Tuesday, June 3, 2014

moving to squarespace. come see!

after all my dramatic rants and confused posts about discovering myself and wanting to make changes, the time has finally come! hey holland has been a really great adventure for me, but i am making a big change!

i want to blog about happiness and all things that surround it! and with that comes a whole new blog. i'm ready for a big girl blog and big girl url. so i hope you will stick with me and head on over to my new bright little corner of the world!!! there is a special surprise waiting, too! 

all my previous content can be found there [though, i'm still working on the links, so some may not have transferred yet]. i will still be my good old happy self, i will just be taking things in a new direction, rebranding myself, and pushing my limits as i chase my dream to be a professional blogger!

i do want to give a special thanks to all of you for supporting me and showing me lots of love!!! it makes all this worth it! xo 

head on over to brightlittlecorner.com to see the new place! i hope you love it as much as i do!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

mother's day and embroidered canvases

so mother's day was like 10 whole days ago. but i love my mama so so much and so i just want to give her one more shout out and also share with you the gift i made her [so maybe you can do this for someone special, too!].

my mama is probably the best there is. i know i bragged about her on her birthday, but just a few more things to add about wonderful, loving, sweet, beautiful mother:

she used to sing me to sleep every night. i always got to pick the songs. i missed that when i got older, but then i had to share a room with my sister who is 9 years younger than me. mama sang to her, too... lucky me! i wanna be a mama that sings to my babies. 

girls night always meant chick flicks, ruffle's potatoes chips and ranch dip. man, could i ever use a night like that with my mama right now. sometimes the chick flicks were blockbuster rentals, other nights they were old musicals that we would sing along to. but there was always chips and ranch dip. i'm feeling a little nostalgic now. so glad i will have a little girl to have girls' night with. 

mama's hugs are unbeatable. mama's tear-wiping, boy-fighting, it's-gonna-be-ok, pep talks kept me together on a lot of days. mama's strength gave me strength. her determination gave me determination. and her love continues to feed mine every day. what a woman!

and now for a special gift. hand embroidered canvas.


this was a really simple gift to make. so simple, i will not provide a tutorial because i suck at them. but if you are interested in embroidery and have never tried, try it on fabric first, because this was kind of tough pulling the needle through. this is a great tutorial on getting started. and if you want to learn a bajillion stitches, this lady knows her stuff! i'm excited to try some. i'm totally getting back into embroidery after the project because i really love how it turned out. [and she said it made her cry, so there's a bonus!] the outside of the canvas is saved for little grandbaby thumbprints! can't wait to add paislee's when she gets here!

helpful hint: when embroidering on a canvas, keep a balloon handy or a something plastic or rubbery to help grip the needle and pull it through. it really is tough.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

little lady has a name

i know in the last update, i told you i wasn't going to share for fear of jinxes, but i think it is time. mainly because the only thing that will change our little lady's name at this point is divine intervention and i'm pretty certain he liked the name, too.

so are you ready to hear it??

i can't hear you!


paislee renae


boom. what do you think? [pst. only tell me if it's good. hehe]

let me tell you how we came up with this. we have been trying since we knew she was a she to find a name. we tried family names after my mama and after brock's, but nothing stuck. brock mostly hemmed and hawed over everything and i like all of it. frustration.

on our little babymoon we took to texas, we had plenty of time in the car to discuss. but we didn't even really discuss a lot. as we listened to the radio, eric pasley's name scrolled across the screen. my mind read paisley. [long a, short a, if you didn't know, paisley is not how you pronounce his name.]

i said it out loud and brock actually liked it. we asked little lady and she kicked me. ok... she was already wiggling, but whatever. it wasn't until the radio announcer came on that i realized i didn't even say his name right. which just goes to show that this little one wants her own name. not a family name, not a country singer's name. she is just pretty unique already.

we called her paislee the whole babymoon and it just felt right. another week passed and we were still calling her paislee. that was a gooooood sign. all other names lasted mere days.

as for renae. well. i really like rae for a middle name. it fit with all the other potentials, but with every one of those names, brock couldn't say rae after anything without sounding like a redneck. sorry. i couldn't have it. so it grew into renae.

and now our little lady is paislee renae holland. doh! i can't wait to meet her.

6 weeks and counting, guys.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

april goals recap // may goals

guys. i'm pretty happy with myself. this month of goals went really great and it makes me want to do it again! which is what i hoped for. i didn't want to come out feeling like a loser on the first round. this gives me a little oomf and a great start! so let's review shall we?

always hang up clothes. boom. i thought this was going to be so so hard. but not even one little time did i leave my clothes out. i have been doing it for years, and all it took was a little goal, a little determination, and a little planning [putting the hanger on my bed instead of leaving it in the closet].

keep up the budget. at all costs. i did preeeetty good with this one. there are a couple things i would have liked to have done better, like recording spending more frequently instead of in big chunks, but overall i'm pretty pleased with out well i kept up and didn't miss anything!

take time for baby. i'm still learning tons about this little pip-squeak. reading books, taking our class. i haven't spent as much time in this area as i had hoped, too, but i'm still happy with my progress. brock and i also started painting her dresser! Eek! It is going to be so precious! every day we plan to finish it, though, it's too windy to spray paint.... soon, i hope! next step: paint the room.

start my spring cleaning list. totally started this! and accomplished quite a bit, too! brock actually did part of it, i can't take credit for it. he power washed the house. check. we trimmed our scraggly bushes. check. i cleaned out all the top cupboards in my kitchen. check. and my ocd is very happy. just have to do the bottom now. 

like i said, overall, i'm really happy with myself. still room to improve, but let's be real.... that's an always kind of thing. so now it's time to make a few more goals for the next month while keeping up with the old ones. may, here i come.  


may is either going to stress me out, or be extremely relieving. this is the final full month of the honeymoon life/baby prep. once june rolls around, little lady could show up any day! there is a lot to do! I'm going to attempt to keep things simple for my own sanity, but if you see any bald spots on my head at the end of the month, it's only because I pulled my hair out. no big deal. 

get ready for little lady. ok, i'm going to break this on down into a couple steps. it's by far the biggest thing to do this month, but it will all be great!

     exercise! i walk almost everyday at lunch. just for 10 minutes so i have time to eat, but it really helps keep the afternoon sleepies and swelling down. however, since i will be having a natural birth, walking just isn't enough. i did really good with my pregnancy exercises in the beginning, but haven't been doing as good lately. so in addition to my walking, i'm planning on exercising 3 times each week. 

     finish the nursery. this one may be lofty. we'll see how far we can get. at least, the dresser will be finished and the walls will be painted. she won't be sleeping in there right away, so i do have a little wiggle room. decorating can come when i no longer work starting in june.  

     gather all the list items. back to the home birth part. we have a lot to gather up. our midwife gave us a list of things we will need. most of them have been collected, but i am still lacking a few necessary items. like extra towels [the two of us just don't have that many!], a tarp to go under the tub/pool/thingy, and first little outfit for little lady! hopefully, i can get it all together before the home visit from the midwife in two weeks. 

