Saturday, July 20, 2019

Faith Like That

I could see his hands were shaking
As he took the microphone
He said my little boy's not gone
He’s just gone home

Then opened up his Bible
And read from John 14
He said, I'm here to celebrate his life
Not grieve

It hurts how bad I miss him
But what better place to be?
He’s with his other Father
Who loves him more than me

I want to have faith like that
Let it be who I am
I want to see the bigger picture
And trust it’s in God’s hands
I want have faith
I want to faith like that

Well I walked up to him after
Not real sure what to do
I hugged him,
But wondered who was hugging who?

Before I could say I’m sorry
He said, It’s gonna be alright
And as we stood there
I could almost hear Him smile

I thought I could give him comfort
Yeah, I thought I believed
I went there for him
But, he was there for me

I want to have faith like that
Let it be who I am
I want to see the bigger picture
And trust it’s in God’s hands
I want have faith
I want to faith like that

I want to walk the walk
Not just talk the talk
I want to make it who I am

I want have faith
Yea I want to faith like that

Saturday, July 13, 2019

For the Love of Instrumentals

How are y'all doing on this fine Saturday? (Or at least, I'm assuming it's a fine Saturday? I don't know, I'm scheduling this post, haha) It seems like just yesterday that I wrote my last post. (Don't forget to submit your farming questions, by the way!)

Anyway, today I'm here talking about instrumental music. Because it's far too underappreciated. I love instrumentals—just ask my sis. Actually, I'm listening to one just as I speak (or type . . . ?)!

There are so many different kinds of instrumentals. Orchestral, classical, and bluegrass, among others . . . but today I'm gonna talk about my favorites. ;)

So first off, lemme just give you a couple of artists: Andy Leftwich and Craig Duncan.
Okay, I'm in love with their songs. Andy Leftwich is so talented (I can only hope to play mandolin like he does some day . . . ), and his songs are sooooo catchy! Here's a couple of my favorites:

Why do I love Craig Duncan's music? Maybe it's because he does such a variety of genres and songs! I mean, he does Celtic music (for which I have a minor obsession)

And bluegrass

And even songs from the Civil War (from both the North and South)

And he's got several tribute albums, but I'll just share a couple from his Elvis and Frank Sinatra albums . . .

And, just for good measure . . . POLKA!

He's got a bunch of others, but I'll spare you. ;)
Now let's just appreciate the beauty of some random instrumentals . . .

Whatcha think? Do you love instrumentals as much as I do?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Give Us Your Farming Questions

Have you ever had those questions about farming that have been driving you insane, but could never get them answered? Or maybe you're just mildly curious. Well, go no further! This time, I'm here asking for your questions about farming!

Comment with those questions nagging at the back of your mind, and if I can't answer, I'll have one of the guys (or maybe more, depending on who I can get to agree) come as a guest to answer them for you! As with the advice posts we've done in the past, I can't promise that they'll all get answered, but it's worth a shot, yes?

You have until Wednesday, July 17, to submit your questions.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Field Meals + Blog Updates

Wheat harvest is in full swing! I don't know about you, but I'm kinda in denial that summer is officially here already, and that the longest day of the year is past. I mean, seriously, didn't we just have Easter? And Mother's Day? Like, yesterday?

Okay, I'll stop talking about how time has flown. One of these days, I'll cut it out of my posts completely.


ANYWAY. If your family is like mine, meals eaten in the house occur less and less frequently. With the guys constantly outside, more and more of the meals we make need to be taken outside. If the guys were to come in for every meal, it would cut quite a bit of time out of their work schedule. So pretty much every day during the summer, we pack their suppers, and during harvest, we pack lunches as well.

It can be super hard to take meals to the field; the guys eat on the go, so we can't exactly throw some spaghetti into a container, hand them a fork, and send them on their way, can we?

So if you're ever in this predicament, never fear! Here's some short tips that can go a long way when it comes to packing meals to eat on the go.

