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Blogging, Personal

Four blogposts that didn’t happen today

I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for the biggest part of my evening. Since I started surfing the net I’ve had four ideas for blog posts. (“plans for decorating my balcony and garden”, “how I’m setting up my new notebook/bullet journal”, “plans for the month of April” and “favourites of March”) None of those ideas made it so far. And none of them will. (insert dramatic pause)

At least not this evening because I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and a little bit stressed because it’s 9 o’clock and I still have nothing! So before I snap shut and go sit in a corner, moping about how much of a sucky adult I am, let’s make a list about why these posts are not happening today. Because I love list making.

Four blog posts that didn’t happen

  • I really wanted to do a post about decorating my balcony and my garden. I’m just not sure a post filled with Pinterest images and Ikea product shots is going to be that interesting. I’d rather show you the work in progress and the final result. Which may take a couple of weeks or months to finish. And in the meanwhile, I still need to research how I want everything to look and stick a feasible budget to it. All things that I can’t do on one evening whilst writing a quality post about it. + the Ikea site gives me shopping stress, I want half of the outdoor collection from this year.
  • Ah, the bullet journaling thing. Still seems like a fun post, but with the lack of light and a desk that is completely covered in piles of an enormous mess (growing for a couple of weeks now) quickly filming something was no option.
  • As much as I love list making, I didn’t write a “plans for April” post this evening. I did make the list in my lovely planner. And I had the amazingly depressing idea to go take a look at the earlier “plans for” post I wrote in the not so distant past. Reading those lists made me realise I did about 0,1% (scientifically calculated by dramatic guessing) of the things on those lists. Instant bummer. Instant “I”m too ashamed to write another list with plans because I never stick to them and I suck at planning and I want to mope in a corner”. Bye, post!
  • The “favourites of March” post could’ve happened. You know, if I kept better track of the things I loved in March (spring weather,… err…. an anime series I only got 4 episodes far in!… err….). And then I had to draw and paint everything on the aforementioned dumping ground of a desk. Not going to happen.

The post that did happen

No instead, I decided to pour my frustrations and insecurities in a blog post (a much better idea than the four others, I’m sure) and it’s way faster to write. Also, this helps my mental health. I already feel more relaxed and I think I didn’t do too bad of a job. #win. Yes, I am one of those people who used the phrase “hashtag whatever” in actual conversations. Don’t hate me now.

Heads up guys, because this week will be a bumpy one. I have seas of time in the evening (always a bad thing with me, I need pressure) and I feel distraught because Things Are Changing. And I’m nervous and scared and excited and happy. No, I’m not pregnant, I know the symptoms sound similar (and I’ve been nauseous and I used the word bumpy. But no. Not ever). So there might not be that many posts this week or there might be one every day. Not sure yet. You’ll see. 🙂

Blogging, Tips

Favourite apps for blogging & social media

One of the things I’m trying to do to be more efficient with my time is using my phone’s potential. I’m using it more and more to plan and schedule my social media posts and to edit my pictures. And I also use it to plan blogposts and schedule them. I thought it might be interesting to share my favourite apps for blogging & social media.

So I already mentioned Pocket and Evernote in the My Blogging Toolkit post. I love using both of these apps for both my blog and social media, but I’m not going to explain all about them again.

Photography apps

Taking and publishing pictures is probably what I do most with my phone, so this is also the biggest category of apps I’m going to talk about. Whether I want to publish photos I took with my phone or with my DSLR/point-and-shoot camera, for publishing on social media I adjust them on my phone. I can reach all the pictures I take with my DSLR via my OneDrive folders, shortly after adding them to my pc. I really like this set-up + it was completely affordable. After downloading my pictures to my phone, it’s time to edit and publish them.

