Tag Archives: blogging

Why blog? The answer may surprise you

They say that life is a lesson, you’ll learn when you are through. Similarly, they say, life is a journey. Blogging can take you on a journey too. I’ve often been asked why I spend time doing something that earns me no money. Sometimes I ask myself that question. After all, by now, it seems like wishful thinking that I will ever earn an income from blogging.

How I started blogging:

It was the year 2013. The economy had started seriously slumping as too my emotions. Mother to a toddler, finances weren’t looking so fabulous. When do finances ever look fabulous?

When you raise a child, you really start noticing the cost of things. More than anything, I wished I could somehow supplement my income. At the time, getting another job was out of the question. Parenting will do that to you. Where will a new employer understand that your toddler is sick and you need to take her to the doctor, again? For a woman, I receive some good benefits and should not complain. I earn better than many other women I know. Then again, some more women I know also earn much more than me, but those are the ones who actually had the opportunity to go and study at a University outside the country.

Making money online, is all too easy – or is it?

Life is hard when you feel anxiety at the mere thought of going out and doing new things. Earning an extra income on the internet seemed like such an easy thing. After all, all those online adverts were telling me it is so, so easy making bucket loads of cash if I just sign up here or there.

Online surveys – yay or nay?

Even then, I was not that naive. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most likely online swindles! I was looking for something legitimate. At some point, I signed up with several websites for doing online surveys.
While this may be an ideal supplementary income if you live in the U.S. of A. or Europe, none of the offers was for my region. I was never what they were looking for. I soon found out that each and every survey I clicked on was not one I could get paid for doing. How frustrating!

Eventually, I signed up with another website. This website was a bit different from the others. Among other things, they advertised that if you put their button on your blog, they would pay you for that. The idea was born. Blog!

What is a Blog, anyway?

First I needed to figure out what a blog actually was. Yes, I was that green. I googled “what is a blog”. At that point my idea of a blog was some famous person such as an author or actor, telling their fans all about their life. After all, I was already following the ramblings of one or two of my favorite authors.

Who would ever be interested in reading my ramblings? Ordinary, not famous girl, living in Africa! What in the heck, would I even blog about? My life is not all that. So I researched ‘blogging’.

I read that a blog was similar to a website and that many websites I visited were actually blogs. The blogging professionals told me to find a niche. A topic I knew a lot about. At the time there were two main free blogging platforms. One was Blogger and the other was WordPress.

So, in February of 2014, I started a blog on Blogger. It was about Office Administration. At that point, I’d been working in the field of Office Administration for ten years. I thought I would have several things to say on the subject. Indeed, coming up with content was easy. However, I was not the only one blogging on that subject. Many established blogs already existed in the field of Office Admin. I soon started thinking; how can I be more interesting than all the rest?

A month later I also started a blog on WordPress. I mainly wanted to see the difference between these two platforms and promote my Blogger blog on WordPress and build better Social Media connections.

As they say, the rest is history. Both of the blogs I started have since been shut down.

woman-typing-blog

Blogging is a good teacher

While I’m yet to earn anything from blogging, I’ve found it to be a useful tool for personal growth. Apart from the obvious expansion of knowledge that looking up information brings, reading and writing blogs opens your eye’s to many a thing you’d before not taken notice of.  Experiences by other people can teach you many things while documenting your own is very illuminating. In a world where personal growth is a multi-million-dollar industry, this one free tool really does wonders. Of cause it all depends on how you use the platform, and like anything in life what you make of it is up to you.

You learn the strangest things about yourself and the world you live in. In my opinion, this is priceless.

I’ve learned that I don’t really like Google’s ‘AdSense’ nor the WordPress counterpart, ‘WordAds’. While there are other alternatives, none of the ones I’ve discovered work for my country (typical).

The problem I have with these programs is that you have little control over what kind of ads are placed on your blog. I’ve come across ads for fake news websites, fake celebrity gossip, diet scams and other websites with dubious intentions. Rest assured that if you see an add on this blog, it is because I’ve not upgraded it to a premier account. In case you have not read my disclaimer, in no way do I endorse any of these ads.

In trying to figure out how others monetize their blog,  these days I approach new websites differently. I evaluate a site by what it seems to be trying to sell me. I also find that I’m doing the same with new people I meet online and offline. Trying to figure out if someone has a hidden agenda was never something I used to consider. In this way, blogging has made me a little less naive, which in my opinion is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, people still tell me that I’m very gullible – since I try to see the best in everyone, but still … a little less green.