Pockets. Probably nearly half of the meals we take to the field are pockets. Cross Schwan's hot pockets with bierocks, and you've got pockets! Make bread dough, roll it out on your countertop (or cutting mat, in my case . . . ), cut it into squares, add the stuffing you like, fold the corners together, and bake! These are perfect because not only are they one-handed and practically mess-free, but you can add so many combinations of stuffings! BBQ, pizza, Alfredo, etc., with any kind of meat you like—just don't forget the cheese. Cheese really makes these babies amazing.

Pizza. Now, this isn't ideal. But if you're desperate for something different, take two pieces of pizza and put them together in a baggie, topsides together. This tends to be a bit messier, but making a sandwich out of it helps.

Wraps. No, don't just slap some cheese & ham on a slab of bread. I mean, you could. We've done it ourselves. But you want some really good wraps? Cheese, cream cheese, ham, lettuce, onion (bleck—I'm the only one in our family that doesn't like onions), and tomato. Can't forget the tomato—just ask my brothers. But you don't only have to use ham! Turkey, chicken and roast beef work great too. Or, if you wanted a variation of wraps (because, c'mon, wraps can get really old really fast), make quesadillas! If you make them with two whole tortillas and cut them into quarters, they fit into sandwich baggies really well.

Burgers. There's . . . nothing special that you can really do with these, I guess . . . but I thought they were worth mentioning. Because, I mean, burgerssssss. What's not to like?? (One thing that we tried though that was a smashing success with the guys was to caramelize the onions with barbecue sauce before putting them on the burgers. They loved it.) I will say, though, that wrapping them in paper towels makes them taste better. I'm not kidding. It's weird, but true! Maybe just the way it keeps the moisture inside.

Leftovers. If we have enough meat, we like to make extras of ^^aforementioned stuff. Pockets, especially. They freeze epically and are so easy to take out of the freezer and pop in the oven if you're ever short on time.

If you've got hungry guys in the field, or your summer is just super busy and you have to eat on the run, I hope this is a help to you!
Now, for the blog updates.

I've created an author blog! You can find it here. If you're following me because of all my bookish posts and writing updates, you'll want to follow me there. Why? Well, after much thought, I've decided to make my new blog my book blog, and Twin Thoughts will remain solely a lifestyle blog. (But, I mean, books are a huge part of my life, so that might bleed into these posts a liiiiiitle bit . . . ) So if you're following me for the posts other than the bookish stuff, then you'll want to stay here. ;) So, yeah, no more updates here for Beloved. If you want to continue following my publishing journey, follow my author blog.

I'm excited to see where this leads! Thank you, my loyal followers, for all your support!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cover Reveal {The Divided Nation by Angela Watts}

I'm back with another cover reveal! This time, though, it's not for a book of my own, but for the lovely Miss Angela Watts. And my, is it a beauty!

I'm currently reading Seek by Miss Watts, and she has a knack for writing both endearing characters, and suspense. (I mean, car chases! And Asher! Need I say more?)

Anyway, this August she's planning to release the first book in her brand-new dystopian series, The Infidel Books!

About The Divided Nation:
The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and United Nations officials thrive. George Johnston is a powerful ganglord of his own rising empire, but his son, West, refuses to continue the family legacy. Unable to run, West must become his father to defeat him.

One of the last remaining townships in America, Springtown fights to survive the nation’s destruction. The Fisher family begins an alliances with gangsters Nate Savage and Simon Bucks in exchange for town supplies. When Mr. Fisher’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped and her Union officer brother leaves her for dead, Nate and Simon must risk all to save her.

Told in a bold, abrasive narrative, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world and faith without courage is revealed to be dust in the wind.

I'm so excited to read this book when it's released!

And now, the moment for which we've all been waiting! (Ha, notice the proper grammar I used? #likeaboss)


*All the heart eyes*

Now I can't wait to see the cover for book two . . . XD

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The 10 Book Questions Tag {Feat. Kara}

Yep, another tag. And a bookish one, too. Doesn't get much better than that, right??

So, anyway, I was tagged by Brooklyne at Showers of Blessings for this tag (actually I thought it looked really cool so I commented on her post and she tagged me . . . minor details) for what's originally called the 20 Book Questions Tag, buuuut there's only 10 questions. So, without further ado, I present . . .

