Category: Housekeeping

Oh, hello

It has been a while, hasn’t it? Despite all my best intentions to return to blogging, one thing or another has gotten in the way.

And there’s so much to do to fix it up. (Damn you, Photobucket extortioners. Where did my widgets go?!)

But I was reminded by Facebook that I started this blog 4 years ago, so I felt like I needed to make a post. There will be more content, hopefully sooner than later. I’ve gotten some new indie products I’m crazy about and want to share.

So, I don’t know if anyone is still reading, but if you are…watch this space!

Oh, and so this isn’t all just content, here’s a recent photo of my hair color experimentation!

Weekend break

Hello lovely people! For those of you who don’t live in the US, this weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Which means 2 days off from work and a nice, long break.

And I’m actually going to do that. Take a break.

I almost posted for this week’s Sunday question, “What do you do when you’ve lost your motivation?” Because I feel I have. When you ask bloggers why they blog, they invariably answer, “Because I love it.” And I’ve gotten to a place where I’ve marveled over other people’s ability to respond with that answer, because more and more lately, it’s felt like an obligation.

Mind you, an obligation I’ve put on myself. No one has put any pressure or expectations on me except myself. I’m blaming no one, and I’m not complaining. But indeed I have put this pressure on myself. I’m not quite sure why. I’ve felt this overwhelming drive and NEED to “make something” of this blog.

And it’s true. If you are trying to build a following and get more well known, it helps to post a lot. I know that it’s possible to do, because I read blogs that are updated daily, sometimes more than once a day. If they can do it, why can’t I?!

Though, I’ve started to wonder lately, HOW do they do it? No one tells you going into it how much work is actually involved. People think it’s easy, but it’s not. I go to work, come home, and do work on my blog. Many mornings I’m doing work on my blog (taking photos) before I even leave for work. I work on my blog on the weekends. And, yet, the only time I managed to get ahead of myself with posts was when I was going away on vacation.

But this past week, I discovered that some of the blogs I’ve been trying to match are written by people who are now full-time bloggers. They don’t go to a day job and come home and do this, they just DO it. And I’ve been trying to keep up with that. No wonder I feel burned out!

And I do. I want to be able to just not work on my blog when I don’t feel like it. I want to go out with friends after work. I want to knit. Hell, I want to sit on my sofa on a Sunday and do nothing.

So I’m going to take a break for this holiday weekend and recharge the blogging batteries. And when I come back, I’m going to start doing things a little differently. No more trying to blog every day. I’m going to try and switch to the 3-times-a-week model. (Though I won’t hold back if there’s more that I want to write about or if something comes up unexpectedly.)

This means that I most likely won’t be doing the weekly features anymore. Don’t get me wrong—I’ll still post music when I feel like it and you’ll definitely know when there’s something I’m lusting after, but it’s not going to be on a weekly basis. (You wouldn’t believe how hard it actually is to think of a song every week. It’s even hard thinking of something I want every week!)

This also means that I’ll hopefully be able to focus on quality content, less filler, better, more interesting posts. I hope. You’ll have to tell me. (Of course, some filler is always fun. Celebrity Fashion Lust, anyone?!)

I know that I could have just made these changes without writing this post, and maybe I should have, but I truly value each person who reads this blog (even if you don’t comment—although I would really love to hear from you more, and I know from all the votes in the polls that people do read!). So I didn’t want you to be alarmed when things suddenly got a little more quiet, or if things you looked forward to stopped showing up on here. Hopefully you’ll follow me along on this journey of blogging self-discovery.

Have a great weekend! x

Poll time: What blog content do you like?

With an eye towards the changes that I’m working on (and if you haven’t seen my layout design poll…here it is), I was also looking for feedback on the content. I’d like to know what you like, what you think is working, and what isn’t.

I sometimes worry that something like Music Monday isn’t a big hit, since it’s not about beauty or fashion. Although I know many people like music as well. And maybe having 2 days a week where there’s an assigned feature gets boring.

So here’s your chance to let me know what you’d like to see on the blog!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 01:01:00
End date 01:01:00
Poll Results:
Should I keep Music Monday?
This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 01:01:00
End date 01:01:00
Poll Results:
Should I keep Wishlist Wednesday?
Which Polka Dot Jetts do you prefer?

Poll: Which blog layout style do you prefer?

Changes are going on behind the scenes at shedreamsinperfectfrench. This is going to include a change to my blog theme. Which, of course, makes me wonder about blog layouts.

