One Year of Blogging Lessons and Goals

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I really can not believe that Thoughts and Daisies is officially ONE! It feels like hardly any time has passed since I first started blogging. A lot has happened in this crazy whirlwind of a year. I have learned a lot but I still have a long way to go to get this little blog to where I see it being in my head. And that is okay.

Year one was a learning curve and messy but now I at least have a clearer path. In one year I have written over 60 blog posts, filled a 130 page Google doc with over 40,000 words, and learned how to embed photos into my posts. Let me tell you that last one took me way too long to figure out, but now I have it MASTERED… sort of.

 

Related: Meaning Behind my Blog Name

 

With 365 days of blogging a lot is learned and I have come up with 7 lessons, I have learned over the course of the year, as well as 5 goals to launch me into the next year.

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Lessons

1. Don’t fall into the comparison trap. 

This can be really hard. When everywhere you look it seems that someone is living this perfect life it can be hard to not compare yourself to them. Better clothes, prettier photos, more followers, the list goes on. But constantly comparing yourself is not going to help grow your own content. Everything is not always what it seems, ESPECIALLY in the media world and once we continue to remember this it is easier to not put yourself down when you don’t think what you are doing measures up.

2. Numbers are not everything
I have to remind myself about this a lot. My blog reach is nowhere near what I would like but I am growing and I have to remind myself that it doesn’t happen overnight. Whether someone else has 1,000 or 100,000 more followers or likes than me does not belittle what I have been creating. It just means I may have to work a little harder. Which brings me to lesson 3.

3. It takes work

And a lot of it. Not that I ever thought blogging was some super easy task that would take little to no effort from me, but I constantly surprise myself at how long I do spend creating my content.

There are days when I still tell myself that I can just knock out a post or even two in half an hour only to find myself working on the same post for nearly 3.

Blogging is more than just writing and slapping something up but takes a lot of editing and photo creating and even some coding and some days can be extremely tiring. But when I know I have put everything I can into a post I have this incredible feeling of accomplishment once it actually goes up.

 

Let me know if you would like a post about my blog behind the scenes.

 

4. SEO is important but confusing

I see it everywhere. SEO this. SEO that. Make sure you are utilizing SEO.

I can’t tell you how many articles I have read about the need for managing your SEO. And I am still thoroughly confused. This is something I am really planning to look into over the summer now that I have time in my day.

5. Pinterest is your friend

Pinterest has helped me gain a bit more traction on my blog. Especially when I pin content that I know I would be pinning if I saw. Millions of people scroll through Pinterest every day and it is one of the best ways to help navigate viewers to your blog.

Many a blogger has discussed the magic that is Pinterest and I hope to continue my growth with it.

6. Create for yourself first

A big thing I have learned is it is more important to blog about content that I actually care about than to try and write for everyone else.

I can tell a big difference in my posts that I was writing what I thought people would want to read and posts that I wrote because I wanted to write them. Your blog will never grow, much less last if everything you are writing isn’t something you enjoy or are passionate about.

7. HAVE FUN

Piggybacking off number 6, on top of creating content you love you need to be having fun. If you aren’t having fun while blogging what is the point.

I haven’t written a year’s worth of blog posts because I felt obligated to do it. If I didn’t have fun blogging I wouldn’t be writing this post, and I especially wouldn’t have gotten through my 30 Day Challenge last month.

If blogging isn’t fun for you to take a step back and evaluate why. Once you start to blog with the intention of making it fun you will see how free you begin to feel with your posts.

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Goals

Work on my photography

When I look at some of my old photos from my first posts to now I think there is a major change but I am competitive with myself and I know that I can make my photos even better. I am just not sure how yet. I see all these people creating gorgeous photos by themselves and I am looking at them for tips and inspiration. I also need to get one of those Bluetooth remotes so I don’t have to constantly run back and hit the button on my phone.

-Learn SEO

As I mentioned before SEO is important and I am still pretty lost. This is the year I understand all of the functions that come along with SEO. I am coming for you SEO you have been warned.

