Tag: Blogging

Ugh. Stand By.

PSA post for all and sundry. Photobucket, my previous 3rd party image hosting platform has (very suddenly and without any warning to me) apparently decided to pull this service and charge several hundred dollars to reinstate and use it moving forward. I’m not going to be doing this, and will have to find another place to store my photos.

Unfortunately I have several years worth of blog content and images connected to this platform and switching it all over to a new host and correcting now broken links is going to take me a lot of time. And an awful lot of swearing.

In the meantime, if things look a little wonky around here for the foreseeable future, that’s what’s up.

Quick Check In

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
― Henry David Thoreau

In my 101/1001 list I have a number of goals that seem to fall into themes, and picking an overarching theme (“Money”) to write about publicly and focus on personally for a month has been a great way to jump start my creative energy towards some personal development. I’m on track to tick off a lot of these individual goals in January. Plus, it’s been fun! I’ve enjoyed putting together a series of posts on a single topic over a month tremendously. I’m thinking of trying to do this or similar projects often throughout year.

And so, SDS Nation, lend me your thoughts in the comments and let me know what you’ve liked about this project, didn’t like, or want to see more of moving forward on this and other topics. Health, style, more adventures in finance, what would you like to read and talk about here?

Highlight Reel

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
– Benjamin Franklin

I am on record as being one of the many who believes that 2016 was rough and occasionally worthy of the moniker “dumpster fire.” But looking back, there were some amazing personal highs that I wanted to revisit in looking forward to 2017. It’s going to be a big year, but it also is going to have some big shoes to fill. What were some of your highlights of 2016? Let’s have a victory-sharing and mutual pat-on-the-back session to get the new year rolling!

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Reckon I earned a few of these this year.

We went to New York City to see X.

We also went to Spain for the first time.

We also spent several long weekends with unbelievably charming friends and hosts.

Jeff got me tickets to Beyonce’s Formation World Tour.

I turned 30.

I wrote some of my most personal posts in nearly a decade of blogging. I actually didn’t write nearly as much as I should have or wanted to this year for a variety of reasons, but I’m already making headway on rectifying that moving forward.

Sending Up the Online/Freelancer/Blogger Batsignal

“If you need help bark like a dog.”
“That’s stupid. If I need help I’ll shout help.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Friends, readers, country-minions, lend me your thoughts!

One of my big goals this year is to upgrade this blog into a site. A simple one perhaps, but a site nonetheless. It’s served me well for nigh on seven years now (clutches self a bit to realize that) and it’s overdue some maintenance and love. I’ve been studying up on this for months now, probably closer to a year, but I still feel out of my depth and recently I realized that I’ve neglected a potentially killer source of expertise on this: you guys!

So tell me, have you made the leap from a .wordpress or .blogspot to a full on .com domain or known someone who has? How did you make decisions about hosting and other concerns? Was design an issue for you, and if so how did you solve them? Did you hire a brilliant friend or professional to help you transition or did you do it yourself? Any good founts of knowledge I should know about?

Direct me, kittens.

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2013 In Review

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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The lesson of this year has been: just go for it. You’ll be amazed at what happens. (via)

I’ve been taking the holidays off of writing and even some time off work, but I’m looking forward to diving straight back into work next year – AKA tomorrow. I’ve got some great adventure tales coming your way! In the meantime I’m goofing off with Jeff during his vacation days, reveling in the unseasonably bright and clear weather, and eating the massive amounts of leftovers from our Christmas cooking.

2013 was a big year. First and foremost, we made it to London after years of work and planning finally paid off, Jeff started his job in the City, and I’m working for myself as a writer – the dream literally since I was a child. Frankly I have no idea what 2014 will hold, I’m not sure how the past couple of years can possibly be topped…but if I know the sneaky universe, they will. In spectacular style. So, here’s 2013 in review.

Early this year, we were thrown a massive wrench when we were told Jeff’s start date was not going to be in April…but in September. We rallied, but it did shake up the first quarter!

Even though I was really looking forward to moving onto the next thing, the last few months of my unintentional first career in law enforcement support afforded me a few opportunities to speak bluntly about some issues that need better and less sensationalized coverage than they often get.

