Thursday, April 24, 2014

Things They Never Told Me About Blogging

If you're a blogger who is anything like me, you had no idea what blogging really was when you hit that "create new blog" button. I'm not talking about the writing and the posting and the coming up with new shit - obviously being the star LiveJournal-er that I was, I was well versed in the general concept of blogging. Or at least I thought I was.

Fast forward to now and there's just so many things no one told me I would be involved in, or care about, once I started this yoga pants blog thing. And so, today let's just go ahead and discuss some of these things no one ever told me I was going to give a damn about today. You know, the things that should be in the blog start-up booklet they hand out at blog orientation. Or something.

1. You're capable of being speechless. This one is shocking because for as long as I can remember I've always been the chick who couldn't shut up. When I was in grade school my progress reports would always say things like "great learner. enjoys socializing a bit too much.". Leave it to blogging to stomp those comments right into the ground because there are many days I show up here to write and have absolutely nothing to say.

2. You'll have to learn to be consistent. Or at least somewhat consistent. Because, for one, it's kind of assholey to just assume people are going to be waiting for you to post all day. And second, it gives you some sort of "goal" to aim for. Or at least it does for people like me who don't really set too many goals because goals mean I have to get off my ass and somewhat do some work.

3. Blogging is a business. I would have never in ten thousand years believed this, had someone mentioned it to me 10 years ago when I was sobbing over my super tough life as a 16 year old, living in the suburbs of Orlando, on LiveJournal. Fast forward to today and I still can't believe what this blog has become. Bonus points, it's a business you don't have to wear pants to run. Also a business you put eleventy bagillion hours into that you don't get paid for sometimes. A lot of times.

4. People will call your ass out. And sometimes you fuck up and they're right and then sometimes they're just dicks. Either way you just kind of have to take the shit with the good and keep on keeping on. Or you can just force feed all of your posts to your mom and let her tell you how amazing you are, but usually that just ends up giving you a mislead sense of confidence and then your writing will suck and no one will like it. Except for your mom.

5. You're (apparently) supposed to know about things like SEO. I'm still not even confident I know what that stuff means but apparently it's the stuff that makes people find your blog, or something. I've probably put a solid thirty minutes into trying to figure it out over the last 2 years, or so, but after a few glasses of wine it makes even less sense. So then I just go back to the humor section on Pinterest and find dog memes. Because dog memes always make sense.

6. You'll get free stuff. And you can choose to go about it two different ways. The Scott Disick route and be the doucher who brags about your cool free shit all over the place, or you can be The Oprah (had to Google the correct spelling of her name... I lose at life) who just wants errrrybody to get one for free, too, because you're Oprah and you have everything you ever wanted.

Pretty sure that was the worst analogy in the history of analogies ever. 

7. You're going to forget who you are. That's not even a joke right there because there are days when I wake up and I'm just all "who am I? what am I doing? am I David at the dentist right now?". And then I typically do the absolute worst thing I can possibly do, which is go and read a bunch of blogs that further confuse me and make me forget who I am even more. Thus inevitably causing me to write some weird, out of character, post that ends up contradicting the majority of my other posts. Annnnd insert number four here. Doh!

8. There's a lot of blogging "rules". Most of which don't usually make sense unless you've read the books and done all of the research. I've never really been one to follow the rules and blogging hasn't really been an exception to that. Sure, I've tried to put some of the more important rules into place here but usually they end up failing after a few days. Like scheduling posts, backing up things that aren't my azz, and that SEO thing I was talking about earlier, for instance.

9. You'll come across people who pretend to like you. And at first it's like "man, everyone in this place is so nice. no one ever has anything bad to say and they all love everything you do.". And then you remember high school and how all of those friendships worked back then and you realize that you're not really cool at all. Your numbers are your outfit and back in high school if you had a nice outfit people were nice to you (at least that's how things worked at my high school). Well, they were nice to your face... same shit with blogging.

10. You'll come across people who really do like you. And you'll like them too. They'll enjoy the twisted shit you do and laugh at the same dog memes you do. And then you'll become friends and ponies and all of that ends up being really asstasstic.

Honorable mentions include, but aren't limited to: You'll be judged for everything, You'll start to care about stupid shit like Instagram "likes", Passive-aggressive is a second blogging language, Opinions are like assholes, Your inbox will spiral out of control if you don't pay attention to it, Comments are like a small child: they need lots of TLC, It's an emotional rollercoaster - 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Glittered Picture Frame Tutorial

Hey there, party people. Today I've got a tutorial for you, requested by a few of you after I posted a similar photo on Instagram a while back. In normal fashion, it took me a while to get around to putting everything together and making another one but, alas, I'm here and I'm prepared. Imagine that. 

Here's what you need:
Glitter - Love always, Captain Obvious
Picture frame - I really am so helpful
Mod Podge
Paint brush
High gloss finishing spray

Step One: Little by little you want to brush a small portion the frame with Mod Podge.

Step Two: Dump a shit ton of glitter on top of the fresh wet Mod Podge and then shake the excess off on a plate... or whatever floats your boat.

Step Three: Continue with the Mod Podging and glitter dumping until the entire front surface of your frame looks like a unicorn cried happy tears all over it.

