Welcome to my new website!

I did it! I finally got all of the ideas that have been buzzing around in my head for so long, out of my head, and into the form of a website!

I’ve had an idea of what I would like my website to look like for ages. But I had no clue how to do it. I’ve tried a few different free themes that have been ok but I always knew they weren’t perfect. It wasn’t something I wanted to spend any money on as I didn’t know if it was any good or worth spending any money on.

This year things have changed a bit, in that since I have joined Twitter I have become much more a part of the wonderful blogging community that I had previously shied away from. I wish now that I had got more involved in this community sooner but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Since joining twitter, and discovering Linkys and Blog hops, the traffic to my site has increased and I have received some truly wonderful comments that have boosted my self-confidence no end and made me feel that what I am writing is worthwhile.

Then my lovely hubby offered to pay for a site redesign as my birthday present in April. He had offered before but I’d always turned him down as it seemed a waste of money, but as a birthday present it seemed more reasonable. At first, I said yes, then the control freak inside got the better of me. I had such a strong idea of how I wanted it to look that I was scared of never being 100% happy with the way someone else interpreted that idea.

So I started having a play around. I took some photos for a potential header background. I have been getting to grips with PicMonkey and have had lots of fun editing and creating with their free software.

screenshot 2

This turned out better than I thought it would and I got excited, then hubby got excited with me. He is great at web design and used to do a lot of it, but he doesn’t have time in his current role so only dabbles occasionally. But the great thing for me is that he knows how to do it all. He understands CSS and knows the language to use to make things happen. This all just looked like gobbledegook to me before! So we found a very simple theme that wasn’t perfect, but that he assured me we could make into the vision in my head.

Hubby works so hard and has a demanding job so I have felt awful being demanding of him in the evenings too. I’ve also felt frustrated that I can’t do much of it, and impatient that it has been taking so long!

But I have been gradually learning bits of CSS too. I by no means know everything, but I know a few things now. I can download a font from t’internet (somewhere like Font Squirrel) and I know how to embed that in the site and use the font. I know how to change the colours, sizing and line spacing. I understand some of how CSS works now and  how to find what I want to change and try to change it.

screenshot 1

I’ve really enjoyed the process and wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out – but I am so pleased and so happy with the end result. I hope you like it too!


Creative Challenge

A Blank Page #TheThemeGame

The Theme for this week’s The Theme Game by The Reading Residence and Redpeffer is ‘White’.

I thought of lots of things for White – Snowdrops, White walls, Weddings and then I thought of a fresh White Page (or screen in terms of internet blogging). It made me think of sitting down with my laptop, staring at the white page and working out what to write. As a kid I used to write stories all the time and there was something really exciting about starting with a blank page. Looking at it at wondering where it would take you – what adventure it would lead you on. Sadly my imagination isn’t quite what it used to be!

blank page screenshot

I’ve thought about writing stories again like I did as a kid, but somehow never know what to write. It’s not because I don’t have any ideas – I sometimes feel like I have so many ideas that they are spilling out of my brain. The ideas come at inopportune moments and then seem to drift out again and I can’t remember what was so exciting about that idea or what the plot was going to be. When it comes to my blog I have so many drafts of posts with just a headline or an idea hastily typed in to be filled out and written properly at a later date… but many of them never get that far.

drafts list

Time is one reason. Being a SAHM I only have so much time I can dedicate to writing my blog, and even then I sometimes feel guilty for using that time for blogging when there is so much else that needs doing. Since branching out with my blog at the beginning of the year I have discovered a wonderful blogging community and so many wonderful linkys and blog-hops to join in with, with some wonderful themes and ideas behind them and I love to join in as much as I can. But sometimes I have to stop myself – because I don’t have to time to write that many posts in a week.

I also have to think about relevance. I started this blog as a way of charting my journey through motherhood – and particularly coming to terms with becoming a SAHM. So it’s about the day to day life as a SAHM, food, playing, me-time, housework, crafts etc. Of course this is quite a wide arena anyway but sometimes the things I want to write about just don’t feel relevant to the original focus of this blog. But does it matter?


Maybe I use relevance as a way of managing the fact that I don’t have enough time to write everything that I want to. Because I don’t have time to write everything, I want to try and aim for the posts I do write to be relevant to my original aims – and let’s face it – relevant to the lovely readers of my blog. Because it’s not all about me. I try not to worry too much about my page views but I love to see that people are reading, and I love it even more when people comment as I feel that then they must have connected to my post in some way. Which I guess is what it is all about.

Quality rather than quantity maybe?

So I will try and get some of those draft posts finished… but others I think will stay as they are – just drafts! Ideas not quite fully formed.

How does a blank page make you feel? Do you have lots of ideas? Or do you struggle to find inspiration for what to write?

The Reading Residence

Branching out with my blog

I’ve made a sort of un-deliberate (is that even a word?) New Years Resolution to do more with my blog. I haven’t really made any proper resolutions but there are things I want to do this year. I have made an effort from January first to get back on the diet and to do my strengthening exercises to ward off the SPD if we are fortunate to get pregnant again, things like that. I hadn’t really thought that I wanted to do more with my blog this year specifically but I have been thinking about branching out a bit for a while and it seems that this was the right time to do it. Monkey is playing more independently by the day which means I have a little bit more time to devote to it right now. So I guess it is a kind of a new year’s resolution.

When I started blogging I wasn’t really sure if I would find the time, or if I would enjoy it, or if I would find very much worth writing about, so I kept things pretty low key, telling just family and friends about it. I think I was almost a bit scared about people reading it, which is weird when that is the point of it! Then gradually I started putting links on web pages and on a few forums but again pretty low key really. I know and knew from the start that there was a huge and wonderful blogging community out there but I have, until now, been a bit scared to join, but I have taken the leap over the last few days and been welcomed by some wonderful people.

Big thank you now to Jo at The Reading Residence who has been following my blog for a while and really helped boost my confidence. Her blog is also a window into the world of the blogging community and has introduced me to ‘linkys’ which I have to say I had never heard of before! I saw the Magic Moments link from The Oliver’s Madhouse a few weeks ago, thought it was a lovely idea but then never got round to joining. After the chaos of Christmas I managed to remember and joined that link on Monday and it whet my appetite. So the last couple of days I have set up my google+ account properly, and today I joined twitter, which is a big step for me. I have no idea what I am doing but I am enjoying learning a lot and I am also discovering lots of fellow mummy bloggers so hello to you all! Jo at The Reading Residence  has again been massively supportive and suggested lots of other wonderful blogs and ‘linkys’ and I am going to do my best to join as many as I can!

Did you feel nervous when you started blogging?