  • Afterlight: When I want to edit a photo I mostly grab Afterlight to do the job. It’s not free (only €0,75 though), but it’s reallt easy to navigate and I can do the right amount of editing in this app. I start off by editing the dimensions of the picture and then move on to brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpening. Most of the time, that’s it. I seldom use filters on my pictures. The only other thing I use in Afterlight is the option to add borders on pictures. I started doing this for the Studio Maddy Instagram account because I like the amount of white space this gives me. I also just discovered it’s also available as desktop app on Windows!
  • Snapseed: Snapseed is a second photo editing app I use. It’s a free app with a lot of options for editing your pictures. I think it has way more options than Afterlight, which can make it feel overwhelming. It also has a bunch of nice pre-sets for different types of photography, which you all get free. I’ve also got apps like A Color Story, Photoshop Express and even Lightroom, but honestly, I barely use these.
  • Lightmeter: This is a simple app that helps me to find the settings of my DSLR when I’m shooting in manual mode. I don’t use it all the time, but when I have trouble figuring out what settings I should use, I whip my phone out and let the app help me on my way.

Planning / List Keeping

I really love planning and keeping lists, although, I must admit I sometimes overdo it. I often keep the same to do in different places and crossing it off in all the different places is a bit of a hassle. Even though I’ve been search furiously for this, I still haven’t found the perfect app that does it all for me. That’s why I’m switching between a couple (and my paper agenda) for planning. Even though these apps aren’t 100% perfect for me, I still really love using them.

  • Asana is an app for tracking and planning projects. I really love using Asana, although, I don’t use it often enough. It has a lot of options in the way you structure your to do’s and seems pretty fun to use in team. I use this for mainly for the blog, although I think I should get some social media planning in there too. Asana recently added an option to see your to do’s in different columns next to each other, so I made “ideas”, “drafts”, “text ok”, “pic ok”, “scheduled” and “published” columns which makes it easy to see which posts are in which stage. The only downside is the lack of a desktop app, which would actually make me use it more. Now you can either access it via your phone or in a web browser, both option that don’t always work well for me.
  • Wunderlist is a golden oldie to me. I’ve used this to do list app for many years and I love it! It has a lot of options: making folders for lists, having sublists for certain items, adding comments, starring items and even sharing lists, which is awesome for grocery shopping. I even have a list called “freezer” to keep track of what we have in storage. I use Wunderlist also to make my daily to do’s and then I add the posts I want to write. There’s nothing more awesome than here the *ching* when you cross something off the list.

Scheduling

With scheduling social media posts I have the same problem as with planning. I have two different apps I use, but none of these apps is perfect. I both like them, for different reasons and I can’t pick to which one I want to stick.

  • Buffer has an awesome blog about social media, which makes me feel a bit attached to this app. Buffer also is a very nice app to use. You can add one account per social media channel and in the free version you can schedule up to 10 posts at the same time per social media account. Which already is way more scheduling than I’m likely to do. You can also easily reschedule post you’ve published via Buffer before and it has an auto schedule that helps you pick the best time to post. Downside is that there is no visual example feed for Instagram, nor has it upload space for pictures.
  • Later does have the visual example feed for Instagram and you can upload you media to Later from anywhere and than use that media to schedule your posts. Later also only allows one social media account of each platform and has a limited number of posts per platform (varying from 30/month for FB, IG and Pinterest to 50/month for Twitter). The problem I have with Later is that it only allows visual content to be scheduled, so if you want to schedule a plain old Tweet, you can’t.

Downside for both of these apps? The ability to make a draft post and just save it for a later moment. Now I always have to schedule the post to a random moment just to save it until I have time to finish it.

I’m still looking for a nice app to edit videos with on my phone by the way. I was stupid enough to pay for an app called Viva Video and then I discovered if you buy the app, you still don’t get access to all the video editing tools. You also have to pay for those. Which I’m never going to do, because that’s a way of doing business that sucks. If you know a good video editing app for Android, let me know.

