Starting a Blog?

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Within the past few months, several people have come to me with questions about blogging, so I thought it might be beneficial to share my insight for all new/existing bloggers out there. I have been blogging for several years now, so I am very happy to share my personal tips and advice… Whether you are considering your own site, just starting off, or have had lots of experience, I hope this post is helpful!

1: It’s what you want it to be.

Embrace your unique style of writing because your blog is whatever you want it to be. Don’t feel like you have to follow strict guidelines because there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your blog is very personal, so be creative, have fun, and enjoy writing about anything and everything you want!

2: Be aware of your audience.

The entire world has access to your site at any given moment, so the publicity of a blog (without privacy settings) is pretty immense. Therefore, it is very important that you are aware of the information that you post and pay close attention to photos to ensure that your location isn’t outwardly revealed unless you want it to be. Blogging is one of my biggest hobbies, but safety is always taken into consideration before I hit the “publish” button. I don’t mean to discourage you; I just want you to be aware of your audience and make smart decisions when you post.

3: It takes time to grow.

One of the most common concerns that you may have when you first begin a blog is the lack of readers because it takes a while to become recognized in the community. Don’t become discouraged, but use this time to improve your site and become familiar with certain blogging techniques. I recommend that you engage with other bloggers by following, liking, and commenting on their sites, and it also helps to promote your blog on existing social media platforms. With time, you will gain more followers and your status/traffic will continue to grow!

4: Quality over quantity.

I think one of the worst mistakes that you can make as a blogger is forgetting that the quality of posts always overrules quantity. Don’t rush the writing process just to post something because this will lead to poor quality posts that will bore both you and your readers, so write when you are inspired. Your posts do not have deadline, so you can take as long as you need (days, weeks, or even months.) Whatever you do, you must always maintain quality over quantity.

5: Respond to readers.

When people take time to comment on your posts, it is always good to like and respond to them even if it is a simple ‘thank you.’ They made the effort to reach out to you and express their thoughts and appreciation for your writing, so don’t let that go unrecognized.

6: Research writing prompts.

There are going to be times when you really want to write something, but you just don’t know what. Whenever this happens, I honestly Google writing prompts to get my creativity flowing again. That is my little blogging secret…

7: Why not?

Blogging has really given me the opportunity to express myself, share my passion of writing with the world, meet hundreds of inspiring people, and document memorable moments of my life that can be revisited in the future. If blogging has ever crossed your mind, I really encourage you to at least try it because why not? You can always delete your site if you hate it, but you will never know unless you try. My blog has really impacted my life, and I don’t have a single regret. I am so thankful for all of my readers, and I hope to continue posting for many years to come.


Please feel free to drop any individual questions in the comments section because I am happy to help you begin/continue your blogging journey! A few months ago, I released a post that provided a small overview of my experience on WordPress so far, so be sure to go check that out if you are interested. Thank you so much for reading, and good luck blogging!

What are your thoughts on this post? Do you have any tips or advice? Are there any questions that you still have? Ask away!

August Playlist 2019

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For those of you who missed it, I am going to start releasing an updated playlist every month, so be sure to check back frequently to hear some new music! These posts will highlight my top favorite songs in wide range of genres, so I really hope that you find something that you like. Please don’t hesitate to share your own suggestions in the comments section because I love discovering music as well. I hope that you enjoy this month’s mix!

  • Be Like That by 3 Doors Down
  • Poplar by Michigander
  • One Man Band by Old Dominion
  • Will You Think of Me Later? by Edwin Raphael
  • Alligator by Of Monsters and Men
  • Flares by The Script
  • White Flag by Daughtry
  • Say We’ll Make It by Vacation Manor
  • Fools by ufo ufo

What do you think about this playlist? Did you discover any new songs? Were any of these familiar to you? Do you have any good ones for me? 

