New Year- New Blog Look!

Oh my goodness, y’all… I just love it SO much! I changed the theme on my blog, and it is just so amazing!! I don’t know why I was so apprehensive about doing it… It is a big change and it’s hard to go back if you decide you don’t like it- but as previously mentioned, I LOVE IT!

It’s the Penscratch theme (and did I mention I love it?). It is clean and crisp and lookie there –> My widget I love so much is no longer a hidden hard-to-find pop-out menu. Whoop whoop. I also love that the date and comments are able to be seen at the top of each post on the home page, and all of my pages are listed at the top! The only dislike I have, is the dark blue of the hyperlinks are hard to notice as you are reading, but alas, the rest makes up for it.

I hope you like it, too! Let me know! :)
Oh, happy day!

Blogging Tips and Tricks

Hello, there! Are you a blogger, or new to having a blog?
Whether it’s your New years’ resolution, you’re coming back to a dormant page, or you’re an avid post-maker, here are some tips for all bloggers alike. :)

Now, I don’t have the most ‘successful’ site, in the eyes of others – I don’t have sponsors, or over 1,000 followers, but I have posted 46 heart-felt posts and interacted with some pretty awesome people across the globe because of it since September 2014. Throughout the short lifetime of my blog, I can reflect on some learned tips that could be of use to others.

  • Firstly –Choose your blog name very wisely! – You can’t change this– so even though I am the ‘Texan in South Africa’ that is now back in Texas, that will go back every year for an undisclosed amount of time back to South Africa…. I really think that in hindsight, even though it seemed such a perfect name at the time, I could have picked a less concrete name to have gone with. If you know of a way to change your blog name on your blog- please do tell! I have done a bit of research and it seems the only way is to potentially upgrade to the paid platform or create a whole new blog- which is not an option for me- too many dear posts to lose!
  • Write down a blog schedule – Topics should be those that will inspire you and be easy to manage. Drafting a schedule makes goals- so start with just two posts a week on specific days – do that for a month and then increase to three. And you don’t have to sit down on the Tuesday you want to post- you can do them both on the same Sunday evening and schedule them to post on the days you want!
  • Interact with other blogs! <– This is a biggie! The only way you are Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 12.05.48 PMgoing to increase your blogging confidence (therefore blogging more and completing your posting goals) is by getting a tad bit of traffic and feedback (comments) on your blog! And the only way that is going to happen is to go visit other blogs on your reader – follow a topic, (preferably one that is similar to your blog) pick one (I always pick blogs to read that don’t have thousands of followers- helping the other little guys out!), read it a bit, and then click that follow button – they will be sure to check yours out and then reciprocate that follow to yours! And don’t forget to join in on the conversation and COMMENT on a post! As a blogger speaking to a fellow blogger- comments are the hugs of the blogosphere, are they not?! They are the warm little notifications that someone has read your post you potentially spent hours on, enjoyed it, and taken the time to give you their thoughts back! Which brings me to our next bullet…  Continue reading “Blogging Tips and Tricks”

Happy 1st Day of 2016!

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Except for the fact that it is today instead of tomorrow, and it’s a leap year this year, Brad. ;) so 366 pages.

Oh, happy day! A whole year has come and gone, and a new one has taken its place. People all over the world for the next couple of weeks will be using that eraser to scratch out the ‘5’ and replace it with a ‘6’ for 2016 – I know I will be! I have to remind myself for weeks on end that it’s a new year- almost until the point that it’s the end of that year with a new one on the way again!

Did you notice on the home page? I changed the year on the copyright! It looks like i’m entering my third calendar year of blogging! Whoop whoop! I can’t wait for all that 2016 will bring- good and exciting things indeed- and I wish the same for you, too!

 

As far as resolutions are concerned, I can’t remember the last time that I sat down and wrote some out on a January 1st, so why not now? I am sitting, after all…

Victoria’s 2016 Resolutions/Goals:
Be more patient.
Be more kind.
Be less critical of myself and others.
Develop better time management. (Although i’m sure this will come on its own as soon as this school semester starts- yep, you read that right- school semester- stay tuned for that update..)
Bring pilates back into my life as a daily routine. – this will require the purchasing of some mat equipment.
Start running. (cliché, yes, I know… i’m sure that of all of the lists written across the globe today, this is probably the most common one, but it’s always a good one!)
-Hunt more. (duh)
-Join a Texas IDPA group
-Get my concealed handgun license.
-Curse less. (it’s a problem, i’ll admit)
-Take. More. Pictures!!
-Become a more confidant swimmer.
-Take a beach vacation.
-Read more (going back to time management…)
-Wake up earlier
-Stop settling for throwing my hair in a bun- appearances matter!
-Eat out less.
-Plan our meals- and buy accordingly.
-Create a financial budget.
-Get more crafty.
and last but not least,
-Blog more!

What are your New Years’ resolutions or goals? Do we have any that are the same?

Until next time!
I hope you had a most blessed and wonderfully refreshing January 1st, 2016!

P.s
As previously mentioned (again), I have been absent as of late due to the crazy busyness of life. A couple of things that I (we) have done in the last couple of weeks, includes remodeling a small house, surviving family encounters throughout the holiday season, and going hunting (although unsuccessfully) a couple of times. It even snowed while we were in the blind- in Del Rio of all places!