get the blog in order. may 30th is my official last day as a working woman. before that comes, i would really like to be ready to just delve into being a mama and a blogger. i have been talking about making a lot of changes, and by the time i am home for good, i would like to have a head start on this. that means i will have some happiness posts a-rolling and my new design and fresh look will be ready to launch [and possibly new url??]. everyone keep those fingers crossed. 

there you have it. somehow, 4 seems to be my lucky number. but like i said, i don't want to stress myself out. wish me luck everyone. life is about to fliiiiiip upside down. in a good way, but man! it's all happening so fast! 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a happy kind of direction

as you probably guessed from the last post, i have been doing a lot of thinking. and a lot of pondering. and a lot of soul searching. the bottom line is, i want to make a difference. i want to change lives. it's kind of a big dream to have, but i can't help it.

i realize that doesn't really happen overnight, and it certainly won't be something on a check list to accomplish, but i'm up for the challenge. i want to do something important and meaningful. really, i just want to help people. 

in all my pondering, something has really stuck out to me: i'm just a happy person. and i want to help everyone else be happy, too. only a million times have i participated in the activity where everyone goes around the room and says one good thing about each person. for me there have been different answers, but there are a couple things that have been pretty consistent throughout my life:

you always have a smile
you make people laugh
you're friendly and make people feel loved
you always make me happy

to me, that means the world.  i'm so grateful that people see me that way. because that's who i want to be. also in my pondering i have been trying decide how i can impliment my desires and goals into this blog and actually do something meaningful. and so i have been thinking about the things in my life that make me happy, the things that are most important to me and how i can help other people find happiness through those things, or just on their own! i know i had a rambling list last week, but i've narrowed it down to the things that matter most.

my faith. i am a member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, and though i don't plan on talking and blogging specifically about my beliefs, i think it's important for me to include in this list. not because it's important to me, but because it is me. all of the things that make me happy are because of what i believe and how i feel about this life and its purpose. 

marriage. this had to make the list. people probably think brock and i are crazy, lucky, or just downright weird.... but we are just ridiculously happy. i really don't know if i could have "planned" a better marriage thus far. 

motherhood. even though i don't have the experience in this yet, it has always been important to me, it has always been something that i have looked forward to. i always wanted to be as amazing as my mama [still do!]. i know when my little lady gets here, it will become an even bigger part of my happiness.

health. our bodies are truly magnificent things and what an incredible gift we have been given! i'm pretty grateful that i have this body to take care of and i actually do find happiness in knowing i'm doing a pretty good job of that. 

talents. for me, that means creating things. it's what i love to do, but i know that's not the same for everyone. that's great! hopefully, i can encourage you to find happiness in your own. 

lifting others. i guess this goes back to my whole refocus here, but i plan to do much more in this area than just talking about happy things. i guess you will just have to wait and find out with me. 

the little things. we all have hard times, life is tricky and daunting and tough. but those little things make all the difference! sometimes we just need to be reminded to enjoy those things, appreciate them, take advantage of them, and use them! 

and last but not least...

creating happiness. i'm a firm believer that we shouldn't rely on others for our happiness. sometimes we have to make our own. i hope as this vision expands and progresses, i can do just that. create happiness. and help you figure out how to do that, too. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

to be or not to be


two years ago [give or take], i started blogging. it began as a journal of my new life as a wife in arkansas for all the people i left behind in arizona.... mostly my mama. then i tried out food blogging. that got old, so i ventured into other paths, and now i don't even know what kind of category you would put me in. and that bothers me.

i sit here wondering, what do i have to offer? what good can i do anyway? is anyone even reading this outside of the people i actually know [thank you, guys by the way!!]? but mostly i wonder... who the heck am i?

i'm not a food blogger. as much as i love eating, and cooking, and eating, i hate food blogging. i don't follow recipes, i don't like writing recipes either. i'm the kind of chef who uses a little of this and a squirt of that. yeah, i know you all hate me. and i think i spend too much time mentally preparing meals and grocery lists, that when dinner is over, i don't want to think about food anymore. food blogging just isn't for me.

i'm not a mom blogger. when my sister first found out i was pregnant, she asked me are you gonna have a super cute mom blog?? my first thought was omg! yes! the thought that followed immediately after was heeeeck no! i don't want to be just another mom blogger. i don't have anything against you lovely ladies, i will goo and gah over your children, home, and blog for as long as i live, i just don't want to be one.

i'm not a design blogger. even though most of the blogs i read are design blogs [like this one, this one, this one, and this one]. i could look at those all day! but i'm not a designer, in any shape or form of the word, so i won't pretend to be.

i'm not a craft blogger. i craft. just not enough, or well enough to be like boom, look what i did, here's a tutorial. oh whoops, i forgot to take pictures of the process. story of my life. 

soooo.... what then? i don't have a niche. i don't have a specific skill. i don't own a store or shop or anything like that. i don't have one passion. i care too much about a lot of things. i like doing a lot of things. i'm fairly good at a lot of things but not an expert at anything. 

so the next question i ask myself is, what's important to me? what do i think about most? what could i never tire of talking about? what makes me happy?

god. my family. making people happy. food. home projects. health. music. crafts. being with people. art. travel. kids. being self sufficient. gardening. flowers. should I keep going? nah... that's enough to think about. and think, i do. all the time. trying to figure it out.

so i'm asking for a little patience. forgive the infrequency of posts. and expect random ones about new things to pop up as i test out the waters. i have thoughts in my brain. lots of thoughts. lots of directions. i think that may be another problem. i'm a thinker. i think way too much. ask brock. he will testify. many of my thoughts are useless [or just way too early for him. ha!]. i guess we'll all just have to wait and see what happens. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

a little lady update

here we are at 29 weeks. time has flown! but it also feels like i've been pregnant forever!

last sunday was the official first day of my third trimester, and ho! they warned me that's when the hormones would just overtake me... i didn't realize that meant day one. for a couple days, i thought i might die from heat stroke. that coming from the girl who wears socks to bed or sticks her toes on her hubby's legs for warmth. i was also very angry at the stupid target app. i don't want to talk about it....

note to friends and family: i am excruciatingly testy. highly likely to become irritated with minor things. like your voice. or air. you have been warned. 

also, i think these hormones have actually dried out my tear ducts. no crying or emotional relapses of sorrow. i can't even remember the last time i cried... and that's weird. [actually, that's a lie... it was probably the first time i saw frozen.]

in other news, the little lady is as wiggly as they come. and always at 10pm. every night. I guess that's just prepping me for her debut. she doesn't kick intensely, she just rolls and squirms around all the time. either that, or she has taken up dancing because it is literally an all-belly show all day. she's probably gonna be just like mama. can't sit still for longer than 2 whole minutes. hopefully she doesn't inherit my childhood boney butt, too. everyone hated my boney, wiggly butt on their lap. 

brock already loves playing with her. his favorite activity is to poke and prod her and wait for her to punch back. he's usually successful. thanksbabeloveyoutoo.