-favorite things-

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I decided to compile a list of all of the things that I have been loving throughout the past few weeks…

  1. White Converse shoes: I am so happy to finally own a pair because they go with everything and are super cute!
  2. Elephant hoop earrings: I can’t remember going a day without these.
  3. Journal: I have written quite a few entries lately.
  4. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick: I am obsessed with this! I use the “Truffle” shade with eye-shadow, eyeliner, and mascara. The ending result looks so professional, and it really gives off a magnifying glow that lasts for the entire day. I love it so much!
  5. Yellow Shirts: I have had a thing for yellow shirts, and I don’t really know why.
  6. This music video: (half alive by still feel.) I meant to share this awhile ago, but I never got around to do so. You should definitely check this out if you haven’t already.

What have you been loving? Do you like any of these things? What did you think about the music video/song? Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this post!

Summer Playlist: July 2019

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Hey, guys! Today, I thought it would be fun to share a few songs that I have been loving so far this month. I know that I posted a 4th of July playlist pretty recently, but I wanted to share some day-to-day tunes as well. Several of you have told me that you really enjoy these types of posts, so I am going to try to release a new playlist every month. Let’s see how long I can keep up with that commitment… I will definitely try my best, but I am making no promises because my life can get pretty chaotic during the year (as many of you already know.) Anyways, I hope that you enjoy listening and discover something new!

  • I Would by Coin
  • Keep You Close by Frenship
  • January by Verzache
  • Free & Lonely by X Ambassadors
  • Beautiful People by Ed Sheeran (feat. Khalid)
  • Careless by Vacation Manor
  • Fallin Down by Goo Goo Dolls
  • What Is Love by Chase Goehring

Which song is your favorite? What have you been listening to this month? Feel free to drop your own playlist in the comments section. 

Dazzling Colors

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The sky was set ablaze, and every color imaginable flashed across the sky. Wondrous eyes peered up to the heavens while embers descended gracefully with a soft, flickering glow. It was one of the biggest parties that my family has ever hosted, and it made my heart so happy to see everyone gathered together on such a special day. My family gets pretty wild on this annual celebration, but this one was even bigger than the last… Each year, our wonderful community of neighbors pitch in to compile a massive firework collection that leaves the whole crowd in awe, and the show is always breathtaking. Bounce-houses, incredible food, sparklers, and smiles filled our yard as all the families came together for one huge party.

It was an extra special year for me because my grandparents were able to come celebrate too! I am so grateful that I was able to be home with my family again this summer because there is nowhere that I would have rather been on my second favorite day of the year. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for such an amazing night. I had an absolute blast, and I love you both so much!

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What did you do to celebrate? Do you enjoy fireworks too? What is your biggest party of the year? I hope that you all had a safe, fun, and Happy 4th of July! 

Playlist 4 July

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The fourth of July is right around the corner, and it is time to add the finishing touches to the 2019 celebratory playlist. This is the biggest annual event that my family hosts, and we are expecting over fifty guests this year. I am typically in charge of constructing the playlists for most of our gatherings, and I try to make them as large as possible to avoid the annoyance of song repetition. I have searched all over the place for independence-themed songs, and I want to give you a small glimpse into this year’s bunch… Not all of these songs have the intensity for the firework show, but they will certainly be played during the party. I hope you enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

  • It’s America by Rodney Atkins
  • Fire by Barns Courtney
  • All American Mutt by Jamie Kent
  • Fight for You by Shawn McDonald
  • Freedom by Pharrell Williams
  • Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue by Toby Keith
  • American Woman by Lenny Kravitz
  • Smoke Clears by Andy Grammer
  • Alive by Pearl Jam
  • All-American Girl by Carrie Underwood

Have you heard any of these before? Did you like this post? What are your song recommendations for me?

*Also, I accidentally set a backdate on my previous post, “Dryads & Shades,” so it did not show up as a recent post WordPress… That was my mistake, but be sure to go check it out here if you missed it. Thanks for reading!

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Award

I am so thankful to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by the awesome Ezra! Thank you so much! 🙂

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • List the rules in your post.
  • Answer the questions that you were asked.
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees 11 of your own questions.
  • Once you have written and published your post, then inform your nominees of their nomination

Ezra’s Questions For Me:

1. What’s your favorite sports team?

I am just going to be honest and admit that I really don’t keep up with sports enough to have a favorite team… Sorry!

2. What do you spend most of your time doing every day besides school?

Dancing. Whether I am taking class or rehearsing, I am always at the studio.