Which apps are your favourites for social media? Which ones do you use for blogging? Please tell me in the comments. 🙂

Blogging, Personal

Should I talk about this?

Today is one of those days. One of those days where I really want to write about what’s happening in my life, but I can’t. And so, I write a very vague post. 😉 (Don’t say I didn’t warn you)

It’s one of those days that is really good and really bad. And also, somehow, brings me more peace of mind than a lot of days these past weeks. As much as I want to tell you all about it, I feel like I can’t because I fear it’ll ruin my chances, any chances. And this frustrates me, of course. This is my blog, my space on the web and still, sometimes you can’t tell your readers what you want.

I wonder guys, how do you handle this? How do you (or don’t you?) write about your life, when you know certain people might be reading along? How do you voice frustration about colleagues? Or about family? Do you voice it? Or keep it all for yourself? (Or do you talk about it with friends and have no need to talk about it on your blog?)

Obviously, I don’t want this space of the internet to turn into something negative, a place to nag. I know the downwards spiral of negativity and I try to stay away from it. But when you feel like you’re at a critical place in time, do you talk about it? (Which makes this post sound overly dramatic. Don’t worry, everything is fine, I need to figure something out and it’s taking a lot of head space).

So tell me, should a lifestyle blog really be about life? Good and bad? Or should I stick to the curated version and keep away from drama (and clickbait titles 😉 )? Feel free to tell me in the comments.

(Ps: I also have a lot of thoughts and opinions about this, way more complicated than the statement I made above. I don’t want to turn this blog into some soap-story, although if I put enough drama in it, it’ll probably attract some readership. No worries, though, because I’m not planning on doing this, it’s just that, with 40 Days of Blogging, I sometimes wish this could be more of a diary type of thing than a well thought out blog. But I still really like my well thought out overthought blog posts)

Blogging

My blogging toolkit: the basics

I got a message from WordPress a couple of days ago, congratulating me with the 8th birthday of my account. Whew, eight years seems such a long time. And in all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever shared my blogging toolkit. So, let’s have a peek at the bare basics I use.

Blogging Gear

Blogging Gear

Blogging is one of those hobbies for which you need very little tools to start. If you have a computer that can run a browser and you have a smartphone, you’re good to go. For my day-to-day blog post, my physical blogging toolkit is still small.

  • Notebooks + pretty Hema pen: I can’t go outside without at least one notebook in my bag. At the moment, I even have two as I’m keeping the Maddy and Plutomeisje ideas in separate books. I’ve noticed this is counterproductive (and bad for my shoulders). I’m trying to fill them as fast as possible and then I’ll move to one book for All The Things.
  • Smartphone: At the moment I have a Samsung S6, which is a decent smartphone. It has a good camera and still runs all the newest version of the apps I use, so I’m happy with it. The only downside is its lack of a spot for an SD card. It has 32GB memory, which isn’t that much if you want to use your smartphone for photography and video. I do think that if you have a smartphone with a decent camera you could probably skip buying a camera (at least to start).
  • Camera: I use a Canon Eos 550D with a 50mm 1:1.8 STM lens (eg. the cheap one). I don’t think I’ve switched to my kit lens (18-55mm) even once since I bought the 50mm, although it isn’t always the perfect lens to use. Especially when I’m taking product pictures (eg. the picture on top of this part) I have to stand on a stool, on the tips of my toes, keeping the camera high, to be able to take this sort of picture. It is not a pretty sight. But in most situations, this lens allows me to take decent pictures and I love it. It’s also only since I bought it I found pleasure in taking pictures.
  • Laptop: My laptop is a love-hate story. It has decent hardware, on paper, put it acts like there is a curse on it sometimes and it has a crappy screen. Which makes me sad, because it wasn’t cheap. Still, it runs all the things I need it to run (eg. Adobe software) and even though I often have more than 50 tabs (74 atm) open, it doesn’t slow down when I also start editing pictures in Photoshop. Some people would probably call this misuse of a laptop, but this is how chaotic I work.