-Utilize Pinterest to its full potential

There was a point in time my Pinterest game was beginning to go strong and I have started to slack on it lately. I plan to spend this next year creating better pinnable images and working on getting them out into the Pinterest universe and having its full potential shine through. Fingers crossed.

-Go out of my comfort zone

I am not at all good at this. I see all these other pinners doing what I imagine in my head I could do for my blog but I am a chicken when it comes to it. So this year I would like to be more outgoing in things like my blogging outreach, my Instagramming skills, and possibly even utilizing the Instastories for things like… speaking… I know wow. As Instagram stories is a feature that pretty much scares the living daylights out of me. I say as though I am not pursuing my degree in acting. I can be on stage in front of hundreds of people but am too scared to use the Instastories feature for it’s intended use. Go figure.

-Get a logo

I have wanted a logo for my blog since the beginning but have not gotten around to it. I am not exactly sure how to go about this so any suggestions for how and ideas for cute logos are appreciated and encouraged.

 

Well here is to my one-year blogiversary and hopefully to many more. Cheers!

 

Send me some ideas for future blog posts in the comments and be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the blog to be notified of posts and receive exclusive Thoughts and Daisies Content.

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The Lightning Thief Musical, Practically Perfect

‘Look I didn’t want to be a Halfblood’

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I have been a fan of the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series since I was in 5th grade right before the final book came out. When I had first learned of the musical I was skeptical. I mean how could I not be after the movies… *shudder* But then I started following along and realized it was nothing like the movies. For one they actually had a blonde Annabeth.

So of course when I found out the musical was touring I had to see if I could get tickets and 8 months later I finally got to go.

Here is everything you need to know about why the Lightning Thief is the perfect musical for Percy Jackson fans!

Percy and Annabeth.

Chris McCarrell and Kristin Stokes do a fantastic job at portraying these characters. These are two of my favorite characters of all time and I can say that I think they were wonderful at it. They are able to show the progression of their relationship throughout the first book and help the audience to see just how perfect these two are together. As well as show each characters individual struggles and dreams and how their past has influenced them as they journey through this show.

Also, Kristin’s performance of “My Gran Plan,” one of my favorite songs, was stunning and I could see everything I know about Annabeth in all of the books in this.

SOO true to the book.

The fans of Percy Jackson have not always been fortunate with adaptations… but this musical is really a fan’s dream. From having practically word for word lines from the book to chapter titles being used as dialogue (Supreme Lord of the Bathroom) and even some sneaky references to other books one can’t help but be sucked in. It was really like watching the scenes from the books play out in front of you as you were reading.

Ryan Knowles playing Medusa and Poseidon and literally like 5 other people. 

I don’t know how his voice has as much range as it does but WOW. He was fantastic at all of his roles but especially when he played Medusa. My brother who wasn’t too happy about me making him come loved this part in the show. I was really pleased about the scene with Medusa because I love it in the book and I think how the musical captures it was wonderful. As they are “impertinent’’ *winky face*

The live band!

The use of a live band really helps to set the mood for each scene and each character theme. It encapsulates the rock musical feel and propels the storyline forward especially on all of the travel scenes.

The use of light and set.

The lights that are incorporated are fantastic at helping to enhance what is happening in the scene. From the use of blue light for not only just Percy Jackson as a whole but to create an underwater feel to red lights creating a dripping effect as in a cave and to create things like the underworld and Tartarus. The set is very minimal but everything is used to its fullest potential to portray vehicles and camp and used for exposition during songs and tales of the past.

Smelly Gabe.

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April Favorites

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The end of April is here. I am amazed at how fast 30 days flew by. When I started this challenge I wasn’t sure how I would do it, but here we are Day 30. For the end of the month, I’ve decided it would only be fitting to discuss my April Favorites.

The Dragon Prince: A Netflix Original

“Two human princes forge an unlikely bond with the elfin assassin sent to kill them, embarking on an epic quest to bring peace to their warring lands.”

I am late to the party on this one. It premiered last fall and I have heard a lot of good things from some of my friends. I finally got around to watching it and I will say I am pleasantly surprised. The storyline is complex and interesting and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I have yet to watch the second season but I will have it finished by the end of the week most likely.