I’ve learned that there are some posts, that, even if you paid me, I’d never publish them. For example, I can’t endorse a money lending business on my own blog. I hate debt. While I do find that it is necessary sometimes, we often loan money for unnecessary things.

I’ve found websites and social media platforms, which I’d never have used and visited on my regular surfing trails. I’ve learned that especially on social  media platforms we ought to not forget our manners (even though many do). You can’t really erase anything you have published online.

I’ve learned that while I may be good at Office Administration, writing about it on a regular basis is not mentally stimulating enough. On the other hand, I’ve found that writing as a creative outlet is something I enjoy doing. It was a discovery that really surprised me, about myself.

Among the millions of bloggers out there, I still wonder how I can be fascinating enough for anyone to follow.
It is still beyond me that anyone would be interested in reading anything this girl, who lives an ordinary life in Africa, would have to say. Regardless, I love the voice blogging has given me.

What about you, what has blogging thought you?

P.S. This is the third day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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To the blog posts I did not write

You were there lingering

At the forefront of my mind.

Complete with opening lines,

Title names

And formatting options.

 

But before I penned  a word

Made a few bullet points

Or powered up my computer

I shot you down!

 

Not because you were not good

Or worthy of composing

But the sudden pulse of life

Needed attending.

 

A home needed cleaning

Cloths and dishes needed washing

Diapers needed changing

Hugs needed giving

Lessons needed teaching

Hygiene needed applying

Food needed eating

 

Before I knew

You flew out the door

Blissfully flung

Into the mess hall

Of my conscious thoughts

Which linger in obscurity.

 

There you are still,

Hoping I may

Once again, stumble

Across the crumpled bit of nonexistent parchment

 

A reminder that,

It all does not need to be perfect.

 

So in my unreadable script

I put you down

Into my little pink notebook.

Unorganized thought.

Not resembling any structure.

Un-edited. Impulsive. Raw.

 

Where you are allowed to be

As you are.

Un-judged.

notebook-pecil-vitage-camera

 

This post is: the first day of it does not need to be perfect. A series of blog post I’m currently writing.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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12 Days of it does not need to be perfect – Is the pursuit of perfection blocking your creative blogging outlet?

On the 12th day of Christmas …, oh wait Christmas is over! So is 2016. Wait I think I missed the gap to put up my New Year’s resolutions. But before January completely ticks by and I like totally miss that too …

Writing consistently, keeping a blog supplied with regular content is not as easy as it seems. Life is demanding of a mother, wife, woman, employee, … . What with so many things demanding to be done right now, is it really such a surprise? Yesterday I did not even get time to make proper lunch or dinner.

That is not the only problem. Don’t worry this is not going into a long rant about my problems as to why this blog does no receive more regular content. The only reason I mention it, is, that I know I’m not alone. I know t as a blogger and writer to grow an audience; you need to connect with your reader on a personal level. The only way to do that is to be human. i.e. be relatable. That sounded really technical, boring, and somewhat manipulating.

what-writers-want

You see, I know quite a few things about building an audience, writing better blog posts, etc., etc. . I subscribe to several blogs which blog exclusively on this subject. And these would be major blogs with hundreds of thousands and even millions of readers. I go to the Pro’s when I look for blog advice. Not that I’m judging any regular ol’ blogger for posting blog advice, as many do. I too used to write much on the subject. We each have our own blogging goals, methods to our own personal blogging madness etc.  but I’m not going to go into blogging tips and tricks, or even writing tips here, because let me face it; after three years of blogging I have very little to show for it. My only accomplishment so far has been that I’ve not yet quit this hobby.

I’m getting side tracked. It is not often that I allow my thoughts free rein. Don’t you just hate being interrupted every time you try to string together two thoughts? If it’s not my own thoughts getting in my way, my children interrupt me at every second sentence. All of which is not the point of this post.

Learning as much as possible about writing, blogging and all other things that go along with that, such as Social Networking, SEO, correct grammar, etc. etc. (I’m using that abbreviation way too much in this post) as I can muster in my limited time over the last few years; has pulled a plug on my creative spirit and basically drained this blog of content.

That entire paragraph has been way too wordy. Did you even get the jest of it?

Suddenly it has not merely become about writing a blog post, but about writing a super excellent blog post. A blog post so divine it’s better than death by chocolate cake.

take-over-the-internet

It is the kind of perfection, which takes hours to compile. After all, one does not simply take over the internet by compiling dull blog posts.