Step Four: Repeat all of that stuff I just told you to do on the outer rims of the frame and again on the inside. We're going for maximum sparkle here, friends. 

Warning: The inside will be a complete pain in the ass. I suggest letting the front and outer surfaces to dry before you attempt to glitter the inside. Just take my word for it unless you want gloopy glitter ALL over you and your dog

Step Five: Let everything dry for at least an hour and then Spray it down with the gloss finishing spray so you don't end up with glitter all over the place for the rest of your frame's existence.

Also, I suggest doing step five outside unless you're trying to get high off of rancid smelling shit. Just my suggestion though. You do whatever the hell you want, you crafting diva.

And that's all there is to it. Simple, easy, and a hell of a lot prettier than that plain black frame I started with up there. 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Thing About Time

Headband: Brady Bands  |  Dress: Forever21

I feel like it's been a while since I've actually sat down and just typed on about life and I don't really know why. Especially considering this thing I call "a blog" was built around the idea of discussing my "lifestyle"... or something like that. I suppose that's the thing about life though, you blink your eyes and in an instant you're late for something or you've just full on missed something. There's no time to be clumsy because as soon as you trip you've already lost seconds just trying to get yourself situated again.

Last week something potentially horrifying happened right in front of my eyes. One second, one blink, one missed step, could have turned the situation from potentially happening to becoming real life. I was driving home from work, like any old day, and I had to stop to fill up my car with gas because I was too far passed E to make it home, as per usual. As I headed away from the gas pump I stopped at the mandatory stop sign before pulling out into the busy road I travel to get home. I patiently waited for the light to turn green and for the three cars ahead of me to make their way through.

As I drove towards that light, that had been green for somewhere around 6 seconds, something happened that shook me to my core. A white Suburban, nearly two sizes bigger than the Sportage I drive, came out of nowhere going about 40 miles per hour from the left of me. He came within centimeters of my front bumper just milliseconds after I slammed on my breaks, harder than I think I ever have in my life, and then he proceeded to keep going as if he was the one with the green light. It was like a scene from Cops minus, you know, the cops... the guys I really could have used in that exact moment.

It shook me though, it shook me real good. I couldn't stop my body from shaking and it felt like 30 minutes before I was able to fully catch my breath again. Once I was safe, unharmed, and inside of my house I squeezed bear like I've never squeezed him before and then I just kind of sat there and processed everything that just went down.

One extra step ahead when I was leaving work, one extra mile per hour driven on the way to that gas station, one extra blink of my eyes could have caused me to be that one extra second ahead of where I was in the moment that Suburban came plowing through a red light. He came from the side my drivers seat is on, he would have t-boned me going about 40 miles an hour - right where I was sitting. It was all too close for me and it really does just go to show how precious time is because with just one moment I went from being in danger to completely safe.

That's the thing about time - it can't be saved in a box to reuse later down the road. We have to use every second, for if we don't we'll never get the chance to live them again.

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*Last call for this month's IWYP shirt - Ordering closes tonight at 11:59pm and they will no longer be offered. Also, check out my Instagram for your chance to win next month's shirt and receive it when I get mine!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Agave Balsamic Salmon

I know I've said it here on occasion but I'm going to say it again - cooking seafood isn't my forte. Mostly because it's that one ingredient you can put in my kitchen that I'm really uncomfortable experimenting with. The flavors of seafood are a lot more powerful than chicken, which is pretty much the American standby/comfort zone, as far as being a certified kitchen badass is concerned. 

So, I did what any unstable woman would do - I bought a huge slab of fresh salmon from Costco last time I was there and left it in my freezer for about 3 weeks. Finally last week I braved my chef hat and attempting to concoct a meal that wouldn't send bear and I hugging the toilet bowl an hour after consumption. I know, just call me The Rebellious Chef. Seafood is intimidating though, at least I think it is. Don't worry though, this recipe isn't a tough one and the end result was a pleasant surprise. Also, aside from the salmon, there's a good chance you've got the majority of these ingredients in your house already. 

Anywho, in typical Chez Whit fashion, I grabbed my two go-to items - garlic and balsamic - started building from there and the rest is history.

Here's what you need:
Salmon - Shocking, I know. I think I used around 1 pound but that's a really rough estimate.
3 tbs chopped garlic - As always I use the prechopped, no muss no fuss, chopped garlic in a jar.
1/4 cup Agave Nectar 
2 tbs Balsamic Vinegar - Take a swig while you're at it. It's that good.
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs Thyme - Mine wasn't fresh, just out of the jar, because ain't nobody got time for that.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Here's what you should do with that stuff:
1. Turn your oven on and set it to 375 degrees. Don't let this intense step overwhelm you right off the bat.

2. Plop everything that isn't salmon or salt and pepper into a bowl and mix it all together real good.

3. Make a tin foil bed for your salmon. Then place salmon inside, salt and pepper it, and then dump your balsamic agave mixture all over the top; do your best to evenly distribute the juices. Seal up the foil pack and place that beezy in the oven for around 13-15 minutes, depending on how much junk your salmon has in the trunk.

4. Take it out of the oven and snap pictures for Instagram bragging, as per usual. Enjoy that deliciousness and pat yourself on the back for making delicious salmon.

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