The Rules:
-Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you, Brooklyne!)
-Answer the questions you were asked.
-Nominate at least 5 bloggers.
-Give them 10 questions to answer! 

So, before we get to the questions, here is where I will allow Kara to pop in and say hello!

Hey guyssssss!

Okay, now that formalities are over, the questions!

1. What genre do you read the most?
Originally I'd say historical fiction, but recently I've branched into contemporary quite a bit. I'm finding it hard to pick between the two anymore. ;)

I read mostly historical fiction, but I have read several contemporary series that I loved. I'll read pretty much anything with horses! ;P

2. Do you prefer books that are in a series?
Oh, yes. Especially if I love the first book. I mean, who doesn't want to read more books about the characters they fall in love with? I especially love it when the main character in one series becomes a side character in a different series by the same author, or vice versa.

Definitely. Absolutely. Completely. I love series, because you can get to know the characters better. Honestly, I'll be in the middle of a series, and I'll just start lecturing one of the characters for something they do or say in the book. Like fighting with a sibling, or complaining about something one of the other characters did— I'll just be like, "They did that to help you, ya know! Just stuff it!"... Yeah..... I have problems.

Yes, you have many problems.

3. On average, how many books do you read a month?
Ummmm . . . I used to read probably 7 or 8 books in a month . . . but lately it's probably been closer to 4 or 5. Or less. Which is a very, very sad fact. But I just joined NetGalley last month (it's amaze, y'all), and I've been reading a bit more since then.

Probably around 4 to 6, depending on how much I like the book. Once I read a series that I  totally loved, I ended up reading about 1 a day... but the books were pretty short!

. . . pfft, you never read that much. I read more than you; how do you read more books than me?!

Your books are about twice as long as mine, and I had a lot of extra time during that week, and you've been writing more than me. Satisfied? :D

Mmm . . . for now.

4. What is the last book you rated 5 stars?
*Checks Goodreads* Guyssss *cries* I haven't rated a book 5 stars since February! The closest I've come is 4.5 stars. Hide and Seek by Jeff Strueker and Alton Gansky was soooo amazing. I don't give many books 5 stars. ;)

I have never physically rated anything, but in my mind... I would have to say Price of Truth by Susan K. Marlow! *Heart eyes with drool running down my chin* This book is SOOO amazing! Guys, I just can't describe!

5. First person or third person? Past or present narrative?
Ohh man . . . I don't know! I think my favorite to read is 3rd person, past tense. But Beloved is 1st person, present tense, so I obviously love writing it. So, I mean, that's pretty close up there. ;)

3rd person, past tense. But then again, I haven't read much 1st person, or present tense.

6. What book do you relate to the main character the most?
I honestly can't think of anyone right off the top of my head except Andi from the Circle C series. Our likes/preferences are pretty much opposite, but our personalities are so similar it's almost scary. ;)

Definitely I would say Sadie from the Sadie Rose Adventures by Hilda Stahl. I'm also a lot like Andi, but I would almost say I'm more Chad. 

*Smirks* Most definitely. Pretty sure you talk more than Chad, though. Probably more than Chad and Sadie combined.


7. What is the most over-used plot twist that drives you crazy?
Ughh, when two characters who hate each other and end up falling in love. Can't stand it.

Same. Especially when they fall into a life-or-death situation and realize that they can't live without each other. *Shudders*

8. Name three books that you absolutely love the cover design.
Chosen by a horse by Susan Richards, is my favorite cover. SO BEAUTIFUL! I started the book, and didn't care for it, but then again I didn't get very far into it.

From Ashes to Honor by Loree Lough. I've never read it, but I fell in love with the cover when I saw it!

I actually read From Ashes to Honor . . . not really recommended. ;P

Seek by Angela R. Watts is just... WOW!! It's simple but SO AMAZING! 

Yessss, I'm currently reading Seek and it's so good so far!!

It was hard for me to choose between Seek, As in Olden Days by Jesseca Wheaton, Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts, and Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense... Yes Kaitlyn, your cover is beautiful.

