Blogging Skills

Blogging Skills

I’ve been dabbling in the blogging world for years now, and I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things along the way. I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously. I’ve learned to read and review the books that I want to review, not just the ones that are trendy. I’ve learned to be more well-rounded in my topics in order to keep me interested in writing. I’ve been thinking of the more tangible skills that I’ve learned, and also the things I really need to work on.

Things I’m Better At:

Using Pictures

While I might be the best at taking great pictures, I’m more aware of the pictures I take. I’m trying to use better backgrounds and occasionally use props (when appropriate). I’m also incorporating manipulated stock images in my posts (like the picture at the beginning). I think they make posts a little more interesting.

Writing Succinctly

My writing style has always been to the point, but I’m consciously doing it more in blog posts. Sometimes you don’t need the flowery stuff, you just need to get to the nitty gritty of it. And I think it works!

Things I Need to Work On:

Scheduling

Life gets in the way of a lot of things, blogging included. I would love to be able to create a schedule where I could post a couple times a week, but it’s hard when I work a full time job and I have a two year old son. He doesn’t let me go to the bathroom alone, let alone try to write!

Time Management

This goes hand in hand with scheduling. I tend to write what I can when I can. I need to use my time more wisely and create meaningful content.

 

What skills have you improved on recently?

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Off to the Races!

Off to the Races!

If you remember from one of my older posts, I’ve completed a 5K race. Now I’ve completed two of them, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself! I even did better than my previous time. Going forward, I want to get even better. I want to actually run a 5K. I want to get the best time that I can possibly achieve. I want to participate in some of the fun runs! Here’s a list of the runs I’d like to compete in:

Queso 5K

A local radio station is sponsoring a 5K on Cinco de Mayo where you get chips and queso at the end of the race! How awesome does that sound? If you want to check it out, go to their site.

Reading 5K

I was too late for this race, but this sounds right up my alley. Not only is this a traditional race, but if running isn’t your thing, you can participate in a read-a-thon! Take a look at their race site.

Bubble run

I’ve seen pictures of this on Pinterest, and everyone looks like they’re having such a great time. The one closest to me isn’t until September, which should give me a chance to train up and possibly run it.

Color run

I also love seeing these pictures. Everything is so bright and colorful! I definitely want to do this one. I can’t wait for the event details to be posted.

Mud run

These races would make me feel like a badass. Most of these have some sort of obstacle course to go along with it, and I think that would be a huge challenge for me. I think that might have to be a next year event, so I can do some full body training.

What races have you participated in, and what other races should I look into?

Radio Silence

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Sorry for not posting…this year. I’ve been really slacking. BUT…I do have a good reason!

Here’s what’s been going on lately:

I found a new job.

This was a long time in the making. I’d like to say my main reason was money, but it wasn’t. Although money is a great motivator, I really just want to work for a company that values and appreciates me as a person. So now, I’m going to work for a company that I hope treats me like that. It will be a huge increase in my commute (45 minutes as opposed to the 10 I’ve been driving), but the SIGNIFICANT raise will make up for it. J

I’ve been working on myself.

I’ve lost about 20 pounds over the past few months (it was more, but stress got me to eating terribly again). I’m starting to eat better again, but I really need to step it up when it comes to exercise. I’ve recently bought a treadmill and I’m really excited to start using it. I even bought a new bullet journal to keep track of all my workouts! I’ll post about that later.

I’ve been trying to keep up with a two-year-old.

My little boy is TWO. I can’t believe it! He’s grown up so fast.

I haven’t forgotten about book reviews or this site. As a matter of fact, I have a few posts in the works that I hope to have finished soon.

Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope your year has been great!

New Venture

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I’ve been crafting on and off for years. Everything from plastic canvas to drawing to jewelry making. Nowadays, I tend to focus on jewelry. I find it therapeutic to put work into something and see the end result. It’s very satisfying to me.

We had a craft fair at work today, and I brought some of my pieces in. People liked them…and bought a few pieces! This got me thinking…

What do you think of my opening a shop? Either on Etsy or having a page on my blog where you could purchase jewelry pieces? Is that something that people would be interested in?

Please let me know! I’d love any comments and critiques.

Family Movie Night

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Not only is the weather in Georgia more cooperative, it’s the best time to have fun with your family! One thing that my husband and I love to do is watch holiday movies together. Since it’s Halloween time, that means we get to watch movies like Hocus PocusThe Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Addams Family. In a couple years, Noah can pick what he wants to watch…but since he’s only 19 months, he’s stuck with what Mama and Dada wants to watch.


Movie time isn’t really complete without awesome snacks. Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve had to change my snacking habits. I’ve been relying on SkinnyPop popcorn  recently to get my salty fix. It’s the perfect addition to my healthyish lifestyle. Each serving has between 30 and 50 calories, which is great when I want to eat a ton and not worry about calories as much.