No, that one is too short. That’s too unoriginal. That’s too long. That’s too boring. That’s too mundane. Who’d even be interested in reading five words of that? Wait I’ve got to go do this, that, that, and that other thing. Tick, tock – no writing published for this week the next week and the entire moth.

You get the core of the problem?

To overcome this little hurdle, I’ve come up with my one and only blogging New Years resolution.

I’m calling it:

12 Days of it does not need to be perfect.

While in school, I took five years of art class. My teacher (who was also art shop owner) once told me that I have a really unique talent. She hoped that I would not quit art after school, but that I would continue.

To me, my abstract works looked like rubbish. Pale in comparison to the fine art my mother is capable of. There is no market for art in these parts. I’ve never been able to put it too much use. Don’t get me wrong you learn a lot when you study art, and not just which colors go well with each other. You learn, problem solving, to think outside the box. The creative part of your brain gets a workout. However, my artwork will never be perfect. My still-life’s will never look like the real thing. My self-portraits don’t even look like me.

My writing will never be perfect either. Writing like art is a creative outlet. And part of blogging is not to compile works of perfection, but to develop your own unique writers voice, to see what connects with people, to have fun.

Hence, I will schedule 12 posts this year, one for every moth. In other words, one for January, one for February, one for March – you get the idea. I should be able to schedule 12 posts this year – I hope. In an ideal world, I’d have typed them all up already and have scheduled them. Nevertheless, this is called 12 Days of it does not need to be perfect, for a reason. I can’t manage the blogging ideal.

These won’t be part of any blogging prompt or any other link up.

These random posts, while seeming perfectly sound, normal and acceptable will fit into my category of:

It does not need to be perfect. At the end of each post, I’ll ping back to this one.

I’m just blogging here. It could be poetry, prose, You Tube videos, memorable quotes – you get the picture.

Once I’ve scheduled my December post – and I find that I still have more time and ideas etc. I’ll just post it.

If this idea resonates with you, feel free to join me in my pursuit of non-perfection. You can ping back (or drop a link in the comments) here or to any of the other posts throughout the year. Although I’m not expecting too much of a response. Most bloggers don’t have a problem scheduling these random what not’s. If you do however join me, I’ll at least try to tweet your post.

I don’t really like writing posts merely for the purpose of having created content. I will still pursue the goal of it being somewhat of benefit to anyone who stumbles across the post. Most likely, all these posts will fall into the very broad niche of blogging I am writing here. (You can read all about that on my About Page)

The first day of “it does not need to be perfect” will hopefully be scheduled some time during mid-January. I’ve already drafted something, actually a poem which inspired this entire idea.

If you have stuck with me through these thousand plus words, I thank you. May it be of benefit!

P.S. Happy New Year!

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Thankfully coffee: Here’s a hug in a mug #WeekendCoffeeShare #10Thankful

WeekendCoffeeShare-2016-picIf we were having coffee, I’d offer you my homemade oats cookies. While they are not fabulous enough to photograph, they are still yummy. They are a bit too much on the brown side. But hey, I float bare. If I manage to tweak the recipe so that they come out better – I’ll blog it.
Hi-five on my first thankful for cookies which have honey and oats in them –thus making them healthier than your regular brand of cookie.

If we were having coffee, we’d be having a brand called “hug in a mug”. Now I don’t know about you but hugs that come in mugs are my kind of thing. Good old regular hugs too. Got to love those. Especially the Mini-Me sized ones.

I’d tell you that so far so good, everything is looking fine with the pregnancy. I’m just overly tired. Inevitable as it seems – I’ve got the occasional prenatal depression to deal with. Inevitable? Yes. If you regularly suffer from depression the chances that you will get a nice dose of the prenatal version is more likely. Also, if you’ve had a miscarriage your chances of flaring hormones messing up your happiness seem to be expected. Topped with terrible sleeping patterns and you do have the concoction that brings forth this state. But knowing what you are dealing with puts the power back in your own hands.

I’m honestly thankful that I’ve learned to recognize depression when it hits. I’m even more thankful that everything is still on track with the pregnancy. The little guy or gal has been saying the occasional hello by what is generally referred to “feeling the baby move”

I’ve been struggling with my writing. This is why you have been seeing so little of me over here. Sleep comes first. Furthermore, I try to put quality over quantity. It seriously is more important to me to  write posts that are actually readable. I sometimes have problems following a blog post, which is not that well-constructed. I admit, it takes a skilled writer to hold my attention. I’m a picky reader.
I don’t want readers, hitting my blog with the same problem. As far as this blog post goes, it is probably more on the mundane side. I hope my spunky word usage has been keeping you with me thus far.

