Blog Updates!

Hey readers! These past couple of days I’ve been doing a lot of blog updating and adding new pages. I’ll be doing a lot more over the next week or so, such as updating my book reviews so it’s easier to find books, recipes, and all that fun jazz. I’ll also be adding a “Join My Team” page under “Coaching” if you’re interested in doing what I do. I just want to make this site easy to navigate and simple for all of you to understand me and that I want to be here for YOU! PLEASE let me know if you have any ideas – you’re the reader so this is for YOU!

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I added my “Heath & Weight Struggle” to my About Me section so that people can get a good idea of my story when they first find my blog.

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I’ve also added a whole new section for coaching so that you can get a better idea of what I do and what I offer.

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My free “Be Your Best Self” Facebook Community

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Bootcamps (aka accountability groups or challenge groups)

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And more to come! Please let me know if there’s anything YOU’D like to see!

Writing Process Blog Tour

Hey everyone! I hope your week started off well! A little bit ago, Ari, from Ari’s Menu and a good friend of mine, invited me to do the Writing Process Blog Tour, which invites bloggers to let readers in on some behind the scenes information. I thought, why not!?

When I sat down to answer the questions, I realized that my answer is completely different from what it would have been 3 months ago, a year ago, or two years ago. It’s always changing as factors in my life change, such as free time, inspiration, and what I choose to write about.

Let’s get started!

1) What am I working on?

Quality over quantity. My blog is almost three years old and for most of that time I thought it was so important to blog at least every weekday. Nowadays, I just don’t have time for that and I don’t always have that much to say. I’m learning that it’s okay to post 2-3 times a week and focus on writing better content. Also, my life is so much busier now than it ever was before. I was supposed to get this post done by yesterday, but I had an amazing weekend instead.

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2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This might sound corny, but my blog is different from any other because it’s just my voice, and no one else has my voice. Most of the time my posts are just the ramblings that are in my head; whether that’s a Thursday Thoughts post, or a more meaningful reflection post. Each post that I write is a reflection of what’s happening in my life at that time.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I started my blog because I wanted to write about my life and topics that other women could relate to in hopes that they might not feel alone. I wanted other women to feel connected, learn from my mistakes, and maybe smile every once in a while.

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4) How does your writing process work?

BAHAHAHAHAHA. WHAT? I have no writing process.

As I said, it’s purely what’s on my mind. If I think of something I want to write about, I sit down and write it. Sometimes it will be days ahead of time and take a little more extra effort with graphics, photos or editing, and other times I’ll write it in the morning, hit publish and there you go! I went through a period of planning ahead and scheduling posts, but that just doesn’t fit my writing style right now

 

Now that you’ve heard from me, I’m passing the torch along to Emily from Perfection Isn’t Happy! Emily and I have been reading each other’s blogs for years and have gone through some very similar “quarter life crisis” feelings, which definitely gave us a connection. I’ve been lucky enough to see Emily not only a few times in Chicago, but also at a couple blogger events as well!

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Why do you read certain blogs?

If you’re a blogger, what’s your writing process?

Did you do anything fun this past weekend?

Liebster Award

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Today I’ve got a fun post for you. Lex from Lexalicious Daily included me in the bloggers she nominated for the Liebster Award. Thanks, Lex!
I’ve done a few of these before but I always think they’re a fun way for you to get to know me a little better. So here we go!

The Rules:
1. You must link back to the person who nominated you
2. You must answer the questions given to you
3. You must pick ten bloggers to be nominated for the award
4. You must create ten questions for your nominees
5. You must notify the nominees

 

1. What was your first blog post?

Oh gosh. My first post wasn’t anything too exciting – when I first started blogging I really didn’t know my voice so I tended to just write about what was going on in my day, as well as kind of copy what other bloggers did. My first post basically talked about a run and my breakfast. So thrilling.

2. Morning or night person?

MORNING! I can get more done between 5-9am than I can in the rest of the day combined. I am such a morning person and come the afternoon, I am so done and unable to focus on anything.

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3. What super power do you wish you had?

Well, my “super power” is really just a magical ability from Harry Potter, but I’d love to be able to apparate. For those of you who don’t know, it basically means you think of where you want to be, and POP!, you’re there! Aka teleportation?

4. Favorite form of exercise?

You’ll be surprised by this – Dancing! I love dancing, I’m just any good at it and never took dance growing up. I would love to use dancing for exercise more often, even if it’s just zumba. It’s so fun it doesn’t feel like exercise.

5. Coffee or tea?

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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6. Best date you ever went on?

Haha yea… remember how I said there are some things I just don’t share on the blog? This is one. Unless it’s a horrible/funny story – see below:

7. Worst date you ever went on?

Oh gosh. I went to watch a movie with this guy and he made popcorn then ate it all, got himself some lemonade (we were at his apartment) and didn’t offer me any, and the whole time I just wanted to leave. After his failed attempt at a goodbye kiss and trying to drive me to the El stop I finally managed to fake an excuse to leave and then ended up getting soaked when it poured on my walk home. I was just glad to be free… Horrible. Lesson learned

8. What is your spirit animal?

This is hilarious because at my office we all had to pick a spirit animal (not sure why…) but mine was a river otter! They have been one of my favorite animals since I did a report on them in the 3rd grade!

Photo Source

9. Where is your favorite place to blog?

Hmmm I don’t think I have a particular place that I like to blog the most. I’ll write my posts anywhere from at my apartment, to at a coffee shop, to on my phone while I’m riding the bus. I do, however, like to write early the morning!

