Blogger Bombardment: August 9

It seems I’m not the only person in the blogosphere who loves a bunch of links to click on and read! After last week’s post, I’ve decided to bring you some more links for this Friday. Some of them are old and recently discovered, and others are new!

The UNESCO Hunt: 1-10 (via Adventurous Kate): I am absolutely in love with this blog! And the idea for visiting a ton of UNESCO sites is awesome to me.

Picnic at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland (via Ifs, Ands, & Butts): Just discovered this girl’s blog yesterday and I can’t get enough. Picnic + Ireland? Yes. Please.

Great White Sharks, Guitars and Gettin’ Down, Down Under (via The Planet D): In honor of Shark Week finishing up, why don’t you head over here and see how adventurous Dave and Deb are?

Visit Brindisi Italy (via Young Adventuress): Another blogger that I love, writing about a country that I love. What more could you ask for?

My Train Derailed in the Northern Thai Jungle (via That Backpacker): My friend was also just in Thailand and just missed a crash. This is a story that needs to be heard!

Confessions of a First Time Solo Traveler (via Ways of Wanderers): This is an old post, but an awesome read! As someone who wants to get in to solo travel, I found it very enlightening.

Vital Reminders for Writers (via The Conversationalist): Excellent quotes to take a look at.

How Funny Tweets Win You New Customers (via Fast Company): It turns out, people on Twitter really do love humor!

Do What You Love and Get Paid for It: The Missing Link (via The Middle Finger Project): SO GLAD I found this project this week. Love the attitude and the life/business lessons. You should definitely check it out!

Photography Tips, Part 1 (via Postcards from Rachel): I’ve been trying to find ways to improve my photography to improve my blog. This is a great list of tips, especially if you can’t afford a DSLR yet and most tip posts go over your budget head.

That Sponsorship Thing That Nobody Gets (via Kisses and Croissants): Just discovered this blog and knew it was love. I’m really thinking about sponsorship (as soon as I transfer over my blog) and so this was a great guide!

How Beer & Coffee Affect Your Brain (via LifeHack): An interesting infographic that explains it all. In moderation, mind you!

15 Things Happy People Don’t Do (via Elite Daily): Everyone wants to be happy, but what don’t you have to do to get there?

Why I Wake Up Early and 3 Reasons You Should Too (via Julia Boorsten on LinkedIn): I always have wanted to be an early riser, and this article might be the inspiration I needed to get there!

16 (Non-Alcoholic) Drinks for Summer! (via A Beautiful Mess): Sometimes, you just can’t afford the alcohol. 😉 Some of these sound seriously delicious!!

No Technology Weekend (via Lost in Travels): As a treat to your weekend, read this post!

How to Be Confident (via Prolific Living): Another great site that I found this week! I definitely need to work on my confidence, so if you’re like me…this is a must read.

As usual, let me know if there are any awesome links I missed this week!

Blog School > Regular School

I’ve gotten into this groove where I wake up around 6, actually get up around 6:30, make my coffee, and then spend some quality time with my blog. It’s been nice because I can really dedicate some time to building my blog the way I want it. This may be a (free) wordpress blog, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. It just means I don’t have the hugest income in the world and tuition is insane. Honestly, I’m not sure how long I can hold out not jumping ship back to self-hosted. But that’s a story for another time.

In this development time, I’ve been hopping around the world wide web (is it lame to still call it that?) in search of design help, logistical pointers, creativity activities, ANYTHING. When I went self-hosted last time, I hired a designer and someone to switch everything over for me. This time, I’m determined to do it myself for me and to save money.

Better Blog

Some things I’ve found?

  • The SITS Girls: They’ve got a forum and a blog going on that really caught my attention. So many resources and clicks to take you to OTHER places with resources. I’ve spent many a minute on here.
  • Entrepreneurship Life: I read this article about how making money as a freelancer can actually be legit, and my mind took off in a million directions. Very inspirational and makes me want to kick my blog up 1 million notches.
  • The Thinking Closet: More than just a blog resource (even though it’s got an awesome ‘About Page’ guide!), this site is FULL of creativity. And I love it!
  • Skimbaco Lifestyle: Is it more inspiring articles you’re after? Check out this one to remind yourself that you follow your own path. Simple to forget, difficult to remember!
  • Click It Up A Notch: I’ve been trying to get my photography up to par, and this blog is AMAZING. Amazing. My cousin suggested a camera I’m now lusting after, and this blog doesn’t make it any better!