I have some extra tools, especially in my photography kit, but that’s for another time.

Digital toolkit

  • WordPress: I run a self-hosted version of WordPress on webspace I got at One.com. I heard both good and bad things about One.com, but at the moment I a happy customer and it’s cheap.
  • Evernote: I use Evernote as my digital notepad, where I drop ideas or start writing drafts of posts when I’m on the go. I feel I don’t use it to its full potential yet, especially when it comes to sifting through ideas later on and using the drafts I started.
  • Google Analytics: I don’t think you can go around Google Analytics if it comes to your website’s statistics. I use it to track my stats and keep an eye on the progress of my numbers. I also feel like I don’t use this tool to its full potential. Google Analytics has a lot of options, so getting really into it will take some time on my part.
  • Feedly: This is still my preferred feed reader, although I definitely read fewer blogs than I used to. A bit of a pity, because I feel less connected to the community.
  • Pocket: I love Pocket! I only rediscovered it a couple of months ago and it helps me have fewer tabs open in my browser. In Pocket I can store all the articles I really want to read at some point in Pocket and then, when I have some time to read, just pull up the app. I also use tags in Pocket, so I have tags for interesting articles about blogging and social media, but also for blog posts I found inspiring and I want to look at on a later moment.

Ok, I feel like this blog post is getting long enough. I also really want to share the plugins I use on WordPress and all the awesome apps I found for creating photos for social media and blog posts, but that would mean this post would be, at least, double in length. So let’s keep that for another time. I’m curious, though, what do you consider the bare basics in a blogging toolkit?

Blogging, Personal, Projects

40 days of blogging

I imagine the title doesn’t leave much to the imagination, so let’s get to the point. For the next 40 days I want to publish a blog post, every single day.

I didn’t got to this crazy idea by myself, it was something that popped up in the Meststoffen voor jouw Blog closed Facebook group. We were merrily talking and then suddenly decided that 40 days of blogging was an awesome idea. Which it is, but it’s also slightly overwhelming. You might also think we had a lot of preparation time, but nope, it was a bit of an impromptu decision.

What? Why 40 days of blogging?

March 1st is the beginning of lent in Catholic church. It didn’t hold much significance until a couple of years ago, when Dagen Zonder Vlees (40 Days without meat) popped up. Soon other challenges came along (no sugar, less waste,..) and I do belive the 40 days of lent are soon becoming the perfect time to challenge yourself. And that’s why today is the first days of 40 Days of Blogging.

What’s the plan?

I like to write long, extensive posts, with lots of pictures and way too many hours spend before hitting publish. There is no way I can keep up my normal pattern during these 40 days of blogging, so I want to experiment. Blog posts with only pictures, blog posts with a video in them, quick musings on my day instead of pondering things over.

#excitement

I’m really excited about these forty days as a way of experimenting with my blog. I’ve been in this blogging rut, where each post is hard work, for more than a year (maybe years?) now and although I’ve written a lot about switching things up, I don’t feel like I ever really did this. Before I thought of these 40 days as a way of experimenting with my blog (eg yesterday) I made a whole plan with a blog topic for every single day. Now I feel like those topics might be boring or too simple. If I really want to experiment I should probably let go of this “perfect” plan..

What do you think about 40 days of blogging? Crazy? Awesome? And what type of posts do you really like to read in other blogs? I don’t read that many blogs any more and I feel a bit out of the loop, so I’m looking for a bit of inspiration. 🙂

Blogging, Tips

My favourite podcasts

Last year I discovered the joy of listening to audio books. Being able to get lost in a story while you can still do things like cook, clean your house or drive is pretty amazing. I always felt a bit sad that I couldn’t listen to my favourite blogs. I want to do so much different things so reading blog posts always seems the last thing to do. Podcast started gradually filling the niche blogs left and today I’m sharing a couple of my favourites.

