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”

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”

Life in Limbo

It isn’t unusual for the week before our international departure to be a bit hectic; our lives go into a kind of limbo, even more than it usually is…

There are countless things to do:
*Get rid of all of the perishables from the fridge and pantry.
*Clean. the. whole. house.
*Service and prepare our vehicles that will be driven very minimally for the following months.
*Pack all clothes we want to take with us- which is always an immense hoard of winter clothing…
*Decide on and pack all of the other things we do or don’t want to bring with us- Mountain bikes? Bow? Mohair Coat? Play Station? Fishing Poles?
*and, the most difficult of all to manage- Spending time with family and friends. Continue reading “Life in Limbo”

Never-ending Laundry

Laundry is just one of those never-ending chores.
Laundry, Dishes, Sweeping, Mopping… As soon as you thought they were done, they are ready to be done all over again.

When I first moved to South Africa, I wasn’t too pleased with the fact that no one uses tumble dryers here- everyone hangs their clothes out on drying racks.

But shortly thereafter, I fell in love with laundry all over again. Continue reading “Never-ending Laundry”

A Lifetime of Decisions

We make decisions every minute of everyday.
Conscious ones, unconscious ones, all the time.
Some we are thankful for for the rest of our lives.
Some we regret for the rest of our lives.
But every one, even the smallest one, does effect us.
Forgetting our keys and walking back inside the house?
Those two minutes could have saved you from a life-altering car crash, or put you in one. Continue reading “A Lifetime of Decisions”

Aunt June’s Peach Cobbler

Because it’s Friday, we had company over, and in preparation for that I spent most of the day getting the house and everything else ready for making lots of pizza, so I didn’t really have just a whole bunch of time on my hands to sit down and think up a subject for a post much less write one.
So, you all get the recipe for what I made and served for dessert.
Lucky you, I made my Great Aunt June’s Famous Peach Cobbler.

Now, if you aren’t from Texas, you may not know what a cobbler is. My friends that just left our house here in South Africa told me it was like a pudding…. If you are from Texas, don’t take offense to that- they have odd ‘puddings’. Think bread pudding. :)

Regardless of what you do or don’t know about it, trust me when I say it is pure awesomeness and you need to make it. It’s super easy, and you probably have everything you need right in your pantry and fridge.

Now, just one more note… I failed completely at getting a final product picture. :( It got gobbled before I thought about taking one. Sorry about that…

Continue reading “Aunt June’s Peach Cobbler”

My Hunting Dream List

One of the things that comes with being a part of the global hunting community, is a vast knowledge of species around the globe, and therefore a big hunting ‘bucket list’.
(much to my husbands’ wallets’ dismay..) ;)

So, without further ado, here is a simple, yet comprehensive, list of the species I would like to hunt during my lifetime.
More than likely, I will only ever be able to hunt about 10% of this list- but i’ll be more than happy with whatever I am ever able to have the opportunity to take.
The asterisk (*) means it is a priority species for me. Continue reading “My Hunting Dream List”

Afrikaans Language History

Have you ever heard of the Afrikaans Language?
No?? Well, it is a pretty big deal over here.

South Africa has 11 national languages:  Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
However, English, Afrikaans, and Zulu are the most widely used across the rainbow nation.

Learning any language is always a good decision- it enables you not only to connect more intimately with other cultures, but also to know what people are saying when they think you are just the average American tourist. :)
If you are visiting South Africa any time soon, I suggest learning some Afrikaans phrases, as well as knowing the commonly used terms.

So, some history on the Afrikaans language:
(A bietjie geskiedenis op die Afrikaanse taal.) Continue reading “Afrikaans Language History”

The Hunting Topic and its Controversy

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One of my greatest passions is hunting –
and why do I have to be afraid to say that?

I am new to the Twitter-Sphere and I have been trying to learn how to utilize it for our businesses, as well as for personal purposes. There is a Twitter site (do you call it a site?) @AverageHunter and they do a weekly hashtag that is very popular called #TrophyTuesday. I have participated in that hashtag a couple of times, once with a picture of me and my ducks, and once with a picture of me and my Axis Deer.
A few days after the last #TrophyTuesday I did, which happened to be of my ducks, I got a notification. (It’s easy for me to check each one because traffic on my twitter account is quite rare.) It was a notification of someone that had re-tweeted my Axis picture.
I clicked on the account of the re-tweeter and it was @Blueskyemining.
Doesn’t sound like a hate page, right?
As I scrolled through their twitter page, I saw countless re-tweets of hunting, but not in a good sense. One common re-tweet I came across was originally from a man who posted edited pictures of hunting where he included the hunters/huntresses name, work address, and work phone number, encouraging people to get them fired.  I mean… the only appropriate response to that is “What the french toast??”.
Needless to say, I blocked them and deleted my tweet faster than you could say ‘Hot Tamales’. Continue reading “The Hunting Topic and its Controversy”

Young International Married Couple: Common Questions

There are all sorts of assumptions and questions that people have when you are a young married couple:

“I could never get married so young.”
“Don’t you think you should have enjoyed your youth?”
“Shouldn’t you have dated more to have a better idea of what you want?”
“So, when are the babies coming? You shouldn’t wait too long, you know.”

But when you are a young internationally married couple- Ohmygoodness.
The questions. (said with an eye twitch)
Sometimes, they are just too much for me to handle – mostly because they are always the same and I have answered them to many different people many times. I mean, show some originality! Just kidding… but really.
Below are some common questions that really tend to irk me. Continue reading “Young International Married Couple: Common Questions”

NaBloPoMo: Confession

Since I am new to the National Blog Posting Month, I have to admit, I was a bit misled in what it’s all about. Since it is called the National Blog Posting Month, I was under the assumption that this was a one month a year thing- as it turns out, I was wrong. There is a NaBloPoMo every month.

AND to top it off, since the suggested blog prompts on the Blog Her site are only on weekdays… I also thought that those were the only posting days. Wrong-o! Its EVERY. DAY.  Oy vey.

So, i’m not ending my challenge just yet, peeps- but this may be more difficult than I imagined.

Good news is, if it’s really successful and I really enjoy it (as it has been so far) I don’t have to wait a whole year to try it all again! I can do the challenge every six months, every other month, or just when I feel I have all my creativity coming the the brink of explosion. :)

International Travel: Flying Habits

Hello there again! We booked our plane ticket back to Texas last night, and it got me to thinking about how much of a seasoned international traveler I am. Traveling a lot is one of the things that goes hand-in-hand with having an international marriage.

Because of this, I know airport call signs by heart, which airlines have the best food and entertainment, time zone differences off the back of my hand, and I have my passport and frequent flier numbers memorized – for myself and my husband.
Last but not least, another skill that comes with traveling often- I am an expert packer. I know exactly how to pack our check-in bags and what to carry on the plane, both in my carry-on luggage in the overhead bin, and what I want in my purse within easy arm reach.

After 12 transcontinental flights, you get a bit of a gist for what you need on the flight and a timeline of how to survive it best. Continue reading “International Travel: Flying Habits”

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”

#NaBloPoMo- say what?

No, that is not the phonetic spelling of me speaking with my mouth full, it’s an acronym of sorts that stands for “National Blog Posting Month”.

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NaBloPoMo is a very popular challenge amongst bloggers during November of every year where the participants pledge to write a blog post every week day throughout the month. It was originally started by Blog Her –> on this link to her website, you will find a list of participants who have registered for the challenge- I’m number 348 of 494 who have registered so far! Continue reading “#NaBloPoMo- say what?”