Wednesday, July 31, 2013

5 Ways to Know if You Are The Cool Kid.

Contrary to what my title may imply, I'm not about to tell you to wear Abercrombie and Fitch and join the cheer squad. I am, however, going to tell you what I've noticed the most popular blogs have in common (or at least, the ones that leave me wishing that a shooting star could switch our lives for a day!)

1. Beauty.
First and foremost, it's all about looks. Though I hate to admit it, most of the "popular" kids portrayed in TV and everywhere else in this shallow world are to some degree, attractive. Your blog is very much the same. With the 2.5 second average that people spend scanning a web page they've never seen before, the appearance is a KEY factor to what tempts them to linger a little longer.

2. Photography.
This doesn't mean that you need to be a professional photographer (though it doesn't hurt.) This simply means that you need to know what you are doing/shooting. Good design elements, natural lighting... or if you are me...instagram? The list goes on for ways to achieve this. For your enjoyment, Here is a link to some photography tips from one of my favorite blogs!

3. Skills.
Shocker. You mean you actually have to be good at something to have a successful blog? And here I thought I was just having fun! Don't worry, you should have fun! I'm not saying that you have to be on the varsity football team or anything, but usually it's a a skill of some sort that people admire, that keep them coming back! Gorgeous photos, tutorials, DIY, sewing, cooking, fitness for pete's sake! The list is endless. But what if the only thing I'm good at is warming my pizza bagels to the perfect temperature? That IS a gift, but I'm sure you are good at more than that. Many bloggers have skills that they don't even realize. They are honest, funny, and relatable. You are the only YOU on the web. That's why people are reading.

4. Honesty.
I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I find a blog I love and it's not long until I have to take a break from it. It's not that I don't still love the blog, but honestly, it's because I start to feel bad. Silly.... right? But it's true. Positivity is WONDERFUL! But after a while, I feel like either they have stuck gold on the most perfect 25 years the world had ever known, or... they just aren't saying all there is to say.  I'm not saying you have to pour out your soul in every post, and heaven knows, no one wants to see all your dirty laundry! But something I have noticed in the more well-read blogs I've seen is that amongst the funny stories, great tutorials, and fabulous personalities, are a real, bonafide, all-feeling person.  I know who can make a mean lasagna, and who has got this whole fashion thing down, but I also know who has struggled with their bouts of depressions, infertility, lost loves or lost love-ones. Though it's certainly no one's business but their own, this isn't important to me because I'm a gossip (though I'm sure I am!), it's because it shows me, and every other reader, that I am not alone. I know that I have multiple posts where I've been a little too honest (AKA every post after my first engagement to my husband fell through!), but I also know that it is those posts that I've received personal responses of gratitude in reference for. So ladies, it's ok to show the blemishes from time to time in addition to the beauty!

5. A trademark.
Has anyone not read an Awesome and Awkward Thursday post? I was a fan when good ol' Sydney when she had a few hundred followers and still did these posts that were refreshing, unique and totally her. I live for the playlists Tuesday Tunes posted on the 25th hour, and just die over the sassy-ness of Whitney and Erin at Living in Yellow and I Wore Yoga Pants to Work. Those are just to name a few! So What's your trademark?
I'm not sure what mine is yet, but eventually something will surface I'm sure :)

And though I wish I wasn't one of the kids who thought A&F clothes would make me cooler, I was. I'm thinking a pair of BonLook glasses couldn't hurt, right mom? Because lets be honest, you could pluck a random pair from this company and be looking daaaang good. Who doesn't feel smarter, cooler, and look dang good in some sweet specs, amiright?! That's what I thought.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I need a break, I need a va-ca-tion.

Knowing it may be a while until I get to be home again, last week I hitched a ride, traveled home to Spokane to surprise the family and to see my brother give his mission farewell talk... only to come home to an empty house!

Yes. The family campout that only happens once a year happened to be the weekend I chose to surprise my family. Ironically, this exact same thing happened when I went home to surprise my family last year! Better luck next time? haha 

Nonetheless, it was nice having just some me-and-my-house bonding time. I soaked up the nastalgia. Walking from room to room noticing the plants that had been re-potted, the new decor delicately placed, smelling the throw pillows, shuffling through the drawers... normal stuff, right? I think the longer you stay away from home, the less you remember that you miss it.

Eventually that family came home and all was well. My siblings and I watched movies, my mom and I went shopping, myself and I relaxed. Glorious. 

My little brother gave a wonderful farewell talk, customary before serving a 2-year mission for our church.

And after a long 4th of July weekend, I'm back in Rexburg and already researching vacation spots. Clearly I enjoyed my break a little bit too much!
 What's that future vacation rental? You think I should probably drop out of school and become a coconut sculptor on the half Dutch, half French island of Cupecoy in St Maarten, situated 200 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico? I really like the collection of villa rentals listed on Rental Escapes"

...Well... If you say so :)

If you need me, I'll be on the beach.