Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Times, They Are A' Changin'

I guess that my blog-improvement updates are becoming a bit of a monthly thing, huh? I'm so sorry for those of you who don't like constant change, but my mind--it's a sponge!--and I can't help but want to both showcase all the fun stuff I'm teaching myself about the blogging world, and make things more fun to read and easy to navigate for you guys on the site!

My two most recent improvements involve photos and a new feature-type idea. Firstly, photos. I'm every day learning as much as my stuffed mind has room left over for about css and Photoshop, and I've finally learned how to upload my photos so that they're consistently large without losing any quality. Now that I've learned that, I'm going to make the effort to take better photos (with the new Canon I'm getting this month!) and maybe even--gasp--edit them before posting them! I was inspired to do this by the quality and size of the photos in a few of my favorite daily reads like M Loves M, The Pioneer Woman, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and Young House Love, because I noticed the overall professional feel that clear, crisp, large photos gave to their sites, and I recognized how much having big, beautiful images really improved the reading experience of their blogs. Naturally, I wanted that too!

I also came up with an idea for a new feature that hopefully you guys will find fun, and that sort of goes hand-in-hand with photos. Though my blog is sort of all over the place (but that's why you love me...right?), I sat down and tried to think about what my favorite posts to write were. Above all, I realized that what I look forward to writing the most are posts recapping trips that I've taken and things that I've done, such as going to new restaurants, plays, out for drinks with friends, etc. Things that really reflect how I spend my day-to-day, and above all lend themselves to sharing photos. So, with that in mind, I created a new area in my sidebar called "Where You Can Find Me." Do you see it? In that section, I've listed all the cities I've traveled to, P.B. (post-blog; I didn't want to stretch it too far back!), and then assigned respective tags to all the posts having to do with those cities. I thought it might be a fun way to keep track of all my travel posts--after all, they are my favorite to write! (ps--My blog is a year old, and I'm boggled at how many cities I've been to in a year! That's a lot of flying for someone who is certifiably terrified of it!)

You might also notice that some of the cities listed don't have links yet, specifically, Cincinnati, Niagara Falls, and St. Louis. Those were three cities that L. and I stayed in during our cross-1/2-country road trip (we ended in St. Louis, his hometown) last summer, a trip that occurred right before I started this blog, so I'm technically including it in the time frame of "P.B." I'm going to write after-the-fact recaps of our visits to each of those cities sometime in the near future, and add those links to the list. Hope you're as excited to read them as I am to write them!

Oh, and as of tomorrow, I'll have another place to add to the list, since L. and I are leaving tonight and going away this weekend for one last summer mini-vacation. I have a post all lined up for tomorrow to let you know where! I hope everyone enjoys their last few weeks of summer. I'm personally looking forward to orange leaves, hot chocolate, and football, though!


  1. Gorgeous pics! And I am looking forward to reading about your visit to Cinci, as I am moving there... tomorrow! eek...! But what a great idea to add a unique element to your blog!

    Hope you have a fantastic trip!

  2. You have been a busy lady! I love your photos, and like you, I am learning how to take better pictures. I have a hard time with sizing them in my blog, especially since I have a 3-column layout, so if you have any advice, let me know!

  3. Yeah for big pictures! I picked up a lot about photography from the Pioneer Woman (she has some cool how-to posts) and from Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint. I took the Blogging Your Way class she co-taught with Holly Becker from Decor8, and she gave so many great tips. I think registration for their next session is going on right now, if you're interested.

    Love hearing about travel too! So much fun!

  4. I'm excited for fall leaves and all things fall as well. Especially the clothes! What model of camera are you getting? I'm in the market for a new point and shoot digital myself.
    I'm excited you're going to add more pictures, it definitely dresses up the site! I should start making mine bigger but I have the overflow problem that Meghan mentioned.
    Excited to hear all about your little mini vacation!

  5. @Emily Ann: I hope the beginnings of your move went well! We only got to stay in Cinci for one night but gosh, I loved it there!!! I'm sure you will too =)

    @Meghan: Thank you! Maybe I should do a post on this, to give up what I've learned? It's basically really simple--you have to figure out how many pixels your main posting section is, without your sidebars. (Mine is 725). Then, you want to open your images up in Photoshop or Irfan view or whatever photo editing software you use, and resize them to something that will fit nicely in your post body (I make mine 600). Then, when you're composing your blog post, click the "Edit HTML" tab. Where you've placed your photo, you'll see code that looks something like this:

    [width: 312px; height: 400px;" src="]

    That is, of course, if you're using Blogger, and if you're telling it upload your images as large. Where it says "width: 312px; height: 400px;" you can delete everything BUT the end quote. (So you're left with cursor: pointer;"

    Then, see a little further down where it says s400? You can change that to make your image larger. I change mine to s600 since that's how large I resize my photos in Photoshop.

    Sorry that was long! Maybe I'll do a post to make it clearer.

    @annie: Oooh, thanks for the tip! I might have to check it out. I'd love to be as tech-savvy as I can.

    @Date Girl: I can't WAIT for the clothes! I'm sick of shorts! I'm definitely getting a Canon Powershot, but I'm not sure if I'm going to get a basic digital point-and-shoot or one with multiple lenses. Hopefully the little tutorial I gave to Meghan above helps! Do you think I should do a post?