Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Challenge Blogmas Day 5: Snow is Falling on Douglas Mountain

Remember when I talked about Raffi's Christmas CD is one of my favorite Christmas Traditions?  It should come as a surprise that one of the songs on Raffi's Christmas CD would be one of my favorite Christmas carols right? Well gee, at least I hope it isn't much of a surprise.

My favorite Christmas Carol, or Christmas song has to be Douglas Mountain, from Raffi's CD, I don't know if it's technically counted as a Christmas carol, but it should be. I love the song so much, the piano's amazing, Raffi's voice is so relaxing and one of my favorite songs.
I remember listening to this song a lot as a kid. I used to want to meet Raffi as a child. I'd have dreams about being able to sing with Raffi. I was a strange child, but that's why I chose this song. My favorite Christmas carol is hands down Douglas Mountain.

My top 10 toys from the 80's and 90's

My tag today asked me what my favorite toy was growing up, and it reminded me of Christmas as a child, all the toys that I got, and the memories I had with the toys that I had, that all I could think of was some of my favorite late 80's and 90's toys. If only I could go back in time and play with the toys that I loved so much!

1. Little People Town boy have this too.  I have to admit that I am a sucker for the vintage little people!
I'm Remembering
2. Toy Post Office
Image result for Fisher Price Post Office
Worth Point
3. PJ Sparkles
Image result for PJ Sparkles with wand
4. Quints toys
Image result for quints toys from the 90's
5. Baby all Gone
Image result for baby all gone 90s
I'm Boston
6. Life the Board Game
Image result for Life the Board Game
7. Incredible Edibles Machine

8. Puppy Suprise
Image result for Puppy Surprise 90's

9. Toy McDonald's
1989 Vintage McDonald's Drive Thru Playset - Many EXTRAS!  BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

10. Little Tykes Kitchen
Little Tikes kitchen

Tag Thursday: 12 random questions from Ask.Fm

Instead of a Christmas tag today, I decided to change gears since there's going to be  lot of Christmas related posts this week. I actually signed back up with and decided that I'd press the random question generator 12 times to come up with 12 unique questions for Tag Thursday, so it's a bit like my would you rather post, which was more fun than I thought it would be.

1. What song is stuck in your head today?
Love Potion Number 9, I actually heard it in the car on the way to the grocery store earlier today, and it's stuck with me since then. There's something about older songs that's so catchy, and this os one of those songs. 

2. Is it easier to fall in love in spring?
I don't think it's any easier than any other season, except maybe for the fact that we're able to get out and about in the spring, from being cooped up in the house all winter long, so it makes us happier, but I don't think that it makes falling in love any easier.

3. Life without the internet--could this be possible? 
It's totally possible, I grew up without the internet for many years, and it was very possible. It'd be a change for me or anyone else. I really loved my tech detox over the summer, and know I can survive without the internet.

4. How important is money to you?
Not important at all. I'm one of those people that thinks money just complicates things sometimes. The things that make me happy aren't from the store or cost money. When it comes down to it, if I have food in my stomach, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head I don't need money for anything else, I have what's important and what humans need to live.

5. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Am I supposed to untie them before I take them off? I usually don't untie them, unless I tied my shoe too tight and need to slip my feet out of my shoes.

6. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

7. What song cheers you up? 
That Song by Amaranthe

8. Do you spend too much time on your smartphone playing ‘stupid games’?
I hardly ever use my smartphone, I like using my laptop better than my phone since my phone is so temperamental. 

9. If you could live forever, would you want to?
No, if I lived forever and my family and the ones I loved couldn't, I wouldn't do it,  I couldn't imagine losing everyone I love or will ever love, just to be close to someone to know that their lives will be over would be emotionally jarring. 

10. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One, I don't like a lot of pillows, using a tall stack of pillows feels like it gives me a crick in my neck, the pain is so not worth it. 

11.  What was your favorite toy as a child?
I talked to the hubby about this a few days ago, my favorite toy as a child would have been my Mapletown. 
Image result for Mapletown

12. What junk food could you never give up?
Cookies, I love Cookies. I imagine someone asking me to pick between my husband an a peanut butter cookie. I'd be running for the cookie!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

10 tips to beat bloggers block

The end of the year is a little under a month away and you're thinking that this year is the year that you start your blog. But what happens when you don't know where to start and don't know what to include in your blog? You don't want to be staring at a screen all-day with writer's block, it doesn't sound too productive, does it? Blogger's block is a real thing, but it is an easy thing to fix as long as you know what you're doing.