I wrote a post titled “Time to say goodbye” this week. It took me quite a lot of editing and re-writing to get it up to that level. Most of the time I don’t just suck this stuff out of my thumb. I was thus flattered and thankful when Shawna who blogs over at “The Honeyed Quill” put a quote of mine on an on-line poster for #LinkYourLife.

two-hands-holding-eachother

For those who do not know, LinkYourLife is a blogging community, which has formed over on Facebook and Twitter. Shawna and her cousin Shareen have been building this little community. I find them to be supportive of all types of bloggers. Each Friday you can tweet your posts with the hashtag #LinkYourLife. The point is not only to get more blog traffic but also to get to know each other a little bit better. Can I get two high fives for the tankful’s I’ve just mentioned?

10-Things-of-Thankful-badge

For those counting that leaves me with four more things to be thankful for to complete my 10 Things of Thankful list, which I’m linking up with on this post.

 

I often find that we overlook the everyday comforts. In this part of the globe, it is winter. I am thus thankful for my snuggly warm bed. Warm blankets. Wooly socks. Hot chocolate. Fabulous Rooibos tea.

If we were having coffee I’d mention that there was recently a charity event. Things such as blankets and non-perishable food were collected for the uncountable less fortunate who sleep in shacks, in these parts. I’m thankful that there are events like this that allow us to give back to the community. I’m thankful I’ve got warm food to eat and a proper roof over my head.

Just in case you were totaling my list of gratitude, I have now mentioned more than 10 things I’m thankful for. Finally yet importantly, I am thankful for coffee. Check out what other bloggers are chatting about on their own #WeekendCoffeeShare posts here. The 10 Things of Thankful link up can be found here.

What are you thankful for this weekend?

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Time to say goodbye

Say what you say. Do not be afraid. Afraid.

A lullaby to the tune of Andrea Botticelli and Sarah Brightman’s duet: “Time to say goodbye” has been stuck on repeat in my mind. “Say what you say. Do not be afraid. Afraid” is however not part of the lyric. Has my mind suddenly turned into the jester? Or are these kinds of things messages from a “higher realm”?

The classical music ballad consists of entirely Italian lyrics with the English words “Time to say goodbye” thrown in. I don’t understand any of the Italian, so obviously my curiosity was sparked.The English translation of that song is poetic. Profound. Rendering the audience in awe of what they were listening to.

Here is the original in its splendid glory.

The words we use have unknown power. We can use them to encourage or to break down. It is thus we must choose with the greatest care for which purpose we use our words.

How easy is a false rumor spread? Damage done by such a lie can often not be undone. How often can words lead to a climate of fear?

As Yoda said:

yoda-fear-quote

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

 

How often is fear the motivation behind words splattered out into the world? Some throw their muck onto the masses. Use hate to claim clicks and popularity. On the other hand, some will use overly emotional articles to gain their clicks. As writers and speakers of words, we need to think about what motivates us to put what we do out in the world.

Will our words build or burn bridges? Do we create out of a desire to gain ratification, through likes and views?

Now this does not mean we need to bury our personal stories. It is indeed brave to share a part of one’s, journey, however, traumatic it may have been. We must not do this from a place of seeking validation.

We must consider the impact our words have, regardless of them being spoken to someone in real life or written online. This does not mean our opinions do not matter, but rather that they hold more weight if considered carefully.

When it comes to online content, being either on websites, blogs, or social media a good measure is to consider how these words would affect our nearest. Would we want our mother to read it? How would our children be influenced by what we say?

This then leaves the other side of the coin. Sometimes we would swallow our words, even though they hold great importance. We leave things unsaid because we fear rejection. Keep it to yourself. No one cares anyway. It is in these instances that you need to “Say what you Say. Do not be afraid.”

As Marc Chernoff put it:

“To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”
― Marc Chernoff

Marc-Chernoff-quote-on-brok

None of us are perfect. Some of us don’t know how to use our words perfectly. In our own mind, we are terrible writers. We are terrible storytellers. We believe that our own stories don’t matter because there are just too many other stories out there. Everyone, after all, has a story. What should make me so special?

The underlying truth is, no one can tell your story but you. Would sharing your experience be a benefit to society? Can you do it from a place of compassion? Can you do it from your heart and not your fragile ego?

Remember it needs not be perfect. It needs to be heartfelt. It needs to build bridges. You need not be perfect. You need to be human.