we've probably been through a million names. shelby. charly. abigail. sadie. mckinna. ebony. emma. i think we have it now! but i'm not going to tell you... yet. i don't wanna jinx it.  

the nursery is still trying to make it's way from my brain to real life, but we have a crib! and i will be painting her dresser in the next week or so. oh, it is going to be lovely! just wait. 

it will only be so long until she is here, then you can all fall in love with her as much i have. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

april goals and living in the present

one quarter of the year is officially over. two trimesters of this pregnancy are in the bag. it has been one year since i have seen my family.

there are only eight and half weeks left of my job. eleven and a half approximately until this little lady arrives, along with my family. my brother will be home from his mission in six months.

is anyone else stressed or depressed now? oh, brock would be so disappointed right now if he were reading this [wait up, babe]. just last night he said we live too much in the past and in the future. we need to live more in the present. and you know what, he is totally right [there you go]. that way up there ^^^ that's how my brain functions. especially in the future with little lady on the way. i stress and plan [usually over plan] too much to enjoy what's happening right now. 



last week, brock and i took a little babymoon of a vacation and let me tell you, it was just what we needed. we had a list of things we wanted to do, but the planning consisted of "what should we do tomorrow?" and then we did it. it was lovely.

that being said, i can, in no way, live my life like that. but i can simplify. one of my favorite bloggers, kory, shares her goals for each month and recaps on how she did the previous month. i love reading those posts. it's great to hear other humans succeeding, not quite succeeding, growing, adapting, and moving forward. 

and now it's my turn. i have some goals that are simple that i have set for april. i'm not going to promise that i will do this each month, because my present right now is the next four weeks. i'm going to enjoy being pregnant and not wish it away faster. i'm going to enjoy my time with my hubby and soak it up while i can. i'm going to pay attention to what is happening around me and not just put my brain in future mode making lists and lists of unaccomplishable tasks. i'm going to keep them basic, because presently, that's what i need. come the end of the month, i'll see where i'm at.

always hang up clothes. i have this terrible habit of throwing my clothes on my dresser. i change my clothes 2-3 times a day between work, exercise, lounging, and outings, so yes, i wear things more than once. when i shared a room with my sister, my clothes were usually on the end of my bed frame. no more i say! i'm changing that. i'm going to start a new habit. a habit of hanging up my clothes and keeping all flat surfaces in the bedroom clothing-free.

keep up the budget. at all costs. ha. see what i did there? since the beginning of the year, i have been trying to be more conscious of our money flow. we've used things like mint and excel spreadsheets, but i just prefer writing things like that. it's weird. i don't even use my phone or ipad for my calendar because i'd rather doodle it. it's time consuming. but whatevs. i can't use technology for budgets and calendars. sue me. the last three months have been not so good with my record keeping. this month, i will change that!

take time for baby. i feel like i haven't been prepping myself enough lately, and i need to do better. i have started reading two excellent books [the thinking woman's guide to a better birth and the womanly art of breastfeeding] and i want to finish them before little lady comes along. i also need to practice my relaxation exercises! muy importante. side note: brock and i are taking a natural birth class... so fab! but really, relaxation is going to be a big help when the time comes, i just need to practice some of the techniques.

start my spring cleaning list. aka nesting. it's not an extensive list. but things need to be done for my sanity and so i don't have to hate them when little lady is here and i can't do them... like reorganize my kitchen cupboards, dust the blinds, etc. [already washed out the fridge when i thought we had spilled rotten meat and turned out to be a dead possum in the insulation under the fridge area of the house].

they're not lofty, but they are a start and i need them. do you have monthly goals? i'd love to hear them! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

to the most amazing person in the world // my mama

i've been talking a lot about mama's lately. mama's giving me advice, me being a mama. now it's time to talk about my mama.

you see, today is her birthday.

i have literally been thinking of something special i could do for her birthday for so long! and blankness just comes every time. i'm the kind of person who likes to do something meaningful and special on special days [probably because that's what my mama and daddy do!]... so this one has been tricky for me. sorry mama.

i've finally decided, for her birthday, i would like to tell the world all the amazing things i love about my mama so that you all know just how incredible/marvelous/wonderful she really is [if you just didn't already]. happy birthday, mama!

let's start at the beginning.

it occurs to me that not too very long ago, you were in the same situation as i am right now; pregnant with your first little one, a girl [oh, yeah me!]. and as easy as i've actually had it, it is still a sacrifice. being in your shoes now, i can look at you in a whole different light and with a whole new respect. thank you for wanting to be a mother, and for all the love that came with that job. 

when i think of you, i usually think of sacrifice, you are my greatest example of that:
you gave up a lot of your life when you joined the church and made Christ the center of your life.
you gave up a quick graduation to be a mom, slowly make your way through college, and eventually got through it all with three little kids trailing behind you. and then added two more! ...smile..
you gave up your time and sacrificed things you needed so we could have things instead.
you gave up even more time when you decided to keep us home and teach us every single day, preparing lessons, gathering supplies, finding curriculums, school groups, projects, and so much more so that we could spend time together as a family and have a solid education.
even still you give up things on your to-do list so your kids can finish theirs.
you don't just give up for your family, though, you do it for others, too.

you enjoy making food for families in need, taking care of kids so other mama's can have a break, being chaperon to any and all ride-lacking teenagers, and at the end of the day, you wonder why you are tired. i don't. you do a whole freakin ton of stuff and rarely are you at the top of that list. thank you for teaching me that sacrifice brings happiness to everyone around you. 

even though i'm far away, i always know i'm in your thoughts.
a random card in the mail.
a birthday package with all the love and meaning behind it anyone could ask for.
daily texts.
emails of recipes, news stories, and family updates.
thank you for letting me know that i am always always loved. i never even have a chance to doubt it.

i don't know if this next list can even be completed in the time i've allotted for typing, but i want you to know that your teaching and example has not gone unnoticed, unheard, or unappreciated. you taught me so much.
you taught me how to tie my little black swede shoes with the flowers on the ankles.
you taught me how to sing.
you taught me how to not be afraid on stage [mostly because we were just there all the time!].
you taught me how to be reverent at church and respect the house of the Lord.
you taught me how to treat other people's property [return it in better condition than you received it].
you taught me how to braid hair, fish tail hair, curl it, wash it, and even shave it... yeah.
you taught me how to play the piano, even though i hated practicing.
you taught me how to be a friend, invite other people, reach out to the lonely, welcome the newbies, and play nice with everyone.
you taught me how to share, take turns, and play nice.
you taught me how to say sorry when i did something wrong, and you taught me about the feelings of guilt when that happened. you taught me why we had those feelings, so that we could repent, make amends, and be better. i remember that day, because i stepped on your ankle and it hurt you really bad and i felt terrible.
you taught me about my savior, about heavenly father, that i am a daughter of god, and that there is a plan for us.
you taught me how to choose the right, that families can be together forever, and that temples are important.
you taught me how to take advantage of the sacrament, that i should be quiet, pray, listen, ponder, and think about the savior.
you taught me how to bake, cook, do the dishes, and shop for good deals.
you taught me how to save money... it helped that we had cool little banks, but you still taught me that.
you taught me how to budget, plan ahead.
i don't know if i should thank you or curse you for this one, but you taught me to make lists. ...wink...
you taught me how to be positive.
you taught me how to be in control of my body, my thoughts, and my actions.
you taught me how to do the laundry, clean bathrooms, sweep, vacuum, and all other forms of work that must be done in a home.
you taught me how to be clean.
you taught me how to be organized.
you taught me how to be a learner and not just rely on others for my knowledge.
you taught me how to keep a journal [even though i suck at it].
you taught me how to serve others, sacrifice, and be an example of Christ.