Dawwww, thanks ^-^

Don't let it go to your head. ;P

Mmkay, sure. Anyway, now for my three favorites! (This is my favorite question of the whole tag ^-^)
First of all, we've got Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. It's so, so gorgeous, y'all. Liiiiike . . . *alllll the heart eyes*

Next up—Gunner's Run by Rick Barry! Like, seriously, what's not to like??

If they have 1. American flags 2. horses or 3. bullets or guns... they have to be beautiful!

As evidenced in your favorite covers, of course.
Now, for my third cover . . . so hard to pick! But I choose Unblemished by Sara Ella. It's so . . . well, for lack of a better word . . . beautiful. You, Squirt, might call it too frilly. I mean, it doesn't have guns or flags on it. But it's still super pretty. ;)

Or horses. Can't forget the horses.

Mmm, yeah, sure. Can't forget them.

There is just one thing that all the covers are missing that would totally blow them off the chart though. It would make them bestsellers all over the world!


My face. :D

No comment.

9. What book series would you recommend to your best friend?
That is like asking a mother which of her kids is her favorite! I could narrow it down to—in no particular order—Horses and Friends by Miralee Ferrel, Sadie Rose Adventures by Hilda Stahl, Winnie the Horse Gentler by Dandi Daley Mackall, Circle C Adventures by Susan K. Marlow, and last but not least, Phantom Stallion by Terri Farley!

I agree with Kara. It's awful to pick just one! But, since her too long list has the series I would've said (Circle C Adventures/Milestones), I'll say the Sgt. Major Eric Moyer series by Jeff Strueker & Alton Gansky. If you follow me on Goodreads, you've heard me talk about this series more than once, and you'll hear me talk about it again. Intense. Clean. Faaaabulousnesssss.

10. A book that you liked a side character better then the main character.
Tyler from Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy. Seriously, y'all, I liked Ezra and all, but Tyler needs love. And I shall give it to him. XD

I'm only on my second book, but from the one I'm currently reading and the one I already read, in Sisters in Time I like side characters way better.

I hope y'all enjoyed the tag fullllll of books. Books make me happy. *grins*

I tag:

Kara has helped me come up with questions for you:

1. What are three of your favorite book covers?
2. What is one of your favorite book series?
3. Do you prefer new books or the classics?
4. What is your least favorite book cover?
5. On your physical bookshelf, what is the 17th book in line (if you have that many)?
6. What is your favorite genre to read? If historical, which era?
7. Do you prefer paperbacks or ebooks?
8. Do you prefer matte or glossy covers?
9. What is a book on your shelf that you'll probably never read?
10. In your opinion, what object or color just really improves a cover?

If this tag looks fun, drop me a comment and consider yourself tagged, too! ;)

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer Vibes

I don't know about where you live, but here, summer seems to be making an early arrival. (Oh, who am I kidding? It's nearly mid-June already. I'm in denial.)

What makes it feel like summer?

>>Putting my hair on top of my head, rolling up my sleeves, and sweating to death out in the garden<<

>>Late nights<<

>>Farm equipment driving by<<

>>Screaming (not literally) down the highway in the bro's truck, music blaring (bass all the way up of course)<<

>>80-90 degree weather<<

>>Lawn mower roaring<<

>>Picking mulberries with lil' munchkins and watching them cover their faces with juice<<

>>Shedding puppy<<

>>Bucket calves<<

>>Goatlets shouting and playing king of the hill<<

>>Sno cones<<

There's so much more that I could say . . . but that's the gist of it. (Also I'm kinda writing this last minute so I don't have a lot of things right off the top of my head so yeah)

What kind of summer vibes have you been getting?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Cover Reveal {Beloved + Freedom}



Nah, I'm not excited. It just seems that way.


I've made so many covers for this baby that I loved, and thought that would be the final, but then realized that no, it wasn't the right one. But y'all, I've finally got one I'm utterly in love with.

You're chomping at the bit to see this baby, yes? Well, don't let me hold you back any longer! *drum roll* I now present to you . . .


About the book:

Life hurts.