Perhaps we need to say goodbye to words originating from a place of people pleasing. We need to say goodbye to words spoken from a place of hate and fear. When words fail us, let our hearts be open. We must remember for all of us will come a final time to say goodbye. Before we voyage to cross seas which no longer exist, we should leave this shore better off for harboring us.

I close this post with translated lyric from the song “Time to say goodbye” by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli. Thanks to Jos van Greefen for this translation.

“When I’m alone
I dream of the horizon
and words fail;
yes, I know there is no light
in a room where the sun is absent,
if you are not here with me.
At the windows
show everyone my heart
which you set alight;
enclose within me
the light you
encountered on the street.

Time to say goodbye.

I’ll go with you to countries I never
saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer;
it’s time to say goodbye. With you I shall experience them.


When you are far away
I dream of the horizon
and words fail,
and, yes, I know
that you are with me;
you, my moon, are here with me,
my sun, you are here with me
with me, with me, with me.

Time to say goodbye.     I’ll go with you
to countries I never
saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,


with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,
with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you.

You and me.”

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Every. Day.

Every day, I am faced with a choice. Every. Day.

The choice: To get up out of bed, make the best of that day. Carpe diem.

Yes, It’s a choice. Because I could just lie there. And most days I wish I could do just that. However, therein lies the path to the dark side, young padawan.

Get up and be productive. Be a benefit to those around you. Whether that means: going to work. Cleaning the house. Trying to help someone out. Not complain. Offer someone a cup of coffee. Hug someone. Live life. Connect.

For some it comes naturally. Those are the people who jump out of bed happy to be alive.  I need to remind myself not to growl at them in envy.

I won’t lie. It’s a struggle. Every. Day.

And some day’s I fail. I’m grumpy all day. It’s an uphill battle. Day in. Day out. And I’m left feeling exhausted.

But I’m not allowed to fail too much. I’ve got a job. I’ve got a husband and a kid. And those things come with responsibility and expectations.

That’s life.

And between trying to climb the mountain and not slipping, I forget to smell the roses. I let life happen. I fall into a monotonous pattern of repeat. I don’t take on too much. I build boundaries as high as Great Wall of China. Simply put I just can’t deal with what’s on the other side. And I should not have to. That is what boundaries are there for.

Obviously, I’m talking about emotional and personal boundaries here. I’ve been reading a lot about how healthy they are. Problem is that they can leave you feeling lonely. Unconnected. Depressed. It becomes a prison of your own making.

People say, my life is utterly boring. I’m letting my talents go to waste. They ask me how can I live like this. Obviously, keeping up with the Kardashians is not very high on my priority list. Neither is leaving the house if I don’t have to.

On some level, I realize that this is not only bad for myself but that it has an effect on those around me. I try. Obviously, I don’t try to keep up with the K’s because there just so many more intellectually stimulating things I could be doing. But I do try to get out some.

I go shopping – cause I need stuff. I work – cause I have to. I try to meet relatives and friends from time to time. I even went to a birthday party with my daughter when she was invited – since I felt she is too young to go alone.

And I blog. Even that is a social activity – although it is limited, in that the people are not directly in my face. Nevertheless, this is hard from time to time.

What people fail to realize about hermits and weirdos such as myself is, that we make a choice.

Every. Day. We make a choice.

We choose to live.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A day-dreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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How to survive the #AtoZChallenge while pregnant – my reflection post

If plan “A” does not work out, don’t worry the alphabet still has 25 more letters!

21-March-2016

This was my strategy for this years A to Z Challenge.  “Do not freak out and take it easy. I am after all pregnant.” I had already written a few posts before the challenge started. A to G were already scheduled by 1st April.

I could not get round to visiting any blogs from the list though. I tried visiting most of the bloggers who visited me. While this may not be the ideal tactic for such a huge link up, I’d felt better doing it like that than getting blog burn out.

The first few weeks of pregnancy can be quite tiring. The only thing I felt like on some days was sleep. With the fatigue I was experiencing, I decided to go with the backup plan for a few of the later posts. The backup plan consisted of making good use of online resources and using readily available quotes. Still, finding the appropriate You Tube Video and or quote was time consuming.

I’d planed on writing a post about Rest or Sleep, but simply could not find myself broaching the subject with the way I was feeling. Luckily, for most of the letters I had already thought up different subjects to write about.

The posts after all did not need to be all that long, so for some posts I kept it short and sweet.