When I was little, my mom and I would watch a ton of movies together. We’d mostly watch Rogers and Hammerstein musicals; some of my favorites are Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and The King and I. We’d always pop popcorn and eat apples. It sounds like a weird combo, but it works. The apples help get the kernels out of your teeth, and you get a wonderful salty-sweet combo. I’m thinking I want to try SkinnyPop’s sea salt and pepper popcorn with a Golden Delicious apple (my favorite). I have a feeling I’m going to adore that combo!

Another snack that my family loves is Chex Mix. We especially love the cheese mix. I think a fun update to the traditional mix would be to add SkinnyPop Aged White Cheddar with all the yummy pretzels and nuts. It would be lighter and more delicious! Other fun add ins could be dried fruit, jerky, and candy…kind of like a combo of Chex Mix and trail mix. 

Once Noah can eat popcorn, I think he’ll love all these snacks! For now, he loves anything crunchy and made from potatoes. His movie snacks can just be apple slices for now. When he’s a little older, I’d love to make more fun snacks, like popcorn balls and ants on a log.

What are your favorite movie snacks? What movies do you look forward to watching this time of year?

Health and Fitness Tech

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If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to improve my health for some time. As of now, I’ve lost about 25 pounds! I’m really proud of myself for sticking with this, and I owe a lot of it to technology. Fitness and health tech has really improved over the years, and I’ve been using it to my advantage. Here are some apps and sites that have worked for me, and some that I would like to try in the future.

Tried and True Tech that Works for Me

Fitbit

This has been a game changer. Since I got a Fitbit about a year ago, I’ve been focusing on moving more often. I really love the hourly reminders to move. If I’m stuck in my cubicle all day and I feel that buzz on my wrist, I take that opportunity to get more water and walk around the building. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been moving more consistently, my knees definitely hurt less.

MyFitnessPal

I mainly use this app to track my calories. This might sound kinda oblivious, but I really never knew how many calories I was eating…until I tracked it all. Wow. Also, I had no idea that some foods that I thought were “healthy” actually weren’t. MyFitnessPal has really helped me with eating at restaurants. I tend to look at the menu online and try to make a better choice before I go.

Achievemint

I had seen some pins on Pinterest about using your fitness tracker to earn money. Part of me thought it was a scam, and another part of me wanted to try it out. I’m here to tell you that Achievemint is the real deal. You can sync a lot of your fitness apps to it (for me it’s Fitbit and MyFitnessPal) and you accumulate points for doing things like walking and tracking your food and sleep. Once you get 10,000, you get $10. It’s pretty awesome.

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Tech I Want to Try

Pocket Yoga

I’ve noticed recently that I’ve had some intense lower back pain. It’s been bad enough that it’s taken my breath away. The closest thing I can compare it to is back contractions during labor, and those weren’t fun. A friend of mine suggested I look into yoga. I found a few moves that are meant to stretch your back, and those have felt wonderful! Now I’m really interested in trying to do yoga more often. I love that the app seems to be dummy proof; there’s a lot of beginner information that I would definitely use.

Couch to 5k

I’m still debating on if I want to start this program or not. I think it would be the next natural progression in my fitness journey, but I also don’t imagine myself as a runner. The 5k I did a few weeks ago was a fun walk. I don’t know if I could run it. However, the whole point of the app is to train me to do it. I think I’m going to look into it more before I make a concrete decision.

Warby Parker

In case you haven’t noticed before, I wear glasses all the time. When I went to the eye doctor earlier this year, I had the hardest time narrowing down what frames I wanted. Warby Parker has this awesome feature that allows you to pick 5 frames and have them sent to your house so you can try them with your outfits and style. I think this is the coolest idea. I could pick my frames while I’m in my pajamas!

Do you have any favorite sites or apps to try?

Happy Birthday!

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It’s my blogging anniversary today! I’ve been playing with this site for 8 years now. Can you believe it?! It’s certainly grown up along the way, and I think I have too.

I started this blog as What Fiction Means, and I intended it to be solely a book review blog. I got bored with that idea pretty quickly. Now it’s morphed into Meaning Beyond Words, a bookish lifestyle blog, and I’m really enjoying the feel of this more. I’m posting more consistently (although I’d like to do it even more), I’m putting more thought and care into my posts and pictures…I’m treating this like a real thing.

I think I’ve grown as a blogger over the years. I’m trying to be a bit more analytical with my book reviews. I still struggle with finding the balance between research paper and simple review, but I think I’m getting there. Adding more lifestyle posts breaks things up, and I hope you guys can connect to me more this way.

Happy 8th birthday blog! Here’s to many more!