The first podcasts I listened to where Psychobabble (with Tylor Oakly) and Not too Deep by Grace Helbig. Both are comedy podcasts. While I still like listening to them, I discovered much more awesome podcasts. I’ve seen a steady rise in popularity in podcasts since I started listening to them and I feel like this, together with video, is something  we will see more of in the following years on blogs. Which is awesome, in my opinion.

Being Boss podcastBeing Boss was the first non-comedy podcast I started listening to. That definitely doesn’t mean it’s a dry, boring show. It is thé show if you want to become a creative entrepreneur and are looking for inspiration or good advice. The hosts of Being Boss, Kathleen and Emily, are two sassy ladies, with tons of entrepreneurial experience.

They often have guests on the show, so you get tips and stories from a variety of people. One thing they all have in common though, whichever field they’re from, is that they’re all successful entrepreneurs.

After listening to Being Boss for a while I got interested in other podcasts about being a creative entrepreneur and I stumbled upon Raise your Hand, Say Yes by Tiffany Han. While Being Boss is also an inspirational podcast, in Raise your Hand, Say Yes it’s all about starting, about Doing Things. Tiffany basically talks about everything in her life and manages to get me inspired. By the end of every podcast I just want start on some project (but then I get home and I’m dead tired #realitycheck).

The Freelancer podcastIf you’re not into long podcasts about the entrepreneurial lifestyle
The Freelancer might be just up your alley. Host Paul Jarvis puts his ideas out into the world in 6 to 15 minutes. He talks about all things freelance life, from how he got started as a freelancer, to how to get clients, owning up to your mistakes, how to stay healthy or how to deal with difficult clients.

Paul also has pet rats and he calls the people who support him and understand him the most his “rat people”.  He also has a little rattie as his logo. All of which he immediately gets bonus points for.

My favorite murder podcastMy most current discovery is My favorite Murder to which I’m basically listening non stop these days. My Favorite Murder is a humoristic show about, you guessed it, murder. Not the regular garden variety murders, only the most mysterious, fucked-up or intriguing murders out there.

There aren’t many episodes yet (28 at the moment), so I’ll be going through some serious withdrawal in a couple of days. The show hosts are two funny and very real & raw ladies, who perfectly walk the line between indulging into their curiosity about murder and making funny remarks about it.

I also got a couple of other show lined up that I really want to check out. Especially Creative Peptalk; Make it, then tell everybody and Invisible Office Hours.

Do you listen to any podcasts? Anything you can recommend?

Blogging, Projects

2016 Blogging Goals – Progress Report I

Today I’m going to talk about the progress I’ve made with my 2016 blogging goals. I know the title of this post sounds very formal, but since I’ve slacked with my blog goals, I thought making it formal would help me feel accountable.

I made a short list of blogging goals at the beginning of the year. I wanted to:

  1. Double my number of unique visitors
  2. Be more consistent in putting blog posts online
  3. Blog three times a week
  4. Design a new lay-out
  5. Try to reach a more international audience
  6. Find ways to be more (inter)active on social media
  7. Start making vlogs

You can find more information about each point on this list in my original blogging goals post.

You’ve probably noticed, but I’m not posting very often. I’m barely reaching two posts a week. It’s not because a lack of ideas or because I didn’t make a planning. In the beginning of March I made a planning for both March and April, with three neatly planned posts a week, but I never seem to get to actually writing those posts. I’m thinking about lowering the number of posts I want to write in a week. I might try to just write two or maybe even only one post a week and make it more consistently. Maybe a post on Wednesday every week and a Last Week post every two weeks on Sunday. Or am I putting too much weight on this and you guys don’t actually care how often I post and on which days, as long as I write a decent post? Let me know!