it's a little scary, daunting, and exciting to know that in just a few weeks, i'm going to be a mother, too [and you will be a gramma! whoa!]. i hope and pray that i can do as good of a job as you did. obviously, i had a pretty amazing teacher, i can only hope that i can live up to everything you did, everything you still do, and everything you are. i love you, mama. thanks for being mine.

and to all you out there who love your mom, had a fabulous one who raised you right, or are just grateful for all you mama did, share this, send it on. you can borrow my words if the words are hard to say sometimes. send this to a mama you love [or mama-like figure] who has touched your life. for my mama's birthday, i want mom's everywhere to know how much they are appreciated. 

disclaimer: what the heck? all of my photos of me and my mama... are at my mama's house! not cool... i gotta change that. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

mama advice i will take to heart

when people know you are pregnant, everyone is suddenly entitled to give you all the advice they have. some is more useful than others. hehe. not complaining, just stating a fact here. amidst all the advice i have received from amazing mamas, there is some i will probably ignore, some that doesn't quite fit us, some that's fairly good but generally common sense to me, and some that i just want to remember, take to heart, and actually apply. oh, and share with you, too. i can't remember what came from whom, so if your advice ends up on here... just say thanks... or your welcome. it's a lot to sort through, you realize!



sleep when baby sleeps // yeah, i've heard that a million times, but for real, i will be doing this, so don't call or text unless i contact your first.

your labor is all up to you and baby, don't let anyone tell you what to do // that's all i need to say.

don't be afraid to say no to visitors // sorry friends, but i think i have decided the first two days are family only days. at least that's where i stand now. ask me again later. it may be 4 or 5 then... wink... don't be sad if i am just too tired for people. you will have plenty of chances to see the little lady. promise. shewillbeallovermyinstagram.

don't tiptoe around her when she is sleeping. make noise or she will never know how to sleep without the silence // nuff said.

when she wakes up, feed her. then burp her. then play with her. when she gets fussy, lay her down and let her put herself to sleep. don't wake her. when she is hungry, she'll wake up. repeat. // obviously this was a much more in depth conversation based on a book and 2 tested children of said parent, but that's the long and short of it, and we're doing it.

enjoy her while she's a baby. she won't be a baby long // said the gramma with sassy grandbabies that she adores.

if you don't show up to church for a month, no one will judge you. // i actually really appreciate that one. not that i don't want to be there. i just have nightmares of being bombarded. or sick little hands all over my baby.  or just trying to figure out how to juggle her while at church. oh and young men chilling in the mother's room... meh. we will see how long i decide to wait. just no judging.

thank you mama's for helping a new mama out. and if you have anymore, i'm not turning down helpful advice. this little lady is coming sooner than i think and i'm soaking up as much as i can get! 15.5 weeks left, folks. and that's if she isn't early.

Friday, February 28, 2014

bcb // social media and networking

today we're gonna talk about social media and networking. if you remember, this is my weakest area. just wanted to say that up front and get it out of the way. i know all the how-to's and rules, but my execution is weak. maybe we can learn something together on this one. and of course, feel free to add some other rules you may do or see others do! we all know i could use them.



social media is your friend. it may be scary, sometimes daunting, and occasionally a lot of effort, but it will pay off. so go for the plunge. twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest. anything that fits you. i do three things after i post a blog post. i put the link on twitter, facebook, and pin the image to pinterest. i don't have a whole lot of followers so 99.99% of my traffic comes from social media. and that is perfectly fine! welcome to the 21st century. social media drives traffic. so let's talk some simple rules, shall we?

social media rules:

use them to your advantage, but don't use them to annoy people: you don't have to post your link a million times, just once, maybe twice on twitter if you are a tweeting person [one for the night crowd and one for the day crowd]. don't be afraid to use them for other stuff, too! not just your blog. be interesting. you can figure that part out on your own. 

use them exclusively. if you post the same stuff on your instagram straight to facebook [oh whoops! my bad!] people won't need to bother following you because they will see it on facebook. See? it's also a fun way to give readers an extra reason to follow you. for example you can do something like, if you want a behind the scenes look at my blog, follow my instagram! and use that platform to share stuff no one else will see. or if you had a health blog for example, you could do something like for daily snack ideas, check out my twitter. you get the idea. 

use them to make connections. well look at that, a perfect segway into networking! 

networking is fun. i get a little rush when i make new bloggy friends. it's just fun! it's especially fun when they are bloggers that i look up to. although i can still be better at this, i have made some pretty great blog friends. before we do rules, let's look at some ways to make connections first:

make connections:

reply to all comments. when someone comments on your blog, reply! show them they are worth your time. shoot them an email if you want. if you ignore them, they might not come back. 

connect via social media. reply to tweets, leave sweet comments, like stuff. follow people! just reach out and say hey, it's totally ok! get involved out there and don't be shy.  

leave comments on blogs. i may have mentioned this in the beginning, but the number 1 rule to all things blogging is this:

if you want to get noticed, notice others. 

so leave genuine comments on other blogs. we all love encouragement, compliments, and attention, so hand some out. 

join some blog networks. that's all i got on this one, i'm trying to find some, google it, find some that fit you, then get involved. tell me if you do and how it goes... kthanksisuckatthisone.

email people with blogs you like. do it! it's ok. ask them questions, tell them you love their blog. whatever you like. it's pretty nice. bloggers love attention. i'm telling you. and we love making bloggy friends, so just say something. [more about this in the rules] 

now that you know some ways to connect, it's time for some rules. these are rules of courtesy and also pet peeves plenty of bloggers have about people who just want attention.

networking rules:

don't spam! don't leave a comment just to leave your mark on someone's page. leave a comment that is genuine, sincere, and more than, great post, thanks. same goes for all social media. don't say anything unless you can improve the silence. or the internet. you get the idea. 

don't leave your url in the comments. tacky tacky tacky. the cool thing about comments is that before you post them, it asks for your name, email, and *gasp* url. so guess what happens... your name becomes a link to your url. whoa! i know. mind blowing. don't leave your url at the end of your comment. done and done.

don't leave negative comments. i mean, you can. but i've read some pretty controversial posts with hundreds of comments and people fighting, if you can call it that, over issues and it's just messy. do yourself a favor and if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all [thank you, thumper].

i think that pretty much sums up the main ones. mostly just be nice and friendly, yeah? the blogging community is full of friendly happy people who want to make connections, who want to make friends, who want to help new bloggers, learn from experienced bloggers, and expand their teeny little world of the internet. it's one of the things i love about blogging. now go get out there and be friendly. thankyouself.

check the rest of the series!
intro platforms design | style and writing | tools and other helps
[links are posted, not links are coming soon!]