Cara Richards just doesn’t care anymore. Alone and unloved, she decides that there’s only one response to the nightmare that has become her life.

When an unwelcome intervention disrupts Cara’s plans, her life is changed in a way that she never imagined. Regardless of how tough she believes herself to be, she’s unprepared for another foster family. She’s even less prepared for five foster brothers, one of whom is convinced that God is the answer to all of her problems. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her life continues to spiral into a world full of questions.

Is death really the answer? Does God actually care? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?

Nope, not excited at all . . .

So, as something super fun, Faith and I each ordered a copy of our books just for this special occasion! In case, ya know, you'd like to see the spine, back, and a bit of the inside. ;)

Prepare to be bombarded with pics because I'm kinda in love with this and I did a photo shoot on a GORGEOUS evening.

*allllll the heart eyes*

'Cause, I mean, ya gotta see the back. It's almost more beautiful than the front, in my opinion
Shouldn't put the author name in black . . . oh well
*More heart eyes*
My first attempt at formatting! I'm pretty pleased with it, myself. ;) If only this were the final draft...

And of course, what authoress would I be if I didn't take a selfie with my book, messy hair and all?

*squeals* *screams* Isn't it so beautiful??

If you'd like to see Faith's equally-beautiful cover (well, I mean, I'm kinda in love with mine, but I mean, hers is amazing too), visit her post! Seriously, y'all. It's g o r g e o u s.

There are also a good number of people helping us spread the news—and the covers!
Thank you to Rebekah M.VictoriaFaith B., KaraIsabel, KassieMollyAnitaA. KayleeLilyNeeyRebekah A.AngelaIzzyKaitlyn S.ShineMerieRoseAbigail, and Elizabeth, for sharing the covers on your blogs! And another huge thank you to Kara, Raechel, Julia, Libby, A. Kaylee, Brooklyne, Neey, Victoria, Angela, Faith L., Faith B., Rosalyn, Karissa, Rose, and Joshua, the people who shared them on both Facebook and Instagram! To find their posts, look up this hashtag: 


One more thing before you go—as I've mentioned before, Faith and I are co-releasing late this summer. We've got a date for the blog tour, as well as a graphic! Be on the lookout for the sign-ups this summer.

Thanks for stopping by, y'all!
What's your opinion on the cover(s)? Which of my (epic) pictures is your favorite?
What's one of your favorite indie (self-published) covers?

Saturday, May 25, 2019

7 Tips for New Bloggers

If you're new to the blogosphere, and if you're like me, you're jumping into it headfirst without doing your research. Because I'm one of those people who likes to figure things out as I go along—for me, blogging has basically been a trial-and-error process. And now, after blogging for nearly three years, do I regret that? Yes. One of the things that really turned me away from research was that I was so overwhelmed with where to start. My amazing sister-in-law gave me a book about blogging, and amazing points for starting my own blog, but in typical fashion, I didn't want to read through an entire book in order to learn how to blog.

So if this is you, let me give you some advice, blogger to blogger, so maybe you can learn from my mistakes.

1. Take your time in naming your blog.
If you suddenly decide to create a blog and just make up a random name so you can get started, you're more than likely to change the name later, causing a lot of confusion. Be patient, make a list of options, brainstorm with your bestie. But be careful and choose a name you know you'll be happy with for a long time. I've thought about changing the name of Twin Thoughts several times; I honestly don't know if it's as catchy as I'd first thought, or if I even like it that much anymore. but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I shouldn't. Because Twin Thoughts has been Twin Thoughts for nearly 3 years. If I wrote an entire blog post explaining why I changed it, that post would just get buried beneath all the dozens of other posts I'd write later, and I'd probably lose some followers over it simply because they don't recognize the blog name and think that they followed the wrong blog by mistake.

So, stick with your title and set your mind on it, or create a new blog. But don't go make a new blog. Because if you don't like the title you have, there's a good chance you won't like your new one a few years down the road. (plus the aforementioned confusion.)

A tip for coming up with your blog's title, though—don't make it long. Twin Thoughts actually started out as Twin Thoughts: The Ramblings of a Country Twin. Catchy, huh? 