3. Do you have any plans for summer?

I am taking a summer semester at the college to keep getting closer to my degree, and I also have my dance intensive for the next few weeks. Other than that I will be sleeping in, soaking up the sun, and hanging out with friends.

4. What is your favorite type of candy?

Oh goodness, that is a hard choice… I think I have to go with Almond Joy.

5. Would you rather be Captain America or Batman?

Captain America!

6. What is the longest you’ve slept?

I think the longest that I have ever slept is close to 14 hours!

7. What’s your favorite board game or video game?

Board games are great for camping or spending time with family, but video games are more exciting; I guess it just depends.

8. What is your favorite way of transport?

AIRPLANES! I don’t know what it is, but I have always jumped at the chance to fly.

9. How long on average does it take you to make a post?

Lately, my posts have been quite lengthy, so they have been taking me a lot longer to write. I would say generally anywhere between 45 minutes to 2 hours once I upload the pictures from my phone, write, edit, and publish the final draft.

10. Star Wars or Marvel?

Honestly, I am not very familiar with either. I know it is terrible, and please don’t judge me. I desperately need to catch up!

11. What’s your favorite bible verse?

Philippians 4:13 remains in my heart every single day as I remind myself that ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I know that it is one of the most popular verses, but it always gives me the strength especially in times of doubt.

11 Random Facts About Myself:

  1. I have two 75 lb dogs named Lucky and Tank.
  2. I have been a licensed driver for one year now.
  3. I am not a morning person…. at all.
  4. I think Yellowstone and Key West are the most beautiful places that I have ever been to.
  5. My favorite colors are purple and turquoise.
  6. I have been stung by a jellyfish and have been inches away from stepping on a sting ray at the beach.
  7. I am the oldest of three children.
  8. I am an incredibly indecisive person.
  9. My skin sunburns so easily, and I am the only one in my family who can’t tan.
  10. Yellow is my best color to wear.
  11. Roller coasters are a big no-no for me because I hate heights, but many people question that because I am a ballet dancer. I do have to be lifted, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I like it. I also love airplanes though, so I guess I am just weird.

I Nominate…

  1. Vrunda Chauk
  2. Popsicle Society
  3. Musings of a Minor’s Mind
  4. Kaelyn
  5. Arabella
  6. Ashley & Johnny
  7. Shoba Menon
  8. Caleb E. King
  9. Hannah
  10. Kinsey
  11. Big Sky Buckeye

Questions For Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite summer memory?
  2. Do you prefer to write in the mornings or at night?
  3. What is your ideal summertime outfit?
  4. How early do you typically wake up?
  5. Do you enjoy traveling? If so, what is your favorite vacation spot?
  6. Would you rather swim with dolphins or soar with eagles?
  7. Popsicle or ice cream on a hot afternoon?
  8. Do you have a summer goal?
  9. How much t.v do you watch on average?
  10. Do you prefer painting or drawing? Or neither?
  11. What do you love the most about summer?

I really appreciate the nomination, and I hope that my nominees enjoy doing this award as well. Again, please do not feel obligated to participate if you do not wish to do so. Thanks for reading!

Please note: The logo/picture on this post was copied directly from Ezra’s blog, and I do not have any rights of it.

Playlist & Talk To Me

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Hello Sunshine!

It has been two full months since I released a playlist, so I thought it was time to share again. Actually, several of you have told me that you really enjoy these types of posts, so I am wondering if I should do this more often… Talk to me, and tell me your thoughts!

  • What I Want by The Band CAMINO
  • Bad by Lennon Stella
  • Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
  • Over My Head by Judah & the Lion
  • Bottle by JT Roach
  • I Don’t Care by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
  • If So by Atlas Genius
  • Older by Sasha Sloan

Do you want to see more playlists? Were any of these songs familiar to you? What have you been listening to?

***Side note: Get ready for some super exciting posts as I share a video of myself dancing (yes, you read that correctly), a favorite summer recipe, recent happenings, a summer shopping haul, and two awards! These will be up very shortly, so don’t go anywhere. 🙂 Thanks for reading, and I hope that you are having an awesome summer!

