Bloggiesta! aka Ignore This Post

 I actually got a headstart on Bloggiesta (a weekend devoted to updating and improving or changing your blog) by drinking a Dr. Pepper with dinner on Thursday (like crack cocaine for me).  Thus, I was up messing with the blog until the first wee moments of Friday morning.  I might have to give myself a prize for being the first to the party on this one.  I have made some pretty significant changes already, including the following items on my to-do list:

  • making a banner (thanks to Trish for the heads up on PicMonkey - it is made of win), 
  • changing the layout (more space for text and pictures; less junk on the sides),
  • changing the background (what can I say?  I like a lot of white space),
  • adding my photo and eliminating my "Background Noise" tab,
  • eliminating the archives and the blog roll,
  • adding a Words With Friends page (to replace the blog roll), and 
  • changing the font
Making these changes makes me self-conscious, like getting a dramatic new hairdo and wondering if anyone actually likes it.  Most of your friends will tell you it looks great, but you always need that one friend who is willing to tell you when it just doesn't work.  Be that friend for me, mkay?  Tell me what you don't like.  Tell me if the font looks too casual, if the layout doesn't look right on your computer (everyone's resolution is different, right?), or if you miss the stuff I took out.  I will be actually populating the Words With Friends page soon, but I don't think there's a way to put the easy blog roll in there, so I'll have to type and link individually.  Ugh.

Bloggiesta has some mini-challenges with prizes and stuff, and for the most part, I haven't gotten into them much, but Trish had a prompt that resonated with me, so I thought I'd pull back the curtain a bit.  Her challenge has to do with how we keep organized with a blog.  She uses a journal and colored pens and a printed calendar page to schedule posts, and she encourages us try it too.  I already keep a notebook that carries my life between its covers - to-do lists, grocery lists, notes from class or meetings, blog ideas, phone numbers....  Basically, whatever has come up that day goes in the book.  Here's what my Bloggiesta ideas page looks like:  

Behind that, you can see just a peek at my to-do list for the week, which obviously takes up the whole-friggin-page.  Ridiculous.  I do love to mark things off my lists, and though I don't use colored pens, I do love a good pen.  For my calendar, I use google, which allows me to have separate calendar colors for my work obligations and my home stuff and to separate the kids' school schedule from the hubs' school schedule.  Back in the summer, I made one for the blog, to put long-term reminders (like for ReadaThons or Bloggiestas or scheduled reviews), and here's what it looks like this morning.

Oops.  Clearly, I needed the nudge to use this feature a bit better.  On to the day's to-do list it goes.  Here's what else I hope to get done:
  • Work on the Words With Friends page
  • Add a Review Policy
  • Add some personal info to the Who Are You? section (undecided about whether this is necessary)
  • Consider font change for post texts
  • Make buttons for "Home Fires" and "News Feed" features
  • Rename "Home Fires"?????
  • Schedule following posts: Where in the World Are You Reading Meme, Poetry, TPR, Les Mis reflections, The Aeneid, and new features formal introductions.
Phew.  It's going to be a big day.  Plus, I have about a gazillion square feet of trim and doors to paint before the in-laws arrive on Wednesday.  More Dr. Pepper, please!


  1. Looks awesome! It's so clean and straightforward, which is what I tried to do to my blog last Bloggiesta. It just reads easier, in my opinion.

    I'm playing catch-up this weekend, so lots of paper grading. Ugh.

    More Dr. Pepper! Get at it!

    1. Yep, I feel the catch-up vibe as well. The trim and doors have been painted, but the midterm papers are yet to be started. I might have to make a caffeine run soon. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Jenn. I'll have to work more on the blog tomorrow. Or Tuesday. Or....

  2. The new design really DOES look great! The banner is perfect.

    1. Thank you! I do like the way that picture works there. Now, if I could just get to the rest of that to-do list. I did schedule an early Oct. poetry post, though, so that's a little progress!

  3. I'm liking the changes too. I like the idea of moving the blog roll. One comment tho - on your comments page where your replies show up in a grey box, the light blue writing is not readable on my computer. i'd change they shade of grey or the blue to white writing (if you can?). Lists are great, but we cant live with disappointment, so they're just lists... Keep up the great reno's.

  4. You've done a lot over here!! I love the picture in your header and I can't believe I never thought to use picmonkey for my own header! Someone created it for me last bloggiesta but when I had to stretch it a bit to fit my template it lost some of the sharpness. Think I'll have to add that to my next bloggiesta list.

    And yay for notebooks. ;)