Eh, no.

Wayyyy too long. And fortunately, I realized that early on and simply shortened the title to Twin Thoughts, having The Ramblings of a Country Twin as the subtitle . . . tagline . . . whatever you want to call it. Then, of course, I became discontent with that tagline and it eventually evolved into The Writing & Rambling of a Farmer's Daughter. It sums up both who I am, and what the blog is mostly about.

2. Pick a theme and stick with it. When I started, like I said, I had no idea what I was doing. I created a cute-looking blog that I was thrilled with, and it looked much like this one:

But I was so excited about blogging that I wanted to have fun and change my blog's look. So I changed it. And I changed it again, and again. It was so much fun! But the problem is, I kept changing my blog's look a lot. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but you really need a look that captures the heart of your blog, not just what looks cool. A fresh look is nice every once in awhile, but don't overwhelm your followers with an overload of new designs! They might think they followed the wrong blog if you suddenly changed it! ;) Plus, if you're concentrated too much on what your blog looks like, you tend not to pay as much attention to the quality of the content.

So what I'm saying is, no, changing your blog's look isn't bad. But don't make a habit of it.

Speaking of content, if you decide to change that, that's a whole other ball game. Going with the previous point of keeping your title, if you want to change your entire blog—both content and title—then I would say, by all means, make the new blog.

But for Pete's sake, don't be fickle, people!

3. Keep it uniform.
If you're constantly changing the format of the posts, or have different fonts for everything, it tends to give the appearance of a lack of organization, and who wants to read a disorganized blog? That's something I've struggled a lot with on my blog. My header was one font, my gadget titles another, my post titles another, my graphic fonts another. Now, here is where I give you just my personal preference. You don't have to have the same fonts for everything. No, really, you don't! Do I think you should? To some extent, yes. You want your blog to look as neat as possible, right? (if that's not the case, then maybe you should stop reading this post . . . ) If so, then yes, using similar fonts is my recommendation. Do you have to use similar fonts for everything? Well, no, I mean, like I said, this is just my personal preference. Maybe it's just the graphic designer coming out in me, but when I check out a new blog, I like it to look like the blogger has her mind all made up on what her blog is: fonts matching, graphics similar (but I mean, if you make gorgeous graphics, you might persuade me otherwise, like this young lady right here), text breaks the same (if you're gonna use asterisks, great, if you're gonna use an image, great—just don't use both), font sizes the same, etc.

One thing about graphics, though—I wouldn't recommend what I did. I started out with no graphics, then random graphics, then uniform graphics, then a different kind of uniform graphics. My point? I changed my mind. A lot. Not recommended, peeps. Like I said, it tends to show a lack of organization—or at least, in my case, it did. ;)

4. Make your blog reader-friendly.
Imagine if you were a visitor to your blog. What would you want to see? People may want to get to know you a bit better before following you—put up an 'about me' page ASAP. Don't have time to write up an entire page? Simply make sure your profile, or a short bio, is on the sidebar! I would actually recommend doing both, as some people want to know the general idea before taking the time to read an entire page about a person whose blog they may or may not follow. Have a picture with your bio—it doesn't have to be of your face, but simply a photo that gives your viewers something with which they can connect you. A picture is worth a thousand words, and people like visual aids with what they're reading.

(Ha, listen to me, talking about visual aids while having a measly handful of pictures in the middle of my post . . . )

Seriously, though. Imagine what you'd want to see, then apply it to your own blog! Dark colors may look cool to you, and that's great—if you like it, go for it! However, it's a natural tendency for people to be more attracted to bright, cheery blogs rather than dark ones. If it reflects what your blog is about, then by all means, do it! But which are you more drawn to out of these two?

5. Create and stick to a schedule.
There are two main benefits to keeping a schedule. First, it keeps you accountable. If you have a deadline, you're much more likely to keep posting than if you simply post when you feel like it. Keeping a schedule is hard. Very hard. Goodness gracious, I know it—that explains my unexplained hiatuses throughout my blogging life. But keeping a schedule helps you develop self-discipline, as well as forces you to actually be punctual (unlike this person *points to self*). 