Congrats, Guys!

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Today, I watched these two young gentleman accept their hard-earned diplomas and graduate high school with honors…

The three of us go way back to kindergarten at the bus stop where we poked at rollie pollies, chased caterpillars, climbed trees, and allowed our imaginations to run wild every single day. We spent countless afternoons circling around our neighborhood on bikes and scooters, eating popsicles, and drawing with the sidewalk chalk. We use to play lots of games after school, but I will never forget our ultimate favorite, hide-and-go-seek, even though we would always get too crazy. We spent every holiday, birthday, and special occasion together and supported each other through orchestra concerts, dance recitals, band events, and other hobbies… always together.

They are like brothers, and they mean more to me than I could ever express. At times, I know that I can be like an annoying little sister who never lets them forget it, but I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. They made my childhood so memorable, and they will always have a very special place in my heart. I know that they will achieve wonderful things, and I am excited to see what the future holds for them. It has truly been a blessing to watch them grow into the amazing people that they are today, and I am so thankful to have them in my life. I want to wish them both good luck in college, and I have no doubt that they will be very successful no matter what.

Congratulations, and I love you both so much! 

Sunshine Blogger Award

“The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition award for bloggers that inspires positivity and joy.”

I am so humbled to have been nominated for this award by one of my awesome followers, rubeenafaisal. I am glad that my blog is viewed in such a positive way, and I hope that my posts continue to inspire my readers. Thank you so much for this recognition! 🙂

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Questions for Me:

1) Name any two qualities a blogger should have according to you?

I think it is important that a blogger is considerate of other readers’ opinions when posting content, and creativity is always a good quality to have.

2) A social incident that shook your head and heart so far?

Honestly, there are a few incidents that would be a great response to this question, but they are quite personal…

3) Name any 2 of your favourite book that you recommend others to read?

I haven’t read many (non-academic) books recently, but I was obsessed with the Harry Potter series last summer. I also loved Almost Home by Joan Bauer because it was so eye opening.

4) if you could change your nationality which one will you select and why?

I have never actually been, but Greece seems like such a beautiful place! The history, artwork, and food is so awesome, so I think it would be pretty neat to be Greek.

5) A place that you’re dieing to visit for a long time?

I would love to cruise through the Bahamas someday.

6) Your favourite spot?

Does my bed count? It is so comfortable, and I could rest my eyes for HOURS if I had the time.

7)watching a movie or reading a book, which one you prefer the most?

Personally, I prefer watching a movie because I have to read so much for school that I have (temporarily) lost the patience/joy of reading a book.

8) Two of your favourite quote?

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work” (Colin Powell).

“She believed she could so she did” (Unknown).

9) An adventurous thing to do in your bucketlist?

I really want to go snorkeling by a coral reef again.

10) Name any two famous personality whom you would like to inspire?

I do not follow celebrity news or entertainment, so I don’t have a famous inspiration unless you are talking about ballet. In that case, I think Sara Mearns has been the most inspirational for me. She is so humble which has really motivated me to keep working for my goals, and her optimistic mentality has really kept me hungry for success.

11) Your favourite cartoon character?

Unfortunately, I do not watch very much t.v, so I don’t know. Sorry!

I nominate…

  1. Gayle
  2. T.R. Noble
  3. fourtysomethingheyhey
  4. Hayley
  5. Maggie
  6. Hannah
  7. Rebekah
  8. Ariana
  9. Girl in the White Shirt
  10. Ezra
  11. Kaycee

My Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite thing about the summer?
  2. Where would your dream vacation be?
  3. How long do you spend on your blog/reader each day?
  4. Pool or beach?
  5. Have you had a particular song on repeat lately? Which one?
  6. Lemonade or sweet tea on a hot summer afternoon?
  7. What is the latest that you have ever slept in?
  8. Do you have a favorite fruit?
  9. Where do you go most often when you are with your friends?
  10. What was the last book that you read?
  11. Do you prefer the coast or the mountains?

Please do not feel obligated to participate, and I completely respect your decision either way. Thanks again,rubeenafaisal, for nominating me!

*** I do not own the rights to this photo, and it was copied directly from Huguette Antoun.