Thursday, February 27, 2014

some things to make you smile

life has been a little hectic this week. i usually have time at work, after working my little butt off, then having some down time, to write a post, or read some blogs, or sort through my stupid cluttered pinterest account. i'm lucky to have a wonderful boss who knows i'm a hard worker, but let's me do my own thing when i have caught up with the embroidery machines. however, this week has been go go go at work and i haven't had any downtime. at all.

i'm not complaining, it just means the things i do in my down time haven't been done. that's life, right? my brain has had plenty of time to think though, so the ideas are a-coming. and with that i will give you something to look forward to:

tomorrow: 
bcb // social media and networking

later on the blog of babiness:
mama must-haves
advice from amazing mamas that i will take to heart
a little lady update

and here are some things that have helped inspire me, or gave me some relax time when i came home exhausted and didn't want to do a single thing [but read blogs]:

an inspiring message from one of my favorite bloggers about changing dreams, paths, and focus.

some helpful ideas on creating a community of like-minded folks in real life [not online].

and a recipe for us gluten free people who miss toast with breakfast.

happy thursday friends! i'm going to go finish making soft pretzels for institute tonight.
xo

Friday, February 21, 2014

bcb // style and writing

it's another week down and i feel like i can't even keep up with my own series! whew! do you believe it's actually friday again? on one hand, this week has just flow-own by. on the other i feel like, good grief it's been a long week! in anycase, it doesn't matter... the week is almost over and i need to talk to you about style and writing because next week is gonna be tricky for me [my.worst.topic.networking].


i actually took a class my final semester all about style and writing [8am, best teacher ever, she was hilarious, we did a lot of laughing, but i learned a lot, too! best class of the final semester]. so let's look at some important tips to keep you looking professional, smart, and credible.

be you. when you are writing, write like you are talking to your friends [we're friends, right?]. be genuine. if you write the way you speak, the words will come naturally, the posts will flow, and you won't feel as much pressure if you are trying to keep up some kind of persona. if you are not being yourself or being genuine, you will sound fake and people won't want to read what you have to say. if you're not a professional, you don't have to sound like one. just sound like you. people will love the real you, so don't hide that person.

[on the other hand, if you want to have some secret identity online and you are really good at acting, you can totally make up an online "character" and talk like that person... as long as you follow the next tip very strictly.]

your style should be consistent. have i mentioned this in all other topics?? so important. here's the thing, everyone has a different style. it's ok if you like to use bolds and italics like me. maybe you hate them. maybe you occasionally like to SHOUT at your readers. i mean, it's all about you and who you are and how you write. maybe you like long words, or long, drawn out, descriptive yet appealing sentence. or. short. ones. bottom line is, whatever that little quirk of yours is, use it. and use it well and use it the same every time. i use these thingies [], i read a blog that has a different font when she tries to make a point. it's all up to your style, just be consistent with it.

reread your posts. please oh please, go over them a time or two. make sure they flow, make sure your spelling is mostly correct. sometimes, if you have spent a lot of time on post, it helps to walk away for a few minutes, then come back and read it with fresh eyes. reading out loud is a good way to check your wonderful work. first, you can actually see if you sound like you, and second, you will also read slower, giving your brain a little help in catching those spelling errors. another handy tool is a dedicated reader who texts you your errors [thanks, mama]. could be a friend, or husband/wife, whoever. they are more apt to catching things we miss.

be honest. this goes back to being you. but really, don't be fake, don't lie, don't exaggerate or take credit for something you didn't do. this is the internet. who knows what could happen. so be honest in your words and your dealings. this will get you far! pinky promise.

if you're just a terrible writer but still have the desire to blog, don't be afraid! blogging is good practice to help you develop a skill for writing. don't be afraid to take chances and put yourself out there. there are plenty of bloggers out there [like me] who are willing to help!

don't forget to check out the blog cheats for beginners!

intro platforms design | networking | tools and other helps
[links are posted, not links are coming soon!]

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

why you should never ever ever ask a women if she's pregnant

its pretty clear that i am officially preggers. at least, i hope. i mean, people, i'm 22 weeks. if you don't know by now, you  need to do some serious interweb stalking. but back to me being pregnant. now that you all are officially aware that i am, i feel like it's time for this post.

i would think that all of this would be common sense. especially to women who have been there, but it's not because a lot [not all] of these stories relate to myself. ladies, are you not frustrated? i was so frustrated. i'm over it now [mostly], so it's time to talk about it. and help save the other poor girls who may fall under this miserable fate.


maybe she's gaining weight. yeah i put that one first. why? oh, because it is the most common and happens on regular basis, and hello?! how rude. we all carry our weight differently, some women just happen to pack it on right in the baby-machine. and sometimes, when you just had a splurge of a food eating day, you get a serious food-baby [called that for a reason!]. so asking if she is pregnant is basically dooming her to eat lots and lots of chocolate. and thus add to the situation. no bueno.

maybe the poor girl is trying to get pregnant. asking if she is, or when she will be is not helpful. at all. it's kind of painful. maybe her and hubby have been trying for months with no success and you just had to open the flood gates of emotion that come from seeing the negative sign on a test. it's not pretty. thank you for asking. not.

maybe she actually was pregnant and miscarried. congratulations, you're about to feel super guilty for asking because she is about to tell you the horrible news. thank you again for asking. you just poured an entire bottle of lemon juice on an incredibly sensitive wound. miscarriages are extremely difficult and emotionally draining. don't mind me if i go cry now.

maybe she isn't ready for babies at all! perhaps babies aren't in the plans for the next two or three years and question after question after question of pregnancy plans is about to drive her crazy. not to mention the looks of horror and disdain when she gives the honest answer. this reason doesn't exactly cause pain, but really? it's annoying.

maybe mama bear is ready and hubby isn't. frustration. or maybe hubby is ready and mama bear isn't and you  just pushed a very sensitive button. uber frustration. thanks for joining the married game even though the three of you aren't married.

maybe she actually is pregnant, and guess what? she's not ready to tell anyone. way to ruin everything. and i mean everything, because it's impossible to hide the excitement, but wait, i just took the test yesterday. and i haven't even told my mother, and the list goes on.

maybe it's just really not your business. i hope you got that from all of the above reasons. that's basically the bottom line.

i'm pretty sure baby-making is kind of a private matter. and deciding when, isn't everyone else's job. whoever the lovely little mama is will tell you when she is ready! let her tell you, let her share her exciting news when the time is right. and if she is the one who brings up any other conversation mentioned above, you are automatically invited to talk about it. but let her bring it up. here's the #1 rule:

if you have to ask, don't. 

eventually her belly will stick out, word will get around, or she will post it on facebook [or her blog], but for the sake of women everywhere, our extremely sensitive emotions, and the sanity of humankind, don't put your nose in the business of babies.

unless you're like bestest friends/bestest family and it's already a topic of regular conversation. thankyouandgoodnight.