2016 Blogging Goals - Progress update I

So yeah, consistency and three times a week aren’t going well. Onto a more positive note! I’m working on the redesign of this blog and it’s very much-needed, because I really miss ways to lay-out my posts and make them prettier. Hopefully I’ll be done soon with the design and then I still have to overcome my dread of the coding. It’s funny that I never though a second about coding a website before I learnt basic HTML and CSS in class, while I’m really intimidated by it now.

Another point I’m really working on is the vlog! I actually filmed a lot of material already, but I haven’t got to editing it yet. It’s a learning process and I’d rather make my first stupid mistakes behind the scenes, before putting anything online. One of the stupid things I already did is filming a book haul and only realizing when I ran out of time, and I just managed to finish filming my haul in time before I had to leave, that my camera wasn’t filming. Bummer. 😛 I’m also curious what type of videos you’d like to see on this blog? I’m thinking about doing my book hauls on video (but still publish photos of the books too), maybe do drawing on location videos and sometimes use video for DIY’s (because photos aren’t always clear and I think it would be nice if I could show you on video). What do you think: good idea / bad idea?

That’s it for this first progress report. I definitely can use some kicks under my butt, so feel free to do so. 🙂

Blogging

2016 Blogging goals

As you might have noticed, I didn’t post any New Year’s resolutions the pas week. Not from the lack of enthusiasm though, because as you might know, I love making lists. But, with my birthday coming up in a few weeks I’m busy planning my new birthday list. Making an extra list of resolutions seemed a bit silly. But when the first post on Tuttefrut appeared and it was about making measurable goals I realised I did want to make a New Year’s resolution list and it would be all about my 2016 blogging goals!

I rekindled my blogging passion last year, but although I love writing here, it isn’t always easy for me to put up blogs in time. I’m a slow writer and I when I manage to write some posts in advance I tend to schedule them close together, instead of spreading them over a couple of weeks. This makes my posts very infrequent, which isn’t a good thing. So, 2016 is the year I want to take my blogging to another level.

01. Double the number of unique visitors

A couple of years ago, before my big blogging identity crisis, I reached a lot more people. I had a large back catalogue in blog posts and this brought a lot of traffic to my site. When I moved to Never Kiss a Cactus and then back to Plutomeisje.be I deleted my old posts. They felt like a bagage I didn’t want to carry any more, but when I deleted them, the search engine traffic to this blog died out and so did my audience. I don’t mind writing for a smaller, more interested, audience though, but it would be nice if I could make this blog grow a bit in the coming year. A lot of the other goals listed in this post are connected to this first goal. The growth I’m looking for has to be natural, so no Facebook advertising or whatever. I’ll have to figure out my “niche” (although I’m not certain I have one) and I’ll have to make quality content. No biggie.

02. Be more consistent in putting blogposts online

This is one of those goals that should help me realize my first goal. I’m really bad at blogging consistently. Sometimes I’ll put up five posts in a row and the next week I’ll run out of time and content and it’ll be quiet for more than a week. That’s no good. Figuring out some sort of schedule that works for me and writing and scheduling my blog posts in bulk should help me be more consistent.

03. Blog three times a week

I’d look to blog three times a week in the future. I’d love blogging more, but first I need to find a schedule that works for me. I already tried planning my content for a whole month in advance in the past, but I could never keep up with it. Probably because I tried to blog 4-5 times a week. With my tendency to write long blogposts and because I’d like to put up more DIY’s I just can’t do it 4-5 times a week. I’ll try three and if I can make that work I’ll be very happy.

04. Design a new lay-out

As you might have noticed, I haven’t done jack for the lay-out of this blog since I move back to Plutomeisje.be. I picked a theme, installed it and I try to ignore the design every time I look at my posts. The current theme isn’t that bad, but I miss a couple of options (highlighted text options, the possibility to put some text in information boxes, the size of the titles,….). The sad thing is that before my graphic design studies I would just started this project one afternoon and wrestled with the design until I had something I liked, but apparently I can’t do this any more. I know the amount of work it’ll take me and how rusty my html/css is and how little I know from php and javascript and I just freeze. But being a graphic designer without a decent design on my blog isn’t acceptable. I’ll just have to take the jump and tackle this one.

