Launching Early

18Dec08

Happy Thursday! Next week is a two-day week for me and probably many others, and next Thursday I will undoubtedly be loving champagne, presents and bad TV but for now I’m still at work wishing it was Xmas already!

This week I am particularly loving:

* Planning the new version of Sparkle and Glitter! I’ve already met with some teething problems (anyone who self-hosts a WordPress blog, who is your hosting provider?) but the ideas are all there and I’m sure I’ll get the technical side of things sorted soon.

* The relief of getting all my Xmas shopping done – it’s a big relief, and most of it has been delivered to my parents’ house, so I don’t even have to carry it!

* Sleeping -  I appear to be doing far more of it this week than I usually do, but it’s so good! It’s just a shame when I have to get up for work and I’m so warm and comfy I really don’t want to move!

* The end of year wind-down at work – everyone seems to be cheering up, working less and generally being in a much better mood as the end of the year approaches. Even the boss is joining in! It really is quite marvellous being offered tea every half hour or so!

* Simon’s Cat – Old news, but it still makes me laugh so much!  Just in case you haven’t seen it yet:

* Finding Time to Relax – It’s not something I do enough of, but I really gave myself the chance to recharge last weekend, and it was exactly what I needed.

* The Secret Society of List Addicts - Yep, that’s the third time I’ve mentioned them this week but really, I love this project! It’s so much fun, and now that I’ve worked out my differences with Blogger (having barely ever used it previously, it’s differences from WordPress were enough to momentarily confuse me completely!) I’m totally addicted to posting my lists there!

* Mulled Wine – it’s fabulous! Xmas in a glass (or mug!)

* Movies! –  Re-watching old favourites – Amelie, To Kill a Mockingbird, Breakfast at Tiffanys – to finally seeing films I should probably have watched ages ago – Stardust – I’ve been enjoying some quality time with a TV screen and a mug of hot chocolate this week!

I hope you’ve all had a great week and thank you for putting up with my multitude of admin and plan posts! How has your life sparkled this week?


Admin: Blogroll

17Dec08

Tonight I will commence building the new Sparkle and Glitter, and learning how to use WordPress on my own hosting. Part of this will of course involve putting together my links page properly, a task I’ve sadly neglected so far (sorry, my bad!) so if you’re a regular Sparkle reader, or you’ve linked to me, let me know your website address so you can be added!

Anyone whose blog I’ve commented on at any point need not worry, you’re already in my feed so you’ll automatically be included, but if I leave you out when the new site is launched, do let me know!


Blogspiration!

17Dec08

Image by brandi666

Image by brandi666

Who and where do you get your inspiration from?

With all my recent talk of grand plans for the future of this blog, I thought I would share mine. It comes, deep down, from a desire to write that I have held since I was very young. I, and I’m sure many others who read this, have always wanted to be a published author (it seems many hold this desire, if the responses to the last couple of posts on The Secret Society of List Addicts are anything to go by!). I have been reading various blogs for years, but it was only really when I started reading iCiNGby the amazing Gala Darling that I really started to see blogs as a platform for my own writing. Gala was my first blogging inspiration.

That was all this blog was originally intended to be – a place where I can publish my writing and if a few people see it and comment with some encouraging words, all the better. I became a little addicted however, when I saw the traffic numbers creeping up slowly, and every kindly comment made me smile a little more. A blogging addict was most definitely born!

My inspiration to carry on and really “make a go of it” came from the amazing community of bloggers I “met” when exchanging comments. Seriously, you are all fabulous! As a blog-reader although I saw all the lovely comments left, I really didn’t appreciate the level of interaction and support amongst the blogging community, but I’m loving every moment I’m a part of it!

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 Image by aussiegall

Huge love to you all!

The inspiration to write on particular topics comes from all over the place! Sometimes from posts other bloggers have made, where I feel I can expand upon a topic or take it in another direction (you’ll most likely have noticed these as I always credit the original poster when I take inspiration from their writing), but more often simply from my own life. I don’t think I could call myself an expert in anything, but I’ve had enough life experience that I feel I can advise on some topics and empathise on others. Sharing my opinions has never been something I’ve found difficult (just ask my mother – apparently as soon as I could string a sentence together I was rather an opinionated child) so really, I’m amazed the notion to blog didn’t come to me sooner!

Inspiration can come from anywhere and I’m forever reading, watching TV or just having an ordinary conversation and something I read or hear will capture my attention and an idea will start to form. My notebooks fill up rapidly with scribbles and snippets of information many of which remain scribbles forever, but some of which become posts and articles I’m proud of.

You are all my inspiration, your comments inspire me to continue writing even when a flicker of self-doubt enters my mind. Where do you find yours?


Image by DeclanTMImage by DeclanTM

This is just a quick post with a few admin announcements! This evening, I have been domain-shopping and as of sometime in the next 24 hours, http://www.sparkleandglitter.co.uk will point to this blog. It will exist in it’s current form for a few weeks whilst the new look is designed, then I will be moving the site to it’s own hosting!