For those who missed these posts in April, there is a list with the links if you scoll down a bit. My subject was wellness. Some of the posts were very well received. I did try to approach the subject in a useful and realistic manner.

I can now proudly call myself an A to Z Challenge survivor. You can now all hear me ROAR!

So in short, how to survive the A to Z blogging challenge while pregnant:

  • At least have your content planned out before signing up
  • Have a few posts lined up before the challenge starts
  • Take it easy. Take care of yourself and family first.
  • Prioritize available blogging time to writing posts first.
  • Don’t be afraid to make use of online resources such as You Tube to fill your content.
  • Everybody loves quotes, so go right ahead and use them
  • Short and Sweet is sufficient
  • Have a backup subject available

Shining Seeds list of posts on wellness for the April 2016 A to Z Challenge:

survivor-atoz-2016

A is for Affirmations

B is for Breath

C is for Chakra

D is for Detox

E is for Exercise

F is for Feng Shui

G is for Gratitude

H is for Habits

I is for Inspiration

J is for Journey

K is for Kin

L is for Laughter

M is for Mindfulness

N is for Nourish

O is for Outdoors

P is for Posture

Q is for Quartz

R is for Rooibos

S is for Saline

T is for Tai Chi

U is for Unforgiven

V is for Vital Signs

W is Water

X is for X-Factor

Y is for Yoga

Z is for Zen

 

Whoop! Whoop!, to all my fellow survivors. How did your challenge go?

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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An introverted Weekend Coffee Share on books, bloodsuckers and pregnancy

I love coffee. I love slurping (quite noisily) the hot brew. I love the feeling of that rich and creamy liquid down my throat. However if we were having coffee, I’d be smelling your coffee in yearning – while I sip some hot chocolate or Rooibos tea. You see, I’m down to one cup of coffee per day –which I have already had.

I’m not feeling talkative. I feel more like wrapping myself in a cocoon of snug familiarity and nonsocial activity. Even blogging and Social Media seems too social for me right now.

If we were having coffee, I’d abruptly jump up without a word and leave you hanging in the middle of a sentence. I’d come back with the pictures we took the end of April. It is a Sonar of a 12-week fetus. And yes, I’m indeed pregnant. Having had a miscarriage in November I’m a bit apprehensive about telling people. Medically however everything seems fine, this time, round so I’m trying to think positive.

Perhaps we’d chat about the books we may have recently read and which we are planning to pick up soon. I put up two short reviews on Goodreads for two very different brands of books.

WeekendCoffeeShare-2016-pic

Both are worth your time if that is your thing. It’s odd how blogging has changed my reading choices. Directly before I started blogging, I’d only read Urban Fantasy. I preferred series and would tentatively test the first pages of a previously un-known Author. Charlene Harris and Kim Harrison were some of my favorites.

Let me tell you the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris, is defiantly much better than the True Blood Television show based on them. They could have made manny more seasons if they had only stuck with the original storyline. Sometimes it’s different, though. I did not even make it through the first book on which the Vampire Diaries series is based. I liked the TV series more.
And when it comes to Kim Harrison’s – Rachel Morgan series, Hollywood is seriously missing out on what could make a kick – ass show.

That being said, Anne Rice’s classics, and I’m not just talking about the Vampire stories here, are all a brilliant read. I love the way she can bring an ancient character into life in modern day. If you are not into vampires, you may try something like “Servant of the Bones”. That supernatural historical novel is truly worth reading.

Talking about Vampires, I’ve gotten my all-time favorite PC game to work again. It’s an old game from 2004. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with the newer versions of Windows and I was unable to even get it working on my updated PC. Luckily, the game has a hard-core following of loyal fans who keep writing updated patches to fix the glitches and make the game work in newer versions of Windows. Vampires the Masquerade Bloodlines kept me busy all day yesterday. I did tell you that I felt like wrapping myself in a cocoon of familiarity and nonsocial activity.

As for this blog, it’s been more like a Ghost Town after the A to Z Challenge. I’m planning on writing a 2016 Reflection post for next week’s link up. There is also a post I’ve already finished writing which I have sitting on my PC. I’m a bit tentative of publishing it. It is somewhat of a strong feminine orientated opinion piece on a sensitive subject. If that thing should go viral, I’d defiantly have some trolls flying up in my face. I don’t know if I’d enjoy the attention.
Thanks for joining me for coffee. I always do appreciate you coming round.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

instagrampinterest

facebook

twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Attention all #WordPress and Jetpack enabled #bloggers: Did you miss this vital blogging info?