Friday, February 14, 2014

bcb // design

it's time to talk about design: the biggest giver-awayer of beginnerness. yeah, you read that right. like i said in the intro, the look and feel of your design is either going to make or break it for your viewers... except maybe your mom, she'll read your blog no matter what it looks like. so don't ask her if it looks good, she's biased.

maybe i'm a blog snob, maybe everyone does this, but if a blog looks unprofessional, uncoordinated, or just blah, i don't even read the post. it doesn't matter what you have to say, it's probably not important or relevant if you don't have an adorable blog. ok, you're right. i'm a blog snob.

so let me give you some rules to think about when you are designing your blog, picking a layout, or messing with templates [there may be a lot of vagueness, because in the end, it all comes down to your style].



keep it clean. if you over clutter your page, the visuals will distract from your message. you want it to be appealing, but not overwhelming. i'm not a fan of elaborate background images, not to say they aren't useful sometimes, but they can really distract from the posts or make it difficult to even read them sometimes. i suggest sticking to solid colors, or have embellishments on the side. another good way around this is to pick really big patterns. it helps your page not feel so cluttered and busy.

stick to a few colors: you really only need a few. my favorite thing to do when redesigning is head over to design-seeds and look at some color palettes. [i will tell you my trick later on in tools] if you use a color palette, don't. use. any. other. colors. don't have red links if your color palette is pastel, change the links to a color in your palette. don't have different colored text in your post that is completely wrong for your palette. stick to the few you need. usually 3-5 is a good number. i've got 4 colors if you don't count the white background.

pick colors that go together. they don't have to match, they have to mesh. you don't want burnt orange and cherry red, or like four different oranges and then green titles. are you catching my drift? your colors should compliment each other, enhance the whole view and make everything floooow. no need for making things stand out stark and obnoxious like a zit on the face of your blog.

use readable fonts. in the body of your blog, you want something very basic, easy to read, and easy on the eyes. sans serif are your best bet. though serif fonts are easier to read in print, it's actually much easier to read sans serif fonts on screens. [p.s. sans serif means without the little tails and decorations like times new roman, which is a serif font] for headers, titles, etc, it's ok to be creative, but again, make it flow. pick one or two fonts you can change out and keep them that way.

use pretty pictures. this is something that can come as you continue blogging. i'm not a photographer. shoot, i use my iphone. but make sure your photos help with the flow, have a good quality and lighting, and don't hinder the visuals. again, this is a learning process and you will get better! i'm a lot happier with my photos now than when i started blogging. [more tips on my free editing junk in tools coming soon.]

for pete's sake, use a cute picture of yourself. if you decide to post one of you in your little about section on the sidebar [always a good idea, people feel like they know you a little better when they see your face. but you don't have to], make sure it's appealing. if you are perpetually cute, good for you. if you aren't, like me, just put on sweet face and take a shot that compliments the rest of your blog. the eyes always go to your face first, so try and use similar colors in your clothing or setting as you did for your design. doesn't have to be the same, but floooow. remember floow.

ok, are you tired of rules? let's talk about what i do. i was going to save this little part for the tools section of the series, but this is probably more appropriate here.

inkscape. i don't have photoshop or illustrater. i use this handy little program. it's free, it's easy to use, and i made all of my designs with it. you can download inkscape here if you like. they also have tutorials you can check out, too.  when i want to learn how to do something i haven't figured out by clicking a million buttons, i just google how to blah blah with inkscape. i usually find a pretty easy answer! i pretty much learned how to use it by playing with it.

i usually create my images and have to upload them to photobucket or flickr so they have a url. with blogger, using images is really easy, and you can change your fonts and text links to match your design. with wordpress, you can really only change the background image and header, so be sure your template goes with the designs you make, both the fonts and the colors!

now that all that is out in the air, please tell me if this helped, if i confused you, or if this actually made sense. it makes sense to me because i know what i'm actually talking about... but does it really make sense? please tell me. okthankspreciateya.

last thing! designing your own blog can be pretty daunting, occasionally frustrating, and most times, time consuming. if you want to play around with designs, i say do it! i enjoy it, and i feel pretty rad when i'm done. but if you have a million other things to do and you don't want to mess with it but wish you had an awesome blog that was unique to you, you're in luck

i've decided i'm willing to help you out. obviously, i'm not a professional designer, but i can totally whip out some simple designs for background images, headers, buttons, and about photos, like the ones you see here and help shape your blog into something you love. i can't say i'm free, but i will say that i am pretty freakin cheap compared to those awesomes out there who are way too amazing for my wallet. if you're interested, shoot me an email: heyhollandfam{at}gmail.com. the first serious client [hehe that's a fun word!] i'll give 50% off as long as you tell everyone you love me. but really, feel free to ask and i'll send you all the deets and info. i like making the blog world a pretty place and i would love to work with you lovely people!


when the posts are up, these will be links!
intro platforms  | style and writing | networking | tools and other helps

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

it's a ... {little holland gender reveal!}

you have a 50% chance of guessing it right. if you want to guess, but i'm about to tell you anyway, so you can't guess anymore. sorry!

little holland is a little lady! and we are stoked! i mean, we would have been stoked with a boy, too. but we are just so excited for this lovely little bundle of pink and lace to come to our family!


to be honest, brock and i already knew. we both have just had a feeling since the beginning. for the past couple of weeks we have even been calling her a her. [and then of course anyone around would go her?! like... you know?? and we would have to say, just a hunch, don't know yet] 

the ultrasound was probably the coolest thing of the week. i have seen [or at least remember] three other little ones that way, my little brothers and sister. but brock has never seen one and he was totally amazed. and of course, it was different for me seeing that little one inside of me, and not my soon to be sibling. needless to say, we are totally and completely in love with the little lady.


now if you had asked me a year ago which i would have preferred, i would have answered before you finished your question with a resounding, boy. period. i would take 5 little boys and be happily in a drama-free heaven. i can't say what changed my mind. but for the last little while, i have slowly been starting to want little girls. maybe the lord knew what was coming and he started reminding me of little things that I would love about having a daughter.

like that we could be super duper compadres like me and my mama. 
like all the frills and fuss and cute and junk that i am literally about to go haywire over.
like brock is gonna be freakin adorable with a little girl in his arms and she will have him wrapped ridiculously tight around her teeny little finger. 
like pink.
like emotions are just life, and it would be ok to have someone with as much ridiculous emotion as me in the house.
like, what? first time since i was 2 that girls would outnumber boys in my house. 
like girl's night.
like my mama and brock's mama are going crazy right now.
and like all my girls that i love at church that could totally be my daughters if we weren't close enough age to be sisters.
or like my little sister, who i dearly miss and adore.

