by far it has proved to be worth every minute I spend in it.

 

What are some interesting facts about yourself?

Well, I am an excessive sweater no matter what time of the year. I am an INFP-T and a somewhat fitness freak. ūüėõ I can officially not dance if my life depended on it, haha. AND I have both sleepwalked and sleeptalked on some long-gone day in my life, I trust.

 

How did you first get into blogging? 

It began with my dad, actually. I had no idea what a blog was, and my dad started it to post some of my early writings and such, but now it is taken over by me completely and am glad it is so.

 

How would you describe your blogging style?

I would say… all over the place? It doesn’t have a fixed theme, really, so I post anything that I enjoy. The whole purpose of my blog revolves around the idea of preserving what I enjoy, so to say.¬†J

 

What are some tips for beginning bloggers?

Well, I certainly would say that it takes time to get in the groove. Rocky days are normal, not feeling motivated is normal, so if you want to be a blogger, you’ll have to be up for all of it.

 

What is your favorite design tip?

Well, my work motto (the one I just made up a moment ago) is ‘When all else fails, clipping masks are your saviour’. And seriously, if you’re having trouble designing your blog, take it easy- find a font you like, find a texture you like, put the texture on. That works magic, trust me. ūüėČ

 

Did y’all enjoy that? I loved hearing Mukta’s answers!

 

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6 months of blogging: HUGE SURPRISE!!!

On March 31, 2017, I clicked the ‘create blog’ button on blogger. My blog was held on blogger for 2 months, but then I switched to WordPress. I have seen people on blogger with Bee-u-tiful blogs! But for a new blogger, WordPress is much easier to use. I’ve met so many friends throughout my 6 months of blogging. And I have 20 followers!! It might not seem like a lot, but for me, it is! I am so grateful to those people who put an encouraging comment, liked one of my posts, and followed!

So yeah…. I have a surprise!

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I can see why bloggers like doing this….

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EVIL LAUGHING

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Okay. No more scrolling.

 

My big surprise is….

Dolls by the Dozen is becoming:

 

Christina and her Camera!

I will be changing the web name and blog button and header, but you will still be a subscriber and it will still be the same site. However, I’ll be posting random photography (not just doll photography), bookish fangirling, and tons of other awesome things! The Dolls will still be here and on the blog often, so… yeah!

 

Are you excited about Christina and her Camera? Talk to me in the comments!