10. Share your favorite photo and tell us why you love it.

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This is one of my all time favorite photos. It’s from winter break during my freshman year of college and myself and three of my best friends from high school were out at Maddie’s farm.

I’ll spare you the whole story, but I love this photo because it caught us in a moment where we were laughing and having the best time and every time I look at this photo it makes me smile.

 

Instead of nominating more bloggers, it’s your turn! You answer one, two or ALL of the questions that I answered!

To Share or Not To Share

Hey everyone! First of all – THANK YOU for all of your amazing comments from yesterday! I don’t think I’ll be able to get through all of them and respond but I read each one and some of you were so supportive and shared how you could relate, which I really appreciated. Yesterday’s post also got me thinking about how much I share, and where the line should be drawn on what I should or should not put out in a public space.

I’ve gotten a few questions and requests for blog posts over the past couple months about intuitive eating, binge eating, etc. and how I’m doing with the issue. Since I shared a lot of my story last year, I expect these kinds of questions – many of you are curious or going through the same thing, and I understand why people would want updates.

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But, I’ll be honest – I don’t love talking about these things on my blog anymore, which is why those types of posts (such as yesterday’s) are a little more rare. I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten a lot more private about my life, not wanting to share everything on the internet. I also feel a little lost myself at the moment and am not entirely sure what to say or share with you all.

On the other hand, I started this blog so that I could be real and be someone that women reading could relate to. I wanted to put myself out there to start conversations, to make people feel like they weren’t alone and to connect with my readers. Avoiding personal topics makes this a lot more difficult at times. It’s a hard balance for me – deciding what and what not to share in these space and essentially for the world to see.

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Photo courtesy of Carissa G. Photography

Weirdly, it’s not the sharing with people I don’t know that bothers me, that’s easy. It’s knowing that my family, friends, old classmates and colleagues read this blog that makes me more hesitant to share. It’s weird to see someone in person knowing that they know way more about me than I would have normally shared with them, or that I know about them.

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So if you have any specific questions or curiosities always feel free to email me at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com. As for the blog, I’m not really sure what will happen with what I choose to share, but like everything else, I’ll take it day by day.

 

If you’re a blogger – do you have a hard time drawing a line or finding a balance?

If you’re a reader, how do you feel about the topic?

How to Make a Social Media Kit Using PicMonkey

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since my last PicMonkey post! I wanted to let you know I’m now a PicMonkey Affiliate, meaning that if you sign up for Prime I do receive a commission. However, as you all know, I have been singing praises for PicMonkey since I discovered the site well over a year ago, so it’s a product I promote no matter what!

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Here’s a look at my previous PicMonkey posts:

Making a Graphic

Weekly Workouts Demystified

Healthy Living Summit Presentation Recap

PicMonkey’s New Features

PicMonkey Tutorial

So on to today’s topic! How to create a Social Media Kit. So what is a social media kit? It’s basically a resume for bloggers (or any creative occupation, especially for freelance work). You could use this concept to make up a resume if you’re a freelance writer, designer, or you could just use the tools I’m giving you today to make posters, cards or anything!

How To Make A Social Media Kit Using PicMonkey

PicMonkey got a bit of a facelift recently and added a couple options at the top, including “Design.” If you click on this option you get a choice of canvases in all different sizes. This is great if you’re hoping to print out your image and fit it into a frame or on a certain paper size, or if you’re looking to design something like your own Facebook cover.

For the social media kit, I chose the 8×10 size so it would fit onto a standard piece of paper.

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Next, you have the option to change the color of the canvas, which would be the background color. I chose to stick with white to keep it simple and clean looking and similar to the look of my blog.

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Once you’ve got your canvas set up, you want to add graphics. The first thing I wanted to add was the header from my blog. I have the image saved on my computer, so here’s how I added it.

1. Click on “Overlays” on the left-hand column

2. Go to the top and choose “Your Own”

3. This opens up a folder in your computer. Browse for you image and select it. Your image will then appear just like an overlay or graphic on your canvas. You can resize and move it around.

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I repeated this same technique to add photographs as well.

 

Next, you want to add text. To add text:

1. Select “text” on the left-hand column.

2. Click “Add Text” at the top of the column

3. Here you can choose the font you want. Then, a text editing box pops up where you can adjust color and size. If you want part of your text to be a different color (which I did with my name), then you just select that particular text and you can change the font, color or size.

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To make all of your text boxes the same size and font without having to adjust it each time, just right click on a complete text box and in the options there is “duplicate text.” Choose this and then you can change the words, while keeping the same color, size and font.

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Once you’ve added all the images and text you want, just move them around and re-size them until you’re satisfied with the end product. Like I’ve said before, they key to PicMonkey is to just mess around with it on your own and eventually you’ll get the hang of it and be able to do some fun, creative things.

Here’s a look at my final product:

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See? Easy peasy!

PicMonkey is a free webiste, however if you want certain features you sign up for PicMonkey Royale. I’ve been a PicMonkey Royale member almost since I started using the website. So why would you want to sign up?

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You get a lot more tools and options within the website.

Royale is just $4.99 a month, OR you can sign up for the whole year at once, which is $33/year. That comes out to $2.75 a month, which is the same as a coffee at Starbucks. Really, it’s a great deal.

If you have any questions about PicMonkey, feel free to email me at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com.

 

Have you ever used PicMonkey or something simliar?

What other features would you like to learn about on PicMonkey?