The second reason is that people like someone who actually has order in their life—or, at least, looks like they have order in their life. They like to know what they're getting, and when to expect it. Honestly, if a blog doesn't post regularly, I'll sometimes unfollow it, depending on the content.

6. Don't overdo on the labels.
Honestly, I feel like that's one of the biggest mistakes I've made with my blog. I've made so many labels when all I needed was a few—rather than 'About Me, My Family, My Twin, Ramblings,' etc., all I need is 'My Life.' People would get the point instead of trying to wad (or maybe even drowning) through all the labels I have. It keeps things organized, you might say—well, let me say that if there's a whole bunch of labels on a blog, there's no way I'm going through them all. And please, people, don't use Cloud format! I understand that some of you like it, and that's fine. If you think it looks good, go for it. But look at this:

Compared to this:

And you tell me which Label gadget is easier to read.
(but seriously, folks, don't use that many labels.)

7. Participate in the blogosphere.
I can't stress enough how important this is. Sure, you'll gain followers as you go along by yourself in your own little corner. But to really become established in the blogging world, follow other blogs. Comment on them. Make your presence known. A lot of bloggers will check out the people that comment on their posts! Not only will this give you traffic to your blog, but it will also introduce you to people that you can relate to. Getting to know other bloggers is so much fun, and reading others' posts will help you develop your own voice in the community in which you're trying to establish yourself. You want followers? Good, but it goes both ways. If you're participating in any form of social media, you know that the best way to gain followers is to go find others with blogs/accounts similar to yours, and follow them. Now, with blogging, you don't necessarily have to follow as much as comment and interact.

Does it seem like I'm repeating myself? I feel like I keep repeating myself. But seriously, it's true. Ask other bloggers. You don't get followers by doing nothing.
Are you a new blogger or a veteran?
What are your tips on blogging?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tagged Twice {the #AwesomeBlogger Award}

As you can obviously tell by the post's title, I've been tagged twice! So, I figured I'd better actually do it this time. ;) Thanks to Molly and Brooklyne for tagging me with the #AwesomeBlogger Award!

The rules:
-Tag your post with #awesome blogger award (done!)
-Answer all the questions given to you
-Nominate at least 5 bloggers and inform them of their nomination
-Give them 10 new questions to answer

Molly's questions:

1. Do you like NASCAR? If so, who is your favorite driver?

Uh . . . no? XD I honestly hardly watch NASCAR at all, soooo I couldn't even begin to tell you who the drivers are.

2. Have you ever been pulled over? If so, why and did you get a ticket and who paid for the ticket?

Again, no. Wow, these answers are starting to get boring . . .

3. What is your least favorite musical instrument?

Um . . . probably the recorder. Unless it's played right. But basically the only experience I've had with the recorder wasn't very enjoyable, soooo

4. What is the silliest/most embarrassing thing you did when you were a kid?
Oh goodness, this is hard . . . I'll have to come back to this one.
*finishes other questions*
Okay, after enlisting the help of my mom and sister . . . I fell off chairs. Really. I'd balance on them wrong, and just fall off. My dad and brothers never let me forget that chairs used to buck me off. ;P

5. What do you do when you're stressed?

Try to keep calm. While giving myself gray hairs a few years early. (well okay, I don't have gray hairs. Yet.) If possible, I like to make out a list of things I have to get done, and it makes all the tasks seem less overwhelming.

6. What was the biggest/most expensive thing you bought that you regret buying?
Well, keep in mind that I'm very much a penny pincher—my father instilled that in all his kids, and some—like me—picked it up more than others (really, the only thing I really spend much money on is books). So I've got two things I regret buying: origami paper and a piano book. I used like, 4 sheets of the 20 in the box, and I quickly advanced out of the piano book.

7. How many houses have you lived in?

Like, as a visit or as in, lived lived? Assuming this means that I actually dwelt in this house for more than five days . . . one. One house. I know, another boring answer, buuuut it's true. And I love this house. ;)

8. What is the item that you most regret getting rid of?

Um . . . I honestly can't think of anything...except my siblings and I got so upset at my grandma for getting rid of our favorite toy. (I mean, it was for little kids, and we were too old for it. But still.) Yeah, I know, it technically doesn't answer the question, but hey, it'll work.