i guess it really doesn't matter what changed my mind. little miss sassy panties is already coming [i already know that's what she is, she has me for a mama]. and i couldn't be happier

so. now you know and we know. fill me up with tips about raising girls! ready. set. go.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

pork stuffed bell peppers

a week or two ago, i made some stuffed peppers and posted the delicious picture on my instagram. that means i've sworn myself into sharing the recipe. let me warn you, this is different from any other stuffed pepper recipe you will find. i have tried other recipes and didn't like them... peppers were mushy and overpowered all other flavors. so when i imagined up these little guys, i wanted to have something flavorful, delicious, and not tomatoey or too soft. and well, it worked. and we loved them! so enjoy!



pork stuffed bell peppers

ingredients:
3 large green bell peppers 
1lb package of pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup of cooked brown rice*
garlic powder
1/4 cup of sour cream
2 heaping tbsp ketchup
1 egg
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

*because brown rice takes so long to cook, i always make a bunch so i have plenty of left overs into he fridge. 

instructions:
cut the tops out of the bell peppers. i cut a nice big circle and get all the seeds out. cut as much pepper from the circles as you can (the edible part), chop, and set aside. then cut each pepper in half from top to bottom.  place pepper halves on baking sheet and set aside.

in a large skillet, cook pork sausage with onions, peppers, garlic, and desired salt and pepper. when meat is fully cooked add rice and mix. 

in a small bowl (or i use my over sized measuring cup), mix remaining ingredients until well blended, then add the mixture to meat and rice. 

divide meat mixture between peppers. pack it in, they will be overflowing. bake hole side up at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. if you want your peppers a little softer, bake for 30 minutes. like i said earlier, i like mine with a little crisp. 

enjoy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

bcb // platforms

it's time to officially start the series i told you about last week! today's topic:


there are a lot of platforms out there to choose from. i'm going to tell you about the two pretty popular ones, both of which i have used. we'll look at some pros and cons for each, but if you are really looking at getting started, i encourage you to check out some other info, too and not just rely on my words alone. i will be as thorough as i can, but google is always full of more answers than i am.. wink..

blogger

the blog you're looking at right now is a blogger blog. there are a lot of things i like about blogger and aren't very many things that i don't. obviously i like it because i am using it. so let's look at all the fun things there are:

blogger pros:

  • blogger is always always free. there are no charges for anything. ever. done. 
  • everything is customizable. you can look for blogger templates online and find lots and lots for free that lovely people have made available for your own use. you can start with the templates blogger provides and change them up to fit your style. or if you are handy with some html code, you can rock it however you want. i am not a coder... though someday, i hope to get better. 
  • blogger is pretty simple to use. once you find your way around backstage*, you can basically do anything you want to behind the scenes: post a blog post, check your stats, change your layout and template, etc. 
  • blogger comes with a lot of widgets. widgets are those handy little things you see on sidebars, like twitter feeds, or photos, or archives. there are so many to choose from to fit your needs.
  • there is a blogger app. it's mainly for posts [i will talk about this in the cons actually, but it is handy to have on the go!]

there are only a few cons that i want to point out, just so you have a feel for what i've noticed in using blogger.

blogger cons:
  • because everything is customizable, it can be overwhelming, daunting, and occasionally frustrating. templates are a nice way to go, but it can be difficult to get everything the way you want it. more about this when we get to the design section of the series.
  • the blogger app is only for posts. you can't check your stats or manage comments, which i find a little frustrating because i like to respond to comments quickly. just my preference.
  • there is no network system set up for blogger [more about this in wordpress below].
neither here nor there:
i didn't want to classify this as a pro or a con because it depends on how you feel... but for those of you unaware, blogger is a google product. it's convenient because you can connect with everything like youtube and all other google products pretty easily [obviously you need a gmail account for blogger]. because google is getting so big, brock is actually becoming anti [crazy because he tried so hard to get me to use gmail when we were dating and now he wants me to get rid of it... and everything else in my life since i use blogger and chrome and all google products. oops.] but really it's just your preference. so consider that. 

wordpress

even though i really like blogger, i happen to like wordpress better. i can't figure out why because honestly, blogger should be the better of the two [and it is] i just think wordpress is pretty backstage i guess. weird? i don't know. i don't even get apps if they aren't pretty. it's a thing i guess. so here's the real list of goodies about wordpress:

wordpress pros:
  • wordpress is pretty [i'm just gonna put that first]
  • when you get started, wordpress walks you through everything, from choosing a blog name, to picking a template to writing your first post. there's even a navigating video to help you figure out how to use your dashboard.. or backstage. 
  • the templates for wordpress are very modern and there are a lot of options to choose from but... more in the cons.
  • the backstage of wordpress is a lot more detailed than blogger. you can customize a lot of your settings that aren't changeable on blogger, like privacy, create polls, and other reading and writing settings. 
  • wordpress is a blogging network. this basically means that you already have an audience. that's a huge pro. audience is what you want, right? when i blogged on wordpress, most of my traffic came from other users. they can like your posts, follow, and comment very easily. 
  • wordpress's app is just like the website and everything can be controlled from it. nice. 
even though it looks like wordpress has more pros, it has more cons, too. and that's what makes me come to blogger. again. all about preference. so let's see what they are:

wordpress cons:
  • wordpress is only free for the basics. if you want to customize your site, you have to pay. if you want to use code [wordpress uses css code and not html], you have to pay. if you want the even fancier version, wordpress.org, you have to pay. if you want to get into that, go for it, but it's always better to start out free, right?
  • because wordpress is more like a network, it's not as easy for non-wordpress users to follow or comment, not impossible, but not as easy. 
  • like i said in the paying part and the pros part, wordpress is not very customizable. if you want a unique site, it's either going to cost you money or you will have to go somewhere else. you can sometimes change the colors in the templates, but that's about it. and that was huge for me. 
  • additionally, there are a lot of templates that cost by themselves. not all templates are free. 
  • wordpress also has many widgets to use, which is good, but it doesn't have near as many as a google product.
one last note about wordpress... it's wordpress.com, .org is a different more expensive and extensive platform like mentioned above. 

and there you have it friends. i laid the two out for you, now you have to decide what you want. there are other places you can check out for blogging. i've heard of tumblr, typepad, weebly, and livejournal, but i don't know anything about them. if you are looking for something more professional to  be home to a website and not just a blog, wix and squarespace are good options, but those will cost some mula. so do some research before you decide. or if you want, just sign up for a couple and see what you like after working with it! 