I know that I definitely prefer reading some blogs over others, and so much has to do with design and layout. I want my blog to be pleasing to my readers, so I would love your input as to which blog layout style you prefer to read.

I’m kind of layout illiterate, so let me explain what I mean by the choices below with examples:

Choice 1: Continuous reading on one page
This is the style I currently have. You come to my blog, you find the latest entry, you scroll down to read (sometimes with a “read more” tag).

Choice 2: Large most recent post with thumbnail magazine layout
The most recent entry is in large at the top, and the archives appear as a grid of images below. Zoé Macaron is an example of this style.

Choice 3: Dynamic large posts with thumbnail magazine layout
A couple of most recent entries appear in a large carousel at the top, and the archives appear as a grid of images below. Gemsmaquillage is an example of this style.

Choice 4: Large main image for each post, click to read
Each post is represented by a large image, running vertically down the page. To read the entry, you click on the image. Vivianna Does Makeup is an example of this style.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 01:01:00
End date 01:01:00
Poll Results:
Do you like weekly blog features?

On 100 posts…and blogging in general

Yes, you read that correctly. 100 posts.

Holy shit, y’all.

If you would have told me back when I started this thing that I’d be celebrating this (okay, fine, modest) milestone (but still a milestone!), I would have given you my famous eyeroll and side eye. (You know that look.)

Not that I’ve been at it that long. I guess that’s what posting nearly every day does for you.

In that time, however, I’ve had some thoughts on the whole thing. So I apologize for monopolizing this post by airing them.

1. Blogging is hard. I mean, I knew it was. I’ve started and abandoned it so many times. But it’s even harder than I thought. Especially when you’re working full time. Everyone assumes it’s just a bunch of words and pictures on a page, but it’s extremely time-consuming. And potentially expensive. You know, buying things to review. And so forth. Amielle and I are constantly cheering each other on from across continents. Because motivation is necessary.

2. And thankless. So you’ve really got to want to do it. I started this blog for a variety of reasons. One of which was to have a portfolio of writing outside my main industry. (More cryptic half-snippets of personal information.) And, mission accomplished. But, I’ve since formed other goals. None of which have really been accomplished yet. And I sometimes wonder if they will. For every successful blogger, there are thousands of little blogs like mine. I may never get there. And yet.

3. But can be rewarding in surprising ways. I may not have very many readers, but I really value the relationships I’ve developed. Even if they’re just in the form of comments. I like my “blogging friends.” I look forward to you comments. And I look forward to reading your blogs. Trying to blog requires you to comment on as many blogs as you have time for, but there are the ones that I make sure I check and keep up on. (P.S. You’ll find them in te blogroll in my sidebar, which I updated recently.)

4. And is about you, not me. Though perhaps belied by this post, if you’re not finding something interesting to appeal to you, you’re not staying. I’ve seen some of the v/bloggers I used to love turn into ego monsters, where every single thing they post is now photos of themselves doing whatever it is they’re doing. Not what they’re doing. (Then again, they’re the ones with thousands of followers egging them on, so they must be doing something right.) I promise you, my blog and social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…if you’re inclined to follow me 😉 ) will never become showcases of photos of me. Good god, that would be awful. (I do necessarily have to post some photos of myself to show you how things look on an actual person. It’s harder for me than it is for you, trust me.)

And some changes are coming. I’ve joined Google AdSense, just being up front about it. And I’m gonna get all official and add a disclosure policy. (Rebecca, yours is amazing. I may have to rip it off. Oh, sorry, I mean “sample.”) In case I ever do get any PR samples. (Has not happened yet. Even my “semi-sponsored” posts were not actually beneficial.) I also updated my commenting system (a week or so ago) so you will actually see replies to your comments (—let me know if you like this format, because there’s another I can try.)

In general, if you have any feedback—comments, advice, suggestions—I am all ears.

So, in conclusion, thank you for reading this personal, non-topical post, if you’ve made it to the end. I look forward to hopefully entertaining, educating, and enlightening you for 100s of posts to come. (Well, at least another 100. I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself.)

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The ball is rolling!

Well, hello there!

And welcome!

I just wanted to say that I’ve been seeing visits to this little blog from all over the world, and that excites me so much! I just wanted to extend a personal greeting and to thank you for taking the time!

(Pour mes visiteurs belges: mon père est né à Anvers, donc je suis à moitié belge. 😉 [Is that the correct way to say it??] )

I’d love to hear from you, in any language!

Bisous! x