05. Try to reach a more international audience

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Belgian and Dutch audience, but part of the reason I write in English is to be able reach a wider audience. I know I can’t compete with the US/UK blogs, but I always feel there is a lack of European. I’m not sure how to profile myself as “European” or how to reach and audience that is so diverse culturally and linguisticly, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. If any of you know any good “European” blogs, leave them in the comments! Tracking my progress on this one should be easy via Google analytics.

06. Find ways to be more (inter)active on social media

I consider myself a total klutz on social media. I get how it works in theory, but I have no idea how to make connections on social media (or maybe just online). How to “groom” an audience or how to make friends online. I’m also very infrequent in my use of social media and I’d like to change this. I’ll be counting comments and interactions as a way to measure my progress for this one, not just followers.

07. Start making vlogs

I’ve been thinking about making vlogs for months. At one point I even sat down in front of my camera an talked for 45 minutes about new books I got. But I never practised on editing the footage and I never recorded that book haul again. So, yes, in 2016 I want to make this work. I’ll be attending a workshop on making vlogs by BooksandQuils in April (I’m really looking forward to this!). I’d like to vlog about more than books of course, although I’ll still have to figure out what else I’d like to do with the medium.

What do you want to achieve in 2016? Do you have New Year’s resolution or blog goals?

Blogging

Most popular posts of 2015 + reader survey

2015 has been quite a challenging year for me. It was also a year where I accomplished lot’s of thing and which brought quite a few changes. I went from almost not blogging to rekindling the flame and restarting the Plutomeisje blog. With 2016 peeking around the corner, I’m going to put a bit of a spotlight on some of my most popular posts of this year.

I wrote 81 blogposts in 2015, which isn’t bad considering the first half of the year was completely bonkers. Since August I’ve managed to post at least eight posts a month, with September being my most productive month as I wrote 16 blogposts! I know I’m a very irregular blogger and I’m very happy you keep coming back to read my posts between all the ups and downs and the going AWOL once in a while.

As I’m very curious to which posts you guys really like or really don’t like and what you’d like to read in the future on this blog, I made a small survey. I would be very grateful if you took a couple of minutes to answer the questions!

Survey Button

1. The Midori notebook style 2016 agenda

How to make a Midori notebook style agenda for 2016

I put a lot of work in my 2016 agenda and I’m so glad everyone seems to like it. It’s my post viewed post of the year, which is quite impressive, considering I’ve only put it up at the end of November. In a couple of days I can finally start using it! #excited

2. DIY Mason Jar lamps

How to make DIY Mason Jar lamps

Another tutorial I’m still very proud of the the result is the Mason Jar Lamp tutorial. I’ve been using these lamps a lot, they’re still on my bookshelf and they’re awesome.

3. 27 in 27My 27 in 27 birthday list

My original 27 in 27 post is also quite popular, which isn’t that strange considering I’ve linked to it in every 27 in 27 update.

4. I Did the 30 Day Shred!

I did the 30 Day Shred

Yes, I started doing *some* sports this year. It all started with doing the 30 Day Shred for the first time. I can’t say it’s a complete succes, but at least I try to move my ass once in a while. I’ve also tried Six Weeks Sixpack (urgh, so much harder) and the past week I’ve started doing some Yoga with Adriene.

5. DIY Instagram Photo Booklet

How to make an Instagram Photo book

Another popular tutorial was my DIY for an Instagram Photo Book. I’m already looking forward to binding in my next stack of Instagram photos!

6. Workspace – Testing Brush Pens

Brush Pen Review - Testing out the pens in my sketchbook

I liked making the brush pen review. I’m still very much addicted to using them in my sketchbook. Maybe I’ll do some more reviews for art supplies or craft tools in the future.