November went by in kind of a  daze for me. Then suddenly in December, I discovered this piece of blogging information that had somehow slipped my radar. The nice people at Automattic should have made this much bigger news. They should have given it a big fat headline. That is after all what a company does when they re-brand one of their products or replaces it with a new one.

The Headline should have read something like this:

Freshly-pressed-replaced

Breaking News: Discover is the new Freshly Pressed

(Yea I know they made an announcement, but it did not have this headline. Many of us missed it.)

No, your eyes are not fooling you. Freshly Pressed has been retired and replaced by a new better product.

For those that don’t know – Freshly Pressed used to be “the front page” of WordPress.com.

I must say I do like the new front page “Discover”. My verdict – I like it. It truly is better than Freshly Pressed. For once the people at Automattic have gotten it right with their updates.

The comparison: What’s new – what remains the same?

What little things are new?

You can follow “Discover” in your WordPress reader – like any other blog. The label “Discover” has replaced the one in the dashboard, which used to be labeled “Freshly Pressed” – so you don’t need to follow “Discover” to discover new content on WordPress.

While is used to be a bunch of rectangle blocks with the title of the blog post and its feature picture, the look and feel of this new Freshly Pressed is more blog-y. It even has an “about page” Now, editors give their little introductory comment and the layout is much more visually appealing.

The twitter handle has changed to @WPDiscover. The twitter account itself still functions pretty much the same. New posts featured on Discover get tweeted by them as well if you’ve read an awesome blog post you can still tweet it at them and they will go check it out.

 

There are however, two new changes, which have a bigger impact on bloggers.

The big changes:

  1. You can submit your post for a recommendation

It used to be like winning the lottery. A Freshly Pressed editor somehow stumbled across your post and it was featured. Now they have provided a submission form on their “about page” where you can pitch to them why your post should be featured. This does not mean that they will actually put you on Discover… but it does at least direct them to your blog.

There is however one aspect of the new discover – which needs to be pointed out, which I think could make a huge impact for bloggers on wordrpess.org (self-hosted WordPress) and Jetpack-enabled blogs.

 

  1. This new Discover is not only for WordPress.com users!

That is huge. I have read posts in the past where a wordrpess.org user complains that they cannot have a post featured on Freshly Pressed. It used to be a WordPress.com deal only. That is no more.

Let them tell you yourself, I know this is somewhat unbelievable – but this is what it says on their about page:

“We want to promote your stories and projects: the best original content published with WordPress. We highlight different types of content — from writing to photography and art to poetry, from personal blogs to publications. All genres and styles. All word counts. All flavors of WordPress, from WordPress.com to Jetpack-enabled and self-hosted WordPress sites.

 

I know! This is totally a game changer for all the wordpress.org users. Check out their guidelines for getting featured on “Discover” here.

Head on over to the new “Discover”. What do you think about the new look and feel?

 

Thankfully Coffee – the first of sweet sixteen

Did you know that gratitude lowers your stress levels? Gratitude has many wonderful benefits on our personal health and for those around us. Your body emits energy waves, which affect the way someone will feel in your presence. Have you ever walked into a room and felt immediately at ease? Perhaps taking note of the opposite is easier. Ever walk into an office or other place and notice the tension in the room?

 

 

Apart from the ambiance of the room or space itself, the energy of the people occupying this space play a huge role in how someone feels when stepping into this space. Now I could go into the energy we send out into the word. I could use words such as chakras, personal aura, brain waves and even heart rhythm. I will not get into details. It is all kind of – out there. The mechanics of it all is debatable. Fact is; our thought life affects our health. A powerful tool to affect your thought life is gratitude.

 

This is something my friend Annette has recognized. Her podcast on blog-talk-radio “perspective power” does just that. She uses Gratitude to shift the perspective and help people see the superpower that is being Thankful.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/perspectivepower/2015/11/04/activate-your-super-power-with-vitamin-g

All that being said, I’d like to get some of that healthy energy into my own life. Which is why you will see me joining the 10 things of Thankful blog hop. It’s also an opportunity to share with you a little bloggers coffee chat.

 

If we were having coffee, I’d give you a great big hug and say “Happy sweet 20.16!” It has been super hot in this part of the globe so I’d probably offer you a cool beverage along with that coffee.

 

Yesterday as I sat down with my own mug of coffee ready to get into some blog reading I noticed with annoyance that my computer has crashed.

 

Thankfully there is a back-up plan

 

Can you imagine a blogger without a PC? It is simply one of the most frustrating feelings. Thankfully I’ve got a back up plan in the form of an old laptop that I’m currently using until I can come up with money for a better solution.