The air was so pretty filled with all of the dainty dancing white specks, and the Whitetail Deer looked to be having some fun with it, too.

 

Update; NaBloPoMo Results

Well hello, hello there, long-lost friends!

As previously mentioned in my last post – we have been so busy since landing back in Texas- and I mean exceptionally busy! We have done our own tiling, flooring, paving, and all sorts of other remodeling projects. We are still getting our clothes out of a suitcase every day, but I do finally get a kitchen sink and cabinets installed in TWO days!
Bietjie bietjie maak baie! (← one of my most favorite Afrikaans sayings, and it translates to ‘little by little, makes a lot’!)
Moving to another country always has its little battles! Still on my list is to sort out medical insurance and university documents- but I am registered for classes! Bachelors of Arts of Interdisciplinary Studies, here I come! ….but give me a year and a half. :)

As for NaBloPoMo: Continue reading “Update; NaBloPoMo Results”

Blog Stats

Hello again! Two days in a row- I haven’t failed at NaBloPoMo, yet! Whoop!

While taking part in this challenge, I want to see if posting more often produces more traffic to my blog- or if longer article-like posts less often (as I have done before), have similar results.

Here are what my stats looked like for 2015, on Sunday evening the 1st of November, just before starting NaBloPoMo. Continue reading “Blog Stats”

The Versatile Blogger Award: Facts About Me

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An award?! Someone nominated me for an award?!

I am so flattered- not only that I have been nominated with my few amount of posts, but also that someone diligently reads and enjoys my blog! So, thank you ever so much, Natasja of Her Arrow Points North! Be sure to check her blog out- it’s California awesomeness.

The Versatile Blogger Award was put together to “Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”. My blog nominations below are just a couple of my favorites. I always look forward to reading their posts because of the great information they share, awesome pictures, life blunders, new products, as well as finding out the similarities we may have in common even though we come from completely different backgrounds.

Even though my “About Me” is quite detailed, here are some facts you may not know:

  1. Ek kan Afrikaans praat… maar ek het nog baie om te leer. ;)
    Translation: “I can speak Afrikaans, but I still have a lot to learn.”
  2. I can make most Mexican food from scratch, but have yet to master the corn tortilla.  Continue reading “The Versatile Blogger Award: Facts About Me”

This thing called a ‘blog’.

Hello there kind reader.
Once again, thank you for taking time out of your day to read the words I write.
Speaking of that, do you know how long it takes to formulate a blog post and incorporate all of the niceties such as format and pictures? A long time.

It takes at minimum, about 2 hours per (normal, long) post to get everything done. (Not including the time I spend reloading my own website, re-reading, and editing for the next week…) Now, while I enjoy doing this all, and really do so for my own form of entertainment, it is still really nice to see visitors and feedback to a post. It feels great to know that people are reading my blogs, and even better to get a comment or two.

So, to those of you who have commented previously, I give you a big virtual hug and “Thank You!”- it means a lot to me and provides (sometimes much needed) encouragement to spend another span of time writing the next post. :)

Thanks again for reading!

Diverse Gauteng

As I delve into all of the different areas of South Africa over the next couple of weeks, I thought it would be best to start at home, with the Gauteng province.

Oh, Gauteng, such a unique province you are.
It truly has so much to offer and is extremely different from one area to the next- even just traveling a mere 40 kilometers away.

We live just outside of Pretoria, so obviously that is where we spend most of our time, and therefore where I know most about.

I would like to think I’m not biased, but I am. I love Pretoria.
The Jacaranda trees lining the street in full bloom in spring is something that everyone should see first hand.

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IMG_3021   Continue reading “Diverse Gauteng”

Marrying and Moving to South Africa- Tips and Experiences

*Updated to include DISCLAIMER:
The following blog post is in no way meant to provide any individual with specific advice. An immigration specialist, or the South African Department of Home Affairs should always be contacted directly for advice. The following describes my experience from August 2013-July 2014, and laws and/or protocol could vary greatly depending on your specific case details and/or method and/or place of application.

Original Blog Post:
If any of the following seems boring or provides you with stress, anxiety, or headaches- just remember that I actually did it all- and if you are contemplating taking the same route, I pray for your emotional well-being.

If you are one of the few that wishes to marry in and/or move to South Africa, this is going to be the best thing you’ll ever read, and I will be your new best friend. You’re welcome. Continue reading “Marrying and Moving to South Africa- Tips and Experiences”

An Introduction

Here I am!
Married in March, and only now do I decide to start documenting this transitional time in my life.
Thinking about it, I don’t know at what future date our lives will cease to be transitional. College, dating, moving, paperwork and visas, marriage, more paperwork and visas, moving again, babies, paperwork, babies while moving, paperwork….. Paperwork, changes, dishes, and laundry, are about the only constants we can count on.

I decided to start a blog because it seemed more sensible to me than buying yet another journal, that I will write in approximately 8 times a year. Detailed entries, yes. Good handwriting and commitment to writing frequently, no. However, one thing I am diligent with using on a daily basis, is my handy-dandy, world-connecting, handheld device- my iPhone. So a blog, a public journal, if you will, sounded more reasonably suited for documenting my thoughts and experiences. Plus, there is so much less anxiety in publishing a blog post that was written with a public audience in mind, than carrying around a journal filled with personal thoughts. (Flashback to Jr. High when schoolmates found my journal. *shudder* ) Continue reading “An Introduction”