Tip 1: Build your blog post around a previous blog post of yours.
A lot of the time a blogger will build off one of their previous blog posts. It's one of the reasons why I do the Favorite 5 Fridays and Tag Thursday's it's often a day to think about topics for the next week. For instance, if I'm talking about my favorite video games during a Friday Favorite's, I can talk about alternatives to the game I liked, or like the other day when I did a Thanksgiving tag and brought up the topic about comfortable pants. I can always write a blog post about some cute pants for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Tip 2: Keep a notebook with you at all times. 
Always keep a notebook with you. Ideas about blog posts can come out of nowhere.I've been in the middle of eating dinner when I've come up with blog ideas. When the ideas come to me, I write them down in a notebook. I love using my phone and computer to take notes about my blog posts, but I like having my ideas written down in more than one spot, in case something happens to one of my lists.

Tip 3: search Pinterest for ideas
Oh, Pinterest, what would I do without you? If you're looking for a topic for a niche blog, type in something like, "Beauty blog post ideas," or whatever your niche is. The same works for a lifestyle or personal blog like my own. I do have beauty, book, food and even holiday-related blog ideas. The ideas are endless.

Tip 4: Use blog generators 
Blog generators do not write blog posts for you, they're actually there to give you ideas. Some of the sites I love using are, Build your own Blog, Blog about from Impact, InboundHubspot, Portent, and Free Headline Generator. A lot of the blog generators allow you to type in blog topics, and they spit out ideas. Impact is one of my favorite generators, as you can see below, "How to separate the_____ from the _____." It gives you something to work with, for instance, "How to separate the good books on Amazon from the books." It gives you and your blog post a title.

Tip 5: Check out some magazines 
Magazines are one of my favorite places to get blog information, for two reasons, the first being that I know what's popular right now and what people like reading about, and second, there are many things that can spawn ideas. It's why I like keeping a notebook. It's easier to write your ideas in a notebook when you're reading a magazine, rather than typing all your ideas out.

Tip 6: Give your pet a voice
One day when I couldn't come up with an idea, I had Freya come and sit on my lap to watch Sylvester the Talking Cat, so I could try to shake my blogger's block. It's quite obvious that cats, dogs, rats, birds, or rabbits can't type or talk, but it doesn't mean you can't give them a voice. I feel when I give Freya a voice, I step out of my mindset for a while, and imagine what Freya would say or do. I did it yesterday when I did my Freya interview. It was fun and it gives you time to be creative.

Tip 7: Check a holiday database
Tomorrow is National Ninja Day, Monday was National Mutt Day, and this month is National Pear Month. As an example, since Monday was National Mutt Day, I could have brainstormed about mutts, like talking about your favorite mutt, or mutts at animal shelters. I'm actually thinking about writing about talking about gluten-free gazpacho recipes for National Gazpacho on the 6th! 

Tip 8: Learn a new blogging type or style
I have a folder with templates and ideas on my blog about different blog types. If you're someone who likes writing list blog posts, because they're easy, try to step out of your comfort zone at least a little bit and try something like a how-to-guide, there are templates online in case you get stuck trying a new blog type.

Tip 9: Keep a spreadsheet

My husband dislikes spreadsheets with a passion, but then again he doesn't blog and doesn't see how awesome using a spreadsheet can be. I use Libre Office, instead of Microsoft Word, and since I don't think my spreadsheet will be downloadable unless you have Libre office, the best thing I can do is show you all that my spreadsheet looks like, in case you need an idea.

You don't need to fill every one of the cells when you're brainstorming, and this is just to give you something to work with. I've seen many other bloggers use the same idea when they get stuck, so it's nothing new about using a spreadsheet. Believe me, they come in handy when you're stuck on writer's block.

Tip 10: Offer to be a guest blogger or find a guest blogger
If all else fails, there are other bloggers who may actually like to be a guest blogger or are looking for a guest blog post. It gives you a whole new spin and perspective, when you're not sure what to write on your own blog.

Christmas Challenge Blogmas Day 4: The snow is falling

December/Christmas blogging challenge
As if writing a poem was as easy as it seemed I wouldn't be sitting here staring at the screen, unsure what to write. I've never written a Christmas inspired poem, ever I've written a few pieces of dark poetry about snow, and I've written a song about Christmas many years ago, never a poem. But because I'm a good sport, I'm going to attempt this poem. I just hope it doesn't sound really bad.

My poem is still a work in process, and maybe by Christmas I'll be able to revamp my poem, but this is what I have for now. 

The Snow is Falling
The snow is falling, and there are carolers at the door. 
Ice covers the windowpane 
As I sit here drinking my hot cocoa
Waiting for Saint Nick to get here

Ice covers the windowpane
The little ones are fast asleep
Waiting for Saint Nick to get here
In a few hours, there'll be wrapping paper on the floor

The little ones are fast asleep
With visions of Santa in their head
In a few hours, there'll be wrapping paper on the floor
And toys sitting around
With visions of Santa in head
I wonder if I've been good this year
With toys sitting around
Have I been good?