7. DIY Panda Pencil Case

How to make a DIY Panda Pencil Case

I still think my DIY Panda Pencil Case is the cutest pencil case ever and I hope this little panda guy while take over the world, one cute pencil case at a time.

8. Workspace Wednesday – Some book cover designs I did for school

Some bookcovers I designed

I worked hard this year and seeing that the bookcover designs post I did about my school project is one of the the most popular is very nice knowing. I realy liked doing these covers.

What is your favourite blogpost you’ve written this year? Don’t by she about linking it in the comments. And if you’re not a blogger, who is your favourite blogger of Instagrammer?

Blogging, Books

Review: Blogboek door Kelly Deriemaecker

Toen ik hoorde dat er een Vlaams boek over bloggen kwam, was ik nogal sceptisch. Vlaanderen heeft nu niet bepaald de grootste blogscène ever. Ik kwam het Blogboek van Kelly Deriemaeker een tijdje later tegen in de winkel en ik kon niet weerstaan aan een korte bladersessie. Het boek was leuk vormgegeven en de titels spraken mij aan. Ik bladerde en bladerde. Misschien zou ik het ooit wel eens kopen. Toen ik een paar dagen later opnieuw in die winkel was, liep ik met het Blogboek in mijn handen naar de kassa.

Het is niet iets dat ik vaak over een non-fictie boek zeg, maar het Blogboek was verdomd aangenaam op te lezen. Het is heel erg vlot en entertainend geschreven. Het enthousiasme over bloggen druipt van de pagina’s. En, zoals al eerder gezegd, het is nog eens mooi vormgegeven ook. Schrijfster Kelly Deriemaeker, bezieler van één van de grotere Vlaamse blogs, schrijft op een heel erg persoonlijke manier over bloggen, zoals lezers van haar online webstek dat eigenlijk al van haar gewoon zijn. No nonsens en down to earth. Geen zweverig gedoe en altijd vanuit praktisch oogpunt. Heel leuk is ook dat je, naast alle inspiratie die al in de teksten verweven zit, ook nog eens per hoofdstuk 15 extra ideeën toegestopt krijgt om over te bloggen (iets wat al direct tot een #projectblogboek leidde). Je zou voor minder het blogboek aan de kant schuiven en gewoon aan die blog beginnen.

Hoewel ik al een tijdje blog, vond ik het een leuk (en inspirerend!) boek om te lezen. Ik kreeg er zowaar schrijfkriebels van! Vooral het stukje over de spark-file is mij bij gebleven. Dat was een beetje een aha-erlebnis voor mij, want ik schrijf sowieso al (“al”) mijn ideeën op in een schriftje, maar daarna raken ze daar meestal een beetje in vergeten. De spark-file vormt de perfecte oplossing! Dat ik daar zelf nog nooit was opgekomen!

De vergelijking met de andere boeken die ik al eerder over bloggen las (bv Blog Inc. van Joy Deangdeelert Cho en de Blog Love cursus van A Beautiful Mess) doorstaat het Blogboek goed. Het leest een stuk vlotter en het was amusantere lectuur omdat het boek niet al te zakelijk geschreven is. Bovendien haalde ik er veel meer inspiratie uit, een belangrijk pluspunt!

Dat Blogboek was dus zeker een goede koop. Ideaal voor de eeuwige twijfelaar die al honderd keer nagelbijtend net niet op “create blog” geduwd heeft. Ideaal voor iedereen die zich afvraagt wat vader/moeder/dochter/zoonlief daar in godsnaam heelder dagen zit te doen, typend achter die computer. Ideaal voor iedereen die iemand kent met schrijfkriebels of bakken talent en die dringend op zoek is naar een cadeautje voor die iemand. Laat u gaan & alvast welkom aan alle nieuwe bloggers.
Blogboek is geschreven door Kelly Deriemaecker en kost €24,99.