Thankfully I’ve got an amazing husband

 

At first, I thought there was something wrong with my power cable. If it was only that simple! I found another one and tested it. Alas, the thing still had no power. My wonderful husband has opened the PC up and looked at the power supply. This is also not the problem. My husband will now take the thing and see what he can do about it. Mind you if the mother board is fried even the best handy man on planet earth would not be able to breathe life back into that machine. But I’m super thankful that I am married to the best handy man on planet earth.

So I spent most my time yesterday that would have gone into writing blog post updating this old thing in hopes that it will hold out until I get a better solution.

 

There’s something wrong with the sound, and even after updating the drivers I still can’t get it to play anything beyond that one beep sound it occasionally makes. Even Google could not solve that problem. This means that I will not be able to create any new podcasts. This is kind of bummer since I was planning to make this my weekend project.

 

No sound computer is far better than no computer.

 

 

Talking about back up plan and computers that need updating, I am thankful for all the free resources one finds on the internet these days.

 

Big whoop for FREE!

I was thankful for the Drop box service – which allows you to save all your most important documentation,this means that my book projects have not gone missing. That was defiantly one of the most vital things I’ve been working on.

 

I’m also thankful for the free programs that protect my computer and help in its maintenance. Advance System Care has shown itself to be a very useful overall tool.

Now I do realize these free tools are offered as a snag to get me to buy these products – but I’m still thankful for them.

Another free tool I’ve found is one by Om Harmonics.

 

Rediscovering Meditation

Om Harmonics offers a free binaural meditation audio. I’ve been researching meditation methodology. Binaural beets have in the past proven the most effective for me. The audio’s I do have are however somewhat outdated. This new audio is much more pleasant on the ear. If you have no idea, what I’m talking about –  I will be writing posts on this subject as I rediscover Meditation. … Stay tuned.

 

That said a big thankful goes to Meditation. It is really a remarkable personal growth method. Strange story that how I started blogging and how I now believe meditation played a huge part in that.

The powder of DOOM

 

Household bugs, urg… especially that yucky one, they say would withstand a nuclear bomb has been pestering me lately. If you think, it is odd for someone on a spiritual journey to be bothered by that – well I’m not that spiritual or maybe I’m not that far along my path. Which ever I am super thankful for the Doom powder I discovered works really well. It looks like baby powder that you put on all those places the yucky crawlers tend to walk on most. Like with other households, the biggest problem is around the sink (wash basin). Dust the area where they crawl into, lightly with powder and wolla! Now ain’t I happy you did not see any here while enjoying your coffee.

 

 

Lots of hugs and kisses

 

If you had been sitting here, you would be laughing at my active little toddler. Perhaps she would even have graced you with a hug and a kiss, as she is so fond of doing. Mini-Me has been off to visit her grandparents for the holidays. Friday she came back. I can say my heart was overjoyed in having her back. I’m so thankful for this little bright spark in my universe.

 

Books

 

A few years ago I had a strong sense to walk into a Christian bookshop, which was next to the grocer I was intending on going to. In it I found a wonderful book by Joyce Meyer – which I never quite finished reading. This book has now become an inspiration for my “Little Seedlings” feature I’m running on my social media.

I’ve also rediscovered another book by Doreen Virtue called “Healing with the Angels” which offers wonderful spiritual insights I’ve since forgotten about. There are a few more treasure chests on the bookshelf behind me, which I have yet to re-pursue.

 

It is important that we nourish our minds and spirit to keep ourselves on a positive path.

 

 

Beautiful blogs

That said as I’ve been finding some wonderful blogs filled with wonderful insight on all subjects relating to wellness.

 

Water

 

I’m so abundantly thankful for water. I have mentioned this before, but we are still experiencing a severe drought. The flora in the area is suffering. The flowers and I are very thankful for each drop we have received over the last week. Water truly is vital to life. With no water, there are no baths, showers, flushing toilets and no way to clean dirty dishes and clothing.

 

 

Coffee

coffee-love

Finally yet importantly, I am thankful for that magical brew most writers seem to consume right along with air. It is this love of coffee that connects many bloggers and writers. It gives us something to talk about, makes us feel connected. Writing is truly a solitary enjoyment, but coffee well that is awesome shared.

 

Now I hand the mug to you; tell me for what are you thankful? What would you tell me if we were having coffee? Connect with the local coffee crew here and get your thankful on here.