Our annual Oscar Gown Review brought out the usual minion debate – which I adore! Not sure how it’s going to work this year, but it’s going to happen.

I got a chance to participate in a storytelling event!

I dove into freelancing, and got a chance to look back as I looked forward.

We packed up and moved out of the flat we lived in since we got married on the first leg of our long awaited move to London.

I went to Virginia to mind the house while my mother did a course in ancient Greek, and spent summer with my family in the East Coast Countryside. I got to introduce the minions to my clan a bit more, and did we frolic!

I contributed to a story for the New York Times, and got my first major byline in the Grey Lady herself!

Finally – FINALLY – we moved to London. After a year of waiting and so many hiccups, we were finally here. We wasted no time in enjoying the city together before Jeff started his job.

We celebrated our 4th anniversary.

We kept exploring the city and I loved introducing some of the best finds to you guys.

And finally, settled down a bit, both working and finally in London, we enjoyed our first proper holiday season on our own.

It’s been a whirlwind, crazy up and down, roller coaster of a year. Thanks, kittens, for sticking around through it. 2014 beckons, tell me what you’ve accomplished this past year, and what 2014 will hold for you!

I Was Not Born Under An Icing Planet (or, New Buddies)

“My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet. She’s now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia.”
― Dame Edna Everage (aka, the formidable Barry Humphries)

Something that I only really became aware of in the last year or so as we were gearing up for our move (finally!) to London, was the expat blogging community, and the local friends they’d made via it, based in London itself. I started reading a few, mostly to find travel tips for some of the places and countries we wanted to visit, but I really enjoyed a handful of them and kept reading. I liked Aspiring Kennedy especially, and many of her friends, so when the writer behind it (Lauren) announced that she was organizing a meetup for people who wrote blogs, read them, or just who just happened to stumble upon her post that day, I signed up immediately.*

It was held at the Biscuiteer’s Notting Hill boutique. They specialize in seriously stylish iced biscuits (cookies to Yanks), and the whole troupe of us got to ice our own while drinks were passed and chats could develop.

My first foray turned out...largely as I would expect.
My first foray turned out…largely as I would expect.
Take two was much improved.
Take two was much improved.
The others' offerings were superior to an almost hilarious degree.
The other offerings were superior to an almost hilarious degree.

I’m sure I came off as the most ridiculous person there, I was just so eager to socialize with actual, breathing people that some awkwardness must have been the result. Lately my work pace has been such that there are days I never leave the flat. Productive, yes. Inclined to make me hyperactive, definitely. The only cure is human contact and I’ve been getting but little of it. The result was something like puppy-ish over-exuberance. Calm it down, C.!

It’s usually in meeting people that my life experience is thrown into sharp relief. Among other cultural issues, I can’t answer the basic question, “Where are you from?” satisfactorily. It’s always fun to talk about adventures growing up, but I often feel like a bit of an odd duck after introductions. Luckily these lovely girls didn’t seem to mind and we were soon swapping stories like pros. Some of them are in London for their own work, their partners’ work, as students, as permanent expats, or just passing through. We were quite a diverse bunch.

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Regardless of my undoubted exuberance, I had a really great time and met some impressive ladies to introduce you to:

Ruth from the Planned Adventure (a fellow freelancer, we had much to commiserate on)
Amber from Nouveau (whose style, taste, and dog I covet)
LilyBelle from Honey on the Ground (the blog name apparently came from a sermon her grandfather once preached, which I think is fantastic)
Alexandra (who doesn’t blog anymore but who does work for Diane von Furstenburg, which is exceptionally neat!)
Teri from The Lovely Drawer (a girl with a wonderful eye!)
Katie from The Schwinds (a fabulous girl who is packing as much Europe into a year as possible and with whom I shared a Tube ride home and a lovely long chat)

And more who I didn’t get names or cards from but really hope to meet up with again. I think it was really lovely of Lauren to foster a little community building, goodness knows lots of people (expats or not) could do with it sometimes. All in all, a delightful evening and much needed.

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* I’m unsure if I fit the qualifications of being “A Blogger” (caps, please note), most of the bloggers I know have exquisite platforms and expertise while the goal of my writing is largely just to tell stories and share adventures. Regardless, I wanted to meet some of these fabulous people and was really glad I did.