The snow is falling and there are carolers at the door
I wonder if I've been good this year
As I sit here drinking my hot cocoa
Waiting for Saint Nick to get here

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Blogmas Christmas Challenge Day 3: The favorite cookie of Jens and Santa Clauses every where

December/Christmas blogging challenge
I'm a cookie addict, and because I'm a cookie addict, my love for Christmas cookies is my top Christmas food. It hasn't even been a year since I've went gluten-free, but I have tried many different cookies in the past year that I could actually pick my favorite cookie. Well almost pick my favorite cookie, before I went gluten-free, it was hard to pick a favorite cookie, so I guess it would be hard to pick my favorite, but now I do think I have my favorite cookies. 

I felt talking about prepackaged cookies felt like cheating, I don't really like prepacked cookies anyway, they always taste too sugary, and you can tell that they're store-bought, there's a huge difference in taste when it comes to cookies. 

My favorite Christmas cookies are peanut butter cookies, especially soft-baked peanut butter cookies. They taste great, are easy to make and because I'm a peanut butter-a-holic, it's worth it to have a peanut butter cookie on Christmas. I know Santa really loves peanut butter cookies, he's told me so. I don't blame him, they are great.

What's not to like about the peanut butter cookies? The ones we make here are gluten-free, vegan, and even banana free. They contain everything a good peanut butter cookie needs, gluten-free flour, sugar, peanut butter, and almond milk. They're almost as good as my husband's newest recipe, vegan almond cookies. I'll be sharing the recipe in a few days after I can get him to prefect the recipe. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

An interview with Freya about my health; questions you wanted to ask but didn't have a chance to

So Freya reminded me that she never had a chance to talk about being my purramedic and my best friend when I'm sick! She says she's ready to talk a little bit about her job title and why she's so important to my health, both mentally and physically.

Me taking care of Monkey, I'm his purramedic too because he's 18 years old in human years! 

Hello human people, Freya here. If you don't know who I am already, I am girl human's cat and every once in a while, I like to blog for the girl human when she's too tired to write something, don't feel good, or if I have something important to say. Most cats don't get the time of day to write about their lives (even if we do have 9 of them).

I actually had girl human ask me a few questions about my job as a purramedic with the best mewdicine ever, today is going to be one of my very first blog posts in conjunction with the girl human. 

My question: Why did you choose to become my purramedic?
Freya's answer: I became a purramedic because if something happened to you I wouldn't have anyone give me cat food. I know human man won't do it right, I need you to do it.

My question: So you don't love me and I'm only there for food?
Freya's answer: Silly girl human, I love you. I was only joking about only being there for the food. I actually like cuddling with you because you seem so sad, you don't move much and you need someone to comfort you. You talked about getting an 'emotional dog' whatever one of those are, and I want to prove to you that you don't need a doggy friend if you have a Freya. 

My question: What do you know about my illnesses?
Freya's answer: I know everything you're telling man human and I know when you're in pain. It's obvious when my human doesn't feel good. I know that you get pains in your head, your body hurts a lot, you get all nervous, and that you're sleepy a lot. I can read emotions because I'm a cat remember! 

My question: If you can read my emotions is that why you don't let man human get close to me when I don't feel good?
Freya's answer: Kind of, I actually protect you because you're my human, and I want to sleep on top of you when I can, I can't sleep on you when man human's around, I don't think it's fair. Even though you're my human, I still love man human so I treat you both equally. 

My question: If you could stop taking care of me would you?
Freya's answer: You mean, if I'm given the option of being a kitty YouTuber like my love Sylvester or if I could write blog posts for you every day would I give up taking care of you? I wouldn't do it. I can have more than one cat job. You know that girl human. I love you.

My question: Did you know you're my second best friend and purramedic? 
Freya's answer: Yeah, you said your kitty cat Rain was a purramedic. She was your best friend before me, I'm okay with that. She did a good job taking care of you, I hope I can be as good of a best friend as your Rain cat was. I'm a good purramedic right?
My answer: Yes Freya you're one of the best purramedics I ever had in my life. You're as good of a best friend and purramedic that my kitty before you was, thank you Freya.

My question: If you could get paid, what would you want me to pay you with?
Freya's answer: Honey bun's and butter. I want both! I don't need money, I don't know how to shop.

Thank you for reading both mine and girl human's interview. Freya said if you guys enjoyed the interview, let her know. She'll do more another day.