As a blogger, I’d like to think that I’m a creative person. I’ve loved to read and make up stories of my own since I was a child – and always had a wide imagination. I’m not really an analytic person and while I can navigate around numbers, I’ve always found more ease reading chapters of a novel versus cracking a tough algebra problem. I’m taking a two-day course at work titled Creativity and Innovation where we’re learning to think more creatively as individuals, as well as blossom in group settings that might not be as creative-friendly. I’m taking this class to learn how to take all of my wild ideas and generate them into an outcome. I blame my ideas and lack of follow-through on that Gemini-spirit, but sometimes I really just do get caught up in what I think it’s a cool idea and later abandon it because I become bored and the idea never comes to fruition.
Some of the concepts I’m learning through the class are quite interesting. And so far, we’ve built a casing for a light bulb using some rudimentary tools, created a new candy bar concept and analyzed some words of wisdom from great leaders of companies. One of the concepts that really resonated with me is using the word “and” in place of “but.” As in, “I love your idea, but it doesn’t really follow the guidelines I was looking for.” We have all heard that when you say “but” to someone, that usually signals that you’re dismissing their idea for an idea of your own. It can be rude, it can disarm the person and if you’re shooting someone down you could stunt their creativity. It’s been my experience sometimes that we use “but” because it’s natural, and we may really want to include their idea and actually add to it and know no other better way to rephrase it. You could actually mean, “I really like your idea, but I think if you expanded on xyz it may make it more impactful.” By replacing that “but” with and, you’re actually including that idea and signaling to the person that you’re engaged, interested and genuine in your feelings. “I really like that idea and by adding xyz it would make it a more impactful project.” See? Doesn’t that sound better?
Jess from Plucky’s Second Thought was sweet enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award! Sunnyside Shlee has always been a fun “thing” for me to do to interact with other people, learn more about crafts, travels, and much more – as well as to practice my love of writing. I haven’t focused so much on growing the blog into a business, but have enjoyed my readership and meeting new bloggers along the way! I can’t believe it’s been over 2 years since I started this little ditty and am excited to see where it all takes me!
The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers. What is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. HERE ARE THE RULES FOR RECEIVING THIS AWARD:
- Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
- Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
- Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
- Go to their page and tell them.
- No tag backs!
11 Things About Me:
- I’m was raised in the city of Chicago – the actual city, not a suburb
- I’m a Twi-hard. I’ve read all of the novels and seen all of the movies.
- I’ve been to Las Vegas about 16 times before the age of 21 and only twice since turning 21 – both times have been for work not pleasure.
- I’ve asked Flavor Flav to move out of my way at the San Diego Zoo.
- My favorite band/singer is Dave Matthews Band. I’m in love and obsessed with all things DMB.
- I love the California life-style and if I had the choice, I’d move to California in a heart beat.
- I’ve played sports all of my life but quit basketball in fifth grade because there was too much running involved. I rejoined in 7th grade.
- I love pens and I regularly purchase pens and usually use a different one every day.
- I love Mexican food – I could eat it everyday.
- I won the spelling bee in 8th grade and went on to the Chicago regional competition where I lost on a letter that began with a C…I still can’t remember what word it was.
- I can quote the entire movie of Aladdin.
My 11 QUESTIONS:
- What was the name of your first childhood pet? Goldie, the goldfish
- Where was your favorite vacation memory? Mexico my senior year of high school – it was an amazing trip with amazing people.
- Who is your celebrity crush? Rachel McAdams… I love her.
- What is the one addiction that you have that not many people know about? Maybe cracking my knuckles? I do it all of the time.
- If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be? Southern California
- What came first: the chicken or the egg; why? The egg, maybe it evolved.
- Windows or Apple; why? Apple. Because everything Apple is a stellar piece of technology, whether you want to admit it or not.
- What was the first CD you ever purchased? Can’t remember. I used to steal my dads when I was younger so it all blurs together.
- What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? The only thing that comes to mind is jumping into a water hole at the Mexico trip mentioned earlier – I’m terrified of unknown bodies of water and it was in a foreign country but I didn’t want to regret not doing it so I jumped in and freaked out the entire time til I got out!
- What did you want to become when you where young? A famous journalist or a teacher.
- What is the one goal you have for 2013? Be a healthier me in 2013 – I turn 30 and get married. It’s going to be a huge year!
11 8 Blogs I’ve Nominated for the Liebster Award are:
- The Borrowed Abode
- The BookBimbo Chronicles
- Small Home Big Start
- My eDiets Journey
- Cook With Molly
- A Lot on Your Plate
- Hernando House
- Rockstar Boots
Thanks Jess for your nomination!
11 Questions for My Nominees to Answer: (Sorry this wasn’t up earlier! I was so excited to post this that I forgot to include my questions!)
- What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- What is your earliest childhood memory?
- What’s your go-to rainy day movie?
- Name something you’re proud of accomplishing.
- What’s the one thing you never leave your house without?
- What’s your favorite number and why?
- What was the last concert you went to?
- Why did you start your blog?
- What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
- What kind of phone do you use? iPhone? Android? Flip phone? Landline?
- If money and time wasn’t an issue and you could go anywhere in the world – now, past or future – where would you go?
