Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sound off! Your thoughts re: blog/vlog comments

So this question rolls through my mind every now and again, and I want to put it out there to anyone who's reading:

If you're a blog/YT channel content producer, what's your personal "policy" on comments? As a subscriber, does your opinion change about a blogger/vlogger based on whether they respond to comments (or is it really a non-issue)? 

To be fair, I'll chime in first. Lately, I'm a little bit put off by bloggers/vloggers who don't interact in any way with the little people (yeah, that's me, and you, and ery-body).

Mmmmm hm. That's right.

Personally, for this blog and for my YT channel, I appreciate it when folks take the time to give me feedback -- not flaming and griping (because, honestly, who wants that!), but useful feedback, or encouragement, or sharing and building upon ideas, etc.

I read somewhere (that's so vague) writers should make it their business to respond to every comment.  But I also wonder how someone with 10,000 subscribers might ever be able to do it.  It kind of helps if they put something on their site saying, "I love your comments, but I might not be able to respond to them all because I have a husband, I work 60 hours a week, plus I've got five kids and a 3-legged dog, but I just love, love, love ya'll!" You know... something like that.

But when I write comments, ask questions about the topic, check the little box that says "subscribe to follow-up comments," and I do this for years (yes, literally years) and they NEVER write back, well honestly... I start to second-guess my subscription. Because this thing is not just for us to showcase ourselves and live in a vacuum. There's a whole world of people out there, some of whom want to hear something in response. They want to know SOMEBODY CARES. *stepping down off my soapbox, pickin' up my box, and headin' on back to the house*

That's my take on it. What say you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stretching my hair, Stretching myself

I'm so swamped. It's not even funny. Ever had one of those days? Yeah. For me the day is today. All week, actually. Well, the past two weeks. Ever since I got back from vacation. There are conferences to plan, training sessions to complete for my new job, letters to write, contracts to sign... and I still have action items for the foster care-related stuff like doctor's appointments and fire inspections.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, 
and he shall strengthen thine heart: 
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

I need His strength. 

On days like this, I feel guilty. I don't think guilt is what the Lord wants me to feel, though it comes easily to me. It's become a bad habit, a sin -- this self-condemnation. And I know there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ. Intellectually I know it, but in this area I still struggle. Argh.

I feel guilty when I write because the "hobby" feels like a time-waster when I have so much else to do. Then I feel guilty when I don't write because this is an outlet for me, a way to keep doing this thing I love to do since I was a wee-gal. Strange how lately I prefer the term "wee-gal" over "little girl." I have ideas about paintings I want to do, projects on Pinterest I want to execute, bracelets to weave. I still have a wall in my living room just CRYING for a large scale art project.  My big gray behemoth. I have to make time for these things AND complete projects. And they're all important to me, but they won't all get done today.

Plan, prioritize, focus, execute! Repeat. I just had to get this out.

*sigh* So I originally came to write about stretching my hair. Lately, I'm doing one very simple thing which is making my hair existence SO much easier -- one low ponytail/puff, brushed down and braided at the end.

It stretches my hair out, like this... I can wear it for weeks in a whole variety of ways. Last time I did it, I got about two weeks out of the stretch because I kept wearing it in updos which kept it stretched out, like this one:

Of course, there are many ways to stretch your fro -- banding, braiding, twisting, etc. --  which leads to a myriad of loose hair and updo styling options. To me the low ponytail braided on damp hair is the absolute easiest. It's not tight, so my edges are protected from stress. I'm so thankful it's long enough to do this...

And this method suits me, being such a busy bee these days. Less tangling, no worrying about maintaining curl definition, no pineappling. I don't even wrap my hair at night. I make a few big twists, braid the ends so they'll stay, and fall faaaast asleep on a satin pillowcase. Bam-a-Lam-a!  Done dealie.

And with that, hi-ho-hi-ho... it's back to work I go. *whistling, and whistling* Hi-ho, hi-ho...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Juxtapose curvy-kinky-coily hair with angular, geometric accessories.

By Etsy creative Racquel Dwomoh | QuellyRue Designs:  

Me in my new Zuberi earrings

I'm trying to add some larger-scale earrings into my wardrobe since most of what I wear is on the small side. Get your own Zuberi earrings here, or...

Run your own Etsy search for "geometric jewelry."  Take a gander at the following goodies (prices good as of July 23, 2012):

Adda tassle earrings. VintageRoyalty on $5. 