But do you know what’s really just done it for me? Have you heard of the Blog Genie? Perhaps you know her by Rita. Either way, she’s an amazing blog designer and human being in general. And she has a blog school. Enrollment starts on August 13, so check that out! Right now, she’s doing a three-part training series called “Build Your Remarkable Blog” for FREE to get the ball rolling. You know I’m all over that.

The three modules include “Are you blogging in the right niche?“, “The Art of Getting Things Done“, and “Believe You Can.” Only the first is out so far, but I loved it. It’s general enough to help any type of blogger, yet specific enough to actually be helpful. And yes, it comes with homework!

Blog Homework

It held priority over my “real” schoolwork. That’s how you know I care!

It can be tough to sit down and really break down which direction you want a blog to go in. This homework, for me, consisted of a lot of brainstorming and self doubt that I tried to ignore dreaming. But honestly, it solidified my choice to start this new blog from scratch and throw the “old blog” out the window. And anything that solidifies my choice gets an A+ from me! 😉 One of my favorite lessons:

Part of being successful is realizing that you can’t and shouldn’t write your blog for everyone. You’ll simply end up with a watered down version of yourself that isn’t interesting to anyone – you included.

Helllllo, true life!

Also: her e-mail mentioned to be on the lookout for Blog School scholarships. I would (and will!) definitely keep an eye out for that via her Facebook page.

Honestly, I would sing her praises for days. Check it out yourself and see what all the hubbub is about! Even if you’re already an established blogger, it’s always nice to spend some time making sure you’re staying on point for YOU!

Have you dedicated your time to a sort of “blog schooling?” Do you have any resources that should be added to my list? I’ve got a growing list of Photoshop tutorials for my re-design that I don’t know what to do with!

Photo Journey: London

I’m sure the whole world by now has heard the news of William and Kate having a baby boy. The coverage on American TV is in heavy supply. Watching all of it is exciting, but it definitely has me wanderlusting away for the time where I was abroad. And so today I’m going to share some pictures of my trip to good old London.

Phone Booth

Had to do it! Who could blame me? Lost on our way to our friend’s apartment.

Peter Pan Statue

Cheesin’ it up at the Peter Pan statue.

Kensington Gardens

Lounging in Kensington Gardens. Who said London was gray in November?

Big Ben London

Checking out the Big Guy for ourselves. Big Ben!

Wicked West End

Before we saw Wicked, West End style.

Platform 9 3/4

Harry Potter approves.

London Olympics Countdown

Countdown to London Olympics in Trafalgar Square. With my love for all things Olympics, this is an awesome picture.

As you can see, posed pictures were a thing during our trip. One of the goals I have for my travel photography is to really delve into candids, as well as embrace the landscape. I’ve always been wary of landscape pictures because mine turn out awfully boring, but with practice I would hope that goes away!

Photography step 2: Capture the moments, not the poses.

London Eye

I promise I don’t only take pictures of people. London Eye in the evening!

Your Turn!

Have you ever been to London? It was a total whirlwind trip for me, but we definitely got lucky with the weather!

What do you photograph more often? People or places?

The Challenge of Photography

All while I was debating whether or not to start another blog, one of the biggest things I was worried about was my photography. Let me tell you, I cannot make a picture look good if I tried. If you’ve read this blog for more than 3 seconds, you know that travel is HUGE on my radar, and I wanted this blog to really reflect that. And for now I would focus on honing my skills in Philadelphia.

Step One: Start taking my camera with me everywhere and just. Take. Pictures!

Philadelphia Alley

Alleyway I thought was pretty. Not as awesome in my picture. But still.

Red Building

I appreciated the color of this building.

Hanging Plants

I thought all of these hanging plants were so cool!

I Wish

This was my absolute favorite. I wish!

Well. I’m all amped up with no clue as to where to go from here. My parents have mentioned a camera being an excellent Christmas present, but I don’t want to get one on the fancier side if I don’t use my camera as it is. That is not something to waste.

That’s where you all imaginary readers come in! Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get better at this photography stuff? I’d love to do the places I visit some sort of justice. Food, sights, people, everything. Any guides or anything like that you would suggest?

Step Two: UNDECIDED.

Help me out! Pretty please!

How are your photography skills?