I’ve been contemplating attending next year’s BlogHer conference but am really intimidated as a blogging newbie. And by newbie, I mean I haven’t grown my blog into an all-around brand like Young House Love, Making It Lovely, and Centsational Girl who are all amazing bloggers (or teams of bloggers like John + Sherry) who have built a brand around their blog and are pretty well-known as subject matter experts in the blogging world. But isn’t that the point of the BlogHer conferences? To learn from the best so that when you return home, you can start putting many of their great pointers and experience to work on your own personal blog brand?
Next year’s conference will be hosted in my home town of Chicago. That equals no excuse not to attend because I don’t have to fly anywhere, don’t have to spend the night in a hotel and I can basically have the security blanket of my city to experience this conference all my own. I’m nervous though, to meet and greet and to attend by myself. Is that weird? Any advice from anyone who has attended a BlogHer conference or other blogging conferences before?
That title reminds me of “So You Think You Can Dance” (my favorite is Kathryn, of course!) … but I’m really writing this blog because I’m frustrated and I’m motivating myself. Sometimes I get so intimidated by the other bloggers out there. Man, some of these ladies really seem to have their writing/activities/act together and it makes me green with envy to not have the type of blog that they do. But, we’re all different and I don’t have to be them to be a blogger. I just need to stay true to myself and write for me. Anyways, I have found out what makes the best/most interesting blogs out there. They all kinda have the same great elements that draw readers in. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:
- Tone. Most blogs out there (at least the ones I read on fashion, DIY, etc) are upbeat. I think bloggers/readers are interested in joining a community of people. That’s why we write and we engage in conversation with people we may never see in person in our lives. In any situation (real or non-real) people are attracted in the more upbeat, charismatic. Smiles draw attention and you SHOULD naturally gravitate towards someone with great vibes. I think that goes hand-in-hand with blogging. Having an interesting, engaging, and upbeat voice will draw people on. Not saying that you can’t be true to your life and talk about serious stuff but if I wanted to read about doom and gloom, I’d stick to my own diary jk!
- Pictures. Gosh we are a nosey race. But it’s great. Great bloggers share their lives and their personal experiences. It makes them more relatable. It builds their brand and engages the reader. Sharing real pictures of your real life is good stuff people. That being said, I noticed that more seasoned bloggers are also photographers, although some of them will never admit nor classify themselves as so. They have decent cameras and they play with the lighting and lenses on said cameras. They don’t slap up a half-ass pic on their blog and call it a day, no they try to give the reader the best image possible. I use my iPhone which is supposed to have an 8 megapixel camera. I think it lies … or I suck at lighting and editing. Whatevs!
- Design. Not all great blogs look amazing. But, some of the really good ones work on building their brand and investing in their “product” by either learning HTML and designing their own really cool blog or they employ a talented graphic designer to help. No shame in that game. But just like the a beauty pageant, when you’re gonna have an audience, you gotta dress up! Having a great “space” in the blogosphere really helps you build a brand, an identity online and can sometimes help in establishing yourself as a knowledgeable and experienced blogger. My design can use a bit of work but for using a free blogger site, it is what it is. I’ve learned a bit of HTML to help me be able to change color schemes and to really make my blog look the way I want it to look. Maybe if I get a bit more serious, I’ll have a professional design but for now I think it works for me.
- Style. I have a not-so-secret obsession with fashion blogs. But not the unrealistic, model/runway fashion blogs but the every day, professional (and not-so-professional) fashion bloggers. One of my most consistent wishes is to dress better and dress for my age. The best fashion bloggers (in my opinion) are relatable, they have a great sense of mixing and matching outfits and are not afraid to mix patterns. I love admiring these ladies fashion sense and stealing little ideas here and there as I take baby steps in my own life in terms of the clothes I wear. I think you have to have a good eye for what works and what doesn’t. And the best fashion bloggers usually have that nailed. They have a passion for clothes whether they’re designer brands or thrifted at a local thrift store, these ladies know how to incorporate the goods to make a great looking outfit. I’m not there yet, nor have I a great sense of style. For now, I’ll just admire from afar.
- Projects. Every good blogger has projects! Ok, that’s not true. There are many relevant, well-versed bloggers that just talk about their lives and opinions and are completely rock-star worthy because they don’t need projects to fuel their brand. But, we’re not talking about them. We are talking about the DIY-ers, the fashionistas, the aspiring interior designers, the chefs, etc. We are talking about the bloggers that share their passion in life and give step-by-step know-how to do those projects to their readers! (i love these bloggers) These bloggers want to share their knowledge and give their readers some good tips on great (and not-so-great) things they have accomplished. They want to be a part of a virtual community (hence the sharing aspect) and they want to be inspired too. These great bloggers are what drive a specific genre of blogging. They are the ones that are consistently inspiring and being inspired by their community.
Anyways. My point … well, I’m not really sure there is a point. I’m not really an expert. There! I’ve said it. But I have been reading and participating (actively, mind you) in the blogging community for the past year and a half. For the blogs that I read, I’ve just noticed a common trend amongst the most popular blogs, the ones that I am glued to daily for updates and more ideas, projects, information, etc. Maybe this will help you in your blog, maybe not. Hopefully, it was at least an entertaining read
Oh, and if you made it this far … YAY! Here’s a link to some more (maybe better) advice from Blair at Wild and Precious.