Chunky wooden bangle (other colors available). Furbish. $16. 
Yellow chevron burlap bag. Made by Nanna. $63.

Looking for something a little easier on your wallet?  Make your own!  For a quick and easy DIY triangular earring, check out Nik's tutorial (LongHairDontCareLLC):

Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm a poser.

Coming clean: I am a wanna-be design nerd. 

My mom is to blame. She's 5'5" and somehow manages to move huge pieces of furniture like it's nothing.  She also paints rooms, pulls up carpet and changes color schemes like a straight-up pro, yall. I think sometimes it drives Dad nutso, but he's gotten used to it. And now I do the same thing at our house and drive Charles nutso. He'll get used to it, too. heh-heh-heeeeeeeeh

So I'm checking out one of my fave design blogs -- D*S -- and what doth mine eyes behold?  A ceramics company based in NC. Enter Haand.  My grammar is really bad on this post. Oh well.  Whenever I come across something based from one of my home states (TX, NC), my interest is piqued, and there are lots of ceramics in NC. So why am I posting? Check out this description of their studio -- my friend, is this not the coolest place to throw some clay?!  I want to go-ooooooo (in my best 6-yr-old whiny voice).

Who would not want an ice cream bowl? It's made for easier scooping as the ice cream melts. Clever, Haands. Very clever.

Source: via Shoni on Pinterest

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My first attempt at a friendship bracelet in 80 years.

Okay, the title isn't accurate. I'm not 80 yet.

But here's my first attempt at making a friendship bracelet since I was a wee-little gal. Also, it's really hard to take a picture with one hand using this Droid 3 phone... which, unlike the 1st gen Droid, has no physical button -- only a touch screen. Maybe it's time for me to invest in a regular camera?

Wow my arm looks much hairier in pics than it does IRL.

Really this was supposed to be my version of a DIY armband for the cheap watch I bought on the cruise. The poor strap fell apart in less than a week. But my little suede rope creation just didn't look right with the watch face. #FAIL

So voila -- my new bracelet!  I have a feeling I'll be at the craft store this weekend buying embroidery floss. I forgot how much fun it is to zone out making a Chevron pattern. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Exploring My Roots: A Trip to Alabama

A slice of sweet life...

Last year, Charles and I drove from NC to Alabama to visit my grandmother. My mom took us on a tour of the property and shared some history with us as well. It's a slice of life we don't hear often, and such a refreshing reminder of my heritage. 

On the video below, she describes growing up in the country, including how family and neighbors lived off the land, how she learned to drive at age 13, and the little store her parents used to run right in front of the house. AND I finally got to see a real salt lick... as opposed to the Salt Lick BBQ restaurant, which you simply must visit if you're in Central Texas. 

Want to know more about this trip? Read more, right after the jump...

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's our anniversary :-)

Should I feel guilty about not blogging for the last three weeks?  Absolutely not!

I really need to stop beating myself up about not writing as much as I want. Life is MOVING and I'm enjoying it, so blogging about it takes a backseat to... well, to living it.

At port in Grand Cayman
with our ship, Carnival Freedom, in the background

So over the past few weeks, a lot of wonderful things transpired. Charles and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary -- YAAAAAY!  We boarded a big 'ol fancy Carnival cruise ship with some good friends of ours and sailed the Western Caribbean -- Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was so beautiful! I captured moments from our trip and whittled them down into a 14-minute video, which you can view right here:

What are some things I've learned after being married for ten years?

  • Being righteous is more important than being right.
  • As a Christian wife, I am ordained to help my husband meet God. This means I need to always speak the truth to him in love and not out of hurt, fear, insecurity, tit-for-tat, etc., to help him mature and be the man God called him to be.
  • Stay rooted and grounded in God. When our marriage was on the rocks, God was the only thing on which we could agree, and I fully believe this is the reason why we're still together today. Also, get Christian, biblically-based counseling when you need it, and don't wait until you're at your wit's end. Find a counselor who will challenge you to grow up.
  • Smile at each other, show affection, and be kind and gentle. Be a refuge for your spouse, a safe place to land.
  • Have fun together! Go on dates, take trips, try new things -- keeping it clean, of course. Celebrate your romance as often as you can.
  • Pray together by the leading of the Holy Spirit and pray for each other. It's less about having a ritual, and more about having a real, intimate relationship with God and with each other.
  • See your spouse through God's eyes.

Love and peace,