It has a shared creator with Avatar the Last Airbender, as well as a voice actor, Jack De Sena who played Sokka, now playing the main character Callum.

Burt’s Bees Mascara

I have used Burt’s Bees products for a while and when they came out with their mascara I was excited. It is one of my favorite products. Made with 100% natural ingredients it is gentle and nourishing on my lashes. They make my lashes look great for everyday wear, and by adding a few extra coats also perfect for making a more dramatic look.

Sold at Walgreens and now Ulta.

Honey Citrus Mint Tea from Starbucks

As I write this I am sipping a Honey Citrus Mint Tea. Made with a tea bag of Jade Citrus Mint and a Peach Tranquility it is delicious! It also smells amazing. Perfect to comfort a sore throat or just for a warm pick me up. This has been my go-to drink as of late. It makes me feel cozy inside. Highly recommend

Sara Bareilles: Amidst the Chaos

Amidst the Chaos came out at the beginning of the month and has been one of the albums on repeat during my study sessions throughout this month. My favorite songs on the album are Orpheus and Poetry by Deadman. Quickly followed by A Safe Place to Land feat. John Legend.

What have been some of your favorites this month??

And with that, the 30 Day Challenge comes to an end. Thank you for following along! Be sure to subscribe to my blog to get all of the insider’s newsletters and to be notified of new blog posts.

 

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Tiaras through the Ages

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I’ve loved princesses and tiaras for as long as I can remember. My mom likes to make a point that when I was little I would just have a tiara on all the time with every outfit. Although I don’t think that has changed much, I will say I don’t wear tiaras as often just because what was once thought of as a cute kid thing is not as normal in the day to day college life. Sad I know. I think we need to change that. Petition to wear tiaras every day in college.

Now it seems the only acceptable time to wear a tiara out in public is on your birthday, so naturally, I have begun to take advantage of that every chance I get. Continue reading

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5 Perfect Gifts to get your Mom this Mother’s Day

5 Perfect Gifts to Get your Mom this Mother's Day |Thoughts&Daisies Mother’s Day is coming up in two weeks and now would be a good time to start getting ready for it. Before the day sneaks up on you and go scrambling to find something for your mom the night before.Mother’s Day is coming up in two weeks and now would be a good time to start getting ready for it. Before the day sneaks up on you and go scrambling to find something for your mom the night before. The great things about moms are as long as your gift comes from your heart you don’t have to go spending hundreds of dollars. Unless you want to and your gift is taking your mom on vacation to somewhere she has always dreamed.

But in general, the best gifts are the small meaningful ones. Like…

1. Take your mom out to dinner

Spending quality time with your mom on her day is one of the best gifts you can give her. Go out to dinner, chat, and enjoy some good food and each other’s company.

2. A handwritten card

Handwritten cards always feel more special in this day and age. It shows just how much you care when you take the time to hand write it. Express to your mom just how much she means to you in a cute note.

3. Something she has been talking about

Giving her a gift of something she has been talked lets her know you listen. Has she been asking for a new pan because hers is old? Maybe a new purse she saw online that she has been keeping on eye on? Whatever that may be she will appreciate this thoughtful gesture.

4. Photos of the two of you

Create an album or just a frame photo that she doesn’t have and see how much she will love this gift. You can even put the photo on an item like a mug and she can always have the two of you close by even when you aren’t.

5. Something that reminds you of her

If there is something that you see and it always reminds you of your mom get it for her. Whether that be a bouquet of flowers, a book, or even some stationary and pens.

What are some things you do for your mom on Mother’s Day?

5 Perfect Gifts to Get your Mom this Mother's Day |Thoughts&Daisies Mother’s Day is coming up in two weeks and now would be a good time to start getting ready for it. Before the day sneaks up on you and go scrambling to find something for your mom the night before.

 

5 Perfect Gifts to Get your Mom this Mother's Day |Thoughts&Daisies Mother’s Day is coming up in two weeks and now would be a good time to start getting ready for it. Before the day sneaks up on you and go scrambling to find something for your mom the night before.
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