9. Who is your favorite author?

Uggghhh . . . why must these be so HARD?! I'll give you two, because I really don't have just ONE favorite—the struggle is real, y'all. Jeff Strueker and Susan K. Marlow. Now, I've got SO MANY favorite authors, but these two take the cake. (And yeah, I'll probably read this post later and think, why didn't I mention THAT AUTHOR?? But it's okay, I like these two.)

10. Do your siblings stalk your blog and discover who comments on it before you do? (mine do) ;)

Sometimes, actually. But I get email notifications for each one, so usually I catch them before my siblings. But yes, they often check my blog for comments, especially if it's a post they really like.

Brooklyne's questions:

1. What is one thing that makes you sparkle? (what you get excited about...)
Okay, I'm going to sound contradictory and say people. Because while I'm an introvert (an introvert that plays extrovert to make people comfortable, so if you ever meet me and I'm super bubbly, it probably means I'm trying to make the conversation less awkward), I still do need people. I love camaraderie, I love being a part of a group. I don't really like always being the quiet person that gets ignored, but I definitely don't like being the center of attention.

2. After a long day, would you rather watch a movie with your family or read a good book?

Oh, goodness, I guess it depends. Sometimes all I want to do is shut myself away from people and just read. But, other times, I want to laugh my head off with my siblings and watch a movie with everyone.

3. Have you ever tried writing backwards or upside down? Or both at the same time? 
Actually, yes. Backwards for sure. Upside down? I think so . . . both? Don't remember, actually. It's been awhile. ;)

4. What is one sport that you are really good at?
Well, I'm not really good at sports, but I've grown up playing football with the guys, so I'm not too bad at it. I can throw, I can catch, and I can punt. Tackling depends on the person. *smirks*
Actually, now that I think about it, I'm a pretty fair roller skater. ;) I mean, I'm not too bad at bowling either, but that doesn't really seem like a sport to me . . .

5. What is one sport that you better sit out on?...or else things could be disastrous.
Baseball. I love watching it, but honestly, I'm pretty awful. And not knowing all the rules really makes it more difficult.

6. What is one book that you could read over and over again and never tire of it? And what makes that book so memorable?
Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift by Max Lucado. It's a children's book, but when I was younger, each of us children could pick a book for our parents to read to us. Kordell and I both always picked this one, and we just loved it so much. I still love reading it!

7. What is a life lesson that God has taught you through a difficult time in your life? 
People are not gods. You can't depend on others for things which they were never created. Your fulfillment comes through Christ, and when you put your trust in anything less than God—especially people—you're gonna end up lonely and confused. Never forget the One who created and loves you, y'all.

8. What is a book in the Bible that you rarely ever read? 
Song of Solomon. Need I say more? ;)

9. What do you love about blogging?
I love interacting with others, and having my little corner of the world. Yes, y'all, even if I never take the time to reply, I read each and every comment, and I appreciate y'all's support. <3

10. And a fun one, if you could create a dessert that has never been made before, what would you create?
I don't know . . . something chocolate. *scratches head* OH! This has probably been made before, but like, a layered shortbread cake with chocolate ganache and strawberries between each layer, and on top, and smothered in whipped cream. *heart eyes*
If you actually read all that, well done! I'm impressed. ;)

I tag: LiviTabby Anne, Faith G.Rebekah A., and Hosanna.

Your questions:
1. What is one thing that make you sparkle? (Something that you get excited about)
2. What is your favorite musical instrument?
3. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?
4. What is your 'theme song'? (This could be an all-time favorite, or a song that describes your situation)
5. What's your favorite thing about blogging?
6. Of all of your hobbies, what is your favorite and how did you get started on it?
7. Who is your favorite author, and which of their books is your favorite?
8. Which is your favorite book of the Bible, and why?
9. Which of the four seasons best describes your personality?
10. What is one thing that God has taught you recently?