Exciting times!

It comes at a cost however, so I have decided that I’m going to bite the bullet and put a few ads on the blog. I never intended to at the start, but I had no idea how great this project would become and financial considerations such as hosting never occurred to me – I didn’t expect it to become this big! I will however, try to keep the ad presence as minimal and unobtrusive as possible.

Thanks to the wonderful blogging community this has been an amazing few months. Here’s to an equally fabulous future! Sorry for the spate of admin posts today, normal service will resume tomorrow!


Image by SuperFantastic

Firstly a quick note to say thank you for all the feedback on the last post! I intend to use the Xmas break to do a lot of planning for this blog, and all your suggestions will go a long way to helping me plan regular posts, new content ideas, etc. Here’s a few general replies to some points raised:

* My own photos – I’m one of those people who, when they lose something, will search relentlessly for it, even when all hope of finding it seems lost. Hence, I have been searching for my battery charger for months now! A new one is now on my shopping list, so I’ll be able to use my camera shortly! I actually have several ideas for photo-heavy posts that I am quite excited about!

*  A sparkly template – this will probably come when I transfer the blog to a domain, as I will then be able to use 3rd party templates, my CSS skills aren’t really up to much anymore! I may change to one with a banner graphic in the meantime however, if I manage to create a banner I like!

* Those of you who kindly agreed to answer some questions, an interview is being prepared and will be on it’s way to you before next week!

For now, here’s another meme that quite a lot of the bloggers I read have already filled in, and I really enjoyed reading the answers to!

4 Things I did Today (well, yesterday)

1. Started making plans for next year, both for this blog and life in general

2. Did two of the three consolidation exercises I need to do for my course and email in tomorrow, and surprised myself with how much I knew.

3. Ate a really good chili cooked by the boy whilst watching In Bruges and reading blogs.

4.  Began to sort out my possessions for the big clear-out I’m undertaking – I own a lot of superfluous clutter!

4 Things on my To-do List

1.  Book train tickets for Xmas eve, travelling to my parents’ house the evening of the 24th is not going to be fun, especially getting across London at the same time as everyone else!

2.  Finish my washing and actually put it away for once instead of leaving it in neatly-folded piles until I want to wear it.

3. Do the other consolidation exercise and email them all to the college.

4. Start working on a few posts so that I’m ahead of myself before leaving Loughborough in case I don’t have much time to write when I’m in Kent.

4 Guilty Pleasures

1.  Baklava – I can eat boxes of the stuff in minutes!

2. Pretty much anything from the Marks and Spencers food shop – wine, sushi and party food in particular! If I could afford it, I’d do all my grocery shopping there!

3. Trashy magazines – Anything from “REAL LIFE STORIES!” stuff to celebrity gossip, I spend my lunchtimes at work gleefully reading the kind of publications I would never spend money on, but really enjoy reading when they’re there for free!

4.  Spending ridiculous amounts of time in the shower, I dread to think how much of our gas bill this contributes to, but I love taking my time, relaxing with various delicious-smelling products and planning my day.

4 Random facts about Me

1.  I’m only 5’1, but because of my Scoliosis I wear tall length jeans and petite tops! I say I’m disproportionate, my other half tells me I’m “anime-proportioned” (but for that I think I’d have to have a far smaller waist first!)

2. I love books, but I seem to buy them quicker than I get around to reading them, especially with all the extra stuff I have to read for my course! My “to read” pile is always growing!

3. I hoard EVERYTHING! I really hate throwing things away, but I also hate clutter, so I’m forever driving myself crazy with the amount of stuff I have!

4. I find thinking of new interesting facts about myself really difficult!

Bloggers that I’m tagging

I would tag, but I think most people have probably filled this one in already, so I shall refrain for now. (Next time I’ll fill it in a little earlier!)


Image by Jsome1

Image by Jsome1

 This little blog is growing up, so it’s about time I asked everyone for a bit of feedback! I’ve been looking at the stats, comments, etc. analysing what articles have been most popular etc. in the hope of starting 2009 with a bang! So here’s where you come in! Please let me know:

What you liked?

What you thought was perhaps less successful?

What would you like to see more of?

How can I improve the general “feel” of the blog?

Also, please let me know if you would be willing to let me interview you! I’m not looking for Internet superstars here (though if any want to participate, please let me know!) just ordinary bloggers and blog readers who would be willing to answer a few questions. If you would like to participate, please email me (sparkleandglitter[at]rocketmail.com) or leave a comment with your email address. Some interviews will be published in full, others will form parts of a larger article, but everyone who participates will of course get their blog / website credited in the post.

Coming soon: Post-Xmas Recovery Tips, The Sparkle Guide to Surviving the Sales, and New Years Resolutions Everyone Should Make!

NB: Edited to add, at the moment I’m collecting details for the interviews, the questions are not yet finalised. You will receive an email in the next couple of weeks and the replies will be posted over the following few weeks! (So basically, if you don’t receive anything from me immediately, don’t worry, you will hear from me soon!)




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