*backstage: i refer to the behind the scenes part of blogging as backstage. it's the part only you see of your blog, where you control it all and make the magic happen. 


check out the others!
intro design style and writing | networking | tools and other helps

Saturday, February 1, 2014

why we chose a midwife

i always thought i would want the drugs when it came to labor. i was always extremely intimidated by the pain, horror stories, and scenes in movies of screaming, sweaty women. don't ask me what changed my mind, i'm really not sure. i think part of it has to do with all i have learned about health since getting married to a very health-conscious brock. i think another part could be contributed to my continuous learning of what this life is really about, what's important and who i am. i still can't say for sure how, but somehow the entire idea of birth and labor and pregnancy have settled a little differently in my mind.

and because of that, we decided to choose a midwife and at-home birth instead of doctors and hospitals. there are several reasons behind it, which i am happy to share with all of you honestly, bluntly, and basically straight forward. 


warning: this is a tad long. sorry, read it, thank me later.

god made my body for this: i think this is the biggest reason and so it gets to be first. fact: i am a women. shocker, right? god made my body in a way that is specifically equipped for baring children. since the creation of the world, with the exception of the last several decades, women have been delivering their babies naturally. and guess what? they survived. and they did it again. and in a lot of cases, again and again and again. it's pretty possible to experience the pain and the joy of birth. and i want that. it's a part of my role as a women and a daughter of a supreme being. 

i really hate doctors/hospital: here's the sad part: i never really knew how much i hated them. a lot of brock's family that lives here and that we see frequently are older and i feel like we talk about doctors and hospitals and appointments and meds a lot. and usually i sit there and squirm and don't add to the conversation because i have nothing to say. i guess i don't like them more than normal people... i don't like cold, clammy handshakes, not to mention wondering around other parts. i don't really like (and i know this is stereotyping and not all doctors are this way) the demeaning, the know-it-all, the i'm so much better because i'm a doctor doctors. i don't like generalizations because every body, every pregnancy, every birth, every disease, etc., is different. i don't know why doctors can't figure that out after all their experience and studies. and hospitals? ew. i don't like the iv's and tubes that bind me down. i don't like the smell of hospitals. i don't like the coldness temperature and atmosphere wise. i don't even like visiting people in hospitals, i usually sit there not saying anything and letting whoever else is with me do the talking because there just isn't anything happy i can think of while sitting in that room. i could go on, but i think this will suffice.

obamacare: i could go on a whole lot of tangents about this, but i will keep it simple. i'm fairly certain obamacare is going to completely dismantle the healthcare system. it probably won't be by the time little holland gets here, but hopefully i will be having babies much longer than that, so i might as well learn to do it without the medical system so when it's not available except the the ridiculously rich folks, i can still have babies and everything will go just fine. judge me. it's ok. 

it's just better this way: having a baby naturally is so much better for baby and mama. like i said, our womanly bodies are made for this. when we mess with the process, sometimes it's harmful. like cracking open an egg while its hatching instead of letting the little guy come out on his own. it doesn't mean that there won't be complications doing it naturally, but mama and baby bodies are better off in the long run. 

i get to decide: what i love about my midwife is that she is super hands-off, not on. she is full of knowledge and explains things really thoroughly and well. but when it comes to decisions, brock and i make the choices. i know my body better than anyone and i'm trusting that maternal instinct to know what's best for the little one inside of me, too. it's my body and my baby and i shouldn't have to be told how to take care of them or what they need. the other thing i love about my midwife is that, when i do need her, or i don't feel like i have enough information to make a good,sound choice, she is hands-on, she is at my beckon-call and she will put me and little holland even before her sleep. bottom-line, it's all about he two of us and not the paycheck.

the comfort of home: at first i was totally turned off about the idea of an at-home birth. the mess, not being able to walk away from it, not be doted on by nurses. it just didn't sound as relaxing. but Brock was actually all for it and so i did my research and decided i was crazy for thinking it wouldn't be as relaxing. look at all this: 

  • i can sit/stand/lay in whatever position feel comfortable for me and little holland at any time.
  • i can eat, i can drink, i can basically do anything i feel like i need to.
  • i can hop [gently] in the bathtub or shower for a little while at any time to loosen up those muscles or just relax a bit. 
  • i can walk around if it feels right. 
  • if i want a back rub or foot rub, or anything of the sort, possible on the spot service with awesome labor-pain relieving technique.
  • i have my own couch, bed or floor for my own comfort, not uncomfortable hospital furniture.
  • my hubby and family has the comfortable furniture, too! and brock gets a bed.
  • brock will play a huge part in the whole labor process which is pretty important to me since this is our baby.
  • my family can be there at any or all of the time. 
  • little holland won't have to be whisked away except for some quick cleaning and check-up, then straight back to my arms until i hand baby to my mama or someone so i can sleep.
  • with my family there, and my awesome midwife, everything will taken care of from clean up to my laundry and making food, to holding little holland when i need sleep. and they will all enjoy that. 
  • it's so much more intimate and personal. and it is ever so important that my family has part in the personal, intimate part of meeting my baby since they live so far away. 

now tell me if that sounds more relaxing and/or better.

all that being said, i don't blame any women who wants the luxury of drugs, hospital attendance, and everything else that comes with the doctors and hospitals. every women should be able to decide how they want to do things, right? right. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

blog cheats for beginners// bcb

i have had quite a lot of questions concerning blogging lately, like a lot. and if you follow me on twitter you may know that even the hubs is considering getting into my game. so i've decided to start a mini series: blog cheats for beginners, or bcb. i wanted to call it how to not look like a beginning blogger even though you are, but even htnllabbetya was too long... wink...

so with that in mind, let me tell you some things i will cover with my not-so-very-vast-but-quite-a-bit-of knowledge starting next week.

disclaimer: i'm not a professional blogger, i bow down to those... i have just been doing this for a long time and i have learned a lot and i want to share it with you. 



platforms: the first thing i'm going to cover are platforms because that's where it all begins. i'm mostly going to look at wordpress and blogger because I have used them both. however, there are plenty of others out there to try out, i just haven't. 

design:  let's talk about this for just a minute. the visual part of a blog is super-dee-duper important; it's the first thing people notice. not your witty phrases, or hilarious tone of voice. not even the delicious recipe you posted or the excellent article you linked. it's the design; the colors, the style, the font, the photos. those grab attention or turn it away. so be prepared for a long post when we get to this! in this section i will also share some of my pet-peeves about designs and also my sneaky tools for all my handy work.

style and writing: i have a few tips here, as a writer and a reader, just to help you sound and feel more professional and not like you don't care about what you just posted on the internet for the world to see (though that doesn't mean I don't have typoes. ask my mother. more on this later).

networking: the number one rule about getting out there is this: if you want to get noticed, you have to notice other people. when we get to this section, i'll share some tips about getting involved in the blogging community, making bloggy friends, and working that social network. i'll be honest, this is probably my weak point, but maybe we can learn something together. 

tools and other helps: there are a lot of apps and site and books and fun things to help you as a blogger, like a whole whole lot. i will share with you some of my faves, some that haven't really fit me, and maybe we can find some more! i'll talk about phones, tablets, books, and other little helps that may or may not fit you and your style. this may turn into more of a miscellaneous tools section.

overall, i'm pretty excited about this little project i've created for myself because i think i have forgotten to use a lot of the knowledge i have about blogging and it will help me as i am rekickstarting my blog this year. i hope it's fun for you, too. and if you have ever thought about blogging, this may be a good chance to dip your toes in and see if you like it. 

if there are any blog questions you have that i didn't mention above that you would like some insight on, i'm open to more ideas! you can leave a comment or tweet me, too!

p.s. next on the baby list of updates: why we chose a midwife! stay tuned. 

when the posts are up, these will be links!
platforms | design | style and writing | networking | tools and other helps